Hodge-podge of recipes makes for good eating

Wednesday, July 28, 2004

Have you ever paid attention to your children when they do something for the first time? Last weekend I took our children to an auction. We knew the auctioneer, so they really enjoyed watching him in action. Lexie was really taken by the speed in which he talked and sold items. On two occasions I tried to teach her to bid and to keep up, and both times she lost out for thinking too long or being mistaken that we were the ones bidding and not the man next to us. We did come home with two great boxes of children's books and a lot of wonderful memories of her first auction.

Over the past several months I have put recipes here and there as people have given them to me. Now, I need to clean out my stash and share those recipes with you. I have had people give me recipes in the grocery store, at work and at church. Just about anywhere I go someone has a recipe to share. So sit back and enjoy this hodge-podge of recipes.

Candy Pizza

1 (8-ounce) package refrigerated chocolate chip cookie dough

1 cup semisweet chocolate chips

1/2 cup creamy or crunchy peanut butter

1 cup coarsely chopped assorted candy bars (Butterfinger, Snickers, Baby Ruth, Crunch, etc.)

Press or spread cookie dough evenly onto the bottom of a greased 12-inch pizza pan or a 9-by-13-inch baking pan. Bake in a 375-degree oven for 11 to 15 minutes or until edge is set and center is still slightly soft. Immediately sprinkle chocolate chips over the hot cookie dough. Drop peanut butter by spoonfuls onto the chips. Let stand for 5 minutes or until chips become shiny and soft. Gently spread chocolate and peanut butter evenly over the cookie crust. Sprinkle candy in a single layer over pizza. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Impossible Taco Pie

1 pound lean ground beef

1/2 cup onion, chopped

1 (1 1/4 ounce) envelope taco seasoning mix

1 (4 ounce) can green chilies, chopped and drained

1 1/4 cups milk

3/4 cup buttermilk baking mix

3 eggs

2 tomatoes, sliced thin

1 cup Monterey Jack cheese, shredded

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Grease a 10-by-1-by-1/2-inch pie plate. Cook and stir beef and onions until brown. Drain and stir in taco seasoning mix. Spread in pie plate; top with chilies. Beat milk, baking mix and eggs until smooth in a mixer. Pour into pie plate and bake for 25 minutes. Remove from oven and add tomatoes and cheese. Bake 8 to 10 minutes more. Cool 5 minutes. Can be served with sour cream, chopped tomatoes, shredded lettuce and cheese if desired.

Italian Tomato Salad

1 medium onion, cubed

4 medium tomatoes, cut into chunks

2 cloves garlic, chopped fine

1/2 teaspoon oregano

1/4 cup salad oil

1 small hot pepper, chopped

Salt and pepper, to taste

Mix together ingredients and drizzle with oil. Chill 1 hour. Serve with chunks of Italian bread.

Oreo Ice Cream Dessert

45 Oreo cookies, crushed

4 tablespoons margarine, melted

1/2 gallon vanilla ice cream, or flavor of your choice

1 can fudge topping, softened

4 to 6 Heath candy bars

1 large frozen whipped topping, thawed

Crush cookies, 15 at a time, between sheets of waxed paper or in a plastic zip top bag. Mix 1/2 cup crumbs and margarine. Press into the bottom of a 9-by-13-inch pan. Freeze. Soften ice cream slightly and slice or spoon onto crust and freeze again. Spread fudge topping over ice cream and sprinkle with bits of Heath bar and freeze again. Cover with whipped topping and sprinkle with remaining cookie crumbs.

Baked Chicken Salad

4 cups cooked chicken, cubed

2 cups celery, diced

2/3 cup slivered almonds

4 hard-boiled eggs, chopped

3/4 cup real mayonnaise

2 tablespoons lemon juice

1 teaspoon salt

1 tablespoon onion

1 can cream of chicken soup

1/2 cup shredded Cheddar cheese

1 1/2 cups crushed potato chips

Mix together mayonnaise, lemon juice, salt, onion and cream soup. Stir in chicken, celery, almonds and eggs. Pour into a casserole dish. Sprinkle with cheese, then crushed potato chips. Bake uncovered at 400 degrees for 25 minutes or until hot. This can be prepared a day ahead, adding the cheese and potato chips just before baking.

Black Tea Bars

3/4 cup reduced calorie margarine

1 1/2 cups powdered sugar

2 egg whites

3/4 teaspoon almond extract

2 1/4 cups flour, sifted

1/8 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 cup blackberry jam

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 9-by-13-inch baking sheet with cooking spray. In a large bowl, use electric mixer at medium speed to beat margarine, sugar and egg whites. Using mixer on low speed, blend in almond extract, flour, salt and baking soda. Do not over beat. Spread dough into the prepared pan. Smooth top of dough with a rubber spatula. Lightly run spatula over the top of the dough to make 7 or 8 crisscross diagonal grooves. Fill grooves with jam. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, until top is firm and edges begin to brown. Cool, and refill grooves with jam. Cut into bars to serve.

Summer Squash Casserole

2 pounds Summer squash

1 carrot, grated

1 onion, chopped

1 cup sour cream

1 can cream of chicken soup

1 stick butter

1 package cornbread stuffing mix

Cook, drain and mash squash. Mix butter with cornbread stuffing mix. Mix squash, carrot, onion, sour cream, soup and half the stuffing. Place into a baking dish and cover with remaining stuffing. Bake at 375 degrees for 25 to 30 minutes.

Child's Play Mini Cinnamon Rolls

2 (8 ounce) cans refrigerated crescent rolls

1/2 cup margarine, softened

1/4 cup sugar

1 teaspoon cinnamon

For the glaze:

1 cup powdered sugar

2 tablespoons milk

Separate rolls into large rectangles, press perforations. Spread with margarine. Combine sugar and cinnamon. Sprinkle mixture over rectangles of dough. Roll up each rectangle from the short end. Cut each roll into 5 slices. Place sliced side down in an ungreased deep dish cookie sheet. Bake at 350 degrees for 20 to 23 minutes or until lightly browned. Mix powdered sugar and milk together and drizzle on top of warm rolls. Yields about 40 mini rolls.

There is a wide variety of recipes for you to try this week, and believe it or not, I barely made a dent in the stack of submissions. So, don't be surprised if there is a recipe assortment over the next couple of weeks. Have a great week and as always, happy cooking.

Susan McClanahan is administrator at the Cape Girardeau Senior Center. Send recipes to her at smcclanahan@semissourian.com or by mail at P.O. Box 699; Cape Girardeau, Mo. 63701. Recipes published have not been kitchen-tested by the Southeast Missourian staff.

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