breakfast is a party 

the farmer has been coaching high school football for officially 15 years now…  he was recalling last night the first play book he wrote up…  it was early August, I was pregnant and driving home from a visit to my brother in Lethbridge…

he took a pen out and started dreaming up offensive schemes…  he was wondering exactly how many ideas he’s had over the years…  not all good but every year improving… and every year thoroughly enjoying the boys he has coached…

at the school our kids attend, there is an awards night in June and you receive a letter in the mail telling you if your child is getting an award – so you will attend…

no letter in the Kelly mail… but this did not deter my boys from believing there was an outside chance they were receiving an award…  (unreliable postal system apparently)


my oldest came home just so upset he didn’t win the junior basketball award…  (even though, like I said, he knew going in that he was not receiving an award… still upset)

my other boy was upset too… in general… at everyone…

awards are a funny thing… the farmer has been giving them out for football and hockey for years so I have seen the process a coach (or teacher) goes through to hand awards out…

and the farmer would tell you he thinks they are pointless…

I disagree… I think they are necessary – not for the winners, but to motivate the losers.… this is coming from a viewpoint I had growing up of always getting snubbed at awards ceremonies…

always a bridesmaid, never a bride…  that was me at award’s night…  in fact, I know my parents had at least two fake medals made up for me…  eased the sting momentarily – but I did have this motivating anger as I grew up… all thanks to awards night…

I could always get the academic honour roll….  but anything that included someone judging my personality didn’t go over well…  and it caused me to develop a rather large chip on my shoulder…  me against the world attitude….

that actually has served me quite well in my 20’s and 30’s… it has made me resilient and helped me persevere

so my take on awards?  keep them going…  if for no other reason than to make kids mad and motivate them to work harder, improve their personalities and let them know that disappointments are ok…

June is not only filled with awards and field trips… it is the last few precious weeks I can wake up, make breakfast, pack lunches and send my dearly beloved, underachieving children off to school for the day…  AWAY FROM ME FOR 7 GLORIOUS HOURS…

it rained this week and the farmer was around for breakfast and was shocked at the atmosphere and food…

he thought is was quite the ‘celebratory party’ going on… and I told him it was..

pure joy knowing that I can give them a healthy breakfast and lunch and then say goodbye for hours that I have to myself to workout, cook, clean, do bookwork and yard work…  all by MYSELF…

this morning it was a delicious egg and kale muffin inspired by the local kale at the store that the hutterites grew…

and it was a quick ‘see ya later – be kind’ wave as I skipped around to clean out the dishwasher and make some buns… in solitude

for a few more days…

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frittata muffins

  • Servings: 12 muffins
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Ingredients:

  • 9 eggs
  • 1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese
  • 1/2 cup plain yogurt
  • 1/2 tsp ground black pepper
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 yellow onion, chopped
  • 1 red bell pepper, chopped
  • 1/4 – 1/2 cup almond milk
  • 2 cups loosely packed and chopped kale, stems removed
  • fine sea salt

Directions:

  • in a large bowl, whisk eggs, cheese, yogurt and pepper
  • in a saucepan heat oil and add onion and red pepper
  • when soft, transfer to egg mixture
  • in the same pan, cook the kale, around 3 minutes
  • add the kale to the egg mixture
  • place foil muffin cups in muffin pan and spoon the mixture into the cups
  • sprinkle with salt
  • bake at 325 degrees for 30 minutes
  • serve with hot sauce!

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

oprah is moving

Oprah recently told Ellen she is moving… they are neighbours in Santa Barbara… and after some friendly banter over Oprah not giving Ellen produce from her garden… to which Oprah responded that Ellen does not cook… the big move was brought up…

I don’t know if I am alone in finding the conversations of extremely wealthy people interesting and strange… but wow are they in their own little ‘extreme wealth’ world…

reminds me of the episode where Oprah and Gayle take a road trip and Oprah is filling up with gas and commented that she had not gassed up a vehicle since ’83… these comments are only funny to the very rich…

I told a friend tonight that I bought a pair of jeans because they were ‘only’ $160 and she slapped me…  well, she didn’t actually slap me but in her mind she slapped me and then she told me how ridiculous I sounded…

but poor Oprah, she has a friend named Gayle that never tells her how crazy she sounds…

Oprah is moving to Colorado… reason you ask…  Seasons… she misses seasons…

I get this… and I pondered it as I made soup…  the thought did cross my mind that she might be moving to Colorado because California is in the midst of a drought and she is thinking it might be time time to leave…

seasons… why do we need them?  why isn’t someone in constant sun and warmth happy?  why do they need the toil and frustration that comes with the changing of the weather?

it is winter right now here in Canada… thus the soup…  winter means we go around our yard, bring everything in and hide for a few months… literally hide… yes we have to venture out… but while we are out all we can think about is getting back to our couch and wrapped up in a warm Costco blanket and watching Game of Thrones…

then comes spring… along with spring fever… which is brought on due to the fact that we all take off the bulky winter clothing and put on shorts and a tank top and go out in barely above freezing weather…  and attempt to mate with anything moving… it’s not something anyone would want to document but it is the way of life for those dealing with seasons…

summer… 2 brief months for those of us in Canada… where daylight hours are valuable… and you spend 13 hours on a boat because you know the hot, hazy days are fleeting…

then comes fall… otherwise known as harvest… the season of garden produce, mosquitoes dying, halloween, leaves changing colour, getting rid of your kids to school, football, hunting…  actually I think this is my favourite season…

I get you Oprah… problem is Ellen grew up in New Orleans and Oprah lived in Chicago… we crave what we know…

if you’ve known winter, you can’t appreciate summer without it…

similar to if you’ve known heartbreak, you appreciate love on a different level…

navy bean soup with kale and tomatoes

  • Servings: one large pot
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Ingredients:

  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 yellow onions, chopped
  • 3 large carrots, chopped
  • 1 tbsp herbes de provence
  • 6 garlic cloves, minced
  • 5 Roma tomatoes, diced
  • 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
  • 2 gurgles of white wine
  • 1 (398 mL or 14 oz) can of navy beans, strained and rinsed
  • 4 cups chicken or vegetable broth, low sodium
  • 4 large kale leaves, thinly sliced, stems removed
  • 4 thick slices of stale ciabatta bread, cubed
  • balsamic vinegar, for drizzling
  • parmesan cheese, for topping
  • sea salt and black pepper

Directions:

  • heat oil in a large pot over medium heat
  • add onion and pinches of salt and pepper, cook for 5 minutes
  • add chopped carrots, herbes de provence (or rosemary) and garlic, cook for 5 more minutes
  • add tomatoes, red pepper flakes, and more salt and pepper, cook for 10 minutes
  • add 2 gurgles of white wine, beans and broth, cook for 20 minutes or until carrots are soft
  • add kale, cubed bread and drizzle with balsamic vinegar
  • simmer until kale is wilted
  • serve with shaved parmesan cheese on top