Sunday, January 22, 2017

Bread for the Journey

Psalm 37:7 begins with " Be still before the Lord and wait patiently for him" as well as Psalm 46:10 "Be still and know that I am God".

If you have our first two cookbooks you may have read that I have an auto-immune arthritis. Living with chronic pain has significantly changed the way I do life and He has given me the grace to accept that. Right now I am in another time where chronic pain is my constant companion with little relief. 

I find myself in a season of waiting. I have prayed and prayed, not only for renewed health, but for another burden that weighs heavily on my heart and it seems that God is silent. I don't know how or what to pray for anymore, all I can do is wait. The beauty in all this is that He has given me Peace in the stillness and the waiting. I know He hears my pleas and will carry me through this season with His promise that  He will not leave or abandon me. It clearly is not in my timing but I must learn to rest in God's perfect timing. 

Do you find yourself waiting for God to answer your prayers? 
Isaiah 40:31 says, 
"But those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles, they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint." 
Then let us live in the hope that the Lord gives us as stated in Romans 15:13, this is my prayer for us all.
"May the God of hope fill you will all joy and peace as you trust in Him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit." Amen

He cares and so do we. If you have a prayer request, leave your requests here anonymously if you choose not to leave your name and we will pray for you on your behalf. 

Saturday, January 21, 2017

Antiques in Judy's Kitchen

As I cleaned out my pantry and kitchen cupboards recently, I found a few old things that I'm just not ready to part with yet. In fact, I have kept them long enough that they are now collector items. And the thing is, I still use them!

These Pyrex nesting bowls and storage containers were wedding gifts in 1971, are still intact after all these years...and get used regularly. They get a little warm in the microwave, so I'm not sure they should go there. Vintage Pyrex sets are actually collector items...but mine wouldn't be in high demand, since they have been in and out of the dishwasher on a regular basis and are looking somewhat faded. They work for me.

My favorite little hand mixer was another wedding gift...a Hamilton Beach model that I love. It is still stored in the original box...which is looking very ratty! I use my Bosch machine for all the big jobs, but this little mixer still gets used.  I'm sure they don't make appliances to last that long anymore!

This Pyrex coffee perculator was my go-to coffee maker for many years.  Now it gets little use and would fetch a good price as a collectable...but it still makes a good cup of coffee when the power goes out!

My original electric kettle is also still alive and well...although I have replaced it with one that has an auto shut-off switch for everyday use.  I am still hanging on to the old kettle...since it is much better looking than my new one!

All that to say that old things have value.  I have to keep telling myself that these days...since I had another birthday this past week. It was a milestone which confirms that I am a very old thing.

Do you have some favorite 'old things' in your kitchen. Tell us about them in the comments!

Friday, January 20, 2017

Flank Steak

For Flash Back Friday I'm featuring Flank Steak which Harv and I enjoy serving to company.
It is an inexpensive cut of meat which, when marinated, is fork tender.
I generally marinate the steak for at least 8 hours.

I've changed the original recipe somewhat.  It's one of those recipes that gets tweaked each time I make it.  So here is my latest version.  Still the same result, just a twist on the flavour.
This recipe makes enough marinade for 2 good sized flank steaks, enough to feed 10 people and still have some for a sandwich the next day.
You can halve the ingredients if you are doing only one steak.

  • 1 cup red wine
  • 3/4 cup soy sauce (I often use the low sodium soy sauce)
  • 2 Tablespoons olive oil
  • 2-3 tablespoons Montreal Steak Spice or other seasoned pepper
  • 1 tablespoon grainy mustard
  • 1 6 inch stalk fresh rosemary (strip leaves from stalk and chop fine)
  • 2-3 cloves garlic (more if you love garlic)
  • 2 flank steaks
  1. Place all ingredients, except steak, in a jar or gravy mixer.
  2. Shake well until all ingredients are well blended.
  3. Place flank steaks in a large zippered plastic bag.
  4. Pour marinade over, remove as much air as possible from the bag and seal.
  5. Let sit in fridge for at least 8 hours.
  6. Remove from fridge and allow to warm up on the counter for an hour or two before cooking.
  7. Heat grill and remove steak from marinade.  You can reserve some of the marinade and brush the steak as it is cooking.  
  8. Grill to desired doneness - we like ours medium rare - about 140º F.
  9. Remove from grill, tent, and let sit for 15 minutes or so.  If you cut into it without allowing it to rest, you will lose the juice from the meat.
  10. Cut steak into 1/4" thick slices, slicing diagonally across the grain at a 45º angle.
  11. Serve with sauteed onions and button mushrooms.

Thursday, January 19, 2017

Seafood Pasta Bake

 Large pasta shells filled with cheeses, shrimp and crab, baked in a creamed spinach sauce. Sauteed jumbo garlic shrimp add a touch of elegance. 
(serves 5-6)
  • 12 large shell shaped pasta shells
  • 1 cup ricotta cheese
  • 1/4 cup mozzarella cheese
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 cup chopped crab meat
  • 1/4 cup chopped cooked shrimp
  • salt and pepper to taste
  1. Cook pasta shells as directed on box. Drain and cool.
  2. Mix together remaining ingredients.
  3. Once shells have cooled fill shells with mixture. Place on a pan, cover and keep in refrigerator while you make the sauce.
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 1/4 cup minced onion
  • 1 large clove garlic, crushed
  • 1/4 cup sweet red pepper, diced fine
  • 1 1/2 cup light cream
  • 1/2 cup vegetable broth
  • 2 tbsp flour
  • 1/2 tsp paprika
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 cups fresh baby spinach
  • Parmesan cheese, grated
  1. Melt butter in pan. Add onion and red pepper and saute until vegetables are beginning to soften but do not brown.
  2. Add garlic and continue to saute for one minute.
  3. In a jar shake together the cream, broth and flour until smooth. Add to sauteed mixture and bring to a light boil. Add spices. Mixture will thicken slightly but should still be fairly runny. Add a little milk if it's too thick, you want to be able to pour it. Simmer for 5 minutes.
  4. Pour half the sauce into a bowl and set aside. Add spinach to the pan with the remaining sauce. As spinach gets hot it will wilt down. This will take a minute or two. 
  5. To assemble, pour the creamed spinach into the bottom of a low casserole dish. Place filled pasta shells right into the hot mixture, open side up. Pour remaining hot sauce over shells. 
  6. Generously sprinkle with Parmesan cheese. 
  7. Bake uncovered in 350º oven for 35-40 minutes or until bubbly and really hot. You want to make sure the filling in the shells gets really hot. 
  8. Remove from oven and top with prawns.
Garlic Jumbo Prawns:
  • 8-12 jumbo prawns, peeled, tails on or off (I like them on for the look) 
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 1-2 cloves garlic, crushed
  1. In a large fry pan melt butter and add garlic and prawns. Cook over medium hot heat until prawns are cooked. They will cook in about 3-4 minutes. 
  2. Top hot pasta dish with prawns and serve immediately. 

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Apricot Cream Cheese Coffeecake

I got this recipe from my friend  Eileen. Coffee cake is a simple recipe to go perfectly for most any occasion. Anything from a simple coffee date with friends or dessert after dinner.

Cake Base:

  • 1-1/2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 3/4 cup butter or hard margarine, softened
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 - 8 oz package cream cheese, softened
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1 teaspoon grated lemon rind
  • 1 cup apricot jam
  • 1/3 cup icing sugar, also known as powdered or confectioners sugar
  • 2 - 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • whipped cream
  1. Grease and flour a 10 inch springform pan.
  2. In a large bowl combine all the cake ingredients, and mix on low to medium speed until the ingredients come together scraping the sides of the bowl occasionally for about 2-3 minutes. 
  3. Spread the batter on the bottom of the pan and up the sides about 2 inches. 
  4. Combine all the filling ingredients except the jam mix thoroughly until you have a smooth mixture. 
  5. Spread over the cake base. Top with the apricot jam. 
  6. Bake in a preheated 350 degree oven for 45-55 minutes or until the crust is a golden brown. 
  7. Cool the cake for about 30 minutes. 
  8. Combine the icing sugar and lemon juice until you have a smooth glaze.
  9. Drizzle over baked coffee cake. 
  10. Serve warm or room temperature topped with freshly whipped cream.
  11. Enjoy.  

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Coconut Lime Biscotti

What's not to love about this biscotti? Crunchy and citrusy. If you want to make them any more special than they already are you could dip one end of each biscotti in melted chocolate. I dipped half in melted white chocolate and left the other half plain. They pair well with a cup of coffee or tea!
Package up a few for gifts to bless, or share with a friend coming for coffee.
Recipe adapted from Healthy Cooking.
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup canola oil
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/4 cup lime juice (2 limes)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/2 teaspoon coconut extract
  • 1 3/4 cup flour
  • 2/3 cup cornmeal
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup flaked coconut
  • 1 teaspoon lime zest
  • Extra zest to sprinkle on top of the dipped biscotti if you are dipping them.
  1. In a medium sized bowl beat sugar and oil until blended.
  2. Beat in eggs, lime juice, vanilla, and coconut extract.
  3. Combine flour, cornmeal, baking powder, and salt, gradually add to sugar mixture. and mix well. Dough will be sticky.
  4. Stir in coconut and lime zest.
  5. Divide dough in half. With lightly floured hands shape each half into a 12" x 2" rectangle on a parchment lined cookie sheet.
  6. Bake at 350º for 20 - 25 minutes, until set.
  7. Allow to cool. Once cool enough to handle, transfer to a cutting board and cut diagonally with a serrated knife into 3/4" slices.
  8. Place cut side down on parchment lined baking sheets.
  9. Bake 6 minutes on each side until golden in color.
  10. Remove to rack to cool.
  11. Once cool you can dip in melted white chocolate and sprinkle with a little lime zest or if you wish leave them plain.
  12. Store in an airtight container.
  13. Yield: 2 dozen biscotti

Monday, January 16, 2017

Rice and Meatball Soup

Soup in the winter months is one of my favorite 'go to' comfort foods.  My mom used to always make this soup and after chatting to my sister, I think we have the right recipe.  And for some reason, we've had real winter since the beginning of December.  That is unusal for us living on the coast.
  • 3 quarts water
  • 2 cups cooked rice
  • 1 medium sliced onion
  • 2 stalks celery chopped
  • 1/2 cup green onions
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1/2 dried red cayenne pepper
  • 1 tbsp. salt 
  • 1/4 tsp pepper
  • 2 tbsp fresh parsley used for garnish
Meatball Mixture
  • 1 pound ground lean beaf
  • 1 egg
  • salt and pepper to taste
  1. Cook the rice in advance.
  2. Prepare soup broth adding ingredients as listed.
  3. Let simmer for 20 minutes.
  4. Prepare meat mixture and form small meatballs.
  5. Drop them into the broth.
  6. Continue boiling for 15 more minutes and then allow to simmer.
  7. Just prior to serving add parsley as garnish