Summer, after all, is a time when wonderful things can happen to quiet people.  For those few months, you’re not required to be who everyone thinks you are, and that cut-grass smell in the air and the chance to dive into the deep end of a pool give you courage you don’t have the rest of the year.  You can be grateful and easy, with no eyes on you, and no past.  Summer just opens the door and lets you out.  

– Deb Caletti

my daughter was thrilled to show me the size of beet she found in her pickings of the garden…  she pulled beets while wearing a fur vest, heels, shorty shorts and caring a fringed purse talking into an old iPod hooked to a xBox headset….

summer does allow us to get away and be whoever we want to be… with no one watching or judging…

it allows me to pretend that I am on Chopped Canada… except when I take the meals out, I get no judgment or review of how they go over… perhaps this is best…

I discovered my favourite kind of salad is simple and has goat cheese…  I sure hope the farmers agree!  I barely put any goat cheese on their salads just in case…

I roasted the beets at 400 degrees for around 20 minutes and used this Tropical Passion balsamic vinegar and some honey as a dressing…

the reason the salad had to be simple was because I was devoting most of my efforts to the sliders I was more than excited to hand to the farmers…

mango coleslaw…  perfect pairing to pulled beef on a slider…

again… using the Instant Pot has become a harvest staple around here…  this time you can sauté the roast to brown it, then slow cook it and cut your roast and reunite it with the sauce for a gooey, delicious celebration of meat…

the night before I had made up a batch of buns which I used an egg wash to hold some sesame seeds on them for a added crunch…

the egg wash is what gives the buns their deeper colour and actually held the sesame seeds very well…

assembling thirty of these sliders made me feel like I could be in the catering business…  when the farmer texted me that he could have eaten four of them instead of the two I gave him, I replied with a picture of the disaster of a kitchen the slider production had left…

Ingredients:

Beef:

  • canola oil
  • prime rib beef roast, thawed
  • pre-made bbq sauce

Slaw:

  • 2 mangos, sliced
  • 1 red onion, sliced
  • 1/2 large head green cabbage, sliced thin
  • zest and juice of 1 lime
  • 4 tsp red wine vinegar
  • 2 tsp olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • ground black pepper

Directions:

  • in an Instant Pot, saute in the olive oil the roast on all sides
  • pour bbq sauce on it and cook on slow cooker mode for 8 hours
  • remove the roast and cut it up, cutting the fat off of it
  • place beef back in with the sauce
  • for the coleslaw, in a large bowl combine all ingredients and place in fridge for at least 2 hours before you need to use it
  • when you get the bowl out to assemble your pulled beef sliders with mango coleslaw, pour the slaw into strainer and return to bowl so there are is not too much liquid in the slaw
  • assemble the sliders

we have the tiniest little apple tree that has hung onto dear life for the last few years and produced it’s first fruit this year!!!

I cut these up and put them in my favourite type of cake… bundt cake…  I believe it is the perfect shape for a cake pan, cooked the batter evenly and I feel like if Costco was selling a cookbook entirely showcasing bundt cakes I would buy it…

I made this cake last week and cut it up and froze the containers of cake…  I took it out in the morning and it defrosted perfectly…

need I say anything more about bundt cakes???

crabapple bundt cake

Ingredients:

  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tbsp ground cinnamon
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 1/2 cups packed brown sugar
  • 4 large eggs, room temperature
  • 6-8 granny smith apples, peeled, cored and cut into small chunks (or crabapples!!!)

Directions:

  • preheat oven to 350 degrees
  • rub bundt pan with butter or lard and dust with flour
  • beat the butter, brown sugar and eggs until well combined
  • in a separate bowl, combine flour, cinnamon, baking powder, salt and baking soda
  • add the dry ingredients to the butter mixture
  • fold in apples and pour into the bundt pan
  • bake for 50-60 minutes
  • cool completely on a rack and turn out of pan and complete the cooling
  • dust with icing sugar if you prefer to
  • freezes very well

if you’d like to get fancy, sift some icing sugar over it to really impress…

and off I take the meals to the farmers…  who – similar to every other farmer out there – could be having a great day or a terrible day and I’m always hopeful that the food helps on both of those types of days