Mennonite Girls Can Cook is a collection of recipes which were posted daily for a period of ten years from 2008 to 2018. We have over 3,000 delicious recipes that we invite you to try. The recipes can be accessed in our recipe file by category or you can use the search engine.

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Marinated Cheese Platter

 This marinated cheese platter is fun to make and is a nice appetizer for New Year's Eve, New Year's Day, or a game day party. I saw this idea with the recipe for the marinade on Taste of Home and I added some extra things to the platter and deleted some, too.

  • 2-3 blocks of white cheeses of your choice like cheddar, Swiss and Monterey Jack, sliced
  • Marinated Asparagus Spears
  • Marinated mushrooms
  • Assorted olives
  • Pimento for garnish
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 1 Tablespoon chopped fresh basil
  • 1 Tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
  • 2 garlic cloves minced
  • Crackers or sliced baguette

  1. Whisk together olive oil, balsamic vinegar, basil, parsley, and garlic and set aside.
  2. Fill small clear glass bowl or other small bowl with olives and set in center of a round platter.
  3. Arrange cheeses on edge and asparagus alternating around the platter.
  4. Arrange marinated mushrooms around the glass bowl of olives.
  5. Sprinkle pimento on top.
  6. Whisk the marinade #1 again and sprinkle evenly over the top of the cheeses.
  7. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for about 8 hours before serving. 
  8. Serve with crackers or sliced baguette.
 The photo above is of the platter before the marinade is added. The original platter I saw did not have the asparagus or the mushrooms on it.You can use your imagination and your preferences to add or delete things to this platter. Also sliced baguette is probably a better choice as it will absorb the marinade better.

Happy New Year's Eve to all who come by here today!

Crab Cups ~ Flashback Friday

Years ago, I posted these little morsels and to this day...they are still a huge hit in our home. As  I wandered through the supermarket, they were sampling these little crab cups.  I asked about a recipe and ever since that day, this little appie accompanies our Christmas Eve celebration.  New Year's is coming up and if you are looking for something simple, tasty, and special, you've got it all in one package.

Crab Cups
  • 1/2 pound imitation crab
  • 1 stalk celery chopped fine
  • 1 green onion chopped fine
  • 2-3 tbsp miracle whip
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 boxes of mini fillo shells
  1. Chop the crab, greens, and celery, so it resembles the same texture.
  2. Add miracle whip
  3. Add salt and pepper
  4. Blend ingredients together
  5. Dish mixture into shell cups just prior to serving.
I always prepare this in the afternoon and store it in a sealed container refrigerated.  
After we come home from the church service, my son Jeremy spoons this mixture into the shells, while I prepare other appies.  If you have any leftovers the mixture can be stored back in the fridge for the next day.  Quick, easy, and simple.

Hidden Valley Ranch Chicken Wings

These wings were a hit over Christmas and they'll be perfect for the New Years Party. 

  • 2 pounds wings, tips removed and then cut in half at the joint 
  • 1/2 cup  Red Hot Sauce
  • 2 tablespoons cider vinegar
  • 3 tablespoons Hidden Valley Ranch dressing and seasoning mix  (or about 1 envelope)
  1. Put wing pieces into a large Ziploc bag and pour in the Red Hot sauce and the cider vinegar.
  2. Marinade overnight.
  3. Arrange wings on a pan.  Use parchment paper for easy clean up.
  4. Sprinkle evenly with the Hidden Valley Ranch seasoning and salad dressing mix.
  5. Bake about 45 - 60 minutes at 350 F. 

Crab Filled Choux Bites

Cream puff pastry, also known as choux pastry, always creates a bit of a wow aspect, because it looks fancy. It is really just a simple pastry made by bringing water and butter to a boil, then stirring in the flour and eggs. The puff happens in the oven, creating a space for any kind of filling you like. This pastry has some cheese added in the mix and I've filled them with a crab filling that is also delicious served just with crackers.

Pastry Ingredients:

  • 1 cup water
  • ½ cup butter, cubed small
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • ¼ tsp pepper
  • 1 cup flour
  • 4 eggs
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan or white Cheddar Cheese
  • ½ tsp dry mustard

  1. Bring butter, salt, pepper and water to boil in a small pot.
  2. Remove from heat and quickly stir in flour all at once. 
  3. Return to medium heat, stirring vigorously, until it completely loosens from sides of pot, easily forming a ball.
  4. Stir in cheese and mustard. Let sit for five minutes to cool slightly.
  5. Beat in eggs, one at a time. (I use a wooden spoon, but you can use a mixer. The eggs slip and slide a bit as you stir to incorporate them, but keep stirring until you have a smooth, stiff pastry.)
  6. Drop by rounded teaspoon (swiping off with a finger) onto parchment lined or greased and floured cookie sheets. You can use a wet butter knife to shape ragged sides into uniform circles.
  7. Bake at 450 F for the first 10 min. Lower temp to 350 F and bake another 30 min.
  8. Cool and slice open. These can be made ahead and frozen. Yield 40
Filling Ingredients:
  • 8 oz cream cheese
  • 3/4 cup miracle whip
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 garlic clove, crushed
  • 3 Tbsp green onion, finely chopped
  • 6-8 oz (1 1/2 cups) imitation crab, finely chopped
  • Beat cream cheese, adding in miracle whip, until creamy. 
  • Stir in the rest of the ingredients. This can be made up to a day before.
  • Just before serving, use a rounded tsp to fill each puff and bake at 375F for 8 minutes.

TIPS for choux pastry

  • One14X21 inch cookie sheet is great to bake the whole batch, if you have that size) If not, fill first sheet with 20 puffs, spacing about 2 inches apart. Leave remaining dough in covered pot. When first batch is baked, stir up the remaining batter and repeat.
  • Some cooks brush on an egg wash to create a glossy top. Optional. 
  • DO NOT open oven door for first 20 minutes of baking. 
  • Even if puffs look done sooner, bake at least 30 minutes in total, but 40 is better as long as they do not get too dark. If you take them out too soon they can collapse from moisture still inside. If in doubt, you can turn off the oven, open the door slightly and let them sit to dry for another 10 minutes. 

Hasselback Potatoes

I'm sure that most of us have enjoyed a lot of great food over the past few days. The past few years I've baked less sweets, because I was finding that they were not being eaten and I'd have too many left in the freezer with no takers. Looking into my fridge yesterday I smiled at the sight of shelves that are not filled up with containers of left overs. With it just being the two of us there was just enough meat from Christmas eve to grill and I added steamed veggies and these tasty crumb crusted potatoes. Pretty enough for company, and easy enough for a weeknight supper. 
My recipe today if for 2 large russet potatoes, but you can just make more topping for the number of spuds you are baking.
  • 2 large russet potatoes,  long potatoes are best for slicing
  • 2 tablespoons butter, melted
  • salt & pepper
  • 1/4 cup dry bread crumbs
  • 2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 teaspoon parsley flakes
  • 2 tablespoons butter, melted
  1. Wash and scrub potatoes well.
  2. Slice a thin piece of potato off on of the long sides so that each potato sits flat.
  3. To get even slices without slicing through, place a long wooden spoon under each long side of the potato and using a thin blade sharp knife slice 1/4" slices all along. The knife will cut only to where the wooden spoons sit so that you don't cut through to the bottom. Clever...I know! 
  4. Place sliced potatoes on a foil lined baking sheet. Drizzle, getting into all the little slits the first amount of melted butter, and salt and pepper.
  5. Bake potatoes covered for 45 minutes in 375º oven.
  6. While they are baking, mix together other ingredients.
  7. Uncover potatoes. Divide crumb topping between potatoes and bake another 10-15 minutes until the topping is crusty and golden brown.
  8. Serve with sour cream on the side. 

Bread for the Journey

Christmas has been celebrated for years.
It's been etched in our hearts as the celebration of the birth of Jesus as a gift to be
experienced daily, not only at Christmas.
By now the Christmas preparations have been completed by most of us.
I wonder how can we we continue to celebrate Christmas year round as 'people of faith'? 

Christmas is not only a historical date....but a gift to be lived.

When  you take the first step to forgiveness and find peace with a loved one, 
then you have Christmas.

When someone asks you for help....and you assist them, 
that is Christmas.

When you let go of something meaningful to give to someone else, who needs it more...
then that is Christmas.

Living with joy and hope rather than fear and anxiety.  
That is Christmas.

When you share life with someone who has nothing,
that becomes Christmas.

Christmas is about love...God sending down his son to a virgin Mary,
to give life and significance to be born in our hearts.  

The gospel is incredible news.  It's the reality that Jesus came to bring you
HOPE, PEACE, JOY, and LOVE that ultimately satisfies.

Turn to Jesus ~ the light of the world ~ this is Christmas!

Chocolate Peppermint Cookies ~ Flash Back Friday

One of the joys of Christmas baking is to get the whole family involved and so picking cookies that are child friendly to make are a great idea.  This simple little drop cookie is so easy for kids to make and it looks fancy with some easy techniques.    I first posted this recipe in 2008  just a year after our two oldest grandchildren were born.  Our five granchildren aged between nine and five all love to help me bake.

Chocolate Peppermint Drop Cookies

  • 2/3 cup butter
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/2 cup cocoa
  • 1/2 cup hot coffee or water
  • 1 3/4 cup flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup semi sweet chocolate chips
  • 3 tablespoons crushed candy canes

  • 1 cup chocolate chips
  • 1 cup white chocolate chips
  • additional crushed candy canes for sprinkling on top
  1. Cream the butter with the sugar.
  2. Add the egg and the vanilla and beat well.
  3. In a small bowl, combine the hot coffee and the cocoa and stir until no lumps remain.
  4. After it has completely cooled, add to the sugar mixture.
  5. Combine the dry ingredients and add to the creamed mixture.
  6. Add the chocolate chips and the crushed candy canes.
  7. Drop by a small ice cream scoop onto a cookie sheet that has been lined with parchment paper.
  8. Bake for about 8 minutes for little cookies at 350. The shiny spot in the middle of the cookie should have gone dull but don't wait longer than that to remove them from the oven.
  9. Melt the chocolate chips and white chocolate chips separately.
  10. Put each of the melted chocolate in a zip loc bags or cake decorating bags and cut a small hole in the corner to squeeze the chocolate onto the cookie as shown.
  11. Sprinkle a little bit of crushed candy cane on top of each cookie while the chocolate is still melted.
Yield: 3 1/2 dozen small cookies

Mini Farmer Sausage Rolls and Refrigerator Dough

I made these Mini Sausage Rolls recently for a senior's tea in our church. 
They proved to be a hit so the next day I promptly made another batch for holiday entertaining.  
They freeze well and can be quickly reheated to add to an appetizer buffet.

  • One recipe Refrigerator Dough
  • 1 - 2 links cooked farmer sausage
  • Honey Mustard Mayonnaise either prepared or homemade
  • 1 egg beaten
  • 1- 1/2 tablespoons cream 
  • poppy seed or sesame seed 
For the Refrigerator Dough
(This is my go-to recipe for a quick mix dough that can be stored in the refrigerator for up to a week.)
  • 2 cups warm milk or water
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup margarine softened
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 2 tablespoons instant yeast
  • 2 eggs beaten
  • about 6 cups flour - can include 1 or 2 cups whole wheat flour
  1. Place 4 cups flour into bowl of stand mixer. Add sugar, salt, yeast and margarine.
  2. Beat eggs and add to bowl.
  3. Add milk or water (I often use half milk and half water) and let mix until dough is sticky. 
  4. Add remaining flour until dough forms a medium soft ball and then and leave mixer run or knead for about 5 minutes.
  5. Place in greased bowl. Cover bowl and place in refrigerator for several hours or overnight.
  6. When ready to bake, form into crescent rolls, cloverleaf rolls or whatever shape rolls you like,  (Ham and Cheese Pinwheels are made from this recipe)
  7. Let rise on the pans and bake at 375º F for 12 - 15 minutes.
For the Honey Mustard Mayonnaise
  • 1 cup mayonnaise
  • 1-2 teaspoons Dijon Mustard
  • 2-3 teaspoons honey
  1. Make refrigerator dough early in the day or the day before so it has time to rise.
  2. Cut up sausage into 1/4 inch x 1 1/2 inch pieces
  3. Prepare Honey Mustard Mayonnaise by mixing all ingredients until well blended. Set aside.
  4. Line baking sheets with parchment paper.
  5. Divide dough into 8 wedges
  6. Roll out one wedge of dough into a long rectangle approximately 3 1/2 inches x 14 inches.
  7. Using a pizza cutter, cut into triangles  that are 1 1/2 inches on the wide end as shown below.
  8. Using a small spoon or spatula, smear a dab of Honey mustard mayonnaise at the wide end of each triangle.
  9. Place a piece of sausage on the wide end and roll up, tucking the tip underneath as you place it on the pan.
  10. Repeat with remaining wedges of dough.
  11. Cover with plastic and let rise in a warm place.
  12. Mix beaten egg and cream in a small bowl and brush over sausage rolls.
  13. Sprinkle with poppy seed or sesame seed.
  14. Bake at 375º F for 12 minutes.
  15. Remove from pans and store in zippered plastic bags.  These freeze well.
  16. To serve, heat rolls briefly and serve with Honey Mustard Mayonnaise for dipping.

Cranberry Brie Pizza

This pizza is a quick snack you can whip up easily for company or family during this busy season. If you would like to use your own pizza dough that works too. This is the time we are all happy to find quick delicious snacks to serve. The bright color of cranberries adds to the festive look. Pistachios would complement the color of the cranberries so that could be used instead of pecans.
  • 1 tube (13 oz) refrigerated pizza crust
  • 8 oz package Brie cheese
  • 3/4 cup cranberry sauce, make your own or use canned
  • 1/2 cup chopped pecans or pistachios
  1. Unroll crust onto a lightly greased 12" pizza pan, Flatten dough to fit the pan and build up the edges slightly.
  2. Bake in a 350º oven for 12 minutes until crust is light golden in color.
  3. Remove rind from the cheese and cut into 1/2" cubes and sprinkle over baked crust.
  4. Spoon cranberry sauce evenly on top of the cheese and sprinkle with nuts.
  5. Bake 8 - 10 minutes longer, until cheese is melted and the crust is golden brown.
  6. Remove from oven and allow to sit a few minutes before cutting.
  7. Yield: 12 slices

JOY Veggie Tray

It's that time of year and we all tend to be scrambling to bring a veggie tray.  Here you go. Something simple yet filled with JOY!   During Advent Season we always invite the family for a simple traditional meal of meat and buns, mandarin oranges, and Pheffernusse while we light the candles. Tara brought her famous veggie tray and I appreciate how she arranged her tray to celebrate the Advent Season of Joy.  Our idea around this is to help the family think about the real meaning of Christmas rather than exhausting their energy on things that distract them.
You too,  can make this tray and make sure you have some colorful red and white veggies so that the word JOY stands out. 

Bread For The Journey

While I have been preparing inside for Christmas, I've been keeping one eye on  the comfort of our hummingbirds that are making their home on our farm this winter. When the temperatures are above freezing it is just a matter of making six cups of sugar water every other day but last week the temperatures plummeted to below freezing even during the day.   This is not often the case on the southwest coast of Canada so we were not very prepared.   Between my hair dryer and "Hot Pockets" we were able to keep the water from freezing until we could come up with a more permanent solution.

This is where we are at now.  It is not a pretty solution at all.  We have heat tape, pipe insulation, and heat lamps.  Gone are the attractive photo opportunities but the hummingbirds have sugar water to drink and they have a better chance of survival.

The time spent keeping these tiny creatures alive has caused me to reflect on the ways I prepare for Christmas and what I am most thankful for.  I have spent considerable time making the home beautiful.  Baking and decorating and shopping for special gifts are all lovely. Our family appreciates coming home to a place prepared for their comfort and enjoyment but unless my heart is ready and I am thankful for Jesus in my heart, all the gifts and sparkles and delicious foods have little meaning for me when considering the real meaning of Christmas.

I'm so thankful to God for the great gift of the Saviour who left the glory of Heaven and came to live in a broken world and died to save me and all those that believe in him.

"In this is love: not that we have loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son to be the atoning sacrifice for our sins."

1 John 4:10 NET

Raspberry Cucumber Salad with Creamy Raspberry Dressing

I served this salad at this year's Mennonite Girls Can Cook Christmas Party.
It's a special salad to serve during the holidays with its out of season Fresh Raspberries.
But in Summer when raspberries are in season, you can enjoy it as often as you like.

For the Dressing:
  • 1/3 cup vegetable oil or Grapeseed oil
  • 2-3 tablespoons sugar
  • 2 tablespoons raspberry or blueberry Balsamic Vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons sour cream
  • 1- 2  teaspoons Dijon Mustard
* Spiced Almonds:
  • 1 cup slivered almonds - preferably unblanched
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon Chinese 5 Spice Powder
For the Salad:
  • 2 cups torn romaine lettuce
  • 1 cup fresh baby spinach
  • 1 cup mixed red and green salad greens
  • 1 cup fresh raspberries
  • 1 -2 mini English Cucumbers 
  • spiced almonds *
  • 1 green onion - green part only
  1. Prepare the dressing first and set aside.
  2. Mix all ingredients in a salad shaker or jar and shake vigorously to blend. Note: start with the smaller amounts of sugar and mustard and adjust to suit your taste, Set aside.
  3. Prepare the almonds. Lay out a piece of waxed paper on the counter.
  4. In a medium no stick fry pan, place sugar and spice, stirring over medium heat for a few minutes .
  5. Add almonds and continue to stir until sugar melts and almonds begin to brown. Watch very closely as they will burn quickly.
  6. When sugar is almost all dissolved, turn almonds out onto waxed paper to cool. If you do this ahead of time, store the nuts in a covered container.
  7. Prepare the salad  on individual plates.
  8. Place some romaine, spinach and mixed salad greens on each plate, top with cucumber slices and green onion.
  9. Sprinkle with a few raspberries and spiced nuts.
  10. Drizzle with dressing and serve immediately.

Pear Soup

This Pear Soup recipe is easy to make and would be a great starter soup for a nice holiday meal. Creamy without cream and a nice balance between the sweet pears and the subtle saltiness of the cheeses.

Pear Soup Ingredients:

  • 2 cups Chicken broth
  • 1/2 cup white wine
  • 3 fresh pears peeled and cored
  • 1/2 cup Gruyere cheese, grated
  • 1/2 cup crumbled Stilton Cheese
  • Toasted walnuts to garnish

  1. In a heavy bottom dutch oven or pot add the broth and wine.
  2. Add peeled and cored pear chunks to the broth and wine and poach over medium heat until pears are soft.
  3. Puree the pears until smooth using a hand immersion blender or a stand blender.
  4. If you used a stand blender put the puree back into the pot and add the cheeses.
  5. Lower the heat and stir until cheeses are melted and smooth.
  6. Serve in small bowls garnished with toasted walnuts.
  7. Serves 4-6 with hearty portions or 12 with small starter portions.  
The toasted walnuts blend nicely with the pears and cheeses giving a nice crunch to the soup.
Add a few pomegranate seeds or bacon bits to add extra flavor and color splash to the soup.
If you do not like Stilton cheese you can substitute the Stilton for Gruyere and use a full cup.

Bread for the Journey

Christ our Hope

The word hope is often used very loosely. We hope for this or that, more like a wish with no security. When life hurts or disappoints we can feel hopelessness and despair.

But there is good news. God sent Jesus, who was and is the true hope for us all. As a believer in Christ our hope is secure and comes with a favourable and confident expectation. Our hope stands ready in expectation as we wait on God.

Hope for a believer is resting in the truth that everything will be according to God's will, and covered with sufficient grace.
Christ is our living hope, yet we often look past Him, missing out on His presence and power in our daily life.

The angels so beautifully expressed what true hope means when they sang,
"Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace to men on whom His favour rests".

My prayer for those of you who come here today is found in Romans 15:13.

May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope.

Saturday in Ellen's Kitchen

Welcome to Saturday in Ellen's Kitchen and my Mystery Tree Episode. We started the Mystery Tree tradition at our house several years ago and will be enjoying it again this year.
These are the easy rules to play along. First, go to the nearest store to you that has a large collection of trees for sale. Choose a bundled tree in the height and price range you want and load it on the cart and pay for it. Do Not Remove the string. Throw it in your vehicle and head home.
Second, after cutting off a section of the trunk so it will absorb water better bring the tree in to your prepared area with the tree stand positioned and set it in the stand and secure it well. You can add water at this point but just enough to come up past the freshly sawed off section.
Third, this is the fun part, cut away the string and step back and see the mystery revealed.
Voila! Not bad. Now we move on and see how the angel will fit on top.
That will be just fine so we move on to adding the lights before our first clean up.
Add more water at this point. Now it's time to vacuum up the dry needles that fell. You might want to let the branches have a chance to relax before you add your ornaments. Here are some other mystery trees in our past.
The best part of this tradition at our house is how easy and stress free this has been for us. We used to go to a tree lot and pull out tree after tree and then turn it this way and that way and on and on we'd go till we could finally settle on one. When our kids were little we had fun trekking to Christmas tree farms and cutting down our own. Now that we are empty nesters we find the Mystery Tree tradition to be the best for us. The mystery and fun of the reveal could also work for your little ones. It is relaxing to know the tree does not have to be perfect.

Hope you enjoyed this Saturday in Ellen's kitchen and that you are enjoying the Wonder of the Christmas season. Joy to the World!

Gluten free Yeast Doughnuts - FLASH BACK FRIDAY

I originally posted a gf doughnut recipe here , but I tweeked the recipe using my Julie's Flour and I am really happy with the results -- definitely improved the doughnut .. both in the ease of handling the dough and in the eating !
Doughnuts could be made festive for the season by using red and green sprinkles.

Here is my tweeked recipe ..

  • 3/4 cup milk 
  • 1 tsp sugar 
  • 1 1/2 tbsp yeast 
  • 2 eggs 
  • 1/4 cup oil (or half butter/half oil) 
  • 1 tsp vanilla 
  • 1/3 cup sugar 
  • 1 1/2 cups Julie's Flour Blend 
  • 1/2 cup white rice flour
  • 1/2 cup potato starch 
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder 
  • 1 tsp xanthan gum 
  • 1/4 tsp salt 
  • sweet rice flour for handling
  1. Heat milk to 'finger-test' warm, add sugar and sprinkle in yeast - let proof until doubled
  2. In mixer bowl blend sugar, eggs, oil and vanilla - beat well. 
  3. Add risen yeast 
  4. Add blended dry ingredients (except sugar) and stir until mixed, then beat on high for 2 minutes. 
  5. Scrape out onto lightly floured parchment paper and with only as much sweet rice flour as needed to allow for handling knead very lightly - then pat out to 1/2 inch thickness - or roll out covering dough with plastic wrap.  
  6. With doughnut cutter make doughnuts and holes - and let rise for about 40 minutes. 
  7. Fry in hot oil, turning when underside is golden brown ..  Cook on rack before icing.  
  8. Top with favorite icing and sprinkles , or icing and toasted almond flakes, or glaze doughnuts (recipe below) or eat doughnuts with nutella.  
Glaze for doughnuts 
  • 1/2 cup milk 
  • 1/2 cup butter 
  • 1 cup sugar 
  • 1 cup icing sugar 
  • 1 tsp vanilla 
  1. In saucepan on stove top heat milk, butter and sugar until boiling - boil for 40 seconds. 
  2. Remove from heat, add icing sugar and vanilla and whisk briskly until smooth and thickened. 
  3. Dip doughnuts , doughnut holes into glaze .  
*** These are best eaten fresh .. or re-freshed a few seconds in the microwave.

Chow Mein Noodle Cookies

These no-bake cookies were a favorite in our home when my children were young and now my grands really like them. They are a nice addition to a tray of Christmas cookies as well...and are simple to make.
  • 1 cup chocolate chips (semi-sweet or milk chocolate)
  • 1 cup butterscotch chips
  • 2 cups chow mein noodles
  • 1 cup peanuts

  1. Line a baking sheet with parchment or waxed paper.
  2. Place chocolate and butterscotch  chips in large glass bowl. 
  3. Heat in microwave at full power, stirring every 30 seconds until chips are melted (about two minutes).
  4. Stir in chow mein noodles and peanuts until fully coated.
  5. Drop by rounded tablespoon or cookie scoop onto prepared baking sheet.
  6. Chill for 30 minutes or until hardened. 

Cheesy Cauliflower Bake

Cauliflower is such a good healthy vegetable. This dish is definitely company worthy. For a bit of spice, mix in a few drops of hot sauce to the mixture before you pour into the baking pan. A great dish to bring to a festive gathering. Can easily be doubled for a larger crowd.
  • 1 medium head cauliflower broken into florets 
  • 1/4 cup boiling water
  • 1 1/2 cups sour cream
  • 1 cup cheddar cheese, grated
  • 1/2 cup sweet red pepper, chopped
  • 1/2 cup sweet green pepper, chopped
  • 2/3 cup cornflakes, crushed
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese, grated
  • 1/4 teaspoon paprika
  1. Cook cauliflower in 1/4 cup boiling water for 5 minutes, until tender crisp. Drain.
  2. Stir in sour cream, cheddar cheese, red and green peppers, crushed cornflakes, salt and pepper.
  3. Pour into a 9" x 13" greased pan. Shake Parmesan cheese evenly over top.
  4. Sprinkle with paprika.
  5. Bake uncovered in a 325º oven for 35 minutes.
  6. Serves: 8

Carrot Coconut Cookies

Just another one of those cookie recipes that add a nice touch to your Christmas platter.
The glaze and a fresh hint of orange rind give these cookies that extra taste that makes them special.

Carrot Coconut Cookies
  • 1 cup butter
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup mashed carrots
  • 2 1/2 cups flour plus 
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 cup shredded coconut
  1. Steam or cook 3 large carrots and mash them.
  2. Heat oven to 350°
  3. Beat butter, sugar, and eggs
  4. Add vanilla, baking powder, carrots, flour, and coconut.
  5. Beat till you have consistency. The cookies are not flat but in a mound.
  6. Drop cookies on the cookie sheet.  I prefer to use my small ice cream scoop.
  7. Bake for 20 minutes.
  8. Ice cookies while they are still warm
  • 1 1/2 cups icing sugar (powder)
  • 1 Tbsp flour
  • 1 Tbsp butter
  • 3 Tbsp orange juice
  • zest from one orange
Mix ingredients together and glaze while they are still warm.

Pfeffernusse are a must in our house for the Advent Season.  Once I've baked and rolled those I like to add a few new cookie recipes each year.  This year I've chosen the carrot coconut cookie.  Thank you Helen for sharing your recipe with me.  They are delicious.
What are some of your favorite cookie recipes for Christmas?

One Skillet Chicken, Vegetables and Rice Meal

 This one skillet complete meal is a great choice for using up leftover chicken or turkey. It would also be an easy meal to prepare and deliver to a shut-in. If taking this meal to someone who needs a helping hand you might want to include some fresh fruit and cookies to enhance the meal for them.

One Skillet Chicken, Vegetables and Rice
  • 1 Tablespoon oil
  • 1/2 cup chopped onion
  • 1 lb. boneless skinless chicken breasts or 2 cups of leftover cooked chicken or turkey
  • 3 cups fresh vegetables of your choice chopped or sliced, I used mushrooms, bell pepper, zucchini, and broccoli. 
  • 1 can chicken broth or 1-3/4 cups home made broth
  • 2 cups instant rice (white or brown)
  • 1/4 cup zesty Italian salad dressing
  • 2 tablespoons chopped parsley for garnish
  • Salt and Pepper to taste

  1. Heat oil in large skillet.
  2. Add onion and cook till tender.
  3. If you are using raw chicken add it now seasoning it with salt and pepper, cook until lightly browned.
  4. Add 3 cups or more of chopped vegetables and cook until slightly tender, 3-5 minutes.
  5. If you are using pre-cooked chicken or turkey add it here after the vegetables are slightly tender.
  6. Stir in 1 can of chicken broth or 1-3/4 cups of homemade broth.
  7. Bring to a boil.
  8. Add 2 cups instant rice and 1/4 cup of Italian salad dressing and incorporate well.
  9. Bring to a boil.
  10. Reduce heat, cover and cook for 5 minutes or until rice is tender, liquid is absorbed and chicken is cooked thoroughly (if using raw chicken to begin with). Brown rice will take longer than white.
Serves 6 or more.

My tip for you on the subject of taking meals to shut ins or a family who needs a helping hand due to surgery or the birth of a baby is to take the meal in disposable containers that do not have to be returned. Make it as easy as you can on the people you are serving.

Bread For The Journey

Morning Glory 

From the time I was a child the Morning Glory has been one of my favorite flowers.  
I love the flower itself - how its tendrils reach out to entangle and twist around anything it touches , how its flowers open to the morning sun and close again when the sun sets. 
I also love its name - Morning Glory. 

My dear mother, who always loved the morning,
 is in hospice and we sit at her bedside as she is waiting
 - any day now -
to see the 'morning glory' that will outshine the best this earthly life has to offer.

We don't like to think about death - because it is contrary to what God has designed us for. 
God has put 'life' not 'death' in our soul - we are created to live forever.  
But only when our hope is in Jesus,  
do we do not despair or fear when we face the earthly-body death
 of a loved one - or our own -
 though we grieve the temporary parting.

   We look to the One who descended to earth to bring His glory down to us, 
so that He could lift us up to joyously share His heavenly glory. 

  "And in the morning you shall see the glory of the LORD" 
Ex. 16:7

** update ...   My mother stepped over this earth's threshold this morning (Dec. 6th)
to see the Glory of  her King.

Fruit Salad with Sprite

Refreshing in any season...this is a favorite fruit salad at our home.  Whenever we host a brunch at our place, you will likely find this fruit salad on the table.  For a crowd, I fill a punch bowl with our favorite fruits...then pour Sprite over. It is then served as a side dish in a fruit nappy.  In summer, I use whatever fruits we have on hand and serve it as dessert.  The grands love it.  One granddaughter told me that she made it at home, but they had no Sprite so she used Gatorade and it wasn't the same! (I guess not.) The Sprite keeps the fruit (bananas, apples, pears, etc) from browning and adds a little sparkle and sizzle to your fruit salad.  Since this is more of an idea than a recipe, I thought a Saturday might be the perfect time to share it. 

  • Fresh fruit of your choice, cut in bite size pieces
  • Sprite (or your favorite lemon-flavoured carbonated drink)
Serve with a slotted spoon, if desired. 


Danish Cream Squares ~ Flashback Friday

This creamy dessert has been a family favorite for years and is often requested instead of a birthday cake. I originally posted it right here on my daughter's 30th birthday and more recently served it for my granddaughters' fifteenth birthday celebration. Garnish with strawberries or cherries during the holiday season, with a lemon peel spiral in spring or with fresh berries in summer. It's a dessert for all seasons!
  • graham wafers
  • vanilla pudding and pie filling, 6-serving size
  • 2 1/2 cups milk
  • 2 cups whipping cream (500 ml)
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 1/2 cups icing sugar
  • 3 tablespoons milk
  • 1 square semi-sweet chocolate
  • 1 teaspoon butter or margarine
  1. Line 9 x 13 inch ungreased pan with whole graham wafers, trimming to fit.
  2. Cook pudding with milk as directed, using only 2 1/2 cups of milk.
  3. Allow to cool; spread over graham crackers in pan.
  4. Beat cream, sugar and vanilla until stiff. Spread over pudding.
  5. Top with second layer of whole graham crackers, trimming to fit.
  6. Mix icing sugar and milk together well. It needs to be fairly thin (add more milk if necessary). Spread over cracker layer.
  7. Melt chocolate with butter (in microwave). Drizzle over top. 
  8. Chill. Let stand overnight before serving.