Thursday, April 30, 2009

Cookie Sheet Cherry Platz

My friend shared this recipe with me..once I tasted it I knew it was a keeper. It is a large recipe. Great to bring to gatherings or potlucks.

1 cup butter
1 1/2 cups white sugar
4 large eggs
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 tsp almond extract
3 cups flour
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1 can cherry pie filling (I used 1 1/2 cans..I like more filling but 1 can works fine too)

Cream together butter and sugar, add eggs and beat well. Add flavouring.
Stir in flour and baking powder and mix well.
Spread half of the batter into a greased 12 by 17" pan. (approx) Put pie filling over the base and then with a spoon drop the other half of the batter over the filling. This dough is fairly thick so it doesn't really spread well over the top, if you drop it by spoonfuls you get a pretty effect with the cherry pie filling peeking through.
Bake at 350 for 30 to 35 min. Top should be slightly golden in color.

While warm drizzle with icing.
1 cup icing(powdered) sugar
1 tsp lemon juice and enough hot water for drizzle consistency.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Dry Cottage Cheese Perishky with Rhubarb

The Mennonite Treasury of Recipes really is a wonderful place to find recipes. . .and I have so often overlooked recipes because they had no pictures. I was looking for a unique pastry recipe and I had some dry cottage cheese left from making my Paska spread at Easter. I found this pastry recipe that had been submitted by Miss E. Friesen of Winnipeg. I have changed it slightly and I smiled as I threw it all in the Cuisinart food processor. . .I'm quite sure she used a pastry blender. . in her day. The pastry recipe turned out light and crispy and quite delectable and I'll surely make Miss E. Friesens Cottage Cheese Pastry again.

Cottage Cheese Pastry
  • 2 cups flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 2 cups dry cottage cheese
  • 1 cup cold butter
  1. Combine the flour and the baking powder in your food processor or a large bowl.
  2. Add the dry cottage cheese and the finely cubed butter.
  3. Pulse in the food processor until finely crumbed .. .(when I looked at it I really didn't think it would stick together. . but I squeezed a tablespoon of crumbs and found that it held together well. If you are mixing without a food processor . . use a pastry blender or. . .I might even try the whisk on a kitchen machine. . .slowly. . don't make a mess. . . "
  4. Dump it out onto the counter and squeeze into a flat rectangular disk wrap in cling film and refrigerate while you prepare your fruit.

Rhubarb Filling

  • 5 cups finely chopped rhubarb
  • 1 1/2 cups white sugar
  • 2 tablespoons tapioca
  1. Mix together the rhubarb, sugar and tapioca.

Making the perishky or a tart or pie by the yard. . .

Once you have the dough chilled, Roll out a third at a time onto a floured counter top. Roll it as thin as for pie dough. . (look at the picture above. . and click on it to enlarge it if you need to) Roll it into a rectangle approximately 10 X 13. Cut the edges to make it straight leaving you with a 9 X 12 inch rectangle. Cut into 3 inch squares. To make the perishky. . .put a heaping teaspoon of rhubarb onto the square and fold together the opposite corners and pinch together. Bring up one of the remaining corners and pinch and then the last one. . and now. .seal with your fingertips . . all the seams. Lay down on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper.

You may also make a tart. .which I did with one of my third part portions of dough. . or you can simply roll the dough into a long rectangle. . .put it onto a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper. . and put your filling onto the center. . bringing up your sides and pinch them shut.

Depending on how long it takes you to put together your pastries. .there will be accumulated juice at the bottom of your rhubarb filling bowl. . leave that. . if you scoop that up with the rhubarb. . you'll have a messy drippy perishky.

Bake at 350F for about 20 minutes for the perishky and about 30 minutes for a small tart. The perishky will be nicely browned with they are baked through.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Potato Rolls

Some may wonder exactly how many different recipes we need for rolls or buns, but I like trying different recipes for anything bread-like, since I have to have some kind of rolls in my freezer at all times. You never know when you may have to make a meal stretch or pack a quick sandwich. In today’s economy just having some of the basics ready can be helpful.
I found this recipe in the Mennonite Treasury a few years ago and was quite pleased with the results. It’s a basic bun recipe that calls for mashed potatoes. The rolls are extremely fluffy and soft, (no crusts here) making them a nice dinner roll - to sop up the gravy or to have along with a bowl of chili.

Ingredients

1 large or 2 med potatoes cooked, plus water
3/4 c milk, scalded
1/4 c sugar
3/4 c shortening (I used part butter)
2 tsp salt
5 eggs, beaten
8 cups flour, divided
2 Tbsp instant yeast

Method

Cook potatoes until soft. Mash along with about 1 cup of the water, so that you have 2 cups of mashed potatoes. Set aside.
Scald milk, add sugar, shortening/butter and salt. In the meantime beat eggs in large mixer. When the shortening/butter has melted, make sure it is not piping hot and add the liquids slowly to the beaten eggs. Add mashed potatoes, 3 c flour and then the yeast, mixing well.
Add another 4 - 5 c flour, or enough to make a soft, smooth dough. (If you don’t have a hook attachment on you large mixer, you will need to knead it by hand until satiny smooth.)
Transfer dough to large bowl, cover with clean tea towel and plastic and let rise 1 hour.



Shape into rolls, placing close together, but not touching, on greased pans.
Cover the same way as before and rise again 1 hour.
Bake at 375F for about 20 min.
Remove from pans and cool on wire racks. Yield: 3 dozen
*Tip: I don't know where the right place is to mention this, but I have noticed that flour is not the same in every country. It's something to do with the way its processed. This can especially affect yeast doughs. If you live in the US you may try adding 1 or 2 Tbsp of vital wheat gluten to the flour if you find they go rather flat.

Monday, April 27, 2009

Taco Dip

Sunday is a day we love to get together as a family. One never knows how many will be home, so generally I make a large meal so we can have left overs.
This week I have chosen a family favorite that I collected years ago from a good friend, Hilda who is always fixing a large meal for her family and grandchildren. She has used this as a staple for years, especially on Sunday's as it is easy to prepare in advance and one is not scurrying in the kitchen. Thank you Hilda. I love this recipe and it's so easy to freeze and take on a family ski vacation or camping trip. I can guarantee there will not be many left overs.


Taco Dip
  • 2 lbs. hamburger - browned and drained
  • 1 Cup Salsa
  • 1/2 C. taco seasoning
  • 1 C. sour cream
  • 1 or 2 tomatoes chopped up
  • 1 or 2 onion greens chopped
  • 1 C grated cheddar cheese
Method
  1. Brown hamburger and drain.
  2. Add Salsa and taco seasoning.
  3. Simmer on low heat for 5 minutes.
  4. Scoop mixture into casserole bowl.
  5. Spread sour cream over meat mixture.
  6. Add chopped tomatoes and green onions
  7. Then sprinkle cheddar cheese on top.
  8. Bake at 350 degrees for 30-40 minutes.

I added the recipe of Judy's Riverwalk Guacamole as a complimentary side dish. Yummy!
Don't forget to add a large bowl of tacos. I usually dish a scoop of sauce in their dishes while they smother the sauce with the nacho chips.
Often I will add a fresh salad, but today I added a loaf of fresh bread with peanut butter and honey (for the little man) and a fresh fruit platter.
At the end of the meal my eldest son, leaned over and said, "Mom, you know that this is my favorite meal." Unfortunately today there were no leftovers.
I was hoping to stay out of the kitchen this week, and enjoy gardening outdoors instead...

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Strawberry Spinach Salad

"The greatest discovery of my generation is that a human being can alter his life by altering his attitude."
WILLIAM JAMES


There are many wonderful recipes for a Spinach and Strawberry Salad, some with a Creamy Poppyseed Dressing and Oil and Vinegar Dressing. This recipe has a refreshing oil and vinegar dressing that our family loves. I got the recipe from a school fundraiser book, submitted by Cheryl M. This makes lots of dressing for more than one salad and will keep for a couple of weeks in the fridge.

Oh yes very important. If you are buying Strawberries with a recipe in mind, mark DO NOT EAT on it.......if your family eats some, a can of mandarine oranges work really well too.


SALAD:Use as much prewashed spinach that is needed.
Strawberries, sliced. The more the better.
Green Onions or slivered Red Onion
Toasted nuts, we like almond or Pine nuts (optional, this time due to allergies, we omitted)

DRESSING:
Combine ingredients in a jar with a tight fitting lid
1/2 cup oil (may use olive)
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
1/4 cup sugar
2 tsp. sesame seed
1 tsp. poppy seed
1/2 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
1/2 tsp. Paprika

Shake very well, until sugar dissolves and is well combined.
Dress immediatly before serving or the salad will get soggy.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Savoury Pot Roast with Roasted Vegetables

This roast's flavour comes from the delicious, full flavoured gravy. You could also make it in a slowcooker and have a great meal ready at the end of the day.
1 3-4 lb. pot roast
Salt
1 Tbsp. cooking oil
¼ cup ketchup
2 Tbsp. Soya sauce
2 Tbsp. Worcestershire sauce
1 tsp. dried rosemary crushed
½ tsp. dry mustard
¼ cup red wine vinegar
2 cloves garlic minced
¼ - ½ cup water
1 Tbsp. brown sugar
In Dutch oven, on top of stove, brown meat slowly on both sides in hot oil. Remove from heat. Drain off fat and sprinkle roast with a little salt.

Combine remaining ingredients and pour over roast. Return to heat.
Cover tightly and simmer 1 ¾ -2 hours or until meat is tender.
Transfer meat to serving platter,loosely cover with foil and let stand while you make the gravy.
Skim off excess fat and heat pan juices to a slow simmer, scraping down all the brown bits with a spatula.
Mix 1 Tbsp. cornstarch with ¼ cup water and 1 Tbsp. brown sugar until blended.
Pour slowly, a little at a time into pan juices stirring constantly, adding only as much as needed to make a nice smooth gravy. Bring to a slow boil.
Remove from heat and serve with sliced roast and roasted vegetables.
Roasted Vegetables
About 1/2 hour before the meat is done, turn oven on to 425 degrees C.
Cover a large baking pan with parchment paper, if desired.
Peel carrots and potatoes. Try to keep the pieces of somewhat uniform size.
In a bowl, combine:
2 Tbsp. oil,
Kosher salt as desired,
1 clove garlic, minced
freshly ground pepper
Toss vegetables in oil mixture and lay out on prepared pan.
Roast in prepared oven for 15- 20 minutes or until vegetables are browned and tender.

Friday, April 24, 2009

Lemon Cream Sponge Cake

"A loving heart is the truest wisdom."
Charles Dickens




This recipe came from a community church cookbook from St. Catherines Mennonite Church and the recipe contributor was Betty P. I have changed things a wee bit with the sugared almonds and making the filling from a mix. I will post the recipe with the Lemon Filling, but a Lemon Pie Filling mix works just fine too.

Hot Milk Sponge Cake

2 eggs
1 cup sugar
1 cup flour sifted with
2 tsp. baking powder and
1/4 tsp. salt
1/3 cup of hot milk
2 tbsp. butter melted in the milk
1 tbsp. lemon juice

  1. Beat eggs till foamy, add sugar gradually, beat til thick and lemony.
  2. Fold in sifted dry ingredients. Add lemon juice.
  3. Gently stir in the milk and melted butter.
  4. Bake in two greased 8" pans at 375 for about 20 minutes or til golden brown.
  5. Leave in pan for five minutes and then cool on a cooling rack.
  6. Slice each layer in half
  7. Put lemon filling between layers and dust with icing sugar, or decorate it with whipped cream.

Lemon Filling

2 1/2 tbsp. corn starch
1/2 cup white sugar
3/4 cup boiling water
1 egg, beaten
3 tbsp. lemon juice
1 tsp. grated lemon rind
1 tsp butter

  1. In a double boiler, blend together corn starch and sugar, add boiling water, stirring all the time, until it is clear, about 10 minutes.
  2. Beat egg, lemon juice and rind. Stir into the cornstarch mixture.
  3. Cook 3 minutes. Beat in butter. Cool.
    Or just make your favorite Lemon Pie filling.

Whipped Cream icing
2 cups whip cream, whipped and sweetened to taste.
I add a stabilizer for this cake called "Whip-It by Dr. Oetker. It just helps to keep the whipping cream firm for decorating. Two packages are enough for 2 cups of whipping cream.
Take 1/2 cup of whipped cream and add it to the cooled Lemon filling.
Layer Lemon between all the layers
Decorate the cake with the remaining whipped cream and sprinkle with sugared almonds, around the edges.



Sugared Almonds
1 cup of slivered almonds
2 tbsp. sugar.

Gently stir over medium heat till sugar melts and caramelizes over the almonds
Cool and sprinkle around the cake.
(this is not a high rising cake, so don't worry if the volume isn't what you are used too)

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Simply Artichokes!


Everyone at our house loves artichokes. I'm sharing our simple way of cooking and enjoying them anytime.
First find nice firm artichokes. Cut the stem off so you have a flat base. Cut the top say up to 1/2 to 1 inch straight across. Snip each leaf at the top to get rid of the sharp prickly part. Rinse really well and lay upside down with some of the liquid in a microwavable dish. Cover the dish and microwave on high for approx. 5 minutes for one. I did these for 10 minutes for the two and they were perfect.

Put the artichoke on any plate (be careful it will be very hot) Aren’t these artichoke plates Springy looking that I got from Goodwill for cheap?! Next choose your dip of choice. Dear likes mayonnaise, I like Ranch Dressing, the rest of my family likes Italian dressing. Put a little on the plate in the nifty section made just for it. Peel off one leaf at a time and dip the end that was most connected then scrap off the goodness with your teeth. (I love that soft focus you can fix photos with cuz now you can’t see all my wrinkles on this close up of me with the leaf) As you get farther into the center the leaves are more delicate and you can scrap off more goodness to eat, or even eat the whole leaf except for there always seems to be a little prickly part you need to avoid. Now here’s why they call it a Artichoke (maybe)…


See that fuzzy feathery part of the choke. This is the part you need to discard because you will probably choke on it. We use a spoon to scrape off all the fuzziness to get to the very best part the heart of the artichoke, you’ll need to apply a little pressure to remove the fuzzies from the heart but be careful not to scrape away the heart. After scrapping off the fuzz, sometimes I even rinse this part off to make sure I got rid of all the fuzzies, yep I’m a little paranoid that way. Now you can eat the heart and it’s solid artichoke yumminess. Make sure you add a little more dip if you got low in the eating process at this point :0) This is a fun appetizer that we always enjoy at our house!

Key Lime Pie

I was recently on a Caribbean cruise...and for those of you who have cruised before...you know that the food is amazing! There were far too many options...and no way I could sample everything. But I did the next best thing...and came home with the Royal Caribbean International Cookbook...Savor. In it are many of the delicious dishes that I enjoyed...and others that I intend to cook up in my own kitchen.


I couldn't wait to try their recipe for key lime pie...since I had so enjoyed it on the cruise. It's really very simple...and even more so if you use a ready-made pie crust.

Key Lime Pie
  • 1 cup (250 ml) sweetened condensed milk
  • 5 egg yolks
  • 1/2 cup (120 ml) freshly squeezed lime juice
  • 1 (9 inch or 23 cm) pie shell, pre-baked
Garnish:
  • 1/2 cup (120 ml) whipping cream
  • lime zest
  • freshly cut lime slices

Method:

  1. Preheat oven to 350° F.
  2. Place condensed milk in mixing bowl, and beat at low speed, adding egg yolks one at a time.
  3. Add lime juice, and mix thoroughly.
  4. Place mixture in pre-baked pie shell.
  5. Bake for 15 minutes or until skewer inserted comes out clean.
  6. Let cool and refrigerate for 2 hours.
  7. Whip cream...sweeten to taste.
  8. Top pie with whipped cream and lime zest.
  9. Serve on chilled plates.
  10. Garnish with lime slices.
  11. Serves 10.


Culinary Notes:
It is a well known fact that the Key lime is indigenous to Florida and the "key" ingredient for the state's popular Key lime pie. Forced to substitute condensed milk for fresh--which was scarce before the arrival of the railroad in 1912--cooks discovered that the chemical intervention between the condensed milk and the Key lime actually "cooked" the pie without baking it. (excerpt from cookbook)

Enjoy!

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Cold Oven Pound Cake with Strawberry filling

There is a Pound Cake recipe in every cookbook. . .and basically. . there is nothing new under the sun. I have tested several different pound cake recipes in search for an "easy as a cake mix" and into the oven.

The method I use is slightly different. .and simpler than the classic creaming of the butter and sugar. The pound cake itself can be used for a variety of uses. .and it works well with berry season. The Strawberries from California are plenty in the stores now. . and you don't have to make a slice cake like I have shown. . you can simply serve a slice of pound cake with sliced strawberries and whipped cream.

Cold Oven Pound Cake

Ingredients
  • 1 cup hot melted butter
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 4 large room temperature farm fresh eggs
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 1 1/2 cups cake and pastry flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder

Method

  1. Sift the flour, salt and baking powder onto a piece of waxed paper or a large bowl.

  2. In a blender or preferably food processor. . combine the sugar and the eggs and vanilla. .process one minute.

  3. Slowly in a steady stream. .pour the melted cooled butter through the tube. Process until combined.

  4. Put the wet ingredients into a larger bowl. .and add the flour .. a third at a time. .blending t with a whisk. .. . until all the flour is combined.

  5. Prepare one 9 X 5 loaf pans or 3 small loaf pans.

  6. Spread the batter evenly in the pans.

  7. Place in COLD oven.

  8. Turn oven to 325 F.

  9. Bake the the larger pan for 45 minutes . . then check with a toothpick ..the toothpick should have a lingering crumb or two. If it isn't quite there. . check it again after five minutes. . The smaller loaf pans. . check after 30 minutes and then every five minutes after. If you bake them too long. .they will be dry. .

  10. Remove from pans to cooling rack while still warm.

Strawberry Filling


Ingredients

  • 1 pound . . 2 1/2 cups sliced or diced washed strawberries. .California strawberries won't really break down. . so consider how large you want them in the filling.
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  1. Combine the cornstarch and sugar.

  2. Put the prepared strawberries in a medium saucepan.

  3. Add the cornstarch and sugar.

  4. Turn to medium high heat and stir constantly until hot and bubbly and thickened. . .about 3 - 4 minutes.

  5. Remove from heat. . pour into a large shallow bowl to cool completely before constructing your strawberry slice cake.

Making the Strawberry Slice Cake (serves 8)



  1. Slice your cooled Loaf pan baked Pound cake into 4 layers. . .the top rounded edge is reserved for snacking or another use. You will use 3 flat layers for this cake.

  2. Whip 1 cups whipping cream combined with one package whipping cream stabilizer (the stabilizer is important since the cake will be refrigerated overnight) and 2 tablespoons sugar. Set aside.

  3. Line the loaf pan with plastic wrap with sides hanging over to remove the cake later.

  4. Divide the strawberry filling over each pound cake layer.

  5. Put the first layer in the loaf pan and put 1/3 of the whipped cream on top.

  6. Repeat. . but on the last layer. .put the remainder of the whipping cream in a decorator bag and use a star tip to decorate the top as you wish.

  7. Freeze until just firm. . .and then slice and refrigerate. Cutting while slightly frozen gives nice neat slices. If you try to slice it without freezing. . you will get the classic. . .mess.

This cake is a perfect make ahead cake. .just freeze until the day you want to serve it. .take it out in the morning. . slice it. . and keep refrigerated until a half hour before serving.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Crab Cakes


This is a dish you can make when you don't have any meat out for supper.
Serve them with a salad or as a first course at a dinner party.
I have doubled and tripled the recipe and it always turns out great.
I clipped the recipe from a magazine years ago and have tweaked it a bit over the years.


1 6 oz. can of crabmeat, drained and flaked, 0r 1 6 oz. pkg. fresh or frozen lump crabmeat, thawed and drained
1 egg slightly beaten
6 Tbsp. fine dry bread crumbs, divided (regular or Panko crumbs)
2 Tbsp. finely chopped carrot
2 Tbsp. finely chopped celery
1 Tbsp. finely chopped red pepper
1 Tbsp. finely chopped green onion (green part only)
2 Tbsp. mayonnaise
3/4 tsp. dry mustard
Salt to taste
1/4 tsp. bottled hot pepper sauce
2 Tbsp. olive oil

Drain crabmeat.
In a medium mixing bowl, combine egg, 4 Tbsp. of bread crumbs, carrot celery, onion, mayonnaise, dry mustard, salt and hot pepper sauce.
Gently stir in crabmeat just until combined.
With wet hands, gently shape mixture into four ½ inch thick patties . Or you can make them smaller if serving as an appetizer. Mixture will be a bit crumbly.
Pace remaining bread crumbs in a shallow bowl and gently coat both sides of each crab cake.
In a large skillet, heat oil over medium heat.
Add crab cakes.
Cook about 3 minutes on each side or until golden brow and heated through.
Serve immediately with lemon wedges, if desired and Tartar Sauce.

Tartar Sauce
In a small bowl, stir together:
1/2 cup mayonnaise, 1 Tbsp. chopped celery leaves,
1 Tbsp. sweet or dill pickle relish,
1 Tbsp. chopped green onion
1/2 tsp. prepared mustard
1/4 tsp. celery salt.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Beaver Tails/Fry Bread

'Beaver tails' originated in Ottawa..google it to get the story...they are simply pieces of bun or bread dough shaped some what to resemble beaver tails, then deep fried and shaken up in a mixture of white sugar and cinnamon. I have tried a 'beaver tail recipe' which I found online but I still like the ones best that are made from plain bun dough.

Just take a piece of bun dough the size you like, put it on an oiled surface..I do this right on the counter top, press down and stretch it out with your fingers till you have a fairly flat shape of a beaver tail of course. You don't need to let it rise again but can let it rest for a few minutes if you wish. Deep fry and shake up in a bag with the sugar and cinnamon mixture. These are best fresh and hot! Be sure to leave some plain to have with syrup or honey.

My Mom used to make these on bread or bun baking day for a treat...called them 'lada koki' and later my family called them fry bread. We didn't put sugar/cinnamon on them but rather ate them with Roger's Golden syrup. In those days we didn't know that they would one day become popular as 'beaver tails'.
Check this blog for bun recipes and when you next have bread or bun dough rising try them and tell me what you think!

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Eesy-Cheesy Buns - Gluten-free


These buns are a quick and easy one-bowl prep.
They taste great fresh or toasted the next day.

Ingredients :

1 egg
2 tbsp butter
1/4 cup milk
1/2 cup grated cheddar cheese
1/4 tsp salt ( or leave out)
3/4 cup gluten-free Bread/Bun Mix (my favorite is Kinnikinnick's Kinni-Kwick Bread/Bun mix)


Method:

In small mixing bowl, melt the butter in the milk in the microwave - cool to lukewarm.
Wisk in the egg..
Stir in the grated cheese
With spoon beat in the flour until batter is perfectly smooth


Divide batter into 6 muffin tins.... and bake in 375' oven for about 20 minutes or until the buns are golden brown.

Note - if substituting your own flour mix for a commercial bread/bun mix that has leavening already in it ... add 2 tsp of baking powder

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Cabbage Rolls

Cabbage roll recipes are a little like cake recipes. . everyone has a little different way of making them. . I wanted to share mine. . more for the handy hint about the cabbage. .but since I'm telling you that secret. .you may as well have the rest. Consider that you will take 2 days to make these. . .plan ahead for family gatherings. . .it is wonderful to pull them out of the refrigerator to warm up.

Cabbage Rolls
  • 1 large savoy cabbage
  • 2 pounds lean ground beef
  • 2 medium to large onions
  • 2 tablespoons canola or olive oil .. or even butter is fine
  • 1 cup white or brown rice. . . and 2 cups water
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 teaspoon pepper
  • 2 cans tomato soup
  • 2 small bottles (individual serving sizes) tomato juice or vegetable cocktail . .like V8
  • 1 can or small carton chicken broth
  1. In the bag that you brought your savoy cabbage home. . .place the cabbage in the freezer and leave for 12 hours or overnight.. . .remove and leave to thaw at room temperature. .this will take awhile. . so I often take it the night before the day I want to make the cabbage rolls. The leaves will be soft and easy to use without having to boil them.
  2. In a small saucepan or a microwave safe covered dish. . .cook the rice. . set aside to cool. The rice can be made the day ahead and kept chilled in the refrigerator overnight.
  3. Chop the onions fine and saute them slowly until they are golden brown. . .set aside to cool.
  4. In a large bowl, break apart the ground beef, add the salt, pepper, eggs, sauteed onions and the rice. . mix together until combined. . use your hands.
  5. Remove the leaves from the cabbage, cutting away the tough part closest to the core.
  6. Spray your large casserole or two small casserole dishes with cooking spray.
  7. Put about a 1/3 to 1/2 cup meat mixture at the bottom of the leaf and roll up. . the meat amount varies depending on the size of the leaf. . repeat until all the meat is used up.
  8. In a large mixing bowl. . .combine the tomato soup, juice, and broth. . pour evenly over the cabbage rolls. Cover with foil. . or the lid.
  9. Bake the cabbage rolls slowly at 325 for two hours. . serve or cool on the counter. .remove the foil (if you don't. . you will have little bits of foil on your cabbage rolls where ever it touches. .) cover with plastic wrap. .and either refrigerate or freeze.
  10. For reheating . .thaw first if frozen . .remove the plastic wrap and cover with a lid or foil. . and just reheat in the oven. . for about an hour .. at 325. . . or if you want, they can be reheated beautifully in the microwave on sensor reheat.

Friday, April 17, 2009

Greek Lemon Roasted Potatoes

"Strange to see how a good dinner and feasting reconciles everybody"
SAMUEL PEPYS
Our family loves the flavours of lemon and the Mediterranean or Greek food.
I have tried a few variations of recipes for lemon potatoes that I have come across, but this is what I have finally tweaked together from a variety of ideas. Make sure you make lots when you have company, it disappears fast. If you try it I hope you enjoy it as much as we do.


6 large potatoes cut into wedges (peeled is optional)
1/4 c. olive oil
1/4 c. lemon juice (more or less depending on taste, freshly squeezed is always best)
1 tbsp chicken bouillon dissolved in
1/4 c. water
2 tsp dried oregano
2 garlic cloves pressed (or garlic powder to taste)

Peel and cut potatoes. (When I makes a big batch I omit the peeling).
Place in a 9x13 pan combine remaining ingredients together and pour over potatoes stirring well to coat ever piece.
Bake at 425 for 1 hour. You may cover them for the first half hour. Stir every 20 minutes or so.
I personally don't cover them because I like the crisp edge, but that is an individual choice.
Also my oven is a little hot and I find that they are done in about 40-45 minutes depending on how big the potatoes are.
Go ahead, squeeze just a little more fresh lemon juice on if the flavor isn't intense enough.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Chocolate Meringue Pie

For some, the idea of chocolate meringue may be new but I was introduced to it long before I had lemon meringue. This was a family favorite when I was growing up and my mom made it almost every Saturday in a large cookie sheet, so that there’d be enough for company the next day.
I suggest using the homemade pudding recipe because it’s a milder version of the Jell-O pkgs and goes better (in my opinion) with the meringue.

Pie Pastry: (use this or crust of your choice)
1 2/3 c flour
3/4 tsp salt
2/3 c shortening
4 Tbsp cold water

Combine flour and salt in medium sized mixing bowl. Cut shortening into flour with pastry blender until pieces are the size of large peas. Sprinkle with water and stir with fork, in circular motion, until mixture forms a ball - just barely holds together.
Divide in half. Turn out on floured surface, pat and shape with hands into circular
shape, then roll out to fit 9” pie plates. Prick crusts. Freeze one and bake one until just golden, about 12 – 15 minutes.


Chocolate Pudding filling:
2 1/4 cups milk, divided
1/4 cup cornstarch
1/4 cup Nestle Nesquik chocolate milk mix powder
1 rounded Tbsp unsweetened baking cocoa
2 Tbsp sugar
3 egg yolks

In a small pot, heat 1 1/4 cup of the milk (med heat) and bring to boil.
As you’re watching this, mix the cornstarch, chocolate and sugar in a small bowl.
Add a little of the 1 c milk, stir in the egg yolks and then the rest of the milk.
With whisk, add this mixture to the milk just as it comes to a boil and stir until it thickens and begins to bubble. It may get lumps, but just keep stirring; it gets smooth after a minute.
Pour into baked pie shell. Beat 3 egg whites with 4 Tbsp sugar, until shiny and thick.
If you overbeat it, it will be harder to get a nice finish. Spread over pudding. To get little peaks, just touch the top with a spoon and lift. Bake at 400F for 7 min or until golden. Cool before serving. Keeps well in fridge for several days.

enjoy!
A hint to remember - heat serrated knife well (under hot running water) before cutting up the pie. It works well to keep the meringue from sticking to the knife. May have to repeat in between slicing.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Salmon Cakes

This recipe comes to me from my friends...."B" and "C" who welcome me into their home every week.
"B" shares her home cooking with me and I have had many a great recipe from her. She knows that these are one of my favorites and makes it for me when we celebrate something special.
B serves them with a curry mango dip, but they are great on their own as well.
They are never exactly the same as the last time because she varies it with what she has on hand. However this is the base recipe and I hope that you enjoy these as much as we do.

Start with
2- 7 oz cans of Salmon or Tuna drained, remove bones
1/2 c. bread crumbs (she uses about a cup or so of mashed potatoes since they follow a gluten free diet) I have even used left over stuffing if I have it
2-3 chopped green onions
1 t. dill weed or 1 T. fresh dill
1 or 2 T. lemon juice
1 egg
2 T. mayonnaise
salt and pepper to taste.
1 c. grated cheese (optional)
You can add so many things to change up the flavors, like finely chopped red pepper, chopped parsley, thyme, etc........with your imagination it can keep the flavours interesting.
Mix together well and form into little patties. Brown in a Teflon frying pan with about one tablespoon olive oil. About 3-4 minutes per side. If you make them burger size they make a good patty on a bun. A very nice change from a regular hamburger.
My family really likes these and they are a nice change, I hope you like them too.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Riverwalk Guacamole

One of the most famous attractions of Texas is the Riverwalk in San Antonio. It's a great place to stroll...take a riverboat cruise...and there are restaurants galore to pick from. We just returned from a visit to Texas...and a wonderful time on the Riverwalk...and memories of the guacamole will live on!

We walked by a Bistro where they were making fresh guacamole at the table...and before long we found ourselves sitting at one of their tables. Who can resist? We ordered a 'guacamole-for-two' salad...prepared right at the table. It was good to the last lick...and I would have liked to order another...and another! But instead I had the server explain exactly what she was doing...and have already enjoyed my copycat guacamole at home.

Ingredients:
  • Juice of 1/2 of an orange
  • Juice of 1 a lime
  • 2 avocado ...pitted and scooped out of skin
  • 1 small Roma tomato...diced
  • 2 Tblsp diced red onions
  • 1 Tblsp chopped cilantro...or to taste
  • 1 teaspoon coarsely ground sea salt

Directions:

Squeeze juices into bowl.

Add avocado and coarsely chop.

Add onions, chopped tomato,and cilantro...fold into avocado mixture.

Add salt.

Result should be crudely chopped not mashed.


That’s it. I think the key is to getting avacado that is at it's peak...it should be a little dark-skinned and somewhat soft when squeezed.

I posted some photos of the 'real thing' over at My Front Porch today, if you want to take a peek. A cast iron bowl for presentation would be nice...but the taste is the same. Enjoy!

Monday, April 13, 2009

Kartoffelpuffer----Potato Pancakes

We used to have a little neighbourhood restaurant that served Ukrainian food. My friend and I used to go there on occasion and she ALWAYS had Potato Pancakes. Sadly the restaurant has moved.
It was her birthday and I invited her for breakfast..........I offered to make her anything her heart desired........what did she ask for, yup you guessed it Potatoes Pancakes.........this is for you darlin'.....you know who you are. Happy Birthday!!!!!















5 medium potatoes peeled and grated

1 small onion finely chopped or grated

1 egg

1/4 c. flour

salt and pepper to taste

a squeeze of fresh lemon

Put all the shredded potatoes in a cheese cloth or dish towel and squeeze as much liquid out of them as possible.
Mix together with the remaining ingredients.
Use a Teflon pan so that you don't need as much oil. Take about a 1/4 c. of the potato mixture and brown about 3-4 minutes on each side over medium heat.
Serve with sour cream, ketchup..........or applesauce. Good on its on or as a side dish.
You can see in the pan you really don't need much oil, just make sure your pan is hot enough.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Banana Bread

I found this recipe (submitted by Mary Braun) in the Mennonite Treasury, listed under Banana Cake, when I was still closer to being a newly wed. Over the years I have tried different recipes, all good, but somehow always come back to this very simple loaf, a favorite of one of my daughter’s. So I guess it deserves a spot on this blog. If you compare the recipes, you will notice that I have reduced the sugar and added orange juice, but it is great the original way too.

Ingredients:
1 cup mashed bananas (about 3 med)
2-3 Tbsp frozen orange juice concentrate
¾ cup white sugar
½ cup butter or margarine
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla
1 tsp soda
2 tsp baking powder
2 cups flour
4 Tbsp buttermilk, yogurt or sour cream

Grease and flour 2 small loaf pans. Mash bananas and mix with orange concentrate. Set aside. Cream butter, adding sugar gradually. Add eggs, banana pulp and vanilla. Stir in combined dry ingredients, alternately with buttermilk. Pour into prepared pans and bake at 350F about 40 min. or until toothpick comes out clean. The original suggestion is to serve it with whipped cream, but you don’t need a thing on it when it’s fresh. Freezes well.

Friday, April 10, 2009

Stuffed Chicken Breasts in Puff Pastry


Our daughter made this wonderful meal for us and I had to have the recipe. The original recipe is from one of Jamie Oliver's cookbooks. He calls the recipe "My old man's superb chicken." I chuckled at the name, but thought I'd give it a new name for here at MGCC....although I do think that any man would really think this was superb!
4 boneless skinless chicken breasts
1 397 gram box puff pastry (I used tender flake brand)
2 cups mushrooms finely chopped
1/2 cup chopped fresh flat leaf parsley
1 1/2 tbsp olive oil
2 cloves minced garlic
1/2 tsp salt
3 grind of fresh pepper
To begin, if your puff pastry is frozen, thaw according to directions on the box.
In a non stick pan heat olive oil over medium heat. Saute chopped mushrooms and garlic for 5 minutes. Add the freshly chopped parsley, salt and pepper and continue to saute for about 8-10 minutes. Cool completely.
Score Chicken breasts with a sharp knife making a pocket. Once the mushroom mixture has cooled, fill all 4 chicken breast pockets.
Using a little dusting of flour and a rolling pin, roll each puff pastry 'block' 18"x8" and 1/4" thick. Cut down the middle of each sheet, making a total of 4, 4"x18" strips.
Place one stuffed breast at the bottom of one of the stripes of pastry. Starting at one corner roll so that the pastry overlaps, encasing the whole breast. Roll all breasts and place on a parchment lines baking sheet.
Beat one egg and brush the outsides of each roll. Bake in 400 oven for 35-40 minutes. Pastry should be golden brown and flaky.
While chicken is baking begin the mustard and wine sauce. You may want to double this it is so delicious.
Mustard & Wine Sauce
2 heaping tbsp whole grain mustard
1 1/2 cups white wine (you can use cooking wine)
Combine both ingredients in a non stick sauce pan. Over medium heat allow the wine to reduce by about 1/4. Turn to simmer and add 1/2 cup cream. Allow to simmer for about 10-15 minutes. Season with salt and fresh pepper to taste.

Streusel Apple Pie






This recipe comes from my friend/cousin Marlene. Now that is one Mennonite girl that can cook!


Line a 9 or 10" pie pan with you favorite pastry.....plenty to choose from this site.
FILLING:
5 1/2 cups peeled and sliced apples,
I used what ever happens to be in the freezer that I have gotten from peoples trees like crab apples or others. When that is gone I use Granny Smith, or what ever happens to be on sale. You see this recipe is very flexible.
1 tbsp. lemon juice
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 brown sugar
3 tbsp. flour
1/4 t. salt
1/2 t.cinnamon
1/4 t. nutmeg
Combine all ingredients and place into a pastry lined pie pan.
TOPPING:
3/4 c. flour
1/4 c. sugar
1/4 c. brown sugar
1/3 c. cold butter
Grate the cold butter into flour mixture to make coarse crumbs. Sprinkle over fruit. (This time I added just a little bit of oats but it is not in the recipe.)
Bake @ 375 for 50 minutes.
Serve warm with vanilla ice cream or whipped cream.........

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Frankfurter Kranz

Does this look like a flop or what?
Most of us women live fast paced lives and we're always multi-tasking.
Not ALL Menno girls can cook up every meal perfectly in just a few seconds.
But what do we do when something flops?

Tanta Rued (Ruth) makes this in Calgary and I thought it was simple enough to whip up.
This was a treasured recipe of my husbands mother.
But now it's time to give our readers the true facts.....
This torte is called Frankfurter Kranz. It's a German cake and it is delicious.

Just so you know I've tried this recipe three times and it keeps flopping.
I can't just huck it out, but being somewhat frugal I tried to piece the thing together.

Bake a simple sponge cake and yes, you can bake this in a round pan, but I prefer to use the loaf pan so that I can cut it into slices and freeze it.

Wow, as you can see the whole thing flopped....So much work and yet that's my second try.
I'm not impressed.
But somehow I served it to my family and they approved....meanwhile I'm foot stompin' because this does not taste or look like Tanta Rued's. (Ruth)
So I'm on the phone....

I invited Martha Stewart (my cousin, Frieda) for a lesson on cake baking...

Frankfurter Kranz
  • Make your simple sponge cake recipe, or buy a cake mix.
  • Remember to turn the cake upside down to cool.
  • Slice cake into three layers.
  • Whip two two cups of whipping cream and add 2 Tbsp. instant vanilla pudding.
  • Spread first layer with whip cream mixture.
  • Spread middle layer with tart raspberry jam.
  • Spread remaining whip cream mixture over the entire cake.
  • Spread burnt almond over the entire cake.
Burnt Almond Mixture
  • Now the real secret to this cake is working the the almond mixture.
  • 2 Cups white almonds (no skins) Put into hot water for 1 minute, only so that when you chop the nuts the crumbs don't fly all over the place. Don't chop to fine, but evenly.
  • Add 2 Cups sugar.
  • Stir slowly in frying pan at med-high heat, until all the sugar caramelizes and turns brown.
  • I rotated the heat from med to me-high over the next 45 minutes.
  • It needs to be done slowly, otherwise the sugar will not caramelize.
  • This process is what makes the cake special and as you can see, it takes.....TIME.
  • I had enough nuts left over to make another cake for a later time. I just froze them.

We sliced the cake and assembled it with raspberry jam and whipping cream.
Ooops! I think I see 4 layers...

She then showed me how to take the burnt almond nuts and distribute them evenly.
It's always fun to cook with someone else. You learn so many life lessons.
"Marg, learn to buy cake mixes rather than thinking you need to do everything from scratch....The results are the same and no one knows."

Voila!
The cake was completed and devoured instantly as my husband's family ramped and raved that they had not had this Torte since their Mother passed away 25 years ago.
Mission accomplished and You too, can do it.
Just keep working at it and call for help.
Thanks Frieda for coming alongside.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Caramel Peach Pull-Aparts

Discover a sweet caramel peach flavour in this moist, sticky pull-apart. All you need is a cup of tea or coffee. Mmmmm!










I made this recipe for our bible study out of sheer frustration, because plan A of what I was planning on making flopped big time, so I went back to an old stand by. This is a tried and true recipe and every time I serve it I am asked for the recipe....so I thought I would share it will all of you. It comes from the Company's Coming cookbooks....."Baking Simple to Sensational". I just love this book and perhaps I will share more recipes that we enjoy from it.

2 c. flour
1 tbsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 tsp. ginger
1/4 tsp. salt
1/8 tsp. nutmeg
1/3 c. cold butter , cut up (I grate frozen butter it works great)
1/2 c. milk, (approximately)
1/3 c. brown sugar, packed
1/4 tsp. cinnamon
14 oz cans of sliced peaches, drained and chopped

Caramel Sauce
1/2 c. packed brown sugar
1/4 c. butter or hard margarine
1/4c. whipping cream
Toasted chopped almonds or pistachios, optional

Combine first 6 ingredients in large bowl. Cut in butter until mixture resembles coarse crumbs.
Stir, adding enough milk until soft dough forms and hold together. Turn out onto lightly floured surface. Knead gently 4-5 times until dough comes together. Roll out on waxed paper on dampened work surface to about 8x15 rectangle.
Combine brown sugar and cinnamon, sprinkle over dough leaving 1" edge at long side farthest from you.
Scatter peaches over brown sugar mixture. Roll up, jelly roll style, from long side closest to you using waxed paper as guide. Press seam against roll to seal. Cut into 12 even slices used floured knife ( I use a serrated knife).
Place in a 9" greased spring form pan, (I use a 9x13 pan). Bake at 375 for 25 -30 minutes. Let stand in pan for 5 minutes. Transfer onto serving plate. Keep warm.
Be sure to put you pan into warm water immediately for easy clean up....you'll be sorry if you don't, the sugary syrup hardens and becomes like stuck on candy.

Caramel Sauce:
Combine brown sugar, butter and whipping cream in small heavy sauce pan. Heat and stir on medium heat until brown sugar is dissolved. Boil gently for about 3 minutes, without stirring, until mixture is slightly thickened. Makes about 2/3 cups sauce. Drizzle over warm pull-aparts.
Sprinkle with toasted nuts if desired.











Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Glums Koki..Cottage Cheese Cakes

I remember my Mom making these often. I loved them then and still do! I make these cakes when I have leftover cottage cheese when making perogies. The recipe is in the Mennonite Treasury..must be the one my Mom used.

1 1/2 cups dry cottage cheese
3 eggs
1/2 cup flour
1 tsp salt
Combine cottage cheese and eggs and mix well. Add the flour and salt and stir till well combined.
Drop from spoon onto hot greased pan. Cook for approx 10 min, turn them after half of the cooking time so they are browned on both sides.
I served them hot with applesauce and a green salad. Mmm..mm good!



Monday, April 6, 2009

Vanilla Chocolate Chip Cookies

Everybody has their favorite Chocolate Chip Cookie recipe. Goodness, there are sure plenty of recipes to try til you find what is your personal favorite. These happen to be mine. They have a package of pudding added to the dough. What I like even better is the chocolate pudding added to make them double chocolate chip. Mmmm.
Thanks Trish for giving me the recipe and letting it become one of our family traditions as well!

















Cream together:
1 c. butter/hard margarine
1/2 c. brown sugar
1/2 c. sugar
1 tsp. vanilla extract
2 eggs
1- 4 serving pkg of instant vanilla pudding (or chocolate...;-)!!
Sift together:
2 1/4 c. flour
1 tsp. baking soda
Combine the ingredients, stir in about 1 c. chocolate chips.
Bake at 350 for about 8 minutes. They must just be turning a slight color and look slightly under baked if you like them to be soft and chewy.




They girls whipped up two batches, one vanilla and one chocolate, and they turned the chocolate into a cookie cake and decorated it into a volley ball.....clever girls, and it looks great!
In order to make it into a cookie cake, just put the dough into a greased pizza pan and bake it for about 20 minutes. Let it cool completely and decorate it according to the occasion. It makes a good alternative to a birthday cake for a kids party.