Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Tried and True Recipe Box

I'm thankful to be here blogging on Tuesday morning! We had an evening of tornado watches, hail and wiiiind last night. I didn't get to see my Monday night T.V. shows because we weren't getting a signal on our dish, and when we did, it was all weather updates. Needless to say, we spent most of Monday night going back and forth to sit in our "safe" part of the house with our pillows to cover our heads. The "up side " to experiencing the precarious weather here is that it keeps you fully aware of who's "running the show"!
The great thing about blogging on Tuesdays is that I get to share some of my family's favorite recipes with you. I was talking with Mom last night (you know that moms have to call you if they notice a menacing weather report for your area on CNN; I think it's a "Mom Rule") and told her that I was going to include a delicious recipe for corn casserole today. She doesn't even have this one, because it was given to me by a Cae, a good friend of mine here. She and her mom, Velma, make it often for church dinners or funerals. I will use it as our first recipe today:

Velma and Cae's Spicy Corn Casserole

3 to 4 cans of corn, drained (or 1 1/2 bags of frozen)
4 American cheese slices
cheddar cheese-shredded on top
8 oz. cream cheese
1 small can of mushrooms, drained
1 can diced chiles, drained
Mix corn, American cheese and cream cheese for 2 min., just to melt cheese.
Add mushrooms and chiles; put shredded cheddar on top. Bake at 350 degrees for about 15 min.

I asked Mom if she thought Aunt Vivian would mind me including her delicious Chicken Spaghetti recipe (I would have called to ask her myself, but it was too late in the evening). In typical sisterly fashion, she said, "oh, she won't mind! and she won't even know-her computer's down right now". I'm the same way with my sister, Becky. We think alike on so many things that we sometimes feel like we "share a brain" so it gives me a comfort level when speaking for her. This is only on minor matters such as recipes, of coarse. So here is one from Aunt Vivian's recipe file:

Aunt Vivian's Chicken Spaghetti

3 lbs. of chicken (can cook ahead)
1 lb. of spaghetti
3 tsp. chili powder

Using 1 stick of butter in a skillet, saute' :
1 C chopped celery
1 small onion, chopped
1 green pepper, chopped

To saute'd mixture, add:
1 can cream of mushroom soup
1 lb. Velveeta cheese, cubed
1/2 C black olives, chopped
1/2 C green olives, chopped
1 can Rotel tomatoes
Stir until cheese is melted.

Debone chicken; save broth
Cook spaghetti in broth; do not drain. Mix well with above ingredients. Bake at 300 degrees for 45 min. in uncovered 9"x13" pan or casserole dish.

The Church at "Park and Main" in Charleston, WV is a wonderful group of people. We attended there when our two oldest sons were babies; they enjoyed the attention of the elderly members there. One of their favorites was an adorable "90- something" with a continual smile and lots of energy. Her name was Ona and she carried Hershey kisses in her pocketbook- just in case someone under 4 feet tall sat next to her in services.
One time she mentioned that she had bought a ceiling fan, but needed to hire someone to install it (this is a woman who would have attempted it herself, but she was very small in stature). My husband offered to to put it up for her. He, of course, would not accept any payment that she tried to give him, so Ona invited us to dinner. When we stepped into her kitchen on the day she made us dinner, it was unbelievable! The top of her antique table (complete with white starched tablecloth and napkins) looked like a cover for Southern Living magazine. Her kitchen was small , but so was she. What she lacked in space and height, she made up for with pure time-worn skills. The table was covered with fried chicken, roast beef , mashed potatoes and gravy, vegetables (including Greasy Beans) and these beets that she shared the recipe for. She was an exceptional cook and an even better person!

Ona Clendennin's Harvard Beets
Two 1 lb. cans sliced beets or 12-15 small beets, cooked
1 TBSP corn starch
3 TBSP vinegar
3 TBSP sugar, or 1/4 C light brown sugar
1 tsp salt
1 TBSP butter

Drain the beets and save the juice. Mix corn starch with 1/2 C beet juice. Add vinegar, sugar and salt. Cook until thickened, stirring constantly. Add the beets. When ready to serve, add the butter and simmer until beets are heated through.
8 servings

Here's one of my recipes to share:

Easy Shortcut Blackberry Cake

1 box Spice Cake mix
1/2 C Crisco
2 or 3 eggs
1 can blackberry pie filling

Mix first 3 ingredients well. Fold in berries.
Bake in greased 9"x 13" pan until center springs back. Completely cool. Frost with caramel icing.

Carmel Frosting

1/2 C butter
1 C brown sugar
1/4 C powdered milk
2 C confectioners sugar
1 tsp vanilla

Melt butter; add brown sugar. Let bubble 2 min. while stirring. Add 1/4 C water and powdered milk; bring to a boil. Remove from heat; beat in confectioners sugar; add vanilla. Spread over cake.

That's it for today! Have a great Tuesday.

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