Mennonite Girls Can Cook is a collection of recipes which were posted daily for a period of ten years from 2008 to 2018. We have over 3,000 delicious recipes that we invite you to try. The recipes can be accessed in our recipe file by category or you can use the search engine.

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Salsa

Since there's an abundance of tomatoes and peppers out there right now, I thought I would share my salsa recipe. It's a recipe I got from my sister Kathy decades ago and is a staple at our home. I cook up a large batch in fall and we enjoy it year-round.  This is a zippy salsa; if you prefer yours on the mild side, remove all the seeds and ribs from inside the jalapeno peppers.
 

Salsa
  • 10 cups tomatoes (peeled, chopped and drained)
  • 8 small jalapeno peppers chopped (remove seeds for less heat) 
  • 3 cups chopped onions
  • 1 cup chopped green peppers 
  • 3 cloves garlic minced
  • 1/2 cup chopped cilantro
  • 1 1/3 cups vinegar 
  • 1 can 12 oz. can tomato paste 
  • 1 tsp. cumin 
  • 1 Tablespoon red pepper flakes 
  • 3 Tablespoons pickling salt 
  • 3 Tablespoons brown sugar
  1. Combine all ingredients and simmer for 1 hour.
  2. Ladle into jars; tighten lids and process for 20 minutes in hot water bath.
*Optional : Stir in 1/3 cup cornstarch diluted in cold water and simmer for several minutes to thicken salsa before filling jars.

Yield: about 6-7 pint (500 ml) jars

This also makes a wonderful, tasty fresh salsa.  Place chopped veggies in a large bowl.  Mix vinegar, tomato paste, herbs and seasonings and add to chopped vegetables. Stir to combine.  Keeps well in the refrigerator for a week.


Rollkuchen


 
Rollkuchen are a tasty, deep fried pastry that are a wonderful accompaniment to cold watermelon on a hot summer day.  How well I recall childhood picnics with big tubs of fresh Rollkuchen.  Let's just say that eating them is rather like eating peanuts...you can't stop at just one! Sometime over the years, Rollkuchen became paired with Roger's Golden Syrup (definitely a Canadian thing) on my table; they make a great team!

My mother-in-law made the best flaky, crispy Rollkuchen. Mine never quite measured up, so I have always made the thicker, softer variety and they have become a family favorite. Hers were all uniform in shape; mine are rather 'free-form'. Each recipe seems to differ slightly but I've never met a Rollkuchen I didn't like!

Rollkuchen

  • 5 - 6 cups / 1150 - 1350 ml flour
  • 3 teaspoons / 15 ml  baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon / 5 ml salt
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 cup / 250 ml sour cream
  • 1 cup / 250 ml milk
 
  1. Combine 5 cups / 1150 ml  flour, baking powder and salt.
  2. Beat eggs, sour cream and milk together and add to dry ingredients
  3. Continue to add flour to form a soft dough ... usually about 1/2 cup more.
  4. Allow the dough to chill for an hour or two before rolling, for easier handling.
  5. Divide the dough in half and roll out quite thin on a floured board ... if you prefer them soft, then not quite so thin.
  6. Cut strips of dough about 2x4 inches / 5x10 cm ... with two slits cut in center of each.
  7. Stretch the pieces somewhat before dropping into the hot oil.
  8. Fry in deep hot oil over medium heat until golden on one side. Turn and brown the other side.
     

The rollkuchen puff up beautifully while cooking and are really mostly air pockets by the time they are ready to eat. A totally a healthy choice!  Who am I fooling?


Serve with cold watermelon and Roger's golden syrup.  Grilled farmer sausage is also a nice touch!

Berry Filled Scones

All winter long. . .we are thankful for California strawberries. . .but once summer crops begin to ripen in Canada. . .we shop locally. The flavour of fresh picked strawberries from the field cannot be duplicated. Strawberry pies. . . Strawberry Shortcake, Strawberries with ice cream and one of my favorites. . for breakfast. . and lunch time. . .and late in the evening. . is Strawberry Scones.


I inherited a tart press from my mom. . .I have no idea where she purchased it. . but if you ever see one similar (click on the picture to enlarge the bottom left view of my tart press) . . .snap it up. . .it makes the most delicious little tarts. . .and scones.
Edited later thanks to the kind commenters .. the cut - n - seal can be found here
Fruit Filled Scones

  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 3 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons white sugar
  • 1 large farm fresh egg. . .in a measuring cup. . with enough . . .
  • buttermilk to fill to one cup (with the egg in it)
  • 1/3 cup canola oil .. .or some other light oil
  • sliced berries (strawberries, raspberries, blueberries .. or blackberries)
  • 1/2 cup of confectioners/icing sugar
  • a little warm water

  1. Stir together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and sugar in a large bowl.
  2. Beat the egg in the measuring cup and add the buttermilk to fill to the one cup line.
  3. Make a well in the flour mixture.
  4. Pour in the egg/buttermilk and the oil.
  5. Stir only until it comes together.
  6. Dump it onto a floured surface and knead a few times until the wet and dry are combined. (DO NOT overwork your dough . .the scones will be tough)
  7. Roll the dough onto a floured surface . ..to a 1/4 inch thick.
  8. Cut with large 4 inch tart cutter or you can use a large glass jar.
  9. Put half the cut rounds on a cookie sheet. .lined with parchment paper . .(to catch drips)
  10. Put berries in the center of each round. ..cover with the second round. . .and crimp with the tines of a fork. .or press down with the tart press.
  11. Bake at 400ยบ for 20 minutes or until golden brown.
  12. Make a drizzle icing from 1/2 cup icing sugar and a teaspoon or two or warm water and drizzle over the scones while still warm.

If you want to give yourself a head start in the morning if you are having guests for brunch, mix up the dough and wrap well and refrigerate it overnight.

The recipe will make about 6 large scones.

Strawberry Sheet Pie


Strawberry season is right around the corner so I thought I would share another dessert that serves 20 good sized pieces or up to 30 smaller ones.  Make the pastry for the crust a day ahead and you will have half the work finished for the day of your party.   You'll only need half of the pastry. .the other half can be wrapped in two separate discs and frozen for double pie or two single pies.
   
Dorothy's Pastry
  • 5 cups flour
  • 4 teaspoons brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 pound Lard  (not shortening)   ( I use Tenderflake brand)
  • 1 egg and 1 tablespoon white vinegar and enough COLD water to make 1 cup
  1. Put the dry ingredients in a very large bowl.
  2. Stir it up with a pastry blender to evenly spread the ingredients through the flour.
  3. Cube the lard and cut it into the flour mixture until it is the size of oatmeal.
  4. Drizzle the water/egg/vinegar mixture over all the dry ingredients and stir with a fork until a shaggy dough forms.
  5. Dump it onto a pastry mat and pull together to form a large ball.  Don't over mix.
  6. Divide the pastry in half.  Divide half into two parts so that you will have three pieces all together.
  7. Wrap the three pieces separately in plastic wrap.  Chill.
  8. Preheat oven to 400 F.
  9. For this dessert, take the large piece of pastry and roll it onto a floured pastry mat or well floured counter large enough to come up the sides of a 13 X 18 X 1" cookie sheet.  Roll the pastry up onto your rolling pin and transfer to the cookie sheet.  Trim the edges along the top of the cookie sheet.
  10. Prick the dough with a fork every couple of inches and line the pastry with foil, pressing firmly onto the pastry, covering it all. ..extra does not need to be trimmed.
  11. Bake 10 minutes and then remove the foil and bake until evenly browned.  Do not underbake ..you want the pastry nice and crisp.  Cool for an hour before adding the first layer.
Cream Cheese Layer
  • 2 - 8-ounce packages cream cheese
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • juice of half a lemon
  • 2 tablespoons instant vanilla pudding powder
  • 1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
  1. Beat the softened cream cheese together with the remaining ingredients and carefully spread evenly over the cooled pastry crust.
Strawberry Filling 
  • 4 pounds strawberries diced (it makes it easier to cut nice slices if the strawberries are diced to about 1/4 inch pieces
  • 3/4 cup white sugar
  • 1/3 cup cornstarch
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 small package strawberry gelatin
  1. Combine the sugar, and cornstarch in a large pot and stir to blend the cornstarch with the sugar.
  2. Add the water and bring to a boil, stirring the whole time.
  3. Add the package of gelatin and stir.
  4. Add the diced strawberries to the pot and allow to cool for to room temperature.
  5. Spoon the filling over the cream cheese layer and chill.
Beat 2 cups whipping cream, 1/2 cup sugar and several packages of whipping cream stabilizer or several tablespoons of vanilla instant pudding.  Using a pastry bag with a large star tip decorate and then slice and serve.

Rhubarb Meringue Dessert
































One of the best things about Spring is rhubarb. This dessert is creamy, light and luscious.
I guarantee this will become a favourite with family and friends alike.

Base:
  • 1/2 cup margarine, softened
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
Filling:
  • 3 egg yolks
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 tablespoon flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup light cream
  • 2 1/2 cups fresh or frozen rhubarb, cut up
Topping:
  • 3 egg whites
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/4 cup flaked coconut
  1. Blend margarine, flour and sugar.
  2. Press crumbs evenly into ungreased 9x9 inch pan.
  3. Bake at 350 degrees F for 10- 15 minutes.
  4. In mixing bowl, blend egg yolks, sugar, flour, salt and cream. Mix until smooth.
  5. Distribute cut rhubarb on baked crust and pour egg yolk mixture evenly over the rhubarb.
  6. Bake at 350 degrees F for 45 minutes. (If you double the recipe and put it in a 9x13 pan as I did, you will need to bake this close to an hour. The custard should be mostly set and starting to brown around the edges.
  7. Beat egg whites until foamy.
  8. Beat in sugar, a little at a time, beating well between each addition. Beat until stiff glossy peaks form. Do not under beat.
  9. Add vanilla and beat until incorporated.
  10. Spread evenly over baked custard, being sure that the meringue touches the edges of the pan all around.
  11. Sprinkle with coconut.
  12. Bake an additional 10-15 minutes or until meringue is golden and coconut is toasted.
  13. Serve warm or cold.


Rhubarb Bar ~ Flash Back Friday



The last time I posted this Rhubarb Bar in 2010 these little girls were not even born.  Now they are well on their way to making it on their own.  This recipe is also in our first cookbook Mennonite Girls Can Cook available here and also on Amazon.    This is our family spring favorite recipe.



Crust
  • 2 1/2 cups flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1/2 cup shortening  (or use all butter)
  • 2 egg yolks
  • milk to make 2/3 cup
Filling
  • 7 cups finely chopped rhubarb
  • 1 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup minute tapioca
  • 2 egg whites
Icing
  • 1 cup icing sugar
  • 3 tablespoons warm water
Method
  1. In a large bowl, combine the flour and salt, cut in the butter and shortening until the crumbs are the size of oatmeal. You can use your food processor for this too. Pulse, don't run at full speed.
  2. Put the egg yolks in a measuring cup and add enough milk to make 2/3 cup.
  3. Slowly add to the flour mixture and pulse with the food processor until it begins to come together or mix in with your fork.
  4. Turn the pastry onto the counter and knead it into a ball, just until it comes together.
  5. Wrap in a plastic wrap, shaping it into a flat rectangular disk.
  6. Refrigerate.
  7. Chop rhubarb into about 1/2 inch square pieces.
  8. Add the sugar and tapioca and set aside.
  9. Take the dough from the refrigerator and divide in half.
  10. Roll each piece out thin enough for a 10 X 15" pan or use the same amount of dough for a 9 X 13" pan plus a 5 X 7" pan.
  11. This dough is rolled very thin. Use a bench scraper to carefully lift the dough.
  12. Don't be afraid to add a bit of flour if you need to.
  13. Once you have the rhubarb covering the first piece of dough, cover with the second piece of dough.. . and crimp the edges together.
  14. Whip the egg whites until they just begin to stiffen.
  15. Use your hands to spread the egg whites over the pastry.
  16. Bake at 400 degrees for 35 - 40 minutes. . or until golden brown.
  17. While the bar is still warm, combine icing ingredients and drizzle over top.

Carrot Potato Bake



























In this dish, carrots and potatoes are married together in perfect harmony under a crunchy crust.
Perfect served with Mushroom Stuffed Meatloaf or Salisbury Steak
  • 6-8 potatoes 
  • 1 1/2 cups peeled and shredded carrots
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped onion
  • 2 cups whipping cream
  • 1 - 2 teaspoons salt
  • dash pepper
  • 1 Tbsp. melted butter or margarine
  • 1 cup soft bread crumbs
  • 1/2 tsp. Seasoned salt 
  • 2 Tbsp. chopped fresh parsley
  1.      Heat oven to 350°.  Lightly grease a 9 x 13 inch baking dish.  
  2.      Peel and shred into cold water, enough potatoes to make 6 cups. Drain thoroughly and pat dry with paper towel.
  3.      In large bowl, combine potatoes, carrots, onions, cream, salt and pepper.  
  4.      Spoon into prepared dish.  
  5.      Melt butter; stir in bread crumbs, seasoned salt and parsley. 
  6.      Sprinkle over potato mixture.  
  7.      Bake at 350° F for 50-60 minutes or until vegetables are tender




Paska


















There is no other recipe that has found me more friends than this one. Most of the girls who share this blog with me. ..found my personal blog by "googling Paska". The recipe originated with my husband's Grandmother .. .but I made it simpler by utilizing my blender and thin peeling my citrus.

The aroma just amazing .. from the time you blend the citrus until the last loaf has cooled.
You will need 4 or 5 loaf pans or you can free form little twists or use muffin tins just adjust your baking time, and watch the oven closely.


  • 2 tablespoons active dry yeast
  • 1 cup warm water
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  1. In a large bowl, put your yeast, sugar and warm water. Let sit 10 minutes. 
  • 1 medium lemon
  • 1 medium orange
  1. Take your citrus and peel it very thin. I use a vegetable peeler. You don't want to use any of the white parts of the peel. Put the thinly sliced peel in the blender.
  2. Once you have removed and discarded the white pith of the citrus. Chop your lemon and orange, removing all the seeds. Add the chopped lemon and orange to the blender.
  • 1 1/4 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup of real butter
  1. In a microwave-safe bowl, heat the butter and milk until the butter melts or do it in a saucepan on the stove.
  2. Once it is melted add it to the blender. Start the blender .. and begin to puree.
  • 2 large eggs
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  1. Start the blender on high and allow the citrus, peel and milk, butter mixture to run for about 2 or 3 minutes.
  2. Add the eggs, sugar, and salt.
  3. Continue to run the blender for another minute or two until very smooth.
  4. Measure the milk/citrus and sugar mixture it should be about 4 1/2 cups. If you have a bit more or less that is fine. .you will just adjust the flour likewise.
  5. Pour the mixture, along with the yeast mixture into a large bowl .. or the bowl of your kitchen machine, which has a dough hook.
  6. Add flour one cup at a time until you have a smooth soft dough it will be sticky. I think about 7 cups of flour should be right. . but it will depend on the size of your eggs and the size of your lemon and orange. With a plastic bowl, it is easy to tell when the dough has enough flour because it will stop sticking to the side of the bowl but with a metal bowl you really do need to stop the mixer often and touch your dough before adding additional flour. It really is best to stop the machine once it is getting close. . and knead the last bit of flour by hand. . .a little at a time until it is smooth. Do not add more than 7 1/2 cups flour allow it to remain sticky. If you measured the milk mixture and had 4 1/2 cups 7 cups of flour will be enough sticky but enough.
  7. The amount of flour is a guide. .if your dough is still super sticky add a little more flour a dusting at a time. Look at the picture in the collage of my dough .. .that is how it should look. It should be able to hold its shape. There will be several factors in how your dough could be different than mine, the flour you purchase or how you fill your cup of flour.  (I scoop and shake to level). It could be that you have slightly more liquid. Don't despair if you think it is still too sticky, slowly add a dusting more, turn the dough on the counter and knead until you are out of flour again and then give it another dusting and continue this way until it looks silky and is elastic.  (like mine in the picture).
  8. After kneading it by hand or with the machine for about 8 - 10 minutes, transfer to a large bowl, cover with plastic wrap, a tea towel and allow to rise until doubled. This should take about an hour. .to an hour and a half.
  9. At this point, give it a bit of a punch down and let rest at least 10 minutes or up to another hour.
  10. During this time prepare your pans. I spray mine with Pam. Make loaves and let rise until doubled in bulk .. .or about an hour to an hour and a half.
  11. Preheat the oven to 350 F. If you have a convection oven, set it at 325 F. Bake the loaves approximately 20 - 30 minutes depending on the size of your pans.
  12. Gently remove from pans and place on cooling racks.  Once they are completely cool,  put them in the freezer unless you are eating them the same day. 
Paska Icing
  • 1 cup of soft real butter
  • 4 pasteurized egg whites (young children, pregnant women and people with compromised immune systems should avoid raw egg whites)  I often use egg white powder and water.
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • enough icing sugar to make a soft icing. It will harden again in the fridge.
  1. Beat all together until light and smooth....and spread on each slice .. .and sprinkle with colored sugar.

Hot Cross Buns


 I first shared this recipe for Easter 2012 and am reposting them for Flashback Friday since Easter is only a week away!  My Mom made them every Easter  and we ate them still warm from the oven on Thursday before Good Friday.  If there were any left...they would be our breakfast on Good Friday.

These lightly spiced buns are soft and moist and perfect with a hot cup of tea.
This is a smaller batch.  It would make 24 buns in 2 9X13 pans...or  you can make part of the dough into small loaves which you can slice up.  It toasts up wonderfully.
  • 5 teaspoons yeast
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 3/4 cup warm water
  • 3/4 cup milk
  • 1/3 cup butter
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 2 cups candied diced fruit and citrus peel (sometimes called Glace Cake Mix) found in the baking aisle
  • 1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 4 1/2 - 5 cups flour
  1. In a large bowl, mix together the yeast, sugar and warm water and allow to sit for 10 minutes until the yeast has puffed up.
  2. In a microwave safe bowl, heat the milk and butter until the butter begins to melt. 
  3. Add the sugar and the eggs to the yeast mixture and the milk and butter after.  (Be sure not to add very hot milk to the yeast and egg mixture.  It should be warm but not hot to touch.
  4. Mix 1 cup of the flour with the candied fruit and stir well.
  5. Add several cups of flour and the nutmeg and vanilla to the liquid ingredients and then add the fruit. 
  6. Knead until it forms a ball.  Don't over knead.  It should come together but it will still be sticky because of the fruit.  Knead using a bit of additional flour for a few minutes.
  7. Put into a large bowl where it can double in size.  Cover with plastic wrap and set in a warm place to rise.
  8. Once it has doubled, form into buns and place them in greased pans.  Take a very sharp knife and cut an X across each bun. Cover with a tea towel and allow to rise until doubled and very light.
  9. Preheat oven to 325 Convection or 350 F regular bake and bake for 15 minutes or until golden brown.
Mix honey glaze in microwave safe bowl: 
  • 1 Tbsp. honey
  • 2 tbsp. water
  1. Microwave for 1 minute.
  2. Brush over buns.
  3. Pipe your favorite butter icing across each bun in the X's. 
    


Paska Buns

Paska (based on the Hebrew word for passover) is a rich, citrussy sweet bread...baked in loaves or rolls of all shapes and sizes and decorated with icing and sprinkles. It is a traditional Easter bread...baked by many generations before me. There are enough paska lovers in our family...that I think tradition that will carry on!

The Saturday before Easter was paska baking day in my childhood home.  It was mostly baked in loaf pans...and on Easter Sunday we enjoyed the nicely decorated fresh paska.  Though I still bake some in loaf form, we prefer paska buns over here.  They are easy to transport and share with friends and neighbours.  The following recipe uses instant yeast for simplicity.
 

  • 1 1/2 cups milk
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1 small lemon, zest and juice
  • 1 small orange, zest and juice
  • 4 eggs, well beaten
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 3 tablespoons instant yeast *
  • 7-7 1/2 cups flour , approximately
  1. Scald milk and butter in microwave for about 2 minutes. Stir to melt butter.
  2. Grate rind of lemon and orange. Then squeeze juice of each.
  3. Combine milk, butter, lemon and orange in a large bowl.  
  4. Add beaten eggs, sugar and salt.  Mix well. 
  5. Combine instant yeast with 4 cups flour and add to liquids.  Beat until smooth.
  6. Continue adding flour, one cup at a time until the dough no longer sticky, but still quite soft.
  7. Knead for several minutes.
  8. Let rise in a warm spot until doubled in size.
  9. Form small balls (the size of dinner rolls) and place on well greased pans.
  10. Allow to rise once more until doubled in size about 1 1/2 hours. 
  11. Bake at 325°F for about 15-20 minutes or until golden brown. 
  12. Remove to wire racks to cool.
  13. Frost with the icing of your choice...and top with sprinkles. 
Yield: 3 dozen paska buns
 * If you have active dry yeast, you might want to use Lovella's recipe, which is very similar to this one.

Yeast doughs that are heavy on milk, butter and eggs tend to rise a little slower.  Have patience!