Friday, December 31, 2010

Caramel Pecan Cookies

Caramel Pecan Cookies

These might seem a little involved to make but they are worth it.

Crust:
Ingredients for Basic Butter Cookies, recipe follows
Caramel pecan topping:
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 cup heavy cream
3/4 stick (6 tablespoons) unsalted butter, cut into bits
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 cups pecans (1/2 pound), toasted, cooled, and coarsely chopped (I bought pecans that were already chopped and roasted at Trader Joes)

To make the crust: Grease a 13 by 9-inch metal baking pan, then line with foil, leaving a 2-inch overhang on both ends, and grease foil.
Follow recipe for basic butter cookies to make dough (do not chill), then press dough evenly onto bottom of baking pan, using plastic wrap on top to prevent dough from sticking to your fingers, and chill until firm, about 20 minutes.
While crust chills, put oven rack in middle position and preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
Bake crust until golden brown, about 30 minutes. Cool in pan on a rack 20 minutes. (Leave oven on.)

Basic Butter Cookies:
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 sticks (3/4 cup) unsalted butter, softened
1 cup sugar
1 large egg
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
Whisk together flour, baking powder, and salt in a small bowl.
Beat together butter and sugar in a large bowl with an electric mixer at medium-high speed until pale and fluffy, about 3 minutes in a standing mixer (preferably fitted with paddle attachment) or 6 minutes with a hand held mixer. Beat in egg and vanilla. Reduce speed to low, then add flour mixture and mix until just combined.

To make topping while crust cools: Cook sugar in a 2 1/2 to 3-quart heavy saucepan over moderate heat, undisturbed, until it begins to melt. Continue to cook, stirring occasionally with a fork, until sugar is melted to a deep golden caramel. Tilt pan and carefully pour in cream (caramel will harden and steam vigorously). Cook over moderately low heat, stirring, until caramel is dissolved. Remove from heat and stir in butter, vanilla, salt, and pecans.
Immediately spread topping over cooled crust and bake until bubbling, about 20 minutes. Cool completely in pan on rack, about 2 hours.

Run a heavy knife under hot water, then wipe dry and cut confection into 2-inch triangles, diamonds, or squares. Caramel pecan cookies keep, layered between sheets of waxed paper or parchment, in an airtight container at room temperature 1 week.

Ooey Gooey Good!! Enjoy…

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Fleisch Perishky (pastry meat pockets) Regular and Gluten- Free Version

I have had this recipe forever and have no idea where I got it from but I always get rave reviews when I make them.
The pastry is an unusual yeast pastry that is light and flaky, very soft to handle but rolls out easily.
I was making these for a Christmas party and knew there were a couple of other Celiacs coming other than me so I made a GF version that was proclaimed to be as good as the regular ones. When the regular ones were gone the GF ones were polished off as well.

Regular Wheat Pastry
  • 2/3 cup warm water
  • 1 tsp. sugar
  • 1 tbsp yeast
  • 2 1/2 cups flour
  • 1 cup butter or 1/2 cup shortening and 1/2 cup butter
  • 4 egg yolks
  1. Let yeast proof in sugar and warm water
  2. cut fat into flour
  3. Beat egg yolks and add yeast mixture
  4. Mix liquids into flour mixture and mix well . Dough will be soft but not sticky. Adding a little more flour as needed, knead lightly until smooth .
  5. Roll out quite thin on floured surface and cut into strips - desired length and wide enough to enough to fold over and pinch together over filling - pinch ends closed as well.




  6. For filling I use a smoked farmer sausage (uncooked) - Mennonite Farmer Sausage is wonderful , or you could use smokies or other favorite sausages or a meat filling such as ground roast beef moistened with mayonnaise and spices. Cut the Farmer Sausage in half lengthwise and then in half again - and into desired lengths.
  7. Place on pan and bake (without letting them rise) at 400' for about 20 minutes or until lightly browned.
  8. We prefer them eaten cold.
My Gluten-Free version


  • 1/3 cup water
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 1 tsp unflavored gelatin
  • 1 tbsp. yeast
  • 1/4 cup white bean flour
  • 1/4 cup brown rice flour
  • 1/4 cup potato starch
  • 1/4 sweet rice flour
  • 1 tsp zanthan gum
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 1 egg yolk
  1. Mix 1/3 cup warm water with sugar and gelatin , sprinkle yeast on top , stir and let proof until doubled in volume.
  2. Mix all dry ingredients together and then cut in butter
  3. Add beaten egg yolk to yeast and stir
  4. Add liquid to flour and mix together well.
  5. If dough is sticky add a little more sweet rice flour and knead lightly on a floured (with sweet rice flour) until smooth .
  6. Dough will be very soft and difficult to roll out. I found it worked well to pinch off a piece of dough and form it around the piece of sausage. (see reg. recipe for tips on filling)
  7. Place on pan and bake at 400' for about 15/20 minutes until light brown.
  8. We prefer them eaten cold.

****

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Tortilla Chicken Bake

This is a wonderful way to use up leftover chicken. I can assure you there will be no leftovers with this one!

Ingredients:

  • 2 celery stalks, finely chopped
  • 1 medium green pepper, finely chopped
  • 1 medium red pepper, finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon oil
  • 1/2 garlic clove, minced
  • 3 cups cubed, cooked chicken breast or leftover roasted chicken
  • 1 284 ml can (10 oz) cream of chicken soup
  • 1 284 ml can (10 oz) cream of celery soup
  • 1 cup diced tomatoes
  • 2 tablespoons undrained green chilies, diced
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 6 plain tortillas (9") cut into 1 inch strips
  • 2 cups Tex Mex cheese or your choice of cheese

Method:

  1. In a large frying pan or wok saute celery and peppers in oil until tender.
  2. Add garlic and cook for 1 minute.
  3. Stir in chicken, soups, tomatoes, green chilies and chili powder.
  4. Line bottom of a 9" x 13" baking pan with half of the tortilla strips.
  5. Top with half of the chicken mixture and 1 cup cheese.
  6. Repeat these layers.
  7. Bake uncovered at 350º for 30 minutes or until bubbly.
  8. Serve with a salad.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Stuffed Mushrooms


These tasty mushroom appetizers are quick and easy to make. Put them out before the meal and watch them disappear.

Ingredients:

12 - 16 medium mushrooms
3 Tbsp butter butter
1 small finely chopped shallot (or 4 Tbsp onion)
2 Tbsp crumbled bacon
1/4 tsp salt
1/8 tsp pepper
1/3 c fine bread crumbs
1/2 c grated Parmesan cheese with 1/8 tsp poultry seasoning OR
1/2 c grated cheddar
Method:

  1. Remove stems from mushrooms with a gentle twist and pull. Arrange hollowed out mushrooms on baking sheet.
  2. Put butter, chopped stems, chopped shallot, bacon, salt and pepper in frying pan. Fry slowly until shallot (onion) is soft.
  3. Mix crumbs and half the cheese and add to onion mixture. Stuff caps, with a little mound on top. Sprinkle with extra cheese.
  4. Bake at 350F 10 - 15 min.

Monday, December 27, 2010

Slow Cooked Brisket

Barbecue Brisket

This is a great recipe for a crowd!

1 (5-pound) brisket
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1 onion, chopped
2 stalks celery, chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 cup chili sauce
1 cup water
1/4 cup fresh parsley, chopped
1 (10-ounce) bottle of beer
Fresh parsley

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees.

Wash and dry the brisket, cutting away most of visible fat.
Sprinkle the brisket with salt, pepper and paprika.
Place the brisket, fat side up, in a heavy baking pan. Surround with the onions, celery and garlic.
Pour chili sauce on top of the brisket.
Slowly pour the water into the pan around the brisket. Sprinkle with the parsley.

Bake, uncovered, for 1 hour. Remove from oven and pour the beer over the brisket.
Do this slowly so it doesn’t wash off the chili sauce.
Cover the brisket and cook 3 hours longer or until tender.
Cool to room temperature. Place in refrigerator.
Remove any accumulated fat from the top.
Slice and reheat in the sauce.
Garnish with a sprinkling of fresh minced parsley.

Yield: 10 servings.

This recipe is from That’s My Home Free Recipes – Cattleman’s Barbecue Sauce

We served ours after baking it for 5 hours without refrigerating it. We cut it across the grain and shred it before serving also. We served it along with Cattleman's BBQ Sauce.

We also provided Potato Rolls for anyone who wanted to make it into a BBQ Sandwich. Yummy!

This is my big turkey roaster I cooked 2 – 5# briskets in here and all the extras fit in around them well for the baking time.

So the next party you have invite a crowd and let them bring the extras to go with the brisket. It will make for an easy breezy fun party for the hostess and guests!

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Bread for the Journey

(photo- taken at our Christmas week-end at Manning Park)

What to do With the Gift?
**
Christmas is over for another year.
Gifts have been given and received, but now decisions must be made -
what to do with the gifts.
Some will be boxed up and returned with various excuses as to their unsuitability.
Some will be put on a shelf to admire.
Some will be stored in cupboards to pull out on special occasions.
A few will change lives in their usefulness and will be appreciated daily.
**
2000 years ago a heavenly gift was given. Jesus.
Personal decisions need to be made about this Gift as well.
Some people 'box' Him up with excuses that He 'just doesn't fit' or
'I have no use for Him'.
Some put Him on a shelf to be admired,
but He has no part or influence in the living of their daily lives.
Some store Him away in a 'cupboard' and pull Him out for special occasions,
like weddings or funerals, Christmas and Easter.
But a few keep Him in their hearts.
They involve Him in their thoughts, choices and decisions
and can't live without Him.
**
" Thanks be to God for his indescribable gift."
II Cor. 9:15 NKJV
The Gift that keeps on giving !

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Merry Christmas!



Now . .  in those days a decree went out from Caesar Augustus  to register  all the empire for taxes. This was the first registration, taken when Quirinius was governor of Syria. 

Everyone went to his own town to be registered. So Joseph also went up from the town of Nazareth in Galilee to Judea, to the city of David called Bethlehem, because he was of the house and family line of David. He went  to be registered with Mary, who was promised in marriage to him, and who was expecting a child. 

 While  they were there, the time came for her to deliver her child. And she gave birth to her firstborn son and wrapped him in strips of cloth  and laid him in a manger, because there was no place for them in the inn.

The Shepherds and Angels Visit


 Now there were shepherds  nearby  living out in the field, keeping guard over their flock at night. 

 An  angel of the Lord  appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were absolutely terrified. But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid! Listen carefully, for I proclaim to you good news that brings great joy to all the people: Today  your Savior is born in the city  of David.  He is Christ  the Lord.  This  will be a sign  for you: You will find a baby wrapped in strips of cloth and lying in a manger.” 

 Suddenly  a vast, heavenly army appeared with the angel, praising God and saying,


“Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace among people with whom he is pleased!” 


 When  the angels left them and went back to heaven, the shepherds said to one another, “Let us go over to Bethlehem and see this thing that has taken place, that the Lord has made known to us.” 

 So they hurried off and located Mary and Joseph, and found the baby lying in a manger. When they saw him,  they related what they had been told  about this child,  and all who heard it were astonished  at what the shepherds said. 

 But Mary treasured up all these words, pondering in her heart what they might mean.  So the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising  God for all they had heard and seen; everything was just as they had been told.

Luke 2:1-20
Net Bible


May His promise of love fill you with joy and peace as you celebrate the gift of our Saviour. . . Jesus.

Merry Christmas from.  .
Anneliese, Betty, Bev, Charlotte, Ellen, Judy, Julie, Kathy, Marg, Lovella


Friday, December 24, 2010

Christmas Eve


In the late '90's my husbands parents were running a guest house in Cape Town South Africa under Sudan Interior Mission. Christmas 1998 we as a family spent a wonderful time there with Dad and Mom. During our holiday we were invited to several of their friends homes for Christmas parties. Mom's friend Jan had made a cheese ball that had us all going back for more.
She had formed it into the shape of a tree and decorated it with little pieces of pimento, peppers and parsley, but as you can see the one I made for tonight is just formed into a ball.


Ingredients:
  • 1- 8oz container extra sharp cheddar cold pack cheese, room temperature
  • 1- 8 oz block cream cheese room temperature
  • 2 tbsp finely chopped pineapple
  • 1 tbsp green pepper
  • 1 tsp grated onion
  • 1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/2 tsp lemon juice
  • parsley, nuts, pimento for decoration
Method:
  1. Beat together other cheeses until smooth.
  2. Add remaining ingredients and beat well.
  3. Shape and garnish to your liking. Serve with assorted crackers.

Each of us is the Inn Keeper who decides if there is room for Jesus.

From my home to yours,

Merry Christmas.


Thursday, December 23, 2010

Crab Cups


Here's something that I sampled many years ago as I walked through the aisles of a supermarket. This tasted so good, that I asked for the recipe, and ever since that day, it's part of our Christmas Eve appetizer platter. So if you are still looking for those last minute ideas...this one is a real winner. The kids actually thought I had things mixed up today when I served them two days early...Don't worry, I will be making a fresh batch.

Crab Cups
  • 250 grams of imitation crab
  • 1 stalk of celery
  • 1 onion green
  • 2-3 Tbsp miracle whip
  • salt and pepper to taste.
  • 2 boxes of Siljans, (crispy shells)
Instructions.
  1. Chop the crab, onion greens and celery fine, so it resembles the same texture.
  2. Add the miracle whip
  3. Add salt and pepper to taste
  4. Blend all ingredients together
  5. Dish mixture into shells.

I always prepare this in the afternoon, and store in a sealed container, refrigerated. After we come home from the church service, I spoon the mixture into the crispy shells, just before serving them, or else they will get soggy. If you have leftover crab mixture, store it back in the fridge, and as usual, someone will have snuck into my fridge early Christmas morning to finish them off. It's quick, it's easy and just the perfect size.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Honey Garlic Chicken Wings

Now how do you make delicious chicken wings look delicious in the pictures.
Trust me, even if the pictures do not do them justice, they are a tasty nibble.




I love wings and with all the Christmas parties and up coming New Years parties give these a try. Just make sure that you have lots of napkins or wet wipes around, you will need them.
  • 3 lbs chicken wings, tips removed and cut in half
  • 1/3 cup soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons chili sauce
  • 5 drops of Tabasco sauce
  • 1/2 cup of liquid honey
  • 1 teaspoon of freshly grated ginger, or more to taste
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  1. Cut wings in half and discard tip or throw into a soup broth.
  2. Put the wings in a single layer in a 9x13 pan.
  3. Mix all the remaining ingredients and pour over chicken. Marinade for several hours or over night.
  4. Bake at 375 uncovered for 45-60 minutes turning and basting often and until chicken is brown and sticky.
  5. Can be served as an appetizer or as a main dish using the sauce over rice.

Same Wings in different light.
Same great taste.


Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Christmas Punch

I got this simple punch recipe from a caterer many years ago...and it became my favorite Christmas punch over the years.  It's quick to make...a sparkling punch with just a hint of green...and looks lovely with frozen cranberries floating in the bowl.  And here's a plus...if the punch is spilled and dripped on floors and furniture...no stains! 


  • 1 can Welch's frozen white grape juice
  • 1 can Minute Maid frozen limeade
  • 1 - 2L Sprite
  1. Mix frozen juices according to directions on the can (add 7 cans water).
  2. Add Sprite to taste.
  3. Serve in punch bowl...adding ice cubes and frozen cranberries.
* Not all stores carry the frozen white grape concentrate...but I buy it locally at Save-on Foods.


Monday, December 20, 2010

Caramel Corn

During the holidays I like to have some quick snacks on hand for a games or movie night. This caramel corn is made with simple ingredients and is sure to satisfy the munchies. Serve it in a big bowl or pretty cones made with waxed festive paper. Fill and place in mugs or a glass. The mug helps to keep the cones upright, and now you're also ready for your beverage.
The photo above shows my Caramel Corn and Betty's Caramel Twists....a must try! Other good cone fillers are nuts 'n' bolts, peanuts, pretzels or trail mix.

Ingredients:
  • 1 cup popcorn, making 10 popped cups
  • 1 cup butter
  • 1 1/3 cups white sugar
  • 1/2 cup white corn syrup
  • 1/2 tsp cream of tartar
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
Method:
  1. Pop corn and place into a large bowl.
  2. In a sauce pan over medium heat melt butter, stir add sugar, syrup and cream of tartar. Stirring constantly bring to a bowl until a soft ball just begins to form.
  3. Remove from heat. Stir in vanilla and then baking soda. Mixture will bubble up when the baking soda is added. Continue to stir until mixture settles down.
  4. Immediately pour hot mixture over popcorn and stir with a greased spatula.
  5. The caramel corn will cool very quickly. Once cooled, break into chunks. Store any left overs in an airtight container.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Bread for the Journey



I can guess that you have had a very busy week behind you and are wondering how you will finish this week, so I want to encourage you to take time to rest today. My prayer is that, as we listen to the words of the carols being sung we will apply them to our life. May we have time to hear an angel voice and welcome the Prince of Peace into our hearts and homes.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Simple Shrimp Cocktail


Shrimp Cocktail served in a pretty stemmed dish is a classic first course for a festive dinner party. This one is easy to make and proves popular with my guests. I'm posting this recipe at the request of several of the "Mennonite Girls" to whom I served it back in September.
  • Shredded lettuce
  • fresh or frozen cooked Shrimp and/or prawns*
  • Lemon slices (optional - for garnish)
  • fresh chopped parsley

* It's nice to have the large prawns as a garnish but you can use whatever size shrimp or prawns you have access to for the body of the cocktail. I only had the larger ones in my freezer when I made this but I often use the smaller ones. How many shrimp you need depends on their size.

For the cocktail sauce:

  • 1/2 cup bottled Chili Sauce (I use Heinz)
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon lemon rind (if desired)
  • 1 large clove garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • A dash or two Tabasco or other hot sauce
  1. In a small bowl, mix all cocktail sauce ingredients.
  2. Set aside.

Assemble shrimp cocktails:

  1. Fill the bottom 1/3 of each dish with shredded lettuce.
  2. Add smaller prawns or shrimp so that the dish is 3/4 full
  3. Spoon a generous tablespoon of cocktail sauce in to the centre of the shrimp.
  4. Drape 3 large prawns with the tail on over the edge of each dish
  5. Garnish with a lemon wedge or slice and sprinkle with chopped parsley.
  6. This amount of sauce would be enough for 6 shrimp cocktails.

Friday, December 17, 2010

Marshmallows

My Mom used to make these fluffy ever so good marshmallows for Christmas. It was the greatest treat, the only time we ever had them. I haven't made them in years but when my brother reminded me I thought it was time to try them again.

  • 2 packets plain gelatin (2 tablespoons)
  • 1 1/2 cups water
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • crushed cornflakes
  • toasted coconut
  1. Soak gelatin in half the water (3/4 cup).
  2. Pour the other half of water (3/4 cup) into a saucepan, add sugar and stir until dissolved.
  3. Bring to boil and boil for 11 minutes or to soft ball stage. This would be 235 on the candy thermometer. I don't have one so I checked by dropping a drop of the syrup in cold water every once in awhile. When it forms a ball in the water it's ready, I rubbed it between my fingers and could feel the soft ball it had formed. Remove from heat.
  4. Add the soaked gelatin, stir and let stand till partially cooled about 10 minutes. I put my saucepan in the snow outside to speed up the process:)
  5. Now add vanilla and salt and beat on high until mixture is white, fluffy and quite thick, approx 12 minutes.
6. I dusted a 7" x 11" x 1" pan with icing (powdered) sugar and found it not quite large enough so I dusted another small pan measuring 6 1/2" x 4" x 2" as you can see in the photo. Pour marshmallow mixture in pans and let set. I let mine sit on the counter for an hour.

7. Cut into 1" cubes or whatever size you want and roll in crushed cornflakes or toasted coconut. My favorite is crushed cornflakes, that's the way my Mom made them:) I left some plain to add to hot chocolate. Dip your knife in warm water to cut the marshmallows.
8. Store in a covered tin.
Yield: 48 light and fluffy marshmallows


Thursday, December 16, 2010

Orange Glazed Yams


I use this sauce on my yams at Christmas and Thanksgiving.
However you could also use it to dress up a dish of cooked carrots.
  • 2 large yams or sweet potatoes
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1 cup orange juice
  • 1 teaspoon grated orange rind
  • 1 Tbsp. cornstarch
  1. Peel and cut yams into serving size pieces
  2. Cook in salted water just until tender. Do not overcook or they will fall apart.
  3. Make orange sauce:
  4. Melt butter and brown sugar in skillet.
  5. Mix 1/4 cup orange juice with cornstarch and set aside.
  6. Add orange juice and rind to pan. Cook and stir until blended and bubbly.
  7. Add cornstarch mixture and continue to stir until mixture boils again.
  8. Pour over yams.
This can all be made a day ahead of time, refrigerated and then reheated in the oven or microwave just before serving.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Snowflake Pudding with Crimson Raspberry Sauce

Delight your guests with this wonderfully light and delicious dessert. If you enjoy coconut add it to the pudding, or leave it out you will have a vanilla flavoured pudding. Serve with Crimson Raspberry sauce.


Ingredients:
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 envelope unflavoured gelatin
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 1/4 cup milk
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 cup flaked semi sweet coconut, optional
  • 2 cups whipping cream, whipped
Method:
  1. In a sauce pan mix together sugar, gelatin and salt. Add milk.
  2. Stir over medium heat until gelatin and sugar have dissolved. Mixture does not need to boil, but it will be hot. Chill until partially set. Add vanilla.
  3. If adding coconut, fold into chilled mixture.
  4. Whip cream and fold into above mixture.
  5. Lightly spray a 1 1/2 quart mold with cooking spray and pile pudding into mold. Chill until firm. (at least 4 hours or overnight)
  6. When ready to serve place serving plate over mold and gently flip out onto plate.
Crimson Raspberry Sauce:
  • 2 cups frozen raspberries, thawed
  • 1 1/2 tsp cornstarch
  • 1/2 cup currant jelly
Mix together in a sauce pan and bring to a boil, stirring until mixture is clear and slightly thickened. While hot strain through a fine sieve. Cool clear sauce.
Pour sauce over individual servings. Sauce can be slightly warmed or served cold.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Toffee Almond Sandies

This is an easy, large recipe that can be cut in half but, left complete, it is a great one for a cookie exchange or to be packaged up as gifts. These cookies have a bit of a biscotti texture, with the special addition of toffee bits and almonds.

Ingredients
1 c butter, softened
1 c sugar
1 c icing (confectioners) sugar
1 c oil
2 eggs
1 tsp almond extract
3 ½ cups flour
1 cup whole wheat flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp cream of tartar
1 tsp salt
2 cups chopped almonds
1 pkg. (6 oz) English toffee bits

additional sugar and whole almonds

Method
  1. Cream butter and sugar. Add oil, eggs and extracts. Mix well.
  2. Combine dry ingredients then gradually add to creamed mixture.
  3. Stir in chopped almonds and toffee bits.
  4. Shape into 1 inch balls and roll in sugar.
  5. Place on ungreased cookie sheets and press a whole almond in the center of each cookie. Bake for 12 min in 350 F oven, till slightly golden. Yield: 11 - 12 doz.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Lemon Sugar Cookies


I owe Judy credit for this recipe.  I wanted to make her Jello Sugar Cookies and had the butter and sugar mixed together before I realized I did not have 2 packages of jelly powder.
What I did have was one package of Lemon Pie Filling Mix  so I used that and these cookies have received rave reviews from guests.

  • 3- 1/2 cup flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 1/2 cup softened butter (use the real thing)
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 package Lemon Pie Filling Mix (the kind that needs sugar added)
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  1. Preheat oven to 375 F
  2. Mix together the flour and baking powder and set aside.
  3. Beat the butter and sugar in a large mixing bowl and add the Lemon Pie Filling Mix.
  4. Add the egg and Vanilla and beat until combined.
  5. Add the dry ingredients and stir until combined.
  6. Chill the dough one hour at least.
  7. Roll the dough out on a pastry mat using a bit of flour to sprinkle on the counter.
  8. Using a pastry wheel with a scalloped edge. .measure and mark your dough at equal intervals and then cut the dough into squares or rectangles. 
  9. Sprinkle. .colored sugar or sprinkles over the dough and carefully place the cookie rectangles on a cookie sheet that is parchment paper lined.
  10. Bake 8 - 10 mintues or until golden browned.
  11. Remove to wire racks and drizzle with a simple sugar icing.  Let dry and then store in a airtight container in the freezer.
These cookies will make a perfect little stack to wrap in cellophane to give as hostess gifts.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Bread for the Journey

I came across this poem in my files this week and found the words beautifully expressed how we can live the message of Christmas.

A Christmas Prayer  
by Robert Louis Stevenson

Loving Father,
Help us remember the birth of Jesus,
that we may share in the song of the angels,
the gladness of the shepherds,
and worship of the wise men.

Close the door of hate
and open the door of love all over the world.
Let kindness come with every gift
and good desires with every greeting.
Deliver us from evil by the blessing
which Christ brings,
and teach us to be merry with clear hearts.

May the Christmas morning
make us happy to be thy children,
and Christmas evening bring us to our beds
with grateful thoughts,
forgiving and forgiven,
for Jesus' sake.
Amen

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Cranberry Waldorf Jello


This jello salad can replace the cranberry sauce that goes with your turkey. It does not run all over your plate like some jello salads do and adds appealing flavor with the apple tidbits and walnuts.

Ingredients:

1 can (14 oz) whole berry cranberry sauce
1 large (6 oz) pkg cranberry Jello
2 cups boiling water
1 cup cold water
1 diced Granny Smith or Golden Delicious apple
1 - 2 stalks celery, finely chopped
1/2 cup walnuts, coarsely chopped
1/2 small (3 oz) pkg cranberry Jello (optional)

Method:
  1. Empty cranberry sauce into 5 or 6 cup serving bowl.
  2. In a separate bowl, dissolve Jello in boiling water. Stir well. Add cold water.
  3. Stir dissolved jello into cranberries.
  4. Add apple, celery and walnuts.
  5. Refrigerate several hours until firm.

Note: Once jelled, I like to top it off with a thin layer of jello - since the fruit tends to float to the top and stick out slightly. This jello salad layers itself.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Gingerbread Cake with Lemon Sauce

Baking gingerbread fills the home with the aromas of the season.  Topped with warm lemon sauce and whipped cream...this cake is a favorite at this time of the year.


Gingerbread Cake

  • 1/2 cup butter or margarine, softened
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 3/4 cup molasses
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ginger
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon cloves
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk
  1. Cream butter and sugar.
  2. Add eggs and molasses and mix.
  3. Add remaining ingredients and beat at medium speed until smooth.
  4. Spread batter in a greased 9" square pan (or 9" x 12").
  5. Bake at 350°F until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean (about 40 minutes in a 9" square pan and 30 minutes in a 9" x 12" pan).  
  6. Serve warm with lemon sauce and whipped cream.
Lemon Sauce

  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 tablespoon lemon zest
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  1. In saucepan, combine sugar, cornstarch and salt.   Gradually stir in water.  
  2. Cook over medium heat, stirring the whole time, until mixture comes to a boil and is thickened.
  3. Remove from heat and stir in lemon zest, juice and butter.
  4. Spoon warm lemon sauce over cake.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Chocolate Yule Log

Every Christmas my mother in law lovingly bakes this beautiful yule log to celebrate a family birthday that falls on Christmas day. It's a light sponge cake, rolled with coffee flavoured chocolate cream and iced with butter cream frosting.

Sponge Cake:
  • 1/2 cup cake flour
  • 2 tbsp cocoa
  • 1/4 tsp instant coffee
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 4 eggs, separated
Method:
  1. Beat together egg yolks and sugar until light and creamy, about 5 minutes.
  2. Beat egg whites until stiff. fold into egg yolk and sugar mixture.
  3. Sift together flour, instant coffee and cocoa. Gently fold into egg mixture.
  4. Pour into a wax paper lined small cookie sheet or 13x9 cake pan.
  5. Bake at 400º for 10-12 minutes, or until wooden tooth pick inserted comes out clean.
  6. Place a clean sheet of wax paper on counter and sprinkle with granulated sugar.
  7. Carefully turn out cake onto wax paper. Peel off lining paper. While cake is still hot roll up cake and wax paper together. Cool.
Filling:
  • 2 squares semi sweet chocolate
  • 1 tbsp unsalted butter
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream
  • 1 tbsp instant coffee granules
Place ingredients in a small sauce pan. Over medium heat stir until chocolate has melted and mixture is smooth. Cool.

Beat the following ingredients together until soft peaks form. Fold cooled chocolate mixture into whipped cream.

  • 1 cup cream
  • 1 tbsp icing sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla
When cake has cooled unroll and spread with filling. Carefully lift roll onto serving tray.

Butter Cream Frosting:
  • 3/4 cup butter, room temperature
  • 1/4 cup boiling water
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla
  • 2 cups icing sugar
  • 1/4 cup cocoa, sifted
Beat together all 5 ingredients until mixture is light and fluffy. Frost yule log and decorate with a piping bag and tip.
Suggestions for decorations: large shards of chocolate, slices of kiwi, maraschino cherries, or candies fruit, chocolate covered coffee beans.





Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Cheese Puffs

These tender little savory puffs are a tasty addition to your party menu. They are quick and easy to make and can be served hot or cold.
  • 1 cup water
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 cup flour
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 2/3 cups shredded cheese..this time I used cheddar and mozzarella, you can use any favorite blends of cheese
  • 2 teaspoons dijon mustard
  1. In a saucepan bring water, butter, salt and cayenne pepper to a boil.
  2. Add flour all at once, stirring until a ball forms, remove from heat.
  3. Add eggs one at a time beating well after each addition until mixture is smooth.
  4. Stir in cheese and dijon mustard.
  5. Drop by rounded teaspoonfuls on parchment lined baking sheets 2 inches apart.
  6. Bake at 425º for 20 minutes or until golden in color.
  7. Yield: 3 dozen

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Lebkuchen




These cookies have been a family tradition for Christmas as long as I can remember. They are my father's favorite and both my parents now make these cookies together. They are a long involved process but worth it in the end. Don't let the amount of ingredients scare you, or the fact that you are using Potash and Baking Ammonia for making these. You will likely find these ingredients at a German specialty shop. Don't bother explaining what you are looking for in your local grocers, they will think you are off your rocker wanting to cook with Potash and Ammonia. In Winnipeg where I live you can find it at Market Place on Henderson Highway, or the Bake Oven on Edison Ave. (Try to read the recipe with a German Accent ;o) it is written the way my mom told it to me).
  • 5 teaspoons Potash/ dissolve in 3/4 cup of warm water
  • 1 tablespoon of baking ammonia/ dissolve in 3/4 cup warm water, let both stand
  • (I know I know, what is with more recipes with baking ammonia and now Potash too! I will get lots of questions regarding this but have never had them without the baking ammonia or Potash. If nothing else this recipe is posted for our family. So we have it documented for future generations. I have looked for recipes to compare it too with out and all of the traditional recipes include these ingredients :-)
  • zest of 4 whole oranges
  • zest of 1 whole lemon
  • 3 cups of sugar
  • 2-1/2 cups of liquid honey/ cook with the sugar and let cool
  • 1 teaspoon of cloves
  • 1 teaspoon of cinnamon
  • 6 cups of flour/ mix with spices and zest
  • 1/2 cup of oil
  • 3 well beaten eggs
  1. Mix all ingredients well with a wooden spoon.
  2. Dough is very firm.
  3. Add 4 -5 cups of flour again after dough is well mixed, total amount about 11 cups of flour.
  4. Dough is now even firmer.
  5. Let stand in refrigerator for 2 hours, knead well again.
  6. Put in fridge over night.
  7. Roll out on to floured counter and cut into circles.
  8. Bake at 325 for 7-10 minutes.

Frosting:

  • 1 cup of white sugar
  • 1 egg white
  • 3 tablespoon water
  • 1 tablespoon of lemon juice (optional)
  • 1/8 of a teaspoon of cream of tar tar
  1. Cook all ingredients including the egg white over a double boiler and beat for 5 - 7 minutes.
  2. Icing it will be ready when it spins like a thread.

or alternate frosting
  • 2 egg whites beaten stiff
  • 2 tablespoon hot honey
  • 1 1/2 cups of sifted icing sugar, don't cook and schmear over cookie.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Peppermint Cookies

Last Christmas a group of us attended the Christmas Tour put on by one of our local churches. If you all remember, Lovella was very busy preparing her home for this event. As we travelled through one home, the hostess served these small button-like peppermint cookies. We tasted...we looked at each other thinking...Can we ask for this recipe? I dared and was not sorry. The hostess most delightfully shared her Peppermint recipe. Anyone can make these delicious cookies. And you don't need to run out to Funk's to purchase ammonia...it's hard to find, all you need is peppermint extract.


Ingredients
  • 1 cup whipping cream / heavy cream
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 2 tsp. peppermint extract
  • 3 cups flour
  • shredded coconut
  1. Cream together the heavy cream, sugar and egg. (do not whip the cream beforehand)
  2. Add baking powder, peppermint extract and flour.
  3. Mix together into a soft dough and roll out and use small cookie cutters.
Icing Sugar
  • 1 1/2 cups icing sugar (powdered)
  • 1-2 tablespoons milk
  • 1/4 tsp. vanilla 
  • pinch/drop of green food coloring
  1. Combine icing sugar, milk, and vanilla in a bowl .
  2. Stir in additional milk 1 tsp. at a time until the icing is of a drizzling consistency and add a drop of green food coloring.
  3. Sprinkle shredded coconut on top.
Bake at 350 degrees for 10 minutes or till bottoms are barely brown.


Just another one of those simple recipes to spark up your Christmas repertoire.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

bread for the journey

Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you.
I do not give to you as the world gives.
Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.
John 14:27 NIV

Peace is not an absence of conflict...
but an assurance that whatever circumstance we may find ourselves in...
we are safe in God's hands.


When peace, like a river, attendeth my way,
When sorrows like sea billows roll;
Whatever my lot, Thou has taught me to say,
It is well, it is well, with my soul.

Though Satan should buffet, though trials should come,
Let this blest assurance control,
That Christ has regarded my helpless estate,
And hath shed His own blood for my soul.

My sin, oh, the bliss of this glorious thought!
My sin, not in part but the whole,
Is nailed to the cross, and I bear it no more,
Praise the Lord, praise the Lord, O my soul!

For me, be it Christ, be it Christ hence to live:
If Jordan above me shall roll,
No pang shall be mine, for in death as in life
Thou wilt whisper Thy peace to my soul.

But, Lord, ’tis for Thee, for Thy coming we wait,
The sky, not the grave, is our goal;
Oh, trump of the angel! Oh, voice of the Lord!
Blessed hope, blessed rest of my soul!

And Lord, haste the day when my faith shall be sight,
The clouds be rolled back as a scroll;
The trump shall resound, and the Lord shall descend,
Even so, it is well with my soul.


It is well, with my soul,
It is well, it is well, with my soul.
~Horatio Spafford, 1873
May you experience the peace of knowing that 'it is well with your soul' during this advent season.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Cherry Squares


I got this recipe more than 25 years ago from a sweet elderly neighbor and it has become a yearly must for our family . . . a favorite of one of our kids. The texture is somewhat like a butter tart and I cut the pieces quite small, so it' s like eating a little candy bar.

Ingredients:

1 1/4 c flour
1/3 c brown sugar
1/2 c butter, room temperature
2 eggs
1 ¼ cup brown sugar
1 Tbsp flour
½ tsp baking powder
1/8 tsp salt
1 cup shredded coconut
½ cup walnuts, chopped
1/2 c maraschino cherries


Method:
  1. With pastry blender, cut butter into flour and brown sugar until well mixed. It will be moist and crumbly.
  2. Press into ungreased 9x13 pan. (one that has a lid, makes it easy for storage later)
  3. Bake at 350F for about 12 min.
  4. In the meantime, beat eggs slightly, add combined sugar, flour and baking powder,
    then the rest of the ingredients.
  5. Spread over baked layer.
  6. Return to oven and bake for 20 - 25 min., until golden brown.
Icing:
2 c icing sugar
2 Tbsp soft butter or margarine
½ tsp vanilla
4 – 6 Tbsp maraschino cherry juice

Beat together in small bowl to make a smooth spreadable frosting. Spread over cooled cake. Cut into 36 - 48 squares. I cut them up before freezing and then I can lift out what I need for a cookie platter.

Cover with lid or slip into plastic bag and freeze.

Friday, December 3, 2010

Seafood Salsa

Here's another take on chips and salsa just in time for all those holiday parties.

  • 2 cups salsa - purchased or home made
  • 1/2 cup imitation crab, chopped
  • 1/2 cup small shrimp
  • 1/2 cup diced fresh sweet peppers
  • several dashes tabasco sauce or other hot sauce
  1. Combine all ingredients and mix well.
  2. Keep in refrigerator until ready to serve.
  3. Serve with your choice of tortilla chips.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Almond Cookies

Years ago my SIL and I took a Chinese cooking course, taught by Mrs Wong. We had a wonderful time. She taught us how to make many dishes and then we all shared a meal together at each class. That was motivation enough not to miss a class:)
I am happy that she shared this cookie recipe, they are one of my favorites. They are the 'melt in your mouth' kind. They can of course be baked any time of year but I like to have them on my cookie platters at Christmas.

Ingredients:
  • 1 cup lard
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon almond extract
  • 2 1/2 cups flour
  • 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • whole almonds
  • sesame seeds
  • 1 egg for eggwash

Method:

  1. Cream lard and sugar until fluffy. Add 1 egg and almond extract. Mix well.
  2. Add flour and baking soda and blend into the creamed mixture.
  3. Roll dough into approx 1" balls and place on cookie sheet. Press cookies down with a glass that has been dipped in flour, this prevents the dough from sticking to the glass.
  4. Beat another egg for eggwash and brush on the cookies. Press an almond in the center of each cookie and sprinkle with sesame seeds.
  5. The recipe says to bake at 300º for 20 minutes, then increase heat to 350º for another 8 minutes until golden brown.
  6. I have changed that over the years and now find that in my oven it works well to bake them at 335º for 20 minutes.
  7. Yields: 34 cookies

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Chewy Chocolate Clusters

These tasty little no bake morsels, are so easy to whip up and with ingredients that we often have on hand. They are chewy, chocolaty and oh so melt in your mouth good.
  • 1-12 oz pkg. chocolate chips
  • 2/3 cups butter or margarine
  • 1- 250 gm or small bag marshmallows
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 2 cups of rice crisp type cereal
  • 1 cup of coconut
  1. Melt chocolate chips, margarine and marshmallow, stirring constantly until smooth.
  2. Remove from heat and add remaining ingredients.
  3. Drop by spoonfuls onto a cookie sheet or on to waxed paper.
  4. Refrigerate til set.
  5. Roll in extra coconut, just to make it look festive.
  6. Now try to control yourself, they are addictive...;-).