Tuesday, April 14, 2009

From My Recipe Box To Yours

Just like any good politician, I watch the numbers. And my hits counter is still telling me that my Recipe Box Tuesdays and Old Cookbook Reviews on Fridays are my most popular, so I'll continue that trend. I just made a great "stand-by" dessert yesterday, in fact, and it's almost gone! I will start with that recipe today. As you can see, it's an easy one , using a cake mix. You can make different variations of it by changing the cake mix and another ingredient, which makes it user-friendly and versatile. I think an additional variation that's not mentioned might be spice cake with raisins added to the cream cheese layer. I plan to try that on the next one that I make.

Butter Bars

1 18 oz. yellow cake mix
1 egg
1/2 C butter, melted

1 8 oz. pkg. cream cheese
2 eggs
2 tsp. vanilla extract
1 stick butter, melted
3 C powdered sugar

Combine crust ingredients and pat into two 9" square pans (nice if you need to take one to something and want one for home) or one 9"x13" pan. Beat cream cheese, eggs, and vanilla until smooth. Add butter and sugar and mix well. Pour over crust. Bake at 350 degrees for 45 min.

1. Use chocolate cake mix for crust. Add 1 C peanut butter to filling. Sprinkle with chopped nuts and drizzled chocolate.

2. Use lemon cake mix and zest of one lemon for crust. Add zest and juice of one lemon to filling.
(I made the lemon version yesterday).

Got leftover ham? Here you go...

Aunt Hazel (Bell's) Ham Balls

1 1/2 lbs. lean pork
1 lb. ground ham
2 C soft bread crumbs
1 tsp salt
1 C milk
4 1/2 oz. pineapple chunks
1 C brown sugar, firmly packed
1/2 C cider vinegar
1 tsp dry mustard
her note: I use all ham and no pork, and instead of bread crumbs I use Peppridge Farm Cornbread Stuffing.
Heat oven to 350 degrees. Mix meat, crumbs, salt and milk. Shape into balls. Put balls in single layer in baking pan. Bake uncovered 30 min.
While baking, drain pineapple and reserve 1/2 C juice. Place juice, brown sugar, vinegar, and mustard in saucepan; heat to boiling.
Discard fat from pan of ham balls. Pour sauce over balls and bake uncovered for 30 min.; baste once in a while. Add pineapple chunks and bake 15 min. more.

Aunt Hazel was a good cook. When I got married, she was constantly sending me great recipes and bits of advice on cooking, from her Retirement Village in Arizona. She and my Uncle Clarence were very social, and were crowned King and Queen of their community one year; I have such a cute picture of them wearing their crowns and sitting on their lawn chair "thrones". I still use a little set of cheese spreaders with painted glass fruit-shaped handles that she sent me (amongst other useful items).

Here's a recipe for using up leftover mashed potatoes:

Creamy Potato Bake

3 C mashed potatoes
1 8 oz. carton sour cream (I use light)
5 to 6 slices bacon, cooked and crumbled (I use Hormel Real Bacon Bits)
3 small green onions, chopped
1 C (4 oz.) shredded cheddar cheese

Spread potatoes evenly in a lightly greased 10"x6"x2" baking dish. Top w/ sour cream; sprinkle w/ bacon and green onion. Top w/ cheese. Bake at 300 degrees for 30 min. 6 servings.

My sister, Becky, gave me this recipe.She has brought it to family get-to-gathers and it's always a big hit. I use it after holidays, or any time I have leftovers from a vegetable tray to use up. (Della, a friend from our church in WV, used to put her veggies through a salad shooter to top this. That would be fast and easy and it makes it look very pretty!)

Becky's Party Squares

Combine 2 (8 oz.) pkg. cream cheese
1 C Miracle Whip
1 pkg. Original Ranch Dressing Mix

2 large cans crescent rolls
Press down w/ fingers on a rectangular cookie sheet to form a crust. Bake 10 min. Let cool.

Cut up:
assorted vegetables that you like: raw cauliflower, broccoli, celery, carrots, green and red peppers, etc.

Spread cheese topping on crust. Sprinkle w/ vegetables and cut into squares.

Check out BlessedwithGrace and Tammysrecipes.com for two great recipe swaps today!


  1. Great recipes! I make something kind of similar to your butter bars that's really good. And I love the sound of the party squares!

  2. I've never had the butter bars before, but they look really good, I'd like to give it a try