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Archive for the ‘Recipes’ Category

Happy Birthday

Look who had a birthday!

Daddy turned 51 on Tuesday. Somehow it ‘snuck up’ on him, but Ella and I remembered. I was going to make stuffed tenderloin, but I couldn’t easily find the tenderloins that I know I have out in the deep freeze. I pulled a pork sirloin roast out instead. Sirloin is a weird cut I’ve never seen before. It didn’t have much marble so I headed off to Pinterest to find a way to cook it. I’m glad I did. Even Ella said it was really good, and she’s gotten really picky about pork lately. Here’s the recipe. My roast was just over 4 lbs so I cooked it for longer. So good! In fact, so good I didn’t get a picture – ha ha!!

Colin and Ella have been having a hard time getting through a whole cake before it gets fuzzy. I’ve been making lots of squares since Christmas and that seems to make them happy. I made brownies for Colin’s birthday. And since it’s his birthday I splurged and put icing on. I don’t think brownies need icing. These brownies are Ella safe and work well if you switch the flour for Bob’s Red Mill 1:1 Gluten Free Flour. I think the recipe comes from Elizabeth, but I didn’t write it down so now I’ve forgotten.

Brownies

1 1/3 cup flour

1 cup white sugar

1/3 cup cocoa

1/2 tsp bk. powder

1/2 tsp salt

3/4 cup water

1/2 cup oil

1/2 tsp vanilla

Mix everything together and pour into a greased 8×8″ pan. Bake 350F for 20 min.

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These dinner rolls were made by Colin’s Grandma Fletcher. Now be warned, I think these are weird as a ‘dinner roll’ because at the end they get glazed with sugar! But it’s not a Fletcher family gathering without these rolls. Ella loves them, so I often have a bag full in the freezer. They make good snacking. I’ve cut the recipe down a little bit so that it fits in my bread machine easier. If you do this in the bread machine you MUST babysit it until it’s done mixing. Of course, you can also do this the old fashioned way, with a bowl.

This method I’m going to show you is the way I do most of my bread doughs. It comes from the book Secrets of a Jewish Baker. It’s a bit faster and I think it turns out a little nicer. It’s a sponge method where you let the yeast do it’s thing for a while before adding everything else.

In your bread machine pan, add the following and mix till combined (I just use a spatula).

3 3/4 cup water

3 cups flour

4 1/2 tsp yeast

1 1/2 tsp sugar

Let this sit for 30 min.

Add the rest of your ingredients:

1/2 cup lard, melted and cooled

3/4 tsp salt

3/4 cup sugar

3 3/4 cup flour

Start your ‘dough’ cycle and watch the consistency.

Just about done kneading. Now here’s where this method saves time. You don’t have to let the dough rise. You take the dough and shape it as you wish. If you are using this method to make Grandma’s dinner rolls, cut the dough into 96 little balls (4 dozen rolls) and drop them into greased muffin tins. Let them rise somewhere warm for 30-60 min.

As you can see, this day I got tired of rolling out balls. I made 3 dozen rolls and a pan of sticky buns. Ella loves sticky buns too. If you want to make the sticky buns, just roll out 1/4 of the dough. I make it 12 inches wide by however long it will go. Then all you have to do is spread it with butter and sprinkle with brown sugar and cinnamon. That easy, no measurements needed. Then roll up the short end and cut into 12 -fits my 9×9″ pan.

Bake at 350F for 15-20 min, the sticky buns might take a few more minutes. Turn out of the pans as soon as they are done. Of course, the sticky buns need turned out over a plate.

Mix 2 Tbsp milk with 1 Tbsp icing sugar. When the buns are cool, wash the tops with the glaze. They freeze well if you can keep the vultures out of them long enough.

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Bread Machine Bread

As you probably know, I make all my bread dough in the bread machine. It’s faster and easier on my wrists. This is a basic bread machine recipe from my King Arthur cook book. It makes just one loaf, which is handy if you need to make some garlic/cinnamon pull apart buns.

Bread machines are so easy. Just add all the wet ingredients first. Then add the dry ingredients, adding the flour and yeast last.

1 1/4 cup water

1/4 cup powdered milk

4 Tbsp butter

1/3 cup potato flakes

3 Tbsp sugar

1 tsp salt

3 cups flour

2 tsp yeast

Start the dough cycle. I always stand by and make sure it mixes correctly. I often need to add more water. You want the dough to be as soft as possible without being too soft and sticky. That’s what keeps your bread nice.

I let the dough rise in the machine since it’s nice and warm. I take it out before it starts the ‘second rise’ cycle. Shape your dough into whatever you are making and put it somewhere warm to rise. Usually about 30 minutes, sometimes more. I use the oven. If I turn on the oven and just wait till the gas lights, then shut it off, it’s the perfect temperature for rising.

For the pull buns or just a loaf of bread I bake this at 350F for 30 min, or until done. If you are using an angel cake pan for the pull buns, do yourself a favour and make sure you have something under the pan or else the butter/butter and sugar is going to get messy. And nothing sets off the smoke detector faster than burnt sugar.

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No complaints about snow now. We got about 5 inches of absolute fluff Saturday night. Colin spent most of Sunday morning moving it everywhere. At least it has finally warmed up. A number of days last week were -25°C! That’s a bit chilly, glad Colin doesn’t have to work in that anymore. We’re supposed to get more snow tonight/tomorrow.

What’s on the menu?

Monday: fish and chips in the air fryer

Tuesday: tv dinners

Wednesday: boeuf Bourguignon from the freezer

Thursday: ribs – I used my BBQ recipe but in the oven, it worked well

Friday: leftover ribs

Saturday: bacon and eggs

Sunday: chicken cordon bleu – nothing fancy, just the President’s Choice frozen stuffed chicken, but it is great in the air fryer

More ideas at I’m An Organizing Junkie

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The nice cool weather is back (though Wednesday is supposed to be 30C with humidity).  It’s so nice to be able to bake again.  It’s been pretty quiet here on the farm.  Colin has been busy with his seed cleaning, mostly winter wheat.  I think soy bean harvest will start soon, so he’ll be getting those calls too -from the smart folk who clean their seeds before putting them away for the winter instead of waiting till everyone is busy in the spring.

I’m still having a hard time menu planning.  I think it’s my form of virus anxiety.  I’m afraid to plan/make food because I’m afraid of us running out of food – even though the grocery stores (and my freezer) are fully stocked.  I hate this feeling and I don’t know what to do…

 

Sunday:

turkey breast in the crockpot

Monday:

hot turkey

Tuesday:

Salisbury steak in crockpot

Wednesday:

turkey pot pie

Thursday:

leftover pot pie

Friday:

beef chow mein

Saturday:

hamburgers in the air fryer -yum!

More great ideas at I’m an Organizing Junkie.

 

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One sure-fire way to make Ella happy and to be sure she will actually eat her supper is to make chicken quarters in my air fryer.  Very simple too.  I use this spice mix for just about any piece of meat that I’m frying.

 

Spice Mix

10 tsp salt                          3 tsp black pepper

4 tsp onion powder           4 tsp garlic powder

2 tsp thyme                       2 tsp rosemary

 

Sprinkle the chicken pieces with the spice mix.  Put in the pre-heated air fryer (350F) for 40 minutes.  Turn half way.  How easy is that?

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I’ll use the grocery header today because that’s why there was no post yesterday.  I was busy in town picking up the groceries.  I sure love ordering online.  I wish the Metro in Pembroke would do online shopping.  I also wish they would tell their employees that yes, their noses ARE attached to their lungs too, not just their mouths.  I saw a number of employees ‘wearing’ their masks with their noses hanging out.  I suffer through wearing a mask to keep them safe, they could return the favour.

What do you see in this picture that has made Colin so happy?

Nothing much planned for this week.  We continue to run into the village a couple of times a week to get unlimited internet for some video watching/downloading.  Ella’s also plugging away at her school work.  Have I mentioned how happy I am that we don’t have to make the “school/no school” decision?  Yet another bonus for homeschooling.  Though our local group is starting to get together again but from what I hear they aren’t making the kids keep distant or wear masks, so I’m not so anxious to attend yet.

Monday:

whole chicken in my air fryer -I love that I can cook a whole chicken for supper even after I’ve been in town for most of the afternoon

Tuesday:

sourdough pancakes

leftover chicken

Wednesday:

chicken salad -Pioneer Woman Cooks Dinnertime

Thursday:

??

beef and snow peas -from the Dinnertime book, IF I can find decent looking snowpeas somewhere.

Friday:

Cobb salad/egg salad sandwich for Daddy/grilled cheese for Ella -we found a great new place for goat cheese.  It melts really nicely, unfortunately they have crazy shipping  😦

leftover chicken

Saturday:

spaghetti and meatballs -Ella’s request

Sunday:

supper with friends who are just as isolated as we are, maybe more so

So did you figure out the picture?  Yep, there’s puddles in the driveway!!!!  We got about an inch of rain on Sunday and it’s drizzling again today.  Hurray!!!  Thank you God!  It’s not a lot, but it’s just in time.  The corn was literally days away from being written off as garbage/worthless.  It’s amazing how fast the grass greens up after a long awaited rain.  Our grass wasn’t as bad as some because Colin stops cutting it when it stops raining.  I swear some people must cut their grass every week because they ‘cut the grass every week’.  There is some really short, really dead grass out there.  Our last real rainfall (and it wasn’t much) was back at the end of June.  We could use another few days.  And I’m really enjoying being able to sleep well at night and I need to get some baking done.

 

More ideas at I’m an Organizing Junkie

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Well, that crazy heat didn’t break until this past weekend.  It was so nice to have a couple of days where we could leave the windows open and not feel like we were living in a cave.  Needless to say, our meals last week weren’t worth writing down for you guys.  I thought I’d share a recipe today instead.  This is Ella’s new favourite dish from my air fryer.  Obviously, our big 8-9 lb chickens won’t fit in the air fryer.  So, I need to watch for when the store has those little ‘fryer’ chickens on sale.  This rub makes the chicken taste like those little pre-cooked ones you can buy from the store.  I ‘borrowed’ this picture off the internet because I couldn’t find the picture of my chicken (I know I took it on my phone…) I’ll replace this picture when I make the chicken again.

Rotisserie Chicken

rub:

4 tsp salt                             1 tsp garlic powder

2 tsp paprika                       1 tsp onion powder

1 tsp thyme                         1 tsp pepper

 

Rub all over chicken.  You can do this the night before, but I never have the chicken thawed in time.

Pre-heat the air fryer.  I just hit the ‘pre-heat’ button or you could pre-heat to 350F.  Put the chicken in the air fryer, breast side down.  Cook 350F for 40 min.  Flip the chicken over half way.  Check for doneness.

Obviously, this recipe can be done in the oven too.  Just cook the chicken at 325F for about 25 min a pound.

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We continue to melt in Ontario this week.  They are promising a cold front some time today.  I’ll believe it when I feel it.  Hopefully it will bring along some gentle rain.  Not doing much.  I have a dress cut out but still waiting for the energy to work on it.  The house was so hot yesterday I gave Ella a ‘heat holiday’ from school work.  Thank goodness we have the pool.  It may be small but it helps get the body core temperature down.  I like to go after supper when the sun’s moved around to the other side of the house and I don’t need sunscreen and sun glasses -ha ha.

Nothing too exciting on the menu.  And yes, we had air fryer chicken quarters twice.  They are Ella’s favourite and Metro had them on for $0.99/lb.

Monday:

steak souvlaki

Tuesday:

air fryer chicken quarters

Wednesday:

leftover souvlaki

Thursday:

sourdough pancakes

Friday:

air fryer chicken quarters

Saturday:

crock pot pork ribs 

Sunday:

hot dogs

More ideas at I’m an Organizing Junkie

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We’re still enjoying the last few days of beautiful temperatures.  It’s supposed to get crazy hot later this week.  It’s been so nice, my lungs have appreciated the lack of humidity.  Speaking of my lungs, I have to go back up to the hospital this evening.  I’m still ‘this close’ to a cough all. the. time!  Also, if I breathe the ‘wrong’ way I can still feel the rattle and will start coughing.  So, if you could send up some prayers around 4:30 my time, I’d appreciate it.  Send some for Ella too, she worries a lot when I have to go to the hospital.

Monday: 

spaghetti

Tuesday:

my favourite roast beef

Wednesday:

steak -my air fryer does a great job

Thursday:

leftover roast beef

Friday:

French fries -air fryer again. Poutine for me since I have great gravy.

Saturday:

beef melts

Sunday:

tacos

More great ideas at I’m an Organizing Junkie

For some reason the lilacs around here were really lackluster.  Like the bushes are half dead and none of them really tried to flower much.  The weirdest thing was the light lilac coloured ones – they mostly came out white this year!!  On the other hand, my bridal wreath spireas look amazing…

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