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Good morning Nancy,
I wanted to go ahead and respond to Trudy in Slidell 's request for mini appetizer recipes as requested in the January 8, 2013 Newsletter, before I head out for the day. Trudy, these aren't "spoon" appetizers, but ones that you pick up. They are mini-appetizers that are very good and easy to make and eat. Hopefully they will benefit some of our readers, as they are very good and easy to make. Enjoy! AugustaPat

This first recipe for Steak Wrapped Water Chestnuts is made by my niece for parties and get togethers of all kinds. Everyone loves them.

Steak Wrapped Water Chestnuts

1 lb. flank steak (sliced very thin) sometimes I freeze it a little to make cutting easier
2 cans water chestnuts (sometimes I cut them in half depending on the size)

Combine the following ingredients in a small bowl:
1/2 cup chopped onion
2 cloves garlic
8 tablespoons soy sauce
4 tablespoons salad oil
4 tablespoons brown sugar
1/4 teaspoon
crushed pepper
1 tablespoon vinegar

Wrap the steak around the water chestnuts and secure with toothpicks and marinate. I like to marinate mine for several hours or overnight. At least 3 hours.
Broil for about 5 minutes.
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Vidalia Onion Tarts

Sweet Vidalia onions are the feature ingredient in these savory appetizer tarts. Caramelizing the onions makes them even more tender and sweet and perfect for topping the homemade tart crusts.
48 servings.

1 stick (1/4 lb.) unsalted butter
2 large Vidalia or regular onions, halved and thinly sliced
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
2 cups all-purpose flour
4 teaspoons baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoons sugar
2/3 cup milk

Melt 2 Tbsp. butter in a large, heavy skillet over low heat. Add onions, 1/2 tsp. salt and thyme; cook until tender and lightly browned, 30 minutes. Set aside to cool.

Place one rack in upper third of oven and another in lower third; preheat oven to 400°F. Coat 2 baking sheets with cooking spray.

Mix flour, baking powder, sugar and remaining 1/2 tsp. salt in a bowl. Cut remaining 6 Tbsp. butter into small chunks and add to flour mixture. Cut in butter using your fingers, 2 knives or a pastry blender until mixture resembles coarse meal. Stir in milk with a fork just until flour is evenly moistened.

Turn out dough onto a floured surface and pull together into one piece with floured hands. Divide dough into 48 mounds (about 1/2 Tbsp. each); roll each into a ball and place on baking sheets. With a teaspoon measuring spoon, press an indentation into center of each ball. Spoon onion mixture into indentations.

Bake, rotating pans halfway through, until golden, 12 to 15 minutes. Serve warm.

NOTE: As an extra you can add a Ricotta cheese base that makes the onion tart spectacular. However, it is delicious without the base and less trouble and fewer ingredients. If you want to make the Ricotta cheese base: Mix one cup Ricotta cheese, one egg, and one teaspoon powdered sugar(enough topping for double dough recipe). Spread a thin amount on the flattened tart and top with onion.
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Cherry Tomatoes with Broccoli Filling

Cherry tomatoes make edible serving bowl. For this recipe, fill them with a creamy broccoli concoction. For other hearty stuffers, try chicken or tuna salad. On the lighter side, a corn salad would be tasty.
10 servings.

48 cherry or grape tomatoes (about 2 pints)
1 10-oz. package frozen chopped broccoli, thawed
1/2 cup reduced-fat mayonnaise
1/2 cup nonfat sour cream
1/4 cup grated Parmesan
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper
Salt and pepper

Slice tops off tomatoes; reserve. Use a small spoon or melon baller to scoop out pulp; discard pulp. Invert tomatoes onto paper towels, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until ready to fill.

Squeeze as much moisture as possible from broccoli and pat dry with paper towels. Place in bowl of a food processor and add mayonnaise, sour cream, Parmesan and crushed red pepper. Pulse a few times to thoroughly mix, but do not completely puree. Season with salt and pepper. Refrigerate until ready to serve.

Spoon 1 tsp. filling into each tomato, mounding filling slightly. Set tops on filling. Serve chilled or at room temperature.
Source: http://allrecipes.com/
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Spoonbread Recipes

Here are 2 spoonbread recipes for Hilda, Myrtle Beach (1/7 newsletter). Spoonbread is a recipe where you find many regional differences and these recipes reflect these differences. Many believe that Native Americans were the first to make this dish and it was quickly adapted by the settlers. It seems to be thought that it was originally called Awendaw. Refrigeration wasn't common and potatoes were easily spoiled so rice or cornmeal was more often served for Sunday dinner. Spoonbread was a nice substitute for mashed potatoes.
Robbie In

Southern Spoonbread

2 cups boiling water
1 cup yellow corn meal
1 tablespoon butter
1 1/2 teaspoon salt
4 eggs
1/2 cup milk
1/2 cup flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
2 tablespoons sugar

Gradually add corn meal to boiling water. Stir in butter and salt and cook over hot water in a double boiler until thick. Pour mixture into a mixing bowl to cool.

In the meantime, separate the eggs and beat the yolk and milk together, using a rotary beater. When corn mixture is cool, beat in the milk mixture.

Stir in the flour, sugar, and baking powder, which you have sifted together.

Fold in stiffly beaten egg whites.

Pour into well greased baking dish, about 1/2 full, and bake in a preheated 375°F oven 30-35 minutes.

Serve with a spoon, directly from the dish that the spoonbread was baked in.
Robbie IN

Mexican Spoonbread

1 can (approx. 15 ounces) cream-style corn1 can creamed corn
1/3 cup oil
1 cup cornmeal
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup milk
2 eggs, beaten
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 1/2 cup grated sharp cheese
1 (4 oz.) can whole green chilies

Mix all ingredients, except cheese and chilies. Pour 1/2 of the batter into a greased 8 x 8 inch pan. Spread chilies on top of batter, then spread 1/2 of the cheese over the chili layer. Pour the rest of the batter over the top and sprinkle the remaining cheese on top. Bake 40 - 45 minutes at 400 degrees. Cut in to squares and serve.
Robbie IN
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Travel Alaska

This was a Pillsbury Bake Off winner from many years ago, that we have always enjoyed.

Scotch Prune Cake

Mix separately and set aside:
2 cups flour
1 tbsp. baking cocoa
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 tsp. nutmeg
1/4 tsp. allspice

Cream together with electric mixer:
1/2 cup shortening
1 cup sugar

Blend in:
2 eggs, one at a time and beat well after each addition.

1/2 cup prune juice
1/2 cup water

Add alternately to creamed mixer with dry ingredients, blending well after each addition.
Stir in:
1 cup cooked prunes, cut into small pieces.

Pour batter into 9x13 inch pan, that has been well greased and lightly floured on the bottom. Bake at 350º for about 35 minutes, until tests done using toothpick. Top with Broiled Frosting.

1/4 cup melted butter
1/2 cup firmly packed brown sugar
3 tbsp. evaporated milk
1 cup pecans, chopped (or coconut)

Mix well.
Spread over cake, covering completely. Place 4 to 5 inches below broiler unit. Broil for 1 to 3 minutes, until golden brown...watching closely!
Judy (in Alaska)
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Recently there has been requests for soup recipes, so I would like to share a few of our favorite soups and also a stew recipe we always
enjoy. My hubby loves this soup, and asks for it quite often.

Michigan Navy Bean Soup

1 lb. dried navy bens
2 quarts chicken broth
2 tbsp. minced fresh parsley
2 bay leaves
1/4 tsp. pepper
Salt, to taste
1 medium onion, chopped
1 carrot, chopped
1 rib celery, chopped
8 slices bacon, cooked crisp and crumbled
Put beans in a large kettle and add enough water to cover beans. Bring to boil and boil for 2 minutes. Remove from heat and let stand at least
1 hour. Drain and rinse. In a large saucepan, combine broth, beans, parsley, bay leaves, salt and pepper and bring to a boil. Reduce heat,
cover and simmer for 1 hour. Add onion, carrots and celery. Simmer, covered for 25 minutes longer , or until veggies are tender. Stir in cooked bacon. Discard bay leaves before serving. Serves to 10.
Judy (in Alaska)
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Polish Kapusta Soup

1 large head cabbage (approximately 10 cups shredded)
2 onions, chopped fine
1/2 tsp. white pepper
6 cups water
1-1/2 lbs. beef chuck, cut into serving size pieces (I use beef stew
meat from market) 2 can (15 oz. each) tomato sauce
8 small red potatoes, peeled & diced
Salt, to taste (optional)
2 tbsp. sugar
2 cloves garlic, minced, or 1/4 tsp. garlic powder

Put shredded cabbage, onions, pepper and water in large kettle; cover and bring to full boil. Add meat and tomato sauce and cover, simmering
for 1 hour. Add potatoes and simmer for 1 hour more, or until meat is tender. Add garlic and sugar. NOTE: I cut the recipe in half for us,
using 1 lb. stew meat and was plenty. It didn't call for any salt, but we found it needed some.
Delicious and so satisfying!
Judy (in Alaska)
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This is really good stew!
Spanish Stew

1 lb. beef stew meat, cut up small
1 quart water
2 tsp. paprika
1 lb. cooked ham, cubed
1 large onion, chopped
1/2 small head cabbage, cut in chunks
1/2 lb. Spanish, or Italian sausage, cut into chunks
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 jar (4 oz.) sliced pimentos
1 can (15 oz.) garbanzo beans, undrained
1/4 cup snipped parsley (optional)

Bring water and stew meat to a boil; add paprika and simmer, covered for1-1/2 hours (can do this the day before and refrigerate). Add ham onion,
cabbage, sausage and garlic and cook, covered for 30 minutes until meat and veggies are tender. Stir in pimientos and beans. Heat for about 10
minutes. Sprinkle with parsley, if desired.
NOTE: I also added some salt and pepper with the meat and veggies, and I use the Italian sausage and pre-boil it some to get some fat off of it and drain before adding to soup. The recipe called for 3 large onions, and I thought that sounded like a bit much?
Judy (in Alaska)
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I thoroughly enjoy your recipe website and have used many of them. I have a question in general concerning using shortening versus vegetable oil when making banana nut bread. The recipe I have calls for shortening; however, I was going to use vegetable oil and wanted to know if there is a difference. I don't want to waste the whole batter.

I appreciate your help with this matter.

Barbecue Meat Loaves (8 small ones)

2 lbs. ground chuck
1/2 onion grated
1 cup bread crumbs
4 slices of bacon - diced raw
1 cup milk
salt and pepper to taste

Mix all together and make 8 small loaves and place on foiled lined 9 x 13 pan or large glass baking dish.

1 cup ketchup
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 tsp. dry mustard
4 Tbls. tomato paste
1 tsp. chili powder
1/2 cup cider vinegar

Mix sauce well. Pour over the 8 little meat loaves. Bake at 350 degrees for 1 1/2 hrs.
Lois J. Grafton, OH
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Are there copyright laws for these recipes? I would like to add a recipe to our church cookbook that is in the making now. The recipe is Great Potato Soup by Mr. Myron Drinkwater.
Betty G

When a recipe is listed in the newsletter you need to post the name of the person posting the recipe and the site where it was found.

Great Potato Soup
at the bottom of the recipe
Mr. Myron Drinkwater - Lake Forest, CA

This is for Ann, who in the January 8, 2013 newsletter requested my recipe for Pepper Jelly. Ann, over the years, I have used different recipes (I also have one for Spicy Pepper Jelly that has onions in it), but for an easy recipe that you can use red or green peppers (or any color you desire) that jells each time –here the recipe that I use.

I gave jars or red pepper jelly and green pepper jelly for Christmas. I included in the bag a block of cream cheese and a sleeve of Ritz crackers. I also included the recipe for Pepper Jelly Layered Cheese Dip in case the person would like to try it. It is easy, but if I am not clear –or if you have questions, please don’t hesitate to ask.

Pepper Jelly
Makes 6 (1/2 pint) jars

3/4 cup chopped green bell pepper

1/4 cup chopped fresh hot green pepper, such as Jalapeno or Serrano (I often use a combination of Banana peppers (that aren’t real hot) and Jalapeno peppers)

1 1/2 cups apple cider vinegar
6 cups sugar

4 ounces pectin (recommended: Certo) –this is a little more than one individual packet in the box.

4 drops food coloring (if desired), red, green, orange,–whatever color jelly you are making.

To can: You will need 6 (1/2-pint) canning jars with lids and a water-bath (I just use a large soup pot)

Process bell pepper and hot pepper in a food processor until finely minced. Combine pepper mixture, vinegar, and sugar in a saucepan and bring to a rolling boil. Continue boiling for 8-10 minutes (If you boil it 10 minutes it won’t be too long, because you haven’t put in the pectin yet).

Remove from heat and add pectin and food coloring (if desired). Stir well and pour into sterilized and hot jars; Seal jars and seal*.

*Sterilizing jars and properly handling sterilized equipment will keep canned foods in good condition without fear of botulism. Sterilizing jars and lids is the first step of preserving foods. Follow USDA guidelines for proper sterilization and canning procedures.

**If you don’t want to can/preserve the jelly, you can keep it in air-tight jars in the refrigerator for a month. (Since you won't use that much in a month's time -unless you share it, it is best to can it so that you will have fresh jelly and have no chance of it going bad. Jelly from the store can stay opened in the refrigerator for 6-9 months -because it has been processed.).
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I want to thank everyone who sent in recipes for pickled cucumber and onions. It was posted two times. Maybe by mistake the second time. I made them for christmas and all enjoyed them, There was only a little left which i had for lunch a week later. I combined two recipes and was very pleased with the results.

Hello again everyone
The pasta e fagioli that Artemis sent in reminded me of a recipe my father had given me several years ago, from an Italian restaurant here in the Albany area. I've always made this with salt pork, though I think it might be better (and more Italian) if using pancetta as in Artemis' recipe. This is a delicious and filling soup and always good for a winter day. Some nice fresh crusty Italian bread and some dry red wine will make it even better.

Pasta e Fagioli

2 tbsp olive oil
1 medium onion, finely diced
1 clove garlic, minced fine (can use more)
2 slices salt pork (lean) finely diced* (or pancetta)
1 16-oz can Great Northern beans
1 large can plum tomatoes in juice (cut up or diced)
1 cup Romano cheese, freshly grated
1 14 oz can chicken stock (low salt)
1 tbsp fresh parsley, chopped
1/4 tsp oregano
Salt, pepper and crushed red pepper to taste
1 cup cooked Ditallini pasta (½ cup uncooked)

Sauté oil, garlic, salt pork and onion on medium flame until lightly browned. Add chicken stock, and tomatoes and juice; bring to a boil. Lower heat to a simmer. While simmering add beans, cheese and spices. Simmer another three to four minutes. Add cooked pasta and serve.

*NOTES: If using salt pork rinse with boiling water to remove some of the salt.

PS. A thanks to Artemis for the recipes she sent during the holidays for the Greek cookies (my co-workers and I loved them). And again for her updates during the storm back in Oct-Nov. We don't hear too much about it on the news these days and I'm sure there are some whose lives have not yet returned to normal.
Jerry (Upstate NY)
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Nancy This is for Julie 1-17 newsletter Most cream soups can be put in the blinder and pulsed once or twice You have a lot of soups here on Nancyskitchen potato, squash, chicken, mushroom. Also many foods can also be put in the blinder-how liquid the soup is depends on how long you pulse the food. Hope this helps and good luck. TO you and Nancy and all landers.
Jean Cecil VA/FL

Nancy, I do enjoy your tales about your sweet kitties. We have had a college granddaughter and her calico cat for a long stay with us over her winter break. The cat loves to tease our old Cardigan corgi who has learned not to rise to the bait!

I have been thinking about Cindy too as I have difficulty standing at the kitchen counter due to severe arthritis. I use a good roller chair without arms at the sink but, as my counter is too high, (I used to be tall!) preparations are a challenge sitting down. I pull out one of my kitchen drawers where I have put a large wooden cutting board that rests on a utensil bin. It is just the right height for chopping, peeling, slicing, mixing etc. I lay a smaller plastic board on top of the wooden one so that I don't need to wash the heavy larger board often. I can also cover it with paper towels when necessary. When I am finished, I just close the drawer. There is room in the bin underneath for storing rarely used utensils. Fortunately, there is a lower counter available where the electric appliances are located that I can use while sitting.

This is a pasta recipe that I have made often as I can make it ahead and it makes a good amount. I just serve it with a green salad.

Spaghetti New Orleans
(serves 8 to12)

20 ounces thin spaghetti or fetticine cooked and drained according to package directions.
½ cup butter
½ cup flour
2 cups chicken broth
2 cups heavy cream
2/3 cup shredded swiss cheese
4 Tblsps. Dry sherry
1 and 1/3 tsp. salt
2 dashes white pepper
2 (6 ounce) cans mushrooms, drained
3 lbs. shrimp, cooked and peeled or 1 ½ lbs. crawfish tails (If you use frozen crawfish, be sure to defrost and drain off some of the liquid.) or a combination of shrimp and crawfish.

2/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese
2/3 cup slivered almonds

Melt the butter in a large, heavy Dutch oven or skillet (not iron). Add flour and, stirring continuously over low flame, make a light roux. Gradually add the chicken broth and the heavy cream, stirring constantly. Then, when sauce thickens, gradually add Swiss cheese, sherry, salt and pepper. Heat and stir until cheese is melted. 

 DO NOT ALLOW TO BOIL. Add mushrooms. Remove from heat and stir in shrimp or crawfish or both.
Combine sauce with the cooked pasta. Pour into a shallow 3 quart casserole. Sprinkle with topping. Broil 4 inches from heat 5 to 7 minutes until light brown.

This can also be made in advance to the point where it is in the casserole. Then covered tightly and refrigerated. In that case, I would bake it awhile to get it heated throughout then sprinkle on the topping and run under the broiler to brown.
I hope that all of you and yours have a good healthy 2013.
Jody in Texas
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Chicken Souiza Cornbread Bake
Yield: 12 Servings

1/2 cup Butter
1 Onion, Finely Chopped
1 clove Garlic, Minced
1 can Whole Kernel Corn
1 can Cream-Style Corn
1/4 tsp Salt
2 Eggs
1 pkg Corn Bread Mix
2 1/3 cups Cooked Chicken Breast
2 Tbsp Canned Green Chile Peppers
1 (4 oz) can Chopped Mushrooms, Drained
1 1/2 cups Sour Cream
1/4 tsp Salt
1/4 tsp Black Pepper, Ground
8 oz pkg Monterey Jack Cheese, Shredded

[Note: A lightly spiced, Mexican-inspired casserole with a cornbread bottom, and a filling of chicken, mushroom and sour cream.]
Preheat oven to 375°. Grease 9x13" baking dish. Melt butter in a small skillet over med-high heat.
Saute onion and garlic until tender,
4 to 6 minutes; set aside. In a large bowl, combine corn, cream style corn, salt and eggs. Beat in muffin mix. Fold in cooked onion mixture.
Pour into prepared baking dish. In a large bowl, combine chicken, green chiles, mushrooms, sour cream, salt and pepper. Spoon over corn mixture to within 1 inch from edge. Sprinkle top with cheese. Bake in preheated oven for 35 to 40 minutes, or until edges are golden brown.
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This note is for Julie C. whose husband is battling oral cancer. Take this from a cancer survivor. .He should avoid "anything" to eat that has acidity such as tomato products, etc. Soft foods would be desirable or foods put through a food processor. Do not forget puddings and Jell-O.. My oncologist gave this advice to "use a fork if you can; if not, use a spoon; if not, use a straw, but people who continue to consume food regularly live a lot longer."
Sue - survivor

Disclaimer: information posted here is provided as general information only and should not be a substitute to your medical doctor. This web site  owner is not responsible for the use or misuse or results of any action taken on behalf of the information presented here

Email Address to respond to newsletter replies, requests and tips. Please include date of newsletter, name of recipe and number of servings. Remember to include your name within the message as well.

Nancy Rogers
P.O. Box 98424
Lubbock, Texas 79499

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