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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.  

BBQ Flank Steak Marinade

  • 1/2 cup sherry (cooking sherry is fine)
  • 1/2 cup soy sauce
  • 2-3 cloves crushed garlic
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons Montreal steak spice
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  1. In a glass jar shake together all ingredients.
  2. Put 1 or 2 flank steaks in a large zip lock bag and pour marinade into bag. Seal and marinate in fridge 6-12 hours.
  3. BBQ until done to your likeness. Some like it rare and others like it well done. Bast as it BBQ's with the marinade.


Tonight I will serve this with . .

SMASH POTATOES (see recipe on this blog)

Layered green salad

Fruit salad

Rustic bread

Fresh Strawberry Pie

It's Canada Day tomorrow and we are celebrating tonight with family. What a privilege we have to live in this great country. God has blessed us with much. Lets not forget to thank Him tomorrow.

Raspberry Crunch Bars

I made Raspberry Jam recently and the taste brought back a memory 
of these bars that my mom used to make.  
I've lost her recipe over the years and went hunting to find something similar.
I found a jam bar recipe in an old school cookbook from the 1970's and doctored it up 
to match my mom's delicious Raspberry Crunch Bars.
I tested them out on the guys at our office and they all gave it a huge thumbs up.
They loved the fresh raspberry taste and the crunchy topping.

  • 1 cup flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • pinch of salt
  • 1/2 cup cold butter
  • 1 egg beaten
  • 1 tablespoon milk
  • 1 cup Raspberry Jam or Jelly  (approximate amount)
  • 1 beaten egg
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 2 tablespoons melted butter
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup sweetened coconut
  • 1 cup crushed cornflakes
  1. Prepare base: cut cold butter into flour, baking powder and salt.  
  2. Mix egg and milk and vanilla and add to flour mixture, mixing lightly like you would for pie dough.
  3. Roll or pat into an 8 inch square pan.
  4. Spread raspberry jam over base.
  5. Beat sugar, egg and vanilla with melted butter.
  6. Add coconut and crushed cornflakes mix with a fork.
  7. Spread lightly with a fork over jam.
  8. Bake in a 350 degree F oven for about 25-30 minutes or until topping is golden.
  9. Cool and cut into squares.

Berry Filled Scones

All winter long. . .we are thankful for California strawberries. . .but once summer crops begin to ripen in Canada. . .we shop locally. The flavour of fresh picked strawberries from the field cannot be duplicated. Strawberry pies. . . Strawberry Shortcake, Strawberries with ice cream and one of my favorites. . for breakfast. . and lunch time. . .and late in the evening. . is Strawberry Scones.

I inherited a tart press from my mom. . .I have no idea where she purchased it. . but if you ever see one similar (click on the picture to enlarge the bottom left view of my tart press) . . .snap it up. . .it makes the most delicious little tarts. . .and scones.
Edited later thanks to the kind commenters .. the cut - n - seal can be found here
Fruit Filled Scones

  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 3 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons white sugar
  • 1 large farm fresh egg. . .in a measuring cup. . with enough . . .
  • buttermilk to fill to one cup (with the egg in it)
  • 1/3 cup canola oil .. .or some other light oil
  • sliced berries (strawberries, raspberries, blueberries .. or blackberries)
  • 1/2 cup of confectioners/icing sugar
  • a little warm water

  1. Stir together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and sugar in a large bowl.
  2. Beat the egg in the measuring cup and add the buttermilk to fill to the one cup line.
  3. Make a well in the flour mixture.
  4. Pour in the egg/buttermilk and the oil.
  5. Stir only until it comes together.
  6. Dump it onto a floured surface and knead a few times until the wet and dry are combined. (DO NOT overwork your dough . .the scones will be tough)
  7. Roll the dough onto a floured surface . a 1/4 inch thick.
  8. Cut with large 4 inch tart cutter or you can use a large glass jar.
  9. Put half the cut rounds on a cookie sheet. .lined with parchment paper . .(to catch drips)
  10. Put berries in the center of each round. ..cover with the second round. . .and crimp with the tines of a fork. .or press down with the tart press.
  11. Bake at 400ยบ for 20 minutes or until golden brown.
  12. Make a drizzle icing from 1/2 cup icing sugar and a teaspoon or two or warm water and drizzle over the scones while still warm.

If you want to give yourself a head start in the morning if you are having guests for brunch, mix up the dough and wrap well and refrigerate it overnight.

The recipe will make about 6 large scones.

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 to cook) jam. Mom would say to cook until done, some advised not to use pectin, others used  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.

  • 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 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. Bring rubber lids, covered in water, to boil in a small pot.
Turn off heat but keep lid on to keep them 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 in between 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 separately:
  • 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,  using a wooden spoon, stir almost constantly, 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 3 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 minute or two until clear and shiny. Ladle hot jam into jars (using funnel) to 1/2 inch from rim. Cover with lids and screw rings until just barely tight. Cool completely at room temperature. (24 hours)

* The jam will be a pourable thick liquid while hot, but just barely move when you tilt the cooled jar of jam.  If you find it too runny ( different stoves, pots, pectin, can all have an influence) you can salvage it by pouring it into a large pot, bring to boil and cook two minutes. Next time use an extra tablespoon of pectin or cook 1 minute longer. 
* Important note: Freezing the jam (once it's cooled) keeps it fresh 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, Later add 6 cups sugar and 1 package light pectin (or 1 1/2 pkgs regular pectin)  with thawed mixture. This makes about 12 half pint jars) To cook this proportion you will need an extra large pot. 

Tortilla Roll Ups

I got the recipe for these appies from a friend, I tweeked the recipe a little and Ellen took the above photo of the plateful I brought to our MGCC Christmas party.

You could use any tortilla shells, I make mine from scratch - gluten-free.
The advantage of making them from scratch is that I can roll out the tortilla shells in a rectangle shape, rather than the traditional round, so that they roll up better into an even roll.
As soon as I have cooked my tortilla shell I roll it up while it is still warm - treating it like a jelly-roll, unrolling to spread the filling, then re-rolling.  You could also  put the cold tortilla shell into the microwave for a few seconds to soften it for rolling with the filling.

Recipe for the filling ...  and you don't have to be too 'accurate' with the ingredients... the old Mennonite grandmother's saying works here,  "just so it looks/tastes right" !!

  • 3/4 cup chopped fine cooked chicken breast
  • 1/3 cup fried and crumbled bacon
  • 1/4 cup chopped green onions
  • 1/3 cup Ranch dressing
  • 1 - 8 oz package of cream cheese (softened to room temperature) 
  • 1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese 
  • salt and pepper (optional) 
  • tortilla shells
1. Mix together chicken, bacon, green onions and shredded cheese - set aside 
2. Mix the Ranch dressing into the cream cheese until well blended. 
3. Stir the chicken mixture into the dressing mixture and stir well.  If it looks a little too dry just add 
    a little more Ranch dressing or a little whipping cream or milk. 
4. Spread filling  over a tortilla shell and roll up, slicing into 1 inch rolls. 

**  Since this posted this morning, I have been asked to include my recipe for the tortillas ...
It is as follows ....

Gluten-free Tortillas

  • 1 1/3 cup milk 
  • 1 tablespoon oil 
  • 1 3/4 cups tapioca flour/starch
  • 3/4 cup Julie's flour
  • 1/4 cup white bean flour 
  • 1/2 teaspoon xanthan gum 
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt 
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder 
  • sweet rice flour (for handling dough) 
**NOTE - you can adjust the two flours - Julie's flour and the white bean) -  as you wish - if you have a favorite GF mix that you use , try that.  Leave out the xanthan gum if your mix has it included. 
  1. Pour milk and oil into bowl of mixer
  2. Blend dry ingredients well and add all at once to the liquid 
  3. Mix on low until blended, then on high for 2 minutes - if it seems liquidy add a little more flour - but it will be much softer than a regular dough ..
  4. Turn dough onto working surface dusted with sweet rice flour
  5. Knead lightly until dough is smooth, elastic and no longer sticky (It will take less sweet rice flour than you expect) 
  6. Form into a roll and cut  into 11 pieces. Cover with a piece of damp toweling (the tapioca flour dries the dough quickly) 
  7. Roll each piece into circle (about 9 inch)  - I use a plate to cut around to keep the circles uniform) Add cut-off excess to next ball to be rolled. 
  8. For easier handling fold each circle into half and then half again ... and unfold in skillet. 
  9. Heat skillet with a small amount of oil ..  I use a piece of paper towelling dipped into oil to 'wipe' skillet ...  I also use a dry towelling piece to wipe out skillet after each torilla to make sure there is no flour remaining that will quickly  burn when I fry my next shell. 
  10. Fry each tortilla until it begins to turn golden/then flip to fry other side .
  11. Stack on a plate, cool - then store covered in fridge .  Will keep for several days.