Thursday, May 31, 2012

Nutella Rice Krispee Treats

It's that time of year when we are looking for a simple dessert for picnics, bbq's and camping trips.  Here's a bit of a twist on an old favorite...rice krispee squares laced with Nutella. They are a hit with 'kids' of all ages!


Ingredients:

  • 4 cups mini marshmallows
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 1/2 cup Nutella
  • 5-6 cups rice cereal  
 Topping:
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1/2 cup milk chocolate chips
  • 1 cup Nutella

Method:
  1. Heat marshmallows, butter and Nutella in glass bowl in microwave.  Stir every thirty seconds until smooth. 
  2. Pour marshmallow mixture over rice cereal.  Stir to coat evenly.
  3. Press mixture into a greases 9" X 13" pan.
  4. For topping, combine ingredients in a glass bowl and microwave on high, stirring every 15-30 seconds until chocolate is melted and mixture is smooth.  Spread over pan of rice krispee treats.
  5. Chill for an hour before cutting into squares.







Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Pear - Fig Salad with Poppy Seed Dressing


My cousin, Alvina, sent me this - her favorite salad dressing recipe and salad mix ideas. The dressing  is best made a day before to allow flavors to blend. My guess is that it makes enough for 12 - 16 servings of salad. Keep leftover dressing refrigerated.

Dressing Ingredients:
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 Tbsp poppy seeds
  • 1/4 cup red wine vinegar (I used white)
  • 2 Tbsp lemon juice
  • 2 Tbsp onion, minced (I used a shallot)
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2/3 cup vegetable  or grapeseed oil
Method:
  • Blend first five ingredients well, blending in the oil last. Refrigerate and shake before serving.
Salad Ingredients for three to four servings: 
  • 6 - 8 cups of salad greens (such as romaine, red leaf, spinach)
  • 1 pear, sliced
  • 6 - 8 dried figs, sliced
  • bacon bits
  • toasted pecans

My ingredients were slightly improvised. For the fruit the original recipe called for an apple pear and craisins. You can also add your favorite cheese. I caramelized the pecans.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Boston Brown Bread


This fruit filled loaf is not a traditional "Boston Brown Bread" but it's what my Aunt Emmy called it when she shared the recipe with me years ago.  
It's moist and keeps well in the fridge or freezer. 
 Spread lightly with butter or eaten plain, it's a favourite of mine.

  • 2 cups water
  • 1 lb. ( 3 cups) sultana raisins, rinsed well
  • 3 tablespoons butter

  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup chopped maraschino cherries
  • 1/4 cup maraschino cherry juice
  • 1 egg, well beaten
  • 1 cup chopped walnuts or pecans

  • 2 3/4 cups flour
  • 2 teaspoons soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  1. Place 2 cups water and raisins in a saucepan and bring to a boil.
  2. Cook for 5 minutes, add butter and set aside to cool.
  3. Preheat oven  to 325º and line 2 loaf pans with parchment paper or foil.  Set aside.
  4. When raisin mixture is cool to touch, add sugar, cherries, juice, beaten egg and nuts.  stirring well with a wooden spoon.
  5. Add remaining ingredients and stir again until dry ingredients are incorporated.
  6. Spoon batter into pans and smooth tops.
  7. Bake at 325º oven for 45-55 minutes or until cake tester comes out dry.
  8. Remove loaves from pans but leave the foil or parchment paper on until they are completely cold.
  9. This loaf slices best the second day.  Store loaves in refrigerator or wrap and freeze.



Monday, May 28, 2012

Rhubarb Chantilly Cream Pie



This is a nice light, slightly tart Rhubarb dessert.  Pour the filling in a ready made Graham Crust it becomes a Pie, or pour the filling in a Parfait Glass and it becomes a Mousse.  Either way it is a nice summer treat. This is enough filling for two pies or one night serve the dessert as a Parfait (served this way it is gluten free as well), next night bring the the pie to a potluck.
  • 8 cups if Rhubarb, chopped
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar (more if you like it sweeter)
  • 1 large 8 serving package of Strawberry flavored Jello
  • 4 cups of chopped Strawberries
  • 2 cups of whipping cream, whipped
  1. Combine the Rhubarb and sugar in a pot.
  2. On medium heat cook until the Rhubarb is soft about 15 minutes.
  3. Remove from the heat, add the Jello, stirring well until all the crystals are dissolved.
  4. Put in the refridgerator until it begins to set and is the consitancy of raw egg whites.
  5. Add the chopped Strawberries.
  6. Fold in the whipped cream.
  7. Pour into graham wafer crust.
  8. This is enough filling for two pie crusts.
  9. Top with additional whipped cream and decorate with Strawberries.

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Bread for the Journey

 
One night, this week, as NBC News was catching up
on the anniversary of a tornado that destroyed homes in Joplin, Missouri,
I got caught up in a story about a young woman named Bethany Lansaw.
 Bethany and her husband had been married six years.
When the tornado came ripping at their home,
she took cover in the bathtub
while her husband threw his body over hers to shield her.
He died, loving her and saving her.
What touched me in her story was that
she now finds comfort in the fact that on the worst day of her life
she was loved and comforted.
This struck a chord with me, as I was reminded of how God loves us in much the same way. Jesus said, "Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends." Isaiah tells of God saving His people because we are precious in His sight.

In Romans 8 we read . . .
What, then, shall we say in response to this? If God is for us,
who can be against us?
He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all –
how will He not also, along with him graciously give us all things?
For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, neither angels nor demons,
neither the present nor the future, nor any powers,
neither height nor depth,
nor anything else in all creation will be able to separate us
from the love of God, that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
On our worst day, He still loves us and comforts us,
when we hide ourselves in Him.
Posted by Picasa

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Sweet Potato Biscuits

With a hint of sweetness and bits of sweet potato flavour it is a perfect biscuit to serve up with chili or soup. These biscuits would also be wonderful slathered with honey butter.

Ingredients:
  • 1 3/4 cups flour
  • 2 level tablespoons brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup butter, chilled and cut into cubes
  • 1 cup sweet potato, cooked and mashed with fork
  • 1/3 cup buttermilk
Method:
  1. Combine dry ingredients in a medium sized bowl.
  2. Using a pastry blender cut in butter till pea size pieces.
  3. Combine mashed sweet potato and buttermilk. Add to flour mixture stirring just until combined. It will still be crumbly at this point.
  4. Turn mixture out on counter and knead lightly just until it all comes together in a ball.
  5. Pat out dough to desired thickness, approx 3/4" thick.
  6. Cut into biscuits, I used a 3" round cookie cutter.
  7. Place biscuits on a parchment lined cookie sheet.
  8. Bake at 400º for 15 minutes.
  9. Serve warm with your chili.
  10. Yield: 10 biscuits

Friday, May 25, 2012

Onion Babies

Onions are inexpensive and readily available. Most often we add them to a recipe which for added flavour, but these little onions stand on their own. It's all about the little pickling onion which is a dry small brown or white onion, which is easy to find. The next time you are looking for that perfect little addition to barbecued steak or chicken, or to add to a hot appetizer tray try these! Thyme and bread crumbs are baked crisp on top of these mild tasting onion babies. I think you're going to like these!

Ingredients:
  • 12 pickling onions, trimmed and peeled
  • 1/2 cup panko bread crumbs
  • 1/2 cup fresh bread crumbs
  • 2 tbsp thyme leaves, (not thyme powder)
  • several grinds of salt and cracked pepper
  • 3 tbsp butter, melted
  • olive oil,
Method:
  1. Heat oven to 375º. Peel and trim on end of onions.
  2. Place onions in a small sauce pan with a an inch of boiling water. Allow onions to cook for 3-4 minutes, until they just start to open.
  3. Carefully using a slotted spoon take the onions out of water and place on a baking dish. Stand them as best you can so the end that looks most like a 'blossom' is standing up.
  4. Combine bread crumbs with the melted butter, thyme leaves, salt and pepper.
  5. Using a small spoon top the tender onions with the crumb mixture, carefully pressing it into the layers of the onions.
  6. Drizzle each onion with a little bit of olive oil and bake for 15 minutes, or until the bread crumbs are golden brown. Serve these little onion babies hot!

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Banana Oatmeal Muffins


Adding  oatmeal and walnuts into muffins  adds additional nutritional value and keeps us satisfied longer.  If I am serving muffins for a coffee break...
I sometimes pipe some soft butter on top and set out some knives. 
  • 2 large  ripe bananas
  • 3/4 cup low fat unflavored yogurt
  • 1 egg
  • 1/3 cup canola oil
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 3/4 cup quick oats
  • 2 cups flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup finely chopped walnuts
  1. Preheat oven to 375.
  2. Mash the banana in a large bowl and then add the remaining wet ingredients and whisk until well combined.
  3. Add the oatmeal and allow it to sit while you combine your dry ingredients in a medium bowl.
  4. Add in 3/4 cup of the walnuts (reserve some to sprinkle on top)
  5. Using a large spatula, fold the wet and dry ingredients together just until the dry ingredients no longer visible.
  6. Spray a 12 cup muffin tin with cooking spray and divide the batter evenly between them.
  7. Sprinkle with the remaining walnuts and bake about 30 minutes or until toothpick tests clean and they are nicely browned.
  8. Allow to cool a few minutes and then let them finish cooling on a cooking rack.


Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Scalloped Potatoes


Like most recipes, I've adapted or don't cook it exactly the same every time, but the original recipe comes from the Old Mennonite Treasury.


Ingredients:
  • 6 - 7 large russet potatoes
  • 1 onion
  • 1 can cream of mushroom
  • 1 cup milk
  • salt and pepper
  • paprika
Method:
  1. Peel and thinly slice potatoes and onion
  2. Mix soup and milk, blending well
  3. Arrange half of the potatoes in a buttered dish. Shake some salt and pepper all over.Top with onion and pour 2/3 of the soup mix evenly over top.
  4. Arrange the rest of the potatoes, a little salt and pepper and the rest of the soup. Sprinkle with paprika.
  5. Cover dish and bake at 375 F for 60 - 90 minutes. If you like the top a bit crispy, remove cover for final 15-30  minutes. Although the potatoes may be done in 1 hour, I like to put them in a bit ahead of time, just in case. There is nothing like waiting for potatoes to get done, and they taste better when they are cooked longer. You can always just cover and let them sit for 15 minutes before serving.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Spicy Ranch Chicken


This is a very simple crock pot chicken recipe that only takes 3 ingredients.

1 Whole Chicken with majority of skin removed
2 cups prepared Ranch Dressing
1 – 10 oz. can of Rotel diced tomatoes and green chilies

Spray crock pot with Pam. Pour 1 cup of the Ranch dressing in bottom of crock pot. Place whole chicken, breast side down, on the dressing. Pour the other cup of dressing on top of the chicken. Top with the can of diced tomatoes and chilies.

Cook on high for 1 hour and lower heat to low and cook for 4-5 more hours.

Remove the chicken and cut into pieces discarding any gristle and loose bones. Whisk the sauce remaining in the crock pot. Place chicken back into sauce. I served this with prepared rice and it was tasty without any need for more seasoning. You can serve some good hearty bread and a green vegetable with it to make a balanced meal.



Notes: If Rotel diced tomatoes and chilies aren’t available where you live any canned chopped tomatoes with chilies will work. Rotel has an extra spicy kick to it that we enjoy. If you’d like the sauce to be more gravy like you could add your favorite thickener to the sauce.

Monday, May 21, 2012

Cheese Straws

I have had these tasty little treats elsewhere...but recently made them up at home.  They are quick to make and make a great addition to a buffet table...alongside other appetizers. 


Ingredients:
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups sharp Cheddar cheese, grated
  • 1/2 cup butter, grated
  • 1/2 cup ice-cold water
 
Method:
  1. Line several baking sheets with parchment paper (or grease).
  2. Combine flour, baking powder, cayenne pepper, salt,  grated cheese and butter.
  3. Mix until well combined.
  4. Add water, a little at a time to form a stiff dough.
  5. On floured surface, roll out dough to about 1/4" thickness. (Work with half the pastry at a time.)
  6. Cut sticks into about 6" lengths, using a pizza cutter or sharp knife.
  7. Arrange pieces on the baking sheet.
  8. Bake at 350°F for 12-15 minutes, or until the straws are crisp and golden in colour.
  9. Yield: about 5 dozen straws.

Enjoy!

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Bread For the Journey

 
We just finished celebrating Mother's Day!
I went alone last Sunday to church reflecting and pondering...
When I was just a tiny gal, I remembered people wearing flowers.
A white flower meant that your mother had past away
A red flower meant that your mother was living...
I looked around in church, gathering glimpses of their  faces,
and wondering what color flowers would represent the lives of these women.
Little did I know about life's journeys at that age.
My heart wrenched and started aching as I sat in church and thought of
so many families that have experienced painful relationships.
A life of separation...
the hurt...
the pain...
What if you are not in a position to be a mother?
Some are struggling with infertility.
Some have difficult relationships.
Some mother's are grieving the loss of a child, or a loved one.
Many women don't have the ideal family situation.
Mother's Day can bring along guilt, especially when compared to other women.
So many women struggling with pain, guilt and feelings of inadequacy.

How do we experience a fresh start and begin to have HOPE again?

Even if we don't get what we are hoping for in this lifetime,
have you made the decision to still trust, obey, honor and worship God
even if nothing changes?
Even if there is no "happily ever after"?

But I stand silently before the Lord, waiting for him to rescue me. 
For salvation comes from him alone.
Yes, he alone is my rock, my rescuer, defense and fortress:
Why then should I be tense with fear when troubles come?
My protection and success come from God alone.
He is my refuge, a Rock, where no enemy can reach me.
Psalm 62: 5-7. Living Bible

 We may never know how God will redeem a situation for us.
We may never know all the ways in which God can give value
out of a traumatic circumstance or experience,
but we do know that by sharing our stories we can
strengthen, inspire  and encourage each other,
and we do know that we are no longer held captive by hurtful treatment,
but are released to follow an unchanging God, our Rock. 

"Our broken lives are not lost or useless.
God's love is still working.  He comes in and takes the calamity
and uses it victoriously working out his wonderful plan of love."
Eric Liddell

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Forever Onion Greens

My daughter recently commented to me, "Mom, have you heard of forever onion greens yet?"
My curiosity aroused I answered her in the negative and waited for her explanation.

This is obviously for those of us who are not blessed with our own vegetable gardens or a trick saved for cold winter months, but I learned that a bunch of onion greens can keep on giving long after they would  if we keep  doing what we usually do  -- put them in the crisper drawer of our refrigerator until they are either used them up or thrown  out.

Instead, you will find that your onion greens if placed in a glass of water (with a little added sugar)  will just keep on growing !
Somewhat sceptical I pulled out a bunch of onion greens that had been in my fridge for probably a week and stuck them in water and placed the glass near a window but not direct sun.
To my amazement stocks started to grow, and grow quickly !  I could literally see them grow !

Keep picking them  off as you need them -- change the water if it gets cloudy and add a little fresh sugar!

I had to think of Jesus feeding the 5,000 with two loaves and five fishes --  and then the miraculous 12 baskets of left overs!
I'm not sure you will get 12 baskets of left overs from one purchased bunch of onion greens ... but... I suppose it depends on how green your thumb is !  smile

Friday, May 18, 2012

Apple Sauce Bran Muffins

Muffins are always good to have on hand for a breakfast or a snack. Combine this with cheese, fresh fruit and you can have a nice lunch too. This recipe is large and makes 3 dozen, they freeze very well. In the fall when there is an abundance of apples, make apple sauce and use some in this recipe.
  • 3 cups apple sauce
  • 2 cups buttermilk or sour milk (adding 2 tablespoons lemon juice or vinegar into the cup before adding milk to make a mock buttermilk)
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 3/4 cup molasses
  • 3/4 cup of vegetable oil
  • 1 tablespoon of vanilla extract
  • 3 eggs
  • 3 cups of bran
  • 6 cups of flour
  • 1 tablespoon of baking soda
  • 1 tablespoon cinnamon
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons of salt
  • 3 cups of raisins or chopped dates or a combination of both

  1. Combine apple sauce, buttermilk, brown sugar, molasses, oil, vanilla and eggs.
  2. Stir in the bran and let it rest for 10 minutes.
  3. Add dry ingredients separately and whisk together.
  4. Stir into the apple sauce mixture, fold in the dates or raisins.
  5. Spoon into greased or lined muffin tins.
  6. Bake in a 375 degree oven for 20-25 minutes.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Coconut Mango Scones

Coconut and fresh mango compliment each other in these coffee time treat.

Ingredients:
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 tbsp baking powder 
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla
  • 1 tbsp orange zest
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 3/4 cup buttermilk
  • 1/4 cup mango or peach yogurt
  • 1 egg
  • 1 mango, peeled and cut into small cubes
  • 1/3 cup unsweetened fine coconut
Method:
  1. Mix together dry ingredients. 
  2. Cut in butter until mixture become crumbly and fine.
  3. Stir together all liquid ingredients and using a fork, stir into dry ingredients until all dry ingredients are moist. Do not over mix.
  4. Stir in mango and coconut.
  5. Drop mounds of batter onto parchment-lined baking pan. (8 large or 10-12 medium sized)
  6. Bake in 400º oven for 20 minutes. Remove to a cooling rack.
  7. While still warm glaze.
Glaze:
  • 1 cup icing sugar
  • 2 tbsp orange juice
Mix to a thick pourable glaze.

TIP: Place cooling rack with scones over sink when ready to drizzle with glaze. Any drips will fall into sink for easy cleanup. 

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Rhubarb Slice


My mom made this slice every spring and I found it again in her recipes.
It is not overly sweet and slices up nice and neat.
You will need only 1/3 of this recipe for pastry.  The rest can be flattened into discs and wrapped in plastic wrap and frozen in zipper bags until you need one.  Then simply thaw at room temperature and use to make your favorite pie.

Dorothy's Pastry


    • 5 cups flour
    • 4 teaspoons brown sugar
    • 2 teaspoons salt
    • 1 teaspoon baking powder
    • 1 pound lard
    • 1 egg
    • 1 tablespoon white vinegar
    • water

  1. Measure the flour, brown sugar, salt and baking powder into a large bowl.
  2. Cut in the lard with a pastry blender or two knives until the mixture is like large oatmeal.
  3. Put the egg into a 1 cup measuring cup. .beat it to break it up.
  4. Add the vinegar to the cup and then fill with water to the 1 cup line.
  5. Slowly stir the egg mixture into the flour mixture with a fork until just combined.
  6. Turn out onto a floured counter and knead a few times to bring it together into a ball.
  7. Divide into three and wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for an hour.
  8. You will only need 1/3 of this recipe for a 9X13 pan but you can also triple the recipe and put it into a cookie sheet or else freeze the remaining pastry for your next double pies.

To make the Rhubarb Slice

  • Pastry dough
  • rhubarb
  1. Roll out one 1/3 of the pastry into a rectangular shape that will fit into a 9X13 pan.  You can double this to make it into a cookie sheet.  Leave one inch sides up the side of the pan.
  2. Dice enough rhubarb to make 3 cups. Spread the rhubarb evenly in the pan.  If you have a sweet tooth..sprinkle the rhubarb with a bit of sugar..maybe a few tablespoons.
Topping
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/3 cup flour
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  1. Put all the topping ingredients in a blender in order given and process until smooth.
  2. Pour over the rhubarb and  trim the excess pastry to still allow for the batter to rise...about 1/2 inch  Bake on the bottom 1/3 of the oven at 375 for 30 minutes or until the crust and the topping have evenly browned.
  3. Allow to cool before slicing.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Buttermilk Dressed Potatoes


My friend Brenda brought a potato dish to our care group potluck recently that I just had to try making myself.  
I've substituted a homemade dressing for the Ranch dressing she used, so feel free to use bottled dressing if you haven't the time or inclination to make the Buttermilk dressing I used.
A recipe to please all potato lovers.

Ingredients:
  • Potatoes (1-2 per person)
  • Buttermilk Dressing (recipe follows)
  • Bacon, cut into 1/4 inch pieces, fried until crisp and drained on paper towel
  • Cheddar, Mozzarella and Parmesan cheeses, grated and tossed together
  • chopped green onions

 Method:
  1. Bake, or boil potatoes in their skins, just until done.
  2. Meanwhile, mix Buttermilk Dressing.
  3. Cut potatoes into 2 inch cubes and place in buttered baking dish.
  4. Drizzle Buttermilk Dressing over potatoes.  Don't drench them in the dressing but be sure all the potatoes have some dressing on them.
  5. Sprinkle with cheese and bacon.  
  6. Sprinkle with the green onion or you can wait until the potato dish is baked and sprinkle the green onion over the dish just before serving.
  7. Bake in 350º oven for 30-40 minutes or until potatoes are thoroughly heated and dressing is bubbling.
Buttermilk Dressing:
  • 2/3 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/3 cup buttermilk
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
  • 1 Tablespoon of chopped fresh chives
  • 1 teaspoon seasoned salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
Place dressing ingredients in a jar or gravy shaker  and blend until thoroughly combined.

Oh so delicious!

Monday, May 14, 2012

Mom's Prize Marble Cake

This lovely cake was often on the my mother's Sunday Fasba table. She made it in two loaf pans instead of one large Bundt or Angel Food baking pan. That way she had one for the family and one to give a way. She has always been generous that way. So try baking it and sharing one loaf too! It has a unique ingredient in it that makes this cake very moist Miracle Whip Salad dressing (similar to mayonnaise). There is no need to add any salt to the recipe because of the salad dressing.
  • 1/2 cup of butter or hard margarine
  • 1 1/2 cups of white sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 3 cups of flour
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 1/2 cups of Miracle Whip
Streusel Filling:
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 tablespoon cocoa powder
  1. Cream together the butter, sugar until light and fluffy.
  2. Add eggs one at a time beating well after each addition.
  3. Sift the flour and baking powder together.
  4. Mix the baking soda into the salad cream.
  5. Alternately add the flour mixture with the salad cream into the butter mixture and beat until well combined.
  6. Mix the streusel ingredients together.
  7. Pour half the batter into 2 well greased loaf pans.
  8. Sprinkle half of the streusel
  9. Top with the rest of the batter and streusel on top.
  10. Take a knife and swirl the dough and streusel together to give it the marbled effect.
  11. Bake at 350 for 35- 40 minutes.
  12. Test if it is done by inserting a knife into the center and if it comes out clean it is done.
  13. Let it rest in the pan for 5 minutes before removing. Finish cooling on wire rack.
  14. After it has cooled completely cover tightly in a plastic wrap. It freezes very well. Share the other one!

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Bread for the Journey




I've been working in the garden this last week.  Everything is fresh and new shoots are sprouting everywhere.  All around me life is being replenished and new life is beginning.  We sleep with our window open and  the cheery singing of birds are my first clue that morning has come.  The birds have been busy for the last few weeks preparing their nests and lately I've noticed that they are aware of my presence in the garden as they wait on the lawn with their beaks heavy with worms.   Once they feel safe....they'll fly up into the nest and feed their baby birds and then their task is repeated again...and again.

A  mothers heart desires to do the thing that needs to be done even when they are exhausted from night time feedings....stomach flu...migraine headaches...and responsibilities in the home. As a grandmother, I have the privilege now to know two very special  mothers that care for their children like that.  They do not consider their own needs first...even though sometimes they should.  I can still remember my own Mom standing at the stove quietly making supper while we squabbled and played in the background being totally unaware that she was suffering with a headache.  It would only be when my Dad would come home that we were all quickly made aware of her needs...instead of our own.  It wasn't until I was a mom myself that I fully understood that she loved us more than I ever thought possible.

I've been reading the book of  Jude this past week and though it  is not written about motherhood, my heart was drawn to the benediction at the end of the chapter.  It is not my own strength and knowledge that we will keep me from stumbling.  Women are constantly told through media that "we are strong women...we can do it".  In reality it is not my own strength but the strong arm of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ who is there to help me and guide me.  I remember as a young woman sometimes carrying the weight of guilt around needlessly when I was not always patient and tender with our small charges or when our home was  not spotless.

Strive to seek God's word for wisdom in raising your children and in your relationships with their Daddy.  May we rest in the knowledge that our Heavenly Father loves our children more than we do and will keep his eye on the sparrows no matter if they are fledglings in the nest or have gone on to build their own nests and have peeps of their own.  Lastly,  may we joyfully give honor to our Saviour and Lord Jesus Christ who knows us in our weakness and has promised through his great mercy and gift of forgiveness to  present us blameless before our Father in heaven.


Now to him who is able to keep you from stumbling and to present you blameless before the presence of his glory with great joy, to the only God, our Saviour, through Jesus Christ our Lord, be glory, majesty, dominion, and authority,  before all time and now and forever. Amen


Jude verses 24, 25 ESV

Happy Mothers Day to all of you who care for those that God has entrusted to you!

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Rhubarb Cheesecake

I have made this cheesecake a number of times and I made it yet again for my daughter's birthday..on her request. Brought it to her work place..I'm hearing it went over quite well! This is not what you would call low cal by any means but rather a delicious treat during fresh rhubarb season!

Ingredients:

Crust:
  • 1 cup flour
  • 3 tablespoons sugar
  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
Rhubarb layer:
  • 3 cups rhubarb, chopped
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 tablespoons flour
Cream cheese layer:
  • 2 packages (250 grams/8 oz) cream cheese
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 eggs
Topping:
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
Method:
  1. Preheat oven to 425º.
  2. Mix crust ingredients and pat into a 9" baking dish, should be at least 2" deep. You can use a 9" springform pan.
  3. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes or just until it starts to brown. Remove from oven.
  4. Reduce oven heat to 350º.
  5. Mix rhubarb layer ingredients and spread over the crust.
  6. Beat cream cheese and sugar until creamy. Add eggs one at a time and beat until well blended. Spread over the rhubarb.
  7. Return to oven and bake for 35 minutes, until filling is set.
  8. Whisk together topping ingredients until well blended and spread on cheesecake while still hot. 
  9. Allow to cool completely in fridge before serving.
  10. Keep refrigerated.

Friday, May 11, 2012

Spagetti and Meatballs

These days we all need a meal that is almost ready to eat when we walk in the door after a busy day. Make the sauce on the stove top while the meatballs bake in the oven. Add the meatballs to the sauce and let simmer on the stove top. If you are going to on the go all day put it all into a crock pot once it's been cooked and let it simmer. Great for a crowd or can be divided up into family size portions. 

Ingredients: for meat sauce
  • 3 pounds ground beef
  • 1 large onion
  • 3 large cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp pepper
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp oregano
  • 2 tsp Italian spices
  • 2 tsp pepper flakes ( optional)
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese
  • 1 1.57 litre of pasta sauce
  • 1 796 ml can crushed tomatoes
Ingredients: for meatballs
  • 2 pounds ground beef
  • 1 small onion, grated
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp pepper
  • 1 egg
  • 1 slice bread, grated
Method: for meat sauce
  1. In a large heavy pot fry meat, adding in onion, garlic and spices. Fry until meat is just done.
  2. Add pasta sauce, crushed tomatoes, cheese and bay leaves. 
  3. Cover and simmer on stove top. Make meatballs.
Method: for meatballs
  1. In a large bowl mix all the meatball ingredients together and combine well.
  2. Form golf ball sized meatballs and place on a baking sheet. (for easy cleanup line with foil or parchment)
  3. Bake in 400º oven for 18 minutes. Add cooked meatballs to the sauce.
  4. Allow to cook on low for at least an hour for flavours to meld. It's ready to serve, or cool and freeze for later use.
For stove top serving: ready to serve according to above directions.

For crock pot: place cooled sauce and meatball mixture into crock pot and turn on low for 4-8 hours. Because it is already all cooked you are just letting it simmer on low all day. The flavour just gets better as it simmers. 

Cook pasta as directed on the box. Serve and enjoy!

Left over meal idea. Baked Spaghetti casserole. If you have enough pasta and meat sauce left over stir together and put into a greased casserole dish. Top with some grated cheese and freeze. Remove from freezer, thaw and bake at 350º for 35-40 minutes, or until casserole is heated completely through. 



Thursday, May 10, 2012

Chiffon Cake Gluten-Free

This a nice cake, looks great, tastes great !  It lends itself to your preferences -  serve it plain with ice-cream and fruit or use your favorite fillings and frostings.
I'm showing here as a lemon chiffon with whipped cream piping finish and layered with lemon pie filling and drizzled lemon syrup over individual servings.
And yes... It is gluten-free!  but no need to exclude those wheat-eaters , they'll love it too. We entertained friends tonight and my cake was enjoyed with complements!  


Ingredients
  • 1/2 cup white rice flour
  • 1/2 cup millet flour 
  • 1/2 cup tapioca starch
  • 1/4 cup arrowroot powder 
  • 1 tsp xanthan gum 
  • 1/4 tsp salt 
  • 3 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup oil (I like grapeseed) 
  • 3/4 cup cold water 
  • 1 tbsp lemon zest  (leave out if wanting it plain)
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 6 egg yolks 
  • 6 egg whites 
  • 1/2 tsp cream of tartar 
  • 3/4 cup sugar 

  • lemon pie filling (1 pkg) 
  • 1 1/2 cups whipping cream 
  • 1/4 cup white sugar (or to taste) 
  • 1 tbsp vanilla pudding powder
  •     
  • 3/4 cup lemon juice (I use Real Lemon from concentrate) 
  • 2 cups white sugar 
Method
  1. Beat egg whites until foamy, add cream of tartar and 3/4 cup sugar and beat until peaks form.  Set aside 
  2. Beat egg yolks with 1/2 cup sugar until creamy 
  3. Add water, oil and vanilla extract 
  4. Sift together dry ingredients   
  5. Add dry ingredients to liquids and mix until smooth. 
  6. Then working quickly fold egg whites into batter 
  7. Pile into a tube cake pan, smoothing top 
  8. Bake for 1 hour at 350 degrees.  
  9. Hang upside down to cool ..  (cake may form a small valley in top in oven but don't worry about it. It  hangs out while cooling)   
  10. When cool loosen sides and let fall  down on serving plate. 
  11. Cut in half and fill with cooled, prepared lemon pie filling. Spread lemon pie filling over the top as well. 
  12. Beat 1 1/2  cups whipping cream with 1/4 cup sugar and 1 tbsp vanilla pudding powder until stiff -  cover sides and decorate over the top. 
  13. Serve with ice-cream (if desired) and drizzle lemon syrup over top of each serving.   (to make syrup bring 3/4 cup lemon juice   and 2 cups white sugar to a full boil to where it foams up to fill the pot - cool - keep in fridge) 
Note.  the lemon syrup is also good mixed in hot water for a refreshing drink -- or a cold drink. 

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Lemon Cheese Tarts


I had a bit of fun playing with pie pastry when I was making there tarts, but if you do not have time for that, you can use purchased frozen tarts. They work very well too. These "sweet" little lemon tarts
tell someone that you wanted to make something special for them.

Ingredients:

Crust: (or you favorite - great options on this blog)
  • 1 2/3 cups flour
  • 2/3 cups shortening
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/4 cup cold water
Lemon Cheese:
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 3/4 Tbsp cornstarch
  • 3 egg yolks (yolk determines final color- free range eggs have darker yolks)
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice ( about 2 lemons)
  • 1/4 cup butter
Method:

Crust:
  1. Cut shortening into flour and salt until crumbly. Stir in water, using fork and stir until combined. Shape into ball with a gentle quick knead. Divide in half. Roll out thinner than for pie crust.
  2. Each half should make about 10 - 12 tarts. To determine the size of cutter, measure the tart/muffin cup, going down, across and up. I used mini tins and the cut-outs a little larger than the measurement. This allowed for a bit of folding to create the flower effect, which is totally optional. Bake at 400 F for 15 minutes.
 Lemon Cheese:
  1. In a small pot, mix sugar, cornstarch and egg yolks until well blended.
  2. Stir in lemon juice and water.
  3. Heat on low-medium heat, stirring the whole time until mixture comes to boil and continue cooking, stirring hard for about a minute, until mixture is thick and smooth.
  4. Remove from heat and stir in butter, one Tbsp at a time.
  5. Cover with cling wrap. It is easiest to fill the tarts while filling is still warm. Refrigerate tarts. To keep crispy, do not cover. Just before serving, dust with icing sugar for a pretty effect.
Wondering what to do with the egg whites? They will keep in covered container in the fridge for several days and also freeze well. Try some individual meringues or a pavlova for another dessert.

  

A nice gift idea is to pour the hot lemon cheese into a sterilized, still hot, canning jar. Seal with new clean lid and allow to cool. When you hear the pop it is sealed. Wrap it up as a gift for a favorite cook. It's great on pancakes or lemon buns. (This recipe makes enough to fill 20 - 24 mini tarts or one 8 oz jar. Recipe doubles nicely too. Store in refrigerator.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

S'More Bars


These S'mores are rich in flavour but oh so good! Of course if we would go camping I would want to do 'over the fire' style of s'mores.

Ingredients:
  • 1 cup graham wafer crumbs
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 3/4 cups brown sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 cup marshmallow fluff (sometimes called marshmallow creme)
  • 1 cup chocolate chips (I used a blend of milk and dark)
Method:
  1. Line an 8 x 8" pan with foil leaving a slight overhang. Spray foil with cooking spray. Set aside.
  2. Beat butter and sugar until light, beat in egg and vanilla until well combined.
  3. Whisk together flour, cracker crumbs, baking powder and salt.
  4. Turn mixer to low and add dry ingredients to the moist ingredients mixing until well combined, as for a cookie dough.
  5. Press half of the mixture evenly into foil lined pan.
  6. Spoon marshmallow fluff on cookie base and gently spread it out, spreading it is easier if you dip the spoon in hot water.
  7. Sprinkle chocolate chips over the marshmallow.
  8. Scatter remaining cookie base over the top in clumps.
  9. Bake in 350º for 30 minutes, until golden brown.
  10. Cool completely, then remove from pan using the foil overhangs to lift it out.
  11. Cut in bars and serve

Monday, May 7, 2012

Bacon and Egg Spinach Salad

We have a cafe at our local airport that is famous for it's pie.  Their slogan is 'fly for pie' and pilots are known to make a stopover in Chilliwack just to enjoy a nice slice of pie.  And they do have great pie!  But I wouldn't be surprised if some stop by just for their spinach salad.  It is the best!  Here's my version of the Airport Cafe bacon and egg spinach salad...though my dressing is really not like theirs.  But it's good.
 

Ingredients:
  • baby spinach leaves
  • sliced red onion, coarsely chopped
  • fresh mushrooms, sliced
  • cauliflower, cut into teeny pieces(optional)
  • 2 strips bacon per serving, fried crisp and crumbled
  • 1 hard boiled egg per serving, sliced
  •  shredded mozzarella or Swiss cheese
Method:
  1. Arrange spinach on serving plate.
  2. Add desired toppings and top with shredded cheese.
  3. Drizzle dressing (recipe below) over salad and serve with additional dressing on the side.
* If you prefer to have your salad coated in dressing, toss spinach leaves and vegetables together with dressing in a large bowl.  Then arrange on salad plates, topping with bacon, eggs and cheese.

Dressing:
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons sour cream
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper  
 Method:
  1.  Combine all ingredients in bowl and mix with immersion blender until smooth.
Enjoy!

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Bread for the Journey

Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? Yet not one of them will fall to the ground apart from the will of your Father. And even the very hairs of your head are all numbered. So don't be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows.
Matthew 10:29-31

Saturday, May 5, 2012

Peach Platz


  • 2 1/2 cups of flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup of butter or hard margarine
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 2/3 cup of warm water
  • 1 package of yeast
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
Filling
  • 1 can of peach pie filling
  • 1 14 oz can of drained peach slices, then mix into pie filling for extra fruit
Glaze
  • 1 cup icing sugar
  • milk or cream
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  1. Dissolve the yeast in the water with the tablespoon of sugar for about 10 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, mix the flour, salt and cut in the 1 cup of butter and mix until crumbly as you would for pie dough.
  3. Add the beaten eggs, along with the yeast.
  4. Form into a soft dough.
  5. Knead the dough on a floured counter top until you have a nice soft and smooth dough. This does not take long as you want the dough to be tender like pie dough and not like a bread dough.
  6. Do not set aside to rise. Instead divide the dough into 2 portions with one portion being slightly larger.
  7. Roll to fit into a 11x15 greased pan.
  8. Fill with your favorite pie filling. I used peach but also added a 14 oz can of peaches that were drained, diced, and mixed in with the pie filling.
  9. Roll out the second piece of dough and cut into strips that you would lay over the fruit in a criss-cross pattern.
  10. Cover and let it rise for one hour.
  11. Bake at 375 degrees for 30-35 minutes or until a golden brown.
  12. While the platz is still warm, combine the icing sugar with vanilla and enough milk or cream to make a glaze that is thin enough to drizzle over the entire platz.
This is a nice thing to bring to a church potluck or a larger gathering. Not too sweet.



Friday, May 4, 2012

Salt and Pepper Chicken Wings

I made these recently for a party and will make them again.   They are delicious, however I will be a bit more generous with the pepper next time.
I think they'd be a great addition to a picnic as they taste very good cold.

Ingredients:
  • 3 pounds prepared chicken wings  
  • 3 tablespoons soya sauce
  • Kosher salt*
  • Montreal Steak Spice*
  • lemon pepper * (optional)
  • coarsely ground black pepper*
Method:
  1. Line a cookie sheet (with edges) with tin foil
  2. Place a wire rack in pan.
  3. Cut each wing into 3 pieces and discard wing tips or save for making soup.(I buy the large package of wings that are already cut apart from Costco and divide them into smaller portions.)
  4. In a large bowl, toss chicken wings with soya sauce until well coated.
  5. Lay wings on rack so that they do not touch each other.
  6. Sprinkle with seasonings.  *Use a sparing amount of Kosher salt as the soya sauce is already salty. *The amount of of Montreal steak spice, lemon pepper and black pepper will depend on how much pepper your family likes.
  7. Place in oven preheated to 425º and bake for 40 minutes.
  8. Remove from oven, turn each wing over and bake for another 20 minutes.
  9. I made these the day ahead and then reheated them for 10-15 minutes in a 425º oven just before serving.  

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Breakfast Casserole


This a tasty breakfast casserole that will feed about 8 people.

Ingredients:

30 oz. package of frozen hash brown potatoes
1/2 cup butter, melted
1 (10-oz.) can cream of chicken soup
1 pint sour cream
1/2 cup scallions/green onions
1/2 cup cilantro (optional)
1 or 2 jalapeno peppers seeded and chopped (optional)
2 cups cheddar cheese, grated
7 oz. (approx.)  Canadian Bacon chopped into bite size pieces. (you could substitute farmers sausage or other breakfast meat)
8 eggs beaten
1 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. pepper

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and spray an 11 x 14 baking dish with cooking spray.
2. Mix all the ingredients together adding the hash browns last, place in prepared pan and bake for 45 minutes or until cooked through. Your baking time could take up to 70 minutes depending on the type of pan you use. Check the casserole initially at 45 minutes and continue cooking till cooked through if needed.




Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Rhubarb Sorbet


Every spring when the Rhubarb stalks come up in the garden I begin to dream about Rhubarb pies and tarts and muffins.  At least once each spring though...
I do love to make Rhubarb Sorbet.
If you live in a region where rhubarb is available you will be looking for different ways to use up your rhubarb.  This sorbet is fresh and light and unlike anything you can buy in the supermarket.  It thaws quickly so it is best scooped out when everyone has arrived.


  • 3 cups white sugar
  • 5 cups water
  • 10 cups cut up red stalked rhubarb
  1. Put the sugar and water in a large saucepan and bring it to a boil.   Simmer a minute or two until all the sugar has dissolved.  Add the rhubarb to the saucepan and bring to a boil.  Lower heat and simmer about 10 minutes until the rhubarb is falling apart. Remove from heat and allow to cool a bit.
  2. Using a ladle, put the rhubarb into a fine sieve, catching all the juices in a large bowl below. Do not press the rhubarb through but rather just use a wooden spoon to press out all the juices.  Pour into a large glass pan or a bowl and freeze.  Stir every few hours until frozen firm.  You can also put it into an icecream maker at this point.  Depending on the size of your icecream freezer, you might have to do it in batches.
  3. Once solid, break into pieces and pulse in a food processor until smooth. You will have to do this in  batches unless your food processor is very large.   Store in a plastic container for up to 2 weeks.
  4. Serve as is or in a glass with  gingerale.  The sorbet will melt slowly as you sip your drink.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Chicken Cordon Bleu

If you are having company for supper and want something special and yet simple to make, then this recipe is a great choice. You can assemble the chicken early in the day and have it all ready to bake. It's makes a wonderful presentation when plated.
Top with a  mushroom cream sauce, and serve with some fresh vegetables and garlic cream cheese and chive mashed potatoes.

Ingredients: (serves 4)
  • 4 boneless skinless chicken breast halves
  • 4 large slices black forest ham
  • 4 slices swiss cheese
  • 1 egg
  • 2 tbsp milk
  • 1 pouch regular shake and bake
Method:
  1. Wash chicken and pat dry. 
  2. Lay chicken between two pieces of wax paper and using a meat mallot pound meat until flattened and a relatively even thickness.
  3. Lay pounded chicken out flat and place a slice of ham and cheese over each chicken piece. 
  4. Roll up and secure with meat skewers or toothpicks.
  5. Using a fork whisk together egg and milk.
  6. Dip rolled meat into egg mixture and then roll in the  shake and bake mixture.
  7. Place each coated chicken cordon blue onto a parchment lined baking pan. 
  8. At this point you can cover with plastic wrap and place in the refridgerator until ready to bake OR, bake in 350º oven for 35-40 minutes. 
  9. Serve immediately with the following mushroom sauce or a hollindaise sauce.
Mushroom Cream Sauce:
Melt 1 tbsp of butter in a sauce pan. Add 2 cups sliced mushrooms and saute until golden. Add 1 1/2 cups cream, 2 tbsp white wine, 1/4 tsp salt, 1/4 tsp pepper.  Cook over medium heat until cream begins to thicken, approximately 10 minutes. Pour over chicken or serve on the side.