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

 Cella's News

May 2009



No, Freedom Isn't Free (Kelly Strong)

I watched the flag pass by one day.
It fluttered in the breeze.
A young Marine saluted it,
And then he stood at ease.
I looked at him in uniform
So young, so tall, so proud,
With hair cut square and eyes alert
He'd stand out in any crowd.
I thought how many men like him
Had fallen through the years.
How many died on foreign soil?
How many mothers' tears?
How many pilots' planes shot down?
How many died at sea?
How many foxholes were soldiers' graves?
No, freedom isn't free.

I heard the sound of taps one night,
When everything was still
I listened to the bugler play
And felt a sudden chill.
I wondered just how many times
That taps had meant "Amen,"
When a flag had draped a coffin
Of a brother or a friend.
I thought of all the children,
Of the mothers and the wives,
Of fathers, sons and husbands
With interrupted lives.
I thought about a graveyard
At the bottom of the sea
Of unmarked graves in Arlington.
No, freedom isn't free.


In Flanders Fields
(Lieutenant Colonel John McCrae, MD) (1872-1918) Canadian Army

In Flanders Fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.

We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved and were loved, and now we lie
In Flanders fields.

Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.


I get way more than my share of junk mail.  I'm sure that word has gotten around to the advertisers that if they keep sending me their literature that I will eventually buy something from them.  I love buying books on "how-to" fix this or that problem.  I especially like reading about alternative health-related information that I can use myself or pass the information on to another.  I'm not usually tempted by the colorful flyers to buy cookbooks; but that last advertisement brochure I received in my mailbox from Betty Crocker got my attention.  The recipe photographers outdid themselves on the food shots  I was tempted to buy the book, but then I realized that I was living in the day and age of the Internet.  I felt like the sleuth Sherlock Holmes searching out a suspect as I typed in one recipe name after the other and obtained the recipes I wanted without having to purchase the book.  I also did not have to pay postage or wait for the book to come in the mail.  I had Betty Crocker's Impossibly Easy Ham 'n Swiss Pie tonight with a side of fresh asparagus from my garden and the S'mores Lava Cakes for dessert.  Visit bettycrocker.org for the excellent Easy Ham 'n Swiss Pie recipe.  Another great web site for great recipes and cooking videos is ehow.com.  Check out the recipe for "Pizza Pot Pies."  If you don't have the Internet, don't despair.  I'm sure your Internet sleuth friends would gladly find you the recipes you want for a taster's fee. 

Quite by accident, I stumbled onto a great website World's Healthiest Foods at whfoods.org.  Chef George Mateljan's book "The World's Healthiest Foods," was the winner of the National Best Books 2007 Awards.  Chef Mateljan teaches how to cook vegetables to help preserve the vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants for our health.  One of his videos showed an excellent demonstration of why people should not cook with extra virgin olive oil.  Extra virgin olive oil cannot bear the heat and it turns into a toxic product.  I was glad to hear the chef say that frying with coconut oil was a good choice.

German Chocolate Upside Down Cake
(Nancy Kelly)

1 box German Chocolate Cake Mix
1 cup flaked coconut
1 cup chopped pecans
1/2 cup butter
8-oz. package cream cheese
16-oz. box confectioners' sugar

Mix cake as directed on the box.  Spread coconut and pecans evenly on the bottom of a greased and floured 9x13-inch pan.  Pour cake batter over the top. In a saucepan over low heat, melt the butter and cream cheese together.  Stir in the confectioners sugar until smooth.  Pour mixture over the cake batter.  Bake 35 - 40 minutes at 350 degrees.  Let cake cool thoroughly before serving.

Sloppy Joes for 100
(Doris Bevington)

20 pounds lean ground beef
3 cups chopped onions
1/4 cup Worcestershire sauce
1 pound brown sugar
1 cup prepared mustard
dash of chili powder
1 gallon ketchup
2 tablespoons cider vinegar
salt and pepper to taste
Hamburger Buns

In several large kettles or Dutch ovens, brown the beef.  Drain well.  In a large bowl, combine the onions, Worcestershire sauce, brown sugar, mustard, chili powder, ketchup, and cider vinegar.  Divide the mix evenly between pans and simmer for one hour.  Stir occasionally so as not to scorch the mixture.  Salt and pepper to taste.  Serve on buns.

Beans with Hot Smoked Sausage
(Linda Cebrian)

1 pound Italian sweet sausage
1 medium onion, diced or 2 tablespoons dehydrated minced onion
15-oz. can pork 'n' beans
15-oz. can kidney beans
15-oz. can butter beans
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup ketchup
1 tablespoon mustard
1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar

Slice sausage and brown in skillet over medium heat.  Drain grease.  Place the meat and remaining ingredients in a 4-quart kettle and simmer for 30 minutes.  

Chocolate Scotcheroos
(Jamie Prowse)

5 cups Rice Krispies® cereal
1 cup light corn syrup
1 cup white granulated sugar
1 cup peanut butter
1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 cup butterscotch chips

Place corn syrup and sugar in a large saucepan.  Cook over medium heat, stirring frequently, until sugar dissolves and mixture begins to boil.  Remove from heat.  Stir in peanut butter and mix well.  Add Rice Krispies® cereal.  Stir until well coated.  Press mixture into 13x9x2-inch pan coated with cooking spray.  In a double boiler, or over low heat, melt chocolate and butterscotch chips in a small saucepan, stirring constantly.  Spread evenly over cereal mixture.  Let stand until firm.  Cut into 2x1-inch bars when cool.  Yield 48 bars.

Shipwreck Casserole
(Nancy Kelly)

2 medium onions, sliced
2 medium potatoes, sliced
1 pound lean hamburger, browned
1 cup diced celery
1/2 cup uncooked rice
1 cup sliced carrots
salt, pepper, paprika
10 3/4-oz. can tomato OR mushroom soup
1 cup boiling water
1/4 cup shredded cheese (of your choice)

Layer onions, potatoes, hamburger, celery, rice, and carrots in a 9x13x2-inch baking dish.  Add salt, pepper, and paprika as desired.  Mix soup and water and pour over the layers.  Bake 350 degrees for an hour.  Before serving, top with the cheese of your choice.

4-P Soup
(Peanut, Pumpkin, Sweet Potato, & Jalapeño Pepper)
(Jamie Prowse)

Note:  Jamie helped create this most excellent and unusual soup.  It was a hit at a recent International Smorgasbord luncheon at work.

2 yams or sweet potatoes (or 15-oz.  can, drained and puréed)
2 tablespoons minced onion
1/4 cup chopped Jalapeño pepper
2 tablespoons butter
2 cups thick pumpkin puree
8 cups chicken broth
1 cup natural or old-fashioned peanut butter
2 teaspoons coarse-grained mustard

Peel potatoes and cook until tender in boiling water to cover.  Drain and puree; or use canned potatoes, drained and puréed.  In a large saucepan over low heat, sauté onions and Jalapeño pepper in butter until tender.  Mix in the cooked potatoes and pumpkin.  Alternately add chicken broth and peanut butter.  Stir the mixture after each addition until soup is smooth.  Bring soup to a boil, stirring often.  Reduce heat and simmer 25 minutes or until desired consistency, stirring often.  Stir in mustard to finish.

Louisiana Jambalaya Recipe
(Internet Variation)

1 pound smoked Chroizo® sausage
2 tablespoons coconut oil
1 tablespoon butter
1 cup onions, diced
1 cup green peppers, diced
1/2 cup celery, finely chopped
1 1/2 teaspoons minced garlic
16-oz. can diced tomatoes
1 teaspoon thyme leaves
1 teaspoon basil
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 teaspoon sea salt
1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
1/2 teaspoon chili powder
1 1/2 cups long-grain rice
15-oz. can chicken broth
12-oz. small cooked frozen shrimp, deveined, tails removed

In a skillet, sauté the sausage in oil and butter over low heat for about 5 minutes.  Stir in the onions, green peppers, celery, and garlic and sauté until vegetables are tender.  Stir in the tomatoes, seasonings, rice, and chicken broth.  Add the shrimp and bring to a boil.  Simmer for 25 to 30 minutes, or until rice is cooked. 

S'mores Lava Cakes
(Melanie Feltman)

1/2 cup unsalted butter + extra for greasing custard cups
1/4 cup white granulated sugar + extra for coating cups
4-oz. bittersweet chocolate
2 large eggs, plus 2 large yolks (room temperature)
1 tablespoon flour
3 tablespoons heavy cream
2/3 cup marshmallow cream
graham cracker crumbs (as desired for topping)

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.  Use extra butter to butter 4 (6-oz.) custard cups, sprinkle lightly with extra sugar, and place on a baking sheet.  In a small saucepan over low heat, melt 1/2 cup butter and chocolate.  Stir until smooth.  Remove from heat.  In a medium bowl, whisk together the eggs, egg yolks, and 1/4 cup white sugar until foamy.  Whisk in the chocolate mixture, then the flour.  Divide equally between custard cups.  Bake at 425 degrees until the edges are puffy (13 to 15 minutes).  Don't overbake as you want center of cake to be runny.  Carefully invert lava cakes from custard cups immediately after baking to individual serving dishes.  While cakes are baking, in a small saucepan, heat the heavy cream until hot, do not boil.  Stir in marshmallow cream until smooth.  Drizzle the marshmallow sauce on the top of cake.  Top with graham cracker crumbs.  Yummy.

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 and archived newsletters.