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

 Cella's News

August 2008



If I Knew

If I knew it would be the last time that I'd see you fall asleep,

I would tuck you in more tightly and pray the Lord your soul to keep.

If I knew it would be the last time I see you walk out the door,

I would give you a hug and kiss and call you back for one more.

If I knew it would be the last time I'd hear your voice lifted up in praise,

I would memorize each action and word, so I could remember day after day.

If I knew it would be the last time, I could spare an extra minute or two, to stop and say,

"I love you," instead of assuming you KNOW I DO.

If I knew it would be the last time I would be there to share your day,

But I think you'll have so many more, so I can let just this one slip away.

For surely there's always tomorrow to make up for an oversight,

And we always get a second chance to make everything right.

There will always be another day to say our "I love you's,"

And certainly there's another chance to say our "Anything I can do's?

But just in case I might be wrong, and today is all I get,

I'd like to say how much I love you and I hope we never forget.

Tomorrow is not promised to anyone, young or old alike,

And today may be the last chance you get to hold your loved one tight.

So if you're waiting for tomorrow, why not do it today?

For if tomorrow never comes, you'll surely regret the day,

That you didn't take that extra time for a smile, a hug, or a kiss,

And you were too busy to grant someone, what turned out to be their last wish.

So hold your loved ones close today, and whisper in their ear,

That you love them very much and you'll always hold them dear.

Take time to say, "I'm sorry," "Please forgive me," Thank you," or "It's okay," And if tomorrow never comes, you'll have no regrets about today.

(Author Unknown)

Just for fun, I want to challenge you.  Whether you're going to the store, to school, to work, or to church, count the signs you see.  I live in a rural area and counted 60 plus signs in four miles and finally gave up.  There's signs out there for everything.  My two favorite signs appeared on my own road; one said "free vegetables," and the other said, "Yard Sale, Lot's of free stuff."  With the price of vegetables being so high this year, I commend my neighbor for her offer of "free vegetables," and I enjoyed some free cookbooks from the neighbor up the road.  What great ideas - share your bounty with others for free.  We don't need to be compensated in life for everything.  It's not too late to get up your own "free vegetables" sign.  People need to eat more vegetables and we should encourage them to do so.  Don't let those vegetables that you worked so hard for rot on the vines or mold in the refrigerator.  Fill a plastic shopping bag full of vegetables and give them to your friends, neighbors, or an elderly person on a fixed income.

Grandma Richards' Dill Pickles with Grape Leaves
(Jackie Imhoff)

Note:  adding grape leaves helps give the pickles their crunchiness.  If you have more pickles than brine, make up another batch of brine.  

3 to 4-inch size pickling cucumbers
2 grape leaves per quart jar
1 or 2 cloves garlic per quart jar
1 head dill per quart jar
3 quarts water
1 quart white vinegar
2/3 cup pickling salt

Wash and dry pickling cucumbers and grape leaves.  In each hot sterilized quart jar, fold one grape leaf on bottom and add 1 or 2 cloves of garlic.  Pack cucumbers in jar, placing another folded grape leaf on top.  In a large saucepan, heat the water, vinegar, and salt to boiling, stirring to dissolve salt.  Pour vinegar mixture over cucumbers to top of rim and immediately seal with hot canning lids, sealing tight.  Let pickles age for six weeks before eating.  If you have more pickles than brine, mix up another batch.

Zucchini Patties
(Alice Bingenheimer)

Note:  These can be made ahead and warmed up.  They would be great served with sour cream.

2 cups shredded zucchini
1/3 cup Bisquick® Mix
1/2 cup shredded Cheddar cheese
2 tablespoons grated onion
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
2 large eggs
butter or oil for frying

In a large mixing bowl, combine zucchini, Bisquick® Mix, Cheddar cheese, onion, salt, pepper, and eggs.  Heat skillet to hot with a little butter or oil, pour 1/4 cup batter into skillet for each patty.  Cook until browned on bottom, flip over and brown other side.  Serve immediately.

Zucchini Casserole
(Marge Codd)

6 cups chunked zucchini, seeded; skin on
1/2 cup onion, diced
10 3/4-oz. can cream of chicken soup
2 tablespoons sugar
1 cup sour cream
1 cup julienne-sliced carrots, 1/2-inch long
salt and pepper to taste

Base and Topping:
8-oz. Pepperidge® Farm Herb Seasoning Stuffing Mix
1/2 cup melted butter

In a large saucepan, parboil the zucchini and onion for no longer than 5 minutes.  Drain well.  In a large mixing bowl, combine the cream of chicken soup, sugar, sour cream, and carrots.  Taste and salt and pepper if desired.  Mix in the zucchini and onion.  In another mixing bowl, combine the stuffing mix and melted butter.  Place half of the stuffing mix in a lightly buttered 9x12-inch baking dish.  Top with all of the zucchini mixture, and then the rest of the stuffing mixture.  Bake in 350 degree oven for 30 to 35 minutes.

Strawberry Spinach Salad
(Patti Dashnaw)

1/2 cup white granulated sugar
1/2 cup olive oil
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar (or white distilled vinegar)
1/4 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1 tablespoon minced onion
1 tablespoon poppy seeds, optional
10-oz. fresh spinach, rinsed, dried, and torn into bite-size pieces
1 quart strawberries, sliced
1/4 cup almonds, sliced

In a medium-size bowl, whisk together the sugar, olive oil, vinegar, Worcestershire sauce, onion, and poppy seeds if desired.  Cover, and chill for one hour.  Combine the spinach, strawberries, and almonds.  Pour dressing over salad and toss.  Refrigerate 10 to 15 minutes before serving.

London Broil with Mushrooms Cooked in Wine (Cella's recreation of a similar dish)

12-oz. white cooking wine
1/4 cup water
3 tablespoons ginger powder
4 tablespoons garlic, minced
1 teaspoon parsley, minced
2 pinches oregano

1 London broil steak (thick flank or sirloin)

1 pound sliced fresh mushrooms
1/2 cup white cooking wine

Mix together 12-oz. white cooking wine, water, ginger, garlic, parsley, and oregano.  Place meat in marinade and refrigerate overnight.  Broil meat 6-inches from broiler until top is browned, flip meat and spread with marinade.  Broil until top is browned and meat is cooked to your taste; rare, medium rare, or well done.  Cut 1-inch thick slices of steak diagonally across the grain.  Meanwhile, cook mushrooms for 3 to 5 minutes in white cooking wine until dry.  Serve mushrooms with steak.

(John Chamberlain)

4 medium plum tomatoes, chopped finely
1 tablespoon fresh minced garlic
1/4 cup fresh basil, minced
2 tablespoons minced parsley
2 teaspoon lemon juice
pinch hot pepper flakes
salt and pepper to taste
French bread, sliced

In a small mixing bowl, combine tomatoes, garlic, basil, parsley, lemon juice, pepper flakes.  Salt and pepper to taste.  Refrigerate for 3 hours.  Grill slices of French bread, place tomato mixture on top and toast.  Serve immediately.

Meatloaf Cordon Bleu
(Bonnie Andrews)

Note:  Bonnie said that she usually adds more ham and cheese and sometimes sprinkles some crumbly bleu cheese on before she rolls it up.  She also has topped the meat off with strips of bacon to keep it moist on top.  Cella used aluminum foil to pat meat out and roll up.  Then I placed the foil and all in a large bread pan and baked it.  I then used the foil to lift the meat out to slice.  Easy.

1 large egg, beaten
1 envelope (1.5-oz.) meat loaf seasoning mix
1/2 cup tomato sauce
2 cups soft bread crumbs
2 pounds of lean ground beef
8 thin slices fully cooked ham
8 thin slices Swiss cheese
4-oz. can sliced mushrooms, drained

In a large bowl, mix together egg, meatloaf seasoning, tomato sauce, and bread crumbs.  Add ground beef and mix well.  Lay out a piece of waxed paper or saran wrap.  Pat meat mixture onto the wrap into a 9x18-inch rectangle.  Top meat with ham, cheese, and mushrooms.  Using the wrap to aid you, roll the rectangle, jelly-roll style, starting from the narrow end.  Pinch edges to seal and place seam side down in a shallow baking pan.  Bake at 350 degree for an hour, or until no pink remains.

Peanut Butter Swirl Bars
(Diana Horton)

1/2 cup crunch-style peanut butter
1/3 cup butter, softened
3/4 cup firmly packed brown sugar
3/4 cup white granulated sugar
2 large eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
12-oz. package Nestlé's chocolate chips

In a large mixing bowl, combine peanut butter, butter, brown sugar, and  white sugar.  Beat until creamy.  Gradually beat in eggs and vanilla.  In a small bowl, mix together flour, baking powder, and salt.  Mix into peanut butter mixture.  Spread into a greased 13x9x2-inch baking pan.  Sprinkle chocolate chips over top, but do not mix in.  Bake in 350 degree oven for 5 minutes.  Remove from oven and run a knife through topping and batter to marbleize.  Return to oven and bake for 30 minutes.  Do not overbake.  Cool and cut into 2x1-inch bars.

Send your favorite family recipes to Marcella Stockin, 5200 Riceville Road, West Valley, New York 14171 or e-mail me at marcellastockin@yahoo.com.  Providing you with recipes to help make you the best cook in the neighborhood.  Visit my website at cellascookbook.com for more recipes and archived newsletters.