Monday, March 24, 2014

Beef Noodle Bowl

If you're still searching for what to make for dinner tonight, then I have great recipe for you! It's quick, easy, and tastes fantastic!

I came across this recipe in our family cookbook that Adam's sister, Jamie, put together for her senior project. It was submitted by Adam's cousin, Devin.

8 oz. linguine, uncooked
3 cups broccoli florets
3 medium carrots peeled and sliced
2 teaspoons vegetable oil
1 pound beef sirloin steak cut into strips
1/4 cup zesty Italian dressing
1/4 cup teriyaki sauce
1 teaspoon ground ginger

Cook the pasta as directed on the package, add broccoli and carrots to the cooking water for the last two minutes of the pasta cooking time. Drain the pasta mixture. Meanwhile, heat the oil in a large nonstick skillet. Add the meat; cook until browned on all sides, stirring occasionally. Stir in dressing, teriyaki sauce and ginger; cook until sauce thickens, stirring occasionally. Toss pasta and meat mixture in larger serving bowl.

Cook the pasta according to the package instructions.

 Peel and chop three medium carrots.

Add the vegetables to the cooking pasta, approximately two 
minutes before the pasta is done. 

While the pasta and vegetables are cooking, slice the sirloin steak.

Heat the oil in a large skillet and add the sirloin steak. 
Stir the meat occasionally and cook until it is brown.

 Combine the teriyaki sauce, Italian dressing, and one 
teaspoon of ginger.

Cook until the sauce thickens, stirring occasionally. 

When the noodles and vegetables are done cooking,
drain them in a colander. 

Toss the pasta and the meat mixture in a large bowl.

And there you have it! An easy beef meal you can make in about 30 minutes! Enjoy!

What are you making for dinner tonight? What are some of your favorite beef recipes?

Sunday, February 9, 2014

Remembering Grammy Jo

My Grandma Jo
I look good, don't I? Ha. Kidding
The house.

It happens. Everyday. People everywhere lose people from their life that they love and care for. Can’t help it. Can’t do anything about it, and it sucks. What we can do though, is remember how that person changed your life and all the great things they did. The reason for this blog post is to remember my Grandma Jo Navinskey that passed away about a year ago, February 13th to be exact, from a short battle with cancer. This story is a long time coming, but it’s not the easiest thing for me to talk about.

When grandma was younger. She is on the far right.
Two sisters, Ruth and Evelyn. Otto and Agatha Schrick are their parents.

She was a tom-boy. With one of her horses.
West of the house where my parents live now.

I guess we’ll start at the beginning. Grandma Jo was born May 28, 1934. She grew up in the house my parents currently live in. She has two sisters, Ruth and Evelyn, but was the tom-boy of the group; always helping my great-grandpa on the farm. Her and my Grandpa Ed were married July 7, 1951. They farmed with my great-grandpa and eventually went out on their own. They had a dairy, beef cows, farm-ground and 8 kids! Ya. I know. 8 of them. And their kids actually worked and earned their keep around the house and farm, as opposed to most kids these days. If any of you know my grandpa Ed, he doesn’t take any mouth, talk back and laziness from people. You do what you’re told, now. Ha. And my grandma was there to back him up. She had to cook, clean, milk cows, drive a school bus and live in a house that was much smaller than people are used to now. With 8 kids! 

Let's just fast-forward a little to when I was little. My dad, Scott, is one of those 8 kids. He has farmed with my grandpa since he was old enough to walk. Once he grew up and got married, he and my mom have always lived close, meaning my grandma was always around when I was little. She also drove the school bus I rode on until I was in 5th grade. Everyday I would ride home with her, get a snack out of the corner cabinet, and hang out until my dad would come pick me up. In the spring and fall, I would ride with her to help dad and grandpa farm.

"What!? I'm busy"

Feeding a table full of kids

My dad is the one in the high chair.

 Sometime in the 70's

Mid 90's

She drove the bus for 31 years

My Baptism. 4 Generations

All 8 kids. This was taken in 1996

Someone's birthday.

 I’m really not sure where I want to go from here-I have a lot to say so I’m just gonna start typing.

My grandma was one of the nicest people I ever knew. She was always there to help, no matter who was in need. She had 8 kids, 21 grandkids, a handful of great-grandkids along with several nieces and nephews. And she would send a birthday card to every one of them. She always had a cupboard full of cookies, oatmeal creams, cheez its and all kinds of other good snacks. And Pepsi in the fridge. Whenever we were working close to their house, and it wasn’t planting or harvest, she would make dinner for us. Mainly just grandpa, dad and I. She was a fantastic cook. She had to be, my grandpa is very hard to please. I don’t mean that in a bad way, but if he doesn’t like something, he is gonna just come out and tell ya. This is gonna be hard, but these are a couple of my favorite things of hers to eat. New potatoes with fresh green beans in a white cream sauce. White gravy from scratch. (I could just eat it with a spoon, or on bread) Meatloaf. Pan-fried chicken. Cole slaw. Fried Potatoes with onions. Anything cooked in her cast iron skillet. Ok, give me a minute. This is making me hungry, I gotta go get something to eat……..  

In the spring and fall when we were in the field, she would always bring us a sack lunch. Mine was always the same. Turkey sandwich with mayo, mustard and lettuce, doritos or sun chips, cookies and an apple. That was when we were in Kansas. When we were in Missouri farming, she would stop in town and bring us over a Subway sandwich. She had written on a piece of paper what everyone wanted. Believe it or not, this last spring, I didn’t eat lunch once when I was planting. I just couldn’t do it. I would be hungry, think of my grandma on the radio, asking me where I was and if I needed a water jug, and I would just lose my appetite. It's gonna take some getting used to. Guess I’ll have to start packing my own lunch.

Ok, this is the part of the story where I’m gonna be selfish for a little bit. Like I said before, my dad has always lived close and I grew up with my grandma. Once I got back from school and started farming full time, I would pretty much see her everyday. Even when I was in school, I would see here several times a week. I was very lucky to have the time that I did, because a lot of my other cousins that live out of state could just visit on holidays and a few other times here and there. So, I was spoiled in that aspect of it. (even though sometimes I didn't realize it) Me and my three younger sisters got to spend a lot of time with her, more than others, just because we lived so close.

One thing I left out of my favorite foods- apple pie. She made the best apple pie I have ever eaten. She would always make me one for my birthday.....and any other time I would ask. I would go into the house, she would be baking two apple pies, and sugar pie. Sugar pie used all the scrap dough and it was amazing too. I would say “Smells good!” She would reply, “Oh, I don’t know. I don’t think they will be very good. I can never make them the same” And let me tell you right now, they were EXACTLY the same, EVERY time. That’s just how she was, she never gave herself enough credit for things she did.

Another thing she did was help us move around when were farming. She would come pick us up at the ‘Haase 80’, or take us to get a semi on ‘Deckers,’ or bring the service truck down to ‘Reynolds’. Every field of ours has a name, and she knew them all. She would be at the house and we would call on the 2-way or the phone, and she would be right there when we needed her. Sometimes not soon enough, and sometimes we (grandpa, dad and I) would be kinda short with her. That’s one thing I wish I could take back, was the times I was grumpy, snapped back, was not in a good mood or just didn't want to talk. Cause she ALWAYS wanted to chat, about anything. Ha. I know she understood we didn’t mean it, and that it was a busy time and we were in a hurry. She didn’t let it affect her, she would just smile and go on with her day. She knew it was just how we were and sometimes we get a little heated and stressed out at certain busy times of the year. I feel very lucky that I got to spend as much time as I did with Grandma. I’m not the oldest grandchild, but I feel like I was around her just as much or more than any of them. I’m not trying to brag, or put myself above the others, but this has been pretty damn hard on me, just because I’ve been around her since I was old enough to remember, she was always there. I saw her and my grandpa as much as my mom and dad.

I don’t like to show or express my feelings, but this has probably been the hardest thing I’ve ever dealt with. Everyday, sometimes several times a day, I would walk in the house. She would be one of two places. Sitting at the table by the radio, watching TV or reading. If not sitting at the table, she would be standing by the stove cooking/cleaning. I’ll never get to walk in and see that again. Also I’ll never get to hear her on the 2-way radio again. I’d say ‘Base, you in there?” She would reply “Go ahead.” I know that doesn’t sound like much at all, but to me those are two words I wish I could hear one more time. We always use our 2-ways farming, and she was always in the middle of it.

She would always get ahold of me when rain was coming, to ask if I had windows in my house open in the summer. Since 2009, I live just 2 miles from her and my grandpa, so she would just run over and shut my windows for me. And more often than not, she would bring me an apple pie over. While she was here, she might even do a sink full of dishes, or wash a window, or pick up some sticks in the yard. Ha. She loved for stuff to be clean, and loved to pick up sticks and mow her yard and tend flowers. She could/would pick up sticks for hours. Another thing she had a love for was her grandkids school and sporting events. She was always there, wether it was a band concert, drama play, or one of many sports. Always there, wearing her JCN Charger shirt (in my and my sisters case), cheering us on. Oh, and KU Basketball. Her, I and some cousins shared a love for KU Basketball. 

Me and the sisters in 2005. Grandma standing next to me.
I rebuilt a tractor that was owned by their dad. (my great-grandfather)
I was showing my scrap book of pictures to them.

Sisters. Grandma in middle

I’m not gonna try to wrap this up in a real smooth way, as I usually do. I’m just gonna say I miss my grandma. I’m reminded of her everyday, whether we are working on the farm, or going to a ball game, or if I just go walk in the house. I’ve always known her to be there and now she’s not. I know that she misses each and every one of us, just as we miss her.

Glad we got to celebrate this. July of 2011.

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Wordless Wednesday: A Snowy Sunrise Complete with Sun dogs

The snow came down all day yesterday and we probably received 8-10 inches. The wind blew all last night and it continues to blow at 15-30mph today, leaving lots of snow drifts on the farm and on the gravel roads. Even though it is bitterly cold out there, this morning's sunrise was a site to see. I peeked out the window this morning and had to do a double take because there was a rainbow on either side of the sun. I learned later that these are called Sun dogs. 

Through a quick Google search I discovered that this is an atmospheric phenomenon that creates bright spots of light in the sky, on either side of the sun. And because I'm a science nerd and I can't just leave the description at that, I had to find out how these are formed. Sun dogs are commonly made by the refraction of light from plate-shaped hexagonal ice crystals in high and cold cirrus clouds, or during very cold weather, these ice crystals are called diamond dust, and drift in the air at low levels. These crystals act as prisms, bending the light rays passing through them with a minimum deflection of 22 degrees. If the crystals are randomly oriented, a complete ring around the sun is seen.  Often as the crystals sink through the air, they become vertically aligned, so sunlight is refracted horizontally- in this case, sun dogs are seen. Wow! That is just fascinating! Thank you Wikipedia! 

Well this wasn't much of a Wordless Wednesday, but I  hope you learned a little bit about Sun Dogs and enjoy the pictures below! 

Stay warm this week! 

 The information about sun dogs is available from URL:

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Crock-Pot Freezer Meals

The snow has been coming down today and northeast Kansas has been in a severe winter weather advisory since 6AM this morning. We've probably received four to five inches of snow so far, and we're predicted to get eight to ten inches total before the day is over. Since the weather has kept me inside today and I'm currently off from pharmacy school rotations for the month of February I decided to take advantage of my snow day and put together some freezer meals.

If you've had the chance to follow the blog for a little while you know I love to prepare quick, easy, nutritious, healthy, flavorful, and colorful meals. I take a lot of pride in preparing a meal for Adam and I. This is because I know what ingredients I'm putting into the meal and I'm also saving our family money because we aren't going out to eat every night.

The main reason I've wanted to put together a few freezer meals is because when I'm busy with school I live in Kansas City during the week and come home on the weekends. This leaves Adam to fend for himself for five days. He's a good cook and he can usually come up with something, and I also try to make a few meals on Sunday before I head back to KC so he has something to eat. However, when he's busy calving, planting, or with harvest he doesn't have time make a meal when he gets home late. Having a few freezer meals prepared will allow him to throw something in the crock-pot when I'm not home.

The meals I made today can be found at the blog All Things Katie Marie. I went shopping on Sunday for all of the ingredients and I was able to make six meals, which contain at least four servings per meal. In total you should have 24 servings with the meals listed below.

For these meals I wrote the meal in permanent marker on the bag with the preparation instructions. I prepared all of the ingredients and dumped them into a Ziploc freezer bag and then placed them in the freezer. When you are ready to eat the meal, remove it from the freezer and let it thaw for a day, then place it in the crock-pot for the specified amount of time and you have a fantastic meal ready to go. How easy is that?

The prep time involved in making up these six meals was close to three hours, but I was also catching up on episodes of Chicago Fire and stopped to do three sinks of dishes. It would probably take you two hours or less to make up six meals if you didn't have any distractions.

I didn't cook the chicken for these meals, I put the frozen chicken breasts in the bag as is. They will cook through in the crock-pot. However, I did cook the hamburger and pork. This is because I wanted to drain what little fat there was off of the meat before I placed it in the bag.

Disclaimer: I have not tried all of these meals, but they all sound delicious!

Southwestern Two Bean Chicken 
4 chicken breasts
1 15 oz. can of pinto beans
1 15 oz. can of black beans
2 15 oz. cans of diced tomatoes
1 lb. of frozen corn
1 12 oz jar of salsa

The Ziploc bag was pretty full once all of these ingredients were in the bag. I would recommend dividing the ingredients into two bags and freezing it.

Thaw and cook in the crock-pot on low for 5 to 7 hours.

Teriyaki Chicken 
6 to 8 boneless chicken breasts
1 cup of teriyaki sauce
1 cup of water
2/3 cup of brown sugar
3 cloves of garlic

Thaw and cook in the crock-pot on low for four to six hours.

Sweet BBQ Chicken 
4 to 6 boneless chicken breasts
12 oz. bottle of BBQ sauce
1/2 cup of brown sugar
1/4 cup of vinegar
1 tsp. Cayenne Pepper
1 tsp. garlic powder

Thaw and cook in the crock-pot on low for four to six hours.

Lasagna Soup
1 lb. of pork sausage
1 onion
1 bell pepper
3 cloves of garlic
32 oz. of chicken broth
2 Tbsp. of oregano
2 Tbsp. of basil
2 15 oz. cans of crushed tomatoes

The Ziploc bag was pretty full once all of these ingredients were in the bag. I would recommend dividing the ingredients into two bags and freezing it.

2 cups of dry pasta (do not put this in the freezer bag)

Thaw and cook on low for six hours on high for 3 hours. Thirty minutes before the dish is done add the two cups of dry pasta and garnish with Parmesan cheese when ready to serve.

Super Food Rotini 
1 1/2 lbs. of ground beef
1 Tbsp. olive oil
2 medium zucchini
2 medium carrots
1 15 oz. can of tomato sauce
2 15 oz. cans of diced tomatoes
1 Tbsp. onion powder
1 Tbsp. garlic powder
1 Tbsp. cumin
2 cups of raw spinach

1/2 lb. of whole wheat rotini (do not add to freezer bag)

Thaw and cook in the crock-pot on low for six to eight hours. Thirty minutes before done add the 1/2 lb. of rotini noodles and top with Parmesan cheese.

BBQ Chicken and Veggies 
2 green peppers, chopped,
1 red pepper, chopped
1 zucchini, chopped
2 onions, chopped
6 red potatoes, chopped
4 cloves of garlic, chopped
4 chicken breasts
1 15 oz. can of tomato sauce
1 Tbsp. brown sugar
12 oz. bottle of BBQ sauce

Thaw and cook in the crock-pot on high for four hours or low for eight hours.

There you have it, six freezer meals ready to go for those nights when you're crunched for time and need something you can just throw in the crock-pot.

Shopping list: 

  • 22 frozen chicken breasts (approximately 3 bags)
  • 1 1/2 pounds of lean ground beef 
  • 1 lb. of pork sausage 
  • 3 bell peppers 
  • 2 medium carrots 
  • 1 bag of frozen corn
  • 10 cloves of garlic
  • 3 white onions
  • 2 cups (16 oz.) raw spinach
  • 1 red pepper
  • 6 red potatoes 
  • 3 zucchini
Canned Goods: 
  • 1 28 oz can of crushed tomatoes
  • 4  15 oz. cans of diced tomatoes 
  • 2 15 oz. cans of tomato sauce
  • 1 15 oz. can of black beans 
  • 1 15 oz. can of pinto beans
  • 1/2 pound of Whole wheat rotini 
  • 2 cups of your choice of dry pasta 

  • One 12 oz jar of salsa 
  • 1 bottle of teriyaki sauce 
  • brown sugar 
  • Two 12 oz. bottles of BBQ sauce
  • Vinegar
  • 32 oz. of chicken broth
  • Olive oil
Most everyone has these on hand, but it's always good to check before heading to the store.
  • Basil 
  • Cayenne pepper
  • Cumin 
  • Garlic powder
  • Onion powder 
  • Oregano 
Price breakdown: 
Approximate grocery bill for the ingredients I needed: $65.89
This does not include the spices, corn, ground beef, or pork sausage. I had these things in my pantry and freezer.

Total Bill: $65.89

Cost/Meal: $65.89/6 meals= $10.98/meal

Cost/Serving: $65.89/24 servings= $2.74/serving

Monday, February 3, 2014

Hunk of Meat Monday: BBQ Chicken and Veggies

Happy Monday!

I've got a simple and tasty recipe for you today!

I found this recipe on a blog titled: All Things Katie Marie.

Crock Pot BBQ Chicken and Veggies
Prep time: 30 minutes
Cook time: 4 hours on high, or 6-8 hours on low

2  green peppers, chopped
1 red pepper, chopped
1 zucchini, chopped
3 onions, chopped
6 red potatoes, chopped
4 garlic cloves, chopped
4 chicken breasts (I put mine in the crock pot frozen)
1 15 oz can of tomato soup
1 Tbsp. brown sugar
1 bottle of BBQ sauce

Chop up the green peppers and place in the crock pot. 

This is three onions chopped up. This was going to be too many
onions for me, so I only used half of this amount and put the rest in
the fridge for later use. 

Chop up on red pepper and place it in the crock pot. 
Chop up the red potatoes and put them in the crock pot.

I put the can of tomato soup in the bottom of the crock pot, then
placed four frozen chicken breasts in, then put the bottle of BBQ sauce
over the top of the chicken. 

All the ingredients in the crock pot, cook on high for 4 hours,
or on low for 6-8 hours. Look at all that color!
I made white rice and placed the BBQ chicken and veggies on top of it. 

This meal had great flavor and the chicken was very tender and juicy. Let me know your thoughts if you end up making this meal, I'd love your feedback! 

Have a great week!

Thursday, January 30, 2014

A Few New Things on the Farm

The Super Bowl ads are already rolling out on YouTube and one commercial in particular has caught my attention so far. The Chevy Silverado commercial, "Romance," is not only a great commercial for agriculture, but it also ties into several events that have happened or are happening on our farm this week. I'll let you watch the ad then I'll go into detail about the similarities. 


I know I'm WAY behind with keeping you updated about the things happening on the farm and in our lives. The blog has taken a back seat to my pharmacy rotations, and I apologize for that.  I'm really going to try my best to be more consistent with posting in the next few months!  

Since I haven't been keeping you updated, you don't know that my Ford-truck-driving husband bought a Chevy Silverado this past December. I'll say that again for effect, Adam. Bought. A. Chevy. If you haven't had the opportunity to be around a farmer or rancher for an extended period of time, you don't know that they are extremely loyal to a certain brand of truck. For example, their dad has always driven that brand and their grandfather has always driven that brand and so on. Adam comes from a long line of Ford truck men and when he made the switch to a Chevy, it was a big deal.

Similarity #1: Adam bought a Chevrolet truck. 

Similarity #2: Adam sent me a picture of this yesterday with the caption, "Surprise! Look what I bought."  

I can't wait to send him a picture of my next shopping trip, "Surprise! Look what I bought, four new pairs of shoes AND a new purse!" 

Our new stock trailer to haul our cattle in.
I apologize for the poor picture quality. Adam took this photo with his antique flip phone.

Similarity #3: We are going to a bull sale on Saturday and we will probably haul our new bull in the new trailer pulled by the new Chevy truck. 

Saturday, February 1st, is the annual Swearngin Angus Bull Sale and we will be bringing two bulls home with us. Unfortunately for the bulls, they won't be experiencing any "romance" until the spring. I may have to video when we turn the bull out in the pasture this spring to see if I can create a Navinskey Farms version of the Chevy commercial. 

My cousin, Gavin, in the ring with the bulls being auctioned
at last year's bull sale. 

Adam with the bull we bought at last year's Swearngin Angus bull sale.

I'm excited to see the other Super Bowl ads this weekend and I will have to let you know which ones were my favorite. Have a fantastic Friday and enjoy all of your Super Bowl festivities! 
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