Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Pumpkin Cream Cheese Muffins

Streusel Crumble Topping

  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 1/4 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 cup melted butter

Cream Cheese Filling
  • 8 ounces cream cheese
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla

Pumpkin Batter
  • 1 3/4 cup flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder 
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
  • 2/3 cup packed brown sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1  cup pumpkin puree
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 1/3 cup milk
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  1. Preheat oven to 425 F.
  2. Prepare a 12 cup muffin pan by either greasing well or lining with paper cups.
  3. Combine crumble ingredients in a food processor or with a fork until small crumbs are formed.
  4. Beat together cream cheese filling ingredients with a hand mixer until smooth. 
  5. In a large bowl, combine dry ingredients of the Pumpkin batter.
  6.  In a medium bowl, whisk together wet ingredients.
  7. Stir wet ingredients into dry ingredients gently until just combined. 
  8. Place a heaping tablespoon of pumpkin batter into each cup, top with a heaping tablespoon of cream cheese filling and top with remaining pumpkin batter to fill cups.  
  9. Sprinkle Streusel Crumble topping over each muffin and press gently. 
  10. Bake for 10 minutes and then reduce temperature to 350 F and bake another 10  minutes or until toothpick poked in comes clean. 

 Yields - 1 dozen large muffins

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Roasted Carrots

This recipe was inspired by one I found in Good Housekeeping last year, called spice roasted carrots.
These go well with roast chicken or turkey.


  • 2 lbs skinny carrots (I used organic, unpeeled for the above photo)
  • 2 - 3 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 Tbsp freeze dried oregano leaves
  • 1 - 2 tsp fresh ginger, grated
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp pepper
  • 2 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 1/4 cup roasted salted pistachios, finely chopped (optional)
  1. Spray roasting pan with oil. Preheat oven to 425 F.
  2. Trim stems and end of carrots. Add to roaster with all the rest of the ingredients except the balsamic vinegar and nuts.
  3. Roast (with lid off) for about half hour. Drizzle with balsamic vinegar and stir or shake pan.
  4. Roast for another 15 minutes or until carrots begin to show some charred tips.
  5. Transfer to serving plate and sprinkle with nuts.
Tip: to easily clean roasting pan, sprinkle with baking soda, add an inch of water and put back in the oven at 300 F for 15 minutes or so. 

Monday, November 23, 2015

Mocha Cheesecake

Chocolate, espresso, creamy, dense, rich, smooth. A tiny sliver goes a long way.
This baked cheesecake is a recipe that I was given from my sister Rhoda who first tasted it when a friend served it at their care group. It's become one of her most requested desserts. I think it may be familiar to some of you as I've seen it on a number of sites. I've changes it up a wee bit by omitting the cinnamon and using espresso coffee to add another depth of flavour.
  • 1 1/2 cups chocolate crumbs
  • 1/4 cup butter, melted
  1. To begin, wrap a 9" spring form pan in foil, making sure it comes up the sides.
  2. Place crumbs in pan and add melted butter. Using a fork work crumbs and butter into a crust and press into bottom of spring form. Set aside.
  • 3 tbsp espresso powder
  • 1 tbsp boiling water
  1. Stir together and set aside to cool.
  • 4 packages cream cheese (8oz each)
  • 1 1/2 cups white sugar
  • 1/4 cup flour (or 1/8 cup corn starch) 
  • 2 tsp vanilla
  • 4 large eggs, slightly beaten
  • 2 cups semi sweet chocolate chips, melted and cooled, but don't allow to harden
  1. Beat together cream cheese, sugar, flour and vanilla until smooth.
  2. Add slightly beaten eggs and just beat until incorporated.
  3. Divide this whole cream cheese mixture into half in two bowls.
  4. To the first bowl stir in the 2 cups melted and cooled chocolate. 
  5. Pour this layer over crumbs in spring form.
  6. To the remaining mixture stir in the cooled espresso mixture. 
  7. Pour this over the chocolate layer.
  8. Place foil wrapped spring from with mixture into a large pan and fill with hot water to 1" up the sides of the spring form. 
  9. Carefully place in 325º oven and bake for 60 minutes or until cheesecake is set and dry looking on the top.
  10. Remove from oven and then from the water bath immediately. Remove foil.
  11. Allow cheesecake to stand for 15 minutes and then run a thin knife around the edges to keep the top from cracking. Allow to cool completely at room temperature and then in refrigerator for 8-10 hours. 
  12. Remove from pan onto a serving plate.
  • 1/2 cup semi sweet chocolate chips
  • 3 tbsp butter
  1. Melt together in the microwave or small pot. 
  2. Pour over cooled cheesecake, smooth, and allow to set.
  3. Garnish with chocolate covered coffee beans. 
This cheesecake freezes well with the glaze. I place it in the freezer uncovered until it's solid and then wrap it well in plastic wrap and into a good freezer container. Make sure it's well sealed. It slices really nicely when frozen or thawed. 

Sunday, November 22, 2015

Bread for the Journey

Psalm 19
The Living Bible 1971

The heavens are telling the glory of God; they are a marvelous display of His craftsmanship. 
Day and night they keep on telling about God.
Without a sound or word, silent in the skies, their message reaches out to all the world.
The sun lives in the heavens where God placed it and moves out across the skies as radiant as a bridegroom going to his wedding, or as joyous as an athlete looking forward to a race!
The sun crosses the heavens from end to end, and nothing can hide from its heat.

God's laws are perfect.
They protect us, make us wise, and give us joy and light.
God's laws are pure, eternal, just.
They are more desirable than gold.
They are sweeter than honey dripping from a honeycomb.
For they warn us away from harm and give success to those who obey them.
But how can I ever know what sins are lurking in my heart? 
Cleanse me from these hidden faults. 
And keep me from deliberate wrongs; help me to stop doing them.
Only then can I be free of guilt and innocent of some great crime.

May my spoken words and unspoken thoughts be pleasing even to you, O LORD my Rock and my Redeemer.

Saturday, November 21, 2015

Deb's Fleisch Perishky / Meat Buns

I had a fun baking 900 meat buns. Yes, that is right, this is not a typo, we made 900 meat buns for my sister by loves nieces wedding this past fall. 
We used her sisters recipe which I modified just a little. 
It makes 75 Dozen 2" in size.  Personally, I like them a bit bigger.
However 1 recipe of dough using 3 lbs of ground beef makes about 300 meat buns.  
The recipe can be cut in half easily to make less. But believe me, 300 meat buns get eaten rather quickly. Especially at Christmas time. 
This was not a one person job, I had help from my brother, sister by love and their girls. It is always more fun doing it as a group. I made the dough recipe 3 times, the meat filling recipe 2 times, and 1 recipe of sauerkraut and bacon. 
Now that Christmas is approaching, get your friends and family together and make a batch or two. Put on the Christmas carols and hot cocoa and have fun together. Feel free to half the recipe which is very easily done if you don't need a large quantity. 

  • 1 cup warm water
  • 5 cups warm milk
  • 1/2 cup margarine
  • 1/2 cup lard
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons instant yeast
  • 1 egg
  • about 12 cups of flour divided
  1.  In a large bowl add about 9 cups of flour, sugar, salt and dry yeast. Mix well.
  2. Add the lard and margarine and mix with a pastry blender to cut the fat into pea sized pieces. 
  3. Add the warm water, milk and beaten eggs. Place the bowl of dough in a sink of warm water for about 15 minutes until the dough bubbles.
  4. Continue adding the remaining flour until you have a soft dough. You can do this by hand or in a large dough mixer with a dough hook.
  5. Let rise until double in bulk for about 45 minutes.
  6. Take a piece of dough, roll thin, and cut with desired size cookie cutter. 
  7. Fill with the following fillings, pinch the seams together. Using about 1 rounded teaspoon. 
  8. Let rise on greased pans or pans lined in parchment paper for an hour. 
  9. Bake at 400 for 15 minutes or until they are browned to your liking. 
  10. These freeze very well by placing them in zippered plastic bags. Remove as much air as possible.
  11. If you want to use both filling options as written, you have to make 2 recipes of dough. 
Meat Filling:
  • 3 lbs of lean ground beef
  • 4 envelopes of onion soup mix
  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • enough water to make a thick gravy
  • 2 cups of dried fine bread crumbs ( I did not use the full 2 cups)
  • black pepper to taste. No need to add salt since the soup mix is salty enough.
  1. In a very large frying pan, brown ground beef but do not drain. 
  2. Add the onion soup mix, and flour. 
  3. Add enough water to make a thick gravy about 2 cups.
  4. Simmer about 40 minutes.
  5. Sprinkle in enough bread crumbs to absorb the gravy. 
  6. Cool filling. 
Sauerkraut Filling:
  • 1 pound bacon, finely diced
  • 2 medium onions, finely diced
  • 2 - 2 liter jars of sauerkraut, drained and rinsed
  1. In a large frying pan, brown the bacon, drain most of the fat but leave a little, maybe 2 tablespoons.
  2. Add the onion and cook until the onions begin to soften.
  3. Add the drained and rinsed sauerkraut and continue to saute until the cabbage takes on a light brown color. 
  4. Cool.
  5. Follow baking instructions for the meat buns. 

Friday, November 20, 2015

Flashback Friday - Pinwheel Cookies

For flashback Friday I want to bring back my recipe for pinwheel cookies.  Snow has arrived and so my thoughts turn to Christmas baking. These cookies are a favorite at our house and are always on the bake list for Christmas. Store them in airtight containers and they will stay nice and soft. They freeze well.
  • 1 cup butter
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 3 1/2 cups flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 8 tablespoons cocoa (for half of the dough)
  1. Cream butter, and sugars, add eggs, and vanilla, mix well.
  2. Whisk together dry ingredients and stir into creamed mixture until blended.
  3. Divide dough in half and stir in 8 tablespoons cocoa to one half of dough. 
  4. Roll out both doughs and put one layer on top of the other one. I roll the doughs on waxed paper so I can just turn one layer upside down on the other one. 
  5. Cut doughs in half and tightly roll each one up lengthwise ending up with 2 rolls.
  6. Place rolls on cookie sheet and chill thoroughly in the freezer.
  7. Slice approx 1/4" thick, place on parchment lined cookie sheets, and bake at 375º for 10 minutes.
  8. Cool and store in airtight containers.

Thursday, November 19, 2015


My sisters and I used to make these simple cookies when we were young and try to sell them in our neighborhood.

  • 1 cup unsalted butter, softened.
  • 1-1/2 cups sugar
  • 2 eggs, beaten.
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2-3/4 Cups flour
  • 2 teaspoons cream of tartar
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3 tablespoons sugar
  • 3 teaspoons cinnamon
  1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
  2. In bowl of mixer, cream butter and 1-1/2 cups sugar thoroughly, then add eggs and incorporate thoroughly, mix in the vanilla.
  3. Combine flour, cream of tartar, baking soda and salt in a separate bowl.
  4. Add dry ingredients into butter mixture and mix well.
  5. Chill dough, and chill 2 large ungreased cookie sheets for about 10-15 minutes in the fridge.
  6. Meanwhile, mix 3 tablespoons sugar, and 3 teaspoons cinnamon in a small bowl.
  7. Roll dough into small balls about 1 inch in diameter and drop into sugar-cinnamon mixture.
  8. Coat by gently rolling balls of dough in the sugar/cinnamon mixture.
  9. Place on chilled ungreased cookie sheet, and bake 10 minutes - 20 minutes. This varies due to the pan you choose and whether you cook one sheet at a time.
  10. Remove from pan after they cool slightly.
  11. Yield approx. 4 dozen.
 I overloaded my cookie sheets and put two pans in the oven at the same time so it took a full 20 minutes for them to bake. Make sure to leave a good amount of space between the balls of dough.