BBQ Flank steak Marinade

  • 1/2 cup sherry (cooking sherry is fine)
  • 1/2 cup soy sauce
  • 2-3 cloves crushed garlic
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 3 tbsp Montreal steak spice
  • 1/2 tsp pepper
  1. Shake together.
  2. Put 1 or 2 flank steaks in a large zip lock bag and pour marinade into bag. Seal and marinate in fridge 6-12 hours.
  3. BBQ until done to your likeness. Some like it rare and others like it well done. Bast as it BBQ's with the marinade.


Once you have tried this it will become a much requested summer BBQ favorite. This recipe was given to me by my friend Bev. A cook extraordinaire!


Tonight I will serve this with . .

SMASH POTATOES (see recipe on this blog)

Layered green salad

Fruit salad

Rustic bread

Fresh Strawberry Pie

It's Canada Day tomorrow and we are celebrating tonight with family. What a privilege we have to live in this great country. God has blessed us with much. Lets not forget to thank Him tomorrow.


Whether you serve it as a salad or stuffed into a pita....this middle eastern healthy entree is a must have...especially in the warm weather. There are many variations to the recipe (almost as many as the spelling of the name) and each one equally as good, although the original 'chef' will disagree. This is mine which I have changed from time to time over the years and even each time I make it, depending on my taste for spice that day. The key ingredients are bulgur (NOT couscous...never! :) , parsley, lemon, tomato and olive oil....after that you can experiment. In a pinch you could buy a package of CASBAH in the health food section of your grocers or any other brand that is 'pre-mixed'. Just make sure you then add plenty of fresh tomatoes and parsley.

  • 1/2 cup bulgur wheat, dry
  • 4 cups parsley
  • 4 roma tomatoes (others will do but not as nicely)
  • 1/2 medium cucumber, peeled and chopped (best to use seedless) - optional
  • 2/3 cup chopped green onions - optional
  • 2 tbsp chopped fresh mint
  • 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 cup fresh lemon juice (if possible)
  • salt and fresh pepper to taste

In a small bowl, add dry bulgur wheat to 1 cup of boiling water. Let stand for 5 - 10 minutes.
In a large bowl mix together the parsley, tomatoes, cucumber, onions, mint and softened bulgur.
In a small bowl mix the olive oil, fresh lemon juice, salt and pepper.
  • Toss together. Chill and serve...yum!

Carrot and Parsley Salad

Here is an easy 'make ahead' side dish. Make when you have a heavier one dish main meal as an alternate to a vegetable or green salad.

  • 3 1/2 cups grated carrots
  • 1 bunch parsley finely chopped
  • 1 minced garlic clove
  • 3 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil (I use olive oil)
  • 1/2 tsp salt
ground pepper to taste

Combine all and toss well. This can be made ahead and refrigerated, covered, until serving time. It keeps for 2 to 3 days. Alternately you can add cumin, chives or mint depending on the meal you are serving and how you want to compliment the flavours of the main dish.

Sweet Peppers Soup

Ahhhh...summertime is finally here but we don't have to forgo soup as a main course. Here is a dish that could be a fancy first course or a light main dish if served with a whole wheat bread or salad. Or you could add a few potatoes (I mean a few only) if you are serving those with a heartier appetite.

  • 2 cups chopped onions
  • 1 tbsp butter or vegetable oil
  • 6 cups chopped red and green bell peppers (about 6)
  • 2 cups water or vegetable (or low sodium chicken) broth
  • 1 cup sour cream (plain yogurt or low fat for those more health conscious)
  • 1/3 cup chopped fresh dill
  • 2 tbsp fresh lemon juice
  • salt and fresh ground pepper to taste

In a covered pot saute the onions on a medium heat in the butter or oil until the onions are transparent. Add the peppers and cook covered until JUST soft, stirring occasionally. Put the cooked onions, peppers, water or stock, sour cream, dill and lemon juice in a food processor and whirl. Don't over process it because you want to be able to see the small pieces of the peppers when you serve. Return the soup to the pot and gently reheat, adding the salt and fresh ground pepper.


Decorate with croutons or if you want a spicy Mexican flavour omit the dill and croutons and add 1 tsp ground cumin and coriander with 1/4 tsp cayenne to the peppers and onions when sauteing. Garnish this version with chopped coriander and crumbled tortilla chips.

This soup is my take on a recipe I found once in a Health Magazine which I clipped. I no longer have the name of the magazine or issue but the credit is NOT mine :)

Bienenstich (Bee Sting Cake)

I'm sure that this is a staple recipe in most Mennonite households. . . .so it needs to be included here as well. I was merrily putting this together yesterday. I was half way finished when I suddenly remembered that I originally got the recipe from Anneliese. I emailed her and told her that I was making her recipe, I would take the picture and send it to her and she could post it. She graciously told me to go ahead and post it myself.

  • 4 farm fresh eggs
  • 1 1/2 cups white sugar
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • Pinch Salt
  • 1 cup milk
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  1. Beat the eggs and sugar together really well in a large bowl. Beat them until they are thick.
  2.  Sift together the flour, baking powder, and salt. 
  3. Stir this into the beaten eggs and sugar. 
  4. Heat the milk and butter till very hot, not quite boiling. 
  5. Add the hot milk/butter to the batter. 
  6. Pour into a large shallow greased and parchment papered pan. 
  7. Bake at 350 F for 15 - 20 min.
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 8 tablespoons butter
  • 3/4 cup shredded or medium coconut
  • 1 1/2 cup slivered or flaked almonds
  • 6 tablespoons whipping cream
  1. In a medium saucepan, heat together the butter and brown sugar and the whipping cream until it just comes to a boil. 
  2. Add the toasted coconut and the almonds. 
  3. Spread onto the baked cake as even as you can. 
  4. Broil carefully for a few minutes until it is nicely browned.  Do not walk away from your kitchen.
  • 2 cups of whipping cream (or the remainder of a 500 ml container)
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • a packet of whipping cream stabilizer or 2 tablespoons of instant vanilla pudding
  1. Whip the filling together.
  2. Take the cake out of the pan with the paper on. Set it on the counter and with a long serrated knife slice it in half. Very carefully slide your hand under the top layer and slide it off as best you can. 
  3. Put the whipped cream on the bottom layer and then slide the top layer back on top.
  4. Set it in the refrigerator until you are ready to serve. 
  5. This actually freezes really well and cuts very easy when partially frozen. I did this to take the picture. 

Penne with Sun-Dried Tomatoes and Capers

As anyone with teenagers will know, pasta is a basic staple in the pantry. But a simple pasta dish can be turned into an elegant serving entree with a few healthy and special additions.

One of those 'bring along' one dish meals that can easily be converted to a 'cold dish' if dinner is delayed or you are serving buffet style....picnic anyone? For a healthier version use whole wheat pasta. Remember...fresh, fresh, fresh makes these summer dishes beautiful and 'alive' with colour and taste.

  • 15 sun-dried tomatoes (chopped)
  • 1/2 cup very hot water
  • 3 tbsp olive oil (extra virgin of course for better flavour!)
  • 2 medium onions, thinly sliced (about 2 cups)
  • 4 medium tomatoes
  • 6 garlic cloves (minced)....or less if you are not a garlic lover
  • 3 tbsp capers, rinsed and drained (you can omit but you compromise on flavour guaranteed)
  • 1 1/2 tsp chopped thyme or basil (in summer...use the fresh just calls out to be used with this recipe...)
  • 1 tbsp fresh tarragon (don't use if using basil - You want the Basil to dominate)
  • 1 cup fresh or frozen green peas
  • salt (I use NO SALT - by the way...that IS a product)
  • fresh ground pepper to taste
  • 1 pound penne
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley ( don't go overboard with the parsley - 1/2 cup is enough for this amount of pasta.)
  • grated parmesan cheese (fresh please!!!)

  1. Start your water boiling for your pasta.
  2. Place the chopped sun-dried tomatoes in a small bowl and cover them with the very hot water. Set aside
  3. Heat the oil and saute the onions on a medium heat, covered for about 3 minutes or until just translucent.
  4. Chop the fresh tomatoes and set them aside.
  5. Drain the sun-dried tomatoes, reserving the liquid and add to onions. Stir in garlic, capers and basil (or thyme and tarragon)
  6. Add fresh chopped tomatoes, peas and reserved sun-dried tomato liquid. Saute, covered only until the tomatoes soften and lose their shape. Add salt and pepper to taste. Remove from heat.
  7. Stir penne into the boiling water. Cover and return to boil. Then uncover and cook the pasta until al dente. (Somehow I had never learned the importance of 'al dente' until my later years of cooking. Al Dente is an Italian phrase meaning "to the tooth," used to describe pasta or other food that is cooked only until it offers a slight resistance).

In a large warmed serving bowl (if you are serving this warm - and I do recommend warming your bowls if you have a pasta dish with minimal sauce) toss the hot pasta with the sauce and stir in the chopped parsley. Top with the fresh parmasen and serve immediately (if serving warm). I'm making this ahead for a main dish salad supper dish...will post a pic later when it is served.

Oma's Glazed Chocolate Cookies

I'm so excited to share about the wonderful day I had with my Mom yesterday. My family has been telling me for a long time that I NEED to learn how to make Oma's chocolate cookies and Perishky! I bake pretty well anything else, but I've played ignorance with some of her specialties because I just want to enjoy them when she makes them.
It was so cute how she was almost giddy about me taking pictures of her while she was doing what she knows how to do best! I'll post the cookies first. The Perishky are coming later . . . Oh, and these cookies are the best cookies to take camping because they keep so well. Feel free to ask questions because I may have missed something.

  • 1 cup butter
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup honey
  • 2 egg yolks (save whites)
  • 5 cups flour
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon soda
  • ½ cup cocoa
  • ½ cup milk
  • ½ cup whipping cream
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 2 egg whites
  1. In a stand mixer, mix butter and sugar, beat in yolks and then honey.
  2. Add combined dry ingredients alternately with milk and cream. ( you can use light cream instead of milk and cream)
  3. Cover bowl and refrigerate overnight. 

4. Divide dough into quarters. Roll each quarter into a 20 - 24 inch roll (snake) and slice into aprox 1 inch pieces to roll into balls.
5. Place on prepared cookie sheets and bake at 375° F about 12 -13 minutes.
6. Remove to wire rack to cool.  Frost with sugar glaze.

Sugar Glaze - This is a bit tricky but a fun challenge. With experience you learn exactly what to look for as you cook the syrup. Be prepared to focus on glazing the cookies as soon as the glaze is ready.  You can't let it sit.  Have wax paper lined cookie sheets ready. If you want to test this procedure, you can do half the recipe and cook twice. Use a small pot if doing half the recipe.
  1. In a medium glass bowl, beat egg whites until almost stiff and set aside.
  2. In a medium saucepan, bring 2 cups sugar and 1/2 cup water to boil. Once the liquid looks clear and bubbly even while stirring, set timer to 3 minutes.  Boil between low and medium heat, stirring occasionally to keep sugar from crystallizing on the sides, until liquid is just a mass of tiny bubbles and syrup-like when you drip it from the spoon. ( 3 minutes is a good mark - you can adjust time once you have figured out your stove, pot etc * see note in next paranthesis) 
  3. Immediately pour syrup into beaten egg whites, with beater on, and continue beating for a few minutes, until thick and wavy.
  4. Scoop some glaze up with your hands and coat each cookie, first bottom and then top.(*If syrup is cooked too little the glaze will be very easy to spread, but harder to dry. If syrup is cooked too long, the glaze dries quickly and doesn’t go on as smooth. It may help to wet your hands)
  5. Place on waxed paper lined cookie sheets, not touching each other, until glaze dries. Slightly undercooked glaze may take up to 24 hours to dry. Leave cookies uncovered until they are no longer tacky.
Store cookies in ice cream bucket in a cool place or freeze. This recipe yields 7 - 8 dozen. Gauge baking time by their size. If you have less than 80 cookies, they will be larger and need an extra minute or two to bake. You want them to taste moist and cake-like, but if they "cave" once cooled, they are under baked.

Some ways you  may be able to salvage glaze that has not turned out perfect:  If it is too thin (runs off the cookies, beat it for a few more minutes, adding a tablespoon of cornstarch. If, while you are icing the cookies, it dries too quickly and becomes grainy, beat in a tablespoon or two of water. If nothing works, just start again. =) ... but remember that even cookies that don't look perfect, still taste amazing.

(My mom adapted this recipe from the Mennonite
Treasury Cookbook, (1962) page 171)

Mango Salsa

Yummy, sweet and tart. A good compliment to any rice or fish dish.


  • 2 medium ripe mangoes
  • 1 small cucumber diced (peel if bitter skinned)
  • 1 ripe tomato
  • juice of 1 lime
  • pinch of salt
  • 1/2 - 1 small fresh chili pepper minced (or use a hot pepper sauce to taste)
  • 1 tbsp chopped fresh cilantro (I use several more...but careful, the green of the cilantro should not drown out the color of the mango)

Peel and chop the mangoes. In a large bowl, mix together the mangoes, cucumber, tomato, lime juice, salt, chili and cilantro. Let the salsa sit for at least 10 minutes to infuse the flavours. This can keep up to three days in the fridge.

Black Beans and Rice Salad

I think one of the most healthy times of my life was when I turned 'vegetarian' and stayed that way for about five years. Since that time I have reintroduced some very lean meats into my diet but I do go through phases of non-meat. Here is a simply scrumptious cold 'salad' or main dish with all the protein that you need in a meal.


2 cups drained cooked black beans
3 cups cooked brown rice

2 celery stalks, finely chopped

1/4 cup sliced Spanish olives

1 tsp ground coriander
2 tsp ground cumin
1/2 cup chopped scallions

1 - 2 tbsp chopped fresh cilantro (Oh I love that fresh cilantro!)

1/2 cup orange juice

1 1/2 tbsp cider vinegar

3 tbsp olive oil

2 tsp grated orange peel

2 tbsp chopped parsley
1/2 tsp cinnamon
and salt and pepper to taste

1/2 cup chopped toasted
walnuts and cilantro or parsley leaves to decorate

Combine the drained beans with the rice, celery and Spanish olives. In a small bowl, whisk together all the dressing ingredients, then pour over the beans and rice mixture. Stir thoroughly. top with roasted walnuts and cilantro or parsley.

Serve with a cold corn or mango salsa for a complimentary color and taste.


I can't give you the history of these tasty little deep-fried meatballs, but I know they were a regular menu item in the home in which I grew up. They are wonderful right out of the pan and not so bad the next day, right out of the fridge!

Our meals were pretty basic 'back in the day'...meat, potatoes and gravy, vegetables and maybe apple sauce. So that was the kind of meal we had for dinner tonight.

I cooked 'Crash Potatoes' for the first time...something I will definitely be making again. (The recipe comes from the Pioneer Woman Cooks on link.)

I boiled new red potatoes until tender, crushed them into mounds with a potato masher on oiled pan, sprinkled liberally with salt, pepper, and herbs, and baked at 425 degrees F for another 20 minutes.

  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 1 egg
  • 1 potato, peeled and finely grated
  • 1-2 slices day-old bread
  • 1 small onion, finely chopped or grated
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon pepper
  1. Soak bread in milk or water.
  2. Add to ground beef along with egg, potato, onion and seasonings.
  3. Mix well with your hands.
  4. Form meat balls of desired size.
  5. Heat about 1/2 inch oil in frying pan and cook over medium-high heat. 
  6. Turn meat balls over once well browned on the bottom side; cook several minutes longer.

I did three times the recipe today.

Tip* I soak the bread crumbs, then put in blender along with sliced potatoes (unpeeled), sliced onion, egg and seasonings. Blend until smooth...then mix with meat.

Enjoy another recipe from the past...

Vange's Chocolate Chip Cookies

Every Cookbook should have a Chocolate Chip Cookie Recipe. I was whipping these up this afternoon for our coffee break and took a few pictures. 

I found this recipe in a church cookbook and it was contributed by Vange. Our family has been hooked on these cookies since 1992. We love them. . . so simple always soft and chewy. The different addition is the syrup.

  • 1 cup soft butter
  • 1 1/2 cups white sugar
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 3 tablespoons syrup  (golden cane syrup or pancake syrup)
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 3 cups of all-purpose flour
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups chocolate chip cookies

  1. Preheat oven to 375 F.
  2. Cream the butter, add the sugars and then the egg, vanilla and then the dry ingredients.
  3. Use an ice cream scoop that has a scraper in it to make balls of dough. No need to flatten, the butter helps with that.
  4. Bake about  7-9 minutes depending on the size of the cookie.  

Summertime Means Salads....

Summertime means nice crisp greens drizzled with only the best dressings. Here are just a few recipes that I like to make. Sorry, no time for full photo montage today but maybe I'll update this in the future.

  • 1/2 cup low-fat or nonfat cottage cheese or plain yogurt
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 teaspoon vinegar if using vinegar, 2 teaspoons if using cottage cheese
  • 1 - 2 garlic cloves, minced or pressed
  • 1/4 chopped scallions and/or 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt (I use NO SALT)
  • fresh ground black pepper
Put all of the ingredients in a blender and whirl them until smooth. Stored chilled in a covered jar for up to a week.


  • 1/3 cup frozen orange juice concentrate
  • 1/4 cup red wine vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
  • 2 tablespoons chopped scallions
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground fennel
  • 1/4 teaspoon anise seed
Put all of the ingredients in a blender and whirl them until smooth. Store in a covered jar up to 2 weeks.


  • 1 small carrot, shredded (1/2 cup)
  • 2 tablespoons mirin (sweet Japanese cooking wine)
  • 2 tablespoons rice vinegar and/or cider vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon dark sesame oil
  • 1 tablespoon grated fresh finger root
  • 1/4 cake silken tofu (optional)
Put all of the ingredients in a blender and whirl them until smooth. Store chilled in a covered jar up to a week (less if using the tofu).

Tender Pie Crust

Rhubarb Pie has been a favorite for our family for years. I got this recipe from my next door neighbor and have enjoyed making this recipe every spring when rhubarb harvest is plenty. This is my favorite pie crust recipe.  This pie crust recipe is best used in the large cookie sheets.   I also use this dough to make pie by the yard, substituting apples,  which is truly a specialty at our house.

Tender Pie Crust:
  • 4 cups flour
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 1 pound shortening
  • 1 tablespoon vinegar
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 egg
  1. Measure the flour and salt into large bowl.
  2. Cut in shortening with pastry blender.
  3. Separate egg.  Beat egg white until stiff. 
  4. Stir combined egg yolk, vinegar and water into flour/shortening mixture along with beaten egg white. It may seem too moist, but do not add too much flour. Use flour sparingly and only if it is too sticky.
  5. Divide into halves and roll out the first half to the measurement of your cookie sheet.
  6. Fill with your choice of fresh fruit filling.
  7. Roll out second half of pastry to top the fruit layer. 
  8. Pinch edges. Sprinkle top crust with 1 tablespoon sugar. 
  9. Bake at 425' for 20-30 min.
Check out the Rhubarb Recipe, using this dough crust.

First treat yourself. Go out and buy the Pamper chef pastry board. I have made pies for many years, I don't know why I didn't buy this sooner.

This is ideal for a large crowd. Add a scoop of ice-cream and they'll come back for more.

Big Families, Big Pies & Big Ice-Cream Buckets.

Oma's Jam Jams

This is one of my mother's many specialties. You see I didn't grow up with chocolate chip cookies. I thought only Mr. Christie baked those ... grin .... and that they came from a bag. I grew up with German/Mennonite type of baking. I am first generation Canadian so I grew up with lots of European traditions. In grade 2, we had a spring tea at school. We were supposed to ask our mothers to bring "DAINTIES" to serve. So I brought home the sheet and my mom said, "What are DAINTIES, I don't know how to bake DAINTIES". I was a terribly shy kid and didn't know how to tell my teacher that my mom couldn't bake DAINTIES. I just bawled when the teacher asked me...........sniffling, shaking, blowing, I responded "My mama doesn't know how to make dainties"....... sniffle, sniffle. The teacher very gently rubbed my shoulders, said that it was OK if my mom didn't bake. I told her she baked lots, like cookies, Platz, tortes etc. etc. She replied, "Honey those are DAINTIES". Oh I was soooo relieved I ran home with new vigor and told my mom what DAINTIES were. Now you know the rest of the story. I hope that you will sample lots of her baking through these recipes.
This is a large recipe that can be easily halved.

  • 2 cups butter or hard margarine
  • 2 cups brown sugar
  • 1 cup syrup
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 4 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla
  • 8 - 9 cups flour
  1. Cream sugar and butter. Add eggs, beat well. Add vanilla and syrup. 
  2. Measure flour with soda and salt. Add flour in several portions, mixing well after each addition. 
  3. Chill dough several hours or overnight. 
  4. Roll dough one small piece at a time on floured surface. Cut cookies with round cookie cutter and  place on lightly greased cookie sheet. 
  5. Bake at 350° F for 8-10 minutes. Let cool and put together with "DAMPSUM PLUM JAM", while still warm.
KROEKEL JAM OR DAMPSUM PLUM JAM {Damson is the correct spelling it is just with a German}This is according to my mother, no real recipe.
  1. Take your case of plums, wash them and put them in a big roaster. Bake at 350° F with the pits because the pits bring out better flavor. 
  2. Then when they are soft, and split open and cooked good enough, (what ever that means mom) take out the pits.
  3. So, now you measure two parts fruit and one part sugar and put it in a large pot. Cook until thick enough (again who knows how long), you'll know. 
  4. Skim off the schaum (foam or scum but schaum sounds better) as it cooks. save that for fresh buns. Waste not, want not. When the jam is done, put in hot sterilized jars and cover with melted paraffin wax.
Thanks Mama ...ich liebe dich


A house should have a cookie jar
for when it's half past three
and the children hurry home from school'
as hungry as can be.
There is nothing quite as splendid
in filling children up
as spicy little ginger cakes
and sweet milk in a cup.
A house should have a mother,
or Oma waiting with a hug
no matter what a child brings home
a puppy or a bug.
For children loiter when the bells ring to dismiss,
if no-one's home to greet them with a cookie and a kiss.

(taken from a farming community cookbook).


I started a tradition that wasn't really ment to be a tradition, but when you are mennonite and do something once that went over well and everyone liked it HAS to become tradition......."awe come on mom, we did it last year". So hence a new tradition had begun. Each child is allowed to invite their friends, cousins, second, third cousins,whom ever they wish. The first year that we did it my sister in-love and I didn't know how many the recipe would make so to be on the safe side the mennonite in us came out and quadrupled the recipe. After all we wanted to make sure there was plenty. CAUTION..........unless you want to feed the massess of 500 or more DO NOT, I repeat DO NOT quadruple the recipe. We made hundreds, fried for hours, we were covered in a thin layer of grease ourselves. We invited another family, then more families, then people from church, neighbours. They ALL got eaten. Donuts need to be eaten fresh. Set an afternoon to the side, set up a coleman stove out side so your house doesn't smell like a deep fryer, invite the people you love and just enjoy. I must say that fun was had by all. Oh by the way I only doubled the recipe this time, I am sure the teenagers ate a dozen each. The boys for sure did. It made about 200.

Raised Donuts or (Doughnuts orginally from the Mennonite Treasury Cookbook)
  • 1 tablespoon quick rise yeast
  • 1 cup water
  • 2 cups scalded milk
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup shortening ( I used oil)
  • About 6 cups flour
  1. Add dry yeast to 3 cups flour, salt and sugar. 
  2. Scald milk, add 1 cup water, oil and beaten eggs. 
  3. Mix in enough flour to make a soft dough. Knead for about 5 minutes. 
  4. Let rise approximately 1/2 hour. 
  5. Roll into 1/4-1/2 in" thick and cut into desired shape with either a donut cutter or cookie cutter.
  6. Deep fry until golden brown. 
  7. Carefull that the oil doesn't get to hot, usually cooking on medium heat to medium high is enough. 
  8. Glaze while warm in following glaze.
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1/2 milk
Bring to boil, take off heat and add
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1 cup icing sugar
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  1. Whisk in gredients together, keep on a low element.
  2. Dip the warm doughnuts into the glaze and place on parchment lined cookie sheets to dry.
  3. Enjoy.


Certainly one of the more favored dessert items of my mother-in-law's collections is this rather simple Burfi or Barfi recipe. Homemade is just soooo much better than the store bought. These you will see displayed in cases in Indian Sweetmeat shops in an array of colours and flavours. Ingredients for Burfi
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter
  • 1 lb. container Ricotta cheese
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg powder
  • 1/2 tsp. cardamon powder
  • 3 cups powdered milk (please...use skim with all these fattening ingredients!)
  • 1 oz. chopped almonds
  • 1 oz. chopped pistachios, few strands of saffron, edible silver paper (good luck finding that last item...and there IS such a thing!)
  • Melt butter in a saucepan, add cheese and cook over medium heat for 7 minutes
  • Add sugar, nutmeg and cardamon and cook for a further 5 minutes until the mixture leaves the sides of the pot.
  • Add powdered milk gradually and cook for a further 3 minutes.
  • Pour the mixture into a greased 8" x 8" cake pan.
  • Sprinkle nuts and saffron and or edible silver paper on top.
When cold cut into squares or rectangular pieces as desired. Serve with Chai Tea and enjoy...
REAL Chai Tea recipe coming up.......

Badam Paak - Almond Sweetmeat

One of the great delights I have had in my life is the infusion of another culture into my life's journey. My dear mother-in-law has, with greatest patience, taught me how to cook with spices I never even knew existed and with methods I had never heard of. I could eat this 'eastern' cuisine all the time but don't be fooled, we don't eat this way all the time. My guys lean more towards the 'German/Russian' food than the wonderfully aromatic curries and sweetmeats that my husband grew up with in East Africa. Today I am going to teach you to make several sweetmeats you might see in the windows of many an Indian Sweet Shop here on the Lower Mainland or in your own community if you are so fortunate. These recipes come direct from my mother-in-law, complete with interesting ingredients you may not know of.
Ingredients for Badam Paak
(the camera man threw in some marshmallows there...they are NOT a part of this recipe :)
  • 1 oz. gum arabic, chopped (gund) (This is almost impossible to find so if you omit it just expect it to be slightly less 'sweet' and crumbly. For these I show in my photo above and below...I did not use it and it turned out fine.)
  • 1/4 tsp. saffron (very expensive so you CAN omit )
  • 1 tsp. cardamon powder
  • 1/2 tsp nutmeg powder
  • 2 cups salted butter
  • 1 lb semolina or wheatlets (sooji)
  • 1/2 cup evaporated milk
  • 1 1/4 cups condensed milk
  • 1 lb. almonds, chopped
  • 2 oz. pistachios, chopped
  • 2 oz. almonds finely slivered for garnishing
  • 1 oz pistachios finely slivered for garnishing
  • poppy seeds for garnishing

  • deep fry gum arabic; drain, add saffron, cardamon and nutmeg and set aside (if you don't have the gum arabic, add these spices in the next step)
  • in a saucepan, melt butter and saute semolina to light golden brown colour
  • remove from heat and gradually add the evaporated milk, stirring it all the time
  • add condensed milk and stir well
  • lastly, add nuts and fried gum arabic mixture. Cook for 2 minutes, stirring vigorously
Spread mixture evenly into a 15: x 10" x 2" pan and press it firmly
Sprinkle and press slivered nuts and poppyseeds on top
While the mixture is still warm, cut into square or diamond shapes.

Let cool. Serve with Chai and enjoy.

These sweetmeats are very rich and the flavour is unfamiliar for some with the strong taste of the condensed milk. Remember that in the hot and dry middle eastern countries many 'fudge' like desserts are made from canned milk in order to keep longer.

Meat Pinwheels

This is one of my stand by recipes for when I get a call that we are having unexpected guests for a quick lunch on their way through town. I always have these simple ingredients in the house, and since there is no rising time involved, it is an easy yet delicious lunch.


1 lb hamburger
1 small onion minced
salt & pepper to taste
Fry together until browned, and drain any fat.
Stir in one can Cream of Mushroom soup. Let simmer about 5 minute. cool mixture completely.

2 cups flour
2 tbsp sugar
1 tsp salt
4 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp cream of tarter
Mix the above ingredients together. Then cut in 1/4 cup butter with a pastry blender. Then stir in 1 cup milk. Stir until dough begins to form a ball. Lightly flour counter and gently knead dough into a smooth ball.

Flour counter a bit more and roll dough into a rectangle not quite 1/2 inch thick.
Spread cooled meat mixture onto the dough and roll as a jelly roll.
Slice 1" thick sliced and place (almost touching) onto lightly greased small cookie sheet.
Bake at 425for 15-20 minutes. Meat will bubble a bit and biscuit should be golden brown.Let rest in pan while you make a thick pourable cheese sauce.


Melt 1/4 cup butter in microwave
Stir in 2 tbsp flour stirring until smooth.
Add 1 1/4 cup milk. stir well and place back in microwave for several minutes till bubbly. Take out and whisk together well. You may microwave 30 more seconds until smooth. Lightly salt and pepper. Add 3/4 cup grated cheddar cheese to hot sauce and stir until cheese has melted
Serve cheese sauce on the side in a gravy boat or small pourable jug.
Serve with a garden salad.

Sugar Cookies

Although we usually use this recipe for Christmas cookies, I’ve found that this is a fun recipe to celebrate many other occasions as well. Over the years I’ve collected a number of cookie cutters and enjoyed such things as taking apple cookies to the teachers, putting dinosaur cookies in little boys’ goodie bags or putting smiles on little girls’ faces with heart cookies.

  • 1 cup butter, room temp
  • 1 ½ cups icing sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 2 tablespoons milk
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla
  • 2 1/2 cups flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  1. Mix butter, icing sugar and egg well in mixer.
  2. Add milk and vanilla, then combined dry ingredients.
  3. Chill in sealed container for one hour. (will keep overnight, but you may need to let it sit at room temp for a little bit after taking it out of the fridge.)
  4. Divide dough into two parts for easier rolling.
 5. Roll out on floured surface (sprinkling flour on top as well) to about ¼ inch (or slightly less) thickness.

6. Cut shapes with cookie cutters such as hearts, dinosaurs, Christmas trees, turkeys or whatever the occasion.
7. For easy decorating, sprinkle unbaked cookies with colored sugar.
8. Bake at 375° F for about 8 minutes or until edges just begin to look done. Do not over-bake.


Mix 2-3 cups icing sugar with 2 tablespoons soft butter and enough milk to make a medium thick icing. Color with food color drops. Use icing tube with plain tip, pressing gently to “outline” cookies.

hugs and kisses for Teh, today

fresh cream and cucumbers

My mom used to cut fresh cucumbers right out of the fresh you could feel the sun's heat still on them! Hmmm Hmmm Good! She would pour thick fresh cream over them. Mixed with fresh pepper, a wee bit of salt and sometimes a bit of dill, it was a staple on the dinner table all summer long! Just making it again today brought me back to simpler times. If you are not able to get to that fresh cream, use sweet cream mixed with a light mayonnaise or yogurt for the same creamy effect.


Antipasto (before food or before the meal) is basically an appetizer which usually contains a variety of cheeses, vegetables, fish and sliced meats. A good olive oil, fresh ground pepper, olives and herbs compliment the dish. Let sit at room temperature in order for herbs and oil to 'soak' the rest of the items and infuse them with flavour. If using meat, add it at the last minute such as shown below.

For this plate and, as always, I start my antipasto dish with thinly sliced tomatoes from the vine interspersed with a good white cheese. For this plate I crumbled feta, fresh chopped basil and ground pepper on top. Drizzle a good virgin olive oil all over the food. On the side I placed sliced meat and olives. Other ingredients to include are artichokes, avocados, black olives, thin beef slices and the list goes on. Keep the item list simple though for a beautiful presentation.