Spiced Pork Tenderloin with Rhubarb Chutney

As I mentioned before, pork tenderloin regularly pops up in my supper menus. Over time, I have prepared it in many different ways and hardly ever remember any that we didn’t care for.

Since my three rhubarb plants seem to still be producing those lovely stalks, why not use them! This blog recipe is easy, wonderful tasting and a great presentation all in one. Here’s my interpretation of Spiced Pork Tenderloin with Rhubarb Chutney. Enjoy!

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Spiced Pork Tenderloin with Rhubarb Chutney
The spice rub 'marinating' adds so much to the overall flavor.
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Course Main Dish
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Instructions
Pork Tenderloin
  1. In a large resealable plastic bag, combine spice rub ingredients. Butterfly pork tenderloin & flatten to uniform thickness. Place in plastic bag with spice rub & shake to distribute seasoning well. Close bag & allow to stand in refrigerator for several hours.
Rhubarb Chutney
  1. In a heavy saucepan, combine first 9 chutney ingredients. Bring to a simmer over low heat, stirring until sugar dissolves. Add rhubarb, onion & dried cranberries; increase heat to medium & cook until rhubarb is tender & mixture thickens slightly, about 5 minutes. Cool completely. Can be made ahead of time & refrigerated until needed.
  2. Preheat oven to 350 F. Grease a piece of aluminum foil & place on a wire rack on a baking pan. Cut plastic bag open; lay tenderloin flat with cut side up. Spread chutney over tenderloin & carefully roll (using plastic bag), starting with the long side as you would with a cake 'jelly roll'. Place on greased foil on pan.
  3. Lightly rub a small amount of olive oil or a 'fig balsamic dressing' over top of tenderloin. Bake for about 45 minutes or until tests done. DO NOT OVER BAKE! Remove from oven & allow stand for a few minutes before slicing.

Raspberry Vanilla Cream Pie

Summer’s bounty of fresh fruit is so hard to resist. Raspberries for instance — vividly pink, exquisitely perfumed and very delicate. I think I’ve tried to use them in everything imaginable. For one company event some years ago, I was trying to come up with a sauce that would take my cream puffs to the ‘next level’. I decided to put some Chambord raspberry liqueur in it. Chambord is created using black and red raspberries, vanilla, citrus peel, honey and hints of fragrant herbs. I definitely could say I think I ‘nailed it’ with that raspberry drizzle.

Although the red raspberries seem to be the most popular and well known, I have tasted the gold ones as well. Fall Gold raspberries ripen in the late part of the season becoming very large and sweet. If you get a chance, they are certainly worth trying.

It seems strange that raspberries are actually a member of the rose ‘family’ and not considered a true berry. Irregardless, they are certainly delicious to eat and always give such great eye appeal to everything they are used in. Pie has become such a global favorite, you might say, it’s a work of art that comes easily. Today’s blog recipe for Raspberry Vanilla Cream Pie  has always been one of my favorites. 

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Raspberry Vanilla Cream Pie
Showy and delicious!
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Course dessert
Servings
Ingredients
Oat Pie Crust
Raspberry Filling
Course dessert
Servings
Ingredients
Oat Pie Crust
Raspberry Filling
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Instructions
Oat Pie Crust
  1. In a large bowl, combine the flour, oats, pecans, (sugar) & salt; bend in margarine until resembles coarse crumbs. Press onto the bottom & up the sides of a 9" pie pan. Bake at 400 F. for 12-15 minutes or until lightly browned. Cool on a wire rack.
Raspberry Filling
  1. In a large saucepan, heat water over medium heat. Whisk in pudding mix. Cook & stir for 5 minutes or until thickened & bubbly. Whisk in jell-o until completely dissolved. Remove from heat; cool slightly. Gently fold in raspberries. Spoon into cooled crust. Chill for at least 3 hours or overnight. Serve with a dollop of Cool Whip or Dessert Topping or decorate with a design.
Recipe Notes

Summer Picnic # 3

                                                      MENU

SPICED CHICKEN POTATO LOAF    *    SAVORY PORK POTATO LOAF

BARLEY, CORN & PEPPER SALAD * CANDIED NUT & GORGONZOLA SALAD

                                  SOUR CREAM BLUEBERRY TARTS

 

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Savory Pork Stuffed Potato Loaf
Recipes from some of this picnic menu are featured in previous blog posts. SPICED CHICKEN STUFFED POTATO LOAF - from April 8/16. SALADS - from June 9/16. SOUR CREAM BLUEBERRY TARTS - from July 7/16.
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Servings
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Instructions
Savory Pork Filling
  1. In a large bowl, combine water & seasonings. Add pork & mix well. In a skillet, cook pork mixture until no longer pink. Remove from heat; drain on paper towels while it cools.
Potato Loaf
  1. Boil potato, mash & cool. Fry bacon, drain & crumble. In a small bowl, combine yeast with lukewarm water; whisk until yeast is dissolved. Let stand about 3 minutes until foamy. Add butter, salt, sour cream & potato; mix well. Add bacon; mix until just combined.
  2. Stir in flour, one cup at a time. When dough is completely blended, turn onto a lightly floured surface. Knead dough about 10 minutes, until smooth & elastic. Place dough in a lightly greased bowl, cover with plastic wrap & let rise in a warm place until doubled in size, about 1 hour.
  3. Remove risen dough from bowl, turn onto lightly floured surface; roll dough to about a 12" x 15" rectangle. Place a large piece of parchment on a sheet pan. Roll dough onto your rolling pin then unroll onto parchment paper. Place 1/2 of the cheese down the center of dough, top it with pork, green onions & remaining cheese.
  4. Fold short ends in about 1". Using parchment, roll from the long side in a jelly roll fashion. Press down slightly to make a flatter shape. Cover with plastic wrap; allow to rise for 15 minutes while preheating oven to 375 F. Brush with egg wash if preferred. Bake for 25-30 minutes until golden.
Recipe Notes
  • If time is of the essence, use purchased frozen bread dough or pizza crust.
  • This picnic is definitely favored by men due to the 'hearty' potato loaf sandwiches. 

No Bake Kiwi-Lime Mini Cheesecakes

With summer heat upon us, the idea of ‘no baking required’ seems just right. Over the years I have never really made use of limes to any extent. Kiwi, on the other hand, seems to always add so much eye appeal it finds it’s way into many recipes. The thought that comes to mind when you pair them up is a refreshing, sweet-sour flavor.

This brings me to my little mini cheesecakes. I thought I would do my favorite thing, which is to give preparation options. The fact that they freeze so well makes them great for those times when you need a little dessert but have no time to make it. Enjoy!

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No-Bake Kiwi Lime Cheesecake Minis
Cheesecake with options!
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Course dessert
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Crust
Cheesecake using Whipped Cream
Cheesecake using Dream Whip OR Half & Half Cream
Cheesecake using Cool Whip
Course dessert
Servings
Ingredients
Crust
Cheesecake using Whipped Cream
Cheesecake using Dream Whip OR Half & Half Cream
Cheesecake using Cool Whip
Votes: 1
Rating: 5
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Instructions
Crust
  1. In a small bowl, combine graham crumbs, sugar & margarine. Divide evenly into mini cheesecake pan & press down firmly. At this point you can either bake them for 5-7 minutes at 325 F. or leave as is. Either way works.
Cheesecake using Whipped Cream
  1. In a medium bowl, beat whipping cream until soft peaks form. In large bowl, with electric mixer, beat cream cheese until smooth. Add vanilla, lime juice & zest; mix to combine. Sprinkle jell-o powder onto cream cheese mixture & mix until thoroughly combined. Using a rubber spatula, fold in whipped cream until well blended & no streaks remain. Evenly divide among the 12 mini cheesecake pan cups. Cover with plastic wrap & refrigerate for at least 2-3 hours before topping with glaze.
Cheesecake using Dream Whip OR Half & Half Cream
  1. In a medium bowl, combine boiling water, lime jell-o powder & lime juice; mix & let partially set. In a large bowl, cream cheese & sugar together; set aside. Using package directions, make Dream Whip (place in fridge until ready to use). Once jell-o is partially set, pour into cream cheese/sugar mixture (if using 1/2 & 1/2 cream add at this point) & beat to combine. If using Dream Whip, with a rubber spatula, fold into jell-o, cream cheese/sugar mixture. Evenly divide among the 12 mini cheesecake pan cups. Cover with plastic wrap & refrigerate for at least 2-3 hours before topping with glaze.
Cheesecake using Cool Whip
  1. In a small bowl, dissolve lime jell-o powder with boiling water; set aside to cool. In a large bowl, with an electric mixer, beat cream cheese, sugar, lime juice & zest until smooth. Add cooled, partially set jell-o & mix well. With a rubber spatula, fold in Cool Whip. Evenly divide among the 12 mini cheesecake pan cups. Cover with plastic wrap & refrigerate for at least 2-3 hours before topping with glaze.
Kiwi Glaze
  1. In a small saucepan, cook sugar & chopped kiwi for a couple of minutes. Using a blender, blend to a smooth consistency; allow to cool slightly. Add 1 1/2 tsp RESERVED lime jell-o powder & mixing until glaze thickens. Cool slightly then using a spoon, divide evenly among the mini cheesecakes. Chill until set.
Recipe Notes
  • If you prefer, you can double your crumb & glaze ingredients & make one large cheesecake in a 9-inch spring form pan. 
  • If you don't have a mini cheesecake pan just use a mini muffin pan with paper liners. It will work just as well.
  • After I made these, I froze them completely. When I wanted to serve them, I set however many I needed out about 30 minutes ahead. There was never any difference in the quality of these cheesecakes in doing that.

Brunch in St.Thibery, France

Brunch! The word evokes thoughts of a lazy week-end morning, sleeping late, eating ‘brunch’ while sipping a glass of sangria in the late morning or early afternoon.

In the food industry, brunch was a fun meal to prepare. Being a combination of both breakfast & lunch means the options are endless. If you are serving a large amount of people, generally eight food groups make up the menu along with beverages. I always enjoyed the visual beauty of a large brunch presentation all carefully prepared and set out.

At our house, Brion and I have always been early risers so brunch isn’t a meal that really works for us. That being said, I do have some special memories of a time when we enjoyed brunch.

It was in the south of France. In 2001, after we had left Paris, we drove 613 km (380 miles) south to the sleepy village of St. Thibery. This little medieval village, population of 2481, can be traced back more than 4000 years of known history.

As I had mentioned in an earlier blog, my sister Loretta had joined Brion and I on this French vacation. For this segment of the trip we had rented an apartment in St Thibery to use as ‘home base’ during our time there. Many of these houses are from the 14th, 15th and 17th century. The apartment was quaint but adequate even having a roof top patio. What’s not to love, amidst the beautiful French vineyards, close to that blue Mediterranean. 

We spent about a week in St Thibery and it was there that the three of us made some special memories enjoying our leisure French brunches. In view of all the world crisis we are experiencing today, I cherish the many memories we have from our world travels in more peaceful times.

A few brunch options that I think are noteworthy and would like to share with you today are Bacon & Egg Croissants with Lime-Ginger Fresh Fruit, Peaches & Cream French Toast as well as Asparagus Cordon Bleu Crepes.

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Bacon & Egg Croissants/Lime-Ginger Fresh Fruit * Peaches & Cream French Toast * Asparagus Cordon Bleu Crepes
Instructions
Cheese Sauce
  1. In a small saucepan, melt butter. Stir in flour, dry mustard salt & pepper. Add milk. Stir constantly over medium heat until mixture thickens & bubbles. Reduce heat to low & stir in cheese. Cook, stirring constantly, until cheese is melted. Keep warm.
Lime-Ginger Fresh Fruit
  1. In a saucepan, mix sugar & cornstarch. Stir in water. Heat to boiling over medium-high heat, stirring constantly. Cook & stir until thickened. Remove from heat. Stir in lime peel, lime juice & gingerroot. In a large bowl, gently toss prepared fruit. Pour lime mixture over fruit; gently toss. Cover & refrigerate until ready to serve.
Bacon & Egg Croissants
  1. Cook bacon until crisp. Drain on paper towels. Split croissants, lay on a barely warm griddle to warm. In a saucepan, pour water to a 3" depth & bring to boiling. Reduce to simmering. Break an egg into a shallow dish; gently slip into water. Repeat with the remaining 3 eggs. Cook 2 -3 minutes. Remove eggs from water with a slotted spoon.
  2. Place 2 bacon slices on bottom half of each croissant then top with a poached egg. Ladle some cheese sauce over egg, placing croissant top on the side. Serve with side dishes of Lime-Ginger Fresh Fruit.
Peaches & Cream French Toast
  1. In a small bowl, whisk eggs & 3 Tbsp peach preserves. Beat in half & half. Place a single layer of bread slices in a 9 x 13-inch baking dish. Pour egg mixture over bread. Cover & refrigerate a few hours or overnight until most of the liquid is absorbed. In a small bowl, beat 1/3 cup peach preserves & 4 Tbsp softened margarine with an electric mixer on high until fluffy; set aside until ready to serve.
  2. At serving time, Heat griddle to medium-high heat; melt 2 Tbsp margarine. Add bread slices & cook until lightly browned, turning once. Serve French Toast topped with peach butter & fresh peach slices. Sprinkle with toasted almonds & powdered sugar.
Asparagus Cordon Bleu Crepes
  1. Prepare crepes (see recipe on 'French Crepe' blog from July 25/16). Trim asparagus spears. In a large saucepan, cook asparagus spears in boiling salted water just until tender-crisp; drain. Place a slice of ham on each crepe. Spread ham slice with mustard. Top with a slice of cheese, asparagus spears & tomatoes. Sprinkle with parsley & tarragon, as desired.
  2. Roll up crepes. In a 13 x 9-inch baking dish, place crepes seam-side down. Preheat oven to 375 F. In a medium saucepan, melt margarine; blend in flour, 1/2 tsp tarragon, salt & pepper. Whisk in half & half, stirring constantly over medium-high heat until mixture thickens & bubbles. Stir in sliced mushrooms. Pour sauce over crepes in baking dish. Bake 25 minutes or until heated through.
Recipe Notes
  • Lime-Ginger Fresh Fruit adapted from from pillsbury. com
  • Brunch ideas adapted from Pat Jester's Brunch Cookery (1979)

French Crepes in Paris, France

Today, July 25th, we celebrate my sister Loretta’s birthday.

                  ‘To have a sister like you is like finding a treasure in ones life’.                                                          ‘HAPPY BIRTHDAY, LORETTA’, you deserve all the best!’

In the fall of 2001, Brion & I, joined by Loretta, made our first trip to Europe. Before that our holidays had pretty much been in the USA. This was a whole new learning curve that has forever changed the meaning of travel for us. Our destination was France, starting out in Paris, then renting a car and driving to the west coast then on down through southern France.

The hotel we were staying at in Paris looked out over a ‘pedestrian only’ street. When we arrived it was evening and the street was dark and pretty much deserted. The next morning we heard a lot of hustle-bustle in the street below. When we looked out, the sight was just incredible! The street was lined with shops which were now open for business. It was the most beautiful sight to look down on with all its colors and activity. During the next few days we enjoyed everything Paris  to the fullest.

Down from our hotel we came upon a little street vendor selling crepes of all things. The taste was amazing! Fifteen years later, they have joined our ‘taste of a memory’ food list, knowing that so much of it was time & place.

Crepes are such a great meal. Simple to make with so many options whether it is a savory or sweet version. One of our favorite savory choices is a Seafood Crepe,  which I feature in my ebook, ‘LIVING LARGE ON A LEAN FOOD BUDGET’. For a sweet treat, you might enjoy to try these Strawberry-Citrus Crepes.

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French Crepes
Crepe batters can be stored in the fridge for a day ---- cooked crepes in the freezer.
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Servings
Ingredients
Basic Crepe Batter
Parmesan Herb Crepe; add to ingredients of Basic Crepe batter
Chocolate Dessert Crepe; add toingredients of Basic Crepe batter
Basic Dessert Crepe; decrease milk in Basic Crepe to 1 1/3 cups & add the following
Gouda Sauce for Seafood Crepes
Strawberry-Citrus Filling
Servings
Ingredients
Basic Crepe Batter
Parmesan Herb Crepe; add to ingredients of Basic Crepe batter
Chocolate Dessert Crepe; add toingredients of Basic Crepe batter
Basic Dessert Crepe; decrease milk in Basic Crepe to 1 1/3 cups & add the following
Gouda Sauce for Seafood Crepes
Strawberry-Citrus Filling
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Instructions
Crepes
  1. Place all ingredients in blender; whirl for 1 minute at high speed. Scrape down sides, whirl for another 15 seconds. Pour into a bowl & cover; refrigerate 1 hour. Heat a non-stick griddle to 350 F. Measure about 3 Tbsp of batter per crepe onto griddle. With back of spoon form batter into an 8-inch circle. Cook until golden on each side then lay on a wire rack to cool.
Gouda Crepe Sauce
  1. In a small saucepan, melt margarine; sprinkle with flour & seasonings. Mix well; add milk & broth, stirring until sauce becomes thickened. Add cheese & blend.
Seafood Filling
  1. In a large skillet, saute zucchini, onion & garlic in oil for several minutes. Add mushrooms, green pepper & water chestnuts; cook 1 more minute. Combine ginger, soy sauce & water in a cup; add to vegetable mixture along with seafood. Gently stir fry ONLY until seafood is cooked. Reserve 1/2 cup Gouda sauce & add the rest to mixture.
  2. Divide filling between crepes; roll crepes & place on serving plates. Spoon remaining sauce over each of the filled crepes. Place each meal in microwave (covered) for 15 - 20 seconds on high. Sprinkle with toasted sesame seeds if desired. Serve immediately.
Strawberry-Citrus Filling
  1. In a small saucepan, combine water, cornstarch, lemon juice, orange juice & sugar; blend well. Over medium heat, bring to a boil, stirring constantly until mixture thickens & becomes clear. Remove from heat & set aside to cool. Slice strawberries either by hand or using an egg slicer. In a small dish, combine yogurt & honey.
  2. In a large bowl, gently fold about 1 1/2 cups citrus glaze together with sliced strawberries (I used about 3 large strawberries per crepe). Lay 12 crepes on work surface & place equal amounts of strawberry/glaze mixture on one half of each crepe. Fold over opposite side then fold in half again. Place 3 crepes on each of four serving plates. Sprinkle with powdered sugar if desired. Serve Honey/Yogurt on the side as well as any extra citrus sauce you have left from filling.
Recipe Notes
  • I have been making crepes for a long time but have never bothered to buy a 'crepe' pan to cook them in. A non-stick griddle has always worked great for me.  Using a 1/4 measuring cup, first to pour a circle of batter on the griddle then with the bottom of it, keep enlarging the crepe to the size you want.
  • Being able to make all your crepe ingredients the day before then putting it all together on the day served is such a bonus.

Fresh Fruit Pizza

The quintessential summer BBQ dessert! Fruit pizza is like a giant cookie, covered with luscious cream, layered with colorful fresh fruit, topped with glaze and a drizzle of chocolate, if you please.

If you have been following my blogs, you have probably already noticed, choice is something I’m big on. Fruit pizza is a classic dessert with so many possibilities. I have always enjoyed to start with the original idea of a recipe and see how many ways I can vary it without getting too involved or requiring a lot of extra ingredients and time.

Since CANADA DAY celebrations are right around the corner I thought it was a good time to enjoy Fruit Pizza personalized’Here are some ideas to mix and match to your liking.

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Fresh Fruit Pizza
Personalize not only with ingredient choices but the design as well
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Servings
Ingredients
Classic Shortbread or Pecan Shortbread Crust
Oatmeal Crust
Frozen Puff Pastry OR Crescent Roll Dough
Cream Cheese Topping
Cool Whip / Custard Topping
Honey - Yogurt Topping
Citrus Glaze
Pineapple Glaze
Fresh Fruit (use whatever fruit you prefer)
Chocolate Drizzle (optional)
Servings
Ingredients
Classic Shortbread or Pecan Shortbread Crust
Oatmeal Crust
Frozen Puff Pastry OR Crescent Roll Dough
Cream Cheese Topping
Cool Whip / Custard Topping
Honey - Yogurt Topping
Citrus Glaze
Pineapple Glaze
Fresh Fruit (use whatever fruit you prefer)
Chocolate Drizzle (optional)
Votes: 1
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Instructions
For Shortbread & Oatmeal Crusts
  1. Preheat oven to 350 F. Lightly grease a 12-inch pizza pan or cookie sheet. In a large bowl, cream butter & sugar until light. Add any flavorings. In another bowl, combine dry ingredients; gradually add to creamed mixture. Mix with a wooden spoon or hand mixer until well blended. Press dough into pan & prick with a fork. Bake 10-15 minutes until golden. Allow to cool completely.
Frozen Puff Pastry
  1. Follow package directions. Cool completely & place on serving tray.
Crescent Roll Dough
  1. Preheat oven to 350 F. Pinch together crescent roll dough as you press into a 12-inch pizza pan. Sprinkle with 1 Tbsp sugar. Bake 10-12 minutes or until golden. Cool completely.
Cream Cheese Topping
  1. In a small bowl, beat cream cheese, lime juice concentrate & sugar until smooth.
Cool Whip/Custard Topping
  1. In a large bowl, whisk together dry pudding mix & milk for 2 minutes. Fold in Cool Whip.
Honey - Yogurt Topping
  1. In a small bowl, whisk together yogurt & honey.
Citrus & Pineapple Glaze
  1. In a small saucepan, combine ingredients. Cook over medium heat until thickens. Remove from heat & cool slightly. Using a pastry brush, gently brush the fruit with glaze. FOR PRESERVE GLAZE: mix preserves with water & brush onto fruit.
TO ASSEMBLE FRUIT PIZZA
  1. Spread topping of choice onto cooled crust & arrange fruit onto. Brush with glaze of choice. Melt chocolate in a bowl over boiling water. Dip a large spoon into chocolate; drizzle, quickly letting the chocolate fall in thin ribbons from the end of the spoon. If chocolate seems to stiff, add a drop of vegetable oil. Let pizza stand until chocolate is firm.

Rhubarb Desserts

I can not remember ever being able to pick fresh rhubarb in the middle of May here in northern Alberta, Canada. We are definitely seeing some serious changes in the weather.

I love everything about the plant — how good it tastes, the beautiful huge foliage in the garden and how it can keep on producing all season long. The uses of rhubarb are endless. For most part, I think it is usually thought of as a dessert ingredient. I tried making it into a spicy chutney with pork tenderloin for supper one night and it was real nice.

Bordering one side of my mother’s large country garden grew six or eight rhubarb plants. I can’t even imagine how much they would produce. I recall that special taste of her Saskatoon-Rhubarb PieSaskatoon berries grew wild in the foothills of the Rocky Mountains. This was a good reason for our family to pack a picnic lunch and make the drive on a Sunday afternoon to pick saskatoon berries. Not only did it make for quality family time but those fresh berries were soooo– good!.

Here are a couple of dessert recipes I made with some of my first rhubarb stalks of this season. One is Rhubarb-Blueberry Cobbler, an old fashioned baked dessert with a tender biscuit crust sprinkled with sugar. The other one is Rhubarb-Orange Cheesecake Parfait.   If a rhubarb plant isn’t growing somewhere in your back yard you can usually locate some at a neighborhood Farmer’s Market throughout the summer.

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Rhubarb Desserts
Enjoy a little rhubarb nostalgia in two different presentations.
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Ingredients
Rhubarb-Blueberry Cobbler
Servings
Ingredients
Rhubarb-Blueberry Cobbler
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Instructions
Rhubarb-Blueberry Cobbler
  1. Preheat oven to 375 F.
  2. Mix chopped rhubarb & blueberries together in a large saucepan. Blend sugar & cornstarch together & stir into the fruit mixture. Stir in 1/4 cup cold water.
  3. Place on medium heat & bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low & cook until juices flow & fruit is soft. Pour into an 8-cup casserole dish.
  4. In a large bowl, combine flour, baking powder, 1 Tbsp sugar & salt. Blend well. Cut in margarine with a pastry cutter until mixture is a coarse texture. In another bowl blend milk & egg.
  5. Make a well in center of flour mixture; add milk/egg mixture & stir until flour is moistened. Drop dough by spoonfuls onto the fruit mixture. Sprinkle with brown sugar evenly. Bake about 25-30 minutes. Serve plain or with a dollop of yogurt or whipped cream.
Rhubarb-Orange Cheesecake Parfaits
  1. In a plastic bag, coarsely crush gingersnap cookies; set aside.
  2. Chop rhubarb stalks & place in saucepan with water. Cook over low heat until soft. Remove rhubarb from heat. Add sugar, Cointreau & cornstarch; mix well. Return to heat & stir until thickened; cool completely.
  3. In a large glass bowl, dissolve jelly powder & boiling water, making sure it is completely dissolved before adding to cream cheese. Blend in cream cheese with a hand mixer on low speed. Whisk in juice & zest of orange as well as the Cool Whip.
  4. In parfait glasses, spoon a layer of cream cheese mixture; sprinkle lightly with gingersnap crumbs then add a layer of rhubarb sauce. Repeat layers one more time making sure to divide cheesecake, rhubarb sauce & crumbs evenly between parfaits ending with cheesecake mixture.
  5. Refrigerate about 4 hours; garnish a bit more orange zest & a fresh mint leaf if desired.

Garden Grain Burgers

Some of my favorite foods have always been vegetables and grains. Being a farmer’s daughter I guess it all makes good sense. When ever I had the opportunity to try a ‘veggie’ burger in our travels I would do so only to be disappointed.

When my parents were still alive, they lived in Southern Alberta. Whenever Brion & I could take time from our jobs, we would make a weekend trip to see them. We would leave Edmonton right after work on a Friday night. We always made Red Deer our supper stop and then continue on. The trip usually took about five hours. 

Our favorite restaurant at that time was a place called Glenn’s. I came across the perfect Garden Grain Burger on their menu, which tasted like non other I had tasted before. For a long time I tried to replicate it with no real success. Then one day I happened to see a recipe on the tasteofhome.com website  that had all the same ingredients. I tried it, made a few very minor adjustments and loved it.

I’m passing it on to you today, adding it to the ‘burger series’. Even if you are not into vegetarian eating I’m sure you will enjoy the flavor. The ingredient list is long but it makes twelve patties so some can be frozen for another meal when time is of the essence. 

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Garden Grain Burgers
A satisfying combination of brown rice, bulgur wheat, oats, mushrooms & cheese gives an almost nutty flavor to this meatless 'burger'.
Instructions
  1. In a large saucepan, combine the rice, bulgur, seasoning blend, poultry seasoning & water; bring to a boil. Reduce heat; cover & simmer for 30 minutes or until rice is tender. Remove from heat; cool completely. Cover & refrigerate overnight if possible.
  2. In a large bowl, combine the mushrooms, oats, mozzarella cheese, cheddar cheese & onion. In a food processor, process cottage cheese & egg substitute until smooth; add to the mushroom mixture. Stir in parsley, salt, basil, celery seed & chilled rice mixture. Shape 1/2 cupfuls into patties.
  3. On a large non-stick griddle, cook patties in oil for 5 minutes on each side or until lightly browned & crisp. Serve on lightly grilled buns with mustard, lettuce & tomato slices.
Recipe Notes
  • If you decide to freeze some of the patties, do so before grilling. 'Flash freeze' them on a tray individually, then wrap in foil tightly & place them in a plastic bag in a air tight plastic container. When you are ready to use them just thaw & grill.

Orange Bread French Toast with Strawberry Compote

When I was 2 and my older sister was 6, my parents made a move to a farming community in southern Alberta. The farm my parents were able to purchase had been neglected for many years and took strong commitment and perseverance to renew the land and dwellings. The morning after we arrived, we had our first snow storm, which caught us without any coal. Fortunately my father was able to get some for our winter use. Soon after, Dad made a trip back to our old homestead. He drove the tractor pulling the combine all the way to our new farm with only one stopover in a city half way in between, a distance
of 231 km (144 miles).

One of my mother’s brother’s had gone ahead driving a grain truck loaded with what furniture and possessions my folks were trying to move. Along the way, being the truck was not covered, the metal lid flew off Mom’s flour storage container. Another traveler came upon it lying at the side of the road and stopped and hung it on a fence post. When my father making his long journey on the tractor came by and recognized the lid, picked it up and brought it the rest of the way home.

In the spring, my folks had to burn weeds and brush from 8-10′ (2-3 m) high in order to find a suitable area to plant a vegetable garden. ‘Mixed’ farming was truly a necessity as success was totally dependent on ‘Mother Nature’ when it came to grain crops.

Cattle, pigs and chickens all came into the equation, meaning my parents never had any part of the year that could be a bit more relaxed. As a teenager, I never realized what a special privilege growing up as a farmer’s daughter really was. Coming home on the school bus and having to do ‘chores’ seemed so boring as opposed to being able to spend after school hours with your friends. As I look back on those times now, it all comes clear as to how treasured and valuable those life lessons were.

My parents farmed until 1974 when they retired. They have since both passed away leaving my three sisters, one brother and I with many treasured memories.

I remember my mother making this orange bread loaf. I thought it was so unique because it used the fresh orange zest. The flavor was so distinct along with the bread being wonderfully moist. This recipe was one that has remained with me over the years, long after I had left my parents home. One year, on a holiday in Hawaii the restaurant we were at was serving orange loaf made into french toast complimented with a strawberry compote. I brought the idea home with me and used it numerous times over the years in my food service career. This year my husband and I enjoyed it on Valentines Day, but I’m sure you will find it great anytime.

Print Recipe
Orange Bread French Toast with Strawberry Compote
Flavorful orange bread loaf with strawberry compote topping.
Votes: 1
Rating: 5
You:
Rate this recipe!
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 60 minutes
Servings
people
Ingredients
Orange Bread Loaf
French Toast
Strawberry Compote
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 60 minutes
Servings
people
Ingredients
Orange Bread Loaf
French Toast
Strawberry Compote
Votes: 1
Rating: 5
You:
Rate this recipe!
Instructions
Orange Bread
  1. Peel oranges thinly and finely chop rind (zest). Boil with sugar and water for 10 minutes; cool Add egg and margarine Combine flour, salt, and baking powder Add flour mixture alternately with milk Pour into buttered 8 x 4 x 3 inch loaf pan Bake at 350 F for about 45 minutes or until bread tests done.
French Toast
  1. In a shallow bowl, beat eggs; whisk in the milk, salt and spices. Soak the slices of orange bread for 30 seconds on each side. Cook on hot greased griddle until golden brown on both sides and cooked through.
Strawberry Compote
  1. Rinse, hull and slice strawberries. Zest and juice lemon. In a small saucepan, whisk together sugar, water and corn starch. Add strawberries, mixing gently while bringing to a simmer for 5 minutes. Remove from heat, cool slightly. Serve with French toast. Top with French Vanilla Yogurt if desired.