the farm house was quiet today as I prepared the meal… school is back!  I have to say, I am usually so, so ready for the kids to go back to school… but this summer, we actually pretty much got along…  there were moments…  of me screaming… and my middle son always seemed to find a way of videoing me in those moments and replaying them over and over and over again…  (parenting is far harder with teenagers with phones)

but overall, it went really well as far as enjoying being around each other…

summers are different for farm kids…  with an anti-social mother…  they really don’t see their friends all summer…  in fact, my boys went for a three hour walk one day just to go visit a friend…  

so it was very quiet and very peaceful in the house as I cooked…  but I actually missed them a bit… for the first time ever on the first day of school…

my father-in-law requested no desserts in his suppers because of some cholesterol or blood pressure thing… (I try not to get bogged down by the details)…  but I was feeling sorry for him and decided to make a healthy cupcake he could have and not keel over and die consuming…

I almost killed him at the end of last harvest and don’t want a repeat of that this year… (something to do with chicken and salmonella…  I like to call it a way to ‘drop the pounds’ after harvest)

I began by attempting to grind pistachios in this…  mostly because I had thrown out my stupid food processor yesterday…

and then I read a comment from someone that said ‘why don’t you just use your Vitamix instead of the food processor?’…  

and it was like a light from heaven…  so I plopped the pistachios into my Vitamix…  and let me tell you… game changer…

makes me wonder what else my precious Vitamix can do?   (I like to be surprised so I tend to throw out the owner’s guide)

ground pistachio raspberry cupcakes

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup unsalted shelled pistachios
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, room temperature, cut into pieces
  • 2 tsp vanilla
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups frozen raspberries (preferably fresh ones you’ve frozen)
  • milk chocolate chips (for sprinkling on the top)

Directions:

  • preheat oven to 375 degrees
  • line muffin tin with paper liners and coat with a cooking spray
  • in a food processor (or VITAMIX!!) finely grind the pistachios
  • add sugar and salt and grind
  • transfer to a mixer and add butter, vanilla and eggs one at a time, scraping down the sides
  • add flour and pulse until just combined
  • gently fold in raspberries with a spatula
  • divide evenly to make 15-16 muffins
  • sprinkly on chocolate chips
  • bake for around 28 minutes or until golden brown
  • (they might look a little ‘wet’ on top but are done…  don’t burn them)
  • transfer to wire rack to cool

on to egg salad…  I saw on a food show to put egg salad with arugula…  so I did and the farmer approved…

(again, I do need to get someone else’s opinion other than his overly happy, non picky opinion)

egg salad on arugula

Ingredients:

  • 1 dozen boiled eggs, peeled and roughly chopped
  • 1/8 cup plain greek yogurt
  • 1/8 cup light mayonnaise
  • 1 heaping tsp dijon mustard
  • 2 tsp fresh lemon juice
  • 1 cup chopped celery
  • 1/2 cup sliced green onions
  • 1/2 cup sliced radishes
  • kosher salt and ground black pepper, to taste
  • arugula

Directions:

  • in a bowl, combine the ingredients for the dressing, mix and set aside
  • in a large bowl, gently combine the eggs, celery, green onions and radishes
  • pour dressing on and fold in with a spatula gently
  • serve over arugula

the same wonderful people who have their children raise cows to feed us also raise chickens to feed us…   I forgot to ask them if they name their chickens too…

the before and after of these 7 pound beauties…  after 1  3/4 hours in the oven and sitting for 20 minutes…

garden potatoes were boiled, drained and smashed with butter and half/half milk…

the chicken drippings were kept for gravy…  I pour off some of the fat… into my mouth… (I’m kidding…  that is disgusting… I do eat a tonne of chicken skin though)

lemon garlic whole chickens

Ingredients:

  • 7 lb roaster chicken (fresh or thawed out completely)
  • 6 cloves garlic, smashed
  • 1 1/2 tsp dried oregano
  • 1 tsp thyme
  • kosher salt and black pepper
  • 1/4 cup butter, melted
  • 2 lemons, cut into 4 each
  • 1/3 cup white wine
  • 1 tbsp cornstarch
  • 1/2 cup potato water with chicken bouillon mixed in

Directions:

  • preheat oven to 350 degrees on convection
  • pat the chicken dry with paper towel
  • under the skin on the breasts, shove the garlic in
  • pour the butter over the chicken
  • sprinkle the oregano, thyme, salt and pepper on
  • pour the white wine in the bottom of the pan
  • add the lemons
  • bake for 1 1/2 hours or until the chicken is fully cooked
  • let rest for at least 20 minutes in the pan
  • lift out chicken and slice
  • pour the drippings into a ‘gravy separator’ (something that will strain the chunks of lemon etc and then let the fat come to the top)
  • pour some of the fat off and place in a pot and bring back to a boil
  • mix the cornstarch with a little cold water and add to the gravy
  • add as much potato water with chicken bouillon as you need to make as much gravy as you need
  • season with salt and pepper if necessary
  • serve with cooked carrots and smashed potatoes (with butter and cream milk)

we set up an assembly line to dish up the suppers and the kids were home by then so I could quickly put them to work!

and off I went to get ate alive by mosquitoes…

plus 30 degree days with very high humidity is apparently exactly what trillions of mosquitoes love…  it’s like a plague…

I’m surprised you don’t see the farmers looking like bee keepers… I know I would have bought a mesh outfit by now if I was out there.. and I’m tough and not dramatic…  imagine what they are going through?