Dal

1 cup Red Lentils

3 Tablespoons Ghee or Olive Oil
1 Onion, diced
2 cloves Garlic, chopped
1+ teaspoon Chili Flakes (to taste)
1/2 teaspoon Tumeric
3 Bay Leaves
3 Tablespoons Curry Powder
3 cups water
15 oz (400ml) can unsweetened Coconut Milk
Salt
1 teaspoon Mustard Seed
1/4 teaspoon chili flakes (or to taste)
4 Green Onions, sliced
Preparation

Thoroughly wash and drain Red Lentils. Set aside.
In Medium size saucepan, heat 2 Tablespoons Ghee over Med/High heat and saute onion, garlic and chili for a minute.
Add Lentils, Tumeric, Bay Leaves, Curry Powder and Water; bring to a boil then lower heat, cover and simmer until Lentils are soft, about 30 minutes.
Stir in Coconut Milk ( I use Lite Coconut Milk) to Lentil mixture and simmer, stirring occasionally.
Add Salt to taste.
Heat remaining Ghee over High heat; add Mustard Seed, additional Chili Flakes and Green Onions and saute for about 1 minute.
Stir into Lentils and serve with Basmati or Jasmine Rice.

 

Vegetable Pie

 

I have been making this recipe so long that the recipe page is now sandwiched between two layers of packing tape so that it will not deteriorate any further! I got the recipe from a Tupperware dealer when Ultra21’s were all the rage! I loved those so much!

The Crust is lovely and I generally follow it though sometimes will sub in sour cream for the yogurt, or buttermilk if I don’t have either sour cream or yogurt on hand. I often add herbs to the base: sage, thyme, rosemary, basil, oregano; it all depends on what filling ingredients I end up using. Also, sometimes I will add ground flax seed, sunflower seeds or wheat germ. Ok, maybe I don’t stick to it all that often!
The Filling is really, what works for you! I almost always use fresh spinach, broccoli, cauliflower, and tomatoes. Sometimes I will add mushrooms, zucchini, sundried tomatoes, kalamata olives or chopped “bacon” rashers.
The Topping varies depending on the filling and again, what you have on hand. The recipe calls for grated cheddar but I also use mozza, monterey jack or feta. Always top off with a sprinkle of fresh ground pepper and fresh basil, if you have it or a sprinkle of dried basil if you don’t.
Crust:
1/2 cup Butter
1 1/4 cups Whole Wheat Flour
2 teaspoons Baking Powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup plain Yogurt
Filling:
3 cups finely chopped Broccoli (it is important that all your veggies are finely chopped with the exception of zucchini)
1/3 cup diced Onion
1 cup Grated Cheddar, or a combination of cheeses loosely equal to a cup of grated cheese
2 medium Tomatoes, sliced
1/3 cup Mayo combined with 2 Tablespoons plain Yogurt
8 fresh Basil leaves or 1 1/2  teaspoons dried Basil
Preheat oven to 450F. (230C)
Prepare a 10″ Springform pan by spraying with Vegetable Oil Spray and lightly dusting with cornmeal. Or use the same size Quiche pan.
In mixing bowl, combine flour, baking powder and salt; cut in butter until mixture resembles coarse crumbs.
Add yogurt and stir until the dough comes together.
Press the dough into prepared baking pan and, if using a springform pan, halfway up the sides.
Layer filling over crust in order given.
Bake at 450F for 10 minutes; reduce heat to 350F (175C) and bake for another 30 minutes.
Remove from oven and serve immediately.

 

Waffles off the Iron

Nothing beats a waffle fresh off the iron! And for that matter, forget Eggo Waffles, make a double batch of these, freeze  and use as needed; much better for ya!

Waffles
Fresh Waffles are, oh, so good!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2 Eggs
1 3/4 cup milk
1/2 cup Butter, melted
2 cups Flour
4 teaspoons Baking Powder
1 Tablespoon Sugar
1/2 teaspoon Salt

Heat Waffle Iron.

In large measuring cup, beat eggs with a fork (or small whisk) until fluffy; stir in milk, melted butter and vanilla.

In large mixing bowl combine flour, baking powder, sugar and salt.
Pour liquid ingredients into dry ingredients and whisk together until well blended, some lumps may remain.

Ladle 1/3 of the batter onto the heated Waffle Iron and bake until steaming stops, about 5 minutes. Carefully remove waffle to serving plate or to wire rack if making a double batch. Repeat the procedure two more times.
When waffles are completely cool, carefully stack in large freezer bag and place in freezer.
To reheat, pop into toaster like you would an Eggo Waffle.

Sometimes for variation I will use whole wheat flour in place of some of the white flour, along with some ground flax seed; the dry ingredients combined still amount to 2 cups.
When making a whole wheat version I will substitute Brown Sugar for the White Sugar.
A lot of the time I use soy milk instead of milk.
I always use real butter.

 

Grandma’s 1,2,3,4 Cake

 

My maternal Grandmother made this cake regularly and the recipe has been passed around to all her children, grandchildren and great grandchildren! Thanks, Grandma!
1 cup Butter
2 cup Sugar
3 cup Flour
4 Eggs
1 1/2 cups Milk
dash of Salt
3 teaspoons Baking Powder
1 1/2 teaspoons Vanilla
Prepare a 9X13″ pan: lightly spray with veg oil spray, cut a piece of wax paper to fit the bottom only of the pan.
Preheat oven to 350F.
In medium size mixing bowl combine flour, salt, and baking powder; set aside.
In large mixing bowl, cream butter and sugar together for a couple of minutes.
Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition.
Stir in vanilla and beat until light and fluffy.
Stir in 1/3 of flour mixture just until incorporated; add half the milk and continue stirring.
Add another third of the flour mixture followed by the remaining milk and stir until flour mixture is incorporated.
Add remaining flour mixture, stir until combined then beat for 2 minutes on high speed.
 

Pour batter into prepared 9X13, smoothing batter and pushing more batter towards corners.
Bake in preheated oven for 28 – 35 minutes, or until lightly golden and a pick comes out clean.
Remove from oven,  let rest on cooling rack for 10 minutes.
Turn out onto wire rack, peel off baking paper and cool completely.
To finish off:
1. Leave it plain and top with a Fruit Compote (as shown at Top of Page)
2. Cut in half, spread bottom layer with filling, top with remaining cake then frost all over with Whipped cream. Mask edges with toasted chopped nut or
toasted shredded coconut.
Whipped Cream Cake with Fresh Fruit

3.
Cut in half, spread bottom layer with Buttercream Icing; top with remaining cake then frost all over with Buttercream Icing, pipe on a Shell border.

 

 

 

 

Strawberry Shortcake

Strawberry Shortcake is synonymous with my youngest son Michael’s birthday and Canada Day though I think Michael is shifting towards something resembling a Strawberry Trifle. 

Shortcake:
2 1/4 cup Flour
4 teaspoons Baking Powder
2 Tablespoon Sugar
1/4 teaspoon Salt
1/3 cup Shortening, cold
1 Egg
2/3 cup Milk
1 teaspoon Vanilla
Whipped Cream:
1 litre Whipping Cream
Vanilla
Icing Sugar
Macerated Strawberries:
5 cups Sliced Strawberries, divided
1/4 cup Honey
Lemon Juice
or
Amaretto
8 Whole Strawberries, washed, leave stems on
Macerated Strawberries:
Place 4 cups of Sliced Strawberries into a bowl, drizzle with 1/4 cup of Honey, a scant amount of Lemon Juice or Amaretto, stir.
Refrigerate for at least 2 hours to let the flavours blend; I recommend doing this the day before.
Whipped Cream:
Whip cream in cold bowl using cold beaters.
As cream starts to slightly thicken, add a generous splash of Vanilla and icing sugar, a tablespoon at a time, to taste. I usually use about 3 Tablespoons.
Remove 1 cup of whipping cream to make the filling, cover remainder of the whipping cream with plastic wrap and refrigerate until needed.
Filling:
1 1/2 cups Bavarian Creme <- I always get mine at Save on Foods, in the Bulk section
1 cup Fresh Strawberries, chopped
1 cup Fresh Whipped Cream
Combine bavarian creme, chopped strawberries and 1 cup of whipped cream.
Shortcake
Preheat oven to 425F (220C)
Prepare baking sheet by lightly spraying with vegetable oil spray and dusting ever so lightly with cornmeal.
In mixing bowl, combine flour, baking powder, sugar and salt.
Using pastry blender, cut in cold shortening until mixture resembles coarse crumbs.
Measure out milk, add egg and vanilla, using a fork, stir well to combine.
Add liquid ingredients all at once to dry ingredients and stir until the dough gathers and pulls away from the sides of the bowl.
Turn out onto lightly floured surface and gently knead 10 times.
Gently pat down into a 10″ (25cm) circle or ever so gently roll out and cut with the large scalloped side of the top right cutter, for individual shortcakes.
Place on prepared baking sheet, score the 10″ (25cm) (keeping in mind you will be splitting the shortcake so very light scoring) circle into 8 wedges and bake in hot oven for 15 – 20 minutes, rotating pan(s) at 8 minutes. Continue baking until lightly golden.
Remove from oven and transfer shortcake(s) to wire rack to cool completely.
Building your Shortcake
When cooled, split shortcake(s).
Place bottom half of shortcake on serving platter.
Spread filling to cover, leaving an inch on the outside border.
Load large CLEAN piping bag (if there is any grease residue from say, Buttercream Icing, it will compromise the Whipped Cream!) with fresh whipped cream and pipe a high border around the filling.
Gently spoon a cup of macerated berries over the filling.
Gently refresh score lines.
Gently place scored top layer over filled bottom layer.
Pipe a border around the top and bottom of the cake.
Spoon remaining macerated strawberries on top of the cake and spread to fill area inside piped border.
Decorate with remaining whole strawberries.
If making the individual shortcakes, follow same procedure on each shortcake except that you don’t have to score them. (I usually make individual Shortcakes)