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

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Good Friday

This was a sculpture we saw in the Bishop's garden in Wells, England in 2013. It reminded me of Jesus' words in Luke and Matthew.

Take Up Your Cross and Follow Jesus

23 And he said to all, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me. Luke 9:23 (ESV)

38 And whoever does not take his cross and follow me is not worthy of me. Matthew 10:38 (ESV)

On the day we call Good Friday Jesus went to the cross and His perfect life was sacrificed for our sins. Jesus spoke these words in Matthew and Luke before any of his followers knew about the cross that Jesus would bear on their/our behalf. We as believers today have the benefit of knowing the before and after of this world and life changing event. What does it mean for us to take up our cross and follow Jesus daily? Jesus calls us to total commitment in following Him. 

Christ lives in us and as we proclaim and live our lives following Him daily we should not be surprised if we are treated as poorly as Christ was treated. It is not easy to follow Christ. It is not easy to pick up a cross and carry it, especially Jesus' cross. Jesus told His disciples on the night he was betrayed that He was sending a Helper, the Holy Spirit, who would help them, comfort them, convict and teach. 

I think the key to taking up our cross and following Jesus is in our dependence on the Holy Spirit and His work in us and in the world, convicting those we witness to of their sin and need of a Savior. Any sorrow and persecution we endure on Christ's behalf will end in pure joy. Our joy begins with our salvation because of what Christ accomplished on the cross and it ends in the fullness we will experience when we see Him face to face. In between we will suffer but not a suffering that is futile. 

John 16:33 (ESV)  "I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world."

Ginger Cookie Cake

This is a pretty and delicious recipe for any special occasion. It's easy enough to put together, you can let your children help. I found this recipe in a grocery store newsletter.
  • 1 1/2 cups whipping cream 
  • 3 tablespoons maple syrup, divided
  • 35 crispy gingersnap cookies
  • Raspberries
  • Blueberries or blackberries
  1. Whip together cream and 2 tablespoons maple syrup until stiff peaks form.
  2. Divide whipped cream into 5 equal portions.
  3. Spread 1 portion whipped cream onto your serving platter.
  4. Arrange 7 cookies on top of the whipped cream sides touching, 6 to form a circle and 1 in the center. Cover with another portion of whipped cream. Leave edges of cookies uncovered.
  5. Repeat until you have 5 layers, staggering cookies in each layer. You will end up with whipped cream as the top layer.
  6. Cover and refrigerate at least 6 hours. The cookies will soften and become cake like in texture.
  7. Just before serving garnish with raspberries and blueberries, or blackberries. Using all 3 fruits would be tasty as well.
  8. Drizzle remaining tablespoon of maple syrup over berries. 
  9. Serves: 8 - 10 

New England Clam Chowder ~ Lepp Farm Market

A few weeks ago I enjoyed a bowl of New England Clam Chowder by Charlotte Lepp.  I absolutely loved it and when she told me the recipe was on their website I knew I would be following it exactly the way the recipe is listed.  I went to Lepp Farm Market and bought all the ingredients and made it at home.  Now that I've discovered their frozen clam meat, I have a bunch of recipes I'm looking forward to trying.  

  • 6 slices Lepp's bacon, diced
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 5 large potatoes (about 2 1/2 pound cubed) have you tried their German Butter Potatoes? They are perfect for this recipe since they won't lose their shape. They are also amazing for roasted potatoes.
  • 2-3 stalks celery, chopped (add the leafy bits from the middle of the stalk)
  • 2-3 carrots, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 3 cups chicken broth or vegetable broth (Lepp's sells their own)
  • 1 Tablespoon Chesapeake Bay Seasoning (similar to Old Bay but without as much salt)
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 Tablespoon Little Saigon Gluten Free fish sauce (Char adds this to the soup because the clams are not packed in liquid, if you are using canned clams, use the liquid from that instead)
  • 340-gram package Ocean's Mama Clam Meat, chopped while partially frozen and thawed
  • 2 cups whole milk, evaporated milk or whipping cream (if you use lower-fat milk, it will be fine but may not have as smooth of a texture that fuller fat dairy has. I make it successfully with whole milk.
  1. In a large pot, saute bacon until slightly crispy. Remove with a slotted spoon, leaving bacon grease in the pan.  (if you are not using good quality bacon, you may have more grease than is necessary. In that case, leave only enough in the pan to cook your vegetables)
  2. Add onions, carrots celery and garlic and saute until softened, about 5 minutes.
  3. Add Chesapeake Bay Seasoning and saute 2 more minutes to allow spices to bloom. 
  4. Add potatoes, cooked bacon and stock and bring to a simmer.  Cook for 20 minutes, until potatoes are tender.  With a potato masher, partly mash potatoes to desired chunkiness.
  5. Add clams, fish sauce, and milk or whipping cream and bring to a gentle simmer.  Taste and add salt and pepper to taste.

Citrus Lime Punch

A perfect mix of sweet and tangy make a refreshing punch. Pretty for Easter or spring showers.

  • 2 295ml cans Five Alive frozen juice (Passionate Peach Citrus flavour)
  • 6 cups pineapple juice
  • 2 295ml cans frozen Limeade
  • 3 cans (using one of the frozen juice cans for the measurement) cold water
  • 1 1 litre bottle sprite (regular or Citrus Sprite)
  • 6 cups ice cubes
  • frozen berries and citrus slices (optional)
**Do not add the water that the cans of juice called for, only the water listed in the recipe. I never find it too sweet, but if you do, add more ice an extra can of cold water**
  1. Add all juice and water into a punch bowl. Stir until frozen juice has broken up well and is incorporated into the pineapple juice and water. 
  2. Add ice cubes and stir the punch for a few minutes to combine and cool off well.
  3. Add Sprite and serve. Garnish as desired.

Bread for the Journey

On a personal look at Psalm 103 it's easy to recap many of the benefits we have as God's children. Here are some of them from this Psalm.

He forgives all or iniquities.
He heals our diseases.
He redeems our life from destruction.
He crowns us with lovingkindness and tender mercies.
He satisfies our mouths with good things.
He renews us.
He executes righteousness and justice to the oppressed.
He is merciful and gracious.
He is slow to anger.
He is abounding in mercy.
He knows our frame.
The mercy of the Lord is from everlasting to everlasting.

What is our response?
Bless the Lord, all you His hosts, You who serve Him, doing His will.
Bless the Lord, all you works of His, In all places of His dominion; 
Bless the Lord, O my soul.

Boden Torte / Fruit Flan /Flashback Friday

I posted this recipe several years back. It is still one of my favorite desserts, especially with the simple peach filling. It is my mom's recipe and she baked about 50 of them for her wedding 59 years ago. A very easy recipe that comes together rather quickly. If you don't have a Boden Torte Pan you can purchase them here if you are wanting one. It can also be made in a 9 or 10 inch springform pan and topped the same way without the indentation in the middle.
This is a good make ahead recipe to ease your preparations on the day you have company. Bake and fill the cake the day before you want to serve it, it always tastes better the next day.

Cake Base:

  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla or omit and use one package vanilla sugar, by Dr. Oetker
  • 1 egg
  • 1 cup flour sifted with
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1/4 cup milk
  1. Beat butter and sugar together till white and creamy
  2.  Add egg and beat till mixed in. 
  3. Fold in flour and baking powder.
  4.  Add milk and mix until it holds together in a ball. 
  5. Press dough into a well greased boden torte pan.
  6. Wet your hands with a little water to keep the dough from sticking to your hands.
  7. Bake at 350 F for 15-20 minutes or until lightly golden.
  8. Fill with a variety of fruit and whipped cream, (my personal favorite is simply canned peaches and whipped cream).
  • 1 - 28 oz can of sliced peaches, drained. 
  • or choose a variety of fresh fruit arranged in a pretty pattern like strawberries, kiwis and blueberries. 
  1. Take 1/2 cup of the fruit syrup if using canned. 
  2. Bring it to a boil  over medium heat with 1 tablespoon of cornstarch dissolved in a little cold water, cook it until it is clear and the raw cornstarch flavour disappears approximately 1 - 2 minutes.  Cool slightly and spread over fruit.
  3. Serve with a dollop of whipped cream and you have a lovely little dessert. Quick and easy.
  4. If using fresh fruit I use a commercial glaze by Dr. Oetker and follow package directions.

Sweet and Sour Meatballs for a Crowd

When we meet with our care/community group we often begin with an organized pot luck dinner. Recently, as I pulled out the roaster full of meatballs, I thought I'd share this as an example of a recipe that is easy to multiply to serve a large group. One person brought a slow cooker full of rice, others brought salad, buns and dessert.

Meatball Ingredients for about 120 - 130 meatballs

  • 3 pounds fresh lean ground beef
  • 2 cups bread crumbs
  • 2 eggs
  • 4 tablespoons ketchup
  • 1/2 cup milk or water
  • 2 teaspoons fine dried onion flakes
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • pepper
  • 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese
  • 2 tablespoons oregano
  1. In a large bowl mix all ingredients well by hand. If you find it dry, you can add some more milk or water. 
  2. Shape into 1 inch meatballs. You can use a mini scoop. 
  3. Bake on foil or parchment paper lined cookie sheets for 15 minutes at 400° F. If you've made them a bit larger, bake 20 minutes. 
  4. If making ahead, cool and freeze according to the meals you have planned.

  • 4 small cans (14 oz / 398 ml) pineapple tidbits
  • 3 cups pineapple juice
  • 1 1/2 cups ketchup
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1 cup vinegar
  •  2/3 cups soy sauce
  • 3 teaspoons dry mustard
  • 2/3 cups flour
  • 2 cups water
  1. Drain pineapple tidbits, reserving the juice. Add enough water to juice to make 3 cups. Set aside.
  2. Place meatballs and drained pineapples into large roaster.
  3. In a medium bowl, combine the ketchup, sugar, vinegar, soy sauce, mustard and juice. In a container with a lid, shake to blend flour and 2 cups water before adding to the sauce.
  4. Pour sauce over top of meatballs and bake, covered, for about 1 1/2 - 2 hours at 325° F. until it has cooked and sauce is thickened. If you need more liquid, add another cup of water. You can transfer the cooked meatballs and sauce to a large slow cooker to keep warm. You can also put it all in all slow cooker on high for several hours, until it bubbles and then turn to low setting. Serves 16 -18

For a small family size recipe check here  (you'll have to scroll down a bit) 

Cinnamon Swirl Loaf

If you are looking for a simple loaf that works perfectly for coffee break or afternoon tea, look no further.  This recipe came from my friend Mary many decades ago, and has been tweaked a little over the years.  The beauty of this particular recipe is that you get 'two-for-one'!  One to share with your family and friends today...and another one for the freezer for another day!

Cinnamon Loaf
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 3/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 4 eggs
  • 4 cups flour
  • 2 tablespoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt 
  • 1 1/2 cups milk
  • 4 rounded tablespoons sugar
  • 4 teaspoons cinnamon
  1. Preheat oven to 350° F.  Spray two 9 x 5 loaf pans with oil (line bottom with parchment paper if desired).
  2. For topping, mix sugar and cinnamon and set aside.
  3. In mixing bowl, combine sugar and oil with mixer on low speed. Beat in eggs.
  4. Sift together dry ingredients; add alternately with milk. 
  5. Pour about 1/4 of batter into each of the prepared pans.
  6. Sprinkle about 1/4 of cinnamon topping evenly over each pan.
  7. Repeat with remaining batter and cinnamon/sugar mixture.
  8. Draw knife through batter to marble.
  9. Bake in pre-heated oven for 45-50 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in centre comes out clean.
  10. Let cool in pan on cooling rack for about 15 minutes.  Loosen edges with knife and remove from pan carefully.
  11. Cool completely before slicing.  


Corn Chip Cookies

I like trying different cookie recipes and I loved the results of this one. This recipe has corn chips as one of the ingredients which caught my attention. They are slightly chewy and crunchy, just perfect for coffee break.
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 1/4 cup shortening
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup peanut butter, smooth or crunchy
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 cups corn chips, crushed
  • 1/4 cup skor bits
  • Sugar to roll in the cookie dough balls
  1. Cream together butter, shortening, sugars, and peanut butter. Stir in egg and vanilla and mix well.
  2. Whisk together dry ingredients and stir into creamed mixture until well blended.
  3. Stir in crushed corn chips and skor bits.
  4. Scoop approximately 1" balls of dough, roll in sugar, and place on a parchment lined cookie sheet.
  5. Bake in a 350º oven for 12 minutes.
  6. Yield: 2 1/2 dozen

Life-Saver Window Cleaner

While I love sparkling clean windows, I have all my life been frustrated with cleaning windows.  I've always thought I must be the dumbest housewife ever, since I could never get my windows so sparkling clean  that I didn't mind if the sun was shining when guests came.
I have used every window cleaner suggested to me. The window cleaner that worked best for me had a unpleasant smell that lingered. If I could have achieved perfect results, I might have put up with the smell, but I didn't. I did the vinegar and water thing too, but wasn't happy, and I don't care for the smell of vinegar.
I followed every suggestion.  "Don't clean windows when the sun is shining on them, they dry too fast."  Right! The just cleaned window not in the sun - looks great! ~ until the sun comes round the corner with a smug smile that says ... "HA! gottcha!"  Yes, there are the streaks.

THEN ...
Last week I read a historical novel set in the mid/late 1800's.  In the story, the hotel housekeeper is trying to teach a high society girl how to clean - everything has to be spotless, including the windows.  I don't know where the author got the hint but the cleaning solution the housekeeper used was starch and water. You wipe the window with the solution, let it dry and then wipe off leaving the window streak-less and shiny! Really? and no odor?

Gotta try this one !!
So I experimented a little with proportions (of course the book never gave that -  only said so it looked right)

My solution recipe :
  • 2 rounded teaspoons of cornstarch
  • 1/2 cup of water 
  1. Stir until starch is completely dissolved. 
  2. I used toweling to dip into the solution and then wipe over the window. 
  3. Let dry completely - go do something else.. 
  4. Using newspaper, or toweling or lint-free cloth such as  a microfiber cloth, simply wipe off the dried solution!  and THEN ...  where did the glass go ? 
  5. A little solution goes a long way. 
NOTE ADDED -  it works better to wipe off when dry , rather than letting it sit too long. 

Below -- My before, during and after photos of the first two windows I cleaned - it is time for spring-cleaning, right?
(All photos were taken with the sun shining on the windows) 

                                                               Window below - dirty 

                                                Window with starch solution wiped on

Solution wiped off - Window squeaky clean ! 
Note - the star is blurred in this photo because the camera couldn't see the window to focus on it.

                                                              Window - dirty

 Window with solution wiped on 

Solution wiped off - Window squeaky clean  
(the outside of window needs cleaning too, I couldn't reach it - need husband with ladder!)

Bread for the Journey-God's Plan

I see him in filthy clothing and a tattered and torn blanket. At times I see that coffee has been delivered to him in the morning, and sometimes a brown bag that resembles what may hold a meal. I'm thinking that over the years others too have compassion for this man who seems so alone and helpless. This man has value and God loves him as much as he loves me.

For several years now I have been praying for this man. I pray that in moments of clarity of mind that God will speak to his heart and mind. A stranger to me, but known, loved and valued by God. I pray that He will experience God's love and that he will come to an understanding that he is valuable to God and that God has a purpose and plan for his life. I can't help but think there are others too who pray as they pass by him. His story is a mystery to me, but I can pray for this man knowing that his life is an open book to our loving Father in heaven.

 When we lose all our sense of value and self worth it can take us down hill very quickly. But there is always hope. God comes into our messy hurting lives. He is The Master helper and healer.

God's word reminds us that we are fearfully and wonderfully made. God meets us right where we are. He embraces us, offering hope and healing.

Jeremiah 29:11 (ESV)
For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for wholeness and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.

When God gives us His heart of compassion, it leads us to pray for others.
God has given me personal hope, instilled in me that I'm valuable to Him, and I pray that each hurting lonely or struggling person will experience this too.

Easter is a time we celebrate God's love and power. He offers us a new life with a future and a hope. You, me, and the stranger on the street.

Buttermilk Dressed Potatoes - Flashback Friday -

This potato dish gets rave reviews and is simple to make.  
I thought it worthy of a Flashback Friday post.

  • potatoes (1-2 per person)
  • Buttermilk Dressing (recipe follows)
  • bacon, cut into 1/4 inch pieces, fried until crisp and drained on paper towel
  • Cheddar, Mozzarella and Parmesan cheeses, grated and tossed together
  • chopped green onions
Buttermilk Dressing:

  • 2/3 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/3 cup buttermilk
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
  • 1 tablespoon of chopped fresh chives
  • 1 teaspoon seasoned salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  1. Bake, or boil potatoes in their skins, They should be cooked through but still firm.
  2. Meanwhile, mix Buttermilk Dressing.
  3. Place dressing ingredients in a jar or gravy shaker  and blend until thoroughly combined. Set aside.
  4. Cut potatoes into 2 inch cubes and place in buttered baking dish.
  5. Drizzle Buttermilk Dressing over potatoes.  Don't drench them in the dressing but be sure all the potatoes have some dressing on them.
  6. Sprinkle with cheese and bacon.  
  7. Sprinkle with the green onion or you can wait until the potato dish is baked and sprinkle the green onion over the dish just before serving.
  8. Bake in 350 degree oven for 30-40 minutes or until potatoes are thoroughly heated and dressing is bubbling.

    Chicken Parmigiana and Tomato Sauce

    This is wonderful way to dress up chicken for a special meal.
    The tomato sauce recipe that follows is easy to make and full of flavour.

    • 4 chicken breasts or veal cutlets
    • 1/2 cup flour
    • 1/2 teaspoon basil
    • salt and pepper
    • 1 large egg beaten with a fork
    • 1 1/2 cup Panko bread crumbs
    • Greek Tomato Sauce (recipe follows)
    • 4 slices Mozzerella cheese
    • grated Parmesan cheese
    1. Lay chicken breast or piece of veal between 2 sheets of plastic wrap and pound with a meat mallet to an even thickness.
    2. Mix flour, basil, salt and pepper in a shallow bowl.
    3. Dredge each piece of meat in seasoned flour.
    4. Dip floured meat into beaten egg and then Panko crumbs.
    5. Fry in 1/2 inch hot oil until nicely browned on each side, turning only once.
    6. Place meat on a baking sheet and bake at 350 degrees F until meat is done, about 20 minutes.
    7. Top each serving with a generous amount of warm tomato sauce and one piece of Mozzerella cheese, then sprinkle with 1 tablespoon Parmesan cheese.
    8. Return to oven and broil, watching closely, until cheese begins to brown.
    Greek Tomato Sauce

    You can make this tomato sauce from ingredients
    you have in your cupboard.
    It is also great served over meatballs or shrimp or just plain as a pasta sauce.


    • 1 large onion finely chopped
    • 1/4 cup butter (no substitutes*)
    • 2 tablespoons olive oil
    • 1 6 ounce can tomato paste
    • 1 can water
    • 1 large garlic clove, minced
    • 2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
    • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
    • 1 teaspoon dried basil
    • salt and pepper to taste
    1. In a medium pot, saute` onion in butter and olive oil until golden brown.
    2. Add remaining ingredients and stir.
    3. Simmer, uncovered, for about 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.

    Veggie Burgers

    These burgers are my niece's recipe, so so good I actually would prefer these as much as a regular burger. They are baked not fried and have loads of wonderful flavor. One recipe makes about 8 patties depending on how large you make them. My niece got the recipe from a book written by Oh She Glows. 

    • 3 tablespoons ground flaxseed
    • 1/3 cup of warm water
    • 1 15 oz can of black beans (425g) drained and rinsed
    • 1 cup carrot or sweet potato, grated
    • 1/3 cup parsley or cilantro, finely chopped
    • 2 garlic cloves, minced
    • 1/2 cup onion, finely chopped
    • 1/2 cup sunflower seeds, toasted
    • 3/4 cup gluten free oats
    • 1/2 tablespoon extra virgin Olive oil
    • 2 tablespoons tamari or gluten free soy sauce
    • 1 teaspoon each of chili powder, cumin and dried oregano
    • 1 teaspoon salt and freshly cracked pepper to taste
    1. Preheat oven to 350 and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
    2. In a small bowl mix the flaxseed and water and let sit for 10 minutes until the mixture thickens.
    3. In a large bowl mash the black beans into a paste leaving a few whole for texture. 
    4. Stir in the remaining seasonings and flax egg. 
    5. Adjust seasonings to taste. 
    6. Divide the mixture into 8 portions and with wet hands tightly pack the into patties. 
    7. Bake at 350 for 15 minutes, flip and bake another 15 -20 minutes. An alternative would be to grill them for the final 15 minutes instead of baking them. 
    8. Serve on a crusty bun (gluten free if necessary, and top with your favorite conditments. Absolutely delicious. Really, trust me! 

    Pina Colada Pie

    If you can't join your friends who are vacationing in Hawaii, how about enjoying the flavours of Hawaii at home? This creamy pineapple coconut macadamia pie is a tropical delight.
    • pastry for a 9-inch pie (homemade or store-bought)
    • 3 cups fresh pineapple, cut into 1/2" pieces
    • 3/4 cup sweetened shredded coconut, divided
    • 1/2 cup coarsely chopped macadamia nuts
    • 3 eggs
    • 3/4 cup sugar
    • 1 cup whole milk (or light cream) 
    • 1 tablespoon butter, melted 
    • 1/3 cup flour
    • 1 teaspoon vanilla
    • 1/4 teaspoon salt
    1. Line a 9" pie plate with pastry.  Trim and crimp edges.
    2. Place pineapple pieces evenly over pastry-lined pie plate.
    3. Sprinkle with 1/2 cup of coconut.
    4. Put remaining ingredients in a blender; blend until smooth and creamy. 
    5. Pour the mixture carefully over the pineapple and coconut in pie plate. 
    6. Sprinkle macadamia nuts and 1/4 cup coconut on top.
    7. Bake in a 350°F degree oven for 50-55 minutes or until firm in centre and golden.
    8. Cool.  Refrigerate.
    9. Serve with whipped cream.
    Serves 8

    Slow Cooked Garlic and Rosemary Roast Beef Dinner

    This slow cooked roast with it's wonderful aromas wafting through the kitchen as it cooks, will be enjoyed long before it's served. Serve it along with roasted, cooked or mashed potatoes and roasted vegetables.


    • 2 pound boneless rump, top sirloin or round roast
    • 3/4 teaspoon salt
    • pepper
    • 2 - 3 cloves garlic
    • 1 can cream of mushroom soup
    • 1/2 cup red wine or water
    • 1 tablespoon fresh rosemary, chopped fine
    • 1 sprig fresh sage
    side dishes
    • 4 yellow or red potatoes
    • 4 carrots
    • 4 cups green beans, frozen or fresh
    • 2 tablespoons olive oil
    • 1 clove garlic, crushed
    1. Sprinkle roast with salt and pepper. Tuck peeled garlic cloves under twine.
    2. Place in slow cooker.
    3. Add cream of mushroom soup, splash of wine, rosemary and sage.  
    4. Cook on high for 5 - 6 hours or on low for 7 - 8 hours
    5. Half hour before serving, cook quartered potatoes. Cook chopped carrots in a separate small pot for 5 minutes. Stir together carrots, green beans, olive oil and 1 crushed garlic clove. Roast at 400° F for 30 minutes in foil lined pan.
    6. When ready to serve, remove roast to serving plate and cover. 
    7. To make gravy, shake 1 tablespoon flour with 1/2 cup water in a jar, and add to roast beef juices, stirring until thick. If you like, you can pour the juices into a pot through a sieve and do the same.  There will be lots of gravy. Add some rolls to sop it up. Serves 4 ( use a 3 - 4 pound roast to serve 6 - 8) 

    Bread for the Journey - Bev

    I love this picture that my husband took recently of a seemingly angry bird!
    He looks mad, he's obviously being very vocal and there's no doubt his feathers are ruffled!

    In our church ladies' Bible Study we've been studying the Sermon on the Mount 
    and there are a few verses there that speak to how we should respond when
     our feathers get ruffled!

    Matthew 5:21, 22, 

    "You have heard that it was said to the people long ago, 'Do not murder, and anyone who murders will be subject to judgment.'  But I tell you that anyone who is angry with his brother will be subject to judgment. Again, anyone who says to his brother, 'Raca' is answerable to the Sanhedrin. But anyone who says 'You fool!' will be in danger of the fire of hell."

    I don't think I've taken this instruction seriously enough.
     Jesus is not contradicting the law that Moses gave but is calling his followers
     to a higher standard than the letter of the law sets out.

    Everyone, Christian or non Christian, agrees that murder is a sin and is deserving of punishment.
    But we feel justified in calling someone a fool (or worse) when we feel their actions deserve it.
    However we as followers of Christ, are called to treat everyone with grace and mercy as He did.
    That includes the person who cut you off on the highway,
      the fellow church member who offended you,
    your spouse when they've done something you thought was was ill-advised,
     or your child for a thoughtless or rebellious act.
    According to this passage, when we react in anger or derision,
    we too are deserving of judgment.

    This passage challenged me and with God's grace I will be thinking twice
     before reacting in anger or calling someone a fool.
    My prayer is that all of us as Christians will be known for the grace and mercy we show to others
    especially when our feathers are ruffled!

    Flash Back Friday ~ Coconut Scones and Rhubarb Jam

    These scones are so light and delightful and especially so when paired up with fresh rhubarb jam. I still have rhubarb jam from last summer so it was time to make these scones again. This time I changed the recipe a wee bit by reducing sugar. I reduced the sugar to 1/3 cup and it was sweet enough. Unsweetened or sweetened coconut both work in this recipe but if you're using sweetened you can reduce the sugar further to 1/4 cup.
    Great to serve for breakfast or brunch and don't forget to gift a few to someone in need of a blessing.
    • 2 cups flour
    • 1 cup finely shredded sweetened coconut, lightly toasted and cooled, then ground up in food processor (coffee grinder works too)
    • 1/2 cup sugar
    • 2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
    • 1/2 teaspoon salt
    • 1/4 cup unsalted butter, chilled and cut in 1/2" cubes
    • 1 1/4 cups cold whipping cream (I have used half whipping cream and half buttermilk)
    • 1/2 teaspoon coconut extract
    • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
    1. Combine dry ingredients including coconut, add butter pieces and pulse a few times if you're using a food processor, if not cut in with a pastry blender until no large butter pieces are visible.
    2. Combine cream and extracts and add to the dry ingredients and pulse a few more times till dough comes together. You may need to add a bit more flour at this time, just enough to handle the dough.
    3. Pat dough 1/2" thick on baking sheet, form into circle and cut 10 wedges.
    4. Brush with cream and sprinkle with coarse sugar. I like coarse sugar best but granulated works.
    5. Bake in a 425º oven for 15 - 18 minutes, they will be golden in color.
    Rhubarb Jam:
    • 4 cups rhubarb
    • 3 cups sugar
    1. Mix the rhubarb and sugar together in a large saucepan and bring to boil on high. Then lower heat to medium and boil for 10 minutes stirring frequently. Pour in jars and seal. 
    2. Yield: approx 4 jelly jars.

    Carrot Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting

    • 1 cup white sugar
    • 3/4 cup vegetable oil
    • 3 eggs
    • 1/2 teaspoon salt
    • 1 1/3 teaspoons baking soda
    • 1 1/3 teaspoons cinnamon
    • 1 1/3 cups flour
    • 1 teaspoon vanilla
    • 2 cups grated carrots
    • 2 teaspoons water
    • 1/3 cup chopped dates
    1. Cream together sugar, vegetable oil, eggs and salt.
    2. Add dry ingredients and mix to incorporate.
    3. Add vanilla and grated carrots. Mix well.
    4. Finely chop dates into a small microwave bowl and add the water. Heat for 45 seconds. Remove and mash with a fork. You may need to heat just a few more seconds if they are not soft. 
    5. Add softened dates to the carrot mixture. 
    6. Pour batter into a greased 9x13 pan. Bake in 300ºF oven for 1 hour. 
    Cream Cheese Frosting:
    • 8 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
    • 1/2 cup butter, room temperature
    • 2 cups powdered sugar
    • 1 teaspoon vanilla
    1. Beat all ingredients together very well until you have a whipped smooth frosting. 
    2. Frost completely cooled cake. 
    This cake keeps well in the refrigerator for 3-4 days, and freezes very well. A great dessert to have on hand in the freezer. 

    Yogurt Pancakes

    These were a nice change from regular pancakes made with yogurt instead of milk. We enjoyed them with a dollop of plain yogurt and pure maple syrup. Since childhood our family has enjoyed pancakes with sour cream and syrup. If you've never tried it you should. With these yogurt pancakes we used yogurt instead of sour cream and we enjoyed them.

    • 1 cup flour
    • 2 tablespoons sugar
    • 1-1/4 teaspoon baking powder
    • 1/4 teaspoon salt
    • 1 cup plain yogurt
    • 2 eggs
    • 2 tablespoons melted butter or vegetable oil
    • 1 teaspoon vanilla

    1. Combine flour, sugar, baking powder and salt.
    2. In separate bowl whisk together the yogurt, eggs, oil or butter and vanilla.
    3. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients combining well.
    4. Heat pan to medium high to cook the pancakes with a combo of vegetable oil and butter.
    5. Use 1/3 cup measure to proportion the batter and end up with 8 uniform pancakes. 
    6. Cook to a golden brown on one side and flip and cook the other side.
    7. Serve with your favorite toppings.
    Yield: 8 pancakes

    Double the recipe to serve more people.

    Nine Bean Soup

    This hearty soup can be made in a large slow cooker or on top of the stove.  It is so handy to have a pot of soup to warm up during the week.  Adding the bok choy at the end provides extra nutrition to the mix of beans. 
    • 1 smoked ham hock 
    • 1/2 pound chorizo,  diced
    • 9 cups water
    • 2 cups of nine bean soup mix, or a variety of beans and lentils (without seasoning)
    • 2 onions, diced
    • 1 cup celery, diced
    • 10 peppercorns
    • 6 whole allspice
    • 2 bay leaves
    • 1 tablespoon dried summer savoury
    • 2 tablespoons dried parsley
    • Salt and Pepper to taste
      1. 3 carrots, diced
      2. 1 28 ounce / 796 ml can diced tomatoes
      3. dash of natural hickory liquid smoke 
      4. 3 baby bok choy, chopped (optional)
      5. Salt and Pepper to taste
      1. Put the ham hock or ham bone and chorizo in a slow cooker set to low and add water along with beans, onion, celery.
      2. Add peppercorns, allspice, and bay leaves(tied into a square of cheesecloth or in a spice ball).
      3. Sprinkle with summer savoury and parsley. 
      4. Cook on high 6 - 8 hours. 
      5. Remove ham and break it apart into bite-sized pieces. Discard ham bone. 
      6. Add carrots, tomatoes, reserved ham and a dash of natural hickory liquid smoke.
      7. Continue to cook on low until carrots are tender. Add chopped baby bok choy in the last 15 minutes of cooking.  
      8. Serve with a dollop of sour cream and add salt and pepper to taste. 

      Bread For The Journey


      The ten of us women have had a very special friendship for the past 10 years. We have shared tears, laughter, encouragement, and prayer together. We love each other and are friends/family for life. I call them 'sisters of my heart'.
      I also have other friendships that I've treasured for over 50 years. These are friendships I don't take lightly. They are precious and close to my heart, an unbreakable bond between us. It takes time and effort to build these relationships but are truly worth it in the end.

      Friends don't necessarily agree with each other all the time but true friendship allows you to separate the 'wheat from the chaff'. You keep the valuable and let the rest blow away.

      Friends enrich our very existence. In the Bible we read that David and Jonathan had such a friendship.
      1 Samuel 18: 1 - 4 ESV tells us how close these two were, in verse 1 it tells us that 'Jonathan was knit to the soul of David and Jonathan loved him as his own soul..'  That is true friendship.
      I want to be that kind of a friend.

      Sour Cream Orange Buns

      I have to admit that when I first posted this recipe almost 10 years ago I hesitated sharing it because I wanted to keep it a secret. I still had no idea what I'd signed up for and felt a little bit like maybe some recipes were too sacred or something like that. After all these years,  I'm just happy if I can find a recipe to share.

      • 1/2 cup sugar 
      • 3 eggs
      • 1/2 cup butter, very soft or melted
      • 1/2 cup sour cream
      • 2 cups hot water
      • 7 cups flour (approx)
      • 2 tablespoons instant yeast
      • 1 teaspoon salt
      • 1/4 cup melted butter (approx) for brushing
      • 1 cup sugar
      • 1 cup coconut
      • grated rind of two oranges
      • 3/4 cup sugar,
      • 1/2 cup butter or margarine
      • 1/2 cup sour cream,
      • orange rind and juice of 1/2 orange
      1. In bowl of stand mixer or large mixing bowl, beat sugar and eggs well, then beat in butter and sour cream. 
      2. Add water and a few cups flour, then the yeast and salt. Continue adding four to make a soft dough that holds together. The amount varies with the humidity of the day. (If you are using a mixer, use a dough hook attachment. Transfer dough to a large bowl when the flour is well incorporated.) Knead dough to hold a soft shape that pulls away from the sides of the bowl. It’s okay if it’s still a little bit sticky.
      3. Sprinkle lightly with flour and shape into a ball by pushing down and under along sides while rotating bowl with left hand, until dough is smooth. Cover and let rise 1 hour.  (top right photo is of risen dough)
      4. Pinch risen dough in half and roll each out (using a light dusting of flour under and on top) to about 10”x 20”. Do not press or work dough too hard. 
      5. Brush with melted butter and sprinkle with 1/3 of the filling. (1/3 for each half and save 1/3 for topping). 
      6. Roll up jelly roll style and slice into about 1 inch slices.
      7. Place on greased or parchment paper lined pans, leaving a bit of room to spread. (as in bottom left photo)
      8. Cover with tea towel and plastic. Let rise 1 hour. They can be touching when they are ready, for pull apart buns. You can place them further apart for more individual buns.
      9. Sprinkle with some more of the coconut filling and bake at 350° F about 20 min. 
      10. Meanwhile, bring glaze ingredients to boil and cook, stirring, for 1 1/2 minutes. the glaze can thicken a bit while it cools. Spoon over buns while they are still hot. This topping is yummy. You may want to make extra to drizzle just before serving Yield: 3 dozen

      Two Bite Brownies

      Chocolate lovers little indulgence. So quick and easy, and the wonderful smell of chocolate baking will draw the family into the kitchen. Great alone or put one or two into a bowl with ice cream. 
      (yields 48 Two Bite Brownies)
      • 3/4 cup butter, melted
      • 1/2 cup cocoa
      • 2 cups brown sugar
      • 2 eggs, slightly beaten
      • 1 teaspoon vanilla
      • 1 cup flour
      • 1/2 cup mini chocolate chips, optional
      ***if you want a little espresso flavour remove 1 teaspoon of cocoa from the 1/2 cup and add 1 teaspoon of espresso powder to the mix***
      1. Melt butter.
      2. In a separate bowl whisk eggs and vanilla together.
      3. Stir in dry ingredients and then add the melted butter. Stir until all ingredients are mixed together well. 
      4. Divide batter between greased mini muffin tins. ( I just give the whole tin a quick spay with oil. The mini pans are so tiny and finicky to rub each one individually.)
      5. Bake in 350ºF oven for 8-10 minutes. They will puff up and be set but not completely firm. You don't want to over bake them. Check them earlier than later if your oven bakes on the hot side.
      6. Allow to sit in pans for about 30 seconds and then using a sharp paring knife gently lift brownies out of tin. These freeze well.