Quick and Easy Chocolate Flan Cake

Looking for a quick and beautiful dessert? This is a take off of the chocolate Bodentorte-wanna-be- Black Forrest. I use a cake mix, because it's light and makes for just the right flavor combinations.


  • 1 Devil's Food Chocolate Cake Mix ( will make 2 cakes or cupcakes on the side)
  • 1/2 - 3/4 can cherry pie filling
  • 2 cups sliced fresh strawberries
  • 1 cup whipping cream 
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  1. Grease a flan cake pan well, making sure all the creases get covered.. Dust with flour and tap to cover lightly. 
  2. Mix cake according to package directions. Spread about half of the batter into pan, to just below the rim. Use the leftover batter for cupcakes.
  3. Bake at 350° F for about 25 minutes, until toothpick tests done.
  4. Let sit in pan for about 10 minutes. Loosen edges with butter knife or pull back from edge with clean fingers if some help is needed. Cover with a cake plate and flip. It patches easily if you don't totally succeed. Allow to cool. 
  5. Mix cherry pie filling and strawberries. Spread onto cake.
  6. Beat whipping cream with sugar until you can lift beaters to form peaks. 
  7. Spread onto cake. Keeps well for next day. 
Alternately, with the extra batter, stir in the other half of the cherry pie filling and bake in a square pan. Freeze to have on hand to serve with ice cream and hot fudge sauce.

Bread for the Journey

We recently spent some time with our children and grandchildren in Hawaii celebrating our 40th anniversary.  What a celebration it was.  Our time spent together brought us so much joy.  

Our hearts desire for our children and grandchildren is that they will know the faithfulness of God.  
We rejoice in God's glorious goodness and we want to be faithful to express that in ways that draw them towards a personal relationship with Christ. 

Every morning we pray for our dear little ones.  As grandparents, we believe we have a responsibility to pray for them but we see it as a privilege.  

Not sure how to pray for the children in your life?  

  • pray that they will have a healthy fear of things that could cause them harm or distract them from the truths of God's word
  • pray for their parents that they will have wisdom in raising them
  • pray that we will be faithful to model the gospel  
  • pray that they will be motivated in their school work and be thankful that they can go to school
  • pray that they will be kind to other kids and kids will be kind to them as well
  • pray that they can be brave and be courageous
  • pray that God will reveal himself to them, opening their eyes to believe that Jesus loves them and died for their sins and has forgiven them
  • pray that they will know that God is faithful on their good days and their bad days
  • pray that their body and mind remain strong and sound and that they would use them to honor the Lord
  • pray that they will learn that God is sovereign in their lives
  • pray that they would be obedient to God's word
  • pray that they would choose to serve him all the days of their lives

Our time away with our family was an investment in physical rest, relationship building and also in taking opportunities to talk about what God is doing in their lives and in ours.

What a celebration it was! 
Thank you, Lord!

Flapper Pie - Flashback Friday

Flapper Pie is simply a cooked vanilla custard in a graham crust and topped with meringue. It's best eaten fresh the day it's made. I find that using a good quality pure vanilla makes a big difference in the taste of this pie.
 Yields one deep dish pie.
  • 1/3 cup melted butter
  • 1 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs
  • 1/8 cup white sugar
  1. Melt butter and stir in crumbs and sugar. Press mixture into a pie plate and bake in 350ºF oven for 8-10 minutes. 
  • 4 cups milk
  • 4 eggs yolks (save whites for meringue)
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 4 heaping tablespoons corn starch
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  1. Put all ingredients except vanilla into a large microwaveable bowel and beat well. Microwave on high for 3 minutes. Give mixture a good whisk and microwave several more minutes until mixture is bubbly ban begins to thicken and there is no chalky taste from the cornstarch. 
  2. Add vanilla and butter and stir until combined. 
  3. Pour into pie crust.
  • 4 egg whites
  • 1/2 tsp cream of tarter
  • 4 tablespoons sugar
  1. Beat egg whites together with cream of tarter until soft peaks from.
  2. Add sugar and beat until whites are stiff.
  3. Pile on top of hot filling and spread right to the edges.
  4. Bake in 400ºF over for 6-8 minutes until golden. 
  5. Remove to cooling rack. Serve warm or cooled. Best served on the same day so that the filling remains creamy. 

Rustic Biscuit Bagels

You don't need yeast for these bagels, I can hardly believe it! Great texture, soft and slightly chewy. and a little rustic looking! They are wonderful toasted and served with jam or cream cheese or for sandwiches. This is a small recipe, can easily be doubled.
Thank you to my dear friend Marlene for the recipe.
  • 1 cup flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup non fat greek yogurt
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • Sesame seeds, and poppy seeds.
  1. Whisk together flour, baking powder, and salt.
  2. Add yogurt with a fork until well combined.
  3. Dump dough on to a lightly floured counter top, knead a few times until it comes together.
  4. Divide dough into 4 balls. Flatten each ball into 1/2" thickness. Poke a hole in the centre of the flattened ball and stretch into shape of a bagel.
  5. Place bagels on a parchment lined baking sheet.
  6. Brush with beaten egg and sprinkle with sesame seeds, poppy seeds or both.
  7. Bake in a 350 oven for 20 - 25 minutes until golden in color. 
  8. Yield: 4 bagels

Potato Salad with Dill

There must be millions of Potato Salad recipes! 
I'm sure that everyone thinks theirs is the best.
If you search the Mennonite Girls Can Cook Blog, you'll have several very good ones
 to choose from. 
Today I'm adding my recipe to the offerings 
 I love the flavour the celery salt and the fresh Dill add to the salad. 
They are additions that just might suit your taste.

Please note: I've not been precise in my measurements as you may want to adjust the seasoning to your taste.  Add the lesser amount first and then taste it before adding more.

  • 8 medium potatoes
  • 8 eggs, hard boiled and peeled (My rule of thumb is one potato and one egg per person)
  • 1 large stalk celery diced
  • 1 cup mayonaise
  • 1/4 cup sour cream
  • 1- 2 teaspoons prepared mustard (or to taste)
  • 1/2 teaspoon celery salt
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh dill
  • salt and pepper to taste (I usually add a few sprinkles of Montreal Steak Spice)
  • half and half cream if needed
  • 2-3 tablespoons pickle juice (from either sweet pickles or dills)
  • chopped green onion
  1. Boil potatoes with their skins on just until a knife inserted into one of the potatoes goes in easily.  Do  not overcook. Drain and cool overnight in the fridge.
  2. Peel potatoes by scraping with a knife. Dice potatoes into a large bowl.
  3. Dice hard boiled eggs into the bowl with the potatoes and then cut through the potatoes and eggs with your knife to further dice them.
  4. Add chopped celery.
  5. Mix mayonnaise, sour cream, celery salt, dill and salt and pepper.  Add pickle juice and stir well.
  6. Add a tablespoon or so of cream and more pickle juice to make the dressing the consistency you prefer.
  7. Add 1/2 of dressing and green onions to the potatoes and eggs and mix until evenly coated. Add more dressing until it looks right to you.  (Some like a creamier salad, some a more dry salad) 
  8. Serves 8 -10
Add dressing and mix salad no more than an hour before serving as the potatoes seem to absorb the dressing if mixed too far ahead. Be sure to refrigerate mixed salad until serving and return leftovers to the fridge promptly after the meal.

Rhubarb Peach Pie

The first crop of spring is being harvested here on our farm.  The early rhubarb stalks are tender and juicy.  If you are as excited about rhubarb as I am, you will pick them before they are fully grown and pair them with frozen peaches from your freezer.    It's a perfect pairing with the tart taste of rhubarb and the sweet goodness of peaches.    I like to make a pie the perfect size for a dinner party and so when the table is set for six, I make a pie that is cut into six.   I made enough filling for another small pie to share.  If you want, you can use this filling in one large deep dish pie.  Also, I like to use a lattice top crust when the filling is beautifully bright. It also helps to know exactly when the center of the filling is cooked.

  • pastry  (I used two discs for two shallow 9-inch pies from this recipe that I divide into four discs)
  • 3 cups sliced frozen peaches, thawed (do not drain)
  • 3 cups diced rhubarb
  • 1 1/2 cup sugar
  • 4 tablespoons quick tapioca
  1. Mix all the ingredients together for filling.  Set aside while you roll out the pastry.
  2. Preheat oven to 375 F.
  3. Roll out two discs to fit 9-inch pie plates,  trim edges from both pies.  Using all the trimmed pastry, roll out as thin and cut into strips to use for the lattice.  
  4. Fill both pies with filling and arrange pastry strips evenly over both pies.  
  5. Bake for about 45 minutes or until the crust is evenly brown and the center is clear and bubbly.  

Lemon Sour Cream Pie

Spring has finally arrived and for some reason citrus spells spring to me…light, fresh and tangy. 'Tis the season for lemon pie. Inspired by a picture of a sour cream lemon pie posted by a blogging friend a few weeks ago, we have enjoyed a similar pie here recently.  I will be making it again!

  • 1 nine-inch pie shell, baked and cooled (homemade or store bought) 
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 3 1/2 tablespoons cornstarch 
  • 1 cup milk
  • zest of one lemon
  • 1/2 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice (2 large lemons)
  • 3 egg yolks, lightly beaten
  • 1/4 cup butter, softened
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • whipped cream topping 
  1. Combine sugar, corn starch, milk, lemon zest and juice, and egg yolks in a heavy saucepan.  Whisk to combine.  
  2. Cook over medium heat, whisking contantly until mixture is bubbling.
  3. Add butter and cook until thickened and smooth.  Remove from heat and cool.
  4. Gently whisk in sour cream.  Add filling to baked pie crust.
  5. Top with whipped cream topping.  (Pipe around edges or spoon over entire pie.)
  6. Refrigerate for several hours before serving.
 Whipped Cream Topping:
  • 1 cup whipping cream
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract (or almond flavouring)
 Combine cold whipping cream, sugar and vanilla in bowl and beat until medium stiff peaks form (about 1 minute).

Bread for the Journey - Be Exalted Oh God

I will give thanks to you, O Lord, among the peoples;
I will sing praises to you among the nations.

For your steadfast love is great to the heavens, your faithfulness to the clouds.

Be exalted, O God, above the heavens!
Let your glory be over all the earth!

Psalm 57:9-11

Breaded Chicken Fingers Gluten Free

For Flashback Friday, I pulled up this recipe I first posted here  in June of 2012 ... I recently made them again ... and tried baking them instead of frying  -  baking instead of deep frying will be my preferred method from now on ...  I have a new oven that has the convection option which I have never had before and I am loving the difference  it makes in meat and vegetables.
  • 6 skinless chicken breasts -- ( or about one per serving) 
  • 1/2 cup milk
  •  1 crushed clove of garlic 
  • 1/2 loaf of gluten-free bread crumbs.  
  • 1 cup  starch (cornstarch, arrowroot, tapioca, sweet rice, potato - or a combo)  spiced  to taste   ( I use salt, pepper, anise seed, a little Thyme) 
  • 2 slightly beaten eggs
  • oil - for drizzling
1. Marinate chicken in ziplock plastic bag with milk and garlic clove for about 2 hours -- or longer 
2. Drain chicken  and cut breasts into 1/2 -3/4 inch wide strips
3. Place bread crumbs, starch,  and eggs in three separate bowls

4. Assembly line fashion --  dip each 'chicken finger' first into spiced starch then into eggs then roll in the breadcrumbs 
5.  Arrange on baking sheet, lined with parchment and bake at 400 degrees convection oven for 30 minutes, or until crumbs are nicely browned.  (I drizzled a bit of oil over each piece before putting in oven)
6. Serve hot !   Delicious !!!

Cowgirl Salad

I don't know where salads get their names from, but this one is inspired by one I had in a restaurant, so I'll call it by the same name. You can add chicken to it, but it's a wonderful lunch served with Judy's Savory Cheddar Scones.

Ingredients: (for 2 extra large or 4 medium salads)

  • 8 cups mixed greens
  • 1 cup shredded red cabbage 
  • 1 cup cooked edamame beans (cook 5 minutes in minimum amount of water)
  • 1 cup dates, chopped
  • 1 cups candied walnuts*
  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes
  • 1 cup feta cheese
Sweet Vinaigrette Dressing:
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons lime juice
  • 2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1 tablespoon freeze dried cilantro or parsley (or fresh)
  • 1 tablespoon mayonnaise
  • 1/8 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon black pepper
  1. Layer salad ingredients in a large bowl or on indivitual plates.
  2. Whisk or shake all dressing ingredients together.
  3. Drizzle on top or mix into salad. 

*To make candied walnuts: Place nuts in a small fry pan. Sprinkle with 2 Tablespoons brown sugar. Stir over medium heat until sugar melts and sticks to nuts. Remove to a small bowl to cool.