Peach Cherry Pinwheel Cobbler


Cherry pie filling and canned peaches with a hint of lemon and cinnamon is a delicious combo for the filling. This was our dessert for Valentine's Day dinner.
This is a little different method of making a cobbler. Rolling out the dough, spreading with peach jam and rolled up pinwheel style is a different twist to the topping.

Filling:
  • 1 can 540 ml/ 19 oz cherry pie filling
  • 1 cup canned sliced peaches, drained and slices cut in half
  • Juice of half a lemon 
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
Topping:
  • 1 cup flour
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • Zest of half a lemon
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 1/3 cup buttermilk
  • 3 tablespoons peach jam
  • 2 teaspoons coarse sugar 
  1. In a greased  oven/microwave 8" square baking dish combine cherry pie filling, peaches, lemon juice and cinnamon.
  2. Microwave uncovered for 4 minutes until heated through.
  3. In a medium sized bowl whisk together dry topping ingredients.
  4. Cut in butter until you have coarse crumbs.
  5. Stir in buttermilk just until dry ingredients are moistened. Dump onto your counter and knead lightly until dough forms a ball.
  6. Roll dough into 8" x 9" rectangle. Spread peach jam over dough, roll up like a jelly roll starting with 8" side. Cut into 9 even slices.
  7. Place slices of dough over filling.
  8. Sprinkle with coarse sugar, I was out of coarse sugar and used granulated.
  9. Bake in a 400º oven for 18-20 minutes or until golden brown
  10. Serve warm with ice cream or whipped cream.
  11. Yield: 9 servings  

One-Skillet Steak for Two


This is a complete one-skillet meal for two that is satisfying. I found the idea in a magazine and I added my own twists to the recipe.

Ingredients:
  • 1 - (12 ounce) New York Strip steak 
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt, divided
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper, divided
  • 2 teaspoons, plus 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine or any broth, divided
  • 1 cup sliced mushrooms
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 2 tablespoons shallots, finely chopped
  • 4 cups fresh baby spinach
  • 1/4 cup cream or half and half

Method:
  1. Season both sides of patted dry steak with 1/4 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper.
  2. Heat a 9 inch cast-iron or stainless steel skillet over medium high heat.
  3. Rub seasoned steak with 2 teaspoons oil and cook, turning every 2 minutes, to desired doneness, about 7-11 minutes, depending on thickness of your steak.
  4. Transfer steak to a cutting board to rest.
  5. Heat remaining tablespoon oil and 1 tablespoon butter in the same pan adding 1/4 cup wine or broth slowly scrapping pan to de-glaze over medium high heat.
  6. Add mushrooms and cook, stirring occasionally, until browned, about 3-4 minutes.
  7. Add garlic 1/8 teaspoon salt and 1/8 teaspoon pepper.
  8. Continue to cook, stirring, for one minute.
  9. Transfer the mushrooms to a plate and cover to keep warm.
  10. Reduce heat to medium-low, add the shallots to the skillet and cook, stirring, until softened, 1-2 minutes.
  11. Add the other 1/4 cup wine or broth slowly.
  12. Add half the spinach and cook, stirring, until just wilted. 
  13. Add remaining spinach and cook, stirring, until wilted.
  14. Add the cream, remaining 1/8 teaspoon salt and 1/8 teaspoon pepper and cook for another 2 to 3 minutes until the cream has thickened slighty.
  15. Return the mushrooms to the skillet and stir them with the creamed spinach mixture.
  16. Remove from heat.
  17. Slice the steak and serve on top of the mushrooms and creamed spinach.
  18. Serves: 2

Tips: When I went to the grocery store boneless Rib-Eye steak was on sale at $5.00 less per pound than the New York Strip so I used it instead and it worked nicely. If you buy a small bag of baby spinach you can use the whole bag, dividing it in two. It wilts down significantly. Have all your ingredients ready and proportioned before you start to make the process work smoothly.


Bread For The Journey


                                                                                                                                                           (iStock)
I Believe 

It's been a year that we have walked through sorrow and grief of hearing the tragic news.
Grief has such an interesting way of defining itself.  Each day it wears a new face.
It's not the way I expected the year to unfold.
~~~~~~
This past week I have enjoyed watching the Olympics Winter Games in PyeongChang. As I watch and observe the Olympics,  I think of Joe and what it was like for him on his last day of work as he trudged up the Gold Coast Ridge at Squaw Valley to his job as a ski patroller. He was doing avalanche control work to ready the snow-drenched mountain for the day's onslaught of skiers. 
Did he know he was going to meet his maker that day?
Joe was the type of young man who loved nothing more than deep conversations
from politics to quantum physics, to theology.
He was not afraid to ask the hard questions.  But more importantly, he wasn't afraid to seek answers.
It was so special to hear how one friend shared his experience while he spent the day touring in the mountains with Joe when he asked a very direct question,
"Do you believe that Jesus is the Son of God?"
Out of fear of the tough questions that may have followed, hesitantly, the words followed
 "Uh-huh, yeah sure."
Joe quickly and confidently responded, with "Well, I sure do."
That statement gave the confidence beyond a shadow of a doubt that there would be many more deep conversations, and endless powder turns for all eternity with Joe.
What does your life represent....?
Can people say of you, that without a shadow of a doubt
  they will share more life with you in eternity?
Ask the tough questions in life and continue to seek answers.
He has left a legacy in his life.
Little do we know when our time will come.
When I think of Joe, I realized he stood proudly on his podium and declared his belief in God and
God took the Gold medal and draped it around his neck.
Do you believe?

They replied, "Believe in the Lord Jesus and you will be saved, you and your household."
Acts 16:31 NIV

Cranberry and Ricotta Muffins ~ Flash Back Friday



I first posted these moist and tender ricotta muffins using dried cherries but have found that they are great with almost any chopped fruit or small berries. Today I'm using Cranberries.  The original recipe also has the option of adding a sugar butter topping.  You can find the original recipe here. 

Also, when I bake muffins, I prefer not to use cupcake liners. There used to be a muffin coffee shop in town and their muffins were just wonderful with a nice crisp exterior.  If you are having trouble getting your muffin pans to release without liners, it might be time to invest in some new ones.  My favourite pans are  USA tins.  I use them for Paska as well.  I don't even need to butter or spray them.  Marg told me about them and I've converted all my bread and muffin pans to that brand.
  • 1  cup ricotta cheese
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 cup buttermilk (or 1 cup whole milk with a teaspoon of vinegar)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice 
  • 1 tablespoon finely grated lemon peel
  • 1/3 cup melted butter
  • 2 cups white flour
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup fresh or frozen cranberries (partly chopped)
  1. Preheat oven to 400 F.
  2. Spray a 12 cup non-stick muffin pan and set aside.
  3. In a large bowl, combine the ricotta cheese and eggs with a whisk.
  4. Add the buttermilk and the flavourings, lemon peel and then butter.
  5. Add the dry ingredients all together and then stir just until combined.
  6. Add the cranberries, just stirring until evenly dispersed.
  7. Fill the muffin cups almost to the top.
  8. Bake for about 20 - 25  minutes or until a toothpick comes clean.

Cauliflower Chowder - Bev



I came across a large bag of finely chopped cauliflower in my freezer a few weeks ago.
We'd bought too much for the antipasto we made before Christmas and
I'd bagged up the remainder thinking I could use it in soup.
So that's what I did and it was delicious!
It's  hearty, healthy and satisfying!

  • 1 1/2 cups finely diced cooked farmer sausage *
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 onion chopped
  • 1 large clove garlic, minced
  • 2 carrots, peeled and diced
  • 1 large stalk celery, diced
  • 4 cups chicken broth
  • 1 cup half and half cream or whipping cream** 
  • 1 head cauliflower, finely chopped ( about 4 cups)
  • 1 bay leaf
  • salt and seasoned pepper (like Montreal steak spice)
  • 2 tablespoons fresh parsley, chopped
  1. Saute onion garlic, carrots and celery in butter until vegetables begin to soften.
  2. Place vegetables in large soup pot and add cauliflower, bay leaf and chicken broth.
  3. Bring to a boil and simmer over medium low heat until cauliflower is softened. 
  4. Taste chowder and add seasoned pepper and salt if needed.
  5. Garnish with fresh parsley if desired.
Notes:
*You can replace the farmer sausage with 1 cup crumbled, pre-fried bacon
**You can replace the cream with 2% milk if you like but you may need to thicken the soup with milk and flour blended together. Add thickening and stir as you bring it back to a boil. Simmer a few minutes, stirring well.

Valentines Rice Krispie Treats


I had not planned on posting this here but when the date was free, I decided to take it, even if just for a super simple treat today. Maybe you have some littles in your family to do this with. As you can see, these three-year-olds can do it, so anyone can.

Ingredients:
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 5 cups miniature or 40 regular (250 g pkg) marshmallows
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract (optional)
  • 6 cups Rice Krispies cereal
  • 1- 2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips 
  • sprinkles of choice
Method:
  1. In a large pot, over low heat, melt butter, then add the marshmallows, stirring until melted.
  2. Stir in vanilla and cereal. 
  3. Press onto wax or parchment paper lined pan to about 3/4 inch thickness.
  4. Cut out shapes with cookie cutters and insert lolly pop sticks. (optional) You can keep reshaping the cereal before it hardens.
  5. Melt chocolate chips.
  6. Put the melted chocolate in a piping bag (or small zip-lock with a tiny hole cut in it) to outline or cover part of the Rice Krispie cookies. (I quickly did this and then let the girls sprinkle to their hearts content.)
  7. Refrigerate until set. Slip into tiny cellophane bags and tie.




If you do them without "help" you can perfect them a bit more ... but you'll miss out on the excitement of watching those sprinkles get dumped. I used a cookie sheet to work on for good reason.

Happy Valentines Day!

Ground Chicken Chili


This is an easy last minute recipe for a tasty chili if you have all the ingredients on hand.

Ingredients:
  • 1 pound ground chicken
  • 1/2 onion chopped
  • 2 tablespoons cooking oil of your choice
  • 1-28 ounce can of crushed tomatoes
  • 2 cans (15.5 ounces each) of white chili beans
  • 1 can (7 ounces) of diced green chiles
  • 2 cups frozen roasted corn kernels
  • 1 jalapeno chopped (optional)
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder

Toppings:
  • Avocado
  • Cilantro
  • Fresh tomatoes
  • Sour Cream
  • Grated cheese

Method:
  1. Heat dutch oven with the 2 tablespoons oil then add the onion and cook till transparent.
  2. Add the ground chicken and cook through.
  3. Add the cans of tomatoes, beans, chiles, plus the corn, jalapeno, cumin and chili powder.
  4. Bring all ingredients to a simmer and continue simmering for 15-30 minutes. 
  5. Serve with toppings of cilantro, avocado, fresh tomatoes, green onions, sour cream and grated cheese. 
  6. Serves: 4-6

You can omit any toppings you don't enjoy. If you don't have a source for roasted corn you can use any frozen corn.

Cinnamon Bun Muffins


This is not really a new recipe, but I  thought I'd share this method - just a different twist to the regular cinnamon bun. The grandkids declared them awesome!

Ingredients:

  • 6 tablespoons butter
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup ice cold water
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3 1/4 - 3 1/2 cups flour
  • 1  1/2 tablespoons instant yeast
filling
  • 2 tablespoons butter, melted
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
icing
  • 1 tablespoon soft margarine
  • 1 cup icing sugar
  • milk to make a smooth, runny consistency (start with 2 tablespoons)
Method:
  1. Scald milk with the butter (to melt) and then add cold water to cool it down.
  2. In mixing bowl, beat eggs and sugar. Add salt.
  3. Stir in warm milk and butter. If it's still quite hot, start with just a tad at a time while stirring.
  4. Add flour, one cup at a time, mixing one cup with the yeast. 
  5. Knead until soft and you can shape it into a ball. 
  6. Cover the bowl and let rise until double in size, about 45 minutes.
  7. Roll dough out into a rectangular shape ( about 18 x 10 inches) on lightly floured surface.
  8. Spread with melted butter and sugar/cinnamon mixture.
  9. Roll up, starting on longer side. Cut into 12 slices. (in half, in half again and then each quarter into three) 
  10. Prepare muffin tins with parchment paper cups or spray. 
  11. Take each bun and push up the center from underneath, while you pinch the bottom to shape it like a tulip. ( you can also unroll and re-roll to make a stepped, tower look.) 
  12. Place into muffin tins, cover loosely with plastic bag and let rise 30 - 45 minutes.
  13. Bake at 350° F for 18 - 20 minutes.
  14. Drizzle with icing when almost cooled off. Yields 12 large muffin/buns. 

(unbaked)

Bread for the Journey


Honoring others in love.

 Be kindly affectionate to one another with brotherly love, in honor giving preference to one another;

Romans 12:10

The kind of love that the Bible is talking about here is not a feeling of love but a choice of love. 

Recently, this little one slid her bowl of Cheerios across to me.  It was an unexpected gesture that filled my heart. This week, whether I show a random act of kindness to someone else or offer tokens of love to my sweetheart and family, putting others above myself is a way of honouring God.   

It is even more special when we show love to others in ways that they most feel loved.

 Dr Gary Chapman in his book The Five Love Languages explains how each of us feels loved in different ways.  

Words of affirmation
Quality Time
Receiving Gifts
Acts of Service
Affection

May you find joy this week in finding simple ways to love those around you! 

Do you have a sweet idea? We would love to hear it.  Let's pass on our ideas to one another.  

Strawberry Balsamic Chicken Bacon Pizza-Flash Back Friday

For flash back Friday I've chosen to re share one of the pizzas I bake for company that I'm pretty sure they have not tried.
I originally found this recipe one day looking at Pinterest. Strawberries on pizza? I had to try it, but I changed up a few things to make it my own.

-I added 1 tablespoon of pineapple juice to the sauce
-in place of cilantro, I used baby arugula which gives a slightly peppery taste
-I added feta cheese for that little zip...and I think it gives a pretty finish
**last time I made this I added a few pineapple chunks to the toppings**

During strawberry season I like to reduce good quality flavoured balsamic vinegar and once it's thickened and slightly cooled, drizzle it over skewers of fresh strawberries and pineapple. So it was no surprise to me when I saw this pizza recipe with it's unique combination of ingredients that I knew it would be a hit. I've also added my favourite pizza dough recipe.

Pizza Dough: enough for one 12-14" pizza
  • 3 cups flour
  • 2 teaspoons quick rise yeast
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/4 cups very warm water
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
  1. Place 2 3/4 cups flour in a bowl. 
  2. Stir in yeast and salt.
  3. Add water and oil. Stir until dough starts to come together.
  4. Add remaining flour until you get a smooth elastic dough. Form into ball and rub with a small amount of olive oil.
  5. Cover with plastic wrap and let rest on counter until double in bulk, approximately 35 minutes, OR cover with plastic wrap and let sit in refrigerator for 24 hours. This method of a longer rest time allows the gluten to relax and the result is a dough that is very easy to work with and produces a crisp airy crust. If you put dough in refrigerator, take out and allow to rest on counter for about half hour before forming crust.
Pizza toppings:
  • 1 cup chicken breast cut into bite sized pieces. ( you can roast one chicken breast for this or use a rotisserie chicken breast from the deli)
  • 4 slices apple wood smoked bacon, cut into 1" pieces and fried to tender crisp
  • 1/4 cup thin slices of sweet onion, I like to use walla walla onions this time of year
  • 1/2 cup mozzarella cheese
  • 1/4 cup Italian blend cheese
  • 1/3 cup feta cheese
  • fresh strawberries
  • baby arugula
  1. Cut up roasted chicken breast into bite size pieces. 
  2. Cut up bacon and fry to tender crisp.
  3. Slice onion into very thin rings.
  4. Prepare pizza sauce, recipe below.
Pizza sauce - this is not your ordinary pizza sauce!
  • 1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 1/4 cup strawberry jam
  • 1 tsp hot sauce, or to taste. I add a bit more as we like a bit of heat
  • 1 tablespoon pineapple juice
  1. In a small sauce pan heat the balsamic vinegar over medium heat until it begins to boil. Turn down and let cook until it reduces to about 1/2 the amount.
  2. Stir in the remaining ingredients until well combined.
  3. Remove from heat and allow this mixture to cool while you prepare the remaining ingredients. As it cools it will thicken. (at the point dip a whole strawberry into the mixture and enjoy.
Assembling and baking pizza:
  1. Place pizza stone in a cold oven and turn oven to 450º.
  2. While oven and stone are heating up shape pizza dough to a round a few inches smaller than stone. Place dough onto a piece of parchment paper sprinkled with a bit of cornmeal. This will help the pizza to release and slide onto the hot stone easily.
  3. Once you have your shell formed on the parchment, spread 1/2 the sauce onto the shell. 
  4. Pour the remaining sauce over the chicken pieces and stir to coat. Set aside.
  5. Sprinkle the mozzarella cheese over the pizza crust and sauce.
  6. Next add the chicken, then the bacon, onion rings, and top it all with the Italian cheese blend.
  7. Carefully slide the prepared pizza onto the hot stone and bake for 20-25 minutes. 
  8. Remove from oven, slide pizza onto a cutting board. 
  9. Top with fresh cup up strawberries, baby arugula and feta cheese. Serve immediately.