Chile Relleno Breakfast Bake

This would be a nice meal to have on New Year’s Day watching the Rose Parade or football games. Serve it with some chunky salsa. I’m cutting the recipe in half and making it to enjoy while watching the Rose Parade today. Interesting fact about the Rose Parade and Rose Bowl game, it always happens on January 1st unless January 1st lands on a Sunday. When January 1st lands on a Sunday the parade and game are moved to January 2nd. Today is the day.

Another note of interest is the next time Christmas lands on a Sunday will be 2033. New Year’s Day will be on a Sunday in 2034.

Chili Relleno Breakfast Bake

Ingredients:
4-4oz. cans of whole green chilies
4 cups of shredded Cheddar Jack cheese combination
12 eggs
2 cups sour cream
1/2 teaspoon salt
Chunky salsa of your choice (optional)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Prepare 9 x 13 dish by greasing lightly.
Remove and drain the whole green chilies.
Slit the chilies open and lay flat covering the bottom of the dish.
Sprinkle the chilies with the cheese.
Beat the eggs, sour cream, and salt until thoroughly blended.
Pour over cheese.
Bake at 350 degrees for 30-40 minutes or until center is set.
Let sit for 5-10 minutes before serving.
Serve with your favorite salsa.
Yield: 8-10 servings

Enjoy your Monday holiday everyone!

Three Years Later…

…we were able to cross the line into Canada for our annual Mennonite Girls Can Cook Christmas Dinner/Party.

We drove the couple of hours from Bothell to Abbotsford crossing at the Sumas Border Crossing and arrived at Anneliese and H’s home. They had graciously reached out offering us their guest room for the night and a ride to the party in Chilliwack.

On the way to the party at Judy and Elmer’s we made a surprise stop but that’s not my story to tell.

Here we are, 7 of the 10, Mennonite Girls Can Cook. Our two Manitoba Girls and Kathy could not make it to the party.

It was so good to see these ‘Girls’ face to face after 3 years.

Lovella and Anneliese brought the appetizers.

Judy’s punch was festive.

Speaking of Judy, the hostess with the mostess, she single handedly cooked us the main meal portion for the evening. Her hubby Elmer is always available to lend a hand, help serve and wash up the dishes!

 

She set a beautiful table and created the live runner.

She sewed the napkins and made the place cards.

Marg brought the salad and she had help plating it from Bev.

Bev baked the buns.

Judy’s Saucy Cranberry Chicken was the main event on our dinner plate, delicious. Get her recipe here.

She also made the sides, carrots and peas, mashed potatoes, broccoli salad and a cranberry gravy.

Our sweet ‘captain’, Lovella!

The wonderful dessert finale to our meal was this trifle that Julie made. Refreshingly delicious! I did not get a photo of the Black Forest Trifle that Judy made. When I lived in Western Washington I would contribute to the menu but because of the extra traveling this year they let me slide.

After our meal the guys headed upstairs to play Crokinole and chat while us girls exchanged gifts and did some catching up downstairs. We finally wrapped up the evening shortly after 11:00 PM!!

Here’s the gift I brought home from our exchange.

We count ourselves blessed and fortunate to be able to meet up again for this wonderful yearly event.

You can now look away for the saga part of the story of Dear and me getting from Colville to Abbotsford. For those of you who are more curious here goes…

Originally we had flights out of Spokane to and from the Seattle area for our Saturday to Tuesday trip. We booked a hotel room at the Spokane airport for Friday night since we had an early flight on Saturday to Seattle (7am). It takes us 2 hours plus to get to the airport from our home in Colville. Our flight back home on Tuesday was scheduled for 7:30am getting us back to Spokane at 8:30am.

On Friday we had a leisurely morning and packed for our trip. We left our home at noonish with a stop at the post office to pick up a package that was too big for our mailbox. My haircut appointment at 1:00 got cancelled at the last minute so we decided to just carry on down the road to Spokane to have a meal before we checked into our hotel. We tried The Elk in The Browne’s Addition neighborhood of Spokane. The food and service was good and we enjoyed our time there. The drive to the airport from the restaurant was short and we checked into the hotel.

We woke up very early on Saturday morning and discovered both of us had never thought about bringing our passports even though we knew the purpose of our trip was to travel into Canada. OYE and BOTHER. We as a couple are not firing on all our cylinders. Every flight on Saturday was overbooked with one flight before ours cancelled which put even more pressure on the remaining flights. We made the decision to cancel our tickets for our 7am flight and drive back home (2 hours) and get our passports and make the 5+ hour drive to Bothell instead of flying. Driving the roads back to our home we gained confidence that the roads were in good shape and the drive would be okay. We made it home, grabbed our passports, had breakfast and packed a few more things in the car for our trip.

Back on the road at 8:30am we had an uneventful drive through the eastern and central part of Washington and over the Cascade mountain range into Western Washington. We made a stop at Chateau Ste Michelle in Woodinville for some wine to take with us to Canada and then filled the gas tank at the Woodinville Costco on the way to our kids’ home in Bothell. We were at our kids’ home at 3pm. (BTW: since Greg’s stroke I’m the sole driver)

Saturday night we had a nice meal out with our Western Washington kids to celebrate Laura’s birthday. On Sunday we worshipped at Josh and Laura’s church, grabbed some lunch items at Central Market, ate our meals and got ready for our drive to Canada. Our route to Abbotsford would take us about 2 hours. We stopped at a carwash in Bellingham to get all the dirty snow off our car before heading into Canada. The Border crossing and banter with the Agent was pleasant and once across the border we found our way to Anneliese and H’s home.

We drove with Anneliese and H. to the party in Chilliwack (a 20 minute drive) and the winds were blowing across the valley and it was frigid. We were welcomed into Judy and Elmer’s warm and festive home and enjoy our long anticipated party. After the party we slept fast. Monday morning we were served a delicious breakfast and we set off back to the USA. We were at the Border bright and early and had another pleasant encounter and crossing.

Our kids were busy with work and other events during the day on Monday so we contacted some dear friends to meet us for lunch at our old stomping grounds. We had a leisurely couple hours with them over delicious Mexican food and then made it back to our kids’ home. Laura made dinner and we packed up to leave on Tuesday morning. On the road again at 8:30 Tuesday morning (our anniversary). It took us an hour to get to traffic free I-90 and off we climbed over Snoqualmie Pass again. The roads were clear with no restrictions. (Thank you, Lord). Once over the pass we stopped in Cle Elum for a break which included breakfast. Back on I-90 we made it to Spokane by 1:30pm. We stopped at Costco to pick up a few items and were back on the road lickity split. Got another snack in Deer Park and started the final leg home arriving at 5pm. Whew! Greg figured out that we were driving for a total of 22 hours all told. That 22 hours didn’t count the stoppage times.

We are still covered in snow here with no melting in the forecast. In fact we have more snow in the forecast for Thursday and Saturday.

Greg is continuing with his Occupational Therapy. We’ll be traveling to Spokane again on Monday for his follow-up with the surgeon.

And that’s the rest of the story.

Applesauce Raspberry Jello

This Applesauce Raspberry Jello recipe has been around a long time. I added a few options in presentation this time around including the parfait version above. You can use a parfait presentation or a simple square pan presentation to enjoy this easy dessert or side salad dish.
Applesauce-Raspberry Jello

Ingredients:

  • 1 – 3oz. pkg. raspberry jello
    1 – Cup hot water
    1 – 10-oz. pkg. frozen raspberries
    1 – Cup applesauce
    1 – Cup sour cream
    1 – Cup miniature marshmallows
Method:
  1. Dissolve Jello in hot water.
  2. Add frozen raspberries and blend carefully.
  3. Add applesauce and blend gently.
  4. Pour into 9-inch square pan.
  5. Chill until set.
  6. Combine sour cream and marshmallows and spread over top of set Jello.
  7. Cover and Chill.
  8. Serves 6-8.

If you want to present this dish in an individual parfait glass do not spread the sour cream mixture on top of the set jello. Keep it separate and layer the ingredients.

I have doubled this recipe and put it in a 9 x 13 pan. It’s a refreshingly cool salad!
If you aren’t fond of marshmallows omit them and add a tablespoon or two of sugar to your sour cream.

You can also just put a dollop of the sour cream mixture on top of the jello squares instead of spreading the topping completely over the jello.

It’s fun to transform a simple recipe with an eye catching presentation.

Thanksgiving decorations are put away and today I’ll ask our sons to get down all the Christmas bins which require a ladder. Not promising the bins will get emptied but at least they will be where I can get to them easily in the next several days to empty. Time for me to pull out our Christmas CD’s. I’m aging myself and not apologizing. CD’s are very much appreciated at our country bungalow.

Katie and Andrew decided to make the drive for home today with Willow their cat (there will be a Willow post, soon) since there are some snow forecasts that show significant snowfall in the mountain passes later on Saturday and into Sunday. The rest of us will carry on with activities after they hit the road. The girls are going to paint signs and the guys might be pushing around some snow, after they get those bins down for me.

Banana Coffee Cake

A while back, I had one ripe banana and wanted to find a recipe that would work using it. This is what I came up with. It turned out lighter, more moist, and fluffier than banana bread. That was my husbands analysis! Delicious!

Ingredients:

  • 4 oz. of sour cream
  • 1/4 cup softened butter
  • 1 egg
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1 ripe banana, mashed
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1-1/8 Cup flour
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda

Topping:

  • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts or pecans
  • 1 Tablespoon sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

Method:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. In a large bowl, beat the sour cream, butter and sugar until blended. 
  3. Add egg, beating well.
  4. Add the banana and vanilla. 
  5. Combine flour, baking powder and baking soda; 
  6. Gradually add these dry ingredients to the creamed mixture. 
  7. Combine topping ingredients; add half to batter. 
  8. Transfer to a greased 9-in. x 9-in. baking pan. 
  9. Sprinkle with the remaining topping. 
  10. Bake at 350° for 25-30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. 
  11. Cool on a wire rack.  
  12. Yield: 6-8 servings. 

Quinoa Salad

This hearty salad has a nice flavor and is naturally gluten free. You can add or delete ingredients to suit your own taste buds, too.

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup dry quinoa
  • 1 cup chicken stock
  • 1 cup chopped cucumber
  • 1 cup chopped fresh mango
  • 1/2 to 1 cup garbanzo beans drained and rinsed (Chickpeas)
  • 1/4 to 1/2 cup chopped green onions
  • Juice of half a lemon
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

Method:

  1. In a small saucepan combine quinoa with the chicken stock and bring to a boil.
  2. Once it boils reduce heat and simmer for 15 minutes.
  3. Turn off the heat and let it sit for 5 minutes.
  4. Fluff with a fork and set aside to cool completely.
  5. You can set it in the refrigerator to speed the cooling.

While the quinoa is cooling prepare the rest of the ingredients. I left the amounts of beans and green onion to your discretion. We enjoy green onion so I added the full 1/2 cup. Mix together all these ingredients with the cooled quinoa and enjoy as a side dish or a meal. You can easily make this a vegetarian dish by cooking the quinoa with water or vegetable stock instead of the chicken stock.

Although I’m going to try to create some posts during our travels I cannot guarantee that and I will be hit and miss with visiting blogs over the next two weeks. Cheers!

Asparagus-Pancetta Phyllo Appetizers

This is a simple appetizer with a pretty presentation. I used mini Phyllo cups that come frozen in the freezer aisle of the grocery store. The sky is the limit on what filling combination you could use. We had these at Easter so the Asparagus was my go to choice with added ingredients that I thought would go well together.

Ingredients:

  • 2 Packages of Mini Phyllo Pastry Shells (30 total)
  • 15 stalks of Asparagus, washed and chopped into small pieces.
  • 2 Tablespoons butter
  • 1 Shallot, chopped
  • 1/2 cup diced Pancetta (you can substitute bacon)
  • 1/4 cup white wine or chicken stock
  • 1 Tablespoon White wine vinegar or Sherry Vinegar
  • Salt and Pepper, to taste

Added Optional Ingredients:

  • 2 egg whites from 2 hard boiled eggs, chopped. Discard the yolk.
  • 1/2 cup shredded cheese of your choice

Method:

  1. Defrost the Phyllo Shells in refrigerator overnight.
  2. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  3. In a saucepan, melt the butter on medium heat and cook the asparagus for 2 minutes. Set aside in a bowl.
  4. In the same saucepan, cook the chopped shallot for 2 minutes.
  5. Now add the Pancetta to the pan and cook for 1 minute. (If you choose to use bacon instead precook it before this step and add it to the mix when you add the egg whites.)
  6. De-glaze the pan with white wine and reduce by half. (Shallots and Pancetta stay in pan for this step)
  7. Add the white wine vinegar and reduce by half again.
  8. Pour over the Asparagus.
  9. Add the chopped egg white solids to the Asparagus bowl.
  10. Mix gently and season with salt and pepper.
  11. If you want to add the grated cheese do it now and mix gently.
  12. Place thawed Phyllo shells on a cookie sheet that is large enough for the 30 shells.
  13. Fill each cup full with the Asparagus mixture.
  14. Bake in 350 degree oven for 10-15 minutes. Just long enough to warm all ingredients through.

Set out on pretty plate and watch them disappear!

We enjoyed these at an Easter Celebration a few years back but these or a variation of these would be good for an afternoon tea or before any meal. Whatever is fresh and available can be adapted to these cups. I’m thinking of trying a sweet custard bite using these shells.

A Quartet of Sisters Hodgepodge

It’s Wednesday and time for the Hodgepodge questions this first week in August! Thank you to Joyce From This Side of the Pond!

1. Do you have a sister? Tell us something about her. If you don’t have a sister, tell us about a friend who has been like a sister. Or tell us about a sister-in-law if you have one who is extra special. 

I have 3 sisters and 4 brothers. My sister-in-laws are extra special, too. The photo above is of us sisters in age order, youngest on the left and oldest on the right.

My oldest sister Kathy is a gifted teacher. Vera has the gift of hospitality. Lana is an amazing organizer. We all challenge each other to follow Jesus closely. We all sing and have sung in choirs, trios, duets or in a ‘rock’ band. We all can cook for a crowd.

2. Resister, assister, insister, persister…choose one of the words listed and explain how it relates to you and your life lately. 

Right now since I’m working on dropping unwanted pounds I would say I’m a resister. It’s interesting what a great resister I am in the morning up until about 3pm and then it gets tougher for me to resist so I switch to insister, telling my brain I do not need to have this or that as it will derail my plan. I’m working on some healthier eating habits, too. I want to be able to walk in England in September without huffing and puffing and sweating more than I need to because of excess weight.

3. Share a favorite song, book, movie, or television program that features sisters.

How timely as we pulled out BBC version of Pride and Prejudice on Monday evening and are watching all the episodes again with the 5 sisters who are all quite different from each other.

4. August 3rd is national watermelon day…are you a fan? ~ Yes

Do you like watermelon flavored candy?  NO

Besides eating the melon as is, do you have a good recipe made with watermelon? 

This Watermelon Cucumber Salad is perfect for a summer get together.

5. ‘Tis August…what are three things you’re looking forward to this month.

Our Coast kids are hopping over for a long weekend visit, Addy starts soccer this month so I’ll enjoy watching on the sidelines, and I’ll be helping a little with Vacation Bible School.

6. Insert your own random thought here. 

I’m making this dessert again this week for a dinner we are having here on Saturday evening. It has a few steps but is pretty easy to make. It’s a dessert you can make a few days ahead. I think it would easily serve 10-12 people. I’ll give you the link so you can see how much prettier you can make it look with whip cream and fresh strawberries on top. I only used a large carton of good Strawberry Ice Cream. My carton was not 1/2 gallon so my version is not as tall as the showstopper…

I used vanilla wafers and regular Strawberry Ice Cream.

To see the showstopper version of this cake and get the recipe click below!

You can find the recipe here.

It’s called Strawberry Shortcake Ice Cream Cake because she used Strawberry Shortcake Ice Cream. I call mine Strawberry Ice Cream Cake since I didn’t find the shortcake version of ice cream to use. It is not overly sweet. Hopefully I’ll remember to take a photo of the cake decorated with whipped cream and Strawberries on Saturday.

Sweet and Salty Snack

This sweet and salty snack is hard to resist. The ingredients are few and the method is simple. This is also a Gluten Free recipe.

1 cup sugar
1 cup light corn syrup
1 cup peanut butter
1 package of corn chips (10-1/2 oz.)

Prepare a 15 x 10 sheet pan lightly greasing it. Distribute the corn chips evenly in the pan.
In a medium sized pot cook the sugar and corn syrup until it bubbles and the sugar is completely dissolved. Take pot off stove top and blend in the peanut butter. Pour the blended sugar, corn syrup, peanut butter mixture over the corn chips evenly. Let it cool and enjoy!

Since it’s summer and we are in a heat wave this recipe that requires no baking is a good one to try.

Mango Jicama Slaw

This slaw is a fresh alternative to traditional coleslaw for a barbecue. You can use a store bought dressing or mix up Anneliese’s dressing. Anneliese also has a tutorial on how to cut a mango at that link.

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 Small Jicama, peeled and julienned
  • 2 Mangoes, peeled and julienned
  • 1/2 small cabbage julienned
  • 1 handful of cilantro, chopped
  • 2 green onions/scallions sliced thin
  • Salt and Pepper to taste
  • Store bought mango dressing or Anneliese’s dressing

Method:

  1. Mix all fresh ingredients together.
  2. Add enough dressing to coat.

Serves 6

You can double or triple this recipe for a large crowd using up a whole Jicama, whole head of cabbage, adding more mangoes and increasing the dressing. An easy tip is to use equal parts Jicama, Mango and Cabbage.
If you don’t want to bother with whole mangoes you can buy peeled and pitted mangoes at your grocery store. I bought mine at Costco.

Greek Salad

Here’s another great Summer salad.

Greek Salad
Ingredients:

  • 1 cup cucumber chopped
  • 1 cup tomatoes, chopped
  • 1/2 cup canned chickpeas (garbanzo), drained, rinsed.
  • 1/4 cup Kalamata olives, pitted, sliced
  • 1/4 cup scallions, sliced (you can substitute red onion here)
  • 1/4 cup coarsely chopped parsley
  • 1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 1 clove garlic minced
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 2-3 Tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 3 Tablespoons fresh mint, chopped

Method:

  1. Combine the cucumbers, tomatoes, chickpeas, olives, scallions, and parsley in a large bowl.
  2. Whisk together lemon juice, garlic, sugar, salt, and pepper for the vinaigrette in a bowl.
  3. Drizzle olive oil into lemon juice mixture in a steady stream while whisking, after it emulsifies stir in mint and adjust seasonings to taste.
  4. Pour over the combined ingredients and mix well.

Double the recipe if you are serving this as a main dish. This recipe would serve 2 as a main dish.
As a side it serves 4-6 people.
I used the whole English Cucumber for the salad pictured above which was probably 2 cups or more of the cucumber.