meal to the field #9

in the past fifty days or so we have only combined around seventeen of them… this means there has been more days not combining than combining which doesn’t make for happy farmers… in fact my farmer  has lost weight just from the stress of not combining…  I told him fad diets like that never work but he did it anyways…

so this meal I did on Friday and then it promptly rained again so we couldn’t finish up…  we have a lot of canola still out there waiting to get combined… Canadian Thanksgiving is this coming weekend and it looks like it will be turkey to the field… I have done this only one other year in my 15 years of cooking for farmers…

and this is why farmers talk about the weather… a lot…

  

cucumber dill salad

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 4 tsp white vinegar
  • 1 tbsp fresh dill, chopped
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt
  • 6 large cucumbers, sliced with a mandolin
  • 6 green onions, chopped

Directions:

  • in a large mixing bowl, combine mayonnaise, sugar, vinegar, dill and salt
  • mix with a whisk
  • cut cucumbers with a mandolin into thin slices and place in bowl
  • add green onions, mix and dish into containers
  • chill in fridge for at least one hour

  

pot roast in beer and onions

Ingredients:

  • 2 1kg cross rib pot roasts
  • salt and pepper on roasts (season well)
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 5 white onions, chopped
  • 14 crushed garlic cloves, roughly chopped
  • 2 bottles of beer
  • 2 cups beef broth
  • 1 1/2 tsp ground thyme
  • 2 tsp herbes de provence

Directions:

  • turn crockpot on high
  • heat oil in a large dutch oven on medium/high heat
  • season the roasts and one at a time sear each roast (all sides) for 2 minutes per side
  • place into the crockpot
  • in dutch oven, place onions and garlic
  • season the onions and garlic with thyme and herbes de provence
  • add beer and broth
  • pour over the roasts in the crockpot
  • cook on high in crockpot for 4 hours or longer
  • take meat out and slice and put back in crockpot and serve


roasted carrot sticks with dijon dressing

Ingredients:

  • 8 large carrots, cut into sticks
  • olive oil
  • salt and pepper
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 2 tbsp white wine vinegar
  • 1 tbsp dijon mustard
  • 1 tbsp minced garlic
  • 1/2 tsp ground thyme
  • 1 tsp fresh rosemary leaves, chopped

Directions:

  • preheat oven to 450 degrees
  • cut carrots into sticks and place on a parchment lined baking sheet
  • toss with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper
  • roast for 15-20 minutes until tender
  • mix up olive oil, vinegar, mustard, garlic, thyme and rosemary
  • pour over the carrots and serve


basically if you are eating a roast or any sort of beef dish that has a gravy, you need to make yorkshire pudding…  the farmer’s family called them ‘pop-overs’ but I grew up knowing and loving them as ‘yorkshire pudding’…  my love for them has never faltered… I love them fresh out of the oven with nothing on them…. or with the meal with some butter and gravy in the centre of them… or later that evening, cold from the refrigerator…  oh I love them so… that’s why you need to make 36 of them even if you are not feeding a whole crew of farmers…

“auntie

Ingredients:

  • 4 eggs, room temperature
  • 2 tsp kosher salt
  • 2 2/3 cup homo milk
  • 2 cups sifted all purpose flour

Directions:

  • using three muffin tins, place dollops of butter in each well and place in 400 degree oven
  • whisk up eggs and add salt and milk
  • add flour to mixture
  • take out smoking hot muffin tins and pour batter into them, filling each well half way up
  • bake for 20 minutes
  • serve warm, with gravy and butter


  

these brownies are so easy to make and moist and delish… the reason I sprinkled them with icing sugar is because I forgot to put parchment paper in the baking pan and half the cake stuck in the bottom of the pan and it was a bit of a disaster…  so icing sugar covers all wrongs…

zucchini brownies

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 1/2 cup melted coconut oil, room temperature
  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup cocoa powder
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 2 cups shredded zucchini
  • 2 tsp vanilla
  • 1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips

Directions:

  • in a standing mixer, beat sugar and oil
  • mix flour, cocoa powder, salt and baking soda in a bowl
  • add flour mixture to sugar and oil
  • beat and add zucchini
  • fold in chocolate chips and pour into a greased 8×8 baking pan
  • make sure the baking pan is well greased and has parchment paper lining the bottom of it so cake does not stick
  • bake at 350 degrees for 50 minutes or until centre of cake is done
  • let cook in pan on wire rack for 20 minutes and then take out of pan and let cool
  • cut into 12 brownies and serve

meal to the field #8

my farm is nestled between two towns, one with a population hovering around 200 and the other at around 300… the smaller town has the store and school… the larger town has the bank, rink and doctor’s clinic… neither have a paved street but both have a post office and a bar…

if you come to this area, you will meet farmers, oil field workers, teachers, nurses, mechanics, truckers, electricians, hunters, hutterites… and the odd person running from the law trying to hide in the middle of no where…  I quickly realized after my first trip here to meet the farmer’s family that my choice of occupation (should the relationship pan out) was going to be limited… thus me becoming a stay-at-home mom…

it was rather difficult at first to be a stay-at-home mom… not the stay-at-home part so much but more the mom part… when your children are little you really do stay at home and lose your mind…  I like to look back on those years fondly as the ‘dark days’…  back when words like ‘I’m bored’ came out of my mouth…  or ‘play-date’…

then last year when my youngest went to grade one and it is the time that most stay-at-home mom’s get a job my farmer husband told me to take a year to figure out what I feel should be the next step in my life… I currently am in my second year figuring that out…

but one thing I know I have to do every day is cook… and this has made me think that when I cook I want it to be fulfilling and artistic and inspiring and interesting… if I have to devote this much time to something I might as well become as interested in it as possible and try to create things that not only feed a belly but feed my soul….

and this brings me to the topic of cream cheese…

 

I love cream cheese…  ever since I discovered in college ‘the Great Canadian Bagel’ store where you could buy bagels and cream cheese in mass quantities and then eat it at your leisure in your dorm room while watching ‘Pretty Woman’ for the 24th time wondering who the lucky guy to discover you was going to be…

last harvest I went on a major cream cheese kick…  I went to our store in the smaller town and picked up four blocks of cream cheese just for the meal I was doing that night… when you are giving the food to ten farmers that means they each are getting around 3.2 oz of cream cheese each…

I was purchasing the cream cheese and a few other baking supplies like eggs, baking powder and graham cracker crumbs and a man beside me in line started to chat…

he was purchasing beef jerky, two Red Bull’s, a pre-made sub and a family sized bag of chips…  again, I had the baking supplies and cream cheese…

 he said to me ‘hey…. (nodding his head towards me so I knew he was referring to me)…  you from around here?’ … I politely replied  ‘no… just on my way through and decided to grab four packages of cream cheese and some graham cracker crumbs to tide me over’…

I always wonder if I had shown a little interest where that relationship could have gone…  I picture it heading the direction of a scary version of ’50 Shades of Grey’…  not the wealthy, helicopter version but more the ‘this Red Room has rats in it and is in a dirt basement’ version…

which brings me back to cream cheese… put it in as many things as you can… icings, potatoes, soups, cream sauce… you won’t be upset with yourself… and buy it in large quantities and see if someone asks you if you are  ‘from around these parts?’…

whipped potatoes

  • Servings: one casserole
  • Print
Ingredients:
– 9 large red potatoes, washed and cut in chunks
– 1 package (8 oz) cream cheese, cubed
– 1 cup sour cream
– 1 1/2 tsp kosher salt
– 2 tsp onion powder
– 1/4 cup butter, cubed
– 1 tsp Lawry’s seasoned salt
Directions:
– cut potatoes into chunks, leaving skin on, and place in cold, salted water in a pot and bring to a boil
– boil on medium/high heat for 20 minutes or until soft in the middle
– strain
– in a mixing bowl, place cream cheese, sour cream, salt, onion powder and butter
– put potatoes into the mixer and beat on medium speed until well combined
– spray a large corningware dish with Pam, put whipped potatoes into the dish and sprinkle top with seasoning salt
– cover with foil and bake at 325 degrees for 1 hour


the poor farmers had no idea this curly haired guy had his hands all over their biscuit dough

yellow squash three cheese biscuits

Ingredients:
– 4 1/2 cups all purpose flour
– 5 tsp baking powder
– 4 tsp sugar
– 1 1/2 tsp salt
– 1 1/2 tsp baking soda
– 3/4 cup cold unsalted butter, cubed
– 1 cup cheddar cheese, shredded
– 1/2 cup smoked gouda cheese, shredded
– 1/2 cup parmesan, grated
– 1 1/2 cups yellow squash or zucchini
– 2 cup buttermilk
– melted butter, for brushing on biscuits
Directions:
– in a bowl, mix flour, baking powder, sugar, salt and baking soda
– add butter and using a pastry blender mix until it resembles coarse oatmeal
– stir in cheeses
– add squash and buttermilk and with a spatula combine
– turn out onto a floured surface and knead until it come together
– roll out to 3/4″ thick and cut with a circle biscuit cutter
– place on a parchment lined baking sheet
– brush with melted butter
– bake at 450 degrees for 12 minutes
– cool on a rack and serve

  

I believe these are considered ‘super-foods’… well for sure broccoli and I love beets so much I’m classifying them as a super-food…

parmesan roasted broccoli and beets

Ingredients:
– 5 large beets, washed, cubed and skin still on
– 4-5 heads broccoli, washed and cut up
– 1/4 cup olive oil
– 3 tsp kosher salt
– 1 tsp ground black pepper
– 8 cloves garlic, minced
– zest of 2 lemons
– 4 tsp lemon juice
– 1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
Directions:
– place cubed beets in cold water in a pot and bring to a boil
– boil for 15 minutes and then strain and put in an ice water bath
– place broccoli and cooled beets in a large bowl
– add olive oil, salt, pepper and garlic and mix
– pour onto a parchment lined large baking sheet
– roast at 425 degrees for 20 minutes until broccoli florets are tender and browned
– mix zest of lemons, lemon juice and cheese and pour over the broccoli and beets and serve

mesquite beef kebabs from a local meat packing store… by local I mean I had to drive two hours to get there…  and then two hours home… local might mean something different to you.. 

my kids favourite salad and very simple for taking to the field is caesar salad… I do have a great recipe for caesar salad dressing but it was one of those days I thought the farmers could stand to have Costco caesar salad dressing instead…  from my local Costco…
  

which brings me to my favourite pie ever… and the one that brings back the most memories of my Grandma Reed…  coconut cream pie was one of her best and there is nothing like it with a cup of coffee…  or leftover at 1:30 am when you get home from the field and want pie… (I caught the farmer doing this last night)…

main trick to it is to make sure you get the cream thickened enough before putting into the pie crusts… otherwise it will never thicken and you get coconut cream pie soup…  which is also yummy but not quite as pretty…

grandma reed's coconut cream pie

Ingredients:
– use two baked 9″ pie shells
– 4 1/2 cups homo milk
– 3/4 cup sugar
– 1/2 tsp salt
– 5 egg yolks
– 1/3 cup cornstarch
– 1/3 cup homo milk
– 500 mL whipping cream
– 1 pkg Whip It (optional)
– 1 1/2 cups sweetened fancy flake coconut
Directions:
– in a double broiler, heat up milk, sugar and salt
– mix egg yolks, cornstarch and milk separately
– temper the egg yolk mixture with some of the warm milk/sugar and then add all of the egg mixture into the double broiler
– mix with a whisk until it resembles pudding – this will take quite awhile but it is very important to get it to the consistency of pudding
– pour into the shells and place in fridge (with plastic wrap over each pie) for 3 hours or longer
– for whipped cream, use a mixing bowl that has been in the freezer… the cream will whip faster
– place whipping cream and one package of Whip It (optional) in mixing bowl and mix at med/high speed until stiff peaks form
– spread over the cream pies and sprinkle coconut on top to serve

let me brag

bragging about your children guidelines…

#1 – please only post on your Facebook status when your child has won a game… never post when they lose…  this will let everyone following you on Facebook come to the logical conclusion that your child is a winner… even if they were just at the game that your child lost in… as an example of this – I am posting the picture of the football game my boys had in Macklin on Friday… score clock reads 0-0… that is because it is still warm-up… I’m not posting the picture of 46-6 for Macklin at the end of the game with me strangling their announcer…   

#2 – always hashtag any picture you have with your child with one of these options… #blessed #beautiful #talented #howdidigetsolucky #prideandjoy #mvp #heartbreaker #iloveyouwhenyouwin #thoseeyes … I always think of the hashtag like a muffled statement you’d make after saying something – or while coughing – to get a little brag in… only problem is when they get long it actually takes awhile to figure them out because of the no capitols or spaces…  a bit of a project but well worth it to figure out that little Sally #poopedonthetoiletforthefourthdayinarow … and I do not suggest to click on that hashtag…

#3 – follow up all the Facebook or Instagram posts you have made about your child with a Christmas Letter…  just a little recap to go over all of the accomplishments of the family in case someone out there missed something…  back in the day (I use this to refer to the 80’s), this was the only form of family bragging that was socially acceptable…  my dad writes a Christmas letter every year and it is more of a ‘roast’ than anything…  kind of a recap of all the idiotic or stupid things we did as a family that year…  he obviously needs guidelines like the ones I’m pointing out here to help him get it right… Christmas letters are for successes… not for that time everyone told Ethan it was guacamole but really it was wasabi… oh we did laugh about that one though…

#4 – compliment your child before anyone else has the chance to…  I like to call this ‘getting the ball rolling’ …  whether online or face to face, just go ahead and quickly say what a great game your child had or how handsome or beautiful they are or how well they are doing at something… and do it quickly before anyone has a chance to say anything good about them… because it’s fun to compliment someone’s child right after their own parent just did…

#5 – if you have more than one child, pick the one that is the most talented and focus on them… leaving room for your other children to grow and develop outside of being smothered by your love and attention… the farmer and I like to switch who we love the most purely based on how well they are doing at things and then to motivate the other’s to pick up their ‘game’ …. although the farmer did tell our whole household that the only ray of sunshine or happiness in his life was Sienna… couldn’t argue with him… the rest of us are pretty demanding…

the only truly safe thing to do is to take pictures of your animals… because the general public likes them far more than they like your children…

yellow squash banana bread 

ahhhhh the weekend… I’d suggest having a nice bath with some Epsom salts, listening to Enya and reading Thrive by Arianna Huffington … oh and make this loaf using up either your squash or zucchini that has taken over your kitchen… 

  
  

yellow squash banana bread

Ingredients:
– 1 1/2 cup Robin Hood Nutri flour blend (tastes like white)
– 1 tsp baking powder
– 1 tsp baking soda
– 1/2 tsp kosher salt
– 1 tsp ground cinnamon
– 2 bananas, mashed (around 1 cup)
– 1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
– 1 large egg, room temperature
– 1/3 cup melted coconut oil, room temperature
– 1 tsp vanilla
– 3/4 cup shredded yellow squash (or zucchini)
– 1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
– 1 tbsp turbinado sugar for top, optional
Directions:
– preheat oven to 350 degrees and grease a 8×4 inch loaf pan
– mix flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and cinnamon and set aside
– in a mixer, combine bananas, sugar, egg, coconut oil and vanilla
– add flour mixture until combined
– fold in squash and chocolate chips
– pour batter into the loaf pan and sprinkle with sugar
– bake for 55 minutes or until toothpick inserted into middle of loaf comes out clean
– cool for 10 minutes in pan and then turn out onto a rack to cool
– freezes very well

beetniks 

getting your hair done is odd… looking at yourself in a mirror for the better part of four hours can almost be seen as a form of torture… so I just stare at my hairdresser instead… and as she tends to my mane, I grace her with my witty stories, stemming back to my childhood but all the way through college and giving birth to my children…  sometimes she has stepped out of the room but I didn’t notice with the blow dryer going and it’s humorous as I’m still weaving a story and the only one listening is her dog…

 by the end of our four hours together, she usually says something to the effect of “don’t you dare try to pay me… our time together is payment enough”…   and then she makes sure that I knew she was joking… she wants to get paid…

another thing about her is her humility… when I see her ‘out and about’ around town and I’ve styled my own hair that day, she’ll say things to me like ‘you don’t need to tell anyone who does your hair’… and I say to her ‘stop it Roselle Burton… you deserve all the credit you’ll get for this’…  she laughs and I laugh
last time I was there… we were discussing the garden and cooking and I asked her if I could feature one of her recipes on my blog…  my idea was to come to her house ‘off the clock’ and have her cook her favourite recipe for me and I’d eat it…  turns out she’s really busy… but she did tell me about beetniks…

fall time here and all us farm ladies bring in the garden the day before a big frost…  things like spaghetti squash, zucchini, corn, onions, garlic… all of that needs to get brought in… so I also grabbed beet leaves… and made up these beetniks as best as I could remember her telling me how to do…

beetniks

Ingredients:
– bread dough
    – 5 cups all purpose flour
    – 2 tsp sugar
    – 2 tsp salt
    – 2 tbsp instant rise yeast
    – 4 tbsp canola oil
    – 2 cups warm water
– 24 big beet leaves, wiped clean
– 1/4 cup butter
– 1/2 onion, finely chopped
– 4 cloves garlic
– 1 cup cream milk
– fresh dill, chopped
Directions:
– make the dough and let rise for 45 minutes
– grease two 9×13 pans
– wash the beat leaves and pat dry with paper towel
– pinch off a piece of the dough and roll into the shape of a fat thumb
– wrap the beet leaf around it and place in the greased pan
– continue until done and cover with a tea towel and let rise 1 hour
– bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes
– for the sauce, melt butter in a saucepan
– add onions and garlic and cook till soft
– stir in cream and dill
– bring to a slight bubble and then remove from heat
– pour over top of the cooked beetniks and cook for 5 more minutes
– serve warm (they freeze well)

I might have ate about four of them fresh out of the oven…  then rued the day that I ate four of them fresh out of the oven…  the kids have been loving having them after school… they just heat it up and away they go into doughy, creamy heaven…

leisure suits and selfies

I wore a leisure suit to the rink on Saturday… it maybe was a bad decision… it might have embarrassed my kids… looking back the boys told me that they thought it was crazy I was going to the rink in a leisure suit I purchased at Costco but we were running late so they chose to just let me deal with the consequences…

a few things I need to point out about a leisure suit:

1- Am I rich enough to be able to pull off wearing a leisure suit?  I remember growing up I have an Aunt that was quite rich and she always could pull off a great leisure suit… she also owned a jet… I can’t afford to even check my luggage… 

2- Did I really dress up all week and need to take the weekend to dress down?  I feel like weekend’s for me perhaps should be dressing up as I definitely wore jogging pants all week long…  but once you get into the lifestyle and freedom that comes along with comfortable clothing, it is really difficult to bring yourself to throw on a pair of dress slacks…

3 – What comes first… weight gain or wearing a leisure suit?  I’ve been laid up with a bad knee for the past 2 months and have done two things… gained 10 lbs and worn jogging pants… it’s like the chicken and egg… no idea what comes first but they do seem to go together…


and now on to selfies… as I got thinking about them when I took a selfie wearing my leisure suit…

with the amount of selfie’s I see on a daily basis on Instagram, you’d think I’d be better at taking one… now, I am 36 and my generation did not take selfies so it doesn’t come naturally… I can’t imagine taking your roll of film to Superstore to get it developed and you get it back and it’s 24 bad selfies and you’re like, “well I’ll just keep trying”… no… we wouldn’t waste the money on pictures of our faces… but alas, modern technology has now brought in the age of selfies… my 11 year old son thinks it’s great and I found these two pictures on my phone recently…


there are a few points that need to be made for those of you out there that are new to taking selfies… for instance I wanted to but out of respect for my mother did not post the picture of the last selfie she sent me after a visit to the dentist… these are maybe the moments you just text, with no selfie and say “my face is swollen from being at the dentist” …

point #1 – Angles are Everything –  picture up the nostrils showing 4 double chins is not your most flattering shot… delete that, get a selfie stick and get that phone as far away from your face as possible

point #2 – Lighting and Filter – I like to find dark areas in the house to take selfies and then put about 4 different filters on them… as an example, in this picture of the farmer and I in Mexico we were both dripping in sweat and burnt…  

point #3 – Facial Expressions – here’s a few I like to cycle through… cross-eyed (that’s a genetic thing… but it works for me)… confused (when you can’t figure out where you are supposed to look at on your phone)… pouty lip-sad puppy dog face (this is when you want friends to ask you what’s wrong)… pouty-sexy face (sexy face is the hardest one to master and it might take you a few weeks of trying… please send me all of your attempts and I’ll tell you if you are on the right path)… silly-laughing (standing in the bathroom taking a picture of yourself in the mirror laughing… and posting it on Instagram… nothing crazy about that)

 

point #4 – The Foot Shot – my mom told me that long toes were a sign of intelligence so I have no insecurities of taking pictures of my feet..  two of my favourites are – ‘out for a run and had a moment to take a picture of my feet’ or ‘on vacation and thought everyone would enjoy a nice shot of my feet in the sand’  …. I know I’d love to see way more pictures of people’s feet… their face first but then their feet…

point #5 – ‘I’m Driving a Boat/Car/Motorbike’ selfie – this one is dangerous but well worth it… taking a selfie while you are supposed to be paying attention to what you are doing… and people’s lives depend on it… I’d love to see more selfies of doctors performing surgery taking a quick moment to take a picture of themselves or bus drivers documenting driving my kids home from school…

point #6 – Video Selfie – whoever said a picture says a thousand words didn’t realize they could video themselves and put it on Instagram… oh yes you can… and should…

in conclusion… if you have enough time to wander around in leisure suits and take endless amounts of selfies… you need to ask yourself some hard questions… like ‘should I have spent the better part of the morning blogging about it?’ and ‘won’t my farmer husband be proud of me?’ …

baked chicken penne – take that boston pizza

 have you ever ate at Boston Pizza?  I’m giggling as I ask this question… a tiny giggle… because I eat there just about every weekend during hockey season… which hockey season is now Sept-June… yes I know, it used to be Nov-March…  but then some people decided that kids should no longer play more than one sport and changed it to an all consuming lifestyle…  and in this lifestyle you eat at Boston Pizza… because McDonald’s is a no-no… don’t even speak to me about KFC or A&W… nope – it’s carbs and pasta for these young stars…

so after a few weekends of lovely team meals… where you have to wait at least an hour to get your food, you chew down your 1470 calorie pasta meal and then pay $58 plus 15% mandatory tip that is already on your bill and me not knowing an extra 20% tip…  so after my $72.50 meal with my son we head back to the hotel at 11:30 pm to drift off into a carb and butter induced coma… I have an idea… I could make this meal for about $10 at home and bring it with me…

now don’t peg me wrong… cheap is not my middle name… it is Marie… because that is what everyone used in the late 70’s/early 80’s for a middle name… it was that or Ann or Lynn… I got Marie… so did my best friend Shannon… but her’s was fancier because it was ‘Irene-Marie’… my parents decided that plain old Marie would suffice for me… keep her humble… I forget what I was talking about… oh right, I’m not cheap…

but I’m also not a fan of spending a crazy amount on food that is not getting ate, is not good for you and takes 2 hours of an evening I could have enjoyed in a hotel room watching JFK documentaries…

so I make it ahead… take it on road trips… and say ‘take that Boston Pizza’ as I’m in a hotel eating my re-heated pasta dish with my son that loves just hanging out with his mom wearing a robe that I’m sure no one else at has worn at Tisdale’s Canalta Hotel …  it’s a three star hotel and I feel free at a 3 star to put on the robe and slippers …  I would never dream of it at a 2 star …

so here you go… this recipe makes two casseroles and I love to make two and then either freeze one or dish the other one up into individual dishes for taking on road trips… this is for all those introverted, frugal, used robe wearing, documentary watching freaks like me out there… your kid will love it…


baked chicken penne - take that boston pizza

  • Servings: two 9x13 casseroles
  • Print

Ingredients:

  • 500 g Garofalo Organic Penne (Costco)
  • 2 tsp olive oil
  • 4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into bite size pieces
  • 1 tsp salt
  • freshly ground pepper
  • 3/4 cup unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cup all purpose flour
  • 6 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 L half & half milk
  • 2 cups 1% milk
  • 1 tsp salt and ground pepper
  • 7 oz (200 g) white mushrooms, washed and thinly sliced
  • pint grape tomatoes, cut in half
  • 340 g Italiano Black Diamond cheese (2 cups into sauce, remaining on top)
  • 1 cup grated Parmesan

Directions:

  • put pasta into boiling salted water and cook until al dente, then strain and put into a large bowl
  • heat oil in a skillet and add chicken with salt and pepper and cook until done, add to the pasta
  • in the same skillet, melt butter and add flour and garlic
  • whisk and add milk
  • add mushrooms and tomatoes
  • pour the sauce into the pasta/chicken mixture and add cheeses
  • mix and pour into two 9×13 greased pans
  • sprinkle remaining cheese over the casseroles and put into a 400 degree oven for 20 minutes
  • freezes very well… freeze it before you bake it…
  • to bake from frozen, bake at 400 degree with tin foil on… place the 9×13 on a baking sheet with parchment paper on it to catch any drippings…  bake for 1 1/2 hours like that until the center is hot and then remove the tin foil and bake until the cheese is golden, around 15 minutes


now… I did not say I made a healthy version of this… it is still over 1000 calories I’m sure… so take into account if you actually played the hockey game or just yelled in the crowd and annoyed everyone around you… you don’t burn as many calories yelling so eat half of what your hockey player eats… or substitute cauliflower for the cream milk and see how yummy it is… and zucchini for the noodles… and see how your hockey playing child reacts to first of all watching tv with you in a hotel room instead of hanging with his friends and then eating vegetable puree… and then let me know how it went over…

meal to the field #7

thanksgiving 2004 I made potato salad and 5 people got food poisoning…  since then my oldest son cannot eat mayonnaise…  he literally eats everything else imaginable – just not mayonnaise…  it did not affect my farmer husband the same way…  this was not his first time contracting food poisoning from potato salad and I’m going to guess it won’t be his last…

he actually had to check into the hospital the last time potato salad took him down… of course he had bought it at a 7-Eleven and it was past the expiry date and it was grey… but his love affair with potato salad remains…  

Potato Salad

Ingredients:

  • 5 pounds red potatoes, cubed into bite size pieces
  • 12 hard boiled eggs, cut up
  • 1 cup chopped dill pickles
  • 2 cups chopped celery
  • 1/2 cup chopped green onions
  • 1 cup Greek yogurt
  • 1 cup mayonnaise
  • 2 tbsp yellow mustard
  • 2 tbsp whole grain mustard
  • 2 tbsp chopped fresh dill
  • 1/2 tsp smoked paprika
  • kosher salt and pepper, to taste

Directions:

  • in a large pot, cover the cut up potatoes with cold water and add 2 tsp kosher salt
  • bring to a boil and reduce to simmer
  • simmer until tender, around 15-20 minutes
  • do the same process with eggs but when they come to a boil they let them boil for a few minutes and then they are done
  • drain the potatoes in a strainer and put into the bowl with the celery, green onions & dill pickles
  • make the dressing and add to the potatoes
  • gently mix in the eggs, paprika, salt and pepper
  • chill for a few hours or for up to 2 days in fridge

a friend of mine gave me these apples … and rhubarb … thus allowing me to not have to plant apple trees or rhubarb in my garden … thank you Erin … so I thought I’d put them in pie crust with sugar …

now don’t be shocked by the next picture…  it is my attempt to demonstrate how I crinkle the outside of the pie crust… but it turns out that my hands up close are wrinkly and hairy … my mom always told me I had hands that should play the piano …  she also told me that I could swim like a fish and run like a gazelle and sing like a bird … so it shouldn’t come as a shock that she thought I had hands for the piano …  watch an episode of ‘The Goldbergs’ and you will see who my mom is …  

that is an apple peeler and slicer passed on to me by my Grandpa Reed …  and it is a lovely invention

the farmer texted me tonight after eating this pie and I quote “that pie might be my favourite one of yours” …

Cream Cheese Apple Pie

Ingredients:

  • 2 refrigerated pie crusts (see recipe for Coffee Break Pie Crust)
  • 2 pkg (250 g) Philadelphia cream cheese, room temperature
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 8 Gala apples, peeled and sliced thinly (makes 8 cups sliced)
  • 6 tbsp all purpose flour
  • 2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1 cup large flake rolled oats
  • 1 cup cold butter, cut up

Directions:

  • line 2 9” pie plates with pie crusts
  • beat cream cheese, sugar, eggs and vanilla and put into the 2 pie shells
  • cut up apples, put in a big bowl and add flour and cinnamon and toss until well coated
  • place apples on top of cream cheese filled pie shells
  • cut with a pastry blender the butter into the oats and brown sugar and place on top of pies
  • put in a 375 degree oven for 50 minutes
  • serve at room temperature

and now … drum roll … I made something healthy … this is a classic around here for ‘Meatless Mondays’  … tonight a friend asked my curly haired son ‘what did your mom make for supper?’ and he said ‘something orange’ … he must really love it …


  

Black Bean Quinoa Enchilada Bake

  • Servings: one 9x13 casserole
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Ingredients:

  • 1 cup uncooked quinoa, rinsed
  • 2 cups water
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 jalapeno, seeds and ribs removed, diced
  • 1 red pepper, diced
  • 1 orange pepper, diced
  • 1 cup corn, frozen kernels
  • juice of 1 lime
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tbsp chilli powder
  • 1/3 cup cilantro, chopped
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • 2 (15 oz) cans black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 2 cups red enchilada sauce (salsa works if you do not have this)
  • 2 cups shredded Tex Mex cheese (1/2 cup for mixture and 1 1/2 cups for topping)

Directions:

  • add quinoa and water to a medium saucepan and bring to boil over a medium heat
  • boil for 5 minutes then turn heat to low and simmer for 15 minutes
  • remove from heat, fluff and pour into large bowl
  • in a large skillet, heat olive oil and add onion, garlic, jalapeño and peppers
  • in the large bowl that has the quinoa in it add corn, black beans, pepper mixture, enchilada sauce and /1/2 cup of the Tex Mex cheese
  • put in a 9×13 greased baking dish and cover with the rest of the Tex Mex cheese
  • bake uncovered at 350 degrees for 30 minutes
  • toppings: sliced green onions, avocado slices, sour cream (optional)
  • freezes well: take out in the morning and allow to thaw all day

coffee break pie crust

my grandparents owned and ran a restaurant in Three Hills, Alberta called ‘The Coffee Break’…  most of my memories come from when I was in elementary school and I’d go there after school and hang out…

the best memories were watching my Grandma Reed make pie… she was so great at making a big pie mess but not so great at cleaning it up! some people hate the mess of a pie and therefore have given up on making it…  but there is something about the mess and the dough that I just wanted to sink my hands into from a very early age… 

my Grandma passed away after struggling with Parkinson’s and left to me her pie plates, rolling pin and so many memories of making pies together…  when I first got married and realized I might need to make the odd pie… she mixed up in a old white ice cream container (the really big ones) the base of the pie dough… the flour, lard, baking powder and salt…  and then you’d just have to grab some of this and add the egg, vinegar, water mix and you’re set…

what she didn’t realize is I wasn’t running a restaurant and didn’t need that much base for pie crust… mould set in and I felt guilty that I hadn’t used it all up to make pies…    
there was never a time that I showed up at Grandma’s and Grandpa’s and there was not a pie… apple, saskatoon berry, pecan, coconut cream, banana cream… always a pie… and always my Grandma with her coffee and ready to listen to me chat…  or at Christmas with pie and we’d watch reruns of I Love Lucy…  or whenever the Royal Family did anything we’d have pie and watch with captive interest what Princess Diana or the Queen were up to…

Grandma always sang happy birthday at her restaurant … people would get a piece of pie and she’d belt out ‘happy birthday’ in the craziest, loudest voice ever and Grandpa would shake his head and tell her to hush up (I always assumed he loved it) …

if there is anything I have learnt in life… pie brings people together…  you can eat leftover pie in the morning with a coffee…  or with tea in the afternoon … or when you are binge watching HomeLand late at night…  and it always satisfies …

because pie… more than any other dessert … brings up so many great memories and not only feeds your waistline but feeds your soul …  everyone has a Grandma or four (I got lucky) that have made them pies and that have in doing so made them feel welcome, loved and taken cared of…    

Coffee Break Pie Crust

Ingredients:

  • 6 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 lb Tenderflake lard (2 1/3 cups Crisco)
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tbsp vinegar
  • water

Directions:

  • mix the flour, baking powder and salt and cut in with a pastry blender the lard
  • beat 1 egg and add 1 tbsp of vinegar and enough water to make 1 cup of liquid
  • add to the lard/flour mixture and mix until it comes together
  • separate this into four balls and wrap them with plastic wrap
  • put in the refrigerator until you use them