Saturday, July 31, 2010

Peach Upside Down Cake


I used individual ramekins to bake these upside down cakes in.
Every one gets a perfect amount of peaches and the crust on the bottom remains a bit crispy. It is the perfect warm summer night dessert.
When they came out of the oven. . I flipped them over a dessert dishes and the serving was done.


  • 3/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup butter, melted
  • 2 cups peeled, and chopped peaches
  • 1/2 cup soft butter
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 1/4 cup flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup buttermilk
  1. Spray 6 - 8 ounce ramekins with cooking spray and set on a cookie sheet
  2. In a small saucepan, combine the 3/4 cup sugar and 1/4 cup butter and bring to a simmer over medium heat. Simmer several minutes until the sugar dissolves.
  3. Using a gravy ladle, divide the sugar butter mixture between the ramekins, divide the chopped peaches between them and set aside.
  4. Heat the oven to 350 F.
  5. In a medium sized bowl, beat the 1/2 cup butter and 1/2 cup sugar until creamed and then add the eggs and the vanilla, and beat until combined.
  6. Add all the dry ingredients at one time and pour the buttermilk over all and beat until combined.
  7. Using an ice cream scoop, divide the batter evenly over the peaches.
  8. Bake until a toothpick comes out clean ..about 35 minutes.
  9. Use two thinner potholders, turn serving dishes over the hot ramekins and flip them over together to release the upside down cakes.
  10. Serve warm with ice cream.

Friday, July 30, 2010

Grapes and Green Salad


Let's try another salad...I opened my fridge...and looked. Grapes?
Why not mix and match?
This year I have added fresh herbs to my garden beds. Fresh herbs gives the extra flavor required to make an ordinary salad something out of this world. Start experimenting with herbs. Soon you will not need any more dressings. It's also the best calorie counter. My daughter and I are constantly experimenting with fresh herbs that grow in our climate. We both love basil, but basil loves your kitchen window much more than the coolness outside. Many of our local fresh farmers markets carry a large arrangement of herbs.

Grapes and Green Salad
  • 3 tbsp. red wine vinegar
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/4 tsp. pepper
  • 2 tsp. Dijon mustard
  • 1 pinch sugar
  • 1/3 cup olive oil
~~~~~
  • 8 cups torn mixed salad greens
  • 1 cup flat leaf Italian parsley, spun dry
  • 11/2 cups red seedless grapes cut in half
  • 1/4 cup shelled roasted sunflower seeds
  • 1/2 cup chopped roasted almonds
  • 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
Instructions
  1. In a bowl whisk together vinegar, salt, pepper, Dijon and sugar.
  2. Add oil and whisk until thickened.
  3. Combine lettuce leaves, parsley and grapes and toss with the dressing.
  4. Add nuts and seeds and serve immediately.
  5. Sprinkle fresh Parmesan cheese on top.

Have some fun...find an old pot, or half an oak barrow...fill it with some dirt mixed up with a bit of mushroom compost and plant your favorite herbs. I purchase mine from the garden shop...as they seem to grow and fill out much quicker. Grow a small pot of basil and decorate your kitchen window. That's one of my next projects.
Enjoy your salads and start creating some new herb mixtures.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Play Dough

If you were hoping to find a recipe to make for supper tonight...this is not it...unless you have some little ones joining you and you need an activity to keep them busy. When our grandchildren come over we like to make play dough together. I remember making it with my mom and having so much fun creating. This is also a great gift idea. Purchase some airtight containers and add some shapes and rollers. The kids love it!
Sometimes after a family meal the adults want to keep visiting at the table, so I pull out a little plastic cutting board, small cutters and pay dough for the kids. It keeps them really happy at the table...and the adults usually will join in the fun of creating.
Ingredients:
  • 1 cup salt
  • 2 cups flour
  • 4 teaspoons cream of tartar
  • 2 tablespoons cooking oil
  • 2 cups water
  • food colouring
Method:
  1. Mix all ingredients in a pot, and stir well.
  2. Cook over medium heat 3-4 minutes stirring constantly until it begins to form a ball and becomes stiff.
  3. Store in airtight containers in refrigerator.

Home made play dough has a softer and smoother texture than purchased play dough.
and will keep well for up to a month.
Pull out your cookie cutters, child sized kitchen bake ware and other shapes and rollers,
and let the kids have fun.


Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Peanut Butter Sandwich Cookies

I have a number of recipes for peanut butter cookies and this is a delicious addition to my collection. We really liked the creamy filling sandwiched between the cookies.

Ingredients:
  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 3/4 cup peanut butter, smooth or crunchy
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 2 tsps vanilla
  • 1 1/2 cups flour
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  1. Mix flour, salt, baking powder, baking soda and set aside.
  2. Beat softened butter, peanut butter and sugars till light and fluffy.
  3. Add egg and vanilla and beat till combined.
  4. Add flour mixture and mix till smooth.
  5. Drop by tbsp on a parchment lined cookie sheet, approx 2 inches apart.
  6. Press cookie with a fork dipped in sugar, the dough is soft, I double dipped the fork.
  7. Bake in 350º oven for 10 to 12 min or until the edges are slightly browned.
  8. Remove from oven, place on a cooling rack and allow to cool completely.
Peanut Butter Filling:
  • 6 oz cream cheese at room temperature
  • 1/2 cup peanut butter, smooth or crunchy
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 2/3 cup icing (powdered) sugar
  1. Beat well until smooth.
  2. When cookies are completely cooled spread filling between cookies.
  3. Yield: 18 sandwiched cookies

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Fresh Tomato Bruschetta

When fresh tomatoes are in season, this is a lovely snack or appetizer. Spooned on to crostini the flavour bursts with freshness. It takes only a few minutes to assemble so it's good for when the neighbours drop by.
  • 2 medium tomatoes, seeded and chopped
  • 2 tbsp chopped red pepper
  • 2 tbsp chopped green pepper
  • 1 tbsp finely chopped red onion
  • 1 tbsp. good balsamic vinegar
  • 2 tbsp. olive oil
  • 4 or 5 large basil leaves coarsely chopped
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • a few drops hot pepper sauce if desired

For the Crostini

  • 1 baguette
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1-2 cloves garlic minced
  1. Combine all bruschetta ingredients in a bowl and let stand while you prepare the crostini.
  2. Combine olive oil and minced garlic in a small bowl.
  3. Slice Baguette and toast slices under the broiler until lightly browned.
  4. Lightly brush baguette slices with garlic olive oil and place in serving basket.
  5. Pass the bruschetta and spoon a generous amount on the crostini.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Black Bean Salad

I knew I'd like this salad even before tasting it, when I saw it on the buffet table! Thank you, Monika, for sending me the recipe. It's now one of my favorite salads.

Ingredients:
2 – 19 oz. cans black beans, drained and rinsed
1 cup long grain rice
2 - 12 oz. cans cooked corn
2 sweet red peppers, diced
1 finely chopped shallot or some red onion
¼ cup chopped fresh coriander (or mint or more parsley)
¼ cup fresh parsley
½ cup olive oil
¼ cup red wine vinegar
2 Tbsp lemon juice
1 clove garlic
1 Tbsp chili powder
1 tsp salt
¼ tsp pepper


Method:
  1. Cook rice and drain, then rinse.
  2. In large bowl combine beans, rice, corn, peppers, onion, coriander and parsley.
  3. In a small bowl whisk together oil, vinegar, lemon juice, garlic and spices.
  4. Pour over salad and toss. Taste and adjust seasonings. I used mint and cilantro instead of coriander and added a bit of cumin.
Note: This makes a large salad (about 12-15 servings). You can adjust amounts according to personal preference. Salad keeps well in refrigerator for several days. We enjoyed the leftovers as a filler in beef steak wraps.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Bread for the Journey

I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go;
 I will counsel you and watch over you.
Psalm 32:8 NIV


We are on a road trip...visiting the Colorado Rockies for the first time.  To get here we passed through five states...with many interesting stops along the way.  Until this road trip, I have always been the navigator.  Though I was never at the wheel...I was the one who determined which way the wheel turned.   The map would lie on my lap...or nearby...and the driver obediently turned the wheel when I said so.  It was actually a good system...without too many major problems...though there have been a few!  After thirty-nine years as the navigator...I have been replaced by a GPS.  It is our first major GPS road trip...and 'the voice of Jane' is our new guide.  Though I spent a lot of time checking up on her at the start...I have now given up on the maps and let her do the leading. 

I had to think of how reluctant we often are to allow God to lead.  He has given us His own tools for navigating through life...God's Positioning System.  He gave us the Bible...words to guide us in our daily life.  He also gave us the Holy Spirit to teach and lead us.

How is your journey going?  God knows where you are...and the road that lies ahead.  He knows your past and your future.  Let God be your GPS for life ...and you will arrive at your final destination safely.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Waffles Gluten Free


I have tried many gluten-free waffles but these are my favorite.

Ingredients

  • 4 eggs - separated
  • 3/4 cup milk
  • 3/4 cup water
  • 1/4 cup melted butter
  • 2 tsp vanilla
  • 3/4 tsp salt
  • 3 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/2 cup white corn flour
  • 1/4 millet flour
  • 1/4 cup potato starch
  • 1 tsp xanthan gum
Method
  1. Beat the egg whites until stiff and set aside
  2. Beat egg yolks well and add milk, water, melted butter and vanilla
  3. Add blended dry ingredients and beat until smooth
  4. Fold in beaten egg whites.

Bake on pre-heated waffle griddle.

Friday, July 23, 2010

Chocolate Chip Cookies


Here is a recipe for a basic chocolate chip cookie. It comes out chewy with a slightly crunchy edge. A perfect lunch box treat, or afternoon snack with a glass of cold milk.

Ingredients:
  • 1/2 cup margarine
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 cup chocolate chips
Method:
  1. Beat together margarine and sugars.
  2. Add eggs and vanilla and beat until smooth.
  3. Sift together flour, baking soda and salt.
  4. Mix well and then stir in chocolate chips.
  5. Drop by spoonfuls onto cookie sheet and bake @375º for 8-10 minutes.
  6. Let sit on pan for half a minute before removing to cooling rack.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Baumkuchen Torte - Gluten Free

****
Baumkuchen - German meaning 'tree cake'. The baked torte has 'rings' resembling the rings of a tree, hence the descriptive name.

I was going through a box of old recipes from years ago and found this one hand written by me on the back of an old brochure.
I didn't remember ever making it .. but it was such an unusual method that I needed to try it .. and of course gluten free was the order!
(To make it regular - exchange the flours for 2/3 cup wheat flour and 1/3 cup cornstarch and leave out the xanthan gum)


Ingredients and Method

Mix 2 cups of sour cream, 1/3 cup sugar, 1 tsp vanilla --- Set aside

  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1/2 tsp almond
  • 6 egg yolks

Beat above butter , sugar and extracts - then add egg yolks one at a time beating well after each addition.

Add to butter mix the following dry ingredients (mix flours together before adding)

  • 1/2 cup potato starch
  • 1/2 cup white corn flour
  • 1 tsp xanthan gum
  • 1/4 tsp salt

Set mixture aside.

  • 6 egg whites (at room temperature)
  • 1/4 cup sugar

Beat egg whites until soft peaks form. Add the 1/4 cup sugar and beat until stiff.

Stir a small amount of the egg whites into the butter/flour mixture, then carefully fold the mixture into the beaten egg whites.

Pre-heat oven to 'high broil' - and move oven rack so that it is about 6 inches or so from top element.

Grease an 8" spring form pan. ( I don't have an 8", so I used my 10" - and adjusted the number of layers and the amount of batter in each layer)

  1. Spread a scant 1/2 cup of batter on the bottom on pan.
  2. Place pan under broiler and bake for 1 or 1 1/2 minutes until lightly browned .. Watch it carefully.
  3. Remove from oven and add another 1/2 cup of batter . Again broil under element. (if it browns too quickly lower your rack)
  4. Repeat this step until you have 5 layers.
  5. Now spread half the sour cream mixture over the fifth layer and broil 1 minute until set.
  6. Repeat the batter layers as before , 1/2 cup of batter, broil... another 5 more layers.
  7. Spread the remaining sour cream mixture over the top and broil 1 minute until set.

Let the torte cool for 15 minutes. Remover sides and let cool completely.

Pipe your favorite butter cream icing around the sides and cover top with a thickened fruit filling -- home made or bought. (I cooked 2 cups of frozen raspberries sweetened with sugar, strained it to remove seeds and then thickened it with cornstarch.)

I found that this torte (refrigerated) tasted better the third/fourth day than the day I made it so it is a great make-ahead dessert.

****

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Raspberry Cream Pie

Since it's raspberry season in the valley...and we had two family birthdays to celebrate recently...raspberry cream pie doubled as birthday cake this year.  This recipe began as as a peach pie...but works well with berries. 


Crust:
  • 1 1/4 cups graham cracker crumbs
  • 1/4 cup butter, melted
  • 1 tablespoons sugar
  1. Pre-heat oven to 350°F.
  2. Mix crumbs, sugar and butter.  Press on bottom and sides of a 9-inch pie plate.
  3. Bake for 10 minutes. 
  4. Cool.

 Filling:
  • 1 pkg. large marshmallows (10 oz.)
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1 cup whipping cream
  • 2 cups fresh raspberries  
  1. Place milk and marshmallows in a large casserole. Cover.
  2. Microwave at High for 2 to 4 minutes, until mixture can be easily stirred smooth.
  3. Chill in refrigerator for about 30 minutes...or in a pan of ice-water, until thickened, stirring occasionally.
  4. Whip cream...and fold into chilled mallow mixture. 
  5. Gently fold in fresh raspberries.  
  6. Pour into crust and decorate with additional fresh berries and whipped cream, if desired.
  7. Refrigerate several hours or overnight.

Call it a pie...or call it a birthday cake...and enjoy!

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

No Knead Refrigerator Rolls


It is a nice recipe to make when you have company and want to serve fresh baked bread with out all the last minute fuss. You keep them in the fridge for up to four days, bake as many as you would like, and Voila fresh baked buns hot out of the oven. I made a Herb and Cheese variation here, but will give you the base recipe first.

  • 4-41/2 cups flour
  • 1/2 cup sugar (I used 1/3)
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 2 pkg. or 2 tbsp. instant yeast
  • 1 cup very warm water
  • 1/2 cup melted butter or margarine
  • 3 beaten eggs
  1. In a bowl combine 2 cups flour, sugar, salt and yeast. Blend well.
  2. Add warm water, butter and eggs.
  3. Blend at a low speed til well mixed, continue beating for two minutes.
  4. Stir in remaining flour by hand until you have a stiff dough.
  5. Cover dough with a plastic wrap a refrigerate for a minimum of two hour up to 4 days.
  6. Lightly grease two 8-9" pans.
  7. Divide dough into 12 rolls for each pan.
  8. Brush with 1 tbsp. of melted butter.
  9. Cover and rise for one hour.
  10. Bake in a preheated oven @ 375 for 20 minutes or until golden brown. Watch your oven since every oven temperature is different.
Herb and cheese variation:
  • 2 cups of old/aged cheddar
  • 2 tsp. basil
  • 1 tsp. oregano
  • 1 tsp. thyme or,
  • 1 tbsp. dill with the cheddar to make them dill and cheese buns.
Just add the cheese and herbs in with the dry ingredients. This is a no fail recipe, because you don't need to knead them, they always turn out.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Cool Lime Cake


Summer lends itself to a quick cake that keeps well in the refrigerator and tastes wonderfully cool on a hot day.  
  • 1 white cake mix baked according to directions.  I made mine in a 6 inch pan and reserved a bit of batter for a few cupcakes. This cake would work really well in a 9 X 13 pan.
  • 1 can sweetened condensed milk
  • 1/2 cup of fresh lime juice. . .about 4 small limes
  • 2 cups of whipping cream divided 
  • a few drops of green food coloring if desired
  1. Combine the sweetened condensed milk, the lime juice and 3/4 cup whipping cream. 
  2. Set aside 1 cup of filling for the frosting.
  3. Use the end of a wooden spoon to poke holes at 1/2 inch intervals in the cake. .nearly to the bottom but not through the cake.  Pour filling over the cake and work into the holes.
  4.  Whip the remaining whipping cream until soft peaks form. Add the few drops of green food coloring and the remaining filling and whip together until it is a spreadable consistency.
  5. Frost the cake and chill until serving time.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Bread for the Journey


Just like the plant in this picture - I want to bloom where I am whether I'm in lush soil or scrabbling for nourishment in a dried out piece of driftwood.

We all struggle at times with being content in our life's circumstances. Paul sets an example for us in the following verses:


"...for I have learned the secret of contentment in every situation whether it be on a full stomach or hunger, plenty or want; for I can do everything God asks me to with the help of Christ who gives me the strength and power."

"And my God shall supply all your need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus."

Philippians 4: 12, 13 & 19

I WISH YOU ENOUGH.
• I wish you enough sun to keep your attitude bright no matter how gray the day may appear.
• I wish you enough rain to appreciate the sun even more.
• I wish you enough happiness to keep your spirit alive and everlasting.
• I wish you enough pain so that even the smallest of joys in life may appear bigger.
• I wish you enough gain to satisfy your wanting.
• I wish you enough loss to appreciate all that you possess.
• I wish you enough hellos to get you through the final goodbye.
Author Unknown

May you be blessed this week... with enough!

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Sweet Chili Grilled Steak and Rice Bowl

If you are planning on grilling some steak this weekend, be sure to throw on one extra for your dinner next week.  This is so easy with purchased chicken broth and sweet chili sauce, you can have dinner on the table for the time it takes you to cook the rice.

  • 1 - 8 - 10 ounce beef steak, grilled and sliced on an angle when cold
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 large red bell pepper, sliced
  • 1 large sweet onion, sliced
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely minced
  • 1 large handful fresh green beans or broccoli flowers
  • 1 can chicken broth
  • 1 tablespoon flour
  • 1/2 cup sweet chili sauce
  • cooked rice
  1. Saute the vegetables over medium heat with the oil and the garlic in a large skillet until just tender.
  2. Add the steak and simmer two minutes.
  3. Combine the chicken broth and flour in a small bowl and add to the skillet.
  4. Add the sweet chili sauce and simmer another minute.
  5. Serve over hot rice.

Friday, July 16, 2010

Surprise Spread

This is an appetizer which my friend, Debbie, has brought to functions we've had as friends. I enjoy making it because it is so quick, easy and who does not like to dip crackers or chips while waiting for dinner!

Ingredients:


8 oz cream cheese
1/2 cup sour cream
1/4 cup mayonnaise
200 grams fresh or frozen cooked shrimp, crumbled
1 c seafood cocktail sauce
2 c mozzarella or Edam cheese
1 green pepper, chopped
2 green onions, chopped
1 tomato, diced

Method:

  1. Blend cream cheese, sour cream and mayonnaise.
  2. Spread into a serving plate with a bit of a dip in it.
  3. Layer the rest of the ingredients in order given.
  4. Serve with crackers, chips or tortillas

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Red Pepper Cauliflower Soup



  • 1 tbsp oil
  • 1 large onion
  • 1 red pepper chopped
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • 1 medium carrot sliced
  • 4 medium potatoes thinly sliced
  • 1 head of cauliflower
  • 1 tsp. thyme
  • 1/4 tsp. red pepper flakes (optional)
  • cracked pepper
  • 1 tsp. curry or to taste (optional)
  • 6-8 cups of low sodium chicken broth
  • 1 cup of milk or cream
  • 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese
  • 1-2 cups of old cheddar cheese
  • 2 small turkey pepperoni, smokey or farmer sausage (optional)
  1. Saute the onion, peppers, garlic in oil til soft. (You may add the farmer sausage or pepperoni at this time, if you are using it.)
  2. Add the remaining vegetables, and broth.
  3. Cook about 20 minutes till all the vegetables are tender.
  4. Puree if you have an immersion blender (my favorite, so much less clean up than a blender).
  5. Add the milk or cream.
  6. Stir in the cheese. The stronger the cheese the more flavorful the soup.

Enjoy as a meal with a salad and any homemade bread,
very filling and satisfying. (I enjoy it cold too.)


Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Gingerbread Cake

This is one of the recipes I still have in my recipe collection from my junior high home economics class. During my first years of marriage I used those recipes often. Not long ago I pulled out my old binder and decided to bake some of my old favorites. This is a very plain cake that is best served fresh with a mound of sweetened whipped cream.

Ingredients:
  • 1/4 cup butter, room temperature
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 cup molasses
  • 1 1/4 cup flour
  • 1/8 tsp salt
  • 3/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp ginger
  • 1/4 tsp cloves
  • 1/2 cup hot tap water
Method:
  1. Cream butter, and then add sugar, egg and molasses. Beat well.
  2. Sift together all dry ingredients.
  3. Add 1/3 of the dry ingredients to butter mixture at a time, mixing well between each addition.
  4. Add hot water and beat until thoroughly combined.
  5. Pour batter into a greased 9"x9" greased pan.
  6. Bake at 350º for 35-40 minutes.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Hamburger Patties for the BBQ

During the summer I like to have things ready that I can throw onto the BBQ without too much fuss. You can never go wrong with hamburgers. I double the recipe, form patties and stack them with parchment between, which makes it easy to take out take as many as you need.
While the patties are on the BBQ set out the condiments, slice up tomatoes, cheese, lettuce, pickles and buns. Open your families favorite bag of chips or serve with fresh corn on the cob or watermelon.


Ingredients: (yields 8-10 patties)
  • 2 pounds lean ground beef
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp pepper
  • 1/4 cup barbecue sauce
  • 1/3 cup grate onion
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tbsp milk
  • 1/2 cup dry bread crumb
Method:
  1. Place all ingredients in a large bowl and using your hands mix together well.
  2. Cut squares of parchment paper.
  3. Form patties by taking an apple sized piece of meat, roll it into a ball and flatten it.
  4. Continue until all the meat is used. You can BBQ now or go to next step.
  5. Place stacks of patties in a zip lock freezer bag, seal and freeze.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Coconut Macaroons

This recipe for chewy macaroons was given to me by a friend. They indeed are chewy and delicious..and very easy to bake up a batch for an afternoon treat with a cup of coffee.

  • 3 cups angel flaked coconut
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 can (300 ml) sweetened condensed milk
  • 2 tsp vanilla..you could use almond and vanilla

  1. Preheat oven to 325º
  2. Combine coconut, flour and salt.
  3. Stir in milk and vanilla.
  4. Drop from a tbsp onto a greased or parchment lined baking pan.
  5. Bake for 18 min or until golden in color.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Bread for the Journey


Praise Him , Praise Him. .
all you little children,
God is love,
God is love . .
Praise Him, Praise Him,
All you little children,
God is love,
God is love.

author unknown

Psalm 9 : 1 , 2

I will praise you, O LORD, with all my heart;
I will tell of all your wonders.
I will be glad and rejoice in you;
I will sing praise to your name, 
O most High.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Grilled Tenderloin Steak with Mushrooms and Onions

When I want to make a special meal for my husband, my sons or my dad - this is what I serve.
Although beef tenderloin can be expensive, it can be bought whole in some butcher shops and cut up into steaks at home which brings the price down. Tenderloin steak does not need to be marinated but I like the flavour a marinade adds to the meat.
If tenderloin is not in your budget, the marinade works very well with less tender steaks such as top sirloin, T bone or even flank. Just adjust the marinating time accordingly.
  • 1 beef tenderloin steak per person*
  • Grainy Mustard Marinade (recipe follows)
  • 1 or 2 large onions
  • 10 large mushrooms
  • 1 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 2 Tbsp. butter, divided
  • 1 Tbsp. balsamic vinegar (opt.)

* Remember that because of the dense texture of a tenderloin steak, the steaks do not need to be as large as other cuts of steak.

For the Grainy Mustard Marinade: (enough to marinate 4 steaks.)

  • 1 Tbsp. whole grain mustard
  • 1/2 cup low sodium Soya Sauce
  • 1/2 cup red wine
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 Tbsp. oil
  • 1 Tbsp. Montreal Steak Spice
  • 1 tsp. sugar
  1. Mix all marinade ingredients together until blended.
  2. 1 to 2 hours before grilling, pour marinade over tenderloin steaks in a large zippered plastic bag. (marinate sirloin steak for 2 to 3 hours; flank steak for 7 to 8 hours)
  3. Before zipping the bag shut, squeeze as much air out of the bag as you can.
  4. Leave on the kitchen counter, turning the bag over occassionally, until ready to grill.
  5. Grill steaks on a hot grill according to desired doneness - we like our tenderloin done medium rare.
  6. While the steaks are grilling, prepare the mushrooms and onions.
  7. Arrange steaks, mushrooms and onions on a large platter and serve.
For the mushrooms and onions:
  1. Slice onion in half and then cut thin wedges from the root end to the stem end
  2. Heat oil and butter in frying pan on medium high and saute onions until they carmelize - 10 to 20 minutes or until they are golden brown.
  3. Remove from pan and cover to keep warm.
  4. Add 1 Tbsp. butter to the pan and saute sliced mushrooms until golden.
  5. You may add a Tbsp. of balsamic vinegar to the mushrooms to intensify the flavour.

Friday, July 9, 2010

Butter Lettuce

There's nothing that tastes better than a fresh home-made salad on a hot summer day.
This recipe was introduced to us by another European chef. I love it when I have guests and they offer to cook for us and I of course have benefited from these recipes in my past years.
This year my daughter decided to grow her own butter lettuce in her newly raised garden bed.
It's simple, and delicious.

Butter Lettuce
  • 1 head butter lettuce
  • 2 onion greens
  • Add some fresh mushrooms
Dressing
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp. mustard
  • 1/2 cup whipping cream
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 3 tbsp. lemon juice
  • 3 tbsp. oil
Instruction.
  1. Wash and clean your butter lettuce, spin dry, and make sure it is nice and crisp.
  2. Tear or shred it into bit size pieces.
  3. Add any of the other ingredients.
  4. Then whip the whipping cream till medium thickness, add egg and mustard, whipping some more. The texture should be smooth.
  5. Add salt, lemon juice and oil.
  6. Pour over freshly cooled butter leaves.
You'll be making this more than once.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Cookie Sheet Chocolate Bars

This is a recipe I got many years ago from a good friend, Kathi. It's definitely a crowd pleaser. and keeps well in the fridge for days if you do not have a crowd to please. Oh, and it freezes well. Yields approx 36 bars.

Ingredients:

1 cup water
1/2 cup butter or margarine
1/2 cup oil
2 cups flour
1 3/4 cups sugar
5 Tbsp baking cocoa
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 cup buttermilk
1 tsp vanilla
2 eggs

Method:
  1. In small pot bring water, butter and oil to a boil
  2. In a mixing bowl (not plastic), mix flour, sugar, cocoa and soda
  3. Stir in hot liquids, stirring well until sides let go of bowl
  4. Stir in buttermilk and vanilla, then beat in eggs well
  5. Pout into greased cookie sheet (approx 11" x 17" or a bit smaller) with sides at least 1 inch
  6. Bake at 350 F for 20 - 25 minutes, depending on size of pan
Frosting:

1/2 cup butter or margarine
5 tsp baking cocoa
1/3 cup milk
2 1/2 cups confectioner's sugar
1 cup crushed, toasted almonds

Method:
  1. Bring butter, cocoa and milk to a boil, then reomove from element.
  2. Stir in confectioner's sugar and crushed almonds
  3. Spread on cake while still very warm
  4. Cool before cutting up. Keep in fridge, especially on hot days.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Raspberry Cream Cheese Coffee Cake


More than 80% of Canada's raspberries are grown right here in the Fraser Valley. And since it is the season...there are a lot of raspberry recipes happening around here these days.   Here is a moist raspberry coffee cake...that we enjoyed yesterday.

Raspberry Cream Cheese Coffee Cake

  • 2 1/4 cups flour
  • 3/4 cup white sugar
  • 3/4 cup butter
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 8 oz./250 ml cream cheese, softened
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 tablespoon grated orange zest
  • 1 1/2 cups fresh raspberries
 
Method:

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F.  Butter a 10" spring form pan and line the bottom with parchment paper.
  2. With a pastry blender or electric mixer, combine flour, sugar and cool butter until well blended and mixture resembles a fine streusel.  Measure out 1 cup of crumbs and set aside.
  3. To remaining streusel mix, add baking powder, baking soda and salt and mix.
  4. Add sour cream, egg and vanilla and beat only until the batter is smooth. 
  5. Spread the batter onto the bottom and slightly up the sides of the prepared pan.
  6. Using a clean mixing bowl, combine cream cheese and sugar.  Add egg and orange zest and beat until light  and fluffy.
  7. Next, spread the cream cheese filling over the cake batter.
  8. Scatter the fresh raspberries over the filling.
  9. Top with reserved cup of streusel.
  10. Bake for 50-60 minutes or until the streusel is golden and toothpick inserted in centre of cake comes out clean.
  11. Place on a rack to cool.  Remove ring and slide cake onto a dessert plate.
  12. Serve slightly warm or at room temperature. 


Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Swiss Cordon Bleu Bread

The dough is my favorite french bread recipe that is very similar to the Anneliese which you can find here. I use this recipe to make my pizza dough, or this stuffed bread . The filling can be very versatile, you can add what you like. This recipe makes two breads.

Filling is enough for two:
  • 1 lb / 500 gm of you favorite ham, shaved and then chopped.
  • 4 cups of low fat Swiss Cheese.
  • Thousand Island Dressing, enough to moisten to your liking.
  1. Make your dough, and after it rises divide into two.
  2. Roll each piece onto a 10x 15 inch greased cookie sheet.
  3. Place filling down the center, leaving the sides free of filling.
  4. Cut 1 inch strip from the filling to the outside of the pan.
  5. Fold strips over the filling to make it look like a braid.
  6. Brush the top with one beaten egg. Sprinkle with Sesame Seeds if you wish.
  7. Bake at 400 degrees for 20 or 25 minutes, depending on your oven.
Delicious along side a bowl of soup or salad.



or try this filling:
  1. starting with rolling out your dough on the cookie sheet.
  2. down the center spread with a little Dijon mustard.
  3. lay on dry salami
  4. red peppers
  5. thinly sliced onion
  6. mushrooms and olives
  7. 2 cups of old cheddar cheese.





Be creative with your fillings, how about
  1. roasted veggies mixed with cream cheese
  2. left over chicken and broccoli with red onions and ranch dressing
  3. corned beef and sauerkraut.
  4. your favorite pizza fillings to make a stuffed pizza.
  5. roast beef with bbq sauce, caramelized onions, mushrooms,olives and cheddar cheese.
  6. the possibilities are endless.
Most of all Enjoy and share it with people that you love.

Monday, July 5, 2010

Raspberry Glaze for a Raspberry Custard Pie

It is Raspberry Pie seaon.  This summers raspberry pie features a glaze made with part of the fresh raspberries.  Last year I featured my  raspberry custard pie using a bit of raspberry jam glaze.  It is a bit redundant and yet I like the option of different glazes and perhaps you do too. You should also take a look at Judy's Raspberry Glaze which features raspberry jello.  I have also made that one many times with raspberries, strawberries and peaches. . . Like I said, we want to provide you with options.

  • one baked pie shell 
Custard
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1 1/2 cups milk
  • 2 egg yolks
Fresh Raspberry Glaze
  • 4 cups raspberries
  • 3/4 cup water
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 3 tablespoons cornstarch
Custard Instructions
  1. Combine the 1/3 sugar and the first 2 tablespoons of cornstarch in a small  saucepan.
  2. Stir in the milk and the egg yolks and bring to a boil over medium heat. . stirring continually.
  3. Allow to cool for a few minutes and then pour into the baked pie shell and allow to cool in the refrigerator.
The Raspberry Glaze
  1. Take 1 cup of the raspberries and combine them with the water in a small saucepan and bring to a boil and allow to simmer 4 minutes.
  2. Strain the berries and discard the berries. . .but save the juice.
  3. Combine the 1 cup sugar and the 3 tablespoons cornstarch in a small bowl and then add to the juice with a whisk  If you do not combine the sugar and cornstarch first. .you will have lumps.
  4. Stir over medium heat until the glaze clears and comes to a simmer.
  5. Arrange one layer of berries over the custard and drizzle half the glaze over . . .and repeat.
  6. Refrigerate  for several hours to set and decorate with sweetened whipped cream

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Bread for the Journey

Standing on the promises of Christ my King, thru eternal ages let His praises ring:
glory in the highest I will shout and sing, standing on the promises of God.

Standing on the promises that cannot fail, when the howling storms of doubt and fear assail,
by the living word of God I shall prevail, standing on the promises of God.

Standing on the promises of Christ my Lord, bound to Him eternally by love's strong cord,
overcoming daily with the Spirit's sword, standing on the promises of God.

Standing on the promises I now can perfect, present cleansing in the blood for me;
standing in the liberty where Christ makes free, standing on the promises of God.

Standing on the promises I cannot fail, listening every moment to the Spirit's call,
resting in my Savior as my all in all, standing on the promises of God.

CHORUS
Standing, standing, standing on the promises of God my Savior;
standing, standing, I'm standing on the promises of God.

Russel Kelso Carter 1849-1928

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Strawberry Meringues with Lemon Cream

This dessert is so light and is topped with a lemon flavoured cream.
It could also be served with fresh raspberries or peaches.
The meringues can be made ahead and even frozen for a hassle free dessert.
For the Meringues:
  • 3 egg whites at room temperature
  • 1/2 tsp. cream of tartar
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1 tsp. vinegar
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  1. Preheat oven to 225º.
  2. Place parchment paper on a large baking sheet.
  3. Beat egg whites and cream of tartar until light and foamy.
  4. Continue beating, adding the sugar 2 Tbsp at a time and beating well between additions.
  5. Add vinegar and vanilla and beat until thick.
  6. Using a large star tip and piping bag, pipe meringue in a 4" inch circle, making a spiral to fill the centre and then pipe 2 more circles around the outside building up the sides to make a nest shape.
  7. Repeat with remaining meringue to make 6 nests.
  8. Place in preheated oven and bake for 2 hours.
  9. Leaving the meringues in the oven, turn oven off leave them until they are completely cool.

Lemon Cream:

  • 1 cup whipping cream
  • 2 generous Tbsp. icing sugar
  • 1 1/2 tsp. grated lemon rind
  • 2 Tsp. lemon juice
  • 4 tsp. sherry (this gives it a very unique flavour)
  • Fresh strawberries or peaches, sweetened to taste
  1. Whip cream with icing sugar until thickened.
  2. Add lemon rind, juice and sherry and beat until blended.
  3. To serve, pile lemon cream in centre of each meringue nest and top with sweetened berries or peaches.
  4. Serves 6.

Friday, July 2, 2010

Mud Pie

Here is another one of my ready to go summer recipes. It's really just dressing up ice cream.
This can also be made in a spring form pan. You may have to adjust the amount of crumbs and ice cream depending on the size of your pan.

Ingredients:
  • 1/3 cup butter
  • 2 cups chocolate Oreo crumbs
  • 2 liters coffee ice cream
  • 2 cups whipping cream
  • 2 tbsp powdered sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • purchased hot fudge sauce (I like Smuckers brand)
  • sliced almonds (optional)
Method:
  1. Melt butter in a deep dish pie plate.
  2. Add crumbs and mix, pressing to form a crust.
  3. Allow ice cream to sit out for 5-10 minutes to make it easier to scoop, then mound the Oreo shell with all the ice cream.
  4. Press with the back of a spoon to pack ice cream into the shell and smooth the top.
  5. Cover well and freeze.
  6. When ready to serve, whip the cream with the sugar and vanilla until thick.
  7. Serve pie with a mound of freshly whipped cream, hot fudge sauce, and almonds.


Thursday, July 1, 2010

Canada Day ~ Buffalo Cookies


Happy Canada Day!

Today Canada is celebrating it's 143 birthday. It's an opportunity for communities to gather from coast to coast and to celebrate all that we have in common. It's a day for us to celebrate a heritage passed down to us through history. As we look ahead we proudly face the future with confidence and future!

I've always wondered why these were called Buffalo Cookies, so I looked up the word buffalo and it symbolizes knowledge. It represents generosity, and more so, survival and courage. I have been baking these cookies for years, a family favorite that is packed with nutritional value while camping, skiing, or hiking. It represents a generous size, and offers survival when those hunger pangs are screaming after a hard day hiking, skiing or cycling. Most of you will recognize that all the ingredients are staples in your kitchen pantry.

Buffalo Cookies
  • 1 cup melted margarine
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 11/4 cup oatmeal
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • 11/4 cup crunched cornflakes
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 cup coconut
  • 1 cup raisins
  • 1 cup milk chocolate chips.
Instructions
  1. Cream margarine with sugars, adding eggs.
  2. Add vanilla, baking soda, baking powder and mix.
  3. Add flour and mix.
  4. Add the additional dry ingredients and mix well.
Bake at 350 degrees for about 12 minutes, till they are lightly colored. When you take them out of the oven, I let the pan slap/drop on the counter...it changes the texture slightly, but oh, are they good.

I'm still wondering how these cookies represent Courage....
Ah...maybe the fact that they have too many calories. Do you have the courage to resist these?
Maybe the courage to say NO! I don't think so! After you've had the courage to hike those mountain tops, or cycle to Alaska, you best deserve a treat.

Hoping you are all celebrating Canada Day!