Saturday, April 30, 2011

Strawberry Rhubarb Jam

The rhubarb harvest in our area is just beginning.  The first crop from my garden went into jam this week...and we enjoyed it on fresh biscuits before it had a chance to cool off. 


  • 5 cups chopped rhubarb
  • 3 1/2 cups sugar
  • 1/4 cup orange or apple juice
  • 1 small package strawberry flavored gelatin
  1. Combine chopped rhubarb, sugar and juice. 
  2. Stir well and allow to sit for about an hour.
  3. Bring to a boil over medium heat....and continue to boil for 12 minutes, stirring continually. 
  4. Remove from heat and stir in gelatin.
  5. Pour into sterile jars and refrigerate.  (Can also be frozen).


Enjoy...

Friday, April 29, 2011

Chocolate Biscuit Cake for Prince William

Have you been up all night watching the wedding of Prince William and Kate?
Wasn't she a beautiful bride and he a handsome prince?
We simply can't let this day go by without posting a cake in their honor.
When I heard that he had chosen Chocolate Biscuit Cake for the grooms cake I googled it and saw that it was hardly a recipe at all.  I regularly make ganache to frost cakes and this cake is essentially broken cookies added to melted ganache.
It's been  well known that Queen Elizabeth made sure that this cake was served for tea when Prince William would come to the palace.


It's a no bake cake with just a handful of ingredients.  You can tweak this however you like and be sure that it is nearly impossible to ruin.  I used  a combination of little bricks of dark and milk chocolate and 3/4 of a large package of Digestive biscuits.  It seems that if you open the package before you plan to make it. ..your package might not be full when you make your cake.  That happened to me so I added in some Breton Original crackers and it tastes terrific.  The cake can be made a day or two ahead, just wrap well with plastic wrap once it is firmly chilled.  Here is how I made my cake.

  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter
  • 1 cup whipping cream (33 % milk fat)
  • 1 pound chocolate. .half dark and half milk
  • 2 tbsp. cane syrup ( If not available you could use corn syrup)
  • 1 egg
  • 1 large packet  (500 gm)  or 2 7.5 ounce packages digestive biscuits. . .or 3/4 package and some Breton's.  (The exact amount is not a huge deal. . .if you want it more biscuity then add more biscuits and if you want more solid chocolate  ..add less.  Simple. If you can't find digestive biscuits where you live, just substitue any plan tea biscuit.
  1. Line a 9 inch Spring form pan with parchment paper. .and then use one long strip to line the side once the pan is closed.  It will be loose in there but will quickly be pushed to the sides once you pour in your cake batter.
  2. Melt the butter over low heat, add the whipping cream and chopped chocolate and stir until melted.  If you are worried about scorching the chocolate, do it over a double boiler but do not allow the chocolate to get wet. .it will seize on you and you'll have a mess.  Alternately, heat it in the microwave and stir every minute until it is melted.
  3. Add the cane syrup and stir well.
  4. In a small bowl, beat the egg with a fork, add a small amount of melted chocolate into the egg and beat ..add a bit more chocolate to adjust the egg to heat.  Repeat this two more times so that your egg does not turn to scrambled egg.  Pour the egg and chocolate back into the chocolate and continue to stir over the heat one more minute.  The mixture should start to thicken slightly when the egg cooks.  If you are heating the chocolate in the microwave,  remove every 20 seconds and stir for an additional cooking time of 1 minute.
  5. Put the digestive biscuits in a large zip loc bad ..squeezing out the air.  Crust to almond sized chunks.  Some pieces will turn to crumbs. .this is okay.
  6. Stir the digestive biscuits into the melted chocolate mixture.
  7. Pour into the prepared pan and chill until solid.
  8. Remove from pan and set on a cooling rack which is on a piece of waxed paper.
  9. Remove from pan, flip over to have the bottom at the top and pour ganache over, chill  and serve with whipped cream.
Melted Ganache
  • 1 cup whipping cream
  • enough chocolate chips to just come to the top of the cream.
  1. Simply warm your cream until bubbles begin to form.
  2. Dump in the chocolate chips. ..just enough so you can see them poking through the cream.
  3. Stir until silky smooth.
  4. Pour over the cake and smooth over sides.  Chill.

May Prince William and his bride Kate have a long and loving relationship.
God save the Queen!

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Hired Hand Macaroni Casserole



Although I'm sure most of you make some kind of hamburger macaroni casserole,
this recipe originates with my MIL and comes with a story.

When Dad and Mom Klassen needed more outdoor help than their 2 boys could provide,
they often hired a man from Greendale. He had little education but knew how to work hard and kept my husband and his brother to task. He had a large heart and worked willingly even when he could not expect payment so he was sometimes taken advantage of because of this.
He had an equally large appetite but almost no teeth. Mom met these challenges by making this casserole in copious quantities when he came to work. I've added a few spices to the original version but otherwise it's the same as Mom K made it.

In our family this casserole bears his name but I've renamed it for this blog.
Whatever it's called it is popular with kids of all ages.
  • 3 cups macaroni
  • 1 lb. hamburger
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1/2 cup chopped red pepper
  • 1/2 cup chopped green pepper
  • salt and pepper
  • 2 teaspoons basil
  • 1 teaspoon oregano
  • 1 213 ml tin tomato sauce
  • 1 234 ml tin tomato soup - undiluted
  • 1/2 cup ketchup or bottled chili sauce
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 cups grated cheese - cheddar and/or mozzarella
  1. Cook macaroni in salted boiling water. drain.
  2. While macaroni is cooking,brown hamburger in a fry pan, draining excess fat and place in large casserole dish (or 2 smaller ones). Add salt and pepper to taste and set aside
  3. Add onions and peppers to the pan and sautè until wilted. Add to casserole.
  4. Add soup, sauce and ketchup, basil and oregano and mix well with hamburger and vegetables.
  5. Top with grated cheese (be generous)
  6. Bake at 350º for 1/2 and hour or until casserole bubbles.
  7. Serve with a green salad.
Note: If you like, you can make this in 2 casseroles, eat one now and freeze the other for a night when you don't have time to cook.



Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Lemon Chicken Stir-fry

We loved this chicken stir fry and the sauce has a surprising ingredient. Pair it up with cooked rice or noodles and you have yourself a quick and wonderful meal.

Ingredients:
  • 3 boneless chicken breasts, cut in strips
  • 2 tablespoons oil
  • 2 cups sugar snap peas, trimmed
  • 1 cup of red peppers, cut in strips
  • 1 mango, peeled and cut in chunks..if you don't have a mango just omit, it will still be good
  • 1 small package lemon jelly powder
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 2 tablespoons Asian Sesame Dressing
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  1. Heat oil in a large pan on medium high heat. Add the chicken strips and cook until thoroughly cooked, stirring occasionally.
  2. Add the sugar snap peas and peppers, stir and cook for 2 minutes or until preferred tenderness.
  3. Mix together cornstarch, jelly powder, water, dressing, garlic and salt and whisk till jelly powder is dissolved.
  4. Add to pan with the chicken, peas and peppers and cook till sauce thickens. Stir in mango chunks. 
  5. Serve hot on cooked rice or noodles. 
  6. Yields: 4 to 5 servings  

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Eggs A la Goldenrod

For those of us who made Seerney Paska this is a great recipe for using up all those egg whites. The basic white sauce can be kind of bland for some who like some zip in their food so I added some prepared mustard to the sauce along with some chives. The chives give the dish some added color.

Eggs a la Goldenrod

Ingredients:

2 Tablespoons butter
2 Tablespoons flour
2 Cups milk
1/2 teaspoon salt
A pinch of white pepper (you can substitute black pepper if you’d like)
2 Tablespoons snipped chives
A Tablespoon or more of prepared mustard according to taste. We enjoyed the country mustard with horseradish added.
8 hard boiled eggs.
4 slices of toasted bread cut into triangles.

Method:

Peel the hard boiled eggs and separate the yolk from the white. Slice the egg whites into bite size portions. Press the yolks through a sieve and set aside. Melt the butter in a heavy bottomed saucepan over low heat. Add the flour and blend well. Add the salt and the pepper. After approx. 4 minutes of cooking over low heat add the 2 cups of milk and turn up the heat to medium. Stir constantly until the milk begins to thicken. Whisk in the mustard. Add the chives and the eggs whites and heat through.

Toast the bread and cut each piece into 4 triangles or whatever shape you’d like. Place bread on a plate and scoop a good portion of the prepared white sauce mixture over the bread. Garnish with the egg yolk that was pressed through a sieve.

Note: In retrospect I think this recipe would also work well with some cooked crumbled sausage or bacon added to the white sauce.

This recipe will make at least 4 generous servings.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Swiss Steak




I love meals that I can cook in my slow cooker, especially if I have a busy day, or plan for company or family coming for Sunday dinner after church.
This is a versatile dish that can easily made into more if you are cooking for a larger crowd.
I made this for 16 people and used about 1/2 lb. per person.
But to make for 6-8 servings start with-
  • 3 lbs of round steak cut into pieces, the size of your palm.
  • 1/2 cup of seasoned flour
  • 2 large onions chopped
  • 2 green or red peppers
  • 1 can of tomato sauce 398 ml/ approximately 1 and 2/3 cups
  • 1/2 of the can with water
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • Salt and Pepper to taste
  1. Coat the round steak with the seasoned flour and brown in a bit of Olive Oil.
  2. Place the browned steak in a casserole dish or Slow Cooker
  3. Saute the onions and peppers until soft
  4. Place on top of steak.
  5. Pour over the tomato sauce, water and Worcestershire sauce
  6. Cover and bake at 350 for 2 hours.
  7. or on high in the slow cooker for 4 hours or Low for 8 hours
  8. Serve with Mashed Potatoes Rice or Noodles, good with any of these, pick your favorite.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Bread For The Journey / High Hopes Part 2 ~ Easter Sunday~



Thank you for joining us this glorious day of celebration of Christs resurrection.
Did God fail......Here is the rest of the story. If you missed Part 1 just scroll down a bit.
A continuation from the book "Diapers, Pacifiers and other Holy things, written by Lorraine Pintus. lorrainepintus.com

We have an advantage over Mary. We know the end of her story. We understand how, even though it seemed impossible, God would fulfill His promises to her.
Knowing this, wouldn't you love to step back in time and comfort Mary at the foot of the cross? Wouldn't you love to put your arm around her and whisper, "Don't cry, Mary! It's going to be okay. No grave can hold your son. He will be king. God hasn't let you down. Be patient; you will see. God is about to surpass all you've ever dared to hope or dream!"
God has an advantage over you, too. He knows the end of your story. He already knows how you will get through the thing in front of you.
Can I put my arm around you and whisper something in your ear? "Don't despair! God will not fail you. He has a plan. Be patient; you will see. God intends to do something in you and through you that will surpass all you've ever dared to hope or dream."
Our God is mighty. Bigger than anything facing you. Trust Him. Trust in His high hopes for you. He says, "For I am going to do something in your days that you would not believe, even if you were told" (Hab. 1:5).

"With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible."
Matthew 19:26


HAPPY EASTER

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Lemon Poppyseed Bundt Cake

This cake has been a spring favorite at our home for many years.  Quick and easy...moist and yummy...you can't go wrong!


  • 1 lemon cake mix (510 gr / 18 1/4 oz)
  • 1 package instant lemon pudding (99gr / 3.4 oz)
    4 eggs
  • 1/2 cup oil
  • 1 cup warm water
  • 1/4 cup poppy seeds
  • 1/2 cup icing (confectioner's) sugar
  • juice of one lemon
  1. In large bowl, combine cake mix and pudding mix.
  2. Add the water, eggs and oil...and mix for about 30 seconds on low speed.
  3. Stir in poppy seeds...and mix well.
  4. Pour into a greased bundt pan.
  5. Bake at 350°F for about 50 minutes, or until inserted toothpick comes out clean. (These can also be baked in 6-8 mini-bundts for about 30 minutes.)
  6. Remove from pans and drizzle with glaze while still warm.
  7. For the glaze...combine icing sugar with lemon juice, adding more icing sugar if necessary to get right consistency.
Glaze option: Beat together 1/2 cup cream cheese, 1 cup icing sugar and the juice of 1 lemon.


If you are needing a dessert for tomorrow...this recipe may be just the thing!



Print

Friday, April 22, 2011

Bread For The Journey / High Hopes Part 1~ Good Friday~


1 Peter 1:18-19


For you know that God paid a ransom to save you from the empty life you inherited from your ancestors. And the ransom he paid was not mere gold or silver. It was the precious blood of Christ, the sinless, spotless Lamb of God.

If you join us regularly you will see that today's devotional is much longer than what we usually do. I want to share with you a devotional that comes from one of my all time favorite devotional books called, "Diapers, Pacifiers and other Holy Things" written by Lorraine Pintus. I give this book as baby gifts. It is a great book of encouragement to women of all ages, even though it was written with young moms in mind. Likely written out of her own life experiences as a young mother in hopes to encourage others. I love this devotional, please take the extra time to read it, it is so worth your while.
If you would like further information regarding Lorraine Pintus her books and speaking engagements here is her website;
lorrainepintus.com
This devotional is so fitting for this Easter weekend. I am overwhelmed with His personal sacrifice for me......

If ever a mother had high hopes for her son, it was Mary. When God arranges a miraculous conception, a birth heralded by angels, and visitation by royalty, something big is in the works.
As Jesus kicked within Mary's womb, She knew her child was destined for the greatest greatness. Set apart to lead a nation. Called to deliver God's own people.
Chosen for........a cross?
As Mary Gazed from the foot of a cross toward her beaten, dying son, what did she feel?
Anger? Of course! Her innocent son, humble and loving, hung on the nails of other people's sin. Righteousness suffered at the hands of the guilty. Good crucified while evil walked free. Such injustice was an outrage!
Agony? Certainly! Her heart broke over her own inability to comfort her firstborn during His hour of greatest need. She longed to wipe the blood from His feet, to put cold cloths on His swollen eyes and to gently clean the gouges in His back where the whip had slashed His skin. As His collapsing lungs gasped for air, her own breath became a curse to her, a reminder that while life flowed through her, it flowed out of her dying son.
But the emotion Mary felt most strongly, the emotion that pulled her to her knees and ripped through her soul, was despair. Cruel, hateful despair that smashed her dreams, shattered her faith, and left her screaming in silent darkness, "Why"?
Why, God? Why did You allow this to happen to Your beloved? Why didn't You stop Pilate before he pronounced the sentence? You sent fire from heaven to save Elijah and consume the prophets of Baal. Couldn't You have done the same to save Your own Son?
Why, God? You told Isaiah to announce His coming. You sent an angel to proclaim He would be a king. You said He'd sit upon the throne of David, that He would reign forever, why did you promise these things of they were never to be?
Why did you give Him power to heal the sick? to scatter demons? to raise the dead? Why did You stir up a nation through Him only to let Him die?
When He was two years old, You snatched Him from the jaws of death, For what? For this? For a cross?
A picture flashed through Mary's mind. Three days earlier she had watched as the people lined the road at the Mount of Olives, joyfully praising God, waving palm branches as Jesus road into Jerusalem on a donkey.
"Hosanna!" they shouted. "Blessed is the king of Israel" (John 12:13).
Mary was certain, then that Jesus would come into His kingdom. But the people turned on Him. Shouts of "Hosanna" became cries of "Crucify Him!" Rather than Jesus leading the Jews, the Jews had led Him......to Golgotha. Instead of raising Him to a throne, they had lifted him on a cross.
"King of the Jews" mocked the sign above his head. Mary longed to rip it down, to throw it at the sneering crowd and scream "Look what you've done to my son!"
Instead, she slumped at the cross and wept. It was too late. Her son would die. Jesus would never be king. the people had lost their Savior.
God had failed.
Or had He?
Join us Easter Sunday for the rest of the story.
Permission granted by Lorraine Pintus to post this devotional.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Paska

Paska, Books, Lepps Farms...too much excitement for one week. By now most of us are back in our kitchens trying to prepare our last minute Easter Paska.
We all have our favorites and so we repeat them over and over, because our families love them. I'm sure by now, you've all tried Lovella's Paska Recipe, which is the recipe that united us women together. Thank-you Lovella for a wonderful tutorial.
But today, I will share with you our family's tried and true version, the one that my kids keep asking me me to bake, the one in the big pan that feeds the whole family.
What's most important is, that this keeps bringing traditions and families together.
I highly recommend that you check out Ellen's Paska Spread. I will be making this spread this year. When I tasted it, I realized that my grandmother had made it many years ago...but I could still savor the taste.
Remember, it's only Thursday, it' never to late to make Paska...Keep practicing.
  • 1 cup milk (1/2 cup cream and 1/2 cup milk)
  • 1/2 cup melted butter
  • 1 cup water
  • 3 Tbsp. yeast
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 8 - 10 whole eggs
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 2 Tbsp. lemon zest
  • 10 cups flour.
Kneading Machine Procedure
  1. Heat milk just to a scalding level, then add butter which will melt in the milk.
  2. Add 1 cup water to the milk mixture and by now this will have cooled down the hot milk.
  3. In mixing bowl blend half of the flour with fast rising yeast, and add salt.
  4. Add liquids and blend for 5 minutes on lowest setting.
  5. Combine sugar and eggs and lemon zest into a mixing bowl and beat for several minutes.
  6. Add remaining flour and add egg mixture into the kneading bowl, and knead at a high setting till the dough pulls away from the mixing bowl.
  7. Dough texture should remain soft.
  8. Let the dough rise in the mixing bowl till doubled in size. Cover with saran wrap and towel.
  9. Meanwhile prepare your baking pans with cooking oil or parchment paper.
  10. Shape your dough into preferred pans and let rise again for 1 hour or till doubled in size.
  11. Bake at 325 degrees. Buns need 20 minutes, while loaves need about 35-40 minutes.
  12. Ice with your favorite spread.

Here's my favorite Icing ~ And I love this one because you can make it ahead of time and keep it in the fridge up to three months. It's also excellent for cinnamon buns.
  • 2 tablespoons cold water
  • 41/2 tablespoons white sugar
  • 2/3 cups shortening
  • 1 egg
  • 21/2 cup icing sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
Dissolve white sugar in water. Shake or stir frequently. Set aside. Beat remaining ingredients to the consistency of whipped cream. Beat in sugar and water mixture. Store covered in refrigerator. Will keep up to 3 months.
Most of our family will slice the Paska and spread it on like butter. So take the extra spread along with you. And you must always add many colorful sprinkles.

Meanwhile, let's not loose the real message of Easter in Paska making, but rather focus on who Jesus is; the Crucifixion and the Resurrection.

Editorial announcement from Lovella .. .
Thank you for all the wonderful encouraging comments on yesterday's post.  Each comment brought us smiles and oh how we wished we could give away dozens of books. 

The winner is Sharina. . .and here is her comment.  .  Please email me with your address and we'll have a book sent out from the warehouse. . .lickety split.
So excited that your book is here! I would love a copy! This blog has been wonderful for this newlywed couple! A friend sent me the link as part of a wedding gift, and it has filled our table (and tummies!) many a time this past year! The best part was attempting a cabbage roll recipe and actually succeeding! I then told my husband that I had conquered the world. :D Thank you for inspiring us with yummy looking food and step-by-step, fail-proof directions!
Sharina

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Mennonite Girls Can


The Books are being packed up at the warehouse and your orders should be in the mail in the next few days! 
Thank you Mennonite Publishing House!

To celebrate . .. .we'll be doing a random draw for a book today!
Tell us what you love about our blog and maybe even who you plan to give a book to.
Alright. . .scroll down to see Anneliese's beautiful Lavendar Cupcakes.


And the winner is.  .
The winner is Sharina. . .and here is her comment.  .  Please email me with your address and we'll have a book sent out from the warehouse. . .lickety split.
So excited that your book is here! I would love a copy! This blog has been wonderful for this newlywed couple! A friend sent me the link as part of a wedding gift, and it has filled our table (and tummies!) many a time this past year! The best part was attempting a cabbage roll recipe and actually succeeding! I then told my husband that I had conquered the world. :D Thank you for inspiring us with yummy looking food and step-by-step, fail-proof directions!
Sharina

Poppy Seed Lavender Cupcakes

These little cupcakes are a new recipe to me, given to me by Doreen and aneleganttea.com. I made these for a bridal shower recently, but I thought they would be nice to post for Easter. English Lavender is safe to use in cooking but should be used sparingly, so your food does not taste like perfume. One of the more popular things to do is to take a cup of sugar, throw in some lavender and seal it up. Use this sugar in any cake or cookie recipe you have for a subtle but amazing lavender taste. You can purchase lavender at orgnaic or natural food stores if you do not have access to home grown.

Ingredients: 
  • 2 eggs
  • ¾ cup sugar
  • 1 tsp lemon zest
  • ½ cup oil
  • 1 1/4 cup flour
  • ½ tsp soda
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 Tbsp poppy seeds
  • 1 Tbsp lavender
  • ½ cup sour cream 
Method:
  1. Beat eggs well. Beat in the sugar mixed with lemon zest, poppy seeds and lavender.
  2. Stir in oil until well mixed and vanilla.
  3. Mix dry ingredients. Then add alternately with sour cream to wet ingredients.
  4. Scoop (using small melon baller size scoop) into prepared muffin tins.
  5. Bake 13 min at 350 F. Yield: 36 mini cupcakes
  6. Ice with cream cheese frosting. Sprinkle with colored sugar or sprinkles. 

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Devilled Eggs

Devilled eggs are a wonderful addition to a buffet table, appetizer selection,
or served along with salads, cold cuts, buns and cheese.

Ingredients:
  • 6 large eggs, hard boiled
  • 1/3 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/4 tsp prepared mustard
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp white or black pepper
  • 1 tbsp finely chopped chives or green onions
Method:
  1. Hard boil eggs and peel.
  2. When completely cooled, cut each egg in half.
  3. Scoop yolk of eggs into a small bowl. Add remaining ingredients and mash together well with a fork.
  4. Fill a pastry bag with filling and pipe into hollowed out egg white shells. Or, using a small spoon place little mounds into each shell. 
  5. To add a nice touch, sprinkle with paprika, very finely chopped parsley, or more finely chopped chives or green onions. Refrigerate until ready to serve. Best served the day it is made. If you want to make them the day ahead, get everything ready, seal shells and yolk mixture in separate containers and fill the next day. 


Monday, April 18, 2011

Glorified Rice

There was a time when glorified rice was a favorite dish at our place...but I hadn't thought of it in years.  I believe my mother-in-law introduced me to this recipe...and it was often served as a salad to accompany a holiday meal.  I am always looking for gluten-free alternatives to serve our care group, and made glorified rice recently...served up in individual parfaits as a dessert.  Some had no idea what it might be...and another came back for seconds saying, "Now that is a blast from the past!"  Basically, it's a rice pudding.


  • 2 cup cooked white rice (cold)
  • 1 tin (14 oz / 398 ml) crushed pineapple, drained
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 cup mini-marshmallows
  • 1 cup whipping cream
  • 1 Tablespoon sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla

  1. Mix rice, pineapple, sugar and marshmallows in a bowl.
  2. Whip cream with additional sugar and vanilla until stiff.  
  3. Fold into rice mixture.
  4. Chill.
  5. Garnish with fresh slices of pineapple or fresh strawberries.
  6. Serves 6-8

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Bread for the Journey

From Psalm 87 -- Think on THAT !

Glorious things are spoken of you, O City of God....

And of Zion it will be said,

This one and that one were born in her.

And the Most High Himself shall establish her.

The Lord will record, when he registers the people... "This one was born there!"

Selah

I dread turning on the morning news knowing I will only hear more 'bad' news.

Another disaster, another accident, another crime, rising gas prices, political unrest, fighting, war..... It is all so quickly depressing.



But then I read scripture passages like Psalm 87 where God speaks through the psalmist of something that gives Him great joy .. It is GOOD NEWS.


The word ending the psalm is 'Selah' which means "THINK on THAT!"

The Psalm is talking about the 'City of God' which Hebrews 12:22 indentifies as the heavenly city that is home to those that have been 'born again' because they put their faith in Jesus Christ .


But God's expressed joy in this psalm is not focused on the city.

Note the words... "This one.."


God looked down the corridors of time, His eyes searching for ONE among the multitudes and His finger joyfully pointed to YOU as He recorded your name and proclaimed to all..

"This one was born in her!"

"This one belongs to Me, to my City. This one is safe!"


In God's City there is no bad news... only personal promises that God will keep!

Selah ... Think on THAT !

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Carrot Cream Cheese Whoopie Pies


If you enjoy carrot cake with cream cheese frosting, I think you will love this pretty little sandwich cookie that will fit perfectly with your Easter dessert menu.  If you think children will rather enjoy some butter icing between the layers. .go ahead and fill with the icing of your choice.
Make them ahead during the week and store them in the freezer.  Since they have a cream cheese filling, do not store them unrefrigerated.
The cookie is sweet but is balanced with the cream cheese filling.

  • 1 1/4 cup flour
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup creamed honey
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 3/4 cup finely grated carrots (about 2 medium)
  • 1/2 cup solid packed dates (chopped very fine)
  • 8 ounces cream cheese
  • 3 tablespoons creamed honey
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  1. Whisk together flour, cinnamon, baking soda and salt in a bowl.
  2. In a food processor or mixing bowl, combine butter, brown sugar and honey until creamed.
  3. Add the egg, honey and lemon juice.  .pulse until creamed or mix with beaters.
  4. Add the dry ingredients and the carrots and dates and pulse until just combined. .or mix with beaters.
  5. Refrigerate batter for 1 hour.
  6. Preheat oven to 350 convection or 375 regular bake.
  7. Using a small ice cream scoop to keep the cookies even in size, drop 2 inches apart on a parchment paper lined cookie sheet.
  8. Bake until browned.
  9. Remove to a cooling rack.
  10. Combine the cream cheese, the 3 tablespoons honey and the 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice until creamy and smooth.  (using the food processor makes this a quick job)
  11. Divide the cookies in half.  Put one teaspoon of cream cheese filling on a cookie and top with it's twin.
  12. Sift some powdered sugar over all the cookies while they are still on the rack.
  13. Freeze in a single layer and then store in a covered container in the freezer or overnight in the refrigerator.

Friday, April 15, 2011

Lime Jello Salad

Many years ago my sister in law gave me this delicious recipe that uses an interesting ingredient. You can use any flavor of jello, mandarin oranges instead of fruit cocktail added to orange jello is very nice too. I used to make this jello salad for Sunday lunch, especially when we had company joining us. It can be prepared the day before serving. This salad would be a wonderful addition to the Easter dinner menu.

  • 1 cup hot water

  • 1 small package lime jello

  • 1/4 cup mayo

  • 1 cup minature marshmallows

  • 1 cup whipping cream, whipped (I sweetened it with 2 tbsp icing sugar)

  • 1 small can of fruit cocktail, drained


  1. Dissolve jello in hot water.

  2. Whisk in mayo until blended, and chill in fridge till it resembles egg whites, I let it sit for 45 minutes.

  3. Once chilled, fold in the whipped cream, marshmallows and fruit cocktail.

  4. Refrigerate until serving time.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Slow Cooker Salsa Chicken

This Slow Cooker Salsa Chicken stretched into 3 full meals for our little family.

Remember to spray your crock with cooking spray to make your clean up real easy!

For the Salsa Shredded Chicken

6 boneless, skinless chicken breasts

1 24oz. jar of Mexican Style Salsa (any type you enjoy)

1 can cream style corn (approx. 15oz)

Spray the crock with cooking spray. Add a little of the salsa in the bottom. Add the 6 breasts and cover with the rest of the salsa. Cook on low for 7 hours. After 7 hours shred the chicken in the crock. At this point add the can of Cream Style Corn (approx. 15oz.) and mix well. Switch the crock to high heat and cook for approx. 20 more minutes. Now you are ready for a few different meals. Let's start with burritos.

You can have everyone build their own burrito. You will need a package of flour tortillas. Warm the tortillas spoon a good portion of the shredded chicken on the tortilla and then add any of the following fillings in the tortilla, wrap and enjoy. Some ideas for fillings to go with the shredded chicken are cheese, cilantro, jalapenos, tomatoes, beans, chopped onions, prepared rice and avocado.

We had enough leftover shredded chicken to make other meals during the week. Chicken Enchiladas was the dish I made the following night.

I bought Green Enchilada Sauce for these, a large can about 24oz. or two smaller cans. Heat up half the sauce in a saucepan and heat up each tortilla in the sauce to make it more pliable. Fill the tortilla with the chicken and some cheese. Roll up and put in baking dish. I sprayed the baking dish with Pam before I filled it with the enchiladas. After all the rolled tortillas are in the baking dish cover with remaining sauce and with more cheese. Bake in 350 degree oven for 30 minutes or so…

Here is the baking dish of enchiladas after they had been heated through.

This was a filling meal with a fresh salad on the side…

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Cherry Squares - Gluten Free

This is an unusual square that I used to make and love. Here is my gluten-free version that you need not explain is gluten-free except to those to whom it matters. What makes this square unusual is the yeast in the pastry. The flavours blend well in this not-so-sweet dessert square.

  • 2/3 cup warm milk

  • 1 tsp sugar

  • 1 tbsp yeast

  • 1 cup pancake flour mix (recipe found here - scroll down for the mix )

  • 1 cup sweet rice flour

  • 1 cup butter

  • 4 egg yolks

  • 1 tin cherry pie filling

  • 2 tbsp instant tapioca

  • sweet rice for rolling

  • toasted almonds

  • white icing


  1. Whisk sugar and yeast into the warm milk and let proof

  2. Cut 1 cup butter in to the blended flours

  3. Add the 4 yolks to the proofed yeast and beat together until well blended

  4. Pour liquids into the flour mixture and mix into a ball

  5. Turn dough out onto surface sprinkled with sweet rice flour, and knead lightly adding ONLY enough flour to allow it to be handled.

  6. Divide dough in half, rolling out one piece between sweet rice sprinkled plastic wrap layers. Roll it out quite thin , to fit a 9 x12 inch pan.

  7. Remove top plastic wrap and picking up dough with lower plastic wrap turn into pan... pushing up the edges of dough .. remove plastic wrap

  8. Stir the 2 tbsp of tapioca into the cherry filling and spread evenly over bottom pastry layer

  9. Roll out the top layer and place over the filling making sure to crimp the edges

  10. Prick the top with a fork to allow steam to escape

  11. Bake for 45 minutes at 350 degree oven

  12. Remove when golden and cool... while still warm cover with white icing and sprinkle with toasted almond flakes.

Enjoy warm or cool... freezes well.


*

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Chicken Souvlakia and Roasted Potatoes

Tell them it's Greek night!
Marinated chicken pieces and potato wedges are ready to 
pop into the oven half an hour before you are ready to serve dinner.
Serve with pita,  Tzatziki dip and oven roasted asparagus topped
with feta and a squeeze of fresh lemon.

Ingredients:
  • 2 pounds boneless skinless chicken breasts, cubed
  • 2/3 cups olive oil
  • 1/3 cup fresh squeezed lemon juice
  • 1 tbsp white wine vinegar
  • 2-3 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 3 tsp dried oregano
  • 2 bay leaves, crumbled
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp pepper
  • 6-8 white potatoes, cut into wedges
Method:
  1. Cut meat into cubes and potatoes into wedges. 
  2. Combine remaining ingredients into a large seal able non-metal container.
  3. Thread meat onto skewers and place in container with marinade along with the potato wedges.
  4. Refrigerate to marinate for several hours or overnight. 
  5. When ready to bake, place potatoes in a shallow roasting pan, and lay skewers side by side right on top of potatoes. Pour all remaining marinade over top. 
  6. Bake at 325º for 30-35 minutes or until potatoes are tender.
Note: Several people have tried this and found the potatoes are taking much longer to bake through. I used new white potatoes and had them in a single layer under the chicken. You may want to roast your potatoes 10-15 minutes first and then put the chicken on top for the 30-35 minutes. You don't want to dry out the chicken....but you also want your potatoes done to perfection! Good luck!!


Monday, April 11, 2011

Tortilla Egg Cups


These little egg filled ramekins make a nutritious lunch.
It take minutes to throw together and half an hour in the oven while you set the table and cut up some veggies and fruit.

  • 4 small tortilla shells (I used whole wheat but you can use any flavour of your choice)
  • 8 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon (or less if you don't like it spicy) ground chili paste (sambal oelek) found in the Asian food section
  • 1/2 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon dry mustard
  • 3/4 cup cottage cheese
  • 3 tablespoons chopped sweet red pepper
  • 3 tablespoons chopped chives
  • 2 slices deli ham finely diced or ready cooked bacon
  • grated cheddar for sprinkling on top
  • salt and pepper to taste
  1. Preheat oven to 375 F
  2. Spray 4 ramekins with cooking spray and ease the tortilla shells inside each cup trimming the excess shell and pressing to fit. Put the ramekins on a baking sheet.
  3. Beat together the eggs, chili paste, dry mustard, chili powder, cottage cheese.
  4. Add the veggies and bacon.
  5. Divide evenly between the cups.
  6. Grind some fresh salt and pepper over top.
  7. Sprinkle with cheese.
  8. Bake for about 30 minutes or until eggs are set.
  9. Remove from ramekins before serving.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Let My Life Song Sing to You!


Over the past months, I've been challenged more and more about living a life well lived.
Opportunities come and go...at work, in my home, on my travels, with my acquaintances.
How do I reflect life in my ordinary world, with boldness and confidence?
How do others see me? Am I living my life well?



In 2 Timothy 4: 6-8 Paul talks about his departure from the earth.
Then he goes on to say: "I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. Now there is in store for me the crown of righteousness...."
What defines you are?
Who do you live for?
How do you live?
What is the outcome?

Following Jesus is not a spectator sport, it's an active work of daily discipline, looking to Jesus as the author and finisher of our race, walking uprightly, serving him. It's not all about winning the race, as much as it is about finishing the race...with faithful completion.
It is my prayer that I too, will be known as a person running the race with purpose and vision, rather than being caught up with religiosity, and that my words and actions reflect that He is the risen Lord.

As we prepare for the Easter season, my prayer is that he will be formed in me.

"Let My Life Song Sing to You."

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Pork Chops in a Zesty Barbeque Sauce with Smoked Sausage



My mother always made a real effort in making a nice Sunday lunch to welcome us home after church. After we were married, it was a standing invitation for our family to join them.
Now I must admit that it has taken me a while to carry on the tradition, but I am happy to say that in the last few years, chances are there is a nice lunch waiting after church.
I chose to stretch the Pork Chops this time by adding smoked sausage to the sauce while it is cooking. The sausage only takes about 30 minutes to cook once it is thawed.
Serve this with rice, even mashed potatoes are excellent, and a crisp salad. There is always ice cream in the freezer for dessert......VOILA, Sunday lunch is served. This is also a great make ahead dish and just reheated for busy days.




~~START WITH~~

  • 8 lean pork chops
  • 1/4 cup of flour
  • salt and pepper to season
  1. Coat the chops in flour and brown til a nice golden color.
  2. Pour over the following sauce and cook in the same skillet on simmer for 40 minutes, or other options are the crock pot on low for 6-8 hours or high for 4. Or in the roaster in a 350 oven for 40 minutes. You choose what works best for you.
  3. Add smoked sausage if you would like, during the last 30 minutes of cooking time if you choose to add some.
~~SAUCE~~
  • 1/3 cup honey
  • 1/3 cup brown sugar
  • 1/3 cup soy sauce
  • 1/3 cup ketchup
  • 3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 2/3 cup water
  • 2 cloves of garlic minced
  • 8 drops of Tabasco sauce or according to taste
  • 2 tablespoons of dry mustard
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • juice of one orange ( may add wide strips of the orange rind into the sauce for extra flavor and then remove before serving)
Mix all the ingredients together and pour over meat and simmer about 40-60 minutes.This sauce is good over chicken as well.

Friday, April 8, 2011

Chocolate Chip Date Cake

This cake's unusual combination of flavours -
chocolate, date and orange,
are a treat to the taste buds and make a great addition to a packed lunch.
Or you can serve it with a dollop of whipped cream for a satisfying dessert.


  • 1 cup chopped dates
  • 1 teaspoon soda
  • 1 cup boiling water
  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tablespoon unsweetened cocoa
  • 1 tablespoon grated orange rind
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 3/4 cups flour ( you can substitute 1/2 the flour with whole wheat flour if desired)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 cups chocolate chips
  • 1/2 cup chopped pecans or walnuts
  1. Preheat oven to 350º.
  2. Grease the bottom only of a 9x9 square pan or line it with parchment paper.
  3. Stir together chopped dates and baking soda in a mixing bowl and add boiling water.
  4. Stir and set aside to cool until lukewarm.
  5. Meanwhile in a large mixing bowl, beat butter together with sugar until light.
  6. Add eggs one at a time, mixing well between additions.
  7. Add cocoa, orange rind and vanilla.
  8. With a spoon or spatula, stir in date mixture, salt and flour, mixing until well blended.
  9. Fold in 1/2 of the chocolate chips.
  10. Spread evenly in prepared pan.
  11. Sprinkle top with remaining chocolate chips and all of the nuts.
  12. Bake At 350º for 30 minutes or until cake tester or toothpick comes out clean.
  13. Serve warm or cold, with or without whipped cream.
This cake is very good cold so I store it in the refrigerator. It also freezes well.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Greek Burgers

It's that time of the year...when we like to fire up the grill once again. Chef Dez...our famous local chef...featured a Greek flavoured burger as his recipe of the month for April. The sun came out long enough yesterday to use the BBQ...and we enjoyed our own version of the Chef's Greek burger for supper last night. If you are looking for a great new flavour for the seasonal classic...try a Greek burger!


  • 1 pound lean ground beef
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 Tablespoons red onion, finely chopped
  • 1 large egg
  • 100 gr feta cheese, crumbled (use garlic and herb feta for added flavour)
  1. Combine all ingredients in a large bowl and mix well.  Divide into four portions and shape into four patties.
  2. Grill on a pre-heated BBQ over medium heat until cooked through (approximately 10 minutes) flipping once.
  3. Serve on your favorite burger bun..with tomato, lettuce and a generous portion of  Tzatziki.


 Tzatziki
  • 1 Long English cucumber
  • 1 cup plain yogurt
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice 
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh dill
  • 2-3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper

  1. Grate unpeeled cucumber and squeeze out extra moisture. (Grate into a strainer and squeeze excess moisture out by pressing down with a bowl.)
  2. Combine remaining ingredients and mix well with a wire whisk.
  3. Stir in cucumber and chill for several hours before serving.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Cherry Varenya

My mother and the Russian immigrants I grew up around would make and enjoy this Cherry Syrup that they called Cherry Varenya to sweeten their hot tea. They used whole pie cherries for this recipe. I got this recipe from my mother.
This is a very simple recipe for Cherry Varenya.

Cherry Varenya
1/2 Cup Water
1 Cup Sugar
1 Cup Whole Sour Cherries (Pie Cherries)
1 Tablespoon fresh lemon juice
You would increase the proportions of this recipe according to how many cherries you have on hand that you want to make into Varenya.
Boil the water and sugar to make a clear simple syrup. When the liquid is clear add your cherries and let it boil for 10 to 20 minutes (depending on how hard the cherries were to begin with) At the end of the boiling add 1 Tablespoon of fresh lemon juice to help preserve the brightness of the syrup.
You could increase the ingredients to have enough to can for future use. I don't know if I should admit this but I have never canned anything. If you are familiar with canning I'm sure you can do it successfully with this syrup.
You can do this process with sliced lemons, too, to make a Lemon Varenya.

Lemon Varenya
When I was young our family would go to a Cherry Orchard somewhere near Lancaster, California in July when the pie cherries were ready to harvest. It might have been in the Leona Valley. We would pick cherries all day and take home upwards of 40 pounds of cherries. That’s a lot of Cherries. When we picked this much my parents would give about half of the cherries away to other relatives and friends who couldn’t make the trek out to the Cherry Farm. Then it was a full day of preparing the cherries for Varenya. Washing, cooking and canning.