Purple Paradise Smoothie

Purple Paradise SmoothieI went to lunch with a girlfriend at an amazing smoothie cafe the other day. From the first sip of my smoothie, I was wondering where this place had been all my life. A-ma-zing! They have every kind of smoothie you can imagine. Everything from super health nut smoothies with spinach, kale, whey protein, you name it … to fruity smoothies … to peanut butter cup smoothies (and everything in between). I haven’t tried them all, but the ones I’ve had were on the fruity end of the spectrum and were creamy, luscious and oh so flavorful.

As much as I love this little smoothie paradise that’s just minutes from my front door, my wallet can’t handle this new found craving. It’s like having a Starbucks around the corner when you suddenly realize you’re a coffee drinker. The only solution was to master a make-at-home version, so that’s just what I did. Meet the Purple Paradise Smoothie, my new best friend. It’s got blueberries, strawberries, raspberries, blackberries and the richest purple color. Gorgeous.

Oh, and it turns out the littles are big fans, too. Don’t you just love his purple mustache?! (It’s cuter as a mustache than it is on his shirt!)


Purple Paradise Smoothie


  • 1 cup vanilla Greek yogurt
  • 1 cup frozen blueberries
  • 1 cup frozen mixed berries
  • 1 banana, peeled
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 1/2 cup cranberry juice

Add all ingredients to a blender and blend until smooth. Makes 2 large smoothies.

TV Interviews + Kid-Friendly Sloppy Joes

I have been traveling a little bit lately. Not a ton, but just enough to scratch the itch of getting out of town for a while and being around some amazing, brilliant people (and great friends, too!). I couldn’t pass up the opportunity last week to travel to Florida to tape an interview with The Balancing Act on Lifetime Network. The host, Julie Moran, asked me all kinds of questions about food, farming and GMOs.

Kelsey Pope, a rancher from Colorado, also did an interview about her ranch and how they care for their cattle. I hadn’t met Kelsey before, but was so impressed with her and loved hearing about her ranch. I’m thinking a trip to Colorado for a nice, juicy steak on her ranch might be in order.

Balancing Act interview about food and farming

Working from home and around the farm these days doesn’t lend itself to getting dolled up much anymore, so having someone do my hair and makeup was an added bonus! After the interview, Julie Moran gave us a tour of her dressing room and wardrobe collection. If she wasn’t an itty bitty size 2, I might have asked to borrow something. Kidding (kind of).

My interview is scheduled to air on Lifetime Network in April and Kelsey’s will be on in May. I’ll let you know when the exact dates are set.

Interview about food, farming and GMOs

When I’m gone, I try to make things at home as easy as possible. And I try not to travel during the crazy busy times on the farm (like planting and harvest). It’s not that the hubby can’t handle it. It’s just that kid duties, house duties and farm duties are a bit much for one person. I make sure the fridge is well stocked and that there are a few easy, kid-friendly meals ready to go (that do not include PB&J and mac and cheese!).

Before I took off last week, I whipped up a batch of my sister-in-law’s sloppy joes. (I changed up the recipe a bit, but the base is her recipe.) The kids like them, they keep in the fridge (or freezer) well, and can easily be used in a taco salad or other recipe that calls for flavored ground beef. I had a few packages of ground beef from a local farmer in the freezer, which was an added bonus.


Here’s the recipe:

Kid-Friendly Sloppy Joes

  • 2 pounds ground beef
  • 2 small onions, chopped
  • 3/4 cup ketchup
  • 1/8 cup Worcestershire sauce
  • 3 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 3 tablespoons yellow mustard
  • 2 teaspoons vinegar

In large skillet, brown ground beef. Drain. Add onions. In a small bowl, mix remaining ingredients. Add to ground beef. Cover and cook on low for one hour. Serve over toasted buns.For those who like spicy food, I recommend adding szechuan sauce!

A Different Approach to the Water Quality Debate in Iowa

My newsfeed this past week has been dominated by blog posts, stories and opinions about the Des Moines Water Works threat to file a lawsuit stating that non-point runoff from three Iowa counties affects water customers in Des Moines. The situation is complicated. I get it. I get it because I live on both sides […]

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The Moments that Change Our Lives  

My blogging hiatus explained … We all have those life-changing events. Those moments in time that forever change who we are. The moments that forever change our perspective and our priorities. I’ve had a few of them in my life: leaving for college, getting married, having kids, stepping away from the corporate life. In 2014 […]

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New York City Media Tour + Oyster Cornbread Stuffing

New York City Media Tour

I traveled to New York City last week with these wonderful ladies: Katie Olthoff, Kristin Reese and Krista Stauffer. We were there with CommonGround to talk about food and farming with about 25 TV and radio stations from across the country. While the four of us clean up pretty nice (at least I think so!), the star […]

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Neighbors Helping Neighbors


To some, life on a farm might seem a bit lonely. Hours in a tractor by yourself. No neighbors within sight. Opening the front door only to hear the birds chirping and the breeze blowing. I grew up on a farm in the middle of nowhere. At times I loved the peace and quiet. Other […]

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Grandma’s Best Apple Crisp

Apple Crisp

The kids and I took a break from the corn and soybean fields this weekend to harvest something much more fun (and more delicious!) — apples! The apple trees on our farm are overflowing with goodness this time of year. Talk about a bountiful harvest. We can’t keep up with them. Grandma does such a […]

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Harvest BBQ Pulled Pork Sandwiches

BBQ Pulled Pork Sandwiches

I’ve never understood those people who say they got so busy they forgot to eat. Um, seriously? How does that happen? I don’t think I’ve forgotten a meal in my life. Maybe that’s not such a good thing …  We’ve been busy with harvest the past couple of weeks, but I can assure you we haven’t forgotten […]

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Apple Orchard Cider Slush

Apple Cider Slush

Fall is officially here. We made our annual trek to the local apple orchard and pumpkin patch. The first time we went a couple of years ago, I couldn’t believe we were paying money to visit a farm when we have one of our own. I quickly realized this isn’t just any old farm. It’s […]

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Bacon Cheeseburger Casserole

bacon, cheeseburger, casserole, fall, recipe

It’s finally starting to feel like fall in our part of the world. The change in seasons has me switching out my closets and refreshing my stack of go-to recipes.  It’s time to set aside the BBQ and salads and bring on the casseroles, soups and apple cider! I threw together a Bacon Cheeseburger Casserole […]

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