Friday, October 23, 2009

THE Pumpkin Dessert

We tried this. It is very good, but also very rich.

THE Pumpkin Dessert

* 15 oz. can pumpkin
* 1 can evaporated milk
* 3 eggs
* 1 c. sugar
* 4 t. Pampered Chef Cinnamon Plus (or 2 tsp. cinnamon and 2 tsp pumpkin pie spice)
* 1 yellow cake mix
* 3/4 c. butter
* 1 1/2 c. chopped nuts (walnuts or pecans)

Combine first 5 ingredients. Pour in a greased 9×13 pan. Crumble yellow cake mix on top. Melt butter; pour evenly over all. Sprinkle with nuts. Bake 1 hour at 350 degrees. Serve with whipped topping.

Thanks Amy.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Out with the Old ...

In with the new -- or actually it is in with the old too, lol!

Winter jumped on us with the cold temps & snow this last week or so. It effectively ended the 2009 garden!

So yesterday the garden looked like this:

Notice the compost piles being added in preparation for the 2010 garden!

And here is a picture of newly sprouted spinach for harvest next spring -- we'll see if that works!

Today everything is a couple inches under snow!

Friday, October 9, 2009

Pumpkin Choclate Chip Muffins

* 4 eggs
* 2 cups sugar
* 1 (16 ounce) can pumpkin
* 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
* 1 1/4 cups vegetable oil (yes, 1 1/4 cups or substitute some applesauce for 3/4 cup)
* 3 cups flour
* 2 teaspoons baking soda
* 2 teaspoons baking powder
* 2 teaspoons cinnamon
* 1 teaspoon salt
* 12 ounces semi-sweet chocolate chips (Regular or mini)

1.In large mixing bowl beat eggs, sugar, pumpkin, vanilla and oil until smooth.
2.Mix dry ingredients together and mix into pumpkin mixture. Fold in chocolate chips.
3.Fill greased or paper-lined muffin cups 3/4 full.
4.Bake at 400 F for 16-20 minutes.

Yield: 30 muffins

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

2009 Fall Frost Date

While the spring frost was late in the year, on June 6th. The summer unseasonably cool, with a nip of frost even as late as July 11, 2009. We've actually had a rather nice garden harvest this year after all, due in large part to the late Fall frost date of September 28, 2009.

We had harvested or protected everything that needed it so we can continue to enjoy the benefits of great nutritionally dense home-grown/local vegetables ... and fruits.

Thanks be to God for the great harvest!

Monday, September 28, 2009

Good News

For those of you who have been waiting for our farm fresh eggs ... we've acquired some new laying hens. They are true free-range birds from a local farm ... raised by their Mother Hen!

That said though, many of them are not yet ready to lay - they are three months old now and a hen usually starts laying eggs at five months of age.

Mother hen is laying again though - she is Americana, so she lays blue shelled eggs. Our wholesome chicken food will allow her to produce the same healthy eggs that our Isa brown layers have been providing:

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Slow Cooker Apple Butter

"Mom you have to make more of this. It is so-o good!"

That about says it all!

Here's the recipe:

* 7 cups applesauce, natural
* 2 cups apple cider
* 1 1/2 cups honey
* 1 tsp ground cinnamon
* 1/4 tsp ground cloves, optional
* 1/2 tsp allspice

In a slow cooker, combine all ingredients. Cover and cook on LOW for 14 to 15 hours or until mixture is a deep brown.
Spoon hot apple butter into hot sterilized jars and seal, then process half-pints or pints 10 minutes in a boiling water bath.

Makes 4 pints or 8 half-pint jars.

Friday, September 25, 2009

Sept. 24th CSA Basket

The new items this week were the sprig of peppermint and an amber cup squash.

I honestly don't know how to use the peppermint other than making a tea. Do you have ideas? Please share them if you do ... thanks!

The amber cup squash I do know - it keeps long into the winter, even longer than pumpkins. It is sweet and silky. We've enjoyed it both in casseroles and stir-fry dishes as well as in dessert dishes like pumpkin pudding (watch for that recipe post to come).

Monday, September 14, 2009

Lentil Zucchini Casserole

1 cup brown rice
1/2 cup lentils
3 cups water

Put into a casserole. Turn oven to 350 degrees and bake for 30 minutes.

2 - 12 inch zucchini, diced
4 cups tomatoes, diced
1 clove garlic, minced
1 cup cheddar, shredded or diced
1/2 tsp. oregano
1 tsp. chili powder

Mix the above veggies, spices & cheese then toss onto the par-boiled rice & lentils.
Bake for 30 minutes more uncovered. Remove from oven. Let sit for 10 minutes, then serve.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Cheese Corn

Our all time favorite way to eat corn on the cob ... with Cheez Whiz!

Wednesday, September 9, 2009


Ken likes hot, but these are HOT -- see the missing bite?

Hahaha, we all had a good laugh when he started sweating. He confidently bit into it since just four days earlier he ate a green one of the same variety and it was just mildly hot ... hehehehehe!

Let us know if you can use some of these this Fall. A few are ready now, mo-ore coming later. Lots on the vines.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

More Ideas for Using Cucumbers

Thanks again to Carolyn for this guest post:

Pickling not your thing? Got all these cucumbers?

Cucumber-Buttermilk Dressing
Originally from /The Tightwad Gazette/

1 c. buttermilk (or use 1/2 buttermilk and 1/2 thick natural yogurt)
1/4 c. grated cucumber (about 1 small)
2 tbsp minced green onion or chives (about 1 green onion)
1 tbsp dijon-style mustard
2 tsp minced parsley
2 tsp lemon juice
1/4 tsp dried dill
1/4 tsp black pepper

Pour all the ingredients in a small bowl or a 1 pint mason jar. Mix or shake well to combine. Refrigerate.

Makes a great dressing for pasta or rice salad.

Monday, September 7, 2009

More Things to Do with Zucchini

Thanks to Carolyn for sharing this:

Growing up, heaven forbid we used cucumbers to make relish. They were for pickles. :) We used zucchini for our relish.

*Zucchini Relish*
yields approx 5-6 pints

10 c. coarsely grated zucchini (scoop out seeds, peel as needed)
4 c. chopped onions
2 large green peppers, chopped (about 2 cups)
2 large red peppers, chopped (about 2 cups)
5 tbsp. pickling salt

Put veggies in a large pot and sprinkle with pickling salt. cover and leave overnight. Drain and rinse twice, and return to pot.

In a large bowl, combine:

4 c. white sugar
2 c. vinegar
1/2 tsp celery salt
2 tsp celery seed
2 tsp turmeric
4 tbsp prepared (yellow) mustard

Add to vegetable mixture and simmer for 20 to 30 minutes. Thicken with:

2 tbsp cornstarch AND
2 tbsp flour

Pour hot relish into hot jars and process in a hot water bath for 10 minutes*. Let cool undisturbed for 24 hours, check seals, and store.

*10 minutes is the processing time if you're under 1000 ft about sea level. If you're in Brandon or the immediate area, you should process for 15 minutes as we are above 1000 feet, and are considered "high altitude" for canning purposes.

Edit note: I wasn't going to make relish this year because I still have some in the pantry - yup, I still have cucumber relish - but I've heard zucchini relish is so-o-o good ... I'm going to try some of this yet too!

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Our Favorite Dill Pickles

In recent years I slice the cucumbers before placing them in jars. We make both dill chips - cut into circles - and long slices. It is so handy to serve these for use in sandwiches and burgers.

Place a few springs of dill in the bottom of each jar along with one clove garlic, sliced (if desired). Slice cucs and place into sterile jars. Then cover with this brine:

6 cups water
1 cup vinegar
1/4 cup honey
3 tbsp. sea salt
1 tbsp. pickling spice

Bring the brine to a boil in a pot. Pour brine over cucs in the jars. Seal jars. Process in water bath - bring canner to a boil. The pickles will just be turning color. Remove jars from the hot water. Tighten seals & invert jar to ensure a good seal.

Friday, September 4, 2009

Zucchini Salsa

It's a KEEPER !!!!

Our family uses a lot of salsa - Mexican dishes being our favorite meals ... In my years of making salsa, I've developed a superb recipe that others have frequently requested. That resulted in me adding it to the cookbook that I published in 2001.

Well. This Zucchini Salsa that I tried this year has topped that! Everyone in the family gives raves reviews on this one, asking that I make ALL my salsa now using this new recipe. Does that speak volumes or what??

Here is the Zucchini Recipe that Ken found this week in the Manitoba Co-operator sent in by Joy from B.C.:

Zucchini Salsa

10 cups grated zucchini
4 medium onions, diced
2 green peppers, diced
2 red peppers, diced
4-6 jalapeno peppers, blended
2 tbsp. salt
2 tbsp. dry mustard
4 cloves garlic, blended
1 tbsp. cumin
1 tbsp. tumeric
1 tsp. black pepper
1 tsp extra spicy Mrs. Dash
1 cup vinegar
9 cups blended fresh tomatoes
1 can tomato paste
Mix all together. Boil for 40 minutes.

Mix & add: 3 tbsp. cornstarch with 1/4 cup cold water.

Add to salsa & return to boil.
Pour into sterile jars. Seal & process in water bath for 30 minutes.
Makes 11 pints.

Do give this a try. I'm thinking this will extend my tomato crop which always seems too little -- while using up the zucchini which is in ample supply. Not only that, but the sweetness of the processed zucchini eliminates the necessity of added sweetener in the recipe. Win/win!! Yahoo! I like it when experiments work out so well!

Crustless Zucchini Quiche

2/3 cup onion
1 tbsp. butter
2 10-12 inch zucchini, sliced into 1/4 inch slices
5 eggs
2/3 cup cream
1/2 tsp. sea salt
1/8 tsp. ground pepper
pinch of nutmeg
2/3 cup shredded cheddar

Saute onion, add zucchini and saute about 5 minutes. Pour into pan. Beat eggs with cream and spices. Pour egg mixture over zucchini. Top with grated cheese. Bake for 45 @ minutes 350 degrees until the edges are browned and the eggs are set in the center. Let cool 5 minutes. Slice and serve.

Fridge Cuc Salad

10 cups diced cucs
1 diced onion
2 peppers
4 large stalks celery
Toss with 1 Tbsp. salt. Let sit for 1/2 hour & drain.

Mix Brine:
1 cup vinegar
1 1/2 c. sugar
1 tsp. celery seed

Pour brine over veggies. Store in fridge. Serve. Reuse brine and/or keep adding more veggies as desired. Keep in fridge indefinitely.

Garden Pak, Sept. 3

Another heavy basket full of good/great food! And ... the corn is finally ready.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Aug. 27/09 CSA garden Pak

This week is exciting as we have some new things like:
first tomatoes,
green peppers,
and cucumbers

that add color and variety to your produce baskets.

Aug. 20/09 Garden Pak

Sorry the picture was late.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Garden Variety Canned Beans

These beans are simply delicious -- our boys have nicknamed them "Singin' Beans" because they make you feel like singing when you eat them.

They are very nice to have on hand for quick veggies to add to a winter meal.

Garden Variety Canned Beans

Nip, wash & cut beans into inch long pieces. I like the look of green and yellow beans mixed in the jars.

Dice onions, green pepper & celery.

Place a spring or two of fresh dill in a quart jar. Fill to 3/4 with beans. Add:

1 tbsp. diced onions
1 tbsp. diced green pepper
1 tbsp. chopped celery
1/2 tsp. sea salt
1/8 tsp. black pepper

Press down firmly and fill with more beans as necessary. Fill jars to within an inch from the top with hot water. Clean the jar rim thoroughly then place your snap lid and screw the ring on lightly. Place into a water bath canner. Add warm water to the canner to the shoulder of the jars. Bring slowly to a rolling boil and keep that rolling boil for 1.5 hours while turning the heat down slowly.

Use a pressure canner if you have one to cut down on processing time. Follow directions that come with your canner. We just prefer the texture of the finished product when it is done in the waterbath canner.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Baked Parmesan Zucchini Strips

Our all time favorite way to eat zucchini:

2 or 3 12-inch zucchini

2 cups ww bread crumbs
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese
1 tsp. garlic salt
1/2 tsp. oregano
1/2 tsp. ground rosemary

1 cup Zesty Italian dressing
(optional: make your own zesty dip using extra virgin olive oil, vinegar and spices of your choice)

Cut zucchini into strips. Mix crumbs, cheese & spices. Dip zucchini strips into the Zesty Italian dressing. Then dip them into the bread crumbs. Place on a cookie sheet and bake at 400 degrees until browned and crispy.

Serve immediately with Dill Dip.

This is a very nice appetizer ... or make a lot and it makes a delightful light lunch!

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Chickens are Ready

Our pasture-raised chicken is ready for pick-up or delivery. Order what you need for the year before our limited supply runs out.

Lots of fresh water, sunshine and fresh air along with their greens makes for tasty chicken.

There's nothing better than chicken raised in the wide open outdoors, eating fresh green grass - they're moved onto fresh grass, getting fresh bedding two and three times each day. We supplement their diet of greens with our own special locally grown grains & kelp for minerals.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Krispy Kale

One of our favorite ways to use kale is to make:

Krispy Kale

Tear & toss kale leaves with extra virgin olive oil. Sprinkle with sea salt and place in the dehydrator until crispy ... or set oven at 200 degrees or a bit lower to dehydrate for 8- 10 hours as needed until the leaves are crispy.

This meets a savory need with "nutrient dense" foods ... I love that phrase, "nutrient dense"!! Gotta use it when ever I can, lol!

Of course, kale can also be used as an added green in a green salad.

Enjoy the variety of summer greens!

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Aug. 6/09 CSA garden Pak

Another week and another full Pak of "nutrient dense" vegetables.

New items this week are:
green and yellow beans,
yellow zucchini,
snap peas,
curly kale,
and swiss chard.

Hope you enjoy all the variety.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009


Don't know what to do with dill every week? Freeze it for winter use in soups, use it to make Dill Mashed Potatoes like Jennifer did (yummy, one of our favorites too!) or dry it on a cookie sheet in the hot summer sun on the south side of your home. Then crush it and press it through a sieve. Store in a small recycled jar with a self-seal lid. Wha-lah, dill weed to add to dips and sauces.

Our favorite Dill Dip gets rave reviews from family and friends whenever I serve it:

Dill Dip

1 cup sour cream
2/3 cup whipped dressing or mayonnaise
1 tsp. dried dill weed
1/2 tsp. garlic salt
1/2 tsp. onion powder

Mix well. Keeps a week or so in the fridge. Use as a dip for fresh veggies or with Baked Zuchinni (watch for that post coming soon).

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Zuchinni Cake

Finally the zuchinni is ready!! We use a LOT of zuchinni, in many different ways. I'll be sharing many of those ways here with you ...

We have about 20 plants. There should be more though if we get some warm weather AND ... if it doesn't freeze again! Pray that it doesn't freeze, there's too much good stuff yet to come out of our great big beautiful garden. You should see it, here's a recent picture:

This Zuchinni Cake recipe was given to me by my mother -- somehow though, it always tastes better when she makes it, lol. We do enjoy it both as a coconut cake or in the chocolate flavor:

Zuchinni Cake

3 eggs
2 cups sugar
3/4 cup oil
3 cups grated zuchinni
1 tsp. sea salt
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. baking powder
3 tsp. vanilla
1 tsp. coconut flavoring
1 1/2 cups ww flour
1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 cup shredded coconut

Whip eggs, oil & sugar until frothy. Add zuchinni, flavorings and salt. Mix. Then add flours, baking soda & baking powder. Mix well, then add coconut. Stir it in. Pour onto a greased cookie sheet. Heat oven to 350 degrees. Bake for 20 minutes.
Drizzle sparsely with a thin cream cheese icing, if desired.

Chocolate Variation: Omit the coconut flavoring & the coconut. Instead put 1/2 cup cocoa into a cup and fill with boiling water. Stir until smooth and add to your batter at the end. Optional: "Ice" with chocolate chips.

Walnut Pesto

The new green herbs in last weeks basket was basil, but then you had that figured out right?

Claire shared her pesto recipe with me way back. I changed it a bit because I didn't have the pine nuts on hand. The verdict? Walnuts taste good in pesto too!

Walnut Pesto

2 cups fresh basil leaves, packed lightly
2 cloves garlic
1/3 cup chopped walnuts
1/4 cup Parmesan cheese
1/2 tsp sea salt
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
pinch of pepper

Place in a blender and blend until smooth. Serve on toast or warm fresh bread, with pastas or spaghetti squash. Yummmmm....

DH doubled the recipe to make a pint of pesto. Something new for us, its a little bit different & may take some getting used to, but the general consensus is that we can try that again.

Apparently it can also be frozen and used as needed.

Update to July 2013:

We now make & use about 20 recipes of this in a year. It is a great condiment on sandwiches, on toast with tomatoes is absolutely yummy ... or a traditional use on pasta.

It is so-o-o healthy!

Yes, indeed it can be frozen. We freeze it in small glass jars (just be sure to leave a little extra room at the top for expansion). The small baby food jars are an ideal size. Alternately, freeze the pesto in ice cube trays, pop them out and store in the freezer in ziplocs or large jars. That way you can just thaw & use a little at a time.

Friday, July 31, 2009


Spinach goes well in soup, see this post. And in salads.

We have prepared and frozen packages for use through the winter. Washed, chopped and packed tightly into ziploc sandwich bags, then frozen for later use.

It was really neat to find a new use for my pizza cutter ... yup, it works really slick to chop the spinach. Even the guys took it for a drive, hehe! So cool! The job was done in no time at all.

Another favorite way is in Spinach Loaf. I like to serve this with other appetizers for a light Sunday supper.

Spinach Loaf

2 - 8 oz. pkg. cream cheese
1 pkg chopped frozen spinach, thawed & drained
1 cup grated cheddar cheese
2 tsp. dried dill
1 tsp onion powder
1 cup mayonnaise
1 clove minced garlic
2 loaves pumpernickel bread (or other favorite bread)

Mix ingredients. Make a bowl out of one loaf and fill with spinach mixture. Wrap in foil or place in a covered casserole dish. Bake @ 350 degrees for 1 to 1 1/2 hours. Serve with the rest of the bread broken into pieces.

Planning for the Future

This spring we planted 300 cherry trees in our orchard PLUS 15 honeyberries. This summer and next they are getting tender-loving care. Hopefully by their third summer we'll be able to taste them and then in their fourth summer we should have a nice harvest already.

Wednesday we traveled just over an hour to pick four pails of raspberries from the excess in my SIL's garden (Bless you, Diana!). We are so grateful for this good food! This Fall, we intend to plant raspberries & strawberries - they should be bearing right here @ Klasse Woods in a couple years. Oh-h, that will be so nice!

Grapes are on our want list also (hopefully this Fall also).

And asparagus (next spring?).

Perhaps more currants (our one small bush yielded one soup bowl full - we enjoyed it as a sauce on pancakes @ breakfast Monday morning).

In the future, we hope to provide our CSA garden customers with a fruit basket as well as a vegetable basket.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

July 30/09 Garden Pak

This was a big basket full to the brim, including new items like:
- potatoes
- zucchini
- peas
- sweet basil
and more.

Food is Food ... Or is It?

A new movie is about to be released. It explains why we do what we do here @ Klasse Woods Natural Farm.

Watch a trailer of the movie here.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Garden Plenty

There are a lot of new veggies ready this week: peas, potatoes, zucchini ... and more. It is an exciting week to fill the baskets!

Monday, July 27, 2009

Zucchini Stir-Fry

'Tis the season for stir-fry. With all the garden vegetables ready now, stir-fry season is upon us. Well, truth be told, we enjoy stir-fry anytime with the seasonal variations.

Our family enjoys zucchini in a lot of different ways. The stir-fry is just one of those delicious meals.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

July 23 Garden Share

Just for the record, this is what a half share looks like this week:

A few of the first carrots and an onion were new items this week.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

In the News

Look who showed up at Klasse Woods Natural Farm today:

Carla Bosaki from CKX TV in Brandon will feature Klasse Woods on "The Noon Show". Watch for it.

We'll be getting a dvd copy of "our story" later, once it has aired. We'll try to share that with you via YouTube once we get it.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Bounty - ful Blooms




Frost in July?

Yes, we've had frost in July this year.

Here is the light damage to the beans that happened on the morning of July 11:

Likely this little frost will not affect the harvest too much. It was just kind of amazing ... an interesting thing to note.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

July 16/09 Garden Pak

In this week's Garden Pak there are Mustard Greens see previous post for uses. You can see a larger image by clicking on the photo.

Mustard Greens

Mustard greens add color & flavor to a summer salad. Their pale green color makes a nice addition. You may wish to keep the leaves out of the salad for your children because they can seem kind of hot.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Pest Control

Our five year old twins, Benjamin & Bronlin, are our very willing Pest Control Officers. Here they are waist high in the potato patch doing their job & taking it seriously,lol:

No chemicals on the plant or on the boys - the best way we know to grow healthy produce ... and healthy boys!

Edit note: Thanks for asking Carolyn. It gave me a good idea for a post.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Markmann Meals

Thanks to Carolyn for this delicious guest post:

Yum, yum. Delicious.

I wanted to share with you what I did with my "greens"...

Throw in a big bowl a handful of each of the beet greens, baby lettuce and spinach.
Chop up a sweet, crisp apple (I used Gala 'cause that's what was in my fridge)
Chop up a green onion or two
Add some hard-boiled yummy fresh Klasse Woods egg
Top with your favourite organic dressing (I used Italian-Roasted Red Pepper I had languishing in my fridge, just waiting for something special):

Ooooo... can't you see the goodness?

Anyways, a slice of whole-grain toast, and it was a deeeeeelicious lunch!!! :)

I also wanted to share what I did with my Johnny Jump-Ups and rhubarb last week. I felt the need to make a cake.

Johnny's Rhubarb Cake

1/4 c vegetable oil (I used canola)
1/2 c. white sugar
1 egg (or egg replacer if making vegan)
1 tsp soda
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp cinnamon
2 c. pastry flour
1/2 c. quick oats
1 c. buttermilk OR 1 c. sweet milk with 1 tbsp vinegar OR 1 c. milk replacement with 1 tbsp vinegar

Mix all the ingredients on high for 2 minutes or until smooth. VERY gently fold in:

3/4 c. chopped rhubarb
handful of Johnny Jump Up flowers, carefully washed and spun dry (about 1/3 cup)

Try not to mush the flowers.

Pour into greased 8x8 pan. Sprinkle top with 1/3 cup brown sugar. Bake at 350F for about 20-25 minutes or until cake tester come out clean.

Best if eaten same day.

It's nice because you get the crunchy brown sugar topping, the tartness of the rhubarb, and the unique flavour of the flowers and certainly the novelty of finding these little "treasures" as you cut into your cake!

Edit note: Please feel free to share your great ideas too. I know someone had mentioned to Ken at pick-up last week that they had made a delicious sounding sorbet from the rhubarb ... please share?! We can all use a fresh infusion of culinary ideas.

Look How Your Garden is Growing





Thursday, July 9, 2009

Fresh Herbs

Would you agree with me that the culinary art is enhanced using fresh herbs? I use a lot of herbs in my cooking both fresh, dried or frozen. Fresh is definitely BEST, but freezing fresh herbs from summer's bounty is second best for winter meals.

Extra herbs can be dried for storage ... or vacuum sealed & frozen. What? You don't have a dehydrator nor a vacuum sealer? Neither do I -- except on my wish list, hehe --

So here's one quick way to freeze extra herbs: place herbs into a sandwich size "Zip-loc" baggie. Zip it closed nearly to the end, insert a drinking straw into the open end and inhale to draw the excess air out of the baggie. Remove straw and seal the baggie all the way. Label the baggie with content & date then toss into the freezer for use at a later date. While this is not a fool-proof method (a vacuum sealer would do a better job) it can work in the interim until the sealer makes it off my wishlist and into my kitchen.