Beef and Eggs

Yesterday (May 28), we celebrated National Hamburger Day without even realizing it!   We ate dinner at Iowa’s Best Burger Cafe (also known by my family as my second kitchen).  Not that we do not have our own hamburger in the freezer, but when it is noon and you are still outside and need to be in town by one for a hair appointment it is off to The Station – a little gas station off of our interstate exit.  (Maybe some day I will write a story about it.)

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The Iowa Beef council provides some interesting Hamburger Trivia.

Read more about beef on the Iowa Food and Family blog – Beef – It’s So Versatile!  Here you can also find a recipe for Beef Burgers.


Since we ate out at noon – I knew I should probably make something good for supper last night.  One of our favorite’s this time of year includes fresh lettuce, spinach, and kale from the garden.

This recipe also works for egg month too –  as you see it includes eggs. AND it almost counts as a “meal” at our house because it contains – bacon!

The recipe is a version of Dutch Lettuce from Kevin’s grandmas.

Wash and cut lettuce.  (May add other greens as well.)  It is great if you are able to do this step ahead of time and chill.  (Most of the time that does not happen at our house.)

Boil enough eggs for each person to have one.

Fry a package of bacon. ( I usually broil it or microwave it.)

2-3 green onions

Mix 2/3 cup cider vinegar with 1 Tbsp. white sugar and 1 Tbsp. brown sugar.  Add salt and pepper to taste.

Combine lettuce, bacon pieces, eggs, and onion.  Pour dressing and a little bacon drippings over the top.


Find more egg facts and recipes on the Iowa Egg Council’s website.

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The month of May is known for celebrating both beef and eggs.  So, today I would also like to share a recipe that contains both of these products. The recipe is from the Iowa Beef Industry Council

Beef and Egg Breakfast Mug



  1. 1 recipe Basic Country Beef Breakfast Sausage (recipe follows)
  2. 1 cup chopped fresh vegetables such as tomato, baby spinach, bell pepper, zucchini or green onion
  3. 1/2 cup shredded reduced-fat cheese such as Cheddar, Monterey Jack or American
  4. 8 large eggs
  5. Salt and pepper (optional)
Toppings (optional):Dairy sour cream, salsa, or ketchup


  1. Prepare Basic Country Beef Breakfast Sausage. Remove skillet from heat; let cool 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Evenly divide beef and vegetables into eight food-safe quart-size plastic bags. Close securely and refrigerate up to 4 days.
  2. For each serving, spray one 6 to 12-ounce microwave-safe mug or bowl with non-stick cooking spray. Add 1 egg and 1 tablespoon water; whisk with fork. Stir in 1 bag refrigerated beef-vegetable mixture.
  3. Microwave, uncovered, on HIGH 30 seconds. Remove from oven; stir. Continue to microwave on HIGH 30 to 60 seconds or until egg is just set. Stir. Top with cheese. Let stand 30 seconds or until cheese is melted. Season with salt and pepper, if desired. Serve with Toppings, if desired.Basic Country Beef Breakfast Sausage:
    Combine 1 pound ground beef (93% lean or leaner), 2 teaspoons chopped fresh sage or 1/2 teaspoon rubbed sage, 1 teaspoon garlic powder, 1 teaspoon onion powder, 1/2 teaspoon salt, 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper in large bowl, mixing lightly but thoroughly. Heat large nonstick skillet over medium heat until hot. Add beef mixture; cook 8 to 10 minutes, breaking into 1/2-inch crumbles and stirring occasionally.Taco Seasoning Variation:
    Prepare beef as directed above, substituting 1 packet (1 ounce) reduced-sodium taco seasoning mix for herbs and seasonings in step 1.

Have a great Friday!


Planting 2015

Planting of corn and soybeans is now complete.  A couple of weeks ago Grandma B.  even had the chance to ride with Jacob as he planted corn.  She was pretty proud!


An unexpected thing is being “planted” in the field across the road from us this spring! Pipeline! Who would have ever thought in the middle of the country on the gravel road? I guess you never know! It is being shipped in on the train and then trucked to the field. We actually saw the train cars from Grandpa and Grandma Van’s house the other day! ( We think they should have leased Grandpa’s field right below the tracks and they could have just rolled it down the hill.) Not really – it is nice bottom ground – great for growing corn and soybeans needed to feed our livestock!


This picture is taken from our field!

Pipeline Train

We can see the train loaded with pipes from Grandpa and Grandma’s deck.


It is really cool to look through the pipes as you are going down the road!


The pipes are trucked from the railroad and unloaded.


The piles are growing each day.

A few more pictures from corn planting.  We have been blessed with a beautiful spring!
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Using the soil finisher to prepare the seed bed.


The old planter gets an overhaul. All new except the frame.


Ready to plant corn!


So many different parts to the planter to assist with precise planting.


It is so cool to see the tractor on the screen as it moves through the field. The colored shows what is planted.


The technology allows us to be more precise and less wasteful in the use of fuel, seed, and fertilizer.


The planter uses the marker to make the next line for the tractor to follow.


Following the marked line for a straight rows!


Jacob was the chief planter this spring.


Hayden, Jacob’s harvest buddy, had to experience planting!


Filling the planter.

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Night time planting is so peaceful.

The Many Hats of Farm Moms

Happy Mother’s Day! Today we (Jacob, Kate, & Emily) decided to hack moms blog for Mother’s Day. Throughout the years, mom has done many presentations to promote agriculture in schools. One of her famous presentations is “The Many Hats of Farmers”. Throughout this presentation, mom would explain to students that farmers have many different jobs such as animal caretakers, land stewards, and truck drivers. We decided to change that up a bit in honor of Mother’s Day and create the many hats of farm moms.

The Many Hats of Farm Mom’s


Hat 1: The Secretary/Bookkeeper. Moms are in charge of making sure everything and everyone is where they should be. Farm moms not only have to keep track of family happenings, but they also have to keep track of business operations that take place on the farm. This job in and of itself could be a full time job.

Hat 2: The Professional Chauffeur. Our mom should probably paint her car yellow and start charging by the mile. Many miles get put on the cars everyday. Mom drives many miles taking the foreign exchange student, Karl, to school and other activities. Farm mom’s not only have to take care of getting their children to activities, but they also keep very busy hauling the men around to fields and running errands to town to pick up parts that are a must need.

Hat 3: The Chef. Farm moms are the best at creating meals for their family from fresh, homegrown products. Mom cooks many meals a week, but not only does she have to provide meals for our family, she also provides meals for the other people that are helping out on the farm that day. When planning meals, farm moms must be very flexible because the may not know how many people need to fed, what time the meals need to be provided (there could be an early lunch, so they can get to the field or a late lunch, so they can finish up a project before heading in), or where the meals will take place (Will they be at home? In the field? Which field?.)

Hat 4: The Maid. The laundry doesn’t wash and get folded itself. Mom usually spends many late nights up doing laundry so the family has clean clothes the next day. She has to balance farm clothes. and “normal/presentable” clothes. Each needs to be cleaned and with all other responsibilities she has during the day she somehow gets this one done, even while we are sleeping.

Hat 5: The Agriculture Educator. Every mom knows that education is important. Farm moms know that agriculture education is important. One of our mom’s passions is to promote and teach agriculture in elementary classes. She thinks it is very important to educate children about agriculture at a young age, and she takes this job seriously. She spends a lot of time volunteering in classrooms and promoting agriculture. She is also willing to host many different groups of students to the farm. Each May, there are hundreds of students that have the opportunity to do something many of them have never done before- visit a farm, specifically our farm.

Hat 6: Public Relations Consultant. Not only is it important to tell children about the story of agriculture, it is also important to tell adults. As a Commonground volunteer, mom has many opportunities to share the story of agriculture. This requires her to go to many trainings and classes (Which she thoroughly enjoys!) This is also a great opportunity to host urban families on the farm.

Hat 7: The Grounds Keeper. This consists of keeping watch over Snickers’ favorite toys along with pulling weeds in the flower bed. She may know every inch of the yard because she has mowed it countless times the last 15 years. (She has to prepare for all of the farm tours, of course!)

Hat 8: The Animal Caretaker/Dad’s Right Hand Woman. One of mom’s primary jobs on the farm is calf care. The calves need fed three times a day, most of the time mom is out there feeding them. Typically during the fall and spring, during the really busy days in the field, mom is the head and lone calf feeder.

Hat 9: The Dog Sitter. Since Snickers, the farm dog, is the favorite child, she gets mom’s up-most attention everyday. It does not matter what mom is doing, whether she’ s weeding the flowers, planting the garden, or feeding calves, Snickers always has a softball to throw and is ready to play. Also, at the end of the day, Snickers, is always ready to cuddle with Mom.

Hat 10: The Loving Wife and Mother. Most of all, our mom takes her job as a mom and wife most seriously. No matter how busy she is or what she is doing, she takes time out of the week to spend time with her family and make sure we are all taken care of!

Note: Mom usually doesn’t wear hats and we had her pose for these pictures and she had no idea what they were for, Needless to say she was none too thrilled by the end of the photo shoot, but that is why we love her!

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Happy Mother’s Day, Mom! (And to all the other moms and farm moms!)


Jacob, Kate, and Emily (Snickers, too!)