Archive for the ‘Dessert’ Category


Halloween party at Guides last night.  I made some caramel apples.  Really easy and doesn’t need store-bought caramels.


Caramel Apples

makes 12

1 cup butter                                            1 cup corn syrup

2 1/4 cup brown sugar                         1 can condensed milk

2 tsp vanilla

Put everything (except vanilla) in a large pot.  Stir to dissolve the sugar.  Boil without stirring until it measures 248F on a candy thermometer.

Let cool 2 minutes.  Add vanilla.  Dip apples and place on a lined cookie sheet.

I found a really good sticks to use for the apples.  They sell them at the dollar store and call them skewers.  They worked great and were much cheaper than ‘official’ candy apple sticks.


This is called ‘steak’ spice but I use it just about any time some meat needs some seasoning.  I used it on the chicken I made on Monday.  Just take your chicken pieces, sprinkle them with the seasoning and toss them on a shallow pan and roast for an hour at 350F

Steak Spice

10 tsp salt                                   3 tsp black pepper                               4 tsp onion powder (NOT salt)

2 tsp thyme                                2 tsp rosemary                                     4 tsp garlic powder (NOT salt)

I mix it up and keep it in a glass jar so it’s always ready.


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A couple of recipes to share today.  The first one is a result of a pet peeve of mine.  If we’re friends on FB you already know where this is going.  This time of year you see all over the place the ‘homemade’ caramel apple recipes that start “unwrap caramels”.  I’m sorry, but that’s not homemade caramel apples.  It’s not like it’s hard to make homemade caramel apples, so here we go:


1 c butter                         2 1/4 c brown sugar

1 c corn syrup                 1 can condensed milk

2 tsp vanilla

Put everything (but vanilla) in a large saucepan (I did change pans as this one isn’t big enough).

Bring to a boil.  Don’t stir and let boil until 248F on a candy thermometer.

Cool for 2 minutes and add vanilla (it will bubble a lot).  Dip apples and put on a buttered pan.


Second recipe is a good way to use up leftover roast beef.  We’re not crazy on leftovers, so I will often find ways to make the leftovers ‘new’.  You could make this with raw meat too.

CORNISH PASTIES -makes 8 depending on size

2 lbs leftover roast beef, bite size

leftover gravy, don’t reheat

4 good-sized potatoes, diced

2-3 carrots, diced


Roll pastry out into 8-9 inch circles (depending on the size you want).  Place a serving of beef, potatoes, and carrots on pastry.  Top with a couple of tablespoons of gravy.  Close up circle into pasty shape.

Bake 400F for 10 minutes and then lower oven to 350F for 35-40 minutes

These freeze and reheat well too.

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I don’t know if you all noticed?  I created a recipe index page to make it easier to find individual recipes instead of searching through all the ‘chicken’ recipes, for example.  The tab is at the top of the blog.  Now I just have to remember to link all the new recipes there  🙂

When I make a roast chicken, our leftovers usually become chicken casserole, chicken a la king, or rarely, chicken croquettes.  This week I was thinking of something different so I searched the web for a chicken enchilada recipe.  I’m always disappointed with recipes that say ‘take jar of enchilada sauce’ (or ‘unwrap x caramels’ for “caramel sauce”).  I found a few, but none that really suit our tastes (NOT hot).  So here’s my version:

Chicken Enchiladas –serves 4

make tortillas

sauce: 1 onion, diced            2 garlic, minced

              1 14 oz can pureed (crushed) tomatoes

              1 T chili powder        1 t sugar (takes away any tartness from tomatoes)

              1/2 c chicken broth

 3 c cooked chicken, small pieces/shredded

  1 c shredded Monterrey jack cheese

  1 c shredded mozzarella cheese

Mix sauce ingredients and cook over medium heat for a few minutes just to blend all the ingredients.

Mix 1/4 c sauce, plus 1/8 cup of each cheese with the chicken.

Spoon some chicken filling on each tortilla and roll up tight.  Put seam side down in a greased 9×12 pan.  Pour sauce over top and sprinkle with the remaining cheese.  Bake 350F for 10 minutes or until cheese is melted and chicken is hot.

You can make this ahead (don’t pour on sauce yet).  Cover and refrigerate until supper.  The pour on sauce and cheese and bake.  If it’s cold from the fridge it will take longer.  You could even make this a freezer meal -baggie all the components separately and then all together in a bigger bag, assemble on a later day.

What to do when you’ve got some sour cream that needs used up and a fridge full of banty eggs?  Make snickerdoodle cake!

Start by making the batter for my Brown Sugar Pound Cake:

1 c butter                      6 eggs

2 c br. sugar               1 c wt. sugar

2 2/3 c flour              2 t vanilla

1 c sour cream (I use fat free)        1/4 t bk soda

Cream butter then beat in each egg, one at a time.  Dissolve the bk. soda in the sour cream.  Alternate with the dry ingredients.

Combine 1/2 c white sugar and 1 tsp cinnamon.

Grease your bundt pan and sprinkle with the sugar mix.  Pour in half the batter.  Sprinkle with the rest of the sugar mix and pour in the rest of the batter.

Bake 275F for 20 min, then 325F for 50 min, until done.

The beauty of this cake is that once it comes out of the pan it is done.  No need for icing.

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Happy St. Patrick’s Day!  Colin’s family has a fair bit of Irish in them.  My side has a little too.  So to celebrate, here’s a recipe for Irish Soda Bread.  It was given to me as a ‘old family recipe’, but I think it’s not as old as my friend thought.  It uses baking powder and that was only available late 19th century.  But it does stick to traditional ingredients with modest use of fat and sugar.

Irish Soda Bread -makes 2

4 c flour

1/4 c sugar

1 T bk powder

1 t bk soda

1/4 t nutmeg

1/4 c butter

2 c currants

1 egg

1 3/4 c buttermilk

Combine all the dry ingredients.  Cut in butter.  Mix in currants.  Combine egg and buttermilk, then add to dry ingredients.  Knead dough gently until combined/smooth.  Divide dough in half and shape into rounds, flatten a bit and cut a cross on top.  Place on a lined cookie sheet.  Bake 350F for 35-40 min.

Those of us up here in chilly Canada are starting to crave fresh fruit, especially if you don’t buy fruit and vegetables from questionable countries.  When I saw some yummy strawberries on sale I had to buy them.  They are from the US, but I don’t have much options for that yet.

We eat our strawberries with real shortcake, not angel food/sponge cakes.   This recipe also makes a very yummy tea biscuit.  1 cup of currants can also be added.

Shortcakes -makes 18 (depending on size)

4 c flour

1 c sugar

1 T bk powder

1 t bk soda

1 c butter

2 c buttermilk

coarse sugar for sprinkling

Combine dry ingredients.  Cut in butter.  Add currants (if using) and stir in milk.  These are a drop biscuit, so stir just until combined.  Drop onto lined cookie sheets and sprinkle with sugar.  Bake 375F for 15 minutes.

For really good shortcake, use them warm from the oven.  And of course real sweetened whipped cream on top.

How’s this for an amazing sign of spring?  Last week, the garden was under 2 feet of snow.  Today we found this!!



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Thought I’d share some recipes today.  Finally the election is over and I’m trying to get back to my real work  🙂  But I’m so tired and wore out, I can’t get anything done.  I do have one load of laundry in the machine and need to do dishes.  So tired.

First recipe is a favourite of mine.  I don’t make it often because of the wackos non-tomato family members.

Tomato Pot Roast

5 garlic cloves, roughly chopped

3 lg carrots, cut in half or quarters

1 onion, finely chopped

2 stalks celery, same as carrots

28oz tomatoes

2 cans tomato paste

2 t basil, oregano, and rosemary

1 t salt and pepper

4 lb blade roast

I mix everything (except beef) together in a bowl.  Place roast in crockpot, then pour ‘sauce’ over top.  Cook 8 hours on low.

Growing up in Bowmanville, autumn meant apple time.  In fact, next weekend is Apple Fest.  You should check it out if you are nearby.  There aren’t too many orchards up here, but I can get Algoma apples at No Frills and they are from ‘home’.  In fact, some of their orchards are down the road from my Grandma’s house.

Here’s an easy apple recipe:

Apple Crisp

1 c brown sugar                     3/4 c flour

3/4 c rolled oats                    1 t cinnamon and nutmeg

1/2 c butter

Grease a 9×9 inch pan.  Peel and slice apples into pan.  Make crumbs (I often melt the butter to make it easier).  Sprinkle over sliced apples.

Bake 375F for 30-35 minutes.

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Today is Shrove Tuesday or better known as Pancake Day.  It’s also Mardi Gras for those in New Orleans.  Traditionally it’s the last day to get all the ‘forbidden’ food out of the house before the fasting of Lent starts.  The festivities with Mardi Gras also lets folks burn off high spirits before the contemplation and soul-searching of Lent.

As you can see from my menu plan, we don’t ‘keep ‘ Lent.  Neither side of the family (the Anglican/Lutheran or the United/Baptist) ever kept Lent.  I’m not sure it would work with the family at this stage in our life.  I know my friend Magdalena and her husband keep a fairly strict Lent.  Colin works so hard that he wouldn’t be able to function if I took away meat.  Ella eats such a limited variety of foods right now, I would be afraid for her health if I took away dairy -the one thing I can count on her eating.   In the past I’ve tried giving up Coke or chocolate, but usually fail miserably.   On top of it all, I’m not sure Colin would approve at all.  His family is United through and through and fasting isn’t a part of that tradition.

Pancakes help use up dairy, eggs and fats that wouldn’t last until Lent was over.  Fastnachts are another delicious way to use up these food stuffs.  Fastnachts are German potato doughnuts.  Unlike a lot of doughnut recipes, these doughnuts stay nice and fresh for days after frying.  They also freeze well, which is what we usually do with them.   I usually make doughnut holes.  They are just the right size for Ella and I and Daddy can eat a few at a time without having too much.  They take just a few seconds to ‘nuke’ in the microwave (from frozen) and are delicious slightly warm.


1 T yeast

1 c lump-free mashed potatoes (I often use potato flakes)

1 c sugar                                         1 1/2 c warm water (potato water is best)

1 c flour

Dissolve yeast in warm water.  Mix in other ingredients.  Let rise in a warm place for several hours.

Then add:

1 c sugar                                                 1 c warm milk

3/4 c butter, melted                          3 eggs

1 t salt                                                     5 cups flour

Add this to the starter.  Mix well, adding enough flour to make a fairly stiff dough.  Let rise double.

Roll out about 1/2 inch thick and cut to desired shape.  Don’t make them too big or it’s too hard to get the dough cooked through.  Let the fastnachts rise again.

Heat at least 3 inches of oil (or use deep fryer) to 375F (use a deep-frying thermometer).  Carefully put fastnachts into the oil, be very gentle or the oil will splash.  Don’t over crowd your pot or the oil will cool.  Fry them about 3 minutes per side, turning them as needed.  Lift out and drain on paper towel.  Roll in cinnamon sugar, white sugar or glaze of your choice.  Always do a test fastnacht so you have an idea of how long your dough needs to cook.  It’s always easy to find testers  🙂

If you’ve never deep-fried food, please be careful.  There are lots of information out there on how to do it safely.  And remember NEVER put water on an oil fire!  A deep fryer is the best choice for the novice doughnut maker.

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This is our front door this morning.  It was -32C when Colin headed outside to head to the barn.  Our old front door is only a single pane of glass, so not too great in the winter.  It’s a good time to make some comfort food.  I thought I’d share some recipes:


2 lb ground beef                         2 can tomato soup (don’t dilute)

7 cans (19 oz) kidney beans -drain half  or use 4 cans kidney beans and 3 cans navy beans (drain navy beans)

1 can (28 oz) crushed tomatoes and diced tomatoes (don’t drain)

6 onions, chopped

1 small jar sweet pimentos, chopped

6 T chili powder, or to taste

Brown beef and onions, drain if needed.  Add everything else.  Simmer over low heat for a few hours.  Stir fairly often.  Even better when made the day ahead.

Ranch Buns

make ranch spice from Niki’s blog

then make a batch of potato bread dough, adding in 1-2 T of ranch spice:

1/3 c potato flakes                      2 T yeast

2 c warm water                             1/2 c margarine

1 T salt                                              2 eggs, beaten

6 c flour                                            1-2 T ranch spice

Put in the bread machine in the usual order:  wet stuff first, then dry, then flour and yeast on top.  Let rise once.  This is also easy to make by hand.

Roll into golf ball sized balls and place in a greased cake pan (9×9 makes 16).  Let rise then bake 400F for 15 minutes.  Brush with melted butter then sprinkle with Parmesan.

Yummy brownies.  These brownies have a secret ingredient -oatmeal!  But you would never know if you didn’t tell anyone.  This is only half a batch, the recipe makes 9×13

Oatmeal Brownies

1 c oatmeal                        1 c butter

2 c boiling water              4 eggs

3 c brown sugar               2 t vanilla

2 t bk powder and bk soda

2 c flour                                 1 t salt

4 T cocoa

Mix oats, butter and water.  Let cool.  Add all other ingredients.  Pour into greased pan or pans.  Bake 350F for 40 minutes until done.

Chocolate Glaze

3/4 c sugar (brown or white)                1/4 c milk

2 T butter                                                       1/3 c mini marshmallows

1/4 c semi-sweet chocolate chips

Bring sugar, milk and butter to a boil.  Cook and stir for 2 minutes.  Remove from heat and add marshmallows and chips.  Stir till melted.  Let cool a bit.  Pour over cake or brownies.

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