Turtle Squares

These are probably the most widespread “favourite” on the treat side of my cookbook. And why not with a combination of chocolate and caramel you appeal to twice as many people! I always make a bakery size pan at Christmas so I have some for home and enough to share at Cliff’s Plumbing & Heating during the last work days. How nice for me and other people with Celiac Disease they are easily changed up to leave out the gluten!

Turtle Square Recipe Page 185 Coming Soon to the blog

Turtle Square Recipe Page 185 Also see Holiday Date Balls posted last year!

Turtle Squares

These are just about the most delicious, crowd-pleasing squares you can make. Doreen concocted this recipe by combining a Nanaimo bar base and Wellington square filling – twice the enjoyment! I have included the recipe for the larger

Base: 
1/2  cup melted margarine
1/4  cup cocoa powder
1/4  cup white sugar
1  egg, beaten tsp vanilla extract
2 1/4  cups GF graham crumbs – I sometimes use part GF crisp rice cereal crushed
1  cup desiccated coconut
Filling: 
1  can (300 ml) sweetened condensed milk
3/4 cup brown sugar, packed
2/3 cup melted margarine
2 Tbsp corn syrup
1 cup pecans, coarsely chopped

Topping:
1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chunks
1/4 cup margarine

  • For base mix margarine, cocoa, sugar and egg in microwaveable bowl and cook about
  • 1 minute, stopping to stir half way through, until mixture is bubbling. Do not overcook or crumbs may not stick together.
  • Stir in vanilla, graham crumbs and coconut until evenly distributed. Crumbs should stick
  • together nicely or they will not cut properly later.
  • Press into a 9 x 13 inch pan and let cool.
  • For filling cook condensed milk, brown sugar, margarine and corn syrup in a heavy pot over medium low heat until mixture comes to a full boil, stirring frequently. If bits of brown start forming on the bottom, turn down the heat a notch and don’t worry since mostly they will mix in as the rest browns.
  • Reduce heat slightly and boil 5 minutes stirring constantly. It will take a little longer to cook the filling for the larger pan. Caramel is done if spoon is leaving a clean path on the bottom of the pot for a second and mixture is a nice golden brown
  • Let cool slightly then spread on base and sprinkle pecans evenly over the surface, pressing in slightly.
  • Refrigerate for an hour or more until set.
  • For topping microwave chocolate and margarine together on low power, about 1 minute, stopping often to stir and check the chocolate. Chocolate can burn easily. I usually take it out when there are still a few lumps remaining and stir until they melt, returning to microwave only if necessary.
  • Spread over cooled caramel layer with a spatula.
  • Cool and cut into 35 squares.
  • If the caramel is hard when refrigerated you may need to serve the squares at room temperature.
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Beef Lentil Soup

Beef Lentil Soup

Beef Lentil Soup

When I was told my folate level was low I made a visit to the dietitian to see what advice she had and she printed me the list of Food Sources of Folate from the Dietitians of Canada http://www.dietitians.ca/Your-Health/Nutrition-A-Z/B-Vitamins.aspx?categoryID=3n.  I looked it over to see where I could bump up my intake. I noticed spinach was a good source and assumed kale had a similar vitamin profile so thought I would keep hiding it anywhere I could (soups and stews and salads). She also mentioned that beans and lentils were a good source. It just happened I had put on a soup bone for some beef soup that morning and I was wondering what might be a good gluten-free substitute for the barley and now I had the perfect solution – lentils. The soup made a delicious vehicle to add some folate rich lentils and greens.

For me this is a two day process – the first day leaving the soup bone on in the slow cooker and the next day putting together the soup but you could finish the soup at night and still have it for dinner. It is definitely hearty enough for an evening meal but it is also a great boost at midday if you freeze it in lunch size containers. Soup is my solution to a gluten-free lunch since I often feel I need more than a salad to get me through the day.

Beef Stock
If you can find a source of nice meaty beef bones and you own a slow cooker you will never want to use dry bouillon mix again. The ingredients below are the basics, but feel free to use almost any vegetables or herb you like. Just a little advice that I learned the hard way. Avoid vegetables with really strong tastes like broccoli and cauliflower. At times I like to add cabbage, kale and turnip, but not so much that it overpowers the other flavours.

12 – 14 cups water
2 lb soup bone or pot roast with bone in or stewing beef
1 large onion or several small ones, peeled
1 rib celery with leaves
1 parsnip, cut in chunks
1 carrot, cut in chunks
1 – 2 tomatoes, cut in quarters
1 tsp salt
1 whole hot pepper or 5 whole peppercorns
1 clove garlic
2 bay leaves
a handful of kale ribs (use the leaves for salad) if you have them
Any other vegetable, avoid strongly flavoured ones

  • Put everything together in slow cooker and cook on high for 5 hours or let cook on low all day or overnight.
  • If simmering on top of stove brown beef before adding water and simmer 2 – 3 hours.
  • Strain stock and remove meat from soup bone when it cools enough.
  • Add meat back to stock and discard bones and cooked vegetables.
  • Refrigerate stock and discard fat from top of container before reheating.
  • You may save some of the fat for “sweating” the vegetables in your soups.

Beef Lentil Soup
On a stormy winter day this is a very welcoming smell to come home to. It definitely is a meal in itself but even better with some biscuits or toast..
Beef Stock with meat (recipe above)
1/2 – 1 cup lentils, I use green
1 large onion, chopped
1 tsp olive oil
1 cup celery, chopped
2 cups carrots, chopped
1 clove garlic, crushed
1 potato, peeled and cubed
1 cup rutabaga, cubed
1 can (28 oz) tomatoes or 3 cups tomatoes, peeled and chopped
2 cups corn kernels
1 tsp salt, or to taste
1/4 tsp pepper
1 cup kale leaves and stems, chopped
1 Tbsp parsley

  • Prepare beef stock as per recipe adding meat to stock.
  • Simmer lentils with beef stock while you prepare the remaining vegetables.
  • Cook onion with olive oil in large stock pot until soft, about 5 minutes.
  • Add celery, carrots and garlic and continue cooking on low for another 5 to 10 minutes.
  • Add potato, rutabaga, stock and meat and cook 20 minutes until lentils are soft.
  • Stir in tomatoes, corn, parsley, salt and pepper and bring to a boil.
  • Simmer for 30 minutes.
  • Taste and adjust seasonings.