Poaching Eggs Easy with Breakfast Television, Dyeing Eggs Naturally and Planting in Eggs



Yesterday I went to Breakfast Television Vancouver  to do a segment for Egg Farmers of Canada, showing just how easy to poach eggs for a crowd.  



There are two ways to prepare poached eggs for a crowd that will be easier when getting everything on the table.

The first way that I show in the video clip is done using a muffin pan.

Muffin Pan Poached Eggs

  1. Preheat oven to 350.  
  2. Put a tablespoon of water into each muffin cup.
  3. Break an egg into each cup and put in the oven for 11- 13 minutes. 
  4. Use a slotted spoon to remove eggs.
Tips
  • a darker pan will cook eggs quicker than a light pan
  • test this method ahead of time with just a few eggs.  Put a bit of water in the cups you are not using so the pan does not ruin. 
  • Every pan and oven will vary the cooking time.
  • this method works best if you prefer your eggs on the soft to medium side as opposed to runny.
  • the egg will leave a little egg residue in the muffin pan that can be easily cleaned off with a kitchen brush.  The egg itself will come out of the pan quite easily with a bit of gentle coaxing with the edge of the slotted spoon. 
Poach Eggs the day before Method
  1. Bring a pot of water to a simmer. 
  2. Crack eggs into a custard cup and then slip into simmering water.  Poach up to half a dozen at a time. Stir very gently.
  3. Poach three minutes and transfer to a bowl of ice water using a slotted spoon. 
  4. Store in the refrigerator overnight.
  5. Just before serving, put the eggs into a pot of simmering water for 1 minute or until the yolks are done to your liking.  
Tips
  • Lift the egg out of the simmering water with a slotted spoon and press the yolks with your finger to know how well done they are.  
  • Use paper towel to blot the water from the eggs 





Decorating eggs doesn't have to include using dye.
I used a non toxic white fine tipped pen to make some simple designs.

When you do your baking for Easter,  don't throw the eggs away.
Open the egg by using an egg topper or tapping the top with a sharp knife and breaking away the shell gently with your fingers.

To make a grass filled egg you will need wheat berries which can be purchased at a health food store.
Put a bit of soil in the egg and sprinkle wheat berries on top.  
Keep the soil damp by spraying several times a day with water.
Wheat should start to sprout in three days. 


It is fun to dye eggs using natural food.

To make eggs Robin Egg blue, cook two cups of chopped red cabbage for 30 minutes in enough water to cover cabbage.  Strain, add 1 tablespoon vinegar and allow to come to room temperature.

Dip hard boiled eggs in red cabbage dye for about 30 minutes. Leave the eggs longer for darker eggs.


To make Yellow eggs bring 2 cups of water to a boil.  Add 2 tablespoons of turmeric and 1 tablespoon of vinegar.  Stir to dissolve. Simmer several minutes. 

Place eggs in Turmeric Dye and check every few minutes.
The undissolved  turmeric will add speckles to the eggs, adding to the natural effect.

To make green eggs, place in the turmeric dye first and then place into the red cabbage dye.

Play with the different colors.  Add a bit of gel food color into the different dyes to add yet another layer of color to your eggs.  I added a bit of red to the red cabbage at the end to change the color of  a few of the eggs in the photo above.  The residue of turmeric added a natural effect.  



I made this inexpensive centerpiece by planting a little spring flower  commonly called Grape Hyacinth in each egg.  I went to the garden store and bought the littlest ones I could find.  They can be started by planting bulbs but I didn't test that and they would have to be watered for weeks.  Planting little flowers already in bud is much easier. 

After they have bloomed, let them dry out and plant them in the garden this fall to let them bloom again in spring.  Crack the shell first at the bottom before planting.  



Using the white non toxic pen...
I'll write the names of my family and give them each a place of honor at our Easter Buffet!




Thank you Breakfast Television for sharing this segment with us. 

Pina Colada Fruit Dip

Add a taste of the tropics to your buffet table by serving a pina colada dip with a fresh fruit tray.  It goes over well any season of the year!


  • 1 jar (7 ounces / 200 ml) marshmallow creme
  • 1 tub (8 ounces / 250 gram) spreadable cream cheese
  • 1/2 cup drained crushed pineapple
  • 1/2 cup flaked coconut
  1. Whip the cream cheese until smooth. 
  2. Add the marshmallow creme and beat until fluffy.
  3. Fold in pineapple and coconut.
  4. Cover and chill until serving.
  5. Top with toasted coconut.
  6. Serve with fresh fruit or cubed cake.

Bread for the Journey



For thirty years my Mom prepared the crafts for her two year old Sunday School class.  For Palm Sunday she made these simple construction paper palm trees for the little children to wave as they sang. She loved teaching even the youngest children to sing praises to Jesus and knew that those early lessons would be a stepping stone for their understanding of the whole Easter story. 



The triumphant entry of Jesus into Jerusalem happened just as Zechariah had prophesied hundreds of years earlier. 

Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion!
Shout aloud, O daughter of Jerusalem!
Behold, your king is coming to you;
righteous and having salvation is he,
humble and mounted on a donkey, on a colt, the foal of a donkey.
 Zechariah 9:9 

Some people put their coats on the ground and others took branches and covered the ground as they sang "Hosanna to the Son of David! Blessed is He who comes in the name of the LORD! Hosanna in the highest."



The same crowds that were waving palm branches and making a path of palm branches for Jesus singing Hosanna, were calling for his crucifixion five days later.  

Let us go into this week with praise and thanksgiving for Jesus and for his sacrifice on our behalf!
Hosanna! Blessed is He who comes in the name of the LORD!


Southern Fried Chicken


Are you thinking of what to make for Sunday lunch tomorrow? You can make this today and just heat in the oven when you come home from church for a few minutes. This chicken will stay nice and crispy.
My mom got this recipe from my aunt way back in the 70's. I have made some minor changes since then to the original recipe, but it still has that crispy crunch that I enjoy. It can either be pan fried in a bit of butter and olive oil so the butter won't burn, or baked in the oven brushed with a bit of melted butter. This photo shows that it was pan fried. Make the seasoned flour and keep unused flour for another use. Try it with pork chops too.

Seasoned flour mixture:
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons celery salt
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons black pepper 
  • 1 tablespoon dry mustard powder
  • 2 tablespoons paprika
  • 1 tablespoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon dried sage
  • 1/2 teaspoon ginger powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon thyme
  • 1/2 teaspoon basil
  • 1/2 teaspoon oregano
Combine all the ingredients above and store in an airtight container.
  • 3 lbs of boneless chicken thighs ( I am a fan of boneless, skinless chicken thighs, they are often more economical than breasts and always moist.)
  • 2 eggs, beaten with 1 tablespoon water
  • 1 cup bread crumbs
  • oil and butter for frying
  1. Have three pie pans ready, one for the flour, one for the egg and water mixture,  and one for the breadcrumbs.
  2. Dredge the chicken in the seasoned flour mixture, then the eggs, followed by the bread crumbs. 
  3. Brown the chicken until golden brown and is cooked all the way through in medium heat in the frying pan. 
  4. Alternatively brush the coated chicken pieces with melted butter and bake in a 425 degree oven for 20 minutes or until it reaches an internal temperature of 165 degrees. 

Lemon Loaf - Flash Back Friday


I originally posted this recipe in 2011. I had mentioned at that time that one of our grandsons would ask me to bake "Wemon Woaf". Four years later he's still asking me to bake his favourite...."Lemon Loaf". 
Easter, pretty colours, lemon and special treats just go together. I baked these sweet little loaves up this past week and made some deliveries. 
(I divided the batter between 5 smaller disposable pans. Baking time adjusted to size of pan being used)
Ingredients:
  • 1 lemon supreme boxed cake mix
  • 1 99gr package jello instant lemon pudding powder
  • 4 eggs
  • 1/2 cup oil
  • 1 cup water
Method:
  1. Put all ingredients together in a large mixing bowl and beat together for 3 minutes.
  2. Pour into 2 greased loaf pans, and bake @ 350º for 45-50 minutes. To test insert a tooth pick and if it comes out clean it is done.
  3. Let rest in pans for 5 minutes and then remove to a cooling rack. Glaze immediately.
Glaze: (optional)
  • juice of 1 lemon
  • juice of 1 orange
  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar
Stir together until smooth, and paint top of hot loaves allowing the glaze to run down the edges.
Freezes well.

Once cooled, add a thin layer of icing made from powdered sugar and a little bit of lemon juice or warm water. Stir until smooth, and pour over loaves. 




Mediterranean Chickpea Salad




This salad is put together quickly and tastes even better the longer it sits to blend the flavors and you don't have to worry about it getting soggy. A good make ahead salad for potlucks or having extra in the fridge for lunches.

Salad:
  • 2 - 15 oz cans of chickpeas 
  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes, cut in half
  • 1 english cucumber, cut in quarter and sliced thin
  • 1/4 cup of diced red onion, or 4 green onions, sliced
  • 1 red or green pepper, chopped
  • 1/2 cup of black kalamata olives
  • desired amount of feta cheese (optional)
  • freshly ground black pepper to taste
Dressing:
  • 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 1/4 cup of extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 minced garlic
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons dried oregano

Roasted Mushroom Soup


If you've told yourself a long time ago that you do not care for mushroom soup, you simply must try again! I'm speaking from personal experience and now I love, first, the aroma that comes with the roasting and cooking of this soup and, secondly, the fresh homemade flavor. The ingredients are simple and mostly good for you!

Ingredients:
  • 1 - 1 1/2 lbs mushrooms of choice (about 5 cups)
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 3 Tbsp butter
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 Tbsp fresh thyme leaves
  • 1/2 cup light cream (coffee cream)
  • 2 cups chicken or vegetable broth 
  • fresh lemon juice and pepper
Method:
  1. Clean and chop mushrooms in half. Drizzle with olive oil and roast at 400 F for 15-20 minutes, stirring a couple of times.
  2. Meanwhile, melt butter in large skillet and cook onion, stirring until golden brown. Add crushed garlic and thyme, stirring for one more minute. Set aside.
  3. Add roasted mushrooms to onions and continue to cool down with cream. 
  4. Blend in blender or food processor until just blended.
  5. Pour into medium sized pot or back into skillet. Add broth and bring to boil.
  6. Just before serving, add a squeeze of lemon juice and freshly ground pepper.
Hints:
* freeze fresh thyme and simply strip off as much as you need for a recipe
* peel dry mushrooms to remove dirt
* for broth, try using better-than-bouillon in a jar and dissolve in boiling water. It keeps well in the fridge and is always fresh.
* this recipe serves 2 - 4 as a meal, with a sandwich, or 6 - 8 as an appetizer


Lemon Coconut Bars


Spring is here and that means I crave something lemon, and then to add coconut..well that just is an added bonus. These bars are delicious and wake up your taste buds. Add this to your Easter menu, those lemon lovers will thank you!

  • 1 1/2 cups flour
  • 1/2 cup icing sugar
  • 3/4 cup cold butter, cubed
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • Juice of 2 large lemons
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest
  • 1 cup coconut
  1. Combine flour and icing sugar in a bowl. Add butter cubes and using a pastry blender cut in the butter until you have fine crumbs.
  2. Press the mixture evenly into a greased 9" x 13" pan.
  3. Bake at 350º for 15 minutes.
  4. While the crust is baking, beat eggs, sugar, baking powder, lemon juice, and zest together until well combined and the mixture has turned a pale color. 
  5. Pour mixture on the crust, sprinkle coconut over the top and return to the oven to bake another 25 minutes until golden.
  6. Cool on cooling rack and cut into bars. Dust with icing sugar and serve.

Ham and Barley Soup


My husband is an easy man to please when it comes to food and new recipes but because his least favourite vegetable is overcooked green beans and his least favourite soup is split pea I had to find another way to use up a ham bone.
I still make my favourite Mennonite Green Bean Soup once in a while but
I don't make Split Pea soup at all.
So I was looking for another option for that leftover ham bone and came across a Ham and Barley soup in a magazine.  I've changed it up to use what I had in my fridge and came up with
 a hearty ham based soup he really likes.
It's a bit of work, making soup from scratch but it's a large recipe and you can freeze the extra for  meals at a later date.

For the Broth (make a day ahead)
  • 1 ham bone (I like to leave a good amount of meat on it for the soup)
  • 12 cups water
  • 1 large bay leaf
  • 1 rib celery with leaves still on it
  • 1 washed, unpeeled carrot - ends trimmed
  • 1 onion, halved
  • 1 tablespoon peppercorns (in a soup ball)
  • 2 teaspoons salt (use sparingly for the broth as the ham adds salt. You can adjust the salt later after the vegetables and barley are added.)
  1. Add ham bone to water in a large soup pot.
  2. Add remaining ingredients and bring to a boil
  3. Reduce heat to a good simmer and cook for about 2 hours.
  4. Strain broth,  removing bone and any meat to a bowl and discarding vegetables,  
  5. Remove meat from bone, cut it up and return it to the broth and discard bone..
  6. Let broth cool a bit and then refrigerate overnight.
  7. The next day, skim fat from soup.
For the Soup
  • 3 cups water
  • 1 pod chicken stock base (or  2 cubes of chicken bouillon base)
  • 1 cup barley*
  • 4 carrots, peeled and cubed
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 2 cups butternut squash cubes (peel squash, remove seeds and cube)
  • 3 or 4 ribs celery, sliced
  • 1 large can tomatoes (undrained)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons thyme or rosemary
  • 1/2 pound mushrooms, sliced and browned a bit
  • 2 cups fresh or frozen green beans (1 1/2" lengths) or 1 can cannellini beans, drained
  • salt and pepper
  1. Bring water and chicken base to a boil.
  2. Stir in barley and let cook until tender, (check package directions)
  3. Strain and set aside barley to add later.
  4. Saute carrots, onion and celery until lightly browned.
  5. Add carrot mixture and squash to broth with tomatoes and Thyme.
  6. Add to broth and ham, bring to a boil and simmer until vegetables are just tender.
  7. Add barley, mushrooms and green beans and cook just until beans are tender.
  8. Adjust seasonings and serve.
*Barley is a little like pasta in that it swells as it sits in a liquid. So I like to cook it separately and add it at the very end.  

Bread for the Journey

"I'm not all here because I'm already part way there!"
Does that statement resonate with you? 

I'm a slow learner when it comes to living in the moment, and have often missed out on some of life's best because of my own impatience and running ahead. God's time line is made moment by moment, and I believe He is glorified when we live for Him right where we are.

Living this way allows us to not rush by God. It allows us to make the most of and enjoy the mundane tasks in our day. Slowing down allows us to see opportunities, invest in others, listen, see, learn. An interesting thing I've observed as I've been practicing patience and slowing down is that I'm recognizing and receiving the gift of what others invest in my life. I've also recognized some very small but amazing blessings and opportunities from God that I think I've been rushing by. I'm gaining personal and spiritual ground by slowing down.

God delights in our expectation of Him being with us every moment. Whether we are battling something at this moment, walking through a difficult time or life is going well. Be assured, God is with you, and in that promise you can rejoice. Every morning we can proclaim the following verse and live with anticipation, expectancy and knowledge that God is with us and will be for the whole journey.

Psalm 118:24
This is the day the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it. 




Super Foods


I've been hearing the word 'Super Food' bandied about and I wanted to open this post to hear your thoughts and experience with some of the foods on the 'Super Food' list.

We spent a week in Maui a few weeks ago and we had Sunday lunch on an ocean side restaurant with outdoor seating.  On the menu was a gluten-free dessert and though it was expensive I couldn't resist when  my husband insisted I try it.  (dessert pictured above)
Here is how it was described on the menu ...  "Lilikoi Pono Pie with Kula Strawberries - $7.95... Guilt free from Maui with Kula strawberries and Maui honey. This breadfruit inspired dessert contains no gluten, refined sugar or dairy."  
The dessert had an unfamiliar flavour but my taste-buds were delighted!

I had never heard of Breadfruit and did a bit of research only to find that it is such a 'Super Food' that they are saying it could be the answer to world hunger.  It is an interesting fruit. The breadfruit trees are fast growing with abundant yearly  yield of fruit.  When the fruit is mature but not very ripe it is bland and is used in main dishes, not unlike a potato. When it is ripe it becomes sweet, mushy and can be used for desserts. It is extremely rich in nutrients.
I have been looking for it , but have only found the Caribbean Market in New Westminster that has it.

Another thing I have done recently that I was perhaps  a little on the slow side to discover is to make Kale Chips.   Kale is another Super Food and drying the lightly oil tossed seasoned leaves in the oven makes them a crisp snack food that can also be crumbled into baking/cooked foods/soups or cereal or smoothies.

So.... comments are welcome sharing your thoughts or experience or knowledge on 'super foods' and how you serve them!

Light Gluten Free Biscuits


For Flash Back Friday, I thought I would revisit my biscuit post from a few years ago, not that it isn't a good recipe but I wanted to offer you an alternative.  Since I have developed my own flour mix I have been converting most of my baking to use it and it is so much easier to just reach for one flour.
This alternate recipe for biscuits is really good, it is very light and fluffy and tastes great!  (For the biscuits in the photo I forgot to add the xanthan gum and they were fine without it.)

  • 1 cup Julie's Flour Mix 
  • 1/4 tsp xanthan gum 
  • 4 tsp baking powder 
  • 2 tsp sugar (adds the browning of the biscuits) 
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 cup butter 
  • 1/3 cup buttermilk,  (or 1/3 cup milk with one tsp vinegar and let sit for 15 minutes) 
  •  1 egg 
  • 3/4 cup grated cheddar cheese - optional (if I add the cheese I cut the butter back to 2 tbsps)
  1. Mix dry ingredients 
  2. Cut in butter 
  3. Stir in grated cheese 
  4. Whisk egg into milk 
  5. Add liquids to mixture and stir quickly and as little as possible to just blend 
  6. Spoon onto baking sheet or into muffin tins  --  on a sheet the biscuits will spread, in muffin tins sit up nicely with even sides. 
  7. Enjoy warm... with butter or jam. 

PS... I'll leave my original recipe as it was originally posted in Dec. of 2011.


Some weeks ago Colleen Wohlgemuth wrote me a sweet e-mail, and requested a recipe for baking powder biscuits. I had been thinking of working on a biscuit recipe that tasted good -- I didn't have one.
So I worked on it with different flours ... and I like the flavour and texture of this biscuit recipe.
You could of course dress it up for the holiday with adding shredded cheese or bacon bits or whatever you desire !
  • 1/4 cup millet flour
  • 1/3 gluten free oat flour
  • 1/4 white corn flour
  • 1/3 cup tapioca flour
  • 3 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp. sugar
  • 1 tsp xanthan gum (or guar gum)
  • 1/4 cup cold butter
  • 1/3 cup milk
  • 2 tbsp. sour cream
  • 1 egg or 2 egg whites
  1. Mix the flours together thoroughly with the other dry ingredients
  2. Cut in the cold butter
  3. Whisk together the egg, milk and sour cream
  4. Stir the liquids gently and quickly into the dry mixture
  5. Drop by tbsp onto greased cookie sheet
  6. Bake at 400 degrees for 15-20 minutes
Enjoy warm from oven - or cold.

Cauliflower Broccoli Salad

Broccoli salad is always a favorite on my list...and today I'm sharing a recipe I got from my sis-in-law many years ago.  It's the perfect dish to take to your next potluck or family gathering.  It's easy enough to switch up as you prefer...adding more or less bacon, onions, sunflower seeds, etc.  If you like a creamier salad, double the dressing.  If you prefer a healthier dressing, replace part of the salad dressing with Greek yogurt.


  • 1 head cauliflower
  • 2 small heads broccoli
  • 1/2 pound bacon
  • 1/2 red onion, chopped
  • 3/4 cup sunflower seeds
  • 1 cup golden raisins or 1 cup red grapes, halved (or some of each)
Dressing:
  • 3/4 cup Miracle Whip salad dressing
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 2 tablespoons vinegar
  1. Cut bacon in small pieces and fry until crisp.  Drain and set aside tocool.
  2. Cut cauliflower and broccoli flowerettes into small bite-sized pieces (discard stems). 
  3. Combine cauliflower, broccoli, bacon pieces, red onion, sunflower seeds and raisins in a large bowl.
  4. Whisk dressing ingredients until smooth. 
  5. Pour over prepared salad ingredients and toss to coat.
  6. Can be prepared ahead and stored in a covered container for several hours. 

Pishkey

I set out to make Kudrishkey for this post but instead the recipe produced something more like a Russian fry bread we call Pishkey. I will try once again in the future to get the Kudrishkey or Kudrey perfected. Kudrey are suppose to be flakey pastry that is more paper thin. This recipe is still easy to make and a nice treat similar to Rollkuchen.
I made a small batch using the following recipe.

  • 1-1/4 cups sifted flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 cup powdered sugar (frosting sugar)
  • 1 tablespoon soft butter
  • 1/2 tablespoon brandy
  • 2 eggs
  • vegetable oil for frying
  • powered sugar for dusting

  1. Sift flour, sugar and salt together.
  2. Cut in butter.
  3. Beat eggs and brandy together well.
  4. Add egg mixture to flour and mix well.
  5. Knead thoroughly.
  6. Divide into two portions keeping one portion covered while working on first portion.
  7. Roll out thin.
  8. Cut strips approx. 2 inches wide and 3 inches long.
  9. Make a slit in the middle of each strip, pulling one end through the slit. 
  10. Continue with second portion and following the same steps.
  11. Fry in hot vegetable oil turning until both sides are light brown.
  12. Drain on paper towels.
  13. Dust with powdered sugar. 
  14. Yield: 20 pishkey

St. Patricks Day ~ Guacamole Deviled Eggs



Happy St. Patricks Day!
Add a touch of green to your dinner table tonight with these delicious Guacamole Filled Eggs.  

  • 6 hard boiled eggs
  • 1 large avocado 
  • 3 teaspoons lime juice
  • 2 tablespoons finely minced red onion
  • 1 jalapeno, finely minced
  • 1 tablespoon finely minced cilantro
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • chili powder for garnish
  1. Cut the hard boiled eggs in half lengthwise and set aside egg yolks for filling. 
  2. In a medium bowl, mash avocado with a fork.  Add egg yolks and continue to mash until smooth.  
  3. Add remaining filling ingredients, taste and season with salt and pepper. 
  4. Alternately for a very smooth filling,  place filling ingredients in a food processor and process until smooth.
  5. Spoon filling into halved egg whites or place filling into a piping bag with large tip of your choice.
  6. Sprinkle lightly with chili powder, garnish with cilantro and refrigerate until ready to serve.

Cinnamon Sugared Donuts


This recipe comes from my sister-in-law, Erika. (Also very similar to one I found in the Mennonite Treasury pg 46) On this post I halved Erika's recipe for a first try and it is a good size, yielding about 30 donuts plus donut holes. If there are teenage boys in the crowd, I'd double it.

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups milk, scalded
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1 cup cold water
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 6 -7 cups flour, divided
  • 1/1/2 Tbsp instant yeast
  • 1 liter / quart oil for cooking
Method:
  1. Scald milk with salt. Add butter to melt and then 1 cup cold water to cool down the hot liquids.
  2. In large mixing bowl, beat eggs and sugar.
  3. Slowly (at first) add warm liquids and vanilla. 
  4. Stir in 2 cups flour and yeast, then the rest of the flour, kneading to make a soft dough. (Sticky but manageable with a dusting of flour.) 
  5. Cover and let rise for half an hour or until double in size.
  6. Divide in half and turn onto floured surface and gently roll out to about 1/2 inch thick. 
  7. Cut with floured donut cutter, and let rest on flour dusted cookie sheets about 15 - 20 minutes.
  8. In heavy fry pan or electric fryer, heat oil to 375 F. (Hint; place a few kernels of popping corn in oil and once they pop the oil is hot)
  9. Fry, turning once and lift out with tongs or two forks onto paper towel lined pan.  
  10. I had a small bowl of cinnamon sugar on hand to dip them, as they came out or while still warm. You can also ice with chocolate frosting and sprinkles ( 3 cups icing sugar, 1 Tbps soft butter, 3 Tbps cocoa and milk to make a spreadable consistency) or dip them in a sugar glaze.



Bread For the Journey




Recently, my husband and I went out to view some property 
my brother was in the process of buying.  
On the way we passed this tree growing against the rock.
 I asked Vic to stop so I could snap a quick photo. 

I was struck by the security the tree gained by leaning against the rock; 
nestled snugly.
No wind or storm could shake it. 
It was so anchored it did not need to support itself on its own strength. 

I immediately saw the analogy. 
 Scripture speaks of believers being 'trees' (Psalm 1:2)  ..
.and we read of how God invites us to be anchored on the Rock.  
We need not depend on our own strength; 
we need not fear the strong winds or shifting sand under our feet.  
        
Think about the tree in my photo, 
then picture yourself as a tree, leaning into God. 
With that in mind, read the following verses....

"There is none holy like the Lord, for there is none beside You, 
Nor is there any ROCK like our God."  
 I Sam 2:2

"The Lord is MY Rock......The God of my strength, in Him will I trust.... 
my stronghold and my refuge... 
My Savior, You save me from violence....." 
II Sam 22:2b,3 

"For in the time of trouble He shall hide me in His pavilion, in the secret place....
He shall hide me, He shall set me high upon a Rock!" 
Ps. 27:5 

 " ......and that Rock was Christ." 
I Cor. 10:4b


Six Minute Soft Boiled Eggs


We have eggs for lunch often on weekdays.  Eggs are not only delicious, they also have excellent nutritional value. One large egg only has 70 calories!  There are several ways to cook a soft boiled egg and I have found that I have the most success with the "six minute egg" method.  The yolk should be creamy soft and the white should be fully cooked.  By keeping the eggs from a hard boil, the whites will be tender but not rubbery. 

Six Minute Soft Boiled Egg Instructions

  1. Bring a pot of water to a slow simmer.  There should be bubbles coming to the surface but not boiling.  Use a spoon to gently place large eggs in the simmering water. 
  2. Set your timer for 6 minutes.  Watch to make sure the water continues to simmer but not boil.
  3. When the timer goes off, remove the eggs and open up the top immediately to reduce further cooking.  


You can tap the top off with a sharp knife or use a little gadgets shown on the right side of the picture.  I bought my egg topper at Cobblestone Kitchenware.  They have several different kinds of egg toppers.   I found this one works just great.   Small spoons and pretty little egg cups makes your plate perfect for a spring breakfast or lunch.

Get cracking!

Wondering about egg nutrition?
I took this graphic from eggs.ca



Cinnamon Twists



It's Flashback Friday...and I am re-posting a recipe that I shared in the early days of our blog.  This recipe was given to me by a friend thirty years ago and is still at the front of my file...hand-written on the original card. Cinnamon twists were always a favorite on picnics and camping trips in days gone by. Let me warn you...it is impossible to eat only one! 


Cinnamon Twists
  • 5 cups flour
  • 2 tablespoons baking powder
  • 1 pound butter or margarine (2 cups)
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup milk
Topping:
  • 6 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  1. Combine flour and baking powder.
  2. Cut in margarine.
  3. Beat eggs slightly with a fork; mix with milk.
  4. Combine with flour mixture to form a soft dough.
  5. Form 10 balls. Cover and chill for several hours.
  6. Sprinkle topping mixture onto working surface.
  7. Roll each ball of dough into a circle (about 9 inches).
  8. Sprinkle with a generous layer of topping.
  9. Cut into 8 crescents. (A pizza cutter works great.)
  10. Roll up to form crescents (from outer edge to inside).
  11. Bake at 325 degrees F for 15 - 20 minutes.
Yield: 80 twists
 


Enjoy!



Squash and Asparagus


Squash and Asparagus are two of my favourite vegetables.
My Daughter in Law gave me a new recipe for roasting squash and I used an old standby for the Asparagus.

For the Squash
  • 1 large Butternut squash
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • salt to taste
  • a pinch cayenne
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil

    1. Preheat oven to 425º F.
    2. Peel the squash.  I find the easiest way to do this is with a good potato peeler.
    3. Cut it in half and remove seeds with a spoon, being sure to get all the bright orange membranes as well.
    4. Using a large knife, cut squash into cubes.  When making this for guests, I only use the uniformly cut cubes and save the uneven bits for soup.
    5. In a large bowl, toss together the brown sugar and cinnamon and seasonings and stir in the olive oil.
    6. Add the squash cubes and stir until all are coated.
    7. Spread squash on parchment paper lined baking sheet and bake at 425º for around 15 minutes or until tender and beginning to brown.
    For the Asparagus
    • 1 bunch Asparagus
    • 1/4 cup water
    • Avocado oil*
    • 1 clove garlic minced
    •  1 tablespoon lemon zest
    1. Trim asparagus ends by snapping them off about 1 inch from the bottom. (there's a debate between snapping and cutting the ends off. I was told if it snaps when bent, you have trimmed away the right amount so that the woody part is discarded and the stalk is tender right to the end)
    2. Put water in shallow pan, add the asparagus, cover  and simmer gently until stalks are bright green and tender when you insert a knife tip into a stalk,   It's better to undercook asparagus than to overcook it.
    3. Drain remaining water from pan and add garlic, a drizzle of Avocado Oil and lemon zest.
    4. Leave on medium heat for just a minute or two to soften the garlic and heat the oil.
    5. Plate the squash and asparagus on a platter and serve.

    *Avocado Oil can be purchased at most grocery stores. It is a silky textured oil with lemon juice added and is delicious drizzled on vegetables or salads.

    Note: I love salt on my food but do not miss it on vegetables like broccoli, asparagus, peas or cauliflower.

    Baked Salmon

    Oven baked salmon fillets is one of our favourite meals. I'm married to a guy who loves to fish and last year was the much awaited for Sockeye season. He had a successful year and I enjoyed the times I went along with a thermos of coffee, book and my camera. I'm happy that my freezer filled up. It's going to be 4 years till the next Sockeye season opens. Together we like coming up with recipes that he can grill on his Big Green Egg grill I can oven bake. Here's a new recipe he found and changed up just a bit to suite our taste. I served it to Sunday lunch guests and got rave reviews. 
    Serves 6-8 adults.
    • 1 whole salmon, filleted (meat once filleted approximately 3 pounds)
    • 1 cup soy sauce
    • 1 whole lemon, juiced
    • 1/4 cup brown sugar
    • 1/4 cup olive oil
    • lemon pepper
    • 1/2 cup maple syrup
    • 1/4 cup butter, melted
    1. Prepare salmon if not already filleted. Place is a 9x13 glass baking pan. (do not use a metal pan)
    2. Mix together soy sauce, lemon juice, brown sugar and olive oil. 
    3. Pour soy sauce mixture over fillets. Cover with plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator to marinade for 3-4 hours. (no longer)
    4. When ready to bake, pour off soy sauce mixture from the fillets and pat fillets dry with paper towel. Sprinkle lightly with lemon pepper.
    5. Melt butter, and add in the maple syrup. Stir to combine and pour over fillets.
    6. Bake uncovered in 375º oven for 20-25 minutes. 

    Mock Potato Salad made with Cauliflower



     A friend of mine recently told me that her husband made a potato salad using cauliflower instead of potatoes. I try to incorporate more vegetables into our meal time but must admit I lack inspiration at times,  so I thought I would make my own version of this salad and see how the family liked it. We liked it, but no one could be fooled and knew that it wasn't potatoes. You can try your favorite potato salad substituting cauliflower in your recipe as well or try this version.
    • 1 large head of cauliflower
    • 4 hard boiled eggs, cut in eighths
    • 1/2 of a small red pepper, finely chopped
    • 2 pickles, diced
    • 4 green onions, sliced
    • 1 teaspoon dijon mustard
    • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
    • 2 tablespoons pickle juice
    • salt, pepper and dried dill to taste
    1. Cut the cauliflower in pieces and cook in an inch of water for about 7 minutes or until tender
    2. Rinse the cauliflower in cold water and drain, using paper towel to dry it well or the salad will get watery. 
    3. Add the remaining ingredients and chill until serving time. 

    Chicken and Ham Casserole For a Crowd


    This comfort meal will be sure to be a hit when you need a main dish for 25 people. 
    The meat is all cooked ahead of time so the casserole just needs heating through before serving.

    • 7 pounds chicken thighs (with skin and bone)
    • 1 1/2 pounds  (750 grams) sliced or diced ham
    • 1 pound (500 grams) sliced swiss cheese
    • 2 pounds broccoli, diced and flowers cut into bite sized pieces
    Sauce
    • 1/2 cup butter
    • 1/2 cup flour
    • drippings from baking chicken (about 2 cups)
    • enough warm milk to make 5 cups with the drippings of the chicken 

    Crumbs
    • 4 cups panko style crumbs  (bread crumbs)
    • 1/2 cup melted butter
    1. Put the chicken in a roasting pan with a cover and roast about 40 minutes at 350.  Allow to cool and then remove the bones and the skin. 
    2. Remove chicken from pan, reserve the drippings in a large measuring cup.  
    3. Dice chicken and place back in roaster and arrange ham  evenly over chicken.
    4. In a large bowl, pour boiling water over bite sized broccoli, cover and let sit 10 minutes.  Drain.
    5. Arrange broccoli evenly over the ham.
    6. Melt the butter in a large saucepan.  Add flour and stir to combine.  
    7. Slowly add the warmed milk and drippings to the combined butter and flour and whisk over medium heat until thickened and bubbly.
    8. Pour sauce over the ingredients in the roaster. 
    9. Cover with cheese.
    10. Combine melted butter and panko style crumbs and sprinkle over the casserole. 
    11. Bake uncovered in a 350 F oven for 1 - 1 1/4 hours or until  hot and bubbly in the center.  
    Serve over hot rice.  





    Bread for the Journey


    Even in the middle of the storm...I can face tomorrow.  God has promised that He will make something good out the troubles that come my way. I have seen Him do just that in the past! So I will trust Him with today's problems. 

    Because He lives, I can face tomorrow
    Because He lives, all fear is gone
    Because I know, He holds the future
    And life is worth the living
    Just because He lives

     And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, 
     for those who are called according to his purpose.
    Romans 8:28 ESV


    Saturday in Bev's kitchen - Muffin tips

    A few tips on baking muffins from my Saturday Kitchen.
    • Prepare muffin tins before mixing muffins. I really like my heavy non stick muffin tins however I still spray each cup lightly with a spray oil and then I use a silicone pastry brush to evenly distribute the oil over the bottom and sides of each cup.
    • When mixing wet and dry ingredients, do not overmix.
    • Unless otherwise instructed, spoon muffin batter into tins right after mixing and immediately place in preheated oven. They will rise best if they are baked immediately. (There are some recipes for muffins that are meant to be refrigerated and then baked later.)
    • If you don't have enough batter to fill all the muffin cups, pour a 1/2 inch of water into the empty cups. This prevents the oiled cup from getting brown and it seems to make a nicer crust on the muffins. 


    • When the muffins are done, remove the pan from the oven and immediately loosen the sides of each muffin. Then tilt each muffin in its cup. This keeps the muffin from sweating and becoming soggy.  After the muffins have cooled this way in the pan for several minutes, remove to a rack. 
    • Muffins freeze well so I often place half of the cooled muffins in a zippered freezer bag for later. Remember to remove all the air from the bag to keep the frost from building and making your muffins soggy.

     Do you have some tried and true tips when making muffins?
     We'd love to have you share them with us.

    Flashback Friday ~Asparagus wrapped in Prosciutto


    This is a very simple appetizer that tastes really good. It would be a good choice for an Easter or other Spring gathering.

    Prepare your asparagus by washing it and trimming it down to the best part of the stalk. Pat the asparagus dry and then wrap a thin piece of prosciutto around each stalk. Place them on a broiler pan under the the broiler flame and watch them carefully. It won't take long for them to be ready to eat. I'm sorry I don't have a specific time to keep them under the flame. Just watch them and when the prosciutto gets a little crispy on the edges you can remove them from the oven. Plate them and watch them disappear. These are good at room temperature, too.
    Enjoy!

    Creamy Mustard Dressed Cauliflower


    Browsing through the Mennonite Treasury of Recipes I came across a recipe called Deviled Cauliflower, which intrigued me. Over he years we've had cauliflower with cheese sauce, or a mayo/vinegar dressing or just plain steamed. This sauce I was looking at called for butter, mustard and spices to which I decided to add a little flour and milk to make it creamier. It was very good. Call it by whatever name you wish.

    Ingredients:
    • 1 head fresh cauliflower
    • 1 tsp salt
    • 1/4 cup butter
    • 1 Tbsp flour
    • 1/3 cup milk (or half milk half water)
    • 2 tsp Dijon mustard
    • 1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
    • 1/4 tsp salt
    • 1/8 tsp pepper
    • dash cayenne of chili powder

     Method:

    1. Wash cauliflower and remove large outward leaves. Set leaves aside for garnish.
    2. Place whole head in a deep medium saucepan with 1 inch water and 1 tsp salt.
    3. Bring to boil and cook for 5 minutes uncovered. Cover and continue cooking on low for 10 - 12 minutes.
    4. Meanwhile, melt butter, blending in the flour and milk. Stir in mustard, (I like the grainy mustard),Worcestershire sauce and seasonings. Bring to boil, while stirring. Just before serving, if it is too thick, add a few Tbsp of the cauliflower water.
    5. Place cauliflower on serving platter with garnish and drizzle with sauce.





    Orange Poppyseed Cheesecake



    I originally posted this recipe on my own blog in 2007 when blogging was still  new to me and before we started Mennonite Girls Can Cook.  Since then, I've updated the method which works really well for me.  This cheesecake is perfect for spring!  

    Vanilla Almond Crust

    • 30 vanilla wafers
    • 3/4 cup sliced almonds
    • 1/4 cup melted butter
    1. Process wafers and almonds in food processor until the crumb is uniform and fine.
    2. Add melted butter, combine and spread evenly into a 9 inch springform pan.
    3. Bake at 350 for 10 minutes. Set aside to cool.  Wrap the outside of pan in heavy foil.

    Orange Poppyseed Cheesecake Filling
    • 2 - 250 gram/8 ounce packages room temperature cream cheese
    • 3/4 cup sugar
    • 4 room temperature eggs
    • 2 1/2 tablespoons flour
    • 1 peeled and sectioned navel orange
    • 1/2 cup whipping cream
    • 2 teaspoons orange finely grated orange zest (about 1 large orange)
    • zest of half a large lemon
    • 2 tablespoons poppy seeds  
    1. Preheat oven to 500.
    2. Beat together cream cheese and sugar in a medium mixing bowl. Add flour and mix well.
    3. Place the orange into a blender and blend well to make a juice.  Add the eggs and whipping cream and blend just until smooth.
    4. Add the cream cheese mixture and pulse until smooth.  Add zests and poppy seeds and pulse several times to combine.
    5. Pour mixture into cooled crust and gently tap the pan onto the counter 10 times to remove the air bubbles.  Let sit 10 minutes and tap a few more times.
    6. Bake for 10 minutes and reduce oven temperature to 200 F.  Do not open oven door.
    7. Bake for another 35 minutes.  As soon as it comes out of the oven, use a sharp knife to carefully slide between the pan and the cheesecake to allow the cheesecake to cool without cracking. 
    8. Cool on wire rack.  After the cheesecake comes to room temperature, refrigerate until ready to serve.
    Orange Glaze
    • 2 eggs
    • 1/2 cup sugar
    • 1 1/2 teaspoons finely grated orange zest
    • zest of half a large lemon
    • 1/4 cup orange juice
    • 1/4 cup lemon juice
    • 2 tablespoons butter
    1. In a small saucepan,  or microwave safe bowl, whisk eggs. Combine sugar, zests and juices and add to eggs.  Microwave one minute, stir and repeat until mixture bubbles and thickens.  Alternately, cook over medium heat, stirring until glaze comes to a bubbles and thickens.
    2. Remove from heat, add butter,  stir well.  Place plastic wrap on surface and chill.
    Serve with Orange Glaze and sweetened whipped cream.


    Smoked Gouda & Ham Quesadilla

    This is a simple and quick meal idea with things that might be in your refrigerator. All you need are flour tortillas, smoked Gouda sliced cheese, and a good quality ham sliced.

    Ingredients:
    Package of soft taco sized flour tortillas.(8inch diameter or smaller)
    Package of Smoked Gouda Cheese slices.
    Black Forest Ham slices.

    Method:
    Place one tortilla in a non-stick pan heated to medium. Cover the tortilla with cheese and then cover the cheese with ham. Place another tortilla on top. After the bottom tortilla is browned nicely and the cheese has begun to melt flip the whole tortilla over. Heat till this side is browned nicely. Flip out onto cutting board and cut into triangles with a pizza cutter.
    To enhance your meal serve with salsa and some nice greens topped with avocado.