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

 Cella's News

February 2007



The Snowman

One day we built a snowman,
We built him out of snow;
You should have seen how fine he was,
All white from top to toe.

We poured some water over him,
To freeze his legs and ears;
And when we went indoors to bed,
We thought he'd last for years.

But, in the night a warmer kind
Of wind began to blow;
And Jack Frost cried and ran away,
And with him went the snow.

When we went out next morning
To bid our friend "Good Day",
There wasn't any snowman there...
He'd melted right away!

(Source Unknown)

Snow Ball

I made myself a snow ball as perfect as could be
I thought I'd keep it as a pet and let it sleep with me
I made it some pajamas and a pillow for it's head
Then, last night it ran away
But first -- it wet the bed.

(Shel Silverstein)

I like salt and the place I like it the most this time of year is on the road.  I think in the winter months I do more praying.  I almost scare myself to death driving in the lake effect snow.  I pray with my eyes open as I thank God for the beautiful scenery and pray that I will not harm myself or my car as I drive to work.  I even pray for you and your car, that I will not harm either of you.  I'm even blessed to have an old car that is hard to start in the morning.  Because of this, my husband starts my car, warms it up,  and cleans off the mountains of snow that have settled on it during the night.  So as I put my warm oven mitts on and drive to work, let me say thank you for staying back and not riding my bumper.  Thank you for giving that courtesy to other slow drivers as well.  After all, they know what their driving skills can tolerate and how their own tires react in the slippery conditions.  Be glad when you see a slow driver.  Smile, knowing that they will probably get home safely, car and all.  I don't mind going slow, and I hope you forgive me, but my mind still remembers the day my husband could not stop our vehicle in the new fallen snow and we collided with a tree on our way home from church.  If we hadn't hit the tree, we'd surely have been over the embankment.  Oh, and one more thing, the weather has been nice and cold, just right for baking up some of the great recipes I have for you this time.

I have lots of great recipes for you to try this month.  Some of them are unusual; like Jack's beef made with a jar of dill pickles, Toni's cracker dip made with Jalapeno jelly,  Evelyn's family favorite Butternut Cream Pie, Doris' easy and well liked chicken and biscuits, Carol's excellent pecan dessert, Mary Jane's Italian Sausage Bread, my Pennsylvania cousin Bonnie's Rice and Meatballs (I like best though with Ziti macaroni).  Christophe Zosh's low-carb Steak and Italian greens, and my variation of a diabetic chicken vegetable soup.  Enjoy.

Dilly Beef
(Jack Gerber)

3-pound boneless beef chuck roast 
16-oz jar whole dill pickles, undrained 
1/2 cup Heinz chili sauce 
2 garlic cloves, minced 
10 hamburger buns, split

Cut roast in half and place in a slow cooker. Add pickles with juice, chili sauce, and garlic. Cover and cook on low for 8 to 9 hours or until beef is tender. Discard pickles. Remove roast. When cool enough to handle, use forks to shred the meat.  Return meat to the sauce and heat through. Using a slotted spoon, fill each bun with about 1/2 cup meat mixture. 

Jalapeno Cheesecake
(Toni Sawyer)

8-oz. package Cream Cheese
5-oz. grated sharp Cheddar Cheese
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 large egg
8-oz. jar Jalapeno jelly

In a medium-size bowl, mix together cream cheese, Cheddar cheese, garlic, egg and half the jar of jelly.  Pour mixture into a greased 6-inch springform pan.  Bake in 350 degree oven for 35 minutes.  Cool completely and remove from pan.  Heat remaining jelly and pour over top of cheesecake.  Serve with your favorite crackers.

Chicken and Biscuits
(Doris Bevington)

5 pound whole chicken
water to cover chicken
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 small onion, diced
3 tablespoons butter
1/4 cup flour
2 cups chicken stock (reserved)
1/2 cup milk
Dozen ready to bake biscuits (homemade or some from frozen section of your store; Pillsbury makes some good ones)

Place whole chicken in a large pot, cover with water, add salt and onion.  Bring to a boil and simmer for an hour.  Let chicken cool in broth (do not discard broth as you will be using some of it later).  When chicken is cool, use your hands to remove skin and bones, keeping chicken in fairly large pieces.  Keep warm.  Prepare gravy.  Melt butter in a medium saucepan, whisk in flour until smooth.  Gradually add chicken broth and milk.  Cook until the mixture thickens, stirring often.  Arrange chicken in bottom of baking dish.  Pour the gravy mixture over the chicken.  Arrange uncooked biscuits on top, and bake in 350 degree oven until the biscuits are well-browned and cooked through, about 20 minutes.  If your family likes lots of gravy, made another batch.   

Pecan Pie Bars
(Carol Tharnish)

3 cups white flour
3/4 cup white granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup butter, softened

Crust:  In a large mixing bowl, combine into fine crumbs the flour, sugar, salt, and butter.  Press into an ungreased 15x10 or 11x7 baking sheet.  Bake 350 degrees for 18 to 22 minutes, or until lightly browned.

4 large eggs
1 1/2 cups white granulated sugar
1 1/2 cups light corn syrup
1/4 cup butter, melted
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
2 1/2 cups finely chopped pecans

Topping:  Mix together in a large bowl, eggs, sugar, corn syrup, butter, and vanilla.  Stir in chopped pecans.  Pour onto baked crust.  Bake in 350 degree oven for 25 to 30 minutes.  Cut into squares while still warm.

Italian Sausage Bread (Makes 2 loaves)
(Mary Jane Scouten)

6 cups all purpose flour, divided
2 packets active yeast
1 tsp. salt
2 cups warm water (120-130 degrees)

Mix together ONLY 2 cups flour, yeast, and salt.  Add remaining flour and warm water to make a thick dough. Place on a lightly floured surface and knead dough until dough is smooth and elastic. Place dough in a greased bowl, cover with a dish towel and set in a warm place to rise for 1-1 hours, or until double.  Meanwhile, make sausage filling.  When dough is doubled, punch down dough and divide into two loaves.  On a lightly floured surface, roll out a loaf of bread dough into a 15-inch square.  Spread half of sausage mixture on dough to within an inch of the edges and roll up like a jelly roll.  Seal ends.  Repeat with other loaf.  Place seam-side down on a greased cookie sheet and bake at 375 degrees for approximately 45 minutes or until bread is golden and baked through.

Sausage Filling
1 lbs mild or sweet Italian sausage loose
1 lb grated Mozzarella cheese
cup grated Romano cheese
1 tsp. Basil
1 tsp Parsley
3 minced garlic cloves
1 tablespoon garlic powder
2 large eggs

In a large frying pan, cook sausage thoroughly and drain completely. Return sausage to pan, over low heat add cheeses, spices, stirring until cheese is completely melted and mixed with sausage. Turn off heat.  Beat eggs, cool sausage a bit then place in eggs and turn mixture until sausage is completely covered in egg.  The eggs keep the moisture in the cooked sausage mix so that the bread can bake, if you do not use eggs, the dough around the sausage mixture will be sticky and raw.

Rice and Meatballs 
(Bonnie Stover) 

Note:  Also good served over ziti macaroni instead of rice.

1 cup uncooked long-grain rice

1 pound hamburger
1 (1-oz.) envelope of dry onion soup mix
1 cup bread crumbs

1 quart tomatoes (1 pound, 12-oz.)
1 (10 3/4-oz.) can tomato soup
1 can (10 3/4-oz.) golden mushroom soup
2 tablespoons Worcestershire Sauce
2 tablespoons brown sugar

Cook rice according to package directions and keep warm.  Meatballs:  Combine hamburger, onion soup mix, and bread crumbs.  Roll into 1-inch balls and fry in large skillet until meat is no longer pink.  Drain off grease.  In a large bowl, combine tomatoes, tomato soup, golden mushroom soup, Worcestershire Sauce, and brown sugar.  Simmer for 30 minutes.  Pour over meatballs, heat through and serve over rice (or ziti macaroni).

Butternut Cream Pie
(Evelyn Winkler)
Note: This pie can be topped with meringue or whipped cream

9-inch pie crust, prepared
2/3 cup white granulated sugar
3 tablespoons cornstarch
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 cups milk
3 egg yolks (save whites for meringue
1 tablespoon butter
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
3/4 cup butternuts, finely chopped

In a large saucepan, combine the sugar, cornstarch, and salt; gradually adding the milk until the mixture thickens.  Boil for one minute.  Remove from heat.  Gradually stir some of the mixture into the egg yolks.  Then pour back into the hot mixture and boil for one minute.  Remove from heat and blend in the butter, vanilla, and the butternuts.  Pour into a baked pie shell.  Option:  Top with whipped cream or with meringue as follows.

Meringue for Butternut Cream Pie
3 egg whites (reserved from above)
1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar or 1 teaspoon lemon juice
6 teaspoons white granulated sugar

In a medium-size mixing bowl, beat egg whites with cream of tartar until frothy.  Gradually beat in sugar, a little at a time.  Continue until stiff (a pinch between fingers is not grainy).  Spread onto top of pie filling to edges.  Bake in 400 degree oven for 8 to 10 minutes or until golden brown.

Flank Steak with Red Wine Vinegar and Greens (Christopher Zosh)

1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1 pound Flank Steak, cut in 2 equal pieces
Montreal Steak Seasoning(must use)
1 clove minced garlic
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 tablespoon butter
10-oz. Italian Salad Blend (Romaine and Radicchio)

In a large frying pan, heat oil, season both sides of steak with Montreal Steak Seasoning.  Sear steak six minutes each side.  Transfer meat to plate and keep warm.  Add garlic to pan and cook 30 seconds, add red wine vinegar, oregano, and butter.  When butter melts, quickly stir in greens, wilting them slightly, but not all the way, you want them to still be crunchy.  Slice meat in strips across the grain, serve with greens on top.  Serve immediately.

Chicken Vegetable Soup
(variation of a diabetic soup recipe)

Note: The addition of heavy cream and Parmesan cheese to this recipe makes it excellent.

1 full chicken breast (cut into 1-inch chunks), uncooked (2 pounds)
1 teaspoon poultry seasoning
2 tablespoons Canola vegetable oil or olive oil
8-oz. sliced fresh mushrooms
1 cup carrots, diced
1/2 cup onion, diced
1/2 cup red sweet pepper, diced
2 teaspoons minced garlic
2 teaspoons dried basil
1 teaspoon dried parsley flakes, snipped
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1/8 teaspoon salt
6 cups water
2 tablespoons instant chicken bouillon
3 cups cubed potatoes, uncooked
1/2 cup quick-cooking barley
heavy cream (to top off soup in bowl when serving)
Parmesan cheese (to top off soup in bowl when serving )

In a medium-size bowl, mix uncooked chicken pieces with poultry seasoning, set aside. In a large frying pan, combine 1 tablespoon of oil, mushrooms, carrots, onion, red pepper, garlic, basil, parsley, black pepper, and salt. Heat over medium heat, stirring occasionally until vegetables are cooked. Remove vegetables from pan. Add chicken and 1 tablespoon of oil. Fry chicken over medium heat until cooked through and browned, stirring often. Meanwhile, in a large cooking pot, combine water and bouillon. Bring to a boil and add potatoes and barley. Simmer for 15 minutes. chicken and and vegetables.  Heat through.  When serving the soup, top off each bowl with a bit of heavy cream and a generous sprinkling of Parmesan cheese.  Serves 6 to 8.

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.