seeding 2019 begins!!!

I thought I might be done blogging…  it takes a considerable amount of time and effort… with trying to run more and keep up with all the farm and kids sports/lives I just felt like I should let it go…  but then I was at my Grandpa’s funeral and his sister told me that her husband loves reading my blog…  and it made my day…

so here it goes!!!  and I have so much excitement for cooking this spring and sharing it – but also getting back to writing as well…

I also upgraded my phone for a trip I took to Costa Rica in February and now I don’t need to spend any time editing my photos because they just look great  #nofilter (my 15 year old told me I need to use more hashtags… not sure if this is what he meant… or if he is mocking me… its tough to tell when he is being sarcastic)

 the farmer brought me a 5 gallon pail of chickpeas after harvest last year and I usually make up a batch every week – being a vegetarian, this is a lovely source of protein…

Instant Pot is perfect for these…  soak them for 8 hours, drain and add water again until it covers them by around 1/2 inch and set on manual for 10 minutes…

drain again and they are good to go

in this case – for this salad – they were getting roasted with some chili powder…  and that is my son adding the seasoning as he has a school project where he was supposed to cook a meal with a slow cooker (guess how much I love my kids in the kitchen with me?  …  scale of 1-10? …  I’d say a 2 …)

spring apple cauliflower salad

Ingredients:
Salad:
1 14 oz can chickpeas, drained and rinsed (or make your own!!! see note below)
chili powder, salt and pepper
olive oil
1 head cauliflower, cut into florets and ‘riced’ (or buy as ‘rice’)
2 apples, cut into little cubes
2 large shallots, sliced thinly
a bunch of parsley and mint, chopped
2 firm avocados, cut into chunks (optional)
Dressing:
2 tbsp grainy mustard
2 tbsp honey or maple syrup
1/4 cup olive oil
juice and zest of one lime
salt and pepper (to taste, if necessary)

Instructions:
– preheat oven to 400 degrees
chickpeas – cooking them in the Instant Pot – soak in water for 8 hours if you can, then drain and add enough water to have around a 1/2 inch over the chickpeas
on manual, cook the chickpeas for 10 minutes and release
drain – I like my chickpeas a bit on the crunchy side…
on a baking sheet covered in tin foil, add the chickpeas, olive oil, chili powder, salt and pepper
roast for 20 minutes and let cool and dry
cauliflower prep – if you weren’t able to buy cauliflower ‘rice’ – you can rice your own in a food processor or Vitamix… but work in very small batches
for the dressing – shake everything in a jar
to assemble, add everything except for the chickpeas together and stir well
place chickpeas on top of the salad and enjoy!

this part of the salad prep I did not allow him to help on… ricing the cauliflower… I pictured him turning it into a paste and finding cauliflower all over the kitchen for weeks to come…  it is a tricky thing to do and I sure wish Costco had been open for me to buy riced cauliflower there!!!

when you are giving the farmers chocolate cake – a nice light apple/cauliflower salad is in order… (if you look hard you can see his foot and my foot)

top with the roasted chickpeas and it is light and yummy and satisfying!

then I was able to get the kitchen to myself… and began the sandwiches…  the farmer loved roasted garlic and so I’m trying to find ways to include it…  this time it went into the whipped butter – which my 17 year old told me he could have ate the entire bowl with no bun…

the pork tenderloin gets cut up and roasted and my daughter told me she loves anything pig…  the farmer asked me how much I spent on it as apparently China is killing pigs and the price is on the rise… I must have gotten in on it before the price hike??? pork is cheap

pork caesar salad sandwiches with roasted garlic whipped butter

Ingredients:
1 fresh Pork Tenderloin
2 tsp olive oil
salt and pepper
onion powder
garlic cloves
1/4 cup butter, room temperature
1/2 tsp onion powder
1/2 tsp kosher salt
black pepper
romaine lettuce, shredded
creamy Ceasar dressing
parmesan cheese
long buns or sourdough baguette, split down the middle lengthwise

Directions:
preheat oven to 375
line a baking sheet with foil and brush with oil
slice the pork tenderloin in to 1/2 inch slices and line the slices on the baking sheet
sprinkle with salt, pepper and onion powder
add the garlic cloves (make sure they have oil on them)
roast pork for 15-20 minutes or until slices have just cooked through
continue to cook garlic if it is not done
in a mixing bowl, whip the butter, onion powder, salt, pepper and roasted garlic
in a bowl, combine the romaine lettuce, dressing and parmesan
to assemble: butter the bun with the whipped garlic butter, add pieces of the pork and top with caesar salad

now for the real reason I love seeding and harvest…  cakes and pies…

you kind of need a reason to bake…  seeding and harvest is a great reason…  even though farming isn’t quite as labour intensive as the good ‘ol days…

blackberry, cherry chocolate cake with blackberry buttercream icing

Ingredients:
Cake:
12 oz (2 pints) blackberries, plus more for decorating
1 cup frozen cherries, pitted
1/4 cup white sugar
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 cup white sugar
1 tsp espresso powder or 1 tbsp instant coffee
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp fine grain salt
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1 cup whole milk
1 large egg
1 tsp vanilla
Buttercream:
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, softened
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
2 cups icing sugar, sifted
1/2 cup reserved blackberry syrup
(milk if needed to get it creamy)

Directions:
add the blackberries, cherries and 1/4 cup sugar to a medium sauce pot and bring to a boil
turn the heat down to medium and simmer for 10 minutes – smashing the blackberries
let cool
preheat oven to 350 degrees
line two 8 inch round cake pans with parchment paper and lightly grease with butter or lard
in a large mixing bowl, combing the flour, sugar, instant coffee, cocoa powder, baking soda and salt
in another mixing bowl, mix the oil, milk, egg and vanilla
slowly add the flour mixture and the blackberry mixture – making sure to keep 1/2 cup of the blackberry syrup for the icing
divide the batter between the prepared baking pans, and smooth in to an even layer
bake for 35-35 minutes until a cake-tester inserted into the center of each cake comes out clean
let cool on a rack
for the buttercream, beat butter, scraping it down, until light and fluffy
add the sifted cocoa and icing sugar, a half cup at a time, until the frosting is thick and creamy
add the blackberry syrup
the buttercream should be spreadable, but thick enough to hold its shape on the cake
assemble the cake
store leftovers in a covered container at room-temperature or refrigerated if longer than a day

it is Easter break here in Saskatchewan so kids in the kitchen seems to be inevitable…  and this 10 year old needs to put sprinkles on everything…

ok – maybe its ok having kids in the kitchen – once in awhile

happy seeding!!!

coconut milk cauliflower soup

here in Canada there are winter months where cauliflower is so expensive you have to omit other groceries from your shopping list… just to get this item you need for your countless recipes that contain cauliflower… this tasteless vegetable with very little nutritional value is basically in every recipe you see…  and it is pricey!

and so should be treated accordingly…  like a Kardashian…  a Kardashian food item…

if you care to Pinterest cauliflower, it is used as the substitute for basically everything… and just putting it in the title of your recipe will make it seem very healthy…  even if it is drenched in cheese and bacon…

for this soup recipe…  I use it along with some other vegetables to make a soup that my own children said is better than potato soup…

that is saying a lot…  also, if you want to get your metabolism going, eat this soup…

I have found that cooking for my family and the other farmers that I get to cook for has been a combination of all of the reasons people cook…

necessity, creativity, artistry and communion…

if you are lucky, you get one opportunity to connect as a family every day… and it is over your supper meal…  and if your supper meal is cooking with care and love – oh and cauliflower – conversation will ensue…

and when parents and children discuss their day over an excellent bowl of soup with some croutons in it… life happens…

goodness happens… humour happens…

you find out how your children are connecting with the world and with you…

and there are many shortcuts to homemade soup that still are legit…  you are allowed to use pre-cut cauliflower from Costco if it is way cheaper…

and you are allowed to use ginger puree that is canned…

but – never ever use light coconut milk – that is a cardinal sin…

puree all this super food into a pulp and toss some croutons on it and sit down and find out what your children are up to…

or – enjoy it in peace while watching Border Security in a giant t-shirt – by yourself in your bedroom…

whatever floats your boat…

roasted cauliflower soup with coconut milk

Ingredients:

  • 2 small heads or 1 large head cauliflower, cut into medium florets
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 3/4 tsp ground turmeric
  • kosher salt and ground black pepper
  • 1 medium yellow onion, diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 4 medium carrots, diced
  • 2-4 stalks celery, diced
  • 2 tsp chili garlic sauce
  • 4 cups chicken broth (more if needed)
  • 1 (15 oz) can full-fat coconut milk
  • 1 tbsp grated fresh ginger (or 1 tsp canned pureed ginger)
  • 1/2 juicy lime, more if needed
  • croutons (optional – as a topping)

Directions:

  • preheat oven to 425 degrees
  • line a sheet pan with parchment paper
  • in a mixing bowl, toss cauliflower, oil, turmeric, salt and pepper
  • roast for 20-25 minutes
  • in a soup pot, add onion, garlic, carrots and celery
  • add chili garlic sauce
  • saute for 10-12 minutes until soft
  • add cauliflower and chicken broth
  • puree with a handheld blender
  • add coconut milk and ginger
  • serve and top with freshly squeezed lime and croutons

meal to the field #12

if I’ve decided I’m going to fight with you on the phone… nothing you do or say will stop it… no amount of patience, reasoning, intelligence or common sense will quell my anger…

over the past few weeks I have been blogging and posting pictures of either myself or my food… and my internet has been so painfully slow that I’ve resorted to turning it off completely and linking my phone to my laptop to write my posts…  this took considerable effort seeings how a 36 year old like myself has no idea the difference between ‘hotspot’ and ‘bluetooth’…

the farmer would tell you that I like to let my anger get to a level where I can’t be reasoned with, before I start a fight… this allows me to always win… because the other person gives up…

I make the phone call… I am on hold for over four minutes… this only fuels the fire… when Trevor finally gets off his coffee break and can field my call, the first question he asks me is my phone number… I give him my cell number but no he wants my old land line number… which I can’t remember due to the fact I have a poor memory… he was kind enough to ‘dig around’ and found my account which I have been paying $74 a month for…

I tell him my side of the story… “I’m trying to download 6 pictures and it takes me 3 days and I eventually just shut off my internet and hook my laptop up to my phone because your internet service is so horrible”…

Trevor pauses and then says in his nerdy, cocky, early 20’s voice… “our internet service looks like it’s functioning well in your area”…  I said “how would you know? I’d like you to send someone out here to check on it”…  Trevor replies “I can check on it from here and everything from our end is functioning well but you are completely tapped out for uploads and downloads on your end… do you have other devices running in your residence?”…

Sienna… crap… she has three iPads and two mini iPads…  before you judge…  they are all hand-me-downs and out of date… only one doesn’t have a cracked screen… and we won two of them at prize tables at hockey tournaments… whew… I can sense the judgement going away…

and she loves Netflix

but I found the next words out of my mouth to Trevor were “no… I put all devices in the house on airplane mode already… I think it is something on your end”…  he paused and his next words had a bit of a scorning laugh added to them “I can see our end and your end and it definitely is your end that is the problem”…

I did not go down without a fight…  I stuck to my story… told him I was possibly going to cancel my services with them… told him I felt like he could work on his customer service…

as soon as I hung up… I went and looked at all of her iPads… she has them stashed all over the house so it took me a bit… I turned them all on to airplane mode… came back to my laptop and ‘waa-laa’ (the farmer tells me that’s not how you say it)…  pictures downloaded or uploaded… not sure which… and everything working at lightning speed…

in that moment I just about called Trevor back… but I couldn’t (even though I knew I was wrong) apologize to a early 20’s cocky nerd…  it wouldn’t be good for his ego…

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

chicken pot pie with biscuits

Ingredients:

Chicken Filling:

  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1 cup flour
  • 5 cups chicken broth
  • 1 (8 oz) block cream cheese, cubed
  • salt and pepper
  • 2 tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 8 cups shredded chicken
  • olive oil
  • 2 white onions, diced
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 4 cups carrots, small dice
  • 3 cups celery, small dice
  • 3 cups frozen peas

Biscuit Dough:

  • 5 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 tbsp baking powder
  • 1 tbsp baking soda
  • 2 tsp kosher salt
  • 2 tsp sugar
  • 1 tsp ground black pepper
  • 1/2 cup chopped green onion or chives
  • 1/2 cup cold, cubed unsalted butter
  • 8 oz cream cheese, cubed
  • 1 1/2 cups buttermilk
  • 1 egg, for egg wash

Directions:

  • in a saucepan, thicken buttter, flour, broth, cream cheese, salt and pepper and lemon juice
  • add the shredded chicken and pour into a large mixing bowl
  • in the same pan, heat olive oil and add onions, garlic, carrots and celery
  • cook until softened and add to the chicken mixture
  • add peas to the chicken mixture
  • in two 9×13 inch greased baking pans, spread out pot pie mixture
  • for the biscuits, mix flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, sugar and pepper
  • add green onions and mix
  • cut in with a pastry blender the butter and cream cheese
  • add buttermilk and combine
  • turn out onto floured surface and knead very lightly
  • roll out till 1/2 inch thick and cut with biscuit cutter
  • place biscuits on top of chicken filling
  • beat one egg with a splash of water and brush on the biscuits
  • bake at 375 degrees for 25 minutes or until chicken filling is bubbling and biscuits are browned


apple crisp with pistachios

Ingredients:

  • 15 macintosh apples (washed, cored and cubed – peel on)
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • juice of 1 lemon
  • zest of 1 lemon
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • 1/2 cup cold unsalted butter, cut into small cubes
  • 2 cups oats
  • 1/2 cup shelled pistachios

Directions:

  • put brown sugar, lemon juice and zest and cinnamon in a large bowl
  • add apples and mix
  • pour into a 9×13 baking dish
  • in a large bowl, combine flour, sugar, salt and butter
  • blend with a pastry cutter
  • add oats and pistachios
  • sprinkle evenly over the apples
  • place 9×13 on a baking sheet in case of it spilling over
  • bake at 375 for 40 minutes or until bubbling and browned
  • serve warm and with vanilla ice cream if possible

meal to the field #11

combining canola… and needing buns for the kids lunches… so I made Tracey’s cheese buns she has told me about… I did not tackle making them in the figure eight shape she does…  I am not that talented… but you should try it because I think it would taste better that way…

 

Tracey's cheese buns

Ingredients:

  • Tammy’s Bun Recipe
  • 2 tbsp onion flakes
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 cup parmesan cheese
  • 3 cups grated cheddar cheese
  • 2 tsp Maldon sea salt flakes
  • 1 tsp garlic salt

Directions:

  • use Tammy’s Bun Recipe and add the onion flakes and garlic powder to it
  • let rise three times, punching down ever 15 minutes
  • roll out in a figure eight shape transfer to a parchment paper to rise
  • mix the parmesan cheese and cheddar cheese and sprinkle over the buns
  • sprinkle Maldon sea salt flakes and garlic salt over the buns
  • bake at 350 degrees for 17 minutes or until browned and done

I love this salad…  my kids not so much… but it is everything I like in a harvest salad… packs well, transfers well, sits well…

frozen pea salad

Ingredients:

  • 6 cups frozen peas
  • 4 small heads broccoli, cut into small pieces
  • 1 head cauliflower, cut into small pieces
  • 2 yellow onions, diced
  • 2 cups cheddar cheese, grated
  • 2 cups Ranch dressing
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 1 pkg (500g) cooked, chopped bacon
  • 1 cup roasted, unsalted cashews, chopped

Directions:

  • in a large bowl, mix together the peas, broccoli, cauliflower, onions and cheese
  • mix Ranch dressing and sour cream together and add to the salad
  • place in refrigerator for at least 3 hours
  • dish into containers and add bacon and cashews on top

the farmer requested this… beef stroganoff… a favourite from his childhood…

 

beef stroganoff

Ingredients:

  • 6 round streaks, sliced thinly
  • 1/2 cup all purpose flour
  • 1 tbsp kosher salt
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • 3 cans cream of chicken soup
  • 1 1/2 cups sour cream
  • olive oil
  • 3 yellow onions, minced
  • 1 head garlic, minced
  • 1 carton (320 g) button mushrooms, sliced
  • 2 pkgs Egg Noodles

Directions:

  • heat olive oil in a pan
  • in two batches, place steak in flour, salt and pepper and then to brown on med-high heat in the pan
  • in a large pot, whisk chicken soup and sour cream together
  • transfer first batch of meat to the large pot with the soup mixture and brown the second batch of meat
  • transfer second batch of meat to the soup mixture
  • heat olive oil and add onions, garlic and then mushrooms
  • add this to the soup/meat mixture
  • keep on very low heat until you are ready to serve (at least 1 hour simmering)
  • serve over egg noodles

my mother cans peaches every fall… so I make peach cobbler every fall… as well as eat canned peaches for breakfast at least twice a week until they run out… I can remember blanching the peaches, getting the skin off of them, slicing them and putting them in the sugary juice in the canning jars… messy work and I’m grateful she still does it on her own so we can enjoy them…

peach cobbler

  • Servings: one 9x13 pan
  • Print

Ingredients:

  • 3 quarts canned peaches, strained (or 12 fresh peaches, sliced)
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 tbsp cornstarch
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 2 tsp fresh lemon juice
  • zest of one lemon
  • 2 cups flour
  • 2 tbsp sugar
  • 3 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • 1/2 cup cold shortening, cut into small cubes
  • 1 cup whole milk

Directions:

  • mix sugar, cornstarch, cinnamon, lemon juice and zest in a saucepan on medium/high heat
  • add peaches and boil and gently stir for 1 minute
  • pour into a 9×13 greased dish
  • cut shortening into flour, sugar, baking powder and salt mixture
  • add milk and mix until sticky
  • spoon over the peaches and bake at 400 degrees for 30 minutes
  • serve warm if possible