fresh corn mexican salad, enchiladas, mexican rice and carrot cake cupcakes

city people vs farmers… I can talk about both of these varieties of humans because I was a city girl and now I’m a farmer… so I am well versed in both worlds (according to myself)

city people think they are smarter than farmers… farmers think city people have no common sense… city people like to tell farmers how to farm… farmers like to tell city people how to vote… city people have unions… farmers have no union… city people get to go to restaurants and theatres… farmers get to hide from the wind in their homes…

my farmer was recently talking to a ‘policy maker’ who is in charge of telling high school kids when they are allowed to resume playing sports… particularly football… I know the conversation took 30 minutes, while the farmer was driving a combine, and I know the farmer didn’t get the answers he was looking for…

here is the ‘Coles Notes’ of the conversation… legal disclaimer: this is the farmer’s rendition of said events… not entirely accurate… possibly made up portions of it for effect

to start things off, the farmer told her that he wasn’t ‘one of those farmers that has a low opinion of teachers’... I think that’s a real great ice-breaker to ease into a conversation… he went on to say ‘I married into a family of teachers and I can see things from both sides’...

there you go dear… start with an insult and then compliment yourself

fresh corn mexican salad

2 tbsp fresh lime juice
2 tbsp fresh orange juice
zest if you like
1 clove garlic, minced
2 tsp finely chopped white onion
1 tbsp honey
1 tbsp minced fresh cilantro
3 tbsp olive oil
salt and pepper to taste
2 red bell peppers, chopped
1 1/2 cups fresh or frozen corn
1 large ripe mango, diced
1 (15 oz) can black beans, drained and rinsed
1/4 cup coarsely chopped fresh cilantro
2 large avocados, diced
2 large tomatoes, seeded and diced

I used a Vitamix to make the dressing so it go nicely blended – you can shake it in a container as well
for the salad, chop everything and add it to a bowl except the avocado and tomato
I set the tomatoes to the side on paper towel to get the moisture out
for the corn, you can use cobs from the garden and boil for a few minutes and then plunge in cold water in the sink and dry
cut off the cob and use in the salad (or use frozen)
add the dressing and let sit in the fridge for a few hours
when you go to serve, add the tomatoes and avocado and serve

then the conversation started to get into the ‘nitty-gritty’... the ‘meat of it’ as you would say…

farmer: “it says here that the start of football is delayed because these teenagers have done nothing for 5-6 months are not in good enough shape ‘mentally or physically’ to come back to sports and competition… I would argue that delaying the start of football and waiting until the weather gets worse would cause more injuries”

policy maker lady: “we are very concerned that these kids are behind in their studies and want them to concentrate solely on schoolwork right now… sports can come later”

farmer: “we practice football at 7 am… and not a single boy on my team would be doing homework at 7 am… also, I have two boys and I can tell you they are not spending 5-6 hours a day doing homework”

farmer: “SHSAA says we can start practicing in September and have a ‘mini-league’ in October… now you are saying you don’t think that’s a good idea… care to elaborate?”

policy maker lady: “we don’t want kids from your town playing football against kids from a different town”

farmer: “you do know that they are playing hockey together and going to parties together… but you would rather them occupy their time by unsupervised parties as opposed to supervised football games?”

policy maker lady: “oh and we aren’t going to allow community coaches”

farmer: “you do know my daughter goes to school? and every teacher is a community member? and every bus driver and custodian lives in this community?”

policy maker lady: “we aren’t allowing volunteers to read to grade 2 students so obviously the next step is to not allow farmers to coach football… I’m sure that some teacher at your school will be able to step in and do it… on top of her teaching duties…. we are looking for more ways to make teachers have panic attacks”

policy maker lady: “instead of allowing a mini-league, we have renamed this time to ‘skill development’

farmer: “no one is concerned with skill development … they come to 7 am practices in the cold and dark so they can win the game on the Thursday night… this school division has put maybe 1-2 boys into football programs beyond high school… the overwhelming majority play football just for high school and this is the grade 12 boy’s only chance to play in their senior year”

policy maker lady: “yes but now that we took away the games and the coaches, I’m sure they will love developing their skills”

policy maker lady: “for every call I get from a person like you that wants these high school students to have their sports back, I get a call from someone who is afraid we are moving too fast”

farmer: “I don’t believe that… I haven’t spoken to or seen one person that wouldn’t want their kids playing sports again” (in her defence, he hasn’t been off the farm since the start of August)

*** side note: I used salsa instead of enchilada sauce because I was lazy… go ahead and be lazy too

so there is the ‘farmers notes’ on how the conversation went… slightly biased to his side to be sure… and he also commented that he would not want her job right now… but he would make different decisions if he had her job…

we are very grateful for all of the brave teachers heading back to work and having to completely change how they are teaching and handle all the emotions that come from 6 months of ‘flattening the curve’… it is so much we are asking of them… I love teachers… I don’t have any skills to homeschool… heck, when schools shut down in March I made my retired teacher parents homeschool Sienna…

which makes me wonder why the powers that be would think they should heap sports on top of teachers as well? small towns have always used parents or community members to coach teams… it is what makes it all work…

I know you are limiting the amount of people in the schools, and rightly so… the days of me wandering the school hallways and spying on my kids are sadly over… it was good while it lasted… but you are not supporting your teachers by saying no community coaches… you are handicapping your teachers…

keeping ‘helicopter moms’ out of the hallways is one thing… keeping the football coaches off of the football field is another…

mexican rice

2 tbsp avocado oil
1 cup diced onion
4 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 tsp kosher salt
1/2 tsp ground pepper
1/2 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp paprika
1/4 tsp cumin
1 cup uncooked white long-grain rice
1 tbsp tomato paste
2 cups chicken broth
1 (10 oz) can diced tomatoes with liquid

in a large saucepan heat up oil
add onion and garlic
add the salt, pepper, oregano, garlic powder, paprika and cumin
add the rice, paste and chicken broth
add the diced tomatoes (I ground up the tomatoes in a Vitamix)
bring to a boil, reduce and cook for roughly 25 minutes until the rice is done

side note: had to show a picture of the rice bag that I am almost done… the farmer bought 6 of these at the beginning of quarantine… pretty sure that we were going to have to survive on rice like they do on Survivor… I’m finally on the last bag…

second side note: due to a suggestion from super farm lady Laura – I found these condiment containers at the Dollar Store… sweet


Enchilada Sauce:
2 tbsp butter or ghee
2 tbsp arrowroot starch (or cornstarch)
1 tbsp plus 1 tsp chilli powder
1 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp paprika
1/2 tsp onion powder
1/2 tsp dried oregano
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
3 tbsp tomato paste
2 cups beef broth
1 tbsp avocado oil (or olive oil)
1 1/2 lbs ground beef
1 (4 oz) can chopped mild green chilies
1 cup finely diced white onion
1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
options: corn, black beans, fried zucchini
8 (8”) tortillas
1 cup shredded cheddar
1 tsp kosher salt
lime wedges
sour cream
chopped cilantro

for the sauce, in a saucepan melt the butter
add the arrowroot and whisk
add chili powder, garlic powder, cumin, paprika, onion powder, oregano, and cayenne pepper
whisk for two minutes
add tomato paste and 1 1/2 cups of the broth
whisk until the sauce thickens
remove from heat and add the remaining broth and salt
set aside
for the enchiladas, brown the beef in the oil (strain if the beef is too fatty)
add the chilies, onions and pepper and fry
to assemble the enchiladas, heat the shells up in the microwave in a wet dish cloth
to assemble, place some sauce in the bottom of a 9×13 baking dish
dip the tortilla in shallow bowl that has some sauce in it (both sides) and then place ingredients into the shell
roll up and set into the baking dish
repeat until all 8 are done and pour remaining sauce over the enchiladas
spread some cheese over top
bake, uncovered, for 15 minutes at 325 degrees
serve with whatever toppings you choose

I will give city people this on farmers… no farmer is going to come up with a vaccine… we need a city person to do that… so, farm and city people, let’s agree to listen to each other, take suggestions and look for the common sense in each other’s way of thinking, and push forwards to a better future for our teenagers, our communities, our schools and ultimately so we can all go back to Hawaii at some point…

to all the teachers right now – who are being so brave – we support you and we will follow all the rules so you feel comfortable teaching our kids… because heaven knows I’m not gonna do it!!!

carrot cake cupcakes

1 1/2 cups crisco oil
2 cups white sugar
4 eggs
2 cups flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp salt
2 cups grated carrots
2 tsp vanilla
1/4 cup unsalted butter, room temp
4 oz cream cheese, room temp (I use a bit more)
2 cups icing sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla

beat oil and egg together very well
stir in dry ingredients
fold in carrots and vanilla
pour into a greased 9×13 or until greased muffin cups (should make close to 24)
bake for 45-55 minutes for the cake and 24 minutes for the cupcakes, or until done in the middle
for the frosting, whip up and frost when the cake has completely cooled
top with pecans

butternut squash, chickpea and spinach coconut curry


one of the best things my parents did for me growing up was teaching me that there is one day out of every week that is different than the rest… Sundays in our home involved church, having Greatgrandma Price over for lunch (or a family from church) for Shake’n’Bake chicken, afternoon nap (we let the company leave before nap time), a family football game or sledding dependant on the season, family bike rides and then back to church for the evening service to wrap up the day…

out of all the mistakes they made parenting me (I’m assuming I’d be in the Olympics for something if they had done their job properly), they did Sabbath properly… they knew how to ‘unplug’ for a day every week…

fast forward to raising kids now…  and I’m struggling to find any sort of rhythm or sense of ‘work and rest’ in it all…

in a society where we can stay up all night watching Netflix it is difficult to train yourself to sleep… when we have ice in the rinks all year long it is difficult to take a break from hockey… when I can purchase Kiwi’s from Italy in December it is hard to connect to food properly…

this is why I love living on a farm… not that our farm would really be considered a ‘working farm’…  there are no cattle or animals other than dogs and cats… but I have always had a garden and our kids have definitely known how the weather and seasons affect life…

I remember when I met the farmer in college I had no clue people really did care about the weather…  getting to know his family and community I had never heard people discuss the weather more in my life…

meeting his grandmother and watching how she cooked throughout the seasons… how it changed based upon what she had growing in her garden or what she had in her root cellar…

it has me thinking that life needs seasons… for food, for activities, for friendships…  and life needs rhythm…  our weeks and months need to have a rhythm that is sustainable and life giving…


the days are dark right now, it is difficult to get out of bed and easy to want to curl up on the couch any chance you get…  it is time to cook warm vegetables and soups…

it is time to take care of yourself… to teach yourself that the harder you push the more need there is for times of rest as well…

my Christmas wish is to get back to rhythm… take care of those that you can this season… start by taking care of yourself… and then in your abundance you can give generously to others…

you only have one chance for today…  you can either be as busy and rushed as you want to be or you can choose to invest your time in the things you value and live life to it’s fullest… not in a lazy way but in a way that you push as hard as you can and then give yourself time to recharge so you are able to push again…

thanks mom and dad for trying to teach me this…  too bad you didn’t do enough to get me in the Olympics and I’m sure those regrets keep you awake at night… but you did teach me about Sabbath and rest… love you

butternut squash, chickpea and spinach coconut curry


  • 4 tsp coconut oil
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 1/2 tsp fine sea salt (Maldon)
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 4 tsp fresh grated ginger (1 tsp ground dry ginger)
  • 1 tsp ground turmeric
  • 1/4 tsp ground coriander
  • 1/4 tsp red pepper flakes, or to taste
  • 1/2 tsp mild curry powder
  • 1 medium butternut squash, peeled, cored and diced (around 3-4 cups)
  • 1 (14 oz) can chickpeas, strained and rinsed
  • 1 (14 oz) can diced tomatoes, with juices
  • 1 (14 oz) can coconut milk
  • 1 (5 oz) pkg baby spinach
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • basmati brown rice
  • chopped fresh cilantro leaves
  • sweetened shredded or large flake coconut
  • lime wedges


  • prep all the ingredients and have them ready to go
  • cook rice
  • in a large pot, heat up coconut oil and toss in onion
  • stir and season with salt
  • add garlic, ginger, turmeric, coriander, red pepper flakes, and curry powder
  • add the butternut squash, chickpeas, tomatoes with their juice and coconut milk
  • stir to combine, cover and simmer over med-high heat for 20-30 minutes
  • you can take a potato masher and mash 1/3 of the mixture to thicken the sauce up if you like at this point
  • stir in the spinach and cook until wilted
  • season with salt and black pepper
  • serve on rice and garnish with cilantro, coconut and squeeze lime wedges

I’m the farmer’s Cato

the farmer has the kids out hunting this morning and I am researching and dreaming up vegetarian meals for the week…

I feel like our relationship is a constant plot against one another

to me, fall time is a celebration of vegetables…

the farmer is ruled by a primal need to stock the freezer with meat for the winter…

my discovery this summer of spiralizing vegetables has forever changed my cooking…  there was a big craze quite a few years ago where you would roast or steam veggies, puree them and then secretly add them to your recipes…  Jessica Seinfeld led the way in this with her cookbooks that influenced a lot of mom’s attempts to feed their families more vegetables…

but I always thought it wasn’t the right way to do it as you are not really teaching your children to enjoy the texture and taste of the vegetables if they are hidden…

 ‘noodling’ your vegetables appeals to me more as my kids enjoy the texture and taste of the vegetables and are curious about what they are eating

one thing I do need to ‘hide’ in my cooking around here is quinoa… I’m not sure which word my family hates more… toss-up between quinoa and kale…

now, you can buy these stuffed peppers at Costco…  but if you have about an hour you can whip these up at home and give yourself a pat on the back

these are easy to make-ahead, go watch a football game and come home to pop them in the oven for 30 minutes…

I realize you might be hungry right when you get home from the football game and not want to wait around 30 minutes… but I know that my kids have supplemented their diet with burgers and pizza so I feel good about them coming home to stuffed peppers!

so the farmer keeps on hunting and I keep on gardening and we agree to disagree… I compare our relationship to the Pink Panther movies where Inspector Clouseau has his manservant surprise attack him all the time so he doesn’t lose his ‘edge’…

I like to think of the farmer as Clouseau and myself as Cato

by disagreeing constantly we keep each other sharp

Quinoa and Spiralized Sweet Potato Stuffed Bell Peppers


  • 6 bell peppers, halved, seeds removed
  • 1 large sweet potato, peeled and spiralized
  • 1 1/2 cups cooked red quinoa
  • 1 (15 oz) can diced tomatoes
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1/4 tsp paprika
  • 1/4 tsp onion powder
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1/2 tsp chili powder
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 (15 oz) can black beans, strained and rinsed
  • 1 cup frozen corn
  • salt
  • 1/2-1 cup shredded Mexican cheese blend
  • 2 tbsp minced cilantro
  • 2 avocados, peeled, pitted and sliced


  • preheat oven to 375 degrees
  • lightly grease a 9×13 baking dish or rimmed baking sheet
  • spray the peppers lightly with cooking spray and lay out in dish
  • in a large skillet, add olive oil
  • add sweet potato noodles and season with salt and pepper
  • cook for 5-7 minutes or until mostly wilted (not fully cooked)
  • add the quinoa, tomatoes, and seasonings
  • add black beans and corn
  • mix together and stuff the peppers with the mixture
  • sprinkle each pepper with cheese and bake for 30 minutes
  • remove from the oven and serve with cilantro and avocado

caesar salad with chickpeas, pork mushroom casserole & beet red velvet cake

summer is over and harvest begins… recently a friend asked me ‘what makes you happy?’

my answer ‘money… and the things money can buy… but other than that I love cooking and running’

so here we go!!!  the time of year I get to throw away my vegetarian/healthy meals and bake cakes, put mayonnaise in salad and serve a slab of meat with every dish…

our local grocery store knows when harvest hits because I generally come in and clean them out of cream cheese…

for this red velvet cake recipe – you add grated beets to buttermilk to get the colour…

I’m not exactly sure what diet plan this board of butter, cream cheese and eggs would fit under but I would sign up for it…

I think it might be called the ‘no more swimsuits’ diet…

I asked these cake pans of mine – ‘what were you up to all summer?  haven’t seen you since spring’

they said ‘not a whole lot Catherine’… then they turned the question to me and I replied ‘trying to not laugh at my middle son doing yard work’…

some of us were meant to be hard workers – like the farmer… it’s in him… and then some of us started out softer, creamier… like me… and needed to learn the pleasure of hard work… that is my son Ethan… doesn’t quite see the value in it yet…

his yard job that had me laughing till I cried was pulling weeds from around a row of trees…  I was outside and could hear him screaming at the weeds… and then crying and yelling and I started giggling under my breath…

he wandered back over to the house and had a huge goose egg and blood trickling down his forehead… here he had become so enraged with the weed pulling he had chucked a rock in the air to ‘let off some steam’…  then he looks up and the rock hit him in the forehead…

worst part is, he didn’t get any of this red velvet cake because I didn’t have enough…

planning ahead when baking is preferable… if you don’t give yourself enough time for your cake to cool properly, your icing job will look like this…

still edible and delicious… just harder to handle and dish up…

beet red velvet cake with cream cheese frosting



  • 2/3 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 2 eggs, room temperature
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup cocoa powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 1/2 cups buttermilk
  • 1/2 cup grated raw beet
  • 1 1/2 tbsp white vinegar


  • 1 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 1/2 cups cream cheese, room temperature
  • 4 cups icing sugar
  • 1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract


  • preheat oven to 350 degrees
  • grease two 8” square pans (or circle) and place parchment paper in bottom
  • place beets in the buttermilk and allow to sit while mixing other ingredients
  • in electric mixer bowl, beat butter, sugar, eggs and vanilla
  • in separate bowl, whisk together flour, cocoa, baking soda, baking powder and salt
  • add to the butter mixture
  • add beet/buttermilk mixture to the bowl and add the white vinegar
  • fold in and pour evenly into the two cake pans
  • bake for about 35 minutes
  • allow to cool in pans on rack for 10 minutes
  • remove and allow to completely cool on racks
  • for the frosting, beat butter and cream cheese until well combined, scraping down the sides of the bowl
  • add icing sugar one cup at a time
  • add vanilla and beat until well combined
  • ice cake when it is completely cooled and serve
  • (you will only need half of this icing – it stores well in the fridge and can be used for other cupcakes or cakes)

my kids love love caesar salad… but are not huge fans of the croutons… I always find their plates with croutons left on them…

also, the health benefits of a caesar salad are not exactly high… so I thought, what if, instead of croutons you put chickpeas on it???

(I think the farmer needs to grow chickpeas for the amount I go through them… he brought me home a 5 gallon pail of red lentils when he saw how much I was spending on them at the grocery store… now he needs to plant some chickpeas!)

so I experimented with it and it was a hit… for the kids at least… not sure about the farmers…

chickpea croutons


  • 1 (14 oz/398 mL) can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper


  • preheat oven to 400 degrees
  • line a large baking sheet with parchment paper
  • place chickpeas on paper towel and pat dry
  • in a bowl or on the baking sheet, drizzle olive oil and sprinkle garlic powder, salt and pepper
  • roast for 15 minutes, shake them and roast another 15 minutes
  • remove and let cool for 10 minutes
  • they will be soft coming out of the oven but will firm up

when your kids say to you ‘this is the best supper we’ve had all summer’… you’d think I put a lot of effort into it… not the case and rather disappointing that Campbell’s Mushroom Soup paired with brown rice, mushrooms and cut up pork chops is the best thing they have tasted in ages…

I had previously chopped and cooked up these pork chops and froze them so they wouldn’t go bad (when I was waiting for harvest to start)…  so I just defrosted the pork, cooked the brown rice, chopped up some mushrooms and mixed everything up with the mushroom soup…

I like to call this a lazy man’s risotto…

wait till I give my kids Tomato Soup… they’ll think they died and went to heaven…

happy harvest cooking!

the kitchen island

the kitchen island…  breakfast, after school snack, homework and supper all revolve around it and it has been privy to many a good discussion…

the latest involved some deep insights from a 15 year old teenage boy…  he was telling his mother how he saw her… and it was hard for the kitchen island to hear…

you have to understand – this island has seen it all…  the early mornings where this mother has provided bacon, smoothies, oatmeal, chia seed/hemp heart muesli, teff seed pancakes and almond butter bananas…

the island has seen the after school muffins, cookies and buns….

it has witnessed suppers full of laughs and math competitions and steak and noodles…

so it has a bit of a soft spot for the mother…  it has been there for the preparation and aftermath of every meal and has seen the mother listening to her podcasts… elbow deep in the sink scrubbing the burnt pieces of egg off of the pan…

the island watches as groceries are set down beside it and slowly designated to the areas that they belong…

it feels the food fall on to it and then as everyone leaves it feels the sudsy, warm cloth held by the mother scrubbing and gathering the crumbs….

the kitchen island will always believe that the mother is in the right…

but this day… this after school conversation… the boy has actually spoken some truth to the mother….

this day had involved an angry phone call from the boy to his mother… he screamed at her on the phone and she hung up and cried…

the tears fell onto the kitchen island…

when he got home from school…  the mother was sitting beside the island with her tea and asked her boy to sit and chat….


the island knew she was at her breaking point with this child…  she was hurt and angry…

and then he said, “you make me feel bad about myself…  you make it seem like my school work is not as hard as what you did and yet you expect me to do well… you are condescending about my workouts and make your workouts seem way harder…”

the island cringed as the mother replied “well someone learnt a new word….”  (it was intended as a joke but didn’t go over very well)

the truth is… the mother needed to hear this…  even though the island knew she was being manipulated ever so slightly by the teenage son….

he kept going and told the mother that he had gone through some rough days at school lately and totally took it out on her…. but also pointed out that when she went through rough times she tended to take it out on either her children or husband…

this is what the island knows – we have to let go of our frustrations….  and that is what loved ones are for…. you should never feel more loved than when someone is letting go of every frustration on you… it means you are the closest love they have in their life… 


the island could tell the mother was upset…  and humbled… it was the truth…  she had a way about her that was giving but with so many strings attached … do this, be this, accomplish this and succeed at this…

guess what… the old kitchen island got to witness something truly transformational that day… the mother told her son she was proud of him, loved him and was completely confident that his future was bright and full of possibilities… 

it’s a shame kitchen islands are not capable of writing…. oh the stories they would be able to tell…  there are tears, triumphs, laughter, studying, writing, planning, Amazon packages, potlucks, parties, decorations, water bottles… the list is endless…

they know a family perhaps better than the family knows itself…

lately this mother has been insisting on meals at the island, not in front of the TV….  mostly because she values what the island is more than she values the TV….

the island is therapy….  more time spent with it the healthier your family will be…

coconut curry


  • 2 cups basamti rice
  • 2 tbsp coconut oil
  • 1 yellow onion, thinly sliced or spiralized
  • 1 head garlic, minced
  • 1 jalapeno, minced
  • 2 cups carrots, diced or spiralized
  • 4 cups broccoli, cut into small pieces
  • 4 cups cauliflower, cut into small pieces
  • 2 medium zucchini, diced or spiralized
  • 6 tsp mild curry powder
  • 1 tsp dried basil
  • 2 tsp sea salt
  • 1 tbsp fresh ginger
  • juice of 3 limes
  • lime zest
  • 1 1/2 cups grated coconut
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 (15 oz) can coconut cream
  • 1 cup fresh chopped cilantro


  • cook rice according to directions
  • prep all the veggies
  • in a wok or large saute pan, heat oil and add onions
  • add garlic and jalapeño
  • one at a time, add carrots, broccoli, cauliflower and zucchini
  • add spices and lime zest and juice
  • add coconut, water and coconut cream
  • serve curry over the rice and top with cilantro and a lime wedge

May long on the farm 

May long…

for my neighbours in Saskatoon last night it means midnight fireworks on the golf course… for many farmer’s wives it means taking your boy to spring hockey tournaments…

for farmers it means seeding (the odd year we are done by May long but not lately… and the odd year there are combines out)

it also is the cut-off date for planting a garden… according to everyone’s grandmothers…  you better have it in by May long!  I actually try to get my garden in as early in May as possible so I actually can fully use it during harvest… and so no grandmas say ‘I told you so’…

my attempts to preserve food are not down to a science… so it needs to get used up in the fall…

asparagus is the first thing I harvest from my garden and is one of my favourites…

easy to have in your garden – you just burn the old, dried up remains of last years crop and watch these new little guys stick their heads up through the ashes…

this recipe you can make as large or small as you need it – or dependant on your asparagus harvest!

asparagus blueberry spring salad

  • Servings: you choose
  • Print



  • asparagus, washed and trimmed
  • kosher salt
  • ground black pepper
  • olive oil (I used dill flavoured)
  • arugula
  • blueberries
  • candied hazelnuts
  • feta cheese
  • balsamic vinaigrette

Candied Hazelnuts:

  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 2 tbsp honey
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 2 cups raw hazelnuts

Balsamic Vinaigrette:

  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 1 heaping tbsp dijon


  • saute the asparagus in olive oil for a few minutes and let cool (do not overcook)
  • assemble the rest of the salad items
  • for the candied hazelnuts, preheat oven to 350 degrees
  • melt the butter and add the rest of the ingredients
  • toss with the hazelnuts and pour over a parchment lined baking sheet
  • bake for 15 minutes
  • let cool and break apart
  • for the vinaigrette, in a small mason jar shake the ingredients and pour over the salad


this was my mother’s day gift…  just received it from Amazon… an Instant Pot…  I mostly wanted it because now that I am a vegetarian, I don’t have a giant interest anymore in cooking with meat…  🙂

but the farmer is still very much a meat-a-tarian...  so the meat needs to get cooked…

this is the solution… you can throw frozen hunks of meat in this miracle pressure cooker and ‘wa-la’…  cooked hunk of meat is served!

I did not read any instructions and only had time to watch three YouTube videos so please do your own research when dealing with a pressure cooker…

all I know is that you throw frozen meat in with some water and it cooks it…

I drained the roast and threw in the sauce ingredients and put the lid on again to let it work it’s magic…

I’m sure I’m late to the game to realize this amazing kitchen tool that can saute, pressure cook and slow cook is a must have in your kitchen… better late than never – am I right?

by the way – look on Kijiji for a well used crockpot…  only asking what my farmer spent on my Instant Pot (plus shipping)

Instant Pot tear away beef

– 4 lb roast

  • 1 cup ketchup
  • 1 cup bbq sauce
  • 2 cups chopped celery
  • 2 cups chopped yellow onion
  • 1 cup water
  • 2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 2 tbsp brown sugar
  • 2 tbsp worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tsp chilli powder
  • 1 tsp salt


  • take frozen roast and place in Instant Pot with 1 cup of water
  • on manual setting, set timer for 40 minutes
  • when timer is done and you have released the steam, drain the roast and cut it up
  • add the roast and the rest of the ingredients back to the Instant Pot
  • on manual setting set timer for 25 minutes
  • when done, release the steam and serve!

I know I said my coconut lime rice was the best rice ever… I take it back…

green rice


  • 1 bunch spinach, stemmed
  • 1 bunch cilantro, stemmed
  • 1/2 bunch Italian parsely, stemmed
  • 2 jalapeno peppers, one seeded (the other leave some seeds)
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 1/4 cups vegetable stock
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 yellow onion, finely diced
  • 3-4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 1/2 cups long grain white rice


  • in a Vitamix, blend spinach, cilantro, parsley and jalapeños with 1 cup of the vegetable stock
  • in a saucepan on med/high heat, add olive oil and saute the onions and garlic
  • add the rice and pour in the vegetable stock
  • add the blended mixture from the Vitamix, cover and let simmer on low for 15 minutes
  • turn heat off and let sit for another 10 minutes
  • fluff the rice and serve

this is a ‘light’ version of a berry crisp and is packed with energy boosting ingredients…

and my theory is that farmers need a boost of energy around dinner time… due to the fact that my farmer finishes his lunch by 8 am some days…

berry crumble


  • 3 cups strawberries, chopped
  • 3 cups frozen blueberries
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 2 tbsp tapioca starch or cornstarch
  • 3/4 cup rolled oats
  • 1/2 cup almond flour
  • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts or pecans
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp ginger
  • 1/2 tsp fine sea salt
  • 1/3 cup maple syrup
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil, melted
  • serve with coconut milk ice cream (if you aren’t taking it to farmers!)


  • preheat oven to 400 degrees
  • spray a 8×8 inch baking dish (or larger if you have more berries) with a cooking spray
  • in a large bowl, toss berries with lemon juice and tapioca starch or cornstarch
  • place in baking dish
  • in a large bowl, combine the dry ingredients and pour over the berries
  • bake for 25-30 minutes
  • let cool to set
  • serve with coconut milk ice cream that your daughter made that evening in the Vitamix!


burritos to the field

May is a big month…

aside from the small thing called ‘seeding’ going on, there is spring hockey and baseball to get the kids to…  there is a yard to take care of and a garden to plant…  my birthday and Mother’s Day all in the same busy month for the poor farmer to deal with… (and let me tell you I don’t let him cut any corners… this year I got a card and an InstaPot out of him)

also, for the second year I am running a half-marathon at the end of May…

in February when a friend suggested I talk to her running coach I was still not sure if I was even going to ever run another half-marathon again…

the only thing that got me through the last one was a saying I repeated over and over again as I was running… ‘go as fast as you can because you will never do this again’… 

but alas, here I am on Mother’s Day running 10 miles on my treadmill… (it was raining outside and ironically I watched the movie ‘Mother’s Day’ on Netflix)

the difference this year is that these selfies I take get sent to my running coach, Irene…  not the farmer (who am I kidding… I send them to both… and occasionally some friends to brighten their day)

I anxiously await every Sunday for Irene to email me my workout schedule…  I liken it to when I was younger waiting for the Sears Wish Book to show up in the mail…

she sends me three running plans and two workout plans…

what she gets in return is daily updates on how my training is going, along with the selfies and some occasional pictures of the road and my dogs…

we maybe didn’t set the ground rules firmly right off the get go as to how much of my personal life she wants to know about…

I tend to error on the side of ‘every last detail’

a good amount of my training this year has been on my trusty old treadmill… which my dad bought for me when I got married…  so 18 years ago…

I assumed it was a hint that he had noticed I gained 20 lbs at college and perhaps needed a new hobby other than eating…

at first I thought I could never run for that long on a treadmill… and then I discovered the wonderful world of Netflix

you barely know you are working out when you have Grace and Frankie on… or House of Cards or the Crown… most recently I really started to get into documentaries… specifically food documentaries…

the issue I was having was when I would passionately tell the farmer about the latest cause I was concerned about, I realized that I do not retain very much from these sweaty viewings and that they all seem to get jumbled in my head and leave me with a overwhelming sense of the world is awful and we as humans are morons...

the farmer advised me to go back to my ‘lighter’ shows and maybe limit the ‘world is ending documentaries’ to one a week…

this wild rice salad I thought was delicious but was worried might look a little too healthy for the farmers so I threw some homemade croutons on top…  well, my 13 year old son did… that is him packing up the salads… I was probably busy watching Netflix…

wild rice salad



  • 1/2 tsp fine sea salt
  • 1 cup wild rice
  • 6 radishes, diced
  • 3 cups loosely packed, finely chopped kale (without the stems)
  • 4 carrots, grated
  • 6 scallions, white and green parts, thinly sliced
  • 1 cup frozen peas (or edamame)
  • ground black pepper


  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tbsp dijon mustard
  • 1/2 shallot, minced
  • 1/4 tsp fine sea salt
  • 1/2 tsp ground black pepper


  • bring 4 cups salted water to boil
  • add rice, reduce heat, cover and simmer for 30-35 minutes
  • allow the rice to cool
  • add remaining ingredients and dressing
  • for the dressing – in a small mason jar shake the ingredients for the dressing until well combined
  • let the salad marinate in the fridge for at least 30 minutes prior to serving

next on the cooking list for the day was burritos…  I had the brilliant idea to use butternut squash instead of meat… you can feel free to omit that step!

upon some reflection while eating the burrito I decided next time to cut the butternut squash a bit smaller… then you don’t get a big chunk of squash as you bite your burrito…

burritos are possibly one of my favourite food items…  you get your bean/squash mixture well simmered, your coconut lime rice (best rice recipe ever) and assembly line ready and away you go!

after years of making chicken wraps in the booth at the rink I have toyed with different ways to wrap a burrito… this is currently my go to…

tin foil halfway up and plastic wrap doing the rest of the work…

butternut squash burritos


  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 yellow onion, chopped
  • 3 cups peeled, chopped butternut squash
  • 1 jalapeno, minced
  • 1 tbsp chili powder
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1 tbsp Bragg’s
  • 1 cup beer
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 cups pinto beans, drained and rinsed
  • 2 tbsp lime juice
  • 2 tbsp maple syrup
  • 10 large flour tortillas
  • options: coconut lime rice, salsa, lettuce, avocado, cilantro


  • in a skillet, cook onion in oil
  • add butternut squash, jalapeño, chili powder and smoked paprika
  • stir around for about a minute
  • add Bragg’s and beer and sprinkle in the garlic
  • cover and reduce heat
  • cook for around 20 minutes
  • fold in the beans, lime juice and syrup
  • simmer until liquid is absorbed and remove from the heat
  • assemble the burritos with the ingredients you prefer

coconut lime rice


  • 2 tsp coconut oil
  • 2 cups brown rice (or rice of your choice)
  • 1 tbsp lime zest
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 4 cups vegetable broth
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 2 tbsp lime juice


  • heat oil
  • add rice and saute for around 2 minutes
  • add the lime zest and stir
  • add garlic, broth and salt
  • bring to a simmer, then reduce heat, cover and softly simmer for around 35 minutes
  • when rice is tender, remove from heat and fold in lime juice

last but not least the dessert…  this one is easy easy… and packed with things that can make me run faster!!!

springform pans are ingenious … and this cake really will only take you a few minutes to throw together…

I like to sample the first slice for quality control reasons…

almond flour cake


  • unsalted butter at room temperature
  • 6 eggs
  • 1 cup maple syrup
  • 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 tsp almond extract
  • 1 tbsp lemon zest
  • 1/2 tsp fine sea salt
  • 5 cups almond flour
  • 3/4 cup raw sliced almonds


  • preheat oven to 350 degrees
  • grease 9” springform pan with butter
  • in a mixing bowl, mix eggs, maple syrup, oil, almond extract, lemon zest and salt
  • add the almond flour and stir
  • pour the batter into the springform pan
  • sprinkle the almond slices over it
  • bake for 40-45 minutes
  • cool the cake on a wire rack
  • cut into 12 pieces

crockpot butter chicken, homemade naan bread, creamed garden corn, spinach strawberry salad and rhubarb sour cream pie 

yesterday the young-ins were home from school due to something called labour day… which strikes me as odd due to the fact we’ve had an entire summer off…  and now you are making me look after my own children for something called labour day???

so, I put them to work… in honour of the day…  and we picked two rows of corn from the garden… and got over 120 cobs I figure!  just crazy this year due to the insane rain we’ve had…

my middle son made up a song as he did it… something to do with he likes sausage more than corn…  drove me nuts… but I knew that was his game plan to get out of working so I tried to block him out and not let him win the battle…

he won the battle… Sienna and I finished the job…

after getting a few cobs of corn back in the suppers sent out to the farmers I decided that driving giant machinery whilst eating a cob of corn might be tricky so I’m doing the work for them now and cutting the kernels off the cob…

what I really should do to help them out is throw the entire meal into my Vitamix and wa-la…  dinner in a smoothie!

creamed garden corn


  • @ 40 cobs corn, kernels cut off into a bowl to use
  • 1 cup butter
  • 1 pint half/half cream
  • 2 tsp kosher salt
  • 1/4 cup sugar


  • cut the kernels off the corn cobs
  • put kernels in a large roasting pan, add butter, cream, salt and sugar
  • bake covered at 350 degrees for 90 minutes, stirring once
  • allow to cool and store in ziplock bags in freezer for future use or serve immediately

the kids were very excited to eat this… and I have 12 bags in the freezer for our family for the winter now!

now that labour day is done and I can get my kids back to school, the dogs and I took a little run this morning…

I have to stick to the dirt roads as there is an abnormal amount of heavy machinery traffic on the grid roads… and this lovely dog Lacy tends to stand in the middle of road when a sprayer or combine or grain truck comes rolling by…

almost like she’s deaf… or blind… or stupid…

but dirt roads have better scenery anyways…

and the smell of wet leaves on the ground this morning mixed with the breeze blowing through the barley and durum made for a blissful run…

fall is my favourite time of year… maybe…

I was able to steal some rhubarb from the farmers cousin’s place… which used to be his grandparents rhubarb…  and I do this every harvest because rhubarb might be my favourite ingredient ever…

I know what you are thinking… just transplant it already…

I feel like that would take some of my excitement over getting the rhubarb away… and thus make me not enjoy it as much as I do now…

I was planning on making Grandma Swan’s rhubarb cream pie but upon discussion at the local grocery store with the owners of how to go about making a great rhubarb pie I changed my plans and went with a recipe that was told to me as I was paying for my baking supplies…

I might not have remembered well enough and overfilled my pies a touch, but made the adjustments for the recipe I’m posting with this…

so go ahead and try it out…  my kids ate it like they had never ate pie before…

thank you Pat and Craig from P&C Foods!

rhubarb sour cream pie


  • 1 9” pie shell, chilled
  • 4 cups chopped rhubarb
  • 1 egg
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 3/4 cup sour cream
  • 1/3 cup flour
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/8 cup butter


  • place rhubarb in the unbaked pie shell
  • whisk egg, sugar, sour cream and flour together
  • pour over the rhubarb
  • crumble the flour, brown sugar and butter together
  • spread over the pie
  • bake at 425 degrees for 15 minutes
  • continue to bake at 350 degrees for 40-50 minutes
  • allow at least an hour to cool before you serve

easiest salad to make ever… I don’t like it… but seems like there are those out there that do… and it’s better than just sending spinach…

spinach strawberry salad


  • 16 oz bag of spinach
  • 4 lbs strawberries, washed and sliced
  • 1 1/2 cups slivered almonds
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 2 tbsp sesame seeds
  • 1 tbsp poppy seeds
  • 1/4 tsp worcestershire sauce
  • 1/4 tsp paprika
  • 1/2 cup canola oil
  • 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar


  • place spinach (if too much take some out) and strawberries and almonds in a very large bowl
  • shake the dressing ingredients until well combined
  • pour over salad and serve

I’ve put this recipe for naan bread on before and I still love it… it’s no Opa but if you can’t buy their pitas… make this…

homemade naan bread


– 2 tbsp sugar

– 1/2 cup hot water (not boiling)

– 1 1/2 tsp active dry yeast

– 4 cups all purpose flour

– 4 cups whole wheat pastry flour

– 1 tsp kosher salt

– 3 tsp baking powder

– 2 tsp baking soda

– 1 1/2 cups warm milk

– 2 cup greek yogurt, room temperature

– melted butter for brushing

– fresh cilantro for garnish


– dissolve the sugar in the water and add the yeast in a large measuring bowl… let sit for 10 minutes

– in a mixing bowl, add flour, salt,  baking soda and baking powder

– add the warm milk and yogurt to the yeast mixture

– pour the wet ingredients into the dry and begin mixing together gently

– use your hands to finish mixing it together

– it should be sticky but should be able to form a ball

– cover with a damp tea towel and let rise 1 hour in a warm place

– when ready to use divide it into 2 and divide those two sections into 8 each… keep these balls covered with a damp tea towel

– roll the ball into an oval shape, about 6 inches long and 1/4 inch thick

– brush the dough with butter and place in a frying pan on med/high heat and cover with a lid for 1 minute or until you see bubbles begin to form

– flip and cook for 1-2 minutes more until it looks toasted

– brush with a little bit more butter and sprinkle with kosher salt and cilantro

– place in a 9×13 tea towel lined dish and cover with a tea towel until you have completed cooking all of them

now the butter chicken… which is always a hit around this house…

my advice, if you are are planning on doing this entire meal, go to costco and buy their three pack of greek yogurt…  you’ll thank me…  over and over and over again…

crockpot butter chicken


  • 7 chicken breasts, thawed and cut into chunks
  • 2 cups onions, minced
  • 1 (14 oz or 398 mL) can coconut milk
  • 1/2 cup greek yogurt
  • 1/4 cup half/half cream
  • 1 (5.5 oz) can tomato paste
  • 6 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tbsp freshly grated ginger
  • 2 tsp mild curry powder
  • 2 tsp garam marsala
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt


  • in a large measuring bowl, mix together coconut milk, greek yogurt and cream
  • add tomato sauce and whisk
  • add garlic, ginger and spices and whisk
  • spray the inside of your crockpot with a cooking spray
  • add the onion to the bowl and then the chicken
  • pour the coconut milk mixture over
  • cook on low for 4-6 hours
  • try to stir at least once during the cooking to break up the chicken
  • season with salt and pepper as necessary
  • serve over white rice and with a piece of warm Naan bread


seeding meal #7

the boys had to help me get the meal out yesterday… life was busy and I was not home during the crucial hours of 3:30 – 5:30 pm…  but I had laid out the ingredients and had instructed both boys on what their role would be in this process…

a few concerns I had…  Ethan got his phone out an recorded me word-for-word like a reporter… unbeknownst to me… and I rambled… and paused…  pretty sure he is just going to use that audio for something to embarrass me with at a later point…

Brandon, my 14 year old, grabbed two Cutco knives and started singing ‘everybody was Kung Fu fighting’…  (might I add that I believe there should be more parenting books written to guide one through the murky waters of adolescent boys?)

Ethan, upon seeing that chicken was on the menu, countered with his own little jingle that only had one word ‘salmonella… salm, salm-onella’ (more of a rap really)

seeing that they had dinner prep firmly under control, I headed out to pick up my daughter and couldn’t wait to get home to see the progress they had made…

I had made this Naan bread earlier and it was ready to go…  this might have been a bit complicated for the boys, even though they did keep reminding me that they are learning all this ‘cooking stuff’ at school…

homemade greek yogurt Naan bread

– 2 tbsp sugar

– 1/2 cup warm water

– 1 1/2 tsp active dry yeast

– 4 cups all purpose flour

– 4 cups whole wheat pastry flour

– 1 tsp kosher salt

– 3 tsp baking powder

– 2 tsp baking soda

– 1 1/2 cups warm whole milk

– 2 cups greek yogurt, room temperature

– melted butter, for brushing

– fresh cilantro, chopped and for garnishing

– sea salt flakes for seasoning


– dissolve sugar in the water and add the yeast in a large measuring bowl

– let sit for 10 minuts

– in a mixing bowl, add flour, salt, baking soda and baking powder

– add the warm milk and yogurt to the yeast mixture and mix on low speed with paddle attachment

– add the dry ingredients and mix with paddle attachment on medium speed until combined

– turn out onto counter and form into a ball

– place in a greased bowl and cover with tea towel for 1 hour to rise

– when ready, divide into two and then divide those two sections each into 8

– roll each of these into balls and keep covered with a warm, damp tea towel

– roll the ball into an oval shape about 6 inches long and 1/4 inch thick

– brush the dough with butter and place in a frying pan on med/high heat and cover with a lid for 1 minute or until you see bubbles begin to form

– flip and cook for 1-2 minutes more until looks toasted

– brush with a bit more butter and sprinkle with sea salt flakes and cilantro to serve

– place in a 9×13 tea towel lined dish and cover with a tea towel until you have completed cooking all of them

steph curried chicken and vegetable pan roast


  • 2 lbs butternut squash, cut into 1 inch cubes
  • 1 1/2 lbs Brussels sprouts, halved
  • 2 large red onions, cut into thin wedges
  • 1/2 cup canola oil
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 cup plain greek yogurt
  • 2 tbsp minced fresh ginger
  • 4 large garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 tbsp mild curry powder
  • 4 lbs skinless, boneless chicken thighs


  • preheat oven to 450
  • in a large bowl, toss brussels sprouts, onion and squash
  • turn out onto a parchment lined baking sheet (or two baking sheets if necessary) and season with salt and pepper
  • combine yogurt, ginger, garlic and curry powder
  • add chicken and coat
  • in a 9×13 pan, pour chicken into
  • place chicken in oven and roast for 20-25 minutes or until cooked through
  • place vegetable in oven and roast for 15 minutes or until soft
  • serve over white rice and with a slice of Naan bread

all that hard work at school paid off with these finally chopped vegetables!  maybe there is still hope for this 14 year old after all…

the kids also believe that any dish containing curry is simply my ode to Steph Curry… I overheard Ethan talking to Sienna as we were packing up the suppers and she said, ‘ya, it’s Steph Curry chicken night I think’…

now to the sheet cake that the farmer claimed was his favourite dessert through all of seeding thus far…  in the defence of other desserts made, he is sleep deprived and if you asked him to name a single other dessert he has had, I believe he would not be able to…

chocolate coconut macaroon sheet cake



  • unsalted butter, room temperature, for pan
  • 3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder, plus more for pan
  • 1 1/2 cup all purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • 2 large eggs, room temperature
  • 3/4 cup buttermilk
  • 3/4 cup warm, strong coffee
  • 3 tbsp canola oil
  • 1 tsp vanilla

Macaroon Topping:

  • 3/4 cup unsalted butter
  • 2 cups icing sugar
  • 6 tbsp cocoa powder
  • 3 cups unsweetened shredded coconut
  • 2/3 cup warm, strong coffee
  • 1 tsp vanillla
  • whipping cream
  • strawberries


  • preheat oven to 350
  • butter a 9×13 pan, line 2 sides and bottom with parchment paper, butter again and dust with cocoa powder
  • whisk in a large bowl, cocoa powder, flour, sugar, baking soda, baking powder and salt
  • in a mixer, add eggs and buttermilk and mix on medium speed till combined
  • add buttermilk, coffee and vanilla
  • add dry ingredients and combine until well incorporated
  • pour into the baking dish
  • bake for 35 minutes or until wooden toothpick comes out clean
  • set pan on a wire rack to cool
  • in a saucepan, add butter and melt
  • mix together the icing sugar, cocoa powder and coconut
  • add to the melted butter and add vanilla
  • stir until well combined and take off heat
  • when cake has slightly cooled, pour the coconut mixture over it and smooth out evenly
  • when it comes time to cut the cake, lift out gently with the parchment paper and transfer to a cutting board
  • cut 12 for large pieces or 16 for regular pieces
  • serve with whipped cream and strawberries if you so choose