Pina Colada Cake


1/2 teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons cornstarch
1/2 cup sugar
1 tablespoon sugar
1 (20 ounce) can crushed pineapple, packed in its own juice (you need the juices, so don't drain it)
3 tablespoons butter

4 cups plus 2 Tablespoons sifted cake flour
1 1/2 tablespoons baking powder
3/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup unsalted butter, softened
2 1/4 cups granulated sugar
2 1/4 teaspoons vanilla extract
6 large egg whites
1 1/2 cups coconut milk (if there not enough in the can, add regular milk to get 1 1/2 cups)

1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese, room temp
4-6 cups confectioners sugar (depending on how stiff you want it)
1/4 cup butter
1 teaspoon rum extract
3/4 cup sweetened flaked coconut


In heavy saucepan combine cornstarch, all of the sugar and salt. Add pineapple with juice and mix well. Cook over medium heat until mixture comes to a bubbling boil, stirring constantl
Once mixture comes to a boil continue stirring constantly for approximately 5 minutes, or until thickened and its loses it's "milky" look. Remove from heat and add butter, stirring to melt. Allow to cool before filling the cake.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Using a small brush, lightly coat three 9-inch cake pans with softened butter or vegetable-oil cooking spray. Dust with flour and tap out any excess. Set aside.

In a medium bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, and salt and set aside.

In a large bowl, using a mixer set at high speed, beat the butter and sugar until well combined. Add the vanilla and egg whites and continue to beat until light and fluffy -- about 2 more minutes. Reduce mixer speed to low and add half the flour mixture. Beat just until flour is completely absorbed. Add the milk and beat for 1 minute. Add the remaining flour mixture and beat for 1 more minute.

Divide the batter equally among all 3 cake pans and spread evenly. Bake on the middle rack of the oven until the tops spring back when lightly touched and a tester inserted into the center of each cake layer comes out clean -- 30 to 35 minutes. Cool in the pans on a wire rack for 15 minutes. Using a knife, loosen the cake layers from the sides of the pans and invert the layers onto the wire rack to cool completely.

Mix cream cheese, butter and extract, add confectioners sugar till the consistency you want it to be.

Use a serrated knife to trim the mounded side of each layer to level them, if necessary. Line the edges of a cake plate with 3-inch-wide strips of waxed or parchment paper and place a cake layer, trimmed side down, on top. Spread the layer with 1/2 of the pineapple filling and place the second layer, trimmed side down, on top of the first. Spread the other 1/2 of the pineapple filling on the second layer and top with the last cake layer.

Frost the top and sides of the cake with the cream cheese frosting and sprinkle all over with coconut.

Remove paper strips and serve at room temperature. Store at room temperature for up to 4 days.

Banoffee Pie



6 tbsp butter, melted
1 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
2 tins condensed milk
3 large, firm bananas
1 1/2 cups whipping cream
1 tablespoon packed light brown sugar


The secret of this delicious pudding lies in the condensed milk. Immerse the cans UNOPENED in a deep pan of boiling water. Cover and boil for 3 hours making sure that the pan does not boil dry *(see CAUTION).

Meanwhile, in a bowl, combine crumbs, sugar and cinnamon until thoroughly mixed. Add the melted butter. Stir or blend together with your hands. Press evenly into the bottom of a 9-inch round or square pan. Bake the crust at 325 degrees F for about 10 minutes. Cool.

After the 3 hours are done, remove the tin and leave to cool a little (you could pour cold water on it to cool the outside). When cool enough to handle, open the tin carefully - the condensed milk will have caramelised and may well shoot out the opening. Pour/spoon the toffee from the tin onto the crust. Place back in the fridge to cool.

Slice the bananas and arrange them on top of the toffee. Whip the cream with the brown sugar until stiff, then fold on top and smooth out. Dust with cocoa powder for effect.

It is absolutely vital to top up the pan of boiling water frequently during the cooking of the cans. 3 hours is a long time and if they are allowed to boil dry the cans will explode causing a grave risk to life, limb and kitchen ceilings.

NOTE: 3 hours is a really long time, but you can substitute "dulce de leche" for the cooked toffee. The taste is just as fabulous.

NOTE: Instead of a graham crust, you can use a regular pie crust. You could also easily use tart shells. Another variation I've seen is an oreo crust.

This recipe is also linked to...

Everyday Sisters' Sharing Sundays: Yellow
Food on Friday: Pies and Tarts

Rhubarb Cheesecake


6 tbsp butter, melted
1 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 tsp. ground cinnamon

Rhubarb Sauce:
4 large stalks of rhubarb
3 Tbsp water
1/4 cup granulated sugar
3 Tbsp Triple Sec (or water)
1 Tbsp flour

2 (8 oz.) pkg light cream cheese
1/2 cups granulated sugar
2 large eggs
1 Tbsp flour
1 tsp lemon rind (optional)
rhubarb sauce

3/4 cup rhubarb sauce
1 cup light sour cream
sugar, to taste
whipped cream (optional)


To make the crust:

In a bowl, combine crumbs, sugar and cinnamon until thoroughly mixed. Add the melted butter. Stir or blend together with your hands. Press evenly into the bottom of a 9-inch spring form pan. Bake the crust at 325 F for about 10 minutes. Cool.

To make rhubarb sauce:

Chop 4 large stalks rhubarb and put into a medium sized saucepan. Add the first amount of water and cook over low heat until very soft. Remove rhubarb from heat and mash the rhubarb. Add about sugar, Triple Sec (or water) and flour; mix well. Put back on stove and stir until thickened. Allow to cool. Set aside 3/4 cups for the topping

To make cheesecake:

Beat cream cheese until fluffy. Add sugar and eggs. Stir in flour and lemon rind. Mix in the remaining rhubarb sauce; continue to beat until smooth. Pour over crust and bake about 50 minutes (or until cake barely moves when shaken) at 325 degrees F. Turn oven off and leave cake in oven another 10 minutes. Cool.

To make topping:

Combine the reserved 3/4 cup rhubarb sauce with the light sour cream (and sugar if you desire a sweeter topping).

To serve:

When cheesecake is cool top with the rhubarb/sour cream mixture and refrigerate 2 hours. Serve with whip cream.

NOTE: for the topping, you can use just straight rhubarb sauce if you want.

NOTE: you could also add some chopped strawberries into the sauce when you're making it. The flavour becomes less tart then.

German Rhubarb Cake


1/2 c. butter
1 1/2 c. brown sugar
2 eggs
1/2 tsp. salt
2 c. finely chopped rhubarb
2 1/2 c. flour
1 tsp. baking powder
1 c. buttermilk or soured milk
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 tsp. allspice (optional)
1/4 tsp. cloves (optional)
1 tsp. vanilla


1/2 c. sugar
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 c. chopped nuts (optional)


Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Beat butter and brown sugar. Add eggs, salt and vanilla.

In a separate bowl, mix flour, spices and baking powder.

Add flour and buttermilk to first ingredients. Mix well

Stir in the rhubarb and pour batter in a greased 9 x 13-inch pan.

Combine topping ingredients and sprinkle on batter.

Bake in a 350 degrees oven for 40 minutes.

This recipe is also linked on...

Food on Friday: Rhubarb

Chicken & Asparagus Stir-Fry


3 tablespoons cornstarch
2 cups reduced sodium chicken broth or vegetable broth
3 tablespoons reduced-sodium soy sauce
3/4 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon mustard powder
4-6 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves, sliced
2 cups fresh asparagus spears, trimmed and cut into 2-inch pieces
3/4 cup sliced celery
1/2 green pepper, julienned
1/4 cup sliced green onions
2 garlic cloves, minced
4 tablespoons canola oil
1 cup sliced fresh mushrooms
1 (8 ounce) can water chestnuts, drained (optional)


In a small bowl, combine the cornstarch, 1/4 cup broth, soy sauce, ginger and mustard until smooth; add remaining stock and then set aside.

In a large nonstick skillet or wok, stir-fry the chicken in hot oil.

Once the chicken is no longer pink, add the asparagus, celery, green pepper, onions and garlic and continue to stir-fry in the hot oil for 2-3 minutes.

Add the mushrooms; stir-fry for 1-2 minutes.

Add water chestnuts; stir-fry 1-2 minutes longer.

Stir broth mixture; add to the vegetables. Bring to a boil; cook and stir for 2 minutes or until thickened. Serve hot.

Chocolate Pavlova


6 large egg whites, room temperature
1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
1 1/4 cups granulated white suga
1 teaspoon white vinegar
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 teaspoon cornstarch
3 tablespoons Dutch processed cocoa powder
2 ounces semi-sweet or bittersweet chocolate, chopped

1 cup heavy whipping cream
1 tablespoon granulated white sugar
Fresh Fruit - raspberries, blackberries, strawberries, and kiwi fruit are some good choices


Preheat oven to 250 degrees F (130 degrees C) and place rack in center of oven. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and draw an 8 inch (20 cm) circle on the parchment paper.

In the bowl of your electric mixer, with the whisk attachment, beat the egg whites until foamy.

Add the cream of tartar and continue to beat on medium-high speed until they hold soft peaks.

Start adding the sugar, a tablespoon at a time, and continue to beat until the meringue holds stiff peaks. (Test to see if the sugar is fully dissolved by rubbing a little of the meringue between your thumb and index finger. The meringue should feel smooth, not gritty. If it feels gritty the sugar has not fully dissolved so keep beating until it feels smooth between your fingers).

Using a large rubber spatula, fold in the vinegar and vanilla extract. In a small strainer, sift the cocoa powder and cornstarch over the top of the meringue and, with the rubber spatula, fold in. Lastly, fold in the chopped chocolate.

Gently spread the meringue inside the circle drawn on the parchment paper, smoothing the edges.

Bake for about 1 1/4 - 1 1/2 hours or until the outside is dry. (The outside of the meringues will feel firm to the touch, if gently pressed. There will be cracks and you will see that the inside is soft and moist.) Turn the oven off, leave the door slightly ajar, and let the meringue cool completely in the oven.

The cooled meringue can be made and stored in a cool dry place for a few days.

Just before serving gently place the meringue on a serving plate. Whip the cream in your electric mixer, with the whisk attachment, until soft peaks form. Sweeten with the sugar and then mound the softly whipped cream into the center of the meringue. Arrange the fruit on top of the cream. Serve immediately as this dessert does not hold and once you add the cream and fruit the meringue will start to break down.

Layered Pasta Salad


3 cups medium shell pasta, cooked, drained (any medium-sized pasta would work)
1 large red onion, diced (optional)
1 pkg. (10 oz.) frozen peas, thawed, drained
1 ham steak, cubed (approx. 6 to 8 oz.)
1/2 cup Miracle Whip
1/2 cup sour cream
1 cup cheddar cheese, grated
1 cup halved grape tomatoes
salt and pepper to taste


Layer first 4 ingredients in 3-qt. clear serving bowl.

Mix Miracle Whip and sour cream; spread over salad to seal. Top with cheese and tomatoes; cover.

Refrigerate for several hours or until chilled. Toss gently before serving.

This recipe is also linked to...

Everyday Sisters' Sharing Sundays: Green

Crunchy Broccoli Salad

This is one of my family's favourite summer salads - especially when the broccoli is fresh from our garden.


2 bunches broccoli (about 1 pound) cut into small florets
1 medium onion, finely chopped (optional)
1 cup grated cheddar cheese
6 strips of cooked, crumbled bacon
1/2 cup sunflower seeds or raisins (optional)
3/4 cup Miracle Whip
4 tbsp white vinegar
1/4 cup sugar


In a medium bowl, combine the broccoli, onion, cheese, bacon and raisins or seeds.

In a small bowl, whisk together the vinegar, sugar and Miracle Whip. Pour over broccoli mixture, and toss until well mixed.

This salad stores well for about a day.

This recipe is also linked to...

Delicious Dishes: Garden Delights
This Week's Cravings: Summer Vegetables
Everyday Sisters' Sharing Sundays: Green

Juicy Roast Chicken


1 (3 pound) whole chicken, giblets removed
salt and black pepper to taste
Montreal Chicken Spice (or seasonings to taste)
1/2 cup margarine, divided
1 onion, quartered
1 stalk celery, leaves removed
fingerling potatoes


Preheat oven to 310 degrees F.

Place celery, carrots and potatoes in a roasting pan. Sprinkle with a little salt and pepper and cover with water.

Pat chicken dry with a paper towel and season generously inside and out with salt and pepper.

Mix the margarine and the chicken spice together. Place 3 tablespoons of the mixed margarine in the chicken cavity. Arrange dollops of the remaining margarine around the chicken's exterior (I lift the skin on the breast and spread some of it under the skin). Place the quartered onion in the chicken cavity. Place the chicken on top of the vegetables in the roasting pan.

Bake covered 1 hour and 30 minutes in the preheated oven Raise the temperature to 350 degrees F for the last 30 minutes of roasting so that the chicken reaches a minimum internal temperature of 180 degrees F (82 degrees C). Remove from heat, and baste with melted margarine and drippings. Cover with aluminum foil, and allow to rest about 30 minutes before serving.

NOTE: For a crispier skin, you can bake uncovered for part of the time or the whole time. You just have to make sure you watch the levels of liquid in the bottom of the pan so that it doesn't dry out.

Mushroom-Stuffed Pork Loin


1 centre-cut boneless single pork loin roast, about 3 lb/1.5 Kg
salt and pepper to taste
5 strips bacon
1/2 cup (125 mL) chicken stock
1 tbsp (15 mL) cornstarch

Mushroom Stuffing:
2 tbsp (25 mL) vegetable oil
8 cups (2 L) diced mixed mushrooms
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 onion, finely chopped
1 cup (250 mL) diced sweet red pepper
1/4 tsp (1 mL) salt
1/4 tsp (1 mL) pepper
1/2 cup (125 mL) dry white wine or chicken stock
2 tbsp (25 mL) minced fresh parsley
1 tbsp (15 mL) minced fresh thyme
1 cup (250 mL) fresh bread crumbs


In large skillet, heat oil over medium heat; cook mushrooms, garlic, onion, red pepper, salt and pepper until no liquid remains, about 15 minutes. Add wine and bring to boil; reduce heat and simmer until evaporated, about 8 minutes. Stir in parsley and thyme. Let cool. Stir in bread crumbs.

Meanwhile, with short end of pork closest to you, place, fat side up, on cutting board. Starting at right side with knife parallel to board, cut loin in half almost but not all the way through. Open like book. Starting in centre of opened loin with knife parallel to board, cut in half on left side almost but not all the way through. Repeat on right side. Open flat. Cover with waxed paper. With mallet, pound to even 1/2-inch (1 cm) thickness.

Leaving 1-inch (2.5 cm) border on 1 short side, spread mushroom stuffing over meat. Starting at other short side, tightly roll up. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Lay bacon strips crosswise over meat. Place seven 15-inch (38 cm) lengths of string crosswise under loin; tie at top and cut off excess string.

Place roast on rack in roasting pan. Roast in 375°F (190°C) oven (or in convection oven at 350°F/180°C) until just a hint of pink remains inside and meat thermometer inserted in centre registers 160°F (70°C) for about 1 hour and 30 minutes. Transfer to cutting board. Tent with foil; let stand for 10 minutes before slicing.

Skim fat from drippings in drip pan. Pour drippings into glass measuring cup; add enough chicken stock to make 1 cup (250 mL). Pour into saucepan and bring to boil. Combine cornstarch with 2 tbsp (25 mL) cold water; whisk into saucepan and cook until thickened, about 1 minute. Serve with pork.

This recipe is also linked to...

Seasonal Inspiration Saturday

Napoleon Torte



1/2 cup unsalted butter(soft)
3/4 cup sugar
2 eggs
2 Tbsp milk
2 Tbsp cornstarch
2 to 2 1/4 cups flour
2 tsp baking powder


In a large bowl, cream together the butter and the sugar until light. One at a time, add the eggs and beat them in. Add the milk.

In a medium bowl, combine cornstarch, baking powder and 1 cup of the flour. Now for the tricky part. Add the flour mixture, mix this in with a wooden spoon, Continue to add a bit of flour at a time until you have a soft dough, similar to sugar cookies. You should be able to put it onto a floured counter and give it a bit of a knead.

Divide dough into 6 round balls (I usually make round sheets and make my torte 6 sheets high). On a lightly floured surface, roll the dough out quite thin (as thin as possible). Use a luncheon plate as a template to cut them into circular shapes and put them on a parchment-lined cookie sheet.

When cutting the layers, take into account that the pastry swells a bit when you add the pudding layers, so your cake does end up bigger than what you've cut. Also bake up a few of the scraps so that you have pastry to make crumbs for the sides of your cake.

If you have dough left over, roll it out and cut it into circles. Stack layers on top of each other, separating with plastic wrap. Place into a tupperware container and freeze until you want to make another torte. Just thaw the layers, put on parchment-lined cookie sheets and bake up as usual.

Bake them at 350 degrees F until lightly browned. Let them cool on the sheet before trying to move them.



1/2 cup flour
1 package of Dr. Oetker Orginal Pudding
1/2 cup plus 4 Tbsp sugar
5 cups milk
1/4 tsp vanilla
2 eggs


In a measuring cup, beat the 2 eggs and set aside.

Combine flour, sugar and pudding mix into a pot and slowly whisk in the milk and vanilla. Mix well so that there are no lumps in your mixture. Put on medium heat and stir the mixture until the heated mixture gets foamy or starts to stick to the edges of the pot.

First dribble a small amount of hot milk mixture in a steady stream into the eggs while quickly whisking the two together. This raises the temperature of the egg gradually (so that you don't end up with scrambled eggs). Continue to dribble in the hot milk mixture and whisk until you feel, with your hand, that the cup's side or bottom has become warm. Return the egg mixture back to the rest of the hot milk mixture. The eggs won't scramble or the milk won't curdle at this point, because they have been warmed gently. But, always keep the mixture moving - don't stop whisking.

Continue to heat till the pudding is thick. Don't boil. Pour the pudding into glass container and let cool. Put plastic wrap directly onto the surface of the pudding. Let this cool in the fridge overnight.

ASSEMBLING THE TORTE (the day before you want to serve the Napoleon Torte)

When ready to fill the torte, whip up 1 cup of whipping cream and fold it into the pudding.

When assembling the torte, start with a very thin layer of pudding directly on your cake plate - this allows the bottom layer of pastry to soften a bit and also helps keep your torte from sliding around on the cake plate. The just start alternating your layers of pastry and pudding. Once the last layer of pastry is on top add a final layer of pudding to the top and also around the sides of the torte. Take the extra bits that were baked, and crush them with a rolling pin and sprinkle them on the sides of the cake (if you didn't bake up extra bits you can used shaved chocolate).

Let the torte sit for 12 to 24 hours so that the layers soften and absorb some of the custard.

This recipe is also linked to...

Food on Friday: Desserts
Crazy Sweet Tuesday
Sweets for a Saturday

Lemon Pie Cheesecake Bars


1/2 cup butter, softened
1 cup flour
1/3 cup ground almonds
2 Tbsp sugar


1 pkg (8 oz.) cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla
1/2 cup whipping cream


4 egg yolks
1 Tbsp corn starch
3/4 cup sugar
3/4 cup water
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
2 tsp lemon zest
2 Tbsp butter


To make crust: Cream butter and sugar in medium sized bowl. Add flour and ground almonds and mix until well blended. Press dough evenly onto the bottom of an 9"x13" baking pan. Prick crust with a fork and bake at 350 degrees for 20-25 minutes or until pastry turns a golden brown. Cool on rack to room temperature.

To make filling: Beat cream cheese, vanilla and sugar until smooth. Whip the whipped cream and then fold into the cream cheese mixture. Spread over the cooled crust.

To make lemon curd: Blend egg yolks with the cornstarch and sugar in a medium saucepan. Place over low heat and slowly whisk in water and lemon juice. Increase heat to medium, stirring constantly, until mixture thickens. Remove from heat and add lemon zest and butter. Cool for 10 minutes. Spread lemon curd over cream cheese filling.

Chill for at least 1 hour before cutting. Top with more whipped cream or dust top with powdered sugar if desired.

This recipe is also linked to...

Everyday Sisters' Sharing Sundays: Yellow
Everyday Sisters' Sharing Sundays: Nuts

Potato Dumplings (a.k.a. Kartoffel Klösse)


4 large potatoes
1 cup all-purpose flour (approximately)
1 teaspoon salt


Heat a large pot of salted water to boiling.

Peel potatoes, and keep submerged in cold water to prevent browning. Grate potatoes, by hand or with a food processor, into a large bowl. Drain any excess water. Stir in flour and salt. With a teaspoon, form a test dumpling. If it doesn't hold together, Stir in more flour.

Form dumplings with a teaspoon, and gently drop into boiling water. Allow dumplings to float freely. Gently stir with wooden spoon so dumplings don't stick together. Reduce heat to slow boil. Boil for 40 minutes.

Drain in colander. Rinse with hot water. Serve with gravy or melted butter.

NOTE: If you don't squeeze ALL the water out or don't use enough flour (it could be more than the 1 cup in the recipe), these things will disintegrate while they're cooking leaving behind a grated potato mess.

NOTE: If you want to you can also add some herbs into the mix. Last night I used thyme because it happened to be in the marinade I used for the meat. Others I would use include: parsley, rosemary, basil, oregano, italian seasoning, but the sky's the limit and it's your flavour pallet that matters, so be creative.

NOTE: I haven't tried these serving suggestions yet, but they sound yummy.

Serving suggestion 1: We usually boil a ham shank for an hour or two, then drop the dumplings in with it. The next morning, we slice up the leftover ham and potatoes and fry them in butter.

Serving suggestion 2: We usually fry up some onions and bacon to put on the klösse.

Cherry Blossom Sugar Cookies


1 1/2 cup butter
1 1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 c. powdered sugar
4 eggs
1 tsp cherry extract
1/4 tsp almond extract
1/4 tsp vanilla extract
5 csup flour
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
1/2 cup dried cherries, finely chopped
Powdered sugar, for rolling


Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Cream butter and sugars in a mixer for 5 minutes. Add eggs one at a time, mixing thoroughly. Add extracts.

Sift in flour, baking powder, and salt a little at a time and then add cherries. Do not over mix, this process should take about one minute. Chill dough for up to a week in the fridge, or roll out and cut right away. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper and bake cookies for 7-8 minutes.

Wait until cookies are cooled before icing.