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

crockpot butter chicken, homemade naan bread, creamed garden corn, spinach strawberry salad and rhubarb sour cream pie 

yesterday the young-ins were home from school due to something called labour day… which strikes me as odd due to the fact we’ve had an entire summer off…  and now you are making me look after my own children for something called labour day???

so, I put them to work… in honour of the day…  and we picked two rows of corn from the garden… and got over 120 cobs I figure!  just crazy this year due to the insane rain we’ve had…

my middle son made up a song as he did it… something to do with he likes sausage more than corn…  drove me nuts… but I knew that was his game plan to get out of working so I tried to block him out and not let him win the battle…

he won the battle… Sienna and I finished the job…

after getting a few cobs of corn back in the suppers sent out to the farmers I decided that driving giant machinery whilst eating a cob of corn might be tricky so I’m doing the work for them now and cutting the kernels off the cob…

what I really should do to help them out is throw the entire meal into my Vitamix and wa-la…  dinner in a smoothie!

creamed garden corn

Ingredients:

  • @ 40 cobs corn, kernels cut off into a bowl to use
  • 1 cup butter
  • 1 pint half/half cream
  • 2 tsp kosher salt
  • 1/4 cup sugar

Directions:

  • cut the kernels off the corn cobs
  • put kernels in a large roasting pan, add butter, cream, salt and sugar
  • bake covered at 350 degrees for 90 minutes, stirring once
  • allow to cool and store in ziplock bags in freezer for future use or serve immediately

the kids were very excited to eat this… and I have 12 bags in the freezer for our family for the winter now!

now that labour day is done and I can get my kids back to school, the dogs and I took a little run this morning…

I have to stick to the dirt roads as there is an abnormal amount of heavy machinery traffic on the grid roads… and this lovely dog Lacy tends to stand in the middle of road when a sprayer or combine or grain truck comes rolling by…

almost like she’s deaf… or blind… or stupid…

but dirt roads have better scenery anyways…

and the smell of wet leaves on the ground this morning mixed with the breeze blowing through the barley and durum made for a blissful run…

fall is my favourite time of year… maybe…

I was able to steal some rhubarb from the farmers cousin’s place… which used to be his grandparents rhubarb…  and I do this every harvest because rhubarb might be my favourite ingredient ever…

I know what you are thinking… just transplant it already…

I feel like that would take some of my excitement over getting the rhubarb away… and thus make me not enjoy it as much as I do now…

I was planning on making Grandma Swan’s rhubarb cream pie but upon discussion at the local grocery store with the owners of how to go about making a great rhubarb pie I changed my plans and went with a recipe that was told to me as I was paying for my baking supplies…

I might not have remembered well enough and overfilled my pies a touch, but made the adjustments for the recipe I’m posting with this…

so go ahead and try it out…  my kids ate it like they had never ate pie before…

thank you Pat and Craig from P&C Foods!

rhubarb sour cream pie

Ingredients:

  • 1 9” pie shell, chilled
  • 4 cups chopped rhubarb
  • 1 egg
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 3/4 cup sour cream
  • 1/3 cup flour
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/8 cup butter

Directions:

  • place rhubarb in the unbaked pie shell
  • whisk egg, sugar, sour cream and flour together
  • pour over the rhubarb
  • crumble the flour, brown sugar and butter together
  • spread over the pie
  • bake at 425 degrees for 15 minutes
  • continue to bake at 350 degrees for 40-50 minutes
  • allow at least an hour to cool before you serve

easiest salad to make ever… I don’t like it… but seems like there are those out there that do… and it’s better than just sending spinach…

spinach strawberry salad

Ingredients:

  • 16 oz bag of spinach
  • 4 lbs strawberries, washed and sliced
  • 1 1/2 cups slivered almonds
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 2 tbsp sesame seeds
  • 1 tbsp poppy seeds
  • 1/4 tsp worcestershire sauce
  • 1/4 tsp paprika
  • 1/2 cup canola oil
  • 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar

Directions:

  • place spinach (if too much take some out) and strawberries and almonds in a very large bowl
  • shake the dressing ingredients until well combined
  • pour over salad and serve

I’ve put this recipe for naan bread on before and I still love it… it’s no Opa but if you can’t buy their pitas… make this…

homemade naan bread

Ingredients

– 2 tbsp sugar

– 1/2 cup hot water (not boiling)

– 1 1/2 tsp active dry yeast

– 4 cups all purpose flour

– 4 cups whole wheat pastry flour

– 1 tsp kosher salt

– 3 tsp baking powder

– 2 tsp baking soda

– 1 1/2 cups warm milk

– 2 cup greek yogurt, room temperature

– melted butter for brushing

– fresh cilantro for garnish

Directions

– dissolve the sugar in the water and add the yeast in a large measuring bowl… let sit for 10 minutes

– in a mixing bowl, add flour, salt,  baking soda and baking powder

– add the warm milk and yogurt to the yeast mixture

– pour the wet ingredients into the dry and begin mixing together gently

– use your hands to finish mixing it together

– it should be sticky but should be able to form a ball

– cover with a damp tea towel and let rise 1 hour in a warm place

– when ready to use divide it into 2 and divide those two sections into 8 each… keep these balls covered with a damp tea towel

– roll the ball into an oval shape, about 6 inches long and 1/4 inch thick

– brush the dough with butter and place in a frying pan on med/high heat and cover with a lid for 1 minute or until you see bubbles begin to form

– flip and cook for 1-2 minutes more until it looks toasted

– brush with a little bit more butter and sprinkle with kosher salt and cilantro

– place in a 9×13 tea towel lined dish and cover with a tea towel until you have completed cooking all of them

now the butter chicken… which is always a hit around this house…

my advice, if you are are planning on doing this entire meal, go to costco and buy their three pack of greek yogurt…  you’ll thank me…  over and over and over again…

crockpot butter chicken

Ingredients:

  • 7 chicken breasts, thawed and cut into chunks
  • 2 cups onions, minced
  • 1 (14 oz or 398 mL) can coconut milk
  • 1/2 cup greek yogurt
  • 1/4 cup half/half cream
  • 1 (5.5 oz) can tomato paste
  • 6 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tbsp freshly grated ginger
  • 2 tsp mild curry powder
  • 2 tsp garam marsala
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt

Directions:

  • in a large measuring bowl, mix together coconut milk, greek yogurt and cream
  • add tomato sauce and whisk
  • add garlic, ginger and spices and whisk
  • spray the inside of your crockpot with a cooking spray
  • add the onion to the bowl and then the chicken
  • pour the coconut milk mixture over
  • cook on low for 4-6 hours
  • try to stir at least once during the cooking to break up the chicken
  • season with salt and pepper as necessary
  • serve over white rice and with a piece of warm Naan bread