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.

Recipe Search

Bread Bowls

Have your chili and eat the bowl too. Bread bowls are a fun way to serve chili or soup.
I use Anneliese's fool proof french bread recipe, and form the dough to the outer side of oven proof Pyrex bowls. creating bread bowls.

Ingredients: yields 10-12 bread bowls
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 2 tablespoons cooking oil
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 2 cups hot tap water
  • 4 1/2-5 cups flour
  • 2 tablespoons instant yeast
  1. Mix together first 4 ingredients.
  2. Stir yeast into 2 cups of flour and add to liquid mixture.
  3. Continue to add enough flour until the dough holds together in the shape of a ball, and is not sticky if you handle it with floured hands.
  4. Cover and let rise until double, about 1/2 hour.
  5. While dough is rising spray the outer side of soup sized oven proof bowls (I use Pyrex) and lay upside down on baking sheets. I have a convection oven which allows me to bake 6 bowls at a time. I can fit 3 bowls on each baking sheet. The remaining dough is fine to rest.
  6. Press balls into a flat disc and form it to the outer side of bowls, pressing some of the dough down onto the baking sheet which will form the rim of the bread bowl once baked.
  7. Bake in 400º oven for 10 minutes. Remove from oven and peel bread bowls off Pyrex and place face up onto baking sheets. Immediately put bread bowls back in oven to brown the insides for another 6-8 minutes. Remove to a cooling rack. Repeat with remaining bread.
  8. To serve fill bowls with chili or soup.

Freezing Apples

This is going to be a very simple and “maybe everyone knows how to do this”post, but I thought it would be kind of fun to put this annual fall activity to memory.
My parents bought some land by a lake 30 years ago and, besides enjoying many family gatherings there, we have enjoyed the apples, pears, plums, walnuts and hazelnuts that come free to the family that’s willing to go and pick or gather them up.

So this is what you do in order to have quick access to apples for crips or apples sauce in the winter:

  •  wash, quarter, peel and slice apples, throwing them into salted water as you go ( about 1 teaspoon salt per 8-10 cups water in a large bowl)
  • when bowl is full, pour it into large colander and let cut up apples sit while you continue with the next bowl
  • spread apples on cookie sheets in single layer and freeze until solid, then bang frozen cookie sheet on counter to loosen apples
  • put apples in ziplock bags, pushing out the air, and store in your own organic freezer section.

Pear Hazelnut Muffins

Hazelnuts and pears make 'the perfect pair'.  Combine them in these muffins and enjoy the taste of autumn!  I served them to the 'corn harvest crew' on the farm recently, and they disappeared in a hurry.

  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup white sugar
  • 1/4 cup butter, softened
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 1/2 cups flour (or use 3/4 cup all purpose flour and 3/4 cup whole wheat flour)
  • 3/4 cup rolled oats
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup buttermilk
  • 2 large pears, peeled and diced 
  • 1/2 cup coarsely chopped toasted hazelnuts

  1. Cream butter and sugars until light and fluffy. Beat in eggs and vanilla.  
  2. Combine dry ingredients and add alternately with buttermilk, mixing just until incorporated. 
  3. Add diced pears and hazelnuts; fold into batter.
  4. Spoon into greased muffin tin.  
  5. Bake at 375°F for 20-25 minutes, or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.
  6. Cool for several minutes; then transfer to wire rack. 
Yield: 1 dozen muffins

Flashback Friday..Autumn Apple Cake

For Flashback Friday I am re-introducing this Autumn Apple Cake. It is the season when apples are available fresh from the orchards. This is a very moist cake, a recipe from my sister in law.
There are so many varieties of apples in the store and in our backyards right now. I think any kind of apple will do.
This cake smells wonderful as it is baking and your kitchen will be filled with wonderful aromas.
For dessert hubby and I enjoyed a piece of this cake with a dollop of whipped cream and a drizzle of caramel sauce. So delicious.
  • 2/3 cup butter 
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 2 1/4 cups flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 2/3 cup buttermilk
  • 3 cups apples, peeled, cored, and chopped
  • 1/3 cup nuts, chopped, I used pecans.
  1. Cream together butter and sugar. Add eggs, and vanilla and beat until well blended.
  2. Stir in dry ingredients alternately with buttermilk. Fold in chopped apples and nuts.
  3. Pour into a 9" by 13" greased pan and sprinkle topping over cake.
  4. Bake in a 350º oven for 40 minutes.
  5. Cool, serve with whipped topping and a drizzle of caramel sauce if you like.
  • 1/3 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup rolled oats
  • 2 teaspoons flour
  • 1/4 cup chopped nuts
  • 1/4 cup coconut
  • 1/4 cup toffee bits
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1 tablespoon butter, melted
  1. Crumble ingredients together and sprinkle evenly over cake batter.

Tweed Bars

I've always liked this unusual bar.
It's a cake like bar that is flecked with chocolate and has a delicious buttercream frosting.
My friend Dorothy submitted this recipe to our first Greendale church cookbook.

A bench scraper does a neat job of cutting these iced bars.

For the bars:
  • 1/2 cup butter or margarine
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 1 1/3 cups flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 2 squares semi sweet chocolate, grated
  • 2 egg whites, beaten (save yolks for frosting)
  1. Line a 9x13 inch pan with parchment paper or grease and flour the pan.
  2. Beat egg whites until stiff
  3. In another bowl, cream butter and sugar.
  4. Add sifted dry ingredients alternately with milk.
  5. Fold in grated chocolate and beaten egg whites.
  6. Bake in 350 degrees oven for 25 minutes or until inserted toothpick comes out clean.
  7. Cool and frost.
  • 1/3 cup butter or margarine
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 2 cups icing sugar
  • 2 squares semi sweet chocolate shaved
  1. Beat together butter and egg yolks.
  2. Add icing sugar and beat until creamy.
  3. Spread icing on bars.
  4. Melt shaved chocolate in a small bowl over hot water (not boiling)
  5. Drizzle chocolate in rows about an inch apart
  6. Working in the opposite direction, pull a knife tip through the rows of chocolate drizzle.
  7. Place bars in fridge until chocolate sets.
Note: I refrigerate these bars because of the uncooked egg yolks in the frosting.

Coconut Pie..the easy way.

This is one easy coconut pie to make. I will take coconut pie most any way I get it. The filling is custard like with toasty coconut, what can I say but it's delicious.
  • 4 eggs
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 1/4 cup butter, melted
  • 2 cups milk, I used skim and it turned out fine
  • 1 1/2 cups coconut, flaked is my favorite but shredded is fine.
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  1. Combine ingredients in order given, whisking to combine thoroughly.
  2. Pour into a greased 10" pie pan, I used a glass pie pan.
  3. Bake in a 350º oven for 45 to 50 minutes or until golden brown. The center will still jiggle a bit.
  4. Cool completely on cooling rack. I couldn't wait and tasted it while still warm, oh so good.
  5. I served the pie wedges with whipped cream and a sprinkling of toasted coconut. 

The Apple ~ Any Way You Slice It!

Apple season is upon us...and there's nothing quite like enjoying a crisp, fresh apple right off the tree.

Here's a simple way of slicing the apple without an apple corer...perfect for including in a lunch bag.

  • Set apple with stem side down on a cutting board..
  • Slice apple in a tic-tac-toe pattern, holding the pieces together firmly as you slice through. (#1)
  • Snap an elastic band around the apple to hold the pieces together. (#2)
  • Many hours later...the apple slices have stayed almost totally white.  
  • Discard core section and enjoy eight slices of crisp, white apple. (#3)

There are many wonderful recipes that feature apples...and it seems the perfect time of the year to highlight a few of those.

 Caramel Apple Cake is a favorite over here....and has often doubled as a birthday cake at this time of year.  We enjoyed it around the table with friends this past week.

How about Apple Fritter Rings for brunch?

Or Apple Muffins...for breakfast, lunch or coffee break.

Apple Pie Squares...a crowd-sized version of apple pie!

Here's a perfect accompaniment for an apple tray...Caramel Apple Dip.

Apple Pancakes...always a treat!

If you still haven't found the apple recipe you are looking for...try entering the word 'apple' in the recipe search on the sidebar of this blog and you will be overwhelmed with apple everything!   Don't you just feel like cooking with apples?

As for me...I'm slicing up apples every which way over here!  We have one wee tree...which bears several varieties of apples. The one variety (on the left) grew to be the size of small pumpkins this year. The apple pictured here weighed well over a compared to the average sized McIntosh apple on the right.  Enjoy these 'apple days' of autumn!


Peach Kuchen

This cake base is such a dense and moist cake that is good to use for all kinds of things, like coffee cake, or even with strawberries and whipped cream. Today the recipe will feature it with peaches on top, and a streusel crumb topping.
  • 1/2 cup hard margarine or butter
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 3 eggs
  • 2 cups flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/4 cups of sour cream or plain yogurt
  • 1 28 oz can of sliced peaches, drained
Streusel Topping
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 1/4 cup hard margarine or butter
  1. Cream margarine, sugar and vanilla.
  2. Beat in eggs one at a time until light and well mixed.
  3. Sift together all the dry ingredients.
  4. Stir the flour mixture into the egg mixture alternately with the sour cream, ending with sour cream.
  5. Pour the batter into a 10 spring form pan or 9-13 if you don't have a spring form.
  6. Add peaches in a pinwheel design or what ever you choose, it hides under the crumbs anyway.
  7. Top with the crumbs. If the crumbs get to brown for your liking you can cover them with foil towards the end if needed.
  8. Bake at 350 for 60 minutes. Test the cake by poking a knife in the center and if the knife comes out clean it is done. The time may have to be adjusted if using a 9x13 pan.
  9. Enjoy warm with some whipped cream or ice cream or at room temperature.

Oma's Apple Pie Filling Recipe

The apples are in abundance right now. My parents crab apple tree makes the most wonderful apple pie filling. For that matter most any apple makes a good pie filling. The top picture is Crab apples,  and the bottom picture is with Goodland apples from my cousins tree.  I freeze them in the amount I would use for a pie or platz in a plastic zippered bags and store them flat, that way they don't take up much freezer space. Take them out of the freezer and place into cold water to thaw. By the time you have your dough made the apples are thawed enough to use in whatever recipe you want. I like to use it in platz, or crisps as well.
  • 8 cups of apples, peeled and sliced. If you are using crab apples, don't bother peeling them.
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1 1/4 cup sugar
  • 4 tablespoons quick cooking tapioca
  • Cinnamon and nutmeg to taste (optional)
  1. Peel and slice apples.
  2. Place into a pot large enough to hold the ingredients.
  3. Sprinkle with one cup of sugar. Let stand 5 minutes.
  4. Add the water, bring to a simmer and cook mixture about 2 minutes on medium heat. 
  5. Stir together tapioca with remaining 1/4 cup of sugar, add to the apples, cook 2 minute more.
  6. Spoon into containers or plastic zippered bags and freeze, ready for pie. 
  7. Two recipes make 3 10' deep pies.

Perishky (Pie by the yard)

Today for Flashback Friday  I wanted to share my Mom's recipe once more for Perishky. 
I have baked Perishky in our freezer ready to pull up and warm up for a quick dessert.
Simply open the foil a bit and warm in a 350 F oven for 20 - 25  minutes. It will taste as fresh as first baked.

Perishky is traditionally shaped into little square pockets but my grandma always made them into long pies to get the job done quickly.  The result is less crust and more fruit.

Being rather free form, it is the perfect kind of pie for novice pie makers to try since it all tastes good and a bit of juice running out the center just adds to the flavouring of the pastry.
A pastry mat and parchment paper help to make this job easier. 

  • 5  1/2 cup flour
  • 1 cup lard
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 2 eggs beaten with enough evaporated milk to make 1 1/2 cups (use additional milk when mixing in with the flour mixture if it seems a bit dry)
  • 2 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 1/4 cup minute tapioca or cornstarch
  • Fruit of your choice.  Our family favorites are Italian Plums, Apples, Rhubarb
  1. Cut the lard and butter into the flour with a pastry blender.
  2. Add the salt and the baking powder with a fork.
  3. Add the liquid into the flour and stir with a fork until mostly combined.
  4. Turn onto a floured counter and bring together with several kneads into a large disc.
  5. Wrap with plastic wrap and chill for several hours.
  6. Roll out the dough  as you would pie on a pastry mat or well floured surface. .and make sure you keep the dough from sticking underneath by adding a bit more flour and to the top as well. 
  7. Combine the sugar, flour and tapioca for sprinkling over the plums.
  8. Cut long 6 - 8  inch wide strips.  Place halved pitted plums or chopped fruit down the center and sprinkle with the sugar mixture.
  9. Bring the long sides together overlapping or pinching together.   Bring the ends up and overlap on top.
  10. Bake in a 375 F oven until golden brown and the juices clear.

Canned Tomato Salsa

Canning your own salsa can be an enjoyable activity to do with a daughter or friend, since there is a lot of mindless chopping to do. The amounts of the ingredients that add flavor can be altered according to personal taste. However, it is important to keep the ratio of tomatoes and vinegar/lime juice as per recipe because not enough acidity can cause the salsa to lose flavor or go bad. For this recipe you will need an extra large stock pot or divide the ingredients between two pots.


  • 15 lbs Roma tomatoes
  • 3 large onions
  • 6 - 8 sweet peppers in a variety of colors
  • 6 - 10 jalapeno peppers, seeded, chopped fine
  • 12 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 2 - 10 oz cans tomato paste
  • 2 cups vinegar
  • 1 cup lime juice (bottled)
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 3 tablespoons salt
  • 2 tablespoons paprika
  • 2 tablespoons oregano
  • 3 teaspoons cumin
  • 1 can black beans
  • 1-2 bunches cilantro, chopped

  1. Prepare 24 - 8 oz canning jars by washing and keeping warm in 225° F oven.
  2. Prepare lids according to package directions.
  3. Wash and chop tomatoes, adding to pot as you go.
  4. Finely chop onions and peppers, adding to pot.
  5. Add the rest of the ingredients and bring to boil on medium heat.
  6. Simmer for 15 minutes.
  7. Ladle into jars, using canning funnel, cover with lids and screw rings.
  8. Place into hot water bath in large canner, bring to boil and process for 20 minutes.
  9. Remove and allow to cool at room temp. Keep in cool storage.

Rolled up homemade noodles (kielke or Strudel) with potatoes and sausage

I have my doubts if anyone will actually try this recipe but I wanted to post it for documentation sake.
This recipe originated with Terry's Grandma.
He loved it . . .talked about it. . .asked her to make it for me. . .and she did. . .once.
Shortly after that ... .I made it .. . once. . .20 years ago.
I know of no one else in the extended family that makes it and even when asking my mother in law to recall all the ingredients we had a hard time remembering exactly how it was.
I decided to tackle it yesterday and really .. . it was quite a fun challenge.
After dinner. . . he walked over to our new coffee table book for our grand babies. . and pressed the little pig. . .the little pig immediately oinked. .
He loved it. . .I quite enjoyed it. . . and will likely try it again.

It starts out simply. . .making some homemade noodles.
  • 2 1/2 cup flour
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 2 extra large eggs
  • 1/2 cup milk
Mix all the ingredients to make a hard dough.
It will be easier if you let it rest in between covered with plastic wrap.
I left it for 10 minutes at a time.
When the dough is smooth. . cover it up for a good half hour.
You will need some

    • smoked farmer sausage. . or other Ukrainian style sausage.
    • enough fresh potatoes for your family
    • a large onion
    • a handful of fresh parsley

Roll the dough out very thin. You should be able to barely see the counter underneath.
At this point. . you could simply make noodles by flouring the top of the dough a bit.. .
cutting 2 inch wide strips and layering them and cutting through all the layers to make 1/4 inch wide noodles. . and simply cook them.
. .. but not me. . .oh no. .
I brushed some bacon drippings over the dough and rolled it up. . jelly roll style.

I put the farmer sausage in the pot.

I then chopped up the onion and puit that on top.

. . .diced the potatoes and layered that over the onions.
and then the parsley over that. .
some salt and pepper
and then. .
I added to the pot. . enough water to come half way up the sausage.
I covered the pot and brought the sausage, potatoes and onions to a boil.
Turn down the heat and simmer with the lid on about 15 minutes.

After I rolled up the noodle dough ..
I cut it into 1 inch pieces. . .
next time I would cut it narrower .. perhaps 1/2 inch pieces.

After the potatoes had cooked for about 15 minutes.. .
I lifted the lid and put the noodles on top.
Close the lid quickly. . .you don't want to lose the steam.
Continue to have on a medium low heat for about 20 minutes or until the water has cooked out.
You should start to hear the sausage sizzle. .
it is then finished.
The noodles will be firm but well cooked.
I made a cream sauce of 1/4 cup butter and 1 cup of heavy cream. . simmered until slightly thickened.
I also sauteed some onions. . and of course steamed green beans for .. color and health.
If anyone. . attempts this . . . please leave a comment and let me know how it worked out for you ..
I have done my family duty. .
The recipe is now recorded for future generations. .
No longer will I hear. . .
"no one wrote it down?"

Napoleon Cake (Blaettertorte)

For this Flashback Friday recipe I'm re-posting Napoleon Torte, which I grew up knowing as Blaettertorte, literally translated, cake with leaves. In this cake the pastry gets divided and rolled out into plate size cookies, baked and then stacked with a custard filling. This recipe yields two cakes, which is great because you can fill one cake and freeze half of the baked pastry leaves/cookies for another time.

  • 1 c sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 3/4 c butter, softened
  • 3 Tbsp milk
  • 3 cups flour
  • 3 Tbsp cornstarch
  • 3 tsp baking powder
  1. Beat sugar and eggs well, then beat in the soft butter and milk. 
  2. Combine dry ingredients and stir into first mixture. 
  3. Turn dough onto floured counter to shape into a log.
  4. Wrap or cover and refrigerate for a couple of hours.

After refrigeration:
  1. Prepare 3 large cookie sheets with shortening and then flour. Tip sheet slightly and tap so that flour covers evenly. No need to repeat after first use.
  2. Slice log into 12 even slices. (This will make a scant 12 slices. For a more forgiving amount to roll, or if you use a larger template, divide into ten.)
  3. On lightly floured surface, shape each slice into a circle, then roll out to barely the size needed - use an 8 inch salad plate or bowl to cut circles. The first one is the hardest and then you can add the left over to the next one etc. Use the rolling pin to roll up, lift and unroll onto prepared sheet. 
  4. Try not to move cookies by hand because you will stretch them – use a spatula to move or tilt and tap the sheet. Place 2 at an angle to fit or bake one at a time.
  5. Bake at 400 F for about 5 min., until very light golden in color. Allow to cool on sheet until cookies harden, (5 min) then transfer gently, using spatula, to cooling rack. Re-use the same sheet, without washing, for another set. Keep a few in rotation mode. Bake leftover strips (cuttings) to use for crumb topping.

It takes about 1 hour to roll out and bake 10 - 12 cookies. To freeze, stack in a round Tupperware or plate with a topper, using wax paper between each layer and paper towels around the stack to cushion. Sometimes, after freezing there may be some cracks, but with correct handling, they will never show once the cake is assembled and set. The traditional way is to fill 5 - 8 layers with vanilla custard. In our family we sometimes opt for chocolate pudding.

Vanilla Custard/Pudding (this makes a generous amount)

  • 5 c milk, separated
  • 5 Tbsp cornstarch
  • 5 Tbsp flour
  • 5 Tbsp sugar
  • ¼ tsp pure vanilla powder OR 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 5 egg yolks
  • 1 cup whipping cream, to add later
  1. In medium sized pot, bring 4 c milk to boil using just below med. heat.
  2. Meanwhile, in a small bowl or 4 cup measuring cup, mix cornstarch, flour, sugar, vanilla and 1/4 c milk. 
  3. Add egg yolks, blending them in well, then 3/4 cup milk, gradually, stirring to make a smooth, thick liquid.
  4. When milk starts to form small bubbles along the side and/or skin forms on top, add the egg mixture, using whisk, stirring until it comes to a second boil. Stir until smooth. Cool completely. (Place pot in ice water and/or lay plastic wrap right on pudding and refrigerate.)

To Assemble Torte:
  1. In mixing bowl, beat 1 cup whipping cream with 1 tsp sugar until gentle peaks form, then add cooled custard/pudding, beating on low until mixed well for about half a minute.
  2. Put a small amt (1 Tbsp) of pudding in the center of a flat serving plate. This is to keep the cake from slipping around while you try to layer it. 
  3. Using a large serving spoon, cover first layer with about ¾ - 1 cup pudding and repeat four or five times.There may be some wobble if the cookies are not very even - make up for it by the way you place them on top of each other – rotating fat end over skinny end etc. Cup sides with one hand as you spread the pudding. 
  4. Use the leftover pudding to cover the sides, if you like. Sprinkle with separately baked cookie crumbs. 
  5. Cover and refrigerate at least 10 hours. It will take a few hours for the cake to set, during which time you can help it along a bit. If it leans, place something under one side of the plate. Best after 24 or 48 hours. Keeps (refrigerated) for up to a week. 

It's worth it!