carrot and ginger salad, fried chicken with lemon and capers, cherry cheesecake sheet pan dessert

garden carrots – is there anything better? in my opinion only tomatoes… this salad is all about the dressing… and it is a strange dressing so I was nervous to send it out but I wanted to try it myself… this dressing is so delicious… not exactly sure what the farmers thought but I could put this dressing on just about anything…

carrot ginger salad

2 large carrots, roughly chopped (1 1/2 cups)
1/4 cup finely diced white onion
1 (1 1/2 inch) piece fresh ginger, roughly chopped (about 2 tbsp)
1/2 cup olive oil
1/4 cup soya sauce
2 tbsp rice vinegar
1 tbsp plus 1 tsp sesame oil
1 tbsp fish sauce
1/2 tsp kosher salt
1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
grated carrot
roasted beet, cooled and sliced
pumpkin seeds, toasted (from Costco)

in a Vitamix or any high-powered blender, combine the carrots, onion and ginger and process until very finely blended
add the olive oil, soya sauce, rice vinegar, sesame oil, fish sauce, salt and pepper
blend until very smooth
mix up salad and pour dressing over right before serving

as you can see, it is a thick dressing and I was wishing I had little condiment containers to put it in so the farmers could just add it to their salads when they were ready to eat… I need to buy some of those…

I am not alone in the farm cooking world… I get a lot of inspiration from some very young (now that I am old) farm ladies out there and this is one of them… she had posted about using her Instant Pot for potatoes and it sure saved me dishes and time and headache…

I still think the texture and taste of a boiled potato is preferable to in the Instant Pot but the convenience won the day… I loaded the Instant Pot up (using the trivet as per Laura’s instructions) and added 2 cups of water and set manual for 8 minutes… you strain this and then what I do is put cream cheese, butter, garlic powder, salt and milk in the bottom of my mixer bowl… then add the potatoes and mix… pour these out into a greased baking dish and sprinkle with seasoning salt… when ready to cook, place in the oven covered with tin foil

this could not be easier to get some garden potatoes all creamed up and ready to use for the meal

on to the chicken part of the main dish!

you will see in the picture that I am using Bob’s Red Mill Tapioca Flour… I have enjoyed using this lately instead of cornstarch but you can also use arrowroot powder… for doing big batches I pound the chicken and then sprinkle both sides with salt and pepper and the tapioca flour… this crisps up nicely in butter and olive oil…

I really need to come up with a better idea for browning meat before putting it in pans because this is so time consuming… easy if you are just doing it up for your family but in big batches this just takes so long… I’m open to ideas!!!!

fried chicken with lemons and capers


  • 4 skinless, boneless chicken breasts, made into cutlets and pounded till flat
    1 tsp kosher salt
    fresh ground black pepper
    tapioca starch (or arrowroot starch or cornstarch)
    2 tbsp olive oil
    1 tbsp butter or ghee
    4 garlic cloves, minced
    2 tbsp capers, drained and rinsed
    1 cup chicken broth
    2 tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
    lemon slices
    1 tbsp fresh parsley for garnish

cut chicken breasts so they lay flat and place parchment over them and pound (not too hard) until an even thickness
sprinkle with salt and pepper
sprinkle both sides with starch
in a medium/high heat pan, melt butter and olive oil
place chicken in pan and brown on both sides
transfer to a baking dish
when chicken is all browned, add the garlic, capers and chicken broth to the pan
pour this over the chicken in the baking dish and add the lemon juice and lemon slices
place in oven at 350 degrees for 10 minutes or until the chicken is cooked through
serve with potatoes or whatever side you would like

finally got all the chicken browned and in the pans and in the oven… I was feeling bad for myself because my trusty 12 year old helper was gone and I had to do all of this on my own… I was one hour late getting suppers to the field… horribly embarrassing rolling in at 7 pm…

if you don’t enjoy capers – just omit from the recipe – it is still a great recipe for lemony fried chicken

the farmer loves himself some cheesecake so I knew it was time to get that out to them (enough chocolate cake with some sort of vegetable in it) I combined these two cookies for the crust… but use whatever you can find in the cookie aisle and blend it into a fine crumb like mixture…

lining the dish with tin foil makes it easy to work with once cooked and chilled… this is the cup I use to stamp down the butter/cookie crust mixture…

I was hoping to get fresh cherries but didn’t have that luck at the grocery store (not sure how I missed that season)... so I resorted to canned cherries… for this I strained them to removed most of the goo…

cheesecake making is simple… get out your ingredients and go do some other jobs that morning while they get to room temperature… once the cream cheese, eggs, sour cream are all at room temperature, they make a creamy (not lumpy) cheesecake mixture for you… I dropped the cherries on and then covered with a streusel topping before baking…

cherry cheescake with cookie crust

Streusel Topping:
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 cup cold unsalted butter, cut into cubes
2 tbsp sugar
pinch of kosher salt
Cookie Crust:
3 cups finely processed cookie crumbs
6 tbsp melted unsalted butter
pinch of kosher salt
Cherry Cheesecake Filling:
3 pkgs cream cheese (24 oz), room temperature
1 cup sugar
4 large eggs, room temperature
1 cup sour cream, room temperature
2 (540 mL) Eddie Light and Fruity cherry pie filling, straining (not rinsed, just set in a strainer)

combine ingredients and using a pastry blender or your fingers, crumble
place in fridge to keep cold
preheat oven to 350 degrees
I use a Vitamix and crush the cookies in batches… if you have a food processor it would work better to do it in there
mix until cookie crumbs are basically powder
add the butter and salt
for the 9×13 dish, line with foil both ways so that you can pull it out when cooled
press the cookie mixture into the bottom of the pan, using a cup to push it down
bake for 10 minutes
Cheescake Filling:

  • set oven at 325 degrees
    in a electric mixer, whip up the cream cheese… scrape down with a spatula and whip again
    add sugar and whip
    add eggs one at a time, using spatula to scrape down
    add sour cream
    pour into the pan with the the cookie crust
    top with streusel
    bake for 50-60 minutes
    the outside should be set and the middle will jiggle a bit
    place on a wire rack for 30 minutes
    cover with plastic wrap and place in fridge for a few hours before you cut and serve

I loved cooking this up for the farmers but found myself talking to thin air as my lovely assistant was not with me… I certainly will miss her dearly when school starts!!!

meal to field made simple

for tonight’s seeding meal to the field, Costco was a big time saver…  they have a new item in the freezer section that will make your black bean/corn salad making days a dream!

this Vitality Blend was perfect for making a salad in a flash…

I made up a simple dressing for this and the salad took around 15 minutes to make

Vitality Blend Black Bean/Corn Salad

– 8 cups Vitality Blend frozen edamame beans, black beans, kidney beans and corn
– 3 red peppers, chopped
– 8-10 tbsp lime juice
– lime zest
– 6 tbsp canola oil
– 4 tbsp maple syrup
– salt and pepper

– in a large bowl, combine all the ingredients
– ready to eat once the frozen beans and corn have thawed
– keeps well in the fridge

with the Instant Pot – cook skinless, chicken breasts for 10 minutes on manual with some bbq sauce, drain, shred and place back in the pot with some bbq sauce on slow cook for the perfect shredded chicken

I used Harvarti cheese for the Quesadillas… and sautéed peppers… super simple and very tasty…  on spring evening full of baseball, homework and weekends to get ready for, simple meals like this are wonderful

my first flip of the quesadilla I burnt my wrist… I packed little containers of sour cream with these and you could also add Pico de Gallo or Salsa if you had that kicking around

Instant Pot shredded chicken quesadillas


– 2 lbs skinless chicken breasts

– bbq sauce

– 12 large flour tortillas

– cooking spray

– 2 1/2 cups grated cheese (Havarti)

– 3 bell peppers, sliced(whatever colour you have)

– 1/2 large red onion, sliced(optional)


– in an Instant Pot, place raw chicken breasts with some bbq sauce

– on manual, cook for 10 minutes

– strain and shred

– place back in pot with more bbq sauce and some hot water

– place on slow cook mode to keep warm

– place the bell pepper slices and red onion (if you are using it) in a saucepan and saute until soft

– in a large saucepan, bring temperature up to med/high heat

– spray with cooking spray and add one flour tortilla

– spread the cheese, chicken and peppers

– place a shell on top

– when it is time to flip, lightly spray the tortilla shell with cooking spray

– flip and cook on the other side until brown

– transfer to a cutting board and continue on with the other quesadillas

– using a pizza cutter, cut the quesadilla into eight wedges

– serve with pico de Gallo or salsa and sour cream

and now for an easy dessert… kinda the theme of today… seeings how I am nursing an ankle I am getting x-rayed tomorrow…  carrot cake… sugary and satisfying…

carrot cake with streusel topping


Carrot Cake:

– 2 cups shredded, peeled carrots

– 3/4 cup sugar

– 2 eggs, whisked

– 1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted

– 1 cup flour

– 1 tsp baking soda

– 1 tsp cinnamon

– 1/2 tsp kosher salt

Streusel Topping:

– 4 tbsp butter, cubed

– 1/3 cup flour

– 1/3 cup brown sugar

– 1 tsp cinnamon

– 1/2 tsp kosher salt


– preheat oven to 350 degrees

– in a bowl, combine sugar, eggs and butter

– in another bowl, whisk flour, baking soda, cinnamon and salt

– combine all together the egg mixture, flour mixture and shredded carrots

– in a 9” round greased baking pan, spread the thick carrot cake dough

– in a bowl, mix the streusel topping mixture until it resembles small pebbles of butter

– sprinkle the streusel topping on the cake and bake for 30 minutes

– cool and cut to eat

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

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)
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)

– 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

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

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

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
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)

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!!!

how’s harvest going?

I seldom talk to the farmer during harvest… so when asked the question ‘how is harvest going?’, I tend to have a dumb expression on my face… it’s not that I have no interest in the yields and breakdowns and which piece of land we are on… it is more the fact that I am scared to talk to the farmer…

I realized this while chatting with a friend last night…  I am afraid to let the farmer talk to me during harvest because I am the only person he is allowed to get angry with…  everyone else can get stuck in sloughs, break things off of things, spray or combine the wrong fields…  but they all get the ‘nice’ farmer…  I get the ‘real’ farmer…

so I play a bit of a ‘cat and mouse’ game with him during harvest time… if we don’t talk, he can’t take all of his frustrations out on me…  I’m still involved – getting parts, bringing out meals, moving vehicles – but I definitely try to not strike up any conversations asking how his day is going…

I know some of you reading this might think how unsupportive that is of me…  how selfish to not allow him to vent…  but that is where you are wrong…  do you think for one moment he asks me if I used Evaporated Milk in the dessert?  or how bookwork went that day?  or if the kids are alive and taken care of?

no way…  he checks out of everything in life except for what he has to think about…  farming… (oh and coaching hockey and football) and so I decide to copy him and do the same…  isn’t there some saying about ‘two ships passing in the night’…  I would say that is a pretty accurate statement of our harvest relationship…

it wasn’t always this way during harvest… there was a time where we couldn’t get enough of each others company during harvest…

Grandma Swan's Pumpkin Dessert


  • 28 oz can pumpkin (not pumpkin pie filling)
  • 13 oz can evaporated milk
  • 4 eggs, beaten
  • 1 1/2 cups brown sugar (I used 1 cup)
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/2 tsp ginger
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt
  • one yellow/golden cake mix
  • 1 cup melted butter
  • 1 cup crushed pecans


  • mix the pumpkin, milk, eggs, sugar and spices
  • pour into a greased 9×13 casserole dish
  • sprinkle a pouch of yellow cake mix over the top
  • drizzle 1 cup of melted butter over the cake mix
  • sprinkle with 1 cup of chopped pecans
  • bake at 350 degrees for 1 hour or more until brown on top
  • (this hardens if you put it in the fridge – so I suggest serving it warm or room temperature)

rewind 20 years… I had just met the farmer… he was not in charge of anything…  and I would make suppers and stay out combining or trucking with him until midnight even though that meant getting up early the next day to do up all the dishes…

I loved everything about harvest then…  the smells in the air, the banter on the radio…  I can remember seeing the Northern Lights and stars and thinking how amazing it all was…

and then I had kids…

the farmer’s Grandpa retired and his dad started to retire and suddenly we are exhausted…  I am trying to drive the kids all over the countryside for sports and the farmer is trying to keep combines, sprayers, grain carts and trucks all going the right directions…

and I find myself taking suppers out and hoping I can just set them all in a pile beside the field and drive away…

curried couscous cauliflower salad

1 cup couscous (dry)
4 cups cauliflower florets (about 1 head cauliflower)
curry powder
ground cumin
cayenne pepper
brown sugar
tbsp olive oil
1 cup finely diced carrots (about 3 carrots)
1/3 cup mayonnaise
1/3 cup greek yogurt
1/2 cup chopped cilantro
1/4 cup raisins
2 tbsp lime juice and zest

cook the couscous according to the package instructions, rinse in cold water and place in a large bowl
in a 450 degree oven, roast the cauliflower with the spices, sugar and oil on it until soft
let cool and add to the couscous
roast the carrots with the same spices, oil and sugar on it
for the dressing, mix the mayo, yogurt, cilantro and lime juice/zest
add the raisins and dressing to the couscous, cauliflower and carrot mixture
serve warm or chilled

part of me thinks that it is the more efficient you get on your farm, the less personal and enjoyable it is…  I don’t want to go back to having to set up a table and have everyone scoop their suppers out in the wind and cold…  but I know I want to figure out something that is a bit more personable and celebratory than handing a supper bag to someone and hoping it doesn’t get dumped upside down before they have a chance to eat it…

I love farming… I love cooking…  I just don’t love the frantic pace we have made everything function at in our world now… (that being said, I loved the speed this Instant Pot could cook my stew at!)… 

I guess you could say I feel conflicted… it’s easy to think that it was all roses and lollipops in the past… our memories tend to do that to us…  but I also know the amount that we pressure ourselves to get done in a day now is not manageable…

Insant Pot Beef Lentil Stew

2 lbs beef stew meat, cut into bite size pieces
2 (10 oz) cans of crushed tomatoes
2 tbsp beef bouillon powder
1 onion, diced
4 garlic cloves, chopped finely
1 tsp dried thyme
1 tsp dried oregano
1 cup dried lentils
2 cups chopped (chunky) carrots
2 cups halved mushrooms
flour slurry (1/4 cup flour + 1/4 cup water)

Prep Day:
in a large ziplock bag, add the beef, pepper, crushed tomatoes, beef bouillon powder, onion, garlic, thyme and oregano
in another bag, add add lentils, carrots and mushrooms
place in fridge until use
Cook Day:
dump the contents of the thawed meat bag into the Instant Pot
add 4 cups water
seal the pot and set on manual for 30 minutes
after 30 minutes, quick release the pressure
add the contents of the veggie bag
set the pot on manual for 5 minutes
let the pot ‘natural pressure release’ for 10 minutes, then release the remaining pressure
remove the lid and mix in the flour slurry – stir ensuring no flour clumps
total cooking time will be around 1 1/2 hours

Grandma Swan's Green Bean Casserole

  • Servings: one casserole
  • Print


  • 4 cups cut green beans
  • 1 can cream of mushroom soup
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1 tsp soya sauce
  • dash pepper
  • 1 1/3 cups French’s french fried onions


  • in a 1 1/2 quart casserole dish, mix soup, milk, soya sauce and pepper
  • add the beans and coat them
  • add 2/3 cup onions and mix well
  • bake at 350 degrees for 25 minutes or until hot and bubbling
  • stir
  • sprinkle remaining 2/3 cup onions on top and bake for another 5 minutes
  • (I doubled this recipe)

as I packed up the supper bags, sweating and thinking it is easier to run a marathon than cook and pack up a dozen suppers, I again thought to myself – there has to be a better way to do this…  I want efficiency, but I also want to be able to smile, laugh and see how everyone’s day is going… without feeling like I am slowing down the whole process by just showing up!

we shall see if I think of anything to make taking meals to the field more enjoyable! for now, the farmers can find their suppers in a pile beside a bin…

mom is worried

every harvest seems to bring with it a different challenge… this year it is having enough men to get the crop off… my oldest son is working full time for the first time this year… he is 16 and for sure big enough, but I am worried every day now… the farmer remarked to me that I never used to get up worried about packing lunches and making sure water bottles were filled until this year when my beloved son is now heading out every morning…  he might be correct… I told him 12-14 hour days are too much for 16 year olds… yet another thing we disagree on…

just last night he almost ran over my other son with the tractor… Ethan was taking Brandon some chapstick and Brandon was dumping a grain cart into a semi and just about ran Ethan over… after we realized everyone was ok, Ethan and I had a good giggle that it would have been a terrible way to go…  getting run over by your brother while taking him chapstick…  Ethan could think of better ways to exit…

but Brandon was happy to get some ‘real’ work this year…  he said to me, ‘I finally feel like a real person’…  I guess he was sick of moving vehicles and helping me out…  now his younger brother gets that role…

my two kids that help me out realize that it is not the most glamorous work out there… you slave away cooking all day only to get covered in lentil dust and feel like it is an ‘inconvenience’ for anyone to even stop to get their supper! I tell them this is why I take pictures and blog about it…  makes it fun for me even if the supper might not get ate for 4 hours after delivering it or dumped upside down…  at least I’m having fun doing it!

for this first salad I overcooked the quinoa a bit, which made it mushier than I had hoped, but with the addition of the fresh cucumbers my daughter got from the garden it ended up being ok…  I didn’t add the goat cheese or avocado to the farmers salads but did to my own!

southwest quinoa salad


For the Salad:

  • 4 cups cooked and cooled quinoa (1 1/2 cups dry with 3 cups water and 1 tsp kosher salt)
  • 2 cups halved grape tomatoes
  • 2 medium or 1 large cucumber, diced
  • 1 can (15 oz) black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 cup frozen corn
  • 1 jalapeno, seeds removed, finely diced
  • 1/2 cup goat cheese (optional)
  • 1/2 cup cilantro, chopped
  • 1 ripe avocado, pitted, peeled and diced (add right before serving)
  • kosher salt, as needed

For the Dressing:

  • zest of 1 lime
  • 1/4 cup freshly squeezed lime juice (roughly 2 limes)
  • 3/4 tsp cumin
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 3 tbsp avocado oil
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper
  • 1/2 red onion


  • cook the quinoa up ahead and make sure it is not overdone and cooled
  • add remaining ingredients
  • for the dressing, combine everything with a Vitamix (I like extra dressing so I double the recipe – mostly because I generally add more to the salad than the recipe calls for)
  • store in the fridge until ready to serve
  • add avocado right before serving

I also made this salad this week….  good ol’ Cobb Salad…  the Instant Pot makes the hard boiled egg portion of the meal so quick and easy… perfect eggs every time!

3 minutes for a soft yolk and 4 minutes for a firmer yolk

bacon…  this is the easiest way that I have found to cook it up… 425 degree oven…

then you place it on paper towel to soak up all the grease and chop it up!

for the chicken portion of the salad, I cooked up one of the remaining chickens I have from a neighbouring farmer here…  in the last year and a half of being a vegetarian, the only meat that I long for is chicken skin… technically not meat right?  it’s skin… I don’t long for it raw… cooked chicken skin to be precise…

for both these salads I used my Vitamix for the dressing…. I love it because you don’t have to worry about getting a shockingly large piece of garlic in you salad and I find it makes the dressing nice and creamy…

blue cheese is supposed to go on this salad, and it went on mine, but I hesitate to send any sort of cheese other than feta or cheddar out to the farmers….

cobb salad


For the Salad:

  • romaine lettuce, chopped
  • chicken, cooked and chopped
  • bacon, chopped
  • hard boiled eggs, quartered
  • cherry tomatoes, halved
  • avocados, sliced
  • blue cheese, crumbled
  • chives, chopped (or green onions)

For the Dressing:

  • 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 cup red wine vinegar
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 2 tsp honey
  • 1 tsp Dijon mustard
  • 1/4 tsp kosher salt
  • 1/8 tsp black pepper


  • for the chicken, I roast a whole chicken and cut it into pieces
  • for the bacon, I place bacon on parchment paper or foil on a baking sheet and cook at 425 degrees until done – then place on paper towel
  • for the eggs, I use the Instant Pot – place eggs on a trivet in the Instant Pot and set to manual for 3-4 minutes… use the quick release and pour cold water over to stop the cooking
  • arrange the salad (I like to put the lettuce on the bottom, then the dressing, then the rest of the ingredients)
  • for the dressing, I place all the ingredients in the Vitamix and blend

it is hard to know portion wise how much food to send out – as we have a wide range of ages working out there and for some it might be enough food to survive for a week while for others, like my son, it apparently isn’t enough to get him to 10 pm in the evening… at least when I hear him eating cereal when he gets home I think that it wasn’t enough food…

I was going to post a new meat sauce recipe for lasagne but it was such a failure that I have to go back to the drawing board…  more to come on this…  needless to say I was mad…

side note: whenever I am forced (yes the farmer forces me) to cook with red meat or ground beef, the smell of it kind of makes me sick to my stomach and I think I would way rather pop a B12 pill any day than eat the meat…  just saying – it is an option!

here are the lasagnes after so much anger towards my meat sauce… Prego tomato sauce and fresh basil in ricotta saved the day!

dessert time… and this one was a hit for my 10 year old daughter… she helped me make them and loved the recipe…

I had never roasted bananas like this before for a recipe so it was fun to see how they would turn out…  everything about this recipe is light and fluffy and delicious…

I don’t often do this but with this recipe I sifted the flour with the baking soda, baking powder and salt to get the batter nice and soft…  then folding in the egg whites added more light texture to the cupcakes…

this is the part she loved… piping the frosting… eating the frosting…  laying down with a belly ache and a large glass of water after consuming too much frosting…

roasted banana cupcakes


For the Cupcakes:

  • 3-4 ripe bananas (I use 4)
  • 2 cups cake flour (not self-rising)
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 3 large eggs, room temperature, separated
  • 1/2 cup sour cream, room temperature
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract

For the Frosting:

  • 2 1/2 cups icing sugar
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 2 tbsp honey
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon


  • for the roasted bananas, bake at 400 degrees for 15 minutes… place the bananas whole on a parchment paper covered baking sheet… they will get black… peel and let cool
  • return oven to 350 degrees
  • for the dry ingredients, sift the flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt into a bowl
  • in an electric mixer on medium-high speed, cream butter and sugar
  • add the egg yolks one at a time
  • add the dry ingredients and sour cream in stages
  • place in a bowl and clean our electric mixer bowl
  • whisk the three egg whites until soft peaks form
  • fold into the batter
  • scoop into greased paper liners in muffin tins
  • bake for 30 minutes and let cool completely
  • for the frosting, beat all ingredients until smooth, scraping bowl down as needed
  • pipe the frosting onto the cupcakes

stroganoff for the win

the kids love seeding and harvest time because they know they will be getting desserts…  and I love making desserts…

this is carrot cake in cupcake form… in my mind easier for the farmers to handle

the key to cupcakes is to use an ice cream scoop and it is quick and easy

this is when I wish you could smell pictures…  so good…

the classic cream cheese icing with a hint of orange

and topped with candied carrot slices

because farmers love fancy looking cupcakes

Carrot Cake Cupcakes



  • 3 cups all purpose flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp ground ginger
  • 1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 tsp ground cloves
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup light brown sugar
  • 1 cup canola oil
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 tbsp vanilla extract
  • 4 cups grated carrots
  • 1/2 cup dried cranberries
  • 1/2 cup coarsely chopped walnuts


  • 1 (8 oz) pkg of cream cheese, room temperature
  • 3/4 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup
  • 1 1/2 tsp vanilla
  • 1/4 tsp orange extract (optional)
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • zest of one orange
  • 3 cups icing sugar
  • 2 tbsp whole milk (if needed to thin the frosting)


  • preheat oven to 350 degrees
  • line 2 cupcake pans with paper liners
  • in a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, and cloves
  • in a mixing bowl, beat the sugars, oil, eggs and vanilla
  • add the carrots
  • add the flour mixture
  • fold in the walnuts and cranberries
  • divide the batter between the prepared cupcake pans
  • bake until a wooden pick inserted in the centre of a cupcake comes out clean, around 20-25 minutes
  • let cool completely
  • in a mixing bowl, beat the frosting and spread over the cooled cupcakes

for the salad I am a bit obsessed lately with roasted nuts with nutritional yeast on them… if you haven’t used nutritional yeast in your cooking yet, it is a delicious element to add to it… I have a friend that puts it on her popcorn!

the kids were not as into this nutty, garlicky, yeasty crunch as I was so perhaps it is an acquired taste…

using a microplane for the garlic is perfect for not overpowering this recipe

I used the bag of kale mixture from Costco for this salad and topped it with a delicious lemon juice vineagrete

Kale Walnut Salad

Roasted Walnuts
2 cups raw walnuts
2 large cloves garlic, grated on a Microplane
6 tsp nutritional yeast
6 tsp olive oil
1/2 tsp fine sea salt
Salad and Dressing
2 large bunches kale, stemmed (or one large Costco bag)
2 large cloves garlic, grated on a Microplane
1/2 tsp fine sea salt
ground black pepper
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice and zest
3 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp maple syrup
dried cranberries
goat cheese

to make the roasted walnuts, head oven to 300 degrees
chop the walnuts into small pieces
spread over a parchment lined baking sheet
toast in oven for 10 minutes
in a medium bowl, whisk garlic, nutritional yeast, olive oil and salt
add the walnuts and coat thoroughly
for the salad, finely chop the kale into thin strands
for the dressing, in a mason jar shake the garlic, salt, pepper, lemon juice and zest, oil and maple syrup
add to the kale and toss
serve the kale with roasted walnuts, dried cranberries and goat cheese

the farmer tells me that you can never go wrong with stroganoff… so I winged it a bit and made an Instant Pot version of beef stroganoff

I saluted some onions, carrots and celery… then I added the frozen (yes frozen!) beef roast with some dijon mustard, tomato paste, mushrooms and homemade beef broth

because the beef was frozen I set the timer for 80 minutes…  if it wasn’t frozen I would have gone with 60 minutes…  I set the beef aside to slice and strained the mushroom mixture…

on saute mode, I melted some butter and added flour… then I added some cream milk and sour cream, placing the beef and mushroom mixture back into the pot… you can add more sour cream or broth or milk depending on how you like your sauce to look

serving it over egg noodles and you have a classic meal to the field dish!

Instant Pot Beef Roast Stroganoff


  • 2 lb beef blade roast
  • 2 tsp kosher salt
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tbsp canola oil
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 2 large carrots, diced
  • 2 large celery stalks, diced
  • 2 tsp Italian seasoning
  • 1/4 cup dijon mustard
  • 1 small can tomato paste
  • 1 cup beef stock
  • 2 lb button mushrooms, sliced
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 1 cup whole milk or cream
  • 1/2 cup sour cream (or more to taste)
  • 1 bunch green onions, chopped
  • egg noodles


  • set the Instant Pot to saute and allow to preheat for 4-5 minutes
  • season the beef with salt and pepper
  • add the canola oil to the pot and then add the beef
  • sear for 3-5 minutes on each side and then set aside
  • add the onion, carrot, celery and italian seasoning and state for 4-5 minutes
  • stir in the mustard and tomatoe paste
  • create space for the beef in the middle and add
  • add the mushroom and beef stock
  • set the machine for 60 minutes
  • when done, remove beef and slice into bite portions
  • strain the mushrooms and veggies
  • on saute, add the butter and flour
  • whisk and then add the milk
  • add the sour cream (more or less depending on how much sauce you need)
  • add the mushrooms and beef back to it and season with salt and pepper
  • serve over egg noodles with green onions sprinkled on it

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


  • 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


  • 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



  • 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)


  • 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


  • 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


  • 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


  • 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

seeding… finally!

here we go!  after a freezing cold April with so much snow, we are finally getting going around here…  well, the farmers have been going for a few days but I finally got the ‘nod’ to bring suppers out…

as it so happened, my run took me by the cemetery this morning and I stopped by to have a chat with the farmer’s Grandpa…  both the farmer and I miss him this time of year…

I felt like he asked me a bunch of questions about seeding that I didn’t have the answers to and then told me I shouldn’t run so much…  seeding, farming, this land, this area… it all reminds the farmer and I of the hard work, sacrifices and joys that Grandpa and Grandma went through for us to be were we are today and doing what we are doing…

seeings how I had ran all morning I had planned ahead yesterday and bought what I consider to be Costco’s finest achievement… Tiramisu Cake…  it is delicious…

dessert being done… I moved on to the Pulled Pork on a Bun part of the meal… having gone a winter with minimal meat cooking and no pork/bacon in the house, this was a bit much for me to handle…  so I called upon the help of my 14 year old… turns out, he was just as disgusted by the texture of raw pork as I was!  none-the-less he slapped some spices on it for me and then proceeded to wash his hands like he was heading into the operating room

I used the Instant Pot to brown the pork, then added the garlic and onions in to saute and then returned the pork to the pot

I added some Passata (tomato sauce), apple cider vinegar and worcestershire sauce and set the Instant Pot for 70 minutes

whilst that was cooking away… I quickly cut up some bok choy and cabbage for a salad… it occurred to me that I have made more complicated main dishes and salads but I’m not exactly sure why…  when this was so simple and easy and quick!

salads are most likely thrown out by the farmers I’m assuming but it doesn’t mean one cannot try!

when the pork is done it gets shredded and added back to the sauce with some brown sugar in the sauce…

in seeding I am never sure exactly how many guys will need to be fed so I plan for apparently 54 of them by the amount of pork I made…  good news is the farmer will be getting pulled pork sandwiches in his lunch all next week!

I’ve been told by the farmer that you cannot have a pulled pork sandwich without coleslaw on it…

this was one of the easiest meals I have made and I was very glad today to have a few easy things to throw together for my first meal to the field… as I get older I realize you shouldn’t start seeding with your most complicated meal as you are just remembering how to cook for a big group again…

I also will be very sad someday when I have no one around the house helping me out… no wonder back in the day they had so many kids…  they didn’t like kids any more than the rest of us do… they just knew they couldn’t run out of manual labour around the farm!  I have found that my children will still do every job I ask them to do for a pop and dessert…

crunchy bok choy and cabbage salad



  • 3 tbsp sesame oil
  • 2 tbsp rice vinegar
  • 1 tsp honey
  • juice of 1/2 lemon and zest
  • salt


  • 6 cups chopped bok choy
  • 1 cabbage chopped
  • 1/2 cup sliced green onions
  • 1/2 cup sliced almonds
  • white sesame seeds
  • black sesame seeds


  • make the dressing
  • in a large bowl, make the salad and pour the dressing on
  • place in refrigerator for at least 20 minutes to marinade

pulled pork with coleslaw on a bun


Pulled Pork

  • 4 lb boneless pork shoulder or loin, skin cut off
  • 1 tbsp paprika
  • 1 tbsp cumin
  • 2 tsp kosher salt
  • black pepper
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, roughly chopped
  • 1 cup passata (tomatoe sauce)
  • 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 3 tbsp worcestershire sauce
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar


  • 1/4 cabbage, shredded (about 4 cups)
  • 2 carrots, grated
  • 4 green onions, finely sliced
  • 3 tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 2 tbsp canola oil
  • 1/2 tsp sugar
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • black pepper


  • in an Instant Pot, saute the pork that has been rubbed in the spices in butter until is is browned on all sides
  • take out and saute the onions and garlic
  • add the pork back and add the passata, vinegar and worcestershire sauce
  • set cook time for 70 minutes
  • when finished cooking, shred the pork and add the brown sugar to the sauce
  • for the coleslaw, add all ingredients together
  • serve the pork and coleslaw on a big bun


Instant Pot Hamburger Helper

it’s Wednesday…  I’ve made a 1 1/2 hour (roundtrip) to Kindersley once, cleaned the house (sort of), made the muffins for the booth at the school and am making my second trip to Kindersley to pick up uniforms for my son’s Junior Basketball team…

I need to get these jerseys to him, then get something started for supper before I go watch his game and get my other two children sent off to the rinks they need to be at…

sound familiar to anyone out there?  if this type of day is ringing a bell, you need to go get yourself an Instant Pot… some people might give you crazy advice to slow down…  don’t listen to them when you have the tools to cook faster!!!

not only does it look great on your counter – it is a lifesaver for families that don’t know how to say ‘no’

I’m telling you, even the farmer could cook with this…  you push the sauté button and add onions and olive oil…

when they start to cook add your ground beef… brown it and strain if it is fatty…

no time for real garlic or fresh herbs today…

toss in some garlic and chilli powder

venture into your super tidy pantry…  because every mom has time to clean her pantry every other Tuesday…  and grab a can of green chiles and tomato sauce…

toss in some Cancun salt… if you recently did not get to leave your hectic life and go to Cancun, then any ordinary salt will do… but make a mental note to book yourself a well-deserved get-a-way…  

fancier moms might chop up real cilantro… but when you are putting it in a dish like this I think you are wasting your time…  dried cilantro is just fine and it’s not going rotten in your refrigerator because you forgot you had it…

use the package of free noodles your friend gifted you because her husband saw the ‘organic’ label on them and said ‘not up in here!!!!’

(one man’s trash is this lady’s treasure)

place the dry noodles right on the meat sauce and cover with water

place the lid on and set for high pressure for 5 minutes… (it roughly takes 10 minutes to get to pressure… then using the quick release it takes a few minutes to lose the pressure… so overall the cooking time is around 20 minutes)

leave your teenage son in charge of it (which I would never do with a boiling pot of water) and head out to get your daughter to her hockey practice and watch your other son’s basketball game…

feeling like freakin’ Martha Stewart while you drive

when you come home and realize that your teenager forgot about it completely, no need to panic… it is just fine…

add some frozen corn and tex-mex cheese to it, turn on the sauté to warm it up and serve with a smile, knowing that cleanup is only one pot!!!

Instant Pot Hamburger Helper


  • 1 1/2 lbs thawed, ground beef
  • 1 yellow onion, chopped
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tbsp chili powder
  • 1 tsp dried cilantro
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 1 can (15 oz) tomato sauce
  • 1 can (7 oz) green chiles
  • 500 gram bag of dried pasta
  • 3 cups water (to cover pasta)
  • 2 cups frozen corn
  • 1 cup tex/mex cheese


  • in Instant Pot, on saute setting, add oil and onions
  • when slightly cooked, add the beef and brown
  • if it is fatty beef, strain and return to pot
  • add spices, chiles and tomato sauce and mix
  • place dry noodles on top and cover with water
  • on high pressure setting, set timer for 5 minutes
  • use quick release when it is complete
  • add the corn and cheese in at the end