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Pre 2005

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Holiday Eggnog

There’s something so special about homemade eggnog and it is surprisingly quick and simple to whip up, literally. Whether for your Christmas get-together or a New Year’s party, I hope you enjoy it.

Warmest wishes for a Merry Christmas and a very Happy New Year!

Ingredients:

  • 8 eggs
  • 3 cups whipping cream
  • 1 cup light rum
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 3 cups whole milk
  • Nutmeg

In a large bowl, beat eggs at the highest speed until lemon colored. Add sugar; beat until thickened. At low speed, blend in cream and milk. Stir in rum. Pour into punch bowl; lightly sprinkle with nutmeg. Makes 10 one cup servings.


Satiny Chocolate Truffles

Ingredients:

  • 3/4 stick butter, cut in pieces (no substitutes)
  • 4 bars, 4 oz., unsweetened baking chocolate, broken in pieces.
  • 1 can, 14 oz, sweetened condensed mild
  • 1/3 cup powdered sugar
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Coatings:

Coconut, finely chopped nuts, mixture of 1/2 unsweetened cocoa powder and 1/2 powdered sugar.

Place butter, baking chocolate and sweetened condensed milk in 2 quart heavy saucepan. Heat over low heat, stirring constantly, until mixture is melted and smooth. Continue cooking and stirring, over low heat, for 10 minutes, until mixture is very thick, smooth and glossy. Do not boil. Remove from heat; stir in powdered sugar and vanilla. Pour into a shallow glass pan. Press plastic wrap onto chocolate surface. Refrigerate at least 6 hours or overnight, until firm. Shape small amount into 1-inch balls; roll in desired coating. Cover and refrigerate till firm, about 4 hours. Store in refrigerator. Makes 30 - 35 truffles.


Eggnog Fruit Bread

Ingredients:

  • 1/4 cup butter or margarine, melted
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1 cup dairy or canned eggnog
  • 1/2 cup chopped pecans
  • 1/2 cup total, chopped red and green candied cherries
  • 1/2 cup raisins or chopped apricots

In a large bowl, combine butter, sugar and eggs, mixing well. In another bowl, combine flour, baking powder, salt and nutmeg. Stir into butter mixture alternately with eggnog; mix only until dry ingredients are moistened. Fold in fruits and nuts. Spoon into a greased 8 1⁄2” x 4 1⁄2” loaf pan.

Optional: Place alternately red and green maraschino cherries down center of loaf before baking.

Bake at 350 degrees for 65 - 70 minutes or until bread tests done. Yield - 1 loaf.

This is so good for Christmas breakfast, spread with butter and served with your favorite hot drink.


Party Meat Balls

This recipe originated from the 1972 Family Circle library of cookbook. I was engaged to be married and received the set for an engagement gift. I still have the set today. I made these meatballs for the first time in 1973 to bring to a bridal shower for my now sister-in-law. They were a big hit than, and I still get requests for this recipe. Whether it is for a Christmas party, or church supper, or pot luck, you won't go wrong by bringing these meatballs. Deviled ham adds an extra spicy flavor to the beef and veal mixture, and a creamy dill sauce tops them off. Makes about 60-65 small meatballs.

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 pounds lean ground beef
  • 1 pound ground veal
  • 1 can (4 1/2 ounces) deviled ham
  • 1 small can evaporated milk (2/3 cup)
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tablespoon grated onion, or very finely chopped
  • 1 cup soft whole wheat bread crumbs (2 slices)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon allspice
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/4 cup vegetable shortening
  • 1/4 cup water

Combine beef and veal, deviled ham, evaporated milk, eggs, onion, bread crumbs, and seasonings in a large bowl; mix lightly with a fork till all is combined. Shape into small meatballs about the size of a ping pong ball. Makes approximately 60. Spray a large baking pan with cooking spray. Put meatballs in a single layer and bake in a preheated 400 degree oven for 20 - 25 minutes or till cooked through. Spoon into a chafing dish or crock-pot and pour creamy dill sauce over

Creamy dill sauce:

  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 1 tablespoon ketchup
  • 1 tablespoon dried dill weed

Make the base ahead, if you wish, ready to stir in sour cream and seasonings and heat just before serving. Makes about 2 cups. Melt butter in small saucepan, blend in flour and salt; cook, stirring all the time, just until mixture bubbles. Stir in water slowly; continue cooking and stirring until sauce thickens and boils 1 minute. Stir in sour cream, ketchup, and dillweed; heat just to boiling point.


Pecan Pie Cookie-Bars

It's time to think about Christmas Cookies! If you happen to go to any cookie swaps, this would be a great recipe to bring. I added it to my Christmas cookie list about eight years ago and it has become one cookie I do every year now. It’s on my table at my Christmas Eve Open House, and I have taken it to many cookie swaps. It is a bit of pecan pie in a delicious, buttery shortbread cookie crust. This recipe makes about 48, 2” x 1 1/2 " bars.

Cookie Crust:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray 15” x 10 x 1” inch baking pan with no-stick cooking spray.

In a large bowl with mixer at medium speed beat 2 1/2 cups flour, 1 cup (2 sticks) cold butter (no substitute) cut into pieces, 1/2 cup sugar, and 1/2 teaspoon salt until mixture resembles fine crumbs. Press firmly into prepared pan. Bake 20 - 25 minutes or until light golden brown.

Filling:

While cookie crust is in oven, in a large bowl beat 4 eggs, 1 1/2 cups light corn syrup, 1 1/2 cups sugar, 3 tablespoons melted butter, and 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla, until well blended. Stir in 2 1/2 cups of pecans that have been chopped into large pieces. Immediately pour this over the baked hot crust, spreading evenly. Bake 25 minutes or until filling is firm around edges and slightly firm in the center. Cool completely before cutting into 2 x 1 1/2 inch bars.


Cappuccino Muffins

Makes 12 – 14

It's the day after Thanksgiving, and the last thing you probably want to do is more baking. But if you have extended company staying for the weekend, go the extra mile and bake up these muffins for breakfast. This recipe won 1st place in a national recipe contest out of more than 4,000 entries for muffins. They are delicious with a cup of coffee, or a glass of cold milk, whether at breakfast, or a snack any time of day. Go easy on the chocolate chips so that it is not too sweet. The accompanying espresso spread is also delicious on bagels

Ingredients:

Espresso spread (makes 1 cup):

  • 4 ounces cream cheese, cubed
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon instant coffee granules
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup mini semisweet chocolate chips

Muffins:

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 2 tablespoons instant coffee, granules
  • 1/2 cup butter or margarine, melted
  • 1 beaten egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • A scant 3/4 cup mini semisweet chocolate chips

To make the spread, in a food processor or blender, combine the spread ingredients. Cover and process till well blended. Cover and refrigerate until serving. In a mixing bowl combine flour, sugar, baking powder, cinnamon and salt. In another bowl, stir milk and coffee granules until coffee is dissolved. Add butter, egg, and vanilla; mix well. Stir into dry ingredients just until moistened. Careful not to over mix. Fold in chocolate chips. Fill greased or lined muffin cups two-thirds full, bake at 375 degrees for 17 - 20 minutes or until muffins test done. Cool for 5 minutes before removing from pans to wire racks.


Holiday Creamed Onions & Carrots

Serves 10

This creamy side vegetable dish has been on holiday tables since the 50’s not just Thanksgiving and Christmas, but Easter also. I usually see it reprinted in some magazine every year around this time. It can be made a day or two ahead, baked that morning, and just reheated at dinner time. The flavor is much better if you use fresh carrots, and cut them in small pieces; either julienned, shredded, or rounds. If it's a hit with your family and friends, than make it a tradition on your holiday table.

Ingredients:

  • 8 cups water
  • 2 pounds pearl onions
  • 3 tablespoons butter or margarine
  • 3 1/2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/4 cups whipping cream plus 2 tablespoons
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon pepper
  • 2 cups cut-up carrots

In a large kettle, bring water to a boil. Add onions and boil for 3 minutes. Drain and rinse in cold water; peel and set aside. In a large saucepan, melt butter. Stir in flour until smooth. Gradually add cream, salt and pepper. Bring to a boil and cook, stirring constantly, for about 2 minutes or till thickened. Stir in carrots and onions. Taste-test for additional salt and pepper. Transfer to a buttered 2 quart baking dish. Bake uncovered at 325 degrees for 30 - 40 minutes or until vegetables are tender.


Praline Pumpkin Torte

This would be a delicious addition to your Thanksgiving dessert table. It stays moist till the very last bite. It looks so tempting with its whipped cream topping, and a brown sugar/pecan praline cake. This cake would serve 10 - 12 people.

Ingredients:

  • 3/4 cup packed dark brown sugar
  • 1/3 cup butter (no substitutes)
  • 3 tablespoons whipping cream
  • 3/4 cup chopped pecans

Cake:

  • 4 eggs
  • 1 2/3 cup sugar
  • 1 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 cups fresh cooked or canned pumpkin
  • 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
  • I teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt

Topping:

  • 1 3/4 cups whipping cream
  • 1/4 cup confectioner’s sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract:
  • Additional chopped pecans

In a small heavy saucepan, combine brown sugar, butter and cream. Cook and stir over low heat until sugar is well dissolved. Pour into two well-greased 9 inch round baking pans. Sprinkle with pecans; cool. In a mixing bowl, beat eggs, sugar and oil. Add pumpkin and vanilla. Combine dry ingredients; add to pumpkin mixture and beat just fill blended. Carefully spoon over brown sugar mixture. Bake at 350 degrees for 30 - 35 minutes or till a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Cool for 5 minutes and than remove from pans to wire racks to cool completely. When cool, place one cake layer on a serving plate, praline side up. In a mixing bowl, beat cream until soft peaks form. Beat in sugar and vanilla. Spread 2/3 over cake within 1-inch of edge. Top with second cake layer, praline side up. Top with remaining whipped cream, coming to within 2 inches of the edge. Sprinkle with a few chopped pecans. Store in the refrigerator.

(The cake can be made a day ahead, covered and stored in the refrigerator. Prepare whipped cream day of.)


Pecan-Date Cheese Ball

This lightly sweet cheese ball is very creamy and nice to keep on hand for the holidays. You can make it up to 10 days ahead, keeping it tightly wrapped in the refrigerator. It makes a great hostess gift. This recipe makes 3 1/2 cups, making a 4-inch cheese-ball.

Ingredients:

  • 1 teaspoon ground mustard
  • 1 teaspoon water
  • 2 packages (8 ounce each) cream cheese, softened
  • 1/4 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • sharp cheddar cheese, finely shredded, to make 2 cups
  • 3/4 cup finely chopped dates
  • 1 cup chopped pecans

In a small bowl, dissolve the mustard in water; let stand for 10 minutes. In a mixing bowl, beat cream cheese and mayonnaise until smooth. Add nutmeg and mustard mixture. Stir in cheese and dates. Chill for at least 15 minutes. Shape into a ball and roll in pecans until well covered. Wrap tightly in plastic wrap, keep refrigerated. Remove 20 minutes before serving to develop flavor. Serve with choice of crackers,


Pear Pie

Pears are in season now, and this would be a nice dessert, especially so for Thanksgiving. Growing up, my grand-parents had a huge pear tree in their back yard. My grandfather babied that tree so that it produced a lot of pears. I can remember him picking bushels of them, and my grandmother making her special pear pie often. We lived in the same town, Southboro, Massachusetts, and every Sunday night was supper at my grandparents...the same menu, grilled cheese sandwiches and tomato soup, and her apple pie (which changed to pear pie in the fall). As children, I can remember the occasional grumbling, "tomato soup again…” but now, grilled cheese and tomato soup, and her pies, invoke a warm memory, that I treasure.

Ingredients:

  • Pastry for a 2-crust 9” pie (make your own or buy pre-made such as Pillsbury® brand)
  • 8 cups thinly-sliced peeled pears (sprinkled with a little lemon juice)
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 1/4 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon each, cinnamon, salt, nutmeg
  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • 2 tablespoons butter

Place bottom crust in pie plate. In a small bowl, mix together the sugars, spices, and flour. Add to the sliced pears and toss to coat. Put into the pie plate and dot with butter. Top with crust and pinch crusts together to seal. Cut a few slits in top crust to vent. Put into a pre-heated 375 degree oven. Bake 45 - 60 minutes until pears feel soft when pierced with a fork. If crust needs more browning, put oven up to 400 degrees for a few minutes.


Creamy Corn Chowder

Serves 5-6

This is a delicious chowder/soup that will be a hit on one of these cold evenings. Corn chowder is such an old fashioned recipe that goes back to the pioneer days. The Pennsylvania Dutch has it recorded in recipe books back to the 1800s. Everyone had a cow which gave them the fresh butter and milk, and every farmer grew corn and potatoes, and most cured their own salt pork. In the 50s - 60s, even though my mother had to make a huge pot to feed eight children, she always made this in the autumn season when she could cut the corn off the fresh cobs we grew. In our modern times, it is still delicious with canned or frozen corn, and especially good with Yukon gold potatoes, though any are good. My sons like to shake in some cayenne pepper. Serve it with crusty French bread and a salad and you have a great meal.

Ingredients

  • 4 cups whole kernel corn, drained
  • 1/2 pound salt pork, diced
  • 3 cups chopped onions
  • 1 teaspoon celery salt
  • 2 teaspoons minced garlic
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 3 cups peeled, cut-up potatoes
  • 4 cups chicken broth
  • 1 cup milk and 1 cup heavy cream (you can also use evaporated milk)
  • Salt & pepper to taste
  • Dry instant potatoes (optional)

In a large pot, fry the salt pork until browned; add chopped onions and garlic, cooking until lightly browned. Add potatoes and water to just cover the potatoes. Add celery salt and bay leaf and cook at a gentle boil for about 20 minutes. Add corn, chicken broth, milk and cream, and simmer for about 30 minutes. If you like thick chowder add some dry instant potatoes, a little at a time, until you have it the consistency you like.


Healthy Apple-Walnut Muffins

These are made with no added fat or sugar, and use fruit and buttermilk to keep them moist. This recipe makes about 12 muffins.

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon of each seasoning; cinnamon, ginger, allspice, nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1cup plus
  • 2 tablespoons of frozen apple juice concentrate, thawed
  • 2/3 cup buttermilk
  • 2 tablespoons oat bran
  • 2 medium-size apples, peeled and chopped
  • 1/3 cup chopped walnuts

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Grease 12 standard size muffin-pan cups. Mix together flour, baking soda, cinnamon, ginger, allspice, nutmeg, and salt. Mix together eggs, apple juice, and buttermilk. Stir flour mixture and oat bran into egg mixture until dry ingredients are just moistened. Do not over mix. Gently stir in chopped apples and nuts. Spoon batter into muffin cups, filling about 2/3 cup full. Bake till lightly golden, about 25 minutes. Cool slightly in pan, than turn muffins out onto rack to cool completely.


Apple Pandowdy

This is an old Colonial recipe, when molasses was used a lot. Apple pandowdy got its name as it was more common for a cook of that time to just throw the apples and seasonings in the pan and cover with dough. Two crust pies came later and were for special occasions. This serves 6 - 8 but doubles easily into a 13x 9 deep baking pan. –

Ingredients:

  • Uncooked 10 inch pie crust (your recipe or ready made such as Pillsbury® brand)
  • 3 pounds apples (can combine types if wish) peeled and cut into 1/4 inch slices
  • I tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 11/4 cup molasses
  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • Heavy cream - optional

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. In a large bowl, combine apples and lemon juice. Toss to mix. Add sugar, molasses, flour, cinnamon, ginger, pepper, and salt. Toss to mix. Pour into a 9 inch square baking pan, dot with butter. Place crust on apples so that it extends 1 inch beyond. Tuck pastry in and down around the edges. Cut several vents in the crust. Bake 50 - 60 minutes until apples are soft and crust is lightly browned (if crust browns too fast, turn oven down to 375 degrees.)

Serve warm, drizzled with heavy cream if you wish.


Crock-Pot Country Spareribs

Ingredients:

  • 6 country-style spareribs (can substitute park chops)
  • 2 large cans sauerkraut, well-rinsed and drained
  • 2 medium apples
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 1 rounded tablespoon brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon caraway seeds
  • Garlic powder, salt, pepper
  • 3 - 5 potatoes, depending upon size, peeled and thickly sliced paprika

Season the spareribs well by sprinkling each side with garlic powder, salt, and pepper. Place in ungreased baking pan and cook in moderate oven (376 degrees) for about 45 minutes. (If I'm leaving for work early I do this step the night before and refrigerate). Put sauerkraut, apples, onion, brown sugar, and caraway seeds in crock-pot. Add 1/2 teaspoon each of salt and pepper. Stir just to mix. Add potatoes, and sprinkle with paprika. Put spareribs on top. Cook covered and on high all day, about 8 hours. Taste-test for additional salt and pepper.

It's so nice to come home at the end of the day and have your supper pretty much all ready. All this needs is an additional vegetable and/or salad.


Spiced Pineapple Upside Down Cake

This is a delicious old- fashioned dessert that your family will enjoy. It was very popular in the 40’s and 50’s. The friend that gave me this recipe bakes it in her 12 inch cast iron skillet. You can use any 13” x 9” baking pan also.

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/3 cups soft butter or margarine
  • 1 cup packed dark brown sugar
  • 1 can (20 ounce) pineapple slices, drained well
  • 10 to 12 red maraschino cherries
  • 1/2 cup chopped pecans (ok to substitute walnuts)
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1 cup buttermilk (you can make your own buttermilk by adding 1 tablespoon lemon juice or vinegar to 1 cup of whole milk, let sit for 5 minutes).

In a small saucepan, melt 2/3 cup of the butter. Stir in brown sugar; spread in bottom of ungreased pan, or skillet. Arrange pineapple slices over the sugar mixture (single layer). Place a cherry in the center of each slice. Sprinkle all with chopped pecans. In a mixing bowl, cream sugar and remaining butter. Beat in eggs and vanilla. Combine the dry ingredients and add alternately to batter with the buttermilk, mixing well after each addition. Carefully pour over the pineapple. Bake at 350 degrees about 40 minutes for the cast iron skillet, or 50 to 60 minutes for baking pan, until a toothpick inserted near center comes out clean. Immediately invert onto a serving platter.


New England Cucumber Relish

This is an old recipe-tried and true. My mother made it every summer for 50 years. She got the recipe from my grandmother. So I don't know exactly where and when the recipe originated. I do know it has become very popular with all our families and friends, being given as a gift to many. My brother will not have tuna salad without this mixed in; I always put it in my deviled eggs; and it was a perfect accompaniment to homemade baked beans every Saturday night. Since my Mom died a littlie more than a year ago, one of her grandsons (in his 30's), missed getting his few jars last summer, so has started making it himself. He's made two delicious batches. We used to grind it by hand with a food chopper, but now a food processor makes it easier.

Ingredients:

  • 1 quart large cucumbers (remove seeds, do not peel)
  • 1 small onion
  • 1 red pepper finely chopped - (the red gives it a pretty color, but if you want to use up your green peppers, the flavor will be the same)
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 1 teaspoon mustard seed
  • 1/2 teaspoon turmeric
  • Enough cider vinegar to cover

Put cucumbers and onion through chopper to finely chop. Combine and let set for 2 hours. Then drain thorough in a colander. Put into a pot on top of the stove, and add the pepper, sugar, and seasonings. Mix well and add vinegar to just cover. Bring to a boil, than let gently simmer for 30 minutes. Place empty jars in hot water, keeping hot until ready to fill. Fill hot jars with relish to within 1/2 inch of top. Clean any dripping off the jar rim, and put caps on, but do not screw caps on very tight. This will be done when cooled. Process in a water-bath by lowering jars on a rack into a canner, using very hot water just below the boiling point, and one inch above top of jars. Be sure jars do not touch. Cover pan. Count process time when water comes to full boil, keeping at a gentle boil. Process in boiling water bath for 5 minutes. Cool jars on a cloth.

Note: To make a large recipe use 8 quarts cukes (5 to 6 large cukes make 2 quarts), 8 onions, 8 peppers, 8 teaspoons mustard seed, 4 teaspoons turmeric, but only 6 cups sugar.


Bowtie Pasta with Prosciutto, Pine Nuts & Spinach

This is one of the best pasta dishes my family and I have ever had. No exaggeration! I found it about year ago when Sara Moulton of the Food Channel, had Vita Greco on as her guest. He is a chef of Italian expertise, and showed how to prepare this pasta dish. It has become a favorite in my collection of recipes. In case you did not see it, I thought I would pass it on to you. I'll warn you though, some of my family and friends were a little doubtful they would like it when they saw there were raisins in it, but everyone has raved about it as soon as they taste it

Ingredients:

  • 3/4 cup pine nuts
  • 3/4 cup raisins (any will do, but I prefer golden raisins)
  • 1/2 cup boiling water
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 small bunch baby spinach, washed & drained
  • 1 pound bowtie pasta (Farfalle)
  • 1/4 pound prosciutto, sliced into small pieces
  • Salt & pepper
  • Grated Romano cheese

Toast pine nuts in a small frying pan. Add raisins to boiling water till plump, than drain. In a large fry pan heat oil and sauté garlic. Add spinach, cook till wilted. Cook pasta according to package directions. Drain well and place in a large bowl with the nuts, raisins, spinach mixture, prosciutto, grated cheese, and pepper. Taste and than add salt if needed (prosciutto and cheese is salty). Serve while nice an, hot.


Zucchini Appetizer

There are literally a hundred different ways to use zucchini; from baked stuffed, pineapple zucchini broad, chocolate zucchini cake, zucchini spice cookies, casseroles, and so many more. If there is a zucchini dish that you would like to make, I may be able to find a recipe, and publish it later in the month. Just e-mail the newspaper at cooking@areanewsgroup.com with your request, and it will be forwarded to me.

Zucchini Appetizer

Ingredients:

  • 3 cups thinly sliced unpared zucchini
  • 1 cup baking mix (such as Bisquick® brand)
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped onion
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 2 tablespoons snipped parsley
  • 3/4 teaspoon seasoned salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon oregano
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 clove garlic, finely minced
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 4 eggs, slightly beaten

Line a strainer with paper towels. Put the zucchini in the strainer to drain out excess water. Heat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 13” x 9” x 2” baking pan. Mix together all the ingredients, adding the zucchini last. Spread gently in the pan. Bake until golden brown, about 26 - 30 minutes. For appetizer servings, cut into small 2 by 1 inch pieces. Serve warm. This can double as a main-dish casserole.

Note: If you like this recipe, use your summer zucchini up by slicing it in 3-cup batches, and put in freezer bags to use during the winter (when ready to use, thaw in paper towel lined strainer).


Blueberry Cream Pie

It's blueberry season! I have wonderful memories of picking blueberries with my family; although at the time, being a young teenager, I didn't think it was so great. A bunch of family members would spend the whole day, from morning to night on a hill in Fitchburg, picking sweet, wild blueberries. It was hard work, but this one particular time, my family picked and picked till it got too dark to see. The hill was loaded with blueberries. I didn't pick that day, but when they got home my mother and I had to pick them over, and get them into freezer boxes. It took hours, but, as a family, we had picked and frozen 82 quarts of blueberries. We had more than enough for the whole year ahead for blueberry pies, muffins, and blueberry shortcake. With eight children to feed, this was a good thing. It's hard to find blueberry bushes now. But there are farms that grow them and let you come and pick your own.

Ingredients:

For 9" crust:

  • 1 1/3 cups vanilla wafer crumbs
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 5 tablespoons butter or margarine, melted
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Filling: -

  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 3 tablespoons all purpose flour
  • Pinch salt
  • 1 cup half & half cream
  • 3 egg yolks, beaten
  • 3 tablespoons butter or margarine
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 tablespoon confectioner’s sugar

Topping:

  • 5 cups fresh blueberries, divided
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch

Combine the first four ingredients for the crust, and press into the bottom and sides of an ungreased 9" pie plate. Bake at 350 degrees for 8 - 10 minutes or until crust just begins to brown. Cool.

For the filling, in a saucepan, combine sugar, flour, and salt. Gradually whisk in cream. Cook and stir over medium heat till thickened and bubbly. Cook and stir 2 minutes more. Gradually whisk half into the egg yolks, than return all to pan. Bring to a gentle boil; cook and stir 2 minutes. Remove from heat; stir in butter and vanilla. Cool 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Pour into crust, sprinkle with confectioner’s sugar. Chill 30 minutes or until set.

Crush 2 cups of the blueberries in a medium saucepan and bring to a boil, boiling 2 minutes stirring constantly. Press the berries through a sieve or wire strainer, to get 1 cup of juice (add water if necessary). Discard the pulp. In a saucepan combine sugar and cornstarch. Gradually stir in the blueberry juice and bring to a boil, boiling for 2 minutes, stirring constantly. Remove from heat and cool 15 minutes. Gently stir in remaining berries. Carefully spoon over cream filling. Chill at least 3 hours. Serves 6 to 8.


Homemade Ice Cream Sandwiches

Makes 16

Heat oven to 350 degrees

Ingredients:

  • 1 package (18 1/4 ounce) chocolate cake mix
  • 1/4 cup shortening
  • 1/4 cup soft butter or margarine
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 gallon ice cream solidly frozen (for easiest cutting, purchase a rectangular-shaped box of ice cream in the flavor of your choice)

Waxed paper

In a mixing bowl, blend softened shortening and butter. Add egg, water and vanilla and mix well. Add the cake mix and beat till well mixed. Divide dough into four equal parts. Place one part of dough between waxed paper and roll into a 10" x 6" rectangle. Remove top piece of waxed paper and flip dough onto an ungreased baking sheet. Score the dough into eight pieces, each 3"x 2 ½”. Repeat with remaining dough. Bake for 8 - 10 minutes or until puffed. Remove from oven and immediately cut along the scored lines and prick holes in each piece with a fork. Cool thoroughly on baking sheets. Cut ice cream into 16 pieces, each 3"x2 ½”x1”. (After cutting, I put the ice cream back in the freezer to harden again.) Place ice cream between two chocolate cookies, and wrap each in plastic wrap. Freeze on a baking sheet overnight. When solidly frozen they can be placed in an airtight container.


Louisiana Shrimp Boil

If you travel through Louisiana, Maryland, and Delaware, most every restaurant serves a shrimp boil, or crawfish boil. They are so popular in the warm weather; served outdoors on long picnic tables with red check table covers. The servers bring the big pot to the table and dump it out right in the center of the table. And you go to town on jumbo shrimp, corn on the cob, smoked sausage, potatoes and onions - all cooked in the most delicious seasoning. With an iced cold beer or wine, salad, and crusty rolls, it is pure fun…and delicious. Since my youngest son's birthday is in August, I started serving this for his birthday dinner a few years ago. Now it is looked forward to. Try it the next time you want to do something different and special with your family or friends

Ingredients:

Serves 6 - 8

  • 2 lemons, halved, plus more for serving
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1/4 cup Old Bay® seasoning or Zatarains® shrimp boil
  • 4 medium onions, halved
  • 1 head garlic, halved
  • 3 pounds red potatoes, medium to large size
  • 4 ears corn, husked and broken in half
  • 2 pounds smoked sausage, such as kielbasa (cut into 4 inch pieces)
  • Extra large shrimp, 5 to 7 per person depending on size
  • 1/2 stick butter
  • Hot pepper sauce, for servin

Fill a huge pot with about 4 - 5 quarts of water. (The water level will rise as you fill it with the solid ingredients, so be careful not to fill more than half-way.) Squeeze the lemon juice into the water, tossing in the halves too. Add bay leaves, salt, seasoning, and garlic. Bring the broth to a boil and then simmer for 20 minutes. You want a very aromatic broth with plenty of salt and spices, so taste it. Don't be afraid to make it strong so that the flavor penetrates the potatoes and stuff. If your potatoes are large, halve them. Add to pot with the onions and sausage, simmer for 10 minutes. Now add the corn and cook another 10 minutes, making sure everything stays covered in liquid. Toss in the shrimp, shut off the heat, and cover the pot. Let sit for 15 minutes. Drain liquid off, add butter and salt and pepper if needed to taste. Have your guests seated and serve by piling all onto the center of the table. Have lemons, hot sauce, and plenty of napkins out.


Baked Potato Salad

This is a different take on potato salad. Since I found it in a magazine several years ago, I have played around with it in several different ways. When the weather is hot, I cook the potatoes on the grill in an aluminum foil packet, uncovered. The potatoes don't need to be browned, just tender, but if they do brown it's added flavor. Sometimes I leave out the peppers as that flavor can overpower. Personalize it to your individual taste. Right now it's a nice way to use those peppers, tomatoes, and onions coming in from your garden.

Ingredients:

Serves 8 - 10

  • 5 pounds potatoes peeled and cut into 3/4 inch chunks
  • 1/4 cup olive or vegetable oil
  • 2 (.7 ounce) envelopes Italian salad dressing mix (such as Good Seasons® brand)
  • 1 medium green and 1 medium red pepper chopped
  • 1 bunch green onions chopped
  • 2 large tomatoes chopped
  • 4 hard-cooked eggs, chopped
  • 5 bacon strips, cooked till crisp and crumbled

Dressing:

  • 1 1/2 cups mayonnaise
  • 1 tablespoon vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 2 teaspoons dried basil (or chop some fresh if you have it)
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder

In a large bowl, toss the potatoes with oil and dressing mixes. Place in two greased 13” x 9” baking pans. Bake uncovered at 400 degrees for about 45 minutes or until tender. Cool. Transfer to a large bowl; add peppers, onions, tomatoes, and eggs. Toss gently. Combine all ingredients for the dressing in a small bowl and mix well. Pour over the salad and stir gently. Cover and refrigerate at least 1 hour. Top with crumbled crisp bacon bits and serve.

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