Although he’s officially handed over the reins, 82 year old farmer Bill Rempp still continues to work alongside his son Kevin on the 1,200 acre family farm in central Iowa, better known as the heartland of America. And some days—when he’s lucky—you just might find his 6-month-old great grandson, Will, in the bucket seat next to him.

Iowa Corn Quest Food Bloggers

Bill Rempp Iowa Farmer

Will is poised to be a seventh generation farmer in the Rempp family tree and his great grandpa proudly shared this photo with me.


I was one of several invited food bloggers who traveled to Des Moines, Iowa to learn about Iowa corn and farm-fresh foods from farmers like Bill Rempp on the annual Iowa Corn Quest Tour sponsored by the Iowa Corn Growers Association.

I’m an inquisitive sort, so meeting food producers and getting to know more about where my food comes from is one of my favorite parts of this job. I think everyone can admit that there’s room for improvement when it comes to transparency in food and agriculture. And happily, that same belief was one I heard from the farmers themselves.

Doesn’t most everyone who isn’t a farmer have an idyllic take on what living on a farm would be like?

read more →

German Chocolate Cake

by heidi on January 29, 2014

Sometimes you feel like you’re batting a thousand, and sometimes you just don’t.

German Chocolate Cake with a decadent coconut and pecan frosting

I’m watching The Biggest Loser as I write this. Well sort of watching, it’s more in my sideline view. Those people are seriously changing their lives. 160 pounds lost and more? I mean wow. They have a team and millions of eyeballs motivating them to succeed and the big money prize for the winner doesn’t hurt.

But they themselves are making it happen.

I also watched the State of the Union address tonight. I cried at the President’s introduction of Army Ranger Cory Remsburg, a man who fought for his country and who on his 10th deployment (TEN!??!) was nearly killed by a massive roadside bomb in Afghanistan.

German Chocolate Cake with a decadent coconut and pecan frosting

Tonight he was celebrated by President Obama and a 3 minute standing ovation from both sides of the divided aisle.

read more →

Chipotle Honey Baked Chicken Wings

by heidi on January 26, 2014

Maybe it’s because I live a relatively drama-free life that I’m so obscenely attracted to spicy food.

I’m just not one to drum up a whole lot of drama. I don’t create illnesses to obsess over. I don’t overthink the obvious. I pretty much just let things go. Just get over it. I mean, why wouldn’t you?

So when it comes to spicing up my life, I leave it to the happenings going on in the kitchen.

Chipotle Honey Baked Chicken Wings

Thai. Cajun. Mexican. Line ‘em up, knock ‘em out and let’s get busy.

Last weekend, I had a surprise guest in my kitchen and did. just. that. and we. got. busy.

read more →

Friday Faves and Candles Blown

by heidi on January 24, 2014

Another birthday has simply flown by and the result was me and my candles being blown away by sweet and caring friends and family.

Friday Faves and Candles Blown

While Justin Bieber was out and about making these dogs seriously concerned and Captain and Tenille stunned me by calling it quits (but what about Muskrat Love??), there were many sweet overtures, gifts and wishes that made their way to me this birthday, but none quite as surprising as this.

Last week I visited my friend Annalise’s blog where she posted the delicious looking cake above. In jest I commented, “Ahem…SOMEBODY has a birthday next week and would really, really love this cake delivered to her door. Just sayin’. Gorgeous.”

Apparently, ask and ye shall receive.

read more →

French Onion Cheese Bread

by heidi on January 22, 2014

Onions. You either love ‘em or leave ‘em. I’ve always been a fan of melty, gooey cheese with a side of soup so of course my French Onion Soup recipe is my downright, most craveable shhhlurp.

French Onion Cheese Bread is ooey, gooey and totally addicting

So when I was assigned with coming up with a craveable appetizer recipe, I set my sights on an alteration of caramelized onions, cheese and bread.

They are the three main food groups, right?

While I clearly have a love for the hearty broth that my caramelly onions usually swim in, this time around I left the idea of soup to its own devices in my favorite tortellini soup recipe.

French Onion Cheese Bread is ooey, gooey and totally addicting

This time, the onions topped crusty halved pieces of melty white cheese topped french bread. The melted cheese pulled from nose to nose ala Lady and the Tramp, with plenty of crunching in between.

read more →