Lasagna Roll Ups

Pg A5 - lasgna roll upIngredients

1 package lasagna noodles (12)
1 pound ground beef
½ onion, chopped
15 oz. ricotta
3 cups shredded mozzarella cheese, divided
¼ cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 large egg
5 oz. package of fresh spinach
24 oz. can/jar marinara sauce
1 tablespoon oregano
salt and pepper to taste

Directions

1. Boil water in large pot. Cook lasagna noodles following directions on box. When finished cooking, drain and set aside.
2. Heat tablespoon of oil in a large skillet on medium heat. Brown the ground beef and onion together. Season with salt and pepper.
3. Turn down heat and add spinach, stirring until spinach is just wilted, about 2 minutes.
4. In large bowl, combine ricotta, 1 cup of mozzarella, Parmesan cheese, egg, oregano, salt and pepper. Mix until well combined.
5. Add meat mixture to cheese mixture. Stir to combine.
6. Preheat oven to 350º. Prepare a glass 9”x13” casserole dish by adding a thin layer of marinara sauce to the bottom.
7. On clean surface, lay out a few noodles at a time. Place about ¼ cup of filling on each noodle. Spread filling to cover the noodles from edge to edge. Roll the noodles up and place in the prepared casserole dish, seam side down. Repeat until all of filling is gone.
8. Pour remaining marinara sauce over the rolled noodles making sure to cover.
9. Cover dish with foil and bake for 30 minutes.
10. Remove foil and sprinkle remaining 2 cups of mozzarella cheese on top.
11. Return casserole to the oven until cheese is melted, about 5-10 minutes.

 

Serve immediately | Yield: 8-12 servings

Courtesy: abirdandabean.com

Planting Seeds Keeps Focus on the Future

steve corn head shotSpring is a time of renewal. Nothing is a better reminder than the start of planting season. Farmers will put seeds in the ground with the hope they flourish and provide us with a plentiful harvest in the fall. We’ll work to foster growth along the way, whether it’s making sure those plants have access to needed nutrients or keeping away the pests that would hinder progress.

Similarly, the future of Nebraska agriculture and Nebraska Farm Bureau also lies in the seeds we plant today, namely the youth, who will someday come home to fill our places in running our farms and ranches and leading our organization. That’s why the Nebraska Farm Bureau continues to put such great emphasis in creating leadership opportunities for future generations. We are planting the seeds. It’s the reason Farm Bureau created a student membership. It’s the reason we continue to reach out and engage with youth involved in Nebraska 4-H and Nebraska FFA. And it’s the reason we continue to invest in our young farmer and rancher programs.

Just a few short weeks ago, Nebraska Farm Bureau was able to play a major role in the largest state FFA Convention in the history of Nebraska FFA. We hosted the annual delegate breakfast that brings FFA delegates and Nebraska state senators together to learn more about Farm Bureau and our grassroots policy process. We helped provide education opportunities for students by conducting media training so they can be future spokespeople for agriculture. We recognized successes through our Foundation for Agriculture by announcing our FFA Advisor of the Year Award winner. And we demonstrated our commitment to growing opportunities in agriculture education by highlighting the Foundation’s Ag Teacher Scholarship and Loan Program that exists to make sure we have enough agriculture teachers to fill the growing demand for agriculture education and FFA programs in schools across our state.

We also showed students that being a part of Farm Bureau can be fun. That came in the form of Farm Bureau renting the “Cube”, a popular commons area near the Pinnacle Bank Arena in Lincoln, where we filled convention down time with fun activities, like trivia, games and live music.

Pg A7 - FFA students enjoy festivitiesTo say Farm Bureau’s efforts at the FFA convention were successful would be an understatement. We added 41 new student members and exposed thousands of others to Farm Bureau, some for the very first time.

As Nebraska Farm Bureau works to plant the seeds for future leaders, the question I’d pose is this. Are we as county leaders are ready to harvest the seeds Nebraska Farm Bureau has sown? Are we ready to welcome these students as they come back to our communities? Are we willing to make room for them to lead our local organizations? Make no mistake, these students will lead. It’s up to us to make sure we provide opportunities for them do so within Farm Bureau. It’s important we think about these things today, because tomorrow’s harvest will be here faster than we think.

Last, but certainly not least, I want to take this opportunity to specifically thank the staff of the Nebraska Farm Bureau. The men and women who work for Nebraska Farm Bureau are second to none. They’re committed and they’re passionate. The work they do on our behalf is exceptional and is reflected in the success of events like the Nebraska FFA Convention. I thank them all for their teamwork and collaboration; without it, the Nebraska Farm Bureau wouldn’t be the outstanding organization that it is.

Until next month,

Steve Nelson, President, Nebraska Farm Bureau Federation

Giant Cinnamon Roll Coffee Cake

Pg A5 - Cinammon coffe cakeIngredients (Coffee Cake)

2 ¾ cups all-purpose flour
3 tablespoons granulated sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1 pkt. yeast (1 pkt.=2 ¼ teaspoons)
½ cup water
¼ cup milk
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 large egg, at room temperature

Filling

3 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
¼ cup granulated sugar
Vanilla Maple Glaze
1 cup powdered sugar, sifted
1 tablespoon milk or cream
1 tablespoon maple syrup
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Directions

1. In large bowl, toss 2 ¼ cups flour, sugar, salt, and yeast together until evenly dispersed. Set aside.
2. Heat water, milk, and butter together n microwave until butter is melted and mixture is hot to touch, about 115-120º.
3. Stir butter mixture into flour mixture. Add egg and only enough of the remaining ½ cup flour to make a soft dough. The dough is ready when it gently pulls away from the sides of the bowl and has an elastic consistency.
5. On lightly floured surface, knead the dough for about 3-4 minutes. Form a ball and place in a lightly greased bowl. Cover tightly and let rest for 30 minutes. The dough will rise slightly.
6. In small bowl, combine cinnamon and sugar for filling.
7. After 30 minutes, roll dough out in a 15”x12” rectangle. Spread softened butter
on top. Sprinkle cinnamon-sugar mixture all over the dough.
8. Spray a 9-inch round pan with nonstick spray. Set aside.
9. Using a very sharp knife or a pizza cutter, cut the dough into six 2-inch wide strips. Loosely roll up one strip and place it in the center of pan. (You’re rolling it up loosely so the dough has some room to rise). Coil remaining 5 strips around the center roll, starting each strip at the end of the previous one to make one large rolled cake.
10. Loosely cover with plastic wrap and allow to rise in a warm, draft-free place for 60-90 minutes.
11. After dough has nearly doubled in size, preheat the oven to 350º. Bake for 30-35 minutes until lightly browned. You may need to cover the rolls with foil after 15 minutes to avoid over-browning. (If some ends rise up more than others while baking, reach in oven with a spatula and press them down for a more uniform appearance).
12. Allow coffeecake to cool for about 10 minutes. Meanwhile, prepare the glaze. Mix the powdered sugar, milk/cream, syrup, and vanilla until smooth. Drizzle over the rolls.

 

Note: Directions are for mixing by hand. A mixer with a dough hook can be used.

Yield: 8-12 servings

Courtesy: sallysbakingaddition.com

 

The Glories of May

Every year as May returns, Mother Nature gives us the return of sunny days and cool spring rains after a long Nebraska winter. And for many gardeners May is also when our hearts seem to beat a bit faster because winter is gone and spring has returned.

Some parts of the year when I write articles or prepare comments for our radio shows I’m challenged about what to discuss but that is definitely not May. May is usually such a perfect time to accomplish so many tasks in our landscapes that the difficulty in May is deciding what not to talk about.

As I write this article Mothers Day is approaching and for many when we talk about Mothers Day we also talk about planting our Annuals. Over the years many gardeners have been taught to wait to plant their annuals until Mothers Day. This way they know they are safe from the last chances of frost in eastern Nebraska. Even though this spring has been a bit warmer a bit faster than normal whether you are planting a landscape bed, hanging basket, or pots on the patio, go right ahead and plant these beautiful plants for their wonderful color and interest all summer long. Mother Nature has turned the weather warm and it is now safe to plant your tender annuals.

vegetable gardenNow, I don’t know about you but store bought vegetables just don’t have the same flavor and taste as those from our backyard gardens. Warm season vegetables like tomatoes, peppers, corn, etc. can now be planted safely. And if you haven’t already, get your cool season vegetables planted quickly such as Broccoli, Snap Peas, Cauliflower, Lettuce, etc. They will grow better in cooler weather versus the heat of summer so the sooner they are planted, the better crop you will receive. Also remember that amending your gardens each year by adding compost, or peat moss and manure then tilling in well before planting will give you better yields from your garden.

Once your annuals and vegetables are planted consider adding perennials, shrubs and trees to your landscape. Planting now will give your new additions time to settle into place before the stresses of summer arrive. Daylilies to Iris, Lilacs to Viburnum, Lindens to Maples – May is a perfect time to plant your landscape. Make sure to plant interest for all seasons of the year versus just what is blooming now. And if you aren’t quite sure what to plant consider crafting a plan with a landscape designer. Experienced designers – like our team at Campbell’s – can offer recommendations in planting the right plants in the right locations that have color and interest as much as possible through the year. Let the experience of an expert make your planting and growing easier with a plan.

garden lanscape toolsNow before you think May is all fun and sunny weather don’t forget to deal with weeds and insects. Pre-emergents like Preen can cut your weeding immensely and should be applied before new mulch is applied to your landscape beds. If you didn’t know this or forgot to apply then apply it right over your mulch as soon as possible then water it in well for best results. Also be ready to spray a bit of Round Up on those weeds the pre-emergent doesn’t control. And keep your eyes open so you are prepared to apply controls for infestations of Pine Sawfly, Red Spider or any of the other pesky insects preparing to attack your plants.

One final note for those of you near Lincoln who plant vegetable gardens. As you plant your garden, please consider planting an additional plant or two and donate the extra crop to the “Grow and Share” program between Campbell’s and the Lincoln Food Bank. Beginning sometime in late June to early July anyone can drop off extra produce in paper sacks Mondays and Tuesdays to either of our garden centers through the summer and it will be donated to the Lincoln Food Bank.

Overall, try to enjoy some of the great Nebraska weather we have in May, add some color and interest to your landscape through new plantings, and keep the Grow and Share program in your mind if you are close to Lincoln. May is such a great month in Nebraska, How can you go wrong?

 

Andy Campbell is manager of Campbell’s Nurseries Landscape Department. A Lancaster County Farm Bureau Member, Campbell’s, a family owned Nebraska business since 1912, offers assistance for all your landscaping and gardening needs at either of their two Lincoln garden centers or through their landscape design office. www.campbellsnursery.com or on Facebook at Facebook.com/CampbellsNursery

Chicken Alfredo Roll Ups

Pg A5 - chicken alfredo roll upsIngredients

2-3 cups of shredded chicken breast
1 (8 oz.) package cream cheese, softened
¼ cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
2 tablespoons chopped chives
½ teaspoon garlic powder
Salt and pepper to taste
1 (8 oz.) tube crescent rolls
½ cup Italian style bread crumbs (or ½ cup regular crumbs plus ½ teaspoon Italian season)

Optional Cheese Sauce

1 tablespoon butter
1 tablespoon flour
½ cup milk
Salt and pepper to taste
½ cup shredded cheddar cheese

 

Directions

1. Preheat oven to 375º. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat; set aside.
2. In large bowl, combine chicken, cream cheese, Parmesan cheese, chives, garlic powder. Add salt and pepper to taste.
3. Separate crescent rolls into eight triangles. Top each triangle with about 1/8
of the chicken mixture (3-4 tablespoons).
4. Starting with the wide end, roll up each triangle, wrapping the chicken mixture inside and tucking the ends underneath. 5. Dredge in bread crumbs, press to coat. Place seam-side down onto baking sheet. 6. Bake until golden brown, about 12-15 minutes.
7. To make the cheese sauce, melt butter in a small saucepan over medium high heat. Whisk in flour until lightly browned, about 1 minute.
8. Gradually whisk in milk, stirring constantly, until slightly thickened.
9. Stir in cheese until melted and sauce is smooth. Salt and pepper to taste.

 

Serve immediately | Yield: 8-12 servings

Courtesy: damndelicious.net

Selling Ice to Eskimos: Chipotle Goes GMO-Free

Can you sell ice to an Eskimo? Chipotle, one of the nation’s fastest growing 1,000 calorie burrito sellers, thinks it can. In fact, Chipotle is banking on it. In its self-proclaimed “never ending journey” to source the “highest quality ingredients it can find,” Chipotle announced this week it was dropping GMO ingredients from its menu.

Cashing in on a consuming public that’s widely disconnected from where its food comes from has become Chipotle’s specialty in a time and place where Americans can spell GMO, but most Chipotle blog1couldn’t tell you what it stands for (other than to likely insinuate that it’s somehow bad for you – hence the need for Chipotle to explain both on their website).

Chipotle might know how to make a burrito, but it is even better at marketing itself as standing on some type of higher moral ground that everyone else seems to fall short of (remember the whole idea that Chipotle only uses meat that come from animals raised in certain ways).

The irony of Chipotle is that the company is basically built on the concept of shunning technology while marketing to a population that’s so in-tune to it that you’d be hard pressed to find a Kindergartner who couldn’t run your iphone (chances are you’re reading this on a tech device your great-grandpa, in his time, would think came from another planet).

While chasing tech savy consumers’ dollars, Chipotle, oddly enough, has demonized farmers and farming practices over the years that are very much a product of technological improvement over time, whether it involves how farm animals are housed or the seeds farmers put in the ground.

Even more ironic on Chipotle’s GMO stance, is the reality that, from a big picture perspective, there really is no such thing as GMO-free food products. Nature has been making GMOs since, well…the beginning of time. While science has developed the practice of introducing new traits into organisms in a scientific setting, similar cross hybridization has been happening in nature forever. The study of such genetic manipulation has been occurring as early as the 19th Century at the hands of an Austrian monk named Gregor Mendel who was the first to study how genetic traits were passed between different species of peas.

Henry Miller at Forbes hit the proverbial nail on the head in his piece “Chipotle, the Strangest Restaurant Menu Ever” questioning Chipotle’s “no genetic modification” promise. Miller correctly pointed out that virtually every food comes from an organism that has been genetically modified in some way at some time, scientific setting or otherwise.

In a capitalistic society, there’s nothing wrong with Chipotle catering to its perceived customer base. However, by eliminating GMO ingredients from their menu under the guise of “food with integrity”, Chipotle sends a message that using GMOs somehow demonstrates a lack of integrity, even though USDA has said GMOs are safe to grow, EPA has said they are safe for the environment, and the Food and Drug Administration has said they are safe to eat.

At the end of the day, Chipotle isn’t obligated to talk about Mother Nature’s role in tinkering with the genetics of our food, nor tell the whole story of GMOs. Having an understanding of that falls squarely on us as consumers. Whether or not you choose to buy into the idea that Chipotle can actually sell something that’s truly GMO-free, is up to you.

But you should probably ask yourself…do I want some ice with that?

Red Velvet Cake Roll

Pg A5 - Red Velvet RollIngredients

¼ cup powdered sugar
4 eggs, separated
½ cup plus 1/3 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 tablespoons (1-oz. bottle) red food coloring
Water
2/3 cup all-purpose flour
¼ cup cocoa powder
¼ teaspoon baking soda
1/8 teaspoon salt

Cake Filling (not typical cream cheese frosting)

1 cup milk
3 tablespoons flour
1 cup butter
1 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

 

Directions

1. Preheat oven to 375º. Line a 15 ½ x 10 ½ inch jelly-roll pan with parchment paper or foil. Grease the paper/foil.
2. Sprinkle a thin cotton towel with the ¼ cup powdered sugar.
3. Beat egg whites in large bowl until soft peaks form. Gradually add ½ cup granulated sugar, beating until stiff peaks form.
4. In medium bowl on medium speed, beat egg yolks and vanilla for 3 minutes. Gradually add remaining 1/3 cup granulated sugar; continue beating for an additional 2 minutes.
5. Add 1/3 cup water to red food coloring
6. In a small bowl, stir together flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, soda, and salt. Add to the egg yolk mixture iternately with colored water, beating on low speed just until batter is smooth.
7. Gradually fold the chocolate mixture
into the beaten egg whites until well blended. Spread batter evenly in prepared pan.
8. Bake 12-15 minutes or until top springs back when touched lightly in center. Immediately loosen cake from the edges of the pan; invert onto prepared towel. Carefully peel off the parchment paper/foil. Immediately roll the cake and towel together starting from the narrow end; place on a wire rack to cool completely.
9. Prepare cake filling: In a small saucepan, combine milk and flour. Cook until thick. Cool.
10. In medium bowl cream butter, sugar, and vanilla until almost white in color. This takes some time. Add the cooled milk mixture. Beat until very light and fluffy. (The filling should have the appearance and consistency of whipped cream).
11. Carefully unroll the cooled cake. Spread the filling evenly over cake. Reroll without towel. Wrap the filled cake with waxed paper and wrap again in plastic wrap. Refrigerate with seam down for at least 1 hour.
12. Just before serving, sprinkle with additional powdered sugar. Refrigerate leftover cake.

 
NOTE: A cream cheese frosting may be used instead of the buttery filling. However, the filling recipe is the actual recipe for icing the original Waldorf Astoria (red) cake.

 

Yield: 10 servings