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Roast Chicken and Broccoli

We have a house full of guests, and our housekeeper, Marival,  has finally succumbed to whatever virus is going around lately.    So, while she is home suffering thru the virus, the cleaning of our guest rooms falls to us.

All of our rooms are rented, which means  a lot of laundry as well as guests with various needs that our require attention.

We are also having a pergola built on our roof top, and supervising the workers is one more thing that takes time out of our day.  Add to that our actual jobs that we get paid for and normal every day responsibilities and Kevin and I are kept busy these days.

Mostly, I am grateful for days like today because I am reminded of just how much abundance there is in our lives; though I will be very happy to see  Marival healthy and back at work again!!

Busy days are perfect for a sheet pan dinner that requires a minimum of fuss to prepare and not a lot of pots to wash.  Thanks, Canadian Living!!   This recipe will serve 4 and is ready in under an hour.

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Roast Chicken and Broccoli

Vinaigrette

1/2 cup packed basil leaves , finely chopped

1/4 cup white vinegar

1/2 cup olive oil

4 oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes . finely chopped

1 clove garlic , minced

1/4 teaspoon each salt and pepper

Roasted Chicken:

4 chicken legs with thighs,  legs and thighs separated

1 Tablespoon oil

1/2 teaspoon each salt and pepper

1 sweet red pepper , cut in chunks

1 red onion , halved, then sliced lengthwise in 1/2 ” slices

1 head broccoli , cut in florets (about 4 cups)

Put it together:

Vinaigrette: In small bowl, whisk together basil, vinegar, sun-dried tomatoes, garlic,  salt and pepper. Set aside.

Chicken and Veggies: Preheat oven to 450°F. Arrange chicken on baking sheet; drizzle with oil and sprinkle with salt, pepper.   Toss to coat.  Bake for aprox 20 minutes, depending on size of legs and thighs.  Add red pepper and onion during last 10 minutes of baking.  Bake until chicken is no longer pink inside and red pepper and onion are slightly tender.

Broccoli : Meanwhile, in pot of boiling water, cook broccoli for 1 to 2 minutes.  Drain well.

In large serving bowl, toss together broccoli, red pepper and onion with about half of the Vinaigrette.  Top with cooked chicken and drizzle remaining vinaigrette over chicken.

 

 

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Red Savina Hot Sauce 

Thinking I need to try this one.

Cast Iron Dan

The other day, I had someone on Facebook ask me what I do with all those peppers that I grow. That’s a good question, so I guess I should share what I make with all of that hot fruit! I make habanero hot sauce! The variety of habaneros that I grew this year are called Red Savina, which are about twice as big and twice as hot as the normal orange habaneros. Some of the peppers this year are over two inches in diameter!

I’ve been making this sauce for 5 years now and every time I think that I should change the recipe – I end up deciding to leave it just the way that it is! It is smoky, sweet, savory, citrussy and very hot… but not too hot! It doesn’t take much, but its a great condiment for tacos, burgers and most everything else. My youngest daughter…

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Arugula Salad with Apples and Walnuts

What can be better than apples and walnuts together.    My version is pretty close to the original.  Why mess with perfection?   I served alongside Za’atar chicken breast, and some pan seared veggies.  Serves 4 as a side.

arugula salad
Arugula Salad with Apples and Walnuts

3 Tablespoons plain unsweetened yogurt

1 Tablespoon olive oil

1 Tablespoon lemon juice

1 Tablespoon honey

1/4 teaspoon cinnamon

pinch of salt and pepper

4 cups arugula, any tough stems removed

3 leaves romain, torn

1/4 cup parsley leaves and tender stems, roughly chopped

1 apple, thinly sliced

1/3 cup walnuts, chopped

1/3 cup dried cranberries

2 Tablespoons unseasoned sunflower seeds.

Combine yogurt, olive oil, lemon juice, honey, cinnamon, salt and pepper in small bowl, whisk to combine.

Toss arugula, romaine, parsley and apple slices together with the dressing.   Sprinkle walnuts, cranberries and sunflower seeds over greens and serve.

 

 

 

 

 

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Vacation is over

I am back from an 18 day whirlwind tour of my home town, Wetaskiwin, Alberta,  and parts of Saskatchewan.  Did you know that Watrous, Saskatchewan boasts a salt water lake?  My sister did and it was she who planned our quick trip to Watrous and ultimately, Moose Jaw.  She even did most of the driving which made it a very relaxed trip for the rest of our little group as we watched the prairie landscape roll by us.

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Just like the Great Salt Lake to the south of us, Little Manitou Lake in Watrous is, apparently,  impossible to sink in it.  For a non-swimmer like me, this is very good news!   The water is rich in naturally occurring mineral salts and legend has it that they are also curative.

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Being September, it was too late in the season for me to be taking a dip in the actual lake, but water from the lake has been diverted into a heated indoor pool so the benefits can be enjoyed by everyone all year round.

Watrous 2017

So what does this have to do with a food blog?   Quite a bit, really.  Not only are vacations a time for recharging and discovering, they also seem (for me anyway)  to be a time of constant eating!  Whether dining out,  eating at someones home, or grabbing a quick bite on the road, there are always fresh ideas on the plate, along with old standbys which make our trips home that much more memorable.

Watrous trip 2017

Speaking of road food, those who know me may be shocked to learn that I  discovered a new junk food that now competes with Hawkins Cheezies for space in my suitcase home!  Its true, Snyders Sweet and Salty Caramel-Flavoured Pretzel snacks are dangerously addictive.  I highly encourage anyone looking for a new snack food to give these a try.  ( I won’t include a link to this wonder food because the only one I found takes you directly to a link to purchase and that is not what this is about. )

In the coming weeks, I will be working to recreate and publish some of the old favourites I was lucky enough to eat with friends and family back home.  Meanwhile, I notice this weeks menu has quite a Mexican spin …  it is good to be able to call 2 countries home.

 

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Farmer’s Market Shopping List: Apples, Eggs, and Self-Importance

I love going to the markets when back in Alberta. This trip, a new one for me – the Thursday market near 124 st. This authors take on her last visit to her local Market made me smile.

Stuff my dog taught me

farmers-market-humour

I love the local Farmer’s Market.  I go almost every Saturday morning.  That said, I am a middle-aged white woman.  I also enjoy restaurants that specialize in brunch, home décor shops that also sell scarves, and places where you paint your own coffee mugs.

My routine at the market is repetitive.  I buy an over-priced coffee on my way in and dedicate the next 30-45 minutes to stuffing food in my face.  I convince myself that locally-produced bacon, organic eggs, and bread baked by a Mennonite woman are “health foods”.  I sample enough cheese to keep me constipated for the rest of the weekend and I eat ALL the cinnamon buns I intended to take home to the family.  Then I fill my re-usable grocery bag with vegetables, pay twice what I would pay at the grocery store for them, and go home.

I don’t over-think the experience.  It is…

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Chile Peanuts and Pepitas

The perfect combination of salty and spicy and very addictive.  The original recipe, from Bon appetit August 2014,  called for baking in a 400 F oven for 7 minutes.    It is summer.  I don’t know about yours, but my kitchen is hot enough already so my instructions are for stove top cooking.  I have reduced the salt by a third to suit our personal tastes.

 

1 cup raw peanuts, removed from their shells

1 cup raw pepitas (peeled pumpkin seeds)

2 Tablespoons cooking oil

1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper

2 teaspoons kosher salt

Heat oil in deep sided frying pan until shiny, medium high heat.    Add nuts, salt and cayenne pepper and stir well to combine.   Reduce to medium and cook, stirring frequently to prevent burning, until pepitas are popping and peanuts are starting to turn a nice golden colour.  About 10 minutes in total.  Allow to cool completely before serving.

 

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Dear Hipster Dude in the Coffee Shop Line Up

This made me laugh out loud. Had to share.

Stuff my dog taught me

dear-hipster-dudeDEAR HIPSTER DUDE:

I respect that you have strong beliefs about coffee industry practices. Before making your purchase, you need to confirm that the beans have been ethically harvested and that every worker in the farm-to-store process has been properly compensated for their efforts.  Good for you! 

I am in a bit of a rush to get to work and your conversation with the disinterested-looking fellow behind the counter is slowing things down a bit, but it is nice to have an educational opportunity so early in the day.  I am learning things about Guatemala and Mexico that I did not know before, so thanks for that!

I personally apologize for the lack of gluten-free options in the display case.  Kudos to you for using this moment to promote your friend’s new organic-vegan-gluten-free-nut-free-quinoa-only baking business.  I am not entirely sure that the disinterested-looking fellow behind the counter has the…

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