Thursday, January 29, 2015

Meatloaf - Individual Size

It was common in years gone by for people to host another family around their table for a noon meal Sunday after church, often the big meal of day. My parents practiced Sunday hospitality and us children would especially enjoy when the guests were a family who had kids for us to play with in the afternoon. In our earlier years of marriage we too made this a fairly regular practice and it was always such a great time. So, we've decided to re adopt this 'old fashioned' idea once again in our home. We've already started this and here is the last meal I had cooking in the oven while we went to church. With a bit of pre planning and prep you can be seating at the table soon after arriving home from church.

Meat loaf is an old time favourite. Simple ingredients that can be made into one large loaf, or into these cute little individual loaves. 
**see note below for tips on baking**

  • 2 pounds lean ground beef
  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup fine bread crumbs
  • 1 small onion grated fine
  • 1/4 cup ketchup
  • 1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp pepper
  • 1 cup ketchup
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 2 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
  1. In a large bowl stir together all ingredients except for the ground beef.
  2. Add ground beef and mix well. I use my hands to mix it. 
  3. Form meat mixture into 8 or 9 equal oval shaped meatloaves. Place in a 9x13 size glass pan. 
  4. Stir together sauce. With the back of a spoon make a slight indent in the tops of each loaf. Top each loaf with sauce.
  5. Bake in 350º oven for 40 minutes if baking individual loaves, or for 60 minutes if making in one large loaf. Bake uncovered. 
**If you want to be well prepared and to have them ready after being out of the house for a few hours, make these a day or two ahead and freeze them in the baking pan (see photo below) with the sauce. When you are ready to leave the house cover the pan with foil and place in oven pre heated to 275º.  They can bake for 2 hours this way. When you come home, remove foil and turn heat up to 325º for the 10-15 minutes. (this step may not be necessary but it helps to brown them up a bit more. The meat loaves will still be nicely coated with sauce and there will be some liquid from the meat in the pan....discard this when ready to serve)**

**If you are at home when baking these, follow step 5 in instructions.**

Frozen, ready to cover with foil and go in 275º oven. The house smells so good when you walk in.

Here's a prep suggestion if you want to have almost everything ready to go when you get home. Boil and mash potatoes in the morning or the day before. I like to add milk and some herbed cream cheese to them. Place hot mashed potatoes in a crock pot on warm. They will be fluffy and hot when you get home.
Cut up vegetables and have in pot ready to cook and pre make a cheese sauce if required that only needs to be reheated. Salad ready in fridge.
Don't forget dessert. On Sundays you'll most likely be served pie around my table! 

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Garlic Cheese Buns

French bread dough is one of my favorite doughs to work with and is so versatile for almost anything. It is easy to make, and easy to work with. I use it for pizza, Swiss Cordon Bleu bread, Italian wedge bread that can easily be made into bread sticks as well, or these easy garlic cheese buns.  Anneliese's French Bread recipe is the same as mine, and she gives you more great ideas on how to use this fabulous dough. If you are new to yeast baking, may I suggest to begin by trying this recipe. I have taught this to many women over the years and is virtually fail proof.

  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil or whatever oil you use and have on hand
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 2 cups of hot water
  • 41/2 - 5 cups of flour
  • 2 tablespoons quick rise yeast*
  1. In a large mixing bowl combine half the flour with salt, sugar and yeast. 
  2. Add the water and oil.
  3. Keep adding flour until all the flour is incorporated into the dough and forms a ball. 
  4. Turn out the dough onto a floured board or counter top and knead for several minutes until you have a soft dough that is not longer sticky. 
  5. Cover the dough on the counter with a large enough bowl and let the dough rest for 20-30 minutes. 
  6. Form into small balls, about 3 dozen.
  7. Top each ball with a cube of cheese. It can be cheddar, old or medium, that gives the best flavor, or mozza. Use what you have on hand. 
  8. Pinch the dough around the cube of cheese to seal. 
  9. Allow to rise on greased baking pans for another half an hour.
  10. Bake at 375 for 20 minutes. 
  11. Remove from oven and immediately brush with melted butter mixed with desired amount of garlic powder or garlic salt. 
  12. For three dozen buns I used about 1/4 cup butter and 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder. 
* If I double this recipe I don't double the yeast. I find 2 Tablespoons of yeast adequate enough.

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Mexican Lasagna

Here is a Tex-Mex version of lasagna that is sure to please.  Rather than noodles and pasta sauce...simply layer tortillas and salsa and change up the cheese.  Bake it and serve it right in a cast iron skillet.  Great for potlucks and family gatherings.

  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 1 package taco seasoning mix
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 1/2 cups salsa (medium or hot)
  • 1-14 oz / 398 ml can re-fried beans
  • 1-12 oz / 341 ml can corn (or 1 can black beans, drained and rinsed)
  • 2 cups shredded Mexican cheese blend (Cheddar and Monterey Jack)
  • 6-8 flour tortillas  (ten inch)
  1. Place ground beef in a deep skillet. 
  2. Cook over medium high heat until evenly brown. 
  3. Drain, then season with taco seasoning and add water. Simmer for 10 minutes.
  4. Add salsa, refried beans and corn; heat through.
  5. Place about 1/3 cup of meat mixture in the bottom of a round baking dish...quiche pan, cast iron skillet, or round casserole dish.
  6. Place 1 tortilla at bottom of dish.
  7. Add a layer of meat mixture (about 2/3 cup); sprinkle with a layer of cheese.
  8. Continue alternating tortilla, meat mixture and cheese...ending with a thin layer of meat mixture.
  9. Cover and bake at 350°F for 30 minutes.
  10. Top with a layer of cheese.
  11. Bake uncovered for an additional 10 minutes or until cheese is melted.  
  12. Let stand several minutes before serving. 
Garnish with olives, guacamole, tomatoes, shredded lettuce and sour desired. 

Yield: 8 servings.

Monday, January 26, 2015

Chocolate Banana Bread

The original recipe for this lovely bread comes from a Kraft Canada flyer. I improvised with what I had available, switching out a few items and adding baking powder and vanilla. It's a win - win situation with chocolate and banana. I love the density and moistness of this loaf!

  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • 3 bananas, mashed
  • 1  1/2  cups flour
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 3 Tbsp baking cocoa
  1. Beat egg, mayonnaise and mashed bananas in bowl, using a whisk, until well blended. Add vanilla.
  2. In separate bowl, mix flour, sugar, baking powder, soda and salt. then stir into wet ingredients.
  3. Spoon half  (or slightly over half) of the batter into prepared 8x4 inch loaf pan.
  4. Sift cocoa into the batter left in the bowl, stir and drop by spoonfuls onto white batter.
  5. Bake in preheated 350 F oven for 1 hour or until toothpick comes out clean. Cool in pan for 10 minutes, before removing to wire rack. 
Idea: Cut into thick slices (10), wrap and freeze for individual snacks to go with "someone's" drink at the drive through. 

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Bread For The Journey

Snow is so scarce in our area. In the past few days we've been experiencing a 'pineapple express' weather pattern.  I love nothing more than taking a trip out to the mountains to enjoy the beauty of the fresh snow capped mountains, crisp and white, covering the landscape making it a magical land full of wonder and undiscovered mysteries. Did you know that every snowflake begins with a piece of dust? Just a few weeks ago, we had a light dusting and I'm always reminded of the lyrics of the song:  "Nothing But the Blood of Jesus"  
Oh! precious is the flow
That makes me white as snow;
No other fount I know,
Nothing but the blood of Jesus.

Two other references about snow come from Isaiah 1:18  and Psalm 51:7

"Though your sins are like scarlet, I will make them as white as snow..." 

"Purify me from my sins and I will be clean; wash me and I will be whiter than snow."

The snow covers everything and it reminds me of how much God loves us and yet how much more, that he paid a high price for our sins to be washed away.
Snow makes everything pure and clean, and hides the dark patches of soil and dirt. Even when the snow gets dirty, another snowfall makes it clean and white again. The old dirt cannot be seen.   
Just as snow covers everything in sight, God's grace covers our sin, not only our sin, but it also erases our sin.

Could it possibly be that you are discouraged because of something you have done? Come back to God and and allow him to wash away your sin and make You as 'white as snow.'  God can also create something beautiful out of us when we ask for forgiveness and allow God to cleanse us and when God forgives us, he removes every trace of impurity.

Saturday, January 24, 2015

Yorkshire Pudding Gluten Free

It is a good thing to remind ourselves how the expression of our appreciation toward someone is such an encouraging thing.
You -  our readers -  often make our day with your comments and kind words. Without you our blog would have no purpose!

One of you made my day recently,
June, who has to eat gluten-free, decided to mix up my Julie's Flour Blend and has enjoyed using it.
 She took the time to  send me an e-mail and  shared one of her successes with me. In response to my request, she kindly gave her consent for me to post her recipe and photo for others to enjoy!
So thank you, June for your Yorkshire Puddings recipe and your willingness to share it with us!

Saturday in the kitchen when I was growing up was always with Sunday dinner and company in mind. Someone I was reminiscing with about our childhood Saturdays said how roast beef was always served at her house every Sunday dinner,  and of course Yorkshire Puddings are perfect with roast beef.

Here is June's recipe --  I have tried/tested  it and found it to be five star !

Yorkshire Puddings (gluten-free) 
  • Three large eggs
  • 1 cup of milk
  • 1 tbsp canola oil
  • 1 cup Julie's flour blend (no need to sift)
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon xanthan gum
  1. Put all these ingredients in a bowl and mix with an electric mixer until smooth. Do not overbeat because they will not rise as high.
  2.  Heavily butter six muffin cups or custard cups and divide batter between them.
  3.  Bake in a 375°F oven for 60 minutes until puffed and very well browned. Don't open the oven to peek!
  4. Spoon on some gravy and enjoy! Mine rose to 4 inches high! 
NOTE - The Yorkshire Pudding may be re-crisped in a 375°F oven for five minutes or a toaster oven for two minutes.

Friday, January 23, 2015

Whole Wheat Bread ~ Flashback Friday

I first posted this recipe for my everyday whole wheat bread back in 2010.  The recipe that came to me from my mom in law Pauline has been a staple in our house since we've been married.  I've adjusted the salt amount and measured the flour once more and am satisfied that you will find this a great everyday bread. It freezes well and makes fantastic toast.   
  • 4 1/2 cups lukewarm water
  • 1/4 cup honey
  1. In a large bowl, add 2 tablespoons yeast to the lukewarm water and honey and allow to rest 10 minutes.
  • 1/4 cup oil
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 5 cups whole wheat flour
  • about 4 cups white flour or enough to make a smooth elastic dough
  1. Add the oil and salt to the yeast mixture, stir well.
  2. Add the flour one cup at a time stirring until you can't stir it anymore.
  3. Knead in the remaining flour until you have a smooth elastic dough.
  4. Put into a large bowl, cover and let double in bulk. . .about an hour.
  5. Divide into 4 loaves, roll in whole wheat if desired for an artisan effect and put into greased loaf pans.
  6. Let rise until double and bake in a 375 F oven for about 20 minutes or until golden brown.
Makes 4 loaves