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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Portzelke Bites - Gluten-free

I was challenged by several requests for gluten-free Portzelke. I didn't really think I could do it. But you never know until you try and my second attempt produced these very tasty morsels. I am very pleased with how they taste and my husband pronounced them 'very good' and proceeded to help himself to a goodly number! The true test! A non-Celiac person has the final word.

I used the white bean flour in this recipe because it mimics a wheat flavour. If you buy white bean flour, taste it first. If there is more than a very faint aftertaste. it is not flour from only the small white bean. There is nothing worse tasting to me than a 'raw bean' flavor. I grind my own small white beans that I buy in the grocery store. We bought a second hand flour mill, an old stone motor driven one .

Portzelke (New Years Fritters)
Ingredients and Method

1/2 cup warm water
1 tsp sugar
1 tbsp. yeast
(let proof in warm spot)

Liquid Ingredients
1/2 cup warm milk
1 tsp melted butter
1 tsp vinegar
2 tsp. vanilla extract
1 egg

Dry Ingredients
1/2 cup white bean flour
1/2 cup white rice flour
1/4 cup sorghum flour
1/4 cup potato starch
2 tbsp Arrowroot flour
1 rounded tsp xanthan gum
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
3 slightly rounded tablespoons of sugar
2 cups of raisins
1. In mixing bowl put in liquid ingredients and beat ... then add the proofed yeast.
2. Mix dry ingredients in zip lock bag and add all at once to liquid .
3. Beat on low until blended then on high until dough is smooth and changed texture- a minute or two.
4. Add raisins and beat until mixed evenly.
5. Scrape sides of bowl down with spatula to form a ball of dough in bottom of bowl.
6. Cover and let rise in warm spot for 30 -40 minutes.
Heat about 3/4 of an inch of oil in a pot or small frying pan.

When hot drop by teaspoon a dollop of dough , about the size of a large walnut, into the hot oil and fry until a rich golden brown.

I made them smaller than the regular wheat ones because they seemed to be better.... but you can try them any size you like. And I also prefer them well done.

The texture of the Portzelke is very good - slightly crispy on the outside and soft on the inside with a very good crumb. (Next day - warm left overs in toaster oven)

Let them cool and dust with icing sugar if you like them that way.
Enjoy !!!

Cutletten Sandwiches

I make these sandwiches when I have leftover "Cutletten".
My precious Mother in Law always fried hers in a pan using only a tablespoon or 2 of oil and she would occasionally coat them with bread crumbs before frying them. Any way you make them, they are a treat and there are usually enough leftover to make this delicious sandwich the next day.
  • Leftover "Cutletten"
  • 1/2 of a medium onion, sliced
  • 1/4 red or yellow pepper cut into strips
  • 1/4 green pepper cut into strips
  • grated cheddar cheese or mozzarella cheese or a mixture
  • bread slices
  • butter, BBQ sauce and mayonaise ( if desired)
  1. Saute' onion and peppers in a pan until they lose their crunch.
  2. Place bread slices on a pan and toast lightly in the oven.
  3. Turn the slices over and spread other side with butter, mayo (if desired) and BBQ sauce.
  4. Cut leftover Cutletten in half and lay flat sides on bread. (I often fry the meat lightly to warm it before putting it on the bread)
  5. Top with saute'ed vegetables and grated cheese.
  6. Broil, watching closely until cheese melts.
  7. Serve open faced with Bread and Butter pickles.

Hot Turkey/Chicken Sandwiches with BBQ Gravy

Do you have any left over Turkey?
Well here is another recipe to try.
I was watching the food network and wrote the recipe down from the show Ricardo.
I love his accent and his food always looks so good.
He served his with green peas......but this is what mine looks like....
not exactly Ricardo's style, but delish none the less.

What you need is . . ..
  • Left over shredded Turkey or Chicken
  • Slices of your favorite bread
  • Sauce, lots of it.
  • 6 tbsp. butter, I used less
  • 1/2 c. flour
  • 1 tsp. dry mustard
  • 1 tsp. chili
  • 1/4 tsp. paprika
  • 1/2 tsp. onion salt
  • pinch of cayenne pepper
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 4 cups beef broth
  • 1 tbsp. ketchup
  • 1 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
  1. Melt the butter, add the flour...stirring with a whisk.
  2. Add all the dry spices to the flour mixture.
  3. Add the beef broth, ketchup and Worcestershire sauce.
  4. Cook until nice and thick.
  5. Take whatever shredded Turkey that you are using and just moisten it with the sauce, in a separate pan and heat the meat through.
  6. Toast your bread or leave plain.
  7. Add the chicken
  8. Cover with second slice of bread
  9. Pour over desired amount of gravy.
  10. This makes lots of gravy for lots of sandwiches
  11. Enjoy
  12. Try to resist the temptation of licking the plate clean...... ;^D).....or you will end up with a double chin....
This gravy is also very good over meatballs.

Cheese Fondue

We have enjoyed cheese fondue with our Swiss friends on many occasions...and find it is a wonderful camping dish or a treat to enjoy with friends around the table on a winter evening. This is a recipe that came from a 'Taste of Home' collection at one time. Make a meal of it by dipping raw vegetable pieces and cooked chicken strips as well as the usual cubes of bread.

  • 3/4 cup apple juice
  • 1 1/2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
  • 1 1/2 cups shredded Swiss cheese
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 1/8 teaspoon pepper
  • pinch of nutmeg
  • 1 clove garlic, peeled
  • 1 loaf of fresh French bread, cubed
  1. Rub inside of large saucepan with the clove of garlic.
  2. Bring the apple juice to a boil over medium heat...then reduce to low heat.
  3. Toss the cheeses with the cornstarch, pepper and nutmeg...stir into the juice.
  4. Cook and stir constantly for 3-4 minutes...or until cheese is melted.
  5. Transfer to a fondue pot to keep warm.
  6. Serve with cubed bread for dipping.

Bread for the Journey

It is the last Sunday of the year and it's almost time to ring in the new year.
None of us knows what our future holds but if we put our trust in God we know that we will not go alone. God will be with us each step of our journey. It's also the time of year when people make new year's resolutions. I checked an online dictionary and it gave me this definition of a new year's resolution 'a promise that you make to yourself to start doing something good or stop doing something bad on the first day of the year'.
Philippians 3: 13,14 (NLT)
"No dear brothers and sisters, I have not achieved it, but I focus on this one thing: Forgetting the past and looking forward to what lies ahead.
I press on to reach the end of the race and receive the heavenly prize for which God, through Jesus Christ, is calling us."

I wish you all a hope and peace filled New Year!

Joy to the world!

Jesus is the reason for the season.
All the preparations. . .
all the goodies in the freezer . .
all the gifts under trees around the world. . .
all are because of Jesus.

A few days ago I was listening to my favorite female Vocalist singing like an angel.
I had goosebumps as she sang O Holy Night.
Her eyes were closed as she sang to her Saviour . .
and I wondered then what heaven must have been like when the Christ Child was born.
What must that choir of angels been like .. .
singing Glory to God?
Again this Christmas I stand amazed at the gift of Jesus.

The Bible says . .

"For God so Loved the World that he gave his one and only son that whoever believes in him will not perish but have eternal life"
John 3 :16

Have you accepted the gift of Jesus?
You might think that you have done far to many bad things for God to forgive you.
God already knew before he created you .. what you would do in your life.
You might think that you will try harder to be good. . .
but there is nothing you can do to earn this gift . .
it is free to all who believe!
Before God created man he knew we would ALL be sinful.
Even knowing that he still created us ..
and loved us. .
and sent Jesus as a wee baby so that he would grow to be a man without sin that could pay the price of our sin.

I don't know very much of what heaven will be like ..
but when I get there. .
I want to sing like an angel.

I'll be joined with loved ones that have gone before me. . .
and together we will sing praises to Jesus Christ . .
who loves every person ever born on this earth.

My heart longs to say something that will help you to understand how important it is not to delay accepting the most important gift you will ever be offered.
God created man to worship him.
If we don't worship God we will worship other things and then we'll feel an ache and a void that nothing seems to satisfy.

Each of us will feel a personal ache and longing in our heart . ..
a void that only Jesus can fill.

I pray that no one that reads this blog goes away feeling unloved.
We long to reach out to those that feel unlovely . . .
and unloved in this hurting world.

(left to right . ..Anneliese, Bev, Julie, Lovella, Marg, Judy, Kathy .. missing from the picture are Betty, Charlotte and Ellen)

On behalf of all of us at Mennonite Girls Can Cook . .

We wish you a day filled with the joy and peace of Christmas.

All for now . . .with love,


Fresh Mozzarella PinWheels

This is a very simple appetizer that I made for our Thanksgiving gathering that would be great for Christmas or the New Year Celebration. All you need is a fresh mozzarella roll (I found this at my local grocery store in the deli section) tomatoes, fresh basil, and prosciutto. Roll out the the mozzarella, place thin sliced tomato, basil, and strips of prosciutto on the flat mozzarella. If you put the proscuitto on the outer part of the roll it will cut easier. Now roll it up carefully and cut into pinwheel slices with a very sharp large knife.

Blessings on all your Christmas worship and celebrations!

Tropical Punch

I had this punch recently at a baby shower that my friend, Debbie, put on and she was happy to pass along the recipe for this site. I've tried it two different ways this season already and want to assure you that you can mix up almost any frozen fruit punch and add a co-ordinating sherbet for this refreshing drink. For example, a combination of berry punch and cranberry cocktail with raspberry sherbet creates a nice color and flavor too.

  • 3 cans frozen Minute Maid mango fruit punch
  • 2 2-litre bottles Club Soda or Ginger Ale
  • 1 litre Del Monte mango peach sherbet and frozen yogurt

Allow frozen juices to soften, then mash up with potato masher. Do not add any water, only the club soda or ginger ale. Drop scoops of sherbet on top and let sit for 10 - 15 minutes to allow foaming on top.

Rocky Road Fudge

Perhaps you haven't made home made fudge yet this Christmas.
If you haven't. .
the ingredients listed are either in your kitchen or else.. .
easy to find.
You'll need a candy thermometer and a heavy pot.
Read through the instructions first before beginning.

  • a few tablespoons cold butter for buttering your pan and the thermometer
  • 3 3/4 cup white sugar
  • 2 cups mini marshmallows
  • 1 - 2 cups lightly toasted walnuts. . .coarsely chopped
  • 1 1/2 cups heavy cream
  • 4 ounces unsweetened chocolate
  • 3 tablespoons white corn syrup
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon instant coffee
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  1. Lightly butter your thermometer and your foil lined pan.
  2. Put your sugar,chocolate, cream, corn syrup, instant coffee and salt in a heavy saucepan. The pot should be large enough to cook pasta for a family and the bottom should be heavy to avoid burning on the bottom.
  3. Stir well with a wooden spoon or a heat proof spatula until well combined. Continue to stir and bring the mixture to a full boil over medium heat.
  4. When the mixture comes to a boil . . put the lid on for 2 minutes to allow the steam to clean the sides of the pot. You don't want any hard crystals forming which could later fall into your fudge.
  5. Now put the candy thermometer onto the side of the pot but make sure it does not touch the bottom. Do not stir but allow the boiling mixture to come to 236º F. This will take a few minutes. Do not leave the stove at this point.
  6. Remove from heat but do not stir. Add the butter and do not stir. Let it sit with the thermometer still attached to the side of the pot until it cools to 110º F. Do not let it cool more than this because if it cools too much you will not be able to beat it smooth. (I made this error and fought to smooth it into the pan) My fudge had absolutely smooth texture but it was difficult to beat because I let it get too cool. If you beat it when it is still too warm it will form crystals and you will not be able to get rid of them.
  7. While you are letting it cool. . .put a piece of foil into your square pan and let the edges hang over so that you can remove it easily to cut. Butter the foil. Set aside.
  8. Once the mixture has cooled to 110º F use a hand mixer to beat the fudge until it begins to lighten in cooler and it begins to thicken slightly.
  9. Add the nuts and marshmallows and pour into your pan. Do not scrape the sides of your pot just in case it has some hard crystals.
  10. Score the fudge into squares before it gets completely set. This makes it easier to cut neatly after it has chilled several hours.
  11. Store in your refrigerator.

Almond Jelly Cookies

These cookies taste like a tender shortbread with a nutty flavor. You can use any kind of jam or jelly but I prefer to use red and green, this time I used crab apple and mint. Another delightful cookie for the Christmas cookie tray.  Recipe, courtesy of Best of Country Cookies.
  • 1 1/2 cups butter, softened
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 1/2 cups ground almonds
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2 1/2 cups flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • Jelly or jam of your choice
1. Cream butter and sugar in a mixing bowl
2. Add ground almonds, vanilla and mix well
3. Combine flour and salt and gradually add to creamed mixture
4. Refrigerate the dough for 2 hours until easy to handle
5. On a lightly floured surface roll out the dough to 1/8" thickness
6. Cut half of the cookies with a round 2" cookie cutter and the other half with a donut cutter.
I used the 2" cutter for all of them and then used a little 'tree cutter' for half of the cookies.
7. Place 1" apart on a parchment lined cookie sheets
8. Bake in a 350º oven for 10 to 12 minutes until lightly browned
9. Remove to racks to cool. Once cooled spread 1/2 teaspoon jelly over the bottom of the solid cookie and place cookie with cutout centers over the jelly.
Yield: 31 'finished cookies'

Bread for the Journey - Fourth Advent


Today we celebrate the last of the 4 Advents, which are....
Hope, Peace, Joy, Love
We are told, in Acts 2:25-28, that King David, by the Spirit,
looking down the long coridors of time,
saw that the Messiah was coming and he
celebrated his Advent.
David had HOPE,
He said,
"My flesh will rest in HOPE"
HOPE, the expression of expectant faith for what is to come.
David had PEACE,
He said,
"He is always before my face, my right hand that I may not be shaken"
PEACE, knowing in whom we have believed!
David had JOY.
He said,
"Therefore my heart rejoiced ..... you will make me full of JOY in your Presence."
JOY, the expression of knowing we belong to God.
and David had LOVE.
He said ...
" I will love You, O LORD, my strength." (Ps.18:1)
For thousands of years, people waited in HOPE
anticipating with JOY
the One who would bring PEACE on Earth, goodwill toward men.
Today we celebrate the Advent of Christ looking backwards,
Joy fills our hearts as we experience the LOVE of God.
God IS Love....
and we celebrate this season because His love came down to live among us.
His love extends to every human being,
His love is enough to save every sinner,
that will , in faith, receive Him.
Christmas is a season of LOVE,
no one is so rich,
and no one is so poor
that the best gift to give or to receive is not the gift of Love.
"Lord, I thank you this Advent Sunday that you love us,
thank you for sending your Son as the ultimate Love Gift,
so that we may become Your Children.
Even as we love you , Father, may we love one another.

Buffalo Chicken Dip

Help! We're all being asked to bring some baking or appy at this time of year. Here is a simple quick dish that everyone will love...
This is one of our favorites, especially at this time of year. It's an appetizer dish made for those big eaters in your family, who need a bit of meat...It's a great dish to prepare and tags along with my winter ski trips.
And remember, we're about to approach the Olympics just after the New Years (55 days left) If you look carefully you will notice the Olympic Inukshuk engraved on the side plate...Yes, the Olympics are coming and you'll hear more about it in the New Year.

Buffalo Chicken
  • 2 - 8 ounces Cream Cheese
  • 1 cup Franks Hot Sauce
  • I cup celery chopped up
  • 2 cups cooked chicken breasts shredded into the mixture.
  • 1 cup shredded cheese

  1. Mix creamed cheese and hot sauce, adding celery, chicken breast and cheese into one bowl.
  2. Top with cheese and bake 350' for 30 minutes. Cover with aluminum foil to keep hot.

Now you are ready to grab your favorite drink, sit down and sample this finger-licking' good appetizer, and I can guarantee that you will be the first to hang around the kitchen, double dipping while no one is looking.


Bread for the Journey-Third Advent

I love to picture the shepherds on the hill sides tending to their flocks of sheep. It was probably just another night in the fields....when suddenly!

An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. But the angel said to them, "do not be afraid. I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people". Luke 2:9

Fear turned to great joy!
Good news....
for the shepherd...
for all people.

Lord, thank you for the lasting joy that can be found through Jesus.
May our hearts be filled with expectancy this week. The story is old, and we have heard it over and over, but today I ask that you would refresh that old story in our hearts. Lord may you help us to prepare our hearts for the Prince of Peace, and to share the joy that is for all people.

The Lord is near!

Spinach Bites

This recipe comes from Carolyn, a cousin's wife. who brought them to a birthday party.
They were unusual and so tasty that I asked for the recipe.
I noticed after making them that the recipe said to chop and cook the spinach which I didn't do.
I just squeezed all the liquid out and added it.
My bites don't look as nice as hers did but the flavour is terrific.
  • 10 ounces frozen spinach, chopped, cooked and drained
  • 1 1/2 cups turkey bread stuffing mix
  • 3/4 cup finely chopped onion (I sautèed it with the garlic in a little butter first)
  • 1 clove garlic minced or 1 teaspoon garlic salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper (add 1/2 teaspoon salt if using fresh garlic)
  • 3 eggs beaten
  • 1/3 cup butter melted
  • 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese
  1. Mix all ingredients together. Let stand for moisture to absorb. Add more crumbs if needed.
  2. Shape into 1 inch balls.
  3. Arrange on greased or parchment paper covered baking sheet.
  4. Bake at 350 degrees F oven for about 20 minutes.
  5. Serve warm.
You may make these ahead and store them in fridge or freezer before baking. (Thaw before baking) Makes about 2 1/2 dozen Spinach Bites.

Cappuccino Flats

If you like coffee, cinnamon, and chocolate, this 'gourmet cookie' is for you! Ever since I discovered this recipe I have been making them for my cookie trays every Christmas. They are not difficult to make but you do need to be careful when you pack them in containers for freezing that they lay flat and have a waxed paper lining between layers otherwise the chocolate tends to get a bit smudged. I find that it works better if I flash freeze them on a large pan and then pack them in containers. But smudged or not they are delicious!
I found this recipe in 'Best of Country Cookies' cookbook.
  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup shortening
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar, packed
  • 1 tablespoon instant coffee granules
  • 1 teaspoon warm water
  • 1 egg
  • 2 squares (1 ounce each) unsweetened chocolate, melted and cooled
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 cups semisweet chocolate chips
  • 3 tablespoons shortening
  1. Cream butter, shortening and sugars
  2. Dissolve coffee in warm water and add to creamed mixture
  3. Add egg and melted chocolate and mix well
  4. Combine flour, cinnamon, salt and gradually add to the creamed mixture. Dough will be sticky.
  5. Shape into two 6 inch rolls, wrapping each roll in waxed paper
  6. Refrigerate 4 hours until firm
  7. Unwrap and cut into 1/4 inch slices and place 2 inches apart on parchment lined baking sheets
  8. Bake in a 350º oven for 10 to 12 minutes or until firm
  9. Remove cookies from pan and place on a cooling rack. 
  10. Melt chocolate and shortening on low heat in a small saucepan.
  11. Dip each cookie halfway and allow excess chocolate to drip off. Place on waxed paper to harden.
  12. Yield: 3 1/2 dozen flats

Jan's Munchies

My friend Jan and I have often found the same recipes and we make a joke over who's name will claim it. It was tempting to call these Kathy's munchies but that just didn't seem right as this is Jan's claim to fame amongst our friends. Her and I call it '2 cups'...that makes it really easy to make as it is 2 cups of each ingredient. The only trouble would be if you forget what the ingredients are. There should be a warning on this recipe....
Be careful-once you start eating this you can't stop! Jan and I know...we have over indulged on this these.

In a large bowl mix the following together:
-2 cups Golden Grahams
-2 cups Cheerios
-2 cups pretzels
-2 cups salted shelled peanuts ( if you have a nut allergy leave out the peanuts and just add extra of the other 3 ingredients.

Place 2 cups of white chocolate wafers in a microwavable bowl. Melt stirring every 30-45 seconds. You do not want to over heat. Take out and stir when very small pieces still look hard. Stir well until very smooth and pour hot white chocolate over the dry ingredients.
Spread on wax paper lined baking sheets and allow to set in fridge until hardened. (about 15 minutes) Break into bite size pieces. Store in a large plastic container or ice cream bucket. Keep in the fridge or freezer.

Special Salad

This jello salad recipe is just one of the many great recipes I have collected over the years from my mother in law. She loves to entertain and along with her wonderful meals she always has her table beautifully set with china, silver ware and the perfect choice of crystal bowls for her many varieties of salads.

Step one:
-1 box orange jello
-1 box lemon jello
Mix the two boxes of jello powder together in a large glass mixing bowl and stir in 1 1/2 cups of boiling water. Mix well until jello has dissolved and them add 2 cups of cold water.
Place mixture in the fridge until it begins to set. (this does not take long)

Step two:
-3 bananas, sliced
-1 small can mandarin orange segments, well drained
-1 14 oz can crushed pineapple, drained but save the juice in a 1 cup measuring cup for step five.
Mix together the three fruits and stir into partially set jello.

Step three:
Top the jello-fruit mixture with 1/2 bag mini white marshmallows and then put jello back in fridge.

Step four:
-1/2 pint whipping cream
-1 tbsp sugar
-1/2 tsp vanilla
Whip together until thick, cover and place in fridge until step five is ready.

Step five:
-1/2 cup sugar
-2 tbsp flour
-1 egg, well beaten
-1 cup pineapple juice,( use the juice from the fruit and add water and 1 tsp lemon juice to make one cup)
Stir ingredients together in a microwavable bowl and heat for 1 minute at a time, stirring between until mixture is thick (2-3 minutes) You can also cook this on the stove top, stirring constantly.
Cool this mixture completely and then fold in the whipped cream. Spread over the marshmallow mixture.
Step six:
For the final layer, use a very fine cheese grater and grate 3/4 cup of cheddar cheese on top.

Bread for the Journey ~ Second Advent

One of my first memories of Christmas was the lighting of the Advent Candles.
These candles were lit beginning the 4th Sunday before Dec. 25th.
My husband's family came from Germany and this was their tradition.
We eventually made this our family tradition while the children were younger,
I loved the anticipated looks from our children,
while we went to the forest, to gather branches to make a wreath.
The circular wreath represents God's eternity and unity.
Evergreens are a symbol of enduring life.

The children carefully took turns weekly lighting the candles.
Advent is an invitation to an inward preparation, calling us to listen,
to attend to the preparation of the heart.
The first candle lit signifies the
Hope of Jesus birth, representing the light of the world.
Second Candle ~ Peace ~ Without Christ their is no peace in this world.
Third Candle ~ Joy ~ Lasting Joy can be found through Christ.
Fourth Candle ~ Love ~ Christ represents his love to us through his birth.

My prayer for all of you,
"Oh God, as I close my eyes and allow my mind to go the quiet place I see, please help me learn how to welcome Advent and prepare for the coming of Christmas. So often I get caught up in the busyness of the season, running frantically through my daily "to do " list. Bring me into the stillness, into Your presence, that I may learn what it means to "wait on the Lord," to welcome Your coming in this holy season."

Chocolate Toffee Almond Squares

I got this recipe from a Robin Hood Baking Festival pamphlet. These squares are always a favorite on a cookie plate.

  • 2 cups flour
  • 2 cups oats
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 cup butter
  • 1 (300 g) pkg chocolate chips
  • 1 cup slivered almonds
  • 1 (225 g) SKOR toffee bits
  • 1 1/3 cups caramel sundae sauce
  • ½ cup flour


  1. Crust: Combine first four ingredients in mixing bowl. Add melted butter. Mix well. Reserve 1 ¼ cups of the mixture for topping. Press remainder into greased or parchment paper lined, 9 x 13” cake pan. Bake at 350 F for 12 min. or until light golden.
  2. Second Layer: Combine baking chips, almonds and toffee bits. Sprinkle evenly over base.
  3. Third Layer: Mix together sundae sauce and flour until smooth. Pour evenly over chip mixture.
  4. Topping: Sprinkle reserved oat mixture on top.
  5. Return to oven and bake 20 – 25 minutes longer, or until golden. Cool completely. Cut into 48 squares.(You will need a sharp knife – I find this the most tedious of the whole procedure, but then they are ready to quickly add to cookie platters.) These squares freeze well and keep long in the fridge as well … that is, if no one finds them.

Peppermint Candy Biscotti

My mom in law made me this Peppermint Biscotti this year to add to my display. I had a very hard time leaving them for display and she has already had to bring me another batch .. .and the recipe to share with them.
Her friend Sally gave her the recipe which she had found in a Land O' Lakes recipe pamphlet. I found the identical recipe online.

  • 1/2 cup soft butter
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 2/3 cup crushed peppermint candies
  • 14 ounces vanilla candy coating *
  • several drops red or pink food coloring
  • 1/4 teaspoon peppermint extract
  • additional crushed peppermint candy to decorate
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 F
  2. Combine the soft butter and sugar in a large bowl.
  3. Beat until creamy.
  4. Add the eggs and continue beating until well mixed.
  5. At low speed . ..add the dry ingredients and then the crushed candy.
  6. Divide the dough into four pieces and with floured hands .. make each piece into a 9 by 1 1/2 inch log.
  7. Place the logs 3 inches apart on a cookie sheet.
  8. Bake for 18 to 20 minutes until the tops are cracked and they just begin to brown.
  9. Remove from the oven and cool 10 minutes.
  10. Reduce oven temperature to 325 F.
  11. Carefully remove and slice each log into 1/2 inch slices with a serrated knife.
  12. Arrange pieces back on the the cookie sheet cut side down.
  13. Continue to bake for another 12 - 14 minutes turning once until light golden brown. and crisp on both sides. Remove to cool on wire racks.
  14. Place candy coating in a saucepan and melt very slowly. Remove from heat.
  15. Stir in food coloring and peppermint extract.
  16. Dip each Biscotti part way into the warm coating and sprinkle with crushed candy canes and allow to set on a wire rack.

* My mom used Wilton white candy coating. She found it worked better than other white coatings. It stayed thicker and wasn't as drippy as others.

Outrageous Oatmeal Cookies

Raisin oatmeal cookies have always been a favorite around here and this version using Starbuck's recipe is a keeper. We enjoyed them at Starbucks on our recent roadtrip and discovered that the recipe was free for the taking. They are large, soft and chewy with two kinds of raisins, dried cranberries and oatmeal.

  • 1/2 cup butter, at room temperature
  • 1 cup dark brown sugar, packed
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 3 cups old fashioned oats (not quick cooking)
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 1/2 cup dark raisins
  • 1/2 cup golden raisins
  • 1/2 cup dried cranberries
  • 1/3 cup dark raisins, for topping
  • 1/3 cup golden raisins, for topping
  1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
  2. Beat butter and sugars until light and fluffy. Add eggs and vanilla; beat until combined.
  3. Gradually add flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, salt and oats.
  4. Add raisins and cranberries.
  5. Combine raisins for topping in separate bowl and set aside.
  6. Drop dough by rounded tablespoons (or use ice-cream scoop), 2 inches apart on lightly greased baking sheets.
  7. Place 1 mounded teaspoon of raisins on top of each cookie.
  8. Bake about 12 minutes, until cookies are golden brown, but still soft. Cool on sheets before serving.
  9. Makes about 3 dozen large, chewy cookies.
Pour yourself a good cup of coffee and enjoy!

Bacon and Mushroom Bundles

 It was an hour before we were to leave for a party 
when I remembered that I'd promised to bring an appetizer. 
I found a roll of crescent dough and used what I had in the fridge to make these bundles.
They turned out so good I've made them again.
  • 3 slices bacon, chopped into 1/8 inch pieces
  • 6-8 large mushrooms chopped
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1/2 package cream cheese
  • 2  teaspoons Worcestershire sauce (opt.)
  • 2 tubes Pillsbury Crescent roll refrigerated dough
  1. Fry up bacon pieces in a pan until nice and brown.
  2. Remove from pan to paper toweling.
  3. Remove all but 1 tablespoon of bacon fat from pan and add 1tablespoon of butter.
  4. Add onions and mushrooms to pan and saute' until soft.
  5. Add cooked bacon, Worcestershire and cream cheese and cook, stirring gently until cream cheese is melted.
  6. Remove from heat and let cool.
  7. Open tubes of crescent roll dough and pat each out into a rectangle, pushing the perforations together.*
  8. Cut into squares.
  9. Add a tablespoon of filling to each square.
  10. Pull corners of dough together to the middle and pinch edges closed. *Alternately, you can separate the perforated triangles, place the filling on the wide end and roll each into a crescent roll shape making sure the filling is completely enclosed. They will be a little larger this way. As you will notice from the pictures, I've done it both ways.
  11. Place bundles on baking sheet and bake at 375 degrees for 10-12 minutes.
  12. Serve hot with Red Pepper Jelly. You can also make these ahead and refrigerate until ready to bake them, or bake them ahead and reheat in a warm oven.

Coconut Milk Cake

Terrence and Bea had Coconut Cakes with Fresh Peony Wreaths for their Summer Wedding.
Coconut Cake can be a beautiful centerpiece for Christmas too . . .
with a snowy Coconut top.
Coconut Cake
  • 2 3/4 cup cake flour
  • 1 1/4 cup white sugar
  • 3 3/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup butter . . .room temperature
  • 3/4 cup milk
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
  • 4 large farm fresh eggs .. room temperature
  1. First of all .. it is important to have all your cake ingredients room temperature.
  2. Preheat your oven to 350 º.
  3. Cut out Parchment paper to line the bottom of 2 9 inch round cake pans. Do not grease the sides of your pan. . you want the cake to crawl up the sides. It will release.
  4. Sift the dry ingredients together.
  5. Add the soft butter with your mixer . . one tablespoon at a time and mix until large crumbs form.
  6. Add the milk and the vanilla and scrape the sides of the bowl.
  7. Add the eggs one at a time until mixed in.
  8. Divide the batter between the two pans and bake about 30 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.
  9. Remove to a rack to cool.
  10. Line the pans with plastic wrap.
  11. Put the cakes back into the pans. . tops up.
  12. Poke the cake with the dull end of a skewer all over.
  • 1 can sweetened condensed low fat milk
  • 1 can light coconut milk
  1. Warm the two milks together slightly. . .you don't want it hot but it mixes together easier if it is warmed a bit.
  2. Slowly pour the milk over the cakes. Use all but 1/2 cup. .I find the whole amount of milk is too much.
  3. Allow to sit at room temperature until the milk is mostly absorbed and then refrigerate until chilled.
  • 2 cups whipping cream
  • 2 packages whip it whipping cream stabilizer
  • flaked or fine coconut
  1. Beat the whipping cream and stabilizer (NO SUGAR) until soft peaks form and it holds its shape.
  2. Put the first cake on a cake plate top up. . and then put the second cake on top of it . . top down. This cake needs no filling.
  3. Spread the whipped cream over the cake and sprinkle with Coconut.
  4. Refrigerate until serving time.

Bread for the Journey - First Advent

It was one of those frustrating things.
For days I'd been humming a tune. You know how it is sometimes -
the music returns to mind at odd times during the day and you can't put words to it. 
After concentrating a bit, I remembered snatches of verse and reached for my hymnbook. 
When I found the words that matched the music, 
I was compelled to write them down and meditate on them.
As Advent approaches, I've been thinking of that song. It was written by Gerhardt Tersteegen in 1729 and yet the truth of the song still applies today.
God is absolutely Holy and all praise and adoration is due Him.
Although God is holy beyond our human understanding, He loved us so much that He humbled Himself and came as a man to die for our sins.
During the Advent season I hope you will make this the prayer of your heart and that you too will bow down in awe and reverence before our God and Saviour.
God Himself is with us: Let us now adore Him,
And with awe appear before Him.
God is in His temple- All within keep silence,
Prostrate lie with deepest reverence.
Him alone, God we own, Him, our God and Saviour;
Praise His Name forever.

O thou Fount of Blessing, Purify my spirit;
Trusting only in Thy merit,
Like the holy angels who behold Thy glory,
May I ceaselessly adore Thee,
And in all, great and small, Seek to do most nearly
What Thou lovest dearly.

Mushroom Stuffed Meatloaf

Here's a meatloaf all gussied up for company.
It has a hint of thyme in it which gives it a wonderful flavour.
I'm afraid I can't give credit to the cook but it is found in the yellow Greendale cookbook.

For the Stuffing:
  • 2 cups fresh sliced mushrooms or 1 can mushrooms
  • 1/2 cup minced onion
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 4 cups fresh bread cubes
  • 1/4 teaspoon.thyme
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley or 1 tsp. dried parsley
For the meatloaf;
  • 2 pounds hamburger
  • 2 eggs slightly beaten
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1/4 cup minced onion
  • 1/2 cup oatmeal
  • 1/8 teaspoons pepper
  • 1/2 cup ketchup
  • 1/2 cup mushroom or chicken broth
For the topping:
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup ketchup
  • 1tablespoon dry mustard
  1. Make the stuffing first. Saute mushrooms and onions in the butter until soft.
  2. Combine with bread cubes, thyme and parsely.
  3. Set aside.
  4. Mix the meatloaf ingredients together. Do not overmix.
  5. Pack 1/2 of the meatloaf mixture into the bottom of a loaf pan.
  6. Top with stuffing.
  7. Pack remaining meatloaf mixture over stuffing.
  8. Mix topping ingredients together and spread over meatloaf.
  9. Bake at 375 degrees for 1 hour and 15 minutes. Let meatloaf sit for 10 minutes before removing from pan.
  10. Slice and serve.

Holiday Fruitcake

This is my favorite fruitcake, one that I have baked every Christmas for many years. My friend Joyce passed this recipe on to me after I raved about how good it was after I tasted it at her house.
Every year when the Christmas season approached I remember how my Mom would ask if I was baking fruitcake again and could she have some, wish I could still be baking for her.
Slices of this fruitcake are a pretty addition to any tray of goodies, not only does it look good it is filled with fruits, nuts, and coconut. What's not to like?
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1 teaspoon almond extract
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 1 cup flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 2 cups raisins..I used 1 1/2 cups raisins and 1/2 cup dried cranberries
  • 1 1/2 cups coconut
  • 1/2 cup mixed glace fruit
  • 1 cup glace cherries I used 1/2 cup green cherries and 1/2 cup glace pineapple, sometimes I use half green and the other half red, your choice of what you like
  • 1 cup sliced almonds
  • 1 cup chopped walnuts I used 3/4 cup walnuts and 1/2 cup sliced filberts, again use whatever nuts you like
  • 200 g pkg of baking gums. They look like small gumdrops and are in the baking aisle at the grocery store.
1. Mix fruits, coconut, nuts and gumdrops in a large bowl and set aside.
2. In another bowl cream butter and sugar
3. Add eggs, vanilla, and almond extract, and blend until smooth
4. Combine flour and baking powder and add to the creamed mixture alternately with milk and mix        until well blended.
5. Pour over mixture of fruits, nuts, coconut, and gumdrops and stir until well combined
6. Divide between 4 small loaf pans (approx 7" x 3 1/2" x 2") double lined with waxed paper.
7. Bake in a 300º oven for 1 1/2 hours
8. Remove from oven and allow to cool on a cooling rack.
9. Freeze in freezer bags, leaving waxed paper on the loaves.

Happy Thanksgiving to our fellow Americans!

Barbequed Pulled Pork

Simple, satisfying and flavorful! I put this recipe together in my crock pot one morning and after work served it to guests. The meat becomes very tender and rich in flavor. Served on a toasted kaiser bun along with a salad or chips and you will get rave reviews. With Christmas just around the corner I like to have a few quick no fuss meals for those busy days. This is a budget friendly meal as well.

1 3-4 pound boneless pork roast
If roast has a string around it, cut it off. Place roast into crock pot.

Sauce: (it doesn't get easier than this)
-1 bottle regular flavored BBQ sauce (any brand you like)
-1/2 cup apple juice (I buy juice boxes to have on hand for this)
-1/2 small onion, chopped fine (optional)
-1/4 cup water
Stir together ingredients and pour over roast. Cover and cook for 8 hours on low heat.

Pulling the pork:
Take roast out of crock pot and put onto a cookie sheet. Cut away any fatty pieces you see. Using two forks shred meat into stringy pieces. Skim off any fat on the top of the sauce left in the crock pot, and return meat to the sauce. Stir well to combine with BBQ sauce. The meat will absorb the sauce.
Toast kaiser buns and pile the meat on top. Serve open face or sandwich style. I like to heat extra BBQ sauce to serve on the side. Enjoy with your favorite side salad. Serves 4-6.

Peppernuts - Gluten-free

I have been asked by several people for a Gluten-free version of the little round Peppernuts that are a Mennonite traditional favorite.
Erica Buller shared her family recipe with me and I adapted it to be gluten-free.
Peppernuts Ingredients
1 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup shortening, creamed with brown sugar
1 egg
1/8 cup sour cream - add to sugar mixture
2 tsp. yogurt
add following dry ingredients (mixed well)
1 cup white bean flour (or Sorghum)
1/2 cup Teff flour
1/2 cup potato starch
1 tsp xanthan gum
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp. soda
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp ginger
1/8 tsp cloves
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup chopped nuts (optional)
Combine wet ingredients , then add dry ingredients and mix well.
Using a little Sweet Rice if necessary on counter, divide dough into 4 pieces and roll each piece into thumb sized rolls, and cut into 1/2" slices.
Lay cut side down on baking sheet and bake for 20 minut. at 350°
Baking time determines how soft or hard you like them.
They are like dunking doughnuts... dipped in coffee to eat.

Good ole Fashion Hot Cocoa

This is Cocoa the way my mother used to make for us when we were kids.
Full flavored and rich tasting with out all the additives.
The ingredients couldn't be simpler, and so much more cost effective than the packages.
For 4 servings you need -
  • 1/4 cup cocoa powder
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/3 cup boiling water
  • 4 cups of hot milk
  • 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract (optional)
Serving for one-
  • 1 tbsp. cocoa
  • 1 tbsp. sugar
  • a bit of boiling water
  • 1 cup hot milk
  • a drop of vanilla extract if you want, but is just fine without
  1. Stir together the cocoa powder and sugar.
  2. Add the boiling water to dissolve the cocoa and sugar.
  3. Add the hot milk.
  4. Top off the cocoa with your favorite toppings like, marshmallows, whipping cream, or a sprinkle of cinnamon.
  5. Sit back relax and enjoy!
A variation to try is to mix it with some hot coffee instead of boiling water to make it a mocha.
Very tasty and comforting indeed.

Bread for the Journey

Our daughter shared with us how they had told their kids that one day Jesus would return and take us all to heaven. They talked about the wonder of heaven and that it would be forever, meaning we would never have to say goodbye to people we love. The kids really liked that and our grandson eagerly asked, “Has He started running yet?”

At first I thought that it was an odd question to ask. Then I began to see something beautiful. While I imagine Jesus floating down from heaven in majestic power, he was imagining Jesus running! Isn't that what you do, when you see a loved one you haven't seen in a long time?Sometimes I think our adult minds have lost something very special!

"But while the son was still a long way off, his father saw him and was filled with compassion for him, he ran to his son, threw his arms around him and kissed him." Luke 15:20

Father, I thank you that in the story of the prodigal son you have shown us your father heart. You have shown us how you long for us to turn our hearts toward home . . . so that we can live with you forever.

Easy Tortellini Casserole

Here's a simple casserole...perfect for Sunday lunch or a quick company dinner. It can be served as a meatless dish or include meat of your choice.

  • 1 350 gram pkg. Olivieri Cheese Tortellini (or use herb and cheese)
  • 1 each red, green and yellow pepper, cut into chunks
  • 1 onion, sliced or chopped
  • 1 jar 700 ml. Classico pasta sauce (spicy red pepper is great)
  • 1 - 2 cups grated cheddar cheese (I like to add a little Parmesan as well)
  • 1 pound farmer sausage, sliced diagonally (optional)
  1. Cook pasta according to directions.
  2. Stir fry veggies until tender crisp.
  3. Add to cooked, drained pasta...along with pasta sauce.
  4. Stir together and put into casserole dish.
  5. Top with grated cheese.
  6. Cook at 350°F for 30-40...covering until near the end.
*If you are adding sausage, saute and stir in before putting into casserole dish.

Serve with a green salad and enjoy the taste of home-cooked Italian without a whole lot of home-cooking.

*Note ~ The Olivieri pasta is a Canadian product...but use your favorite fresh tortellini. Canadian products are sold by metric measure...metric conversion tables are readily available on-line, although measures aren't too important in this dish.