Sunday Morning Coffee +Thanksgiving Leftovers 2FER #2: CRANBERRIES


 

IMG_2120My favourite version of a traditional accompaniment combines fresh or frozen cranberries, orange juice, sugar and a whole orange to make a fresh, tangy relish for turkey or chicken. Use your microwave to make this fuss-free or, if you prefer, cook and stir on the stovetop a day ahead then cool until it’s time to serve.

  • 1 package fresh or frozen whole cranberries [ about 2 cups
  • 1 whole orange
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup orange juice**

**I usually combine a couple of spoonfuls of orange juice concentrate with warm water, but if you don’t have orange juice, just go ahead and use plain water for a slightly less “orange-y” sauce.

Slice off the stem and blossom end of the orange. Cut the orange in chunks and throw into a food processor or blender with the orange juice. Process until all the peel is shredded. Combine the orange with the sugar and cranberries in a VERY LARGE microwavable bowl ( ask me how I know this will bubble over if the bowl isn’t at least  twice as big as I think I need!).  Cover and microwave on high for about 8 minutes until bubbling. Remove cover, stir and continue to microwave uncovered on high for another 8-12 minutes or until the berries have popped and the sauce begins to thicken. [Sauce will thicken considerably more as it cools.] Cool to lukewarm and then refrigerate until dinner time.

This Canadian Thanksgiving, though, I popped the finished sauce into the fridge and….

FORGOT ABOUT IT!!!

 FINISHED

When we remembered [just before I served dessert!], it was too late for dinner, so I was left with a double batch of sauce to use up. So, Sunday baking for LaRosa was an experiment: Joe Zaleski’s coffee cake from the old Quilter’s Neighbourhood site adapted for a fruit filling instead of the usual streusel.

Oh wow! Now we have a NEW family and church favourite: I have stockpiled bags of cranberries and plan to make up batches of sauce just for this wonderful 

Zinger Joe’s Cranberry Coffee Cake

bake at 350º for about an hour: makes a 9″ bundt or tube cake.

  • 1/2 cup butter or margarine
  • 1 3/4 cup sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 3 cups flour
  • 4 tsp. baking powder
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1 1/2 cups sour cream or yoghurt
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • zest of 1 orange
  • 1/4 cup sugar

I promise you: this is well worth using every bowl in your kitchen. Like the original recipe, you’ll need to start by organizing different bowls of ingredients, then combining them. Here’s how that goes:

INGREDIENTS

  • Bowl #1: beat together margarine with first amount of sugar until creamy. Add eggs one at a time and beat well.
  • Bowl #2: stir together flour, baking powder and  salt.
  • Bowl #3: Sprinkle soda over yoghurt [or sour cream] beat with a whisk until light and foamy
  • Bowl #4: Cranberry sauce [we use our own recipe from above, but you could also use a can of whole cranberry sauce –not jelly)
  • Bowl #5: Stir together 1/4 cup sugar with orange zest and set aside.

Grease a 9″ bundt or tube pan. [I use Pam®]

Add flour and yoghurt mixture alternately to margarine mix, beginning and ending with flour. Beat well after each addition.

HALFFILL

Beginning to add the second layer of batter on top of the cranberry sauce.

READY

Ready for the oven.

Spoon half the batter into the bottom of the pan. Spoon cranberry sauce evenly over the batter. Top with remaining batter. Swirl with a long thin knife until bits of cranberry show through the top, but DO NOT STIR…you want to have streaks of berry not a pink cake! Smooth the top then sprinkle with the orange/sugar mix. Bake in middle of oven for about 1 hour or until it tests done. Cool in pan on a rack for 10 minutes, then turn out to cool completely.

Makes a wonderful dessert or a morning snack…sustenance for shopping on Friday after Thanksgiving, perhaps?

November 19, 2013 at 8:40 pm Leave a comment

Sunday Morning Coffee +Thanksgiving Leftovers 2FER: SWEET POTATOES


Sweet Potato Cake

Our folks at LaRosa don’t get to enjoy the best part of Thanksgiving: the cooks do a great job of Thanksgiving dinner, but food service protocol doesn’t allow for next-day meals of leftovers. Our Canadian Thanksgiving in October gave me a chance to share some of our leftovers with my friends in special treats for Sunday morning.  This year, one of our new favourites starts with my version of a Thanksgiving standard: Sweet Potatoes or Yams. Here’s my recipe for Thanksgiving dinner followed by the 2fer recipe beginning with leftovers as a base to build a wonderful autumn treat.

Sweet Potato Bake

I’m not a fan of sweet main course sides: I don’t get the appeal of yams with marshmallows. But, sweet potatoes or yams are a must-serve item for Thanksgiving dinner, so I’ve developed my own no-fuss take on this dish. (Sorry, there’s no photo for this part: my kitchen is no place for a camera when I’m cooking for a crowd!]

  • 2-3 large sweet potatoes or yams, peeled and sliced half-inch thick. I usually cut these in half for half-circles so they’re easier to layer;
  • 3 slightly underripe pears – Bosc are my favourites, but any that aren’t mushy will do. If the skins are thin and attractive, you can leave them on, or peel if desired. Core and cut into slices.

Toss potatoes or yams in a bowl with a little olive oil [no more than a tablespoon], then layer in the casserole dish alternating with pear slices. You can drizzle with a little maple syrup if you wish. Sprinkle with about

  • 1 tsp nutmeg
  • salt and pepper to taste.

Cover with foil and bake.  I do my bird at 325°, so I put these in alongside my roasting pan about an hour before it’s done. Test after about 45 minutes: if potatoes are fork tender, remove foil and let brown for 10-15 minutes. Serves 10-12 if you have other side dishes.

As usual, I made way more food than we could eat, anticipating leftovers. About 1/2 of the sweet potato dish was left, so I adapted an on-line recipe from Taste of Home to use them. The little bit of pear was a lovely light addition to this special autumn cake: everyone who tried it agreed “Yum!” (I’m sure this would still be a hit with any sweet potato leftovers: if you sweeten yours for Thanksgiving, you’ll want to reduce the sugar accordingly.)

Sweet Potato Cake

Start by scooping the leftovers into a stand mixer bowl and beat on medium until thoroughly mashed, or mash as you would potatoes.  Measure the sweet potato mix and return 2 cups to the bowl and beat with

  • 1 3/4 cups sugar
  • 1/2 cup softened butter or margarine

Beat until well mixed, then beat in

  • 1/2 cup warm water
  • 2 large eggs

Stir together:

  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 2 teaspoon ground cinnamon**
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger**
  • 1/4 teaspoon cloves**
  • 1/4 teaspoon cardamom**
  • **SUBSTITUTE Pumpkin Pie spice if you prefer for any or all of the spices.

Add all at once to the sweet potato mixture. Mix just until moist, then stir in

  • 1 cup dried cranberries or raisins (I used Craisins®)
  • 3/4 cup chopped pecans or walnuts

Spoon into a well-greased 10″ bundt pan or tube pan. Bake at 350° for about 1 hour, or until a toothpick inserted near centre comes out clean. Cool in pan on rack for 10-15 minutes before turning out to cool completely.  Before serving, dust lightly with

  • Icing sugar

Next time I may try this in a 9×13 pan: perhaps with cream cheese frosting? I’m betting it will make a wonderful dessert to serve after Turkey Pot Pie.

HINT: More than 2 cups of sweet potatoes/yams? Freeze leftovers to add to muffins or pancakes for added nutrition.

 

Looking for more post-Thanksgiving recipes?  Quilter’s Neighbourhood, has a couple of our favourite Thanksgiving leftover recipes: Turkey Pot Pie and Cranberry Muffins here.

 

 

November 1, 2013 at 8:21 pm 1 comment

What I Did on My Summer Vacation


Image

I’ve been noticeably absent from my blog for the summer: too caught up in living intentionally to keep up with good intentions to post regularly. Here’s how life along the way has played out for the last few months: providence

I SHALL NOT BE IN WANT: 

Our little church blessed us by sending us to the beautiful Laurentian area of Quebec for three days of prayer, praise and preparation for moving forward together with the other churches in our fellowship. Blessed by the astounding young worship leaders who led us in familiar hymns and choruses in both languages: a favourite English hymn with a French cadence becomes uniquely meaningful all over again. Blessed by time spent sharing with fellow pastors: common struggles and shared joys.

God provided all we needed and then, for full measure, blessed us with three more days for laughter and splashing and getting wet and sunburned and very happy with our grandkids and their parents.

greenpastures

HE MAKES ME LIE DOWN IN GREEN PASTURES:

A week cat-sitting for friends gave me the quiet restful time I needed after the hustle of travel and adventure. Right in the centre of  downtown Vancouver, July is a wonderful time to sit in the park people-watching and enjoying summer and sunshine in a beautiful city. Sunday, I wandered into the nearest service: a large [by our standards!] Baptist Church. There, my soul was refreshed by the clear streams of music sung full voice: I still smile thinking of the enthusiastic tenor behind me

Bless the Lord, oh my soul OH MY SOUL!   

righteousnessIN THE PATH OF RIGHTEOUSNESS

When I first determined that this would be a year of living intentionally, I foolish thought that meant I’d make a plan and stick to it. Not so! Summer had its challenges too: a teenager refusing to accept responsibility; a precious daughter-of-my-heart facing health problems while trying to cope with a new baby; a friend navigating the shoals of family discord;  an apartment to clear and and a funeral to prepare. All were exercises in living intentionally!  

Turns out, intentional means being alert to God’s calling and following him on the path of righteousness: occasionally stretched almost to breaking, trusting in His leading, seeking to discern his direction. [Mostly] I curbed my sarcasm, kept my temper, focused on His goals and trusted that His goodness and hesed  is continuing to chase me down. 

As for MY plans…., not so much.

overflowsMY CUP OVERFLOWS

That’s been my intentional summer: trials and laughter and frustrations and sheer unadulterated joy.

Before the clouds sock in and the months of drizzle begin,  summer gave us one last Hurrah!

My friend and fellow pastor Don Weston asked me to “do the quilt thing” for the dear folks in his church. When we agreed on the 23rd Psalm message, I found the impetus I’ve been lacking for [ahem] EIGHT years while I claimed to be trying to figure out how to quilt the Shepherd’s Light  top. Determined to finish it before I preached, I put the last stitches in the binding on Saturday night and, after our own church service, headed down-Island through the pouring rain into a brief blaze of sunlight just as we began to set up.

We pinned the quilt to the wall and I stepped back to look  for the first time. The Shepherd’s Light glows against the darkness of the shadows: more powerful than I had ever imagined. So, I spoke about the Shepherd and His care and I talked to the people about ministering to one another out of the overflow of His love and mercy, feeling as though my own cup was running over…

Bless the Lord oh my soul, OH MY SOUL!

shepherd

Click on the photo and scroll down to order

SHEPHERD’S LIGHT
original mini-s
eries

Focus on the 23 Psalm in depth  through the seven lessons in this stunning quilt designed to finish approximately 62″ square.

BONUS: Includes a step-by-step guide to mastering set-in-points from Quilter’s Neighbourhood library of Basic blocks.

 $12 *        *US funds

October 2, 2013 at 5:44 pm Leave a comment

Sunday Morning Coffee: RHUBARB PECAN BREAD


rhubarb breadScored some rhubarb from my mother-in-law’s garden [thanks, Marie Graham!]: half got chopped and frozen for a rhubarb pie; the remainder went into these lovely moist breads. I adapted the recipe from one handwritten by my daughter-in-law Bre-Anne’s grandma – the other side of the recipe card from the Pork and Beans bread I shared a while back. Next time I make this, I think I’ll cut the oil to 1/2 cup and add 1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce to make this a little healthier.

Bake at 350° for about 50 minutes. Makes 2 loaves.

  • 1 1/2 cups brown sugar
  • 1 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1 1/2 cup plain yoghurt or 1 cup buttermilk or sour milk [I used Greek Yoghurt thinned with milk]
  • 3 cups flour
  • 3/4 cup chopped nuts (I used pecans)
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp baking soda
  • 2 – 2 1/2 cups diced rhubarb [about 1/4″ cubes]

Mix sugar, oil, egg, vanilla and yoghurt or milk and beat until smooth

Combine flour, salt cinnamon and soda and add to liquids.

Stir in rhubarb and nuts. Divide batter into 2 well greased 8″x4″ loaf pans. Bake at 350° for about 50 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the centre comes out clean. Cool in pan for 10 minutes then turn out on a rack to cool completely. Freezes well.

 

June 30, 2013 at 12:07 pm Leave a comment

Sunday Morning Coffee: [er um shhhh….] PRUNE Bars


Image

I gave my friend the last of a bag of prunes for her Mom. Just when I bought more for my cupboard, my friend showed up with a big bag to replace the ones she borrowed, leaving me with more than I could use in a lifetime of adding them to porridge. Browsing through my Company’s Coming cookbooks, I found a recipe for “prune chips” that sounded interesting. With a few changes, it’s become a surprising favourite in our household: think a moist yummy carrot cake-type bar. If you don’t tell anyone, they’ll never know it’s got prunes! [In case you’re worried, I think you’d have to eat the whole batch to suffer the “side effects” prunes sometimes cause.]

The food processor makes fast, non-sticky work of chopping the prunes. If you don’t have a processor, you can certainly chop them or cut into pieces with scissors dipped in warm water.
 

PRUNE BARS [adapted from COMPANY’S COMING 150 DELICIOUS SQUARES]

  • 1 cup prunes
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 1/3 cup butter
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 T lemon juice
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon [I use a full teaspoon]
  • 1/4 teaspoon cloves
  • 1/4 teaspoon ginger

Stir the prunes into the 1/2 cup flour to coat evenly, then pulse in a food processor with the chopping blade until about the size of raisins [the flour keeps the prune from clumping and sticking to the blade.] Set aside.

Beat butter, egg and sugar together until fluffy. Add lemon juice, water and chopped walnuts. Beat to mix [I use my stand mixer to make quick work of this.]

In a separate bowl, stir together 1/2 cup flour, soda and spices. Stir in the prune/flour mix. Add all at once to butter mixture and stir just until moistened. Turn into a well greased 8″ square cake pan. Bake at 350° for about 45 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the centre comes out clean.

Cool in pan. If desired, dust with icing sugar before cutting into squares. [I cut 24 — 4 x 6 for church, or 16 — 4×4 for Frank’s lunchbox.]

Hope you enjoy these as much as we do: they stay fresh and moist for a couple of days and freeze well too. Feel fry to adjust the spices to suit your own taste.

–Kim

 

June 23, 2013 at 1:23 pm Leave a comment

Sunday Morning Coffee: BANANA SNACKING CAKE


ImageWhile I like the flavour of banana cake, I find most too dense. So, when I excavated three frozen bananas while cleaning my fridge’s freezer, I set about to make a lighter version with all the flavour of traditional banana snacking cake, but without the heaviness. I knew it was a hit when we all had one little piece after dinner…then another and another and… As you can see from the photo, it wasn’t long before the pan was half empty!

June 2, 2013 NOTE: in the original post, a “1” was added in front of the 1/2 cup of butter required. Yikes! The corrected version follows. My apologies to anyone who tried the recipe in its first posting — unless of course, you like a VERY buttery cake!

LIGHT AND FLUFFY BANANA SNACK CAKE

  • 3 medium bananas [I freeze overripe bananas and use them without thawing]
  • ½ cup butter or hard margarine
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup Greek style yoghurt or sour cream*
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 2 ½ cups white flour
  • 1 ½ tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 3/4 cup chopped walnuts
  • 2 squares semi-sweet chocolate [or ¼ cup chocolate chips]
  • 1 T vegetable oil

Beat butter. Add sugar, eggs and bananas and beat until smooth.

In a separate bowl or large measuring cup, mix yoghurt and baking soda and stir with a fork: it will become light and puffy. [*You can use regular yoghurt if you like, but you will need to add about ¼ cup more flour to compensate for the extra liquid, and your cake may be a little heavier.]

In a third bowl, mix together flour, baking powder and salt.

Add flour mixture and yoghurt to banana mixture alternately, beginning and ending with flour. Mix only until moist. Stir in walnuts (you can leave the nuts out if you wish or add chocolate chips instead/as well as — there’s always room for chocolate!)

Pour into a greased 9×12” pan – I use a large rectangular Pyrex® dish. Bake at 350° for about 45 minutes or until golden brown and cake springs back when touched.

NOTE: it will look like there’s not enough batter, but this cake rises almost double. I was worried when I checked half way through: the center looked puffed and gummy, but it was perfect when it was finished. 

While the cake is baking, microwave the chocolate and oil on low until melted, stirring to mix. After removing cake from the oven, cool on a rack while you drizzle the chocolate over the top. [I’m told that chocolate is optional for some people….just not anyone I know!].

I think this might freeze well, but don’t imagine I’m ever going to find out for sure! If your family has more restraint than we do, drop me a note to let me know! 

God bless

Kim

May 30, 2013 at 7:57 pm 2 comments

Life Along the Way: CURSES!


james and me

photo by Fred Barton

My mother was big on cursing.

Not the foul language kind [she was too ladylike for that!]  Tall, slender, athletic, auburn-haired former fashion model: nothing prepared her for parenting a short, opinionated, klutzy, argumentative bookworm. Faced with a daughter who was an alien in her household, poor Mom resorted to wishing dire consequences whereby I would grow up to understand exactly how awful it was for her to be my mom.

The most common curse:

  • I hope you have a kid just like you! 

Funny thing about word curses: sometimes they come true. And, sometimes they become the greatest blessings in our lives.

When he was an opinionated, klutzy, argumentative teenager, James and I  spent many a happy hour nose-to-nose yelling at one another. Even then, I knew I was blessed.

As an adult (especially as an adult adoptee),  when I look into his eyes and see my eyes looking back, I am blessed.

When he sends me a text from work with something sad,  funny or weird to share; or when we exchange books, recipes,  [and, I admit – sarcastic comments], I am blessed.

When he makes me laugh like no one else can, (even though everyone  is rolling their eyes),  I am so blessed.

My mom usually followed her curse with a prophesy:

  • Someday you’ll thank me.

So,  here it is, Mom:

Thanks for the curse Blessing!

Kim

On Kim’s Design Wall this week: a new baby quilt project in blues, greens and white. Stay tuned for more.

May 23, 2013 at 4:21 pm 1 comment

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