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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Mexican Spirals

I wanted to post this before Christmas, but when I didn't get to it, I realized that it could be quite timely with New Year's Eve parties coming up and using up the leftover turkey. These are great little appetizers that can be made ahead, frozen and heated when you need them. We love them served with a little dollop of salsa! I got this recipe from my friend Herta, whom I talked to today, and she laughed when I told her I still make these every Christmas! I think she's probably found some wonderful new recipes I have yet to find out about. =) But when it comes to our family . . . well there are some traditions you just don't change!

  • 1 pkg (250 g) cream cheese, softened
  • 1 cup finely chopped cooked chicken
  • 1 cup grated Monterrey Jack cheese
  • 1/3 cup finely chopped red pepper
  • 1/4 cup chopped cilantro or parsley
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh hot jalapeno pepper
  • 2 teaspoons cumin
  • 4 10-inch tortillas
  1. Combine all the filling ingredients. 
  2. Divide mixture between tortillas, spread evenly and roll up tightly. 
  3. Wrap and chill at least 2 hours. 
  4. Cut into 1/2 inch slices. Unbaked slices freeze well. (Layer with wax paper and place in sealed container.)
  5. Bake at 350 F for 12 - 20 minutes, until you can see the cheese bubble slightly on top. Serve with salsa.
You will find the ends kind of "loose", but I fix those slices by filling in with other ends ... they'll never know once they're baked. Enjoy!

Honey Dijon Vinegrette

In our home we prefer homemade dressings to bottled. I like to know what ingredients are put into my food and try to avoid ingredients that I can't pronounce.
This is a lightly sweet and tangy dressing all at the same time. My oldest daughter signature dressing that she often makes. We really enjoy it.

  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 2 tablespoons cider vinegar
  • 4 tablespoons of oil
  • salt and pepper to taste

  1. Shake all ingredients together in a well sealed jar until it thickens and everything is emulisfied. 
  2. Keeps in the refridgerator for a week or two. 

Eggs Benedict

This has been a family tradition for many a year now and the brunch crowd just keeps getting bigger. It really is an easy and delicious recipe. 
This recipe comes from a Safeway cookbook called "The Easy Gourmet".
Serve with steamed asparagus and a fresh fruit salad. This recipe serves four.
I however used 5 dozen eggs and two dozen English muffins to feed our crowd. Even the pickiest eaters had more than two helpings.
  • 4 English muffins, split and toasted
  • 8 large eggs
  • 8 round slices of back bacon or ham
  • Hollandiase sauce
  1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil and reduce the heat to a gentle simmer. One at a time, break the eggs and slip then into the water, Cook the eggs for 4-5 minutes. 
  2. Place the eggs on top of a toasted english muffin with a slice of back bacon or ham. 
  3. Top with the following Hollandiase sauce. 
Blender Hollandiase Sauce (my favorite version)
  • 3 egg yolks
  • 2 tbsp. lemon juice
  • cayenne pepper
  • salt
  • freshly ground pepper
  • 1/2 c. butter melting and bubbling hot.
  1. Mix together in a blender the egg yolks, lemon juice and seasoning. 
  2. With the machine running, slowly pour in the butter. 
  3. Run the machine a little longer until the sauce thickens. 
  4. Spoon it over the eggs and serve any extra sauce on the side.
Hollaindaise Sauce (my brother's favorite)
  • 1/4 c. butter
  • 1 tbsp. lemon juice
  • 1/4 c. cream
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 1/2 tsp. dry mustard
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  1. In a double boiler over simmering water, melt butter, add cream, dry mustard and salt. 
  2. In a seperate bowl temper the eggs with some of the warm cream mixture and add eggs to the remaining warm mixture and stir and cook until thickened.
  3. Add lemon juice. 
  4. Also a very tasty sauce as well.

Coconut Milk Cream Pie

I really like a good cream pie. Cream pie with a fresh flaky crust just has the perfect texture combination for me.
Here is a link to Dorothy's Pie Crust. 

  • 1 baked 9 inch pie shell
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1 2/3 cup (400 ml) unsweetened coconut milk... give the can a good shake.
  • 1 1/2 cups whole milk
  • 1/4 cup cornstarch
  • 6 egg yolks
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup flaked unsweetened coconut
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  1. This can all be done in a saucepan over medium heat but I like the non-scorch proof method of a microwave.
  2. In a large measuring cup or another large glass microwave safe bowl, combine the sugar, and the coconut milk.
  3. In a small bowl, combine the cornstarch with the milk until no lumps remain. Add to the coconut milk and sugar mixture.
  4. Put into microwave and heat on high speed for 2 minutes at a time, then stirring and continuing until it is bubbly.
  5. Put the egg yolks into a small bowl, and add a little bit of the hot milk, stir, and add a little bit more of the hot milk. . .continue stirring vigorously. This will keep the egg yolks from becoming scrambled eggs.
  6. Pour the egg mixture back into the large bowl with the remaining hot milk mixture.
  7. Heat again in the microwave until thickened and bubbly. Total time is usually around 10 minutes for me.
  8. Add the vanilla and the coconut and the butter and stir until combined.
  9. Pour the hot filling into the cooled pie shell and cover with plastic wrap.
  10. Chill the pie completely for a few hours and then dollop the whipped cream on.
  11. If you want toasted coconut for garnish, put a little coconut on foil and put into the oven at 325 until lightly toasted.

Chocolate Peanut Butter Balls

This is my mother in law's recipe. I used to make them for Christmas but now my daughter Brenda makes them. She was so kind as to send me this photo and allow me to share it here. These are great to pack in a small festive tin, add a ribbon and surprise someone with a delicious treat.
  • 1 cup chunky peanut butter
  • 1 cup icing sugar
  • 2 tablespoons butter, softened
  • 2 cups rice crispies
  • 1/2 cup peanuts
  • 1 cup chocolate wafers or rosebuds
  • 3 tablespoons paraffin (optional)
  1. Mix together peanut butter, icing sugar, butter, rice crispies, and peanuts in a bowl.
  2. Refrigerate for 30 minutes. Roll into approximately 1 inch balls. Place on pan and freeze.
  3. Melt chocolate wafers or rosebuds with 3 tbsp paraffin. (optional)
  4. Keep melted chocolate in a bowl over hot water while dipping frozen peanut butter balls.
  5. Place them on a parchment lined pan without touching until firm. 
  6. Store in a cool place.

Green Bean Casserole

It seems there is always a green bean casserole at the holiday table, most often using Campbell's cream of mushroom soup as the sauce. This is a slightly different variation, one which we prefer.

  • 3 cans green beans, drained (French or regular cut)
  • 1 can sliced mushrooms
  • 1 can water chestnuts, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • ¼ cup finely chopped onions
  • 1 teaspoon salt dash of pepper
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
  • 1 can French-fried onions
  1. Melt butter in saucepan.
  2. Stir in flour and cook over medium heat about 1 minute.
  3. Add milk and cook until thickened, while whisking.
  4. Stir in salt, sugar, pepper, onions, and sour cream; heat through. 
  5. Add green beans, mushrooms and water chestnuts; stir to coat.
  6. Transfer to casserole dish. (Can be made the previous day and refrigerated at this point.)
  7. Spread cheese over top and sprinkle with french-fried onions.
  8. Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes or until bubbly. 

If the casserole has been refrigerated, allow about 30 minutes more cooking time.

Artichoke and Roasted Pepper Dip

Put this appetizer out on your kitchen island and for sure you'll have everyone right where you're trying to finish up the meal. My son-in-law loves to tease me about that! So, depending on how stressed you want to be, plan your placement carefully. If I remember right, I got this recipe from my niece, Pauline.

  • 1/2 cup miracle whip ( I do more)
  • 2/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1/2 jar roasted sweet red peppers, patted dry and chopped
  • 1 can (14 oz) artichoke hearts, drained and chopped
  • 1 each: green onion chopped, clove garlic, minced
  1. Stir together miracle whip, cheese, peppers, artichokes, onion and garlic. (I save a bit of the cheese to sprinkle on top) 
  2. Spoon into 9 inch pie plate or similar small, low baking dish. 
  3. Bake at 350° F 10 - 12 min. Serve with crackers, corn chips, guacamole or black bean chips.

Shortbread Cookies

This recipe was from my Mom's friend Esther Moore. Her and her husband John were our pastor couple when I was growing up in Victoria. He was a musician as well and afew of his songs are published in church Hymnals. One of my favorites of his is Burdens are Lifted at Calvary.
These cookies are easy, and they melt in your mouth.
1 cup softened butter
4 tbsp white sugar
2 1/2 -3 cups flour
Whip together butter and sugar. Add 2 cups of flour and continue to add flour until dough comes together in a soft ball. It will be soft but manageable to roll out on a floured counter. Roll out to 1/4 " thick and cut with cookie cutters. Leave plain or decorate with colored sugar sprinkles.
Bake @ 325 for 12 minutes. Let rest on pan for one minute and remove to a cooling rack.


With the cold crisp dry air we have been having I decided to make Pavlova since it turns out the very best when the air is dry. This is one of the easiest desserts to make if you can beat an egg, and whip some cream you can do this.

  • 4 egg whites (separate each egg into a little cup before adding it to your glass or metal bowl that has had a warm water wash to free it from grease)
  • 1 cup of white sugar
  • 1 teaspoon of cream of tartar
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 teaspoon cornstarch
  • 1 teaspoon white vinegar
  1. Prepare your baking sheet first. Lay down a strip of parchment paper or waxed paper on your cookie sheet. Lay a luncheon sized plate down in the center and trace around it. It will enlarge to fit on a dinner sized plate.
  2. Preheat your oven to 300 F.  I did mine in a convection oven at 275. F
  3. Beat your egg whites and cream of tartar in a large bowl with a stand mixer or a hand mixer until soft peaks form.
  4. Slowly add your sugar.
  5. Combine the vinegar and the cornstarch in a small bowl. Add to the egg white while you are beating.
  6. Add vanilla and beat until very stiff. You should be able to turn your bowl upside down.
  7. Spread the egg whites onto the parchment paper, just to the edges of your tracing.
  8. Bake for an hour. Open up the oven and have a peek.  The meringue should feel dry and no longer soft. If need be, leave it in another 10 minutes and check.
  9. Leave the meringue in the oven and turn it off. Leave in until completely cooled.
Beat 2 cups of whipping cream and spread over top the meringue just before serving.
Slice kiwi and put pomegranate seeds on top for a Christmas dessert or strawberries and kiwi or whatever is pretty and in season.

Chili Meat Pockets

I'm not sure who gave me this recipe but I used to make them for the children's school lunches.
 They would also be great as appetizers for those Christmas parties. 
If you have a food processor, use it for the pastry.

For the Pastry:
You will need to make the recipe twice to use up the filling.
  • 1 cup creamed cottage cheese
  • 1 cup margarine
  • 2 3/4 cups flour
  • 2 tablespoons wheat germ
For the Chili Meat filling:
  • 2 pounds lean ground beef
  • 1/1/2 cups onions chopped fine
  • 3 tablespoons chili powder ( or to taste)
  • 4 envelopes beef bouillon powder.
  • Cheddar cheese cut into pieces about 1/4 inch x 1 inch x 1/1/2 inches.
  1. Prepare filling first.
  2. Brown ground beef and onions until meat is cooked through. Drain fat. 
  3. Add chili powder and beef bouillon powder and cook a little longer stirring well until seasonings are incorporated. (Do not add water)
  4. Set aside to cool while you make the pastry.
  5. Place all pastry ingredients in bowl of food processor and pulse until dough begins to stick together.
  6. If mixing by hand, cut margarine and cottage cheese into dry ingredients and then mix by hand until mixture holds together and becomes somewhat sticky.
  7. Divide dough and roll each piece out to about 1/8th inch thickness on floured surface.
  8. Cut circles using a cutter about 3 1/2 inches in diameter.
  9. Place 1 piece cheddar cheese on one side of each circle. 
  10. Top with about 1 tablespoon of meat filling.
  11. Fold in half and crimp edges together using a fork. 
  12. Prick the tops with your fork to let the steam out when they bake.
  13. Place on baking sheets and bake at 375 degrees C for about 15-20 minutes or until lightly browned. 
  14. Serve to the kids with ketchup for dipping or to the adults with red pepper jelly.
  15. Keep the Chili Meat pockets in the fridge or freezer until serving.
  16. They heat up best in a 350 degree oven for about 10 minutes or turn the oven off and let them warm if frozen.

Greek Veggie Pizzas

My niece, Pauline, made these for a shower a number of years back and I was very happy to scribble down the recipe. These little pizza wedges also go over well as appetizers or a quick lunch. They are so simple to make, but very tasty.

  • 1 pkg Kraft Greek Salad crumbled feta cheese
  • 1 each: small red and yellow peppers, cut into thin strips
  • 1 zucchini, thinly sliced
  • 1/3 cup Kraft Sundried Tomato and Oregano dressing
  • 4 - 6 inch (pre-baked) flatbreads or Greek pitas (Olafsons)
  1. Sprinkle 1/3 cup feta cheese on each crust. 
  2. Mix peppers, zucchini and dressing. 
  3. Spoon over cheese, dividing evenly. 
  4. Bake at 425 F, 10 minutes. Cut into wedges.

Rolo Cookies

If you are looking for a nice gooey, caramel-filled chocolate cookie, this is the recipe for you. They've been a Christmas favorite at our place for some years, since the time my sister was employed at Nestle Canada and had access to Rolos in abundance! Now it seems I'm always on a mad hunt for Rolos just before Christmas. This year I found them at the third store I visited, but they were all out of the regular Rolos, and had only the jumbo sized or a bag of minis. I used Rolo minis this year and they worked great! The cookies are a wee bit smaller, but nicer for the Christmas trays.

  • 1 cup butter
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 tsp. vanilla
  • 3/4 cup cocoa
  • 2 1/2 cups flour
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 1 cup chopped pecans
  • 1 Tablespoon sugar
  • 48 Rolo candies (or one bag Rolo minis)

  1. Cream 1 cup butter together with the brown and white sugar until light and fluffy. 
  2. Add vanilla and eggs...beat well. Add flour, cocoa, and baking soda. Stir in a half cup of the chopped pecans.
  3. In a separate bowl, combine 1/2 cup chopped pecans with 1 tablespoon sugar. 
  4. With floured hands, wrap 1 tablespoon of dough around a Rolo, covering completely. 
  5. Press one side of dough/ball into pecan sugar mixture. 
  6. Place, nutty side up, 2 inches apart on ungreased cookie sheets. 
  7. Bake at 375 degrees for 7-10 minutes, or until set and slightly cracked. 
  8. Cool two minutes; remove from pans.


Oatmeal Shortbread

Here is a shortbread that's a little different than most.
The recipe comes from the yellow Gals With God cookbook
that our ladies Bible study group put together back in 1980.
I've been making them every Christmas since.
  • 1 1/3 cups flour
  • 2/3 cup oatmeal
  • 1 cup butter softened
  • 2/3 cup brown sugar
  • 2/3 cup fine unsweetened coconut
  1. Mix dry ingredients and work in butter as you would for regular shortbread. Do not over mix.
  2. Dough will be slightly sticky.
  3. Pat or roll out on lightly floured surface into a rectangle about 1/4 inch thick.
  4. Using your handy dandy bench scraper, mark dough into sections and cut into logs about 1/2 inch by 2 inches. 
  5. Using bench scraper or metal spatula, transfer to ungreased cookie sheets.
  6. Bake at 275 degrees F for about 20 minutes or until cookies are set. Remove from oven and let cool.
  7. Dip one or both ends of each cookie into chocolate dip (melt 1 cup semi sweet chocolate chips with 3 tablespoons milk or cream over hot water until melted, stirring until smooth. If chocolate is still too thick, add a bit more hot milk.) 
  8. Place on waxed paper and refrigerate until chocolate is set.
  9. These cookies keep very well in a tightly covered container kept in a cool place. (I usually store all of my Christmas cookies and bars in the garage.)

Minnesota Munchers

Another cookie I bake at Christmas time, of course it can be baked at any other time which I do. I have baked this recipe numerous times and it always turns out. I found it at and after the first time I tried it it was marked as a winner! I've changed up the recipe a wee bit.
  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 1 1/2 cups brown sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 2 1/2 cups flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup chocolate chips
  • 1/2 cup white chocolate chips
  • 3/4 cups toffee bits
  • 1 cup pecans, chopped
  1. Preheat oven to 350 º. Grease 2 cookie sheets or line with parchment paper.
  2. In a medium sized bowl cream together butter and sugar. Beat in eggs and stir in vanilla.
  3. Combine flour, baking powder, salt and stir into creamed mixture. Fold in chocolate chips, toffee bits and pecans. Drop by tablespoons on cookie sheets.
  4. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes till slightly golden in color. I found that I had to bake them a bit longer in my oven.
  5. Cool on baking sheet 5 minutes before removing to cool completely on rack.
  6. Yield: approx 3 dozen.


This way of doing bacon and eggs originates from the year I met my husband.
That summer, I was a counselor at Columbia Bible Camp (now Stillwood Camp) here in BC. 
We took our girls on an overnight hike and made these for breakfast - fried up on the bottom of one of those large juice cans tipped over a fire.
 It's much easier to make them in a frying pan!
They are great for camping trips because you get bacon, eggs and toast in one handy package 
and you only need one pan.
Wranglers are now a family favourite and hardly a week goes by without making them at least once or twice for breakfast or for a quick lunch.

For each wrangler you will need:
  • 1 piece of bread
  • 1 slice of bacon
  • 1 egg
  • salt and pepper
  1. Cut a circle out of the middle of the bread slice.
  2. Cut strip of bacon in half.
  3. Place bacon halves side by side in frying pan and fry until brown.
  4. Turn bacon pieces over and lay bread over the bacon.
  5. Crack egg into the hole and sprinkle with salt and pepper.Turn heat down and cook until egg white begins to turn cloudy. You can cover the pan if you like.
  6. Flip the wrangler over and continue to cook uncovered until desired doneness.
Voilá - bacon eggs and toast and only 1 pan to wash.

    Ham and Cheese Ball

    This recipe was given to me by Doris, who became my friend because we lived in the same neighborhood and our kids became Kindergarten friends. Now, our grown children are all over the map (literally) but we are still walking regularly and solving the world's problems. A friend like this, who knows everything about you and remains, is a true gift.

    • 8 oz pkg cream cheese, softened
    • 1/4 c mayonnaise
    • 2 - 8oz tins flaked ham
    • 2 tablespoons chopped parsley
    • 1 teaspoon minced onion
    • ¼ teaspoon dry mustard
    • ¼ teaspoon Tabasco
    • ½- 1 cup chopped nuts (for rolling in)
    1. Beat cheese and mayo until smooth. Stir in next 5 ingredients. 
    2. Cover and chill several hours. 
    3. Form into two balls - will be quite sticky, but as you roll it in the nuts, to cover, you can shape it. I like having several of these in the freezer at this time of the year, since they are no work on the day that you need to pull one out.
    Update: This cheese ball is a great addition to a charcuterie board ... along with crackers, crusty baguette, salami, prosciutto, sweet and/or savory spreads, cheeses, gherkins, dried fruit, nuts, grapes, the variety is endless.

    Snow from the kitchen

    A very easy gift to make and a 'crowd pleaser' too. So easy to make that it can be done as a last minute gift! Years ago I got this recipe from a friend who called it Crispix Snacks but on the Crispix cereal box it's called Snow Drops and that just sounded better to me. I changed up the recipe a tiny bit.
    • 1 box - 350 g Crispix cereal
    • 2 cups chocolate chips
    • 1 cup peanut butter
    • 1 3/4 cups icing sugar
    1. Melt chocolate chips and peanut butter in a saucepan on the stove or in a bowl in the microwave. Stir until melted and smooth.
    2. Pour  Crispix cereal in a large bowl and pour the chocolate and peanut butter mixture over the cereal stirring gently until all the cereal is coated.
    3. Pour icing sugar in a large paper bag and add the coated cereal. Keep the top of the bag closed and shake up the cereal until it is well coated.
    4. Pour on to a large baking pan and place in a cool place to harden. Once cool it is ready to package or to have as snacks. 
    5. It is a 'bit' addictive so beware if the bowl empties fast! is cereal and peanut butter and chocolate so it should be good for you! ~smile~

    Chicken with Anise Seeds

    I first began to enjoy this delectably flavoured and scented chicken when the invitations to my inlaws-to-be began. I began to make in immediately upon marriage as it is . . .truly one of the easiest chicken dishes to make. It can be made with a younger chicken, purchased already cut up, or you can buy a roasting chicken, and cut it up yourself. The reason to cut it up is so that all the parts have equal "roastablity" against the roasting dish.

    I made this the other day. . .and Stuart still remembers saying as a young boy. . . how much he liked it. The wonderful aroma in the kitchen can be smelled outside and the flavour is truly delicious.
    I'm sure that every good Mennonite woman has her own way of making this and I'd love to know how you do it.

    Roasted Chicken with Anise
    • 1 chicken, cut up into pieces with the bone and skin
    • salt
    • Anise Seed
    1. Cut up your chicken if it isn't already.
    2. Arrange it in a single layer in a heavy pot or roasting pan.
    3. Sprinkle with salt as you would any roast chicken.
    4. Sprinkle with anise seed. I never measure but I would say several teaspoons.
    5. Put the lid on and bake in the oven at 325 for 2 1/2 hours.
    6. Half way in between, I turn it over to give the skin side a good caramelizing.
    7. Remove the chicken to a serving plate and cover with foil to stay warm.
    8. Sprinkle a tablespoon of flour into the pot with the drippings.
    9. Stir on medium heat until bubbly.
    10. Add 1 cup of milk and continue to stir until bubbly. Add more milk to make the consistency that you enjoy for sauce.
    11. Serve with roasted potatoes or mashed potatoes. 

    Mini-Chip Shortbread Butter Crisps

    There are so many variations of shortbread out there so I though I would add one more to the collection. They are my oldest daughters favorite, well one of her manyfavorites.

    • 2 1/2 c. flour
    • 1/2 tsp. salt
    • 1 1/2 c. butter
    • 1 c. icing sugar
    • 2 tsp. vanilla
    • 1 1 /2 c. mini chocolate chip (I mix half dark and half milk chocolate)

    1. Cream butter, icing sugar and vanilla. 
    2. Add flour and dry ingredients. 
    3. Fold in chips. 
    4. Make 1 " balls and flatten slightly.
    5. Bake at 325 for 10 minutes.
    6. Makes approximately 6 dozen.

    Nanaimo Bars

    For those of us that have grown up with the Nanaimo Bar, it hardly seems possible that the rest of the world has had to go without this treat at Christmas time. I'm sure that Joyce had no clue that her famous bar would become such a favorite when she entered a contest in her hometown of Nanaimo. For the whole story you can click right here to read it. 

    I do recall learning to make these before I was a bride. I even made them for the day that I had my bridesmaids over to wrap the Wedding cake in foil and netting for our wedding favours. Sadly, that day I made a few errors that I am going to make sure you never make. Pay attention to the little details and you too can serve the perfect little layer bar with your Christmas goodies.
    First of all, you will want to use a 9X13 pan instead of the 8X8 pan. I like it nice and thin. You may like yours thicker, go for it. The other thing you will want to do is to line your pan with parchment paper or foil. If you don't do this you will not be able to lift it out to cut once it has been chilled

    The other thing you will need to do is to ensure fresh ingredients. Make absolutely sure your graham wafer crumbs are fresh. Taste them. Don't trust that because your package is sealed, they will be fine. Also, make sure that your nuts whether you choose to use walnuts or almonds or pecans are also fresh. Taste them. The coconut I use is fine unsweetened. While you can use flaked or shredded, it cuts nicer if the bits are tiny.

    Nanaimo Bars

    Bottom layer 
    • 1/2 cup unsalted butter 
    • 1/4 cup sugar
    • 5 tablespoons of cocoa
    • 1 farm fresh egg slightly beaten
    • 1 1/4 cup of graham wafers
    • 1/2 cup of finely chopped walnuts
    • 1 cup of fine unsweetened coconut
    1.  Put the butter in a microwave safe bowl and melt it until it is nearly but not entirely melted.
    2. If the butter is too hot it will instantly cook your egg in the next step.
    3. Add the cocoa and sugar and stir until it is combined.
    4.  Add the slightly beaten egg and stir until well combined.
    5. Put back in the microwave for about a half minute.
    6. Your mixture should be a bit like a custard.
    7. You may need to put it in for another half minute, stir and repeat until it has slightly thickened.
    8. The egg should have now slightly cooked and thickened the mixture.
    9.  Add the nuts and coconut and stir until well combined.
    10.  Add the graham wafers last. Don't add all the crumbs at once. I have found that some makes of graham crumbs are more powdery and thereby can dry the mixture faster. I think you'll be okay with this amount of butter, but as I learned years ago, if the mixture is too dry, it will crumble and not cut nicely later on when it is chilled. Spread the first layer into your prepared pan and chill for an hour. Do not skip the chilling step.
    Second layer 
    • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
    • 2 tablespoons Birds Eye Custard Powder. (non-sweet custard powder meant to be cooked)
    • 3 tablespoons of heavy cream
    • 2 cups of icing sugar or (powdered sugar)
    1.  Cream the butter and add the custard powder and combine well. 
    2.  Add the Icing sugar next and stir slowly to combine.
    3. Add the cream a drizzle at a time to make a nice smooth icing.
    4. Beat it well until it is light.
    5. Take your chilled crumb base out of the fridge and spread your icing evenly on top.
    6. With your offset spatula, spread it out nice and smooth or as smooth as you can.
    7. Put it back in the fridge for an hour. 

    Third Layer
    • 6 squares of semi-sweet chocolate
    • 3 tablespoons of unsalted butter
    1. Put this in the microwave for half a minute or combine and heat over in a double boiler.
    2. Stir the chocolate at a half minute intervals until it is perfectly smooth.
    3. Take your chilled bar out of the fridge and put your chocolate on again using your offset spatula. Put it in the fridge to chill for 15  - 20 minutes.  
    4. The bar needs to chill until the chocolate has set but not so so chilled until the chocolate is hard. If this happens you will crack your bar when you slice it.
    I keep it well wrapped in the refrigerator. 
    The instructions might seem daunting but it really is easy and very quick with no baking involved.

    Jewelled Fruitcake

    Fruitcake is not everyone's favorite Christmas food, but has been a tradition in my kitchen over the years. I posted this recipe on my personal blog last year, but will repeat it here for those who may be interested. It's a moist, light fruitcake with large pieces of fruits and nuts.

    Jewelled Fruitcake
    • 2 1/2 cups whole candied cherries, red and green
    • 3 to 4 cups golden raisins
    • 2 cups candied pineapple (cut in large chunks)
    • 1 cup candied orange peel or citron
    • 2 cups flaked coconut
    • 1 1/2 cups whole blanched almonds
    • 2 cups pecan halves
    • 3/4 cup shortening
    • 3/4 cup butter or margarine
    • 1 1/2 cups sugar
    • 9 eggs
    • 2/3 cup orange juice
    • 3 cups flour
    • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
    • 1 teaspoon salt
    1. Measure all the fruits and nuts into very large mixing bowl and set aside.
    2. Cream butter, shortening and sugar.
    3. Add eggs and mix well.
    4. Add dry ingredients and orange juice.
    5. Beat on high speed for several minutes, scraping the bowl occasionally.
    6. Stir batter into fruit mixture and combine well.
    7. Spread mixture evenly into prepared well-greased pans.
    8. Bake at 275 degrees Fahrenheit for about 2 hours or until toothpick inserted in centre comes out clean. Remove from pans and cool.
    Yield: 3 medium loaves

    *I did six mini-loaves and two larger loaves this year.

    Now here's the part that makes this fruitcake so moist and yummy; wrap in brandy moistened cheesecloth. I used about 1 1/2 cups of apricot brandy for this recipe. Store the wrapped cakes in a cool place.

    Neopolitan Cookies

    I've spent the past week at our daughter's home in Saskatchewan celebrating an early Christmas. 
    We made up a batch of Neopolitan Cookies which have been part of my Christmas Cookie lineup since before I married. They are so pretty and there's no fancy decorating required. 
    Doesn't my 6 year old grandson's handmade ornament set the cookies off nicely?


    •  2 1/4 cups flour
    • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
    • 1/8 teaspoon salt
    • 1 cup butter
    • 3/4 cup sugar
    • 1 egg
    • 1 teaspoon vanilla
    • 1/4 cup red maraschino or glazed cherries, chopped
    • 1/4 cup green maraschino or glazed cherries. chopped
    • 1/4 cup finely chopped pecans or walnuts
    • red and green food colouring

    1. Sift together flour, baking powder and salt.
    2. Cream butter, sugar, egg and vanilla.
    3. Blend in flour mixture.
    4. Divide dough into 3 equal parts.
    5. Add red food colouring and the red cherries to one part, blending well.
    6. To the second part, add the green food colouring and green cherries.
    7. To the third part, blend in the chopped nuts.
    8. Wrap each portion up in plastic wrap and chill for about 1 hour.
    9. Divide each colour dough into 2 parts.
    10. On waxed paper, form a 10-12 inch-long log of one portion of thethe red dough and then flatten to about 1/4-1/2 inch thickness.
    11. Repeat using the green and white doughs.

    12. Stack the white dough on top of the red and then add the green layer (see picture above).
    13. Wrap with waxed paper, squaring up and smoothing each long side as you wrap it.
    14. Repeat with the remaining dough.
    15. Chill logs about 4 hours or overnight.
    16. Unwrap log and cut into1/4 inch slices and place on cookies sheets.
    17. Bake at 350 degrees for 10 to 12 minutes - just until the edges begin to turn a light brown.
    18. Remove from cookie sheets to a rack or brown paper and let cool.
         These keep well in a tightly closed container stored in a cool place.

    Chili Borscht

    I had some leftover chili and thought I’d make a quick soup for lunch.


    • 2 cups leftover chili
    • 6 cups water
    • 1 chicken bouillon cube
    • ¼ barley
    • 1 carrot, sliced
    • 1 wedge – about 1/4 of a small head of cabbage
    • 1 bay leaf
    • 5 peppercorns
    • ¾ teaspoon dill weed
    • small sprinkle of dried chili pepper (optional)

    1. Put the chili into a medium sized pot and fill it half way up with water. Add the bouillon cube for the stock flavor, then all the rest of the ingredients. Cook 1 hour.
    2. Enjoy with Charlotte’s corn and cheese biscuits or Judy’s Zwieback.

    Dark Chocolate Cake

    Making a Tinkerbell Cake is an easy thing to do when you have a cake pan that is shaped like a flower. . .and the cake topper that is easily purchased this time of year in the card stores for Christmas tree decorations. It might be a good time to think ahead to the Birthday Parties you will be making cakes for .. .throughout the year. I simply used the Star Tip to make stars. . .and voila .. .a Tinkerbell cake. The inside is the important part. If I wanted a professional looking cake I would have purchased one but I wanted it to be moist. ..dark. . .and delicious.

    My favourite Chocolate Cake is from the cookbook Eat, Shrink & Be Merry by Janet & Greta Podleski.  I've done a bit of tweaking in today's recipe.  You can find the original in their cookbook that I've used lots over the years.  

    • 3 ounces good quality chocolate (I use Callebaut Chocolate that I bought in the bulk section. It worked out to be a heaping 1/3 cup chopped chocolate)
    • 1 cup of strong brewed hot coffee
    • 3 cups white sugar
    • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
    • 1 cup unsweetened cocoa
    • 2 teaspoons baking soda
    • 3/4 teaspoons baking powder
    • 1 teaspoon salt
    • 3 farm fresh eggs until thicken and lemon colored.
    • 3/4 cup vegetable oil
    • 1 1/2 cup well-shaken buttermilk
    • 1 teaspoon vanilla
    • cocoa/coffee mixture
    1. Preheat the oven to 300
    2. Combine the chocolate and the coffee, stir well and allow to cool while you continue.
    3. Sift together, sugar, flour, cocoa, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. 
    4. In another large bowl beat eggs with a stand or hand mixer. 
    5. Slowly, add the oil, buttermilk, vanilla and coffee/cocoa mixture. 
    6. Slowly add the sugar/flour mixture until combined.
    7. Divide the batter into 2 -10 inch or 3 - 9 inch pans that have been greased and the bottom lined with parchment paper.
    8. The baking time will depend on how many pans you have divided the batter into. 
    9. Test with a toothpick at 50 minutes and then every 5 minutes after. The toothpick should come out clean. . use a clean toothpick every time you test.

    I used butter icing for the Tinkerbell cake, but for the adults. . I made chocolate ganache frosting.. .
    Ganache Frosting
    • 1 pound Callebaut Chocolate or good quality chocolate
    • 1 cup heavy cream
    • 2 tablespoons sugar
    • 2 tablespoons corn syrup
    • 1/4 unsalted butter.
    1. Finely chop the chocolate
    2. Bring the cream, sugar, corn syrup and butter to a simmer.. .stirring until the sugar is dissolved.
    3. Remove from heat and add the chocolate, stirring until smooth.
    4. Add the butter and continue to stir until smooth.
    5. Put it in the refrigerator, stirring occasionally until spreading consistency.