seeding meal #5

“oh we don’t know the roads that we’re heading down…  we don’t know if we’re lost, that we’ll find a way… we don’t know if we leave, will we make it home…  we don’t know, there’s hope, then we’ll be okay”

(the stumbellas)

the haze from the forest fires near Fort McMurray, Alberta finally lifted today… fires raging 600 km away but the haze blocks out the sun here and you can smell it…  and only imagine what the fire fighters are battling…

these pink flowers were still in bloom through the haze…  reminded me that life is constantly moving forward…  always forward…

as I was outside in this haze, cultivating my yard in the dust and wind, something flew into my eye…  I rubbed it, never wanting to quit a yard job…  and I ended up having to go to the doctor to get it checked…

he had a big name for the blister that covered my eyeball and told me I would be fine… and I could still drive and cook…  and sent me on my way to do both…

he also asked me if I knew I had a slightly lazy eye…  and this is why I don’t go to health care practitioners…  the last time I saw a chiropractor he pointed out that one of my legs was longer than the other…  my dentist thought my over-bite was worsening… the lady that lasers hair off of me suggested botox…  my hairstylist confirmed my grey hair increasing… my boys even made me change my clothes the other day because they thought I was ‘trying to hard’ with the outfit choice I had made… and they are not even qualified to have an opinion on the matter…

I need to spend less time getting critiqued and more time with the farmer who views me through rose coloured glasses (he looks so funny when he puts them on)

I turned 37 this week and was blessed with a giant blemish for my birthday…  it made me think of the first zit I ever had… it was in grade 5…  and it had a life of its own…

it grew on my face for a few weeks until I finally did what any girl in grade 5 who loved Cindy Crawford would do…  I went to my mom’s makeup bag and got a black eyeliner and  turned it into a beauty mark…

I still love Cindy Crawford and considered doing this little ‘beauty trick’ again but wondered if ladies in their late thirties would fall for it…

can you tell which eye is lazy?  or which eye had the blister?  remnants of the blemish on my chin? botox potential?

I hope not because I put a SnapChat filter on this picture to send to the farmer to show him the blister on my eye…  (which had gone down by the time I got home and took this picture so he never really believed me as to the size it was to start with)

so this turned into another quick meal I had to get together and in times like this you need pre-made Costco salads kicking around…

if I learnt anything from the farmer’s mother it is that you can add items to a pre-made salad (her choice was coleslaw) and turn it into a very homemade tasting salad…

enhanced costco mediterranean pasta salad

Ingredients:

  • 1 pre-made Costco Mediterranean Pasta Salad
  • 1 can chickpeas, strained and rinsed
  • 1 english cucumber, diced
  • 2 cups grape tomatoes, cut in four
  • 1/2 red onion, diced
  • 3/4 cup Feta cheese, cut into chunks

Directions:

  • in a large bowl, add the salad, chickpeas, cucumber, tomatoes, onion and cheese
  • pour dressing over and toss
  • chill for 2 hours and serve

 

my hair dresser told me about lemon pepper last year… about her love affair with it… and it was life changing…  I perhaps use the term ‘life changing’ too flippantly but I really enjoy the lemon pepper seasoning…

I don’t cook pork very often, but when I do, I use lemon pepper in my dredge…

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pork chops with peppers and gravy

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups flour
  • 2 tsp lemon pepper
  • 2 tsp seasoned salt
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
  • kosher salt and ground black pepper
  • 10 bone-in pork chops
  • olive oil
  • 3 yellow onions, sliced
  • 2 green bell peppers. sliced
  • 1 red bell pepper. sliced
  • 1 yellow bell pepper sliced
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter
  • 1/3 cup flour
  • 1 1/2 tsp kosher salt
  • 1 tsp lemon pepper
  • 3 cups chicken broth
  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • 2 cups tru-Roots Ancient Grain Blend
  • 4 1/2 cups chicken broth
  • 1 tsp kosher salt

Directions:

  • whisk together flour, lemon pepper, salt, cumin and cayenne pepper
  • pat the pork chops dry with paper towel and season with salt and pepper generously
  • dredge the pork chops in the flour mixture
  • on medium-high heat, pour some olive oil in a pan and brown the pork chops two at a time
  • when they are browned on both sides, place in a 9×13 casserole dish in a 350 degree oven
  • continue this method until all the pork chops are cooked
  • clean the pan and pour more olive oil into it
  • saute the onions and peppers until soft
  • place these in a 250 oven if you have two or place it along with the pork chops and turn the heat down
  • in the same pan, add butter and melt
  • add flour and whisk until it turns colour
  • add salt. pepper and chicken broth
  • whisk and add in cream
  • transfer to a dish that you can pour it out of
  • assemble the supper by starting with the Quinoa tru-Roots blend
  • add the peppers and pork chop
  • top with the gravy and serve

sugar cookie cream bars with strawberries

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup salted butter, room temperature
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 cups flour
  • 8 oz cream cheese, room temp
  • 1 (100 g) Lindt Swiss White Chocolate bar, melted
  • 2 cups strawberries, cut in half

Directions:

  • preheat oven to 350 degrees
  • spray a 7×11 pan with cooking spray
  • in a mixer, combine butter, sugar and vanilla
  • add flour and press into the bottom of the pan
  • bake for 30 minutes, until brown around the edges
  • allow to cool completely
  • beat cream cheese and melted white chocolate until well combined
  • spread over the cooled cookie crust
  • cut into squares and serve with strawberries

so as I age, I realize my body will slowly decline (it must be really hard for those that were excited with their bodies in their 20’s… I almost pity them)… but my mind and my soul are never more alive…

I have never felt so loved and cherished like I do now… at 37…

and in the haze these last few days and in the constant fight with the land to stop producing weeds and begin producing food, I know you can’t look back…  you have to live out each day and then the next and then the next… and not be afraid of it…

“oh we don’t know the roads that we’re heading down…  we don’t know if we’re lost, that we’ll find a way… we don’t know if we leave, will we make it home…  we don’t know, there’s hope, then we’ll be okay”

(the stumbellas)

seeding meal #2 

 

lesson learned…  when you see something on Pintrest or Facebook that looks amazing but doesn’t come with a detailed recipe… keep looking… unless you enjoy wasting your time…

the salad was fine…  basically just added what I had in the fridge to make a carrot salad and the reviews from the 12 and 14 year old were good so I think it was a success…

carrot pistachio salad

Ingredients:

  • 3 lbs carrots, peeled and coarsely grated
  • 2/3 cup olive oil
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 6 tbsp fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp ground coriander
  • 3/4 cup shelled pistachios
  • 1 cup fresh cilantro leaves, chopped

Directions:

  • grate the carrots and place in a large bowl
  • in a small mason jar, add dressing ingredients and shake until well mixed
  • add to the carrots
  • add cilantro and using tongs toss the salad
  • top with pistachios and serve cold

and the crockpot Mexican Chicken over rice is an excellent recipe to have kicking around if you have a busy day and want a nutritious supper…  I served it over Basmati Rice which is my favourite type of rice…

crockpot mexican chicken

Ingredients:

  • 1 (28 oz) can diced tomatoes
  • 3 (15 oz) cans black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 (14.4 oz) can chicken broth
  • 1 (4 oz) can diced green chiles
  • 2 yellow onions, diced
  • 4 large cloves garlic, minced
  • 5 chicken breasts, cut into chunks
  • 2 tsp ground cumin
  • salt and black pepper to taste
  • 1/2 cup cilantro, chopped (1/2 a bunch)
  • 1 tbsp fresh lime juice (or put slices of lime beside the dish)
  • optional toppings: chopped green onion, shredded cheese, avocado, sour cream
  • serve over rice

Directions:

  • in a slow cooker, combine tomatoes, black beans, chicken broth, green chiles, onions and garlic
  • add chicken on the top and season
  • cook on high for 4-6 hours (or on high for 2 hours and then low for 6 hours)
  • when the chicken is cooked, add cilantro and lime juice
  • serve over rice with toppings or also great on tacos or in burritos

but…  if you want to waste about 5 hours of your day wasting your time… try doing this…

first of all, you view a video of someone making something in fast forward on Facebook… many of them are called ‘Tasty’ or ‘Little Things’…

then you look for the recipe only to not be able to find it…

so you pause the video and write down the recipe as it flashes up on the screen…

you go buy all the ingredients and proceed to cook it… only to figure out that it didn’t tell you how many cheesecake cupcakes it was supposed to make… or it left out details about cooking time or temperature… or exactly how to make a caramel sauce…

or you buy 4 packages of cream cheese only to find out that you didn’t need that big of a cheesecake recipe for the little muffin tins you are filling…

and 1/3 of it goes to waste…

when you finally get to the last step which only took 20 seconds on Facebook but has taken you 4 hours to get to…  you realize it might be a bit tricky to make a caramel sauce…

this is after you have burnt sugar onto two pots and ran out of pots and had watched two YouTube videos on making a caramel sauce…

you resort to melting a chocolate bar to pour over the top of the cheesecakes because your supper was running late…

they were delicious… so go for it if you so choose… just don’t expect it to go as quickly as the video you saw on Facebook!

salted pretzel cheesecake cups

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups crushed pretzels
  • 4 tbsp sugar
  • 1 1/2 sticks butter, melted (3/4 cup)
  • 4 (8 oz) pkgs cream cheese, room temperature
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 3 tbsp flour
  • 4 eggs, room temperature
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 2 tsp vanilla
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 3/4 cup heavy cream
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 1 cup pretzels, slightly crushed

Directions:

  • mix the crushed pretzels, sugar and butter
  • press into 24 foil lined muffin trays, around 1 1/2 tbsp per muffin cup
  • bake at 350 for 5 minutes
  • beat cream cheese and sugar until combined
  • add flour and combine
  • add eggs, one at a time, until combined
  • add heavy cream, sour cream and vanilla
  • pour mixture into the muffin cups, filling them to the top
  • there will be left over cheese cake mixture – I greased a pan and poured the mixture into it and baked it separately
  • bake at 350 for 22 minutes
  • chill in fridge for 2 hours
  • to make the caramel sauce, put sugar and water into a pan
  • do not mix with a spoon or whisk, but give the pan a shake occasionally
  • boil until the mixture turns an amber colour
  • using a pastry brush and water, brush down the sides of the pot so the sugar does not crystallize on the sides
  • take off the heat and pour in heavy cream, while standing back as it will react
  • whisk this together and add the butter
  • pour the caramel sauce on the cooled cream cheese cupcakes
  • add some crushed pretzels and serve