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

 Cella's News

December 2007



"My Christmas Message to You"

I have a list of folks I know, all written in a book,

And every year at Christmas time, I go and take a look,

And that is when I realize that these names are a part

Not of the book they're written in, but of my very heart!

For each name stands for someone who has crossed my path sometime,

And in that meeting they've become the "rhythm of the rhyme."

And while it sounds fantastic for me to make this claim,

I really feel I am composed of Each Remembered Name.

And while you may not be aware of any special link,

Just meeting you has shaped my life, more than you can think.

For once you've met somebody, the years cannot erase

The memory of a pleasant word or of a friendly face.

So never think my Christmas card is just a mere routine

Of names upon a Christmas list, forgotten in between.

For when I send a Christmas card that is addressed to you

It's because you're on the list of folks that I'm indebted to.

For you're part of the total of the many folks I've met

And you happen to be one of those I prefer not to forget.

And whether I have known you for many years or few,

In some way you have had a part in shaping things I do.

Every year when Christmas comes, I realize anew

The biggest fit that life can give is meeting folks like you!

(Author Unknown)

Although I'm never quite ready for the holidays, I'd never wish them away.  I love receiving and giving Christmas cards and presents, attending the Christmas Program at church, attending holiday parties, and cooking, baking, eating, and sharing my favorite treats.  I know that some of you are the same way.  You'll soon be busy making your family's favorite recipes, put away since last year.  This year my absolute best gift is not an excellent recipe, but locating three friends that I had lost touch with.  A name on the back of a photo from 1970 and an old Christmas card that I found from 1987 gave me enough clues so that I could use the Internet to find my friends; better than finding jewels.  So, if you're reminiscing about old times, get busy and look up your friends.  You'll gladden two hearts.

We have a nice assortment of recipes this month.  The Sesame Coconut Cookies are most excellent, I've made them twice.  Try half a batch first as they make quite a few.  I loved the pumpkin soup, much to my surprise, and have made it twice; and the Pineapple Sherbet is great served in tiny cups before the meal.  Bonnie Hill said that the sherbet is a must at Thanksgiving and Christmas.  I'll soon be making it for the fourth time.

Sesame Coconut Cookies
(Dave Cook/Saville's Farm Market)

1 pound butter, softened (no substitutes)
1 1/2 cups white granulated sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
3 cups sifted white flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 cups flaked sweetened coconut
2 (1.87-oz. jars) sesame seeds (=1 cup)
1/2 cup pecan chips

In a large bowl, combine the butter, sugar, and vanilla with clean hands.  Use hands to mix in flour and salt.  Mix in coconut, sesame seeds, and pecans. Divide dough into thirds and form into logs by hand 1 1/2-inch diameter (or size of half a dollar).  Place all logs on ungreased cookie sheet, wrap with plastic and refrigerate until firm, about 2 hours.  Use a sharp knife to cut logs into 1/4-inch thick slices.  Place 15 cookies on greased cookie sheet, about 1 1/2-inches apart, and bake until edges are golden in a 300 degree oven (check often to make sure cookies are not getting too brown, about 10 minutes).  Allow cookies to cool on cookie sheets for a couple of minutes and then transfer to wire cookie rack to cool.  Makes about 72 cookies.

Smoky Salmon Spread
(Jack Gerber)

8-oz. package cream cheese, softened
2 teaspoons finely chopped onion
1 teaspoon prepared horseradish
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 teaspoon liquid smoke
1/2 teaspoon salt
16-oz. can salmon, drained, deboned, flaked
1/2 cup chopped pecans
1/4 cup finely chopped fresh parsley

Place softened cream cheese in a medium-size bowl and beat until fluffy, using an electric mixer.  Add onion, horseradish, lemon juice, liquid smoke, and salt.  Beat until well blended.  Stir in salmon.  Cover and refrigerate for one hour to firm slightly.  Place in a serving bowl and sprinkle chopped pecans and parsley on top.  Serve with crackers.  Serves 8 to 10.

Pineapple Sherbet
(Bonnie Hill)

3/4 cup white granulated sugar
2 cups water
20-oz. can crushed pineapple, undrained
2 large oranges, juiced
10-oz. jar maraschino cherries, plus juice (cut
cherries in quarters or halves)

Bring sugar and water to a boil, dissolving sugar.  Cool slightly.  Add undrained crushed pineapple, orange juice, and maraschino cherries and juice.  Mix together and freeze in a shallow container.  One hour before serving, take out of freezer.  As it starts to thaw, break it up with a fork and put into fancy ice cream cups and serve with dinner (or before for a fruit cup).

Maple Pumpkin Cheese Cake with Maple Glaze (Bonnie Hill)

Note:  This recipe takes a 9-inch springform pan.  If you do not have one, make two pie crusts in two 9-inch pie plates; there will be enough filling for two pies.

1 1/4 cups graham cracker crumbs
1/4 cup white granulated sugar
1/4 cup butter, melted
3 (8-oz.) packages cream cheese
14-oz. can sweetened condensed milk
16-oz. can pumpkin
3 large eggs
1/4 cup pure maple syrup
1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
1 teaspoon nutmeg
pinch salt

Heat oven to 300 degrees.  Combine crumbs, sugar, and butter; firmly press into a 9-inch springform pan.  With mixer, beat cream cheese until fluffy; beat in condensed milk until smooth.  Add pumpkin, eggs, and maple syrup, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt.  Mix well.  Pour into prepared pan and bake for 1 hour and 15 minutes or until edges spring back when lightly touched.  (Center will be slightly soft).  Cool, and then chill.

Maple Glaze:
2 tablespoons water
4 teaspoons cornstarch
2 tablespoon butter
1/2 cup maple syrup
1/2 cup chopped nut, optional

Combine water and cornstarch.  In saucepan, melt butter.  Add maple syrup and cornstarch mixture.  Cook and stir until slightly thickened.  Add chopped nuts.  Cool slightly and spoon over chilled cheesecake.

Pumpkin Soup (Variation)
(Geoff Gorsuch)

Note:  This is an excellent light soup that you will look forward to having again and again.

1 tablespoon butter
2 tablespoons finely chopped onion
15-oz. can pumpkin
14.5-oz. can chicken broth + 1/2 cup water
2 1/2 cups milk
1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
1/2 teaspoon white granulated sugar
1 teaspoon lemon juice
2 or 3 drops of Tabasco Sauce
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup heavy cream

In a 4-quart saucepan over low heat, melt the butter and sauté the onions until transparent, but not browned.  Add in the pumpkin, chicken broth, milk, cloves, sugar, lemon juice, Tabasco, and salt.  Stir thoroughly.  Bring to a boil, reduce heat to very low and cook, stirring occasionally for 15 minutes.  Puree soup through a sieve or colander.  Stir in cream.  Return the soup to the saucepan and heat through, without boiling.

Swedish Meatballs
(Cindy/Nate Everetts)

Note:  When making meatballs, put in 1/2 cup Italian breadcrumbs and then add enough to make firm meatballs after everything else is in.  Lawry's Marinade with pineapple juice is best for meatballs and sauce.

2 pounds ground beef
1/4 cup Parmesan cheese
1/2 to 1 cup Italian bread crumbs
2 large eggs
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon black pepper
2 tablespoons Lawry's Teriyaki Marinade Sauce
2 tablespoons Worcestershire Sauce.

In a large mixing bowl:  Mix ground beef, Parmesan cheese, bread crumbs, eggs, salt, black pepper, Teriyaki Sauce, and Worcestershire Sauce.  Form into small meatballs and place on cookie sheet sprayed with Pam and place in oven at 375 degrees and cook until done, turning about every 5 to 10 minutes or so.  Drain off grease. 

Sauce for Swedish Meatballs
4-oz. can  mushrooms
26-oz. can Campbell's Cream of Mushroom Soup
1/4 cup brown sugar, firmly packed
1 cup sour cream
2 tablespoons Lawry's Teriyaki Marinade Sauce
2 tablespoons Worcestershire Sauce.
Gravy Master, optional (if desired to make brown)

In a large mixing bowl, combine the mushrooms, soup, brown sugar, sour cream, Teriyaki Marinade, and Worcestershire sauce.  Add Gravy Master, if desired.  Add meatballs to sauce and place in slow cooker or pot on stove and simmer for at least 1 to 2 hours.  (You can make these ahead and then heat them prior to serving).

Easy Ice Cream Sandwich Torte
(Bonnie Spencer)

Note:  This is a great recipe for children to make.

1 cup coarsely chopped crème-filled chocolate sandwich cookies
1/2 cup milk
3.9-oz. package instant pudding and pie filling
12-oz. container whipped cream, divided
12 frozen ice cream sandwiches, unwrapped
multi-colored sprinkles or grated semi-sweet chocolate

Coarsely break or chop crème-filled cookies.  In a small bowl, combine milk and pudding and pie filling until smooth and begins to thicken.  Stir in HALF of whipped cream into pudding mix along with cookies.  In a 9x13-inch pan, arrange six sandwich cookies side by side.  Spread on cookie/pudding mix.  Top with six sandwich cookies.  Frost top and sides with remainder of whipped cream.  Shake multi-colored sprinkles on top or grated chocolate. Freeze for at least 30 minutes before serving.

Venison Stroganoff
(Bonnie Spencer)

1 quart cubed uncooked venison
3/4 cup flour
salt and pepper, as desired
1/2 cup butter
14.5-oz. can beef broth
1 cup water
2 beef bouillon cubes
1 clove garlic, minced
1/4 cup butter
1/2 cup onion, diced
additional 1 clove garlic, minced
1 pound fresh mushrooms, sliced
1 3/4 pound of sour cream
paprika, for garnish
pound noodles, prepared according to package directions

Place venison, flour, salt, and pepper in a gallon-size plastic bag and shake to coat meat.  In a large skillet, sauté meat in 1/2 a cup of butter until lightly browned.  Put meat into crock pot, add beef broth, boiling water, bouillon cubes, and garlic.  Cover, and cook on high for 6 hours or on low 8 to 10 hours.  In a large skillet, melt 1/4 cup butter and sauté onion, garlic, and mushrooms until tender.  Set aside in refrigerator until needed.  When meat is cooked, stir in onion mixture.  Stir in sour cream and heat through.  Prepare noodles.  Serve stroganoff on top of noodles and sprinkle with paprika and additional sour cream, if desired.

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