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

 Cella's News

August 2007



Susan Goes to School

She's gone to school, my Susan,

So tiny, just turned six,

And, oh, the house is empty,

The clock, how loud it ticks!

No laughter in the garden,

No swinging on the gate,

Just quietness and order

And a fire upon the grate.

She's gone to school, my Susan,

To learn the art of letters,

And dip in ancient lore;

She's eager for the future,

And sturdy for her size;

But, oh, the heart is weary

Before the head is wise!

She's gone to school, my Susan,

So sweet and unafraid,

Her toes in shiny slippers,

Her brown hair in a braid;

A little prayer I pray:

"God bless the host of Susans

Agone to school today."

(Vivian Yeiser Laramore)

Why do we eat like we do and why can't we lose weight?  Recent research blames our overweight not by what we put into our mouths so much as to what is between our ears; or our self talk.  Overweight people are encouraged to write out their affirmations and read them daily to themselves in order to lose weight.  How ridiculous.  Nevertheless, I thought about a time in my life when I was happy with my weight and promptly wrote my own affirmations on a  3x5 card to keep in my purse and read aloud to myself twice each day:  My affirmations go like this:  I am 30 years old, I weigh 145 pounds, I have a size 34-inch waist, I wear a size 12 dress, I am an inspiration to others, and I accomplish my goals.  My weight is slowly working its way off ounce by agonizing ounce and if it doesn't hurry up, my epitaph may read, "See, I told you I was going to lose weight."  I have no doubt that I will reach my goal.

In July I ate hospital cafeteria food for a couple of days when my mother was in the hospital.  I tried the "fire roasted" vegetables just because of the name; they tasted as horrible as they looked, more boiled than roasted.  An elderly lady (older than me) ate with me and wondered if I was going to eat the three subs I bought.  "No," I said, "I'm going to tear them apart and see how they're made."  It was the help's fault of course, they thought of such unusual names that I couldn't make up my mind what to buy.  There was Buffalo Chicken Salad (lettuce, whole cherry tomatoes, black olives, Cheddar cheese, and chicken with Ranch and Blue Cheese dressing), Seafood Swing Salad (lettuce, shrimp, imitation crab, cherry tomatoes, crackers, and lemon wedge), Sammy Sub (lettuce, tomatoes, ham, turkey, salami, and Provolone cheese, with dill weed - it could have used a slice of onion), Chicken Lick'n Wrap (spinach tortilla wrap with lettuce, chicken salad made with chicken, salad dressing, and onion; actually my favorite, minus the wrap), and Twiggy Turkey in wheat tortilla (lettuce, tomato, turkey, and Swiss cheese; not to my liking).  My next recipe invention is going to be "Wagon Train Salad," using wagon wheel pasta or maybe it will be Hurricane Salad; I can throw anything in it that I have in the house.  I can sympathize with comedian Ray Stevens, he said he ordered Gazpacho soup and "IT WAS COLD!"  He ordered cherries jubilee and "IT WAS ON FIRE!"  He ordered the soup de jour and "IT CHANGED EVERY DAY!"

I now have over 300 great recipes uploaded on my web site under the "free recipes" link.  The recipes are from my food columns from the past three years (cellascookbook.com).

Strawberry Shortcake (Internet Recipe)
Note:  This cake doesn't taste great alone, but it's the perfect shortcake.

1 quart strawberries, washed, sliced
1/2 cup white granulated sugar or Xylitol

Cake Batter:
1 1/4 cup white flour, sifted
3/4 cup white granulated sugar or Xylitol
1/3 cup butter (no substitutes)
2/3 cup milk
2 large eggs
2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt

Whipped Cream
1 pint heavy cream
1/2 cup white granulated sugar of Xylitol

Combine strawberries and sugar in a medium-size bowl and refrigerate.  Use an electric mixer to combine cake batter ingredients in a large mixing bowl.  Pour into a 9-inch greased baking pan and bake in 350 degree oven for 20 to 25 minutes or until toothpick inserted comes out clean.  While cake is baking, mix heavy cream and sugar with electric mixer until thick.  Refrigerate.  Serve cake hot or cold with strawberries and whipped cream.

Colorful Spiral Beef Steaks Smothered in Sautéed Fresh Whole Mushrooms
(Marcie Stockin)

1 1/2 pounds cubed steak (4 pieces)
8-oz. Swiss cheese
5-oz. bag organic baby spinach, uncooked
8-oz. jar roasted red pepper strips
string to tie steaks
2 tablespoons vegetable oil or coconut oil
16-oz. fresh whole mushrooms, washed

Assemble beef spirals in the following manner:  slice beef, 2 slices of Swiss cheese, 2 layers of baby spinach, layer of roasted red pepper strips.  Roll up beef rolls from short end, tie string around roll 1/2-inch from each end.  Slice in two, making 2 spirals, shaped like cinnamon rolls.  Repeat.  You should have eight beef spirals.  Heat oil over medium heat in a large frying pan, sauté steaks for 3 to 5 minutes each side.  Remove steaks to platter, cover to keep warm.  Sauté whole mushrooms (slice in two, if very large) in pan juices with lid to cover for a couple of minutes.  Use scissors to cut string from steaks.  Pour mushrooms and pan juices over steaks to serve.

Stuffed Green Peppers
(Ann Pfaff)

6 medium-size green or red bell peppers
1/2 cup rice, regular (not Minute)
1/2 cup V-8 juice
2 small to medium onions, diced
1 small carrot, grated
1/2 teaspoon garlic
1 teaspoon Rosemary leaves
1 teaspoon Thyme leaves
1 pound ground chuck
28-oz. jar of your favorite spaghetti sauce

Breadcrumb Mixture:
1 cup fresh breadcrumbs or Ritz cracker crumbs
3 tablespoons melted butter

Cut the peppers in half lengthwise, removing seeds and white membrane.  Prepare the rice according to package directions, using V-8 as part of the liquid.  Sauté onions and carrot until tender in a large frying pan over medium heat, add garlic and sauté for another minute.  Add the Rosemary, Thyme, and ground chuck.  Cook until meat is no longer pink.  Stir in the spaghetti sauce plus 1/2 cup water to rinse the jar.  Mix in rice.  Place peppers in 9x13-inch baking pan, fill with meat/rice mixture.  Bake for 30 minutes and then sprinkle with breadcrumb or cracker crumbs mixed with melted butter and bake for an additional 10 to 15 minutes.

Beef and Bean Chimichangas
(Ann Pfaff)

3/4 cup chopped onion
3/4 cup diced green bell pepper
1 pound lean ground beef
1 1/2 cups whole kernel corn, drained
2 cups salsa
2 teaspoons chili powder
1 teaspoon garlic salt
1 teaspoon ground cumin
16-oz. can refried beans
8 flour tortillas (12-inch)
16-oz. package Monterey Jack cheese with peppers
serve with lettuce, tomatoes, sour cream

In a large skillet over medium heat, sauté the onion and green pepper until tender.  Add the ground beef and cook until no pink remains.  Drain excess grease.  Add corn, salsa, chili powder, garlic salt, and cumin.  Cook until heated through.  Spread beans onto each tortilla.  Spoon beef mixture down the center and top with shredded cheese.  Roll up tortillas and place them seam-side down on a baking sheet.  Bake in 350 degree over for 30 to 35 minutes.  Serve with lettuce, tomato., and sour cream.

Chicken Parmesan
(Ann Pfaff)

Note:  The meat is good eaten as is, or served over spaghetti, topped with Mozzarella Cheese and Spaghetti Sauce. 

olive oil, to grease baking sheet
chicken tenders (uncooked) equal to 4 chicken breast halves, cut in 1-inch slices
Pepperidge Farm seasoned stuffing mix (1 1/2 cups crumbs)
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 1/2 tablespoons dry Good Seasons Italian or garlic cheese salad dressing mix
1/2 cup melted butter

Preheat oven to 350.  Grease baking sheet.  Crush stuffing mix into 1 1/2 cups crumbs (use rolling pin and plastic bag).  Mix crumbs with Parmesan cheese and dry Italian salad dressing mix.  Melt butter and place in pie plate.  Dip chicken in butter, then bread crumbs, place on baking dish.  Bake chicken for 20 minutes or until no longer pink.

Potato and Smoked Pork Chop Boats
(Variation of an Ideals Recipe)

4 large baking potatoes (5-inches long)
1/4 cup milk
2 tablespoons butter
1 egg
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon pepper
1 1/2 cups diced smoked pork chops (about 4)
1/2 cup shredded mild Cheddar cheese, plus extra for topping potatoes
1/4 cup minced green onion
sour cream, to serve on side

Wash potatoes and put on a baking sheet, pricking potatoes with a sharp knife in various parts from top.  Bake in 400 degree oven until tender, about 1 or 1 1/2 hours.  Cut tops off potatoes and scoop out pulp, leaving 1/4-inch thick shell.  Place pulp, milk, butter, egg, salt, and pepper in large mixing bowl and mix with electric mixer until smooth.  Stir in pork, Cheddar cheese, and onion.  Fill potato boats with mixture and bake for 20 minutes until heated through in 350 degree oven.  Top with additional Cheddar cheese and bake until melted.  Serve with sour cream.

Lion's Head
(Pork Meatballs and Chinese Cabbage)
(Variation of Ideals Recipe)

1 pound ground pork
4-oz. can mushrooms, drained, diced
1/4 cup water chestnuts, diced
2 tablespoons onion, minced
1 teaspoon garlic, minced
1 large egg
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
2 teaspoons cornstarch
4 tablespoons coconut oil
1/2 head Chinese (Napa) cabbage, thinly sliced
1 cup chicken broth, low sodium
2 tablespoons soy sauce
1 tablespoon additional cornstarch

In a large bowl, combine pork, mushrooms, water chestnuts, onions, garlic, egg, pepper, and 2 teaspoons cornstarch.  Use hands to form into 1-inch balls.  Heat oil over medium heat until hot, add pork balls and brown on all sides.  Remove meat from skillet, add cabbage and stir fry  for 1 minute.  Add chicken broth and soy sauce, placing meatballs on top.  Cover and simmer for 45 minutes.  Remove meat and cabbage to a platter, reserving juice in pan.  Add 1 tablespoon cornstarch to juice and stir until thickened.  Pour juice over meatballs. 

Caribbean Grilled Chicken Salad
(An Ideals makeover salad you won't soon forget.  Use all the ingredients for great flavor).

4 boneless, skinless, chicken breast halves
1/2 cup Teriyaki marinade
4-oz. bag organic Fresh Herb Salad Mix
1/4 cup sweet onion, minced
2 teaspoons Jalapeno pepper, diced
2 teaspoons cilantro, minced
1/2 cup red cabbage, chopped
2 large tomatoes, cut in wedges

Dijon Honey-Lime Dressing:
(powerful - use sparingly)

1/4 cup Grey Poupon Dijon Mustard
1/4 cup honey
1 1/2 teaspoons white granulated sugar
1 tablespoon sesame oil
1 1/2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar
1 1/2 teaspoons lime juice

Marinade chicken in Teriyaki marinade for two hours.  Grill over low heat (or broil) until no pink remains.  Allow meat to cool.  Cut meat into strips and place in plastic bag in refrigerator until ready to assemble salad.  In a large bowl, mix lettuce, onion, Jalapeno pepper, cilantro, and red cabbage.  Reserve tomatoes for edging salad.  Refrigerate.  In a small bowl, combine until smooth the Dijon mustard, honey, sugar, sesame oil, vinegar, and lime juice.  Refrigerate.  Serve salads in individual bowls layered with lettuce, chicken, and a very light drizzle of Honey Lime Dressing.  Surround with tomato wedges.

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.