Tuesday, December 31, 2013
Mazidra is a rather new addition to my box of favoured recipes. I was introduced to this tasty dish some years ago when I was helping with a healthy cooking class at church. I was doing the recipe demonstrations and this dish was on the menu. Never having even heard or tasted this before I was left to follow the recipe to the letter and I was happily pleased with the outcome. So many "healthy" recipes aren't fit to feed a dog let alone a hungry family. Food needs to be tasty as well as healthy!
Sunday, December 29, 2013
I don't know when I started making glazed carrots but I have been for many years. They usually show up at special meals like Christmas or birthdays, but every once in a while I make them because we like them.
These would make a lovely side dish for your New Year's Day dinner. In Newfoundland, the New Year's Day dinner is just as big an affair as Christmas dinner with family gathering for another substantial feast, although usually later in the day because of the late night festivities of New Year's Eve.
Wednesday, December 25, 2013
May you all have a wonderful Christmas.
The Christmas Story
And it came to pass in those days that a decree went out from Caesar Augustus that all the world should be registered. This census first took place while Quirinius was governing Syria. So all went to be registered, everyone to his own city.
Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth, into Judea, to the city of David, which is called Bethlehem, because he was of the house and lineage of David, to be registered with Mary, his betrothed wife, who was with child. So it was, that while they were there, the days were completed for her to be delivered. And she brought forth her firstborn Son, and wrapped Him in swaddling cloths, and laid Him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn.
Tuesday, December 24, 2013
When we were little girls my sister looked forward to the days Mom would make a steamed date pudding. I didn't like dates in pudding and would eat around them. Back then I'd rather have raisins in a pudding but my taste has changed from those many years ago around the old dining room table and today a steamed date pudding holds a place of high regard in my repertoire of dessert recipes.
Every Christmas Eve my sister Heather and I would hang our little stockings on the fireplace mantel and go to bed. Mom had made these stockings when I was about 7 years old and they were hung with great ceremony and excitement with the promise of great rewards to shortly appear. We were not "believers" (being wise beyond our years) and knew who the real Mr. & Mrs. Santa Claus were. Nevertheless, the excitement level was just as high or perhaps higher knowing who would fill our stockings to overflowing and actually change the stockings into something almost magical by morning.
Sunday, December 22, 2013
Here's a selection of pudding sauces you can use over a steamed pudding. My mother served pudding several times a month and our favourite sauce was the Nutmeg Sauce but we were often served a Brown Sugar Sauce as well. There are a few more I will add over the next few months but these three will give you something to work with now.
I know some of you out there will turn up your noses at this recipe as you may be on a gluten-free diet but for those of you who eat bread this is the dish for you. I was doing a little research on the gluten-free diet craze and found out 80% of people on a gluten-free diet don't have a Celiac Disease diagnosis. (Mayo Clinic Research published in American Journal of Gastroenterology) Some people who are not diagnosed with Celiac Disease may have an intolerance to gluten but most of the general public can eat away at wheat and other grain products. Gluten is actually the protein left in the grain when the starch is taken away and is a good source of vegetable protein for vegetarians or anyone wanting to incorporate more plant products into their diet.
Tuesday, December 17, 2013
Saturday, December 14, 2013
Here's a very special Jam Square that holds more memories than I can tell you about. Aunt Cora always served these when my sister and I visited her when we were children.
|Lois, Fella and Heather|
Aunt Cora, my father's sister, lived with her two unmarried cousins, Will and Elsie. The house was devoid of most childhood pleasures, except for Aunt Cora's dolls which adorned her bedroom and a few board games like Ludo. We weren't allowed to play with the dolls because they were keepsakes, and I suppose they were much too old to be played with anyway. But Aunt Cora liked to give us a good time when we visited and would play games like Ludo and Tiddly Winks with us. And we were allowed to play with the old dog, Fella, patting him gently while telling him he was a good dog.
Friday, December 13, 2013
It was an unusually cold and windy day. Brrrrrrrr..... -10 C and the windchill was even colder. Felt just like the dead of winter. December is not usually THAT cold.
Verna (my daughter-in-law's mother) and I were babysitting our little granddaughter who lives an hour's drive from our town. We dropped into the local Dominion Superstore before we started our
"job" and I found bags of red lentils marked down 50%. Oh, joy! I love those pink tags. I purchased 3- two pound bags as lentils never go bad if they are kept dry. You could probably use lentils that had come from the tombs of the Pharaohs, but the best before date on these is 2015!
Tuesday, December 10, 2013
But now, the plates being changed by Miss Belinda, Mrs. Cratchit left the room alone, -- too nervous to bear witnesses, -- to take the pudding up, and bring it in. Suppose it should not be done enough! Suppose it should break in turning out! Suppose somebody should have got over the wall of the back yard, and stolen it, while they were merry with the goose,. . . All sorts of horrors were supposed. . . . In half a minute Mrs. Cratchit entered, -- flushed but smiling proudly, -- with the pudding, like a speckled cannon-ball, so hard and firm, . . . with Christmas holly stuck into the top.
O, a wonderful pudding! Bob Cratchit said, and calmly too, that he regarded it as the greatest success achieved by Mrs. Cratchit since their marriage. Mrs. Cratchit said that now the weight was off her mind, she would confess she had had her doubts about the quantity of flour. Everybody had something to say about it, but nobody said or thought it was at all a small pudding for a large family. Any Cratchit would have blushed to hint at such a thing.
~A Christmas Carol, Charles Dickens
Christmas Pudding was and still is a traditional part of my Christmas dinner. My mother was a great hand at making steamed puddings. We just took it for granted that some kind of pudding would appear on the menu several times a month. They were usually plain or studded with raisins, dates or blueberries. While my school friends may have consumed a plain or figgy duff with their potatoes and gravy, at our house pudding was strictly reserved for dessert. Slices of steaming hot pudding, floating in a milky white nutmeg sauce, would be served when we had dutifully cleaned and scraped our plates clean. But at Christmas the ordinary pudding was forsaken for a it's glamorous cousin--the Christmas Pudding.
Sunday, December 08, 2013
Here is one of the easiest baked cookies you can make and everyone seems to love them. Magic Cookie Bars, Hello Dollies, Christmas Squares, 6 or 7 Layer Bars or whatever regional name they go by are an ooey, gooey, chewy cookie bar that's almost impossible to resist. It seems everyone has a recipe for this cookie, some with with minor changes or additions but it's basically the same cookie. Today I used Chipits vanilla flavoured holiday chips to replace some of the semi-sweet chips. I thought they would lend a festive holiday look to the cookies. I don't particularly like the vanilla flavoured chips but I was gifted with 4 or 5 bags of them and thought I'd use some this way. Mixed in with the real chocolate they were really good.
Friday, December 06, 2013
Here's a cake for all you people who cannot or will not take the heavy doses of sugar and fat in traditional fruit cakes. This cake is sweetened with the natural sugars found in dates and raisins and no other sweetener is added or needed. And as an added bonus it's cholesterol free as well. There's really nothing bad for your health in this cake. It's full of unsweetened fruit, nuts, whole grain flour and oil instead of butter. You could eat this for breakfast and feel totally justified in doing so. It's so good for you it could be called the "elixir of life."
Thursday, December 05, 2013
Read on and you may find you've only tasted badly baked cake.
Boiled Raisin/Fruit Cake is another recipe from my friend Patricia. You might remember her Lemon Squares posted a few weeks ago. Patricia introduce me to this cake shortly after she was married, while living in that tiny apartment.
Mom always made fruit cakes for Christmas. I remember the big bowls of dried and candied fruit that had to be cut by hand weeks before the holidays. But this was a different kind of cake. It was lighter in texture almost like a ginger bread, very moist and spicy with lots of plump raisins. You didn't have to make this weeks before Christmas either, as it was ready to eat the day after it was made. Mom always said it wasn't real cake because real cake had eggs and this one didn't. She'd put a piece in her mouth, chew it up, roll her eyes and then proclaim it was alright but not real cake. So I started adding a couple of eggs to the batter whenever I made this to send to my sister and Mom. I guess I've turned into my mother because now I usually make this cake with eggs.
Wednesday, December 04, 2013
I've been making (and eating) lots of rich sweet cookies and cake lately, getting ready for Christmas, so I decided it was time I made something "healthy" to give my arteries a break. These burgers are not only vegetarian but vegan and if you use the gluten free oats and Bragg's Aminos they're also gluten free. I don't do gluten free, but for my friend Lynda I'm giving you these alternate ingredients. The burgers are not called "Chik'n Burgers" because they taste like chicken but because they contain chick peas so don't expect to have a substitute McChicken Burger when you taste these. They're good just the way they are.
Tuesday, December 03, 2013
I've been making these Spritz Cookies on and off for years. I first used a cookie press but that was more trouble than it was worth. All those cookie design plates had to be removed for each shape and then washing the thing with it's small chamber was always a hassle for me. I never did get the hang of it and my cookies were misshapen at best. Poor little lopsided Christmas trees and stars. Then I discovered the pastry bag and large French star tip and things took off. They're still a bit fussy to make but they look so nice on a Christmas cookie platter.
Sunday, December 01, 2013
If you're a chocolate lover you'll really love these. Actually, I should say if you're a cocoa lover you'll really love these. I think most people, unless they are a chocolate aficionado, wouldn't really taste a big difference. How many of you substitute cocoa in a chocolate frosting recipe? I do, all the time. And most of us are just as happy to melt a bag of ordinary chocolate chips to spread over a cookie as hunt down a fine couverature chocolate. Anyway, these little truffles will do nicely to fill in the gaps on a Christmas cookie tray.
Saturday, November 30, 2013
Here's an easy cookie for the holidays using condensed milk. You could actually make these macaroons with just two ingredients but a little salt and vanilla really enhances their taste. The flour is optional if, when baking your macaroons, they flatten out. I suppose humidity in the air might affect the mixture in some way. (That last statement is in no way a scientific fact--just a guess.) The flour will bind the ingredients together so you keep that characteristic mound. Try baking a test cookie before adding flour.
Thursday, November 28, 2013
Pooh always liked a little something at eleven o'clock in the morning, and he was very glad to see Rabbit getting out the plates and mugs; and when Rabbit said, "Honey or condensed milk with your bread?" he was so excited that he said, "Both," and then, so as not to seem greedy, he added, "But don't bother about the bread, please." ~A. A. MilneThere's nothing better than fresh bread and butter with a thick layer of condensed milk spread on top. I'm afraid poor old Rabbit would have had to buy lots of condensed milk if I had been there with Pooh. But he'd probably have to take out a mortgage on his rabbit hole to satisfy the demands that Pooh and I would put on his larder.
Condensed milk is not an inexpensive ingredient in cookies and desserts. Unless you are lucky enough to buy a good supply when you find a sale, the cans can run close to or even over $4. I refuse to pay this amount and usually make my own.
Tuesday, November 26, 2013
I'm always trying to find the perfect butter cake. One that's moist and fluffy and just feels and tastes right in the mouth. I hate a dry cake and I suppose everyone does, too. I've had a recipe for a 2-Egg Butter Cake in my box for years but it's not that perfect blend of everything that's right with cake. After some research I changed the recipe some and this is what I came up with. I don't know if it's a perfect cake but it's a better cake.
Sunday, November 24, 2013
My friend, Patricia introduced me to these lovely lemon squares many years ago. She would make these in a tiny kitchen in her very small basement apartment she shared with her husband. I could have eaten the whole pan but I asked her for the recipe instead. She made them using a packaged lemon pie filling mix as do most people. I've been making homemade filling lately and I'll share that recipe as well.
These are not the lemon squares you'll find on the Food Network but you do find them at Newfoundland homes and parties. The coconut shortbread base and crumb topping are perfect with the luscious lemon filling. Mmmmm. . . lemon and coconut. That's tropical enough to make you forget about winter.
Friday, November 22, 2013
When I looked out the window yesterday morning I knew it was a soup kind of day. The storm had started the night before and we awoke to a miserable day with snow mixed with rain and high winds. We were fortunate, I guess, as my brother-in-law who lives only 5 kilometres farther down the bay spent half the morning plowing and scooping his driveway. Schools were closed, the RCMP were advising drivers to stay off the roads, the neighbour's roof shingles were flying all over the road (the house on the right) but the birds were flapping about as happily as could be. The little black specks on the snow and in the tree on the left side of the picture are our neighbourhood Starlings.
Thursday, November 21, 2013
I've been making bread since I've been married and I made it for years using a large bowl, kneading by hand and using traditional active dry yeast. Then I discovered instant rise yeast and my bread baking time was almost cut in half. I love it and regardless of what the experts say about regular yeast imparting a better flavour to the bread, I'm all for progress. I still give the bread a rise after mixing it but the time is so much shorter than before.
Tuesday, November 19, 2013
Mrs. Spracklin was my father's cousin. We lived next door to each other and I guess, as a child, I saw her nearly every day of my life. I never called her anything other than "Mrs. Spracklin" which irritated my father. He would always tell me to call her "Aunt Beth" because she was my cousin. ("Aunt" being a term of respect towards an elder female cousin.) I could never bring myself to call her "Aunt" and it wasn't because she wasn't a nice lady. To me she was a tall imposing woman who knew what she was about and the "Mrs." title just seemed appropriate to my young mind.
Mrs. Spracklin was a wonderful cook and I loved going next door to taste anything she happened to be cooking or baking at that time. Every day she made a large dinner for her family and her dining room table was usually graced by her husband, two sons, two daughters-in-law, several grandchildren, and usually a couple of hired men who worked for the family's businesses. I don't know if she ever sat down with them as she was always busy dishing up the meal. If my memory is correct Mrs. Spracklin started every dinner with soup, then continued with a main course and ended with a dessert. No one ever went away from her table hungry.
Monday, November 18, 2013
I always liked stew. Even as a child stew was a favourite meal. I guess it was partly because I loved gravy, vegetables and meat. I've since become vegetarian but still crave the comfort of a bowl of beef stew. And so I make stew. Sometimes I sauté mushrooms to take the place of the meat in stew but more recently I've found this very nice and tasty fake beef, a Blue Menu product by President's Choice (Loblaws). Don has requested stew for dinner so I thought you'd like to see how I make stew. I'm serving the stew with biscuits. You can get the recipe here
Making stew is more a process than a recipe and the type and amounts of vegetables are interchangeable. I tend more towards root vegetables as I like the traditional beef stew style. So here goes. . .
When I was a little girl my mother would make these biscuits by the pan-full. I couldn't wait for them to come out of the oven so I could slather on the butter and jam and eat to my heart's content. Mom would make them with the smallest cutter and the little golden biscuits just begged to be eaten in excess, which I gladly obliged.
These biscuits are equally at home with jam and butter as they are with a slice of cheese or a smear of peanut butter. But I think they are best right from the oven with butter melting over the soft ragged insides of the biscuit.
Saturday, November 16, 2013
Here's a quick and easy square or snack cake for the festive platter. I made two batches this morning because I'm freezing them for Christmas. If you use the packaged graham wafer crumbs they don't take much more than the time it takes to melt the butter and beat the egg.
Thursday, November 14, 2013
In Newfoundland Chocolate Coconut Snowballs are as synonymous with Christmas as Santa Claus. We just call them Snowballs and they can be found in every grocery store, bakery and most convenience stores in the province. But, of course, homemade is best.
Tuesday, November 12, 2013
A powdery sprinkle of snow this morning reminds me Christmas is just around the corner. It's time to start baking those wonderful goodies associated with the season. I'm going to start off with shortbread but not just any ordinary shortbread--Orange Ambrosia Shortbread. Ambrosia was once thought to be food for the gods. Now, doesn't that sound grand. But it's not the name that make these so good it's the taste and smell.
Wednesday, November 06, 2013
These brownies harken back to my childhood, although I didn't think I was a child at that time. I was an employed teenager, babysitting 3 adorable little kids for the summer. Their mom, Bernice was re-entering the job market and asked me if I'd be interested babysitting for the summer. Oh, was I ever interested! The money wasn't too bad--I think it was something like $20 a week, just enough to make me an independent working woman. The four of us, Greg, Jackie, Jennifer and I, spend a lovely summer together playing outside, reading, traipsing off to the library or park, making crafts and listening to the songs of Gilbert and Sullivan on the dining room stereo. Even today if I hear "I Am the Very Model of a Modern Major-General" or "Three Little Maids From School Are We" I immediately think of that year with the Morgans.
Monday, November 04, 2013
I'm rather partial to canned tomatoes and as a child I'd often eat them cold from the can but on a chilly fall or winter day I'll give up the cold tomatoes and trade them in for this stew. The tender cheesy dumplings almost melt into the tomato broth and give extra substance to the dish.
The recipe looks long and involved but it really isn't. When I was working, getting something on the table quickly was often the order of the day. I guess this is how the recipe came about. The stew is quick to make (faster than ordering pizza) and cheap as well. Depending on how fast you can open a couple of cans and chop onions and mushrooms, it can be ready in 30 or 40 minutes. The cheese can be totally eliminated if you prefer not to have that, but I really like cheese and it compliments the tomatoes perfectly. The recipe makes 4 servings but if you'd like to stretch it out to serve 6 just add an extra can of tomatoes.
Saturday, November 02, 2013
My family has always been partial to jelly type salads and desserts and I've been happy to make them but since the boys have grown up and have families of their own I seldom make these dishes anymore. But the other day I was thinking I'd like something jiggly for dessert but didn't want to make up a sugary Jell-o (not that I'm opposed to sugar in desserts!!!). I was thinking more about something fruity but not a baked dessert. I knew I had a recipe for a homemade orange gelatin dessert that I'd never made before. So no time like the present to try it out.
Friday, November 01, 2013
Thursday, October 31, 2013
Zucchinis in the store,
Zucchinis more and more!
Well, that's how it's supposed to happen. Everyone says zucchini is so easy to grow and there's always too much of the stuff. People joke about sneaking around the neighbourhood after dark,leaving zucchini on doorsteps, trying to get rid of the abundance of their harvest.
It never happened to me. I planted zucchini in my garden and got nothing. Some days all I had were female flowers and other days nothing but male flowers. And the days I had both male and female flowers blossoming it was raining so hard the pollen was too soggy to make little fertilized zucchini. Sooooo..... no zucchini in my garden. And I had great visions of graciously passing out my overflow crop to family and friends. Sigh..... Today I bought zucchini at the supermarket.
Tuesday, October 29, 2013
Halloween is coming up in a day or two and, of course, there will the hoards of neighbourhood children knocking on our door looking for a treat. This year I'm giving out juice boxes, bucking the tradition of candy or chips. My son says I'm going to get "egged" in protest. Ah, well, I'm sure some of those kids will enjoy sipping on a juice box while devouring their pile of candy and chips. And I'm betting a few parents will be pleased with my choice.
Monday, October 28, 2013
I've had this cookie recipe for years and forgot I had it. Last Christmas I searched for a sugar cookie recipe but couldn't find anything I wanted to make. Wish I had remembered this recipe. But I've found it now, tucked in that old recipe box, and it's just as delicious as I remembered. Funny, I didn't think of that last year.
Friday, October 25, 2013
Nanny Hemeon was my daughter-in-law's grandmother and this is her recipe for molasses raisin bread. I've known the Hemeons for years. When I was a kid I first became friends with Louise and Barbara at summer camp. We kept in contact over the years and then I moved to the same town. We attended the same church and I came to know their mother, Mrs. Hemeon, as a lovely Christian woman who always had a smile for this young teacher miles from home. Mrs. Hemeon raised a family of 14 children and was well known for her baking and cooking skills. Who would have known, all those years ago, that my son, Peter and Mrs. Hemeon's granddaughter, Vicki (who were not even born) would fall in love and get married.
Thursday, October 24, 2013
This recipe comes from a magazine clipping and I guess it must have been in my box about 15 years or more. A friend passed on the recipe because she thought I might like it. I don't know the name of the magazine but there is a name attached to the recipe. It says "from the kitchen of Violeta Rodriguez." I have looked at this recipe over the years and always thought it would make a nice supper dish but never made it until now.
Tuesday, October 22, 2013
Monday, October 21, 2013
|A taste of summer.|
Thursday, October 17, 2013
I love cookies. I've been eating them all my life and have been known to sit down with a can of cookies and a glass of milk and do quite a bit of damage to both the contents of the can and my waist line. I'm talking about homemade cookies, not those poor, pathetic store-bought, symmetrical rounds of baked cardboard that pass as cookies at the supermarket. (Though I have forced myself to eat those in emergencies.) I guess I was spoiled from childhood by a parade of great cookie makers. My dad was renowned for his cookies as were many of my aunts and church members. Even today in Newfoundland, any home baker worth her/his salt can produce an array of baked cookies and squares to rival any gourmet bakery.
Wednesday, October 16, 2013
|Ready to eat.|
For part of my school years, I attended college in Massachusetts. I still can't spell that state's name, although I mastered the spelling while I lived there. While there I met and became friends with Lynda. Eventually we became roommates for a semester and when Lynda became engaged she asked me to be one of her bridesmaids. I was thrilled to be asked and agreed to be one of her attendants for an August wedding at her hometown in Maryland.
Monday, October 14, 2013
When I was seven years old my third cousin, Ron married Helen. Helen moved from Ontario to Newfoundland to work as an accountant in our church office and was the person whom we kids took our school fees to every month. (Until 1997 all schools in Newfoundland were church run schools.) The church offices were connected to the school by a short hallway and it was like going to Narnia on the day we were allowed to go pay our fees. After Ron and Helen married I saw her just about every day because she and Ron would eat dinner (lunch) at his mother's place which was next door to my house.
Sunday, October 13, 2013
Mrs. Davies was our minister's wife and the mother of my sister's best friend, Beth. Heather, my sister, often stayed over at the Davies' and would sometimes bring home samples of Mrs. Davies' baking. And of course, there were the church socials and potlucks that gave me an opportunity to taste Mrs. Davies' best provisions. I was always on hand to taste anything new as the Davies were from the "mainland" and often introduced a new recipe into my ever growing collection. My mother made cakes but this was a new one to me because it used hot milk.
Sunday, October 06, 2013
Barb showed up in my life when we were in grade 8. She was from "around the bay" and seemed a little too sure of herself for the "new" girl in class. I don't ever recall calling her a "bayman" to her face. Regardless of her "unfortunate" background she soon became part of my circle of friends. By high school Dawn, Barb and I were like triplets, joined at the hip and of one mind. We were all short girls but Barb was the most petite of the three of us. She always had a boyfriend and was quite particular about her hair and clothing. Dawn and I would often roll our eyes at each other as we waited and watched Barb arrange and rearrange her hair before we went out together.
Wednesday, October 02, 2013
If I had a choice between a slice of chocolate cake and a slice of cherry cake the cherry cake would win hands down. (Not that I couldn't be forced to eat a piece of chocolate cake, mind you, if push came to shove.) As I type the lovely aroma of that sweet treat is filling the air as the cake slowly bakes and the crust turns a lovely golden brown. I'm almost drooling.