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Hannah Guenther: Boss Babe Series Q&A

Hey friends! I was so excited about today’s post and anxious to share it with you after the holidays! Last month, I started the “boss babe” series, showcasing amazing women in Nebraska who deserve recognition for their careers. In December, I introduced you to Chloe Gibson here. This month, I ventured out of my comfort zone (hello, that’s what the new year is about, right?) and reached out to an incredible person on Instagram!

A few months ago, my friend Jennie introduced me to the Instagram account of Hannah Guenther, @feedlotsofpeople. Hannah is the the Food, Nutrition, and Health Extension Educator located in Cuming County, Nebraska. She shares living on a feedlot – her Instagram handle is my fave – and amazing recipes.

Being a former 4-H-er myself, I loved seeing how she was elevating her position working for the extension and I think you will too! So, without further, ado… meet Hannah!

If you have any suggestions on boss babes to add to this monthly series, DM or comment below! I’d love to know who inspires you most.

Q&A with Hannah Guenther, @feedlotsofpeople

Q: Hannah, tell us a little about your career path and what your current job is.

A: To really explain how I got to be where I am at in my career currently, we are going to have to take a look all the way back to when I was in college! I started out at a Textiles & Clothing Design Major with an emphasis in Journalism. It was a very fun two years, but I soon realized that this wasn’t what I wanted to be learning and completely switched gears and graduated from UNL with a degree in Dietetics with a minor in Communications. I wasn’t quite sure then what I wanted to do that degree either, but a Master’s degree later I found my way into the classroom as a Family, Consumer Science teacher for grades 7-12. It was such a fun three years and I really made an emphasis to teach my students the basics of the kitchen with recipes like homemade scones, how to make yeast bread, and how to prepare vegetables. I had an old colleague facebook message me a position in Extension and thought to myself “I’m going to go for it!” My ultimate career goal was to work for extension, but didn’t think I would have the chance to assume the position so early on in my career.

Right now I am the Food, Nutrition, and Health Extension Educator located in Cuming County, Nebraska. My job is to serve my community by providing research based nutrition information to help consumers make informed choices in terms of food/health. I absolutely love getting to spend my days learning and talking about food, nutrition, and health.

Q: It seems like cooking is really a family thing for you. You’ve shared an amazing family cookbook as your favorite gift. How did you pick up the cooking gene/get started?

A: My mom was a Family Consumer Science graduate from UNL as well and instilled in us at a young age the importance of “homemade”. We ate dinner every single night as a family and I don’t think she’s ever bought a box of brownies in her life. That emphasis on the power of breaking bread together was truly instilled in me by my mother and has had a profound impact in the joy I have cooking for my family today.

Now on the other side of the family tree, my paternal cousin Barry is a rising chef in Colorado. He actually just opened a new restaurant in Boulder called Steakhouse 316. And Barry gets his culinary genetics from his dad. My Uncle Greg refurbished an old chuck wagon and would travel around cooking for large parties. He was even a featured chef in an ABC show, “The People’s Platelist” in 2010. So the cooking gene definitely comes from both sides of my family  tree.

Q: When did you first get an Instant Pot? What inspired you to get one?

A: I got my instant pot shortly after starting with Extension. New to nutrition programming, I wanted to start with a program that I knew people would enjoy and get excited about. With the rise in electric pressure cookers, I thought an instant pot would be a great investment and it totally was! I am slowly becoming known as the “instant pot” lady around town and have taught five Instant Pot 101 classes thus far with a few more on the calendar for the new year. I love showing people how to make healthy food fast to serve their families and loved ones using a pressure cooker.

Q: What was your first Instant Pot recipe?

A: Well let me first say, it took me awhile to actually get my instant pot out of the box. Like many, I was so intimidated so I really took time to teach myself about all the functions and features before I got started using it. The first recipe I made was marinated chicken thighs. I make it pretty frequently for my family, but Adam, my husband, looked at me and said “Ok, whatever you did this time keep doing it!” He’s a very picky eater so this was a big deal!

Q: Worst Instant Pot recipe?

A: Oh my goodness. This is an easy question. Without a doubt it was the time I tried to make broccoli. I overcooked it massively and I new it the second that I released the pressure and smelled it. Adam was in the other room and when I took the lid off he yelled “OH MY GOODNESS. WHAT HAPPENED?!” It smelled…bad. Still working on that recipe.

Q: I love following your recipes! If you had to describe the food you share in 3 words, what would they be?

  1. Straightforward
  2. Approachable
  3. Nutritious

Q: Favorite holiday recipe you’ve shared?

A: Oh that’s hard, but I would say it is between my Oatmeal Scotchies cookie recipe or my carrot dip recipe. (This is also very typical me debating between cookies and vegetables.)

Q: Any new recipes to share exclusively on this post?

A: I am going to be sharing a new recipe for a butternut squash, parmesan couscous! I hosted Christmas Eve for my husband’s family and threw this together on a whim, and it was everyone’s favorite thing on the table.

Butternut Squash & Parmesan Couscous

1 medium butternut squash, diced, and roasted

1 box Israeli couscous, prepared according to box

½ cup parmesan + more for garnish

1 cup arugula

Once couscous is done cooking, transfer to a large mixing bowl and drizzle with olive oil to prevent from clumping together. Add roasted butternut squash, parmesan, and arugula and toss gently to combine. Top with more parmesan and serve.

Quick Questions:

Favorite social media platform? Instagram

Current Favorite Product? Kitchen Product: my new knives I got in my stocking. Sharp knives are the key to easy kitchen prep. Beauty Product: my silicone electric face brush. GAME CHANGER. My pores have never been smaller. Fashion Product: UGGs. I always have shoes on especially in the kitchen and uggs are my favorite. I am on a personal mission to make them fashionable again. (Also currently wearing them at work. #noregrets)

Who Inspires You? I am inspired by how hard my husband works, my daughter’s imagination, my sister’s creativity, and my mom’s outlook on life.
Guilty Instagram Follow?
@punk_history without a doubt. It makes me literally laugh out loud on the daily.

Interested in hearing more from Hannah Guenther (you should be!)? You can find her blog here, or follow her on Instagram here!

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