Saturday, February 28, 2015

Popping Popcorn on the Cob

Have you ever met anyone who doesn't like popcorn?  I think they are few and far between!  We quite enjoy popcorn over here...and happen to have a brother-in-law who grows popcorn in his garden...and shares the cobs with us.  He grows most anything and everything...often from seeds he has saved from the previous year's produce.  Apparently I could save the seeds from a cob of popping corn and start growing my own next year.  I think I will leave the growing to him.  But the eating is good over here!  And it couldn't be easier to pop. 

 

Here's how:
  • Place one cob in a brown lunch bag (or medium sized paper bag). 
  • Fold bag over twice (just to be sure the popped corn stays in the bag!)
  • Place the bag on its side in the microwave oven.
  • Microwave on high for two minutes. (If the popping slows to several seconds between pops before that time, remove to prevent burning.)
  • Remove the bag from the microwave carefully, and empty contents into a bowl  (some kernels will remain attached to the cob).
  • Drizzle with butter.  
  • Season with salt.
  • Enjoy!
Place the bag in the microwave for two minutes on high. Listen for the kernel popping to slow down. Remove the bag as soon as the popping slows down to avoid burning the popcorn even if the two minutes are not up.

Read more : http://www.ehow.com/how_7879419_make-popcorn-corn-cob.html
Place the bag in the microwave for two minutes on high. Listen for the kernel popping to slow down. Remove the bag as soon as the popping slows down to avoid burning the popcorn even if the two minutes are not up.

Read more : http://www.ehow.com/how_7879419_make-popcorn-corn-cob.html
It is amazing how much popcorn comes from one wee cob! 
Place the bag in the microwave for two minutes on high. Listen for the kernel popping to slow down. Remove the bag as soon as the popping slows down to avoid burning the popcorn even if the two minutes are not up.

Read more : http://www.ehow.com/how_7879419_make-popcorn-corn-cob.html


In case you ever come across popcorn-on-the-cob at your local market...or are gifted some by a brother-in-law who grows it...you will know what to do with it!  Or maybe...just maybe...you will trying growing some in your garden this year.

 

Friday, February 27, 2015

Flashback Fridays / Quick Garlic Spread







I love baking French bread and my recipe is almost identical to Annelieses,  but if you don't have time to bake a bought one will do. I must say the homemade is worth the effort and one of the easiest yeast breads to make if you are just starting out.
This recipe for the garlic spread just brings garlic bread to a whole new level. It is simple and quick, you may never buy store bought garlic bread again.

Quick Garlic Spread:
  • 1/2 c. butter
  • 1/2 c. mayonnaise (don't use Miracle Whip it is too sweet) 
  • 1/2 grated Parmesan cheese
  • 4 cloves garlic minced
  • 3 tbsp. freshly chopped parsley
One large french bread loaf cut lengthwise, spread liberally on cut side and broil til brown and bubbly. Or wrap in foil and bake at 375 for 20 min. We like ours broiled. If you want it to be more cheesy then just add some grated Mozzarella Cheese on top before broiling. Enjoy!

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Chocolate Bodentorte

Bodentorte was my Mom's go to dessert when having people in for dessert.  It mixes up quickly, bakes quickly and cools quickly.  A few weeks ago,  Anneliese and I each made up a recipe of chocolate Bodentorte for our care group dessert.  We liked it and we think you will too.  

  • 3 eggs 
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 2/3 cup flour (plus extra for dusting pan)
  • 2 tablespoons cocoa (plus extra for dusting pan)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 4 tablespoons melted butter
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 1 teaspoon almond flavouring.  
  1. Preheat oven to 350 F. 
  2. Prepare an 11 inch flan pan by greasing it well and then dusting  with a combination of 1 tablespoon cocoa and 2 tablespoons flour that has been combined well.  Make sure the entire surface of the pan is covered.  
  3. Separate eggs.  Beat egg whites  until soft peaks form and set aside.
  4. In a large bowl, beat egg yolks with sugar until they are thick and light colored.
  5. Sift together cocoa, flour, salt and baking powder.  
  6. Add dry ingredients to the beaten egg yolk mixture along with the melted butter and milk.
  7. Gently fold in beaten egg whites and pour into the pan.
  8. Bake for 25 minutes.  
  9. Gently use a knife to pull the cake away from the edge of the pan.  Turn the cake out onto a cooking rack.
  10. Fill with a can of cherry pie filling and decorate with 1 cup of whipping cream that has been sweetened and whipped. 

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Brined Chicken Grilled with BBQ Sauce


Don't save the grilling season for summer. Any time of year is a great time to enjoy something off the grill and here I brined a half chicken, added a coating of spices, grilled it and near the end of the grilling mopped it with a home made BBQ sauce. Tender and tasty! 

  • half roasting chicken
Brine:
  • 8 cups cold water
  • 1/3 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup coarse salt
  1. Whisk together water sugar and salt in a glass or plastic bowl. 
  2. Add chicken making sure it is fully immersed in the brine. Cover and place in refrigerator for a minimum of 3 hours or over night.
  3. Half hour before meat is ready to grill, drain brine and rinse chicken well under cold water. Pat dry with paper towel.
  4. Rub outside of chicken on all sides with the following rub and allow to sit for about 20 minutes. 
  5. Have grill pre heated to 350-375º. Place chicken on grill beginning with cut side down. Grill for 15 minutes. Turn chicken over and grill 10 minutes. 
  6. Mop under side of chicken generously with BBQ sauce (recipe below). Continue grilling for another 10 minutes. Turn chicken again so skin side is up. Mop generously with BBQ sauce and grill another 10 minutes. Check meat in the thickest spot for internal temperature. It should be approximately 160º for breast meat and 180º for dark meat. Remove and tent with foil for 8-10 minutes before slicing. Serve with any remaining BBQ sauce heated up slightly.
Spice rub:
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 1/2 tsp course salt
  • 1/2 tsp fresh ground pepper
  • 1/2 tsp cumin
  • 1 tbsp corn starch (this ingredient insures that the outer skin crisps up a bit) 
  1. Mix spices together and rub on rinsed and patted dry chicken. 
BBQ Sauce:
  • 2/3 cup tomato paste
  • 1 tbsp garlic powder
  • 1 tbsp onion powder
  • 1 tbsp paprika
  • 1 tbsp chili powder
  • 1 tbsp brown sugar
  • 1/3 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tbsp maple syrup
  • 1 tbsp agave syrup
  • 1 tbsp Worcestershire Sauce
  1. Stir together all ingredients until well mixed. 


Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Dad's Cookies




You know those yellow bags of "Dad's Cookies" you see in the grocery store?
They were a favourite with Harv's Dad and we were guaranteed to find them on his shelf, especially after Mom passed away.
Well I have been making a version of  "Dad's Cookies" for a long time now and can rightly call them "Dad's" because both my kids' Dad and my Dad absolutely love them.
The original recipe comes from an old MEI school cookbook. 
However the last time I made them I tweaked the recipe yet again 
and they turned out better than ever before.
Try them and see if they become your "Dad's" favourites.
  • 1 cup shortening (I used Crisco)
  • 1 cup unsalted butter
  • 2 cups white sugar
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 4 tablespoons fancy molasses 
  • 3 cups oatmeal 
  • 3 cups flour
  • 2 cups medium coconut
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 3/4 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1 teaspoon allspice
  1. Cream together shortening, butter, white sugar and brown sugar.
  2. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well in between.
  3. Add molasses and vanilla and mix well
  4. Add flour, oatmeal, coconut and spices* and mix until well blended.
  5. Refrigerate dough for about an hour.
  6. Using a cookie scoop or teaspoons, drop 1 1/2 inch balls on to cookie sheets leaving  plenty of room between the cookies.
  7. Roll each between your palms to form a ball and return to pan.
  8. Bake at 325º (regular oven) or 300º (convection oven) for 10 to 12 minutes or until cookies are golden.
  9. Remove from oven and drop pan on to counter. Dropping the pan firmly on the counter causes the cookies to deflate somewhat resulting in a chewier cookie.
  10. After 5 minutes, remove to brown paper or racks to cool.
  11. Store in zippered plastic bag (remove as much air as possible) or tightly lidded containers.  
  12. These cookies freeze well. Makes about 5 dozen medium large cookies.
*This is the spice combination I like best, however if you like a spicier cookie, feel free to add more of your favourites.




Monday, February 23, 2015

Mini Mexican Pizzas


Serve them as appies...or as the main event.  Any which way, they'll be a hit!  
  • 3–4 large flour tortillas
  • 1 pound lean ground beef, cooked
  • 1/2 cup salsa
  • 1/2 package taco seasoning mix plus water (according to directions) 
  • 1/2 cup refried beans (optional)
  • 1/4 cup chopped green pepper or 1/4 cup corn
  • 3/4 cup shredded Mexican blend cheese

Optional Toppings: sliced black olives, shredded lettuce, sour cream, chopped tomatoes

  1. Preheat oven to 475F. 
  2. Spray muffin tin with non-stick cooking spray.
  3. Lay each tortilla out on a flat surface, and using a large cookie cutter or empty can, cut 3-4 circles (close to 4") out of each tortilla.
  4. Press each circle into muffin tin.
  5. Cook and drain hamburger meat.
  6. Add taco seasoning and water and continue to cook for several minutes (as indicated on package).
  7. Add salsa and re-fried beans and stir to combine well.  Heat through; then remove from heat. 
  8. Scoop meat mixture into muffin cups, dividing evenly among twelve.
  9. Top with shredded cheese. 
  10. Bake in pre-heated oven for 10-12 minutes, or until cheese is melted.
  11. Remove from oven and let pizzas cool in tin for 5 minutes.
  12. Remove pizzas from muffin tin using a fork or knife. 
  13. Serve with sliced black olives, sour cream, chopped tomatoes, and shredded lettuce , as desired!
 Makes 12.

Enjoy!

Sunday, February 22, 2015

Bread For the Journey


Psalm 37:34 (a) Living Bible
Don’t be impatient for the Lord to act! 
Keep traveling steadily along his pathway and in due season he will honor you with every blessing.


Do you find that you pray for something and get impatient for the Lord to act? It is not uncommon for us as believers to get impatient. I know that I do, especially if it something that I have been praying for a long time. To wait upon the Lord means you are expecting something wonderful to happen with confidence and hope that surely God will answer. But why does it seem like God is silent at times?
Something happens while I wait during these times. I can either become anxious and impatient or allow God to transform me from the inside out. His desire is to change my heart and character to become more like His as I learn to trust Him. (I must admit that I am not fully there yet). It is during those times that I have become more familiar with God's grace, love and power in my life. When I come to that place of surrender to allow God to be in control then I have truly experienced His Peace that passes all understanding inspite of my circumstances. When I try to take control it just brings more anxiety. (Trust me I know). 
I am trying to learn to embrace the process of this journey God has me on and rely on His power in my own life as I wait for my prayers to be answered in better ways I ever dreamed possible. I am choosing to focus my attention on God rather than the challenge that lays before me. 
I want to encourage you my dear reader, with this verse as you too surrender and trust Him as you wait. May the Lord bless you in the journey. 
Wait for the Lord, be strong and take heart and wait for the Lord. (Psalm 27:14)



Saturday, February 21, 2015

Savory Snacking Bread


When I saw this idea, using a sourdough bread, I decided to try our no-fail French bread to make this savory snack, appetizer or soup accompaniment. Why not try it this weekend? This recipe will make two loaves. 

Ingredients:
  • 2 Tbsp oil
  • 2 Tbsp sugar
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 2 cups hot (tap) water
  • 4 - 5 cups flour, divided (can be half whole wheat)
  • 2 Tbsp instant yeast
  • sesame seeds (optional)
Method:

  1. Put sugar, oil, salt and hot water in a large mixing bowl. You can also use a mixer that has a dough hook attachment or your bread machine.  
  2. Add 1 cup of the flour mixed with the yeast, then the rest of the flour, 1/2 cup at a time. Add flour until dough comes away from side of bowl or easily holds together in a ball shape and is not too sticky if you handle it with floured hands. Cover bowl with wax paper and tea towel.
  3. Let rise until double, about 1/2 hour. Divide in half.
  4. Roll out on a slightly floured surface to dinner plate size, just to roll out any bubbles. Roll up, tuck in ends well and rotate on counter while pushing sides under to shape into a ball. Place on greased or parchment paper lined pan. Cut diagonal slits on top. Cover.
  5. Let rise about 30 - 45 min. Brush with cream and sprinkle with sesame seeds. (optional)
  6. Bake at 400 F for 20 min, or until golden. Remove to rack to cool. Can be frozen for future use.
Savory Filling for one loaf:
  • 2 cups shredded cheese (I used a mix of cheddar, Colby and Monterrey Jack)
  • 1/4 cup melted butter
  • 1/4 cup green onions and /or 1 jalapeno, chopped fine

 Method:

  1. Cut bread in one inch sliced (both directions) to within half an inch of the bottom)
  2. Fill cuts with cheese, drizzle with butter and sprinkle with chives.
  3. Wrap in parchment and foil to hold together well.
  4. Bake at 350 F for 15 minutes. Open foil and bake about 10 minutes longer, until cheese is melted. 


Friday, February 20, 2015

Flashback Friday - Maple Dijon Salmon


My husband enjoys fishing and each year goes up to the Queen Charlottes (Haida Gwaii) on the
west coast of Vancouver Island to fish for salmon.
For Flashback Friday I thought I'd repost the first recipe I posted to the Mennonite Girls Can Cook Blog.  It's still a favourite recipe with our family and friends.
This time, I forgot to add the pistachio nuts but it was just as good.


  • 1-1 1/2 pounds filleted salmon (will serve about 4-6)
  • 3 tablespoons pure maple syrup
  • 3 tablespoons Dijon or Grainy mustard
  • 1/2 cup shelled and chopped pistachio nuts (if desired)

  • *The amount of maple syrup and mustard will depend on how big your piece of salmon is. Just remember to use equal amounts of each.
    1. Lay salmon skin side down on a pan covered in heavy foil and lightly sprayed with oil.
    2. Mix maple syrup and mustard together in a bowl.
    3. Spread about half over the salmon before baking. (Baste halfway through with the remaining mixture)
    4. Sprinkle with pistachios (if desired) and bake in oven at 350 F or on grill until fish is done. It should flake easily with a fork but not be too dry. (Depending on the thickness of the fish, this will take about 20 minutes.)
    5. Lift the salmon off of the skin and place on serving plate.

    A happy man with his catch!


    Thursday, February 19, 2015

    Mac n Cheese Muffins


    If you are looking for a great little muffin that your children will love..this is it! You can't go wrong with mac n cheese can you? They were still warm from the oven when my granddaughter dropped by and she deemed them delicious! They are good hot or cold, wonderful for packing in lunches or as a snack.

    • 2 cups elbow macaroni
    • 2 tablespoons butter
    • 1 egg, beaten
    • 1 cup milk
    • 1/4 teaspoon salt 
    • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
    • 3 cups cheese, shredded, I used half cheddar and half mozzarella mixed together
    • 1/2 cup bacon, fried and crumbled
    • 2/3 cup bread crumbs
    • 2 teaspoons butter, melted
    • Paprika
    1. Cook macaroni until done but still a bit firm, drain and pour macaroni back in the pot. Stir in 2 tablespoons butter and beaten egg until macaroni is completely coated.
    2. Stir in cheese, milk, and bacon, reserving 1/2 cup of cheese for the topping.
    3. Spoon into well greased muffin tins.
    4. Mix together bread crumbs and 2 teaspoons melted butter until crumbly.
    5. Top muffins with reserved cheese and the crumbly bread crumbs.
    6. Sprinkle paprika over the top.
    7. Bake in 350º oven for 25 minutes, until tops are browned.
    8. Remove from oven and allow muffins to cool 5 minutes before removing them from the pans.
    9. Yield: 18 regular size muffins


    Wednesday, February 18, 2015

    Almond Blueberry Muffins (Gluten, dairy free with egg free option)


    Today is my daughter Amy's birthday. She has food allergies and these muffins were made especially in honor of her. These muffins were a hit with, even those of us who don't have any allergies. This recipe makes 24 mini muffins. Happy Birthday honey. 
    • 2 cup Ground Blanched Almonds (also known as Almond Flour)
    • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
    • 1/8 teaspoon of sea salt
    • 2 Eggs
    • 2 Egg Whites 
    • (to make these without eggs add 1 teaspoon soda to 1/4 cup of applesauce to replace 1 egg. This recipe would then need 1/2 cup. ) optional*
    • 1/4 cup of Maple Syrup
    • 1 tablespoon Apple Cider Vinegar
    • 1 teaspoon Vanilla Extract
    • 2 tablespoons oil (I used Coconut Oil)
    • 1 cup Blueberries

    1. Mix all the liquid ingredients into a bowl and whisk together. 
    2. Stir the dry ingredients together in a separate bowl to incorporate the baking soda. 
    3. Add the dry and liquid ingredients together, and mix well.
    4. Fold in the blueberries.
    5. Spray 24 mini muffins tins well with cooking spray.
    6. Fill the tins completely full. 
    7. Bake at 350 for 20-25 minutes. 
    8. Cool in the tins for 5-10 minutes. Loosen the edges carefully and remove from pan to cool completely.
    *the photo you I posted it made with the egg version. If you make it with the applesauce version you have to add more almond flour because it changes the consistency. I cant say how much, it depend on how runny the sauce is. Good luck with making it egg free.  

    Tuesday, February 17, 2015

    Baked Beans Barbecue Style


    Our favourite side with Pulled Pork Sandwiches is baked beans.  Buy a bag of dry beans the next time you are at the market and put them on to soak.  The reward will be worth the effort put into planning.
    Once the beans are ready to cook, the dish is put together in no time and your side dish is ready to put in the oven for a slow simmer and serve the next day.

    • 500 grams / 1 pound dried small white beans
    • 1 pound (approximately) good quality bacon,  diced
    • 2 medium onions, diced
    • 1 jalapeno pepper, finely minced
    • 1/3 cup tomato paste
    • 1/3 cup ketchup
    • 2 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
    • 1/4 cup maple syrup
    • 1/4 cup molasses
    • 1/3 cup barbecue sauce
    • 1/2 teaspoon dry mustard
    • 4 cups water (reserved from beans)
    • 1 teaspoon salt
    • 1 teaspoon black pepper
    1. Rinse and sort beans, discarding discolored or shriveled beans.   Cover beans with a few inches of water in a medium sized pot with a lid.  Bring to a boil and boil 2 minutes and then remove from heat and let stand 2  hours.  If necessary, add more boiling water to pot to keep the beans covered. Drain and reserve the water to use in the recipe.
    2. Fry the bacon in a heavy dutch oven, drain excess drippings. Add onion and saute until the onions have softened.  Add remaining sauce ingredients to the pot.
    3. Add the beans and 4 cups of the water that the beans cooked in.  Add additional water if needed to cover the beans. 
    4. Cover and refrigerate overnight.
    5. The next day, preheat the oven to 250 F.  Bake the beans for 8 hours.  Check and stir beans every few hours.  Add additional water if needed to keep the beans just covered with liquid. (I have not ever done the recipe in a crock pot but I think you could.  I would recommend that you check to see what temperature the settings are on your crockpot and judge whether you should cook the beans on low or high, based on that information. 


    Monday, February 16, 2015

    Lemon Blueberry Loaf

    Tangy lemon and sweet blueberries are always a great combination. This recipe bakes into one large loaf, or you can bake it in a 9"round or square pan, or bakes into 12 large muffins. 
    • 1 1/2 cups flour
    • 1 cup sugar
    • 1 tsp baking powder
    • 1/2 tsp salt
    • 1 tsp vanilla
    • 3 eggs
    • 2 tsp lemon rind
    • 1 cup plain full fat plain yogurt OR sour cream, (or a mixture of the two)
    • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
    • 1 1/2 cups blueberries, fresh or frozen
    1. Stir together first 4 dry ingredients.
    2. In a large mixing bowl, beat together eggs, vanilla, lemon rind, yogurt (OR sour cream) and oil. 
    3. Add dry mixture and mix just until dry ingredients are well incorporated. Don't over mix.
    4. Gently stir in blueberries.
    5. Pour batter into well greased and floured loaf pan, Bake in 350º oven for 50-55 minutes. (adjust time accordingly if using alternate pan sizes) 
    6. Once baked allow to rest in pan for 10 minutes then remove to cooling rack.
    Lemon syrup:
    • 1/3 cup sugar
    • 2 tbsp fresh lemon juice
    1. Heat together until sugar is dissolved. 
    2. Poke warm lemon loaf with small fork and brush lemon syrup over loaf. Allow to cool completely.
    Glaze:
    • 1 cup powdered sugar
    • 2-3 tbsp fresh lemon juice
    1. Stir together and drizzle over cooled loaf. Allow to set. 

    Sunday, February 15, 2015

    Bread for the Journey




    While visiting my daughter in Saskatchewan this past summer, the boys and I saw this amazing cloud on the way home from swimming. We commented on how it reminded us of the cloud that God sent to lead the Israelites through the wilderness.
    Then recently, I came across this picture in my files that reminded me of the pillar of fire that led them by night.


    In Exodus 13:21 and 22 we read:

    And the LORD went before them by day in a pillar of cloud to lead the way, 
    and by night in a pillar of fire to give them light, so as to go by day and night.
    He did not take away the pillar of cloud by day or the pillar of fire by night from before the people.

    After years of being enslaved to Pharaoh, the Israelites fled Egypt into the wilderness, 
    They had lived all their lives in the cities of Egypt with its streets and pathways and familiar neighbourhoods.  They knew nothing else. Now they were in the midst of  a featureless desert without roads or signs to guide them. They must have felt lost, directionless, very fearful of the dangers that lurked in these unknown lands and uncertain as to what the future held,
    However, they were God's people and He knew their need and so He provided direction and comfort for them in the pillar of cloud by day and the pillar of fire by night.   Exodus 14:19 and 20 recounts how God  also used the pillar of cloud to hide the Israelites from the pursuing Egyptians as they approached the Red Sea.
    Seeing those pillars in front of them must have provided much reassurance to
     Moses and to all the people.

    GOD'S WORD
     takes the place of  those pillars of cloud and fire in today's world.
    It provides direction when we are uncertain of our way forward. 
    It illuminates truth and dispels the darkness in our souls
    It reminds us of God's incredible love and care for us.

    Psalm 119: 105
    Your Word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path

    Psalms 32:8-9
    I will instruct you and teach you in the way which you should go; I will counsel you with My eye upon you.
    Psalms 43:3
    O send out Your light and Your truth, let them lead me; Let them bring me to Your holy hill and to Your dwelling places.



    Saturday, February 14, 2015

    Valentine Crepes for Two


    If you have milk and eggs on hand, it's not too late to mix up batch of crepes for breakfast, brunch or dessert. For the filling in these crepes I mixed cream cheese and whipped cream (you could use either one on its own), topped with cherry jam. Any red jam of fruit compote made with plums, rhubarb or strawberries is great!

    Ingredients:
    (for 6 large crepes)
    • 2 eggs
    • 1 1/2 cups milk
    • 1/2 tsp salt
    • 1 cup robin hood multigrain flour (or white)
    • 1 Tbps butter for cooking
    (for filling)
    • 1/4 cup cream cheese
    • 1/4 cup whipping cream
    • 1/2 tsp vanilla
    • cherry jam, strawberry rhubarb jam or fruit compote
    • icing sugar for dusting
    Method:
    1. Beat eggs, milk, flour, salt and flour, using electric hand mixer, until smooth. Set aside.
    2. Heat non-stick pan between low and medium. Spread thinly with a dab of butter.
    3. Lifting the pan, pour about 1/3 cup of batter into top part of pan, tilting and rotating until pan is coated. 
    4. Place on heat and cook until set. Flip over and cook other side. Repeat, spreading butter for every other crepe.
    5. For two people, stack 2 or 3 crepes on each plate. 
    6. Beat cream cheese and whipped cream separately, then beat together and add vanilla. Spread about 2 - 4 Tbsp of cream cheese mixture on one half side of top crepe. Top generously with jam or compote. Fold the other half over the filling, then fold once or twice again. Dust with icing sugar. To eat, roll bottom crepe along with top crepe and enjoy!

    Friday, February 13, 2015

    Flashback Friday - Einback (Plain Buns)

    For Flashback Friday I brought back this amazing recipe that my sister shared with me. It has now become a favorite of mine. These buns are great for Faspa or as a sandwich for your lunches.

    • 1/4 cup sugar
    • 1 Tbsp yeast
    • 4 cups lukewarm water
    • 3/4 cup oil, I use canola
    • 3 large eggs, beaten till foamy
    • 1 tbsp salt
    • 12 cups flour (approx)
    1. Mix well and knead till dough is soft and smooth. A friend once told me that you know the dough is ready when you're kneading and it 'squeaks'.
    2. Cover and let rise in warm place until double in bulk. Punch down and let rise again. Punch down again and shape into buns (approx size of a large egg). Place a few inches apart on pan. Cover with tea towels and let rise in warm place until double in bulk.
    3. Bake at 425 for 12 to 15 min.
    4. Remove from oven and let cool on rack.
    5. Yields: approx 4 to 5 doz


    Sugar Buns
    I use some of the plain bun dough to make these treats! Shape dough into small buns, dip in whipping cream then dip in a white sugar and cinnamon mixture, the ratio according to your taste. That's just my way of saying I don't measure that! Place close together in pan, let rise until double in bulk and bake same as plain buns.
    These are best when served fresh esp with a good cup of coffee! This was always a delicious treat for us when we came home from school on baking day! Then later I made this for my daughters and for my g'children.

    Thursday, February 12, 2015

    Mini Puff Pancake Pots


    German pancake batter puffs up into wee little pots when baked in a standard size muffin tin. Perfect for filling with a warm trio of blueberries, raspberries and strawberries. I made these recently to serve to friends who came for tea one morning....something different than a muffin, but just as simple to make. I promise! This may be something nice to serve someone special on Valentines Day.
    Check out my post last year on Valentines Day where I used this same batter but baked the Puff Pancake in a pie plate.
    • 2 eggs
    • 1/2 cup milk
    • 1/2 cup flour
    • 1/4 tsp salt
    • 1 tsp vanilla
    • 1 tablespoon butter, melted
    1. Mix together all ingredients until you have a smooth batter.
    2. Spray 6 muffin tin cups with non stick spray. Divide batter between cups. 
    3. Bake in oven pre heated to 400º. 
    4. Bake for 16 minutes. Do not open oven door during baking.
    5. While puff pancakes are baking prepare fruit filling.
    6. Remove crispy pancake pots to individual serving plates. Fill with the following fruit filling or fresh fruit and dust with powdered sugar.
    Fruit Filling:
    • 1/2 cup each, blueberries, raspberries and strawberries
    • 3 tbsp sugar
    • 2 tsp corn starch
    1. Stir together fruit. Stir in sugar and corn starch.
    2. Heat in microwave stirring every 30 seconds until mixture thickens. Allow to cool slightly.

    Wednesday, February 11, 2015

    Lemon Bundt Cake


    This is my variation of a recipe I found in a recent Bakefest booklet. It's the kind of cake that you just can't resist taking a slice of - pure, heavenly homemade goodness!

    Ingredients:
    • 1 1/2 cups sugar
    • 1 cup butter, soft / room temp
    • 3 eggs
    • 3/4 cups sour cream
    • 2 tsp vanilla extract
    • 1/3 cup fresh lemon juice
    • 3 cups flour
    • 2 tsp baking powder
    • 1 tsp soda
    • 3/4 tsp salt
    Lemon Glaze:
    • 1 cup icing sugar
    • 1 Tbsp lemon juice
    • 1 Tbsp melted butter
    Method:
    1. Preheat oven to 350 F. Grease Bundt pan.
    2. In mixing bowl beat sugar and butter well then add in the eggs. (If you wish, you can add in just the yolks, beat egg whites separately and fold them into the batter at the very end)
    3. Add sour cream and flavorings.
    4. Stir in combined dry ingredients. 
    5. Scrape batter into prepared pan. Bake for 50 - 55 minutes. Let cool for 10 minutes before tuning onto wire rack to cool.
    6. Blend glaze ingredients until smooth. Add a tad more lemon juice if needed to make a thick, runny consistency. Drizzle over cooled cake. Allow to set. 

    Tuesday, February 10, 2015

    Walnut Muffins Gluten Free



    Here is muffin recipe that uses my Julie's Blend flour.  I love the butterscotch flavour of these muffins that complements the walnuts.
    They are very good keepers -  good for two or three days on the counter.  Can also be frozen.


    • 1/4 cup butter 
    • 1/2 cup brown sugar 
    • 1/4 cup white sugar 
    • 1 lg. egg 
    • 1 tsp vanilla 
    • 3/4 cup milk 
    • 1/3 cup sour cream 
    • 1 1/2 cups Julie's Blend Flour 
    • 2 rounded tsp. of baking powder 
    • 1/2 tsp baking soda 
    • 1/2 tsp xanthan gum 
    • 1/4 tsp salt 
    • 3/4 cup walnut pieces 
    1. Beat butter, sugar and egg until light and fluffy 
    2. Add vanilla, milk and sour cream 
    3. Mix together dry ingredients and add to liquids... beat until smooth
    4. Add walnut pieces 
    5. Fill muffin tins - with or without paper baking cups (grease pan lightly if not using baking cups)
    6. Bake for about 30 minutes at 350 degrees 
    7. These muffins are actually better after they have completely cooled. 

    Monday, February 9, 2015

    Wor Won Ton Soup


    Wor Won Ton soup is often a choice for us when eating out. It is a simple broth filled with meat and vegetables in which each ingredient takes a starring role.
    "Wor" in Chinese means "everything" as you will see by the list of ingredients. 
    Making this soup takes a bit of planning and prepping but is worth every minute. 
     If you like to cook, you'll enjoy the process.
     I enlisted my friend to help make the won tons and chop the veggies 
    and it made for a fun and tasty evening.
    This recipe makes enough to serve 6-8 people.




    The day before, prepare and cook the Chinese BBQ Pork . Refrigerate until cold.
    (The pork makes a lovely meal in itself so you can eat it hot one day and then save the leftovers for this soup)

    For the Won Ton
    • 1/2 lb. ground pork
    • 1 beaten egg
    • 1/4 cup finely chopped onion
    • 1/4 cup finely chopped water chestnuts (reserve rest for the soup)
    • 1/4 pound small fresh shrimp finely chopped
    • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
    • 1 teaspoon rice wine vinegar
    • 1 tablespoon grated fresh or frozen ginger root
    • 1/2 teaspoon sugar
    • 1/2 teaspoon salt 
    • 1/8 teaspoon pepper

    • 40 won ton wraps (If you have extra ,wrap them in plastic wrap, place in a zippered plastic bag and freeze for use later)
    1. Mix all filling ingredients together in a mixing bowl.
    2. Starting with one won ton wrapper, lay it on the counter and place 1 teaspoon of filling in the center of the wrapper.
    3. Moisten the edges of the wrapper with water and fold it over the filling to form a triangle.
    4. Moisten the top edges and then pleat them together to form a small "purse", gently twisting the top. 
    5. Repeat with remaining wrappers and filling.
    6. Fill a pot with 8-10 cups water, bring to a boil and turn down to medium.
    7. Drop 10-15 won ton into boiling water and cook for 3 minutes.
    8. Remove from water with a slotted spoon and repeat with remaining won ton.
    9. Set aside in a bowl until soup is ready.
    For the Soup

    • 1 raw chicken breast cut into thick slices
    • 1/2 lb. small mushrooms sliced
    • 2 cups finely sliced savoy cabbage
    • 2 cups coarsely chopped bok choy
    • 1 cup broccoli, stems sliced on the diagonal and florets cut small
    • 1 cup small snow peas, fresh or frozen
    • remaining water chestnuts, sliced
    • 1 cup bean sprouts if desired
    • 16 cooked prawns
    • 3 green onions, green part only, chopped
    • Chinese BBQ Pork thinly sliced
    • 6 cups chicken broth
    • 6 cups beef broth 
    • 1 1/2 - 2 tablespoons soy sauce
    1. Place chicken breast pieces in a small pot. 
    2. Cover with water, add a bit of salt and bring to a boil.
    3. Poach for 7-10 minutes. drain and set aside to cool.
    4. Chop vegetables as listed.
    5. Add mushrooms, cabbage, bok choy, broccoli and snow peas to broth and simmer until vegetables are crisp tender.
    6. Finely chop or shred cooked chicken
    7. Add chicken, pork, prawns, bean sprouts, water chestnuts and green onion to soup.
    8. To serve: place 4 won ton in each bowl and ladle the soup over them being sure that each bowl has some of each ingredient. OR pass bowl of won tons around followed by the soup.
    If you'd like something else to round out the meal, order in your favourite sushi and serve it alongside the soup.







    Sunday, February 8, 2015

    Bread for the Journey




    God hath not promised skies always blue,
    Flower-strewn pathways all our lives through;
    God hath not promised sun without rain,
    Joy without sorrow, peace without pain.
    But God hath promised strength for the day,
    Rest for the labor, light for the way,
    Grace for the trials, help from above,
      Unfailing sympathy, undying love.

    God hath not promised we shall not know
    Toil and temptation, trouble and woe;
    He hath not told us we shall not bear
    Many a burden, many a care.

    God hath not promised smooth roads and wide,
    Swift, easy travel, needing no guide;
    Never a mountain, rocky and steep,
    Never a river, turbid and deep.
                                Author: Annie Johnson Flint
    One thing I have learned over time is that the sorrows, pain and trouble will and do come but I also know and am so thankful that God gives me strength for each trial that comes my way. I could not face life without Him. He is my rock.
    Let us praise God together for His love and grace!

    Saturday, February 7, 2015

    Decorating Lunchbox Fruit for Valentines Day




    A few weeks ago I looking for Valentines ideas and found this fun idea on various Pinterest boards. 
    I thought it would be fun for the kids to find some fun Valentines fruit in their school lunches.
     I purchased some edible ink Candy Decorating Pens  in the cake decorating section of my local craft store.  


    I washed the fruit well and dried it and then I printed my declarations on them to sweeten someone's day!  I  let them dry and then went over it once more with the felt pens to give more definition.  




    I shared my pens with my little grands and was given these photos to show their Valentine Fruit Decorating party!  

    Thank you to my daughter-by-love Bea for the photos of our sweet littles.



























    Whatever it is you do to make your family feel loved this coming week...
    we wish you sweet moments in your Valentines preparations. 



    Friday, February 6, 2015

    Tomato Soup (Flashback Friday)




    The new bride who shared this recipe with me some 30 years ago had no idea what a family favorite it would become to us. I've been wanting to re-post it because I feel like I need to reiterate how easy and delicious it is!  When I posted it early in 2009, the photo had a puff pastry on it - which possibly just looked too complicated. Hopefully this one will eliminate any of those fears. This soup makes a nice appetizer or main course served with a quickly made French Bread. Over the years this has been my go-to soup and bread to take to someone who needs a meal.

    Soup Ingredients:

    • 2 Tbsp oil
    • 1 onion, chopped very fine
    • 1/2 green pepper, chopped very fine
    • 2 stalks celery, chopped very fine
    • 1 tsp basil
    • 1 tsp dill weed
    • 28 oz canned whole tomatoes
    • 2 Tbsp tomato paste (optional)
    • 1 Tbsp sugar
    • 1 tsp salt
    • pepper, to taste
    • 2 cups chicken stock

    White Sauce:

    • 3 Tbsp butter 
    • 3 Tbsp flour
    • 2 cups milk

    Method:

    1. Blend tomatoes in blender until just blended. (Do not substitute whole tomatoes with crushed tomatoes - the flavor will be much stronger)
    2. Heat first 4 ingredients in large pot until vegetables are soft.
    3. Add spices, tomatoes, tomato paste, sugar, salt and pepper. Simmer 10 minutes. Add chicken stock.  Simmer 20 min.
    4. In a small pot, melt butter, using whisk - blend in flour and milk, stirring continuously to make a smooth sauce. Once it bubbles, add into tomato soup. Serves 4 – 6
    Tips and ideas:
    • I often double the recipe as it is good for leftovers. I've also added a can of tomato rice soup with water to stretch the recipe. I like the rice in there.
    • For chicken stock I use 1 Knorr bouillon cube with water or Better than Bouillon (paste) with water. To make a vegetarian soup, use vegetable broth.



    • To serve with puff pastry, Cool soup slightly, refrigerate until ready to use. Divide among 4 -6 onion soup bowls, leaving 1 inch from top. Roll out 1 -2 pkgs (14 oz each - 397 g) thawed frozen puff pastry to 1/8" thick. (I used 1 pkg. for 6 bowls, but I had to combine the scraps and re-roll) Cut rounds out, about 6 inches in diameter – slightly larger than tops of bowls. Cut a few slits to allow steam to vent. Press to outside of bowl, but not to rim. Chill 1 hour. Bake on lower 1/3 of oven, at 400 F, 15 – 20 min. Watch that the pastry doesn't brown too quickly.