Sunday, October 30, 2011

A FOREVER FEAST, PROMISE


The sunny days of October have a charm all their own.
Not much color except for earth tones and sky  ...
but marvelous just the same.


I chanced to see a coyote feasting on something along
a busy stretch of highway.  He paid little attention to the cars
that were flashing by.  In fact he was oblivious as I drove into the field
to try to get a picture.  He is right in the middle, although not clearly.


He saw me and loped safely across the highway.


Not until he was sure I was following him did he set
his sights to leaving very quickly lest he encounter some danger.


Whether you turn to the right or to the left,
your ears will hear a voice behind you saying,
"This is the way; walk in it"
Isaiah 30: 21

Friday, October 28, 2011

PUMPKIN PIE


After my daughter had her baby, a thoughtful neighbor brought an
irresistible pumpkin pie to the house.  One day my son-in-law was hunting
in the fridge for the last piece ... but alas he could not find it.
  I didn't want to ... but I had to confess.


Pumpkin pies are relatively easy to make.  The filling is all
whipped together,  poured into the pie shell and baked.


Cooled and garnished with sweetened whipped cream. 
The leaves, cut out from the pastry scraps, turned out a bit
too large.  Next time they will be trimmed down to a delicate size,
or omitted entirely.


This recipe is graciously shared by Ms George from New York.

PUMPKIN PIE

Pastry for 9-inch one-crust pie.
Prepare pastry and line pan.  Trim to ½ inch beyond edge of plate.
Build up fluted edge.

2 eggs
1 3/4 cups pumpkin puree
1 cup sugar
½ cup milk
½ tsp. cinnamon
¼ tsp. nutmeg
¼ tsp. salt
1 tbsp. butter

In medium bowl, beat eggs slightly with a beater or wire whisk.
Beat in remaining ingredients.
Pour into pastry-lined pie plate.  Bake in preheated
425° oven for 15 minutes.
Reduce heat to 350° and continue to bake for an additional
45 minutes or until a knife inserted in the center of the pie
comes out clean.  The center may still look soft but will set later.
Cool on a wire rack.
Garnish with sweetened whipped cream.
Immediately refrigerate any remaining pie.
Yield: 6 servings

Thursday, October 27, 2011

CHICKEN FAJITAS


This is a tasty Mexican treat that is easy to make.


Saute onions and peppers.  Cook until they are crisp-tender or
softer if you prefer.  Green peppers add more color
but I was out of them at the moment.


Mix with cooked chicken and salsa; heat through.


Place mixture on a tortilla, top with cheese, roll up and enjoy.


CHICKEN FAJITAS

2 whole chicken breasts,
(skinless, boneless) cut into strips
¼ cup lime juice
1 garlic clove, minced
1 tsp. chili powder
½ tsp. ground cumin
¼ tsp. salt

Combine lime juice and seasonings in a bowl; add chicken strips
and stir. Marinate for 15 minutes.
In a nonstick skillet or frying pan, cook chicken and marinade for
4 to 5 minutes or until chicken is done.  Remove to a dish.

2 tbsp. olive or vegetable oil
1 medium onion, cut into thin wedges
2 ½ cups thinly sliced red, yellow and green peppers

In the same nonstick skillet, cook onion and peppers for 3 to 5
minutes or until crisp-tender.

½ cup salsa

Stir in salsa and chicken; heat through.

12 flour tortillas (8-inch)
1 ½ cups shredded cheddar or Monterrey Jack cheese

Divide mixture among tortillas; top with cheese. 
Roll up and serve.
Yield: 6 servings

Sunday, October 23, 2011

A FOREVER FEAST, FALL SKY IN ALBERTA


As the sun was setting last evening, the seeds pods still stuck on this tree
 were bathed in the glow of autumn.


Turning to the west, one glorious cloud reflected the bold hue of the
setting sun.  On the horizon, the mountains, usually so vivid against the skyline,
were banked by a wall of churning dark clouds.


This is a closer view of the ridge of clouds covering the
row of mountains.



It appears to be calm and still ... but the Chinook winds, so prevalent
in southern Alberta were blustering.


I am the Lord, and there is no other;
apart from me there is no God.
I will strengthen you,
though you have not acknowledged me,
so that from the rising of the sun
to the place of its setting
men may know there is none besides me.
I am the Lord, and there is no other.
I form the light and create darkness.....

For this is what the Lord says----
he who created the heavens,
he is God;
he who fashioned and made the earth,
he founded it;
he did not create it to be empty,
but formed it to be inhabited---
he says:
I am the Lord,
and there is no other.
Isaiah 45: 5-7, 18

Saturday, October 22, 2011

FRUIT and NUT GRANOLA BAR


Who can resist a chewy and crunchy granola bar?
I was working with a friend one day when she pulled a beautifully
wrapped granola snack from her purse.  It hit the spot!
So today I made some that will be wrapped-and-ready for
those times when I just have to have a bit of something
to satisfy my craving ... and it will be healthy.


Buy a favorite assortment of seeds, nuts and dried fruit.
This is a versatile snack and you can use whatever grabs
your fancy ... or taste buds.


After toasting, measuring and stirring, the mixture needs a
binding agent.  This one is a lovely golden color.


Pack all that array of munchy goodness into a baking pan.


There you have it .... pleasing to the eye ...
and chewy and crunchy ... just like the ads.

FRUIT and NUT GRANOLA BAR

1 ½ cups rolled oats (quick-cooking)
1 cup slivered almonds, toasted
1 cup flaked coconut, toasted
1/3 cup sunflower seeds, toasted
¼ cup sesame seeds, toasted
¼ cup pumpkin seeds, toasted
¼ cup  flax seed
½ cup dried cranberries
½ cup dried apricots, chopped

On a parchment-lined cookie sheet, toast rolled oats in 350° oven for
10 to 12 minutes, stirring occasionally. Pour into a large mixing bowl.
Continue toasting almonds, coconut, sunflower, sesame and pumpkin seeds
in batches. Times will vary but most will take approximately 5 minutes.
Watch the coconut carefully as the moment of browning seems
to happen in an instant.
Reduce oven to 300°.

½ cup maple or golden syrup
3 tbsp. sunflower or coconut oil
¼ cup brown sugar, packed
1 tsp. vanilla
¼ tsp. salt

Combine syrup, oil, sugar, vanilla and salt in medium saucepan.
Cook over medium heat until sugar dissolves. Combine oats, nuts, seeds
and fruit.  Pour warm syrup mixture over oat mixture and stir
until mixed. 
Spread granola into a parchment-line 9 x 13 - inch baking pan.
Place a piece of waxed paper on top and press down with a metal
spatula to pack evenly.
Bake for 25 minutes; remove from oven and allow to cool
completely in the pan for several hours.
Cut into bars.  Wrap and store in airtight container or freeze.
Yield: 16 bars (1 ½ x 3 - inches)






Friday, October 21, 2011

CHICKEN SOUP WITH 'GERSTL' OR PASTA


I grew up loving these ragged bits of homemade pasta cooked in
chicken broth.


The pasta is simple, made with flour, eggs and a bit of salt.


Make a well in the flour, add the eggs that are whisked together.
Looks so neat and tidy for the time being.


Use a fork to begin the process.


At the end you have to involve your hands to make a firm
ball of dough.  It takes some effort as the dough will be very dry.


Cover with a bowl and allow to rest ... just ignore it for a
while ... no set time ... perhaps an hour.


The dough becomes very pliable and elastic.
Cut into uniform wedges ... or pieces .. not important.


Break off or cut into smaller pieces and toss into a food processor.


Pulse until the dough is separated into little bits.
I like them quite small but some prefer them more coarse.
It is a personal preference.
If you do not have a food processor, you can grate the dough
on a coarse grater.  That means you have to be more careful.


Spread on a baking sheet and dry in the oven , stirring occasionally.
When completely dry, the 'gerstl' can be stored in an airtight
container or frozen until needed.

CHICKEN SOUP with 'GERSTL' or PASTA

1 egg
1egg yolk
1 cup all-purpose flour
¼ tsp. salt

Beat egg and egg yolk together with a fork.  Blend flour and salt in
shallow pan; make a well.  Add egg all at once; stir together, then knead
into a smooth ball.  Pat into a disc, cover with bowl and allow to rest
for 30 to 40 minutes.
Grate on a coarse grater or pulse in a food processor until
desired size pieces are obtained.
Spread on a baking sheet and dry in a 200° oven, stirring occasionally.
When completely dry , the 'gerstl' can be stored in an airtight
container or frozen until needed.

4 cups chicken broth

Gradually sprinkle 'gerstl' into hot chicken broth and simmer for
a few minutes until tender.
Yield: 2 to 3 servings

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

CARROT CRAISIN MUFFINS


When a recipe says to start your day with a nutritious and delicious
muffin, I don't hesitate.
Lately I have enjoyed stirring up various kinds of muffins.
They do not take a lot of time nor are they difficult to make.
Today I made this carrot muffin which has been in my recipe file for
a long time.  I did not remember they were so scrumptious.


Whisk together the wet ingredients with the sugar.


Stir in the dry ingredients; add the goodies... so simple.


Spoon into muffin cups.


A nice rounded dome laced with craisins and carrots.


I did get a little carried away with the glaze.

CARROT CRAISIN MUFFINS

1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp. cinnamon
1 ½ tsp. baking powder
½ tsp. baking soda
½ tsp. salt

Blend dry ingredients; set aside.

2 large eggs
1 cup brown sugar, lightly packed
1/3 cup buttermilk
1/3 cup vegetable oil
½ tsp. vanilla

In a large mixing bowl, whisk together eggs, sugar, buttermilk,
oil and vanilla.  Add flour mixture, stirring just until moistened.

1 ½ cups shredded carrots
½ cup craisins (dried cranberries)
¼ cup chopped pecans
¼ cup shredded coconut

Stir in carrots, craisins, pecans and coconut.
Spoon batter into 12 greased or paper-lined muffins cups.
Bake in preheated 350° oven for 16 to 18 minutes or until golden brown.
Cool slightly and drizzle with glaze if desired.

GLAZE
¼ cup (2 oz.) cream cheese
1 tbsp. butter or margarine, melted
1 cup powdered sugar
2 tbsp. milk
½ tsp. vanilla

Combine all ingredients; beat together until smooth. 
Drizzle over muffins.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

A FOREVER FEAST, HUTTERITE CANNING


Have you ever been so hungry that you could not think of
anything but eating?


Your stomach constricts and every other desire takes
second place to your desire for food.


There's another hunger that rages within that is equally powerful
but not as easily recognized or satisfied: spiritual hunger ---
a desire for meaning, purpose, and intimate communion
with the One who made you.


Spiritual food cannot be manufactured or conveniently purchased.
There is only one source for spiritual nourishment and only one way to
 receive it--- from the hand of God.
And if we are to live --- truly live -- we must discover it.


God wants to give you a meal like you have never had before.

He sat down to eat with them, took the bread, and said
the blessing; then he broke the bread and gave it to them.
Then their eyes were opened and they recognized him ....
Luke 24:30-31

Friday, October 14, 2011

APPLE CRANBERRY CRUMBLE MUFFINS


A perfect Fall muffin .. loaded with apples and cranberries  ...
topped with a pecan streusel.


Muffins are so easy to make .... no need to get out a mixer ...
gather the ingredients and stir together with a big spoon.


Apples are diced into fairly small pieces.
My daughter does not like to bite into a whole tart cranberry so I
chose to cut them in half.  That is optional.


These muffins cups are very full but that is not to say that you
cannot divide the batter to make more than 12.


They rose and browned beautifully as they baked.


The crumb is very tender and moist ... I will make these again.

APPLE CRANBERRY CRUMBLE MUFFINS

2 ¼ cups all-purpose flour
1 ¼ cups brown sugar, packed
1 tsp. baking soda
½ tsp. salt

Combine flour, sugar, soda and salt in a large bowl.

1 egg
1 cup plain yogurt
½ cup vegetable oil
2 cups diced peeled apples
3/4 cup cranberries

Combine egg, yogurt and oil in a small bowl.  Add to dry ingredients,
stirring just until moistened.  Stir in apples and cranberries.
Spoon batter into 12-cup greased muffin pan.
(Muffin cups will be very full)

Topping
¼ cup brown sugar, packed
¼ chopped pecans, toasted
3 tbsp. quick-cooking oats
½ tsp. cinnamon
1 tbsp. butter or margarine, melted
Combine all ingredients; mix well and sprinkle over muffins.

Bake in preheated 375° oven for 25 to 30 minutes or until topping
springs back when lightly touched.
Yield: 12 large muffins
Freezing: excellent
Variation: replace cranberries with blueberries.
Replace pecans with almonds