Recipe Swap: Country cuisine from a neighboring state

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

On Sunday our family celebrated the second birthday of my great-nephew, Gunnar. He quickly figured out the gift-giving thing. The cake was an amazing Uncle Wes creation, and he likes sticking his finger into the side to lick the icing. How fun it was to be together on such a beautiful day to celebrate such a happy occasion. While we were at my parents' house, Dad gave me a couple of Illinois Country Living magazines. He saves them for me so I can read the recipes. I tore out the recipe pages and chose to share a few recipes from those magazines with you today.

Taco Tartlets

Meat shells:

1 pound ground beef

2 tablespoons taco seasoning

1 tablespoon ice water


1 cup sour cream

2 tablespoons red taco sauce

2 ounces ripe olives, chopped

1 cup coarsely crushed tortilla chips, divided

1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Meat shells: combine all ingredients. Mix well. Press meat mixture into bottom and sides of tiny tart pans. Set aside. For the filling combine sour cream, taco sauce, olives and 3/4 cup tortilla chips. Spoon filling into each shell, mounding slightly. Combine remaining chips and cheese. Sprinkle over each tartlet. Bake for 10 minutes. Garnish with taco sauce. Serves 12.

Chicken Cashew Casserole

2 cups cooked chicken, chopped

1 cup onion, finely chopped

1 cup celery, finely chopped

1 can mushroom soup

2 heaping teaspoons mayonnaise

1 can mushrooms, undrained

1/2 can chow mein noodles

1 cup cashew nuts, chopped

Crushed potato chips

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Mix all ingredients together except potato chips. Place in a casserole dish and top with chips. Bake for 30 minutes or until heated through. Serves 4.

Slow Cooker Baked Apples

8 apples

1/3 cup raisins

1/3 cup chopped pecans

1/3 cup packed brown sugar

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon nutmeg

2 tablespoons margarine

1/2 cup apple cider

1 tablespoon lemon juice

Peel the top 1/3 of each apple. Remove and discard the cores. Mix together raisins, pecans and brown sugar. Fill apple cavities with raisin mixture. Place apples in a slow cooker. Sprinkle with cinnamon and nutmeg and dot each apple with margarine. Add cider and lemon juice and cook on low for 8 hours.

Baked Sub Sandwich

2 (8-ounce) tubes refrigerated crescent rolls

4 eggs, beaten

1 pound deli turkey

1/2 pound deli ham

1/2 pound deli hard salami

6 slices Swiss cheese

6 ounces roasted red peppers, drained and sliced thin

Olives, tomatoes, spinach, onions, etc.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Unroll one package of crescent rolls without separating perforations. Place first roll of dough in the bottom of a 9-by-13-inch rectangle baking dish. Using your fingers, spread dough to fit into the bottom of the dish. Layer with half of the meat, cheese, peppers and other optional ingredients you choose on top of the dough. Pour half of the beaten eggs on top and then repeat meat, cheese and pepper layer. Top with remaining can of crescent dough. Pour the rest of the beaten eggs over the top dough layer and cover lightly with foil. Bake for 20 minutes. Remove foil and bake an additional 20 to 22 minutes until golden brown and heated through. Let cool for 15 minutes, then cut and serve.

Baked Chicken with Peaches

2 pounds chicken pieces

1/4 cup butter, melted

1 teaspoon salt

1 pound can peach halves, drained, reserve juice

1 cup barbecue sauce

1 tablespoon lemon juice

1 can onions, drained

Place chicken in a shallow roasting pan. Brush with butter and sprinkle with salt. Bake at 375 degrees for 30 minutes. Combine peach syrup, barbecue sauce and lemon juice. Pour over chicken and bake an additional 30 minutes at 350 degrees. Arrange onions and peaches around chicken and baste with sauce. Bake 10 more minutes.

Sugarless Cookies

1 cup raisins

1/2 cup dates, chopped

1/2 cup apples, chopped

1/2 cup water

1/2 cup shortening

2 eggs, beaten

1 tablespoon honey

1 teaspoon vanilla

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 cup flour

1/2 to 3/4 cup nuts, chopped

Boil raisins, dates and apples in 1/2 cup water for 3 minutes. Mix in shortening. Cool. Add beaten eggs, honey, vanilla and baking soda to mixture, then stir in flour and nuts. Refrigerate until chilled. Drop by teaspoons on a well-greased cookie sheet. Bake at 350 degrees for 10 to 12 minutes. Refrigerate in an airtight container.

Cranberry Chicken

4 chicken breasts, boneless

1 envelope dry onion soup mix

1 (16-ounce) can whole berry cranberry sauce

1 cup spicy-sweet French dressing

Place chicken breasts in a single layer in a lightly greased 13-by-9-inch baking dish. Sprinkle soup mix evenly over chicken. Stir cranberry sauce and spoon over chicken. Top evenly with dressing. Cover with foil and bake at 400 degrees for 40 minutes. Remove foil and reduce temperature to 350 degrees. Bake 20 minutes more.

Have a wonderful 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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