Wednesday, August 28, 2013

ZUCCHINI CARROT BREAD


It's that time of year when the zucchini plant sprouts yet another
of those long green squash.
What to do with all the bounty in the backyard garden?
I enjoy the simplicity of breads without the need for fuss and frosting.
When I found a recipe using four cups of vegetables
  it sounded like a winner to me.
And it was!


The recipe is too large for one loaf so I made a small loaf for a 
gift and baked the remainder in a 9 x 9 - inch baking pan.
This reduces the bake time which is especially nice during the hot
summer days.  
The amount of batter will also yield two small loaves and one
9 x 5 -inch loaf.


Not only does it have a lovely golden color, 
this bread has a tender crumb and is very moist.

ZUCCHINI CARROT BREAD

Line 2 loaf pans ( 9 x 5-inch)  OR 3 mini loaf pans
with parchment paper
or grease and lightly flour the bottom; set aside.

2 large eggs
1½ cups sugar
3/4 cup vegetable or canola oil
1 tsp. vanilla

In a large mixing bowl, beat eggs until frothy.  Add sugar, oil and vanilla;
beat until thick and creamy.

3 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. baking soda
½ tsp. baking powder
¼ tsp. cinnamon

Blend dry ingredients; gently fold into egg mixture , stirring until combined.
(batter will be thick)

3 cups shredded zucchini
1 cup shredded carrots
1/3 cup buttermilk

Add zucchini, carrots and buttermilk; stir until just combined.
Turn batter into prepared pans.
Bake mini loaves in preheated 350 degree oven for 40 minutes or until 
wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean.
Bake larger loaves for 45 to 50 minutes or until wooden pick inserted 
in center comes out clean.
Transfer to wire rack; let cool 15 minutes.
Remove from pans and allow to cool completely before slicing.
Excellent for freezing.



Sunday, August 25, 2013

A FOREVER FEAST, TIME OUT




It has felt like a 'time out' for the past couple of weeks.
No driving, no lifting beyond 10 pounds, no bending .. and perhaps
the hardest of all .. 'keep reading at a minimum'.
'Time out' can also be a time to embrace the present and
anticipate the future with no hindrances.
We know the famous cliche, 'take time to smell the roses'.
I have taken that to heart ever since my daughter
gave this miniature rose to me for mother's day.  She repotted the plant and
it has grown and bloomed beyond my expectations.
Time without pressure to get things done is
a wonderful thing.


During this 'time out' phase as my eye heals from surgery
some of my family came to help me out.  One of the fun times
for me was to watch the girls pick juicy red strawberries
which are so sweet in the Fall.  Then we shared a Saskatoon
cream pie at the Cafe to decide if Gram will duplicate it at home.



I am very grateful for my independence but once in a while
it feels rather good to be waited on.  My daughter put together
this scrumptious casserole which I can't wait to share...
chicken, broccoli and tortellini in a tasty sauce and crusty topping.



I had a list of 'things to do' for my girls which were on my
forbidden list so while they did the heavy work, I was free
to make the dainty things in the kitchen.


Here is a work in progress .. my intention was to pull a skewer
through the dots in a circle pattern.  But something did not
work out as I discovered on the outer edge that is
now covered with whipped cream rosettes.
It is rather cute as is, don't you agree?
Who would guess it was not intentional?



Time outs, delays, frustrations, surprises ....
many events over which we have no control.
How do we handle the trying situations?

Because the Lord God helps me,
I will not be dismayed;
therefore, I have set my face like flint
to do his will,
and I know that I will triumph.
Isaiah 50:7 LB

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

A SUMMER DAY PICKLE


This pickle will carry a lot of fire is my guess but I won't know for sure
until the sampling in several weeks time.

I have had another eye surgery which means that I will need some time
for the healing process.  Everything is going fine and the only complaint
I have is the restrictions on my activities.  I did not realize ahead of time
that I would be limited to the extent that my pickling is put off for
a week or more.
In the meantime I am enjoying the quiet time and light work load.
I will be back in due time.

Sunday, August 4, 2013

A FOREVER FEAST, FOR-GET-ME-NOT

Travelling home from Saskatchewan along unfamiliar stretches of
highway, my granddaughter and I came upon a sign for an antique shop.  It was time
for a short break and the anticipation of finding a pretty treasure was keen.
 Located on a corner of a small farming town, the building seemed unpretentious
but very neat and inviting.



Unknowns can be intimidating but not here .. excitement ran high.
My granddaughter was immediately caught up in the world of millinery
especially the ones with the lovely netting over the forehead.
She had so much fun trying different ones but always came back to the
pink petal creation.


My eyes were darting all over in search of  beautiful old dishes and china
tea cups.  I was looking for a special kind of Royal Albert and I found it!
We browsed and admired knowing that we could never do justice to 
bountiful the treasures stacked and heaped in every nook.



For over 4 decades I have appreciated two china tea cups that
were gifted to me by a friend.  Tiny blue forget-me-nots is the
design on the beautiful shapes.  Many years ago I noticed that the
saucers were mysteriouslyy cracked and broken just as they sat in

Of all the china patterns produced in England, what are the chances
that I would be able to locate two missing Forget-me-not saucers?
As Jodie and I were leaving the antique shop I happened to see some
pieces in the Forget-me-not pattern.  Quickly I returned to the owner and
posed a question. 'If you had two extra tea cup saucers in this pattern,
would you sell them to me?'  The answer was yes.  I bent down to the
bottom shelf and found the tea cups.  I counted the saucers. 
There were two extra!!


Today my teacups are paired and no longer mismatched.
Is this important in the scheme of life?  Absolutely not!
Would the gold rimmed white saucers do?  Certainly!
Did I need the two missing saucers?  Of course not!
So what is the significance for me in this story?
Let me tell you.  A year or so I told the Lord that I would really
like to have two matching saucers.  I also made sure that He knew
it was not a big deal to me.  I told Him that I was certain He could bring
it about even though it was so unnecessary.
Were my sensations tingling when I realized I had an answer to prayer
I quietly breathed so long ago?

God, in this tiny moment, this unimportant event, I saw Your hand
and I am awed that you are intimately involved in my life!

Go out and stand on the mountain
in the presence of the Lord,
for the Lord is about to pass by."
Then a great and powerful wind tore the mountains apart
and shattered the rocks before the Lord,
but the Lord was not in the wind.
After the wind there was an earthquake,
but the Lord was not in the earthquake.
After the earthquake there was a fire,
but the Lord was not in the fire.
And after the fire came a gentle whisper.
I Kings 19:11, 12  NIV

Saturday, August 3, 2013

LIME COOLER



Refreshing thirst quencher to enjoy after work on a summer evening!

LIME COOLER

For one glass of drink:
1 tbsp. freshly squeezed lime juice 
2 tbsp. simple syrup*
8 to 10 mint leaves
7-Up or Sprite

for a frosted edge:
rub rim of glass with squeezed lime; dip rim into cane sugar
Add lime juice, simple syrup and mint leaves to glass. 
Allow to stand for several minutes until flavors are blended.
Add chilled 7-Up or Sprite.

*simple syrup: boil equal parts of water and sugar until sugar is dissolved.

Friday, August 2, 2013

GLAZED PINEAPPLE SQUARES


The setting .. the dough ... the filling ... the topping ...
ah .. a square fit for a party!


It takes a little time to put these together but the effort is forgotten
after the first bite into this tender pineapple delicacy.


The pastry crust includes yeast and is rolled out right in the pan
before the rising period.  My pizza roller is the perfect tool for this step
but any rolling pin will work.  Press pastry up the sides with your fingers.


Spread pineapple filling evenly over the pastry.


Roll out top crust on a marked sheet of waxed paper.
Make slits in dough in a uniform pattern to allow steam to escape.
There may be other ways of transferring the pastry to cover the filling
but the method I use is as follows.
Using the narrow end of the waxed paper, carefully fold the
pastry in half.  Then fold it again so it is quartered.


Carefully place folded pastry on one corner of the pan.


Unfold pastry to cover half the pan and then unfold again to cover
the remaining half.


Press pastry lightly seal edges around pan.
If you forgot to make the slits in the earlier step, make them now.


Top is brushed with slightly beaten egg white and sprinkled with nuts.


While still warm drizzle with a powdered sugar glaze.


Put on the tea kettle and have a cuppa tea and a warm square.
My affinity with this morsel is as strong as a great friendship!


GLAZED PINEAPPLE SQUARES

Filling
3/4 cup sugar
¼ cup cornstarch
1 can (20 oz.) crushed pineapple, undrained (1½ cups)

Mix sugar and cornstarch in heavy saucepan.  Stir in crushed pineapple.
Cook and stir over medium heat until thickened.  Cool.

1 pkg. dry yeast (1 tbsp.)
¼ cup lukewarm water
1 tsp. sugar

In small bowl dissolve yeast and sugar in warm water.

4 cups all-purpose flour
¼ tsp. salt
1 cup butter or margarine
2/3 cup warm milk
4 egg yolks, beaten with fork

Mix flour and salt; cut in butter using pastry blender of food processor,
Add yeast, milk and egg yolks.  Mix together until dough is formed.
Divide dough in half.  Roll bottom pastry directly in 10 x 15 - inch rimmed
baking pan.  Spread with pineapple filling.

For top crust, outline 10 x 15 - inch rectangle on sheet of waxed paper.
Turn paper over, dust lightly with flour and roll pastry to fit outline.
Cut slits in uniform diagonal pattern.
Carefully turn pastry over pineapple layer and remove waxed paper.
Press lightly to seal edges around pan,

1 egg white
1/3 cup chopped pecans
Brush top with slightly beaten egg white; sprinkle with nuts.
Cover and let rise in warm place for 1½ hours.
Bake in preheated 350 degree oven for 30 minutes or until golden brown.
While warm drizzle with a glaze.
Glaze: blend 1 cup powdered sugar with 2 tbsp. milk until smooth and
of drizzling consistency.
Yield: 24 servings