listening to teacher

new shoes… birthday shoes… these beauties might only ever see my treadmill… I’m not fast enough or pretty enough to be wearing them but here we are…
what inspired you, Catherine, to make such a healthy meal and run in your fast shoes and shave your legs? was it the super sexy farmer you’ve been quarantined with for 2 straight months? (by the way… thanks for asking… it has been going really well)
or is it that soft voice you hear every time your son, Ethan, opens his laptop to do his Math lesson and you get to hear the Voice…

almond beet blueberry muffins


Ingredients:
2 cups almond flour
1 1/2 cups old-fashioned rolled oats
2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp kosher salt
3 eggs
1/3 cup blackstrap molasses
6 tbsp unsalted butter, melted
1 cup grated, raw beet (peeled)
1 cup frozen blueberries
Directions:
preheat oven to 350
line a 12 cup muffin tin with paper muffin cups (spray if you usually do)
in a large bowl, combine almond flour, oats, cinnamon, baking soda and salt
in a mixing bowl, mix eggs, molasses, butter and add beets
add the dry ingredients
fold in frozen blueberries
using an ice cream scoop, scoop the batter into the paper lined muffin tin
bake for 25-30 minutes until the muffins are browned on top and a knife inserted in the center of a muffin comes out clean
at first I was laser focused on Ethan paying attention to what he was doing and making sure he gets a good grade in his Math class… but then something started to change… as I listened to this soft voice on the other side of the laptop, gently telling Ethan how to figure out the parallel line or the cosign or sum of ‘blah-bitty-blah’… it all started to run together for me and I could not get this voice out of my head…
(ok – side bar – I know margarine is not healthy apparently… but this is a game changer on sweet potatoes in my eye… absolute heaven)
(no recipe for this – it is baked sweet potato… wash the skins and bake for 45 minutes or until soft… let them rest and then cut open, squish down and put margarine, black beans and shredded cheese on and broil)
back to McDreamy Voice… I found I was starting to plan my day around getting to hear this smoky voice discussing integers… I would make sure it was time to bake or clean out the dishwasher or stand in the kitchen with a coffee and stare off into the distance…
don’t get too worried about my intentions with the Voice… or how invested I have become in Math Foundations 20… I should also mention that I was ‘pocket-dialed’ by Cabelas today (I did a phone-in, curb-side pickup yesterday) and I listened to this for over 7 minutes… they were chatting in the background about a co-worker not showing up on time and then getting orders wrong… I found it riveting …. and I would have been mortified if someone had suddenly said ‘hello?’ and figured out I had been listening for far too long…

to all the teachers out there… doing their online courses… just know that there could be a mom in the background… hiding in the kitchen… wondering what your hobbies are…
(no recipe for this dish… it is just butter lettuce, rice noodles, steak in a soy/fish sauce with ginger and then cucumbers and carrots on it… it was delish)

48 days of cooking in quarantine to get excited to cook for seeding

seeding 2020 is upon us… and never would I have thought that I would have been quarantined at home for 48 days before I had to take a meal to the field… nothing like cooking for your family for that long to get you in the mood to cook for farmers… 
the shelves at the grocery store are stripped bare of yeast and flour and as a farmer who has been gardening, making buns, doing all of these ‘primitive’ behaviours for over 20 years now, it is pretty humorous to me to see how people actually think that by having a tiny little garden in their yard and getting flour and yeast they could possibly survive…  get a grip people – you aren’t Hutterites… you will not survive… 

I am actually so excited for the change in pace for May here, because it gives me the excuse to tell any straggler kids around here that on the ‘off days’ of not taking out meals, it is cereal or ramen noodles for supper… 

we have gotten into a depressing little routine here on the farm… wake up, school work and run or workout, clean, cook, yard work and then stare at the TV (or play video games) until the sweet release of sleep comes and we can repeat the exact same thing the next day

the kids have been helping me with some spring jobs here that they never knew happened…  Sienna mentioned to me ‘when did you do this before?’ and I tell her ‘when you were at school’... 

for the first month or so, I would receive emails everyday with things that were being cancelled…  hockey for Sienna, hockey camps for Ethan, baseball, school, dental appointments, Easter, vacations, graduation for Brandon… 

you know what wasn’t cancelled?  home schooling, yard work, house work, dishes, laundry, the WIND, bills, spam emails, subscriptions to things I accidentally signed up for… and apparently the social pressure to clean and paint your entire house…  

spinach salad with strawberries

Ingredients:

Dressing:

  • 1 lb fresh spinach
  • 2 cups strawberries, sliced
  • 1/2 cup slivered almonds, (optional – toasted)

Dressing: 

  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 2 tbsp sesame seeds
  • 1 tbsp poppy seeds
  • 2 tbsp chopped red onions
  • 1/4 tsp worcestershire sauce
  • 1/4 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1/2 cup oil
  • 1/4 cup cider vinegar

Directions:

  • chop the spinach and toss the spinach, strawberries and almonds into a bowl
  • in a mason jar (or whatever you use to make dressings), shake up the dressing ingredients
  • pour over and eat immediately

 

I certainly went through all the stages and then invented a few during my grief cycle…  denial and isolation (well, I bought hand sanitizer every week for a month going into this so I wasn’t in denial… definitely in isolation)anger (nailed that… still nailing that)… bargaining (tough to bargain when you are alone)depression (is this the feeling you get in the morning when you want to suffocate yourself with a pillow??)acceptance (I also like to call this despair… has a nicer ring to it)

the ones I added were – replacing every good habit that took me 40 years to develop with a bad habit…  worrying about not having anything to worry about… not shaving… talking to strangers like they are life long friends… googling Zoom backgrounds for 3 hours before I realize how long I’ve been staring at my phone for… starting group chats with anyone that will have me… then leaving the group chats because I can’t stand anyone on them… crying while running… thinking cake and peanut butter marshmallow bars are a breakfast food… 

pickled creamy onions

  • Servings: around 8 cups
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Ingredients:

  • 4 medium onions, sliced thin
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/2 cup vinegar
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • 1 tsp celery seed
  • miracle whip (or mayo)

Directions:

  • slice up onions and place in a big bowl
  • heat water, vinegar, sugar and salt
  • pour over sliced onions
  • cover and place in a fridge for 3-4 hours minimum or overnight
  • drain
  • add celery seed and miracle whip until onions look creamy

but ENOUGH WITH THAT…  here we go… SEEDING…  the hope every year that we will plant seeds into the ground and new life will come…  (oh yes – I have gotten very spiritual during this time as well… tough to miss church when it is virtual and you are can’t possibly say that you are busy)

I have never been more excited for seeding in my life... we are fortunate to have freezers full of beef (I cut this blade roast in half for this shredded beef recipe) and deer sausage and chickens…  the Farmer’s only way of ‘prepping’ for this was to come home every few days with giant burlap sacks of rice – so we are set in the rice department…  

seeding usually feels so rushed with sports going on – but this seeding I get to experience the sheer boredom that my ancestors got to go through during this time of year… I am excited to see what creativity and inspiration comes from this (more sleeping is my guess)

I feel grateful that I came to terms years ago with the fact that I would be cooking massive amounts of food for the foreseeable future and started to really love and enjoy it (it is one of those mind tricks you can do – where if you tell yourself enough times that you like something, you will start to like it – kinda like quarantine)

instant pot shredded caramelized beef

Ingredients:

  • 2 lbs flank steak 
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tbsp chili powder
  • 2 tsp onion powder
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika
  • kosher salt
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • zest and juice of 1 lime
  • 1/2 cup Mexican beer, (or root beer or water)
  • 1 tbsp honey
  • buns and toppings

Directions:

  • cut the steak into four pieces
  • pat steak pieces down with the chili powder, onion powder, paprika and salt
  • in the Instant Pot, put olive oil and then steak pieces
  • add the rest of the spices (if any leftover) and add garlic, juice and zest of lime and beer
  • cover and cook on high pressure/manual for 8 minutes (more if a larger steak/roast)
  • once done cooking, use the natural or quick release function and release the steam
  • preheat the broiler on high
  • remove the steak and shred – place onto a baking sheet
  • add 1/2 cup of the cooking liquid
  • drizzle honey over it
  • broil for 2-5 minutes, until the steak caramelizes
  • toss with additional cooking liquid if desired
  • serve on a bun with toppings of your choice (this can also be used in a taco)

so here it goes… meals to the field

experimenting with new recipes, new ways to cook and enjoying one of the only fun things left for us to do… EATING

here is hoping that everyone has a safe and happy seeding – that it rains on our crops and we all start to see new life coming out of the wreckage the last two months has been

I will supply recipes for you to try – not all will be great but I hope there are a few that you enjoy along the way here…  and we will get through seeding and spring together

coconut lemon muffins with honey butter

  • Servings: 12 muffins
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Ingredients:
Muffins:

  • 2 cups sweetened coconut flaked or shredded 
  • 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup whole wheat pastry flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt
  • 2 tbsp lemon zest (about 2 lemons)
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice (about 2 lemons)
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 3/4 cup canned coconut milk, (stirred up with a fork)
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil, melted

Honey Butter:

  • 1/2 cup honey
  • 2 tbsp slated butter, melted
  • 1-2 tsp lemon zest

Directions:

  • preheat oven to 350 degrees
  • spray lined muffin cups 
  • spread coconut on a baking sheet and place in oven for 5-10 minutes until toasted
  • in a bowl, combine flours, baking soda, salt and zest
  • in a mixing bowl, combine eggs, lemon juice, vanilla, br sugar, coconut milk and oil
  • add in the flour mixture
  • place a scoop in each muffin tin
  • bake for 16-18 minutes or until set
  • cool on a rack for at least 20 minutes
  • drizzle with honey butter generously

 

September Overload

when my ten year old daughter comes home from school and asks me if I think she needs “those kneepad things for my ankles”, I begin to wonder if she should have signed up to play volleyball after all…

ahhhh… school is back in session… and with it every mom is completely overwhelmed…  we were just getting used to summer…  for our household, baseball takes up most of July and we finally seem to get into a lovely rhythm in August of slower days and then all of a sudden I am supposed to be filling out twenty seven permission slips for my children…

approving of them being in photos, school fees, sports waivers, bus waivers, and insurance forms…  I actually am so in denial of it all right now I believe I only have signed 3 out of the 27 permission slips and now am dreading tomorrows task of completing this!

then there is the inevitable new Apps that you need to get…  so you can remind your children to do their homework and have them lie to you that they have already done it

I was recently listening to a Podcast on a lady named Debra Searle that rowed a boat 3,300 miles across the Atlantic Ocean…  she commented how after 111 days at sea she could not walk on land without assistance and the sounds of people, cars and horns all was too much for her at first…

this is how I feel every September when school starts again… like it’s all too loud and I want to run away from it all and hide!

german chocolate cupcakes

Ingredients:
For the Cupcakes:
1 1/2 sticks (3/4 cup) unsalted butter, room temperature
2/3 cup sugar
2/3 cup brown sugar
2 extra large eggs, room temperature
2 tsp vanilla
1 cup buttermilk, shaken, room temperature
1/2 cup sour cream, room temperature
2 tbsp fresh brewed coffee
1 3/4 cup flour
1 cup cocoa powder
1 1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp kosher salt
For the Frosting:
1 1/2 sticks (3/4 cup) unsalted butter
1 (12 oz) can evaporated milk
1 1/4 cup brown sugar
4 extra large egg yolks
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 tsp almond extract
2 cups sweetened flaked coconut
1 cup blanched sliced almonds, toasted
1 cup chopped pecans
1/2 tsp kosher salt

Directions:
preheat oven to 350 and line muffin tins with paper liners (roughly 16 cupcakes)
in an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment cream the butter, sugar and brown sugar on medium-high speed for 5 minutes
scrape down the bowl
add eggs one at a time, then add vanilla
finally add the buttermilk, sour cream and coffee
in a separate bowl, sift the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda and salt
with mixer on low, add to the wet ingredients
scrape down and make sure the batter is well combined
using an ice cream scoop, scoop batter into the lined muffin tins and bake for 20-25 minutes
cool completely before frosting
for the frosting, melt the butter in a saucepan over medium heat
whisk in the evaporated milk, brown sugar and egg yolks
bring to a simmer, stirring constantly for about 15 minutes, until slightly thickened
take off the heat and stir in the vanilla and almond extract
add the coconut, almonds, pecans and salt
all to cool for about an hour
frost the cupcakes

I can’t imagine how teachers feel if I feel like it is all too loud… I guess that’s why they get paid the big bucks…

I feel like I finally get the kids all getting along with each other and more importantly with me!… then they get shipped off to school again and come home hungry, tired and cantankerous…

really cantankerous

it also is the time of too many sports all happening at once…  cross-country running, gymnastics, hockey, football and volleyball…

oh and harvest… harvest is still happening…

quinoa-stuffed peppers

Ingredients:
1 cup quinoa
2 cups vegetable broth
2 tsp olive oil
4 garlic cloves, chopped
1 1/2 cups canned crushed tomatoes
1/2 tsp kosher salt
ground pepper
1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
1 cup chopped spinach
1 tsp basil or 4 tbsp chopped fresh basil
1/2 cup shredded mozza cheese
4 large red peppers, cut in half, seeds removed
more cheese for on top

Directions:
cooked the quinoa in the vegetable broth – bring to a boil and then reduce heat to low, cover and cook around 15 minutes – let stand 5 minutes
preheat oven to 350 degrees
in a big bowl, mix quinoa with the rest of the ingredients
place the cut peppers in a baking dish
fill each pepper with roughly 1/2 cup of filling
sprinkle with cheese
cover with foil and bake for 50 minutes or until soft

this is when I like hum the Green Day lyrics… ‘wake me up, when September ends’

so I decided to add to this mayhem training for a 50 km trail race…  just so I could join the rest of the family in knowing their exhaustion…

I know this sounds like a lot of complaining… but I say all this so I have an excuse for all my poor behaviour at the beginning of school…  I forget a lot of stuff… my daughter still doesn’t have a lunch kit…  or a backpack…

buffalo chicken melts

Ingredients:
3 cups shredded chicken
1/2 cup finely chopped carrots
1/2 cup finely chopped celery
2 tbsp finely chopped red onion
2 tbsp light mayonnaise
2 1/2 tbsp Frank’s Red Hot Sauce
pinch of cayenne pepper
8 slices bread
8-16 thin sliced tomatoes
8 slices pepper Jack cheese

Directions:
- mix together in a large bowl the chicken, carrots, celery, onion, mayo, hot sauce and cayenne pepper
on a parchment lined baking sheet, spread out the bread (use margarine if you would like on the bread)
place tomatoes on if you are using them
using a 1/3 cup scoop, scoop out the chicken onto the bread and smooth out evenly
cover with cheese slice
broil and serve

I feel like everyone should give each other a break this time of year…  ease into it…  expect people to forget things…  not show up at the right time…  be missing pieces of the sporting equipment… bring their lunch in a plastic Walmart bag that I paid 5 cents for…

October will be better… I promise…

zucchini 8 ways

I have for you 8 zucchini recipes… yes 8…   this time of year is all about zucchini cakes, muffins, loaves and cookies…  oh there are healthier ways to eat zucchini…  chop it up and grill it or fry it… spiralize it (although these zucchini tend to get a bit large)...  but with harvest in full swing now, best to bake it up…

I have pictures of the two zucchini recipes I have used this week…  apple/zucchini muffins and chocolate frosted zucchini cake…  but while I was typing these recipes out I realized I had so many others from by-gone years and thought I’d share those with you as we went…

they all involve the same culprits…  adding zucchini to sugar and flour to somehow convince yourself it’s ok…  oh – and it does make baking moist!  there’s that too…

the first muffin recipe I have for you is a gluten free version… not as fluffy and lovely but apparently some of you aren’t mentally strong enough to digest gluten… 🙂

zucchini, apple, carrot gluten free muffins

Ingredients:

  • 2 1/2 cups grated zucchini, drained
  • 3/4 cup grated carrot
  • 3/4 cup grated apple (with skin on)
  • 1/2 cup melted butter
  • 1/3 cup honey
  • 1/3 cup maple syrup
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 tsp vanilla
  • 1 cup oat flour (ground up oats in Vitamix)
  • 1 cup almond flour
  • 1 cup coconut flour
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • 2 tsp baking soda
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/2 cup chocolate chips

Directions:

  • preheat oven to 350 degrees
  • grate zucchini, carrots and apples and set aside
  • melt the butter and combine with honey, maple syrup, eggs and vanilla
  • in a Vitamix, grind up 1 cup of large flake oats into oat flour
  • combine oat flour, almond flour, coconut flour, cinnamon, nutmeg, baking soda and baking powder
  • pour the butter mixture in to the flour and stir
  • add the grated zucchini, carrot and apple and fold to combine
  • add the chocolate chips
  • line muffin tins with baking cups
  • using an ice cream scoop, place batter in the baking cups
  • bake for 25-30 minutes depending on how large of muffins you are baking
  • makes 18 muffins

then there are Zucchini Spice Frosted Cupcakes…  use as a dessert this harvest!

zucchini spice frosted cupcakes

Ingredients:

Cupcakes:

  • 3 eggs
  • 1 1/3 cup white sugar
  • 1/2 cup canola oil
  • 1/2 cup freshly squeezed orange juice (around 2 large oranges)
  • zest from 2 large oranges
  • 2 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • 1/2 tsp ground cloves
  • 1 1/2 cups shredded zucchini

Frosting:

  • 1 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup butter, cubed
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 cups icing sugar

Directions:

  • in a mixing bowl, beat eggs, sugar and oil on medium/high speed
  • add orange juice and zest and beat
  • in another bowl, mix flour, cinnamon, baking powder, baking soda, salt and cloves
  • add flour mixture and zucchini to sugar mixture
  • don’t overmix
  • in two muffin tins, use cupcakes liners and spray the liners with Pam
  • using a large ice cream scoop, scoop out cupcake mixture into the lined muffin tins
  • bake at 350 for 20-25 minutes or until cooked in the middle
  • cool and transfer to a wire rack to completely cool
  • for the frosting, in a saucepan combine sugar, butter and milk
  • bring to a boil over medium/high heat and cook and stir for 2 minutes or until thickened
  • remove from heat and stir in vanilla
  • cool and beat in icing sugar until frosting reaches a spreading consistency
  • frost the cupcakes
  • these freeze very well

and now for the apple/zucchini version I made this morning… this a great one for lunches (or breakfast if you like!)

apple, zucchini muffins

Ingredients:

  • 2 1/4 cups white whole wheat flour
  • 3/4 cups brown sugar
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp allspice
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 2 tbsp melted coconut oil
  • 1 large egg, room temperature
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 granny smith apple, grated
  • 1/2 cup grated zucchini
  • 1 granny smith apple, cut into chunks
  • 2-4 tbsp turbinado sugar
  • 1/4-1/2 cup cinnamon

Directions:

  • preheat oven to 375 degrees
  • line muffin pan with paper liners and spray with a cooking spray
  • in a bowl, combine flour, sugar, baking soda, baking powder, salt. cinnamon and allspice
  • in a mixing bowl, combine buttermilk, applesauce, oil, egg and vanilla until well combined
  • add dry ingredients and grated apple and zucchini
  • fold in apple chunks
  • using a large ice cream scoop, scoop mixture into muffin tins
  • sprinkle sugar and cinnamon on top
  • bake for 20 minutes or until golden brown

now for dessert (I’m pretending those muffins weren’t dessert)…  here is a moist, quick brownie recipe…

chocolate chip zucchini brownies

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 1/2 cup canola oil
  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup cocoa
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 2 cups shredded zucchini
  • 2 tsp vanilla
  • 1 cup semi sweet chocolate chips

Directions:

  • preheat oven to 350 degrees
  • grease either a 8×11 baking dish with cooking spray or a 9×9
  • in a stand mixer, combine sugar and oil
  • in a separate bowl combine flour, cocoa, salt and baking soda
  • add to the sugar and oil
  • add zucchini and vanilla
  • fold in chocolate chips
  • pour into the prepared baking dish and bake for 30-40 minutes (based on the size of your pan)

if a loaf is what you are in the mood for, here you go…

coconut chia seed zucchini loaf

  • Servings: 2 medium loaves
  • Print

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • 1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/4 cup chia seeds
  • 1 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup coconut oil, melted
  • 1 cup plain greek yogurt, room temperature
  • 2 large eggs, room temperature
  • 3 cups shredded zucchini (drained)
  • 2 tsp vanilla
  • 2 cups shredded sweetened coconut

Directions:

  • preheat oven to 350 degrees
  • grease (I used Pam spray) 2 medium loaf pans or 3 small loaf pans
  • in a large bowl, combine flours, baking soda, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg and chia seeds
  • in a mixing bowl, combine sugars, oil, yogurt and eggs until well blended
  • add zucchini and dry ingredients and blend
  • add vanilla and coconut
  • divide evenly among the loaf pans and bake for 50-60 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean
  • let it cool in pans for 10 minutes
  • carefully remove and completely cool on a rack

for the bundt cake fans out there (I am included in this) here you go… this is personally my favourite zucchini recipe… ever…

zucchini cardamom bundt cake with lemon glaze

  • Servings: one bundt cake
  • Print

Ingredients:

  • 2 1/2 cups sugar
  • 1 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 2 tbsp grated lemon zest
  • 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
  • 6 large eggs, room temperature
  • 2 1/2 cups flour
  • 1 1/2 tsp ground cardamom
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 cup ricotta, room temperature
  • 1 cup grated yellow zucchini
  • 3/4 cup powdered sugar
  • 2 tbsp fresh lemon juice
  • pinch of ground cardamom

Directions:

  • preheat oven to 325 degrees
  • butter and lightly flour pan and cool in fridge
  • in a standing mixer, combine sugar and butter until smooth
  • add lemon zest, lemon juice and eggs one at a time, scraping the bowl as needed
  • in a separate bowl, combine flour, cardamom, salt, baking soda and baking powder
  • add flour to butter mixture and combine
  • add ricotta and zucchini
  • take pan out of fridge and pour cake batter into the pan
  • bake for 1 hour or until a long wooden pick inserted in centre comes out clean
  • cook cake in pan for 1 hour
  • transfer to a plate and cool completely
  • whisk the powdered sugar, lemon juice and cardamom together and drizzle over cake and serve

and here is the frosted chocolate zucchini brownies you see featured in the pictures!

chocolate frosted zucchini brownies

Ingredients:

For the Chocolate Zucchini Cake:

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt
  • 1 1/2 cups brown sugar
  • 3/4 cup canola oil
  • 1/4 cup melted butter
  • 1/4 cup buttermilk
  • 3 large eggs, room temperature
  • 1 1/2 tsp vanilla
  • 2 cups shredded zucchini
  • 1 cup chocolate chips

For the Chocolate Frosting:

  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 3 cups icing sugar
  • 2/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/3 cup milk
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • pinch of salt

Directions:

  • preheat oven to 350 degrees
  • grease a 9×13 pan with nonstick cooking spray and set aside
  • in a medium bowl, combine the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda and salt with a whisk
  • in a mixing bowl, combine the brown sugar, oil, butter, eggs and vanilla
  • stir the dry ingredients into the wet until combined
  • add zucchini and chocolate chips and fold in
  • pour into baking dish and bake for 25-30 minutes
  • let cool completely
  • for the frosting, in the bowl of a stand mixer beat the butter until smooth
  • add the rest of the ingredients and beat and scrape down until a nice frosting is formed
  • spread on the cake and serve
  • this cake can store, covered, on a counter for up to 3 days

and if you need something to wash all this down with, here are some cookies!

zucchini cherry coconut cookies

Ingredients:

  • 4 tbsp coconut oil, melted and cooled
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1 large egg, room temperature
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 cup all purpose flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt
  • 1 cup zucchini, grated
  • 2 cups large flake oats
  • 1/2 cup sweetened coconut
  • 1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 1/2 cup dried cherries, chopped up

Directions:

  • preheat oven to 350 degrees
  • in a mixing bowl, mix oil, brown sugar, egg and vanilla
  • in another bowl, combine the flour, baking soda and salt
  • add to the sugar mixture and then add zucchini and oats
  • fold in the coconut, chocolate chips and cherries
  • using a medium ice cream scoop, scoop out cookies onto a parchment lined baking sheet
  • flatten with a large fork and bake for 12 minutes
  • allow to cool on a wire rack

greener grass

I cheated…  I was in a rut, looking for something new, different and exciting… I was itching for change… after doing the same thing for so many years I told myself I needed to mix it up… find out what is out there…

it happened this last summer…  the ‘grass’ around me was looking pretty dead and the ‘grass’ on the other side was looking awfully green…

I don’t think this qualifies as a mid-life crisis due to the fact that I am 38 and the other fact that I hope I do something even crazier during my mid-life crisis…  but it definitely goes against my personality to cast aside the known and the faithful and try something new…

so I cheated on her…

I went to a new hairdresser… at first I justified it by telling myself that my hairdresser generally takes off the month of July to head to the lake so I could just go to someone else… just this once…

it was supposed to be a ‘one day stand’…  nothing about it felt right…  the tea that was offered or the way she washed my hair making me hold my own head up with my neck instead of propping me up… it all felt ‘off’

but then the unthinkable happened… she took a picture of me and posted it on Instagram… I was sure I was caught… I live in a small town… you just can’t hide from stuff like this…

I nervously went through the summer, hoping that my hair would not grow and my grey hairs would stay away and I would never have to get a cut or colour again in my whole life…

but alas, the grey hair began to inch it’s way back… and I saw a picture of a Victoria Secret model that got bangs and figured I would look just like her if I got bangs… and I was faced with the fact that I would need to see a hairdresser again…

so I was faced with a decision… go crawling back to my hairdresser that I have known and loved for years… or roll the dice on the new girl and avoid the awkward conversation I knew I would have with the one I cheated on…

so I did what I’m assuming most people that get themselves into these lucid affairs do… I justified going back to the new girl for a second time… the only issue was when I went in to get my bangs and colour done, it was not the girl I had the first time… it was another complete stranger…

the thoughts went through my mind on how I was going to explain not one deviation but now two to my past hairdresser… I pushed those thoughts back into the deep recesses of my brain and allowed the second affair to begin…

when I got home that evening, the looks on my children’s faces said it all… I wasn’t comfortable with this ‘double life’ I was leading and it was not working out for my hair…  it was the first time my kids have noticed my hair and one lesson I’ve learnt is that if they notice that means it is shocking…

after a trip to Mexico a large portion of my hair turned orange… this was the deciding factor and I knew what I had to do… I texted my original hairdresser… I kept it brief, asking to see her again, and was hoping that by the time that date rolled around I would have the words to smooth things over and patch things up with her…

the day came sooner than I had planned and I was still fumbling over what to say… I felt like I couldn’t pretend that nothing had happened in the last 9 months… last time she did my hair it was blonde and long… I was now walking in with orange bangs… it would be akin to trying to tell your husband that you’ve always had chlamydia…

I contemplated buying her jewelry… that seems to work for NBA players… but then I decided that might be a bit ostentatious… everyone in town would know exactly why she was sporting new diamond earrings… especially when they noticed my orange bangs looked different… they would put it together and realize we were back together…

I decided to tell her the truth… that I had made mistakes… I had a wondering eye and it came back to bite me…  in the front of my hair…

she was gracious… told me I wasn’t the first that has cheated and probably won’t be the last… but I most likely was the one who felt most guilty

time heals all… I know it will take time to earn her trust back but after my 9 month roller-coaster experience I am fine with that… it will most likely take a few more cuts and colours to repair what was lost (I’m speaking mostly of my hair)… but I am confident we can get back to where we were before… perhaps even a more beautiful version of what that was… (again, completely referring to my hair)

zucchini, carrot, apple gluten free muffins

Ingredients:

  • 2 1/2 cups grated zucchini, drained
  • 3/4 cup grated carrot
  • 3/4 cup grated apple (with skin on)
  • 1/2 cup melted butter
  • 1/3 cup honey
  • 1/3 cup maple syrup
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 tsp vanilla
  • 1 cup oat flour (ground up oats in Vitamix)
  • 1 cup almond flour
  • 1 cup coconut flour
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • 2 tsp baking soda
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/2 cup chocolate chips

Directions:

  • preheat oven to 350 degrees
  • grate zucchini, carrots and apples and set aside
  • melt the butter and combine with honey, maple syrup, eggs and vanilla
  • in a Vitamix, grind up 1 cup of large flake oats into oat flour
  • combine oat flour, almond flour, coconut flour, cinnamon, nutmeg, baking soda and baking powder
  • pour the butter mixture in to the flour and stir
  • add the grated zucchini, carrot and apple and fold to combine
  • add the chocolate chips
  • line muffin tins with baking cups
  • using an ice cream scoop, place batter in the baking cups
  • bake for 25-30 minutes depending on how large of muffins you are baking
  • makes 16 muffins

to all the hairdressers out there – you have a tough gig – we all know it…  people bring in a Pintrest picture of a model that looks nothing like them and expects you to wave your magic wand and not only be a hairdresser but a plastic surgeon, dentist, stylist, life/fitness coach, financial planner and therapist…

you have to deal with the unrealistic expectations… and you get cheated on if you can’t reach those expectations…

stay strong – you are wonderful and just trying to make the rest of us look a tiny bit more tolerable…  fight the good fight…

side note: the farmer was just grateful that this round of cheating was on my hairdresser…  (and he’s pretty confident with these orange bangs that my chances of ‘real’ cheating are on the back-burner for awhile)

Nellie’s potato salad, black bean enchilada bake & carrot cake muffins

once or twice a year I make potato salad… salads in general can take a long time to make and potato salad is up there for wrecking most of your afternoon…

this summer though I discovered THE best way to cook potatoes from the garden… 12 minutes on manual in the Instant Pot with about a cup of water…

I like to imagine (seeings how I’m not a scientist) that this is the best way to preserve all the goodness of the potato and guarantee all the goodness is getting into your belly…

like a marriage made in heaven for potato salad lovers, the Instant Pot is also THE best way to hard boil eggs…  5 minutes on manual with 1/2 cup water or so and they are perfectly done and the shell peels off like Clark Kent changing into Superman…

(I’m attempting to get better at sayings… the farmer says I’m terrible… until he reads that)

another summer experiment with bacon that I have to share… THE best way to cook bacon… if you don’t have an open fire and a pitch fork…

cut the bacon into chunks, toss in a pot and cook!  I strain it once and then again at the end and place on paper towel…  perfect bacon…

the nice thing is you can use this strainer for the bacon and potatoes and then throw it in the dishwasher…

I realize I’m making a lot of bold claims as far as best ways to cook things… but get ready for another claim…

THE best potato salad dressing recipe… the farmer has always considered himself to be the best judge of two things… potato salad and chowder…

and he insists that the best recipe for potato salad dressing is Nellie’s…  (don’t tell him but I tweaked it…  and he has no idea)

the way I like to stack up the potato salad is in layers… with each ingredient and dressing and repeat… then into the fridge with it (preferably 6-8 hours or overnight… poor planning only allowed mine to be in a few hours before I had to dish it up)

THE best potato salad

  • Servings: you decide
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Ingredients:

Salad:

  • red potatoes, preferably fresh from the garden
  • hard boiled eggs
  • green onions
  • red onion
  • dill pickles
  • radishes
  • cooked bacon

Dressing:

  • 2 cups good mayonnaise
  • 1/2 cup almond milk
  • 2 tsp yellow mustard (not dijon… just the good old yellow stuff)
  • 1 tsp salt
  • ground pepper
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/4 white vinegar
  • 1 tsp tarragon

Directions:

  • cook similar sized potatoes (or cut them to similar size) in Instant Pot on manual for 12 minutes with a cup of water
  • cut the potatoes into chewable chunks (carefully so you don’t mush them… mushy potatoes in a potato salad is wrong)
  • cook eggs in Instant Pot with 1/2 cup water on manual for 5 minutes
  • in layers, place ingredients and dressing
  • allow to cool in refrigerator 6-8 hours or overnight

I had leftover cream cheese frosting so the obvious solution was to make carrot cake… the farmer’s solution was to keep taking spoonfuls of icing during his sleepwalking/eating episodes in the night…

we are having a pretty dry spell this summer and my carrots are not getting any larger than this I believe…

exhausted from making potato salad I opted for making these into cupcakes instead of cake…  easier for me and easier for the farmers…

***notice I used orange muffin cups to match the carrots???  cooking for farmers is all in the details***

carrot cake muffins

Ingredients:

  • 3/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 3 eggs, room temperature
  • 1 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp ground allspice
  • 1/2 tsp ground cloves
  • 2 cups loosely packed, grated carrot
  • 3/4 cup walnut pieces

Directions:

  • preheat oven to 350 degrees
  • line muffin tins and spray with cooking oil spray
  • whisk oil, eggs, brown sugar and vanilla
  • in a separate bowl, combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and spices
  • add carrots to the dry mixture
  • add to the egg/sugar mixture and fold
  • using a large ice cream scoop, scoop batter into muffin tins
  • bake for around 20-25 minutes or until firm in the middle
  • remove and allow to cool on wire rack completely
  • when cool, ice with cream cheese frosting

I sliced up some garlic bread from Costco to go with probably my favourite casserole I have ever made.. black bean enchilada bake…

yes… I promised the farmer meat but I bet he didn’t notice I forgot this meal…

scooping this up for 14 farmers tonight I was thankful my kids are gone right now with their grandparents to Kelowna…  no leftovers around here!

this time of year in harvest it gets a little scary to run on the gravel roads as semi’s and tractors and sprayers go ripping by, covering you in dust if they don’t hit you first…

so it’s a great time to get out in the coulee’s with the dogs… harvest sunsets are the best

breakfast is a party 

the farmer has been coaching high school football for officially 15 years now…  he was recalling last night the first play book he wrote up…  it was early August, I was pregnant and driving home from a visit to my brother in Lethbridge…

he took a pen out and started dreaming up offensive schemes…  he was wondering exactly how many ideas he’s had over the years…  not all good but every year improving… and every year thoroughly enjoying the boys he has coached…

at the school our kids attend, there is an awards night in June and you receive a letter in the mail telling you if your child is getting an award – so you will attend…

no letter in the Kelly mail… but this did not deter my boys from believing there was an outside chance they were receiving an award…  (unreliable postal system apparently)


my oldest came home just so upset he didn’t win the junior basketball award…  (even though, like I said, he knew going in that he was not receiving an award… still upset)

my other boy was upset too… in general… at everyone…

awards are a funny thing… the farmer has been giving them out for football and hockey for years so I have seen the process a coach (or teacher) goes through to hand awards out…

and the farmer would tell you he thinks they are pointless…

I disagree… I think they are necessary – not for the winners, but to motivate the losers.… this is coming from a viewpoint I had growing up of always getting snubbed at awards ceremonies…

always a bridesmaid, never a bride…  that was me at award’s night…  in fact, I know my parents had at least two fake medals made up for me…  eased the sting momentarily – but I did have this motivating anger as I grew up… all thanks to awards night…

I could always get the academic honour roll….  but anything that included someone judging my personality didn’t go over well…  and it caused me to develop a rather large chip on my shoulder…  me against the world attitude….

that actually has served me quite well in my 20’s and 30’s… it has made me resilient and helped me persevere

so my take on awards?  keep them going…  if for no other reason than to make kids mad and motivate them to work harder, improve their personalities and let them know that disappointments are ok…

June is not only filled with awards and field trips… it is the last few precious weeks I can wake up, make breakfast, pack lunches and send my dearly beloved, underachieving children off to school for the day…  AWAY FROM ME FOR 7 GLORIOUS HOURS…

it rained this week and the farmer was around for breakfast and was shocked at the atmosphere and food…

he thought is was quite the ‘celebratory party’ going on… and I told him it was..

pure joy knowing that I can give them a healthy breakfast and lunch and then say goodbye for hours that I have to myself to workout, cook, clean, do bookwork and yard work…  all by MYSELF…

this morning it was a delicious egg and kale muffin inspired by the local kale at the store that the hutterites grew…

and it was a quick ‘see ya later – be kind’ wave as I skipped around to clean out the dishwasher and make some buns… in solitude

for a few more days…

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frittata muffins

  • Servings: 12 muffins
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Ingredients:

  • 9 eggs
  • 1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese
  • 1/2 cup plain yogurt
  • 1/2 tsp ground black pepper
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 yellow onion, chopped
  • 1 red bell pepper, chopped
  • 1/4 – 1/2 cup almond milk
  • 2 cups loosely packed and chopped kale, stems removed
  • fine sea salt

Directions:

  • in a large bowl, whisk eggs, cheese, yogurt and pepper
  • in a saucepan heat oil and add onion and red pepper
  • when soft, transfer to egg mixture
  • in the same pan, cook the kale, around 3 minutes
  • add the kale to the egg mixture
  • place foil muffin cups in muffin pan and spoon the mixture into the cups
  • sprinkle with salt
  • bake at 325 degrees for 30 minutes
  • serve with hot sauce!

pesto potato salad, teddy bear chili and blueberry polenta scones

the farmer’s alarm clock goes off at 3:40 am… then 3:45… then again at 3:47…  he gets out of bed, gets dressed and brushes his teeth using the flashlight from his phone so he doesn’t wake me up…  I consider that I should tell him that I am totally awake due to his three alarm system…

but this is his routine so I let him continue on with the exact same thing every morning… he will go upstairs and make a coffee and pack his lunch with more often than not the leftovers of the meal to the field the night before…

he wanders back downstairs to kiss me goodbye and wish me a good day…

and then I generally get the best sleep of the whole night… for some reason, that 4 am-7am sleep feels like an extra nights sleep… generally filled with crazy dreams and waking up every half hour but getting to fall back asleep again…  nothing better…

I tried one time last spring to get up when he did and I accomplished so much by 8 am that I had no work left to do for the day…  not making that mistake again this seeding… I only have a certain amount of work to do in a day and I don’t need the 3 extra hours in the morning to complete it…

this morning I got the kids breakfast and lunches done and began meal prep…  potatoes boiled and crockpot chili made…

I call this ‘Teddy Bear chili’ because the beef I am using for it is from my friend’s daughter’s 4H cow named Teddy Bear… I feel like my kids need to know that they are eating Teddy Bear when they eat chili… circle of life etc…

teddy bear chili

Ingredients:

  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 4 carrots, chopped
  • 1 large yellow onion, chopped
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • 2 green bell peppers, chopped
  • 1 lb ground beef
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tbsp chili powder
  • 2 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 2 cups chicken broth
  • 1 (14 oz) can diced tomatoes
  • 2 cans (15 oz) pinto or kidney beans
  • optional toppings: sour cream, grated cheese, avocado, sourdough bread

Directions:

  • heat oil in a pan and saute the carrots and onion for around 5 minutes
  • add salt and green peppers
  • place this mixture into your crock pot
  • add meat to pan, drain off fat and then add seasoning to meat
  • add the meat to the crockpot
  • add the remaining ingredients to the crockpot and cook on low for 4-6 hours (or keep on warm)

after the meal prep and then an hour of bookwork I paid my first visit out to the seeders…  this is a common sight this time of year… the seed trucks and fuel truck…

the farmer picked me up and I comment on things like ‘I think that seeder is very pretty’… I ask him every year the same questions I think…  I can’t remember…

these screens in his tractor are very interesting… it boggles my mind the technology that is involved in putting a crop in…

but more things than not boggle my mind so who knows… maybe it’s not that amazing…

today the wind here was gusting from 50-70 km an hour…  you couldn’t even tell in here but I barely made it back to my vehicle…

if I was the farmer I’d race Gerald – who is driving the other tractor – but he doesn’t seem to play that game…

power poles… this is why I’m the cook and not operating machinery! (well it’s on a short list of 8 reasons I’m the cook)

so I head home to run on my treadmill as opposed to the tornado outside and then finish up the meal… these blueberry polenta scones were about the easiest desserts I’ve ever made… simple and I enjoyed eating one with an afternoon coffee…

ok two… I ate two…

blueberry polenta scones

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 cups whole wheat pastry flour
  • 1 cup cornmeal
  • 1/3 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1 tbsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt
  • 1 cup unsweetened almond milk
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 2 tsp vanilla
  • 1 cup frozen blueberries

Directions:

  • preheat oven to 425 degrees
  • line baking sheet with parchment paper
  • mix the flour, cornmeal, brown sugar, baking powder, cinnamon and salt in a mixing bowl
  • add the milk, oil and vanilla and combine
  • fold in the berries
  • pour out on well floured counter
  • pat into a rectangle – it will be a sticky mixture
  • cut into 8 wedges
  • with a spatula, scoop and place on the baking sheet
  • brush the tops with almond milk and sprinkle with brown sugar
  • bake until golden on bottom – 12 to 15 minutes

I made the arugula pesto in my Vitamix because I do not own a food processor (perhaps this Mother’s Day I’ll strike it rich and get one!!! fingers crossed…)

my kids loved this potato salad and I have my fingers crossed that a few of the farmers enjoyed it… we’ll see when I get the dishes tomorrow!

it does look green and scary so I’m not holding my breath… we have one farmer who has told my husband he loves salads so I get very excited to think of him eating it!

pesto potato salad

Ingredients:

Salad:

  • 2 lbs red potatoes, cut into 1” pieces
  • kosher salt
  • 1 cup Arugula Cashew Pesto
  • ground black pepper

Pesto:

  • 1 cup cashews
  • 2 cups tightly packed arugula
  • 1 1/4 cups grated Parmesan cheese
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 tsp lemon zest

Directions:

  • boil potatoes in water with salt until they are just tender – but not mushy
  • drain and cool
  • to make pesto, place ingredients in a food processor (I had to use my Vitamix) and pulse until slightly chunky
  • add pesto to potatoes until you have as much on the potatoes as you like
  • store the rest of the pesto in the fridge
  • sprinkle salad with black pepper and serve

the farmer’s shift on the seeder ends around 3 pm and he begins the running around making sure things are going smoothly…  he generally has time to stop in and pick suppers up to deliver them…

and I head to my son’s hockey practice for the evening…  it seems to be either baseball or hockey but evenings are generally filled…

 living in an area where you see others working so hard this time of year is exciting and inspiring… and you know days are filled with ups and downs… I’ve come to see that farming is one good thing mixed with about four difficult things…

but if it’s in your blood it’s in your blood…

and when I take his picture every year in the tractor I feel like it’s similar to a 16 year old boy with their new truck…  boys like to play in the dirt… and this farmer is no exception…

root veg salad, bison kale meatballs and spelt banana bread

and so seeding begins… after a snowy beginning to May we are finally in the fields…  my mother-in-law handled meals this weekend and now it’s my turn to get the supper bags out to the farmers…

seeding is a bit different than harvest as far as a crew to feed goes…  the amount of supper bags doubles in harvest so I’ve always viewed seeding as a time for more interesting, healthy recipes due to the fact that I’m sure all these farmers are trying to get their bodies in shape for the beach this summer…

starting with salads… I am on a salad kick lately and so far everyone seems to be enjoying it!

homemade salad dressing not only tastes better but is really, really easy to make…  step one – get a Vitamix… step two – put ingredients in the Vitamix…  step three – turn the Vitamix on and blend…

did I also mention I like to get chickpeas into as many recipes as possible? if only we grew chickpeas like we do lentils I could save a lot of money!

root veg salad

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups carrots, cut into 1” pieces
  • 2 cups parsnips, peeled and cut into 1” pieces
  • 2 cups beets, peeled and cut into 1” pieces
  • 2 cups rutabaga, peeled and cut into 1” pieces
  • olive oil
  • 3 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
  • 1 red onion, diced
  • 2 cans chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 6 cups arugula

Dressing:

  • 2/3 cup olive oil
  • 1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 2 tbsp Dijon mustard
  • 1/2 yellow onion, diced
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 1/2 tsp ground black pepper

Directions:

  • heat oven to 425 degrees
  • place cut vegetables in a large bowl with oil and toss
  • pour out onto parchment lined baking sheets
  • season with cumin, salt and red pepper flakes
  • roast in oven for 15 minutes
  • add the onions and chickpeas
  • roast for 20-30 more minutes or until the vegetables are soft
  • toss the roasted veggies and chickpeas in a large bowl with arugula
  • serve immediately with dressing on the side or drizzled over the salad
  • for the dressing – place all ingredients in a Vitamix or blender
  • pulse on med/high until it appears creamy

I recently turned vegetarian (for like the third time – third times a charm right?)…  so it is difficult for me to have to supply the farmers with meat – but my farmer insists so it at least has to be healthy, well raised meat I’m delivering to them…

these meatballs are a mixture of what was in my freezer…  venison (my oldest son’s deer he shot), bison (from our neighbours) and beef (again from other neighbours)

I like to think these meatballs are almost a superfood… packed with eggs, kale, almond flour…  doesn’t get much healthier than that!

the worst thing about making meatballs is how much time it takes to form them… this is where the ice cream scoop comes in handy…  and gets the job done in half the time!

I like to bake these in the oven and throw them into a crockpot with a marinara sauce…  if you don’t have time to make a marinara sauce, a store bought one does the trick!

bison kale meatballs

  • Servings: roughly 48 meatballs
  • Print

Ingredients:

Meatballs:

  • 2 lbs ground bison
  • 1 lb ground venison
  • 1 lb ground beef
  • 4 eggs, beaten
  • 2 cups grated Parmesan cheese
  • 4 cups finely minced kale, no stems
  • 1 cup almond flour (or Panko breadcrumbs)
  • 1 bulb garlic, minced
  • 2 tsp oregano
  • 3 tsp sea salt
  • 2 tsp red pepper flakes

Marinara Sauce:

  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 large carrots, finely chopped
  • 1 large yellow onion, finely chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 (28 oz) cans diced tomatoes
  • 2 tsp oregano
  • 1/2 tsp ground black pepper
  • fresh basil leaves, chopped

Directions:

  • in a large bowl, combine ingredients and mix well with hands
  • using a medium ice cream scoop, scoop meat mixture onto parchment lined baking sheets
  • place in 350 degree oven for 20 minutes
  • in a crockpot on warm, place marinara sauce and place the meatballs in there until you need to use them
  • serve over pasta

lastly… dessert… sort of…  it is baking and has butter so lets say it is a dessert…

my mom was recently in Mexico and brought me home my favourite thing from Mexico….  vanilla!

(I know some of you might have anticipated the answer to be tequila but this is how much I love Mexican vanilla)

spelt walnut banana bread

Ingredients:

  • 3 cups spelt flour
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • 2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • 1 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 4 eggs
  • 7-8 bananas, mashed
  • 2 tsp vanilla
  • 1 cup chopped walnuts
  • 1 cup golden raisins

Directions:

  • heat oven to 350 degrees
  • spray two 8×4” loaf pans with PAM spray
  • combine dry ingredients
  • in a mixer, beat butter, sugar and eggs
  • add the dry ingredients and combine
  • add bananas and vanilla
  • fold in walnuts and raisins
  • pour evenly into the two loaf pans
  • bake for 60 minutes
  • transfer to wire rack and let cool for 10 minutes, flip to remove the loaves from the pans and let cool

happy seeding to all the farmers out there!