Mennonite Girls Can Cook is a collection of recipes which were posted daily for a period of ten years from 2008 to 2018. We have over 3,000 delicious recipes that we invite you to try. The recipes can be accessed in our recipe file by category or you can use the search engine.

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Bread for the Journey

This post is especially for young moms.
Over 30 years ago I was a young mom, who like every other mom wanted to
do the very best I could in raising my children.

Today I'd like us to think of life as the threads of fabric, knit, sewn, and woven together. 
Just as there are many materials to choose from when making blankets and garments, you want to choose wisely the teaching and influences that will be woven into your children's lives so that they become durable and attractive, rather than frayed and tattered.

Psalms 139:13-16
"You made all the delicate, inner parts of my body, and knit them together in my mother's womb. 
Thank you for making me so wonderfully complex! It is amazing to think about.
Your workmanship is marvelous. You saw me before I was born and scheduled each day of my life before I began to breathe. Every day was recorded in Your Book".

As you are on this journey of motherhood I want to encourage you to carefully and prayerfully clothe your children spiritually and emotionally with the right fabrics. I've chosen a few that may help you.
  1. Choose durable fabri- woven in truth. The only place to find tough, resilient fabric is in God's word, which endures forever...because it is truth. As you teach the word of God to your children they will have truth woven durability that will help them withstand the deceptions of the world.
  2. Choose tightly knit fabrics - sewn in confidence. Children often struggle with self image and belonging. Teach them who they are in Christ. Remind them that they are children of The King.
  3. Choose stain resistant fabric - treated against temptation. We want our children to put on warm jackets to protect them from the cold and possibility of getting sick. In the same way properly clothe them spiritually. The more you get to know your children you will know and understand their weaknesses. Out of love you will want to provide extra stain resistance through scripture, accountability and guidance, helping them to keep spotless before the Lord.
  4. Choose fabrics that are boldly conspicuous - coloured in Christ. As your children grow they may want to blend into this world, but keep teaching them to be clothed in the vibrant colours of Christ that set them apart, shining a light for Jesus, and loving those around them.
  5. Choose fabrics that are 100% natural fibres - the 'YOU' God made. Natural fibres breathe better and are comfortable. Kids need to learn the benefits of spiritually being 100% natural. Special and unique, woven with God given gifts, talents, and personality traits that make your children unique. A woven pattern that is all their own. God has a special plan for each of their lives. The pattern, texture, feel and look of their lives will daily be a creation in the making. 
The things of this world can so easily weave their way into each of our lives, causing our lives to become soiled and tattered. You can't shield your children from all of them, but God can and wants to help you raise your children.
Today I am praying for each of you young mom's who have stopped by MGCC. May you be encouraged in your important role as mom to your children. Someone once told me "you only have one chance at raising your children". That statement encouraged me to do my very best.....may it also encourage you to do yours.

Chili Cheese Dip

My daughter served this dip for us at our Easter family meal.
The next time you serve chili to your family, save that last cupful and freeze it for this dip.
Your guests will be impressed!

Find a shallow ovenproof casserole or glass pie plate about 8 or 9 inches in diameter.
Spread the bottom of the casserole with 1 large package cream cheese
(use the brick cream cheese, not the kind that comes in a tub)
Cover the cream cheese with 1 - 2 cups of leftover chili.
Grate cheddar cheese generously over the top.
Bake in 350 degrees oven for about 20 minutes or until it begins to bubble around the edges.
Serve with tortilla chips and watch it disappear!

Stuffed Peppers

I make stuffed peppers very much like cabbage rolls, same meat filling and sauce. The sauce is one my mom always made. She never used tomato soup in any of her recipes, but I'm sure you could use it in this recipe if you have those around your table who do not care for the chopped onions and pepper in the sauce.
  • 1 pound lean ground beef
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/2 grated onion
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 1 cup cooked rice (1/3 cup raw)
  • 5 large peppers, cut in half or 10 small 
  • 1/2 onion, chopped
  • 1/2 pepper, chopped
  • 5 tablespoons flour
  • 4 cups chicken or vegetable broth
  • 1/2 small can tomato paste
  • salt and pepper to taste  

  1. Cook about 1/3 cup rice in 2/3 cup water and 1/2 teaspoon salt, until done.
  2. Spray medium sized roaster with cooking spray.
  3. Prepare peppers. If peppers are large, simply cut in half and remove stems and seeds. Shave off the pointed/top part so that they sit better. If using small peppers, cut the pointed section off, remove seeds and stem. Arrange in roaster, flat sides down.
  4. In a large bowl, mix ground beef, seasoning, onion, sour cream and cooked rice. This works best by hand.
  5. Fill Peppers.
  6. In large skillet, cook chopped onion and pepper until soft.
  7. Add half of the broth. Mix flour and the rest of the broth in a sealed jar and add to sauce.
  8. Stir in tomato paste, salt and pepper to taste. Stir sauce until it comes to a boil and thickens.
  9. Pour over filled peppers and bake at 350° F for 75 -90 minutes

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"Caring through Sharing" / Sweet and Sour Farmer Sausage

The question came up a while back, if we could share some recipes or ideas for bringing meals to others. Years ago, in my home church, I started a group called "Caring through Sharing", that basically meant that I co-ordinated the meals when a situation came about that someone in our church family or community was in need of meals. Either recovering from having a baby, surgery or illness, or when there was a death or crisis.
Recently I heard someone say, "please don't bring Chili or Lasagna, we have enough of that to eat for 6 months". As delicious as those meals are and very convenient to bring, there are more ideas available and we would just like to share a few with you.
We would love to hear anything that you have experienced in either giving or receiving meals that you would like to share with us that you found worked out well. Leave a comment, we would love to learn more.
When I had my babies, I was the happy recipient of some wonderful meals and I remember them fondly still. It is a good feeling to be genuinely cared for by others, and have enjoyed paying it forward. It really is a little effort that goes a long way.

First off, if the people receiving the meal are part of a larger community, then it is easier if one person is in charge of organizing meals. Then the one receiving the meal is not answering the same questions over and over again, and there are times that it is important to not overwhelm people with kindness. They may really need their space for either recovery from having a baby an illness or in a crisis situation, so having one contact person makes things easier on everyone.Always asks about likes, strong dislikes, allergies or food intolerance.

  1. If you make a meal with a sauce, always make at least 1 1/2 or double the recipe for the sauce, because it tends to be absorbed by the rice or pasta and when heating it up either later when it has been frozen or even a day or so after receiving it can be dry.
  2. Make sure that you bring meals in containers that you don't need back, that they can either recycle or reuse as they pay it forward for someone else some time. A good idea is to use foil containers for the hot dishes, zipped plastic bags for salads and veggies.
  3. Label everything with a date,what it is, ingredient list if needed and for the main dishes add instructions if you bring it frozen how to reheat and for how long. 
  4. If the person is able to go out, think about inviting them over. It might be just the thing they need to help in their recovery. I have a friend that had a serious eye surgery. She felt well, just was not able to work in the kitchen, and just loved being invited out, and a little goodie bag with left overs was sent home along with her was always appreciated.
  5. One of our commenters, Linda made a great suggestion. Have a meal with someone who is a shut in and lonely. That is such a meaningful suggestion and would mean so much to someone who eats alone. Everything tastes better shared in good company!
  6. Be creative, do as you feel led, and remember what you do for others, you really do for HIM.
  7. Keep in mind who you are bringing meals too. Often it is helpful if you are bringing meals to a family with school aged children, that you include snacks like muffins, cookies, or homemade granola bars, pizza buns, or meat buns.......all the recipes you can find on our blog. Older adults appreciate lighter meals, like soup, buns, salads, or smaller casseroles.
  8. Include a card of encouragement. It is so good to know that people actually do care.
  9. Also, I do want to share with you one very important fact. The meals do not have to always be homemade. If you have a time restraint or are not comfortable to cook something for someone else, there are wonderful meals that can be purchased either at a super market or restaurant. The whole purpose of sharing a meal is to bless someone else.

Sweet 'n sour Farmer Sausage and Rice and Lemon Basil Carrots
  • 1- double link farmer sausage, or smoked sausage
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1/2 cup ketchup
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 3 tablespoon sugar
  • 3 tablespoon vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 2 teaspoons dry mustard
  • salt and pepper to taste ( I don't add salt since the sausage is salty enough)
  1. Cut the sausage into coins, and brown in a bit of oil along with the onion.
  2. Add remaining ingredients and bring to boil.
  3. Lower the temperature to a simmer for a half hour.
  4. Serve with Rice or mashed potatoes.

Chicken Alfredo with Broccoli (recipe to be posted in the future)

Chicken Parmesan with spaghetti and Ceasar Salad

Soup with Buns

You get the idea, right.

Rhubarb Cheese Tart

Today, Canada is celebrating Queen Victoria's birthday, May 24th. She is known for the longest ruling monarch of Great Britain, May 24, 1819 - January 22, 1901. It marks the first official long weekend in spring, which is popular for spring/summer travel and also a wonderful time to start gardening plans.
Harvesting fresh rhubarb from my garden is one of my favorites. It seems like it can grow anywhere without too much care....except at my place. Last year my daughter planted a couple of plants behind the shed and somehow they disappeared only because her Dad thought that they were weeds and dumped a load of topsoil on the newly planted patch. Regardless, I will endeavor to make it up to her by planting some more rhubarb.
One thing about rhubarb, you either love it or you don't...but this one will fool you.

  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1/2 cup creamed cheese
  • 1/2 cup icing sugar
  • 1 tablespoon milk
  • 1 3/4 cups flour
  • 2 teaspoons cornstarch
  1. Cream the butter, cheese, icing sugar, and milk.
  2. Add the sifted dry ingredients.
  3. Roll out and fit into a 9-inch springform pan or put into a 9x9 baking pan.
  4. Bake at 350 º until lightly brown on edges (10-15 min)
  5. Cool completely
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 cup icing sugar
  1. Cream the butter and vanilla.
  2. Gradually add the icing sugar and beat until smooth. It should be a thicker consistency.
  3. Spread the icing on the crust when it is cool.

Rhubarb Topping
  • 3 cups chopped raw rhubarb
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 cup water
  • 2 cups whipping cream
  1. Cook rhubarb in water and sugar.
  2. When rhubarb is completely cooked and no longer hold its shape, remove from heat.
  3. Drain off any extra liquid and cool completely
  4. Whip the cream until it holds peaks. (don't add any sugar)
  5. Gently fold the rhubarb into the whipped cream until completely blended.
  6. Top the shortbread crust with the rhubarb mixture and chill before serving.
Drain off any excess liquid and it will look almost like a puree'

Enjoy this light airy surprise of rhubarb!

Bread for the Journey

Am I a nurse or a hotel guest?

A few week ago we were challenged at church about our attitude in our life here on earth. The speaker asked us to evaluate whether our day to day attitude was of a hotel guest or a nurse at a hospital? This is a relevant challenge to me at this time because we have been traveling and staying in hotels and it's that time of year for my yearly check ups and procedures where I see nurses at work to make things comfortable for me and serve my needs.
A hotel guest wants everything provided for them. Clean room, fresh linens, fresh towels, the bed made and then they want the hotel to provide any other luxuries available. They are very disappointed when they don't get everything they expected.
A Nurse looks to the needs of others. A nurse provides what the patient needs. Sometimes the nurse has to change bed pans. A nurse does what the doctor orders.
I've been challenged to consider where my attitude is. Is my day to day attitude one of a demanding hotel guest or a resident nurse in this world?

John 13: 12-17 (ESV)

When he had washed their feet and put on his outer garments and resumed his place, he said to them, "Do you understand what I have done to you? 13 You call me Teacher and Lord, and you are right, for so I am. 14If I then, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another’s feet. 15For I have given you an example, that you also should do just as I have done to you. 16Truly, truly, I say to you, a servant is not greater than his master, nor is a messenger greater than the one who sent him. 17If you know these things, blessed are you if you do them.

Rye Bread

Rye bread is typically made from a starter that needs to be fed for days 
before it's ready to use. The starter is what gives your bread the sourdough taste.
For this recipe you can stir together your starter...go out for 4 hours,
and then come home and start making your bread dough..
I make this recipe into one large loaf that I bake on a pre heated 
13" pizza stone. It makes one very large tasty rye loaf.

  • 1 tablespoon dry yeast (not instant)
  • 2 cups warm water
  • 1 cup rye flour
  • 3 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 3 1/2 - 4 cups white flour
  • 2 tablespoons caraway seeds, optional. (we don't care for them so I omit)
  1. In a large glass bowl dissolve yeast in 1 cup of the warm water.
  2. Stir in rye flour, cover loosely and let stand at room temperature for 4 hours. During this time the surface will eventually get small bubbles, puff up and then it will eventually drop about an inch.
  3. After 4 hours give starter a good stir, and add remaining ingredients, holding back at least 1 1/2 cups white flour to work in as you begin to knead dough.
  4. This dough requires a long knead. It is not a light and airy dough, but it should have some air bubbles that form in the dough as you knead. I knead for at least 10-15 minutes. This along with the starter is the key to a nice textured rye.
  5. Cover and let rest for 15 minutes.
  6.  Place parchment paper on counter and sprinkle generously with cornmeal. Form bread dough into a large round loaf.
  7. Cover with a clean t towel and allow to rise for 1 hour.
  8. Just before baking brush with a cornstarch wash, recipe follows, and slash top with a serrated bread knife.
  9. Place pizza stone in oven and preheat oven to 450º.
  10. Carefully slide risen loaf along with the parchment paper onto the hot stone and place back in oven.
  11. Bake for 30-35 minutes. The loaf should be well browned and feel firm. Slide baked bread off of stone onto a cooling rack. Allow to cool at least 15-20 minutes before slicing. 
Cornstarch wash:
  • 1/2 teaspoon cornstarch
  • 2 teaspoons water
  • 1/2 cup water
Mix together cornstarch and 2 tsp water to make a paste. Add rest of water and stir until it is smooth.
Heat in microwave or on stove top until it comes to a gentle boil and becomes clear.

Mango Milkshakes

Sunshine and very warm temperatures...that is the outlook for today!  What could be better than a mango milkshake on the front porch?  And the mangoes are almost a steal at our local grocery store this week.  We took a liking to mango milkshakes when we were in Kenya earlier this year.  Now we are enjoying them at home.

  • 1 ripe mango...peeled, pitted and sliced
  • 2 scoops vanilla ice-cream
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1/8 teaspoon cinnamon
  1. Place all ingredients in a blender...and blend until smooth. 
  2. Pour into two glasses. (Everything tastes better when shared with a friend!)

The Apron Recipe

I'm sure you can all remember moments of inspiration that you've had.
My moment of inspiration for the apron came when I was pondering what our cookbook might look like.
I don't think it was an intentional idea to give the book a retro feel and yet since many of our memories of the heritage foods date back to the 50's and 60's. . . I naturally was drawn to the vintage linens and kitchen items that belonged to my mom and now to me.

We knew that we would have professional group photos done for the book and rather than us all agree on a color scheme or even making a decision whether to dress up or down. . .it seemed easier to  come up with a "uniform" that would be part gift .. .
part practical . .
and partly a signature look that would be ours.
We did not know when the aprons were started that we would be wearing them for our cooking classes.  It is so fun to have a reason besides the book photos to need an apron.


In early June of last year I began to search out fabrics that would work well together.
I wanted them to be bright and cheery and remind us each of the aprons our mothers sewed up for themselves and wore daily over their clothes to keep their ironing down to a daily apron instead of ironing a new blouse or dress each day.

Once I selected the fabrics. .I found coordinating trim and dipped into my mom's vintage trim collection that I inherited when she passed away.  The girls with the green rick rack have trim that is at least fifty years old.
I found some blue and red seam binding in her collection as well as a bit of white seam binding when I realized I was running out of the meters I purchased.  Being a very sentimental person. .
this just gave me such joy in knowing that a part of my mom and her true first love of sewing was finding its way into the cookbook ...
one way or another. 

We had no idea that so many of you would ask us for an apron. The publisher has received countless emails and judging by your kind comments and emails as well . was tempting for a very short while to see about producing them and selling them to make additional money for charity.  We quickly realized it would just not be cost effective.  We would have to come up with our own pattern, since we would not be allowed to produce aprons to sell from the commercial pattern.  The cost of the fabric and then the labour involved would not make it very affordable for you to buy.

So ..we are offering you the pattern number and we hope that those of you that can sew. . .will team together with those that can't.  Perhaps the non sewers can offer to buy fabric for the sewers and you can work out a win win situation. 

We are of course so delighted you are enjoying the photo's in the book. Your response has been delightfully overwhelming.  We are so grateful to each of you that has left comments about our book.  We are posting many of them on the book page.  If you haven't already purchased your book and haven't been able to find it in a bookstore near you. . . please be patient.
You might want to visit our book page for additional information and book reviews.  I will keep the apron number posted there as well. 

In the meantime ...we are still getting the word out there about the book. Every week requests are coming in for radio and article interviews and if you ask your local bookstores to bring the book in. . .we hope that  eventually it will be widely available. 
We are very pleased to have the book available through the publisher and most other popular online sources.
Thank you so much for making the book an instant success.  

The link to the apron pattern is here .
There is a little more about how they flapped in the breeze for the photo on my What Matters Most Blog.

Happy Sewing !

Marshmallow Filled Chocolate Cookies.

These cookies are reminiscent of Betty’s Whoopie Pies however they use milk instead of sour cream and have a marshmallow filling.
They freeze really well and are delicious when eaten right from the freezer!
Treats for those little monkeys in your life.
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1 cup softened butter or margarine
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 cups milk
  • 4 cups flour
  • 2/3 cup unsweetened cocoa
  • 3 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  2. Line cookie sheets with parchment paper or grease.
  3. In mixer bowl, beat together, margarine, sugar vanilla and eggs. Beat until light.
  4. Add dry ingredients and mix well. This is a soft dough, more like a thick cake batter.
  5. Using a scoop or teaspoon, drop dough about 2 inches apart onto prepared cookie sheets.
  6. Bake at 375 degrees for 7 - 9 minutes, baking until cookies are soft but spring back when touched.
  7. Wait a minute or two before removing from cookie sheets to a rack. Cool completely.
  8. Fill with marshmallow filling and store in tightly covered containers in your freezer.

Marshmallow Filling
  • 1 1/2 cups mini marshmallows
  • 6 Tablespoons milk, divided
  • 3 cups icing sugar
  • 1/3 cup softened butter or margarine
  • 1/3 cup shortening
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
  1. Place mini marshmallows and 3 tablespoons of milk in a microwave bowl or saucepan.
  2. Gently melt, over medium heat - stirring frequently.
  3. Just before marshmallows have melted completely, remove from heat and stir until all the lumps are gone. Set aside.
  4. In mixing bowl, beat together margarine, shortening and vanilla.
  5. Add icing sugar and 3 tablespoons milk, beating well.
  6. Add marshmallow mixture and continue to beat. You may need a bit more icing sugar or milk to make it of spreading consistency. It should be thick but still spreadable.
  7. Fill cookies.
  8. Offer them to your little monkeys - and their parents!

Mud Pie Deluxe

With a chocolate crust and coffee ice-cream filling, topped with rich chocolate sauce, whipped cream and toasted almonds...this dessert is a wonderful summertime treat!

  • 1 1/4 cups chocolate wafer crumbs (like Oreo)
  • 1/4 cup melted butter
  • 2 L / 8 cups coffee ice-cream, softened
Chocolate sauce:
  • 1/3 cup cocoa
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 2/3 cups white sugar
  • 1/3 cup heavy cream
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 cup whipping cream
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
  • chocolate pieces or shavings for garnish
  • toasted or caramelized almonds
  1. Combine chocolate wafer crumbs and melted butter.  Press into bottom of a 9" spring form pan.
  2. Spoon  ice-cream onto crust (or cut into slices to fit).  Level with spatula.  Freeze.
  3. For chocolate sauce, combine all ingredients in a saucepan. Heat and stir over medium heat until boiling. Remove from heat and cool until lukewarm, then spread over ice-cream layer.  Return to freezer.
  4. Whip cream, sugar and vanilla until stiff.
  5. To serve, top each slice with whipped cream, shaved chocolate and sliced almonds.
Serves 12

Note: In our area Safeway stores carry wonderful coffee ice-cream with the Lucerne label.

Bread for the Journey

"May the God who gives endurance and encouragement give you a spirit of unity among yourselves as you follow Christ Jesus, so that with one heart and mouth you may glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ."

Romans 15:5

Now that the book is out and being read near and far, the questions are beginning to be asked.
At our book launch party at House of James we entertained questions from the crowd of about the making of the book and our blog.

Someone wanted to know what our biggest challenge was.
Essentially could ten women agree on how to do a cookbook?

As the spokesperson for this group of girls I had to really think about what our biggest challenge really was.
Was it picking the recipes? 
Who's bun recipe should we include or who's borscht recipe would be included?
Was our challenge being in harmony one with another?
Did we squabble behind the scenes?
Was there an underlying note of discontent that we kept out of the public arena?

I can say with a smile and a thankful heart that we were blessed by the Lord with unity.
He alone began this work among us and he alone knew from the first post that we would have opportunities to share something worthwhile with our readers and then also with those that are needy.

It was God who gave us a spirit of unity and he gave each girl a heart of graciousness.
It is not that I led so perfectly and at times I did need to ask them to bear with my weaknesses.
They are a wonderful group of girls and God has given me the desire of my heart.
We are ten "sisters" who stand shoulder to shoulder.
We share a common passion of sharing our family recipes, encouraging hospitality and a common goal of making a difference in the lives of those who are hungry.

How does this happen?  How is it possible for ten women to set aside their own individual rights with joy?

Besides chatting online everyday, we are bound together by praying for one another, bearing each others burdens and also sharing each others joys.

One of the most special times we had together was when we asked God's blessing on our meal at our Celebration Dinner with our husbands.

Charlotte prayed in both high German and Low German. ..both languages most of us heard in our homes.
Ellen then  prayed in Russian . . .the mother tongue of the land our ancestors all came through.
We then stood and sang the Doxology in four part harmony.
It was a beautiful time of giving God praise for what He has done.

God has blessed our friendship and we are so thankful that we can honestly say the biggest challenge was finding enough calendar days to be all together.

Praise God from whom all blessings flow!!

Cranberry Scones - Gluten Free

These scones are soft and moist on the inside and crispy on the edges with great flavor!
Your own favorite dried fruit can be substituted for the dried cranberries.


  • 2 rounded tbsp. cottage cheese
  • 1 egg
  • enough milk to make one cup
  • 1/4 butter
  • 1 tsp lemon juice
  • 3/4 cup german pancake mix (recipe found here - scroll down for the mix recipe )
  • 1/4 Arrowroot starch
  • 1 tbsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp. xanthan gum
  • 3/4 cup sweetened dried cranberries


  1. Mix together dry ingredients and set aside.
  2. Put egg and cottage cheese into measuring cup and fill with milk to measure 1 cup.
  3. Put into blender and mix until smooth.
  4. Cut butter into flour mix
  5. Add liquid to flour and mix together lightly.
  6. Drop by tbsp onto baking sheet .
  7. Bake for 20 minutes at 375' .. or until golden brown.

Baked Alaska

I love the fun in this dessert! Who would have thought that you can put ice cream in the oven? The trick is to make sure the ice cream is totally sealed with the meringue, and baked only until the meringue is golden. Make it ahead, freeze it, and have it ready to pop in the oven for a few minutes.


Base (sponge cake):
  • 3 eggs
  • 6 tablespoons sugar
  • 6 tablespoons flour
  • 3 tablespoons baking cocoa
  • 6 cups ice cream - double chocolate almond or any favorite
  • 4 egg whites
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  1. Preheat oven to 425° F. Grease 8 inch round pan. Line with wax paper (use bottom of pan to make template and cut out) and grease again. If you use a Springform, only grease well, you do not need to line.
  2. Beat eggs and sugar until thick and pale.
  3. Sift the flour and cocoa together and carefully fold into eggs.
  4. Pour into prepared pan and bake for 8-10 minutes, or until springy to touch. Turn out on wire rack and peel back wax paper, if using. Cool.
  5. Meanwhile, allow ice cream to soften in fridge.
  6. Beat the egg whites until soft peaks form. Gradually beat in the sugar and continue beating until thick and glossy . . . peaks form when lifting beaters.
  7. Place the cake in a pie plate to serve like pie or on a baking sheet on parchment paper, so you can transfer it to a serving plate later.
  8. Pile ice cream in a dome shape on top of cake.
  9. Spread the meringue over the ice cream, making sure it is completely enclosed. Swirl and dab with back of spoon for design. At this point, freeze the cake until just before serving.
  10. Preheat oven to 425° F again and bake frozen cake for 7 minutes, until meringue is just golden. Serve immediately.
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Persian Kotlety

One of our favorites growing up were Kotlety. We used to call them Russian hamburgers. A recipe for a more Russian version of these is in our cookbook but I wanted to share this recipe that has a Persian twist.

  • 1 pound of ground meat
  • 1 cup grated onion
  • 1 egg
  • 1 slice bread soaked in milk
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon oregano
  • 1-2 cups fine bread crumbs or Panko breadcrumbs
  • 2 tablespoons butter and 2 tablespoons olive oil for sauteing the patties

  1. Put first 9 ingredients in a bowl and mix well. 
  2. Form patties with this mixture, you can choose round or oval. 
  3. Roll the patties in bread crumbs.  
  4. Saute them in butter and olive oil flipping half way through the cooking process till they are cooked through. 
  5. Serves 4.
  6. Serve with your favorite sides. 

I used panko this time instead of fine bread crumbs and I liked the result.

I served them with my mother’s rice and a salad but the cutlet would pair nicely with potatoes in any form. My mother always formed the patties in this oval shape. These are also great cold in a sandwich form.

Potato Salad ~ crowd size

Picnic season is upon us...and what's a picnic without a potato salad?  The crowd-size version of this salad is a recipe we used often at church functions in years gone by...where we prepared potato salad for 300.  The recipe given here serves 50...though it can easily be doubled to serve 100.  If you are planning a slightly smaller picnic...I've included the recipe to serve 10.  Enjoy!

Crowd Size Potato Salad ~  serves 50

  • 15 pounds potatoes...peeled, cooked and cubed
  • 4 dozen hard-boiled eggs, peeled and chopped
  • 4 cups diced celery
  • 2 cups green onions, finely chopped
  • 8 cups Miracle Whip salad dressing
  • 1/3 cup prepared mustard
  • 3 tablespoons salt
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons pepper
  • 1/2 cup vinegar

Potato Salad ~ serves 10

  • 7-8 cups potatoes, peeled, cooked and cubed
  • 10 hard-boiled eggs, peeled and chopped
  • 1/2 cup celery, finely chopped
  • 1/3 cup green onions, finely chopped
  • 1 1/2 cups Miracle Whip salad dressing
  • 1 tablespoon prepared mustard
  • 1/2 Tablespoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 Tablespoon vinegar
  1. Combine potatoes, eggs, celery and green onions in large mixing bowl.
  2. Mix remaining ingredients together well and pour over potato mixture...stirring until combined.
  3. Cover and chill until serving.

    Berry Apple Crisp Bar for a Crowd

    If you still have berries in the freezer from last summer and have a crowd to feed. ..this is a great and very tasty option for a dessert.  Apples are a great addition to the berries as they add a mellow flavor to the mix.
    This crisp serves up almost like a fruit bar.  Using some of the crumbs for a base helps to ease in serving the dessert evenly and makes a chewy base with a crispy topping.

    • 15 cups frozen mixed berries (blueberries, blackberries, and raspberries)
    • 6 large apples peeled, cored and sliced
    • 3 cups white sugar
    • 1/4 cup cornstarch
    • 6 cups old-fashioned oatmeal
    • 2  cups brown sugar
    • 1 1/2 cup flour
    • 1 1/2 cup butter 
    • 2 cups chopped walnuts
    1. Mix together the frozen berries and apples in a large saucepan or a large microwaveable bowl.  Warm the berries until they are thawed and begin to release their juices.
    2. In a mixing bowl, combine the sugar and cornstarch. 
    3. Add to the berry/apple mix.  Heat until the cornstarch begins to clear.  Set aside.
    4. In a large bowl, combine the oatmeal, sugar, and flour.
    5. Cut the butter in with a pastry blender or use your hands until coarse crumbs form and the butter is well distributed.
    6. Add the walnuts.
    7. In a large rectangular nonstick roaster or regular roasting pan that has been sprayed with cooking spray, scatter 3 cups of the crumbs to cover the bottom.  
    8. Spoon the berry/apple mixture evenly over the crumbs.
    9. Sprinkle the remaining crumbs to cover the berry mixture.
    10. Bake in a 350 oven about 1 1/2 hours.  The edges should be bubbling up berries and the crumbs should we golden brown and crisp. Before declaring it done, take a small spoon from the center and dig into the berries to make sure they are bubbly and the cornstarch has cleared.
    11. Serve warm or rewarm at 300 for 15 minutes before serving. 
    12. Cut into 30 pieces. Use an egg lifter to remove squares. Serve with ice cream.
    13. Refrigerate the leftovers. Since it will set once it chills you can serve the leftovers like a bar.  
    Speaking of crowds we'd love to see you at the Book Launch Party at House of James tonight.  We've been enjoying the book signing this past weekend meeting so many of you already and would love the opportunity to meet more of you.  We'll sign your book and serve up some samples from the book.  To see what we've been up to. ..scroll down the page to read our personal blogs.

    Bread for the Journey

    Her children rise up and call her blessed!
    Proverbs 31:28

    As I read about the virtuous woman in Proverbs 31, it is my mother that comes to mind. For her, beauty was not about outward appearances...but came from within. She was generous, kind and hospitable. She worked tirelessly from morning until night...with a strength that never seemed to fade. Everyone was welcome in her home...there was always room for one more at the table. She was a wonderful homemaker...and skilled with her hands. She sewed, knit and crocheted for all of us...and turned out needlepoint pictures that were works of art. She spent her life giving...with hardly a thought for herself. Even in the last few hours of her life, she reminded us that she had prepared a lot of food...we should be sure to cook the cabbage rolls and the pies that were in the freezer. Always thinking of others...always giving to us...and sometimes with hardly a word of thanks in return!

    She left us far too soon...and with little warning. In July 2000 she was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer...and three weeks later she was gone.  There have been so many moments since then that I would have loved to share with her. I wish I could thank her today for all she meant to me.  If you have words of blessing for your mom...share them with her while you still can!

    We here at MGCC are a group of ten women...only four who still have a mother that can be honoured in person today.  The rest of us pay tribute to our moms by sharing the memories.  Here's a few wonderful words about our mothers on this Mother's Day...

    My mother is probably the most unselfish person I have known and, adding to that, she is trustworthy, honest and faithful. There are women who are more concerned about charm and beauty, which is fleeting, but she is to be praised for fearing the Lord.  ~Anneliese

    My mother loved to cook and bake, nothing made her happier than having the family home for meals. She loved people and had a great sense of humour..I miss you Mom.  ~ Betty

    My mother worked hard at allowing her 2 girls to be who they were called to be.  She only ever praised my homemaking skills even though they left much to be desired at times.  She supported my sister and I in all our activities. She was as quick to admit her faults and ask for forgiveness as she was to forgive when we hurt her. She was wasn't afraid to try something new and was a bundle of energy. She also exemplified hospitality and knew how to make each guest feel very special.  I miss her so much.  ~ Bev

    I am one of the four that is blessed to still have their mother.  I am so thankful for her generous gift of hospitality and her tender heart toward God.  In spite of her own health being compromised she still carries on in the kitchen blessing others as she can.  Thank you for your true example to us mom, we love you. ~ Char

    My mother taught me by example that it is worthwhile to make sacrifices for your family. She worked hard to feed and clothe us with very few resources. To this day her greatest example is her love, respect and loyalty to my father.~Ellen

    I am thankful to still have my mother - at 87 she is still in good health and active. I do not remember my Mom ever being idle.  She was a hard worker and nothing that could be done today was left for tomorrow.   The huge vegetable garden she planted every year always yielded a bumper harvest.   Meal times were important and the family was always together around the table.  She has lived her life focused on her family - their needs always came before her own -  and I know how much she loves her children, grandchildren and great grandchildren. ~ Julie

    I am thankful for the  many character qualities my mom modeled for me. As her own family grew when the four of her children married and the grand kids came along, it was her desire to allow everyone to be who they were and to accept each of us for who we were. She was not a woman who sought attention for herself, but thought of others and showed grace and love in relationships. Today I thank my Heavenly Father for my mom, who I look forward to celebrating life with again one day in heaven.  ~Kathy

    My mom let me get my hands in the dough when I was still little and she got a kick out of serving my odd shaped buns to company ..declaring them just fine. She valued teaching me to have an obedient and sensitive heart to Jesus and made me feel loved and cherished. If I love my children unconditionally is because I learned from her example. I am thankful for my mom who is waiting for me at home. ..her heavenly home.  ~Lovella

    When I think of my mother, I think of her as someone who loved unconditionally and extended a heart of grace.  She had a heart to share her life with others and more than that, she wanted to listen to others and offer them hope and encouragement.  A cup of coffee was always offered to her guests or family in a very simplistic way, but filled with hospitality.   She was always there for me.   I miss her dearly. ~ Marg

    And so today we honour these ten godly women who are our mothers.   We could each have written a lovely tribute to our moms-in-law today as well.  How blessed we all have been to have such wonderful women in our lives!

    To all of you who are mothers...I wish you a very Happy Mother's Day!  And be sure to 'rise up and bless' the special mothers in your life. 

    Happy Mother's Day!

    Ganache Torte

    My girlfriend gave me this recipe years ago and I had it posted on my personal blog and now was asked by another friend where that recipe was and so I'm posting it here
    so we all know where it is.

    It is naturally Gluten-free and smooth and easy to make for your Mother's Day dessert.

    • 3 cups whole pecans
    • 1 cup white sugar
    • 1/3 cup melted butter
    1. Put the pecans and sugar into a food processor and pulse until the pecans are ground into crumbs.  Add the melted butter and pulse several times to combine.
    2. Pour the crumbs into a large spring form pan or more preferably a tart pan with a removable bottom.
    3. Press the crumbs to the sides up 1/2 inch and on the bottom.
    4. Put the pan on a cookie sheet and Bake at 325 for 30 minutes or until the crust is lightly browned.
    • 3/4 pound good quality chocolate chopped
    • 1 3/4 cup heavy cream
    • 1 egg yolk
    1. Put the chopped chocolate and the cream into a large microwave-safe bowl. Heat on low and stir every minute until it is melted.
    2. Stir until silky smooth.
    3. Add a bit of warm chocolate to a beaten egg yolk in a small bowl ..add a little more until you have a total of 1 cup of warm chocolate and egg.  Add this back to the full amount of chocolate and continue to stir on low heat on low heat for about one minute until it takes on a slightly custardy consistency.
    4. Pour into the crust and refrigerate.
    • 1/4 cup butter
    • 1/2 cup sugar
    • 1/2 cup heavy cream
    1. In a small saucepan heat over medium heat the butter and the sugar, stirring constantly.
    2. Continue to stir until it turns a caramel color.
    3. Remove from heat and stir in the cream.  Keep stirring until it is nice and smooth.  If it doesn't turn smooth, put it back on the heat but only just to warm it again. .keep stirring.
    4. Let cool and serve over the ganache torte.

    Avocado Salsa

    Between Book Signings and Canucks games, one needs to keep eating. I think many of us are watching the NHL finals as we go from one series to the next always hoping for our favorite team to win. With that of course comes the question, "Who's going to host and cook for the next Canucks party?" We hosted the party with unexpected guests all the way from Steinbach, Manitoba, Betty & John Reimer, another MGCC gal who drove out for the book signing events this weekend.

    Here's another fantastic guacamole dip that you need to add to your party menu. So let's all sit down, chomp on some good appetizers and don't forget about adding a plate of Hearty Natchos. These go really well and let's continue to cheer hard for the Canucks! They are on a winning streak. The Natcho's and guacamole dip are both variations from our famous Chef Dez.

    • 2 soft avocados
    • juice from 1 large lemon
    • 1/4 yellow bell pepper, finely diced
    • 1/4 red bell pepper, finely diced
    • 1/4 red onion, finely diced
    • 1/2 fresh jalapeno, minced
    • 1 garlic clove, crushed
    • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
    • 1/2 teaspoon sambal oelek
    • 1/2 teaspoon sugar
    • salt and pepper to taste

    1. Cut, pit, and peel the avocados.
    2. Mash them in a medium bowl with the juice.
    3. Add all of the other ingredients to the bowl and mix together.
    4. Refrigerate until needed.
    5. Serve with your favorite pita bread or taco shells.
    6. This recipe can easily be doubled.
    Who would have thought that the Canucks would be on a winning streak? Who's hosting on Saturday?


    Carne Asada Marinade

    Today is Cinco de Mayo and I wanted to share a Mexican Recipe with you. In elementary school growing up in the Los Angeles area of Southern California we would always have a celebration at school on this day. We learned the Mexican Hat Dance and enjoyed performing it at our assembly. Cinco de Mayo is a date of  importance for the Mexican and Chicano communities. It marks the victory of the Mexican Army over the French at the Battle of Puebla. Although the Mexican army was eventually defeated, the "Batalla de Puebla" came to represent a symbol of Mexican unity and patriotism. With this victory, Mexico demonstrated to the world that Mexico and all of Latin America were willing to defend themselves of any foreign intervention. Cinco de Mayo is not Mexico's Independence Day, September 16, 1810 is. Cinco de Mayo is celebrated on a much larger scale in the U.S.A. than in Mexico.

     Carne Asada (or Pollo Asada)
    A great marinade for steak! You can even use it for chicken for Pollo Asada!  Use skirt steak or flap meat, but any thin cut steak would work. I used what is called Flank Steak here in the Washington State. This recipe is for up to 4 pounds of meat. Cook time does NOT include marinating time. You can use 4 pounds of chicken breast meat also.
    • 1 -  lime juiced
    • 1 -  lemon juiced
    • 1/2 cup orange juice
    • 2 tablespoons chili powder
    • 1-l/2 tablespoons dried oregano leaves
    • 2 tablespoons ground cumin
    • 5 cloves of garlic chopped
    • 1/2 cup red wine vinegar
    • 4 tablespoons olive oil
    • 1 teaspoon salt
    • 1/2 Bunch Cilantro, chopped (not stems)

    1. Combine all ingredients in a 1-gallon ziploc bag.
    2. Add meat, seal and massage marinade into meat.
    3. Marinate in bag for up to 24 hours, turning and massaging frequently. 4-6 hours for beef and 2-4 hours for chicken would work fine, also.
    4. Grill to medium rare for beef and of course for chicken till it’s cooked thoroughly.
    5. Serve whole, sliced, or diced for tacos or burritos! Serve with beans, rice, corn tortillas and guacamole.
    6. Because it wasn't grilling weather I cooked this under the broiler for 8 minutes on each side and it was well done. If you like meat that is medium rare adjust the cooking time.

    Oat Bran Date Chip Cookies

    Chopped dates and chocolate chips pair well together
    for a coffee break treat.

    • 2/3 cup butter
    • 1 cup brown sugar
    • 1 egg
    • 1 tbsp water
    • 1 cup flour
    • 1 cup oat bran
    • 1/2 cup rice krispies
    • 1 tsp baking soda
    • 1 tsp baking powder
    • 1 cup finely chopped dates (or raisins)
    • 1/2 cup chocolate chips
    1. Cream butter. Add sugar, egg, water and beat well.
    2. Add flour, oat bran, baking soda and baking powder. Beat until incorporated with butter mixture.
    3. Add rice krispies, chocolate chips and dates.
    4. Bake at 350º for 9-11 minutes. Remove to cooling rack immediately. Yields 2 dozen.

    Quick Pizza on Naan

    Naan bread is a type of flat, leavened Indian bread. I'd like to try making it on our grill sometime, but since it's readily available in our area, I buy it ready-made and like to have it on hand, either in the freezer or fridge... to make quick individual pizzas.

    Ingredients for four:
    • 1 package naan bread (4 servings)
    • 1/2 cup spaghetti or pizza sauce
    • 12 thin slices smoked sandwich ham or turkey, coarsely chopped
    • 2 cups grated mozzarella and cheddar cheese
    • dried basil
    • dried oregano
    1. Spread bread lightly with your favorite sauce. ( I usually have a started jar of spaghetti sauce in the fridge)
    2. Top with chopped ham and/or turkey slices and cheese.
    3. Sprinkle with dried herbs.
    4. Bake at 400° F about 5-10 minutes, until cheese bubbles.

    Dill and Cheese Bread/Buns

    Friday is often soup day around here and I like serving different breads along with the soup. This dill and cheese bread is a nice change, if you like the flavor of dill. If you do not have a blender, don't worry. I don't think I would use a blender next time, I like to see the cheese and onions in my buns.

    In a blender combine the following:
    • 1/2 cup of very warm water
    • 1 cup of creamed cottage cheese
    • 2 tablespoons dried onion flakes
    • 1 teaspoon salt
    • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
    • 1 egg
    • 2 tablespoons dill (I used 1 tbsp. dried)
    • 1 tablespoon oil
    Mix together in a bowl:
    • 2 cups of flour
    • 1/3 cup of wheat or oat bran
    • 1 tablespoon quick rise yeast
    1. Stir the dry ingredients until mixed through
    2. Pour the blender ingredients over the dry ingredients
    3. Knead for a few minutes adding a bit of flour at a time so the dough is not to sticky, about 1/4 cup in total is what I needed.
    4. Put the dough in a greased bowl and let rise til double.
    5. Make into buns or place it all into a greased casserole dish for a loaf of bread.
    6. Again let rise until double, about an hour.
    7. Bake in a 350 degree oven for 40 minutes for the loaf and 18-20 minutes for the buns.

    Bread for the Journey

    I fought back unexpected tears as I stepped over the threshhold of this home.  One sees photos of people living in shacks or one may even pass them by when travelling, but to actually step into one, is something I've never really thought about.

    Our daughter, with her family, lives in Indonesia where they serve as missionaries. When we went to visit them recently, she took me to this home (their neighbors) to take some things for the new baby. In this shack lives a woman, her daughter, about 6 teenagers/young adults and now a newborn baby. They told my daughter that their home (another island  - where they come from) is many days away by ship. To have them understand how far Canada is, she told them that it is about 2 months away by ship! They were shocked.

    In reflecting about this my daughter wrote, "Really, that's not very far ... when I think about where Jesus came from. He left perfection, absolute beauty, endless love, holiness, streets of gold ... and came to sin, filth, hate, brokenness and walked these dirt roads with sandalled feet. How far He came."

    I've been thinking about this. We just celebrated Easter and the fact that Jesus came from heaven to walk on this earth and die for our sins, so that we can live in the home He is preparing for us.  How far am I willing to go to let others know of the hope they can have? God is no respecter of people. He loves us all. No matter what mess we live in, He invites us to come to His banquet table. 

    "Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with him and he with me." Revelations 3:20

    Jesus paid the price.