Greek Split Chicken

chef dezs greek split chicken

This recipe captures Greek flavours such as oregano, garlic, and lemon with a unique presentation.

My 5 year old son told me “Daddy, this is the best chicken ever!”

Let it rest at the end of the cooking time to help keep the juices in the meat rather than on the carving board.

Farmer Brownies

farmer brownies

Our son, Mike’s most requested recipe has always been the farmer brownies. It’s made an appearance at every birthday of his for as long as I can remember, and now proudly took center stage at his wedding as his and his wife, Kacey’s wedding cake!

Char’s Make Ahead Turkey Gravy

makeaheadgravy

This, folks, is a GAME CHANGER! I made my gravy ahead of time using this technique this weekend and it was the best gravy I’ve ever made. No huge mess at the last minute. You MUST deglaze the pan and get all those tasty brown bits that are stuck to the bottom and if you don’t cook with wine, use chicken broth. Basically, you are making a flavourful, condensed turkey stock.
Makes about 5-6 cups of the most delicious, golden brown gravy you’ve ever tasted! If you have a big family, you can easily double this recipe.

*Thank you to Sugarplum Sisters for this beautiful photo!

Pasta Fresca D’Estate

chef dezs pasta fresca destate

This light pasta dish showcases fresh, in-season vegetables – perfect for a summer night.

A light pasta recipe that doesn’t have a heavy sauce and showcases fresh, in-season vegetables is perfect for summer. The fresh BC grown tomatoes available in September are incredibly plump and delicious, and using a Lepp’s Deli Roasted Chicken makes this recipe a quick and easy dinner. The Sea to Sky flavour infused salts are excellent, and with many varieties available, the Garlic Rosemary mix is perfect in this recipe.

Cherry Slice

saskatoon slice

This is my most requested cake recipe from my family, and is a favourite with the corn picking crew. (They get treated every once in a while because they work so early and so hard!)

Baked Shrimp with Fennel & Feta

BakedShrimpFennel

This (almost) one-pan dish from my favorite magazine, Fine Cooking, is simple yet perfect for guests.  If you’ve never cooked with fennel, it’s a great way to experiment with it as it’s delicate flavour doesn’t overpower the dish.  You’ll need a few fresh ingredients like the fennel and parsley, but you’ve likely got a handful—or more—of the ingredients in your pantry or refrigerator right now.

Crunchy Asian Ramen Noodle Salad

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I have always loved this very popular retro backyard BBQ summer salad but stopped making it as I didn’t like using the seasoning packets from the noodles, which often contain MSG and are very high in salt. However when I recently saw a recipe on www.gimmesomeoven.com that tossed out the packages and made the dressing from scratch, I gave it another go and added freshly grated ginger to the dressing. I love the lightness of the vinaigrette, the addition of the edamame beans and the extra step of toasting the noodles. Of course, you can omit that step but it really doesn’t take long and gives the salad an extra nutty flavour.

Blueberry Cloud Pie

blueberry cloud pie

Rob’s mom clipped this recipe from the MSA News in the 1980s, and it turned out to be one of his favourites! Fresh sweet blueberries are a perfect match for the light and fluffy “cloud”.

Boneless Turkey Roast

chef dezs boneless turkey roast

Turkey is probably the most popular meal during the holiday season, but for a small group or a regular family meal, a whole turkey can be too much. This Boneless Turkey Roast is the perfect answer. A turkey thigh wrapped up in a turkey breast will please all turkey lovers. Wrapping it with Lepp’s special double-smoked bacon not only gives it great flavour, but also helps to protect it from drying out. Serve this with your favourite cranberry sauce.

Cinnamon Zucchini Bars

cinnamon zucchini bars

A great dessert to make with the bounty of zucchini available at Lepp Farm Market in September! The hint of cinnamon flavour and the sweet icing are a great finish to a Autumn menu, or perfect for breakfast with coffee.

Turkey Meatloaf with Cranberry Glaze

chef dezs turkey meatloaf with cranberry glaze

This simple recipe, a recreation of the regular family meatloaf, features the classic pairing of turkey and cranberries!

Ground turkey is a great alternative to ground beef and packed with protein. In this simple recipe I have recreated the regular family meatloaf into a classic pairing of turkey and cranberries. By using turkey thigh instead of turkey breast, it produces a more moist and flavourful loaf. What a great treat for a meal any day of the week. My six year old son told me that he didn’t know meatloaf could taste this good!

Cream Puff Dessert

cream puff dessert

This recipe from my friend, Shirley, involves a few steps, but is oh-so-worth-it! Plus, it serves a crowd and can be prepared ahead of time. I served this at a summer barbeque and one of my friends looked up at me wide-eyed and said “I can’t believe I ate that whole piece already. Where did it go?” It’s that delicious!

Char’s Playoff Chicken Wings

chars playoff chicken wings

Every year Rob hosts a Superbowl party and these wings are always on the menu. Just be sure to provide lots of napkins!

Chocolate Sandwich Cookies

chocolate sandwich cookies

From the splattered pages of my 1983 copy of MEI’s Cookery Carousel, with credit to Nora Martens, is the recipe exactly as I’ve made it for the last 30 years!

Peaches Catherine

IMG_0263-this-oneA customer shared this super-easy peach recipe with me, a favorite of her mother’s that was first published 20 years ago in a newspaper. And after some searching, lo and behold, I found the same recipe on the internet! The photo doesn’t properly show how delicious it was, with it’s crunchy Brulee topping and creamy peaches hiding underneath. I agree with the writer, I’d sprinkle some Kirsch or other fruity liqueur on the peaches. A great make ahead and serves a crowd!

Photo credit: Deanna’s Daughter (http://deannasdaughter.com/)

Carrie’s Crispy Potato Crusted Fish & Lemon Dill Sauce

carries crispy potato crusted fish and lemon dill sauce

For those of you that know my mom, Charlotte Lepp personally, you know that when she is passionate about anything food related, you bet that you will know about it! So it is no surprise that I have inherited her love of potatoes, butter and garlic (and lets be honest..white wine!). Imagine my excitement when I found a way to incorporate all of these favorites in one recipe! I love using as many fresh ingredients as I can, and as soon as local potatoes and herbs come to the market, this dish quickly follows for dinner. I have made it with salmon, halibut, and cod, all with amazing results.

Leslie’s Crunchy Asian Ramen Noodle Salad with Grilled Lepp’s Chicken

LeslieROMRamenSaladWeb

 

Our talented Kitchen Manager Leslie is raising her three girls to know what a good meal is all about;
how to make it taste good and knowing what to put in it to ensure healthy choices are being made!
Eating right and knowing how to cook your own healthy meal was a big part of Leslie’s upbringing
and there is no doubt she is on the right track with her three adorable and
very fun girls.  
Salads are always a huge hit at Leslie’s house, especially because
two of her girls declared themselves as herbivores early on.
For this reason, finding salads with protein is a must. Trust me, they have a lot of
energy and need the protein!
“I find it fun teaching my girls how to cook and the enjoyment that they get from
creating their own meals,” says Leslie.
“My girls are growing up in a house that is focused around food culture.
My husbands side of the family is Portuguese and my in-laws
live to eat rather than eat to live!”  

A healthy attitude, a healthy meal, and passing down knowledge to the next generation.All of the above are so much better when shared.
Enjoy this fresh, crunchy salad with your family outside tonight – the perfect meal for an
early summer’s evening (or lunch!)

Mexican Street Corn Dip

Step&JennsMexicanStreetCornDip

I think that every single time our Grocery Manager, and good friend Stephanie, stops by my house, I am in the kitchen, very likely trying to feed my always hungry family, or trying to avoid getting hit by a flying baseball.  She regails me with stories of a time I knew long ago, a simpler, quieter time.  She yawns, and stretches and says, “Well,  I better head home, my husband is missing me and we have the rest of this really great movie to watch.” I mentally note that it is three o’clock in the afternoon and the last time I laid on the couch to watch a movie in the afternoon, flare jeans were still in style and I put them on after sleeping a solid 9 hours the night before.
Still, I do not begrudge Steph this free time in her life, and I quite love that she has time to come over,
after joint pedicures, to put together our recipe of the month.
For this very delicious recipe that is so easy to make, and as my friend from NZ says, is very, “more-ish”, we delved into my stock of frozen Lepp’s Tuxedo Corn (if you haven’t taken the time to blanch, cut off the cob and freeze your few dozen this summer, I suggest you do.) We then mixed all of the remaining ingredients together in my stand mixer and folded the sweet and juicy kernels in, grabbed a bag of our favourite chips from the market, and proceeded to feel like kitchen geniuses. You can make this dip ahead of time, but hide it.  Seriously hide it.
Mission accomplished, and as Stephanie so eloquently put it in a text that very day,
“When we work together we are almost one fully functioning person.”
Oy vey.

 

Char’s New England Clam Chowder

FinalFinalChowder

This creamy chowder is one of my favourites and I love that it’s thickened by mashing the cooked vegetables to a desired chunkiness rather than using a thickener, making this hearty soup gluten free as well.  Our butchers have taken care to source Ocean Mama clams from a Vancouver based company that are Ocean Wise certified.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Char’s Sear Roasted Pork Tenderloin with Date and Orange Relish

chars sear roasted pork tenderloin with date and orange relish

Pork Tenderloin is the skinless chicken breast of the pork cuts.  It adapts well to a wide variety of spices and sauces and it’s relatively small size means you can have dinner on the table in under 30 minutes. Tenderloin is usually very lean, so you don’t want to overcook it, there should still be pink visible.

Nasi Goreng

nasi goreng

I lost count of how many times I made this simple rice dish as our kids were growing up.  It was always a favorite, and made a fast and easy side dish.  It’s wonderful served alongside grilled Chicken Sate. Add a tossed salad dressed with Brianna’s Ginger Mandarin Dressing and you have a healthy, homemade nutritious meal.

Decadent Chocolate Chip Cookie and Oreo Fudge Brownies

decadent chocolate chip cookie and oreo fudge brownies

Serve this warm, fudgy, chocolately brownie with vanilla ice cream and hot fudge sauce to make a decadent dessert for guests!

Variations of this recipe have been all over the Internet, and for good reason: they are delicious! There are some unflattering names for them, but we prefer to just call them the unbelievable brownies that you will love!We especially like to serve the brownies warm with ice cream melting on top and hot fudge drizzled all over. Try them and you will know…

Megan and Jason’s Happy Flock Frittata

megan and jasons happy flock frittata
I bought my wife 6 chickens for her birthday a few years ago, she named them all and they became our feathery pets. We loved having the fresh eggs on hand and sharing that with friends and family was always a highlight. My wife would say that I saw a business opportunity but I would say I saw an even greater opportunity. We could share that farm fresh quality product with a much larger family, our Lepp Farm Family. So off we went looking for some chickens and before we knew it, Moppet, Lucy, Miss Jemima, Rhubarb, Custard and Peck Peck had a whole bunch of new ladies that they welcomed onto our farm. We have adopted somewhat of a philosophy that we will call a ‘happy flock philosophy.’ The food you create with whole ingredients can dramatically change the outcome of your dish. Whether it be scrambled eggs, frittata, or breakfast hash, (note all egg dishes), using ingredients that you believe in and can stand behind will change your life!! No joke. We hope you enjoy this recipe and all the wonderful things that eggs have to offer because after all the egg came first! It’s kind of a big deal.

Grandma Lepp’s Sauerkraut Soup

FinalWebRecipeFor some unknown reason, Farmer Rob’s Grandmother Lepp served this smoky and tangy soup only on New Year’s Day, along with deep fried New Years fritters, and the tradition carried on in Rob’s own family. No doubt the fact that the Great Depression era Saskatchewan family had run out of most other fresh root vegetables by January and were now looking for creative ways to use their precious preserves had something to do with it. As a young bride joining Rob’s family, I was initially very wary of soup made from sauerkraut, but after a few years the tangy concoction won me over.  These days, fermented foods continues to be one of the hot food trends and this heritage family recipe is suddenly in vogue! Naturally fermented sauerkraut (made using only cabbage, water and salt – make sure to check the ingredient label), as opposed to the more readily available pickled sauerkraut (made using vinegar) would be one of the most familiar, but the list also includes kefir, kombucha and plain yogurt.Check here for an informative article on the health, and especially digestive, benefits of eating naturally fermented foods.  I’m going to commit to cooking this soup on more occasions than just New Years!

Mini Chia Bites

mini chia bites

Happy nutrition month! I had a very slow start last Sunday. I slept in, spent the morning in the kitchen making my go to pancakes and combining a few of my favourite reoccurring recipes to whip up these to-die-for, one bite, on the go energy bites. These are perfect for mornings when you’re in a rush, a mid afternoon snack, or even a healthy dessert since they’re naturally sweet with honey and vanilla. These little bites are fiancé approved, which is a pretty big deal considering my chia hating guy didn’t even flinch at the taste of them!

If you haven’t tried chia seeds yet, nutrition month is the perfect time to go for it! They’re among the easiest super foods to incorporate into your diet as they can easily be thrown into a morning smoothie or tossed on top of a salad. Not only are they naturally gluten free but one tablespoon of these little guys has more calcium than a glass of milk, more Omega-3s than salmon, and more antioxidants than blueberries. Perfect, right? Almost! The one bad thing about them is they do have a tendency to get stuck in your teeth, which is never good. A little piece of advice…make sure you surround yourself with great people who will gladly check your teeth for these little bundles of goodness. Enjoy!

BC Spot Prawns

bc spot prawns

Rarely sold in Canada, Spot Prawns are usually sold to Japan for sushi… but they are now available at Lepp Farm Market. This simple recipe lets the real prawn flavour come to life!

Preparation of the Prawns:

In order for the prawns to cook at the same time, empty the container of frozen prawns into a deep bowl with enough cold water to cover them completely. Leave them for 5 minutes, at which time they can be separated from each other. Once they are separated, let them sit about 10 minutes on a plate so they are completely thawed.

BBQ Mustard Pork Skewers

bbq mustard pork skewers

This our new go-to recipe for a weeknight dinner, it’s easy quick and delicious! Our big brother Mike has feverishly worked on the fields this year to bring us the best fruits and veggies! Here we served up our protein with our very own corn and baby zucchini, and for dessert; Lepp’s strawberries topped with a little cream!

Thank you farmer Rob and brother Mike for all your early mornings and late nights. We just love reaping all the benefits, this one’s for you!

Creole Halibut BBQ Pouches

chef dezs creole halibut bbq pouches

The bell pepper, celery & onion, along with garlic, tomatoes, thyme, sweet smoked paprika and cayenne, give this seafood dish delicious Creole flavour!

Whole Grain Pancakes

sarahs weekend whole grain pancakes

I love breakfast and I’m sure that there are many of you who, like me, think about breakfast as you’re falling asleep the night before. I’ve come to realize that some of the best thoughts occur at breakfast time just before our brains become trafficked with the to-do lists and clutter of the day. Though I seem to always be in full motion as soon as I wake up, my dream world would always start off with a slow morning allowing me to enjoy my favourite meal of the day.

These pancakes could easily be topped off with traditional maple syrup but I was craving a creamy yogurt topping which blended so well with the lemon and honey. Any flour will work well in this recipe, and feel free to substitute the coconut oil with whichever you have on hand. Happy almost weekend to all of you, I hope there is a slow morning with plenty of pancakes in your near future!

Raspberry Orange Crepe Cake

CrepeCake-Presentation-LowRes

I’ve subscribed to and canceled, many different food magazines over the years, but Canadian Living has been faithfully arriving in my mailbox for my 35 years of married life.  While I admired the beautiful cover photo of last month’s stacked crepe cake, I immediately dismissed it as being “too fussy.”  However, a brave friend lacking my fear of fancy desserts shared a delicious slice of her success with me, and I was so inspired by the lovely taste and texture that I decided to tackle it myself.  I feared a lopsided “Pinterest fail” in trying to recreate it, but the “oohs and aahs” of the people in the office as I brought it in for photos was proof that I had a winner on my hands!  There were definitely a few people lurking around the office while the photos were happening, eagerly anticipating a taste once the camera was put away.      

If you’re someone who loves to cook breakfast but the thought of baking and decorating fancy cakes sends shivers of fear up your spine, then this layer of crepes smothered in whipping cream/mascarpone/raspberry deliciousness is the perfect recipe for you! No baking of multiple layers of cake required.  It takes a bit of time to cook the crepes, but once you’ve made them the rest is easy to assemble.  The beauty of this recipe is that it doesn’t matter if some of the crepes aren’t perfect or have holes in them as the filling covers up all the mistakes!  I’ll admit that I even took a scissor to trim a few of the edges that weren’t perfectly round and I dare anyone to tell me the photo doesn’t look delicious.   Be prepared to accept all the compliments that are sure to come your way as you share this beautiful dessert at your family table.  

Sausage, Tomato and Herb Frittata

chef dezs sausage tomato and herb frittata

This is the perfect recipe for a brunch at home because going to a crowded restaurant is no way to treat the special people in your life!

This Italian flavoured frittata is easy enough to prepare and will be the star of the show. I used sundried tomatoes, instead of fresh tomatoes for more robust flavour. Using true Italian Parmigiano Reggiano as your parmesan cheese of choice also brings great flavour to this frittata.

Stephanie’s Mom-in-law’s Chocolate Samoa Sheet Cake

SamoaFinal
Growing up in a family where birthdays were a smaller celebration it was a big adjustment when I married into my husband’s American family. Birthdays are HUGE, sometimes a week… or two – a long event with a lot of great traditions. The birthday banner goes up in the kitchen, you get to pick out your own delicious, overly sweet “birthday cereal” that is yours and only yours; most importantly of all, you get to pick a meal in which my talented mother in law makes- whatever you want. For my birthday, I was particularly excited about this dessert… never made before, Samoa Chocolate Sheet Cake, oh baby! For those of you not familiar with Samoa Cookies, they are sold in the States through girls scouts as a fundraiser. Cookie, meets toasted coconut, meets dark chocolate; they are incredible! When I came across this recipe for Samoa Chocolate Sheet Cake, I knew this was my birthday dessert. Chocolate sheet cake topped with the delicious topping from the Samoa cookies- heaven in cake form. Thank you, Sharlene Wiebe, for being an incredible baker and making one of the best cakes I have ever had. A little extra work for this cake, but with Valentine’s Day quickly approaching (hint) this would make the perfect, indulgent dessert for the evening.

Dill Pickle Dip

Yes, dill pickle dip! It might sound a little strange, but everyone who has tried it absolutely loves it. When you make it, you’ll want to have some salty pretzel sticks handy for dipping, and your favourite local craft beer to complete the ensemble.  I originally found this recipe on the Noble Pig blog, run by a winery in Oregon (which is on my travel list!). I love all the easy and foolproof recipes she posts on her blog. And if you love pickle recipes, her website has a few interesting ones including a dill pickle soup, one of her most popular recipes! 

Once you try it, you’ll be inspired to preserve dill pickles so that you’ll always have a jar on your shelf ready for this recipe.  If you’re planning on picking up some Lepp Farm-grown cukes this summer to pickle, I’ve got to tell you – you have until the end of August to do so! This time of the year, it’s always best to call ahead and reserve a case of cukes so that you won’t be disappointed.

If you do happen to miss this pickling season, we’ve got you covered. Just look for Goodies by Thelma – Spicy Dills with a Difference in the market, those pickles were made with our pickling cukes! This is another great way to continue eating local out of season – grown local and made local!

And now, onto the recipe!

Savoury Cheese Thumbprint Cookies

savoury cheese thumbprint cookies recipe

These simple to prepare and flavourful little bites are perfect as a party appetizer, and the jewel-tone red jelly calls out “me first” from any holiday buffet .  I love the contrast of the sharp cheese and the spiciness of the locally produced Cranberry Jalapeno Jelly, but for a less zippy version use a plain red pepper jelly.

Glazed Easter Ham

glazed easter ham

My favorite way to prepare a baked ham is an old tried and true Canadian Living recipe I clipped out of their magazine many years ago.  Feel free to substitute the beer for orange or apple juice, and if a whole ham is too big for you, simply adjust the cooking time for a smaller piece of ham.  Delicious served with a pineapple mango salsa.

Charlotte’s Good Waffles

CharlottesGoodWaffles-SwedenWaffleDay-LowRes

True to a typical Mennonite recipe, this makes a LARGE amount! That’s never a problem at our house as they are usually all finished in one setting. However, leftover waffles can be lightly toasted the next day, and then it’s “leggo of my eggo!”

This old recipe is unique in that it calls for beating the egg whites separately from the rest of the ingredients and folding them into the batter at the end. The results are a beautifully crisp but fluffy waffle that’s begging for a delicious sauce to fill all those little suares. I’m not sure of the origins of this tradition, but the Mennonite way of eating waffles calls for a lightly sweet white sauce rather than maple syrup. Before the beaten egg whites are folded into the remaining ingredients, a small amount of the dough is used as a starter for the sauce. My recipe comes from my well worn and dirty copy of “The Mennonite Treasury of Recipes” that I received as a bride 30 years ago.  It’s simply called “Good Waffles” (don’t you just love that name and the questions it inspires about the other waffle recipes in the book?) by Mrs. J. Poetker from Arnaud, Manitoba. This was one of those meals where we skipped the main course and went straight to dessert!

Tomato, Corn and Cheese Galette

tomato corn and cheese galetteBefore the last of the tomatoes disappear, make sure to enjoy this wonderful late summer appetizer.  Our daughter’s birthday is this week, and it’s always the first thing she requests for her birthday meal and since it so beautifully highlights the tomatoes I’m talking about, I thought I’d highlight the recipe again.  Like the peaches that disappeared overnight and have left many of you frantically calling and saying “what do you mean there’s no more peaches?” (but don’t say I didn’t warn you!) the end of the local tomato and corn season will be here within the next few weeks.  Take advantage of the last warm days of the season and enjoy this tasty dish.

Child Pleasing Pizza Rolls

child pleasing pizza rolls

Being a mother of three school aged children, I find it hard to keep their lunches interesting enough to have them eat all of it. These easy to whip together pizza rolls can be adapted to please your munchkin’s taste buds and it’s a great way to sneak some vegetables into their meals. They’re also fun to make, so I encourage you to invite your children into the kitchen with you to help make these! If you don’t have time to make your dough ahead of time, there are some great pre-made options available as well. I promise your little ones and all of their friends will be asking to see these appear in their lunchboxes every week!

Shirley’s Bread & Butter Pickles

I have yet to meet a person that doesn’t exclaim “where did you get those pickles!” when I serve these crisp slices. I love to name the source of my favorite recipes on my cards and obviously I received this recipe from my good friend, Shirley! Equally at home with an elegant hors d’oeuvres course or a backyard BBQ, these easy pickles are always a crowd pleaser. There’s no canning involved, so if you can chop, stir and pour, you can make these!

Once we start picking pickling cucumbers from our farm in Abbotsford, we typically have until mid-August until the season runs out. The reason I’m telling you this is because once the season ends and rain sets in, we find that a lot of our guests are looking for ways to eat locally during those long winter months, but at that point there just isn’t quite as many options. But this year will be different for you because you’ll have a jar of your own homemade pickles, made from Lepp Farm grown cukes!

My Mom’s Mmmmarvelous Lepp’s Chicken Wings!

MomsWingsWebsBeing the Marketing Manager at Lepp Farm Market has many perks.  I love food, and all day
I read or think about food – cooking it, eating it, enjoying it, sharing it and baking it.  I couldn’t
begin to think about what career would better serve my always hungry family of 6 (yes, our
nanny happily trades my latest dinner creation for a quick empty of the dishwasher, which is
my very least favorite task on earth!)  I love that whatever I can think of for dinner, is steps away
from the office – what a luxury!

My Mom, Kathy, has been making these chicken wings for as long as I can remember, and with
my two baby, but at 6ft. plus each, brothers around, I had to get them while they were hot, literally!
Mom always doubled or tripled the batch of wings and made them with a huge batch of simple homemade chow mein – and nowadays I would really go crazy and make these Baked Beans with Bacon as a side!  Now these are a treat that my own three kids fight over and my boys aren’t going to eat any less than my brothers did, so I love anything that I can make it mass quantities!
We carry all of these ingredients, and simply ask our butchers to pack up a mix of drumettes and wings, throw it all in a freezer bag and into the oven.  Most recently I took them to a Super Bowl party and watched them fly.  It’s time for you to be a hit with these wings too!

Roasted Local Goat Tacos

use
In a mixing bowl, combine all ingredients except meat and blend with a whisk. Place goat in roasting pan or bowls that will fit in refrigerator and pour marinade over meat, toss to combine, cover, and refrigerate about 24 hours.

Preheat oven to 350° F with rack in middle.

Nestle pieces in a hot sauté pan (you might need two depending on quantity of meat) and brown on all sides (this could take 10 minutes), moving around and out to make room for more as needed. cover with foil and move to oven. Roast for 2-3 hours, until meat is falling off the bone (see photo above left)

Remove from oven and let meat cool in its juices until cool enough to handle. Pull meat from bone, discarding bone and fat. Pour liquid through sieve into a fat-separating measuring cup or a tall straight-sided vessel such as a large canning jar. Let sauce sit until fat separates out and floats to the top. (see photo above right)

Meanwhile, start shredding the meat off the bone with your fingers. Pick through the solids in sieve and separate out some of the tomato and garlic bits. Add them to the meat. Discard remaining solids such as bones, chunks of fat and bay leaves.

When fat has separated from meat juices, skim off as much fat as possible and discard. Pour sauce over meat and turn to coat. At this point, meat can be refrigerated again, covered, for 24 hours. When ready to serve, turn meat to coat with sauce and place in a suitable heavy oven-safe dish, covered tightly with foil, and cook until bubbling, about 30 minutes, removing cover for last few minutes to get a crust on the top layer of meat.

Serve goat with warm tortillas, chopped onion, sprigs of cilantro, shaved radishes, sour cream, crumbled cheese such as queso fresco, cotija or a dry goat cheese, grilled green onion, sliced avocados, flame-broiled strips of chile pepper, your favorite salsa, small cubes of pineapple, etc.

 

Chef Nick’s Chorizo Tamales

chef nicks chorizo tamalesMaking tamales can be a fun food activity for the whole family. Creating this recipe reminded me again why I love all the spicy and interesting Mexican ingredients. The star in the flavourful filling is the fresh chorizo sausage made at Lepp Farm Market by our talented butcher team. Unwrapping these tasty little presents will make your Southwest loving taste buds sing!

Note:  Masa Harina is the traditional corn flour used to make tortillas, tamales, and other Mexican dishes. You cannot substitute regular flour or corn meal as the results will be inconsistent. Both Masa Harina and dried corn husks are available at Vinh Tan Oriental Grocery, 2618 Cedar Park Pl, Abbotsford.

Chef Nick’s Stuffed Red Kuri Squash

chef nicks stuffed red kuri squash

As the days grow shorter, what way to celebrate the beauty of the fall season than with using the best seasonal squash and hearty ingredients. Red Kuri squash adds sweet flavor with a delicate chestnut-like flavor and adds great texture to a stir-fry appetizer, add Lepp’s pork tenderloin with the mix and then raise a glass to toast the best of the season.

Sticky Chicken

Sticky ChickenWebIn honor of our fifth anniversary, I thought I would repost one of the first recipes we put on our website as it still remains one of my favorite ways to cook chicken for a crowd. As our children were growing up, this recipe adapted from Better Baking was often my go-to dinner on a busy day. It’s a great make-ahead dish, as you can even mix the ingredients together right in the baking pan, pop the dish in the fridge to marinate and it’s ready to place in the oven when you come home. By the time the homework is done and the rice is cooked, the chicken has baked into a gorgeous sticky, tangy and not overly sweet dish. I’ve passed this recipe on to countless people, and young and old can’t resist a simple “sweet and sour chicken”, making it special enough for company.

A Dutch Grandmother’s Mustard Pickle Recipe

ROM-AUG2016-ADutchGrandmothersMustardPickles

Kitchen Manager Leslie shares her most treasured family recipe with us today.

Trips to my Grandmother’s  little brown Bown house (no, I did not forget the “r” in the last name) are a favorite childhood summer memory. I loved to wander down her garden path and throw open the creaky doors of the cedar canning cupboard where she stashed all of her preserves, breathing in the damp, woodsy aroma and admiring the jewel tones of her beautiful jams and jellies. Today the whooshing sound of a sealed jar opening up still brings back the smell that wafted out of the jar of her mustard pickles, the pungent aroma quickly permeating every corner of her tiny 750 square foot home. I loved to cook alongside Gram, her pulling up the little white stool or her weathered deacon’s bench to the counter so I could reach, especially when it was time to scrape out  the little “tasting” she always left for me at the bottom of the pot. That stool and this family recipe, sure to be passed down through the generations of my family, are my most treasured possessions of my beloved Gram.  

Sunday Roast beef dinner at Gram’s house was not complete unless these mustard pickles were served alongside.

Baked French Toast Muffins

FrenchtoastmuffinswebThese baked French Toast muffin cups from Two Peas and Their Pod were a huge hit when I brought them in to the office to sample. They’re easy, you can make them the night before and they offer a
not-too-sweet adorable little treat for brunch.

 

Char’s Rhubarb Almond Cake

RhubarbWebWhat a pleasant surprise it is every year when you glance out at what has been a mostly barren garden over the past winter months, and BAM- seemingly overnight a crop of fresh, local Rhubarb appears! This beautiful Bon Apetit cake recipe caught my eye with it’s crystallized sugar crust and strips of vibrant purplish red local rhubarb. We know you will enjoy the crunch and tartness of this moist cake as much as our office crew did who devoured it with flourish! It might feel like you’re beating the batter for a long time, but that’s what gives this cake an airy lift. Stay with it!

Chef Nick’s Halibut Cakes

HalibutCakesweb2In this recipe, Chef Nick has taken our fresh BC Halibut, that was fished in the Hecate Straight of the Haida Gwaii, along with the best savoury ingredients that our Grocery Aisle One has to offer, along with the freshest, crunchiest veggies from our produce department and given you a new way of enjoying your halibut. He has topped them off with microgreens that we have recently started to stock, much to many a visiting chef’s happiness!

Char’s Chorizo with Figs

chars chorizo and figs

A sweet, spicy and salty flavour combination, this easy tapas inspired dish will have your guests coming back for one more nibble.  A small chafing dish or crock pot will keep the delicious sauce nice and warm.

New Orleans Muffuletta Sandwich

chef dezs new orleans muffuletta sandwich

With this being my last Recipe of the Month for Lepp Farm Market, Charlotte gave me free rein to choose from some of my favorite ingredients from the market. With all the wonderful ingredients they carry on a regular basis, this was a very difficult task to pick my favourites – they’re all great! So in the end I chose to focus on their deli in a recipe in which I could utilize a larger variety of the great items they have to offer. A Muffuletta Sandwich is a huge classic sandwich of New Orleans that is cut in a number of wedges to feed a group of people. It is best known for the olive mix that gets soaked into the bread on both halves. Lepp’s olives and meats are a perfect match for this recipe!

Rubbed & Grill Beef Tri Tip Au Jus

rubbed and grilled beef tri tip au jus

In preparation for Father’s Day, this is the perfect steak and recipe for the men in your life. Beef Tri Tip is not the same cut as Sirloin Tip. Tri Tip is a specific triangular muscle located in the hip. It is a specific butcher’s cut and it is nicely marbled, tender and one of the most flavorful cuts of beef you’ll find. The more marbling also makes it juicier and thus the perfect grilling steak. This cut is a butcher’s well kept secret to the best tasting beef to come off the grill. Happy Father’s Day, and don’t forget to buy Dad a thermometer too – he will need one for this recipe! In preparation for Father’s Day, this is the perfect steak and recipe for the men in your life. Beef Tri Tip is not the same cut as Sirloin Tip. Tri Tip is a specific triangular muscle located in the hip. It is a specific butcher’s cut and it is nicely marbled, tender and one of the most flavorful cuts of beef you’ll find. The more marbling also makes it juicier and thus the perfect grilling steak. This cut is a butcher’s well kept secret to the best tasting beef to come off the grill. Happy Father’s Day, and don’t forget to buy Dad a thermometer too – he will need one for this recipe!

Tomato Cobbler with Blue Cheese Biscuits

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Recipe and photo courtesy of Jason and Megan Lepp

We love biscuits.Biscuits with gravy, biscuits with fruit, cheese biscuits, and until recently I thought I had tried just about every kind of biscuit possible.Neither of us really likes blue cheese, and when I saw this recipe on Joy the Baker, one of my favorite food blogs, I thought she’d gone too far by incorporating blue cheese into biscuits. But I decided to give it a try, and realized I’d been missing out on a great flavor combination! This dish changed our minds about blue cheese, as it’s equal parts light, hearty, sweet, and salty, and will fill your home with the most amazing aroma. It’s a complete meal all on its own, but we have also served it as brunch with a fried egg on top, or even better with a steak and some of Lepp’s finest sweet corn. Every time I make this now coveted dish, it has sent our guests into a state of blue cheese bliss!  

Roasted Roma Tomato Flatbread

roasted roma tomato flatbread

There’s really no recipe for this flatbread. Slather some of your favorite pesto (my favourite locally made pesto is Golda’s Pesto, which we sell at the market) store-bought or homemade, on a flatbread, top with my favourite Roasted Roma Tomato Mix. Slice up some bocconcini cheese, lay the circles on the flatbread, or toss some of your favorite grated cheese on it. I love my Island Grillstone for these kinds of things, as it produces a heat similar to a pizza oven, and because there’s no flare-ups, it doesn’t burn the bread. My flatbread was a very thin one, so it literally took 5 minutes on the grill. Farmer Rob, being the meat-loving guy he is, grilled up some of his favorite spicy Italian sausage, sliced it and lay it on the top. And that was a good thing, he said!

Chef Nick’s Focaccia, Apple & Apricot Stuffed Pork Chops

chef nicks focaccia apple and apricot stuffed pork chops

We’re looking forward to sharing some of our Lepp Farm Family member’s favourite recipes with you. To start, our very own Chef Nick has created this recipe using Lepp’s pork along with the freshest ingredients he could get his hands on. All of the items that are used in this recipe are available in our market, and if you’re not feeling adventurous to try stuffing your own pork chops, we’ve made it easy for you to purchase ones from our meat counter that are ready to take home and cook!

Char’s Black Bottom Banana Bars

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Everyone always seems to have a few overripe bananas lounging on the kitchen counter, and this recipe I saw many years ago in the Taste of Home magazine quickly became a family favorite and a delicious way to use up those brown bananas.  Years later my son told me that this cake had high “trade-in” value when he was bartering with his friends to trade lunch snacks.  I still haven’t decided whether to be insulted or proud that he was swapping his home baked goods!  You can leave the cake plain, but I always added a layer of sweet icing to satisfy my children’s sweet tooth.

 

Lepp’s Honey Wine Chorizo

lepps honey wine chorizo

I came across this recipe on one of our customer’s blogs, and was instantly inspired to try it using the Smoked Chorizo from our meat department. Paired perfectly with Abbotsford’s Campbell’s Gold Honey, this spicy, sweet, and highly addictive dish is great for taking to any Christmas potluck, and it’s recipe has been printed on tea towels which also make a great hostess gift to take along to your gatherings…trust me, they’ll be asking for the recipe anyways!

Roasted Cream of Tomato Soup

Roasted Roma
You made a farmer other than Farmer Rob very happy this summer!  I tagged along on Rob’s weekly Osoyoos trip to pick up our orchard apples and collect tomatoes, pears and plums from other local farmers.  I had the pleasure of meeting Roy Avila, one of the Oliver tomato growers we purchase from, and Roy expressed deep gratitude at being able to sell his sun-kissed field tomatoes to markets such as ours rather than being forced to sell to a produce wholesaler.  He knows that our customers appreciate the value of locally grown produce and can overlook the occasional blemish on Mother Nature’s products.  His calloused, dirt-stained hands held up three beautiful red tomatoes, all of which would have been rejected and dumped by a produce wholesaler, their only sins being a small black spot, a not-quite perfectly round shape, and a small split in the crown.  I know that the food wastage problem our North American society has created because of our demand for perfect looking food upsets you as much as it does me.  Thank you for embracing the not-so-perfectly shaped fruits and veggies, for being willing to cut out the occasional blemish, for enjoying our unwaxed orchard apples, but mostly, deep gratitude for supporting our farm, and so many hard-working and dedicated BC farmers like Roy through your visits to Lepp Farm Market.  

 

Country Pork Cassoulet

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The traditional French Cassoulet is usually a 2 day cooking affair that originated in the south of France, containing meat (typically pork sausages, goose, duck and sometimes mutton), pork skin and white beans. This simplified dish comes together in a few hours, most of which is time spent simmering in the oven while its delicious smells permeate your kitchen. Don’t skimp on the fresh thyme, it adds the decidedly French flavor to this hearty dish.  Like most slow simmered meals, it tastes better the second day, and absolutely begs for a crusty baguette to soak up all those tasty juices.  Add a green salad sprinkled with jewel colored dried cranberries, and you have a hearty winter comfort food meal fit for company.  This dish is the perfect excuse to haul out the heavy Le Creuset cast iron pot sitting in your cupboard.  If you’re lucky, you inherited your mother’s orange one from years ago! Be sure to ask our friendly deli staff to thick-cut the smoked bacon for you.

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Note: Since the bacon and sausage are both salty pieces of meat, taste and add salt in small amounts.

Mom’s Freezer Creamed Corn

 

Fresh raw corn on wooden table

Before we get to the recipe, let’s begin with how to freeze your corn from the summer to enjoy this recipe all winter.

The best advice I can give you is to do as much of this outside as possible. It’s an easy, but messy job and it will be so much simpler to clean up after the job is done if you can hose off your work space!
Husk and remove silk from the corn. Blanch corn by bringing large pot of water to boil. Make allowances in the water level for adding the corn to the pot, so it’s best to only fill the pot halfway with water. Once water is boiling, add as many cobs to the pot as will fit. This will often work best if you stand them up on end. The corn needs to be covered by the water, so if the cobs aren’t completely submerged, add enough hot water to cover. Once water has returned to a boil, immediately take pot off heat.

The corn needs to be cooled as quickly as possible, and this can be done two ways.

  1. Have a large container of cold water ready, adding ice to make water as cold as possible. Immediately submerge corn cobs in cold water.
  2. Much easier, and a lot less mess, is to take the pot outside and put the hose into it, running water until the corn has completely cooled.

Once corn has cooled, cut the kernels off the cob.  Measure into ziplock bags, pressing as much air as possible out of the bags, and flattening them for freezing. It’s important to get the corn frozen as quickly as possible so spread the bags out into a thin layer in the freezer.

Tips for Removing Kernels From the Cobs :

  1. Use a corn zipper, my favorite gadget,
    to remove the kernels. I have tried every corn
    gadget available, and the Kuhn-Rikon corn zipper
    available for purchase at the market is the only one worth the money spent. OR,
  2. Place an angel food or bundt pan on a cookie sheet and place the tip of the cob in the hole in the middle. Using a sharp chef’s knife, cut in a downward motion, and watch all the kernels fall into the pan,
    saving you a big mess!
  3. Using an electric knife makes the task even easier.

Optional is to scrape the cob with the dull side of the knife to get all the milky juice out of the cobs. This makes for a creamier finished product.

Corn releases liquid as it thaws. If you’re adding the corn to soup, just add it all in. If using as a side dish, drain liquid before adding butter and salt and pepper.

To easily remove the silk from the cobs, brush with a clean toothbrush or a soft vegetable brush.

Suggested uses:

  • Make a fresh tasting corn chowder on a cold winter’s night
  • Drain, add butter and salt and pepper to taste for a delicious side dish
  • Bring out the cast iron frying pan and bake a tasty corn bread
  • Mix into Mexican rice or risottoToss on a pizza
  • Toss on a pizza
  • Add to any Southwestern dish such as burritos or enchiladas

Rosemary Maple Bacon Jam

chef dezs osemary maple bacon jam

When it seems that bacon is being used in every dish possible nowadays and with entertaining season just around the corner, this is the perfect recipe to provide to you. Made with Lepp’s delicious double smoked bacon, this incredible bacon jam recipe is the perfect topping for almost any appetizers you may be thinking of offering to your guests, like bruscetta, cheese & crackers, canapés, etc. My favorite is paired with soft unripened goat cheese (chevre) as the creamy tanginess is the perfect match for this sweet complex concoction. An even better idea would be to make a number of batches, and give them away as gifts in little fancy jars. I am also a huge fan of rosemary and have found that using just a tablespoon of chopped fresh rosemary gives it the herbal infusion I am looking for without it overpowering the other flavours. Enjoy!

Cajun Chicken with Grilled Corn Salsa

 

Summer is rapidly coming to an end and so let’s enjoy every possible way to use Lepp’s fresh, sweet corn.

We often joke that you’ll find the grocery items in Aisle One (we only have one aisle in the market!), also referred to as “Charlotte’s pantry.”  When we started the market, my dream was to build a place where I could source all my favorite products needed to prepare a home-cooked meal, and this recipe highlights one of my favorite products, Spiceworks.

As our grocery section has limited space, we are quick to remove a product that doesn’t sell well and try something new, but Spiceworks has easily held its spot since opening day and continues to be one of our best-selling lines. This family-operated South Surrey company was created by Nina and Dennis after they sold their successful gourmet food store but wanted to keep Nina’s favorite ethnic dishes available to the public. Their hand-blended spice mixes are quick and easy to prepare, using all natural ingredients, no added MSG and are gluten-free.

Since many ethnic dishes frequently call for a long list of exotic spices, Nina has done the work for you, and often all you need to add is one or two common pantry ingredients to create a delicious dish. The Peri-Peri marinade featured in this recipe is mildly spicy, and the fresh flavors of the herbs, lime, and smoky sweet corn make for a dinner that will be sure to become one of your family’s favorite meals!

 

 

If you’re feeding a bigger family, or especially hungry people, you may want to the entire chicken leg in this recipe instead of just the thigh. But for perfectly grilled drumsticks or thighs that aren’t burnt on the outside and raw on the inside, the best method is a two-step, two-temperature approach. First, cut the legs into 2 pieces, separating the drumsticks and thighs and trim away any loose, fatty skin. If you’re using a gas grill, turn half (or even just one) of your burners on high and leave the other ones off. Place your chicken leg pieces directly over the heat for a few minutes on each side, searing them beautifully. Then move them to the indirect heat, close the lid and cook them low and slow until they’re done, reaching an internal temperature of 175 degrees. You could also cover and bake them at 350 degrees for 45 minutes.

Summer Vinaigrette Potato Salad

PotatoSaladWebThis delicious potato salad is perfect for when you don’t want a mayonnaise based dressing, and is suitable for someone on an egg and dairy free diet.  David’s Dynamite Caesar Paste is an excellent and versatile Canadian made product that gives this recipe creaminess without adding any dairy product.  You can make it just with potatoes, adding some snipped chives and a few herbs at the end, but including some grilled veggies give it beautiful color and added nutrients.  And because it’s dairy free, it lasts up to 5 days in the fridge, perfect for lunches the whole week through!

French Onion Skillet Chicken Smothered in All Kinds of Good Stuff!

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*recipe and photo courtesy of the Cozy Apron
Packed full of flavour in every bite, this one pan chicken skillet dinner has become a favourite.  There is a special something that happens, when every ingredient that you use in a recipe is delicious on it’s own. From our Lepp Farm Raised Chicken Breast, to the pan of fragrant onions, deepening in colour by the moment, to the distinct, nutty flavour of Gruyere cheese.  MAGIC!  The key to this chicken dish?  The heap of silky mashed potatoes (this kitchen tool is very useful in achieving the silk factor – available in our produce department), that it rests itself on. This is a special meal – douse your potatoes in some cream and butter and gather your family around the table.
Prepare yourself for the oohs and aahs!

Thai Pork Burritos

thai pork burrito

This recipe features ground pork from Lepp Farms, and this quick-to-prepare dish makes a nutritious economical and delicious meal your whole family will love. Use tortilla shells for a traditional burrito, or choose a lettuce for a lighter version. I recommend iceberg lettuce, as the crisp leaf compliments the savory pork mixture quite nicely.

We often get asked how our business began, and the simple answer is hog farming. Rob’s father, always a farmer at heart, began the hog operation in the 1970s and Rob’s high school graduation was the start of his farming career. While always proud to be a BC Pork producer, the dream of bringing our farmed products directly to the public began as we saw the desire for local food increase, and the idea for Lepp Farm Market was born.

The pork we feature at Lepp Farm Market is from pigs raised on Lepp Farms in the barns directly behind the market. The animals enjoy spacious pens, an all-vegetable diet, are not given routinely administered antibiotics and as all pork raised in Canada – there’s no administration of growth hormones. These days, there are 15 pork producers in our province, who are only able to supply about 10% of BC’s pork needs. All BC producers, including Lepp Farms, must adhere to strict biosecurity measures and are inspected annually to ensure we comply with the Canadian Quality Assurance Program.

So wherever you shop, be sure to look for the BC Pork logo and support the dedicated BC farmers who are committed to bringing you the best and highest quality product they can produce.

Farm Market Penne with Crisp Pancetta, Zucchini and Corn

farm market penne with crisp pancetta zucchini and corn

Lepp Farm Market pancetta, zucchini and corn, Keremeos Russian Red garlic and Ashcroft sweet onions makes for a quick, “grown in BC” pasta dish. Sautéing the pancetta in a skillet crisps and intensifies its texture and flavor so it becomes like a refined version of bacon. Instead of overpowering the dish, the prosciutto complements the sweetness of the corn, brightness of the mint, and delicate flavor of the zucchini. Serves 4

Brent’s Mexican Pulled Pork Carnita Tacos

BRENTROM
We have many food traditions in our house. We love our food so the nightly tradition of sitting down to supper together is a big one for sure! One of our ‘go to’ meals each week is Taco Tuesday. We have a ton of different variations of tacos that keep this tradition interesting each week but this is definitely one of our favourites! It’s super easy to toss in the slow cooker for the day and to finish off in a few minutes when you get home from work. This recipe feeds our family and gives us some leftovers for lunch the next day. Also, one note on the tortillas: The small real corn flour tortillas are definitely the best for making tacos! If you don’t have these, sub in any type of wrap.

Beer and Cheese Fondue

beer and cheese fondue

Fondue is always a fun way to get the family together or to impress dinner guests with an engaging meal option alternative.

Farmer Sausage Quiche

farmer sausage quiche

This recipe from the Mennonite Girls Can Cook Cookbook looks like a perfect and easy Mother’s Day brunch recipe. (That’s a hint from your mom.)

Layered Hummus Dip

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This is a recipe that features all the best Greek foods – lemony hummus, feta cheese, greek salad… And it all starts with creamy chickpeas blended into a thick dip, just asking to be paired with pita bread hot off the grill. You can use chickpeas from the tin, or even start layering the toppings onto your favourite hummus if you’re in a hurry (we reccomend Habbibi’s!).

For those of you looking to go the extra mile for that extra creaminess, start with Grain Kabuli Chickpeas from your dry storage and soak them overnight to use (you can even set some aside to toss on top of the dip). Of course, the topping features some of the Abbotsford-grown greenhouse vegetables that have started finding their way into the market this time of year, mid March, for extra crunch and texture.

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Ham & Cheese Ball

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If you were cooking in the 1980’s, you most likely had a collection of Canada’s best selling Best of Bridge cookbooks.  This ham ball from the yellow book (you would refer to the book by color when your friends asked you where your delicious recipe came from) was a Lepp family Christmas tradition and when I was packing school lunches would often make individual sized servings, which along with crackers made a tasty alternative to boring sandwiches.

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I stopped making it a number of years ago because the original recipe called for tins of flaked ham, and frankly I just couldn’t stomach using them anymore.  In a brilliant “a-ha” moment last year, I realized I could just use our delicious Lepp’s deli hams and chop it myself.  Family tradition is saved, and ready to share with you all!  

Best of Bridge’s Ham and Cheese Ball, the “abridged” version

Sticky Toffee Pudding

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This incredibly easy cake only needs a blender or food processor, and the rest simply stirs together with a wooden spoon.

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It’s warmth and spice makes it a perfect ending to a holiday meal and you can easily adjust portion sizes to suit everyone’s appetite.    

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Recipe courtesy of Smitten Kitchen, and the photos are ours!  

Harvest Wheat Berry Chickpea Salad

Harvest Wheat Berry Chickpea Salad

Many Canadians are unaware that Canada is one of the world’s largest producers of the best chickpeas, lentils, wheat, durum, and mustard seeds found anywhere – 80-90% of which are exported to global markets outside of Canada. And yet surprisingly, Canada’s grocery shelves are filled with imported chickpeas and lentils and pasta identified “Product of Italy” but made using Canada’s premium durum wheat. Meet Grain, a Vancouver company founded by two women with a dream to connect Canadian farmers with consumers by sourcing, packaging and selling high quality dry goods such as lentils, chickpeas, wheat berries and quinoa directly from Canadian farmers, each farmer highlighted on their beautiful packages.

This month’s nutritious recipe highlights two of their premium Canadian products – wheat berries, simply the whole grain which you will be more familiar with in its ground form of whole wheat flour, and chickpeas. I’ll admit to usually using tinned chickpeas when called for in a recipe, but was astounded to taste the creamy texture and delicious difference when cooking my own. The process is simple, but does require pre-planning as the beans need an overnight soak.

Be sure to also seek out a Canadian mustard, my personal favorite being Quebec’s Maison Orphee. Our thanks to all of you committed to supporting hard-working Canadian farmers, please enjoy this recipe which showcases the bounty of the many excellent Canadian grown products available to us.

Char’s Thai Sweet Potato Soup

chars thai sweet potato soup

I love, love, love Thai red curry anything, and this delicious soup subtly showcases my favorite flavor.  At the market we carry deSiam, a delicious and clean new line of Thai products we’ve got on our shelves and includes a Thai red curry paste.  It comes as close in flavour to a restaurant red curry as anything I’ve tasted.   You don’t want to skip the step of sauteing the paste with the garlic and onion mixture, as the heat brings out all those warm chili spice flavours in a way that simply stirring it into the liquid can’t accomplish.  This delicious soup is quick and easy, and topped with crumbled, cooked bacon or accompanied by a hearty grilled cheese sandwich and a crunchy salad, it makes the perfect fall dinner.  And which lunch-toting student wouldn’t welcome a sunny orange soup to sip on at midday?

Creamy Spinach & BC Sockeye Salmon Pasta

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As soon as I leave the market every day, I am on the run.
If one of my three little charming children isn’t playing baseball (I am banking on big dollars
in the Major Leagues, preferably with the Yankees, but no pressure boys), we are on our way to dance, or more, and more, and more baseball.  When the opportunity strikes for me to gaze dozily at my phone’s Facebook or Pinterest page, it is always either that next awesome recipe that the entire family will happily eat that I am on the hunt for, or ……photos of my family on what feels like the other side of the world.  My two gorgeous nieces live in Auckland with my far away brother and sister in law.  I have only met my oldest niece once and am sad to say I have not had the good fortune of a happy snuggle with baby Ava quite yet.  My Mom and Dad have made the journey a couple times of year, and this time, I received a big treat from my sister in law.  Her favourite cook books by Top Chef Finalist NZ, Chelsea Winter, made the long plane ride home
with my folks and I have been had my nose firmly buried in both books ever since, lost in their pages as if they were the latest Jeanette Walls, or Gillian Flynn fiction novels that I love so much.

So as I combed through I discovered this delicious pasta dish
and I knew that it would please the entire family’s palate.  I especially love recipes that include all ingredients that are right outside my office door, including BC Sockeye Salmon that is not in the least bit wasted in the fresh creamy ingredients that are all eventually topped by something that Miss Winter refers to as lemon cheeks?

When you find out where a lemon’s cheeks are, let me know!

Bacon & Beer Jam

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As a recent convert to bacon-on-the-side (instead of sausage) with breakfast, our marketing coordinator has been on the hunt for creative ways to enjoy our housemade, locally raised, double smoked (yum!) bacon. With New Year’s Eve fast approaching, her search for the perfect bacon recipe crossed paths with her search for appetizers. Bacon & Beer Jam was found. Here’s our marketing coordinator’s take on this recipe:

Charlotte has made a Bacon Jam in the past, but when I was browsing through other versions of it, I found one that called for a dark, malty ale. I had been looking for a good excuse to visit Abbotsford’s local brewery, Field House, so I took this as my cue. Off I went with my ingredients in tow,  and upon letting them know I was cooking up a batch of bacon jam, their team directed me to their Salted Black Porter. This proved to be a great choice! It wasn’t overpowering but instead added the right depth of flavour to the dish.

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There’s no doubt that this concoction packed a punch, being abundant in onions, garlic and paprika, so I piled it on top of Lepp’s Crusty Artisan Baguette, and Okanagan’s Choice Maple Cheddar to add just the right hint of sweetness.

So to summarize – Bacon, Beer and Maple Cheddar. What more could a proud Canadian ask for in an appetizer?

Chef Dez’s Italian Sausage and Gnocchi Soup

chef dezs italian sausage and gnocchi soup

One of the best things about Italian cuisine can be its simplicity. This soup is hearty and because it is loaded with Italian sausage, gnocchi, tomatoes, garlic, and incredible cheese it is everything you would expect from an Italian soup… but also very quick and easy to prepare. Don’t underestimate the choice of the Pecorino Romano cheese as the finishing garnish for this soup as it adds incredible flavour and compliments and balances all the other flavours in this soup beautifully. Large shavings of this cheese is easily prepared with a simple vegetable peeler – shave it directly onto the individually bowled soup portions just prior to serving.

Mexican Chipotle Papaya Pork

chef dezs mexican chipotle papaya pork

The chunks of sweet papaya add a wonderful contrast to the smoky heat of the chipotle peppers.

May 5th is Cinco de Mayo, an annual celebration of Mexican Heritage and Pride, and a perfect opportunity to commemorate this at the table! With this as my motivation, I set out to create a unique recipe that focuses on the flavours of Mexico and the Caribbean. The number of chipotle peppers one uses will depend upon how much spicy heat they like in their food. The left over chipotle peppers from the can are able to be frozen for future use: remove from the can, place in a small freezer bag, and lay flat in the freezer separating the peppers from each other. Once frozen this makes for easy extraction from the bag. As an option, try this recipe with cubed Lepp’s chicken instead of the pork.

Rubbed and Sauced Baby Back Ribs

chef dezs rubbed and sauced aby back ribs

The flavours of both the rub and the sauce come together perfectly to create fall-off-the-bone ribs that are to-die-for!

With Father’s Day on the horizon, I set out to create a manly meal with BBQ flavour. Jack Daniels is a popular choice for creating BBQ sauces, but I have also added the technique of a doing a spice rub as well. Be sure to make the recipe with both the rub and the sauce; it has been created to bring the flavours of both aspects together for the most incredible, moist, mouth-watering, fall-off-the-bone ribs. Enjoy!

Curried Lentil Stew

curried lentil stew

Enjoy a near-east influence on a French staple. Perfect for those who love using slow cookers.

Megan & Jason’s Apple Chicken Chili

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Well hello, beautiful, glorious fall. ‘Tis the season for pumpkin spice lattes, pumpkin spice cookies, pumpkin pie, pumpkin bread, pumpkin scones, pumpkin…overdose. Although it may be October, and I do love a pumpkin treat once in a while, I do feel like the humble apple has been somewhat overlooked. I’m talking about apple pie, apple sauce, apple cider, apple crisp, and my personal favorite; apple chicken chili. This is my mothers recipe, and now one of my staple fall dinners. Its simple, hearty, and warms the whole house with the smell of fall.
Pumpkin, we love you but its time to let apple take first place this fall!

 

Feel Good Bowl

sarahs feel good bowl

Well…we’re nearly one month into the New Year and like every year a common resolution made by many was the goal of living a healthier lifestyle. Whether it be eating more home cooked healthy meals or adding some exercise into your daily routine, we all have to start somewhere! Regardless of where you are in your journey to a healthier lifestyle, I encourage you to keep your mind set on why you’re making this switch and keep going! If you slip up, don’t beat yourself up over it and instead, learn from it and move forward!

This bowl is one of my signature dishes. If I’m feeling like I’m in a bit of a slump, I whip this up with whatever happens to be in my fridge and pantry at the time. It’s always different, and the variety helps it from becoming redundant. Mix in whatever you like, add some chicken or prawns for extra protien if you’d like and drizzle on the delicious ginger sauce which is to die for!

Chef Nick’s Favourite Baked In the Lepp’s Apples Pie!

NickBaked Apples
You can always count on Chef Nick for some major recipe inspiration!  After you have dined on your Apple Chicken Chili, continue on with this week’s apple loving theme with Chef Nick’s favourite way to bake an Apple Pie… right in the apple! Ingredients include an apple plucked right from one of the hundreds of the trees in our Osoyoos orchard, a mixture of fall tasting spices like Cardamom and Cinnamon, and a topping of Krause Farms puff pastry.
The result is a perfect apple pie that,
like any good recipe, is better when shared.

Carrie’s Corn Curry Sauce

carries corn curry sauce

Most of my childhood summer memories revolve around corn season. The first day of corn season in late July meant the end of sleeping in and lazy summer afternoons, as now my Dad and brothers were out the door at sunrise to pick the day’s harvest.  Mom and I got to sleep an extra hour, and then we were up organizing and boxing the many banana boxes of corn that were being sold wholesale, and sorting through what was going to the stand.

I logged many hours in that green and yellow stand, and one of the most frequently asked questions was “What do I do with the rest of the corn if I don’t eat the whole dozen right away?”

I wish I had been able to give this recipe to them! It is always a crowd pleaser, it’s easy to make ahead of time, and goes well with pretty much any side dish! I usually find myself doubling the ingredients, and freezing half for a quick weekday dinner.  My favorite way to serve it is over halibut or salmon that I’ve grilled on our Island Grillstone, but it’s also delicious just served over rice  I hope you enjoy!

Andersen’s Pea Soup

andersens pea soup

Having just celebrated their 75th anniversary, Andersen’s Pea Soup embodies the spirit of wholesome family warmth that comes from a multi-generational family business.

I’m sure many of you, like our family, have cruised down the I-5 on the way to sunny California and stopped at Pea Soup Andersen’s for a bowl of their famous split pea soup.

We may not be able to enjoy the California sunshine, but we can warm ourselves up with a bowl of their hearty soup.

Thanks to Mennonite Girls Can Cook for sharing this recipe with us. The only way to improve this soup is by adding diced Lepp Farm Market’s Farmer Sausage to the soup as it’s simmering. Or better yet, fry some of our delicious bacon until crispy and garnish each bowl with some smoky bacon pieces.

Braised Coconut, Spinach and Chickpeas with Lemon

braised coconut spinach and chickpeas with lemon

Leisurely scrolling through my favorite food blogs one evening, this dish at Dinner with Julie attacked my curry-loving taste buds, and with Carnivore Rob gone for the evening I knew the time was right for a vegetarian meal. The delicious smells wafting through the kitchen was the only excuse I needed to put on my PJ’s, pour a glass of wine and enjoy a relaxing dinner for one. The lonely shriveled lime in my fridge drawer was going to have to suffice as I was already in my pajamas and there was no way I was running back to the market for another ingredient. (Owning a food store means that my slipper-clad feet often sneak into the market after hours to retrieve a forgotten ingredient!  Believe me, it’s happened more than once.) The juice that I managed to coax out of the lime was enough citrus flavor for me, so I would go easy on the lemon juice the next time I make it. In my opinion, the only curry powder worth it’s weight in gold is Monsoon Coast‘s Moghul Curry, produced on Salt Spring Island and can be found in our market. The recipe says it serves 4, but that would only be appetizer sized portions. I have just enough left over for Friday night, when Rob heads to the ranch for weaning day.

Coconut Curry Sweet Potato Soup

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While Britain claims the gregarious and super-hyper Jamie Oliver as their food ambassador, in true Canadian fashion we are privileged to call gentle and warm hearted Chef Michael Smith our advocate for simple, healthy, home cooked foods. During my child rearing years I would often hear my son’s call from the living room, ”Mom, the guy you have a crush on is on TV!” and I’d drop everything to go watch and be inspired to tackle easy meals without a recipe, and most importantly to involve my kids in the cooking process. His passion for teaching people to make connections through food begins with reminders to get to know the people who produce your food right through to sharing the joy of dinner with friends and family around a table. After many repeated attempts and incessant nagging, I succeeded in luring him to the market a few years ago, which many of you attended. That day I would have been content to close the market doors forever, as what else was there left for me to accomplish?  Rest assured, I’m working on securing a future second appearance.

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This month’s recipe is from Chef Michael Smith’s newest book Real Food, Real Good supporting his philosophy that “real food is easy to make, delicious and good for you”, and makes a perfect meal for these cold and blustery January days. Just make sure to sit down at a table and share it with someone you love!  

Slow Cooker Beef & Barley Stew

chef dezs slow cooker beef and barley stew

Slow cookers are a great tool in the kitchen. I really enjoy drinking the apple cider at Lepp’s and so I decided to cook with it. The cider, along with beef paste, and the juice from the canned tomatoes, provides a tasty broth. Major brand beef paste is available in the cold case at Lepp’s and is a great supply of concentrated broth. One teaspoon of paste, mixed with one cup of water will make one cup of broth; however, instead of water I decided to use apple cider and liquid from the tomatoes which makes for a more complex flavour. I hope you enjoy this easy to make fall comfort food.

French Onion Soup

chef dezs french onion soup

Soups are the perfect comfort food for winter, and my version of a classic French onion soup will definitely tantalize your taste buds and warm your soul.

Using a combination of beef broth and red wine, along with the caramelized onions makes this soup very complex in taste. Fresh thyme is a staple of any French onion soup and this recipe is no different in that respect. The simmering time is important as it brings out the flavour of this thyme and the bay leaves. Enjoy and happy new year to you!

Dorothy’s Summer Fruit Cream Cheese Coffee Cake

SummerCakeWeb
After I heard a number of people at a recent breakfast meeting go on about how delicious Dorothy’s cake was,  I knew I needed to get my hands on the recipe.
Dorothy Dyck, charter member of Abbotsford’s wildly successful Crystal Gala organizing committee agreed to share her famous coffee cake recipe with me, and the speed at which it disappeared when I brought it to the market to be photographed validated everyone’s claims.
This easy but elegant coffee cake with a cream cheese filling and berry topping would be equally delicious with any of summer’s juicy fruits or berries.
Add a dollop of whip cream or a drizzle of caramel sauce and you
have a dessert fit for special guests.

 

Roasted Cabbage Wedges with Onion Dijon Sauce

RoastedCabbage1*photo credit to An Oregon Cottage

Cauliflower and Brussels sprouts have had their day, it’s time to redeem the lowly cabbage, one wedge at a time.  I can assure you this easy side-dish will convert even the most skeptical cabbage avoiders.  The creamy, mild flavor of these wedges surprised me, I never would have expected such a delicious side dish from cabbage.  In addition, the sauce pairs beautifully with a mild fish, so go crazy and double the sauce recipe, roast some seafood, and you’re set for dinner!  All you need is a loaf of crusty bread to round out a nutritious meal.

Summer Harvest Salad

summer harvest salad

Sweet Okanagan nectarines, juicy BC heirloom tomatoes, fresh mint and basil, crunchy almonds and salty feta cheese…these are a few of my favourite things! Chop them up, drizzle a little bit of extra virgin olive oil over top, arrange on a platter and you’ve got a beautiful, refreshing salad that is perfect for the summer nights when it’s too hot to cook. Featuring an abundance of BC’s best produce, this salad is perfect for al-fresco inspired dinner parties!

Tomato Zucchini Casserole

tomato zucchini casserole

Using the fresh, local field tomatoes and the zucchini growing in our fields, this casserole features the best of the Autumn season! Enjoy as a side dish or as a vegetarian main course.

Fire Roasted Corn and Black Bean Salsa

chef dezs fire roasted corn and black bean salsa

Fantastic accompaniment at your next BBQ – great on grilled steak, chicken, and fish… or serve it as an appetizer with your favourite tortilla chips

Crunchy Thai Quinoa Salad

crunchy thai quinoa salad
I’m always in search of new recipes with fresh and healthy ingredients. My oldest daughter has shown an increased interest in cooking for our family over the past several months and her searches for new recipes often starts with looking on Pinterest. Together Jaida and I look for dishes that we think would be proven winners for our house of six!
On top of being super colourful, this salad is packed with wholesome, healthy and fresh ingredients. The peanut, ginger dressing is the true gem in this recipe! Easily made, it adds a fresh flavour that really sets this salad apart from others. This salad is a true hit and incredibly delicious! I hope you love this salad as much as we did.

Better Than Takeout Beef & Broccoli

a-1
Serves 4

Adapted from America’s Test Kitchen, this dish was so flavorful Rob had me make it twice in one week! Before the beef is stir-fried, it’s marinated in thin slices in soy sauce for an hour, drained, and cooked at a very high heat. The broccoli is sautéed and steamed in the same pan and the garlic is added last to keep it from burning. A bit of cornstarch makes the sauce cling to the meat and vegetables. To make slicing the steak easier, freeze it for 20 minutes.  The recipe calls for 1 pound of flank steak, which is half of a steak.  I immediately doubled the recipe to use the whole steak and the leftovers were delicious!  Just make sure you double all the sauce ingredients as well.

MGCC Old Fashioned Apricot Jam

apricot jamThank you, Lovella S., of the Mennonite Girls Can Cook, for sharing your recipe in our newsletter this week.  This recipe is almost exactly like Oma’s, and her beautiful photographs and easy-to follow- step by step instructions will have you whipping up a perfect batch of jam in no time!

Pumpkin Puree made from a Cinderella Carriage Pumpkin

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You’re never too old to try something new, and this month for me it was baking off a whole, rather large pumpkin. A Cinderella’s Carriage pumpkin, at that. When I asked our son and farm manager Mike, why he chose to grow this French heirloom variety this year, his answer was because Brent, our produce manager told him he had to as Brent wanted them in the market! So back I went to Brent to find out why he was so fond of this variety. In his own words “even though they’re very big, they are easy to cut open and you get lots of flavourful, non-stringy flesh with very little water. The flesh is so soft after baking that all you need to do is give it a light mash, no messy food processor or blender required” So I toted home a large pumpkin to try for myself, and he was right!

Here’s the very simple instructions. As pumpkin flesh is dense and low-acid, it’s not safe for home canning, even if you would use a pressure canner. But freezing it means you’ll have it available all year long for muffins and pies. Lepp Farm grown pumpkins are “spray-free” as we don’t use any pesticides or herbicides on the plants or fruit.

Conserva Tomato Vinaigrette

conserva tomato vinagrette

While the aromas of the lengthy roasting time may leave your kitchen smelling a bit like a tomato paste factory, the slightly chewy, intensely flavoured chopped tomato bits were the perfect base for the easy dressing and elevated simply chopped cucumbers into a beautiful side dish.

Pumpkin Cheesecake Muffins

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These delicious muffins are a perfect place to use the pumpkin puree you’ve stashed in the freezer.  Make sure to let these moist muffins rest in the muffin tin for 15 minutes before you take them out to cool, or they may fall apart.    

Yields: 12 muffins

Lepp’s Spinach Salad

lepps spinach salad

One of our most asked about recipes is our coveted spinach salad. With summer just around the corner and beautiful local strawberries now in the market we thought this was the perfect time to let you in on the secrets behind our favourite salad. You’ll have enough dressing leftover for future salads, and the dressing is too good to throw out, so be sure to store the rest in your fridge! If you want to make this into more of a full meal, we like to add grilled chicken or hardboiled eggs for additional protein.

Char’s Simple Salad

chars simple salad

Recently we had the privilege of attending a “farm shop” conference/tour in the UK and enjoyed many delicious meals while there.  Historically the British have not had the best reputation for their culinary skills, but I can enthusiastically say that it’s just simply not true! However, I did find that many of the vegetables they love are white, or tan, or beige.  Potatoes, cabbage, leeks, and rutabagas were in abundance, but I needed some color! Our trip included a side jaunt to Dublin, and there I fell in love with my new favorite store.  Avoca, Anthropologie on steroids, with the most eye-catching store displays I have ever seen, and a lovely café filled with mostly lady shoppers.  I managed to convince Rob that he would survive waiting in line with all the women, and we both really enjoyed the tasty, lightly dressed salad along with our entrees.  Of course I had to buy their cookbook, and thankfully it included a recipe for their signature salad dressing.  It’s a very simple recipe that I have slightly adapted to suit my tastes.

Craving a good home-cooked dinner after all those restaurant meals, I invited some friends over and cooked up a batch of the Pork Cassoulet, one of my favorite recipes on our website, brought home a crusty baguette, and had fun creating my new favorite salad.  I have the confidence that I can tackle almost any recipe, but I’ve come to grips with my lack of presentation skills.  I’m just not good at garnishing, and I’ve decided that if the best I can do is pop a sprig of parsley in the corner, I may as well not even try and hope that the food speaks for itself.  But this rainbow colored salad is so beautiful that it practically garnishes itself!

Roasted Pear and Shallot Salad

roasted pear and shallot salad

This is one of my favourite winter salads. I love the combination of roasted sweet pears and creamy shallots, and using the pan juices for the dressing gives it a delicious and easy twist.

The Farmer’s Daughter Baked Apple Cider Doughnuts

donuts-1-2
Hey there, my name is Kelsey, from The Farmer’s Daughter blog!  As my blog name implies, I am the daughter of two farmers, and actually still live and work on our family’s apple farm here in Abbotsford (Willow View Farms).
Growing up I was always encouraged to try new things in the kitchen, and that love blossomed with my discovery of “food blogs” way back in 2010.  It was then that I decided to start documenting my own food creations, and it became an easy way to share my family’s favourite recipes.  Over the years I’ve become more passionate about photography and food styling, and much of my content is influenced by farm life.  Pies, pull-apart bread, and doughnuts are just a few of my favourite things to bake and share!
If you’d like to follow along with my food and farm life adventures, you can find my blog at: www.the-farmersdaughter.com , or on instagram: @kelsey_thefarmersdaughter  . Thanks!

 

Sweet Corn & Zucchini Pie

FullSizeRenderShould you ever tire of eating Lepp’s sweet corn on the cob (highly unlikely, but you never know), or you’re looking for more ways to use up your over abundance of zucchini (a far more likely scenario), or you want to serve sweet, local corn for your elegant guests but you want to spare them the agony of picking corn out of their teeth post-dinner, then this winning recipe adapted from Taste of Yum  is the one to cook this weekend.   The ONLY way to improve on this delicious dish would be to add one of the fabulous Okanagan grown hot peppers Farmer Rob has brought us back from his trip to our orchard, just chop it up and sauté it along with the other veggies.

Southwestern Steak Salad

chef dezs south western steak salad

This dinner salad is not just about having greens – it’s also about the flavous of the southwest: sweet corn, black beans, bell pepper and avocado.

New Baby Pizza Pasta by Carrie

pizza-pasta
I realized as we had a new baby last year, bringing someone a hot casserole and crisp fresh salad was more than just a nice gesture, it was a lifeline, a sigh a relief that there is one less thing to worry about for the day. Our son was thankfully a great newborn, but it is amazing how you can get to the end of the day and realize that you haven’t eaten once, and forgot if you took a shower in the last few days! 

I will never underestimate bringing a meal to someone in a time of need again, and am quick to whip up a pan of enchiladas or pot of chili when I know someone is going through a life change, as I was so grateful for every meal that came through our door! 

It seems that my sisters and I are in the baby-growing business these last years, so we have started a tradition where a few weeks before the newest baby is set to arrive, Mom walks through the door with 10 bursting Lepp Farm Market bags, and the four of us start chopping, grating, boiling, and sauteing our way till the parents-to-be freezer is full! Now that we have gone through a few rounds of cook-days, there have been a few recipes that have been weaned out, and certain ones that have earned a permanent place on the roster! (Insider tip: we store all our favorite recipes on the “Freezer Meals” board of Lepp Farm Markets pinterest page! sshhhh….) This Pizza Pasta recipe by Michael Smith has earned a spot in every prep day we have! It is totally adaptable to suit everyone’s favorite pizza flavor, is both toddler and husband approved, super easy to put together, freezes and reheats amazingly well, and only dirties one dish! I have also brought this meal to many friends, and it always gets rave reviews! I have a good feeling we will be making this quite a few more times! 

 

Carrie’s Mongolian Beef

carries_mongolian-beef

When going out to eat (now a rare occasion with a busy 9 month old at home!) my husband and I usually end up at an ethnic restaurant of some sort. We love all the different flavors and spices, and it seems like there is always something new to try.  We are so fortunate that we live close to an abundance of excellent Thai, Japanese, Malaysian and Indian places to choose from!

Helga’s Old Fashioned Swiss Steak

helgas_old-fashioned-swiss-steak

As Marketing Manager of Lepp Farm Market, I can assure you that my love of food runs deep and is genuine – so I treasure my career choice!

Even more than cooking food, my friends and family all know how much I LOVE to eat a good hearty meal. I married a man who is very close to his Mom – and yes, what they say is true – he treats his wife just as well. Helga is my Mother in Law and lives with us in our home. I have been fortunate to eat some pretty amazing meals, but there is no one’s food that I prefer to Helga’s. With her thick Austrian accent, and ability to whip up the most incredible fried egg or clubhouse sandwich when you could have sworn there was nothing in the fridge, Helga never ceases to amaze me. For her, cooking comes as easily as taking a breath, or telling me another cool story about how when she came to Chicago at 19, she served this little sports team that did pretty well – they were called something like, the Bears, she always says nonchalantly…yes, Mom, that’s right, the Chicago Bears! She has a heart of gold, has worked her entire life to give her kids everything she could, and after 20 years, still misses her late husband terribly. I am thrilled to have Helga as a part of my home, and a safe, warm cozy place that my kids can go to giggle, and be fed a pound of bacon and ice cream when I’m not looking. I consider myself very lucky every day to come home to meals like this delicious Swiss Steak. This is her recipe, and I would advise keeping it simple, using a lot of hot oil and a lot of salt. You will end up with Inside Round Steak that you can cut like butter, with a fork. Enjoy, and as she likes to say – you be the judge!

Stephanie’s Orzo Beef Skillet with Kale

stephanies orzo beef skillet with kale

Serves 4

Our Grocery Manager, Stephanie, is one of the busiest women that I know these days!  When she isn’t at the market, cheerfully leading her team of cashiers, or restocking, ordering, and keeping track of everything that has to do with the a great deal of the superb goodies that you take home to your fridge and pantry from the market every day, you can likely find her rushing out to attend a course or two at UFV. She is serious about Lepp Farm Market, and also about gaining an education that both Steph and all of us who get to work with her every day will benefit from – this woman is going places!
All of us know how difficult it is to keep up a busy schedule like Steph’s AND eat a healthy, home cooked meal.  Plus together, Stephanie and her husband Tyler, like to make sure that they are eating right – these two can read a nutritional facts label like nobodies business!  I love that this skillet for a few reasons – no mess, it’s healthy and simple ingredients, and most importantly it’s hearty Italian flavors give this dish the taste of a meal that has cooked in the oven all day.  Finally, when it says add the kale – do it – the taste and texture are the perfect finishing touch.
A touch of parmesan and dinner’s done!

Stephanie’s Turkish Eggs

Here at Lepp Farm Market, we believe in balancing work with life – and encourage everyone on our team to do so! This means working passionately when we’re here, as much as it means playing hard on our time off. Back in April, our Grocery Manager Stephanie did just that!

Stephanie and her husband made the most of their vacation time with a trip to Europe, in which they visited 8 countries, 9 cities, and ate at countless little “mom and pop” style restaurants. Being a passionate food enthusiast, and well versed in great ingredients (she’s basically Charlotte’s appointed gatekeeper for what ends up on the pantry shelves of the market), Stephanie set out on the adventure of a lifetime with one thing on her mind: trying some really good food.

As you might imagine, her Instagram account lit up with envy-inducing snapshots of her new life experiences, including tantalizing dishes so vibrant they didn’t even need a filter. But the real magic happened when she got home. Once back in Abbotsford, Stephanie set out to recreate one her new favourite dishes she had tried in a little cafe in Budapest – Turkish Eggs.

Here’s the story from Stephanie, on how she happened across June’s Recipe of the Month.

Photo shot in Stephanie’s Abbotsford kitchen, when she recreated this dish! 

My husband and I ended off our European vacation in Budapest, Hungary – a highlight by far. The city, the culture, the people, the FOOD! Working at Lepp Farm Market, I’m constantly surrounded by incredible local ingredients and a team of passionate food enthusiasts, so planning a trip around these food experiences seemed like a given. Knowing that my husband and I would want to go out for a leisurely breakfast one of our mornings in Budapest, I had done some research ahead of time to track down a cozy cafe. My search ended with a bright, colourful, vibrant cafe in the “hip” part of town – Cirkusz.  From the moment I walked in the front doors, I knew I had made the right choice!

 

Photo from Cirkusz‘ Facebook page.

When presented with the menu, choosing just one dish proved quite the task – I hummed and hawed, weighing my options. A woman sitting next to us was listening to me struggle, and enthusiastically recommended the Turkish Eggs- I fell in love!

Soft poached eggs, nestled in rich garlicky yogurt, topped with a browned butter, infused with chili flakes and fresh herbs, with a slice of toasted crusty bread for dipping – OH MY! Creamy, savoury, a little bit of kick, full of bold flavours, yet so simple; it was divine. Throughout our travels, we never ate at the same place twice. Cirkusz was the exception. I could not leave Budapest without having those eggs twice.

Once I arrived back in Abbotsford, I grappled with the realization that I might never be back to Budapest to eat at this restaurant again. I knew it was up to me to figure out a recipe for making my new favourite brunch at home.

So here are my Turkish Eggs, discovered in Hungary, now made in Canada. How’s that for international food?

Jan’s Buns

jans buns

Monday was a great day for me. A stat holiday in summer is ignored, as we’re all busy at the farm and the market is open, and Christmas, Easter and Thanksgiving mean we’ve just come off a very busy few days at the market and my day off usually involves an extended family gathering.  But a holiday in February meant Rob and I could enjoy a leisurely day at home with no agenda!  With it being Family Day, the invitation went out to our children to join us for supper, and I knew that what my family would enjoy more than any fancy gourmet dinner was homemade chicken noodle soup and buns. In what I refer to as my “previous life” (pre-Lepp Farm Market) I regularly baked buns for my family. No, they weren’t healthy whole wheat buns, but big, fluffy white buns perfect to slather with jam or my personal favorite, peanut butter and Roger’s Golden Syrup. But now a recipe that had been etched into my brain had vanished from memory as I hadn’t made them in the last four years. A call to my long-time friend Jan was required.

Jan is the kind of friend every young mom needs. She had children just a bit older than mine, she cooked, baked and canned like a professional and was a constant source of encouragement to me as I raised our family. She was always there with a kleenex, a hug, and words of affirmation that I would survive toddlers and teenagers, and that my children would turn out to be just fine!  But Jan was also a hairdresser, and while our children were small, I could book a morning with her and she would come to our house and cut and style everyone’s hair. Even Grandpa would stop his tractor long enough to take his turn in our kitchen. And in between the haircuts, she taught me how to bake buns. On this Monday, as I mixed, kneaded and pinched the soft, yeasty dough, the memories of the joy in my childrens’ voices as they burst in after school and their noses took in the aroma of freshly baked buns rushed back. My warm, slightly flour-dusted kitchen became a memory album of the many times we shared this simple meal at our family table. And as I set my dough in the oven to rise, I lovingly covered it with the hand embroidered tee towel set I received from my Oma as wedding gift 32 years ago, appropriately stitched “Monday”.

Apple Braised Beef Shanks

apple braised beef-shanks

Using an apple that holds its shape when cooked, such as Braeburn and adding a side of squash makes this the perfect fall comfort food dish, and adding salty crumbled blue cheese and rich, fork tender beef brings every flavor element to the meal.  Even if you are not a fan of blue cheese, I highly recommend trying this dish, and Goat’s Pride “Blue Capri” or Farmhouse Cheese’s “Castle Blue” are excellent local choices.  

Lepp’s Sausage and Apple Tray Bake

fatf-oct2016-applesausagebake-01

Tray bakes are the true heroes of make-ahead meals, and this sausage and apple bake is just the thing to bring to the table for everyone to dig in. To truly experience this dish at it’s best, you need to make sure to get a piece of sausage, apple and potato on your fork all at once!

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Angela’s Strawberry Coffee Cake

This tender coffee cake beautifully showcases our sweet, local strawberries with it’s ruby-red filling. While you’re at it, quadruple the filling recipe, store it in individual zip-lock bags in the freezer so that during the long winter you can still enjoy the taste of Fraser Valley strawberries. Trying to substitute imported strawberries in winter will only disappoint you with it’s lifeless color.  

This recipe also doubles well to fit a 9 x 13 inch pan.

Recipe courtesy of Angela Boon.

 

Char’s Summertime Joes

SummertimeJoe

I’m sure you have favourite foods from your childhood that immediately trigger a memory.
Your mind whisks you back to a certain location and if you close your eyes and think really hard about it, you can probably still smell the aromas associated with it.  For our family, one of those foods is sloppy joes. Or, Summertime Joe, as Jason calls it. For some unknown reason I only ever cooked it in summer, and it eventually evolved into the traditional dinner whenever we were bringing in the hay bales from the field. If you’ve never done any “haying” or watched anyone toss those heavy bales on to wagons, let me emphasize what  a physically challenging job that is, and of course it’s always done on the hottest summer days after the hay has had a chance to dry. Our boys, and all the friends they could recruit, would come in off the fields hot, sweaty and covered in itchy straw and tiredly sink down into in a lawn chair, ready for a hearty meal. Served open faced over hamburger buns, covered in grated cheddar cheese and accompanied by juicy watermelon slices served in the big, green Tupperware bowl and Goodhost Iced tea poured out of the big, brown Tupperware jug, it was a meal that never failed to satisfy.
Yes, it had to be those exact dishes or it just wasn’t the same!
For hot summer hard working days, it’s Summertime Joes for lunch. You may eat it and wonder what all the hype is about, but for our family, it’s a special food memory I want to share with you all.

Hard Cider Pot Roast

Hard-Cider-Pot-Roast


This Hard Cider Pot Roast with Mushrooms, Carrots, and Onions is so incredibly tender, that after braising away in the oven for a few hour all you need to do to serve it is simply break up the roast with the back of a wooden spoon. No cutting required. The silky textured meat just falls apart, all loose and juicy and tender. The combination of the cider slow cooked with the beef and earthy mushrooms plus carrots and onions creates a most spectacular gravy, perfect served over hot buttered egg noodles or creamy mashed potatoes.  Adapted from
A Farmgirl’s Dabbles.


 

 

Carrie’s Red Wine Braised Short Ribs

carries red wine braised short ribs

This is my go to recipe for when I am entertaining. The beef is always fork tender, everyone loves it, and all the work is done 3 hours before your guests arrive! The best part about this recipe is that you have to open a bottle of red wine, so you might as well pour yourself a glass to enjoy while you are standing there browning the short ribs! I like to serve it alongside mashed sweet potatoes, green vegetables, and crusty bread.

Summer Berry & Lime Fruit Salad

You can really use a combination of any fruit that’s in season, but I wouldn’t leave out the mango as the sweet creaminess of it pairs beautifully with the zesty lime juice in the poppyseed dressing. This makes a refreshing and beautiful summer dessert served with a scoop of vanilla ice-cream! Or, make it an after school snack for the kids with some yogurt, instead.

Grilled Philly Cheesesteaks

chef dezs grilled philly cheesesteaks

One of the great things about the summer season is taking advantage of the beautiful weather by firing up the outdoor grill and cooking everything you can think of on it.

This grilled version of the classic Philly Cheesesteak has incredible “flame licked” flavour that would be non-existent in the traditional way of preparing it in a pan. I find the addition of mayonnaise is extremely important for not only adding richness, but also to help enhance the gooey drippy effect that a classic cheesesteak should have.

Enjoy!

Asian Cucumber Salad

This light summer salad is a perfect accompaniment to any Asian inspired dish and BC Hot House Mini cucumbers are just the right size.  You could also use a Long English cucumber but I don’t recommend using a field cucumber as they have too many seeds and a higher water content. This salad is actually better the next day, so feel free to make this the day before. Also, if you want it spicier, warm the dressing up, this will bring out the heat from the chiles. Just allow the dressing to cool completely before adding the cucumbers. Using a mandoline isn’t essential, but it does make for uniformly thin slices. Just remember to use the guard to protect your fingers!

Make it a meal, with Thai Chicken Skewers!

Thai Chicken Skewers

Often I tweak and adjust recipes, but these Thai chicken skewers marinated in coconut milk, curry and spices from The Recipe Critic turned out so perfectly that I didn’t change a thing. Except I used chicken thighs instead of chicken breast because, in my opinion, the thighs have so much more flavor. The Peanut Sauce is easy and delicious, in fact my 2 year grandson was using the “dip” on everything he could get his hands on!  I did need to use my immersion blender to get it evenly smooth.  

Make it a meal, with this Asian Cucumber Salad!

Roasted Roma Tomatoes

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Many thanks to Davison Orchards for allowing us to use their photo, recipe and instructions for these gloriously delicious Roasted Roma Tomatoes!  These will be the best thing you ever put in your freezer!

This recipe freezes like a dream. Truly, there is no compromise in the taste or texture after spending months in the freezer. For that reason, we make batches and batches (yes, my house smells like garlic all summer) and stack them up in the freezer.

I will start by sharing the original recipe, but will also give some of the ways we use the finished product to make other meals.

THE “HOW TO”
One key is to start with really ripe tomatoes. You can either pick your own from our fields or buy them right from the our market – but either way it is ideal to do this a few days before so that the tomatoes are very ripe when you are ready to use them. They will be a consistent deep red colour when they are ready to use.

Prepping them to roast is quiet easy. Basically you just cut them in quarters and throw them in a glass baking dish. We find that glass baking dish work considerably better than metal tins for this recipe.

Add the chopped onions, minced garlic, basil, S&P, and oil and toss together. My mom always uses olive oil, but I tend to stick to Canola oil and find that it works great. The key thing is to not be cheap with how much oil you use. You need enough to coat the tomatoes and the dish so that everything doesn’t just burn instead of roast.
Keep in mind there is room for adjustments; feel free to add more basil or less onion. You can also use traditional tomatoes instead of romas, but they have a higher water content and will take longer to roast than romas.
Pop the pans into a 350 oven and make a pot of coffee. The roasting takes awhile. In fact, it generally takes somewhere between 2 and 3 hours – especially if you have filled your oven and are making 3 or 4 trays at a time. Take them out and give them a stir every 30 minutes or so – this speeds up the evaporation process and helps them roast evenly. They are done when the majority of the liquid is evaporated and the tomatoes are browning slightly. That’s the look you are going for. They don’t look as good as they taste, at least not yet. When you toss them with some pasta and add some protein (we like BBQ chicken or chickpeas) and add some feta on top, they end up looking pretty gourmet after all. And just wait until you taste them!

If you feel like sharing and you end up serving these to guests they will be marveling at your cooking skills. Even though, other than patience in the cooking process – they are not hard to make at all. They are fantastic tossed with pasta like this, but their true glory is in their versatility. Some other ways we use roasted romas:

  • As a base for soup
  • As a bruschetta on French bread
  • As a side just as they are
  • Blended as the ultimate pizza sauce.

There you have it. No you know the Davison girls absolute favourite way to enjoy tomatoes all summer, fall and winter long.

So worth smelling like garlic for.

Happy Cooking!

 

Grilled Bacon Wrapped Meatballs

chef dezs grilled bacon wrapped meatballs

These Grilled Bacon Wrapped Meatballs are the perfect answer to having something new coming off of your grill! Whether using these as a starter or a main course you are sure to please even the most discriminating crowd. Ground chuck is the perfect meat for meatballs as it is screaming with beefy flavour – combine this with Lepp’s incredible bacon and you couldn’t ask for a better dish!

Using double pronged skewers will help to keep the bacon on the meatballs and for ease of turning the meat while cooking. Make sure you soak the skewers in water for 24 to 48 hours to prevent them from burning. The side dipping sauce can easily be heated on your side burner. I bring my handheld blender out to the BBQ to puree it, but you could easily puree the sauce first in your food processor or blender and then heat it afterwards.

Happy summer grilling to you!

Cheerio Squares

This recipe comes from the 1992 M.E.I. Cookery Carousel, Volume 2 cookbook and I think I made this treat for every school event my kids were required to bring a snack to, always coming home with an empty pan. In fact, I think I could recite it from memory as so many people would ask me for the recipe. Of course, that was back in the day before the peanut allergies prevented bringing any food containing peanut butter. I have not tried substituting another nut butter nor have I tried using anything else besides corn syrup as a sweetener. This recipe just is what it is, a much-loved family treat that will make any peanut butter lover in your life a happy camper!  

Yaletown Spicy Beans

yaletown spicy beans

This is our family’s favorite green bean recipe, and it comes from a restaurant in Yaletown. (My friend sweet-talked the server into sharing the recipe.)

Chocolate Peanut Butter Squares

 

This recipe tempts me with my favorite chocolate-peanut butter combo, and if that’s a weakness of yours, I’d highly recommend giving away any leftovers to neighbours, co-workers or even strangers walking past your house. Otherwise you’ll be sneaking a piece every time you open the fridge, not that I speak from experience or anything. It’s a delicious variation of the butterscotch chip/rainbow marshmallow combo that I remember so clearly from the years of church potluck dinners. Calgary’s Dinner with Julie has long been one of my favorite food blogs, and I love that she posts retro recipes like this one every once in awhile to ensure we don’t get too pretentious with all the gourmet recipes available online today.

Teriyaki Salmon With Sriracha Cream Sauce

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Really, this easy salmon dish is simply a vehicle to enjoy this finger-licking sauce I first saw on Damn Delicious.  I hesitate to recommend a recipe that uses 1 ½ tablespoons of sweetened, condensed milk because you’re left with 9/10 of a can, and what are you going to do with that?  So I did a taste comparison by substituting a mixture of honey and whipping cream, and found that the sweetened condensed milk adds a subtle creaminess you can’t duplicate.  However I don’t think you’ll notice a difference when you aren’t tasting them side by side and  you could even make the sauce with just mayo and Sriracha, but I love the bit of sweet with the spicy.  And the sauce would be equally as good on grilled chicken, shrimp or beef.  In other words, it’s so delicious that it will work on pretty much anything you put it on.

Sweet Roasted Rosemary Acorn Squash Wedges

sweet roasted rosemary acorn squash wedges

This easy recipe from The Pioneer Woman highlights the beautiful winter squashes that we are just harvesting at Lepp Farms. The amount of brown sugar and butter is up to you, depending on how much sweet and sticky sauce you want at the end! 

Simple Roasted Tomato Sauce

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*Many thanks to Foodie Crush Food Blog for this excellent tutorial and recipe on how to make Simple Roasted Tomato Sauce – the perfect creation to make with our Okanagan Field Tomatoes!

This recipe for Simple Roasted Tomato Sauce is the foundation for so many recipes I concoct aka pull together on a weekly basis. Of course it’s terrific in the Italian sense as a topping for pasta, but in it’s simplicity it’s so much more.

A few ways to use it:

  • I add a cup or so of milk or half and half and warm it up for a flavorful tomato soup.
  • Use it to bathe frozen meatballs on a solid sourdough bun to make a divine meatball sandwich.
  • Of course it’s the base for a zesty lasagna. Or even for a short cut lasagna soup.
  • A cup of the sauce is perfect as dipping sauce for fritti misto or fried calamari.
  • Spread it on french bread halves, top with mozzarella and any other toppings for a French Bread pizza.
  • Nestle a few chunks of chicken breast in warmed sauce and cook over medium for 25-30 minutes or until the chicken is cooked through.
  • The kids go wild for stuffed pizza rolls.
  • Polenta, gnocchi and ravioli. Need I say more?

Roasting tomatoes is the secret to a sweet and fresh tasting sauce, even after it’s been jarred or frozen. And it’s beyond easy to do. Lather tomatoes and garlic in olive oil, season with kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, sprinkle with fresh basil leaves and roast low and slow. In cook speak that means ignore them while they sizzle in the oven. Give them a whir in the blender, and boom. You have sauce.

I like to keep my sauce in the fridge until ready to use or I freeze them flat in freezer bags and then stack in the freezer for later use. Pour the sauce in muffin tins or ice cube trays to use in smaller portions.

To make this as a shelf-stable, jarred sauce, add two tablespoons of bottled lemon juice and one teaspoon of salt to each jar. Add a teaspoon of sugar to offset the added acidity if desired.

 

Cream of Fiddlehead Soup

cream of fiddlehead soup

This simple soup is perfect for Fiddlehead Season – late spring. Add a nice side of crusty calabrese bread and fresh greens and you’ve got a great meal!

Fiddleheads, grown in Eastern Canada, are the edible fronds of the ostrich fern. They are harvested from wild ferns and are only available fresh for approximately two-weeks of the year.

Prime Rib Roast

chef dezs prime rib roast

Chef Dez gives detailed instructions to ensure a perfectly cooked and juicy roast. Combine with Au Jus for maximum flavour.

Chef Dez’s Overview

There are a number of tips to cooking a prime rib roast to perfection. The most important is to use a meat thermometer. You can choose from an oven-proof one that is inserted at the beginning of the cooking time and left in, or an instant read one that is used to check the internal temperature at chosen intervals (but not left in the oven). Although both work very well to keep your roast from over cooking, I recommend the oven proof one because you simply leave it in the roast. The result is less punctures to the meat and thus more juice retention.

Rare: 120 to 125 degrees F
Medium Rare: 130 to 135 degrees F
Medium: 140 to 145 degrees F
Medium Well: 150 to 155 degrees F
Well Done: 160 degrees F and above

I have also provided an approximate cooking time chart, but I stress that this is just an informal guideline and not to be used in replace of a meat thermometer. There are many variables that a time chart just cannot encompass: temperature of the meat prior to cooking, exact size/shape of the roast, oven temperature accuracy, etc.

Also, the closer you can bring your roast to room temperature before cooking (without jeopardizing food safety and leaving it out too long) will result in a more uniform doneness. If you put a cold roast in the oven the outer parts of the inside flesh will be overdone in comparison to the center of the meat (where you thermometer is inserted). This time chart is loosely based on this procedure with the result of a 130 degree F medium rare result:

Approx. Weight       Oven Temp          Est. Time
4 – 5 pounds           450/275 deg F     1.25 to 1.5 hours
7 – 8.5 pounds        450/275 deg F     1.75 to 2.5 hours
9 – 10.5 pounds      450/275 deg F     2.5 to 3 hours
11 – 13.5 pounds    450/275 deg F     3 to 3.5 hours

In order to create a flavourful crust, start with a cooking temperature of 450 degrees F for the first 15 minutes of the cooking time. Then reduce the oven temperature to 275 degrees F (without removing the roast from the oven) and continue cooking until your desired internal temperature has been reached. This lower temperature for the remaining majority of the cooking time will help to create a more even cooking of the meat.

Also, it is important to note that prime rib roasts should always be cooked with the bones intact to create more flavour in the meat. The bones also act as a natural rack for the meat to cook on when placed bone side down in your roasting pan. If desired, you can request that the bones be removed and then tied back on for easy removal before carving. By cooking with the bones on the bottom this leaves the fat cap on the top of the roast for maximum protection from drying out.

If a simple dipping “Au Jus” is desired for serving, remove the roast from the pan and remove almost all of the liquid fat, but leaving the beef drippings in the pan. Put the pan on the burners of your stove. Add 2 parts beef stock and 1 part red wine. Boil until reduced by half in volume. Season with salt & pepper to taste.

Marinated Tomatoes

marinated tomatoes

It’s an easy make-ahead summer barbeque side dish, and just begging for a crusty baguette to sop up all those garlicky, tomatoey olive oil juices.

As soon as I saw this recipe on Pioneer Woman, I knew that I had to make it with the beautiful heirloom tomatoes we sell. I cut back on the sugar in the original recipe, as the heirloom tomatoes and local green house tomatoes are much sweeter than ordinary grocery store tomatoes, and I also substituted olive oil for the canola oil. The result was just as beautiful as Pioneer Woman’s sister-in-law’s and I’m sure they are just as delicious! Enjoy these all summer long…

Roasted Grapes on Crostinis

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The other day when our produce manager let me know that he’d be getting a shipment of imported grapes into the market (such is necessary for winter in Canada), it sparked a question in my mind – what recipes can grapes be used in? Grapes are a long-time favourite fruit to snack on, simply because it’s so easy and delicious. You can put them in fresh salads for a pop of sweetness, you can chop them up in a fruit salad, or even a cold chicken salad. They can be dried to become raisins, and they can be fermented for… beverages. But that’s it, right?

Oh, was I ever wrong. After consulting with Pinterest, I discovered that roasting grapes is not uncommon in some households. For a quick, sophisticated appetizer, serve your guests some roasted grapes on crostini with a cheese of choice.

 

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Chef Dez’s Pot Roast with Wild Mushroom Gravy

chef dezs pot roast with wild mushroom gravy

An easy and economical way to satisfy a hungry crowd with wild mushrooms providing a flavourful twist.

Pot roasts have always been a very easy and economical way to feed a hungry crowd and this still stands true today. I have made a simple, creative and delicious twist on the gravy by adding dried mushrooms, but they can be eliminated for regular gravy if desired.

I highly recommend using a cast iron, or enamel coated cast iron pot for this recipe. Pot roasts are best if braised in the oven with liquid over a longer period of time. Thus, using a heavy cast iron pot will not only guarantee even heat, but also the heavy lid will ensure liquids won’t be lost through escaping evaporation.

If making a roast of a different size (weight), then I would approximate the cooking time at 45 minutes per pound in a 325 degree Fahrenheit oven. Please keep in mind however, the larger the roast, the more broth and vegetables should be added for adequate cooking liquid and ample gravy and flavour when finished.

Pureeing the vegetables into the gravy makes not only complex tasting gravy, but also eliminates the need for a starch thickener.

Charlotte’s Slow Cooker Stuffing

 

The surprise flavour that you can’t quite describe is the sausage! Lepp’s Breakfast pork sausage would be perfect in this recipe.

The addition of a finely diced apple helps moisten the stuffing without adding more butter, and the sausage gives it an unexpected “I can’t identify it, but love the taste” flavor.  You can use bulk, Italian or any flavor you love. Using a crock pot frees up oven space for all those tasty side dishes.

Chef Dez’s Greek Burgers

chef dezs greek burgers

These quarter-pound burgers are full of Greek flavours. Also included is Chef Dez’s recips for Greek Tzatziki – perfect for serving on the burgers!

These burgers are celiac friendly as they have no breadcrumb filler, and serve them wrapped in lettuce leaves instead of buns. Enjoy!

Honey Garlic Meatballs

chef dezs honey garlic meatballs

Meatballs are a staple with any football party, and you’ll love ones smothered with honey garlic sauce.

Superbowl Sunday is just around the corner, and although I am not a big sports fan, one cannot help but being inundated by the media that this annual game day is fast approaching. Many people, us included, love to entertain and hosting a SuperBowl party is a great way to bring people together over a bunch of foods.

Combining two different types of meat gives the meatballs more complex flavour and seasoned with Chinese 5 Spice powder they are perfect with this sauce. Enjoy!

Carrie’s Baked Moroccan Eggs

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This recipe is inspired by the traditional North African or Middle Eastern cooking method of using a tagine over an open charcoal fire.  A tagine consists of two parts: the base, that is flat-bottomed with rounded sides, and a tall dome-shaped cover that sits on top of the base during cooking.  The cover is shaped this way so that all the condensation that rises during the cooking process is looped around and returns back to the bottom, making a moist and flavorful dish.

Kitchen cupboard space is always in high demand, and while I would love to stock mine with every gadget and utensil you can find.. its just not realistic.  As I don’t own a tagine, I adapted a traditional recipe to work with my cast iron pan and a tight fitting lid. This meal would be great as a brunch item, but I end up serving this mostly as a “breakfast for dinner”, along with either avocado toast, or a big piece of crusty bread to soak up all the amazing sauce that is left over.
I hope you enjoy!

 

 

Chef Dez’s Beef & Black Bean Enchiladas 

chef dezs beef and black bean enchiladas

This combination of beef and black beans are incredibly tasty in this enchilada recipe. 

A great taste of Mexican cooking right in your own kitchen! The enchiladas make a very showy display at the table and are very easy to make. Your whole family will be impressed!

Summer Berry Custard Squares

summer berry custard squares

I first saw this recipe in Canadian House and Home and knew it would be the perfect recipe to highlight Lepp’s first ever strawberry crop. This would also be delicious with sliced peaches, apricots or plums.

Corn Picker’s Favourite Platz

corn pickers favourite platz

This recipe was always a perennial summer favourite when I treated the early morning corn pickers to a freshly baked treat. A blueberry and peach combo was the favourite, with raspberry coming in a close second.

Italian Stuffed Flank Steak

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A tender Lepp’s flank steak rolled up with garlic, herbs, prosciutto ham and provolone cheese makes flavorful steak medallions that are delicious and elegant.  Perfect as a light meal served with a tossed salad, orzo pilaf and a crusty baguette, or a hearty appetizer for a holiday party.  For a truly beautiful presentation, sprinkle with Farmer’s Dotter Garlic Scape salt, drizzle with my favorite Nonna Pia’s Balsamic Reduction and Gourmet Inspiration’s Creamy Peppercorn Whiskey Sauce delicious dipping sauce.

Egg and Black Bean Tortillas with Chipotle Mayo

egg-and-black-bean-tortillas-with-chipotle-mayo

This recipe, adapted from “The Fresh Egg” cookbook didn’t include meat, but Farmer Rob needs his meat and our own fresh Chorizo sausage is a great fit for this southwestern inspired dish!  You can easily turn this simple dish into a vegetarian one by omitting the sausage and it would work as a breakfast, brunch or easy dinner dish.  Packing it in your lunch will make you the envy of your work place lunch room!  Black beans are an excellent source of protein, magnesium and iron.

Monster Cupcakes

monster cupcakes

This outrageously fun recipe just had to be shared with our Lepp Farm Family. The cupcake is a peanut butter chocolate chip base, but it’s the rich and delicious frosting that steals the show.  But don’t worry, the frosting recipe makes an ample amount, so go ahead and eat a few spoonfuls while no one’s looking!

Duck Fat Roasted Potatoes

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At first, these potatoes appear to be ordinary roasted potatoes – but when you bite into each piece, the buttery softness that the Duck Fat provides is worth that extra ingredient.

Coconut Lemongrass Baked Chicken

coconut lemongrass baked chicken

This northern style dish is very simple. The best flavour is achieved by marinating for a longer time. This recipe can be used with any cut of chicken but I find that the thighs have more flavour and moisture than chicken breasts.

Chai Spiced Snowdrop Cookies

chai spiced snowdrop cookies

This delightful little spiced cookie is similar to many you’ll find in any Christmas cookie recipe collection, often named Mexican Wedding Cookies or Almond Snowballs to name just a few variations. However the addition of some exotic spices to the dusting of icing sugar gives these a unique twist for your cookie tray. The original cookie recipe called for Pistachio flour, which would be interesting to try but probably only available by special order. Almond flour is an excellent substitute and I’m sure that hazelnut, or any other nut flour would also work.  A wonderful cookie for the Chai tea lover!

Chicken Sate

chicken sate

Barbecuing these on the Island Grillstone ensures you’ll be enjoying tender, perfectly cooked chicken, without any flare-ups!  This dish would be amazing paired with Nasi Goreng, or if you’re looking for a lighter meal, simply lay them on a bed of salad and grilled veggies for a delicious summer meal.

Snickerdoodle Blondies

snickerdoodle blondies

The outline of a piece of toast surrounded by a gritty layer of cinnamon sugar was a sight that often greeted me from my kitchen counter as our boys were growing up. They loved cinnamon toast, just not cleaning up after it and despite my best efforts I was never able to train them to put their toast on a plate BEFORE they sprinkled the cinnamon-sugar mixture on it. Really, that’s not too much to ask, is it? The Tupperware container that housed the pre-mixed cinnamon sugar still sits in my cupboard, and short of sand-blasting it to get it clean, the years of sticky fingers have left it permanently stained.  I look forward to one day using the same shaker to introduce their children to the wonders of warm cinnamon toast! The memories of their favorite snack together with the fact that I’m a sucker for soft, chewy cookies and bars had me running to test this recipe I recently found on Pinterest. While it’s not a traditional Christmas cookie, using a star cookie cutter makes it perfect for my holiday cookie tray but I’m sure it will become a favourite all year long.

The Butcher and The Baker’s Gingerbread

the butcher and the bakers gingerbread

December is the month for traditions. Every year my sister and I play the movie “Eloise at Christmas Time”, dress up in our Christmas onesies and sit down at the kitchen table to create THE gingerbread house of the year. What could be better than all of your favourite candies and chocolates piled high on top of an edible masterpiece!

Having moved out of the house and having a family of our own, I have learned how important it is to keep some of these traditions alive while creating a few new ones of our own. Jason and I made a goal this month to come up with 3 new holiday traditions! I highly recommend starting a tradition at the beginning of any new season. We’re saving instant photos from each time we do this, how great will it be to go back and look at them one day!

This is our family gingerbread recipe, they can also be cut into cookies and enjoyed over a cup of tea!

Chocolate Espresso Pavlova Cookies


Add this quick and easy cookie to an already delicious bowl of Fraser Valley strawberries and ice-cream, drizzle with chocolate sauce, and you’ve got a dessert special enough for guests or perfect for a weeknight with the kids!
Thanks to Mennonite Girls Can Cook for this naturally gluten-free drop cookie recipe.

Jason & Megan’s Beer Can Chicken

jason and megans beer can chicken

We decided to do a Beer Can Chicken this month because it’s one of our favorite low-labor meals. Plus, there is one lucky person who ends up with half a cold beer that needs to be disposed of! There’s nothing better than sticking a bird on a beer can, covering it with bacon, and letting it slow roast absorbing all that beautiful flavor pork fat has to offer. We hope you all enjoy this as much as we do!  A suggestion is that this recipe is a whole lot easier if you purchase a beer can chicken holder, and they can be found at Lepp Farm Market.  It reduces mess and the anxiety of a drunk chicken taking a big spill on your BBQ.

Mud Hen Bars

mud hen bars

Careful research on the internet gave me no reason as to why these delicious bars are named after a swamp bird. Probably the same reason you wonder why someone would name their child a plain-Jane name when they should be called Amelia, or Francesca, or Genevieve or some other beautiful name. All I know is that I stumbled on this apparently time-honored recipe while lost in Pinterest land and I knew it would quickly become a family favorite. Don’t let the uninspiring name fool you, these easy, gooey and delicious bars with a crunchy meringue topping will vanish before your eyes and they make a great little take-along dessert to a potluck or a friend’s house.

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Loaf

sarahs pumpkin chocolate chip loaf

Anyone who has met me knows my appreciation and love for the changing of seasons. I welcome fall and all of it colours, it’s crunchy leaves and cozy evenings. I look forward to crisp morning runs, the abundance of local squash coming from Lepp Farms and the promise that some of my favourite family holidays are just around the corner. Though I don’t dabble in baking very often, I have a hard time turning down the season of pumpkin spice and there is nothing that I enjoy more with my tea than this soft and not overly sweet loaf. Okay, my Oma’s koek and stropewaffels would definitely take first place but those are very secret family recipes that I can’t share! This recipe freezes well, so I like to make mini loaves and freeze the rest to enjoy throughout the season. It’s best when it’s warmed up just a bit so the chocolate chips are melted, and most would say that a generous slab of butter would make it that much better as well. I, humbly say that I think it’s perfect just the way it is!

Char’s Chocolate Log Cake

chars chocolate log cake

I thought of changing the somewhat unappetizing name; however this recipe has so much nostalgia attached to it that I felt it was best to leave it in its original state! I’ve been making this recipe for Farmer Rob’s birthday for almost as long as we’ve been married, and in honor of his 50-something birthday on Sunday, It seemed like the right time to post it. There are never any leftovers at our house, but if you have some be sure to refrigerate them because of the egg!

Sticky Chicken

sticky chicken

As our children were growing up,  this recipe adapted from Better Baking was often my go-to dinner on a busy day. It’s a great make-ahead dish, as you can can even mix the ingredients together right in the baking pan, pop the dish in the fridge to marinate and it’s ready to place in the oven when you come home. By the time the homework is done and the rice is cooked, the chicken has baked into a gorgeous sticky, tangy and not overly sweet dish. I’ve passed this recipe on to countless people, and young and old can’t resist a simple “sweet and sour chicken”, making it special enough for company.

One customer raved, “I have passed the Sticky Chicken recipe on to my friends after I had tried it and found it to be not only foolproof but also very, very tasty. Thank you!”  ~ Hedda C.

Chocolate Banana Coffee Cake Muffins

chars banana coffee cake muffins

This recipe was given to me by my friend Doris many years ago, and if I had a dollar for every one of these muffins that I baked over the years for school lunches, I would be living by a beach in Costa Rica by now. This has always been, and still is, our boys’ favorite muffin and when my newly married son asked for the recipe, I knew it was time to put it on the website.  If you’re one of the rare people that doesn’t have a few overripe bananas lounging on your kitchen counter, you can always buy our “baking bananas”  (slightly overripe bananas at a reduced price) at the market.

Macaroni with Wiener Sauce

IMG_2650cropAs a new bride I worked at Hooge’s Fabrics in Abbotsford, (long-time Abbotsford residents will remember them!) and my co-worker, Kathy, shared this recipe with me. Remember, this was the early 80’s. It was always served with a side of peas, and became a favorite of Rob’s, as well as two of our three children. I may have permanently scarred our son as he hated this meal, but was forced to eat this when I needed a quick dinner!  He hates peas to this day. I’m sorry, son.

Braised Turkey Legs

braised turkey legs

While this recipe takes 30-minutes to prepare and another two hours to cook, once you get to eat this home-cooked meal, it’s all worth it!

Chef Nick’s Red Velvet Cake

chef nicks red velvet cake

This is for all of you red velvet cake lovers out there!
This is one of my favourite cakes to bake and indulge in. The velvet silk cake brings back great memories of when my mother would prepare it for our family and also the times that I have featured it on menus throughout my career. The brilliant vibrant color of the moist layered cake is made by the combination of red food coloring and the chemical reaction between the cocoa powder, buttermilk, vinegar and baking soda. Finished with a vanilla cream frosting, this cake recipe is easily my best-loved.

Chicken Marbella

chicken marabella

This recipe was originally featured in the Silver Palate Cookbook, and I bought the cookbook just for this recipe. I made it for the first time to bring to a potluck, and as I was taking it out of the oven, I already knew I would have to make copies of the recipe for my friends. Everyone loved it! 

If you aren’t cooking for a crowd, this recipe can easily be halved.

Fraser Valley Roasted Raspberry Vinaigrette

vinaigretteChef Nick’s winning recipe for Taste of Abby’s Top Chef competition highlights the fresh flavour of Fraser Valley raspberries and also makes a delicious mopping sauce for basting chicken or pork on the grill.

Strawberry Shortcake Loaf

 

More like an angel food or sponge cake than a shortcake, this super-easy light, loaf is a perfect summer dessert showcasing our delicious Lepp Farm-grown strawberries.

Did you know that we grow two types of strawberries?  If you’re as old as I am, then you probably remember when we only had BC strawberries for a few short weeks in early June and recent summers may have left you scratching your head as you stood in the market in late August, September and even into October, pondering the sign proclaiming “local strawberries”.  The Albion, or “ever-bearing” strawberries, are fairly new to the Fraser Valley and produce the first flush of strawberries that appear in the market, and then take a break to rest for a bit.  This is usually when June-bearing strawberries appear for their short 1 month season, before the ever-bearing start up again in early July. So depending on when in the summer you’re picking up strawberries from the market, you’ll notice some differences between the two!
The June-bearing strawberries are a softer berry, which makes them great for baking because they break down easier.
Now that we’re back into the ever-bearing variety, you’ll find that the strawberries we’re growing are a much firmer berry. They hold up really well in salads, great for eating fresh, but are still versatile enough to use in jams, pies, or this wonderfully light strawberry shortcake loaf.

So, back to this Strawberry Loaf!

 

 

All it needs is a dollop of whipped cream and sprinkling of icing sugar for a beautiful presentation. I would definitely recommend lining the loaf pan with a sheet of parchment paper as then removing it from the pan is a pain-free process. This would be lovely with any summer fruit such as blueberries, blackberries, raspberries or our very own Orchard-grown peaches.

Roasted Chicken Thighs with Late Summer Vegetables and Pan Sauce

roasted chicken thighs with late summer vegetables and pan sauce

This dish is a perfect late-summer comfort food. My favourite part of the chicken is the economical thighs, as they always cook up moist and tender and are more flavorful than chicken breasts. The local green beans, corn, tomatoes and sweet onions make it an easy and complete meal. Serves three to four.

Pecan Flan

chef dezs pecan flan

Pecans are probably my favorite nut and especially in desserts, so when given the challenge by Lepp Farm Market to come up with a dessert for December’s recipe of the month I knew it would be with pecans. A traditional flan is a bit larger than a pie in diameter and only has a bottom crust. It is also much shallower than a pie. These attributes of a flan make it a perfect solution to feature a higher fat and calorie filling as less volume is actually served to each guest with each slice. Using the incredible pastry from Krause Berry Farms (available in the freezer section at Lepp’s) makes this recipe a lot easier to execute. I found that thawing in the refrigerator over a 48 hour period works best. I hope this dessert gets a chance to grace your holiday table and I wish you the very best of health and happiness this season.

Mexican Turkey Chili

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Made with ground turkey, this chili is light and flavourful. Turn it into a perfect family dinner by serving it over a short pasta.

Easy Apple Cake

easy apple cake

The sun may still be shining, but anytime this cake it made, it makes me feel like I should be bundled up under a blanket by the fire! As it’s baking in the oven, it fills our kitchen with some of my favorite scents which symbolize the upcoming fall season. This cake is moist and delicious, with a hint of spice, and it’s versatile, too! Serve it for dessert, with tea, or as a coffee cake for breakfast! Whichever way you choose, our Granny Smith or  Golden Delicious apples are perfect for this recipe.

The New Classy Chicken

the new classy chicken

This is an easy winter casserole dish and delicious enough for company. I prefer chicken thighs as I always find them a tastier and less expensive option than chicken breasts. And if you ask really nicely the butchers will even debone them for you!

The Calgary based Best of Bridge cookbook series has been my go-to cookbooks over the years when I’m looking for tasty, easy and surefire winner recipes. I was thrilled to see a new title called Fan Fare, and even more excited to see that they revamped one of our family favorite recipes “The New Classy Chicken”. Much lower in fat, but still just as tasty. This is an easy winter casserole dish and delicious enough for company.

It also a great recipe to showcase my favourite curry powder “Monsoon Coast Moghul Curry” which is blended in Saltspring Island, BC. Since I’m always feeding more than 4 people, I doubled the recipe, which increased the cooking time by about 15 minutes. You want to make sure the sauce is bubbling all the way through to the middle of the dish so that the sauce thickens.

Old Time Chicken Pot Pie

old time chicken pot pie

Perfect for the cold, blustery days ahead, this comfort food recipe has been made even easier by using our rotisserie chicken and Krause Farms Pie Crust Patties

Old Time Chicken Pie

Page 138 in my well worn 1983 copy of Cookery Carousel, the MEI Ladies’ Auxiliary cookbook, is smudged and grease-stained from the countless times I’ve turned to this recipe.  It’s a perfect dish to deliver to a friend in need, and I’ve had more than one mother say to me that her vegetable shunning children happily devoured the peas and carrots in this rustic dish. While there are more complex chicken pot pie recipes available, I find that I still love the simplicity of this easy to prepare dinner. It freezes well in an unbaked form, so if you’re already going to the trouble of preparing it, double the recipe and save one for a rainy day.

Makes enough for a 9×13 pan, serves 6-8.

Pumpkin Caramel Toffee Cake

pumpkin caramel coffee cake

Although this cold-weather, warm and delicious dessert requires five bowls, it’s worth it! You could also serve it at brunch too.

Thanks to Trish at tastykitchen.com for letting us borrow the recipe

Crispy Parmesan Roasted Green Beans

crispy parmesan roasted green beansSometimes the simplest recipes are the best, especially in the summer when the produce is fresh and local!  This easy recipe (I first saw on Dashing Dish) is adaptable to however many green beans you have on hand, or how many people are joining you for dinner, and so I won’t include any exact measurements. Just remember to use freshly picked Lepp Farms green beans!