Wednesday, April 23, 2014

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




Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Ginger Chicken Wonton Tacos

These little bundles make a nice appetizer or light lunch over a bed of cole slaw.
Tender pulled chicken in a spicy sweet ginger sauce wrapped in Wonton Wrappers. 
Shredded poached chicken

  • 2 boneless skinless chicken breasts (this is enough for approximately 25) 
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp coarse black pepper
  • 1 package Wonton Wrappers (Found in the fresh food isle of the grocery store. They come in a stack and are about a 3"x3" squares)
  • 1/2 cup of your favourite thick bottled spicy ginger sauce, plus more for drizzling over slaw
  • 1/3 cup finely grated mozzarella cheese
  • 1/3 cup finely chopped fresh cilantro 
  • 1 tbsp butter, melted
  •  slaw mix, chopped very fine
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped red pepper
  • avocado, sliced
  1. Poach chicken by placing both chicken breasts in a pot and covering with water. Add bay leaf, salt and pepper. 
  2. Bring to a boil, turn down and allow to slow boil for 10 minutes. 
  3. Remove from heat, cover and let chicken sit in water for another 10 minutes.
  4. Remove chicken from water to a cutting board and immediately shred chicken, using two forks. ***see photo above***
  5. Add ginger sauce, cheese, and cilantro to the shredded chicken. This can be made ahead of time.
  6. When ready to bake, assemble Wonton Tacos by taking one Wanton Wrapper in the palm of your hand and laying a strip of meat filling from one point to the next. (about 2 tbsp per wrapper) 
  7. Pull up other two points as shown in photo below and pinch together. 
  8. Melt butter and using a pastry brush, and lightly brush the outsides of each bundle.
  9. Place on parchment lined baking sheet and bake in 400ยบ oven for 19 minutes.
  10. Finely chop slaw and red pepper. 
  11. Place baked Wonton Tacos on top of bed of slaw that has been lightly drizzled with more ginger sauce. Garnish with avocado slices and serve immediately.

Filled and pinched Wantons

Brushed with butter, ready to go into oven.

Monday, April 21, 2014

Balsamic Mushroom Chicken with Angel Hair Pasta


This tasty dish is served in one pan... allowing you to tidy up the kitchen while the pasta is finishing in the sauce. It is easy to make this dish serve more or less by deciding first how many chicken breasts you will need.  If you want to double this to serve this to a family, start with a large heavy pot rather than a fry pan. 
Serves 3 - 4 

  • 20 large white button mushrooms
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 2 large chicken breasts, cut in half lengthwise to make 4 pieces.
  • 2 tablespoons oil  (olive or avocado oil)
  • 1/4 cup good quality balsamic vinegar  (go ahead and try various flavours.  I used fig on this day)
  • 1  1/2 cup chicken broth
  • 1 teaspoon oregano
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 1/2 pound / 225 grams angel hair pasta
  • fresh broccoli
  1. Slice button mushrooms and add to pan along with the butter and garlic cloves.  Stir occasionally on medium heat until the liquids begin to release from mushrooms and then turn mushrooms to medium low and allow to simmer until the liquid has cooked away and the mushrooms have browned.  Once the garlic cloves have softened, smash them with a fork. Remove mushrooms and garlic to a bowl and set aside.
  2. Add chicken breasts and along with oil to the pan and turn heat to medium.  Sear on each side until all sides have browned.  (About 10 minutes) 
  3. Bring water to boil in a large pot for the pasta.  Add 1 teaspoon salt.
  4. Add balsamic vinegar, oregano, cream and chicken broth to the chicken and cover with a lid for a few minutes until the chicken is no longer pink at the thickest part.
  5. Add the pasta to the pot and stir for 2 minutes until softened.  Drain and add to the chicken pan.
  6. Stir until all the liquid has absorbed into the pasta.  The pasta should be cooked through but if all the liquid has absorbed and the pasta is still too firm add a bit more chicken broth and continue to stir until it has cooked through.
  7. Arrange steamed broccoli on top of the dish and serve.


Sunday, April 20, 2014

Bread for The Journey


Easter Blessings

I serve a risen Saviour,
He's in the world today;
I know that He is living,
Whatever men may say;
I see His hand of mercy,
I hear His voice of cheer,
And just the time I need Him
He's always near.

He lives, He lives, Christ Jesus lives 

today!
He walks with me and He talks with me
Along life's narrow way.
He lives, He live, salvation to impart!
You ask me how I know He lives:
He lives within my heart.

In all the world around me
I see His loving care,
And tho my heart grows weary
I never will despair;
I know that He is leading
Thro' all the stormy blast,
The day of His appearing
Will come at last.

Rejoice, rejoice, O Christian,
Lift up your voice and sing
Eternal hallelujahs
To Jesus Christ the King!
The hope of all who seek Him,
The help of all who find,
None other is so loving,
So good and kind.

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Easter Egg Nests


Over the past decade, we have made wee bird's nests in my kitchen every year about this time. From the oldest to the youngest, the grands have all participated.  Usually, we make the nests from rice krispee treats and add little peeps and eggs.  This year we tried something different as well.  The nests are made using a 'Chinese Noodle Cookie' recipe. 
  • 1 cup chocolate chips (semi-sweet or milk chocolate)
  • 1 cup butterscotch chips
  • 3 cups chow mein noodles

  1. Line a baking sheet with parchment or waxed paper.
  2. Place chocolate and butterscotch  chips in large glass bowl. 
  3. Heat in microwave at full power, stirring every 30 seconds until chips are melted (about two minutes).
  4. Stir in chow mein noodles until fully coated.
  5. Drop by large scoops onto prepared baking sheet, forming a nest shape with your fingers.
  6. Place a few 'birds eggs' in the center of each nest.
  7. Chill for 30 minutes to harden. 
To make the nests of Rice Krispee Treats...press scoops of the mixture into greased muffin pans and shape into nests.  Or simply forms balls of the mixture and create free-form nests with well-greased hands on a lined cookie sheet.  Then call the wee grands...

...and let them fill the nests with 'peeps and eggs'.  It's a fun Easter project for kids in the kitchen!

This year Lucy, the youngest grand (upper right), came to help me fill the nests.  Some went home with her.  Others are the place-cards for our family dinner this Easter.


If you are in need of some bird's nests for your Easter table...there is still time.  Both methods are simple...and can be created in short order. 

Happy Easter from my kitchen to yours!

Friday, April 18, 2014

Good Friday


Matthew 27:45-46 Now from the sixth hour there was darkness over all the land until the ninth hour. And about the ninth hour Jesus cried out with a loud voice, saying, “Eli, Eli, lema sabachthani?” that is, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?”

Matthew 27:50 And Jesus cried out again with a loud voice and yielded up his spirit.

Matthew 27:54 When the centurion and those who were with him, keeping watch over Jesus, saw the earthquake and what took place, they were filled with awe and said, “Truly this was the Son of God!”

John 19:31-33 Since it was the day of Preparation, and so that the bodies would not remain on the cross on the Sabbath (for that Sabbath was a high day), the Jews asked Pilate that their legs might be broken and that they might be taken away. So the soldiers came and broke the legs of the first, and of the other who had been crucified with him. But when they came to Jesus and saw that he was already dead, they did not break his legs.

What Christ's Sacrifice Means for those who will believe

Romans 6:22-23 But now that you have been set free from sin and have become slaves of God, the fruit you get leads to sanctification and its end, eternal life. For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.

1 Peter 2:24 He himself bore our sins in his body on the tree, that we might die to sin and live to righteousness. By his wounds you have been healed.

1 John 5:11-12 And this is the testimony, that God gave us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. Whoever has the Son has life; whoever does not have the Son of God does not have life.

It's so comforting to know that Good Friday isn't the end of the story but that Resurrection Day is coming. God bless you as you prepare to celebrate Christ's Resurrection.

For those of you who are still preparing food for Easter Sunday Celebrations I'll re-post my Seernaya Paska recipe here. You still have time for it to be ready to go with your Paska on Easter.


Seernaya Paska for Kulich/Paska (Russian Easter Bread)
The X and the B are for Xpucmoc Bockpec (Christ Arose)


Seernaya Paska
Ingredients:
9- hard boiled eggs
1-1/2 pounds Farmers cheese /a dry curd cheese like a dry cottage cheese can be substituted.
1 cup whipping cream
3/4 cup butter
1-1/2 cups sugar

Press the Farmers cheese through a sieve. (This is the hardest part of the recipe and optional) We do this if the cheese we are using has large curds. I usually use a wooden spoon and press it through a wire strainer a little at a time.
Separate the egg yolks from the whites. (You will not be using the whites).
Press the egg yolks through the sieve.
Cream the sugar and butter together.
Beat in the egg yolks.
Beat in the cheese.
Add whipping cream and mix well.
You will place the mixture into a container lined with 3 layers of cheesecloth with holes in the bottom so the liquid can be strained. (I've used plastic flower pots adding extra holes in the bottom) You will need enough cheesecloth to wrap up and over the top of the cheese. Place the cheese mixture into the cheese cloth lined strainer. Bring the ends of the cheese cloth up and tie the ends on top of the cheese in a knot. Place the sieve into a larger bowl suspended with enough room for the cheese to drain without sitting in the drained liquid. Place a plate on top of the cheese an place a heavy rock, brick, or other weight on top of the plate. Refrigerate over night draining off the liquid every few hours.

Farmers Cheese or Hoop Cheese can be hard to find. There are Russian/Ukrainian delis that sell a dry curd cottage type cheese that will work. If you can find a dry cottage cheese at the grocers that will work too.

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Lemon Magic Custard Cake


With photos of 'magic cakes' showing up all over the blogs and pinterest lately...I decided to try a lemon version over here.  What's so magic about it?  You pour in one batter and once it is baked you have distinct layers...a custard beneath a cake.  Serve with a dusting of powdered sugar and top with a dollop of whipped cream and some blueberries.

Ingredients:
  • 4 eggs, separated, at room temperature
  • 1 tsp lemon juice
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup butter, melted
  • 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups milk (lukewarm)
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp lemon zest
  • icing sugar, whipped cream, berries (optional toppings)
Directions:
  1. Preheat oven to 325F.
  2. Grease 8" square pan or a 9" pie plate (or spring form pan*).
  3. Separate the eggs. 
  4. Beat egg whites with 1 teaspoon lemon juice until stiff. (The lemon juice stabilizes and adds volume to the egg whites.) Set aside.
  5. In a separate bowl, beat the yolks with the sugar until light and fluffy. 
  6. Add the melted butter, lemon zest and lemon juice, and beat until combined.
  7. Slowly add flour, mixing well.
  8. Add the milk slowly and combine thoroughly.
  9. Gently fold in the egg whites, 1/3 of them at a time. Make sure there are no lumps.
  10. Pour batter into prepared baking dish. This is a very runny batter.
  11. Bake for 50-60 minutes, or until the top is lightly golden.It should still be slightly jiggly in the center.
  12. Cool completely before serving. 
  13. Dust the top with powdered sugar. Serve with berries and whipped cream, if desired.
*Unless your spring form pan has a very tight seal, the batter may leak through into the oven at the start of the baking period.   Though the spring form pan makes it easy to serve the cake...you might want to consider that!