this has been the hottest seeding on record… and by that I mean I have not kept any records and I actually don’t know how warm it got today… nor do I know the history of how hot the temperatures in late April/early May traditionally have been…  that statement was more of a ‘hunch’…

but it seems dusty and hot… mid-summer type of heat… on May 2…

so I gave all the farmers chilled watermelon with their suppers…

if this weather keeps up, the next meal will be hot dogs and freezies…

have you ever seen the movie Pollyanna? I would have to ask my mom but I believe I watched it over 20 times..  and there were many moments in it that I remember vividly, but one of my favourite moments was when the cook made cakes for the Bazaar that Aunt Polly had told Pollyanna she could not go to…

the cakes were layered chocolate and vanilla cakes and I thought they looked like the most delicious food item I had ever laid eyes on…

cake does not have to come out of a box…  and if you have the time to make a chocolate cake, try this recipe out…  I promise it will not disappoint…

and it even gets very close to what I imagined the Pollyanna cakes tasting like as a little girl…

catherine's pollyanna layered chocolate cake

Ingredients:

  • 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 3/4 cups cocoa powder
  • 2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • 1 cup buttermilk, shaken
  • 1/2 cup canola oil
  • 2 extra-large eggs, at room temperature
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1 cup freshly brewed hot coffee
  • 6 oz semisweet chocolate
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 extra-large egg yolk, room temperature
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1 1/4 cups icing sugar
  • 1 tbsp instant coffee powder

Directions:

  • preheat oven to 350 degrees
  • butter 2 8 inch cake pans, place parchment paper in bottom of each, butter parchment paper and then flour the pans
  • sift or whisk together the flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder and salt
  • in a mixer, combine buttermilk, oil, eggs and vanilla
  • with mixer on low, add the dry ingredients to it
  • take off mixer and fold in the coffee
  • pour evenly into the two cake pans
  • bake for 45 minutes or until a wooden toothpick inserted into the middle of a cake comes out clean
  • let cool in pan on racks for 15 minutes, then take out of pans and let cool completely before frosting
  • for the frosting, chop the chocolate and put in a bowl on top of a pot with simmering water (double boiler)
  • melt the chocolate and let cool to room temperature
  • in a mixer, beat the butter until it is fluffy
  • add egg yolk and vanilla and continue to beat
  • scrape down and add icing sugar and beat
  • add chocolate and instant coffee powder and beat again until fully combined
  • to ice the cake, put first layer down and put a small amount of icing on
  • place the top layer of the cake on and add the remainder of the icing to the top of the cake
  • using a small spatula, slowly bring down the icing while turning the cake to ice the sides of the cake
  • then even out the top of the cake and the sides

meal to the field for the farmers (although my supper was just watermelon and cake)… was caesar salad, garlic bread and lasagne… along with the watermelon and cake…

possibly two meals and no one lost weight today…

grandma swan's caesar salad dressing

  • Servings: 1 large salad
  • Print

Ingredients:

  • 3/4 cup canola oil
  • 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 2 dashes Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice, fresh if you can
  • 3 small cloves garlic, finely minced
  • 1 egg, room temperature
  • 1/2 tsp sugar
  • 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese, grated
  • salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

  • you can either blend this dressing for a creamier version or use a mason jar and shake it
  • this is enough dressing for one large salad – I used two large heads of romaine lettuce or three small heads and around 2 cups of parmesan cheese and 3-4 cups of croutons
  • toss well and serve immediately

I seem to come up with a new variation for lasagne every time I make it… so this recipe is this month’s take on lasagne…  all I know about lasagne is: the kids love it, it is expensive to make, it is filling and every dish in your kitchen will get dirty…

I have a few rules for lasagnes..  if I am asked to bring one to a community function or my child has volunteered me to bring a lasagne, expect to receive a frozen Costco lasagne…

it is only smart and economical…  and delicious…  you are a fool to do anything else…

also, if you are taking the time to make one lasagne – and I don’t care how many people you are feeding – make two…  it is not worth your time or effort to only make one when they freeze so well…

but if you are making it for those that you love or employ… then go ahead, roll your sleeves up and sink into this recipe for lasagne…  it was tasty!

bison turkey spinach lasagne

  • Servings: 2 lasagnes
  • Print

Ingredients:

  • 4 lbs ground bison meat
  • 1 lb ground turkey meat
  • lemon pepper
  • kosher salt
  • dried basil
  • dried parsley
  • 2 large yellow onions
  • 3 (398 mL) tomato sauce
  • 2 (156 mL) tomato paste
  • 2 (500 g) ricotta cheese
  • dried basil
  • dried parsley
  • 1 bag (454 g or 16 oz) of spinach
  • 1 head garlic, minced
  • 24 lasagne noodles, boiled, strained and cooling in water
  • 2 (320 g) bag of Mozzarella shredded cheese
  • 1 (320 g) bag of Italiano shredded cheese

Directions:

  • on medium-high heat, brown meat in a pan with olive oil
  • brown the meat in three batches, season every batch with lemon pepper, salt, basil and parsley
  • in a large bowl, transfer each batch of cooked meat
  • in olive oil, cook the onions till transparent and add to meat
  • to the meat and onions, add the tomato sauce and paste and mix well
  • in another medium bowl, mix ricotta cheese with some basil and parsley
  • in the saucepan, add the spinach and garlic
  • saute until the spinach wilts and strain off the excess juices
  • add to the ricotta mixture and combine well
  • boil the lasagne noodles, strain and then keep moist in water
  • spray two lasagne pans
  • to assemble, place three noodles in the bottom of each pan
  • add meat, then dollops of ricotta cheese and then some mozzarella cheese
  • continue to layer (3 layers in each) and finish with the Italiano cheese on top (ricotta mixture only on bottom two layers)
  • cover with tin foil to freeze or bake at 350 uncovered for 45 minutes or until brown and bubbling