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

 Cella's News

November 2007




Perhaps we have not counted

All our blessings one by one;

Perhaps we have not bothered

To remember whence they come;

And maybe we have taken

Just for granted all the things

That the good Lord has created

And the hand of Nature brings:

The autumn hills in glory robed,

A golden field of grain,

A sunset's dazzling splendor or

The Milk Way's great plain,

The starry sky's sublimity,

The ocean's mighty power,

The wonder of creation in

The petal of a flower.

And so if we have failed to show

By word or act or deed

That we are thankful unto Him

Who fills our daily need,

May this day show we're grateful

When we add up all the sum

Of the blessings we remember,

As we count them one by one.

(Williard G. Seaman)

Thanksgiving is not the time to sing the "Woe is Me" song as the violin music plays in the background.  It's the time for us to be thankful for all the little things we so much take for granted, even if we are suffering, or poor, or lonely, or dying. No one said that life is easy.  I have a 44-year old relative going into her third month of rehab in California trying to get back the life she had.  She was washing the car one day, had a brain stem blockage and became unable to walk, talk, eat, or care for herself or her family.  Through much therapy, she recently was able to swallow 1/2 a teaspoon of water and with great effort to lick a lollipop.  Her Thanksgiving Dinner will be fed to her through a tube, and yet the family rejoices for her life and for each small accomplishment, even as the bills pile up.  We cannot afford to not celebrate life's smallest victories.  My brother will take his wife, suffering the effects of MS, out to dinner again this Thanksgiving at a local restaurant.  The food will not be very good, but yet his wife will cherish every minute she can spend with her family and she will take her time drinking the very last drop of her water, delaying her return to the nursing home; at least, that is how it was last year.  And, the Nursing Home Van Wheelchair Driver will understand why he needs to allow her a few extra minutes, at least that is how it was last year.  How can we not give thanks?

Below is a thanksgiving e-mail I received.

May your stuffing be tasty
May your turkey plump,
May your potatoes and gravy
Have never a lump.
May your yams be delicious
And your pies take the prize,
And may your Thanksgiving dinner
Stay off your thighs!

I hope you get to try the Old Fashioned Stuffing recipe and the Oxtail Barley and Mushroom Soup and the Creole Shrimp and Corn Soup.  They are my favorite picks this month.  The oxtail soup is excellent for diabetics.  My sugar went from 179 to 81 after eating this soup.  Just make sure you salt it enough with sea salt to bring out the flavor.  I've got my second pot on cooking now.  I was able to get a few recipes from my co-worker Phil Van Loan before he retired to his brand new home in Arizona.  "Corky" Miller's son recently returned from Iraq and she shares two of her son's favorite recipes.  The Creole Shrimp and Corn Soup was a huge success when Mary Jane brought her husband's soup to work.  It seemed like everyone wanted the recipe.  If you're looking for venison recipes or great holiday recipes, visit my web site for free recipes and to sign up for my free online newsletter at cellascookbook.com.

Old Fashioned Stuffing for Turkey
(page 246 of Cella's Cookbook)

8 cups fresh bread cubes
4 tablespoons butter
1 1/2 cups carrots, diced
1/2 cup onion, diced
1/2 cup celery, diced
1 1/2 cups milk
1/3 cup parsley, minced
1 1/2 teaspoons sage
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
dash black pepper

Place bread cubes in a large mixing bowl.  In a large frying pan over medium heat, melt butter and sauté the carrots, onion, and celery until tender.  Add to bread cubes along with the milk, parsley, sage, salt, and black pepper.  Mix well.  This recipe will stuff a 12 to 15 pound turkey.  Double the recipe for a larger bird.

Cornbread Dressing
(Phil Van Loan)

5 cups cornbread crumbs
2 cups Pepperidge Farm Stuffing Mix
1/4 cup butter, melted
3 tablespoons minced onion
1 cup chopped celery
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 teaspoon poultry seasoning
3/4 teaspoon sage
1 large egg, slightly beaten
1/2 cup milk
2 cups hot chicken broth

Crumble cornbread and add to stuffing mix in a large bowl.  Melt butter and sauté onion and celery until tender.  Add to crumb mixture along with salt, black pepper, poultry seasoning, sage, egg, milk, and chicken broth.  If dressing seems too dry, add more broth.  Place into a buttered casserole dish and bake at 400 degrees for 15 to 25 minutes or 30 to 40 minutes in 350 degree oven.

Crescent Chicken (or Turkey) Squares
(Phil Van Loan)

3-oz. package cream cheese, softened
2 tablespoons butter, melted
2 cups cooked chicken, or turkey, cubed
1/8 teaspoon black pepper
2 tablespoons milk
1 tablespoon chives or onion
1/4 teaspoon salt
8-oz. can crescent rolls

Blend cream cheese and butter until smooth in a medium-size mixing bowl.  Add chicken or turkey, black pepper, milk, chives or onion, and salt, mixing well.  Separate crescent dough into 4 rectangles.  Firmly press perforations to seal.  Spoon 1/2 cup meat mixture onto center of rectangle.  Pull 4 corners of dough to top center.  Twist slightly and seal edges.  Bake on ungreased cookie sheet 20 to 25 minutes in 350 degree oven.  Serve immediately.

Oxtail Barley Mushroom Soup
(Variation from Mom's Cookbook; Excellent for Diabetics!!!)

Note:  This is an expensive soup to make as oxtails are expensive at $3 plus per pound.  Allow 3 to 4 hours for oxtails to simmer so meat can easily be removed from bones.  Do not skim off any fat.  Adding just the right amount of sea salt will bring out the flavor.  The bone broth from this soup will jell when cold.  Bone broth is excellent for those with arthritis and joint pains.

4-pounds oxtails or little more
2 stalks celery (large chunks)
1 large onion, peeled, (large chunks)
2 tablespoons cider vinegar
water to cover meat by 2 to 3 inches
1 cup regular uncooked barley
1 pound baby portabella mushrooms, diced or 4 (4-oz.) cans sliced mushrooms, plus juice 
4 tablespoons butter
3 stalks celery, finely diced
1 cup onion, finely diced
sea salt and black pepper

In a large soup pot, place oxtails, 2 stalks celery, 1 onion, and cider vinegar.  Cover with 2 to 3 inches of water.  Bring mixture to a boil, skimming off foam, simmer for 3 to 4 hours making sure that water level remains above meat and that meat does not scorch on bottom of pan.  You can place meat in 300- to 350-degree oven to cook through (I cook mine overnight on top of woodstove) so I don't have to watch it so closely.  Make sure that meat is easy to remove from bones.  Drain broth (reserve broth,  but discard onion and celery).  Remove meat from bones and save.  Put reserved juice in a large soup pot, bring to a boil, add barley, and simmer until barley is done (about 20 minutes). Meanwhile, melt butter in a large frying pan, sauté celery, onions, and mushrooms until tender.  Add to broth, the reserved meat and sautéed vegetables.  Heat through.  Add salt and pepper to taste.  Makes 1/2 gallon.

Creole Shrimp and Corn Soup
(Modified by Tim Scouten)

Note:  I used 1 pound of frozen, already cooked shrimp (100-150) and it worked out great - Cella.  If you want it hotter, add more of Emeril's Essence.

1/3 cup vegetable oil
3 tablespoons flour
2 medium onions, finely diced
1 large green bell pepper, finely diced
2 medium stalks of celery, finely diced
1 pound medium-size shrimp, peeled, deveined
2 tablespoons dried parsley
1/2 tablespoon Emeril's Essence (recipe follows)
14.5-oz. can diced tomatoes, undrained
14.5-oz. can whole kernel corn, +1/2 can liquid
1 cup water
salt, black pepper, and cayenne pepper to taste 

In a large frying pan over medium heat, heat oil and flour, stirring often, until golden.  Add onions and sauté for 10 to 15 minutes, stirring often.  Add bell pepper, celery, shrimp, parsley, and Emeril's Essence.  Simmer for 5 to 10 minutes.  Stir in tomatoes, corn, and water.  Simmer for 1 hour.  Additional water or spices can be added as desired for consistency or hotness.

Emeril's Essence  Creole Seasoning (Internet Recipe)
3/4 teaspoon paprika
3/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 teaspoon garlic powder
slight 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
slight 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
slight 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
slight 1/2 teaspoon dried leaf oregano
slight 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme

In a small mixing bowl, combine all ingredients.  Store in airtight jar or container.

Quick Apple Crisp (Internet Recipe)
6 medium apples, peeled and sliced
1 cup water
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1 (18.25-oz.) box yellow cake mix
1 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1/2 cup butter, melted
1 teaspoon cinnamon

Place apples in bottom of ungreased 9x13-inch baking pan.  Pour water and vanilla on top.  In a medium-size mixing bowl, combine cake mix, brown sugar, butter, and cinnamon.  Stir until blended.  Sprinkle over apples.  Bake 50 to 55 minutes in 350 degree oven.

Apple Pie
"Corky" Miller

pastry for 2-crust 9-inch pie, recipe follows
3/4 to 1 cup sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon allspice
6 or 7 cups peeled, sliced apples
1 tablespoon butter.

In a large bowl, mix together sugar, cinnamon,  and allspice.  Mix in apple slices.  Put in 9-inch pastry-lined pie pan and dot with butter.  Cover with top pastry crust.  Cut slits in top to allow steam to escape.  Seal and crimp edges.  Cover edges with foil to prevent over browning.  Bake 50 to 60 minutes in 425 degree oven (until crust is browned and apples cooked).

Pastry for 9-inch Double-Crust Pie
2 cups flour, level
2/3 cup Crisco all-vegetable shortening
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup cold water

Place flour, Crisco, and salt in a medium-size mixing bowl.  Add Crisco and use fork tines to blend ingredients together until small crumbs form.  Mix in water a little at a time until dough can easily be formed into a large ball.  Form into 2 balls, handling dough as little as possible so dough does not become tough.  Roll out on floured surface to fit pie shape, the bottom crust larger than the top crust.  Roll dough back onto rolling pin for ease in placing it on bottom and top of pie.

Old-Fashioned Beef Stew and Dumplings
("Corky" Miller)

2 pounds stew meat/chuck cut in 2-inch pieces
1 tablespoon fat
4 cups water + 2 beef bouillon cubes or beef broth
2 cups potato chunks
1 cup carrots, sliced or chunked
1 cup celery, sliced
1 large onion, chopped
1 green bell pepper, diced
1 cup frozen peas
salt and pepper to taste

In a large saucepan, brown meat in fat and cover with water and bouillon cubes or broth and simmer for 2 hours, adding additional water or broth as needed.  Add potatoes, carrots, celery, onion, and green pepper and cook until vegetables are tender, about 30 minutes.  Add peas and stir.  Make dumplings and drop spoonfuls onto stew (not in liquid).  Cook slowly 10 minutes uncovered and then 10 minutes tightly covered.

1 1/2 cups flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons shortening
3/4 cup milk

In a medium-size mixing bowl, blend flour, baking powder, and salt.  Use a fork to cut in shortening.  Blend in milk.  Drop spoonfuls onto stew (not in liquid).  Cook 10 minutes uncovered and 10 minutes more tightly covered.  Serve immediately.

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.