Day 22: Talking Turkey on the Banks of Squaw Creek

olthoff 2013 (77)[3]Katie Olthoff of Stanhope in Central Iowa never ever dreamed she’d become an advocate for agriculture and the turkey industry, in particular.  Today she and her husband, Bart, are raising their two sons and more than 100,000 turkeys annually On the Banks of Squaw Creek.

“I knew Bart had majored in agriculture and came from a long line of farmers, but I honestly didn’t think I’d become a turkey farmer’s wife,” said Katie, who graduated from Iowa State University with a degree in education and taught for five years.  “How we got here is a long story; the short of it is that we were blessed with an amazing opportunity.  We’re raising our children in the country, which is what we always wanted.  And as my husband says, we’re ‘building a legacy.’  I’m a part-time stay at home mom, which was always my dream.”

Katie’s other part-time job involves serving as communications specialist for the Iowa Turkey Federation, which allows her to give turkey farmers a voice in social media.  She also helps dispel myths about farming and food production as a volunteer for Iowa Common Ground.  She appreciates her flexible work schedule, which allows her to pursue her hobbies and passions.

Katie has turned her home decor and DIY (do it yourself) hobby into a small business.  The HomeShed is a seasonal home decor shop focusing on antique, vintage and unique items for the home and garden.

A creative soul, who thrives on new challenges and creating beauty around her, Katie enjoys writing, photography, graphic design and home décor.  Her blog, On the Banks of Squaw Creek, allows her to combine all of her interests.

Katie began as a way to document all of the changes that were occurring in her life.  In 2008, she and Bart sold their first home and moved into the 100-year-old farmhouse where they still live.  Their first turkey barn was built, and their first son was born.

Blogging has definitely been a learn-as-you-go process, says Katie, but through the years she has narrowed her focus to:

  1. Connect with others who have similar interests including (but certainly not limited to) home renovation, décor, and organization.
  2. Chronicle the lives of her little boys as they grow up and to share what she’s learned about parenting with others.
  3. Help others understand and appreciate where their food comes from.

Recently, Katie blogged for 31 Days of Decorating with Junk. (As a Halloween junkie, I especially enjoyed her vintage Halloween decorating ideas complete with links to templates for Halloween banners.)  Last Christmas Katie published a “Survival Guide” for parents of small children.  (Check out her handy ideas for storing gift wrap.)  She also shared ideas for “Keeping Christmas Meaningful” and a simple recipe for Slow Cooked Turkey Breast.

As a way to promote the farm life she’s come to love, today Katie is sharing with us a recipe she adapted from Jennie-O for Lemon Garlic Rotini with Zucchini.  (How fun is that to say?)  Even though the following recipe calls for tenderloins or filets, you could probably adapt it to make use of Thanksgiving leftovers.  Give turkey a new twist tonight!

Lemon Garlic Rotini with Zucchini



  • 1 packet Weber “Just Add Juice Garlic & Herb Marinade Mix”
  • 1/2 cup lemon juice
  • 1 pound turkey breast (tenderloins or filets)
  • 1 cup shredded zucchini
  • ½ cup sliced green onion
  • ½ cup cherry tomatoes, halved
  • ½ cup white wine
  • 1, 16-oz box rotini
  • ¼ cup shredded Parmesan cheese



  1. Cut turkey into bite-sized pieces or strips.  Mix marinade packet and lemon juice in large resealable bag.  Add turkey to the bag and let it marinate for at least 30 minutes.
  2. Pour turkey and marinade into skillet on medium-high heat.  Cook 8-10 minutes until turkey is 165° (well-done.)  In the meantime, cook noodles according to package directions.
  3. Add zucchini and onion to turkey and cook for 4-5 minutes.
  4. Add tomatoes and wine to turkey.  Simmer for an additional 2-3 minutes.
  5. Toss turkey mixture with noodles.  Sprinkle with Parmesan and serve!

COOK’S NOTE:  The Lemon Garlic marinade is really what makes this dish so great, and it’s pretty versatile.  The turkey would be great on a sandwich, on a salad, or maybe with some grilled asparagus.


Recipe from Katie Olthoff