Monday, August 31, 2009

Rollkuchen Meatpockets

I remember the years when I was a teenager, we lived close to the church and my parents would often invite company for lunch. My mom usually had a pot of soup ready and often made Rollkuchen to go along with the soup. They were always the best, even though I have wondered lately about the fact that there is oil in the recipe itself, never mind frying them in oil. She always said the trick is to fry them fast, in very hot oil - a cast iron pan works best. I’m posting her recipe just for variety and choice. For meatpockets you can obviously use any recipe of your choice. The ones already posted are great!

Ingredients:

2 eggs
¾ c milk
2 Tbsp vinegar
2 Tbsp oil
2 cups flour
1 tsp salt
2 generous tsp baking powder

Filling:

left over sloppy joe sauce or chili


Method:
  1. In small bowl, mix eggs with fork and then mix in the rest of the wet ingredients.
  2. In another larger bowl, mix flour, salt and baking powder, make a well and stir in the wet ingredients. Stir with wooden spoon until all ingredients are mixed well.
  3. Knead slightly with hands to smooth, adding milk or flour if needed and roll out thinly on floured board or counter.
  4. Place a tsp of filling about one to one and half inches apart in a row, along one end.
  5. Fold dough over top of filling and press with a cup to form a perogie like crescent.No need to pinch. Lay on floured cookie sheet until all done before proceeding to fry.
  6. Heat about 2 - 3 cups of canola oil – test with a little dough to make sure it fries quickly. The trick to not having deep fried food soak up too much oil is to fry it quickly in very hot fat. Use 2 forks and have a pan lined with paper towel ready.
Don't forget dessert - a few bow ties with strawberry jam or syrup.

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Bread for the Journey

"Be Still and Know that I Am God"
Ps. 46:10
God does not say, "Be still" from far away lofty heights
but He says "Be still"
to the one He holds in His hand.

"I have covered you with the shadow of My hand"
Is. 51:16
It is hard in our busy, stressful lives, when we are surrounded
by the noisy bustle around us, to stop and hear those
calming words,
"Be still and know that I am God"
The very words themselves speak peace into my soul,
like the calming voice of a mother to her crying child, held close to her breast.
How easy it is to 'be still' when we feel safe
and protected and loved,
and
that is the place that is ours, in the hollow of His hand.
Are you troubled ?
Are you sorrowing ?
Are you anxious?
Are you overwelmed with busy-ness?
Take time today to find some quiet moments
and a quiet place
where you can listen for and hear
the voice of God,
speaking peace to you alone.
**
"Father, I pray for every person, whose eyes fall on these words that you would speak to their hearts these words of peace. May they know that you alone are God, that you alone can calm the troubled seas .
May they know the security of your loving Hand today. Amen"
**

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Summertime Leftovers Meal



In the carefree summertime it's good to have a few no pressure, no fussing meals to fall back on.
This simple meal takes less then 20 minutes to prepare and can be served up with a simple green salad and some bread. Here's my carefree pasta meal.

Cook pasta noodles of your choice to al dente and drain. Leave in pot.
Add a jar of Alfredo Sauce to the noodles and some leftover chicken.
I added leftover barbecued chicken cut up into bite size pieces.
Fresh chopped tomatoes and chopped green onion add to the visual appeal.
 Cook all ingredients together until sufficiently heated through.
Season to taste and enjoy!

Friday, August 28, 2009

Tomato Basil Bruschetta

The tomatoes are ripe...and there is fresh basil in abundance...and what could be better for lunch than bruschetta...with fresh garden ingredients? I'll give you my basic recipe...which can be changed up a little to suit your taste.


Ingredients:
  • 1 baguette or Italian bread
  • 1 pound tomatoes, chopped (about 3 cups)...plum tomatoes work well
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon coarse pepper
  • 1/4 cup fresh basil leaves, chopped
  • 2 cups mozzarella cheese, shredded

Directions:

  1. Pre-heat oven at broiler setting.
  2. Combine tomatoes, olive oil, garlic, salt and pepper...and allow to sit at room temperature for about 10 minutes.
  3. Cut baguette in 3/4" slices and arrange in single layer on a parchment lined baking sheet. Lightly brush with olive oil...and toast lightly under broiler for 1 or 2 minutes. Repeat toasting with the other side.
  4. Put a generous layer of chopped basil on each piece of bread.
  5. Divide the tomato mixture evenly over the baguette slices.
  6. Top each piece with a generous amount of shredded mozzarella cheese.
  7. Return to the broiler for about 5 minutes or until cheese is melted, bubbling and slightly golden.
  8. Serve hot out of the oven...for a wonderful appetizer...or add a salad and call it lunch.
Enjoy!

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Chocolate Zucchini Bread


This is the season when Zucchini's are offered by neighbors or are easily affordable. I have been making this recipe since I was married 31 years ago. I got it from my mom by love Pauline. It is easy and quick and never fails. It stores well and can be frozen.
  • 4 cups of cubed zucchini ( you can see the cubes in the blender)
  • 4 farm fresh eggs
  • 2/3 cup canola oil . .or other light oil
  • 2 cups fresh walnuts. .very coarsely chopped I like the walnuts left big. . but you can chop them fine. You can also leave them out or subsitute with another nut of your choice.
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 3 cups flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup cocoa
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon (optional)
  • 1 12 ounce bag of mini chocolate chips
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla or maple flavouring
  1. Preheat oven to 350 º.
  2. Put the zucchini cubes, eggs, and oil in the blender. Blend on high speed until smooth.
  3. In large bowl, combine all the dry ingredients.
  4. Add the zucchini mixture and stir with a wooden spoon.
  5. Add the chocolate chips and walnuts.
  6. Pour into a greased tube pan or two 9 X 5 loaf pans.
  7. Bake for 60 - 75 minutes. Test with toothpick.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Ikra


I don't know how many of you will know what this is, but it is a Mennonite side dish (with, I'm sure, Ukrainian influence) that was/is a favorite of my husband. It is not unlike Salsa, maybe, but it is made with carrots as the main ingredient.

Here is the recipe.

Ingredients (It is a large recipe but I like to put it into jars, sealed for future use -- you may cut the recipe down to desired amout )

24 cups of grated or finely sliced carrots
8-10 cups of green pepper (chopped)
1/4 cup water
1/4 cup mazola oil

cook above ingredients for 1 hour

then add.....

6-8 or more onions browned in 1/4 cup oil
2 1/2 tbsp salt
1/4 cup sugar
1 14oz tomato soup (or tomato paste with water to make it gluten-free)
6 large tomatoes (optional)
5 hot red peppers (or less if you want it milder)
1/2 cup of hot ketchup (or use regular if you wish, I do)

Cook for 20 minutes to 1/2 hour . Remove from heat , and ladle into prepared canning jars or store in fridge for immediate use.
This is eaten cold.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Lemon Poppy Seed Scones



What is a tea without Scones and Devonshire Cream? Devonshire Cream can be purchased in the grocery store near the cream cheese. If you can't find Devonshire Cream. . . you can substitute 2 parts whipping cream with one part mascarpone cheese and a tablespoon of sugar.


This scone recipe is easy to prepare with no butter to cut into the flour. Just a quick pat onto a cookie sheet. . score into scones and bake. The recipe takes under 10 minutes to have ready for the oven.

Lemon Poppy Seed Scones

  • 2 cups flour
  • 3 tablespoons sugar
  • 5 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/3 cup canola oil
  • 2/3 cup buttermilk
  • 1 large farm fresh egg
  • the finely grated rind of 1/2 lemon
  • 1 tablespoons poppy seeds

  1. Preheat oven to 425 º
  2. Combine all the dry ingredients in a large bowl.
  3. Combine all the wet ingredients in a medium sized bowl. .egg first and whisking it until light.
  4. Add the poppy seeds and the lemon rind to the dry ingredients.
  5. Make a well in the dry ingredients and pour in all the wet ingredients.
  6. Stir with a fork. . .just until the dry is gone.
  7. Transfer the dough onto a greased or parchment lined cookie sheet. . patting it into an eight inch circle.
  8. Cut the circle into 6 pieces. . .but don't move the dough to separate.
  9. Bake about 15 minutes or until lightly browned.


Scone glaze

  1. Combine the juice from the 1/2 lemon with enough icing sugar to make a thin pourable glaze.
  2. Pour over the scones while still warm.


If you are making this for a tea. Double the recipe and put all the dough into a large rectangle on the cookie sheet. Cut into 3 inch squares and then cut across to make triangles.

These are best served slightly warm. . or the same day.

Gluten Free Lemon Poppy Seed Scones

I made some gluten free scones for my niece.

I used

  • 2 cups of gluten free muffin mix in place of all the dry ingredients.
  • I used the wet ingredients and the lemon and poppy seed as I listed and did the method exactly the same.
  • I turned the oven down to 375 º and baked them for 15 minutes.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Florence's Carrot Cake

I received this recipe from a neighbor of mine many years ago. I've dug it up again and added a bit of fresh zucchini and there's just no other carrot cake like this. As you all know there are many variations of Carrot Cake. This one has no pineapple, no coconut, but stacks of almonds. It's easy to make and tastes better with age. I love to freeze this cake.

Florence's Carrot Cake
  • Grate 3 cups of raw carrots, set aside.
  • 2 C. white sugar
  • 11/4 salad oil
  • 2 tsp. baking soda
  • pinch of salt
  • 2 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 4 eggs
  • 2 C white flour
  • 11/2 C. chopped almonds and walnuts
Follow normal cake making directions.
  1. Mix sugar, oil, and add the dry ingredients. Slowly add all the eggs and flour, and don't forget the yummy almonds. I actually don't use any walnuts. I prefer almonds.
  2. Now add the carrots to the batter.
  3. Bake in a well greased 9x13 pan at 350' for 45 minutes.

Frosting
  • 1/4 C. margarine
  • 1C powdered icing sugar
  • 4 oz. cream cheese
  • 1/4 tsp. vanilla
Melt margarine, add cream cheese and blend until smooth. Add powdered sugar and spread on cake when cool. Again, I sprinkle more chopped almonds on top.

When it is completely cooled, I cut it up into sections with saran wrap and stick it in my freezer.
But one other option is to phone a bunch of friends, brew a fresh pot of coffee and have a sampling of this terrific cake. Mine is all set to go along on my camping trip this week.
It's about those yummy almonds. What's camping with out a fresh piece of cake and freshly brewed coffee over the fire pit.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Bread for the Journey

Seek ye the LORD while he may be found...
call ye upon him while he is near.
Isaiah 55:6

Is there anything quite as striking as a field of sunflowers in bloom?

There are many flowers that turn their faces towards the sun. The sunflower turns to face the sun completely...leaves and all.

There's a lesson here for each of us. Are we seeking after God...completely?

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Twice Baked Potatoes

This side dish may seem a little fussy, but it is a great way to do potatoes for company ahead of time. You can prepare them and have them ready to pop in the oven 20 min. before a meal. I like it when you have nothing to do at the end. This recipe, with some minor changes, was submitted by Kimberly F. to our church cookbook. It's one that I have found works well.

Ingredients:

8 large potatoes, baked
1/4 cup butter
1/4 cup sour cream
1 - 1/2 cups cheddar cheese. grated
1/2 cup milk, approx
1/2 tsp onion powder
1/4 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 cup chopped green onions

Method:
  1. When potatoes are cool enough to handle, cut a thin lid from top of each.
  2. Scoop out pulp, leaving 1/4 inch or so in the shell, so it doesn't tear.
  3. Combine pulp with remaining ingredients, mashing to desired consistency.
  4. Scoop mashed potato mixture back into skins. Arrange on baking sheet.
  5. Refrigerate until half hour before the meal. Bake at 350º F about 20 - 25 minutes, until tops are golden.

Friday, August 21, 2009

Zippy Zucchini

Zucchini...again! There seems to be no end to the zucchini coming from the garden...and here is another simple yet delicious way to cook it. When I got my first microwave oven...way back when...I took some microwave cooking classes. Since that time...this zucchini recipe has been a summer favorite. Cooked totally in the microwave...the kitchen stays cool. Add some fresh tomatoes...and maybe a cob of corn...and call it a meal.


Zippy Zucchini

  • 4 cups zucchini, cut into chunks
  • 1/2 medium onion, thinly sliced
  • 4 eggs, beaten
  • 1 1/2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
  • 1 jar (2 0z.) pimiento, drained
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon pepper

  1. Place zucchini and onion slices in an 8" square dish...or a quiche pan.
  2. Cover with plastic wrap, turning one edge back to vent.
  3. Microwave at High for 7 minutes.
  4. In large bowl, mix together eggs, cheese, pimiento, salt and pepper.
  5. Add zucchini and onions, stirring well.
  6. Grease dish in which veggies were cooked.
  7. Pour zucchini mixture into dish...cover with parchment paper and microwave at medium-high for 5 minutes.
  8. Stir...and microwave uncovered for another 3-4 minutes at medium-high...or until set.
  9. Makes 4 large servings.

*I actually used the pimento called for in the recipe this time...but have used diced red, orange or yellow bell peppers instead...blanching them with the zucchini and onions. A dash of cayenne pepper adds a little zip as well.


Thursday, August 20, 2009

Grandma's Rustic Oatmeal Bread

I call this oatmeal bread rustic because it never looks like a nice smooth loaf but that is alright, it tastes good anyway. I used to make this bread alot but had veered away from it for awhile and was all caught up in making multigrain bread. This bread is also great for toasting..and even nicer if you have a jar of fresh raspberry jam sitting close by.
This recipe is from Better Homes and Gardens Homemade Bread Cookbook.

As a very good friend of mine says..here is what you need:

2 tbsp fast rising yeast
1/2 cup warm water
1 1/4 cups boiling water
1 cup quick cooking rolled oats
1/2 cup molasses
1/3 cup shortening..I used canola oil
1 tbsp salt
5 3/4 to 6 cups of flour
2 beaten eggs
extra rolled oats for coating the loaves

And then as this friend says..this is what you do:

Combine boiling water, oats, molasses, shortening and salt and set aside and cool to lukewarm.
Once cooled stir in 2 cups flour and beat well.
Add the beaten eggs, 1/2 cup water and combine well.
Add the yeast which I just throw in with the remaining flour, using a cup of flour at a time to make a soft dough.
Knead till smooth and elastic..5 to 8 min. I do this with my Braun although I still think kneading by hand makes the best bread!
Cover and let rise in a warm place until double..1 to 1 1/2 hrs.
Punch down, divide dough in half and let rest for 10 min.
Shape dough into loaves and roll in oats.
Place in 2 greased bread pans.
Cover and let rise until double and bake at 375º for 30 to 35 min.

Here it is sliced and ready for jam...enjoy! Now if I could only gift this friend with a loaf of bread!

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Stuffed Zucchini

This dish is just perfect for your end-of-summer bumper crop of squash.
Sure enough, I dashed out into my garden to find more Zucchini than I really wanted.
I was talking to a colleague at work about my bumper crop and she shared this recipe with me.

Stuffed Zucchini
  • 8 ounces ground buffalo meat. ( I prefer to use 1 pound lean hamburger)
  • 1 tsp. olive oil
  • 1 yellow onion diced (1/2 cup)
  • 1 cup grape tomatoes
  • 1 cup mushrooms chopped
  • 1 jar (6 oz.) artichoke hearts packed in oil drained and chopped.
  • 1/3 cup walnuts chopped
  • 1 tsp chopped fresh oregano
  • 1 tsp fresh thyme leaves
  • 3/4 Tbsp freshly grated lemon zest or juice of 1 lemon.
  • 6 zucchini (8-10 inches long about 1" in diameter,) halved lengthwise and seeded.
  • 1 cup fontina cheese shredded

  1. Preheat oven to 425'F
  2. In a large skillet over medium heat, brown the hamburger meat in olive oil. Transfer to a large bowl. Add vegetables, artichoke hearts and their oil, walnuts, herbs, lemon zest and juice, and salt and pepper. Toss to combine.
  3. Place zucchini halves cut side up in a 5-by-12 ovenproof baking dish. Mound mixture evenly into each zucchini "boat." Cover with aluminum foil and bake 30 minutes.
  4. Uncover and sprinkle with cheese. Bake 10 minutes more or until cheese is melted.
  5. I chose to grill the zucchini during the last 10 minutes instead, while the cheese melted, to give it that extra BBQ flavor.

I doubled the meat proportion and made this dish for 4 servings and found I had plenty of left overs and so I just continued using the meat mixture and stuffing more zucchini and green peppers throughout the week. The meat mixture stays well preserved in the fridge for 5-7 days. I had unexpected company and I whipped up this dish, with some surprised expressions.

Add a few skewers of fresh grilled vegetables and corn on the cob, and you will be guaranteed a tasty dinner. Perfect for any summer evening. We only have 3 weeks left of summer and let's enjoy it.


Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Ice Cream Parfait

A life lived in fear, is a life half lived.
unknown

This is a childhood favorite dessert. We used to have some kind of jello type dish at every family gathering and Sunday lunch. It is so simple to make and fits into a busy lifestyle, offering a light and refreshing dessert anytime of the year, especially in the summer when you don't feel like heating up the house. I hope you enjoy it too. I think that I can credit this to my mom or my mom's sisters. Who knows who started the tradition, it would be interesting to see how they remember it. So ladies who started it?

  • 1- small pkg jello any flavour
  • 1 cup boiling water
  • 2 cups ice cream

  1. Dissolve jello in the boiling water, stir well until it is all dissolved.

  2. Add 2 cups ice cream and stir until the ice cream is melted into the jello.

  3. Pour into dessert dishes.

  4. Let sit in the refrigerator until set.

  5. Dig in and enjoy your company, even if you are your own company.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Soft Refrigerator Rolls

I am loving looking through The Mennonite Treasury of Recipes and discovering new for me recipes that I have overlooked for years. I often wonder what I've missed just because I didn't see what the finished product would look like. I made my rolls quite small to use with little grilled beef sliders.

This year after discovering refrigerator dough. . I have been trying pizza dough, cinnamon bun dough, artisan bread dough .. .and now I also enjoy this soft roll dough. The buns baked up soft and tender. I thought that refrigerator dough was a new method. . but Mrs J. Rempel has been making that way a very long time. Does anyone know when the first Mennonite Treasury of Recipes was printed? I changed the recipe slightly. . used less flour. . .and cut the recipe in half. .to put in my ice cream pail.

Refrigerator Rolls

  • 1 cup boiling water
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 large tablespoon shortening
  • 1 tablespoon active dry yeast
  • 1/4 cup warm water
  • 1 large farm fresh egg
  • 3 cups all purpose white flour. . .or use half multi grain flour
  1. Mix the boiling water, sugar, salt and shortening together in a large bowl. . allowing to cool.
  2. Soften yeast in the lukewarm water.
  3. Combine the yeast and the cooled shortening water mixture.
  4. Add the beaten egg.
  5. Add the flour. . .all at once. . .and stir well. . .
  6. Place in a greased ice cream pail and over the dough with plastic wrap and refrigerate.

This dough will keep up to a week. .

When you are ready to bake. . .make the dough into a long roll about 1 1/2 thick. Cut into slices. . .and roll in the palm of your hand as shown in the picture. . you need to roll quickly to make a nice smooth ball.

Put the rolls onto a greased cookie sheet or a parchment lined sheet.

Allow to rise about 1 1/2 hours. . and then bake in a preheated 400 º oven until perfectly browned. . about 15 minutes.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Bread for the Journey

My mother has been my cheerleader.
As a result of living with congestive heart failure,
she was taken from us at an early age, 73!
This gave us time to celebrate life with her.
In July of 2000, we celebrated together as a family at her favorite spot.
Recognizing her families love for sports,
she presented each one of us with a wooden baton.
On each baton, she had the words inscribed.

Marg,
"Keep on running with your eyes fixed on Jesus"
Mom

She died shortly thereafter, November 27, 2000.
She finished her race...

The Christian life involves hard work. It requires us to give up
whatever endangers our relationship with God, to run patiently,
and to struggle against sin with the power of the Holy Spirit.
To live this life effectively, we must keep our eyes on Jesus.
We stumble when we look away from him and at ourselves or
the circumstances surrounding us.
We are running Christ's race, not our own,
and we must always keep him in sight. ~ TLB

Hebrews 12:2 Keep your eyes on Jesus, our leader and instructor...

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Fresh Fruit Salad ~ Pineapple Dressing

Fresh fruit salad is a summertime favorite...and the recipe for this cooked pineapple dressing has been a standard at our home for decades. It is from the Mennonite Treasury of Recipes...and can be stirred into the fruit salad or served separately as a topping for the fruit.

Use fresh fruit of your choice...strawberries, pineapple, grapes, blueberries or peaches.

Pineapple dressing:
  • 1/4 cup pineapple juice
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 cup whipped cream

Method:

  1. Beat eggs....add sugar, pineapple and lemon juice.
  2. Cook in saucepan over medium heat...stirring constantly...until thickened. Chill.
  3. Whip cream...and fold into mixture just before serving.

Enjoy!


Friday, August 14, 2009

Vegetable Linguini

I love this recipe for linguini which is based on one in an old Pillsbury Pasta booklet.
Just a fun note - if you can't remember the difference between linguini and fettuccini
take note that the narrow cut pasta is lean-guini and the wider cut pasta is fat-tuccini!


As in many pasta based recipes, the amount of the ingredients varies according to how many you are serving and what your taste preferences are.
This recipe makes a great main dish when topped with cooked sliced chicken breast or shrimp.


  • linguini pasta to feed 4-6 people
  • 1-2 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 small or medium sized zucchini
  • 1 large carrot
  • 1 medium onion cut in half and then thinly sliced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • a handful of fresh basil leaves, washed and cut into a chiffonade* or 1 -2 tsp. dried basil
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 1 cup milk or half and half cream
  • 1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese (I often use 1/2 parmesan, 1/2 mozzarella)

* A chiffonade cut is when you stack the basil leaves and then cut them into fine ribbons

  1. Cook linguini in salted water according to package directions
  2. Coarsely grate carrot and zucchini or use a julienne peeler to make long ribbons. I usually discard the soft centre of the zucchini.
  3. Heat olive oil in fry pan on medium heat and saute' onion, garlic and carrot until wilted, then add zucchini and saute' a few minutes longer. Vegetables should be tender but not soft.Drain linguini, rinse briefly with cold water.
  4. Add butter and milk or cream to the pasta pot on medium heat and stir until butter is melted.
  5. Return linguini to pot, add saute'ed vegetables, fresh or dried basil and cheese.
  6. Using tongs or a pasta server, toss until vegetables are distributed and cheese is melted.
  7. Serve immediately.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Raspberry Squares

It was about 25 years ago my friend Irma and I went to her sister in law Janice's place, and she served us this most wonderful fresh fruit square. I have not made it for a few years, but today I had some fresh raspberries and this was the perfect way to put them to use. Of course the raspberry ripple cheesecake ice cream finished it off perfectly.

Dough:
-2/3 cups very warm water
-1 tsp sugar
-1 tbsp traditional yeast
In a small glass bowl dissolve sugar in the warm water. Sprinkle the yeast over and let proof for 10 minutes and then stir well.
In another larger bowl:
-2 1/2 cups flour, and using a pastry blender, cut in 1 cup butter.
Beat:
-4 eggs yolks until thick and creamy.
Stir the yeast mixture and egg yolks together and pour over the flour mixture. Stir until the dough comes together in a soft smooth ball. If the dough is sticky add a small amount of flour. This dough is very easy to work with. Set aside while you get the berries ready.

Berry filling
-5 cups fresh raspberries
-3/4 cup sugar
-3 tbsp cornstarch
Stir these 3 ingredients together.

Divide the dough into two equal pieces. On a lightly floured counter roll out one piece to fit a cookie sheet. (I use a small sheet that is 10x14, but a larger one will work fine). Make sure the dough comes up the sides of the pan. Pour the prepared berries over the base crust. Roll the second piece of dough and place over the berries. Using a fork press the edges down all the way around the pan. Make small air whole slits over the top crust. Cover loosely with Saran and let rise on counter for 40 minutes.
Bake in 375º oven for 40 minutes. Allow squares to cool and then ice.

Butter Icing
-2 tbsp soft butter
-1 1/2 cups icing sugar
-1 1/2-2 tbsp milk
-1 tsp vanilla
Stir together until you get a smooth icing that is a little thin so it spreads easy and glazes the squares.

Substituting with frozen fruit:
If you make this after the berry season has finished just pull out your frozen fruit and allow to thaw. You will need to add another heaping tablespoon of cornstarch if you use frozen berries. I drain the juice from the thawed berries, add the cornstarch and sugar to the juice and heat in the microwave for 3 minutes stirring half way through. Then I pour that hot mixture over the berries and let it all cool. Once it has cooled, continue the same as for fresh berries. I have made a bumble berry mixture from my freezer using a mix of strawberries, raspberries, blueberries and blackberries.





Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Peach Almond Pie

I was inspired by a recipe I found in a little recipe book called PIES, published in the UK. By the time I finished with my version, I could not really say that it was the same recipe, but the model is there. With the peaches on our tree reminding me that this is the season, I thought it was a good time to take a photo.

Crust Ingredients:

3/4 cup flour
¼ cup baking cocoa
1/3 cup Crisco shortening or butter
2 Tbsp coarsely ground almonds
few drops almond extract
1/4 tsp salt
2 Tbsp cold water

Method:
  1. Combine dry ingredients.
  2. Cut in the butter with pastry blender just to make it crumbly.
  3. Sprinkle with water and almond extract, then stir with fork until it holds together and you can shape it into a ball.
  4. Sprinkle rolling surface with flour. Flatten dough with hands and shape into a circle.
  5. Sprinkle with flour and roll into circular shape, flipping once and adding a little flour as needed.
  6. Roll up with rolling pin and unroll into pie plate.
    This pastry may be fragile, but you can patch it up. Flute edges as desired.

Filling Ingredients:

1 ½ cups blanched almonds
½ - ¾ cup sugar
¼ cup melted butter
3 eggs
few drops almond extract
ripe peaches, apricots or canned peaches
Method:
  1. Preheat oven to 350 º F. Put an empty baking sheet on middle oven rack.
  2. Process the almonds in a food processor or blender.
    Add sugar, butter, eggs and almond extract, processing until smooth.
  3. Pour or spoon into prepared pie plate.
  4. Cover with one layer of thick slices of pealed or canned peaches, spreading out slightly like spokes on a wheel.
  5. Place pie on sheet in oven rack and bake 50 min. If it gets to a nice golden brown sooner,
    tent loosely with foil.
  6. Serve warm or cooled with whipped cream.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Cherry-go-round

I found this recipe in the food section of the news paper. It makes a really nice addition to any brunch or coffee and dessert evening with friends. The filling is sour cherry that makes this a special treat and just a bit different from a traditional cinnamon loaf.



Dough

-3 3/4 cups of flour
-1/2 cup sugar
-1 pkg quick rise yeast

-1 tsp salt
-1 cup milk
-1/4 cup water
-1/2 cup butter or margarine
-1 large egg

1- Combine 1 1/4 cup flour, sugar, dry yeast and salt.

2- Heat milk water and butter til very warm and butter is melted.

3- Gradually add to dry ingredients.

4- Beat 2 minutes, scraping bowl.

5- Add egg and 1/2 cup flour. Beat 2 more minutes, adding enough flour to make stiff batter.

6- Cover with greased plastic wrap and refrigerate for 2-24 hours.

7- Divide dough in half.

8- Roll each half into a 18x10 in rectangle.

9- Spread with cherry filling to 1/2" from the edge.

10-Roll up and pinch to seal, make a ring.

11- Place on greased baking sheets.

12- Cut in 1" intervals 2/3 through. Twist each section sideways.

13- Cover till double about 1 hour.

14- Bake at 375 for 20-25 min.

15- Remove to rack to cool.

16- Drizzle with glaze


Cherry Filling

Combine-
-1/2 cup brown sugar
-1/2 flour
-1/2 cup chopped pecans

ADD
1-398 ml. can of tart pitted cherries, drained
(I used 2 cans)

Glaze
-1 cup icing sugar
1-2 tbsp. milk

Monday, August 10, 2009

Ice Cream Dessert

This is a very simple dessert to make with very little fuss for a birthday or any other special occasion. This time I made it for my son's birthday party.

24 vanilla ice cream sandwiches
Whipping cream, whipped and sweetened..approx 3/4 litre of whipping cream
Chocolate shavings

In a 9 x 13" pan (2" high).. layer 12 ice cream bars, then a layer of whipped cream, another layer of 12 ice cream bars and another layer of whipped cream.
Sprinkle top with bits of chocolate shavings.
Place in freezer and allow to freeze for a few hours, till the whipped cream is frozen. Keep frozen until time to serve it.
Perfect dessert for a hot day:)




Sunday, August 9, 2009

Bread for the Journey

On this Rock I Stand..

Psalm 40:2..'He lifted me out of the mud and mire, He set my feet on a rock.'

I was reminded of this verse a few weeks ago when I stood on this rock that you see in this photo. I thought of how large and solid it was..but nothing compared to the solid rock that Christ is.

This chorus from a well known hymn says it all:
'On Christ the solid Rock I stand; all other ground is sinking sand; all other ground is sinking sand.'

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Summer/Winter Chicken and Pasta Salad

In summer. . .we are always looking for ways to simplify so I regularly put a few extra chicken breasts on the grill when I prepare grilled chicken. I also enjoy changing the additions to the salad. For summer we use fresh fruits. . .and in winter we use canned and dried. Both are excellent ...I'm offering a few variations to this salad today.

Serving 4 . . .for main course
  • 2 thinly sliced grilled boneless chicken breasts
  • 1 bag baby spinach washed
  • 1 small head of romaine washed and dried and chopped into bite sized pieces
  • 1/2 of a small red onion. . .very thinly sliced
  • 2 cups of cooked (according to package directions) pasta of your choice. (I used rotini with the fibre that no one sees.) Pasta is optional but makes it more of a meal.
  • 1 cup of honey roasted peanuts or salted peanuts that have been tossed in a saucepan with 2 tablespoons sugar and 1 tablespoon water over heat until melted and glazed. (nuts are optional)
  • 1 cup of dried cranberries. . .or for summer try raspberries
  • 540 ml jar of mandarin oranges drained. . or for summer 1 large thinly sliced peach
  • 1 cup of sliced seedless grapes. . . or for summer use blueberries
  • 1/4 cup sesame seeds to sprinkle on top
  • a small handful of thinly sliced toasted tortilla shells. . (for garnish. . and optional)
Dressing
  • 1/2 cup white or rice vinegar
  • 5 tablespoons sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/2 cup purchased teriyaki sauce
  • 1/2 cup canola oil
  • 2 tablespoons warmed natural peanut butter .. . .(optional)
  1. Combine the dressing ingredients in a small container with a lid. . .so you can give it a good shake.
  2. To your drained pasta. . add half the dressing and allow to chill in the refrigerator for several hours or even overnight.
  3. Just before serving, toss the pasta with the romaine, spinach and onion. Add enough dressing to coat .. not too heavy .. don't add it all at once.
  4. Just before serving. . .plate your salad. Divide the greens and pasta between your dishes. Add the sliced chicken, and then the rest of the goodies. . .

Friday, August 7, 2009

Pauline's Potato Salad

This is my mom by love Pauline. If I could. . .and if it were kind. . I'd rent her out for potato salad making lessons. . .but I can't and it wouldn't be nice. . and so at long last. . .here is her not so secret recipe. I have been told by my own sons. . ."Grandma's potato Salad is the best". They are quite correct. When we have family gatherings. . .she is more often than not given the task of the potato salad. I recently invited her over. I had the potatoes and eggs cooked and she put it together while I did the photo shoot. Please give our guest blogger Pauline a warm welcome.

Pauline's Potato Salad (serves 8 - 10)
  • 10 medium fresh white potatoes
  • 8 brown farm fresh eggs. . .(use brown. . .you can see if you have any egg shell left on the egg)
  • 1 1/2 cup Miracle Whip
  • 3/4 cup Sour cream
  • handful of chopped chives
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  1. The day ahead. . .boil your potatoes in a pot with a few teaspoons of salt. Leave the skins on. . .this is important. Boil for about 20 minutes and then test with a knife to see if they are done. ..if not. . leave a few more minutes. Drain. . and then cool for about 1/2 hour. Once cool enough to handle. . . use a sharp knife to grab a edge of peel and peel all the potatoes. Do not chill first. . .peel them while still warm. Refrigerate until chilled.
  2. Put the eggs in a large enough pot to cover the eggs with water. Bring to a boil. . .put on the lid. . remove from heat. . and set the timer for 20 minutes. Drain the eggs. . and allow to cool. Once cooled. . take each egg. . set it on a cutting board and run through with a large sharp chef's knife. . .Scoop out the eggs and set aside. ( week old eggs can just be peeled)
  3. Now. . .using a sharp paring knife. . and a chef knife. . set each chilled potato on a cutting board slice it in half. . .then with the paring knife. . cut each potato length wise into 1/3 inch strips. .and then cube by cutting in the opposite direction.
  4. The uniform cubes of potatoes makes this salad so enjoyable. When the potatoes are cut by me in a hurry .. and not uniformed.. . my boys know I made it. . . .and the praise is scarce.
  5. Chop the eggs into the bowl .. .(good news. . this doesn't need to be uniform cut)
  6. Add the chopped chives to the bowl.
  7. In a medium bowl. .combine the Miracle Whip Salad Dressing and the Sour cream. . with the salt and pepper. Pour half of it over the salad. . and stir all together. . .add a little more dressing at a time. You may need more or less depending on the size of your potatoes.
  8. Chill until ready to serve.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Fruit Fritters - Gluten-free


(apple fritters to the left , small yellow plum fritters on right)
We love fruit fritters ....and these really taste just as good as the wheat flour ones.
I can't really tell the difference.

Ingredients

1 egg
1/2 cup milk
1 tsp vanilla
Beat with whisk

Mix together 1/3 cup gluten-free bread/bun mix
1/3 cup brown rice flour
1/3 cup tapioca flour
1 tbsp sugar

add dry ingred. to the liquid whisking until perfectly smooth
Add fruit and deep fry.

For apples , I core the apples then cut them in slices, dipping the apples into the batter then frying.
For the little yellow plums I dipped each singly into the batter before frying.
Larger fruit can be cut into pieces and stirred into batter and fried like pancakes.

Serve hot with sugar !!
Enjoy !

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Pulled Pork Sandwiches



On a recent road trip, we stopped off at an ABC restaurant where I had my first pulled pork sandwich. I loved it! On the same weekend, I found a recipe in the July issue of Woman’s World, called Carolina Pulled Pork sandwiches. I’ve changed it up a bit, but however you make it, you won’t be disappointed. It is a perfect no ‘fuss meal’ to serve for a larger group.

Ingredients:
  • 1 large onion, sliced
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 2 - 3 lbs. pork shoulder blade roast
  • 1 Tbsp dry fajita seasoning
  • ½ cup ketchup
  • ¼ cup brown sugar
  • ¼ cup cornstarch
  • 2 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp dry mustard

Method:

  1. Place onion and garlic in bottom of 3-qt slow cooker. Top with pork. Sprinkle with seasoning.
  2. In a small bowl, whisk together ketchup, sugar, cornstarch, vinegar and salt, until smooth.
  3. Pour over pork. Cover and cook on low about 8-10 hours. (to have it done in 8 hours, I cooked it on high for the first couple of hours.)
  4. Transfer pork to a plate, reserving sauce in slow cooker. Cool slightly.
  5. Using two forks, shred pork into bite sized pieces. Return to slow cooker, mixing with sauce and keep warm.
Serving suggestion: Serve on large buns with coleslaw and baked beans.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Mixed Greens

It's been one more hot day in the Fraser Valley. Record breaking temperatures.
The only thing that I can think of making is a fresh salad with all our garden vegetables.
This has been one of my favorite's this summer. It's simple, quick and has a kick to it and will be one of the first salads on the guys list. They all love bacon.
This comes from the kitchen of Steff, a younger friend of mine who's always trying something new. If I need a quick appetizer, I can count on her and now I have a good collection of recipes/appetizers on hand.

Mixed Greens
  • 4 Cups Romaine lettuce
  • 4 Cups Baby Spinach
  • 2 Peppers red/green/yellow/orange
  • 1 pkg Bacon (fried & cut up) ( Often, I make this ahead of time. I still prefer the freshly fried bacon, as opposed to the crumbled bag bacon)
  • 1 Cup Feta Cheese
  • 1/2 Cup pumpkin seeds

Prepare the lettuces together in a bowl and add the remaining ingredient on top.
Toss the last two ingredients together and toss on top just before serving.
I pour the dressing over and then mix it up slightly.
I love the colorful display, so I don't mix to much, rather let it soak through the leaves.

Dressing
  • 9Tbsp. Virgin Oil (1/2 Cup)
  • 4 fresh garlic cloves
  • 7 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 2 tsp honey
  • 2 tsp. sugar
  • salt/pepper to taste
Mix together and pour just before serving.

Make it ahead of time and take it along to the beach.



Monday, August 3, 2009

No Bake Whipped Lemon Cheesecake

I always enjoyed the meals we had at my parents place. My Mom was a great cook and I can not remember a time when we didn't have dessert. This was one that she made often. It was served with fresh berries in season or fruit she had frozen. It is very light and frothy, making it a perfect dessert after a heavy meal.
Crust
-1/2 cup butter, melted
-1/8 cup sugar
-2 cups graham crumbs
In a 9x13 glass pan mix together sugar and crumbs. Pour melted butter over and stir together with a fork pressing moistened crumbs over the bottom of the pan. Bake in 325º oven for 5 minutes. Cool while making the filling.

Cake
-1 370 ml can of evaporated milk, chilled at least 1 hour
-1 small package lemon Jell-O (strawberry or raspberry Jell-O can be used, but omit lemon extract)
-1 cup boiling water
-1 cup white sugar
-1 8oz package cream cheese, room temp.
-2 tsp vanilla
-1/4 tsp lemon extract

Method
Whip chilled milk until thick and frothy.
Dissolve Jell-O in boiling water and cool, but do not let it set.
Mix together sugar, cream cheese and extracts.
Combine all 3 mixtures and beat well.
Pour cheesecake mixture over crust. Cover and refrigerate until set, at least 2 hours. This can be made the day before.
OPTIONS: This can be made in a spring form pan.

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Bread for the Journey



Bread for the Journey
Hospitality

Offer hospitality to one another without grumbling.

1 Peter 4:9

Do not forget to entertain strangers, for by so doing some have unwittingly entertained angels.

Hebrews 13:2

Hospitality was taught by example in most Mennonite homes. Friends, family and neighbours knew they were welcome at any time and it was not unusual to invite strangers for a meal – the farm hands, salesmen, a family in need.


The Bible urges each person to show hospitality to those around them and to do it generously and without complaining. Hospitality is also listed as one of the spiritual gifts especially given to some individuals.

So many think that hospitality requires a specially set table and a fancy meal. However in our busy lives, most of us don’t have the time or inclination to do this.

The hospitality the Bible speaks of merely requires that we willingly share what we have with others.
A bowl of soup, take out pizza, a cup of coffee or the beautifully prepared meal – a warm bed, the offer of a ride, or a place to stay when misfortune strikes. All are ways to show hospitality to one another.

And don’t forget to extend that same hospitality to your children, your parents, and yes, even to yourself. In doing so you are a living example of the grace God has extended to you.

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Pepper Relish

I love bell peppers, any colour - raw, roasted, saute'ed, pickled. I started with a pepper relish recipe from somewhere and played around with it until it suited my taste.My husband says it makes hot dogs a gourmet treat. It's also good served on sandwiches, hamburgers or alongside meatloaf and ham.
I am fortunate to have a greenhouse growing peppers in my neighbourhood where they sell them by the bag full for a very reasonable price.

Pepper Relish

  • 2 lb. red peppers*
  • 2 lb. yellow peppers*
  • 2 lb. green and orange peppers mixed*
  • 2 lb. onions*
  • 1/3 cup coarse salt

Cut peppers open, remove seeds and membranes and slice thinly into 1 ½ inch pieces.
Peel and slice onions into 1 ½ inch pieces.
You should have about 32 cups prepared vegetables.
*(2 lb. prepared vegetables = 8 cups)
Mix peppers and onions in a large bowl.
Add coarse salt and toss well.
Let mixture sit for 2 hours.
Drain and rinse well and place vegetables in a large stock pot.

  • 2 ½ cups sugar
  • 2 tsp. mustard seed
  • 2 tsp. celery seed
  • 2 tsp. dry mustard
  • ½ tsp. turmeric
  • ½ cup flour
  • 2 ½ tbsp. coarse salt

Mix dry ingredients together and stir into vegetables.

  • 3 ½ cups white vinegar
  • ½ cup water

Add vinegar and water to vegetables in pot and mix well.
Bring to a boil and cook on medium high heat for about 10 minutes or just until vegetables are tender.

  • 1 Tbsp. cornstarch
  • 2 Tbsp. cold water

Mix cornstarch and water and stir into vegetable mixture. Bring to a boil.
Remove from heat.
Bring snap tops to a boil in a small pot.
Ladle pepper relish into sterilized jars and wipe top edge of jar before topping with a hot snap top. Add ring - screw it on firmly but do not tighten.
Bring water to boil in canner. Water should cover jars.
Immerse jars in hot water, bring to a boil and process for about 4 minutes.
Remove from canner and cool.
Store in a cool dark place. Makes 10 pints