Tuesday, August 30, 2011

AMISH PEANUT BUTTER SPREAD


I had my first introduction to this delicious creamy spread in a
Mennonite restaurant.  It was on the table with the other condiments
and I had no idea what it was.  My daughter said it was yummy so
I tried it on the mini slices of bread that were served as an appetizer.
I was won over with one taste.


An Amish friend told me that simple refreshments are served after the
Sunday Church services.  It is a time for fellowship and  also because it could take
some time to drive home with a horse and buggy.
This peanut butter spread is on the menu. 


I remember peanut butter and honey sandwiches in my school lunch box.
By noon the honey would be a bit crystallized.
There is no need for honey with this spread and it goes on to
a slice of bread ... oh so smooth!

AMISH PEANUT BUTTER SPREAD

1 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup water
2 tbsp. butter
1/4 cup corn syrup

Combine sugar, water and butter in a saucepan. Bring to a boil and
simmer for 2 to 3 minutes.  Stir in syrup.

1 ½ cups peanut butter
1 cup marshmallow creme
½ tsp. vanilla

Add peanut butter, marshmallow creme and vanilla.  Beat together until
blended.  Spread will set as it cools.  Keep refrigerated.
Yield: about 4 cups

Sunday, August 28, 2011

A FOREVER FEAST, ROCKS


There was a time I did not like rocks.  I did not see their beauty...
I did not see their value.


Rocks were a bother ... rocks were a nuisance.
Rocks had to be picked off the fields ... rocks broke machinery.


I appreciate rocks now .... I don't have to pick them in the hot sun
in a vast dusty field.  I see their beauty. I see their significance.


Rocks and stones have potential.



Simple little stones can be turned into a thing of beauty and learning.


This Rock is a memorial to it's strength and steadfastness..  It has stood here
solid and immovable through fierce storms and gales.


For who is God besides the Lord?
And who is the ROCK except our God?
Psalm 18:31


The Lord is my rock, my fortress and my deliverer;
my God is my rock, in whom I take refuge.
Psalm 18:2

The Lord lives!  Praise be to my rock!
Exhalted be God my Savior!
Psalm 18:46

Saturday, August 27, 2011

RHUBARB SLICE


Rhubarb is mostly over but someone gave me a bundle of fresh
stalks so I made this delicious square.


I am very generous with the amount of rhubarb that I put on to the
crust because I want a prominent flavor of fruit.


The streusel topping, delicately browned, gives this dessert a special touch


Serve plain or with a scoop of vanilla ice cream.

RHUBARB SLICE

1 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 cup sugar
1 tsp. baking powder
1/4 cup butter or margarine

Mix dry ingredients and butter in food processor until mixture is crumbly.
Turn into a mixing bowl.

1/2 cup milk
1 egg
1 tsp. vanilla

Whip egg with a fork; stir in milk and vanilla.  Add to crumb mixture; stir
until blended.  Spread into a greased 9 x 13-inch baking pan.

5 cups chopped rhubarb
1/2 cup sugar
3 tbsp. minute tapioca
1/4 tsp. cinnamon

Combine and spread evenly over crust in pan.

1 ¼ cup flour
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup butter or margarine, melted

Combine flour, sugar and butter until mixture resembles coarse
crumbs.  Sprinkle over rhubarb.
Bake in preheated 350° oven for 40 to 45 minutes or until struesel
is delicately browned. 

Friday, August 26, 2011

ZUCCHINI LOAF


                                                                       

Zucchini grow in profusion this time of year and they are so
good in a loaf.

ZUCCHINI LOAF

4 eggs
1 cup sugar
1 cup brown sugar
1 cup vegetable oil
2 tsp. vanilla

Beat eggs until frothy.  Add sugars, oil and vanilla and continue
beating until mixture is thick and creamy.

3 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. salt

Combine dry ingredients and add to egg mixture; beat well.

2 ½ cups raw zucchini, peeled and shredded
1 cup coarsely chopped nuts

Fold zucchini and nuts into batter.
Pour into two greased and floured 9 x 5 - inch loaf pans or
three 8 x 4 - inch loaf pans.
Or line pans with parchment paper.
Bake in preheated 350° oven for 45 to 50 minutes until wooden
pick inserted in center comes out clean.
Cool for 10 minutes.  Loosen sides of loaves; remove from pans.
Cool completely before slicing.

                                                                   

Thursday, August 25, 2011

SESAME SNAP WAFERS


Brimming with toasted seeds, these wafers have a crunchy snap.


If you like these, you will like the homemade version.
I was addicted to these little packages before I found the recipe for the wafers.
Now I prefer the ones I make because they are not nearly as sweet.
 Alright, I confess I still buy them on occasion.


Toast the sesame seed on a shallow baking pan.


The wafer dough is quite soft; chill after mixing to make it easier
to work with.


A cookie scoop is less messy than using your hands,
and works great to get a uniform size.


Flatten slightly with a glass tumbler that has a flat bottom.
Because the dough is sticky, dip glass bottom in water and
shake off the excess.


As the wafers cool they become crisp, yet chewy.


When I made these wafers for market, one of my customers told
me she takes them home and bakes them again to make them very crisp.


Tied up and ready for gift giving.

SESAME SNAP WAFERS

1/2 cup butter or margarine, softened
1 cup brown sugar, lightly packed
1 egg
1 tsp. vanilla

Cream butter and sugar together until fluffy.  Add egg and vanilla;
beat until creamy.

2/3 plus 2 tbsp. all-purpose flour
1/4 tsp. baking powder

Blend flour and baking powder.  Add to creamed mixture until combined.

1¼ cups sesame seeds, toasted

Stir in seeds.
Drop by teaspoonfuls 2 inches apart onto cookie sheet lined with
parchment paper.  Bake in preheated 350° oven for 8 to 9 minutes or
until lightly browned.  Cool for 5 minutes on sheet, then transfer to rack
to cool completely.  Store in airtight container.
Yield: about 36 wafers

* To toast sesame seeds, place in large ungreased shallow pan.
Bake at 300° for 8 to 10 minutes until lightly golden.

Monday, August 22, 2011

FROZEN LEMON CUBES


This is something I do that doesn't need a recipe.
Rather than buy a bottle of lemon juice, I buy a bag of fresh lemons
or 'citrons' in French.
Pay no attention to the brand, 'Bee Sweet'; it is misleading as
far as lemons go.


Squeeze out the juice and strain; pour into ice cube trays and freeze.
The ice cube trays will not be stained.


After they are frozen, slip them out of the trays onto a
sheet of wax paper.


Put them into a zip-lock bag and back into the freezer.
I love the convenience of having lemon cubes of various sizes
at my disposal whenever a recipe calls for lemon.
They don't take much space and they stay fresh for a long time.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

A FOREVER FEAST


In the beginning of July the cherries trees were laden with clusters of
fruit.  Due to the cool Spring they were a bit later than usual.


Every year of my life I have enjoyed cherries from the orchards located
along the beautiful Flathead lake at Big Fork, Montana.
When I was growing up, the two days of summer that we spent going
there to pick cherries were the most glorious.
First there was the spectacular drive over Logan Pass that almost
took my breath away.
Then there was the magical night away from home at the edge of this
fabulous body of water.
Thirdly I loved savoring the first bite into the juicy plump red fruit.


None of the orchards are on level ground but rather on the
steep hillside rising up from the water.
Picking fruit there might be a challenge but a lovely one.


Blessed is the man who does not walk in the counsel
of the wicked or stand in the way of sinners
or sit in the seat of mockers.
But his delight is in the law of the Lord,
and in his law he meditates day and night.
He is like a tree planted by streams of water,
which yields its fruit in season
and whose leaf does not whither.
Whatsoever he does prospers.
Psalm 1: 1-3

(Jesus said) 'I am the vine; you are the branches.
If a man remains in me and I in him, he will bear much
fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.'
John 15:5

Saturday, August 20, 2011

BUTTERY GREEN BEANS WITH ALMONDS


Saturdays are busy days at the Farmers Market in Lethbridge.
The pavilion is packed with vendors selling a huge variety of goods.
The availability of produce fresh from the garden is enticing


Most Hutterite colonies plant huge gardens and they are well represented 
at the market. The vegetables are beautifully packaged and displayed.


Other colonies choose to sell their vegetables from home.
I was fortunate to have my order of beans delivered to my house.


Young, tender and bright green; just the way I like them.
It was a pleasure to prepare them for freezing.


I blanch them for 3 minutes after the water returns to boiling.


After a couple of immersions in ice water, I lay them on tea towels to dry.


Packed and ready for the freezer.
Fresh green beans haveoptimum flavor in the summer but these frozen ones
taste wonderful in the winter as well.

BUTTERY GREEN BEANS with ALMONDS

4 cups fresh or frozen green beans

Steam beans in a steamer for 8 minutes or cook in a saucepan
with a small amount of water until crisp-tender

2 tbsp. butter or margarine
1 small onion, chopped
salt

Melt butter in a large skillet.  Add onion and saute until tender.
Add green beans and stir-fry for 2 to 3 minutes, until the beans are hot
and well coated with butter.  Season with salt to taste.

1/4 cup slivered or sliced almonds, toasted

Transfer to a serving dish and sprinkle with toasted almonds.
Serve immediately.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

DILL PICKLES


Canning dill pickles has kept me busy the last couple of days.
I have given away this recipe many times because people claim
these pickles are crunchy and flavorful.


I was impressed with the fresh garlic straight from a Hutterite garden ...
the largest, plumpest cloves I've even seen.
Only one per jar at this size!
Should be an intensely flavored dill pickle.


Every jar sealed using the method described in the recipe.
Lots of hours later they are ready for cold storage.

DILL PICKLES

Garlic cloves
Fresh dill
Cucumbers

Prepare 7 one-quart canning jars; to each jar add 1 or 2 garlic cloves and
2 sprigs of fresh dill.  Pack washed cucumbers into jars.

12 cups water
3 cups pickling vinegar
2/3 cups coarse pickling salt

In a large kettle or Dutch oven, heat water, vinegar and salt to boiling.
Pour brine over cucumbers in jars, leaving a 1-inch head space.
Prepare metal lids and rings according to package directions.
Place on jars and tighten firmly with hands.
Place jars on rack in canner; add warm water to cover jars.
Heat to boiling; turn off heat and allow jars to remain in water for
5 minutes.  Remove jars from water; jars should seal while they cool.
Remove bands after 24 hours; wipe jars clean and store.
Pickles will be ready to serve in 3 to 4 weeks.

Monday, August 15, 2011

TROPICAL CARROT CAKE


One of the most loyal fans of this carrot cake is Morgan  ...
he thinks it should be classified 'illegal'.
I know, I know ... it is addicting ...
Doesn't a good amount of carrots make it nutritious?


Beat the eggs, oil and sugar until mixture is thick and creamy.
Do not underbeat.


Many flavors, textures and forms ready to blend into one delicious creation.


I wonder who discovered the addition of carrots to nuts, coconut and
pineapple would make an even better cake.


The batter is not as dense or thick as you would expect.


I prefer to bake this cake as a sheet cake rather than in a 9 x 13-inch pan.
The reason is simple ... more surface for creamy icing.
Tap the baking pan on the counter surface to eliminate air bubbles.


The cake bakes into this wonderful golden color.
I took this picture earlier in the Spring .. hence the lilacs.


Spread the fluffy cream cheese icing ... smoothly.
Add a fancy design if you wish.
I will post a how-to on a future post.


Fresh locally grown carrots are readily available at this season.
I believe they contribute to a more moist cake.


TROPICAL CARROT CAKE

3 eggs
2 cups sugar
3/4 cup vegetable oil
2 tsp. vanilla

In a large mixing bowl, beat eggs until frothy.  Add sugar, oil, and vanilla
and continue beating until mixture is thick and creamy.

2 cups + 2 tbsp. all-purpose flour
2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
3/4 cup buttermilk

Combine dry ingredients and add to egg mixture with buttermilk;
beat well.

1 cup crushed pineapple, undrained
2 cups finely shredded carrots
1 cup pecans, coarsely chopped
3/4 cup flaked coconut

Stir in pineapple, carrots, nuts and coconut; mix well.  Pour into a
greased and floured 11 x 17-inch baking pan, OR line pan
with parchment paper.
Bake in preheated 350° oven for 38 to 40 minutes until wooden pick
inserted in center comes out clean.  Cool and spread with
Cream Cheese Frosting.

CREAM CHEESE FROSTING

1 pkg. (8oz.) cream cheese, softened
1/4 cup butter or margarine, softened
1 tbsp. milk
1/2 tsp. vanilla
3 cups powdered sugar

Beat cream cheese, butter, milk and vanilla in a large bowl until fluffy.
Gradually beat in powdered sugar until smooth.
Refrigerate until cake is cool enough to spread with frosting.