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.

Recipe Search

Light & Runny Strawberry Jam

When I first started making jam many years ago, I was confused with the many suggested ways to cook (or not cook) jam. Mom would say to cook until done, some advised not to use pectin, others used for too much sugar . . . you get the idea.
Being a bit of a perfectionist, I couldn’t just wing it and have the jam turn out a little different every year. I wanted it to be exactly right … not too sweet, not too hard, not too runny. . . so I've worked on it over the years and got it to where our family likes it, runny enough to use a spoon to spread a scone or fill that little hole on a Zwieback for Sunday Faspa.

Tools/Accessories:
  • blender or immersion blender
  • good quality, large stainless steel pot
  • wooden spoon
  • canning funnel
  • clean jars and new lids
Suggested amounts of ingredients needed for 24 - 30 cups of jam (12 - 15 pints):
  • 1 - 15 pound flat of strawberries
  • 4 kg sugar (10 pounds)
  • packages Certo light brand pectin OR 4 packages (other) regular pectin crystals
  • 4 teaspoons soft margarine

Ahead of time:  Wash jars and rings. While  jam is cooking, sterilize jars by heating in a 225° F oven for 10 minutes and keep warm until needed. Bring rubber lids, covered in water, to boil in a small pot.
Turn off heat but keep lid on to keep them hot.

Berry Prep: Wash berries before stemming. Crush about 3 cups of berries at a time. With a good blender, pulse for 5 seconds, stopping in between to shake fruit to the bottom so as not to over-blend.
OR  fill an ice cream pail - a third full - and use an immersion blender to crush. If berries are very ripe you can use a potato masher. Pureed berries should still be of a thick and slightly chunky consistency. Collect crushed berries in a large bowl or ice cream pails until done. I usually do this in the evening and refrigerate the berries to cook the next day.  (15 lbs of berries will make 4 batches - or about 30 cups jam)

Measure and set aside separately:
  • 6 cups mashed berries 
  • 4 1/4 cups sugar, separated
  • 3 tablespoons Certo light (or 1 package regular pectin crystals) mixed with ¼ cup sugar
To cook:
  1. Place fruit and pectin crystals mixed with 1/4 c sugar into a large pot. (Pot should only be about 1/3 full.) 
  2. Place over high heat on an element that keeps the most consistent heat,  using a wooden spoon, stir almost constantly, until it comes to a bubbling boil.
  3. Stir in remaining 4 cups sugar. Continuing to stir, add 1 teaspoon margarine to keep the foam down and cook until mixture comes to a full, rolling boil again. (you can hear it) Set timer for 3 minutes, stirring constantly. Turn heat down slightly if it splatters too much, but keep the boil. 
  4. Remove from heat and continue to stir for a minute or two until clear and shiny. Ladle hot jam into jars (using funnel) to 1/2 inch from rim. Cover with lids and screw rings until just barely tight. Cool completely at room temperature. (24 hours)

Tips:
* The jam will be a pourable thick liquid while hot, but just barely move when you tilt the cooled jar. of jam.  If you find it too runny ( different stoves, pots, pectin, can all have an influence) you can salvage it by pouring it into a large pot, bring to boil and cook two minutes. Next time use an extra tablespoon of pectin or cook 1 minute longer. 
* Important note: Freezing the jam (once it's cooled) keeps it fresher tasting and it’s not necessary to seal the jars. Even keeping sealed jars refrigerated keeps the flavor fresher tasting than just having it sit in the pantry.
* You can freeze blended berries in 6 cup proportions, ready to cook in the winter, but you will need a bit more Certo. (I freeze in 9 cup proportions, add 6 cups sugar and 1 package pectin with thawed mixture. This makes about 12 half pint jars) To cook this proportion it is best to use an extra large pot.

Mango Cucumber Salad with Mango Citrus Vinaigrette


The mangoes have been exceptionally sweet and juicy lately, and we have enjoyed this salad many times.  The dressing is not only great on salads but is also fantastic drizzled on grilled salmon or chicken. 

Salad:
  • 4 cups mixed salad greens 
  • 1 mango, peeled, seeded and thinly sliced
  • 1/2 small red onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 or 2 mini cucumbers, sliced
  • 1/3 cup cashew pieces or sliced almonds, toasted
  • 1/3 cup crumbled feta cheese 
  1. In a salad bowl, combine greens, mango slices, red onion, cucumber and cashews or almonds.
  2. Pour dressing over salad and gently toss it all together.
  3. Serve.
*If plating the salads individually, place a few of the mango slices on top.

Serves 4.

Mango Citrus Vinaigrette:
  •  1 ripe mango
  • 1/4 cup fresh orange juice
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 1/4 cup white wine vinegar 
  • 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  1. Peel one mango, and remove pit. 
  2. Chop and  place in blender with remaining ingredients; puree until smooth. 
  3. Store in a small jar in refrigerator (for up to a week) and shake to blend before use.

Variation:
Line salad bowl or platter with mixed greens. Top with fresh fruits and berries of your choice, including cubed mango. Serve with mango citrus vinaigrette and candied walnuts or pecans as optional topping.


 

Hamburger Patties for the BBQ

During the summer I like to have things ready that I can throw onto the BBQ without too much fuss. You can never go wrong with hamburgers. I double the recipe, form patties and stack them with parchment between, which makes it easy to take out take as many as you need.
While the patties are on the BBQ set out the condiments, slice up tomatoes, cheese, lettuce, pickles and buns. Open your family's favorite bag of chips or serve with fresh corn on the cob or watermelon.


Ingredients: (yields 8-10 patties)
  • 2 pounds lean ground beef
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp pepper
  • 1/4 cup barbecue sauce
  • 1/3 cup grated onion
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tbsp milk
  • 1/2 cup dry bread crumb
Method:
  1. Place all ingredients in a large bowl and using your hands mix together well.
  2. Cut squares of parchment paper.
  3. Form patties by taking an apple sized piece of meat, roll it into a ball and flatten it.
  4. Continue until all the meat is used. You can BBQ now or go to next step.
  5. Place stacks of patties in a zip lock freezer bag, seal and freeze.

Chocolate Raspberry Torte


This cake is so simple and easy to put together. A delicious cake to serve for Mother's Day or for a birthday. Doesn't it look elegant and delicious?
You can simplify this even more by using a cake mix but if you must use your favorite chocolate cake recipe, just make sure you have 2 round 8 inch pans of cake.
It is our daughter's birthday today. Happy Birthday Alison!
  • 1 box chocolate cake mix, baked in two 8 " round pans
  • 1  250 gram / 8 ounce package cream cheese, room temperature
  • 1/2 cup icing sugar
  • 1/4 cup raspberry jam
  • Extra icing sugar for dusting
  • 1- 2 cups fresh raspberries (more or less, exact amount not necessary)
  • Mint leaves, optional but they do add a pretty look
  1. Bake cake as directed on cake mix box. Allow to cool.
  2. Split each cake in half horizontally.
  3. Mix together cream cheese, icing sugar, and raspberry jam until well blended and creamy.
  4. Divide mixture into 3 equal amounts.
  5. Place one layer of cake on bottom of plate and spread 1/3 of cream cheese mixture over top. Repeat layering and finish off with a cake layer.
  6. Dust with icing sugar and pile on raspberries. Garnish with mint leaves.
  7. Yield: 16 servings

Mom's Rhubarb Pie

It's rhubarb season and there is nothing quite like 'fresh from the garden' rhubarb pie at this time of the year. Here it is...my mom's rhubarb pie recipe.



Ingredients:
  • Pastry for a 2 crust 9-10 inch pie (use your favorite recipe or purchase ready-made pastry.)
  • 4 cups rhubarb...cut in 1/2 inch pieces
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 1 1/4 cups sugar
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/4-1/2 teaspoon sugar
Method:
  1. Roll pastry to line 9-10 inch pie plate. Roll out top crust and set aside.
  2. In large bowl...combine eggs, sugar, flour and nutmeg until well blended.
  3. Add chopped rhubarb and stir to mix.
  4. Pour into prepared pie shell.
  5. Dampen edges.
  6. Top with second crust.
  7. Trim and crimp edge to seal.
  8. Pierce top crust with fork to vent.
  9. Sprinkle with remaining sugar.
  10. Bake at 400°F for 15 minutes. Reduce heat to 350°F and continue to bake for another 40 minutes, or until filling is bubbling and rhubarb is tender.

A winning combination of nutmeg and rhubarb...so perfect together!



Lemon Bundt Cake


This is the kind of cake that you just can't resist taking a slice of - pure, heavenly homemade goodness!

Ingredients:
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 1 cup butter, soft / room temp
  • 3 eggs (divided - if folding in egg white separately)
  • 3/4 cups sour cream (or plain or vanilla yogurt)
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • rind from one lemon
  • 1/3 cup fresh lemon juice
  • 3 cups flour
  • 3 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp soda
  • 3/4 tsp salt
Lemon Glaze:
  • 1 cup icing sugar
  • 1 Tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 Tbsp melted butter
Method:
  1. Preheat oven to 350° F. Grease Bundt pan.
  2. In mixing bowl beat sugar and butter well then add in the eggs. (If you wish, you can add in just the yolks, beat egg whites separately and fold them into the batter at the very end)
  3. Add sour cream or yogurt and flavorings.
  4. Stir in combined dry ingredients. 
  5. Scrape batter into prepared pan. Bake for 50 - 55 minutes. Let cool for 10 minutes before tuning onto wire rack to cool.
  6. Blend glaze ingredients until smooth. Add a tad more lemon juice if needed to make a thick, runny consistency. Drizzle over cooled cake. Allow to set. 
Variation with Zucchini:
Add 1 1/2 - 2 cups finely shredded peeled green zucchini or unpeeled yellow zucchini, loosely measured (not pressed down).  This makes a very nice moist cake.

Easter Menu Idea

In many ways I enjoy Easter more than Christmas. There are less or no gifts to buy and wrap, less expected baking and hectic activities to go to. All and all I find it less stressful and a very meaningful to me personally when I think of Gods great gift and sacrifice he made for us.
It is one of the most anticipated Christian Holidays that most of the world honors in one way or the other.
With Easter weekend coming up I am sure there will be plenty of gatherings to bring dishes too or preparing Easter dinner in your own home. Our family traditionally has a cold meal for Easter consisting of ham, potato salad, plumi mooss, coleslaw and of course paska with a cottage cheese spread.  May I also suggest a few alternative ideas.


How about starting with a platter of veggies and dip served in this cute Bunny Bread using either homemade French Bread or frozen bread dough as suggested by someone in the comments.  Good idea if you don't make your own bread. Enjoy this as your guests arrive in anticipation for Dinner.



You can never go wrong serving salads at your dinner. Try this lovely spinach salad by Judy  using colored Easter Eggs or this light and refreshing Grapes and greens salad by Marg.



















 
Or a serve buffet style including a lovely Glazed Ham by Anneliese with two sauces served on the side by Bev. 


A popular second meat that could be offered is Cabbage Rolls by Lovella.



No Ham dinner is complete without Scalloped Potatoes from Kathy or Baked Fanned Potatoes by Betty. 




A couple side dish ideas could be Asparagus with Seasame by  Marg served along side the scalloped potatoes, or if you are serving the baked potatoes how about Cheesy Scalopped Carrots.




We can't forget the Paska  regular and gluten free accompanied by this wonderful spread, or Betty's tradition of Spicy Peppernut Buns.  Who needs dessert when you have Paska.




That should give you a few ideas to make your Easter Celebrations Tasty.
Happy Easter!

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
















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.

Baked Oatmeal with Apple and Cinnamon


I had no idea this tasted this good until I had it at my daughter's. It's one of those comfort foods that I could have for breakfast or for dessert. This can be prepared the night before; refrigerated and baked in the morning.

Ingredients:
  • 3 1/2 cups oats or quick oats (not instant)
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup coconut (optional)
  • 1/4 cup oil
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 apple, grated
  • 1 cup milk
Method:
  1. Mix ingredients in order given and pour into greased 8x8 inch pan.
  2. Bake at 350° F for about 30 minutes
  3. Serve warm with milk and brown sugar (optional).

It's a piece of cake to wrap up for breakfast on the go, or lunch.



Print