Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Dessert Crepes

When we toured the little town of Hyeres this past summer, we stopped at a sidewalk cafe and had the most amazing crepes! I decided that we would have to try these when we got home. I used an old stand by pancake (crepe) recipe from the Mennonite Treasury (p 15) and poured them a tad thicker than I would for "sugar roll up" type pancakes.  Dessert pancakes are not a lot of work and can be a fun to do around the table. I will post a banana hazelnut spread version, but the filling options are limitless.


  • 4 eggs
  • 3 cups milk
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 cups flour
  • hazelnut spread, sliced bananas and whipped cream
  1. With hand mixer, beat eggs, milk, flour and salt, until fairly smooth.
  2.  Pour about 1/3 - 1//2 cup of batter into hot, lightly buttered 8-inch griddle.
  3. Cook both sides and stack on serving plate. Butter griddle as needed.
  4. Prepare filling and topping: sliced bananas, hazelnut topping in piping tube and whipped cream. When served, each guest can spread hazelnut topping down center of crepe, top with bananas, fold over and top with whipped cream. Hazelnut - free options to have on hand as well could be steamed, sliced apples or any fresh or cooked berries.

Monday, October 20, 2014

Turkey Pepper Chili

This chili is a great alternative to beef chili and one with some added ingredients that are considered to be a healthy alternative.

2 tbsp. olive oil
1 pound white meat ground turkey
1/2 onion chopped
2 stalks of celery chopped
1 red bell pepper seeded and chopped
1 jalapeno pepper seeded and chopped
1 Anaheim chile seeded and chopped
2 cups chicken stock (or more if needed)
1 can 14.5 oz. diced tomatoes
1 can 15 oz. white beans or black beans (drained)
1 tbsp. chili powder
1 tsp. each of salt, cumin, and dried oregano leaves
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
4 cups of chopped Kale
salt and pepper to taste

Heat olive oil in large pot, add onion, celery and all peppers and saute till onion is translucent. Add turkey and season with salt and pepper and cook through. If needed add a little of the chicken stock during this process if the turkey starts sticking to the pan. Add remaining ingredients, including Kale. Bring to a boil and then lower the temperature to a simmer. Simmer till the vegetables are cooked through. Taste and add salt and pepper if needed.
Serve with corn bread.

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Bread for the Journey

Blest be the tie that binds...
Our hearts in Christian love;
The fellowship of kindred minds,
Is like to that above.
John Fawcett ~ 1782

The words of that song have come to mind as we worshiped with believers in various churches we have visited while traveling.  Whether it was in the jungle of Haiti, the mountains of Switzerland, the dessert of Arizona, the prairies of Canada or on the islands of Hawaii...there was that 'tie that binds'.  I recall in particular, a church service we took in while vacationing in Kona, Hawaii some time ago. Our early Sunday morning walk took us past the Living Stones Church where the 7:30 am service was just beginning. Though the little church was already full, there was plenty of room in the oceanfront overflow area...and so we joined the outdoor service. The time of fellowship ended with communion and though we knew not a soul in the congregation...we felt that 'tie that binds'.  How special to share that common link...our relationship with our Lord Jesus Christ.  If we are in Christ, we share a bond that even the greatest diversities cannot break.

 But if we walk in the light, 
as he is in the light, 
we have fellowship with one another, 
and the blood of Jesus his Son cleanses us from all sin.
 1 John 1:7 ESV

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Green Tomato Jam

A little more preserving.. Not all the tomatoes ripened in the garden this year so I decided to make green tomato jam. A nice little appetizer or snack. Spread cream cheese on a cracker and add a little of the jam on top. If you like more heat add more jalapeno. This jam tastes great on toast too.
  • 4 cups green tomatoes, chopped
  • 1 large jalepeno pepper, finely minced
  • 3 cups sugar
  • 3 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon grated lemon peel
  1. Chop tomatoes, mince pepper and put both in a large pot.
  2. Add sugar, lemon juice and grated lemon peel.
  3. Bring to boil over medium heat, stirring occasionally.
  4. Cook for 30 minutes.
  5. Pour jam into sterilized jars and seal. 
  6. Store in refrigerator.
  7. Yields: 6 half cup jars.

Friday, October 17, 2014

Flashback Friday ~ Pumpkin Praline Trifle

I found this recipe in a magazine and have made it for two very special gatherings. It's a great trifle for our fall and winter celebrations.

The most time consuming part of the recipe is making the praline. The praline recipe yields enough to make 2 trifles. The creamy layers and pumpkin layers are very simple to make and assemble. If you have a large gathering with lots of preparations I would suggest making the praline up to a week ahead and then preparing the trifle a day or two ahead of your gathering.

  • Nonstick vegetable oil spray
  • 1 cup packed golden brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/3 cup half and half
  • 1-1/2 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1-2/3 cups pecan halves or pieces (about 6 oz.)

Mascarpone Cream:
  • 2 cups chilled heavy whipping cream
  • 1- 8 oz. container chilled mascarpone cheese
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 - 15 oz. can pure pumpkin
  • 1/2 cup packed golden brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 1 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp. freshly grated nutmeg (I used already ground)
  • 1/4 tsp. ground allspice
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1-1/2 - 3 oz. packages of soft ladyfingers. (I bought a 4.75 oz. box of soft lady fingers at Trader Joe’s and it was enough for 1 trifle)
  • 4-1/2 tablespoons of dark rum, divided
  1. Spray baking sheet with nonstick spray. 
  2. Bring both sugars and half and half to boil in heavy medium saucepan over medium high heat, whisking to dissolve sugar. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer 5 minutes, whisking constantly. 
  3. Add butter, vanilla, and salt. 
  4. Attach candy thermometer to pan. Simmer without stirring until temperature registers 260 degrees F, about 8 minutes. 
  5. Remove from heat; immediately mix in pecans. 
  6. Transfer to prepared sheet, spreading in a single layer. 
  7. Cool completely. Chop into 1/4 inch pieces.
 Mascarpone Cream:
  1. Using electric mixer, beat all ingredients in large bowl until firm peaks form. 
  2. Set aside 1/2 cup mascarpone cream for pumpkin filling.
  1. Whisk pumpkin, brown sugar, whipping cream, cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice, and salt to blend.
  2. Whisk in reserved 1/2 cup mascarpone cream.

Assembling the Trifle:
  1. Spread 1/3 cup mascarpone cream over bottom of 8×5 inch trifle dish (12-14 cup capacity). 
  2. Place layer of lady fingers over cream. Sprinkle 1-1/2 Tablespoons of rum over. 
  3. Spread 1/2 cup pumpkin filling over ladyfingers, spreading to edges. 
  4. Sprinkle 1/3 cup praline over. 
  5. Spread 1 cup mascarpone cream over. 
  6. Cover with another layer of lady fingers. 
  7. Sprinkle with 1-1/2 tablespoons rum, then spread 1 cup pumpkin filling over. 
  8. Sprinkle 1/2 cup praline over.
  9. Repeat 1 more time with 1 cup mascarpone cream, lady fingers, rum, 1 cup pumpkin filling and 1/2 cup praline. 
  10. Spread remaining mascarpone cream on top. 
  11. Cover and chill overnight.
  12. DO AHEAD. Can be made 2 days ahead.
Uncover trifle. Sprinkle 1 cup praline decoratively over top (reserving any remaining praline for another use)
 You can omit the Rum if you prefer...

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Whoopie Pies - Gluten Free

Since I bought a Whoopie pan some time ago, even though I bought it for an unrelated use, I thought I should try the Whoopie pie recipe that came with the pan.
I'm not familiar with Whoopie pies, except from books set in the South, where Whoopie pies seem to be considered the ultimate treat.
I adapted the recipe to be gluten free and was quite happy with how they turned out.  I made my own marshmallow creme and I found that the top Whoopie pie did not want to sit still on top of the crème.  Maybe the commercial product is more stable, or maybe I should have refrigerated them until set.
But since mine slid I decided to make a chocolate sauce to drizzle over them and pretend I wanted them to slide and served them as a dessert -  my guests were lavish with praise and I didn't tell them about my less than successful attempt at assembling them.   Good way to cover a failure, right?   Just pretend you meant it to be that way!  smile

So here is my recipe for both the gf Whoopie pies

  • 1 3/4 cup Julie's Flour Mix 
  • 1/2 cup packed brown sugar 
  • 1/2 cup white sugar 
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1/3 cup cocoa powder 
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder 
  • 1 tsp soda 
  • 1/2 tsp salt 
  • 1 tsp xanthan gum 
  • 1 egg 
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 cup milk 
  • 1tbsp  yogurt
  1. Beat butter and sugars until light and fluffy 
  2. Sift dry ingredients together 
  3. Add alternately with milk/yogurt
  4. Mix until well blended 
  5. Drop 2 tbsp batter in each whoopie cavity (makes 24 cakes / 12 whoopie pies) 
  6. Bake at 350 degrees for 10-12 minutes 
  7. Let cool completely then put two cakes together with marshmallow crème (make your own marshmallow creme - lots of recipes online -  or buy ready made from grocery store)  

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Linguini with Turkey and Sun Dried Tomatoes

After our family gathering on Thanksgiving weekend, I, like many of you, 
had leftover turkey in the fridge.
Here's what I did with it for supper last night.
  • linguini noodles to serve 4
  • 1-2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/2 a medium sized onion, sliced stem to root
  • 1 stalk celery sliced
  • 1/2 a yellow pepper cut into strips
  • 1 large clove garlic sliced into strips
  • 1/4 cup sun dried tomatoes (in oil) drained and cut into strips
  • 1 1/2 cups cut up cooked turkey
  • 2 tablespoon butter (I used leftover garlic butter)
  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • 1 1/2 cups milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon thyme
  • salt and pepper
  • Parmesan cheese.

  1. Cook noodles to package directions until al dente.
  2. Drain and set aside.
  3. While noodles are cooking, saute vegetables in olive oil until soft but not browned.
  4. Add sundried tomatoes and turkey to the vegetables and set aside.
  5. Make cream sauce by melting butter, blending in flour and then adding milk.
  6. Cook, stirring often until thickened.
  7. Add  thyme and salt and pepper to taste.
  8. Add noodles to the saute' pan with the vegetables.
  9. Pour the cream sauce over the noodles and vegetables and toss to moisten.
  10. Add grated parmesan cheese  (be generous!) and serve.