Dip for Fresh Fruit


Here is a creamy dip for the bounty of fresh summer fruit we enjoy in Canada.
Sometimes fresh fruit is the best dessert after a heavy meal and this dip makes it extra special.

  • 1/4 cup cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla or flavouring of choice
  1. Beat cream cheese in a bowl until creamy.  
  2. Add sugar and beat well.
  3. Add sour cream and vanilla if desired and beat until well blended
  4. Spoon into a small bowl.
  5. Arrange fresh fruit around the dip on your prettiest platter. You can use a variety of fruit or just one kind and serve. 

Bread For The Journey


 

For the Lord is the great God, the great King above all gods.  
In his hand are the depths of the earth, and the mountain peaks belong to him.  
The sea is his, for he made it, and his hands formed the dry land.  
Come, let us bow down in worship, let us kneel before the Lord our Maker; 
for he is or God and we are the people of his pasture, the flock under his care. 
 Psalm 95:1-7

Over the past few weeks, I've had the opportunity to spend some time in the Austrian alps. Imagine yourself cycling down the Danube river, listening to the church bells ringing, hearing waves slap against the shoreline, watching swans floating down the river pecking at the grass, birds chirping harmoniously in the tree tops, inhaling smells of freshly cut hay fields, feeling the warmth of the sun, and fields of poppies waving in the wind. Creation convinces me of God's existence in the world and in my heart as I contemplate creation.
Many times during my cycling, I found myself unconsciously humming praise songs as I saw wonder after wonder. Many times I felt the inner conviction of how God wants us to become the caretakers of his creation, and yet noticing the beauty around me in an uninterrupted way is just one more way that we can give praise to the Creator and take care of the world.  I believe that something in God's creation touches everyone. Whatever it is that touches you in creation, follow that feeling to a greater understanding of the Creator.  What are your favorite aspects of God's creation?


Summer Outdoor table


One of my favourite times to host a dinner party is when our backyard flowers are at their peak.


I'll start by picking my flowers early in the day.
I always put a small lap blanket over the chairs of the ladies for the cool evenings.
If there are going to be four of us I'll use two table runners to reach across.
I'll then use placemats or charger plates and put my china out, napkins and silverware and leave the crystal until just before guests arrive.


We have a heater in the middle of our table and at first I didn't know where to put the flower arrangement.


I make four small arrangements and put them in small jars, placing them around the heater stand.  Roses, climbing hydrangeas and what ever else happens to be blooming fills the air with natural beauty and fragrance.
All summer long the arrangements take on different hues and textures, depending on what is blooming.


I never worry about taking my fine china outside.  I chose this china pattern years before I got married and in our  36 years of marriage,  it has been used to make my guests feel like they are worth fine china.

If you haven't used your china in a long while...
call your friends over and tell them...
they are worth it! 




Water Buns

I remember my mom saving potato water for these soft white buns. This recipe has a few steps but once you've got your starter mixed, you are on your way to what I call perfect faspa buns.

Starter after the first rise before stirring down and adding last amount of flour.

Yields 3 dozen buns. Freeze well. 
  • 1 1/2 cup potato water (use the water from boiling potatoes, or just add one potato to water and boil until potato is very soft. You can mash it into the water and use that or remove potato and just us the water) 
  • 1 scant cup white sugar
  • 1 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1/2 cup Crisco shortening
  • 1 cup very warm tap water 
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 2 tbsp active dry yeast (not instant)
  • 4 eggs, well beaten
  • 9 cups flour
  1. Place potato water in microwave bowl and heat until very hot. Stir in sugar and salt to dissolve and then butter and shortening. Stir until the butter and shortening are completely melted. Set aside.
  2. Add 1 cup of warm water to a glass bowl and stir in the 1 tsp sugar. Sprinkle with yeast and allow to proof for 8-10 minutes and then stir down.
  3. Meanwhile beat eggs until frothy.
  4. Add all the above to a very LARGE mixing bowl. Beat with electric hand mixer for several minutes. 
  5. Stir in (or use mixer ) 4 cups of the flour.
  6. Cover tightly with plastic wrap and let sit on counter for approximately 1 1/2 hours. This will bubble up creating a sponge like mixture. This mixture will really bubble up during the rising so make sure your bowl is large.
  7. Stir dough batter down. Add in remaining flour 1 cup at a time, stirring until you can't any more and then use your hands to begin the kneading process. 
  8. Knead until you have a soft non sticky dough. Knead at least 10 minutes or more. 
  9. Cover and let sit in a draft free area. Let rise for 1 hour or until double in bulk.
  10. Punch down dough and shape buns. Place on greased or parchment lined baking sheets. Cover with a lint free towel and allow to rise until buns have doubled in size.
  11. Bake in 350º oven for 25-30 minutes. Remove to cooling racks. 

Candied Citrus

Sugar clings like crystals to these delicate strands of candied citrus. These can be served as candy, or us them as a garnish.

Step 1
Wash citrus fruit. 
Using a very sharp peeler, 'shave' just the very outside skin of fruit. The key to good candied fruit is to not get any of the white bitter pith when shaving the fruit.

Step 2
Cut peels into thin strips.
Place in a small sauce pan and cover with water.
Bring to a boil and reduce to a slow boil for 10 minutes to soften peel.
Step 3
Using a large slotted spoon drain citrus strands. 

Step 4
Lay strands on a rack to dry for about 1/2 hour.
While they are drying, make a simple syrup in a small sauce pan of 1/2 cup sugar and 1/2 cup water.
Bring to a boil until sugar is dissolved. Add peel, reduce heat to a slow boil and allow peel to candy as it cooks for approximately 10 -12 minutes.


Step 5
Strain once again using the slotted spoon and lay out candied fruit on a parchment lined baking sheet. Place in oven on 'warming' setting or lowest setting on your oven. Allow to dry for 1 hour.
Remove and place in a bowl. Sprinkle with white sugar to coat. 

Enjoy the candied citrus on their own or use as a garnish.
Check out our recipe index for some delicious jelly roll recipes and garnish with candied citrus. 

Cucumber Tomato Salad


We live right next door to a green house filled with peppers, tomatoes and cucumbers.  I cannot resist running across the road at any given time and picking up my fresh vegetables. Each spring I  plant a small herb garden with dill, parsley, peppermint, and rosemary.  I also love to grow basil, but it loves a warm dry climate...so I purchased myself a  basil plant and  it sits on my kitchen window sill.  You can never go wrong by adding fresh herbs to any salad.

Ingredients
  • 2 long cucumbers peeled and thinly sliced
  • 2 cups cherry tomatoes halved
  • 1 cup bocconcini bites halved (soft cheese)
  • 1/2 sweet onion, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 cup fresh herbs, basil, dill, and parsley
Dressing
  • 2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 2 tbsp virgin olive oil
  • salt and pepper to taste.
Directions
  1. Toss together cucumbers, tomatoes, onions, cheese and herbs in large bowl.
  2. Mix oil and vinegar together adding salt and pepper to taste.
  3. Blend dressing together with vegetables and refrigerate.

 Find yourself a pot and plant your favorite herbs.
You can't help exploring herbs through a sense of taste.


Add your favorite grilled steak and you have a perfect meal for a hot summer day.



Chicken Burgers


Burgers are a quick and tasty summer time food! Usually we make our burgers from ground beef but sometimes it is nice to change it up and go for a chicken burger instead. We enjoyed the chicken burgers with fresh garden lettuce, a ring of sweet red pepper and added a little zing by combining cayenne pepper (to taste) in your mayo. Extra dijon mustard is delicious too!

  • 1 pound ground chicken..I used all white meat
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 1 1/2 cups fresh bread crumbs, (pulsed in food processor) divided
  • 1 teaspoon dijon mustard
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon pepper
  1. Combine ground chicken, milk, 1/2 cup of the fresh bread crumbs, dijon mustard, salt, and pepper until well blended.
  2. Form into 6 patties, mixture will be wet and sticky.
  3. Pour the rest of the bread crumbs (1 cup) on a platter and cover both sides of the burger with the crumbs. 
  4. Preheat a frying pan, add 1 to 2 teaspoons olive oil and fry patties until thoroughly cooked and golden in color, about 6 minutes per side.
  5. Serve hot with your favorite kind of bun and condiments.




Glorified Tuna Casserole


Tuna Macaroni Casserole was one dish I remember making as a teenager when Mom and Dad were away and I got to choose what to cook for dinner.  Back then I used Cream of Mushroom soup as the sauce
and I remember that this was the only dish in which I would tolerate green peppers. 
 You may still prefer to use the canned soup as a substitute for the cream sauce in this recipe. 
 Today, I've dressed up the casserole a bit with red peppers, onion and celery and a smattering of black olives. The next time I make it I may add a few sun dried tomatoes as well.

  • 2 cups Rotini pasta 
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 2 cups milk 
  • 1 4.5 g  packet chicken bouillon (enough to flavour 3/4 cup liquid)
  • Seasoned pepper or freshly ground pepper
  • 1 medium onion finely chopped
  • 2 stalks celery chopped
  • 1/2 a large red pepper chopped
  • 1 tablespoon cooking oil
  • 1  170 g can tuna, drained and flaked
  • 1/4 cup sliced black olives (save a few for garnish)
  • 2-3 cups shredded cheese (I used cheddar and Swiss)
  1. Cook pasta according to package directions and drain.
  2. While pasta is cooking, make sauce.
  3. Melt butter, add flour and stir to incorporate.
  4. Add milk, whisking well to smooth out any lumps.
  5. Cook or microwave until thick, stirring often.
  6. Add bouillon and pepper to taste. Set aside.
  7. In a fry pan, saute' vegetables until tender. Remove from heat. 
  8. Add tuna and black olives and toss with vegetables.
  9. Arrange 1/2 of pasta in the bottom of a greased casserole dish.
  10. Spread 1/2 of the sauce over the pasta and top with all of the tuna and vegetables.
  11. Sprinkle with 1/2 of the cheese.
  12. Top with the remaining pasta and sauce.
  13. Sprinkle with remaining cheese and garnish top if desired with olives and/or peppers.
  14. Bake in a 350º oven for about 1/2 an hour or until casserole is bubbling hot.


Bread For The Journey





I picked up this little push car at a garage sale when our first grands came along.
I can't remember what I paid for it and probably didn't realize it even at the time but since the day that I carted it off in my trunk I have come to realize that it was a bargain.
At first I was the one that pushed them around while they pretended to drive hard up and down the driveway but now the older ones push the younger ones.

They are lost in their imagination of doing wheelies and taking fast corners and making abrupt stops.

I think they forget that without someone behind them there is no power.  Only when their power source stops... do they look behind them to see what the problem is.

Our lives are not so different sometimes.  

When circumstances in our lives are good we can easily become accustomed to the smooth sailing but what happens when life takes a sideways turn?
Are you feeling the weight of the world on your shoulders?  
Are you waiting and hoping in the Lord?  
Is God your source of strength?

God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble. 
Therefore we will not fear . . . Psalm 46:1-2a

He is a faithful God who longs for us to talk to him not only in times of trouble....
but often throughout the day.

The LORD is my strength and my shield;
my heart trusts in him, and he helps me.
My heart leaps for joy,
and with my song I praise him.

Psalm 28:7 (NIV)


Bacon Pancake Dippers

Camping season is upon us and here's a twist on an old favorite that makes for perfect camping food!  Who doesn't like bacon with their pancakes and syrup?  Bacon pancake dippers are a simple way of serving them together. The perfect finger food breakfast! 


  • Cook the bacon until crisp and set aside.*
  • Mix up your favorite pancake batter. (Transfer to a squirt bottle for easier dispensing.)
  • Heat greased griddle on medium heat.
  • Pour or scoop the batter onto the griddle a little longer than a bacon strip. (7 inches)
  • Place a bacon strip on top. 
  • Cook until golden brown on first side...then flip and finish cooking. 
  • Serve with warm pancake syrup.
*Tip ~ Use the oven-baked method to cook your bacon before you leave on your camping trip.

Decorated Sugar Cookies

 Earlier this week Ellen posted some great baby shower decoration ideas. I thought I would share these cute cookies with you that I made for my nieces baby shower recently. They are time consuming, so make some coffee, invite a friend over and start decorating. My friend and I had a lot of fun doing it together. Feel free to use your favorite sugar cookie recipe or try the ones posted on our website here. I am not a very artistic and creative person thus got my inspiration from google images.


 I didn't use any special icing, just icing sugar and milk. There is no exact amounts here to give you. It is something that you will have to experiment with. 


Add just a very small amount of gel food coloring.
You can always add color to make it more intense if you desire a deeper color.
As you can see you it needs very little. 


Make the first batch of icing rather stiff so you can out line 
the shape of the cookies. Co-ordinate the color of the out line with the color of the icing that you are flooding the cookie with. We choose to keep it simple and use only pale pink and white as a base for the cookies.
We used added colors for the accents.


Use a small inexpensive bag with a teeny tiny hole snipped in the corner, 
or a plastic bottle with a tip that has a small opening 
that can be purchased for decorating. 


After all the cookies have an outline, make the icing thinner and more fluid so you can flood the cookie and spread it around with a skewer. 


Continue to use the stiffer icing to decorate using the bag or a bottle like this. 


Dry the cookies uncovered for several hours or overnight. 
Once the cookies are completely dry, store in a covered container.
We froze a couple of cookies to see what would happen.
If you did freeze them you would have to thaw them uncovered.
I however would not recommend freezing them.
I did not like the look of the icing after it was finished. 
They lost the sheen and looked dull.
They store well for several days so there is no need
to freeze them after they are decorated. 
I froze the cookies without icing and just brought
them out of the freezer to thaw prior to decorating to save on time.

Ham for a Crowd


This is the time of year we begin to plan a back yard get together or a family picnic. Cooked ham goes a long ways, and is delicious hot or cold. Summer is a good time to cook a ham and gather salads to go with it. It's also easy to pack up and serve.
Choose a ham with bone in for best flavor. A butt half with a flat side on it is a good option. A 10 lb ham will serve about 20 - 25 people. Half a pound per person is a very safe guide. The leftover bone makes for great split pea or bean soup stock later.

Ingredients:

  • 1 (10 lb) fully cooked bone in butt ham end
  • 1/2 cup grainy mustard
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
Method:
  1. Place ham flat side down in a roasting pan. Add about 1 cup water. Cover and cook at 325 F for 2 hours or 15 minutes per pound. Remove from oven and turn oven up to 375 F.
  2. Mix the mustard and brown sugar to make a paste. Spread all over the top and sides of  ham. Return to oven uncovered to roast for 20 minutes or until internal temperature is 160 F.
  3. You can let it sit for 20 - 30  minutes before carving if you want to serve it hot or refrigerate to carve the next day. 
  4. To carve, set flat side down and just begin on one end, slicing thinly, until you get to the bone, then slice other side of bone or remove parts according to how they will easily come apart and slice according to personal taste. 
Salad ideas that go well with ham . . . or why not browse through the salad options here

Mustard Pork Kabobs


Summer is meant for BBQs. We enjoy having people over, but I like to visit with them more than I like being in the kitchen. With this menu and recipes makes it easy to do that.

  • 1 1/2 pounds Pork Tenderloin, cubed
  • 1/4 cup Dijon Mustard
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1-2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
  • salt and pepper to taste
  1. Mix the marinade and pour over the meat in a plastic bag. 
  2. Squeeze out all the air. 
  3. Marinade the cubed pork for a minimum of 2 hours up to 24 hours. 
  4. Thread the meat onto skewers. I used metal ones but wooden ones are fine, just remember to soak them in water for awhile before putting on the meat so they don't burn. 
Serve with roasted potatoes, fresh veggies and dip and a bean salad for an easy summer barbeque idea. Rhubarb anything makes a perfect ending to a good meal. Try Bev's Rhubarb Meringue Dessert

Tri-Tip Rub

When we lived in Southern California we experienced real good barbecued tri-tip roast. Tri-tip is a triangle-shaped piece of beef from the bottom sirloin. It’s also called a “Santa Maria steak” because Santa Maria, California is where it first became popular. You can barbecue it, smoke it, or roast it in the oven. What I'm sharing with you today is a good rub to prepare this cut of meat for whatever cooking method you choose. This rub recipe is enough for a two pound roast.

Tri-Tip Rub

  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon celery salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/4 teaspoon oregano 
  • 1/4 teaspoon sage
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne
  • 1/4 teaspoon herbs de provence or fines herbs (optional)

Mix all ingredients well and rub onto roast lightly coated with olive oil. Wrap the rubbed roast with saran wrap and let marinate for at least 4 hours or overnight in the refrigerator.

When ready to cook unwrap roast. We let it sit at room temperature for an hour before we cook it.
For the grill we place it in the middle of a 3 burner grill with only the outer burners on and cook it to an internal temperature of approx 145 degrees for a medium roast. We place it fat side down for a few minutes and then turned it over to cook it to completion.
If you cook it in the oven it's good to have the roast elevated slightly and not sitting directly on the bottom of the pan. If you don't have an appropriate accessory to elevate it off the pan you can use thick cut slices of onion. In the oven cook it fat side up at 350 degrees until it reaches the internal temp for the doneness your family prefers. We enjoy it at approx 140-145 for medium. Slice the meat across the grain and serve.

This is my favorite way to eat Santa Maria Tri-Tip.





Rosemary Flank Steak


Serving steak to guests can be a pricey choice for entertaining.
However, flank steak is an inexpensive option and is perfect for the barbeque. 
When marinated (give it at least 5 hours), it is flavourful and tender and I'll guarantee your guests will love it.
 Rosemary and grainy mustard add a lovely flavour to this marinade.

  • 2/3 cup red wine
  • 1/3 cup soy sauce (I like to use the low sodium soy sauce)
  • 1 tablespoon grainy mustard
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2-3 cloves garlic, minced
  • fresh rosemary, snipped - to make about 1 tablespoon. (or a 5 inch sprig) strip the stem and snip the leaves)
  • 1 tablespoon Montreal Steak Spice
  • 1 Flank Steak (I buy mine at Costco. They come 2 to a package and you can use both or freeze one for a later meal)
  1. Mix all marinade ingredients, blending well.
  2. Place Flank Steak in a large zippered plastic bag and pour marinade over it. Remove as much air as possible and zip shut.
  3. Marinate for 5-7 hours in the refrigerator and then another hour on the counter (it will grill better if it is at room temperature.) Turn the bag occasionally to distribute the marinade.
  4. Grill at a fairly high temperature, turning several times and brushing often with the marinade.
  5. Use a meat thermometer to gauge desired doneness, - we like ours medium rare.
  6. Let rest 5 minutes and then slice diagonally across the grain.
  7. If there are leftovers, they made a terrific steak sandwich, hot or cold.



Bread for the Journey



Happy Fathers Day

Loving Heavenly Father, today we want to thank You for our fathers.
We pray that they would desire to seek to have a heart like Yours, and follow in Your footsteps.
Give them strength and courage to lead their families with wisdom and gentleness, helping them to live a life of compassion, tenderness, mercy, grace and love.
We know that it's a happy day for many as they honour their father's today, and we also recognize that there is sadness, loss, pain and disappointment for others today.
Lord God, we ask that You would come along side those fathers and families who are struggling today. May you strengthen and encourage them as they need.
Thank you that You are our Heavenly Father, and that You desire to be the Heavenly Father to all.
We ask that You would bless each father today.
In Jesus name. Amen.

Deuteronomy 31: 6
Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid of terrified because of them, for the Lord your God goes with you; He will never leave you nor forsake you.





Saturday in Ellen's Kitchen / Baby shower decorating ideas

A young couple in our weekly small group is going to be having a baby boy this summer so for our end of study year barbecue we included a mini shower for them with a group gift from all of us. My Saturday tip for you is that you don't have to spend a fortune on decorations.
I found all these cute little boy decorations at our local Dollar Tree Store including the Baby Boy wrapped mints.
I found other items I already had in my cupboards to add to the decorations I bought at the Dollar Tree.
I bought 3 balloons at another party store and had them filled with helium for some added pop. These cost just under $4.00 with tax.
Mason jars with ribbon tied around and marbles in the bottom so the utensils were at the right height. These were all items I had in the house.
The next time you have a party don't forget about the Dollar Store!

Have a wonderful Saturday everyone!

Hungry Helpers Big Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies


How about baking up big cookies for hungry helpers or maybe your hungry hard working Dad?
When we have a large group helping us on the farm I bake up these cookies to give them an energy boost and let them know we appreciate hard work.
This recipe will make 40 large cookies that have a soft and moist texture.
Keep the baked cookies frozen for the best taste fresh flavour.

  • 1 pound butter
  • 2 cups brown sugar
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla
  • 3 1/2 cup flour
  • 1 tablespoon baking soda
  • 5 cups quick oatmeal
  • 5 cups chocolate chips
  • 2 cups chopped walnuts (optional)
  1. Preheat oven to 300 F for single rack baking in regular oven  or 275 F convection multi-rack.
  2. Cube butter to soften.
  3. In a large mixing bowl, combine butter and sugars and beat with a wooden spoon or in your mixing machine according to manufacture instructions.  
  4. Add eggs one a a time and then add cream and vanilla.  Stir to combine.
  5. Add dry ingredients and stir until all ingredients are combined.
  6. Refrigerate for several hours and then use a large ice cream scoop, heaping the scoop to make 1/2 cup balls.  Use hands to round the balls and  place 6 on a large cookie sheet.
  7. Do not flatten. Bake 30 minutes.  


Grandma Harder's Griddle Cakes



I'm not sure if this is bound to be a new kind of posting, but recently we got a request from Diane Neufeld, asking us to post her grandmother's griddle cakes from the old Mennonite Treasury. Since I love pancakes pretty well anytime, I did not even ask if anyone else would want to post it. So here it is. We had them for lunch recently and they were excellent. I followed the recipe as specified, except for the sifting of the flour and I used a non-stick griddle with no fat. They turned out quite thick, which I don't mind, but they could use a whole cup of milk if you like them thinner.

Ingredients:
  • 1 cup sifted flour
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 2 Tbsp sugar
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 egg
  • 3/4 cup and 2 Tbsp milk
  • 1 Tbsp melted fat or cooking oil
Method:
  1. Mix  and sift dry ingredients together.
  2. Combine egg, milk and oil in a separate small bowl.
  3. Make a well in the dry ingredients, add liquids and combine.
  4. Brown on a hot, slightly greased griddle. 
  5. Makes about 12 cakes. 

Pavlova

 In the late '90's  my husband's parents were running a guest home in South Africa under SIM (Sudan Interior Mission) They invited us as a family to come and stay with them for 3 weeks over the Christmas holidays. It was there that I first tasted this billowy cloud of delicate crusted marshmallowy goodness. There is really no other way to describe it. It was a recipe mom had gotten from her friend in South Africa.
  • 5 egg whites, at room temperature (6 if small eggs)
  • 1 scant cup sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 tsp vinegar
  • 1 tsp corn starch (or cornflour) 
  1. Beat egg whites until very dry and stiff.
  2. Gradually beat in sugar. Beat well so that crystals dissolve.
  3. Beat in remaining 3 ingredients.
  4. Place a sheet of tin foil onto a baking sheet, shiny side up. 
  5. Very lightly spray tin foil with non stick spray. 
  6. Scoop thick egg white batter onto the centre of the foil. Gently spread it out into a circle anywhere from 10-12". I like to use the back of a spoon to create a 'bumpy edge' rather than smoothing it all out. I like the look of it once it's baked that way.
  7. THESE BAKING INSTRUCTIONS ARE VERY IMPORTANT...AND NOT WRONG INSTRUCTIONS. Pre heat oven to 450º. Once oven is hot, place pavlova in oven and count to 20 SECONDS. After 20 seconds turn your oven off. DO NOT open the oven door for at least 4 hours. It has to be completely cool. You will be able to smell the pavlova baking during those first 20 seconds, but don't worry...it's not going to burn and it will be perfectly baked when you take it out. 
  8. Once it is done the pavlova will be very delicate to handle. Carefully slide it off the foil onto the plate you will be serving it on. If you are going to be serving it later in the day, cover completely in an airtight container or with plastic wrap. 
  9. When ready to serve, top with whipped cream and some pudding if you like that addition. Then add lots of fresh fruit. 
The difference between pavlova and meringue is that a meringue is usually crispy throughout and a pavlova is crispy on the outside and has a soft marshmallow like texture on the inside. Meringues are generally only made from egg whites and sugar. It's the addition of the other ingredients that give pavlova the soft centre. 

Another suggestion is to break up the meringue shell and make individual pavlova trifles. 

Orange Glazed Cheese Pastries



A neighbour in days-gone-by was most generous with gifts from her kitchen...and I often got to sample her delightful baked goods.  Today's recipe is one that came from her kitchen many years ago...a flaky cottage cheese pastry with an orange glaze.  

Easy Cottage Cheese Pastry:

  • 2 cups flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup butter, cold
  • 1 cup creamed cottage cheese
  1. Combine flour and salt in a large bowl.
  2. Using a large-holed grater, grate the butter and stir into flour mixture.
  3. Add creamed cottage cheese (I like to process the cottage cheese slightly in the blender to get rid of lumps first)
  4. Mix until smooth. 
  5. Wrap in plastic and chill for several hours.
  6. Divide the dough into 3 equal parts and shape into disks.
  7. On a lightly floured surface, roll each disk into a fairly thin circle, about 1/8-inch thick. 
  8. Cut each circle into 8 wedges, pizza style. Using a pizza wheel works great for this. 
  9. Starting at the wide edge, roll each wedge into a crescent.
  10. Place the crescents (point side down) on a baking sheet covered with parchment paper or well greased. 
  11. Bake at 350° for 25 minutes or until light golden brown.
  12. Remove from oven and place on a wire cooling rack.
  13. Drizzle with orange glaze while warm.
Orange Glaze:
  • 1 cup icing sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon orange zest
  • 1 - 2 tablespoons orange juice, as needed
  1. Whisk sugar, zest and juice together until smooth. 
Yield: 24 rolls


*Tip ~ Place rack over sink before drizzling with glaze. 

Enjoy!