Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Plum Upside-Down Cake

Plums are in season...and they happen to make the best upside-down cake! This cake is a favorite from my mother's kitchen. We had a wee orchard of Italian prunes when I was a child...and shipped plums to the packers at this time of the year. And since they were available in abundance...we used them in cakes and pastries and 'pluma moos'. Italian prunes freeze well...and can be used straight from the freezer for this recipe.


Cake layer:
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 cups flour
  • 1 Tablespoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup milk
Fruit Layer:
  • 2-3 Tablespoons melted butter
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar, packed
  • about 12 plums (Italian prunes or your plums of choice)
  1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
  2. Spray 9-10 inch spring form pan with cooking oil; line with parchment paper.
  3. Pour melted butter over bottom of pan. Sprinkle brown sugar evenly over melted butter.
  4. Arrange plum halves cut side down over the brown sugar.
  5. Beat 1/2 cup butter and together with sugar until light and fluffy.
  6. Beat in eggs and vanilla.
  7. Combine flour, baking powder, salt and cinnamon and add dry ingredients alternately with milk.
  8. Beat together but do not over mix.
  9. Spoon batter over top of the plums, spreading evenly.
  10. Bake for about 45 minutes...or until cake is set in the middle.
  11. Allow to cool for at least 30 minutes.
  12. Remove ring and invert onto serving plate.
  13. Serve slightly warm with ice-cream.





Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Fish Bake

 Most of the time we like to eat our fish dredged in flour, fried in a bit of butter with a dash of salt and pepper and a sprinkle of lemon but sometimes I just need to try a new recipe. I used two kinds of fish for this dish, salmon and pickerel. You can use your favorite type of fish.

Ingredients:
  • 2 lbs fish fillets
  • 2 tablespoon butter
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon tabasco sauce
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/3 cup grated parmesan cheese
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 1/3 cup bread crumbs
Method:
  1. Grease a 2 qt baking dish (I used a 8" x 12" glass baking pan). Arrange fish fillets in the baking dish.
  2. Blend pepper, tabasco sauce, paprika and parmesan cheese into sour cream.
  3. Spread over fish, sprinkle with bread crumbs and dot with butter.
  4. Bake uncovered in 350º for 30 minutes. You should be able to easily flake the fish with a fork when done.
  5. Serve with lemon slices.
  6. Serves 6.

Monday, August 29, 2011

Pea Salad


I got this recipe from Marie. She is a wonderful cook and it's hard to get an exact recipe from her, since she is good at putting together a little bit of this and a little bit of that. I like the crunch of the cauliflower in this salad. You can easily do half the recipe for a family size. (photo recipe is not full size)

Ingredients:
  • 1 bag frozen peas
  • 2 stalks celery, chopped
  • 1 cup small cauliflower florets
  • 3 green onions, chopped
  • 1/2 cup ranch dressing
  • 1/4 cup sour cream or mayonnaise
  • 4 bacon strips, cooked and crumbled
  • 1/4 cup sunflower seeds
  • 1/2 - 3/4 tsp salt
  • pinch sugar
Method:
  1. Thaw peas in colander under cold running water.
  2. Mix uncooked peas with the rest of the ingredients and serve.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Bread for the Journey - Celebrating Family

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The old Hymn “Blest be the Tie” speaks to me of the Christian family:

Blest be the tie that binds our hearts in Christian love; the fellowship of kindred minds is like to that above.

Before our Father's throne we pour our ardent pray'rs; our fears, our hopes, our aims are one, our comforts and our cares.

We share our mutual woes, our mutual burdens bear; and often for each other flows the sympathizing tear.

When we asunder part, it gives us inward pain; but we shall still be joined in heart, and hope to meet again.


For me, this month has been all about family.

It started with a family reunion in Ontario – my mom’s siblings and their families gathered to celebrate.

It was wonderful time of renewing family relationships that had been restricted because of time and distance. There was joy in welcoming the newest members and a sense of loss over those who had passed on. Throughout the whole day there was an atmosphere of love and support as we caught up on events in each other's life‘s journey.

When we got home our daughter and grandsons came for a visit. Because they live several provinces away we don’t see them often, so a visit is a time to check on how much the boys have grown, make opportunities for the cousins to play and find fun things for the family to do together.

One of the reasons for their visit was the marriage of our nephew last weekend. Two who are dear to us have fallen in love and are making a commitment to become one. We joyously celebrate the occasion of their marriage.

The month is almost over now and today my husband and I have invited friends and family to join us as we celebrate our 40th wedding anniversary. Like every man and wife, we’ve had good times and difficult ones but our love for each other has carried us through to this day and so we celebrate.

In the Christian life, we also celebrate family.

When someone is born into the family of God, the Bible tells us that all of Heaven rejoices.

When a member of God’s family goes through difficulties, we do our best to support them through prayer and practical help.

We are saddened when one of God's children chooses to leave the family and we rejoice when the family relationship is restored.

Finally, there is the promise of wonderful family reunion to look forward to. When Christ returns He will gather the whole family of God together and the celebration will be never ending.

Are you a member of God’s family? All you have to do is accept His Name and you become God’s son or daughter and a member of a large and loving family.

I hope to see each one of you at that family reunion.

What a family party that will be!

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Rhoda's Bruchetta

This recipe comes from my sister Rhoda.
It's one of those appetizers you go back for.....if 
there are any left!


Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup miracle whip (salad type mayonnaise spread)
  • 1 cup mozzarella, grated
  • 3/4 cup black olives, chopped
  • 1 tomato, chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp dried oregano leaves
  • 1/2 tsp pepper
  • 1 Vienna loaf or baguette
Method:
  1. Slice bread into 1" slices.
  2. Combine other ingredients and spread onto bread slices.
  3. Place on a baking sheet and bake @350º for 15 minutes. Serve immediately.


Friday, August 26, 2011

Baked Apples

 Baked apples..comfort food for sure!  This was indeed a special treat when my Mom would bake apples for dessert. Just a simple dish but oh so tasty. I baked these apples plain and simple with brown sugar, cinnamon and butter because that's all my Mom ever did.

You will need:
  • 4 apples
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 4 teaspoons butter 
  • 2/3 cup boiling water
Method:
  1. Wash apples and using an apple corer remove the cores leaving approx 1/2" of the bottom of the apples. Set apples in an 8" x 8" pan.
  2. In a small bowl combine sugar and cinnamon.
  3. Stuff each apple with this mixture and top each one with 1 teaspoon butter.
  4. Add boiling water to the pan.
  5. Bake, uncovered at 375º for 40 minutes, just until tender.
  6. Once the apples are removed from the oven, baste the apples with the pan juices.
  7. Serve just as they are or with a scoop of ice cream and a drizzle of caramel sauce.
  8. Serves: 4 

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Peach Pecan Summer Salad

Pair fresh peaches and blueberries with pecans and salad greens and toss them together for a great summer salad.  I call it a 'girlfriend salad'...the kind of salad that makes a perfect lunch for the girls.   And if you want to make it a little 'special', serve it up in an ice-bowl


 Peach Pecan Summer Salad
  • 6-8 cups mixed greens
  • 2 fresh peaches, peeled and sliced
  • 1/2 cup blueberries
  • 2 slices red onion, separated into rings and chopped into bite-size pieces
  • 1/2 cup caramelized pecans*
  • 1/3 cup crumbled feta cheese (optional)
  1. Combine salad ingredients in large bowl.
  2. Toss with citrus poppy seed dressing just before serving...or serve dressing on the side.
Citrus Poppy Seed Vinaigrette
  • 1/4 cup orange juice
  • 2 Tablespoons white wine vinegar
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 Tablespoon poppy seeds
  1. Combine orange juice, vinegar, sugar, mustard, and salt in blender.  Cover and blend until smooth.
  2. With blender running, slowly add oil. Blend until thickened and smooth.  
  3. Stir in poppy seeds.
  4. Serves 4-6
*To caramelize pecans, combine 1/2 cup pecans with 2 Tablespoons sugar in a large frying pan. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly until sugar melts to a golden syrup and roasts the pecans (about 5 minutes). Turn onto parchment paper; cool and break into pieces. 

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Chocolate Zucchini Cake


Do you have an abundance of zucchini this year from your garden, or given to you from a friends garden. I am very happy to receive them, there is so much you can do with them, sweet and savory. Our family enjoys this cake very much, it is moist and chocolatey with a hint of spice.
Goes great warm with a little ice cream or just as is.

  • 1/2 cup of hard margarine, softened
  • 1/2 cup of vegetable oil
  • 1 1/2 cups of sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/2 cup of sour milk (1 teaspoon of lemon juice of vinegar at the bottom of the measuring cup and fill with milk, let stand a few minutes)
  • 2 1/2 cups flour
  • 4 tablespoon cocoa
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon cloves
  • 2 cups coarsely shredded zucchini
  • chocolate chips for sprinkling on top of the cake before baking
  1. combine margarine, oil with the sugar and vanilla, beat well.
  2. Add eggs one at a time beating well with each addition.
  3. Sift all the dry ingredients together, adding into the wet mixture alternately with the milk.
  4. Stir in the zucchini.
  5. Pour into a 9x13 baking dish.
  6. Sprinkle the top with desired amount of chocolate chips.
  7. Bake at 325 for 40-45 minutes of cake test is done.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Pasta Carbonara

This is a pasta dish based on eggs, bacon or ham, and cheese.

Pasta Carbonara

1/4 c. butter
4 eggs
1/4 c. whipping cream
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 lb. bacon or Pancetta, cut up into bite size pieces
1/2 c. diced red onion
1 clove garlic crushed
1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 cup thawed frozen peas (optional)
1/4 c. snipped parsley
1 lb. pasta of your choice
Pepper to taste

Let eggs and butter stand at room temperature for 2 hours. Heat an ovenproof casserole dish (approx. 9 x 13) in a 300 degree oven. In a skillet, cook bacon or pancetta for a few minutes and then add red onion and continue cooking until red onion is soft, add garlic and heat for an additional minute. Remove this mixture and drain on paper toweling. Meanwhile, beat together eggs, salt, and cream just until combined. Add pasta to a large amount of boiling salted water. Cook 10 to 12 minutes or until tender; drain well. Turn hot pasta into the heated serving dish; toss pasta with butter. Pour egg mixture over and toss until pasta is well coated. Add bacon, onion, cheese, peas and parsley; toss to mix. Season to taste with pepper. The heat of the pasta and the casserole dish cooks the egg mixture…

Monday, August 22, 2011

Roasted Tomatoes

I had a basket of grape tomatoes left over from a bridal shower and needed to use them before they turned too soft. I thought I might try roasting them to serve with our steak and, oh my goodness, did we ever enjoy them.

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Here is the recipe. I hope you like them as much as we did.

  • 2 - 3 cups grape tomatoes - cut each in half
  • 1 small zucchini cut into slices
  • 1/2 a yellow bell pepper cut into 1 inch pieces
  • 1 shallot (or a small onion or leek) chopped
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • fresh ground pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon fennel seed *
  • chopped fresh basil if desired
  1. Combine vegetables in a bowl.
  2. Mix oil and spices and toss with vegetables.
  3. Spread vegetables on a parchment lined baking pan. The tomatoes should be cut side down if possible and the veggies should not be crowded.
  4. Roast at 350º oven for one hour. Alternatively, you can do this on the BBQ.
  5. If you like, you can brown 2 Tablespoons of Panko bread crumbs with 2 teaspoons of melted butter and then sprinkle the crumbs over the tomatoes just before serving.
  6. Serve as a side dish.

* I’ve not tried it but I think that thinly sliced fennel could replace the fennel seed.

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Sunday, August 21, 2011

Bread for the Journey

'Monkido' Faith




My granddaughters, on our summer vacation,
dared the Monkido Obstacle Course.
It is a two hour experience testing your ability to overcome your fear of potentially dangerous feats 50-60 feet off the ground between towering tree tops.
It could be life threatening, a slip or a fall would be serious.
But while the sensations of fear are real in the actual doing of the course,
the real danger is eliminated
because the athletes wear a harness with a rope that clamps onto an overhead cable.
So the worst that can happen is that a slip would leave them dangling
until they pull themselves back up again !

I was thinking of the obstacle course that we are often faced with in life -
things that are frightening and threatening.
We too have a 'rope' that 'clamps' onto a secure overhead cable.
Our faith is the rope that connects us into our heavenly security.
We can trust that come what may, our God will not let us fall,
even though we see and feel and fear the things that come against us.

So, we can agree with Habakkuk ,
making a personalized list of our own 'obstacles' ...

"Though the fig tree may not blossom ,
Nor fruit be on the vines,
Though the labour of the olive may fail,
and the fields yield no food,
Though the flock be cut off from the fold,
And there be no herd in the stalls,
Yet, I will rejoice in the Lord ,
I will joy in the God of my salvation !"
Habakkuk 3:17,18

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Whole Wheat Buttermilk Pancakes


It's Saturday! Pancakes are easy and quick to make and you don't need a mix.
Mix together the dry ingredients the night before and add your liquid ingredients in the morning while you heat your griddle or fry pan to medium heat.



  • 1 cup white flour
  • 1 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1/2 cup wheat germ
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups buttermilk
  • 2 tablespoons canola oil
  • 2 large eggs
  1. Put all the dry ingredients in a medium mixing bowl and whisk it together.
  2. In a measuring cup, combine the wet ingredients and then add all together to the dry ingredients and stir just until combined.
  3. Preheat griddle or fry pan to mediumn heat. Spray with cooking spray and then use a dab of butter for flavor.
  4. Drop by large tablespoons onto the pan and cook on one side until bubbles begin to appear and flip over for about a minute.
  5. Serve with your favorite toppings.

Friday, August 19, 2011

Orange Peach Jam

Combine this jam, slightly runny and rich in citrus flavor, with cream cheese on a bagel OR with a barbecue sauce to use as a glaze on baked meatballs. I have given quite exact numbers when it comes to the fruit, but it does depend on size of fruit. This recipe has been updated from last year to hopefully make it more exact and easier to follow.
Ingredients for one batch:
(the goal is approximately 7 cups raw fruit blended before adding sugar, equalling 8 cups cooked, for one batch. I recommend doubling the amounts and cooking two batches)
  • 9 ripe peaches
  • 3 seedless oranges
  • 2 Tbsp lemon juice
  • 4 1/2 cups sugar, divided
  • 3 Tbsp Certo Light or 1 pkg regular pectin

 Method:
  1. Wash jars and lids. Place clean jars in 225 F oven to keep hot. Place lids in small pot with water to cover. Bring to a boil and turn off element, covering pot to keep lids hot.
  2. Peal peaches, quartering them to remove pit. Blend for a few seconds until barely smooth. Can have a few tiny chunks. Pour into large bowl. Stir in lemon juice.
  3. Peel oranges with potato peeler. Remove pith (white part) and discard. In blender, blend orange segments with the peeled off orange rind until thick and smooth, for about 1 minute.
  4. Combine blended oranges and peaches. Measure out 7 cups (or at least 6) to pour into large stainless steel pot.
  5. Measure 1/4 cup of the sugar, blend with pectin and stir into fruit. Stirring constantly with wooden spoon, bring to boil on high heat. (almost the highest)
  6. Add 4 1/4 cups sugar all at once and continue stirring until it comes to a full boil once more.
  7. The whole top layer should be bubbling before setting the timer. Boil for three minutes, while stirring and making sure it cooks hard the whole time. If it splatters quite a bit, turn down the heat just a tad.
  8. Using a canning funnel, ladle hot jam into jars and cover with lids to seal. Repeat process if cooking more batches.
  9. Cool sealed jars at room temp before storing. Jam thickens as it cools.
I prefer storing jam in the fridge or freezer, so that it keeps fresh tasting, but you do not have to if it is sealed. You can tell if it's sealed if the center of the lid is slightly inverted rather than rounded. Do not push it in by hand.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Watermelon Limeade


Pucker up and enjoy this wonderful refreshing drink created by my son, who is definitely a foodie and enjoys creating things in the kitchen.
This is what he did.....
  • cubed a small seedless watermelon
  • juiced about 12 fresh limes
  • added sugar to taste
  • mint leaves to garnish
  1. Take the watermelon chunks and puree in the blender. You will have to do this in several batches.
  2. Pour through a strainer to catch the little white seeds and extra pulp.
  3. Pour into a large container.
  4. Add fresh lime juice.
  5. Sugar to taste.
  6. Mint leaves and ice.
Enjoy this burst of freshness, a very nice drink with beautiful color.

Variation 2-
I made lemonade from frozen concentrate according to directions and added about 8 cups of watermelon juice using the above method.....my son was not home to squeeze all those limes, so mom took that lazy way out :)

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

German Cheese Cake (Quark Kuchen)

I had some vague memories of how my mom used to make Quark Kuchen, years ago, before I knew about cheesecake. Recently I called her up and we made it again, two times in one day, just to get it right. She did not have her method written out and had forgotten certain details. So it was good to work through it and write it down.

Ingredients for Base:
  • ½ cup butter

  • 2 Tbsp sugar

  • 1 egg

  • 2 Tbsp sour cream

  • 1 cup flour

  • 1 tsp baking powder

  • 1/4 tsp salt


Method:
  1. Grease a 9X13 glass pan or 10-11 inch springform pan. Preheat oven to 325F

  2. Beat butter and sugar, adding in the egg, then the sour cream.

  3. Mix flour, baking powder and salt and stir into wet ingredients, shaping it into a soft ball with spatula. Wrap in saran wrap and chill half hour.

  4. Roll out on floured surface. Roll onto rolling pin and unroll into pan, going slightly up the sides or all the way up if using a springform pan. Prick with fork.

Ingredients for second layer:
  • 3 cups dry cottage cheese (I used Lucerne 4% dry curd)

  • 4 eggs, separated

  • 1 packet Dr. Oetkers vanilla sauce

  • 1 cup whipping cream

  • 1 cup sugar, divided

  • 1/4 tsp salt


Method:
  1. Using a fork or pastry cutter, cut up the cottage cheese as fine as possible. This works best if pre-frozen and thawed.

  2. Mix fine cottage cheese with 4 egg yolks, vanilla sauce packet, whipping cream, ½ cup sugar and salt. (I have not tried it, but if you cannot get Dr Oetkers vanilla sauce, you could try a small pkg Jell-O vanilla instant pudding)

  3. Beat egg whites until stiff, slowly adding ½ cup sugar and continuing to beat until very stiff. Fold into cottage cheese mixture.

  4. Pour and spread onto first layer.

  5. Bake at 325 F for 1 hour. Add another 5 minutes if it still looks too light.

  6. Run a knife around the edge and allow to cool. This cake may fall slightly as it cools.

  7. Refrigerate leftover cake. Can be served with a dusting of icing sugar or with fruit topping. Traditionally we have eaten it plain.

If you cannot get dry cottage cheese, you could try regular cottage cheese or, preferably, ricotta cheese - draining the liquids using a cheesecloth.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Peach Clafouti

Here's a new-to-us treat that we discovered recently...a classic French country dessert.  It is rather like an oven-baked pancake...custardy and delicious...and called clafouti (kla-foo-tee).  It's great with berries...but our favorite is this peaches and cream version. 

  • 3-4 cups of sliced peaches
  • 1 cup whole milk (or light cream)
  • 3 eggs
  • 2 tablespoons butter, melted
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  1. Generously butter a deep-dish 9" pie plate or a quiche pan.
  2. Place sliced peaches in dish. 
  3. Put remaining ingredients in a blender; blend until smooth and creamy. 
  4. Pour the mixture over the peaches. 
  5. Bake in a 375°F degree oven for 45 minutes or until Clafouti is puffed up and golden.
  6. Sprinkle with confectioners' sugar (icing sugar) if desired.
  7. Let cool, but serve when it is slightly warm...topped with whipped cream.



Simple and delicious! 

Monday, August 15, 2011

Chalupa

This is a recipe that cooks for several hours so start it earlier in the day. You can enjoy a few meals during your week with the yield from this recipe.

Chalupa

1 lb. pinto beans
3 lbs. boneless pork
6 cups water
1/2 cup onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 Tablespoons chili powder
1 Tablespoon cumin seeds
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 Tablespoon salt
1- 4 oz. can of diced jalapenos (if you like a little heat) or…
1- 6 oz. can of diced green chilies
1/2 – 1 cup Pace Picante sauce (or any brand of Mexican sauce/salsa available in your area)

Put all ingredients in dutch oven or crock pot. Cover and simmer about 5 hours or until roast falls apart and the beans are soft. Uncover shred the meat and cook to thicken to desired consistency. If using a crock pot cook on low for 8-9 hours. Check after 5 hours to make sure the beans haven’t absorbed all the liquid. Add 1 cup water at a time if you need to. After the meat is cooked and beans are soft shred the pork.

Enjoy this meat with corn or flour tortillas and with toppings of your choice. This would also work well wrapped in a small flour tortilla and deep fried. I’ve seen Chalupas on Mexican Restaurant menus served in this deep fried form.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Bread for the Journey

Sunny side up...first thing that comes to mind is the way eggs are prepared but in this case it has nothing to do with eggs.
I remember my Dad using the phrase 'keep the sunny side up' which he meant as keeping a cheerful and positive attitude, seeking to find the bright side of circumstances that want to drag us down. This is not easy and we need to lean on God to take us through hard times. When our son was diagnosed with tuberous sclerosis and autism I had a hard time finding that 'sunny side' but kept asking God for strength to take care of my son and to give me joy in doing it. I often reminded myself that things wouldn't change by being depressed so I might as well try to 'keep the sunny side up'.
"For nothing is impossible with God."..Luke 1:37 NIV

These lyrics from long ago came to mind:
"Keep on the sunny side, always on the sunny side, keep on the sunny side of life,
It will help us every day, it will brighten all the way
If we keep on the sunny side of life."

Saturday, August 13, 2011

No Nut Smartie Monster Cookies

Using a soy butter in place of peanut butter works well in these cookies,
and replacing the M&M's with Smarties makes these cookies
a safe treat for those of us with nut allergies.
I have found several brands that I like and have found that some taste
just like peanut butter. This recipe does not have any flour in it.

Ingredients:
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1 1/2 cups soy butter (any brand you like)
  • 1 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • t tsp vanilla
  • 2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 4 1/2 cups oatmeal
  • 1 cup chocolate chips
  • 1 cup Smarties
Method:
  1. Cream butter, soy butter, sugar and eggs together. Add vanilla, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Mix well.
  2. Stir in oatmeal, chocolate chips and Smarties.
  3. Place mounds of cookie dough onto parchment lined cookie sheets. Bake at 350º for 10-12 minutes. Do not over bake! 

Friday, August 12, 2011

Levi's Healthy Fruit Popsicles

My day started with a plan to make Belgium Yeast Waffles for the boys.  The yeast was rising...but everything changed very quickly as I realized that history was was going to be made on our farm.
Trucks, tractors and heavy equipment began to role on the yard. And soon I saw the older generation forking up the sheaves on to the wagons, I knew I needed to plan a Tail Gate Party for the Threshing Bee!
I apologized to my grandsons and explained that I would need to make a quick change of plans.
My oldest grandson said, "No worries Oma, why don't you post on your Mennonite Girls Can Cook Blog, "Levi's Healthy Fruit Popsicles?"  Little, did I know that he even knew what that meant.
I thought to myself for a minute...Why not?  He loves to make his own concoctions in my kitchen and what better way than to encourage these young boys to create their own recipes in my kitchen.

The yeast, that unfortunately did not get used.

Ingredients
  • two frozen fruit popsicles (he was quick to add that you can find them at Safeway)
  • 1 cup fresh blueberries
  • 1 cup vanilla yogurt
  • 6 Tbsp. meal replacement powder (the stuff that Oma drinks every morning)
Instructions
  1.  Soften popsicles slowly in microwave until you can crush them.
  2. Mix the following ingredients in a bowl, yogurt, blueberries replacement powder.
  3. Now add the softened popsicle mixture and mix well till smooth.
  4. Pour into popsicle containers, or small containers.
  5. Insert popsicle stick into container.
  6. Freeze till hard.
They both agreed to make a big lick for the photo...and agreed that this was the best Farm Day Ever!
I love nothing more than giving these boys country living at it's best.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Cream Cheese Taco Dip

 This recipe for cream cheese taco dip comes from my daughter Brenda..not that she gave me specific amounts..those I had to figure out myself but it wasn't that hard once I knew what the layers were supposed to be. I don't really like tomatoes in the raw but discovered I really like them in this recipe. This is one of those snacks you can hardly stop eating once you start.

Ingredients for the layers:
  • 1/2 cup cream cheese
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons taco powder
  • 1/2 cup salsa, mild, medium or hot..I used medium
  • 1 cup fresh tomatoes..1 medium to large tomato, chopped
  • 1/2 cup sweet green pepper, chopped
  • 1 cup tex mex cheese, shredded..or your favorite blend
Layering the dip:
  1. Whip together cream cheese, sour cream, and taco powder until smooth.
  2. Using a spoon, smooth evenly over the bottom of a 9" pie pan.
  3. Next spoon on a layer of salsa.
  4. Sprinkle chopped tomatoes, and peppers on top of the salsa.
  5. Cover with shredded cheese.
  6. Refrigerate until ready to serve. Best served the same day but will keep for an extra day.
  7. *Extras..you may add a layer of refried beans and add diced jalepenos. I would then layer refried beans over the cream cheese mixture and add the jalepenos to the tomato and green pepper layer.
  8. Serve with multigrain or roasted garlic and black bean tortilla chips.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Black Bottom Cheesecake

I can thank my friend Erna for this delicious recipe. It is easy to whip up and everyone loved it. If you are not a big chocolate fan, substitute the chocolate base for a yellow cake and top with fruit instead of a chocolate bar.

Cake Base:
  • One double chocolate cake mix (makes two flans).
  1. Mix as directed on package.
  2. Pour into well greased and floured flan pans.
  3. Bake at 350 for 15-20 or until top springs back and a toothpick poked into the center comes out clean.
  4. Cool for 5 minutes and invert onto a cooling rack to cool completely.
Cream Cheese Filling:
  • 1-8oz pkg of cream cheese
  • 3/4 cup icing sugar
  • 4 cups of whipped cream or whipped topping
  1. mix the cream cheese with the icing sugar and beat together til light and fluffy.
  2. mix in 3 cups of whipped cream or whipped topping
  3. use the one cup of reserved cream to decorate
  4. top with crushed toffee candy bar, like sk*r bar.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Hamburger Soup becomes 2nd Dinner


This tasty hamburger soup became a fresh 2nd Dinner the following night. This is a great way to make leftovers into something new.
1-1/2 pounds of hamburger
1/2 cup chopped onion
olive oil
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. pepper
4 carrots sliced
1 bell pepper diced
1 Jalapeno pepper diced (optional)
1/2 onion chopped
32 oz. beef stock
1- 28 oz. can of crushed tomato
1 -15 oz. can of black beans drained and rinsed
1-15 oz. can of kernel corn drained
salt and pepper to taste
In a Dutch Oven saute the 1/2 cup chopped onion in a little olive oil until soft. Add hamburger and salt and pepper to the onion and cook till hamburger is no longer pink. Drain the hamburger and set aside. In the same dutch oven add a little more olive oil and saute the other 1/2 cup of onion, bell pepper, carrots, and jalapeno till softened about 3-5 minutes. Return hamburger to the dutch oven. Add the rest of the ingredients and bring to a boil. Lower the heat and simmer for at least 30 minutes. Taste and see if you should add more salt or pepper.
Serves 6-8
Serve with good crusty bread.
This ended up being more soup than our family could eat in one sitting. I decided to change up the leftovers for a different dinner the following night.

Ingredients for dinner #2:
1- 12 oz. package of noodles
6-8 oz. grated cheese of your choice
Grease a 9 x 12 casserole dish. Cook the noodles in well salted boiling water till al dente. Drain and then pour into prepared casserole. Add the left over hamburger soup to the noodles and mix well. Top with grated cheese of your choice and cook in a 350 degree oven for approx. 30 minutes. Serve with a nice green salad.

Monday, August 8, 2011

No-Can Bread and Butter Pickles


Bread and butter pickles are so simple to make...and a perfect accompaniment for sandwiches. The fresher the cuke...the better the pickle!

  • Cucumbers, unpeeled and cut into thin slices ( a mandolin slicer works great)
  • 1 or 2 small onions, sliced and separated into rings
  • 3 cups white sugar
  • 2 cups white vinegar
  • 1/4 cup pickling salt
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1 teaspoon celery seed
  • 1 teaspoon mustard seed
  1. Fill an empty 1 gallon bucket with cucumber and onion slices.
  2. Combine remaining ingredients and bring to a boil. Simmer for several minutes.
  3. Pour over cucumbers and onions.
  4. Stir and let cool.
  5. Cover and store in refrigerator. (Will keep for months, if they last that long!)
  6. They are ready to eat when they change colour.


They are the best addition to sandwiches! Cuke season is upon us...a good time to try these simple bread and butter pickles. And even when the fresh garden cukes are no longer available...these pickles can be made year-round using long English cucumbers.

 Anneliese and Lovella will be at the Berean Christian Bookstore in Lancaster, PA tonight at 7 pm ... and would love to meet you if you live in that vicinity. 


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    Sunday, August 7, 2011

    Bread for the Journey- Kathy

    Ecclesiastes 4:9-12 (NLT)
    Two are better off than one, for they can help  each other succeed.
    If one person falls, the other can reach out and help. But someone
    who falls alone is in real trouble.
    Likewise, two people lying close together can keep each other warm.
    But how can one stay warm alone?
    A person standing alone can be attacked or defeated, but two can stand
    back to back and conquer.
    Three are even better, for a triple-braided cord is not easily broken.
    While working in my yard one day I noticed how tight and
    strong the twisted main stem of my wisteria had become.
    Those verses in Ecclesiastes came to mind.


    True friends strengthen and help each other.
    This past week I needed a listening ear, a caring heart and
    someone I could count on to pray for me.
    I had a friend I was able to call.
    We've shared our hearts together many times,
    and prayed for each other often.
    We both know from past experience that God is our helper and friend.


    I hope that you have friends you can reach out to,
    and that you also are that friend who reaches out to others.
    Jesus also wants to be your friend.
    He designed the gift of friendship not only for our enjoyment,
    but He knew we would need one another for support.

    Bless someone this week through your friendship.
    Strengthen your friendships like a twisted cord that can not be easily broken,
    by inviting Jesus to be a part of them.

    Anneliese and Lovella are attending church in Harrisonburg VA today.
    They will be sharing in a morning Sunday School class 
    about the journey God has taken us 10 women on together.
    Pray for them as they continue on the book tour this week.









    Saturday, August 6, 2011

    Sun Dried Tomato Tortilla Wraps - Gluten - free

    One of my granddaughters enjoys Chicken Caesar Tortilla Wraps at a local restaurant , but my other granddaughter who is Celiac can't have them. So I decided to try to make them gluten-free.
    I asked the granddaughter who isn't Celiac to be my taste-tester since she is the only one who knows what the sun-dried tomato tortillas are supposed to taste like.
    Her comment ? "Nanna, I think you nailed this one!"

    Ingredients
    • 1/2 cup (or 60 gm) of sun dried tomatoes
    • 1 cup of water
    • 1 cup of milk + 2 tbsp
    • 1 3/4 cup tapioca starch/flour
    • 1/4 cup potato starch
    • 1/3 cup white bean flour
    • 1/2 cup white corn flour
    • 2 tsp xanthan gum
    • 1/2 tsp salt
    • 1/2 tsp baking powder
    • 2 tbsp oil
    • sweet rice flour for rolling
    Method
    1. Soak sun dried tomatoes in 1 cup of water for a couple of hours or longer
    2. Process in blender until puréed , add milk and process until smooth
    3. Pour into mixer.
    4. Blend all dry ingredients together.
    5. Add to tomato/liquid mixture and mix well.
    6. Turn out onto counter dusted with sweet rice flour and knead lightly until dough is smooth, adding sweet rice flour as needed.
    7. Form dough into a roll , and cut into 12 pieces.
    8. Cover the pieces with plastic wrap or damp toweling.
    9. Roll out each piece as thin as possible and use a 9" plate as a template to cut out tortilla shell , adding the cut off excess dough to next piece of dough.
    10. Either roll out all shells first (you should get 13) or if you like to multitask, fry one tortilla while you are rolling the next. Pan fry with a tiny bit of oil about 30 sec. on each side.

    Store tortilla shells in the fridge until needed.

    To assemble as wraps -
    For Chicken Caesar wraps , I used Romaine lettuce, chicken breast (cooked and cut into pieces) shredded Parmesan Cheese and Caesar dressing
    1. Place layered strip of filling down center of tortilla shell, leaving bottom 1/4 free
    2. Fold up bottom 1/4 of shell
    3. Fold in left side over filling
    4. Fold right side over filling , tucking into left side fold


    Friday, August 5, 2011

    Caribbeaan Chicken Salad


    There's nothing like sitting around with friends and talking about recipes. I'm sure you've all heard these words,"Have you ever tried this recipe? You've got to try this one if you like chicken and mango." I love salads and it didn't take long and this new recipe was in my inbox. Thanks Elsie for sharing some delightful summer recipes. Serve this up with freshly baked biscuits and you have yourself a summer meal.

    Ingredients

    Dressing
    Salad
    • 3 cups shredded romaine lettuce. ( I substituted fresh leafy lettuce)
    • 2 cups cubed cooked chicken
    • 4 oz. (1cup) shredded Monterey Jack Cheese
    • 1 (15-oz) black beans drained and rinsed
    • 11/2 cups diced peeled ripe fresh mango
    • 1 cup chopped cherry tomatoes
    • 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
    • 1/2 cup chopped green onions
    • 1/2 cup cashews
    Directions
    1. In a small bowl mix all dressing ingredients until well blended.
    2. Find a clear serving bowl and layer all salad ingredient in order listed, except cashews.
    3. Spoon dressing evenly over salad; sprinkle cashews over top. Garnish with parsley.

      Just a quick tip: when I make salads, I look to see if I have similar ingredients in the garden or pantry and make substitutions. If I don't have onion greens I use chives, if I don't have romaine lettuce, I use fresh leafy lettuce, if I don't have the exact cheese, I look to see if Mozzarella could be substituted. I did not have Caribbean Jerk seasoning, so I went on line and found a recipe. I'm not the type to run out first and purchase everything. See what kind of substitutions you can make today.

      If you live in the Harrisonburg, VA area, you might want to stop by Ten Thousand Villages today between 1 and 2:30 pm. Anneliese and Lovella will be there to 'meet and greet' and sign cookbooks!