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Monday, May 23, 2011

This Little Piggy…

Pigs in a Blanket (PIB) – Beverages & Canap├ęs, Pg. 40 – Verna D. Smith (Mrs. Russell A. Smith)

A few weeks ago was National Pigs in a Blanket Day…yep, there really is a day to recognize these bit-size delights. A bit of a guilty pleasure but oh sooo yummy! The Dutch Oven Cookbook is full of retro recipes from the 50s and we can’t wait to bring’m all back!

The Dutch Oven doesn’t provide much of a recipe for Pigs in a blanket other than offering instructions to wrap sausages in pastry and bake in a hot oven until pastry is done. This certainly gives a little creative license. We decided to keep it simple using some prepared ingredients compliments of President’s Choice. You could go all gourmet and make your own pastry…and even your own sausages – but that seems like a lot of work for pigs in a blanket – ya know what we’re sayin’? We consulted with Martha, and even she isn’t that hardcore. We did take a couple of suggestions from her to kick them up a notch though with the addition of cheese and caramelized onion.

Pigs in a Blanket (PIB)


1 Pkg. mini sausages or hotdogs
1 Pkg. frozen puff pastry (thawed)
1 egg
Caramelized onion (optional)
Cheese (optional – cut in small pieces)


Slice sausages (3/4 of the way through). Fill with caramelized onions or cheese.

Roll thawed puff pastry on floured surface to 14x11 rectangle. Cut into 1.5x3.5 inch strips. Roll sausages in pastry using beaten egg to seal ends.

Brush with beaten egg, chill for 15 minutes and bake at 450°F for 20 minutes or until puffed and golden brown.

We like them best served with honey mustard. These will be a hit with kids for sure, but even the most discerning foodie will have difficulty turing down these little piggies!

These little piggies went yum, yum, yum all the way to our tums!

Cake Fit for a Queen!

Queen Elizabeth Cake – Cake, Pg. 255 – Bessie S. Iversen (Mrs. L. I.)

It’s Victoria Day! A Canadian holiday originally observed in celebration of Queen Victoria’s birthday (leader of the British Commonwealth), is now observed in celebration of the current reigning sovereign’s official birthday (currently Queen Elizabeth II). What better occasion to whip up this Dutch Oven treat – Queen Elizabeth Cake. There seems to be a bit of mystery around the origins of this cake – some believe it was a recipe created and prepared by Queen Elizabeth I (the Queen Mother) to support fund raising efforts for the Church of England. Others believe it is a Canadian developed recipe, named in honor of Queen Elizabeth I and sold to raise money for the war efforts during World War II. Whatever the case, one thing is for certain; this is some seriously scrummy cake!

Made with dates and an ooey gooey caramel sauce it’s reminiscent of sticky toffee cake. Preparation is quick and simple – however we do have a few suggestions regarding the preparation, see below.

Queen Elizabeth Cake

Ingredients (Cake):

¼ butter
1 cup white sugar
1 egg (well beaten)
1 tsp vanilla
1 ½ cups flour (sifted)
¼ tsp salt
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
½ cup chopped nuts (optional)
1 cup chopped dates (soaked in 1 cup boiling water)

Ingredients (Sauce):

5 tbsp brown sugar
3 tbsp butter
2 tbsp cream
½ cup coconut


Cream butter and sugar, add egg and remaining ingredients. Bake in angel cake pan for 45 minutes at 375°F.

Sauce – combine ingredients and boil for 3 minutes and pour over cake while warm.

Dutch Oven Tips and Tricks:

The directions for this cake are a little dodgy and may create some challenges for the novice cake baker. The original directions indicate that after creaming the butter, sugar and egg that the remaining ingredients should be added in order – bullocks! We did this during our first run (all while knowing that one of the principle methods of combining ingredients is to alternate dry, wet). No surprise, we ended up with a lumpy cake batter. We also ended up draining our dates the first time round (which in fact are to be left in the 1 cup of water). There is no other liquid in this recipe, so the water is definitely needed to create the right consistency.

Here’s how the ingredients should be combined to create a smooth and light cake batter. Soak dates and 1 cup of boiling water. Cream butter and sugar, add egg and vanilla, mix well. Sift flour, salt, soda, and baking powder. Alternate adding dry ingredients with date mixture, starting and ending with dry. Add cake batter to a greased and floured baking pan. We found that the cake was done in 40 minutes. Alternately this cake can be prepared in 9x12 inch cake pan.

Oh yeah – and of course we doubled the caramel sauce. What’s life without extra sauce?

So settle in with cuppa, put on your Sunday best, stick a fascinator to the side of your head and toast to her majesty with a little piece of cake fit for a Queen!