Sunday, April 26, 2015

Bread for the Journey

Psalm 92

A Song for the Lord’s Day

It is good to give thanks to the LORD,
    to sing praises to the Most High.
 It is good to proclaim Your unfailing love in the morning,
    Your faithfulness in the evening,
  accompanied by a ten-stringed instrument, a harp,

    and the melody of a lyre.
You thrill us, LORD, with all you have done for us!
We sing for joy because of what You have done.
 LORD, what great works You do!
    And how deep are Your thoughts.
 Only a simpleton would not know,
    and only a fool would not understand this:
 Though the wicked sprout like weeds
    and evildoers flourish,
    they will be destroyed forever.
But You, O LORD, will be exalted forever.
Your enemies, LORD, will surely perish;
    all evildoers will be scattered.
But You have made us as strong as a wild ox.
    You have anointed us with the finest oil.
Our eyes have seen the downfall of our enemies;
    our ears have heard the defeat of our wicked opponents.
 But the godly will flourish like palm trees
    and grow strong like the cedars of Lebanon.
For they are transplanted to the LORD's own house.
    They flourish in the courts of our God. 
Even in old age they will still produce fruit;
    they will remain vital and green.
 They will declare,
 “The LORD is just!
    He is my rock!
    There is no evil in Him!”
            New Living Translation

Saturday, April 25, 2015

How to easily peel the freshest eggs

If you have ever gathered eggs from your hens in the morning with the hope of hard boiled eggs for lunch, then you will surely want to take a look at how easy it is to peel those eggs.
The eggs pictured in the photo were cooked the same day they were laid.

  1. Have the eggs at room temperature.
  2. Bring a pot of water to a full boil.  Be sure to have a large enough pot to have several inches of water covering your eggs when they are in the pot.
  3. Place eggs into a large sieve, a few at a time and very gently place them in the pot.  Do not let them drop, hitting the bottom as this could cause the eggs to crack. You could use a spoon to place them but to ensure they are all cooked evenly, you want to get them all into the pot relatively quickly. 
  4. Set the timer for 15 minutes, continuing to boil eggs. Stir the eggs ever so gently every few minutes to keep the yolks centered.
  5. While the eggs boil, prepare a bowl with ice cubes.  At the end of 15 minutes, drain eggs and dump them into the bowl with ice.  Cover with water.  Stir to be sure all the eggs are being chilled evenly.   
  6. Once the eggs have cooled, tap the wider end to crack it and peel.   

Friday, April 24, 2015

Shnetchi (biscuits) - Flashback Friday

For flashback Friday I am bringing back my shnetchi recipe. 

These shnetchi are very good served with jam, honey or Roger's Golden Syrup. This recipe was passed down from my Dad. He told me to always use whipping cream, although I sometimes use buttermilk and they turn out great too. My Dad used to have a shnetchi booth at the Mennonite Heritage Village Museum during Pioneer days. His booth was called 'Uncle Knals Shnetchi'.
  • 2 3/4 cups flour
  • 3/4 tsp salt
  • 4 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 1 cup whipping cream
  • 2 eggs, well beaten
  1. Mix dry ingredients together.
  2. Cut in butter with pastry blender until crumbly.
  3. Make a well in the dry ingredients, add cream and beaten eggs.
  4. Using a fork stir together just until mixed. Don't overwork the dough or the biscuits will be tough.
  5. Gather dough into a ball and pat out on counter to desired thickness, approx 3/4 to 1" thick.
  6. Cut with round cookie cutter or whatever shape you want.
  7. Place on pan and bake at 400ยบ for 15 minutes or until golden in color.
  8. Yield: 9 - 12 shnetchi..depending on the thickness and size of cutter you used.

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Asparagus-Pancetta Phyllo Appetizers

This is a simple appetizer with a pretty presentation. I used mini Phyllo cups that come frozen in the freezer aisle of the grocery store. The sky is the limit on what filling combination you could use. We had these at Easter so the Asparagus was my go to choice with added ingredients that I thought would go well together.

  • 2 Packages of Mini Phyllo Pastry Shells (30 total)
  • 15 stalks of Asparagus, washed and chopped into small pieces.
  • 2 Tablespoons butter
  • 1 Shallot, chopped
  • 1/2 cup diced Pancetta (you can substitute bacon)
  • 1/4 cup white wine or chicken stock
  • 1 Tablespoon White wine vinegar or Sherry Vinegar
  • Salt and Pepper, to taste

Added Optional Ingredients:
  • 2 egg whites from 2 hard boiled eggs, chopped. Discard the yolk.
  • 1/2 cup shredded cheese of your choice

  1. Defrost the Phyllo Shells in refrigerator overnight.
  2. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  3. In a saucepan, melt the butter on medium heat and cook the asparagus for 2 minutes. Set aside in a bowl.
  4. In the same saucepan, cook the chopped shallot for 2 minutes.
  5. Now add the Pancetta to the pan and cook for 1 minute. (If you choose to use bacon instead precook it before this step and add it to the mix when you add the egg whites.)
  6. De-glaze the pan with white wine and reduce by half. (Shallots and Pancetta stay in pan for this step)
  7. Add the white wine vinegar and reduce by half again.
  8. Pour over the Asparagus.
  9. Add the chopped egg white solids to the Asparagus bowl.
  10. Mix gently and season with salt and pepper.
  11. If you want to add the grated cheese do it now and mix gently.
  12. Place thawed Phyllo shells on a cookie sheet that is large enough for the 30 shells.
  13. Fill each cup full with the Asparagus mixture.
  14. Bake in 350 degree oven for 10-15 minutes. Just long enough to warm all ingredients through.

Set out on pretty plate and watch them disappear!

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Roasted Rhubarb Scones

These scones are so delicious and beautiful and fit for the prettiest teas and yet simple to put together for a quick coffee if you have your rhubarb roasted and ready in the refrigerator.

I usually keep a container of roasted rhubarb in our refrigerator for a week to put over vanilla yogurt, 
or to add to scones or over ice cream for dessert.

Roasted Rhubarb 
  • 8 cups diced rhubarb (about 1/2 inch dice)
  • 1 cup sugar
  1. Wash and dice rhubarb and spread onto parchment paper on a cookie sheet. Sprinkle with sugar. The rhubarb will lose about 1/2 the volume during the roasting.  You will end up with about 4 cups.
  2. Roast in a 350 F oven for about 45 minutes to one hour.  Remove from oven to cool until needed.
  3. Refrigerate the Roasted Rhubarb that you are not needing for scones.
Scone Dough
  • 2 1/2 cups flour
  • 3 tablespoons sugar
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup cold butter, cubed
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 1 egg
  1. Preheat oven to 400 F.
  2. Stir together dry ingredients in a bowl.  Cut butter into dry ingredients with a pastry blender.
  3. Stir together buttermilk and egg and gently stir into flour mixture.
  4. Turn out onto a floured surface and knead a few times.  Shape into a long rectangle about 1/2 inch thick.  (the exact measurement doesn't matter, as long as  you can fold the dough over twice.
  5. Using a slotted spoon (leaving most of the liquid behind) place roasted rhubarb along the center 1/3 of dough.  Fold the bottom third of dough on top of rhubarb and add more roasted rhubarb on top.  Fold the top third of dough over the center, covering the roasted rhubarb.  
  6. Cut into triangles and form into a circle with the sides not quite touching  on a parchment paper lined baking sheet. 
  7. Bake for 15 minutes or until tops are lightly browned.
  8. While still warm, drizzle with glaze.
  • 2 cups icing / powdered sugar 
  • a few teaspoons of syrup from roasted rhubarb 
  • additional cream to make a smooth runny glaze
  1. Combine ingredients and pour over scones while they are still warm.

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Plum Sauce / Cream Sauce (Schmaundt Fat)

This recipe was shared with me by my friend Renee who got the recipe from her dear mother by love Elizabeth Strempler. This is a wonderful sauce to pour over the cottage cheese perogies and cream sauce (Schmaundt Fat), it raises perogies to a whole new level. Thank you Renee for sharing this recipe and your family tradition. It was a lot of fun enjoying a meal after making so many perogies together. It is way more fun making time consuming recipes like vareniki with friends.

Plum sauce -
  • 8 cups prune plums
  • 2 cups damson plums OR
  • a combination of your favorite plums to equal 10 cups
  • 3 cups white sugar
  • 1/3 cup minute tapioca
  1. Cut up the plums in bite size pieces. 
  2. Combine the sugar and tapioca and sprinkle over the plums and let sit for 20 minutes. 
  3. Bring to a boil and cook on medium heat for about 5 minutes. 
  4. Cool the sauce and freeze in desired portion sizes. 
  5. To serve, thaw sauce and heat gently til warm. 
  6. Pour over vareniki and cream sauce. 

Schmaundt Fat (Cream Gravy)

  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • 1 cup milk
  • salt to taste
  1. On medium heat, melt the butter in a saucepan or frying pan.
  2. Add the flour and stir together with a whisk cooking until a the flour begins to change color.
  3. Pour in the cream and milk and cook until bubbly, stirring frequently with the whisk to prevent lumps. 
  4. Add salt to taste. 
  5. When the sauce is smooth and thickened it is ready to serve, it takes about 3 minutes.  
  6. If you desire to use all cream or all milk that is just fine. 

Monday, April 20, 2015

Wild Rice Pancakes

A friend of ours said he had ordered wild rice pancakes in a restaurant and had really enjoyed them. He wondered if I could make them:) That intigued me so went in search of wild rice in my cupboard. All I had was a wild rice blend which worked just fine. These pancakes turned out nice and fluffy with a bit of a nutty texture and flavor. Delicious drizzled with pancake syrup and served with a side dish of strawberries.
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 1/2 cup buttermilk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 1/2 cups flour
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons butter, melted
  • 1 cup wild rice blend, cooked
  1. Whisk together eggs, buttermilk, and vanilla.
  2. In another bowl combine dry ingredients.
  3. Slowly add dry ingredients to the wet ingredients just until combined, stir in melted butter and cooked rice.
  4. Heat up your lightly greased griddle to medium high heat. 
  5. Using a small ladle, scoop batter on the grill. Cook approx 2 minutes or until golden in color. Flip pancakes and cook another 2 minutes.
  6. Serve least that is how we like them.
  7. Yields: 8 pancakes