Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Oven BBQ Farmer Sausage with Peppers


The farmer Sausage used in this recipe is a smoked pork sausage made by Mennonites. It is made in many communites throughout Canada and the US where Mennonites live. It is also available at our local Safeway and at several other grocery stores. Farmer sausage varies in texture and spices from area to area. The sausage I buy is made in Abbotsford by Remple Meats.
I'm sure you could substitute a kiebasa or ham sausage for the farmer sausage.

  • 1 length (about 14") farmer sausage
  • 1 medium onion sliced
  • 1/2 each red and green pepper cut into slices
  • 1 19 oz. can diced tomatoes
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons cider vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon dry mustard
  • 1 tablespoons molasses
  • 1/2 teaspoon liquid smoke (found in the aisle with bottled seasoning sauces)
  • 2 tablespoons salsa
  • ground pepper
  • red pepper flakes (optional)
  1. Cut sausage into 1 1/2 inch pieces and place in casserole dish
  2. Saute' onion slices until they begin to soften.
  3. Add peppers and onions to sausage in dish.
  4. Mix remaining ingredients and pour over sausage.
  5. Bake at 350º oven for 45 minutes to 1 hour.
  6. Serve over rice or noodles.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Peanut Butter Blossoms


When my children were young, during the Advent season, they could each pick there favorite Christmas cookie and bake with me. I found baking separately with them more helpful than having them all in the kitchen with me at the same time (it is my turn to crack the egg, how come she always gets too) and I think they did too, and it builds lasting positive memories for everyone. Our son usually picked this recipe. Now he would much rather just eat the cookies than help me bake 'em.......so these are for you sonny boy.

  • 3/4 cup softened butter or margarine
  • 3/4 cup peanut butter
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar, packed
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 1 3/4 cup flour sifted with
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • extra sugar to roll the cookies in
  1. Cream butter, peanut butter and sugars well.
  2. Add the egg and vanilla, beat again.
  3. Add the flour mixture and mix well.
  4. Chill for 30 minutes.
  5. Form round ball from about one inch.
  6. Roll balls in sugar and place on un-greased baking sheets.
  7. Bake at 375 for 10-12 minutes. (I do 10).
  8. When they come out of the oven, immediately place a chocolate kiss, rose bud or macaroon on top. They will melt and then when cooled completely they have become one with the cookie and stay in place.

HAPPY BAKING


Sunday, November 28, 2010

First Advent




Advent is the season of waiting and anticipating the celebration of God's perfect gift to us, and also of His second coming. There is an element of mystery and hope in this season.
In the busyness of the preparations we can often miss the importance of this time. We have an opportunity to get our hearts ready not just our homes.
We, Anneliese, Betty, Bev, Charlotte, Ellen, Judy, Julie, Kathy, Lovella, and Marg, wish for you a gift, an unexpected encounter with God. Just like the people in this video, sitting having lunch and suddenly they were touched by something unexpected and amazing. Isn't that what we all hope for, an unexpected encounter with God, especially in the midst of the busy holiday festivities.
May your lives be touched with the wonder and mystery of God's gift to us through his Son Jesus Christ.
(I wonder what is was really like for the Shepherd's to be in there fields and hear the Angels burst forth in song?)

Revelation 19:6 (New International Version)
6 Then I heard what sounded like a great multitude, like the roar of rushing waters and like loud peals of thunder, shouting:
“Hallelujah!
For our Lord God Almighty reigns".


Saturday, November 27, 2010

Pumpkin Challah

 

This recipe was inspired by one of our readers Beth.  She sent me her recipe and between that one and my overnight bread recipe I settled on this recipe that can be stirred up the day before you plan to bake it.It made 3 braids. ..one for Thanksgiving. .one for French Toast the next morning. .and the Third set aside for Bread Pudding. 
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons yeast
  • 1 cup warm water
  • 4 tablespoons canola oil
  • 1/4 cup melted butter
  • 4 eggs
  • 1/2 cup honey
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 1 15 ounce can pumpkin puree
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ginger
  • 5 cups white flour
  • 2 cups whole wheat flour
  1. Put all the ingredients in your mixer bowl in the order given. .or if you want to mix it by hand. .put all the ingredients but the flour in a large bowl, stir well to combine and then stir in the flours.
  2. Do not try to knead it. ..it will be too soft.
  3. Turn the dough into an icecream pail or other similar sized bowl.  Cover well with plastic wrap. .no not try to seal the bowl with the lid. .it will pop open.
  4. Let rise on the counter several hours and then refrigerate overnight.
  5. In the morning. .divide the dough into orange sized balls and roll between your hands into long strips.
  6. You can either braid with three strands. .or do other braid variations. ..it really doesn't matter as long as it fits well onto a cookie sheet to bake.
  7. Fit the braids on a greased cookie sheet or one lined with parchment paper.
  8. Let rise until doubled. ..brush with a beaten egg which has been combined with a tablespoon of water.
  9. Bake in a 350 F oven for 25 minutes but check to be sure that it is evenly browned and the challah offers resistance to pressure. 

Friday, November 26, 2010

Cherry Cha Cha!

Christmas is just around the corner. Here is one of our family favorites that always travels with me to our family gathering. I've sort of had fun playing with this recipe, selecting the best of this and that, and it's become a family hit. It's light, fluffy and tasty. This is an easy recipe and you can make it a day in advance. I've divided it into three basic steps.


Step One
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1/4 cup chopped pecans/almond
  1. Mix first three ingredients together and spread in 9x12 cake pan.
  2. Bake at 350 degrees for 15 minutes.
  3. Refrigerate the crust before you start step two, as it is much easier to spread.

Step Two
  • 1 package cream cheese 8oz.
  • 1 cup icing sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 container cool whip (1 litre/ 4 cups)
  1. Mix together softened cream cheese with icing sugar, vanilla extract and cool whip.
  2. Spread this consistency on to a cold crust.
Step Three
  • two tins of cherry pie filling
  • 11/2 cups whipping cream
  1. Spread cherry pie filling on top of the creamed cheese mixture. I like to use a generous amount...so I've opted for opening the second tin ensuring that there is ample pie filling.
  2. Beat your whipping cream, adding 1/4 cup sugar.
  3. Spread whipping cream on top and garnish with finely chopped nuts.
  4. Store in fridge until ready for use.
Store it in the fridge and you have a wonderful chilled light dessert after that heavy meal.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Candied Yams



Today is Thanksgiving in the U.S.A. There would be a revolt at my house if I forgot to make this dish for Thanksgiving. I have a very simplistic way of making it and never really use a recipe but here's one that will work if you've never made these.

6-8 yams or sweet potatoes
1 cup butter
1 cup brown sugar
Enough marshmallows to cover

Boil your yams or sweet potatoes till they are soft. Remove peel. Slice into 1/4 inch round slices and place in a greased 9x13 inch baking dish. I place the rounds side by side not flat. This way the brown sugar and butter coats the slices nicely. Melt the butter with the brown sugar and mix well. Pour this mixture evenly over the top of all the yams. Cover the top with marshmallows. I use the large marshmallows and cut them in half and place them on top. My kids love lots of marshmallows so I totally cover the yams. Place in 350 degree oven until the marshmallows start to brown nicely.

Happy Thanksgiving to all our readers in the U.S.A!

Psalm 79: 13 ~ But we your people, the sheep of your pasture, will give thanks to you forever; from generation to generation we will recount your praise.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Caramel Popcorn Twists

My sister Norma told me that I had to try this recipe..'addictive' she said. Is that good I wondered:) But I couldn't pass it up and decided to go for it. I bought a bag of popcorn twists and started cooking!
It is 'addictive' just like she said! Share with others and consume in small amounts (if you can)..it's all good:)

Ingredients:
  • 1/2 lb butter
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup corn syrup
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • I tsp baking soda
  • 1- 175 g bag of popcorn twists.
Directions:
  1. Pour popcorn twists into a large roaster pan and set aside.
  2. In a large saucepan, bring to boil the butter, sugar and syrup. Cook for 2 minutes.
  3. Add baking soda, this will foam up and the mixture will thicken. Allow the foam to cook down slightly and remove from heat.
  4. Add vanilla and stir.
  5. Pour caramel mixture over popcorn twists and stir until well mixed.
  6. Bake in 225º oven for 50 minutes, stirring every 10 minutes.
  7. Remove from oven and pour on a large pan to cool.
  8. When cool break apart and store in a covered container.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Hazelnut Rounds

This hazelnut shortbread cookie recipe is a souvenir of my high school cooking class...rather a long time ago.  I have made them off and on throughout the years and always think of Mrs. Pucher...my fabulous instructor with her European accent and her contagious enthusiasm.  I have no idea what ever became of her...but her cookies live on!  They are a great addition to cookie trays during the holiday season.


  • 1 cup butter  (no substitutes)
  • 1/2 cup icing sugar (confectioners sugar)
  • 1 1/2 cups flour
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla
  • 1/2 cup ground hazelnuts
  • chocolate for drizzling, optional

  1. Cream butter and sugar well.
  2. Add vanilla.
  3. Add flour and ground nuts and mix well incorporated.
  4. Roll teaspoons of dough into small balls.
  5. Place 2" apart on cookie sheets lined with parchment paper.
  6. Flatten to 1" in diameter, using the flat bottom of a glass tumbler dipped in sugar.
  7. Bake at 350°F for 8-10 minutes.
  8. Transfer to wire rack to cool.
  9. Drizzle with melted chocolate.


Monday, November 22, 2010

Pecan Raisin Tarts


Whether you call them butter tarts, raisin tarts or pecan tarts . . . doesn't really matter . . . the melt-in-your mouth taste always surprises me. You can make these quite easily if you use purchased frozen tart shells . . . using small ones can be a nice addition to a plate of assorted sweets. If you happen to have some time and patience you can make your own delicious, rustic looking shells . . . but it's not necessary.

Ingredients:

18 medium size unbaked tart shells

Filling:
3/4 cups brown sugar
3/4 cups corn syrup
2 eggs, beaten
2 Tbsp melted butter
1 tsp vanilla
3/4 cups broken pecans
1/2 cup raisins, plumped

Method:
  1. Preheat oven to 350 F.
  2. If using frozen tarts, set them out on a cookie sheet.
  3. If using homemade pastry, roll out quite thin, cut with a tart cutter or extra large cookie cutter and line muffin tins.
  4. Pour boiling water over raisins to rinse and plump them. Drain.
  5. Combine all ingredients and fill tarts to about 3/4 full. The filling will rise a bit.
  6. Bake for 30 minutes or until pastry is golden, at 350 F. Cool in pan on a rack.
  7. Ease out gently by running a knife around the edges. These freeze well.


Sunday, November 21, 2010

Bread for the Journey


As for God, his way is perfect. Psalm 18:30

This road has been travelled many times...
We can see far ahead that there is a sign.
Sign posts keep me on the right road, and as we navigate,
I love to always know what's around the next bend.
But many times the plans of life have been blocked by obstacles.
And we have no way of seeing around the next corner.
It could even be that sorrow has clouded our sky.
I hear my self saying..."I don't know which way to turn."

Scripture teaches us that not only is God's way perfect,
but He makes our way perfect.
This can be difficult to understand at times.
Again, it's a process of yielding our selves daily to God.
As we yield ourselves to Him, he can complete the perfect way.

For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,
saith the Lord. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts. Isaiah 55:8-9.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Italian Breakfast Sandwich



This is an open faced sandwich with some interesting ingredients that work together well. You can assemble it any way you'd like but I'd suggest placing the thin sliced tomatoes on top for the visual benefit.

Bread of your choice lightly toasted
Ranch Dressing
Red onion thinly sliced
Peperoncini thinly sliced
Scrambled egg
Provolone cheese thinly sliced
Tomatoes thinly sliced

Spread ranch dressing on the lightly toasted bread. Layer the thinly sliced onion, peperoncini, scrambled egg, provolone, and tomatoes on the bread. Place under broiler keeping a close eye on it till the cheese melts. You can also use a toaster oven to melt the cheese. If you'd like sprinkle the open faced sandwich with some dried basil. Enjoy!

Friday, November 19, 2010

Baked Beans


Baked beans are a great make ahead dish and kept in the crock pot to serve to a crowd. Good when you have a BBQ or anytime. It starts with cans of baked beans just spiced up a bit to add more flavor. This recipe has a hint of coffee in it which is subtle but adds a nice taste.

  • 1 lb of bacon or smoked sausage
  • 1 large onion
  • 2 cloves of garlic or a teaspoon of garlic powder
  • 1 tsp. dry mustard
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup ketchup
  • 1 tablespoon of instant coffee
  • 2 tablespoons molasses
  • 2-28 oz cans of baked beans
  1. Saute the bacon or smoked sausage, drain all the fat.
  2. Add the onion, garlic and cook til the onion is softened slightly (my mom always caramelized the onions but I don't have the patience.)
  3. Put that and all the remaining ingredients into a crock-pot (slow cooker) and cook on low for four hours.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Barbecued Salmon


We have been enjoying this basted barbecued Salmon since we've been married. This was my mom-by-loves recipe and it is a winner. Every time fresh salmon made it to the house. .the salmon was put on the barbecue and it seemed impossible to know when to stop eating.
This fall.  .the salmon run in British Columbia was like no other and we once again had reason to pull our our fish rack for the barbecue. This salmon is rich but when paired with simple rice . . coleslaw and a beautiful side of broccoli. . it makes an impressive meal to serve guests.


  • 1 cup butter
  • 1/2 cup fresh lemon juice. .or about the juice from 2  lemons
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon worchestire sauce
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley
  1. Fillet your salmon. .but leave on the skin.
  2. Let it soak in cold salted ( about a tablespoon) water for half an hour.
  3. Combine the ingredients in a small saucepan.
  4. Heat the grill, put the salmon in a barbecuing rack.  Do not use foil.  Foil might be an easier clean up but the flavour can not be duplicated. .it will just steam.
  5. Baste both sides as you flip the salmon during the cooking time.  The salmon is done once it flakes in the thickest part.
This is enough basting sauce to grill a whole salmon but it can easily be cut down if you are just grilling one side of salmon.  I am tired of digging out the recipe card  . ..and decided it was time to document the recipe here on the blog for our family.


Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Chocolate Mousse

Never fail chocolate mousse...that is what I would call it. But it is also known as the 'church mousse'...since I became very familiar with this recipe at church functions...where we would make up enough to serve 200-300 people. It can be made in pans and cut into squares...as a chocolate mousse pie...or spooned into parfait glasses. Light and fluffy...and chocolate...it's hard to go wrong!


Crumb Crust:
  • 1/3 cup butter
  • 1 1/3 cups chocolate wafer crumbs (Oreo Baking Crumbs)
  1. Melt butter; stir into crumbs.
  2. Press into bottom and sides of a nine-inch pie plate or eight-inch square pan.
Mousse:
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup cocoa
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1/4 cup cold water
  • 1 envelope gelatin (Knox)
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 carton Cool Whip - 500 ml
  1. Combine sugar, cocoa, salt and milk.  Cook and stir over medium heat until mixture comes to a boil.
  2. Dissolve gelatin in cold water and add to boiled mixture along with vanilla.
  3. Cool in fridge until almost set (needs to be quite firm).
  4. Beat in Cool Whip until combined and smooth...using 'low' setting on mixer.
  5. Pour into prepared crust.
  6. Chill several hours before serving.

*To make a 9" x 13" pan, double the recipe for the mousse...and use 2 cups crumbs with 1/2 cup butter for the base.  This recipe can also be frozen for later use...and is great in chocolate cups for special occasions.
 



    Tuesday, November 16, 2010

    Truffles

    These truffles are so easy to make and they satisfy that craving for a bit of chocolate...the hardest thing is not to reach for that second one:) These would make a nice little gift for that chocolate lover on your list.

    What you need:
    • 1/2 cup whipping cream
    • 1 1/2 cups very finely chopped good quality semisweet chocolate
    • 1 teaspoon vanilla or any other flavor

    Preparation:

    1. Bring whipping cream just to boiling point in a saucepan over medium heat. Remove from heat immediately.
    2. Add chopped chocolate and vanilla.
    3. Stir till mixture is completely smooth. Pour in a bowl, cover and refrigerate for a couple of hours or overnight.
    4. Scoop out heaping teaspoons of the firmed up chocolate and quickly roll into balls. I scooped 3 or 4 at a time, rolled them in balls and then in the coating. You will want to wash your hands often as this part is a bit messy.
    5. Roll balls in finely chopped toasted pecans, coconut or dip them in chocolate. Other options are rolling them in cookie sprinkles or rice krispies.
    6. Store in an airtight container in fridge.

    Yields: 25 homemade truffles

    Monday, November 15, 2010

    Baked Peach Dessert

    Warm peaches with a light crumb topping is the perfect treat when you are craving a comfort dessert.

    Ingredients:
    • 6 cups sliced peaches, fresh or frozen
    • 1/2 cup white sugar
    • 2 tbsp cornstarch
    • 1 tbsp melted butter
    Stir above ingredients together and divide between 4 individual oven proof dishes or an oval casserole about 3" deep.

    Crumb Mixture:
    • 1 1/4 cup flour
    • 1/2 cup white sugar
    • 1/2 cup butter, cold
    • 1/4 tsp nutmeg
    Stir together flour, sugar and nutmeg. Cut in butter until you have a fine crumble. Sprinkle over fruit.
    Bake at 375º for 30 minutes or until fruit is tender and bubbly. Serve warm with ice cream.

    Sunday, November 14, 2010

    Bread for the Journey

    Isaiah 40:8
    The grass withers and the flowers fall, but the word of our God stands forever.

    In this world of uncertainty and change, it is comforting to know that God is constant. He never changes and His word is true.

    Saturday, November 13, 2010

    Crab Rolls

    With shorter days and cooler temperatures, we are spending more time indoors at this time of year...and appetizers fresh out of the oven go over well. We had an appetizer and dessert night recently...and these tasty little rolls were a hit. The recipe came from my sister originally...and has been in my files for years.


    Crab Rolls

    • 20 slices soft white bread
    • 8 oz. cream cheese
    • 2 tablespoons butter
    • 6 oz. tin crab meat
    • 2 tablespoons parsley or chives, chopped
    • 1/4 cup butter, melted
    • Sesame seeds

    1. Remove crusts from bread. Flatten slices lightly with a rolling pin.
    2. Combine cream cheese and butter and soften in microwave until easily stirred.
    3. Drain crab meat; add to cheese mixture along with parsley or chives.
    4. Spread 1 tablespoon of cheese mixture on each slice of bread and roll up.
    5. Place rolls on baking sheet lined with parchment paper, seam side down.
    6. Brush melted butter over rolls. Sprinkle with sesame seeds.
    7. Broil for 3-4 minutes or until golden.
    8. Cut each roll into 3 pieces.
    Yield: 60 tiny rolls.


    Friday, November 12, 2010

    Salisbury Steak

    This is an old recipe I changed many years ago by using cream of mushroom soup instead of onion soup. It is a quick, simple and tasty family meal.

    Ingredients:

    1 can cream of mushroom soup, divided
    1 1/4 lbs ground beef
    3/4 c bread crumbs
    1 egg
    3/4 tsp salt
    pepper
    1 cup water
    1 tbsp flour
    1/4 c ketchup
    1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
    1/2 tsp mustard (powder)

    Method:

    1. In a bowl, combine 1/3 of the soup with beef, crumbs, egg, salt and pepper.
    2. Shape into 6 - 8 patties.
    3. In large pot, brown patties, turning once. No oil needed. They easily loosen once they are brown.
    4. Blend the rest of the soup, water and remaining ingredients in a shaker. Pour over patties, one they are brown on both sides. Loosen patties gently with lifter.
    5. Cook over low heat about 20 - 30 min. Serve with mashed potatoes.


    Thursday, November 11, 2010

    Banana Hazelnut Split Cake

    After enjoying a version of this cake at my friend Janet's place several times...I re-created it in my kitchen.  It was my daughter's birthday cake a few weeks ago...and was a hit!


    Banana Hazelnut Split Cake

    • 1 cup margarine or butter
    • 1 1/2 cups sugar
    • 3 eggs
    • 1 tsp. vanilla
    • 3-4 mashed bananas
    • 1 cup buttermilk
    • 1/4 tsp. salt
    • 3 cups flour
    • 2 tsp. baking soda
    • 2 tsp. baking powder
    • 2 cups whipping cream 
    • 1 teaspoon vanilla
    • 3 tablespoons sugar
    • Nutella (chocolate hazelnut spread)
    • 1 pint fresh strawberries
    1. Mix butter and sugar.
    2. Beat in eggs...and vanilla, bananas and buttermilk.
    3. Combine flour, salt, baking soda and baking powder.  
    4. Add to banana mixture; stir until blended.
    5. Pour into two well greased nine inch round cake pans.
    6. Bake at 350 degrees for about 40 minutes...or until set in centre. 
    7. Allow cakes to cool completely.

    To assemble:

    1. Whip cream, vanilla and sugar until stiff.  
    2. Split each cake layer in half horizontally. 
    3. Spread the bottom half of each cake with a generous layer of Nutella, and reassemble to form two cakes.
    4. Create a flat top on one of the cakes by shaving off the rounded top.
    5. Set this layer on a cake plate...and spread with whipped cream, sliced strawberries and more whipped cream.
    6. Gently set remaining cake layer on top.  
    7. Frost with whipped cream.  Garnish with strawberries.
    Enjoy the goodness of bananas, strawberries, chocolate and hazelnuts all rolled into one...and smothered in whipped cream!

      Wednesday, November 10, 2010

      Hot German Potato Salad


      Sometimes I just want something a little different to serve as a side dish besides the same old usual fare that I always make. Then I was reminded of this dish I had as a young married woman eager to learn all the tricks of the trade in the kitchen.
      I used to work in an Elderly Person Care Home for 15 years, and we had amazing cooks there, who cooked home made food that was familiar to the people that lived there.
      One of the things I really enjoyed was when they served Hot German Potato Salad. This was not something that my mother made so I asked for the recipe and got the usual reply. 'Oh, a little of this and a handful of that'......sheesh, I was a new aspiring cook, I needed more details than that. What in the world does a little of this or that even mean? With many years of cooking experience, I now know what she means and I tried to recreate it and this is what I came up with. Just a little different than the same old...

      • 1/2 lb of bacon
      • 6 green onions, sliced
      • 1 small green pepper, chopped
      • 6 cups potatoes, cooked and sliced
      • 1/3 cup vinegar
      • 1 teaspoon salt
      • 1 teaspoon sugar
      • lots of pepper, to taste
      • 1 egg, beaten
      1. Fry chopped bacon until crisp; add onion and green pepper.
      2. Drain at least 1/2 the fat.
      3. Mix vinegar, seasonings and egg; stir into bacon.
      4. Stir in potatoes and heat through.
      5. Enjoy with some smoked sausage or ham, cole slaw and baked beans.

      Tuesday, November 9, 2010

      Pumpkin Dulce de Leche Tarts


      This is as much a serving idea as it is a recipe.
      I purchased a mini cheesecake pan with twelve 1/3 cup portion removable bottoms.

      I used my regular favorite pastry and rolled it thinner than I would normally for a pie.
      When you line a straight sided pan with pastry you need to remember that as you fold the crust around the edges it will double in places.. . and therefore the crust must be rolled paper thin.

      It was a bit tedious . ..but I surely will be making lots of little straight sided pies of all kinds.

      • pastry for a double crust pie
      • 1 - 14 oz or 398 ml can pure pumpkin
      • 1/2 cup sweetened condensed milk or Dulce de leche (which is condensed milk that has been slowly cooked to a caramel color
      • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
      • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
      • 1/4 teaspoon cloves
      • 2 eggs
      • 1/2 cup whipping cream
      • 1/2 teaspoon salt
      1. Roll the pastry thin on a pastry mat. Cut out rounds. . .(you will need to experiment for your muffin or mini cheesecake pan on the size of your cutouts)
      2. Roll the cut out round paper thin (use additional flour to keep it from sticking and then use a bench scraper to carefully lift it)
      3. Fold the pastry dough into a parachute shaped and gently nudge it into your mini cheesecake tin. Use a small straight sided item. ..I used a flat lipstick tube to gently tap the bottom flat.
      4. Cut away the excess with a sharp knife and refrigerate the prepared pan until you are ready to fill it.
      5. Combine the remaining ingredients with a hand mixer on medium speed until well combined.
      6. Fill the mini cheesecake cups until nearly full.
      7. Bake in a preheated 375 F oven for about 45 minutes on the bottom rack. You do not want to under bake as your pastry will be pale and the little pie will be too soft.
      8. Cool for about 20 minutes and then carefully remove to a rack to cool completely.
      I made these ahead of time. ..froze them and warmed them on a cookie sheet for about 15 minutes.
      Serve with a spoon of whipped cream on the side.
      This is enough batter to fill twelve 1/3 cup tins


      Monday, November 8, 2010

      Chunky Guacamole

      This recipe was given to me by my daughter-in-law.
      She says that chopping the avocado instead of mashing it is the key to the flavour of this Guacamole.

      • 4 ripe avocados
      • 1 medium tomato
      • about 1/2 cup chopped red onion*
      • 1-2 Tablespoons lime juice*
      • 1-2 cloves garlic, minced*
      • salt and pepper to taste
      • tabasco sauce to taste
      1. Cut avacados in half, and remove pit with a spoon.
      2. Before you remove the avocado flesh from the shell, take a knife and cut avocado into a 1/4 inch grid. Then using, a spoon, gently remove the diced avocado from the shell into a bowl.
      3. Remove the seeds from the tomato and cut it into a 1/4 inch dice.
      4. Using a silicone spatula, gently mix all ingredients together.
      5. Adjust seasonings to your taste.
      6. Serve with multigrain taco chips or crackers.

      *How much you use of these ingredients will depend on the size of your avocados and tomato.

      Note: I don't add cilantro to my guacomole because my husband and I don't really like it but feel free to add it if it is a favourite of yours.



      Sunday, November 7, 2010

      Bread for the Journey

      The Tablecloth
      Growing up in a Mennonite home I early understood the importance of the table.
      Fellowship happened around the table -- not only for the family but also for every guest that entered the home.
      Guests were never invited to a table that was not covered with a beautiful cloth and china dishes.
      It is amazing to me that my mother-in-law fleeing Ukraine in WWII with three young children, losing most everything she owned, managed to keep with her a table cloth that belonged to her mother and grandmother.
      She gave me that tablecloth shortly before she died.
      (You see it in the photo.)
      Throughout the Bible the ‘table’ and its importance is often referred to.
      We have Abraham’s offering of food to his divine guests.
      We have Jesus’ many references to food/feasts in His parables.
      We have the first believers meeting daily to share their evening meals.
      We have the ordinance of the communion table that we still partake of.
      There is however a very special supper spoken of that is yet in the future.
      A celebration supper in heaven for Jesus and His bride.
      The invitations have been sent out to every person .
      But there is an RSVP required.
      Have you responded to the invitation?
      **
      “Then he said to me, "Write:
      'Blessed are those who are called to the marriage supper of the Lamb!' “
      Rev. 19:9 (NKJV)

      Saturday, November 6, 2010

      Apple Hazelnut Pancakes


      We have several walnut and hazelnut trees at my parents property and usually end up with more nuts than we can use. Often my mom even gives them to me shelled and ready to freeze. Having them handy made it easy to try this nutty pancake recipe. I love it!
      If you have never tried making pancakes with buttermilk, it may be time to give it a try. Buttermilk is low in fat, has a long shelf like in the fridge, of course, and adds rich texture to muffins and pancakes. Cook thick pancakes on lower than medium heat and turn only once, to keep them fluffy.

      Ingredients:

      1/2 cup coarsely ground hazelnuts
      1 1/2 cups flour
      3/4 tsp baking powder
      1/4 tsp soda
      1/4 tsp salt
      2 eggs, beaten
      1 1/4 cups buttermilk
      1 Tbsp oil
      1 apple, grated
      Method:
      1. Dry-fry chopped hazelnuts in non-stick skillet on low heat, stirring for a few minutes, until you smell the nice aroma of the nuts. You can also roast them whole in the oven, on a pie plate. This may take 10 - 15 minutes, then chop or grind them. You can freeze them this way.
      2. Mix dry ingredients in a large mixing bowl.
      3. Stir in the combined egg, buttermilk and oil, to make a thick batter.
      4. Add grated apple and hazelnuts.
      5. Drop by serving spoon onto pre-heated griddle.
      6. Cook between low and medium heat until tiny bubbles form on top. Flip and cook other side until golden.
      7. Keep warm on oven proof plate in 175 F oven.
      8. This makes 12 large, thick pancakes.

      Friday, November 5, 2010

      Pear Bread

      This is a delicious sweet bread to serve up at a brunch.
      It's a wonderful treat anytime..just add a slice of cheese and a cup of coffee and you will be reaching for that second piece!

      Ingredients:
      • 1/2 cup butter, softened
      • 3/4 cup sugar
      • 2 eggs
      • 2 cups flour
      • 1 teaspoon baking soda
      • 1/2 teaspoon salt
      • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
      • 1 teaspoon vanilla
      • 1 cup pear sauce ( same as applesauce but used pears instead of apples)
      Directions:

      1. Mix butter and sugar until creamy. Beat in eggs and vanilla.
      2. In another bowl mix the dry ingredients and mix into the creamed mixture just until moistened.
      3. Fold in the pear sauce. Pour into a greased 8" x 4" loaf pan.
      4. Bake 1 hour in preheated oven at 350º or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.
      5. Cool for 10 minutes before removing from pan.

      Thursday, November 4, 2010

      Fish Tacos


      We enjoy fish tacos and find this an easy way to bump up the flavour of white fish.
      You don't need to make the Hot hot sauce to enjoy the fish if you prefer milder flavours.
      If you would rather. . .just add a bit of salsa over the fish fillets instead.
      You can also substitute fresh jalapeno pepper and cilantro.  I always keep the dried bits on hand.  
      Fish is easy to keep in the freezer and when I make the fish tacos including the hot hot sauce. . .I have it on the table in about 30 mintues.

      Fish Marinade
      • 1 pound tilapia fillet
      • 1/4 cup canola oil
      • 1 lime, juiced
      • 1 tablespoon chili powder
      • 1 teaspoon dried jalapeno peppers
      • 1 tablespoon freeze dried cilantro
      Combine all the ingredients in a zip loc bag except for the fish.  Add the fish and allow to marinate 20 minutes while you make the sauce.
      Hot Hot Sauce
      • 2 tablespoons canola oil
      • 3 cloves garlic or 2 teaspoons bottled minced garlic
      • 3 plum tomatoes, diced
      • 1 medium yellow onion, diced
      • 1 teaspoon chipotle flakes
      • 1 teaspoon  dried  chopped jalapeno pepper flakes or 1 fresh one
      • 1 teaspoon Asian hot chili sauce
      • 1 teaspoon oregano
      • 1 tablespoon dried cilantro
      • 1/2 teaspoon salt
      • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
      1. In a medium saucepan, heat the oil, and add the chopped onions and fry until translucent.
      2. Add the garlic, tomatoes, peppers and seasoning.
      3. Simmer 15 minutes. 
      4. Spoon into a blender and carefully (leave the middle open). .pulse until the sauce is just minced. . and return to the saucepan and simmer on low while you fry the fish.
      5. Heat a tablespoon of oil in a non stick fry pan  on medium high and add the fish and lightly sprinkle with salt.
      6. Fry on the first side until golden brown. ..several minutes, turn over and finish on the other side.
      7. Fry only several pieces at one time. . keeping the rest warm in a 325 oven.  Fish only takes a few minutes if the fillets are thin.
      Taco fixings
      •  shredded green cabbage
      • diced cucumber
      • diced red bell pepper  (use the mini peppers if you can)
      • several tablespoons diced onion
      • tartar sauce
      • flour tortillas (warmed in foil in the oven)
      1. Put the shredded cabbage in one small bowl.
      2. Combine the cucumber, red pepper and diced onion all together in another small bowl.
      3. To assemble the tacos. . . spread a little tartar sauce over the warmed tortilla.
      4. Sprinkle with shredded cabbage  and then arrange the fish in the center.
      5.  Put a few teaspoons of hot hot sauce over the fish and sprinkle with the remaining veggies.

      Wednesday, November 3, 2010

      Bran Muffins


      When I'm hungry for bran muffins, this is the recipe I turn to.
      Be sure to read the recipe first as the method varies slightly from other muffin recipes.

      • 1/2 cup soft butter
      • 1 cup lightly packed brown sugar
      • 1 tablespoon molasses
      • 3/4 cup bran
      • 1/8 teaspoon salt
      • 1 1/2 cups flour (you can substitute 1/2 cup whole wheat flour if you like)
      • 1 teaspoon baking powder
      • 1 cup buttermilk
      • 1 teaspoon baking soda
      • 1 cup raisins (I prefer sultanas)
      • 1/2 cup chopped pecans (optional)
      • 1 egg well beaten

      1. Cream butter and sugar and molasses together in a large bowl.
      2. Sift salt, flour and baking powder then add bran.
      3. Stir soda into buttermilk and blend into creamed mixture.
      4. Add dry ingredients, raisins and nuts stirring only until moistened.
      5. Lastly, fold in beaten egg.
      6. Spoon into greased muffin tins.
      7. Bake at 375º for 20 minutes.
      8. Remove from pans onto rack.

      Tuesday, November 2, 2010

      Raisin Cinnamon Oatmeal Bread -- Gluten Free

      A dear reader of this cooking blog sent me an e-mail asking if I couldn't come up with a gluten free version of Raisin Cinnamon Oatmeal Bread.

      I was happy to try ... and so ... Liz , just for you --- here it is !

      • 1 cup raisins
      • 1/2 cup warm water
      • 1 tsp sugar
      • 1 tsp unflavored gelatin
      • 1 1/2 tbsp active dry yeast
      • 1/2 sorghum flour
      • 1/4 cup ground oat flour (grind gluten-free oat flakes in coffee grinder)
      • 1/4 cup Quinoa flour
      • 1/4 cup white corn flour
      • 1/2 cup potato starch
      • 2 tbsp sugar
      • 1 tsp xanthan gum
      • 1 generous teaspoon of cinnamon
      • 1 egg
      • 1/2 cup warm milk
      • 1/4 cup water
      • 1 tbsp oil
      • 1 tsp vanilla extract
      • oat flakes (gluten-free)
      1. wash raisins - then soak for 1/2 hour in hot water with 1 tbsp vanilla extract added
      2. Blend dry ingredients well and set aside
      3. Mix 1 tsp sugar with 1 tsp gelatin in cup and add 1/2 cup warm water, stir well and add the yeast , stir again and let proof until doubled in volume . Placing the cup in a bowl of hot water keeps the proofing yeast mix. warm
      4. Put milk, water, egg and oil and vanilla extract into mixer bowl and blend together on low speed. Add yeast mixture.
      5. Add dry ingredients all at once and mix on low speed until blended then beat on high for 4 minutes.
      6. Strain raisins and add them to the dough.
      7. Turn dough into a greased regular sized loaf pan and with a wet hand smooth the top .
      8. Sprinkle the top with oat flakes.
      9. Cover with plastic wrap and let rise until well rounded over the top of the pan - about 45 minutes
      10. Bake in pre-heated 350° oven for 55 minutes.
      11. Let cool a few minutes in the pan , then turn out to finish cooling on wire rack.

      This bread smells wonderful baking, tastes good , toasts well , and freezes well too.

      NOTE - I bought some Quinoa seed some time ago and liked the taste. I ground it into flour but was disappointed that the flavor did not blend pleasingly with other flours. In this recipe it is at its best!

      **

      Monday, November 1, 2010

      Cranberry Orange Scones

      Much like the scones served at a popular tea shop in our town, these scones are flaky, moist and delicious. 


      Cranberry Orange Scones
      • 2 cups flour
      • 2 teaspoons baking powder
      • 1/2 teaspoon salt
      • 1/4 cup sugar
      • 1/3 cup butter, chilled
      • 3/4 cup fresh cranberries, coarsely chopped
      • 1 tablespoon finely grated orange peel
      • 1 egg, beaten with fork
      • 3/4 cup buttermilk
      1. Combine dry ingredients in mixing bowl.
      2. Cut in butter until mixture resembles coarse meal.
      3. Mix in orange zest and coarsely chopped cranberries.
      4. Combine buttermilk and egg; add to dry ingredients and mix until dough sticks together.
      5. Drop by large spoonfuls (scoop) onto a baking sheet lined with parchment.
      6. Bake at 400°F for 15 minutes or until golden.
      7. Cool slightly and then drizzle with glaze.
      Glaze:
      • 3/4 cup icing sugar
      • 1 teaspoon orange zest
      • 3 tablespoons orange juice

      Combine ingredients and stir until smooth.  Using a spoon, drizzle the icing over the scones.
      Yield: 12 scones