farmers help farmers…  we had a tractor burn to the ground yesterday and it always blesses us how many other farmers scramble to get there with their water trucks and any help they can bring to try to get the fire out…

unfortunately this was one tractor fire that was not going to be put out with some fire extinguishers…  the farmer was telling me that the heat put off by this fire was incredible… he never had felt heat like that… the tires exploded, the fuel tank exploded.. the tires and hoses on the drill melted…  it was intense…

something you need to know about me…  I like to buy insurance…  and moments like this only ‘fuel the fire’ in me to be completely insured in every area of life possible… this probably says something terrible about my personality but for now I’ll just keep buying insurance whenever and from whoever I can…

crop insurance, hail insurance, life insurance, critical life insurance, health insurance…  phone, vehicle… you name it…  I currently have two life insurance policies out on the farmer…  he was worried for a little bit as to why he needed two life insurance policies and I told him you can never be too careful…

I would hate to add up all the money I have spent on insurance so far in my life… I can’t even get through a checkout in Walmart without buying it…

actually writing this has made me realize that perhaps I should live on the edge a bit more and throw caution to the wind…  just not with tractors

todays meal to the field was brought to you by garlic, ginger and soy sauce

I know you can buy peeled garlic (some Chinese prison peeling your garlic for you) or even chopped garlic… but there is something about peeling and chopping your own garlic that is very therapeutic and satisfying…  if you have the time… no judgement if you hate peeling and chopping garlic…  it might just be me that enjoys it…

for the butter chicken I was making you whip up this yogurt sauce to marinade the chicken in for 12-24 hours…  I never am organized enough to get the 24 hour marinade so it was only 7 hours today…

butter chicken has some of my all time favourite ingredients…  lemon, ginger, turmeric, garam marsala, garlic…  so good…

get that sauce all rubbed up with the chicken, cover and let marinade…

meanwhile… dessert time…  these raspberry cream cheese brownies are delicious… and I had raspberries in the freezer still from last summer which worked out great for this dessert…

I believe this method of melting chocolate and butter is called a ‘double boiler’… if only there was some way I could check that to see if that is accurate… some way to type a word in and find out it’s meaning…  but alas I shall just have to guess…

after mixing up the brownie mixture, you pour it into the baking pan… this is another thing I love to do… other than peel and chop garlic…  prepare a baking dish with butter and flour…  it reminds me of finger painting…  not that I remember finger painting…

I did something wrong when making this… you should pour the cream cheese/raspberry mixture on top and then with a knife cut through the brownie batter to slightly mix the two…  I just plopped it in the oven and it would have been better if I had taken the time to mix the two batters slightly…

raspberry cream cheese brownies

Ingredients:

  • 4 oz bittersweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup all purpose flour
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 4 oz cream cheese, room temperature
  • 2 tbsp unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 2 tbsp sugar
  • 2 tbsp raspberry jam
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 tbsp all purpose flour
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla
  • 1 cup fresh raspberries

Directions:

  • in a double boiler, melt the chocolate and butter – set aside
  • in a mixer, combine eggs and sugar and mix well
  • add the cooled chocoate/butter mixture and combine
  • add the flour, baking powder, salt and vanilla and combine to make brownie batter
  • pour into a prepared 8” square pan
  • (to prepare the pan, grease with butter, line with parchment paper, grease the parchment paper with butter and dust with flour)
  • wash out the mixer bowl and then cream the butter, cream cheese and sugar together
  • add the jam, egg, flour and vanilla and cream – scraping down the edges
  • fold in the raspberries
  • dollop on the brownie mixture
  • use a butter knife to swirl the cream cheese mixture into the brownies
  • if you have extra raspberries, press them into the top
  • bake at 350 degrees for 35-40 minutes
  • let cool completely before slicing and serving

lastly salad…  selfishly this is mostly made for me because I was really wanting this…

you can make this salad as easy or complicated as you desire…  I was desiring complicated today…

at the end of the salad assembly was the decision of serving tofu to everyone or keeping more for me and the kids…  decision was made that the crew would most likely think that the pressed/fried tofu was croutons, bite into them and then be disgusted that they had just ate tofu…

but I really do encourage putting some tofu on this salad… it, in my opinion, is delicious…

Thai Almond Butter Crunch Salad

Ingredients:

Salad:

  • 2 medium heads of romaine lettuce, chopped
  • 4-6 medium carrots, julienned (bite size)
  • 2 medium red bell peppers, diced
  • 6 green onions, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 – 1 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
  • 1 cup pea shoots
  • roasted soy sauce almonds, chopped
  • tofu, chicken or whatever protein you would like on it (or none)

Dressing:

  • 1 large or 2 small cloves garlic
  • 2-3 tsp ginger
  • 3/4 cup almond butter
  • 2 tbsp soy sauce
  • 4 tsp maple syrup
  • 4-6 tbsp water, as needed to thin the dressing

Directions:

  • combine all the salad ingredients
  • for the almonds, roast them at 325 degrees for 10-12 minutes with some soy sauce
  • for the tofu, slice and press with paper towel and something heavy to get the moisture out… fry the tofu in olive oil and season with garlic powder and salt
  • for the dressing, in a Vitamix combine the ingredients and blend until smooth

time for the butter chicken to cook… Instant Pot at 15 minutes with some sauted onion, Passata (tomato sauce) and cream…  that easy…

I served it with some brown rice and Naan bread…  the kids think Naan bread is the best bread out there…  (I bought mine at Sobey’s)

lastly…  if you have to cook for a farmer…  and it is slightly raining around 2:00 pm… and they call you and say ‘no suppers tonight’…  do not stop preparing suppers…

you either will end up with leftovers for lunches for the week or you will find that you get a call at 4:30 pm saying ‘I need 8 suppers’

Instant Pot Butter Chicken

Ingredients:

  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 cup plain full-fat yogurt
  • 1 lemon, juiced and zested
  • 2 tbsp fresh ginger, grated
  • 4 tsp garam marsala
  • 2 tsp turmeric
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 16 chicken thighs, boneless and skinless
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 2 medium onions, finely diced
  • 4 tsp kosher salt
  • 1 cup passata (tomatoe sauce)
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • fresh cilantro (for serving)
  • brown rice
  • Naan bread

Directions:

  • combine the garlic, yogurt, lemon and zest, ginger and spices
  • marinade the chicken thighs for 12-24 hours if possible
  • when ready to cook, put the butter on saute mode on the Instant Pot
  • add the onions and saute
  • pour in chicken with its sauce and add salt, passata and cream
  • set the machine for 15 minutes
  • serve the butter chicken over brown rice with cilantro on it and with Naan bread