seeding meal #4

I don’t like to enjoy my yard…  I like to work in it…  at the beginning of spring I get almost giddy… I make lists of jobs, then I go do the jobs… then I notice more jobs that need doing… I put them on the list… then I do them and cross them off the list…

if the list looks like it’s not long enough, I either buy something from Costco online or Ikea that we have to assemble just to add another job to the list…

there is something thrilling about seeing the job on the list and then doing it and then crossing it off…  addictive really… and if you know anything about me…  ‘bit of an addict’…  (I like to through ‘bit’ in there so it’s not so harsh)

the farmer will play in the yard… baseball, football, monster on the trampoline, ‘horse’ on the basketball court…  I like to pick rocks off the pavement pad and re-seed dead spots on the lawn while he does this…

deck staining was in order today… due to the fact that it was over 30 degrees out on May 4… kinda fun to set a record for the earliest I have even treated the decks… really felt like a winner…

my deck staining skills are poor to terrible…  I have followed the rules, taken advice, read the instructions and every single time my decks are sticky…  they never set…  until now…

and I am giving all the credit to this brush… life changing really… Simms 5″ brush that you put on a telescoping handle and then think to yourself ‘where have you been my whole life?’…

I don’t want to write about it anymore… words cannot begin to express my love for this brush… I bought 5 of them and plan to buy more… just in case there is a rush on them or they go out of business…

just try it…  or if you have tried it… don’t speak to me because you didn’t tell me about it and I’ll be mad at you…

the gorgeous weather and deck staining left very little time to get supper ready…  I started at 3:45 pm and had it done by 6….  so this is a good meal plan for someone who works (other than deck staining) and only has 2 hours to whip together a supper…  for 10…

I did have a plan…  Asian…  this is another weird quirk about my personality… I like to theme meals (or outfits) if at all possible…

vinaigrette in a mason jar is super easy, cheap, healthy and oh so good…

 

asian cucumber green chickpea salad

Ingredients:

For the dressing:

  • 1/2 cup soya sauce
  • 2 tbsp sesame oil
  • 2 tbsp rice vinegar
  • 2 tbsp lime juice
  • 4 tbsp green onion, chopped
  • 2 tbsp black sesame seeds (or plain sesame seeds)
  • 1 tsp grated ginger
  • kosher salt and black pepper, to taste

For the salad:

  • 2 large English cucumbers, julienned
  • 2 cups frozen green chickpeas
  • 2 red bell peppers, thinly sliced
  • 2 yellow bell peppers, thinly sliced
  • 4 large carrots, peeled and julienned
  • 1/2 small red cabbage, thinly sliced

Directions:

  • make the dressing in a medium mason jar and shake well
  • in a large bowl, combine the ingredients for the salad
  • pour the dressing and toss well
  • salad is best cold

 

have you ever had a day where everything is working out perfectly and you start to find it a bit creepy?  spooky? like you might still be asleep?

morning run went well… kids were good getting on the bus…  I went to pressure wash the decks and I started the pressure washer first try… all three times…  (this has never happened)…

and then when I quickly went to the local store to pick up a few items… there were packages of Udon noodles… just sitting there in the cooler…  calling my name…

I bought all of them… mostly because my daughter has been craving these for awhile now and I have not seen them anywhere else…

but I was still a little weirded out by how the day was going… it was like the very few experiences I have had playing basketball when every shot went in… in fact I distinctly remember this happening twice… but when I shot I knew it was going in…

Steph Curry type of day…

Sienna and I found no instructions with the noodles… so we made our own up…  she was in charge…  she cut open the packages… massaged them under hot water… and the divided them up into the supper containers… awaiting their toppings…

she also ate enough to make herself a tad bit ill…

chicken with oyster sauce and cashews

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup soya sauce
  • 2 tbsp rice vinegar
  • 2 tbsp brown sugar
  • 4 tbsp oyster sauce
  • 1 tsp sesame oil
  • 6 tbsp canola oil
  • 8 chicken breasts (thawed, patted dry and cut into chunks)
  • kosher salt
  • 1/4 cup garlic, minced
  • 2 tbsp ginger, grated
  • 2 green bell peppers, chopped
  • 1/2 cup chicken broth
  • 4 tbsp cornstarch (in 1/2 cup cold water)
  • 1 can water chestnuts, drained and chopped
  • 2 cups unsalted cashews
  • 4 (454 g) packages Udon noodles (Shanghai Noodles)
  • chopped green onions

Directions:

  • in a bowl, mix soya sauce, vinegar, sugar, oyster sauce, sesame oil and canola oil
  • set this aside
  • in a large skillet or wok over high heat add chicken in two batches (once the second batch is cooked, add the first batch back in with it)
  • brown the chicken and cook thoroughly, adding a bit of water as you go if the pan gets too dry
  • add garlic and ginger and cook for a few minutes
  • add green peppers and cook for a few minutes
  • add chicken broth, cook and then turn heat down to add the cornstarch in the water
  • take off the heat and add the cashews and water chestnuts to the thickened mixture
  • serve immediately over the udon noodles, which you have taken out of the packages and in a strainer ran hot water over and pulled apart
  • top with green onions if you have some

I need to include a side note here… I cut the ginger into little sticks because I thought it looks nice…  bit of a bite and unless you love ginger like that… grate it…  I picked it out of the dishes before I sent them to the field…

other note… oyster sauce is the bomb…

now… if you are waiting for dessert pictures… just scroll on back to seeding meal #2 when I made some little cream cheese things that took me 5 hours…  I had frozen them and let them thaw today and put Smucker’s caramel sauce on them… leftover dessert… perfect for on a 30 degree day…

meal to the field #2

when I took this meal my kid’s were still at home on summer holidays… which means two things… I can make them work for me but I also have to put up with them… toss up… 

let us begin with the layered salad… in my mind it is the best salad to take out to the men because it keeps so well and resists the urge to get soggy… and it has bacon…

Layered Salad

Ingredients

For the Salad:

– 2 heads Romain Lettuce

– 1 small box of baby Spinach

– 12 whole hard boiled eggs, chopped

– kosher salt and ground pepper to taste

– 1 10 oz bag frozen peas

– 2 cans water chestnuts, sliced (227 mL cans)

– 4 whole tomatoes, chopped

– 1 bunch green onions, thinly sliced (green and white parts)

– 1/2 block cheddar cheese, grated (300 g)

– 2 packages thick cut bacon, cooked and chopped

For the Dressing:

– 1 cup Mayonnaise

– 1 cup Sour Cream

– 2 tbsp sugar

– 1 tsp dried dill

Directions

– in each container you are doing, layer the ingredients in the order they appear, but put the dressing layer in the middle so it does not stick to the lid of the container

– put them in the fridge until ready to pack suppers up

next up is Homemade Naan Bread…  and it is a bit time consuming to make up but if you have the time it is so much more delicious homemade than bought… and not a difficult dough to work with…

Naan Bread

Ingredients

– 2 tbsp sugar

– 1/2 cup hot water (not boiling)

– 1 1/2 tsp active dry yeast

– 4 cups all purpose flour

– 4 cups whole wheat pastry flour

– 1 tsp kosher salt

– 3 tsp baking powder

– 2 tsp baking soda

– 1 1/2 cups warm milk

– 2 cup greek yogurt, room temperature

– melted butter for brushing

– fresh cilantro for garnish

Directions

– dissolve the sugar in the water and add the yeast in a large measuring bowl… let sit for 10 minutes

– in a mixing bowl, add flour, salt,  baking soda and baking powder

– add the warm milk and yogurt to the yeast mixture

– pour the wet ingredients into the dry and begin mixing together gently

– use your hands to finish mixing it together

– it should be sticky but should be able to form a ball

– cover with a damp tea towel and let rise 1 hour in a warm place

– when ready to use divide it into 2 and divide those two sections into 8 each… keep these balls covered with a damp tea towel

– roll the ball into an oval shape, about 6 inches long and 1/4 inch thick

– brush the dough with butter and place in a frying pan on med/high heat and cover with a lid for 1 minute or until you see bubbles begin to form

– flip and cook for 1-2 minutes more until it looks toasted

– brush with a little bit more butter and sprinkle with kosher salt and cilantro

– place in a 9×13 tea towel lined dish and cover with a tea towel until you have completed cooking all of them

the Teriyaki Chicken is shown with rice and no bean spouts because I live in the middle of no-where and sometimes can’t get the ingredients I envision for my meals…  seriously in the middle of no-where…  I’m nestled in between two towns and neither of them have a paved street… there was one summer where the kid’s and I got all excited because we thought they were paving main street in the one town… only to find out they were just ‘oiling’ it down to keep the dust at bay (and because there is so much oil around here we can afford to just spread oil over anything we feel like spreading it over)

Teriyaki Chicken with Peppers, Bok Choy, Green Onions & Bean Sprouts on Udon Noodles

Ingredients

– 12 Teriyaki Chicken Breast, unthawed and sliced

– 1/4 cup olive oil

– 2 Green Peppers, sliced

– 2 Red Peppers, sliced

– 2 Yellow or Orange Peppers, sliced

– 2 Red Onions, sliced

– 2 bags of Bok Choy, bottomed removed and sliced

– 1 bunch Green Onions, sliced (include white and green parts)

– 1 pound Bean Sprouts

– 2 jars VH Japanese Teriyaki Sauce (355 mL)

– 3 packages of Udon Noodles

– 4-6 limes

Directions

– in a large frying pan on med/high heat, fry up chicken in batches

– fry up the peppers, onions and bok choy

– combine chicken and veggies until they are coated together with sauce

– in boiling water, add Udon noodles and cook until just done

– in each dish place noodles, chicken/veggie mixture and then green onions and bean sprouts

– add a wedge of lime to each dish and serve

and here is the best birthday cake you will ever get on your birthday… ever…  the farmer I feed has a Grandmother that is the best cook I have ever seen… live… not including on tv…  and she would buy German Chocolate when she went to Phoenix because we can’t get it in Canada and freeze it just for when she would make this cake…  American’s don’t know how sweet they have it being able to buy german chocolate any old day of the week they want to… I had to use milk chocolate just because I didn’t have any of the imported german chocolate in my freezer… but I am going to get my hands on some…

Grandma Swan's German Chocolate Cake

Ingredients

For the Cake:

– 4 oz pkg Baker’s German chocolate

– 1/2 cup boiling water

– 1 cup butter

– 2 cups sugar

– 4 eggs, separated and at room temperature

– 1 tsp vanilla extract

– 2 1/4 cups all purpose flour

– 1 tsp baking soda

– 1/2 tsp kosher salt

– 1 cup buttermilk

For the Coconut Pecan Frosting:

– 12 ounce can evaporated milk

– 1 1/2 cups sugar

– 4 slight beaten egg yolks, room temperature

– 3/4 cup butter

– 1 1/2 tsp vanilla

– 2 cups unsweetened coconut

– 1 1/2 cups chopped pecans

Directions

– melt chocolate in water and cool

– beat butter and sugar, then add egg yolks

– stir in vanilla and chocolate

– mix the flour, baking soda and salt together

– add dry ingredients and buttermilk to the sugar mixture

– set aside

– whisk egg whites until stiff peaks form and fold into the batter

– pour into three 9 inch layer pans lined on the bottom with waxed paper

– bake at 350 degree oven for 30 minutes

– cool for 15 min on wire racks

– for the frosting, combine the evaporated milk, sugar, egg yolks, butter and vanilla in a saucepan on medium heat

– remove from the heat and stir in the coconut and pecans

– when cool spread between the cake layers and around the cake to serve