“I like to think of myself as a 7, but I go for an 11… get it? 7-11”

I made two trips to Wal-Mart this weekend… once to get toilet paper and king size bed linens… the next time was to get king size bed linens that I had paid for and forgotten… and I blame it on a group of teenage boys

(the farmer and I are currently raising two teenage boys so I’m an expert on teenagers)…

my daughter and I were in line with toilet paper, a set of king size sheets and shampoo and conditioner… the usual...

while in line, this group of five high school boys were standing behind us and had a big day planned apparently…  three movies to watch…

they were so loud and obnoxious…  talking about how fantastic they were and how every girl should want to date them…  using words that my daughter and I should not have had to listen to whilst buying our toilet paper and bed linens…

and it was like a competition to see who could say the stupidest story the loudest…

there was a beautiful young girl working the till…  and this group of boys started making comments about her…  she heard them, probably because they were not trying to be quiet, and I could see it was making her uncomfortable…

everything in me wanted to turn to them and ask them to tone it down a notch and stop embarrassing themselves by speaking…  I was planning on saying ‘if you just stand there silently, none of us will know exactly how stupid you really are’… 

I was angry that when a group of boys or men get together they feel like they can objectify women like we love it that they are noticing us and making us feel uncomfortable…

I should have said something but I didn’t…  I need to be more brave… for my daughter, for the young girl actually working on a Saturday instead of watching 3 movies and acting like an idiot… really for every woman out there that has had to endure degrading comments said by cocky, ignorant young men…

I also like to think there are certain rules when standing in line… and these boys obviously had never been told them…

first rule… don’t judge what kind of night I had that I need to be buying toilet paper and bed sheets…  just look away and mind your own business…

second rule…  do not crowd the person in line in front of you… give them some space and use the stick to separate your purchases from theirs…

third rule…  do not talk…  if you must talk, speak in hushed tones…  the people around you do not want to hear your phone conversation or really anything you have to say…

fourth rule… if you are a teenage boy, really do not talk... during this time in your life, you should only speak when you are surrounded by other teenage boys and you are out of earshot of anyone else…  this is the only way for you to not look like a fool…

when I returned home, I found that my daughter must have grabbed the shampoo and conditioner, I grabbed the toilet paper and no one grabbed the sheets…

I had the receipt but was prepared for them to not believe me when I went back the next day to tell them that I bought them but did not leave with them…

I went to the customer service desk and started to plead my case…  how the boys had angered and distracted me and I forgot to take the sheets with me… oh, and I’m a trustworthy person…

the lady at the desk looked around and came back with a set of king size sheets…

and she asked me if these were the sheets…  I read the note, almost teared up I was so happy to see the description of me in my mid-20’s… and claimed the sheets…

getting to the vehicle, with a ridiculous grin on my face, I showed the note to my middle-son and daughter…

and then was immediately brought back down to earth when he commented…  ‘I wonder if it’s cuz you dress too young for your age, or your tattoos, or that zit on your face and your new braces’

this was when I got to teach him the lesson those teenage boys the day before needed to know…  don’t speak

so to all the teenage boys out there…  silence is always a good option… you’ll appear mysterious, intelligent and intriguing…  at least until you open your mouth…

meal to the field was cauliflower taco salad, beef enchiladas and cardamom lemon ricotta bundt cake…

cauliflower taco salad

Cauliflower Taco Salad

Ingredients:

  • 3 heads Romaine lettuce, washed and chopped
  • 2 green peppers, small dice
  • 2 cups mayo
  • 2 tbsp sugar
  • 1 head cauliflower, cut into small portions
  • 6 green onions, diced
  • 1 1/2 cups cheddar cheese
  • 1 bag Doritos

Directions:

  • in either a large bowl or in individual containers, place lettuce and green peppers
  • mix the mayo and sugar and spoon and smooth over the lettuce and green peppers
  • add cauliflower, green onions and cheddar cheese
  • chill for at least 2 hours
  • when ready to serve add crushed Doritos on the top
  • if serving in a large bowl, mix ingredients together before serving
  • if putting in containers to take to the field, leave unmixed

for the beef enchiladas, I made a enchilada sauce…  not quite as good as the canned one I had bought before but I have been unable to find it in grocery stores and was sick of looking for it…

beef enchiladas with homemade sauce

Ingredients:

  • for the sauce
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 tbsp flour
  • 1 1/2 cups chicken stock
  • 1 (15 oz) can tomato sauce
  • 2 tbsp tomato paste
  • 2 tbsp chili powder
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/4 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1/8 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt
  • ground pepper
  • for the enchiladas
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 3 red peppers, chopped
  • 3 green peppers, chopped
  • 2 yellow onions, chopped
  • 2 cans (4 oz) diced green chiles (optional)
  • 6 lbs ground beef
  • 2 tsp cumin
  • 2 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • ground pepper
  • 6-8 cups shredded cheddar cheese
  • 24 whole wheat tortillas

Directions:

  • preheat oven to 350 degrees
  • spray three 9×13 pans with cooking spray
  • to make the sauce, whisk olive oil and flour until it browns slightly
  • add the other ingredients and cook on warm for 10-15 minutes
  • in a large skillet, cook the red peppers, green peppers, onions and chiles until soft
  • brown the meat, straining off the excess fat, and add spices to meat
  • in a large bowl, combine the peppers, meat, 2 cups sauce and 3 cups cheese and mix well
  • put a heaping 2/3 cup of the meat/pepper mixture in the centre of each tortilla and wrap up
  • spread 1 cup of sauce in the bottom of each pan
  • place 8 filled and rolled tortillas in each pan
  • pour 1/2 cup sauce over the tortillas evenly and then sprinkle around 1 cup cheese over them
  • bake for 30 minutes and serve

on to the cake… I was very excited to make…  because I love to try new ingredients and the spice Cardamom sounded exotic and interesting to me…  so I made a zucchini, lemon, ricotta and cardamom bundt cake…

side note…  cardamom cost me $16…  so come borrow mine…  I’ll give it to you for $4 per teaspoon…

cardamom lemon bundt cake

  • Servings: 1 bundt cake
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Ingredients:

  • 2 1/2 cups sugar
  • 1 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 2 tbsp grated lemon zest
  • 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
  • 6 large eggs, room temperature
  • 2 1/2 cups flour
  • 1 1/2 tsp ground cardamom
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 cup ricotta, room temperature
  • 1 cup grated yellow zucchini
  • 3/4 cup powdered sugar
  • 2 tbsp fresh lemon juice
  • pinch of ground cardamom

Directions:

  • preheat oven to 325 degrees
  • butter and lightly flour pan and cool in fridge
  • in a standing mixer, combine sugar and butter until smooth
  • add lemon zest, lemon juice and eggs one at a time, scraping the bowl as needed
  • in a separate bowl, combine flour, cardamom, salt, baking soda and baking powder
  • add flour to butter mixture and combine
  • add ricotta and zucchini
  • take pan out of fridge and pour cake batter into the pan
  • bake for 1 hour or until a long wooden pick inserted in centre comes out clean
  • cook cake in pan for 1 hour
  • transfer to a plate and cool completely
  • whisk the powdered sugar, lemon juice and cardamom together and drizzle over cake and serve

in defence of the the boys… there was one boy that was slightly humorous… perhaps realizing that his group of friends was being annoying and disrespectful…

when they were discussing what type of girl they like to go for, he mentioned ‘I like to consider myself as a 7, but I always go for an 11… get it?  7-11’…  

this was the only intelligent thing said… so well done to him… but still a better idea is not to speak in a Wal-Mart line in your teenage years…

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…