Monday, July 29, 2013

Cereal Candy

I love the summer months, even though the heat can sometimes get to me.  When it's in the 90's outside,   I'm not as inclined to bake like I do in the fall and winter, but  we still enjoy something sweet once in a while.  The trick here is finding a cookie recipe that doesn't require turning the oven on!  In a Walmart Family Cookbook from 2001, I found a great recipe for a cookie-like candy made with Chex cereal that you can fix on top of the stove.  With all of the new flavors available in Chex cereals, you could really change this recipe up! (I'm thinking chocolate Chex!)   Enjoy.

Cereal Candy
submitted by Sharon Sager, Seymour, IA

1 C sugar
1 C Karo Light Corn Syrup
1 1/2 C peanut butter
2 TBSP. McCormick Pure Vanilla Extract
9 C toasted corn cereal squares

Line cookie sheet with waxed paper;  set aside.  In large dutch oven combine sugar and corn syrup.  Bring to a rolling boil.  Remove from heat;  add peanut butter and vanilla.  Stir in cereal.  Drop by teaspoonfuls onto prepared cookie sheet.  Makes 3 dozen

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Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Overnight Black-Eyed Pea Salad

Summer is going by way too fast for my liking.  The warm weather, garden-fresh vegetables and  outdoor activities make summer a treat! Spending  time in the kitchen is not as much fun for me as it is every other season of the year.  I think it's why salads are such a wonderful item in the warmer months;  fresh ingredients that are easy and quick  to prepare.  We all have our favorites:  potato salad, macaroni salad, cole slaw, pea salad.  I really enjoy finding a unique salad recipe as I browse through my old cookbooks, and last week I found one!  A cook in Abilene, Texas submitted her salad  recipe for publication to Progressive Farmer's Country Living Recipes 1980.  I think this sounds like a great dish for picnics, potlucks...or dinner tonight!

Overnight Black-Eyed Pea Salad
Mrs. J.W. Hopkins, Abilene, Texas

2 (15-ounce) cans black-eyed peas with snaps, drained
1/2 C thinly sliced red onion, separated into rings
1/2 C chopped green pepper
1/2 clove garlic
1/4 C sugar
1/4 C vinegar
1/4 C vegetable oil
1/2 tsp salt
Dash of pepper
Dash of hot sauce

Combine peas, onion, and green pepper in a medium bowl.  Stick a toothpick through the garlic;  add to vegetables.  Combine remaining ingredients, stirring well.  Add to vegetable mixture, tossing lightly to coat.  Cover;  refrigerate for at least 12 hours.  Remove toothpick with garlic before serving.  Yield:  6 to 8 servings.

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Monday, July 8, 2013

Mashed Potato Salad


Hubby and I spent last week in Illinois with our three sons.  Our second son moved there for a job at State Farm's corporate headquarters, so one of our sightseeing tours was his workplace.  What an amazing building;  along with offices, it has a beautiful atrium, museum, gift shop, bank, and a  food court that would rival any shopping mall's.  This newer complex  is just one campus of  State Farm's facilities in Bloomington.  I took a couple of pictures of Blake... as he gave me that anguished look of someone putting up with their mom's photography habit!  He's a good sport!  We also enjoyed the zoo in Bloomington.  Our son, Justin, loves big cats and there were two snow leopards in residence who were constantly jumping and chasing each other, so that was a favorite stop. One evening, the guys treated their dad to a belated Father's Day dinner and gifts (that's how it is when every person lives in a different state!)  The end of our trip included a stop in Chicago for the 4th of July.  Blake and Ben showed us around since they have been there for concerts in the past.  Our time there included the Sky Deck of the Sears Tower, a concert in the park, Chicago stuffed pizza and fireworks over the harbour.  What a great time!

Because I was in Chicago for the 4th, we didn't have a cookout, instead we had stuffed pizza!  When we do cook out though, one of our favorite salads is potato salad, however, I've noticed a common thread in bbq places that serve it in Oklahoma, Texas and is often mashed potato salad.  I'm used to the cubed potato salad, but this is a new twist for me.  I decided to share a recipe from an old community cookbook put together by the "Jayettes" (the Junior Chamber of Commerce Auxiliary) of Springdale, Arkansas.  I'm not sure when this book was printed because there is no date given, but the ads are very old and it's from an era when  there was a Piggly Wiggly in town!

Mashed Potato Salad
Mrs. Harold Mathis

Mashed potatoes (a good way to use leftover potatoes)
1 onion (chopped fine)
salt and pepper, to taste
1 TBSP mustard
1 C salad dressing
1/2 C milk
4 hard boiled eggs
Mix all ingredients.  Garnish with egg slices and paprika. Chill.
(note:  I would add a little sweet pickle juice to the dressing)

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