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Archive for June, 2012

I love squares that sparkle because they look like jewels. Close your eyes and imagine a delicious burst of citrus in every bite of these tangy grapefruit bars.

Sprinkled with a kiss of powdered sugar, they magically dance on your tongue and leave you with a taste of summer.

Grapefruit Bars

Cookie Base:

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

1/2 cup confectioners’ (icing) sugar

3/4 cup cold butter

Filling:

3 eggs

1/2 cup sugar

1/2 cup freshly squeezed grapefruit juice

zest of 1/2 grapefruit

3 tablespoons Greek yogurt

2 tablespoons flour

pinch of salt

Confectioners’ sugar

Method

1. In a small bowl, combine flour and confectioners’ sugar; cut in the butter until crumbly.  Press into a lightly greased 13-in. x 9-in. baking dish.  Bake at 350 degrees F for 15 minutes or until the edges brown slightly. Set aside and let cool.

2. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar and salt. Whisk in the eggs, grapefruit juice, zest, and yogurt until combined.

3. Pour the mixture evenly over the cooled crust and bake for 20 – 25 minutes, until just set – the centre should jiggle but not be fluid when you gently shake the pan.

4. Let cool in the pan for 30 minutes and then run the tip of a knife around the edges of the pan to loosen it.

5. Allow to cool completely before cutting into squares and dust with confectioners’ sugar.

Serves 12  Adapted from Williams-Sonoma

With rhubarb  in season, I’m also making Rhubarb Honey Yogurt Scones.

I can’t wait to see how they turn out.

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I had some brown rice left over from last night’s dinner, so here’s what we had for lunch today.

It was beautiful and delicious.

And if I’d thought about it, I would have added some goat cheese.

This rice pilaf is a simple summer favourite that really sings.

By itself or with a skewer of grilled shrimp or chicken.

Or a few pieces of goat cheese.

In fact it’ll compliment just about any grilled meat you fancy.

Perfect for your next potluck/barbecue, picnic or cookout. It’s seriously good and good for you!

Here’s the recipe.

Almond Apricot Brown Rice Pilaf

Serves 4 for lunch, 16 as part of a potluck

4 cups brown rice, cooked

1/4 cup finely chopped dried apricots

1/4 cup finely chopped red onion

1/2 cup pistachios, slightly chopped

1/4 cup fresh parsley, chopped

1/4 cup roasted almonds

1 cup baby spinach (or a generous handful)

Dressing

1/4 cup fresh orange juice

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

2 tablespoons red or white wine vinegar

1 tablespoon brown sugar

1 teaspoon curry powder

pinch of salt

1. In a large bowl, add apricots, pistachios and red onion to the rice.

2. In a small bowl, whisk together orange juice, vinegar, brown sugar, curry powder, and salt. You can also add these ingredients to a glass jar with the lid on and shake it for about 15 seconds.

3. Pour the dressing over the rice mixture and toss. When completely cool, sprinkle with parsley, spinach and almonds.

4. Refrigerate for a minimum of 1 hour before serving.

Notes:

The brown rice can be substituted with quinoa or barley with delicious results.

The ingredients can be prepared in advance, but toss in the spinach, pistachios, almonds and dressing just before serving.

Serve this with some sliced nectarines, a skewer of shrimp or chicken or a few pieces of goat cheese for a delicious lunch that’s nutritious and makes a beautiful presentation.

This makes a delightful side when paired with grilled chops, steak, chicken or sausage.

The dressing is minimal.  If you like a lot of dressing, you may want to double the dressing ingredients. Extra dressing can be drizzled on any leftovers the following day just to freshen it up.

As if that’s possible.

Leftovers, that is.

I hope you enjoy it!

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This is what our barn looks like after fall, winter and spring.

Luckily, Farmer D is a forward thinker and plans for these types of situations.

And luckily, we have Oakley.

He’s the foreman for this hay-peration.

(see … he wants to know what I’m doing).

All in all, he does a pretty good job of overseeing the work gets done.

 Until the baler gets confused.

 And then he let’s Farmer D stop and figure out what’s wrong.

Did you know that all tractors come with a built-in tool box?

I think all mixers should come with a built-in spatula. 

 It’s the job of the apprentice farmers to load the hay on wagons after it’s baled.

So, as long as the weather holds out … and the equipment does what it’s supposed to … and Oakley stays on the job …

This will happen.

A couple hundred million times.

Okay, maybe not quite that many times.

But before you know it, we’ll be up to the rafters in hay again.

And we’ll thank the good Lord for it.

 

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June, Sweet June

It seems there’s no surer way to make it rain than to pull out the swather and start cutting hay. Today it only took 20 minutes.

It was just a shower really but it was enough to shut things down for a while.  It won’t be long though since the winds are up and it’ll be time to try again.

Once spring seeding is over and done there’s usually never a moment to spare before the hay needs cutting and baling.  This year has been different though.  With such an early start due to the drier than normal spring weather, it hasn’t been the breakneck pace that it usually is.

 

But the beginning of hay season is just hours away and that means that things are about to get busy around here.

As the pace picks up, there’s always a temptation to skip meals but that never ends up being a good thing because hungry workers can quickly turn into tired and cranky workers who don’t realize that they need to take a moment to stop and eat. Things run a lot better when there’s fuel in the tank and I learned a long time ago, that having good food readily available on a busy farm is as important as oil is to a humming engine.

 

Some days can be long, dirty and hot, especially if equipment breaks down and the guys are trying to beat impending rains or bad weather. Though they never stop for long, when they do, I like to make sure I’ve got something that will keep them thinking and alert so they can focus on the task at hand.

 

At times like these, homemade muffins are a regular staple at our house and I love incorporating the goodness of fruits and vegetables into them every chance I get. These pineapple carrot muffins are a favourite and I love them because it allows me to indulge in both the fruit (the crushed pineapple) and the veggie (the shredded carrots).  A touch of cinnamon really compliments the sweetness and blends the satisfying flavours for a delicious snack.  I have these on the counter in the morning and pack them in lunch bags destined for distant fields in the afternoon.

The good thing is, you don’t have to drive a tractor or work in a field to love them, I love them too!

Carrot Pineapple Muffins

1 1/2 cups flour

1 cup sugar

1 tsp baking powder

1 tsp baking soda

1/2 tsp cinnamon

1/2 tsp salt

2/3 cup salad oil

2 eggs

1 cup finely grated raw carrot

1/2 cup crushed pineapple with juice

1 tsp vanilla

1. Mix dry ingredients together in a large bowl.

2.Combine wet ingredients in a separate bowl.

3. Add wet ingredients to the dry ingredients.  Blend on low-speed until  just moist.  Half fill greased muffin tins or paper liners and bake at 350 degrees F  for 20-25 minutes.

Delicious, satisfying goodness the whole family will love!

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It’s that time of year again when we’re looking to serve up some cool summer treats as we enjoy warm temperatures and backyard barbeques with friends and family.

This no-fuss dessert is a cool summer treat.  It’s creamy sweetness is balanced by a zesty lime flavour and perfectly complimented with a salty pretzel crust.

And the best part is  …  it’s no-bake.

As our house heats up without anything to cool it except ceiling fans, oven-free meals and desserts are at the top of my list for all of June, July and August.  

With a prep time of just 15 minutes, this is something I like to make in the morning while it’s still cool.  I pop it in the freezer and then it’s there when my guys finally come home from a long day outside. It can be made days ahead of any entertaining you might be doing so it’s also a great desert idea for a backyard summer celebration.

The ingredients are somewhat unusual, but not so unusual that you may not already have them on hand. I hope you give it a try this summer, the tart, sweet and salty flavours are sure to be a hit with kids and adults alike.

 

 

Cool Lime Pie

1 1/4 cups crushed pretzels

1/4 cup sugar

6 tablespoons butter, melted

1 can (14 oz.) sweetened condensed milk

1/2 cup freshly squeezed lime juice

2 tablespoons lime zest

1 envelope (6g) unsweetened KOOL-AID, lemon lime flavour

2 1/2 cups whipping cream (35%), whipped

1. Mix pretzel crumbs, sugar and butter together and press into a 9-inch pie plate.  Refrigerate until ready to use.

2. Mix sweetened condensed milk, lime juice, zest and kool-aid together in a large bowl.  Whisk in whipped cream and pour into crust.

3. Place in freezer for 6 hours before serving.

You can jazz this up with a dollop of whipped cream and some grated lime zest before serving.

Quick, easy and delicious!

Serves 10

 

 

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