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

 Cella's News

March 2006



When Tomorrow Starts Without Me

When tomorrow starts without me.

And I’m not there to see;

If the sun should rise and find your eyes

All filled with tears for me;

I wish so much you wouldn’t cry

The way you did today,

While thinking of the many things,

We didn’t get to say.

I know how much you love me,

As much as I love you,

And each time that you think of me,

I know you’ll miss me too;

But when tomorrow starts without me,

Please try to understand,

That an angel came and called my name,

And took me by the hand,

And said my place was ready,

In heaven far above,

And that I’d have to leave behind

All those I dearly love.

But as I turned to walk away,

A tear fell from my eye

For all my life, I’d always thought,

I didn’t want to die.

I had so much to live for,

So much left yet to do,

It seemed almost impossible,

That I was leaving you.

I thought of all the yesterdays,

The good ones and the bad,

I thought of all the love we shared,

And all the fun we had.

If I could relive yesterday,

Just even for a while,

I’d say goodbye and kiss you

And maybe see you smile.

But then I fully realized,

That this could never be,

For emptiness and memories,

Would take the place of me.

And when I thought of worldly things,

I might miss come tomorrow,

I thought of you, and when I did,

My heart was filled with sorrow.

But when I walked through heaven’s gates,

I felt so much at home.

When God looked down and smiled at me,

From His great golden throne,

He said “This is eternity,

And all I’ve promised you.”

Today your life on earth is past,

But here life starts anew.

I promise no tomorrow,

But today will always last,

And since each day’s the same way

There’s no longing for the past.

You have been so faithful,

So trusting and so true.

Though there were times

You did some things

You knew you shouldn’t do.

But you have been forgiven

And now at last you’re free.

So won’t you come and take my hand

And share my life with me?

So when tomorrow starts without me,

Don’t think we’re far apart,

For every time you think of me,

I’m right here, in your heart.

(Author Unknown)


I've been busy this past month trying and remaking the delicious recipes in this column.  Some ingredients you might not be used to, like tofu and barley.  I wasn't too crazy about tofu (soy protein) before, but I really like the tofu scramble combination with fresh baby spinach, tomatoes, Parmesan-Romano cheese and almonds.  It looks and tastes wonderful.  

I've lost count of how many times I've made the Barley Soup.  Barley is low on the glycemic index (36) and great for diabetics.  It is a filling, healthy substitute for potatoes, rice, and pasta.  You can use the quick-cooking kind, or cook up some pearled barley.  One cup of pearled barley can be cooked in 6 cups of boiling water, uncovered,  for 30 to 45 minutes and will yield a little over 3 cups.  You can keep the cooked barley in a plastic bag in the refrigerator for up to a week and add it to various dishes during the week.

Tofu Scramble
(Variation of a Diabetic Recipe)

1/2 cup onion, diced
6-oz. firm tofu (cut in 1/2-inch cubes)
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
5-oz. fresh organic baby spinach
2 slices tomato, diced
4 tablespoons grated Parmesan-Romano cheese
1/4 cup sliced almonds

Sauté onion and tofu in olive oil over medium heat until onion is translucent and tofu is lightly browned.  Stir in spinach and cook until spinach is wilted.  Add tomatoes and cook just until heated through.  Stir in Parmesan-Romano cheese and serve immediately topped with sliced almonds.  Serves 2.

Hearty Barley Vegetable Soup
(Quick variation of a Quaker® Barley Recipe)

8-oz. ground chuck (80/20)
1/2 cup onions, diced
1 teaspoon minced garlic
4 (14 1/2-oz.) cans beef broth
14 1/2-oz. can diced tomatoes
3/4 cup Quaker® Quick Barley
1/2 cup celery, sliced
1/2 cup carrots, diced
1/2 teaspoon basil
2 cups frozen mixed vegetables (carrots, corn, peas, green beans, lima beans)

Combine meat, onions, and garlic in a large frying pan.  Cook over medium heat, stirring often, until meat is brown.  Add beef broth, tomatoes, barley, celery, carrots, and basil.  Bring to a boil and then simmer for 10 minutes.  Add frozen vegetables and simmer another 10 minutes.  Makes 2 quarts.

Jack Gerber has submitted some excellent recipes this month.  It is important when making the Bacon-Wrapped Asparagus to precook the bacon for 3 minutes to rid it of excess fat before baking it in the oven.  Guests at my home enjoyed the asparagus recipe.  Soon Spring will be here, along with fresh asparagus.  Keep this vegetable recipe in mind, you'll be making it many times.

Bacon-Wrapped Asparagus
(Adapted from Jack Gerber's family recipe)

1-pound fresh asparagus
pound bacon
3 tablespoons butter, melted
1/4 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1/4 teaspoon garlic salt
1/8 teaspoon soy sauce

Break off tough ends of asparagus by placing them one at a time point down on counter and bending over until the tough portion breaks off.  Discard tough stalks.  Keep remaining asparagus whole and parboil for 1 to 3 minutes until crisp tender.  Drain.  Fry bacon for 3 minutes, drain off fat.  Wrap a slice of bacon around two or three asparagus, using up all of the asparagus and all of the bacon.  In a small bowl, combine the butter, brown sugar, garlic salt, and soy sauce.  Place asparagus bundles on ungreased cookie sheet.  Spoon all of the sauce over bacon and bake in preheated 400 degree oven for 10 to 15 minutes or until bacon is crisp and sauce is thick on meat.

Jack Gerber's Chateaubriand with Green Peppercorn Sauce is a great meat dish to serve to your guests.  The spice rub is excellent and can be used for many meats.  I think Jack told me that he made 12 venison tenderloins one time at hunting camp.  I've made this recipe twice and used a Beef Sirloin Tip roast each time.  The baking time is very short for rare roast beef.  An excellent recipe.  I'm looking forward to trying it with a venison tenderloin.

Chateaubriand with Green Peppercorn Sauce (Jack Gerber)

3-pound beef or venison tenderloin or roast 
olive oil (for coating meat)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon paprika
2 or 3 tablespoons olive oil for frying meat

Preheat oven to 500 degrees.  When meat is ready to go into the oven, turn oven down to 350 degrees.  

Rub olive oil over the meat.  Combine salt, black pepper, garlic powder, and paprika in a small dish.  Rub evenly over meat surface.  Sear meat in hot frying pan with 2 or 3 tablespoons of olive oil.  Brown on all sides to seal in the juices.  Use a fork to hold meat up to sear the ends.  Place meat in a baking dish, cover with foil.  Turn oven down to 350 degrees and bake for only 20 minutes.  Turn off oven and let meat rest in oven for 10 minutes (time will be dependent on size of meat - turn down when "pink" but overly bloody).  To serve, carve across the grain and cover with green peppercorn sauce.

Green Peppercorn Sauce
3 tablespoons butter
3 tablespoons minced shallots
3 tablespoons brandy (or apple cider) 
1 tablespoon chopped/mashed green peppercorns
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1 beef bouillon cube or 1 teaspoon loose beef bouillon
2 cups heavy cream
1 teaspoon butter (to stir in sauce at serving)

In a saucepan, melt the butter, add shallots, and sauté until shallots are translucent.  Stir in brandy and reduce over high heat by half.  Add peppercorns, mustard, bouillon cube, and heavy cream.  Cook until thickened, stirring constantly (do not allow to boil as the sauce will separate).  Stir in butter before serving.  Serve immediately with Chateaubriand.

Chicken Chermoula
(From Diabetic Recipe)

1/2 tablespoon olive oil
1 1/2 tablespoons lemon juice
2 teaspoons minced garlic
1 tablespoon fresh or dried parsley
1/2 tablespoon fresh or dried cilantro
1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon paprika
2 or 3 cups uncooked chicken breast meat, 1-inch cubes
2 additional tablespoons olive oil (to fry meat in)

Combine all of the above ingredients in a large bowl, except for 2 tablespoons of olive oil.  Mix together to coat chicken evenly.  Fry in two tablespoons of olive oil over medium heat until meat is no longer pink inside.  Serve with rice or noodles.

Southern Pecan Catfish
(Jack Gerber)

Coating Mixture:
1/2 cups finely chopped pecans
1/2 cup cornmeal
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper

1/4 cup butter
4 catfish fillets (6-oz. each)

1/4 cup butter
1/2 cup pecans, chopped
1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1 to 2 tablespoons fresh parsley, minced

Coating Fish:  In small mixing bowl, combine 1/2 cup pecans, cornmeal, salt, and pepper.  Coat catfish with pecan mixture (Cella's note:  If you can't get mixture to stick to fish, beat together one egg with a tablespoon of water, dip fish in it, then coating mixture).  In a large skillet, melt butter over medium heat.  Fry fillets for 6 to 7 minutes on each side or until fish flakes easily with a fork.  Remove and keep warm.  

Pecan Sauce:  In the same skillet, melt butter, add pecans and cook and stir for one minute.  Add the cream, lemon juice, salt and black pepper.  Cook and stir for one minute.  Stir in the parsley.  Spoon over catfish.  Yield.  4 servings.

Thanks to Alita Dueringer, you don't have to wait until Thanksgiving to enjoy the dark meat of a turkey drumstick.  This cooking method results in a juicy drumstick, not dried out like some from Thanksgiving.  

Turkey Drumsticks and Gravy
(Alita Dueringer)

3 turkey drumsticks
2 tablespoons butter
8 or 9 fresh mushrooms, sliced
2 shallots, thinly sliced
2 tablespoons garlic, minced
14.5-oz. can chicken broth

flour to thicken gravy
1 teaspoon lemon zest

salt and pepper to taste
3 sprigs of fresh thyme

Place turkey drumsticks, butter, mushrooms, shallots, and garlic in a large frying pan over medium heat.  Fry to brown the meat to seal in juices.  Remove to baking pan, add chicken broth.  Cover and bake in 325 degree oven for one hour or until meat temperature reaches 165 degrees.  Pour broth into a saucepan and use a whisk to thicken the broth with a paste made from flour and water/chicken broth.  Stir in lemon zest, salt and pepper to taste, and fresh sprigs of thyme.

Chain Reaction Chili
(Jim Hurst)

2 pounds hamburger, brown and drain
2 medium onions or 1 large
1 1/2 green peppers (red or yellow bell peppers are OK)
28-oz. can diced tomatoes (spicy or not)
15-oz. can tomato sauce (spicy or not)
12-oz. barbeque sauce (choose your favorite flavor)
15-oz. can dark red kidney beans
15-oz. can white corn (optional)
2 bay leaves
1 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoon crushed red pepper
2 tablespoons chili powder

Place all ingredients in crock pot and cook overnight.  Enjoy.  (Note:  Cella cooked all ingredients together on top of stove and it was ready to eat immediately).  Remove bay leaves before serving.

I obtained the Chocolate Eclair Cake in a bartering trade.  I was at work asking who might accept in trade my delicious red Empire apple for a piece of chocolate cake with chocolate frosting.  I only had to ask a couple of people when I found out that Dawn Milliman had some leftover cake.  She gladly let me have a piece and let me keep my apple.  A few of my fellow co-workers were carefully monitoring my search and reaped in the results.  The Eclair cake can be assembled in about 10 minutes and is excellent.  I've made it about 4 times.  I used sugar-free French vanilla pudding and Xylitol sugar (8 on the glycemic index and a great white sugar substitute).  The General Store in East Concord carries this sugar.  

Chocolate Eclair Cake
(Dawn Milliman)

2 packages of Honey Graham Crackers from 14.4-oz. box
2 boxes (4 servings-size) of regular or sugar-free instant vanilla or French vanilla pudding mix
2 cups milk (ONLY)
8-oz. container Cool Whip (or Cella's favorite:  2 cups heavy whipping cream whipped sweetened with 6 tablespoons of Xylitol sugar or white sugar)
16-oz. can prepared Chocolate Frosting

Layer bottom of 13x9-inch pan with one package of graham crackers (whole).  Mix pudding with only 2 cups milk until thickened.  Let sit in refrigerator for 5 minutes.  Fold whipped cream into pudding.  Spread over graham crackers.  Place a layer of graham crackers on top of pudding.  Take lid and foil covering off frosting and microwave for 30 to 40 seconds.  Stir frosting in container and then pour over graham cracker layer and spread evenly.  Place in refrigerator overnight.  Serve cold.

It's maple season now in Western New York and in celebration I have included a recipe for Glazed Maple-Pecan Cookies.  Yumm.

Glazed Maple-Pecan Cookies
(Melanie Stockin Feltman)

3/4 cup white granulated sugar
1/4 firmly packed, dark brown sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons maple flavoring
3/4 cup butter, softened
1 large egg
1/4 cup pure maple syrup
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour, sifted
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
8-oz. pecans, coarsely chopped

3/4 cup sifted confectioners' sugar
1/4 cup pure maple syrup, warmed
hot water as needed for thinning

Dough:  In a large bowl, cream together the white sugar, brown sugar, maple flavoring, butter, egg, maple syrup, and vanilla.  Mix in the flour, salt, and baking soda.  Stir in pecans.  Refrigerate dough for half an hour to cool.  Form dough into 1-inch balls, press down with the heels of your hands, place on ungreased cookie sheet about 2-inches apart.  Bake in 350 degree oven until lightly browned, 12 to 15 minutes.  Turn cookies out on wire rack.  While cookies are warm, spoon glaze on top of cookies. 

Glaze:  Combine the confectioners' sugar with maple syrup and water as needed for thinning until smooth.

I have a food challenge for you and your children. Next time you go food shopping, look for and buy as many organic foods as you can, both fresh and canned.  Encourage our stores to provide healthier foods for us.  You may be surprised how many organic foods are offered now in Springville at Tops, Wal-mart, and The General Store in East Concord.

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.