Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Caramel Apple Dip

I was at an open-house recently...where a huge smorgasbord of appetizers waited to tempt us.  I indulged...mostly in the caramel apple dip.  And then I asked my niece for the recipe.  And now I'm passing it along to you.  Just because...I know you will like it too!


  • 1 - 8 oz. package of cream cheese, softened
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1 cup caramel topping (small jar sundae topping)
  • 1 package Skor bits (or chopped Skor bars) 
  • 4-6 apples (Granny Smith or your favorite)
  1. Mix cream cheese and brown sugar until blended.
  2. Spread in pie plate or large glass serving plate.
  3. Chill for one hour.
  4. Spread caramel topping over cream cheese mixture.
  5. Sprinkle with Skor bits...sparingly or use the entire package! 
  6. Slice apples and arrange around dip.

Enjoy!
 

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Thai Mango Chicken


This recipe is a nice company dish. When I made this for our company it got a thumbs up all around. I would certainly make this again, and again...and I have. It is ready in a short time since the meat isn't cooked long and the veggies are stir fried.  Serve over rice and you have a complete meal with lots of vegetables.  This amount makes 8 servings. I also served  Cabbage Salad (with out the added chicken) as a side dish.

  • 6 fresh chicken breast halves, cut into strips
  • 1 tablespoons oil
  • 2 fresh peppers, cut into thin strips (I used red and yellow)
  • 2 cups of broccoli 
  • 1 can of lite coconut milk (in Canada it is a 400 ml size)
  • fill can with water and add 1 tablespoon of low sodium chicken bouillon.
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1/2 cup of hoisin sauce
  • 1 tablespoon peanut butter (optional)
  • 1  tablespoons of  curry paste (add more if you like it spicier and more curry flavor, I added a generous 2 tablespoons)
  • 2 fresh mango cubed
  1. Stir fry the peppers and broccoli in the oil for a few minutes and set aside.
  2. After removing the peppers, stir fry the chicken in a bit more oil until the chicken strips are browned.
  3. In the mean time mix the coconut milk, water, hoisin sauce and seasoning, stir well.
  4. dissolve cornstarch in the coconut milk mixture.
  5. Return the vegetables to the chicken, add the sauce and cook until it comes to a boil and the sauce thickens.
  6. Add mango to heat through.
  7. Sounds like a really good birthday dinner to me.

Monday, October 29, 2012

Pumpkin Sweet Rolls


 
 Okay these pumpkin sweet rolls were amazing..especially with all that glaze on them. Just so you know if you want to use this much glaze for each roll you will have to make more than I have stated! You only need to drizzle the glaze over the rolls and not pour like I did..but it sure tasted good:)

Ingredients:
  • 1 1/2 cups warm milk
  • 1/2 cup butter, melted
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 cup pumpkin puree
  • 1 egg, whisked
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon yeast
  • 6 cups flour
Method:
  1. In a large bowl, combine milk, butter, sugar, pumpkin puree, egg, and salt.
  2. Stir in flour and yeast, 1 cup of flour at a time, to make a soft dough, it will still be sticky.
  3. Turn onto a floured surface and knead for 4 to 5 minutes until dough is smooth.
  4. Place in a greased bowl, cover and let rise 1 hour or until doubled in bulk.
  5. Punch down dough and form into two balls.
  6. Roll each ball of dough to a 12 by 16 rectangle.
  7. Sprinkle half of the filling on each rectangle..
  8. Roll up jelly roll style, cut each roll into 12 pieces.
  9. Place in two 9 x 13 greased pans, cover and let rise for 30 minutes.
  10. Bake at 375º for 25 minutes or until golden in color.
  11. Drizzle glaze over rolls. Best served warm.
Filling:
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 3/4 cup butter
  1. Combine dry ingredients and cut in butter till crumbly.
Glaze:
  • 2 cups icing sugar
  • 2 tablespoons milk
  • 4 tablespoons pumpkin puree
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  1. Whisk until smooth and 'drizzling' consistency.



Sunday, October 28, 2012

Bread for The Journey


Jesus Loves the little children
All the children of the world
Red and yellow, black and white,
All are precious in His sight
Jesus loves the little children of the world.


Recently I've been thinking a lot about children.
On October 1st we were blessed with a new baby grandson - our 7th grandchild.  
As I held this little one, only hours after he was born, 
I marveled again at the whole miracle of birth.
This precious little boy has, from conception, everything vital to life, everything needed to become an adult.  How is it that his heart was made with not only the ability to pump the blood his body needs to feed its cells but the capacity to do this without any conscious effort on his behalf?  How do cells multiply so that this tiny heart increases in size to meet the needs of his growing body?
His features reflect those of his parents and yet he is unique - 
there is no other child just like him.
He breathes, eats, sleeps and cries - he feels pain, comfort and warmth.  
Soon he will respond with a smile to a friendly face and will crawl and walk and run.  
His brain will enable him to learn and understand not only what is seen and taught but also  intangible things that he will sense and respond to.
All this and so much more - what a miracle of God's creation and how God blesses all of us through his presence in our family..

Then last week we attended the funeral of our friends' dearly loved granddaughter.  
This little girl, only a few years old, was a beautiful child,
 so pretty with her dark hair and expressive eyes.  
She too breathed, ate, slept and cried. She felt pain, comfort and warmth. 
However right from birth, there were complications, many issues that restricted her ability to grow and develop, to speak, to walk, to learn.  
Despite these issues she too was God's perfect creation - 
designed with a purpose and given as a gift to her family.  
As her family shared her story, as we saw pictures of her daily activities, 
we could see that she brought joy and meaning to those around her. 
She was as precious to her family as our grandson is to us.

I don't know the answers to the "Why" questions. 
Why one child lives, and another doesn't, why one child can walk and talk and another can't. However I do know God, the One who created each life.
I choose to believe that He values each child and 
 that He does nothing without love and compassion. 
As the song says,
 "All are precious in His sight".
There is design and purpose to all He creates and
 I will praise Him for His marvelous workmanship.

Psalm 139:13-17 TLB 
You made all the delicate, inner parts of my body, and 
knit them together in my mother's womb.  
Thank you for making me so wonderfully complex! It is amazing to think about. 
Your workmanship is marvelous- and how well I know it.  
You were there while I was being formed in utter seclusion! 
You saw me before I was born and scheduled each day of my life 
before I began to breathe.  
Every day was recorded in Your Book!  
How precious it is Lord to know you are  thinking about me constantly!

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Banana Cake with Broiled topping


This recipe (with a few changes) comes from my friend Elenore and it's one I use over and over.  It's great for using up those last few bananas that are turning dark. Because it makes two 8"x8" cakes (or one 9"x13") you can freeze one to have on hand for unexpected guests.

Cake:
  • 1/2 cup butter or shortening
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2 eggs lightly beaten
  • 2 cups sifted flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 cup mashed banana
  • 1/4 cup sour cream
Topping:
  • 1/2 cup melted butter
  • 1 1/2 cups brown sugar
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons cream
  • 3/4 cup coconut
  • 3/4 cup chopped pecans or sliced almonds
Method:
  1. Beat together butter and sugar in mixer until creamy - this may take 3-5 minutes.
  2. Add vanilla and one egg and beat very well.
  3. Add remaining egg and beat again.
  4. Sift flour lightly on to waxed paper and measure out 2 cups.
  5. Place in bowl and add baking powder, baking soda and salt.
  6. Sift again.
  7. Add 1/2 of mashed banana and sour cream to batter and beat.
  8. Add 1/2 of dry ingredients beating until blended.
  9. Repeat with remaining banana and flour mixture.
  10. Beat until well blended.
  11. Divide batter into 2 greased and floured 8"x8" pans (or line pans with parchment paper) or one 9"x13" pan.
  12. Bake at 350ºF oven for about 30 minutes or until cake tester comes out dry. Cakes will spring back when you touch the tops.
  13. While cakes are baking, mix topping in a small bowl.
  14. When cakes are done, remove from oven and place topping by small spoonfuls over each cake.
  15. Carefully spread out topping to cover entire surface of each cake.
  16. Return cakes to oven and continue baking at 350º until topping begins to bubble.  This could take about 5 - 10 minutes. Watch carefully.
  17. Remove from oven and cool on racks.
  18. When cool remove from pans and serve with whipping cream or package up for the freezer if desired.


Friday, October 26, 2012

Oven Baked Salmon



Salmon is a good source of protein and omega 3 fatty acids.
Here is a simple and very tasty way to oven bake a whole salmon.

Ingredients:

  • 4-6 pound salmon
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 lemon, sliced thin
  • 1 onion, sliced thin
  • 1 bunch parsley
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 teaspoon pepper
  • fresh ground pepper
Method:
  1. Wash salmon and pat dry with paper towel.
  2. Tear off a large enough piece of foil to lay salmon on and also wrap in completely.
  3. Lay cleaned salmon on foil lined baking sheet. Rub the outside of salmon with olive oil.
  4. Fill cavity of salmon with thin slices of lemon, onion and sprigs of fresh parsley. 
  5. Cut butter into small pieces and lay on top of lemon and onion slices.
  6. Salt and pepper inside of salmon.
  7. Grind fresh pepper onto outside skin of salmon. 
  8. Fold foil over salmon and seal edges to hold in moisture while baking.
  9. Bake at 400ºF for 40-45 minutes. (approximately 10 minutes per inch thickness of salmon)
  10. Remove from oven and allow to rest for 5 minutes. Open foil, and lift salmon onto a serving tray. 
Side note: Using the method above the bones are still in the fish when you serve it. You can easily remove the lemon and onions, slit the baked fish and pull out the bones before serving. They come out very nicely once the fish is bake. 

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Easy Jello Yogurt Dessert


This is a very simple dessert that is a great choice when you are serving guests on a sugar or gluten restricted diet. (not that it isn't great any time!)
It was one of the desserts recently brought to a potluck and everyone wanted the recipe - including me!
The cook was happy to give it !

Recipe
  • two packages of  Jello (flavored gelatin)  - use sugar-free for diabetics.   Choose Jello in two contrasting colours. The original recipe calls for lemon and orange -  I used lemon and raspberry. 
  • 2 cups boiling water 
  • 2 cups yogurt  (plain or vanilla) 
  • small tin of orange segments 
  •  whipped cream for garnish 
  1. In two separate bowls mix each jello flavour with 1 cup boiling water. 
  2. Let cool. 
  3. Then add one cup yogurt to each bowl,  stirring until well blended. 
  4. Put lemon Jello , or the flavour you want for the bottom layer of your dessert, in a glass serving bowl or in individual serving dishes. 
  5. Put serving dish(es)  into the fridge to set ... leaving the other bowl of Jello/yogurt  at room temperature.  . 
  6. Let the bottom layer  almost set .... then spoon the contrast Jello/yogurt on top ...garnish with mandarin orange slices.    
  7. Let completely set in fridge . 
  8. Top with piped whipped cream.   

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Apple Cherry Muffins

 
 
A muffin is still a muffin even if it's wrapped in parchment paper . . . but I was inspired when I saw these in a recent Style at Home magazine. The recipe is one I've played with and no matter what I do to it, it always turns out.
Ingredients:
  • 2 cups multigrain flour (or half white/half ww)
  • 1/2 cup oatmeal
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1 cup buttermilk or yogurt
  • 1/3 cup butter, melted
  • 2 cups finely chopped apples
  • 1 cup dried cherries
topping:
  • 1 Tbsp butter, melted
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup oatmeal
  • 1/4 cup sliced almonds
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
 
Method:
  1. Preheat oven to 350 F. Prepare 12 large muffin tins or 8-9 tomato sauce cans
  2. In a mixing bowl, combine dry ingredients, stirring to make sure sugar is blended in well.
  3. In a small bowl, combine egg, butter and buttermilk.
  4. Add wet ingredients and fruit to dry ingredients, stirring until just blended. Spoon into muffin tins.
  5. Mix topping ingredients and spread a Tbsp on each muffin, pressing in lightly.
  6. Bake for 25-30 minutes.
* to prepare tomato sauce cans, spray bottoms. Line cans with parchment paper cut to size. Fill almost to the top and bake bake 30 minutes. Remove from tins after about 10 minutes and cool on wire racks. Tie with kitchen twine.
 
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Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Fish with Remoulade sauce



Aren't the most memorable meals often associated with a special place?
On a recent trip to Denmark, we enjoyed this sauce with fish 
while sitting alongside the canal at Nyhavn.

Here is my version of the sauce we had there.
The Danes make this sauce both with or without horseradish.

 For the Remoulade sauce:
  • 3/4 cup mayonnaise
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons whole grain mustard 
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • 1/4 teaspoon tarragon
  • 1/4 teaspoon dillweed
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried parsley
  • 2 tablespoons coarsely chopped sweet pickle and pickled cauliflower
  • Horseradish to taste (if desired)
  1. Combine all ingredients in a small bowl.
  2. Refrigerate until serving.
For the fish:
  • 4 Fish fillets -  a white fish like Red Snapper, Tilapia, Basa or Cod is best
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon seasoned salt
  • 1 egg
  • 2 tablespoons milk
  • 1 1/2 cups Panko bread crumbs
  • 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese
  • 2 tablespoons oil
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  1. Wash fish and pat dry with paper towel.
  2. Using three shallow bowls, mix flour and seasoned salt in the first, beat egg and milk in the second and combine Panko crumbs and Parmesan cheese in the third.
  3. Dip each piece of fish first in the flour, then in the milk and egg and lastly coat each fish fillet with the Panko mixture.
  4. Place oil and butter in a frying pan on medium high heat.
  5. When butter has melted and mixture is hot, add fish and fry until golden.
  6. Turn over and fry the other side being careful to not overcook the fish.
  7. The fish is done when  it is still slightly moist inside and you can flake it with a fork.
  8. Remove to serving dish and serve with Remoulade Sauce and Lemon wedges.

Monday, October 22, 2012

Green Tomato and Roasted Garlic Pizza

 When we chat back and forth about which recipes to put onto the blog we are often brainstorming on how to use what we have.  I have green tomatoes and plenty of them.
What to do with green tomatoes that are ever so slowly ripening in my garage?
Green tomato pizza was a new idea to me but now it will be a regular appetizer during the late summer when the race begins to use all those green tomatoes in the garden.
My beloved enjoyed the recipe...
but wondered where the salami was.


  • pizza dough 
  • 1 large onion sliced
  • 1 bulb garlic,  roasted
  • 1 1/2  cups grated Italian,  mozzarella blend cheese
  • 2 green tomatoes, sliced thin
  • 1/2 cup parmesan cheese
  1. Use half of the pizza dough.  Place on a piece of parchment paper that had a smidge of olive oil on it. Flip dough over. Put another piece of parchment paper on top and press the dough with the heel of your hand until evenly 1/4 inch thick.  Let rise an hour.
  2. Bake the dough at 400 on the parchment paper and cookie sheet or pizza pan until firm but not yet browned .. .about 10 minutes. 
  3. Slice the top off a garlic bulb, drizzle 1 teaspoon olive oil over top and wrap in foil.  Bake at 350 until soft and caramel color, about an hour.
  4. Caramelize the onion with a drizzle of olive oil in a fry pan over medium heat until the onion turns a light caramel color.  Stir every few minutes.
  5. Squeeze out garlic onto baked pizza shell and spread evenly.
  6. Layer pizza toppings in this order... Italian blend, caramel apples, green tomatoes, parmesan cheese.
  7. Bake in top third of oven at 400 until cheese is bubbly and beginning to brown.

OH ....and congratulations to Judy winner of the Celebrations book.  
I couldn't wait to see the new cover and I think it is so well done! Who would have thought that you would take aprons up to a new level. I can't wait to see the inside and all that it includes. You all sure do things in a pretty, creative, and delicious way. Congratulations on all your hard work!

Judy...we'll get your contact info and have a book sent out to you May 2013.

Thank you so much again for your encouraging and inspiring words.
It truly does keep us going.



Sunday, October 21, 2012

Bread for the Journey


 Daniel 6:10 NIV

" Now when Daniel learned that the decree had been published, he went home to his upstairs room where the windows opened toward Jerusalem. Three times a day he got down on his knees and prayed, giving thanks to his God, just as he had done before."

Daniel was determined to do the right thing, he wanted to be obedient to God. He served God in Babylon for many years, being faithful to God in all things. He began as a slave and then got a higher position. He interpreted the king's dreams and received visions from God. We also know he slept in the lion's den without being harmed! Daniel was often challenged to compromise his faith in God but he never wavered and stayed true to God, praying and giving thanks frequently.

If we want to have the courage that Daniel had we too must be bold and acknowledge God's wisdom and be willing to obey and trust him..He will will take care of us!
Our journey in life may be bumpy at times, let Daniel's example encourage us to be bold and unwavering in our faith in God.

Dare to be a Daniel
Dare to stand alone!
Dare to have a purpose firm!
Dare to make it known.




Saturday, October 20, 2012

Beef & Chorizo Chili

This is a thick chili with 3 kinds of beans and jalapeno that is sure to warm you up!
  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 12 oz. ground chorizo
  • 1 onion chopped
  • 1 green bell pepper chopped
  • 2 tablespoons oil 
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 can diced petite tomatoes (14-16 oz.)
  • 1 can drained and rinsed black beans (14-16 oz.)
  • 1 can drained and rinsed kidney beans (14-16 oz.)
  • 1 can drained pinto beans (14-16 oz.)
  • 1 fresh jalapeno, chopped or 1/2  of a 4oz. can of chopped jalapeno
  • 1 can corn (approx. 15 oz.)
  • Fresh  diced tomatoes and grated cheese for serving
  1. Heat oil in large heavy bottomed pot.
  2. Add onion and saute for 2 minutes.
  3. Add bell pepper and saute for 2 minutes.
  4. Add beef and chorizo and season well.
  5. Cook till meat is no longer pink.
  6. Add the tomatoes, 3 kinds of beans, jalapeno, and corn.
  7. Bring to a boil and simmer for up to an hour. If you like thinner chili you can add some broth to the pot.
  8. Serve topped with fresh tomatoes and grated cheese or your favorite toppings. We always love to have corn bread with our chili. 
This recipe will probably serve 8-10 people.

Click here for Betty's cornbread recipe.
We'll be announcing the winner to the Celebration Cookbook on Monday morning's post!  Thank you so much for all the wonderful comments.  You inspire us.

Friday, October 19, 2012

Hummus



Our family is a big fan of Hummus used either as a dip for veggies or chips.  It can also be used as a Sandwich spread in a pita. It has protein and a good alternative to creamy dips with excellent flavor. This is something that I like to take along when our family has gone on picnics, or all day Volleyball tournaments for extra protein.

  • 2 cans of chick peas / garbonzo beans 540 ml / 19 oz, drained
  • 1/3 cup warm water
  • 1/3 cup of olive oil
  • 1/3 cup Tahini Paste
  • Juice from 2-3 freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 2 teaspoons / 10 ml. ground cumin
  • salt and pepper to taste
  1. Blend together in a blender or food processor until smooth and creamy.
This keeps for 2 weeks in the fridge, serve with home made tortilla chips, or veggies.  It makes a good sandwich spread as well in a pita or on a tortilla shell loaded with chopped veggies and cheese.  


Thursday, October 18, 2012

Curried Rice and Squash Casserole

While waiting at the doctor's office...I often browse through magazines.  Invariably, I come home with a new recipe to try.  Since this is squash season...I thought this recipe was just the thing. I made a few changes...and we enjoyed our curried squash casserole.  Pair it with chicken or white fish...and enjoy.


  • 2 Tbsp. oil
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 2 Tbsp. curry powder
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • ¼ tsp. ground black pepper
  • 2 cups chicken or vegetable broth
  • 1 – 14 oz. tin coconut milk
  • 2 ½ cups diced squash
  • 1 ½ cups jasmine rice
  • ½ cup raisins
  • 1 – 14 oz. tin of black beans drained and rinsed
  • slivered almonds, optional
  1. Saute onions in oil until tender.
  2. Blend in spices.
  3. Stir in broth, coconut milk and boil 1 minute.
  4. Add squash, rice, raisins and black beans.
  5. Place in shallow 3-4 quart casserole.
  6. Cover and bake 40 minutes in 350° oven;  uncover and cook for 10 minutes more.
  7. Garnish with slivered, toasted almonds.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Celebrations Book Cover


Hello dear readers...
We are so excited to share the new cover. 
The photo taken by Beatriz Photography was taken in July when we were all together to sign the contract.

The aprons of this book reflect the color theme and the spirit of celebration.
We are very pleased that Reuben Graham is once again doing the design work on this book.
He did all the design work on our original book and we
think he once again designed a cover that reflects the essence of what you will find inside.

This cookbook is designed to promote the joy and beauty of celebrating life. Whether it be a newborn baby, a significant milestone, camping in the woods, a neighbourhood get-together, a holiday, remembering someone in need or the end of a life well lived, we believe readers will benefit from relevant recipes with personal stories and reflections by the ten of us strewn about the pages of this book. Menu ideas for hosting a bridal shower, planning a family meal or being prepared to enjoy a simple spontaneous dessert will inspire the novice as well as the experienced cook.


Join us in celebrating what matters most through the seasons of life.
May 1, 2013

I think we'd love to give away another book.

With love...
Anneliese, Betty, Bev, Charlotte, Ellen, Judy, Julie, Kathy, Marg and Lovella




Tuesday, October 16, 2012

BBQ Egg Roll Wrapper Pizza



Three layers of paper thin wrappers become the perfect light and crispy crust for a ham and pineapple pizza. I serve this as an appetizer or a light supper served with a garden salad.

Ingredients: (for 1 pizza that cuts into 4 pieces)
  • 1 package egg roll wrappers (found in the deli or produce department of the supermarket)
  • 4 tablespoons pizza sauce
  • 1/2 cup thin sliced deli ham, cut into small cubes
  • 1/3 cup pineapple tidbits
  • 1/2 cup mozzarella cheese, grated
  • 1 tablespoon cornmeal 
Method:
  1. Place pizza stone on BBQ grill to 500º while you assemble pizza. Allow stone to heat for 10 minutes.
  2. Peel off 3 wrappers from the package of egg roll wrappers. These are paper thin so take care to not tear.
  3. Sprinkle cornmeal onto piece of parchment paper.
  4. Lay one wrapper onto or cornmeal. Spread with 1 tablespoon of pizza sauce.
  5. Lay next wrapper on top. Spread with another tablespoon of pizza sauce.
  6. Lay last wrapper on top and spread with remaining sauce. 
  7. Top with ham, pineapple tidbits and then mozzarella cheese.
  8. Slide pizza onto hot pizza stone and bake approximately 13 minutes. Edges will begin to curl up, become brown and slightly charred, and cheese will be be melted and just beginning to bubble.
  9. With a large pizza peel lift pizza off stone and place onto cutting board. Cut and serve immediately.
Tips: Because the wrappers are so thin only assemble just before baking to insure that the wrappers do not get soggy. 
Make sure that you only use the small amount of pizza sauce and keep the toppings to a minimal. 
There are many wrappers in a package so I pull them apart and place 3 in a stack and freeze between parchment paper. They only take about 20  minutes to thaw. 

Monday, October 15, 2012

Banana Pancakes with Coconut Syrup

Earlier this year we visited the Florida Keys...and had breakfast at the Blue Heaven restaurant. We dined outdoors and had chickens eating the crumbs beneath the table.  I enjoyed their famous banana pancakes and decided to try to my own version of them at home.  I made the plate-sized pancakes, though they could easily be made in a smaller size.  Topped with coconut syrup and served with fresh pineapple...it is easy to imagine palm trees nearby!


Banana Pancakes
  • 1 cup flour
  • 2 tablespoons sugar (white or brown)
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1./2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 egg, whisked
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 2 bananas - one mashed and one thinly sliced
  1. Combine dry ingredients in mixing bowl.
  2. Mix whisked egg, buttermilk and oil.  Add mashed banana and stir.
  3. Add liquid mixture slowly to dry ingredients.  
  4. Stir until smooth.
  5. Heat griddle or non-stick pan over medium-low heat until water dances on the surface.
  6. Drop batter onto hot griddle...spreading as necessary to form desired size pancakes.
  7. Arrange banana slices on the batter once in the pan.
  8. Once the pancake is bubbly on top, flip carefully.
  9. Cook until the second side is golden.
  10. Serve with coconut syrup.
Yield: 3 plate-sized pancakes or 8-4 inch pancakes.


Coconut Syrup

  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/2 cup whipping cream
  • 1 teaspoon coconut extract
  1. Combine sugar and water in a small saucepan and bring to a boil. 
  2. Reduce heat and simmer for 3-5 minutes
  3. Cool completely.
  4. Whisk in whipping cream.
  5. Stir in coconut extract.
*Can be prepared ahead and refrigerated.



Sunday, October 14, 2012

Bread for the Journey

In the stars His handiwork I see,
On the wind He speaks with majesty,
Though He ruleth over land and sea,
What is that to me?
I will celebrate Nativity,
For it has a place in history,
Sure, He came to set His people free,
What is that to me?

Till by faith I met Him face to face,
and I felt the wonder of His grace,
Then I knew that He was more than just a
God who didn't care,
Who lives a way out there and

Now He walks beside me day by day,
Ever watching o'er me lest I stray,
Helping me to find the narrow way,
He's everything to me.


Recently, while some of us were sitting around the table, working on plans for the new cookbook, this old song by Ralph Carmichael came up. One started singing and we all joined in! It was a 70's moment . . . a time in our lives when what we memorized stuck with us. I found it quite amazing that after all that's been added to our brains in the past 40 years, we all still knew all of the words to this old song!

More recently yet, my little four-year old grandson was playing in the family room with his two-year-old brother and trying to get him to say, "We believe in just one God!" I recognized it from a song that our kids learned in Wee College and remembered that he had attended a class that morning.

Once more, it just became very clear to me that it is important what we store in our hearts. It is there even when we do not realize it and comes out to bless or harm . . . depending on what we have allowed into it.

"Above all else, guard your heart, for it is the well spring of life."
Proverbs 4:23

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Creamed Ham on Biscuits




This meal brings back memories of Saturday night suppers when I was
 growing up.  Mom would always have a can of ham in the cupboard 
so this was something she could whip up in a few minutes.  
I don't buy canned ham very often so I use leftover ham cubes or cooked chicken.  Add a salad and you have supper ready.


Ingredients for the Creamed Ham
  • 1 tablespoon oil
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1/2 cup chopped onion
  • 1/4 cup chopped celery
  • 1/4 cup chopped red pepper
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped carrot
  • 1/2 cup chopped mushrooms
  • 1/4 cup frozen peas
  • 1 cup cubed ham
  • 2 tablespoons butter (second amount)
  • 2 Tablespoons flour
  • 1 cup milk
  • salt and pepper to taste

Ingredients for the Biscuits
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1/2 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 3/4 cup buttermilk
Method for the Creamed Ham:
  1. Preheat oven to 375º 
  2. Place 1 tablespoon oil and butter in a large skillet over medium high heat.
  3. Add chopped vegetables and saute' until softened.
  4. Add ham and frozen peas, stir and heat for another minute or so and set aside.
  5. In a small saucepan or microwavable bowl, melt 2 tablespoons butter.
  6. Stir in flour until combined.
  7. Add milk and continue to cook and stir until sauce is thickened.  
  8. Add salt and pepper to taste.
  9. Stir in ham and vegetables and place in casserole dish.
Method for the Biscuits:
  1. Place all dry ingredients into a bowl.
  2. Cut in butter to form pea sized crumbs
  3. Using a fork, stir in Buttermilk just until all is moistened.
  4. Drop by large spoonfuls over creamed ham mixture.
  5. Place casserole in 375 º oven and bake for 10- 15 minutes or until biscuits are lightly browned.
  6. Serve immediately.
Makes 4 servings.

Friday, October 12, 2012

Texan Chili Cheese Bake

 
This is a great way to use up leftover chili or sloppy joe sauce. I have used a square pan, doing only one layer or used a loaf pan, doing two layers. I prefer the single layer. Add a salad and it's a quick and easy dinner.
Ingredients:
  • 4 slices Texas Style (thick slice) white or whole wheat toast
  • 3 cups chili or sloppy joe sauce (approx)
  • 1 - 2 cups shredded cheese
  • 1 egg
  • 3/4 cups milk
Method:
  1. Toast bread and butter lightly, then line square greased pan with all four slices or greased loaf pan with two slices.
  2. Top with meat and cheese. Repeat layer if using loaf pan.
  3. Beat egg and milk and pour over top.
  4. Bake, uncovered, at 350 F, for 30 - 35 minutes. Let stand 5 minutes before serving. Serves 4 -5
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Thursday, October 11, 2012

Garlic Chicken


If you are like me, you like to serve your family meals that are quick and easy to make, but with no compromise of taste.  If you are a working parent or have a very busy schedule you will like this recipe, and if you like "garlic" you will love this recipe. In about half an hour this meal is on the table.  It goes good with fried rice and fresh salad. This recipe is for 8 chicken breasts, but you can easily adapt it for more or less depending on what you need.  Use about 1 clove of garlic, 1 scant teaspoon oil and 1 tablespoon brown sugar (not packed down) per chicken breast piece. Who wants to spend hours in the kitchen, not me.... :-)


  • 8 chicken breast halves
  • 8 garlic cloves, minced 
  • 2 tablespoons oil (scant)
  • 1/2 cup of brown sugar (lightly packed)
  • lots of freshly ground pepper 
  1. Saute the minced garlic in the oil until softened.
  2. Take off the heat and mix in the brown sugar and pepper.
  3. Spoon the brown sugar mixture evenly over each chicken breast.
  4. Place into a greased dish that holds the chicken without crowding.
  5. Bake at 475 for 25 minutes or is no longer pink inside.


Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Cauliflower and Cheese Sauce

A cauli 'flower'. 

Ingredients:
  • 1 head cauliflower
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 2 tbsp flour
  • 1 1/4 cups milk
  • 1/2 tsp white pepper
  • 1 cup grated cheddar cheese
  • paprika for garnish
Method:
  1. Remove leaves from cauliflower. Cut away centre core leaving cauliflower in tact. Wash cauliflower head.
  2. Place clean cauliflower in a shallow pan. Add water to to cover 1/3 of cauliflower. Add the 1/2 tsp salt to water. Cover with lid or foil.
  3. Bring water to boil and then turn down to medium low to steam cauliflower for approximately 8-10 minutes, or until cauliflower is tender when you poke a sharp knife deep into the centre. 
  4. Carefully remove steamed cauliflower from water and place on serving dish.
Cheese sauce method:
  1. In a glass bowl melt butter in microwave.
  2. Stir in flour until you have a smooth paste.
  3. Add milk and pepper. 
  4. Stir well then microwave for 1 minute at a time, stirring between to keep sauce smooth.
  5. Once sauce has bubbled, remove and add grated cheddar cheese. Stir well and cook for one more minute.
  6. Remove and stir until cheese is completely melted and sauce is smooth.
  7. Pour over steamed head of cauliflower. 
  8. Sprinkle lightly with paprika. Place other vegetables around cauliflower is desired.
Thank you everyone for entering our contest....and thank you so much for all the encouragement and for the kind words.  We truly are grateful for each of you!  Blessings!

Winners...
We picked two...  winners of a Celebration Cookbook....coming May 2013  


I enjoyed the first cookbook very much and look forward to your new one this Spring! Thank you for showing pictures of the greenhouse. This web site has such wonderful recipes and photos. Please know that all your efforts in what you are doing is an inspiration to many.
If you should ever venture back to Pennsylvania for another book signing I hope to be able to attend.
Barb Schmidt

Happy Thanksgiving,, I love to bake and cook and since i found this blog, i have to say i'm adiccted to it. I have the first book and love the form you MGCC put up the recipes. Thank you all, and Gods blessing in your efforts.
Adelheid Hildebrand

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Pear Tart


We have a pear tree and it seems all the pears like to ripen in the same week. I've been trying to come up with pear recipes and this one was deemed a keeper by my family.

Crust:
1-1/2 cups flour
1/2 cup quick oatmeal
3/4 cup finely chopped walnuts
3/4 cup light brown sugar, packed lightly
3/4 cup unsalted butter-cut into small cubes
1 egg yolk

6-7 fresh pears
juice from half a lemon
2 tablespoons sugar

Cut the pears lengthwise into quarters, core the pear, and slice into smaller sections, about 8 slices per pear.You'll need 6-7 pears for this recipe. After the pears are sliced put them into a bowl and add the lemon juice and sugar and toss lightly. This will allow them to juice slightly.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Combine flour, oatmeal, walnuts, and sugar, butter and egg yolk in bowl. Mix ingredients until they are a crumb size. You can use a mixer.

Pour the mixture into a 10 inch tart pan and press to an even layer coming up the sides of the pan, also.


Arrange the pear slices starting on the outside edge going around in a circle and then start the center circle with the remaining pear slices. Save the pear juice left in the bowl to brush the pears when the tart is fully cooked and out of the oven. This will add a nice sheen to the tart. If you don't have enough juice for this step add a little water and sugar to the pear juice you have and cook it on the stove top till it thickens slightly.

Bake the tart for 35-40 minutes or until it's lightly browned. Remove from oven, cool slightly and enjoy warm or after it has cooled completely. It would be nice with a dollop of whip cream or a la mode.

Note: I reserved a tablespoon of the crumb crust to add on top of the pears in the center of the pan before baking the tart. That is an optional step.



Monday, October 8, 2012

Mennonite Girls Can Cook ~ Celebrations


Happy Thanksgiving Monday to you our dear readers.

Two years ago on Thanksgiving Monday we announced that we had signed a contract with MennoMedia to publish a cookbook. 



Thank you for giving us the opportunity to put together a book that you could purchase for yourself and give as gifts.  You not only gave it once but your giving was stretched when you joined with us in our dream to feed hungry children. 

We selected a project that our royalties would be designated to.  The funds have been directed to MCC to  build this greenhouse. As we see the updates that they send us in photos we realize how blessed it is to give. The book which we gave back to the Lord is now providing nourishment for the body and soul for children in the Ukraine.

While we worked on the book that would preserve our heritage recipes we debated about what to put in and what to leave out. We had no idea if the book would be a seller or if another opportunity to publish a book would arise but one thing was certain...
a second book kept wanting to emerge.

This summer we signed a contract with Mennomedia to publish a book called Celebrations.

We have been hard at work, selecting recipes, thinking of categories, working double time in our kitchens and doing our best to keep our camera lenses free of smudges.
We are working on the stories about life events have made us who we are and are digging deep in thinking about what we will share in regards to what God continues to teach us in the celebrations we observe.
Again we see that this book is another opportunity to bless those who have less than us and so as we spent time thinking about the food which the pages would hold...
we also spent time in prayer deciding where the royalties will go.


Celebrations will be on bookshelves May 2013.
The book cover and further details about the content of the cookbook will be announced in the upcoming days.

To celebrate this announcement we would like to give away several books of our book in progress.
Leave a comment on this post between now and Tuesday afternoon 6PM PST and we'll enter your name to win a Celebrations book.

  1. Please enter only once.
  2. Leave a name that we can use to declare the winner.
  3. Winner will be declared by random number generator and announced Wednesday morning.



Sunday, October 7, 2012

Bread for the Journey



Celebrating Thanksgiving

This weekend we are joining Canadians nationwide in celebrating Thanksgiving. I grew up in a home where "Thanksgiving" turkey did not make an appearance on our table. Thanksgiving Sunday after the service, hospitality was offered as we joined together with our church family in the church basement and enjoyed the bounty that arrived in different forms from each kitchen.  Fresh baked buns, salads, sweets and cold ham never tasted as good as when we ate with friends, filling every Sunday School room, eating at long tables.

On Thanksgiving Monday, my parents loaded up firewood, the fixings for a wiener roast and we all piled in the blue chevy and headed up to the mountain to crunch in the leaves. This was my mom's idea and it had nothing at all to do with avoiding the kitchen.   She delighted in being together as a family, crunching through the autumn leaves and relaxing in the slight chill of the autumn air. 
Rather than working days in advance for the meal, on Thanksgiving Monday ....we lived in the moment, celebrating life as it was unfolding and the abundance around us. Remembering her expression of thankfulness for the beauty of her surroundings has never left me. I can still see her smile as she inhaled the scent of autumn.  

What then is the right way to celebrate Thanksgiving?  It is more than a holiday on the calendar and time spent with family and certainly more than the delicious food we look forward to. It is an outpouring of gratitude to God for his love. During lean years and years of bounty, the gratitude remains the same because we have all we need in Christ Jesus. 

We are thankful for  . . 
  new birth, the children that God entrusts to us, our families, upcoming marriages, the communities we are part, the beautiful creation around us, the milestones throughout the year, the Holidays we look forward to, the gift of friendships, and even though our hearts are saddened, some of us will be celebrating a life well lived. We are called to give thanks to God in all things.  

From all of us at Mennonite Girls Can Cook, we wish you and your family a memorable Thanksgiving. 

"Let them give thanks to the Lord for his unfailing love and His wonderful deeds for mankind, for he satisfies the thirsty and fills the hungry with good things." Psalm 107:8-9

Saturday, October 6, 2012

Swiss Eggs

 
A nice easy weekend morning breakfast idea from my daughter. The hardest part of preparing this was taking the picture! This recipe is for two, so you can double or triple it easily.
Ingredients:
  • 1 cup grated cheese (approx)
  • 4 eggs
  • salt, pepper
  • two slices crumbled, cooked bacon or real bacon bits
  • 1/3 cup milk (approx)
Method:
  1. Slightly grease a small baking dish.
  2. Sprinkle bottom of dish with half of the cheese.
  3. Crack  eggs on top of cheese. Break the yolks and do a light sprinkle of salt and pepper.
  4. Sprinkle with bacon
  5. Top with more cheese
  6. Gently pour milk around the edges, just until the dish is framed with milk.
  7. Bake at 375 F for about 20 minutes or until eggs are solid. Let sit 5 minutes. A larger amount may need 30 minutes.
  8.  
    
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Friday, October 5, 2012

Apple/Raisin Cream Cheese Puffs


A delicious treat for apple season! I used one of my biscuit recipes for the dough and am happy with the results. Best served fresh from the oven!

Ingredients:
  • 2 cups flour
  • 3 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 2 eggs
  • buttermilk
  • 1/2 cup cream cheese, softened
  • 1/4 cup icing sugar
  • 1 cup shredded apple, approx 1 large
  • 1/4 cup raisins
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon 
Method:
  1. Pulse dry ingredients in food processor.
  2. Add butter and pulse a few more times till butter is pea size.
  3. Crack eggs into a measuring cup and add enough buttermilk to fill 1 cup. 
  4. Add to processor and pulse a few times till dough comes together.
  5. Dump dough onto a well floured surface and gather into a ball.
  6. On a floured surface, roll out large enough to cut 22 rounds, using a 3" round cutter.
  7. In a small bowl, whisk together cream cheese and icing sugar until smooth.
  8. In a another bowl, mix shredded apple, and raisins.
  9. Place 11 biscuit rounds on a parchment lined cookie sheet.
  10. Spread cream cheese mixture on each biscuit, leaving space at the edges.
  11. Top each one with the apple mixture and place another round on each one, pressing down the edges to seal.
  12. Bake at 350º for 22 min.
  13. Drizzle with glaze while still warm.
Glaze:
  • 3/4 cup icing sugar
  • 3 teaspoons milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
  1. Mix together until smooth and of drizzling consistency. 

Thursday, October 4, 2012

French Apple Cake

It is not really a cake...but a custard-like fruit dessert...served with whipped cream.  The French call it clafouti.  This recipe came from the Canadian Dairy Foundation (it has been somewhat revised)...a source of good recipes that use milk.  But it could just as easily have come from the B.C. Egg Producer's Association...or the B.C. Fruit Growers Association, for that matter.  Chock full of good things...and so simple to make...you won't be disappointed!


  • 3 large apples, peeled and sliced
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 1/4 cups milk
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons melted butter
  • confectioner's sugar for dusting the top 

  1. Preheat oven to 350° F.
  2. Grease a 9" round cake pan or pie plate. 
  3. Arrange sliced apples evenly in the bottom of the pan.
  4. Place all remaining ingredients in blender and process until smooth.
  5. Pour carefully over the apple slices.
  6. Bake for 50 minutes.
  7. Cool for 15 minutes before removing from pan...or serve right from baking dish.
  8. Serve warm or cold with a dollop of whipped cream.
  9. Sprinkle with confectioner's sugar if desired.
*A spring form pan works well, if you wish to remove the dessert to serve on a platter later.  Grease pan...line bottom with parchment paper.  However, be aware that unless your springform pan has a tight seal, the custard will drip into your oven!
 

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Oma's Soft Cream Cookies


Some cookies are just a sweet reminder of days gone by, and I have fond memories of these soft and delicately sweet cookies. Do you remember these when you were growing up?
  • 2 cups sour cream, or whipping cream
  • 4 eggs
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1 cup of margarine or butter
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 5 cups flour
  • 2 1/2 Tablespoons baking powder (yes that is the correct amount)
  1. Mix margarine sugar beating well
  2. add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition
  3. mix in the vanilla
  4. Mix dry ingredients together
  5. add into the egg mixture stir alternately with the sour cream.
  6. This dough is soft and should be in the fridge over night, so it can be rolled out easily the next day. When you roll out the dough, flour the counter and over the dough liberally because the dough is a bit sticky. 
  7. Roll out dough on floured surface just over a 1/4" in thickness, into desired shapes.
  8. Bake at 350 for 10-15 minutes watching carefully not to brown. They taste best looking whitish.
You may choose to ice them when cooled with the following glaze.

Glaze
2 cups icing sugar mixed with cream til it is a thick but spreadable constancy.
Add a few drops of food coloring if desired.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Sirloin Soup


This soup is rich and delicious and because it calls for Sirloin steak the meat is very tender.

Ingredients:
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 cup finely chopped onion
1 large leek, rinsed well and finely chopped (don't omit this ingredient it really adds to the depth of flavor)
2 carrots chopped
1 pound sirloin steak, cut into bite sized pieces
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon onion powder
1/2 teaspoon oregano
1/2 teaspoon thyme
1/8 - 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper depending on your heat tolerance
1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
1 quart beef stock
1 bay leaf
3 tablespoons minced fresh parsley

In a large pot, melt butter over medium-high heat. Add the onions and cook for 2 minutes. Add the leek and carrot and cook until soft, stirring frequently. Add the beef, salt, pepper and spices. Cook until the meat is no longer pink.

Make a slurry with the flour and 2 tablespoons water. Add to the pot and stirring for a minute. Add the stock and bay leaf, stir well, and bring to a boil. Lower the heat and simmer partially covered for 1 to 1-1/2 hours stirring occasionally.

Remove the bay leaf, add the parsley, stir well. Serve with good crusty bread.

This recipe makes about 4 servings.