farmers look at the weather radar a lot…  and when you are desperate for rain they look even more… so when they see that 25 miles away got rain and we got wind, they have to force themselves to be positive…

I used to battle with ‘does God send the rain?’…   we prayed for rain in church on Sunday…  only problem is everyone’s farms are in different spots… some of those that prayed got rain… some of us did not…

did God pick and choose which of us got rain and which got wind in order to teach us a life lesson?

or is it a lot more complicated or simple than that…

this morning, the farmer had forgotten his hat…  he came back to the yard at 4:30 am to get it only to find our two dogs barking at something in our front hedge…  sure enough it was a porcupine …

last year we had to take our one dog to the vet three times to get quills pulled out…  I saw him dragging the dogs to the garage so I grabbed the shot gun and some shells and went running up the stairs to help the farmer…

I don’t know what terrified him more, me running up the stairs holding a shot gun or the dogs around a porcupine …

he was able to kill the porcupine and the kids were able to clean up the remains this morning into a 5 gallon pail…  this was very humorous to watch…  from a safe distance…

which brings me to the question…  did God plan for the farmer to forget his hat and have to come home and get it so he could save our dogs from the porcupine?

sort of like in Back to the Future… the concept that if you change an event in the past your entire future and the earth’s entire future will be changed… one little difference such as stepping on a ladybug could alter the trajectory of everything…

one little action like forgetting a hat saved a lot of time and heartache with taking two stupid dogs to the vet…

every decision we make is important… and I was told that God knew ahead of time every decision I’d make…

the only way for me to come to terms with praying for rain or being thankful that the farmer came back for his hat, is to believe in a God that is beyond what I can comprehend…  that God does not function with the same knowledge or truth that I function with…

I have to make decisions based on the information and knowledge I have at the time… we all do…  and we have no idea what is in store for us… each day…

but I have to believe that God still enjoys a good conversation about needing rain or thankful for the dogs being rescued…

edamame kale power salad

Ingredients:

  • 1 package Earthbound Farm Deep Greens Blend Kale (or 6 cups chopped kale, ribs removed)
  • 3 bags (300 g each) Edamame beans, shelled (or 2 cups shelled)
  • 2 cups sliced red cabbage
  • 2 cups thinly sliced carrots
  • 1 yellow pepper, thinly sliced
  • 1 red pepper, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 cup chopped cilantro
  • sesame seeds
  • Newman’s Own Sesame Thai Dressing

Directions:

  • assemble ingredients
  • pour dressing over and serve
  • garnish with sesame seeds

chicken and gnocchi 'pot pie'

Ingredients:

  • 3 medium yellow onions, diced
  • 3 cups diced carrots
  • 2 cups diced celery
  • 1.5 kg (2 packages from a grocery store) chicken thighs, boneless and skinless
  • 1 cup all purpose flour
  • seasoned salt
  • lemon pepper
  • olive oil
  • 2 tsp ground thyme
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • 3 1/2 cups chicken broth
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 4 (16 oz) packages gnocchi
  • 2 cups frozen peas

Directions:

  • chop the vegetables and set aside to use later
  • pre heat oven to 350 degrees
  • put the flour in a dish and heat olive oil in a pan
  • pat the chicken with the flour and place (in three batches) in the hot pan
  • season with lemon pepper and seasoned salt, brown and flip and season again on the other side
  • when both sides are browned, place in a covered pan and put into oven to finish cooking
  • repeat the process in two more batches with the chicken thighs
  • meanwhile, bring a large pot of water to a boil
  • in two batches place gnocchi in the boiling water a cook for a few minutes until they float
  • strain and add frozen peas to them while they are still hot
  • when the chicken is all in the oven, add the vegetables to the pan and cook on medium-high heat for 10 minutes or so until they are softened
  • add the salt and thyme and flour over the mixture
  • pour the chicken broth in and mix until it starts to thicken
  • add the gnocchi (your pan needs to be very large for this) or mix them together in a large bowl
  • spoon the gnocchi/vegetable mixture into a bowl and add two pieces of chicken on top
  • check to make sure the chicken has cooked all the way through

cinnamon apple cake with cream cheese frosting

Ingredients:

For the Cake:

  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/4 tsp allspice
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1/2 cup canola oil
  • 2 large eggs, room temperature
  • 2 tsp vanilla
  • 6 cups Gala apples, peeled and chopped

For the Frosting:

  • 4 oz cream cheese, room temperature
  • 2 tbsp (or 1/8 cup) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla
  • 1 cup icing sugar

Directions:

  • preheat oven to 350 degrees
  • spray a 9×13 baking dish
  • in a medium bowl, mix flour, baking soda, cinnamon, salt, nutmeg and allspice
  • in a mixer, add sugar, oil and eggs
  • beat until frothy and well combined
  • add the dry ingredients
  • mixture will be thick until you add the apples
  • fold in the apples on a low speed with the mixer until they are worked in well to the batter
  • spread out evenly into the 9×13 pan
  • bake for 45 minutes or until the cake is browned around the edges and set in the middle
  • place in pan on a rack to cool completely
  • while the cake is cooling, add cream cheese, butter and vanilla to a mixer
  • mix well and scrape down
  • add icing sugar and combine
  • when cake is cool, spread a thin layer of the cream cheese frosting over the cake and serve