Thursday, March 31, 2011

Cream Puffs - Gluten Free

I love cream puffs and I have tried several gluten-free recipes and several tries of my own variations but they did not satisfy my taste buds -- until I tried them with this combination of flour. I left a plateful at my daughter's when she wasn't home and she called me in a panic after she tried one ... "Mom, are these gluten-free?"
Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup boiling water
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 1/2 cup pancake flour mix (find the recipe for the mix here - scroll down to pancake flour mix )
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 pkg of instant vanilla pudding (153 g size pkg) prepared according to pkg instructions
  • whipping cream 1/2 cup - whipped separately and added to pudding- optional

  1. Pour 1/2 cup water into a saucepan, add the butter and heat until butter melts and mixture returns to a boil
  2. Turn down the heat, then add all at once the 1/2 cup flour and stir vigorously until mixture pulls together and away from the sides of the pot.
  3. Remove from heat ... let sit for a minute or two.
  4. One at a time add the eggs beating vigorously after each addition until batter is perfectly smooth.
  5. Drop by teaspoon onto cookie sheet and bake at 375' for 25 minutes or until golden brown.
  6. Remove to cake rake... and let cool.
  7. Slice half-way open and fill with a teaspoon of prepared pudding
  8. Drizzle melted chocolate over the tops.

Variation - Cheese Puffs

My granddaughter loves these made like Anneliese's with 1/4 cup grated cheese and 1/2 tsp dry mustard. Follow recipe as above and mix in the dry mustard and the grated cheese after you have added the eggs. (eat plain or with creamed meat filling)

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Spicy Shrimp and Salmon Dinner


I usually have individually wrapped portion sized salmon pieces as well as a bag of shrimp in the freezer for quick thaw meals.  Start your rice when you begin your salmon and the meal will come together in about 30 minutes.  The instructions are for four portions. .but can be easily increased or the sauce can be halved to make a meal for two.  You can find the sauce ingredients in the Asian section of your grocery store.

  • fresh orange juice from two oranges. . .about 1/2 cup
  • 4 tablespoons hoisin sauce
  • 2 tablespoons fish sauce or oyster sauce
  • 2 tablespoons sesame oil
  • 2 tablespoons garlic chili pepper sauce
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch dissolved in 1/3 cup water
  • 4 individual thawed salmon portions
  • 20 shrimp
  • 1 pound broccolini or asparagus, cut in half
  • 3 tablespoons canola oil
  1. Combine the orange juice, hoisin sauce, fish sauce, sesame oil and chili pepper sauce in a small bowl.
  2. Add the cornstarch and water and set aside.
  3. Heat half the oil in a large fry pan and add the shrimp.  Toss around in the hot oil until the shrimp turns opaque and slightly pink.  Remove to a plate.
  4. Add the salmon portions and brown on both sides on medium heat.  Turn the heat down slightly and fry until opaque and flakes to the center. Add to the sest aside shrimp.
  5. Add the rest of the oil to the pan and stir fry the broccolini/asparagus several minutes on medium high heat until tender crisp. Add the salmon and shrimp back to the pan and add the sauce.  Stir carefully until the sauce thickens and becomes shiny and clear.
  6. Serve with rice.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Pineapple Carrot Cake - Gluten Free

Pineapple carrot cake is one of my favorite desserts. I have brought this cake to pot lucks or dinners and only the people who know me ask if it is gluten-free -- the rest just go back for a second piece! Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cups white corn flour

  • 1/2 cup potato starch

  • 1 tsp xanthan gum

  • 2 tsp baking soda

  • 1 tsp baking powder

  • 1 tsp salt

  • 2 tsp ground cinnamon

  • 1 3/4 cups sugar

  • 3/4 cup oil

  • 3 eggs

  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

  • 2 cups shredded carrots

  • 1 - 8 oz tin - crushed pineapple , drained

Method



  1. Sift together dry ingredients (except sugar) and set aside in bowl.

  2. Beat eggs and sugar add oil and vanilla.

  3. Make a well in the dry ingredients and pour in the egg mixture and carrots and pineapple and mix with wooden spoon until well blended and smooth.

  4. Pour into a 9x13 inch baking pan and bake for about 45 minutes at 350'.

  5. Let cool and then ice with cream cheese icing -

Icing


Beat until smooth 1 - 8 oz- pkg of cream cheese, 1/4 cup butter and two cups icing sugar.

Enjoy!!! *

Monday, March 28, 2011

Key Lime Cheesecake

Key lime cheesecake was what I ordered for dessert at Ellen's 60th birthday dinner at Chuckanut Manor a few weeks ago.  It was so good, I decided to make my own version at home.  With a coconut shortbread crust and creamy cheesecake filling...it passed the taste test over here. 


Base:
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1/2 cup coconut flakes
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla

Cheesecake:
  • 2 x 250 gram packages cream cheese, softened
  • 1 can (300 ml) sweetened condensed milk
  • 3 eggs
  • dash of salt
  • 1/4 cup key lime juice
  • 1 tablespoon lime zest
  • 1 cup sour cream
  1. For base, combine flour, sugar and coconut.  With mixer on low, work in butter and add vanilla.  Press firmly into bottom of 9" spring form pan.
  2. In large mixer bowl, beat cream cheese until fluffy. 
  3. Add sweetened  condensed milk, egg and salt and beat until smooth.
  4. Beat in lime juice and zest.
  5. Pour into prepared pan.
  6. Bake in pre-heated oven at 350°F for 50-60 minutes or until cake springs back when touched lightly.
  7. Cool on rack until room temperature. 
  8. Remove from spring form pan and  transfer to serving plate.
  9. Spread sour cream evenly over the surface.
  10. Chill in refrigerator until ready to serve.  
  11. Serve wedges of cheesecake with dollop of whipped cream and lime garnish.  
  12. Serves 12.

*Can be made with regular limes as well. 

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Bread for the Journey

Psalm 37: 7-9 " Be still before the Lord and wait patiently for him; do not fret when men succeed in their ways, when they carry out their wicked schemes. Refrain from anger and turn from wrath; do not fret-it leads only to evil. For evil men will be cut off, but those who hope in the Lord will inherit the land." NIV

Patience..one of the meanings from the dictionary says it is "bearing pains or trials calmly and without complaining". We strive for this patience and so very often run short of it, I like what the Psalms says.."do not fret".
When God allows trials to come our way we need to ask Him for His purpose and the patience to help us endure and grow through them. These trials teach us to be a witness for Him and allows our character to grow.
A friend and I remind ourselves to beware when we pray for patience, to be ready for what might come our way to teach us that patience.
There are examples in the Bible of those who showed patience. Job and Abraham come to mind, they waited on the Lord and were rewarded with their patience.
How can we do any less? Let's encourage one another to be patient. Even though the journey may have many trials we know that in His time God works to perfect His plan for us.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Chicken Danielle

Chicken is one of our favorite meals. This recipe below is an all time favorite. So if you want to try something different with a flair...give yourself some time and enjoy trying a new meal with chicken. This takes a bit of time, but no last minute rushing around when company comes.
  • Bacon 125 g (4 oz)
  • Butter 2 tablespoons
  • 6 large skinless, boneless, chicken breast halves
  • Button mushrooms (1 cup sliced)
  • 1 cup dry white wine
  • 1 (10.75 oz) can condensed cream of chicken soup
  • 1 (10.75 oz) can condensed cream of mushroom soup
  • 3/4 cup heavy cream
  • 1/2 teaspoon chopped fresh rosemary
  • 1/4 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme
  • 1 package uncooked linguine pasta

  1. Fry the bacon gently in a large flameproof casserole dish stirring for about 5 minutes until the fat runs.
  2. Take the bacon out and saute' chicken in the bacon drippins for about 5 minutes until golden.
  3. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  4. Set aside chicken into casserole dish, reserving bacon drippings.
  5. In a separate skillet, melt the butter over medium heat and saute mushrooms.
  6. Add 1/2 cup white wine and stir at a low heat for 5 minutes.
  7. Set mushrooms and drippings aside, keeping warm.
  8. Add cream of chicken soup and cream of mushroom soup to the bacon/chicken drippings, making sure no lumps remain.
  9. Slowly add cream stirring constantly, then add remaining 1/2 cup wine, adjusting as needed to make a nice thick gravy consistency.
  10. Season with fresh rosemary and thyme.
  11. Toss the bacon that you saved on top of this sauce.
  12. Let mixture simmer over medium heat until bubbly and then add reserved mushroom mixture and stir together.
  13. Pour soup/mushroom mixture over chicken in casserole dish, cover and bake in preheated oven for 30-45 minutes at 375 degrees.
  14. Serve with your favorite pasta or on a platter of rice.
Add a few fresh vegetables, and zwieback and you'll feel like you are eating a traditional meal.

Friday, March 25, 2011

Egg Salad Pinwheels


These dainty little sandwiches are an economical and tasty addition to an appetizer bar, tea or special luncheon. I was re-acquainted with them recently when I went to help my friend, Doreen, with some photography while she was preparing for an elegant tea that week. It is important to purchase the bread on the day of preparation, for easy rolling. You may need to call ahead and order a sandwich loaf, sliced in the opposite direction.

Ingredients:

• 1 fresh sandwich loaf, sliced lengthwise
• 10-12 cooked eggs, chopped
• 1/3 cup mayo
• 2 tsp whole grain mustard
• 1 Tbsp fresh dill, finely chopped
• 1 tsp salt
• pepper
• unsalted butter for spreading

Method:

1. Boil eggs for 8 minutes. Drain water.
2. Cover with cold water and ice cubes. This will help the shells come off easier.
3. Chop cooled eggs and mix with mayonnaise, mustard, dill, salt and pepper. Set aside.
4. Set aside outer crusts of sandwich loaf for other uses. Trim remaining crusts from bread, using pizza cutter.
5. You should have about 5 long slices/strips.
6. Spread with butter and then with filling.
7. Cut each strip in half so that you have about ten 3X6” pieces.
8. Roll each strip up, starting at narrow end.
9. Lay side by side in flat container with a lid or Ziploc bag.
10. Refrigerate for the day or overnight.
11. To serve, cut into slices. Garnish with fresh dill. Yield: 40 - 50

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Golubtsi -Cabbage Rolls

We grew up enjoying golubtsi, the russian version of cabbage rolls. I didn’t develop a taste for cabbage until my adult years so I’d peel off the cabbage and just enjoy the filling. Today I really enjoy cabbage in all it’s cooked or uncooked forms! Once you get the cabbage leaves ready to go this is really a simple recipe to make.

1 head of cabbage
2 lbs. of hamburger
1-1/2 Cups cooked rice cooled
1/2 onion grated
1-1/2 teaspoons salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1 Tablespoon chopped parsley
1 can condensed tomato soup
1- 8 oz. can tomato sauce
2 Tablespoons ketchup
1 onion chopped
1-1/2 Cups sour cream
2 Cups water

Core the cabbage leaving it whole. Boil in a pot of water until leaves separate easily. Drain leaves and let them cool while you prepare the filling. Once the leaves are cool enough to handle you can trim some of the thick vein of the cabbage leaf to make it easier to fold.

Combine the hamburger, rice, onion, salt, pepper, and parsley. Place about 1/3 cup of this mixture onto a cabbage leaf and fold edges over and roll up. Place in baking dish. Continue until you use up the hamburger mixture and cabbage leaves.

Saute the chopped onion in a little oil until it is translucent. Add soup, tomato sauce, ketchup, and water. Mix well. Bring to a boil. Add a little of this sauce to the sour cream to temper it and then add the sour cream mixture to the sauce. Pour the sauce over the cabbage rolls. Bake in a 350 degree oven for an hour or longer.

Our son doesn’t tolerate milk products so I made a small batch of the Golubtsi and covered them with the sauce before I added the sour cream to the rest of the sauce. We find that using hamburger that is 15% fat or more is better for these as the meat that has less fat in it can be dry.

Serve with your favorite green side dish and some good bread to soak up the sauce with!

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Homemade Pop Tarts

These homemade pop tarts are nothing like the store bought ones. These little gems are buttery and flaky. I filled some with strawberry jam and the others with pear jam. You can use any favorite jam, Nutella with mini marshmallows would really be good too. This is a small recipe but can easily be doubled or tripled.

  • 1 1/2 cups flour
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons teaspoons sugar
  • 3/4 cup chilled butter, cut in cubes
  • 4-5 tablespoons very cold water
  • Strawberry jam
  • Pear jam
  1. In a bowl whisk together the dry ingredients. I used a food processor to make this dough, but both methods work fine.
  2. With a pastry blender cut in the chilled butter till it's the size of peas.
  3. Add the cold water a tablespoon at a time till the dough comes together.
  4. Form the dough into a ball and wrap in plastic wrap, pressing down into a disk. Refrigerate for 1 hour.
  5. Roll out into a rectangle and cut approx 3" by 5 " pieces. Place jam on the center of a cut piece of dough, top with another piece and seal the edges with the tines of a fork dipped in flour.
  6. Bake on a parchment lined pan at 375º for 25 to 30 minutes. I baked mine for 27 minutes.
  7. Let cool.
  8. You can leave them plain or ice them with your favorite frosting and top with sprinkles.
  9. Yields: 5 pop tarts

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Lemon Soufflé

This pretty dessert is as light as a feather and so refreshing after a heavy meal.
I've given instructions for serving it souffle' style
but it can be served in stemmed dessert or parfait dishes instead.



  • 1 1/2 tablespoons grated lemon rind
  • 2/3 cup lemon juice
  • 2 envelopes unflavoured gelatin
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 6 eggs
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 1 1/2 cups whipping cream
  • Lemon wedges, candies, mint leaves or edible flowers for garnish*
  1. Prepare 8 half-cup sized, straight sided dishes or 1 four-cup straight sided dish: Make a collar by measuring a length of foil or parchment paper long enough to encircle the dish. Fold in half lengthwise so that it is about 2 inches higher than the 1/2 cup dishes or 3 inches higher than the 4 cup dish. Fasten the collar to the top of the dish using tape so it stands up 1 inch above the smaller dishes and 2 inches above the serving dish. Set dishes aside.
  2. Place water in a small saucepan and sprinkle both envelopes of gelatin evenly over the water. Let sit until gelatin is softened. (about 5-7 minutes)
  3. Heat saucepan over low heat until gelatin has dissolved and mixture is clear.
  4. In large bowl of an electric mixer, combine eggs and sugar. Beat at high speed until mixture is very thick and a light lemon colour. This will take about 7 or 8 minutes.
  5. In another bowl, with clean beaters, whip cream until soft peaks form. Place in refrigerator.
  6. Combine lemon rind and juice and add to cooled gelatin.
  7. Pour gelatin mixture into egg mixture and continue to beat until well blended.
  8. Chill egg/gelatin mixture in refrigerator for about 5 minutes. Stir it once or twice until it begins to mound.
  9. Fold in chilled whipped cream with a silicone spatula until all white streaks are gone.
  10. Spoon into prepared dishes.
  11. Garnish with a bit of whipped cream, candied lemon slice or a violet and a mint leaf if desired.
* I found the tiny violets at a local store that sells cake making supplies. They had trays of tiny flowers made up and sold them by the piece. You can also use edible flowers such as violas or violets.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Coconut Cake

I've used this recipe to make layer cakes, cupcakes and pan cakes for many years now. When I made it again for a recent birthday, several people asked for the recipe so here it is. The secret to its moist texture is the buttermilk.
coconut cake B 2



Coconut Cake with Cream Frosting
coconut cake



Coconut Cake with Seven Minute Frosting
  • ½ cup butter, softened
  • 1 ½ cups sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • ½ teaspoon coconut extract
  • 2 ¼ cups sifted flour, divided
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 ¼ cups buttermilk or sour milk
  • 1 cup flaked coconut
1. Grease and flour 2 round 8inch cake pans or 1 9”x13” pan.
2. Cream butter and add sugar gradually until light and well blended.
3. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each egg.
4. Add 1 ¼ cups flour, baking soda and salt and beat well.
5. Add extracts to buttermilk and add half of liquid to batter. Beat well.
6. Add remaining cup flour and rest of liquid and beat until moistened.
7. Beat an additional 2 minutes at medium speed. Fold in 1 cup coconut.
8. Spoon into prepared pans and bake at 350º for about 30 minutes or until cake tester or toothpick comes out dry.
9. Cool 10 minutes before removing from pans.

If you’ve baked your cake in 2 round pans, you can fill the cake with any of the following:

• Lemon curd folded into lightly sweetened whipped cream
• Raspberry jam topped with lightly sweetened whipped cream
• Vanilla pudding

Frost with: 7 minute frosting and top with flaked coconut.

Or: Frost with the following:
• ½ litre of whipping cream
• 2-3 tablespoons Instant vanilla pudding powder
• ½ teaspoon vanilla
• ½ teaspoon coconut extract

Place all ingredients in a large bowl and beat with mixer on high until thick. Do not over beat.
Spread whipped frosting on top and sides of cake and top with toasted coconut

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Bread for the Journey

It is our choice who we wish to serve. In Joshua's farewell message to the children of Israel, Joshua said, "Now therefore fear the Lord, and serve him in sincerity and truth!...and choose you this day whom ye will serve;...but as for ME and MY house, we will serve the Lord" (Josh.24:14-15) God is looking for people who will choose to serve HIM. We cannot go two directions at the same time. A choice has to be made. As we choose to serve Him, we become His representative, seeing the world through His eyes, ministering to it with His compassion.

I never forgot the time I saw my mother working as a volunteer in the Hospice ward. She was feeding patients with HIV/AIDS. Someone said to her, "Are you not worried about being infected by the disease? I wouldn't feed them if I was paid for it."
She smiled graciously and said, "I have chosen to serve Jesus Christ wherever He would send me, doing whatever He gave me to do."

This story speaks volumes to me. Who are you choosing to serve? This challenge is not for tomorrow, next week, or next year; it is a PRESENT challenge----choose you THIS DAY.
Joshua took a definite stand for the Lord. He displayed spiritual leadership. The way we live shows others the strength of our commitment to serving God.
This challenge is a personal one. What would your reply look like? The choice is yours.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Cranberry/Apple Muffins

These fruit and nut filled muffins are a delicious choice for breakfast or snack time.
  • 2 1/4 cups white flour
  • 1/2 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1/4 cup quick cooking oatmeal
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 tablespoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 apple, cored and coarsely chopped, I left the peel on
  • 2 cups cranberries, coarsely chopped
  • 1/2 cup melted butter
  • 3/4 cup buttermilk
  • 1 cup nuts, chopped
  • Coarse sugar, cinnamon and oatmeal for topping
  1. Whisk together flours, oatmeal, sugar, baking powder and salt in a medium size bowl. Stir in apple, cranberries and nuts. Make a well in the center.
  2. In another bowl beat eggs and buttermilk, add melted butter and mix well.
  3. Pour mixture into the well of dry ingredients, mixing just till moistened.
  4. Fill two 12 cup greased muffin tins and sprinkle with the coarse sugar, cinnamon and oatmeal.
  5. Bake at 400º for 20 to 25 minutes.
  6. Yields: 2 dozen muffins

Friday, March 18, 2011

Homemade Taco Seasoning Mix

I find that I make more and more of my seasoning mixes from scratch, along with my salad dressings as well. There are so many allergies and intolerance to food and ingredients I would prefer to say that I know what goes into something. Plus have you ever checked and seen how much sodium is in a store bought Taco Mix? Yikes! This taste just like a store bought mix, with every day ingredients you likely have on hand but with out the sodium and ingredients you can't pronounce.


Low Sodium Taco Seasoning Mix

1/4 cup dry onion flakes
1 1/2 tablespoons cornstarch
1/4 cup of chili powder
1 tablespoon cumin
1 1/2 teaspoons oregano
1 tablespoon garlic powder
1 tablespoon crushed red pepper flakes
1 tablespoons beef bouillon (I should mention I use a low sodium version, Ep*cure is my choice or omit all together if you are very strict with your sodium)

Combine all the ingredients in a jar and keep covered and store in a dry cool place.



  1. 2 Tablespoon of the mix are equal to 1 package of taco seasoning and enough for 1 pound of fried ground beef.
  2. Add 3/4 cup water for every 2 tablespoons.
  3. Simmer for 10 minutes.
  4. Use the meat in tacos, or taco salad.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Irish Meatball Stew for a Crowd


Happy St. Patricks Day.  I haven't a speck of Irish blood in me but I enjoy a good pot of stew and my nephew married a little Irish girl. ..so that is good enough reason to make some Irish Stew for me.
I put this one together for our pastorate a few weeks ago.  Don't be put off by the task of making a large amount of meatballs.  They can be made a day or two in advance and refrigerated until you are ready to use them.
It will serve 25 - 30 with a salad and some crusty buns.

Meatball Ingredients

  • 5 pounds ground beef
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 1/2 cups panko crumbs
  • 3 tablespoons minced garlic
  • 1 cup grated Parmesan cheese or other hard cheese
  • 1 large onion, minced fine
  • 3/4 cup whipping cream
  • 1 tablespoon rosemary
  • 1 tablespoon thyme
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon pepper
  1. Preheat oven to 375 F
  2. Combine all the meatball ingredients in a large bowl or a large pot if necessary using your hands.
  3. Line two rimmed cookie sheets with parchment paper.
  4. Roll meatballs about 1 1/2 inches and lay side by side onto the cookie sheets.
  5. Bake for about 20 minutes or until browned.
Stew Ingredients
  • 2 large onions, diced
  • 2 heaping tablespoons minced garlic
  • 24 ounces button mushrooms, quartered
  • 5 pounds small potatoes cut into chunks
  • 10 large carrots peeled and cut into chunks
  • 1 head of celery cut into chunks
  • 2 pounds green beans cut into chunks
  • 2 cartons beef broth 900 ml size
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon worchestire sauce
  • 1 can Guinness beer (you could substitute additional beef broth for the wine and beer but these ingredients make a difference in the complexity of the flavour)
  • 1/2 cup red wine
  • 1/4 cup cornstarch
  • fresh ground salt and pepper to taste after it has finished roasting
  1. In a very large roaster, layer the vegetables and meatballs.  If you do not have one roaster large enough you can divide it all between two and adjust the roasting time as it will cook faster.
  2. Combine the red wine and the cornstarch and set aside until 1 hour before the stew is finished.
  3. Combine the remaining ingredients and pour over the top.
  4. Bake at 350 covered for about 3 hours. Stir in the cornstarch and red wine and cook one more hour. (Stir it once each hour to  ensure that it roasts evenly.)

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Double Chocolate Mint Brownies

This is a tried and true basic brownie recipe with a mint and chocolate layer added...perfect for St. Patrick's Day or just because.


Brownies
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup cocoa
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2 eggs
  • 3/4 cup flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 cup chopped nuts
Mint Layer
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 cup icing sugar (confectioner's sugar)
  • 1-2 tablespoons cream
  • 1/2 teaspoon pure peppermint extract
  • a drop or two of green food colouring (optional)
Chocolate Glaze
  • 3 oz. semi-sweet or milk chocolate pieces
  • 1 tablespoon butter
Method:
  1. Pre-heat oven to 350°F.
  2. Melt butter in large saucepan on stove top.  
  3. Remove from heat and add sugar, cocoa, and vanilla.
  4. Beat in eggs, one at a time.
  5. Add flour and baking powder, and stir until batter is smooth.
  6. Stir in nuts.
  7. Spread evenly in a 9-inch square greased pan.
  8. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out 'almost clean'.  (Do not over bake for a moist brownie.)
  9. Remove from oven and cool completely.
  10. For mint layer, ombine softened butter, icing sugar, milk and peppermint extract and beat until smooth.  Add a little more cream if frosting is too thick. (Add green food colouring, if desired).   Spread frosting over cooled brownie base and chill.
  11. To make chocolate glaze, melt chocolate and butter in glass bowl in the microwave.  Stir until smooth.  Spread evenly over mint layer and chill for 30 minutes before slicing.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Ham &Tri-Colored Peppers with Spaghetti

This can be made with left over ham, or low fat deli ham, cut into strips sauteed together in a light broth and poured over whole wheat Spaghetti, makes a nice light sauce.
This meal is done as quickly as it takes to cook the Spaghetti, faster than ordering take out and more economical healthier too! This makes enough sauce for a 375 gm package of regular or Whole Wheat Spaghetti.


  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 red pepper
  • 1 yellow pepper
  • 1 orange pepper
  • 2 cups of deli ham or left over ham
  • 1 cup low sodium chicken broth
  • 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 3 tablespoons chopped parsley
  • 2 teaspoons dried basil
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder (optional)
  • salt and freshly ground pepper to taste.
  1. Saute julienne (thinly sliced into strips) peppers for a few minutes to soften them.
  2. Add the ham (also sliced into thin strips) and the remaining ingredients.
  3. Simmer for 5-10 minutes.
  4. *Pour sauce over Spaghetti and serve with freshly grated Parmesan Cheese, if desired*.
This is also a very economical meal to make for a crowd at a Potluck dinner. Very easily doubled or tripled.
*Don't add the sauce until you are ready to serve it, other wise it all soaks into the Spaghetti and can get dry.*


Monday, March 14, 2011

Pistachio Dessert



This is a recipe I dug out of my collection from many years ago. I made it (cutting small squares) for a bridal shower recently, but I thought it a perfect dessert to post for St Patrick's Day coming up. Look no further. Here is your dessert.

Ingredients:
  • 1/2 cup butter, room temp
  • 1 cup flour
  • 2 Tbsp sugar
  • 1/2 sliced almonds
  • 8 oz / 250 gm cream cheese
  • 2/3 cup icing sugar (powdered sugar)
  • 2 cups cool whip topping
  • 8 oz pkg instant pistachio pudding
  • 2 1/2 cups milk
  • 1 1/2 cups whipping cream
  • extra sliced toasted almonds for topping
Method:
  1. Mix butter, flour, sugar and almonds, using a pastry blender, until moist and crumbly. Press into 9X13 inch pan using the back of a spoon. Bake at 350 F for 15 minutes. Cool.
  2. Beat cream cheese, folding in icing sugar and cool whip. Spread on crust.
  3. Prepare pistachio pudding using 2 1/2 cups milk and spread over cream cheese layer, while still pourable.
  4. Whip cream and spread over pudding. Sprinkle with toasted, cooled nuts. (if you are looking for smaller servings . . . half the recipe works in an 8x8 inch pan and serves 9)

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Bread for the Journey

Psalm 46: 1-3 (ESV)
God is our refuge and strength,
a very present help in trouble.
Therefore we will not fear though the earth gives way,
though the mountains be moved into the heart of the sea,
though its waters roar and foam,
though the mountains tremble at its swelling.

From The Message
God is a safe place to hide, ready to help when we need him. 
We stand fearless at the cliff-edge of doom, 
courageous in seastorm and earthquake, 
Before the rush and roar of oceans, 
the tremors that shift mountains.
Today our thoughts and prayers join many others 
for the people in Japan.
We pray for those who have lost loved ones.
For the children, for their parents who face so much uncertainty.
For the aging and those with health concerns and needs.
For the emergency response teams and their leaders. 
For Japan's leaders.

For those of us around the world and our responsibility,
as individuals, as well as the relief organizations as they 
set their plans into action to help.
May God give wisdom.

God thank you that You care.
You are our refuge and help.
God, we will trust in You even in the storms of life.
You are a safe place to run to.
In the reality of the devastation and confusion
may Your love and faithfulness bring hope to the hearts
of the dear people of Japan.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Hearty Nachos

Tomorrow is Sunday, and most of us are always thinking...The kids are coming home...What can I serve them to eliminate those hunger pangs. Many of us grew up with the traditional Sunday Faspa, which means a light Sunday meal with Zwieback, butter, jam, maybe some cheese, cold cuts, and to end of the meal, a fresh piece of Platz. Well as time went on, I need to admit, I did not stick to the tradition of Faspa.
If you came to my house today, your Faspa would look like quite different. For years we have enjoyed a plate of Nachos. Generally we have a heavier lunch and later in the afternoon, a hearty plate of Nachos just tops off that crave for something savory. Kudos are extended to Chef Dez, who knows how to make a 'Man Nacho' dish, which I've whipped up with some minor changes. I also make my own home-made Salsa , which is an all time staple in our home. It adds that extra zip and flavor which all Nacho lovers are looking for.

Ingredients
  • 1 pound lean ground beef
  • 1 package taco season
  • 1 small onion chopped fine
  • 1/2 cup sliced black olives
  • 2 small tomatoes diced small
  • 1 jalapeno sliced.
  • 1 package Tex Mex or use 2 cups medium cheddar cheese.
  • 1 large bag Nachos
  • Salsa & sour cream

  1. Brown the ground beef with taco seasoning. Set aside
  2. On a round deep pie plate, start to build and layer all the ingredients in the following order:
  3. Nachos
  4. Cheese
  5. Beef
  6. Tomatoes
  7. Black Olives
  8. Onions
  9. Jalapenos
  10. Chili Powder
  11. Sprinkle cheese on top
  12. Your deep plate will be heaped. Bake in a pre-heated oven at 350 degrees for 10-15 minutes, waiting till the cheese has melted.
  13. Serve with side dish of Salsa and sour cream.
  14. You can vary or adjust your amounts and make a large batch on a cookie sheet.
Surprise your gang and invite them to a new version of FASPA! I don't think anyone will notice or complain, all they care about is that there is something to eat and they are all so happy and appreciative that they do not need to cook!

Marg

Friday, March 11, 2011

Crabby Wraps


Keeping a package of imitation crab meat in the freezer means you can make these anytime for a delicious and attractive lunch.

  • 8oz. / 250 gm package imitation crabmeat - squeeze out excess moisture and dice
  • 1/3 cup mayonnaise
  • 2 tablespoons chopped red pepper
  • 2 tablespoon finely chopped celery
  • 1/2 tsp.dried dill weed
  • 4 tortillas
  1. Mix all ingredients (except tortillas) together in a bowl.
  2. Spread about 1/2 to 3-4 cup mixture on a lightly buttered tortilla.
  3. Roll up tightly and press to seal.
  4. Cut in half on the diagonal.
  5. Repeat with remaining tortillas.
  6. Serve with pickles, olives or crudites and dip.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Seven Layer Casserole

This has been a family favorite recipe over the years...one I first enjoyed at my mother-in-laws table.  It is a simple one-pot meal that can cook while I am out and about.


  • 3 medium potatoes, thinly sliced
  • 1 onion, sliced into rings
  • 2-3 carrots, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 cup uncooked long-grain white rice
  • 2 cups peas, frozen
  • 1 pound pork sausage or farmer sausage
  • 1 10 oz. / 284 ml can condensed tomato soup
  • 1 cup water
  • salt and pepper to taste
  1. Lightly grease 2 1/2 quart casserole dish.
  2. Layer the potatoes, onions and carrots.
  3. Sprinkle with a layer of rice and then peas.
  4. Arrange sausages on top.
  5. Combine tomato soup with water and pour evenly over casserole.
  6. Season with salt and pepper.
  7. Cover and bake at 350°F for about 2 hours...until vegetables are tender and rice is cooked.
 
Enjoy!

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Pishky (Russian Rollkuchen)


This is my mother Nadia's version of Rollkuchen that my family grew up with. We call them Pishky. There are some variations in the ingredients.

Pishky

Ingredients:
4 C. flour
2 C. sour cream
3 eggs (beaten)
1 tsp. salt
3/4 C. sugar
1 tsp. baking soda
1/4 C. orange juice
vegetable oil to fry the Pishky in
Make well in center of flour. Mix sour cream, beaten eggs, salt, sugar, and orange juice. First blend the soda in a tablespoon of hot water then add it to the wet ingredients. Mix into flour and knead the dough. Roll out the dough on a floured surface. Cut in strips. Then cut strips on the diagonal about 4″ long and cut a slit in the center of the 4″ length. Fold the top of the piece through the hole and up again. Fry in oil until golden brown on both sides. Before serving sprinkle with powdered sugar.

My kids loved to have these hot out of the pan when they would come in from playing in the snow.
These are great right out of the pan and for a few hours but after that they aren’t as wonderful. Make small batches that you’ll gobble up quickly is my recommendation. The other thing you can do if you have more than you want to eat right away is to make a french toast casserole for breakfast with the leftovers.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Lemon Loaves


We love our lemon in the house.  It isn't quite Easter yet so we are holding off on the Paska and yet lemon seems so springtime to me.  Buy some fresh lemons. . .make a cup of tea ..add a bit of local honey and a slice of lemon and get out your loaf pans.

  • 3 cups flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 4 large eggs
  • lemon zest from 4 large lemons
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice
  • 3/4 cup sour milk  (1 teaspoon lemon juice put in a 1 cup measuring cup and filled with milk to 3/4 cup and allowed to sit for 5 minutes)
Lemon Syrup
  • 1/2 sugar
  • 1/2 cup lemon juice
Lemon Glaze
  • 2 cups powdered sugar
  • the remaining lemon juice and enough water to make a thin glaze
  1. Preheat oven to 350 F and spray two  7 1/2 X 4 X 2 loaf pans with cooking spray and line the bottom and two long sides with parchment paper.
  2. Sift together the dry ingredients onto a piece of parchment paper for quick clean up or into a bowl.
  3. In a large mixing bowl, beat together the butter and sugar on medium speed until very light. .several minutes for sure.
  4. Add the eggs one at a time, beating until combined and then the lemon zest.
  5. Combine the wet ingredients and them alternating with the dry ingredients to the butter and sugar mixture until just combined.
  6. Divide the mixture between the two loaf pans and bake until a toothpick comes out clean.. .about 45 - 50 minutes.
  7. While the cake bakes, simmer the syrup ingredients together for just a minute or so until the sugar melts.
  8. When the toothpick comes out clean of the lemon loaf.  Put the pan on a rack to cool for 10 minutes and then remove from pan.
  9. Brush the syrup over all the sides of the loaves until all the syrup has been used up.
  10. Allow to cool completely and make the glaze while you are waiting.
  11. Drizzle the glaze over the loaves and allow it to set.
  12. Serve with a nice cup of tea. . lemon slices and a small pot of honey.

Monday, March 7, 2011

Lemon Pork Piccata

This dish is so quick and easy to make that there is no real recipe.
It all depends on the quantity you want to make and how many people are going to eat.
A good dish to make for company.

  • 1 1/2 lb. Pork Tenderloin
  • 1/2 cup of seasoned flour with (salt and pepper according to taste)
  • 2 eggs, beaten with a tablespoon of water
  1. Cut the tenderloin into 1/4 inch medallions, sliced at an angle against the grain.
  2. Pound til thin with a heavy skillet or mallet. This will not take much pounding since the meat is already so tender.*
  3. Coat it with seasoned flour.
  4. Dip into the egg mixture.
  5. Then dip once more into the flour.
  6. Brown in a little oil until golden in color.
  7. Squeeze a fresh lemon over with desired amount of juice.
  8. Garnish with chopped parsley, and serve with lemon wedges on the side.
* If you have the time and you would like you can marinade the meat after it is pounded with a squeeze of fresh lemon, a clove or two of minced garlic and a drizzle of olive oil, but it is not necessary.


Sunday, March 6, 2011

Bread for the Journey



But then God our Saviour showed us his kindness and love.  He saved us, not because of the good things we did, but because of his mercy.  He washed away our sins and gave us a new life through the Holy Spirit.

Titus 3:4-5 NLT

When I recently received this beautifully wrapped gift from my friend. ..
I thought it was a lovely demonstration of her kindness and love toward me.
Don't you just love giving gifts to deserving people? I  usually have cards and little tokens of appreciation tucked away with people in mind.
It is easy to give lovely gifts to people who are nice to us. .
or to our adult children when they are a blessing to us. ..
or to our little children when they have been obedient and have demonstrated an attitude that we want to encourage.

I then thought how God gives us gifts in such a different way.  We've been studying Jonah in our weekend services in church.    When God asked Jonah to go tell the people of Nineveh to repent he ran the opposite direction and we know that did not work well for him.  After he realized that he could not disobey God and decided to go . . he was unhappy because he expected they might repent and he felt that they did not deserve God's compassion.  He went into the city. . told them to repent and as we know. ..they did.  The city meant business and seriously demonstrated that they would turn from their evil ways.  God was compassionate on the city who had sinned in every conceivable way.  They were not destroyed but rather saved. 

Then. . I thought about myself and how I perceive my own sins.  The Bible is clear when it says that sin is sin.  I needed to admit that I sometimes find it  hard to fathom that I need to repent just as much as the most evil person in the world.

God who sees my heart .. saw me for who I was and in his vast love, chose to give me (all of us)  the most amazing gift I  (we) could ever imagine.
God sent his son Jesus to die on the cross for me (us) and in his mercy, he forgave my (our) sins and gave me (us) a new life in Jesus Christ.
Humanly, it makes no sense but I am so grateful and so thankful for the gift I did not deserve but was given in grace.  No wonder we call his compassion on us . .."amazing grace."

God's love is the same for all of mankind.  We only need to see our need to repent and then accept and believe in Jesus. Can you relate to this?  Are you in need of a Saviour today?

May you have a blessed Sunday!


Saturday, March 5, 2011

Coconut Crisps


This recipe comes from Marion, whom I met on a service project in Lithuania in1994. She and her husband were from Pennsylvania, overseeing the work there as different volunteers came along. She was a delight to work with in the kitchen and, as a couple, they were an example of how to enjoy one's retirement years.
Ingredients:  
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • ¾ cups butter
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar (half brown)
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 ½ tsp vanilla
  • 2 ½ cups rolled oat
  • 1 cups flaked coconut

 Method: 
  1. Stir together flour, baking powder and salt. Set aside.
  2. Cream butter and sugar till light.
  3. Beat in eggs, one at a time.
  4. Stir in the flour mixture, vanilla and oats, then coconut.
  5. Drop by rounded tsp on greased cookie sheet.
  6. Bake at 375F, about 10 min.
  7. Yield: 4 - 5 doz. They will be soft when you take them out of the oven. Leave on cookie sheet for five minutes and then, using lifter, transfer to clean cookie sheet. Easier to remove before they crisp up completely. A very nice crispy, chewy oatmeal/coconut combination.

Friday, March 4, 2011

Chocolate Chip Oreo Cookies

These cookies will please anybody who loves chocolate! And I'm sure they would be a hit with the little ones to find a surprise in the center of the cookies. This is the recipe my grandson uses when he bakes chocolate chip cookies.

Ingredients:
  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar, packed
  • 3/4 cup white sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 3 cups flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/4 cups semi sweet chocolate chips
  • 1 package mini oreo cookies
  1. Cream together softened butter and sugars.
  2. Add eggs and vanilla and mix well.
  3. In another bowl mix together the flour, baking soda and salt.
  4. Combine the dry and wet ingredients till well blended.
  5. Chill dough for 15 minutes.
  6. Take a ball of dough, place a mini oreo in the middle and form the dough around the mini oreo. You won't use all the oreos from the package but I'm sure someone would be willing to eat the leftovers:)
  7. Place the cookie balls on a parchment lined pan.
  8. Bake at 350º for 10 minutes.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Meatball Supper


I've had this recipe for so many years, I can't remember where it came from.
If you have a bag of homemade or purchased meatballs in the freezer, you can have a tasty supper on the table inside half an hour.

  • 2 tablespoons olive or vegetable oil
  • 30 precooked meatballs, freshly made or frozen
  • 1 - 1 lb bag of carrots, peeled and sliced into 1/2" slices
  • 1 large onion diced
  • 2 cups of zucchini, sliced into 1/2" slices and then halved or quartered
  • 2 envelopes or 2 cubes of chicken bouillon
  • 1 tsp. dried basil
  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • water
  • salt and pepper
  1. In a large skillet or electric frying pan heat olive oil over medium heat. Add onion and carrots and cook until crisp tender (5 to 10 minutes), stirring occasionally.
  2. Add meatballs to frying pan.
  3. Add 1 1/2 cups water, bouillon, basil and pepper.
  4. Stir well, cover and simmer for 5- 10 minutes.
  5. Add zucchini, cover and let simmer until zucchini is crisp tender; at least another 5 minutes. Taste and add salt if needed.
  6. Mix flour with 1/3 cup cold water and add to simmering sauce. Stir until mixture thickens and comes to a simmer.
  7. Serve over rice.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Fish in Coconut Curry Sauce

We returned from a visit to Kenya recently, and here's an East African dish that we enjoyed immensely while we were there.  It was prepared for us by our hostess, who graciously gave me a copy of her recipe to take home. I didn't waste any time in cooking it up in my own kitchen!


Ingredients:

  • 3 Tablespoons oil
  • 2 - 2 1/2 pounds fish filets, cut into serving size pieces (sole, snapper, talapia)
  • 1 onion, chopped or sliced
  • 1 or 2 green bell peppers, chopped
  • 6 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 1/2 cups coconut milk
  • 3 tomatoes, skinned and chopped
  • 2-3 teaspoons curry powder
  • 2 Tablespoons lemon juice
  • salt and pepper to taste
Method:
  1. Heat the oil over medium-high heat in large skillet.  Sear the fish filets on both sides quickly and remove to a plate.  Do not cook through.
  2. Reduce the heat to medium, and add the onions and peppers.  Saute until the onion is semi-transparent. 
  3. Add garlic and saute for 1-2 more minutes.
  4. Add tomatoes, coconut milk, curry powder, lemon juice, salt and pepper.  Bring to a boil; then reduce heat to a simmer.
  5. Add the fish filets. Cover and continue to simmer until fish is cooked through (5-10 minutes). 
  6. Serve on a bed of rice.


    Tuesday, March 1, 2011

    Chicken or Turkey Tetrazini


    This is a great dish to make when you have left over chicken or turkey. 
    It's full of flavour and makes a great weeknight family supper meal.
    Serve with a green salad and crusty bread. 

    Ingredients:
    • 1 medium onion, diced
    • 1 cup sliced mushrooms
    • 1/2 cup red pepper, chopped fine
    • 3 tbsp butter
    • 4 tbsp flour
    • 2 cups water
    • 4 tsp chicken bouillon powder
    • 1/4 cup cooking sherry
    • 1/2 tsp salt
    • 1/2 tsp pepper
    • 1/2 cup cream
    • 2-3 cups cut up chicken or turkey
    • 1 375 gram package broad noodles
    • 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese
    Method:
    1. Over medium heat melt butter, add onions, mushrooms and peppers and saute until tender.
    2. Combine flour, salt, pepper and water in a jar. Shake well and stir into sauteed vegetables.
    3. Add bouillon and sherry and continue to stir over medium heat until mixture begins to slightly bubble and thicken. Add meat.
    4. Turn heat to low and stir in cream. Allow to simmer for 5-8 minutes. The sauce should now be a gravy consistency. If too thick add a little more cream or milk.
    5. Boil noodles as directed on package. 
    6. Place noodles in a well greased casserole dish. 
    7. Pour sauce over noodles and lightly stir.
    8. Top with Parmesan cheese. Bake at 350º for 30-40 minutes.