Crisp air signals time for autumn baking

Wednesday, October 15, 2003

A couple of weeks ago, churches all over the world celebrated World Communion Sunday together on the same day. In lieu of a traditional Communion service, our pastor had the idea of having a meal together, then celebrating with Communion afterward. It was a wonderful idea and it was so much fun to gather together around tables eating soup, chowder and chili.

Our pastor and his wife, Scott and Michele Moon, made two types of soup and I thought it would be fun to share those recipes with you.

German Potato Soup

4 medium potatoes, peeled and diced

1 onion, sliced

1 teaspoon salt

Dash pepper

3 1/2 cups water

Combine these ingredients in a saucepan. Cook until potatoes are tender.

Heat in a second saucepan: 1 tablespoon butter, 1 tablespoon flour. Allow butter and flour to brown; stirring constantly. Add: 3 cups liquid drained from potatoes. Cook and stir until smooth. Add potatoes and onion and heat through. Sprinkle with parsley.

Lentils, Monastery Style

Recipe yields 4 to 6 servings

In a large pot, sauté 3 to 5 minutes:

1/4 cup olive oil

2 large onions, chopped

1 carrot, chopped

Add the next ingredients and sauté 1 minute more:

1/2 teaspoon dried thyme

1/2 teaspoon dried marjoram leaves


3 cups stock or seasoned water

1 cup dry lentils

Salt, to taste

1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley

1 pound canned tomatoes

Cook in covered pot until lentils are tender, about 45 minutes, then add 1/4 cup sherry or apple juice. Have ready 2/3 cup grated Swiss cheese.

To serve, place 2 tablespoons grated cheese in each serving bowl and top with soup. This soup is especially delicious served with corn muffins. Fresh or stewed fruit is a just-right finish for the meal if the sweet tooth needs pleasing.

Velma Ford of Cape Girardeau shared a recipe with us that she enjoys making and sharing with friends.

Chocolate Caramel Graham Cookies

12 graham crackers

1 1/2 sticks (3/4 cup) butter or margarine

1/2 cup packed light brown sugar

1/8 teaspoon salt

1 1/2 cups semisweet or milk chocolate chips

1 cup walnuts, pecans or almonds, chopped

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Line a 10-by-15-inch sheet pan with foil, leaving a 2-inch overhang at each end. Line pan with graham crackers set close together. Melt butter in a saucepan, add brown sugar and salt. Cook until smooth and well combined, boil 1 minute. Pour over crackers, spreading evenly and bake until golden brown and bubbling, approximately 10 minutes. Remove from oven, spread evenly over top chocolate chips. Return to oven until chips are soft, about 1 minute. Remove again. Gently spread chocolate over crackers. Sprinkle with nuts. Cool in pan 30 minutes. Put in refrigerator until chocolate is firm. Grasp foil on each end and remove from pan. Peel foil off bottom. Break into pieces or cut into squares with knife.

Rob Weeks of McClure, Ill., sent a recipe to me via his mother to share with you. I have not made this recipe yet, but plan to very soon as it sounds delicious.

Yellowfin Tuna Burgers with Ginger-Mustard Sauce

Recipe yields 4 servings For the Ginger-Mustard Glaze:

1/3 cup teriyaki sauce

2 teaspoons minced ginger

1/2 teaspoon minced garlic

1 tablespoon honey

1 tablespoon Dijon mustard

1/2 teaspoon white wine vinegar For the Tuna Burgers:

1 1/2 pounds yellowfin tuna

2 teaspoons minced garlic

3 tablespoons Dijon mustard

1/2 teaspoon cayenne

1 teaspoon kosher salt

1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1/4 cup olive oil

4 hamburger buns with seeds

1/4 cup Japanese pickled ginger, optional

Make the glaze:

Combine all glaze ingredients in a 1-quart saucepan and bring to boil. Lower heat and simmer until glaze coats the back of a spoon, about 5 minutes. Strain through sieve; reserve the liquid.

Make the burgers:

Grind or chop tuna to texture of ground beef for hamburgers. Transfer to a bowl and combine with garlic, mustard, cayenne, salt and pepper. Mix thoroughly. Divide into four equal portions, flatten into patties. Heat olive oil in large skillet over medium-high heat and sear burgers until browned and medium rare, about 3 to 4 minutes per side. Serve on a buttered, toasted bun with a tablespoon of warm glaze and pickled ginger slices.

One of my friends from the Senior Center answered a recent request for quail recipes. This recipes comes from a 1962 published edition of her Home Economics Teachers Cookbook for Meats.

Oriental Quail

1/2 cup butter

1/2 cup flour

1 teaspoon salt

1 cup cream

3 cups milk

2 cups pheasant or quail stock

Melt butter in top of double boiler, add flour and salt and cook until bubbly. Add cream, milk and stock, stirring until smooth. Cook over hot water for 30 minutes. Just before serving, add and heat thoroughly: 2 cups diced quail, 1/2 cup sautéed mushrooms, 1/2 cup blanched almonds, 1 cup sliced water chestnuts, 1/4 cup pimiento, cut into strips. Serve over cheese soufflé, in a pastry shell or over rice, as you desire.

Recently I made two apple cakes and they were a big hit. The cool nip in the air makes me want to bake, especially with apples.

An Altenburg reader is sharing these two apple cake recipes. I especially like the idea of the coffee in this recipe.

Golden Delicious Apple Cake

1 1/2 cups sugar

3/4 cup shortening

2 eggs

1 teaspoon baking soda

3/4 teaspoon cinnamon

2 1/2 cups flour

3/4 teaspoon salt

3/4 cup warm coffee

3 cups grated apples

1/2 cup chopped pecans

1 teaspoon vanilla

Cream sugar, shortening and flour together, add eggs. Stir in dry ingredients, adding to creamed mixture alternately with coffee. Fold in apples and nuts. Put in a 9-by-13-inch baking pan. If desired, sprinkle with a topping of 1/2 cup brown sugar and 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon. Bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes.

Fresh Apple Cake

2 cups sugar

1 1/2 cups oil

2 eggs

2 teaspoons vanilla

3 cups diced, unpeeled apples

3 cups flour

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon cinnamon

In a large bowl combine sugar, oil, eggs and vanilla. Add apples, flour, soda, salt and cinnamon. The batter will be very stiff. When mixed add 1 cup nuts if desired. Pour into a greased and floured 9-by-13-inch pan and bake at 350 degrees for 55 minutes.

Caramel Icing for Fresh Apple Cake

1/2 cup margarine

1 cup packed brown sugar

1/4 cup milk

1 box powdered sugar

Melt butter, stir in brown sugar and milk. Bring to boil. Remove from heat and stir in 1 box powdered sugar. Stir well and spread over cake. If icing is stiff add a few drops of milk. Spread over cake.

Have a fabulous week of cooking and recipe swapping. 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. 63702-0699. Recipes published have not been kitchen-tested by the Southeast Missourian staff.

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