Christmas, Food

Russian Tea Cakes

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When I was a kid my mom called these delightful little cookies snowballs. It’s a cute name that perfectly describes these bite sized treats. Years later I was given this recipe for Russian tea cakes, and I’ve been making them ever since.

These are a favorite of my family at Christmas time. With a few simple ingredients you’ve got a wonderful buttery, crunchy cookie. They look so festive, like snow. A perfect holiday goody.

Walnuts add a delectable crunch. I highly recommend toasting the walnuts. This will add another depth of flavor to the tea cakes. Savory nuts and sweet powdered sugar come together perfectly in Russian tea cakes. These marvelous cookies will make a lovely addition to your holiday desserts.

Happy Eating!

For there is born to you this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. Luke 2:11 

 

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Russian Tea Cakes

 

Ingredients

1 cup softened butter

½ cup powdered sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla

2 ¼ cups flour

¼ teaspoon salt

¾ cupped chopped walnuts

2 cups of powdered sugar for rolling the cookies

 

To Toast Nuts

  1. Preheat oven to 350°
  2. Spread nuts on a baking sheet and toast in the oven for 8 to 10 minutes. 
  3. Toast until browned. Keep a close eye on them as nuts can burn easily.

 

Instructions 

  1. Preheat oven to 400°
  2. Line baking sheets with parchment, or leave them ungreased.
  3. In a medium sized mixing bowl use a hand mixer to cream butter, powdered sugar, and vanilla thoroughly.
  4. Add the flour and salt. Mix until combined.
  5. Stir in the chopped walnuts.
  6. Cover and chill the dough for 20 minutes, or up to overnight.
  7. Roll the dough into 1 inch balls and place on a baking sheet.
  8. Bake for 8 to 10 minutes or until golden brown.
  9. In a small bowl place the 2 cups of powdered sugar.
  10. While still warm, roll the cookies in powdered sugar.
  11. Cool the cookies, and roll one more time in the powdered sugar.

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Notes

  • Pecans, and almonds can be used. 
  • Russian tea cakes can be kept in the freezer for up to 2 months.
  • Coat with powdered sugar before serving.

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Food, mustard seed sentinel

Sweet Potato Souffle

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Every cook has a signature dish. It’s the recipe that you get asked to make at each holiday gathering, or get together. One of my mom’s iconic dishes at Thanksgiving was sweet potato souffle. Mom started making these wonderful sweet potatoes many years ago after getting the recipe from our pastor’s wife. Sweet potato souffle is synonymous with Mom, and Thanksgiving.

Before I experienced the joy of this souffle, I never touched sweet potatoes. Yams with some marshmallows had no appeal to me as a child. Everything changed after the first delicious bite of these delightful sweet potatoes. This is hands down, the best sweet potato recipe.

Even though this is a classic side dish, it really could be a dessert. The sweet potatoes are light and fluffy from the eggs, with plenty of sweetness from the sugar. Toasted pecans and brown sugar on top make the perfect pairing. Sweet potato souffle is scrumptious and a great addition to any celebration.

Happy Eating!

I will praise God’s name with song and exalt Him with thanksgiving. Psalm 69:30

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Sweet Potato Souffle

 

Ingredients

3 lbs. sweet potatoes cooked and mashed (3 cups)

½ cup butter, softened

2 eggs

1 cup sugar

1 cup milk

1 tsp. vanilla

½ tsp. salt

 

Topping

½ cup flour

1 cup brown sugar

1 cup finely chopped pecans

¼ cup butter, softened

 

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 400°
  2. Pierce each sweet potato several times with a fork and place on a baking sheet. Bake for 50 minutes or until tender.
  3. Reduce the oven to 350° after removing the sweet potatoes. Cool the potatoes slightly then scoop the sweet potatoes out of the skins, and into a large mixing bowl.
  4. While the sweet potatoes are still hot, mash them with a potato masher, or use an electric mixer. Add the butter and mix well with an electric mixer.
  5. Add the eggs, sugar, milk, vanilla, and salt. Mix well with an electric mixer.
  6. Pour sweet potato mixture into a buttered 2 quart casserole dish.
  7. In a small bowl mix flour, brown sugar, pecans, and butter. Spread the topping evenly across the top of the unbaked sweet potatoes.
  8. Bake for 40 minutes until browned and the filling has firmed up.
  9. Cool for 5 to 10 minutes before serving.
  10. Store leftovers in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.

 

Notes 

*The mixture is pretty runny before it’s cooked.

*The souffle is soft and will set up as it cools.

*Canned sweet potatoes work well if you don’t want to cook fresh sweet potatoes.



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For this recipe and more go to Mustard Seed Sentinel, Meghan’s Corner.

https://www.mustardseedsentinel.com/post/meghan-s-corner-sweet-potato-souffle

Food, mustard seed sentinel

Onion Gratin

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Are you tired of the same old side dishes? Would you like to try something a little different and still very good? Look no further. Onion gratin will add excitement to your tried and true sides. We can all use some variety in our cooking. Variety is the spice of life.

What exactly is gratin? It’s a really fancy sounding French word, au gratin, that means to cook a dish with a topping of buttered bread crumbs and cheese. The gratin is cooked under the broiler to make it crisp and brown. It’s that simple. Most of us are familiar with potatoes au gratin. Onion gratin is a bit of a departure from the traditional potato dish.

Sweet onions and Gruyère cheese are what make it special. This onion gratin recipe has a similar flavor to French onion soup. I love to pair these onions with steak. Onion gratin is paired well with chicken, fish, pork, or even vegetarian dishes. You could easily add this recipe to one of your holiday meals. Try something new with this savory onion accompaniment. 

Happy Eating!

And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose. Romans 8:28 

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Onion Gratin 

Ingredients

2 medium sweet onions thinly sliced

2 tablespoons olive oil 

3 tablespoons worcestershire sauce

1 teaspoon salt

½ teaspoon pepper

3 ounces shredded Gruyère cheese (about ½ cup)

2 tablespoons melted butter

1 cup croutons 

1 tablespoon chopped parsley 

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 425°
  2. Lightly coat an 8 x 8 casserole dish, or pie pan, with cooking spray.
  3. In a small bowl whisk together 2 tablespoons olive oil, 3 tablespoons worcestershire, and 1 teaspoon salt, and ½ teaspoon pepper.
  4. Thinly slice two sweet onions. Place one sliced onion evenly on the bottom of your baking dish.
  5. Drizzle half the olive oil mixture over the first layer.
  6. Place the second sliced onion evenly on top of the first layer.
  7. Drizzle remaining olive oil mixture over everything.
  8. Cover with aluminum foil. Bake for 25 minutes.
  9. In a small bowl place the bread crumbs and drizzle 2 tablespoons of melted butter. Add ½ cup Gruyère cheese, ½ teaspoon salt,  ¼ teaspoon pepper, and 1 tablespoon fresh parsley. Toss everything together.
  10. After 25 minutes, take the foil off the casserole dish and sprinkle the crouton and cheese mixture evenly on top. Sprinkle fresh ground pepper over the top and a pinch of salt. Add a little more fresh parsley as well.
  11. Bake uncovered for an additional 5 minutes.
  12. Serve warm. Enjoy!

 

Notes

If you can’t find Gruyère cheese, Swiss cheese works well.

Add more cheese if you prefer.

Double the recipe for a larger group.

 

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For this recipe and more go to the link for Mustard Seed Sentinel where you’ll find my monthly column, Meghan’s Corner.

https://www.mustardseedsentinel.com/post/meghan-s-corner-onion-gratin

Food, mustard seed sentinel

Key Lime Pie

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There is something so delightful about a key lime pie. Maybe because it has the perfect amount of tart and sweet. I love all things citrus and key lime pie takes the cake. I mean it takes the pie. What I’m trying to say is that key lime pie is fantastic and this recipe is easy and amazingly good. 

I have been making this mouth-watering dessert for years and it always brings smiles. That makes me happy, which makes me smile too. It fills me up to know that I brought a little joy to someone in the form of a delicious piece of pie. You can’t be angry when you are enjoying a yummy treat. We all just need to eat more desserts.

No key limes are required to make this key lime pie. I have used key limes before and they are not the easiest fruit to work with since they are very small. Also, key limes are not always available at the grocery store. Regular limes work great. 

Make this delectable pie and bring some happiness to your world.

 

Happy Eating!

 

You make known to me the path of life; you will fill me with joy in your presence, with eternal pleasures at your right hand. Psalm 16:11dsc00538

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Key Lime Pie

Ingredients

8 egg yolks 

2 cans sweetened condensed milk

The juice of 5 limes (approximately ½ cup) 

Zest of 5 limes (about 1 tablespoon)

For the crust

2 sleeves of graham crackers

14 tablespoons of melted butter

 

    1. Preheat oven to 325°
    2. Place graham crackers in a food processor and process until finely ground. You can also place graham crackers in a zip lock bag and pound them with a rolling pin until you get fine crumbs. Put the graham cracker crumbs in a large mixing bowl.
    3. Add melted butter to the graham cracker crumbs. Mix until combined. 
    4. Press the graham cracker/butter mixture evenly into the bottom and up the sides of a 9-inch pie pan. Use the back of a measuring cup to firmly press the crust in place. 
    5. Bake the crust for 20 minutes until golden brown. Cool completely.
    6. Reduce oven temperature to 300°
    7. Add egg yolks, sweetened condensed milk, lime juice, and lime zest to a large mixing bowl or stand mixer. Use the whisk attachment and mix on medium to medium high until everything is thoroughly combined. 
    8. Pour the pie filling into the pie crust. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes.
    9. The pie is done when the filling is firm but slightly soft. It won’t be wiggly and it won’t be brown. 
    10. Let the pie cool completely. Wait at least 4 to 6 hours before serving. Refrigerate overnight for the best flavor.

 

Notes

*If you can find key limes, use a few more than what the recipe calls for since they are small.

*Make this pie a day ahead for the best flavor.

* Buy extra limes to use for garnish. 

* Top with whipped cream.

 

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For this recipe and more go to the link. I write a monthly article for Mustard Seed Sentinel,  Meghan’s Corner. 

https://www.mustardseedsentinel.com/post/meghan-s-corner-key-lime-pie

Food, mustard seed sentinel

Oven Roasted Tomatoes

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I love tomatoes in any and every way possible. Sliced on a sandwich, chopped in salsa, cooked in sauce and fresh from the garden are all scrumptious. Tomatoes are versatile and delicious. One of my favorite ways to prepare the all-purpose tomato is roasted.

Roasted tomatoes have the most amazing flavor and are very easy to make. I love to use Romas when roasting tomatoes but any tomato will do. You can slice them thin or just halve them depending on how you will use your roasted tomatoes.

Add them to salads, soups, or sandwiches. Toss roasted tomatoes with some pasta, garlic, olive oil, and parmesan for a delicious simple meal. Compliment your main dish of chicken, fish or pork with some roasted tomatoes. Put some roasted tomatoes on a charcuterie board or the top of crostini.

There are numerous ways to use roasted tomatoes to add wonderful flavor and texture to just about any dish. It’s also a great way to preserve tomatoes since they can be kept in the freezer for up to six months. I hope you are inspired to give roasted tomatoes a try.

Happy Eating!

Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid. John 14:27

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Oven Roasted Tomatoes

Ingredients

2 pounds plum tomatoes

olive oil

Salt and pepper

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 400℉
  2. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment.
  3. Slice tomatoes in half. Gently remove the seeds and stems.
  4. Place the sliced tomatoes on prepared baking sheet.
  5. Drizzle with olive oil and salt and pepper.
  6. Bake for 35 to 40 minutes until tomatoes begin to carmelize.
  7. Cool and add them to your favorite dish.

Notes:

Store roasted tomatoes in the refrigerator for up to 5 days or freeze for up to 6 months.

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Crostini

Ingredients

Baguette

Olive oil

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350℉
  2. Slice baguette into ¼ inch rounds.
  3. Brush each side with olive oil and place on a baking sheet.
  4. Bake for 15 minutes until crisp and golden brown.

Notes:

Add whatever toppings you like to the crostini.

I topped mine with ricotta cheese, roasted tomatoes, and fresh oregano.

For this recipe and more go to Mustard Seed Sentinel.

https://www.mustardseedsentinel.com