Bread for the Journey


"We have an anchor that keeps the soul,
steadfast and sure while the billows roll.
Fastened to the rock which cannot move,
Grounded firm and deep in the Saviour's love".
(words from a hymn penned in 1882 by Pricilla James Owen)

This hymn was inspired by the verses in Hebrews 6:19-20.


"This hope we have as an anchor of the soul, both sure and steadfast, and which enters the Presence behind the veil, where the forerunner has entered for us, even Jesus, having become High Priest forever..."


Margs Favorite Kitchen Gadgets.


It's Saturday and it's finally warmed up out here in the valley.  What better treat  than to invite  a friend over and sip on a glass of fresh lemonade as you sit outside on your patio enjoying the warm summer days. It's time for wide open windows, and glowing fire pits in the evenings.

 I think we all remember our mothers hauling out the glass juicer and squeezing lemons.   I remember my mother squeezing lemon juice making a fresh nourishing drink especially after a long day of haymaking. I don't think that in this day and age many of us would take the time or energy to make large batches of lemonade. Let's be honest, it takes awhile to squeeze a dozen lemons or limes. 

I have found a new gadget, called a citrus squeezer and it can be bought in almost any kitchen store.  I chose to purchase the stainless steel gadget...yes it's more expensive, but after handling the various styles, I realized the quality was hard to beat. This has become one of my favorites, as many recipes call for lemon juice and there's nothing better than freshly squeezed juice.

A single serving...for fresh lemonade.

2 tablespoons granulated sugar
1/4 cup hot/boiling water
2  fresh squeezed lemon
1/2 cup ice 
1 1/2 cups water

Stir together hot water and sugar until the sugar is dissolved.
Stir in lemon juice and cold water and lots of ice.
You can adjust the sugar amounts, but I prefer it tart.

 
I've also learned to enjoy the citrus zester which allows you to garnish any dish.
It's a must in my kitchen especially when adding garnish to any salad or meat plate.

Another favorite is this special gift, and I never knew how much I would use it.
I love it's vintage look, so it has found it's  home on my kitchen window sill.
It's a a twist of burlap twine ready to be used for any last minute gift wrapping ideas.

 You can quickly wrap up a dish towel or put a final touch to your glass of lemonade.
It has endless possibilities.
You can find this or a similar version at Crate and Barrel.

 Enjoy this day!
Minimal juicing and maximum enjoyment.
Remember when life throws you a lemon, make lemonade.

Cheese Straws - Gluten Free

For this Flash Back Friday, I was browsing through some of my first posted recipes and wondered at how quickly the last seven years have flown by.

I recently redid my Cheese Straws recipe using my own flour mix and found that the dough was much easier to handle.





  • 3/4 cup Julie's Flour Mix 
  • 1/4 cup potato starch (not flour) 
  • 1/2 tsp xanthan gum 
  • 1 tsp dry mustard 
  • 1/2 tsp salt 
  • 1/2 cup butter 
  • 1 cup grated sharp cheddar cheese 
  • 1 tsp gluten free Worcestershire sauce 
  • 3 tbsp water 
  • sweet rice flour for handling dough
  1. Blend together all dry ingredients in mixing bowl 
  2. Cut in butter and cheese until mixture crumbs are uniform 
  3. Stir Worchestershire sauce into the water 
  4. Add liquids to flour mixture and using your hands work into a dough ball (use a little more water if necessary) 
  5. Dust working surface with sweet rice flour and roll dough into a thin sheet (about 1/8 inch thick)   Covering the dough with plastic wrap makes the rolling easy. 
  6. Cut into strips 1/2 inch wide by 6 or 6 inches long (longer is too difficult to twist since gf dough is not stretchy) 
  7. Holding the strip in your left hand twirl it into a tube with your other hand.  You might find it easier to do another way .
  8. Place twists on a parchment covered baking sheet 
  9. Bake at 425 degrees for about 10 minutes.  Do not over bake. 



Matrimony Squares - gluten free



We have neighbors who spend the winter months in Yuma and they brought me a gift when they returned home this spring -  a box of dates bought on the farm where they were grown.
So delicious !
I made matrimony squares with them and of course, made them gluten free.

Filling

  • 3 1/2 - 4  cups dates - pitted and chopped 
  • 1 1/2 cups water 
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice 
  • 2 tablespoons brown or golden sugar 
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda 
Crumbs
  • 2 1/4 gluten free oak flakes 
  • 1 1/4 cup Julie's Flour Mix or your favorite GF  all purpose mix 
  • 1  cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 tsp xanthan gum (unless you are using a mix that includes it) 
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder 
  • 1 cup butter 
  • 1 package vanilla sugar
Method
  1. Cook the filling until it is a soft, smooth, spreadable mixture (add more water if needed)
  2. Remove from stove and let cool slightly while you prepare the crumbs.
  3. Mix all dry ingredients together, then cut in butter until you have uniform crumbs. 
  4. Place half of the crumbs into a 9 x 12 baking dish.
  5. Pat crumbs down and then cover with the date filling 
  6. Cover with remaining crumbs and pat down. 
  7. Bake at 350 degrees until lightly browned - about 30 - 40 minutes. 
  8. Let cool completely before cutting. 



Orange Dreamsicle Punch


It doesn't get much simpler than this!  This punch is always a hit...and pretty-as-a-picture as well.  Somehow it stirs up memories of warm summer days and refreshing orange floats of yesteryear...but it is perfect served at showers and parties any season of the year.

  • 2 L Sprite
  • 1 L orange sherbet, slightly softened
  1. Pour sprite into large punch bowl.
  2. Add scoops of sherbet. 
  3. Stir gently to produce foam.
 


Baked Potato Sticks


These potato sticks were quite delicious dipped in sriracha mayo, this spicy mayo will wake up your taste buds. You can buy this mayo but it's just as good making your own by mixing mayo and sriracha sauce to your liking. Ketchup for dipping is always a good choice too.
  • 2 large white baking potatoes
  • 2 egg whites
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 2 tablespoons grated parmesan cheese
  1. Wash and scrub potatoes.
  2. Cut potatoes lengthwise in 1/4" sticks. I used my handy dandy mandoline for this.
  3. Soak potato sticks in cold water for 30 minutes.
  4. Drain and pat potatoes as dry as possible using paper towels or teatowels.
  5. In a large bowl whisk egg whites, salt, pepper, garlic powder and grated parmesan cheese just until combined.
  6. Add potatoes and toss to coat.
  7. Place in single layer in a large baking pan coated with nonstick cooking spray.
  8. Bake uncovered in 400º oven for 25 minutes or until tender and golden brown in color. Turn potatoes over halfway through baking.
  9. Yield: 4 servings. Great served with burgers, hotdogs, fish or steak.


Pink Grapefruit Vinaigrette


This light refreshing blended grapefruit vinaigrette is one of my favourite summer flavours.  The dressing whips up in seconds in your blender and then can be drizzled over your salad just before serving.  I buy a box of pink grapefruit in cups with juice in the refrigerator section at the big box store. It keeps in the refrigerator for quick treats and for this dressing.

Dressing ingredients
  • 2/3 cup pink grapefruit
  • 1/3 cup pink grapefruit juice
  • 1/4 cup tarragon vinegar
  • 1/2 teaspoon dry mustard
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/3 cup oil
  1. Place all ingredients in blender jar and process until smooth.  Transfer dressing to a jar with a lid and refrigerate.
Salad ingredients
  • spinach
  • red or sweet white onion rings
  • sliced cucumber
  • avocado slices
  • pink grapefruit sections
  1. Layer spinach, onion rings, avocado slices and grapefruit sections in that order.  Toss just before serving.
  2.  Give the dressing a good shake and drizzle over salad just before serving.


Bread for the Journey


Why did God make flowers? 

Have you every wondered?  
Other than feeding the birds and the bees, 
- which could have been easily accomplished with one kind and colour of flower -  
what purpose do flowers fill in God's creation?  
The profusion of colour and variety and  blooms beyond every conceivable design 
seems to be exorbitant, doesn't it?  
Oh yes, we can give the theologically correct answer that God created them for His glory ....
 but ... is there maybe another purpose?   

I love spring,
and I love buying and planting flowers in my pots and flower beds.
Even though I do not have a green thumb,
 joy springs up within me 
every time I look at a new flower bud that opens. 
It was recently as I was enjoying a bouquet I picked from my own blooms  
that the insight flashed into my mind that God created flowers to give us joy!  
Do we not give flowers for every joyful occasion and for no reason at all 
with the intent to delight someone? 

Is it not God's will that we live in joy?
It is, after all, on the list of  the fruit of the Spirit. (Gal.5:22)
  
 Why??
Even medical science has now verifiable proof that joy restores the strength and health of bones,
and that joyful people recover twice as fast after surgery.
 Joy restores health to our body and our soul and lifts our spirit into heavenly places ! 
 Is there anyone who does not desire to feel 'joy' ? 
When a beautiful flower makes you smile with the joy it sparks in your heart , 
do you stop to think you are pleasing God?
 **
Joy, you may ask,  in a world that is falling apart?   
A world that is full of sorrow and evil and daily disasters and suffering?    
Joy is not happiness. 
 Happiness is directly related to circumstance.  
 Joy is related to hope and faith in what cannot be destroyed. 
As believers we have a fountain of joy springing up from 
our faith in a God who has poured out His  blessings upon us.

 He has given us the sure hope that when this earthly life is over ,
when this earth itself is destroyed,
 He has a new heaven and a new earth awaiting us -  
 one that is filled with perfection and joy - where we will live in His presence
for evermore !!!  

Every flower is a reminder ....  Joy!
  "For you shall go out with joy,
 And be led out with peace; 
The mountains and the hills Shall break forth into singing before you, 
And all the trees of the field shall clap their hands. 
Isaiah 55:12

Recipe Pie Plates


I'm wondering how many readers happen to be holding on to a recipe pie plate such as this. I have two, which are probably from the 1980's. It dawned on me recently that I have used these plates over and over for many a pie but never tried the recipe printed on the plate. So this was my new challenge.


You want to be sure to copy the recipe before you start. Take a picture or something, because you don't want to undo what you've started if you need to check the recipe. This quiche was pretty good. I think next time I would bake the crust for about 10 minutes before adding the filling. I also had to bake it about 10 minutes longer than specified. It was a nice light tasting filling.


 Here is the recipe - I doubt there is a copyright on it.



My other pie plate has a cherry pie recipe. It was delicious.


 I used frozen, pitted dark, sweet cherries from Costco. 


And . . . the recipe

What recipe do you have on your pie plate?

Mexican Potato Casserole



It's Flashback Friday and I'm re-posting a recipe that was published here in August of 2008.  It originated in a local church cookbook and became a favorite at our house.  I often increase amounts and prepare in a larger casserole.  

Mexican Potato Casserole
  • 4 medium potatoes, with peel
  • 2 Tablespoons butter
  • 2 1/2 Tablespoons taco seasoning
  • 1/2 pound lean ground beef
  • 1/4 cup chopped onion
  • 1 cup salsa (medium or hot)
  • 1/2 cup chopped peppers (red, green or yellow)
  • 1 cup grated Monterey Jack cheese (or a Tex-Mex blend cheese)
  1. Cut potatoes into bite-size pieces and place in greased casserole dish.
  2. Melt butter...stir in taco seasoning.
  3. Pour over the potatoes and stir to coat well.
  4. Bake uncovered at 425°F for 30 minutes.
  5. Stir...bake 15-20 minutes longer.
  6. Brown and crumble beef; add onion and cook until soft...then drain.
  7. Stir in salsa.
  8. Pour over potatoes.
  9. Sprinkle with chopped peppers.
  10. Top with grated cheese.
  11. Bake uncovered for 10 minutes.
  12. Serve with additional salsa and sour cream.


Chocolate Peanut Butter dessert





Do you like peanut butter and chocolate together?  
This creamy dessert is laden with both and is easily made ahead.
One note: In the pictures, you'll see I used peanut butter wafer bars to sprinkle 
between the layers and on top. 
I usually use peanut butter cups but thought the crunch of the wafer bars would be a nice change 
 However, I found that the wafers absorb the moisture of the puddings and don't stay crunchy.  
So my recommendation is to use the peanut butter cups instead.
For the Crust:
  • 1 1/2 cups chocolate wafer crumbs
  • 1/3 cup melted butter
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  1. Mix all ingredients together and press into a 9" x 9"pan.  
  2. Refrigerate while you prepare the peanut butter layer.

For the Peanut Butter Layer:

  • 8 ounce package cream cheese, softened
  • 3/4 cup icing sugar *
  • ½ cup creamy peanut butter 
  • 2 cups whipping cream 
  • 1/4 cup icing sugar * (second amount)
  • 15 miniature or 6-7 regular Reeces’s Peanut butter cups, chopped
  1. In large bowl, beat together  the cream cheese, 3/4 cup of the icing sugar and the peanut butter.
  2. In another bowl, whip the cream with 1/4 cup icing sugar.
  3. Fold in ½ of the Whipped Cream into the cream cheese mixture. Continue folding until all the white streaks are gone.
  4. Spread on crust.   
  5. Sprinkle liberally with chopped Peanut butter cups.  Chill.
* You can add up to 1 cup icing sugar to the cream cheese and 1/2 cup to the whipping cream if you like it sweeter.

For the Chocolate Layer:
  • 1 cup cold milk
  • 1  3.9 ounce package Chocolate instant pudding 
  • whipped cream remaining from the Peanut Butter Layer
  1.  Beat together milk and pudding mix on low for 2 minutes.  
  2. Fold in rest of whipped cream.   
  3. Spread carefully over peanut butter cups.  
  4. Top with remaining Oreo crumbs.  
  5. Refrigerate until serving.  (at least 2 hours)
Note: This recipe can be adapted to make a chocolate trifle if desired..
Simply layer chocolate cake pieces with peanut butter filling, chocolate filling and chopped peanut butter cups in a large glass bowl or individual dessert dishes. Top with whipped cream and more peanut butter cups.


It's every bit as decadent as it looks.  Enjoy!

Bacon Wrapped Burger Bowls



Summer is just around the corner and here in the Fraser Valley we had a gorgeous Victoria Day long weekend. Monday night after being on the lake for a good part of the day we came home and put these delicious little filled burger bowls on our grill. 
I came across this recipe through Chef Dez. Some of us girls first met Chef Dez when we signed up for a cooking class he was doing at Lepp Farm Market. It was shortly after this class that MGCC started doing cooking classes at Lepp's. If you live in the area or are passing through make sure you stop by to check out their market with all the new local produce and great meat counter selections. 
We stopped in their this week to pick up some of the ingredients for these burgers.

  • 1 1/2 pounds lean ground beef
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped or grated sweet white onion
  • 1 seeded and grated fresh jalapeno (optional)
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp pepper
  • 1 tsp montreal steak spice
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 4 tbsp panko bread crumbs
  • 4 tbsp BBQ sauce
  • 4 strips bacon
  • 1/2 cup thinly sliced mushrooms
  • 1 cup peppers, chopped coarse
  • 1/4 cup onion diced
  • olive oil
  • 8 slices cheese of your choice, Cheddar, provolone, jack or any others you like. (We used provolone as it really pairs nice with mushrooms)
Burgers assembled and going on the grill.
  1. Mix together burger with next 7 ingredients.
  2. Shape into 4 large meat balls. 
  3. Using a can or cup press down in the middle, forming a bowl shape with each meat ball. Pull can away and shape so the sides and bottom are all equal in depth of meat. 
  4. Pre cook bacon just until it begins to sizzle. Remove and let cool. This is just to give it a bit of a head start. It will still be raw.
  5. Wrap one piece of cooled bacon around each burger bowl. and secure with a tooth pick.
  6. Add a small amount of olive oil to a fry pan and add mushrooms, peppers and onions. Saute until they are just beginning to get tender.
  7. Lay one slice of cheese in the bottom of each burger shaped bowl. Top with sauteed veggies. 
  8. Heat grill to 350º. Cook burger bowls for approximately 30-40 minutes or until bacon and burger is cooked. Because you do not flip these burgers make sure you check the burgers every 15 minutes to insure their is not an open flame beneath them, causing them to burn. You may want to move them to an indirect cooking spot on your grill of this is happening. 
  9. Top with another piece of cheese for the last 10 minutes of grilling.
  10. Serve alone or with a char grilled garlic toast, lettuce and tomato wedges or a salad. 

Here's a photo I found in my archives of four of us with Chef Dez at Lepp's. It was a fun class and we watched one of their 'real chef's' in the kitchen as we just embarking on our own classes at Lepp's. 
We've had so many great opportunities through MGCC.

Chilliwack Schmoo Cake gluten free


I guess I was craving a decadent dessert the day Charlotte posted her recipe for Schmoo Torte.  K
Needing it be gluten-free I did some googling research 
and learned that this dessert is truly credited to Winnipeg,Manitoba. 
I can understand that a place that still has snow in May 
might need to be comforted with dessert !  

Since I 'designed' this recipe to be gluten-free I took the liberty to rename my version of Schoo Cake  after my own city ....Chilliwack....   This cake is on my favorite dessert list and judging from the complements from friends and family to whom it was served I will definitely be making it again !

Cake 

  • 10 lg. egg whites 
  • 10 lg egg yolks 
  • 1 1/2 cups white sugar (divided)
  • 2 tsp vanilla 
  • 1/2 tsp cream of tartar 
  • 1/2 cup Julie's Flour Mix 
  • 1/3 cup white rice flour 
  • 1/2 tsp xanthan gum 
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • toasted pecans, filling and Caramel Sauce
  1. Beat egg whiltes with the cream of tartar until foamy, then add 1/2 of the sugar beating until stiff peaks form.  Set aside. 
  2. Beat egg yolks with remaining sugar and vanilla until thick and creamy (will take 3-5 minutes) 
  3. Mix dry incredients well and add to egg yoks 
  4. Using a spatula fold egg whites into the batter. (folding some of the mixture into the egg whites first and then adding the mixture into the remaining egg whites helps to mix evenly) 
  5. Spoon batter into a tube pan that has the bottom lined with parchment paper.
  6. Bake for about an hour at 350 degrees. 
  7. Invert to cool 
  8. When completely cooled cut into three layers. Spread filling on layers and reassemble.   Frost cake with remaining filling and decorate with toasted pecans and drizzle with warm Caramel Sauce --
  9. Serve each slice with extra Caramel Sauce !!!!  
Filling 
  1. 3 cups whipping cream 
  2. 3 tsp instant vanilla pudding 
  3. 1/4 cup icing sugar 
Beat whipping cream with pudding powder and icing sugar until stiff 

Caramel Sauce 
  • 3/4 cup butter 
  • 1 1/2 cups brown sugar 
  • 1 cup whipping cream 
  • 1 tsp vanilla 
  1. In saucepan on medium heat melt butter 
  2. Add the sugar and bring to a boiling point
  3. Stir in the whipping cream and vanilla 
  4. Turn heat to low and simmer for about 20 minutes 
  5. Cool sauce (it will thicken more as it cools) and  store in fridge until needed. 
  6. It can be reheated in microwave for serving if desired. 

Roasted Potato and Jalapeno Pepper Soup


I'm trying my best to use the bumper crop of last years Jalapenos up.
This easy soup makes a great starter soup with a mexican meal.

  • 4 large Jalapeno Peppers, halved and seeded (leave the seeds in if you like it hot)
  • 4 cups cubed potatoes
  • 1 large diced onion
  • 1/2 bulb garlic (slice off the top of the bulb to expose the tops of the cloves and leave skin on)
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon oregano
  • 1 litre chicken broth
  • salt and pepper to taste
  1. Place peppers, potatoes, onions, garlic with seasonings in a roasting pan and place in a 400 F oven until the potatoes are tender and onions begin to brown. 
  2. Squeeze soft garlic out of the skins and discard skins. 
  3. Place roasted vegetables in blender jar and add chicken broth or equivalent bouillon paste with water. 
  4. Process until smooth.  Pour into a pot and keep warm until ready to serve.
  5. Garnish with sour cream and salad style crispy tortilla strips. 




Bread for the Journey



“Keep this Book of the Law always on your lips; meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written in it. Then you will be prosperous and successful.” (Joshua 1:8 NIV)

We worked through a series of lessons with our small group recently...all about getting into the Bible and having God's Word transform our lives.  What really struck home with me was the session about meditating on God's Word.  How do we meditate?  Did you know that a synonym for meditation is rumination?  I happen to know that term quite well, being familiar with life on a dairy farm. Rumination is what a cow does when she chews her cud. The dairy cows love to line up at their 'buffet table' and dig in.  But that's not the end of the story.  Then they go lie down...bring up the partially digested grass and chew on it some more.  And then they chew on it some more.  For about eight hours. Now that is a lot of chewing.

Biblical meditation is kind of like that.  It is digesting God's Word by thinking it over...again and again. It is the process of getting every ounce of spiritual nutrition out of the Scriptures. God wants us to chew on it, digest it, and then chew on it some more.

So what does that mean to me?  Read the Bible.  Think about what I am reading.  Think about it again and again throughout the day. Hide it in my heart! The more I read God’s Word and digest it thoroughly and completely...the greater my chances are of obeying and applying it to my life.

For the Bible to be more than 'a textbook'....we must first read it. Then think on it. And think some more. Meditate. 

Saturday in Bev's Kitchen - New Items from my Pantry.



I find it interesting the way our tastes and food choices evolve and develop as we get older.
If I look back over the years I can see how things have changed since I was a child and aware of the food served to me.
I think the first "new" thing  I remember my mother using was mushrooms.  She was the only one that enjoyed them at first  but later I grew to like the canned mushrooms. Now I only buy the fresh mushrooms - never the canned ones.
It will date me, I know but I remember when the first Pizza restaurant opened up  in our city and how excited we were to be able to buy those first make at home Pizza "kits".
When my children were young, Chinese food was something I learned to make.
Mexican food came even later.
Now we have so many products and such a variety of ingredients available to us.
Fresh vegetables and fruits we'd never even heard of way back when are now part of our daily diet.
I was thinking about all this the other day and decided to share a few "new to me" ingredients
that I now use regularly.


Have you noticed the Oil and Vinegar tasting rooms that have sprung up in our larger urban areas?
I was introduced to one in the town of Fairhaven WA by my Daughter in Law recently and found an incredible array of oils and vinegars to choose from. 
Two that have become favourites are the Tarragon and Basil infused olive oils. Lovella's Pomegranate Spinach Salad uses both these oils.
My sister introduced me to Avocado Oil with Lemon Zest.  It adds a lovely flavour when you drizzle it over Asparagus or use it to dress a salad.
I've only recently started using Grapeseed Oil.  It is lighter in texture and flavour than Olive oil and is wonderful added to salad dressings.


I remember when the only vinegar I knew was white vinegar.  Later I was introduced to Cider Vinegar and Malt Vinegar.  Now there are a variety of vinegars limited only by our imaginations.
In the oil and vinegar tasting room I mentioned, I found so many varieties of balsamic vinegars I had a hard time choosing which one to buy.  After tasting a myriad of them, I chose the Grapefruit White Balsamic Vinegar to take home with me.  I will be getting more the next time I visit that store.  I use it on salads with a little grapeseed oil mixed in, I've made a glaze for halibut and prawns and it's wonderful drizzled on fresh fruit or even ice cream. Rice vinegar adds a light tang to Asian dishes and marinades and Balsamic vinegar is good on almost anything - vegetables like green beans and asparagus, salads, watermelon, sharp cheese, marinades, foccacia bread - the list goes on.  The Balsamic Reductions or Glazes are a sweeter and more intense option.  I add a teaspoon to the pan when sauteing fresh button mushrooms in butter and serve them with grilled steak. It's also amazing as a drizzle over tomato topped bruschetta or just sliced fresh tomatoes.
 Mmm - good! 


Freeze dried herbs are another addition to my pantry.  They can be found in the produce section of your supermarket and are a fine substitution for fresh herbs when you don't have them on hand.


A few other items I've been using more often now are the sun dried tomatoes that are in a flavour sealed pouch.  They are moister and fresher tasting than many of the dried ones and 
without all the oil of the ones packed in a jar.
Roasted Red Peppers add flavour to so many things - Anneliese's Artichoke and Roasted Pepper Dip and  my Breakfast Bake with Roasted Red Peppers and Farmer Sausage both use these.  You can easily roast the red peppers yourself but it is handy to have a jar on the shelf for
 last minute meal options.
I'll be posting a Mediterranean Salad with a Honey Dijon Dressing soon that uses Capers.  The ones I buy are pickled in a brine and add interest to salads, grilled meats and dressings.
Fire roasted canned tomatoes have an added depth of flavour. I use them in  
Finally, I found the tubs of Stock Boullion  recently in the soup aisle of my local grocery store.  The taste isn't as artificial as some of the boullion cubes and it seems to have much less salt content. Again they are a handy option when making gravies and casseroles.

We are so lucky to have such a variety of ingredients available to us.
Do you have some favourite items new to your kitchen?  
Let us know about them.  Sometimes that's all it takes to make a new favourite dish.

Applesauce Raspberry Jello



For Flashback Friday I re-visited my Applesauce Raspberry Jello that was first published in 2009. I added a few options in presentation this time around including the parfait version above.You can use a parfait presentation or a simple square pan presentation to enjoy this easy dessert or side salad dish.

 Applesauce-Raspberry Jello

1 - 3oz. pkg. raspberry jello
1 cup hot water
1 - 10-oz. pkg. frozen raspberries
1 - Cup applesauce
1 - Cup sour cream
1 - Cup miniature marshmallows

Dissolve Jello in hot water. Add frozen raspberries and blend carefully. Add applesauce. Pour into 9-inch square pan. Chill until set. Combine sour cream and marshmallows and spread over top of set Jello. Cover and Chill. Serves 6-8. If you want to present this dish in an individual parfait glass do not spread the sour cream mixture on top of the set jello. Keep it separate and layer the ingredients.

  I have doubled this recipe and put it in a 9 x 13 pan. It's a refreshingly cool salad!
If you aren't fond of marshmallows omit them and add a tablespoon or two of sugar to your sour cream.
You can also just put a dollop of the sour cream mixture on top of the jello squares instead of spreading the topping completely over the jello.

Fish Tacos with Broccoli Slaw


For this recipe I'd like to high light the beer battered frozen cod fillets available at Neufeld Farms. It's a tasty meal you can have on the table in 20 minutes and feel like you were treated for dinner on a sea side patio. If you do not live in the vicinity, try your favorite ready to cook fillets, baked or pan fried. This recipe serves 4 adults.

Ingredients:
  • 10 3 oz frozen, battered cod fillets
  • 10 small/medium size flour tortillas
Slaw:
  • 4 cups broccoli slaw mix (home shredded or packaged)
  • 1 ripe avocado
  • 4 Tbsp mayonnaise
  • 4 Tbsp sour cream
  • juice of one lime
  • 2 - 3  Tbsp cilantro or parsley, finely chopped
  • 2 Tbsp green onion, chopped
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 mango, sliced (optional)
Method:
  • Line baking pan with foil and bake fillets at 400 F for 20 minutes or according to package instructions.
  • Meanwhile, mix the dressing for the slaw by mashing the avocado with a fork, then mixing in the mayonnaise, sour cream, lime juice, cilantro, green onion, salt and pepper. Mix into shredded broccoli. 
  • Peel and slice mango
  • Warm the tortillas by heating a medium non-stick frying pan over medium heat. Add 1 tortilla at a time, flipping to warm both sides. Stack on serving plate
  • Enjoy! (let each person fill warm shells with a fillet, slightly separated to spread, a serving of slaw and a slice of mango.)

Iced Oatmeal Pecan Cookies


I love all cookies, some better than others. Oatmeal cookies are always a hit and these were wonderful, a little crispy on the edges and chewy in the middle. You can omit the coffee flavored glaze but why would you:)
  • 1 cup butter
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 1 1/2 cups flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 3 cups quick cooking oats (I used 2 cups quick cooking and 1 cup old fashioned oats)
  • 3/4 cup pecans, finely chopped
  1. Cream butter and sugars till fluffy, after 2 minutes it was fluffy and creamy.
  2. Add eggs, and vanilla. Mix until well combined.
  3. Whisk together flour, baking soda, and salt. Stir into creamed mixture.
  4. Stir in oats and pecans.
  5. Drop by spoonfuls on parchment lined cookie sheets, flatten slightly and to make the cookies more uniform shape into round circles with your fingers.
  6. Bake in 350º oven for 10 to 12 minutes, just until edges turn golden brown.
  7. Cool slightly and spread with coffee flavored glaze..1cup icing sugar and enough brewed coffee to make a slightly thin glaze.
  8. These cookies freeze well. Bake a batch or two for the freezer. Handy to pack in lunches or when you crave something sweet with your coffee. Good 'milk dunkers' too.

Banana Chocolate Chip Loaf


This recipe will make two medium sized moist loaves, one to keep and one to share.


Keep the loaf well wrapped for up to a  few weeks in the refrigerator.

  • 2 1/3 cups mashed banana (about 4 large bananas)
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup melted butter
  • 1/3 cup buttermilk
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 cups chocolate chips
  • 1 1/2 cups  walnuts (chop them if you want fine pieces)
  1. Preheat oven to 350 F.
  2. Chop walnuts and set aside.
  3. Prepare two 8 1/2 X 4 1/2 inch loaf pans by lining with parchment paper.
  4. Mash banana in a large bowl.  Beat in egg and melted butter until well blended.  Stir in buttermilk
  5. Stir together dry ingredients and stir into wet ingredients until evenly moistened.
  6. Stir in chocolate chips and walnuts and divide between the two pans.
  7. Bake for 40 - 45 minutes or until toothpick tests clean. 
  8. Remove from pan to cool on a wire rack.





Bumble Berry Pie

Throughout the fall and winter months I'm always happy to be able to take frozen fruit from my freezer. It's time to finish up the last of the berries in the freezer as soon we'll be picking this years crop. I love baking pies, and any mixture works well, but my favourite when it comes to a bumble berry pie is the trio of blackberries, blueberries and raspberries. Take a look at our recipe index under pies to find a wonderful assortment of pies and pastries. Many are very similar with just a wee difference in measurements. There are lots of tips and secrets there too for perfect pie making. The amounts in this recipe are for a deep dish pie.
  • pie crust for one double crust deep dish pie plate
  • 7-8 cups total of mixed berries, blackberries, blueberries, raspberries
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 1 1/2 tbsp cornstarch 
  • 1 1/2 tbsp instant tapioca
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  1. Roll out pie dough and line deep dish pie plate.
  2. Mix together berries and remaining ingredients.
  3. Pile berry mixture into pie crust.
  4. Roll out pasty for top crust and lay over berries. 
  5. Trim and pinch edges. Cut slits on top. 
  6. Bake in pre heated 375º oven for 60-70 minutes until juice from berries bubbles thick.