Thursday, June 30, 2016

Raspberry Crunch Bars




I made Raspberry Jam recently and the taste brought back a memory 
of these bars that my mom used to make.  
I've lost her recipe over the years and went hunting to find something similar.
I found a jam bar recipe in an old school cookbook from the 1970's and doctored it up 
to match my mom's delicious Raspberry Crunch Bars.
I tested them out on the guys at our office and they all gave it a huge thumbs up.
They loved the fresh raspberry taste and the crunchy topping.

Base:
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • pinch of salt
  • 1/2 cup cold butter
  • 1 egg beaten
  • 1 tablespoon milk
Topping:
  • 1 cup Raspberry Jam or Jelly  (approximate amount)
  • 1 beaten egg
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 2 tablespoons melted butter
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup sweetened coconut
  • 1 cup crushed cornflakes
  1. Prepare base: cut cold butter into flour, baking powder and salt.  
  2. Mix egg and milk and vanilla and add to flour mixture, mixing lightly like you would for pie dough.
  3. Roll or pat into an 8" square pan.
  4. Spread raspberry jam over base.
  5. Beat sugar, egg and vanilla with melted butter.
  6. Add coconut and crushed cornflakes mix with a fork.
  7. Spread lightly with a fork over jam.
  8. Bake in a 350ºF oven for about 25-30 minutes or until topping is golden.
  9. Cool and cut into squares.





Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Biscuit Torte (Sponge Cake)



I found this recipe (submitted by Mrs. H Dyck)  in the 1973 edition of the Mennonite Treasury and the name caught my eye, because that is what my mom also called a simple white sponge cake. She did not have an angel food cake pan. so she make it in a spring form pan. I think she greased and floured it - somehow it worked.
This was our traditional birthday cake, filled with fruit and whipped cream.  When I made it now, I mostly followed the directions in the following recipe. This cake is great with fresh berries or peaches and cream. You can also use it for a trifle. 

Ingredients:
  • 6 eggs. divided
  • 1 cup sugar
  • grated rind of 1/2 lemon
  • 2 Tbsp lemon juice 
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt

Method:
  1. Beat egg whites until stiff. Set aside
  2. Beat egg yolks, gradually beating in the sugar until thick and lemon colored. Stil in lemon rind and juice.
  3. Fold about half of the beaten egg whites into the yolk mix, then blend in sifted, combined flour, baking powder and salt. ( I did not sift)
  4. With a spatula fold in the last of the beaten egg whites, using careful light strokes, until batter is light and fluffy with no more egg white showing.
  5. Bake in an ungreased angel food pan at 325 F for 10 minutes, 350 F for 20 minutes and 375 F for the last 10 - 15 minutes. 
  6. Invert the pan over a wire rack, to cool upside down. Run a knife along edges, including bottom (if pan comes in two pieces) and shake it out.




Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Frozen Yogurt Granola Bars



We so enjoy our summer breakfast of fresh berries from the garden, yogurt and granola...preferably eaten on the back patio.  Why not combine the same ingredients and have a cool and refreshing snack in the afternoon on a hot summer day?
  • 2 cups Pina Colada yogurt (or your favorite flavour)
  • 1 banana, chopped or sliced
  • 1 1/2 cups fresh berries (blueberries and raspberries)
  • 1 cup granola
  • 1/2 cup chopped almonds
  1. Combine all ingredients in large mixing bowl, stirring gently.
  2. Line a 9" x 9" pan with parchment paper or foil and spread mixture evenly in prepared pan.
  3. Freeze until firm.
  4. Remove frozen slab from pan and cut into bars of desired shape. *
  5. Store in freezer.
Yield: 16-2" squares or 16-1x4"bars

*They can be cut into longer bars and wrapped in paper for easier snacking!






Monday, June 27, 2016

Canning Cherries




Every summer my Mom would can many quarts of cherries.  We had canned fruit for dessert a few times each week during the winter months so that meant she needed to have many jars of cherries, peaches, pears, apricots and plums. Cherries were always a favourite and especially if she remembered to put the jar in the refrigerator to chill.   We eat fresh cherries like there is no tomorrow but I do like to can a few small jars.  Canned cherries are a necessary ingredient for Plumi Moos. 


Mom never pitted the cherries before canning and I never do either.  You can go ahead and pit them but it is not necessary.  You can remove the pits as you eat them as though they were fresh.  Since cherries are already sweet we prefer ours canned with a very light syrup.  Cherries are acidic and are safely canned using a hot water process.  


Tools needed
  • a water bath canner with a rack  (I use a universal canning rack with one of my own very large pots)
  • pint jars with seals and rings
  • a canning funnel
  • jar lifter
  • measuring cup
  • pot to make syrup
  • 12 pounds of sweet cherries make about 9-500 ml/pint jars
  • 9 cups of water
  • 2 cups sugar
  1. Run the jars through the dishwasher.  Keep the jars in the closed dishwasher to stay warm until you are ready to fill.
  2. Prepare canner by filling with water and bringing to a boil.
  3. Make syrup by bringing water and sugar to a boil and then simmer until you are ready to fill jars.
  4. Wash the cherries, remove stems and poke with a sterilized pin on the opposite side of the stem to keep the cherries from bursting. You do not need to do this if you pit your cherries.
  5. Using a canning funnel, Pour 1/2 cup syrup into jar, fill  with cherries and add more syrup to cover cherries.  Leave a 1/2 inch headspace at the top of the jar.
  6. Wipe rim, center lid on top and then put on ring and screw tight. 
  7. Using the jar lifter, lower the jars into boiling water or lower the rack if it has handles.  The jars should be covered by at least an inch of water.  Once the water comes to a boil again, process in boiling water for 15 minutes. 
  8. Remove jars using the jar lifter or lift the rack if it has handles.  Place on a tea towel to cool.  Listen for the jars to pop, which means they have sealed.  Refrigerate any jars that do not seal.   Sealed lids will look inverted but avoid the temptation to press the lid and help it along. 

Sunday, June 26, 2016

Bread for the Journey

blog2-20

Photo Credit 
KRYSTENCATHLEENPHOTOGRAPHY.COM

Last month our youngest daughter got married to a kind and gentle man. It was easier letting her go knowing she was in good hands as was he.  The house is feeling quieter and slowly we are becoming empty nesters with two of them married and living out of town. 
But after the wedding and all the highs of a celebration like a wedding comes marriage and those of us who have been married know that the most wonderful relationships will experience their challenges. Our blog is a place we share our recipes, I would like to share with you a recipe for a happy marriage based on .... 

Philippians 2

Therefore if you have any encouragement from being united with Christ, if any comfort from his love, if any common sharing in the Spirit, if any tenderness and compassion, then make my joy complete by being like-minded, having the same love, being one in spirit and of one mind.  Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others.
 In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus: 

This recipe is not only good served in a marriage, but any relationships. May you enjoy much joy in your relationships with this recipe. I hope you give it a try. 

Saturday, June 25, 2016

Cast Iron in Kathy's Kitchen

Cooking in cast iron is becoming more popular again, especially since we live in a time when we do so much BBQing. Our regular readers may already know that in our home my husband is my biggest competition in my kitchen. He loves grilling and has 3 Big Green Egg grills, and I'll never say no to something coming off those grills. He uses cast for anything from baking corn bread, mac and cheese, brown butter seared steaks, cast iron pizza, egg bake, fajitas and chili.
Cast iron also works well in your oven and on the stove top. If you have an old pan that has turned rusty, give it a wash, re season it and start using it.

Cast requires a little bit of care.
  1. Wash cast in hot water. It's best to not use soap. Rinse well and place in a warm place to dry so that it does not rust. I put it into my oven to dry. Place cast in oven, turn oven to heat to 350. Once heated turn off and leave pan inside oven to dry.
  2. Store in a dry place so they don't get rusty.
  3. Seasoning your pan is key. Seasoning is basically just rubbing your clean dry cast with a good coating of MELTED or liquid vegetable oil and then putting the pan upside down in a 400º oven for an hour. Turn oven off and leave pan in to cool. MAKE SURE YOU PUT FOIL ON SHELF BELOW INVERTED PAN TO CATCH THE DRIPS OF OIL. Every so often your pan will need to be re seasoned. 
Cooking with cast.
  1. Cast iron takes time to warm up and preheating your pan will make for better baking and cooking. Follow directions on recipes as they will vary.
  2. Cast iron gets very hot, make sure you have heavy oven mitts when handling and also a good trivet to place it on when it comes out of the oven or off the grill. DON"T put it on your counter top. 
  3. It's important to give your pan an extra rub with oil before using....just like you would prep any of you baking pans.

Friday, June 24, 2016

Oriental Cabbage Salad (Patty's Salad) - Flashback Friday



I'm featuring the original Patty's Oriental Salad on Flashback Friday 
but because I've tweaked the recipe I've renamed it "Oriental Cabbage Salad".
I found the original dressing very sweet so I reduced the sugar, and then added red peppers for colour.
My favourite thing about this salad is how browning the noodles, sesame seed and almonds in butter adds a wonderful buttery crunch to the crisp cababge!


  • 1 head Savoy Cabbage, shredded (using Savoy cabbage adds a crinkly appearance and texture)
  • 5 green onions chopped
  • 1 /2 large red pepper, thinly sliced
  • 2 packages oriental noodles broken apart into small pieces
  • 1/2 cup sesame seeds
  • 1 small package sliced or slivered almonds
  • 1/2 cup butter (less works too)
Dressing:
  • 3 teaspoon soy sauce
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup white vinegar
  • 1/4 cup rice vinegar
  • 1 cup vegetable oil
  • dash of salt
  1. Combine cabbage,  green onions and red peppers in a large bowl and set aside.
  2. Melt butter in pan. Break noodles up into small pieces and add with sesame seeds and almonds to pan. 
  3. Fry until nicely browned. Watch closely so it doesn't burn. Remove from pan to paper towel. Cool.
  4. Mix soy sauce, sugar and vinegars until well blended.
  5. Add vegetable oil and salt and mix well again.
  6. Just before serving, add noodle mixture to cabbage mixture and pour dressing over.
  7. Toss lightly and serve.

Thursday, June 23, 2016

Breakfast-on-the-Go Biscuits



These biscuits have no added sugar and are gluten free if  gluten free oats are used, such as Only Oats. They have a good flavor and are still good the next day, or the next! 

  • 1 1/3 cups oat flour (gluten free or regular)  -  you can use your coffee grinder to turn oat flakes into oat flour, if you wish. 
  • 1/4 cup almond flour 
  • 2 1/2 tsp. baking powder 
  • 3 tbsp butter 
  • 1 egg 
  • 1 rounded tablespoon mayonnaise (I used Miracle Whip) - or sour cream 
  • milk or buttermilk to make 3/4 cup 
  • 1/3 cup dried cranberries 
  1. Blend dry ingredients together
  2. Cut in butter until you have a uniform crumb
  3. Put egg and mayonnaise in a cup and add enough milk to make 3/4 cup
  4. Stir liquid into flour mixture and stir just until well blended 
  5. Stir in cranberries 
  6. Drop by tablespoon onto baking sheet lined with parchment paper 
  7. Bake for 15 minutes @ 425 degree. 

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Italian Meatball Sandwiches


 Making your own meatballs is easy to do and they are delicious and good to use for a sandwich or in spaghetti and meatballs. Once the sandwich is assembled you can put it in a toaster oven to melt the cheese of your choice on top of the meatballs. My family gave these meatballs a thumbs up!

Italian Meatballs

Ingredients:
1-1/2 pound of ground beef
1-pound of bulk Italian seasoned ground chicken or Italian sausage or ground pork
1 cup seasoned dry bread crumbs
3/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
1/2 cup, grated onion
2 cloves garlic, finely minced
2 teaspoons Italian Seasoning
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1/3 cup milk
Jarred spaghetti or marinara sauce
hoagie or sub rolls split through one side of the roll only

Method:
Preheat oven to 425 degrees
Put all the meatball ingredients (except the spaghetti sauce and rolls) in a large mixing bowl and work the meat mixture with your hands to combine. (rub your hands with olive oil before you start working the mixture so it will be a less sticky process)

When mixed well form meatballs using a 1/4 cup measure to scoop up meat to make uniform meatballs.  I found it helpful again to rub my hands with oil before forming the meatballs.
Place the meatballs on large cooking sheet lined with foil.
Bake at 425 degrees for 15-20 minutes.
Yield: 22 meatballs (You will yield more or less depending on the size you choose)

When five minutes are left on the cooking time heat up the marinara or spaghetti sauce in a large saucepan.
When meatballs are removed from oven place 12 of them into the sauce and let them simmer while preparing the rolls for sandwiches.
Put 3 meatballs on each roll and pour a little more sauce over the meatballs. If you like place 2 slices of cheese on the meatballs and heat under broiler or in toaster oven till the cheese melts.
You can also cut the meatballs in half before putting them on the rolls. 
Serve with extra sauce on the side.
The 12 meatballs will make at least 4 sandwiches and for smaller appetites using 2 meatballs you can yield 8 sandwiches.

You can freeze the remaining meatballs to use later in another dish or sandwiches.



Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Hamburger Relish






It's summertime!  If you haven't already been grilling burgers, you will be very soon. This burger relish is a bit savoury and a bit sweet.  It is perfect on burgers but try it on other grilled meats as well.   I wanted to get this burger relish out to you early because it needs a few weeks for the flavours to blend before you get it onto your burgers.  I make my own hot dog and hamburger relish and once you try it, you will want to always keep a few jars ready too.  

  • 4 small cucumbers, diced to make three cups ( I use mini cucumbers which I don't peel) 
  • 1 yellow onion
  • 1 large orange bell pepper, diced
  • 1 large red bell pepper, diced
  • 1 large stalk celery, diced
  • 3 tablespoons kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric (divided)
  • 2 cups cold water
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 15 cloves
  • 2 cups cider vinegar
  • 2 cups diced grape tomatoes
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 teaspoons mustard seeds
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  1. Combine the chopped cucumbers, onion, peppers, and celery in a large glass bowl. 
  2. Sprinkle with salt, 1/2 teaspoon turmeric and stir.
  3. Cover with 2 cups cold water. Press down vegetables and add a bit more water if necessary to cover.  
  4. Let sit overnight.
  5. In the morning, pour vegetables into a colander and allow to drain for 10 minutes.
  6. Prepare jars by washing them in hot soapy water, rinse and drain.  Sterilize them by boiling them in water for 10 minutes.  Keep in hot water until you are ready to fill them.  
  7. Bring the drained vegetables and cider vinegar to a simmer in a  large stainless steel or enamel pot.
  8. Tie cloves into a piece of cheesecloth and add to pot along with the cinnamon stick, mustard seeds and diced tomatoes.
  9. Simmer 30 minutes.
  10. Add sugar and tomato paste and continue to simmer and stir until the relish reduces, about another 20 minutes.
  11. Ladle the relish into 5 - 250 ml canning jars. Leave 1/2 inch space at the top.  Wipe the rims clean and cover with lids that have been boiled for 10 minutes. 
  12. Process jars in a hot water bath for 15 minutes. 
  13. Allow the relish to develop the flavours for 2 weeks before using.  Refrigerate after opening. 



Monday, June 20, 2016

Raspberry Cream Cheese Pie



Last summer we toured Prince Edward Island, and on the advice of a local, we visited PEI Preserve Company and had a fine meal meal in their restaurant.  Their sampled their dessert specialty...'Raspberry Cream Cheese Pie'.  Of course!  I took note and I took a photo.  Now that the raspberries in our garden are ripe, I made my own version of their famous pie.  It went over well!  So here it is...PEI raspberry cream cheese pie made with BC raspberries.

Crust:
1- 9 or 10-inch baked pie shell, pre-baked

Cream cheese filling:
  • 1 package (8 ounces) cream cheese, softened
  • 3/4 cup icing sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup heavy whipping cream
  1. Beat the cream cheese, icing sugar and vanilla until smooth. 
  2. Gradually add the cream, beating until thickened. 
  3. Spoon into prepared pie crust and spread evenly.
 Raspberry Filling:
  • 5 cups fresh raspberries
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 3 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup water
  1.  In large saucepan, mix granulated sugar, cornstarch and salt.  
  2. Add water and whisk until smooth. 
  3. Stir in 2 cups of the raspberries. 
  4. Heat to boiling. 
  5. Boil 1 minute, stirring constantly.
  6. Cool completely, about 30 minutes.
  7. Add 3 cups fresh raspberries to the cooled mixture and stir gently to coat all the berries.
  8. Spoon over cream cheese layer of pie.  
  9. Refrigerate at least 2 hours before serving.
Topping:
  • 1 cup whipping cream 
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
  1. In medium bowl, beat whipping cream, sugar and vanilla on high speed until stiff peaks form.
  2. Garnish entire pie or individual slices with whipped cream when serving.
  3. Store pie in refrigerator. 


* If you prefer a thinner 'cream cheese layer' cut the recipe in half.

Enjoy!
 

Sunday, June 19, 2016

Bread for the Journey ~ Father's Day


Isaiah 46:4
Even to your old age and gray hairs,
I am He, I am He who sustains you.
I have made you and I will carry you;
I will sustain you and I will rescue you.

This Father's Day my thoughts about my dad come from a different perspective.
Dad turned 93 at the end of February and my sister and I and our husbands took
Dad out for dinner on that Saturday night to celebrate.
We had such a lovely evening together.

Monday morning I received a call from the staff at the independent living complex where he lives.
"Your Dad is not himself this morning. His speech is slurred and he's choking on his coffee."
We called an ambulance and thus began the new journey with our Dad.
He'd had a stroke and although it was considered a light one, he is no longer able to be completely independent and now needs help with many basic tasks.

This has been a difficult journey for him and for us.
Growing old is not easy nor is watching a loved one age.
From being our strong, independent Dad, he has become weak and dependent on others.
From making his own decisions, he now has others making decisions for him.
From living independently to being cared for in a nursing home.
His life has changed so drastically.

However he continues to set an example for us in the way he has
accepted these unwelcome changes to his life.
He is kind to his care givers and appreciative of all that is done for him.
He often expresses his gratitude for the way God has blessed him throughout his 93 years.

We too, have had so much to be grateful for. 
He's been an amazing Dad who has never hesitated to express his love and appreciation for us.
He has cared for us, looked out for our interests and helped us in innumerable ways over our lifetime.
He takes great pride in his girls, loving his sons in law unconditionally, engaging with his grandchildren and great grandchildren and generous with his expressions of love.
Now it is our turn to bless our Dad by ministering to him in his old age.

God has blessed us all with family.
None of us have a perfect family and ours wasn't either.
However we were fortunate that our parents chose to place God first in our home
and taught us by example to take our troubles to God our Heavenly Father.

Today I want to honour my Dad for the sacrifices he made on our behalf,
I want to thank my Heavenly Father for allowing me to be this man's daughter
and for walking with him even now as he grows old.
And I want to learn from his example to trust in God throughout the seasons of my life.



Saturday, June 18, 2016

Vegetarian Tacos and More



If you love roasted yams, black beans and avocado along with Mexican flavors, these vegetarian tacos are for you. Even my meat loving husband enjoys these! I thought I'd share this recipe and then link to some other favorite meatless dishes today. Enjoy!

Ingredients:

  • 2-3 cups peeled and cubed yams
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • salt, pepper and cumin to taste
  • 1/2 can black beans, rinsed (1 cup)
  • 1/2 ripe avocado, cubed
  • 1/4 cup feta cheese
  • 10 small flour tortillas
Taco Sauce:
  • 1/2 avocado, mashed
  • 2 Tbsp mayonnaise
  • 2 Tbsp salsa
  • juice of 1/2 lime
  • 2 Tbsp fresh cilantro, chopped fine
Method:
  1. In a small oven proof dish, mix cubed yam with olive oil, salt, pepper and cumin. Bake uncovered for about 20-30 minutes at 400 F. Add Black beans and keep warm.
  2. In the meantime, mash avocado and add the rest of the ingredients for the sauce. Set aside.
  3. Warm tortillas and stack
  4. Mix roasted yams, beans, chopped avocado and feta
  5. Serve warmed tortillas with sauce and veggie filling
For More Favorite Meatless Lunch/Dinner ideas:





Spinach with Eggs and hash browns


( check out our many options of roasted vegetable soups as well as  homemade tomato soup)






These are just a few to begin with.
Do you have some favorite meatless dish ideas to share?

Friday, June 17, 2016

Raisin Pudding - Flashback Friday


I'm bringing back my raisin pudding for Flashback Friday. It is sometimes known as poor man's pudding but if you spoon it into nice goblets with a dollop of whipping cream and a sprinkle of almonds on top it looks fancy enough for company!

I changed up a few things when I made it this time, I decreased the amount of raisins and added some grated apple. I also increased the buttermilk. I found that with a little increase of the buttermilk the dough was easier to spoon into the baking dish.
  • 1 cup flour
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 1/2 cup raisins
  • 1/2 medium sized apple, peeled and grated
  • 3/4  cup buttermilk 
  1. In a medium sized bowl whisk together flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg.
  2. Cut in butter until mixture is crumbly in texture.
  3. Stir in raisins and apple.
  4. Gradually add buttermilk stirring lightly with fork just until blended.
  5. Spoon batter into a 1 1/2 quart baking dish, the batter will be fairly thick.
  6. Whisk together sauce and pour slowly over batter.
  7. Sauce:
  8. 3/4 cup brown sugar
  9. 1 tablespoon butter
  10. 1 3/4 cups boiling water
  11. Bake in a preheated oven at 375º for 30 minutes.
  12. Allow to cool in baking dish for 15 minutes before serving. This allows the sauce to thicken up a bit.
  13. Best served warm.
  14. Serves: 6

Thursday, June 16, 2016

Potato Leek Gratin

This is a creamy tasty side dish to serve with a protein of your choice. Everyone in the family enjoyed it.

Potato Leek Gratin

2 Tbsp. unsalted butter and more for greasing the dish
1-1/2 lbs.Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled and slice uniformly thin.
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. freshly ground pepper
2 large leeks, washed, green tops trimmed, halved lengthwise and thinly sliced
1 large garlic clove, minced
2 thyme sprigs
2 rosemary sprigs
1 cup heavy cream
3/4 cup cheese, grated (swiss or gruyere)

Heat oven to 350 degrees F. Butter a 2 quart round dish. Toss the potatoes with 3/4 teaspoon of the salt and 1/4 teaspoon of the pepper. Layer the sliced potatoes in the dish.

Melt 2 tablespoons butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Add leeks, garlic, remaining salt and pepper, thyme and rosemary. Cook, stirring, until leeks are tender and golden, 5-7 minutes. Add cream, scrapping up browned bits of leeks from the bottom of the pan. Simmer gently for 5 minutes. Remove thyme and rosemary sprigs and discard.

Pour the cream mixture over potatoes and top with the cheese. Cover with aluminum foil and bake for 40 minutes, uncover and bake until the cheese is bubbling and golden, 10-15 minutes longer. Let cool slightly before serving.
Serves 6-8 people as a side dish.

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Ham with Marmalade Glaze





We bought a Traeger Barbeque/Smoker last year. 
Each time we've baked a ham on the grill, it turns out delicious.  
This time I did a simple Marmalade glaze.  I hope you enjoy it as much as we and our guests did. 
 Alternatively, you can bake your ham in the oven as per package instructions, brushing the ham with the glaze every 20 minutes for the last half of the cooking time.

  • 1 large fully cooked ham
  • 1 1/4 cups marmalade
  • 1/4 cup grainy mustard or dijon mustard
  • 1/4 cup white grapefruit balsamic vinegar or regular balsamic vinegar
  1. Place ham on its side on a rack in a roasting pan.
  2. Lightly score the fat on the outside into a diamond pattern. Do not cut too deeply into the ham.
  3. In a small bowl combine marmalade, mustard and balsamic vinegar.  Mix well.
  4. After ham has been in the oven for 1 hour (approximately half of the finished cooking time), brush the ham with the glaze, glazing it every 20 minutes until fully heated through. (about 140- 145 º F internal temperature)
  5. Let ham sit for 20 minutes before slicing.  If you have remaining glaze, heat it and pour over the sliced ham.



Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Coconut Chia Seed Pudding

Do you like the texture of Tapioca pudding? I do. So when I first was introduced to this pudding I was good with the texture of the little chia seeds that had swollen while resting in the coconut milk.
This pudding is chocked full of healthy ingredients and ones you can have on hand in your pantry.
 Although I got this recipe from my sister who got it from a friend...that friend most likely found it on line. My choice of sweetener is agave syrup and I like to add a little vanilla.
(yields 4 1/2 cup servings)
  • 1 400 gram (or some cans read 397grams)can coconut milk (not light) 
  • 1/3 cup chia seeds (I often buy the ones with added probiotics in them)
  • 1 tbsp agave syrup ( you can use honey, maple syrup or other sweeteners of your choice)
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • fruit to top when serving, optional
  1. Place all ingredients in a jar. Cover and shake well to combine ingredients. Pour into mini mason jars or small bowls.
  2. Allow to sit in refrigerator for at least 4 hours. This allows the seeds to swell. You will still have the crunch of the seeds.
  3. Top or stir in fruit or serve plain. Stirring in a little of your favourite jam is good too..but then you may be adding sugar you don't want. 
Keeps in refrigerator for up to a week. 

Monday, June 13, 2016

Succotash Plus!

Succotash is a food dish consisting primarily of sweet corn with lima beans or other shell beans. The version I'm sharing today is one I watched prepared on the Food Network show called The Kitchen. My portions are slightly different than what they used. It makes a great side to any protein you cook and would really work well for a potluck or barbecue.

Ingredients:
1-16-ounce package frozen lima beans, thawed.
1-16-ounce package frozen sweet corn, thawed.
1-16-ounce package frozen cut green beans, thawed.
1 cup grape tomatoes halved lengthwise.
1/2 cup minced red onions.
10 fresh basil leaves, cut into chiffonade.
1 avocado, peeled, seeded and cut into chunks.
1 jalapeno pepper seeded and minced.

Dressing:
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil. I used avocado oil
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
1 teaspoon honey
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper

Method:
Combine all vegetables together gently.
Whisk together the ingredients for the dressing until they incorporate.
Pour dressing over vegetables and toss gently and thoroughly.

Serves 12 or more as a side dish.

Tip: You can blanch the green beans if you'd like and after blanched give them an ice bath before incorporating them with the other vegetables.

Sunday, June 12, 2016

Bread for the Journey


I love to see dark clouds and their different formations moving across the sky but I am not overly fond of the storm to follow. And the same goes for the storms of life which are just as unpredictable and uncontrollable as the weather. They are not pleasant to go through but we need to stay steadfast and trust in God to see us through.
Yet when God created the universe he said that all he had made was good so even these 'life storms' are good for us.
Genesis 11:31 (NIV) "And God saw all that he had made was good.."
Even in my 'stormy' days I realize that this is good for me. Through them God builds character and I learn to lean on Him even more. We live in stormy times and must keep our eyes on Jesus. He is our help in our time of need.
Someone once said "The bigger the storm the more we need to trust".
Psalm 107:29  (NIV) "He stilled the storm to a whisper; the waves of the sea were hushed."
Trust him..He is there in your storm today!

Saturday, June 11, 2016

Rosella's Sugar Mint Dusted Pineapple

Several weeks ago some of us met one of our blogging friends Rosella for a picnic in the park. She brought along some delicious pineapple dusted with sugar and mint. We all agreed it needed to be added to the blog. Thanks for sharing this sweet little recipe with us Rosella.
I have a mortar and pestle which I used to grind the fresh mint into the sugar as Rosella does when she's home. But, seeing as they were traveling in their home on wheels she got cleaver and used two spoons to grind the mint leaves into the sugar. So, if you don't have a mortal and pestle you can still make the minted sugar
  • one fresh pineapple
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • fresh mint leaves
  1. Peel and core pineapple and then cut into spears.
  2. Place sugar into bowl and grind with pestle (or grind between spoons) until mint leaves break down and sugar and mint are well blended. Go ahead and leave the leaves of mint a little larger or grind till very fine. 
  3. Dust pineapple with sugar mint mixture and enjoy this perfect picnic treat.


Friday, June 10, 2016

Quick Blueberry Streusel (Platz) - Flashback Friday



This Friday I want to take you back to one of the earliest posts, a Quick Blueberry Streusel that you can't go wrong with. If you need some reviews, check out the comments there. I'm assuming someone will ask about other fruit and I don't see why not, but I have to be honest and say this one always wins big time with blueberries.

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 3/4 cup butter (room temp)
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 egg beaten with fork in meas. cup, then filled to 1 cup with buttermilk
  • 2 cups blueberries

  1. Pre-heat oven to 375 F. 
  2. Mix butter into flour and sugar with pastry blender until well blended and crumbly. 
  3. Set 1 1/4 cups aside for topping. 
  4. To the first, bigger part of the mix, add baking powder and soda, then stir in combined egg and buttermilk 
  5. Spread into greased 9 x 13 pan. Sprinkle with 2 cups blueberries and reserved crumb mixture. Squeeze to make crumb clusters as you drop them by handfuls.
  6. Bake on rack in upper third part of oven (important) for 35 - 45 min. Cool or serve warm with ice cream.
Tips:
Light colored (aluminum) pans/sheets are prefereable for when you want to keep the pastry (or cookies) from getting too dark on the bottom. If you have to use a glass pyrex pan, lower the oven temperature by 25 degrees and/or if you see the bottom getting too dark. place aluminum foil on rack under the pan.
Dark pans/sheets are good for when you want to get a nice dark/crisp bottom. They are good for roasting.

Thursday, June 9, 2016

Tomato Florentine Soup

This is another new soup that was introduced from a grocery store flyer with great flavors. I made some adjustments according to what was missing in my pantry.

Tomato Florentine Soup

1 Tbsp. olive oil
1 small onion chopped
2 stalks of celery, chopped
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 cup water
32 oz. chicken broth
1 can - 14oz. diced tomatoes, undrained
1 can tomato soup, undiluted (8 oz. can of tomato sauce can be used instead)
1 cup small shell pasta, uncooked
2 cups fresh spinach
salt and pepper to taste
Grated or shaved Parmesan cheese, for topping

Heat oil in dutch oven or large soup pot over medium heat. Add onion and celery; cook 7 minutes or until tender, stirring frequently.
Add garlic, cooking for 1 minute and stirring constantly.
Pour in water, broth, tomatoes, and tomato soup.
Bring to a simmer ad cook about 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Stir in pasta and cook 8 minutes.
Add spinach, cooking for a couple of minutes, until leaves wilt and the pasta is al dente.
Season with salt and pepper, to taste, and serve topped with Parmesan cheese.
Refrigerate any leftovers.

Serves: 4-6

Wednesday, June 8, 2016

Reuben Quesadillas


We love Reuben Sandwiches at our house and I've now come up with this new way to serve them using thin whole grain tortillas instead of rye bread.  These are great for lunch or can even be served on an appetizer tray. 
  • 8 small whole grain tortillas
  • 200 grams shaved deli corned beef
  • 8 slices swiss cheese
  • 1 500 gram package sauerkraut (from the produce department)
  • dijon mustard
  1. Spread each tortilla with mustard.
  2. Layer corned beef, sauerkraut and swiss cheese on half of tortilla.
  3. Fold in half and place in a frypan over medium heat.  Cook until browned on one side and then flip over, cooking until cheese is melted.  
  4. Slice into thirds and enjoy!

Tuesday, June 7, 2016

Cucumber Strawberry Salad



We have been enjoying fresh strawberries every which way these past few weeks.  Here is a refreshing spring salad made with crisp cucumbers from our neighbourhood greenhouse, local strawberries, candied walnuts, and feta cheese.  Though the amounts given are for a larger salad, this recipe is easily adapted for two.

Cucumber Strawberry Salad:
  • 2 Long English cucumbers, thinly sliced  (or 6 mini cucumbers)
  • 4 cups fresh strawberries, stemmed and sliced
  • 1/2 cup feta cheese, crumbled
  • 1/2 cup walnut pieces, candied (recipe below)
  • poppyseed dressing (your favorite or the recipe posted below)
  1. Combine cucumbers, strawberries, feta cheese and walnuts in a salad bowl. 
  2. Drizzle with poppyseed dressing and toss to coat.  
Serves 6


Dressing:
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup white wine vinegar (or white vinegar)
  • 1 T poppy seeds
  • 1 tablespoon grated onion
  • 1/2 teaspoon dry mustard
  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  1. Combine white wine vinegar and sugar and blend (with hand-held blender) until the sugar is dissolved. 
  2. Add the poppy seeds, grated onion and dry mustard.
  3. Slowly pour the olive oil into the dressing, while blending.
  4. Store in the fridge in covered container for several weeks. Shake before using.  

Candied Walnuts:
  • 1 cup walnut halves/pieces
  • ¼ cup white granulated sugar
  • 1 Tbsp butter
  1. Place walnuts, sugar and butter in a non-stick pan.
  2. Heat over medium heat for 5 minutes, stirring continually until all sugar is melted and the nuts are coated.
  3. Transfer immediately onto a sheet of parchment paper and separate the nuts. 
  4. Allow to cool.  Store in covered container.

 

Monday, June 6, 2016

Vegetable Party Wraps

These wraps are healthy, tasty and a perfect lunch or party snack food. 
Once the prep is done with the cutting of the veggies they are easy to assemble.
  • 8 large whole wheat wraps, or your favourite kind
  • 1 cup herb and garlic spreadable cream cheese
  • fresh baby spinach
  • julienned carrots
  • julienned peppers, I like to use a variety of coloured peppers
  • julienned cucumber
  • sprouts
  1. Lay wraps out on clean counter top.
  2. Divide cream cheese between the wraps and spread to cover surface.
  3. Down the middle of each wrap lay spinach leaves and top with some of each other the cut up veggies. 
  4. Top with sprouts.
  1. Roll up each wrap tightly. At this point you can place in a sealed container and refrigerate for a few hours or over night.
  2. Serve whole or for a party tray cut each roll into three or four pieces. (As seen in the first photo if you stand them up on end they look like little spring rolls.)
  3. Serve with pickles, olives and more veggies and dip on the side. 

Sunday, June 5, 2016

Bread for the Journey


Recently my husband and I attended a Renewal of Vows celebration. 
It was our first time to witness such a ceremony and we came away simply awed and amazed 
at the miracle of forgiveness and grace.
Truly a celebration!
A broken marriage that looked beyond repair ...
 made new by repentance and forgiveness.

It sounds simple enough in theory, but how well we know 
there can be sins comitted against us that seem impossible to forgive. 
We may feel that by forgiving, we are justifying the wrong. 
We may fear that justice will not prevail.
Maybe the wrongdoer does not deserve forgiveness.

Sometimes we say we forgive, but deep inside
we hold on just a bit of that power, that control
of making the other person feel indebted.

I was reading in Isaiah 1: 2

Hear, oh heavens: Listen, O earth: 
For the Lord has spoken:
"I reared children and brought them up,
but they have rebelled against me."

The Bible says we all have turned against God,
But what does He also say?

"Come now let us reason together ...
though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow."

God, who made us, longs for re-union.
Again and again He will forgive us.

"I, even I, am he who blots out your transgressions, for my own sake,
and remembers your sins no more."
Isaiah 43: 25

What an example! If God forgives for His own sake,
maybe it is something we should think about as well.

Today, I'm thankful that four children will grow up
in a home with their mom and dad
and always remember the power of forgiveness.

May the Lord help us to extend forgiveness and experience the blessing thereof.