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

 Cella's News

February 2006



My Only One Forever

You are not the only one...My heart has ever known...Yours
are not the only lips...That ever kissed my own...Yours
are not the only eyes... That whispered tenderly...And yours
are not the only arms...That held me lovingly...But no one
else in all my life...Has ever meant so much... And no one
else could ever have...Your soft, endearing touch...No one
else could ever match...The magic in your eyes...Your char-
acter and all the ways...In which you are so wise...The others
are forgotten, and...Without the least regret...I only wish that
you had been...The first I ever met.

James J. Metcalfe

This winter when I'm not working, eating, sleeping, trying new recipes, going to church, teaching children, or watching TV, I like to read.  Two new books I'm reading now are "The Inflammation Free Diet Plan," by Monica Reinagel with consulting editor Julius Torelli, M.D. and "The Perricone Promise," by Nicholas Perricone, M.D.  Both authors want their readers to be aware of the devastating effects of eating an inflammatory diet.  I am bringing this information to you because we all eat, and February is heart healthy month.  There is something we can all do to help our heart health.  

According to Monica, "Degenerative diseases such as heart disease, Alzheimer's disease, cancer, diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, and multiple sclerosis promote (and are promoted by) excessive inflammation in the body."

The medical test that can measure the inflammation in our bodies is called a C-reactive protein (CRP) test.  According to Monica, "CRP has emerged as one of the most accurate indicators of your risk of a future heart attack or stroke."  And, "If you have diabetes, monitoring your CRP levels and keeping them in safe ranges may help you avoid serious complications such as heart disease and nerve damage, which are driven by inflammation."  One of Dr. Toreilli's diabetic patients had a CRP rating 8 times what he considered the safe limit.  He was greatly concerned and immediately got this patient a draft copy (with permission) of Monica's book to help his patient in making better food choices.   

Monica has included an inflammatory rating table, listing over 1600 foods, in her book.  This makes it easier for eaters to know how to balance the inflammatory foods with the anti-inflammatory ones.  The foods list a + for anti-inflammatory and a - for inflammatory.  I've marked some of the recipes below to show you how the IF Rating table works.  I am trying to balance out my daily eating to have my meals in the anti-inflammatory range.  Search on the internet for more information, or in your library.  For instance, one teaspoon of garlic powder is +440, 8-oz. carrot juice +396, 1 teaspoon ground ginger +390, butter -45 for 1 tablespoon, banana -118, apple -45, and 1 cup cantaloupe +21.

Cranberry Meatballs
(Winner of Cella's Cookbook - Carole Bieler)

Carole said, "I made these meatballs for our friends 40th wedding anniversary and they were the hit of the bash (party).  They're easy to make and plenty of them. 

2 - 3 pounds frozen meat balls
12-oz. jar chili sauce
16-oz. can jellied cranberry sauce
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1 teaspoon lemon juice (+1)
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon thyme leaves
1/2 teaspoon onion powder (+145)
2 tablespoon red wine vinegar
2 tablespoons soy sauce (+2)

Combine all ingredients except the meatballs and mix well in a large bowl.  Pour over meatballs and heat in a large pan, roaster, or crock pot.  Serve hot with toothpicks.

Chocolate Brownie Trifle Diane Myszka

1 package brownie mix, baked according to package directions (or use 1/2 of batch of baked Ultimate Brownies - recipe follows)
1 batch Quick Chocolate Mousse (recipe follows)
Heavy cream (whipped and sweetened) or Cool Whip
Crushed Heath bars, or Skor pieces (optional)

Quick Chocolate Mousse:
14-oz. can sweetened condensed milk
4-serving size instant chocolate pudding mix
1 cup cold water
1 cup heavy whipping cream, whipped with no sugar added

To Make Mousse:  In large mixer bowl, beat sweetened condensed milk, pudding mix and water.  Chill 5 minutes.  Fold in whipped cream.

To Assemble Trifle:  Break cooled and baked brownies into small pieces.  Prepare Mousse.  Layer pieces of brownie, mousse, whipped cream, and Heath or Skor pieces.  Repeat.

Ultimate Brownies

Very moist and tastes like fudge.

 8 - 1 ounce squares of unsweetened baking chocolate
 1 cup butter (-716)
 5 large eggs
 3 cups white granulated sugar (-4350)
 1 tablespoon vanilla
 1-1/2 cups white flour, sifted
 1 teaspoon salt
 2 1/2 cups walnuts, chopped 

Melt chocolate and butter in a double boiler.  Set aside.  In a large mixing bowl, cream eggs, sugar, and vanilla at high speed for 10 minutes.  Mix flour, salt, and chocolate mixture just until blended.  Stir in walnuts.

Pour into greased on bottom only 9x13-inch baking pan.  Bake 40 to 50 minutes in 350 degree oven.

Cream of Mushroom Soup Diana Horton

You can use canned or fresh mushrooms.  This soup is very good and super easy to make.  Serves 2.

1/4 cup butter
3/4 cup onions, diced
2 cups fresh mushrooms, chopped (+4)
2 tablespoons flour
1 cup half and half
1 cup chicken broth
salt and pepper to taste

In a saucepan over medium heat, sauté onions in butter until onions are translucent.  Add mushrooms and sauté another 2 minutes.  Stir in flour and cook another 3 minutes.  Slowly add half and half and broth to mixture, stirring until flour and butter are mixed in.  Simmer for about 5 minutes.  Salt and pepper to taste.

Seafood Gumbo (Tim Scouten)

The gumbo is served over rice in a soup bowl.

1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup flour
1 medium green pepper, diced
1 medium onion, diced
4 stalks celery, diced
2 teaspoons olive oil
4 minced garlic cloves
1/2 to 1 teaspoon Creole seasoning
1/2 to 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/2 to 1 teaspoon salt
4 cups chicken or fish stock
1 pound Creole sausage or smoked sausage, in 1-inch chunks
4 cups seafood (your choice:  Tim used 1 pound shrimp, 1/2 fake lobster, and 1/2 pound crawfish)
1-pound bag stir fry vegetables

In a large stock pot (cast iron if you have it) make a roux by melting butter over medium-high heat, add flour and brown to milk chocolate color, approximately 20 minutes.  Meanwhile, in separate saucepan, sauté peppers, onion, and celery in olive oil until soft.  Add garlic, Creole seasoning, cayenne, and salt.  Stir.  Add roux and sauté to stock pot.  Slowly add 4 cups chicken or fish stock, 1 cup at a time, returning to boil after each cup of stock is added.  Full thickness will not be reached until stock is at full boil.  If stock is too thick, add water a little at a time, returning to boil each time.  Add stir fry vegetables, sausage, and seafood the last 8 minutes.  Return to full boil.  To serve, place a large scoop of cooked rice in bowl and cover with gumbo.

Knorr Spinach Dip (Lori Kearney)

10-oz. package frozen chopped spinach, thawed and squeezed dry (+640)
16-oz. sour cream (-290)
1 cup Hellmann's real mayonnaise (-534)
1.4-oz. package of Knorr vegetable recipe mix (by soups)
8-oz. water chestnuts, drained and chopped (+6)
2 tablespoons chopped onions.

Combine all of the ingredients above and chill for 2 hours.  Serve with your favorite crackers.  Lori served with Triscuits.

Hot Spinach and Artichoke Dip (Kerri Beth Stockin)

(Serve with Tortilla chips)

6 1/2-oz. jar artichoke hearts
2 tablespoons chopped onions
1 tablespoon butter
10-oz. frozen chopped spinach (thawed, drained, patted dry with paper towel)
1/4 cup Parmesan cheese
2 cups shredded Colby/Monterey Jack cheese
1/2 cup milk
3/4 teaspoon Creole seasoning

In a medium-sized saucepan, sauté artichoke hearts and onions until tender in butter.  Stir in thawed and drained spinach and Parmesan cheese.  Heat through.  Add in Colby/Monterey Jack cheese, milk, and Creole seasoning.  Heat until cheese melts.  Serve hot with Tortilla chips.

Potatoes Au Gratin (Chris)

If you don't like onions or garlic, leave them out.

1 clove garlic (+111)
4 medium potatoes, peeled and sliced (4 cups) (-1012)
3 tablespoons flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1 cup sliced onions (+412)
2 strips bacon (optional), uncooked, diced (-16)
1 1/2 cups Cheddar cheese (-154)
1 1/2 cups milk, hot (-67)

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  Grease bottom and sides of a 13x9-inch baking pan (I used 8x8 and it was fine).  Rub a little garlic on the sides too.  Thinly slice potatoes and put in cold water.  In a cup, mix flour, salt, and pepper.  Drain potatoes, arrange in pan:  1/2 of potatoes, onions, flour mixture, bacon, and remaining potatoes.  Top with cheese and pour hot milk over all.  Cover and bake for 45 minutes.  Uncover and bake 15 minutes or until tender when pierced with a fork.

Kelly's Chicken and Rice Casserole
(Kelly Samborski)

This would be a good recipe to use leftover cooked chicken.

1 1/2 to 2 cups boneless chicken breast meat, diced
14.5-oz. can chicken broth
2 cups uncooked Minute Rice
3/4 of 8-oz. box of Velveeta cheese, cubed
10-oz. chopped frozen broccoli (1 1/2 cups)

In a large saucepan, brown chicken in Pam or a tablespoon of oil just until no longer pink.  In a separate saucepan, bring broth to a boil, turn off heat, add rice, Velveeta, and broccoli.  Stir and then cover with a lid and let sit for 10 minutes.  Combine the chicken and rice mixture and place in an 8x8-inch baking dish.  Cover with foil to keep moisture in.  Bake 350 degrees for 30 minutes.

Schnitten (John Swailes)

(John Swailes' grandmother's recipe she got from Mrs. Stettler in Iowa).  This is not the prettiest looking cookie, but it has an excellent flavor, especially if you use black walnuts.

1 cup white granulated sugar
1 cup brown sugar, firmly packed
1 1/2 cups butter, softened
3 large eggs
4 cups white flour, sifted
1 teaspoon soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 pound chopped figs
1/2 pound chopped dates
1 cup chopped black walnuts

Cream together white sugar, brown sugar, and butter. Add eggs, one at a time and beat well.

Sift together flour, soda, salt, and cinnamon. Mix into sugar mixture. Stir in figs, dates, and nuts.

Chill dough in refrigerate overnight.  Roll into 1-inch balls and bake on greased cookie sheet at 375 degrees for 10 to 12 minutes.  Makes 4 dozen cookies.

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.