I often get asked if Canada is very different from the US or Colorado where I grew up.
This can be a loaded question depending on who wants to know right! There are so many subtle differences that I have grown to understand and love over the years. One of the interesting differences are the church pot lucks or evening events.
Now I know many of you are from the city, maybe you attend a church that hasn’t had a “pot luck” in about a hundred years! But out here in the “field” the “pot luck” is alive and well and I would say at our church exceptionally well. I love that about here. Some would say its old school but really its community, its love. Whether it’s a wedding shower, graduation or just the usual goodies after church for “lunch” its good. It characterizes our church and many in our denomination across the country.
This recipe is SO Canadian and I thought I would pass it along as you would find this at any decent church pot luck, band concert, graduation, wedding… Well you get the point!
This particular recipe is from the Farmer’s grandmother. She always made them at Christmas time and even sent them to Ecuador one year when the family gathered there. What did I tell you, Canadians are passionate about these little “squares” as they so fondly referrer to them!
So from our family to yours maybe you just might want to have a little ethnic food on the table at your next Christmas party! And a couple more favorites for a family night or party!
Virginia’s Heavenly Nanaimo Bars
Butter or Margarine ½ c.
Sugar ½ C.
Cocoa 10 Tbsp.
Eggs, beaten 2
Graham Cracker Crumbs 3 ½ C.
Fine coconut 1 ½ C.
Chopped Walnuts 1 C.
Melt first 3 ingredients in top of double boiler or heavy saucepan. Add beaten egg and stir to cook and thicken. Remove from heat. Stir in crumbs, coconut and nuts. Press firmly into ungreased 9×13 pan.
Butter or Margarine 1 C.
Cream 6 Tbsp.
Vanilla Custard Powder (Bird’s eye) 4 Tbsp.
Icing sugar 4 C.
Cream butter, milk, custard powder, and icing sugar together well. Beat until light in color and fluffy. Spread over bottom layer.
Semisweet chocolate chips 1 1/3C. OR 8 square’s semi-sweet chocolate
Butter or Margarine 4 Tbsp.
Melt chips or Chocolate squares and butter over low heat. Cool. When cool but still runny, spread over second layer.
Chill in the fridge. Store in the fridge or cut into squares and freeze.
Pecan Crusted Artichoke and cheese dip
Thank you Christina (My college friend and great cook! For this AMAZING recipe)
4 Tbsp butter divided
1 med. Onion finely chopped
2 cloves garlic chopped
1- 10 oz pkg frozen chopped spinach, well drained
1- 13 3/4 oz can artichoke hearts, drained and chopped
1- 8oz package cream cheese softened cut into ½” cubes
½ cup hellmans real mayo
¾ cup sargento or whatever shredded Parmesan cheese
2 cups 4 cheese country casserole blend I just use whatever blend I can find in the already shredded bags.
2/3 cup chopped pecans
½ cup herb seasoning bag stuffing
Melt 3 Tbsp butter in a skillet over medium-high heat. Add onion and garlic and cook three min. Add spinach and cook 3 min. Stirring frequently. Remove from heat, add artichoke hearts and next four ingredients to spinach mixture, stir until well blended. Transfer to a greased 1 ½ qt. Casserole. (I use a nice bowl even but it has to be oven proof.) Melt remaining 1 Tbsp butter in small skillet add pecans and stuffing and toss until blended and browned a bit. Set aside. Bake cheese mixture at 350 for 20 min stir. Top with pecan mixture and bake for 15 more min or until just browned. Serve with French bread, crackers, veggies or whatever is yummy! ☺
Grammy Jenell’s lemon loaf
1/3 c melted shortening
1 c. white sugar
Sift and add:
1 1/2 c. flour
1 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. salt
1/2 c. milk
1 Tbsp. lemon peel
1Tbsp. lemon juice (my addition)
3Tbsp poppy seeds (I had a bunch to use up! this is optional)
Bake in a slow oven 325 degrees for 70 minutes. Then take 3 tablespoons lemon juice and 1/4 c. sugar. Mix and spread over the loaf and let set for 10 minutes before taking out of pan. (I poke holes into the top of the loaf with a toothpick)
For an added Christmas flare I added a bag of fresh cranberries. It looks SO pretty when its baked up. Good enough to give as a special Christmas gift.
I wish I could give each of you one to enjoy with your friends and family they are just so pretty all packaged up!
One more favorite this season…. A friend got me onto Davidstea. It is a fun shop where you can pause for a moment to smell, taste and be transported to fireside cups of tea with your favorite people! The girls and I recently had a fun half hour and came away with Sleigh Ride! What a beautiful, naturally sweet Christmas tea. If you come across some your day may just be a little more merrier!