Monday, February 28, 2011

Chicken Cordon Bake

I took this cordon bake to our son's house for supper and it was enjoyed by everyone. A very simple version of Chicken Cordon Bleu.

  • 4 cups chicken, cooked and cut in chunks
  • 2 cups ham, cooked and cut in chunks
  • 1 cup shredded swiss cheese
  • 1 cup onion, chopped..I omitted this and it tasted just fine:)
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 1/3 cup flour
  • 2 1/4 cups milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon dry mustard
  • 1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • Crunchy topping
  1. Layer chicken, cheese and ham in a greased 9" by 13 " pan.
  2. Saute onions (if using) in butter.
  3. Stir in flour and blend in milk, add dry mustard and seasonings.
  4. Cook and stir until thickened.
  5. Pour over ham and sprinkle with topping.
Crunchy topping:
  • 2 1/2 cups coarse bread crumbs
  • 1/2 cup cheddar cheese, shredded
  • 1/4 cup melted butter
  1. Mix together until combined before sprinkling over the ham.
  2. Bake at 350º for 30 minutes.
I served it with brown rice and a salad.


Sunday, February 27, 2011

Bread for the Journey

'Whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.'
Matthew 25:40 NIV

When Mennonite Girls Can Cook came into being several years ago, it was all about preserving our family heritage recipes.  We discussed that as individuals we never wished to profit from the blog, but if the opportunity would ever arise we would love to use our blog to help feed hungry children.  Little did we know what the future had in store for us.  One year after we began the blog we partnered together with a few businesses that agreed to support the project of our choice in exchange for having their business profiled on our sidebar. The project we chose was that of providing goats to families in Kenya under the direction of MCC (Mennonite Central Committee).  It seemed like a good way of feeding hungry children in a faraway place...and at the same time giving their families a way to become self-sufficient.    I never gave the project a great deal of thought at that time...and definitely never considered the possibility of traveling to Kenya to see first hand how our donations were being used.
Last summer we began to make plans to visit friends of ours in Kenya...who happen to be the directors for MCC in that country.  Suddenly I thought about our goat project...and realized that Ron and Martha were the ones who were overseeing the very project we had been supporting.  What a great opportunity to see where our funds were going...and to see what a difference a small herd of goats can make to a family. 
We returned recently from our time in Kenya...where we were hosted by Ron and Martha Ratzlaff.  We spent time with them as they went about their regular duties.  We joined them as they distributed blankets and school kits to students in a school in the slums of Nairobi.  I had to think of the ladies from our church back home who meet faithfully every week to quilt blankets such as these for MCC...and wished they could have seen the joy with which these blankets were received! 

We spent one day touring the sand dams...a project with which MCC is involved that provides water to many who previously had no access to water during the dry seasons.  We also saw another project that they support, which uses solar energy to purify drinking water for the children in the slums. We visited several schools in which MCC is involved...providing a chance at education for children who who previously never have had that opportunity. 


For many, learning to read and write is secondary...the meals that are served are the reason they are there. 
 
And we made a trip out to the Masai Mari...where we saw first hand the importance of goats to the livelihood of these nomadic peoples. 

Goats survive drought much better than cattle, and provide milk for the families.  It is mostly the women and children who tend the herd of goats.  We had the opportunity to meet these particular 'goat-herders' and were invited into their village, where we even toured one of their homes...a tiny hut made of sticks and plastered with mud and cow dung.  It was here that we met the little fellow pictured above...the one who could not open his eyes because of the flies.  Our hearts went out to him...to all of them.

Though we at Mennonite Girls Can Cook are now partnering with MCC in providing food and shelter for street children in the Ukraine...I  am ever so thankful that I had the opportunity to see first-hand the work that MCC is doing in Kenya and the difference they are making the lives of so many children.  The goat project in Kenya has now been fully funded, and the Kenyan directors send a word of thanks to all who helped support it. If you are interested in knowing more about the Goat Stocking program and seeing pictures of the first goat distribution you can read about it right here

To all of you who have helped us in our quest to feed hungry children...thank-you! Thank-you for joining us in being the hands and feet of Jesus to 'the least of these' around the world. 

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Company's Coming!



Well, today I want to give you a small tip...As a small child I always remembered spending time cleaning on Saturday's, because company was coming on Sunday. We had to clean the house, dust the furniture, clean our bedrooms, wash the floors, and like the rest of you...we had to polish the shoes. Sunday was coming and everything had it's place. Usually my mom would make some fresh platz, a pot of soup, zweiback,...but most of all she always had the table set with a table cloth and her best china. Most of us have probably fallen way back off these Saturday chores and traditions.
But one thing I have learned over my past years was how to clean a coffee thermos. I used to scrub those things with brushes, baking soda, soaked it...you name it...that ugly coffee stain became darker and darker. Would you believe I learned this tip while working at the university? It was part of my duty to help keep the staff room in order. A colleague shared her secret with me and I am more than willing to pass it on.
"Pour the container full with boiling water and add some dishwasher soap to the pot, screw the lid on tight, go home, and sleep."
Not too often my work was accomplished while sleeping. This truly is a miracle worker.

A stained coffee pot and Company's Coming? That just won't do.

Just add some liquid dishwasher detergent (2 Tbsp), or if it's really stained, I add a whole tablet of dishwasher detergent, into a coffee pot filled with boiling water. Let it sit over night and the next morning you will be smiling. Rinse it out with hot water and you won't mind Company's Coming anymore...
Let me know if you are smiling tomorrow morning.

Friday, February 25, 2011

Carrot Cake for 30


One of the first things that I would encourage you to do if you are doing a lot of baking for a large crowd would be to invest in a proper pan.  I have an 11 X 15 straight sided light colored aluminum pan that serves  30 pieces.  You could probably divide it in half and bake it in two 9 X 13 pans but the cake would not be as deep nor would it bake as evenly flat on top.  Carrot cake can be baked the day ahead which just allows the flavours to blend and gives you a bit more of a breather when you are preparing for a larger group.


Cake ingredients
  • 5 cups grated carrots (about 8 medium sized)
  • 2 19 ounce/ 540 ml pineapple chunks, drained
  • 6 eggs  or to equal 1 1/3 cups  (this is important as in this quantity egg size makes a difference
  • 1 1/4 cups canola oil
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 1 1/2 cup brown sugar (packed)
  • 4 cups flour
  • 4 teaspoons baking powder
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 3 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 2 teaspoons salt
Icing ingredients
  • 1  8 ounce package cream cheese
  • 2 tablespoons maple syrup
  • 2 tablespoons egg white powder
  • 4 cups icing sugar
  1. Preheat oven to 350 F  (you will turn it down for baking)
  2. Use a food processor to grate carrots if you have one or grate the carrots with a medium sized grater and set aside.
  3. Put the pineapple in the food processor and pulse until it is mushy.  (if you do not have a food processor you could use crushed pineapple but the quantity in the can would be different so rather use 2 cups well drained crushed pineapple). Set aside
  4. Line your pan with parchment paper and bring up the sides on two of the sides if you want to remove from pan.  Do not grease the remaining sides .. cakes cannot crawl up a greased side.
  5. In a large bowl whisk together the dry ingredients.
  6. In another large mixing bowl, combiner the eggs, and sugars and beat until light.
  7. Add oil and beat until thick.
  8. Add the dry ingredients and mix just until moistened.
  9. Add the carrots and pineapple and stir until well combined.
  10. Spread evenly in the pan.
  11. Put in the oven on the center rack and turn the oven down to 325.
  12. Bake 50 minutes or until a toothpick tests clean in the center of the cake.
  13. Let cool and then remove from pan if the cake is to be decorated for display.
To make icing.
  1. In a large mixing bowl combine all the ingredients and mix on low until just combined and then beat until light.
  2. Spread on cake and then refrigerate.
If you want to make the cake ahead but don't have refrigerator room for your party, only spread icing on an hour before serving. 

To decorate sprinkle with 2 cups crushed walnuts if desired.  This is a perfect topping.  It cuts the sweetness of the cream cheese icing and covers up the imperfect spreading of icing.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Choux Pastry filled with Coronation Salad

My friend, Doreen, who caters elegant teas, shared this recipe with me. Although she has given me liberty to share it, I have tweaked it a bit, not to give away all of her secrets. I love this chicken salad in a puff pastry. A wonderful addition to a girls lunch or shower.

Puffs or Choux Pastry Ingredients:

  • 1 cup water
  • ½ cup butter
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • ¼ tsp pepper
  • 1 cup flour
  • 4 eggs
  • 1/2 cup white Cheddar Cheese, grated
  • ½ tsp dry mustard
Method:
  1. Bring butter, salt, pepper and water to boil in a small pot.
  2. Remove from heat and quickly add flour, stirring vigorously, until it completely loosens from sides of pot.
  3. Beat in eggs, separately, until smooth.
  4. Stir in cheese and mustard.
  5. Drop by tsp on greased and floured cookie sheets.
  6. Bake at 450 F for the first 10 min. Lower temp to 350 F and bake another 25 min – 30 min.
  7. Cool and slice open. these can be made ahead and frozen. Yield 24 -28
Filling Ingredients:
  • 3 cups roasted chicken, diced
  • 1/2 cups mayonnaise
  • 1 Tbsp wine vinegar
  • 1 1/2 cups grapes, chopped
  • 2 Tbsp fresh tarragon, chopped
  • 2 ribs celery, chopped
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp pepper
Mix ingredients and refrigerate. Fill puffs just before serving.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Shepherd's Pie

Shepherd's Pie is one of those dishes that can be prepared ahead of time with a little planning, assembled and served later in the week when you have a busy day. I will make extra potatoes one day to make the mashed potatoes for this dish. Also another tip if you are pressed for time, is to brown ground beef a head of time, and freeze in the amount you need to be ready for days when you are busy with other things.

TOPPING -
  • half a 5 lb bag of potatoes
  • 1 cup milk
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 cup old cheddar cheese (any cheese is fine)
  • I add onion or garlic powder to taste (optional)
FILLING -
  • 1 tablespoon oil
  • 2 garlic cloves minced
  • 1 large onion chopped
  • 2 lbs of lean ground beef
  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 796 ml / 19 oz can tomatoes diced, drained (save the liquid for hospitality soup)
  • 1 teaspoon Worcestershire Sauce
  • 1 teaspoon thyme
  • 3/4 cup of fine bread crumbs or quick cooking oatmeal
  • 1 cup of frozen peas (use corn or any other frozen vegetable of you preference)
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  1. Cook and mash the potatoes with all the ingredients.
  2. Saute onions, garlic with the ground beef until the beef is brown.
  3. Drain any fat.
  4. Sprinkle the flour over the meat, and add the milk.
  5. Bring to a boil and cook while adding the drained tomatoes.
  6. Cook a few minutes til the mixture thickens up.
  7. Add the bread crumbs or oatmeal, and the peas.
  8. Put the meat into a greased casserole dish or 9x13 pan.
  9. Top with the mashed potatoes, sprinkle with the paprika.
  10. Bake uncovered for 30 minutes at 400 degree or until the potatoes get lightly browned.
Serve with a fresh salad and ice cream parfait for dessert for a easy mid-week supper.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Chocolate Cherry Mallows


These cookies draw the children like bees to honey.
The big kids don't seem to mind them either!

  • 20- 25 large marshmallows cut in half - do this first, dipping your scissors or kitchen shears in water with each cut to keep the scissors from sticking. Set marshmallows aside.

  • 3/4 cup margarine, softened
  • 1 cup brown sugar, firmly packed
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup maraschino cherry liquid
  • 1 1/2 squares unsweetened chocolate melted
  • 2 1/4 cups flour
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup chopped pecans
  • 1/2 cup maraschino cherries drained and chopped

  • 1/2 cup chocolate chips melted (for the drizzle)
  1. In mixer bowl, beat margarine with brown sugar until fluffy.
  2. Add eggs one at a time, beating in between additions.
  3. Add unsweetened chocolate and maraschino cherry liquid and mix.
  4. Add flour, baking soda and salt and mix well.
  5. Stir in pecans and cherries.
  6. Drop by spoonfuls on to ungreased cookie sheets.
  7. Bake at 350º for 10 to 12 minutes.
  8. Immediately place a half marshmallow piece on each cookie while it is still hot then remove cookies to rack.
  9. When cookies are cool, drizzle with melted chocolate.

Monday, February 21, 2011

French Onion Soup

Individual French onion soup crocks are filled to the brim with a full bodied homemade beef broth and caramelized onions. Top with a thick slice of crusty french bread and cheese, and broil until the cheese melts and gets golden brown.

Ingredients for Broth:
  • 2 pounds meaty beef soup bones
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 carrots
  • 2 stalks celery
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 1 onion
  • 6 peppercorns
  • salt
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 tsp thyme
  • 5 springs fresh parsley
  • 1 tsp Worcshetershire sauce
  • 1 tsp Soya sauce
  • 1/4 cup cooking sherry
  • 8 cups water
Ingredients for caramelized onions:
  • 5 cups thinly sliced Vadalia or yellow onions
  • 4 tbsp butter
  • 1 tbsp sugar
Ingredients for bread and cheese topping:

  • 6 slices of thick french bread
  • 6 thick slices Gruyere, Jarlsberg or Swiss cheese
Method for making broth:
  1. Coarsely chop carrots, celery and onion.
  2. Place beef bones and vegetable chunks on a shallow roasting pan. Drizzle with oil.
  3. Roast in 450º oven for 30 minutes.
  4. Put water and remaining ingredients in a large stock pot. Add the roasted bones and vegetables to the pot, scraping any brown bits from the roasting pan and adding to the pot.
  5. Bring to a boil and then reduce to a simmer. Cover and simmer for 3-4 hours.
  6. Line a large colander with cheesecloth. Place a large bowl underneath and carefully pour hot broth through. (I find that placing the bowl and colander in the sink is a safe way to pour the hot liquid)
  7. If using immediately, scrape fat off the top. If using at a later date, chill broth. Once the broth has chilled the fat will rise to the top making it easy to skim off.
Method for caramelizing onions:
  1. Over medium heat melt butter. Add sliced onions and sprinkle with sugar.
  2. Stir until onions begin to sweat.
  3. Turn heat to low and allow onions to cook down and caramelize stirring every 5 minutes. This precess will take approximately 45-50 minutes. The onions will become a deep golden brown.
  4. Add caramelized onions to hot broth and simmer together for 30 minutes.
  5. To serve, ladle soup into oven proof individual soup crocks.
  6. Place french bread sliced onto a baking sheet and broil on both sides until toasted.
  7. Place filled crocks onto baking sheet and float one slice of toasted bread on soup.
  8. Top with generous slices of cheese.
  9. Leaving oven rack at regular height turn oven to broil. Place baking sheet with filled crocks in oven to broil. Keeping an eye on it, broil until cheese it bubbly and golden .
  10. Remove hot crocks onto plate with a serviette on it so that the plate does not crack from the heat of the crocks.
****If you don't have oven proof crocks, use soup bowl omitting the broiling step. For this method toast the bread with the cheese first and then just place a cheese toast onto each bowl of soup.*****

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Bread for the Journey


He called a little child to him, and placed the child among them.
And he said: “Truly I tell you, unless you change
and become like little children,
you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.
Matthew 18:2,3
One day, many years ago, I drove my little guy to a Birthday party. We had purchased a hockey stick for his friend, who was turning 4 or 5 and there appeared to be nothing but anticipation and excitement on his face. It was the first time he was invited to a Birthday party without a parent coming along.

I parked in front of the house and thought that he would just get out and go to the door, but out of the blue, he hesitated, and suddenly became very quiet, saying, “Mommy, I need you to go to the door with me.”

We went to the door and he joined the party. When I got back to my car, it hit me … how he had just plainly told me, that he needed me. I realized that the time would come where he would not need me anymore and I tucked the memory in my heart.

I’ve thought about how sweet those words must sound to my Father in heaven. I need you. No pretenses about being able to do it on my own. Does He not surely feel the same way as I did? Would He not be happy to help when we ask?  Will He not be there to catch me if I tell Him I need Him to do that?

What is it that you need God to do today, that will lighten your load? Why not tell Him?

I am reminded of an old hymn we sang at church . . .

I need Thee, oh, I need Thee;
Every hour I need Thee;
Oh, bless me now, my Savior,
I come to Thee.


Saturday, February 19, 2011

Chocolate Log Cake


This is a recipe that I found in the Mennonite Treasury, and to my delight, it was Gluten Free.
This chocolate sponge cake is light and airy. There is no flour, no added fat, low in sugar, and if you want you can use a low fat whipped topping in place of the whipped cream, which then makes it possible to enjoy two pieces....smile.

Cake:
  • 4 eggs, separated
  • 1/4 cup icing sugar
  • 3 tbsp. cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
Filling:
  • 1 1/2 cups of whipping cream whipped (save about 1/2 cup of the whipped cream for the outside of the cake).
  • sweeten to taste.
  1. Preheat oven to 350.
  2. Lightly grease and line a 10x15 inch cookie sheet that has sides with wax paper, then lightly grease the top side of wax paper. (it will peel off easily after baking).
  3. Beat the eggs whites till stiff peaks form.
  4. Beat the egg yolks til light in color, slowly adding the sugar, cocoa, and vanilla, this takes about 10 minutes, you want it to be very light and more than double in volume, this is what gives the cake the light texture.
  5. Combine the egg whites with the egg yolks by gently folding it in as to not reduce the volume.
  6. Bake for about 12-15 minutes, cake is ready when it springs back and looses the shine.
  7. Sift more icing sugar thickly on another piece of wax paper. A bit larger than the cake.
  8. Cool cake for 5 minutes and then flip over cake onto the wax paper with the icing sugar.
  9. Very carefully try to peel away the wax paper. Don't worry if cake cracks or tears a bit, the whipped cream covers it.
  10. Roll up the cake and let it cool completely.
  11. Unroll and fill with the whipped cream, saving about a generous half a cup for frosting the outside. I added 1 tablespoon of cocoa to that just for a variation.
  12. Freeze the cake (optional) or serve cold from the fridge.

Friday, February 18, 2011

Chicken Stew

This is an easy hearty recipe that will warm you up this winter.
Chicken Stew
3-4 Tablespoons olive oil
3 stalks celery, cut into bite size pieces
2 carrots peeled, cut into bite size pieces
1 onion, chopped
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 (14-1/2 oz) cans chopped tomatoes, one with jalapeno, one plain.
1 (32 oz.) box of chicken broth
1/2 cup fresh basil leaves or 1 Tbsp. dried
2 Tbsp. tomato paste
1 bay leaf
1 teaspoon dried thyme leaves
1 whole chicken cut up in pieces
1 (15 oz.) can of kidney beans, drained and 1 (15 oz.) can garbanzo or white beans drained.
fresh sliced mushrooms (optional)
Heat the oil in a heavy 5-1/2 quart saucepan over medium heat. Add the celery, carrot, and onion. Saute the vegetables until the onion is translucent, about 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper, to taste. Stir in the tomatoes with their juices, chicken broth, basil, tomato paste, bay leaf, thyme. Add the chicken pieces; press to submerge.

Bring the cooking liquid to simmer. Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer gently uncovered until the chicken is almost cooked through, turning the chicken over and stirring the mixture occasionally, about 25 minutes. Using tongs, transfer the chicken to a work surface and cool for 5 minutes. Discard the bay leaf. Add the kidney beans and garbanzo beans to the pot. Add the mushrooms here if you choose to. Simmer until the liquid has reduced into stew consistency, about 10 minutes.
Discard the skin and bones from the chicken. Shred or cut the chicken into bite size pieces. Return the chicken meat to the stew. Bring the stew just to a simmer. Season with salt and pepper, to taste.

Ladle the stew into serving bowls and serve with good crusty bread.
Enjoy!

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Hawaiin Style Farmer Sausage

We rather like farmer sausage around here...and there is always some in the freezer.  Farmer sausage is a smoked pork sausage...and the smoky flavour is a great addition to soups and casseroles.  But if you aren't familiar with that particular sausage...I'm sure your favorite sausage would work with this dish as well.


  • 1 ring farmer sausage (about 1 1/2 pounds), sliced in 1/2 inch pieces
  • 2 stalks celery, sliced
  • 1 large onion, sliced
  • 1 green pepper, cut in chunks
  • 1 red pepper, cut in chunks
  • 1 large can diced tomatoes (796 ml / 28 oz)
  • 1 can pineapple chunks or tidbits (398 ml / 14 oz), drain and reserve juice
  • 1 teaspoon garlic salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  1.  Stir fry farmer sausage for several minutes.
  2.  Add celery, onions, and peppers and cook until tendercrisp.
  3. Add tomatoes, pineapple, seasonings, sugar and soy sauce.  Simmer 5 minutes.
  4. Blend cornstarch with reserved pineapple juice. Add to simmering sausage dish and cook for 2 minutes.
  5. Serve on a bed of rice.

Serves 6.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Potato Puffs

This recipe for potato puffs is a delicious way to use up leftover mashed potatoes. Although these puffs taste amazing I do not make them frequently because they are deep fried.
Some like them dipped in ketchup but when I made them for our children they preferred to dip them in pancake syrup.

  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 cup mashed potatoes, moistened and seasoned
  • 2 eggs
  1. Whisk together flour and baking powder.
  2. Add mashed potatoes and mix.
  3. Stir in beaten eggs and mix well.
  4. Drop by spoonfuls and deep fry until golden and crispy which takes a few minutes. To check if they are done insert a toothpick in the center of a puff and if it comes clean, the puffs are done.
  5. Serves 4

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Roasted Chicken Wraps

Wraps have become a popular alternative to sandwiches in coffee shops and restaurants. I enjoy the variety of ingredients that can be rolled up into a fun and delightful meal. For a quick dinner you can pick up a rotisserie chicken and have dinner on the table in no time. Experiment by adding cheese, chopped basil, or different dressings.

Ingredients:

  • 1 hot roasted chicken
  • 6 tomato basil or spinach tortilla wraps
  • ranch dressing
  • lettuce or spinach leaves
  • 2 ripe avocados, peeled and sliced
  • 1 fire roasted red pepper, coarsely chopped
  • 3 oz / 100 ml sundried tomatoes packed in oil, patted dry and chopped

Method:
  1. Warm tortillas, while you shred the chicken.
  2. Spread center of each tortilla with dressing and lettuce or spinach.
  3. Top with chicken, avocado, tomatoes and roasted pepper slices.
  4. Fold in two sides and roll up, starting at unfolded side. Cut in half.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Banana Cranberry Fiber Muffins


Happy Valentines Day dear ones!!

When I bought some high fibre cereal with good intentions of adding it to our diet and found it took a long time for two people to eat that much cereal for breakfast I needed to get creative with places to tuck it in.
My mom in law gave me this sweet little muffin tin which I enjoy using for special coffee breaks with special folks. . .and sometimes just my Valentine!

I like making this recipe because it has a zipper bag and one bowl method.
Next time you know your morning will be a rush. . .put the dry ingredients in a zipper bag the night before and your muffins will be half done.


Bananas and Cranberries add a huge boost of flavour to this muffin.  They keep moist for lunch boxes and for special coffee dates. . .add a dab of cream cheese frosting and a banana slice to spread a little love!



  • 3 medium bananas


  • 1/2 cup fresh or frozen cranberries roughly chopped


  • 1/4 cup dried cranberries


  • 1 cup of fibre one cereal or other high fibre cereal


  • 1 egg


  • 1/2 cup sugar


  • 1/2 cup sour cream


  • 1/3 cup melted butter


  • 1 1/4 cup flour


  • 1 tablespoon baking powder


  • 1/2 teaspoon salt


    1. Preheat oven to 400 F.
    2. Put the bananas in a large mixing bowl and mash with a potato masher.
    3. Add the egg and sugar and using the masher, continue to whip the mixture to combine.
    4. Add the milk and melted butter and stir together.
    5. Put the cereal in a medium sized seal-able bag and crush with a rolling pin.
    6. Add the remaining dry ingredients to the bag and shake to combine.
    7. Stir the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients and add the cranberries.
    8. Fill 12 muffin lined cups and bake about 25 minutes or until the muffins test clean with a toothpick.

    Sunday, February 13, 2011

    Bread For the Journey -The Lord's Prayer



    Our Father, who is in Heaven
    Hallowed be your name.
    Your Kingdom come Your will be done
    On earth as it is in Heaven.
    Give us this day our Daily Bread
    And forgive us our debts as we forgive our debtors,
    And lead us not into temptation
    But deliver us from evil.
    For Thine is the kingdom and the power and the glory
    Forever.
    Amen.

    As the disciples walked each day with Jesus,
    they must have seen the importance and value of prayer first hand.

    They asked Jesus to teach them to pray and He responded with the Lord's Prayer.
    (Matthew 6:9-13; Luke 11: 2-4)

    Have you felt, like I do at times, that your prayers are ineffective or worse, not heard at all?

    A book that came highly recommended to me is Andrew Murray's classic:
    "With Christ in the School of Prayer".
    He urges those of us who long to have a vital and effective prayer life
    to follow the disciples' example; to go to Christ
    and ask Him to be our teacher.

    Something I had not realized is that God was never addressed as 'Father" in the Old
    Testament. To the Israelites he was a Holy, Holy God, a God of judgement
    and approachable only through a priest.
    However when Christ came to earth as a man,
    He introduced us to the concept of God as our Father -
    an "Abba" father - totally approachable because of Christ's death on the cross.

    He is our loving, compassionate and understanding Father.
    If we submit to Him as His child, He will teach us all we long to learn.
    He will gladly give us what we ask for and like a wise father,
    He knows better than we do what we need.

    I have so much to learn about Prayer.
    Why don't you join me in the "School of Prayer" and ask God to be our teacher?









    Saturday, February 12, 2011

    Raspberry Lemonade Punch




    This is a refreshing punch that is not overly sweet. It's great in a pitcher or in a punch bowl for a large crowd.

    For a pitcher full you'll need:

    1- 12 ounce can of frozen pink lemonade
    12 ounces of water
    24 ounces of lemon-lime sparkling water
    4 ounces frozen raspberries

    Mix the frozen lemonade with the water before you add the sparkling water. Poor in the sparkling water slowly so you keep the fizz and mix in carefully. Add the raspberries and serve.

    For a punch bowl triple the ingredients. When making this recipe for a punch bowl use 12 ounces of water to mix the frozen lemonade and then substitute ice for the rest of the water. Pour the sparkling water in slowly and add the 12 oz. bag of frozen raspberries. Enjoy!

    For the sugared rim dip the glass rim upside in liquid and then rotate the rim in a bowl of coarse sugar.

    Note: If you'd like the punch to be sweeter you can substitute regular lemon lime soda for some of the sparkling water.

    Friday, February 11, 2011

    Low Fat Whole Wheat Scones


    On a rainy day not too long ago I called up a friend asking for a little help with something and also invited her to stay for lunch. Along with a good visit we enjoyed a fresh fruit bowl and yogurt along side these blueberry and orange zest infused scones.

    Ingredients:
    • 1 1/2 cups white flour
    • 1/2 cup whole wheat flour
    • 2 tbsp brown sugar
    • 1/2 tsp baking soda
    • 2 teaspoons baking powder
    • 4 tbsp butter, cold
    • 2/3 cup unsweetened apple sauce
    • 2 tbsp orange or lemon zest
    • 1/3 cup buttermilk
    • 1/2 cup blueberries, fresh or frozen
    Method:
    1. Stir together all dry ingredients. Cut in cold butter until the butter is very small chunks.
    2. Stir together the apple sauce, zest and butter milk. Pour over dry mixture and stir with a fork just until it all comes together. Do no over mix scones.
    3. Using your hands, gently work the berries into the dough.
    4. Place mounds of dough onto a parchment lined baking sheet. Bake at 375º for 12-15 minutes. Remove immediately to cooling rake. Best served warm. Add a dusting of powdered sugar for a finishing touch. Yields 8 large scones.

    Thursday, February 10, 2011

    Strawberry Mousse Cheesecake

    If you are looking for a scrumptious refrigerator dessert for that special occasion...you won't be disappointed with this one.


    Crust
    • 1 1/4 cups chocolate wafer crumbs 
    • 1/4 cup butter, melted
     Combine melted butter and crumbs.  Press on bottom of 9-inch spring form pan.

    Filling
    • 3 oz. / 85 gr. package strawberry flavoured gelatin
    • 1 envelope Knox unflavoured gelatin
    • 1 cup boiling water
    • 15 oz. (about 1 1/2 cups) frozen sliced strawberries
    • 8 oz. / 250 grams cream cheese
    • 2/3 cup icing (confectioner's) sugar
    • 2 cups whipping cream
    •  Chocolate hearts & strawberries for garnish
    1. Mix gelatin powders together in a bowl.  Add boiling water and stir to dissolve.  Mix in partially thawed strawberries.  Chill until syrupy.
    2. Beat cream cheese and icing sugar together until smooth. 
    3. Whip cream until stiff.  Fold into cream cheese mixture.
    4. Fold in thickened strawberry jello mixture.
    5. Pour over prepared crust.
    6. Chill for several hours before serving. 
    7. Garnish with chocolate curls or hearts and fresh strawberries, if desired.
    Serves 10-12.

    Wednesday, February 9, 2011

    Oatmeal Date Sandwich Cookies


    This date cookie recipe is one of my Mom's and it is my absolute favorite. I noticed the other day that my container is nearly empty.  I keep them in the freezer and eat them while they are still slightly frozen.  You can't store them on the counter, they will get very soft and mushy. These are easy because they are just a roll in your palm cookie.

    Oatmeal Date Sandwich Cookies

    • 1 cup sugar
    • 1/2 cup brown sugar
    • 1 cup butter
    • 2 eggs
    • 2 cups flour
    • 1 1/4 cup oatmeal
    • 1 teaspoon baking powder
    • 1 teaspoon baking soda
    • 3/4 cup coconut
    1. Cream together the butter and sugars.
    2. Add the eggs and combine well.
    3. Add all the dry ingredients and mix until combined.
    4. Chill in the refrigerator an hour.  (make the date filling while the dough  chills)
    5. Roll into small balls and flatten with a glass by about half the thickness.
    6. Bake at 350 F for 10 minutes or until lightly browned.
    Date Filling
    1. Buy a 1 pound package of dates. .the kind that is a rectangular block.  They will be found by the raisins in the grocery store.
    2. Chop them up and put them in a small saucepan.
    3. Add  1/2 cup water and bring to a simmer.
    4. Stir occasionally and simmer until the consistency of thick jam.
    5. Let cool.
    To sandwich the cookies put a small spoonful of date filling on the underside of one cookie and sandwich with the underside of another cookie.  Freeze in a container.

    Tuesday, February 8, 2011

    Coeur a la Creme

    This is a fluffy sweet cheese/cream dessert that has a great presentation for Valentine's Day. (The winner of our cookbook drawing from yesterday is at the end of this post)

    I use a Coeur a la Creme mold that I bought at a specialty kitchen store but you can use any 7 inch sieve.

    Coeur a la Creme with Strawberry Sauce

    Ingredients:

    8 oz. ricotta cheese
    1 cup confectioners sugar
    2 cups heavy whipping cream
    1-1/2 teaspoons vanilla
    seeds scraped from 1 vanilla bean
    1/4 teaspoon lemon zest

    Sauce:

    1 pound frozen or fresh strawberries
    1/2 cup water
    1 Tablespoon fresh lemon juice
    6 Tablespoons sugar

    With the paddle attachment beat the ricotta cheese and confectioners sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer for 2 minutes. Scrape down the bowl. Change to a whisk attachment. With the mixer on low speed, add the heavy whipping cream, vanilla, lemon zest, and vanilla bean seeds and beat on high speed until the mixture is very thick, like whipped cream.

    Line your mold or sieve with cheesecloth or paper towels so the ends drape over the sides and suspend over a bowl, making sure there is space between the bottom of your mold/sieve and the bottom of the bowl so liquid can drain. Pour the cream mixture into the cheesecloth, fold the ends over the top, and refrigerate overnight.

    For the sauce place the strawberries, sugar, lemon juice and water in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil, lower the heat, and simmer for 4 minutes. Pour the cooked strawberries into the bowl of a blender and blend until smooth. Chill.

    You could substitute raspberries for the strawberries to make the sauce.

    To serve, discard the liquid, unmold the cream onto a plate, and drizzle strawberry sauce around the base. Serve with strawberries and extra sauce.

    ANNOUNCEMENT!! THE WINNER OF OUR COOKBOOK DRAWING IS…NAOMI from Chilliwack! Naomi, we'll be contacting you by email soon.

    Monday, February 7, 2011

    Soft Whole Wheat Bread

    CELEBRATING "TWO MILLION" VISITORS TODAY!
    Comments on todays post will be entered in a draw for our cookbook.
    Draw closes at 8 PST. One name will be chosen.
    Winner will be announced on tomorrows post.

    There is nothing quite like walking into the house and catching the smell of fresh baked bread. This is one of my mom's bread recipes that I had not made in a long time. A friend gave me some Hovis bread pans from a bakery they used to own and I thought I would try them out. I still use my mom and my grandma's bread pans, but these attached smaller loaf sized pans worked like a charm.

    Ingredients:
    • 2 1/2 cups very warm water
    • 1 tbsp lemon juice
    • 3 tbsp liquid honey
    • 2 tbsp oil
    • 1 tsp salt
    • 1 tbsp instant yeast
    • 2 cups whole wheat flour
    • 3 cups white flour
    Method:
    1. Put very warm water in a bowl or large measuring cup. Add lemon juice, honey, oil and salt. Stir well to combine.
    2. In a large mixing bowl stir together both flours, and instant yeast.
    3. Pour water mixture into flour and stir.
    4. Knead dough at least 10 minutes. (see note below)
    5. Cover dough with a clean tea towel and allow it to rise until double in bulk. About 45 minutes-1 hour.
    6. Punch down the dough and form into loafs. Place in well greased bread pans. Let rise for 30-40minutes.
    7. Bake at 350º for 30-40 minutes. Yields 3 regular sized loaves.
    Note: When kneading dough for bread you may find you need a little more or a little less flour. I usually hold back 1/2 cup of the white flour to incorporate as I am kneading. I also like to have another teaspoon or two of oil to work into the dough as needed. This dough is very easy to work with. The secret is to knead it well...punch away at that dough until you see lots of tiny bubbles....then you can let it rise, and you can take a rest.


    Sunday, February 6, 2011

    Bread for the Journey



    The paper version was entitled Beating Ourselves Up.

    Does that ring a bell with you?  I remember that when my boys were youngsters . ..it was easier to deal with a small offense against them by a young friend than if they were the offender.  It was simple to encourage them to forgive but I always felt so bad if they had been the offender.
     Do you ever find it easier to forgive someone else than it is to forgive yourself?  I have found that I am eager to punish myself and often feel tempted to confess my sin to another long after I have done my part ask for forgiveness and tried to make amends.  I do believe that God forgives me but when I hurt others  . . I feel the need to drag it around with me because I feel I deserve to suffer.

    A verse De Haan quoted from the Bible brought tears to my eyes.

    "This then is how we know that we belong to the truth, and how we set our hearts at rest in His presence whenever our hearts condemn us. For God is greater than our hearts, and He knows everything"
    ( 1 John 3:19-20 NIV)

    Do you see? God does see everything clearly.  He sees what we do wrong . ..and he sees our deep acknowledged regret .. and he knows better than us the price that was "paid to release us from that sin. He sees the trust we have put in His Son.  He sees the good work He has started in our hearts". . .which he has promised to finish.

    Isn't that just wonderful? 

    Later in the article he says . .
    "We may be limiting our ability to be what God wants us to be.  Refusing to forgive ourselves as God has forgiven us does nothing but prolong and multiply our sin. Self-condemnation is the opposite of the gratitude that opens our hearts to God."

    I don't want to be robbed of a joyful heart.
    I want to live in freedom of forgiveness and I want to use my time to Praise my loving Heavenly Father.

    Take heart dear ones . . .

    "He has not dealt with us according to our sins, nor punished us according to our iniquities. For as the heavens are high above the earth, so great is His mercy toward those who fear Him; as far as the east is from the west, so far has He removed our transgressions from us.  As a father pities his children, so the Lord pities those who fear Him. For He knows our frame; He remembers that we are dust"
    (Psalm 103:10-14 NKJV)

    I'll remain thankful for my beloved husband that patiently listens to me relive my transgressions but I'll choose to be obedient in this areas that God has laid on my heart this week.
    Gratitude for forgiveness.

    all for now. . .

    Saturday, February 5, 2011

    Pizza Omelette

    This omelette is a nice twist from the usual. You can use various toppings, herbs and cheeses. I served it with toast and jam..I always need toast and jam to accompany my omelette.

    • 3 eggs
    • 1/4 cup milk
    • 1 teaspoon fresh parsley, chopped
    • Pinch basil
    • Pinch Italian seasoning
    • Pinch cayenne
    • Salt and pepper to taste
    • 1 tablespoon butter
    • 2 tablespoons pizza or spaghetti sauce
    • 1/4 cup (rounded) mozzarella cheese, grated
    • 1/4 cup tomatoes, diced
    • 1/4 cup green peppers, diced
    • 1/2 cup cooked ham, diced or you can use bacon, sausage or pepperoni
    1. Whisk eggs, milk and spices along with salt and pepper.
    2. Melt and heat butter in a non stick frying pan on medium high heat, I used my cast iron pan.
    3. Pour egg mixture into the pan. When it starts to set lift up sides with spatula, tip pan and let the uncooked egg mixture slide beneath the cooked part.
    4. When eggs are almost set, spread the pizza sauce over the top. Sprinkle on the tomatoes, green pepper and ham. Sprinkle cheese on top.
    5. Place under a preheated broil setting in the oven, watching closely just until cheese is melted and golden in color. If using a non stick pan and you can't place it in the oven, just cover with a lid and cook for another minute or two to allow cheese to melt.

    Friday, February 4, 2011

    Crispy Twisters

    This is not so much a recipe as it is an idea. It's kind of interesting that we were introduced to KFC Twisters while in Indonesia . . . maybe because we rarely pick up KFC while at home, but when you are in a foreign land, you are very happy to get something that tastes like home.

    I get my breaded chicken strips (crispy tenders) at Neufeld Farms which is a local family run business where you can get many ready to go meal ideas. Having a bag of these in the freezer comes in very handy. Bake chicken of your choice according to instructions.

    Heat soft tortillas on medium heat in Teflon pan (no oil), about a minute on each side or until golden spots appear.

    Wash loose leaf lettuce or iceberg lettuce. If using iceberg lettuce, chop it up. Cut up a few ripe tomatoes. Get out dressing of choice. We like ranch or mayonnaise ... also some salsa if you like.

    Spread warm tortilla with dressing, cover with lettuce, tomatoes and hot chicken. Wrap or roll up.

    Serve with Caesar or spinach salad. These taste as good as the original at a fraction of the cost and still give the cook a break. (1 package of Crispy Tenders is enough for 10-12 twisters)

    Thursday, February 3, 2011

    Chipa



    These chewy cheesy little pillows is a recipe originally from Paraguay. The original rolls are made from Cassava flour or Tapioca Starch, there for making them gluten free. One variation for the recipe are rolls that are hard from the out side but cheesy and tender from the inside. This version of the recipe is a soft muffin, chewy on the inside that taste at its best warm from the oven.**They are so quick and easy to make, you don't need to be following a gluten free diet to enjoy them.

    • 3 cups Tapioca Starch
    • 1 teaspoon salt
    • 1 tablespoon baking powder
    • 1/2 cup of oil
    • 2 cups of strong grated cheese, like Old Cheddar*
    • 2 eggs
    • 1 cup milk
    1. Mix all the dry ingredients together.
    2. Add oil, beaten eggs with the milk and stir in till the dry ingredients are well moistened.
    3. Put into greased muffin tins.
    4. Bake at 350 til golden brown, 20-25 minutes.
    5. I always bake them in mini muffin tins and they take about 15 minutes to get golden. I keep the mini muffin tins gluten free to avoid cross contamination, and my larger ones for flour.
    *You can use any combination of cheese according to personal taste. Like adding a 1/2 cups of cottage cheese, mixed with Parmesan, or smoked Gouda Swiss, Jalapeno Pepper Jack perhaps? Change up the flavors once in a while for a new taste experience.

    **Just a word of caution. It is gluten free, and if you don't eat them the day that they are made, they will certainly loose that soft, chewy goodness and become a bit dry and hard. So enjoy them right out of the oven and only make as many as you need. Using mini muffin tins is the way to go. The larger ones do not taste the same.

    Wednesday, February 2, 2011

    Rosemary Parmesan Potatoes

    These potatoes are true comfort food. The recipe comes from my friend Lynda and although it's basically a scalloped potato dish, the seasonings and the cream elevate it to company fare.



    Serves 8
    • 1/4 cup butter
    • 1/4 cup flour
    • 2 cups light cream*
    • salt and pepper to taste
    • 1 large clove garlic minced
    • 1 tablespoon fresh minced rosemary
    • 1 cup grated parmesan cheese, divided

    • 10-12 medium red potatoes, peeled and sliced thin

    *you can use milk but the cream makes them very special

    1. Melt butter in microwaveable bowl
    2. Using a whisk, blend in flour
    3. Gradually add cream, whisking until mixture is blended and smooth
    4. Microwave on medium high for 2 minutes.
    5. Stir well and return to microwave, cooking until sauce is thick, stirring every minute.
    6. Add garlic, salt and pepper, rosemary and 1/4 cup of the Parmesan cheese, stirring well.
    7. Place potatoes in a large bowl and pour sauce over them. Use a spatula to mix until all the potatoes are coated with sauce.
    8. Pour mixture into a 9x13" pan and top with remaining parmesan cheese.
    9. Bake uncovered at 350º for 50 minutes or until potatoes are tender.

    Tuesday, February 1, 2011

    Sombrero Pizza

    Here's a pizza that gives you a fresh finish. After baking the sauce and meat topped crust, top it all with crisp lettuce strips, chopped tomatoes and cheese.

    Dough Ingredients:
    • 1 cup warm water
    • 1 1/2 cup white flour
    • 1/2 cup, plus 2 tbsp Semolina flour
    • 1 package ( 1 tbsp) quick rise yeast
    • 4 tsp olive oil
    • 3/4 tsp salt
    • 1 tbsp yellow cornmeal, for the pan.
    Method:
    This is a stir and rest dough. Add all the dry ingredients except for the cornmeal in a bowl. Add the water and oil. Stir well, and then gather together with your hands making sure all ingredients are well incorporated. Cover and allow to rest for an hour before baking. You can also pre make the dough, cover and place in the fridge for several days. When ready to use take out and let dough sit at room temperature for an hour before baking.

    Pizza toppings:

    • 3/4 pound lean ground beef
    • 1/2 cup onion, finely chopped
    • 1 tsp salt
    • 1/2 tsp pepper
    • 2 cups head lettuce, shredded into long strips
    • 2 tomatoes, chopped
    • 2 cups shredded cheese, either Tex Mex, or a mixture of cheddar and Monterrey Jack
    • 1 cup re fried beans
    • 1/2 cup chunky salsa
    Method:
    1. Fry together meat and onions. Season with salt and pepper. Drain any excess drippings.
    2. For the sauce stir together re fried beans and salsa. Set aside.
    3. Prepare lettuce, tomatoes and cheese.
    4. If using a pizza stone heat as directed. You can also use a regular pizza pan, but grease it well. Sprinkle stone or pan with cornmeal. Take dough, and on a lightly oiled counter press out to form the size of your pan. Lift and place on top of cornmeal. Press to form a crust as needed.
    5. Spread re fried bean and salsa sauce over crust and top with meat and onion mixture. Sprinkle half of the cheese over the meat. Bake in 425º oven for 15-20 minutes.
    6. Immediately top with lettuce, tomatoes and remaining cheese.