Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Fruit Explosion Muffins

Muffin recipes are such that you can play around with them by comparing several that you like and tweaking the ingredients. That is how these muffins came about. They started off as cranberry muffins, so that is what you can do if you like. In this recipe I have also cut down on the fat and sugar and added the coconut and orange zest. You can also add lemon zest, if you like. I like doubling the recipe and making them in the extra large sized muffin cups. If you do this, they will take longer to bake, of course.

  • 2 cups flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • ¼ cup coconut mixed with 2 Tbsp orange rind
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/4 cup melted butter
  • 1 (very full) cup buttermilk
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 2 cups fruit (frozen blueberries, cranberries, blackberries, raspberries)
  • sugar for sprinkling
  1. Combine dry ingredients.
  2. Beat eggs, butter, buttermilk and vanilla together in a large bowl. Add dry ingredients and stir until just moistened.
  3. Stir fruit in carefully, so that the dough does not turn purple.
  4. Fill 12 regular sized, well-greased or lined muffin tins. Sprinkle lightly with sugar.
  5. Bake at 375F for 25 min. Test with toothpick. Frozen fruit may extend the baking time.

P.S. If you don't have buttermilk on hand, you can use 1/2 cup plain yoghurt and 1/2 cup milk.

Monday, March 30, 2009

Whoopie Pie Cookies

This recipe comes from my sister, she is one awesome baker!! My g'children love these cookies..actually anyone who loves chocolate will love these.

2 cups white sugar
1 cup shortening or lard
2 eggs
2 tsp vanilla
1 cup sour cream
4 cups flour
1 tsp salt
3/4 cup cocoa
2 tsp baking soda dissolved in
1 cup boiling water

Cream shortening and sugar, mix in eggs, vanilla and sour cream.
Sift together dry ingredients and stir into the creamed mixture alternating with the baking soda dissolved in the boiling water.
Drop by spoonfuls on parchment lined baking pans and bake at 350 for 6 to 8 min. Once cookies are cool 'sandwich them' with the following icing.

Soft Icing
1 1/2 cups icing sugar
1/2 cup soft butter
3 tbsp flour
1 tsp vanilla
This recipe calls for an egg as well but I leave that out.
Beat butter till very creamy, add the rest and beat until light.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Ham and Egg Cups

Last Sunday morning, I had the family in for brunch...and served one of our favorite quick and easy egg recipes. To this point...it's never been written down on paper...but here it is for you to try. All you need is a muffin tin...ham and eggs...and a wee bit of grated cheese along with your herbs of choice.

Ham and Egg Cups


  • 12 slices of deli ham
  • 12 eggs
  • grated cheese
  • seasoning
  • chopped basil


  1. Spray muffin tins with Pam.

  2. Line each cup with a slice of deli ham (I asked that they not be sliced too thin...and had rather hefty slices this time).

  3. Break an egg gently into each ham cup. Season with salt and pepper...sprinkle with chopped basil (or chives or your herb of choice).

  4. Bake at 350' F for about 15 minutes.

  5. Remove from oven...and top each egg with grated cheese (cheddar or parmesan)...and bake for 5 minutes longer.

  6. Remove from pan and serve immediately.

Serve with toast...or crescent rolls...add a hash-brown casserole and a fruit salad...and call it brunch.

This Sunday I am far away from my kitchen...and enjoying someone else's cooking!

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Overnight Layered Salad

This is a familiar salad to many but perhaps there are some new cooks out there who haven't made this. The ingredients can vary according to your taste and what vegetables you have on hand but this version is pretty classic. The nice thing about it is that you can make it the night before plus it is an attractive addition to your meal.
cut up 1/2 lb. bacon and fry until crisp. Drain and set aside on paper towel.
Hard boil 4-5 eggs
Find your prettiest wide glass bowl.
Some have made this in a 9x13 inch pan so that the dressing is better distributed
among the servings. I like the way you can see the layers in a bowl.
Layer the following ingredients in your bowl:
iceberg lettuce torn into bite sized pieces- you can also add romaine and/or spinach
finely sliced red cabbage
chopped celery
chopped red or yellow pepper
chopped green onions
2 hard boiled eggs finely cut up or sliced
The egg slices can be placed upright around the inside edge of the bowl for a pretty look.
thawed petite peas
crumbled bacon
Repeat layers if using a bowl.
1-1 1/2 cups mayoniase
1/4 cup Ranch dressing
You can use a tsp. or so of dip/salad dressing seasoning instead
1 rounded tsp. sugar
1 Tbsp. vinegar
1/2 cup sour cream if desired.
Spread dressing evenly over salad, making sure it touches the edge of the bowl all around.
It should cover the salad completely. (If needed, add a bit more mayonnaise.)
Top the salad with:
1 cup grated cheese - cheddar or swiss
your choice of garnish.
Cover salad with plastic wrap and refrigerate several hours or overnight.

Friday, March 27, 2009

Seafood Lasagna

Whether you bake these in individual oven proof baking pans or make it in one large lasagna pan. .this lasagna will be a special evening treat for company. Served with crusty bread and a crisp green salad. . . for seafood lovers .. it is delicious.Seafood Lasagna
  • 2 cups whole milk
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1/2 cup all purpose flour
  • 1 10 0z. or 284 ml. can of chicken broth
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • dash of nutmeg
  1. In a medium saucepan, melt the butter. . don't boil it.. just melt it. Add the flour and stir until smooth.
  2. Add a little bit of the milk. . stir well until smooth .. add a bit more milk again stirring until smooth .. add the rest of the milk and broth and bring to a simmer. . .stirring all the time. . .don't walk away .. it will scorch.
  3. Add the seasoning. . and set aside.
  • 1 package of dry no boil whole wheat lasagna noodles
  • 4 cups of quick frozen. .the kind that is loose in the bag. . spinach ( I prefer this to the frozen brick of spinach. . .it is quicker to thaw and easy to divide) . . Thaw the spinach and allow it to drain in a sieve.
  • 2 cups of ricotta cheese
  • 1 egg
  • 250 grams or 1 cup of mozzarella shredded
  • 400 grams of provolone cheese. . .sliced
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 4 cups of sliced button mushrooms
  • 1 large onion diced
  • small basket of cherry tomatoes. .halved
  • 2 pounds of seafood. . .I used a combination of 1 pound crab, 1/2 pound or about 230 grams small cooked shrimp and 1/2 pound or 230 grams frozen scallops. .quartered. . .allow the seafood to thaw.
  • 1/2 cup fresh parsley
  • 1/4 cup finely minced dill weed
  1. Put the olive oil in a large saucepan, add the mushrooms and onions. ..saute until onions are translucent and mushrooms have released their liquid.
  2. Add the spinach, tomatoes and parsley and dill weed.
  3. Add the seafood and the white sauce that you made earlier and then. . .set aside
  4. Mix together the ricotta cheese and egg. . .set aside.
  5. In a large pan .. 9 1/2 by 14 X 2 1/2 inch pan .. (9 X 13 would certainly boil over. . use two smaller pans if you haven't a true lasagna sized pan). . .spray with cooking spray. Spoon 1/4 of the sauce to cover the bottom of the pan. .
  6. Layer over sauce
  • noodles
  • 1/4 of the seafood sauce
  • mozzarella cheese
  • ricotta cheese/egg
  • provolone cheese
  • and repeat the layers. . . finishing with noodles. . the last 1/4 amount of sauce
  • Sprinkle with cheese
Bake uncovered at 350 F for an hour .. until hot and bubbly. Allow to rest for 10 minutes before cutting and serving.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Crown Jewel Cake

Years ago I found this recipe in the 'Canadian Kinette Cookery' cookbook. Our family loves this dessert and it is so pretty to serve.

1 85 gm (3 oz) pkg. each of orange,cherry and lime jello
3 cups boiling water
1 1/2 cups cold water
1 cup pineapple juice
1/4 cup sugar
1 pkg lemon jello(same size as above)
1/2 cup cold water
2 cups graham wafer crumbs
1/2 cup melted butter
2 envelopes Dream Whip

Prepare the first 3 pkgs of jello separately using 1 cup boiling water and 1/2 cup cold water for each. I pour the jello into loaf pans. Chill until firm and cut into cubes.
Combine pineapple juice and sugar, heat to boiling. Remove from heat and dissolve the lemon jello in it, add remaining cold water. Chill until syrupy..(texture of a raw egg white)
Mix the graham wafer crumbs with the melted butter. Press into an ungreased 9 by 11"pan, reserving 1/2 cup for garnish.
Prepare Dream Whip according to pkg and fold into syrupy lemon jello mixture. Gently mix in the jello cubes. Pour over the crumbs.
Garnish and chill for 8 hrs in fridge.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Lydia's White Buns

I've been making Lydia's White Buns ever since she put her recipe in the 1992 edition of our local church cookbook. From time to time. . I make other lady's buns. . but always come back to her recipe because it works well for me. If you follow the directions carefully, I imagine you will have nice soft buns for your family as well.
Lydia's White Buns
  • 2 cups milk
  • 2 farm fresh eggs .. slightly beaten
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1/3 cup sugar ( I cut it back from 1/2 cup)
  • 1/4 cup real butter
  • 1/4 cup shortening
  • 1/2 cup warm water
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 2 tablespoons yeast
  • 6 cups flour. . .and more to knead to soft dough
  1. In a large bowl. . or in your kitchen machine. . .put the warm water, 1 tsp. sugar and yeast. . .allow to rest 10 minutes. .if it hasn't poofed by then. . start over. .either your water was too hot. . or it is old.
  2. In a medium saucepan, melt the butter and shortening. Add the milk and just warm through. . .slightly. . not too hot. . the yeast will die.
  3. Add the beaten eggs to the large bowl where the yeast is.
  4. Add the warmed milk and shortening and butter.
  5. Add the salt and sugar.
  6. Add the flour one cup at a time. . .stirring well.
  7. Allow to rest for 10 to 15 minutes.
  8. Knead the dough until smooth and elastic. . adding a bit of flour to keep it from sticking. . .Knead for at least 10 minutes. . be patient. . scrape the bits off the counter with a bench scraper and keep turning the dough. . .
  9. Let rest 1 1/2 hours with a tea towel and a plastic bag over the bowl.
  10. Give it a bit of a punch down. . and again allow to rest 10 minutes while you prepare your pans. Either spray your pans or put parchment paper on our cookie sheets.
  11. Make the dough into buns by taking a piece the size of a grapefruit. .(your hands should be oiled). .hold the dough in your left hand and with your right hand . .squeeze a small amount between your thumb and forefinger ..the size of a very small mandarin orange. . and squeeze it off. If it isn't smooth. . take the ball. .and cup it in your right hand on the counter and roll it around really quick. .
  12. Allow to rise until doubled. . about an hour.
  13. Preheat the oven to 350 F. and bake each pan until golden brown about 15 to 20 minutes depending on your oven.

Thank you Lydia P. . for these yummy buns.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Hot Cross Buns

Hot Cross Buns, Hot Cross Buns
One a penny, two a penny
Hot cross Buns
If you have no daughters,
Give them to your sons,
One a penny, two a penny
Hot Cross Buns!

Always a favourite at our house, I tried and tweaked recipes
until I came up with one I like. These have the dough crosses on them and a honey glaze.

2 cups scalded milk
1/2 cup warm water
1/2 cup butter or margarine
1/2 cup sugar
2 tsp. salt
3 eggs, lightly beaten
7 1/2 - 8 1/2 cups flour, divided
(you can use about 2 cups whole wheat flour if you like)
2 Tbsp. instant yeast
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. allspice
1/4 tsp. nutmeg
1/4 tsp. cloves
2/3 cup sultana raisins, washed and patted dry
2/3 cup fruitcake mix (candied fruit, with or withou peel)
grated rind of 1 orange

Mix warmed milk, margarine and water until margarine melts.
In large bowl of mixer, combine 4 cups flour, yeast, salt, sugar and spices.
In meduim bowl, dredge fruit and raisins in 1/2 cup flour. Set aside.
Pour in milk/margarine mixture.
Using beater attachment of mixer, turn on mixer and gradually add beaten eggs.
Change to dough hook and add floured raisins and fruit and grated rind.
Mix and gradually add flour until mixture begins to form a ball.
Mix for 5 minutes or knead by hand until dough is smooth and elastic.
Place in greased bowl cover with greased plastic and a clean towel and let rise in a warm place until double in bulk.

Grease two 9x13 pans and one 9x9 pan. or 3 9x13 pans.
Form buns and place in pans.
Cover again and let rise until doubled.

Mix dough for crosses:
1 cup flour
5 Tbsp. shortening or lard
1 1/2 tsp. sugar
dash of salt
about 1/2 - 2/3 cup water

Cut shortening into flour, sugar and salt.
Add water and stir well - dough should be sticky and somewhat soft.
Place dough into a piping bag with a 1/4 inch tip. Set aside.
Brush buns with 1 egg yolk whisked together with 1 Tbsp. water.
Pipe crosses on, using a knife to cut off the dough from the tip.
Bake at 400 degrees F for 17- 20 minutes.
Remove to rack. Cool for 1/2 hour.

Mix honey glaze in microwave safe bowl:
1 Tbsp. honey
2 tbsp. water
Microwave for 1 minute.
Brush over buns.
These freeze well.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Peppernut Buns..Spiced Buns

These are our favorite 'Easter buns'..not quite a hot cross bun and not quite paska. This recipe is from the Mennonite Treasury with a few changes. My Mom always made these for Easter and I have continued the tradition.

2 tbsp yeast
1/2 cup warm water
1 cup scalded milk
1/2 cup shortening or butter
1/2 cup Roger's golden syrup
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp anise
4 3/4 cups flour

Dissolve yeast in 1/2 cup of water, let stand 10 min.
Scald milk, add shortening, sugar and syrup stirring until dissolved.
Mix flour and spices and add to warm milk mixture.
Knead until a soft dough as for buns and let rise until doubled.
Form buns and place on pan. Let rise until doubled. This dough may rise a bit slower so it's a good idea to have a warm kitchen.
Bake at 400 for 10 to 12 min
Ice and decorate with sprinkles.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Lemon Baked Salmon

This recipe comes from my sister Rhoda. If you are looking for a very healthy delicious salmon recipe this is it. My husband enjoys fishing the river near our place, so we usually have salmon in the freezer. In the winter months I like to have the frozen fillets ready to pull out and bake. For those of you who don't have a fisherman in the family, Costco usually has fresh salmon that is perfect for this recipe. The recipe I will post is for half of a whole filleted salmon.

1/2 salmon

2 lemons sliced very thin

1 small onion sliced very thin

seasoning salt (approx 1 tbsp)

Greek seasoning (approx 1 1/2 tbsp)

Place salmon on a foil covered baking sheet. Sprinkle generously with seasoning salt.

Lay lemon slices all the way down down the salmon over lapping them. You can make two rows or one down the centre. On top of the lemons lay the onions in the same fashion. Most of the salmon should be covered.

Wrap the foil up and over the salmon making a tight seal.

Bake in 400 oven for 30 minutes. Remove salmon along with the lemons and onions to a serving platter. Spinkle with Greek seasoning to your liking. The lemon peels become very tender and the flavor is mellow, so make sure you eat the peel too.

For an additional garnish after baking mix 1 tsp dill with 1 cup of crumbled Feta cheese and sprinkle over entire salmon.

Curry Beef

Well my dear son this recipe is for you.
The typical teenager that opens the fridge and pantry and says that there is NOTHING TO EAT, nothing but condiments...;)
Well let me tell you what all those condiments can make for supper.

I used the following:
  • 1-lb. thinly sliced beef
  • 1 onion halved and thinly sliced
  • peppers.....what ever you have on hand, this time it was 1 red pepper 1 yellow pepper
  • 1 c. of snow peas (I didn't have any this time)
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1 can coconut milk
  • 2 tbsp. soya sauce
  • 1/4 c. sweet chili sauce
  • 1 tbsp. curry
  • 1 tbsp. chili powder
  • 2 tsp. cumin

  1. Quickly stir fry the beef, remove from pan.
  2. Add the veggies and stir fry.
  3. Add all the spices.
  4. Add the coconut milk, soy sauce and chili sauce.
  5. Mix everything together and heat through.
  6. Serve over brown rice and more stir fried veggies!
This is such a versatile dish, you can use turkey or chicken and any veggies that you have on hand. Have fun, be creative. You can't make a mistake, so go for it!

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Anneliese's Black Forest Birthday Cake Gluten-free

Carrie, one of the commentors to Anneliese's Black Forrest Birthday Cake asked about a Gluten-free version.

I took one look at the photo as well.. and thought it was one of the most beautiful cakes I had ever seen !

To all you fellow Celiacs... this one is as easy as pie ! oops , I mean 'cake'.

There are some really good gluten-free cake mixes on the market. Try a couple of the chocolate ones to see which one you prefer and then use it instead of the regular cake mix Anneliese called for.

The rest of the recipe can be followed exactly since nothing else has gluten in it !!

Friday, March 20, 2009

Black Forest Birthday Cake

I may as well just get it over with first thing and tell you that this is made from a cake mix! Some of you will not want to keep reading, but others may be somewhat relieved. This cake started out in our family as a “Black Forest Want-To-Be” with rum flavoring etc. When our kids were little they did not care for that flavor and also did not care for the cherries. This is when recipes change and so this one (with strawberries) has become a favorite birthday cake in our family. Sometimes it ends up in a trifle and sometimes the recipe gets doubled and made in a larger spring form pan or sheet. It is best to make it the day ahead and cover it with a cake cover. It keeps for days in the fridge. I am including very detailed pictures and instructions, so this is for anyone who has never even attempted decorating a cake. Enjoy!


  • 1 box Devil’s Food/Chocolate cake mix
  • 1 pkg Jello instant chocolate fudge pudding
  • 1 can cherry pie filling or 2 pints fresh sliced strawberries
  • 1 pint (2 cups) whipping cream, sweeten to taste
  • 1 square Baker's Semi Sweet chocolate (or your preference)

1. Mix cake mix according to pkg instructions, then pour into a greased and floured 8 1/2 inch spring form pan. ( a spring form pan makes the process easier, because the spring adjustment on the side opens and makes for easy cake removal.) Bake at 350 F, about 50 - 60 min. Test with toothpick. Let sit for 10 min. Remove from pan and cool completely.

2. Whip cream until stiff (but not lumpy), adding ½ - 1 Tbsp sugar. Set aside in fridge.
3. Mix pudding according to pkg. instructions. ( I use a Tupperware gravy mixer to shake it up) Set aside.
4. Make chocolate shavings with chocolate , using a potato peeler. Set aside.
5. Trim off rounded top on cake and let kids or hubby enjoy it. Turn cake upside down and transfer to a flat serving plate. Slice through twice, horizontally, using a sharp serrated knife, so that you have three layers. Carefully lift off top 2 layers.
6. Cover first layer with prepared chocolate pudding. (there will be some left over) Add second layer of cake. Cover with cherries or strawberries (spread a thin layer of whipped cream, top with sliced berries and fill spaces with more whipped cream.). Add third layer of cake.
7. Spread whipping cream all along sides and top of cake. ( I add about 2 Tbsp of the pudding or instant chocolate drink mix to the whipped cream when I use strawberries.) Use the serrated knife to level off top.
8. At this point you might need to give the left over whipped cream another whirl with the beater. Fill a decorating tube (the little plastic ones are fine too) and, using the large star tip, decorate the edge and around bottom if you want. This is where my cakes always change looks. With a small cake like this you can keep it quite simple, but you can also take a tumbler and make circular indentations, then follow the patterns with star tips.
9. Sprinkle with chocolate shavings. Decorate with maraschino cherries or strawberries cut in half. It looks nice to leave the stems on the cherries or the strawberries.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Turkey Vegetable Chowder

Although we are entering spring according to the calendar, it feels more like winter around here and so we are still enjoying our winter soups and fresh breads. I got this recipe for turkey chowder from a friend of mine many years ago...when she still had five children to cook for...and this was one of their family favorites. What's not to like about it? It has become one of our family favorites as well...and so I will pass it along for you to try.

Turkey Vegetable Chowder

  • 2 turkey legs
  • 2 carrots, sliced
  • 2 stalks celery (with tops), chopped
  • 4-5 potatoes, cubed
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 1 can cream-style corn
  • 1 can corn whole kernel corn
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 2 cups milk
  • 1 cup grated cheese
  • chopped fresh parsley for garnish
Put turkey legs in a large stockpot with ten cups of water. Cover and bring to a boil; reduce heat and simmer for 1 1/2 hours or until turkey is very tender. Using slotted spoon, remove turkey legs and set aside to cool.

Add onion, potato, carrots and celery, salt, pepper, and basil...and simmer for about 20 minutes or until vegetables are tender. Cut turkey into bite sized pieces (discarding skin and bone) and add to the soup pot along with the corn.

Using a wire whip, combine flour and milk and stir mixture into soup. Add grated cheese and cook, stirring constantly, until soup returns to a boil. Cook several minutes longer to melt cheese and thicken slightly. Sprinkle with parsley.

Notes: I buy turkey drumsticks in the frozen meat section of the grocer...and prefer the smoked turkey drumsticks. They are more pricey, but give the soup a bit a smokey flavour. I have also used turkey leftovers to make this soup. Fresh basil is a wonderful addition.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Vietnamese Coffee

Wouldn't you just love to have a really good cuppa Joe right now?
Well you can, a good cup of coffee that is dessert in itself. I love Asian food and as a treat I have this coffee at the end of a light and healthy meal.
Serve it hot or over ice (my preference is cold over ice).
Start with adding 1 or 2 tbsp. of sweetened condensed milk. Pour over a really bold and strong coffee or espresso, stir and voila!
For under $3.00, you can serve 10 grateful coffee lovers this sweet treat!
Better than going to your local coffee shop!

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Chocolate Angel Food Cake

Chocolate Angel Food Cake
Since I have an abundance of eggs on the farm. . .I enjoy whipping up copious amounts of egg whites. . for meringues and cakes. This Chocolate Angel Food Cake is light and it freezes really well. You will need a angel food cake pan. . and it serves 12 easily.
Preheat the oven to 325 F.
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 1 cup of cake and pastry flour
  • 1/2 cup of unsweetened cocoa
  • 2 teaspoons of instant coffee
  1. Sift the above ingredients together .. either by putting them through a sieve or using a sifter. I generally put it through at least 3 times to add in lightness. I use two bowls and send it back and forth. Set aside.
  • 2 cups of egg whites. . .now. . egg sizes vary greatly .. .so you will want to measure the volume but you can count on 12 large eggs or up to 16 medium ones. (or you can purchase egg whites in the dairy case at your grocer)
  • 1 teaspoon cream of tartar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup of white sugar
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  1. Divide the eggs carefully. . one in a small dish at a time. Do not break the eggs into one bowl. . adding each egg white. .because it only takes one speck of egg yolk to ruin a batch of meringue. The egg yolks can be divided and frozen in little plastic bags to add into scrambled eggs or quiche.
  2. In a large metal or glass bowl that has been given a fresh wash with hot soapy water and a good hot rinse. . .beat the egg whites with the cream of tartar and salt.
  3. When the eggs begin to get frothy, add the sugar. . .slowly and continue to beat until stiff peaks form.
  4. Add vanilla
  5. Remove the beaters and 1/2 cup at a time, fold in the flour and cocoa mixture. This must be done slowly and best with either a large whisk or rubber spatula.
  6. With care. . .slowly pour the batter into your large angel food pan.
  7. Bake between 45 and 50 minutes .. .or until the cracks appear dry.
Allow to cool upside down before removing from pan. Cut along the edge with a serrated knife and release the bottom.
To fill the cake. . .I whipped together . ..
  • 1 1/2 cups of milk
  • 1 package of chocolate instant pudding
  • 1 package of dream whip
It can be served with ice cream . . or what I often do is make a chocolate ganache. .
1 cup of heavy whipping cream. . .brought to a boil. . .and then removed from heat. . and enough chocolate chips to just come below the surface of the cream. Allow to sit several minutes and then stir until smooth. Allow to cool .. chill until it is still pourable but not runny. .
Pour over cake and refrigerate. . .until hardened and then cover with plastic wrap.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Pear Spice Cake

This is a pretty dessert served warm with pouring custard or ice cream. It comes from my old Pillsbury desserts book.

Pear Topping:
1/4 cup butter or margarine
2/3 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1 Tbsp. flour
1 Tbsp. water or pear syrup
Canned pears - each cut lengthwise into 3 or 4 slices
Spice Cake:
1/3 cup shortening or margarine
3/4 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 egg
1 1/2 cups flour
2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 tsp. cloves
1/2 tsp. salt
2/3 cup milk
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
For Pear Topping:
Melt butter in 9 inch round cake pan in oven.
Stir in brown sugar, flour and water.
Spread mixture evenly in the bottom of the pan.
Place pear slices, tips all facing the same way in a spoke pattern, leaving the centre open.
Mix cake batter:
In large mixer bowl, cream margarine, sugars and egg.
Add dry ingredients alternately with milk.
Beat at lowest speed until well blended.
Spoon cake batter evenly over pear slices, spreading batter gently to edges of pan.
Bake at 350 degrees for 45- 55 minutes or until toothpick inserted in the centre comes out clean.
Cool 2 minutes.
Loosen edges with spatula.
Invert serving plate over cake pan and flip both over. Let pan rest upside down on serving plate for a minute or so before you remove it.
Serve with warm pouring custard (I use Bird's custard powder, following the directions on the label) and/or ice cream.
For Cake:

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Make ahead Eggs Benedict

The table is all set and special guests are arriving soon.

On the menu was a "Fruit,Yogurt Parfait" topped with Marg's Granola, followed by a brunch casserole of Eggs Benedict and Lemon Asparagus.

A little chocolate for dessert.

This recipe originated in "Company's Coming" Christmas Cookbook.

I have changed things just a little by using lower fat products and back bacon instead of bacon, and toasting the english muffins under the broiler for a bit before assembling.
I will however share the recipe as it is written in the book.

4 english muffins, split
16 bacon slices
8 large eggs
1/4 c. butter
1/4 c. flour
1 tsp. paprika
1/4 tsp. pepper
1/8 tsp. nutmeg
2 c. milk
2 c. grated swiss cheese
1/2 c. white wine (or alcohol- free)
1 tbsp. butter
1/2 c. crushed cornflakes

Arrange muffin halves, cut side up, in greased 9x13" pan.
Fry bacon until crisp. Blot dry on paper towel. Put 2 slices on each muffin half.
Heat water in large saucepan until it simmers. Carefully break in eggs to poach until just set. Transfer and center egg on bacon using slotted spoon.
Sauce: Melt butter in saucepan. Mix in flour, paprika, pepper and nutmeg. Stir in milk until it boils and thickens.
Add cheese and wine. Stir until cheese melts. Spoon sauce over eggs.
Topping: Melt butter, stir in cornflakes. Sprinkle over top of sauce. Cover and chill overnight. In the morning remove cover. Bake in 375 oven for 20-25 minutes until heated through. Makes 8 servings.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Soto Ayam

This is an Indonesian chicken noodle soup that I’ve had on several occasions while in Indonesia. This time around we had it in a restaurant, infused with a bit of coconut milk, and it was delicious! The version I’m posting is the way that we were originally introduced to it. The hostess sets the bowls on the table with just the broth in them, possible the noodles too. (If preferred, even the broth can be served separately.) The rest of the ingredients are set on the table in separate bowls and everyone just serves themselves and puts in what they like. It really is a fun way to serve soup. I got this recipe from my daughter, Julene.

6 cups chicken broth
4 cloves garlic
3 bay leaves
4 stalks lemon grass
1 – 2 inch ginger root, peeled
1 Knorr chicken bouillon cube
1 tsp salt
½ tsp pepper
handful celery leaves – just before serving

Make a chicken broth by either cooking 1 - 2 chicken breasts or using several chicken bouillon cubes or canned broth, adding in the spices. I was very pleased that, when I started cooking it, it actually smelled like the real thing! The lemon grass and ginger give a very nice flavor, although I did use less lemon grass.
Cut lemon grass into 2 inch pieces and when the stock is done, remove garlic, lemon grass, ginger pieces and bay leaves. Add celery leaves just before serving.

Serve with a variety of sides to add:
cooked rice
cooked fine egg of Chinese noodles
chopped cooked chicken
boiled eggs
boiled bean sprouts,
fried red onions
finely shredded steamed cabbage
sliced green onions
French’s dried onions
crispy shoestring potato chips
wedges of lemon
Sambal (hot sauce)

Foccacia Bread

This bread is based on a recipe from one of the old Pillsbury monthly cookbook magazines. It is fast and easy to make and great to serve with pasta or anything Italian. Be sure to serve it with olive oil and balsamic vinegar for dipping like the Italians do. I have small individual dishes so everyone can have their own but in restaurants they often pour the oil and vinegar into a plate for everyone to share.

3 - 3 1/2 cups flour
1 tsp. sugar
1 tsp. salt
1 Tbsp. instant yeast
1 cup warm water
2 Tbsp. olive oil
1 egg

3-4 Tbsp. olive oil
Your choice of toppings:
1 tsp.. dried rosemary or basil
very thinly sliced red onion or red pepper
1 tsp. coarse salt
minced garlic
chopped chives
parmesan cheese
Grease a cookie sheet or heavy pizza pan and sprinkle with a bit of cornmeal.
Mix 1 cup flour, sugar, salt and yeast in mixer bowl. Heat water and oil until very warm. Add liquid and beaten egg to flour in bowl. Blend at low speed until moistened, then for 2 minutes at medium speed.
Gradually add 2 cups flour and mix with dough hook or knead by hand until dough pulls away from bowl- about 5 minutes. You can knead in a little more flour until dough is smooth and elastic.
Cover dough with a large bowl and let rest for 5 minutes
Roll out or shape dough into a 12 inch circle and place on baking pan.
Cover loosely with greased plastic wrap and cloth towel and let rise in a warm place unti light and doubled in size, about 30 minutes.
Heat oven to 400 degreesF. Uncover dough. With handle of wooden spoon,poke holes in dough at 1 inch intervals. Drizzle with 3-4 Tbsp. olive oil and sprinkle with desired toppings. (choose 3 or 4 from the list)
Bake at 400 for 17-22 minutes or until golden brown.
Immediately remove from baking pan and cool on wire rack.
Cool and cut into wedges or into the traditional slices.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Mushroom and Chicken casserole

I had nothing planned for dinner last night so I needed to come up with something when I got home. I had 2 cooked chicken thighs leftover from dinner 2 days ago and some mushrooms that needed to be used. Here's what I came up with. My husband's comment was -"This is something you can make again!" The French Fried onions make the casserole especially good.

1 package wide egg noodles
1 - 2 cups cut up chicken
1 - 2 Tbsp butter
1-2 cups sliced mushrooms
1 onion coarsely chopped
1 large rib celery, coarsely chopped
1 fresh tomato seeded and chopped

1 can cream of mushroom soup, undiluted
1/2 can cream of celery soup, undiluted (use all of it if needed)
1/2 cup mayonnaise

1 can French Fried Onions

Cook the noodles in salted boiling water until tender.

In frying pan, melt butter, (I often add a bit of oil to keep the butter from browning too much) saute' mushrooms, onions and celery until mushrooms are browned.

Mix soups and mayonnaise together in a bowl.

In shallow buttered casserole dish, layer noodles, mushroom mixture, chicken and sauce.

Mix gently with a spatula.

Sprinkle with french fried onions.

Bake at 350 degrees for about 30 minutes or until heated through.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Chinese Noodle Casserole

Last night we had a pot-luck to go to and I decided to make this casserole because it goes well with most other dishes and it’s quick and easy. This is another recipe from my Mom. The Chinese noodles are the kind you don’t cook. The few handfuls you stir into the recipe will soften as though they are cooked, but the ones on top stay crispy.


  • 1/2 cup chopped onions
  • 1/2 cup chopped celery
  • 1 can sliced mushrooms
  • 1 can cream of mushroom soup
  • 1 cup frozen peas or broccoli
  • 2 cups roasted chicken, diced
  • Chinese noodles (crispy kind)

  1. Sauté onion, celery and mushrooms in large frying pan until tender. 
  2.  Add 1 can cream of mushroom soup mixed with 1/2 cup water.
  3.  Add 1 cup frozen peas or cut up broccoli and simmer 5 min. 
  4.  Add chicken, and two handfuls of Chinese noodles. 
  5.  Put in casserole dish and cover with Chinese noodles. Bake at 350 F for 30 min.
A great time-saving tip is to roast a large chicken or pick up a few rotisserie chickens. Cut them up and freeze them in 2 cup containers or bags. I find having cooked chicken in the freezer is a big help for quick dinners in the future.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Lemon Layer Cake with Raspberry Curd

Since I happen to love raspberries...and have them in the freezer at all times...I am always on the lookout for yummy new raspberry recipes.

I found this one on-line a few years ago...I believe it had originally been featured in Bon Appetit magazine. Since my son and son-in-law both have a birthday on July 9th...at the height of raspberry season...I have baked this cake for their birthday on occasion. I would normally make it with four layers...but after seeing how someone baked a fourteen layer cake for Valentine's Day, I decided to try this recipe as an eight layer cake in honour of Lovella's jubilee (since 50 layers seemed a bit of a stretch!).

Here's the other thing...you can't really pay a whole lot of attention to how much butter...and cream goes into this cake. Once in awhile...you just have to forget about calories and enjoy a slice of rich goodness!

Lemon Layer Cake

4 large eggs
2 large egg yolks
3/4 cup whole milk
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoon grated lemon peel
2 cups cake flour
1 1/2 cups sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, melted, cooled

Preheat oven to 350' F. Spray two 9-inch-diameter cake pans with 2-inch-high sides with nonstick vegetable oil spray. Line bottom of pans with parchment paper; spray again.

Whisk eggs, yolks, milk, lemon juice, and lemon peel in medium bowl to blend. Whisk flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt in large bowl to blend. Whisk oil and butter into flour mixture. Add egg mixture and whisk until smooth. Divide batter between prepared pans. Bake cakes until tester inserted into center comes out clean, about 30 minutes. Cool cakes on racks 10 minutes. Run knife around edge of pans to loosen cakes. Turn cakes out onto racks. Cool completely. (Can be made 1 day ahead. Wrap with plastic. Let stand at room temperature.)

2 6-ounce baskets fresh raspberries
1 1/4 cups sugar
2 large eggs
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
2 tablespoons (1/4 stick) unsalted butter
1/8 teaspoon salt

3 cups chilled whipping cream

Stir 1 basket raspberries, 3/4 cup sugar, eggs, lemon juice, butter, and salt in medium saucepan over medium heat until thickened and beginning to bubble at edges, about 5 minutes. Strain raspberry curd into medium bowl, pressing on solids in strainer. Refrigerate until cold, at least 2 hours and up to 1 day. (I processed my berries in the blender before cooking...and never strained them after.)

Whip cream and 1/2 cup sugar until peaks form. Fold 1 1/2 cups whipped cream into raspberry curd. Reserve remaining whipped cream.

Cut each cake horizontally into 2 layers. Place 1 layer, cut side down, on platter. Spread 1/3 of raspberry filling over. Repeat with 2 more cake layers and filling. Top with remaining cake layer.
Spread all but 1 cup plain whipped cream over top and sides of cake. Place remaining whipped cream in pastry bag fitted with star tip. Pipe design around bottom edge of cake. Arrange remaining berries atop cake. Chill until cold, about 2 hours. (Can be made 1 day ahead. Cover with cake dome and keep refrigerated.)

* * * * * *

So that was the recipe as originally given...and here is my variation for this time around:

I mixed the batter as specified...and divided it equally among eight 9-inch cake pans with parchment liners (sprayed with Pam).

I spread the batter to cover bottom evenly...and baked at 350' F for about 12 minutes. Since I have a convection oven...it was easy to bake many at one time. However, even with a conventional oven you can bake three at a time...and be all done in just over half an hour. Allow the cakes to cool before removing from pan. If you aren't using them right away...leave parchment in between layers...stack and wrap.

I cooked a double batch of raspberry curd...since I thought I would be needing more for the additional layers. I also added a little more whipped cream...

...and had far more filling than I could use. (If the raspberry curd seems a little too thin...add about a tablespoon of vanilla instant pudding powder and blend, before folding in the whipped cream.)

I spread a generous amount on each layer...

...and continued building my tower cake until I reached the top. Several hours before serving...I frosted the top and sides with whipping cream...piped on a little trim around the bottom...added a few fresh raspberries on top for the finishing touch (product of the USA, according to the package...where do they grow raspberries in March?).

Slice and serve to your favorite people. And don't worry too much about doing it at the last minute...since we are still thoroughly enjoying the cake several days later.

Baron of Beef

This is one of our family's favorite.
Often on Sundays we have lunch together with our family.
I'm always up, for trying everybody's favorite meals.
I love to find meals that I can prepare on Saturdays,
so that my work load is simple on Sundays.

When those little boys walk in and yell.
"Oma I'm Here!"
Everything get's dropped and big hugs are in place.
So I'm trying to avoid last minute prep..
Makes my life much simpler.
The recipe I'm about to post is from my cousin in Calgary.
This weekend I made Judy's delicious bread.
And I cooked up her Cream of Cauliflower Soup
I don't think this one has found it's way into the
MGCC Blog.....Check it out. It's a keeper.

And then I added Calgary Cousin's fresh

Baron of Beef

Sirloin Tip Roast
5 pounds
Rub with dry mustard/ onion soup mix
Put in oven to roast/add some water
Approximately 21/2 hours. (depending on the size)

Slice thinly.
I have this wonderful Braun machine,
which does an incredible job.

1 Cup Ketchup
1 Tbsp. Worchester Sauce
1/4 Cup Vinegar
1 Tbsp Brown sugar
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. celery salt
1 Tbsp minced onions
2 Tbsp. Soya Sauce

Blend this together and layer meat with sauce,
so that everything gets marinated.
Cook in oven for 1 hour at 350.
Cook a pot of rice and you have a hearty meal.

I love cooking in large quantities.
Usually someone needs an extra serving somewhere,
and why not, it's so simple to make a double batch.

Another meal to enjoy on a cold winter night.
When is Spring coming?

Monday, March 9, 2009


Lovella's Paska

There is no other recipe that has found me more friends than this one. Most of the girls who share this blog with me. ..found my personal blog by "googleing Paska". The recipe originated with my husbands Grandmother .. .but I made it simpler by utilizing my blender and thin peeling my citrus. 
The aroma just amazing .. from the time you blend the citrus . .until the last loaf has cooled.
You will need 4 or 5 loaf pans . .or you can free form little twists or use muffin tins. .. just adjust your baking time. ..watch the oven closely.

  • 2 tablespoons active dry yeast
  • 1 cup warm water
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  1. In a large bowl, put your yeast, sugar and warm water. Let sit 10 minutes. .if it hasn't poofed up . . either your yeast is old, or dead . ..if that happens, start again. There is no point in going on without nice poofy yeast.
  • 1 medium lemon
  • 1 medium orange
  1. Take your citrus and peel it very thin. I use a vegetable peeler. You don't want to use any of the white part of the peel. Put the thinly sliced peel in the blender.
  2. Once you have removed and discarded the white pith of the citrus.. .chop your lemon and orange . .removing all the seeds. Add the chopped lemon and orange to the blender.
  • 1 1/4 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup of real butter
  1. In a microwave safe bowl, heat the butter and milk until the butter melts. .or do it in a saucepan on the stove.
  2. Once it is melted .. .add it to the blender. Start the blender .. and begin to puree.
  • 2 large eggs
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  1. Start the blender on high and allow the citrus, peel and milk, butter mixture to run for about 2 or 3 minutes.
  2. Add the eggs, sugar and salt.
  3. Continue to run the blender for another minute or two until very smooth.
  4. Measure the milk/citrus and sugar mixture. . it should be about 4 1/2 cups. If you have a bit more or less that is fine. .you will just adjust the flour likewise.
  5. Pour the mixture, along with the yeast mixture into a large bowl .. or the bowl of your kitchen machine, which has a dough hook.
  6. Add flour. . .one cup at a time until you have a smooth soft dough .. .it will be sticky. I think about 7 cups of flour should be right. . but it will depend on the size of your eggs and the size of your lemon and orange. With a plastic bowl . .it is easy to tell when the dough has enough flour because it will stop sticking to the side of the bowl ..but with a metal bowl you really do need to stop the mixer often and touch your dough before adding additional flour. It really is best to stop the machine once it is getting close. . and knead the last bit of flour by hand. . .a little at a time until it is smooth. Do not add more than 7 1/2 cups flour. . allow it to remain sticky. If you measured the milk mixture and had 4 1/2 cups. .7 cups of flour will be enough. . .sticky but enough.
  7. The amount of flour is a guide. .if your dough is still super sticky add a little more flour a dusting at a time. Look at the picture in the collage of my dough .. .that is how it should look. It should be able to hold its shape. There will be several factors in how your dough could be different than mine, the flour you purchase or how you fill your cup of flour.  (I scoop and shake to level). It could be that you have slightly more liquid. Don't despair if you think it is still too sticky, slowly add a dusting more, turn the dough on the counter and knead until you are out of flour again and then give it another dusting and continue this way until it looks silky and is elastic.  (like mine in the picture).
  8. After kneading it by hand or with the machine for about 8 - 10 minutes, transfer to a large bowl, cover with plastic wrap, a tea towel and allow to rise until doubled. This should take about an hour. .to an hour and a half.
  9. At this point, give it a bit of a punch down and let rest at least 10 minutes or up to another hour.
  10. During this time prepare your pans. I spray mine with Pam. Make loaves and let rise until doubled in bulk .. .or about an hour to an hour and a half.
  11. Preheat the oven to 350 F. If you have a convection oven, set it at 325 F. Bake the loaves approximately 20 - 30 minutes depending on the size of your pans.
  12. Gently remove from pans and place on cooling racks.  Once they are completely cool,  put them in the freezer unless you are eating them the same day. 
Paska Icing
  • 1 cup of soft real butter
  • 4 pasteurized egg whites (young children, pregnant women and people with compromised immune systems should avoid raw egg whites)  I often  use egg white powder  and water.
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • enough icing sugar to make a soft icing. It will harden again in the fridge.
  1. Beat all together until light and smooth....and spread on each slice .. .and sprinkle with colored sugar.

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Lemony Poppy Seed Loaf

I found this recipe in a magazine a long time ago..it has a very lemony flavor and I love that! I'm sure this loaf would freeze well but I can't say that for sure as mine never made it till there.

1 3/4 cups flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp baking powder
2 tbsp poppy seeds
2 tbsp grated lemon zest
2/3 cup sugar
1/3 cup oil
1/3 cup applesauce
3/4 cup sour cream
1/4 cup lemon juice (approx 2 lemons)
3 egg whites

Glaze..1/2 cup icing(powdered) sugar and 1 tbsp lemon juice

Beat egg whites till soft peaks form and set aside.
In large bowl mix flour, poppy seeds,lemon zest, baking powder and baking soda.
In medium size bowl combine sugar, oil and applesauce. Whisk in lemon juice.
Stir this mixture into the flour mixture alternately with the sour cream.
Fold in beaten egg whites.
Pour into a greased 9x5" loaf pan and bake at 350 for 45 to 50 min or until toothpick inserted comes out clean.
Cool in pan for 10 min before removing to rack. Mix the glaze and pour over loaf. Cool, slice and serve!

Friday, March 6, 2009

Licorice Snaps

This cookie has an unusual flavour - licorice!
It's another recipe from my old Pillsbury Cookie book and has become a favourite in our family. It's a refrigerator cookie so it can be mixed ahead, and then it's simply a matter of slicing and baking
when you have the time.
They also keep very well - To store them, I usually make a stack of cookies, lay the stacks on their sides in a covered rubbermaid container. I seem to be able to get more into a container this way.

1 c. margarine, softened
1 cup sugar
1 c. brown sugar
1 egg
2 1/2 c. flour
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. cloves
1 Tbsp. whole anise seed
1/2 c. chopped pecans

Mix all ingredients, blending well. If you like, you can chop up the anise seed a bit with a knife first or use a mortar and pestle. I don't do this as we like the crunch of the whole seeds.)
Divide dough in half, shape into two 10 inch logs, smoothing and flattening the 4 sides to square the logs. Wrap in wax paper and chill for at least 4 hours.
Slice into 1/4" slices, place on ungreased cookie sheets.
Bake at 375 for 10-12 minutes - until just slightly brown around the edges.
Remove from pans and cool.