Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Apricot Cream Cheese Coffeecake

I got this recipe from my friend  Eileen. Coffee cake is a simple recipe to go perfectly for most any occasion. Anything from a simple coffee date with friends or dessert after dinner.

Cake Base:

  • 1-1/2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 3/4 cup butter or hard margarine, softened
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 - 8 oz package cream cheese, softened
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1 teaspoon grated lemon rind
  • 1 cup apricot jam
  • 1/3 cup icing sugar, also known as powdered or confectioners sugar
  • 2 - 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • whipped cream
  1. Grease and flour a 10 inch springform pan.
  2. In a large bowl combine all the cake ingredients, and mix on low to medium speed until the ingredients come together scraping the sides of the bowl occasionally for about 2-3 minutes. 
  3. Spread the batter on the bottom of the pan and up the sides about 2 inches. 
  4. Combine all the filling ingredients except the jam mix thoroughly until you have a smooth mixture. 
  5. Spread over the cake base. Top with the apricot jam. 
  6. Bake in a preheated 350 degree oven for 45-55 minutes or until the crust is a golden brown. 
  7. Cool the cake for about 30 minutes. 
  8. Combine the icing sugar and lemon juice until you have a smooth glaze.
  9. Drizzle over baked coffee cake. 
  10. Serve warm or room temperature topped with freshly whipped cream.
  11. Enjoy.  

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Coconut Lime Biscotti

What's not to love about this biscotti? Crunchy and citrusy. If you want to make them any more special than they already are you could dip one end of each biscotti in melted chocolate. I dipped half in melted white chocolate and left the other half plain. They pair well with a cup of coffee or tea!
Package up a few for gifts to bless, or share with a friend coming for coffee.
Recipe adapted from Healthy Cooking.
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup canola oil
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/4 cup lime juice (2 limes)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/2 teaspoon coconut extract
  • 1 3/4 cup flour
  • 2/3 cup cornmeal
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup flaked coconut
  • 1 teaspoon lime zest
  • Extra zest to sprinkle on top of the dipped biscotti if you are dipping them.
  1. In a medium sized bowl beat sugar and oil until blended.
  2. Beat in eggs, lime juice, vanilla, and coconut extract.
  3. Combine flour, cornmeal, baking powder, and salt, gradually add to sugar mixture. and mix well. Dough will be sticky.
  4. Stir in coconut and lime zest.
  5. Divide dough in half. With lightly floured hands shape each half into a 12" x 2" rectangle on a parchment lined cookie sheet.
  6. Bake at 350º for 20 - 25 minutes, until set.
  7. Allow to cool. Once cool enough to handle, transfer to a cutting board and cut diagonally with a serrated knife into 3/4" slices.
  8. Place cut side down on parchment lined baking sheets.
  9. Bake 6 minutes on each side until golden in color.
  10. Remove to rack to cool.
  11. Once cool you can dip in melted white chocolate and sprinkle with a little lime zest or if you wish leave them plain.
  12. Store in an airtight container.
  13. Yield: 2 dozen biscotti

Monday, January 16, 2017

Rice and Meatball Soup

Soup in the winter months is one of my favorite 'go to' comfort foods.  My mom used to always make this soup and after chatting to my sister, I think we have the right recipe.  And for some reason, we've had real winter since the beginning of December.  That is unusal for us living on the coast.
  • 3 quarts water
  • 2 cups cooked rice
  • 1 medium sliced onion
  • 2 stalks celery chopped
  • 1/2 cup green onions
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1/2 dried red cayenne pepper
  • 1 tbsp. salt 
  • 1/4 tsp pepper
  • 2 tbsp fresh parsley used for garnish
Meatball Mixture
  • 1 pound ground lean beaf
  • 1 egg
  • salt and pepper to taste
  1. Cook the rice in advance.
  2. Prepare soup broth adding ingredients as listed.
  3. Let simmer for 20 minutes.
  4. Prepare meat mixture and form small meatballs.
  5. Drop them into the broth.
  6. Continue boiling for 15 more minutes and then allow to simmer.
  7. Just prior to serving add parsley as garnish

Sunday, January 15, 2017

Bread For the Journey

"The Son reflects God's own glory and everything about Him represents God exactly."
Hebrews 1:3

"We can be mirrors that brightly reflect the glory of the Lord. 
And as the Spirit of the Lord works within us, we become more and more like Him 
and reflect His glory even more."
2 Corinthians 3:18

These two verses stood out of several I was reading on the theme of the glory of the Lord.

I got to thinking about mirrors.
- The way a mirror reflects my image and that of the room I am in.
- That although it is not an exact image but a "turned around" one, 
it does give me a good idea of my appearance and that of my surroundings.
- The way it only reflects a portion of what is really there.
- That it reflects light.

The Bible uses the idea of a mirror to show us how we can be the representation of God's glory to those who don't know Him.  The world doesn't know God.  They have no idea of the reality of His glory or what that means to them.  By being a mirror and reflecting God's glory we can show them Who He is.
We can only represent as much of God as we know.  So it is important to acquaint ourselves with our Saviour, studying to be like Him. Paul assures us that if we do that, the Spirit will make us more and more like Him.
We are unlike Christ who is the exact representation of God and but we can give the world a good idea of who He really is by our demeanor, our behaviour and our love for one another.

  As Christians, we have been given the ability and responsibility to reflect God's glory.

In Genesis and in Acts we read how Moses and Steven each had a close encounter with God.  As a result, their faces shone - reflecting the fact that they had been in God's presence.

An old Gentleman friend who went to be with the Lord many years ago, told me to walk through life with what he called, an "Open Face" - one that reflects the light of Jesus. 

By spending time in God's Word and walking daily with Christ, I can reflect God's light and share His glory with the world.

Saturday, January 14, 2017

Saturday in the Kitchen

Julie in Her Kitchen

There is lots that I would have done differently if I had had a say when my current home was built - but I didn't, so I had to take it 'as is'.  I was delighted, however, that the most important room for me - the kitchen - did have almost all of the things that I look for, and what it didn't have my handy husband was able to build for me.
Would I love new appliances or  granite counter tops?  Sure! But those are not inexpensive and I am content in my kitchen - happy to spend time in it, which I do!

On my list of 'must haves'  in a kitchen are ...
I like the kitchen to be a 'room' in itself, which mine is ...
It must have lots of cupboards,
a window over the sink,
a working island

I also love an 'eat-in' kitchen ...
with lots of  windows,
the view must be of trees and wildlife ...
Which I have as the photo below shows.

I also love a kitchen to have lots of interest ... detail ... a room that I like to 'look at'.
Here is what I see from the entry arch before  I enter my kitchen ...
and yes ... my fridge door is my 'display wall' !! Sorry!

Below is a closer view of the corner ... it was an empty space when we moved in. A space not big enough for a sitting area but too big to leave bare - so my husband added a pantry section to the cupboards beside the fridge and then built in the corner desk/cupboard shelves unit. A better view of it in the photo below. Second photo shows my decor accents in the high space above my cupboards.

There is a German word that describes something I enjoy doing in my kitchen and because this is a MENNONITE girls' blog, I will share the word with you ... maybe you are familiar with it. The word is Schmengen.  There is no English word to translate its meaning, so if I was to describe what the word 'schmengen' means I would say  it is to sneak tempting morsels that might spoil your appetite. Taking that extra chocolate from the candy bowl, licking the beaters, sampling the cookie dough ... or tasting one (or two!) cookies as they come out of the oven, even though you aren't at all hungry, would all come under that word 'schmengen' ...  For those of you familiar with the word, would you agree?

My kitchen may not be a kitchen you would like.
Do you have a 'must have' list for your ideal kitchen?
What is your favorite feature of your kitchen?
What is the one thing you would change in your kitchen  - if money was no object?

Friday, January 13, 2017

Flash Back Friday ~ Glazed Yeast Donuts

A plate full of delicious glazed yeast donuts should cheer anybody up on a cold winter day. To work off the calories go shovel snow, that is if you live in snowy Manitoba!
These donuts are a family favorite. They are messy to eat but once you sink your teeth into one of these you won't mind the mess.
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 1/4 cups lukewarm water
  • 3 eggs, room temperature
  • 2 tablespoons instant yeast
  • 8 - 8 1/4 cups flour
  1. Scald milk, stir in butter, sugar, salt, and lukewarm water. Whisk till butter is melted and sugar dissolved.
  2. Whisk eggs till foamy and add to the warm milk mixture.
  3. Add 4 cups flour, yeast, and mix well.
  4. Add the rest of the flour one cup at a time as needed and knead until dough is smooth, just a few minutes will do it. It will still be slightly sticky. 
  5. Place in a covered greased bowl in a warm place and let rise until doubled in bulk approx 25 to 30 minutes. Punch down.
  6. Divide the dough into 3 balls. 
  7. Roll out each ball to 1/4" to 3/8" thick on a floured surface, using just enough flour so dough doesn't stick to the surface. 
  8.  Using a round donut cutter, cut shapes and place on a cookie sheet sprayed with oil, leaving space between each donut for rising. I don't re-roll the scraps, instead just let them rise along with the 'donut holes' and fry them like the donuts. (The fried donut 'scraps' are often grabbed first!)
  9. Cover with a tea towel and allow donuts to rise 25 minutes.
  10.  Deep fry raised donuts in a a pot of hot oil on medium high heat (375º) till donuts are golden on one side, flip over and fry till golden or done, approx 1 minute on each side. Cut into the first one to check for timing on doneness. I like using my wok for deep frying.
  11. Glaze while warm and serve.
Sticky Syrupy Glaze:
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1 3/4 cups sugar
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  1. Boil first 3 ingredients for 4 to 5 minutes, till glaze looks syrupy.
  2. Whisk in vanilla.
  3. Dip warm donuts in glaze and enjoy!
I only glaze as much as I want to serve, as they are best eaten fresh.
The leftover glaze and unglazed donuts freeze well.
Reheat frozen donuts in 350º oven, checking after a few minutes to make sure they are thawed then dip in reheated glaze. 
Sorry I didn't count them but you should get a couple dozen.

Thursday, January 12, 2017

Porridge Pancakes

This family sized recipe makes about 16 hearty, oat filled pancakes named for their moist porridge texture within a pancake. We love them with cinnamon steamed apples on the side. This recipe works best if mixed the night before and refrigerated to cook in the morning, or mix during the day to cook for supper.


  • 2 cups (quick cooking) rolled oats
  • 3 cups buttermilk (or 2 cups milk and 1 cup yogurt)
  • 2 tbsp oil
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 1 cup flour
  • 2 Tbps sugar
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp salt
Steamed apples
  • 2 Gala apples, unpeeled and sliced
  • 1 Tbsp butter
  • 2 Tbsp sugar
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon
  1. Combine oats and buttermilk. Stir in oil and beaten eggs. 
  2. Add combined dry ingredients. Refrigerate overnight or for several hours.
  3. Cook on non-stick griddle between low and med heat. Adjust heat setting so that the pancakes do not brown too quickly. Cook first side for about 2-3 minutes, until tiny bubbles appear on top. Flip and cook for another 2 - 3 minutes. * 
  4. In the meantime, in medium pot, cook apple slices in butter until tender. A few minutes. Sprinkle with sugar and cinnamon and keep hot on low heat. 
* tips: a square (stove top) griddle/and a scratch proof flipper is a great investment for cooking pancakes/hot cakes. Keep cooked pancakes warm on an oven proof serving plate in 200 F oven. Serve with butter, maple syrup and cinnamon apples.
Left over pancakes can be stored in sealed bag (refrigerator or freezer) and toasted.