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Recipes October 3, 2009
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Nancy Rogers
P.O. Box 98424
Lubbock, Texas 79499

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Crunchy Layered Taco Salad
Makes 6 Servings

prep 10 min.
cooking 10 min.

1 lb. ground beef
2 cans (15 to 19 oz. each) black beans or pinto beans, rinsed and drained
1 can (14 1/2 oz.) stewed tomatoes, undrained
2 cups (4 oz.) FRENCH'S? Original or Cheddar French Fried Onions 2 cups (4 oz.)
(1 1/4 oz.) taco seasoning mix 1 pkg. (1 1/4 oz.)
6 cups shredded lettuce
1 1/2 cups shredded Cheddar or Monterey Jack cheese

COOK beef in large nonstick skillet until browned, about 5 min.

STIR in beans, tomatoes, 1 cup French Fried Onions and taco seasoning mix. Simmer 5 min. until slightly thickened and flavors are blended, stirring often.

LAYER beef mixture over lettuce on platter. Top with cheese and remaining French Fried Onions. Serve warm or at room temperature.
Used with Permission from French's Kitchen

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Kotton in MN, Robbie In, Mary DeLancett - LaFayette, GA, Chris in NM, Rachel in Virginia Beach and Angie/Bflo sent ideas for how to use the Pina Colada mix. Thanks so much. I hope to try them all soon. We love coconut cake, muffins and coconut shrimp too so all those idea sounds great. It's a really large bottle but it looks like I'll be able to use it all.
Betty in ME

Creamy Spiced Cider

1 1/2 c. packed brown sugar
1 1/2 tsp. cinnamon(more if you really love Cinnamon)
1 c. softened vanilla ice cream
4 Tbsp softened butter

Blend in blender until smooth(this takes a bit of effort-depends on how soft ice cream and butter are). Put in freezer container & freeze. When you want a cup of Creamy Spiced Cider, just stir 1 Tbsp into 1 cup heated cider, put the rest of the mix back in your freezer for another cold, wintery day..

This recipe is so great because you can do just one cup of cider at a time, without having to mix up a large batch..
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Hi Nancy and everyone in Nancyland: This message is for Carla /Or who was looking for a sauce for cauliflower recipe. This recipe is not exactly a sauce but is delicious . Hope you like it : Roasted Cauliflower with lemon juice, olive oil and parmesan (optional):

Roasted Cauliflower

1 head Cauliflower ( florets only)
2-3 cloves garlic (chopped)
Lemon juice (1/2 of lemon)
olive oil
coarse salt and fresh ground pepper

Preheat oven 400 degrees. place florets in single layer in oven proof baking dish Toss in garlic; squeeze lemon juice over cauliflower and drizzle each piece with olive oil . Sprinkle with salt and pepper . Place in oven .Bake uncovered 25-30 minutes until tops are lightly browned and tines of fork pierce cauliflower easily . Remove from oven and sprinkle with parmesan cheese (optional) . Serves 4
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Suggestion for plumping raisins/any dried fruit to use in baking..
Place a steamer basket in the top of a saucepan that has small amount of water. Put the amount of raisins in the steamer basket, cover with lid, and bring to a boil. Turn heat off, and let set the short time it takes to plump the raisins. No water to drain.
Marvis in Texas

Recipes Using Cool Whip
Apricot Jell-O Mold
Banana Fruit Salad
Angel Food Dessert
Cherry Yogurt Salad
Chocolate Ice Cream
Chocolate Tortilla Torte
Diet Chocolate Dessert
Fluffy Orange Salad
Frozen Fruit Salad
Fruit Salad Cupcakes
Chocolate Caramel Bars
Coconut Cake
Pink Stuff

I would love to find a great recipe for Kentucky Burgoo. Does anyone have one that they can share.

Thanks, Nancy, for all you do!
Tricia in Royal Oak

This recipe should have been for Barbara in Mo instead of Donna in IL.
Mary Jo in MD

This is for Donna in Illinois. I use half hot and 1/2 Italian sausage.
Mary Jo in MD

Sausage Bean Chowder

1 pound loose hot sausage
2 (16 ounce) can kidney beans, undrained
2 cup tomato juice
2 (14 ? ounce) can stewed tomatoes undrained
1 lg. onion diced
1 bay leaf
1-1/2 teaspoons seasoned salt
1/2 teaspoon garlic salt
1 teaspoon chili powder
1 cup whole kernel corn
1/2 teaspoon thyme
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1 stalk celery chopped
1 green pepper chopped
Brown sausage; drain. Combine all ingredients in a large kettle. Simmer, covered, for 1 hour. Remove bay leaf. Serve hot.
Yield 10 to 12 servings.
Mary Jo in MD
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I just love this newsletter and have gotten lots of great ideas. I am wondering if anyone out there has ideas of what to use cream of coconut for? Not coconut milk. This is more of a cream consistency and I have had several bottles given to me.
Thanks Sandra from Oregon

BBQ Steak Sandwiches with Smothered Onions
Makes 4 Servings

prep 5 min.
cooking 10 min.

1 tablespoon vegetable oil
8 to 12 slices (1 pound) minute steaks, seasoned to taste with salt and pepper
1 large Vidalia or other sweet onion, sliced
3/4 cup CATTLEMEN'S? Authentic Smoke House Barbecue Sauce
1/4 cup French's? Classic Worcestershire Sauce or Frank's? REDHOT? Cayenne Pepper Sauce
8 slices Jack or American cheese
4 sub or hero rolls, split

Heat oil in large nonstick skillet until very hot. Cook steak pieces 5 minutes until browned, turning once; remove from skillet.

Saut?onion in same skillet until tender. Add barbecue sauce and Worcestershire. Heat through.

Spoon saucy onions on bottom of rolls, dividing evenly. Arrange 2 to 3 pieces steak on bottom of each roll and top with 2 slices cheese. Close rolls.
Used with Permission from French's Kitchen

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Crockpot Recipes
Molasses Baked Beans
Pork Strips Barbecue
Short Ribs and Vegetables
Southwestern Chicken and Rice
Bean Soup with Short Ribs
Crockpot Beef Stew
Cinnamon Baked Apples
Crock Pot Chili
Crockpot Southwestern Beans
Country Pot Roast
Barbecue Pork Roast
Crockpot Baked Potatoes

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Fall is the time to start thinking about "Chili." And it is cool enough here in East Texas this AM. Chili, as I am sure most know, supposedly, began on early time Texas cattle drives, not in Cincinnati, etc. A misconception is that "Chili" powder and "Chile" ground pepper are one and the same, not so. "Chile" pepper is pure ground peppers with no additives; "Chili" powder has additives such as garlic powder, salt, etc. Maybe the name for the bowl of red is Chili because it has all these additives. This is my recipe for a great Chili that I came up with, after many tries, to clone a Chili I had in a little shack, joint, next to a Farmer's Market. I bought a gallon and rationed into small portions. When I made chili, I did a taste comparison This is what I came up with and once won a Chili Contest with it.

Chili By Jim

4 tablespoons oil
3 medium onions, chopped
2 1/2 pounds chili ground chuck or 1 1/2 pounds venison and 1 pound pork*
1 can tomato sauce (15 oz)
6 cups water
3 1/2 tablespoons cumin
1 1/2 tablespoons paprika
8 tablespoons Chile powder*
1 tablespoon black pepper
1 tablespoon sugar
1 tablespoon salt
2 1/2 tablespoons crushed oregano
12 pods minced garlic

*Note: I prefer chili ground venison and pork steak chunked into 1/2 inch cubes. I use 1 oz. California Mild and 1 oz. New Mexico Chile Powder. Thickeners gets tricky. I use 12 tablespoons (Mexican corn flour) Mesa Flour dissolved in water or Tapioca as the latter freezes better. Mashed potatoes flakes or Wondra flour works also. Watch the salt if you use, but definitely not recommended, Chili Powder.

Saut?the onions in oil in a large skillet until tender and remove to a large pot. Brown the meat in oil, adding oil if necessary, until all is gray. Put everything except thickener in a large pot or slow cooker and cook a couple of hours, 4 hours for venison. Add water if necessary. Thicken and freeze if you desire. Remember, Texans don't have beans in their Chili, they have them as a side dish. Nor do they serve it over spaghetti, noodles, rice, etc. Adding some fresh chopped onions and or grated cheese to the top at serving is very acceptable. You can doctor to your heat level using cayenne pepper before thickening.
Hope you enjoy
Jim in Texas
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I love anything that has raspberries in them. Need some tried and tested recipes for raspberries. Would like recipes for desserts, salads, bread and etc.

Nancy, I love those French?s recipes you have been including! Did you and everyone else know that the onion crumbs have only 3 carbs in them? I have some friends ? and also DH ? who are diabetic and make these dishes all the time. They said they were great! I am making the pork chop one ? 10/2 newsletter ? tonight.
Chris in NM

Quick & Crispy Mac & Cheese
10/2/2009 newsletter

Carla/OR, would this be a recipe for cauliflower you are looking for? I can tell you now, this is very good! Also, here is one I make as often as I can get away with it! You may use any cheese you want, or even leave cheese out!

Old Fashioned Cauliflower Au Gratin

1 medium cauliflower
2 tablespoons flour
2 tablespoons butter -- or other fat
1 cup milk
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup grated cheese
1 cup buttered bread crumbs

Select a close white head of cauliflower. Remove the green leaves, and retain the most tender ones to cook with the cauliflower. Break the head into flowerets, and wash thoroughly in cold water. Drop the cauliflower into enough lightly salted boiling water to cover, leave the pan uncovered, and cook for about 15 minutes, or until tender, and drain. Prepare a sauce of the flour, fat, milk, and salt. Add the cheese and stir until melted. Place the cauliflower in a greased baking dish, pour over it the sauce, cover with the bread crumbs, bake for about 20 minutes in a moderate oven, or until the crumbs are golden brown, and serve from the dish. Source:
Chris in NM
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Cauliflower with Mustard Sauce
Very good!

1 med. head cauliflower
2 Tbl. water
? cup mayonnaise OR Miracle Whip
1 tsp. prepared mustard (I use 1/4 cup Dijon mustard - OR regular mustard)
1/2 c. shredded cheese (I use 1 cup shredded sharp Cheddar cheese)
1 tsp. finely chopped onion (I use ? c. diced onion)

Place cauliflower florets - OR whole cauliflower - in a large glass bowl or casserole dish with water, and cover with plastic wrap. Poke a few holes in the plastic with a knife. Cook in the microwave for 5 to 7 minutes, or until tender. In a cup or small bowl, stir together the mayonnaise, and Dijon mustard & diced onion. Spoon mustard sauce mixture over the top of the cauliflower. Sprinkle shredded cheese over the top. Return to the microwave, and cook just until cheese has melted, about 2 minutes.

*I use regular prepared mustard and Miracle Whip.

Posted under Veggies on Nancy?s message board.
Chris in NM
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Clarann in PA, is this the shredded chicken sandwich you are looking for? It is T & T.

?Hi Nancy:
Someone asked for the shredded chicken sandwiches in the Tuesday newsletter. Here is the recipe my SIL uses. I had never had this before until she made it for a graduation party for her son. This is scrumptious. Linda in Collegeville, PA ?

Shredded Chicken Sandwiches

1 large can of chicken. (I think white and dark meat mixed is better than just white, but whatever you want to use);

Box chicken stove top stuffing;
8 oz. sour cream;
Can cream chicken soup;
Can cream of celery soup

Stir it all together and cook in a crock pot for 2 to 3 hours, stirring occasionally. Add some more soup if it seems too dry.
10/26/2005 newsletter.
Chris in NM
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This is in reply to Tammy PE, Canada. I am not sure what mustard pickles are, but I am sending my Refrigerated Bread and Butter Pickle recipe. It is a combination of recipes that I got from recipe newsletters and doing a search on them. My version uses Splenda but I would think any brand would work. I use a 2 qt plastic jar with a wide lid.

Refrigerated Bread and Butter Pickle

In the jar I put 2 cups pourable Splenda
2 cups apple cider vinegar
2 tsp pickling spices
2 tsp mustard seeds
2 tsp celery seeds

Mix or shake the jar a bit to dissolve the Splenda.

I use approximately 2 pounds cucumbers, doesn't have to be exact. I use 2 of the long English cucumbers. Slice about 1/4" thick and put in jar. Add enough water to cover. Put in frig for 24 hours. Pickles will rise to top of jar which is okay. I make this once a week. They don't last long.

Hope this helps you out or anyone else out that needs diabetic pickles.
Knitter in Illinois
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Sara in Fla. has an excellent idea for attempting to get Wal Mart to once again stock Jiffy Products..
call the main WM office at 800-966-6546 and request that JIFFY PRODUCTS be available in our local WM's. The more calls from different areas, the better for our efforts. Refer back to Sara's e-mail in Friday's newsletter to hit only the * each time one is prompted to choose a number until you get a person. (I'm going to try that after reading her e-mail.) My local Wal Mart gave me the advice to call the main WM office for any possibilities for their restocking in the warehouses that service the local area. Let's hope this helps to get JIFFY back in our WM stores!

Marvis in Texas

Cauliflower w/o cheese for Carla (10/02/09):

Cauliflower and Raisins

1/4 c. golden raisins
1/4 c. sherry
1 head cauliflower, trimmed & cut into flowerets
2 t. finely chopped garlic
2 t. olive oil
1 T. balsamic vinegar
2 T. pine nuts

Soak raisins in sherry for 15 min. Place flowerets in steamer basket  over 1 in. boiling water. Cover & cook 3 min. In skillet cook garlic in olive oil until tender. Add cauliflower, raising, any remaining sherry & vinegar. Cover. Reduce heat to low. Cook 3-5 min. or until cauliflower is crisp-tender. Top w/pine nuts to serv. Serves 4. 128 cal. per serving.
Athena in DE
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Frosted Cauliflower

2 c. fresh cauliflowerets
1 T. water
2 T. mayo
1 t. Dijon mustard
1/8 t. salt
Chopped fresh parsley, optional
Place cauliflower & water in small micro-safe bowl. Cover, micro on hi for 4-5 min., or until crisp-tender, stirring once. In sm. bowl combine mayo, mustard & salt. Drain cauliflower & place in serving bowl. Top w/mayo mixture. Sprinkle w/ parsley.
Yield: 2 servings
(Source: Thelma Brown, Fulton, IL)
Athena in DE
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Herbed Vegetable Skillet

2 t. olive oil
1 clove garlic, minced
1 1/2 c. small fresh cauliflowerets
2 c. coarsely chopped cabbage
1/2 c. thin diagonally sliced carrot
1/4 t. marjoram leaves
1/8-1/4 t. crushed red pepper flakes
1/8 t. salt

Heat oil in large skillet over med. heat. Add garlic; cook & stir 30
sec. Add cauliflower, cabbage, carrot, marjoram & red pepper flakes; cook & stir 3 min. Stir in salt. Add 1/4 c. water. Cover; reduce heat to med-low. Cook 4-5 min. or until cauliflower & carrots are crisp-tender.
Serves 4.
37 cal. per serving.
Athena in DE
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Roasted Cauliflower

Toss florets w/ olive oil; sprinkle w/ cumin. Bake 450 - 20 min., turning once, until lightly browned & crisp-tender.
Athena in DE

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Knitter in Illinois asked about NoSalt. I have not seen it, but one I use (I don't have high blood pressure or need to reduce my sodium for health reasons -but I think we could all do without all the sodium we get in foods today) is called Salt Sense by Diamond Crystal. I buy mine at Publix. It has 33% less sodium per teaspoon than regular table salt. You measure it just like salt and it is delicious -no metal after taste like some salt substitutes. It is real salt -not a salt substitute, but unless you can have no sodium at all, it is a great alternative to regular salt -because the sodium is reduced by 1/3 and tastes good.

I no longer use regular table salt -but use the Salt Sense and Kosher Salt. Since sodium is one of the electrolytes in the body, we need some of it. However, if you have heart disease or kidney disease, make sure that you check with your doctor before you use salt or any salt substitute at all.

To Laurie in NNY and other seamstresses:

I spoke personally with Walmart administration in Arkansas regarding the fabric departments.

I was told that it was no longer AS profitable as other departments such as party goods and electronics. All new stores would not have sewing supplies or fabric, and as older stores are updated or upgraded, their sewing departments would be going away too.

They have recently built two huge new Walmarts in our area and I can't really see that they have much new stuff. Wider aisles, but really less selection.

Walmart did try to give me a line that they would still retain fabrics and sewing supplies in the more remote locations, or locations that did not have a fabric store within 50 miles.

If you are lucky enough to have a Hancock's, Joann's, or even Hobby Lobby, they do have weekly coupons.

I guess those of us who do still like to thread a needle are an almost dying breed.
Sandy in Blue Springs, Missouri 

Dear Nancy-

Regarding Wal-Mart no longer carrying material. I work in retail, and it simply a matter of the almighty buck. Each square foot of retail space is precious, and they do not make enough money from selling fabric to justify using that space for it. It is simply a matter of economics. If I was a business owner, I would be carrying whatever makes the most money, also. Just MHO.
Lindsey in the U.P.

In response to Tammy PE, Canada request for using Splenda in making pickles, I am also diabetic and made some refrigerator pickles using Splenda instead of regular sugar. They turned out great, but I would use a little less Splenda. It seems to be too sweet if using the amount that the recipe calls for. I hope this helps.
Helen in Omaha

After reading the very helpful hints from Susie Indy in the Oct.2 newsletter, I am reminded of something I read a very long time ago that has saved me time.

Take a package of sliced bacon out of the box part of the wrapping and, while still in the plastic wrapper, roll up the whole thing from short end to short end in a tight jelly-roll. Then unroll and open. The purpose of this is to make it so much easier to separate the strips of bacon. Works every time.

september 01

Did you know?

For a cool brownie treat, make brownies as directed. Melt Andes mints in double broiler and pour over warm brownies. Let set for a wonderful minty frosting.

Add garlic immediately to a recipe if you want a light taste of garlic and at the end of the recipe if you want a stronger taste of garlic.

Leftover Snickers bars from Halloween make a delicious dessert. Simply chop them up with the food chopper. Peel, core and slice a few apples. Place them in a baking dish and sprinkle the chopped candy bars over the apples. Bake at 350? for 15 minutes!!! Serve alone or with vanilla ice cream.

Good morning Nancy and Ditto,

I got this recipe for Pasta Skillet with Tomatoes and Beans a while back from Cooking Light Magazine. I thought that Barbara from Wentzville, MO would like to try it, since she requested recipes using beans. It is very good. In fact, I think that I will make some for my lunch this weekend. AtlantaPat

Pasta Skillet with Tomatoes and Beans

Dish up an easy homemade pasta sauce packed with the bright flavors of fresh basil, balsamic vinegar, and salty Asiago cheese over hot cooked angel hair noodles for a quick, and delicious, weeknight dinner in a hurry.

2 teaspoons olive oil
2 cups chopped tomato
2 garlic cloves, minced
3 cups hot cooked angel hair (about 6 ounces uncooked pasta)
1/2 cup chopped fresh basil
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1 (15 1/2-ounce) can chickpeas (garbanzo beans), drained
1/2 cup (2 ounces) grated Asiago cheese
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
Basil sprigs (optional)

Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add tomato and garlic, and saut?2 minutes. Add pasta, basil, salt, pepper, and chickpeas; cook 2 minutes. Place mixture in a bowl; stir in cheese and vinegar, and garnish with basil, if desired.

Yield: 4 servings (serving size: 1 1/4 cups)
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Lemon Bread

Beat until fluffy:
1 stick soft butter
1 cup sugar

Add and beat together:
2 eggs (room temp)
1 Tbs lemon zest
1/2 cup milk

Stir together and add to above:
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups flour
1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom
1 teaspoon baking powder

Pour into a well greased loaf pan and bake 350 for 1 hour.

While lemon bread is baking heat the following glaze ingredients until sugar is dissolved:
1/4 cup lemon juice
1/3 cup sugar
1 Tbs honey

Once you have removed the bread from the oven, immediately poke holes all over the top with a thin skewer (this will help the glaze penetrate). Spoon the glaze over it while the bread is still in the pan and is still hot.

Let cool for 10 minutes before removing from pan. Cool completely before slicing.
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This is for Margo/Boston who wanted a blonde Whoopie Pie. This one has all the flavors of fall:

Pumpkin Spice Whoopies
Makes: 15 whoopies

1 cup canned pumpkin
1/3 cup butter, softened
1 package 2-layer-size spice cake mix
2 eggs
1/2 cup milk
1 recipe Marshmallow-Spice Filling (see recipe below)

1. Preheat oven to 375 degree F. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper or foil (grease foil, if using). In a large mixing bowl beat pumpkin and butter with an electric mixer on medium speed until smooth. Add cake mix, eggs, and milk; beat on low speed until combined, and then on medium speed for 1 minute.

2. By the heaping tablespoon, drop mounds of batter 3 inches apart on cookie sheet; keep remaining batter chilled. Bake 15 minutes or until set and lightly browned around edges. Carefully remove from parchment or foil; cool on wire rack. Repeat with remaining batter, lining cooled cookie sheets each time with new parchment or foil. If desired, place cookies in a covered storage container with waxed paper between layers to prevent sticking. Store cookies at room temperature for 24 hours. Prepare Marshmallow-Spice Filling up to 2 hours before serving. Spread about 2-1/2 tablespoons filling on flat side of one cookie; top with a second cookie. Repeat. Serve immediately or cover and chill up to 2 hours. Makes 15 whoopies.

Marshmallow-Spice Filling: Up to 2 hours before serving, beat together 1/2 cup softened butter and one 8-ounce package softened cream cheese until smooth. Add 2 cups sifted powdered sugar, 1/2 of a 7-ounce jar marshmallow cream, 1 teaspoon vanilla, and 1/2 teaspoon each ground cinnamon and nutmeg. Beat until well combined.

Hope this helps,
Barb in Ohio
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Morning Nancy,

I asked recently if anyone had bought or used the Acti-Fry? (makes 1 kilo of french fries using only 1 tablespoonful of oil). I did come across one in Amazon, reduced from ?199 to ?135. A bit too pricey for me, particularly as I've only had one recommendation.
Carla/OR, have you had a look at Nancy's Vegetable Dishes Message Board, I did and did a search for cauliflower, there were 25 recent recipes came up. A few were with cheese, but there were lots of others too give it a try:

I can recommend Chris NM's recipe for Cauliflower in Mustard Sauce, it's really good.
Sylvia <Scotland>

Nancy, I don't know why you were surprised to find you were so attached to your little kitties. It is so easy to become attached to them just caring and feeding them. We have an abandoned cat who lives in out garage ( our housecat wouldn't accept another cat moving in I'm afraid) who my DH just dotes on. We had to have the previous stray occupant of the garage put down when he became too ill and it broke our hearts so this new fella helps fill that void. Luckily we have a daughter who lives in town who will come over to feed him when we go on trips in our RV. ( Makes up for us caring for her cat when she goes on vacation) Cats are the best company and keep us constantly amused

For Betty in ME in Sept 30 letter Re: TGIF Pina Colada Mixer.

I am not sure of the consistency of the TGIR mixer, but a produce worker at our Brookshire's Grocery (our local supermarket chain) gave me a recipe to try for company and I'm thinking possibly it would work for you, you would just need to substitute flavors of ingredients to use with your mixer. I made the cake and everyone seemed to like it.

His recipe was:

Strawberry Daiquiri Cake

1 18 oz. cake mix(pudding in the mix)
1 can Bacardi frozen strawberry Daiquiri mix
quart size container fresh strawberries, sliced
1 can sweetened condensed milk
1 tub cool whip-12 oz

Prepare the cake mix as the package directs(use whatever eggs, oil and water it calls for). Bake cake in a 9" x 13" pan per box directions.

Take Bacardi mixer out of freezer when cake goes in oven so it can be thawing. When cake is done by toothpick test, take out of oven and let cool for 5 min. Then using handle of wooden spoon or something similar in size, poke holes in cake approx 1 inch apart. Spoon Daiquiri mixer over cake. Then when cake has cool a little more, spread condensed milk over cake. When cake is completely cool spread sliced strawberries over cake. Top with Cool Whip. Refrigerate.

You could make a pina colada cake using pineapple or yellow or butter recipe cake mix, your Pina Colada mixer, drained crush pineapple and some coconut (or even toasted coconut on top of Cool Whip) and the cool whip. Don't forget the sweetened condensed milk.
Etta in LA
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October 2nd Newsletter

Mix ?n Match Macaroni & Cheese
Makes 4 generous servings

This recipe can be altered to suit your taste. My family loves the different flavor combinations and requests a Macaroni & Cheese dinner at least once a week.

Prepare 1 ? cups uncooked macaroni (any shape or style you like) according to package directions.

While macaroni is cooking, mix:

1 10.5-oz can of Cream of whatever soup you like (Celery, Mushroom, Broccoli or Chicken)
1 cup milk
2 cups shredded cheese (use Cheddar, Colby, Jack, Mexican blend ... whatever your family likes)
1 cup frozen vegetables
1/4 tsp ground black pepper

At this point you can also mix in whatever meat you want. I use either tuna, chicken, ham or leftover roast beef

Add the cooked and drained macaroni.

Sprinkle 1 cup of crushed croutons, French fried onions, potato chips or Ritz crackers over the top of macaroni and cheese mixture.

Bake in 350 degree oven for 30 minutes.

This Macaroni & Cheese dish allows you to be creative. I have even added a small jar of diced pimientos, diced red or green bell peppers, diced green onions, diced celery, diced water chestnuts. Use your imagination and ask your family for suggestions of things to add. This also entices your picky eaters to eat foods they normally wouldn?t touch, like mixed vegetables.
Sheila Wojtowicz
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To Pat So Cal:
Your recipe sounds alot like what I am looking for, and I am excited to try it! One question--when you say "natural pineapple wedges", are you referring to fresh, or juice packed, or natural candied pineapple? I just want to get the right thing! Looking forward to trying it--it looks great! Thanks so much!
Sheryl in AZ

I have been trying to catch up this week as my husband and I both have had health problems lately. On 9/27/09 (I think), M in FL asked for a "candy carrots" recipe. I have not seen a response to her, so here is a quick and easy carrot recipe that she may like:

Quick & Easy Carrots (for M in FL)

1 pound baby carrots
Salt to taste
1/3 cup apricot preserves
1 Tblsp butter

Cook carrots with salt and pepper until tender. Drain well and add the butter and preserves. Put back on heat long enough to melt and coat the carrots. Serve and enjoy.

And a Caution to Sara in FL Regarding Mastercook:

Sara, just be sure you buy the program on a disk and do NOT download it from the sale site as the downloaded program may be flawed. Our Best Buy has had the disk, but you may need to find it for sale online somewhere. Good Luck!

Nancy, I was overwhelmed that YOU would be thanking us!! YOU are the one to be thanked for being the MasterMind for this HUGE list of people and the site is close to perfect all the time!! I do not know of anyone else that is so computer literate that they could manage what YOU do! I marvel at it all the time and feel so privileged to have just "happened" on it one day!
So THANK YOU back!!
Barbara in AL
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Hi Nancy,

Guess what I found ???

You remember years ago, there use to be a product on the store shelves named Spatini Spaghetti Sauce that all of a sudden disappeared and I think it was McCormick or maybe it was Durkees, that discontinued making it. I have hunted for it for years, because it was the BEST Spaghetti Sauce ever made. My persistence finally paid off, and I hope others who loved it will be happy to hear too, that it's still around.

You'll find it at

In the Search box there, just type in Spatini Spaghetti Sauce and VIOLA, there it is. It comes in Restaurant size, but you can keep it in a big glass jar as I do, and the instructions how to mix it, also provides a family sized portion.

I am sooooo thrilled to find it after all this time, hope your readers are too.
Karen from Wisconsin

Pauline from Oregon has a prayer request I posted to our message board.

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