Coffee Cake

Continuing on in the vein of comfort food, but transitioning over to baked goods, I made a coffee cake this week.  This recipe was my Mom’s, and is an old one, but I swear I haven’t tasted a better coffee cake.  It’s simple, it smells delicious while it’s baking, and it has these great chunks of brown sugary goodness in it.  Yum.

This will sadly be a short little write-up, as I am sick yet again, or still, and don’t have many functioning brain cells.  However, the lack of witty words or reminiscent stories will be made up for by this yummy recipe, I promise.  In fact, hubby “may” have eaten a full third of the cake as soon as he was allowed to cut it.  He circled the kitchen with ravenous eyes until I deemed it cool enough..  His enthusiasm is why most of my pictures already have a portion removed.  Ha, ha.


Coffee Cake

2 tbsp. butter or marg., melted

3/4 cup brown sugar

1 tsp. cinnamon

Combine these three ingredients and set aside for topping.

1 cup white rice flour

1/2 cup potato starch

1/4 cup tapioca starch

1 1/2 tsp. xanthan gum

3 tsp. baking powder

1/2 tsp. salt

2/3 cup white sugar

1/3 cup margarine

1 chia egg (1 tbsp. ground chia seeds, 3 tbsp. water)

1 cup non dairy milk

1/2 tsp. vanilla

Preheat oven to 375* F.  Grease 8″ x 8″ pan.

Measure into a large bowl the flours, xanthan gum, baking powder, salt, and sugar. Cut in margarine.  Make a hollow in the middle and add chia egg, non dairy milk and vanilla.  Stir together in the hollow, and the combine in the dry ingredients until just moistened.  Turn into pan and sprinkle with brown sugar mixture.

Bake 30-35 minutes.


Great warm, or even the next day, if you have any left!


Hawaiian Chicken Casserole

The weather is turning….the wind has picked up, the temperatures are dropping, and the day is dark when I get up, and it’s dark again before I finish teaching piano.  If there were ever a season for comfort food, this is it.  And so, this week (and possibly for the foreseeable future) I’m going to stick with a comfort food recipe.

I was flipping through a cookbook the other day and found a recipe with a notation that my son-in-law really likes it.  I tend to write on my recipes with any changes I’ve made, who likes it and who doesn’t, etc.  On further investigation though, it was obviously a recipe I’d made before all  my food sensitivities set in.  Not one to back down from a challenge, I did some substitutions, and voila! Hawaiian Chicken Casserole.  I’ve made it twice, and my husband loves it, so I guess my changes were successful.


Hawaiian Chicken Casserole

4 cups cooked and diced chicken (I season it a little while cooking it)

1 1/2 cups uncooked Minute Rice

8 oz. of chicken bouillon, thickened to a gravy like consistency (I made the bouillon from Epicure Chicken Bouillon mix, and while it was still hot, stirred in some potato starch to thicken)

1 cup diced celery

1 cup Soy-Free Vegenaise

2 tsp. lemon juice

14 oz can of pineapple tidbits, drained


1/4 cup melted butter or margarine

2 cups cornflakes (I used these)

Combine the first seven ingredients in a bowl.  Mix well, then put in a casserole dish.  Crush the cornflakes a little, and mix with the  melted butter.  Put on top of the casserole.  Bake at 350*F for 40 minutes, or until cornflakes start to brown.

IMG_0416 IMG_0418

(Note:  I made this and left a note for my husband to please take a picture before digging in, as I was teaching piano.  He was hungry, and he loves it, so he just ate it and forgot.  When I questioned him later he got the blank, stunned look of someone who knows what they should have done, but didn’t.  Ha, ha.  Thus we have a picture of a “dug into” casserole.”)

Beef Vegetable Soup

It’s coming….the season whose name I shall not speak.  It consists of cold, wind, white stuff on the ground, and high heating bills.  Yeah – THAT season.

One thing that makes that season a little more bearable is comfort food.  When the kids were younger, and finances were tight, a pot of soup and some homemade rolls made a filling, nutritious and budget-friendly meal.  We still make lots of soup, even as empty nesters.

I’ve mentioned before that hubby is Dutch.  I don’t know if it is true for all Dutch families, but in his, soup was a daily thing.  There were eleven children in his family, and soup was served first, and then the main meal.  I suspect the hope was that people would fill up a little on soup, and then consume a little less in the way of expensive meats, veggies, etc.  Because of this, my husband is still a lover of soup, and he’ll eat any kind I make.  I decided on this one today mostly because I had every ingredient in the house.  Word of warning – this makes a HUGE pot of soup.  You will need a stock pot, not just a dutch oven.  You will have soup for supper, for lunch the next day, and for the hungry people walking by that smell it cooking in your house.   Ha, ha.


Beef Vegetable Soup

6 cups of beef broth (homemade or organic store bought) OR six cups of water with six beef bouillon cubes (I much prefer broth – the cubes are too salty for  my taste)

28 oz can of tomatoes, mashed

10 oz can of tomato soup (I used tomato soup I made and froze in the summer)

2 cups shredded carrot

2 cups shredded potato

1 large chopped onion (I am currently not eating onions, so I left mine in one piece and fished it out after the soup was finished – so I had the flavour and not the actual onion)

1 cup chopped celery

1/2 cup quinoa

6 cups water

1 tbsp. parsley flakes

1 tsp. sugar

1 tsp. salt

1/4 tsp. pepper

1/4 tsp. thyme

3 cups chopped beef (I used stewing beef – cooked and them cut into bite size pieces.  You could cook up hamburger and use it too.  Because – who has 3 cups of leftover roast beef???)

Heat the first amount of water and bouillon or stock.

Add remaining ingredients except beef.  Bring to a boil and let simmer for 1 1/2 hours, or until the veggies are softened.  Add beef and simmer for 1/2 hour more……or until you want to eat.  Mine was probably on the stove, simmering gently, for a total of 3 hours while I taught piano.


If you use stock and not bouillon cube, you will likely need to add a little more salt and pepper to taste.  Just add a little at a time….you can’t get the salt back once it’s in!

Quick Oatmeal Squares

Oops – it’s Thursday already!  The week got away on me.  It’s been a busy one, and….I have to get a filling today.  I dislike going to the dentist.  It stems from childhood, I think, when I went once and he accidentally froze half my face, and it stayed that way most of the day.  He was not a gentle dentist, and cared little whether you were leery of  him or not.  That day I had contacts in, and couldn’t blink on one side.  It was not good.  Anyway, I have let this dental appointment consume way too much of my head space this week, and therefore forgot to get my recipe ready to go!

When my kids were all small, it took a lot of homemade snacks to fill three lunches every day.  I did homemade because a) they are better, and b) store bought were just too expensive.  This recipe was a go-to – not many ingredients, and simple to make.  I tried it this week without allergens, and it worked just as well as the original!  It makes me so happy when that happens.

1/4 cup white rice flour

1/4 cup + 1 tbsp. sweet sorghum flour

3/4 tsp. baking powder

1/4 tsp. salt

1/2 cup + 1 tbsp. brown sugar

1/4 cup + 2 tbsp. butter or margarine

1 tsp. vanilla

1/8 cup water

1 cup oats, uncooked

1 cup chocolate chips or chunks

Preheat oven to 375* F.  Combine brown sugar, butter and vanilla until well blended.  Blend in flours, baking powder, and salt alternately with water.  Stir in the oats and chocolate chunks.  Spread in a small greased baking dish (I used a 5″ x 9″).  Bake for 30 minutes.  Cool before cutting.

oatmeal square