My Other More Exciting Self

Farm Raised, Shoe Enthusiast, Turkey Talker, Wine Lover, Mom

Turkey Salad Sandwiches | via #SwitchToTurkey #JennieO #TurkeyEveryday

I have always loved a really good chicken salad sandwich, but I’m also super picky. (Um, yes, as much as I hate to admit it, there is likely a reason my son, Joe, is quite particular about his food.) The recipe has to have just the right amount of celery, onion and mustard. Too much of any of those things, and I’ll nix it. I also tend to like my chicken salad simple and classic – nothing weirdly different or fancy in it.

Sarah over at one of my favorite blogs, Nurse Loves Farmer, hits just the right mix for me. Her chicken salad is definitely one of the best I’ve made – and it’s a huge hit with Teacher Man. He requests it all the time.

Incidentally, if you haven’t checked out Sarah’s blog, I hope you’ll head over there to say hello. Sarah lives in Canada with her farmer husband and two adorably cute little boys. I’ve never met Sarah in person, but we’ve connected through our involvement with Ask The Farmers, a blog and social media community that aims to answer your questions about anything farming.

Sarah is also a nurse and I love the way she tackles issues and misinformation about food and agriculture head on – she does her research and writes thoughtful blog posts. And given her family life, work life, and her own blog life, I’m in awe of everything she gets done!

Now, back to the reason for #TurkeyTuesday: the turkey salad recipe.

Turkey Salad Sandwiches | via  #SwitchToTurkey #JennieO #EverydayTurkey #Turkeyforthewin

This recipe is equally fabulous using turkey breast tenderloins instead of chicken breasts. And my trick to pulling this recipe together really quickly? I will take a few minutes a day or two before and bake the turkey tenderloins (or chicken breasts) ahead of time and just stick them in the refrigerator to use later.

(Quick and easy baking instructions: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and then line a baking pan with foil. Lay the turkey tenderloins on the pan and cook for about 20-25 minutes for 1-1.25 pounds of turkey or chicken. Use a meat thermometer to make sure the pieces reach 165 degrees and you’re set. No fuss – no muss.)

You could also cut up a rotisserie chicken or turkey breast, or use the pre-cubed frozen chicken breasts you find in the freezer section of your grocery store, but I think cooking the breast pieces above is just as easy and it allows you to cut the turkey to your desired chunk size. (For me and this salad recipe, this means small chunks.)

You can view Nurse Loves Farmer’s original recipe here. I follow it pretty closely – unless I don’t have green onions on hand. If that’s the case, I chop up a small amount of yellow or white onion, which is a decent substitute. I also use a slightly different seasoning than the original recipe calls for, mainly because it’s what I have in my pantry.


- Lara -

Turkey Salad Sandwiches | via #SwitchToTurkey #JennieO #TurkeyEveryday

Turkey Salad Sandwiches

Recipe source: Nurse Loves Farmer

  • 4 cups cubed, cooked turkey (or chicken) – I use JENNIE-O® Boneless Turkey Breast Tenderloins
  • 2 celery ribs, sliced
  • 2 green onions, sliced
  • 1 cup mayonnaise
  • 2 tsp prepared mustard
  • ½ tsp Market Pantry Table Mix Seasoning Blend (or some kind of garlic pepper blend)
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • Lettuce, tomato slices, etc. for garnish

Combine turkey, celery, and green onion in medium bowl. Combine mayo, mustard, seasoning blend, and salt and pour over turkey mixture; toss to coat. Refrigerate until serving and spoon onto bread, croissants, tortilla wraps, or bread.


Assuming the blog writing position | via

I’m sitting in the porch tonight, assuming my blog writing position. Which means: slippers on, dog at my feet, quilt keeping me warm, Joe sharing the couch with me, and Madam Secretary tuned in on the television. Joe and I love Sunday night and wish it would last longer. :)

My sister-in-law, Judy, and our niece and nephew (Kayla and Corbin) came to visit this weekend. Kayla had a dance competition in nearby Monticello so we were a great “base camp”. The girls spent the majority of both days at the dance competition, while the boys hung out mainly at home, driving over to Monticello only to see Miss Kayla do her dance thing (which was just fine with them).

Given the fact that I live with two boys (three if you count Earl the pug), the world of dance competitions is quite foreign to me. As such, I made a few observations this weekend:

1) The best way to carry all the stuff you need for dance competitions is a Stanley tool box on wheels – tricked up with stickers, glitter and girly things.

2) Knowing how to quickly and effectively manage hairstyles is crucial – including “ratting” a whole head full of hair, and subsequently “unratting it” after a routine is done. No easy task, believe me, especially when you have as much hair as Miss Kayla.

MyOtherMoreExcitingSelf.wordpress.com3) Brothers and boy cousins are not usually too thrilled to go watch these dance routines, but they suck it up because that’s what brothers and boy cousins do to support their sister/girl cousin.

4) My niece has the moves – and she rocked both of her routines. :)

5) And it can also melt my heart (no pun intended; artwork behind is purely coincidental, I promise!) when Teacher Man can spend some time with his lovely Goddaughter. But for the record, he still doesn’t want to spend hours at a dance competition. Ever.

Good times, people. Good times.

And now we’re soon off and running on another Monday. For me, that means two more work weeks before my annual convention comes to fruition and the work I’ve been doing in earnest since October will all come together. Everything is looking good, though, and I’m feeling good about where my to-do list is.

Watch for a new #TurkeyTuesday recipe this week, too!

Until next time,





Buffalo Turkey Cheesesteaks | via

Happy Turkey Tuesday! I’m back this week with an amazing recipe that is full of flavor – and if you’re a fan of Buffalo chicken anything, you will love this sandwich.

What I really like about this recipe – which I found via one of my favorite bloggers, Iowa Girl Eats – is that it shows just how easy turkey tenderloins are to use. The original recipe calls for chicken, but I used turkey tenderloins instead and I think Teacher Man and I liked the sandwiches even better. To me, the turkey was easier to handle and slice thinly, and the sandwich just seemed even meatier.

The Buffalo sauce gives it a nice hot zing, of course – but it’s not overwhelming with the cheese and the bread. It was just the right amount of kick.

This is also a recipe that can easily be whipped up on a weeknight – which, if you follow my blog, you know is very important to me. Fast, easy but tasty – that’s what I’m all about on weeknights.

Buffalo Turkey Cheesesteaks #JennieO #SwitchToTurkey | via

My only caveat on the turkey tenderloins is this – hopefully you are lucky enough to live near a supermarket that stocks this amazingly versatile product. In my community, we have four grocery stores (Cub Foods, Coborn’s, Target and Walmart), but unfortunately only one of these stores (Walmart) stocks these turkey tenderloins. (At least for now – I’m working on that!) If you can’t find turkey tenderloins in your grocery store, then please, please, please ask the meat manager to stock this product!


- Lara -

Buffalo Turkey Cheesesteaks #JennieO #SwitchToTurkey | via

Buffalo Turkey Cheesesteaks

Adapted from Iowa Girl Eats

  • 3 Tablespoons butter
  • 1 sweet onion, sliced
  • 1.25 lb. JENNIE-O® Boneless Turkey Breast Tenderloins, sliced thin
  • salt and pepper
  • 1/2 cup Frank’s Buffalo Wing Sauce
  • 8 slices cheese (suggested: smoked gruyere or provolone)
  • 5 hoagie rolls (suggested: bolillo rolls, which I get in Walmart’s bakery)
  1. Preheat oven to 250 degrees. Split hoagie rolls down the center then set aside. Tear 5 large sheets of foil then set aside.
  2. Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat then add butter. Add onions then saute until golden brown, about 3 minutes. Add turkey, season with salt and pepper, and then saute until no longer pink. Add buffalo wing sauce, then stir to combine.
  3. Separate mixture into 5 piles; then top with cheese slices. Cover with a lid to melt cheese; then remove skillet from heat. Scoop each cheese-topped pile into a split hoagie roll then wrap tightly in foil. Place into the oven to warm completely through for 10 minutes. Unwrap then serve.

Note: I have made this with provolone, gruyere, Swiss and even cheddar and all are delicious options.

Disclaimer: I am part of Jennie-O’s Switch Circle of bloggers, but I do not get paid to write about Jennie-O products. I do sometimes receive complimentary turkey products to try (although not the turkey tenderloins I mentioned above). Opinions are entirely my own.

I love watching the Oscars. I do. And critiquing the red carpet is one of my guilty pleasures. Every year, my sister and I text each other madly throughout the evening, sharing our opinions.

Did you see Meryl Streep’s outfit?

OMG – I missed Channing Tatum!

Holy J. Lo boobs!

Gwyneth had a weird shoulder thing going on, didn’t you think?

Melanie Griffith and Dakota Johnson – okay, that was totally awkward.

I would have had no idea that was Tim McGraw without the hat??!

I know. We crack each other up! :)

Never mind that I’m sitting on the couch wearing a North Face fleece sweatshirt and Walmart leggings. It doesn’t matter. In my head, I think I know fashion and what looks best, right? (You’re with me on this, too, I can tell!)

While I saw several pretty dresses tonight (Emma Stone and Anna Kendrick stood out in the most amazing colors), I bring you my favorite look – from one of my favorite actresses. I think she looks stunning and I love, love, love the combination of black with the turquoise necklace.

I am coveting that necklace.

What was your favorite look at the Oscars this year?

Cate Blanchett - Oscars 2015

Photo source: New York Times

Okay, so what day is it exactly? I completely lost track when I was in Puerto Rico a week ago for the National Turkey Federation Convention. (Don’t hate me because I just wrote that. Admit it – you would be the same way.) I got back late Sunday night and then hit the ground running on Monday, whether I was ready or not.

In other words, I wasn’t really ready. Even though I did spend time in San Juan going through my onslaught of emails on a daily basis, I still came back to overload. In fact, I had teeny tiny little meltdown in my kitchen after I checked my email first thing and everything just came right at me without any regard for the fact that I was still tired and not on Minnesota time yet and cold. ;)

I would’ve preferred one more day of warm, tropical sun with a mango colada in my hand. But I digress …

Life goes on – and more specifically, the countdown to my own organization’s annual convention has begun in earnest. Four weeks to get a whole big pile of work done. And with 2,500 people counting on me to get my act together, this is no laughing matter. Well, it is, actually. We laugh a lot in my office, which helps ease the pre-convention stress.

Where’s my mango colada? Oh that’s right, I’m back in Minnesota. I guess my whole yard is like one big huge mango colada – without the mango. And the rum. Sigh.

So on to the fact that it is, in fact, Friday and we can celebrate the end of this week while simultaneously reviewing a few highlights:

San Juan, Puerto Rico | via

I had a little time to explore on my last day on the island – hence the San Juan #selfie. I can still hear the ocean – I love that sound.

Caribe Hiton - San Juan, Puerto Rico | via

My first full day in San Juan was easily the sunniest of the trip. I don’t normally build in extra time on a work trip to just relax and enjoy my surroundings, but it was a no brainer this time. I lathered on the 30 SPF sunscreen and proceeded to lounge away the afternoon – plus enjoyed both a dip in the ocean and the pool. Heavenly.

Valentine's Day M & M's | via

Meanwhile, back at the ranch … I pre-ordered these M & M’s for the boys for Valentine’s Day since I would actually be gone over the weekend. Joe’s favorite? The “epik” M & M, of course – that’s his “thing”, apparently – he’s epik with a “k.”

Earl the pug | via

And when I returned, I bet you can guess who was most excited to see his mama back!

Mango Colada at the Caribe Hilton | via

Oh, there’s that mango colada again!

One more bonus photo:

Romanov Bride | via

I read this book on the plane ride to and from Puerto Rico and I can’t stop thinking about it! It’s the story of Grand Duchess Elizabeth Feodorovna of Russia – the sister of the Tsarina Alexandra Feodorovna, who was married to Tsar Nicholas the II – the last Tsar in Russia. While the Tsar and his wife play a small role in the book, the story is all Elizabeth’s, who was a strong, intelligent and kind-hearted woman. I find Russian history incredibly fascinating, perhaps in part because of my own Russian heritage – and the story of the Romanovs (and what the country went through as a whole at that time) is particularly heart-breaking.

As I head into the weekend, it looks relatively unscheduled, which is a nice change from the previous month. I’m looking forward to that – even if it means catching up on laundry and groceries. Sometimes it’s the little things.

I’m linking up with The Diary of a Real Housewife, September FARM and The Farmer’s Wife. Enjoy!

- Lara -

Midwest Barbie Blog

A midwestern girl trying to keep up in a barbie world. Becoming her own kind of beautiful on the prarie.

Cook It Quick!

Fast. Healthy. Delicious.

Ask the Farmers

Where does your food come from? How is it raised? How is it grown? Do you have questions or concerns? If so, ask the farmers.

Rural Route 2

The Life & Times of an Illinois Farm Girl

It's Mom Sense

Using our super-mom powers to call shenanigans on fear-mongering in parenting

The Farmer's Wifee

Loving this life as a dairy farmer's wife.

That Bloomin' Garden

Gardening is a way of life


Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 2,225 other followers

%d bloggers like this: