Chocolate Raisin Cookies

These are my husband’s favorite cookies.

Adapted from The Mennonite Treasury of Recipes

1/2 c. butter or margarine

1 c. packed brown sugar

1 egg

1 tsp. vanilla

1/2 c. cocoa

1/4 tsp. salt

1 1/3 c. flour

3 tsp. baking powder

1/2 c. chopped nuts

1/2 c. raisins

2/3 c. milk

Preheat oven to 400. Cream margarine and brown sugar. Add egg and vanilla. Combine dry ingredients, raisins and nuts. Add dry ingredients, alternating with milk, to the creamed mixture.  Drop by teaspoons onto greased cookie sheets.  Bake for approximately 10 minutes. Makes about two dozen, depending on the size.

Taber Corn and Bean Salsa

Taber corn is the King of Corns.  My husband feels it is vastly superior to other corn. Taber corn is grown in Southern Alberta, Canada, where there is “near perfect growing conditions — sandy loam soil, long, warm summers and irrigated fields.”

Here is a easy recipe I’ve adapted from a  Taber corn distributor.

1 1/2 c. fresh corn

1 c. canned black beans, rinsed and drained

1 med. sweet red pepper, seeded and finely chopped

1 jalapeno pepper (handle with care and don’t rub your eyes after) seeded and finely chopped

1 tsp. garlic powder

2 T. lime juice

1 tsp. dried cilantro

1/4 tsp each salt and pepper

Cook corn in a small amount of water for about 4 minutes or until crisp-tender. Drain and cool.  Combine corn and remaining ingredients.  For variation, add in some chopped tomatoes and green onions.  Makes 4 cups.

Edited to add:  Another variation:  place a few tablespoons of this on a wrap, sprinkle with some shredded Jack or Cheddar cheese, and microwave for a minute, or until the cheese melts and the wrap is warm. Lunch is served!

Whole Grain Pancake Mix

[This makes a huge batch and can easily be halved or quartered–which I will do next time as mixing this quantity was too hard on my hands and arms.]

10 c. white flour

3 c. whole wheat flour

3 c. quick oatmeal

¼ c. sugar

5 T. baking powder

5 T. baking soda

2 T. salt

1 C. each bran, ground flaxseed and dark rye flour

Mix in a large, airtight container.


To use


1 c. milk

1 c. mix

1 egg.

2 T. oil

(Makes about 6 – 8 pancakes.)

Summer Coffee Cake (aka “Platz”)

Adapted from the Mennonite Treasury of Recipes

I don’t cook much out of the Mennonite Treasury of Recipes (circa 1961) — the recipes contain too much saturated fat and carbohydrates for our taste — even though I am a Mennonite-in-law, marrying into a Mennonite family almost 15 years ago.  There are a few recipes I don’t mind though, I’ve mostly made Fruit Soup (Plumimoos) and Platz (aka Dutch Apple Cake, Coffee Cake).

I made this last week.  It takes about 25 minutes to put together. You can cut up the fruit the night before and refrigerate (sprinkle with a little lemon juice so it doesn’t go brown.)

Mix together:

2 cups flour

3 tsp. baking powder

4 T. sugar


2 T. margarine or butter (cut in with a pastry blender or two table knives)

1 c. milk (the original recipe calls for cream)

1 egg

Mix well and pat out on a fairly large baking dish.  Put on a layer of any of the following cut up fruit:  apricots, apples, peaches, plums, rhubarb, or any in season fruit. (I used rhubarb)

Combine in a small bowl:

3/4 c. flour

3/4 c. sugar

1/2 tsp. baking powder

2 T margarine or  butter

Sprinkle over fruit.  Bale at 375 for 25 – 30 minutes (this seemed to take longer in my oven; I had put the platz into an 11 x 13 glass baking dish and it took about 40 minutes).  Serves about 10-12.

Blueberry Goat Cheese Salad

Fast and easy and wonderful if it is too hot too cook.

Divide among two individual containers a bunch of mixed greens, romaine lettuce (torn) or baby spinach.
Add 1/4 c. each of crumbled blueberry goat cheese (such as Pampered Goat), toasted sliced almonds, and fresh blueberries.
Serve with your favorite salad dressing (I used a Raspberry Vinaigrette.) Makes two and is really, really yummy. This would also be awesome topped with cooked, chopped chicken breasts.