Saturday, December 21, 2013

French Canadian Tortiere

It was love at first bite!
My dear friend Cathy introduced me to this classic
 Canadian Christmas dish a few years ago and I 
have since adopted it into my traditions as well. 
I lived in Canada as  a little girl (Niagara Falls), 
so it seemed a nice nod to those Canadian 
Christmas memories from childhood. 
We didn't make tortiere, but I can now!
Tortiere is a savory pork main dish pie. 
It's traditionally served around holiday time, 
particularly in Quebec on Christmas Eve.
 It has complex flavors and fills your home with
 the most wonderful aroma.
 I needed to borrow the 1/4 t mace
from a tennis friend. It's a lot like
nutmeg, but I wanted to follow Cathy's
recipe exactly.
 Just mash the cooked potatoes adding
  nothing to them. They will go into
 the cooked pork.
 I made my own pie crust, but you can
buy ready-made and use that.
 Once the meat mixture has cooled, add it
to the pie and cover the top with crust.
Cut in a vent. I have a tin of holiday shapes
 that I get to use for just such an occasion.
 Ready for the oven.
 Time to  make the mushroom gravy.
Saute seasoned mushrooms in a little butter.
Add your favorite brown gravy mix and add
 a little extra water than instructed so that
 it's not too thick. Use at least
2 packets...maybe 3 if you
are gravy lovers, (and who isn't?).
 Out of the oven when golden.
Slice into 6-8 portions.
 Serve with mushroom gravy,
scalloped potatoes (they bake along in the oven),
green salad, or vegetable.
Don't you just LOVE family traditions,
both old and new!
Here's Cathy's recipe. YUM!

French Canadian Tortiere
1-1/2 lb ground pork
1/2 C boiling water
1 can consomme soup
1 small onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
1-1/2 t salt
1/4 t each: mace, sage, pepper
pinch ground cloves
3 medium potatoes, peeled, cubed, boiled, mashed

In a saucepan thoroughly combine all ingredients
except potatoes. Stir frequently over low heat,
cooking until pork looses it's pink color and the
liquid is reduced by half, about 45 minutes.
Boil and mash potatoes. Add to meat mixture and
let cool. Line a deep dish pie pan with crust. Fill
with the meat mixture and cover with top crust.
Seal edges and flute. Carve a Christmas tree or star
on top to vent. Bake at 450 for 10 minutes, then
reduce heat to 350 and continue baking for another
45  minutes. Cut into wedges to serve.
Serve with mushroom gravy and scalloped or
mashed potatoes, vegetable and/or salad.

You can use refrigerated pre-made crust or make your own.

Pie Crust
2-1/2 C flour
1/2 t salt
3/4 C shortening
4-5 T ice cold water
Combine the flour and salt in a food processor
Pulse to combine. Add the Crisco and pulse on/off
about 15-30 times, until blended.
With machine running, drizzle in
enough ice water just until it begins to
 hold together. Divide dough in half, and
shape into flatted disks. Wrap in plastic,
chill at least 1 hour or up to 3 days or
frozen for up to 1 month.
 Roll out on a floured surface.
Enough for a double crust pie or 
two shells. 


Sunday, December 8, 2013

Ginger Cookies

Here's an easy cookie recipe that will have your
 whole house smelling like a bakery. 
 They are full of spicy cinnamon, ginger, cloves, 
and nutmeg. YUM!
I used a hand  mixer to cream the butter and sugar,
then added the egg and honey. Mix well.
Dump all the dry ingredients into a sifter.
 Add to the the bowl and mix well. 
I chilled the dough to  make it easier to handle.
 Roll into 1" balls and then roll in sugar.
 Place on an ungreased cookie sheet and bake
 @375 for 9 minutes....that was 
the perfect time for me.
 Cool on the sheet for 5  minutes before removing.
Remove to a wire rack to cool completely before
 storing in an airtight container. Of course you'll
want to eat one or two while they're still warm
with your tea or coffee. 
You  might as well double the recipe because
they are great for sharing and they go fast!

Ginger Cookies
3/4 C Butter (1-1/2 sticks or 6oz)
1 C white sugar
1 egg
1/4 C honey or molasses
Beat all together then add the 
dry sifted ingredients 
2-1/4  C sifted flour
1/2 t ginger
1/2 t ground cloves
1/2 t nutmeg
2 t cinnamon
1/4 t salt
2 t baking soda
Mix well and refrigerate for about
 30  minutes to make rolling easier.
Roll into 1" balls and roll in a plate of sugar
(about 1/4 C ). Place 2" apart on an 
ungreased cookie sheet. Bake @375 for
 9 minutes. Let cool on the sheet for 5 minutes
 before removing to a wire rack to cool.
Store in an airtight container.


Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Pumpkin Waffles

You may have noticed that I am on a bit of a roll
with waffles lately. This recipe also uses my 
other obsession for fall.....pumpkin!
So today I made pumpkin waffles.
After all, it's Thanksgiving week!
 Get the three bowls prepped; dry ingredients,
milk mixture, and beaten egg whites. OK, I know
there's a little bowl of melted butter too.
 Combine the dry ingredients with the milk
mixture. Stir just until combined. Don't over mix.
 Stir in the melted butter.
 Lightly fold in the egg whites.
 A little at a time.
 Batter will look like this. A bit fluffy.
 Use about 1/2 C for each waffle.
 Bake on a preheated, sprayed baker
 Serve with butter and maple syrup on
heated plates.
 Keep waffles warm in the oven on a wire rack.
Don't stack them on top of each other or
the steam will make them too soft.
Use the rack again to cool and freeze
them for about 20 minutes.
Then pop them frozen into a bag for
later toasting. I reused a bread bag.
It's the perfect size to stack my
waffles. I have quite an assortment
now handy for those rushed mornings.
Oatmeal Cinnamon,
Apple Cider and now Pumpkin.

Pumpkin Waffles
1-1/4 C flour
2 T brown sugar
2 t baking powder
1 t cinnamon
1/2 t allspice
1/2 t ginger
pinch salt
whisk dry ingredients together in a large bowl.
In another smaller bowl or 2 C measure, whisk;
2 egg yolks
1 C milk
1/2 C pumpkin
2 T butter
In another bowl beat until stiff
2 egg whites
In a custard cup melt
2 T butter
Combine the flour mixture and milk mixture.
Stir just until incorporated. Stir in the melted 
butter. Fold in the egg whites. Bake in a preheated 
and sprayed waffle baker, using about 1/2 C batter
 per waffle. Bake until golden brown.
Makes about 10 waffles. 


Sunday, November 24, 2013

Apple Cider Waffles

These apple cider waffles with cinnamon
and nutmeg will be a favorite addition
to your fall and winter breakfast menu.
They'll make your whole house smell
like a welcoming Vermont B&B in Autumn.
I love apple cider in the fall, so this 
is another way to enjoy it.
The batter mixes easily. It's
best to let waffle batter rest for
about 20 minutes. It also gives you 
time to preheat the baker and 
brew your coffee (or tea). 
Use about 1/3C scoop for each waffle.
Bake in a preheated waffle iron
Serve on warmed plates with lots of
butter and warm syrup.
And lots of freshly brewed coffee!

Apple Cider Waffles
1C flour
 1t baking powder
1/2t baking soda
1t sugar
1t cinnamon
1/2t nutmeg
1 egg, slightly beaten
3/4C apple cider
2T melted butter
Whisk dry ingredients in a bowl.
In another small bowl whisk the egg,
then add the cider and butter. 
Combine with the flour; mix well.
 Let the batter rest while you preheat
 a waffle iron and spray it with
 cooking spray. Bake according to waffle
maker instructions using about 1/3C scoop
per waffle. Remove when baked 
throughout and crisp. Serve on heated 
plates with butter and warm maple syrup. 
makes about 5-6 waffles.


tip: You can double the recipe, then freeze extra
waffles flat on a cookie sheet for about 20 minutes
until stiff; then pop into a zip freezer bag.
 Just toast frozen waffles to enjoy anytime.

Links: Facebook,
Between Naps On The Porch,

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Lemon-Herb Stuffing

Lemon herb stuffing with
with mushrooms, celery, onions, 
and lots of chopped fresh parsley.
 I usually double this recipe so that I have lots 
for Thanksgiving dinner and can put several 
bags in the freezer for roast chicken dinners
 later in the year.
I use the herbed cubed stuffing in a bag.
Chop all the vegetables and begin adding them to
the pan with hot butter starting with the 
onions and celery then adding
 the sliced mushrooms. Saute for about 5 minutes.
 Stir in the seasonings.
Add the stuffing and chicken broth.
 Toss well and add a good squeeze of lemon juice.
 Lots of chopped fresh parsley is a must.
 Toss well and you're ready to stuff your bird
 or refrigerate until needed.
I love having a few of these bags of stuffing in
the freezer. They turn a roast chicken 
into the perfect Sunday dinner. 

Lemon~Herb Stuffing


  • 1 12 oz bag Pepperidge Farm Herb Stuffing Cubes
  • 1 C chopped onion, about 1 medium
  • 1 C chopped celery, about 2 stalks celery,
  • 1 C sliced fresh mushrooms, about 4 -oz
  • 1/2 C chopped fresh parsley
  • 2 t thyme
  • 1/4 t salt
  • 1/4 t pepper
  • 1/2 stick butter
  • 2 C Chicken broth (or hot water with 2t chicken bouillon or cubes)
  • Juice of 1/2 large lemon about, 2 T lemon juice


Heat the butter in a large skillet until bubbly. Add vegetables and saute until tender. Add seasonings. Remove from heat. Add to the stuffing in a large bowl. Add the broth and lemon juice, add the fresh parsley tossing well. Stuff turkey cavity and nech cavity. Freeze extra stuffing in quart-size freezer bags flattened to use for your next roast chicken dinner. Find my recipe for perfect roast chicken HERE.