Chocolate Zucchini Cake

Zucchini is in abundance at this time of year so I pulled out my MIL's recipe, got all the ingredients together and got to baking. Hubby and I enjoyed some for dessert at supper..(minus the flower and leaves of course). The rest will be shared! Hmm..who would like some??

Here are some of the ingredients for:

Chocolate Zucchini Cake

1/2 cup soft butter
1/2 cup oil
1 1/2 cups sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 cup buttermilk
2 cups finely shredded zucchini..(peel and all)
2 1/2 cups flour
1/2 cup cocoa
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 cup chopped nuts, I used pecans
1/2 cup chocolate chips

Cream butter, oil and sugar, blend in vanilla, eggs and buttermilk. Mix dry ingredients and shredded zucchini and mix in with the moist ingredients except for the nuts and choc chips.
Pour into a greased 9x13 pan. Srinkle with nuts and choc chips.
Bake in preheated 325 oven for 45 min.

This is how the cake looks when baked.

Berry Crumble (or Apple Crumble/Crisp)

I got this recipe from the Mennonite Treasury and usually make it with apples, but lately I’ve liked using a combination of blueberries, raspberries and blackberries.
I also like to make a larger batch of the crumble mix (times it by four) and freeze it for a quick dessert another day. Most times I add slivered almonds or chopped pecans.

  • 3 - 4 cups berries or chopped apples (Granny Smith or Graffensteins are good)
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar, packed
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 3/4 cups rolled oats
  1. Place fruit in a pie size baking dish. 
  2. Blend the rest of the ingredients with a pastry blender until all the butter is blended in to make a crumb mix. 
  3. Squeeze to make larger chunks as you sprinkle it over the fruit. 
  4. Bake at 350 F about 30 min. Serve hot, with ice cream. Serves 4-6
PS The crisp in the photo is baked in individual serving dishes.

Pie by the Yard

Well technically the pie is only about one foot long.
With the transparent apples ready in our region, the apple peelers are going full throttle.
This little apple peeler has peeled many apples.
After school snacks, apple sauce and of course pies, it's the handiest little tool.

  • 2 1/2 cup all purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 cup butter
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 egg yolks
  • enough buttermilk to make 3/4 cup with the egg yolks in the cup
  1. Mix together the flour and the soda and the salt
  2. Cut the butter into the flour mixture
  3. add the yolk and the buttermilk which has been stirred together
  4. Stir together with a fork as well as you can
  5. Turn the dough onto the countertop and form into a ball
  6. Flatten into a rectangular disc and put it in the refrigerator for an hour.

  1. Peel and slice enough apples to make 8 cups.
  2. Toss the apples with 1 1/2 tablespoons minit tapioca.
  3. Add 3/4 cup sugar.
  4. Set aside.

  1. Preheat the oven to 375 F
  2. Divide the dough into two pieces.
  3. Line two cookie sheets with parchment paper
  4. Roll each piece of dough roughly the size of the cookie sheet.
  5. Roll the dough onto a rolling pin and transfer onto the two cookie sheets.
  6. Divide the apple mixture between the two pieces of dough.
  7. Fold first one long side over and then the other and then fold the ends onto the top last.
  8. Take the two egg whites and beat them until soft peaks form.
  9. With your fingers spread the egg white over top the pies as shown.
  10. Bake for 35 to 40 minutes or until golden brown.

  • 1 cup icing sugar
  • 2 tablespoons hot water
  • a drip of vanilla
  1. Stir together until no lumps remain and then drizzle over the pie as soon as it comes out of the oven.
  2.  Let cool completely and then slice.

Trudy's Granola

Living healthy becomes important as we have so many choices today.
I have a sister-in-law who always shares some wholesome healthy recipes.
I started making this granola a few years back,
and this has become one of my staples in our home for our grandkids.
He calls granola, "Crumbs"
Whenever the little one is hungry he says,
"Oma, can I have some yogurt with Crumbs?"

5 Cups Quick Oats
1/2 Cup Sesame Seeds
1/2 Cup Pumpkin Seeds
1 Cup unsweetened med-coconut
1 Cup Sunflower seeds
1 Cup almonds
1 Cup cashews

Mix all these ingredients in a large stainless steel bowl.
I make sure that I chop my almonds and cashews coarsely.
In fact I use any nuts, walnuts, pecans, hazelnuts etc. that will equal two cups.

In a small bowl, I mix the following ingredients.
2 tsp. almond flavor
1/4 Cup water
1/4 Cup oil (not virgin oil)
3/4 Cup honey
I stir these ingredients and blend them together with my Brown mixer.
It makes the right consistency.
Then mix the wet ingredients with the dry.
Stir till all the ingredients are moist.

Bake in the oven in a 9x12 cake pan at 350'
Stir every three minutes for up to 30 minutes.
I prefer my granola crunchy.

When cool, pour Granola into a container and freeze.

Serve over yogurt, add some fresh berries,
(In winter I add frozen berries)
Cover with a large spoonful of Granola.
This has been a life saver for many a quick healthy snack.


We had a family gathering and I baked three Rhubarb pies since we all have our personal favorites. Try them all and decide for your self......mine is rhubarb cream. The other two had even ties. I wouldn't know I didn't get to taste them, sigh.

This is truly a wonderful crust, I always always have success with it.

5 cups flour

pinch of salt

1 lb of lard or shortening, chilled

1 cup of cold ginger ale or 7-up

Mix flour and salt, cut in the lard and pour in the ginerale. Try not to over work the dough and have all the ingredients cold.

If you make a one crust pie, put it into the pie plate and chill before baking. Make at 375 for about 12-15 minutes or it has reached the desired color. (it helps keep it from shrinking).

Double 9" crust rhubarb pie filling;

2 tbsp. flour

1-11/2 c. sugar

2 eggs

1 tbsp.butter

mix and pour over 4-6 c. rhubarb (cut up strawberries are always nice added as well)

Brush top of crust with egg or cream, sprinkle with a little more sugar and bake at 425 for 10 minutes on bottom rack then at 350 for about 40-45 minutes.

Cover top of pie with foil if it is getting to brown to ensure rhubarb being cooked.


Rhubarb Cream Pie

Hey mom can we have pie?
sure just wait til I take a pict.........never mind.

When my youngest daughter was born I recieved some wonderful meals and this pie was part of a fabulous dinner and is my personal favorite.
Baked pie shell, filled with a Rhubarb custard. Delish!
3c. rhubarb
1-11/2 c. sugar
2 tbsp. flour
pinch of salt
1 egg
2-4 tbsp. milk
1 tbsp. butter
1 tsp. vanilla
Combine rhubarb, half the sugar and cook til rhubarb is softened about 10 min. Mix remaining sugar, flour, salt, egg and milk. Add a little cooked rhubarb to mixture to temper the egg, then mix in with remaining rhubarb, cook a few minutes til thick . Add vanilla and butter. Pour into baked pie shell. Cool and serve with whip cream.

Rhubarb,Strawberry Streusel Pie

Line 9" pie plate with pastry.
Fill with 4 c. of cut up rhubarb
and 2 cups strawberries.
Mix with:
1 c. sour cream
1 1/2 c. sugar
1/3 c. flour
mix and pour over the fruit
Top with streusel:
1/2 c. flour
1/2 c. brown sugar
1/4 c. butter
Bake at 450 for 10 minutes then at 350 for 30-40 minutes.

Apple Pie Squares

There’s nothing quite like apple pie in July! Yellow transparents are an early apple and ready for the picking…and they make a wonderful, old-fashioned apple pie. I like to make 'apple-pie-by-the-pan' to feed a crowd...or simply to freeze and take out a few pieces at a time.

Apple Pie Squares
  • 1 ½ cup margarine
  • 3 ¾ cup flour
  • 1 ½ tsp. salt
  • 1 egg yolk and milk to make 1 cup
  • 6 cups peeled, sliced apples
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 Tablespoons flour
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon
  1. Cut margarine into flour and salt.
  2. Add egg yolk and milk.
  3. Roll out half the dough and place on large bar pan...about 12 x 16 inches.
  4. Spread apple slices evenly over bottom pastry.
  5. Sprinkle with sugar, flour, and cinnamon mixture.
  6. Roll out other half of dough and place on top…pinch edges.
  7. Beat egg white until foamy and spread over crust.
  8. Bake at 400 for fifteen minutes…reduce heat to 325 and bake an additional 30 minutes.

Chicken Crepes

These crepes often bring back memories of the couple who was teaching/mentoring us when we were in a young marrieds class. Hank and Joyce modeled true caring and hospitality to all of us and often had a large group at their house on Sundays for brunch. We learned so much from them! I remember large cookie sheets of crepes coming out of their oven and being so impressed with the ease and joy they served us with, together. It made me want to be like that. I have altered the recipe a bit, although I think I would like to try it again in the way that they made them, with a little dry white wine in the sauce. For now I will just write it out the way I’ve made them. Always good! Use leftover, turkey, roast chicken or rotisserie chicken (when it's too hot to cook). Cubes best once it's been refrigerated. The meat goes a long way. I usually serve these with stove top dressing and/or rice, steamed broccoli and a cucumber salad.

  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup milk
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ¾ cup flour
  1. Beat with whisk or electric beater.
  2. Fill ladle with 3 tablspoons of batter and pour into a small, heated (7 inch) Teflon pan, holding it slightly at an angle and then rotating to cover. Cook just below med heat. Usually no need to grease, maybe spray for first crepe. Makes about 10.
  •  2 - 3 tablespoons butter
  • 2 tablespoons flour (mine are rounded, so maybe 3 to be exact)
  • 1 1/2 cups milk
  • 2 tablespoons cheezwhiz or 1 cup Swiss cheese, shredded
  • 1 Knorr chicken bouillon, divided 
  1. In small saucepan, melt butter and stir in the flour with a whisk
  2. Add milk, starting slowly, while stirring, and continue until smooth and bubbly.
  3. Stir in your preferred cheese and 1/2 of the bouillon cube (use other half in the water that you cook the rice in.)
  1. Mix 1/1/2 – 2 cups cooked, cubed chicken with cheese sauce, saving some of the sauce for topping.
  2. Spoon into crepes, roll up and lay side by side into Pyrex casserole dish.
  3. Spoon saved cheese sauce over center of crepes and bake at 350 F, 20 min. I usually cover with foil to prevent drying out. You can probably heat them for 10 min without foil. These can be made ahead of time and refrigerated before baking.

Summer Cake

Lisa's Summer Cake

3/4 c flour

1 tsp baking powder -dry stuff

1/4 tsp salt

1/2 c sugar

1/4 c milk

wet stuff

1/8 c veg oil (canola) -

1 egg

1/2 tsp cinnamon

2 tbl brown sugar -topping

dot with butter

- whisk up your wet stuff until combined.

-add your dry and fold in.

-pour into a greased 9" round pan and spread evenly

-cut up fruit

and put thickly on cake, or sprinkle with berries.

-sprinkle toppings over fruit

-bake @ 400F for 25 min or until done.

-Serve warm with vanilla ice cream for best results.

Note: Blueberry and Nectarines are my favorite combo!



Smooth Vanilla Cheesecake

I've always loved the smooth creamy taste of a baked cheesecake.
I've experimented with many different methods and I've found the secret.No cracks. . . not a one.
It is one of the easiest and classiest desserts to serve.
  • 1 1/4 cups graham wafer crumbs
  • 1/4 cup melted butter
  1. Preheat oven to 325 F. 
  2. Roughly cut a piece of parchment paper to fit larger than a 9 inch springform pan. Lay the parchment paper on to the bottom and put the edge around and squeeze the pan shut leaving the excess paper on the outside of the pan. I do this because it makes it really easy to transfer onto a serving plate once it is very well chilled. .
  3. Mix together the crumbs and the butter and press into the pan. I use a flat bottomed glass to make it nice and smooth and firmly pressed.
  4. Bake the crumbs in the pan for about 10 minutes or until they are a bit fragrant.
  • 4 packages cream cheese, room temperature
  • 5 eggs
  • 1 1/4 cup granulated white sugar
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 3 tablespoons flour
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • a squeeze fresh lemon juice
  • 1 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 1/4 cup white sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla

  1. Make sure that all your ingredients are room temperature.
  2. Preheat oven to 500 F. 
  3. In a large mixing bowl, beat the cream cheese on low for a minute or two until it is smooth and creamy.
  4. Add the salt and the sugar and beat another minute or two until it is smooth. Never beat the cheese to death. Incorporating too much air will cause your cheesecake to rise and then fall and the .. .well you know what happened to humpty dumpty.
  5. Stop your mixer in between to scrape down the sides so that all the cream cheese and sugar is evenly mixed.
  6. Add the flour and mix until incorporated, not more than a minute. 
  7. Crack the eggs into a bowl and at room temperature. Add one egg at a time. They'll naturally slip in one at a time if you don't dump your bowl to quickly.
  8. Mix the eggs in just until smooth. Add the cream and and the vanilla and lemon juice another mix for half a minute.
  9. Take your pan with the cooled crumb crust and wrap it in heavy aluminum foil.
  10. Gently pour the cheesecake batter into your pan and set it in the 500 degree oven. Set your timer for 10 minutes. At 10 minutes turn your oven to 200 degrees. Bake for another hour and 10 minutes. Don't peek.
  11. While the cheesecake is baking, stir together your sour cream, sugar and vanilla.
  12. After the hour and ten, the cake should be fairly set.  Open up the oven and pour your topping on your cake smooth it out and put it back in your oven for another 10 minutes.
  13. Put an instant read thermometer in the center of the cheesecake. Your aim is to have it read 150.
  14. The total baking time shouldn't be more than about an hour and a half up to an hour and forty minutes but you really need the instant read thermometer to help you with knowing when it is done. The jiggly in the center is also a good judge but it is hard to get it perfect with this test. 
  15. Take the cheesecake out of the oven and let it sit in a draft free room temperature spot for a few hours and then chill it completely in the fridge.

Blueberry Sauce
  • 2-3 cups fresh blueberries
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 1/3 cup sugar or to taste
  • a squeeze of lemon juice
  • 1/2 cup water

  1. Combine all this and cover and put in the microwave for a minute, stir and cook for another minute or two until bubbly.
  2. I also made some raspberry coulis which is 2 cups of raspberries and a half cup of sugar in the blender. .
  3. Pool a little raspberry sauce on your plate, put on your cheesecake and cover with a good tablespoon or two of blueberry sauce and a dollop of whipped cream for good measure.

Cola Marinade for Rotisserie Beef

I love trying new things and I found this recipe for Cola Marinade at I tweaked it a bit and tossed my roast in the zip loc bag.

  • 1/2 cup lemon juice
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon fresh ground pepper
  • 1 teaspoon fresh ground salt
  • 3 tablespoons minced garlic
  • 1 can cola
  • 1/2 cup Worcestershire sauce

  1. Put your large zip loc bag inside a measuring cup, folding the edges over the cup. Add all the ingredients into the bag.
  2. Remove the bag from the measuring cup careful not to spill. Add a 4-5 pound sirloin beef roast.
  3. Seal the bag, put the bag in a bowl and put it in the refrigerator for up to 24 hours.
  4. Let the roast sit at room temperature 1 hour before putting on the grill.
  5. Tie the roast onto your rotisserie. Preheat the grill to 400 and insert the rotisserie onto the grill. Add a drip pan underneath with 1 cup of water, check to make sure the water doesn't run dry, or you will have very scorched drippings.
  6. Grill with the lid closed for 1 hour, check the temperature. You will aim to have the internal temp at 135 - 140.  Remove from the heat and wrap in foil for 15 minutes.

During the resting time we grilled our chopped up veggies in a grill basket. I simply toss the veggies with veggie seasoning and olive oil and stir them once in a while. They only need 10 - 15 minutes on the grill.

Peach Custard Pie

Preheat your oven to 425 F.
1 9 inch unbaked pie shell

Peel and slice enough peaches to fit into the bottom of the shell, they will float about a bit once you pour the custard on top but it won't affect the outcome.

I used 5 peaches each one cut into eight.


  • 1 cup of 5 % unflavoured yogurt
  • 4 egg yolks
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla

Combine all the ingredients in a medium sized bowl and beat until smooth. I had my food processor out so I whipped it up in there. A blender would work perfectly too.

Pour the custard on top of the peaches and bake in the center of the oven for 10 minutes.

Lower temperature to 375 and bake for an additonal for 30 minutes. The original recipe does not ask you to lower the temp, but I did, so you probably don't need to.

Meanwhile make your streusel.

  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 1/2 cup sugar

Combine with a pastry cutter until you have it combined and made crumbs, refrigerate until you are ready to put it on the pie. (I found it easier to crumb after it chilled a bit)

After the pie has baked for 1/2 hour and the filling is somewhat set, drop the little pieces of struesel on top of the pie.

Continue to bake until the streusel is golden brown, about another 15 - 25 minutes.

Remove the pie to a cooling rack and serve warm or completely chilled.

Grilled Peppers with Tomato and Feta

These peppers are as tasty as they are attractive and are a great addition to your summer BBQ.
My sister passed this recipe idea on to me and they've become a summer favourite at our house.
  • 3 large yellow bell peppers
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • grape tomatoes
  • 4 leaves fresh basil
  • 1 garlic clove minced
  • salt and pepper
  • Feta cheese

  1. Cut peppers into 3 or 4 sections along indentations so that each piece can be filled.
  2. Cut grape tomatoes in half. Place in a bowl.
  3. Chop basil leaves and mince garlic and add to tomatoes with olive oil , salt and pepper.
  4. Crumble feta cheese into bowl and mix gently.
  5. Grill pepper pieces, cut side down on medium hot BBQ.
  6. When they begin to blacken around the edges, turn them over and fill each piece with some of the tomato mixture.
  7. Continue to grill until tomatoes are heated through and bottom of peppers begin to blacken.
  8. Remove from grill and serve.

Barbequed Salmon with Sundried Tomatoes

I would guess that I’m not the only one, who would say that most of my favorite recipes are those that we’ve enjoyed in someone’s home. Our good friends, Harv and Bonnie love to cook together and we have been the lucky recipients of their hospitality over many years now. This is just one of the great recipes that they have shared with us. I've added the basil, so it's optional.

  • 4 - 5 garlic cloves, chopped fine
  • 4 tablespoons fresh parsley, chopped fine 
  • 2 tablespoons fresh basil, chopped fine
  • 3 sundried tomatoes (packed in oil) drained and chopped (about 1/4 - 1/3 cup, chopped)
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 (2-3 pound) salmon fillet with skin on under side
  1. Combine garlic, parsley, basil, salt, tomatoes and oil in jar.
  2. Let stand overnight in refrigerator. (Overnight is best, but if you only have a few hours, that’s okay too)
  3. Place salmon on greased foil, on low heat on BBQ. Close lid and cook 10 min. 
  4. Spread garlic mixture over fillet. Close top and raise temp. to medium. 
  5. Cook an additional 15 - 20 min, until fish flakes easily when tested with fork.

Rhubarb Orange Almond Cake

This delightful cake caught my eye a couple of months ago in the spring/summer issue of Appeal Magazine put out by Save-On Foods. I knew then that it would be a perfect birthday cake for my husband...whose birthday it is today! As I was not familiar with the recipe I did not change a single thing. Therefore all the credit goes to the magazine EXCEPT for the photos...which were a HUGE hit as a slide show in my home this afternoon while anticipating the cake later on.

4 stalks fresh rhubarb, trimmed and cut into 1/2 inch pieces
(okay I DID change something...
I only had frozen rhubarb so that would be about four cups that I used.)
1 cup granulated sugar - later divided into two
1/2 cup butter at room temp.

2 eggs, lightly beaten
1/2 cup all-purpose four (I used unbleached)
1 tsp baking powder
1 cup ground almonds
Finely grated peel of 1 small orange, plus 2 Tbsp juice

1/4 cup blanched sliced almonds.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Grease a 9" springform pan and line the base with parchment paper. Place the rhubarb in a bowl and cover with 1/4 cup of the sugar. Let stand while you prepare the cake batter. Mix butter and remaining 3/4 cup sugar until light and fluffy.
Add eggs and beat well.

In a separate bowl combine dry ingredients. Gently fold the dry mixture into the butter mixture. Stir in the orange peel and juice. Sitr the sugared rhubarb into the cake batter and spoon into prepared springform pan. Spread batter evenly in pan; sprinkle the top with the sliced almonds. Bake cake for 25 minutes. Then reduce the oven temp to 350 degrees and bake another 20 - 25 minutes or until the cake is FIRM!!!!

Let cool in pan for at least ten minutes....slide knife along inner sides of edge of springform pan. Remove edge of pan. Serve warm or cold with a dollop of whipped or ice cream!!! YUM!

Bran Muffins

Betty often tells me about these wonderful Bran Muffins she is serving for breakfast. This weekend she emailed me the recipe. This yummy picture is the result of baking those for our breakfast this morning.

Bran Muffins
1/2 cup soft butter
1 cup brown sugar
2 eggs
2 Tbsp molasses(optional)
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp baking soda
1 cup white flour
1 cup whole wheat flour
3 cups bran
Add enough buttermilk to make a smooth batter but still quite thick..approx 1 cup
3/4 cup raisins or blueberries
Beat butter and sugar till creamy, beat in eggs and vanilla. Mix dry ingredients and dump in bowl alternately with buttermilk and mix just until moistened. Fold in raisins or berries.
Bake at 350 for 30 min
12 large muffins or 18 regular size
(note: If making regular size or smaller reduce cooking time to 20 minutes)

Rhubarb Muffins or Loaves

Another winner from Betty's kitchen...this muffin recipe is sure to please those who may wish a bit more of a 'cake' like muffin. However, you can always use some whole wheat flour in this recipe. I would suggest that if you do, you keep it to no more than 1/4 of the total flour.

Rhubarb Muffins or Loaves

1/2 cup oil
1 cup brown sugar
1 egg
1 cup buttermilk
1 tsp vanilla
2 cups flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
2 cups chopped rhubarb (other fruit can be used)
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 tbsp butter
1/2 tsp cinnamon

Combine flour, soda and salt. In separate bowl blend sugar with oil. Whisk in egg, buttermilk and vanilla. Sift dry ingredients along with rhubarb just till moistened.
Spoon in greased muffin tins or 2 greased 8x4 loaf pans.

Mix topping ingredients and sprinkle over batter.

Bake 350 for 25 min or until done when tested with toothpick. Cool in pans 10 min before removing.

Impossible Pie

I've been watching a number of these 'pies' and pastry recipes on the MGCC blog with great interest but also with fear. Sooner or later I knew I should make one, but I simply cannot make a pie! A couple of weeks ago a colleague, noting with interest this phenomenon of baked goods appearing at work every Monday morning, brought in a armful of old cookbooks and handwritten recipes from her aunt and grandmother for me to browse through. Very interesting books indeed and a good read.

I found a recipe in one book called Impossible Pie. Hmmm...I think. This is something I can do. It looks real simple. So I tried it whilst my boys relaxed over a movie tonight and worked. It is so simple ...well.. you just won't believe it.

Impossible Pie

  • 4 eggs
  • 2 cups milk
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1/3 cup flour
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 cup coconut

Put all ingredients in blender (food processor). Put on High speed and count to ten slowly. Pour into well greased Pyrex pie plate. Bake at 40 minutes in a 350 oven. After it is baked you have a definite crust, a custard filling and a rich butter coconut topping.

Millie Janzen Market Vendor for 23 years
From City Market est 1892
94th year Cookbook

New Westminster, B.C.

Food for Thought

Thank God for dirty dishes -
they have a tale to tell;
while other folks go hungry -
we're eating very well.

...easy fresh fruit trifle with a twist....

As anyone knows, it is so easy to make a beautiful trifle in as many ways as there are fruits of the season. Here is one I made this evening in a quick hurry for a party tomorrow. Most ingredients or easy substitutes are in your kitchen. The 'twist'? Instead of just a custard....have a layer of cream cheese, mascarpone and cream all whipped together for a rich bonus.

Ingredients (by layers)

Pound cake, angle food cake, sponge cake, Italian biscuits or similar white cake

Some jam (a great way to use up old jam) (blueberry, strawberry, raspberry)

A wee bit of liquor or orange juice

Custard - you can make your own, use vanilla pudding (hmmm not as good) or buy Bavarian creme already made - My choice is Bavarian cream although Birds Custard is truly the best

For the Twist - Cream cheese, whipping cream, mascarpone, lemon juice, sugar & vanilla

Fresh fruit (or frozen if well drained)(only canned if peaches or similar fruit which holds its shape) I used fresh raspberries and blue berries over top of canned peaches well drained for a colorful effect.

Whipping Cream (real whipped cream is truly the best-don't let anyone tell you otherwise)

Cut cake layer into rough 1 inch cubes. (I used sponge cake I had on hand. Some prefer to soak this in just depends on your taste buds...doesn't really need it)
Mix jam (I had leftover 1/4 cup blueberry) with liquor or orange juice ( I used port...all that I had handy so I used a few tbsp...enough to make the jam mixture JUST runny enough to drizzle)
Cream 1 brick cream cheese with 1/2 cup mascarpone, 1 tsp vanilla and 1/2 cup sugar and 1 tsp lemon juice. Beat well. Add 1/2 cup whipping cream. Mix till thick and creamy. When refridgerated this layer will slightly harden allowing for a more stable layer to keep the fruits and juices separated. An easier 'serve' on a hot day.
Line the bottom of a glass trifle bowl with cubed cake layer
Drizzle a bit of jam mixture over cake
Put a layer of custard over this
Next a layer of the cream cheese mixture
Place a layer of fruit next- depending on how deep your bowl is you may wish to put 2/3 of the fruit mixture in this layer
Put another layer of cake
Drizzle remaining jam mixture
Layer the custard
Next the cream cheese
Add fruit to decorate.

You may add 'dollops' of fresh whipped cream on top of this if you so wish.

Let sit in fridge for at least 4 hours and overnight is fine too. Don't add the whipped cream on top until just before you serve.

Try and experiment with trifle...there is certainly no right or wrong and each time I make it, it is different..but always yummy!

Teryaki Chicken

This recipe was from a friend - Heidi in Winnipeg.
Cooking the chicken in the marinade keeps it exceptionally moist.

1/2 cup oil
1 cup soy sauce
2-3 cloves garlic, minced
2 tablespoons vinegar
3 tablespoons brown sugar
grated fresh ginger to taste*
1 tablespoons orange zest

boneless chicken breasts or thighs

Combine marinade ingredients, mixing well.
Place chicken in a large ziplock bag and pour marinade over. Seal bag and marinate in fridge for no more than 3-4 hours.

Place a foil pan (lwith edges) on a preheated BBQ. Place chicken pieces in pan and pour marinade over. Grill for 6-7 minutes per side, turning only once.


I seldom kept fresh ginger in the house because it would spoil before I'd used it up. Then someone told me to keep it in the freezer. It is very easy to scrape the peel off the frozen gingerroot and grate it on a microplane.  Grate as much as you need than pop the rest back in to the freezer.

French Bread

I got this recipe from Lovella G. ( another Lovella, and another great friend) way back when our kids went to the same elementary school. This recipe has become sort of a "staple" kind of recipe for a quick bread, for pizza crust, pizza buns, focaccia bread or baguettes (used for spinach dip etc) As you can see - It is a must have! =)

  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 2 tablespoons cooking oil
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 2 cups hot tap water
  • 4 1/2 - 5 cups flour, white - can be half whole wheat or multigrain *
  • 2 tablespoons instant yeast
  1. Put sugar, oil, salt and hot water in a large mixing bowl. You can also use a mixer that has a dough hook attachment or your bread machine.  
  2. Add 1 cup of the flour mixed with the yeast, then the rest of the flour, 1/2 cup at a time. Add flour until dough comes away from side of bowl or easily holds together in a ball shape and is not too sticky if you handle it with floured hands. Cover bowl with wax paper and tea towel.
  3. Let rise until double, about 1/2 hour. Divide in half.
  4. Roll out on a slightly floured surface to about 12"x15” rectangle. Roll up jelly roll style, beginning at longer end, and place on greased or parchment paper lined cookie sheet. Cut diagonal slits on top. Cover with tea towel and then wax paper or plastic.
  5. Let rise about 30 - 45 minutes. Brush with mixture of 1 egg and 2 tablespoons milk, whisked with fork.
  6. Bake at 400° F for 20 minutes, or until golden. Remove to rack to cool.
* Flour purchased in the USA may need a teaspoon of vital wheat gluten added to the flour

For Pizza:
Instead of rolling out the dough, just divide and press onto 2 pizza pans. Bake at 400° F until light golden - barely done. About 8 -10 minutes.
Spread lightly with pizza or spaghetti sauce. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese. Cover with any cold cuts you want . . . ham, salami, pepperoni, cooked hamburger (left over sloppy joe sauce) or cooked chicken, slivered peppers, grated cheese (mozzarella, or assortment). Sprinkle with oregano and basil. Bake at 375° F, about 15 min.

focaccia bread:
Add about 1 tablespoon of each (fresh if possible) thyme, oregano, rosemary, chopped into tiny bits,
1/4 cup Parmesan cheese and 1- 2 teaspoons garlic powder to the dough, as you're mixing it. Cover and let rise.
Press dough into 2 - 8" x 8" greased pans. Make indentations with end of wooden spoon and brush with olive oil. Sprinkle with cornmeal and rosemary (optional)
Cover and rise 1/2 hour. Bake until light golden, about 25 - 30 minutes. Serve with Olive oil and balsamic vinegar.

dipping bread:
Use any kind of combination of flour and grains that you like, roll out to make long skinny loaves (baguettes) and slice at an angle. Great with Spinach dip.
Maybe this is too much information, but it's there to give you ideas on what you can do and I hope you try something new and enjoy it.