Cookbook on sale to support VNA Hospice

Sunday, March 18, 2012

VNA Hospice, a service of Visiting Nurse Association of Southeast Missouri, has a new cookbook for sale to help support the services offered through the hospice program. VNA has a long tradition of providing comfort to the sick and ministering to the dying, largely through the use of volunteers. VNA Hospice offers free grief support in many communities where they have offices.

This upscale cookbook offers many features including a bookstand and a beautiful hard printed cover. The book is a large 331-page book with tabbed dividers featuring pictures of family members of staff and volunteers. Debbie Cato of Cape Girardeau, who got the book into my hands, has her grandparents' photograph on the cover. They came to this country from Greece. The recipes shared are from VNA employees and volunteers and many are recipes shared in memory of relatives who have passed away or from families who have been helped through VNA. The books are available at any VNA office and make a great gift for a new bride.

Cherry Coke Salad

Submitted by John B. Marshall, in memory of their 3 1/2-year-old son, Samuel Austin Marshall

2 (3-ounce) packages cherry Jell-O

1 cup boiling water

8 ounces crushed pineapple, with juice

10 ounces Coke

1 can cherry pie filling

3 ounces cream cheese, softened

1 (8-ounce) Cool Whip

1/4 cup chopped pecans

Dissolve Jell-O in boiling water. Add Coke and chill for 10 to 20 minutes. Add pineapple with juice and cherry pie mix. Let set until firm. Mix about 3/4 of container of Cool Whip with softened cream cheese and spread over Jell-O. Sprinkle with chopped pecans. Return to refrigerator for at least 1 hour.

Breakfast Casserole

Submitted by Linda Biggs, in memory of her mother Nell Grogan

2 cans refrigerated crescent rolls

1 pound sausage

1 onion, chopped, optional

1 bell pepper, chopped, optional

Mushrooms, sliced, optional

1 (8-ounce) package cream cheese

Open 1 can of rolls. Pat them into bottom of a 9-by-13-inch casserole dish. Saute sausage (if feeling "gourmet," add onion, bell pepper, mushrooms, etc.) Spread cooked sausage over crescent rolls; cut cream cheese into little chunks and distribute evenly over sausage. Top with other can of crescent rolls. Bake at 350 degrees for 15 to 20 minutes.

Baked Fish with Herbs

Submitted by Terri Johnson Eftink, in memory of her dad Don Johnson

2/3 cup Ritz crackers, crushed

1/4 cup Parmesan cheese

1/2 teaspoon basil

1/2 teaspoon oregano

1/4 teaspoon garlic powder

1 pound cod fish fillets

1/2 cup butter, melted

Combine crackers, cheese and herbs. Dip fish into the melted butter and then into the crumb mixture. Place in a greased baking dish and bake at 350 degrees for 25 to 30 minutes.

Tuscan Pork Roast

Submitted by Debbie Cato, VNA Hospice Volunteer

1/4 cup fresh parsley sprigs

1/4 cup olive oil

4 garlic cloves

2 tablespoons fresh rosemary leaves

1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves

1 tablespoon chopped fresh sage

1 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1 (4 1/2-pound) boneless pork loin roast, trimmed

3 tablespoons all-purpose flour

2 1/2 cups chicken broth

1/2 cup dry white wine or chicken broth

1 teaspoon sugar

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon chopped fresh parsley

1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme

Process parsley, olive oil, garlic, rosemary, thyme, sage, salt and pepper in a food processor or blender for 2 minutes or until smooth, stopping once to scrape down sides. Set pesto mixture aside.

Butterfly roast by making a lengthwise cut down center of 1 flat side, cutting to within 1/2-inch of other side. From bottom of cut, slice horizontally to 1/2 inch from left side; repeat procedure to right side. Open roast, and place between 2 sheets of heavy-duty plastic wrap; flatten to 1/2-inch thickness, using a mallet or rolling pin. Spread about 2/3 pesto mixture over roast. Roll up roast, jellyroll fashion, starting with long side, and secure at 2-inch intervals, using heavy string. Place roast in a shallow roasting pan; cover with remaining pesto mixture. Bake, uncovered, at 450 degrees for 15 minutes. Reduce heat to 350 degrees and bake 1 hour or until a meat thermometer inserted into thickest portion registers 160 degrees. Remove from pan, reserving drippings in the pan. Keep roast warm. Whisk flour into drippings in pan, and cook over medium-high heat for 2 minutes, stirring constantly. Add broth, wine, sugar and salt. Simmer for 3 minutes or until thickened. Pour gravy through a wire mesh strainer into a bowl and discard solids. Stir in remaining parsley and thyme. Serve gravy with roast. Garnish platter, if desired. Yields 8 servings.

Trinity Rolls

Submitted by Cinda Bryant, dedicated to Judith Williams

1 cup self-rising flour

1/2 cup butter, softened

1 small carton sour cream

Combine flour, butter and sour cream. Bake in muffin tins at 375 degrees for 20 minutes.


Submitted by Debbie Cato, which David says she has perfected this recipe, in memory of her Aunt Xantha and her Yia Yia Angeline Douvitsas


2 cups water

4 cups granulated sugar

1 tablespoon lemon juice

1 cup honey

Bring water, sugar and lemon juice to a boil and then simmer for 10 minutes until sugar is dissolved. Remove from heat and stir in honey. Set aside to cool.


1 pound unsalted sweet butter, melted and clarified

2 pounds walnuts, ground

2 teaspoons cinnamon

1 teaspoon ground cloves

2 tablespoons granulated sugar

2 pounds filo dough

Clarify butter by melting in a pan and skimming off the white solids as they rise to the top. Stir together the walnuts, cinnamon, cloves and sugar. Brush a baking tray with melted butter. Place 7 to 8 filo leaves on bottom of a jellyroll pan, brushing each with melted butter. Spread half of the walnut mixture on top of the filo sheets and repeat the process. Place the last filo sheets on top, brushing each layer with remaining melted butter. With a sharp, pointed knife, score top sheets in diamond or square shape. Bake at 350 degrees for one hour or until golden brown. Immediately pour warm syrup (1 to 1 1/2 cups) evenly over baklava. Serve when cool.

Note: This makes approximately 6 dozen when using jellyroll pans (2 pans). If using a 9-by-13-inch glass baking dish, bake at 325 degrees for 30 minutes or until browned. Use 1 1/2 to 2 cups syrup per pan.

Pancake Syrup

Submitted by Jeanie Selby, in memory of Granny Nora Headley

4 cups granulated sugar

1/2 cup brown sugar

2 cups water

1 teaspoon maple flavor

1 teaspoon vanilla flavor

Bring sugars and water to a boil for 1 minute, no more. Add the flavorings. Pour into bottle of choice.

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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