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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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.

Raspberry Custard Pie

Raspberries are ready for picking. Our favorite Raspberry Pie has a combination of silky custard that the raspberries lay on with a tender flaky crust.

Dorothy's Pastry 
  • 2 1/2 cups of all purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons of brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon of salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon of baking powder
  • 1/2 pound of lard
  • In a one cup measuring cup  beat one small farm fresh egg
  • add 2 teaspoons of vinegar or 1 tablespoon to double the recipe
  • and fill to the 1/2 cup line with ice cold water.
  1. In the food processor, put all the dry ingredients.
  2. Add the cut up lard, pulse this until the big pieces are all gone.
  3. Add the liquid quickly while the machine is going.
  4. Stop it as soon as it starts to come together.
  5. Turn it out onto a counter and knead it a few times until it comes together.

If you don't have a food processor, put the dry ingredients into a large bowl. 
  1. Cut the lard into tablespoon pieces and then cut into the flour mixture until it looks like oatmeal. Add all the wet ingredients and stir with a fork until it just comes together.
  2. Divide the pastry into 3 equal pieces, flatten into round discs, wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for about 30 minutes.

Preheat oven to 425 F.

  1. Roll one disc of pastry onto a floured counter. Roll pastry out about 1/8 inch thick and line your pie plate. This recipe will do two 9 inch crusts. 
  2. Roll the pastry onto the rolling pin and unroll it onto the pie plate. Trim the edges and prick the bottom and sides of the pastry. 
  3. Put a piece of foil over the crust, pressing it slightly onto the crust. Put it into the oven and bake 10 minutes. Remove the foil and bake a few more minutes until lightly browned. Let cool.
  4. Refrigerate the remainder pastry discs a few days or freeze.


Custard (enough for one 9 inch pie)
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 1/2 cups milk
  • 3 egg yolks
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  1. Blend the sugar, cornstarch, and salt in the medium saucepan.
  2. In a measuring cup, measure the milk and then add the egg yolks and stir.
  3. Add to sugar and cornstarch mixture.
  4. Cook over medium heat stirring constantly until bubbling and thickened.
  5. Remove from heat and add vanilla.
  6. Cool for 5 minutes.
  7. Pour into cooled pastry crust.
Add one layer of berries on top of the cooled custard.
Glaze
  • 2 tablespoons raspberry jam
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 1 teaspoon cornstarch
  1. In a small saucepan, stir together the jam, water, and cornstarch. Heat until just bubbly and clear. Drizzle over the berries. You don't need much .. just a bit to add a bit of sweetness.
Whip 1 cup of heavy cream with 2 tablespoons sugar until soft peaks form. Slice the pie and top with whipped cream.

Waffles with Vanilla Custard



As a young bride I searched the Mennonite Treasury Cookbook for any recipes that would impress my husband and his large extended family. I did not realize at that time how special this particular meal would become to our kids and now even our grandkids. It begins with a hot, light and fluffy Belgian waffle, gets smothered with a runny, warm vanilla sauce and drizzled with raspberry syrup. I have long felt at ease about the vanilla sauce (as opposed to the usual syrup) because it is not very sweet and is made with milk and eggs. Good for growing kids! I like to think that some Mennonite family brought the original recipe  from Holland or Belgium to Russia and to North America, where it has become quite Canadian/American. Since I end up tripling this recipe for our family now, I place the cooked waffles in the oven ( 175°F) right on the racks, to keep warm and crispy until they are all done.


Waffles (makes about 5 round deep Belgian Style)
  • 1 1/2 cups flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 egg and
  • 2 egg whites - save yolks for sauce
  • 1 3/4 cups buttermilk
  • 5 tablespoons oil
  1. Preheat waffle iron.
  2. Mix dry ingredients in a medium bowl.
  3. Add buttermilk, oil and eggs; mix until smooth (with hand held mixer). It will rise as it sits for a minute. Do not stir down as you scoop out and into the waffle iron.
  4. Spread onto hot waffle iron. (leave room around edge for batter to spread) You may want to spray or wipe the Teflon with an oily paper towel, just before cooking the first waffle. It should be fine then for the batch.
Vanilla Sauce
  • 2 1/2 cups milk, divided
  • 4 tablespoons flour
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1/8 teaspoon vanilla powder or 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 egg yolks
  1. In a small pot, heat 2 cups milk until it begins to boil. (medium heat)
  2. While you are doing this: mix dry ingredients in a small bowl, add just a little of the reserved 1/2 cup of milk, blend the egg yolks in well, and then the rest of the 1/2 cup milk.
  3.  Stir mixture into the milk in the pot just as it begins to boil up (you will see skin forming) and stir with whisk until the sauce begins to bubble and thicken. 
Raspberry Sauce/Syrup
I buy half a flat of raspberries when they’re in season, put them in a blender and measure them out. For each cup of berries I mix in 1 cup of sugar. Stir that for about 5 minutes and let it sit for a few hours, stirring several times. Pour into small jars and freeze. Thaw just before serving. Keeps a week or two refrigerated. Sliced strawberries with a sprinkle of sugar are also a great topping.

Leafy Lettuce Salad



I remember this salad, as a small girl growing up. My mother lived off a mere $50 a month budget for groceries. She needed to feed a family of 7 plus all the hired hands. She had a gift of hospitality and knew how to make her pennies stretch. Actually, she always asked God how she could make her budget last. She worked hard and always had a garden and since I'm not working out of the home,
I've made every effort to grow a garden again. I love sharing this with the grandkids.
We've made some raised garden beds this year, which takes away from all that back-breaking work.
This week I called my sister to see what Mom's secret recipe contained.

Leafy Lettuce Salad
  • 8 cups of Leafy garden lettuce.
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup cream
  • 1/2 vinegar

  1. Blend the sugar and cream together and then add the vinegar.
  2. Pour over the leafy lettuce and serve.

Pour over your leafy lettuce.Yum!!! Do any of you remember this lettuce salad?


Rollkuchen


 
Rollkuchen are a tasty, deep fried pastry that are a wonderful accompaniment to cold watermelon on a hot summer day.  How well I recall childhood picnics with big tubs of fresh Rollkuchen.  Let's just say that eating them is rather like eating peanuts...you can't stop at just one! Sometime over the years, Rollkuchen became paired with Roger's Golden Syrup (definitely a Canadian thing) on my table; they make a great team!

My mother-in-law made the best flaky, crispy Rollkuchen. Mine never quite measured up, so I have always made the thicker, softer variety and they have become a family favorite. Hers were all uniform in shape; mine are rather 'free-form'. Each recipe seems to differ slightly but I've never met a Rollkuchen I didn't like!

Rollkuchen

  • 5 - 6 cups / 1150 - 1350 ml flour
  • 3 teaspoons / 15 ml  baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon / 5 ml salt
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 cup / 250 ml sour cream
  • 1 cup / 250 ml milk
 
  1. Combine 5 cups / 1150 ml  flour, baking powder and salt.
  2. Beat eggs, sour cream and milk together and add to dry ingredients
  3. Continue to add flour to form a soft dough ... usually about 1/2 cup more.
  4. Allow the dough to chill for an hour or two before rolling, for easier handling.
  5. Divide the dough in half and roll out quite thin on a floured board ... if you prefer them soft, then not quite so thin.
  6. Cut strips of dough about 2x4 inches / 5x10 cm ... with two slits cut in center of each.
  7. Stretch the pieces somewhat before dropping into the hot oil.
  8. Fry in deep hot oil over medium heat until golden on one side. Turn and brown the other side.
     

The rollkuchen puff up beautifully while cooking and are really mostly air pockets by the time they are ready to eat. A totally a healthy choice!  Who am I fooling?


Serve with cold watermelon and Roger's golden syrup.  Grilled farmer sausage is also a nice touch!

Large Basic Platz Mix


This Platz mix can be used as a base mix for near any kind of fruit Platz, muffin mix or coffee cake. Having the dry ingredients pre-mixed with the butter is a time saver when you need to make something quick for coffee or dessert. This amount makes about 13 cups of mix and will yield about 4 recipes, depending on what you make. The total recipe would serve 48 - 50. For more variations on how to use this mix check here.

Ingredients:
  • 8 cups flour (I use unbleached)
  • 3 cups sugar
  • 1/4 cup baking powder
  • 1 tablespoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups cold butter
Method:
  1. In a large bowl, mix dry ingredients and use a grater to grate in the butter, like cheese.
  2. Stir well, if too chunky, use pastry blender to stir and finish it up.
  3. Store in refrigerator for up to three months.

 For Basic Platz:
  • 3 cups mix
  • 1 egg
  • 3/4 cups buttermilk
  • 1 - 1 1/2 cups sliced fruit
  • crumbs made from 1 cup mix and 2 - 3 Tbsp cream
  1. In a small bowl, whisk egg with fork and add buttermilk. Add to dry mix in a larger bowl , stirring with a fork until blended.
  2. Spread into greased 9x9 inch pan and cover with sliced plums, apricots, apples or finely chopped rhubarb. Sprinkle with about 2 Tbps of sugar if desired or cinnamon sugar for apples.
  3. Top with crumbs using your hand to mix them.
  4. Bake at 350 F for 35 - 40 minutes.

Ten Years of Mennonite Girls Can Cook



Ten years ago, this blog began on a whim that blossomed into an extraordinary compilation of our Mennonite recipes. Ten women volunteered to make, photograph and post on this blog so that our families and future generations will have this integral part of our heritage preserved.

The first idea for MGCC began during a sleepless night on June 5th, 2008.  By 9 AM the next morning I had sent out a casual invitation on my personal blog. It was Vee who commented on that post saying "Sounds like great fun! I know you Mennonite gals know how to cook!!" 

 That is how the name Mennonite Girls Can Cook came to be.  There was no business plan or goal as to how many recipes we would post.   It is because of how it all fell into place that we have known in our hearts that God provided an opportunity for us to use the gifts He gave us,  to bless others,  and to give Him glory.  





I love telling the story of how we were so thrilled to realize that our blog was being read.  Within the first week, we were tracking several hundred visitors per day.  Later we admitted it was only the ten of us coming back over and over to see if we had any comments on our recipes.



It wasn't long though and you really did come to visit our blog and you kept coming back and your encouragement took us from the beginning idea of posting our Mennonite heritage recipes to also include our family favorite recipes and experiments from our own kitchens.

It is now not unusual for us to welcome over ten thousand page views on any given day. We are so delighted that this has become a place where recipes are searched, and where we have been able to freely share our faith.



We also recognize that God led us to make some decisions back when it all began.  We decided that if there was ever a way for us to raise money from anything connected to the blog, we would feed hungry children.  We decided we would keep our blog beautiful without automated advertisements.  Our sponsors on our sidebar quietly have donated to our charities and we have appreciated them for their generosity. 

We also decided that we wouldn't pursue a publisher but if one approached us we would welcome an invitation to do a cookbook.  In the spring of 2010, we were approached by Amy Gingerich the Editor of Herald Press, to see if we wanted to do a cookbook with them.  

Our original Mennonite Girls Can Cookbook featuring Mennonite Recipes and our family favorites became a Canadian bestseller within a few months thanks to all of you who bought up books everywhere they were available. 


Early in 2012, we started to work on our Celebrations book which was a delight to create as we reflected all the seasons that we have experienced in life.  During that summer, we met together once more to take photos and have a very special tea time that we shared with you in the pages of the book.  


Our Bread for the Journey book was published to coincide with the opening of the play Mennonite Girls Can Cook.  This book has been a place where we have shared our Mennonite family history stories and have shared what our faith means to us in daily living.   We used that opportunity to put into print some of the recipes that have been most searched on the blog. 


We have been reflecting in our daily chats with one another how we had never ever imagined the opportunities to share.  Television interviews across Canada, newspaper and magazine interviews, traveling for book signings,  cooking demonstrations, speaking opportunities, and the play called Mennonite Girls Can Cook have all had an impact on increasing our visibility.  
We are so thankful for all those that donated to projects on our behalf. 


We realize that God gave us this journey of ten women for a purpose. God gave each of us a gift and we have sought to be faithful in sharing that gift with you through our recipes, our books and through our devotionals. 

So I ask you to make full use of the gift God gave you when I placed my hands on you. Use it well. 
2 Timothy 1:6 



There is still a lot for us to accomplish on our blog. While we will not be posting new recipes, we will continue to tweak our past recipes, redo some old photos and rework our recipe index to make it easier to find your favorites. Our best recipes will be highlighted during the different seasons of the year. You can be sure that the new year will begin with Portzelky, Paska will be front and center at Easter, Rollkuchen in summer, harvest recipes in fall and Oma's cookies at Christmas.  We feel certain that there are many recipes that you haven't tried and we hope that by making the recipe index easier to navigate, you will feel inspired to search and try something new to you. 



There are many things that we will miss, most of all, our connections with you through your faithful comments.  Thank you for your encouragement that kept us motivated to do our work to the best of our ability.  Thank you also, for all the cookbooks and devotional books that you have purchased in the past and will continue to purchase.  Every dollar that we earn through those cookbooks will continue to provide clean water for the thirsty, and food for the hungry.  Because of your support, we have been richly blessed to give where God has led us. 


Before I press the publish button for the last time, I want to tell you about the beautiful women that have worked alongside me.  They have all had such a vital impact on my life.  They have encouraged me in my walk with God.  They have encouraged me to strive for excellence.  They have opened their hearts to friendship and unity.  They have allowed me to glean the wisdom they have and they are faithful to pray for needs within our group and are quick to bring praise to God. 


None of them signed up to take turns posting recipes every day for ten years and yet as this project grew, their hearts were open to using their gifts knowing that it could help others. I pray that wherever God leads them in the years to follow that they will continue to inspire others with the beautiful gifts they have.  

When I tell you how each is unique, you will understand how we have needed each other and how our group was brought together by God.
 We have become faithful friends because we have been thankful for each other. 


Anneliese opens her home with joy to host and to serve. Anneliese has the gift of creative writing.  She has used her gift to edit our books and to write poetry and stories that warm our hearts with truths. She has often helped me in thinking through how to communicate something in writing. 

When you have reached out to us on our contact page, it has been Anneliese who answered your questions.

 In Anneliese, I value her sincere heart, her example of hospitality, and her attention to detail.


Betty delights in serving. She is well known for treats she brings to appointments, workplaces, and is a source of take-out meals for those she loves.  Every Saturday morning, Betty has sent out an email to all of us, reminding us of our scheduled recipes. She never missed a Saturday and she never forgot to post her own recipe. 

 In Betty, I value her cheerfulness, her patience, and her humility. 


Charlotte has the gift of caring deeply about people with compassion and empathy.  She is gentle and kind and looks for ways to bless others. Her large friendship circle is a testimony to the way she treats those she knows.

Charlotte has forwarded the comments and questions that you have made on our posts to us. 

  In Charlotte, I value her capacity to love unconditionally, her listening ear and her empathy.


Bev somehow manages to juggle many things in a day and still host neighbors, family, friends and those that stop by, without exhibiting any bother or fuss.  She truly loves to host and does it with flare.  Bev also is generous and willing to help wherever help is needed.  
Bev has diligently indexed all the recipes making it easy when you are wondering what to make.

In Bev, I value her willingness, her honesty and her heart of reconciliation. 


Ellen has the gift of hospitality that she shares with family and friends and their church group.  
Ellen has been our voice on Facebook, always introducing each mornings recipe in a way that will pique your interest.

In Ellen, I value the twinkle in her eye, the way she listens before speaking and her discernment. 


Judy is our calm and steady peacemaker who encourages and sees the best in everyone. 
She has a keen eye for detail and has often quietly tweaked our spelling and grammar in the morning when necessary. 
Judy has been faithful in posting our daily recipes to Pinterest. 

In Judy, I value her sense of diplomacy, her logical thinking, and her kindness.


Julie is a prayer warrior.  If you have ever requested prayer on our blog, it has most often been Julie that has led us in prayer with her tender compassion and empathy.  Julie is always cheerful and gives the best hugs.  Julie is faithful to teach the gospel wherever God gives her opportunities.

In Julie, I value her joyfulness, her love to understand scripture and her imaginative mind.


Kathy is encouraging and has a joyful spontaneity that is enjoyed by all who know her.  Her gift of hospitality spills out of her home and into wherever life takes her.   She is a skillful communicator and efficient in managing her time. 

In Kathy, I value her inclusivity, her words that encourage and her sense of responsibility.

Kathy and Marg have been our sponsor liaisons.


Marg has a delightful adventurous spirit. She has shown us what courage and faith look like when tragedy strikes.  Behind the scenes, Marg has organized our schedule for our Bread for the Journey Sunday devotionals. 

In Marg, I value her joy in nurturing, her generosity and her authenticity. 


We are so very thankful for you our readers that have given us a platform to share our joy of hospitality!

   We want to leave you with a blessing from the Bible.


"The Lord bless you
and keep you;
the Lord make His face shine upon you
and be gracious to you;
the Lord turn His face towards you
and give you peace."

Numbers 6:24-26 NIV



Bread for the Journey



Friends

Just as lotions and fragrance give sensual delight, a sweet friendship refreshes the soul.
Proverbs 27:9 MSG

 Bear one another's burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ. Galatians 6:2 ESV

Friendships are a wonderful gift to us from God...offering love, encouragement, companionship, validation, understanding, honesty, forgiveness and so much more.  I have a few life-long friends, and what a blessing they are.  Today I am especially thankful for the group of friends pictured here that I have only come to know over the past decade as we came together to be a part of this blog. None of us could have known what a gift we would be to each other. 

Over these past years we have been there for each other, encouraging and strengthening one another in our faith.  We have prayed, laughed and cried together. We have supported one another through sickness, loss and the hardships that came our way. We have celebrated the big events of life together.  We know how to have fun! We have found joy in serving and worshiping God together.
Life is a journey, one that we are to walk as Jesus walked. Today I am thankful for these godly friends who have walked alongside me these past years.  How wonderful to know that our friendship is not just for here and now, but that one day we will be together with Jesus Christ in eternity.
  
Every time you cross my mind, I break out in exclamations of thanks to God. Each exclamation is a trigger to prayer. I find myself praying for you with a glad heart. I am so pleased that you have continued on in this with us, believing and proclaiming God’s Message, from the day you heard it right up to the present. There has never been the slightest doubt in my mind that the God who started this great work in you would keep at it and bring it to a flourishing finish on the very day Christ Jesus appears.  Phil. 1: 3-6 MSG

Zwieback



Ten years ago on June 7th, 2008 I posted Zwieback to begin the Mennonite Girls Can Cook blog. Today's recipe is a bit different from my first, different from the one published in our original cookbook as well as the one published in Bread for the Journey. Anneliese and I were discussing our Zwieback recipes and agreed that what our mothers had in the kitchen is what they used to make their Zwieback.  So, if some weeks they had more butter or milk or flour than other weeks, that would have been what that week's Zwieback would have included. 

The best thing about Zwieback continues to be that they are best when shared with friends and family around a table. This blog has been a place of sharing with all of you who have joined us around this table, graciously encouraging us as we have shared our family favorites and as we have together learned new ways of doing things. 

We have wondered for some time now how long we should continue to post new recipes.  We will always remain the Mennonite Girls Can Cook but everything this side of eternity has a beginning and an end. We have over 3000 recipes on this blog and have decided that we will consider the recipe blog complete. Today is our last regular new recipe post. On Sunday, Judy will be sharing our final Bread for the Journey and on Monday we will have a look back at the past ten years. 


Rest assured, you will continue to have access to this recipe blog and all the recipes we have shared. You may notice that work will be continuing as we strive to make the blog as easy to navigate as possible.  We will be highlighting our recipes to compliment the changing seasons.


We would love to have you join us on Monday as we celebrate what God has done and thank Him for what he will continue to do.  

In the meantime,  stay calm, bake Zwieback and call a friend over to share them. 



  • 2 tablespoons yeast
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 cup warm water
  • 3 cups warm milk
  • 3/4 cup hard butter 
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • about 8 cups flour 
  1. Sprinkle the yeast and the teaspoon of sugar over the warm water in a small bowl. Stir gently
  2. Heat the milk until it is just warm,  room temperature is perfect.
  3. In the bowl of a bread mixer,  or in a large bowl,  cut the butter into 3 cups of flour with a pastry blender. 
  4. Add the milk mixture, sugar, and the salt and yeast mixture to the flour and butter.
  5. Continue to add flour and allow the machine to knead until smooth. If you are mixing by hand, turn the dough onto a floured counter once stirring becomes too difficult.
  6. Knead to a smooth dough.
  7. Put the dough into a large bowl and cover with a tea towel or a lid.
  8. Let the dough double in bulk, about an hour.
  9.  Line 3 large cookie sheets parchment paper or grease them. 
  10. Take a piece of dough the size of a large orange,  hold it in the hand it feels most comfortable.  With your other hand, squeeze a bit of dough between your thumb and forefinger about the size of a walnut, pinch your thumb and forefinger together to squeeze it off.  Take the dough and place it on the pan.  Again, squeeze the dough between your thumb and forefinger, this time a smaller piece to make the top bun.  Squeeze it off and place it on top of your first bun.   Press down through the top and bottom buns to seal them together.  Repeat with all the dough.
  11. Cover the buns with a clean tea towel and let rise until they have doubled. Start to preheat the oven after 25 minutes so it is ready to bake. 
  12. Bake in a preheated 400 F oven for about 20 minutes.  If you have a convection oven, bake at 375 F for about 15 minutes or until golden brown.

German Pancakes


In our home, growing up, Pfannkuchen, were a lunch treat made by my Oma (we called her Omi) ... and the tradition continues, the only difference being that we clarify them as being the European version by calling them German pancakes. My grandchildren have simply dubbed them  sugar-roll-up pancakes. This recipe is slightly larger than the one in our original cookbook.

Ingredients:
  • 4 eggs
  • 3 cups milk, divided
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups flour
Method:
  1. Using a whisk or hand mixer, beat eggs well with just 1 cup of the milk. 
  2. Add flour and salt. Beat until smooth before adding the rest of the milk. Let rest for a few minutes.
  3. Heat medium sized non-stick skillet to just below medium heat. Brush with a dab of butter.
  4. Lift hot skillet with left hand, slightly tilting it toward you. Pour about 1/4 cup of batter into the top half, allowing the batter to spread while rotating the skillet. ( A slight rotation of the wrist) 
  5. Set the skillet back on the heat, cooking until the pancake is set. (wet look has disappeared) 
  6. Using a small thin lifter or spatula, gently flip to cook second side, which will go quick.
  7. Repeat, using a dab of butter as needed, stacking pancakes on a dinner plate. Yields approximately 18
Tips and Variations:

Batter should be smooth, thin enough to coat the pan easily when tilted. If it does not run easily, add more milk. If there are a few tiny lumps, don't be concerned. 
The traditional way to have these is to sprinkle the open pancake with sugar, fold in half and roll up from the short end - making it easy for younger children to eat by hand.
However, the options are limitless, including cottage cheese with canned peaches, nutella and sliced bananas or strawberries and whipped cream. 
I use the same recipe (half size) for savory fillings, using a smaller skillet.

Peach Pie

 Peach pie is one of my favorites and peach season will be here before you know it and I'm ready. While I love baking pies, so many of my friends don't. They say they can't....but I know they could if they tried. Nothing really good comes without practice...and no one is looking for perfect...just yummy. I know you can do it! The season of fruit pies is here. 
While blueberry pie is often identified by the little circle cut into the middle of the top crust, I think a peach pie with a lattice top is 'peachy'. 

Pie Dough for one double crust:
  • 1 2/3 cups flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2/3 cup Crisco shortening
  • 4 tablespoons ice water
  1. In a large bowl stir together flour and salt.
  2. Grate or cut in shortening with two forks or a pie cutter, until shortening is very small pieces.
  3. Add water and stir dough until it begins to come together. Using your hands quickly and as little as possible pull the dough together and turn out onto a lightly floured counter. Pull together into a ball. Divide into two and lightly flatten each piece.
  4. Sprinkle counter with flour and roll out one piece of dough to fit into pie shell. 
  5. For top crust, either roll out another solid piece of dough and use as a complete top crust or roll out and cut into 3/4" strips. Once you have your filling (recipe below) in the pie, lay and weave the strips under and over each other. 
**I often will use real butter and rub my pie plate as this helps to give a very flaky bottom crust**
Peach Filling:
  • 6 cups fresh peaches, peeled and sliced
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 1/4 cup cornstarch
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  1. Peel and slice fresh peaches.
  2. Beat egg until frothy and fold into peaches.
  3. Stir together remaining ingredients and gently stir into peach and egg mixture. 
  4. Place mixture into prepared pie crust and top with upper crust as a whole crust or lattice as shown. (you can now brush with a little milk or cream and sprinkle with coarse or regular sugar)
  5. Bake in 375ºF oven for 55-60 minutes or until pie filling is bubbly and crusts are golden brown. Make sure you check to see that the bottom and top crust are baked. Nothing worse than a soggy bottom crust. That is why it's good to use a clear glass pie plate so you can really see your crust.