Monday, October 23, 2017

Warm Caramel Banana Cake

I was looking for something to make with some over-ripe bananas, when I came across an old recipe in my handwritten notebook, called brown sugar cake. I decided to add the mashed bananas and the rest is history. This moist cake with a broiled caramel and nut topping is quite irresistible and the perfect fall dessert with ice cream or whipped cream.

  • 1/4 cup butter, soft
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2 bananas, mashed *
  • 1 cup flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/3 cup milk or buttermilk
broiled icing
  • 1/3 cup butter
  • 2/3 cups brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup cream (coffee cream or sour cream is fine) 
  • 1/2 cup chopped nuts (I used pecans)
  1. Preheat oven to 350° F. Grease an 8 or 9 inch square pan.
  2. Beat butter and sugar until creamy. Beat in egg and then the mashed bananas and vanilla.
  3. Combine dry ingredients and stir into wet. 
  4. Stir in the milk or buttermilk. 
  5. Spread into prepared pan and bake 30 minutes or until toothpick tests done.
  6. Meanwhile, mix icing ingredients together in a saucepan and bring to boil. Cook 1-2 minutes.
  7. Remove from heat and stir in nuts. Set aside
  8. When cake is done spread hot cake with icing and return to oven on broil setting for 2-3 minutes, watching to be sure it doesn't burn. It will bubble and turn a dark caramel color.  Serve warm or cooled. Serves 9

*So you know, you can omit the bananas and call it Brown Sugar Cake.

Sunday, October 22, 2017

Bread For the Journey

In the past few weeks, God has been speaking to me about peace;
in particular, the many times I do not feel peaceful.
Times when I am upset with my husband, when I worry about my children, 
when I am afraid of what the future holds. 

The Bible assures me that through Christ's death I am granted peace with God 
upon my acceptance of salvation. 
I know that in my heart, so why don't I always experience this peace? 

In Ephesians 6 Paul uses the armour a Roman soldier would wear to illustrate how we as Christ followers 
need to prepare ourselves for battle with the enemy.
One part of that armour that I've never paid much attention to until recently is the footwear.  
Paul says, "our feet need to be fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace." 
Ephesians 6:15 NIV

What part does footwear play in battle?  If we want to stand firm, we need shoes that grip,
if we don't want to lose our balance, our shoes need to provide good support,
when the terrain of a battlefield is rocky and uneven, we need shoes that give our feet protection
and when we are part of a defense line
we don't want to slip and fall thereby providing the enemy a way through our defense.

So what does peace have to do with battling the enemy?
When I am discontented, anxious, or fearful my state of mind and heart is far from peaceful. 
In fact it is a good indication that the enemy is making a successful assault on my life. 
 I may have peace with God but I am not experiencing the peace of God.

Isaiah 26:3 says, 
"You will keep him in perfect peace, 
Whose mind is stayed on You.  Because he trusts in You."

How do I keep my mind stayed on God?  How do I access the peace God promises?

  By always rejoicing in the Lord, by being gentle with others, 
by bringing everything to God in prayer, by trusting Him
 and by thanking Him.( Philippians: 4:4-7)

This brings the Perfect Peace that guards our hearts from Satan's darts,
strengthens us in the most disheartening circumstances,
and  unifies us as believers.

Friday, October 20, 2017

Flash Back Friday ~ Frosted Pumpkin Donuts

For flash back Friday I'm bringing back this recipe for pumpkin donuts. We bought a number of pumpkins from a 'pumpkin farmer' last week. I baked and pureed them. There is nothing like fresh pureed pumpkin! It freezes well, I thaw it in a sieve over a bowl to remove most of the liquid.
 I still have a few pumpkins to bake and puree. I like to be stocked up for winter.
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 tablespoons softened butter
  • I cup cooked pureed pumpkin 
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 4 cups white flour
  • 1/2 cup whole wheat flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1 cup evaporated milk
  • Oil for deep frying
  1. In a mixing bowl beat eggs, sugar and butter until creamy.
  2. Add pumpkin and lemon juice, mix well. 
  3. Combine both flours, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg and add to pumpkin mixture alternately with milk.
  4. Cover and refrigerate for 2 hours or overnight. Turn onto floured surface and knead 5 or 6 times using extra flour as needed but the dough will still be a bit sticky. Only use enough flour to roll out your dough that it doesn't stick to your surface.
  5. Roll dough to approx 3/8" thickness and cut with a donut cutter.
  6.  Place cut donuts on cookie sheets until ready to fry. I like to spray the cookie sheets with cooking oil before placing donuts on them so they don't stick when you lift them to place in your hot oil.
  7. In a skillet heat oil to 375ยบ. I test to see if it's hot enough by putting a 'donut hole' in the oil and if that rises to the top immediately you know the oil is hot enough. Fry donuts, a few at a time until golden, approx 3 minutes, turn once and remove with slotted spoon and drain on paper towels to soak up excess oil. 
  8. Once cooled spread donuts with your favorite frosting. This time I used buttercream frosting with maple favoring. Top with sprinkles of toasted pecan bits. Crushed peanuts or toffee bits sprinkled on top would also taste delicious.
  9. Yield: 2 dozen donuts 

Thursday, October 19, 2017

Cabbage and Sausage Foil Pack Dinner

Foil packet dinners are easy to prepare and clean-up, and are not just for camping; they can be baked in the oven year-round.  Cabbage and sausage were meant to be paired, and here is a simple and tasty way to serve them up for dinner tonight.

  • 1/2 small head cabbage, cut into 3/4" or 1" wedges
  • 1 pound farmer sausage, sliced (or your favorite smoked sausage)
  • 20 nugget potatoes, cut in half 
  • 1 small onion, sliced
  • garlic butter
  • salt and pepper
  1. Preheat oven to 375°F.
  2. Prepare 4 pieces (12" x 18") of heavy-duty foil.
  3. Divide cabbage wedges, potatoes and sausage slices evenly on the four pieces of foil.
  4. Top each mound with a dollop of garlic butter and season with salt and pepper.
  5. Seal each packet well.
  6. Bake for 1 hour, or until veggies are tender. 
Serves 4

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Cheddar Cheese Crisps

It's the time of year where it's nice to bring out a few extra snack ideas.  I received this recipe years ago from a friend and always loved it, but you know how it is, things get shuffled around and l lost it.  Thanks, Hilda for sharing this recipe with me again.   It's tasty, simple and easy to make and I don't think you will have any leftovers.

Cheddar Cheese Crisps
  • 1 3/4 cups flour
  • 1/4 cup yellow cornmeal
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon sugar 
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1 1/2 cup cheddar cheese
  • 1/2 cup cold water
  • 2 tablespoons white vinegar
  • coarsely ground black pepper
  1. Preheat oven to 375° F
  2. Mix flour cornmeal, baking soda, sugar, and salt into large mixing bowl.
  3. Cut butter into mixture till it resembles coarse crumbs.
  4. Using a fork, stir in grated cheese, vinegar, and cold water just until mixture forms a soft dough.
  5. Shape into a ball and put into a sealed bowl, and refrigerate for one hour or until dough is firm enough to handle. (or place it in the freezer for 30 minutes)
  6. Roll dough out on lightly floured surface, paper thin.
  7. Sprinkle with pepper and roll the pepper into the dough. 
  8. Cut into whatever shape you want. Jagged edges add character.
  9. Bake cheese crisps for about 10 minutes or until brown and crisp.
  10. Remove to wire rack to cool and store in a tightly covered canister.

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

W.O.W. Raisin/Peanut Cookies

W - wonderful flavor
O - omit gluten and lactose
W - winning chewy texture

I LOVE these cookies. Even my husband who is not a cookie lover reached for the second one!

  • 1 cup Julie's flour mix + 2 tablespoons
  • 1/2 teaspoon xanthan gum
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda 
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt 
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar 
  • 1/4 cup white sugar 
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 2 ounces cream cheese 
  • 6 tablespoons soft butter 
  • 1 egg 
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3/4 cup raisins 
  • 3/4 cup peanuts 
  1. Put softened butter, sugars, cream cheese in bowl of mixer and beat until fluffy, Add egg and beat well. 
  2. Mix dry ingredients together and mix into butter mixture. 
  3. Add raisins and peanuts 
  4. Chill for a few minutes - can keep in fridge for a day or two but will then need to be warmed to room temperature to soften again. 
  5. Drop by teaspoon into parchment-lined cookie sheet and bake at 350 degrees F for 11 minutes. 
  6. Remove from pan onto wire rack and cool 
  7. These cookies keep well .

Monday, October 16, 2017

Spaghetti Squash in a Crock pot

If you are anything like me you find cutting into a squash difficult and hope to not get a good cut in the process. This fall my sister Rhoda gave me the wonderful suggestion of baking a spaghetti squash whole in a crock pot. All you have to do is poke a knife into several places as you would a baking potato and place it into your crock pot. Turn it onto high and let it cook for 2-4 hours depending on the size. The one pictured took 2 1/2 hours. 

To test if it's done insert a knife. It will slide in very easily when cooked.
It's very hot so you will have to be careful and lift it out with 2 pot holders as it's also a wee bit soft. Place on cutting board.

Using a long sharp knife you will now we able to easily cut the squash in half.

While it's still hot scoop out all the seeds and pulp and discard.

Take a fork and pull the spaghetti like strands away from skin. You can leave it in the shell to serve or scoop into a bowl. Eat plain, or with a wee bit of butter, salt and pepper, or here is a very tasty way to add some great flavour to spaghetti squash. Spaghetti squash is also a great alternative to pasta, just top it with your favourite sauce and serve.