New Optimist cookbook offers must-have recipes

Wednesday, September 28, 2005

I was surprised when a longtime friend visited the senior center. Joann Toler worked at the high school I graduated from, and I have known her all of my life. It was good to visit with her again.

What made the visit even better was she brought me a copy of the new Cape Evening Optimist Club cookbook. It is hot off the press and will be in big demand, I am sure.

The Optimist Club supports youth programs and services. In fact, it has purchased a dictionary for all third-graders here in Cape Girardeau. You can get more information about the three-ring binder cookbook, including the cost, at www.capeeveningoptimistclub. com. I am sure you will want to add this book to your collection.

Delicious Chicken Wings

Submitted by Jeanette Colyer

1 cup water

1 cup sugar

1 tablespoon garlic powder

1 cup soy sauce

1 tablespoon ginger

5 pounds chicken wings, legs or thighs

Mix water, sugar, garlic powder, soy sauce and ginger. Bring to a boil. Line wings in one layer of baking pan and brown before adding the liquid mixture over the wings. Bake at 350 degrees for 40 to 50 minutes uncovered. Remove and place in crockpot to keep warm. Serve over cooked long-grain rice.

Fruit Slush

Submitted by Linda Behim

1 and 1/2 cups water

1 and 1/2 cups sugar

1 cup concentrated 5-Alive Fruit Drink with 3 cups water

3 mashed bananas

1 (16-ounce) package strawberries

1 (20-ounce) can crushed pineapple

Bring water and sugar to a boil, then cool. Add to this mixture the mashed bananas, strawberries (cut up) and crushed pineapple. Then add to this mixture the 5-Alive Fruit Drink. Can freeze at this point.

Serbian Spinach

Submitted by Joann Toler

4 cups cottage cheese

1/2 stick butter, cubed

1/2 pound Cheddar cheese

3 beaten eggs

1/2 teaspoon salt

3 tablespoons flour

2 packages frozen chopped spinach

Mix all ingredients but spinach and flour. Thaw and drain spinach. Add spinach and flour to mixture. Turn into a greased 9-by-13-inch pan and bake at 350 degrees for 1 hour.

Chicken Tarragon in Sour Cream Sauce

Submitted by Barbara Schwepker

2 cups water

1 cup dry white wine

1 teaspoon dried tarragon

1 package Knorr Vegetable Soup mix

4 split boneless, skinless chicken breast

1 cup sour cream

In a large skillet bring water, wine and tarragon to a boil over medium heat and stir in soup mix; boil 5 minutes. Add chicken and reduce heat. Cover and simmer 10 to 12 minutes until chicken is tender. With slotted spoon remove chicken. Boil pan liquid over high heat 10 minutes or until reduced to about 1/2 cup. Reduce heat to low, stir in sour cream. Stir constantly until heated but do not boil. Serve chicken over noodles or rice. Spoon sauce over chicken. Shrimp is good with this also.

River-Boat Chocolate Brownie Muffins

Submitted by Joann Toler

4 squares semisweet chocolate

2 sticks butter or margarine

1 and 1/2 cups pecans, chopped

4 eggs, beaten

1 and 1/2 cups sugar

1 tablespoon vanilla

1 cup flour

Melt semisweet chocolate and butter over low heat. Then cool -- this is important. Add pecans, then eggs, sugar, vanilla and flour. Bake at 325 degrees for 34 minutes.

Graham Cracker Bars

Submitted by Joann Leadbetter

1 cup margarine

1 cup brown sugar

1 cup chopped pecans

1 box graham crackers

Bring to a boil the margarine and sugar. Boil 2 minutes. Add pecans, then let cool. Spray cookie sheet before placing graham crackers, all touching onto cookie sheet. Pour liquid over graham crackers then bake in 350 degree oven for 10 minutes. Remove from oven and allow to cool for 5 to 10 minutes and remove from pan. Break into pieces.

Onion Shortcake

Submitted by Joann Toler

4 large onions

1 stick margarine

1 (8 ounce) carton sour cream

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 (8 ounce) package grated Cheddar cheese

1/3 cup milk

1 (15 ounce) can cream style corn

1 (8 ounce) package corn muffin mix

1 egg, slightly beaten

4 drops hot pepper sauce or amount to taste

SautZ onions in butter. Stir in sour cream, salt and 1/2 of the cheese. In a separate bowl, combine milk, corn, dry muffin mix, and hot pepper sauce. Put corn mixture into a buttered 9-by-13-inch pan. Spoon onion mixture over the top. Sprinkle with remainder of cheese. Bake at 425 degrees for 30 minutes.

Chocolate Peanut Buddy Bars

Submitted by Mona Copeland

1 cup peanut butter

6 tablespoons butter, softened

1 and 1/2 cups sugar

3 large eggs

1 teaspoon vanilla

1 cup flour

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 (11 ounce) package milk chocolate pieces

In a large bowl, beat peanut butter and butter until smooth, about 1 minute. Add sugar, eggs, vanilla; beat until creamy. Blend in flour and salt. Stir in 1 cup milk chocolate pieces. Spread into ungreased 9-by-13-inch pan. Bake 25 to 30 minutes or until brown in a 350 degrees oven. Immediately spread with the rest of the chocolate chips. Wait 5 minutes and spread melted ships. Cool completely. Cut into 1 and 1/2 inch bars.

I am all out of room for this week. I hope you have a good week and until next time, happy cooking.

Susan McClanahan is administrator at the Cape Girardeau Senior Center. Send recipes to her at or by mail at P.O. Box 699, Cape Girardeau, Mo. 63701.

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