Chicken Hits a New High

Have you bought chicken lately? I get that with the price of things, having the cost of it stay where it’s been wasn’t an option, but holy chicken wings! This was a bit unexpected!

I was heading to a grocery store the other day and as usual sent a text to my daughter to see if we needed anything. She asked me to pick up some chicken breast. She had checked out our local stores and noticed a price hike, and it was a hard hit.

This particular grocery store is 40 km (a 30 minute) drive from home, so we have to make the most of it. Wouldn’t you know it?! I was in a big chain supermarket and their price was the same as our smaller local stores. $13.88 per kilogram. Ouch.

I remember buying frozen utility chickens not that long ago. They were a heck of a deal at 99 cents a pound and sure, they were missing a leg or a wing perhaps, but for 99 cents a pound, who cared? Utility chickens are a rare bird nowadays, and they aren’t cheap either. Something tells me they are probably being turned into packages of pre-cut wings, thighs, and dinosaur shaped nuggets instead of being sold whole.

I did come across boxes of “seasoned” and some “in brine” chicken breast. While these are priced as a bargain, I find that usually look like chicken, but don’t often taste like chicken. Back to hunting.

This is Chicken Reality

I stepped up to the fridge and picked up a tray of club pack fresh chicken breasts. There were nine of them, and they were $26.69. I gulped. No, they weren’t organic, air chilled, or anything special.

I shook my head sadly and did a little chiding so that next week, I remember to plan my meals better and shop at our local small butcher or the farmer’s market. At least that way I am supporting small businesses that have great products, and the money will stay in our neighbourhood.

What to do with it?

$3.00 for a chicken breast that I still need to cook. I’m a little surprised I bought them, and I can hear Nana’s voice telling me I should have picked up sausages instead. However, I’m sure that if I prepare a great meal, the family will soon forget that those breasts were paid for with my retirement funds, and their inheritance.

As luck would have it that day, I couldn’t barbecue on account of the rain. I had chicken, lemon, and some leftover wine in the fridge so the backup decision was pretty easy: chicken piccata.

The word piccata means that the meat is sliced, coated, sautéed, and served in sauce. I didn’t actually slice the chicken because those pension funded breasts deserved to stay whole.

If you want more traditional chicken piccata, you can slice them in half to make a thin cutlet, or butterfly them.

Cooked chicken breast with lemon slices

 

 

Options

This dish looks really nice on a platter if you have company. You can put your chicken artistically on your pretty platter, drizzle the sauce, and then garnish it all with a handful of chopped parsley and a few lemon slices. If you don’t have company or you haven’t got a platter handy, you’re allowed to serve this right out of the frying pan so you don’t miss out on any sauce.

Cooked chicken breast with lemon slices
Chicken Piccata
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The flavours of chicken and lemon combine beautifully for an elegant chicken dish that's simple to make and will have the family asking for seconds.
Servings Prep Time
4 people 10 minutes
Cook Time Passive Time
20 minutes 5 minutes
Servings Prep Time
4 people 10 minutes
Cook Time Passive Time
20 minutes 5 minutes
Cooked chicken breast with lemon slices
Chicken Piccata
Votes: 0
Rating: 0
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Rate this recipe!
Print Recipe
The flavours of chicken and lemon combine beautifully for an elegant chicken dish that's simple to make and will have the family asking for seconds.
Servings Prep Time
4 people 10 minutes
Cook Time Passive Time
20 minutes 5 minutes
Servings Prep Time
4 people 10 minutes
Cook Time Passive Time
20 minutes 5 minutes
Ingredients
Servings: people
Units:
Instructions
  1. The chicken breasts I got were skinless and boneless, and if you want you could slice them in half or butterfly them, but I cooked mind whole because I had enough room in the pan that way.
  2. On a clean plate, combine one cup of flour, and season it with salt and pepper. Stir the seasonings in with a fork so they are evenly distributed.
  3. Preheat your frying pan to medium, and melt two tablespoons of butter and add two tablespoons of olive oil.
  4. Dampen chicken slightly with cold water so you have something for the four to stick to, and then coat each side lightly with the flour.
  5. Place them carefully in the pan. Make sure there is room between the chicken pieces so they don’t overlap or get too crowded.
  6. Cook the chicken until it’s golden brown on both sides, about 6-7 minutes a side for whole breasts, and just 3-4 minutes if you have sliced or butterflied them. If the outside is cooking too quickly, turn the heat down a bit. Use a meat thermometer to monitor the internal temperature of the chicken if you’re cooking whole breasts and you aren’t sure about the internal temperature. It’s fully cooked when the thermometer reads 165 degrees Fahrenheit.
  7. Remove chicken from the pan, and set aside on a clean plate.
  8. Add the lemon juice, white wine, remaining two tablespoons of butter, and capers to the drippings in the pan. Scrape all the brown bits off the bottom of the pan so they get mixed into your sauce. I like a dry white wine for this, or you can use chicken broth.
  9. Add the chicken back into the skillet and let it all simmer together for 5 minutes, then move the chicken to your platter. Add another teaspoon of butter to the sauce and let it cook for about a minute until the sauce has thickened nicely. There isn’t a lot of sauce in this dish, just enough for you to get all those great flavours and smack your lips together as you eat.
  10. Remove the chicken to your platter if you have company, pour the sauce over the chicken, garnish with a handful of chopped parsley and lemon slices, then serve. If you don’t have company or you haven’t got a platter handy, you’re allowed to serve this right out of the frying pan.
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Greek Pasta Salad

Greek Pasta Salad combines a whole bunch of favourite flavours and has the ability to stand up to summer gatherings without a single piece of lettuce wilting! Hooray! The flavours here are all the we know and love in Greek Salad, including oregano, olives, and gorgeous salty feta cheese. Usually, I see Greek Salad made with fresh spinach or romaine lettuce, but I thought I’d use pasta at a recent barbecue to help it stand up to the heat. I used fusilli pasta because the dressing sticks to it really well, and let’s face it, those tri-coloured noodles are super cute.

Greek pasta salad with spiralized cucumber

For eight people, I cooked the entire 375 g package of pasta according to the directions on the box. Make sure you don’t overcook this or you will end up with very a soggy Greek Pasta Salad (voice of experience talking here). Toward the end of your cooking time, remove one noodle and blow it to cool, then eat it. If it’s done just how you like it, strain the noodles. If not, cook for one minute more and try another noodle. When I have a very full pot of pasta I have been known to test 4-6 pieces of pasta to make sure I get it right.

In this version I put an entire cucumber through my hand spiralizer (because these things are so much fun!) and it makes cucumber look like spaghetti (you can see it in the picture here, looking its very best). I actually took this picture before the tomatoes went on so that you could see the cucumber strands, however, you don’t need a spiralizer to make a great salad, okay? You can chop your cucumber up and just toss it in, but I really enjoy playing with my food and that spiralizer is going to get a good workout this summer!

Greek Pasta Salad
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A nice variation to traditional Greek salad this pasta version makes for a hearty side dish at lunch or supper, and it can stand up to the rigours of packing it up to take to a barbecue. The tangy dressing, salty feta, and fresh delicious tomatoes set it off perfectly.
Servings Prep Time
6-8 people 30 minutes
Cook Time
10-12 minutes
Servings Prep Time
6-8 people 30 minutes
Cook Time
10-12 minutes
Greek Pasta Salad
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A nice variation to traditional Greek salad this pasta version makes for a hearty side dish at lunch or supper, and it can stand up to the rigours of packing it up to take to a barbecue. The tangy dressing, salty feta, and fresh delicious tomatoes set it off perfectly.
Servings Prep Time
6-8 people 30 minutes
Cook Time
10-12 minutes
Servings Prep Time
6-8 people 30 minutes
Cook Time
10-12 minutes
Instructions
  1. Cook pasta according to package directions and taste a noodle or two to check and make sure it's cooked to your liking. Be careful not to over cook.
  2. When pasta is cooked to your liking, pour it into a colander that is resting flat on the bottom of the sink. Fill your pot with cold water and gently pour it over the pasta to help stop the cooking and cool it off. You may need to repeat the cold water step two or three times, and then check the pasta to make sure it is at room temperature or cooler.
  3. While pasta is cooking, prepare the dressing in a measuring cup or a small bowl. Combine with a fork or whisk, and set aside.
  4. Prepare the remaining vegetables and herbs.
  5. Pour the cooled pasta into your salad dish, add the vegetables and herbs, then give your dressing a stir before adding the feta. Give your Greek pasta salad a final stir, and serve.
Recipe Notes

Note: *If you are a little worried about making your own Greek salad dressing, or don't have all the ingredients handy, don't worry! There are really nice bottled options at the supermarket; just find one you like and go with it. If it's not quite to your taste, you can always pour some dressing into a measuring cup and make some adjustments. Sometimes I need a little more garlic or a squeeze of lemon juice. If you like it spicy, you can add hot sauce to your dressing. The important job of dressing is to fancy up all those veggies to make them tantalizing to your taste buds!

If you try this recipe out, let me know how you liked it! We're all about sharing and inspiring people with good eating, and appreciate your input!

If you'd like to share this recipe with someone, just remember that you found it here and link to this site please. Thanks for visiting The Ladybirds' Kitchen.

 

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Watermelon Salad

Watermelon salad is a delicious summer treat, so prepare your taste buds and grab your big fancy salad bowl. People like this one A LOT!

Watermelon Salad

Select a medium sized seedless watermelon, enough to provide you with 4 cups of chopped watermelon to serve 6 people.
Remove the flesh from the peel in some way that means you don’t end up hurting yourself.

Chop the watermelon into small pieces, so you have about 4 cups. Pieces should be about 2 cm by 2 cm or so (doesn’t have to be exact).

Julienne (a fancy term for cutting the leaves into thin elegant strips) a half cup of fresh mint from the garden or farmer’s market (if you don’t have any, check with your neighbours, someone will have some!)

Pour about 2-4 tablespoons of a light flavoured balsamic vinegar over the salad, depending on your tastes. I’ve used a cranberry pear or a lemon balsamic from a local specialty shop but you could also just squeeze lemon juice over the watermelon if you like. This is salad – it’s totally up to you!

Options to add:
A half cup of feta cheese, crumbled into the salad and/or thinly sliced red or mild onion

Watermelon Salad
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A delicious alternative to lettuce based salad, or always using watermelon for dessert, this salad makes a great side with any kind of summer fun barbecue, picnic, or party and its ready in a flash!
Servings Prep Time
4-6 people 15 minutes
Servings Prep Time
4-6 people 15 minutes
Watermelon Salad
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A delicious alternative to lettuce based salad, or always using watermelon for dessert, this salad makes a great side with any kind of summer fun barbecue, picnic, or party and its ready in a flash!
Servings Prep Time
4-6 people 15 minutes
Servings Prep Time
4-6 people 15 minutes
Ingredients
Servings: people
Units:
Instructions
  1. Select a medium sized seedless watermelon, enough to provide you with 4 cups of chopped watermelon plus some for nibbling on.
  2. Remove the flesh from the peel in some way that means you don't end up hurting yourself.
  3. Chop the watermelon into small pieces, so you have about 4 cups. Pieces should be about 2 cm by 2 cm or so (doesn't have to be exact).
  4. Julienne (a fancy term for cutting the leaves into thin elegant strips) a half cup of fresh mint from the garden or farmer's market (if you don't have any, check with your neighbours, someone will have some!)
  5. Pour 2-4 tablespoons of a light flavoured balsamic vinegar over the salad, depending on your tastes. I've used a cranberry pear or a lemon balsamic from a local specialty shop but you could also just squeeze lemon juice over it if you like. This is salad - its totally up to you!
  6. Options to add: A half cup of feta cheese, crumbled into the salad Thinly sliced red or mild onion
Recipe Notes

When you are selecting your mint leaves, be sure to pick ones that are tender. Sometimes a larger leafed stem can be easier to chop, but you want leaves that are new and tender so they blend nicely with the watermelon. Make sure you julienne them quite small (stack 8-10 leaves on top of each other, roll them tightly, and then slice into the smallest slivers you can manage) so they can be well distributed through the salad.

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Writing About Food

Writing about food was bound to happen, because I love to eat and I am often at a keyboard! I wanted to share with you that I made this really tasty maple balsamic glaze recently…and the story’s been published! Writing about food and showing a crystal glass with cucumber and tomato.

One of the things that I really like about this salad is that the zingy tomatoes are fried for some added interest, plus I was able to play with my new spiralizer and make cucumber noodles.

The Fabulous at 50 Community Likes Food Too!

One of the communities I love to hang out it in is called Fabulous at 50, where the organizer, founder, and creative genius Dianna Bowes connects women in their 40s-60s in all kinds of great events. Lucky for me, Dianna knows about my food obsession, and she lets me share culinary love with readers from all walks of life in Be Fabulous at 50 Magazine.

This month’s magazine is a tribute to moms since it was just Mother’s Day here, and my article is a food tribute that’ll get your taste buds tingling.

Check out your copy of the magazine right here – it’s online and free and filled with great stories and information. You can sign up and never miss an issue!

Just in case the hyperlink above doesn’t work on your device, here’s the entire link for copy and pasting: https://issuu.com/diannabowes6/docs/be_fab_may_2016/19?e=0

Just for Fun

If you want to check out some previous magazine issues, I was the cover feature in August last year. The best part about being on the cover was the cover shoot with Bonnie-Jean McAllister of Ealanta photography. It was a busy, fun morning because we were doing a double shoot, since my dear friend Mariana Rozemblum-Konsolos was being featured for the September cover. Naturally, we headed to a local golf course for brunch afterward. Pam Robertson on the cover of Be Fabulous at 50 MagazineI really enjoy golf course food because they usually prepare things that are delicious and reasonably priced. I’m a pretty rotten golfer so it’s not the course itself that brings me to a golf course, but you probably knew that about me already, right?!

Pam, Mariana, and Bonnie-Jean
Me, with Mariana Konsolos, and Bonnie-Jean McAllister.

 

 

 

 

 

 

I hope you enjoy today’s blog, and that you are having fun with your food. If not, come back here again and look at the recipes as they get added and try something new!

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Laundry?

I don’t know many people who like to do their laundry, but practically everyone I know loves to have all their laundry caught up! Last year I started making 100 percent wool felted dryer balls and I thought I’d take them along to some craft and trade shows. To be honest, they were an untested product for me, and I wasn’t sure how well they’d be received. Wow, was I ever surprised! I mean, I figured that people would want to save money on their laundry by having it dry faster, and that they’d want to use a renewable resource (wool) instead of balls that are made from blue plastic.

Wool is a pretty amazing product. It’s naturally resistant to bacteria, water resistant, and when felted into a beautiful globe it adds more loft to your clothes as they circle around and around, which makes them dry faster and means there is less wear and tear on your clothes. The balls I make are made from 100 percent Canadian wool that is milled just down the highway from me (actually it’s quite a drive from here, but that’s okay!).

The first dryer balls were launched alongside a selection of new chutney recipes, pictured here.

Pam's Display Table Fall 2015

Some of these balls are more whimsical than others – we have sheep, which were my original designs and look a bit like the fun British cartoon characters in Shaun the Sheep. Then my granddaughter saw some vampire themed dryer balls online and so we recreated those, much to her delight. 

Wool dryer balls fashioned like vampires

 

 

 

 

 

 

I made dozens of sets with paw prints on them for people that like to keep their pet laundry separated from their people laundry. There were 25 sets of these, which is 75 dryer balls altogether. That was a week of crazy mad needle felting to get them to the Abbotsford Pet Lover’s Show (what an event – wow!). There will be some in Toronto at the end of May for Woofstock, too!

Paw print themed dryer balls

 

 

 

 

 

 

In my dryer right now are those Shaun the Sheep styled dryer balls, and I’m going to be teaching people how to make them in a class in the fall.

Sheep themed dryer balls

 

 

 

 

 

 

I’ve made special ones for special requests, including music notes, Snoopy, northern lights, zombies, flowers, and several other goofy themes. I do it in the spirit of making laundry fun and saving people money because it’s way cooler to open your dryer and see something cute stuck in the corner of those fitted sheets instead of thinking, “ugh, I have to fold the laundry.” 😛

Cheers,

Pam

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Hasselback Mushroom Baked Potato

I love potatoes, and when I am in a hurry and I am trying to avoid the temptation of the drive thru, a baked potato satisfies my need for something tasty, filling, and nutritious.

The first time I ever had mushrooms on a baked potato was way before food trucks became cool. I was with my kids at a winter festival and we were looking for something to eat outside so we wouldn’t miss any of the fun. There was a vendor there with a great huge trailer that converted into his tiny mobile kitchen, and he sold baked potatoes with different toppings, including mushrooms. I’ve been a mushroom and potato eater ever since.

The Hasselback potato gets its name from Stockholm’s Restaurant Hasselbacken. The idea is to create a delicious sliced spud that fans open as it cooks and allows your toppings to ooze down into the spaces. When cooking in a microwave it’s important to slice your potatoes so they don’t explode all over, and this is a very good technique plus your have the added benefit of the potato holding onto your toppings efficiently.

One medium potato makes a great side for dinner, and two make nice meal (this was actually my supper tonight. I just love how quickly blogging about life can get published!).

Picture of the finished mushroom hasselback potato
Hasselback Mushroom Baked Potato
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Such a delicious way to enjoy a baked potato, complete with mushrooms and garlicky goodness that's cooked super quick in the microwave.
Servings Prep Time
1-2 people 15 minutes
Cook Time
10 minutes
Servings Prep Time
1-2 people 15 minutes
Cook Time
10 minutes
Picture of the finished mushroom hasselback potato
Hasselback Mushroom Baked Potato
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Such a delicious way to enjoy a baked potato, complete with mushrooms and garlicky goodness that's cooked super quick in the microwave.
Servings Prep Time
1-2 people 15 minutes
Cook Time
10 minutes
Servings Prep Time
1-2 people 15 minutes
Cook Time
10 minutes
Ingredients
Servings: people
Units:
Instructions
  1. Scrub the potatoes to remove any dirt. I don’t peel them, but you can if you want to.
  2. Place the potatoes on a cutting board. You have to slice ¼ an inch thick BUT DO NOT cut the slices all the way through. Stop your slice about ¼ inch above the bottom of the potato (you can lay a wooden spoon alongside the potato to stop the knife.
  3. After you cut the potato, place it into cold water to prevent discolouring. Carefully flex the potatoes to fan them while rinsing in the water. This helps the fanning as excess starch will stop it from fanning well. Leave the potatoes in the water while you get the mushrooms ready.
  4. Place 1 Tbsp of butter or olive oil in a non-stick frying pan and let it heat to medium heat.
  5. Add the chopped mushrooms to your frying pan, plus a sprinkling of salt, and pepper to taste. (Get creative with this – you can add scallions, or onion, or anything that goes with your mushrooms.)
  6. Let the mushrooms sauté while you work on the potatoes. Stir them from time to time. I added some roasted garlic salt this time. This stuff is amazing.
  7. Dry the potatoes with paper towel before cooking.
  8. Place pats of butter on top of each potato and spread with your fingers (or drizzle them with olive oil). Sprinkle some salt on top.
  9. Place the potatoes in the microwave and cover. Timing will depend on how powerful your microwave is. For 2 potatoes, heat for 5 minutes, and when the beeper goes off, stab you potatoes with a with a fork to check if they are done. If they aren't, pop them back into the microwave and heat for one minute at a time until you have them where you want them.
  10. Put the potatoes on your supper plate and if your fancy slices have fused back together a bit, use a knife to separate the slices a bit.
  11. Sprinkle grated cheese on your potatoes, and top with the sautéed mushrooms (pour any mushroom juice from the pan bottom onto the potatoes as well.
  12. Add a plop of sour cream, grate some fresh pepper, and enjoy!
    Picture of the finished mushroom hasselback potato
Recipe Notes

 

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What’s the Value of Certified Organic?

I like to buy grown locally vegetables and fruit when I can, but I have to tell you that I am looking at labels including the prestigious Certified Organic one a while lot differently than I used to. I thought buying organic was always going to be the best thing to do, and so when I moved to a mostly rural area I figured I would be visiting lots of Farmer’s Markets, and I feel very lucky to be close to so many. Canada Organic Official Label

It’s a little tougher to get fresh produce in the winter, naturally. Since we’ve become accustomed to eating food that’s not in season, it’s not unusual for the grocery stores (and some Farmer’s Markets as strange as that is) to truck in produce from afar. Something like 80 percent of produce sold in Canada is imported. This includes “fresh” fruits and vegetables from far flung places like California (2800 kms), Florida (4500 kms), Mexico (4100 kms), and even those New Zealand  apples and kiwis (12,000 kms).

Definitions

“Organic” food in Canada cannot be labelled as organic unless the grower has had their operation certified by an accredited body. That certification guarantees that the grower has placed heavy focus on the health and vitality of their soil, that biodiversity is preserved, and that animal welfare is promoted and preserved, too. In addition, there are no synthetic fertilizers, synthetic pesticides, or genetically modified organisms allowed in organics.

That sounds great! Count me in on the organics bandwagon! Besides, food tastes so much better this way!

“Organically grown” is a term for food where the grower is saying that they are following organic practices, but they don’t have that coveted certification. Since getting certified is a very long process, and very expensive, it is understandable that a new operation cannot immediately qualify. And because of that expense and lots of barriers that come with it, some growers won’t pursue the certification even if they would qualify.

For a while I was perplexed about this choice of whether to certify or not, and I started wondering if certified organic was the only real option. Then I thought about the rigors of certifying other things in life from educational certificates to manufacturing and others, and I started doing some research because I know from life experience that a certificate doesn’t always make one thing better than the equivalent that is not certified.

Talk to the Farmer

What I decided was that if something was certified organic then I could comfortably buy it without talking to the farmer. However, when I’m buying from a farmer’s market or visiting a market garden and I can talk to the owner and we have a food conversation, well, that’s different. I figured that if they are producing a great product and they obviously care about how and what they are growing, I cared less and less if they were certified organic.

Take one of my favourite Canadian growers, Campbell Greenhouses in Saskatchewan. Mary Campbell and Neil Erickson have created an aquaponics operation that’s growing fantastic veggies and despite thinking at one time that they wanted organic certification, they don’t fit into the organic “box” definition. In their operation, they raise fish who create fertilizer. That fertilizer is filtered and then used to provide nutrients to growing plants including a range of crispy, curly lettuces and greens. Marvellous, right? Yes! But certified organic? No, not under Canadian rules where you can be offering the finest veggies in the land, but unless they grow in dirt the certifiers can’t (or won’t) figure out a way to work the rules work with the reality of what this greenhouse is producing.

Lettuce growing in aquaponics greenhouse
A picture from Campbell Greenhouses website, www.campbellgreenhouses.ca

To be certified organic means that one of the fundamental rules – that we grow stuff in dirt – has to be met. There are a lot of other rules too, naturally, but an aquaponics operation (and hydroponics too) can’t be certified as organic because there is no dirt to analyse. It doesn’t matter that Campbell’s Greenhouse is using highly sophisticated means to create their top qulity lettuces and greens, or that they use beneficial pests instead of pesticides (like ladybirds, see how I worked them in!), or fish to provide a beneficial fertilizer. Nope. No dirt – no certification from the people who do that sort of stuff.

When I spoke with Mary Campbell of Campbell Greenhouses recently, she said that for right now they’ve given up on trying to find a way for the government to certify them with that special organic seal, because nothing they can do will qualify their aquaponics gardens as organic.

Does it matter to me?

Nope, not one bit. You see, I have spoken with the farmer, and I understand their operation. I GET IT that they are producing a high quality, nutrient rich food that I want to serve from my kitchen. I can see for myself that they are growing in a sustainable manner that provides us with nutrients and food that we need, and that protects and preserves biodiversity. The certified organic label isn’t actually necessary for me to “get it.”

It’s not that I’m an organic evangelist, or that I don’t eat junk food. It’s just that I want to eat food that tastes like it’s supposed to, and that isn’t shrouded in preservatives or jacked up with herbicides. I don’t want plastic waxed fruit and veggies that were grown and then shipped 4000 kilometres so I could eat them in the off season. I want food that fuels and sustains me, and tastes so good it’ll make my mouth water before I even take that first delectable bite.

Mostly I am trying to fit more more vegetables in my life, and I seriously have a really hard time making myself eat lettuce so it’s got to be a darned fine leaf before I lay it into a sandwich or glug some salad dressing on it. A darned fine leaf indeed!

And I’m okay with that.

You can see more about Campbell Greenhouses here. Go check them out!

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About The Ladybirds’ Kitchen

If you’ve lost your zest for cooking, or don’t know what to make for dinner, then check us out! Since we launched February 15, there’s a great contest going on where if you join our mailing list, you could win a basket of kitchen goodies worth over $100 shipped right to your door! See the sidebar for our handy sign-up form, and join us in the kitchen for all things food and more!

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Cranberry Orange Scones

Scones are one of my favourite things, and the flavour in these cranberry orange gems is delightful! They are light and flaky, with delicious little bursts of orange. Yum!

When I travelled in Ireland I was offered scones at every turn. Checking into a B and B we were often offered scones with coffee as a late afternoon treat, and they were always available at breakfast, too. Visiting the cafe at the local estate, and there were more scones served with generous helpings of homemade jam. Castle coffee shops, museums, and cafes all had their own version. Some were crispy outside with soft tender insides. Some were bigger than my hand and others a two bite morsel. All of them were served with fresh butter. Just thinking about it makes me hungry!

Picture of jars of homemade jam, taken in Ireland
Rhubarb & Fig Jam, and Whiskey Marmalade

What I learned was that each baker has their own recipe, and some of them have been handed down for generations. Some bakers were committed to scones with no eggs, others used buttermilk, and some experimented with savoury versus sweet versions while others kept to traditional additions like raisins.

Served alongside a piping hot cup of tea or coffee, a scone is one of those delicious treats that I love. A single batch doesn’t take long to cook at all, and you can be sure that once you start sharing them, people will be asking you for more!

Cranberry orange scones on a plate
Cranberry Orange Scones
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This a flaky, light scone with delicious sweet tart cranberries, orange, and hints of white chocolate in every bite.
Servings Prep Time
12 scones 15 minutes
Cook Time Passive Time
17 minutes 10 minutes
Servings Prep Time
12 scones 15 minutes
Cook Time Passive Time
17 minutes 10 minutes
Cranberry orange scones on a plate
Cranberry Orange Scones
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This a flaky, light scone with delicious sweet tart cranberries, orange, and hints of white chocolate in every bite.
Servings Prep Time
12 scones 15 minutes
Cook Time Passive Time
17 minutes 10 minutes
Servings Prep Time
12 scones 15 minutes
Cook Time Passive Time
17 minutes 10 minutes
Ingredients
Servings: scones
Units:
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit, or 380 degrees if you have dark (coated) sheet pans. Add a layer of parchment paper to cover your pan.
    Parchment paper
  2. Give the outside of your orange a good scrub to remove any wax or residue. Dry it well, and then use a rasp or zester to remove the outside skin and leave the pith behind. With a decent sized orange, you'll have enough zest to flavour your scones wonderfully.
  3. Combine the dry ingredients in a stainless mixing bowl.
  4. Sprinkle in the orange zest so it doesn't lump together. Stir it into the dry ingredients with a fork so it separates nicely.
  5. Using a pastry blender, cut in the butter until it looks like course crumbs.
    Butter cut into the flour
  6. Add the cream, and fold it all together being careful not to overwork the dough. If it's not quite sticking together, add a splash more cream.
  7. Fold in the dried cranberries and white chocolate pieces, and work them in.
  8. Shape the dough into 12 mounds. Arrange them on a parchment lined baking sheet and bake in the preheated oven for 17-20 minutes, or until the top is just turning golden.
    Forming mounds
  9. Eat the insides of the orange while the scones are baking.
  10. Remove from the oven and allow to cool for 5-10 minutes so you can remove them from the sheet pan safely. Serve for breakfast, brunch, a snack, or whenever you feel like it!
    Scones coming out of the oven
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WELCOME to the launch of The Ladybirds’ Kitchen!

It’s here! It’s here! WELCOME to the launch of The Ladybirds’ Kitchen!

Fireworks to celebrate our launch

Sign up here for your chance to win! 

We’re open for business, and we welcome you! Whether you are looking for something new to cook, bake, can, or reheat, or perhaps you want to change things up a LOT our aim is to make mealtime interesting!

We’ll kick things off today with a contest! For every 500 people that sign up to our list (where you’ll receive insider insights on how to play with your food, connect in the kitchen, recipes, events, and more) during the launch, we’re going to draw for a box of goodness that I am sending direct to your door!

Over $100 in products, and a 1 in 500 chance of winning are REALLY good odds!

Click here to get signed up, and entered to win our goody box that’s designed to get you feeling good about what we like to call #EatInspired!

If you join our list (and those of you who signed up pre-launch are already entered) during the launch, you’ll be entered to win:

  • A selection of small batch artisan preserves from The Ladybirds’ Kitchen, where we’ve been working on things like Red Pepper Jelly; Pear & Brandy Butter; Morning Cheer Marmalade; Carrot Cake Jam, and more.
  • A 2-Cup measuring cup that does triple duty! It measures, acts as a dish for things like oatmeal and apple crumble (includes easy recipes).
  • A wide handled veggie peeler that makes prep slick and quick!
  • A spiralizer for making your veggies look so awesome anyone will eat them!
  • A recipe booklet of some favourite ways to use canned preserves, because there’s more to do with your precious red pepper jelly than putting it on cheese (although that tastes mighty good!).
  • New tea towels to protect the contents, because they will come in super handy for your kitchen!
  • A set of three 100% Canadian wool dryer balls that will help shorten your drying time by up to 30% with EVERY load! That’s saving you time, wear and tear on your dryer and clothes, PLUS saves you power that your dryer uses.
  • An invitation to The Ladybirds Kitchen community where the idea of tasty food meets reluctant cooks and comes together in deliciousness!

Kitchen Grand Opening

Join in now to be part of The Ladybirds’ Kitchen. Naturally, you can unsubscribe anytime you want, but we aim to make it worth your while to hang around! Sign up here! Share this news with your friends and family, especially anyone that needs a little kitchen motivation. Remember we’ll draw a $100 gift box and ship it anywhere for every 500 subscribers!

Cheers,

Pam

 

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Resources

Resources, just like the right ingredients, will make your kitchen a great place to be! On this page we’ll link to tools, recipe books, techniques and other handy stuff to help you find your way around the kitchen when there’s something we find that you really need to be using.

I’m not getting paid on that stuff – I just think they are things that you might like to know.

As an entrepreneur, I’m always thinking about how I can help people out, whether I am coaching, consulting, or cooking. Each of the things I do have to satisfy some need, and an income is a need for all of us, so I do, naturally, sell things too. That’s the nature of putting a roof over our heads, and a good stove (and dishwasher!) into the kitchen.

Cheers,

Photo of Pam Robertson taken by @ealantaphotography

 

 

 

 

 

 

Pam

 

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