Halloween treats score a big hit with goblins

Wednesday, October 24, 2001



Halloween is only one week away, and I know many moms who are planning what to take to school for classroom parties. In addition to the regular giveaways at our house I usually try to have a little something extra for our neighbor children. A few years ago I made this snack mix, and it was a big hit.

Halloween Party Mix

1 (11 ounce) package small pretzels

1 (10 1/2 ounce) package mini peanut butter Ritz Bitz crackers

1 cup dry roasted peanuts

1 cup sugar

1/2 cup butter or margarine

1/2 cup light corn syrup

2 tablespoons vanilla extract

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 (10 ounce) package M&M's

1 (18 1/2 ounce) package candy corn

In a large bowl, combine the pretzels, crackers and peanuts. In a large saucepan, combine sugar, butter and corn syrup. Bring to a boil over medium heat; boil for 5 minutes. Remove from the heat; stir in vanilla and baking soda. The mixture will foam up, so allow extra room in the pan. Pour over pretzel mixture and stir until coated. Pour into a greased 15-by-10-by-1-inch baking sheet pan. Bake at 250 degrees for 45 minutes, stirring every 10 to 15 minutes. Break apart while warm. Toss with M&M's and candy corn. Cool completely. Store in airtight container. Yields about 16 cups.

  • One of our frequent visitors at the Senior Center shared a couple of recipes with me, and as is the usual custom I will pass them on to you. On a beautiful fall day, soup sounds great.

    Withers Chili

    2 pounds ground beef

    1 medium onion, chopped

    1 can whole tomatoes

    1 (15 ounce) can V-8 juice

    1 teaspoon garlic powder

    Hot peppers, optional

    1 teaspoon red pepper

    1 teaspoon chili powder

    2 to 3 cans chili beans

    1 can red kidney beans

    Brown the ground beef with the onion, adding salt and pepper to taste.

    Drain. In a large pot combine the rest of the ingredients and the beef.

    Bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat and let simmer for at least 30 minutes.

    Withers Potato Soup

    3 to 4 cups cubed potatoes

    1 cup water

    1/2 cup celery, sliced

    1/2 cup carrots, sliced

    1/4 to 1/3 cup chopped onion

    1 teaspoon parsley flakes

    1/2 teaspoon salt

    Dash of pepper

    1 chicken bouillon cube or equivalent in chicken base

    2 tablespoons flour

    1/2 pound Velveeta cheese, cubed

    1 1/2 cups milk or half and half

    Combine potatoes, water, celery, carrots, onion, parsley flakes, seasonings and chicken bouillon in a large pot. Cover with lid and simmer 15 to 20 minutes, or until vegetables are tender. In a separate bowl, mix the milk and flour together until smooth. Gradually add the flour mixture to the hot vegetables, stirring until the soup boils and thickens. Add the cheese to the soup and stir until melted.

  • Marie James of Cape Girardeau is our final recipe entry from the Midwest Food and Poultry recipe contest that was held at the SEMO District Fair.

    Chicken and Dumplings

    To prepare chicken, place hen in pressure cooker. Cover hen with water, adding 1 teaspoon salt. Pressure the hen for 45 minutes at 15 pounds pressure. When finished cooking set aside to cool. Debone the hen and cut meat into bite-sized pieces. Save the broth for cooking the dumplings.

    For the dumplings:

    2 cups flour

    2 eggs

    1/2 teaspoon salt

    1/2 cup chicken broth

    Mix flour, eggs and salt together. Then add broth to make soft dough. Knead gently on floured board until dough is pliable. This will make 2 dough balls. Roll each ball thin, until it is about an 18-inch circle. To dry dumplings, put three layers newspaper on a table and cover with a white cloth. Lay rolled out dough on the cloth to dry. Turn about three times until dry. Cut into 1-inch squares just before the dumplings are completely dry using a very sharp knife or pizza cutter. Store dried dumplings in airtight container and freeze.

    To cook dumplings, bring 5 cups of broth to a full boil. Drop dumplings slowly into broth. Lower heat and cover with lid. Stir only to keep dumplings from sticking. Cook about 30 minutes or until tender. Add chicken and serve hot. If dumplings absorb too much liquid, add more chicken broth or potato water.

  • I was telling my friend John Coleman about a good breakfast recipe, and he wanted to know if it would appear in Recipe Swap. So this one's for you, John.

    Ham and Apple Brunch Bake

    2 pounds good quality ham, cubed small

    3 slices whole grain bread

    3 cups (12 ounces) shredded Cheddar cheese

    4 to 5 apples, quartered, cored and sliced, about 5 cups

    1/2 cup sugar

    1/4 cup flour

    1 tablespoon cinnamon

    1/2 teaspoon nutmeg

    6 eggs

    2 cups low fat milk

    1/4 cup brown sugar

    Cube bread and place in a 9-by-13-by-2-inch baking pan. Layer half the ham and half the cheese on the bread. Combine apples, sugar, flour, cinnamon and nutmeg; spread on top of ham and cheese. Combine eggs, milk and brown sugar; pour over apples. Layer the remaining ham and cheese on top. Bake uncovered at 325 degrees for 60 minutes or until puffy in the center and set. Let stand 10 minutes before serving.

    I have had several people asking about ways to use all of the fresh pears that are in abundance right now. If you have a pie, cobbler or any recipe you enjoy using pears, please send those in to share with other readers.

    Have a fun week preparing for little spooks and goblins to come to your door, and, of course, 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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