Friday, August 31, 2012

Fruit Platz

 
As I'm posting this, I wonder how many versions of Platz have already been posted and could still be added. It seems to be one of those recipes that every Mennonite family has a  different recipe for. And they are all good.This one comes from our daughter-in-law's family. Where most recipes tend to use butter, this one uses cream. I look at is as possibly less fat content and just plain delicious. Thanks, Elma!
Ingredients:
pastry:
  • 2 cups flour
  • 4 Tbsp sugar
  • 3 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 Tbsp shortening
  • 1 cup cream
  • 1 egg
crumbs:
  • 3/4 cups sugar
  • 3/4 cup flour
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 2 Tbsp butter
  • 2 - 3 Tbsp cream
Method:
  1. Mix together dry ingredients for pastry.
  2. With pastry blender, blend in shortening, then stir in combined egg and cream. Stir well until it holds together.
  3. Pat and stretch into 9X13 or 9X9 inch greased pan. Light colored pan - preferred.
  4. Cover with desired fruit. Sliced apricots, peaches, apples, blueberries, cherry pie filling or chopped rhubarb - are some good options.
  5. Combine dry ingredients for crumb mixture. Blend in butter and cream, using pastry blender or fingers until desired crumb consistency. Cover fruit.
  6. Bake in the top third of oven at 350 F until golden, for 40 - 45 minutes.



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Thursday, August 30, 2012

My heart "Beets for Cherry Chocolate Cupcakes"

We've been picking beets out of our garden and roasting them and then using the leftover roasted beets in creative ways.  One of the recipes that I've seen many times over recently is for Cherry Cola Chocolate Cupcakes.  They look so tasty but are quite high in fat and sugar so I replaced most of the fat with pureed beets and cut back the sugar and love the results. They are not particularly cherry in flavour but certainly are not beet flavoured either.  It is a moist delicious chocolate cupcake that will have your family wondering what the secret ingredient is.
 I have not tested this recipe with canned or boiled beets but I think it should work fine providing they are well drained before pureeing.
  • 1/3 cup unsweetened  cocoa
  • 3 cups flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 3/4 cup pureed beets (that have been roasted in foil drizzed with olive oil.. until very tender)
  • 1/4 cup canola oil
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 1 can cherry cola (not diet)
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line 24 muffin cups with large cupcake liners.
  2. Mix together the dry ingredients and put it through a sieve into a large bowl.
  3. In another large bowl combine the beets, oil, eggs and sugar.  Beat well until combined.
  4. Slowly pour in the cola and let the foam settle down.  Add the buttermilk and vanilla.
  5. Slowly fold in the dry ingredients until the mixture is well combined.
  6. Fill the paper liners 2/3 full and bake about 15 mintues.  Test with a toothpick to be sure it is clean.
Make a simple frosting by beating together 1 envelope Dream Whip and one 4 serving size chocolate instant pudding and 1 1/2 cups milk.  Once it is starting to thicken, add 1/2 cup whipping cream.  Once the cupcakes are cooled swirl on frosting and top with a cherry.  Topping them with simple whipped cream is also beautiful and delicious....but don't forget the cherry on top!


Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Cole Slaw



This is my mother's recipe, and is still one of my favorites.  It can be made days before serving it, there for making it a good make ahead recipe.  What I like is that it can be easily double, tripled or quadrupled as you need.


  • 3 cups shredded cabbage
  • 1/4 cup onion, diced
  • 1/4 cup green pepper, diced
  • 1 carrot, shredded
  • 3 tablespoons sugar
  • 3 tablespoons vinegar
  • 3 tablespoons oil
  • 1/2- 1 teaspoon salt
  1. Combine prepared vegetables.
  2. Bring oil, vinegar, sugar and salt to boil and cook until sugar is dissolved.
  3. Pour hot dressing over cabbage mixture and refrigerate until ready to use.  It tastes best made at least 24 hours in advance and stays good for over a week.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Peaches & Cream Parfait

Sunflowers, corn and fresh peaches...the delights of the season.  We have been enjoying peaches for breakfast almost daily...in a parfait with yogurt and granola. But here's a recipe for a dessert parfait...done up in wee mason jars and perfect for your next gathering on the patio.


Crumbs:
  • 1 cup ginger-snap cookie crumbs
  • 4 tablespoons melted butter

Cream Filling:
  •  1 cup whipping cream
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 4 oz. / 125 ml cream cheese
  • 1/2 cup icing sugar (confectioners sugar)

Topping:
  • 4 peaches (Fruit Fresh or lemon juice, optional)
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1 tablespoon peach or apricot brandy  
  1.  Prepare a simple syrup for the peaches by combining the brown sugar and water in a small saucepan.  Bring to a boil. Remove from heat and cool.  Stir in brandy.  Soak peaches in boiling water for about 10 seconds.  Transfer to a bowl of ice-water for a few moments.  Peel and slice the peaches, tossing with a little 'fruit fresh' or lemon juice if desired (to prevent browning).  Mix syrup and peaches and refrigerate for several hours.
  2. To prepare the base, combine cookie crumbs and butter.  Pack crumbs into the bottom of 10 parfait glasses (or 10 x 125 ml. mason jars).
  3. For cream filling...combine whipping cream, sugar and vanilla and beat until stiff.  In a separate bowl, combine cream cheese and icing sugar; beat until smooth.  Add the whipped cream to the cream cheese mixture and whip to combine well.  Carefully add cream layer to the parfait glasses.  Refrigerate.
  4. Just before serving, top each parfait with marinated peach slices.  Drizzle with a spoonful of syrup.  Garnish with lemon balm or mint sprig. 

Serves 10.




Monday, August 27, 2012

Beet Leaf Rolls

This recipe idea is from my sister in law. I'm thinking she does a much better job at this, she has made these rolls many, many times throughout the years. Our methods probably vary a bit but regardless we found these beet leaf wrapped rolls to be quite delicious served up with a dill sauce. Next time you are mixing up a batch of buns give this a try. You will have fresh buns and a dish prepared for supper!

What you will need:
  • Your favorite bun dough recipe
  • Beet leaves, washed, dried and stems removed..using as many leaves as you want rolls.
Method:
  1. Once your bun dough has risen till double in bulk, pinch off small balls of dough.
  2. Stretching the dough to almost the size of the beet leaf, place dough on leaf and roll up loosely allowing for the dough to expand. Leave the ends open.
  3. Place approx 2 inches apart on a parchment lined baking pan and let rise till double.
  4. Bake in 375ยบ for 25 minutes or until exposed buns are golden in color and feel puffy and firm.
  5. To serve, dip rolls in dill sauce.  Or if you prefer you can pour sauce over the warm rolls.  
Dill Sauce:
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • 2 cups cream (or you can use 1 cup cream and 1 cup milk)
  • 3 tablespoons freshly chopped dill
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • Salt and pepper to taste 
  1. In a saucepan over medium heat, melt butter, add flour and whisk till well combined.
  2. Add cream, whisking constantly till it comes to a boil. Cook till thickened, stirring frequently.
  3. Stir in dill, garlic powder, salt and pepper.

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Bread for the Journey


Set a watch, O Lord, before my mouth,
keep the door of my lips

Psalm 141:3 (KJV)


Have you ever spoken thoughtlessly and then quickly regretted it?  You know what I mean, when the words you were thinking come blurting out of your mouth without much thought of what your words can do to others? 
What about sharing something with someone else that should never be shared, betraying a confidence given to us to keep private?
I think sadly we all are guilty of that.
When does sharing something with someone become gossip?   
Ask your self the following questions  when you are speaking~

  1. Is it kind (would you say what you are saying if the person you are speaking about could hear you)?
  2. Is it necessary (for the hearer to know)?
  3. Is it true (do you know this for a fact or is it hear say)?
  4. Is it confidential (is someone trusting you with this)?
  5. Is it beneficial (for the person you are talking about, or the person hearing it)?

May we all strive for our words to become gifts too one another, to edify, encourage and build up, and bring healing. 

Do not use harmful words, but only helpful words, the kind that build up and provide what is needed, so that what you say will do good to those who hear you.
Ephesians 4:29 
(Good New Translation)



The words of the reckless pierce like swords, 
    but the tongue of the wise brings healing.

Proverbs 12:18
(NIV)


Saturday, August 25, 2012

Chorizo and Pepper Pizza


I always keep some Whole Wheat Pannini Flatbread in my freezer for those days when supper needs to be on the table in a rush. It is fully baked so it only needs to be crisped and heated through.
With this pizza, I fry the toppings together while the oven or grill is preheating.
While the pizza is in the oven, I scrub some carrots from the garden and slice some cucumbers for everyone to munch on while the pizza is baking.

To speed up dinner preparations even more... prepare sausage and veggies in the morning and refrigerate them until later in the day when you are ready to put your pizza together.

  • whole wheat pannini flatbread (enough for how many you are serving.  It comes in squares and I count on one 6 inch square per person which I then cut into quarters for serving
  •  favorite pizza sauce
  •  Mexican blend shredded cheese (count on about 3/4 cup per person)
  • diced onion
  • sliced red bell peppers
  • finely diced chorizo sausage (about 1/3 cup diced per person)
  1. Preheat the oven or the grill to 400.
  2. Scramble fry the sausage, and drain well on paper towels.  Using a paper towel, wipe the pan of  the excess fat and then add the sausage back to the pan and add the onion  and fry until the onions have caramelized.  Add the bell peppers and stir fry until the peppers are just tender.
  3. Spread pizza sauce on the pannini bread.
  4. Sprinkle with cheese and the toppings.
  5. To have a crisp bottom pizza, carefully put the pizza directly on the racks or grill. 
  6. Heat until the cheese is melted and the pizza is heated through.

Friday, August 24, 2012

Blackberry Syrup

Blackberries are plentiful right now here in the Fraser Valley. This week on our way home from camping we  pulled off onto a side road and picked berries. I had purchased some pretty bottles to use to put in a gift basket along with some jam and jelly. The rest I put into 250ml jars. 
This syrup is wonderful on pancakes, french toast and waffles, or over ice cream.
This recipe will yield approximately 6-7 250ml jars of syrup.

Ingredients:
  • 8 cups washed blackberries.
  • 6 cups white sugar
  • 1/2 cup white corn syrup
  • 2 tbsp certo powder
  • 2 tsp lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup water
Method:
  1. Place washed berries in a large heavy bottom pot. Add all other ingredients and stir well to combine. Let stand while getting jars ready.
  2. Remove lids from jars and place in a bowl. Pour boiling water into empty clean jars and over lids in bowl. Allow to sit while you make syrup, which will take about 10 minutes on the stove top.
  3. Place pot with berries over medium heat and stir constantly until mixture comes to a rolling boil. Turn to low and stir hard as mixture continues to bubble. Cook for one full minute after you turn it down. Don't walk away or stop stirring! 
  4. Remove from heat. Pour berry mixture through a large fine hole sieve or cheesecloth with a large bowl underneath to catch the syrup. This will separate most seeds and pulp leaving you with a very hot runny looking syrup. Discard seeds.
  5. Empty boiling water from jars and immediately pour hot syrup into sterilized jars.
  6. Dry lids and tighten onto jars. Within and hour you will hear the lids popping as they are sealing. Once the jars are cooled lightly press down on each jar lid making sure the seal has taken. They should not make a popping noise when pressed down lightly. If they do keep those ones in the fridge and use first. 
  7. Allow to cool without tipping jars. Store in a cool dry place. Serve cold or heat slightly.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Blueberry Banana Smoothies


Are you looking for something different and refreshing to add to your appetizer menu on a hot summer's afternoon?  
Smoothies, served in small glasses are sure to be a hit.
With the bountiful blueberry harvest here in the Fraser Valley, 
I chose to make them with blueberries but you could substitute any other kind of berry.  
I'm sure the children would love this for breakfast as well.

Ingredients:
  • 2 cups fresh or frozen blueberries
  • 2 bananas sliced
  • 1 cup vanilla yogurt
  • 1 cup milk
Method:
  1. Place all ingredients in a blender.
  2. Blend until berries are finely chopped, adding more milk if a thinner consistency is desired.
  3. Pour into glasses and serve immediately.  (The banana will brown and dull the pretty blue colour).
Makes approximately 8 servings. (1/2 cup each)

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

O'Brien Hash Brown Chicken

Another version of a Ranch Dressing Crockpot Chicken we tried recently that was very satisfying. Summer is a great time to plug the crockpot in and step away for the day coming home to a nice meal.

O'Brien Hash Brown Chicken

2 pounds chicken breast tenders
1- 16oz. jar of salsa of your choice
2 cups prepared Ranch Dressing
1- package of frozen O'Brien hash brown potatoes. (approx 4 cups)

Prepare your crock with cooking spray. Pour salsa in bottom of crock. Add frozen potatoes. Layer chicken tenders on top of potatoes. Top with prepared ranch dressing. Cook on high for 1 hour and then turn down heat to low for 4-5 more hours. At end of cooking time stir the ingredients in the crock pot. Serve with your favorite sides.


Monday, August 20, 2012

Marinated Vegetable Salad


This crunchy salad is easily made from those last bits 
of fresh vegetables in your fridge.
Prepare the salad the night before you plan to serve it.
Refrigerated, it will keep for several days, 
although it is always the best the first day after you assemble it.

Ingredients:
  • 1-2 cups bottled vinaigrette dressing such as Italian, Creamy Italian, Roasted Red Pepper or Italian Parmesan. Or use your own favourite recipe.
  • Vegetables: Use whatever vegetables you have on hand.  Cutting them into uniform sized pieces will make the most attractive salad.
In the salad pictured above, I used the following vegetables:
  • Baby carrots, Cauliflower florets, Broccoli florets, celery, snow peas,
  • Red, green and yellow bell peppers, baby corn (from a can)
  • Cucumber, zucchini and fresh mushrooms
Other veggies that work are:
  • water chestnuts, whole grape tomatoes,  
  • blanched asparagus or green beans, canned or frozen corn,
  • and canned beans of any kind, drained
Method:
  1. Prepare vegetables, cutting them into uniform sized pieces and place them in a large bowl.
  2. Toss vegetables with your choice of vinaigrette dressing.  I prefer some variety of Italian dressing. You can also use a homemade dressing but I find there are lots of good bottled dressings available.  Use just enough to lightly coat all the veggies.
  3. Cover bowl with plastic wrap.
  4. Refrigerate overnight.
You can adapt the amounts to the number of people you are serving.  It is a very filling salad so count on 1/2 to 3/4 cup salad per person.

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Bread for the Journey

We prepare the soil in the garden by tilling, then sowing the seeds and as they grow they will need watering and sunshine as well as weeding. If the weeds are left alone they will take over the whole garden and all the good plants will not survive.
We as Christians need to do this for our spiritual life.  We need to be watchful, that we don't let the 'weeds' which are the character traits that are not of God, take over but rather keep 'watering and weeding' which is reading scriptures daily so we can grow in Him. We will harvest what we sow and nurture.

2 Peter 3:18
"But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To Him be glory both now and forever! Amen."

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Blackberry Custard Ice Cream



Yesterday I walked past the garden on my way to the back of the field to pick blackberries.
I clipped off some sunflowers and brought our lovely sunshine into the house.
Oh how we love blackberry season when God, without the help of  fertilizer or garden tools gives us juicy sweet blackberries to eat.
I made the custard in the morning and when the grands came later in the day we churned up some delicious blackberry ice cream for our dessert.  
If you prefer to use whole milk or light cream instead of the buttermilk, go ahead but you will already have buttermilk in the refrigerator from Judy's biscuits and the buttermilk adds a slight tang that makes home made ice cream delicious.

  • 2 cups juicy sweet blackberries
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 3 egg yolks
  • 1 cup buttermilk  (buy the higher fat)
  • 1 cup whipping cream

  1. Wash the blackberries and drain and place in a small saucepan with half the sugar.  Turn on medium high heat and bring to simmer and stir occasionally for 5 minutes. Put a sieve directly over the mouth of a blender jar and strain the blackberry juice and as much pulp as you can squeeze out with a wooden spoon into the blender jar.
  2. In another medium sized saucepan put the remaining sugar, the egg yolks and the whipping cream.  Whisk constantly over medium heat until the mixture just begins simmer and the custard coats the back of a spoon.  Add the buttermilk and continue to stir an additional minute.
  3. Add the cooked custard into the blender jar and process for a minute to blend well.  Put the container into the refrigerator and chill well. (at least 4 hours)
  4. Using an Ice Cream maker freeze the blackberry custard according to manufactures instructions.

Friday, August 17, 2012

Garlic Cheese Biscuits

Do you need something to go with all those summertime salads?  While on a recent road trip we enjoyed dinner at the same restaurant on several occasions.  Each time we were served a basket of delicious hot-from-the-oven garlic cheese biscuits. I tweaked my biscuit recipe somewhat and came up with these mini garlic biscuits.  Serve fresh...and then freeze any leftover biscuits to accompany another meal. 



Biscuits:
  • 2 1/2 cups flour
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1 cup grated cheddar cheese
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 1 egg
 Topping:
  • 1/4 cup butter, melted
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon parsley flakes
Method:

In a large bowl, combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and sugar.
Grate cold butter and combine evenly with flour mixture.
Stir in grated cheese.
Combine buttermilk and egg; stir into flour mixture.
Work with hands to form soft dough.
Drop by spoonfuls (rounded tablespoon)on a large parchment paper lined cookie sheet. 
Bake at 400°F for about 10-12 minutes.
Combine topping ingredients, and brush over hot biscuits.
Yield: 24

I used the Pampered Chef cookie scoop to form mounds.  It works well!







Thursday, August 16, 2012

Homemade Chocolate Pudding


Chocolate pudding was one of my favorite desserts growing up. I thought about that recently and how my mom used to serve it  in a little bowl . . . and we'd pour milk on top. After many years now, I had to try it. It's still good.

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups milk, divided
  • 4 tbsp flour OR 3 Tbsp cornstarch
  • 6 Tbsp Nestle Quik (or 4 Tbsp Nestle plus 2 Tbsp baking cocoa)
  • 2 Tbsp sugar
  • 2 egg yolks

Method:
  1. In a small pot, just below medium heat, bring 1 1/2 cups milk to almost boil
  2. In the meantime, in a small bowl or 4-cup measuring cup, mix dry ingredients, then stir in 1/4 cup milk to make a smooth paste.
  3. Stir in egg yolks well, then the final 1/4 cup milk
  4. When the milk in the pot begins to show tiny bubbles along the side and a bit of skin forming on top, stir in the chocolate mix and keep stirring with whisk until smooth and bubbly. (if lumps appear they will disappear with stirring)
  5. Pour into four rameskin dishes or individual dessert bowls, cover with saran wrap and allow to set and cool in fridge.
PS For a milk chocolate taste, use Nestle Quick (chocolate drink mix), but for a dark chocolate taste, add some cocoa to the Nestle Quik and a bit more sugar if desired. This recipe can easily be altered according to taste.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Chocolate Black Bean Brownies


Hold it, before click away you just have to trust me on this one.
I had these brownies the first time at my friend Linda's birthday party.  She has been eating gluten free for over 28 years and all the desserts she made were gluten free and you would never know it. This chocolate brownie is so moist, dense and fudge like, with a delicious rich deep flavor of chocolate a hint of coconut and not to sweet, I just had to have the recipe.
I like recipes that are naturally gluten free when we have people over who need to follow a gluten free diet, with out needing to buy all the different variety of flours and xanthum gum etc that you sometimes need to make gluten free cakes. I made this for our family and some friends, that don't need to follow a gluten free diet and they all liked it a lot as well as those who do need to eat gluten free. The bonus is a dessert that is healthy for you but doesn't taste like it is.  This brownie gets an all around thumbs up!


  • 1-19 oz can of black beans, drained and rinsed well
  • 3 eggs
  • 1/3 cup of coconut oil*
  • 1/2 cup honey 
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1/3 cup, sifted cocoa
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  1. Grease a 9 " inch pan.  Line with parchment paper. 
  2. Place all the ingredients in a blender or food processor and blend until it is all liquid with no lumps.  
  3. Pour into the cake pan.
  4. Bake in a preheated 350 degree oven for 25-30  minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. (In my oven it took a full 35 minutes, so make sure to test your brownie).
  5. Cool for 10 minutes. 
  6. Remove from pan, and cool completely. 
  7. Cover and refrigerate over night.  In my opinion this tastes best cold straight out of the fridge.
  8. Serve with whip cream or ice cream if desired.
  9. This cake is suitable for gluten free, lactose intolerant diets. 
*vegetable oil can used in place of the coconut oil, but I like the hint of coconut flavor it gives the brownie. 

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Freezer Pickles

 I didn't grow cucumbers in my garden this year but am thankful that my sister Norma's friend shared from her bountiful crop. I had been wanting to make pickles and with extra cucumbers on hand I finally mixed up a small batch of these crispy and sweet freezer pickles.  An easy and tasty recipe and can easily be doubled.  Thanks Esther for the recipe, as you will note I did change it up a bit.

You will need:
  • 8 cups cucumber slices, leave peel on
  • 2 fresh sweet peppers, sliced  (optional) I will add them in my next batch
  • 3 tablespoons pickling salt
  • Ice cubes
Method:
  1. Stir salt into cucumber slices and mix well.
  2. Cover with ice and let sit for 3 hours in the fridge.
  3. Drain and rinse well with cold water, drain again.
Pickle Syrup:
  • 2 1/2 cups sugar
  • 1 1/2 cups vinegar
  • 1/2 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1/2 teaspoon mustard seed
  • 1/2 teaspoon celery salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne
  1. Combine ingredients in saucepan and bring to boil.
  2. Remove from heat, add cucumbers and cool.
  3. Fill containers, leave 1/2" headspace.
  4. Place containers in freezer. For serving remove from freezer, let thaw and enjoy!
  5. Yield: 4 pints

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Bread For the Journey


Now He who supplies seed to the sower and bread for food will supply and multiply your seed for sowing and increase the harvest of your righteousness.  2 Cor. 9:10





Recently MGCC were invited to the ladies luncheon at the Canadian Mennonite Assembly.  The song that follows, which was new to me, was sung during the program.  Later I came across the verse from 2 Corinthians and was struck how Jesus used the images of seed, bread, vines and wine to teach us how He multiplies the blessings of these two elements.  

The seeds grow into  wheat which is ground into flour that is baked into bread which feeds us. The vines flower and produce grapes that are crushed to quench our thirst.  The wheat and grapes bring sustenance for physical life. 



Secondly, they are given to us as symbols of the great love God demonstrated in sending Christ to sacrifice His body and blood to cover our sins.  These symbols bring us together - over a meal with a common purpose - to remember what He has done for us - providing both salvation from our sins and the promise of eternal life. 

Finally, the seed and the vines are a lesson in multiplication -  of what God does when we spread the seed of God's word and share the fruit of the spirit.  He takes our labour and turns it into a harvest of righteousness. 
May the words  of this song touch your heart as they did mine.

Seed Scattered and Sown,  By Dan Feiten


Seed, scattered and sown,
wheat, gathered and grown, 

bread, broken and shared as one, 

the living Bread of God. 

Vine, fruit of the land, 

wine, work of our hands, 

one cup that is shared by all, 

the living Cup, the living Bread of God.

1. Is not the bread we break, 
    a sharing in our Lord? 
    Is not the cup we bless, 

    the blood of Christ outpoured?                   
                                                                            
Seed, scattered and sown, 
Wheat, gathered and grown, 
Bread, broken and shared as one, 
the living Bread of God.
Vine, fruit of the land, 
Wine, work of our hands, 
One cup that is shared by all, 
the living Cup, 
the living Bread of God.

2. The seed which falls on rock 
    will wither and will die. 
    The seed within good ground

    will flower and have life.                                                       
Seed, scattered and sown, 
wheat, gathered and grown, 
bread, broken and shared as one, 
the living Bread of God. 
Vine, fruit of the land, 
wine, work of our hands, 
one cup that is shared by all, 
the living Cup,
the living Bread of God.

3. As wheat upon the hills 
   was gathered and was grown, 
   so may the church of God 
   be gathered into one. 


Seed, scattered and sown, 
wheat, gathered and grown, 

bread, broken and shared as one, 

the living Bread of God. 

Vine, fruit of the land, 

wine, work of our hands, 

one cup that is shared by all, 

the living Cup, the living Bread of God.

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Sweet & Salty Snack

This sweet and salty snack is hard to resist. The ingredients are few and the method is simple. This is also a Gluten Free recipe.

1 cup sugar
1 cup light corn syrup
1 cup peanut butter
1 package of corn chips (10-1/2 oz.)

Prepare a 15 x 10 sheet pan lightly greasing it. Distribute the corn chips evenly in the pan.
In a medium sized pot cook the sugar and corn syrup until it bubbles and the sugar is completely dissolved. Take pot off stove top and blend in the peanut butter. Pour the blended sugar, corn syrup, peanut butter mixture over the corn chips evenly. Let it cool and enjoy!


Friday, August 10, 2012

Jamaican Chicken


Summer's are for lazy relaxing evenings, enjoying long evening's, slowing down the hectic pace of life.  BBQing and inviting people you love to share it with you is a good way to do it.  This dish I first tasted in my cousin Kathy's home when I was visiting Ontario last summer.  It really is a nice meal that involves little effort in the kitchen.  Serve it with roasted potatoes a fresh salad, and of course a yummy rhubarb cake to finish off the meal.

  • 12 boneless and skinless chicken thighs 
Marinade:
  • 1 shallot, minced, (or 6 green onions, white part only)
  • Juice from 2 fresh limes to equal 1/4 cup
  • 2 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons low sodium soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons liquid honey
  • 1 tablespoon freshly grated gingeroot
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and minced
  • 1 teaspoon allspice
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons thyme
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
  1. Mix the marinade ingredients together in a large resealable bag.
  2. Add the chicken and remove excess air, marinade over night.
  3. Discard marinade, and grill chicken on a lightly oiled grill for about 15 minutes on medium heat, until the chicken in cooked through and no pink, turning the chicken frequently to prevent burning.
Serve with the following Pineapple / Mango Salsa
  • 1 cup diced fresh pineapple
  • 1 cup diced fresh mango
  • 1/4 cup minced red onion
  • 1/2 cup minced red pepper
  • 1 tablespoon minced fresh cilantro
  • juice from 1 fresh lime
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • pinch of salt if desired


Thursday, August 9, 2012

Sparkling Watermelon Lemonade

It has been rather warm here lately...and we have been enjoying watermelon in salads, for dessert and even in our drinks. A nice cold glass of watermelon lemonade on a hot day is the perfect refresher!


  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 cup water
  • 8 cups watermelon, cubed and seeded
  • 2/3 cups lemon juice (or juice from 2 large lemons)
  • crushed ice
  • Sprite (or other citrus flavored soda pop)

  1. Combine sugar and water in small saucepan.  Bring to boil, stirring to dissolve sugar.  Cool.
  2. Puree watermelon cubes in blender.
  3. Add fresh lemon juice.
  4. Strain watermelon/lemon puree.
  5. Add cooled sugar solution.
  6. Chill.
  7. Fill drinking glass with crushed ice.
  8. Pour watermelon lemonade over crushed ice until glass is about 3/4 full.
  9. Top with Sprite. 
Yield: Two quarts of lemonade.

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Panfried Halibut with Citrus Dressing


I consider this a quick summer meal which is so fresh with all the summer produce and the light citrus dressing which ingredients are fairly common in our pantry and refrigerators.  The drizzle is quickly combined and  drizzled over it all.  It combines your protein and salad all in one dish.

Panfried Halibut with Veggie Slaw and Citrus Dressing

Veggie Slaw

  • 2 cups thinly sliced red cabbage
  • 1 cup thinly sliced savoy cabbage
  • 8 small sweet peppers (various colors), julienned
  • 2 cups cherry/grape tomatoes (various colors), halved
  • 4 cups spring lettuce mix

Citrus Dressing

  • 4 tablespoons white vinegar
  • ⅓ cup extra virgin olive oil
  • juice of ½ lemon
  • 2 teaspoons dijon mustard
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped dillweed
  • 1 tablespoon chopped parsley
  • 2 teaspoons liquid honey




  • 6 - 4 ounce portions halibut
  • 2 tablespoons canola oil
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 cup vegetable broth



  1. Mix together all the vegetables in the slaw except the spring lettuce mix and set aside.
  2. Combine the white balsamic vinegar, olive oil, lemon juice, mustard, herbs and honey in a small bowl to create dressing. Whisk together to emulsify, and set aside.
  3. Heat a large non stick frypan over medium high heat.  
  4. Season both sides of the halibut and add to the oil in the pan and sear on one side until golden brown and then turn over and add the vegetable broth.
  5. Cover and poach for an additional 5 minutes until the halibut flakes.
  6. Pour half of the Citrus Dressing over the Vegetable slaw and divide the slaw between 6 serving plates.
  7. Add  ¼ cup poaching vegetable broth to the citrus drizzle.
  8. Place a piece of halibut over top the slaw and drizzle remaining citrus dressing/poaching liquid over the halibut.

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Vegetable Stir Fry on the Grill

 
This is a recipe that is more for inspiration than detailed instructions, because you can use whatever vegetables you like and basically cooking time depends on the temperature of your grill and how well you like them done. I usually find that you can never make too much. Everyone gravitates toward the colorful display that is quite a random mix. I will try my best to remember this one. I did not add red onion in this one, but that would have been a good addition to the flavor.
Ingredients:
  • 1 small eggplant (optional)
  • a handful of pea pods
  • 1 small green zucchini
  • 1 small yellow zucchini
  • 1 sweet red pepper
  • 1 baby bok choy
  • 1 red onion  
  • 4 - 5 cloves garlic
  • drizzle olive oil - maybe 4 Tbsp
  • I don't have it in this mix, but asparagus is a great addition
Method:
  1. Chop up eggplant and cover in salted water for at least 1/2 hour, until ready to grill.
  2. Slice the rest of the vegetables and set aside until ready to grill.
  3. Drain egg plant and place in vegetable grilling basket to get a head start.
  4. In the meantime, mix the rest of the veggies, except for the bok choy, with olive oil and crushed garlic
  5. Add to egg plant in grilling basket after about 5 - 10 minutes. Cook, stirring often, for about 20 - 30 minutes, adding sliced bok choy for final 5 minutes. Serve hot or room temperature.
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Monday, August 6, 2012

Quinoa Brownies - Naturally Gluten Free


Bev's (MGCC) friend Dorothy passed on this Quinoa Brownie recipe to me that is delicious and considering the amazing nutritional value of Quinoa they are not just for those of us eating gluten-free !
Here is a link to a site itemizing the goodness of this seed.

I will give you Dorothy's recipe as it was given to me and then give you my version because I prefer to use the flour rather than cooking the seed.
The brownies are wonderfully light and fluffy and keep extremely well for several days - they would, of course also freeze well.
Eat them plain or  ice them.  Bake as a sheet cake or in round layers.... however you prefer !

Dorothy's Quinoa Brownie Recipe 

  • 2/3 cup quinoa 
  • 1 1/3 cup water 
  • 1/3 cup milk 
  • 4 eggs 
  • 1 tsp vanilla 
  • 3/4 cup butter (or marg) melted and cooled
  • 1 - 1 1/4 cup sugar 
  • 1/2 - 3/4 cup cocoa 
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder 
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda 
  • 1/2 tsp salt 
  1. Bring quinoa and water to a boil. Cover and cook for 10 min.  Turn off heat and leave on burner for 10 min. more. Fluff with a fork and cool. 
  2. Combine liquids, add quinoa and butter and blend till smooth in blender . 
  3. Whisk together dy ingredients and add to blender and mix well. 
  4. Pour into 2 greased round pans or 1 larger one. 
  5. Bake at 350 F. for 40-45 min. 
  6. Cool completely . 
  7. Serve as is , iced or as a base for a fruit-topped dessert. 
  8. You'll never guess that these have no flour!   
My Quinoa Flour Brownie Version 
  • 1 1/4 cup quinoa flour 
  • 1/2 cup milk 
  • 4 eggs 
  • 1 tsp vanilla 
  • 3/4 cup butter melted and cooled 
  • 1 - 1 1/4 cup sugar 
  • 1/2 - 3/4 cup cocoa 
  • 2 tsp baking powder 
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda 
  • 1/2 tsp salt 
  1. Melt butter in the microwave , add  cocoa and stir until perfectly smooth 
  2. Beat eggs, milk, vanilla in mixer 
  3. Add cocoa/butter and sugar
  4. Mix remaining dry ingredients  -- quinoa flour, baking power, baking soda and salt 
  5. Add dry ingredients  to liquids and beat until perfectly smooth.  
  6. Pour into desired pans....  two round cake pans or one 9 x 12 pan 
  7. Bake at 350 F for 40-45 minutes ....or until it tests done in centre (springs back when lightly touched with finger) 
  8. Enjoy ---   great with chocolate icing !   

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Bread for the Journey


Recently, when I opened my freezer, I was surprised to see a big crack in the pail that held blended strawberries prepared for jam. I remembered that when I poured in the thick liquid mixture, I had noticed a short crack, right at the top - maybe just over an inch long - but since the liquid did not go up to the crack, I figured it would be fine. I closed the lid on it and stored it away for a winter cooking day.What I did not take into consideration was how the pressure of the mixture freezing and expanding would cause the crack to grow.

When I saw this, I immediately thought about a sermon we had just heard on how small disagreements can cause great friction when under pressure, disrupting the unity we have in the faith. In Philippians, 4: 2 the apostle Paul pleads with Euodia and with Sintyche to agree with each other in the Lord. Why would he beg them so? He knew the harm that their disunity would do to their growth and witness.

This broken pail was a vivid picture and reminder for me to take care of small things before they become big issues. As believers and partakers  in the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, we want to follow His example and be gentle and forgiving towards one another. We want to remember that we need each other and that our witness is squelched when we argue and fight.
From the Word of God:

"In your anger do not sin":
Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry."
Ephesians 4:26
Jesus said,
"By this all men will know that you are my disciples,
if you love one another."
John 13:35

 

Saturday, August 4, 2012

Biscuits and Sausage Gravy

This is something my husband is always tempted to order at a restaurant for breakfast. I decided to make it at home and was surprised at how easy it is to do.
  • 8 Homemade or Refrigerator Biscuits baked according to package instructions.
  • 1 pkg. (approx. 1 pound) ground breakfast sausage. I used the hot variety.
  • 2 Tablespoons flour
  • 2 cups milk
  • 1/4 cup chopped parsley to add some nice color
Prepare your biscuits and put them in the oven to bake. While biscuits are baking cook the sausage in a skillet until cooked thoroughly. Sprinkle flour over the sausage and stir in and cook for 2 minutes. Add 2 cups of milk all at once and cook stirring until the mixture thickens. Add the fresh parsley. Cut open a biscuit and place on plate. Cover the biscuit halves with the sausage gravy and serve while hot.
Serves 4 with seconds on biscuits.

Note: If you choose to use ground pork that isn't seasoned already add some sage, pepper and salt to the sausage to taste.

Friday, August 3, 2012

Chive Vinegar

When chives are in bloom, make chive vinegar.  In two weeks you'll have a vinegar that adds great flavour to salad dressings. I especially enjoy the addition of this vinegar in my potato salad dressing.
To begin, sterilize a glass jar, then go and pick a bouquet of chives in bloom. Wash chives well and air dry.
Fill jar 3/4 full with white vinegar , and add the dry chives.

Press chives into jar.

Seal jar and place in a dark cool for 2 weeks.  
After 2 weeks the vinegar will be a nice soft pink. Using a cheese cloth strain the vinegar. Discard the chives and put the vinegar back into a clean jar. Store in a cool place.
Chive vinegar has a stronger flavour so use it sparingly in place of regular vinegar in salad dressings and dip. 

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Hashbrown Casserole (Gluten-free version included)

I dropped in to visit my Aunt Lorena one day this week and she was mixing  a casserole for a family birthday dinner that night.  The recipe,  that she had got from a friend, looked like  something I would really enjoy.
I leaned over the island counter  to read her recipe card.  She smiled and  asked if I wanted to copy it .
I did !
I give her recipe here as I copied it, then also give my Gluten-free variation.


Lorena's Recipe

  • 1 kg bag of frozen Hash-browns (2 lbs) 
  • 2 tbs. chopped onion 
  • 1 1/2 cups sour cream 
  • 1 tin of cream of chicken soup 
  • 2 cups of shredded cheddar cheese 
  • 1 tsp salt and pepper (or to taste)  
  • 1/4 cup butter (melted) 
  • crushed cornflakes for topping 
  1. Mix all of the above and spoon into greased baking dish 
  2. Top with the crushed cornflakes 
  3. Bake for 45-60 min. at 350 degrees. 
Gluten-Free Version 
  •  1 kg (2 lbs) of frozen Hash-browns  
  •  1/2 chopped fine onion 
  • 1 1/4  cup sour cream 
  • 1/4 cup melted butter
  • 2 cups shredded cheddar cheese 
  • 2 cups whole milk 
  • 1 slightly rounded tsp of sweet rice flour 
  • 3 slightly rounded tsp of cornstarch 
  • 1/2 link of farmer sausage 
  • 1 tsp. coconut oil 
  • crushed gf cornflakes 
  1. Slice sausage thin, and pan fry in coconut oil  for a few minutes. 
  2. Mix sweet rice flour and cornstarch, salt and pepper and stir into the two cups of milk 
  3. Drain fat from the sausage, then add the milk to the sausage in the pan and  cook, stirring until thickened. 
  4. In large mixing bowl mix all the ingredients, adding the hash-browns  last  and spoon into buttered baking dish. 
  5. Top with cornflakes and bake at 350 degrees for 45-60 minutes. 
Note -  I was out of chicken breasts so I tried it with the sausage which we enjoyed  - but it would also be good with chopped chicken breast instead of the sausage. Since this makes a large recipe I cooked half of it and froze the other half for another day. 
(If you just love chopping, you could of course cube  your own raw potatoes)