The Homeplace

Here you will find recipes that will remind you of years gone by. Families love to get together and these recipes are some samplings of our gatherings at 'The Homeplace'.

Location: Nova Scotia, Canada

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Banana Wafer Pudding

Such a boring name for a very tasty dessert. Quick and easy, too - I think it was half an hour from start to finish.

3/4 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup flour
1/8 tsp. salt
3 egg yolks
2 cups milk
1 tsp. vanilla
250 g box vanilla wafers
2 bananas, sliced
3 egg whites, room temperature
1/4 tsp. cream of tartar
1/4 cup granulated sugar

In top of double boiler*, mix sugar, flour and salt. Stir in egg yolks, milk and vanilla. Cook, stirring often, until thickened and coats a metal spoon.

Layer wafers with bananas and pudding in an 8-inch casserole.

Beat egg whites and cream of tartar until soft peaks form. Add sugar gradually, beating until stiff. Spread over top. Bake in 400°F oven for about 4 or 5 minutes until golden brown. Serve cold. Makes 6 servings.

*I don't have a double boiler, so I used a stainless steel mixing bowl over a saucepan.

~ Seven

Benson Beans

This is the "reasonable facsimile" recipe because I have never seen the original. Mrs. B used to make Benson Beans for every get-together. We loved them so much I started experimenting, and this is close enough for us. If we ever manage to have leftovers, they don't last past that evening. I even like them cold. Yes, I've got it bad.

Combine 1 can cream of mushroom soup, 1/2 cup milk, 1 tsp. chicken bouillon powder, and 1/2 tsp. salt. Toss with 3 cups frozen green beans and 1/2 cup grated mozzarella. Scrape into 1 quart slow cooker and cook on high for 1.5 to 2 hours, until beans are desired tenderness. Top with 1/2 cup grated mozzarella and cook on high until cheese is melted.

If I ever have freshly grated Parmesan (maybe 1/4 cup?) and a can of mushroom pieces when I make this, I will throw them in too. I think the original had Parmesan and mushrooms and it would only make it that much more delish.

You can also make them in the oven: Cook and drain the green beans, then toss with remaining ingredients (except second cheese amount) and put in 6 c. baking dish. Top with remaining cheese and bake at 350°F for about half an hour.

~ Seven

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Mrs. Wilt's Stromboli

Yum, yum, YUM! This was so good. You can click over to The Sparrow's Nest and read Mrs. Wilt's recipe, then rummage through your cupboards and fridge and make up your own interesting filling combinations. I used leftover spaghetti sauce with meatballs, lotsa mozza, a few green peppers and mushrooms. It was so good!

I also used my friend Esther's bread recipe instead of the frozen dough:
Dissolve 2 tbsp. sugar in 2 cups hot water. Sprinkle 2 tbsp. yeast over top and let sit 10 minutes. Add 2 tsp. salt, then knead in 6 - 7 cups of flour. I used these amounts to make two strombolis (strombolii?), and I think I let the dough rise for about an hour before rolling it out, filling it and baking it.

What a delicious way to use up leftovers! Thank you for sharing, Mrs. Wilt.

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Icing a la Martha Stewart

I love chocolate cupcakes, but I'm not a huge fan of icing. I'm also not a huge fan of making icing or of marshmallows. So when I came across this Martha Stewart idea for quick and easy cupcake frosting, I was both thrilled and dubious. I'm pleased to say it is as quick and easy as the recipe said and pretty much the tastiest marshmallows I have ever eaten.

Take cupcakes out of the oven two minutes before the recommended baking time, and set a single (large) marshmallow on top of each. Finish baking, then quickly tap the marshmallows with your hand to flatten. Pretty, easy & yummy! Does it get any better than that?

Just in time for Valentine's Day! Bake up a batch of chocolate cupcakes and give it a try.

Friday, February 09, 2007

Toffee Pudding Cake

I'm here to tell you. This is really good. The picture doesn't do it justice. Maybe it's enough to see that most of the cake has been thoroughly enjoyed and this poor little piece is all that is left. (And I can assure you it didn't last long.)

(This recipe is from the inside of the Shirriff butterscotch cooked pudding and pie filling mix.)

1 pkg chocolate cake mix (I used this recipe instead, and I'm sure it's way better than a mix would be)
1 pk Shirriff butterscotch cooked pudding and pie filling mix
2 cups milk
1 1/2 cups whipped topping
1/2 cup toffee bits
1/4 cup mini chocolate chips
2 tbsp chocolate sundae syrup (optional)

Prepare cake (or cake mix according to package directions) in two 8 or 9" round cake pans.

Prepare pudding according to package directions using 2 cups milk. Cover surface with plastic wrap and refrigerate until cool. Beat pudding until smooth and blend in whipped topping.

Place one cake layer on serving plate. Spread with about 1 cup butterscotch mixture. Sprinkle with half each of the toffee bits and chocolate chips. Top with second cake ayer. Spread frosting over top and sides of cake and sprinkle top with remaining toffee bits and chocolate chips. Refrigerate until set.

If desired at serving time, drizzle chocolate syrup around top edge of cake, allowing some to drizzle down sides of cake. (Don't do this ahead of time. Trust me. It still tastes good, but doesn't look appetizing.)

Serves 12 - 15.

~ Charmin


Picadillo is a saucy ground beef stew that is sorta like Sloppy Joe sauce. Next time I hope we have enough leftovers to roll up with cheese in tortillas, like the original Canadian Living recipe suggests.

2 lb lean ground beef
2 onions, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 can (156 ml) tomato paste
1 cup water
2 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
1 tbsp finely chopped fresh or pickled jalapeño pepper
2 tsp dried oregano
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
1/2 cup sliced pimiento-stuffed green olives
1 sweet green pepper, sliced

In large non-stick skillet, sauté beef over medium-high heat, breaking up with spoon, until no longer pink, 5 minutes. (I just used a little oil in a regular skillet.) Drain off fat. Transfer to slow-cooker.

Add remaining ingredients except for olives and green pepper to slow-cooker; cover and cook on low for 6 to 8 hours or until thickened. Add olives and green pepper; cover and cook on high for 15 minutes. Serve over rice or potatoes.

~ Charmin

The Great Pumpkin

The Hortons gave us a huge platter of home-baked Christmas goodies at Christmas time. HUGE. (Having a husband who is on the Board has its perks.) One of the favourite items included was a melt-in-your-mouth pumpkin loaf. I told her how much we loved it, hoping for a copy of the recipe, of course. She didn't bite. Luckily I found this recipe in my Company's Coming Muffins & More cookbook.

Unfortunately, I didn't think to get a picture of just the loaf. I did take a picture of the cute tag I made for the loaf I took to my sister when she was foolish brave enough to have a houseful of people for a pot luck while in the middle of renovating her kitchen and (only) bathroom.

You can easily make two loaves with one can of pumpkin and one brick of cream cheese, so go ahead and grease two pans. Everyone will love this so much, you'll probably need two anyway.

125g cream cheese
1/4 cup butter or margarine
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
2 eggs
1 cup canned pumpkin
1 3/4 cups flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 tsp. ground cloves
1/2 cup chopped walnuts (optional, but very yummy)

Put softened cream cheese, butter an sugar in mixing bowl. Cream together well. Beat in eggs one at a time until blended. Mix in pumpkin.

In another bowl combine all seven remaining ingredients. Stir until thoroughly mixed. Pour all at once over batter. Stir just enough to moisten. Turn into greased 9x5x3" loaf pan. Bake in 350°F oven for 60-70 minutes until inserted toothpick comes out clean. Cool 10 minutes in pan. Remove to rack to finish cooling.

~ Charmin

Gumdrop Cake

Nothin' says Christmas like gumdrop cake. I don't know why I only make this at Christmas ~ maybe because my mom only makes it at Christmas. So yummy. You'll want this recipe handy when next fall finds you making lists and checking them twice.

1 cup white sugar
1/2 cup butter
2 eggs
1/4 tsp. salt
3/4 cup milk
2 cups flour
2 tsp. baking powder
1 c. chopped gumdrops

Cream butter and sugar. Beat eggs and add to butter mixture. In separate bowl stir to combine salt, flour and baking powder. Add to butter mixture alternately with milk. Stir in gumdrops. Scrape into greased tube pan. Bake at 350° for 1 hour. Remove from oven and let cool in pan on rack for about 10 minutes. Slide knife around sides and middle of pan and carefully turn out onto rack to cool completely.

~ Charmin


Hangman is an interesting game in a house where not everyone is past the phonetic method of spelling. (That picture is from a real game. David probably won't get to pick the word again for a while.)

We had a big ol' 'peetsu' party a couple of weeks ago with the cousins, Grammie & Aunt Erin. As always, I was worried we wouldn't have enough. I made so much pizza I told Shannon to call Jenn and see if they wanted to come over. They did, we all ate our fill, and we still had lots of leftovers.

We love our homemade pizza, and here's how we make it. This recipe makes one large pizza. To double it for two large pizzas, increase the yeast to 4 tsp. and double all the other ingredients.

Pizza Crust:
1 tbsp. yeast
1 cup very warm water
1 tsp. sugar
1 tsp. salt
2 tbsp. olive or vegetable oil
2 1/2 cups flour

Dissolve the sugar in the water in a large bowl and sprinkle the yeast over top. Let sit for 10 minutes. Stir in the salt and oil. Add flour, kneading to make a smooth and not sticky dough. Let rest while you get the toppings ready. Roll out to desired size. I double the dough and make two huge pizzas. Sometimes I make a bunch of 6" rounds and let everyone top their own. Top with your favourite pizza sauce, lots of cheese (I use at least 600g for the two pizzas) and toppings, and bake at 425° for 20 minutes.

We like to do sauce, most of the cheese, toppings, and just a sprinkle on top with the rest of the cheese. That way it's easy to see what is on each pizza and for some reason the whole thing seems to hold together better.

To make garlic fingers, make the dough as directed. After rolling out, spread a tbsp or two of oil (olive oil is the best) over the crust, add a clove or two of minced fresh garlic and spread the garlic through the oil. Top with lots of cheese and bake as for pizza.

Here's a fun 'kid pizza' (just pepperoni & cheese) that we made for Valentine's Day a couple of years ago:

~ Charmin

Eclair Cake

This recipe comes from our friend and Pastor's wife, Kathy. She is an amazing cook!

Cream Puff Base:
1/2 cup butter
1 cup water
1/4 tsp. salt
1 cup flour
4 eggs

Combine water, butter and salt in heavy saucepan. Bring to a boil. Add flour all at once and stir vigorously with a wooden spoon until mixture leaves the sides of the pan and forms a ball. Remove from heat, add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Mixture should be smooth and velvety.

Spread mixture into a greased 9x13" pan. Bake at 400° for 45 to 50 minutes or until puffed, golden brown and dry. Cool. (Don't be alarmed if your base puffs up like this!)

2 packages instant vanilla pudding
3 cups milk
1 250g cream cheese

Beat cream cheese until smooth. Add pudidng mix and milk; beat until smooth and thick. Spread into the cooled cream puff shell. (If the shell is puffed like mine was, just push the bubbles down. The pudding will hold it down.)

1 container Cool Whip (I used 1 litre)
1/2 cup chocolate chips, melted

Spread Cool Whip on top of filling. Drizzle with melted chocolate chips. Chill until ready to serve.

*Last time I made this I tried pistachio pudding instead. Yum!

~ Charmin