Mennonite Girls Can Cook is a collection of recipes which were posted daily for a period of ten years from 2008 to 2018. We have over 3,000 delicious recipes that we invite you to try. The recipes can be accessed in our recipe file by category or you can use the search engine.

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Pandesal..Buns from the Philippines

Pandesal is a popular breakfast food in the Philippines. They are oblong formed buns which have been rolled in bread crumbs before baking. They are light and fluffy, crusty on the outside and soft on the inside. In the Philippines they are usually dunked in coffee but I prefer to eat them with cheese, jam, or a cream cheese spread. They are best hot out of the oven. Freeze leftovers, when reheated they are just as good.
Our son has caregivers who are from the Philippines and they were telling me about these buns. I was intrigued so decided to give it a try and they turned out amazing.  I have already made them twice in one week. I brought some to our son's home for the guys to try. I wasn't sure how they compared but they assured me that they were very good.

  • 3/4 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/4 cup butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup sugar 
  • 1 egg, room temperature
  • 4 1/4 cups flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon instant yeast
  • Breadcrumbs, approximately 1/4 cup
  1. Combine milk and water and heat in microwave till warm.
  2. Whisk in softened butter, sugar and egg.
  3. Add flour, salt, and yeast.
  4. Knead until all is well combined, I used the kneading hook on the mixer. The dough will be quite sticky.
  5. Cover and let rise in warm place for 1 hour.
  6. Pour bread crumbs into a bowl. Using a spoon scoop dough and drop into the bread crumbs. 
  7. Roll ball of dough in the crumbs till coated, and shape into oblong buns.
  8. Place on parchment lined pans, cover with a tea towel and allow to rise until doubled in bulk.
  9. Bake in a 375º oven for 12 to 15 minutes until golden.
  10. Yield: 2 dozen.

Onion Rings

How can a simple yellow onion become a light and crispy golden ring?
I'll show you.

Ingredients: enough to feed 4-6 as a side dish or appetizer
  • 2 large yellow onions
  • 4 cups buttermilk
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 tsp onion powder
  • 1/2 tsp cayenne 
  • 1 1/2 cups flour
  • 3/4 cup cornmeal
  • 3 tbsp cornstarch
  • 1/2 tsp cayenne
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • vegetable oil for deep frying
  1. Peel onion and slice onions into 1/2 inch slices. 
  2. Separate onions into rings. 
  3. Peel away the thin skin from each ring. This step is important as it helps the very light batter to stick to the onion. 
  4. Place in a glass 9x13 pan.
  5. Whisk together buttermilk, eggs, onion powder and first amount of cayenne.
  6. Pour buttermilk mixture over onions. Cover with plastic wrap and place in refrigerator for several hours. 
  7. Mix together remaining dry ingredients in a pie plate, making a dry coating mixture.
  8. Take onions out of refrigerator. Drain the buttermilk and discard. Dredge wet onions 3-4 at a time in the dry coating mixture. Continue until all the onions have been coated. 
  9. If you have a deep fryer fill with oil according to directions on fryer. Set it to 350º. If using a heavy dutch oven on the stove top add oil and heat over medium heat until oil is 350º. For this method it is best to use a deep fry thermometer to insure the oil is the right temperature. 
  10. Carefully add 6-8 coated onions at a time to hot oil and cook for about 2-3 minutes. In a deep fryer you do not need to turn them. On the stove top you will need to use tongs to turn them once during cooking. 
  11. Once golden crispy, remove to a pan lined with paper towel to absorb any extra oil. 
  12. Salt lightly. Transfer to a baking sheet and place in a warm oven to keep hot until all the onion rings are done. 
  13. Serve with dipping sauce. Recipe below.
Dipping sauce:
  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • 2 tablespoons ketchup
  • 1/2 tsp cayenne
  • 1/4 tsp paprika
  • 1/2 tsp Dijon mustard
  • 1 tbsp hot sauce (optional) 
Stir together and allow to sit for at least an hour for flavours to meld.
Cutting rings and pulling off the onion membrane. Removing the membrane helps the batter to stick to the onion. This step  is a bit time consuming but well worth the effort.

All membranes removed. Onions are ready to soak in the buttermilk mixture. 

Here are the onion rings dredged in the light dry coating and ready for the deep fryer.
This batter is very thin and produces a light crispy onion ring. 

Rum Raisin Oatmeal Cookies

This recipe is adapted from The Pioneer Woman, originating with a Quaker Oat recipe. It is one in which you have to plan ahead if you want to soak the raisins overnight  in rum. Alternately, if rum is not an option, you can plump the raisins by bringing them to a boil in concentrated orange juice.
  • 1 cup raisins
  • 1/2 cup rum
  • 1/2 cup butter, room temperature
  • 1/2 cup shortening
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar, packed
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 tablespoons pancake syrup
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 1/2 cups flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 3 cups rolled oats
  • 1 cup sliced almonds
  1. Rinse raisins and place in a small bowl. Pour rum over them to almost cover and soak overnight.
  2. In mixing bowl, cream butter, shortening, sugars and syrup until well combined. Add eggs and vanilla.
  3. In separate bowl, combine dry ingredients and add to wet, beating in well.
  4. Add rolled oats, drained raisins and nuts, mixing them in well.
  5. Drop by rounded tablespoons onto ungreased cookie sheets. Bake 9 - 10 minutes at 375° F.
  6. Cool on cookie sheets. Yields 3 1/2 dozen.

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Saturday in Anneliese's Kitchen

I'll tell you a secret. You can call it a kitchen quirk if you like . . .
 I'm a happy girl with a shiny sink and a clean dishcloth!
But, as we all know, sinks that are used don't stay shiny and
dishcloths get so that you want to wrinkle your nose.
So what are we going to do about that?

  1. Gather up our stained dishcloths. . .  and tea towels, if necessary.
  2. Let very hot water run into the kitchen sink . . . about 2 - 3 inches.
  3. Carefully pour in about 1/2 - 1 cup of chlorine bleach, depending on how soiled the dishcloths are. (You should be aware that colors will most likely fade. This is not a big deal for everyday cloths, but use bleach only when necessary and sparingly with patterned tea towels.)
  4. Add dishcloths and let them soak about a minute or two.
  5. Using rubber gloves, wring out the cloths and put them into a bowl or on a cutting board.
  6. Leave the water in the sink for about 5 - 10 minutes and then drain.
  7. Let fresh warm water into the sink, add dishsoap and dishcloths to rinse before throwing them into the wash with other whites.


And guess what will be left as a bonus? A shiny, clean sink.
I love it!

This really is such a simple pleasure . . .

Considering what our sink and dishcloths all get used for, it may
not be such a bad quirk after all.

Concerns about chlorine bleach  use? I found this helpful

Cinnamon Moons

The Cinnamon  Moons are a staple in my mother's freezer. Each grand child has their favorite that Oma bakes and this is one of my youngest's favorites. Sunday Fasba is such a treat especially when these make an appearance. In honor of my Mother's birthday today, I am posting these with a big thank you to her for always making it a priority to bless my kids the way she knows best, through the love that comes from  her kitchen. Danke Mama, wir haben dir alle sehr lieb.

  • 1 tablespoon of quick rise yeast
  • 4 1/2 cups flour
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon of salt
  • 1 cup butter / margarine
  • 3 eggs, beaten
  • 1 1/4 cups scalded milk 
Vegetable Oil
brown sugar
1 beaten egg to brush on top
Coarse sugar
  1. Combine the dry yeast with 4 cups of the flour, and salt.
  2. Cut in the butter with a pastry blender until you have the texture of fine crumbs.
  3. Beat the eggs with the sugar add the warm liquid.
  4. Add the egg mixture to the flour mixture.
  5. Stir mixture together, kneading a bit to combine the liquid and the dry. At this point the dough is still sticky.
  6. Place in refrigerator over night or a couple of hours. 
  7. Divide the dough into 4 balls.
  8. Roll each ball into a circle about a 1/4 inch thick.
  9. Lightly brush the dough with vegetable oil.
  10. Sprinkle with desired amount of brown sugar and cinnamon. 
  11. Cut the dough into 12 wedges.
  12. Starting at the wide edge roll up the crescents.
  13. Place on parchment lined baking sheet.
  14. Brush each roll with beaten egg. Sprinkle with coarse sugar.
  15. Let rise for 1/2 hour.
  16. Bake at 375 for 15 minutes or until golden brown. Every oven bakes differently so keep an eye on them to know how long your oven takes. I also prefer mine on the lighter side. 
  17. Makes 48 crescents.

Fajita's on the Grill

Winter or summer we like to make fajita's on the grill. Flank or skirt steak is a good choice of meat.

Ingredients: (serves 4)
  • 2 pounds flank or skirt steak
  • olive oil
  • 1 35gr package fajita mix
  • 1 red pepper, cut into strips
  • 1 yellow pepper, cut into stips
  • 1 red onion, cut into rings and then halved
  • avocado, cut into strips
  • cilantro, chopped
  • tomatoes, chopped small
  • lettuce, shredded
  • sour cream
  • salsa
  • cheddar  cheese, grated
  • tortilla shells
  1. Rub meat with olive oil and then rub with dry fajita mix. Place in a glass pan and cover. Place in refrigerator to marinade for 4 hours.
  2. Have all vegetables ready before you begin to grill.
  3. When ready to grill, heat grill to 400º. Place meat onto hot grill and cook until internal temperature is 145º. Close lid while grilling. This will be about 3-4 minutes on each side for medium rare. Cook longer if you don't want any pink.
  4. While meat is grilling, add 1 tablespoon of olive oil to heavy hot griddle. Add peppers and onion and cook until they just begin to caramelize and soften. You can do these on the stove top or along side the meat on the grill in a cast iron skillet.
  5. Take meat off grill when done to desired doneness. Allow to rest for 5 minutes before slicing. 
  6. Slice meat very thinly across the grain. 
  7. To heat tortilla's place directly on grill for approximately 15 seconds per side. Tortillas will puff up slightly and get nice grill marks.
  8. Serve with remaining ingredients on the side.

Apple Caramel Tortillas

A friend shared this easy apple dessert with me. We really liked it. How can you go wrong with an apple dish of any kind? And if you think this is delicious the day you make it, just wait till the next day, it's even better. The tortillas become softer as they sit in the sauce. If you have any leftovers just cover the pan with plastic wrap and refrigerate. You can have it for breakfast the next morning with a slice of cheese instead of ice cream.
I really want to try this with rhubarb and peaches when they are in season.

  • 4 cups medium size apples, peeled, cored, and chopped
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1 tablespoon flour
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 6 flour tortillas (8 inch)
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  1. Place chopped apples in a medium saucepan, stir in lemon juice.
  2. Whisk together sugar, flour, and cinnamon, stir into apples.
  3. Over medium high heat, cook apples, stirring frequently until apples are barely tender. Set aside to cool.
  4. Place half a cup of cooked apples on a tortilla. Roll up, tucking in the sides and place in a greased 9" pan. Repeat with each of the tortillas. They will be a tight squeeze in the pan but that's okay.
  5. In a saucepan over medium heat bring to boil butter, brown sugar, and water, stirring constantly. Reduce heat and simmer for 3 minutes, stir in vanilla.
  6. Pour over tortillas and let stand for 30 minutes.
  7. Bake in a 350º oven for 30 minutes, or until the tortillas look golden in color.
  8. Serve warm with ice cream. Spoon some of the caramel sauce from the pan over the ice cream. 

Bread for the Journey

 My Hope is Built

My hope is built on nothing less
Than Jesus’ blood and righteousness.
I dare not trust the sweetest frame,
But wholly trust in Jesus’ name.

On Christ the solid rock I stand,
All other ground is sinking sand;
All other ground is sinking sand.

When darkness seems to hide His face,
I rest on His unchanging grace.
In every high and stormy gale,
My anchor holds within the veil.
His oath, His covenant, His blood,
Support me in the whelming flood.
When all around my soul gives way,
He then is all my hope and stay.
When He shall come with trumpet sound,
Oh may I then in Him be found.
Dressed in His righteousness alone,
Faultless to stand before the throne.
Words: Edward Mote, cir­ca 1834; first ap­peared in Mote’s Hymns of Praise, 1836:

It is always good to be reminded where our hope lies. We do not hope in our talents, finances, possessions, health and circumstances but our hope is in our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. I pray that you will be encouraged today no matter what is going on in your life to remember that you are clothed in His righteousness and you will be faultless before the throne.

Oven Baked Honey BBQ Chicken

If you are looking for a convenient make ahead dish for busy week day meals or preparing in advance for company this is one of those dishes. The chicken gets parboiled and marinated until you are ready to bake and serve.

  • 3 lbs or about 10 chicken pieces
  • 1 1/2 cups Ketchup
  • 2 tablespoons vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon of yellow mustard
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 cup liquid honey
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • salt and pepper to taste
  1. Skin the chicken pieces if that is your preference and simmer in 1 inch of water for 30 minutes. Pour off the water and marinade the chicken in the sauce for 2 hours of over night. 
  2. Bake the chicken in a covered roaster for about 45 minutes in a preheated oven at 350 degrees. Serve the sauce with rice and nice side dish of green beans. Remove the lid the last 15 minutes of baking if you want a stickier glazed chicken. 

Beef Stew

Stew is one of those old fashioned comfort foods that most people grow up having strong feelings about. I have always loved the flavor of slow cooked or roasted vegetables in a flavorful sauce - especially with a crusty bun to sop up the juices with. The nice thing about a meal such as this is that it's a great meal to make ahead and tastes better every time it gets re-heated. Much like soup. I got my stew beef recipe from my mom who always made it on the stove.  My friend, Doris told me that she makes hers in the roaster in the oven and I liked that idea because you can pretty well ignore it once it's in the oven. So, go ahead and try this recipe, either in a large pot on your stove, in your Dutch oven, or roaster in your oven.
  • 1 1/2 - 2 pounds stewing beef
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 - 1 1/2  teaspoons salt
  • good shake of pepper
  • paprika
  • 2 tablespoons flour if cooking in the oven
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 1 small sweet pepper, chopped
  • 3 carrots, sliced
  • 2-3 potatoes, cubed
  • ½ large head of cabbage, chopped
  • 1 cup frozen peas
  • 2-3 heaping tablespoon tomato paste  mixed with 1 cup water  OR
  • 1 can tomato sauce
  • 1 bay leaf
If cooking on stove top:
  1. Trim and cut stewing beef into small, bite size pieces. Brown in oil, cooking and stirring as needed, for about ten minutes or until juices are gone. Add seasonings.
  2. Once the meat is browned and begins to sizzle, add onion and stir, cooking until onion is soft.
  3. Add water to cover beef and let simmer for about an hour. Add more water as needed to make sure it's cooking in a bit of liquid. Lid should be on with room for steam to escape.
  4. Add all of the vegetables, except for the peas.
  5. Mix tomato paste with 1 cup water and pour over the vegetables. Add bay leaf. Cook for another hour. Stir as needed and make sure there is always some liquid at the bottom.
  6.  Add peas for last 15 minutes of cooking. Adding a flour/water mixture to thicken juices is optional.
If cooking in the  oven:
  1. Spray Dutch Oven or roasting pan with cooking spray. 
  2. Trim and cut beef into small bite size pieces. Put in roaster. 
  3.  Sprinkle with salt, pepper, paprika and flour to coat lightly.  Drizzle with a little olive oil, stir. Roast open at 400° F for ½ hour. 
  4. Add chopped vegetables, tomato sauce and bay leaf. Sprinkle with a little salt and pepper.  Cover with lid and bake another 1 ½ hours, adding peas near the end.
  5. You may want to check it in between to see if there is enough liquid to your liking.  Add more water if you like it runnier.

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Loaded Baked Potato Soup

After having delicious potato soup at several local eateries lately, I decided to come up with my own version at home.  On a cold day last week, we enjoyed baked-potato-in-a-bowl...or 'loaded baked potato soup' as it is appropriately called. 

  • 1 lb. bacon, diced
  • 4 large russet potatoes, peeled and cubed
  • 3 cups chicken stock
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 2 cups milk
  • 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper 
  • 3 green onions, sliced
  • sour cream, garnish (optional)
  1. Cook bacon until crisp...and drain on paper towel.
  2. Place potatoes and chicken stock in large pot and bring to a boil.  Reduce heat, and simmer for about 20 minutes or until potatoes are tender.  With slotted spoon, remove several scoops of potatoes.  Place in a bowl, mash and set aside.
  3. In a small saucepan, melt butter.  Add the chopped onion and sauté until tender.  Stir in flour and cook for about a minute.  Whisk in milk, a little at a time, bringing to a boil and simmering until thickened.  Add cheese, salt and pepper and stir until cheese is melted.  
  4. Slowly stir cheese sauce into soup pot.  Bring to a boil on low heat.  
  5. Add mashed potatoes, three-quarters of the crispy bacon and half of the sliced green onions. Stir to combine. Heat through.
  6. To serve, ladle into individual soup bowls, topping with additional shredded cheese, bacon, green onions and a dollop of sour cream.

Cherry Delight

This light and fluffy no-bake dessert was a favorite in our home many decades ago. I've changed it up a bit from the original recipe, using a chocolate wafer crust instead of graham wafer and opting for sour cherries from the orchard rather than canned pie filling. Any way you slice it, it is delightful!

  • 1 1/4 cups Oreo baking crumbs
  • 1/4 cup butter, melted
  • 8 oz. cream cheese, softened
  • 1 cup icing sugar (confectioner's sugar)
  • 1 cup whipping cream
  • 2 tablespoons icing sugar 
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 can cherry pie filling 21 oz. / 540 ml or  1 recipe cherry pie filling (recipe below)
  1. Combine cookie crumbs and melted butter in mixing bowl, and stir until well-mixed.  Press crumbs into a  9" x 9" glass pan.  Refrigerate while preparing the filling.
  2. Beat cream cheese and icing sugar with mixer until smooth and creamy.
  3. In a separate bowl, beat whipping cream, 2 tablespoons icing sugar and vanilla until fluffy and stiff. 
  4. Add whipped cream to cream cheese mixture and beat until light and fluffy.
  5. Spoon cream cheese mixture over the prepared crust. Refrigerate.
  6. Spread cherry pie filling over dessert and chill 4-6 hours before serving.
 *When using the homemade cherry sauce, I prefer to spoon it over each individual piece when serving.

Sour Cherry Pie Filling:
  • 3 cups pitted sour cherries, fresh or frozen and thawed
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 3 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 3 tablespoons water
  • 1/4 teaspoon almond extract
  1. Combine cherries and sugar in a pan and stir. (If cherries are soft and mushy, you won't need additional water, but if there is no cherry juice you may want to add a few tablespoons of water.) 
  2. Bring to a boil.  
  3. Mix cornstarch with 3 tablespoons cold water and whisk to remove lumps.
  4. Once cherries are boiling, add cornstarch solution.
  5. Stir until the cherries bubble and the juice looks clear.
  6. Add almond extract.
  7. Remove from heat and cool before using as a dessert topping.


Applesauce Banana Bread

This bread was an experiment because I only had one ripe banana. I decided to try my banana bread recipe using applesauce in place of 2 of the bananas. I'm happy to say it worked. 

  • 2-1/2 cups flour, sifted
  • 3 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup chopped walnuts
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/3 cup soft butter
  • 1 egg
  • 1 small ripe banana, cut up
  • 1 cup applesauce
  • 1/2 cup milk

1. In medium sized bowl, mix together the flour, baking powder and salt. Set aside.
2. Chop walnuts in a blender and add to the dry ingredients.
3. In same blender container add the sugar, butter, egg, banana, applesauce, and milk.
4. Blend for 12 - 15 seconds, stopping motor to push down banana if necessary. 
5. Pour the blended ingredients over the dry ingredients and mix until all ingredients are well moistened.
6. Pour batter into greased 9 x 5 x 3 loaf pan.

Bake in preheated 350 degree oven for 55 - 60 minutes. Cool on rack.

Creamy Feta Cheese Dressing

On New Years eve we enjoyed a long leisurely dinner allowing each course to settle and give time to visit while the next course finished.
I served this simple salad after the soup course.
It is simple dressing prepared in the blender early in the day with just a touch of tang and creaminess to satisfy.
  • 1/3 cup crumbled feta cheese
  • 1/4 cup mayonaisse
  • juice of 1/2 a lemon
  • 1 teaspoon dijon mustard
  • 1/4 cup chopped green onions
  • 6 cloves roasted garlic (slice top of garlic bulb and drizzle with olive oil, wrap in foil and bake)
  • enough milk to make a pourable consistency
  1. Place all ingredients in blender jar and pulse until creamy and smooth.
  2. Refrigerate until ready to serve.  Store in refrigerator for several days.

Bread for the Journey

Isaiah 54:10
For the Mountains shall depart and the hills be removed,
But My kindness shall not depart from you, Nor shall My covenant of peace be removed,"
Says the LORD, who has mercy on you.

We live at the foot of Mt. Cheam on the eastern end of the Fraser Valley.
Every morning when I go into my kitchen, this mountain dominates the view outside my window.
It is 7200 feet high, snow capped for 10 months of the year and is a bastion of permanence.

This verse from Isaiah caught my eye last week and I've been pondering it for awhile in light of the mountain outside my window.

In Isaiah 54 God speaks to the discouraged and despairing telling them not to fear, that their disgrace, their fear, their reproach will not last forever. God promises them that He has not forsaken them, that His wrath is not forever, but that His kindness and mercy are everlasting.

Then He uses the imagery of the mountains - these massive  landmarks, these symbols of permanence to assure them that His kindness will outlast even the mountains, His promise of peace will stand long after the mountains have crumbled.

In times of discouragement, when life is overwhelming and fear dominates,
remember that God's kindness will never depart from you;
His peace and His mercy will outlast the mountains.

Saturday in Lovella's kitchen

Here is a simple little tip that you probably already know about...
but it's fun to remember where we learn our tips from.
As long as I can remember my Mom cut all her containers that came with a paper protective lid in half.
This was an instant levelling tool for her.
You have a perfect measurement every time and don't need to dirty a knife for levelling.
I often think  of my Mom on Saturdays.
She baked buns in the morning and most often made cookies or squares in the afternoon so we would have something fresh for Sunday.

When I got married...
I cut all my paper protective lids in half....
and now I'm sharing that little tip with you.

Happy Saturday everyone.
What is baking in your kitchen today?


Our cousin Sheila and I were exchanging wareneki recipes some time ago and I finally got around to trying hers. They were very tasty! Here's Sheila's recipe, and if you have our MGCC cookbook you will find my recipe on page 90. 

Ingredients for dough:
  • 6 cups flour
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 1/2 cups warm water
Ingredients for filling:
  • 2 cups dry curd cottage cheese
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp pepper
  1. Stir together filling ingredients.
Method for dough:
  1. Stir together flour, oil and salt.
  2. Add warm water and stir well to combine until dough comes together into a soft smooth ball.
  3. Put in fridge at least 1/2 hour.
  4. When ready to make wareneki, divide dough into thirds and roll out thinly on lightly floured board.
  5. Using a 3" glass cut out rounds of dough. Fill with a spoon of filling and pinch shut to seal.
  6. Place on parchment lined baking sheets. Do not allow to touch each other.
  7. Fill a large pot with water and 1/2 tsp salt. Bring to a boil. 
  8. Drop in fresh wareneki and boil until they float to the top and continue to boil for several minutes.
  9. Drain well and serve with a gravy of sour cream and butter or just a scoop of sour cream. 
  • 1 cup sour cream or whipping cream
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp pepper
In a small saucepan heat the gravy ingredients and allow to simmer on low for 10 minutes or until smooth and very hot. If using whipping cream it will thicken if you let it come to a slow boil and then turn down to simmer. 

For added flavour top with caramelized onions.

Pumpkin Bran Muffins

This is how I cool my muffins, how do you cool your muffins?
Pumpkin and Chocolate Chip Muffins are one of my favorites!

I like to cut the amount of  to half the sugar and fat content of muffin recipes, so this recipe already reflects this reduction. There is no compromise to texture or taste doing so. This recipe makes 3 dozen muffins, perfect to stock up the freezer for sending lunch along to work or school.
  • 1 large can 796 ml / 28 oz (3 1/2 cups) pure pumpkin
  • 2 cups of sugar
  • 1 cup oil
  • 6 eggs, beaten
  • 4 cups of flour
  • 2 cup of oat or wheat bran
  • 1 teaspoon of salt
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons cinnamon
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons cloves
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons baking powder
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons baking soda
  • 2 cup of raisins or chocolate chips
  1. Combine the first 4 ingredients.
  2. In a separate bowl sift the dry ingredients together.
  3. Add the dry ingredients to the pumpkin mixture.
  4. Stir together until all the dry ingredients are moistened.
  5. Add the chocolate chips or raisins.
  6. Bake at 350 for 22-25 minutes or until golden brown.
  7. Makes 3 dozen muffins.

Cream of Chicken and Vegetable Soup

When I looked out and saw swirling snow, I decided it was a good time to stay inside and cook a pot of soup. I like to have soup on hand for our lunches. If you want to cut calories you can substitute milk for the cream.
Serve up this soup with cheese biscuits or those delicious multi-grain buns that were posted yesterday.

  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 3 stalks celery, chopped
  • 1/4 cup flour 
  • 3 cups low-sodium chicken broth
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 cup 10% cream or milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 teaspoon thyme
  • 1 cube chicken bouillon
  • 3 chicken breasts, cooked and cubed
  • 2 medium potatoes, peeled and cubed
  • 1 1/2 cups mixed peas and carrots 
  1. Melt butter in a large pot, over medium heat.
  2. Add chopped celery and cook for 2 minutes, stirring frequently.
  3. Stir in flour until well combined.
  4. Whisk in broth, water, cream, seasonings, and chicken bouillon.
  5. Add chicken and potatoes, cover and cook over medium heat until potatoes are done, approximately 20 to 25 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  6. Add mixed peas and carrots and cook another 5 to 6 minutes.
  7. Serves: 4 to 5 

Sandwich Buns

I thought I'd share the recipe for the rolls I make most often - the ones that get replenished as soon as there are no more in the freezer. These buns are great for packed lunches or breakfast. I slice them before freezing so they are ready to assemble while still frozen. I love the 35-year old Braun kitchen machine (stand mixer) that I inherited from my mother-in-law, because I can do larger recipes in it. She hardly used it (preferring the by hand method) but I make up for it. The recipe below is scaled down in size to, hopefully, fit a Kitchen Aid.
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup melted butter (warm)
  • 3 cups warm water (part milk, if you like)
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 2 Tbsp sugar
  • 2 Tbsp instant yeast
  • 7 - 8 cups flour - mix of (unbleached) white and multigrain or whole wheat
  1. Beat eggs and add in warm (not hot) melted butter and liquids.
  2. Add salt and sugar. Do not forget the salt.
  3. Add 2 cups flour and instant yeast.
  4. At about  this point, if you are using a stand mixer, switch to the dough hook attachment.
  5. Continue adding flour, one cup at a time, waiting after each until well incorporated.
  6. Turn into large mixing bowl and continue working it with oiled hand if needed. Ready dough should be easily shaped into a ball and feel like a baby's bottom.
  7. Cover with a tea towel and plastic bag.
  8. Rise one hour on kitchen counter.
  9. Pinching off a large handful at a time, form buns by pinching off a small egg-sized ball. The pinching action in not unlike making a fist, but using only your forefinger and thumb. I am right handed, but use my left hand. (The right hand is there to help along to push or catch.) Place on greased cookie sheets. Do not worry if these do not look perfect. Leaving an inch or two between them will give room for spreading. Once you have a sheet full, you can take each bun and lightly squeeze it through your thumb and forefinger once more, pushing with the other hand underneath. They will round out nicely and more so as they rise and bake. If you like, you can cut a small slit, using a serrated knife, on the top of each bun.  Placing them close together will make them into pull-apart-rolls. 
  10. Cover again with tea towel and plastic. Rise one hour. 
  11. Preheat oven to 400F  and bake18-20 minutes. Remove from pans and cool on wire racks.
  12. Yields 3 dozen - freeze once cooled - on same day to keep fresh. 
PS ~ if you cannot get multigrain flour where you live, simply mix 2 1/2 cups whole wheat with a cup of rolled oats. If you live in the US, adding a tablespoon of vital wheat gluten may help to get a better rise.
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Kirschen Moos (Cherry Moos)

This is another version of Pluma Moos.  
Like Judy's recipe, I use cherry Jello to give it colour and flavour but I also add a jar of sweet cherries to the fruit mix because my grandmother and my mother did it that way.  
Mennonites traditionally served Puma Moos (made with prunes) or 
Kirschen Moos (made with cherries) at Easter as a side dish to a ham dinner,  
My family loves it so I make it year round, 
even bringing it along as a treat on camping trips.
  • 10 cups water
  • 1 cup  pitted prunes, quartered
  • 1 cup raisins, rinsed (I prefer the Sultana raisins)
  • 1 cup mixed dried fruit (apricots, peaches, pears, apples) cut into pieces
  • 1/2 a lemon
  • 1 small  (3 oounce) package cherry Jello
  • 1 quart canned sweet cherries (dark or light) including liquid, reserving 1/2 cup
  • 1/4 - 1/2 cup sugar or to taste 
  • 1/4 cup cornstarch
  • reserved 1/2 cup cherry juice
  1. Place water in a large dutch oven.
  2. Add cut up fruit, raisins and 1/2 a lemon.
  3. Bring to a boil and reduce heat to simmer.
  4. Simmer for about 20 minutes or until fruit has plumped up.
  5. Measure out 1/2 cup syrup from the canned cherries and set aside.
  6. Add cherries with the rest of the syrup and cherry Jello powder to the pot.
  7. Stir well and taste, adding sugar until desired sweetness.
  8. Mix cornstarch with reserved cherry syrup and add to simmering pot, stirring well until it boils. 
  9. Remove from heat and chill. Remove lemon before serving.
  10. Serves 8-10 as a side dish or dessert.  If you have leftovers, it keeps well in the fridge for about a week.

Bread for the Journey

Romans 15:13
I pray that God, the source of hope, will fill you completely with joy and peace because you trust in him. Then you will over flow with confident hope through the power of the Holy Spirit. (NLT)

It is the beginning of a New Year, what better way to start it with then having the HOPE we have in God. The only one we can trust, as we walk through that door of the unknown days of tomorrow. May you be filled with complete joy and peace that only comes from God as you trust in His plans for your life.

Olivier Salad

Olivier Salad is a Russian New Year's tradition. Some people call it Russian Salad. Old Russian New Year is coming up later in January and I decided to try this classic and share the recipe.


  • 3 - 4 white potatoes, boiled, peeled and diced
  • 3 large carrots, boiled and diced
  • 5 eggs, hard boiled and diced
  • 5 pickles, pickled in salt not vinegar, chopped
  • 3 scallions, chopped
  • 5 sprigs of dill, chopped (or more to taste)
  • 1 can (approx 15 oz.) green peas, drained
  • 1 cup Russian bologna, chopped (optional)
  • 1/3 cup real mayonnaise (or more to taste)
  • Salt and Pepper to taste


  1. Boil potatoes, carrots and eggs and allow to cool. 
  2. Peel potatoes and eggs and chop them along with carrots in uniform pieces. 
  3. Chop pickles, scallions and dill and mix together with potatoes, carrots and eggs. 
  4. Fold in the can of drained peas. 
  5. If you are using the bologna, chop and fold into the rest of the ingredients.
  6. Fold in the mayonnaise. 
  7. Add salt and pepper to taste. 
  8. Chill and serve.

For this to be a more authentic Olivier Salad it's important to find the Russian brand bologna which is different from our American brand bologna and to use pickles that are pickled with brine and not vinegar. There is a Russian Deli close to me that had the right brand of bologna and the right pickles.

The original Olivier salad (pronounced o-liv-ee-ay) is named after Lucien Olivier, a 19th-century Belgian chef who ran the Hermitage Restaurant in Moscow. If you google Olivier Salad you can read it's interesting history. Originally it was made with more expensive ingredients and because some of those ingredients became very hard to acquire during the Soviet era less expensive ingredients that were easy to obtain became more standard. There are different variations of this salad.

Orange Raisin Muffins Gluten Free

The impetus for the creation of this gf muffin recipe was Lovella's Meyer Lemon and Fig Muffins.
I am very happy with this muffin recipe - they are light with great flavour and texture.
Butter them if you wish but I love to savour their flavour all on its own!

  • 4 petite oranges or 1 small orange (whole) 
  • 3/4 cup raisins
  • 1 cup buttermilk 
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1/3 cup butter melted 
  • 3/4 cup sugar 
  • 1/2 cup Featherlite White Rice Flour Mix 
  • 1/4 cup millet flour 
  • 1/2 cup white corn flour 
  • 1/4 cup brown rice flour 
  • 1/4 cup tapioca starch/flour 
  • 2 tbsp white bean flour   
  • 3/4 tsp xanthan gum 
  • 1/2 tsp salt   
  • 1 tsp. baking soda 
  • 1 1/2 tsp. baking powder 
  • ( OR instead of my flours  use  1 3/4 - 2 cups gf flour mix of your choice- do not add extra xanthan gum if using only a commercial mix, xanthan gum will be included)
  1. Place whole oranges (yes, unpeeled), raisins, buttermilk and eggs in blender and run blender until oranges and raisins are very finely chopped. 
  2. Add vanilla , sugar and melted butter and blend until smooth. 
  3. Mix all dry ingredients in a bowl and pour liquids into centre of dry ingredients. 
  4. Stir well.  
  5. Divide batter evenly into 18 paper lined muffin tins. 
  6. Bake at 375 degrees for 20 minutes ! 
  7. Enjoy warm or cold... or freeze to enjoy another day!   

Sweet & Salty Potato Chip Cookies

Who would have thought potatoes belonged in a cookie? I first heard of the concept from a friend and since 'sweet and salty' always appeals to me, I had to give her potato chip cookie recipe a try!  Though the ones dipped in chocolate seem to be the favorite, I prefer them plain.  Here is my version of my friend's recipe.

  • 1 cup butter
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 1/4 cups flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 4 cups coarsely crushed potato chips (10 oz. / 275 gr bag)
  • 1 cup pecans, chopped
  • 1 8 oz / 225 gr package semi-sweet chocolate (optional, for dipping)

  1. In mixing bowl, cream butter and sugars until light and fluffy.
  2. Add eggs and vanilla and mix well.
  3. In a separate bowl, combine flour, baking soda, salt, chips, and pecans.
  4. Slowly add flour mixture to mixing bowl and mix until well combined.
  5. Scoop out rounded tablespoon-sized mounds of dough (or used Pampered Chef cookie scoop) and form into balls.  
  6. Place on cookie sheet lined with parchment paper leaving a space between cookies.
  7. Flatten the cookies slightly, using the bottom of a drinking glass dipped in sugar.
  8. Bake at 350°F for about 10 minutes, or until golden.  (The larger the cookie...the longer the bake time.)
  9. Cool completely on wire rack.
  10. For chocolate dipped cookies: Melt the chocolate slowly in the top of a double boiler...or for short bursts of time on medium power in the microwave.  Stir until smooth.  Dip each cookie almost halfway into the chocolate.  Place on rack to harden...or place in fridge to speed up the process. 
Yield: about 3 dozen cookies

Pulled Pork and Goat Cheese Pizza

The older I get I find that I like to try new foods and enjoy new flavour combinations. Not long ago we made this pulled pork (left over) and goat cheese pizza. The goat cheese can be substituted for a soft milder cheese. I placed soft pieces of Laughing Cow cheese on part of it for those who have not acquired a taste for the goat cheese. 

  • one 10-12 inch unbaked thin crust pizza crust
  • 1 tablespoon cornmeal
  • 1/3 cup BBQ sauce
  • 1 tablespoon tomato sauce
  • 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese
  • 1 - 1 1/2 cup pulled pork (this is a great way to use up a small amount of left over pulled pork)
  • goat cheese, to taste (if you don't like goat cheese, Laughing cow soft cheese is a nice substitute) 
  • red onions, about 3 very thin slices, separated
  1. Place pizza stone in cold oven and turn oven to 425º and allow stone and oven to heat for 15 minutes.
  2. Get toppings ready. You have to add toppings quickly so stone does not cool off.
  3. Once stone is very hot quickly sprinkle with cornmeal. Place thin pizza crust onto stone, spread crust with a mixture of the BBQ sauce and tomato sauce.
  4. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese.
  5. Top with pulled pork.
  6. Top with thin slices of goat cheese. (I just place it randomly on top, not over doing it)
  7. Bake for approximately 15 minutes or until crust is baked through and slightly crunchy. 

Meyer Lemon and Fig Muffins

Happy New Year!

Meyer Lemons are now available where we live and I have been enjoying them in a variety of baked items.  I thought they would pair beautifully with dried figs in a muffin and I wasn't disappointed. Meyer lemons originated in China and are a cross between a lemon and an orange.
You will need a food processor or a blender to pulverize the lemons and figs. Since the sweetness of figs replaces sugar, the sugar in this recipe is not very high considering you are using whole lemons.
The texture of the figs in this recipe is similar to eating a poppyseed muffin.  
  • 2 meyer lemons (with peel)
  • 6 dried figs, roughly chopped with stem removed
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup buttermilk (or 4 tablespoons buttermilk powder and 1 cup warm water)
  • 1/3 cup melted butter
  1. Preheat oven to 400 F. Prepare 24 muffin cups by spraying with cooking spray.  You can line your muffin tin with cupcake liners but I prefer a muffin without a liner and neater to serve later.
  2. Roughly chop and remove any seeds from the lemons and place them in a food processor with the figs. Process until finely ground and set aside.
  3. Combine all the dry ingredients in a large bowl.  Make a well in the center of the bowl.
  4. Combine the eggs, buttermilk and melted butter in medium sized bowl and pour into the center of the dry ingredients. Add the lemon and fig mixture and stir gently to combine.
  5. Use a large spring loaded ice cream scoop (or a large spoon) to fill muffin tins 3/4 full.  The recipe makes about 22 muffins.  Add a few tablespoons water to the empty cups for baking.  Bake 20 minutes until toothpick tests clean in center of muffin and remove from oven. Glaze while still warm. 
  • 2 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 meyer lemon
  1. Combine powdered sugar and enough lemon juice to make a smooth glaze. Use a small spoon to top each muffin with glaze.