Friday, February 27, 2015

Flashback Fridays / Quick Garlic Spread

I love baking French bread and my recipe is almost identical to Annelieses,  but if you don't have time to bake a bought one will do. I must say the homemade is worth the effort and one of the easiest yeast breads to make if you are just starting out.
This recipe for the garlic spread just brings garlic bread to a whole new level. It is simple and quick, you may never buy store bought garlic bread again.

Quick Garlic Spread:
  • 1/2 c. butter
  • 1/2 c. mayonnaise (don't use Miracle Whip it is too sweet) 
  • 1/2 grated Parmesan cheese
  • 4 cloves garlic minced
  • 3 tbsp. freshly chopped parsley
One large french bread loaf cut lengthwise, spread liberally on cut side and broil til brown and bubbly. Or wrap in foil and bake at 375 for 20 min. We like ours broiled. If you want it to be more cheesy then just add some grated Mozzarella Cheese on top before broiling. Enjoy!

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Chocolate Bodentorte

Bodentorte was my Mom's go to dessert when having people in for dessert.  It mixes up quickly, bakes quickly and cools quickly.  A few weeks ago,  Anneliese and I each made up a recipe of chocolate Bodentorte for our care group dessert.  We liked it and we think you will too.  

  • 3 eggs 
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 2/3 cup flour (plus extra for dusting pan)
  • 2 tablespoons cocoa (plus extra for dusting pan)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 4 tablespoons melted butter
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 1 teaspoon almond flavouring.  
  1. Preheat oven to 350 F. 
  2. Prepare an 11 inch flan pan by greasing it well and then dusting  with a combination of 1 tablespoon cocoa and 2 tablespoons flour that has been combined well.  Make sure the entire surface of the pan is covered.  
  3. Separate eggs.  Beat egg whites  until soft peaks form and set aside.
  4. In a large bowl, beat egg yolks with sugar until they are thick and light colored.
  5. Sift together cocoa, flour, salt and baking powder.  
  6. Add dry ingredients to the beaten egg yolk mixture along with the melted butter and milk.
  7. Gently fold in beaten egg whites and pour into the pan.
  8. Bake for 25 minutes.  
  9. Gently use a knife to pull the cake away from the edge of the pan.  Turn the cake out onto a cooking rack.
  10. Fill with a can of cherry pie filling and decorate with 1 cup of whipping cream that has been sweetened and whipped. 

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Brined Chicken Grilled with BBQ Sauce

Don't save the grilling season for summer. Any time of year is a great time to enjoy something off the grill and here I brined a half chicken, added a coating of spices, grilled it and near the end of the grilling mopped it with a home made BBQ sauce. Tender and tasty! 

  • half roasting chicken
  • 8 cups cold water
  • 1/3 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup coarse salt
  1. Whisk together water sugar and salt in a glass or plastic bowl. 
  2. Add chicken making sure it is fully immersed in the brine. Cover and place in refrigerator for a minimum of 3 hours or over night.
  3. Half hour before meat is ready to grill, drain brine and rinse chicken well under cold water. Pat dry with paper towel.
  4. Rub outside of chicken on all sides with the following rub and allow to sit for about 20 minutes. 
  5. Have grill pre heated to 350-375º. Place chicken on grill beginning with cut side down. Grill for 15 minutes. Turn chicken over and grill 10 minutes. 
  6. Mop under side of chicken generously with BBQ sauce (recipe below). Continue grilling for another 10 minutes. Turn chicken again so skin side is up. Mop generously with BBQ sauce and grill another 10 minutes. Check meat in the thickest spot for internal temperature. It should be approximately 160º for breast meat and 180º for dark meat. Remove and tent with foil for 8-10 minutes before slicing. Serve with any remaining BBQ sauce heated up slightly.
Spice rub:
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 1/2 tsp course salt
  • 1/2 tsp fresh ground pepper
  • 1/2 tsp cumin
  • 1 tbsp corn starch (this ingredient insures that the outer skin crisps up a bit) 
  1. Mix spices together and rub on rinsed and patted dry chicken. 
BBQ Sauce:
  • 2/3 cup tomato paste
  • 1 tbsp garlic powder
  • 1 tbsp onion powder
  • 1 tbsp paprika
  • 1 tbsp chili powder
  • 1 tbsp brown sugar
  • 1/3 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tbsp maple syrup
  • 1 tbsp agave syrup
  • 1 tbsp Worcestershire Sauce
  1. Stir together all ingredients until well mixed. 

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Dad's Cookies

You know those yellow bags of "Dad's Cookies" you see in the grocery store?
They were a favourite with Harv's Dad and we were guaranteed to find them on his shelf, especially after Mom passed away.
Well I have been making a version of  "Dad's Cookies" for a long time now and can rightly call them "Dad's" because both my kids' Dad and my Dad absolutely love them.
The original recipe comes from an old MEI school cookbook. 
However the last time I made them I tweaked the recipe yet again 
and they turned out better than ever before.
Try them and see if they become your "Dad's" favourites.
  • 1 cup shortening (I used Crisco)
  • 1 cup unsalted butter
  • 2 cups white sugar
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 4 tablespoons fancy molasses 
  • 3 cups oatmeal 
  • 3 cups flour
  • 2 cups medium coconut
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 3/4 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1 teaspoon allspice
  1. Cream together shortening, butter, white sugar and brown sugar.
  2. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well in between.
  3. Add molasses and vanilla and mix well
  4. Add flour, oatmeal, coconut and spices* and mix until well blended.
  5. Refrigerate dough for about an hour.
  6. Using a cookie scoop or teaspoons, drop 1 1/2 inch balls on to cookie sheets leaving  plenty of room between the cookies.
  7. Roll each between your palms to form a ball and return to pan.
  8. Bake at 325º (regular oven) or 300º (convection oven) for 10 to 12 minutes or until cookies are golden.
  9. Remove from oven and drop pan on to counter. Dropping the pan firmly on the counter causes the cookies to deflate somewhat resulting in a chewier cookie.
  10. After 5 minutes, remove to brown paper or racks to cool.
  11. Store in zippered plastic bag (remove as much air as possible) or tightly lidded containers.  
  12. These cookies freeze well. Makes about 5 dozen medium large cookies.
*This is the spice combination I like best, however if you like a spicier cookie, feel free to add more of your favourites.

Monday, February 23, 2015

Mini Mexican Pizzas

Serve them as appies...or as the main event.  Any which way, they'll be a hit!  
  • 3–4 large flour tortillas
  • 1 pound lean ground beef, cooked
  • 1/2 cup salsa
  • 1/2 package taco seasoning mix plus water (according to directions) 
  • 1/2 cup refried beans (optional)
  • 1/4 cup chopped green pepper or 1/4 cup corn
  • 3/4 cup shredded Mexican blend cheese

Optional Toppings: sliced black olives, shredded lettuce, sour cream, chopped tomatoes

  1. Preheat oven to 475F. 
  2. Spray muffin tin with non-stick cooking spray.
  3. Lay each tortilla out on a flat surface, and using a large cookie cutter or empty can, cut 3-4 circles (close to 4") out of each tortilla.
  4. Press each circle into muffin tin.
  5. Cook and drain hamburger meat.
  6. Add taco seasoning and water and continue to cook for several minutes (as indicated on package).
  7. Add salsa and re-fried beans and stir to combine well.  Heat through; then remove from heat. 
  8. Scoop meat mixture into muffin cups, dividing evenly among twelve.
  9. Top with shredded cheese. 
  10. Bake in pre-heated oven for 10-12 minutes, or until cheese is melted.
  11. Remove from oven and let pizzas cool in tin for 5 minutes.
  12. Remove pizzas from muffin tin using a fork or knife. 
  13. Serve with sliced black olives, sour cream, chopped tomatoes, and shredded lettuce , as desired!
 Makes 12.


Sunday, February 22, 2015

Bread For the Journey

Psalm 37:34 (a) Living Bible
Don’t be impatient for the Lord to act! 
Keep traveling steadily along his pathway and in due season he will honor you with every blessing.

Do you find that you pray for something and get impatient for the Lord to act? It is not uncommon for us as believers to get impatient. I know that I do, especially if it something that I have been praying for a long time. To wait upon the Lord means you are expecting something wonderful to happen with confidence and hope that surely God will answer. But why does it seem like God is silent at times?
Something happens while I wait during these times. I can either become anxious and impatient or allow God to transform me from the inside out. His desire is to change my heart and character to become more like His as I learn to trust Him. (I must admit that I am not fully there yet). It is during those times that I have become more familiar with God's grace, love and power in my life. When I come to that place of surrender to allow God to be in control then I have truly experienced His Peace that passes all understanding inspite of my circumstances. When I try to take control it just brings more anxiety. (Trust me I know). 
I am trying to learn to embrace the process of this journey God has me on and rely on His power in my own life as I wait for my prayers to be answered in better ways I ever dreamed possible. I am choosing to focus my attention on God rather than the challenge that lays before me. 
I want to encourage you my dear reader, with this verse as you too surrender and trust Him as you wait. May the Lord bless you in the journey. 
Wait for the Lord, be strong and take heart and wait for the Lord. (Psalm 27:14)

Saturday, February 21, 2015

Savory Snacking Bread

When I saw this idea, using a sourdough bread, I decided to try our no-fail French bread to make this savory snack, appetizer or soup accompaniment. Why not try it this weekend? This recipe will make two loaves. 

  • 2 Tbsp oil
  • 2 Tbsp sugar
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 2 cups hot (tap) water
  • 4 - 5 cups flour, divided (can be half whole wheat)
  • 2 Tbsp instant yeast
  • sesame seeds (optional)

  1. Put sugar, oil, salt and hot water in a large mixing bowl. You can also use a mixer that has a dough hook attachment or your bread machine.  
  2. Add 1 cup of the flour mixed with the yeast, then the rest of the flour, 1/2 cup at a time. Add flour until dough comes away from side of bowl or easily holds together in a ball shape and is not too sticky if you handle it with floured hands. Cover bowl with wax paper and tea towel.
  3. Let rise until double, about 1/2 hour. Divide in half.
  4. Roll out on a slightly floured surface to dinner plate size, just to roll out any bubbles. Roll up, tuck in ends well and rotate on counter while pushing sides under to shape into a ball. Place on greased or parchment paper lined pan. Cut diagonal slits on top. Cover.
  5. Let rise about 30 - 45 min. Brush with cream and sprinkle with sesame seeds. (optional)
  6. Bake at 400 F for 20 min, or until golden. Remove to rack to cool. Can be frozen for future use.
Savory Filling for one loaf:
  • 2 cups shredded cheese (I used a mix of cheddar, Colby and Monterrey Jack)
  • 1/4 cup melted butter
  • 1/4 cup green onions and /or 1 jalapeno, chopped fine


  1. Cut bread in one inch sliced (both directions) to within half an inch of the bottom)
  2. Fill cuts with cheese, drizzle with butter and sprinkle with chives.
  3. Wrap in parchment and foil to hold together well.
  4. Bake at 350 F for 15 minutes. Open foil and bake about 10 minutes longer, until cheese is melted.