Friday, September 22, 2017

Snickerdoodles - Flashback Friday

The scent of cinnamon baking is one of my favourites. Fall is in the air and I was looking back at some of the recipes I'd posted other years at the beginning of this new season. With school lunches and after school snacks most likely being in high demand I thought Snickerdoodles was a good recipe for today.

  • 1 cup butter, room temperature
  • 2 cups white sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 3 1/2 cups flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar
Sugar Coating:
  • 4 tablespoons white sugar
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  1. Cream together butter, sugar, eggs and vanilla until creamy.
  2. Add dry ingredients and beat until well incorporated.
  3. In a small bowl stir together sugar coating ingredients.
  4. Roll dough into 1 1/2" balls and roll in sugar coating, coating all sides.
  5. Bake in 375ºF oven for 8 minutes. (do not over bake) 
  6. Allow to sit on pans to cool for 1-2 minutes and then remove to cooling rack.
These cookies freeze well.
Yields: 2 1/2 dozen cookies

Thursday, September 21, 2017

Dill Pickles

My oldest daughter Amy has fully embraced gardening and then canning her garden produce, making pickles, relishes, beans, salsa, tomato sauces and jams. The recipe I am sharing with you today comes from the book Saving the Seasons, written by Mary Clemens Meyer and Susanna Meyer and published by Mennomedia , also the publisher of our cookbooks. It is wonderful to be on the receiving end of her labour of love. Delicious!!

  • 8-10 small pickling cucumbers (about 3 pounds / 1.5 kg)
  • 2 cups / 500 ml white vinegar
  • 2 cups / 500 ml water
  • 2 tablespoons pickling salt
  • 4 sprigs fresh dill or 4 teaspoons dill seeds *
  • 2 teaspoons mustard seeds
  • 4 small cloves garlic *
  1. Cut a thin slice from the ends of each cucumber. 
  2. Combine vinegar, water and salt in a sauce pan and bring to a boil.
  3. Place 1 sprig of fresh dill in each jar (or 1 teaspoon dill seeds), as well as 1/2 teaspoon of mustard seeds and 1 clove of garlic. Pack the jar with cucumbers.
  4. Boil the vinegar and water and pour over the cucumber leaving a 1/2 inch headspace. 
  5. Process the jars in a water bath, boiling the 1 pint / 500 ml jars for 10 minutes and the 1 quart / 1 L jars for 15 minutes. 
  6. This recipe makes 4 pint jars. 
* Amy added more garlic and dill than the recipe suggested for added flavor.

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Green Beans with Zucchini and Mushrooms

Green Beans are one of my favourite vegetables, especially when they are fresh.
They pair well with many flavours which makes it fun to cook and serve them.
Here's one more variation for you to try.

  • Green beans cut into 1 1/2 inch lengths - about 4 cups
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/2 a medium onion, sliced lengthwise
  • 1/4 - 1/2 cup diced red bell pepper
  • 2 cups sliced mushrooms
  • 1 small zucchini, sliced 
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • Montreal Steak spice to taste

  1. Steam green beans in an inch or so of water until they are tender but still bright green and slightly crunchy.  This doesn't take long so watch them closely.
  2. Drain beans and plunge into ice water.
  3. Remove from water and set aside.
  4. In a stir fry pan or large frying pan, saute' onions, peppers and mushrooms  until almost tender. 
  5. Add the zucchini and cook until tender. Just a few minutes. Do not overcook the zucchini.  It should still have a bite.
  6. Add green beans, Montreal Steak spice and butter to pan and cook briefly, until just heated through.
  7. Serve immediately.
  8. Serves 6.

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Savory Zucchini Loaf

This recipe is inspired by one my sister shared with me from Chatelaine. My interest was piqued by a savory version of a zucchini loaf and we love it here. You can serve it warm for brunch, freeze it pre-sliced to take with cheese for a packed lunch or enjoy it with a bowl of soup.


  • 1 small zucchini 
  • 3/4 cup whole wheat flour
  • 3/4 cup unbleached/all purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves or 1/2 tsp dried thyme
  • 2 cups grated monterey jack cheese (or what you have)
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/3 cup oil
  1. Preheat oven to 350° F. Grease a 9 x 5 inch loaf pan.
  2. Coarsely grate unpeeled zucchini. If you like to hide it more, use fine side of grater. It will measure a bit more, but 1 - 1/2 cups is good. Drain only if there is excess liquid.
  3. In a medium bowl, combine dry ingredients and cheese.
  4. In mixing bowl, beat eggs and sugar with whisk. Stir in oil and add zucchini.
  5. Stir in dry ingredients until just mixed and spread into loaf pan.
  6. Bake for 45 minutes or until toothpick tests done. Allow to cool in pan for 10 minutes before removing to cooling rack. 

Monday, September 18, 2017

Peaches and Cream Layer Cake

We have been enjoying fresh  peaches every-which-way for the past while, and soon peach season will be over for the year.  This peaches-and-cream birthday cake was a big hit at our place, so I'll share the recipe with you.  I used a boxed-cake mix with a few additions to make it 'extraordinary'.

  • 1 white boxed cake mix (Better Crocker Super Moist)
  • 3/4 cup peach yogurt
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 3 eggs
  • 1/3 cup melted butter 
  1. Line two 9-inch round pans with parchment paper.
  2. Place cake mix and all other ingredients in a mixing bowl.  Beat on medium speed until smooth.
  3. Spread batter evenly in prepared pans.
  4. Bake at 350°F for 25 minutes or until toothpick inserted in centre comes out clean. 
  5. Cool for about 10 minutes before removing from pan.

  • 1 package (8 ounces) cream cheese, softened
  • 2/3 cup icing sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  •  2 cups heavy whipping cream

  1. Beat the cream cheese, icing sugar and vanilla until smooth. 
  2. Gradually add the cream, whipping until thick. (If you do not have a heavy-duty mixer, you may have to whip the cream separately and then fold into whipped cream cheese mixture.)
 Glaze for Peaches:
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons peach or orange jello  
  1. Combine water, sugar and cornstarch in a small bowl, using whisk to stir until smooth.
  2. Microwave on High until boiling and thickened, stirring once in between. 
  3. Stir in jello (adds colour and flavour) and cool to lukewarm before using. 
Assembling Cake:
  • 2 cake layers
  • cream filling
  • glaze
  • 3 large peaches

  1. Place one cake layer on cake plate.
  2. Peel and chop one peach. Fold into about 1 1/2 cups of the whipped topping. Spread over bottom cake layer.
  3. Place second cake on top.
  4. Spread with a generous layer of whipped topping, reserving some to pipe around edge.
  5. Peel and slice two peaches.  Coat peach slices with glaze and arrange on top of cake.
  6. Pipe whipped topping around the edge.

Sunday, September 17, 2017

Bread for the Journey

Sometimes I need to become quiet and just simply remember that God sees me as precious. He celebrates me. The following verse says He sings over me.  Me, you, out of all the people in the world, He knows our names. He wants us, me to know Him too. To accept the gift of His forgiveness, love, mercy, grace, security and the freedom that is for all.

Simply because I said yes to His call and accepted His precious gift of eternal life, I am experiencing His nearness, power, and peace. It's not a life free of struggles, but He's my helper. And the sweetest of things...He rejoices and sings over me. That just makes me smile to think that the King of kings does that for me. May my thanks to Him be to above all things seek His glory and give Him first place in my life.

Zeph. 3:17
"The Lord your God is in your midst; a mighty one who will save; He will rejoice over you with gladness; He will quiet you by His love; He will exalt over you with loud singing."

Friday, September 15, 2017

Raisin Bread gluten free

For Flashback-Friday , I'm pulling up an old recipe that I can't believe I posted eight years ago - you can find it here .
I had not made it for some time but recently baked it again,  tweeked the recipe somewhat and took a new photo.  So if you are craving a tasty slice of toasted raisin bread , try this recipe.
  • 1/2 cup warm water
  • 1 teaspoon. sugar
  • 1  tablespoon yeast
  • 1/4 cup butter (room temperature)
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1/3 cup whole milk (warm)
  • 1 teaspoon. vanilla
  • 1 3/4  cup  Julie's flour mix (or your own 1 3/4 all-purpose gluten free mix)
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon xanthan gum
  • 1 cup raisins (if raisins are not plump, soak in boiling water for a minute or two) 
  1. Proof yeast with sugar, and  yeast 
  2. In mixer bowl cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy 
  3. Beat in egg,  then add milk and vanilla 
  4. Add combined dry ingredients and beat on high speed for 2-3 minutes until batter looks smooth and stretchy. 
  5. Add raisins.
  6. Scrape dough into a medium sized loaf pan lined with parchment paper, cover with plastic wrap and let rise until loaf rounds top of pan. ( may take 60 to 90 minutes) 
  7. Bake at 350 degrees F. for 45 - 50  minutes or until nicely browned. Don't under bake. 
  8. Remove from oven and cool for several minutes before removing from pan to finish cooling on wire rack before slicing. 
  9. Excellent toasted  -  also freezes well.
TIP - after scraping dough into pan, smooth top with wet hand.  Pushing dough down (creating a little trough)  around the edges  encourages gluten-free dough to rise/bake with a rounded top rather than flat.