Slow Cooker Dinner To Beat The Heat

It’s hot.β˜€οΈLike 101 degrees hot. My house is cool & I would like to keep it that way, so it’s a slow cooker night! 

I love this badass machine. It does so much. One reeeeally important thing it doesn’t do is heat up my house. 😜 I also love that it’s non-stick. Well worth the investment! (I’ve had crappy slow cookers that everything sticks to- no thanks!)

Early this morning, I put 2 cut raw chicken breasts in the slow cooker with 1 small can of organic green enchilada sauce, 1 small can of organic red enchilada sauce, 1 cup of organic broth and one package of organic taco seasoning. Cover and cook on low for 8 hours.

Shred the chicken right in the slow cooker.

I love masa. I use it in my chili, among a lot of Mexican foods. I scooped out about 1/2 cup of the sauce into a bowl and added in 2 tbsp of masa. Mix it together and add it back into the slow cooker. Add in corn, olives and some shredded cheese. (I used 1 ear of corn that I sheared for each layer)

Layer on fresh corn tortillas on top. Press down lightly to mostly cover in sauce. 
Add on more cheese, olives and corn on top of the sauce covered tortillas. Put the lid back on the slow cooker and let cook for an additional 20-30 mins. 
After it’s cooked the additional 30 mins, I add on fresh green onion and serve with sour cream. Yum! 

My Crazy Week!

I was lucky enough to spend a couple of workdays with Jon this week and I love watching the fields grow! These Umatilla Potatoes are destined for potato chips for a local company who sells nationwide. The circles have huge tires which don’t stop for anything! I spent a lot of my time this week shucking peas. We love them and have a lot in our freezer now. Our uses are just a teeny bit compared to this massive pea field. 😘The Snapchats the kids and I send back and forth are hilarious! Our cat Oso needed a collar and some bandages for a wound and Sitka is a constant foot licker. Thank goodness for Petco!An early morning walk with Sitka around the farm turned into a cat walk too! 😍 Callie adores Sitka. My catnip plant on the front porch was going nuts, so we clipped it down and dried a bunch. Sherbs loved life that morning! PS: We have 4 cats. Haha. Jon says I have to stop at 40!We finally had time to empty the greenhouse and cold frames and get everything left planted! Yes!My visit to the corn field had me dreaming of Mexican street corn, corn salsa, corn on the cob…Mercy! A few weeks away and I’ll be in heaven!Bell peppers everywhere! Drool. Stuffed peppers coming right up!Work day Pot Pie happened because I was smart enough to thaw a box of puffed pastry the day before! There were no leftovers! Oh Ling Ling. She’s the sweetest old broad. She’s a snowshoe cat, as well as a ninja. 🐈I love meeting old farm dogs. So sweet. πŸ•Organic cherries from Washington State make me happy. I was lucky to find some at my local farm stand close to home and immediately imagined homemade frozen yogurt, smoothies and frozen cherries. πŸ’Thank goodness my cherry pitter pits 6 at a time! It’s 95 degrees today and the next few days are supposed to be over 100 degrees. I’m working on cooking ahead so even though we had Caesar Salad Wraps tonight for dinner, I also made Couscous Chicken Divan for tomorrow. Tomorrow I am baking early and getting my crock pot cooking! I need to get my daughter helping too- school is out for the summer!

Happy weekend! β˜€οΈ

Weeknight Chicken Pot Pie…My Way!

Let me be clear. I’m a realist. Life gets crazy sometimes. I make dinner almost every night in my kitchen, but I plan the meals carefully according to what we have going on. My kids aren’t babies anymore and they can help too!My Pot Pie always starts out with a stew. I think it’s very important that the gravy needs to be thick to hold together inside of the Pot Pie later. This time, I started with 1.5 pounds of organic chicken cut up with fresh rosemary, oregano, 2 cloves of garlic that I chopped up, along with EVOO and Salt & Pepper. I honestly don’t use a recipe, I just go by flavors I like and I’ve made so many! πŸ™‚ Before you add in any cut veggies, add in about 3/4 of a quart of chicken stock and bring to a simmer. Take the last part of the chicken stock and create a slurry of  2 tsp cornstarch and remaining stock. 

Add into simmered stock.

I added in about 1 cup of fresh peas, 2 cups of chopped fresh Yukon Gold potatoes and 2 carrots, diced. Let simmer in gravy for about 15 mins.Ah crust. It all depends on my busyness factor whether I make fresh pastry or use puff pastry from the freezer. Last night I used frozen puff pastry that I put in the fridge the night before to thaw. So simple and delicious. After 20-25 mins in the oven at 375, it always looks like this. Yum!One of my most favorite comfort foods! I love using local, organic veggies! 

A Few Of My New Pretties!Β 

I have dozens of varieties of flowers growing up here around our house. These are some of the newly opened beauties that I’m excited about! 🌸

These wild roses are from a HUGE bush that is about 20 feet long by 6 feet high that is amazingly beautiful for about a month every year. It’s doubled in size from last year. Might need to trim it back a little hehe. I’m a Lupine maniac! It’s one of my favorites! These came back from last year’s plants even better. πŸ™‚ I have 2 color versions of these Columbine growing, but this is my fave!Oh Dahlias…I have dwarf Dahlias, Dahlias and Dinnerplate Dahlias growing in my garden- love them! The Dinnerplate variety plants are already about 8 inches high. Hopefully, I will have them in bloom in about a month! I totally forget what these are called, but I love them and the white version next to them! Another variety of Dahlias haha. More Lupine. Love this shade of pink!The bugs love my rose leaves, but the flowers are left alone and so fragrant!Oh Cosmos…they are almost like a weed. I let one big start grow,  but that’s it! Love the flowers, but hate how they try to take over!The wheat farm this morning when I took Sitka on a walk before weeding the flower beds. Thankfully, there are tractor roads all along the 4,000 acre farm for me to walk on anytime I want! The wheat is heading out! It’s crazy that so many weeds grow and make it hard for the wheat to grow close to the tractor roads. Everything else is growing great this year! Still about 3-4 weeks until harvest time! Super glamorous right? πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚ I love not having neighbors and walking back to the house with Sitka. Our house is surrounded by all of those outbuildings holding tractors and combines. Busy, busy! 🌾

First Pea Harvest!

There are certain things I can’t grow up here at the wheat farm- I learned the hard way! The locusts attack certain veggies, but thankfully they leave my peas, tomatoes and other vining varieties alone! 

Vinegar is my best friend when it comes to weed control and some good hand weeding. (I weed my flower and veggie areas weekly). I also plant peppermint around to keep the ants somewhat at bay. They make me nuts, but in order to keep things organic, I have to be inventive! 😜 Peppermint oil works inside for ants and spiders too! They hate it! 
Back to my pea adventure today…My daughter Erin & I harvested, while Sitka watched and looked cute in the shade. πŸ•

Thankfully my “little” 17 year old pea sheller was here to help shell all of these beauties for dinner this eve. 

We love peas at our house. Even Sitka, who gets them mashed in his homemade dog treats! Have I mentioned how much I love organic veggies and fruit at home?! The birds get most of my berries before I can get them, as do the deer who try to get my apples, peaches and apricots before me! Stinkers! 🌱

Best Batter For Chinese Chicken!

My kiddos love Orange Chicken, Lemon Chicken, Sesame Chicken, Sweet & Sour Chicken, etc. We have no close Chinese Food restaraunts that are worth stopping at and I much prefer making food at home whenever possible. I have played with a lot of recipes, trying to make it work for gluten free or regular. This recipe can easily have the flour subbed out for rice flour and you’ll be just fine! 

4-6 boneless chicken breasts, cut into strips or nuggets 

1 1/2 cups flour 

4 Tbsp. cornstarch 

1/2 tsp. baking soda 

1/2 tsp. baking powder 

1 tsp. salt 

Dash of cayenne 

1/2 tsp. pepper 

1 1/2 cups water 

Whisk together the dry ingredients until well blended, then slowly add the water, whisking until smooth. Set in refrigerator for 15 minutes or so.

Heat vegetable oil to 360 degrees F in deep fryer or pot. Dip chicken into batter and fry in small batches in the hot oil until golden brown.

Super easy! πŸ™‚ Enjoy! Send me a message if you have any questions! 


Homemade Magic Shell Bowls!Β 

I jumped on the bandwagon! My daughter celebrated her 17th birthday yesterday and I needed to be inventive. She’s not a fan of cake and just wanted ice cream for dessert. I made homemade strawberry ice cream from some berries I had picked a couple days ago, but I needed to make things a little more exciting than that! πŸ˜‰

I saw a blurb online about chocolate bowls, so I went for it! 1 cup of chcocolate chips to 2 tablespoons of coconut oil is all it takes! Microwave in 20 second increments until melted thoroughly. Let cook awhile and dip small balloons into mixture. Invert on cups and put in freezer to harden. I double dipped them!

Pop the balloons and trim the bowls to make them look pretty. Put back in freezer until ready to serve!

I filled the bowls with ice cream and put them back in the freezer until I served them. I didn’t want the chcocolate to start to melt! You can store any leftover magic shell in an air tight container that is stored at room temperature for up to a year. Yeah right- like it would last a month in my house, max! ❀

What a wonderful treat! πŸ“