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Friday, July 22, 2011

Raspberry-Rhubarb Platz

Mmmm..this is one of our favourite ones around this house!  Traditionally this recipe is made with just one fruit, and usually plum or rhubarb, but I love the mix of raspberries and rhubarb so I adjusted this recipe a little to suit.  It is also excellent with strawberries and rhubarb!  This recipe originates from one of my favourite blogs, Mennonite Girls Can Cook.  So if you're a non-menno gal like me who married a very menno guy, this blog is a wifesaver!

Preheat oven to 350*
Grease a 9x13" pan
(I use my stoneware bar pan and double this recipe)

Combine:
1 cup flour
1/2 cup white sugar
1 tsp baking powder

Cut in: 1/4 cup butter/marg

Once this resembles coarse crumbs add in a mixture of:
1/2 cup milk
1 fresh egg
1 tsp vanilla 
Mix well.  Mixture will be lumpy

Spread in greased pan

Top with finely diced fresh or frozen fruit of your choice.  I used approx 2 cups of chopped rhubarb and 1 1/2 cups raspberries (or strawberries.)


Crumb Topping:
(tip:  If you're doing a double recipe up to this point, you don't need to double this part..there's plenty!)


Combine: 1 1/2 cups flour and 1 1/2 cups white sugar
Melt 1/2 cup butter/marg
Drizzle butter over mixture and quickly combine to make small crumbs. 
Sprinkle over fruit and bake in the top 1/3 of your oven for approx 30 minutes until the top is golden brown.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Blueberry-Orange Muffins

This is a quick and easy recipe.  We like them because they're the perfect mix...not too tart, not too sweet!


1/2 cup old-fashioned oats
1/2 cup orange juice
1 egg
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1/2 cup white sugar
1 1/2 cups flour
1 1/4 tsps baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp baking soda
1 cup fresh or frozen blueberries (raspberries are great too)

Topping:
2 tbsp sugar
1/2 tsp cinnamon

In large bowl, combine oats and orange juice and let stand for 5 minutes.
After 5 minutes, beat in the egg, oil and sugar until well blended.
In seperate bowl: combine flour, baking powder, salt and baking soda.  Stir this dry mixture into the wet oatmeal mixture until just moistened.  Fold in blueberries.
Fill greased or paper-lined muffin cups 2/3 full.


Combine topping ingredients and sprinkle over batter.
Bake at 400* for 20-25 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.
Cool for 5 minutes before removing from pan to wire rack.




Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Oatmeal Craisin-Chip Cookies

These are yummy cookies that seem to keep the kids happy!


1 1/2 cups flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
1 cup (2 sqaures) room temp. marg or butter
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
3/4 cup white sugar
2 large eggs
1 tsp vanilla
2 1/2 cups rolled oats
1 cup craisins (or raisins if you prefer)
1 cup chocolate chips
1 cup shredded coconut - optional

Preheat oven to 350*
In a medium bowl, whisk together: flour, baking soda, and salt. Set aside
With mixer: combine butter and sugars until well beat and fluffy.
Beat in eggs and vanilla scraping bowl as needed.
Add craisins, choco chips and coconut.  Beat until just combined.
Place drops of dough on cookie sheets.
Bake for 18-20 minutes.

Tips: 
- I use parchment paper on my cookie sheets to make clean up a breeze. 
- I love, love, love my cookie dough scoop.  Keeps the hands clean and the cookies 'uniform'.
- This recipe also works great for freezing your pre-formed dough.  Just scoop your    dough onto your cookie sheet as you normally would, then throw in the freezer.
- Once frozen, remove from cookie sheet and place in ziploc bags.  Ready to bake!
- To bake from frozen: Bake 20-25 minutes.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Banana Bread...

I've been baking up a storm these past couple of weeks. I am providing snacks for a local summer camp for kids. It's been a fun challenge. The weather here has been anything but summer'ish' so spending time indoors baking hasn't been as hard as I thought it might be! I thought I'd share the recipes that I'm doing this week so you can try them out if you like. They're nothing fancy, but it's always fun to try other peoples recipes. Monday's Snack was Banana Bread. This is the same recipe I've made for years. As an alternative to nuts, I've been using mini chocolate chips.


1/2 cup butter or marg, softened
1 cup white sugar
2 eggs
1 cup (approx 3 medium) ripe, mashed bananas

2 cups flour
1 tsp Baking soda
1/2 tsp Baking powder
1/2 tsp Salt
1 cup of chopped walnuts
(or mini choco chips if avoiding nut allergy issues)

Cream together: Butter and sugar.  Add eggs one at a time, beating until smooth.
Blend in mashed bananas

In second bowl, mix together remaining ingredients.  Once mixed, add to banana mixture.  Stir enough to moisten.  Transfer to greased loaf pan.
Bake at 350* for approx 1 hour or until toothpick comes out clean.

This is a favourite in our house.  We make it almost weekly.  My 'big' secret for successful banana bread is to use my stoneware loaf pan.  I only have a few stoneware pieces but this one was worth every penny!  My bread always comes out perfect!  I suggest letting your bread cool in the pan for 10 minutes before turning out to cool on a wire rack.

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Let the Beach Bummin' Begin...

Well, we sure started summer off with a bang!  Last weekend it was officially summer here.  The temps began to soar and the bbq's began to smoke.  Kids were up late every night, and baths and showers were mandatory before bed!  We finished school on the Thursday, had our Canada Day celebrations on the Friday, went to White Rock Beach on Saturday, and then out to Harrison Beach on Sunday.  I felt like I packed enough lunches and suppers to feed an army, and did the laundry when the army was all done.  Oh well...it was a great way to kick it off.  We enjoyed having 2 boys from Japan stay with us for the weekend.  I loved these boys and was sad to say goodbye.  I wish they could've stayed with us for a few weeks!  I'm glad they got to experience full days of fun while they were here!

Goodbye Daiki & Masa...we will miss you!

Harrison....


Beach Burn-out...


Friday, July 8, 2011

God Keep Our Land Glorious and Free...


We celebrated the birthday of our great nation again last weekend!  Canada Day is always a day we look forward to.  It usually brings good weather, good entertainment and great times with friends.  We started off the day by sleeping in (yeah) and then it was off to the parade! This year Rob was able to sit and watch the parade with us since he wasn't pulling Gallery7's float this year.  Ken also joined us for the parade.  I grabbed a quick Starbucks for a treat and we met up with friends and proceeded to take up most of the sidewalk for a block!!!  This year was a great parade, lots of floats, lots of good music, and lots of candy for the kids!  Rob went to work after the parade and then we picked up 2 Japanese students in the afternoon.  We met up with some other friends who were hosting students and we had a great bbq followed by a night at the fireworks.  It was a busy and full day, but very fun!

The gals, the guys..and the 'crew'!

I have a 'thing' for bagpipes.  I love them!  I think it could have something to do with the fact that my maiden name is McIntosh???  Maybe.  Either way, I love em'.
I used to have an ongoing joke with my Father-in-law about bagpipes.  He hated them, I loved them.  Whenever we heard them we'd look at each other and I'd smile and he'd grimace!  I even bought him a tape (yes, it was that long ago) of all bagpipe playing one year for Christmas!  Seems so funny now that it was something we bonded over...

No country parade is complete without a little tractor representation!  Although we prefer the green & yellow, we tolerate those who don't know any better;)

Perfect way to end the day....


Thursday, July 7, 2011

Sweet & Sour Farmer Sausage


I promised my sweet friend Carolyn that I would post this recipe for her.  I found this recipe 15 years ago in a mennonite cook book that I was given at one of my bridal showers.  It has become a favourite in our house.  We usually have it once a month on a Monday night when Uncle Ken comes for supper.  Uncle Ken LOVES this meal!  This is a really easy recipe!  We buy our farmer sausage from a local butcher.  I usually peel the outer layer of 'skin' off the sausage first.
Recipe:
Pre-Bake Sauasge for 1 hour @ 350*  in a 9x13" pan. 
(Once it's baked for an hour I cut it into  2-3" chunks for serving size)

In large bowl combine:
2 cans tomato soup
2 cans pineapple tidbits (leave juice in)
6 tbsp. brown sugar
4 tbsp. vinegar
1 green pepper ( I use a red and a green)
1 onion chopped up in larger pieces

Mix well and pour over pre-baked sausage and bake covered with foil for another hour @ 350*.
Let stand for 10 minutes before serving over rice.
This recipe makes a lot of sauce so if you're using smaller farmer sausage you may want to cut the recipe in half.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Recital...


Another year has wrapped up for Piano lessons.  This was our last year with 'Miss Charity'.  Charity has been a wonderful teacher.  Very patient, kind and nurturing towards Olivia.  We appreciated the life skills she built into Olivia along with the musical knowledge.  Olivia's recital theme was 'Beach Party'.  It was a fun evening with good music, good food and fun visiting with fellow piano families.  Olivia played the piano piece titled 'Chimes'.  She did a great job!  We are proud of you Livi!  Keep up the hard work!  Music is a wonderful part of life!

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Father's Day...

We enjoyed taking some time out once again this year to honour the Dads in our family! We started off the day with a strawberry waffle feast topped with ice cream for Rob!  Abby was up and eager to help with the preparations, while Olivia yelled something at us about 'get out, I'm still sleeping!'.  Hmm...I feel a teenager coming on.  Anyway, Abby, Isaac and I did the work, and Abby woke up Daddy to his Fathers Day feast!  We went to church for our worship service and then home again.  Rob had to work, but he got his chores done quickly and got to squeeze in a nap before supper.  We headed over to my parents place for a steak bbq with all the fixin's!  The guys were honoured with gifts and cards and Mom and I did the bbq'ing.  We even included Uncle Dave in the gift giving.  He may not be a father yet, but he'll make a great one when he finds the right gal!
We spent some time reflecting on Rob's dad and how much we miss him still after these 5 years.  We had hoped to head out to the graveside to leave some flowers but the day got away on us faster than we thought. 
All in all, a great day.   Both Rob and my Dad deserve a lot of credit for the Fathers that they are.  Both are upstanding, honest, and lead by example.  Both are involved in their children's lives, and are respected by their families and those around them.  Keep up the good work boys...you're leaving an everlasting heritage for your loved ones!

Me & My Daddy...

Monday, July 4, 2011

Birthday Boy's Party...


I meant to post these awhile ago but the whole month was such a busy time that I'm just getting around to it now.  Little man had a great birthday!  He's been asking for his birthday cake for months already!  He wanted a Blues Clues birthday cake.  It was a fun time and so wonderful to see him so full of joy.  He was spoiled rotten, to put it mildly!  Here's a few pics from the party...

We are looking for Blues Clues, we are looking for Blues Clues...


Isaac's been asking for a guitar and a wheelbarrow for months now...

Auntie Kim surprised all the kids with handmade signs for their rooms!  Thanks Auntie Kim, they're beautiful!

Isaac also got a 'scooper'! (aka scooter)  He loves his new 'scooper'...


And of course there's the 'some assembly required'....

A few of our party guests....

We are thankful for this little man who lights up our lives.  His sense of humour brings us all so much joy!  It is truly a blessing to be  parents to Isaac.  Happy Birthday Little Man...we love you!