FFA cookbook compiles unusual recipes

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Recently I purchased a copy of "The FFA Cookbook: Favorite Recipes from FFA Members & Alumni Across America." It really is a good book. Many of the recipes are unusual and different, but not so much so that you have to go out and buy a lot of ingredients. I have really enjoyed reading this book from cover to cover and am glad I added it to my collection. I hope you enjoy these recipes and have a chance to add this book to your own collection.

Maple Praline Party Mix

5 1/2 cups crispy corn and rice cereal

1/2 cup pecans, broken into pieces

1/3 cup maple syrup

3 tablespoons butter, melted

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

1/4 cup flaked coconut

1 tablespoon sesame seeds

In a 15-by-10-by-1-inch baking pan coated with nonstick cooking spray, combine cereal and pecans. Set aside. In a small bowl, stir together syrup, butter, vanilla extract, coconut and sesame seeds. Pour syrup mixture over cereal, tossing until well coated. Bake at 300 degrees for about 30 minutes, stirring twice. Cool completely. Store in an airtight container.

Cottage Blue Chip Dip

1 1/2 cups small curd cottage cheese

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon pepper

1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce

6 drops hot pepper sauce

3 scallions, sliced

1/4 cup finely diced red peppers

3 tablespoons heavy cream

1/3 cup (2 ounces) blue cheese, crumbled

In a food processor, puree cottage cheese until smooth. Transfer to a medium bowl. Stir in remaining ingredients and mix well. More cream can be added for a thinner dip. Chill 2 hours or more to allow the flavors to blend. Serve chilled with vegetables, chips or crackers. Note: Flavors will intensify over time. For stronger blue cheese flavor, prepare the dip 1 to 2 days before serving.

Late-Summer Berry Salad

3 tablespoons dried blueberries

4 tablespoons dried cranberries

2 tablespoons candied walnuts (recipe below)

3 cups mixed greens

1/2 cup lemon poppy seed dressing (recipe below)

To create the salad, combine the dried fruit and mixed greens. Top with dressing and candied walnuts.

Candied Walnuts

4 teaspoons butter

1/4 cup dark brown sugar, packed

1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon

Pinch cayenne pepper

1 cup walnuts

Place butter and brown sugar in skillet over medium heat. Dissolve the brown sugar. Add cinnamon and cayenne pepper and stir together. Remove from heat and stir in walnuts with a fork to prevent clumping. Lay out on parchment paper on a cookie sheet to harden.

Lemon Poppy Seed Dressing

1/4 cup granulated sugar

1/4 cup fresh lemon juice

1 teaspoon dried minced onion

1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard

1/4 teaspoon salt

6 tablespoons vegetable oil

1 1/2 teaspoons poppy seeds

Combine first 5 ingredients in a blender or food processor and process for 20 seconds. With blender on high, gradually add oil in a slow, steady stream. Stir in poppy seeds.

FFA Beans

1 (16-ounce) can red kidney beans

1 (16-ounce) can lima beans

1 (16-ounce) can black-eyed peas

1 (16-ounce) can October beans, or another type of your choice

1 (16-ounce) can brown kidney beans

1 (16-ounce) can black beans

1 (16-ounce) can navy beans

1 (16-ounce) can giant butter beans

1 (16-ounce) can stewed tomatoes

1 jar roasted red bell peppers, chopped

2 hot red peppers, chopped

2 green bell peppers, chopped

2 yellow bell peppers, chopped

2 medium onions, chopped

1 jar sweet pickle relish

1 (46-ounce) can tomato juice

Combine all of the ingredients in a large pot or kettle; simmer for 1 hour.

You can reduce the hot red peppers to your liking and have hot pepper sauce available at the table when serving. This recipe can meatless or you can add beef, lamb or pork stew meat. Serve piping hot with cornbread.

Fiesta Pork Soup

1 pound lean ground pork

1 medium onion, chopped

1 (14 1/2-ounce) can chicken broth

1 (8-ounce) jar picante sauce

1/8 teaspoon ground cumin

1/8 teaspoon pepper

1 (11-ounce) can fiesta nacho cheese soup

1 cup small round tortilla chips

1/4 cup sour cream

Cook and stir pork until browned, adding onion when meat is half-cooked. Drain. Add chicken broth, picante sauce, cumin and pepper; bring to a boil. Reduce heat, cover, and simmer for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. Stir in cheese soup; simmer until heated through. Do not boil. Pour into serving bowls. Garnish with tortilla chips and sour cream.

Cheese Pancake with Bacon

12 slices bacon

1 1/2 cups pancake mix

3/4 cup milk

1 1/2 cups cheddar cheese

2 eggs

1 tablespoon granulated sugar

1/4 cup maple syrup

Cook bacon and drain grease. Mix together pancake mix, milk, 1 cup cheese, eggs, granulated sugar and syrup. Pour mixture into a 9-by-13-inch baking pan and bake at 425 degrees for 10 to 15 minutes. Remove from oven. Crumble bacon on top of the pancake and top with remaining cheese. Return the pan to the oven until the cheese is melted.

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 news@semissourian.com 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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