have you ever ran into someone who is so ‘put-together’ that it makes you feel disgusting about yourself?

it’s not their fault that they are making you feel this way… they have every right to shower and be clean and water their flowers… but the sight of them just makes you feel like Pig-Pen with flies and dust swirling around you…

their hair is always perfect, they smell like a lavender field, their clothing isn’t stained and their vehicle is always clean…  and they talk about their life in a way that you imagine they are living somewhere similar to the garden of eden…

this happened to me the other morning… and right when I was feeling like I was accomplishing a lot…  I had ran for groceries and some other errand early in the morning and was picking up the mail on my way home…

and I run into this sweet, beautiful, flawless lady at the post office…

we have a nice conversation and then I get into my vehicle that I thought I had just washed but you’d never guess and drive into my yard only to suddenly realize it looks like the yard of someone who has been absent for a month…

even my dogs looked dirty… like they should be ashamed of themselves…

I walk in and notice that the entryway mat has dirt and straw on it… there are handprints on the glass on the door… chips on the paint on the walls…

and I am so overwhelmed I don’t even know where to begin…

I think if this lady saw the filth that I live in she’d faint… and so you change your plans for the day and scramble to start in on yard work…  and you are late picking your kids up from school and don’t even have supper for them because you’ve rather be vacuuming…

and this is partly why I have taken 4 suppers to the field and haven’t written about them…

so instead I’m just giving the highlight reel of what has been going out to the farmers lately…

kinda like how Instagram is a highlight reel of your life… and no one needs to see the filth and squalor that you live in…

orzo chickpea feta salad, rhubarb cream cheese brownies, speedy baked ziti and cheesy ranch potatoes… these were the shining stars of the past four meals…

orzo chickpea feta salad

Ingredients:

  • 500 g pkg (around 3 cups uncooked) Orzo
  • 3 (15 oz) cans chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 3 large cucumbers, chopped
  • 1 1/2 cups crumbled feta cheese
  • 1/4 cup fresh dill, chopped
  • 1 cup or 1 large red onion, minced
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 1/2 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice (roughly 3 lemons)
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tbsp finely chopped fresh dill
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt
  • ground black pepper

Directions:

  • cook orzo, drain and rinse well with cool water
  • in a very large bowl, combine orzo, chickpeas, cucumbers, feta, dill and red onion
  • in a shaker, combine ingredients for dressing and shake until well combined
  • pour over salad and chill before serving

rhubarb cream cheese brownies

  • Servings: one 9x13 inch pan
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Ingredients:

  • 4 cups sliced fresh rhubarb (1/2 inch lengths)
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 pkg (8 oz) cream cheese, room temperature
  • 4 tbsp sugar
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 1 tsp cornstarch
  • 12 oz milk chocolate, chopped (or chips)
  • 1 cup butter
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 2 tsp vanilla
  • 4 eggs
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp kosher salt

Directions:

  • in a saucepan, cook rhubarb and sugar over medium heat, stirring, until rhubarb is broken down and mixture is thick and glossy (around 10-15 minutes)
  • cool mixture to room temperature
  • in a mixing bowl, whip cream cheese, sugar, egg yolks and cornstarch until well combined
  • in a saucepan, melt chocolate and butter
  • let cool and whisk in sugar and vanilla
  • whisk in eggs, one at a time
  • stir in flour and salt
  • in a parchment lined 9×13 inch pan, pour the chocolate brownie mixture
  • pour the cream cheese mixture on top
  • add the rhubarb
  • bake at 350 degrees for 45-55 minutes or until a cake tester inserted in centre of cake comes out clean with a few moist crumbs
  • serve warm

speedy baked ziti

  • Servings: one 9x13 pan
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Ingredients:

  • 1 lb ziti or penne
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 lb ground beef
  • 1/4 tsp crushed red pepper
  • 1/2 tsp paprika
  • kosher salt
  • 1 24 oz jar marinara sauce (3 cups)
  • 1 1/2 cups fresh ricotta cheese (12 oz)
  • 2 cups shredded mozzarella
  • 1/4 cup grated parmesan

Directions:

  • boil noodles until al dente
  • saute oil, garlic and onions
  • put into a large bowl
  • brown beef and strain off any fat
  • add salt, red pepper and paprika to the beef and place into bowl with onions
  • add noodles, marinara sauce, ricotta and 1 cup mozzarella to the bowl
  • spray a 9×13 pan with cooking spray and pour in the noodle/beef mixture
  • sprinkle the remaining 1 cup mozzarella and 1/4 cup parmesan over it
  • bake at 350 degrees for 20-30 minutes

cheesy ranch potatoes

  • Servings: you decide
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Ingredients:

  • potatoes
  • ranch dressing
  • garlic powder
  • paprika
  • salt
  • ground pepper
  • shredded cheddar cheese

Directions:

  • boil peeled, cubed potatoes for 10-15 minutes
  • strain and let dry
  • put in a bowl and add ranch dressing, garlic powder, paprika, salt and pepper
  • pour potato mixture onto parchment lined baking sheet
  • bake at 375 degrees for 20-25 minutes or until potatoes are browned and soft
  • add cheese to potatoes and serve