never enough insurance

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

raspberry cream cheese brownies

Ingredients:

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

Directions:

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

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

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

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

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

Thai Almond Butter Crunch Salad

Ingredients:

Salad:

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

Dressing:

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

Directions:

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

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

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

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

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

Instant Pot Butter Chicken

Ingredients:

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

Directions:

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

almond hemp hearts granola

would you like to know what people say behind your back? or live in sweet oblivion…

for years I have gone through life clueless to the fact that anyone might be talking about me…  I have gone into situations believing no one has an opinion about me…

recently it was brought to my attention, and not in a malicious way but a kind way, that someone might have something to say about me… and it might not be favourable…

and it shocked me…

not that I don’t talk about people… oh I do…  but only when it’s fair and just and they brought it on themselves…

I have lived with a mindset that I have never done anything to anyone that would warrant them talking behind my back about my bad personality traits

but, alas, it has happened…  and most likely has happened way more regularly than I would ever have imagined…

I know what you are thinking…  what would this innocent farmer’s wife who merely cooks, cleans, manages the occasional hockey team, runs, watches Netflix and tends to her garden ever be able to do to another human being to warrant them destroying her behind her back?

her children and husband might have another story to tell…  but so what?   do we want their opinion? no…

I was telling them about the slander directed my way and their responses were…

‘you are very friendly to people you want to be friendly to… and then really distant and mean to everyone else’

‘you are really judgemental… of us and everyone else’

‘we are afraid of you most of the time… that is why we laugh at your jokes and eat what you cook for us’

‘when you aren’t laughing at one of your own jokes, you look really mad’

but again, these are the options of a farmer and his 15 and 12 year old boys…  not to be taken too seriously…

you know what you can do once you realize people talk negatively behind your back?

either stop caring or change your behaviour…

third option is to let everyone know you don’t want anyone to tell you the truth about what is being said about you… this is the option I am going with…

I don’t like hugging and I don’t like hearing bad stuff about myself…

there I said it…  only rainbows and lollypops please…

and I’ll do the same for you… I will offer you a cup of coffee and some granola and lets chat about everything other than the garbage other people are saying about us…  or about our kids… or our husbands….

which doesn’t leave a whole lot of options so perhaps don’t come for coffee and granola and just let me eat it alone and watch Netflix…

(I really can’t believe anyone would have any negative vibes coming from me)

almond hemp hearts granola

  • Servings: 1 baking sheet
  • Print

Ingredients:

  • 3 cups old-fashioned rolled oats
  • 1 cup chopped almonds
  • 1/4 cup ground flaxseed
  • 1/4 cup hemp hearts
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 1/2 cup creamy almond butter
  • 1/3 cup pure maple syrup
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil, melted
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

Directions:

  • set oven to 325 degrees
  • in a large bowl, combine oats, almonds, flaxseed, hemp hearts, cinnamon and salt
  • combine the dry ingredients and add the other ingredients and mix well with a spatula
  • spread granola mixture on a parchment paper lined baking sheet
  • bake for 30 minutes, until it is golden brown
  • let cool completely on baking sheet
  • will keep in an airtight glass jar for up to one month (or 8 hours in my house)

 

chickpea protein bites

two things get me out of bed in the morning…  well, other than the need to pee, my phone alarm beeping, the farmer getting a little too ‘handsy’, the need for 4 glasses of water, children to feed and pack lunches for and two dogs to kick out of the porch…

but there are two main things that excite me the most…  (apologizes to the ‘handsy’ farmer)

food… cooking, creating, eating…

and running...

(or other forms of exercising… weights, pilates, yoga… as long as I am sweating by the end of it)

so today was just about the perfect day...  I woke up knowing I was going to attempt my fourth try at a recipe I had been tweaking that a friend had sent me…

and I was going to get a run in on my treadmill while watching Netflix…

describe to me a better day… please try…

in my mind the best recipes involve fantastic ingredients…  the Lindt dark chocolate with sea salt bar is hands down the best chocolate bar out there…

and this raw almond butter is so good you don’t want the taste to ever leave your mouth…

I have three active kids in the house along with a farmer and myself who are attempting to eat well lately, so the food I’m making needs to taste good and provide sufficient fuel for the day…

we were going through so many protein bars, I figured I’d make a homemade version of a protein bar...

something I could have as a snack that would not only quench my sweet tooth but feel good in my belly and power me through my run while watching Grace and Frankie...

this was the epiphany I had… putting the chickpeas, maple syrup, almond milk, almond butter and vanilla in the Vitamix...  the consistency it beats it up into is perfection…

a few years back I came across a chocolate chip chickpea cookie recipe that changed my life… well my kids lunch kit life really…

so you can understand the level of excitement that flooded over me when my friend sent me a brownie recipe with chickpeas!

this is easily the best way I have ever incorporated chickpeas into my baking…

transfer the wet mixture to a bowl and fold in the brown rice flour, baking powder and chia seeds to bind it…

place in a greased square baking dish and think to yourself of all the power foods you just put into a brownie pan!!!

this is when the chocolate comes in… you might notice one square is missing… I attribute this to having to go to Parent Teacher Interviews last night and needing to make myself not feel like such a failure when I got home…

chocolate with salt has a way of making everything better…

who cares if my 15 year old is still hiding in different spots in the school to avoid class and eating his pencils?

chocolate made it seem just fine…

I had to showcase the decorative measuring spoons my mother brought me on her last trip out here…  they are so cute and remind me of her… (and sadly her hoarding habits)

once you sprinkle the chocolate and a smidgen of love on the brownies, pop them in the oven and allow yourself to feel the pure joy of making something that is good for you to eat… so good

gluten free almond butter chickpea protein bites

Ingredients:

  • 1 can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 3/4 cup almond butter (or peanut butter)
  • 1/2 cup maple syrup
  • 1/3 cup almond milk (or regular milk)
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1/2 cup brown rice flour (or all purpose flour)
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/8 cup chia seeds
  • 1 bar dark chocolate, crushed

Directions:

  • blend chickpeas, almond butter, maple syrup, almond milk and vanilla in a Vitamix or food processor
  • transfer to a bowl and add flour, baking powder and chia seeds
  • fold flour mixture in and transfer to a greased square baking dish
  • chop up chocolate bar and sprinkle over the top
  • bake at 350 degrees for 40 minutes
  • let cool before cutting
  • freezes well