zesty chicken salad

 when I leave the farmer alone for the weekend I generally try to have something in the fridge for him to eat…  now don’t get all feminist on me…  when he leaves me alone for a weekend he makes sure the water in the cistern is full, that the oil in my vehicle is changed and everything around the house is running properly…

so this is more of a thank you for that so I’ll make you a salad that you can eat every day until you are sick of it…

this is a salad I use to take out to the farmers during seeding or harvest and is one of my favourites…  it would be great to make on a Sunday and then have it in your lunch for Monday and Tuesday…

it starts with marinading some chicken breasts…  which is super easy to do and adds a lot of flavour to the chicken and the salad…

peanut chicken marinade

Ingredients:

  • 3 tbsp creamy peanut butter
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tbsp dijon mustard
  • 2 tsp minced ginger (or from a can)
  • 4 large cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/3 cup soy sauce
  • 1/4 cup orange juice
  • zest of an orange
  • 1/2 tsp lemon pepper
  • 4-5 boneless, skinless chicken breasts (cut in half)

Directions:

  • whisk the marinade ingredients together
  • in a large ziploc bag, place the chicken
  • pour in the marinade, seal the bag and squish the chicken around with the marinade
  • put in a glass dish and into the fridge for 2 hours, flipping once in that time
  • if you are rushed, you can only marinade it for 20 minutes and never longer than 2 hours
  • bbq the chicken

  
bbq’ing the chicken is the best way to go for flavour…

the salad is simple to make as well and if you aren’t opposed to shopping at Costco, their Feta cheese is the best I’ve ever tasted…

not that I go around to Feta cheese tastings, but it is delicious…

 

I also cheat a bit with the ginger…  if I know I am making this salad and am gong to a grocery store I’ll use fresh ginger…  but I always keep a jar of it in my fridge in case I just want to make it and don’t want to drive 45 minutes to get ginger…


zesty chicken salad

Ingredients:

  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 4 tbsp lime juice (usually around 2 limes)
  • zest of 1 lime
  • 2 tsp soy sauce
  • 2 tsp grated ginger
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt
  • 1/2 tsp lemon pepper
  • 4-5 chicken breasts, bbq’d and cut into slices
  • 1 red bell pepper, sliced
  • 1 orange bell pepper, sliced
  • 10 oz snow peas, sliced
  • 3 medium carrots, sliced
  • 1 cup Feta cheese, diced

Directions:

  • in a shaker, combine dressing ingredients and shake till combined
  • in a bowl, combine salad ingredients
  • pour dressing over and combine gently
  • this salad keeps for a few days in the fridge nicely

this salad is fantastic fresh and is also delicious the next day or day after in the fridge…  a great salad to take to work with you for lunch… or to leave for a farmer when you are gone for three days…

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

meal to the field #11

combining canola… and needing buns for the kids lunches… so I made Tracey’s cheese buns she has told me about… I did not tackle making them in the figure eight shape she does…  I am not that talented… but you should try it because I think it would taste better that way…

 

Tracey's cheese buns

Ingredients:

  • Tammy’s Bun Recipe
  • 2 tbsp onion flakes
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 cup parmesan cheese
  • 3 cups grated cheddar cheese
  • 2 tsp Maldon sea salt flakes
  • 1 tsp garlic salt

Directions:

  • use Tammy’s Bun Recipe and add the onion flakes and garlic powder to it
  • let rise three times, punching down ever 15 minutes
  • roll out in a figure eight shape transfer to a parchment paper to rise
  • mix the parmesan cheese and cheddar cheese and sprinkle over the buns
  • sprinkle Maldon sea salt flakes and garlic salt over the buns
  • bake at 350 degrees for 17 minutes or until browned and done

I love this salad…  my kids not so much… but it is everything I like in a harvest salad… packs well, transfers well, sits well…

frozen pea salad

Ingredients:

  • 6 cups frozen peas
  • 4 small heads broccoli, cut into small pieces
  • 1 head cauliflower, cut into small pieces
  • 2 yellow onions, diced
  • 2 cups cheddar cheese, grated
  • 2 cups Ranch dressing
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 1 pkg (500g) cooked, chopped bacon
  • 1 cup roasted, unsalted cashews, chopped

Directions:

  • in a large bowl, mix together the peas, broccoli, cauliflower, onions and cheese
  • mix Ranch dressing and sour cream together and add to the salad
  • place in refrigerator for at least 3 hours
  • dish into containers and add bacon and cashews on top

the farmer requested this… beef stroganoff… a favourite from his childhood…

 

beef stroganoff

Ingredients:

  • 6 round streaks, sliced thinly
  • 1/2 cup all purpose flour
  • 1 tbsp kosher salt
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • 3 cans cream of chicken soup
  • 1 1/2 cups sour cream
  • olive oil
  • 3 yellow onions, minced
  • 1 head garlic, minced
  • 1 carton (320 g) button mushrooms, sliced
  • 2 pkgs Egg Noodles

Directions:

  • heat olive oil in a pan
  • in two batches, place steak in flour, salt and pepper and then to brown on med-high heat in the pan
  • in a large pot, whisk chicken soup and sour cream together
  • transfer first batch of meat to the large pot with the soup mixture and brown the second batch of meat
  • transfer second batch of meat to the soup mixture
  • heat olive oil and add onions, garlic and then mushrooms
  • add this to the soup/meat mixture
  • keep on very low heat until you are ready to serve (at least 1 hour simmering)
  • serve over egg noodles

my mother cans peaches every fall… so I make peach cobbler every fall… as well as eat canned peaches for breakfast at least twice a week until they run out… I can remember blanching the peaches, getting the skin off of them, slicing them and putting them in the sugary juice in the canning jars… messy work and I’m grateful she still does it on her own so we can enjoy them…

peach cobbler

  • Servings: one 9x13 pan
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Ingredients:

  • 3 quarts canned peaches, strained (or 12 fresh peaches, sliced)
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 tbsp cornstarch
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 2 tsp fresh lemon juice
  • zest of one lemon
  • 2 cups flour
  • 2 tbsp sugar
  • 3 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • 1/2 cup cold shortening, cut into small cubes
  • 1 cup whole milk

Directions:

  • mix sugar, cornstarch, cinnamon, lemon juice and zest in a saucepan on medium/high heat
  • add peaches and boil and gently stir for 1 minute
  • pour into a 9×13 greased dish
  • cut shortening into flour, sugar, baking powder and salt mixture
  • add milk and mix until sticky
  • spoon over the peaches and bake at 400 degrees for 30 minutes
  • serve warm if possible

meal to the field #10

I’m in Calgary watching Food Network with two of my children in a hotel room… while the farmer is combining canola… and we aren’t in Austin… yes, Austin… if you have been anywhere near me lately you have heard me complain… and then I complained on Facebook today just to really make sure I didn’t miss anyone in my complaining of missing my vacation…

the farmer and I like to do a once a year trip that makes up for the fact we have zero date nights all year long… we have visited baseball and football stadiums, hockey arenas, beaches and concerts…  this was a festival we were going to attend… Austin City Limits… and it sure looked amazing…

food, music and being in a city… doesn’t get much better than that… farmer’s like to vacation to cities… the joy of riding someone else’s subway/metro is just so exhilarating…  instead I had to drive over 5 hours in my Suburban today wreaking of hockey equipment… with a seven year old asking every 13 minutes ‘how long until we get there?’….

now I know everyone reading this would love me to go on and on about how angry I am at the weather for ruining my lovely vacation with my husband… but alas I must talk about food… because we are still combining and the food is still getting made…

black bean salad… this is one of my all time favourites… and so great to make up and take in your lunch until everyone around you is like… ‘how much salad did you make?’… and you say… ‘enough for 2 weeks of lunches… get used to it’…

again… I am a stay-at-home farmer’s wife so I have no idea how lunch conversations go…

my cats and dogs never bug me about what I’m eating…

black bean salad

Ingredients:

  • 4 cans (19 oz) black beans, strained and rinsed
  • 25 oz frozen corn
  • 4 roma tomatoes, diced
  • 2 red bell peppers, chopped
  • 1/2 red onion, diced
  • 1/2 cup green onions, diced
  • 1 can pineapple chunks, chopped
  • 1/2 bunch cilantro, leaves chopped fine
  • 2 jalapeno, seeded and minced
  • 4 tbsp red wine vinegar
  • 2 tsp lime juice
  • 6 tbsp honey
  • 2 tsp kosher salt
  • ground black pepper
  • 1 tsp ground cumin

Directions:

  • mix all ingredients together
  • let chill for at least 2-3 hours before serving
  • keeps very well in the fridge

my earliest memories of cooking… taco shells… growing up I swear we had tacos once a week if not more… and my mom was so great at letting me make a mess of the kitchen to make the taco shells…

in a time period where packaged food and Costco were just new… this was the one thing my mom drew the line on… we had homemade taco shells… and if you ever taste one… or make one… you will never go back…

mom's taco shells

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup all purpose flour
  • 1 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1 cup cornmeal
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 3 cups water

Directions:

  • mix ingredients and let sit for 10 minutes
  • in a 12” saucepan on medium/high heat pour just under 1/2 cup of batter into the saucepan
  • turn the saucepan until the batter has covered the entire bottom of the pan and cook that side until it starts to lift
  • flip and cook the other side for another minute

and the meat that you put in them… well this is what I do… but really go ahead and fill them with whatever you so desire to…

the ground deer is from my son Brandon’s first deer he shot last year…  the bison is from my husband running one off a cliff and recovering the meat…  I made the kids winter boots out of the hide…

oh wait… that’s a lie… Bennett’s have bison and I get it from them… I’m not sure if they run them all off a cliff or not… I haven’t asked…

taco meat

  • Servings: 12-14 taco fillings
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Ingredients:

  • 1 lb ground deer
  • 1 lb ground bison
  • 1 yellow onion, diced
  • 3 tbsp Club House Taco Seasoning (more to taste)
  • 1/2 (398 mL) tomato sauce
  • 1 cup salsa

Directions:

  • fry up meat and onion and add taco seasoning
  • if meat is fatty you will have to strain off the fat before you season it
  • add tomato sauce and salsa


beet cake is my favourite cake…  happy no vacation to me…

  

“beet

Ingredients:
For the Cake:
– 2 medium beets, cleaned and unpeeled
– 2 tsp olive oil
– 3/4 cup unsalted butter, cubed and room temperature
– 1 cup packed brown sugar
– 3/4 cup sugar
– 2 large eggs, room temperature
– 1 tsp vanilla
– 2 cups all purpose flour
– 2/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
– 1 tsp baking soda
– 1 tsp baking powder
– 1 tsp kosher salt
– 1 1/4 cups buttermilk
For the Frosting:
– 1 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
– 8 oz cream cheese, room temperature
– 4 cups powdered sugar
– 2 tbsp finely grated cooked beets
– 1 tsp vanilla
– 2 tsp milk
– 1/2 tsp lemon juice
– 1/2 tsp kosher salt
Directions:
– wash and cut beets into large chunks… place in tin foil with olive oil and bake on a cookie sheet at 375 degrees for 1 hour
– remove from oven and open up tin foil and let cool
– in a mixer, combine butter and sugar… add eggs one at a time and then vanilla
– combine flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder and salt
– alternate flour mixture and buttermilk into the sugar mixture
– finally, add 3/4 cup grated beets
– put into two 9 inch cake pans that have been greased and parchment paper in the bottom of each
– bake at 350 degrees for 35 minutes or until centre of cake is done
– let cool for 10 minutes and then turn out onto a rack and cool
– for the frosting, combine all ingredients and whip
– spread frosting in-between the two cake layers and all around it and on top
– put in fridge for an hour and then slice it and serve it
– to freeze, slice and put individual pieces in containers to freeze

meal to the field #9

in the past fifty days or so we have only combined around seventeen of them… this means there has been more days not combining than combining which doesn’t make for happy farmers… in fact my farmer  has lost weight just from the stress of not combining…  I told him fad diets like that never work but he did it anyways…

so this meal I did on Friday and then it promptly rained again so we couldn’t finish up…  we have a lot of canola still out there waiting to get combined… Canadian Thanksgiving is this coming weekend and it looks like it will be turkey to the field… I have done this only one other year in my 15 years of cooking for farmers…

and this is why farmers talk about the weather… a lot…

  

cucumber dill salad

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 4 tsp white vinegar
  • 1 tbsp fresh dill, chopped
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt
  • 6 large cucumbers, sliced with a mandolin
  • 6 green onions, chopped

Directions:

  • in a large mixing bowl, combine mayonnaise, sugar, vinegar, dill and salt
  • mix with a whisk
  • cut cucumbers with a mandolin into thin slices and place in bowl
  • add green onions, mix and dish into containers
  • chill in fridge for at least one hour

  

pot roast in beer and onions

Ingredients:

  • 2 1kg cross rib pot roasts
  • salt and pepper on roasts (season well)
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 5 white onions, chopped
  • 14 crushed garlic cloves, roughly chopped
  • 2 bottles of beer
  • 2 cups beef broth
  • 1 1/2 tsp ground thyme
  • 2 tsp herbes de provence

Directions:

  • turn crockpot on high
  • heat oil in a large dutch oven on medium/high heat
  • season the roasts and one at a time sear each roast (all sides) for 2 minutes per side
  • place into the crockpot
  • in dutch oven, place onions and garlic
  • season the onions and garlic with thyme and herbes de provence
  • add beer and broth
  • pour over the roasts in the crockpot
  • cook on high in crockpot for 4 hours or longer
  • take meat out and slice and put back in crockpot and serve


roasted carrot sticks with dijon dressing

Ingredients:

  • 8 large carrots, cut into sticks
  • olive oil
  • salt and pepper
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 2 tbsp white wine vinegar
  • 1 tbsp dijon mustard
  • 1 tbsp minced garlic
  • 1/2 tsp ground thyme
  • 1 tsp fresh rosemary leaves, chopped

Directions:

  • preheat oven to 450 degrees
  • cut carrots into sticks and place on a parchment lined baking sheet
  • toss with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper
  • roast for 15-20 minutes until tender
  • mix up olive oil, vinegar, mustard, garlic, thyme and rosemary
  • pour over the carrots and serve


basically if you are eating a roast or any sort of beef dish that has a gravy, you need to make yorkshire pudding…  the farmer’s family called them ‘pop-overs’ but I grew up knowing and loving them as ‘yorkshire pudding’…  my love for them has never faltered… I love them fresh out of the oven with nothing on them…. or with the meal with some butter and gravy in the centre of them… or later that evening, cold from the refrigerator…  oh I love them so… that’s why you need to make 36 of them even if you are not feeding a whole crew of farmers…

“auntie

Ingredients:

  • 4 eggs, room temperature
  • 2 tsp kosher salt
  • 2 2/3 cup homo milk
  • 2 cups sifted all purpose flour

Directions:

  • using three muffin tins, place dollops of butter in each well and place in 400 degree oven
  • whisk up eggs and add salt and milk
  • add flour to mixture
  • take out smoking hot muffin tins and pour batter into them, filling each well half way up
  • bake for 20 minutes
  • serve warm, with gravy and butter


  

these brownies are so easy to make and moist and delish… the reason I sprinkled them with icing sugar is because I forgot to put parchment paper in the baking pan and half the cake stuck in the bottom of the pan and it was a bit of a disaster…  so icing sugar covers all wrongs…

zucchini brownies

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 1/2 cup melted coconut oil, room temperature
  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup cocoa powder
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 2 cups shredded zucchini
  • 2 tsp vanilla
  • 1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips

Directions:

  • in a standing mixer, beat sugar and oil
  • mix flour, cocoa powder, salt and baking soda in a bowl
  • add flour mixture to sugar and oil
  • beat and add zucchini
  • fold in chocolate chips and pour into a greased 8×8 baking pan
  • make sure the baking pan is well greased and has parchment paper lining the bottom of it so cake does not stick
  • bake at 350 degrees for 50 minutes or until centre of cake is done
  • let cook in pan on wire rack for 20 minutes and then take out of pan and let cool
  • cut into 12 brownies and serve

meal to the field #7

thanksgiving 2004 I made potato salad and 5 people got food poisoning…  since then my oldest son cannot eat mayonnaise…  he literally eats everything else imaginable – just not mayonnaise…  it did not affect my farmer husband the same way…  this was not his first time contracting food poisoning from potato salad and I’m going to guess it won’t be his last…

he actually had to check into the hospital the last time potato salad took him down… of course he had bought it at a 7-Eleven and it was past the expiry date and it was grey… but his love affair with potato salad remains…  

Potato Salad

Ingredients:

  • 5 pounds red potatoes, cubed into bite size pieces
  • 12 hard boiled eggs, cut up
  • 1 cup chopped dill pickles
  • 2 cups chopped celery
  • 1/2 cup chopped green onions
  • 1 cup Greek yogurt
  • 1 cup mayonnaise
  • 2 tbsp yellow mustard
  • 2 tbsp whole grain mustard
  • 2 tbsp chopped fresh dill
  • 1/2 tsp smoked paprika
  • kosher salt and pepper, to taste

Directions:

  • in a large pot, cover the cut up potatoes with cold water and add 2 tsp kosher salt
  • bring to a boil and reduce to simmer
  • simmer until tender, around 15-20 minutes
  • do the same process with eggs but when they come to a boil they let them boil for a few minutes and then they are done
  • drain the potatoes in a strainer and put into the bowl with the celery, green onions & dill pickles
  • make the dressing and add to the potatoes
  • gently mix in the eggs, paprika, salt and pepper
  • chill for a few hours or for up to 2 days in fridge

a friend of mine gave me these apples … and rhubarb … thus allowing me to not have to plant apple trees or rhubarb in my garden … thank you Erin … so I thought I’d put them in pie crust with sugar …

now don’t be shocked by the next picture…  it is my attempt to demonstrate how I crinkle the outside of the pie crust… but it turns out that my hands up close are wrinkly and hairy … my mom always told me I had hands that should play the piano …  she also told me that I could swim like a fish and run like a gazelle and sing like a bird … so it shouldn’t come as a shock that she thought I had hands for the piano …  watch an episode of ‘The Goldbergs’ and you will see who my mom is …  

that is an apple peeler and slicer passed on to me by my Grandpa Reed …  and it is a lovely invention

the farmer texted me tonight after eating this pie and I quote “that pie might be my favourite one of yours” …

Cream Cheese Apple Pie

Ingredients:

  • 2 refrigerated pie crusts (see recipe for Coffee Break Pie Crust)
  • 2 pkg (250 g) Philadelphia cream cheese, room temperature
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 8 Gala apples, peeled and sliced thinly (makes 8 cups sliced)
  • 6 tbsp all purpose flour
  • 2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1 cup large flake rolled oats
  • 1 cup cold butter, cut up

Directions:

  • line 2 9” pie plates with pie crusts
  • beat cream cheese, sugar, eggs and vanilla and put into the 2 pie shells
  • cut up apples, put in a big bowl and add flour and cinnamon and toss until well coated
  • place apples on top of cream cheese filled pie shells
  • cut with a pastry blender the butter into the oats and brown sugar and place on top of pies
  • put in a 375 degree oven for 50 minutes
  • serve at room temperature

and now … drum roll … I made something healthy … this is a classic around here for ‘Meatless Mondays’  … tonight a friend asked my curly haired son ‘what did your mom make for supper?’ and he said ‘something orange’ … he must really love it …


  

Black Bean Quinoa Enchilada Bake

  • Servings: one 9x13 casserole
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Ingredients:

  • 1 cup uncooked quinoa, rinsed
  • 2 cups water
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 jalapeno, seeds and ribs removed, diced
  • 1 red pepper, diced
  • 1 orange pepper, diced
  • 1 cup corn, frozen kernels
  • juice of 1 lime
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tbsp chilli powder
  • 1/3 cup cilantro, chopped
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • 2 (15 oz) cans black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 2 cups red enchilada sauce (salsa works if you do not have this)
  • 2 cups shredded Tex Mex cheese (1/2 cup for mixture and 1 1/2 cups for topping)

Directions:

  • add quinoa and water to a medium saucepan and bring to boil over a medium heat
  • boil for 5 minutes then turn heat to low and simmer for 15 minutes
  • remove from heat, fluff and pour into large bowl
  • in a large skillet, heat olive oil and add onion, garlic, jalapeño and peppers
  • in the large bowl that has the quinoa in it add corn, black beans, pepper mixture, enchilada sauce and /1/2 cup of the Tex Mex cheese
  • put in a 9×13 greased baking dish and cover with the rest of the Tex Mex cheese
  • bake uncovered at 350 degrees for 30 minutes
  • toppings: sliced green onions, avocado slices, sour cream (optional)
  • freezes well: take out in the morning and allow to thaw all day

meal to the field #6

 I feel undesired… not by the farmer… I feel sufficiently desired by him…  just realizing that I’m at an age where the older men that used to creepily check me out no longer do… I’m too old now to make it fun for the creepers…  and I’m not quite old enough to be a Cougar yet… getting there but not quite… so I’m in ‘no-man’s land’… literally… no man wanting this…  other than the farmer of course…

so this leads to me getting a tad ‘sloppy’ with my look once in awhile… it is freeing knowing that no one is looking at you… it also means you might wake up and not actually look in the mirror until you are driving and see a glimpse of yourself in the rear-view mirror and think ‘I look tired’… or you might get sloppy with the shaving of the legs or the curling of the hair or the general hygiene desired women  attend to…

recently I had an appointment to get my knee, which I partially tore my MCL in, looked at by a doctor to decide what to do about a brace and physio…  It is a 2 hour drive for me to get into the doctor and I decided that morning to get a few more minutes of sleep instead of getting up to shave my legs…  didn’t really think anything of it as the last three doctor’s I had visited with regards to my knee it would not have bothered me to have them cut their hands on my leg hair…

sure enough, I get there… slightly late, sweating, hairy… with my three kids… the daughter wearing long white gloves and a crown and the boy’s looking like they had made special effort to find the worst outfit combinations possible for the big outing to the doctor’s office…  I see my doctor and I start to sweat more…  he is young, good looking and I know he’s going to have to touch my leg…

turns out he touched both my legs… had to check the ‘good knee’ to see how it compared to the bad one… both of my legs were hairy…  and my back was drenched with sweat and I was trying to make small talk hoping he wouldn’t notice his hands were bleeding…

I get home and tell my farmer about this… about how it’s like when you clean your house and no one comes over but sure enough when it’s dirty you get three visitors that day… he felt bad for me I think… he also mentioned something about how he liked it when I shaved my legs and maybe I could just do it for him and not some stranger doctor guy that I will never see again…

this was the meal I took out that night… I hope you can’t sense all my anxiety and frustration through the pictures of my cooking… but it was there…


no recipe for this salad as you can see all the ingredients that are in it! but it is yummy and easy…


I’ve wanted to make sourdough bread ever since the farmer and I went to San Francisco a few years ago and we could not get enough of it…  this is a easy way to start with making it and I am going to learn the ‘over-night’ version at some point…  but this was good for on a day you didn’t have time shave your legs but you did have time to start dough fermenting…

Quick Sourdough Bread

Ingredients:

  • 6 cups all purpose flour or best for bread flour
  • 3 tsp kosher salt
  • 1 tsp instant dry yeast
  • 3 1/4 cup plain unsweetened yogurt containing active cultures

Directions:

  • in a Bosch dough machine or a mixer with a dough hook, mix all ingredients on medium speed until the dough comes together
  • if dough is too dry (it should be sticky) add another tbsp of yogurt
  • cut the dough in half to form two balls and put each dough ball into a greased bowl to rise
  • cover the bowl and let ferment at room temperature for 6-10 hours (6 is the minimum)
  • the dough should almost double in size
  • dust the counter with flour and dump the dough out
  • fold it over on itself, turning it as you do, but not crushing the air out of it
  • form into a ball and put onto a piece of parchment paper
  • do this with the other ball as well and let proof for 1-2 hours
  • it should almost double in size but be firm to the touch
  • 30 minutes before dough is ready to be cooked, put two heavy bottomed pots with lids into a 450 degree oven to warm up
  • add the dough by lifting up the parchment paper and setting into the pot
  • cover with the lid and bake for 30 minutes
  • then remove the lid and let bake until crust is golden brown
  • take out and cool on a rack for 20 minutes before cutting
  • butter and wrap in tin foil for the field

Beef Stew

Ingredients:

  • 1.8 kg Costco stew meat, cut up into small bite size chunks
  • 1/2 cup all purpose flour
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1/8 cup olive oil
  • 1/8 cup unsalted butter
  • 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 1 can tomato paste
  • 3 cups beef broth, hot
  • 2 large onions, cut into chunks
  • 5 regular red potatoes, cut into chunks
  • 2 lbs carrots, cut into chunks
  • 1 head garlic, smashed and minced
  • 4 bay leaves

Directions:

  • in two or three batches, take stew meat, drop into flour with the salt and pepper and paprika and then shake excess flour off
  • brown the meat at medium/high heat in the olive oil and butter
  • set aside in a pot that you will cook it all in or a crockpot
  • in the drippings, add balsamic vinegar, tomato paste and beef broth
  • pour over the stew meat
  • add to the stew meat the onions, potatoes, carrots and garlic
  • put bay leaves in and cook at 350 degrees for 2 1/2 hours

my mom told me that when she had given birth to me in the hospital, a lady had made her a Homemade Angel Food cake… and that she ate the entire thing and did not share it with anyone… not even me… her new-born baby looking all hungry…

Homemade Angel Food Cake

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 cups icing sugar
  • 1 cup cake flour
  • 1 1/2 cups egg whites (12 eggs)
  • 2 tsp cream of tartar
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tsp almond extract
  • 1/4 tsp table salt (fine salt)

Directions:

  • mix the icing sugar and flour
  • beat room temperature egg whites with cream of tartar on medium speed until slightly foamy
  • add sugar 1/4 cup at a time and then add vanilla, almond extract and salt
  • beat until stiff and smooth
  • sprinkle the icing sugar and flour into the meringue and fold in, 1/2 cup at a time
  • gently spread the batter into an angel food cake pan that is clean and dry
  • bake at 375 degrees for 40 minutes
  • cake is done when the cracks in the cake feel dry and the top springs back when touched
  • turn the pan upside down on three cups around the edge of it and let cool for 2 hours
  • this cake is great to make ahead, cut up and put in container and freeze for when you need it

Rhubarb Sauce

Ingredients:

  • 4 cups chopped rhubarb
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 2/3 cup sugar

Directions:

  • in a medium saucepan on medium-high heat, stir all ingredients together
  • let come to a boil and then turn down and simmer until rhubarb is slightly broken down, 10-15 minutes
  • remove from pan and let cool
  • this sauce stores well in the fridge

meal to the field #5

disclaimer… this meal is not very healthy… unless you are a pro-athlete and burning insane amounts of calories per day you should not eat like this all the time… but it’s harvest time… the time of year that farmer’s finally make money and gain weight… (or this year just gain weight) and we get to eat dessert at home – that is if there is enough… I for instance have gained 5 pounds so far… I feel like it is an instinct from way back when the settlers (and I’m purely imagining all of this… no homeschooling going on around here) would try to gain weight and a layer of body fat for protection from the harsh Canadian winters… I am just instinctively following suit… it can’t be controlled when it is your heritage… 

the salad is decent for you…  if you want to stay away from the pasta… the gluten… the energy… then just omit the pasta and put it on romain lettuce instead…

Greek Pasta Salad

Ingredients:

For the Dressing:

  • 1 tsp dry mustard
  • 1 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp sugar
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper
  • 1 tsp oregano
  • 2 tbsp parsley
  • 2 tbsp minced red onion
  • 1 tbsp minced red pepper
  • 1 tbsp minced garlic clove
  • 4 tsp lemon juice
  • 4 tsp red wine vinegar
  • 1/2 cup crisco oil

For the Salad:

  • 1, 500 g bag Garofalo Gemelli Pasta, boiled
  • 2 containers cherry tomatoes, cut in half
  • 2 cucumbers, diced
  • 1/2 red onion, diced
  • 500 g Feta cheese, cubed
  • 2 red peppers, diced
  • 2 yellow peppers, diced
  • 2 cans black olives, drained and chopped

Directions:

  • in a salad dressing shaker, add all the ingredients for the salad dressing and shake well
  • in a large bowl add all of the salad ingredients
  • pour dressing overtop and chill for at least 3 hours before serving


now we move on to the good stuff…  true story… when the farmer and I were first married… at the ripe old age of 20… we would split a pan of these breadsticks (I have doubled this recipe but you can imagine it’s more than two breadsticks each) while watching Ally McBeal and think we were living the dream… found out it was the dream… in your 20’s eating whatever you want and your body just being like ‘keep it coming… eat more… good idea… I can handle it’ …. then your 30’s hit and you have to eat half of one breadstick and run 4 miles to keep the muffin top at bay…  not sure what 40’s will have to offer but at this rate I’ll only be able to smell the food…

Golden Italian Breadsticks

Ingredients:

  • 5 cups flour
  • 2 tsp sugar
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 2 tbsp instant rise yeast
  • 2 cups warm water
  • 4 tbsp canola oil
  • 1/2 cup Golden Italian Dressing
  • 1 bag or 320 g Italiano Grated Cheese
  • 1/4 cup Parmeson Cheese
  • 1 tbsp Italian seasoning
  • 1 tsp oregano
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder

Directions:

  • mix flour, sugar, salt and yeast till combined in a Bosch dough mixer or a mixer with a dough hook
  • add warm water and oil and mix for around 5-7 minutes until well combined
  • turn into a greased bowl and cover with a tea towel and let rise till it has doubled it’s size, around 45 minutes
  • line a 18×12 baking sheet with parchment paper
  • dump dough out onto baking sheet and press out with hands to the edges of the pan
  • spread with a spatula the golden Italian dressing over the dough
  • sprinkle the grated cheese
  • top with the seasonings
  • bake at 425 degrees for 16 minutes or until golden brown
  • let cool and slice into breadsticks
  • wrap in tin foil to put in supper bags

I made this casserole so many times… have it ready for after a football game, take to a potluck or after a long day at an initiation hockey tournament …

Perogy Casserole with Deer Sausage

Ingredients:

  • 2 packages perogies (Baba’s Homestyle Perogies 3 kg)
  • 5 yellow onions, sliced
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter
  • 4 green or red peppers, sliced (optional)
  • 1 1/2 cups 1% milk
  • 3 cans mushroom soup
  • 1 cup grated cheddar cheese
  • 2 packages deer sausage (I used 1 package cheddar smokies & 1 package hot Italian smokies), cut up 1” thick

Directions:

  • turn oven to 350 degrees and grease two 9×13 pans
  • drop frozen perigees into boiling water and remove with a strainer when they float – I did one package at a time
  • put into greased pans
  • saute onions and peppers in butter and then pour over the perogies
  • whisk soup and milk together and pour over perogies
  • put sausage in with the perogies and then sprinkle with cheddar cheese
  • bake for 30 minutes or until bubbling

  

hint for serving this cake… small portion size as it is dense, sweet and could send a farmer into a slumber that might cause a combine to be driven into a slough…

Chocolate Zucchini Coconut Cake

  • Servings: 1 9x13 cake
  • Print

Ingredients:

For the Cake:

  • 2 1/2 cups flour
  • 2/4 cup cocoa powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1/2 cup coconut oil, melted and at room temperature
  • 1 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 1/2 cup plain Greek yogurt, at room temperature
  • 3 cups grated zucchini
  • 1/2 cup sweetened flaked coconut
  • 1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips

For the Icing:

  • 1 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 3 1/2 cups icing sugar
  • 1 1/2 tsp coconut extract
  • 1/2 cup toasted coconut, to sprinkle on top of cake

Directions:

  • preheat oven to 325 degrees and grease a 9×13 pan
  • whisk dry ingredients for cake
  • in a mixer add butter, coconut oil and sugar and beat until smooth
  • add eggs and vanilla and beat, then add yogurt
  • mix in the dry ingredients
  • fold in zucchini, coconut and chocolate chips
  • pour into the pan and bake for 45 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the middle of the cake comes out clean
  • for the icing, beat butter until smooth and then add icing sugar
  • add the coconut extract and beat until smooth
  • spread the icing and sprinkle the cake with the toasted coconut