"providing you with recipes to help make you the best cook in the neighborhood"

 Cella's News

April 2006




The kids are out-of-doors once more; 

The heavy leggins that they wore, 

The winter caps that covered ears 

Are put away, and no more tears 

Are shed because they cannot go 

Until they're bundled up just so. 

No more she wonders when they're gone 

If they have put their rubbers on; 

No longer are they hourly told 

To guard themselves against a cold; 

Bareheaded now they romp and run 

Warmed only by the kindly sun. 

She's put their heavy clothes away 

And turned the children out to play, 

And all the morning long they race 

Like madcaps round about the place. 

The robins on the fences sing 

A gayer song of welcoming, 

And seems as though they had a share 

In all the fun they're having there. 

The wrens and sparrows twitter, too, 

A louder and a noisier crew, 

As though it pleased them all to see 

The youngsters out of doors and free. 

Outdoors they scamper to their play 

With merry din the livelong day, 

And hungrily they jostle in 
The favor of the maid to win; 

Then, armed with cookies or with cake, 

Their way into the yard they make, 

And every feathered playmate comes 

To gather up his share of crumbs. 

The finest garden that I know 

Is one where little children grow, 

Where cheeks turn brown and eyes are bright, 

And all is laughter and delight. 

Oh, you may brag of gardens fine, 

But let the children race in mine; 

And let the roses, white and red, 

Make gay the ground whereon they tread. 

And who for bloom perfection seeks, 

Should mark the color on their cheeks; 

No music that the robin spouts 

Is equal to their merry shouts; 

There is no foliage to compare 

With youngsters' sun-kissed, tousled hair: 

Spring's greatest joy beyond a doubt 

Is when it brings the children out. 

(Edgar Guest)

We all looked forward to the first day of Spring, and it snowed.  I chuckled on my way to work thinking how "sno cone" recipes would look in my April column.  If you really love snow, you can save it you know.  I had a school friend that used to make snow balls and freeze them so that she and her brothers could have a fourth of July snowball fight.  I thought that was a bit odd.  Tonight, even though we don't have any snow left, I called an older friend to see how she makes Jack Wax.  She said that her husband had a dish of snow saved in the freezer for making it. I started to wonder, how many people have snow in their freezers, and when is it going to snow again so I can get some.  Not.  I still find it a bit odd.  I guess you can save snow at any age, there's no law against it.

Jack Wax is made by heating maple syrup just until it spins a hair and pouring it immediately over fresh, clean snow.  The maple taffy treat is wound up on a fork and eaten.  If the syrup is not heated to a thin thread, it permeates the snow.  

I've tried a lot of good recipes this month.  I especially love the Pecan-Crusted Chicken Salad and the Party Potatoes.  Jack Gerber's Peanut Butter Pork with Spicy Dipping Sauce is a winner and hopefully you'll be giving it a try when you get the grill out of winter storage.  The Dipping Sauce is a must.  The Beef Fried Rice is a quick and tasty main dish.  Your sweet tooth can be satisfied with the Butterscotch Bars, unpeeled Apple Cake with raisins and nuts, and some candy recipes.  Someone wrote and requested a shrimp soup recipe so I am providing two recipes for you to try.  Thanks to Gayle Thorpe for sending me a jar of home-made buttermilk from her Jersey cows along with a recipe for light and tasty buttermilk pancakes.

Pecan-Crusted Chicken Salad 
(Marcie Stockin)

Chicken and 3 Coatings:

1 cup white sifted flour (put in separate dish)
3 large eggs
1/8 cup milk  
2 cups chopped pecans
1 cup white sifted flour (to mix with nuts)
4 chicken breast halves (or 5)

Coating 1:  Place one cup of flour in a medium-size bowl.  Coating 2:  Mix together three eggs and milk and place in a separate bowl.  Coating 3:  Mix 2 cups pecans with 1 cup flour in a blender.  Place in a medium-size bowl.  Coat chicken first in flour, second in egg batter, and third in pecan flour.  Sauté meat in vegetable oil over medium heat in a large frying pan until lightly browned on both sides.  Place chicken in baking pan in a preheated 350 degree oven and bake for 10 minutes or until juices run clear when a knife is  inserted into meat.  Cool. 

Glazed Pecans for Salad:
1 cup chopped pecans
1/4 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
1 tablespoon water

Mix pecans, brown sugar, and water in a small saucepan.  Heat over low heat and stir until pecans are glazed.  This only takes a minute.  Set aside to cool.

1 head Romaine lettuce, shredded
1/4 cup Ken's Steak House Lite Balsamic Vinaigrette Dressing
1 can mandarin oranges
1/2 cup craisins (dried cranberries) (by raisins)
1/2 cup Mozarella cheese,cubed

Assemble Salad:  In a large bowl, toss Romaine lettuce with glazed pecans, vinaigrette, oranges, craisins, and Mozarella cheese.  Divide into individual bowls (3 or 4), top with slices of chicken down middle.  Excellent.

Party Potatoes (Marcie Stockin)
8 medium potatoes (8 cups), peeled, cubed
8-oz. cream cheese
8-oz. sour cream
1/3 cup chopped fresh chives
4 tablespoons butter
salt to taste

Boil potatoes in water to cover until tender (about 20 minutes). Drain.  In a large bowl, beat cream cheese and sour cream together.  Add drained, cooked potatoes and butter.  Beat until smooth.  Stir in fresh chives.  Add salt to taste.  Turn into 2-quart baking pan and bake uncovered in 350 degree oven until hot, about 25 minutes.

Peanut Butter Pork with Spicy Dipping Sauce (Jack Gerber)

Peanut Butter Pork:

1/4 cup creamy peanut butter
2 tablespoons soy sauce
2 tablespoons ground coriander
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon chili powder
1 garlic clove, minced
4 Pork chops

In resealable bag, combine first eight ingredients. Add pork, refrigerate several hours or over night. Grill – serve with sauce below.

Spicy Dipping Sauce:
1/4 cup soy sauce
1/4 cup vinegar
2 tablespoons water
1 garlic clove minced
1 tablespoon molasses
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes

Beef Fried Rice

Mix in small bowl, set aside:
2 tablespoons soy sauce
1/2 teaspoon white granulated sugar

2 tablespoons Wesson Canola Oil
2 eggs, well beaten
2 additional tablespoons Wesson Canola Oil
1 medium carrot, julienned sliced
1/2 onion, diced
1 celery rib, finely chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
1 pound leftover roast beef slices or thick slices from deli, cubed
2 cups cooked rice, cold (leftover)
1/2 cup Romaine lettuce, thinly sliced

Heat 2 tablespoons vegetable oil in a skillet over medium high heat.  Beat 2 eggs and cook in oil 45 seconds, stirring constantly, until eggs are just set.  Set eggs aside in a bowl.  Add 2 more tablespoon oil to pan and sauté carrot, onion,  celery, and garlic for 3 minutes.  Add beef and bring up to temperature, about 1 minutes.  Add rice and heat through.  Stir in soy sauce mixture, then eggs.  Last few seconds add shredded lettuce.  Serve.

Buttermilk Pancakes (Gayle Thorpe)
2 cups flour (can use organic wheat flour, buckwheat or a combination)
2 tablespoons white granulated sugar
dash salt
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 large eggs, slightly beaten
2 cups buttermilk
1/4 cup melted butter or oil
1 cup blueberries (optional)

In a large mixing bowl, combine the flour, sugar, salt, baking powder, and soda.  Mix in the eggs, buttermilk, and melted butter or oil.  Stir in blueberries if desired.  Add 1/4 cup of pancake batter to a lightly oiled hot griddle over medium heat, cook until bubbles form and break on top of pancake, flip pancake over and cook until lightly browned on bottom.  Recipe makes 20 (4-inch) pancakes.

Butterscotch Bars (Marsha Seeley)
1/3 cup melted butter
1 large egg
1 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
3/4 cup sifted white flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 of 11-oz. bag. butterscotch morsels

Mix together butter, eggs, and sugar.  Add flour, salt, baking powder, and vanilla.  Stir in morsels.  Pour into greased 8-inch square pan.  Bake at 350 degree for 30 minutes.  Cool 10 minutes, then cut into 2-inch squares.  

Apple Cake (Wanda McDonald)

2 1/2 cups sifted white flour
2 cups white granulated sugar
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon salt
2 large eggs
2/3 cup Wesson Canola Oil
4 cups unpeeled, cubed, apples
1 cup raisins
1 cup chopped pecans

In a large mixing bowl, combine flour, sugar, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt.  Mix in eggs, oil, apples, raisins and nuts.  Stir by hand until well blended.  Bake in greased and floured 9x13-inch cake pan at 350 degrees for 1 hour or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean..

Caramel Nut Eggs (Irene Burkhouse)
(Note:  These eggs could be coated with chocolate instead of caramel and pecans.)

7 1/2-oz. jar Fluff
1 pound box confectioners sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 pound bag Kraft caramels
5 tablespoons water
8-oz. bag finely chopped pecans, place in dish

Place confectioners sugar in a large mixing bowl.  Add Fluff and vanilla.  Use clean strong hands to work mixture together and shape into egg shapes.  Chill overnight.  Melt caramels and water in double boiler.  Dip eggs in caramel and roll in pecans.  Place on wax paper or lightly butter metal surface.  

Peanut Butter Eggs (Marcie Stockin)
1 pound box of confectioners sugar
2 cups creamy peanut butter
1 cup of butter, softened (not melted)
1/4 teaspoon vanilla
8-oz. bar of dark chocolate
1/2 bar of canning wax (2 1/2 x 2 1/2 x 1/2-inch)

Set out an ungreased cookie sheet for placing peanut butter eggs.  In a large mixing bowl, place confectioners sugar, peanut butter, butter, and vanilla.  Use clean hands to combine the ingredients thoroughly.  Form mixture into egg shapes, making them tight and smooth.  In a double boiler over low heat, melt chocolate and canning wax.  Keep chocolate over double boiler until all balls are coated.  Use a spoon to dip each egg, one at a time, into the melted chocolate and roll around to coat.  Remove balls to cookie sheet.  Place in refrigerator or freezer to cool.  Once the chocolate is set, the eggs can be left out at room temperature.  Makes about 3 dozen eggs. 

Quick Shrimp Soup (Marcie Stockin)

2 cans (14.5-oz.) chicken broth
1 1/2 cups fresh tomatoes, seeded, and chopped
1/2 cup onion, diced
1 Jalapeño, seeded and chopped
1 tablespoon dried cilantro
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1 1/2 teaspoon Wesson Canola Oil
1/2 pound raw shrimp, shelled and deveined

Place chicken broth, tomatoes, onion, jalapeno, cilantro, lemon juice, oregano, and oil in a large cooking pot.  Bring to a boil over medium-high heat.  Stir in raw shrimp and simmer until shrimp is cooked through and turns pink, about 3 minutes.  

Fern's Shrimp Soup (Fern, the Gumbo Queen)

1 medium onion, chopped (1/2 cup)
1/2 medium green pepper, chopped (1/2 cup)
2 cloves garlic, minced
14.5-oz. can diced tomatoes
2 cans (14.5-oz.) reduced sodium chicken broth
8-oz. can tomato sauce
1 handful of sliced mushrooms
1/4 cup ripe black olives, sliced
1/2 cup orange juice
1/2 cup dry white wine
2 bay leaves
1 teaspoon dried basil leaves
1/4 teaspoon fennel seeds, crushed
1/8 teaspoon black pepper
1 pound medium raw shrimp, peeled

Place all ingredients except shrimp in large cooking pot.  Cover and cook on low until vegetables are crisp tender.  Stir in shrimp. Cover and cook until shrimp are opaque (this should only take about 5 minutes). Remove and discard bay leaf.

Mail your family's favorite recipes to Marcella Stockin, 5200 Riceville Road, West Valley, New York 14171 or to marcellastockin@yahoo.com.  "Providing you with recipes to help make you the best cook in the neighborhood."  Visit http://www.cellascookbook.com for more great recipes and archived newsletters.