Into a New Week

Into a New Week

I was busy this weekend and knit up a neck warmer, using short rows and an elastic/stretchy bind off – both new techniques to me.  Though I did take a course on Craftsy a long time ago on short rows.  I discovered I couldn’t access my Craftsy courses, which is very discouraging.  I cannot only not remember my password, but I can’t remember which email I had my account under!  Sigh… I’m debating buying the year membership through my new email address…so I have access to everything all year.

In other news…Friday we went to a friend’s place for food and games.  Saturday we had company over all day and overnight.  I made low fat cinnamon buns in the afternoon.  We had a very tough stewing hen for supper, courtesy of me not reading the label.  Had I realized it was a stewing hen I would have cooked it longer and slower in the crockpot.  Ah well.  I cooked it for another four hours after supper, stored it in the fridge overnight, and made a lovely chicken noodle soup for supper Sunday.  Company also brought us some cooked farm fresh bacon.  Sunday morning we feasted on it, scrambled eggs, and toast/cinnamon buns.

Sunday, after company left, we went to a nearby mini multicultural festival in the city.  It’s called Community Connections and happens one afternoon every March.  They give away ethnic food and the kids perform (and some adults too).  Plus there are tables for different organizations and cultural groups to advertise themselves.  It’s all people from that one area of the city.  They also have a lot of really cool door prizes, including two kids bikes.  This year I won a gift basket of beauty products.

We had a slow evening last evening as Hubby is coming down with a cold.  I was plotting my next knitting adventure.  I have to measure my circular needles to make sure I have a 9″ one.  If I do, then it’s on to fingerless mitts to match my neck warmer.  I have lots of yarn left! 🙂

Have a great week everyone!

Jean’s Cinnamon Buns (modified from “The Best of Cooking Light 3”)
Serving Size : 18 large buns

5 teaspoons instant quick rise yeast
1/2 cup hot water
7 cups flour — divided
1 15 oz. can pumpkin puree, or fresh
1 cup skim milk, hot
1/2 cup canola oil
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
2 1/2 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
6 tablespoons granulated sugar
6 tablespoons brown sugar
4 tablespoons flour
3 teaspoons cinnamon
4 tablespoons butter — chilled, cut in small pieces
1/2 c. raisins, soaked for 20 minutes

Mix yeast, 6 c. of flour, 2 tbsp. white sugar, and nutmeg.

In separate bowl mix 1/2 c. hot water, pumpkin puree, warm milk, oil, and salt. Mix well to dissolve salt.

Add wet ingredients to dry. Stir. Let sit 10 minutes. Knead approximately 10 minutes till smooth and elastic. Add flour as needed.

Divide dough in half. Roll out to 12″x10″ rectangle.

Combine streusel ingredients: 6 tbsp. white sugar, 6 tbsp. brown sugar, 4 tbsp. flour, 3 tsp. cinnamon and chilled butter pieces. Cut butter in with pastry blender. Sprinkle half of mixture on each rectangle. Sprinkle on the raisins.

Roll tightly, starting with long edge. Press firmly to eliminate air pockets. Cut roll in 1″ slices. Place on greased cooking pan. I line my pans with parchment paper or wax paper to make for easier removal of the buns after cooking.

Let rise till double in size (approximately 45 minutes). Preheat oven to 375 F. Bake 20 minutes until golden.

Cool in pan 15 minutes on wire rack.  Remove carefully and enjoy!

Opt.: Mix 1 ½ c. icing sugar, 2 tbsp. hot water and ½ tsp. vanilla extract to make a glaze to drizzle over buns.

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Pumpkin Puree

To cut the costs of this, I make my own pumpkin puree every fall at Halloween, when pumpkin is cheap.  I cut up the pumpkins – two large ones will give the equivalent of about 20 cans of pumpkin.  I cut them up, clean them out, and put them skin side up on a baking sheet with sides in the oven.  I bake them in a 325 F oven for up to an hour, maybe more.  I scrape the pulp into the food processor and puree it.  Then measure it out in can size amounts into ziploc freezer bags and freeze it till needed.  Instructions courtesy of “Joy of Cooking” (1980 edition).

Another way to make pumpkin puree is to simply poke the outside of an entire pumpkin with a sharp knife or fork, so that steam can escape, and bake in the oven for half an hour to an hour at 325 F.   Take out and let cool.  Cut and scrap strings away, saving seeds to make a pumpkin seed snack.   Then scrape the flesh off the pumpkin, puree, and freeze like above.



Thanks to Madam Chretien, our then Prime Minister’s wife, and “Canadian Living” magazine tortiere became a family favorite over 20 years ago and remains so to this day.  We only serve it over Christmastime, starting with Christmas Eve.  If we have extra it graces our Boxing Day table or New Year’s Eve table.

As always, over the years I’ve made a few modifications.  I’ve use gluten free flour for the crust, but I still prefer the real unbleached flour crust.  I’ve replaced the lard based pastry with an oil based one.  I’ve increased the meat in the recipe. In the past I’ve replaced half the beef with TVP (Texturized Vegetable Protein) – a soy product.  I reverted back to full meat when someone in the family developed a soy intolerance.

This is in no way a low calorie or gluten free recipe, but for one or two nights of the year I figure that’s okay.  I basically assume I’m eating gluten, and calories, over Christmas.  They are in everything and everywhere.

This recipe is quite large.  It makes 2 8″ square cake pans of tortiere, or one very full 9″ round tortiere.  I usually bake one for Christmas Eve and freeze the other for New Year’s.  This year I’m just making one for Christmas Eve.

I serve tortiere with salad and a vegetable. This year it will be Kitchen Sink Salad and a mixture of vegetables. Depending on our guests we may or may not add perogies to the menu.  Dessert will be an new original recipe, Blueberry Custard Crepes.

Serving Size : 6

1 tablespoon olive oil
3/4 pound ground pork
3/4 pound ground beef, lean
1/2 large onion — finely chopped
1 medium potato — peeled and diced
3/4 cup water
1/2 cup soft bread crumbs
1 teaspoon sage
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon thyme
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1/8 teaspoon pepper
1/8 teaspoon cayenne
Pastry recipe for 2 double crust pies

Put oil in large pan over low heat. Add all ingredients but pastry. Mix well. Cook, stirring occasionally, for approximately 30 minutes. Cool. Line casserole (2 – 8″ diameter pies) with pastry. Fill with meat filling. Cover. Seal edges and prick.

At this point you can either freeze them, bake one and freeze the other, or bake both.  Bake at 375 F for 30-35 minutes.

Venison Barley Soup

Venison Barley Soup

We had company arrive last night with a venison roast in their crock-pot for our later (much later) supper.  We plugged the crock-pot in and went to see the Holiday Train and hear the performance.  Had a lovely venison roast for supper afterwards.  But then we were left with a bit of roast and some stock.  What to do?  Why make soup for lunch today! So here’s the rundown on how to turn the remains of a venison roast (if there is any) into a yummy venison barley soup.

We only put one cup of vegetables in this soup.  I think it could have used more, at least another half cup.  Peas would be a good choice to add as well.  Spices can be adjusted to taste.  The venison pot roast had been cooked with just a couple bay leaves and 12 peppercorns for flavoring.

Venison Barley Soup

1/2 c. finely chopped onion
3/4 c. finely chopped celery
2 Tbsp. olive oil
1/2 c. barley
4 c. venison stock
4 c. water
1 tsp. Better Than Beef bouillon, dissolved in 1 c. boiling water
1 c. mixed vegetables (we used beans and carrots)
1 c. diced leftover venison roast
1 Tbsp. fresh parsley or 1 tsp. dried
3/4 tsp. thyme leaves
1/2 tsp. marjoram leaves
1/2 tsp. savory or rosemary
1/2 tsp. sage
1/2 tsp. salt
1 Tbsp. soy sauce

Soak barley in a cup of cold water 10-15 minutes.  While soaking the barley, saute onion and celery in olive oil.  Add 4 c. water and 4 c. venison stock.  Add strained barley and vegetables.  Bring to a boil.  Add venison and turn down to a simmer.  Simmer 15 minutes.

Add bouillon, spices, salt, and soy sauce.  Simmer another 45 minutes, or until barley is about the half the size of a pencil eraser and tender enough to eat.

Serve with fresh biscuits.


Pear Streusel Cake

Pear Streusel Cake

This recipe can be made a multitude of ways.  It originates, again, from one of Anne Lindsay’s cookbooks – “The Lighthearted Cookbook”.  I modify it, as always.  I’ve had it with plums, peaches, or apples on top.  This is my first time with pears.  It was pretty good.

There is a glaze that goes with it that I do not use – too sweet.  And I cut the sugar by about one quarter cup.  I also was out of cinnamon, so substituted pumpkin pie spice instead.  I prefer the cinnamon though.  I also subbed butter in for margarine.  And yogurt for milk.

This recipe works better if the eggs are at room temperature.  The whites whip up easier and fluffier.

Pear Streusel Cake

1/4 c. butter
1/2 c. white granulated sugar
2 eggs, separated
1/2 c. yogurt (plain natural) or milk substitute (almond milk would be good)
1 1/2 c. white flour
1 tsp. baking powder
1 14 oz. can pear halves

1/2 c. packed brown sugar
1 tbsp. soft butter
1 tsp. cinnamon

Grease the bottom of a 9″ springform pan, or a 9″ square pan.

Cream together butter, sugar, egg yolks and beat till light colored and fluffy.

Mix dry ingredients together (flour and baking powder).  Alternate adding to egg mixture with yogurt.

Beat egg whites till stiff and fold into the batter.  Scoop into pan and even out top.  Drain and slice pears.  Arrange on top.

Make topping and sprinkle over the pears.

Bake at 350 F (180 C) for 35-45 minutes.  Or until top springs back when you touch it.

Banana Cake

Banana Cake

Here is my version of gluten free Banana Cake.  It’s an Anne Lindsay recipe modified from her cookbook “Lighthearted Everyday Cooking”. These cookbooks are excellent and have stood the test of time for our family.  They were originally published in the 1990s and we still cook recipes out of them today.

The original Banana Cake recipe is more low fat and calls for an orange flavored icing.  I do not like the icing because it makes the cake too sweet for my tastes. But if you like sweet, go ahead and add an icing on top.

I replaced my gluten free flour mix for the equivalent amount of wheat flour and it worked fine.  I also replaced buttermilk with sour cream.  I had some sour cream that needed to be used up.

I buy my bananas from the over ripe bananas at the grocery store for half price and put them directly in the freezer in their skins when I come home.  When I need them I thaw them in the microwave for 1 minute each, cut the end off with a pair of scissors, and squeeze the soft, thawed banana out into a bowl or measuring cup to mash.

Banana Cake

1/4 c. butter
3/4 c. white granulated sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp. vanilla
1 c. mashed ripe bananas (about 3)
1 tsp. grated orange rind
2 c. gluten free flour
2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 c. sour cream (light)

Cream butter and margarine.  Add eggs, vanilla, and ripe bananas.  Mix well.

In separate bowl mix orange rind, flour, baking powder, and baking soda.  Add alternately with sour cream, one third flour followed by one half sour cream, repeat, starting and ending with flour.

Line bottom of a 9″ round cake pan with wax paper cut to shape of the pan bottom.  Bake for 40 minutes in 350 F (180 C) oven.  Check center by pressing on it and seeing if it springs back.  Cool approximately 10 minutes before removing from the pan.  Let cool.


Tuna Alfredo

Tuna Alfredo


Tuna Alfredo

Tuna Alfredo is a nice gluten free and dairy free alternative to the real thing.  To make it the real thing simply use all purpose flour to replace arrowroot powder, regular pasta, and milk instead of almond milk.  I like to serve this on a cool spring or autumn day, when people are craving pasta.

Tuna Alfredo Recipe

3 cups uncooked rice macaroni
2 tbsp. olive oil
1 large onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 c. celery, chopped
1 cup sunflower seeds
2 cups almond milk
2 cans of tuna with liquid, mashed
2-3 cups finely chopped broccoli
2 tbsp. arrowroot powder
Salt and pepper (to taste)
Parmesan cheese, grated (optional)

Saute celery, onion and garlic in olive oil in a skillet. Add sunflower seeds. Cook till sunflower seeds are toasted. Mash tuna, and add with liquid and almond milk to the skillet and mix well. Sprinkle in arrowroot powder to thicken sauce.  Add chopped fresh broccoli and cook five minutes. Salt and pepper to taste. Serve over pasta.


Dump Cookies

Dump Cookies


This recipe came from a lovely woman out near Herbert, SK who entertained myself and a couple friends one day.  She showed us around her farm and fed us lunch.  These cookies were dessert.  It was a fun time and the food was excellent.

This is a healthy cookie, if there is such a thing.  It actually makes a large batch.  I usually cut the recipe in half.  We don’t make these often.  But they’re good for when company comes.  These cookies have made an appearance in church bake sales and missions fundraising events as well.  I like them for a pick-me-up snack.

Makes 7 dozen 2″ cookies

6 eggs
2- cups organic raw sugar
1-1/2 tsp vanilla
1-1/2 tsp agave nectar
1 cup butter
2 cups peanut butter (crunchy natural pb)
2 tsps baking soda

Mix in large bowl with electric mixer.

In a separate bowl combine 6 c. quick oatmeal and 7c. of any combination of the following:

Flax seed
Sunflower seeds
Nuts (we used pecans)
Dried fruit (we used dates, apricots and cranberries)
Sesame seeds

Add to butter mixture and stir.  Add more stuff if you need a stiffer dough. You want it to be stiff enough to roll between your hands and squish with a fork.  But not so stiff it crumbles.

Bake at 325-350 F for 10-14 minutes.  The original recipe said 350 for 12-14 min., but we found that overcooked them.  We found 325 for 10 minutes ideal.  Test one in your oven first, to see what settings are better for you.

Let cool on the cookie sheet for 5 minutes before transferring to a rack to complete cooling.  When completely cool pack with wax paper between layers.  We found these went soft when stored on top of each other in plastic containers.  We suspect it’s the dried fruit in them.


Raspberry Ribbons

Raspberry Ribbons


Raspberry Ribbons, before glazing and cutting.

Haven’t made these lately, but they are on my radar for Christmas!  They are a version of Danish Butter Cookies that came from “Scandinavian Cooking” by Beatrice Ojakangas.  This year they will be gluten free.  But here’s the real recipe, complete with gluten…

Raspberry Ribbons
Makes about 48 cookies

1 c. butter, room temperature
1/2 c. sugar
1 egg, slightly beaten
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1/4 tsp. salt
1-2 tsp. water, if needed (if dough is dry)
2 1/2 c. flour

Put the above in a food processor with a metal blade and process until it’s smooth and pliable.  Gather dough into a ball and knead.  Can be refrigerated up to one week.

Now…to make the Raspberry Ribbons…

1 recipe Butter Cookie dough
1/2 c. raspberry jam
1/2 c. icing sugar
2 Tbsp. milk

Preheat oven to 375 F.  Divide dough into fourths.  Roll into ropes about 1/2″ thick between your hands and a floured surface.  Place on ungreased cookie sheets about 2″ apart.  Using the side of your little finger, press a long groove the length of each strand.  Bake 10 minutes.  Spoon jam into the groove.  Bake another 5-10 minutes or until edges lightly browned.

Make a glaze with the milk and icing sugar.  Brush or drizzle over hot cookies.  Cut into logs diagonally about 1″ wide.  Let cool.




Noodles and Tea


Hi everyone.  I’m feeling a bit under the weather today.  But I have to go out in an hour or so for a lunch meeting.  So I’m sitting down with my Wellness Tea from Epicure, generously laced with echinacea and honey.  I admit I slept in quite a bit this morning.


I’m soaking some rice noodles to cook for my lunch (my meeting requires I bring my own lunch).  I use doctored up store bought Classico spaghetti sauce to put over it.  Sorry, no photos of the sauce.  As I’m watching my sugar intake as well as being gluten free I just buy a very simple basil and tomato sauce, add ground beef, onion, garlic, and sometimes part of a chopped green pepper and grated carrot. The grated carrot gives more of a meat taste to the sauce.  If I use a lot of meat I omit the grated carrot.  I usually like to add 1/2-1 lb. of cooked ground beef to a jar of Classico sauce.

Today’s goal is to package up some more “Star Rug” greeting cards to mail to the SCC Boutique in Saskatoon.

Hope everyone has a great day! 🙂

Cornbread or “Johnnycake”



A good old-fashioned recipe we like to serve with Jambalaya.  This is a gluten free, sugar free, dairy free version.  You can use 1 c. regular white flour to replace the quinoa flour and tapioca starch.  If you use regular wheat flour, omit the guar gum.


1 1/4 cups fine cornmeal
1/2 cup quinoa flour
1/2 cup tapioca starch
2 1/4 tsp guar gum
1/2 tsp. NOW white stevia extract powder OR 1/4 c. granulated sugar
2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp salt
2 eggs
1/2 cup canola oil
1 c. rice milk OR regular milk

Preheat oven to 350 F.

Put cornmeal, flour, tapioca starch, guar gum, stevia, baking powder, and salt in medium sized mixing bowl. Combine slightly beaten eggs, canola oil, and rice milk in a small bowl. Add to the dry ingredients and stir till just mixed. Pour into a greased 9” square baking dish and bake at 350 F for 25-30 minutes or till lightly browned and firm to touch. Top with sugar free apricot jam or other topping.

Spinach Salad


Spinach Salad

Spinach Salad

1 lb. spinach
1/3 c. sliced almonds, toasted
2 c. firm strawberries, sliced

1 Tbsp. sesame seeds, toasted
1/4 c. cider vinegar
3 tbsp. olive oil
3 tbsp. water
1 small scoop (1/32nd tsp.) stevia extract powder (a pinch) OR 1 tbsp. granulated sugar
1 tsp. poppy seeds
1/4 tsp. paprika
1 green onion, minced

Clean spinach and snap off stems and save for soup. Tear leaves in smaller pieces for salad. Toss first three ingredients. Shake dressing ingredients in a jar and pour over salad.

Chocolate Banana Ice Milk

Chocolate Banana Ice Cream

Chocolate Banana Ice-cream

Love ice-cream, but can’t eat dairy?  Or don’t like dairy?  Try this delicious Chocolate Banana Ice Milk!

If you don’t want to go to the trouble of freezing this, it makes a wonderful smoothie!  Also, you can leave the cocoa powder out and make a lovely banana ice-cream.

This is a standard Internet recipe that’s been modified to be sugar free as well.  If you prefer to put in sugar just remember that 1/32 tsp. white powdered stevia = 1 tbsp. sugar.  The scoop found in the small bottles of NOW brand of white powdered stevia is approximately 1/32 tsp.

Banana Chocolate Ice Milk
Makes 4 cups

7 large frozen ripe, sweet bananas
1/4 c. unsweetened cocoa (Dutch process)
1/2 c. almond milk/coconut milk combo (or one or the other)
1/8 tsp. stevia extract powder
1/4 c. ground pecans or other nuts (optional)
1/4 tsp. vanilla extract/vanilla powder

Put bananas in microwave to thaw just enough to peel off the skin. Do NOT thaw the entire way. This takes about 1 minute on a 1200 watt microwave. I just go in 30 second increments until I can pull the skin off.

Throw in blender or food processor with rest of ingredients and blend for 1-2 minutes. If you want you can blend the pecans too, or you can just add the ground nuts to the finished product. I chose to do half and half.

Put ice milk in the freezer to freeze for about 1 hour in a metal mixing bowl.  You want it slushy but not rock hard.   Pull it out and smash it up by beating it with a mixer till smooth again.  It will turn light and loft up a bit.  Put in freezer again and repeat.  The third time scoop the ice milk into an airtight container you want it permanently stored in.  Put it in the freezer to freeze solid for good…well, until you decide to eat it!

If you have an ice-cream freezer you can use that instead of doing the above.


Black Bean Sweet Potato Wraps

Black Bean Wrap

I used to make this recipe in my gluten free, dairy free, sugar free days.  I’d swap out the wheat tortilla for a rice tortilla. Or not use any tortilla at all and just mound it on a bed of mixed greens on my plate.  I was careful to read salsa labels, as most have sugar in them. I’ve only found one brand without sugar, and I can’t remember the name, but the label has a windmill on it.  It’s more expensive than the other brands, but to my mind tastes better.

Black Bean Sweet Potato Wraps

1 ½ cups brown rice
½ cup wild rice
pinch sea salt
1 large sweet potato
3 cups cooked black beans
1 large avocado
mixed greens

Cook rice in 4 cups boiling water for 45 minutes.

Peel, dice and cook yam in boiling water for 20 minutes. Mash.

Lay wrap on plate and put a small amount of rice in the middle, some black beans, some sweet potato, some mashed avocado, some salsa and some mixed greens. Fold in one end and wrap.


Filled Beef Roll

Beef Roll

A recipe lost in the mists of time.  I think this recipe came from an old Better Homes and Gardens, or Betty Crocker, paperback ground beef cookbook Hubby brought into our marriage.  It was one of the recipes that sealed the deal!  He could cook!  I loved it.

Here is my version of the recipe:

Filled Beef Roll

Serves 4-6

1 beaten egg
1/4 c. rice milk (or regular milk)
1/2 c. quinoa flakes (or quick oats)
1/4 c. chopped onion
1/2 tsp. sea salt
dash pepper
1 1/2 lb. ground beef
1 c. cooked brown/wild rice (or white rice)
1/4 c. nutritional yeast (or shredded cheddar cheese)
2 Tbsp. chopped green pepper

Combine first six ingredients. Add beef and mix well. Pat mixture into a cookie sheet lined with wax paper, forming a rectangle. Combine rice, yeast and green pepper. Pat onto meat leaving 1” margin around edge. Roll jelly-roll fashion beginning with narrow side. Seal side seams and end by pressing tightly. Place roll, seam side down, in a loaf pan. Bake at 350 F for 35 minutes. Let stand 5 minutes before serving.

Energy Balls

Energy Balls

This recipe has been around the Internet in various forms for many years.  It’s very rich and nutritious, with a high calorie count.  Great snack for hikers and travelers.

These are a great way to quell sugar cravings when you are just starting to go sugar free. However, they do have a fair amount of natural sugar in them from the dates. So people watching their glycemic index are going to have to curtail how many of these they eat!

Here’s my take on the recipe.

Energy Balls

Makes 12-15

1 cup raw almonds
1 cup medjool dates, pitted
¼ cup raisins (optional)
¼ teaspoon cinnamon (optional)
¼ teaspoon ground cardamom (optional)
¼ cup raw almond butter
unsweetened shredded organic coconut

Grind almonds in food processor till finely ground to a meal. Add everything else BUT the coconut. Process till smooth and a bit oily. Roll into 1” balls and roll in the coconut. Put in a container to store in the fridge.


Hubby’s Pancakes

GF pancakes - 2

I have this Hubby who loves pancakes.  So much so that he learned to make his own.  Today I wrangled the recipe from him (okay, I asked nicely and he gave it to me).  I make mine gluten free using my gluten free flour mix.  And I use almond milk to replace regular milk.  But the amounts remain the same.

I don’t know about you, but we like to serve pancakes with a little decadence around here.  We top them off with fresh fruit/berries and 100% Canadian maple syrup. Nothing like the real thing! 🙂

So here you go…

Hubby’s Pancakes
Makes 9  3″ pancakes

1 c. flour (regular or GF)
3 tsp. baking powder
1/8 tsp. salt
1 egg, beaten
1 c. almond milk
1 tbsp. canola oil
Can add up to 1/4 c. of the following:
nuts (ground)
sunflower seeds
pumpkin seeds (ground)
flax seed (ground or whole)
quinoa flakes
frozen blueberries (can add up to 1/2 c.)
corn (can add up to 1/2 c.)

Mix dry ingredients together.  Mix wet ingredients together.  Add wet to dry and mix thoroughly.  Cook in a skillet with lots of canola oil.  Cook on medium to medium low for 2 minutes on each side, or until bubbles start to form on top.  Then flip and cook for another 2 minutes.  Adjust heat if taking too long or burning before bubbles show on top.

Serve with berries and maple syrup…Yum!  We sometimes add a fried egg to this breakfast.  And, for the really hungry, we add sausages or bacon.  Enjoy! 🙂

Salmon Spirals

Salmon Spirals - 1

Salmon Spirals from “Looneyspoons”

Don’t quote me, but I think this recipe came from the cookbook “Looneyspoons”.  It is an excellent cookbook for heart patients as I recall.  And there is a sequel to it as well.

I’ve never tried this recipe gluten free.  The biscuit dough has to have a certain cohesion to roll out and wrap around the ingredients.  It is fluffy and light when baked.  I serve this with vegetables, like steamed broccoli, and a homemade hot mustard sauce. 🙂

Salmon Spirals
Makes 12 (serves 6)

2 cans salmon, drained, flaked
1/2 c. carrot, peeled and grated
1/2 c. celery, finely chopped
1/2 c. green onions, chopped
2 Tbsp. lemon juice
2 Tbsp. low fat sour cream
1 Tbsp. white wine vinegar
1/2 tsp. dry mustard
1/4 tsp. black pepper
2 c. white flour
1 Tbsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. cayenne
2 Tbsp. canola oil
7 oz. skim milk

Grate carrot.  Chop celery and green onions.  Open salmon and flake.  Combine salmon, carrots, celery, and green onions.

In a small bowl combine lemon juice, sour cream, vinegar, mustard and pepper.  Stir till smooth.

Add sour cream mixture to salmon and set aside.

In a large bowl mix biscuit dry ingredients.  Put canola oil in measuring cup and add milk to make 1 cup.  Add to dry ingredients.  Knead 10 times.

Roll out on floured surface till at least 12″x 12″ and 1/2″ thick.  Spread salmon mixture on dough.  Roll like a jelly roll, pinching seams shut.

Cut into 12 slices 1″ thick using a serrated knife.  Spray oil on baking sheet.  Bake at 400 F for 20 minutes.

Hot Mustard Sauce
Recipe modified from “Scandinavian Cooking” by Beatrice Ojankanga.  And if anyone knows where I can buy a new copy, let me know.  Mine is in pieces!  This recipe makes about 1 cup of sauce.

3 Tbsp. white vinegar
2 Tbsp. Dijon mustard
1 Tbsp. dry mustard
3/4 tsp. sea salt
1/4 tsp. ground white pepper
1/4 c. white sugar
1/8 tsp. ground cardamom (a must!)
1/2 c. olive oil

In a small bowl, whisk together vinegar, mustards, salt, white pepper, sugar and cardamom. Gradually add oil and whisk till sauce is thick.

Pour a tablespoon or two over the Salmon Spirals.  Very spicy.  But nice with the sugar in it. 🙂

Enjoy! 🙂

Apple Almond Custard Cake

Sorry folk.  No photos.  It disappeared fast!  This recipe came from a friend just last week, who found it in a free health magazine.  I’m hoping it’s okay to post it online.  If I had the name of the magazine I’d give them a shout out, as this is a very yummy recipe that was easy to make gluten free.

Apple Almond Custard Cake

1 Tbsp. butter
1 Tbsp. + 1/4 c. sugar
1 c. 2% milk
3 large eggs
3/4 c. almond meal (flour)
1/4 c. whole wheat flour OR GF flour
1/4 tsp. almond flavouring
4 apples, peeled, cored, and thinly sliced
1/4 c. sliced almonds

Generously butter a 9″ round pan.  Sprinkle in 1 Tbsp. sugar and shake it around to coat the bottom of the pan evenly.

Prepare the apples.  Arrange in layers over the sugar in the pan.

In a bowl whisk 1/4 c. sugar, milk, eggs, almond meal, flour, and extract into a smooth batter.  Pour over the apples evenly.

Sprinkle with sliced almonds.

Bake at 325 F for 55-60 minutes, or till firm.  Serve warm.  We had it cold and that’s okay.  But warm with a dollop of whipped cream or ice-cream would be better I think.


Onion & Apple Pork Chop Bake

Onion & Apple Pork Bake - 1

This is my version of this recipe.  We have a boarder who is not fond of sweet sauces on meat.  So I took out the apple cider component and put in some apple cider vinegar, apple slices, and water.

Onion & Apple Pork Chop Bake

1/4 c. all purpose (or GF) flour
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. black pepper
1/4 tsp. paprika
1/4 tsp. garlic powder

Place in plastic bag and coat:

3 pork chops (~ 1 lb. pork), chopped in 3/4″ cubes.

Pan fry in:

1/4 c. butter

Layer in a 2 quart baking dish with a cover.

Cook in butter until limp, but not brown:

1 onion, chopped

Place on pork evenly.

Cook in butter until slightly browned, but not limp:

2 Gala apples, cored and sliced thinly.

Arrange over onions and add:

3 Tbsp. apple cider vinegar
1/2 c. water

Cover and bake at 350 F for 1 1/4 hours.

I served this over brown rice and with vegetables.  Yum!

Ice-cream Sundae Toppings

Toppings - 1

These three recipes come from long ago.  The Caramel Sauce was originally used to pour over a Blueberry Cake, which I’ll probably post another day.  It tastes just as good over Blueberry Muffins or ice-cream. 🙂

The Chocolate Sauce came from a cookbook of an old boyfriend’s mother.  He watched a football game with friends, while I made crepes, stuffed with pears, and topped them with this delicious chocolate sauce.  It also goes great on ice-cream and sliced bananas, with toast sliced almonds sprinkled on top. 🙂

The Blueberry Sauce recipe is derived from a magazine article somewhere in the deep dark past of the ’80s or ’90s…I think.  We use this on pancakes, waffles, ice-cream, and crepes filled with ice-cream or custard.  It is delicious!


Caramel Sauce

1 c. brown sugar
1/4 c. butter
1/4 tsp. salt
1 c. water
2 tbsp. flour
1/2 tsp. vanilla extract

Melt the butter and add everything else. Bring to boil and simmer till thickened.

Chocolate Sauce

1 tbsp. shortening
3 tbsp. butter
6 tbsp. quality cocoa powder
3/4 c. boiling water
2 tbsp. golden corn syrup
1 c. sugar
1 tbsp. cornstarch
1/4 tsp. salt
1 tsp. vanilla extract

Melt butter and shortening on low heat in saucepan.  Add cocoa powder and stir till dissolved.  Add boiling water and corn syrup.  Stir.

Mix the sugar, cornstarch and salt together in a small bowl.  Then add to the liquid in the saucepan.  Stir and turn up to high to boil, stirring frequently.

Once boiling, reduce heat and boil 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.  Remove from heat and stir in vanilla.

Blueberry Sauce

1/3 c. sugar
1/4 tsp. salt
1 1/2 tbsp. flour
1 tbsp. lemon juice
3/4 c. boiling water
1 c. frozen wild blueberries
2 tbsp. unsalted butter
1 tsp. almond flavoring

Combine sugar, flour, and salt.  Add hot water in a stream, stirring.  Add lemon juice and bring mixture to a boil over medium heat, stirring.  Add blueberries and simmer 2-5 minutes or until thick.  Remove pan from heat and add butter and almond flavoring.

Rhubarb Cake

One thing we are rarely short of on the Canadian prairies is a good rhubarb plant.  If you don’t have one, you probably know someone who does!  And if you have a rhubarb plant you have plenty of rhubarb!

We have a small rhubarb patch by local standards.  We have three plants.  Each plant produces two to three crops a year, depending on the weather.   That’s about 6 or 7 gallons of chopped rhubarb.  That’s enough rhubarb to last us a year.

What do we do with it?  We make sweet things…Rhubarb Custard Pie, Rhubarb Pie, Rhubarb Strawberry Jam, Rhubarb Crisp (to eat with ice-cream), and Rhubarb Cake…  You can make many recipes with rhubarb, both sweet and savory.  There are entire cookbooks devoted to rhubarb. 🙂

One of our favorite recipes though, is this Rhubarb Cake from the wife of one of my old bosses.  I have modified it to make it a bit lighter than the original version.  It tastes great on its own or with vanilla ice-cream…your choice. 🙂

If you want you can mix the rhubarb mixture right in with the cake batter, rather than have an upside down cake.

Also, I put a cookie sheet with sides under the tube pan to catch any dripping syrup, should it decide to drip.  In fact, if I had to make one change with this cake, it would be to change the tube pan to a 9″ x 13″ pan.  I found the tube pan leaks sugar syrup quite easily during baking, leaving a mess to clean up later.

Rhubarb Cake

1 c. flour
1 c. sugar
4 tsp. baking powder
2 eggs
~ 2 c. milk
2 Tbsp. melted butter
3 c. chopped rhubarb
1 c. sugar
2 Tbsp. cornstarch

Prepare a tube pan by greasing it.  Mix the cornstarch and 1 c. sugar together in a bowl.  Pour over chopped rhubarb and mix well.  Spread evenly in bottom of tube pan.

In mixing bowl combine flour, 1 c. sugar, and baking powder.  Crack 1 egg in a 1 cup measuring cup.  Break up with a fork.  Add milk to make 1 cup.  Pour into flour mixture.  Repeat with the second egg.  Mix the flour mixture and milk mixture till lumpy.  Add melted butter and mix till smooth.  Pour into the tube pan on top of the rhubarb mixture.

Bake in 350 F oven for 30-45 minutes…until thoroughly cooked.




Rice Krispie Squares

May 31 - 1

Aaaah!  Canadian comfort food!  So easy to make.  Recipe from the box of gluten free Rice Krispies made by Kellogg’s.  Guys and gals, this is the quintessential Canadian treat for kids.  Enjoy!  And a big thank-you to Kellogg’s and their kitchen staff!  And no, they aren’t paying me for the promo.  I just love this stuff!

Rice Krispie  Squares

6 c. Rice Krispies
1/4 c. butter or margarine
250 gm (1 bag) marshmallows

Melt the butter/margarine and marshmallows in a big 2 gallon stock pot on low heat.  I used large marshmallows and cut them in quarters for faster melting.  You could use miniature marshmallows and they would melt quicker.

Take off the heat and add the Rice Krispies and stir thoroughly and quickly.  It cools and hardens fast!

Push into a greased 9″x13″ pan with a greased spatula.  Cool in fridge.  Cut in squares and enjoy!

Stuffed Sweet Peppers

Stuffed Peppers - 1

Hi all!  This is a recipe we had this past weekend that was modified considerably from the Internet version found on  For those of you who don’t know, is a great resource for free recipes on the Web.

For this recipe I swapped out white rice for brown rice and increased the cooking time for the rice/meat mixture.  Plus I used diced tomatoes and herbs for the diced tomatoes, just to add a little more seasoning.  I also grated about 6 oz. of cheddar cheese so I had some to pile on top of the sweet peppers as a melted topping, as well as the 4 oz. to mix into the rice/meat mixture.

We served these with medium salsa and fat free sour cream.  I hope you enjoy them as much as we did! 🙂

Stuffed Sweet Peppers

6 large green peppers
1 lb. lean ground beef
1 can (16 oz.) diced tomatoes with herbs
1/2 c. long grain brown rice
1 c. water
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. Worcestershire Sauce
dash pepper (opt.)
6 oz. shredded cheddar cheese (about 1 1/2 c.)

Cut tops off peppers.  Save tops and discard insides.  Finely chop top edges until you have about 1/4 c. green pepper.  Set aside and discard rest of tops (or use for something else).

Place the emptied out peppers in a pot of boiling water to cover.  Boil, uncovered, for 5 minutes.  Drain upside down.

Brown ground beef.  Add onions and saute with the 1/4 c. finely chopped green pepper.  Drain off fat.  Add diced tomatoes, brown rice, water, salt, Worcestershire sauce, and dash of pepper.

Cover and cook for 40-45 minutes, or until rice is tender.  Stir in 1 c. (4 oz.) grated cheese.  Fill peppers.  Top with grated cheese.

Place in a 2″ x 9″ x 13″ dish and cover with aluminum foil (or place in a deep covered baking dish).  Bake at 350 F for 30 minutes.  Remove foil and serve.

Universal Casserole

I can’t lay claim to this.  I have no idea where it came from.  I think the Internet…somewhere…  It has served me well (with my own modifications) over the years.



1 can cream of mushroom soup, OR
1 can cheddar cheese soup, OR
1 can cream of chicken soup, OR
1 can cream of celery soup, OR
2 14.5 oz. cans seasoned diced tomatoes
2 c. cooked cubed chicken or turkey, OR
2 c. cooked cubed roast beef, OR
2 c. cubed ham, OR
1 lb. ground beef, browned and drained, OR
2 c. cubed smoked sausage, OR
12 oz. can tuna, drained and flaked, OR
1 can of beans
Vegetables – 1.5 c. of any combination of the following:
whole kernel corn,
baby peas,
cut green beans,
chopped spinach,
frozen cauliflower florets,
chopped broccoli,
grated zucchini,
frozen mixed vegetables
1 c. uncooked rice (white)
2 c. uncooked elbow macaroni (my favourite is whole wheat macaroni)
3 c. uncooked small pasta shells
4 c. uncooked wide egg noodles
Extras – choose one or more (I like to add at least two):
4 oz. can sliced mushrooms, drained (or a cup or so fresh)
1/4 c. chopped onion
1/4 c. chopped celery
1/4 c. chopped bell pepper
8 oz. can sliced water chestnuts, drained
4 oz. can green chilies
1 tsp. minced garlic
1/4 c. chopped olives
1 pkg. taco seasoning mix
1/2 c. grated cheese (cheddar, mozzarella, Parmesan, etc.)
1/2 c. bread crumbs
1 c. crushed crackers (saltines, etc.)
1 c. stuffing mix
1 c. crushed croutons
1 c. crushed potato chips
1 c. crushed tortilla chips
1 c. Chinese fried noodles


THE Recipe!
1 c. sour cream (or yogurt)
1 c. milk
1 c. water
salt and pepper to taste
one sauce
one protein
one vegetable
one starch
one or two extras (optional)
one or two toppings


Preheat oven to 350F Grease 9 x 13″ pan.  Mix together sour cream, milk, water, sallt and pepper with sauce.  Stir in protein, vegetables, starch and extra ingredients. Pour into baking dish and slip a cookie sheet over top to cover while baking.  Bake covered, for 1 hour and 10 minutes.  Remove cover and sprinkle on topping ingredients.  Bake another 10 minutes, uncovered.

For the casserole in the photo I used:

  • 2 large diced cooked chicken breasts,
  • 1 28 oz. can diced tomatoes,
  • 1 c. water,
  • 1/2 tsp. seasoning salt,
  • 1/2 tsp. Italian seasoning,
  • 1 1/2 c. green beans,
  • 2 c. GF macaroni,
  • 4 sliced mushrooms,
  • 1/4 c. sliced celery,
  • 1/4 c. chopped sweet pepper,
  • 1 c. crushed sweet potato crackers.

Enjoy! 🙂