Thursday, August 31, 2017

Fresh Okanagan Peach Pie

It is hard to decide what is my favourite summertime pie is but without question, fresh peach pie is up there at the top.  Okanagan peaches are grown a few hours away and every summer we wait with anticipation for the first loads of peaches delivered to our local markets.  

If you have never had a fresh peach pie, try this one because nothing goes better together than peaches and cream.  It tastes like summertime! 

Peach Filling
  • about 6 ripe peaches
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 3 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1/2 cup water
Cream Filling
  • 1 cup softened cream cheese (light or regular)
  • 1/2 cup icing/powdered sugar
  • 1 cup whipping cream
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 packet whipping cream stabilizer (Dr. Oetker)  or 1 tablespoon vanilla instant pudding
  1. Peel peaches and put 2 peaches into a food processor to mash or mash very well with a potato masher.
  2. Measure mashed peaches to make about 1 cup. (mash part of another peach if necessary)
  3. Combine mashed peaches, cornstarch, sugar and water in a microwave safe bowl.  Heat until bubbly.  Alternately, stir together ingredients in a medium pot, stir over medium heat until it is thickened and beginning to simmer. 
  4. Remove from heat.  Add the remaining peaches.  Set aside to come to room temperature.
  5. Beat together, softened cream cheese, icing sugar and vanilla until smooth.  Add unwhipped whipping cream and whipping cream stabilizer or instant pudding and beat together with a mixer until thick and creamy.  
  6. Set aside 1/2 cup cream cheese mixture for garnishing the pie. 
  7. Line the bottom and sides of pie shell with the remaining cream cheese mixture.  
  8. Once the peach filling has completely cooled, pour the peach filling into a strainer over a bowl to remove about 1/2 cup of excess sauce.  (Refrigerate the extra sauce to serve with scones and cream.)
  9. Garnish the top of the pie by filling a piping bag with a large star tip. 
  10. Refrigerate a few hours until serving time.  


Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Grilled Chicken and Peach Flatbread Sandwich


A few months ago, I had lunch in a recommended tea room in Victoria and enjoyed a chicken and peach sandwich. Now that was something I wouldn't have thought to combine in a sandwich, but it was delicious!  We have been enjoying B.C. peaches 'every which way' lately, and I came up with a grilled chicken and peach flatbread sandwich which went over well!  

  • 2 naan bread
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • pesto (optional) 
  • 4 oz. mozzarella cheese, sliced or shredded 
  • 2 chicken breasts, seasoned and grilled
  • 1 peach, peeled and thinly sliced
  • 1-2 tablespoons fresh basil, shredded
  • balsamic reduction, for drizzling
  1. Brush olive oil on one side of each naan bread, and arrange oiled side down on work surface.
  2. Spread one side of naan bread with pesto (if desired) and place mozzarella cheese on top.
  3. Slice chicken breasts and arrange pieces over the cheese.
  4. Lay peach slices over the chicken.
  5. Sprinkle with shredded basil.
  6. Drizzle balsamic reduction over the peaches.
  7. Top with second naan bread, oiled side out. 
  8. Carefully place on grill over medium-low heat. (Can also be done in a pan on the stove-top.)
  9. Grill about 3 minutes per side (flipping carefully), or until cheese has melted and bread is lightly browned.
  10. Remove from grill; cut through the center to serve.
Serves 2.

 

Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Lazy man's Perogies Gluten free



Lazy man's perogies are my husband's comfort food and he asks for this dish more often than anything else. It is easy  to make and is great reheated so I make a big enough pan to last several meals.

I am so happy that I can buy good gluten free lasagna  noodles that no one can tell the difference from the regular wheat ones. I buy the Tinkyada brand readily found in most grocery stores.

I never measure ingredients for this, so I paid a little extra attention last time I made it so I could post a more accurate recipe. (you can make this any size pan you wish, just adjust the ingredient amounts)

You need ... for a 9 x 12 inch baking dish
  • box of  lasagna noodles 
  • one large container of  creamed cottage cheese 
  • one egg yolk
  • 'ready to eat' farmer sausage (optional) 
Method
  1.  I don't pre-cook my lasagna noodles - you can if you like. 
  2. Place sliced sausage on bottom of baking dish.  Cover with noodles - note which way you lay them. 
  3. Mix 1 egg yolk into the cottage cheese  and 1/2 teaspoon of salt. Spread over noodle layer. 
  4. Top with another layer of noodles laying them crosswise from first layer. 
  5. Make gravy  (see recipe below) and  spread over top of second layer of noodles
  6. Cover loosely with a sheet of tin foil and bake for about 40 minutes at 350 degrees F. 
  7. Remove from oven and let it sit for a few minutes before serving .  
Gravy
  • 2 tablespoons butter 
  • 1/2 medium sized onion finely chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon of salt 
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 2 cups of half and half 
  • 1 tablespoon potato starch
  1. Cook chopped onion in butter in saucepan on stove element, until onions begin to golden.
  2. Mix potato starch with half-and-half  and salt and pepper - add to chopped onion 
  3. Cook, stirring, until it thickens 
  4. Remove from heat and pour over the top layer of lasagna noodles.

Monday, August 28, 2017

Lemon Zucchini Loaf



The zucchini plant in our garden is massive and when I can't keep up with the store sized zucchinis I start baking with the bigger ones.  When someone offers you a big zucchini, take it and prepare yourself for the best from scratch lemon loaf you have enjoyed in a long time.  It's moist and delicious!

  • 3/4 cup packed, finely grated unpeeled zucchini,  (5 ounces or 150 grams)
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 large egg
  • 4 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • the zest of 1 large lemon
  • 1 1/2 cup flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  1. Preheat oven to 325 F.   Grease or prepare with cooking spray an 8 X 4 inch loaf pan.
  2. In a large bowl, beat together zucchini, sugar, oil, egg, lemon juice and lemon zest.
  3. Combine the dry ingredients and stir into wet ingredients with a wooden spoon until combined.
  4. Pour batter into prepared loaf pan and bake 45 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean.
  5. Allow to cool a few minutes in the pan and then remove loaf and cool on a cooling rack.
Lemon Glaze
  • 1 cup icing/powdered sugar
  • enough lemon juice to make a thick but pourable glaze.
  1. Combine icing sugar and lemon juice until smooth.  Pour over loaf and allow to dry before wrapping in plastic wrap to store at room temperature. 

Friday, August 25, 2017

Flashback Friday / Oven Fried Sesame Paprika Chicken



I had not made this chicken for a very long time. It was so moist, crispy and best of all EASY, why had I forgotten about this recipe? I first posted the recipe back in 2010. I served it with Roasted potatoes, and a tossed salad. This amount of flour was enough for 4 large chicken breast halves.

  • 1/2 cup of all purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons paprika
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1 egg well beaten mixed with 2 tablespoons water
  • 4 bone in chicken breasts, or 6-8 bone in chicken thighs. (Skin on or off, your choice)
  1. Combine the dry ingredients.
  2. dip the chicken in the flour mixture, then the egg mixture and once more in the seasoned flour. 
  3. Place the chicken skin side up on a well greased foil lined baking pan for easy clean up. 
  4. Brush with melted butter.
  5. Top with Sesame seeds. 
  6. Bake at 375 degrees (Fahrenheit)  for 45-60 minutes depending on the size of chicken pieces used. 
The baking powder in the coating contributes to how crunchy the chicken is. A good alternative to fried chicken.



Thursday, August 24, 2017

Cherry Waldorf Jello Mold




This is a recipe that takes us back to the 70's. Recently I had good reason to host such a party and it was fun to be reminded of some of the dishes we don't make anymore. If you have not given away your jello mold, why not try it?  It's a nice addition to a buffet.

Ingredients:
  • 3 small pkgs cherry jello
  • 2 1/2 cups hot water
  • 2 cups cold water
  • 1 apple, chopped fine
  • 3/4 cups celery, chopped fine
  • 1/2 cup pecans, chopped fine
  1. Prepare jello mold by wiping the grooves with an oiled paper towel.
  2. In glass bowl, dissolve jello with hot water, stirring well, before adding cold water.
  3. Spread apples, celery and nuts around the bottom of the mold.
  4. Carefully pour in the jello.
  5. Allow to set overnight. 
  6. When ready to unmold, dip jello mold into hot water for about 10 seconds. Cover with a flat plate and tip over to invert the mold. The Tupperware jello mold has a center part that can be removed first. Do this slowly watching to see if it drops. If not, dip into hot water once more. Serves 10 - 15

Wednesday, August 23, 2017

Rainbow Pasta Salad


Simple and delicious.  Chock-full of crunchy veggies and a tangy dressing, this pasta salad is the perfect addition to a picnic or BBQ buffet table.  Use your favorite pasta or the kids' favorite...macaroni!  I did 'the recipe x five' for a BBQ for 60 a few weeks ago.
  • 8 oz. dry pasta
  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/4 cup sour cream or Greek yogurt
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons dijon mustard
  • 2 teaspoons honey
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon black pepper, or to taste 
  •  3 hard boiled eggs , peeled and chopped
  • 1 cup diced red bell pepper
  • 1 cup julienned carrots
  • 3/4 cup diced celery
  • 1/4 cup diced red onion
  • 1 tablespoons minced fresh parsley

  1. Cook pasta in salted water according to directions on package.  Drain and rinse with cold water; cool completely. (Add a little olive oil to pasta before cooling to prevent pieces from sticking together.)
  2. Stir together mayonnaise, sour cream, vinegar, mustard, honey, and season with salt and pepper.
  3. Add pasta to a large mixing bowl along with eggs, red pepper, carrots, celery and onion. Pour dressing over and toss mixture to evenly coat. Serve or store in refrigerator to serve within 24 hours.

    Serves 10-12.
 

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Quinoa Crust Vegetable Pizza


My granddaughter and I made this quinoa crust vegetable pizza together. She had made this before and brought the recipe along as well as her tips and thoughts. It was fun to cook with her. She donned one of my aprons and the kitchen became a busy bustling place as we both did our separate jobs to bring it all together. You can add your choice of vegetables to this pizza and use your favorite cheese. I used a nacho type mix of cheese but feta would really be good too. This pizza tasted so good!
  • 1 cup quinoa
  • Cold water
  • 1/2 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 1 teaspoon dried Italian seasoning
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup plus 3 tablespoons water
  • 2 tablespoons coconut oil
  • 6 tablespoons pizza sauce
  • 1/3 cup sliced mushrooms 
  • 1/3 cup sweet peppers (a mix of red and green), chopped finely
  • 3/4 cup shredded cheese, I used a nacho mix, feel free to use your favorite
  • Basil leaves
  1. Preheat oven to 450º F.
  2. Place quinoa in a medium sized bowl, cover with enough water by at least 2 inches. Let stand at room temperature 8 hours. No need to cover the bowl.
  3. After 8 hours drain quinoa in a fine sieve and rinse well.
  4. Place quinoa, minced garlic, Italian seasoning, salt and 1/4 cup plus 3 tablespoons water in blender and puree until smooth. The batter should look like pancake batter, not too thin or thick but pourable.
  5. Place a 10" cast iron frying pan in hot oven for 8 minutes.
  6. Remove pan from oven (don't forget to use your oven mitts because the pan is really hot), add coconut oil and return to oven for another 3 minutes to melt the oil.
  7. Pour batter in pan and spread evenly with a spoon.
  8. Place back in oven and bake for 15 minutes until crust is golden in color. Remove from oven and flip crust over, return to oven and bake another 8 minutes.
  9. Remove pan from oven, spread pizza sauce on crust and cover with toppings. Sprinkle cheese over the top and bake for another 7 minutes or until cheese is melted.
  10. Sprinkle with basil leaves before serving.
  11. Serves: 2 if you are serving a salad to go with it.

This is what the crust looks like when it's baked.




Here are the cooks and sometimes it just takes a lot of maneuvering to get the photo just right.

Monday, August 21, 2017

Cream Cheese Pastry

I made Judy's Peach Pie but wanted to try a new crust recipe with a cream cheese pastry which was delicious.



  • 3 1/3 cups flour
  • 3 tablespoons white sugar
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup cold butter
  • 1-8 ounce package cream cheese
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream
  1. Combine the dry ingredients and work in the butter and cream cheese until you have a crumble texture. Add the cream. 
  2. At this point the dough may be chilled for an hour for easier handling, but I made my pies immediately. 
I found this crust not to be as flaky as my other one, but richer and very tasty. This amount makes 2-8 or 9 inch double crusted pies. Just double the filling if you are using Judy's recipe for peach pie. I highly recommend you do as peach pie is awesome!!! 

Sunday, August 20, 2017

Bread for the Journey





John 13:34 
"A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another, 
even as I have love you, that you also love one another."

I will be the first to admit that sometimes I don't feel very loving, especially if I have been hurt by someone. Jesus knows our human nature and knows that is usually how we feel after being hurt and feeling justified in those feelings. 
This is why He commands us to love one another, because it doesn't come naturally to us. Jesus knows His LOVE is the best buffer between hurt relationships if only we reach for His word to deal with our hurts and pain. God is not a God of "three strikes and you are out" kind of God. He has forgiven me endless times and keeps extending His mercy and love on me. My desire is to be more like Jesus. 

What would this world look like if we were able to extend that kind of love and mercy to the hurting world around us?! 

Friday, August 18, 2017

Pavlova - Flash Back Friday


With all the fresh fruit available at fruit stands in our valley right now, I thought you might like to be reminded of this Pavlova
It not only highlights the fruits in season but is so delicious.
A truly beautiful dessert to place before your guests.
  • 3 egg whites at room temperature (I use large eggs)
  • 1/3 cup sugar (1st amount)
  • 2/3 cup sugar (2nd amount)
  • 2 teaspoons cornstarch
  • 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 1 teaspoon vinegar
  • 1  1/2 cups whipping cream
  • 2 tablespoons icing sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
  • fruit of your choice. Fresh berries are great, as are fresh or canned peaches, nectarines, pineapple, kiwi or a combination.
  1. Beat egg whites until stiff peaks begin to form.
  2. Add 1st amount of sugar, a few tablespoons at a time, beating very well between additions. I was told to check that the sugar had dissolved before adding the next amount. You can check by tasting a bit of the meringue to see if there are any grains of still sugar intact. This can take a long time so I don't always beat it that long.
  3. Beat in vanilla and vinegar.
  4. Mix cornstarch with the 2nd amount of sugar and continue to add sugar in small amounts beating well in between each addition until meringue is very thick and most of the sugar is dissolved.
  5. Cut a round of parchment paper to fit a pizza pan. You can sprinkle the pan with a bit of water before putting the parchment down so it sticks to the pan. Alternately you can use foil which is lightly buttered.
  6. Pile the meringue on to the parchment in a circle about the size of a dinner plate. Using a spatula or spoon, push the meringue to the outside edges and indent the centre so it is lower than the sides.
  7. Place in centre of a 300 degree F oven and bake for 1 hour.
  8. After one hour, turn oven off. DO NOT OPEN OVEN DOOR until it is completely cold. (I usually bake my pavlova just before going to bed and leave it in the cold oven overnight.)
  9. Whip cream with icing sugar and vanilla until soft peaks form.
  10. Pile the whipped cream into the centre indentation of your pavlova. (You can do this a couple of hours ahead or right before serving.
  11. Top with cut up fruit or arrange fruit slices in a circular design. Do not put the fruit on until just before serving or the meringue will soften.
  12. Cut into wedges to serve.

Thursday, August 17, 2017

Blueberry Sheet Pie


 It's mid August already, but I'm still taking advantage of all things summer. One summer treat is stopping by the local market each week and finding bins filled with fresh picked fruits and vegetables.
 Summer also brought company, and we had the rare treat of having my brother Wes and sister in law Kim from Kiev, along with local family over for Sunday lunch. Blueberries were just ready and so I decided that a Blueberry Sheet Pie would be our dessert. Using this dough recipe you can pretty much use any fruit you want. I've used apples, peaches and blackberries and they are all really wonderful! 

Have you noticed the new video clip here on the blog? You can find it on the upper right side bar. Hear Lovella share where all our book royalties go. Wes and Kim are working with Music Mission Kiev and there are a few photos in the video of the people they help. We are able to partner with them through our Celebrations Cookbook sales. 100% of the Royalties from that book go to help those less fortunate in the Ukraine. Listen to hear about our other project as well. Thank you for continuing to support our projects when you purchase one of our 3 cookbooks. 

This recipe is for a pan measuring 13"x18"

Pastry:
  • 3 3/4 cups flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 1/2 cups cold butter, cubed
  • 3 egg yolks, plus enough milk to measure 1 1/3 cups
  1. In a mixing bowl combine flour and salt.
  2. Using a pastry cutter (or I use a cheese grater) cut or grate cold butter into flour mixture until very fine.
  3. Divide egg yolks and whites. Place egg yolks into a measuring cup and add cold milk to measure 1 1/3 cups. (save whites for topping-see instructions below) Whisk together until yolks are broken up. Add this mixture to the flour and butter mixture.
  4. Stir with a fork to combine. 
  5. Turn mixture out onto a lightly floured counter and knead until dough comes together into a nice smooth ball. Flatten and wrap in plastic wrap and place in refrigerator while you prepare fruit.
Fruit:
  • 9 cups fresh (or frozen) blueberries 
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch **if using frozen berries stir in 2 tablespoons cornstarch**
  • 1 scant cup white sugar
  • 1 1/2 cups crushed Cornflakes or Special K cereal
  1. Gently stir corn starch and sugar into the berries. Set aside.
Assembling Pie:
  1. Take dough out of refrigerator and divide in half.
  2. Roll first piece of dough out on a lightly floured surface until it is very thin and fits your pan size. ** A tip for pie dough is to roll the rolled out dough around your rolling pin. Place over your pan or pie plate and gently unroll the dough to fit your pan.**
  3. Sprinkle the bottom crust with the crushed cereal.
  4. Top with the prepared fruit.
  5. Roll out second piece of dough and using the same method, roll onto your rolling pin and unroll over the fruit. Don't worry if it tears a little or does not quite fit right to the edges. 
  6. If you have any dough hanging over the pan cut it off. You can even use it to 'patch' the top if need be. If you can you can now pinch the top crust to the bottom one, but if for some reason your crusts don't come together it's all fine. It will still bake up beautifully. Randomly prick the top crust with a fork.
  7. Now take the egg whites that you saved when making the dough. Beat until soft peaks form.
  8. Spread the beaten egg whites over the top crust using your hands or the back of a spoon. 
  9. Bake in 375º F oven for 35-45 minutes. The egg whites will turn a nice golden brown and become slightly crusty. This is what really takes this pie to another level. 
  10. As soon as the pie comes out of the oven drizzle it with a simple icing of approximately 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar, 3-4 tablespoons water and 1 teaspoon vanilla. Stir these 3 ingredients together and just drizzle over hot pie.
This is best eaten on the day it's baked as you want the texture of the egg whites to remain crusty. 


Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Carnitas Enchilada Casserole


This throw together casserole will work with a variety of leftover meat. We cooked a large portion of Carnitas (Pork Butt slow cooked with Mexican seasonings) and had lots of shredded pork leftover so we enjoyed this layered enchilada casserole.

Ingredients:
  • 1 large can green enchilada sauce (approx. 28 ounces)
  • 12 corn tortillas
  • 1 can of pinto beans (approx. 12 ounces)
  • 4 cups leftover meat shredded or chopped
  • 3 cups of grated Mexican blend cheese

Method:
  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
  2. Pour a thin layer of the enchilada sauce in the bottom of a 9x13 baking dish.
  3. Layer 6 of the corn tortillas on top of the sauce.
  4. Distribute the meat over the tortillas.
  5. Distribute the pinto beans over the meat.
  6. Pour the remaining sauce evenly over the meat and beans.
  7. Top this with 6 more corn tortillas and press down.
  8. Sprinkle the cheese evenly over the tortillas.
  9. Bake for 30-35 minutes until the cheese melts and mixture bubbles and is heated through. 
  10. Serve hot with a side of greens.
  11. Refrigerate any leftovers.

I had a package of the mini street taco size of corn tortillas so I used 8 of them on top instead of 6 regular sized ones. If your family really enjoys cheese you can top with more than 3 cups and put an extra layer of cheese on the first layer of tortillas before you add the meat. You can use grated Cheddar or Jack Cheese instead of the Mexican blend.


Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Sweet and Spicy Refrigerator Dill Pickles


We just love our sweet and spicy pickles with pulled pork sandwiches or any kind of sandwich for that matter.  These pickles take no time at all to put in a jar to cure for a few days.  
I store mine in a large pickle jar that I once got pickles in from a big box store but any kind of large jar with a lid will work.  If you don't have one jar big enough, divide ingredients between several quart sized jars. 

  • 7 - 8 cups thinly sliced cucumbers  (a mandolin works well)
  • 1 cup thinly sliced and quartered onions
  • 1 cup thinly sliced and quartered green peppers
  • 1 tablespoon pickling salt
  • 4 cups sugar
  • 2 cups white vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons celery seed
  • 1 teaspoon crushed red chili pepper
  • 1 teaspoon mustard seed
  • 2 sprigs fresh dill heads (the umbrella looking part)
  1. Combine the cucumbers, onions, green peppers and salt in a large bowl and allow to sit for one hour.  Drain well.
  2. Put one dill head in the bottom of the jar and fill with cucumbers right to the top, packing down a bit to fit in as many as possible.  Add one more dill sprig to the top.
  3. In a large saucepan, combine the sugar, vinegar, and spices.  Bring to a boil and stir until the sugar has melted.
  4. Pour the hot brine over the cucumbers, covering all the cucumbers.
  5. Put on the lid and refrigerate a few days to allow the cucumbers to cure before eating.
Once cured, the pickles stay well in the refrigerator a few weeks. 



Monday, August 14, 2017

Peanut Butter Cheerio Bars


For anyone who loves the peanut butter and honey flavor combination, these bars are a quick snack, easy to make with kids. I had almost a full bag of Multi Grain Cheerios, getting slightly stale and was ready to throw them out, when I decided to use them for squares. Stuck together with yumminess they were good as new.

Ingredients:
  • 3/4 cup liquid honey or corn syrup
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 3/4 cup peanut butter
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 6 cups Cheerios (regular or what you have)
  • butter for a slight greasing of pan
Method:
  1. In a large pot, over low-medium heat, bring honey and sugar to a boil. 
  2. Add peanut butter and butter, stirring until smooth and bubbly. 
  3. Remove from heat and stir in the Cheerios. 
  4. Press into prepared 9x9 or 9x13 inch pan. 
  5. Cut into squares as soon as they are cooled off but still slightly soft. Yields 16-20 pieces
Note: Although you can use any kind of cereal, less sweet (such as regular or multi grain. is better. When I used Honey Nut Cheerios I thought they were too sweet. Also, using liquid honey and/or a tad less sugar may not firm them up as well as corn syrup, but they taste just as good.

Sunday, August 13, 2017

Bread for The Journey



          Psalm 131
My heart is not proud, O LORD,

 my eyes are not haughty;
I do not concern myself with great matters
  or things too wonderful for me.

   But I have stilled and quieted myself,
     like a weaned child with its mother;
    like a weaned child I am content.

O Israel, put your hope in the LORD
    both now and forevermore.


I memorized this Psalm recently and find it has much wisdom to apply to my life.
It tells me that pride and arrogance are not attributes that God values.
It reminds me that I can trust God's omniscience
 and that I don't need to have all the answers.
Then it gives me the wonderful image of a child who completely trusts his mother to love and protect him 
and it urges me to emulate him.
The last line is a loving command which I've personalized. 
 Oh Bev, put your hope in the LORD both now and forevermore. 

May God quiet your soul from what troubles it today and may you put your hope in Him.

Friday, August 11, 2017

Flash Back Friday ~ Chocolate Cake


For Flash Back Friday I've chosen to bring back this chocolate cake. It was a favorite in my growing up years and it was baked most every Saturday. Once my youngest brother was old enough to bake he would whip up this cake in short order and it was always delicious! My older brothers would deem the cake a success if they could squeeze it in their hands into a dense bar shape!
It is a simple recipe and so moist and delicious. I have changed it up a wee bit from the old recipe.

Ingredients:

  • 2 tablespoons butter, melted
  • 1/4 cup cocoa
  • 1 cup flour
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 egg
  • Buttermilk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla

  1. Melt butter and stir in cocoa till blended. Set aside.
  2. In a medium sized bowl, whisk together dry ingredients.
  3. Break egg into a 1 cup measuring cup and fill up with buttermilk.
  4. Pour egg mixture and cocoa mixture into the dry ingredients and whisk until well blended.
  5. Pour into a greased 8" pan and bake in 350º F oven for 30 minutes.
  6. Serve warm with whipped cream. Add a few berries and chocolate shavings and you have a most wonderful dessert.
Update: Here is a 'blooper version'. The cake pan slipped out of my hands while I was taking it out of the oven and bounced back into the oven thankfully right side up. And a good thing I was planning to make a trifle anyway.


And this what you can make with a cake mishap..trifle!


Thursday, August 10, 2017

Blueberry Cobbler

We have a blueberry bush and I like to use the blueberries in some baking. This cobbler was a good addition to my blueberry recipes. You could also use frozen berries.

Blueberry Cobbler
Ingredients:
  • 12 tablespoons butter
  • 3 cups fresh blueberries
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1 egg
  • 1-1/2 cups flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder

Method:
  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.
  2. Melt 4 tablespoons of the butter and distribute evenly in your 8 inch square baking pan.
  3. Arrange the blueberries on top of the melted butter spreading evenly over bottom of pan.
  4. Mix 1/4 teaspoon of the salt with 1/4 cup of the sugar and sprinkle evenly over the blueberries.
  5. Melt the remaining 8 tablespoons of butter.
  6. Add some of the milk to temper the melted butter and then add the rest of the milk and egg to the butter and beat well.
  7. Mix the flour, baking powder, the remaining 1/2 cup sugar, and 1/2 teaspoon salt.
  8. Stir in the milk and egg mixture and beat until smooth.
  9. Drop the dough by spoonfuls evenly over the blueberries in the pan and spread carefully and evenly.
  10. Bake for 35 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.
  11. Let cool slightly then serve with ice cream or whipped cream. 
You can serve this cake side up or berry side up.

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

Corn on the Cob Supreme




We have fresh Chilliwack corn available on every corner at this time of the year, and it is so good!  Over the years I have shared several different ways of preparing corn-on-the-cob...including 'cooler corn for a crowd' and microwaved corn-on-the-cob for one or two. Today I am posting a recipe for butter boiled corn...resulting in juicy, tender and sweet corn that is delicious!  As the cobs are lifted from the pot, the butter coats the kernels and there is no need to add more butter.
 Milk and Butter Boiled Corn-on-the-Cob
  • 6-8 ears corn, husks and silk removed
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1 cup milk
  1. Add water to a large pot (about half-full or enough to cover cobs) and bring to a boil. 
  2. Add milk and butter. 
  3. Add corn and reduce heat.
  4. Simmer corn for about 6 minutes. 
  5. Remove cobs with tongs; season and serve. 
 * For 2-3 cobs, use a smaller pot and half the amount  of milk and butter. 



'Tis the season for corn.  Enjoy!

Tuesday, August 8, 2017

Charcuterie

Keeping weekend entertaining a casual affair takes the pressure off.

 Charcuterie is a French term meaning "cooked meat". You may be more familiar with an Antipasto platter which is an Italian term for an appetizer consisting of grilled veggies, cheeses, meats, served on a large platter rather than on a board.

We like to support and acknowledge our blog sponsors when we can. Lepp Farm Market was the first place I stopped as I knew they would have a great selection of meats and cheeses as well as fresh produce, specialty food selections and breads. I left with a basket full of deliciousness.

Charcuterie is typically served on a large wooden cutting board or a slate or marble slab. To start, choose a selection of cooked and cured meats, sausages and pate'. To this add an assortment of soft and hard cheeses, olives, antipasto spreads, fruits, crackers and breads. Tucking in a few fresh herb sprigs adds to the visual element of a Charcuterie. Amounts depend on how many you will be serving.

To serve, add some small skewers or tooth picks to the board. Small butter knives or little sugar spoons are the perfect size utensils. I used small pottery dishes and other little dishes to hold some of the food, but small mason jars would work well.

Here's a list of what I added to my Charcuterie board.
  • Boursin cheese
  • Smoked Gouda
  • Camembert cheese
  • Speck wrapped pickled asparagus (Speck is a cured meat sliced paper thin much like prosciutto but it has a deeper taste from the spiced cure that is used in the process) 
  • Antipasto
  • Onion Rhubarb jam
  • Olives
  • Garlic sausage
  • Pepperoni sticks
  • Hot pepperoni
  • Beef jerky
  • Herb crusted dry salami
  • Bread sticks
  • Grain and seed crackers
  • Grainy mustard
  • Figs
  • Grapes
  • Heirloom tomatoes
  • Olive and Feta Focaccia bread (using this bread recipe, shape into a round and change toppings to olives and feta, or change to your liking)
  • Baguette
Other suggestions: pickles, cheese filled celery sticks, melon balls, pickled onions, apple slices, cheese ball, smoked salmon, dates, nuts

Monday, August 7, 2017

Blueberry Cream Pie


I brought this pie to our friend's cabin on the weekend.
It's light and fluffy and, oh so full of blueberry goodness.
I made it using fresh local blueberries but I'm sure it would be good using frozen blueberries as well.

For the blueberry topping:
  • 4 cups fresh blueberries
  • 3/4 cup cold water, divided
  • 1/2 cup sugar or more if you like it sweeter
  • 3 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons lemon juice
For the crust:
  • 2 cups graham wafer crumbs
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup melted butter
For the Cream Filling:
  • 1/1/4 cups heavy cream
  • 6 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • Zest from one lemon
  • 2 teaspoons lemon juice
  1. Make the blueberry topping first, then the crust and lastly the cream filling.
  2. Mix blueberries, 1/2 cup cold water, sugar and lemon juice in a pot over medium heat.
  3. Cook until mixture boils.
  4. Mix together the cornstarch, remaining 1/4 cup water and lemon juice in a small bowl until blended.
  5. Add slowly to blueberry mixture, stirring until mixture boils and is no longer cloudy.
  6. Set aside and cool completely.
  7. For the crust, Mix all ingredients in a bowl.
  8. Press crumbs on bottom and up sides of a 10 inch pie plate.
  9. Refrigerate until filling is made.
  10. For the filling, whip cream until stiff.
  11. In another bowl, blend cream cheese and sugar, lemon zest and lemon juice until smooth
  12. Add sour cream and beat again.
  13. Fold cream cheese mixture into whipped  cream until incorporated.
  14. Pile filling into graham crust and smooth top.
  15. When the blueberry topping is cold, carefully spoon evenly over filling.
  16. Refrigerate at least 3 hours.

Sunday, August 6, 2017

Bread For The Journey



"A Water Bearer in India had two large pots, each hung on the end of a pole which he carried across his neck. One of the pots had a crack in it, and while the other pot was perfect and always delivered a full portion of water at the end of the long walk from the stream to the master's house, the cracked pot arrived only half full. For a full two years, this went on daily, with the bearer delivering only one and one-half pots of water to his master's house.
The perfect pot was proud of its accomplishments, perfect to the end for which it was made. But the poor cracked pot was ashamed of its own imperfection and miserable that it was able to accomplish only half of what it had been made to do. After two years of what it perceived to be a bitter failure, it spoke to the Water Bearer one day by the stream: "I am ashamed of myself, and I want to apologize to you."
"Why?" asked the bearer. "What are you ashamed of?"
"I have been able, for these past two years, to deliver only half my load because this crack in my side causes water to leak out all the way back to your master's house. Because of my flaws, you have to do all of this work, and you don't get full value from your efforts," the pot said.
The Water Bearer felt sorry for the old cracked pot, and in his compassion, he said, "As we return to the master's house, I want you to notice the beautiful flowers along the path."
Indeed, as they went up the hill, the old cracked pot took notice of the sun warming the beautiful wild flowers on the side of the path, and this cheered it some. But at the end of the trail, it still felt bad because it had leaked out half its load, and so again, it apologized to the bearer for its failure.
The bearer said to the pot, "Did you notice that there were flowers only on your side of your path, but not on the other pot's side? That's because I have always known about your flaw, and I took advantage of it. I planted flower seeds on your side of the path, and every day while we walk back from the stream, you've watered them. For two years I have been able to pick these beautiful flowers to decorate my master's table. Without you being just the way you are, he would not have this beauty to grace his house." (author unknown)

2 Corinthians 4:6,7(NIV)
For God, who said, “Let light shine out of darkness,”[a] made his light shine in our hearts to give us the light of the knowledge of God’s glory displayed in the face of Christ.
But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us.
I have a copy of this story pinned on my bulletin board in my office. It is a good reminder that we are cracked, broken and flawed but God can use us just the way we are. We need to allow God's light to shine through these flaws to be able to help and encourage others.
God takes our brokenness and makes us useful for his Glory.

How can we use our flaws and brokenness to help others this week? 

Friday, August 4, 2017

Plum Cake


With all the beautiful stone fruit coming to our fruit stands right now I decided to post a plum cake I posted here. After making it this time, I decided on a few tweaks, because it just seemed a bit on the sweet side for me with the crumb topping and the drizzle. The drizzle is quite optional, but it does look nice. Instead of plums, you can use apricots or sliced peaches.  

topping:
  • 6 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 6 tablespoons flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 cup butter 

cake:
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • ½ cup butter, softened
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 ½ c flour
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ½ cup milk or buttermilk
  • about 8 Italian plums, quartered or cut in half

glaze:
  • ¾ cup icing sugar
  • 1 Tablespoon milk
  • ½ teaspoon almond extract

Method:
  1. In small bowl, stir together sugar, flour and cinnamon for topping. With pastry blender cut in butter until mixture is crumbly. Set aside.
  2. In large bowl, beat sugar and butter until fluffy. I use a wooden spoon.
  3. Beat in eggs, one at a time and vanilla. 
  4. Stir in combined dry ingredients alternately with milk. 
  5. Spread batter into greased and floured 9 - 10 inch spring-form pan. 
  6. Arrange plums, cut side up, on top of batter.
  7. Sprinkle evenly with topping.
  8. Bake at 350°F. about 50 min, until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.
  9.  Let cool in pan for 10 minutes. Remove rim of pan. 
  10. Mix glaze and drizzle over cake. Serves 8 - 10 
(If you line the greased pan with parchment paper, you can slide the cake onto a serving plate. Otherwise just leave the cake on the plate of the baking pan and place that on a serving plate once it’s cooled.)



Thursday, August 3, 2017

Macaroni Coleslaw


I made this macaroni coleslaw for a potluck and the bowl came home empty! It is delicious and refreshing for these warm summer days. You can prepare all the ingredients the day before you want to serve it. Then mix coleslaw ingredients with dressing 1/2 hour before serving.

Coleslaw Ingredients:
  • 1 cup elbow macaroni, measured when dry
  • 1/2 cup sweet orange bell pepper..you may use red, yellow or green if that's what you have on hand
  • 1/2 cup celery, finely chopped
  • 1 English cucumber, cut in half then sliced
  • 3/4 cup peas, cooked
  • 8 oz of mixed coleslaw..I purchased coleslaw in a package and weighed what I needed.
Dressing:

  • 3/4 cup mayo
  • 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 2 teaspoons lemon juice.

  1. Cook the macaroni as per package instructions, drain and rinse with cold water and pour into a large bowl.
  2. To the macaroni add cut up pepper, celery, cucumber. peas, and coleslaw. 
  3. Prepare dressing. Put all the ingredients in a jar and shake it up well or whisk it together in a small bowl.
  4. Pour dressing over coleslaw mixture and mix together until well combined. Refrigerate at least 1/2 hour before serving.
  5. Serves: approx 6 to 8 depending what else you are serving with it.

Wednesday, August 2, 2017

Rustic Blueberry Muffins



 Muffins are a quick bread like product which can vary with many different ingredients.  I like making muffins and scones, especially in the summertime as there are so many fresh fruits available and what a delightful way to start or finish off your breakfast or a perfect snack for mid day.   I have really enjoyed the tips that Lovella shared about making bran muffins and keeping the edges crispy.

Ingredients
  • 1 1/2 cups buttermilk
  • 1 1/2 cups oat bran
  • 1 1/4 cups whole wheat flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla 
  • 1 cup frozen or fresh blueberries or dates
Method
  1. Preheat oven to 375° F
  2. Grease muffin tins
  3. Add buttermilk to oat bran and let stand.
  4. Beat oil, sugar, egg, and vanilla together.
  5. Add buttermilk mixture to liquids and stir well. 
  6. Add dry ingredients and stir until combined.
  7. Stir in blueberries gently.  
  8. Spoon batter into prepared muffins tins.
  9. Bake for 25 minutes until they pass the toothpick test.
Buttermilk Substitute:  
  • 1 1/2 cups milk
  • Add 1 1/2 tablespoon lemon juice or vinegar.
  • Let sit for a few minutes.


Tuesday, August 1, 2017

Luncheon Party Sandwich Loaf

                      
Who remembers the Party Sandwich Loaf? It was popular in the 1970's. Several years ago my mother in law hosted a luncheon in my honour and invited all the girls from MGCC to come. She's a lady who enjoys hosting people in their home, and making things lovely. 
On that summer day we arrived to a table beautifully set with her crystal and china, and roses gathered and arranged from dad's rose gardens. It was an occasion that gave us all an excuse to dress up and be treated to a real old fashioned ladies' luncheon.
The menu included jello salads, fruit, and this beautifully assembled and presented Luncheon Party Sandwich Loaf. When cut, the inside of the loaf revealed thin layers of bread with 3 different fillings between each layer. We took our seats by our place cards and savoured every bite while enjoying conversation and friendship around the table.

For the Bread: (the recipe and amounts shown will be for one Party Loaf)
  • 1 unsliced white sandwich loaf
  • 1 unsliced brown sandwich loaf
  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  1. Place loaves in freezer until almost firm.
  2. Take out of freezer. Using an electric knife or sharp bread knife carefully cut away all crusts from each loaf. 
  3. Now cut each loaf horizontally into 4 equal slices. (For this particular loaf she used 3 slices of the white and two of the brown. Extra bread can be used for other fancy finger sandwiches, or make 2 sandwich loaves using 2 slices of brown and 2 of white, instead of the 5 layers used here.)
  4. Lay one white slice of bread on tray you will be using to build and serve your loaf on. Consider how you want the finished loaf to be presented. You will not be able to move the assembled loaf, so if you want to place cut up vegetables around the loaf allow for a larger platter or tray.
  5. Lightly butter top side of the first slice of bread. 
  6. Spread the first filling (see recipes for fillings below) of ham over bread. 
  7. Lightly butter one of the brown slices of bread and lay over the ham mixture, butter side up.
  8. Spread the second filling of egg salad over bread.
  9. Lightly butter another slice of white bread and place over egg filling, butter side up.
  10. Spread the third filling of chicken salad over the bread.
  11. Lightly butter another slice of brown bread and lay over the chicken salad, butter side up.
  12. Spread the fourth filling of cream cheese and pineapple over the bread.
  13. Lay the final un buttered slice of white bread over the cream cheese and pineapple filling. 
  14. Your inside of your loaf is now complete. Gently press the loaf, and using a knife make sure all filling is nicely 'tucked' in between the layers of bread. You may have to smooth it out a little. You want a nice flat edge on every side before you frost the loaf. (Cream cheese frosting recipe below)
First Filling - Ham
  • 1 can canned ham, or 1 cup deli honey ham, sliced thin and chopped fine
  • 2 sweet pickles, chopped, or 1 tablespoon sweet pickle relish
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons mayonnaise
  1. Mix all ingredients together. 
Second Filling - Egg Salad
  • 3 large eggs, hard boiled
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon white pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon mustard
  • 1 teaspoon freshly chopped chives
  • 1 teaspoon finely chopped fresh parsley
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons mayonnaise ( a little more if mixture is dry, but you don't want it too moist as you don't want runny fillings)
  1. Mash eggs and add remaining ingredients. Mix well.
Third Filling - Chicken Salad 
  • 1 cup finely chopped cooked chicken breast (a pre cooked chicken from the deli is really flavourful for this mixture. Just take one of the breasts off the chicken, and use the rest for other dishes)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 tablespoon very finely chopped celery
  • 1 teaspoon very finely chopped sweet onion
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped black olives, optional
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons mayonnaise, again just enough to moisten
  1. Finely chop chicken breast. Add remaining ingredients and mix well.
Fourth Filling - Cream Cheese with Pineapple
  • 4 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
  • 3 tablespoons white sugar
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped pineapple tidbits (not crushed) drained well if using canned
  1. Beat together cream cheese and sugar. Fold in pineapple tidbits.
Cream Cheese Frosting
  • 2 8 ounce packages cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 1/2 cup half and half (which is light cream)
  1. Beat together until mixture is smooth. 
Frosting the Loaf and Adding the Herb Garnish
  1. Spread the Cream Cheese frosting over the entire loaf, making sure it's 'sealed' on all sides. 
  2. Sprinkle with fresh herbs of your choice. Do not use dried herbs. Parsley and Dill are good choices. 
  3. Set in refrigerator for ONLY 30 MINUTES to allow the Cream Cheese to set. Take out and cover loaf tightly. Place back in refrigerator for at least 3 hours or up to 24 hours. 
  4. When ready to serve, garnish with a little more herbs, olives, cut up vegetables. 
  5. To serve, use a very sharp bread knife or electric knife.