Spicy Tofu

1 tb olive oil
1 lb firm tofu, drained and cut into ¾-inch cubes
¼ c teriyaki sauce
1 tb grated fresh ginger
1 to 3 tsp Chinese hot chili paste with garlic or other hot sauce
2 small green and/or red bell peppers, seeded and cut into ¾ inch pieces
3 tb chopped peanuts

Heat oil over medium heat. 
Add tofu and cook, stirring constantly until cubes begin to brown, about three minutes.
Add next three ingredients. 
Stir and cook two more minutes.
Add last two ingredients and cook till softened, about three minutes.

Serve over brown rice.


Grilled Bread

4 slices focaccia bread
2 tb olive oil
¼ tsp salt

Brush bread slices with olive oil and season lightly with salt or other favourite seasoning. Grill bread in 400F oven for 10 minutes; it should be crusty outside and chewy in the centre.

I don’t usually have focaccia bread in the kitchen, so I use any bread on hand and it’s always delicious. Grated Parmesan cheese is a nice seasoning; so is garlic powder. It's so simple and yet so good.


Chili Beans

2 tbsp vegetable oil
2 large (540-oz) cans kidney beans
1 green pepper, seeded and chopped
1 medium onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1 tsp cumin
1 540-oz can diced tomatoes
2 tsp salt
1 tsp chili powder
parmesan cheese

Sauté onions, pepper and garlic in oil until tender. 
Add remaining ingredients and heat over low heat, covered.

Serve with brown rice; sprinkle with parmesan cheese. Colourful, tasty, satisfying.

1.Add a can of brown beans.
2.Add a second can of diced tomatoes and stir your leftover rice into the chili beans before heating.
3.Melt grated mozza on tortilla chips in the oven and serve them as dippers.



2 cups whole wheat flour
3 tsp baking powder
½ tsp salt
3 tbsp brown sugar
1 egg
1 cup milk
¼ cup oil

Sift first 4 ingredients together. 
In another bowl, beat egg with milk and oil. 
Pour liquid into dry ingredients all at once, and stir just enough to moisten all dry ingredients. 
Batter will be lumpy. 
Fill well-greased muffin pans 2/3 full. 
Bake in 425F oven for 20-25 minutes. 
Makes 10-12 muffins.

Corn Meal: substitute 1 cup yellow corn meal for 1 cup flour.
Blueberry: add 1 cup fresh blueberries to dry ingredients. Makes 14-16 muffins.
Bran: decrease flour to 1 cup and blend 1 cup bran into dry ingredients.

Date Bran: also add ½ cup chopped dates to dry ingredients.


Grandma Benson’s Baked Potatoes

Wash potatoes, peels on, and slice in half lengthwise.
Poke with knife point to make tiny slits. Don’t poke all the way through.

Place on baking sheet in 425F oven for 15 minutes.
Remove from oven and butter the cut sides of the potatoes lightly.
Sprinkle with salt and pepper and/or whatever else you like (garlic or onion powder? surely anything goes).
Return to oven another 45 minutes or until potatoes are cooked through and tops begin to turn brown. 

I like to cook them till the tops are crispy sometimes too.


Don's Lemon Blueberry Freeze

3 cups whipping cream
1.5 cups sugar
4 tsp grated lemon rind
1/2 cup lemon juice
10-oz can blueberry pie filling (also works good with fresh blueberries, saskatoons, raspberries or other pie fillings)

In a large bowl combine sugar and cream, until sugar is dissolved. 
Blend in lemon rind and juice - mixture will thicken slightly. 
Pour into 13"x9" pan and freeze until slightly firm (about 1/2 hour).

Drop spoonfuls of pie filling over cream mixture & swirl together with a knife. 
Cover and freeze until firm (about 4 hours). 
Cut into squares and serve. S
erves 8 - 10.


Basically Best MeatLoaf

All meatloaves are not created equal!
As a kid, I didn't care for steak; to me, it had the texture of cardboard. 
Anything made from ground beef, well, that was a different story. 
I am still not a big meat-eater, but to this day I like pretty much anything made with ground beef.

2 lbs ground beef
1 egg
1 c milk
½ c onion, finely chopped
¼ c parsley, finely chopped
1½ tsp salt (I don’t put that much, just a good sprinkling of it)
1½ c rolled oats OR 2 c soft breadcrumbs
¼ tsp oregano (or thyme)
½ tsp chopped garlic

Beat egg and add milk.
Add remaining ingredients and mix well.
Form into loaf and place in shallow baking pan.
Place a few cloves and bay leaf on top.
Bake at 350F for 1½ hours.

You can use a cup of tomato juice in place of the milk in this recipe, but I prefer the meat loaf made with milk.

From Eat, Drink and Be Healthy, by Agnes Toms


Spinach with Feta

1 x 10-ounce bag fresh spinach
2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
3 green onions, chopped
½ c crumbled feta cheese
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tb dried dillweed
¼ tsp pepper

Rinse spinach and shake off excess water. 
In large frying pan over medium-high heat, cover and cook spinach in only the water clinging to the leaves, until they start to wilt, about three minutes.
Transfer to colander, press out liquid, and coarsely chop.
In pan, heat oil over medium heat and fry onions, garlic and dill till softened, about three minutes. Add spinach, pepper, and all but one tablespoon of the cheese, cooking and stirring till cheese softens, about two minutes. 
Sprinkle with remaining cheese and serve.

Don't be dismayed when you see how little volume there is in the end. This makes a small bowl and is intensely flavoured; there will only be a couple small spoonfuls per person and that will be enough. It's sort of a special treat, very rich; you don't want a whole lot of it. 



2 tbsp coconut oil
2 tbsp baking soda
15 drops peppermint oil

This makes a nice small amount so it will be used up before bacteria from dipping your toothbrush into it becomes a concern.

The recipe was seen on Facebook and I finally got around to trying it out. 

Update, March 2016
I have been using the above homemade toothpaste for a long time, and did not connect it to my gums being quite often sore, achy, bleedy. I rinsed with salt water for relief, and it always worked, so I thought maybe bacteria in my mouth was the problem.
Then I read that baking soda is an abrasive and if used often to brush teeth, can make the gums irritated and inflamed.
So I stopped using it for several weeks. Suddenly I didn't even know my gums were there.
This morning I used the toothpaste again, and again my gums are sore.
So there you have it. This recipe is not for me.


Joanne's Antipasta

½ cup oil
1 cup chili sauce
½ cup malt vinegar
1 tsp brown sugar
1 clove garlic (crushed)
salt and pepper to taste
½ cup water
1 tbsp horseradish
juice of 1 lemon
1 cup catsup

Other Ingredients:
½ cup string beans (chopped)
6 mushrooms (sliced)
½ cup cocktail onions (sliced)
2 dill pickles (chopped)
3 cans flaked tuna
½ cup raw cauliflower
1 cup raw carrot (sliced)
½ cup stuffed olives (chopped)

Combine sauce ingredients and bring to boil. 
Add other ingredients. 
Simmer until veggies are almost done (30-40 minutes). 
Bottle and refrigerate. 
Keeps up to 4 months.


Spicy Burgers

"These burgers are spiced to perfection. To make them even spicier, you could melt jalapeno soy cheese on each patty and serve topped with salsa.

This is a SparkPeople.com Recipe (what's this)


1/2 cup flour
1 small onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 tsp dried oregano
1 small hot or jalapeno pepper, minced
1 tbsp olive oil
1/2 medium red pepper, diced
2 cups cooked or canned black beans, mashed
1/2 cup corn niblets
1/4 cup bread crumbs
1/4 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp salt
2 tsp chili powder
2 tbsp parsley, minced (optional)


1. On a small plate, set aside flour for coating. In a medium saucepan, saut the onion, garlic, oregano, and hot peppers in oil on medium-high heat until the onions are translucent. Add the peppers and saut another 2 minutes, until pepper is tender. Set aside.
2. In a large bowl, mash the black beans with a potato masher or fork. Stir in the vegetables (including the corn), breadcrumbs, cumin, salt, chili powder, and parsley. Mix well. Divide and shape into 6 patties.
3. Lay down each patty in flour, coating each side. Cook on a lightly oiled frying pan on medium-high heat for 5-10 minutes or until browned on both sides.
Makes 6 patties.
Reprinted with permission from HOW IT ALL VEGAN! by Tanya Barnard and Sarah Kramer (www.GoVegan.net) Arsenal Pulp Press."


Dressing Casserole

1 medium onion, chopped
4 tb butter
10 slices bread, cubed
1 tsp salt
¼ tsp pepper
1 tsp sage
½ c celery, chopped
1 can chicken with rice soup
½ can water

Preheat oven to 325F.
Brown onion in butter.
Mix with remaining ingredients.

Bake 1 hour.

This recipe is in the little wooden cardholder box that Mom had at home while I was growing up, and that I have had since she bought something different and passed the old one on to me some 20 years ago. The recipe is in Mom's handwriting, on a piece of notepaper folded in half. 

And it's perfect for those holiday/family get-togethers, like Thanksgiving this coming weekend, when there is never really enough dressing inside the bird. 


Broccoli Chowder

¼ c butter
1 medium-sized onion, finely chopped
1 clove garlic, finely chopped
2 medium-sized potatoes, peeled and diced
1 quart homemade vegetable broth (see below)
1 tsp dried thyme
¾ tsp salt
½ tsp black pepper
1 bunch broccoli, broken into tiny florets

Melt butter in heavy pot and sauté onion and garlic till tender but not browned. 
Add potatoes and sauté for 4 minutes longer.
Add broth, thyme, salt and pepper, and bring to boil, cover and simmer 15 minutes or until potatoes are tender.
Add broccoli, cover, and cook for 7 minutes or until florets are barely tender.

Vegetable Broth

½ c vegetable oil
4 carrots, diced
4 celery stalks, diced
3 large onions, chopped
6 medium-sized potatoes, diced
3 turnips, diced
3 cups parings from scrubbed carrots, potatoes, turnips, parsnips if available
3 quarts water
2 bay leaves, crumbled
1 tb salt
½ tsp pepper
small bunch parsley

Heat oil in large heavy pot and sauté vegetables for 20 minutes, stirring often.
Add remaining ingredients, bring to boil, covered partially, and simmer for 2 hours.
When cooled, put through fine sieve or run through blender. 
Cool, chill and freeze in pints or quarts. 
Makes about 5 quarts.

* recipes from The Natural Foods Cookbook


Basic Brownies

Grease and flour a 9”-square pan.

¼ c butter
¼ c cocoa
1 c brown sugar
2 eggs, beaten.
1 tsp vanilla
2/3 c whole wheat flour
½ c walnuts

Melt butter.
Add cocoa, sugar, and vanilla. Mix well.
Add eggs. Mix well.
Add flour and nuts (I like to double the nuts and the vanilla). Mix well.
Bake at 325F for 30 min. (Test with toothpick. I usually have to bake 10 more minutes.)

The original recipe gives ingredients and instructions for icing the brownies, but we like these just as they are. They are more than sweet enough! As a matter of fact, I made these one afternoon on the weekend and the pan was empty when I got up the next morning.

And lest ye think all recipes for brownies are created equal ... think again!
There is at least one brownie recipe marked "crappy" in my handwriting in a cookbook.


Huevos Rancheros

Sauté in oil:
chopped garlic and onion

 3 c diced tomatoes
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp oregano
2 tb chili powder

Cook over low heat for about 10 minutes.
Spoon over poached or fried eggs on toast or a tortilla.


Fire Cider

¼ c horseradish root, grated
1/8 c garlic, chopped
½ onion, chopped
¼ c ginger, grated
1 tsp cayenne

Mix well, place in jar and cover with apple cider vinegar.
Leave jar in a handy place for 14 days and shake it every time you have a mind to.
Strain, and you have your fire cider.

Fire cider keeps a long time without refrigeration. It’s one of the few liniments that may be taken internally. Liniments ae classed as medicines for external use only, since they are often made using isopropyl alcohol, which is poisonous when ingested. However, this recipe for fire cider has apple cider vinegar as the solvating medium, making it entirely safe to drink.

As a liniment it can be rubbed on the chest to reduce congestion and placed around the sinus areas to ease breathing, as well as on sore muscles and arthritic joints.

To take internally, add a teaspoon of the mixture to half a cup of boiling water. You might want to add a little sweetener such as honey, which happens to be soothing for a cold and sore throat.

Nothing is cheaper, easier or finer for breaking up congestion and easing the symptoms of a cold or flu. Try just a little at first to see how strong you can take it. If you find one teaspoon too weak, just double up.

All the ingredients are medicinal foods:

• Ginger will fight the microbes and get heavy mucous moving. It is a good anti-inflammatory and very beneficial for colds and congestion as well as for settling the stomach.
• Garlic supports the immune function and opens the pores of the skin to lower a fever.
• Horseradish will act as an antibiotic against certain strains of bacteria and is an excellent herb for clearing the sinuses.

• Cayenne stimulates blood flow and heats up the body, diminishing mucous buildup.

A recipe from Kahlee Keane.


Parker House Rolls

4 tb yeast
1/2 c lukewarm water
1 c milk
¼ c oil
1 tb honey
2 tsp salt
2 c whole-wheat flour
3 c white flour
2 eggs, beaten

Dissolve yeast in water. 
Heat milk to lukewarm; add oil, honey, salt; stir. 
Add w-w flour; add yeast and eggs. 
Beat well. 
Raise in warm place 15 minutes. 
Punch down, add remaining flour and knead for a few minutes. 
Roll out dough 1/4-inch thick. 
Brush with melted butter. 
Cut with three-inch biscuit cutter (a drinking glass will do the job). 
Fold each round in half and seal edges. 
Place rolls one inch apart on greased baking sheet. 
Cover and let rise until doubled, about 20 minutes. 
Bake at 425F for 12 minutes.

Reprinted from Eat, Drink and Be Healthy: the Joy of Eating Natural Foods, by Agnes Toms


Jalapeno Poppers

Mix together:
1 cup grated cheddar cheese        
3 oz cream cheese                 
Dash Tobasco   
 Crushed garlic 
 (Optional: Monterey Jack cheese)  
Italian Seasoning                       
Lemon pepper               

Using rubber gloves, cut and seed peppers lengthwise. 
Fill with cream mixture. 
Dip in egg wash. 
Roll in bread crumbs and paprika. 
Place on cookie sheet, cut side up. 
Bake at 325F for 30 minutes or until cheese bubbles/melts.

These freeze well.

Don't ignore the rubber gloves or you will be sorry. 

If you do get the pepper juice on your skin, soaking in milk helps. 

If you get it in your eyes, you'll need to wash them out with water in an eye cup. 


Faye's Pasta Salad

Cucumber, quartered and sliced thin
Red onion, chopped
Pasta shells, cooked
Ranch dressing

Simple and delicious.


Sandy K's Meat Tarts

1 lb lean ground beef
1 cup bread crumbs, cubed from crusts
½ lb cheddar cheese
1 egg
1 tin mushroom soup
1 cup chopped mushrooms
½ cup chopped onion
1 chopped green pepper
2 loaves day-old brown bread
garlic powder to taste

With large tart cutter, cut each slice bread. 
Cut crusts off. 
Butter each slice and place buttered-side-down in muffin tin. 
Fry beef. 
Add other ingredients and fold in cubed crusts. 
Fill muffin tins with mixture and bake 350F 20-30 minutes. 
These freeze and reheat well.


Katherine’s Kentucky Fried Tofu and Gravy

2 tb olive oil
2 tb sesame seeds
1 lb tofu sliced into 8 pieces
½ c nutritional yeast
2 tb samari sauce

Heat oil, add sesame seeds and let them sizzle. 
Dredge tofu in nutritional yeast. 
When oil and seeds are hot, fry tofu slices. 
Drizzle tamari sauce over all. 
Remove from pan.

½ c soy margarine (I used regular margarine)
½ c flour
1 to 1½ c soy milk (I used cow’s milk)
salt, pepper, tamari

Melt margarine in the tofu pan with any remaining nutrional yeast that has fallen off the tofu. 
Stir in flour; let it brown. 
Add milk; stir till thickened. 
Add salt, pepper and tamari to taste.


Mary Jo’s Butter

1/2 cup butter
1/4 cup olive oil
1/4 cup grapeseed oil

Run these through a blender together and keep the end result in the fridge. It tastes like butter but is spreadable like margarine, and much healthier!


Coffee Creamer

"Strain creamer through a fine mesh sieve to prevent any spices floating in coffee. If this doesn’t matter to you, skip this step. The creamers keep for about 10 days in the fridge. Each recipe makes 2 cups."

Cinnamon Strudel Creamer
1 cup whole milk
1 cup heavy cream
4 tablespoons maple syrup
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 teaspoon almond extract
Whisk together milk, cream, maple syrup and cinnamon in a medium saucepan over medium heat. When the mixture begins to steam, remove from the heat. Stir in extracts. Strain through a fine mesh sieve, pour into a glass bottle and store in the refrigerator.
Chocolate Almond
1 cup whole milk
1 cup heavy cream
2 tablespoons cacao powder 
4 tablespoons maple syrup
1 teaspoon almond extract
Whisk together milk, cream, cacao powder, and maple syrup in a medium saucepan over medium heat. When mixture begins to steam, remove from the heat and stir in almond extract. Pour in a glass container and store in the refrigerator.
Pumpkin Spice
1 cup whole milk
1 cup heavy cream
3 tablespoons pureed pumpkin
1 teaspoon pumpkin spice
4 tablespoons maple syrup
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Whisk together milk, cream, pumpkin, pumpkin spice, and maple syrup in a medium saucepan over medium heat. When mixture begins to steam, remove from the heat and stir in the vanilla extract. Strain through a fine mesh sieve, pour into a glass bottle and store in the refrigerator.
French Vanilla
1 cup whole milk
1 cup heavy cream
4 tablespoons maple syrup
1 vanilla bean

Whisk together milk, cream and maple syrup in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Cut vanilla bean in half, and scrape out seeds. Add seeds and vanilla bean to milk mixture. Turn off heat, cover the pot and steep for 30 minutes. After mixture has steeped, strain through a fine mesh sieve, pour into a glass bottle and store in the refrigerator. (If you don’t have a vanilla bean on hand, simply replace it with 1 tablespoon of vanilla extract)
Peppermint Mocha
1 cup whole milk
1 cup heavy cream
4 tablespoons maple syrup
3 tablespoons cacao
1 teaspoon peppermint extract
Whisk together milk, cream, maple syrup, and cacao in a medium saucepan over medium heat. When mixture begins to steam, remove from the heat and stir in the peppermint extract. Strain through a fine mesh sieve, pour into a glass bottle and store in the refrigerator.

Article printed from Deliciously Organic: http://deliciouslyorganic.net


Cinnamon and Chicken Stew

For the most flavour and juiciness, cook the chicken on the bone.

1 tablespoon olive oil
3 medium onions, thinly sliced
1 tablespoon minced, peeled fresh ginger
3 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
2 cans (15 ounces each) chickpeas (or 3 and 1/2 cups cooked chickpeas)
1/2 small lemon, seeded and finely chopped, plus wedges for serving
4 plum tomatoes, coarsely chopped
3 sticks cinnamon
1 whole chicken, cut into pieces, skin removed
Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper
1/4 cup coarsely chopped cilantro, plus more for garnish

Heat a large stockpot over medium heat and add oil. Add onion, ginger, and garlic. Cook, stirring frequently until onions are soft and translucent, about 10 minutes. Add cumin and stir for 30 seconds. Add chickpeas, lemon, tomatoes and cinnamon; cook until tomatoes soften slightly, about 3 minutes.

Season chicken with 1-1/2 teaspoons salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper; add to pot. Add 1 and 1/2 cups water, nestling chicken into liquid. Bring to a boil. Reduce to a gentle simmer and cook, partially covered, until chicken is cooked through, about 40 minutes. Remove chicken.

Continue cooking over high heat to reduce slightly if necessary, crushing some chickpeas to thicken. Stir in cilantro. Taste and adjust for seasoning. Spoon chickpeas and liquid into serving bowls, top with chicken. Sprinkle with cilantro and serve with lemon.


Oven-Baked French Toast

2/3 c butter
2 tb. honey
3 tsp cinnamon
3 eggs
1/8 tsp salt
1/4 c milk
1/4 c orange juice
6 slices of frozen bread (frozen bread is much easier to dip)
Maple syrup (optional)

Put butter and honey in 9x13 pan.
Place in oven to melt.
Stir melted honey and butter together, then sprinkle 2 tsp cinnamon over top.
Beat together eggs, salt, milk, orange juice and remaining 1 tsp cinnamon.
Dip both sides of bread in egg mixture.
Place in pan in a single layer.
Put in oven at 350F for 25 minutes.

Serve each slice upside down, so the honey/butter coating is on top.
Drizzle with maple syrup.

Adapted from Cooks.com


Scott's Tomato Soup

1 dutch oven full of tomatoes, clean and cut, not peeled
1/2 bunch celery
2 large onions
Cook until soft.

1/8 c salt
1 tsp pepper
1/4 c sugar

To thicken, heat separately till mixed:

 1/2 c margarine or butter 
 1/2 c flour

Add thickening to tomato mixture. 
Blend or process.
Package for freezing.
When you thaw it for soup, you can add up to an equal amount of milk.


Chili Bean Pasta

4 tb olive oil
2½ c chopped onion
2/3 c chopped green pepper
2 x 14-ounce cans mashed tomatoes
2 x 14-ounce cans kidney beans, drained
2 x 14-ounce cans tomato sauce
3 c grated cheddar cheese
2 tsp chili powder
2 tsp Worcestershire sauce
1 tsp salt
4 c elbow macaroni
boiling water

In large pot, sauté chopped vegetables in oil till soft.
Add next 7 ingredients; heat and stir till mixture simmers.
Boil macaroni in separate pot. Drain and add to sauce, and serve.

*From Jean Paré’s pasta cookbook


Classic Stewed Cabbage

When you look at the ingredients in this recipe, you may think "Boring ... ." But no. If you like cabbage, you'll like this simple, easy stew. I've made it with plain tomatoes (not stewed) and with veg oil (not butter).

·     1/4 c butter
2 onions, chopped
1 stalk celery, chopped
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1 medium head cabbage, cut into squares
1 (14.5 oz) can stewed tomatoes, with liquid
Salt and pepper to taste
Melt butter in a large saucepan over medium heat. 
Add onion, celery, and garlic and saute for 3 to 5 minutes, or until translucent. 
Stir in cabbage, reduce heat to low, and simmer for 15 minutes.

 Pour in tomatoes and season with salt and pepper to taste. 

Cover pan and cook over medium heat for 30 to 40 minutes, or until cabbage is tender.

This recipe came from FB.


Tomato Sauce

The most basic of basics and this time of year, especially, people are looking for things to do to use up fresh garden tomatoes. 

4 c chopped tomatoes
2 tb honey
1 small onion, diced
2 tb olive oil
1 tsp salt, or to taste
2 cloves garlic
4 tb basil (fresh) or 1 tb (dried)
Pinch of oregano, fresh or dried

Bring to a boil.
Reduce heat and simmer a half hour.

To this you can add almost anything; say, mushrooms or green peppers. Just sauté them for a few minutes before adding the above ingredients and cooking the sauce. Sometimes I also add a thickener like tomato paste.



1 c flour
2 tb sugar
4 tsp baking powder
½ tsp salt
1 c cornmeal
1 egg
1 c milk
1 tb melted butter

Mix dry ingredients.
Beat egg, add milk, add both to dry ingredients.
Mix thoroughly.
Add butter.
Put batter in greased 8-inch square cake pan.
Bake in preheated 350F oven for 30 minutes.

This is the recipe my friend Cathy C. used to make cornbread 30 years ago when we were in Katimavik (and at the age when you are always hungry, so this was particularly a treat), and I still like this version best. Buttered, of course. 



Perfect for a Friday evening after a long day's work.

4 c grated cheddar
whole wheat soft tortillas
chopped green pepper
chopped onion
chopped mushrooms
sliced olives
sour cream

Lay tortilla on cookie sheet sprinkled lightly with cornmeal. 
Put a thin layer of cheese under a mixture of veggies, and add another thin layer of cheese before laying another tortilla on top. 
Press down gently. 
Bake at 375F for about 5 minutes.  
Remove from oven, slice into pie-shaped wedges, and serve with salsa and sour cream.


Hair Spray

Chop a lemon and boil it in two cups of water until volume is reduced to half. 
Strain and refrigerate in spray bottle.


Chocolate Cake à la Joanne Bohl

I grew up eating cake made from cake mixes, and so I actually preferred them to a homemade chocolate cake. That is, until Joanne shared this recipe with me. Cake mixes don't hold a candle to it.

Mix together:
2 c sugar
2 c flour
3/4 c cocoa
2 tsp baking soda

1/2 c oil
3 eggs
1 c sour cream
1 tsp vanilla


1 c strong, brewed coffee

Bake at 350F for 40 minutes in a greased 9x12 pan.


Sweet’n’Sour Delish

My dad likes your standard meat 'n' potatoes fare, but I served this once and he didn't know it wasn't "real" meatballs.

3 tbsp veg oil
1 onion, finely chopped
1 carrot, grated
1 green pepper, finely chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
¼ c sesame seeds (use sesame oil in second part of recipe if you don’t have these)

Sauté onion, carrot, green pepper, garlic and seseame seeds in first oil till tender, about 10 minutes.

2 eggs
1 c breadcrumbs
3/4 c walnuts, ground or finely chopped
¼ chopped parsley (1 tb dry)
1 tb dijon mustard
1 and ½ tb sesame oil
3 tb soya sauce
1 tsp ground fennel seed
3/4 tsp oregano
black pepper
1 pkg tofu (350 g)

In a bowl, lightly beat eggs, add bread crumbs and then remaining ingredients. 
Mash the tofu, which you have pressed the moisture out of by pressing gently between two clean cloths, and add to bowl. 
Mix well and form one-and-one-half inch balls, make into patties or pat into an 8”x8” oiled pan. 
Bake at 350F for 20-30 mins.


In a pot combine:
1 clove garlic or ½ tsp garlic powder
1 and ½ c brown sugar
3 heaping tb cornstarch
½ tsp salt

½ c vinegar
¼ c lemon juice
3 c water

Cook until thick and clear.
Add: 1 can crushed pineapple (1-1/2 c fresh, chopped, if you’ve got it).

For balls, add them to sauce, then cover and cook over low heat 5 minutes.
For all, serve over brown rice and spoon sauce over top.


Joan's Bran Muffins

½ c oil
1/2 c honey
3/4 c molasses
4 eggs, lightly beaten
6 mashed bananas
2 c whole wheat flour
3 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt (optional)
3 c bran
½ c chocolate chips (optional)

A good way to use up overripe bananas that may be languishing in your freezer. 
If you have no bananas on hand, substitute 2 cups of milk.
Mix together (don’t overmix; just till the dry ingredients are wet) and fill lined (with cupcake papers) or greased muffin tins about 2/3 full. 
Bake in preheated 400F oven for 18 to 20 minutes. 
Makes two dozen.


Cream of Carrot Soup

3 c sliced carrots
3 tb white flour
½ c boiling water
¾ tsp salt
1/8 tsp pepper
½ c chopped onions
1 to 1½ c skim milk powder
3 tb butter
3 c cold water

Cook carrots in boiling salted water till tender, about 10 minutes, and press through sieve with cooking liquid. 
Sauté onion in butter till transparent. 
Blend in flour and seasonings and gradually add cold water. 
Stir and cook till smooth and thick. 
Add carrots and heat.

Using the sieve gives it a nice creamy texture but instead you can mash a few of the carrots to thicken the soup.


Raisin Rye Bread

Are you brave enough to try this one? 

2 and 2/3 c raisins
2 and 2/3 c water
Cook 1 minute and drain, reserving liquid.

Mix dry ingredients and add wet to them:
8 c rye flour
10 and 2/3 c whole wheat flour
1 and 1/3 tsp caraway seed (make it 2 if you like caraway a lot)
5 and 1/3 tsp instant yeast (I use Fermipan)
½ c molasses
1/3 c cider vinegar
5 tb oil
4 tb lemon juice (if you’re using organic flour; this is a dough conditioner)
Add enough water to raisin water to equal 6 and 2/3 c.

Knead 20 minutes, dipping your hands into water often; the dough will be very heavy but you will add moisture in this way. Do not knead on a floured surface; layer water on your surface if need be; flour will make your bread heavier than it’s already going to be.

If using a kneading machine – not a single-loaf breadmaker — add 2 cups of water to the original measure.

Add raisins near the end of kneading.
Let rise, covered with a damp tea towel, in a warm place for 1 and ½ hours.
Punch down and let rise 45 minutes.
Shape into 8 loaves and let rise again, in warm place, for 30 minutes.
Bake one hour at 350F.


Turnips and Veggies au Gratin

This is a very different dish, a fine way to prepare turnips, and just a little bit fancy.

1¼ c boiling water
1 tsp salt
1 small turnip cut into finger strips
1 large onion, quartered
1 c celery, cut into half-inch slices
½ green pepper, cut into strips
2 tb cornstarch
¼ c cold water
1 tb butter
½ c grated cheddar cheese

Bring water to boil, add salt.
Add turnip and onion; cook gently, covered, for 15 minutes.
Add celery and green pepper and cook till all are tender-crisp.

Drain and reserve liquid in another pot. Keep drained veggies warm. (You should have 1 c drained liquid.)

Stir cornstarch with ¼ c cold water and make a paste. Add to reserved liquid.
Stir in cheese and butter. Stir till melted and add veggies. Heat thoroughly.

*Reprinted from Veggie Mania, by Cathy Prange and Joan Pauli



3 c sugar
1 c hot water
5 tb instant coffee
1 tb vanilla
13 oz vodka 

Dissolve sugar in water; set to cool. 
Dissolve coffee in ¼ c boiling water. 
Add vanilla. 
Add coffee mixture to syrup mixture. 
Pour in vodka. 
Shake to mix. 
Makes 29 oz.

I find this sweeter than necessary -- after all, it's usually going to be poured over ice and have milk added to it to make a delicious cocktail -- and often cut down the sugar portion by a third.


Popeye Pasta

I always find this one a little labour-intensive but it's well worth it. It's something different; a special occasion sort of meal:

8 ounces angel hair or capellini pasta
1 tb salt
1 tb cooking oil
2 c diced roma (or any) tomatoes
3 garlic cloves, minced or chopped
2 tb olive oil
3 c coarsely chopped fresh spinach, tightly packed
1 tb balsamic vinegar
¾ tsp dried marjoram
½ tsp salt
pinch sugar
sprinkle pepper
1 c crumbled feta cheese

Add first amount oil to cooked pasta and keep warm. 
Meanwhile sauté tomato and garlic in second amount oil in large frying pan for two minutes. 
Add next six ingredients; heat and stir one minute until spinach wilts and heats through. 
Pour over pasta, add feta and toss.


Drop Biscuits

Is there anyone who doesn't love biscuits? Maybe just the cook, who has done all the rolling out and cutting of them. Which is why I prefer this recipe. None of that extra time and mess is required! Just drop onto a baking sheet and voila!

½ c shortening
2 c flour (all white, all whole wheat, or half and half)
1 tb sugar
3 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
1 c milk

Heat oven to 450F.

Cut shortening into dry ingredients with pastry blender or two table knives, until mixture resembles fine crumbs. 
Stir in milk, then drop dough by spoonfuls onto greased cookie sheet and bake about 12 minutes. Immediately remove from cookie sheet.


Eggs Poached in Tomato Sauce

This sounds too plain and, to be honest, doesn't sound particularly appetizing. (Needs a new name?  Hm. Eggs Toledo!) But is it ever tasty. 

The tomato mixture can be made ahead but poach the eggs just before serving.

1 tb olive oil
1 small onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, chopped
5 drops Tabasco or other hot sauce
28 oz (796 ml) plum tomatoes, pureed
½ tsp salt and pepper, or to taste
½ c water if necessary
4 eggs, or up to 8
1 tb chopped fresh parsley
4 slices focaccia bread
2 tb olive oil
¼ tsp salt

Sauté onion and garlic in first amount of oil; sauté on medium-low heat till fragrant, but do not brown. 
Add Tabasco and cook a few minutes. 
Add tomatoes, bring to a boil and cook gently on medium heat till sauce thickens, about 15 minutes. 
Season with salt and pepper; add water if sauce gets too thick.

Carefully slide each raw egg into the sauce and poach 5 to 7 minutes, partially covered.

Meanwhile brush bread slices with olive oil and season lightly with salt or other favourite seasoning. Grill bread in 400F oven for 10 minutes; it should be crusty outside and chewy in the centre.

Serve eggs and sauce on or with grilled bread, and sprinkle with parsley.

I used diced tomatoes for the sauce, and accompanied the eggs with grilled honey-oatmeal bread. This is a really nice way to do the "toast," and adds a great deal to the outcome here.


Carrot Salad

1 lb carrots
½ c raisins
½ c chopped peanuts
1 tsp salt
¼ tsp pepper
2 tsp grated lemon rind
2 tb lemon juice
1¾ c sour cream

Coarsely grate carrots. 
Mix carrots, raisins, peanuts, salt and pepper. 
Blend lemon rind, juice and sour cream. 
Pour over carrot mixture and toss thoroughly. 


Casserole Cauliflower Loves Rice

1 cup brown or wild rice cooked with 2 c water
1 cup shredded swiss cheese
1 can cream of mushroom soup
1/2 head of cauliflower, chopped

Cook the rice.
Preheat oven to 400F.
In casserole dish, mix everything into the cooked rice but save some cheese to sprinkle on top.
Bake uncovered 20 minutes.

You can add other vegetables; root vegetables work best. You want something that will still have texture after being baked. For extra protein you could always add leftover meat or beans.


Julie's Hot Thai Soup

Just what I need to help me fight off this sore throat/ head cold that is trying to afflict itself on me! I am going for a record one year without a cold; I just have to make it till Thanksgiving.

I'm sure there is some lemongrass in the pantry somewhere, but I haven't seen tofu in the Wadena grocery store for a long, long time.

4 c vegetable broth
1 tsp chopped ginger root
a few bits of lime zest
5 cloves garlic, chopped
1 tsp powdered lemon grass (or 1 fresh lemon grass bulb, crushed, or ½ tsp lime zest)
½ package firm tofu, cubed
4 shallots, thinly sliced (or 8 green onions, chopped)
3 or more fresh chilis, chopped, with seeds
2 tbsp soya sauce
2 c fresh mushrooms, chopped
4 kaffir lime leaves (or ½ to 1 tsp lime zest)
juice of half a lime (about 1 tbsp)
½ tsp pepper
1/3 c chopped cilantro
1 can baby corn

Bring first 11 ingredients to a boil. 
Reduce heat and simmer 15 minutes. 
Turn off heat and add remaining ingredients.

Julie says the real ingredients are better than lime zest, and that this is an immunity booster and tonic for nausea and head colds.


Bean Dish

I was late getting out of the house this morning but by cracky, I promised you a recipe a day and you are going to get one!
Bean Dish is always a favourite at potlucks, as long as they aren't vegetarian potlucks.

Cut up, fry separately, and drain fat from:

¾ lb bacon 
1 lb hamburger

Add 1 can lima beans, 1 can kidney beans and 1 can brown beans.
Add 3 heaping tb brown sugar and ½ c ketchup.
Simmer over low heat, covered, for a half-hour or longer; they say the longer you cook it, the better it is. Stir every once in a while to make sure it's not scorching on the bottom. 
Excellent with minced onion added during the meat-frying stage, if you're an onion-lover, as I am.

I'm having a hard time deciding whether to list this in the index under Main Courses or Sides. It's perfectly satisfying as a main course, served with toast or a bun, kind of like chili is. 

* This recipe was shared with me by a high school friend, Sue, who is an excellent cook.


One Quart Pickles à la Karen

You aren't always making a big batch of dill pickles. Sometimes there are just enough cucumbers for one jar. 

Put several garlic cloves, fresh dill and small cucumbers in one-quart jar.
Add 2 tb pickling salt and 2 tb sugar.

Bring ¾ cup vinegar to a boil, put in jar, add boiling water to fill. 
Put lid on and shake jar until sugar and salt dissolve.

2 tb coarse salt
1 tb white sugar
1/2 c vinegar
inch of alum

Add more fresh dill, fix with ice cold water and seal jar.
Shake jar a couple of times a day for the first day or two.
Pickles will be ready to eat in ... hm, I'll check that and get back to you!

An email to Karen elicited this reply:

"You know, I'm not sure! I usually just put mine in the fridge."
So there you have it. 
I think I'd give 'em a week or two before eating, but ... 


Whole-Wheat Doughnuts

2 eggs
1 tsp salt
1 c brown sugar
2/3 c sour cream or buttermilk
1 tsp baking soda
3 c whole-wheat flour

Beat eggs till light; add salt and brown sugar; beat again till thick and smooth. 
Mix soda with buttermilk or sour cream and add to first mixture. 
Add flour till dough is of consistency to handle. 
Roll on floured board, cut with doughnut cutter and fry in deep oil. 
Drain on brown paper.

 Reprinted from Eat, Drink and Be Healthy: the Joy of Eating Natural Foods, by Agnes Toms


Alisa's Baked Fries

Cut washed potatoes into french-fry strips.
Toss with a few tablespoons of olive oil till well covered.
Layer on a baking sheet.
Bake in preheated 400-425F oven till crisp and brown, a half-hour or longer, turning at least once during cooking.

Top fries with a mixture of minced sage, parsley, oregano and/or rosemary, and garlic.

Bake another 5 minutes or until the garlic is browned.

Remove from oven and sprinkle with salt and pepper.

Some simple and unique dipping sauces:

Curry Dipping Sauce
generous sprinkle of curry powder
1 pinch of sugar or a drizzle of honey

Spicy Mustard Dipping Sauce
spicy brown mustard
salt and pepper

Cilantro Dipping Sauce
Ffnely minced cilantro

*This recipe found at Alisa Burke's website. Go check out her art and craft ideas. You will be inspired.


Sucre à Crème, or Caramel Sauce

 Simple and quick to make, this sauce popular in Canada’s francophone kitchens is delicious on ice cream or pancakes or poured over a piece of chocolate cake that hasn’t been iced.

1 c cream
1 c brown sugar
dash salt

Bring to boil over medium heat. 
Boil two or three minutes. 
Remove from heat.

1 tsp vanilla
1 drop mapeline (or any maple flavouring).



Simple Baked Beans

It's a cool day in the Saskatchewan parkland, perfect for setting a pot of beans into the oven.

2 c dry white navy beans
6 c water (4c if using slowcooker)
1 tsp salt
1 c chopped onion
¼ c brown sugar
½ c molasses
1 tsp dry mustard
1 tsp salt (optional)

Soak beans overnight in water. 
Add first amount of salt to undrained beans; bring to a boil, cover and simmer about 30 minutes.
Add remaining ingredients, cover and bake 7 hours at 250F.

Uncover for the last 30 minutes.

I made these earlier this week but they were quite a bit darker than the beans in the photo so I must've added more molasses. I like my beans dark, what can I say. The heart wants what it wants.



A favourite drink for summer gatherings.

Dissolve 1 c sugar in 1 c hot water.

1- 12oz can frozen orange juice concentrate
1- 12oz can frozen lemonade concentrate
6 c cold water
1- 26oz vodka, gin, or white rum

Spoon glass ½ full slush and fill with 7-Up.


Carolyn's Greek Salad

1 long English cucumber, diced
15 cherry tomatoes, halved (or any tomato, of course)
½ green pepper, chopped
4 black olives, sliced, or 8 whole
lettuce (optional), torn into bite-size pieces

Combine first 5 ingredients.

Mix in separate container:
1 tsp olive oil
1 tsp lemon juice
½ tsp oregano

Toss with salad.  Add:

½ c feta cheese, crumbled or diced.

Toss again, and serve.



Here's another one where you might like to decrease the ingredients by half the first time you make it, so you don't end up with a large amount of cereal you don't really like. At our house, this granola is a staple; we eat it for breakfast, and we eat a bowlful for a snack any time of day. It's very filling; a person with my appetite—somewhat small— will only eat about half a cup at a time. I make it in large batches so it lasts a month, if we're lucky.

16 c rolled oats
3 c unsweetened coconut
3 c wheat germ
3 c nuts and seeds (sunflower, sesame, walnuts, almonds - mixed, or whatever is on hand)
1-and-1/3 c vegetable oil
2 c honey
1/2 c water
1 tb salt
3 tsp vanilla
3 c raisins

Stir vanilla and salt into wet ingredients and pour over dry ingredients (except raisins) in a large bowl. 
Mix well and spread onto two cookie sheets or large pans (cake pans and roasters have high sides and are thus less messy) and bake at 300F for 40 to 60 minutes, stirring every 15 minutes or more often if you smell burning. 
When oats are lightly browned, remove granola from oven (or to crisp it up more, leave it in the turned-off oven) and cool before adding raisins. 
Store in airtight container.
The granola can be kept in the freezer, too.