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

 Cella's News

January 2008



Thank You God for Little Things

Thank you God for little things

That often come our way -

The things we take for granted

And don't mention when we pray -

The unexpected courtesy,

the thoughtful, kindly deed,

A hand reached out to help us in the time of sudden need.

Oh, make us more aware, dear God,

of little daily graces

That come to us with sweet surprise

From never-dreamed-of places

(Helen Steiner Rice) 

What fun I had during the holidays.  My son Cary and his wife Kerri Beth and their two boys, Jacob (8) and Joshua (Superman) (4); came from Illinois and my daughter Melanie and her two boys Nicholas (almost 9) and James (6) came from Long Island; Michael, Melanie's husband, stayed behind to work overtime.  I've learned from previous visits to cater to the children's palates so that I will get rave reviews.  Although I am a low-carb person, I served Fruity Pebbles®, Chocolate Coco Puffs®, and Rice Krispies® cereal for breakfast, as well as French Toast with real maple syrup and frozen waffles, with round sausage patties and bacon, and cheesy eggs (with mom Kerri taking over to ensure they were just right).  I had hot dogs, macaroni and cheese, store-bought chicken noodle soup, Ramen Noodles®, Peanut Butter, Fluff®, jelly, white bread, pizza, chicken wings, apple juice, and chocolate milk.  James and guest Samantha had fun making, serving, and eating the ice cream torte cake from last month's column.  James also made the pineapple sherbet from that column.  He loved cutting up the maraschino cherries and sneaking into the freezer to watch the sherbet freeze up.  Melanie and I made Potica bread from a secret recipe that was given to me for Christmas one year and she made Sponge Candy.

James found a lovely silver bell I had and starting ringing it during his visit as he sat on the couch.  He asked me what it was for.  I told him that rich people used bells like that to summon a maid.  I'm sure James will be royalty some day as he rang that bell so much that I finally yelled to him that "I quit!"  That tickled his funny bone.  When I rang the bell to summon James, he popped his head in the room just long enough to shout "I quit!"  Tonight I got a call from Long Island - it was James.  He had rung me up and was ringing a bell in the background.  I yelled over the phone I Quit!" and James laughed.  "Where is my dinner"?  he said.  I said, "Grandma would be glad to get your dinner if you come and get it - it's but you'll have to travel for eight hours."  Fortunately for James, his mother had supper ready.

Thanks to everyone who shared recipes this past month.  I made John's one cup pie for the holidays and placed it precariously in my upright freezer in a glass pie plate.  A little voice said, "Now what will you do if it falls out?"  My bigger busy voice said, "If the pie falls, I'll just have to catch it."  Did I mention that my hand and eye coordination are not what they used to be.  When I opened the door to the freezer to get the pie out, it fell on its glass pie plate edge on my wooden floor and broke off a couple of hunks of glass.  That pie that normally would have served eight, served six.  There was no sense crying about it, we needed to start cutting calories around here.

Mocha Crunch Bars
(Lee Luss)

Note:  These bars are crisp and good dipped in coffee.  This recipe is over 20 years old and was Lee's husband Don's favorite.  This recipe contains no eggs.

1 cup butter, softened
1 cup brown sugar, firmly packed
1 teaspoon almond extract
2 cups white all-purpose flour, sifted
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons instant coffee granules
1/2 cup chopped nuts of your choice
6-oz. package semi-sweet chocolate morsels

In a large mixing bowl, combine ingredients, except for nuts and bits.  Stir in nuts and morsels.  Pat or spread evenly in ungreased cookie sheet and bake at 350 degrees for 25 minutes or until lightly browned.  Cut while warm into 1x2-inch bars or as desired.

Veggie Cornbread
(Jerry Richards)

1 3/4 sticks butter
6 large eggs
2 (8.5-oz.) boxes Jiffy Corn Muffin Mix
8-oz. cottage cheese
8-oz. Shredded Cheese Mix
1 cup grated zucchini
1/2 cup onion, diced
10-oz. frozen peas
1 pound Virginia ham, chunked
1/2 each of red and yellow bell pepper
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
pinch parsley

Melt butter over low heat and pour into a large mixing bowl.  Stir in eggs, corn muffin mix, cottage cheese, shredded cheese, zucchini, onion, peas, ham, red and yellow bell peppers, and vegetable oil.  Place in a buttered 9 x 13-inch baking dish, sprinkle with parsley and bake in 350 degree oven until lightly browned on top, about 45 to 60 minutes.  Serve hot with additional butter.

One Cup Pie
(John Andrus)

1 cup creamy peanut butter
1 cup cream cheese, softened
1 cup confectioners sugar
1 cup whipped topping
1 cup chocolate frosting
1 baked 9-inch graham cracker crust

Beat peanut butter and cream cheese together until smooth.  Add sugar and beat well.  Add whipped topping and beat well.  Pour mixture into pie crust and cover with frosting.  Cover and freeze for at least 3 hours.  Remove from freezer and let soften 15 minutes.  Slice and enjoy.  Serves 6.

Taco Chops
(Kerri Beth Stockin)

6 pork chops, 1/2-inch thick
1 cup flour
1 large egg
1/3 cup milk
1 cup finely shredded Cheddar Cheese
1 cup Italian breadcrumbs
1/2 of a 1.25-oz. packet of Taco Seasoning Mix

Place flour in a separate bowl;  Place egg and milk in a separate bowl and mix together.  Place cheese, breadcrumbs, and Taco Seasoning Mix in a separate bowl and mix together.  Dredge pork chops first in flour, then beaten egg and milk mixture, then breadcrumbs mixture.  Place pork chops on a well-greased cookie sheet and bake uncovered for 35 to 40 minutes or until no pink remains. 

Cheesy Scrambled Eggs
(Kerri Beth Stockin)

2 tablespoons butter
2 large eggs
4 tablespoons heavy cream or milk
1 slice American cheese
pinch garlic salt or powder
pinch onion salt or powder

Melt butter in a frying pan over low heat. In a small bowl, use a fork to whip air into eggs with heavy cream or milk until well mixed, pour onto melted butter and let cook until starting to set and then stir with a spatula from time to time until eggs are cooked through.  Add American cheese and garlic and onion salt or powder.  Serve immediately. 

Almond Puff
(Doris Bevington)

Note:  Makes 2, 12x3-inch rectangle puffs, placed on single cookie sheet, 2-inches apart 

Layer 1:
1/2 cup butter, softened, no substitutes
1 cup flour
2 tablespoons water

Layer 2:
1/2 cup butter, no substitutes
1 cup water
1 teaspoon almond extract
1 cup flour
3 eggs

Layer 3:
1 1/2-cups confectioners sugar
2 tablespoons butter
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
little milk
1 cup nuts (walnuts or pecans)

Mix together ingredients for Layer 1 and spread on ungreased cookie sheet, forming two 12x3-inch rectangles, about 2-inches apart.  Layer 2:  Bring butter and water to a boil and immediately stir in almond extract and flour.  Take off heat.  Stir in eggs all at once.  Place on top of Layer 1. Bake 1 hour.  Cool.  Mix together ingredients from Layer 3 until smooth, except for nuts, and frost almond puffs.  Sprinkle with nuts.

Chocolate Candy Cane Cookies
(Alita Dueringer)

1/3 cup shortening
1/3 cup butter, no substitutes
3/4 cup white granulated sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 large egg
2 tablespoons milk
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour, sifted

White Chocolate Glaze:
4-oz. white chocolate
2 to 4 teaspoons shortening, for consistency
2/3 cup crushed peppermint candy canes

In a medium-size mixing bowl, combine the shortening and butter with an electric mixer until smooth.  Mix in sugar and baking powder, egg, milk, and vanilla.  Mix in cocoa and flour, using a spoon or clean hands, if necessary.  Chill dough for 1 hour. Roll dough out to 1/4-inch thickness on a lightly floured surface.  Use a candy cane cookie cutter to cut dough in shapes.  Place cutouts on an ungreased cookie sheet, one inch apart, and bake in 350 degree oven 7 to 9 minutes or until set on top.  Remove from cookie sheet and cool on wire racks.  To frost cookies:  In a double boiler, heat chocolate and shortening until melted, stirring often.  Work quickly as chocolate will harden fast.  Drizzle chocolate on cookies and immediately sprinkle with candy cane pieces.

Chocolaty Caramel Thumbprints
(Alita Dueringer)

Note:  This is a chocolate thumbprint cookie, rolled in pecans with the middle filled with caramel and chocolate drizzled over the top.  A beauty of a cookie.

1/2 cup butter, softened (no substitutes)
2/3 cup white granulated sugar
1 large egg, divided
2 tablespoons milk
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup all-purpose white flour, sifted
1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/4 cups finely chopped pecans
16 vanilla caramels, unwrapped
3 tablespoons heavy whipping cream
1 1/2 cups semisweet chocolate morsels
1 teaspoon shortening

In a large mixing bowl, cream the butter, sugar, egg yolk (place white in refrigerator to use later), milk, and vanilla.  Mix in the flour, cocoa powder, and salt until well combined.  Wrap dough in plastic wrap and chill for 2 hours. Shape the dough into 1-inch balls, roll the balls in egg white that is slightly beaten with a fork, and then in pecans to coat.  Place balls 1-inch apart on greased cookie sheet, use your thumb to make an indentation in the middle and bake in 350 degree oven for 10 minutes or until edges are firm.  Remove cookies to a wire rack to cook; pushing down in thumbprint area if necessary to make well for caramel.  Meanwhile, over a double boiler (a pan sitting inside of another pan of lightly simmering water).  If you use a frying pan, you can sit two small pans in the water - one for the caramels and one for the chocolate), melt caramels with heavy cream, stirring to make smooth.  Fill centers of baked and cooled cookies with caramel.  Melt chocolate and shortening in a double boiler, stirring until smooth and drizzle the chocolate over the caramel and cookies.  Cool.  Makes about 20 cookies.

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.