Saturday, March 25, 2017

Saturday in Ellen's Kitchen

For Saturday in my kitchen I wanted to share some kitchen items I've been using for 42 years now. We were married in December of 1974 and these were some shower and wedding gifts we received. They are still serving me well. These high quality stainless steel bowls have been used over and over again for mixing anything from cookies to cakes and brownies and for savory things like egg scrambles.
My tried and true stand mixer has been a faithful friend over all these years beating up ingredients for me and saving my hands and wrists and arms a lot of wear and tear.
My aluminum pans have made so many cakes, crumbles, breads, brownies, and other wonderful treats.

These last two I have used mostly for storage of leftovers and haven't baked anything in them. They have plastic tops that fit snugly on top and are very convenient for storage in the refrigerator and for reheating the leftovers.

Are you still using gifts from your wedding showers and wedding day?

Friday, March 24, 2017

Flash Back Friday ~ Self-Crust Coconut Pie..the easy way

For Flashback Friday I'm sharing this delicious coconut pie. If you don't have enough time to bake the usual coconut pie, this is the easy route to go. The filling is like a custard, add a bit of whipped cream and toasted coconut sprinkled on top and you will have a wonderful dessert to serve!

  • 4 eggs
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 1/4 cup butter, melted
  • 2 cups milk..I used skim and it turned out fine
  • 1 1/2 cups coconut..flaked is my favorite but shredded is fine.
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  1. Combine the ingredients in order given, whisking to combine thoroughly.
  2. Pour into a greased 10" pie pan, I used my glass pie pan.
  3. Bake at 350ยบ for 45 to 50 minutes or until golden brown. The center will still be a bit jiggly.
  4. Cool completely on a cooling rack. I couldn't wait and tasted it while still good.
  5. I served the pie with whipped cream and a sprinkling of toasted coconut. 
  6. Serves: 8-10

Thursday, March 23, 2017

White Bean and Ham Soup

With Easter around the corner, there is bound to be some ham served soon.  Today I'm sharing my Mom in law's recipe for White Bean and Ham Soup that I just love.   The recipe can be doubled if using a large ham bone or two ham hocks. 

  • 1 smoked ham hock or leftover ham bone
  • 3 cups of dry white beans
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 10 peppercorns
  • 6 whole allspice
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon summer savory
  • 2 tablespoons dried parsley
  • Salt and Pepper to taste
    1. 3 carrots, diced
    2. dash of natural hickory liquid smoke (150 ml bottle Woodland brand)
    3. Salt and Pepper to taste
    1. Put the ham hock or ham bone in a saucepan and add water just enough to cover the bone.
    2. Bring to a boil and then simmer a few hours until the ham is very tender.  Remove bone from the pot, take the meat off, set aside meat until later, return bone to the pot.
    3. Place spices in a spice ball or tie into a square of cheesecloth and add to soup. 
    4. Add beans and onion and simmer several hours until beans are nearly tender.
    5. Add carrots, reserved ham and a dash of natural hickory liquid smoke.
    6. Serve with a dollop of sour cream and add salt and pepper to taste. 

    Wednesday, March 22, 2017

    Tapioca Dream Pudding

    Tapioca pudding takes me back to eighth grade Home Ec, one of the first things we learned to cook. More recently, my sister mentioned making it for friends for whom it is a favorite dessert. I just had to go back to it. The lightness in this recipe comes from beating the egg white separately and adding it at the end.

    • 1 egg, separated
    • 4 Tbsp sugar, separated
    • pinch salt
    • 2 cups milk
    • 3 Tbsp Minit Tapioca
    • 3/4 tsp vanilla 
    • In 4 cup glass bowl, beat egg white, adding in 1 Tbsp sugar as it gets foamy. Beat until stiff peaks form and set aside.
    • In  saucepan, whisk egg yolk and 3 Tbsp sugar. Add salt and gradually stir in milk and then tapioca. Let sit 5 minutes.
    • Cook over medium heat, stirring, until mixture comes to a full boil. Remove from heat.
    • Immediately, with hand mixer on low speed, slowly add hot tapioca mixture into beaten egg white OR fold beaten egg whites into hot tapioca pudding with spatula. Add vanilla. 
    • Stir after 20 minutes and scoop into dessert bowls. Serve warm or chilled, plain or with fruit. Yields 3 - 4 small servings
    Note- naturally gluten free

    Tuesday, March 21, 2017

    Chicken with Mushrooms and Tomatoes

    This is a nice one skillet meal.  Add some pasta or rice and your dinner is complete.
    • 1 tablespoon olive oil
    • 3 chicken breasts cut lengthwise into 2 or 3 pieces
    • salt and pepper (I like to use seasoned pepper)
    • 1 large leek, cleaned and thinly sliced (white part only)
    • 2 large cloves garlic thinly sliced 
    • 2 cups grape tomatoes
    • 1 red pepper, seeded and cut into 1/2 inch pieces
    • 1 cup fresh button mushrooms (or larger mushrooms halved)
    • 1/2 cup roughly chopped fresh basil
    • 1/2 cup white wine (or chicken broth)
    • Fresh Parmesan
    1. Heat olive oil in a saute pan.
    2. Season chicken with salt and pepper and cook for several minutes on each side until the chicken begins to brown and is cooked through.
    3. Remove chicken from pan and set aside.
    4. Add the sliced leeks to the pan  (add more oil or a pat of butter if needed) and saute until they begin to soften
    5. Add the garlic, tomatoes, red peppers and mushrooms and continue to cook until the tomatoes begin to wilt and the mushrooms are cooked through.
    6. Return the chicken to the pan, add 1/2 the basil and the white wine and cook a few more minutes or until the wine is reduced.
    7. Sprinkle with the rest of the basil and freshly grated Parmesan if desired.
    8. Serve in the pan or in a wide deep serving dish.

    Monday, March 20, 2017

    Chickpea Salad

    Fresh, flavour, colour, easy, economical, healthy, delicious. 
    • 1 14 oz (398ml) can chickpeas
    • 1/3 cup finely chopped celery
    • 1/3 cup finely chopped fresh dill, (not not use dried dill in this recipe)
    • 1/2 cup shredded carrots
    • 1/3 cup finely chopped green onions
    • 1/3 cup chopped seeded cucumber
    • 1/3 cup finely chopped red pepper
    • 1/3 cup olive or grape seed oil
    • 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
    • 2 tbsp white vinegar
    • 1 tbsp lemon juice
    • 1 large clove garlic, minced
    • 1 tsp salt
    • 1 tsp pepper
    • 1/2 tsp basil
    • 1/4 tsp cumin
    1. Drain and rinse Chickpeas.
    2. Place Chickpeas in a dry non stick fry pan and cook over medium low stirring frequently for 4-5 minutes. They will just barely start to look dry. Remove from heat. Immediately transfer to a bowl to cool completely.
    3. Cut up all all vegetables. 
    4. Once Chickpeas are cold, combine with all vegetables.
    5. Make dressing. Shake together well. Pour over salad.
    6. Allow to marinade in refrigerator at least 1 hour or overnight. 

    Sunday, March 19, 2017

    Bread For The Journey

    Deuteronomy 1:6-8 (NASB) 
    “The Lord our God spoke to us at Horeb, ‘You have [a]stayed long enough at this mountain. 7 Turn and set your journey, and go to the hill country of the Amorites, and to all their neighbors in the Arabah, in the hill country and in the lowland and in the [b]Negev and by the seacoast, the land of the Canaanites, and Lebanon, as far as the great river, the river Euphrates. See, I have placed the land before you; go in and possess the land which the Lord swore to give to your fathers, to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob, to them and their [c]descendants after them.’
    I know that I have often stayed at 'my mountain' too long when I needed to leave and journey on. This mountain can be fear, discouragement, depression, and many other things which keep us from growing in the Lord. Our life becomes a rut and we know we have been at this mountain too long and that we need to move on. 
    Moses was preparing the people to enter the promised land. In this text God tells them it's time to leave this mountain and journey on to other areas. They have received their instructions and it's time to move out of the wilderness and learn other lessons.
    We can learn from this as well and be willing to move from 'our mountains', that we won't miss opportunities to show God's love.