Monday, May 4, 2020

Rhubarb Crumble Bars

I adapted this recipe from one that was featured on the Lepp Farm Market website and we quite enjoyed it.

  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 T baking powder
  • 2/3 cup butter, softened
  • 1 large egg

Rhubarb Compote:
  • 5 cups diced rhubarb
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 1 T lemon juice
  • 3 teaspoons cornstarch

Crumble Topping:
  • 1 cup large flake oats
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup melted butter
  1. Mix base ingredients and press into 9x13" pan.
  2. Heat rhubarb with sugar and lemon juice until bubbling.  Dissolve cornstarch in equal amount of water and add to rhubarb mixture. Simmer until thickened while stirring.
  3. Mix crumble topping ingredients and sprinkle over rhubarb compote.
  4. Bake at 350° F for about 30'.  
  5. Serve warm with ice-cream.
  *Can be cut into squares once cooled and frozen.

Tuesday, March 3, 2020

Simple Make Ahead Lasagna


It's always nice to be able to prepare dishes in advance of a dinner party. I have used this recipe several times in the recent past and it's a great lasagna.  Double it for a crowd!

  • 1 1/2 lbs ground beef
  • 2-600 ml jars pasta sauce (Classico is a favorite over here) sauce
  • 1-454 gr ricotta cheese (or cottage cheese)
  • 3-4 cups of shredded Mozzarella or Italian cheese blend
  • 1 package no-cook lasagna noodles
  1. Grease 9x13-inch baking pan.
  2. In large skillet, cook and crumble ground beef over medium high until no longer pink. Drain.
  3. Stir in pasta sauce.
  4. Spread 1 cup of meat sauce in 9x13 pan coated with nonstick cooking spray.
  5. Layer noodles, half ricotta cheese, one cup mozza cheese and 1/3 of meat sauce. Repeat layers. Top with noodles, meat sauce and mozzarella cheese.
  6. Cover and refrigerate until ready to bake (8 hours or overnight).
  7. Preheat oven to 375°.
  8. Bake covered, for 45 minutes.
  9. Bake uncovered, for 15 minutes or until cheese is melted.
  10. Allow to stand for 10 minutes before cutting.

Monday, February 24, 2020

Big Batch Banana Bread

Bananas have a short shelf life over here, and find there way to a bag in the freezer as soon as they are past their prime. This recipe for banana bread is a great way of using up those overripe bananas. The bonus is that there are loaves to share with friends and neighbours!
  • 8 cups flour
  • 4 teaspoons baking powder
  • 4 teaspoons baking soda
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 3 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 2 cups butter
  • 3 1/2 to 4 cups sugar (depending on your preferred for sweetness)
  • 8 eggs
  • 1 1/3 cup buttermilk
  • 1 small can crushed pineapple
  • 8-10 bananas (overripe frozen bananas, thawed)
  • 2 cups chopped walnuts
  1. Combine dry ingredients and set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, cream butter and sugar. Beat in eggs.
  3. Process crushed pineapple and bananas in blender until smooth. Add to creamed butter mixture along with buttermilk.
  4. Add dry ingredients and nuts and stir until moistened (do not over-mix batter).
  5. Spray 4 large loaf pans with cooking oil spray (or line with parchment paper).
  6. Fill each pan to about 3/4 full, levelling with a spatula.
  7. Bake at 375° for about 55 minutes or until inserted knife comes out clean.

Thick slices of banana loaf, fresh from the oven and slathered with butter make a the perfect accompaniment for a good of coffee!

Saturday, December 15, 2018

Kiwi Pepper Jam

We love red pepper jelly paired with cream cheese on appetizer platters, and thought green pepper jelly might be just as good.  It is...and it looks quite festive alongside the red pepper at this time of the year!  I was gifted a big bag of kiwi from a friend's garden some weeks ago, and decided to make a kiwi pepper jam. It's great, so I'm sharing it!

  • 1 1/2 lbs kiwi (about 4 cups peeled and  chopped)
  • 6 jalapeno peppers (de-seed for less heat)
  • 1/3 cup lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup white vinegar
  • 1 box Certo powder
  • 31/2 cups sugar
  1. Wash peppers; cut off stems, and remove seeds if desired (I removed half). Quarter.
  2. Place in food processor or blender with lemon and vinegar and pulse until chopped. 
  3. Peel  and slice kiwi fruit. Add to food processor and pulse until all is chopped to about 1/4 inch chunks.   
  4. Place in large heavy pot over medium high heat and sprinkle Certo over mixture while stirring. 
  5. Bring to a boil you cannot stir down (stirring constantly) and add the sugar while stirring. 
  6. Return mixture to a boil that cannot be stirred down and boil for one minute.
  7. Remove from heat and ladle into clean, hot jars. 
  8. Top with lids and screw hand tight.
  9. Process in a canner in boiling water bath for 10 minutes.
  10. Remove jars from hot water bath and allow to cool.
  11. Store in a cool dark place.

Monday, October 22, 2018

Chocolate Cookie Ice-Cream Sandwiches

Summer may be over, but with the warm weather we have had hear these past few weeks ice-cream sandwiches still were a welcome snack. We celebrated my granddaughter's birthday with an ice-cream cookie sandwich cake a few weeks ago...and it was a hit.

Chocolate Chocolate Cookies
  • 1/2 cup  butter
  • 3/4 cups sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1/4 cup cocoa
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 cup chocolate chips (use white chocolate, dark chocolate or milk chocolate)
  1. Cream butter, sugar, eggs and vanilla until light and fluffy.
  2. Combine flour, cocoa, baking soda and salt; add to creamed mixture.
  3. Stir in chocolate chips. 
  4. Drop by tablespoon (or medium sized cookie scoop) on parchment lined pans. Flatten slightly.
  5. Bake at 350º for 10 to 12 minutes.
  6. Cool completely. 
Yield: 18 cookies (enough for 9 ice-cream sandwiches)

*I doubled the recipe to make 18 sandwiches.

How to make Ice-Cream Sandwiches:

  • Spread vanilla ice-cream in a parchment lined baking sheet, smoothing with back of spoon or spatula.  
  • Freeze for at least 1 1/2 hours.
  • Use a biscuit cutter the approximate size of the cookies to cut rings of ice-cream.
  • Sandwich the ice-cream ring between two cookies.
  • Place in freezer until serving.  
  • These can be prepared in advance and stored in ziplock bags for several weeks.

A great alternative to a birthday cake in the summertime!

Tuesday, May 29, 2018

Sheet Pan Chicken Fajitas

I recently discovered this quick and easy method for preparing chicken fajitas.  The seasoned chicken and veggies are roasted in one pan in the oven.  While they are cooking, there is time to prepare the guacamole and other fixin's.

  • 4 chicken breasts (about 1 pound), thinly sliced
  • 1 red pepper, sliced
  • 1 green pepper, sliced
  • 1 yellow pepper, sliced
  • 1 medium onion,  halved and then cut in slices
  • 1-2 Tablespoons olive or vegetable oil
  • fajita seasoning (recipe below) or 2 tablespoons of packaged taco seasoning mix
  • 6 - 8" tortillas 
  • Avocado, salsa, sour cream, cheese for toppings.

Fajita Seasoning:
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder  
  • dash of red pepper flakes
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper  

  1. Preheat oven to 425°F.
  2. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper for easy clean-up.
  3. Combine seasoning ingredients in a small bowl.
  4. Distribute the veggies and chicken pieces evenly over the bottom of the pan.  Drizzle with oil and sprinkle with seasonings. Toss to coat.
  5. Bake for 15 minutes.  
  6. Stir and return to oven for another 10 minutes or until chicken is fully cooked and veggies are tender.
  7. Serve hot from the oven on warm tortillas with optional toppings, as desired.

Monday, May 21, 2018

Mexican Brunch Casserole

We are fans of Betty's farmer sausage quiche, so when I came across a recipe for a Mexican hashbrown casserole that was quite similar, I knew we would enjoy it. And we did!
  • 3 cups frozen shredded hashbrowns
  • 4-6 slices of bacon, fried and crumbled or chopped
  • 1 cup corn, fesh, frozen or canned
  • 1 can (19 oz) black beans, rinsed
  • 1 red pepper, chopped
  • 1 green pepper, chopped
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 2 1/2 cups shredded Tex Mex cheese
  • 8 eggs
  • 1 1/4 cups milk
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne
  • 4 tablespoons fresh cilantro, chopped (or to taste)
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  1. Combine hashbrowns, bacon, corn, beans, sweet pepper and onion and spread evenly in a 9x13-inch pan or two 9-inch pie plates.
  2. Spead shreded cheese on top.
  3. Whisk remaining ingredients until well blended. Pour evenly over potato mixture.
  4. Bake at 350° F uncovered for 55-60 minutes, or until knife inserted in centre comes clean.  (If using pie plates, reduce baking time to 30-40 minutes). 
  5. Serve with salsa.  
*This dish is easy to prepare in advance and refrigerate overnight before baking.