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.





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.

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.

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!

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.


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 

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. 

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.

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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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

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.

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.

Ingredients for one batch:
(the goal is approximately 7 cups raw fruit blended before adding sugar, equaling 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 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.
  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.

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 :)

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.

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! 

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."

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! 

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.

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.

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.

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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    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.









    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


    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!

      Summer lunch...pizza


      Are you all wondering what to make for quick summer lunches?
      My new favorite purchase from the bread aisle are the thin multigrain 100 calorie buns.
      I use them for hamburgers or chicken burgers and also for making little individual pizzas.

      • one thin bun per person. ..or more for hungry boys
      • one jar pizza sauce  ( I like the jars because I can put the lid back on and store for the week in the refrigerator)
      • one lean slice Canadian bacon or ham. .pepperoni. .what ever your kids like
      • shredded Italian or mozzarella cheese
      • fresh sliced veggies from your garden
      1. Lay down a piece of parchment paper on your cookie sheet for easy clean up.
      2. Put down a cookie cooling rack so that your pizza's crisp underneath.
      3. Spread on a little pizza sauce.
      4. Layer meat, cheese and veggies last.  (unless you need to hide the veggies. .then put them under the meat. .chopped very fine)
      5. Broil until the cheese melts and browns.
      6. Lunch under ten minutes. . . .and the older kids can make their own.

      Quick What's for Dinner? - Dinner Salads

      Today, Lovella and Anneliese are appearing on CTV Kitchener noon news doing a cooking segment.
      They will be talking about the 'Mennonite Girls Can Cook' cookbook.
      Be sure to watch it if you can. We 'girls' are all so excited for them.

      It looks like summer has finally arrived here in BC, so with all the fresh produce available - either from your garden or your green grocer, salads can be your answer when the question is,
      "Quick, What's for Dinner?"

      Hoisin Shrimp Caesar Salad

      Salads are only limited by your imagination. however if you're too tired to think at the end of the day, here's a few lists to help you plan a quick dinner salad.

      Start with Greens -
           spinach
           red or green leaf lettuce
           romaine
           butter
           endive
           raddichio
           iceberg
           a combination of any of the above

      Meat or protein:
           sliced deli meats cut into ribbons,
      cooked leftover or BBQ'd chicken,, steak or pork, thinly sliced or shredded
      precooked bacon or pancetta
      sliced hard boiled eggs
      cheese, any kind, diced or julienned
      any kind of beans (black, garbanzo, kidney...)
      tinned salmon, tuna, crab or chicken, ham
      shrimp or prawns or imitation crabmeat (all quick to thaw in cold water)

      Vegetables:
      sliced or diced red/green/orange or yellow bell peppers
      green onion or thinly sliced red onion
      cucumbers, zucchini, broccoli, cauliflower, tomatoes
      thinly sliced red or white or savoy cabbage
      julienned or grated carrots
      canned veggies - mini corn, olives, wax or green beans
      frozen peas or corn, thawed

      Fruits:
           red, black or green grapes
      apples or pears, cored and sliced or shipped
      melon pieces, bananas, kiwi, , pineapple, mango or papaya
      orange or grapefruit segments, (fresh or canned)
      fresh berries of all kinds, (frozen blueberries work too)

      Extras:
      pomegranate seeds,
      raisins or dried cranberries, dates figs,
      Any kind of nuts -
      candied or spiced nuts
      shelled, sunflower seeds, pine nuts, toasted sesame seeds,
      wonton strips, pretzels, corn chips.....
      Dressings: There are excellent bottled dressings in the supermarket or you can make your own -
      Try to match the flavours in the dressing with your salad ingredients (ie: sweet with fruit, herb        with veggies, creamy with meats and cheeses)

      Fruit salads: On a hot day fruit salads can be refreshing.
      Drizzle fruit with yogurt
      Arrange fruit pieces over cottage cheese,
      Spoon chopped fruit over ice cream for a special treat.
      Serve your salad with:
      fresh bread from the bakery
      your own homemade bread or rolls
      Cornbread or muffins
      baking powder biscuits (these take only 10 minutes in the oven)
      focaccia bread
      garlic bread
      an assortment of crackers

      Salad suggestions: (from Mennonite Girls Can cook blog)
      Taco Salad
      Santa Fe Chicken Salad
           Hoisin Shrimp  Caesar Salad
           Spinach Salad

                                                                         Spinach Salad
      Chicken Tarragon Salad
      Maple Glazed BBQ Salmon salad
      Wild Rice and Artichoke Chicken Salad
      Rustic Chicken Caesar Salad


      Rustic Chicken Caesar Salad

      Tip:
      If you have a few minutes, check out some of the salad recipes in the Salad Category.
      Make a list of your favourites and put it up on the fridge.
      Then you have a quick reference list when you need a suggestion.

      There are, I know, many other options - some seasonal or uniquely available in your region.
      Take up the challenge and create your own signature salad.

      Apricot Banana Bars


      I've had this recipe since early in our marriage and have always enjoyed the
      combination of flavours.

      • 1/2 cup butter or margarine, softened
      • 1 cup brown sugar
      • 1 10 oz. jar of apricot jam
      • 1 tablespoon grated orange rind
      • 2 eggs, beaten
      • 1 teaspoon vanilla
      • 1 3/4 cups flour
      • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
      • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
      • 1/4 teaspoon salt
      • 1 cup mashed ripe bananas
      • 1/2 cup chopped pecans
      1. Cream butter and brown sugar.
      2. Blend in apricot jam and orange rind.
      3. Add beaten eggs and vanilla and mix well.
      4. Add 1 cup flour, baking powder, soda and salt and mix well.
      5. Beat in mashed bananas, mixing well.
      6. Add remaining 3/4 cup flour and mix for 2 minutes or until well blended.
      7. Stir in pecans.
      8. Pour into a greased and floured 9"x13" pan
      9. Bake in 350º oven for 35 minutes or until toothpick inserted, comes out clean.
      10. Cool completely.
      11. Dust with icing sugar just before serving.
      Note: I like to substitute orange marmalade for half the apricot jam (omit the orange rind) or you can use peach jam instead of the apricot.
      You can also ice these bars with cream cheese or browned butter icing if you prefer.

      Anneliese and Lovella are on the first leg of their book tour. Today they are in Waterloo, Ontario and will be hosted by Kathy from Menno Media. Tomorrow they'll be on CTV, Kitchener at 11:30. If you live in this area, be sure to watch.

      Nectarine stuffed French Toast

      The first Monday in August is a 
      civic holiday in most Canadian Provinces.
      It is the most popular weekend for summer travel.
      Whether you are at home or traveling
      take some time to enjoy the day!

      We've been enjoying sunshine here in the valley,
      and breakfast outside is always a nice holiday treat.
      For this french toast I used nectarines and ricotta cheese 
      and dipped the bread in an orange infused egg batter.

      Ingredients: (makes 4, serving 2)
      • 4 -1 1/4" thick slices french bread
      • 3 eggs
      • 2 tbsp milk
      • 1 tbsp fresh squeezed orange juice
      • 1 tsp fresh orange zest
      • 1/2 tsp vanilla
      • 1/2 cup ricotta cheese
      • 1 tbsp brown sugar
      • 1 large nectarine, chopped fine
      • 1 tbsp butter
      • maple syrup 
      • blueberries
      • maple syrup
      Method:
      1. Slice bread and then slice each piece making a deep pocket making sure you do not cut all the way through.
      2. Shake together the next 5 ingredients and pour into a shallow dish.
      3. Mix together ricotta, brown sugar and chopped nectarine. 
      4. Stuff the bread pocket with fruit and cheese mixture.
      5. Melt butter in a large flat grill turned to medium heat.
      6. Dip stuffed bread into egg mixture and flip to coat both sides. Place onto hot grill. To make sure the egg mixture that has soaked into the bread gets done and the filling gets hot make sure your grill is not too high.  A longer slightly lower heat will result in a perfectly baked french toast.
      7. When done serve immediately with warm maple syrup and fresh blueberries.
      You can substitute apricots or strawberries for the stuffed fruit with raspberries on top. It's best to use firmer fruits on the inside so the bread does not get soggy.