Saturday, October 31, 2015

Roasted Pumpkin Seeds on a Cedar Plank

Roasted pumpkin seeds. One of the my favourite fall treats.

Here we are on the last day of October. Each season has it's own beauty, but I particularly love turning the pages of my calendar to welcome in fall. Nature's changing colours, the crunching of leaves under foot, pumpkin spice lattes, corn maze and pumpkin farm fun with our grandchildren, the last camping of the year, evenings around the crackling bon fire, and roasted pumpkin seeds....a crunchy salty treat that bring back childhood memories. 

In order to enjoy some of these tasty little seeds you'll need to go and find yourself a pumpkin.
Who knew that inside a pumpkin awaits a nutritional treat.

It's actually quite simple to roast pumpkin seeds, so I'll just show you the few steps. Cut the top off your pumpkin and scooped out all the little seeds, trying to leave behind as much of the slimy stringy stuff. 

Place the seeds into a deep bowl and add tap water. Seeds will float to top and the little bits of the slimy stringy stuff that remained amongst the seeds will sink. While this separation process is happening, take a few minutes to put a smile on your pumpkin. 

Using a slotted spoon skim out the cleaned seeds floating on top of the water and place in a colander to drain. Dab dry with some paper towel....they will still be a bit slippery and wet feeling, but that's fine.  Next,  pour the cleaned seeds into a bowl and very sparingly drizzle with olive oil and stir around. Salt generously. I used a specialty salt  called Sabrosa this time, but regular table salt or sea salt work well. You can also be adventuresome and add others spices.

 When I was a kid my mom roasted pumpkin seeds on a cookie sheet in the oven which I have typically done as well  but this time we used decided to soak a cedar plank and roast them on the plank on our Big Green Egg grill. While the grill was heating to 350º I made a little foil 'fence' so the seeds would stay on the plank when I stirred them during the roasting. I placed the oiled and salt seasoned seeds on the soaked plank and placed the plank on the grill. I set my timer for 10 minute intervals and gave the seeds a stir each time I checked on them.
Baking seeds on a cedar plank takes approximately 25-35 minutes. The last 15 minutes check them every 3-4 minutes to make sure they don't burn.

The inside of a pumpkin seed actually bakes faster than the outside, so once they begin to turn golden, you have to watch them carefully. During the last 10 minutes of roasting taste test to make sure the insides are not burnt tasting. This is the only tricky part to these crispy little treats turning out to perfection.
Once roasted, remove plank from grill and slide roasted seeds off  plank and allow to cool to a crunch.

I can almost guarantee there will be none left to store, but if there are, store in a glass airtight container.

Friday, October 30, 2015

Chocolate Beet Cupcakes ~ Flashback Friday

I first posted this recipe in 2012.  While I was harvesting the last of our beets from our garden I was reminded of it and thought it was worth sharing once more. We've been picking beets out of our garden and roasting them and then using the leftover roasted beets in creative ways. These moist delicious chocolate cupcake that will have your family wondering what the secret ingredient is.
  • 1/3 cup unsweetened  cocoa
  • 3 cups flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 3/4 cup pureed beets (that have been roasted in foil drizzled with olive oil.. until very tender)
  • 1/4 cup canola oil
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 1 can cherry cola (not diet)
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line 24 muffin cups with large cupcake liners.
  2. Mix together the dry ingredients and put it through a sieve into a large bowl.
  3. In another large bowl combine the beets, oil, eggs and sugar.  Beat well until combined.
  4. Slowly pour in the cola and let the foam settle down.  Add the buttermilk and vanilla.
  5. Slowly fold in the dry ingredients until the mixture is well combined.
  6. Fill the paper liners 2/3 full and bake about 15 minutes.  Test with a toothpick to be sure it is clean.
Make a simple frosting by beating together 1 envelope Dream Whip and one 4 serving size chocolate instant pudding and 1 1/2 cups milk.  Once it is starting to thicken, add 1/2 cup whipping cream.  Once the cupcakes are cooled swirl with frosting and top with a cherry.  Topping them with simple whipped cream is also beautiful and delicious....but don't forget the cherry on top!


Thursday, October 29, 2015

Twisted Cinnamon Roll


Take yeast bread dough, sugar and cinnamon, twist it any way you like and I'm in, especially on a cool day with a cup of coffee. When I saw this recipe made with pizza dough I decided to just use a smaller variation of my French Bread dough. Whatever favorite recipe you use, and whichever way you twist it, you can't go wrong. This cinnamon roll is perfect for sharing around the table. Serves 6

Ingredients:
  • 2 Tbsp sugar
  • 2 Tbsp oil
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 Tbsp instant yeast
  • 1 cup hot tap water
  • 2 cups flour
filling and frosting:
  • 4 Tbsp butter, divided
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 cup confectioners/icing sugar
  • 2 Tbsp milk
  • 1 tsp maple extract (optional)
Method:
  1. In mixing bowl, mix in order given, adding flour bit by bit stirring with wooden spoon until almost all of the flour is incorporated. 
  2. Dust with flour or brush with oil and knead by hand until smooth. You can also use a Kitchen Aid mixer with hook.
  3. Cover bowl with tea towel and plastic bag and let rise until double in size, about 1/2 hour.
  4. In the meantime, melt butter. Mix brown sugar and cinnamon in another small bowl.
  5. Roll dough out on flour dusted surface. About 10 x 18 inches. 
  6. Spread with just over half of the melted butter and then the brown sugar and cinnamon.
  7. Roll up, starting on long side. 
  8. Beginning one inch from one end of the roll, slice in half lengthwise across entire log. (Roll will open up in layers.) Starting on attached end, lift one side and twist the entire two halves like a scarf or rope.
  9. Roll up into circle and place on parchment lined pizza pan. Cover lightly and let rise 1/2 hour.
  10. Bake in pre-heated oven at 350 F for 20 minutes.
  11. Beat remaining butter, icing sugar, milk and flavoring with a spoon until smooth. Drizzle on roll while still slightly warm. 

It is possible to refrigerate the dough or the unbaked roll overnight (after step 9- without rising). Cover it with a large bowl and then bake in the morning, however the texture will be a bit more dense. Still good. If I want to make ahead, I prefer to freeze after baking, wrap in foil to reheat and drizzle with icing while warm. 

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Iced Ricotta Cookies

These cookies are soft and cake like. You could choose different colored sprinkles for any holiday you might be celebrating. They would make a real nice Christmas cookie with red and green sprinkles. They are good without frosting, too.

Ingredients:
1/2 lb. butter
2 c. sugar
15 oz. or 1lb. Ricotta Cheese
2 eggs
1 tsp. vanilla
Zest of one orange
4 1/2 c. flour

1/2 teaspoon salt
1 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. baking soda


Method:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Cream butter.

Add sugar and continue creaming. 
Add eggs and Ricotta and vanilla and orange zest; beat well. 
Sift together flour, baking powder and baking soda, salt. 
Add to batter and mix well.
Drop the dough by tablespoon on ungreased baking sheet. (use a cookie dough scoop for easy scooping and dropping of dough) (dough will be very sticky)
Bake in a 350 degree oven about 10 minutes or until edges are lightly browned. 
Cool.
Yields 6 dozen cookies.

FROSTING:
2 c. confectionery sugar
1/4 c. butter
3 tbsp. fresh orange juice (use the orange that was zested)
Candy Sprinkles

Combine the first three ingredients and mix well.
Frost top of cookies then dust with sprinkles.

This amount of frosting was enough for about 4 dozen cookies. Double the frosting recipe if you plan to frost all the cookies.

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Tammie's Salmon Patties - regular and gluten free



My Mississippi friend, Tammie, has started baking/cooking gluten free for her daughter's health. She uses my gluten free flour mix and it has worked well for her!
This recipe for Salmon Patties is her own recipe which she has now adapted to be gluten free.  I made the patties, pictured above, for my husband and myself, and we both enjoyed  them.

  • 2 (7 oz) cans Salmon, drained
  • 1 green onion, chopped (I had no green onions so I used 1/4 cup minced white onions)
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1/4 cup milk 
  • 1 tbs lemon juice 
  • 1 cup self-rising flour
  • 1/8 tsp salt (or to taste)
  • 1/4 tsp garlic, minced
  • 1 tbs. Worchestershire sauce 
  • 1/2 - 3/4 cup blend of Parmesan and Mozzarella cheeses
  1. Blend together all liquids and salmon
  2. Stir in grated cheese
  3. Mix together dry ingredients
  4. Add dry ingredients to liquids. 
  5. Form into patties 
  6. Add oil to skillet and fry patties on medium heat until well browned. 
For gluten free replace flour with 
  • 1 cup Julie's Flour Mix (minus 2 rounded tsp)
  • 1/2 tsp salt 
  • 1 1/2 tsp. baking powder (slightly rounded)
  • 1/4 tsp guar or xanthan gum 
  • Note- make sure your Worchestershire sauce is gluten free
note - These freeze well. I have frozen the un-fried patties and after a week or two cooked them, finding them to be as good as the ones made and fried fresh. 

Monday, October 26, 2015

Pumpkin Parfait-in-a-Jar

Just in case you need another pumpkin fix... I have got a dessert for you!  Perfect to prepare ahead...it is a combination of gingersnap goodness and pumpkin cheesecake.  I used 1 cup (250 ml) wide-mouth Mason jars but these also make up nicely in the mini Mason jars (125 ml).


Crumbs:
  • 1 1/2 cups ginger-snap cookie crumbs
  • 6 tablespoons melted butter

 Cream Filling:
  • 1 cup whipping cream*
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 4 oz. / 125 ml cream cheese
  • 1/2 cup icing sugar (confectioners sugar)

 Pumpkin Filling:
  • 1 - 14 oz (398 ml) can of canned pumpkin 
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 package (4 serving size) vanilla instant pudding
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 cup whipping cream (whipped with 1 tablespoon sugar and 1 teaspoon vanilla)*

  1. To prepare the base, combine cookie crumbs and butter.  Pack crumbs into the bottom of 8-10 Mason jars.
  2. For cream filling...combine whipping cream, sugar and vanilla and beat until stiff.  In a separate bowl, combine cream cheese and icing sugar; beat until smooth.  Add the whipped cream to the cream cheese mixture and whip to combine well.  Carefully spoon cream cheese layer over gingersnap crust.
  3. In a medium-sized bowl combine canned pumpkin, milk, pudding mix, and spices. Mix slowly with electric beater until blended, about 1 minute. Fold in whipped cream. Add pumpkin layer carefully to parfaits.   
  4. Refrigerate. (Even better made the previous day!) 
  5. Just before serving, top each parfait with a dollop of whipped cream and garnish with a ginger snap. 
*Whip all the cream at once (with 2 tablespoons sugar and 2 teaspoons vanilla) and use half for cream layer and half for pumpkin layer. 

**Put fillings into large Ziploc bags and cut off tip of a corner off for mess-free dispensing!

Yield: 8-10 (1 cup / 250 ml) Mason jar parfaits. 

Sunday, October 25, 2015

Bread for the Journey


This is the path I walk around our property every day.  Most days, I fill at least some of this time to listen to podcasts so that not only is my body benefitting from the exercise but my mind is being filled with good things.

Last week I was listening to a message by John Piper.  The title of his message was The Path to Full and Lasting Pleasure.  Who wouldn't desire lasting pleasure?  I sure do.

He said something that touched my heart and I wanted to hear it several times to allow it to sink in deep.

"God will bring you - body and soul - through life and death to full and everlasting pleasure, if he is your safest refuge, and your supreme treasure, and your sovereign Lord, and your trusted counselor."

What is our safest refuge? Is it God? Do we consider God our supreme treasure?  Is God our sovereign Lord? Is God our trusted counsellor? 

We can have that hope and we can be confident that God will bring us through to everlasting pleasure!  One day my life on earth will be over and on that day I'll experience something beyond what this earth has offered. I'll realize the best joy ever when I see my Saviour face to face.




Saturday, October 24, 2015

Making Soup in Marg's Kitchen


Join me for a day in my kitchen making my favorite soups. I love making hearty soups with chunks of meats and vegetables.  Usually this is a full meal served with fresh home made bread or biscuits.
Creating a large pot of soup allows that unexpected family member to drop by and leave with an appetite that has been satisfied.
Today I am featuring my version of Chef Dez's Bacon & Cheddar Corn Chowder.  I was at one of his cooking shows a few weeks ago and I'm always amazed at how he blends herbs and flavors together making you think that it came right out of your Grandma's kitchen.  I saw him packing up the extra grilled corn cobs.  I was quick to ask him, "What are you doing with the left overs?"  I quickly volunteered that I had a perfect recipe...and would be willing  to take them home and whip up Chef Dez corn chowder soup, using my version instead.  My version is adding more bacon and farmer sausage.
Moral of the story....I got what was coming and could not escape the consequences.  I was asked to cook my version of  the soup and serve the staff at  Grand Pappys. 
I'm also highlighting a few of my favorite soups that you can find on our blog or in our cook book.  This is the best time of the year to make soups with all those fresh garden vegetables that need to be used before the winter storms appear.

Bacon & Corn Chowder

First Step
  • 12 slices bacon
  • 1/4 smoked ring farmer sausage
  • 1 medium onion diced small
  • 1 large carrot
  • 2 large celery stalks
  • 4 cups fresh corn kernels
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 Tbsp butter
  • 2 tsp. fresh tarragon
  • 1 tsp oregano
  • 4 tsp salt
  • 1 Tbsp sugar
  • 1 1/2 tsp freshly ground pepper
  • 1/2 tsp sambal oelek 
Second Step
  • Potatoes  
Third Step
  •  1/4 cup flour
  • 2 cups milk
  • 2 cups cream
  • 1/2 half red bell pepper diced small
  • 2 cups grated cheddar cheese
  • 1/4 cup fresh parsley
Instructions
  1. Cook bacon in large heavy pot over medium high heat until crisp. 
  2. Remove bacon and reserve for garnish later.
  3. Chop all the vegetables sliced thin and add all the ingredients above to the rendered bacon fat in the pot.  The grilled corn added that extra smoked flavor.
  4. Add the chopped farmer sausage to vegetable mixture.
  5. Keep stirring and once the butter is melted, cover and turn down the heat to medium to sweat the vegetables for about 5 minutes. Do not brown the vegetables.
  6. While the vegetables are cooking, peel and cut two large potatoes (diced 1/2 inch) and steam them in water for about 10 minutes. 
  7. Once the vegetables have steamed, remove the lid and stir in the flour.
  8. Cook for about 2-3 minutes to remove starchy taste of flour.
  9. To avoid lumps, stir the milk in gradually to the flour/vegetable mixture and add the cream.
  10.  I chose not to puree the soup.
  11. Add the steamed potatoes, including the potato water. ( I can't waste potato water)
  12. Add the diced bell pepper and parsley.
  13. Bring to a simmer over medium heat stirring often to avoid burning.
  14. Garnish each bowl with remaining chopped parsley and  reserved bacon pieces.
Optional: if you like cheddar cheese you can add 2 cups to this recipe. I opted out! 

One of my favorite tools in the kitchen is a parsley mill. They can be found in any kitchen boutiques.
Enjoy this soup and savor the flavors.  You will want to make this again.

 Green Bean Soup / Gruene Bohnen Suppe



 This bean soup reminds me of the good old days when my Grandma invited us for bean soup.   It's an all time favorite and the secret ingredient for this soup is a small handful of summer savory.


Cabbage Borscht
I purchased a new spice ball and it's plenty big enough but serves many purposes.  I've added fresh beets to this recipe and don't forget to  add a  handful of fresh dill.  Otherwise it's not Borscht!


One more favorite ~ Harvest Corn Chowder

This soup is made with a chicken broth and I have modified this by substituting cooked chicken rather than the farmer sausage and bacon.  This too, makes a delightful meal on a cold winter day.
My favorite cook-wear is Le Crueset.  They were wedding gifts and I have replaced some of my pots after 40 years.

 Add a loaf of your favorite home made bread or biscuits and you are ready to have a full size meal.

What are your favorite kinds of soups?

Friday, October 23, 2015

Pork Tenderloin Roll with Cream Sauce - Flashback Friday

For Flashback Friday I chose to re post my rolled pork tenderloin recipe. We love this recipe just as is but today I'm suggesting the addition of wrapping the whole roll in thick sliced applewood bacon before grilling. I've added a photo to the bottom of this recipe to show the roll wrapped in bacon before grilling. With or without the bacon, it's a winner!

Here we are in the middle of BBQ season and if you're like me you like to try something new on the grill. My husband and I decided to try and replicate a rolled pork tenderloin recipe and we like how it has turned out. The sun dried cream sauce was something I added the last time we made it and it really finishes the meat off nicely.
There are several tips I can give you that work well for us when grilling this recipe. Grill over indirect heat. It's important to check the internal temperature of the meat by using a meat thermometer. Remember as well that it's a good idea to allow your cooked meat to rest for about 5-10 minutes once it comes off the grill before cutting. During this time the meat juices will set, but also the meat will still cook a little more during this resting period.


Ingredients:
  • 1 1/2 - 2 pound pork tenderloin
  • 4 tablespoons herb and garlic spreadable cream cheese
  • fresh spinach, enough to put a thin layer over cream cheese
  • 4 large slices provolone cheese, or enough to cover meat
  • 4 thin slices prosciutto 
  • 6 thin slices Genoa salami (hot or regular)
  • 1 large garlic cloves, sliced very thing
  • 1/3 cup sun dried tomatoes in olive oil, use a slotted spoon to take out of the oil
  • 2 long green onions
  • 2-3 thick slices applewood smoked bacon (optional)
  • kitchen twine
Ingredients for cream sauce:
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 garlic clove, crushed
  • 1 cup cream
  • 2 tbsp sun dried tomatoes, again, use a slotted spoon to take out of the oil
Method for sauce:
  1. Heat oil over medium heat and add garlic. Saute for one minute.
  2. Add cream and sun dried tomatoes.
  3. Allow to come to a slow boil and then turn down to simmer and thicken. This will take about 10 minutes on simmer.
  4. Keep warm and then heat to hot to serve over meat.
Meat cut open to add filling.
Method:
  1. Cut pork tenderloin open as if you were unrolling a jelly roll. The meat will again be rolled up like a jelly roll once the filling are on.
  2. Spread with cream cheese.
  3. Top with fresh spinach.
  4. Lay cheese on top of the spinach, making sure you have enough cheese to cover the whole area of meat.
  5. Lay prosciutto and Genoa salami over cheese.
  6. Place thinly sliced garlic over the meat.
  7. Top with sun dried tomatoes
  8. Top with sliced green onions.
  9. Roll meat and wrap in bacon. (optional)
  10. Cut a long piece of kitchen twine. It's good to have a pair of extra hands to roll up the meat in jelly roll fashion.  Once rolled, wrap the twine tightly around meat, starting at one end and wrapping every 1" to hold it all together. Secure end. 
  11. Place meat onto grill that is pre heated to 350º. Remembering to place it over indirect heat. 
  12. Every 10 minutes turn the meat to insure even cooking. We have found that the best and safest way to check for doneness it to use a thermometer. The internal temperature should be at 145º F. This will take approximately 40 minutes on the grill. I have not cooked this recipe in the oven but you easily could. Bake it in a 350º oven, uncovered for 40 minutes and then again check the temperature. I would also turn the meat. 
  13. Once meat is done, remove to a cutting board and lightly tent with foil. Allow to rest for 5-10 minutes. 
  14. Slice and serve with sauce.



Finished roll being sliced. 
Ready to serve.
Rolled in bacon, before grilling. 

Thursday, October 22, 2015

Slow Cooker Coconut Curry Chicken


We have a local Thai restaurant that serves a delicious chicken curry dish that is a favorite of ours.  This recipe is similar...with cubed potatoes, chicken and red peppers smothered in a zippy curry sauce.

Ingredients:
  • 4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut in bite-sized cubes
  • 2 medium potatoes, peeled and cubed
  • 1 medium onion, peeled and sliced
  • 1 large red bell pepper, seeded and coarsely chopped
  • 1 can (156ml) tomato paste*
  • 1 can light coconut milk (400 ml. or about 1 1/2 cups)
  • 2 garlic cloves, peeled
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 Tbsp curry powder
  • 1 Tbsp Garam Masala  (add an extra tablespoon of curry powder instead, if you prefer)
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper (or less, if you don't like the heat!)
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp cornstarch dissolved in 2 Tbsp water

Method:
  1. Place cubed potatoes, red pepper and onion in bottom of slow cooker.
  2. Cover with cubed chicken breast.
  3. Place remaining ingredients (except cornstarch and water) in a food processor  or blender and process until smooth.
  4. Pour sauce over ingredients in slow cooker.
  5. Close lid and cook on low for 6 hours.
  6. One hour before serving, stir together water and cornstarch until smooth. Add to the chicken curry and mix well. Cover and cook for remaining time.
  7. Serve on a bed of rice, topped with chopped onion greens. 
*I discovered that if there is no tomato paste in the pantry, it can be omitted and is still delicious!
 

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Pumpkin Dinner Rolls


I have been busy cutting up, and baking pumpkins to make puree. I like trying different recipes this time of year when the pumpkins are bountiful. The idea of shaping these dinner rolls into pumpkin shapes came from pinterest. At first I was going to make pumpkin butterhorn rolls but I think this is a better look for the season! So fun to eat as you pull the sections apart. They are delicious served with butter, jam, or honey butter.
  • 3/4 cup milk, scalded
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1/4 cup butter, softened
  • 3/4 cup pumpkin, canned..I cook and puree my own
  • 1 egg, room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons instant yeast
  • 4 1/2 to 4 3/4 cups flour
  • Egg wash..in a small bowl, whisk together an egg and 2 teaspoons water
  • 14 pecan halves
  1. In a mixing bowl, whisk together milk, sugar, butter, pumpkin, and egg until blended.
  2. Stir in salt, yeast, and 4 cups of flour. Add the rest of the flour as needed and knead 5 minutes to make a smooth soft dough. It may be slightly sticky. Place in a greased bowl, cover and let rise for 1 hour in a warm place.
  3. Punch dough down and divide into 14 equal pieces.
  4. Roll each piece into a ball and place on a parchment lined pan, flatten each one slightly with your hand. Cut each ball into 8 slices, being careful not to slice all the way to the center. Cover and let rise until doubled in size, approx 45 minutes.
  5. Using the end of a wooden spoon poke an indentation into each roll. Brush with egg wash.
  6. Bake in 375 oven for 15 minutes. Remove from oven and place a sliced pecan in each indentation.
  7. Yield: 14 rolls

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Turkey Pot Pies in Puff Pastry


Maybe you still have some left over cooked turkey in your freezer to try these for a ladies' lunch. These fancy turkey puffs are something my mom made for our engagement party and stand out in my memory because she rarely made something from a package. I think the recipe may have been on the Tenderflake Patty Shells box and must have looked good to her. I do not have that original recipe, but have re-created it according to memory and taste. 

Ingredients for 6 shells:
  • 1 pkg Tenderflake Patty Shells (frozen)
  • 1/3 cup onion, chopped fine
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp butter
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp flour
  • 3/4 cup milk
  • 3/4 tsp better than bouillon or 1/2 bouillon cube (chicken)
  • 1 - 1 1/2 cups cooked turkey, cubed
  • 1 cup petite peas, steamed 
Method:
  1. Bake patty shells at 400 F for about 20 - 25 minutes, until nice golden in color. Gently remove lid and remove any layers inside that appear wet. Discard them. Leave shells on cooling rack.
  2. In saucepan, cook onion in butter until soft. 
  3. Over low/medium heat, stir in flour and then slowly add milk, a little at a time, stirring to make a white sauce. Add chicken bouillon seasoning.
  4. Stir in turkey and peas. This filling should be a thick consistency. If needed, add more turkey.
  5. The shells are best if served fresh on day of, filled with hot filling and warmed in oven for 5 minutes. Filled patties can be reheated if served next day.

Monday, October 19, 2015

Honey Oatmeal Cookies




This cookie is soft, moist and delicious yet nutritious enough to eat for breakfast or a morning coffee break.
  • 2 cups flour
  • 2 cups oats
  • 2 teaspoons soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 teaspoon ginger
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 cup liquid honey
  • 1/2 cup oil
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tablespoon hot water
  • 1 cup raisins
  • 1 cup sliced almonds
  1. Combine all the dry ingredients and stir with a whisk.
  2. Add the raisins and almonds.
  3. Then add the liquid ingredients, stir well.
  4. Drop onto greased baking sheet. 
  5. Bake for 8-10 minutes in a preheated 350 oven.

Sunday, October 18, 2015

Bread for the Journey

Quiet times with my Heavenly Father are often spent along my walks. It's during these times that  scripture comes to mind and ministers to my heart. It's wonderful to know that we have a Heavenly Father who walks along side us in life, and who we can have a friendship with like no other. 

James 4:8a 
Draw near to God and He will draw near to you.



Saturday, October 17, 2015

Saturday in Ellen's Kitchen

This is Ellen's kitchen where everything happens in the eating world of our home. This old house does not have a separate dining room so we cook and eat and live with all the dirty dishes right here. We have a gas stove top with four burners and a separate double electric oven. The double oven comes in handy, especially for our holiday or large family meals.
The counter spaces are more then adequate for our mixing and baking needs. We use the island top for buffet service for our larger family meals besides mixing and assembling. Our kitchen/eating area is also connected to our family room. This space has been worked in for very simple meals and very fancy meals. Even though I enjoy creating gourmet meals, for the most part I'm a fan of coming up with simple ideas for meals and appetizers, too.
These mini frozen puff pastry cups come in handy for a quick appetizer that are savory or a one bite dessert. Keep them in your freezer for those last minute inspirations. These are filled with chopped Pancetta (Italian bacon) and basil. I sauteed the pancetta with a little chopped onion and added in chopped basil then filled the already baked cups.


Here is an easy tip for a comfort family meal of chicken pot pie that I learned after an epic fail. The photo above shows what the casserole looked like when I first took it out of the oven. The problem was the biscuits were doughy on the bottom. So I took them all off and put them back in the oven to bake properly, then added them back on top. In the future I will bake the biscuits separately and just add them to the top of the cooked filling.
 Mix up your chopped onion, and cubed potatoes and saute them in butter and oil together on the stove top until the onion is translucent, sprinkle this mixture with 2-3 tablespoons of flour and cook for at least 2 minutes. Add 2-3 cups milk and cook till the mixture thickens. Add your chopped carrots, peas, and cooked chicken and mix together well. Transfer this mixture to a large casserole pan and bake in the oven till the potatoes are soft. If you have two ovens bake two cans (16 biscuits) of buttermilk biscuits according to can instructions at the same time the casserole is in the oven. If you only have one oven you could put the casserole and the biscuits in the oven at the same time. Add the already baked biscuits to the top of the chicken pie mixture. This method gives you a nice pot pie without soggy biscuits. Of course you can make your own biscuits from scratch and bake them separately, too.
I hope you enjoyed Saturday in my kitchen. Do you have quick go to ideas from your kitchen?

Friday, October 16, 2015

Sausage Rolls, Pizza and More (Gluten-free)

For Flash Back Friday, I decided to bring up this recipe I posted on January 14,2009, but my husband asked for them this week, so I thought I would revisit the original post.


I updated the recipe to use my Julie's Flour mix and made some other minor adjustments to the recipe and was quite happy with the results.  One thing I did differently was to use the dough as it came out of the mixer when it is still too sticky to handle.  I used my mini loaf pan and spread the dough (a good teaspoon) on the bottom of each lightly oiled loaf. I covered that with a slice of cheddar cheese, then added a layer of sausage - I used cocktail sausages and mild pepperoni - but you can use your favourite sausage.  Then I covered with another teaspoon of dough.  With wet fingers you can smooth out the dough.  They were good! (you could also use muffin tins)
  I turned the rest of the dough out on a sweet rice floured surface and kneaded in just enough sweet rice flour to make the dough manageable to make the rolls.  So either method works great!

My updated recipe is as follows (I did not delete the original recipe in case you prefer it)
  • 1 cup warm water
  • 1 tsp sugar 
  • 1 tsp unflavoured gelatin
  • 4 teaspoons traditional yeast 
  • 1 3/4 Julie's Flour Mix 
  • 1/4 cup tapioca starch/flour
  • 1/2 cup potato starch 
  • 1 tsp. xanthan gum
  • 1 tsp salt 
  • 1 tsp baking powder 
  • 1 egg 
  • 1/4 cup sour cream
  • 1/4 cup oil 
  1. Proof yeast in water, sugar and gelatin
  2. Beat oil, sour cream and egg
  3. Add proofed yeast 
  4. Add well blended dry ingredients and beat for 4-5 minutes
  5. Use dough as desired - for sausage rolls, pizza or ??
  6. Let rise for 40 minutes 
  7. Bake at 375 degrees until nicely browned. 

**********
(Original Recipe)  

The dough is easy to handle... can be prepared ahead of time and kept in the fridge several days until needed or even frozen for future use. After it is baked I find it also keeps very well for several days ... either eaten cold or reheated in the micro wave.

The ingredients are as follows.....
  • 1 cup Kinnickinnick bread/bun mix (or other brand)
  • 1/2 cup sorghum flour
  • 1/4 cup tapioca starch
  • 1/2 cup potato starch
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 pkg unflavored gelatin
  • 1 tsp xanthan gum
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 cup club soda
  • 1/2 cup ice water
  • 1/4 cup olive oil

  • 1/2 warm water with one tsp sugar to proof 1 tbsp yeast
Method
  • add sugar to warm water and sprinkle yeast on top ..set aside
  • mix all day ingredients together well - either in bowl or Ziploc plastic bag
  • in mixing bowl combine water with oil and egg - add soda
  • add risen yeast
  • add dry ingredients and beat until smooth. (beat on high speed for 2 or 3 min)

The trick is to get the consistency just right....(add a little more club soda or water if it seems too stiff) it should not be hard to get off the beaters but neither should it fall off too easily either... It WILL be soft ...


Turn the dough out on a surface sprinkled with sweet rice flour (or tapioca starch) and knead the dough into a ball.. Even though it seems very sticky still . .. you will be surprised how little extra flour it takes to make it a soft workable unsticky dough.

Sausage Rolls..... pictured above (you may use your own preferred filling)

  • Roll out to about 1/4" thickness
  • cut into approx. 2" stips
  • lay down a line of mustard
  • put cut pieces of Farmer Sausage along the middle of the strip
  • bring sides of strip up and pinch closed
Press fork along top to ensure a good seal and bake strips on cookie sheet and bake for about 25 minutes at 400' or untill nicely browned.
Cut stips into serving pieces and serve warm.
Meat Roll
I also use this dough for a meat roll. You can use any meat or vegetable filling you like adding your prefered spices or sauces for flavor. You can make them individual sized or one large roll... play with it according to your personal preference or need.
Roll out the dough into a rectangle and lay your filling across the lengthwise middle . Cut the dough as show in pic below.
Fold up the end pieces first ... then alternately fold over the cut side strips like a two strand braid... over lapping the pieces .... Bake in 400' oven until browned. For the last few minutes of baking I brush with slightely beaten egg white to give a nice sheen to the pastry.


(sorry the above is not a very good photo .. I just made the above roll with the left over dough from the sausage rolls so I could include the optional use here in this post)
Pizza.
If using for thin crust pizza, roll out to desired thickness and bake for 15' minutes at 375' before speading with pizza sauce and desired toppings.

Other You could also use this dough for topping a Pot Pie.

Thursday, October 15, 2015

Mrs. Janzen's Scotchie Chocolate Chip Sheet Cookie



This recipe is my friend Karin's mother's recipe. When I tasted them I asked for the recipe since Bar cookies are so quick and easy, perfect to take for school lunch or after school snacks. Plus the sweet butterscotch flavor just adds to the melt in your mouth goodness.

  • 1 cup margarine or butter
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 1/4 cup flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 cup chocolate chips
  1. Whip together margarine, brown sugar, white sugar til light and creamy. 
  2. Add eggs one at time beating after each addition. 
  3. Add vanilla.
  4. Combine dry ingredients, add to butter mixture mixing until all the dry ingredients are well mixed in. 
  5. Stir in chocolate chips. 
  6. Pour into a greased 9x13 pan and bake for 20-25 minutes at 350.



Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Wonton Taco Cups


It's baseball playoff season and that calls for something fun to share with friends on game night! 
These wonton taco cups are a great alternative to nachos on an appetizer buffet.

  • 2 pounds lean ground beef
  • 1 large onion, minced
  • 2 envelopes taco seasoning
  • 48 wonton wrappers
  • oil for brushing
  • salt
  • 3 cups shredded mexican cheese blend
  • 2 cups pico de gallo (or salsa)
  • 2 cups guacamole  
  • 1 cup sour cream 

  1. Scramble fry ground beef and onion over medium heat until browned. 
  2. Add taco seasoning and set aside.  
  3. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. 
  4. Place 24 wonton wrappers on work surface.  Lightly brush both sides with oil.  
  5. Sprinkle lightly with salt.
  6. Fit wonton wrapper into a muffin cup, folding and pressing the wrapper into the side to form a cup, making sure the four corners are pointing up. Continue in the same way filling 2 pans (24 cups)
  7. Fill with 1 heaping tablespoon of taco mixture and sprinkle with cheese.
  8. Brush 24 more wonton wrappers with oil, sprinkle lightly with salt and press shells over shells in muffin tins so that now you have 8 tips pointing up in each cup. 
  9. Add another tablespoon of meat into each cup and sprinkle with cheese.
  10. Bake for 15 minutes or until lightly browned. 
  11. Add a spoon each of pico de gallo, guacamole and sour cream and serve warm. 
Makes 24 Wonton Taco Cups



Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Toasted Coconut Cookies

Toasting the coconut before adding them to these simple cereal style cookies gives them a bit of extra flavour and crunch.
  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 cup flour
  • 3/4 cup cornflakes, crushed
  • 3/4 cup rolled oats
  • 1/2 cup rice krispies
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 1/3 cup unsweetened flaked coconut, toasted ** see note below for how to toast**
  1. ** Toast coconut before you start to mix cookie dough. Place coconut on a baking sheet and place in 350º oven. Toast, watching carefully as it will only take approximately 6-7 minutes until the coconut is toasted to a light brown. It burns fast so stay with it. Allow to cool while you mix the other ingredients.
  2. Cream together butter sugars, egg and vanilla.
  3. Add all remaining ingredients and mix until well combined. Lastly add the cooled coconut.
  4. Drop by spoonfuls onto cookie sheet and bake in 350º oven for 10-12 minutes.
  5. Remove from oven and let cookies rest on pan for 30 seconds. Remove to cooling rack.