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Hutterite Rhubarb Pie

My Husband John’s favorite . He grew up Hutterite and I make this pie as a treat during the winter with the rhubarb I freeze from the summer before. The recipe is from a cookbook of mine, “The Hutterian Treasury of Recipes” published by Sam Hofer.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F


1 unbaked 9″ pie shell ( I am assuming that everyone has their favorite pie crust recipe)

3 egg yolks slightly beaten

1 cup sugar

1/4 tsp salt

1/4 cup of milk or cream

4 tbsp flour

3 tbsp melted butter

4 cups chopped rhubarb


3 egg whites

1/3 cup sugar

a pinch of cream of tartar

Sweetened shredded coconut (optional)

Mix all the filling ingredients together and pour into the pie shell. Bake for 45 minutes. Shortly before the 45 min are up, for the topping, beat together the egg whites until foamy, add the sugar and the cream of tartar. Beat until peaks form.  Take out pie at 45 minutes, spread the beaten eggwhites and sugar on top of pie, sprinkle with coconut and return to oven for 8-10 minutes until lightly browned. Can be served warm(as in the photo) or cold. Let sit to cool for 1/2 hour befor cutting


Meal Planning

I have to admit, I am not a big planner when it comes to meals. I like to do things as they come to me a lot of the time. The furthest I think ahead is when I defrost a chicken or a roast in the fridge for a couple of days. Every day I check it and the day it has come to the  frost-free stage or close to it is when I cook it. I just fill my larder so I have the freedom to take something out in the morning, thaw it in a sink of cold water and decide on the sides when I start cooking.

 Apparently menu planning can save a family money. Less vegetable waste. Less freezer burn waste. Also if you plan ahead you can make many things that are sometimes bought pre-prepared, yourself for a fraction of the cost and it is often a lot healthier. Menu planning also gives you an overview on how well you will eat that week. It lets you adjust for lighter meals several times a week when you see that you may be eating on the heavier side the days prior.

 My goal with menu planning is mainly to cut down on the grocery bill but also to gradually introduce new foods to the kids by getting them involved in the choices more often and ahead of time. Ella already enjoys browsing cookbook recipes with glamorous glossy pictures of the finished product. I think she is almost primed for my project. Finn is at a difficult food age. Or maybe I should just say mealtime age, and is often disappointed as he sits down to the table until we encourage him to try a few bites and quite often he feels it is quite edible and even enjoys it;) Time to stir up some excitement as he helps choose some meals and actually looks forward to the meals “he” picked. I am sure there may just be a few that he will choose from but as the weeks, months and years go by, I hope to create some new favorites.

I would like to make one day vegetarian. One day a “fun day”. Pancakes, pizza, burgers (for Dad). All from scratch of course. Another day or two, a new recipe we have not tried yet whether it is one of the vegetarian meals, a fun day meal or a meat dish. A day where the crock pot cooks for the day which would probably be on the weekend as we play all day and come home to a meal all ready to eat. The other days I would just like to give over to good old family favorites, which as I was saying earlier may expand with trying some new recipes.

I found a website with a free meal planning  template. It also has many other useful template spread sheets to organize your family life.

This is the weekly menu planner

This is the homepage for the Vertex42 website

Oven Pancake

Oven Pancake with strawberries

Oven pancake fresh from the oven without topping

This is a recipe I use for breakfast, brunch or dinner. If I serve this for dinner, I usually serve soup before hand. 

Various fruit toppings can be used. I used strawberries this time. I tossed them with a bit of sugar to bring out their flavour.

Topped with creamy greek yogurt and cinnamon sugar

Preheat oven to 375 f

In a blender or with a mixture, blend together:

 4 eggs

1 & 1/2 cups milk

Add: 3/4 cup flour,  1/3 cup sugar, 1/4 tsp salt, 1/4 tsp vanilla

  In a 9 inch pie plate place 2 tablespoons butter and place in preheated oven to melt. Swirl around to grease pie plate and pour in batter. Place in oven for 25-30 minutes until edges are golden brown and set. Spoon fruit on top and serve immediately. Cut into wedges. Pass sour cream or plain yogurt and sprinkle with cinnamon sugar(1 cup white sugar mixed with 1 tsp cinnamon) or brown sugar.

Chocolate Zucchini Snacking Cake

Chocolate zucchini snacking cake

 I love to whip this up right around dinner time for a warm chocolate dessert. Perfect with a scoop of vanilla ice cream. Made without the nuts, as many schools are nut free, it is a great lunchbox treat . It is a favorite in our family. 🙂

Pre heat your oven to 325 degrees f

Grease  a 9×13 inch baking pan (cooking spray works great)

Sift together in a small bowl:

2 & 1/4 cups all-purpose flour

1/4 cup baking cocoa

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon baking soda

In a large mixing bowl, beat together until fluffy:

1/2 cup butter or margarine

1/2 cup vegetable oil

1 & 1/2 cups sugar

To the sugar and butter/oil mixture add:

2 eggs (Beating well between each egg)

1 teaspoon  vanilla extract

Stir in 2 cups of grated zucchini

to you moist mixture add your dry flour/cocoa mixture alternately with:

1/2 cup buttermilk (or if you don’t have buttermilk, 1/2 cup of milk mixed with 2 teaspoons lemon juice or vinegar)

Pour your batter into your prepared baking pan. On top of your batter sprinkle:

1 cup of chocolate chips (more or less)

3/4 cups of chopped walnuts (optional)

Bake in your preheated oven for 55 minutes or until cake tester(toothpick) comes out clean. Do not overbake

Cool for 20 minutes before cutting and eating it warm.

German Potato Pancakes


potato pancakes are part of my German upbringing. Some of the mealtimes I remember include these pancakes and competing with my brother Frank as to how many we could eat. A meal of potato pancakes was usually preceded by a soup, usually lentil or pea soup and we always had to eat a bowl before we dug into the pancakes.  I do not use a recipe. I adjust it to how many potatoes I have on hand…sometimes I add an extra egg or two. I also like to grate in a carrot, sweet potato, parsnip or whatever root vegetable or squash I have on hand sometimes. Here is a recipe I have found in one of my German cookbooks that has the proper ratio of ingredients so your pancakes will turn out great. It is most identical to the way I prepare my pancakes which has been passed down to me from my Mom and my Oma.

1kg (2 1/4lb) floury potatoes (russet)

1 onion                                                                                                                                         

3 medium eggs

1 tsp salt

6 Tablespoons all purpose flour                    

Cooking oil e.g. sunflower, peanut or canola

I grate my potatoes with the peel. I think the peel carries nutrients and fiber and therefore adds food value. You can peel your potatoes if you wish then grate them either coarsely like I have or with the fine side of your grater. Peel and grate your onion as well into your potato. Add eggs flour and salt. Mix well.  Heat a little oil in your pan and with a serving spoon, spoon the batter into the hot oil. It is important that the oil is hot but not smoking. Let your pan come to this temperature over medium heat. A well seasoned cast iron pan works really well for these pancakes. If your oil is hot then the pancakes will not be greasy. Let pancake fry over medium heat until edge turns crispy brown, flip and brown other side. remove and place on a plate with paper towel to drain any extra oil then place in oven to keep warm.

Serve Pancakes with sour cream or a higher fat creamy plain yogurt like KREMA greek yogurt. I like the yogurt better as it is a little lower in fat than sour cream and has healthier ingredients. Applesauce and canned plums are what we ate with them when we were growing up. We also ate them cold on the heaviest rye-bread one can buy topped with sugar beet syrup as a sandwich to school. Yes my ethnic upbringing made me the odd girl out sometimes but it was GOOD.

Potato pancake served with stewed gala apples, rhubarb and vanilla bean with greek yogurt on the side

1. When roasting tomatoes, add sugar to cut the acidity, and to help caramelize 🙂

Food Frisker’s Improv Parsnips


Dinner…hmmm. Took out a pork tenderloin. Googled tenderloin recipes and decided to go with salt, pepper, minced garlic. Seared and finished off in the oven. Served with a homemade peach chutney. This isn’t about the pork however. The question was the vegetable I had on hand. I found a really nice bag of parsnips last week. 6 or 7 nice white firm roots that promised sweet goodness if prepared just right. I was hoping to just roast them together with some baby  potatoes in the same dish but once I prepped them and put them in the roasting dish they took up the whole dish. So….I needed to revamp my idea. What to do? Knowing that parsnips pair well with apple I found that  I had some nice Granny Smith apples…YA.

I peeled and sliced 2 large Granny Smiths and cut them into eighths and added them to the parsnips. Now what? I started thinking “Baked Apples”. I found some pecans and unsalted butter was an obvious choice.

I then decided to chop up a few pieces of candied ginger.

Candied Ginger

  Added that to the parsnips, apples and nuts. Sprinkled the lot with 2 tablespoons of brown sugar and 1 teaspoon of course salt, tossed everything together with about 1/3 cup melted butter give or take and popped it into a 400 degree oven for about 45 minutes stirring about 10 minutes after putting in to coat everything with the butter evenly and then about every 10 or 15 min until nicely roasted and carmelized. 

CARMELIZED GOODNESS! Sweet, salty, tangy, crunchy, spicey. I love improv cooking.  

Review of ingredients and directions

 preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

In a 13x 9″ baking dish toss ingredients below together and bake for 45 min tossing every 15 minutes for nicer carmelization.

6-7  good sized lovely parsnips peeled and chopped

2 large tart Granny Smith apples peeled, cored and sliced into eighths

4-5 good sized nuggets of candied ginger sliced

1/2 cup or more if you like of whole pecans

2  rounded tablespoons of brown sugar(or about 1/3 of a cup of maple syrup)

1 teaspoon coarse salt

1/3 of a cup more or less of unsalted melted butter