Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Obstkuchen (Platz)

I have made this platz many times and it's a favorite here. It is also a nice size to bring to potlucks. I hadn't planned on posting this recipe..then my g'daughter came to see me today and I thought it was time she learned to make this platz. She claims she doesn't like to cook or bake but as you can see she did a great job! And so of course I just had to post this one!


Obstkuchen (Platz)

Sift:
2 cups flour
3 tsp baking powder
4 tbsp sugar

Add:
2 tbsp butter
1 cup whipping cream
1 egg

Sift dry ingredients together and with a pastry blender mix in the butter. Add the cream and slightly beaten egg and mix well.
Pat out on a greased 10x15" pan. (approx) Wet hands to do this as the dough may be a bit sticky.
Put on a layer of any of the following fruits: cherries, plums, apples, apricots, rhubarb, blueberries or any fruit in season..frozen fruit works too. My g'daughter used rhubarb.

Top with crumbs (ruebel):
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 1/2 cups flour
1/2 cup butter, very soft
Mix well with a pastry blender..it will be crumbly. If you want coarser crumbs just mix in a bit of cream. Sprinkle thickly over the fruit.
Bake in at 375º for 30 min.
Cool 10 min an drizzle icing over the top. (optional)
It is also very good served warm with ice cream.

Monday, June 29, 2009

Apple Strudel with Cider Sauce


I found this recipe in a treasured little recipe book I found on a bargain table, called PIES. It was published in the UK. I have altered it somewhat by comparing it with a recipe from The Canadian Living Test Kitchen.

Ingredients:

4 apples, peeled and chopped
1 Tbsp lemon juice
1/3 cup raisins
¼ cup brown or white sugar
½ tsp cinnamon
¼ tsp nutmeg

6 sheets phyllo pastry
1/3 cup melted butter, cooled

Sauce:
1 Tbsp cornstarch
1 cup apple juice or cider


Method:

  1. Thaw phyllo pastry according to pkg directions. (keep in fridge until ready to use)
  2. Preheat oven to 375ºF
  3. Peel and core apples. Chop and toss them in a bowl with the lemon juice, raisins, cinnamon, nutmeg and sugar. Set aside.
  4. Lay a piece of parchment paper, the size of a cookie sheet on your counter. Take the pastry out of the fridge and unroll it, laying out one sheet on the parchment paper and brushing it with butter. Repeat 5 times.
  5. About 2 inches from one long edge of pastry, spoon apple mixture lengthwise and down pastry in 4-inch wide strip, leaving 2-inch border of pastry at each end.
  6. Starting at long edge nearest filling, carefully roll pastry over filling and roll up, folding in the edges as you go. End it with making sure you have the seam at the bottom.
  7. Lift the parchment paper with the roll onto a cookie sheet.
  8. Brush with melted butter and bake for 30 minutes, or until crisp and golden.
  9. Serve warm or with warm sauce. This tastes great the next day as is, with some whipped cream or just a dusting of confectioners sugar.
  10. To make sauce, blend the cornstarch with apple juice and (while stirring) heat to boiling.
    I added some of the fruit filling and cooked it until the apples were tender and quickly re-heated it just before serving.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Bread for the Journey

Are you thankful for your tongue?
Like all most parts of my body. . . it has an valuable function. . well actually two really important functions.
As someone who loves to cook and bake I rely on the taste buds of my tongue to tell me how much seasoning and spices to add to my dishes. I feel quite confident in the function of my taste buds.
The other function of my tongue has me often less satisfied with the small degree of control I seem to have on this part of my body.
In the church we attend we have been doing a study in James.
It didn't surprise me to find that this would be a rather uncomfortable study for me. . .
since it challenges me to be consistent in who I say I am. ..
and sometimes the stark reality of how I behave.
James 1:26 says. .
If anyone considers himself religious and yet does not keep a tight rein on this tongue, he deceives himself and his religion is worthless. (vs26)
This week I was reminded again on how bridling my tongue is still one of the most challenging parts of my character development. Why do I still believe that my opinion is so important? Why do I still have such a hard time listening instead of thinking ahead of how I will reply?
Oh Lord Jesus. . ..
I want to have a life that is honouring to you!
I'm so thankful for forgiveness. . .and for new beginnings.
With joy and thankfulness. . .I praise you oh Lord. . .
All for now. . .with love,
Lovella

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Upside Down Rhubarb Cake

"The secret to happiness
lies not in getting what you want,
but in wanting what you have"
Joanna Weaver


I got this recipe from my friend Wanda Enns. When she offers to bring something to a potluck, she is most likely to be asked to bring a dessert. That woman can bake! More often than not she makes something that no one has ever tried before, which is always a treat. I have been making this recipe for years and is enjoyed by all.

Base:
-4 cups rhubarb, finely chopped
-1 1/2 cups mini marshmallow
-1 cup sugar or 1 small pkg Strawberry Jello and sugar to = 1 cup
Dough:
-1/2 cup butter
-1 cup sugar
-2 eggs
-1tsp. vanilla
-1 1/3 cup flour
-1 Tbsp. baking powder
-1/2 tsp. salt
-1/4 cup milk
1-Spread first three ingredients in a well greased 9x13 pan.
2-Cream together butter and sugar* until well beaten and light
3- add egg, continue beating, add vanilla.
4-sift together dry ingredients, add alternately with milk.
5-dollop the dough over the rhubarb and spread gently to cover.
6-bake at 350 for 45 or until brown
7- cool before turning upside down

*I used jello and sugar to get that nice red color.

Friday, June 26, 2009

Spinach Salad with Warm Bacon Dressing

Always a favourite in the summer, a spinach salad is as varied as those who make it. Here is the way I make it - with a few options
so you can choose.

  • fresh Spinach leaves
  • bacon slices - I use 4-6 slices
  • red onion thinly sliced
  • fresh mushrooms, sliced
  • red peppers, chopped or sliced
  • chopped green onions (opt.)
  • thawed frozen green peas or bean sprouts
  • boiled eggs, sliced or chopped
  • shredded mozzarella or swiss cheese
  • toasted almonds or pinenuts
  • shrimpmeat if desired

Dressing:

  • 2 Tbsp. reserved bacon drippings
  • 2 Tbsp. white wine vinegar or cider vinegar
  • 1 Tbsp. honey or sugar - or to taste
  • 1 tsp. dijon mustard - or to taste
  • 4-6 Tbsp. salad oil
  • 1/4 cup mayonaise or sour cream
  • salt and pepper
  1. Chop bacon into pieces and fry until crispy. Remove 2 Tbsp. of the bacon fat and set aside in a small bowl. Remove bacon to paper towel and set aside.
  2. Saute' red onion and mushrooms in a bit of butter only until wilted. Set aside.
  3. Make dressing* . (You'll notice there is alot of tasting going on here. I"ve listed the basic ingredients but feel free to adjust it to your liking) *Or you can use bottled honey dijon or creamy dill dressing. Whisk all dressing ingredients together in pan and heat gently until warm.
  4. Assemble salad. Arrange spinach on a large platter and layer the other ingredients adding the shredded cheese and green onions last. Garnish as desired with egg slices, red pepper slices and a sprinkle of almonds.
  5. Serve salad immediately with the dressing on the side.




Thursday, June 25, 2009

Butterscotch Pie

Having a freshly baked pie to serve after a meal is always a treat for family and friends. When I make this pie I have the crust baked earlier on in the day, and then make the filling and brown sugar meringue not more than 2 hours before I will be serving it. I got this recipe from my mother in law's recipe collection. She is known for her wonderful pies. For the crust she uses the recipe on the Crisco box, but I use the recipe on the Tender Flake box. The key to a good pie crust is to not over mix, and to insure that your liquid and shortening are very cold. So experiment and find the one that you like best. I always make the full recipe on the box and roll out and fit pie plates with the crusts for future use. They freeze very well, and it is so handy to just pull out a frozen shell and bake it for a fresh pie.

Butterscotch Filling
-1 cup brown sugar
-4 tbsp cornstarch
-1/2 tsp salt
-2 cups milk
-2 egg yolks
-1 tbsp butter
-1 tsp vanilla
Place first 5 ingredients in a microwaveable bowl and whisk together well. Microwave for 3 minutes and stir well. Microwave again for 2 minutes and stir again. Mixture should be thick and bubbly. Depending on how hot your microwave is you may need to heat another minute or two. Make sure it has bubbled well, thickened and very creamy... but don't over cook it. Once it is done, add the butter and vanilla. Give filling a good whisk and pour it into your cooled pie shell.

Brown Sugar Meringue
-2 egg whites
-1/8 tsp salt
-2 tbsp brown sugar
Beat ingredients together in a metal or glass bowl until stiff peaks form. It is very important that when you are beating egg whites that your bowl is completely dry and also that you have no egg yolk in the whites. Pile the meringue on top of the hot filling and spread it to cover the entire surface of the pie. Bake in 400º oven for 5 minutes or until golden brown. Never walk away from meringue as it browns very quickly. Remove to a cooling rack. Do not cool this pie in the fridge because you will loose the creamy texture of the filling. It is best served just before it is completely cooled.







Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Coleslaw Dressing


Coleslaw is sometimes a nice change from a salad or a great addition to, when serving a larger group. I like serving it with BBQ’d chicken or hamburgers and the recipe I always go for is one I have from my Mom. I make it ahead if I know I will need it, but it’s simple enough to make last minute too.
Ingredients:
1/2 c sugar
1 rounded Tbsp flour
1 1/2 tsp dry mustard
1 tsp salt
1 egg
1/3 c vinegar
1/2 c water

Method:
In a small pot, mix dry ingredients. Add egg and stir well. Stir in vinegar and water. Bring to boil, stirring constantly. Cool.
Mix with 1 cup light sour cream. Refrigerate until needed. Mix with shredded cabbage just before serving.

This recipe is enough for 2 - 3 lbs (2 - 3 bags) of shredded cabbage/ carrot mix. You can add chopped apples and/or raisins, and sprinkle with sunflower seeds. Serves about 20 when served with other salads.
I often cook half the recipe for 1 bag of cabbage.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Bella Bruschetta Salad

Here's a simple summer full-meal salad that we have enjoyed often over the past few years. Basil and tomatoes give that wonderful flavour of summer...add pepperoni, mozza, a cubed baguette and fresh Parmesan cheese...toss together with lettuce and dressing...and call it a meal.

This recipe was originally a Kraft featured dish...it's been changed up a bit.


Bella Bruschetta Salad

  • 4 cups torn romaine lettuce...or mixed baby lettuce
  • 8 roma tomatoes or 2 medium sized tomatoes, chopped
  • ¼ cup chopped basil
  • 1 cup cubed mozzarella cheese
  • 4 cups cubed baguette or French bread stick
  • 2 cups sliced pepperoni stick
  • ½ cup shredded parmesan cheese
  • ½ cup Kraft Sundried Tomato & Oregano Dressing

Directions:

  1. Toss together dressing, chopped tomatoes, basil.
  2. Toss lettuce, cubed baguette, pepperoni, mozzarella, and tomato mixture.
  3. Sprinkle with Parmesan.

Enjoy!


As many of you may be aware...we are a group of ten ladies...that contribute recipes to the Mennonite Girls Can Cook blog. When we started this blog...just over one year ago...most of us did not know each other. It has been a fun adventure...cooking together in our virtual kitchen...and getting to know one another along the way. Yesterday, the seven of us that happen to live in the same vicinity...were treated to a most special luncheon at the home of Anneliese. She was a most gracious hostess...looking after every little detail...including 'place cards' for the three gals who were not able to join us. There was much to talk about...including our dreams that this blog be used in some way to feed the less fortunate. (We are still working on that one!) We had a wonderful time...and when we left the lunch table...it was nearly time for dinner. Thanks, Anneliese, for a great afternoon!


Monday, June 22, 2009

Multigrain Bagels

I hadn't made bagels in a long time and decided it was time to make them again. This recipe is found in 'Sadie's Recipes and Reflections'. The recipes in this cookbook are shared by Sadie Warkentin, a wonderful person as well as a very good cook! I found this recipe to be easy and fast. I did change it up a wee bit, hers were a plain white bagel and mine are multigrain. You could use different flours and also add raisins, dried cranberries or other dried fruit of your choice to the mix.

Multigrain Bagels

Dissolve and let sit for 10 min.
1 1/2 cups warm water
1 tbsp sugar
1 tbsp yeast

Mix:
4 cups flour..I used 2 cups white flour and 2 cups multigrain flour
2 tsp salt
1 egg
3 tbsp oil

Add to yeast mixture and knead for 10 min.
I use instant yeast so I mix all of the above together. I found that 5 min kneading time was enough. I also used approx 1/4 cup more flour to make the dough easy to handle.
Divide dough into 12 pieces. Take each piece and roll it into a long roll with your hands. Curl it into a bagel shape and press ends together to stay in a circle.
Place on greased pans and let rise until doubled.
Prepare a pot of boiling water to which 1 tbsp of sugar has been added.
Once the bagels have risen to double in size drop them into the boiling pot of water about 3 at a time..leave them in for a few seconds, scoop them out and and place them on a greased baking pan and bake for 30 to 35 min at 375º.

Hubby tried them and gave a thumbs up!

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Bread for the Journey

Proverbs 3: 5&6 (The New Living Translation)
Trust in the Lord with all your heart,
do not depend on your own understanding.
Seek His will in all you do and
He will show you which path to take.

There is something very comforting in those words of scripture for me.
As I look upon the picture, I see my husband and our youngest child, (who is really God's child, that is where my trust is so very important) who has taken her father's hand walking down a path of the unknown. She is blessed to have a father whom she can trust and has the assurance of his
unconditional love. This path has a sense of adventure for them, not knowing what they will find ahead. There may be a rough path ahead with obstacles in the way, or a thing of glorious beauty waiting for them. However my daughter has full confidence in her father, even wearing his jacket for comfort.
Don't you long to walk down the path of life with that kind of assurance?
I have many times where it is easy to trust God, other times I let go of God's hand, only to quickly realize that I am better off in His hands than in my own.
Many of you may not have had the
privilege of a father who knew and loved God, but I want you to know that there is a heavenly father,
I urge you today to take the hand of the one who created you and loves you, to walk your path of life.


Saturday, June 20, 2009

Italian Wedge Bread

God is not in the "what if"

but the "what is"
me



This recipe I got from a Lutheran Church Cookbook and there is no doubt in my mind the Lutheran Girls can cook too. I have gotten so many good recipes from this book, but today I want to share this tasty flat bread that is a good addition to an Italian meal instead of Garlic Bread. Our family likes it as an appetizer as they await the "real pizza" coming out of the oven.........


Dough:
-2 1/2 cups flour ( I used half whole wheat)
-1 tbsp. instant yeast
-1 cup warm water
-2 tbsp. vegetable oil (I used olive oil)
-1 tsp. sugar
-1 tsp. salt
Mix all ingredients in a large bowl with a spoon. Knead in 1/2 cup flour if needed. Form in to a ball. Cover and let rise for 20-30 minutes. Spread dough on to a greased pizza pan.


Topping:
- 1/4 tsp. salt (I omit)
-dash of pepper
-1/4 tsp. oregano
-1/4 tsp. garlic powder
-1/4 tsp. thyme
Mix spices in a bowl. Brush with 1/3 c. Italian dressing (I have used Ranch and Caesar Dressings just for variety). Sprinkle with the spices over the dressing, then with Parmesan Cheese and grated Mozzarella (light cheese). Bake at 450 for about 15-20 minutes.
A tasty appetizer or snack for any occasion.

Friday, June 19, 2009

Versatile Buttermilk Cake


"A quick and stir-easy cake that ages and freezes well.... soft and moist and mellow enough to take on other flavours admirably."

That's how this cake is described in the unidentified magazine I clipped it from many years ago. Since then it has become my recipe of choice when strawberry season comes around.
Served with generous amounts of any sort of fresh fruit and cream it's a wonderful alternative for shortcake.

You may want to double or triple the recipe and store a cake or two in the freezer for that unexpected company.
  • 1 cup flour
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1/2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 tsp. baking soda
  • 1 egg
  • 1/3 cup buttermilk
  • 1/2 tsp. vanilla
  • 1/3 cup butter, melted
  1. Prepare an 8x8 inch baking pan - grease and flour or line with parchment paper.
  2. In large bowl, stir together flour, sugar, baking powder, soda and salt. Set aside.
  3. In another bowl, beat egg. Add buttermilk and vanilla and stir until smooth.
  4. Stir melted butter into buttermilk mixture.
  5. Add liquid mixture to flour mixture and beat with a spoon until almost smooth.

  6. Pour into prepared 8x8 pan.
  7. Bake at 325º F for about 30 minutes or until top is browned and toothpick inserted in centre comes out dry.

  8. Remove from oven, and cool on rack.
  9. Serve with fresh fruit and whipped cream or wrap and freeze.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Rollkuchen


Every Mennonite recipe book needs at least a few different recipes for Rollkuchen. . .and that way when you are out of ingredients for one of the recipes. . maybe you'll have the ingredients for another. . . This recipe is my mother in laws. . .and I've been making it this way. . .for 31 years. . .with no complaints.

Rollkuchen

  • 1 cup whipping cream
  • 3 farm fresh eggs
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 3/4 tsp. baking powder
  • 3 cups of flour
  1. Mix these ingredients together and knead into a ball.
  2. Wrap the dough up and refrigerate it for a few hours.
Letting it sit makes it so much easier to roll out.Rolling it thin, makes a crisper roll kuchen and leaving it a bit thicker makes for a softer roll kuchen. No doubt you'll be making them a few times in summer, so you can experiment on how you prefer them.
Because the dough is rich, its very easy to work with. No sticking problems.Cut the dough into about 3 -4 long strips and then cut across to make rectangular shapes.
Cut 2 slits in the middle of each so that they don't become one big balloon in the hot fat. You can also cut one slit. . .and pull the dough through. . .for a change.
Heat some fat up in a large pot. I use Canola Oil.
When the fat has little bubbles coming to the surface, it is likely hot enough, but put in a small piece of dough to test it. It should start to bubble around the dough quickly and rise to the surface.
Put the fried rollkuchen on paper towels to cool. Serve with Cold Watermelon. ..and some Rogers Syrup on the side.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Grilled Summer Ribs

Summer time is the perfect time to throw some ribs on the grill .. .but I still always feel they are more tender if they are braised first in liquid. So. . .with a crock pot that doesn't add any heat to the house. . . the ribs are tender perfect. This recipe allows for a company. . .but if you forgot to invite some over. . . just put the cooled ribs in freezer bags and you'll have a few freezer dinners ready. The sauce I use now is the sauce that Marg puts over her Baron of Beef. The flavour is awesome. This recipe require two days. . .but very little prep time.
Grilled Summer Ribs
  • enough pork side ribs of your choice to fill your crock pot.
  • 2 cups ketchup
  • 2 tablespoons Worcestershire Sauce
  • 1/2 cup vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons Brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 2 teaspoons celery salt
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce
  • water enough to barely cover the ribs once the sauce has been poured over the ribs and onions
  • 2 large onions
  • purchased BBQ sauce of your choice
  1. Cut the ribs into individual serving pieces.
  2. Dice the onions
  3. Put the ribs and onions in the crock pot. . . it can be quite full . . the sauce will fill in the spaces.
  4. Combine all the sauce ingredients except the BBQ sauce.
  5. Pour over the ribs and turn to high. .. .and turn down to low once it is simmering.
  6. Turn off at the end of the day .. . .allow to cool. . .and refrigerate.
  7. The next day. . .remove from the refrigerate. . .and remove all the fat that has solidified at the top of the ribs.
  8. Turn the crock pot back on .. .and simmer until you are ready to grill them
  9. The grilling only takes 20 minutes. . .long enough to baste with BBQ sauce and allow to brown.
  10. The sauce in the crock pot. . .can be heated in a sauce pan and thickened with 2 tablespoons flour to a cup of cold water. Bring to boil .. .and stir until thick.
  11. If you want to freeze some. . . only grill enough for the first day. . .allow the rest to come to room temperature. Put in freezer bags and freeze.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Pork Medallion Dinner

My daughter enjoyed making this wonderful dinner for us, knowing it was new to us, since she got the recipe from her mother-in-law, Kathy. Kathy (whose expertise is Italian cooking) has introduced us to cooking with wine and olive oil and always having fresh rosemary on hand. (I freeze it and cut it fine with kitchen shears to flavor food.) I used white cooking wine and balsamic vinaigrette to cook these pork medallions.

Ingredients:

pork tenderloin (approx. 1/2 lb/person)
white wine
balsamic vinaigrette
olive oil
few sprigs fresh rosemary
garlic powder, salt, pepper
potatoes, yams



Method:

Slice pork tenderloin into 1/2 inch slices. Heat a pan with 1/4 cup white wine.
Add meat. Sprinkle with leaves of 3 sprigs of rosemary, garlic powder, salt and pepper.
Cook at med - high heat, turning once, until done (about 10 min).
Optional: drizzle with olive oil while cooking or balsamic vinegar near the end of cooking.

Quarter unpeeled potatoes. Place in well greased or foil lined baking dish. Sprinkle with olive oil, garlic salt, salt, pepper and rosemary. Toss. Bake at 400ºF for 45 min. or until done. (depends on size)

Serve with Caesar salad, tossed green salad or tomato/cucumber salad mixed with ranch dressing.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Pineapple Cupcakes

My mother-in-law was the best cook...and left me with many wonderful recipes...which now remind me of her whenever I use them. One of the first recipes she ever shared with me was a simple pineapple cupcake recipe. I baked them up often for 'my girls' at Pioneer Clubs back in the day...and they were always a favorite. I had all but forgotten about them...until I saw the handwritten recipe in my book the other day...and made up a batch for old-times sake. They are still every bit as good!


Pineapple Cupcakes

Yield ~ 18 cupcakes

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 1 small can crushed pineapple (14 oz. or 398 ml) ...juice included
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp. salt

Method:

  1. Cream butter and sugar...beat in eggs and vanilla.
  2. Blend in pineapple...then add dry ingredients and beat until blended.
  3. Fill muffin cups 2/3 full...and bake at 350ºF for about 20 minutes.

These cupcakes are great with cream cheese frosting:

  • 1/2 cup (125 gr) softened cream cheese
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 2 cups icing sugar
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 1 Tblsp. milk
  1. In a medium sized bowl, beat softened cream cheese and butter together on medium speed until creamy.
  2. Add icing sugar 1/2 cup at a time and beat after each addition, scraping the sides of the bowl when necessary. Beat until smooth and fluffy.
  3. With mixer on low, add vanilla and milk. Add a little more or less milk...as needed to obtain proper spreading consistency.

This is a mild cream cheese frosting...to fool those who claim not to like cream cheese. If you prefer your frosting cheesier...use the entire package of cream cheese, rather than half.

They are perfect for afternoon tea out on the front porch...or an easy treat to pack for a picnic.

Enjoy,



Sunday, June 14, 2009

Bread for the Journey

Man shall not live on bread alone,
but on every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God.
Matthew 4:4

My grandmother loved her bread...in any form! She baked double-decker buns (zwieback)...and white bread to feed an army. But more than bread, she loved her Bible...which I now have, complete with all her notations. How I treasure her Bible...a continual reminder to me that life is about so much more than the bread we eat!

For the most part, this blog has been about passing along our favorite recipes...and preserving those that grandma used to make. Beginning today...you will no longer find a recipe here on Sunday...but a little 'food for the soul'. We here at Mennonite Girls Can Cook will be passing along a few 'morsels' from our experience...to encourage and uplift you along your journey. May you have a most blessed Sunday!


Friday, June 12, 2009

Chili Biscuits

"Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life.
It turns what we have into enough and more"
Melody Beattie
I got this recipe from my friend Bruni, who delights me with a special lunch every week.
If you click on the picture, you can see the cheese melted right in among the chunks of salsa and makes a nice addition to any meal, winter with soup or stew and summer with a fresh wholesome salad. Hey how about with a walking taco salad?
It has been altered to make it slightly healthier for the body and still taste like you want one more. Healthier eating only works if you can stop at one.......I dare ya....



-1 1/2 cups of flour using whole wheat for half.
-1 tbsp baking powder
-1/2 tsp. baking soda
-1/2 tsp. salt
-1/2 tsp of chili powder (or to taste)
-3/4 cup of grated light Cheddar
-1/4 cup olive oil
-1/2 cup buttermilk
or plain milk with 1 tsp. vinegar
-1/3 cup of salsa
Gently mix all ingredients together in the order given.
Drop biscuits on to a lightly greased baking sheet.
Bake @ 400 degrees for 12-15 minutes.
NOTE-I find that sometimes I may need to add a little more milk to make them the consistancy I want to have a soft moist drop. It seems as though the humidty has something to do with it.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Walking Tacos

This is not so much a recipe...as it is an idea. Summer's here...and this is a fun way to feed kids (of all ages) while camping, on a picnic or in your own backyard. I heard about 'walking tacos' from my brother...who lives in Iowa...and said they serve them at every ballgame, fundraiser and picnic in their area. So maybe I am the last one on the block to hear about 'walking tacos'...but it was a new concept for me. I tried them out on the grands last weekend...and we'll be using this idea again.


Ingredients:

  • 1 lb. ground beef
  • 1 package taco seasoning mix
  • chopped tomato
  • shredded lettuce
  • salsa
  • grated cheese
  • sour cream
  • olives, guacamole, chopped onions, etc.
  • individual lunch-sized bags of nacho chips or corn chips
Directions:

  1. Brown and drain ground beef...add taco seasoning and prepare according to directions on package.
  2. Prepare and arrange all toppings on a tray...next to the hot meat sauce.
  3. To serve...crush an individual bag of nacho chips slightly...then open the bag by slicing along the side. Start adding toppings as desired...beginning with the meat, and adding whatever you desire on your taco salad. Stir up your taco salad with a disposable fork...then eat it right out of the bag!


We had such fun with this on the weekend...that I just had to share the idea with you. Oh yes, and the best part is...NO dishes!



Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Rhubarb Orange Sticky Muffins

My good friend Betti K. makes these wonderful Rhubarb Orange Muffins. One day I tried adding a sticky pecan mixture to the bottom of the muffin cups before spooning in the batter and now I make them like this each spring during rhubarb season.

If you want to make the muffins without the brown sugar/pecan topping, add 3/4 cup chopped pecans to the muffin batter.

Grease muffin pans. I use pans that make medium sized muffins and I usually get 16 muffins from this recipe.

Mix the following ingredients together and spoon a teaspoon or so into the bottom of each muffin cup:

  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup butter or margarine, melted
  • 2 Tbsp. cream

Place 3 or 4 pecan halves in the bottom of each cup.

Mix muffin batter:

  • 2 cups flour
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp. baking soda
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1 1/4 cups finely chopped fresh rhubarb
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 tsp. grated orange rind
  • 3/4 cup orange juice

In a large bowl, combine all dry ingredients.

In medium bowl, beat egg.

Add oil, orange juice and orange rind to beaten eggs.

Add liquid mixture to dry mixture all at once and stir just until moistened.

Fold in rhubarb.

Spoon over brown sugar/pecan mixture in prepared muffin pans.

Bake for at 350 degrees F for 25 - 30 minutes.

Remove from oven, loosen sides of muffins and turn upside down on a rack.

These are best served the same day. If there are any left, store them in the refrigerator. (They will still be good the next day but will be softer in texture)

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Cream Puff Swans

I have always loved cream puffs and so when I saw these little swans at a party many years ago, I decided to try making them, using a basic recipe, passed down from my Mom. I think the first time I made them was for my daughter’s 1st Birthday! I most recently made these for a bridal shower, but they will adapt to most any occasion. For a baby shower, try making one or two big ones with a trail of smaller ones to represent a family.

Ingredients: (makes about 24 – 30)

1/2 c butter
1/2 tsp salt
1 c water
1 c flour
4 eggs


Method:
Bring margarine, salt and water to boil in a small pot.
Remove from heat and quickly add 1 cup flour, stirring vigorously, until it completely loosens from sides of pot.
Beat in eggs, separately, with wooden spoon - until smooth.

For the bodies:
Drop by tsp on greased and floured (or parchment paper lined) cookie sheets.
Bake at 450ºF for the first 10 min. Lower temp to 350ºF and bake another 25 - 30 min. Cool.

For the necks:
Fill a decorating tube or bag with about ½ - 3/4 c of the batter and, using a #58 writing tip, write out 30 or so (2 ½ “ tall) question marks on a parchment paper lined cookie sheet. (I like to use my air bake baking sheet for this because it won’t burn them from underneath) They will look way too thin, but they puff up to the right size. Bake at 450ºF for about 5 minutes and then check and don’t leave the oven until they are just a light golden color, maybe another 3 minutes.



To assemble:
Slice horizontally about ¾ of the way up (not in half) - just the top, and set aside. Fill bottoms.
Insert the necks on the right end. If your puffs are a slightly elongated, make sure it’s on a narrow end. If they are totally round, it doesn’t’ matter.
For wings, cut tops in half and insert, cut side into filling, so that the wings stand up.
Place on shiny silver tray or mirror for lake effect. Dust with confectioner’s sugar, using a small sieve.

Filling:
2 cups cooked vanilla pudding. Cool and mix with 1 cup whipped cream

Monday, June 8, 2009

Baked Oatmeal

We were served this for brunch at our football reunion at Wilderness Edge a few years ago..it was so delicious and the cook was kind enough to share the recipe. This is a large recipe but could be cut in half very easily.

1 cup oil
4 eggs
4 tsp baking powder
1 1/4 cup sugar ( I used 1 cup Splenda)
6 cups oatmeal (I used half large flakes and half 3 min oats)
2 tsp salt
3 cups milk ( I used skim)

Mix well and pour into a greased 9 x 13" pan. Bake at 350º for 30 min. After you take it out of the oven wait a bit so that it can set before you cut it.
Serve warm with milk and cinnamon. You could add raisins before or after it is baked.
I chose to eat it with a large dollop of vanilla yogurt and some slightly thawed blueberries... fresh would be really good but at this time they are too pricey in the store.
Leftover oatmeal freezes well.


Sunday, June 7, 2009

Happy Anniversary Girls!

Time sure does fly when you are busy. . .and having fun!

It is hard to believe that the MGCC blog first began pumping out family recipe favorites one year ago.

With a simple idea and a few willing friends, I pressed the "create a blog" button and . . .
you began to show up. . .
looking in our kitchen windows. . . .
often remembering what your mom used to make in her kitchen.

We've learned so much ourselves. . .
testing recipes and reworking some that have nearly been forgotten.


We've had great fun learning to photograph food. . .
and learning how to best post a recipe.

Behind the scenes of our kitchens. . .
we have become friends.


Over the years, my circle of friends has had one constant. . .
it has reflected the stage of life that I am in.

Many friendships will remain forever. . .and nothing will sever those ties . .
but God continues to bless me with new friends. . .
today some of my dearest friends are those that share my passions.

This year blogging has taken a new turn for me . . .I have learned to entertain guests in a whole new way.
It is a little like playing make believe .. .
and in a sense. .
we don't really know who is sitting at the table of Mennonite Girls Can Cook.
Making this journey incredibly meaningful and special. ..
has been a group of ladies who like me. .
love to open up our homes to . . .
people like you.

Without you. . . it would be no fun to cook. . .
You have made this blog complete by encouraging us. . .
and tapping us on the shoulder when you think you might recognize us in the community.

The "girls" that write this blog have our own email address so that we can easily communicate ideas and questions and joys and concerns. . . and several times a week. . .
we chat back and forth.

God has blessed us tremendously with the gift of friendship. . .
and that has been perhaps the biggest surprise.

For the past while. .
we have sensed that God has a bigger purpose for our blog.
In the next while we will be "entertaining" ideas of of how this blog can have a greater purpose of giving back to God.

We feel burdened for children around the world that have not any food to eat.
Whatever we decide to do. . .we are committed to give 100% of the proceeds to a charity that we have yet to determine.


All of the contributors to this blog share another common bond.
We all believe that Jesus Christ came to save the world.
In Him we have a peace that only he can give. . .
and in Him we know that though we live in various different places in North America. . .
after this life on earth is done . .
we will be sharing the greatest feast of all together in Heaven.
What joy . ..
What a hope. .
None of us know what the next year will hold . ..
nor do we expect it will be free from struggles and challenges ..
but as friends . . .
we will stand together . .
working in our kitchens . . .
being an encouragement to each other. . .
and it is our prayer that this blog will also be an encouragement to you.
It has been my profound pleasure to create and administrate this blog.
I know that the contributors join me in humbly saying thank you for sitting at our table with us. .
All for now. . .
with love,
Lovella

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Wonderful Pancakes

"You are never asked to do
more than you are able,
without being given the strength
and ability to do it"
author unknown


When I was growing up, my mother always made "skinny pancakes" that was typical in our German culture. I was married with children before I ever made "fluffy pancakes" or what is known as Buttermilk Pancakes.

This recipe comes from my friend Caroline and I have enjoyed making them ever since.

Hey it is Saturday morning, why not whip up a batch and bless your family with a Pancake Breakfast.......lets get cooking.

  • -2 cups flour
  • -1 tsp. baking soda
  • -3 tbsp. sugar
  • -3/4 tsp. salt
  • -2 eggs
  • -2 cups milk
  • -1/4 cup vinegar
  • -1/4 cup of melted butter
  1. Combine the dry.
  2. Add vinegar to milk and let it sit for about 10 minutes.
  3. Add the melted butter and milk and eggs to the dry ingredients.
  4. Mix gently, the batter should still be lumpy.
  5. Let the batter sit for about another 10 minutes or so, until you see tiny bubbles forming on the top of the batter.
  6. You may add blueberries or chocolate chips, be creative and add what ever you fancy.
  7. Add a little oil to pan and pour in a 1/4 cup of batter. Bake on one side till tiny bubbles form, flip for one more minute.
  8. Serve with syrup and fresh fruit.


Smile......Enjoy.......Tell your family you LOVE them, dig in
get the kids to do the dishes....grin

Friday, June 5, 2009

Potato stacks

When I make Mashed Potatoes I often make enough for leftovers if I know I am having company within a few days. This may sound odd. .. .but in a busy home it saves so much time.


Company Potatoes

  • 1 - 2 cups of leftover mashed potatoes per person
  • Garden Vegetable Cream Cheese
  • Babybell Cheese
  1. Prepare a serving dish by giving it a spritz of cooking spray.
  2. Allow mashed potatoes to soften enough to stir in cream cheese.
  3. Stir in 1 ounce of cream cheese per person.
  4. Using a 1/4 cup ice cream scoop, put scoops of potato in pan .. . I allow 2 stacks per person.
  5. Press in a 1/4 piece of Babybell Gouda cheese.
  6. Scoop one more mashed potato on top.
  7. Drizzle with a bit of olive oil.
  8. Bake until heated through. . . .about 30 minutes at 350 F.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Bienenstich (Bee-sting cake)

Bienenstich was a specialty of my husband's Aunt Sue and I think of her whenever I make it.
Bienenstich is German for bee-sting and although the original recipe somewhere back in time may have had honey in it, this one doesn't.
This yummy dessert starts with a "Lazy Daisy" or Hot milk Cake to which you add a broiled topping and cream filling.
I've adapted this recipe from one in the yellow Greendale cookbook.
I usually double or triple the recipe as it freezes well and is a good cake to have ready for unexpected company.
Laisy Daisy Cake:
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 cup scalded milk
  • 1 tbsp. butter

Broiled Topping:

  • 4 tbsp. butter melted
  • 2/3 cup brown sugar
  • 2 tbsp. cream
  • 1/2 cup shredded coconut
  • 1/2 cup slivered almonds

Cream Filling:

  • 1/2 pint whipping cream
  • 1/3 cup icing sugar
  • 2 tsp. vanilla instant pudding powder (opt.)
  • 1/2 tsp. vanilla
  1. Beat the eggs and gradually add sugar. Beat until thick and light
  2. Add vanilla and mix in.
  3. Sift dry ingredients and add to mixture, mixing only until blended.
  4. Scald milk (I do it in the microwave) and add butter, stirring until it is melted.
  5. Slowly add milk and incorporate into batter.
  6. Pour into a greased 8 inch pan.
  7. Bake at 350 degrees F for 25-30 minutes or until toothpick inserted in cake comes out dry.
  8. Mix all topping ingredients together and, spooning onto cake in small amounts, spread mixture gently over cake. Be sure to spread topping right to the edges of the pan.
  9. Place back in oven and bake until topping bubbles. You can broil it if you like but you will need to watch it carefully as it will burn quickly.
  10. When cake has cooled, put it in the freezer for an hour or 2. This makes it easier to slice the cake into layers.
  11. Remove cake from freezer and slice horizontally into 2 layers.
  12. Beat filling ingredients together until cream holds firm peaks.
  13. Fill cake with cream filling.
  14. Replace top of cake and freeze until firm.
  15. Remove from freezer and cut into serving pieces about 1/2 - 1 hour before serving. Refrigerate any leftovers.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

UBC Ponderosa Cake (Banana/Chocolate)

I realize there are several great banana cakes posted, but I figure what’s a Mennonite Cookbook without 8 versions of the same recipe? In the past I have made my own versions by comparing several recipes side by side, which is always a nice challenge.
I am not sure where this title came from, but that’s the name it came with when I got it from my friend, Laura M.

Ingredients:

3/4 cup butter, room temp
1 1/2 cups sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla
3 - 4 mashed bananas
3 cups flour
3 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1 cup sour cream

Filling:

1 tsp cinnamon
½ cup brown sugar
1 -1 ½ cups semi sweet chocolate chips

Method:

Cream margarine, sugar, eggs, vanilla and bananas.
Combine dry ingredients and add to wet mixture alternating with sour cream.
Spread one third of batter into prepared Bundt or tube pan.
Sprinkle with half of the cinnamon/sugar/choc chips. Cover with another third of the batter and rest of sugar/choc chip mixture, then the final batter.
Bake at 350F for about 55 -60 min. Test for doneness.
Cool for 15 min before inverting onto plate. Allow to cool before slicing.


Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Crispy Keeper Celery Salad

Mennonites loved their pickles .... a dinner was rarely served without homemade cucumber pickles, or beet pickles or watermelon pickles or sauerkraut!
We are now told how much a pickled side dish aids in digestion. Isn't it nice to find out we did something right even though we didn't know why ??

My daughter recently shared this recipe with me that she was given by a co-worker. I'm sure it is one of those recipes that takes on many variations to suit the cook, but here is this easy summer salad as it came passed on to me.

Marinating Indredients
  • 1 1/2 cups vinegar
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 1 1/2 cups water
  • 1 tsp mustard seed
  • 1 tsp celery seed
  • 1/2 tsp salt
Vegetables
chop fine or put through food processor
  • one whole bunch of celery
  • 2 red peppers
  • 1/2 onion

Boil marinating ingredients for a couple of minutes, cool slightly and then pour over the vegetables in large bowl or covered dish to store.

Let marinate in fridge for a day, then remove vegetables with slotted spoon, as needed, to serve.

This salad will keep for a long time.

Monday, June 1, 2009

Coconut Scones with Rhubarb Jam

I have this recipe copied into my cookbook but have no idea where I got it..these scones are so light and delightful especially paired up with fresh rhubarb jam.

2 cups flour
1 cup finely shredded coconut, lightly toasted and cooled, then ground up in food processor (coffee grinder would work too)
1/2 cup sugar
2 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 cup unsalted butter, chilled and cut in 1/2" cubes
1 1/4 cups cold whipping cream
1/2 tsp coconut extract
1/2 tsp vanilla

Combine dry ingredients including coconut, add butter pieces and pulse a few times if you're using a food processor and if not cut in with a pastry blender until no large butter pieces are visible.
Combine cream and extracts and add to the dry ingredients and pulse a few more times till dough comes together. You may need to add a bit more flour at this time, just enough to handle the dough.
Pat dough on baking sheet 1/2 " thick, form into a circle and cut into 10 wedges.
Brush with cream and sprinkle with coarse sugar.
Bake at 425 for 15 min.

I had a hankering for fresh rhubarb jam with these scones and so cooked up a batch..oh it was so good! I looked in almost every cookbook that I own but couldn't find a simple recipe for rhubarb jam..every recipe has either strawberries or jello added. So here is my simple version:

4 cups rhubarb
3 cups sugar
Mix the rhubarb and sugar together in a large saucepan and bring to boil on high. Then lower the heat to medium and boil for 10 min stirring frequently. Pour in jars and seal. Now that is simple, right?
Yields: approx 4 jelly jars.

Excellent gifts too.. a few coconut scones wrapped up with a jar of fresh rhubarb jam..you will bless someone with that for sure!!