Mennonite Girls Can Cook is a collection of recipes which were posted daily for a period of ten years from 2008 to 2018. We have over 3,000 delicious recipes that we invite you to try. The recipes can be accessed in our recipe file by category or you can use the search engine.

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Stella's Chocolate Chiffon Cake

I started making this chocolate cake back in 1992 when I found it in a church cookbook. The contributor of the recipe is actually my friend Shirley's mom. I have made it countless times and as she suggests in the recipe. . ."Always turns out good!". It makes a large angel food pan but I have kept a little batter back to make a dozen cupcakes and the cake it still plenty big enough if you are planning on slicing it and filling it. A chiffon cake has a very tender, moist crumb.

  • 1/2 cup cocoa
  • 1 1/2 cups hot coffee
  • 1 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 cup light vegetable oil
  • 8 farm fresh eggs, separated
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
  1. Mix together the cocoa and the boiling water or coffee and allow to cool.
  2. On a large sheet of waxed paper, take a sieve and run your flour, 1 1/4 cups sugar, baking soda, and salt through it two times. 
  3. When you separate your eggs,  break the egg white into a small bowl first and then add it to the rest of the egg white in a large glass or metal bowl that you have rinsed in hot water to make sure there is no grease in it. Put the egg yolks into a medium sized bowl.
  4. Beat the egg whites with the remainder 1/2 cup sugar until stiff peaks form.
  5. Put the dry ingredients into a large bowl.
  6. Add the oil, the egg yolks, the cocoa mixture and the vanilla.
  7. Slowly stir in the egg whites with a spatula, put in a bit at a time, and be gentle.
  8. Pour the batter into an angel food pan.
  9. Bake the full cake at 375 for about 60 to 70 minutes. Poke a toothpick into the crack to make sure it comes out clean.
  10. For cupcakes, bake about 15 minutes and then poke with a toothpick to test to be sure it is done.
For the chocolate pudding icing.
  • I use 1 small package of chocolate instant pudding
  • 1 package of dream whip
  • 1/1/2 cup milk
  • 1 cup of whipping cream
  • Beat it together until nice and thick. . .
I layer the pudding icing with layers of whipped cream and broken Toblerone bars.

Lemon Cookies

These cookies were one of the treats served at my daughter's baby shower. This recipe comes from her friend Chelsea who hosted the shower. They are very moist and lemony.

2 1/2 cups flour

1 tsp baking powder

1/4 tsp salt

2 cups white sugar

1/2 cup butter

2 eggs

1 15 oz. container ricotta cheese

zest and juice of 1 lemon

Cream together butter, eggs, and sugar. Add zest and lemon juice, and ricotta cheese and blend well. Add remaining ingredients and beat until well combined. Drop by small spoonfuls onto parchment lined cookie sheets and bake @375 for 12-14 minutes. Cookies will remain very light creamy in color. Do not over bake. ( I used a small ice cream scoop to make uniform sizes. If you put the dough in the fridge for about 1/2 hour to chill it is easier using the scoop)

Remove cookies to cooling rack and glaze while still warm.


1 1/2 cups icing sugar

zest and juice of 1 lemon

The glaze will set almost immediately.

Dutch Red Cabbage with Apples

I am grateful to Lana S. for this recipe. Our family loves it with chicken, turkey or pork roast dinners. I say, people who don’t care for it haven’t tasted it!

  • 1/2 onion, chopped
  • 1 small or 1/2 large red cabbage
  • 2 apples, chopped
  • 1/4 cup vinegar
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt

  1. Saute onion in a small amount of oil and stir frequently, cooking on medium heat until onion is soft.
  2.  Cut cabbage into wedges and chop thinly. Add cabbage, vinegar, sugar, salt and then the apples to pot. 
  3. Continue cooking, (turn down heat) stirring every once in a while, until cabbage is soft and apples have turned the same color as the cabbage. (about 1 hour) You can make this a day ahead and reheat. Enjoy!

Baked Caramel Corn

I make caramel corn every year for Christmas. It is great for snacks! Use cellophane bags or festive tins and you have a tasty gift to give. This recipe is found in the 'Carillon Festive Food Recipes' cookbook.
First of all I got out my trusty old popper and popped up some popcorn. 
  • 24 cups of popped corn
  • 2 cups of shelled peanuts..I didn't have any in the house this time but usually do add batch!!)
  • 1 cup butter
  • 2 cups firmly packed brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup corn syrup
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  1. Mix popcorn and peanuts in a large bowl. Set aside.
  2. Place butter, sugar, and corn syrup in a saucepan and bring to a boil stirring constantly, turn heat down to medium heat and boil 5 minutes without stirring.
  3. Remove from heat and stir in baking soda and vanilla.
  4. This will bubble up..gradually pour over the popped corn, mixing well.
  5. Pour into 2 large shallow baking pans, I have a large bakery size pan that fits my oven so I use that.
  6. Bake at 250º for 1 hour, stirring every 15 minutes.
  7. Remove from oven and cool completely. Break apart and store in airtight containers.

Roast Chicken Dinner

You can find all kinds of wonderful ways to do roast chicken on different cooking sites. There are recipes that call for spreads to be put under the skin, savory bastes, ideas on how to add flavor etc and I know they are very good. The only problem I have with most that I’ve seen is that they don’t give you enough roasting time. The reason being (I think) is that you don’t want the meat to dry out. I have found, however that if you roast the chicken on its tummy (breast down) it does not dry out and it tastes better. My recipe is very basic, but it gives you a good start if you’ve never roasted a chicken, and you’ll find it surprisingly flavorful too. This is one of my favorite meals.

What you will need:

  • a roasting chicken (3 lbs is average)
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • pepper
  • Lawry's seasoning salt
  • a roasting pan ( I like the black, speckled ones best)


  1. Spray roasting pan with Cooking Spray
  2. Wash  chicken and remove any extra fat.
  3. Season inside and outside with salt, pepper and some Lawry’s seasoning salt.
  4. Place, breast down, in roaster and roast with lid OFF for 1/2 hour at 375 F. Turn down temp to 325 F or 350F and continue roasting with lid ON for another 1 – 1/2 hours, during which time you can also add vegetables such as: potatoes, yams and/or carrots. (broccoli only needs about the last 20 minutes) Sprinkle vegetables with a little salt and pepper.
  5. Remove chicken from pan, using a large lifter, place on cutting board. If you’re also roasting vegetables, transfer them to a serving dish (I like to use an oven safe dish so that I can keep these warm in the oven while making the gravy etc. (turn oven down to 200 F)

Easy Gravy:

  1. Place roasting pan on stove-top element. Mix 2 tablespoons flour and 1 cup water well in a small sealed container. Add to hot gravy drippings in roasting pan, cooking and stirring continuously, until done. To thicken add more flour water mix, to thin add more water.

How to serve or cut up the chicken:

You can serve it whole (family style) or carved.
To carve a small chicken like this you are pretty well just removing the skin and bones.

  • Lay the chicken on a cutting board on its tummy. 
  • Remove wings and legs. Cut through each leg at joint to separate into drumsticks and thigh.
  • Remove any small parts of meat on the back and then discard the bones. 
  • Turn over and take the breast meat off the bone and slice. If the chicken is well done it will all come off very easily.
  • Drizzle with a small amount of gravy and serve or put back in 200 F oven (covered) to keep warm. 

Tip: If you plan to do a larger roasting chicken for company, count ½ hour/lb for roasting. Plan to have it ready 30 min. before serving time so you can make gravy etc. while it rests. This way you’re not trying to do five different things at once when your company walks in.

First Rule for the Budding Chef

My two granddaughters are beginning to enjoy baking in the kitchen and my daughter is quite happy for them to learn.
This afternoon my ten year old wanted to make cookies , all by herself. So my daughter showed her the recipe and laid out the ingredients for her.
All seemed to be going well.. and soon the cookies were in the oven.
After some time my granddaughter came to her mother and said... "Mom, I think I made a mistake in the recipe ... the cookies taste a little salty!"

The recipe called for 1/4 tsp. salt and 1/4 tsp. vanilla....
My granddaughter had put in 1/4 CUP of salt, and 1/4 CUP of vanilla !!!!

Rule - ALWAYS check your ingredient measurements !! smile

Mulled Cran/apple cider

This recipe is a combination for equal parts cranberry juice and apple juice. I used a combination of apple and cranberry for our party and it went over very well. If you prefer just apple use two litres of apple juice.

  • 1 litre cranberry juice
  • 1 litre apple juice
  • 12 allspice kernels
  • 12 cloves
  • 2-4 cinnamon stick
  • 1-2 sliced oranges
  • may add brown sugar to taste if you feel you want a sweeter cider. 

  1. Combine all the ingredients in a slow cooker or in a large pot. 
  2. Heat on low for several hours if using a slow cooker or if you are using a pot just heat until warmed through. Keep on low heat.
It fills the home with a real nice aroma that just feels good when you enter!


This is such a simple and tasty recipe that I got several years ago from one of our volunteers at Crisis Pregnancy Center. This Rumaki was a crisis line Christmas tradition, she no longer volunteers with us but the tradition lives on!

  • 1 lb bacon cut in half
  • 2 cans of whole water chestnuts
  • 2 tablespoons ketchup
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  1. You cut the bacon in half.
  2. Wrap each half around a whole water chestnut
  3. Put on broiler pan so that they won't unroll while baking with the cut end at the bottom. 
  4. Place on middle rack and broil 5 minutes, turn and broil a few more minutes, til desired doneness
  5. Brush with equal amounts of ketchup and brown sugar.
  6. Put back in the oven with the broiler SHUT OFF for a few minutes to set the glaze.
  7. Can be made ahead and reheated or frozen til you need them.
  8. Make lots, they go fast. 
  9. ENJOY!

Pork in Sour Cream Sauce

This is my favourite way to do pork chops. 
 With pasta or rice and vegetables it was the perfect meal for a cold November night.
6 pork  loin chops (or 1 pork tenderloin cut into medallions)
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped onion
  • 2 tablespoons ketchup
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 beef boullion cube
  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • sliced fresh mushrooms if desired
  1. In large skillet or electric frying pan, brown pork chops or medallions.
  2. Add 1/2 cup water, brown sugar, onion, ketchup, garlic, bouillon cube and mushrooms.
  3. Cover and simmer about 30 minutes or until tender - this will depend on the thickness of the pork pieces. If needed, add a little more water. 
  4. Remove meat to serving platter and keep warm.
  5. In a small bowl, combine flour with 1/4 cup cold water until smooth. Slowly add to liquid in pan, stirring constantly until sauce thickens.
  6. Stir in sour cream, whisking it in until well blended. Heat thoroughly but do not boil.
  7. Serve sauce over chops.

Pineapple Banana Muffins

I wasn't home from vacation for an hour before I starting mixing muffins. After being on the road for some time...we were quite ready for something hot and fresh from the oven. I got this recipe from a gal at church a few decades ago...and we always enjoy them.

Pineapple Banana Muffins
  • 3 cups flour
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 3 eggs
  • 2 cups mashed bananas
  • 1 1/4 cups crushed un-drained pineapple (1 tin)
  • 1 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 cup chopped nuts or raisins
  1. In a large bowl, stir together flour, sugar, baking soda, salt and cinnamon.
  2. In a separate bowl, beat eggs. Add bananas, pineapple and oil and beat until blended.
  3. Add to dry ingredients, stirring just until moistened.
  4. Stir in raisins or nuts (we prefer golden raisins).
  5. Spoon into large greased muffin cups filling two-thirds full.
  6. Bake at 375 F (180 C) oven for 20 minutes or until tops are firm to the touch. 
Serve warm with butter...or cheese.  If you can't finish them all in one sitting, they freeze well and are great to have on hand.

Yield...2 dozen large muffins.


Is a Celiac Coming to Dinner?

One of the hardest things about being Celiac is watching my friends and family struggle with it.
The people in my life are so sweet and eager to make something I can eat. The ladies in our church bible study group all have made the effort to learn what I can and cannot have and all of them go out of their way to adjust the goodies they serve.
I really don’t expect people to do that, but I embrace it as an expression of their love and am deeply touched.

I thought maybe I would share just a few tips for those of you who feel lost about what you can or cannot offer when a Celiac comes to visit!

So here’s my list of things you should know:

The basics - It is the grains Wheat, Barley and Rye that contain the gluten protein that causes the immune system of Celiacs to react by destroying the villa in the small intestine! Untreated Celiac leads to cancer, and other autoimmune diseases such as Lupus or Rheumatoid Arthritis. Celiacs do not have an allergy or intolerance to gluten...they have an autoimmune disease which has no cure but is totally controlled by avoided ALL gluten.
NOTE - Although oats do not have gluten, they are grown in alternating crops with wheat, so there is cross contamination. Gluten-free oats are now available made from oats grown in virgin fields. ‘Only Oats’ is one label.

1. Some Celiacs are more sensitive than others…..but it takes a very tiny amount of food with gluten in it to make them sick. So cross contamination is a very serious consideration. You would never cut a slice of gluten-free bread on a cutting board that you just used for regular bread. Wiping it isn’t good enough.. it needs to be washed with a good scrub. Some things like colanders where reg. pasta is strained, even WITH washing can have traces of gluten stuck to them. So make sure that you use utensils from the dish washer in preparing gluten-free food.

2. Celiacs appreciate fruit, vegetables, cheese - the things that are obviously gluten-free. Rice crackers are fine… (I never buy them anymore because I’m sick of them .. but that way I’m OK with eating them when I am served them at someone else’s home) Rice cakes are good used as a ‘pizza bun’ substitute.

3. I think I speak for most Celiacs that we prefer ‘real’ food to most “gluten-free” substitutes. If we still remember what real food tastes like, the substitute is at best tolerable or worse ! smile… The good news is that there are more and more better-tasting products out there making the options much more palatable.
Making your favourite dinner recipes with minor adjustments is great ! That way everyone is happy! But be sure to read the labels on all your ingredients…. Gluten can be lurking anywhere and DOES !!!

4. Be careful with gravies and sauces. Thicken them with cornstarch or sweet rice flour. There is now a new gluten-free product called 'Thicken Thin’ that is great !

5. Watch your recipes with canned soups. Almost all canned soups have gluten in them.
Soya sauce has gluten. There is a Gluten-free Soya sauce that you can buy in the USA but I have not found one in Canada. Some bullion cubes are gluten-free but not all. Spices and flavourings can have gluten. Anything with ‘malt’ flavouring is glutened – malt is made from barley - so cereals, like corn flakes or rice crispies are out. Nature Path has a gluten-free cornflakes sold in most grocery stores.

6. Gluten-free mixes are readily available now .... that allow you to make a dessert - cakes, cookies or muffins, quite easily.

I would like to encourage some of you long-time Celiacs or those of you living with Celiacs who have other helpful hints please express them in the comment section and I will transfer them (with credit to you !) to this post .. making it a resource for people nervous about having Celiacs come to visit !

Christmas Brown Jam Cookies - Regular and Gluten-free

I don't think there is a more traditional Mennonite Christmas Cookie than this one - unless it is the Ammonia Cookie. As far back as I can remember any Mennonite woman worthy of her kitchen made these cookies.
They are my husband's all time favorite.
I decided to try to make them gluten-free this year and my husband could not tell the difference from the real thing.
  • 3/4 cup syrup
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup sour cream
  • 2 tsps cocoa powder
  • 1/2 tsp. soda
  • 1/4 cup lard (Tenderflake)
  • 1/2 tsp ground star aniseed (a must ingredient)
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla
  • 1 cup rice flour
  • 1/2 cup white bean flour
  • 1/2 cup tapioca starch
  • 1/4 cup coconut flour
  • 1 rounded tsp. xanthan gum
  1. Beat syrup, supar, sour cream, lard, and vanilla until well blended.
  2. Add the well mixed together dry ingredients, flour, cocoa powder, soda, staraniseed, and xanthan gum
  3. Mix well, then add more rice flour with your hands a little at a time until you have a soft, non-sticky dough.
  4. Cover and let stand in fridge for a few hours or overnight
  5. Roll out on surface sprinkled with sweet rice flour as needed to keep dough from sticking I found rolling out the dough in smaller amounts easier to handle.
  6. Cut with round cookie cutter and drop your favorite jam on each round. Traditionally half the cookies were made with yellow jam (apricot or gooseberry) and the other half with red (plum) and when they were served you never knew which color you would get.

Fold the circles in half and pinch the edges firmly together.
Place on baking sheets and bake at 375' for about 15 minutes or until edges turn brown. These cookies are hard when they cool.. then they are stored in a sealed container and by the next day are soft and delicious.
The cookies may be either left plain (as my husband prefers them) or frosted with the following frosting.
  1. Boil 1 cup sugar and 4 tbsp. water until string stage (takes a few minutes)
  2. Then pour syrup over one stiffly beaten egg white , continuing to beat until stiff and smooth. The old Mennonite ladies would then put the cookies in a large bowl and pour the frosting over top using their hands to coat them..
  3. I find it easier to put a rack over waxed paper, put the cookies on the rack and pour the frosting over them.
  4. Let the frosting dry before you put the cookies in containers.

The Original Recipe
For you non-Celiac bakers I have the regular original recipe here.
I was given this recipe by my Aunt Betty 37 or 38 years ago and taped it into my Mennonite cook book that we were given for a wedding present 43 years ago.
The method is exactly the same as for the gluten-free ones above.

No Knead Cinnamon Buns

I have a book recommendation for you. If you love to bake bread but don't enjoy the kneading process, but do have patience, this cookbook appears to have many wonderful recipes.
Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day by Jeff Herztberg and Zoe Francois. Check out the link to find out more about them and their discovery of no Knead Bread.

No Knead Cinnamon Buns
  • 1 3/4 cup warm water
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons instant yeast
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 4 large farm fresh eggs
  • 1/2 cup honey
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted
  • 7 cups all purpose flour
  1. In a large bowl, mix together the eggs, water, honey, melted butter, yeast and salt.
  2. Stir well with a wooden spoon.
  3. Add the flour and stir well.
  4. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight or up to 4 days. Letting it sit in the refrigerator is apparently what gives the dough such a great flavour.
  5. Take the dough out of the fridge and cream together your filling ingredients.
Filling Ingredients
  • 1/2 cup softened butter
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 2 teaspoons of ground cinnamon
  • 2 teaspoons maple flavouring
  1. Cream this together well. Roll the dough out. . .I did quite thick, spread the filling on and roll up and slice with a serrated knife.
  2. Now, I put half of them on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper and put them in the freezer, where I let them freeze and then put them in a ziploc bag. The next day, I took them out at noon and let them thaw at room temperature and then baked them. It took 3 hours from freezer to icing them.  
  3. If you don't want to freeze any let the buns rise about an hour or until nice and puffy. Preheat your oven to 375. Bake until golden brown.
  4. I made an icing of Icing sugar, heavy cream and again maple flavouring.

Patty's Decadent Brownies

This recipe comes from my sister by love. Patty makes the best brownies that I have ever tasted! My family happens to agree. She made brownies and tried a differant recipe, they were good as well but we all told her she was NEVER allowed to do that again.... :^). It is a tried and true recipe loaded with goodness like butter and whipping, how can that be bad?

I made a 9x13 pan by doubling the recipe. How ever the original recipe is for a 8x8 and that is what is posted.

  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 1/3 cup butter
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 1/4 cup cocoa, sifted
  • 2/3 cup flour, sifted
  • 1/3 cup whipping cream
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  1. Cream together sugar and butter. 
  2. Add remaining ingredients and mix well. 
  3. Pour into a greased 8x8 pan. 
  4. Bake at 350 for 20 minutes. Do no over bake.
Creamy Icing:
  • 3 Tbsp. cocoa
  • 2 Tbsp. butter
  • 3 tbsp. whipping cream
  • 2 tsp. vanilla
  • Icing sugar
  1. Whip the butter adding cocoa powder and the whipping cream until smooth.
  2. Add in enough icing sugar to make a thick but spreadable icing. 

DIG IN with a tall glass of cold milk

Whatchagot Soup

I asked my husband what name I should give to the soup I made today. 
When I told him what ingredients I'd used he came up with the above name.
 It suits because there are lots of variations to this recipe which depend on 
"whatchagot" handy. Here goes:
  •  1/2 a link of smoked farmer sausage or 1 pound hamburger
  • 1 tablespoon oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 onion chopped
  • 1 large stalk celery, chopped
  • 1/2 each green pepper and red pepper, chopped
  • (or a yellow or orange pepper)
  • 1 large carrot, peeled and coarsely shredded
  • 1 can diced tomatoes
  • 1 can black beans, drained or lentils
  • 1 can baked beans
  • 1 can corn
  • 1 can tomato soup or tomato sauce
  • 3-4 cups water
  • 1 tablespoon Chili powder
  • 2 teaspoons Basil
  • 1 - 2 teaspoons Montreal Steak Spice
  • 1 teaspoon Paprika
  • 1 small zucchini coarsely shredded if desired
  1. Crumble farmer sausage or hamburger into a skillet and cook until browned. Drain fat and place in a large soup pot.
  2. Add garlic, celery peppers, carrot and 3-4 cups water to pot.
  3. Add tomatoes, black beans or lentils, baked beans, corn, and tomato soup or sauce.
  4. Add spices and cook until vegetables are tender and flavours are blended - about 45 minutes, adding zucchini about 10 minutes before it's done.
  5. Garnish with cheddar cheese  or sour cream if desired.

Schmoo Torte with Bananas/ or Trifle

This recipe originates from my home church cookbook and was submitted by Helen Fast. The cake recipe for the Angel food was long and involved, so I simplified it by using a cake mix. This is the one time that I have no trouble using a mix. I also modified it by adding bananas and crushed Skor bars. Banana and schmoo (caremael sauce) just belong together, a marraige made in heaven.

I made this for our son's birthday bash and it needed to feed a lot a people so instead of making it into a torte, I made it into a trifle. I find that a trifle feeds more people and that is what I needed. It went over really well.
  • 1 Pkg. Angel food cake mix
  • 1/2 to 1 c. finely crushed pecans
  1. Make cake according to the package directions,  but first fold in the crushed pecans with the dry cake mix. 
  2. Bake in a angel food cake pan. 
  3. Let cook completely balanced upside down on a bottle to cool.

Schmoo sauce:
  • 2 cups whipping cream
  • 2 cups brown sugar
  • 2 Tbsp butter
  1. Bring the whipping cream and brown sugar  to a boil. 
  2. Cook for 5 minutes on low. Take off heat and add butter.  
  3. It will thicken as it cools.
  • 2 cups whipping cream
  • 2 Tbsp icing sugar
  • 2 bananas 
  •  crushed skor bar
If you were to make the Torte version, you would cut the cake into equal thirds.
Drizzle each layer with schmoo sauce, bananas, whip cream and skor bits.
Ice with whipped cream, drizzle sauce decoratively, sprinkle with skor bits.

This is the schmoo sauce after it is cooked, it thickens as it cools
I make extra schmoo sauce to pass around separately, you can never have too much schmoo!

                         I don't have a trifle bowl so I used a punch bowl
Layer as follows
cake torn into bite size pieces
schmoo sauce
whipped cream
skor bits
alternate three times
Topped it with whipped cream and skor bits.
This serves 12-16 people.

Carrot Cookies with Orange Icing

Just dug out the last of the carrots from the garden a few days ago, yes they were hiding under the snow and in partially frozen ground! Carrots are great, no damage. The crop is plentiful so decided to bake carrot cookies. I don't know where I got this recipe from, years ago I copied it into my recipe binder. These cookies are moist and flavorful. And simple to make! I'm into the 'cookie baking' mood, Christmas must be around the corner!
  • 1 cup shortening
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 cup cooked mashed carrots
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2 cups flour
  • 2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 cup walnuts, chopped 
  • Beat shortening, add sugar and beat until light and fluffy.
  • Add eggs, carrots and vanilla. Beat well.
  • Sift dry ingredients and stir into carrot mixture until well blended. Stir in nuts.
  • Drop by tablespoons on parchment lined baking sheet.
  • Bake at 350º for 15 minutes.
  • Ice cookies while warm.
Orange Icing
  • Juice of orange, 3 or 4 tablespoons
  • Zest of 1 orange
  • 1 tablespoon butter, softened
  • 1 1/4 cups icing sugar
  1. Beat until creamy.
  2. Spread icing on cookies and watch them disappear...really!!

Red Sugar Cookies

Another favorite Christmas cookie! I love the festive look of these cookies. This recipe calls for red sugar for dipping but I think the green adds such a nice touch too. And this is another recipe handed down from my mother in law. These cookies are soft and have a bit of a chewy texture. And of course the little 'donut holes' are a perfect snack for a little munchkin! Stack them in a plastic bag, tie with a pretty ribbon and you have a perfect gift for someone special!
  • 1 cup lard
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 5 1/2 to 6 cups of flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon ginger (add a little more if you like ginger)
  1. Cream lard, sugars and lemon juice. Add eggs and blend well.
  2. Combine dry ingredients and stir in with lard, sugars, juice, and eggs, alternately with milk. 
  3. The dough is a little sticky at this point but that's good. Cover bowl and refrigerate at least 1 hour or more.
  4. Roll out dough to approx 1/8" using as little flour as possible and cut with a donut cutter. Dip in red or green sugar.
  5. Bake at 350º for 10 minutes.
  6. Cool on rack before storing. They freeze well.

Christmas Cranberry Cookies

This recipe has been handed down from my husband's grandmother. It is a Christmas favorite!  I always bake the first batch when we have our first snowfall and that happened this weekend. I make these cookies fairly large then cut them in half to serve. Those instructions were also handed down as my mother in law used to say 'they taste the best when they are large.' Although the second batch I make are smaller. I make up cookie plates to give away at Christmas so all the cookies I bake for that have to be smaller or there wouldn't be room for variety! I've had many requests for this recipe.
And now it's time for coffee and a cookie...
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1/2 cup lard
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 1 lemon, juice and zest
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 6 cups flour (plus flour for rolling)
Cranberry Filling:
  • 3 cups cranberries (340 g/12 oz bag)
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 3/4 cup water
  1. Boil water and sugar for 5 minutes, add cranberries and boil gently till cranberries pop, approx another 5 minutes. I cooked them a few minutes longer.
  2.  This recipe can be found on the bag of cranberries, the only thing I change is the amount of water. You won't need all this filling for the cookies but I like to cook the whole amount at once and either use it up for other recipes or eat as a side with chicken or turkey. Keeps in the fridge for a few weeks.
  3. In a medium sized bowl beat butter, lard, and sugar together until fluffy.
  4. Add eggs and beat well, then blend in sour cream and finely grated zest of the lemon.
  5. Add baking soda to the juice of the lemon and mix into dough. The juice will foam once the baking soda is mixed in.
  6. Whisk together flour and baking powder and stir into the dough.
  7. The dough will still be sticky but that is how it should be. Cover bowl and refrigerate at least one hour. You can refrigerate overnight if you wish.
  8. Roll dough to approximately 1/8", cut with a 2 " round cookie cutter placing approximately a rounded teaspoon of cranberry filling in the middle of one round, place another cookie round on top and pinch the two together with your thumb and finger to seal in the filling.
  9. Place on parchment lined baking sheet and bake at 375º for 12 to 15 minutes or until light golden in color.
  10. Allow to cool and ice cookies with almond flavored icing, then dip into angel flaked coconut.

Old Fashioned Crumb Cake

I've been eating this crumb cake since I was in grade 9 when I started to date my beloved, and his mom made this often for his lunch. I have made it countless times and it turns out moist and the fragrance is out of this world. The method is easy peasy so put away your mixer.
My mother in law is such an awesome baker and cook, I can't count the number of recipes that she has shared with me.

Crumb Cake

  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 3/4 cup softened butter
  • 2 cups of all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 farm fresh egg
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  1. Cream the butter and sugar in a medium bowl.
  2. Add the flour and blend together.
  3. Take out one cup of the above mixture and set aside.
  4. To the remainder,  add the baking soda, and the spices.
  5. In a small bowl, beat the egg until foamy.
  6. Add the buttermilk to the egg.
  7. Add the liquid ingredients to the dry ingredients.
  8. Spread the batter into a greased 9" square pan.
  9. Sprinkle the set aside crumbs evenly ontop of the batter.
  10. Bake at 350 for 40 - 50 minutes. Stick in a toothpick at 40 minutes to check for doneness. The toothpick should come out clean.

Best Gluten-Free Bread

Bread!! The one thing I never thought I could live without!
I used to joke that if ever I was put on a bread and water diet, I wouldn't suffer a bit!!!
But alas... I found out I was Celiac... and that the bread and water diet could kill me!

So I looked and looked for a gluten-free bread!

I VERY quickly found out that the taste, the texture, the smell, the GLUTEN could NOT be duplicated.... and I finally just resolved to live without bread... the gluten-free 'bread' was not worth the exercise of slicing!
I discovered white bean flour... which is a little hard to get but some shops that carry gluten-free flours will order it in for you! Or you can order it on-line from Bob's Red Mill.

And yes... it passes my litmus test! Non-Celiacs like it! My daughter's mother-in-law said it tasted just like the bread her mother used to make!

So if you are Celiac or are baking for a Celiac, I am soo happy to share my recipe!

Ingredients for White Bean Flour Bread
  • 1 cup warm water
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 1 tsp unflavored gelatin
  • 1 1/2 tbsp. yeast
  • 3/4 cup milk
  • 3 large eggs
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tbsp cider vinegar
  • 1 tbsp. molasses
  • 1 tsp. zanthan gum
  • 1 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1 cup white bean flour
  • 1 cup Kinnikinnik bread/bun mix (or 1 cup brown rice flour)
  • 1/2 cup tapioca flour
  • 1/2 cup cornstarch
  • optional - add 1/2 cup of raw sunflower seeds

  1. Mix 1 tsp sugar and 1 tsp gelatin, stir in the 1 cup warm water, then stir in yeast - let proof.
  2. In heavy duty mixer beat eggs slightly, then add other wet ingredients including proofed yeast.
  3. Sift together dry ingredients and then add to the liquid, beating hard for 3 or 4 minutes . You will see the batter change and become smooth . (Consistency needs to be right.. batter that is too thick will not rise .. too thin it will rise and then fall. If it looks like a too-thick cake batter then it is probably just about right!) While you are mixing the dough, you will smell a slight beany smell from the 'bean' flour... but this is the only time. When it is baking or you are eating it, it has a very 'whole-wheat' bread smell and taste!
  4. This recipe makes one regular size loaf, but since I have a daughter who is also Celiac I divided the dough into two mid-size pans so I have a loaf for each of us.
  5. I line the bottom of the pans with wax paper and lightly oil the pans. Gluten-free baking tends to stick more than regular wheat flour.

6. To rise I put the pans in the oven with the oven light on....and cover the pans with a towel. Let rise for about an hour until loaves round over the top of the pan.
7. Bake for 45 minutes at 350' F - or until tops are nicely browned - do not underbake. This bread keeps well, also freezes well and after the first day is good toasted !

(I adapted this recipe from Bob's Red Mill recipe for bean bread in a bread machine)

PS. Karen asked some good questions in her comment and I thought I would just post the answers here for others who might wonder the same questions !

YES! this bread is great for French toast.... as you can see here......

"have a bite and see!"

This bread stays soft on the counter for several days.. and after toasting does NOT turn to cardboard or cement!
and Yes.. you can use it in casseroles or in your hamburger patties mix if you are used to adding bread, or make your own croutons.

Lemon Cheese

When I was growing up, my mom used to occasionally pick up a jar of Nabob Lemon Cheese at the grocery store. She would use it in tarts and sweet buns, and we loved it on toast. They quit making Lemon Cheese and we were left with Lemon Spread. We bought one jar of that, and we never bought another. From then on, my mom made Lemon Cheese, or Lemon Curd if she needed a nice Lemon flavour.

For the butterhorns that I just posted, I whipped up a small batch of Lemon Cheese. I made one cup, if you prefer, you can double this recipe and store it in the refrigerator for one week or freeze it and thaw it in the refrigerator. The recipe I use now, can be found in the Better Homes and Gardens Cookbook. . .which claims to be the # 1 Cookbook since 1930. . . I made a half recipe and that is how I will post it here.

Lemon Cheese
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • the finely shredded peel of one medium sized lemon
  • the juice of one medium sized lemon. . . 3 tablespoons
  • 3 tablespoons water
  • 3 beaten egg yolks
  • 1/4 cup butter. . cubed
  1. In a small saucepan stir together the sugar and the cornstarch.
  2. Stir in the lemon peel and the lemon juice and water.
  3. Cook and stir over medium heat until it has thickened and is bubbly.
  4. Slowly pour a wee bit of the hot lemon mixture into the bowl where the beaten egg yolks are. . .stir with a small whisk.
  5. Slowly add a little more until you have added about half of the hot mixture. If you do this the opposite way, the cold eggs into the hot mixture, you will have scrambled eggs ala lemon sauce, so a little hot into the cold egg yolks.
  6. Add all the egg mixture into the remaining hot mixture and continue to cook a few minutes. . .continue stirring the whole time.
  7. Remove from heat and add the cubed butter and stir well until smooth and glossy.
  8. Cover the hot lemon cheese with plastic wrap . Put the plastic wrap against the surface of the lemon cheese to avoid condensation forming.
  9. Allow to cool and refrigerate.

Black Bean Chicken wings

This recipe is from my friend Vicki. She is an amazing cook. Each time we are guests in their home I look forward to what she will serve. I am never disappointed! I have used this wing recipe for quite afew years now and the recipe is asked for almost each time. I usually buy 2-3 packages of fresh wings and mini drummettes at Costco and divide. When I need an appie it is so easy. Just thaw and bake.

25 chicken wings
1 1/2 cups brown sugar
2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
4 tbsp soy sauce
2 tbsp black bean sauce
2 tbsp oyster sauce
1 cup tomato sauce
2 cloves garlic-crushed
1 tsp pepper

Marinade wings in sauce for several hours or over night. Line a baking sheet with foil. Bake @ 300 for about 2 1/2 hours. They get more 'sticky' and flavorful the longer they bake. Every half hour I base with the sauce in the pan and turn the wings. These can be kept warm on low in a crock pot. They are best fresh, but I have baked them the day before and heated in a crock pot or dutch oven.


Butterhorns were my mom's signature baked goodie. She often made these for her Ladies group and we all were very happy when Ladies group was at our house. I was wondering if this is considered a Mennonite food since it isn't really a Danish. I discussed it with Anneliese and she thought it is considered Mennonite. My mom always put crushed walnuts on her butterhorns but I tried it with some Lemon Cheese in the center and they were quite delicious as well. You can find the Lemon Cheese Recipe here.
  • 1 tablespoon yeast
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1/4 cup warm water
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1 egg
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup real butter
  1. Put the yeast and sugar in a small bowl, add the warm water and let sit 10 minutes.
  2. Measure the flour, second amount of sugar and salt into a bowl.
  3. Cut the butter into the flour using a pastry blender. You should have very small pieces of butter when you are done it should look like oatmeal.
  4. Warm the milk until the chill is off.
  5. Add the slightly beaten egg to the milk.
  6. Add the yeast, milk, egg into the dry ingredients.
  7. Stir well until it all blended together. It will be a batter, not a kneadable dough.
  8. The dough will double, so move the dough to another bowl if it is not large enough.
  9. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate at least 4 hours or overnight.
  10. Sprinkle flour on your counter.Roll the dough into a 1/2 inch thick rectangle. The dough will be sticky, but. .stick with it. You can use flour to make it easier.
  11. Cut 3/4 inch strips, twist them and roll up as shown.
  12. Put the twists on a greased pan.
  13. Cover with a tea towel. Let rise about 1 hour or until doubled in size.
  14. Bake at 400 for about 10 - 15 minutes.
  15. Crush FRESH walnuts. . in the food processor or chop them very finely.
  16. Make an icing of 1 cup icing sugar, 1/2 teaspoon vanilla, and enough milk to make a spreadable consistency.
  17. Ice and then dip the Butterhorns in the crushed nuts.
If you want to put some Lemon on your Butterhorns instead of crushed nuts. Put a teaspoon of Lemon Cheese in the center of your Butterhorn just before baking.
They freeze very well. I put them on a cookie sheet, freeze them and then slip them into zip loc bags. To serve, allow to come to room temperature.

Filled Buttercup Squash

Recently my niece asked me if I had a recipe for “filled sapalla”. It’s a South American kind of squash which I do not have a translation for but it’s a lot like buttercup squash, so I decided to try that. Normally I would have just used my cabbage roll sauce recipe, but since I’ve made Lovella’s Mexican Stuffed Peppers, I really like that sauce too, so I tried a blend of the sauce recipe.

Meat Filling:
  • several small buttercup squash
  • 1 lb extra lean ground beef
  • 2 cups cooked rice
  • ½ cup sour cream
  • ½ onion, grated
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • pepper
  • 2 tablespoons oil
  • ½ onion, chopped
  • ½ green pepper, chopped
  • 1 can tomato soup
  • 1 can cream of mushroom soup
  • 1 can water
  • 1 tablespoon taco seasoning
  • ¾ cup sour cream
  1. Mix all filling ingredients well. I used left over rice casserole for the rice. 
  2. If the buttercup squash is small, cut it in half, scoop out the seeds and fill. I filled four halves and then made large meatballs with the rest of the meat. If the squash is large, cut it into slices with meatball in the center or cut into wedges and lay the pieces alongside the meatballs, in a large roaster.
  3. For sauce, cook onion and pepper until soft. Add soups, water and seasoning. Bring to boil.
  4. Stir in sour cream, until blended. Pour over squash and meatballs in roaster.
  5. Bake 1 1/4 - 1½ hours at 350° F. This makes about 6 – 8 servings. Left over meatballs go well with mashed potatoes.

Fruit Crumb Platz - Gluten Free

This platz is as good as the real thing. In fact, I have served it to
non-Celiacs and they didn't know the difference. That is always my litmus test !
I remember what regular food tastes like and I want my
gluten-free food to taste like the real thing, or I'd rather just do without !!

Recipe for my Fruit Platz

Base -- use gluten-free pastry - recipe found here
Roll out pastry to fit 9"x13" baking pan.

Sprinkle bottom with minute tapioca (I'm sorry, I've never measured but probably about 2 tbsp) If fruit is very juicy, I will sprinkle on a little cornstarch too.)
Sprinkle with 1/4 cup sugar (more or less to taste)

Fruit - Cover with fresh or frozen fruit (Italian plums are my favorite!)
Then cover with crumb topping.

Crumb Topping

  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 1/3 cup brown rice flour
  • 1/3 cup Kinnikinnik bread/bun mix (can substitute brown rice flour)
  • 1 pkg Oetker vanilla sugar
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • cream (just enough to make crumbs)

Mix dry ingredients together, then using fingers rub in the butter... then slowly, little by little drizzle cream over crumbs mixing quickly , cutting the cream in with spoon, until you have crumbs forming. It doesn't take a lot of cream so make sure you add it slowly - mixing faster than you are adding!

Crumble the mixture over the fruit.

Bake at 375' until crumbs are golden brown.

(These crumbs can also be used for any fruit crumble dessert - yummy warm with ice-cream!)

Rice Casserole

This is a recipe I have from my mom and it is one that must be tried to know how good it is! (Pictures don’t do it justice.) It’s a great side dish for BBQ’s, goes well with fish or chicken. It’s also one I’ve often made for family gatherings. I have not tried it with brown rice, but I think as long as you use the right amount of water, it should be okay. I have had the best results with Uncle Ben's converted rice or Safeway brand barboiled rice. I used basmati rice last time and really liked the flavor of that too. Leftovers are good too, I just re-heat in a pot with a bit of water. Leftover rice can also be added to vegetable or tomato soup, cabbage rolls, filled peppers, etc.

  • 2 cups rice
  • 4 cups water
  • 1 red pepper, chopped
  • 1 pkg onion soup mix
  • 1 can mushrooms with water
  • 3 tablespoons Soy sauce
  • 1 can cream of mushroom soup
  • 2 tablespoons oil

  1. Mix all ingredients (except water) in a 9x13 Pyrex pan or large (3 quart) casserole dish. Stir in the water. 
  2. Bake at 350 F for 1 hour. Sometimes I cover it and sometimes I don’t. If the dish has a lid I put it on and uncover once it’s cooking. If it doesn’t, I cover it with aluminum foil once it looks like it might get too dark or dry out.
  3. To make this recipe smaller, divide in half and omit the can of mushrooms. (Use a glass baking dish that would hold at least 6 cups of water.)

Trish's Chocolate Raisin Brownie Cookie -- converted to Gluten-free

If you need a chocolate fix , a double dose of these is just what the doctor ordered !

So here are the  ingredients :
  • 2 squares of semi-sweet chocolate
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 4 tablespoon cocoa powder
  • 1/2 cup rice flour
  • 1/4 cup tapioca flour
  • 1/4 cup potato starch (NOT potato flour)
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 3/4 cup chocolate chips
  • 1/2 cup raisins
  • 1/2 cup walnuts
Melt chocolate squares and butter in microwave for 1 min. Meanwhile, beat eggs, vanilla, sugars until creamy and thickened. Add the chocolate/butter. Then mix in the flours and cocoa powder that have been pre-mixed together . Finally, stir in the chips , raisins and nuts.
Chill for one hour, then drop by teaspoon on slightly greased baking sheet.
Bake for 13-15 minutes at 350'. Let firm up on pan before removing!