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

Light and Fluffy Pumpkin Pancakes

1 1/4 cups flour
2 TBSP sugar
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp ginger
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup milk
6 TBSP pumpkin puree
2 TBSP melted butter
1 egg

Mix together dry ingredients. In a separate bowl, combine wet ingredients. Fold together and drop by 1/4 cup onto a skillet. Cook about 3 minutes per side until brown. Makes about 8 pancakes.

Pumpkin Chili

1 onion, chopped
2 bell peppers, chopped
1 cup chopped carrots
5 garlic cloves, minced
1 TBSP chili powder
1 1/2 tsp cumin
2 tsp oregano
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp crushed red pepper
1 can pumpkin purée
1 can/pint diced tomatoes, undrained
3 cups broth
1 can/pint black beans, drained and rinsed
1 can/pint cannelini beans, drained and rinsed
1 1/2 tsp sea salt
3/4 tsp pepper

Saute onion, peppers, and carrots in oil, until tender. Add garlic and spices and cook a couple minutes longer. Add pumpkin, tomatoes, broth, beans and simmer for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.  Season with salt and pepper before serving.

CSA Saturday – Fall on the Farm

I got a bit of an earlier start on my shift at the farm to get home before it got too hot. It was such a lovely morning though. The sunrise was deep and glorious. Hot air balloons landed on either side of me as I drove down the freeway. And I got to the farm to find this blanket of leaves, brilliant in the early morning sun. I took some time to walk the fields enjoying the sights and sounds and changes since last week before I got started weeding and hoeing among the carrots.

Fall at the farm #workershare

Dehydrating Goji Berries

I planted my goji berry 3 years ago, and it’s since spread to cover 24 feet along my privacy fence. The berries start ripening in August and and in about a month they are coming in fast enough that I can begin dehydrating batches for use in winter. They aren’t exactly my favorite berry, but I nibble on a few most days on my way into the house each evening and will be using them dehydrated in smoothies and yogurt, to flavor water, and in teas.

Pumpkin Cream Cheese Stuffed French Toast

4 eggs
1/4 cup milk
2 TBSP sugar
1 tsp pumpkin pie spice
1/2 tsp vanilla extract

8 ounces cream cheese
4 TBSP sugar
4 TBSP pumpkin puree
2 tsp pumpkin pie spices

8 slices cinnamon raisin bread

Combine egg mixture ingredients in one bowl and mix well. Combine filling ingredients in another bowl and mix well. Spread 1/4 of filling between two slices of bread and dip each side of this sandwich in egg mixture. Fry until golden brown on both sides and serve with maple syrup. Makes 4 servings.


This year I wanted to try growing something fun. I chose a variety of Paprika Peppers from Baker Creek and started seeds for 3 plants to try it out. When they had all turned red I seeded them and put them in the dehydrator at 125 for 24 hours.

Once completely dried, I used a coffee grinder to powder them. I got just short of 2 ounces by volume.  Ta-da! That’s all there is to making your own paprika powder. I think it’s super cool to be able to grow one more thing for the spice cabinet.