lemon chicken with egg salad and pistachio raspberry cupcakes 

the farm house was quiet today as I prepared the meal… school is back!  I have to say, I am usually so, so ready for the kids to go back to school… but this summer, we actually pretty much got along…  there were moments…  of me screaming… and my middle son always seemed to find a way of videoing me in those moments and replaying them over and over and over again…  (parenting is far harder with teenagers with phones)

but overall, it went really well as far as enjoying being around each other…

summers are different for farm kids…  with an anti-social mother…  they really don’t see their friends all summer…  in fact, my boys went for a three hour walk one day just to go visit a friend…  

so it was very quiet and very peaceful in the house as I cooked…  but I actually missed them a bit… for the first time ever on the first day of school…

my father-in-law requested no desserts in his suppers because of some cholesterol or blood pressure thing… (I try not to get bogged down by the details)…  but I was feeling sorry for him and decided to make a healthy cupcake he could have and not keel over and die consuming…

I almost killed him at the end of last harvest and don’t want a repeat of that this year… (something to do with chicken and salmonella…  I like to call it a way to ‘drop the pounds’ after harvest)

I began by attempting to grind pistachios in this…  mostly because I had thrown out my stupid food processor yesterday…

and then I read a comment from someone that said ‘why don’t you just use your Vitamix instead of the food processor?’…  

and it was like a light from heaven…  so I plopped the pistachios into my Vitamix…  and let me tell you… game changer…

makes me wonder what else my precious Vitamix can do?   (I like to be surprised so I tend to throw out the owner’s guide)

ground pistachio raspberry cupcakes

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup unsalted shelled pistachios
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, room temperature, cut into pieces
  • 2 tsp vanilla
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups frozen raspberries (preferably fresh ones you’ve frozen)
  • milk chocolate chips (for sprinkling on the top)

Directions:

  • preheat oven to 375 degrees
  • line muffin tin with paper liners and coat with a cooking spray
  • in a food processor (or VITAMIX!!) finely grind the pistachios
  • add sugar and salt and grind
  • transfer to a mixer and add butter, vanilla and eggs one at a time, scraping down the sides
  • add flour and pulse until just combined
  • gently fold in raspberries with a spatula
  • divide evenly to make 15-16 muffins
  • sprinkly on chocolate chips
  • bake for around 28 minutes or until golden brown
  • (they might look a little ‘wet’ on top but are done…  don’t burn them)
  • transfer to wire rack to cool

on to egg salad…  I saw on a food show to put egg salad with arugula…  so I did and the farmer approved…

(again, I do need to get someone else’s opinion other than his overly happy, non picky opinion)

egg salad on arugula

Ingredients:

  • 1 dozen boiled eggs, peeled and roughly chopped
  • 1/8 cup plain greek yogurt
  • 1/8 cup light mayonnaise
  • 1 heaping tsp dijon mustard
  • 2 tsp fresh lemon juice
  • 1 cup chopped celery
  • 1/2 cup sliced green onions
  • 1/2 cup sliced radishes
  • kosher salt and ground black pepper, to taste
  • arugula

Directions:

  • in a bowl, combine the ingredients for the dressing, mix and set aside
  • in a large bowl, gently combine the eggs, celery, green onions and radishes
  • pour dressing on and fold in with a spatula gently
  • serve over arugula

the same wonderful people who have their children raise cows to feed us also raise chickens to feed us…   I forgot to ask them if they name their chickens too…

the before and after of these 7 pound beauties…  after 1  3/4 hours in the oven and sitting for 20 minutes…

garden potatoes were boiled, drained and smashed with butter and half/half milk…

the chicken drippings were kept for gravy…  I pour off some of the fat… into my mouth… (I’m kidding…  that is disgusting… I do eat a tonne of chicken skin though)

lemon garlic whole chickens

Ingredients:

  • 7 lb roaster chicken (fresh or thawed out completely)
  • 6 cloves garlic, smashed
  • 1 1/2 tsp dried oregano
  • 1 tsp thyme
  • kosher salt and black pepper
  • 1/4 cup butter, melted
  • 2 lemons, cut into 4 each
  • 1/3 cup white wine
  • 1 tbsp cornstarch
  • 1/2 cup potato water with chicken bouillon mixed in

Directions:

  • preheat oven to 350 degrees on convection
  • pat the chicken dry with paper towel
  • under the skin on the breasts, shove the garlic in
  • pour the butter over the chicken
  • sprinkle the oregano, thyme, salt and pepper on
  • pour the white wine in the bottom of the pan
  • add the lemons
  • bake for 1 1/2 hours or until the chicken is fully cooked
  • let rest for at least 20 minutes in the pan
  • lift out chicken and slice
  • pour the drippings into a ‘gravy separator’ (something that will strain the chunks of lemon etc and then let the fat come to the top)
  • pour some of the fat off and place in a pot and bring back to a boil
  • mix the cornstarch with a little cold water and add to the gravy
  • add as much potato water with chicken bouillon as you need to make as much gravy as you need
  • season with salt and pepper if necessary
  • serve with cooked carrots and smashed potatoes (with butter and cream milk)

we set up an assembly line to dish up the suppers and the kids were home by then so I could quickly put them to work!

and off I went to get ate alive by mosquitoes…

plus 30 degree days with very high humidity is apparently exactly what trillions of mosquitoes love…  it’s like a plague…

I’m surprised you don’t see the farmers looking like bee keepers… I know I would have bought a mesh outfit by now if I was out there.. and I’m tough and not dramatic…  imagine what they are going through?

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

meal to the field #12

if I’ve decided I’m going to fight with you on the phone… nothing you do or say will stop it… no amount of patience, reasoning, intelligence or common sense will quell my anger…

over the past few weeks I have been blogging and posting pictures of either myself or my food… and my internet has been so painfully slow that I’ve resorted to turning it off completely and linking my phone to my laptop to write my posts…  this took considerable effort seeings how a 36 year old like myself has no idea the difference between ‘hotspot’ and ‘bluetooth’…

the farmer would tell you that I like to let my anger get to a level where I can’t be reasoned with, before I start a fight… this allows me to always win… because the other person gives up…

I make the phone call… I am on hold for over four minutes… this only fuels the fire… when Trevor finally gets off his coffee break and can field my call, the first question he asks me is my phone number… I give him my cell number but no he wants my old land line number… which I can’t remember due to the fact I have a poor memory… he was kind enough to ‘dig around’ and found my account which I have been paying $74 a month for…

I tell him my side of the story… “I’m trying to download 6 pictures and it takes me 3 days and I eventually just shut off my internet and hook my laptop up to my phone because your internet service is so horrible”…

Trevor pauses and then says in his nerdy, cocky, early 20’s voice… “our internet service looks like it’s functioning well in your area”…  I said “how would you know? I’d like you to send someone out here to check on it”…  Trevor replies “I can check on it from here and everything from our end is functioning well but you are completely tapped out for uploads and downloads on your end… do you have other devices running in your residence?”…

Sienna… crap… she has three iPads and two mini iPads…  before you judge…  they are all hand-me-downs and out of date… only one doesn’t have a cracked screen… and we won two of them at prize tables at hockey tournaments… whew… I can sense the judgement going away…

and she loves Netflix

but I found the next words out of my mouth to Trevor were “no… I put all devices in the house on airplane mode already… I think it is something on your end”…  he paused and his next words had a bit of a scorning laugh added to them “I can see our end and your end and it definitely is your end that is the problem”…

I did not go down without a fight…  I stuck to my story… told him I was possibly going to cancel my services with them… told him I felt like he could work on his customer service…

as soon as I hung up… I went and looked at all of her iPads… she has them stashed all over the house so it took me a bit… I turned them all on to airplane mode… came back to my laptop and ‘waa-laa’ (the farmer tells me that’s not how you say it)…  pictures downloaded or uploaded… not sure which… and everything working at lightning speed…

in that moment I just about called Trevor back… but I couldn’t (even though I knew I was wrong) apologize to a early 20’s cocky nerd…  it wouldn’t be good for his ego…

cauliflower taco salad

Ingredients:

  • 3 heads Romaine lettuce, washed and chopped
  • 2 green peppers, small dice
  • 2 cups mayo
  • 2 tbsp sugar
  • 1 head cauliflower, cut into small portions
  • 6 green onions, diced
  • 1 1/2 cups cheddar cheese
  • 1 bag Doritos

Directions:

  • in either a large bowl or in individual containers, place lettuce and green peppers
  • mix the mayo and sugar and spoon and smooth over the lettuce and green peppers
  • add cauliflower, green onions and cheddar cheese
  • chill for at least 2 hours
  • when ready to serve add crushed Doritos on the top
  • if serving in a large bowl, mix ingredients together before serving
  • if putting in containers to take to the field, leave unmixed

chicken pot pie with biscuits

Ingredients:

Chicken Filling:

  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1 cup flour
  • 5 cups chicken broth
  • 1 (8 oz) block cream cheese, cubed
  • salt and pepper
  • 2 tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 8 cups shredded chicken
  • olive oil
  • 2 white onions, diced
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 4 cups carrots, small dice
  • 3 cups celery, small dice
  • 3 cups frozen peas

Biscuit Dough:

  • 5 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 tbsp baking powder
  • 1 tbsp baking soda
  • 2 tsp kosher salt
  • 2 tsp sugar
  • 1 tsp ground black pepper
  • 1/2 cup chopped green onion or chives
  • 1/2 cup cold, cubed unsalted butter
  • 8 oz cream cheese, cubed
  • 1 1/2 cups buttermilk
  • 1 egg, for egg wash

Directions:

  • in a saucepan, thicken buttter, flour, broth, cream cheese, salt and pepper and lemon juice
  • add the shredded chicken and pour into a large mixing bowl
  • in the same pan, heat olive oil and add onions, garlic, carrots and celery
  • cook until softened and add to the chicken mixture
  • add peas to the chicken mixture
  • in two 9×13 inch greased baking pans, spread out pot pie mixture
  • for the biscuits, mix flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, sugar and pepper
  • add green onions and mix
  • cut in with a pastry blender the butter and cream cheese
  • add buttermilk and combine
  • turn out onto floured surface and knead very lightly
  • roll out till 1/2 inch thick and cut with biscuit cutter
  • place biscuits on top of chicken filling
  • beat one egg with a splash of water and brush on the biscuits
  • bake at 375 degrees for 25 minutes or until chicken filling is bubbling and biscuits are browned


apple crisp with pistachios

Ingredients:

  • 15 macintosh apples (washed, cored and cubed – peel on)
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • juice of 1 lemon
  • zest of 1 lemon
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • 1/2 cup cold unsalted butter, cut into small cubes
  • 2 cups oats
  • 1/2 cup shelled pistachios

Directions:

  • put brown sugar, lemon juice and zest and cinnamon in a large bowl
  • add apples and mix
  • pour into a 9×13 baking dish
  • in a large bowl, combine flour, sugar, salt and butter
  • blend with a pastry cutter
  • add oats and pistachios
  • sprinkle evenly over the apples
  • place 9×13 on a baking sheet in case of it spilling over
  • bake at 375 for 40 minutes or until bubbling and browned
  • serve warm and with vanilla ice cream if possible