Category Archives: Recipes

Ribbon Jello Recipe – a Fave of Lynn’s

For Lynn’s recent birthday, her daughter, Katie, made her a batch of ribbon Jello, pictured. We thought we’d share the recipe (below):

Ribbon Jello

Ingredients:

  • 4 packages (3 oz) Jello, for example Orange, Lemon, Lime and Strawberry
  • 6 envelopes Knox gelatin
  • 1 can Eagle Brand condensed milk
  • 4 ¾ cups boiling water
  • ¼ cup water
  • Pam spray

Prepare Milk Mixture:

Prepare milk mixture first and cool:

  1. Dissolve 2 envelopes of Knox gelatin in ¼ cup cold water
  2. Add ¾ cups boiling water, stir until gelatin has dissolved
  3. Combine with 1 can condensed milk, divide into 3 parts and cool. Make sure this stays liquid; if it starts to jell, but the bowl of milk mixture into a bath of hot water and stir until it’s liquid

Prepare Jello:

  1. Mix each box of Jello separately with 1 envelope of Knox gelatin
  2. Add 1 cup boiling water to each Jello mixture, stir constantly until gelatin dissolves. Keep the Jello mixtures liquid as well.

Making the Ribbon:

  1. Pour 1 flavour of Jello into a 9″ x 13″ (sprayed with Pam) pan and refrigerate for 15 minutes
  2. Pour 1 part milk mixture over first layer of Jello. Refrigerate for 15 minutes
  3. Pour on another layer of Jello mixture, alternate with milk mixture. Repeat, refrigerating for 15 minutes after each layer of Jello. (Example: orange, milk, lime, milk, lemon, milk, strawberry)
  4. Serve in diamond-shaped pieces:

Lynn’s Recipes: Too-Easy Trifle

[Updated To Add An Addendum From Lynn]:

Hold the presses on the trifle recipe, Steph! I made a horrible mistake! It’s not strawberries you put on top of the sliced cake in the bowl, it’s sliced peaches!

You can print this heartfelt apology to anyone who already made the recipe. Guess I should stop trying to remember these things and just look them up. I just don’t remember where my moms old recipe books are!

We’ve been asking Lynn to share her favourite recipes (check them all out here!). Here’s a special one for her Too-Easy Trifle dessert:

Something easy and delicious…but plentiful! Be prepared for the kind of leftovers you’ll sneak for breakfast.

You’ll need a good sized glass or pottery salad bowl…maybe a quart size.

INGREDIENTS:

  • One box white cake mix
  • Canned sliced peaches
  • Strawberry jam
  • Bird’s custard powder
  • Fresh strawberries
  • Amaretto
  • Whipped cream

INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. Bake the cake and let it cool.
  2. Cut it in strips, a half-inch wide or thereabouts.
  3. Line the bowl completely with strips of cake..right up to the edge. If you have time, let the cake lining dry out a bit. You want the cake to be able to absorb some liquid without being too soggy.
  4. Whip up the jar of jam with a spoon to make it runnier, and smooth it over the cake lining. Create a nest of jam!
  5. Drain canned sliced peaches…cut the peach slices in half lengthwise to make ’em thinner, and line the cake with them to make a nest of peaches.
  6. Mix up your custard according to the directions and pour carefully into the nest. As it’s setting, drizzle amaretto all around the edge of the cake lining. Put lots on, but don’t make the cake soggy. Allow the custard to set.
  7. Arrange fresh cut strawberries on top of the set custard. Be generous!

This is best when left to “marinate” for awhile, so put the whipped cream on just before serving. Surround the uneven edge of the bowl with whipped cream for a finishing touch.

The amaretto is what makes this so good. You will be sharing this recipe when your guests go for second helpings! Yummmmm!

We Asked Lynn: Her Famous Meat Loaf

We’ve been asking Lynn questions about For Better Or For Worse, knowing she’s a wealth of seldom-heard information about the strip, the Pattersons, and family life.

One of the things we wanted to hear more about was Elly’s cooking; her meat loaf in particular became a family favourite, mentioned by Mike more than once in the strip:

Mike missed Elly's meat loaf!

Lynn has her own family recipe, and having tasted the finished product ourselves, we were hoping we’d get her to reveal the secret. [It’s amazing…I’ve been saving one in my freezer for a day when I really need some comfort food –Ed.]

Lynn Responded:

There is no recipe, exactly. It’s a made-up thing which varies in texture and taste depending on what you have to throw into it. Instead of ground beef, you can use venison, moose, or even chicken.

The no-recipe recipe for meat loaf:

The basic ingreds are:

  • a ball of lean hamburger, about the size of your cupped palm.
  • a wad of ground pork, same size.
  • bread crumbs or rolled cooking oats (the amount varies according to how wet the mixture is…you want to make it “packable”).
  • some canned tomatoes, broken up (don’t get the stewed tomatoes–just the whole ones).
  • an egg or two.
  • cut up an average sized whole onion and fire that into the mix.

The spices are usually:

  • salt,
  • pepper,
  • parsley,
  • a bit of chili powder
  • add a heaping teaspoon of Montreal steak spice
  • and Worcestershire sauce…about 5 shakes of the bottle.

Directions:

This is good stuff in a meat loaf, so don’t be stingy. Mix it all in. You want the works to be moist enough to be packed into a glass or metal bread pan. You don’t need to grease the pan.

When the loaves are packed–leaving space along the sides for grease to collect–I take a bottle of ketchup and make a snaking pattern across the tops of the loaves. You might get 3 loaves, depending on the sizes of your pans.

Bake at 350 degrees until the loaves shrink away from the sides of the pans. Should take about an hour…but check. Take out cooked loaves, drain the liquid into a container, and let them stand a few minutes before serving.

Serve with mashed spuds, carrot rounds, and creamed peas. Add apple pie for dessert, and you’ve made one of my mom’s best comfort food dinners ever!

The broth you’ve poured out of the loaves will be mostly fat, but you can cool it in the fridge, take off the fat, and use the broth in soups or gravies. Lemme know how it turns out!

Note from Lynn’s staff: if you’ve frozen one of Lynn’s loaves, thaw it for several hours before you pop it into the oven, or dinner will be (very) delayed. Her meat loaf also tastes great crumbled into pasta sauce.

Mike having a good meat loaf day.

Lynn and Laura in the Kitchen

A couple of summers ago, my friend Robin, a chef, stayed for a week in my cottage to escape from the busy kitchen he oversees in a Toronto hotel. After a day of complete relaxation, he asked me if he could cook for me – be my private chef (are you kidding??!!) He said it would be his pleasure to take me shopping, show how he chooses his produce and to find some special things to make. A couple of things I remember about the shopping lesson was: organic IS better, and when you’re buying citrus fruit, weigh the orange or grapefruit in your hand. The more it weighs, the more juice is inside: don’t go by the attractiveness of skin. Makes sense!

Well I had the best private school all to myself. I learned how to cook salmon and lamb with sauces, how to make easy, beautiful salads with poached pears and best of all, we made pastry. I had always been disappointed in the way my pastry turned out and I needed a fool-proof recipe. Now I make pies and quiche and I always have a ball of dough in the freezer – just for “emergencies”.

Surprisingly, my little granddaughter Laura loves to help me bake. She’s interested in the process as much as she’s keen to sample the wares. She insists on having on her “appon” and makes sure I’m wearing mine. She knows that after the pie is made and the crust trimmed and ready, she can have all the cuttings. Then we make “jam busters”! This photo is of Laura and me making jam busters a few days before Christmas. She didn’t need to ask why this kid-friendly treat is called a jam buster. The folded over circles of pastry with the most jam in them bust open, and the jam runs onto the baking pan. This browned fruit “taffy” is part of jam-buster goodness and has to be savoured.

Here’s Robin’s pastry recipe: