Monday, June 20, 2016

Raspberry Cream Cheese Pie


Last summer we toured Prince Edward Island, and on the advice of a local, we visited PEI Preserve Company and had a fine meal meal in their restaurant.  Their sampled their dessert specialty...'Raspberry Cream Cheese Pie'.  Of course!  I took note and I took a photo.  Now that the raspberries in our garden are ripe, I made my own version of their famous pie.  It went over well!  So here it is...PEI raspberry cream cheese pie made with BC raspberries.

Crust:
1- 9 or 10-inch baked pie shell, pre-baked

Cream cheese filling:
  • 1 package (8 ounces) cream cheese, softened
  • 3/4 cup icing sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup heavy whipping cream
  1. Beat the cream cheese, icing sugar and vanilla until smooth. 
  2. Gradually add the cream, beating until thickened. 
  3. Spoon into prepared pie crust and spread evenly.
 Raspberry Filling:
  • 5 cups fresh raspberries
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 3 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup water
  1.  In large saucepan, mix granulated sugar, cornstarch and salt.  
  2. Add water and whisk until smooth. 
  3. Stir in 2 cups of the raspberries. 
  4. Heat to boiling. 
  5. Boil 1 minute, stirring constantly.
  6. Cool completely, about 30 minutes.
  7. Add 3 cups fresh raspberries to the cooled mixture and stir gently to coat all the berries.
  8. Spoon over cream cheese layer of pie.  
  9. Refrigerate at least 2 hours before serving.
Topping:
  • 1 cup whipping cream 
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
  1. In medium bowl, beat whipping cream, sugar and vanilla on high speed until stiff peaks form.
  2. Garnish entire pie or individual slices with whipped cream when serving.
  3. Store pie in refrigerator. 


* If you prefer a thinner 'cream cheese layer' cut the recipe in half.

Enjoy!

Tuesday, June 7, 2016

Cucumber Strawberry Salad

We have been enjoying fresh strawberries every which way these past few weeks.  Here is a refreshing spring salad made with crisp cucumbers from our neighbourhood greenhouse, local strawberries, candied walnuts, and feta cheese.  Though the amounts given are for a larger salad, this recipe is easily adapted for two.

Cucumber Strawberry Salad:
  • 2 Long English cucumbers, thinly sliced  (or 6 mini cucumbers)
  • 4 cups fresh strawberries, stemmed and sliced
  • 1/2 cup feta cheese, crumbled
  • 1/2 cup walnut pieces, candied (recipe below)
  • poppyseed dressing (your favorite or the recipe posted below)
  1. Combine cucumbers, strawberries, feta cheese and walnuts in a salad bowl. 
  2. Drizzle with poppyseed dressing and toss to coat.  
Serves 6

Dressing:
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup white wine vinegar (or white vinegar)
  • 1 T poppy seeds
  • 1 tablespoon grated onion
  • 1/2 teaspoon dry mustard
  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  1. Combine white wine vinegar and sugar and blend (with hand-held blender) until the sugar is dissolved. 
  2. Add the poppy seeds, grated onion and dry mustard.
  3. Slowly pour the olive oil into the dressing, while blending.
  4. Store in the fridge in covered container for several weeks. Shake before using.  

Candied Walnuts:
  • 1 cup walnut halves/pieces
  • ¼ cup white granulated sugar
  • 1 Tbsp butter
  1. Place walnuts, sugar and butter in a non-stick pan.
  2. Heat over medium heat for 5 minutes, stirring continually until all sugar is melted and the nuts are coated.
  3. Transfer immediately onto a sheet of parchment paper and separate the nuts. 
  4. Allow to cool.  Store in covered container.

Thursday, May 26, 2016

Strawberry Cream Cheese Clouds


After enjoying a similar dessert at a friend's place on several occasions, I 'borrowed' the recipe from her and decided that strawberry season was a good time to give it a try.  The frozen 'clouds' are ready in the freezer anytime you might need a special dessert...and would be good with other fruit toppings as well.

  • 1 package (8 ounces) cream cheese, softened
  • 3/4 cup icing sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 2 quarts fresh strawberries, sliced
  • 1 cup whipping cream, whipped with 1 Tbps. sugar and 1/2 teaspoon vanilla (for topping)

  1. Beat the cream cheese, icing sugar and vanilla until smooth. 
  2. Gradually add the cream, beating until thickened.
  3. Spoon mixture into 10 mounds on a parchment or waxed paper-lined baking sheet. With the back of a spoon, shape into 3 inch 'nest-like' circles.
  4. Freeze for at least two hours or overnight.
  5. To serve, fill with strawberries and top with whipped cream. 
 
Yield: 10 servings.

Thursday, May 12, 2016

Greek Chicken Wrap


Several years ago, a friend shared her simple tip for marinating chicken...and that was using the Greek dressing which she always had in her fridge.  Since then I have often done just that, and though 'longer is always better' when it comes to marinating, even a 30 minute soaking in the dressing gives the chicken great flavour. Today's recipe features a Greek-style chicken kebob sandwich.
  • 4 chicken breasts
  • 1/2 cup Greek dressing (your favorite)
  • 6-8 wooden skewers 
  • 4 naan bread
  • 1/2 cup tzatziki sauce
  • lettuce
  • 1 large tomato, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 cucumber, thinly sliced 
  • 1/4 red onion, chopped
  1. Cube chicken breasts into about 1" pieces.  Place in bowl and pour Greek dressing over, stirring to coat all the pieces.  Cover bowl and allow to marinade in the refrigerator for several hours.
  2. Soak wooden skewers in water for at least 1 hour.
  3. Thread cubed chicken onto skewers.  Grill on medium-hot for about 10 minutes, turning once. 
  4. Grill naan bread for about 30 seconds per side, just to heat through.
  5. Brush naan bread with tzatziki sauce.
  6. Add lettuce, , tomato, cucumber and red onion as desired.  
  7. Slide chicken cubes from skewer and onto naan bread.
  8. Roll into a sandwich and wrap in parchment to serve.


Why not serve the hot-off-the-grill chicken kebobs on a bed of rice with a Greek salad for dinner tonight.  Grill a few extra  kebobs for tomorrow's sandwiches!

Thursday, April 28, 2016

Rhubarb Meringue Torte



Here is a springtime favorite...with a press-in-the-pan shortbread crust that makes this dessert 'easier than pie'! 

Crust:
  • 1 cup butter
  • 2 cups flour
  • 2 Tablespoons sugar
  1. Mix butter, flour and sugar together until crumbly.
  2. Pat into an ungreased 9 x 13 inch pan, and bake in 350 F oven for 10 minutes.
  3. Cool slightly.
Custard:
  • 6 egg yolk
  • 1 cup whipping cream or half and half
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 4 Tablespoons flour
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 5-6 cups rhubarb, cut into small pieces
  1. Beat egg yolks, cream, sugar, flour and salt together.
  2. Fold in rhubarb and pour over baked crust.
  3. Bake at 350°F for 45-55 minutes (until custard is set).
Meringue:
  • 6 egg whites
  • pinch of salt
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  1. Beat egg whites with salt and vanilla until foamy.
  2. Add sugar gradually, and beat until stiff.
  3. Spread over custard and bake at 350° F until golden (about 10 minutes).

Serves 12-15

*This is a large recipe...can be halved and made in an 8 inch square pan.

Monday, April 18, 2016

Banana Blueberry Baked Oatmeal



While on an RV road trip through the eastern states several years ago...we spent some time in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania.  We had the privilege of being invited to a home for dinner one night, and enjoying a wonderful home-cooked meal of favorite local cuisine.  As we parted ways that evening, we were given a parting gift by our hostess...a pan of blueberry baked oatmeal to enjoy on the road.  And enjoy it we did!!!  I have been stirring up my own version of that dish since that time...one that also has bananas in the mix. It always brings back memories of summertime in Lancaster County...the warm hospitality and wonderful foods we enjoyed while we were there. Baked oatmeal is a wonderful and healthy breakfast treat...and can be refrigerated for several days. 

Ingredients:
  • 2 cups old-fashioned oats (large flake)
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/3 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup chopped almonds (optional)
  • 1/4 cup oil
  • 1 egg
  • 1 1/2 cup milk
  • 2 bananas, mashed
  • 1 cup blueberries (fresh or frozen)

Method:
  1. Grease an 8" square baking dish.
  2. Mix oats, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, sugar and almonds together in a bowl.
  3. Whisk milk, egg and oil together in a separate bowl. Add mashed bananas.  (Or combine milk, eggs, oil and bananas in blender and pulse until smooth.)
  4. Add to oat mixture and stir to combine.
  5. Gently stir in the blueberries and spread in prepared baking dish. (I like to save a few blueberries to sprinkle on top.)
  6. Bake at 350° F for 35 minutes...or until top is golden.
  7. Serve warm with a drizzle of maple syrup, a dollop of yogurt or a splash of milk.

Serves: 9

Sunday, April 17, 2016

Asian Coleslaw Stirfry

Simple, tasty and healthy as well!  Here's my version of a hamburger cabbage slaw recipe that I've seen all over the internet.  Serve in a bowl as is and call it a meal...or serve over rice.
 


  • 1 pound lean ground beef
  • 2  tablespoons olive oil
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 teaspoons minced ginger root
  • salt and pepper
  • 1-1 pound (454 gr) package coleslaw mix *
  • 1 red pepper, thinly sliced
  • 3 tablespoons Hoisin sauce
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon Sambal Oelek (or use Sriracha sauce to add heat)
  • chopped green onion and sesame seeds, for garnish
  1. Heat oil in very large skillet over medium high heat.
  2. Add beef, garlic and ginger and cook through, while stirring.**
  3. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  4. Add coleslaw mix and peppers.
  5. Cook for about 5 minutes or until veggies are tender, stirring frequently.
  6. Combine hoisin sauce, soy sauce, and Sambal Oelek. Add to skillet and stir for about 30 seconds longer.  (Use Sriracha Sauce instead of Sambal Oelek if your prefer.)
  7. Spoon into serving bowl and garnish with chopped green onions and sesame seeds.
* Using pre-cut coleslaw mix is a huge time-saver and makes for a quick and simple meal.  If you are more interested in saving money than time, buy a small head of cabbage and do your own shredding.
**Tip ~ Use a potato masher to crumble the ground beef while browning.