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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Strawberry Rhubarb Jam

The rhubarb harvest in our area is just beginning.  The first crop from my garden went into jam this week...and we enjoyed it on fresh biscuits before it had a chance to cool off. 


  • 6 cups chopped rhubarb
  • 3 cups sugar
  • 1/4 cup orange or apple juice
  • 1 small package (4 serving size) strawberry flavored gelatin
  1. Combine chopped rhubarb, sugar and juice. 
  2. Stir well and allow to sit for several hours.
  3. Bring to a boil over medium heat.
  4. Reduce heat and simmer for 12 minutes while stirring.
  5. Remove from heat and stir in gelatin.
  6. Pour into sterile jars and refrigerate.  (Can also be frozen).
Yield: 4 250 ml / 1 cup jars.

Enjoy...

Chicken Danielle

Chicken is one of our favorite meals. This recipe below is an all-time favorite. So if you want to try something different with a flair, give yourself some time and enjoy trying a new dish with chicken. This takes a bit of time, but no last minute rushing around when company comes.
  • 4 ounces bacon
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 6 large skinless, boneless, chicken breast halves
  • 1 cup sliced button mushrooms
  • 1 cup dry white wine
  • 1 (10.75 oz) can cream of chicken soup
  • 1 (10.75 oz) can cream of mushroom soup
  • 3/4 cup heavy cream
  • 1/2 teaspoon chopped fresh rosemary
  • 1/4 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme
  • 1 package uncooked linguine pasta

  1. Fry the bacon gently in a large flameproof casserole dish stirring for about 5 minutes until the fat runs.
  2. Take the bacon out and saute' chicken in the bacon drippings for about 5 minutes until golden.
  3. Preheat oven to 375 °
  4. Set aside chicken into a casserole dish, reserving bacon drippings.
  5. In a separate skillet, melt the butter over medium heat and saute mushrooms.
  6. Add 1/2 cup white wine and stir at a low heat for 5 minutes.
  7. Set mushrooms and drippings aside, keeping warm.
  8. Add cream of chicken soup and cream of mushroom soup to the bacon/chicken drippings, making sure no lumps remain.
  9. Slowly add cream stirring constantly, then add remaining 1/2 cup wine, adjusting as needed to make a nice thick gravy consistency.
  10. Season with fresh rosemary and thyme.
  11. Toss the bacon that you saved on top of this sauce.
  12. Let mixture simmer over medium heat until bubbly and then add reserved mushroom mixture and stir together.
  13. Pour soup/mushroom mixture over chicken in casserole dish, cover and bake in preheated oven for 30-45 minutes at 375 degrees.
  14. Serve with your favorite pasta or on a platter of rice.
Add a few fresh vegetables, zwieback and you'll feel like you are eating a traditional meal.

Cheese Stuffed Breadsticks




If you have tried the French Bread or Pizza Buns with the same recipe, today's bread sticks should come by quite easily, as it's the same recipe recycled once again. It's the bread recipe with endless options and so easy to mix.

Ingredients:
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 2 tablespoons oil
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 2 cups hot water
  • 4 - 4 1/2 cups flour
  • 2 tablespoons instant yeast
  • 3 cups shredded cheese (mozzarella or mix )
  • 1 egg
  • 2 tablespoons milk
  • 2 tablespoons finely grated Parmesan
  • 1 teaspoon oregano
  • 1 clove garlic crushed


Method:
  1. Line a large cookie sheet with parchment paper.
  2. Put first four ingredients in mixing bowl or Kitchen Aid mixing bowl. Stir in 2 cups flour and yeast.
  3. Mix until well combined and then add the rest of the flour 1/2 cup at a time, until dough can easily be shaped into a ball with all the flour well mixed in. No need to rise.
  4. Divide in half. Roll first half out on floured surface, to approx size of cookie sheet. Roll up on to rolling pin and unroll unto cookie sheet. Stretch into shape where needed. Sprinkle with cheese.
  5. Roll out second half, a bit larger. Roll onto pin and unroll on top of cheese. Fold under the bottom layer, along edges. Cut through the dough with a pizza cutter to create 20 - 24 pieces. Cover with a kitchen towel and let rise 20 minutes.
  6. Preheat oven to 425° F.
  7. In a small bowl, whisk together the egg, milk, Parmesan, oregano and garlic. Brush evenly over dough.
  8. Bake for about 15 minutes, until bread sticks are light golden in color. If a large bubble pops up while baking, simply break with a knife to keep the sticks even.
  9. Cut along the seams of the bread sticks and serve warm with soup. Can also be used for kids' lunch boxes.

    Rhubarb Cake


    Fresh rhubarb season is almost here. I've been checking the rhubarb plants, they are growing but not quite ready to pick. So I checked my freezer and was happy to find a package of rhubarb from last season. This is a quick and easy dessert to put together. Serve warm and if you like you can top it with a scoop of frozen yogurt or ice cream and you have a wonderful dessert.
    • 4 1/2 cups rhubarb, chopped
    • 3/4 cup sugar
    • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
    • 1 small package strawberry flavored gelatin powder
    • 1  517 g (18.25 oz) package of yellow or white cake mix
    • 1/2 cup butter, melted
    • 3/4 cup water
    1. Place chopped rhubarb evenly in an ungreased 9" x 13" baking pan.
    2. Mix sugar and cinnamon and sprinkle over rhubarb.
    3. Next sprinkle strawberry gelatin powder on top of the sugar mixture.
    4. Sprinkle cake mix on top of the gelatin powder.
    5. Drizzle melted butter on top of cake mix.
    6. Slowly pour water over all.
    7. Bake in a 350º oven for 1 hour.
    8. Yield: 12 generous pieces
    Tip: I used slightly frozen rhubarb, if you use fresh rhubarb increase water to 1 cup.

    Bread for the Journey


    Good Sunday morning to all of you who join us here today. Sometime today or this week in a quiet place I'd like to encourage you to write your own Psalm to God. To inspire you here is Psalm 121 and then my own Psalm (Sacred Song) to God.

    Psalm 121 (ESV)

    My Help Comes from the LORD
    I lift up my eyes to the hills.
    From where does my help come?
    My help comes from the LORD,
    who made heaven and earth.
    He will not let your foot be moved;
    he who keeps you will not slumber.
    Behold, he who keeps Israel
    will neither slumber nor sleep.
    The LORD is your keeper;
    the LORD is your shade on your right hand.
    The sun shall not strike you by day,
    nor the moon by night.
    The LORD will keep you from all evil;
    he will keep your life.
    The LORD will keep
    your going out and your coming in
    from this time forth and forevermore.

    Ellen's Psalm
    You oh Lord are my God and my redeemer.
    Your hand has been on me all my life.
    You continue to lead and guide me with gentleness and love.
    You have opened my eyes to your majesty.
    When I see the cloud covered hills beyond the carpet of flowers
    I marvel at the power and beauty of your creation.
    I look, I see, and I stand in awe of you because of your beauty.
    You are above me and you shield me and you care for me.
    You allow me to lay my head down in peace and rise up again to praise you.
    I praise you Lord for your beauty and your majesty!
    ~
    Have a day filled with seeing God's beauty and being in awe of Him!

    Devilled Eggs

    Devilled eggs are a wonderful addition to a buffet table, appetizer selection,
    or served along with salads, cold cuts, buns and cheese.

    Ingredients:
    • 6 large eggs, hard boiled
    • 1/3 cup mayonnaise
    • 1/4 tsp prepared mustard
    • 1/4 tsp salt
    • 1/4 tsp white or black pepper
    • 1 tbsp finely chopped chives or green onions
    Method:
    1. Hard boil eggs and peel.
    2. When completely cooled, cut each egg in half.
    3. Scoop yolk of eggs into a small bowl. Add remaining ingredients and mash together well with a fork.
    4. Fill a pastry bag with filling and pipe into hollowed out egg white shells. Or, using a small spoon place little mounds into each shell. 
    5. To add a nice touch, sprinkle with paprika, very finely chopped parsley, or more finely chopped chives or green onions. Refrigerate until ready to serve. Best served the day it is made. If you want to make them the day ahead, get everything ready, seal shells and yolk mixture in separate containers and fill the next day. 


    Cherry Squares - Gluten Free

    This is an unusual square that I used to make and love. Here is my gluten-free version that you need not explain is gluten-free except to those to whom it matters. What makes this square unusual is the yeast in the pastry. The flavours blend well in this not-so-sweet dessert square.

    • 2/3 cup warm milk

    • 1 tsp sugar

    • 1 tbsp yeast

    • 1 cup pancake flour mix (recipe found here - scroll down for the mix )

    • 1 cup sweet rice flour

    • 1 cup butter

    • 4 egg yolks

    • 1 tin cherry pie filling

    • 2 tbsp instant tapioca

    • sweet rice for rolling

    • toasted almonds

    • white icing


    1. Whisk sugar and yeast into the warm milk and let proof

    2. Cut 1 cup butter in to the blended flours

    3. Add the 4 yolks to the proofed yeast and beat together until well blended

    4. Pour liquids into the flour mixture and mix into a ball

    5. Turn dough out onto surface sprinkled with sweet rice flour, and knead lightly adding ONLY enough flour to allow it to be handled.

    6. Divide dough in half, rolling out one piece between sweet rice sprinkled plastic wrap layers. Roll it out quite thin , to fit a 9 x12 inch pan.

    7. Remove top plastic wrap and picking up dough with lower plastic wrap turn into pan... pushing up the edges of dough .. remove plastic wrap

    8. Stir the 2 tbsp of tapioca into the cherry filling and spread evenly over bottom pastry layer

    9. Roll out the top layer and place over the filling making sure to crimp the edges

    10. Prick the top with a fork to allow steam to escape

    11. Bake for 45 minutes at 350 degree oven

    12. Remove when golden and cool... while still warm cover with white icing and sprinkle with toasted almond flakes.

    Enjoy warm or cool... freezes well.


    *

    Chocolate Chip Cookie Slice


    This is a recipe that I got from my dear friend Marie, and have been making it for over 30 + years now. The other day my youngest was having a study night with a friend, and just as I was getting ready to leave the house she asked...."do we have a snack, cookies or something". What? We had nothing, So being the great mom that I am, I decided to time myself, see how long it would take to make these and have all the ingredients back in the pantry and dirty dishes in the dishwasher and the slice in the oven. It took 6 minutes and 37 seconds! (I am not a speedy person and just did it the way I normally do). So when you think you don't have time to whip something up, think again. I put it in the oven and left. The slice was in the oven to bake, and 25 minutes later the girls enjoyed warm and chewy cookie slice with ice cream.
    However the next time I made this I goofed, Ooops I for got to set the timer and left them in the oven to long.  I just changed the name to Chocolate chip cookie slice "Biscotti".
    It still works, the key is don't panic when you make something if it doesn't work. Even seasoned cooks goof, I should know I have had a lot of practice ;)
    • 2 eggs
    • 1 1/2 cups brown sugar (I also cut down on the sugar by 1/2 c. sometimes even 3/4c.)
    • 2/3 cup vegetable oil or canola
    • 1 teaspoon vanilla
    • 1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
    • 1 teaspoon salt (I use half because I use sea salt and you need less)
    • 1 cup chocolate chips (oops, more fell in, oh well)
    • 1 1/2 cups flour
    1. Combine oil, sugar, egg and vanilla.
    2. Add all the remaining ingredients and stir till combined.
    3. Grease a 10 x 15** pan and press dough into it using your hands that have been moistened with a little water. It may look like it will not spread will and that you have some bald spots but do not worry it covers the pan well as it bakes.
    4. Bake at 300 for 20-25 minutes*, or until a very light brown. You don't want to over bake it unless you want it to be like Biscotti of course, then go right ahead.... ;)
    *My oven it takes about 30 minutes, I don't always have the same results with baking time, so watch your at the 20-25 minute mark, you want a very light brown and the top looks shiny.
    ** Also if you really want to have a very chewy cookie slice then I do the recipe 1 1/2 times, to make them extra chewy and then bake them 7 minutes or so longer, but remember every oven is different.

    Tomato Soup Cake

    Not long ago one of my co workers arrived at my desk at work with several fresh warm
    slices of Tomato Soup loaf....just because. I had not had it in years. I know it sounds rather odd 
    to have Tomato soup in a cake, but you'll just have to take my word...it is so good.
    It can be made in an 8x8 cake pan, 1 loaf pan or a muffin tin.
    Thanks Deb....I enjoy sharing our love for baking together.

    Ingredients:
    • 2 tbsp margarine
    • 1 egg
    • 1 cup sugar
    • 1 tin tomato soup
    • 1 1/2 cups flour
    • 1 tsp baking soda
    • 1 tsp cinnamon
    • 1/2 tsp cloves
    • 1 cup raisins
    • 1/2 cup nuts (optional)
    Method:
    1. Stir together Tomato Soup and baking soda. It will foam up. stir well until the foam settles.
    2. Cream together margarine, eggs and sugar.
    3. In a separate bowl, stir together dry ingredients. Add alternately with soup mixture to the creamed mixture. Add raisins and nuts if using.
    4. Pour into greased pans. Bake @350 º. 35 minutes for 8x8. 50 minutes for 1 loaf pan. 15-20 minutes for muffins. 

    Crunchy Pea Salad

    Crunchy pea salad is great on the buffet table and is quick and easy to assemble. My recipe is handwritten on a little card, copied from a magazine decades ago and has been prepared many times over the years. It is good served on a bed of lettuce and topped with grated cheese as a luncheon salad or makes a great side dish.

    Ingredients:
    • 1 500 gram (16-ounce) package of frozen petite peas (slightly thawed)
    • 1 cup chopped fresh celery
    • 1/4 cup red onion, chopped
    • 6 slices of bacon...cooked, drained and crumbled (or 1/2 cup real bacon bits)
    • 1/2 cup salted cashews or dry roasted peanuts
    • 3/4 cup ranch dressing (or Miracle Whip, if you prefer)
    • salt and pepper to taste
    Method:
    1. Combine first five ingredients in a large bowl; mix well.
    2. Gently fold the dressing into pea mixture.
    3. Add salt and freshly ground black pepper.
    4. Refrigerate until ready to serve.
    5. Serves 8.

      Notes :
    • You can make this salad well in advance, but might want to add the nuts just before serving.
    • Use less dressing than called for if you prefer.
    • Double the recipe for a crowd.

    Lemon Pie by the Yard

    I was trying to think of ideas for someone who cooks for a large group regularly and, in talking, found out that doing a lemon pie on a cookie sheet was a new idea to her. Growing up with all sorts of cakes and pies done on cookie sheets to serve large groups, I did not realize that this really is thinking outside the box. So, this is not really a recipe, as much as it is an idea to serve a larger group. It is easier to cut up and serve small squares than large pieces of pie.

    Ingredients:
    • recipe for two pie crusts (posted amount is good for a 15x11 inch cookie sheet)
    • 2 packages of purchased lemon pie filling or double homemade
    • 6 - 8 beaten egg whites for meringue
    • 1/2 - 3/4 cup sugar for meringue
    Method
    1. Pat pastry into rectangular shape, on floured surface then roll out to size of cookie sheet - actually a little more to go up the sides.
    2. Roll up onto rolling pin and unroll unto cookie sheet. Trim edges where they are too high and add pieces where it is too low. (cut and paste). Prick with fork.
    3. Bake until golden at 400° F about 15 min.
    4. Meanwhile, cook pie filling according to package instructions, or homemade
    5. Pour hot cooked filling into baked shell.
    6. Immediately beat egg whites, gradually adding sugar. Beat just until wavy and glossy and will stand up if dabbed with a spoon. Do not over-beat. It is easier to spread if it's not too stiff.
    7. Spread evenly over warm filled pie, making sure the meringue touches the side crusts. For wave design, dab meringue with the back of a spoon.
    8. Bake at 400° F for 7 - 8 min until golden.
    Some like it served while still a little warm, but it does need to sit for several hours first. Refrigerate if not serving the same day. No need to cover.

    * NOTE - To keep meringue from sticking to knife while cutting, dip knife into hot water or run under hot tap water
    *for a 12x17 inch cookie sheet pastry, use 2 1/2 cups flour, 1 cup shortening, 1 teaspoon salt, 6 or 7 tablespoons cold water (sometimes I use half butter, half shortening or lard and also replace 1 tablespoon of the water with vinegar.)

    Cold Oven Pound Cake with Strawberry filling

     Pound Cake can be used in so many different desserts or enjoyed plain and simple with a cup of tea.


    The method I use is slightly different. It is  simpler than the classic creaming of the butter and sugar.

    Cold Oven Pound Cake
    • 1 cup hot melted butter
    • 1 cup sugar
    • 4 large room temperature farm fresh eggs
    • 2 teaspoons vanilla
    • 1 1/2 cups cake and pastry flour
    • 1/2 teaspoon salt
    • 1 teaspoon baking powder
    1. Sift the flour, salt and baking powder onto a piece of waxed paper or a large bowl.

    2. In a blender or preferably food processor. . combine the sugar and the eggs and vanilla. .process one minute.

    3. Slowly in a steady stream. .pour the melted cooled butter through the tube. Process until combined.

    4. Put the wet ingredients into a larger bowl. .and add the flour .. a third at a time. .blending t with a whisk. .. . until all the flour is combined.

    5. Prepare one 9 X 5 loaf pans or 3 small loaf pans.

    6. Spread the batter evenly in the pans.

    7. Place in COLD oven.

    8. Turn oven to 325 F.

    9. Bake the the larger pan for 45 minutes . . then check with a toothpick ..the toothpick should have a lingering crumb or two. If it isn't quite there. . check it again after five minutes. . The smaller loaf pans. . check after 30 minutes and then every five minutes after. If you bake them too long. .they will be dry. .

    10. Remove from pans to cooling rack while still warm.

    Strawberry Filling
    • 1 pound . . 2 1/2 cups sliced or diced washed strawberries. .California strawberries won't really break down. . so consider how large you want them in the filling.
    • 1/2 cup white sugar
    • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
    1. Combine the cornstarch and sugar.

    2. Put the prepared strawberries in a medium saucepan.

    3. Add the cornstarch and sugar.

    4. Turn to medium high heat and stir constantly until hot and bubbly and thickened. . .about 3 - 4 minutes.

    5. Remove from heat. . pour into a large shallow bowl to cool completely before constructing your strawberry slice cake.

    Making the Strawberry Slice Cake (serves 8)
    1. Slice your cooled Loaf pan baked Pound cake into 4 layers. . .the top rounded edge is reserved for snacking or another use. You will use 3 flat layers for this cake.

    2. Whip 1 cups whipping cream combined with one package whipping cream stabilizer (the stabilizer is important since the cake will be refrigerated overnight) and 2 tablespoons sugar. Set aside.

    3. Line the loaf pan with plastic wrap with sides hanging over to remove the cake later.

    4. Divide the strawberry filling over each pound cake layer.

    5. Put the first layer in the loaf pan and put 1/3 of the whipped cream on top.

    6. Repeat. . but on the last layer. .put the remainder of the whipping cream in a decorator bag and use a star tip to decorate the top as you wish.

    7. Freeze until just firm. . .and then slice and refrigerate. Cutting while slightly frozen gives nice neat slices. 
    This cake is a perfect make ahead cake Just freeze until the day you want to serve it, take it out in the morning, slice it and keep refrigerated until a half hour before serving.

    Dry Cottage Cheese Perishky with Rhubarb


    Dry Cottage Cheese makes a very light pastry which can be used for Perishky or tart shells. 


    Cottage Cheese Pastry
    • 2 cups flour
    • 2 teaspoons baking powder
    • 2 cups dry cottage cheese
    • 1 cup cold butter
    1. Combine the flour and the baking powder in your food processor or a large bowl.
    2. Add the dry cottage cheese and the finely cubed butter.
    3. Pulse in the food processor until finely crumbed .. .(when I looked at it I really didn't think it would stick together. . but I squeezed a tablespoon of crumbs and found that it held together well. If you are mixing without a food processor . . use a pastry blender or. . .I might even try the whisk on a kitchen machine. . .slowly. . don't make a mess. . . "
    4. Dump it out onto the counter and squeeze into a flat rectangular disk wrap in cling film and refrigerate while you prepare your fruit.
    Rhubarb Filling
    • 5 cups finely chopped rhubarb
    • 1 1/2 cups white sugar
    • 2 tablespoons tapioca
    1. Mix together the rhubarb, sugar and tapioca.


    1. Once you have the dough chilled, Roll out a third at a time onto a floured counter top. Roll it as thin as for pie dough.
    2.  Roll it into a rectangle approximately 10 X 13. Cut the edges to make it straight leaving you with a 9 X 12 inch rectangle. 
    3. Cut into 3 inch squares. To make the perishky and put a heaping teaspoon of rhubarb onto the square and fold together the opposite corners and pinch together. Bring up one of the remaining corners and pinch and then the last one and seal with your fingertips. Arrange on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper.
    4. You may also make a tart which I did with one of my third part portions of dough or you can simply roll the dough into a long rectangle, put it onto a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper, and put your filling onto the center, bringing up your sides and pinch them shut.
    5. Depending on how long it takes you to put together your pastries, here will be accumulated juice at the bottom of your rhubarb filling bowl so use a slotted spoon.  
    6. Bake at 350F for about 20 minutes for the perishky and about 30 minutes for a small tart. The perishky will be nicely browned with they are baked through.

    Caramel Peach Pull-Aparts


























    Discover a sweet caramel peach flavour in this moist, sticky pull-apart. All you need is a cup of tea or coffee, and someone special to share it with!

    I made this recipe for our bible study out of sheer frustration, because plan A of what I was planning on making flopped big time, so I went back to an old stand by. This is a tried and true recipe and every time I serve it I am asked for the recipe, so I thought I would share it will all of you. It comes from the Company's Coming cookbooks "Baking Simple to Sensational".

    • 2 c. flour
    • 1 tbsp. baking powder
    • 1/4 tsp. cinnamon
    • 1/4 tsp. ginger
    • 1/4 tsp. salt
    • 1/8 tsp. nutmeg
    • 1/3 c. cold butter , cut up (I grate frozen butter it works great)
    • 1/2 c. milk, (approximately)
    • 1/3 c. brown sugar, packed
    • 1/4 tsp. cinnamon
    • 14 oz cans of sliced peaches, drained and chopped

    1. Combine first 6 ingredients in large bowl. Cut in butter until mixture resembles coarse crumbs.
    2. Stir, adding enough milk until soft dough forms and hold together. 
    3. Turn out onto lightly floured surface. Knead gently 4-5 times until dough comes together. 
    4. Roll out on waxed paper on dampened work surface to about 8x15 rectangle.
    5. Combine brown sugar and cinnamon, sprinkle over dough leaving 1" edge at long side farthest from you.
    6. Scatter peaches over brown sugar mixture. 
    7. Roll up, jelly roll style, from long side closest to you using waxed paper as guide. 
    8. Press seam against roll to seal. Cut into 12 even slices used floured knife (use a serrated knife).
    9. Place in a 9" greased spring form pan, (I use a 9x13 pan). 
    10. Bake at 375 for 25 -30 minutes. Let stand in pan for 5 minutes. Transfer onto serving plate. Keep warm.
    11. Be sure to put you pan into warm water immediately for easy clean up....you'll be sorry if you don't, the sugary syrup hardens and becomes like stuck on candy.
    Caramel Sauce

    • 1/2 c. packed brown sugar
    • 1/4 c. butter or hard margarine
    • 1/4c. whipping cream
    • Toasted chopped almonds or pistachios, optional

    1. Combine brown sugar, butter and whipping cream in small heavy sauce pan. Heat and stir on medium heat until brown sugar is dissolved. 
    2. Boil gently for about 3 minutes, without stirring, until mixture is slightly thickened. 
    3. Makes about 2/3 cups sauce. 
    4. Drizzle over warm pull-aparts.
    5. Sprinkle with toasted nuts if desired.















    Icicles (Zuckerhoernchen)



    This is an old recipe that got circled around the Mennonites a generation ago and I’m not sure who still makes it. My mom made about 6 recipes to add to other goodies at our (large) wedding reception and so they still have a special memory attached to them for me. The only sugar in this light, flaky little twist is the sugar that you roll them in. You can make them in a vanilla or cinnamon flavor. The aroma that wafts out of the oven when you bake them is reason enough to try them!

    Ingredients:
    • 1 cup butter
    • 4 eggs
    • 1 cup whipping cream
    • 1/2 cup warm water
    • ½ teaspoon salt
    • 2 tablespoons instant yeast
    • 4 ½ - 5 cups flour, divided
    Sugar Coating:
    • 1 ½ cups sugar
    • ¼ teaspoon vanilla powder OR
    • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
    Method:
    1. Melt and cool (so it’s not still hot) 1 cup butter.
    2. Beat eggs well in large mixing bowl. 
    3. Add whipping cream, salt, water, 2 cups flour mixed with yeast, and butter, stirring each in well. Add the rest of the flour until it is well kneaded. (forms a ball around hook of kneading machine attachment, if using machine) It makes a nice smooth dough that is not sticky at all. Cover and refrigerate 6 hours, or overnight.
    4. Line 3 large cookie sheets with parchment paper. Divide dough into 3 parts. 
    5. Take one part at a time and shape into a log roll. Then, using sugar/vanilla mix or sugar/cinnamon mix for rolling out, roll into a 6 x 18 inch strip. Keep sprinkling sugar under and on top of dough as you roll.
    6. Cut into 1/2 inch strips. To form “ringlets” (icicles) twirl each strip around the upper part of your right index finger, slip off and push into a tight ringlet as you place them on cookie sheets.
    7. Bake at 350° F about 20 minutes.

    If you don’t use parchment paper, sprinkle flour on your sheets - but it is important that you loosen or remove icicles with lifter as soon as you’ve taken them out of the oven, or the sugar hardens, making it difficult to remove them later.
    This is a large recipe. It sounds like a lot of work, but mixing is quick and then you refrigerate it for night. In the morning it only takes about one hour to twirl and bake them and you don’t need to ice or glaze anything – they are ready to go. You can freeze them in an ice cream pail, but when you thaw them you want to open the lid so they don’t get soft. I have made half the recipe and rolled out 2 - 12 inch strips. Great for when you’re hosting a large group or adding to cookie trays at Christmas. They disappear quickly.

    Glums Koki..Cottage Cheese Cakes

    I remember my Mom making these often. I loved them then and still do! I make these cakes when I have leftover cottage cheese when making perogies. The recipe is in the Mennonite Treasury, must be the one my Mom used. They taste so good and bring back wonderful memories of when my Mom made them.
    • 1 1/2 cups dry cottage cheese
    • 3 eggs
    • 1/2 cup flour
    • 1 teaspoon salt
    1. Combine cottage cheese and eggs, mix well.
    2. Add flour and salt. Stir till well combined.
    3. Drop from spoon onto hot greased pan. Cook for approx 10 minutes, turn over after 5 minutes.
    4. I served them hot with applesauce and a green salad. 


    Potato Rolls

    I like trying different recipes for anything bread-like, since I have to have some kind of rolls in my freezer at all times. You never know when you may have to make a meal stretch or pack a quick sandwich.
    I found this recipe in the Mennonite Treasury a few years ago and was pleased with the results. It’s a basic bun recipe that calls for mashed potatoes. The rolls are extremely fluffy and soft, (no crusts here) making them a nice dinner roll - to sop up the gravy.


    Ingredients

    • 1 large or 2 medium potatoes cooked, plus water
    • 3/4 c milk, scalded
    • 1/4 cup sugar
    • 3/4 cup shortening (I used part butter)
    • 2 teaspoons salt
    • 5 eggs, beaten
    • 8 cups flour, divided
    • 2 tablespoons instant yeast

    Method

    1. Cook potatoes until soft. Mash along with about 1 cup of the water, so that you have 2 cups of mashed potatoes. Set aside.
    2. Scald milk, add sugar, shortening/butter and salt. 
    3. In the meantime beat eggs in large mixer. When the shortening/butter has melted, make sure it is not piping hot and add the liquids slowly to the beaten eggs. 
    4. Add mashed potatoes, 3 cups flour and then the yeast, mixing well.
    5. Add another 4 - 5 cups flour, or enough to make a soft, smooth dough. (If you don’t have a hook attachment on you large mixer, you will need to knead it by hand until satiny smooth.)
    6. Transfer dough to large bowl, cover with a clean tea towel and plastic. Let rise 1 hour.
    7. Shape into rolls, placing close together, but not touching, on greased pans.
    8. Cover the same way as before and rise again 1 hour.
    9. Bake at 375° F for about 20 min.
    10. Remove from pans and cool on wire racks. Yield: 3 dozen

    *Tip: I don't know where the right place is to mention this, but I have noticed that flour is not the same in every country. It's something to do with the way its processed. This can especially affect yeast doughs. If you live in the US you may try adding 1 or 2 tablespoons vital wheat gluten to the flour to prevent them from going flat.

    Easter Preparations


    Tomorrow is Easter and by now you have likely colored your eggs, set your menu, have your groceries purchased,  made your Paska and have also thought about how you will set your table.  

    We had a sibling dinner on Thursday so I am able to show you what our Easter table will look like again tomorrow.  The difference on Sunday will be two leaves added to accommodate the whole family.  



    If you want to know how to fold bunny ear napkins... Martha Stewart will show you how!



    My favourite flower in spring is Grape Hyacinth that can be found in garden stores in our area this time of year.  In the photo above you can see that I popped a plant into an egg cup and added a label to create a place card. 



    These wooden boxes keep changing with the seasons. 
    I've lined the wooden boxes with plastic and filled them with dirt.  
    It will be an easy cleanup when I want to transplant the English Daisies and Grape Hyacinth outside after Easter. 


    I've enjoyed playing around with natural ways to color eggs. 
    There is no lack of ideas on Pinterest if you want to know which vegetables are best to use for natural coloring!  


      If you want to avoid food colorings all together, this is an easy idea.  I used a white pen to draw designs on our brown eggs. 



    If you are running short on time and can't make it to the garden store, try to use whatever is growing in your yard. One year,  I picked some moss and some weeds with tiny flowers and popped them into these eggs cups to hold the place cards.


    If you haven't started baking Paska yet,  I'm happy to tell you it doesn't take as long as you think it might.   Here is the recipe.   

     All you need is
    • an orange
    • a lemon 
    • milk
    • butter
    • yeast
    • flour 
    • salt  
    • sugar. 
    It will take about 1/2 - 3/4 hour to mix up the dough, then it will need to rise for an hour.  After it has risen, shape into buns or loaves and then let rise about one more hour.  Bake loaves for about 25 minutes or buns about 15 minutes.  From start to finish you can have Paska in under four hours.  While the Paska is rising, set your table, color some eggs, make the icing and put together your Easter baskets!  





    Whatever you do to prepare for Easter, we wish you a most wonderful day celebrating what matters most, the risen Christ!  

    Happy Easter!

    Good Friday


    Matthew 27:45-46 Now from the sixth hour there was darkness over all the land until the ninth hour. And about the ninth hour Jesus cried out with a loud voice, saying, “Eli, Eli, lema sabachthani?” that is, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?”

    Matthew 27:50 And Jesus cried out again with a loud voice and yielded up his spirit.

    Matthew 27:54 When the centurion and those who were with him, keeping watch over Jesus, saw the earthquake and what took place, they were filled with awe and said, “Truly this was the Son of God!”

    John 19:31-33 Since it was the day of Preparation, and so that the bodies would not remain on the cross on the Sabbath (for that Sabbath was a high day), the Jews asked Pilate that their legs might be broken and that they might be taken away. So the soldiers came and broke the legs of the first, and of the other who had been crucified with him. But when they came to Jesus and saw that he was already dead, they did not break his legs.

    What Christ's Sacrifice Means for those who will believe

    Romans 6:22-23 But now that you have been set free from sin and have become slaves of God, the fruit you get leads to sanctification and its end, eternal life. For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.

    1 Peter 2:24 He himself bore our sins in his body on the tree, that we might die to sin and live to righteousness. By his wounds you have been healed.

    1 John 5:11-12 And this is the testimony, that God gave us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. Whoever has the Son has life; whoever does not have the Son of God does not have life.

    It's so comforting to know that Good Friday isn't the end of the story but that Resurrection Day is coming. God bless you as you prepare to celebrate Christ's Resurrection.

    For those of you who are still preparing food for Easter Sunday Celebrations I'll re-post my Seernaya Paska recipe here. You still have time for it to be ready to go with your Paska on Easter.


    Seernaya Paska for Kulich/Paska (Russian Easter Bread)
    The X and the B are for Xpucmoc Bockpec (Christ Arose)


    Seernaya Paska
    Ingredients:
    9- hard boiled eggs
    1-1/2 pounds Farmers cheese /a dry curd cheese like a dry cottage cheese can be substituted.
    1 cup whipping cream
    3/4 cup butter
    1-1/2 cups sugar

    Press the Farmers cheese through a sieve. (This is the hardest part of the recipe and optional) We do this if the cheese we are using has large curds. I usually use a wooden spoon and press it through a wire strainer a little at a time.
    Separate the egg yolks from the whites. (You will not be using the whites).
    Press the egg yolks through the sieve.
    Cream the sugar and butter together.
    Beat in the egg yolks.
    Beat in the cheese.
    Add whipping cream and mix well.
    You will place the mixture into a container lined with 3 layers of cheesecloth with holes in the bottom so the liquid can be strained. (I've used plastic flower pots adding extra holes in the bottom) You will need enough cheesecloth to wrap up and over the top of the cheese. Place the cheese mixture into the cheese cloth lined strainer. Bring the ends of the cheese cloth up and tie the ends on top of the cheese in a knot. Place the sieve into a larger bowl suspended with enough room for the cheese to drain without sitting in the drained liquid. Place a plate on top of the cheese an place a heavy rock, brick, or other weight on top of the plate. Refrigerate over night draining off the liquid every few hours.

    Farmers Cheese or Hoop Cheese can be hard to find. There are Russian/Ukrainian delis that sell a dry curd cottage type cheese that will work. If you can find a dry cottage cheese at the grocers that will work too.

    Paska

    Paska, Books, Lepps Farms...too much excitement for one week. By now most of us are back in our kitchens trying to prepare our last minute Easter Paska.
    We all have our favorites and so we repeat them over and over because our families love them. I'm sure by now, you've all tried Lovella's Paska Recipe, which is the recipe that united us, women, together. Thank-you Lovella for a wonderful tutorial.
    But today, I will share with you our family's tried and true version, the one that my kids keep asking me to bake, the one in the big pan that feeds the whole family.
    What's most important is, that this keeps bringing traditions and families together.
    I highly recommend that you check out Ellen's Paska Spread. I will be making this spread this year. When I tasted it, I realized that my grandmother had made it many years ago and  I could still savor the taste.
    Remember, it's only Thursday, it' never to late to make Paska...Keep practicing.
    • 1 cup milk (1/2 cup cream and 1/2 cup milk)
    • 1/2 cup melted butter
    • 1 cup water
    • 3 tablespoons yeast
    • 1/4 teaspoon salt
    • 8 - 10 whole eggs
    • 1 1/2 cups sugar
    • 2 tablespoons lemon zest
    • 10 cups flour.
    Kneading Machine Procedure
    1. Heat milk just to a scalding level, then add butter which will melt in the milk.
    2. Add 1 cup water to the milk mixture and by now this will have cooled down the hot milk.
    3. In mixing bowl blend half of the flour with fast-rising yeast, and add salt.
    4. Add liquids and blend for 5 minutes on the lowest setting.
    5. Combine sugar and eggs and lemon zest into a mixing bowl and beat for several minutes.
    6. Add remaining flour and add egg mixture into the kneading bowl, and knead at a high setting till the dough pulls away from the mixing bowl.
    7. Dough texture should remain soft.
    8. Let the dough rise in the mixing bowl till doubled in size. Cover with saran wrap and towel.
    9. Meanwhile, prepare your baking pans with cooking oil or parchment paper.
    10. Shape your dough into preferred pans and let rise again for 1 hour or till doubled in size.
    11. Bake at 325°  Buns need 20 minutes, while loaves need about 30-35 minutes. Check regularly that the bread does not get too brown on top.   
    12. Ice with your favorite spread.

    Here's my favorite icing.  I love this one because you can make it ahead of time and keep it in the fridge up to three months. It's also excellent for cinnamon buns.
    • 2 tablespoons cold water
    • 41/2 tablespoons white sugar
    • 2/3 cups shortening
    • 1 egg
    • 21/2 cup icing sugar
    • 1 teaspoon vanilla
    Dissolve white sugar in water. Shake or stir frequently. Set aside. Beat remaining ingredients to the consistency of whipped cream. Beat in sugar and water mixture. Store covered in the refrigerator. Will keep up to 3 months.
    Most of our family will slice the Paska and spread it on like butter. So take the extra spread along with you. And you must always add many colorful sprinkles.
    Meanwhile, let's not forget the real message of Easter in Paska making, but rather focus on who Jesus is; the Crucifixion and the Resurrection.

    Hilda's Glums Paska Spread

    This recipe is from my friend Hilda. It is a cottage cheese and egg spread to put on Paska. As a young child I didn't appreciate this spread but since tasting Hilda's spread several years ago . .it became strangely addictive.

    • 1 - 500 ml container dry cottage cheese
    • 1/4 cup room temperature butter
    • 1 1/2 cup white sugar
    • pinch salt
    • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
    • 1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
    • 3 small or 2 large hard boiled eggs ..roughly chopped (I make half her recipe which calls for 5 eggs)
    • 1 tablespoon unflavored gelatin softened in 1/4 cup warm water
    1. In a small saucepan heat the whipping cream and gelatin/water together. Simmer it a few minutes until it has slightly thickened. Don't boil it hard. . just a slight simmer is what you want.
    2. Remove from heat and allow to cool to room temperature.
    3. In a blender or food processor combine all the ingredients.
    4. Process until it is is thoroughly combined but still has a bit of texture.
    5. Fill a plastic container and put on a lid. ( I like to use a container size that is almost too small so that the lid presses down the spread to compact it slightly. (trial by error is my motto). . or put it in a glass bowl, cover with a plate and put something a little heavy ontop to press down.
    6. Chill well .. .and spread thickly on Paska.

    Looking at the Easter Table


    At this time of year I like to go and look for the first signs of spring . . .  even in the wild . . . tiny bright green leaves or delicate buds of all colors making their first appearance.
    A few sprigs in a vase can add a simple, yet beautiful look to the table.


    One Easter I used a bunny shaped chocolate container to cut out some large cookies
    and they added some fun.
    I rolled them out slightly thicker than the small cookies and baked them until golden around the edges. I let them cool on the cookie sheet for fear of breaking them.
    I've been asked for the icing recipe and, although I gladly share it, it's not one I  measure.
    Start with about 2 Tbsp of soft butter or margarine in a 4 cup measuring cup or bowl. 
    Then add about 2 cups of icing sugar (confectioners sugar) and a few Tbsp of milk. 
    Stir well and adjust to a consistency that spreads nicely ... 
    adding more icing sugar or milk, as needed. 
    For piping, make sure it's not too runny. 
    Spread on cookie and let air dry a few hours until set. 
    I froze these cookies and thawed them, leaving them to air dry,
     as the icing thawed out wet and then dried again.


    Another way to make a pretty centerpiece is to display sugar cookies in a basket.


    Behind this bunny, you will notice the Paska used as a centerpiece.
    I got that idea from Ellen.


    Still another way to use Paska in a decorative way, before it  disappears,
     is to make Paska in cupcake tins and put them in little cupcake baskets or holders.

    I hope these ideas inspire you today.
    You can find the sugar cookie recipe here
    and Lovella's Paska recipe here

    Two Sauces for Baked Ham



    On Easter Sunday, a traditional Mennonite meal includes Baked Ham, Plumamous, Zwiebach, either scalloped potatoes or potato salad and Paska - of course. 
    I remember the long tables set up in my Grandma's basement, loaded with wonderful food.
    There was lots of happy noise as the adults visited and we children ran up and down the stairs, excited to be with our cousins.

    A favourite condiment for the baked ham at our house is Mustard Sauce.
     It is sweet, creamy with just a bit of bite and compliments the ham to perfection.

    Mustard Sauce
    • 2/3 cup sugar
    • 1 tablespoon dry mustard
    • 4 eggs
    • 1/4 cup vinegar
    • 1 tablespoon butter
    1. Mix dry ingredients first.
    2. Beat 4 eggs until lemon coloured and fluffy.
    3. Gradually add dry ingredients and vinegar.
    4. Microwave at high for 1 minute.
    5. Stir well.
    6. Continue to microwave at one minute intervals (I often use a lower power), stirring each time until mixture thickens but is still creamy. You will need to watch it carefully that it does not overcook. Do not allow it to bubble. When it overcooks it loses its creamy texture.
    7. Stir in butter and cool.
    8. Refrigerate until serving. Serve with baked ham.
    9. Store any leftovers in the fridge. This is also delicious spread on ham or sausage sandwiches.

    The second sauce is a favourite of our oldest son's. Because of the raisins in it I prefer to serve it when Plumamous is not on the menu.
    Raisin Sauce
    • 1/4 cup brown sugar
    • 3 tablespoons. cornstarch
    • 1 1/2 cups water (you can use some of the broth from the ham as part of the water. Just be aware that it will be somewhat salty)
    • 1/4 cup vinegar
    • 1/2 cup sultana raisins (washed)
    • Juice and rind of 1/2 a lemon or orange
      Add liquids and stir well.
    1. Blend dry ingredients in glass bowl or pot.
    2. Stir in raisins, juice and rind.
    3. Microwave at one minute intervals, stirring each time or cook over medium heat on stove.
    4. Cook until it thickens and begins to bubble.
    5. Serve warm with baked ham or roast pork.

    Peach Mango Ham Steak


    If you're still wondering what kind of meat you want to prepare for Easter and if you only have a few people to serve this is the perfect ham dish. It's easy, pretty and delicious. If you have more people to serve, buy more ham steaks and make extra sauce.
    This peach mango sauce can also be used over ice cream or in a crisp. So many possibilities.
     Recipe adapted from an old Country Woman magazine.
    • 1 ham steak, 1 1/2 pounds, fully cooked. It doesn't really matter if it's a little over or under that weight. The one I purchased was approx 1/2" thick.
    • 1 can of sliced peaches (473 ml / 16 oz), drained. Reserve 1/2 cup syrup.
    • 1 mango, peeled and cut into strips. I used a medium sized mango but it doesn't really matter.
    • 1 tablespoon sugar
    • 2 teaspoons cornstarch
    • 1/8 teaspoon cinnamon
    • 1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
    • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
    • 1/2 cup orange juice
    1. Grill ham steak just long enough to heat through and to give it nice grill marks. Cover and keep warm while preparing peach mango sauce.
    2. In a medium size bowl (microwave safe) whisk together sugar, cornstarch, cinnamon, nutmeg, lemon juice, orange juice, and reserved peach syrup.
    3. Cook until thickened and smooth, approximately 4 minutes, whisking frequently to prevent lumps.
    4. Stir in peach and mango slices.
    5. Pile on top of your ham steak, making sure you get some of the sauce as well. If you have extra, serve at the table for those who would like more fruit.
    6. Serves: 4 

    Easter Egg Nests


    Over the past decade, we have made wee bird's nests in my kitchen every year about this time. From the oldest to the youngest, the grands have all participated.  Usually, we make the nests from rice krispee treats and add little peeps and eggs.  This year we tried something different as well.  The nests are made using a 'Chinese Noodle Cookie' recipe.
    • 1 cup chocolate chips (semi-sweet or milk chocolate)
    • 1 cup butterscotch chips
    • 3 cups chow mein noodles

    1. Line a baking sheet with parchment or waxed paper.
    2. Place chocolate and butterscotch  chips in large glass bowl. 
    3. Heat in microwave at full power, stirring every 30 seconds until chips are melted (about two minutes).
    4. Stir in chow mein noodles until fully coated.
    5. Drop by large scoops onto prepared baking sheet, forming a nest shape with your fingers.
    6. Place a few 'birds eggs' in the center of each nest.
    7. Chill for 30 minutes to harden. 
    To make the nests of Rice Krispee Treats...press scoops of the mixture into greased muffin pans and shape into nests.  Or simply forms balls of the mixture and create free-form nests with well-greased hands on a lined cookie sheet.  Then call the wee grands...

      ...and let them fill the nests with 'peeps and eggs'.  It's a fun Easter project for kids in the kitchen!

      This year Lucy, the youngest grand (upper right), came to help me fill the nests.  Some went home with her.  Others are the place-cards for our family dinner this Easter.


      If you are in need of some bird's nests for your Easter table...there is still time.  Both methods are simple...and can be created in short order.

      Happy Easter from my kitchen to yours!