Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Pork Stir Fry


I love stir frys and they are so simple to prepare. If you don't have time to cut up the vegetables you can purchase them ready cut in a package. Hubby bbq'd the pork chops while I got the rest of the ingredients together. We enjoyed this meal and Kaila was happy there were leftovers for her lunch the following day!

Ingredients:
  • 2 pork chops, cooked and cut in thin slices
  • 3 cups mixed vegetables, your choice of veggies, cut as preferred if you are cutting up your own. I used a package with ready cut stir fry veggies.
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 tablespoon cooking oil
Sauce:
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 1/4 cups water
  • 1 tablespoon tapioca starch
  1. Whisk together the sauce ingredients and set aside.
Stir fry:
  1. Heat a large skillet or wok with a tablespoon of cooking oil, on medium high heat.
  2. Add vegetables, salt, and pepper and stirfry for 5 minutes.
  3. Add cooked and sliced pork and stirfry another 5 minutes or until heated through.
  4. Stir in sauce mixture and cook on medium heat for 2 minutes or until sauce has thickened.
  5. Serve over noodles.
  6. Served 4 good appetites.

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Daffodil Cake

 

 
Today it's five years since I said "auf wiedersehen" at the bedside of my father's home going. I prefer to use the German term because it speaks of a "seeing again".  At the memorial service we set the tables with daffodil plants that the family took home to plant . . . a reminder of the resurrection just like new life in spring. When I saw this recipe in an old Betty Crocker file, I had to post it, with a few personal adaptations, of course.

 
Ingredients:
  • ¾ cup flour
  • ¾ cup sugar
  • 10 egg whites
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 6 egg yolks
  • 1 Tbsp lemon juice

 
Method:
  1. Heat oven to 350 F.  Insert oven rack on bottom third of oven.
  2. You will need three mixing bowls. In the first bowl, mix flour and ¾ c sugar
  3. In the second bowl, beat egg whites until frothy, add salt, and then gradually add sugar, beating until stiff. Fold in lemon juice.
  4. In a small - third mixing bowl beat egg yolks well until thick and lemon colored. If you can get farm fresh eggs that have the dark yellow yolk, it helps to bring out the contrast in the yellow and white batters.
  5. Sprinkle flour/sugar mixture into meringue, a few heaping Tbsp at a time, folding each amount in with rubber spatula.
  6. Pour half of this white batter into the just emptied (flour/sugar) bowl. Gently fold egg yolks into one of the white batters.
  7. Spoon yellow and white batters, alternately into un-greased tube or angel food pan.
  8. Bake on lower part of oven about 40 – 45 minutes or until top springs back when lightly touched.
  9. Invert pan on funnel or cooling rack and let hang until cooled. To un-mold, slide a thin sharp knife to cut around all of the edges and let it drop out upside down onto serving plate. Slide the same knife under the bottom of the cake, if your pan has a separate bottom.
  10. Drizzle with orange glaze.
 

  
Orange Glaze: (Mix)
  •  1 cup confectioners sugar
  • 1 Tbsp frozen orange juice 
  •  warm water to blend, about 2 Tbsp.

 
 
Serve plain, with fruit, ice cream or sherbet.

Monday, February 27, 2012

Fried Egg Dessert



Here's a dessert if you want to have some fun with a 'menu' ... or if you are cooking for that man who loves 'breakfast all day'.

Before we talk about the recipe .....Let's step back into my mother's Mennonite kitchen.

She often had standing on her cupboard a bowl of rich milk from our own cow. There it would sit until it thickened with a slightly sour taste and velvety texuture. I never ate it but when I started dating my husband-to-be we discovered it was a comfort food to him. After that, if my mom knew he was coming, she made sure she greeted him with a bowl of what was called "Dikja Malch" (Thick Milk) Now, hop-skip-jump over land or ocean to the kitchen of a famous French chef. He is preparing Crème Fraiche (pronouced krem fresh) Thick Milk or Crème Fraiche -- what's in a name ?? the transformation of common to gourmet !

Purchasing Crème Fraiche can be expensive but easy to make yourself.
* 2 cups whipping cream
* 2 tbsp buttermilk

1.Heat slightly the 2 cups whipping cream - not more than to 40 C - this makes the cream barely warm.
2.Stir in the buttermilk.
3.Pour into a jar or bowl and cover lightly with plastic wrap and set in a warm place in your kitchen. Don't touch it for 24 hours. It should be thickened and have a slightly sour/nutty taste. For a stronger flavour and firmer texture leave for several more hours. 4.
When done, refrigerate. It will keep in the fridge up to a week.

TIP - Crème Fraiche can be whipped (after being chilled in fridge) When whipped with a little sugar and vanilla it makes an amazing dessert topping - it permanently holds it's shape without stabilizers and it is delicious ! Crème Fraiche is used in a variety of recipes, only a 'google' away!




For the fun 'Fried Egg Dessert'

1. Drain a tin of canned peach halves - will be about 1/2 cup of liquid.
2. Mix 1 tsp sugar with 1 tsp cornstarch in a small sauce pan and add the peach liquid - stirring well .
3. Cook, stirring constantly, until mixture clears and thickens.
4. Chill
5. Spoon Creme Fraiche onto a dessert plate. (you could, of course, use plain yoghurt)
6. Carefully place a peach half in the middle.
7. Spoon the peach glaze over the top.

(my husband chuckled when I served him this dessert but thought it needed 'pepper' and suggested that finely grated dark chocolate would do it ! )

***

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Bread for the Journey

My heart was stirred in a new way this past December at the powerful working of the Holy Spirit, and the love of God that reaches to everyone.
My siblings were all together and we asked my brother Rod to share some of his experiences while on his recent trip to Ethiopia. He has been a pastor in Kansas for 30 years, and has just planted a new young vibrant church in that area. He is gifted in sharing his faith and has a passion for those who have not yet come into a personal relationship with Jesus. God has given him opportunities at home and abroad. I'm sharing his story of this beautiful young woman, Innelum. I trust your hearts will also be touched by this powerful story. 


THE FOREST GIRL



There I sat a few months ago in a make shift church, in a remote Ethiopian village with about 60 pastors, all willing to die for their faith.  The last white American pastor who came to this village was tortured and killed.......my wife and kids were at home praying.  Many of these pastors were shepherding churches of thousands.  No buildings, no resources, little education, but a faith big enough to die for, and a country experiencing revival like I have never seen in my lifetime.  I wept as I heard their stories.  They have nothing........and yet they have everything.  We have everything.......and yet we have nothing.  

I was teaching on Jesus's model of discipleship and had them partner up to share their personal testimonies with each other.  My partner was a 28 year old deaconess in one of the churches, Innelum.  She began to share with me that she was part of a tribe called the "forest people."  My curiosity was aroused as our interpreter stopped interpreting and had everyone else listen to her story.  Never had anyone from this village been saved.  For generations, the "forest people" had lived in obscurity, snatching people off the highway, dragging them into the forest, raping, torturing and killing them, and then cannibalizing them.  Her father was the witch doctor and mother the witch of the tribe, with one sister and two brothers.  When Innelum was 12, like Paul on the Damascus Road, she heard the voice of the Lord, fell to her knees and repented of her sins.  No missionary, no Bible, just the voice of the Lord.  At this point in her story, my theology is all messed up, because I have never heard the audible voice of God, and shouldn't there be a preacher, an NIV Bible, an altar call, and, and, and........

She immediately went to her father and mother and told them what happened.  They beat her nearly to death, and she fled the forest.  Large scars tattoo her body as a remembrance of the beating she took that day.  Long story short........a pastor and church took her in and discipled her in the Word.  She made it her calling to be a missionary to her family and the forest people.  Her sister was the first convert, then her brothers, then her mother, and just recently her father trusted Christ as his Savior and Lord.  Now the entire family have become missionaries to their tribe and most of them have been redeemed and have turned to Jesus.

 Every story of God's saving grace is significant.  What's your story?  Think about it, hone it, practice it, share it.  Who knows, maybe your story will impact someone as Innelum's story did me.

Rod Janzen

Rod shared with us how his salvation story seemed like a lame little one when shared next to her, but like he says every story of God's saving grace is significant. His call on your life and mine is how He designed it to be. Jesus loves everyone and has given us all a free will to choose His gift of salvation. God uses different ways to make Himself known to us. Innelum's life story is unique and God in His tender mercy spoke to her, and gave her a clear understanding of her need for a Saviour. God does not generally speak audibly but His Holy Spirit makes us aware of our sins, pointing us to a redeemer who extends mercy, grace and forgiveness freely to all who ask. Most of us live in a free country where we can share our story of how God reached out to us. 

There may be someone in your world who has never heard about Jesus....tell them your story.
Maybe you are someone who has been waiting to hear about Jesus. Today you have. I pray that you will reach out and receive Him. He loves you! He wants you to come to Him. That will be your story to share so that others will hear about Jesus and come to know Him too. One by one like the Forest Girl and her family.

John 3:16
For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life. (NIV)

Ephesians, 3:20
God can do anything, you know-far more than you could ever imagine or guess or request in your wildest dreams! He does it not by pushing us around but by working within us, His Spirit deeply and gently within us. (the message)

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Tropical Delight Parfait

Though the grass may be green...it does not exactly feel 'tropical' out here just yet.  But having a tropical fresh fruit parfait on a winter's day...helps one pretend! 

Many years ago, I tutored ESL for a group of recent immigrants to our country.  For the most part, they spoke Spanish.  I used this recipe as a tutorial...with the students learning all the English words for the ingredients involved.  We prepared the recipe together...and when the session was over...we ate our lesson!  When I prepare this dish...I always remember my Spanish speaking friends of long ago.


  • 1 pkg. vanilla instant pudding (4 serving size)
  • 1 can (540 ml.) crushed pineapple, juice included
  • 1 cup pina colada yogurt (or vanilla)
  • 1 cup mandarin orange segments (use fresh or canned oranges)
  • 1 or 2 bananas, sliced
  • toasted coconut for topping 
  1. Mix vanilla pudding with crushed pineapple in a bowl.
  2. Add 1 cup yogurt and mix until combined.
  3. Stir in mandarin oranges and bananas.
  4. Spoon into serving dishes and top with toasted coconut.  
Once the pudding, crushed pineapple and yogurt are combined...you can add fruit as you prefer, more of one and less of another.   I like to toss in some fresh pineapple as well. 

Friday, February 24, 2012

Apple Coffee Cake

Cake-
  • 1 cup of oil
  • 4 eggs
  • 1-1/2 cups of white sugar
  • 3 cups flour
  • 4 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoons almond flavoring
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup orange juice
Filling-
  • 4 apples, peeled and sliced
  • 1/3 cup brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon cinnamon
  1. Combine filling ingredients and set aside.
  2. In separate bowl beat together oil, sugar and eggs.
  3. Combine all dry ingredients together.
  4. Add the dry ingredients to the oil mixture.
  5. Stir in orange juice, the batter is very thick.
  6. Pour half of the cake into a greased Bundt pan.
  7. Add with half of the apples.
  8. Top off with the remaining batter.
  9. Add the rest of the apples on top of the cake.
  10. Swirl the apples and cake together with half turns enough to marble it together.
  11. Bake in a preheated 350 degree oven for 70 minutes or until golden brown.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Chili Soup

Thick rich chili soup. It comes together quickly and freezes well.

Ingredients:
  • 1 pound lean ground beef
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 small onion, minced
  • 1/2 cup finely diced celery
  • 1/2 cup finely diced red pepper
  • 1 796ml can diced tomatoes
  • 2 cups low sodium beef broth
  • 1 398ml can kidney beans
  • 1 398ml can low sodium black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 284ml can tomato soup
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 tbsp chilli powder
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • If you like it spicy.....add some chili peppers or hot sauce to your liking. 
Method:
  1. In a heavy pot heat oil and brown meat. Add chopped vegetables when meat in about 1/2 way cooked threw. Cook until vegetables just become translucent and meat is done.
  2. Add all other ingredients to pot. Stir well to combine and let heat over medium heat. Once really hot, turn down and simmer for at least 30 minutes. 

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Creole Shrimp and Rice Bake


Divide this recipe in half and pop one in the freezer for an appetizer for unexpected guests or bring the whole recipe in a 9X13 pan to your next potluck. Make sure you make some fresh sals to serve on the side. Fresh salsa full of tomatoes, onions and peppers helps to round out the meal.

  • 1 cup uncooked brown rice  which you should cook according to instructions.  Set aside to cool.
  • 200 grams or about 7 ounces of chorizo sausage diced. (about 2 cups diced)
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 1 sweet bell pepper, (any color) diced
  • 2 stalks celrey, sliced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 bunch kale broken into quarter sized pieces (about 4 cups when broken)
  • 1 pound fresh or frozen (thawed) small shrimp
Creole Cheese Sauce
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 2 1/2 cups 2% milk
  • 2 cups shredded mexican blend cheese
  • 2 teaspoons creole seasoning
  • additional shredded cheese for sprinkling on top
  1. In a fry pan fry the sausage until browned, Drain well on paper towels. Wipe most of the fat from the pan and return the sausage to the pan. Add the kale and cover to steam until the kale has wilted slightly and turned a bright green color. Remove from pan and set aside.
  2. In the same pan, saute the onion, in the remaining bit of fat from the sausage. Once the onions have turned translucent, add the pepper, celery and the garlic. Saute until all the veggies have wilted but are still tender crisp.
  3. While the veggies are frying....begin to make the Cheese Sauce. I always make my cheese sauce in the microwave so if you like to do yours on the stove go ahead.
  4. Melt the butter in a microwave safe 6 cup bowl or measuring cup. Add the flour and stir well. Add a bit of the milk and stir and then wisk in the remaining milk. Cook on high for one minute and stir and repeat until the sauce has thickened and is bubbly. Add the cheese and the seasoning and stir and set aside.
  5. Add the rice to the veggies and stir to combine.
  6. Spray a 9X13 pan with cooking spray. Put half the rice/veggie mixture in the bottom of the pan. Add half the sausage and kale mixture and half the shrimp. Cover with half the sauce.
  7. Repeat layers and sprinkle the remaining cheese over top.
  8. Bake at 325 for 45 minutes or until bubbly and browned on top.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Chicken Zharkovia (Russian Peasant Stew)


This was a dish that brings back memories from my mother’s kitchen growing up.

Chicken Jharkovia (Russian Stew)
1 fryer or roasting chicken cut up into pieces
Vegetables cut into large chunks
1 onion or 2 leeks
2 potatoes
2 stalks of celery
2 carrots
1 bell pepper
2 zucchini
2 parsnips, or turnips or both
flour to dredge chicken in
salt and pepper to taste
1 tablespoon oil
2 tablespoons butter
4 cups chicken broth and 1 cup of water if more liquid is needed.



Have all your vegetables washed, peeled, cut and set aside. Prepare the chicken: roll in flour seasoned with salt and pepper (start with 1/2 cup flour, 1/2 tsp. salt and 1/4 tsp. pepper). Shake off excess flour and add to heavy dutch oven with 2 Tbsp. butter and 1 Tbsp oil heated.  Brown all chicken pieces well. Remove browned chicken from pan and add all the vegetables except zucchini and parsnips. Brown well in the drippings.  Add chicken to the vegetables and add 4- cups of broth. Cover and let simmer on top of stove or in preheated 350 degree oven for 45 minutes. At this point taste and see if you need to add salt and pepper. Add the zucchini, parsnips and extra cup of hot water if needed. Cover again and cook for another half hour or until vegetables and chicken are cooked through.
Serve with good bread.

Monday, February 20, 2012

Rosemary Potato and Sausage Supper Dish

Rainy days call for comfort food like this creamy potato and sausage dish.  
Add a salad or vegetable and you have a satisfying meal.
The rosemary and mushrooms offer a tantalizing flavour change from ordinary scalloped potatoes.



























  • 5 medium potatoes, peeled and thinly sliced
  • 1 medium sized onion, thinly sliced
  • 2 tablespoons butter 
  • 2 cups sliced fresh mushrooms
  • 1 link garlic sausage, skin removed and sliced into 1/4 inch slices.
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 1 1/2 cups milk
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 tablespoon fresh rosemary, (strip leaves from stem and chop finely)
  • 1 1/2 cups grated cheese ( I used a mixture of cheddar and mozzarella)
  1. Butter a 9x13" glass or pottery baking dish.
  2. In frying pan, saute' onions  in 1 tablespoon of butter until caramelized.  Set aside.
  3. In the same pan, add another tablespoon butter and saute' mushrooms.  Set aside.
  4. Make a white sauce : melt butter in microwavable bowl or in a saucepan on the stove.
  5. Add flour and blend well.  
  6. Add milk a little at a time, mixing until smooth.
  7. Microwave one minute at a time, stirring until it thickens. Or stir constantly on stove until thickened.
  8. Add rosemary and salt and pepper to taste.  Stir well.
  9. Using 1/2 of the potatoes, make a layer of sliced potatoes.  
  10. Top the potatoes with all of the onions and mushrooms.
  11. Cover with a layer of sausage slices and ladle half the sauce over it all.
  12. Top with the rest of the potatoes and arrange the remaining sausage slices on top.
  13. Cover with the rest of the sauce and top with grated cheese.
  14. Bake in 350º oven for 1 hour or until potatoes are done.


Sunday, February 19, 2012

Bread For The Journey


Torpor - God's Provision
We were surprised and amazed this winter to find that our hummingbirds
did not migrate in fall but kept coming to our feeders !
A bit of google-research revealed that the Annas Hummingbird no longer bothers to fly south for the winter.
So we have been diligent in making sure that our feeders stay filled and thawed!
It was a strange sight to see the hummingbird fly through the falling snow to come feed.
I wondered how they could survive the severe cold with temperature dipping far below freezing. I learned that God equipped them in a unique way.
When it is very cold, the tiny hummingbird just goes into Torpor for night
-- a kind of temporary hibernation where they almost completely shut down. It very effectively conserves their life and energy. Then about two hours before sunrise they begin to raise their heart rate and body function and are ready to fly and feed again at daybreak.

When God tells us to look at the birds and see how He cares for them, I think He means us to understand the message that....
a God who so carefully provides for the smallest of His creatures
would surely also provide for us.

It is without thought or worry that the little hummingbird knows when to go into Torpor.
It is a well-designed built-in software program that works without fail.
It is not unlike how God designed our bodies.
When it becomes so cold that our body could be in danger,
our 'programmed software' also sends out a message ... "Too cold.. too cold ... "
and we know to put on extra clothing or find warm shelter.
Man must apply intelligence to our body's given messages --
but it is no less a 'gift' of our Creator's care that our bodies send out the warning!
Have you ever thanked God
for the fact that your body lets you know when it is getting too cold?
In all things, our Creator Father is a caring, loving Provider!

I will praise You,
for I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
Marvellous are Your works, And that my soul knows very well.
Ps. 139:14
*

Saturday, February 18, 2012

'Don't Tell' Yeast Doughnuts - Gluten Free



For those of you who have been asking for gluten free doughnuts , here they are !!
I am 'famous' (smile) for my regular wheat doughnuts and I was skeptical whether I could come up with a gf doughnut worth making.

I developed a recipe that passed the taste/texture test and is also a dough that handles easily and rises well , holding its shape !
These doughnuts are light, fluffy with much the same crumb and taste as regular yeast doughnuts.
**The recipe makes about 2 dozen... depending on how many 'holes' you make.

Doughnuts
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 1 tsp unflavoured gelatin
  • 2 tbsp yeast
  • 1/4 cup almond flour
  • 1/2 cup white corn flour
  • 2/3 cup millet flour
  • 1/2 cup potato starch
  • 1/4 cup tapioca starch
  • 1/4 cup brown rice flour
  • 1/3 cup white sugar
  • 1 tsp xanthan gum
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • dash of salt
  • 1/4 cup oil (I love Grapeseed oil)
  • 1 lg egg
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • sweet rice flour - for rolling
  1. Heat milk to lukewarm and add to mixed sugar and gelatin , sprinkle yeast over top and let proof
  2. Beat egg, oil, sugar and vanilla in mixer
  3. Add proofed yeast to liquids and mix
  4. Blend thoroughly all dry ingredients and add them all at once to the liquid , beating on high for about a minute
  5. Turn dough out onto counter dusted with sweet rice flour and work in just enough flour to make dough manageable but keeping it very soft . (you will need very little extra flour)
  6. Pat out the dough, using your hands , to about 3/8 inch thickness ..... turning and redusting to keep it from sticking to counter.
  7. Using doughnut cutter cut out doughnuts , rejoining left over dough pieces, again patting to 3/8 inch thickness - repeat until all the dough is either in doughnut shapes or doughnut holes.
  8. Cover with plastic wrap and let rise for about 45 minutes
  9. Deep fry in oil until golden brown .... adjust heat tempeture so the dough when dropped into oil sizzles but not so high that the doughnuts brown too quickly and stay doughy in the middle.
  10. Remove doughnuts to paper toweling covered pan to cool
  11. When cool dip into doughnut glaze (recipe below) or ice doughnut tops with white icing and dip into crushed nuts or chocolate sprinkles or coloured sprinkles
Doughnut Glaze (this is soo delicious - I got the recipe from the old Mennonite Treasury cookbook and have used it for over 40 years)
If you want to ice some doughnuts and glaze some -cut the following glaze recipe in half.
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup icing sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  1. Mix milk , butter and sugar in a saucepan and bring to a boil ... let boil for 30 seconds or so and remove from heat
  2. Add icing sugar and vanilla and beat until mixture becomes smooth and thickens
  3. Dip doughnuts into glaze (I put the glazed doughnuts into a platter and let the extra glaze pool on the bottom of the platter.... I always smile when after the doughnuts have disappeared from the serving plate and I see the finger or doughnut trails left from scooping up the extra glaze)
* Enjoy!!! - doughnuts best eaten fresh or same day -- if not serving same day freeze them.
A quick zap in the microwave does revive them nicely!

Friday, February 17, 2012

Cinnamon Maple Toasties

 My daughter sent this recipe to me. She said it looks simple and delicious. I agreed and decided to make them right away. I have made them a number of times, at first I rolled them up in little rolls and placed them in a muffin tin to bake. This method is even simpler and they are a really quick delicious snack. You can use white bread if you like, we prefer 60% whole wheat bread.

Ingredients:
  • 12 slices of bread
  • 1/2 cup melted butter
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • glaze
Method:
  1. Cut off  the crust from a slice of bread and using a rolling pin roll slice until very thin.
  2. Spread both sides of a slice with melted butter.
  3. Mix sugar and cinnamon together and sprinkle one side of the slice of bread with the sugar mixture.
  4. Fold over half of the slice with the sugar/cinnamon mixture to the inside to form a triangle and place on a parchment lined pan. Repeat with all the slices.
  5. Bake at 375º for 15 minutes or until they start to brown and are a little crispy.
  6. Drizzle with glaze while still warm. 
  7. If you want smaller servings cut these triangles in half. 
Glaze
  • 3/4 cup icing sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon maple flavoring
  • Add enough water to make a thin glaze. 

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Roast Beef for a Crowd


This method of preparing a large meal breaks up the effort being put into cooking for a crowd. For this dinner I cooked two roasts the day before. I sliced them, prepared the gravy and refrigerated the meat and gravy, ready to re-heat just before the meal the next day. On the day of the dinner, I did the mashed potatoes, cooked peas and mixed the coleslaw. This served 25 people. When planning a meal like this, if you want to be on the safe side, count on 1/2 lb of beef per person.

Ingredients:
  • 2  (6 lb) sirloin tip roasts
  • 10  - 12 cloves garlic
  • Lawreys seasoning salt
  • 3 cans regular or wild cream of mushroom soup
  • 1 or 2 cans mushrooms
  • 4 cups water
  • 4 Tbsp flour

Method:
  1. Spray roasting pan/ pans with cooking spray. (I prefer the black speckled roasting pans for nice browning)
  2. Season roasts lightly with seasoning salt. Squeeze garlic cloves under twine or lay on top. Bake at 375 for half an hour lid off. Turn oven down to 300 F, and continue cooking for 3 hours with lid on. Don't stress if they look well done. Once they are sliced and cooked with the gravy they get very tender.
  3. Remove roasts to a platter and tent, allowing to cool. Refrigerate after one or two hours.
  4. Once completely cooled, slice thinly with a sharp knife. (Much easier to slice once cooled)
  5. To drippings in roaster, on medium heat, add cream of mushroom soup, stirring with whisk until smooth.  Add mushrooms. Shake up flour and water, adding it to the gravy according to desired consistency and flavor. Bring to boil.
  6. Add sliced meat to gravy, making sure the meat is basically covered with the gravy.
  7. Refrigerate and reheat about half hour before serving.
  8. Remove roast slices to serving plate and gravy to gravy dish. Serve with mashed potatoes or large buns for roast beef sandwiches.

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Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Oatmeal Craisin Cookies

These have become one of my favourite oatmeal raisin cookies. 
 They are chewy and have a hint of spice.
I've added a handful of chopped dried cranberries in with the raisins for another layer of flavour.  
The dough needs a couple of hours in the fridge before placing on the pan so you can mix them ahead of time and have fresh cookies ready when the children get home from school.


  • 3/4 cup butter or margarine
  • 3/4 cup shortening
  • 2 1/2 cups sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 3/4 cup golden cane syrup ( I used Roger's)
  • 1 1/2 cups oatmeal
  • 4 teaspoons baking soda **
  • 4 cups flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon cloves
  •  1 cup chopped raisins 
  • 1 cups chopped dried cranberries 
** I've had questions about the amount of baking soda in this recipe.  I wondered about it myself the first time I made it but the cookies turned out fine.  By all means try reducing the amount if it doesn't seem right to you.  Or you can reduce or eliminate the salt.  Let us know if you come up with a better ratio of baking soda.  We're always open to learning from our readers.

  1. Mix butter, shortening and sugar together in a large bowl.
  2. Add eggs one at a time, beating after each addition.
  3. Add golden syrup and mix well.
  4. Mix in oatmeal, baking soda, spices and salt.
  5. Add flour, one cup at a time and mix well.
  6. Add raisins and dried cranberries and mix again.
  7. Cover cookie dough and refrigerate for several hours.
  8. Scoop out cookies on to pan and roll each into a 1 " ball.
  9. Bake at 375º for 10 - 12 minutes or until cookies are evenly browned and beginning to set.
  10. Let cool on pan for 5 minutes and remove to racks or brown paper to cool.
  11. Makes 8 dozen.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Hot Little Pudding Cakes


Even the most "bake from scratch everytime" cook needs to have a few tricks up her sleeve.
This one will be out of the bag now and when I present these tasty light little pudding cakes for intimate dinner parties....they will not worry that I fussed in the kitchen all day.
Once you have combined your two bags of mix....the bags can be stored in your pantry and portion control can be excersised when needed.

When my friend Jill sent me the link to these easy little 3-2-1 cakes I went straight to my test kitchen....
boxes of mix in hand and made little cakes until I found a version that was good enough to offer my
man for dessert.

Two Mixes for Pudding Cakes

  • 1 box angel food cake mix
  • 1 box regular chocolate cake mix
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup cocoa
  1. Combine the angel food and regular cake  mix  together in a one gallon sized zipper plastic bag.
  2. Combine the brown sugar and cocoa in a quart sized zipper plastic bag.
Directions for Hot Little Pudding Cakes
  • 3 tablespoons cake mix
  • 2 tablespoons sour cream
  • 2 teaspoons cocoa-brown sugar mix
  • 2 tablespoons hot coffee or hot water
  1. Spray a 7-8 ounce microwave safe ramekin or a similar sized custard cup with cooking spray.
  2. In a small bowl, combine the cake mix and sour cream.
  3. Use a small spatula to scrape it into the ramekin and smooth the top.
  4. Sprinkle the cocoa brown sugar mix evenly over top.
  5. Pour hot coffee/hot water over the brown sugar cocoa mix....but don't stir!
  6. Put in the microwave on high speed for one minute.
  7. Carefully remove. Put a small plate on top and tip both the ramekin and plate over together.  Lift the ramekin to reveal the cake with the dab of hot pudding on top.
  8. Serve warm with a dollop of icecream and a warm embrace.
Happy Valentines Day!



Monday, February 13, 2012

Italian Green Beans

A note to our readers today . . .This past weekend our sitemeter rolled over the 4 million mark and to commemorate this milestone we decided to do a surprise draw of our weekend commenters. We would like to congratulate . . .

Chrissy said...

Ummmm. I love it with potato soup, and bake mine in a hot skillet, too. And it's good with jelly!
February 11, 2012 7:19 AM

So... Chrissy, would you please email foreverythingaseason@gmail.com to leave a mailing address and we will get a Mennonite Girls Can Cook cookbook out in the mail for you.




This is such a quick and easy recipe to make, it is ready in minutes.
  • 1 onion chopped
  • 10 mushrooms sliced
  • 1 clove of garlic minced
  • 3 cups of frozen green beans
  • Italian dressing, or Sun-dried Tomato dressing
  • 1 tablespoon of Olive Oil
  1. Put about 1 tablespoon of olive oil into a saute pan.
  2. Add the chopped onion, mushrooms and garlic and cook until softened.
  3. Into the same pan add the frozen green beans, and steam fry by adding a couple of tablespoons of water until a bright green and cooked through, stirring often. It helps to put the lid on for quicker cooking but you need to stir for even cooking. If the pan is getting dry add 1 or 2 tablespoons more water to help steam the beans.
  4. After the beans are cooked through and the water has completely evaporated add 2 tablespoons or a little more dressing to taste and serve. It adds a punch of flavor to plain green beans and dresses up a meal.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Bread for the Journey

With Valentine's Day just around the corner...
you may have been searching for some way to bless those special people in your life.  
Chocolates and flowers seem to be the gift of choice.  
But have you ever thought of giving the gift of words?


Write a letter to those you love....
and tell them what they mean to you.
Pen all those things that you rarely say...
but that should be said.
Put your message in a card...
or give it as a 'message in a bottle'.
That gift will mean more to them than something you have purchased.

Our heavenly Father has also given us a gift of words...
a love letter.

Read it.
Soak it up.
Respond.
 
 It goes like this...
 
My Child,

You may not know me,
but I know everything about you.

Psalm 139:1

I know when you sit down and when you rise up.
Psalm 139:2

I am familiar with all your ways.
Psalm 139:3

Even the very hairs on your head are numbered.
Matthew 10:29-31

For you were made in my image.
Genesis 1:27

In me you live and move and have your being.
Acts 17:28

For you are my offspring.
Acts 17:28

I knew you even before you were conceived.
Jeremiah 1:4-5 

I chose you when I planned creation.
Ephesians 1:11-12

You were not a mistake,
for all your days are written in my book.

Psalm 139:15-16

I determined the exact time of your birth
and where you would live.

Acts 17:26

You are fearfully and wonderfully made.
Psalm 139:14 

I knit you together in your mother's womb.
Psalm 139:13

And brought you forth on the day you were born.
Psalm 71:6

I have been misrepresented
by those who don't know me.

John 8:41-44

I am not distant and angry,
but am the complete expression of love.

1 John 4:16

And it is my desire to lavish my love on you.
1 John 3:1

Simply because you are my child
and I am your Father.

1 John 3:1

I offer you more than your earthly father ever could.
Matthew 7:11

For I am the perfect father.
Matthew 5:48

Every good gift that you receive comes from my hand.
James 1:17

For I am your provider and I meet all your needs.
Matthew 6:31-33

My plan for your future has always been filled with hope.
Jeremiah 29:11

Because I love you with an everlasting love.
Jeremiah 31:3

My thoughts toward you are countless
as the sand on the seashore.

Psalms 139:17-18

And I rejoice over you with singing.
Zephaniah 3:17

I will never stop doing good to you.
Jeremiah 32:40 

For you are my treasured possession.
Exodus 19:5

I desire to establish you
with all my heart and all my soul.

Jeremiah 32:41

And I want to show you great and marvelous things.
Jeremiah 33:3 

If you seek me with all your heart,
you will find me.

Deuteronomy 4:29 

Delight in me and I will give you
the desires of your heart.

Psalm 37:4

For it is I who gave you those desires.
Philippians 2:13

I am able to do more for you
than you could possibly imagine.

Ephesians 3:20

For I am your greatest encourager.
2 Thessalonians 2:16-17

I am also the Father who comforts you
in all your troubles.

2 Corinthians 1:3-4

When you are brokenhearted,
I am close to you.

Psalm 34:18

As a shepherd carries a lamb,
I have carried you close to my heart.

Isaiah 40:11

One day I will wipe away
every tear from your eyes.

Revelation 21:3-4


And I'll take away all the pain
you have suffered on this earth.

Revelation 21:3-4


I am your Father, and I love you
even as I love my son, Jesus.

John 17:23


For in Jesus, my love for you is revealed.
John 17:26

He is the exact representation of my being.
Hebrews 1:3


He came to demonstrate that I am for you,
not against you.

Romans 8:31


And to tell you that I am not counting your sins.
2 Corinthians 5:18-19

Jesus died so that you and I could be reconciled.
2 Corinthians 5:18-19


His death was the ultimate expression
of my love for you.

1 John 4:10

I gave up everything I loved
that I might gain your love.

Romans 8:31-32


If you receive the gift of my son Jesus,
you receive me.

1 John 2:23

And nothing will ever separate you
from my love again.

Romans 8:38-39

Come home and I'll throw the biggest party
heaven has ever seen.

Luke 15:7


I have always been Father,
and will always be Father.

Ephesians 3:14-15


My question is…
Will you be my child?

John 1:12-13


I am waiting for you.
Luke 15:11-32

Love, Your Dad
Almighty God

Father's Love Letter used by permission Father Heart Communications
©
1999-2011 www.FathersLoveLetter.com

May you experience His love today.
Anneliese, Betty, Bev, Charlotte, Ellen, Judy, Julie, Kathy, Lovella, Marg

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Cornbread

When I go to a restaurant and see cornbread on the menu I am tempted to order only that..I really could make a meal of just cornbread and nothing else!! Making it at home is simple and quick and you can adjust the sweetness to what you like. I especially like eating this with a chicken roast, sort of reminds me of 'bubbat' without the raisins:) It would also go well with chili.
You will need:
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1 cup cornmeal
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 3 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 1/4 cup butter, melted
Method:
  1. In a medium size bowl, whisk flour, cornmeal, sugar, baking powder, baking soda,  and salt.
  2. In a small bowl, whisk eggs and buttermilk, add melted butter and whisk until well blended.
  3. Pour into dry ingredients and stir only until combined. Do not overmix.
  4. Grease an 8" square pan and pour batter into the pan.
  5. Bake at 400º for 22 minutes or until toothpick inserted comes clean. It will have a nice golden color.

Friday, February 10, 2012

Chocolate Fondue



This is a fun dessert to make for Valentine’s Day.

Chocolate Hazelnut Fondue
1-1/2 cups half and half
1 cup heavy cream
1-1/2 pounds bittersweet or semisweet chocolate, finely chopped. (I used 2 bags of semisweet chocolate chips that I didn’t need to chop)
1/4 cup Frangelico liqueur (If you do not want to use this you can substitute 1/4 cup of strong brewed coffee)
1/4 cup chopped toasted hazelnuts (as always you can omit the nuts if you'd prefer)

Place the half and half and heavy cream in a double boiler. Heat the creams until they bubble. Reduce the heat and gradually stir in the chocolate chips 1/2 cup at a time whisking while adding. When the chocolate is completely blended in, add the liqueur. Keep warm and sprinkle with hazelnuts just before serving. You can divide the chocolate into individual dipping bowls and serve with dipping fruit and other items or you can put the chocolate into a fondue pot at this time, too, to keep it warm.

Some dipping suggestions: cookies, biscotti, cubes of cake, dried apricots, pineapple, fresh berries, sliced pears, orange slices, and marshmallows.

This recipe easily served 8 people with leftovers. If you are serving a smaller group half the recipe.