Tuesday, October 17, 2017

W.O.W. Raisin/Peanut Cookies


W - wonderful flavor
O - omit gluten and lactose
W - winning chewy texture

I LOVE these cookies. Even my husband who is not a cookie lover reached for the second one!

  • 1 cup Julie's flour mix + 2 tablespoons
  • 1/2 teaspoon xanthan gum
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda 
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt 
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar 
  • 1/4 cup white sugar 
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 2 ounces cream cheese 
  • 6 tablespoons soft butter 
  • 1 egg 
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3/4 cup raisins 
  • 3/4 cup peanuts 
  1. Put softened butter, sugars, cream cheese in bowl of mixer and beat until fluffy, Add egg and beat well. 
  2. Mix dry ingredients together and mix into butter mixture. 
  3. Add raisins and peanuts 
  4. Chill for a few minutes - can keep in fridge for a day or two but will then need to be warmed to room temperature to soften again. 
  5. Drop by teaspoon into parchment-lined cookie sheet and bake at 350 degrees F for 11 minutes. 
  6. Remove from pan onto wire rack and cool 
  7. These cookies keep well .

Monday, October 16, 2017

Spaghetti Squash in a Crock pot

If you are anything like me you find cutting into a squash difficult and hope to not get a good cut in the process. This fall my sister Rhoda gave me the wonderful suggestion of baking a spaghetti squash whole in a crock pot. All you have to do is poke a knife into several places as you would a baking potato and place it into your crock pot. Turn it onto high and let it cook for 2-4 hours depending on the size. The one pictured took 2 1/2 hours. 

To test if it's done insert a knife. It will slide in very easily when cooked.
It's very hot so you will have to be careful and lift it out with 2 pot holders as it's also a wee bit soft. Place on cutting board.


Using a long sharp knife you will now we able to easily cut the squash in half.

While it's still hot scoop out all the seeds and pulp and discard.

Take a fork and pull the spaghetti like strands away from skin. You can leave it in the shell to serve or scoop into a bowl. Eat plain, or with a wee bit of butter, salt and pepper, or here is a very tasty way to add some great flavour to spaghetti squash. Spaghetti squash is also a great alternative to pasta, just top it with your favourite sauce and serve. 

Sunday, October 15, 2017

Bread For The Journey



Photo Credit: Kayla Krahn

When I read Psalm 23 I like to read it in the King James version. Maybe it's because that is how I memorized it years ago. No matter what version you read these are wonderful words of encouragement and comfort for us in our time of need.

Psalm 23(KJV)

1The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want.
He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters.
He restoreth my soul: he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name's sake.
Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.
Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over.
Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the Lord for ever.

Friday, October 13, 2017

Harvest Loaf - Flash Back


For this flashback I'd like to re-share a spiced pumpkin/chocolate loaf posted in 2008.  I can't believe that's nine years ago! I switched up the photo on the original one as well and clarified the sizes of pans to use, so that it is easier to decide on the size of the recipe you wish to make. You can easily cut it in half to make only one loaf. This loaf is still as good as ever! 

 Ingredients:
  • 3/4 cup butter (soft/room temp)
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar 
  • 4 eggs 
  • 2 cups cooked pureed pumpkin 
  • 3 cups flour 
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder 
  • 1/2 teaspoon soda
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon nutmeg
  • ½ teaspoon ginger
  • 1 cup chocolate chips
  • ¾ cup chopped nuts (optional)
  1. Prepare two 9 x 4 inch loaf pans by greasing with shortening or cooking spray, and dusting with flour.
  2. Beat butter and sugar well. Beat in eggs until light and fluffy. Add pumpkin. 
  3. Mix dry ingredients with spices and chocolate chips. Stir into wet mixture until combined.
  4. Bake for 50 minutes at 350 F, until toothpick tests done. 
  5. Cool 10 minutes in pans and then remove to cooling rack.


Before baking, I sprinkled some chocolate chips in a row on top. You can combine nuts and chocolate chips if you like. Once cooled, a drizzle of about 1/4 - 1/2 cup icing sugar with maybe a teaspoon of water and a drop of maple flavoring is optional. Plain is great too.

Thursday, October 12, 2017

Pumpkin Swirl Cheesecake with a Gingersnap Crust




This dessert is perfect for fall, especially if you love pumpkin but can't decide between pie and cheesecake.
The texture and flavor are perfect with the creamy filling and crisp gingernsap crust.

Gingersnap-Walnut Crust
  • 1 cup gingersnap crumbs
  • 1 cup graham wafer crumbs
  • 1/2 cup walnuts 
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/3 cup melted butter
  1. Combine all the ingredients and press into the bottom and 1 inch up the sides of a 10-inch springform pan.  Bake in a 350 F. oven on the center rack for about 7 minutes or until the crust is fragrant.  
  2. Remove from oven and cool while making the filling. Once cool, wrap the bottom and the edges of the pan in foil to catch any drips that might escape the pan. Leave oven on at 350 F.
Pumpkin Swirl Filling
  • 3  8 ounce/250 gram packages cream cheese, softened
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 3 tablespoons flour
  • 6 eggs, room temperature (divided)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/8 teaspoon cloves
  •  15 ounces / 2 cups  pure pumpkin puree
  1. Place a large pan of hot water on the bottom rack in the oven.
  2. Beat cream cheese in a large bowl with a mixer until smooth.  Add sugar and flour and beat until smooth.  
  3. Turn mixer to lowest speed add the vanilla and then five of the eggs one at a time, until all five eggs have been added.  Measure 2 1/2 cups of batter and place in another bowl. 
  4. To the remaining batter add the last egg and all the spices and the pumpkin.  Stir slowly until combined. 
  5. Put 1/2 of the pumpkin cheesecake mixture into the cooled crumb crust, then 1/2 of the vanilla cheesecake mixture and repeat.  Do not swirl until all the filling has been added.
  6. Use a knife to gently swirl through the batter. 
  7. Place the cheesecake on the rack above the water bath, not in the water bath.  
  8. Bake for 20 minutes and then lower temperature to 300 F for about 60 more minutes.
  9. The cheesecake is done with the center is still a bit jiggly but almost set.  I use an instant thermometer to be sure.  Cheesecake is done at 150 F.
  10. Turn off the oven but leave the cheesecake in oven with the door partly open for about 20 minutes.
  11. Remove from oven and run a knife around the edge to help keep it from cracking.  
  12. Cool on a rack completely before chilling.  Once it is chilled, wrap well and refrigerate until ready to serve.  Cheesecake is best made at least one or two days ahead.  

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

One Dish Dinner - Gluten Free


I'll confess -- I enjoy baking much more than cooking, so if I can cook a meal with as little prep work as possible, I'm happy.
This recipe is written as gluten free, but you can substitute your favourite  pasta as you desire.
  • 2 tablespoons oil 
  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 1 onion - chopped 
  • 4 cups boiling water 
  • 2 chicken bouillon cubes -- gluten free 
  • 1- 14 ounce can crushed tomatoes
  • 1 - 14 ounce can kidney beans 
  • 1 - 14 ounce can corn 
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder - or one fresh crushed clove
  • 1 tablespoon chopped parsley
  • salt and pepper as desired 
  • 1 cup Rice Vermicelli (a thin form of rice noodles) -  I use scissors to cut into pieces
  • 1 cup rice - I prefer converted or brown sprouted rice
  • salt and pepper to taste 
  • shredded  cheddar cheese 
  1. Using large saucepan, brown ground beef and onion in oil 
  2. Add water in which bouillon cubes have been dissolved 
  3. Add tomatoes
  4. Add rest of ingredients and cook until rice is done, about 20-25 minutes. 
  5. Serve immediately with grated cheese topping.
  6. Can be frozen for a quick meal when needed - or desired.

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Pear Hazelnut Muffins


Hazelnuts and pears make 'the perfect pair'.  Combine them in these muffins and enjoy the taste of autumn!  I served them to the 'corn harvest crew' on the farm recently, and they disappeared in a hurry.

  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup white sugar
  • 1/4 cup butter, softened
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 1/2 cups flour (or use 3/4 cup all purpose flour and 3/4 cup whole wheat flour)
  • 3/4 cup rolled oats
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup buttermilk
  • 2 large pears, peeled and diced 
  • 1/2 cup coarsely chopped toasted hazelnuts

  1. Cream butter and sugars until light and fluffy. Beat in eggs and vanilla.  
  2. Combine dry ingredients and add alternately with buttermilk, mixing just until incorporated. 
  3. Add diced pears and hazelnuts; fold into batter.
  4. Spoon into greased muffin tin.  
  5. Bake at 375°F for 20-25 minutes, or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.
  6. Cool for several minutes; then transfer to wire rack. 
Yield: 1 dozen muffins