Archive for the ‘dairy’ Category

The title pretty much says it all. 

This is a Mennonite Community Cookbook recipe. Simple and old fashioned. Also delicious. 

Fried Ham in Cream

Ham steaks, cut into serving size pieces 



Heavy cream

Dip ham pieces into flour to coat. Heat a tablespoon or so of oil over medium heat and lay ham slices in pan in a single layer. Fry until browned well. Flip and fry other side. Pour cream over all and cover pan. Simmer 10 minutes. Serve over starch of choice : pasta, potatoes, rice, even buttered toast would be good!

Bonus tip: if there are leftovers, mix chopped ham with your potatoes, noodles, veggies, whatever, and add a splash of milk. The next day, heat it all in oven or microwave for a tasty lunch. 


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 There aren’t many meals that everyone in the family goes crazy for but ravioli is one of them. Last week I shredded a crockpot beef roast and mixed it with ricotta. This week a cheesy version went over just as well.   

When making pasta, I try to work with as dry of a dough as possible if I’m rolling it out by machine. This is just so the machine doesn’t get gummed up. If I’m doing it by hand, a little wetter dough is necessary otherwise I find it impossible to roll out.   

I found I was overfilling my ravioli and it would stretch the dough and sometimes break. Less is more for this job.   

 A fancy mixer attachment is certainly not needed for this job but it sure does look neat!

Three Cheese Ravioli

1 1/4 cup whole milk ricotta cheese

1 cup grated cheddar cheese

1/2 cup fresh grated Parmesan cheese

1/4 t black pepper

2 T fresh chives

2 onions, diced and slowly sautéed (almost caramelized)

1 recipe pasta dough, below

Mix all filling ingredients together well. Fill pasta according to machine instructions or by hand, being careful not to roll the dough to thin. Crimp edges well if doing by hand. 

Cook immediately for 3 minutes in boiling salted water. Serve immediately, or pack into your children’s lunch boxes. (They loved it cold!)

Yield: about 120 ravioli (1 1/4 inch)

Pasta Dough

1 cup white bread flour

1 cup whole spelt flour

1 cup whole wheat bread flour 

1 t salt

2 eggs

1/2 cup water

Mix all together, using more water if necessary. Knead well and roll out to the thickness of a dime. Fill immediately if using for ravioli. 

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Well. If you need dessert in 5 minutes and you happen to have cream, bananas, and apricot preserves, you really ought to try this.   

A sprinkling of granola would be spectacular, too.  As is, it’s a deliciously light summer dessert.  

I wish I could give you the apricot preserve recipe, too, but I forget what I did.   

Bananas with Spiced Cream

2 cups heavy whipping cream

2 t cream cheese

1/2 t vanilla

1 T cinnamon sugar

1/4-1/2 cup apricot preserves

5 bananas

Place the cream cheese in a large bowl. Drip in a few drops of cream and work it around with a spoon. Repeat this several times until the cream cheese is thin enough that it will disperse evenly in the whipping cream when added. Add the remaining cream and beat a bit. Add the vanilla and cinnamon sugar and beat hard until medium-stiff peaks form. 

In serving bowls, slice bananas. Top with cream and apricot preserves. Serve immediately. 

Serves: 10

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I know this looks like a winter dish and that’s probably what it was meant to be but have no fear…when served at room temperature it’s actually quite delicious on a scorching hot day!

Also, I felt I redeemed myself by adding fresh greens from the garden. That makes it spring-like, right?


Creamy Sausage and Potatoes

Adapted from The Best of Mennonite Fellowship Meals

1 lb link pork sausage, cut in 1/2 inch chunks
1 onions, sliced
4 potatoes, diced
1 leaf Swiss chard, chopped
Big pile spinach, chopped
1 cup milk
3 T flour
Salt, pepper
In a large pot, sauté sausage and onions until browned. Add the potatoes and water to almost cover. Season with salt and pepper. Bring to a boil, cover pot, and cook until potatoes are soft. Add the greens and cook a bit.
Make a slurry out of the milk and flour. Pour into the pot and cook until thickened. Taste and adjust seasonings as you like. Serve hot in the winter or allow to cool a while and serve on a warm summer day.

Serves: 4-6

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Fruit Custard Pie

What a delicious pie. I inhaled it. I don’t know if the rest of my family was as wild about it since I ate most of it. Oh well. I’m making another one this week and I’ll eat the whole thing myself if they don’t want any.

SONY DSCI used apricots and blueberries but I know I’ll be putting other things in this pie as the season progresses. Peaches? Yum. I might have to get some cherries out of the freezer and try it with them, too.

I love how this pie is so very easy to whip up. I usually assemble 5 or 6 pie crusts at once and then freeze them. I pulled one out and within 6 minutes I had this pie in the oven. Perfect for this crazy time of year!

SONY DSCFruit Custard Pie

Adapted from Simply in Season p. 159

1 9-inch unbaked pie crust

2 cups fruit (apricots, peaches, plums, berries, etc.)

1/4 cup sugar (use more/less depending on sweetness of fruit)

2 eggs, beaten

1 1/4 cups milk

1/4 cup sugar

1 t vanilla extract

Arrange the fruit in the pie shell. Sprinkle with 1/4 cup sugar.

Whisk together the eggs, milk, sugar, and vanilla. Pour over the fruit. Bake in a preheated 450 degree oven for 15 minutes. Reduce heat to 350 and continue baking until custard is set, about 30 more minutes.

Serves: 8

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The kids and I had this for supper this evening:


Brad happened to be gone so I just cooked up a bunch of veggies from the garden and served some cheese along side. The meal was delicious (thought I) but I knew that the kids would not be thrilled.

So I made a cake for dessert. I wanted to use the last of the strawberries in an extravagant fashion and we were not disappointed.


I cut this recipe out of the Lancaster Farming paper. It’s a weekly newspaper full of things that farmers like to read…ads for tractors and equipment and articles about anything concerning agriculture. There is a section for the cooks in the family, too: recipes and a food question/answer part. I always look forward to that section, especially this month. June is dairy month and lots of people submit their favorite dairy recipes.

Anyway, I cut this cake recipe out two weeks ago and figured it would make the perfect base for strawberries. With all of that butter, sugar, and cream cheese, it sure was extravagant! And it was a good way to use up a bit of the cream cheese I made a few weeks ago.

From the words of Joy, the recipe contributor, “This is the pound cake that tastes like the kind “grandma” use to make!”


Cold Oven Pound Cake

Adapted from Joy Timmons’ recipe in The Lancaster Farming, June 2013

Note: I made one third of a batch of this and got a small cake out of it. I didn’t want a large loaf.

3 sticks butter

3 cups sugar

8 oz cream cheese

6 eggs

1 t vanilla extract

3 cups unbleached flour

Cream the butter, sugar, and cream cheese until fluffy. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in the vanilla and then the flour. Pour into two parchment-lined loaf pans (I used 4 x 8-inchers). Slide the cakes into a COLD oven and set the temp for 300 degrees F. Set the timer for 1 hour and 20 minutes. Check the cakes. You may need to give them a little more time. They should be golden brown around the edges and a toothpick should come out clean. Remove them from the pans when they are finished baking and cool on a wire rack.

Yield: 2 loaf cakes


Crushed Strawberries

This recipes hails from the Mennonite Community Cookbook. It originally called for 1 full cup of sugar. I figured if I put all of that in, I might as well just spread jam on my cake!

2 cups well crushed fresh strawberries

1/4 cup sugar

Stir to dissolve sugar. Refrigerate a few hours to chill thoroughly. Serve over ice cream, cake, or breakfast carbs of your choice.

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These panny-cakes have been on a weekly rotation at our house ever since Brad and I got married. They are light, wholesome, and flavorful. We love these things.

SONY DSCThe original recipe calls for buttermilk but I use whatever acidic dairy I have in the fridge at the time…buttermilk, sour milk, whey, yogurt, even plain milk mixed with one of the above. Keep in mind that the thicker your dairy product, the thicker your pancakes. Using all whey, for instance, makes a flatter pancake. We don’t mind. They all taste delicious.

For the flour in these pancakes, we prefer freshly ground flour over the store-bought whole wheat flour. Somehow, the home-ground flour keeps the pancakes lighter even though they are 100% whole grain. Before I purchased my grain grinder, I would use mostly whole wheat flour with a bit of all-purpose flour mixed in.

My apologies…these pictures show more strawberries and yogurt than they do pancakes. I like to drown my pancakes in toppings: a bit of syrup, sometimes some butter, and then lots of fruit and yogurt. I’m making myself hungry just thinking about it.


Whole Wheat Pancakes

Recipe adapted from my mom’s

1 cup sprouted whole wheat pastry flour

1 t baking powder

1/2 t (scant) baking soda

1/4 t salt

3 T ground flax seed, optional

1 cup buttermilk or alternative soured dairy product

1 egg

1 1/2 T neutral oil

Mix the dry ingredients together. Add the wet ingredients and stir gently just enough to barely combine them. Fry on a hot, greased skillet. Serve hot with lots of yummy toppings.

Yield: about 10 small-ish pancakes

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