Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Grilled Zucchini Boats

With fresh zucchini and summer squash  featured at local farmers' markets, this is a nice way to serve it.

  • 1/2-1 zucchini per person (use the smaller ones)
  • 2 Tablespoons olive oil mixed with 1 clove minced garlic and 1/4 tsp sea salt
  • halved grape tomatoes
  • basil - fresh, if you have it, or dried
  • Salt and pepper
  • parmesan and mozzarella cheeses
  1. Cut each zucchini/summer squash in half lengthwise.
  2. Cut out center, carefully scooping out seeded part with a spoon. Be careful to keep bottoms intact.
  3. Brush cut sides of zucchini with oil/garlic mixture.
  4. Line up halved grape tomatoes in each zucchini half.
  5. Sprinkle with chopped basil, and pepper
  6. Mix grated mozzarella and parmesan cheeses together and sprinkle over tomatoes.
  7. Grill over medium heat until zucchini is tender and cheese is melted.

Monday, July 21, 2014

Cherry Loaf

Years ago I found this recipe in the Mennonite Treasury of Recipes. I baked this pretty pink loaf for special occasions. Over time I have slightly changed up this recipe from the original.

  • 1/2 cup maraschino cherries, drained and chopped
  • 1/2 cup walnuts, chopped
  • 2 cups flour, divided
  • 3 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 3 tablespoons butter, melted
  • 1/2 teaspoon almond extract
  • 1/2 cup maraschino cherry juice
  • 1/2 cup milk
  1. Drain cherries, chop and put in a small bowl. Chop walnuts and add to the cherries. Stir in 1/2 cup of the flour to coat the cherries and walnuts. Set aside.
  2. In a separate bowl combine the rest of the dry ingredients and set aside. 
  3. In a medium sized bowl whisk egg, sugar, butter, and almond extract together.
  4. Gently stir in the dry ingredients alternately with cherry juice and milk.
  5. Pour into a greased 9" by 5" loaf pan.
  6. Bake in 350º oven for 1 hour.
  7. Cool in pan for 5 minutes before turning loaf out on cooling rack.
  8. Let cool completely and slice. Serve plain or with butter and fresh cheese.

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Bread for the Journey

 I will be your God through all your lifetime, yes, even when your hair is white with age. I made you and I will care for you. 
I will carry you along and be your Saviour. 
Isaiah 46:4 TLB
I was privileged this past week to spend a brief holiday on Mayne Island with my sister and our Dad who is 91 now, and has been blessed with a long and healthy life.

It was the end of a beautiful day when he and I caught the ferry and we watched the sun go down on our way over to the Island. Janet was there to meet us and 
we watched the stars come out one by one before going to bed.
 The next day the three of us had a leisurely breakfast on the deck and sat and talked for much of the morning as we watched the hummingbirds, the butterflies and bees among the flowers.
 We went to Bennett Bay, sat by the ocean and waded in the water, marveling at the intricacy and beauty of sea shells, the graceful gliding of the herons and the blueness of the sky. 
After dinner we wandered through the Japanese Gardens and watched the seals and otters at play as the sun set on Dinner Bay.

Over and over again, Dad expressed his gratefulness to God.
...For the wonder of God's creation, 
...For leading his parents to emigrate from the Ukraine and move to Canada 
when he was 3 years old.
...For being blessed to live in such beautiful and peaceful place.
...For his family, his friends, his home and his health.
...For salvation and the assurance of eternal life.
He remembers how God led in good times and difficult times and
he lives in humble gratefulness for God's faithfulness to him.
He never hesitates to share his love for God with his children, his grandchildren and 
now, his great grandchildren who love to visit their "Opa".

As I grow older, my prayer is that I too live with a grateful heart, proclaiming
 God's faithfulness to my children and grandchildren. 
O God, you have taught me from my earliest childhood,
    and I constantly tell others about the wonderful things you do.
Now that I am old and gray,
do not abandon me, O God.
Let me proclaim your power to this new generation,
    your mighty miracles to all who come after me.

Psalm 71:17-18NLT

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Saturday Fun with Waffle Cones

Summer calls for keeping things simple and fun. No oven needs to heat up your house when you're looking for a treat to feed young and old. Waffle cones make a fun eatable container for a whole host of things. I'll share a few of our favourites. What would you fill a cone with? Cones can be purchased at the grocery store, and I also have an ice cream store near us who sell fresh waffle cones. These are bigger and really nice for filling. You may also have your own waffle cone maker...better yet!

 To make smores: fill small cones with mini marshmallows and chocolate chips or caramel chocolate bits. Serve cold or warmed up on the BBQ, oven or open fire. I use a metal stand to keep them upright. You may have to become creative.

 Suggestion for filling larger size cones:
-trail mix
-kettle corn, caramel corn 
-fresh fruit
-frozen cheese cake, for these I make a frozen cheesecake mixture and make a smaller pan of the cheesecake and use the remaining mixture to fill the cones and then place in freezer, standing upright, covered. These are nice to have on hand for a quick dessert. Top with whipped cream and a cherry.
I use a plastic Popsicle stand as the holder...works well. 

Friday, July 18, 2014

Sour Cream Raisin Pie

I like raisin pie but often find them a little too sweet. So if you feel the same then this is the pie for you. I like the creamy and tart flavor that sour cream adds to this pie.

  • 2 cups raisins
  • 1 1/2 cups water
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 1/3 cup brown sugar
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • Pastry for 8" pie, double crust, unbaked
  1. Combine raisins, water, and sour cream in saucepan, bring to boil and cook for 4 minutes until raisins are plump.
  2. Whisk together brown sugar, cornstarch, salt, and cinnamon. Stir this into the raisins, continue to cook and keep stirring until thick.
  3. Remove from heat and stir in butter and vanilla. Cool slightly.
  4. Pour into an 8" unbaked pie shell. Cover with top crust and cut slits to vent.
  5. Bake in 425º oven for 25 to 30 minutes until golden in color.
  6. Cool, serve with vanilla ice cream. Delicious.

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Citrus Pound Cake / Gluten Free, Dairy Free

My oldest daughter has developed numerous food sensitivities, so when it comes to dessert at family gatherings, she is the one I ask to make it. She served it with whipped coconut cream for herself and the others enjoyed it with a scoop or two of ice cream. This cake is not very sweet and I have no idea if it freezes well since it was devoured the day it was made.

  • 1 cup almond meal
  • 1 cup unsweetened coconut
  • 1/4 cup coconut flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon gluten free baking powder
  • 4 eggs
  • zest of one orange (wash the orange well before zesting)
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup melted coconut oil
  • 1 tablespoon orange juice
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup
  • 3/4 cup fresh berries (she used sliced strawberries)
  1. Combine almond meal, coconut, coconut flour and baking powder in a bowl whisking dry ingredients with whisk to remove any clumps. 
  2. In a separate bowl beat eggs until froth, add zest, vanilla, melted coconut oil, both juices and maple syrup. Whisk together well. 
  3. Pour in the liquid mixture into the dry. Stir and fold together well, until all is combined well and there is no more dry spots, scraping the sides of the bowl to make sure there isn't.
  4. Pour all the batter into a greased 10" spring form pan with the bottom being lined with parchment paper. 
  5. Insert the berries in a pretty pattern. 
  6. Bake @ 350 in a preheated oven for 45-50 minutes. 
  7. Serve with whipped cream or ice cream and lots of extra berries on the side. 

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Greek Pizza with Italian Sausage

Serve this pizza right off the grill as an appetizer or a main meal along with a salad. Italian sausage blended with tomatoes, feta, basil and a drizzle of Greek Salad dressing will have you dreaming of the Mediterranean.

  • 4 hand stretched naan breads (or homemade pizza crust)
  • 1 pkg Italian sausage (basil, mild or hot)
  • 1/2 onion, chopped
  • 1 cup sliced mushrooms
  • 1/2 cup chopped green pepper (optional)
  • 1/4 cup feta cheese, crumbled or chopped
  • 1 large tomato, chopped fine
  • 2 Tbsp freshly chopped or freeze dried basil (approx)
  • 2 - 3 Tbsp Parmesan cheese
  • 1 1/2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese (approx)
  • 4 Tbsp Greek salad dressing ( I used Renee's Mediterranean Greek)
  1. To prepare pizza for cooking on the grill, place naan bread on pizza stone or on doubled up extra strong aluminum foil lined with parchment paper. You can also bake it on a cookie sheet in the oven.
  2. Remove the sausage from it casing and cook on medium heat, breaking it apart and stirring until it resembles cooked hamburger meat.  Add chopped onion and mushrooms, stirring and cooking until soft. One package (4 sausages) will make more than needed. Use for double recipe or freeze extra cooked sausage for another use or time.
  3. Spread cooked sausage, onion, mushroom mixture on naan. Add green pepper if using. You can also use chopped kalamata olives according to taste. 
  4. Top with chopped tomatoes, feta, basil.
  5. Sprinkle lightly with Parmesan and then the mozzarella cheese.
  6. Just before placing on the grill, drizzle with dressing. 
  7. Cook with lid closed (checking) until cheese is melted. (about 10 - 15 minutes)