seeding meal #7

the boys had to help me get the meal out yesterday… life was busy and I was not home during the crucial hours of 3:30 – 5:30 pm…  but I had laid out the ingredients and had instructed both boys on what their role would be in this process…

a few concerns I had…  Ethan got his phone out an recorded me word-for-word like a reporter… unbeknownst to me… and I rambled… and paused…  pretty sure he is just going to use that audio for something to embarrass me with at a later point…

Brandon, my 14 year old, grabbed two Cutco knives and started singing ‘everybody was Kung Fu fighting’…  (might I add that I believe there should be more parenting books written to guide one through the murky waters of adolescent boys?)

Ethan, upon seeing that chicken was on the menu, countered with his own little jingle that only had one word ‘salmonella… salm, salm-onella’ (more of a rap really)

seeing that they had dinner prep firmly under control, I headed out to pick up my daughter and couldn’t wait to get home to see the progress they had made…

I had made this Naan bread earlier and it was ready to go…  this might have been a bit complicated for the boys, even though they did keep reminding me that they are learning all this ‘cooking stuff’ at school…

homemade greek yogurt Naan bread

– 2 tbsp sugar

– 1/2 cup warm water

– 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 whole milk

– 2 cups greek yogurt, room temperature

– melted butter, for brushing

– fresh cilantro, chopped and for garnishing

– sea salt flakes for seasoning

Directions:

– dissolve sugar in the water and add the yeast in a large measuring bowl

– let sit for 10 minuts

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

– add the warm milk and yogurt to the yeast mixture and mix on low speed with paddle attachment

– add the dry ingredients and mix with paddle attachment on medium speed until combined

– turn out onto counter and form into a ball

– place in a greased bowl and cover with tea towel for 1 hour to rise

– when ready, divide into two and then divide those two sections each into 8

– roll each of these into balls and keep covered with a warm, 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 looks toasted

– brush with a bit more butter and sprinkle with sea salt flakes and cilantro to serve

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

steph curried chicken and vegetable pan roast

Ingredients:

  • 2 lbs butternut squash, cut into 1 inch cubes
  • 1 1/2 lbs Brussels sprouts, halved
  • 2 large red onions, cut into thin wedges
  • 1/2 cup canola oil
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 cup plain greek yogurt
  • 2 tbsp minced fresh ginger
  • 4 large garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 tbsp mild curry powder
  • 4 lbs skinless, boneless chicken thighs

Directions:

  • preheat oven to 450
  • in a large bowl, toss brussels sprouts, onion and squash
  • turn out onto a parchment lined baking sheet (or two baking sheets if necessary) and season with salt and pepper
  • combine yogurt, ginger, garlic and curry powder
  • add chicken and coat
  • in a 9×13 pan, pour chicken into
  • place chicken in oven and roast for 20-25 minutes or until cooked through
  • place vegetable in oven and roast for 15 minutes or until soft
  • serve over white rice and with a slice of Naan bread

all that hard work at school paid off with these finally chopped vegetables!  maybe there is still hope for this 14 year old after all…

the kids also believe that any dish containing curry is simply my ode to Steph Curry… I overheard Ethan talking to Sienna as we were packing up the suppers and she said, ‘ya, it’s Steph Curry chicken night I think’…

now to the sheet cake that the farmer claimed was his favourite dessert through all of seeding thus far…  in the defence of other desserts made, he is sleep deprived and if you asked him to name a single other dessert he has had, I believe he would not be able to…

chocolate coconut macaroon sheet cake

Ingredients:

Cake:

  • unsalted butter, room temperature, for pan
  • 3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder, plus more for pan
  • 1 1/2 cup all purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • 2 large eggs, room temperature
  • 3/4 cup buttermilk
  • 3/4 cup warm, strong coffee
  • 3 tbsp canola oil
  • 1 tsp vanilla

Macaroon Topping:

  • 3/4 cup unsalted butter
  • 2 cups icing sugar
  • 6 tbsp cocoa powder
  • 3 cups unsweetened shredded coconut
  • 2/3 cup warm, strong coffee
  • 1 tsp vanillla
  • whipping cream
  • strawberries

Directions:

  • preheat oven to 350
  • butter a 9×13 pan, line 2 sides and bottom with parchment paper, butter again and dust with cocoa powder
  • whisk in a large bowl, cocoa powder, flour, sugar, baking soda, baking powder and salt
  • in a mixer, add eggs and buttermilk and mix on medium speed till combined
  • add buttermilk, coffee and vanilla
  • add dry ingredients and combine until well incorporated
  • pour into the baking dish
  • bake for 35 minutes or until wooden toothpick comes out clean
  • set pan on a wire rack to cool
  • in a saucepan, add butter and melt
  • mix together the icing sugar, cocoa powder and coconut
  • add to the melted butter and add vanilla
  • stir until well combined and take off heat
  • when cake has slightly cooled, pour the coconut mixture over it and smooth out evenly
  • when it comes time to cut the cake, lift out gently with the parchment paper and transfer to a cutting board
  • cut 12 for large pieces or 16 for regular pieces
  • serve with whipped cream and strawberries if you so choose

seeding meal #6

 

farmers look at the weather radar a lot…  and when you are desperate for rain they look even more… so when they see that 25 miles away got rain and we got wind, they have to force themselves to be positive…

I used to battle with ‘does God send the rain?’…   we prayed for rain in church on Sunday…  only problem is everyone’s farms are in different spots… some of those that prayed got rain… some of us did not…

did God pick and choose which of us got rain and which got wind in order to teach us a life lesson?

or is it a lot more complicated or simple than that…

this morning, the farmer had forgotten his hat…  he came back to the yard at 4:30 am to get it only to find our two dogs barking at something in our front hedge…  sure enough it was a porcupine …

last year we had to take our one dog to the vet three times to get quills pulled out…  I saw him dragging the dogs to the garage so I grabbed the shot gun and some shells and went running up the stairs to help the farmer…

I don’t know what terrified him more, me running up the stairs holding a shot gun or the dogs around a porcupine …

he was able to kill the porcupine and the kids were able to clean up the remains this morning into a 5 gallon pail…  this was very humorous to watch…  from a safe distance…

which brings me to the question…  did God plan for the farmer to forget his hat and have to come home and get it so he could save our dogs from the porcupine?

sort of like in Back to the Future… the concept that if you change an event in the past your entire future and the earth’s entire future will be changed… one little difference such as stepping on a ladybug could alter the trajectory of everything…

one little action like forgetting a hat saved a lot of time and heartache with taking two stupid dogs to the vet…

every decision we make is important… and I was told that God knew ahead of time every decision I’d make…

the only way for me to come to terms with praying for rain or being thankful that the farmer came back for his hat, is to believe in a God that is beyond what I can comprehend…  that God does not function with the same knowledge or truth that I function with…

I have to make decisions based on the information and knowledge I have at the time… we all do…  and we have no idea what is in store for us… each day…

but I have to believe that God still enjoys a good conversation about needing rain or thankful for the dogs being rescued…

edamame kale power salad

Ingredients:

  • 1 package Earthbound Farm Deep Greens Blend Kale (or 6 cups chopped kale, ribs removed)
  • 3 bags (300 g each) Edamame beans, shelled (or 2 cups shelled)
  • 2 cups sliced red cabbage
  • 2 cups thinly sliced carrots
  • 1 yellow pepper, thinly sliced
  • 1 red pepper, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 cup chopped cilantro
  • sesame seeds
  • Newman’s Own Sesame Thai Dressing

Directions:

  • assemble ingredients
  • pour dressing over and serve
  • garnish with sesame seeds

chicken and gnocchi 'pot pie'

Ingredients:

  • 3 medium yellow onions, diced
  • 3 cups diced carrots
  • 2 cups diced celery
  • 1.5 kg (2 packages from a grocery store) chicken thighs, boneless and skinless
  • 1 cup all purpose flour
  • seasoned salt
  • lemon pepper
  • olive oil
  • 2 tsp ground thyme
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • 3 1/2 cups chicken broth
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 4 (16 oz) packages gnocchi
  • 2 cups frozen peas

Directions:

  • chop the vegetables and set aside to use later
  • pre heat oven to 350 degrees
  • put the flour in a dish and heat olive oil in a pan
  • pat the chicken with the flour and place (in three batches) in the hot pan
  • season with lemon pepper and seasoned salt, brown and flip and season again on the other side
  • when both sides are browned, place in a covered pan and put into oven to finish cooking
  • repeat the process in two more batches with the chicken thighs
  • meanwhile, bring a large pot of water to a boil
  • in two batches place gnocchi in the boiling water a cook for a few minutes until they float
  • strain and add frozen peas to them while they are still hot
  • when the chicken is all in the oven, add the vegetables to the pan and cook on medium-high heat for 10 minutes or so until they are softened
  • add the salt and thyme and flour over the mixture
  • pour the chicken broth in and mix until it starts to thicken
  • add the gnocchi (your pan needs to be very large for this) or mix them together in a large bowl
  • spoon the gnocchi/vegetable mixture into a bowl and add two pieces of chicken on top
  • check to make sure the chicken has cooked all the way through

cinnamon apple cake with cream cheese frosting

Ingredients:

For the Cake:

  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/4 tsp allspice
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1/2 cup canola oil
  • 2 large eggs, room temperature
  • 2 tsp vanilla
  • 6 cups Gala apples, peeled and chopped

For the Frosting:

  • 4 oz cream cheese, room temperature
  • 2 tbsp (or 1/8 cup) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla
  • 1 cup icing sugar

Directions:

  • preheat oven to 350 degrees
  • spray a 9×13 baking dish
  • in a medium bowl, mix flour, baking soda, cinnamon, salt, nutmeg and allspice
  • in a mixer, add sugar, oil and eggs
  • beat until frothy and well combined
  • add the dry ingredients
  • mixture will be thick until you add the apples
  • fold in the apples on a low speed with the mixer until they are worked in well to the batter
  • spread out evenly into the 9×13 pan
  • bake for 45 minutes or until the cake is browned around the edges and set in the middle
  • place in pan on a rack to cool completely
  • while the cake is cooling, add cream cheese, butter and vanilla to a mixer
  • mix well and scrape down
  • add icing sugar and combine
  • when cake is cool, spread a thin layer of the cream cheese frosting over the cake and serve