Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Two Sauces for Baked Ham

On Easter Sunday, a traditional Mennonite meal includes Baked Ham, Plumamous, Zwiebach, either scalloped potatoes or potato salad and Paska - of course. I remember the long tables set up in my Grandma's basement, loaded with wonderful food.
There was lots of happy noise as the adults visited and we children ran up and down the stairs, excited to be with our cousins.

A favourite condiment for the baked ham at our house is Mustard Sauce. I first had it at a Greendale Church banquet where it always accompanies a ham dinner. It is sweet, creamy with just a bit of bite and compliments the ham to perfection.

The original recipe was submitted by Frieda F. in the Greendale Church cookbook. I've increased the amount of dry mustard and decreased the sugar to suit our taste.

Mustard Sauce

  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 1 Tbsp. dry mustard
  • 4 eggs
  • 1/4 cup vinegar
  • 1 Tbsp. butter
  1. Mix dry ingredients first.
  2. Beat 4 eggs until lemon coloured and fluffy.
  3. Gradually add dry ingredients and vinegar.
  4. Microwave at high for 1 minute.
  5. Stir well.
  6. Continue to microwave at one minute intervals (I often use a lower power), stirring each time until mixture thickens but is still creamy. You will need to watch it carefully that it does not overcook. Do not allow it to bubble. When it overcooks it loses its creamy texture.
  7. Stir in butter and cool.
  8. Refrigerate until serving. Serve with baked ham.
    Store any leftovers in the fridge. This is also delicious spread on ham or sausage sandwiches.

    The second sauce is a favourite of our oldest son's. Because of the raisins in it I prefer to serve it when Plumamous is not on the menu.

Raisin Sauce

  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 3 Tbsp. cornstarch
  • 1 1/2 cups water (you can use some of the broth from the ham as part of the water. Just be aware that it will be somewhat salty)
  • 1/4 cup vinegar
  • 1/2 cup sultana raisins (washed)
  • Juice and rind of 1/2 a lemon or orange
    Add liquids and stir well.
  1. Blend dry ingredients in glass bowl or pot.
  2. Stir in raisins, juice and rind.
  3. Microwave at one minute intervals, stirring each time or cook over medium heat on stove.
  4. Cook until it thickens and begins to bubble.
  5. Serve warm with baked ham or roast pork.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Orange Glazed Chicken

This is a simple, yet delicious family meal idea I got my my friend, Doris, many years ago.

Ingredients:

  • 10 -12 pieces of chicken
  • salt, pepper, garlic powder (or seasoning salt)
  • 1/4 cup frozen orange juice concentrate
  • 2 Tbsp butter
  • 1/2 tsp ginger

Method:
  1. Season chicken pieces with salt, pepper and garlic powder or preferred seasoning salt.
  2. Bake on foil lined cookie sheet at 375 F for 40 minutes
  3. In a small pot, bring orange juice, butter and ginger to boil. Spoon over chicken and bake another 20 minutes.
Orange rice
Add one Tbsp frozen orange juice concentrate per cup of water to rice. Add 2-3 Tbsp of raisins just before rice is done.

Monday, March 29, 2010

Quick Mexican Layered Bean Dip


I've been layering this bean dip in a 1 quart rectangular container that has a lid. It is easy to take on picnics or to pull out of the refrigerator when company blesses you unexpectedly. The recipe can easily be doubled if you are planning on serving a crowd. It easily keeps in the refrigerator for a full week. . .if it lasts that long.
  • 1 - 250 gram or 8 ounce light cream cheese
  • 1/2 cup light sour cream
  • 1 tablespoon Epicure Pueblo Bean Dip Mix or taco seasoning
  • 1/2 can refried beans
  • 1 cup purchased or home made gaucamole or homemade
  • 1 cup salsa
  • 1 small can sliced olives
  • 1/2 cup chopped green onions
  • 1 cup finely shredded cheese
  1. Mix together the softened cream cheese, the sour cream and the seasoning.
  2. Layer the cream cheese mixture first and then the remaining ingredients in order listed.
  3. Refrigerate and then serve with salted tortilla chips.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Bread for the Journey


"Just taste it!"

"Oh, taste and see that the LORD is good;
Blessed is the man who trusts in Him!"
Psa 34:8
Those of us who are mothers all have memories
of coaxing our children to try a new food.
"Just taste it," we beg, "Its GOOD!"
My husband complains when I make a new recipe,
"Why don't you make the good ones I like?"
he whines, before he even tastes.
My reply stops him cold....
"All those recipes you love? They were all new recipes
the first time you tasted them!"
smile
True, isn't it ? if we don't 'taste' , if we don't try,
we will never know how good something is.
**********
Did you ever stop to think of how we got the word 'good'?
It is simply 'God' stretched out.
Isn't that what God does?
Stretch out His hand continually,
offering us good things?
The blessings of every day.
Every time we exclaim "GOOD!".. it comes from the hand of God.
****
The ultimate stretching out was God's Son on the cross,
to show us how much
He loves us.
Isn't this a perfect time of year to remember...
God stretched out is indeed GOOD !
With what heart-felt gratitude we reach back to Him
remembering the pain our 'good' cost Him!
*******

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Blueberry Crumble Muffins

This recipe, submitted by Wendy, (with several changes) is from the Central Heights church cook book.
In 1992 the recipe book was complied as a fund raiser by the members of a care group.
The book was dedicated to the pastors wives for their loving example of
support and hospitality. My dad was one of the pastors of the church and so my Mom
was one of the wives honoured. There is a photo of the pastors wives in the cook book and
when using a recipe from this book I often have to give thanks to God for the
many great years at CHC.

Ingredients for muffins:
-1/2 cup margarine, room temperature
-1 cup white sugar
-2 large eggs
-1 tsp vanilla
-2 cups flour
-2 tsp baking powder
-1/2 tsp salt
-1/2 cup buttermilk or sour milk (1/2 cup milk plus 1 tsp vinegar, let stand for 3 minutes)
-2 cups fresh or frozen blueberries
Preheat oven to 375º. Grease muffin tins. Beat Margarine until fluffy. Add sugar, mix well. Beat in eggs and vanilla. In another bowl mix dry ingredients together. Add half the dry ingredients to creamed mixture. Mix in half the milk. Mix in the remaining dry ingredients, then the rest of the milk. Fold in the blueberries. Fill each muffin cup to the top.

Ingredients for Crumble:
-1/2 cup flour
-1/4 cup sugar
-1/4 cup margarine
Stir flour and sugar together. Cut in the margarine to make a crumble. Sprinkle over all the muffins.
Bake approximately 20 minutes until golden. Cool in muffin tins. Makes 12 muffins.



Friday, March 26, 2010

Oma's Goulash

This is the goulash that my Oma always made. It has very few ingredients but the flavor is so good. This recipe stems back from Russia, trekked across Europe to Germany, then to Paraguay and finally Canada. Needless to say that her family has been eating this for generations. You can serve this with rice or pasta your choice. A simple salad completes the meal.
  • 1 lb round steak cubed, or use stewing beef cubed into smaller chunks
  • 1 tablespoon butter, 1 tablespoon oil
  • 1 small can of tomato sauce
  • 1 cup of cream, or if you must go lighter, milk, but it is so good with the cream
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 heaping tbsp flour
In a pot brown the beef cubes well. Add barely enough water to cover the meat and cook until tender. About 40 minutes to an hour depending on the meat.
Mix flour with cold water and add the paste to the meat. Cook for a few minutes.
Add the tomato sauce, and the cream.
Heat through and season to taste.
......so Kinder jetzt essen (so children let's eat)






Thursday, March 25, 2010

Wareneki


Wareneki, Varenyky or Perogies.
It really doesn't matter what you call them, they are wonderful.
I grew up with cottage cheese filled Wareneki, along with a sour cream and butter gravy.
My husband's Mom is Ukrainian and the filling for her recipe is
sauerkraut, hamburger and potato.
They served them with heated cream or sour cream.

Dough:
-1 cup sour cream
-1/2 tsp salt
-1/2 tsp baking powder
-2 cups flour
-1 egg white, slightly beaten (save the yolk for the filling)
Mix ingredients into a smooth dough, cover and place in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour.
This recipe makes enough for one of the following fillings, but can easily be doubled.

Sauerkraut , Hamburger and Potato Filling:
-1 large potato, boiled, mashed and cooled
-1/2 lb hamburger, browned, seasoned with salt and pepper. Drain any drippings and cool meat.
-1 cup sauerkraut, drained well
Mix above 3 ingredients together.

Potato Cheese and Onion filling:
-2 potatoes boiled, mashed and cooled
-1/4 cup sauteed onion, cooled
-1 cup grated cheddar cheese
Mix above three ingredients together.



Cottage Cheese Filling:
-2 cups dry curd cottage cheese (if you can't find dry, place regular cottage cheese in a fine strainer and allow moisture to drain)
-1 egg yolk, left over from the dough
-1 tsp salt
-dash pepper
Combine ingredients together well.

Method:
1. While dough is chilling make the fillings. (you can double the dough to make several kinds)
2. Take one recipe of dough and on a lightly floured counter roll it out very thin into a large rectangle.
3. Using an ice cream scoop place balls of filling along one end of dough as illustrated above.
4. Fold dough over filling as illustrated above. Using a small round cutter (or small glass) cut out Wareneki, as illustrated below.
The dough is very easy to work with and not sticky. If you find that the edges aren't sealed just pinch as needed.
5. Place the Wareneki on parchment lined cookie sheets. Keep in fridge until ready to boil, or freeze on the cookie sheets. Once they are frozen bag them for later use.

Boiling:
Bring a large pot of water with 1 tbsp butter to a boil. Drop fresh or frozen Wareneki into the boiling water and boil 5 minutes if fresh, or 10 minutes if frozen. Wareneki will float when they are done. Drain.

Gravy:
-1/4 cup butter, melted
-1 cup sour cream
In a small sauce pan melt butter, and then stir in sour cream. Bring to a boil, and then simmer for 5 minutes. Salt and pepper lightly to taste.

Serving suggestions:
-sour cream
-heated whipping cream
-sauteed onions
-fried crumbled bacon
-farmer sausage or fried ham slices
-sauteed red cabbage

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Red Velvet Cake

This cake is one of my grandchildren's favorite. I have made it for a few of their birthdays. It's very hard to keep the whipped cream from turning pink-ish when you cut the cake but hey a few pink tints don't bother me!
I know you can buy the red velvet cake mixes but sometimes it's just fun to do one from scratch.
This recipe comes from a friend..I made a few changes.

Ingredients:

2 1/2 cups flour
1/2 tsp salt
2 1/2 tbsp cocoa
1/2 cup butter at room temperature
1 1/3 cups white sugar
2 large eggs
1 tsp vanilla
1 cup buttermilk
2 tbsp liquid red food coloring
1 tsp vinegar
1 tsp baking soda

What you do:

1. In a bowl sift together flour, cocoa, salt and set aside.
2. With your mixer beat butter until soft, add sugar and beat until light.
3. Add eggs one at a time beating well after adding each one.
4. Add vanilla and beat until well combined.
5. Whisk together buttermilk and red food coloring and add the flour alternately with the buttermilk mixture until well blended.
6. Combine the vinegar and baking soda together(it will foam up) then quickly fold into the cake batter. (This is supposed help make the cake light and fluffy)
7. Divide the batter between two 9" round pans which have been lined with parchment paper.
8. Bake in preheated oven at 350º for 30 min.

Once cakes are done and out of the oven cool for 10 min then invert them on a wire rack and let cool completely before frosting.
I frosted my cake with whipped cream. Sometimes I cut each cake in half horizontally giving me 4 layers which I then assemble with whipped cream between each layer and spread more whipped cream on top and sides. This time I left the cake in 2 layers so as to see the cake texture.
You can also make these into cupcakes or use for a trifle.

ENJOY!

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Pork Paillards

This Martha Stewart recipe is an adaptation from one I found in a recent magazine. For the original recipe you can to to http://www.marthastewart.com/recipe/pork-paillards-with-sour-cream-paprika-sauce It's delicious and can almost take the place of a nice Olive Garden dinner.

Ingredients:

1lb pork tenderloin
salt, pepper to taste
2 Tbsp olive oil
1/4 cup white cooking wine
3/4 cup chicken stock
1/3 cup sour cream
a good shake of paprika OR
a sprinkle of finely chopped rosemary

This collage takes you through the method:

Method:

  1. Slice pork at a slight angle, 1/4 - 1/2 inch slices (even easier if still slightly frozen)
  2. Pound with meat hammer (smooth side for smooth look) and season
  3. Heat oil in skillet over med-high heat and add half of the paillards, cooking both sides until nicely browned. Set aside on plate and continue with the rest, adding to plate when done.
  4. Add cooking wine to skillet and deglaze the pan, scraping brown bits with wooden spoon, about 1 minute, then add broth, reduce heat and simmer a few minutes.
  5. Gradually stir in the sour cream and pork paillards
  6. Season with paprika or rosemary, turning paillards to coat with sauce.
  7. Serve with your favorite pasta

Note: for two - three people, I recommend using a smaller or half of a pork tenderloin. You don't have to remove them from the pan if it's only one pan full. Just continue with adding liquids. The amount of sauce is still good and if you like more sauce for the whole recipe, add more according to taste. Try using orange juice or apple juice to deglaze the pan. You can also use sweet cream instead of sour cream.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Brown Bread-just one loaf

Sometimes I just want one loaf of fresh bread.
I adjusted my mom's brown bread recipe to fit into my bread machine.
It can be mixed and baked in a bread machine,
or set bread machine on dough cycle, and bake in oven.
This bread also is easy to mix by hand.

Ingredients:
-1 cup plus 1 tbsp water, very hot out of tap
-1 tbsp liquid honey (melt hard honey in microwave it you don't have liquid)
-1/8 tsp lemon juice
-1 tbsp margarine (break into little pieces to add into machine)
-1 1/2 tsp salt
-1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
-1 1/2 cups white flour
-1 tbsp brown sugar
-1 1/2 tsp yeast - if making and baking in bread machine use Bread Machine Yeast
-if making dough in machine but baking in oven use instant or fast rise yeast

Method:
Place ingredients in order given into bread machine pan. Choose dough cycle if you want to bake in oven once the dough is ready, or set on whole wheat cycle if baking in machine.
If baking in oven, once the dough cycle is complete, remove dough, on a lightly floured counter form dough into a loaf shape and place into greased and floured bread pan. Allow to rise until doubled. (about 3/4 hour)
Bake in preheated 375º oven for 25 minutes. Let bread rest in pan for 5 minutes and then remove to a cooling rack.









Sunday, March 21, 2010

Bread for the Journey

In our Sunday School class at church we are studying the book of James. One verse that stands out is James 1:2 'Consider it pure joy my brothers whenever you face trials of many kinds because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance.'
Our son was diagnosed at the age of 7 months with tuberous sclerosis and autism. He does not speak and has seizures. We asked ourselves this question many times..'would we be able to consider it pure joy to face the trials that were to become our way of life?' We knew that it would not be in our own strength but in giving it all to God..He is able. And as Phil. 3:12&13 states 'I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me'. I repeated that verse many a time and held on to that promise.
Yes the journey has sometimes been difficult (our son is now 34 yrs old) but we can say with a joyful heart that we love our son just the way he is, we wouldn't change a thing! He keeps us smiling at his unique sense of humor:) God entrusted us with a very special blessing!
I don't know where I found the following..it's a balm to my soul and it soothes my heart every time I read it:

"I asked God to make my handicapped child whole
God said No, his spirit is whole and his body is only temporary."

The photo above is fitting because our son loves to pick these 'thistle puffs' and flutter them in the wind.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Oven Baked Chili

Several weeks ago we headed out to go snowshoeing and I decided to make a pot of chili
to take along. Chili recipes come a dime a dozen and this is a combination
of several recipes I have used. I baked the chili in a slow oven for 6 hours to blend the flavors.
You could also let it cook all day in a crock pot.

Chili Ingredients:
-1 lb ground beef
-1/2 lb hot Italian sausage, casings removed
-1 medium onion, diced
-4 cloves garlic, minced
-1 cup diced peppers, I used red and yellow
-1 small can diced jalapeno peppers (approx. 1/3 cup)
-2 tsp cumin
-1 tsp pepper
-3-4 tbsp chili powder
-2 tsp salt
-1 tsp garlic powder
-1/2 tsp hot pepper flakes
-2 tsp sugar
-3 tbsp vinegar
-2 15oz cans diced tomatoes
-2 15 oz cans tomato sauce
-1 can kidney beans, drained
-1 can black beans, drained

In a large heavy pot (or fry pan) fry beef and sausage. When the meat begins to brown add the onion and peppers and cook until vegetables begin to soften and meat is just cooked. Add the spices and cans of tomatoes and beans. Once the chili begins to bubble turn it to simmer and taste. You may want to add more chili powder if you like it hotter.
Transfer chili to a dutch oven, roaster or heavy casserole. Cover with lid. Place in 250º oven and let bake for 4-6 hours. Give it a stir every couple of hours.
Serve on a toasted bun with some grated cheddar.



Friday, March 19, 2010

Pork and Apple Fajitas

We first had this in a Mexican restaurant near Mount Vernon.
The flavours were so good together that we recreated it at home.

  • 1 large pork tenderloin* or 1 lb. boneless pork
  • 1/3 cup soya sauce
  • 3 Tbsp. sherry
  • 1-2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 red pepper cut into strips
  • 1 green pepper cut into strips
  • 1 medium onion, sliced from root to stem
  • 1-2 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 or 2 apples, cored and sliced
  • 1 Tbsp. butter
  • 1 Tbsp. brown sugar (opt.)
  • Tortillas
  • Sour cream, fresh or prepared salsa
  • grated cheese, lettuce and chopped tomatoes.

* I buy pork tenderloins at Costco where they are sold 4 or 5 to a package. They are very lean, are larger than those bought in a supermarket and are reasonably priced. I wrap them individually in waxed paper and freeze them in a ziplock bag so I can take just one out at a time if need be.

  1. Slice pork tenderloin across the grain into thin slices.
  2. In a small ziplock bag, place pork slices, soya sauce, sherry and garlic. Seal and let stand for an hour or so. Remove meat from marinade, reserving a little for later.
  3. Prepare sour cream, salsa, lettuce, tomatoes and cheese, and warm tortillas. This meal is best served right from the pan.
  4. Heat oil in fry pan and saute` onions and peppers until they begin to carmelize. Remove to a bowl and keep warm.
  5. In same pan, stir fry pork until done, adding a little marinade to moisten it if desired.
  6. In another pan, saute` apple slices in butter and sugar (if desired) just until they soften.
  7. To serve, place a few pork slices on a tortilla, add some peppers and onions and a few apple slices. Top with sour cream, salsa, lettuce, tomatoes and cheese. Roll up and enjoy.



Thursday, March 18, 2010

Bumbleberry Pie

Bumbleberry pie is a Canadian favorite...a combination of fruits...apples, rhubarb and assorted berries. With so much emphasis on eating locally grown products these days...here's a dessert that I can bake using all home-grown fruits. In season...the berries, apples and rhubarb are picked fresh in the garden. At this time of the year...they come from the freezer. Either way...there's nothing like fresh bumbleberry pie!

This recipe originated with Jean Pare of Company's Coming...a Canadian favorite...and I've changed it up a little over the years. Use your favorite pastry recipe...check out Anneliese's pastry tips on this blog...or purchase ready-made pastry at the supermarket. I usually make a large batch of pastry (recipe on the Tenderflake lard package) and freeze the pastry to use later at a moment's notice.

Ingredients:

  • Pastry for a 2 crust pie
  • 2 cups cooking apples, peeled and sliced
  • 1 cup rhubarb, chopped
  • 1 cup blackberries
  • 1 cup raspberries
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/3 cup flour
  • 1 tablespoon tapioca
  • 1/4 -1/2 teaspoon granulated sugar

Method:

  1. Roll out pastry and line 9 inch pie plate. Roll top crust and set aside.
  2. Combine 1 cup sugar with flour and tapioca in large bowl.
  3. Add apples, rhubarb and berries. Toss well.
  4. Turn into pie shell.
  5. Dampen crust edge; cover with top pastry. Trim and crimp to seal.
  6. Pierce top crust with fork to vent.
  7. Sprinkle with remaining sugar.
  8. Bake at 400°F for 15 minutes. Reduce heat to 350°F and continue to bake for another 40 minutes...or until golden and bubbly.
Feel free to substitute other berries...try strawberries or blueberries as well. Bumbleberry filling is whatever you choose to make of it!



Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Chocolate Chipit Snackin' Muffins


Again, another good recipe from my favorite muffin cookbook called "The Best 250 Muffin Recipes by Esther Brody. I have really enjoyed this book and for a good while there I was trying a new recipe every week.
I think it is time that I rekindle that ritual. Sunday breakfast was often homemade muffins before we all run out of the door for church.
  • 1 1/2 cups flour
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 tbsp. cocoa
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/4 cup oil
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 1 tbsp. vinegar
  • 1 cup warm water
  • 1/2 cup chocolate chips (or more if you so desire)
  1. In a bowl combine flour, sugar, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Make a well in the center. Add oil, vanilla, vinegar, and warm water. Stir just until moist. Add chocolate chips.
  2. Spoon batter into prepared muffin tins, filling to top. Bake in prepapred muffin tins, filling to the top. Bake in a preheated oven for 15 to 20 minutes at 400. (I always do 375.)
Serve with a good cup of coffee in the company of good fellowship.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Pineapple Squares

Recently my sister reminded me of this simple dessert our Mom used to make.
I have changed it just a little.
It was submitted to The Mennonite Treasury of Recipes, by Mrs Block and Mrs Olfert,
both from Steinbach Manitoba, where my Mom spent some of her growing up years.
When I was growing up our family would take the trip from BC to Steinbach, Manitoba to visit
grandparents and relatives. I have fond memories of those visits.

Crust:
-2 1/2 cups graham crumbs (set aside 1/4 cup of dry crumbs for top)
-1/2 cup melted butter
Mix together and press into a 9x13 pan. Bake in 350º oven for 12 minutes. Cool.

Pudding Layer:
-1 box vanilla pudding and pie filling
-2 cups milk
Cook pudding on stove top or in microwave until thick. (follow package directions)
Spread over cooled crust. Cool.

Pineapple Cream Layer:
-1 large can crushed pineapple, drained
-2 cups whipping cream
-1 tsp vanilla
-2 tbsp sugar
Whip cream adding sugar and vanilla, until thick. Fold in drained crushed pineapple. Spread over cooled pudding layer. Sprinkle with remaining 1/4 cup of crumbs. Cover and keep in fridge for several hours. This dessert keeps well for 3-4 days, covered in the fridge.


Monday, March 15, 2010

Hilda's Glums Paska Spread

This recipe is from my friend Hilda. It is a cottage cheese and egg spread to put on Paska. As a young child I didn't appreciate this spread but since tasting Hilda's spread several years ago . .it became strangely addictive.

  • 1 - 500 ml container dry cottage cheese
  • 1/4 cup room temperature butter
  • 1 1/2 cup white sugar
  • pinch salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 3 small or 2 large hard boiled eggs ..roughly chopped (I make half her recipe which calls for 5 eggs)
  • 1 tablespoon unflavored gelatin softened in 1/4 cup warm water
  1. In a small saucepan heat the whipping cream and gelatin/water together. Simmer it a few minutes until it has slightly thickened. Don't boil it hard. . just a slight simmer is what you want.
  2. Remove from heat and allow to cool to room temperature.
  3. In a blender or food processor combine all the ingredients.
  4. Process until it is is thoroughly combined but still has a bit of texture.
  5. Fill a plastic container and put on a lid. ( I like to use a container size that is almost too small so that the lid presses down the spread to compact it slightly. (trial by error is my motto). . or put it in a glass bowl, cover with a plate and put something a little heavy ontop to press down.
  6. Chill well .. .and spread thickly on Paska.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Bread for the Journey

A Day of Rest
I grew up in a home where Sundays were completely different from any other day of the week. We went to church, had a relaxed family dinner, mom and dad had a nap and we could play until friends came over and then play some more. We were not allowed to do homework. Now I know that sounds legalistic, but at the same time it was freeing. The only thing that rule did, was to force us to work ahead, and be able to enjoy a free day.

Jesus said that the Sabbath was made for man. God, who created us, knew we would need rest, so He said we should work six days and rest one day. This is hard to do in our fast paced way of life when stores are open and life does not stop. But maybe we need to consider how we can slow down and take the time to sit at His feet. We may be surprised at what we can accomplish when we are rested and recharged.

“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” Matthew 11:28-30


Saturday, March 13, 2010

Jam Rolls (Rollchen)

I didn't realize until I was finished preparing this recipe that it is actually very much like Julie's Authentic Schnetki that she posted quite a while ago. You can find some nice variations there. For one reason or another, my family made them with jam and they have always been one of my hubby's favorite snack, when I actually make them. Usually they just appear at our house with my Mom, who makes them regularly. The pastry is the same as for Perishky.

Ingredients:

3 1/2 c flour
1 tsp salt
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 c shortening
1/2 c butter
1 egg, beaten
1 cup milk
1/2 cup buttermilk

1 - 1 1/2 cups thick jam
(we prefer plum or guava)

Method:
  1. Cut shortening and butter into dry ingredients with pastry blender.
  2. Add combined beaten egg and liquids. Stir with fork until everything is moist.
  3. Sprinkle with a little more flour, kneading gently and shape into log.
  4. Divide log into four parts. Set aside three.
  5. Roll a quarter of the dough out - rolling it up gently with the rolling pin (or flipping) to add more flour underneath. Roll sideways and up and down to achieve desired size - about 16X10 inches.
  6. Divide into four rectangular strips, each about 4X10 inches.
  7. Along one long side of each strip, spread about 1 Tbsp thick jam.
  8. Roll up like jelly rolls, pinching ends. Repeat with the rest of the dough.
  9. Bake on parchment-lined cookie sheets at 375 F for 30 - 35 min.

Some jam most always runs out - hence the parchment paper for easy clean up. This is why it is best to use thick jam, cooked without pectin.

Friday, March 12, 2010

Pita Chips

On of my absolute favorite snacks is Hummus with Pita Chips.
The Pita Chips can be purchased but why buy them when you can buy a package of Pita Bread and make your own at a fraction of the price.
Pita Chips take only minutes to make and if you keep a bag of Pita bread in your freezer. . . you will never have stale chips again.
  • 1 bag Pita bread
  • olive oil
  • seasoned garlic powder. . .I use Johnny's
  • coarse ground sea salt
  1. Lightly brush both sides of your pita bread with olive oil
  2. Lightly sprinkle with garlic powder and sea salt
  3. Cut the bread into 8 wedges and separate the each wedge to make 16 chips.
  4. Put them on a cookie sheet . . you will need to repeat this or use more than one cookie sheet. I used parchment paper to make the cleanup easier.
  5. Bake at 375 F for about 5 minutes or until lightly browned.. . .set your timer or you will be tossing them all in the garbage. . I've done it.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Pluckets



This recipe is known by a few names... monkey bread or pull aparts but my favorite name for them is pluckets! This would be a perfect addition to a brunch..wouldn't it be fun to let your guests 'pluck at it'?
I'm sure this recipe can be found in many cook books. This one I found in the Christian Home Cook Book (I made slight changes). You could use any sweet yeast dough or even plain old bun dough although I really prefer the light texture of this dough.

Ingredients:
1 tbsp yeast
1/4 cup lukewarm water
1 cup scalded milk
1/2 cup sugar
1/3 cup melted butter
3 eggs, well beaten
1/2 tsp salt
4 1/2 cups flour, approx

Method:
Scald milk, add butter, sugar, salt and I added the 1/4 cup lukewarm water here as well (I use instant yeast so I don't need the water to 'poof' the yeast) to the milk and let cool to lukewarm. Add well beaten eggs and mix well.
Now add the yeast and just enough flour to make a very stiff batter. It will be sticky.
Cover and let rise in a warm place until doubled in bulk, punch down and let rise again.

Meanwhile prepare the sugar/cinnamon mixture.
3/4 cup sugar, white or brown
3 tsp cinnamon
1/2 cup chopped nuts..I used pecans
Mix this together and set aside.
Melt 1/4 cup butter and set aside.

Once dough has risen the second time punch down and pluck walnut sized pieces of dough and roll into balls, making sure your hands are greased with butter. Dip the balls of dough in melted butter and then roll in the sugar/cinnamon mixture.
At the end I had a bit of the dipping mixture and melted butter leftover so I just put that over the top of the pluckets.
Pile loosely in an ungreased angel food pan and let rise again for 30 min.
Bake at 350º for 35 min, then immediately flip pan upside down on a plate. Wait a few moments and the pan will be easy to remove.
Serve warm.



Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Chocolate Peanut Butter Rice Krispee Squares

A few weeks ago I ran to the store before the wee ones were coming for a Grammie day. I wanted to make some rice krispee squares with them for a treat. When I got home I realized I had purchased the rice krispees that have a "touch of cocoa" on them. I made the regular recipe but added peanut butter. . .and they loved it. . .and so did we.

  • 1/4 cup butter
  • marshmallows. . .a 250 gram bag or 40 regular sized
  • 1/2 cup natural peanut butter
  • 6 cups cocoa rice krispees
  1. Take a large pot and use the butter to grease the sides a bit.
  2. Add the peanut butter and marshmallows and heat on medium heat until everything is melted.
  3. Add the rice krispees and stir well.
  4. Dump it all into a greased 9 X 13 pan.
  5. Allow to cool and then cut into squares.
  6. Invite your favorite kiddies over and have a party.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Hamburger Helper

The other day I was chatting with my daughter and she suggested I post homemade hamburger helper, a dish that her boys really like! I asked her how she made it and she said 'oh you brown hamburger, add some spices, Kraft dinner'...what?? I chuckled as I realized that is the answer I usually give her!! This is a quick meal from stove to table. Here is my version since I never did get the recipe from her:)

Ingredients:
1 lb of lean ground beef
1 box macaroni and cheese
1 tsp chili seasoning
1 tsp taco seasoning
1 tsp Italian seasoning
1 tsp parsley flakes
1 tsp oregano
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
1 cup tomato juice

Brown ground beef in a skillet. Add spices, salt, pepper and the tomato juice.
Boil macaroni until tender. Add macaroni and packet of cheese to the ground beef mixture and stir well.
Simmer for 15 min. adding more tomato juice if the mixture seems too dry.

Tell me Brenda..how did I do??

Monday, March 8, 2010

Hot Fudge Cake


This recipe comes from Bronwen E. It's one of my favorite desserts.

Ingredients:

1 chocolate cake mix
1 can cherry pie filling
2 eggs

Mix above ingredients (don't add what the box says to add) and bake in 9 X 13 pan, about 30 min. Serve with ice cream and hot fudge sauce.

Fudge sauce:

1 cup sugar
3/4 cup baking cocoa, sifted
3/4 cup cream or evaporated milk
½ cup corn syrup
¼ tsp salt
2 Tbsp margarine (optional)

Cook in small pot (stirring) over medium heat until it boils. Boil 2 min. Add 1 tsp vanilla and margarine. We like it served quite warm. Keep in fridge and reheat when needed.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Bread for the Journey


Psalm 19: 8 “The commands of the LORD are radiant, giving light to the eyes.”

1 Corinthians 13:12 “For now we see through a glass darkly but then face to face. Now I know in part but then I shall know even as also I am known.”

Light and vision have been recurring subjects of conversation in our house lately.
My husband had a cataract removed from first one eye and then a month later, the other. I had the procedure done several years ago and understand as he speaks of the changes this is making in how he sees.

In cataract surgery, the doctor removes the clouded lens from your eye and replaces it with a soft plastic lens. The new lens is usually a corrective one as well so that your vision is improved.

During the month between having the left eye and right eye done you can’t help but compare what you see with each eye. From seeing things as an indistinct blur, to seeing sharply; from seeing things with a subdued and yellowed cast, to seeing bright clear colours; the difference between the “good” eye and the “bad” is remarkable.

The Bible tells us that the commands of the Lord are radiant, giving light to the eyes. When we obey His commands, His will is made clear to us, illuminating our daily walk.

And, as it says in 1 Corinthians; our limited and often flawed perceptions here on earth will be clear and vibrant when we see Christ face to face. What we see as negative experiences while we are going through them will be shown as blessings when seen through His perfect lens.
May we "see" things as He does - clear, illuminating and true.

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Pavlova

This is a favourite dessert at our house.
I first had it in Australia where they consider it to be their National dessert.
I believe New Zealand also lays claim to Pavlova so
you could say it is a "Down Under" favourite.
It was first made to tempt the famous ballerina Anna Pavlova - hence its name.
Pavlova is best made the night before you plan to serve it so that
it has all night to cool in the oven



  • 3 egg whites at room temperature (I use large eggs)
  • 1/3 cup sugar (1st amount)
  • 2/3 cup sugar (2nd amount)
  • 2 tsp. cornstarch
  • 1/2 tsp. vanilla
  • 1 tsp. vinegar

  • 250 litre carton whipping cream
  • 2 Tbsp. icing sugar
  • 1/2 tsp. vanilla
  • fruit of your choice. Fresh berries are great, as are fresh or canned peaches, nectarines, pineapple, kiwi or a combination.
  1. Beat egg whites until stiff peaks begin to form.
  2. Add 1st amount of sugar, a few tablespoons at a time, beating very well between additions. I was told to check that the sugar had dissolved before adding the next amount. You can check by tasting a bit of the meringue to see if there are any grains of still sugar intact. This can take a long time so I don't always beat it that long.
  3. Beat in vanilla and vinegar.
  4. Mix cornstarch with the 2nd amount of sugar and continue to add sugar in small amounts beating well in between each addition until meringue is very thick and most of the sugar is dissolved.
  5. Cut a round of parchment paper to fit a pizza pan. You can sprinkle the pan with a bit of water before putting the parchment down so it sticks to the pan. Alternately you can use foil which is lightly buttered.
  6. Pile the meringue on to the parchment in a circle about the size of a dinner plate. Using a spatula or spoon, push the meringue to the outside edges and indent the centre so it is lower than the sides.
  7. Place in centre of a 300º F oven and bake for 1 hour.
  8. After one hour, turn oven off. DO NOT OPEN OVEN DOOR until it is completely cold. (I usually bake my pavlova just before going to bed and leave it in the cold oven overnight.)
  9. Whip cream with icing sugar and vanilla until soft peaks form.
  10. Pile the whipped cream into the centre indentation of your pavlova. (You can do this a couple of hours ahead or right before serving.
  11. Top with cut up fruit or arrange fruit slices in a circular design. Do not put the fruit on until just before serving or the meringue will soften.
  12. Cut into wedges to serve.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Steak Bake Casserole

I often enjoyed this casserole at my mom-in-law's table...many years ago. I made it recently...for old times sake...and it's still every bit as good.


Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 lbs. round or chuck steak, cut into 1/2" strips
  • 2 Tablespoons flour
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1/4 tsp. pepper
  • 2 Tablespoons flour
  • 1 onion, sliced
  • 1 lb. can tomatoes (about 2 1/2 cups)
  • 1 (4 oz.) can sliced mushrooms, drained
  • 3 tbsp. soy sauce
  • 3 tbsp. molasses
  • 1 (10 oz.) pkg. frozen French cut green beans
  • 1 tbsp. sesame seeds

Method:

  1. Sprinkle meat with flour, salt and pepper. Toss to coat.
  2. Brown meat lightly in large skillet.
  3. Add remaining ingredients except green beans and sesame seeds.
  4. Simmer for 30-45 minutes (or until meat is tender), stirring occasionally.
  5. Cook green beans as directed.
  6. Add cooked beans.
  7. Pour into 2 1/2 quart casserole.
  8. Prepare muffin batter and drop by tablespoons onto hot meat mixture.
  9. Sprinkle with sesame seeds.
  10. Bake uncovered at 400°F for about 20 minutes.

Tangy Sesame Muffins:
  • 1 1/4 c. flour
  • 1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1 tsp. dry mustard
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 c. milk
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 2 tbsp. oil
Method:
  1. In mixing bowl, combine flour, baking powder, salt and dry mustard.
  2. Mix milk, egg and oil...and add to dry ingredients.
  3. Stir only until moistened.

Notes: I used fresh green beans, cooked to tender crisp...instead of frozen French cut beans.




Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Pauline's Whole Wheat Bread

Putting family recipes on the MGCC blog is sometimes a bit of a chuckle. The other day I had a family dinner and as we were eating Mom asked. . ."is this recipe on the blog?". . .I replied. . "it's yours mom. . .and it will be". It is a good standard recipe for whole wheat bread.
  • 4 1/2 cups lukewarm water
  • 1/4 cup honey

To this add 2 tablespoons yeast and allow to rest 10 minutes.

  • 1/4 cup oil
  • 2 tablespoons salt
  • 5 cups whole wheat flour
  • about 4 cups white flour or enough to make a smooth elastic dough
  1. Add the oil and salt to the yeast mixture, stir well.
  2. Add the flour one cup at a time stirring until you can't stir it anymore.
  3. Knead in the remaining flour until you have a smooth elastic dough.
  4. Put into a large bowl, cover and let double in bulk. . .about an hour.
  5. Divide into 4 loaves and put into greased loaf pans.
  6. Let rise until double and bake in a 375 oven for about 20 minutes or until golden brown.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Vegetable Presentation

I needed something extra special to serve with fondue at our 'let the games begin' party.
I give full credit to my friend Jan for this wonderful idea.

Vegetable Bundles
Slice an eggplant or zucchini into 1 1/2" slices.
Using a sharp knife hollow our each slice, creating a ring.
For each bundle I used:
-4 green beans
-3 asparagus spears
-2 strips each yellow and red pepper
-4 thin carrot sticks
-4 long green onion pieces (optional)
-olive oil
-herbs or spices of your choice
-butter
Separately cook beans, carrots and asparagus for 2 minutes in microwave with a few table spoons of water. They will still be crunchy. Do not pre cook the peppers.
Once cool enough to touch, combine bundles of veggies and feed through the ring.
Carefully place them on a parchment lined baking sheet.
If using onions, place on a plate and heat in microwave for 20 seconds, just to soften them enough to tie in a bow. Place bow on top of ring as a garnish.
Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with herbs you enjoy.
Give each a grind of fresh pepper and salt.
Bake in 400º oven for 12-14 minutes.
Drizzle with one teaspoon of melted butter and serve.

Monday, March 1, 2010

Banana Nut Cookies

When we first were married, we had the privilege of getting to know an elderly Japanese woman named Elma. She would invite us over for traditional Japanese meals along with some other friends. She passed away after only knowing her for 3 years, but I fondly am reminded of her whenever I bake these cookies. I never took any authentic Japanese recipes, which I regret today, but I do have this one.
This is a soft cookie, which tastes like a little cake. I freeze bananas after they are to0 ripe to eat and I like to bake all kinds of goodies with them. Think beyond just loaves and muffins.
You need:
  • 2 1/2 cups of sifted flour
  • 2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp. of baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup of butter
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 3 mashed bananas
  • 1/2 cups of chopped pecans ( more if you like)
Topping:
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon
  1. Cream together butter and sugar, beat in eggs one at a time. Beat thoroughly, add vanilla.
  2. Sift dry ingredients together.
  3. Add to the butter mixture, alternating with the mashed bananas.
  4. Beat well after each addition, until smooth.
  5. Fold in the nuts.
  6. Drop by spoonfuls on greased cookie sheets.
  7. Sprinkle with a mixture of cinnamon and sugar.
  8. Bake at 400 degrees for about 10 to 12 minutes. Depending on your oven.