Friday, April 30, 2010

Gingerbread Loaf

This is a spicy and fragrant gingerbread that is delicious with a generous dollop of whipped cream. This is a recipe from an old Blue Ribbon Cookbook..I made a few changes.

Ingredients:

1/2 cup margarine or butter
2/3 cup brown sugar
2 eggs, well beaten
1/2 cup molasses
2 cups flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp ginger
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp freshly grated nutmeg
1 tsp baking soda
2/3 cup boiling water

Method:

1. Cream margarine and sugar until creamy.
2. Stir in molasses and well beaten eggs.
3. Mix boiling water and baking soda and stir into the molasses mixture.
3. Mix flour, baking powder, spices and salt. Add all at once to the creamed mixture, stirring until well blended.
4. Pour into a well greased loaf pan, which has been lined with parchment paper.
5. Bake at 350º for 50 to 55 min.

Serve warm slices of gingerbread with whipped cream!
I decided to add a little extra and topped off my serving with slices of canned peaches and toasted sliced almonds. Scrumptious:)

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Crunchy Pea Salad

Crunchy pea salad is great on the buffet table...and is quick and easy to assemble. My recipe is handwritten on a little card...copied from a magazine decades ago...and has been prepared many times over the years. It is good served on a bed of lettuce and topped with grated cheese as a luncheon salad...or makes a great side dish.

Ingredients:
  • 1 500 gram (16-ounce) package of frozen petite peas (slightly thawed)
  • 1 cup chopped fresh celery
  • 1/4 cup red oion, chopped
  • 6 slices of bacon...cooked, drained and crumbled (or 1/2 cup real bacon bits)
  • 1/2 cup salted cashews or dry roasted peanuts
  • 3/4 cup ranch dressing (or Miracle Whip, if you prefer)
  • salt and pepper to taste

Method:

  1. Combine first five ingredients in a large bowl; mix well.
  2. Gently fold the dressing into pea mixture.
  3. Add salt and freshly ground black pepper.
  4. Refrigerate until ready to serve.
  5. Serves 8.

    Notes :
  • You can make this salad well in advance, but might want to add the nuts just before serving.
  • Use less dressing than called for if you prefer.
  • Double the recipe for a crowd.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Lemon Pie by the Yard

I was trying to think of ideas for someone who cooks for a large group regularly and, in talking, found out that doing a lemon pie on a cookie sheet was a new idea to her. Growing up with all sorts of cakes and pies done on cookie sheets to serve large groups, I did not realize that this really is thinking outside the box. So, this is not really a recipe, as much as it is an idea to serve a larger group. It is easier to cut up and serve small squares than large pieces of pie.

Ingredients:

recipe for two pie crusts
2 packages of lemon pie filling or double homemade
6 beaten egg whites for meringue
1/2 cup sugar for meringue

Method
  1. Pat pastry into rectangular shape, on floured surface then roll out to size of cookie sheet - actually a little more.
  2. Roll up onto rolling pin and unroll unto cookie sheet. Trim edges where they are too high and add pieces where it is too low. (cut and paste)
  3. Bake until golden at 400 F about 15 min.
  4. Meanwhile, cook pie filling according to package instructions, or make homemade
  5. Pour cooked filling into baked shell and let cool slightly while beating egg whites
  6. Beat egg whites, gradually adding 1/2 cup sugar. Beat just until they are glossy and will stand up if dabbed with a spoon. Do not over-beat, because it will not spread nicely
  7. Spread evenly onto pie crust, making sure the meringue touches the side crusts. For wave design, dab meringue with the back of a spoon.
  8. Bake at 400 F for 7 - 8 min until golden.
Some like it served while still a little warm, but it does need to sit for several hours first. Refrigerate if not serving the same day. No need to cover, because the crust will keep better.

* NOTE - To keep meringue from sticking to knife while cutting, dip knife into hot water or run under hot tap water

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Shrimp and Mushroom Fettuccine

We think of pasta quite often as an indulgence but in our home it is as important as bread. Rather than always staying away from richer sauces we practice portion control and fill our plates with a large green salad which has a sprinkling of olive oil and balsamic vinegar.

I always keep some frozen peeled shrimp in the freezer for days when dinner needs to be done in a hurry. There is no need to defrost the shrimp and the whole meal can be on the table quicker than running for fast food. This is almost a non recipe. . .I had to think and pay attention to what I normally put in it . . the flavours naturally work well together.

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 medium onion finely diced
  • 2 cloves garlic . .minced
  • 3 -4 cups sliced button mushrooms
  • 3 cups precooked frozen medium shrimp
  • 1 cup whipping cream
  • 1/4 teaspoon hot pepper flakes
  • 1 teaspoon Old Bay Seasoning
  • 1 pound fettuccine ( I prefer fresh but dry is fine too)
  • 1/3 cup grated Parmesan Cheese
  • 1/4 fresh chopped basil
  • paprika for garnish
  1. Put on a large pot of water to boil for the pasta. .and add a few teaspoons of salt. Cook the fettuccine once the water is boiling. Adjust for longer time if you are using dry. If you are using fresh pasta . .add the pasta after the sauce has simmered 5 minutes.
  2. In a large skillet, heat the oil and add the onion and mushrooms and garlic. Cook until softened and until the juices are released.
  3. Stir in the cream and the seasonings.
  4. Turn down the heat to a low simmer and continue to cook for about 5 minutes.
  5. Add the shrimp and bring back to simmer and heat through.
  6. Add the basil to the sauce and stir to combine.
  7. Put the pasta on a platter.
  8. Pour the sauce over the top and sprinkle with the the grated Parmesan and give it a sprinkle of Paprika.
Serves 4 with a large green salad.

Monday, April 26, 2010

Raisin Pudding

I got my inspiration for this recipe from the Christian Home Cookbook. This pudding would be really good with a dollop of whipped cream or a scoop of ice cream. Sometimes this pudding is called 'Poor Man's Pudding'..

Ingredients:

1 cup flour
2 tsp baking powder
2 tsp sugar
dash of salt
dash of cinnamon
dash of ground nutmeg..I like to grate my own
3 tbsp butter
3/4 cup raisins..next time I shall add chunks of apple with the raisins
1/2 cup buttermilk or milk

1. Mix together flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, cinnamon and nutmeg.
2. Cut in butter till well blended.
3. Mix in raisins.
4. Gradually add milk stirring lightly with fork only until blended.
5. Spoon the batter into a greased 1 1/2 qt baking dish. I used my corning ware dish.
The batter will be quite thick.
6. Mix sauce and pour over the batter.

Sauce:

Whisk together:
3/4 cup brown sugar
1 tbsp butter
1 3/4 cups boiling water

Bake in preheated oven at 375º for 30 min.
Let cool in baking dish for 15 min before serving. This allows the sauce to thicken up a bit.
Best served warm.



Sunday, April 25, 2010

Bread for the Journey

But encourage one another daily...
as long is it is called Today.
Hebrews 3:13

We have no problem picking out our favorite team...or our favorite player...and cheering them on in their game. In many cases..we cheer for people we don't even know. We are not always quite as enthusiastic about offering our encouragement to those we are 'doing life' with. We need others to come alongside of us...and they need to hear us cheering for them. So throw your support behind the team of your choice (the Vancouver Canucks would be a good choice right now!)...but don't forget to cheer for those who need a little encouragement in the game of life.

Sunday blessings...


Saturday, April 24, 2010

Tuna Wraps

Sometimes for a Saturday lunch I pull out ingredients that I most often have in the pantry and in the freezer. Tortilla shells freeze really well for a few weeks or longer and who doesn't have a can of tuna in their pantry?



  • 1 can tuna
  • 1 good dollop of mayo
  • 1 cup of diced cucumber
  • 1 small bell pepper finely diced
  • 1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese
  • 1/4 cup finely diced dill pickles
  • a dash of dill weed
  • a tablespoon finely diced chives
  • 4 romaine lettuce leaves
  • 2 large tortilla shells
  • salt and pepper to taste
  1. Combine the filling ingredients and lay the filling down on top of the romaine lettuce leaves the center of the tortilla shells.
  2. Wrap. .cut in half. . and serve.

Friday, April 23, 2010

Asparagus with Sesame


Our family loves asparagus. When we were dairy farming in the late 80's, meaning, milking cows, our neighbors had an asparagus patch. We traded asparagus for milk. What a delicious treat. To this day, my children love nothing more than melted butter poured over freshly cooked asparagus. I have tried a few new versions and here is one recipe that past my families inspection. They are always asking for more.

Sesame Asparagus
  • 2 Cups Asparagus, sliced into half-inches
  • 1/2 cup of beansprouts
  • 1/2 cup of red bell pepper.
  • 1 Tbsp. of soya sauce
  • 1 Tbsp. of sesame oil.
  • 1 Tbsp. of sesame seeds.
  • 1 Tbsp. of ginger, grated
  • 1 Tbsp. of garlic, minced
  • 1 Tbsp. of shallot/onion greens, minced
  • Juice of 1 freshly - squeezed lime.
Instructions.
  1. In a frying pan, heat the sesame oil until it is smoking.
  2. Quickly add the sesame seeds, asparagus, ginger, shallot, and garlic.
  3. Stir-fry about 1 minute.
  4. Add the beansprouts and red pepper.
  5. Stir-fry for another minute.
  6. Remove from heat and add soy sauce and lime juice.
  7. Toss thoroughly
  8. Serve

Always be willing to introduce something new to your family or friends. You might need to double this recipe.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Brownies

From my kitchen window I used to watch our children play together. Karen and George lived behind us and every so often she came over with a plate of her wonderful baking. I still pull out the hand written recipes she gave me. Why not treat your neighbours to some brownies, or make up a tray for the girls at work.

Ingredients:
-1 cup margarine
-2 cups sugar
-4 heaping tbsp cocoa (fry's)
-4 eggs, slightly beaten
-1 cup flour
-1 tsp vanilla
-1 cup chopped walnuts, chopped (optional)

Icing:
-2 cups icing sugar
-2 tbsp margarine
-2 tbsp cocoa
-2 tbsp boiling water
-2 tsp vanilla
Beat together while brownies are baking.

Method:
Cream margarine, sugar and cocoa together. Add beaten eggs and vanilla until smooth. Beat in flour. If adding nuts fold in last.
Bake in a greased 9x13 pan at 350º for 35-40 minutes.
Top will appear to be under baked, that is how it should look.... don't over bake. (it should fall a bit in the middle) They should be moist and chewy.
Ice immediately after removing from the oven so it will melt into a shiny glaze.

*you can half this recipe, baking for 20 minutes. Freeze well.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Italian Zucchini and Peppers


This is a tasty side dish that goes with any meal. Low in fat and sodium, but the lemon gives it the kick it needs. Our family really enjoys it.
  • 2 zucchini
  • 1 large red pepper or a combination of colors
  • 1 garlic clove minced
  • 2 tbsp. Parmesan cheese (more if you like)
  • 1 tsp. oregano
  • freshly squeezed lemon juice to taste, I usually do half a lemon
  • 2 tsp. olive oil or 2 tbsp. fat free Italian dressing
  1. heat a large pan and add either the olive oil or the dressing
  2. add the sliced zucchini, garlic and peppers
  3. saute until just starting to soften
  4. squeeze over the lemon juice
  5. add the oregano and cheese
  6. stir and serve
DELISH!!!! Trust me, it will disappear before your eyes.



Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Chicken Chili

We were sitting in a waiting area of an airport the first time I had chicken chili. It was honestly, the best chili I have ever had. I don't think I have exactly duplicated it, but really it's a recipe that you can have fun with and add whatever vegetables you like. This recipe serves four.

Ingredients:

2 boneless chicken breasts
1 onion, chopped
2 stalks celery, chopped
1/2 red pepper, chopped
1/2 green pepper, chopped
1/2 pkg chili seasoning, such as Club House
1 can Heinz style chili beans (pinto and red kidney)
1 can tomatoes ( I use Aylmer Accents for chili)

Method:
  1. Cut chicken into bite size pieces and brown both sides in large frying pan.
  2. Add onion and celery. Cook, stirring a few minutes, then add peppers and cook another few minutes.
  3. Add chili seasoning, stirring to coat and then add tomatoes and beans.
  4. Simmer for about 1/2 hour. Serve with toppings such as sour cream and grated cheese. Good with cornbread and a mixed green salad.

Note: it you can't get chili style beans and tomatoes, use regular kidney beans and stewed tomatoes with a pkg of chili seasoning according to taste. Heinz Chili Sauce is also a good addition, according to taste.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Crumb Coffee Cake, Gluten Free


The original recipe of this cake is in the 'Treasury of Mennonite Recipes' cookbook that I received as a wedding gift 45 years ago. It has endured as one of my favorite cakes to make since it never fails to please!

It was one of the recipes I missed , so I came up with a good gluten-free version that tastes almost exactly the same as the wheat-flour one.

Recipe for Coffee Crumb Cake

Ingredients for cake

3/4 cup bread and bun mix (I like Kinnickinnik)
1/4 white bean flour/white corn flour
1 tbsp coconut flour
2 1/2 tsp baking powder
3/4 cup sugar
1 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1/4 cup butter
2 egg replacement (1 1/2 tsp powder in 2 tbsp water)
1 cup milk

Ingredients for Crumb Mixture

3/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup butter
1/4 cup bread and bun mix
1 tsp Cinnamon
1/2 cup chopped nuts (pecan, almond, walnut or hazelnuts)

Mix dry ingred. together then make crumbs by rubbing the butter into the dry ingred. with hands. Then add nuts.

Method

*mix flours together with baking powder, sugar and spices
*using hands rub the butter into the dry ingredients

*put liquids into mixer (eggs and milk)
*add dry ingredient/butter mixture and beat until batter is smooth
*spread into greased 9x13" pan and put crumbs on top

Bake in 350' oven for 40-45' minutes or until tests done.

Serve warm with ice-cream or cool as a snacking cake. Keeps well /freezes well.
*****

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Bread for the Journey

Last week Kathy shared Isaiah 41:13. Thank-you Kathy. You confirmed my thoughts about sharing from Isaiah 43:1-3.

But now the Lord who created you, O Israel, says, Don't be afraid, for I have ransomed you; I have called you by name; you are mine, When you go through deep waters and great trouble, I will be with you. When you go through rivers of difficulty, you will not drown! When you walk through the fire of oppression, you will not be burned up--the flames will not consume you. For I am the Lord your God, your Savior, the Holy One of Israel.

It was a few years back, when someone shared this scripture visually with me. It stuck...and has never left me. The speaker suggested that we replace our own names into the verses, where ever the word YOU, was mentioned. Try that....It becomes a powerful lesson in trusting God. She also stressed that God never promised us an easy way out. Many times, believers feel because they have made a new step of faith, that life would be easy...
We all know that we will go through difficult times in our lives, but if we invite the Lord to go with us, it will make our load lighter. He did not say that he would keep us from difficult times. Going through difficult times can cause us to drown or force us to grow stronger. He promises that he will protect us. Just as a father would care for his child.

"I will be with you. Don't Be afraid, I am here to help you.
"

Renewed hope to all of you going through difficult situations.



Saturday, April 17, 2010

Sponge Cake

This recipe come from my mother in law. It is a family favorite. A very light lemon flavored sponge cake. Delicious plain or served with berries and cream. It can also split and filled with your favorite filling, then frosted or glazed.

Ingredients:
-1 cup cake flour, or regular flour sifted 3 times
-6 eggs, separated
-1 cup sugar
-1/4 cup water
-1/2 tsp cream of tartar
-1/2 tsp salt
-1 tsp vanilla
-1/2 tsp lemon extract

Glaze-as shown:
-2 cups icing sugar
-1 tsp hot tap water
-1 tsp grated lemon rind, or 1/2 tsp lemon juice
In a small bowl whisk together adding drops of hot water until you get a thick but pourable mixture. Slowly pour glaze over cake letting it run down the sides.


Method:
Using a medium bowl and a larger one separate the eggs, putting the yolks into the larger bowl.
1)Beat egg whites with 1/4 cup of the sugar and the cream of tartar. Beat well until stiff high peaks form. Set aside.
2)Beat egg yolks, adding the remaining 3/4 cup of sugar and beat until thick and creamy in colour. Add salt, vanilla and lemon extract.
3)Add flour 1/4 cup at a time drizzling the water into the batter with each addition of the flour.
4)Add the egg whites to the flour mixture and using a spatula, gently fold in the whites.
5)Put batter into and ungreased tube pan and bake in pre-heated 300º oven for 1 hour.
Do not open the door to the oven when baking .
When cake is done, invert tube pan and cool completely. I find that inverting the pan by balancing it on a cup helps to keep the top of the cake from touching anything.
To remove from pan, run a knife around the outside and the tube and the cake will slide right out. Run the knife along the bottom, turn over and place on cake plate. Glaze.
Wrapped well, this cake (unglazed) freezes for up to a month.


Friday, April 16, 2010

Broccoli Salad

A delicious 'make ahead' salad recipe that I found in the 'Cooking with Grace' cookbook. I made a few changes.

Ingredients:

2 bunches raw broccoli, cut in small chunks
I med onion, diced (I omitted this)
1/2 cup raisins
8 slices crisply cooked bacon and cut in small pieces
3/4 cup mayonnaise
1/3 cup sugar (I used a little less)
2 tbsp vinegar
roasted sunflower seeds, approx 2 tbsp

Mix mayo, sugar and vinegar.
Pour over the ingredients except for the sunflower seeds, mix well and cover.
Refrigerate for a couple of hours or overnight.
Just before serving mix in the sunflower seeds.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Mom's Rhubarb Pie

It's rhubarb season...and there is nothing quite like 'fresh from the garden' rhubarb pie at this time of the year. A few rhubarb pies have already come and gone from my kitchen this spring. Though I can't recall if this is my mom's exact recipe...it tastes like hers....hence the name.

Ingredients:

  • Pastry for a 2 crust 9-10 inch pie (use your favorite recipe or purchase ready-made pastry.)
  • 4 cups rhubarb...cut in 1/2 inch pieces
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 1 1/4 cups sugar
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/4-1/2 teaspoon sugar

Method:

  1. Roll pastry to line 9-10 inch pie plate. Roll out top crust and set aside.
  2. In large bowl...combine eggs, sugar, flour and nutmeg until well blended.
  3. Add chopped rhubarb and stir to mix.
  4. Pour into prepared pie shell.
  5. Dampen edges.
  6. Top with second crust.
  7. Trim and crimp edge to seal.
  8. Pierce top crust with fork to vent.
  9. Sprinkle with remaining sugar.
  10. Bake at 400°F for 15 minutes. Reduce heat to 35o°F and continue to bake for another 40 minutes...or until filling is bubbling and rhubarb is tender.

A winning combination is nutmeg and rhubarb...so perfect together!




Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Cola Cake


Yup, another chocolate cake recipe, can there ever be too many....;-).
I got this recipe from my friend Linda, and it is a favorite cake of hers.
The marshmallows float to the top when the cake bakes. It is a sweet and moist cake and I found that since there is 2 cups sugar in the cake and the Cola is sweet that next time I would cut down on the sugar, but that is only a personal preference. This cake didn't last long and everyone enjoyed it.


CAKE:

  • 2 cups flour
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 3 tablespoons cocoa
  • 1 cup Cola
  • 1 cup butter
  • 1 1/2 cups miniature marshmallows
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk ( I used milk with a teaspoon of vinegar added)
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract


  1. In a large bowl combine flour and sugar.
  2. In a saucepan combine the cocoa, Cola, butter, bring to a boil.
  3. Combine the boiled mixture with the flour and sugar mixture.
  4. In a separate bowl mix eggs, buttermilk, baking soda, and vanilla; add to the first mixture
  5. Stir in the marshmallows
  6. Pour into greased 9x13 pan and bake at 350 degrees for about 35 minutes, until cake tests done.

FROSTING:
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1 tablespoon cocoa
  • 1/3 cup Cola
  • 1 box confectioner's sugar, (1 pound, or 4 cups)
  • 1/2 cup chopped pecans (optional, I did not use)
  1. In a saucepan, bring butter, cocoa, and Cola to a boil.
  2. Stir in the sugar and mix well.
  3. Stir in nuts, if using.
  4. Spread over the cake while both cake and frosting are still warm.
Cut into 16 squares.
Taste best cold from the fridge...;-)

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Hot Stuffed Baked Potatoes

What could be simpler than baking a potato and topping it with left over spaghetti sauce, sauteed veggies and cheese. Sometimes there is just not quite enough sauce left over from spaghetti or chili, but this recipe helps to stretch it out into another meal.

Method: (bake one potato per person)
Wash potatoes. Using a fork, poke potatoes several times and wrap in foil. Bake at 375º for 1 hour and 15 minutes, or until fork tender.
When done, remove foil, spit in half, and place on a baking sheet.
Top with a tbsp of butter and/or sour cream. (optional)
Top with one of the following suggested toppings, cover with grated cheese and broil until cheese is bubbly (about 3 minutes) and serve with a salad.

Sauce and topping suggestions:
1) If using left over spaghetti sauce or chili; reheat in sauce pan, and pile onto baked and split potatoes. Top with grated cheese of your choice and broil for about 3 minutes or until cheese is bubbly and starting to brown....watch it!
2)Vegetarian. Saute cut up peppers, onions and mushrooms, add a jar of your favorite spaghetti sauce and follow steps above.
3) Steamed broccoli and cheese sauce. Do not broil this one, just pour hot cheese sauce (or even melted cheese whiz) over broccoli.

Quick & Basic spaghetti sauce for 4 potatoes:
-1 lb hamburger
-1/2 cup minced onion
-1 tsp salt
-1/2 tsp pepper
-1/2 tsp oregano
1 tsp Italian spice
-1 jar (approx 750ml)purchased spaghetti sauce, (I like Classico, or Mr Newman's)

Fry hamburger with onion, salt and pepper. Add your favorite sauce and spices.

Remember, it doesn't have to be difficult or fancy to taste delicious. Be creative with you toppings...you'll be surprised at what you can create from your leftovers. Enjoy!


Monday, April 12, 2010

Arroz Con Pollo

A few month ago I ordered the special in our favorite Mexican restaurant not sure even what I was ordering. I knew that Pollo was chicken and rice was involved so I knew it would be good. I enjoyed it so much that I spent a good part of the meal dissecting the flavours. I looked online for a recipe and was surprised to find many and so with the staples I had in the freezer and pantry I made a combination which we enjoyed very much.

  • 3 frozen or fresh skinless boneless chicken breasts or 6 boneless skinless chicken thighs
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 medium onion . .diced
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon oregano
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon dill weed
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 2 cloves minced garlic
  • 1 796 ml or 28 oz can diced tomatoes
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 2 tablespoons lime juice
  • 2 tablespoon minced chipotle peppers in adobe sauce (you may use more after the sauce simmers a bit if you want it hotter
  • 1 cup of diced roasted sweet red peppers (or you could just use 1 diced pepper which you would then add with the onion)
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • 2 teaspoons flour
  1. Cube the raw chicken into bite sized pieces.
  2. Heat a large saucepan to medium high and then add the olive oil and the chicken and brown it all over.
  3. Turn the heat down to medium.
  4. Add the onions and garlic and stir until the onion is translucent about 5 minutes.
  5. Add all the spices and and stir for a few minutes allowing the spices to blend.
  6. Add the tomatoes and chipotle peppers and diced roasted red pepper. (these could be blended if you want a smoother sauce. .we prefer our sauces chunky)
  7. Combine the room temperature chicken broth and flour until smooth and add to the rest of the sauce.
  8. Stir in the lime juice last and allow to simmer 15 minutes.
  9. Serve with hot rice. You can use soft flour tortilla shells to the chicken sauce in or .. just put the sauce over the rice. . sprinkling with some shredded lettuce and a bit of shredded cheese and some guacamole on the side with crispy tortilla chips.


Sunday, April 11, 2010

Bread for the Journey


A young child will be quick to hold his father's hand when afraid. They are willing to try something new, trusting that their dad will be there to catch them if they slip or fall.
God, our Heavenly Father wants us to have that trust in Him. Throughout scripture He invites us to trust in Him. He assures us that He will always be with us, and He will help us.
In Isaiah 41:13 God gives us a promise, and tells us to not be afraid.
For I, the Lord your God, will hold your right hand, saying to you, "Fear not, I will help you."

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Maple Oatmeal Scones

This recipe came to me by way of an on-line recipe exchange a few years ago...and it's an awesone breakfast scone. It was sent to me by someone named Jenn...who thinks it originated with the Barefoot Contessa. Oatmeal, whole wheat flour, real butter, buttermilk and maple syrup...they are worth waking up for!

Ingredients:
  • 1 3/4 cups flour
  • 1/2 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1/2 cup quick cooking oats
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup butter
  • 1/4 cup buttermilk
  • 1/4 cup pure maple syrup
  • 2 large eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1 egg beaten with water, for egg wash

Glaze:

  • 2/3 cup icing sugar
  • 1/4 cup pure maple syrup
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla

Method:

  1. Preheat oven to 400ºF.
  2. Combine flour, oats, baking powder, salt and sugar in mixer bowl.
  3. Blend in cold butter at lowest speed until butter is in pea-sized pieces.
  4. Combine buttermilk, maple syrup and eggs.
  5. Add buttermilk mixture quickly to flour mixture. Mix until just blended.
  6. Dump dough onto well-floured surface and and be sure it is combined.
  7. Flour your hands and rolling pin...and roll dough to 3/4-inch thick.
  8. Cut into triangles or 3-inch rounds with a cutter.
  9. Place on baking sheet lined with parchment paper...and brush tops of scones with egg wash.
  10. Bake for about 20 minutes...or until tops are crisp and golden.
  11. When the scones are done, cool for about 5 minutes.
  12. Drizzle about 1 tablespoon of glaze over each scone.
  13. Sprinkle with a few uncooked oats if desired.

Now here's the best part. These scones can be prepared in advance, covered and refrigerated overnight before baking. They are the perfect solution for serving something warm out of the oven for overnight guests.

Enjoy,

Friday, April 9, 2010

My Mother's Rice


My mother was born in Russia but for her middle years till she got married she lived in Persia and was influenced by the cooking there. Some of her cooking has a strong Persian influence. Growing up one of our favorite side dishes was her rice with raisins. It's a very simple way to add some excitement to plain old white rice.

Make your rice as you would usually do. For this post all I had was Jasmine rice so that's what I used. After your rice is cooked, saute 1/2 cup of raisins and 1/3 cup of slivered almonds in a generous portion of butter (You can increase the amount of raisins and almonds according to taste or the amount of rice you are cooking). The rice will love the extra butter so don't worry if it looks like a lot. When the raisins get all nice and plump add the raisins and almonds to the rice with all the butter and stir it in. My mother sometimes puts this mixture in the oven at this point for about 15 minutes at 350 degrees before she serves it. I usually just serve it right away. Enjoy!

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Banana Oatmeal Pancakes

Ever the pancake lover that I am, this recipe in the Chatelaine Holiday Edition 2008, caught my eye. They may take a little longer to prepare than your average pancake, but then - these are not your average flapjack! Here is my version.

Ingredients:

1 cup quick cooking oats
1 cup flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp nutmeg
2 eggs
1 cup vanilla yogurt
3/4 cup milk
2 Tbsp melted butter
2 ripe bananas, chopped

Method:
  1. Preheat griddle between low and medium heat
  2. In large bowl, combine dry ingredients
  3. In another beat eggs, add yogurt, milk and butter. Stir in finely chopped bananas
  4. Stir wet ingredients into dry, stirring until blended
  5. Drop by extra large spoonfuls onto pre-heated griddle. You don't want to cook these too quick, because they are quite thick. Turn over once you see tiny bubbles forming on top. If they are too dark, turn down the temperature.
This recipe makes 16 pancakes. Left-overs can be frozen and reheated in the toaster or microwave.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Tante Suzie's Pork and Beans

Feb.25th, 1912 - Jan.25th, 1990

Awhile back I posted a Pork N Beans Recipe...and received many wonderful comments. However, I received one more exceptional comment in my email box, which blew me away. One of our followers identified herself, telling me that she was the DIL of my Tante Suzie. She sent me the original recipe and gave permissions to post it. I am so honored.

Here's a little story about this bean pot....it will always remain a memory. I remember this pot as a small little girl, somewhere between the ages of 6-10. Every summer the annual Schmidt gathering would meet at Berthusan Park, just across the line, close to Lynden WA. I looked forward to this annual event...Do any of you remember that park? They had swings and merry go rounds.

But no one will ever forget Tante Susie's home-made pork and beans. She would always arrive with her home-made Pork N Beans in exactly the same kind of bean pot. I wanted one like this, and somewhere through the years, my mother gifted me a similar pot. They were the best and we would eagerly wait in line for a stash. "The trick was," Tante Suzie said, "They need to be baked in a bean pot." She has passed on to eternity, but the memory has never faded. Every so often I like to surprise my family with this dish.

Meanwhile I made this recipe this past weekend...and brought it to the Schmidt family for Easter. Someone asked me, "Are the beans dark like Tante Suzie's?" "Yes, they are...the key?" "Use tomato juice instead of water."
The Schmidt Boys dug into those beans. First of all...they could not believe that this was from Tante Suzie's recipe. They were blown away...they agreed that the pot looked authentic, except that her's was much bigger. They smelled them, they tasted them, and dug in for more.
Thank-you for this wonderful recipe from the Doerksen Family.

Tante Suzie's Pork & Beans
  • 2 lbs. navy beans (about 5 cups) I could not find navy beans, but Great Northern are the substitute.
  • 4 cups water
  • 2 tsp salt
Soak over night. Drain and rinse.
Add 1 tsp soda and simmer for an hour. Drain and rinse.

Add:
  1. 1/2 pound sliced bacon or salt pork and mix between the beans, bottom, middle and top. Layer the bacon at the bottom and spread evenly through the dish.
  2. 1/4 c. maple syrup
  3. 1/4 c. molasses
  4. 2 Tbsp. brown sugar
  5. 1 large onion chopped
  6. 1 tsp. dry mustard
  7. 2 C. tomato juice
  8. 1 bay leaf
  9. 1 clove garlic minced.
Cover with 2 Cups tomato juice and bake with cover on for 5-6 hours in slow oven at 275 degrees. I added a bit more tomato juice in the last hour, just so they would not dry out.
Long and slow baking is the secret to good baked beans.

It might look like extra work, but it's all done in stages....the taste is worth it.

Add a few fresh vegetables and freshly baked home-made buns.
The legacy lives on...

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Monte Cristo Sandwich


I could have made a plain ham and chicken sandwich from the Easter leftovers and it would have been very good but I thought I'd take it to another level. I enjoyed this sandwich at a restaurant some time ago and it looked simple enough to make at home. I wasn't sure of all these flavors together but since I love sweet and savoury I really wanted to try it.
You need:
4 slices bread..I used white Texas Toast bread, it happened to be on sale..whole wheat would have been my first choice.
Honey dijon mustard or regular mustard
4 thin slices baked ham
4 thin slices roasted chicken..the restaurant used turkey
4 thin slices of swiss cheese
2 large eggs
1 tbsp milk
2 tsp melted butter
a dash of salt and pepper
powdered sugar to dust the sandwiches
raspberry jam for dipping
Then assemble:
1. Thinly spread each slice with mustard.
2. Layer between 2 slices of bread..a slice of cheese, ham, chicken and then another slice of cheese.
3. Repeat with other 2 slices of bread.
4. Whisk eggs, milk, melted butter, salt and pepper.
5. Dip both sides of the sandwich in egg mixture until the bread is lightly soaked.
6. Place on 350º preheated grill sprayed with a bit of oil or you may use a frying pan on the stove. Drizzle any remaining egg mixture over the top of the sandwich.
7. Fry till golden brown approx 5 to 6 min on each side. Cover sandwich for the last min to melt the cheese.
Serve warm dusted with powdered sugar and make sure to dip the sandwich in raspberry jam before each bite..it is delicious!
Another great way to use up leftover ham and chicken.

Monday, April 5, 2010

Ham Pinwheels

I found this recipe in the white spiral bound Central Heights Church Cookbook. It was submitted by Kay Kroeker. It brought back fond memories of fifteen years ago when my Dad would call me to say that he had been invited over to the Kroekers for supper with a few other widower husbands. I always appreciated that Mr and Mrs. Kroeker included not only their couple friends for dinner invitations but the single ones of the couples who had lost their life mates.
With plenty of left over ham after Easter I thought I'd give these a try and with a few minor changes from her recipe I submit it here . . ..for your ham leftovers. I made them for lunch after our ham dinner and we enjoyed them very much.

Biscuit Ingredients
  • 2 cups flour
  • 3 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup shortening
  • 1 egg and enough milk in a measuring cup to make 2/3 cup total
Ham Filling
  • 1 egg
  • 2 1/2 cups ham
  • 1 small onion
  • 2 tablespoons parsley
  • 1 tablespoon horseradish
  • 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
  • 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
Cheese Sauce
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 3 tablespoons flour
  • 2 cups milk
  • 1 cup grated cheese
  • 1/4 cup cheese whiz (optional .. I like the added flavour)
  • 2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
Method (I used a food processor with a one bowl method but you can make the adjustments easily if you very finely mince the ham and onion)
  1. Measure the flour, baking powder, sugar and salt into the food processor bowl.
  2. Add the cubed shortening and pulse until the shortening is small lumps like oatmeal.
  3. Combine the egg and milk in a measuring cup.
  4. Add the egg mixture to the food processor . .pulse until just combined.
  5. Turn the dough onto the counter and knead several times.
  6. Pat it into small rectangle, put in plastic wrap and refrigerate while you prepare the ham filling.
  7. In the same bowl which has been scraped clean . ..put the onion and pulse until finely chopped.
  8. Add the ham and pulse again until the ham is also finely minced.
  9. Add the remaining filling ingredients and pulse until you have a well combined filling.
  10. Roll the biscuit dough to a 12 X 10 rectangle and spread the filling to the edges.
  11. Roll up jelly roll style and slice into 1 inch thick rolls.
  12. Bake at 425 for 20 - 25 minutes.
  13. While the rolls are baking make the cheese sauce in the microwave or in a small saucepan on the stove.
  14. In a small saucepan or 4 cup microwave safe measuring cup. . . melt the butter.
  15. Add the flour and stir to combine and add the milk.
  16. Heat until bubbly.
  17. Add the cheese and the Worcestershire sauce and heat through.
  18. Serve the cheese sauce over the hot from the oven Ham Pinwheels.

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Bread for the Journey

He is not here...
He has risen just as He said.
Matthew 28:6 NIV

The tomb is empty...our hearts are full!


The Easter Song by Keith Green

Hear the bells ringing
They're singing that you can be born again
Hear the bells ringing
They're singing Christ is risen from the dead

The angel up on the tombstone
Said He has risen, just as He said
Quickly now, go tell his disciples
That Jesus Christ is no longer dead

Joy to the word, He has risen, hallelujah
He's risen, hallelujah
He's risen, hallelujah
Hallelujah!

May His life in you be the reason for your Easter celebration.

Wishing you a most blessed Easter...

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Polynesian Chicken



This is a very tasty chicken dish that I made for our Bible Study Potluck. The recipe was requested a number of times, and I love being able to say, check out "Mennonite Girls Can Cook". It will be there. Hope you like it too.
  • 1 chicken cut into serving pieces, I always skin the chicken, or use boneless skinless if you desire. *If you use boneless it uses less cooking time.
  • 1/2 cup of flour
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1/4 tsp. pepper
  • 1/3 cup oil
Mix flour with the salt and pepper and coat the chicken. The recipe suggests to fry the chicken in the oil, however I bake the chicken brushed lightly with the oil since there is no skin on and bake until light brown. Pour sauce over and bake uncovered for a half hour in a 9x13 pan.
Add pineapple and peppers and bake another 15 minutes or so.

Sauce
  • 1 cup sugar (I reduce it by a 1/3)
  • 1 20 0z can of pineapple
  • juice from a can of pineapple mixed with enough water to make it 1 1/2 cups.
  • 2 tbsp cornstarch
  • 1/2 cup vinegar
  • 1 tbsp. low sodium soya sauce
  • 1 chicken bouillon cube
  • 1/4 tsp. dry ginger
  • 1 red or green pepper
In a sauce pan put the pineapple juice and water mixed with cornstarch, add the remaining ingredients, except for the pineapple chucks and peppers.
Bring to a boil and cook for 2 minutes.
Pour over the partially baked chicken and bake as directed.
*If you are using boneless chicken, then just put in the pineapple and peppers in with the sauce and bake it about 20 minutes in total after browning the chicken.
Serve over rice.





Friday, April 2, 2010

Blueberry Cranberry Cream Cheese Coffeecake

This recipe is a variation of Anneliese's Quick Blueberry Struesel. If you follow the basic recipe but make a few minor changes. . .you'll have a different coffee cake each time your neighbors show up at the door. I use my food processor to make the cake and by the time my oven has preheated. . .it's ready to bake.

  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 3/4 cup butter, cubed
  • 1/2 teaspoon soda
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 egg
  • 3/4 cup buttermilk or (3/4 cup milk and 1 teaspoon vinegar . .allow to sit a few minutes)
  • 3/4 cup frozen or fresh blueberries
  • 3/4 cup frozen or fresh cranberries
  • 1/4 of a package or 2 ounces cream cheese, cubed
  • 1/2 cup slivered almonds


  1. In the bowl of your food processor, put the flour, sugar, and butter.

  2. Pulse until it forms crumbs and then remove 1 cup of crumbs.

  3. Add the baking powder and baking soda and pulse a few times to combine.

  4. In a 1 cup measuring cup, put your milk and then add the egg and beat with a fork and then add to the food processor bowl.

  5. Pulse lightly until combined.

  6. Spread into a 9 X 13 greased pan or a 9 inch springform pan.

  7. Arrange evenly the cream cheese over top.

  8. Toss the cranberries in the food processor bowl and give them a quick pulse to roughly chop them. (they will get a bit of left over batter on them but it doesn't matter)

  9. Sprinkle the blueberries and cranberries over the batter..

  10. Combine the remaining crumbs and almonds and sprinkle on top.

  11. Bake on top rack for 40 - 50 minutes at 375 F. (check it at 35 minutes and then every 5 minutes after. . .each pan will need a different amount of baking time.)

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Lemon Dill Rice

Lemon dill rice is a wonderful side dish to serve with salmon. I like to use fresh dill and lemon, but you can substitute with dry dill and lemon juice in place of lemon zest.


Ingredients:

1 cup uncooked Basmati rice

1 1/2 cups water

1/2 cup chicken broth

2 tsp fresh dill, chopped fine

1 tsp lemon zest, (or 1 tsp lemon juice)

  1. Bring the water and chicken broth to a boil.
  2. Add the rice and simmer gently until the rice is tender and the water is absorbed.
  3. Before serving stir in the dill and the lemon zest.