Wednesday, September 23, 2009

1st Dinner on the Farm, September 12

Our first Dinner on the Farm held 09.12.09 was a great event. I'm the one in the purple shirt, my husband, Joe is in the very back to the left of the welcome sign. We had 5 guests from a wide variety of back grounds, plus our other farm host couple, the Jensen's, and the conversation was amazing. The weather was perfect - no wind and a rare warm September evening - all in all what a great kick-off.

Everyone arrived within 5 minutes of each other and after getting drinks in hand, we walked out into the harvested wheat field where we had an assortment of equipment for viewing. There were 2 combines, 1 of our semi-trucks, and a tractor with the seeding drill attached. Dresses and all, everyone got a combine ride around the field and up and down the hills. I was visiting with guests when I remembered the need to take pictures, but by then it was too dark.... the pictures didn't turn out, so I'm bummed about that.

We snapped the group picture before heading into the house for dinner. The menu was carefully chosen to represent things that either we grow, or is grown in the region, plus fresh items from my small garden.

The menu was:

Main Dishes: Lasagna, made with whole wheat noodles, Spinach Roll-ups also made with whole wheat noodles, Lentil Chili

Salads: Garbanzo & zucchini salad, Broccoli with almonds, Fresh fruit salad

Desserts: Pumpkin chocolate cake, Walnut tart, Fresh peach/blueberry crumble

Did I say I like to bake and cook? You know when people like the food as I was asked for some of the recipes.

The evening concluded with farewells (plus as many leftovers as people would take) and an overall feeling that a good rapport had been established. Guests also left with a 2lb bag of lentils donated by Genesee Union, a magnet with recipes donated by the Pea & Lentil Commission and Lentil brownies, plus our business card. Looking forward to the next 2 dinner series!


1 lb hamburger
½ - 1 lb ground Italian sausage
(1) 6 oz (small) can of tomato paste
(1) 29 oz can of tomato sauce or tomato puree
2 teas Italian seasoning
¾ teas seasoned salt
16 oz container of ricotta cheese
16 oz cottage cheese works
1 cup parmesan cheese
2 lbs grated mozzarella cheese ( 8 cups of cheese)
1 box lasagna noodles

Cook noodles as per package instructions. Rinse noodles and set aside.

In a skillet or electric frying pan, brown the hamburger & sausage, drain well. Add tomato paste and 1 can of water, add tomato sauce (or puree), Italian seasoning and seasoning salt. Simmer 5 -10 min & then shut off the heat source.

Next in a bowl, combine the ricotta, cottage cheese with the parmesan cheese, blending by hand.

In a 9x13 rectangle cake pan, layer as follows: layer noodles so it covers the entire bottom of pan (divide up the noodles so you have enough for 3 layers), then layer 1/3 meat mixture, sprinkle 1/3 of the ricotta cheese mixture over the meat mixture, next sprinkle evenly about 2 cups of shredded mozzarella cheese, repeat with 2 more layers. Bake uncovered @350 for 45-50min. If the cheese gets too brown after 30 min, cover loosely with foil. Let sit 5 min before cutting and serving. Enjoy!

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