Thursday, January 22, 2015

Ag Chat: Who Grew My Soup?

The primary role of my new job is to educate students, teachers and community members about agricultural education through workshops, classroom visits and career fairs.  If you've been reading The Purple Front Door for any length of time, you probably know that this is something near and dear to my heart.  It's how I was raised, but it should be important to everyone because we all eat!  

Frankly, farmers feed us!  

Bloggers represent a wide variety of people/interests/backgrounds and I want to do my part to continue to spread what is important to me and my life, but how it also impacts everyone.  With that I'm bringing back Ag Chat with The Purple Front Door....

For the last two weeks I had the privilege to help educate 8th graders from 13 area schools at our county's annual Education for Employment Career Conference.  While doing some digging about prospective topics, I came across the book Who Grew My Soup? by Tom Darbyshire.  While the content of the book was a little young for 8th graders, the message conveyed was too good not to share!  

Phineas Quinn appears to be just another young boy refusing to eat his vegetables, until he begins to wonder, “Where exactly do the vegetables come from?”  Who grew his soup?  Enter a flying tomato hot air balloon and one SOUPervisor…  Phin is transported to the farms where the vegetables were grown and learns valuable lessons from the farmers who grew them!  

By clicking this link, you’ll have the opportunity to listen and learn more about Tom Darbyshire’s book, Who Grew My Soup?  My only qualm with the video is where they show a Holstein cow while Tom is talking about raising Black Angus.  I'm certain Tom knows the difference, but someone needed to sit through one of my classroom presentations!  

I encourage you to check out (literally and figuratively) the book and let me know what you think.  Maybe even read it with your family, I'm certain it will spark some conversation around your kitchen table!

Monday, January 19, 2015

15 Minutes of Fame

Since we adopted Haddie she has wiggled her nub into our hearts and onto our furniture.  Not that I had any doubts that she would be good fit!  Having grown up with 'herding dogs' I was quite familiar with many of their antics and while her "Frog Dog" pose isn't something new, I still crack up when she lays on the floor all stretched out.

One morning I was working on my computer and looked over to see her all sprawled out on the dining room floor and couldn't resist the photo opp.  Obviosuly, it ended up on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.  Duh.  Everything cute ends up on the internet!

Shortly after tweeting her picture, Milk Bone and I were conversing about how much both Bella and Haddie loved snacking on Milk Bone biscuits.

And after several private messages, these two lucky girls were getting official Milk Bone swag sent just for them!

Haddie is a big fan of the new Brushing Chews and Bella is all about the Original Biscuits...

Thanks again Milk Bone for sending the girls coupons for free biscuits and Haddie loves her new toy!

Friday, January 9, 2015

Five on Friday

It's been more than a hot minute since I've had the opportunity to participate in a Friday link up!  I've missed everyone!  So I'm carving out some time during my lunch hour, before I head into my next meeting...  Bring on the weekend!

All you sweet Southerners are cracking me up with winter woes!  This is our current temp, but it feels like -10.  Several local schools even cancelled this week due to the bitter cold.  I think the thermostat bottomed out somewhere close to zero, but with wind chills close to -30!!

Haddie, aka The Frog Dog, is earning her keep around the house thanks to this adorable face!  More to come next week, until then just look into those eyes...

I have literally ate this muffin every morning this week!  What she lacks in the looks department she makes up for in taste and satisfaction!

These puppies showed up this week (a little late for this latest cold snap) and I'm in LOVE!  Me thinks they're going to get a LOT of use this season.  

Excited for a bit of a low-key weekend!  Other than meeting up with friends for supper tonight and lunch with my family Sunday, there's nothing on my calendar... And I'm stoked.

Happy Friday!!

Linking up with Karli, Amanda and Christina.

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Make This: Breakfast Mug Muffin

Breakfast Mug Muffin
For a while now my breakfasts have been either a smoothie or an Advocare MRS, but winter decided to show up in Illinois this week and cold drinks just weren't cutting it!

Enter this muffin.

It's quick and easy to throw together and it really helps chase away the chill on a cold morning.  I enjoy the taste and texture, but I'm most impressed with the "staying power" it has!  Typically I'm a mid-morning snacker, but yesterday I was presenting at a conference and didn't get hungry 'til around 11:30am.  It's a stick to your ribs sort of muffin!

After pulling the mug from the microwave, I split the muffin open on a plate and add a schmear of sunflower butter which gets all melty and delicious!  I'd be willing to bet some Nutella would be a bangin'...

If you give this recipe a whirl, be sure to come back and let me know what you think!

Breakfast Mug Muffin
Ada[ted from The Preppy Paleo

3 tablespoons ground flax seed
1 egg, lightly beaten
1 tablespoon melted coconut oil
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 banana, mashed
Vanilla protein powder*
Splash of almond milk**
Non-stick spray, I use my Pampered Chef Kitchen Spritzer filled with olive oil.

Combine all ingredients in a greased, microwave safe mug.  Cook on high for two minutes.  The muffin will puff in the microwave, don't be concerned. 

*The protein powder is optional, but I really like it in there!  Using the scoop provided in the powder, I fill it about halfway up.  It's just shy of 1/4 cup.
**Omit milk if not using protein powder.

Monday, January 5, 2015

The Big Reveal

I opened a lot of really great Christmas presents, but the one that was probably the most highly anticipated was from my Christmas in the Country Secret Santa!  It took a lot of restraint to wait and open on Christmas Day with all my other gifts, but I tucked it under the tree and tried not to guess who had sent it or what awesome goodies awaited me...

As it happened, Matt and I opened our presents to each other later in the evening on Christmas because we spent the day with my family back on the farm.  The Christmas in the Country gift was the last one I opened and boy, oh boy was there a haul in there!!  And I have none other than one of the sweet co-hosts of the exchange to thank, Laurie from Country Linked!

In the note included in the box, Laurie explained each item and why she thought it was something I'd love!  Not only did she take some of my suggestions from the sign-up, but she also did some digging and found a few items that I didn't even know I needed until I saw them.  She did good!

Here's the lowdown on what I received...
Handmade "Farmer's Daughter" sign from a local business
Burlap wine bag
Two sets of sparkly Christmas ornaments
Homemade cinnamon bread
Popcorn from Laurie's husband's seed company
Gardening gloves

Laurie did a fantastic job picking out things that I love!  The bread she made was so stinking good that it didn't even make it to the picture, but hands down my favorite item was the "Farmer's Daughter" sign!  I'm so excited to hang it up in my new office!

Sign from Worn Slick Sign Co.

My swap partner was Emily from Belle of Beef.  She's a college student studying animal science at Penn State University.  I sent her a cute Pennsylvania charm bracelet that I found in Las Vegas last month, along with some lavender nail polish, 31 clutch and some homemade Reindeer Chow!  I hope she enjoyed her gift as much as I enjoyed picking everything out!

Thanks so much to all the hosts (This Uncharted Rhoade, COUNTRY LINKed, Diaries from the Dirt Road and The Ranch Wife Chronicles) of the Christmas in the Country gift exchange!  You gals rock!
Cmas in the Cntry