Monday, September 19, 2016

Yellow Plum Bars

These Yellow Plum Bars were the dessert for the visit with our friends Beth and Lindsay.
With the many plums that were given to me I made Plum Jam, Plum Puree and with the puree I baked these Yellow Plum Bars. A delicious way to use up some of the juicy ripe plums. A very elegant dessert to serve up for friends or family. Enjoy.

Yellow Plum Bars

The ingredients you will need. (the jar of Plum Puree made ahead)

Butter is cubed and ready to be cut in to make the pastry.

Dry ingredients for the Yellow Plum filling

Eggs and milk are mixed in

Yellow Plum filling ready to be poured onto the crust

Yellow Plum Bars baked and ready to cool and slice.

Yellow Plum Bars ready to be sampled.

1 3/4 cups (430 mL) sifted all-purpose flour
1/4 cup (60 mL) cornstarch
2/3 cup (160 mL) icing sugar
1 cup (250 mL) cold butter, cubed
4 farm fresh eggs
1 1/2 cups (375 mL) sugar
1 teaspoon (5 mL) baking powder
1/4 cup (60 mL) all-purpose flour
1 cup (250 mL) yellow plum puree
icing sugar for dusting
Preheat oven to 350F (175 C). Grease a 9×13 inch pan. In a medium bowl, stir together flour, cornstarch and icing sugar. Cut in the butter with a pastry cutter or two knives. Press into the bottom of the prepared pan. Bake in the preheated oven for 20 minutes or until edges begin to turn golden.
In a large bowl, beat eggs until light. Whisk together the sugar, baking powder and flour. Whisk the sugar mixture into the eggs. Finally, stir in the plum puree. Pour over the prepared crust and return to the oven. Bake for an additional 30 minutes or until bars are set. Allow to cool completely before dusting with icing sugar. Cut into bars and enjoy. Makes 24 squares.

 6 yellow plums, pitted and quartered
¼ cup (60 mL) sugar
2 tablespoons (30 mL) honey

Add plums, sugar and honey to a saucepan and bring to a boil over medium heat. Reduce to a simmer and cook for 5 minutes or until plums are soft

"The only meaningful thing we can offer each other is Love.
Not advice, no questions about our choices, not suggestions for the future, just Love."

Glennon Doyle Melton

Saturday, September 17, 2016

Quinoa Bean Patties with Roasted Red Pepper Sauce

September brings the end of summer, the garden is slowly winding down - it too needs to rest after a productive summer. Family and friends are a precious jewel for us and we enjoyed  a very busy summer with both. We enjoyed a lovely catch up visit with friends Beth and Lindsay. Perhaps their last visit for a while as they get ready to start the next chapter of their life back home in Grand Forks after many years of living in Vancouver. Our door is always open and the table set  for anyone who comes to visit (something my Mother always believed in). Today I prepared some Quinoa Bean Patties topped with a roasted red pepper sauce, served with homemade hash browns and my favourite tomato, cucumber and onion salad as well as a salad made with cottage cheese ( from the Viking Hudderite Colony)..that included cucumber, tomato and sweet onion, pulled together with a bit of cream..... just like Mom used to make. We will top off our visit with another new recipe - Yellow Plum Bars, with friends Tina and Geoff sharing their bounty of beautiful yellow plums this recipe came together very nicely. First I made some Yellow Plum Puree and jarred it, then with this Puree began the makings of a beautiful sweet treat. A wonderful way to spend a sunny Sunday.

Quinoa Bean Patties with Roasted Red Pepper Sauce

The ingredients you will need for the Quinoa Bean Patties.

Bean, Eggs and herbs

Quinoa mixed into the egg mixture.

Mixture shaped into balls, then pressed into patties.

Ingredients for the Roasted Red Pepper Sauce.

The peppers, onions and parsley.

Onions sautéed in olive oil.

The rest of the sauce ingredients added.

Basil is mixed in.

Roasted Red Pepper Sauce blended and ready for the patties.

Add a salad and you have a complete meal.

Quinoa Bean Patties with Roasted Red Pepper Sauce Recipe
For the roasted red pepper sauce:
  • 1 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 1/2 cup onion, chopped
  • 1 cup jarred, roasted red pepper, chopped
  • 1/2 cup vegetable broth
  • 1/4 cup plain coconut or almond milk
  • 1 Tbsp. fresh basil leaves
For the quinoa patties:
  • 1 cup quinoa, rinsed
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 Tbsp. grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 Tbsp. parsley, chopped
  • 1 Tbsp. green onions, chopped fine
  • 1 tsp. hot pepper sauce
  • 1/8 tsp. salt
  • 1 15-ounce can white beans, drained and rinsed and mashed lightly with a fork
  • 1/4 cup whole grain bread crumbs
  • 2 Tbsp. olive oil

To prepare the quinoa cakes: Rinse the quinoa under cold running water. Place the quinoa in a medium saucepan and cover with 2 cups cold water. Bring to a boil and immediately reduce to a simmer. Cover with the lid slightly ajar and continue to cook over low heat for 15 to 20 minutes, or until the quinoa is puffed and you see a little white ring release from around the quinoa. Remove from the heat and let cool to room temperature and set aside. 

In a large bowl place the eggs, parsley, green onions, salt and hot pepper sauce. Beat lightly with a fork. Add the lightly mashed beans, bread crumbs and quinoa. Stir to combine with a wooden spoon. The mixture will be a little sticky, shape into balls then flatten into patties 1/4 inch thick. Heat a nonstick skillet on medium heat with 2 Tbsp. of olive oil. Fry the cakes, in batches, until crispy on the outside. Flip the cakes and crisp the other side.  Serve with a salad or vegetables.

To prepare the roasted red pepper sauce: Heat the olive oil over medium heat in a heavy-bottomed sauce pot. Add the onion and cook for 3 minutes or until translucent. Add the roasted red pepper, vegetable broth and coconut or almond milk. Simmer for 10 minutes and add the fresh basil. Cook for 1 minute and then transfer everything to a blender and blend on high until creamy. Keep warm.

 "Don’t you know yet? It is your light that lights the world." ~ Rumi

Friday, August 19, 2016

Bean Bars

Summer is finally here, the days are hot and the nights a bit cooler. The plants in the garden are very happy. The pole beans and bush beans are producing very well and this morning I decided to bake something up with some green beans. Bean Square/Bars.
....a great way to get some more vegetables into your family's diet.
Full of aromatic spices like cinnamon, cloves and nutmeg....with a bit of applesauce thrown in. Delicious and nutritious; a great snack to pack to the beach or for lunch at work.  Bake some up for your family or friends  this weekend.

 Bean Bars

The ingredients you will need.

The dry ingredients are ready to be whisked together.

The green beans, applesauce, egg and oil are to be blended in the food processor.

Raisins and walnuts are ready to be folded into the batter.

A pan of Bean Bars dusted with powdered sugar.

A glass of iced tea or coffee would complete this afternoon snack.


1 cup flour
1/3 cup dry skim milk powder
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/2 tsp cloves
1/2 tsp salt
2 cups cooked green beans (yellow would work too)
1 egg
1/2 cup sunflower oil or coconut butter
3/4 cup unsweetened applesauce
1/2 cup walnuts chopped ( or nuts of choice)
1/2 cup raisins or currants
2 Tbsp. icing sugar, for dusting
In a large bowl combine, flour, milk powder, sugar, baking soda , cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves and salt.
In a blender or food processor combine, green beans, egg, oil and applesauce.
Process until smooth. Add to flour mixture stirring until combined. Fold in nuts and currants.
Scrape out into a greased 11x7 inch baking pan and bake in a preheated 350 degree oven for 25-30 minutes. Remove from oven and dust with icing sugar. Cut into bars and enjoy.

'Ah, Kindness. What a simple way to tell another struggling soul
that there is Love to be found in this world.'

Saturday, July 16, 2016

Kale & Quinoa Patties

The rains have watered the plants, the sun helping to ripen and speed the growth of fruits and vegetables. This time of the year is my favourite as there is something new to see in the yard and gardens every day.
While picking raspberries I saw last year's kale seedlings are now producing beautiful leaves. I always let a plant or two go to seed, the bees love the blossoms and I get free seedlings! My favourite is the Lacinto/dinosaur kale. Freshly picked and washed it was time to create. My sister Holly showed me how to make these delicious Quinoa Kale Patties. We love to eat them with a horseradish sauce or a homemade cocktail sauce. Serve them in a bun or as a main dish for dinner along with some noodles or potatoes or rice. Make them appetizer size and serve with a few different dips. They freeze very well too. Season them up to your family's tastes, add the cheese of your choice.....create and enjoy.

Kale and Quinoa Patties

 Freshly picked kale from the garden

Kale is chopped and measured....leftover kale will become kale chips

The rest of the ingredients you will need.

Parmesan cheese tops the pile of ingredients

Quinoa is cooked and cooled

All the ingredients have been added and mixed well.

These patties will be baked

A few will be fried in some oil

So nicely browned and crispy

Kale and quinoa patties ready for sampling.


2 1/2 cup cooked quinoa
4 cups kale chopped fine
3 eggs, beaten
1 tsp salt
1/2 onion chopped fine
1/2 cup chives or green onions sliced thinly
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese shredded
2-3 cloves garlic, minced
3/4 cup bread crumbs
Oil for frying
Combine all ingredients except bread crumbs and oil.  Mix well then stir in bread crumbs Mix until well and shape 1/2 cup of the mixture per patty. Shape into nice round patties - 1/4 inch thick.
Cook in oil until both sides are golden
Optional: Bake patties at 375 for approximately 15-20 minutes, flipping over after 10 minutes.

'Never let a problem to be solved become more important than a person to be loved.'
Barbara Johnson

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Vegetarian Chili

On a chilly 'June-uary' day Vegetarian Chili was just the thing to cook.
When the weather is cool and it is raining outside a bowl of hearty chili is just the right comfort food for the family. My family loves this chili and the recipe below makes a large batch that you can put away for those busy days when the sun comes out and you want to 'play' or spend time in the garden.
Try this recipe for your family or friends. Serve it over Kartoshnik (potato cake) or mashed potatoes.
Make it spicy or mild, add any beans of your choice - the possibilities are endless.
My boys even like it served over garlic toast.

Vegetarian Chili

The ingredients you will need.

Celery, onions and garlic chopped and ready for the pan.

Mushrooms, chopped - you can also use canned mushrooms

Onions, garlic and celery sauteeing

Mushrooms have been added to the onion, garlic and celery

Seasonings and spices

Seasonings and spices added to the mixture

the rest of the ingredients are waiting to be added to the tomato, onion mixture

Mmmmm....smelling so amazing

Serve the chili with sour cream or yogurt. Serve over some mashed potatoes
or Kartoshnik (Potato Cake)

Vegetarian Chili Recipe
2 tsp vegetable or olive oil
2 onions chopped
2 stalks celery diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 quarts tomatoes
1/2 cup ketchup or BBQ sauce of choice
2 cans (19 oz) kidney beans, drained
2 cans (19 oz) black beans, drained
2 cans Romano beans, drained
2 small cans baked beans in tomato sauce ( optional)
1 or 2 can canned sliced mushrooms or use fresh sliced
1 small can corn niblets, drained
1 1/2 Tablespoons chili powder, more if you like
1 1/2 teaspoons black pepper
Hot pepper flakes ( optional) if you like a spicier chili
Salt and seasoning salt to taste
Cheddar cheese (optional)

In a large Dutch oven sauté onions, garlic, celery and mushrooms in oil until onions are translucent. Add tomatoes and simmer for about 20 minutes, until thickened. Take a potato masher and mash a quarter of the beans, right in the pot.......this thickens up the Chili very nicely. Stir in the seasonings, ketchup or BBQ sauce and corn, adjust salt and pepper to taste. Bring to a simmer and simmer for another 15 minutes stirring several times. Take off stove, you can stir in some shredded cheddar cheese at this point. Serve with garlic cheese bread or over mashed potatoes Or even better serve over homemade Kartoshnik ( potato cake). A favorite of my boys. Any leftovers can be poured into sterilized jars and sealed. They will keep in the fridge until needed.

'Make your anger so expensive that no one can afford it,
and make your Happiness so cheap, everyone can get it for free.'

Monday, May 23, 2016

Sauerkraut Lesson

Ray is very proud of his sauerkraut.

Friends Ray and Trevor came over for coffee a few weeks ago and  invited to stay for lunch.
They sampled some of my homemade sauerkraut  so I told them I would give them a lesson
on sauerkraut making. Ray's smile says it all.....this is a happy man eagerly waiting for the sauerkraut to be ready for sampling....a wonderful student and on the lesson list is baking bread.
I will have both Ray and Trevor in their kitchen up to their elbows in bread dough.