School is out!

I spent most of my time this week finishing my research paper on hoophouses for season extension for my class on organic vegetable production.  It was submitted today to finish up the class and with that I’ve completed all of the requirements for my Certificate in Sustainable Food and Farming!

Now that things are slowing down and I’ve only got two more shifts left at the farm, I’ll have more time! I’ve just started paging through this years seed catalogs and I’m starting A Week of Hard Labor tomorrow so I can play with my weights.

My first batch of sprouts for the season is done! I got pitas and salad fixings this week so I can eat plenty of them. My first experiment with microgreens should be ready to harvest by the time I finish up the sprouts.

Easy Beef Enchiladas

1 lb ground beef
1/2 cup chopped onion
2 cups shredded cheddar
20 oz enchilada sauce
8 flour tortillas

Brown ground beef. Mix in 1 cup enchilada sauce and 1 cup cheese. Spoon mixture into tortilla and roll up. Place seam side down in 9×13 pan and cover with remaining sauce and cheese. Bake at 350 for 30 minutes.

Winter Project

At the farm, the winter carrots are now ready to harvest and are gorgeous! This is what I harvested for myself this morning after spending time weeding and thinning beets.

Back home, I rescued my forgotten dry beans from the fence line. The Cherokee Trail of Tears have a fun new pixalated version joining the rest of the plain black beans. I brought in 2 quarts of them, plus just shy of a quart of the Hidatsa Shield.

And I juuuuuust got started on my winter cross stitch project 🙂

Crockpot Lasagna

1 pound ground beef
1 onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
28 oz tomato sauce
6 oz tomato paste
1 1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp oregano
12 oz cottage cheese
1/2 cup grated parmesan
12 oz lasagna noodles, uncooked
16 oz shredded mozzarella

Brown ground beef, onions, and garlic.  Add tomato sauce, tomato paste, salt, and oregano.  Cook until warmed through.  Layer meat sauce, double layers of lasagna noodles, and cheeses in crockpot, ending with a layer of cheese.  Cover and look on low for 5 hours.

Chicken and Stars Soup

1 lb chicken
1 Tablespoon oil
1 medium onion, finely diced
2 medium carrots, finely diced
2 stalks celery, finely diced
1 clove garlic, minced
8 cups chicken broth
2 bay leaves
1/2 teaspoon dried rosemary
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
1/4 teaspoonblack pepper
1 cup dried stelline pasta
Precook chicken and finely dice. Heat oil in a large stockpot and saute onions until transparent. Add carrots,, celery, and garlic and cook an additional 2 minutes. Add broth, chicken, and spices. Bring to a simmer and cook until carrots are tender. Add pasta and simmer 7 minutes. Remove bay leaf before serving. Makes about 6 servings.

Balsamic Chicken with Corn and Swiss Chard

2 TBSP balsamic vinegar
1 TBSP ketchup
1 TBSP dijon mustard
4 skinless, boneless chicken breasts (about 1 1/2 pounds)
2 slices bacon, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
4 ears of corn, kernels cut off (about 2 cups)
2 TBSP butter
1 bunch Swiss chard, chopped (stems and leaves separated)
3 scallions, sliced
salt and pepper, to taste

Whisk EVOO, vinegar, ketchup and mustard in a small bowl. Brush over chicken and grill until cooked through.

Meanwhile, in a large skillet or dutch oven saute bacon until crisp. Add corn and swiss chard stems and cook until tender. Add butter, chard leaves, and scallions and cook several minutes until chard is wilted. Season with salt and pepper and serve with chicken.

Turkey Noodle Soup

2 TBSP butter
1 onion, diced
4 carrots, diced
4 stalks celery, diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 lb cooked turkey
64 oz broth
1 TBSP parsley
1 tsp thyme
Salt and pepper
8 oz pasta

Sauté onion, carrots, celery, and garlic in butter until softened. Add turkey, broth, parsley, thyme, salt, and pepper and bring to a boil. Simmer 30 minutes. Add pasta and simmer 10 minutes.

New Job

It was unpleasantly rainy and just above freezing for my workershare shift. The 3 tunnels are setup and ready for winter, and I spent my time hoeing the newly sprouted spinach in one. Outside there were still a few crops toughing it out.

The snow started flying yesterday closing the book on another season. I took a week of inbetween jobs and really worked hard on relaxing 😀

And I started the new job yesterday! I’m on a team of 4 now instead of everything being all on me. And I don’t have to manage a team anymore. And I don’t have to do 3 OTHER peoples jobs anymore! I can feel the stress just melting off.

I Quit!

I’ve been quiet for a bit because I’ve had a lot going on. Most importantly, I found a new job! I submitted my resignation yesterday stating that the stress of the job was ruining my health and happiness and gave my last day as the 20th.  I’ve got a week off then start at the new place on the 30th.

I just came back from a 3 day vacation to a water park so I’m nice and destressed and ready to handle the transition. We got in some mini-golf, a WI Ducks tour, and an escape room while we were there.

At the homestead, I’m busy dehydrating up a storm to get the last of the herbs and goji berries ready.

And I got new fitpacker containers for myself as my reward for losing 30 pounds! (Well, I’ve got some to re-lose after vacation :D). So I’m busy meal prepping up a storm over here. Here’s some homemade tuna noodle casserole and I’ll be whipping up a batch of burritos and rice tonight. This will be especially good at the new job, as they don’t have a cafeteria so there’ll be no backup if I forget to pack a lunch.

Instant Pot Chili

This Instant Pot Chili turned out deliciously! As you can see mine turned out a little thin, so I reduced the amount of broth for you.

Instant Pot Chili

2 1/2 cups dried kidney beans (16 ounces)
6 cups bone broth
2 TBSP chili powder
salt and pepper to taste
2 pounds ground beef
1 onion
4 cloves garlic
6 cups diced tomatoes
2 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp cumin

Combine dry beans, 4 cups of the broth, chili powder, salt and pepper in your instant pot and use the beans/chili button with the default 30 minute timer. Meanwhile, in a large skillet, saute beef, onion, and garlic. When the instant pot is done, quick release the pressure. Add meat mixture, tomatoes, the remaining 2 cups broth, oregano, cumin, and remaining 1 TBSP chili powder. Stir well and run again using the beans/chili button with the default 30 minute timer. Quick release when done.

Makes 10 one cup servings. 362 calaories, 36g carbs, 37g protein, 11g fat