Sunday, February 28, 2010

Bread for the Journey

"He has showed you, O man, what is good.
And what does the Lord require of you?
To act justly and to love mercy
and to walk humbly with your God."

Micah 6:8

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Plumi Moos

I have always made this plumi moos without a recipe (in German my Mom would say 'no nase and mool'..English translation would be something like 'to smell and taste'). But this time I made sure I measured everything so that I could post it here. There is one ingredient in this moos that I haven't seen added before..tapioca! I tasted it like this the first time at my MIL's place and have added tapioca ever since! Some may eat this as a dessert but I like eating it with the main course. Very good with fried potatoes, farmer sausage and a slice of freshly baked bread:)

Ingredients:
4 cups water
2 cups chopped dry fruit (apples,apricots,prunes,pears..usually comes in a bag of mixed dry fruit)
1/2 cup raisins
Bring to boil, turn heat to med low and cook until the fruit is well done, approx 15 to 20 min.

Meanwhile I cook the tapioca in the microwave..
2/3 cup tapioca (not instant)..we love tapioca and next time I would do 1 cup
Pour tapioca in a bowl and add enough water to cover. Cook in microwave for 20 to 25 min or until tapioca looks transparent, stirring every few min.

Add cooked tapioca to the fruit mixture, stir well.
Then add
1/2 cup sugar
1 1/2 milk
Bring to boil stirring constantly. Turn off element, cover the moos and let stand till cool. Scoop into jars and store in fridge.
Yields approx 2 qts.
If this sounds like a lot to you the recipe can easily be halved.

Friday, February 26, 2010

Stuffed Celery

This is what I turn to if I have to make an appetizer in a hurry.
It's simple, tasty and I usually have all the ingredients on hand.
  • 1 package cream cheese, softened
  • 3 Tbsp. mayonnaise
  • 1 tsp. dill weed
  • 2 tbsp. finely chopped red pepper
  • 1 tbsp. finely chopped chives
  • 1 head celery, root end cut off and leaves removed.
  • salt and pepper or a dash of Tabasco if desired
  • 1 can of crabmeat, drained or 1 cups small shrimp

  1. Beat cream cheese, mayonnaise, chives and seasonings together.
  2. Stir in Shrimp or crabmeat and peppers
  3. Separate celery stalks, wash each and dry with paper towel
  4. Fill each stalk with cream cheese filling. If it looks a bit messy use a small silicone spatula or damp paper towel to clean up the edges.
  5. Cut each filled stalk into 2 or 3 inch lengths and place on serving dish.
  6. Sprinkle with dill weed, or chopped fresh parsley and serve.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Cinnamon Roll Bread

On a recent visit to Granville Island Market...I noticed a bread that looked rather like an over-sized cinnamon bun in a loaf. I took picture...went home and made a copycat version.

Ingredients:
  • 1 1/2 cups warm milk
  • 1 cup warm water
  • 3 eggs, beaten
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 1 rounded teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup butter or margarine, softened
  • 8 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons instant yeast
  • 2 tablespoons milk
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons ground cinnamon
  • 1 cup raisins
Method:

  1. Combine milk, water, sugar, salt and butter. 
  2. Add beaten eggs.
  3. Add four cups flour and instant yeast and mix well.
  4. Continue adding flour until dough is soft but not sticky...knead.
  5. Place in a large, greased, mixing bowl. Cover and allow to rise until doubled.
  6. Roll out on a lightly floured surface into a large rectangle 1/2 inch thick.
  7. Moisten dough with 2 tablespoons milk.
  8. Mix together 1 cup brown sugar and 2 tablespoons cinnamon, and sprinkle mixture on top of the moistened dough.
  9. Sprinkle raisins evenly over entire surface.
  10. Roll up tightly...the roll should be about 3 inches in diameter.
  11. Cut into thirds.
  12. Form loaves and place seam-side down into well greased 9 x 5 inch pans.
  13. Let rise again for about 1 hour in a warm place.
  14. Bake at 350 degrees F for 40 minutes, or until loaves are lightly browned and sound hollow when tapped.
  15. Remove loaves from pans, and brush with melted butter or margarine.
  16. Allow to cool before slicing.
I use a Bosch machine to mix the dough, and add all the ingredients directly into the machine and let it do the mixing. If you don't have a dough hook...use a mixer to 'step 2' and then knead by hand.
Enjoy plain, toasted or topped with cream cheese icing!


Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Buns and Platz

Memories of Saturdays growing up, always remind me of how my Mom would cook a big pot of soup, bake a batch of fresh buns and usually she would take part of the dough to make a platz or, as we called it, Streuselkuchen. My husband's side of the family called it Riebelplatz. Our middle daughter, as a pre-schooler, announced one day, "Mommy, it's easy to make Lieberplatz . . . all you need is dough, plums and crumbs!"
Now that I'm not baking for a family on a regular basis, and we don't eat a lot of white buns, I have taken part of the dough to make cinnamon buns as well. We have been pleasantly surprised how yummy they turn out even with less sweetness. So I'll leave you with a variety of goodies to try with one dough.

Ingredients for dough:

½ cup butter
2 cups milk
1 tbsp salt
3 eggs
¼ cup sugar
¼ cup oil
2 cups very warm water
10-11 cups flour
2 Tbsp instant yeast

Method:
  1. In small pot, melt butter and heat milk until warm.
  2. In large mixer bowl, beat eggs, adding the sugar and then the oil.
  3. Stir in all liquids – warm water, milk and butter
  4. Add 4 – 5 cups flour and instant yeast, mixing well
  5. Switching to dough (hook) attachment on mixer, add the rest of the flour, one cup at a time.
  6. Turn dough into a larger bowl to rise, giving it a few more punches if needed.
  7. Cover with a tea towel and plastic bag and rise about 1 – ½ hours

To make plain buns:

Use about ½ of the dough to make 15-18 buns. Shape into buns by taking a handful of dough at a time and squeezing bun shapes between thumb and forefinger. Place on greased cookie sheet, cover with tea towel and plastic and let rise 1 hour. Bake at 400 F for 20 min. Cool on wire racks.

Note: I always slice the buns before freezing them. This makes it easy to make sandwiches quickly when they are still frozen, especially when I did school lunches.


To make Cinnamon Buns:

With greased hands, pinch off a large piece of the rest of the dough and roll out on floured surface. Spread with about 2 Tbsp melted butter and 1 cup brown sugar mixed with 1-2 tsp cinnamon. Roll up jellyroll style and cut into 1” slices. Place on greased or parchment paper lined pan. Cover and let rise 1 hour and then bake at 350 F for 20 min or until golden.

To ice: mix about 1 1/2 cups icing sugar, 1 Tbsp soft marg or butter and enough milk to make a nice spreading or drizzle consistency.


To make Platz:

Ingredients:
Fruit, jam or pie filling
3 Tbsp butter, room temp
½ cup flour
1/2 cup sugar

Method:

  1. Grease any size pan you like. You can use a round spring-form pan, a 9X13 pan or a cookie sheet. Spread or pat your left over dough into pan by hand. It will rise some, so it doesn’t have to be high – about ½ - 1 inch – some prefer a flat platz and some a high platz. Let it rest about 20 – 30 min.
  2. Spread with cut up fruit, such as plums or apricots and sprinkle with just a couple of Tbsp of sugar. I used canned cherry pie filling. My mom often just spread it with just a beaten egg for moisture, then topped it with crumbs.
  3. For Crumbs: Mix butter into flour and sugar with pastry cutter. Squeeze a handful at a time and sprinkle on fruit or jam. If you find the crumb mixture too dry, mix in a Tbsp of cream, and then squeeze into crumbs as you drop onto the fruit.
  4. Let rise about ½ hour. Bake at 375 F for about 30 min. Remove from pan and let cool on wire rack. This is one of our favorite Sunday morning breakfast treats. To keep crumbs crunchy, don’t cover. If you freeze it, uncover to thaw.

This recipe can also be used for Zwieback or pizza crust. (not pictured)

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Toffee Meringue Dessert

We took in the opening ceremonies of the 2010 Olympic Games on February 12,
around our dining table with Lovella and Terry.
After enjoying fondue we were ready for dessert....
a chocolate fondue along with a birthday cake for Lovella's upcoming birthday.

Meringue filled with whipped cream, toffee and chocolate.
It just melts in your mouth!

Meringue:
-3 egg whites
-1/4 tsp cream of tarter
-1/4 tsp salt
-1 cup sugar
-1 tsp vanilla

Filling:
-1 t0 1 1/2 pints whipping cream, whipped
-1 square (1 oz) semi sweet chocolate, shaved
-1-2 bars Macintosh toffee, freeze and then with a hammer pound to break into very small pieces. (you can also put it into your blender to break up)
*toffee is sometimes hard to find in bar form, but can be found as individually wrapped toffee.
If you can't find toffee you can substitute with Heath or Skor bars.

Beat egg whites with cream of tartar and salt until soft peaks form. Gradually add sugar and then vanilla, beating very well between sugar additions.
Prepare pans. Cut 2 (10") circles of parchment paper and place on a cookie sheet. Spread meringue in 2 (9") circles on paper. Bake at 250º for 1 hour. leave in oven and turn oven off. Let sit in oven for 1 more hour before removing. Let cool completely on pan.
For filling whip cream and then fold in shaved chocolate and toffee bits. Layer cream mixture with meringues beginning with meringue ending with cream mixture.
Refrigerate at least 6 hours before serving.
Garnish with additional square of shaved chocolate.
Today is Lovella's birthday.
We have been friends for 32 years and
over the years we have celebrated many special occasions together.
This girl loves to celebrate.
She showed up in her Canada shirt, red Olympic mitts,
and if you look carefully under the table....
you will see she even wore her red slippers.



It was Lovella's dream to start Mennonite Girls Can Cook.
Thank you Lovella for
making your dream a reality and bringing me along.

I look forward to eating many more desserts with you,
and celebrating life together as friends.

Blessings to you in the year ahead.
With love, Kathy



Monday, February 22, 2010

Pina Colada Punch

When you are in the midst of a cold winter spell and in need of a bit of sunshine and warm weather, consider having a tropical themed party and serve up this refreshing punch.
I served this at my friends 50th birthday party. There were cold winds blowing outside but inside it was sure warm and tropical.
  • 10 cups of unsweetened pineapple juice
  • 1 can of light cream of coconut milk
  • your choice 1 litre of the following
  • club soda, ginger ale, or lemon lime soft drink
Club soda makes does not add any sweetness, but we enjoy it with ginger ale.
Simple, easy and refreshing without lots of ingredients.


Sunday, February 21, 2010

Bread for the Journey

I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race,
I have kept the faith.
2 Timothy 4:7

Paul's words sound like that of an Olympic athlete. He ran well...completed the race...and was looking forward to his eternal reward...a prize worth so much more than gold.

The Olympic games opened here in Vancouver last week...and so we have the world's best athletes on our doorstep. How exciting it is to cheer for those who have worked so hard to claim their prize...and even more so if they represent our country.

Before we know it...the games will be over and the gold medals will be a distant memory. But life is worth so much more than gold. The big question is how we are running the race of life...and whether we know Him who is the everlasting Prize.

May we all be able to say, "I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith" in the race that matters most!


Saturday, February 20, 2010

Tuxedo Cake


When you make a cake for a bridal shower or a birthday. . it is always an extra special touch to ask what the guest of honor's favorite cake is. This bride's current favorite is a Tuxedo Cake. I set aside the afternoon before the shower to create this moist layer cake.
I will explain the cake with the additional layer of white cake but the white cake is not necessary but I wanted a few thin layers of white cake to define the chocolate against the white filling. Today is Kristina's wedding day and I post this cake in her honor.
Chocolate Cake Layers (you will have a half layer of cake left for another use unless you decide to only use chocolate cake)
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 2 cups flour
  • 3/4 cup sifted cocoa
  • 2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 farm fresh eggs
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 1 cup strong black coffee
  • 1/2 cup canola oil
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  1. Preheat oven to 350 F.
  2. Prepare to 9 inch pans by lining the bottom with parchment paper. Do not grease the sides.
  3. Combine all ingredients int the order listed and beat with a mixer for 2 minutes.
  4. Divide between the two pans and bake for 30 to 35 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.
  5. Cool completely and split the each cake into 2 layers with a large serrated knife.

White Cake Layers (this is a good old standby recipe often used for trifle or cupcakes)

  • 1 large white cake mix (you only need one layer cut in half so you might want to use half the batter for cupcakes)
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 3 eggs
  • 1/2 cup oil
  1. Prepare 1 or 2 9 inch pans by lining with parchment paper. (or use half the batter to fill cupcake tins)
  2. Combine all the ingredients and beat for two minutes.
  3. Bake the 9 inch pans for 30 to 35 minutes or until the toothpick comes out clean.

White Chocolate Cheesecake Mousse Filling

  • 4 ounces cream cheese (softened and cubed)
  • 6 ounces white chocolate (chopped)
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  1. In a small saucepan heat the heavy cream to a simmer.
  2. Add the chopped white chocolate and stir until smooth.
  3. Add the cubed cream cheese and stir until smooth.
  4. Refrigerate about 1/2 hour or until spreading consistency.

Chocolate Mousse Filling

  • 4 serving package chocolate instant pudding
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  1. Combine the ingredients and beat until thickened and smooth.
  2. Refrigerate until set and ready to use.

Chocolate Icing

  • 1/4 cup soft butter
  • 1/4 cup sifted cocoa
  • 1 1/2 cup icing/confectioners sugar
  • a teaspoon or two of milk
  1. Make a spreadable icing by combining all the ingredients in a small bowl. Use enough milk to make a spreadable icing.

Chocolate Ganache

  • 1/2 cup whipping cream
  • 12 ounces chocolate chips ( I don't bother measuring here .. I just make sure I use a small saucepan and add enough chocolate chips so that I can just barely see the top of the chocolate chips when I dump them in)
  1. Bring the whipping cream to a boil.
  2. Add the chocolate chips and stir until smooth.
  3. Set aside until it is slightly thickened but still very pourable.

To construct the cake (the amounts of filling may be too much for each layer. .use your own judgment and use the remainder of the mouse for the cupcakes from the remaining white cake layer and the half layer of chocolate cake. . . . if you are making the cake for a special event. .it is nice to keep a little treat at home for your family)

  1. Put the first layer of chocolate cake on a serving plate.
  2. Top with about half of White Chocolate Mousse Filling.
  3. Put on the first layer of White Cake.
  4. Top with half of Chocolate Mousse Filling.
  5. Put on the second layer of Chocolate Cake.
  6. Top with the second amount of White Chocolate Mousse Filling.
  7. Put on the second layer of White Cake.
  8. Top with the second amount of Chocolate Mousse Filling.
  9. Put on the third layer of Chocolate Cake.
  10. Refrigerate several hours to set.
  11. Apply a thin layer of chocolate icing over sides and top. Make as smooth as possible.
  12. Refrigerate an hour or so to chill the icing so it doesn't melt with the ganache.
  13. Pour the ganache over the top and smooth over sides.
  14. Clean up the drips that are along the bottom of the plate.
  15. Keep in a cool place until ready to serve.

Friday, February 19, 2010

Blueberry Lemon Buttermilk Muffins

I copied this recipe out of a magazine at the doctor's office. I love the texture the buttermilk gives these muffins and the lemon and blueberry flavours are always a hit at our house.
  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 4 eggs
  • 2 1/2 Tbsp lemon juice
  • 2 Tbsp. lemon zest
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 3 cups flour
  • 2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 1 1/2 cups fresh or frozen blueberries (do not thaw first)

Glaze (optional)

  • 1 1/2 cups icing sugar
  • 3 Tbsp. lemon juice
  • 1 tbsp. lemon zest
  1. Preheat oven to 375º. Place cupcake papers in tins.
  2. Beat butter 3 minutes.
  3. Add sugar gradually and beat 1 minute
  4. Add eggs one at a time.
  5. Add lemon juice, zest and vanilla
  6. Sift flour, baking poweder, baking soda and salt
  7. Add dry ingredients to butter/sugar mix alternately with buttermilk, making 3 additions of each.
  8. Gently fold in blueberries.
  9. Spoon into prepared cupcake tins and bake for 20-25 minutes at 375º or until done.
  10. Glaze (if desired) while still warm. Makes about 2 dozen medium sized muffins.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Cranberry Hazelnut Crackers


Included in a basket of home-made goodies from my neighbour at Christmas were these most delicious crackers...chock full of seeds, nuts and craisins. I'm still waiting for her to give me the recipe...but in the meanwhile I knew they were called rain coast crackers...and so I did my own research. I combined several recipes...and came up with a copycat version of Kristi's Christmas crackers. They are now Olympic crackers at our house...the munchie of choice while we watch the winter games.

Cranberry-Hazelnut Seed Crackers

Ingredients:
  • 2 cups (500 ml) whole wheat flour
  • 1 tsp. (5 ml) salt 
  • 2 tsp. (10 ml) baking soda
  •  1/4 cup (60 ml) brown sugar
  • 2 Tbsp. (30 ml) flax seeds
  • 2 Tbsp. (30 ml) sesame seeds
  • 1 cup (250 ml) pumpkin seeds
  • 1/2 cup (125 ml) sunflower seeds 
  • 1/2 cup hazelnuts
  •  1 cup (250 ml) dried cranberries ("craisins")
  •  2 cups (500 ml) soured milk or buttermilk
  • 1/4 cup (60 ml) molasses
Method:
  1. Mix dry ingredients in a large mixing bowl.
  2. Stir the milk and molasses together.
  3. Pour the liquids over the dry ingredients.
  4. Turn into four small greased loaf pans...or six mini-loaf pans.
  5. Bake at 350 F for 45-60 minutes....or until toothpick comes out clean.
  6. Cool slightly...then remove from pans and cool to room temperature on rack.
  7. Wrap loaves in foil, or place them in a sealed container overnight.
  8. Preheat oven to 250 F.
  9. Slice the loaves as thinly as possible...about 1/8 - 1/4 inch thick.
  10. Lay the slices on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper...you will need several pans.
  11. Bake at 250F until crisp (about 45 minutes, depending on how thick your slices are).
  12. Cool and store in sealed containers for up to 3 weeks.


Enjoy them just as they are...or serve with your favorite cheese...or spread with cream cheese. Be forewarned...they are addictive!

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Cinnamon Rolls

I am known for not straying far from my old faithful cinnamon bun recipe, but while flipping through a stack of old recipe books I came across this one and thought I'd give it a shot.
I think my family would have enjoyed these, but would still vote for the others....which by the way are on the blog. When we go to visit our family in Kansas and Calgary I can be found in the kitchen with my hands in the dough and observers peering over my shoulders....so they can make them on their own. They do now...and so can any of you!
This recipe makes 15 rolls. The unique ingredient is corn starch. The dough is buttery soft and once risen is very easy to handle. I would recommend using a stand up mixer with a dough hook for this recipe. The finished rolls are very tender, and best served warm and fresh from the oven, drizzled with cream cheese frosting. I'll be making these again.

Ingredients:
-3/4 cup warm milk
-3 eggs, well beaten
-1 tbsp instant yeast
-4 1/4 cups flour
-1/2 cup sugar
-1/2 cup corn starch
-1 1/2 tsp salt
-12 tbsp soft butter

Place all the dry ingredients in the bowl of your mixer. Give it a good stir. Add the warm milk and beaten eggs and beat until well incorporated. Add 1 tbsp at a time of soft (NOT MELTED) butter to the dough. Beat well between each spoonful. Continue to beat for 10 minutes until you get a buttery yellow, soft dough that is coming together to form a very loose ball. Using a spatula pull the dough together away from the edges of the bowl, and then using your hands work the dough into a soft ball. Place the bowl in a draft free area and cover with a tea towel.
Let rise until double, at least 1 hour.
Filling:
-1 1/2 cups brown sugar
-1 1/2 tbsp cinnamon
-1/2 tsp nutmeg (optional)
-4 tbsp soft butter
Mix the first 3 ingredients together.


Once the dough has risen to double in bulk lightly flour your work surface and roll dough into an 18" square.
Spread with soft butter, sprinkle with sugar mixture, and roll. Slice into 1 1/2 " slices.
Place rolls, just touching onto a parchment lined 9x13 pan. Cover rolls with towel and allow to rise again for 1 hour. Bake at 350º for 35 minutes. Usually I remove buns from the pans as soon as they are baked, but I left these in the pan to cool and frost. It worked well with this recipe.

Cream Cheese Frosting
-4 oz cream cheese
-1/2 -1 tbsp milk
-1 tsp vanilla
-3/4 cup icing sugar
-2 tbsp soft butter
Beat together until smooth, adding more milk or sugar as needed. I made mine a little runny so I could drizzle it.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Economical Coffee Cake


In the summer of 1994 we took our kids, aged 11- 16, on a missions trip to Lithuania. I think it was the best summer we had as a family! An older couple, in charge of the project were Mennonites from Lancaster, PA and I quickly grew to love and admire Marion L. who taught me how to smile and be flexible in a kitchen that was not stocked the way we were used to. This is one of the recipes she shared with me and I still like it because sometimes simple is the best!

Ingredients:

3/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup butter, room temp.
1 egg
1/2 cup milk
1 ½ cups flour
2 tsp baking powder
½ tsp salt

Method:

  1. Beat soft butter and sugar with wooden spoon or hand mixer until well mixed.
  2. Add egg and milk.
  3. Combine dry ingredients and stir in with wooden spoon.
  4. Spread into greased and floured 9x9 pan.
  5. Choose your topping and spread over top.
  6. Bake at 375F for 25 - 35 min. – longer if using fruit topping.

Topping Variations:
* Plain - 1/3 cup brown sugar mixed with 1 tsp cinnamon.
* Apple - arrange thinly sliced apples on top before sprinkling on ¼ - 1/3 c white or brown sugar mixed with cinnamon. Bake 40 - 45 min.
* Cinnamon/oat - combine 1/2 c rolled oats, 1/2 c brown sugar, 1 tsp cinnamon and sprinkle over top of batter. Bake 30 min.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Bread for the Journey

Love is patient and kind.
Love is not jealous or boastful or proud or rude.
Love does not demand its own way.
Love is not irritable, and it keeps no record of when it has been wronged.
It is never glad about injustice but rejoices whenever the truth wins out.
Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance.
1 Corinthians 13: 4-7

The kind of love that the Bible talks about is very different than what we often demonstrate when we say we love our family and friends.

I read the verses again but I substituted my name for the word Love . . .

and as I read it aloud I wondered ....

do these verses fit with how I treat my friends and family?

I found myself coming up short in areas and . . .

I saw that I have lots of room to practice showing love.

Since today is Valentines Day. .

it is a good day to start fresh.

Happy Valentines Day to all of you our dear friends!

All for now. .

with love,




Saturday, February 13, 2010

Baked Sour Dough Stuffing


This recipe comes from my side-kick Steff who helped me at my cooking event last fall.
She is truly the Queen of Appetizers. This recipe is somewhat a twist to Spinach Dip.
I could not find unsliced pumpernickel bread, so I substituted Anneleise's Stir Whole Wheat Bread. This bread is always a great success in our home. So this will be my appetizer for the opening games ceremony. It's always a hit. Enjoy!

Baked Sour Dough Stuffing
  • 1 pumpernickel bread

  • 1 sour dough bread

  • 2 blocks of cream cheese

  • 1 Cup of grated cheddar cheese

  • 1 tsp. dill weed (I just used fresh dilll)

  • 1/4 cup diced onion

  • 1/2 cup of crumbled bacon

  • 1 small can of shrimp or crab. ( I prefer to use the fresh imitation crab)

Directions
  1. Mix all the above ingredients together (except the bread)

  2. Take one of the breads and cut off a circle on top and save that....then hollow out the bread and fill it up with the cream cheese mix.

  3. Then put the bread lid back on and wrap it in tin foil and bake for 2 hours at 350 degrees.
This is not an exact science so usually I use more onion, more dill and more than half pkg of bacon. Have fun with the taste...Go a bit Rustic!!!

Friday, February 12, 2010

Mocha Toffee Parfait




I got this recipe from my mother over 35 years ago and have no idea where she got it from.

serves 4

1- 3- or 3 1/4 oz package regular vanilla pudding mix
1 tbsp instant coffee powder
1 3/4 cups milk
1/2 cup semisweet chocolate pieces
1- 6oz (2/3 cup) evaporated milk
2 chocolate covered english toffee bars (5/8 oz each) coarsely crushed
whipped cream

In medium saucepan, combine pudding mix and coffee powder; gradually stir in milk til mixture is blended. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly til mixture comes to boiling. Remove from heat and cover surface of pudding with waxed paper or plastic wrap. Cool and chill. In small saucepan combine chocolate pieces and evaporated milk. Cook and stir over low heat til mixture boils and chocolate is melted. Cool and chill. Remove paper from pudding mixture; spoon half the mixture into 4 parfait glasses. top with half the chocolate sauce and half the crushed candy etc. etc. Top off with whipped cream and remaining candy.

This would be a great dessert for Valentine's Day!

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Buttermilk Fried Chicken

These days you may pass on fried foods, but I decided that a little fried chicken would not hurt.
I used grape seed oil which is a lower smoking oil and leaves food less greasy in taste and texture. Soaking the meat in buttermilk and spices for 8 hours makes for juicy tender chicken on the outside, and a flour and spice coating gives a perfect crunch to the outside.

One frying chicken cut into pieces- You can purchase pre cut pieces of chicken with the skin on or cut up your own. Wash and place in a glass 9x13 pan.

Buttermilk marinade
-3 cups buttermilk
-1/2 onion, chopped into 4 large pieces
-2 tbsp chopped fresh parsley (or 1 tbsp dried)
-1 tsp cayenne pepper
-1 tsp paprika
-1 tsp tarragon
-1 tsp garlic powder
-1 tsp salt
-1/2 tsp pepper
Stir ingredients together and pour over washed chicken, making sure the meatiest parts of the chicken are soaking in the mixture. Cover and refrigerate for 8 hours.

Flour coating:
-2 cups flour
-1 tsp salt
-1 tsp pepper
-1 tsp paprika
-2 heaping tbsp Shake 'N Bake (I used original)
Place ingredients in a large zip lock bag or seal able container and shake together well.
Drain chicken in a colander leaving the excess spices on the meat, but remove the onions.
Place all wet chicken pieces into the flour bag and shack well, until the pieces are heavily coated.

To fry: it is important that you always stay close to the stove top when heating oil. Keep a lid handy just in case a fire starts. This will probably never happen, but if it does....smother the flames with the lid!
Have a plate with a cooling rack over it ready to remove the fried chicken to. Any grease will drip through that way and the pieces will stay crunchy.
I used 4 cups of grape seed oil, as it does not smoke and also is a very light and less greasy tasting oil. You can also use Canola oil.
Using a heavy pot heat oil over medium heat. It is ready for frying when you drop a pinch of flour into it and it sizzles and browns.
Using tongs, place 4 pieces of chicken at a time in the oil. I fried the same size pieces at the same time as the smaller wings and drumsticks fried faster than the larger pieces. Let them fry (stay close) for 12-15 minutes, and then turn over and fry another 8-10 minutes. Watch the meat and adjust the heat so that the chicken is sizzling in the oil. Repeat with the remaining pieces. Keep chicken warm in oven, until all pieces are fried.
Serving suggestion- pasta, spinach Mandarin salad, homemade buttermilk biscuits.


Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Basil Tomato Pizza

This makes a nice change from a tomato sauce based pizza. It makes a great appetizer as well. I got the idea for the topping from a Pillsbury booklet but have changed it to suit our tastes.

Pizza crust *

1 ¼ cups warm water 2 Tbsp. oil
1 tsp. sugar 1 tsp. salt
1 Tbsp. instant yeast 3-4 cups flour

Mix flour, sugar salt and yeast in mixing bowl.
Add oil and warm water and mix to form a soft dough.
Cover and let rise until nearly double in bulk.
Grease large pizza pan or cookie sheet and sprinkle with about 2 Tbsp. cornmeal. (this keeps your crust from getting soggy)
Roll out dough on floured board or
you can just press it out, stretching it to fit the pan. You can get 2 medium sized pizzas from this amount of dough so I often spread it on another pizza pan and freeze it for another day.
Place on prepared pan.
Top with following mixture.

Basil Tomato Topping
½ cup mayonnaise
½ cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 large garlic clove minced
½ tsp. basil leaves or 1-2 Tbsp. chopped fresh basil
1 tsp. fresh chives or green onions chopped fine
Thinly sliced seeded tomatoes ( Roma tomatoes are the best)
1-1½ cups coarsely grated Mozzarella cheese

In mixing bowl, combine mayonnaise, Parmesan cheese, garlic and basil until well mixed.
Spread on prepared crust.
Arrange tomato slices over topping and sprinkle with chives and grated Mozzarella.
Bake at 425º for 15 minutes or until it bubbles and the cheese just begins to brown.

* Time-saving Tip:
My sister uses one of those bagged. prepared crusts you can buy in the deli of your grocery store and it works very well.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Pauline's Blueberry Pie

This is my mom by love's Blueberry Pie Filling recipe that is always just perfect. The blueberry filling stays put and yet the juice oozes enough to make the plate mighty tempting to lick.

You will need enough pastry for a double crust pie. I always use Dorothy's Pastry which has never disappointed me yet.

Dorothy's Pastry. . .makes enough for two double crust pies and enough left for a pie shell. It can be frozen in discs to use later. Simply thaw the pastry in the refrigerator.
  • 5 cups flour
  • 4 teaspoons brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 pound lard
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tablespoon white vinegar
  • water
  1. Measure the flour, brown sugar, salt and baking powder into a large bowl.
  2. Cut in the lard with a pastry blender or two knives until the mixture is like large oatmeal.
  3. Put the egg into a 1 cup measuring cup. .beat it to break it up.
  4. Add the vinegar to the cup and then fill with water to the 1 cup line.
  5. Slowly stir the egg mixture into the flour mixture with a fork until just combined.
  6. Turn out onto a floured counter and knead a few times to bring it together into a ball.
  7. Divide in half and wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for an hour.
Pauline's Blueberry Filling (for a 10 inch pie)
  • 6 cups blueberries (fresh or frozen)
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 2 tablespoons tapioca
  • 3/4 cup white sugar
  1. Preheat the oven to 425 F.
  2. Combine the filling ingredients in a large bowl while the pastry is chilling.
  3. Roll the chilled pastry out and line a 10 inch pie plate.
  4. Dump in the blueberry filling.
  5. Roll out another disc of pastry and cut a hole in the center with a cookie cutter so that you can easily see when the center is bubbly.
  6. Top with pastry. . .trim and flute the edges. Put strips of foil around the edge to keep the edges from becoming too brown. Sprinkle a tablespoon of white sugar on top of the pie.
  7. Bake for 10 minutes and then turn the oven to 375 and continue to bake another 30 minutes and then remove the foil and bake until the crust is golden brown and the center is bubbly and the blueberries are thickened in sauce.

Monday, February 8, 2010

Tapioca Pudding

I remember my Mom making tapioca pudding for dessert. I searched for a recipe online. I found one on http://www.simplyrecipes.com/ and with a bit of changing it looked like it could match my Mom's recipe.

Ingredients are:

1/2 cup small pearl tapioca, not the instant tapioca
3 cups whole milk..I used skim
1/4 tsp salt
2 eggs
1/2 cup sugar
1 tsp vanilla

Method is:

1. Combine tapioca, milk and salt in a med size saucepan over med heat. Stir until boiling. Simmer 5 min, uncovered at the lowest heat, add sugar gradually and keep stirring frequently.
2. Beat eggs in a bowl. Slowly mix in a little of the hot tapioca to equalize the temp of the two mixtures to avoid curdling.
3. Add egg/tapioca mixture to the tapioca in the pan. Slowly bring to a boil, stirring constantly. Reduce heat and cook and stir frequently at low simmer till it's a thick pudding consistency and the tapioca is tender.
4. Once it's done, cool for 10 min, then stir in vanilla.
5. This is very good served warm with a bit of ice cream.

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Bread for the Journey

The Mandevilla is my new favorite plant.
It blooms with the most wild abandonment, as if it is bursting with joy!
The beauty of its satin-soft almost translucent petals inspired
my neighbour to call them "angel flowers".
*********
Beauty
What would our life be without beauty in it ?
We spend more time seeking, creating beauty than we
would probably acknowledge.
We beautify our homes, our gardens, our tables.
We seek it in the mirror... thinking...
If we are beautiful we will be loved.
Did you ever stop to realize that the God -
who created such beauty in His creation;
Who also created YOU -
thinks you are are beautiful and His heart yearns for you?
Psalm 45:11
So the King will greatly desire your beauty,
Because He is your Lord, worship Him.
We are loved with a love that far surpasses any human love
we have known.
How can we respond to such a love other
than with deep felt emotion ,
and melted heart
lifted in worship to Him!
"Therefore I will offer sacrifices of joy
in His tabernacle;
I will sing,
YES!
I will sing praises to the Lord"
Ps. 27:6b
********

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Coconut Crumbed Chicken Tenders with Salsa


I served these baked chicken tenders with my homemade salsa to which I added some fresh pineapple. Served over a romaine and spinach salad it made a light dinner.

  • 2 - 3 chicken tenders per person.

Chicken tenders are the part of the chicken breast that is the most tender. To find it. .take a fresh boneless chicken breast. . turn it to the underside and pull the bit of loose chicken. It will easily pull off. You can buy the chicken tenders already separated I just froze the rest of the chicken breasts for another meal. If you are going to make enough for 4 people. .the crumbs below will be enough .. .but if you make a large batch ..double the crumbs below accordingly.

  • 2 beaten eggs
  • 2 cups crushed cornflakes
  • 1 cup of fine unsweetened coconut
  1. Dip the chicken tenders in the egg.
  2. Put the cornflakes in a zip loc bag and crush with a rolling pin.
  3. Add the coconut.
  4. Coat each piece of chicken with the cornflake and coconut mixture.
  5. Spray a cookie sheet or cover with parchment paper. Lay the chicken out and leave a little space between each one to allow them to crisp. If necessary use two cookie sheets.
  6. Bake in a hot oven. . 425 F for 10 minutes. Cut into the thickest part of one to be sure it is no longer pink in the middle.

Serve with the Salsa.

Tropical Salsa which is Dorothy's Salsa with Pineapple

  • 4 finely diced Roma tomatoes
  • 1 diced green pepper
  • 1 diced orange or yellow pepper
  • 1 small onion finely diced
  • 1 large jalapeno pepper which you have finely chopped. .using medical gloves of course.
  • 1 minced garlic clove
  • 1 - 2 cups finely diced pineapple. . you could use mango too .. add more. .it won't hurt it.
  • 1 cup vinegar
  • 1 can tomato paste
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 teaspoon oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin
  • a few tablespoons chopped cilantro . .add this to your taste
  1. In a large bowl combine all the veggies and the pineapple.
  2. Add the remainder of the ingredients and stir well . .refrigerate.

Friday, February 5, 2010

Rouladen

My friend, Doris, makes Rouladen for special occasions and I always get hungry for them when she mentions them. Before I got this recipe from her, I just winged it and basically made my own version, but now I am happy to give you a real recipe.

Ingredients:

2 – 3 lbs round steak, cut for Rouladen (8 - 12 thin slices)
salt, pepper and marjoram to taste
mustard
1-2 large onions, chopped (I used 1 onion)
15 – 20 slices bacon
a few pickles. sliced (optional)
2 cans cream of mushroom soup
1-2 cans button mushrooms

Method:

  1. In a large frying pan, sauté onion and bacon. I used pre-cooked bacon, so I just add it once the onion is soft, or use it without frying.
  2. Tenderize the meat. I put a few slices on a chopping board, cover the meat with a plastic bag and then use the meat hammer on it. This way the juices don’t splatter.
  3. Sprinkle meat lightly with salt, pepper and marjoram, then paint lightly with mustard.
  4. Divide onions and bacon on tenderized meat slices and add pickle on one end.
  5. Roll up, starting with pickle end, folding in the sides a tad. Secure with toothpick.
  6. Brown in same pan as you cooked the onions in. I like to add a splash of wine at the end of the browning process and continue cooking them until it’s almost evaporated.
  7. Transfer rouladen to roasting pan.
  8. Add cream of mushroom and liquid from mushrooms to drippings in pan and bring to boil. I used 1 can mushroom soup and about 1/2 cup light cream.
  9. Pour sauce over rouladen and bake at 325F for 1 - 1 ½ hours, depending on size. Add button mushrooms for last 20 minutes.

Other option for sauce: Add 3 cups beef or chicken broth (shake 1 cup with 3 Tbsp flour to thicken) to drippings in pan. Cook rolls on stove or in the oven, in the sauce. When done, remove rolls onto serving plate and stir ½ cup of cream into the gravy.

Serving suggestion: Serve with Bev's Spaetzle or mashed potatoes and red cabbage

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Banana Creme Brûlée

If you have ever been on a cruise...you know that the food is quite special! Last year we cruised the Caribbean...and I came home with the Royal Caribbean International Cookbook...which happens to contain recipes for many of the delicious dishes I sampled on board. One of my favorite desserts was Bailey's Banana Creme Brûlée. The recipe I am sharing here today is not exactly as printed in the cookbook...but a somewhat more simplified version. I discovered that it doesn't need double boilers and strainers after all!


Creme Brûlée
  • 4 egg yolks
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 2 1/2 Tablespoons of Bailey's Irish Cream
  • 2 cups whipping cream
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
Method:
  1. Beat egg yolks and sugar until lemon coloured.
  2. In a heavy saucepan heat cream to scalding (just under a boil) over medium heat.
  3. Stir in Bailey's Irish Cream.
  4. Add hot cream mixture slowly to egg mixture stirring continually.
  5. Divide custard into individual brulee dishes or ramekins. (Fills six 7 oz. ramekins.)
  6. Set filled brulee dishes in a large deep-sided baking dish.
  7. Add enough water to reach halfway up the brulee dishes.
  8. Bake for 40 minutes at 325 degrees Fahrenheit...until set but still trembly.
  9. Remove from pan and cool. Chill for several hours.
  10. Several hours before serving, sprinkle 1 Tablespoon brown sugar over each cup.
  11. Broil 6-8 inches from heat until sugar is caramelized....it will turn brown and bubble.
  12. Watch very carefully.
  13. Let stand 15 minutes; then chill again until serving time.
  14. Top with caramelized bananas (below) and a spoon of whipped cream.
  15. Serves six.

Caramelized Bananas
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup sour cream
  • 2 bananas, sliced
Method:
  1. Melt butter and sugar in skillet over medium heat.
  2. Add sour cream and whisk until smooth.
  3. Add banana slices and caramelize for about two minutes.

The Bailey's Irish Cream gives it a wonderful flavour, but you can substitute 1 teaspoon vanilla if you prefer. You can also omit the banana topping and instead top with whipped cream and toasted hazelnuts. It's actually quite simple to make...and most delicious with the crunchy brown crust. If you are looking for a special dessert...you might want to give this a try!

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Bagel Sandwich

I always keep some Whole Wheat Multigrain Bagels in my freezer for a quick lunch. When you buy bagels don't assume that a Mulitgrain Bagel is Whole Wheat. Depending on where you live. . .Multigrain might very well mean that the Bagel has various grains in it. Read your label to be sure that the flour is Whole Wheat.
On this bagel I change up the ingredients but I almost always use a meat. . a type of cheese. .and a topping of veggie. Try different combinations to keep your lunches interesting.

  1. First spread your bagel with Dijon Mustard.
  2. Then choose a thin slice or two of either
  • smoked turkey or chicken
  • lean ham
  • crisp bacon
  • a cheese of your choice. I used a spicy jalapeno havarti.

Top with a few slices of veggie . . or just thin tomato. Keep the tomato thin so it broils up nicely.

If you want a veggie sandwich just use some peppers and cheese.

I'm sure you will have lots of your own ideas. . .please share. I'll add them onto the recipe.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Coddled Eggs

We were given two porcelain Royal Worcester egg coddling cups as a gift. They were so pretty, but I had no idea what they were for. Once I found out what they were and how to use them we have been enjoying coddled eggs for breakfast.
The egg coddlers shown are for 2 medium size eggs. You can purchase them at specialty kitchen shops, and can also be found in antique shops. If purchasing a used coddler make sure the lid has a good seal.

How to use:
Place empty cups in a pot and fill pot with water to just below the lid rim of the cup.
Remove the cups from the pot.
Lightly grease the inside of the cup and lid with butter. (or use non stick spray)
Bring the pot of water to a boil while you assemble your eggs.

Ingredients -for 2 double egg coddler cups
-4 eggs, at room temperature
-4 tsp ceddar cheese, finely grated (optional)
-4 tsp deli ham, finely chopped (optional)
-dry basil, (optional)
-salt and pepper
-1 tsp butter
Place 1/4 tsp butter in the bottom of each greased coddler. Break one egg into each coddler. Sprinkle with a dash of salt and pepper and a pinch of basil. Top with 1 tsp of each ham and cheese, and then break the second egg over that. Top with the remaining ham and cheese, a dash of the seasonings and 1/4 tsp of butter.

Making sure you have greased the lid, screw it on (but do not tighten it too much) and carefully place the sealed coddlers in the pot of boiling water. I put a lid slightly left open over the pot to keep the steam in.
For a 2 egg coddler leave in the water for 8 1/2 minutes. If using only 1 egg boil for 6 1/2 minutes.
To remove from the water it is best to use the end of a fork or spoon by sliding it into the ring. The porcelain gets very hot! Using a dry tea towel hold the bottom and remove the seal. The eggs will be like a medium hard boiled egg. The cheese, ham and basil give it extra flavor.
Serve with home made hash brown potatoes, fruit and toast.
*if you want quick home made hash browns, microwave several potatoes for 4-5 minutes. Let cool slightly and leaving the skins on cut into chunks. Melt some butter in a non stick skillet and over medium heat brown until outsides begin to get crispy. Season with salt and pepper to taste.




Monday, February 1, 2010

Chicken Noodle Soup

When I make homemade Chicken Noodle Soup I use a whole fryer or broiler chicken. I don't use all the meat for the soup. Once the broth has simmered several hours I allow the broth to cool enough to handle the chicken. Remove the chicken using a small colander with a handle. Take off the two breasts and use them for another meal that needs chopped chicken. The options are endless. You could make a casserole or just use it for sandwiches or for wraps. Since the chicken had simmered in the seasoned broth. . .it will be flavorful for another use. With the rest of the chicken I remove from the bones from the meat and put the meat back into the broth. If we are not eating the soup that day .. .I refrigerate the broth and then before reheating .. .I remove all the solid fat at the top of the broth.

  • 1 chicken
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 10 peppercorns
  • 1 star aniseed
  • 5 cloves
  • a small handful chopped parsley
  • 1 teaspoon Maggi seasoning ( optional )
  • salt to taste
  1. Put your chicken in a soup pot and cover with water.
  2. Bring to a boil and add the spices (not the parsley) which you have tied into a bit of cheesecloth.
  3. Simmer for 2 -3 hours.
  4. Remove from heat and take chicken off the bones when it is cool enough to handle.
  5. Remove the breasts and refrigerate for another use. Remove the rest of the meat from the bones and put back into the broth.
  6. Add 1 teaspoon of salt and the Maggi seasoning and parsley.
  7. Simmer for 1/2 hour and taste and adjust the salt and Maggi seasoning if needed.
  8. Serve the broth over cooked fine egg noodles. (Do not store leftover soup with noodles. .keep them separate)