greek salad, chicken prosciutto roll-ups and peach seed cobbler

back to school today and harvest is chugging along… although it froze to minus 4 last night and probably ended most of my garden that I’ve worked so hard on all year… it’s 2020 – that’s not going to make me cry… (hoping the farmer covered my tomatoes like I reminded him to about 7 times)

this greek salad dressing is my absolute favourite and I’ve shared it I believe around 6 times but I just love it… this year we let the tomatoes sit on paper towel (replacing it a few times) so they wouldn’t water down the salad and then put them on top so we could have it sit in the fridge all afternoon without getting watery…

greek salad

Ingredients:
1/2 cup Crisco oil
4 tsp lemon juice
4 tsp red wine vinegar
1 tsp dry mustard
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp sugar
1/4 tsp pepper
1 tsp oregano
1/2 tbsp parsley
2 tbsp minced red onions
1 tbsp minced garlic clove
2 tbsp minced red pepper

Directions:
in a shaker, mix ingredients and shake until completely combined
pour over red, yellow and orange peppers, red onion, feta cheese, romaine lettuce and tomatoes

I’ve been excited to try this out for the farmers and it is a little finicky to get them all made up (notably if your farmer tells you supper for 14), but again you can do these up a few hours early if need be and let them sit in the fridge…

for these rollups, it worked out perfectly to use 1 package of Costco chicken thighs, one package of Costco prosciutto and one bag of Costco asparagus… (this is not a paid sponsorship from Costco… but I am open to offers)

the mix of all these good flavours with the dijon mustard is fabulous

I did these on my bbq – but you have an option to fry them as well… if you are bbq’ing them, keep an eye out so you don’t burn the asparagus ends

I think that the sage would taste better fried so if you are just doing this for your family, I might try that option… our sage this year was fantastic and I couldn’t wait to use it for this

chicken thigh prosciutto rollups

Ingredients:
Rollups:
1 pkg boneless chicken thighs from Costco
1 pkg prosciutto from Costco
Dijon mustard
kosher salt
ground black pepper
1 bag asparagus from Costco
22 sage leaves (or however many you need for the rollups)
Sauce:
1/4 cup olive oil
4 garlic cloves, chopped
1/2 cup chicken broth
1/4 cup white wine (or more chicken broth)
2 tbsp lemon juice

Directions:
if doing on the bbq, preheat the bbq
if frying and then putting in oven, preheat oven to 400 degrees
have the ingredients out so you can assemble
place chicken thigh out and season lightly with salt and pepper
using a spoon, put a dollop of dijon on the chicken and then with another spoon spread over the thigh
place 2-3 asparagus on the chicken and then roll up around the asparagus
roll once slice of proscuitto around the chicken and place a sage leaf on it
secure with a toothpick
set aside in a dish and continue until you have rolled all of the chicken thighs
place, covered, in fridge until you are ready to cook
if on the bbq, place on grill and flip once… check to see if they are cooked through
for the sauce, in saucepan roast the garlic cloves, add the broth and wine and cook down
add the lemon juice at the end and serve over the chicken rollups after they are bbq’d
if you are frying and then putting in oven, place chicken in frying pan with the olive oil (don’t overcrowd) and fry on both sides, placing in a dish when done
after frying all of them up, add garlic cloves, broth and wine to the pan and cook down
add the sauce to the pan and place in oven until cooked through
add the lemon juice at the end before serving
remove the toothpicks if you are a nice person before serving – or serve like I did and have your son stab himself twice with the hidden toothpicks

I like to use chicken thighs for this as opposed to chicken breasts because the flavour is just so much ‘more better’… I think I need to go back to school as well…

this recipe was inspired by the classic goose recipe everyone uses… and I recently used on the boys geese breasts they brought home… it’s the goose breast with flavoured cream cheese if you have it and jalapeño slices wrapped in bacon… I now add dijon mustard to these as well because I am obsessed with that flavour…

my family is now going to think the only way to eat anything is to wrap it in proscuitto or bacon…

I served the chicken rollups with some mashed potatoes I had made up earlier and these garden carrots my daughter did up…

which leads me to thinking she should only go to school in the mornings and help me cook in the afternoons… she’d love that idea

for dessert – I used some of the peaches my mom had just brought out for me, but fresh peaches is also great for cobbler… I actually didn’t have a recipe for this and just “winged it”… so I have no recipe to show you…

I know I made a bit of a sauce with the peach juice from the cans, adding some tapioca starch to it… and I used oats, almond flour and whatever else was in my freezer along with butter to make the cobbler topping…

my daughter thought it was awful that would couldn’t send out ice cream with the cobbler… it is essential to have with a cobbler but the farmers had to go without…

happy happy back to school everyone and happy freezing cold harvest!!!

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

Ingredients:

Salad:

  • 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

Directions:

  • 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

Ingredients:
– 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

Directions:

  • 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

Ingredients:

  • 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

Directions:

  • 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

Ingredients:

  • 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!)

Directions:

  • 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!

 

dream crusher

 

as I cooked this casserole and took pictures with my iPhone… I was not pretending to be on a cooking show…

ok… that was a lie… I pretended the entire time that I was on a cooking show and actually talked to my live audience a little bit… out loud…

I have a rather large imagination…

I even joked, bantered really, with the audience and told them how crazy it was that even if you just eat one piece of asparagus your pee will have a distinct odour…

and then I wondered if the production crew would cut that ‘bit’ out…

this imagination also tends to lend itself to me being able to picture myself in just about any line of work…

every class I’ve ever taken or situation I am in I’ve pictured myself leading it…

Victoria Secret just had their swimwear one hour special on TV and the farmer and I settled in with our popcorn for what we anticipated to be a riveting hour of thought provoking television…

a little background knowledge is needed to understand where it all went so terribly wrong…

I tend to think I could do just about any job in the world (and by world I mean televised world) and do it well…  even though my resume would only list A&W, caretaker at a senior citizen’s home, mini-golf attendant, teacher’s assistant and homemaker…

I watch shows and then look over to the farmer like ‘see… missed my calling’… and he usually  obliges with ‘you should have been a lawyer… you like to argue’ or some comment that keeps allowing me to believe that I could have been a CIA agent if not for the farm holding me back…

I watch cooking shows and say ‘why am I not on this show?… am I right kids?’… as my seven year old had just snuck upstairs to dump half her supper into the trash bin…

every season of Amazing Race I am always trying to figure out if I would do the challenge or if I would defer to the farmer to do the challenge…

to which he generally comments ‘I would go with one of your brothers… the kids can’t have us both gone for that long at the same time’… and I agree, knowing he’d go with me if the kids weren’t in the picture…

so as we settle in to watch what no couple should ever watch together, supermodels in the swimsuits rolling around in the sand and surf, my thoughts carry me to my missed Victoria Secret modelling career…

got scooped up too early by the farmer and didn’t have enough time to be discovered obviously..  in his heart he has to know he squashed my dreams of traveling the world as a supermodel…

I can’t remember what comment I said that brought upon his awful reaction but my guess is it had something to do with ‘if I was there, I would do it this way’ type of thing…

and the farmer decided to shatter my daydreams… for apparently no good reason other than he doesn’t like the fact that I can daydream way better than him…

‘you are as close to being a Victoria Secret swimsuit model as I was to making the NHL’

as soon as he said it he began to backpedal… especially when I had to quickly push under the bed the swimsuits I was planning on modelling later on and making him convince me I am just a skip and a hop away from being on the show…

his recovery was fantastic and involved statements such as…

‘it’s not because of your looks, it’s because of your age’

or

‘having three c-sections doesn’t really help your chances’

or

‘these models look like they aren’t far from your son’s age’

or

‘maybe you could be on it if they can air brush television like they do in magazines’

or

‘if they did an older mom’s episode maybe you could try out for that’

gruyere, asparagus and pea baked pasta with chicken

Ingredients:

  • 1 pkg (500 g) penne
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 4 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 pound asparagus, trimmed and cut into 1/2 inch pieces
  • 1/4 cup white wine
  • 2 cups peas, frozen
  • 2 cups shredded cooked chicken
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 5 tbsp all purpose flour
  • 4 cups 3% milk
  • 2 tsp dried mustard
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • ground black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp dried tarragon (optional)
  • 3 cups shredded Gruyere cheese
  • 2/3 cup panko bread crumbs
  • 2 tbsp olive oil

Directions:

  • preheat oven to 375 degrees
  • bring a large pot of salted water to boil
  • cook pasta until al dente (roughly 3-4 minutes shorter than normal)
  • drain pasta
  • in a frying pan, add olive oil and onion
  • saute and then add asparagus and garlic
  • add white wine and reduce
  • in a large bowl, combine chicken, peas, pasta and onion mixture
  • back in the frying pan, add butter and flour and whisk until you have a paste
  • gradually add the milk, whisking the entire time so you don’t allow for lumps
  • add dried mustard, salt, pepper and tarragon
  • when mixture is slightly thickened (it will be a bit runny), turn off the heat and add the cheese
  • pour over the pasta mixture in the large bowl
  • grease a 9×13 pan and pour mixture into it
  • mix olive oil and bread crumbs and sprinkle this over the pan
  • bake at 375 for 30 to 35 minutes
  • let stand for 10 minutes before serving, for it to thicken up

I’m just so excited now for the next time we watch a NHL game and I get to, without being provoked, mention that he was the farthest thing from making the NHL as a person could get and I can’t believe he dreamed of it as as kid…

he might argue the dreams of a 9 year old boy and a 36 year old woman should not be focused on the same type of unrealistic dream job.. but I’m going to have to bring it up none-the-less…

and see how he likes having his dreams crushed…