Tuesday, August 31, 2010

A Warm Welcome


I enjoy having guests, and I thought you might like a little change from the regular recipe of the day. I'm sure many of you have had house guests or been house guests this summer.
I've been getting ready for my guests for the past few weeks. Usually when I have guests I not only get my house ready, but I also meal plan, but not this time. My guests will be staying with us for 3 nights, but will not be eating any meals here. They may sit at my island in the mornings with a cup of coffee before we head out each morning, and we may sip on a cup of tea before we turn in each night.

The front bedroom is ready for one of my dear friends.


....and the back bedroom for the other.
Girls like fresh flowers, clean linens and little treat bags
....so that is what they will find.

When family or friends come to stay I want them to feel comfortable and at home.
My friends are arriving shortly. Why don't you stop by tomorrow to meet them and see what we are up to.

Monday, August 30, 2010

pluma moos ~ cold plum soup

Fruits soups...made with fresh or dried fruits...have been a part of the Mennonite cuisine for centuries.  During the winter months...these soups were made with dried fruit.  In the summer...they were made with fruits fresh from the orchard.  We happened to have a long row of Italian prunes on our farm when I was a child...and so we often had pluma moos made with fresh plums.  This is still my favorite fruit soup...a nice cold bowl of pluma moos on a hot day is most refreshing.  The Italian prunes are about ready for the picking...here's a recipe you may want to try.



  • 4 cups Italian prunes, pitted and quartered
  • 8 cups water
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/3 cup corn starch
  • 1 package cherry jello (4 serving size)
  1. Place prunes in large saucepan and cover with water.  Cook until tender.
  2. Mix sugar and cornstarch...add enough cold water to make a smooth paste.  Add to fruit gradually while stirring...allow it to come to a boil.
  3. Remove from heat and stir in cherry jello.  
  4. Cool...then refrigerate.  
  5. Serve cold.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Bread for the Journey

2 Corinthians 5:17

"Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come."

I was reminded of this verse the other day as I was discarding some old clothes and it caused me to wander down memory lane..
Rag rugs have always fascinated me. As a little girl I sat and watched my mother cut strips of fabric from old shirts, pants and dresses that were too worn to wear anymore. Then with nimble fingers using a hook that had been carved out of wood by my Dad she would create this beautiful rug..a work of art.

These memories took me to what Jesus does for us. He takes the old ragged and worn pieces of our lives and weaves them into beautiful new 'works of art.'
That is the most amazing 'weaving' that I can think of and am thankful for!

Blessings..

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Corn Cake Appetizers


A friend of mine who had a catering business made these delectable morsels. They are small pancakes made with cornmeal and kernel corn. I've made them several times now and served than as an appetizer for summer BBQ's and they have disappeared like... well...hotcakes!

For the Corn Cakes:
  • 1 1/2 cups flour
  • 1/2 cup cornmeal
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 tbsp. Baking Powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 1/2 cups milk
  • 2 eggs, beaten with a fork
  • 4 tbsp. melted butter
  • 1/3 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 cup corn kernels cut from a cooked cob or 1 can kernel corn, drained
  1. Heat griddle or frying pan to 350º F.
  2. In a medium mixing bowl, combine all dry ingredients.
  3. In another bowl, combine wet ingredients and corn kernels.
  4. Make a well in the dry indgredients and add the wet.
  5. Stir well with a spoon until blended. Batter will be a bit runny.
  6. Using a tablespoon, drop batter on to griddle. You'll want to make the corn cakes fairly small. (about 2" in diameter)
  7. Cook on griddle until browned and then flip - like pancakes.
  8. Cool on rack.

For the Goat Cheese Topping:

  • 1/2 cup herbed goat cheese or add your own herbs to plain goat cheese (you could use cream cheese if you like)
  • About 1/4 cup (more or less) of whipping cream
  • Red Pepper Jelly
  • Chives cut into 1/2 inch pieces
  1. Beat goat cheese with beater, adding whipping cream until a creamy texture is achieved.
  2. Using a small spoon or a piping bag, top each corn cake with a teaspoon or so of goat cheese.
  3. Add a dab of red pepper jelly to the centre of the goat cheese.
  4. Add bits of chopped chives as a garnish if desired.
  5. Serve. (These are delicious cold)

Friday, August 27, 2010

Fresh Fruit Salsa with Cinnamon Tortilla Chips

With all the fresh fruits available at this time of year...why not combine sweet and savory and serve on an appetizer platter?

  • 3 cups chopped peaches
  • 3 kiwis, peeled and finely chopped
  • 1 cup finely chopped strawberries
  • 1 medium yellow pepper, chopped
  • 1 medium red pepper, chopped
  • 1/4 cup red onion,. finely chopped
  • 1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and chopped

  1. Combine all ingredients and refrigerate for at least an hour before serving.
  2. Drain juices if desired.
  3. Serve with cinnamon tortilla chips as an appetizer...or serve as an accompaniment to grilled chicken or meat.
Cinnamon Tortilla Chips
  • 8 flour tortilla (8 inch)
  • Butter flavoured Pam (cooking spray)
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  1. Combine sugar and cinnamon.
  2. Spray both sides of tortilla with cooking spray.
  3. Sprinkle both sides with sugar/cinnamon mixture. (Putting sugar mixture in a shaker works well.)
  4. Using a pizza cutter, cut each tortilla into eight wedges.
  5. Place on ungreased baking sheet (parchment lined for easy clean-up)...in a single layer.
  6. Bake at 350° F for 10-14 minutes or until just crisp.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Apple Walnut Crisp




Apple Walnut Crisp
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1-1/4 cup rolled oats
  • 1 cup all purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup melted butter
  • 1/3 cup chopped walnuts
  • 3 cups apples - peeled, cored, & sliced or chopped
  • 1/3 cup white sugar
  • 2 tsp. cinnamon

Preheat oven to 350 degrees
Lightly grease an 8 inch square pan.
Combine brown sugar, oats, flour, nuts, and butter in large bowl.
Place half of this crumb mixture into pan and press down. Cover this layer evenly with apples. Sprinkle the apples with the white sugar and cinnamon. Top with remaining crumb mixture. Bake in preheated oven for 40-45 minutes or until golden brown.

Serve with whipped cream or ice cream and enjoy!

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Lemon Pudding Cake

As this dessert bakes it forms a delicate cake on top of a tart lemon curd.

Ingredients:
  • 3 eggs, separated
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1/3 cup flour
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 1/4 cups buttermilk
  • 2 tbsp melted butter
  • 1 1/2 tbsp grated lemon rind
  • juice from 2 large lemons
  1. Beat egg whites until soft peaks form and set aside.
  2. In large bowl whisk egg yolks with sugar until pale in color, beat in flour and salt.
  3. Whisk in buttermilk, melted butter, lemon rind and juice.
  4. Fold half of beaten egg whites into the milk mixture, then fold in remaining whites.
  5. Pour in a greased 8" glass baking dish. Place dish in a large roasting pan, add enough hot water to come halfway up the sides of the dish.
  6. Bake at 350º for 40 to 45 minutes or until top is golden. Remove from water and allow to cool on rack for 30 minutes before serving.
  7. Serve as is or add a dollop of whipped cream.



Monday, August 23, 2010

Easy Mediterranean Quiche


 

 
  • 1 medium yellow onion, diced
  • 1 red bell pepper,diced
  • 1 yellow or green pepper, diced
  • 1/2 teaspoon oregano
  • 1/2 cup sliced olives
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 small tomato diced
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped sund dried tomato
  • 1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup bisquick
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground pepper
  • 1 1/2 cup milk
  • Spray a deep dish pie plate with cooking spray and set aside.
  • Preheat oven to 350 F
  1. In a medium sized skillet,  heat the oil and then saute the onion, peppers and oregano until the veggies are  translucent.
  2. Spread them evenly in the pie plate.
  3. Arrange the sundried tomato, the diced fresh tomato, olives  and the feta cheese over top.
  4. Combine the rest of the ingredients in a blender or a mixing bowl and beat until smooth.
  5. Pour over the ingredients in the pie plate.
  6. Bake at 350 F for one hour. (stick a sharp knife into the center to make sure it comes out clean)

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Bread for the Journey


Listen to my voice in the morning, Lord.
Each morning I bring my requests to you and wait expectantly.
Psalm 5:3

I am reading through the Psalms this month, and have noticed that the writer of this book (David) is a man after God's own heart. A man that cries out to God, prays to God, praises Him, sees great miracles that God does in spite of all David's sinful short comings and trials that he is going through. David is so devoted to spending time with God, that he begins his day with listening for the voice of God and waits expectantly to hear from Him. That is what I want for myself, not to just pray and hope for the best, but to wait expectantly for God to work things out in my life, regardless of how flawed my sinful nature is. I have been redeemed and forgiven.

Are you going through a challenge in your life? Then take some time in the morning, bring your requests to Him and join me in waiting expectantly. I want that to become second nature in my life to seek Him first thing in the morning every day, no matter what is happening in my life.
That is a great way to start the beginning of every new day, don't you agree?



Saturday, August 21, 2010

Bean Salad



When I was young, my mom often made bean salad, and I have to admit that I wasn't a fan when I was younger there for never made it for my family. However several years ago we were visiting friends and she served a bean salad.  My tastes had changed and I really liked it, surprisingly my kids really enjoyed it and ask me to make it. I especially like to make it in the summer for picnics and barbecues.
It is simple and can be made ahead and kept in the refrigerator for several days. The longer is sits the more flavorful it gets.

You need:

  • 3 cans of beans, any variety, these are a few suggestions - Kidney Beans red or white, Lima Beans, Black Beans,Romano Beans, Chick or Garbanzo Beans, the choice is yours.
  • 2 cups of frozen green beans
  • 1 red onion diced
  • 1 green or red pepper chopped, I used orange and yellow because that is what I had on hand
Dressing:
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 2/3 cup vinegar
  • 1/3 cup oil
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/2 tsp. dry mustard and thyme (optional)
  1. Rinse the beans under cold water to rinse off all the starch.
  2. Combine the remaining vegetables.
  3. Mix together all the dressing ingredients, I prefer the dressing with just the oil vinegar and sugar. Stir until sugar dissolves.
  4. Pour over the bean mixture and refrigerate overnight, the frozen beans thaw completely and have a nice texture.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Peach Slab Pie

We love slab pies over here...a pie baked in a bar pan. What we don't eat fresh from the oven...is stacked in layers with parchment paper in between ...and frozen to be used as needed (a few pieces at a time). A container of slab pie (apple, berry or peach) is always a staple when we leave on a road trip with the RV. Since the peaches are at their juiciest best over here...we have been enjoying them fresh and in desserts. There's a peach slab pie in the freezer...ready for the taking...one piece at a time!


Pastry:
  • 1 1/2 cup margarine
  • 3 3/4 cup flour
  • 1 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1 egg yolk and milk to make 1 cup (reserve egg white to use as glaze)
Peach Filling:
  • 6 cups peaches (about 9-10), peeled, pitted and cut into thin slices.
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup cornstarch
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  1. Combine flour and salt. Cut in margarine to obtain coarse crumbs.
  2. Mix egg yolk mixture into flour mixture until dough holds together in a ball.
  3. Roll out half the dough on floured work surface....slightly larger than 12 x 16 inches.
  4. Spray 12 x 16 inch pan with cooking spray. Line with parchment paper, leaving a 1-inch overhang on the long sides.
  5. Transfer dough to prepared pan. Trim edges of dough...leaving 1/2 inch to hang over edge.
  6. For filling, combine sugar, cornstarch and salt. Add sliced peaches and lemon juice and stir. Pour peach filling into prepared baking sheet.
  7. Roll out remaining dough. Place on top of filling. Trim edges of dough to hang over sides slightly. Fold edges under and pinch to seal.
  8. Beat egg white until foamy and brush over top crust.
  9. Bake at 375°F for about 45-50 minutes...or until golden and filling is bubbling.
  10. Allow to cool completely on wire rack (several hours). Then pull up parchment paper to remove.
  11. Cut into 20 pieces. Freezes wonderfully.

* This pastry recipe will be more than enough for a 12 x 18 pan (Pampered Chef bar pan). Use any leftover pieces to make a galette or two.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Tomato Sauce


Serve over whole wheat pasta, and a fresh crisp Salad.


  • 1 tbsp Olive Oil
  • 1 large onion chopped
  • 1 of each red and green pepper
  • 2 tsp. basil
  • 1 tsp. thyme
  • 1 tsp. oregano
  • salt to taste
  • lots of cracked pepper to taste
  • 4-6 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 tbsp honey
  • a small can of tomato paste
  • 2 cans 28 0z tomatoes (I use whole or diced, but crushed is good if your prefer less chunks).
  1. Saute onions, peppers along with the herbs in the Olive oil.
  2. Add the Tomatoes and Tomato Paste, honey and season with salt and freshly ground pepper.
  3. Bring to boil and simmer for 20 minutes.
  4. Add minced garlic and simmer for 10 more.
  5. Add fresh parsley right at the last minute.
  6. For variation add a variety of added vegetables like mushrooms and zucchini
  7. This makes a very thick sauce, if you prefer a thinner one just add a 14 oz can of tomato sauce to thin it out.

This makes a very thick and rich tasting sauce,
and you don't need a lot of it on your pasta.

This is a very quick and easy recipe that can be made in under 30 minutes, faster than waiting for a take out pizza to arrive. It is made with simple ingredients and tastes great. I always make extra to use for pizza sauce or adding it to stew or roast. It isn't just the fresh ingredients that make it good, I think that it is in the order that the ingredients come in. It is good just as is, for vegetarian alternative or try it with Turkey Italian Sausage, Ground Beef or Chicken.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Blueberry Oat Muffins


Ingredients:

1 1/2 c rolled oats
1 1/4 c buttermilk
1 egg, beaten with fork
1/4 cup oil or melted butter
1 1/2 c flour
3/4 c brown sugar
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 1/2 cups blueberries


Method:


  1. Combine oats and buttermilk in small bowl. Add beaten egg and oil. Set aside.
  2. Combine dry ingredients, stirring to blend well.
  3. Add wet ingredients to dry, stirring until just moistened, then fold in blueberries.
  4. Fill greased or paper lined muffin tins.
  5. Bake at 400 F 25 - 30 min. Yield: 12 large or 18 medium.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Homemade Laundry Soap

 

I've been making my own laundry soap for awhile now and am sold on the cost effectiveness and the efficiency of never running out of laundry detergent.

I haven't worked out exactly how much the soap costs per load but I'm saving a bundle.
I have a front loading machine and the clothing rinses clean and for those that are sensitive to fragrance it seems to be just fine.


I know there are many variatons out there. . .some liquid and some dry.
I'd love you to offer your recipe in the comment section and then everyone can try different recipes.

 

  • 1 sunlight bar grated into a medium saucepan
  • 4 cups hot tap water
  • 1 cup Washing Soda
  • 1/2 cup Borax
  • 1 five gallon pail
  1. Melt the Sunlight bar over medium heat . . stirring the whole time.
  2. Dump it into a 5 gallon pail and add the Washing Soda and the Borax.  Stir well.
  3. Add hot water to the pail to come to a few inches to the top of the pail.
  4. Stir well.  ( I use a broom handle)
  5. Let sit overnight and give it a good stir.  It will jell a bit.
  6. Fill empty laundry soap containers. 
  7. For my front load washer I use 1/4 cup.
  8. For top load washers you will use closer to 1/2 cup.
You will need to experiment with your loads.  Dirty loads need more detergent than light loads.  I use it on my dirtiest farm laundry and on my delicates with equal satisfaction. 

Monday, August 16, 2010

Apple and Cream Filled Cinnamon Coffee Cake

  1. This coffee cake can be enjoyed as a dessert or you can wow your friends at brunch.

    Ingredients:

    1/2 cup soft butter
    1 cup sugar
    2 eggs
    2 tsps vanilla
    1 1/2 cups flour
    1/2 tsp baking soda
    1/2 tsp salt
    1 cup sour cream

    Topping:

    1/2 cup sugar
    1/2 cup chopped pecans
    2 tsps cinnamon

    Filling:

    3/4 cup milk
    1 tbsp cornstarch
    1/4 cup soft buter
    1/4 cup soft shortening
    1/2 cup sugar
    1 tsp vanilla

    2 apples, peeled, cored, sliced and cooked until soft. I used McIntosh apples.

    Cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy.
    Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each one and stir in vanilla
    Combine flour, baking soda and salt and add to creamed mixture alternately with sour cream, beating just until combined.
    Pour into two greased or parchment lined 9" round baking pans.
    Combine topping and sprinkle over batter, lightly cut with knife through batter to swirl.
    Bake at 350º for 20 to 25 min or until toothpick comes out clean.
    Cool for 10 min then remove from pans to cool completely on a wire rack.

    To make the filling:

    In a small bowl whisk together cornstarch and milk until smooth. Bring to a boil in the microwave. Or you may use saucepan on stove.
    Cook and stir for 1 to 2 min until it thickens, cover bowl and refrigerate until chilled.
    In another bowl cream butter, shortening and sugar until light and fluffy.
    Add chilled milk mixture and vanilla and beat on med speed for 8 to 10 min until smooth and creamy.
    Place one layer of cake on serving plate, spread with filling and the cooked apples and top with the remaining cake layer.
    Store in fridge.
    Servings..8-10

    This is an amazing coffee cake..try it, you will not be disappointed!





Sunday, August 15, 2010

Bread for the journey


Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God's mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God—this is your spiritual act of worship. Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God's will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.

Romans 12: 1,2

I share these verses with you today because I have recently memorized them.
They were given to me by a friend with the intention that I should memorize them, saturating my mind with the truth of God.

It seems that if we become consumed by what worries us. . .
we will soon fall right into a dangerous pit of the enemy.
I found that once I offered myself a cracked and broken pot back to God. .once more. .
and then saturated myself in his word.. .
my joy returned and I remembered that I am pleasing to God.

Finding yourself in a pit of worry and despair?
Memorize the verse this week.
You may as I did, need to say it over and over many times a day.
There truly is nothing more wonderful than having the peace of God fill me. .
and know that I am in His will.

Blessings!

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Potatoes and Onions




I had some extra potatoes and sweet onions that needed to be used so here's an off the cuff recipe I came up with that ended up being very tasty and good for a side dish at lunch or dinner or good to serve up with eggs at breakfast.

3 russet potatoes sliced thin
2 sweet onions sliced thin
2 tablespoons Olive Oil
1 tablespoon butter
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. pepper
1 tsp. herbs de Provence or thyme
1 tsp. sugar

Heat olive oil in large skillet. Add onions, potatoes, salt and pepper. When the onions and potatoes soften add the herbs and sugar and butter. Cook until potatoes are cooked through and start browning nicely.

We served these along side lamb sandwiches and some green salad. Add more seasoning to your taste.

Friday, August 13, 2010

Peach Cobbler

I love it when recipes remind me of a special friend. This cobbler recipe comes from my friend Gloria . . . who is from Zimbabwe and would call this pudding. I have enjoyed making this myself for many years now. It is easy, quick and oh-so-delicious! This is the reason you want to have canned peaches and ice cream on hand.

Peach Cobbler
  • ¼ cup butter
  • 1 cup flour
  • ¾ cup sugar
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • ¾ cup milk

Method:

  1. Preheat oven to 350F
  2. Place 1/4 cup butter in 9x9 baking dish and pop into the oven to melt.
  3. In a medium sized bowl or 4 cup measuring cup, mix dry ingredients, then stir in the milk.
  4. Pour batter over the melted butter in dish, but don’t mix.
  5. Place 1 can or half a pint jar of canned, sliced peaches, drained, on top.
  6. Bake 30 - 40 min at 350F. Enjoy warm with ice cream.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Banana Bread

When your bananas are starting to turn brown this is a great recipe to use them in. You can also freeze over ripe bananas. When you are ready to use them for baking, thaw and mash. This banana bread has a hint of cocoa in it. This loaf freezes well.

Ingredients:
  • 1 cup mashed bananas
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tbsp cocoa
  • 1 1/2 cups flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
Method:
  1. Mix together mashed bananas, sugar, oil, sour cream, and eggs. Beat well.
  2. Mix together dry ingredients.
  3. Add dry mixture to wet mixture and beat until well blended.
  4. Pour into a 9"x 5" loaf pan.
  5. Bake in 325º oven for 1 hour or until tooth pick inserted comes out clean.
  6. Allow to cool in pan for 10 minutes and then turn out onto cooling rack.


Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Strawberry Punch


I've been enjoying this punch recipe that Kathy gave me  many years ago.
Since all the ingredients are kept in the freezer or refrigerator until your party starts. . you don't have to wonder where to keep large amounts of punch if your refrigerator is already full of party goodies. 


  • 1/2 cup sugar

  • 1 litre or quart of pink or regular grapefruit juice

  • 1 can of frozen lemonade

  • 1 can of frozen berry punch

  • 1 package strawberry koolaid

  • 4 cups frozen sliced strawberries

  • 1 large sprite

  • ice cubes

  1. Add all the ingredients in a large punch bowl.  Do not add water.

  2. Serve over ice.

  3. enjoy your party.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Oven Fried Sesame Paprika Chicken



This easy recipe gives you the crispy, crunchy taste of fried chicken without all the frying.
I serve it with either a Rice Pilaf of Potato Wedges and a fresh tossed salad. This is enough coating for eight bone in chicken thighs or 4 bone in chicken breast. You may choose to skin the chicken before you coat it.

1. Combine the following dry ingredients-
  • 1/2 cup of flour
  • 2 tsp. paprika
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1 tbsp. baking powder
2. Dip the chicken pieces on the flour mixture, then in an egg bath of
  • 1 well beaten egg
  • 2 tbsp. milk or water
3. Dip the chicken in the flour mixture again.
4. Place the chicken on a well greased foil lined pan, it saves on the clean up.
5. Brush the chicken with 1/4 cup of melted butter or margarine.
6. Sprinkle desired amount of sesame seeds on the chicken. I have rolled it in the seeds as well.
7. Bake @ 375 for 45-60 minutes depending on the size of your chicken pieces.

I think the baking powder in the coating contributes to how crunchy the chicken ends up being.
Very tasty yet a better alternative to deep fried chicken if you are a fried chicken lover.

Monday, August 9, 2010

Creamy Dill Dressing and Dip

This fresh dill dressing is creamy and delicious and so easy to whip up. It is good as a dressing for a garden salad or as a dip for raw veggies or chips.

Ingredients:
  • 1 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/3 cup sour cream
  • 3 tbsp half and half cream
  • 1 1/2 tsp sugar
  • 3/4 tsp lemon juice
  • 1/4 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/4 tsp worcestershire sauce
  • 2 to 3 tbsp fresh chopped dill

  1. In a small bowl combine all ingredients and whisk until smooth.
  2. Cover and refrigerate or you can use immediately but it will taste better if you let it sit for a few hours.
  3. Serve over a garden salad or as a dip for veggies or chips.
  4. Store in refrigerator.

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Bread for the Journey

And be sure of this...
I am with you always, even to the end of the age.
Matthew 28:20 NLT


Sometimes...as the darkness closes in on us...
we feel like we are all alone...
out on the deep, blue sea.

I know there have been times in my life when everything looked dark...
I was filled with fear...
and felt completely alone.

During these times...though I could not see or hear God...
He was still there...
working on my behalf to carry me through my dark place.

When we go through these times in life...we have two choices.
We can try to fix things our way...
or we can turn to God...
and allow Him to carry us through.

In Jeremiah 29:13 God promises...
When you seek me with all your heart you will find me.

Call on Him...and then face the darkness with Him.
He speaks...even in the night.
He gives hope.
He never leaves us or forsakes us.
We are never alone...He is with us!

Sunday blessings,


Saturday, August 7, 2010

Cool Lemon Cake with Strawberries

This cake has a little story behind it. Recently I flew to Alberta to meet our newest little grandson. While there we also celebrated our daughter's birthday. I asked her what kind of cake I could make her, and she asked for something cool and fresh. Lovella had just posted a recipe for Cool Lime Cake. I went through my daughter's pantry and fridge and found everything but the sweetened condensed milk. There was no time to run to the store so I decided to go with a white cake mix, and frost it with a mixture of lemon pudding and whipped cream. For the filling between the cake layers I sliced fresh strawberries and used 1/4 of the pudding and cream mixture.
Having several cake mixes and instant pudding packages in the pantry are always a good idea. Fresh, frozen or canned fruit come in handy for a quick filling.
Make sure you have a peek at Lovella's Cool Lime Cake. It has a few more ingredients and steps, but will be worth the effort.





Ingredients:
  • 1 box white or lemon cake mix
  • 1 box instant lemon pudding
  • 1 pint cream
  • 3 tbsp sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • strawberries, enough to put in the middle layer and some for the top.
Method:
  1. Bake cake according to instructions in 2 round pans or a 9x13.
  2. Cool cake.
  3. Make pudding as directed on package using 1/2 cup less milk.
  4. Whip cream along with sugar and vanilla until peaks form.
  5. Fold cream and pudding together,
  6. Slice up strawberries.
  7. Place one of the round cakes on a cake plate.
  8. Spread some of the whipped cream mixture on the cake.
  9. Place a layer of sliced strawberries over the cream and top with the second cake.
  10. Frost the cake with the remaining cream and pudding mixture, and decorate with strawberries.



Friday, August 6, 2010

Chicken Broccoli Crescent Ring

On the weekend we were invited out for a light after church dinner.  My sister in law Heidi was about to pop this in the oven so I quickly snapped a few pictures while she created this crescent ring in just a few minutes.  She has been making this for years and we've enjoyed it there several times. She covers a pizza pan with foil and there is virtually no clean up.

  • 2 cups cooked chicken, you can used canned or leftover chicken breasts
  • 1 cup broccoli, chopped
  • 1/2 a sweet bell pepper
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1/2 cup cheddar or cheese of your choice, grated
  • 1/2 cup mayo
  • 2 teaspoons dill dressing mix
  • 2 packages whole wheat refrigerated crescent rolls
  1. Preheat the oven to 375 F.
  2. Line a pizza pan with foil and spray with cooking spray.
  3. Put all the ingredients but the crescent rolls into a mixing bowl and stir together.
  4. Separate the crescent rolls and arrange overlapping the large sides of the triangle on the pizza pan.
  5. Spoon the filling in a circle over the dough that is overlapped and then fold the short end of the triangles to the center.  Tuck the ends underneath.
  6. Bake for 30 minutes or until golden brown.  
  7. Serve with a crisp green salad.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Curried Rice Salad

Last summer we joined friends in Victoria at the Symphony Splash in front of the British Columbia parliament buildings. We listened to a concert together with 40,000 others...and enjoyed a wonderful picnic on the lawns on a warm summer evening. My friend had prepared a curried rice salad...which went well with the fried chicken. Here's my version of her curried rice salad...a great option for summertime picnics.


  • (6.9-ounce) package rice-a-roni (chicken flavour)
  • tablespoons vegetable oil 
  • 1/2  teaspoon curry powder
  • jar marinated artichoke hearts, chopped
  • 1/3  cup mayonnaise
  • 1/2  cup chopped bell peppers...red, yellow or green
  • 1/4 cup purple onion, chopped
  •  ground black pepper, to taste

  1. In a large skillet, over medium heat, saute rice-vermicelli mix with oil until vermicelli is golden brown, stirring frequently. Add 2-1/2 cups water and rice-a-roni seasoning packet...and bring to a boil. 
  2.  Cover; reduce heat to low. Simmer 15 to 20 minutes or until rice is tender. Cool.
  3.  Drain artichoke hearts, reserving marinade...and chop.
  4.  Combine 1/3 cup reserved marinade, mayonnaise and curry.  
  5.  Stir mayonnaise-mixture, artichokes, bell pepper and onions into cooled rice-a-roni.
  6.  Add pepper to taste. 
  7.  Cover; chill 1 hour before serving.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Lemon Poppy-Seed Cake


Maybe it's the fact that we are celebrating a lot of Birthdays in the summer or maybe it's the sugar-meringue frosting, but this cake spells Birthday Cake to me. This is my version of a combination of several recipes.

Lemon Curd Filling: (prepare ahead)

1 cup sugar
1 Tbsp finely grated lemon peel
1 ½ Tbsp cornstarch
¼ cups water
6 egg yolks
¾ cup lemon juice
¼ cup butter

  1. In a small pot, mix sugar, lemon peel, cornstarch, water and egg yolks well.
  2. Stir in lemon juice and bring to boil, stirring, but just before it boils, pour through fine sieve into a glass bowl.
  3. Return egg mixture to pot and boil gently for several minutes, stirring.
  4. Remove from heat and stir in butter, one Tbsp at a time.
  5. Cover surface with cling wrap and refrigerate until firm.

Cake

¾ cup butter
1 cup sugar
2 Tbsp finely grated lemon peel
3 eggs
2 cups flour
2 Tbsp poppy seeds
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
½ tsp baking soda
½ tsp salt
¾ cups buttermilk
¼ cup lemon juice

  1. Preheat oven to 350 F. Grease and flour two 8 inch round baking pans.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, beat butter, sugar and lemon peel with hand held mixer until light and fluffy.
  3. Beat in eggs, one at a time, beating each in well and scraping the sides of bowl with spatula.
  4. Mix dry ingredients in a separate bowl.
  5. Combine lemon juice and buttermilk in one cup.
  6. Alternately, add dry and wet ingredients to egg mixture, stirring well with wooden spoon.
  7. Divide cake batter evenly in pans. Bake 30-35 minutes, until cake tests done.
  8. Cool 10 minutes in pans, then remove from pans and cool on wire rack.
  9. Cut each cake in half horizontally, so you have four rounds.
  10. Place one cake round on a cake plate. Spread with about 2/3 cup lemon curd. Repeat two times and top with last cake round.

Boiled Sugar-Meringue Frosting and Coconut Sprinkles

Toast approx ½ cup long thread coconut and 1/4 cup slivered blanched almonds in 350 F oven until golden, for about 10 minutes. Stir and set aside to cool.

1 egg white
1 cup sugar
1/3 cup water
1 Tbsp icing sugar
1 Tbsp lemon juice

  1. In a small glass bowl, beat egg white until almost stiff. Set aside.
  2. In a small stainless steel aluminum pot, bring water and sugar to a boil over slightly less than medium heat and continue to boil for about 4 minutes, stirring often and checking to make sure sugar does not harden on sides of pot. After 4 or 5 minutes it should drip off the spoon like thin syrup.
  3. Remove from heat and immediately add to beaten egg white while beating with electric hand mixer.
  4. Continue to beat for several minutes, add 1 Tbsp icing sugar and 1 Tbsp lemon juice and continue to beat until it’s thick and peaks form.
  5. Frost cake promptly, smoothing half of the frosting over the top first and then the rest in sections along the side.
  6. Generously sprinkle cake with coconut/almond mixture.
  7. Cover with cake top and refrigerate until ready to serve.


Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Tropical Sandwich

This is a delicious sandwich for a quick lunch. And another easy way to use up ham left over from Sunday dinner.
  • 1 slice french bread toasted
  • 1 slice pineapple
  • 1 slice ham
  • 1 slice cheese.. you can use grated cheese
  • 1 slice green pepper
  • mayo
  • dijon mustard
  1. Toast bread and spread with mayo and mustard to taste.
  2. Top with pineapple, ham and cheese.
  3. Place a slice of green pepper on top of the sandwich. It adds a nice crunch and looks pretty.
  4. Broil in oven for approx 5 min or until the cheese is melted.
  5. Serves 1.

Monday, August 2, 2010

Hamburger and Hot Dog Buns


We are celebrating British Columbia Day in our part of the world.
There will be BBQ's and pool parties and lots of camping to celebrate.
I wanted to feature a recipe that Anneliese posted some time ago.




You can make hotdog buns with all white flour as her recipe is and the hot dog buns in the picture are  .. or you can swap in some multgrain as I have for you today in the hamburger buns.  We love these buns and the great thing is that you can make them bigger or smaller as like to match your meat.
  • 2 tablespoons instant  yeast
  • 2 1/2  cups mulitgrain flour
  • 2 tablespoons oil
  • 2 tablespoons white sugar
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 2 cups hot tap water
  • 2  cups white flour
  • 1 egg and 2 tablespoons milk beaten lightly
  1. Combine the yeast and the multigrain flour in a large bowl.
  2. Add the oil, sugar and salt.
  3. Stir in the water and then the white flour.  You can use your dough mixer or just use your hands to work in the flour.  Knead it lightly and then cover in a bowl and let sit for 30 minutes.
  4. For Hamburger Buns . ..Squeeze off large buns onto two cookie sheets.
  5. Cover with parchment paper and press down with another cookie sheet to flatten them.
  6. Let rise with the parchment paper on for about 30 - 45 minutes.
  7. Cut a X in each bun with a sharp knife. . just cutting the skin and brush with the egg mixture.
  8. For Hot Dog buns. . .Roll the dough to one inch thick  .. five inches wide.  Cut into three inch wide strips along the length of the dough.  If you make half the dough into hot dog buns you will have a dozen hot dog buns. Roll each strip to hot dog bun shape ..and set about an inch apart on a cookie sheet.  Just before baking brush with the egg mixture.

  9. Bake in a 400 F oven for about 12 - 15 minutes or until golden brown.
Makes close to 2 dozen buns.

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Bread for the Journey

“I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever” Psalm 23: 6

I read about a small boy who was adopted when he was three years old. Remembering his foster home, he told visitors, “This is my forever home.” To think that such a young boy could be so excited about the permanency of his new home! But isn’t that what we all long for? In Ecclesiastes 3:11 it says that “God has set eternity in the hearts of men.” This is how we are wired.
The earth and things as we know them will pass away, but Jesus said He is going to prepare a place for us. And when He is finished, he will come back and take us to be with him. When Jesus said this, one of his (practical) disciples said to him, “Lord, we don’t know where you are going, so how can we know the way?” Jesus replied, “I am the way, the truth and the life.” (John 14:6)
Earlier, He told a grieving woman who had just lost her brother, "I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in me will live, even though he dies." (John 11:25)
Jesus has provided the way by dying for our sins. He has told us the way, shown us the way and is now preparing a forever home. A home that will fulfill the longing of our soul.
(click, if you like, on the following website to listen to a song relating to this message )