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Never short on protein

By Staff | Jan 30, 2015

ALICIA SCHMITT’S Wisconsin cheese soup was once prepared for a meeting with 4-H leaders, and her family has frequently requested it since.

NORA SPRINGS – Alicia Schmitt grew up on a cattle farm near Colwell in Floyd County, the oldest of three sisters.

She had never thought about raising hogs until she married Greg Schmitt whose family raised hogs on a farrow-to-finish operation.

“I never thought I’d marry a hog farmer,” said Alicia Schmitt.

Greg Schmitt finishes feeder pigs in confinement buildings.

At age 26, Alicia Schmitt describes herself as an advocate for agriculture and has written about farm life on her blog since May 2014.

ALICIA SCHMITT prepares the final touch for her peach crisp. Apples and rhubarb can be substituted or used in combination, she said.

“I love telling our story here on the farm,” she said.

She writes to instill confidence in food purchases because people are “uncertain where food is from or how it is grown.”

In the section of her blog under the heading “About Me” she tells of an additional direction she is taking in her writing.

She has gained weight in the last three years, she said, and weighs as much as she did just before the birth of their daughter, Linley.

Her blog, fitandfarm.com, started by relating her love of being involved in agriculture and now includes holding herself accountable for leading a healthy lifestyle and wellness by eating right, using portion control and counting calories.

“I love telling our story here on the farm.” —Alicia Schmitt Nora Springs-area farmer

“This is a lifestyle. This is not short term,” said Alicia Schmitt.

Her blog uses recipes from her great-great grandmother who is 90 and “enjoys her cooking,” said Schmitt. “I am not willing to sacrifice taste for calories.”

From her blog, Schmitt writes, “I mostly cook wholesome whole food meals that include butters and oils, and are never short of protein and vegetables. I believe in portion control and eating well-rounded meals.”

Cooking with pork was a whole new experience, Schmitt said, after her marriage.

“Ground pork was a foreign thing to me,” she said.

She started using ground pork as a substitute for hamburger and noticed that it was leaner and did not need to be drained after cooking.

Greg and Alicia Schmitt butcher and smoke their own hogs and chickens during the cold months.

Wisconsin cheese soup

This recipe is even better

the second day, Schmitt said.

5 tablespoons butter

2 carrots chopped

2 stalks celery chopped

1 green bell pepper chopped

1 onion chopped

5 mushrooms chopped

1/2 cup non-spiral cut ham chopped

1/2 cup all-purpose flour

2 tablespoons cornstarch

4 cups chicken broth

4 cups milk

1/2 teaspoon paprika

1/4 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper

1/2 teaspoon ground mustard

2 cups shredded sharp Cheddar cheese

Salt and ground black pepper to taste

In a Dutch oven, melt butter. Add carrots and let them saute for a few minutes to soften. Then add celery, onion, green pepper, mushrooms and ham.

Cook over medium heat in butter (add more if needed) until vegetables are tender, stirring occasionally, this will be about 10 minutes. Do not brown.

Stir in flour and cornstarch, keep cooking over medium heat stirring constantly about 3 minutes.

This will resemble a rue, but with ham and vegetables in it. Add broth and cook stirring until slightly thickened.

Add milk, paprika, cayenne, and mustard.

Once it’s the consistency of your liking turn the burner off and immediately add shredded cheese, gradually, until cheese is melted. To allow curdling do not allow soup to boil after you add the cheese.

Season the soup to your liking with salt and pepper.

Beef-pork meatloaf

Schmitt said this is a weeknight favorite at her home.

1 pound ground beef

1 pound pork sausage

1 packet dry beef flavored onion soup mix

1 egg

1 cup oatmeal

Mix all ingredients in a large bowl, assuring egg and other ingredients are well distributed.

Grease a 9-by-5-inch pan and bake for 1 hour at 350 degrees.

Optional: Layer some ketchup on top of the meatloaf for the last 15 minutes of baking.

Slow cooker

cheesy potatoes

1 stick of melted butter

1 can of cream of cheese or mushroom soup

1 chopped onion

8 ounces of sour cream

1 bag of shredded frozen hash brown potatoes

1 8-ounce bag of sharp Cheddar cheese

Melt butter in the microwave in a bowl with the chopped onion to soften the onion a bit. After the butter is melted transfer it to a large bowl. Mix butter and onion with cream of cheese soup and sour cream.

Pour in the bag of shredded hash browns and bag of sharp Cheddar cheese. Mix well, you will need a large sturdy spoon.

Pour mixture into a slow cooker and cook on low for 6 hours or high for 4 hours.

Start stirring about once per half hour towards the end.

(Tip: If you want to make this while you are gone for a day put slow cooker on a timer that you plug in so you don’t come home to crusted potatoes.)

Fruit crisp

Mix together in 9-by-13-inch cake pan:

4 cups fruit of your choice

1 cup sugar

3 tablespoons flour

Topping mix in separate bowl:

1 cup sugar

1 cup flour minus the 3 tablespoons from the fruit mixture

4 teaspoons melted butter

Mix topping ingredients together until the mixture is still dry and chunky, put on top of fruit mixture in cake pan.

Bake at 375 degrees for 30 to 35 minutes or until middle is bubbling. Serve warm with ice cream.

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