Monday, December 15, 2008

From Our Kitchen to Yours

By Delaine Litman-Hohenfeldt

Rolla


Christmas is the time of year for making recipes that are traditional family favorites and for trying recipes shared by friends.

Here are three recipes that have been highlights on our family table for generations.

I hope you will enjoy making one or more of them this holiday season.

CHERRY COKE SALAD

I normally do not like fruit in Jello, but this is YUMMY! Kids love it too. It makes a nice presentation on the Christmas table since it is really red!

Ingredients:

2 cans (20-oz. each) dark pitted cherries - Drain cherries and reserve juice.

1 package (3-oz.) cherry Jello gelatin

1 package (8 ounces) cream cheese - soften to room temperature

1 can (20-oz.) crushed pineapple

1 cup Coca-Cola

1/2 cup chopped pecans


Directions:

Boil juice from cherries.

Dissolve Jello in juice.

Blend cream cheese with small amount of the Jello mixture until creamy.

Gradually add all of the Jello mix to the cream cheese, stirring to prevent lumps.

Add pineapple, juice and all.

Stir in cherries, Coke and nuts.

Pour into oiled 6-cup mold.

Let cool, then refrigerate at least 2 hours or until set.

Serves 4 to 6.

PECAN RITZ PIE

This pecan pie alternative is a long-time family favorite. Making it is a snap since you do not have to bother with making crust.

Ingredients:

3 egg whites

1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar

1 cup white sugar

20 Ritz crackers, crushed fine with rolling pin

1 teaspoon vanilla

3/4 cup chopped pecans

Topping:

1/2 pint whipping cream

1/4 cup brown sugar

1/4 cup pecans, chopped

Directions:

Beat egg whites well with cream of tartar.

Add white sugar.

While beating, fold in crushed Ritz crackers, 3/4 cup pecans and vanilla.

Mix well.

Pour into well-greased pan (9 inch or 2 small aluminum).

Bake at 350 degrees for 25 to 30 minutes.

While pie bakes, mix whipping cream and brown sugar together well and chill for topping.

Before serving, place a dollop of topping on each slice of pie and sprinkle with pecans.

SWEET POTATO CRUNCH CASSEROLE

This crunch-topped casserole is so much better than the old marshmallow topped candied sweet potatoes. It is good to take to covered dish dinners too since it does not have liquid to spill.

Ingredients:

* 5 medium sized sweet potatoes

* 1/4 teaspoon salt

* 1/4 cup butter

* 2 eggs

* 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

* 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

* 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg

* 1/8 teaspoon ground cloves

* 1/2 cup white sugar

* 2 tablespoons heavy cream

* 1/4 cup butter, softened

* 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour

* 3/4 cup packed light brown sugar

* 1/2 cup chopped pecans

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Lightly grease a 9x13 inch baking dish.

Bake sweet potatoes 35 minutes in the preheated oven, or until they begin to soften.

Cool slightly, peel, and mash.

In a large bowl, mix the mashed sweet potatoes, salt, 1/4 cup butter, eggs, vanilla extract, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, sugar, and heavy cream.

Transfer to the prepared baking dish.

In a medium bowl, combine 1/4 cup butter, flour, brown sugar, and chopped pecans.

Mix with a pastry blender or your fingers to the consistency of course meal.

Sprinkle over the sweet potato mixture.

Bake 30 minutes in the preheated oven, until topping is crisp and lightly browned.

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