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 #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…