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Cabbage Rolls (Holubtsi)



This recipe takes me back to my Mom's kitchen and early years of marriage when I wanted to make something fancy. We called them Galopse ( a variation of the Polish name for them, while others call them by the Ukranian, Holuptsi). Although we don't have these that often any more, (mainly because we have so much to choose from today) I still do enjoy that "comfort food" flavor. It's a good make-ahead meal because they are always good re-heated. Cabbage rolls are great for pot-lucks and very economical. This recipe makes 12-18 rolls. Sometimes I form a few meatballs for those who don't care for the cabbage.

Ingredients:

Rolls / Filling:
  • 1 head Savoy cabbage
  • 1- 1 1/2 pounds lean ground beef
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • pepper
  • 1/2 grated onion
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 1 – 1 1/2 cups cooked rice
Sauce:
  • 2 tablespoons oil
  • ½ chopped onion
  • ½ chopped pepper, any color
  • 4 tablespoons flour
  • 4 cups water (approx)
  • 1 chicken bouillon cube (or 2 teaspoons better than bouillon)
  • 3 tablespoons tomato paste (according to taste)
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • 1 can tomato soup (optional) 
  • 1 bay leaf
Method:
  1. Place cabbage in a large pot of boiling water and peel off leaves as they become soft. Set aside. If you are using regular cabbage, cut around the core before placing it in the water.
  2. In a large frying pan, cook onion and pepper in a small amount of oil until tender. 
  3. Mix flour and half of the water in a sealed container until well blended and add to onion/peppers. While cooking, add the rest of the water and stir until smooth and bubbly. Add bouillon and tomato paste. For more sauce, mix more flour and water and add another bouillon cube for flavor. Adjust amounts according to desired consistency and add salt and pepper according to taste.
  4. Mix raw meat, salt, pepper, onion, sour cream and cooked rice. Place a few tablespoons of meat mixtureonto each leaf, fold ends and roll up. Place close together in roaster.
  5. Pour sauce over cabbage rolls, tuck in bay leaf and bake at 350° F for 1 1/2 hours. 
  6. Once cooked, remove rolls to serving plate. If there is not enough gravy, add a can of tomato soup to the liquids in the roaster and bring to boil. With the soup you can also adjust flavors by adding some milk or cream.

Harvest Brown Bread

Tucked into the bread section of my Mennonite Treasury Cookbook is a stained and worn piece of paper with the recipe for our family favorite brown bread. I got it from a friend in the late seventies and is simply known as Ruth P's brown bread. I often wonder what happened to Ruth, one of those people who was part of my life for a time and who I haven't heard from in twenty years. But I think of her whenever I bake her bread and hope things have gone well for her and her family.


  • 2 Tablespoons fast rising yeast
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 cup warm water
  • 1 Tablespoon salt
  • 1 large tablespoon honey
  • 4 cups warm water
  • 2 cups rye flour
  • 3 cups whole wheat flour
  • 3 cups white flour (plus 1-2 additional cups in step 5).
  • 1/2 cup oil
  • 1 cup sunflower seeds
  1. Prepare yeast mixture by dissolving sugar in lukewarm water...add yeast and let stand ten minutes.
  2. In large bowl, dissolve salt and honey in warm water...add yeast mixture.
  3. Mix together the three types of flour. Add flour slowly to mixture in bowl and beat well.
  4. Add oil and sunflower seeds.
  5. Knead in enough white flour to make dough smooth and elastic.
  6. Cover and allow to rise in a warm place until light. 
  7. Punch down and form loaves. Let rise until doubled in bulk.
  8. Bake at 375°F for 30 minutes.
  9. Yield 4 medium loaves

    *When using instant yeast, add to flour in step three and omit step 1, proofing yeast in sugar water.)


I gave you the recipe as it is written, but since I always use my Bosch machine to mix bread, my methods and amounts differ slightly. I usually do one-and-a-half times the recipe, and make a few little loaves for the grandkids.

Summer Fruit Pies



Although several great recipes for pies have been posted already, I will add some more pictures and ideas so that we have more to glean from. Below I have the general pie pastry recipe for 1 double crust pie. This will fit a regular or a deep dish pie plate.

BASIC PASTRY ( for double crust pie)
  • 1 2/3 cups flour
  • 3/4 teaspoons salt
  • 2/3 cup shortening or lard
  • 4 tablespoons cold water
Method:
  1. Combine flour, salt and shortening in medium sized mixing bowl.
  2.  Cut shortening into flour with pastry blender until pieces are the size of large peas. 
  3. Sprinkle with water and stir with fork, in circular motion, until there are no more lose crumbs.
  4. Press together with hands and shape into a ball. Divide in half. 
  5. Turn out on floured surface, pat and shape with hands into circular shape then roll out a little larger than your pie plate. Roll onto rolling pin and unroll into pie plate. Bottom crust should come up higher than edge of pan

FRUIT FILLING – (deep) double crust
  • Brush unbaked bottom crust with slightly beaten egg whites, to keep from getting soggy. Fill with fresh or frozen fruit. (approx 6 cups) Sprinkle with mixture of sugar and flour that is WELL MIXED. (Amounts will vary depending on tartness of fruit and taste preference) I just shake or tap the pan so sugar disperses a bit.
  • Cover with second crust. Fold top crust over and under bottom crust, so that you can pinch the two layers together as you flute them.
  • Brush with beaten egg white and cut small slits. Bake at 400 F for 15 min. Turn down to 350 F and bake for another 50 min. or until juice bubbles out through slits.


Filling Suggestions:
  • blueberries - sprinkle with some lemon rind, mix ½ cup sugar and 4 Tbsp flour
  •  peaches and nectarines – mix  ½ cup sugar, 3 Tbsp flour and 3 Tbsp tapioca
  • blackberries – sprinkle with lemon rind, mix ¾ cup sugar, 4 Tbsp flour and 4 Tbsp tapioca
  •  apples – mix ½ cup brown sugar, 1 tsp cinnamon, 2 tbsp flour
FREEZING PIES:

If you want to make up some fruit pies in the summer while the fruit is handy and get the work over and done with, I would suggest multiplying the recipe:
  • 1 pound (1 pkg) of shortening or lard, 
  • 5 ½ cups flour
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons salt 
  • 1 egg, 3/4 cup water, 1 Tbsp vinegar 
Divide the pastry into three or four balls and divide each ball again, so that you can make 3 large double crust pies or 4 small double crust pies to fit 9-inch foil pie plates.

Don’t forget to brush the bottom crust with an egg wash and then again the top.
Because the foil pie plates are smaller, use a little less fruit (4 – 5 cups) and a little less sugar mix if you want them slightly on the tart side.

Freeze pies first to freeze the egg wash on top, then transfer into plastic bags, or do the top egg wash just before baking. Note: a frozen foil plated pie will easily transfer into a glass pie plate later.

Extra Tips:
* Don’t knead pastry, rather handle as little as possible.
* If the pastry tears as you transfer it, don’t re-roll, rather patch and seal with egg wash later.
* Don’t add more liquids because it will give a tougher crust.
* Baked pie keeps up to 5 days in the fridge and can be re-heated. Pie can also be frozen raw and baked later.

Salsa

Since there's an abundance of tomatoes and peppers out there right now, I thought I would share my salsa recipe. It's a recipe I got from my sister Kathy about twenty years ago and is a staple at our home. I cook up a large batch in fall and we enjoy it year-round.  This is a zippy salsa; if you prefer yours on the mild side, remove all the seeds and ribs from inside the jalapeno peppers.

 

Salsa
  • 10 cups tomatoes (peeled, chopped and drained)
  • 8 small jalapeno peppers chopped (remove seeds for less heat) 
  • 3 cups chopped onions
  • 1 cup chopped green peppers 
  • 3 cloves garlic minced
  • 1/2 cup chopped cilantro
  • 1 1/3 cups vinegar 
  • 1 can 12 oz. can tomato paste 
  • 1 tsp. cumin 
  • 1 Tablespoon red pepper flakes 
  • 3 Tablespoons pickling salt 
  • 3 Tablespoons brown sugar
  1. Combine all ingredients and simmer for 1 hour.
  2. Ladle into jars; tighten lids and process for 20 minutes in hot water bath.
*Optional : Stir in 1/3 cup cornstarch diluted in cold water and simmer for several minutes to thicken salsa before filling jars.



*This also makes a wonderful, tasty fresh salsa.  Place chopped veggies in a large bowl.  Mix vinegar, tomato paste, herbs and seasonings and add to chopped vegetables. Stir to combine.  Keeps well in the refrigerator for a week.


Schaubel Zup (Green Bean Soup)

My mom made a soup like this when I was growing up, but it wasn't one of my favorites. Recently I decided to revisit this green bean soup and found that it’s actually better than I remember. The broth, with a little sweet cream in it, reminds me of the Zuppa Toscana soup at Olive Garden. How much better can it get? Here is the recipe – a combination of ideas of how my Mom made it and a recipe in the Mennonite Treasury.

Ingredients:
  • 1 lb smoked ham hock
  • ½ dried red hot pepper
  • 10 black pepper kernels
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 2 - 3 carrots, chopped
  • 2 medium potatoes
  • 6 cups chopped (frozen or fresh) green beans
  • summer savory
  • 1 bouillon cube (chicken or beef) if needed, for extra flavor


  1. Cover ham bone with about 8 cups water in large pot. Tie spices into cheesecloth and add to pot. 
  2. Bring to boil, take off scum, and simmer about 1 hour. 
  3. Take out ham bone. Add vegetables and cook another hour. 
  4.  While vegetables are cooking and after ham has cooled somewhat, remove ham from bone, chop into bite size pieces and return to pot. 
  5. About ½ hour before it’s done, add a handful of summer savory, tied together for easy removal. If you can’t get summer savory, use a tiny sprinkle of thyme. Adjust flavors with bouillon if needed.
  6.  Add ½ cup sweet cream or sour cream, before serving. Enjoy a trip down memory lane.
To make this soup with farmer sausage, simply cook  peeled and chopped sausage along with vegetables for an hour. You can also pre-cook the onion, then add water, sausage and vegetables. Use bouillon cube and summer savory for flavor.

Quick Blueberry Streusel (Platz)

It's blueberry season, or soon will be, for those of us living in this part of the country. As a child I reluctantly used to go picking in the summer to make some spending money, but now I find it very relaxing to get out there among the rows and rows of berries. Especially with some good company, to eat, enjoy the sun and anticipate the desserts that will come.
This delicious crumb cake is the easiest and quickest you will ever make, with the base and crumb topping made of the same mix.

Ingredients:
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 3/4 cup butter (room temperature)
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 egg beaten with fork in meas. cup, then filled to 1 cup with buttermilk
  • 2 cups blueberries
Method:
  1. Mix butter into flour and sugar with pastry blender until well blended and crumbly. 
  2. Set 1 1/4 cups aside for topping. 
  3. To the first, bigger part of the mix, add baking powder and soda, then stir in combined egg and buttermilk 
  4. Spread into greased or parchment paper lined 9 x 13 pan. Sprinkle with 2 cups blueberries and reserved crumb mixture. Squeeze to make crumb clusters as you drop them by handfuls.
  5. Bake in upper part of oven (important)  at 375F for 35 - 45 min. Cool or serve warm with ice cream.

Blueberry Oat Bars



It's summer time and today I'm happy to share with you a blueberry bar that can't be resisted.  I tasted this last year at Berry Bounty Farms which is a family owned and operated berry stand, just a few kilometers down the road on Chilliwack Central.  They also love to use our MGCC recipes.
This is one stop you can't miss.  Check it out and you will be greeted by a friendly smile, a fresh glass of raspberry juice and a sample of baked goodies.

Blueberry Oat Bars
  • 4 cups fresh blueberries
  • 1/2 cup orange juice
  • 5 teaspoons corn starch
  • 1 cup butter or margarine, softened
  • 1 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1 tsp almond flavor
  • 2 cups flour
  • 2 cups rolled oats
  • 2 teaspoon baking powder
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Grease a 9x13 inch pan.
  3. Bring blueberries and orange juice to a boil in a sauce pan.
  4. Reduce heat and simmer about 10 minutes.  
  5. Whisk in cornstarch and boil, stirring until thickened, about 1 minute.
  6. Cover with saran wrap and refrigerate or cool up to 30 minutes.
  7. Beat butter and sugar in a medium bowl until smooth and fluffy. 
  8. Add almond extract.
  9. Mix in flour, baking powder and oats until mixture is crumbly.  
  10. Reserve 1 cup crumb mixture for topping.
  11. Pat remaining crumb mixture into cake pan.
  12. Spread cooled blueberry topping evenly over crust.
  13. Sprinkle with remaining crumb mixture.
  14. Bake 30-40 minutes until lightly browned.  

Light & Runny Strawberry Jam

When I first started making jam many years ago, I was confused with the many suggested ways to cook (or not cook) jam. Some said to cook until done, some said not to use pectin, others called for too much sugar . . . you get the idea.
Being a bit of a perfectionist, I couldn’t just wing it and have the jam turn out a little different every year. I wanted it to be exactly right … not too sweet, not too hard, not too runny. . . so I've worked on it over the years and got it to where our family likes it, runny enough to use a spoon to spread a scone or fill that little hole on a Zwieback for Sunday Faspa.

Tools/Accessories:
  • blender or immersion blender
  • good quality, large stainless steel pot
  • wooden spoon
  • canning funnel
  • clean jars and new lids
Suggested amounts of ingredients needed for 24 - 30 cups of jam (12 - 15 pints):
  • 1 - 15 pound flat of strawberries
  • 4 kg sugar (10 pounds)
  • packages Certo light brand pectin OR 4 packages (other) regular pectin crystals
  • 4 teaspoons soft margarine

Ahead of time:  Wash jars and rings. While  jam is cooking, sterilize jars by heating in a 225° F oven for 10 minutes and keep warm until needed. Heat rubber lids in a small pot of boiling water and keep hot.

Berry Prep: Wash berries before stemming. Crush about 3 cups of berries at a time. With a good blender, pulse for 5 seconds, stopping to shake fruit to the bottom so as not to over-blend OR  fill an ice cream pail - a third full - and use an immersion blender to crush. If berries are very ripe you can use a potato masher. Pureed berries should still be of a thick and slightly chunky consistency. Collect crushed berries in a large bowl or ice cream pails until done. I usually do this in the evening and refrigerate the berries to cook the next day.  (15 lbs of berries will make 4 batches - or about 30 cups jam)

Measure and set aside seperately:
  • 6 cups mashed berries 
  • 4 1/4 cups sugar, separated
  • 3 tablespoons Certo light (or 1 package regular pectin crystals) mixed with ¼ cup sugar
To cook:
  1. Place fruit and pectin crystals mixed with 1/4 c sugar into a large pot. (Pot should only be about 1/3 full.) 
  2. Place over high heat on an element that keeps the most consistent heat,  and stir constantly with wooden spoon, until it comes to a bubbling boil.
  3. Stir in remaining 4 cups sugar. Continuing to stir, add 1 teaspoon margarine to keep the foam down and cook until mixture comes to a full, rolling boil again. (you can hear it) Set timer for 2 minutes, stirring constantly. Turn heat down slightly if it splatters too much, but keep the boil. 
  4. Remove from heat and continue to stir for a few minutes until clear and shiny. Crush any large floating berry pieces with a fork against the side of the pot if needed. Ladle hot jam into jars until 1/2 inch from rim. Cover with lids and screw rings to seal.

* The jam will be runny until it's completely cooled.
* Important note: Freezing the jam (once it's cooled) keeps it fresher tasting and it’s not necessary to seal the jars. Even keeping sealed jars refrigerated keeps the flavor fresher tasting than just having it sit in the pantry.
* You can freeze blended berries in 6 cup proportions, ready to cook in the winter, but you will need a bit more certo. (I freeze in 9 cup proportions, add 6 cups sugar and 1 package pectin with thawed mixture. This makes about 12 small jars)

Lemon Ricotta Pancakes

 This is one of my favorite pancakes. If you like lemon, ricotta cheese and blueberries..you will love these fluffy pancakes. It doesn't take long to whip them up and if you have a griddle you can cook them all at once.

Batter: 
  • 3/4 cup ricotta cheese
  • 1/2 cup white flour
  • 1/2 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 3 eggs, divided
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest
  1. Beat egg whites until stiff. Set aside.
  2. In a small bowl whisk together the dry ingredients.
  3. In a medium size bowl combine the ricotta, egg yolks, milk, and vanilla. The ricotta I used was quite dry but if your brand happens to be on the runny side, just make sure to drain the liquid.
  4. Add dry ingredients to the ricotta mixture, mixing gently just until combined.
  5. Whisk in approx a cup of the egg whites to fluff up the dough, then fold in the rest of the egg whites just until combined.
  6. Heat griddle to medium high, brushing surface with a little butter. Using a ladle scoop the batter on the griddle. Using the back of the ladle push the dough outwards a bit on each pancake, so you don't end up with too thick a pancake.
  7. Cook pancakes approx 4 minutes, then flip over and cook until golden brown, approx another 3 to 4 minutes, depending on the size of your pancakes.
  8. Serve with lemon sauce, blueberries, a dollop of ricotta cheese and dust with icing sugar and a little lemon zest. Decorate your pancakes as you wish:) I couldn't resist having a little fun with them.
  9. Yields 8 to 10 pancakes. 
Lemon Sauce: you can make this ahead of time and reheat just before serving.
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 5 teaspoons cornstarch
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 cups boiling water
  • 2 teaspoons grated lemon zest
  • 3 tablespoons lemon juice, preferably freshly squeezed
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  1. Whisk together sugar, cornstarch and salt in a saucepan.
  2. Stir in boiling water and cook, stirring constantly until the mixture has thickened.
  3. Stir in lemon juice, zest and butter.
  4. Serve warm.
  5. Yields: 2 cups

Lemon Basil Carrot Bundles


Here's a veggie plate suggestion fresh from the garden.  The carrots can easily be prepared in advance and reheated at the last minute.  They taste as good as they look!
  • 8 large carrots (about 2 pounds)
  • 8 stems of green onion
  • 3 Tablespoons butter, melted
  • 3 Tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic salt
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil
  1. Pare or scrape carrots. Then cut into strips about 3 inches in length.
  2. Cook carrots over medium heat until tender crisp.
  3. Remove from heat.  Drain and rinse with cold water.
  4. Place onion greens in a covered dish in the microwave.  Cook on high for 30 seconds.  Cool and use limp onion greens as ropes to tie the carrot bundles.
  5. Gather carrot strips into eight bundles.
  6. Tie each with a green onion stem. Trim off ends of carrot bundles to even out lengths, if desired.
  7. Place bundles in a shallow bowl and drizzle with lemon basil mixture.
  8. Cover and chill until serving time. 
  9. Reheat in the microwave oven for about 3 minutes or until piping hot.
  10. Serve on a bed of steamed fresh green peas, if desired!
Serves 8


Enjoy!

Homemade Flour Tortillas


I had been told that tortillas were easy to make..and now I know that they are! Fresh flour tortillas really taste better than store-bought. These can be made in a cast iron or a non-stick frying pan. I used my trusty old cast iron frying pan and the tortillas turned out great.

Ingredients:
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup vegetable shortening
  • 2/3 cup hot water
Method:
  1. Whisk together flour, baking powder and salt.
  2. Cut in shortening until crumbly.
  3. Pour in hot water, a little at a time, mixing with a fork until dough comes together.
  4. Place dough on a lightly floured surface and knead a few minutes until smooth.
  5. Cover and let rest 45 minutes.
  6. Divide dough into 8 pieces and roll each piece into a ball, cover balls with plastic wrap. 
  7. With a rolling pin, roll each ball into a 6-7 inch circle, don't worry they don't have to be perfect circles. Cook one tortilla while you roll out the next one. 
  8. Preheat your pan on medium heat. Do not add oil.
  9. Place tortilla in hot pan and cook until small bubbles appear before flipping to the other side, cook approx one minute on each side.   
  10. Stack cooked tortillas and cover with a tea towel till all are cooked.
  11. Now they are ready for your favorite recipe.  Can be frozen for future use.



Ginger Chicken Wonton Tacos

These little bundles make a nice appetizer or light lunch over a bed of cole slaw.
Tender pulled chicken in a spicy sweet ginger sauce wrapped in Wonton Wrappers. 
Shredded poached chicken

  • 2 boneless skinless chicken breasts (this is enough for approximately 25) 
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp coarse black pepper
  • 1 package Wonton Wrappers (Found in the fresh food isle of the grocery store. They come in a stack and are about a 3"x3" squares)
  • 1/2 cup of your favourite thick bottled spicy ginger sauce, plus more for drizzling over slaw
  • 1/3 cup finely grated mozzarella cheese
  • 1/3 cup finely chopped fresh cilantro 
  • 1 tbsp butter, melted
  •  slaw mix, chopped very fine
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped red pepper
  • avocado, sliced
  1. Poach chicken by placing both chicken breasts in a pot and covering with water. Add bay leaf, salt and pepper. 
  2. Bring to a boil, turn down and allow to slow boil for 10 minutes. 
  3. Remove from heat, cover and let chicken sit in water for another 10 minutes.
  4. Remove chicken from water to a cutting board and immediately shred chicken, using two forks. ***see photo above***
  5. Add ginger sauce, cheese, and cilantro to the shredded chicken. This can be made ahead of time.
  6. When ready to bake, assemble Wonton Tacos by taking one Wanton Wrapper in the palm of your hand and laying a strip of meat filling from one point to the next. (about 2 tbsp per wrapper) 
  7. Pull up other two points as shown in photo below and pinch together. 
  8. Melt butter and using a pastry brush, and lightly brush the outsides of each bundle.
  9. Place on parchment lined baking sheet and bake in 400º oven for 19 minutes.
  10. Finely chop slaw and red pepper. 
  11. Place baked Wonton Tacos on top of bed of slaw that has been lightly drizzled with more ginger sauce. Garnish with avocado slices and serve immediately.

Filled and pinched Wantons

Brushed with butter, ready to go into oven.

Lemon Cheesecake with Raspberry Topping


Here is a light, luscious and lemony 'no-bake' cheesecake that is the perfect ending to a special occasion meal.  Or forget the meal and just enjoy this dessert with good friends!
Crust:
  • 1 1/3 cups Oreo Baking Crumbs
  • 1/3 cup butter

Filling:
  • 1 envelope unflavoured gelatin
  • 1/4 cup cold water
  • 1/4 cup hot water
  • zest of 1 lemon (finely grated)
  • 1/2 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice (juice of 2 lemons) 
  • 1 - 8 oz /250 gr package cream cheese
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 cups whipping cream

Directions:
  1. Combine chocolate cookie crumbs and melted butter. Pat into a 9-inch spring-form pan. Set aside.
  2. In a small bowl, sprinkle gelatin over cold water; then add hot water while stirring.  Stir in lemon zest and juice.  Allow to cool for several minutes (but do not let set). 
  3. In a mixing bowl, beat cream cheese and sugar until very smooth.  Add gelatin mixture and combine well. 
  4. In a separate bowl, whip cream until stiff. Gently fold whipped cream into cheese mixture.  
  5. Pour filling into crust.  Refrigerate for at least four hours or overnight. 
  6. Remove from pan and serve, topped with raspberry sauce (below), fresh raspberries and additional whipped cream.

Easy Raspberry Sauce:



  • 2 cups raspberries (fresh or frozen and thawed)
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
Combine raspberries, sugar and lemon juice in blender and process until liquidy. (Add more sugar to taste, if desired.)
At this point, you can eliminate the seeds by passing through a strainer.  We like the seeds!
Store in closed container in the fridge for several days.

This dessert can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for several days.  It also freezes well.

Serves 8.


 


Raspberry Red Pepper Jelly


Raspberries are ripe in the Fraser Valley and yesterday I popped into Neufeld Farms and picked up beautiful berries to make some Raspberry Pepper Jelly which pairs beautifully with cream cheese and crackers for a quick appy or a perfect little hostess gift.  If you don't want to make the jelly now. .simply freeze soft packed berries into a small freezer bag and you will have them measured and ready to use in fall or winter.

  • 3 cups raspberries (use a one cup measuring cup and pack them lightly, don't press them down flat. .they shouldn't squish)
  • 2 large red bell peppers
  • 10 jalapeno peppers
  • 1 1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 8 cups white sugar
  • 2 boxes of 170 ml liquid certo  (this means 4 pouches)  170 ml is about 5.75 ounces for American measuring
  1. Sterilize lids and  jars with boiling water. Amount of jars depends on what size you use. The batch of jelly is about 10 cups.
  2. Put the raspberries in a large cooking pot.
  3. Roughly dice the red bell peppers and the jalapeno peppers  (use rubber gloves) and put them in a food processor and pulse until they are a fine dice.  Alternately. .finely dice them by hand.
  4. Add the peppers into the pot.
  5. Add the cider vinegar and the sugar and bring to a light boil.  Simmer for 8 minutes.
  6. Add the certo liquid and boil hard one minute.
  7. Pour the hot liquid into a large sieve. You might have to do this in batches, dumping out the pepper and raspberry seeds in between. 
  8. This should leave you with about 10 cups of jelly.
  9. Skim the foam and pour into little jars.
  10. Wipe the rims to be sure you haven't dripped and top with lids and screw hand tight.
  11. Process the jelly in a canner in boiling water bath for 10 minutes.
  12. Using a canning jar tong, remove to a draft free area and let them cool.
  13. Be sure all the jars have sealed and then store in a dark cool place.
For safe canning instructions. .please have a look at this link here.

Fancy Egg Scramble



We enjoyed this make-ahead breakfast dish years ago and I finally revived it for brunch recently. Everyone enjoyed it.

  • 1 cup diced ham 
  • 1/4 cup chopped green onion (scallions)
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 12 eggs beaten
  • 1 6oz. can diced Green Chiles
Cheese Sauce:
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon pepper
  • 2 cups milk
  • 1 cup grated cheddar cheese
Method:
  1. Melt butter in heavy large skillet. Saute ham and green onions in butter.
  2. Add beaten eggs and diced green chiles.
  3. Mix ingredients and cook until eggs are just set. Remove from heat and prepare cheese sauce.
  4. Melt 2 tablespoons butter in heavy bottom pan.
  5. Add flour, salt and pepper to butter and cook on medium heat for 2 minutes.
  6. Add the 2 cups of milk gradually and blend well. Cook to a gentle boil.
  7. Add the grated cheese and mix well until cheese is melted. Add the cheese sauce to the egg mixture and fold in till combined.
  8. Pour mixture into lightly greased 9x12 casserole dish.
  9. Cover and refrigerate overnight until 30-40 minutes before you want to serve the dish
  10. Cook uncovered at 350 degrees for 30-40 minutes.
Serve with fruit and muffins or toast.  Serves 6







Ginger Chicken with Hot Potato Salad

 
 Along with this chicken, I served a German Potato Salad and thought I'd share it as a meal combo idea. It's a nice menu for four adults or you can multiply as you like.
Ginger Chicken Marinade
  • 3 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons sherry cooking wine
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 tablespoon fresh minced ginger root*
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1 teaspoon Montreal Chicken Spice
  1. Mix all ingredients and let sit for an hour or so to blend flavors. Pour over 8 boneless chicken thighs and allow to marinate for about one hour before grilling.
* An easy way to have fresh ginger on hand is to peel a piece and freeze it. To use, simply grate on fine part of grater while still frozen and return the unused portion to the freezer.

Hot German Potato Salad
  • 16 - 20 nugget potatoes (about a pound)
  • 4 - 5 slices bacon, fried, drained and  diced (keep drippings)
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 3/4 teaspoon prepared mustard
  • 3 tablespoons vinegar
  • 4 tablespoons water
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 2 - 3 tablespoon cream (optional)
  1. Cut potatoes in half and cook, leaving the skin on. This will take about 10 - 15 minutes. Drain.
  2. In the meantime, prepare bacon, set aside and cook onion in drippings until golden/transparent looking. Stir in sugar, mustard, vinegar, water, salt and pepper. Let simmer.
  3.  Just before serving, add bacon, then add mixture to potatoes in the pot. Stir in cream and reheat.
  4. Garnish with parsley or minced green onion.

Bread For The Journey

He Shall Have Dominion

 He shall have dominion also from sea to sea.
Psalm 72:8

The founding fathers of this country were convinced that Canada should be a nation under God.  The country was officially called the Dominion of Canada....based on the verse found in Psalm 72:8.  The leaders acknowledged that God would have dominion in this great nation from sea to shining sea  The national motto as it appears on our Coat of Arms is 'from sea to sea' (“A mari usque ad mare”) was also adopted at that time.  That was the framework on which this great country was built.  In 1867 Canada's first prime minister, John A. MacDonald explained to Queen Victoria of England, that the name was a tribute to the principles they earnestly desired to uphold.  On July 1, 1867 Canada was a country built on the Word of God.
 

Many things have changed over the years.  Our motto remains the same, though  most Canadians likely have no idea that it is based on scripture.  Many of the values that were accepted at that time have been discarded along the way.  What the future holds for us as a nation, we do not know.  May  "God keep our land glorious and free" as stated in the lyrics of our national anthem.   Let's not forget to pray for our country and our leaders, who are leading at a most difficult time in history.

If my people, who are called by my name, 
will humble themselves and pray
and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, 
then will I hear from heaven
and will forgive their sin and will heal their land.
2 Chronicles 7:4 NIV

Happy Canada Day...
from someone who feels most privileged to call Canada home!

And to those of you who live south of the border...
Happy Fourth of July!


Canada Day Cake


God Keep Our Land...

I thought a Bodentorte which we have posted recipes before here on our blog would be a beautiful canvas to showcase the local berries that are ripe and available at farm markets in the Fraser Valley.
While I was baking this cake I thought of how I have always taken for granted how easy it is for us to make a cake here with fresh fruits that pair beautifully with our flag.
If I lived in the US...I'd toss some blueberries in with this and I'd instantly have a perfect July 4th cake.

Happy Canada Day!

Auntie Betty's Torte 
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 6 tablespoons milk
  • 3 eggs (room temperature)
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  1. Preheat oven to 350.  Place butter in Bodentorte pan and place in oven just until butter melts. Remove from oven and use a brush to evenly spread butter around the bottom and sides of the pan.  
  2. Heat the milk in a small saucepan until just beginning to bubble, remove from heat and cool to room temperature.
  3. If your eggs are not room temperature, place them in a glass of warm water for a few minutes. Combine the eggs and sugar in a mixing bowl and whip on medium speed while you measure the dry ingredients. If you don't have a stand mixer, whip the eggs and sugar for 2 minutes.
  4. Combine the flour and baking powder and sift into the egg and sugar mixture.  Stir gently to combine along with the vanilla.
  5. Pour into the Bodentorte pan and place in the center of oven.
  6. Bake for about 20 minutes or until golden brown and center tests done when a toothpick is inserted.
  7. Cool for 10 minutes and then flip over onto a serving plate.  You may need to gently use a thin knife to ease the cake out.  
Custard Layer
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • dash salt
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 1 1/2 cup milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  1. Combine the sugar, cornstarch and salt in a small saucepan or microwave-safe bowl.
  2. Stir in the egg yolk and milk and whisk to remove lumps.  Stir over medium heat or heat at 2-minute intervals in the microwave until thick and bubbly.
  3. Add vanilla and butter and stir to blend.
  4. Stir every few minutes until warm to touch.  You can also place plastic wrap over surface and set aside to avoid a skin from forming on the surface.
  5. Once room temperature, spoon into the Bodentorte.
Berry topping and Glaze
  • 2 1/2 pints fresh berries
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 1/3 cup water
  1. Wash and dry berries.  If berries are small, arrange in a symmetrical pattern over the custard.  If they are larger, slice and arrange in a pattern.
  2. Crush 2 cups berries or put in food processor. 
  3. In a small saucepan, combine sugar and cornstarch, add water and crushed berries.
  4. Cook over medium heat until it comes to a boil.  Remove from heat and put through a sieve to remove seeds.  Set aside until it comes to room temperature and then carefully drizzle over berries.  Chill until ready to serve.
Serve with sweetened whipped cream.
Serves 8.  


Raspberry Cake


I love Flashback Fridays...it's fun to see how things have changed over the years and we get to post yet another tried and true recipe.  This will be one of those that is seasonal and you will want to try it this month while we have the fresh raspberries. This cake is sure to give you the royal raves as you whip it up and share it with a large scoop of ice cream.


"My walking partner phoned this morning and said she needed a day to catch up. Fair Enough!
I totally agreed and while we were quickly talking about our activities, I told her I needed a quick fix for coffee. "Do I run to town or make something?" She responded, "Do you have raspberries?"
"I sure do." Thanks, Laurie for this suggestion."  (July 2008)
We enjoy this recipe every year during berry season.


Raspberry Cake
  • 1/3 cup butter
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoons vanilla
  • 2 cups flour
  • 3 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup milk
  • 4 cups fresh raspberries
Method
  1. Heat oven to 375.
  2. Cream your margarine, sugar, eggs and vanilla.
  3. Sift flour, baking powder, salt and add to creamed mixture.
  4. Mix with hand mixer until texture is light and fluffy.
  5. Add milk and vanilla, beating well after each addition. (enough milk so it is spreadable)
  6. Spread cake batter into greased 9x13 greased pan.
  7. Add about 4 cups of fresh raspberries on top of the cake.
  8. Bake in the oven for 30 minutes.
  9. Remove from oven and cool for 5 minutes
Glaze
  1.  1 1/2 cup icing sugar
  2. 1 tsp vanilla
  3. 3 tbsp cream or milk.
  4. Mix ingredients together until smooth and drizzle over cake.
  5. Add a scoop of ice cream and you are ready to go! 
 
 Little did I know 8 years later, that  I would have a little princess helping me pick these berries.  Thank you Ivy!

Greek Lemon Roasted Potatoes




Our family loves the flavours of lemon and the Mediterranean or Greek food.
I have tried a few variations of recipes for lemon potatoes that I have come across, but this is what I have finally tweaked together from a variety of ideas. Make sure you make lots when you have company, it disappears fast.

  • 6 large potatoes cut into wedges (peeled is optional)
  • 1/4 c. olive oil
  • 1/4 c. lemon juice (more or less depending on taste, freshly squeezed is always best)
  • 1 tbsp chicken bouillon dissolved in
  • 1/4 c. water
  • 2 tsp dried oregano
  • 2 garlic cloves pressed (or garlic powder to taste)
  1. Peel and cut potatoes. (When I make a big batch I omit the peeling).
  2. Place in a 9x13 pan combine remaining ingredients together and pour over potatoes stirring well to coat every piece.
  3. Bake at 425 for 1 hour. You may cover them for the first half hour. Stir every 20 minutes or so.
I personally don't cover them because I like the crisp edge, but that is an individual choice.
Also, my oven is a little hot and I find that they are done in about 40-45 minutes depending on how big the potatoes are.
Go ahead, squeeze just a little more fresh lemon juice on if the flavour isn't intense enough.

Blueberry Mango Verrines



The idea of a verrine is to layer different flavours and textures in a glass.
My version uses a velvety mango flavoured custard, fluffy whipped cream, crunchy granola
 and fresh, juicy fruit.

For the Custard:
  • 1 package of vanilla pudding (the kind you cook - NOT instant)
  • Substitute one can (1 cup) of mango nectar (I bought this at Costco) for 1 cup of the milk.
  1. Cook according to package directions and let cool.  
  2. I surround the custard bowl with ice and cold water to cool it faster. Just be careful you don't get any of the water into the custard!
Or: Make a custard from scratch:
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1 tablespoon flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups milk (you can substitute 1 cup mango nectar for 1 cup of the milk)
  • 2 egg yolks, slightly beaten
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  1. In a saucepan, combine sugar, cornstarch, flour and salt.
  2. Stir in milk and mango juice (if using) until combined.
  3. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly until mixture thickens and comes to a boil
  4. Cook for 2 minutes.
  5. In a small bowl, combine slightly beaten egg yolks with a little of the hot mixture 
  6. Stir warmed egg yolk mixture back into the remaining hot custard.  
  7. Cook 1 minute longer.
  8. Stir in butter and vanilla, blending well.
  9. Cool, stirring occasionally.
To assemble:
  • prepared pudding
  • 1-pint whipping cream, whipped with 2 tablespoons icing sugar and 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • crunchy granola purchased or homemade (I used Quaker Harvest Crunch)
  • 2 mangoes diced (same size as the blueberries)
  • 1-2 cups fresh blueberries
  1. Find your prettiest glasses. or use parfait or wine glasses. 
  2. Spoon mango custard into each glass using about 1/2 - 3/4 cup for each serving.
  3. Cover with a layer of whipped cream.
  4. Sprinkle granola over cream
  5. Add several spoons full of mango and blueberries.
  6. Top with a little more cream and a sprinkle of granola.
  7. Refrigerate until serving.

Glazed Yeast Donuts


Who doesn't like a yeast donut with a sticky yummy glaze?
A family favorite..our children and grandchildren love them! They were also popular with a friend and her children many years ago. When I knew they were coming for an afternoon visit I would often make these donuts. I remember us all sitting around the table munching away on donuts with a couple of wet wash cloths on the table for face and hand wiping. I think I need to plan another donut day this summer and invite them all down again!

  • 1 cup milk
  • 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 1/4 cups water, lukewarm
  • 3 eggs, room temperature
  • 2 tablespoons instant yeast
  • 8 - 8 1/4 cups flour
  1. Scald milk, stir in butter, sugar, salt, and lukewarm water. Whisk till butter is melted and sugar dissolved.
  2. Whisk eggs till foamy and add to the warm milk mixture.
  3. Add 4 cups flour, yeast, and mix well.
  4. Add the rest of the flour one cup at a time and knead until dough is smooth, it will still be slightly sticky.
  5. Place in a covered bowl in a warm place and let rise until doubled in bulk. Punch down.
  6. Divide the dough into 3 balls. Roll out each ball to 1/4 to 3/8" thick on a floured surface, using just enough flour so dough doesn't stick to the surface. I don't re-roll the scraps, instead just let them rise along with the 'donut holes' and fry them like the donuts. (The fried donut 'scraps' are often grabbed first!)
  7. Using a donut cutter, cut donuts and place on a cookie sheet sprayed with oil, leaving space between each donut for rising. Let rise until almost doubled in bulk, approx 25 to 30 minutes.
  8. Deep fry in hot oil on medium high heat (375º) till donuts are golden on one side, flip over and fry till golden or done. Cut into the first one to give you the timing for doneness.
  9. Glaze while warm.
Sticky Syrupy Glaze:
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1 3/4 cups sugar
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  1. Boil first 3 ingredients for 4 to 5 minutes, till glaze is syrupy.
  2. Stir in vanilla.
  3. Dip warm donuts in glaze and enjoy!
I only glaze as much as I want to serve, as they are best eaten fresh!
The leftover glaze and unglazed donuts freeze well.
Reheat frozen donuts in the oven and glaze with reheated glaze.





Jelly Roll



I pulled this recipe out of my mom's recipe book not that long ago
knowing it would be a hit. My husband is not a big dessert lover,
but mom knew that this was one he would enjoy.
After the first bite, we both said at the same time...
"this tastes just like being at mom's".

  • 6 large eggs
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla or lemon extract
  • 1 1/2 cups white sugar
  • 1 1/2 cups flour, sifted twice
  • 1 1/4 cups jam

  1. Beat together very well, eggs, baking powder, and salt until creamy yellow and thick.
  2. Gradually add sugar, beating well.
  3. Sift flour several times. Add sifted flour to egg mixture and gently fold together until all the flour is incorporated.
  4. Line a 13"x18" baking sheet with wax paper. Lightly rub it with softened butter and then sprinkle it sparingly with flour. Pour batter into the pan.
  5. Bake in 350º oven for 25-30 minutes. The cake will be light in colour and spring back when gently touched in the centre, or toothpick inserted comes out clean. Do not over bake.
  6. Immediately invert onto a clean cotton tea towel that is generously sprinkled with powdered sugar. Pull off wax paper.
  7. Working quickly spread jam over hot sheet cake and starting at the short end, roll hot cake using the tea towel to help roll. Some of the jam may run out the ends...not to worry.
  8. Once you have it rolled up, keep the tea towel over it and 'tuck it in'. The steam from the hot cake helps to keep the cake moist as it cools.
  9. As soon as the cake has cooled remove the towel and place on a serving tray. Dust with more powdered sugar.

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.