Category Archives: food & farm

food & farm

Famous Ham Sammies Recipe from Beyer Beware

Today we’re linking to two recipes from one magnificent cook. It’s a double dip of deliciousness!

First, we’re cooking a famous ham sammies recipes from my friend Leah at Beyer Beware as part of our instead of hot dogs series. Second, today also happens to be Monday, the day of the week Leah posts her Hunk of Meat Mondays feature recipe. Visit Beyer Beware for Leah’s latest feature, Philly Cheese Sloppy Joes. And click this link to see the recipe details for our dish:

King’s Hawaiian Roll Ham Sandwiches

As kitchen entertainment, my helper and I cook the ham sammies:
(Video link:

Leah told me these ham sammies were addictive, and she’s right. The “secret sauce” makes these babies special. A few simple steps transforms ham sandwiches from simple to super.

Nice job, Leah. Carnivores everywhere sing your praises!

ham sammies

famous ham sammies

 For the despondent, every day brings trouble; for the happy heart, life is a continual feast. Proverbs 15:15 NLT

Might as well face it, you’re Addicted to Love and ham sandwiches…

If you make this recipe, let me know how you like it!


Filed under family & friends, food & farm, recipes

Faster Than a French Fry

french fries

faster than a french fry

Posts have been flying out of here faster than a french fry out of a Happy Meal. Here’s a recap of what’s been published where, including links you may have missed.

Back on BlogHer
Lisen and I are on BlogHer this week, fearlessly discussing biotech foods (GMOs, genetically modified organisms) and California’s Prop 37. Whether you live in CA or not, this measure has huge repercussions for food, farm, and those of us who buy groceries. Please drop by to read the point-counterpoint post and add to the conversation.

Carolina on My Mind
“The number one reason I’m voting for Mitt Romney can be summed up in two words: North Carolina.” That’s the opening line to my post Why Mitt Romney Has My Vote, featured today on Project Underblog. Earlier this week, Project Underblog featured my letter to Facebook founder, Dear Mr. Zuckerberg.

Mobilizing Moms
mastering mommy brainYesterday my guest post The Mommy Vote Counts appeared on Mastering Mommy Brain. I was honored to write this nonpartisan post encouraging moms to vote. Often we don’t recognize our own strength. “Mommy, your vote is wanted and it counts. Your voice needs to be heard in this conversation.” Read more in The Mommy Vote Counts.

Our recipe series of what to eat instead of hot dogs continues. We’ve cooked up two delicious meals so far, Tex Mex Lasagna and Crockpot Southern Greens. Expect more to come.

Katie Pinke, The Pinke Post

Katie Pinke, The Pinke Post

Love to North Dakota
My blogging sister Katie Pinke had a little surprise this past week. Her blog’s URL was mistakenly listed as expired and sold to someone else! Her blog of five years disappeared. Fifty hours and mountains of frustration later, her blog was restored with a new URL—just in time to launch a new series North Dakota November. Please go by and give Katie some blogging love at I’m so glad she’s back online.

keep calm and vote for rom

keep calm

Polar Opposites
A special thank you to those of you who subscribe. I appreciate you sticking with me through a WordPress glitch that temporarily stopped email updates. For those of you who don’t subscribe yet, it’s easy and free. As a bonus, you get to catch my misspells and typos before I do. For example, the emailed version of Should Christians Vote? instructed voters to go to the poles on November 6th rather than to the polls… Now wouldn’t that be a hoot?

That’s all the news that’s fit to blog today. Rest up this weekend. Next week promises to be a doozie!

The Lord gives strength to His people;
the Lord blesses His people with peace. Psalm 29:11 NIV

Love Me Good by Michael W. Smith.

Have a great weekend!


Filed under blogging, family & friends, food & farm, writing & reading

When Carrots Expire

Consider the humble bag of carrots.

bag of carrots

humble bag of carrots

There it goes down the conveyor.

down the conveyor

there it goes


down the conveyor


But wait! Look at the date on the package.

date on the bag of carrots


Best if used by 11.09.12. 

By then, the election will be over. We hope.

If the carrots can make it, so can you.

Hang on. It may come down to the wire.

But don’t give up!

Smile and think of the day when carrots expire.

Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before Him He endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider Him who endured such opposition from sinners, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart. Hebrews 12:1-3 NIV

Don’t Give Up by Peter Gabriel and Kate Bush. A little melodrama goes nicely with beta carotene.

Name a root vegetable without repeating any named in the comments before yours.


Filed under America, food & farm, humor

Crockpot Southern Greens Recipe from A Half-Baked Life

The quest for easy and delicious recipes continues. Today we’re cooking Southern comfort food in a crockpot. There are so many things right with that last sentence, I don’t know where to begin.

Our recipe comes from Justine at A Half-Baked Life. Justine writes stories of luxurious prose and caps them off with delicious recipes. Genius. Click the link for today’s recipe details and to enjoy the exquisite writing that goes with it:

Crockpot Southern Greens with a Kick
by A Half-Baked Life

Now watch me cook this, simple and quick:
(Video link:

crockpot southern greens

crockpot southern greens

If you have a crockpot, you can totally do this. I cannot believe how easy it was and how complex the flavors. The “kick” Justine adds sets these greens apart. This dish makes a great meal or unexpected side to accompany an entrée. It’s the perfect earthy and warm recipe for cold autumn evenings.

Thank you, Justine at A Half-Baked Life, for bringing this savory recipe to us. Bon appétit!

For the despondent, every day brings trouble; for the happy heart, life is a continual feast. Proverbs 15:15 NLT

Alison Krauss & Union Station with The Lucky One. Greens are lucky, right?

If you make this recipe, let me know how you like it!


Filed under family & friends, food & farm, recipes

Tex Mex Lasagna Recipe from The Wife of a Dairyman

Last week, I reached out to some of my favorite cooking bloggers because I was in dire need of new recipes. Today I made the first recipe in the series. It’s from my friend Nancy at The Wife of a Dairyman. Click this link for the details:

Tex Mex Lasagna by The Wife of a Dairyman

Here’s how it cooked up in my kitchen.
(Video link:

tex mex lasagna

tex mex lasagna

The results were fabulous. If you like Mexican food, you’ll love this recipe. It’s more sophisticated than tacos, but still simple to make. I served it with chips and queso, fresh tomato, shredded lettuce, salsa, and more sour cream (of course!).

You can easily alter the recipe with another meat like ground turkey, diced chicken, or steak. You can also bake it with lower fat cheese and leave out the sour cream, as Nancy suggests, for a low fat version. For more spice, turn up the heat with your favorite seasonings and peppers.

Thank you, Nancy at The Wife of a Dairyman, for a new favorite. Bon appétit!

For the despondent, every day brings trouble;
for the happy heart, life is a continual feast. Proverbs 15:15 NLT

Kick it up a notch with Livin’ La Vida Loca by Ricky Martin.

If you make this recipe, let me know how you like it!





Filed under family & friends, food & farm, recipes

Instead of Hot Dogs

I used to be a good cook before I started blogging.

better homes gingham cook books

trinity of gingham

My cookbook collection is outfitted with three shades of Better Homes gingham and Seduced by Bacon. I’m of Italian heritage, and I married into a Midwestern farm family. My stockpile of recipes is hearty. Well-loved. Often made. Until I started blogging.

When I write, my time flies out the window.

Some of you think my mind goes with it, but that’s just the blood sugar plummeting. I’m hypoglycemic; it’s not pretty when I don’t eat.

A couple weeks ago, I realized I’d had hot dogs for lunch three days in a row. I don’t have anything against hot dogs. I like hot dogs. Eating hot dogs once in a while should be a requirement for all good Americans. Right up there with voting. By the way, have you registered yet?

corn dogs

how about corn dogs?

I digress. Back to lunch. It’s time to get off the hamster wheel of writing all morning, stopping to lunch too late only to discover there’s nothing in the house to eat except hot dogs. On Facebook, I joked that grocery shopping had moved to the top of the to-do list. But I know my problem is bigger than that.

I like to write. I like to cook. I need to eat. I can pick two of the three.

Wait a second. I know a lot of women who blog about cooking. They write, cook, and eat. But how?

I asked some of them for help. What sweet salvation they delivered. During the next few weeks, my family will be cooking and eating seven eight of their best recipes. These recipes are easy to make with ingredients that are easy to find.

Explore their sites, preview the recipes, then come back to see the results of a good cooking revival at my house. This promises to be one delicious series!

the way to cook

the way to cook

Tex Mex Lasagna by Nancy at The Wife of a Dairyman 

Southern Greens with a Kick by Justine at A Half-Baked Life

King’s Hawaiian Roll Ham Sandwiches by Leah at Beyer Beware

Spinach and Chick Peas by Simona at Fuel the Body Well

Cheeseburger Pie by Chef Nusy at And Cuisine For All

Mac and Cheese Bites by Dana at Mastering Mommy Brain

Crock Pot Beef Stroganoff by Tiffany at She Cooks!

Potato Gratin by Carrie from The Adventures of Dairy Carrie*

For the despondent, every day brings trouble;
for the happy heart, life is a continual feast. Proverbs 15:15 NLT

The Hot Dog Song by Mickey Mouse and the Clubhouse.

What’s your favorite toppings on a hot dog?

*This post was revised at 1 p.m., 10.8.12, to include the Potato Gratin. It has bacon in it. Need I say more?


Filed under blogging, family & friends, food & farm, recipes, women's studies

What Organic Food Is and Is Not

There’s a lot of confusion about organic food.

USDA-Organic Seal

USDA Organic Seal

As a mom and consumer, I know organic food garners a premium price. But I like to have choices. My family buys and eats food that looks and tastes good and that we can afford. That includes conventional, organic, biotech, heirloom, domestic, international, and farmer’s market fare.

So how is organic food defined? The USDA sets the standards for foods labeled USDA Organic through the National Organic Program, established by the Organic Foods Production Act of 1990.

Food that meets these standards can display the USDA Organic seal:

Organic crops. The USDA organic seal verifies that irradiation, sewage sludge, synthetic fertilizers, prohibited pesticides, and genetically modified organisms were not used.
Organic livestock. The USDA organic seal verifies that producers met animal health and welfare standards, did not use antibiotics or growth hormones, used 100% organic feed, and provided animals with access to the outdoors.
Organic multi-ingredient foods. The USDA organic seal verifies that the product has 95% or more certified organic content. If the label claims that it was made with specified organic ingredients, you can be sure that those specific ingredients are certified organic.

Seems straightforward. Why does confusion about organic food persist?

That brings us to what organic food is not:

bell peppers


Organic food is not more nutritious. This week’s Stanford University study concluded organic food is not healthier than conventional food. This isn’t really new information. Last year Scientific American reported 50 years of research comparisons have shown there are no health differences between organic and conventional food.

Organic food is not pesticide-free. Organic farms may use approved pesticides and fungicides derived from natural sources rather than synthetics to protect crops from insects and disease. Scientific American reported organic pesticides may be worse than those used in conventional farming. Organic food also tends to have more pathogens like E. coli and Salmonella than conventional food. It’s important to note the Stanford researchers found the pesticide levels of all food generally fell within the allowable safety limits.

Organic food is not better for the environment. According to Scientific American, organic farming requires more land to produce the same amount of food as conventional farming. If we were to switch to 100 percent organic farming today, we would have to clear another 20 percent of the ice-free land on earth to make up the difference in production.

Organic food is not necessarily local or fair-trade. Go Green Online reported the average organic food travels 1,200 miles before it reaches the consumer. And organic food may still be produced using illegal migrant workers receiving unfair wages in harsh working conditions.

My family buys and eats many different kinds of food; I’m not advocating one type of food over another. What I’m advocating is education and choice.

American blueberries


We do ourselves a disservice when we pit organic against conventional or biotech, local against domestic or imported. There’s room at the table for all kinds of food to meet many different needs.

There’s freedom for us to learn and decide for ourselves what to eat.

You cause grass to grow for the livestock
and plants for people to use.
You allow them to produce food from the earth. Psalm 104:14 NLT

Blueberry Hill by Fats Domino. Wow.

 Do you buy organic, conventional, or both? Why?

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Filed under food & farm