Tag Archives: MN

The Sound of Chickens-Monday Funnies!

The Prairie Home Companion does an annual joke show and they often feature this song about chickens. It makes me laugh so hard I cry. I picture our hens fleeing our milk truck or large tractors as they are crossing our driveway. Wonder if we should have chicken crossing guards…

 

Sound of Chickens

 

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Organic. It’s Worth It-New Website

This weekend the whole family had a chance to experience the MOSES Organic Farming Conference. Over 3300 farmers were in attendance making it the largest organic farming conference in the nation. This conference is one of my favorite conferences of the year. I am not sure if it is all the delicious organic food, the great chance to meet awesome and inspiring organic farmers, or all the new ideas that we take away. While wondering the trade show with a sleeping baby, I found the Organic Trade Association booth.

They have a new website that is a go to for all things in organic information. Need information on what the Organic label means? What to learn why did it is important to eat organic food? Need tips to make buying organic affordable? This website has it all: Organic. It’s Worth It.

organic worth it food family farm usda

There is a lot of great information on this website. I recommend it to anyone who has questions about organic food and organic farming. There is also a section with recipes (but  any recipe can be organic, just use organic ingredients).

Enjoy!
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Happy Birthday Tim! & Homemade Brownie Recipe

Today is Tim’s 29th birthday. To celebrate he will be spending it on the farm (not much different from any other day). The biggest difference is that we will be celebrating with large homemade brownies! Tim loves brownies. In fact, instead of wedding cake at our reception, he got his own brownie.

Fudgy Brownies: by Kathy Kirkland (You Deserve Dessert)

  • 1 1/3 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup butter, melted (I used Organic Valley)
  • 1 cup unsweetened cocoa
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 4 eggs (I used Zweber Farms)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
  1. Heat oven to 350 degrees. Spray 13×9 inch pan with nonstick cooking spray.
  2. In a large bowl, combine flour, baking powder, salt and butter. Stir in cocoa, sugar, eggs and vanilla. Mix well. Pour mixture in pan
  3. Bake for 30-35 minutes or until set. Cool completely.  Serve with a big glass of cold and creamy Organic Valley milk.
Happy Birthday Tim!

Tim (age 5) with Uncle Roy at Zweber Farms

Jon and Tim Zweber

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Filed under Cooking, Cooking with Dairy, family, Food, Organic Valley

Roasted Chicken with Balsamic Vinaigrette-Hunk of Meat Monday

I just love Giada De Laurentiis from the Food Network. I think her and I could be best friends. We are both Italian, we have kids the same age and both love to cook. The only difference is she had a TV show and published cookbooks. Ohh well 😉

Two weeks ago I made an amazing, but simple recipe from her Everyday Italian cookbook.

Ingredients:

  • 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup Dijon mustard
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • Chicken, cut into 6 pieces (I used Zweber Farms of course)
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh flat leaf parsley
  • 1 teaspoon grated lemon zest

Whisk the first six ingredients together

Pour over chicken pieces. Cover and refrigerate for at least 2 hours and up to 1 day.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Roast the chicken uncovered until cooked through, about 45 minutes. Using tongs, transfer the chicken to a serving platter. Carefully pour the cooking liquid into a small, heavy saucepan and spoon off the excess oil from atop the cooking liquid. Boil until the liquid reduces by about half and thickens slightly, about 8 minutes.

Pour the sauce over the chicken. Sprinkle parsley and lemon zest over the chicken and serve.

This was fabulous!! Serve with mixed greens salad, brown rice and a cold glass of Organic Valley milk.

Hunk of Meat Mondays
Enjoy!

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Pork Chops with Apple Cider Glaze-Hunk Of Meat Monday

All of our pork customers have picked up their orders except for a few outliners like Katie at PinkePost and Val at Wag’nTales. We will not fault them, they do win the prize for the farthest Zweber Farms customers. So we know you have your freezers full of tasty pork chops. If you are new to the Zweber Farms meat, you might be uncertain about cooking chops with the bone in. Here is a great simple recipe I made up today to start you off.

Pork Chops with Apple Cider Glaze

  • 4 bone-in Zweber Farms pork chops
  • 1/2 cup apple cider
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar, packed
  • 3 tablespoons Dijon mustard
  • salt and pepper
  • 2 tablespoons oil

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Line a baking sheet with foil.

Mix apple cider, brown sugar and mustard into a small sauce pan. Bring to boil and reduce to 1/2 cup.
Heat oil in large fry pan. Salt and pepper both sides of chops. Brown chops on both sides.
Place chops on baking sheet (okay, I made six chops instead of four). Pour about a tablespoon of glaze over each chop. Save some glaze for finish. Bake for about 8-10 minutes in oven. The pork should be lightly pink inside.
I served the pork chops with cranberries, brown rice, romaine lettuce salad and tall glass of cold Organic Valley milk.
See more Hunk Of Meat Monday recipes here:
Hunk of Meat Mondays
Emily

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Filed under 30 Minute Meals, Cooking, Cooking with Pork, Food, Hunk of Meat Monday

Miley’s Story-Part Three The Happy Ending

If you have been following along, you know that recently we had to treat one of our good milk cows, Miley, with antibiotics. You can read about Miley’s story here and here. We are happy to say that Miley’s story has a happy ending. This past weekend, Samantha’s boyfriend Nick purchased Miley. Miley will go live on his family farm just west of the Twin Cities.

Miley with Nick and Samantha

Miley is once again her old self. She was even dodging Sam and Nick when they tried to get her halter on. In the picture above she is trying to knock Nick over. This is something she would not have done when she was sick. We are sad to have her leave, but it is a must on our organic farm. Thankfully, she is going to a good home, where we know she will be treated well.

Emily

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What is your favorite Bratwurst flavor?

When the last of our pigs were butchered at Lorentz Meats, they informed us that they were no longer going to process pork. Instead they were going to focus their business on beef and buffalo only. We love Lorentz and will still use them for our beef, but that meant we needed to find a new pork butcher.

click for source

We have used Odenthals Meats for small orders in the past and really like what they do. Lisa contacted the owners, Randy and Laura, and we are happy to bring our family business to their family business. Check out a cute video of them on their website’s homepage.

The Odenthals have been in business since 1999 and Randy’s philosophy was the same as it is today: “Please the customer by providing the highest quality and best tasting homemade products in the area.” Learn more about their family business here.

click for source

An exciting element of switching butchers is that we can now offer new products. Randy is willing to work with us to develop new custom bratwurst flavors. (And don’t fear if you loved our wild rice brats, Randy Odenthal was given the recipe from Lorenz).

We want to hear from you about which flavors of bratwurst you are wanting to try. Even if you are not a customer, go ahead and vote. We love to hear what people love to eat.

Please leave a comment about your favorite brat flavor. Also, tell us which region of the country you are from. It is interesting to see what is favorites in different regions.

PS If you are a customer of ours, please get on our pork list quick. Butchering dates are coming up soon and we don’t want you to be left out of delicious nutritious pork this year. Call us at 952-461-3428. Check out our website to learn how custom ordering works.

Emily

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Spaghetti Squash and Pork Sausage Bake-Hunk of Meat Monday

It is squash time! This year both at Zweber Farms and my parents’ farm, we grew several types of  squashes. The most interesting squash to me is the Spaghetti Squash. I love squash of all kinds and thought it intriguing that the flesh when baked looks like noodles. After, doing some quick searches for recipes on the internet, I formed a simple yet tasty recipe using the spaghetti squash and Zweber Farms ground pork.

  • 1- 4lb spaghetti squash
  • 1lb Zweber Farms ground pork (Italian style)
  • 1 small onion chopped
  • 4 tomatoes pureed or 1 jar spaghetti sauce
  • 1/2 cup mushrooms chopped
  • 1 sweet pepper chopped
  • 1 cup shredded Organic Valley cheese

squash1

Preheat oven to 375. Cut squash in half and scoop out seeds and pulp. Bake rind side up for 25-35 minutes.

squash3 pork

While squash is baking, chop onion, pepper and mushrooms. Brown pork sausage in skillet then add onion, pepper, mushrooms and 1/3 cup of tomato puree or spaghetti sauce. Simmer for 5 minutes

squash2

When squash is done, take it out of the oven (leave oven on) and let it cool for 5 minutes. Then scrape out flesh into a large mixing bowl. Add sausage mixture and 1/2 cup cheese.

squash4

Place into baking dish and top with additional cheese. Bake uncovered for 15-20 minutes.

squash5

Take out of oven and let rest for 10 minutes

Serve with crunchy garlic bread topped with Organic Valley butter and a tall glass of Organic Valley milk.

Hunk of Meat Mondays

I hope you enjoy.  Need some pork sausage? Call us today to order a half or quarter of a hog.  Pork will be ready in October and November. We have a few spaces left, but they will not last long. Call: 952-461-3428 or visit the Zweber Farms website for details.

Emily

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Filed under Cooking, Cooking with Pork, Food, Hunk of Meat Monday, Organic Valley

The Disney Princesses are Lovely, but Princess Kay is the REAL Deal!

Now that we have a girl in the house, I worry about how “girly” she will be. Not that being a girly girl is the bad thing. It is just that I never was and I don’t know if I will be able to relate. I never even had a Barbie. All ready Hannah’s closet is full of pink and purple. Tim gets really excited when she isn’t wearing pink (rare).

I know the Disney Princesses are a BIG deal for girls. I see them everywhere. In fact, just today we received a catalog in the mail for kids’ costumes. There were maybe three total pages for boy costumes (firefighter, pirate, etc), but for girls there were three pages just for Disney Princess outfits. CRAZY!

Image from Disney-Clipart.com

But what if there was a real live princess that girls could look up to? And I am not talking the dressed up ones at Disney World or the Duchess of Cambridge (who is lovely, but I will never meet).  I am talking a real live princess, crown and all, that little girls (and boys) could look up to and actually meet. Could there be such a thing?

Yes there is! Let me introduce you to Princess Kay of the Milky Way.

Princess Kay

Photo By Midwest Dairy

 From the Princess Kay Facebook page:

The Princess Kay of the Milky Way ambassador program was founded in 1954. Each year, over 100 young women from across Minnesota are crowned county dairy princesses, and 12 are selected as finalists to become Princess Kay. Those finalists are each sculpted in butter during the fair.

Not only does Princess Kay of the Milky Way act as a goodwill ambassadors for the dairy industry and the state’s dairy farmers, but all dairy princesses across the state serve in that capacity in their local areas.

Dairy princesses serve as spokespeople to consumers,conducting media interviews, making classroom visits to educate students about the dairy industry, giving speeches to various organizations and making public appearances at promotions or events.

Dairy princesses are selected on the basis of their communication skills, personality, general knowledge of the dairy industry and its products, and their commitment to dairy promotion. The program gives many young women the opportunity to represent the lifestyle in which they were raised.

Princess Kay candidates, and Minnesota’s county dairy princesses, are daughters of dairy farmers, employees of dairy farms, or daughters of dairy farm employees. They must be graduating seniors in high school when crowned, and not yet 24 years old, and they must not be married. Many princesses voluteer their time locally; some receive stipends for their work. Princess Kay is reimbursed by Midwest Dairy Association through its dairy farmer funding.

Photo from Midwest Dairy

This year’s Princess Kay is Mary Zahurones. Mary is the daughter of Chuck and Pat Tax of Pierz, and will attend the University of Minnesota Twin Cities this fall as a pre-med student studying biology and chemistry.

Do you have a little princess or prince who would like a visit from Princess Kay? Visit the Princess Kay Facebook now through the end of the Minnesota State Fair and answer Princess Kay’s question of the day. Each day a winner will be chosen. Winners will have Princess Kay visit their school of choice. How cool! Your son or daughter could introduce this real princess to all his or her classmates. (Talk about awesome!)

Cannot wait to meet a princess? Visit the Minnesota State Fair, now though Labor Day, and have your photo take with Princess Kay or one of the twelve princess finalists. You can find Princess Kay in the Empire Commons. While there, check out the butter heads and enjoy a malt!

Photo from Midwest Dairy

Our family attended the Princesses Kay coronation this year. As each of the finalist were introduced, I grew more and more proud that these young ladies will be representing me and hundreds of other dairy farmers across the state. They are all smart, articulate and of course know what hard work really means.

Congratulations Mary from Zweber Farms. You will represent the dairy industry well during your reign as Princess Kay of the Milky Way.

Emily

Zweber Farms is a 4th generation family operated organic dairy.  We are proud Organic Valley farmer members and sell our milk under that label. We also specialize in sustainably raised beef, pork and chicken and sell it directly to customers in Minnesota.Visit our website to learn more, www.zweberfarms.com. Connect with us on FacebookTwitterand YouTube.

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MN Zoo Penguins-Family Friday Linky

Hello Faithful Readers,

We are going to start a new series in my blog called Family Friday. We want to create a spot where we can talk about the other exciting things that are happening in our lives. The goals is not to say the “f” word (farming) or the “c” word (cows). There is more to our lives than farming and cows and we would like to share it with you. 

Also, we want hear from you!! So please join us and take a peak into our lives outside of the farm. 

Today, the kids, Samantha (Aunt Sam) and I headed to the Minnesota Zoo to check out the new African Penguin exhibit. I had heard mixed reviews. My brother gave it an “okay,” but Marketing Mama gave it a huge thumbs up. So we had to check it out ourselves.

I thought the exhibit was nice and the boys LOVED it. A few of the penguins were very active while we were there and the boys got to see them swim and dive. I enjoyed that the viewing area was very large. There is also a climbing rock so that there are multiple viewing levels. This helps smaller children get a fair chance to see and be up close.

penguins, mn, zoo, kids, summer, 2011

I would recommend you go see the exhibit. Of course the Minnesota Zoo has much more to offer and their reconstruction is really improving the exhibits.

Have you visited the zoo (any zoo) recently? What is your must see exhibit?

Do you blog about family? Link up and see what others are saying!

Emily

Zweber Farms is a 4th generation family operated organic dairy.  We are proud Organic Valley farmer members and sell our milk under that label. We also specialize in sustainably raised beef, pork and chicken and sell it directly to customers in Minnesota.Visit our website to learn more, www.zweberfarms.com. Connect with us on FacebookTwitterand YouTube.

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