save it for Facebook

when you are sitting by yourself, watching your daughter’s hockey practice (#girlscanplaytoo) (I forever will find this hashtag humorous) … and a strange man plops himself down beside you and begins the conversation with “I don’t believe we’ve met”…  you know you need to buckle yourself up for a wild ride…

just when you think we have evolved as a species… conversations like this occur…  where someone has not figured out that the only place that people brag about their offspring anymore is on Facebook…

it used to be we had a few options – annual Christmas letters, prayer chains, family reunions – but now I hope most self-aware parents realize the only avenue for pumping little Timmy’s tires is Facebook…

this being said – it did occur to me that Little Timmy most likely is not on Facebook – this is a crucial flaw in what would seem to be the perfect outlet for comparing the accomplishments of our young ones…

“so, which one is yours out there?” I politely ask… this way I am avoiding him telling me his name which I was never going to remember

he points to a girl and then, for context, describes her “the tall, athletic one with the hard shot”  …  before I could point out and describe my daughter, he quickly adds “gets her height and ability from both sides of the family”  

this I was comforted by, as you hate to see the competition ensue when one side is so obviously better than the other side of the family… (no offense to the farmer’s side)

a few things I learned during the 28 minutes I was held hostage in the stands… he was a bit of an ‘athlete’ in his day, still runs but not as fast as his superstar daughter…  he coached his daughter her whole life until now because no one else can get the full potential out of her…  refs hate him… the daughter hasn’t seen a sport that she didn’t dominate at…

I was doing fine handling my end of the dialogue… adding my ‘oh really, oh wow, oh geez’ when it seemed timely…  but when he said these words “we are so active we got rid of cable a few years ago and don’t watch any TV”… I thought I was going to lose my mind…

really?  pardon?  you just bike and rollerblade all evening long? haven’t seen a professional sporting event in three years? you missed Harry and Meagan’s wedding? do I dare bring up Game of Thrones or the 23 seasons of The Bachelor I have consumed?

blueberry pancakes

Ingredients:
– 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
– 2 tbsp sugar
– 1 tsp baking powder
– 1/2 tsp baking soda
– 1/2 tsp kosher salt
– 2 large eggs
– 1 cup milk
– 1 cup sour cream
– 1/4 cup butter, melted
– 1/2 tsp vanilla
– 2 cups fresh blueberries (or frozen)
– zest of one lemon

Directions:
– sift the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda together in a bowl
– add the salt
– in another larger bowl, whisk eggs, milk, sour cream, butter and vanilla
– add the flour mixture and fold in
– add the blueberries and lemon zest
– in a saucepan, heat some butter
– pour 1/4 cup of the batter into the hot skillet (generally 3 pancakes per pan)
– cook until bubbles begin to form and pop, around 1 1/2 minutes and then flip and cook for another minute (serve with bacon that has pepper and maple syrup on it)

I could not contain myself anymore and had to say “if my life every got to the point where I had no time for the odd TV show – I would know something had gone terribly wrong”

parenting is a tough gig…  and I for one would not have wanted to do it without the help of ‘the Simpsons”…  #ittakesavillage … when the kids get home from school, ever since the age of Kindergarten, they have tuned into the Simpsons

the farmer and I have always felt that whatever we missed in teaching the children about life would be covered in the hundreds of Simpsons episodes they have viewed…

I was totally with him, the boasting, the ‘one-upping’… I was fine with it all… maybe this is how he chats when he gets nervous or maybe he doesn’t have access to Facebook... 

but when he said his family had no use for a TELEVISION…  he lost all credibility to me… 

instinctually I just can’t trust someone that hates TV…  what has TV ever done to you?  other than entertain you?

worst part is – we live in Saskatchewan!!!  and unless you are at your cabin – it is not overly interesting to be outside…  its not like you are in the mountains of BC…

two questions to ask someone when I meet them

1 – do you love TV?

2 – how do you feel about hugging?

only two things I need to know about someone

matcha raspberry sponge roll cake

Ingredients:

Cake:

– 1 cup sifted cake flour

– 2 tbsp matcha

– 1/2 tsp salt

– 6 large eggs, separated and at room temperature

– 1 cup sugar, divided

– 1 tsp vanilla

– icing sugar for dusting

Raspberry Cream Filling:

– 1 cup raspberry jam

– 8 oz pkg cream cheese, room temperature

– 4 tbsp icing sugar

– 1 pkg raspberries, plus more for garnishing

Directions:

– preheat oven to 375 degrees

– lightly grease a half sheet pan (18”x13”) with baking spray, line with parchment paper, then lightly grease the paper with baking spray

– sift the cake flour, matcha and salt together

– in the bowl of a stand mixer, add the egg whites

– whisk on high speed until light and foamy

– sprinkle 1/2 cup of sugar and whisk till medium peaks

– transfer to a clean mixing bowl

– wipe the stand mixer bowl down and add the egg yolks

– whisk until light yellow

– add 1/2 cup sugar

– fold together with egg whites – try not to lose the volume

– sprinkle over the flour mixture and fold together

– pour into the prepared baking sheet

– bake for 10-12 minutes

– dust a clean linen towel with icing sugar

– while warm, turn the cake out onto the linen towel

– remove parchment and roll up

– cool on a wire rack

– for the filling – whip the cream cheese and icing sugar until smooth

– add the raspberries

– unroll the cake and spread with raspberry jam

– spread the cream cheese over

– roll up again without the linen towel

– wrap in plastic wrap and cool in the fridge

– dust the cake with icing sugar

– slice into pieces and serve with raspberries

…as Apple Pie

my grandma made pie making look easy… her and my grandpa ran a restaurant in Three Hills, Alberta that was called ‘The Coffee Break’… I was still in Elementary school when they had it so my memories of it are a bit foggy, but the pies I witnessed her make have always stayed in my mind…  that a cinnamon buns…

these two items are apparently go well with coffee…

my grandma used lard… Martha Stewart uses butter…  I’ve used both and find the lard easier to work with but the butter taste is better in my mind…

pie takes patience to make…  and it is messy… if you can get over these two elements it is quite relaxing and enjoyable to make…

a friend of mine has this magical solution that gets rid of the nastiness on apples so I don’t have to peel them!  I read somewhere (by that I mean Facebook) that most of the nutrients in fruit and veggies are in the skins…  this is why I zest everything I can and don’t peel if I don’t have to… but the chemicals my farmer husband sprays on things are also in the skin so it is nice to at least pretend to myself that I am removing the harmful bits off!

bacon has made a re-appearance in the house for seeding and the family is very excited to see it again… there are only a few things I miss being a vegetarian…  bacon is one… chicken skin is the other…

I added bacon and cheddar cheese to the pie crust to give it a savoury taste

look at how beautiful it looks in the crust…  and look at the mess I am making!

I remember when I used to watch Martha Stewart and her constant words about pie were ‘keep everything cold’…  the more you can accomplish this the better your pie crust will be…

apples with sugar and cinnamon… oh and lemon zest… cuz I love zest

apple pie with cheddar/bacon crust

Ingredients:

Crust:

  • 8 slices bacon, cooked and shredded
  • 2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 cup cold unsalted butter, cut into cubes
  • 1 cup grated sharp cheddar cheese
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk (more if necessary)

Filling:

  • 7-8 granny smith apples, washed, cored and sliced into small chunks
  • 1 tbsp fresh lemon juice, with zest
  • 1/2 cup packing brown sugar
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 1/2 tbsp cornstarch
  • 2 tbsp unsalted butter
  • 1 large egg, beaten
  • 2 tbsp granulated sugar
  • vanilla ice cream

Directions:

  • for the bacon, preheat oven to 375 degrees
  • line a baking sheet with tin foil and place bacon on it
  • bake for 15-18 minutes
  • transfer bacon to paper towel to cool, finely chop the bacon
  • in a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar and salt
  • add the butter and cut into the flour
  • add cheese and chopped bacon
  • pour in the buttermilk and combine into a ball
  • divide the dough into 2 portions and knead into a disk
  • wrap in plastic wrap and place in fridge for at least an hour
  • preheat oven to 400 degrees
  • for the filling, in a large bowl combine the apples, lemon juice and zest, brown sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, salt and cornstarch
  • roll out the bottom pie crust until it is 1/8 inch thick and 12 inches in diameter
  • transfer to a pie dish and trim the edges almost even with the edges of the pie dish
  • roll out the top crust
  • place the apple mixture in the shell, dot with butter and top with top crust
  • trim the edges again and crimp the border with a fork
  • brush the top of the pie with the egg and sprinkle generously with sugar
  • put the pie on a parchment lined baking sheet and bake for 20 minutes at 400 degrees
  • reduce the temperature to 350 and continue to bake for 35-40 minutes until the pie is bubbling
  • transfer to a rack to cool for around 4 hours
  • serve warm with vanilla ice cream

I used to be able to take the farmers vanilla ice cream to put on their pie when we would do the type of meal in the field where everyone gathers around my vehicle to eat it…  but alas they all had to eat their apple pie without ice cream… which is a sin…

I just never know, when I pack their suppers up in bags to take out, when they will get around to eating it so I can’t put a dollop of ice cream on a warm pie slice…

this winter I really got into spiralizing and my favourites are zucchini, sweet potato and butternut squash…  this sprialized butternut squash is the perfect addition to this salad…

butternut squash asian pear salad

Ingredients:

Salad:

  • 1 medium butternut squash, peeled, spiralized and trimmed
  • cooking spray
  • salt and pepper
  • 2 large asian pears, sliced thinly
  • 1 bag baby spinach
  • 1/2 cup pomegranate seeds
  • 1/2 cup roughly chopped almonds or pecans
  • 1/2 cup crumbled goat cheese

Dressing:

  • 2 tbsp maple syrup
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 tbsp sesame oil
  • 4 tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 2 tbsp soy sauce
  • 2 tsp white sesame seeds
  • pepper

Directions:

  • preheat oven to 400 degrees
  • line a baking sheet with parchment paper
  • spread out the butternut squash noodles
  • coat lightly with cooking spray and season with salt and pepper
  • roast for 10-12 minutes
  • to make the salad, add the ingredients and top with the dressing
  • serve immediately as the pear will brown

lastly, because I had spent so much time making pies, it was a quick and easy burrito that I decided to go with for the main course…

the kids and I love eating at Mucho Burrito and this was my quick version of it…

I sauted some peppers, used ground beef (because that was what I had), white rice, shredded cheese and salsa…  I gave each guy two big burritos and the farmer, who can eat just about anything, could only get down one burrito and saved the other one for his lunch today…

happy seeding!!!   here’s hoping it is a time to try out some new fun recipes and perhaps get to make some pie!

seeding meal #1

I listen to a lot of podcasts…  it used to be audiobooks and then I’d tell people I read the book…  but now I’ve moved on to podcasts…  and let me tell you, it is taking an afternoon in the kitchen to a whole new level…

at times it is a level of missed ingredients, forgetting something is in the oven or too much knowledge going into my head and not enough retention…

but it does make it so I get all excited to get my house chores done, go get the mail and do some banking, hit up the store to pick up a few items, go for the run my calendar tells me I have to go for that day and finish up some yard work… all the while I am thinking that I am going to reward myself with hours in the kitchen listening to podcasts…  while I cook for farmers…

and I think to myself… dream job…  seriously, I have never been more happy…

there is a range of podcasts that I like to listen to… and sometimes it takes around 15 minutes for me to decide on which one to go for…

krista tippett, timothy keller, the longest shortest time, bill simmons, nomad, serial, rob bell…  I held back the urge to listen to ‘game of thrones the podcast’…

the only issue is when I go to take pictures of the food I’m half concentrating on cooking, it pauses my podcasts… and I’m not going to lie…  it has forced me to take fewer photos of food… possibly is forcing me to learn how to use a camera… just so the podcasts go uninterrupted…

beef pot roast with peppercorn gravy

  • Servings: 10 +2 dogs
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Ingredients:

  • 4 stalks celery, coarsely chopped
  • 2 medium onions, coarsely chopped
  • 2 medium carrots, coarsely chopped
  • 1 head garlic, broken up
  • 4 dried bay leaves
  • 2 tsp rosemary
  • 1 tsp black peppercorns
  • 500 mL dry red wine
  • 250 mL beef broth
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 4 lb boneless beef chuck roast (trimmed and tied snuggly with kitchen string)
  • kosher salt
  • lemon pepper
  • rosemary

– 1 pkg bacon, cooked

Directions:

  • in a medium pot, add the first ingredients and bring to boil
  • reduce heat and simmer while getting roast ready
  • in a dutch oven, heat olive oil
  • pat dry the roast and then season with salt, pepper and rosemary
  • sear on all sides
  • pour the vegetable and wine mixture over the roast
  • place in oven at 300 degrees for 3 1/2 hours
  • lift out roast and put on cutting board
  • cover with foil
  • strain liquid and pour the remaining liquid into a medium pot
  • add 1/4 cup butter and 1/4 all purpose flour
  • whisk until the gravy thickens
  • add seasoning as needed to gravy
  • serve with potatoes and a slice of bacon!


garlic roasted white potatoes

Ingredients:

  • around 4 lbs medium white potatoes, cut into wedges
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 tsp oregano
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 head garlic, minced

Directions:

  • preheat oven to 450 degrees
  • in a large bowl, add cut potatoes
  • add the rest of the ingredients
  • let sit for a bit and then place potatoes on a parchment lined baking sheet
  • bake for 25-30 minutes until done and slightly crispy

whole wheat biscuits

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups Robin Hood ‘Tastes Like White’ flour (or whole wheat pastry flour)
  • 1 tbsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • 1/4 cup unsalted cold butter, cubed
  • 1 cup cold buttermilk
  • 1/4 cup melted butter (for brushing)

Directions:

  • preheat oven to 450 degrees
  • in a bowl, mix flour, baking powder and salt
  • add butter and with a pastry blender cut the butter in until the mixture resembles coarse oatmeal
  • pour in buttermilk and gently pull together with a spatula
  • dump out onto floured counter top and gently roll out till it is 3/4 inch thick
  • dip a 2.5 inch biscuit cutter in flour and cut out the biscuits
  • do not twist, as this prevents the biscuits from rising evenly, but just press down
  • place on a parchment lined baking sheet and brush with butter
  • bake for 10 minutes
  • best served warm

Brandon, my 14 year old who lost all brain function about 3 months ago, actually suggested the sour cream on the side to go along with the roast, potatoes and burnt bacon… (but I learnt a lot of life lessons from the podcast I was engrossed in while the bacon was burning…  so in the end I think a good thing)…  I was proud of him… prouder than I have been in ages…  months actually… I almost included him in the picture that was interrupting my podcast…

first meal during seeding…  I thought I’d include bacon twice…  just in case nothing else tasted good…

mixed greens with orange balsamic vinaigrette

Ingredients:

  • 1/3 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 2/3 cup olive oil
  • 2 tbsp fresh orange juice
  • zest of 1 orange
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt
  • 1/8 tsp ground black pepper
  • 2 tsp dijon mustard
  • 1 clove of garlic, smashed (removed before serving)
  • mixed greens
  • bacon (cooked and cut up)
  • cashews (roasted and unsalted)
  • mandarin orange slices (canned… drained)

Directions:

  • in a salad shaker, combine ingredients except for the garlic and shake until well mixed
  • add the garlic and store in refrigerator for a few hours
  • make individuals salads
  • take out garlic, shake dressing again and pour over the salads

lemon bundt cake

  • Servings: 1 bundt cake
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Ingredients:

  • 2 1/2 cups sugar
  • 1 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 2 tbsp grated lemon zest (around 3 lemons)
  • 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice (around 2-3 lemons)
  • 6 large eggs, room temperature
  • 2 1/2 cups all  purpose flour
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 cup plain Greek yogurt
  • 3/4 cup powdered sugar
  • 2 tbsp fresh lemon juice

Directions:

  • preheat oven to 325 degrees
  • using Crisco or butter, butter a bundt pan and flour it
  • place in the fridge to cool
  • in a mixer, combine sugar and butter until well mixed
  • add eggs, one at a time
  • add lemon zest and lemon juice
  • combine flour, salt, baking soda and baking powder in a bowl and add to mixer
  • add yogurt to mixer
  • pour into the bundt pan
  • bake for 1 hour 20 minutes until a toothpick comes out clean
  • cool on a wire rack, in the pan, for one hour
  • turn cake out and cool for another hour
  • mix powdered sugar and lemon juice and drizzle over room temperature cake

this is what happens to a cake when you put it in the oven and then forget you did and go for a run… and then are rushed for time so you put the glaze on before it is cool…

the farmer told me it was shockingly moist and good… so apparently you cannot wreck this cake…

I spent the weekend in Calgary with a little girl that is dear to my heart…  she is a miniature Brene Brown or Oprah… everything that comes out of her mouth is a ‘life lesson’ or ‘a-ha’ moment…  and I feel close to her as I listen to podcast after podcast and wonder when I am going to be able to handle my kids coming home from school and not screaming at them to put their lunch kits in the proper spot…

pitchfork bacon

i usually cook for the farmer…  but on occasion he cooks for me.

this is basically the only thing he knows how to cook… but if there is only one thing you know how to cook, it might as well be bacon on a pitchfork over a fire…

something about how the grease from the bacon drips onto the fire is mesmerizing

thick cut cherry bacon is the best

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