Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Dessert Crepes

I served this dessert at a recent family dinner.
It was inspired by a dessert my husband ordered at a local restaurant, that I could only enjoy with my eyes, because of course it wasn't gluten free.
So I came up with my own version and my husband declared it was better than the restaurant dessert. Yes, yes, I know ...  he's my husband ..  but he IS usually pretty honest!  smile

It can be made ahead and refrigerated until served.

  • 4 eggs
  • 3/4 cup milk 
  • 1/4 cup water 
  • 2/3 cup Julie's Flour 
  • 1/4 tsp xanthan gum 
  • 1/2 tsp. salt 
  • butter - for frying 
  1. Measure milk and water in lg. measuring cup, add the 4 eggs and whisk until blended.
  2. Combine dry ingredients and then whisk briskly into the liquids.
  3. Heat 9" skillet, then add a dab of butter. Hold skillet in your hand and spread butter to cover bottom. Pour in just enough batter to cover bottom of the pan, again holding in your hand and tilting pan to move the batter. Place on hot element and let cook until bottom is golden ...  using egg turner, slip under the crepe and flip it over to cook the other side. 
  4. Stack cooked crepes on a plate and let cool. 
**Fillings - You can use any filling you wish.  I used two - one a white chocolate filling and the other a dark chocolate filling ...  My favorite was the white chocolate, but the rest of my family said they couldn't choose. 


White Chocolate Filling

  • 3 cups whole milk 
  • 1/2 cup sugar 
  • 4 tbsps cornstarch 
  • 4 egg yolks 
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1 tsp. vanilla 
  • 1 generous cup of white chocolate chips 
  1. Mix together milk, sugar and cornstarch, and yolks in a saucepan and heat to boiling point. 
  2. Cook and stir until mixture thickens.  (Do not overcook) 
  3. Remove from stove and add butter, chips and vanilla stirring until melted and mixture is smooth. 
  4. Cover with plastic wrap, making sure the wrap touches the custard to prevent a layer forming on top. 
  5. Chill in refrigerator until you are ready to assemble the crepes. 
Chocolate Filling  
  • 1 envelope unflavored gelatin
  • 6 tbsps water  
  • 1 cup sugar 
  • 1/2 cup cocoa powder 
  • 2 cups whipping cream
  1. Bring water to a boil, and dissolve gelatin in the water. Set aside.
  2. Mix sugar with cocoa powder, sift ... set aside
  3. Whip cream until stiff, beat in gelatin and the sugar/cocoa mixture. 
  4. Keep in fridge until ready to assemble crepes. 
Assembling -  
  1. Spoon or pipe the filling down the center of a crepe. Smooth a little filling along one edge - this will act as 'glue' to keep the crepe from unrolling . Starting with the other edge roll the crepe around the filling, ending with the 'glue'-edged side. 
  2. Arrange on serving tray and garnish with whipped cream, fresh strawberries and drizzled melted chocolate. 
  3. Refrigerate until serving. 

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Coconut Cream Bars

If you love coconut as much as I do you will want to make these delicious bars. A perfect dessert to serve family or company. We have coconut lovers in our family so this will disappear fast.
Adapted from All Recipes.

  • 1 cup flour
  • 1/4 cup icing sugar
  • 1/2 cup butter
  1. In a medium sized bowl whisk together flour and icing sugar.
  2. Using a pastry blender cut in the butter until you have coarse crumbs.
  3. Press into a 9 x 9" square pan.
  4. Bake at 350ยบ for 20 minutes until slightly golden in color. Place on cooling rack and allow to cool while making the filling.
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/3 cup cornstarch
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 3 cups coconut milk
  • 2 eggs
  • 3/4 cup flaked coconut
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/2 teaspoon coconut extract
  1. In a medium sized bowl whisk together sugar, cornstarch and salt. Add coconut milk and eggs and whisk until well blended.
  2. Cook over medium heat until thickened, stirring constantly.
  3. Remove from heat and add flaked coconut and extracts. 
  4. Pour over the crust. Allow to cool to lukewarm, then place in refrigerator and chill for a few hours until firm.
  5. Top with whipped cream and toasted coconut.
  6. Serves: 9 generous pieces.

Monday, August 22, 2016

Bruschetta on Naan Bread

We've been enjoying this appetizer all summer long.  It was a favourite of ours from a local restaurant until they removed it from their menu.  It was worth trying to recreate!  You can make this recipe smaller or larger to suit your occasion.  Just keep the ratio of the ingredients.

  • purchased naan bread (sizes vary)
  • purchased basil pesto
  • 1 cup finely diced sweet white onion
  • 1 1/2 cups finely diced tomato
  • 1 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 cup shredded parmesan cheese
  • 1 cup feta cheese, crumbled
  • a handful fresh basil leaves, finely chopped (if fresh leaves are not available I find freeze-dried available in the produce section to be a good substitute)
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • purchased reduced Balsamic Glaze  
  1. Arrange naan bread on pizza pans. Regular cookie sheets will work but it is better if air can get underneath the bread to help it crisp in the oven. Toast on one side under broiler. 
  2. Spread pesto over each piece of bread.  
  3. Combine remaining ingredients except Balsamic Vinegar glaze.   Spoon topping over pesto.
  4. Bake in 350 F oven until parmesan melts and bread is heated through. 
  5. Drizzle Balsamic Glaze over the Bruschetta and cut into serving pieces. 
  6. Serve immediately. 
This Bruschetta filling works equally as well on slices of toasted Baguette.   

Sunday, August 21, 2016

Bread for the Journey

Whenever I am outside in God`s nature I see his marvellous hand in the beauty surrounding us. The following hymn touched a chord in my heart..of quiet rest, near to the heart of God.
Where are you finding that quiet rest?

Near to the Heart of God

  1. There is a place of quiet rest,
    Near to the heart of God;
    A place where sin cannot molest,
    Near to the heart of God.
    • Refrain:
      O Jesus, blest Redeemer,
      Sent from the heart of God;
      Hold us, who wait before Thee,
      Near to the heart of God.
  2. There is a place of comfort sweet,
    Near to the heart of God;
    A place where we our Savior meet,
    Near to the heart of God.
  3. There is a place of full release,
    Near to the heart of God;
    A place where all is joy and peace,
    Near to the heart of God.
  4. Cleland B. McAfee

Saturday, August 20, 2016

Saturday's Kitchen Tip ~ Fresh Tomato Sauce with Your Grater

'Tis the season...for juicy, ripe tomatoes.  Nothing beats the flavour of vine-ripened tomatoes at this time of year.  And here is a way to add that flavour to your favorite pasta dish without much effort.
All you need is a large holed grater and a few large, juicy tomatoes.   No need to peel, slice or dice.  Place the grater in a large bowl,  cut the tomatoes in half and then slide them back and forth over the grater (cut side down) until most of the pulp is in the bowl.  Ease up the pressure at the end and continue grating until only the tomato skin is left.  (Be sure to keep your fingers up and away from the grater!)
Once that is done, add a dash of olive oil, salt and pepper to taste and some chopped fresh basil.  That is the basic fresh tomato sauce, though you can add other ingredients if you prefer (such as minced garlic, fresh oregano or a dash of cayenne pepper.)

Add to cooked pasta and enjoy the sweet taste of fresh tomato sauce.

Note: My granddaughter who kindly grated tomatoes for me so I could take a photo, was invited to stay for dinner!

Friday, August 19, 2016

Rainbow Pasta Salad

This Friday I'm going back to a pasta salad I posted six years ago. It is still as good today as it was then and just may be a salad you will want to try before salads and barbeques come to an end. The picture above is one I took more recently when I used a Greek dressing and added feta.

  • 3 – 4 cups vegetable pasta
  • 2 chopped tomatoes or 1 cup cherry tomatoes
  • 1/4 cup cucumber, sliced
  • 1 cup broccoli, chopped
  • 1/2 green pepper, chopped 
  • 1/2 yellow pepper, chopped
  • 2 Tbsp chopped green onion
  • 1/4 cup sugar 
  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • 1/3 cup ketchup
  • ¼ cup vinegar
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp paprika
  1. Cook pasta according to instructions on package. Do not over-cook. Cool. 
  2. Mix dressing ingredients and then mix with pasta and vegetables.
  3. Refrigerate and serve cold. Serves 8-10

Thursday, August 18, 2016

Crispy Parmesan Potatoes

    If you need a side dish to go with your grilled meat or your sandwich plate...look no further!   Quick and easy to prepare...these tasty potato nuggets have an amazing crunchy cheese crust. 
  • 1/2- 3/4 cup finely shredded or grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper (more or less depending how zippy you like things)
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 1/2 lbs baby potatoes, halved
  • sour cream or yogurt dip (we like ranch dressing)
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
  2. Pour olive oil into 9x13 baking dish and evenly coat entire bottom.
  3. In a separate dish, combine grated cheese, garlic salt, cayenne pepper, oregano, and pepper.
  4. Sprinkle cheese mixture evenly over bottom of pan.
  5. Arrange potatoes in a single layer (cut side down) on top of cheese mixture.
  6. Bake for 30-40 minutes, or until cheese is browned and potatoes are soft when pierced with fork. 
  7. Remove from oven and allow potatoes to rest in pan for 5 minutes. Carefully remove potatoes from the pan using a small spatula.
  8. Arrange on serving platter cheese side up. Serve with sour cream or yogurt dip.
* Don't throw out the leftovers!  They are great re-heated in a non-stick skillet the next day!