Recipe Swap: Highlighting recipes submitted by readers

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Every week we make an appeal for readers to send in recipes and share those with other readers of this column. It is fun to see what people send in and some of the things people like to cook. Over the years we have gotten some good recipes, and some unique ones as well. But all are interesting to read, and you can always learn something from reading recipes.

This week we have recipes from three area cooks who found recipes they were excited about sharing. I love getting mail, so I encourage all of you to send in your favorite recipes and you never know, you just might find them right here in this column.

Sweet Squash Buns

Loretta Whitlock e-mailed this recipe to me after a call inquiring if she could substitute zucchini for the yellow squash. She later informed me that it was a successful substitute, and she really enjoyed the recipe.

1 cup milk, scalded

1 (12-ounce) package frozen mashed yellow squash, thawed, approximately 1 1/4 cups, (you can use your own from the garden)

1 cup sugar (Loretta has found they like 3/4 cup as well -- or can use 1/2 cup Splenda for baking)

1/4 cup butter or margarine

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 package active dry yeast

1/4 cup lukewarm water

6 cups sifted flour, divided

Pour hot scalded milk over squash, sugar, 1/4 cup butter and salt in mixing bowl. Let cool to lukewarm. Sprinkle yeast over lukewarm water, stir to dissolve. Add 2 cups of the flour and yeast mixture to milk mixture. Beat with electric mixer at medium speed till smooth, about 2 minutes. Gradually stir in by hand enough remaining flour to make a stiff dough. No kneading is necessary. Place in greased bowl, turning once to grease top. Cover and let rise in a warm place till doubled, about 1 hour. Punch down dough. Turn out onto floured work surface, toss lightly until dough is no longer sticky. Divide dough in half. Let rest 10 minutes. Shape each half into 12 balls. Place in 2 greased round cake pans, 12 equally spaced in each pan. Brush tops with melted butter. Cover and let rise in warm place until doubled, about 45 minutes to 1 hour. Bake at 375 degrees 20 minutes or until golden brown.

For easy of recipe preparation, freeze the amount of squash needed for one recipe for use at a later time.

Loretta thinks 12 rolls in a cake pan is too many because the center ones don't bake on the bottoms properly because they are too crowded. She uses 9 to 10 rolls to a pan, or you can use a larger pan.

Breakfast Bars

Mary Pelts of Cape Girardeau makes these bars, and she loves them. She says about 1/2 of a bar is quite filling for her, and they keep well.

1 (14-ounce) can sweetened condensed milk

2 1/2 cups rolled oats, not instant

1 cup shredded coconut, or use some other nuts instead of coconut

1 cup dried cranberries

1 cup mixed seeds (pumpkin, sunflower kernels, sesame)

1 cup natural unsalted peanuts or use 1/2 peanuts and 1/2 pine nuts

Preheat oven to 250 degrees. Oil a 9-by-13-inch baking pan or just use a disposable aluminum foil pan. Warm the condensed milk in a large pan. Meanwhile, mix all the other ingredients together and add the warmed condensed milk, using a rubber spatula to fold and distribute. Spread the mixture into the oiled or foil pan and press down with a spatula or your hands, wearing gloves to keep food from sticking to your hands. Make a smooth even surface. Bake for 1 hour, remove from oven, and after 15 minutes cut into four across and four down, to make 16 bars. Allow to cool completely.

You can change ingredients to your personal preference using half coconut and half pine nuts or, in place of peanuts, use fancy mixed nuts and use a variety of dried fruits.

Cajun Shrimp Casserole

Jodi Thompson of Jackson, sent me this recipe, and she said the long list of ingredients is worth the effort because it is quite good. If you are not an okra fan, you can leave it out of the recipe without any negative results toward the recipe's success.

2 pounds unpeeled, large fresh shrimp

1/4 cup butter

1 small red onion, chopped

1/2 cup chopped red bell pepper

1/2 cup chopped yellow bell pepper

1/2 cup chopped green bell pepper

4 garlic cloves, minced

2 cups fresh or frozen sliced okra

1 tablespoon lemon juice

1 1/2 teaspoons salt

1 (10 3/4-ounce) can cream of shrimp soup

1/2 cup dry white wine

1 tablespoon soy sauce

1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper

3 cups cooked long-grain rice

1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese Garnishes: quartered lemon slices, fresh flat-leaf parsley sprigs

Peel shrimp and devein. Melt 1/4 cup butter in large skillet over medium-high heat. Add onion and next 3 ingredients. Saute 7 minutes or until tender. Add garlic, and saute 1 minute. Stir in okra, lemon juice, and salt. Saute 5 minutes. Add shrimp, and cook 3 minutes or until shrimp turn pink. Stir in soup and next 4 ingredients until blended. Pour into a lightly greased 11-by-7-inch baking dish. Sprinkle evenly with Parmesan cheese. Bake at 350 degrees for 15 to 20 minutes or until casserole is bubbly and cheese is lightly browned. Garnish, if desired.

As a side note, 1 (10-ounce) package frozen onions and peppers may be substituted for fresh onion and bell peppers and 1 (10 3/4-ounce) can cream of mushroom soup may be substituted for cream of shrimp soup. The unbaked casserole may be made one day in advance. Cover and refrigerate, and let stand at room temperature 30 minutes before baking as directed. To freeze unbaked casserole, prepare as directed, omitting Parmesan cheese. Cover tightly and freeze. Let stand at room temperature 30 minutes before baking. Bake, covered, at 350 degrees for 50 minutes. Uncover. Sprinkle evenly with Parmesan cheese, and bake 10 more minutes or until cheese is lightly browned.

Squash-Rice Casserole

This is an easy to prepare casserole with rich flavors and it pairs perfectly with roasted chicken, ham or pork chops.

8 cups sliced zucchini (about 2 1/2 pounds)

1 cup chopped onion

1/2 cup fat-free, less-sodium chicken broth

2 cups cooked rice

1 cup (4 ounces) shredded reduced-fat sharp cheddar cheese

1 cup fat-free sour cream

1/4 cup (1 ounce) grated fresh Parmesan cheese, divided

1/4 cup Italian-seasoned breadcrumbs

1 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon black pepper

2 large eggs, lightly beaten

Cooking spray

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Combine first 3 ingredients in a Dutch oven. Bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat and simmer 20 minutes or until tender. Drain. Partially mash with a potato masher. Combine zucchini mixture, rice, cheddar cheese, sour cream, 2 tablespoons Parmesan cheese, breadcrumbs, salt, pepper, and eggs in a bowl. Stir gently. Spoon mixture into a 13-by-9-inch baking dish coated with cooking spray. Sprinkle with 2 tablespoons Parmesan cheese. Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes or until bubbly. Preheat broiler. Broil 1 minute or until lightly browned.

I think these recipes are keepers. Thanks to those who sent recipes in to be considered for this column.

Have a great 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. Recipes published have not been kitchen-tested by Southeast Missourian staff.

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