Tuesday, October 17, 2017

W.O.W. Raisin/Peanut Cookies


W - wonderful flavor
O - omit gluten and lactose
W - winning chewy texture

I LOVE these cookies. Even my husband who is not a cookie lover reached for the second one!

  • 1 cup Julie's flour mix + 2 tablespoons
  • 1/2 teaspoon xanthan gum
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda 
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt 
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar 
  • 1/4 cup white sugar 
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 2 ounces cream cheese 
  • 6 tablespoons soft butter 
  • 1 egg 
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3/4 cup raisins 
  • 3/4 cup peanuts 
  1. Put softened butter, sugars, cream cheese in bowl of mixer and beat until fluffy, Add egg and beat well. 
  2. Mix dry ingredients together and mix into butter mixture. 
  3. Add raisins and peanuts 
  4. Chill for a few minutes - can keep in fridge for a day or two but will then need to be warmed to room temperature to soften again. 
  5. Drop by teaspoon into parchment-lined cookie sheet and bake at 350 degrees F for 11 minutes. 
  6. Remove from pan onto wire rack and cool 
  7. These cookies keep well .

Monday, October 16, 2017

Spaghetti Squash in a Crock pot

If you are anything like me you find cutting into a squash difficult and hope to not get a good cut in the process. This fall my sister Rhoda gave me the wonderful suggestion of baking a spaghetti squash whole in a crock pot. All you have to do is poke a knife into several places as you would a baking potato and place it into your crock pot. Turn it onto high and let it cook for 2-4 hours depending on the size. The one pictured took 2 1/2 hours. 

To test if it's done insert a knife. It will slide in very easily when cooked.
It's very hot so you will have to be careful and lift it out with 2 pot holders as it's also a wee bit soft. Place on cutting board.


Using a long sharp knife you will now we able to easily cut the squash in half.

While it's still hot scoop out all the seeds and pulp and discard.

Take a fork and pull the spaghetti like strands away from skin. You can leave it in the shell to serve or scoop into a bowl. Eat plain, or with a wee bit of butter, salt and pepper, or here is a very tasty way to add some great flavour to spaghetti squash. Spaghetti squash is also a great alternative to pasta, just top it with your favourite sauce and serve. 

Sunday, October 15, 2017

Bread For The Journey



Photo Credit: Kayla Krahn

When I read Psalm 23 I like to read it in the King James version. Maybe it's because that is how I memorized it years ago. No matter what version you read these are wonderful words of encouragement and comfort for us in our time of need.

Psalm 23(KJV)

1The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want.
He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters.
He restoreth my soul: he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name's sake.
Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.
Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over.
Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the Lord for ever.

Friday, October 13, 2017

Harvest Loaf - Flash Back


For this flashback I'd like to re-share a spiced pumpkin/chocolate loaf posted in 2008.  I can't believe that's nine years ago! I switched up the photo on the original one as well and clarified the sizes of pans to use, so that it is easier to decide on the size of the recipe you wish to make. You can easily cut it in half to make only one loaf. This loaf is still as good as ever! 

 Ingredients:
  • 3/4 cup butter (soft/room temp)
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar 
  • 4 eggs 
  • 2 cups cooked pureed pumpkin 
  • 3 cups flour 
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder 
  • 1/2 teaspoon soda
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon nutmeg
  • ½ teaspoon ginger
  • 1 cup chocolate chips
  • ¾ cup chopped nuts (optional)
  1. Prepare two 9 x 4 inch loaf pans by greasing with shortening or cooking spray, and dusting with flour.
  2. Beat butter and sugar well. Beat in eggs until light and fluffy. Add pumpkin. 
  3. Mix dry ingredients with spices and chocolate chips. Stir into wet mixture until combined.
  4. Bake for 50 minutes at 350 F, until toothpick tests done. 
  5. Cool 10 minutes in pans and then remove to cooling rack.


Before baking, I sprinkled some chocolate chips in a row on top. You can combine nuts and chocolate chips if you like. Once cooled, a drizzle of about 1/4 - 1/2 cup icing sugar with maybe a teaspoon of water and a drop of maple flavoring is optional. Plain is great too.

Thursday, October 12, 2017

Pumpkin Swirl Cheesecake with a Gingersnap Crust




This dessert is perfect for fall, especially if you love pumpkin but can't decide between pie and cheesecake.
The texture and flavor are perfect with the creamy filling and crisp gingernsap crust.

Gingersnap-Walnut Crust
  • 1 cup gingersnap crumbs
  • 1 cup graham wafer crumbs
  • 1/2 cup walnuts 
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/3 cup melted butter
  1. Combine all the ingredients and press into the bottom and 1 inch up the sides of a 10-inch springform pan.  Bake in a 350 F. oven on the center rack for about 7 minutes or until the crust is fragrant.  
  2. Remove from oven and cool while making the filling. Once cool, wrap the bottom and the edges of the pan in foil to catch any drips that might escape the pan. Leave oven on at 350 F.
Pumpkin Swirl Filling
  • 3  8 ounce/250 gram packages cream cheese, softened
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 3 tablespoons flour
  • 6 eggs, room temperature (divided)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/8 teaspoon cloves
  •  15 ounces / 2 cups  pure pumpkin puree
  1. Place a large pan of hot water on the bottom rack in the oven.
  2. Beat cream cheese in a large bowl with a mixer until smooth.  Add sugar and flour and beat until smooth.  
  3. Turn mixer to lowest speed add the vanilla and then five of the eggs one at a time, until all five eggs have been added.  Measure 2 1/2 cups of batter and place in another bowl. 
  4. To the remaining batter add the last egg and all the spices and the pumpkin.  Stir slowly until combined. 
  5. Put 1/2 of the pumpkin cheesecake mixture into the cooled crumb crust, then 1/2 of the vanilla cheesecake mixture and repeat.  Do not swirl until all the filling has been added.
  6. Use a knife to gently swirl through the batter. 
  7. Place the cheesecake on the rack above the water bath, not in the water bath.  
  8. Bake for 20 minutes and then lower temperature to 300 F for about 60 more minutes.
  9. The cheesecake is done with the center is still a bit jiggly but almost set.  I use an instant thermometer to be sure.  Cheesecake is done at 150 F.
  10. Turn off the oven but leave the cheesecake in oven with the door partly open for about 20 minutes.
  11. Remove from oven and run a knife around the edge to help keep it from cracking.  
  12. Cool on a rack completely before chilling.  Once it is chilled, wrap well and refrigerate until ready to serve.  Cheesecake is best made at least one or two days ahead.  

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

One Dish Dinner - Gluten Free


I'll confess -- I enjoy baking much more than cooking, so if I can cook a meal with as little prep work as possible, I'm happy.
This recipe is written as gluten free, but you can substitute your favourite  pasta as you desire.
  • 2 tablespoons oil 
  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 1 onion - chopped 
  • 4 cups boiling water 
  • 2 chicken bouillon cubes -- gluten free 
  • 1- 14 ounce can crushed tomatoes
  • 1 - 14 ounce can kidney beans 
  • 1 - 14 ounce can corn 
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder - or one fresh crushed clove
  • 1 tablespoon chopped parsley
  • salt and pepper as desired 
  • 1 cup Rice Vermicelli (a thin form of rice noodles) -  I use scissors to cut into pieces
  • 1 cup rice - I prefer converted or brown sprouted rice
  • salt and pepper to taste 
  • shredded  cheddar cheese 
  1. Using large saucepan, brown ground beef and onion in oil 
  2. Add water in which bouillon cubes have been dissolved 
  3. Add tomatoes
  4. Add rest of ingredients and cook until rice is done, about 20-25 minutes. 
  5. Serve immediately with grated cheese topping.
  6. Can be frozen for a quick meal when needed - or desired.

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Pear Hazelnut Muffins


Hazelnuts and pears make 'the perfect pair'.  Combine them in these muffins and enjoy the taste of autumn!  I served them to the 'corn harvest crew' on the farm recently, and they disappeared in a hurry.

  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup white sugar
  • 1/4 cup butter, softened
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 1/2 cups flour (or use 3/4 cup all purpose flour and 3/4 cup whole wheat flour)
  • 3/4 cup rolled oats
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup buttermilk
  • 2 large pears, peeled and diced 
  • 1/2 cup coarsely chopped toasted hazelnuts

  1. Cream butter and sugars until light and fluffy. Beat in eggs and vanilla.  
  2. Combine dry ingredients and add alternately with buttermilk, mixing just until incorporated. 
  3. Add diced pears and hazelnuts; fold into batter.
  4. Spoon into greased muffin tin.  
  5. Bake at 375°F for 20-25 minutes, or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.
  6. Cool for several minutes; then transfer to wire rack. 
Yield: 1 dozen muffins


Monday, October 9, 2017

Poblano Boats


These Poblano halves are filled with a mixture of Blue Cheese, diced apples, and walnuts. The heat of the Poblano pepper adds a nice kick to these crunchy boats of goodness. Serve as a salad or an appetizer. You can increase the recipe if you'd like to serve more than two people. You can also leave the Poblano whole, cutting a slit in it when you remove the seed instead of cutting the pepper in half, then stuffing it with the filling.

Ingredients for 2 servings:
  • 1 Poblano Pepper, roasting over open flame, peeled and seeded, some instructions to follow
  • 1 cup finely chopped diced apples
  • 1/2 fresh lemon, juiced
  • 1/2 cup crumbled blue cheese
  • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts
  • 1 cup mixed salad greens 
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar

Methods for roasting peppers:
  1. If you have a gas stove top you can turn one burner to medium and hold the pepper over the open flame with tongs, turning until all sides are blackened and blistered, make sure your oven fan is on.
  2. After roasting the pepper place in brown paper bag and seal the bag to keep the steam inside the bag. 
  3. When it cools put disposable gloves on and take the pepper out of the bag. 
  4. The peel should come off easily at this point, you can use paper towels to rub the skin off.
  5. After peeling it, cut a slit down one side and using your gloved hands remove all the seeds. 
  6. At this point place on a paper towel and refrigerate the pepper till you are ready to stuff it.
  7. Another method is to roast the peppers under the broiler of your oven for 5 minutes.
  8. You can also use your outdoor grill to roast the peppers.
  9. Whichever method you use, don't forget step 2.

Method for the filling:
  1. Place the apples in a ceramic bowl and lightly coat them with the lemon juice.
  2. Combine the cheese and walnuts with the apples and toss.
  3. Cut the chilled pepper in half and place on top of a platter of salad greens.
  4. Fill each half of the pepper with the mixture of apples, walnuts and cheese. 
  5. Whisk together the olive oil and red wine vinegar well and drizzle generously over the filled peppers.
  6. Serve immediately.

Tip: If you want to make more of these to serve 4-8 people you could roast 4 peppers ahead of time and keep them refrigerated until you are ready to serve these as an appetizer or salad. Just double the filling portion of the recipe.

Happy Thanksgiving to all Canadians today!


Sunday, October 8, 2017

Bread for the Journey


O taste and see that the Lord is good:
blessed is the man that trusts in Him.
Psalm 34:8

On this Thanksgiving weekend our thoughts are on family, those around our tables as well as those far away. I have thought about the benefits of giving thanks, believing that thankfulness turns our hearts to God and acknowledges our dependence on Him. Thankfulness shows we trust Him. A thankful heart strengthens our hope for the future and helps us bear the hard things. A thankful heart improves our well being on every level. 

Do you ever wonder what would happen if we stopped being thankful? If the sunset, the snow capped mountains, the rolling wheat fields or the vast expanse of ocean never touched our soul to whisper in awe? What if we never gave thought to the rhythm of our heart, how we fall asleep and how we wake?

On our maiden cruise ship voyage we could not get over how wonderful everything was, when one morning we shared our breakfast table with a disgruntled guest. We tried to start a friendly conversation with her, but her discontentment about most things came through loud and clear. When we told her that we loved the food, she slowly and maturely told us, "Well, ya see honay, ya don't got notin' to compare it to ... but ... in actuality ... it really ain't good."

Her words haunted me with a certain sadness, because they can be true to life for any one of us. We lose our sense of wonder. We get so accustomed to good things that we begin to compare or focus on wanting more. We can easily forget that what we have is really quite wonderful.

A very long time ago, the apostle Paul wrote a letter to the Christians in Rome, explaining why God’s wrath was being revealed against the godlessness and wickedness of men who suppress the truth. He went on to say, “For although they knew God, they neither glorified Him, nor gave thanks to Him, but their thinking became futile and their foolish hearts were darkened.” (Romans 1: 21) It looks very much like the downward spiral in their quality of life began with ungratefulness. It's not that they did not know God, they just took him for granted.

May our thankful hearts be a covering and blessing to the next generation to do the same.


From all of us here at MGCC
we thank you for your visits and 
we wish you a blessed Thanksgiving!

Friday, October 6, 2017

Florence's Carrot Cake ~ Flashback Friday



I received this recipe from a neighbor of mine many years ago. And I am sharing this with you again today.  Just recently she called me and could not believe that her Mom, Florence's carrot cake recipe was on our blog post. 

It's fall time, and on this beautiful day, you can hear the tractors and machinery tilling up the land, planting winter wheat.  What better treat than to serve a fresh piece of moist carrot cake loaded with almonds and a fresh cup of coffee?  We don't know how long the weather will last.

Florence's Carrot Cake
  • 3 cups of raw carrots, grated, set aside
  • 2 cups white sugar
  • 1 1/4 cups salad oil
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2 cups white flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 1/2 cups chopped almonds
Follow normal cake making directions.
  1. Mix sugar, oil, and eggs. Add vanilla and the combined dry ingredients and nuts.
  2. Add the carrots to the batter and stir well.
  3. Bake in a well greased 9 x 13 pan at 350 F for 45 minutes.
Frosting
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 4 ounces cream cheese
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon vanilla
  1. Soften butter, add cream cheese and blend until smooth. 
  2. Add powdered sugar and spread on cake when cool.  
  3. Sprinkle chopped almonds on top.  
This cake becomes better with age and freezes so well.  This cake will be going along on a road trip to visit family for Thanksgiving weekend.

Thursday, October 5, 2017

Plum Fruit Roll-Ups


If you are still able to find some Italian Plums at your local market, and you have kids that love fruit roll-ups, this is a great way to make natural and healthy snacks.  If you have a food dehydrator it is really simple but I also tested it in an oven and it works well there too. 

  • about 35 large Italian plums
  • sweetener to taste (I've used white sugar or honey)
  1. Wash, stem halve and remove pits from plums.
  2. Place the halved plums cut side down on a parchment lined cookie sheet and bake for about an hour at 325F or until very soft.  
  3. Once they are cool enough to handle, transfer to a food processor and process until only flecks of skin are visible.  Sweeten to taste.  This really depends on the sweetness of your fruit and you may choose to not use any sweetener at all.  
  4. I recommend using Silpat mats for the next step if you are using the oven to dry the fruit base,  I have tried it with parchment paper but that tends to stick so if you are going that route, make sure you spray the parchment paper with cooking spray before pouring your plum base onto the sheets. 
  5. Dry in the oven for 6 - 8 hours as low as the oven can go.  Between 170 - 200 F.  
  6. If you have a food dehydrator, line the screen racks with plastic wrap, making sure the edge of the wrap goes over the sides just slightly.
  7. Pour base onto the racks and turn dehydrator to medium.  Check after 5 hours. 
  8. Dry until the center of the fruit is dry to touch.  
  9. Allow to cool completely, remove backing,  slice into strips using a clean scissor or a pizza wheel.  Roll up and store in a covered container.  
Makes about 30 roll-ups   

Wednesday, October 4, 2017

Pancit..a Noodle Dish from the Philippines



This is a wonderful noodle dish that our friends from the Philippines make. This recipe was given to me by my friend Cathy. We have enjoyed delicious dishes from the Philippines many times and this one is always on the table. I often see it served in foil pans so I thought I should do the same:)
This is a large recipe, you may want to share or you can make half the recipe.
  • 16 oz package of vermicelli rice noodles
  • 4 tablespoons cooking oil
  • 2 teaspoons garlic, minced
  • 1/2 small onion, finely chopped (optional)
  • 1 cup carrots, cut into matchsticks
  • 1 cup celery, finely chopped
  • 4 cups green cabbage, finely chopped
  • 2 cups snow peas
  • 2 cups chicken, cooked and diced or you can use pork
  • 2 cups chicken broth
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Lemon wedges
  1. Prepare noodles according to package instructions, drain and set aside.
  2. In a large pot or wok on medium high heat add cooking oil, and saute garlic and onion if using. 
  3. Add carrots, celery, cabbage, snow peas and cook until the vegetables are tender crisp from 5 to 10 minutes (depends on the size of your cut vegetables).
  4. Add chicken, chicken broth and cooked vermicelli rice noodles (that were prepared and set aside) to the vegetable mixture until well combined. Stir in soy sauce, salt and pepper.
  5. Continue cooking until liquid has completely evaporated.
  6. Serve hot. Serve with lemon wedges at the table, you can squeeze a little juice over your serving. Some may also like an extra splash of soy sauce.
  7. Serves: 8 to 10

Tuesday, October 3, 2017

Banana Bread

This recipe is from my sister. Just how banana bread should be...dark, moist and delicious. 
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 1/2 cups mashed bananas, this will be about 3-4 small bananas
  • 3/4 cups white sugar
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 tablespoons milk
  • 1/4 teaspoon vinegar
  • 1 egg
  1. Measure first 4 dry ingredients into a bowl and stir to combine.
  2. Measure milk into small cup and add vinegar. Let sit for 2-3 minutes.
  3. In a separate bowl mash bananas and add to them the remaining ingredients.
  4. Stir the milk and vinegar mixture with a fork (it will have turned a bit thick) and add to the banana mixture. Beat until combined.
  5. Add dry ingredients to wet and mix until all the dry ingredients are mixed in well.
  6. Grease one loaf pan. Pour batter into pan.
  7. Bake in 325ºF oven for 60-70 minutes. If toothpick inserted into the middle comes out clean it it done. 
Yield: 1 loaf
Freezes well
I'm not sure why this loaf bakes up with this interesting looking top when baked in a very old style bread pan. When baking it in a glass loaf pan it doesn't take on this look, but it is more smooth and may have a few little cracks on top and just nicely rounded. Good thing is they both taste the same once baked. 


Monday, October 2, 2017

Chicken Noodle Soup with Home Made Noodles


Here in the Fraser Valley, it is starting to look like Fall. 
And with Fall comes the comfort of making soup.  
For my husband, the hands down favourite soup is this one. 
Of course, you can buy your favourite egg noodles for the soup but for Harv, 
the best part is the homemade noodles. 
He is known to make one bowl of broth last for 3 bowls of noodles!

For the chicken broth:
  • 10 cups water
  • Chicken - I often make my chicken broth using the bones from a roast chicken, but on occasion I will I boil a whole chicken, or use chicken necks and backs
  • 1 whole Star Anise
  • 10 peppercorns (more if they are small)
  • 1 onion halved
  • 1 carrot scrubbed but not peeled
  • 1 or two stalks celery
  • 1-2 teaspoons salt
  • several stalks of parsley
  1.  Fill dutch oven or soup pot with water.
  2. Add chicken bones  or raw chicken
  3. Add remaining ingredients.
  4. Bring to a boil.
  5. Turn to low and simmer for 2 hours 
  6. Remove from heat and let cool briefly.
  7. Pour soup through a colander set over a large bowl or another dutch oven.
  8. Remove chicken meat from the bones and reserve 
  9. Discard vegetables and seasonings.
  10. Set in refrigerator until needed. Or divide broth into freezer containers and freeze for use later. 
For the Noodles:
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup water plus more if needed
  • 1 egg
  • 3 egg yolks
  1. Place flour and salt in a mixing bowl.
  2. In a cup, whisk together 1/4 cup water, the whole egg and egg yolks.
  3. Add liquid all at once to flour and mix until a medium stiff dough is formed.  Add more water, one tablespoon at a time if needed.
  4. Divide dough in 2 or 3 portions.
  5. Roll out one portion at a time. Wrap remaining portions and set aside until you are ready to roll them. 
  6. On a lightly floured surface, roll the dough very thin.  Lift the dough occasionally to allow it to relax before continuing to roll it.  Don't worry if you end up with a few holes in the dough.
  7. Transfer rolled out dough to a clean tea towel and allow to dry for several hours. The dough should still be slightly moist for ease of cutting.
  8. Dust dough very lightly with flour and roll up to make a 1 1/2 inch diameter roll.
  9. Lay it on a cutting board and cut noodles as thin or thick as you like cutting across the roll on an angle. Then cut across the roll on the opposite angle. Repeat until the roll is all cut into noodles.
  10. OR you can just cut long noodles by cutting straight across the roll.  My Mother in Law cut her noodles on an angle so that is the way we do it.
For the soup:
  • Chicken broth (see above) 
  • 1 large carrot, diced fine
  • 1 medium onion, diced fine
  • 1 large stalk celery diced fine
  • reserved cooked chicken cut into bite sized pieces (remove all bones)
  • homemade noodles 
  • butter
  1. In large pot, place chicken broth, vegetables and chicken and bring to a boil.
  2. Adjust seasonings if needed with salt and pepper.
  3. Simmer until veggies are tender.
  4. In another large pot, place noodles in boiling, salted water and cook until just tender - about 5-7 minutes.
  5. Strain noodles and place in a serving bowl with a couple of tablespoons of butter. Toss lightly.
  6. Serve soup in a separate serving bowl.
  7. Let each person add noodles and soup to their own bowl as they prefer.
  8. Do not store leftover soup and noddles together in one bowl because the noodles will absorb the soup.

Sunday, October 1, 2017

Bread for the Journey

God is Sovereign!
Unfortunately, most of us do not know what comes our way.
Recently, I've been thinking about the devastation left behind from hurricane Harvey and Irma.
We see the ruins of Mexico as they have been hit with earthquakes.
What about the refugees fleeing to Bangladesh?
What about the most recent deaths in Vancouver this week?

Can we still keep trusting in God and giving thanks?

Many times we believe that once we've become Christians, nothing difficult will happen to us.
That's not true...
God is not only there, but it's His plan - whether good or bad.
During my difficult times, I keep thinking "God what are you trying to teach me?"
There are times in our lives we've all experienced things we never imagined or expected.
Can we really trust God in the midst of life's storms?
Can we gain perspective that all of these things have been
woven into the tapestry of God's sovereign plan?
I have definitely found myself in difficult situations, not knowing how to give thanks.
I'm thankful today for a unique blessing that the Lord has brought individuals into my life to walk alongside me, who can understand my specific pain and bring comfort from God that they've also received in a similar situation.
Thank you God for your mercy and comfort and continue to help me rest in your
strength and comfort, trusting you.

"Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our affliction so we may be able to comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God."  2 Corinthians 1:3-4 (ESV)

This piece of music continues to give me strength, as I meditate on God's sovereignty.

You were the Word at the beginning
One with God the Lord Most High
Your hidden glory in creation
Now revealed in You our Christ

What a Beautiful Name it is
What a Beautiful Name it is
The name of Jesus Christ my King

You didn't want heaven without us
So Jesus, You brought heaven down
My sin was great, Your love was greater
What could separate us now

How sweet is your name, Lord, how good You are
Love to sing in the name of the Lord, love to sing for you all?
Death could not hold You, the veil tore before You
You silenced the boast, of sin and grave
The heavens are roaring, the praise of Your glory
For You are raised to life again.

You have no rival, You have no equal
Now and forever, Our God reigns
Yours is the Kingdom, Yours is the glory
Yours is the Name, above all names

What a powerful Name it is 
Nothing can stand against
What a powerful Name it is 
The Name of Jesus

Friday, September 29, 2017

Soft Refrigerator Dinner Rolls ~ Flashback Friday



I first posted this easy Refrigerator Dinner Roll recipe in 2009.  The original recipe was adapted from the Mennonite Treasury of Recipes which has been a source of dependable recipes handed down through the generations.    

Refrigerator Dinner Rolls
  • 1 cup boiling water
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 large tablespoon shortening
  • 1 tablespoon active dry yeast
  • 1/4 cup lukewarm water
  • 1 egg
  • 3 1/2 - 3 3/4  cups all-purpose white flour or use half multigrain flour and half white flour
  1. Mix the boiling water, sugar, salt and shortening together in a large bowl and allow to cool.
  2. Soften yeast in the lukewarm water.
  3. Combine the yeast and the cooled shortening water mixture.
  4. Add the beaten egg.
  5. Add the flour all at once and stir well. The dough should be stiff. 
  6. Scrape dough into a large greased bowl and cover the dough with plastic wrap and refrigerate for two hours or until doubled in bulk.
  7. Punch the dough down and refrigerate again or make into rolls.  
  8. If you are unsure how to form your dough into buns, make the dough into a long roll about 1 1/2 thick. Cut into slices and roll in the palm of your hand as shown in the picture. Roll quickly to make a nice smooth ball.  
  9. Put the rolls onto a greased cookie sheet or a parchment lined sheet. Cover with clean tea towels and allow to rise until doubled in size, about 1 1/2 hours and then bake in a preheated 400 º oven until golden brown, about 15 minutes.
Makes about 18 Rolls

Thursday, September 28, 2017

Chicken Tetrazzini Soup

I saw this soup in a grocery store magazine and the ingredients sounded good so I made a smaller portion for my husband and me. I had Bucatini on hand and used that instead of spaghetti. Regular spaghetti or angel hair pasta would be easier to manage in this great flavored soup. Don't forget the lemon zest, it really adds a nice finish to the soup.

Ingredients:
  • 2 Tablespoons butter
  • 1/2 onion, diced
  • 1/2 pound mushrooms, sliced
  • 1 clove of garlic, minced
  • 4 cups of chicken broth
  • 4 ounces spaghetti, broken in half
  • 1 cup chopped fully cooked chicken
  • 1 cup frozen peas, thawed
  • 1/4 cup half and half
  • 1/2 teaspoon lemon zest
  • 1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1/4 cup chopped, fresh parsley (optional)
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Method:
  1. In large soup pot melt the butter over medium heat.
  2. Add the onion and mushrooms seasoning with a little salt and pepper, cooking and stirring occasionally until soft, 8-10 minutes.
  3. Add garlic and cook for about 30 seconds.
  4. Add chicken broth and spaghetti, increasing the heat to medium high and bring to a boil.
  5. Reduce the heat to a gentle boil and cook until pasta is tender, about 10 minutes.
  6. Add the chicken, peas and half and half, and cook until heated through.
  7. Just before serving, stir in the lemon zest, Parmesan, and parsley.
  8. Season to taste with salt and pepper and serve.
  9. Refrigerate any leftovers.

Serves: 4-5

Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Sloppy Joes


Sloppy Joes have always been one of those lifesaver meals that are quick to make when you have  a lot going on and great for leftovers too. I've not added vegetables to this one, but you can easily add finely chopped carrots, celery and/or peppers.

Ingredients:
  • 1 1/2 pounds lean ground beef
  • 1/2 onion, chopped fine
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon dry mustard
  • 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 small can tomato paste 
  • 1 - 1 1/2 cups water
  1. In medium sized pot, brown meat, stirring as needed, until cooked. 
  2. Add chopped onion and garlic (and any other finely chopped vegetables you'd like to add) Cook and stir as needed, until onion/vegetables are soft.
  3. Add sugar, spices, tomato paste and water. 
  4. Simmer on low heat for 15 - 30 minutes.
  5. Serve on large buns with a salad or coleslaw on the side. I don't make the sauce too runny so we put the sauce on one side of the bun and eat them like burgers.  If you like a runny sauce, add more water to eat as sloppy burgers or open bun style. Serves 6

We also love it on baked yams (sweet potatoes)

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Rustic Potato Salad

This Potato Salad is an easy and comforting side for any protein you choose to barbecue or bake. We've enjoyed it with hamburgers and smoked pork. Even though summer is over there is still time for a picnic, potluck or barbecue.

Ingredients:
  • 1-1/2 pounds of small red potatoes
  • 4 eggs hard boiled
  • 2 stalks of celery, diced
  • 1/2 small white onion diced
  • 1/4-1/2 cup cooked bacon bits
  • 1 cup mayonnaise
  • 1 or 2 tablespoons prepared mustard
  • 1 handful chopped fresh parsley
  • Salt and Pepper to taste

Method:
  1. Boil unpeeled potatoes in salted water until fork tender, drain and chop into bite sized pieces and add into large bowl.
  2. Shell and dice the eggs and add to the potatoes.
  3. Add the diced celery and onion to the bowl.
  4. While the potatoes and eggs are still hot add the mayonnaise and mustard and mix well.
  5. Mix in the parsley.
  6. Add salt and pepper to taste.
  7. Cover and store in refrigerator until ready to serve.

Because you cook the potatoes in salted water you might not need too much extra salt for the finished product. I added a 1/4 teaspoon of salt and pepper to start and then tasted to see if it needed more.

Monday, September 25, 2017

Roasted Beets


Sunflowers and root vegetables make me happy. My basket was already filling up with the week's fresh produce when I spotted crates of young fresh beets. I felt like a giddy kid as I picked out what I knew would be a feast not only for the eyes but for our taste buds. Our grand kids would most likely even find delight in the candy cane beets and take a bite....well maybe not all of them. Beets have a sweet taste and can be added to salads and soups. There are lots of recipes on the blog that include beets....even  chocolate cake....and the kids will certainly eat that! 
In the fall I typically buy a big bag of potatoes, carrots and beets. They store well in a cool, dark and dry place for a few months. 
  • beets, any colour and as many as you like
  • olive oil
  • fresh or dry thyme
  • salt and pepper
  • butter, approximately 1-2 teaspoons per beet

  1. Wash beets. Cut off the top and bottom of beets.
  2. Place beets on large pieces of foil that can be scrunched up around beets when roasting to keep juices in. If you are using multiple colours of beets wrap individually otherwise the colours may bleed into each other during roasting. 
  3. Pour about 2 teaspoons of olive oil over each beet. Top with thyme, salt and pepper. 
  4. Wrap up beets and place onto a baking sheet or if you are sure your foil pouches are well sealed place right onto oven rack. Bake at 375ºF for 50-60 minutes or until beets are fork tender.
  5. Carefully remove from oven and open pouches to allow steam to escape and beets to slightly cool. 
  6. Once you can touch them, it's time to peel them. 
  7. Using a paring knife, peel back the skins. They should come off very easily.
  8. If serving hot with a meal, slice or cube. Place in oven proof baking/serving dish. 
  9. Melt butter and drizzle over roasted beets. Return to oven, and roast uncovered for 10-15 minutes. (this step is optional)

Sunday, September 24, 2017

Bread for the Journey


 There are times when I wonder what the point is of taking so many pictures.
Only a small percentage are worthy of being shared through blogging or on other places of social media.

So what is the point?


As I scroll through the different seasons of my photos I am reminded of what has been, and how God was with me.

Each picture is a moment captured in a different season of my life and even though I rarely take pictures of the things that represent difficult times, I sometimes am reminded of what it was that moved me to take a picture. 


Whatever the season of life, I know that my sovereign God in his infinite love and mercy is with me.  When the storms in life will come, I will look back on God's faithfulness and it will help me to trust him and rest upon his word.  


'Tis So Sweet to Trust in Jesus

1. 'Tis so sweet to trust in Jesus, 
Just to take him at His Word
Just to rest upon His promise,
Just to say, "thus saith the Lord"

Chorus
Jesus, Jesus how I trust Him!
How I've proved Him o'er and o'er.
Jesus, Jesus, precious Jesus!
Oh for grace to trust him more.

2. O how sweet to trust in Jesus,
Just to trust His cleansing blood;
Just in simple faith to plunge me
'Neath the healing cleansing flood!

3. Yes, 'tis sweet to trust in Jesus,
Just from sin and self to cease;
Just from Jesus simply taking
Life and rest, and joy and peace.

4. I'm so glad I learned to trust Thee,
Precious Jesus, Saviour, Friend;
And I know that Thou art with me,
Wilt be with me to the end.

written by Louisa M. R. Stead   1882  / Public Domain

Every word of God proves true; he is a shield to those that take refuge in him.
Proverbs 3:5

Friday, September 22, 2017

Snickerdoodles - Flashback Friday



The scent of cinnamon baking is one of my favourites. Fall is in the air and I was looking back at some of the recipes I'd posted other years at the beginning of this new season. With school lunches and after school snacks most likely being in high demand I thought Snickerdoodles was a good recipe for today.

  • 1 cup butter, room temperature
  • 2 cups white sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 3 1/2 cups flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar
Sugar Coating:
  • 4 tablespoons white sugar
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  1. Cream together butter, sugar, eggs and vanilla until creamy.
  2. Add dry ingredients and beat until well incorporated.
  3. In a small bowl stir together sugar coating ingredients.
  4. Roll dough into 1 1/2" balls and roll in sugar coating, coating all sides.
  5. Bake in 375ºF oven for 8 minutes. (do not over bake) 
  6. Allow to sit on pans to cool for 1-2 minutes and then remove to cooling rack.
These cookies freeze well.
Yields: 2 1/2 dozen cookies

Thursday, September 21, 2017

Dill Pickles




My oldest daughter Amy has fully embraced gardening and then canning her garden produce, making pickles, relishes, beans, salsa, tomato sauces and jams. The recipe I am sharing with you today comes from the book Saving the Seasons, written by Mary Clemens Meyer and Susanna Meyer and published by Mennomedia , also the publisher of our cookbooks. It is wonderful to be on the receiving end of her labour of love. Delicious!!

  • 8-10 small pickling cucumbers (about 3 pounds / 1.5 kg)
  • 2 cups / 500 ml white vinegar
  • 2 cups / 500 ml water
  • 2 tablespoons pickling salt
  • 4 sprigs fresh dill or 4 teaspoons dill seeds *
  • 2 teaspoons mustard seeds
  • 4 small cloves garlic *
  1. Cut a thin slice from the ends of each cucumber. 
  2. Combine vinegar, water and salt in a sauce pan and bring to a boil.
  3. Place 1 sprig of fresh dill in each jar (or 1 teaspoon dill seeds), as well as 1/2 teaspoon of mustard seeds and 1 clove of garlic. Pack the jar with cucumbers.
  4. Boil the vinegar and water and pour over the cucumber leaving a 1/2 inch headspace. 
  5. Process the jars in a water bath, boiling the 1 pint / 500 ml jars for 10 minutes and the 1 quart / 1 L jars for 15 minutes. 
  6. This recipe makes 4 pint jars. 
* Amy added more garlic and dill than the recipe suggested for added flavor.





Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Green Beans with Zucchini and Mushrooms


Green Beans are one of my favourite vegetables, especially when they are fresh.
They pair well with many flavours which makes it fun to cook and serve them.
Here's one more variation for you to try.

  • Green beans cut into 1 1/2 inch lengths - about 4 cups
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/2 a medium onion, sliced lengthwise
  • 1/4 - 1/2 cup diced red bell pepper
  • 2 cups sliced mushrooms
  • 1 small zucchini, sliced 
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • Montreal Steak spice to taste

  1. Steam green beans in an inch or so of water until they are tender but still bright green and slightly crunchy.  This doesn't take long so watch them closely.
  2. Drain beans and plunge into ice water.
  3. Remove from water and set aside.
  4. In a stir fry pan or large frying pan, saute' onions, peppers and mushrooms  until almost tender. 
  5. Add the zucchini and cook until tender. Just a few minutes. Do not overcook the zucchini.  It should still have a bite.
  6. Add green beans, Montreal Steak spice and butter to pan and cook briefly, until just heated through.
  7. Serve immediately.
  8. Serves 6.

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Savory Zucchini Loaf


This recipe is inspired by one my sister shared with me from Chatelaine. My interest was piqued by a savory version of a zucchini loaf and we love it here. You can serve it warm for brunch, freeze it pre-sliced to take with cheese for a packed lunch or enjoy it with a bowl of soup.

Ingredients:

  • 1 small zucchini 
  • 3/4 cup whole wheat flour
  • 3/4 cup unbleached/all purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves or 1/2 tsp dried thyme
  • 2 cups grated monterey jack cheese (or what you have)
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/3 cup oil
  1. Preheat oven to 350° F. Grease a 9 x 5 inch loaf pan.
  2. Coarsely grate unpeeled zucchini. If you like to hide it more, use fine side of grater. It will measure a bit more, but 1 - 1/2 cups is good. Drain only if there is excess liquid.
  3. In a medium bowl, combine dry ingredients and cheese.
  4. In mixing bowl, beat eggs and sugar with whisk. Stir in oil and add zucchini.
  5. Stir in dry ingredients until just mixed and spread into loaf pan.
  6. Bake for 45 minutes or until toothpick tests done. Allow to cool in pan for 10 minutes before removing to cooling rack. 

Monday, September 18, 2017

Peaches and Cream Layer Cake


We have been enjoying fresh  peaches every-which-way for the past while, and soon peach season will be over for the year.  This peaches-and-cream birthday cake was a big hit at our place, so I'll share the recipe with you.  I used a boxed-cake mix with a few additions to make it 'extraordinary'.

Cake:
  • 1 white boxed cake mix (Better Crocker Super Moist)
  • 3/4 cup peach yogurt
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 3 eggs
  • 1/3 cup melted butter 
  1. Line two 9-inch round pans with parchment paper.
  2. Place cake mix and all other ingredients in a mixing bowl.  Beat on medium speed until smooth.
  3. Spread batter evenly in prepared pans.
  4. Bake at 350°F for 25 minutes or until toothpick inserted in centre comes out clean. 
  5. Cool for about 10 minutes before removing from pan.

Filling:
  • 1 package (8 ounces) cream cheese, softened
  • 2/3 cup icing sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  •  2 cups heavy whipping cream

  1. Beat the cream cheese, icing sugar and vanilla until smooth. 
  2. Gradually add the cream, whipping until thick. (If you do not have a heavy-duty mixer, you may have to whip the cream separately and then fold into whipped cream cheese mixture.)
 Glaze for Peaches:
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons peach or orange jello  
  1. Combine water, sugar and cornstarch in a small bowl, using whisk to stir until smooth.
  2. Microwave on High until boiling and thickened, stirring once in between. 
  3. Stir in jello (adds colour and flavour) and cool to lukewarm before using. 
Assembling Cake:
  • 2 cake layers
  • cream filling
  • glaze
  • 3 large peaches

  1. Place one cake layer on cake plate.
  2. Peel and chop one peach. Fold into about 1 1/2 cups of the whipped topping. Spread over bottom cake layer.
  3. Place second cake on top.
  4. Spread with a generous layer of whipped topping, reserving some to pipe around edge.
  5. Peel and slice two peaches.  Coat peach slices with glaze and arrange on top of cake.
  6. Pipe whipped topping around the edge.



Sunday, September 17, 2017

Bread for the Journey



Sometimes I need to become quiet and just simply remember that God sees me as precious. He celebrates me. The following verse says He sings over me.  Me, you, out of all the people in the world, He knows our names. He wants us, me to know Him too. To accept the gift of His forgiveness, love, mercy, grace, security and the freedom that is for all.

Simply because I said yes to His call and accepted His precious gift of eternal life, I am experiencing His nearness, power, and peace. It's not a life free of struggles, but He's my helper. And the sweetest of things...He rejoices and sings over me. That just makes me smile to think that the King of kings does that for me. May my thanks to Him be to above all things seek His glory and give Him first place in my life.

Zeph. 3:17
"The Lord your God is in your midst; a mighty one who will save; He will rejoice over you with gladness; He will quiet you by His love; He will exalt over you with loud singing."


Friday, September 15, 2017

Raisin Bread gluten free




For Flashback-Friday , I'm pulling up an old recipe that I can't believe I posted eight years ago - you can find it here .
I had not made it for some time but recently baked it again,  tweeked the recipe somewhat and took a new photo.  So if you are craving a tasty slice of toasted raisin bread , try this recipe.
  • 1/2 cup warm water
  • 1 teaspoon. sugar
  • 1  tablespoon yeast
  • 1/4 cup butter (room temperature)
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1/3 cup whole milk (warm)
  • 1 teaspoon. vanilla
  • 1 3/4  cup  Julie's flour mix (or your own 1 3/4 all-purpose gluten free mix)
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon xanthan gum
  • 1 cup raisins (if raisins are not plump, soak in boiling water for a minute or two) 
  1. Proof yeast with sugar, and  yeast 
  2. In mixer bowl cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy 
  3. Beat in egg,  then add milk and vanilla 
  4. Add combined dry ingredients and beat on high speed for 2-3 minutes until batter looks smooth and stretchy. 
  5. Add raisins.
  6. Scrape dough into a medium sized loaf pan lined with parchment paper, cover with plastic wrap and let rise until loaf rounds top of pan. ( may take 60 to 90 minutes) 
  7. Bake at 350 degrees F. for 45 - 50  minutes or until nicely browned. Don't under bake. 
  8. Remove from oven and cool for several minutes before removing from pan to finish cooling on wire rack before slicing. 
  9. Excellent toasted  -  also freezes well.
TIP - after scraping dough into pan, smooth top with wet hand.  Pushing dough down (creating a little trough)  around the edges  encourages gluten-free dough to rise/bake with a rounded top rather than flat.

Thursday, September 14, 2017

Avocado Tomato Salad

 Delicious with Septembers garden fresh tomatoes. 

Salad for Two:
  • 1 large ripe avocado
  • 1 tomato, try to find one the same size as your avocado
  • feta cheese
  • balsamic vinegar
  • lime juice
  1. Cut avocado in half. Remove stone and peel each half.
  2. Place each half on a plate and carefully make slices all the way along but not quite to the bottom.
  3. Squeeze the juice of a piece of lime over each avocado.
  4. Cut tomato in half. Remove any seeds with a small spoon. 
  5. Slice thinly and tuck a slice of tomato between the slices of avocado.
  6. Top with crumbled feta cheese.
  7. Drizzle with balsamic vinegar. (or you can use an oil and vinegar type dressing, or more lime juice)
  8. Give your salad a grind of fresh black pepper.

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Homemade Italian Sausage Patties


We like  Italian Sausage so I tried making myself and we really like it. This is delcious for any time of the day, not only for breakfast.
For the sandwich I used -
  • Crusty buns, toasted or plain or gluten free
  • Eggs, poached or fried 
  • grainy or dijon mustard
  • guacamole, I used half the recipe and made it finer
  • Italian sausage patties
For the Sausage you need-
  • 2 lbs of lean ground pork or 1 lb ground pork and 1 lb ground Turkey.
  • 1  teaspoon of toasted fennel seed
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon of red pepper chili flakes (more if you want it spicier)
  • 1 large garlic clove, finely minced
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 tablespoon of red wine or red wine vinegar (optional)
  1. Toast the fennel seeds in a dry frying pan for a few minutes on medium high heat until you can begine to smell the fragrance. 
  2. Combine the meat with the spices and wine if you are using it. Mix well until everything is well combined. 
  3. Shape into desired shape and brown in a hot skillet for 3-4 minutes per side.