Take-A-Longs

Take-A-Longs
It’s that time of the year for sharing foods and fun with family and friends. Time for us to gather together and enjoy potluck – bring-a-dish-type gatherings.
Enjoy!

Black Forest Ham Roll-Ups
• 1 package (8 ounces) cream cheese, softened
• 2 teaspoons minced fresh parsley
• 2 teaspoons dried celery flakes
• 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
• 1 teaspoon lemon juice
• 1/8 teaspoon salt
• 1/8 teaspoon pepper
• 1/2 cup dried cranberries, chopped
• 2 green onions, chopped
• 5 flour tortillas (10 inches), room temperature
• 1/2 pound thinly sliced Black Forest deli ham
• 1/2 pound thinly sliced Swiss cheese

  1. In a small bowl, mix the first seven ingredients until blended. Stir in cranberries and green onions; spread over tortillas. Layer with ham and cheese. Roll up tightly; wrap in plastic wrap. Refrigerate at least 1 hour.
  2. Just before serving, unwrap and cut each tortilla crosswise into 16 slices. Yield: about 6-1/2 dozen.

Frosted Banana Bars
• 1/2 cup butter, softened
• 2 cups sugar
• 3 large eggs
• 1-1/2 cups mashed ripe bananas (about 3 medium)
• 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
• 2 cups all-purpose flour
• 1 teaspoon baking soda
• Dash salt
• FROSTING:
• 1 package (8 ounces) cream cheese, softened
• 1/2 cup butter, softened
• 4 cups confectioners’ sugar
• 2 teaspoons vanilla extract

  1. In a large bowl, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in the eggs, bananas and vanilla. Combine the flour, baking soda and salt; stir into creamed mixture just until blended.
  2. Transfer to a greased 15-in. x 10-in. x 1-in. baking pan. Bake at 350° for 20-25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Cool in pan on a wire rack.
  3. For frosting, in a small bowl, beat cream cheese and butter until fluffy. Add confectioners’ sugar and vanilla; beat until smooth. Frost bars. Yield: 3 dozen.

BLT Dip
• 2 cups (16 ounces) sour cream
• 2 cups mayonnaise
• 2 pounds sliced Jones Dairy Farm Dry-Aged Bacon, cooked and crumbled
• 6 plum tomatoes, chopped
• 3 green onions, chopped
• Additional Crumbled cooked Jones Dairy Farm Dry-Aged Bacon and chopped green onions, optional
• Assorted crackers or chips

  1. In a large bowl, combine the sour cream, mayonnaise, bacon, tomatoes and onions. Refrigerate until serving. Garnish with bacon and onions if desired. Serve with crackers or chips. Yield: 6 cups.

California Pasta Salad
• 1 pound thin spaghetti, broken into 1-inch pieces
• 3 large tomatoes, diced
• 2 medium zucchini, diced
• 1 large cucumber, diced
• 1 medium green pepper, diced
• 1 sweet red pepper, diced
• 1 large red onion, diced
• 2 cans (2-1/4 ounces each) sliced ripe olives, drained
• DRESSING:
• 1 bottle (16 ounces) Italian salad dressing
• 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
• 1 tablespoon sesame seeds
• 2 teaspoons poppy seeds
• 1 teaspoon paprika
• 1/2 teaspoon celery seed
• 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder

  1. Cook pasta according to package directions; Drain and rinse in cold water. Transfer to a large bowl. Add the vegetables and olives.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk the dressing ingredients. Drizzle over spaghetti mixture; toss to coat. Cover and refrigerate overnight. Serve with a slotted spoon. Yield: 10-15 servings.

Dump-n-Go Brownies

• 2 cups sugar
• 1-3/4 cups all-purpose flour
• 1/2 cup baking cocoa
• 1 teaspoon salt
• 5 large eggs
• 1 cup canola oil
• 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
• 1 cup (6 ounces) semisweet chocolate chips

  1. In a large bowl, beat the first seven ingredients. Pour into a greased 13x9-in. baking pan. Sprinkle with chocolate chips.
  2. Bake at 350° for 30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Cool in pan on a wire rack. Yield: about 3 dozen.

Nutty Broccoli Slaw
• 1 package (3 ounces) chicken ramen noodles
• 1 package (16 ounces) broccoli coleslaw mix
• 2 cups sliced green onions (about 2 bunches)
• 1-1/2 cups broccoli florets
• 1 can (6 ounces) ripe olives, drained and halved
• 1 cup sunflower kernels, toasted
• 1/2 cup slivered almonds, toasted
• 1/2 cup sugar
• 1/2 cup cider vinegar
• 1/2 cup olive oil

  1. Set aside the noodle seasoning packet; crush the noodles and place in a large bowl. Add the slaw mix, onions, broccoli, olives, sunflower kernels and almonds.
  2. In a jar with a tight-fitting lid, combine the sugar, vinegar, oil and contents of seasoning packet; shake well. Drizzle over salad and toss to coat. Serve immediately. Yield: 16 servings.

Calzone Pinwheels
• 1/2 cup shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese
• 1/2 cup part-skim ricotta cheese
• 1/2 cup diced pepperoni
• 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
• 1/4 cup chopped fresh mushrooms
• 1/4 cup finely chopped green pepper
• 2 tablespoons finely chopped onion
• 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
• 1/4 teaspoon salt
• 1 package (8 ounces) refrigerated crescent rolls
• 1 jar (14 ounces) pizza sauce, warmed

  1. Preheat oven to 375°. In a small bowl, mix the first nine ingredients.
  2. Unroll crescent dough and separate into four rectangles; press perforations to seal. Spread rectangles with cheese mixture to within 1/4 in. of edges. Roll up jelly-roll style, starting with a short side; pinch seam to seal.
  3. Using a serrated knife, cut each roll into four slices; place on a greased baking sheet, cut side down. Bake 12-15 minutes or until golden brown. Serve with pizza sauce. Yield: 16 appetizers.

Sloppy Joes
• 2 pounds ground beef
• 1/2 cup chopped onion
• 3/4 cup chili sauce
• 1/2 cup water
• 1/4 cup prepared mustard
• 2 teaspoons chili powder
• 12 hamburger buns, split
• 12 slices cheddar cheese

  1. In a large skillet, cook beef and onion until beef is browned; drain. Add chili sauce, water, mustard and chili powder. Simmer, uncovered, for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. Spoon 1/2 cup onto each bun; top with a cheese slice. Yield: 12 servings.

Oven-Fried Potatoes
• 12 medium potatoes, peeled and cubed
• 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
• 2 teaspoons salt
• 1 teaspoon garlic powder
• 1 teaspoon paprika
• 1/2 teaspoon pepper
• 1/3 cup vegetable oil

  1. Place potatoes in two large resealable plastic bags. Combine the Parmesan cheese and seasonings; add to potatoes. Seal bag and shake to coat.
  2. Pour oil into two 15x10x1-in. baking pans; pour potatoes into pans. Bake, uncovered, at 375° for 40-50 minutes or until tender. Yield: 12-14 servings.

Potato Chip Clusters
• 9 ounces white baking chocolate, melted
• 2 cups coarsely crushed ridged potato chips
• 1/2 cup chopped pecans

  1. In a large microwave-safe bowl, melt white chocolate. Stir in potato chips and pecans. Drop by tablespoonfuls onto waxed paper-lined baking sheets. Refrigerate until set. Yield: about 3 dozen.

• Try shoestring potatoes or Fritos (yes, Fritos!) in place of potato chips.
• For easy grab-and-go treats, drop straight into muffin liners.

Jalapeno Popper & Sausage Dip
• 1 pound bulk spicy pork sausage
• 2 packages (8 ounces each) cream cheese, cubed
• 4 cups shredded Parmesan cheese (about 12 ounces)
• 1 cup (8 ounces) sour cream
• 1 can (4 ounces) chopped green chilies, undrained
• 1 can (4 ounces) diced jalapeno peppers, undrained
• Assorted fresh vegetables

  1. In a large skillet, cook sausage over medium heat 6-8 minutes or until no longer pink, breaking into crumbles. Using a slotted spoon, transfer sausage to a 3-qt. slow cooker.
  2. Stir in cream cheese, Parmesan cheese, sour cream, chilies and peppers. Cook, covered, on low 3 to 3-1/2 hours or until heated through. Stir before serving. Serve with vegetables. Yield: 24 servings (1/4 cup each).

Peppery Pizza Loaves
• 1-1/2 pounds ground beef
• 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
• 1/2 teaspoon salt
• 2 loaves (8 ounces each) French bread, halved lengthwise
• 1 jar (8 ounces) process cheese sauce
• 1 can (4 ounces) mushroom stems and pieces, drained
• 1 cup chopped green onions
• 1 can (4 ounces) sliced jalapenos, drained
• 1 can (8 ounces) tomato sauce
• 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
• 4 cups shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese

  1. In a large skillet, cook beef over medium heat until no longer pink; drain. Stir in garlic powder and salt.
  2. Place each bread half on a large piece of heavy-duty foil. Spread with cheese sauce. Top with beef mixture, mushrooms, onions and jalapenos. Drizzle with tomato sauce. Top with Parmesan and mozzarella cheeses. Wrap and freeze. May be frozen for up to 3 months.
  3. To bake: Unwrap loaves and thaw on baking sheets in the refrigerator. Bake at 350° for 18 minutes or until cheese is melted. Yield: 12 servings.

Spicy Applesauce Cake
• 2 cups applesauce
• 1-1/2 cups sugar
• 1/2 cup shortening
• 2 large eggs, lightly beaten
• 2 cups all-purpose flour
• 1 tablespoon baking cocoa
• 1-1/2 teaspoons baking soda
• 1 teaspoon salt
• 1 teaspoon each ground cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice and cloves
• 1 cup raisins
• 1/2 cup semisweet chocolate chips
• 1/2 cup chopped walnuts
• TOPPING:
• 1/2 cup semisweet chocolate chips
• 1/2 cup chopped walnuts
• 2 tablespoons brown sugar

  1. In a large bowl, beat the applesauce, sugar, shortening and eggs. Combine the flour, cocoa, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice and cloves; gradually beat into applesauce mixture until blended. Stir in the raisins, chocolate chips and walnuts.
  2. Pour into a greased 13-in. x 9-in. baking pan. Combine topping ingredients and sprinkle over batter. Bake at 350° for 35-40 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Cool on a wire rack. Yield: 20-24 servings.

Cottage Potatoes
• 12 large potatoes, peeled and diced
• 8 ounces process cheese (Velveeta), cubed
• 1 large onion, finely chopped
• 1 large green pepper, chopped
• 1 jar (2 ounces) diced pimientos, drained
• 1 slice bread, torn into crumbs
• 3 tablespoons minced fresh parsley, divided
• 1/2 teaspoon salt
• 1/2 cup milk
• 1/2 cup butter, melted
• 1-1/2 cups cornflakes, crushed

  1. Place the potatoes in a large saucepan or Dutch oven and cover with water. Bring to a boil; reduce heat to medium. Cover and cook for 5-7 minutes or until tender; drain. In a bowl, combine the cheese, onion, green pepper, pimientos, bread, 2 tablespoons parsley and salt.
  2. In a greased shallow 4-qt. baking dish, layer a third of the potatoes and a third of the cheese mixture. Repeat layers twice. Pour milk and butter over all; sprinkle with cornflake crumbs.
  3. Cover and bake at 350° for 45 minutes. Uncover; bake 10-15 minutes longer or until bubbly and top is golden. Sprinkle with remaining parsley. Yield: 12-14 servings.

Creamy Mocha Frozen Dessert
• 2 teaspoons instant coffee granules
• 1 tablespoon hot water
• 1 cup cream-filled chocolate cookie crumbs
• 3/4 cup chopped pecans, divided
• 1/4 cup butter, melted
• 2 packages (8 ounces each) cream cheese, softened
• 1 can (14 ounces) sweetened condensed milk
• 1/2 cup chocolate syrup
• 1 carton (8 ounces) frozen whipped topping, thawed

  1. In a small bowl, dissolve coffee granules in hot water; set aside. In another bowl, combine cookie crumbs, 1/2 cup pecans and butter. Pat into a 13-in. x 9-in. dish.
  2. In a large bowl, beat cream cheese until light and fluffy. Blend in coffee mixture, milk and chocolate syrup. Fold in whipped topping and spread over crust. Sprinkle the remaining pecans on top. Freeze. Yield: 24 servings.

Church Supper Spaghetti
• 1 pound ground beef
• 1 large onion, chopped
• 1 medium green pepper, chopped
• 1 can (14-1/2 ounces) diced tomatoes, undrained
• 1 cup water
• 2 tablespoons chili powder
• 1 package (10 ounces) frozen corn, thawed
• 1 package (10 ounces) frozen peas, thawed
• 1 can (4 ounces) mushroom stems and pieces, drained
• Salt and pepper to taste
• 12 ounces spaghetti, cooked and drained
• 2 cups shredded cheddar cheese, divided

  1. In a large skillet, cook beef, onion and green pepper over medium heat until meat is no longer pink. Add tomatoes, water and chili powder. Cover and simmer for 30 minutes. Add the corn, peas, mushrooms, salt and pepper. Stir in spaghetti.
  2. Layer half of the mixture in a greased 4-qt. baking dish. Sprinkle with 1 cup cheese; repeat layers.
  3. Bake, uncovered, at 350° for 20 minutes or until heated through. Yield: 12 servings.
    To give Church Supper Spaghetti a new flavor twist, use Italian, Mexican or Cajun diced tomatoes in place of the plain diced tomatoes.

Honey Whole Wheat Pan Rolls
• 4 to 5 cups bread flour
• 1/4 cup sugar
• 2 packages (1/4 ounce each) active dry yeast
• 1 teaspoon salt
• 1 cup 2% milk
• 1 cup butter, cubed
• 1/2 cup water
• 2 large eggs
• 2 cups whole wheat flour
• HONEY BUTTER:
• 1 cup butter, softened
• 7 tablespoons honey
• HONEY GLAZE:
• 2 tablespoons honey
• 1 tablespoon butter, melted

  1. In a large bowl, combine 2 cups bread flour, sugar, yeast and salt. In a small saucepan, heat the milk, butter and water to 120°-130°. Add to dry ingredients; beat just until moistened. Beat in eggs. Stir in whole wheat flour and enough remaining bread flour to form a soft dough.
  2. Turn onto a floured surface; knead until smooth and elastic, about 10 minutes. Cover and let rest 15 minutes.
  3. Divide dough into thirds. Roll each portion into a 20-in. rope. Cut each into 20 pieces; shape each into a ball. Grease three 9-in. round baking pans; arrange 20 balls in each pan. Cover and refrigerate overnight.
  4. Let rise in a warm place until doubled, about 1-1/4 hours. Bake at 350° for 18-22 minutes or until golden brown. Meanwhile, in a small bowl, cream butter. Add honey; beat until light and fluffy. Remove rolls from pans to wire racks. Combine glaze ingredients; brush over warm rolls. Serve with honey butter. Yield: 5 dozen (1-1/4 cups honey butter).

Whopper Cookies

• 2/3 cup butter, cubed
• 1-1/4 cups packed brown sugar
• 3/4 cup sugar
• 3 large eggs, beaten
• 1-1/2 cups chunky peanut butter
• 6 cups old-fashioned oats
• 2 teaspoons baking soda
• 1-1/2 cups raisins
• 2 cups (12 ounces) semisweet chocolate chips

  1. In a large saucepan, melt butter over low heat. Stir in the brown sugar, sugar, eggs and peanut butter until smooth. Add oats, baking soda, raisins and chocolate chips (dough will be sticky).
  2. Drop on a greased baking sheet with an ice cream scoop or large spoon. Flatten slightly. Bake at 350° for 15 minutes. Remove cookies to a wire rack to cool. Yield: 2 dozen.
    Reduced-fat peanut butter is not recommended for this recipe.

Southwestern Pulled Pork Crostini
• 1 boneless pork shoulder butt roast (about 2 pounds)
• 1/2 cup lime juice
• 2 envelopes mesquite marinade mix
• 1/4 cup sugar
• 1/4 cup olive oil
• SALSA:
• 1 cup frozen corn, thawed
• 1 cup canned black beans, rinsed and drained
• 1 small tomato, finely chopped
• 2 tablespoons finely chopped seeded jalapeno pepper
• 2 tablespoons lime juice
• 2 tablespoons olive oil
• 1-1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
• 1 teaspoon chili powder
• 1/2 teaspoon salt
• 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
• SAUCE:
• 1 can (4 ounces) chopped green chilies
• 1/3 cup apricot preserves
• 1/8 teaspoon salt
• CROSTINI:
• 32 slices French bread baguette (1/4 inch thick)
• 1/4 cup olive oil
• 2/3 cup crumbled queso fresco or feta cheese
• Lime wedges, optional

  1. Place roast in a 3-qt. slow cooker. In a small bowl, whisk lime juice, marinade mix, sugar and oil until blended; pour over roast. Cook, covered, on low 6-8 hours or until meat is tender.
  2. For salsa, in a small bowl, combine corn, beans, tomato and jalapeno. Stir in lime juice, oil and seasonings. In a small saucepan, combine sauce ingredients; cook and stir over low heat until blended.
  3. For crostini, preheat broiler. Brush bread slices on both sides with oil; place on ungreased baking sheets. Broil 3-4 in. from heat 1-2 minutes on each side or until golden brown.
  4. Remove roast from slow cooker; cool slightly. Shred pork with two forks. To serve, layer toasts with salsa, pork and cheese. Top with sauce. If desired, serve with lime wedges. Yield: 32 appetizers.

Hash Brown & Chicken Brunch Casserole
• 15 large eggs, beaten
• 1 package (28 ounces) frozen O’Brien potatoes
• 1 rotisserie chicken, skin removed, shredded
• 1-1/2 cups 2% milk
• 1 can (10 ounces) diced tomatoes and green chilies, undrained
• 2 cups shredded cheddar cheese, divided
• 5 green onions, chopped
• 3 tablespoons minced fresh cilantro
• 1 teaspoon ground cumin
• 1-1/2 teaspoons salt
• 1/2 teaspoon pepper

  1. In a very large bowl, combine eggs, potatoes, chicken, milk, tomatoes, 1 cup cheese, green onions, cilantro and seasonings until blended. Transfer to a greased 13x9-in. baking dish; sprinkle with remaining cheese. Refrigerate, covered, several hours or overnight.
  2. Preheat oven to 350°. Remove casserole from refrigerator while oven heats. Bake, uncovered, 1-1/4 to 1-1/2 hours or until golden brown and a knife inserted near the center comes out clean. Let stand 5-10 minutes before serving. Yield: 12 servings.

Glazed Strawberry Cheesecake
• 3/4 cup ground pecans
• 3/4 cup crushed vanilla wafers (about 25 wafers)
• 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
• FILLING:
• 4 packages (8 ounces each) cream cheese, softened
• 1-2/3 cups sugar, divided
• 3 teaspoons vanilla extract, divided
• 4 large eggs, lightly beaten
• 1 cup (8 ounces) sour cream
• GLAZE:
• 4 teaspoons cornstarch
• 1/3 cup orange liqueur
• 1 jar (10 ounces) seedless raspberry spreadable fruit
• 1 pound fresh strawberries, hulled and sliced

  1. Preheat oven to 325°. Place a greased 9-in. springform pan on a double thickness of heavy-duty foil (about 18 in. square). Wrap foil securely around pan.
  2. In a small bowl, mix pecans and wafer crumbs; stir in butter. Press onto bottom and 1/2 in. up sides of prepared pan.
  3. In a large bowl, beat cream cheese and 1-1/3 cups sugar until smooth. Beat in 2 teaspoons vanilla. Add eggs; beat on low speed just until blended. Pour into crust. Place springform pan in a larger baking pan; add 1 in. of hot water to larger pan.
  4. Bake 65-75 minutes or until center is almost set. Let stand 5 minutes on a wire rack. In a small bowl, mix sour cream and remaining sugar and vanilla; spread over top of cheesecake. Bake 5 minutes longer.
  5. Remove springform pan from water bath. Cool cheesecake on a wire rack 10 minutes. Loosen sides from pan with a knife; remove foil. Cool 1 hour longer. Refrigerate overnight, covering when completely cooled.
  6. In a small saucepan, whisk cornstarch and liqueur until smooth. Stir in spreadable fruit; bring to a boil over medium heat. Cook and stir 2 minutes or until thickened. Cool to room temperature, stirring occasionally.
  7. Remove rim from springform pan. Arrange strawberries over cheesecake; top with some of the glaze, allowing glaze to drip down sides. Refrigerate until glaze is set, about 1 hour. To serve, gently warm remaining glaze; serve with cheesecake. Yield: 16 servings.

Baked Reuben Dip
• 1 jar (32 ounces) sauerkraut, rinsed and well drained
• 10 ounces sliced deli corned beef, chopped
• 2 cups (8 ounces) shredded sharp cheddar cheese
• 2 cups (8 ounces) shredded Swiss cheese
• 1 cup mayonnaise
• 1/4 cup Russian salad dressing
• 1 teaspoon caraway seeds, optional
• Rye crackers

  1. In a large bowl, mix the first six ingredients; stir in caraway seeds, if desired. Transfer to a greased 13x9-in. baking dish. Bake at 350° for 25-30 minutes or until bubbly. Serve with crackers. Yield: 8 cups.

Creamy Make-Ahead Mashed Potatoes
• 3 pounds potatoes (about 9 medium), peeled and cubed
• 6 bacon strips, chopped
• 8 ounces cream cheese, softened
• 1/2 cup sour cream
• 1/2 cup butter, cubed
• 1/4 cup 2% milk
• 1-1/2 teaspoons onion powder
• 1 teaspoon salt
• 1 teaspoon garlic powder
• 1/2 teaspoon pepper
• 1 cup (4 ounces) shredded cheddar cheese
• 3 green onions, chopped

  1. Place potatoes in a Dutch oven; add water to cover. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; cook, uncovered, 10-15 minutes or until tender.
  2. Meanwhile, in a skillet, cook bacon over medium heat until crisp. Remove to paper towels with a slotted spoon; drain.
  3. Drain potatoes; return to pan. Mash potatoes, gradually adding cream cheese, sour cream and butter. Stir in milk and seasonings. Transfer to a greased 13x9-in. baking dish; sprinkle with cheese, green onions and bacon. Refrigerate, covered, up to 1 day.
  4. Preheat oven to 350°. Remove potatoes from refrigerator and let stand while oven heats. Bake, covered, about 30 minutes. Uncover; bake 10 minutes more, or until heated through. Yield: 10 servings.

Brunch Casserole
• 4 cups frozen shredded hash brown potatoes, thawed
• 1 pound Pork Sausage Roll, cooked and drained
• 1/2 pound bacon strips, cooked and crumbled
• 1 medium green pepper, chopped
• 1 green onion, chopped
• 2 cups (8 ounces) shredded cheddar cheese, divided
• 4 large eggs
• 3 cups 2% milk
• 1 cup reduced-fat biscuit/baking mix
• 1/2 teaspoon salt

  1. In a large bowl, combine the first five ingredients; stir in 1 cup cheese. Transfer to a greased 13x9-in. baking dish.
  2. In another bowl, whisk eggs, milk, baking mix and salt until blended; pour over top. Sprinkle with remaining cheese. Refrigerate, covered, overnight.
  3. Preheat oven to 375°. Remove casserole from refrigerator while oven heats. Bake, uncovered, 30-35 minutes or until a knife inserted near the center comes out clean. Let stand 10 minutes before cutting. Yield: 12 servings.

CokeCola Cake
• 2 cups all-purpose flour
• 2 cups sugar
• 1 teaspoon baking soda
• 1/2 teaspoon salt
• 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
• 1 can (12 ounces) cola
• 1 cup butter, cubed
• 1/4 cup baking cocoa
• 2 large eggs
• 1/2 cup buttermilk
• 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
• GLAZE:
• 1 can (12 ounces) cola
• 1/2 cup butter, cubed
• 1/4 cup baking cocoa
• 4 cups confectioners’ sugar, sifted

  1. Preheat oven to 350°. Grease a 13x9-in. baking pan.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk the first five ingredients. In a small saucepan, combine cola, butter and cocoa; bring just to a boil, stirring occasionally. Add to flour mixture, stirring just until moistened.
  3. In a small bowl, whisk eggs, buttermilk and vanilla until blended; add to flour mixture, whisking constantly.
  4. Transfer to prepared pan. Bake 25-30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.
  5. About 15 minutes before cake is done, prepare glaze. In a small saucepan, bring cola to a boil; cook 12-15 minutes or until liquid is reduced to 1/2 cup. Stir in butter and cocoa until butter is melted; remove from heat. Add confectioner’s sugar; stir until smooth. Pour immediately over hot cake. Yield: 15 servings.

• Try using root beer, Dr Pepper or cherry cola.
• Sifting the confectioners’ sugar helps keep the frosting smooth and lump-free.

Baked Spaghetti
• 1 cup chopped onion
• 1 cup chopped green pepper
• 1 tablespoon butter
• 1 can (28 ounces) diced tomatoes, undrained
• 1 can (4 ounces) mushroom stems and pieces, drained
• 1 can (2-1/4 ounces) sliced ripe olives, drained
• 2 teaspoons dried oregano
• 1 pound ground beef, browned and drained, optional
• 12 ounces spaghetti, cooked and drained
• 2 cups (8 ounces) shredded cheddar cheese
• 1 can (10-3/4 ounces) condensed cream of mushroom soup, undiluted
• 1/4 cup water
• 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese

  1. In a large skillet, saute onion and green pepper in butter until tender. Add the tomatoes, mushrooms, olives, oregano and, if desired, ground beef. Simmer, uncovered, for 10 minutes.
  2. Place half of the spaghetti in a greased 13x9-in. baking dish. Layer with half of the vegetable mixture and 1 cup cheddar cheese. Repeat layers.
  3. In a small bowl, combine soup and water until smooth; pour over casserole. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese. Bake, uncovered, at 350° for 30-35 minutes or until heated through. Yield: 12 servings.

Chive & Onion Hash Brown Potatoes
• 1-1/2 cups half-and-half cream
• 1 container (8 ounces) spreadable chive and onion cream cheese
• 2 tablespoons dried minced onion
• 1 teaspoon salt
• 1/2 teaspoon pepper
• 2 packages (20 ounces each) refrigerated shredded hash brown potatoes
• 2 cups shredded Swiss cheese
• 3 tablespoons minced fresh chives, divided
• 2 tablespoons butter, cubed

  1. Preheat oven to 375°. In a Dutch oven, combine the first five ingredients; cook and stir over medium heat until blended. Stir in potatoes.
  2. In a greased 13x9-in. or 3-qt. baking dish, layer a third of the hash brown mixture and 2/3 cup Swiss cheese; sprinkle with 1 tablespoon chives. Repeat layers. Top with remaining hash brown mixture and cheese; dot with butter.
  3. Bake, covered, 35 minutes. Bake, uncovered, 10-20 minutes longer or until edges begin to brown and potatoes are heated through. Let stand 10 minutes before serving. Sprinkle with remaining chives. Yield: 12 servings (3/4 cup each).

Almond-Coconut Lemon Bars
• 1-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
• 1/2 cup confectioners’ sugar
• 1/3 cup blanched almonds, toasted
• 1 teaspoon grated lemon peel
• 3/4 cup cold butter, cubed
• FILLING:
• 3 large eggs
• 1-1/2 cups sugar
• 1/2 cup sweetened shredded coconut
• 1/4 cup lemon juice
• 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
• 1 teaspoon grated lemon peel
• 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
• Confectioners’ sugar

  1. In a food processor, combine the flour, confectioners’ sugar, almonds and lemon peel; cover and process until nuts are finely chopped. Add butter; pulse just until mixture is crumbly. Press into a greased 13x9-in. baking dish. Bake at 350° for 20 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, in a large bowl, whisk eggs, sugar, coconut, lemon juice, flour, lemon peel and baking powder; pour over the hot crust. Bake until light golden brown, 20-25 minutes. Cool on a wire rack. Dust with confectioners’ sugar. Cut into squares. Yield: 2 dozen.

Creamy Taco Dip
• 1 package (8 ounces) fat-free cream cheese, softened
• 1/2 cup (4 ounces) fat-free sour cream
• 1/2 cup taco sauce
• 1 teaspoons ground cumin
• 1 can (15 ounces) fat-free refried beans
• 1 cup shredded lettuce
• 1 cup (4 ounces) shredded fat-free cheddar cheese
• 1 medium tomato, diced
• 1/4 cup chopped ripe olives
• 1/4 cup chopped green chilies
• Tortilla chips

  1. In a large bowl, beat cream cheese and sour cream until smooth. Stir in taco sauce and cumin; set aside.
  2. Spread the refried beans over the bottom on a serving platter or 13x9-in. dish. Spread cream cheese mixture over the beans, leaving about 1 in. uncovered around the edges. Top layer with lettuce, cheese, tomato, olives and chilies. Serve with tortilla chips. Yield: 20 servings.

Buffalo Chicken Lasagna
• 1 tablespoon canola oil
• 1-1/2 pounds ground chicken
• 1 small onion, chopped
• 1 celery rib, finely chopped
• 1 large carrot, grated
• 2 garlic cloves, minced
• 1 can (14-1/2 ounces) diced tomatoes, drained
• 1 bottle (12 ounces) Buffalo wing sauce
• 1/2 cup water
• 1-1/2 teaspoons Italian seasoning
• 1/2 teaspoon salt
• 1/4 teaspoon pepper
• 9 lasagna noodles
• 1 carton (15 ounces) ricotta cheese
• 1-3/4 cups crumbled blue cheese, divided
• 1/2 cup minced Italian flat leaf parsley
• 1 large egg, lightly beaten
• 3 cups shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese
• 2 cups shredded white cheddar cheese

  1. In a Dutch oven, heat oil over medium heat. Add chicken, onion, celery and carrot; cook and stir until meat is no longer pink and vegetables are tender. Add garlic; cook 2 minutes longer. Stir in tomatoes, wing sauce, water, Italian seasoning, salt and pepper; bring to a boil. Reduce heat; cover and simmer 1 hour.
  2. Meanwhile, cook noodles according to package directions; drain. In a small bowl, mix the ricotta cheese, 3/4 cup blue cheese, parsley and egg. Preheat oven to 350°.
  3. Spread 1-1/2 cups sauce into a greased 13x9-in. baking dish. Layer with three noodles, 1-1/2 cups sauce, 2/3 cup ricotta mixture, 1 cup mozzarella cheese, 2/3 cup cheddar cheese and 1/3 cup blue cheese. Repeat layers twice.
  4. Bake, covered, 20 minutes. Uncover; bake until bubbly and cheese is melted, 20-25 minutes. Let stand 10 minutes before serving. Yield: 12 servings.
    Potluck Banana Cake
    • 1/2 cup butter, softened
    • 1 cup sugar
    • 2 large eggs
    • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
    • 2 cups all-purpose flour
    • 2 teaspoons baking soda
    • 1/2 teaspoon salt
    • 1-1/2 cups mashed ripe bananas (about 3 medium)
    • 1 cup (8 ounces) sour cream
    • COFFEE FROSTING:
    • 1/3 cup butter, softened
    • 2-1/2 cups confectioners’ sugar
    • 2 teaspoons instant coffee granules
    • 2 to 3 tablespoons milk
  5. In a large bowl, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Stir in vanilla. Combine the flour, baking soda and salt; add to creamed mixture alternately with bananas and sour cream, beating well after each addition.
  6. Pour into a greased 13x9-in. baking dish. Bake at 350° for 35-40 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Cool completely on a wire rack.
  7. For frosting, in a small bowl, beat butter and confectioners’ sugar until smooth. Dissolve coffee granules in milk; add to butter mixture and beat until smooth. Spread over cake. Yield: 12-15 servings.

• Very ripe bananas work best in this cake.
• Bananas can vary widely in size. To prevent your cake from becoming too dry, use a cup measure for mashed banana. For 1-1/2 cups mashed, plan on three medium bananas.
• If you don’t happen to have instant coffee for the frosting, strong brewed regular coffee or espresso would work, too. Be sure to adjust the milk amount to compensate for the added liquid.

Italian Sausage Egg Bake
• 8 slices white bread, cubed
• 1 pound Italian sausage links, casings removed, sliced
• 2 cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese
• 2 cups shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese
• 9 large eggs, lightly beaten
• 3 cups 2% milk
• 1 teaspoon dried basil
• 1 teaspoon dried oregano
• 1 teaspoon fennel seed, crushed

  1. Place bread cubes in a greased 13x9-in. baking dish; set aside. In a large skillet, cook sausage over medium heat until no longer pink; drain. Spoon sausage over bread; sprinkle with cheeses.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk the eggs, milk and seasonings; pour over casserole. Cover and refrigerate overnight.
  3. Remove from the refrigerator 30 minutes before baking. Bake, uncovered, at 350° for 50-55 minutes or until a knife inserted near the center comes out clean. Let stand for 5 minutes before cutting. Yield: 12 servings.

Chocolate Mint Brownies
• 1/2 cup butter, softened
• 1 cup sugar
• 4 large eggs
• 1 can (16 ounces) chocolate syrup
• 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
• 1 cup all-purpose flour
• 1/2 teaspoon salt
• FILLING:
• 1/2 cup butter, softened
• 2 cups confectioners’ sugar
• 1 tablespoon water
• 1/2 teaspoon mint extract
• 3 drops green food coloring
• TOPPING:
• 1 package (10 ounces) mint chocolate chips
• 1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon butter, cubed

  1. Preheat oven to 350°. In a large bowl, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in syrup and vanilla. Add flour and salt; mix well.
  2. Pour into a greased 13x9-in. baking pan. Bake 30 minutes (top of brownies will still appear wet). Cool on a wire rack.
  3. For filling, in a small bowl, cream butter and confectioners’ sugar; add water, extract and food coloring until blended. Spread over cooled brownies. Refrigerate until set.
  4. For topping, melt chocolate chips and butter. Cool 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. Spread over filling. Chill. Cut into bars. Store in refrigerator. Yield: 5-6 dozen.
    Editor’s Note: If mint chocolate chips are not available, place 2 cups (12 ounces) semisweet chocolate chips and 1/4 teaspoon peppermint extract in a plastic bag; seal and toss to coat. Allow chips to stand for 24-48 hours.

Pepperoni-Sausage Stuffed Pizza
• 1 package (1/4 ounce) active dry yeast
• 1-1/4 cups warm water (110° to 115°)
• 2 tablespoons olive oil
• 1-1/2 teaspoons salt
• 1 teaspoon sugar
• 3-1/2 to 4 cups all-purpose flour
• FILLING:
• 2-1/2 cups shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese, divided
• 2-1/2 cups shredded white cheddar cheese, divided
• 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
• 2 teaspoons dried oregano
• 2 teaspoons dried basil
• 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
• 1 pound bulk Italian sausage, cooked and crumbled
• 1/2 pound sliced fresh mushrooms
• 1 package (3-1/2 ounces) sliced pepperoni
• 1 can (15 ounces) pizza sauce
• Grated Parmesan cheese, optional

  1. In a small bowl, dissolve yeast in warm water. In a large bowl, combine oil, salt, sugar, yeast mixture and 1 cup flour; beat on medium speed until smooth. Stir in enough remaining flour to form a stiff dough.
  2. Turn dough onto a floured surface; knead until smooth and elastic, about 6-8 minutes. Place in a greased bowl, turning once to grease the top. Cover with plastic wrap and let rise in a warm place until doubled, about 1 hour.
  3. Preheat oven to 425°. Grease a 13x9-in. baking pan. Punch down dough; divide into three portions. On a lightly floured surface, combine two portions of dough and roll into a 15x11-in. rectangle. Transfer to prepared pan, pressing onto bottom and up sides of pan. Top with 2 cups mozzarella cheese and 2 cups cheddar cheese. Sprinkle with flour, seasonings, cooked sausage, mushrooms and pepperoni.
  4. Roll out remaining dough into a 13x9-in. rectangle. Place dough over filling, crimping edges to seal; prick top with a fork. Sprinkle with remaining cheeses. Bake on a lower oven rack 10 minutes.
  5. Reduce oven setting to 375°. Spread pizza sauce over cheese. Bake 30-35 minutes longer or until edges are lightly browned. Let stand 10 minutes before cutting. If desired, sprinkle with Parmesan cheese. Yield: 12 servings.

Peanut Butter Custard Blast
• 2 cups Oreo cookie crumbs
• 2 tablespoons sugar
• 1/3 cup butter, melted
• FILLING:
• 1-1/2 cups sugar
• 1/3 cup cornstarch
• 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
• 1/2 teaspoon salt
• 6 cups 2% milk
• 6 large egg yolks, beaten
• 1 cup creamy peanut butter
• TOPPING:
• 2 cups heavy whipping cream
• 1 tablespoon confectioners’ sugar
• 6 peanut butter cups, chopped
• 1/2 cup chopped salted peanuts
• 2 tablespoons chocolate syrup

  1. Preheat oven to 375°. Combine cookie crumbs and sugar; stir in butter. Press onto bottom of a greased 13x9-in. baking dish. Bake until set, about 8 minutes. Cool on a wire rack.
  2. For filling, in a large saucepan, combine sugar, cornstarch, flour and salt. Stir in milk until smooth. Cook and stir over medium-high heat until thickened and bubbly. Reduce heat; cook and stir 2 minutes. Remove from heat. Stir a small amount of hot mixture into egg yolks; return all to pan, stirring constantly. Bring to a gentle boil; cook and stir 2 minutes.
  3. Remove from heat. Stir in peanut butter until smooth. Pour over crust. Cool to room temperature. Refrigerate, covered, at least 2 hours.
  4. In a large bowl, beat cream until it begins to thicken. Add confectioners’ sugar; beat until stiff peaks form. Spread over peanut butter mixture. Sprinkle with peanut butter cups and peanuts. Drizzle with chocolate syrup. Yield: 15 servings.
    To Make ahead: After peanut butter custard is poured over the crust, refrigerate overnight. Before serving, top with the sweetened whipped cream, peanuts, peanut butter candy and chocolate drizzle.

Strawberry Pretzel Dessert
• 2 cups crushed pretzels (about 8 ounces)
• 3/4 cup butter, melted
• 3 tablespoons sugar
• FILLING:
• 2 cups whipped topping
• 1 package (8 ounces) cream cheese, softened
• 1 cup sugar
• TOPPING:
• 2 packages (3 ounces each) strawberry gelatin
• 2 cups boiling water
• 2 packages (16 ounces each) frozen sweetened sliced strawberries, thawed
• Additional whipped topping, optional

  1. In a bowl, combine the pretzels, butter and sugar. Press into an ungreased 13x9-in. baking dish. Bake at 350° for 10 minutes. Cool on a wire rack.
  2. For filling, in a small bowl, beat whipped topping, cream cheese and sugar until smooth. Spread over pretzel crust. Refrigerate until chilled.
  3. For topping, dissolve gelatin in boiling water in a large bowl. Stir in strawberries with syrup; chill until partially set. Carefully spoon over filling. Chill for 4-6 hours or until firm. Cut into squares; serve with whipped topping if desired. Yield: 12-16 servings.

• Punch up the flavor by adding chopped toasted nuts to the crust.
• Want a crisp crust and fluffy filling? Cool baked crust completely.
• Nobody likes gelatin that wanders.Using an offset spatula or the back of a spoon, spread cream cheese all the way to the edges so the gelatin stays put.
• Instead of whipped topping, try fresh whipped cream.

Candy Bar Brownies
• 3/4 cup butter, melted
• 2 cups sugar
• 4 large eggs
• 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
• 1-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
• 1/3 cup baking cocoa
• 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
• 1/4 teaspoon salt
• 4 Snickers bars (2.07 ounces each), cut into 1/4-inch pieces
• 3 plain milk chocolate candy bars (1.55 ounces each), coarsely chopped

  1. In a large bowl, combine the butter, sugar, eggs and vanilla. In a small bowl, combine the flour, cocoa, baking powder and salt; set aside 1/4 cup. Stir remaining dry ingredients into the egg mixture until well combined. Toss Snickers pieces with reserved flour mixture; stir into batter.
  2. Transfer to a greased 13x9-in. baking pan. Sprinkle with milk chocolate candy bar pieces. Bake at 350° for 30-35 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean (do not overbake). Cool on a wire rack. Chill before cutting. Yield: 3 dozen.

Bacon Potato Bake
• 8 cups thinly sliced peeled red potatoes
• 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
• 2 large eggs, lightly beaten
• 1 cup (8 ounces) sour cream
• 2 tablespoons butter, melted, divided
• 1-1/2 teaspoons salt
• 1-1/2 cups (6 ounces) shredded Monterey Jack cheese
• 1/4 cup dry bread crumbs
• 8 bacon strips, cooked and crumbled

  1. Place potatoes in a Dutch oven; cover with water. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; cover and simmer for 10 minutes. Drain; cool for 10 minutes.
  2. In a small bowl, combine the flour, eggs, sour cream, 1 tablespoon butter and salt. Spoon over potatoes and toss to coat. Place half of the potato mixture in a greased 13x9-in. baking dish; top with half of the cheese. Repeat layers.
  3. Toss bread crumbs with remaining butter; sprinkle over the top. Bake, uncovered, at 350° for 1 hour or until a thermometer reads 160° and potatoes are tender. Sprinkle with bacon. Yield: 12 servings.

Blueberry Angel Dessert
• 1 package (8 ounces) cream cheese, softened
• 1 cup confectioners’ sugar
• 1 carton (8 ounces) frozen whipped topping, thawed
• 1 prepared angel food cake (8 to 10 ounces), cut into 1-inch cubes
• 2 cans (21 ounces each) blueberry pie filling

  1. In a large bowl, beat cream cheese and confectioners’ sugar until smooth; fold in whipped topping and cake cubes. Spread evenly into an ungreased 13x9-in. dish; top with pie filling. Refrigerate, covered, at least 2 hours before serving. Yield: 12 servings.

Vegetable Strata
• 3 teaspoons olive oil, divided
• 1 pound fresh asparagus, trimmed and cut into 2-inch pieces
• 2 medium zucchini, quartered and sliced
• 1 cup fresh or frozen corn
• 2 shallots, chopped
• 3 garlic cloves, minced
• 4 teaspoons each minced fresh sage, basil and parsley
• 1/2 teaspoon salt
• 1/2 teaspoon pepper
• 1 loaf (1 pound) Italian bread, cut into 1-inch cubes
• 3 cups shredded Gruyere or Swiss cheese
• 5 large eggs
• 1-3/4 cups 2% milk
• 1/2 cup chopped pecans

  1. Preheat oven to 350°. In a large skillet, heat 1 teaspoon oil over medium-high heat. Add asparagus; cook and stir until crisp-tender. Transfer to a large bowl.
  2. Repeat with an additional 1 teaspoon oil and zucchini; add to asparagus. In same pan, cook and stir corn, shallots and garlic in remaining oil until shallots are tender; stir in herbs, salt and pepper. Add to asparagus mixture; stir in bread cubes.
  3. Place half of mixture in a greased 13x9-in. baking dish. Sprinkle with 1-1/2 cups cheese. Repeat layers. In another bowl, whisk eggs and milk; pour over casserole. Sprinkle with pecans. Refrigerate, covered, at least 1 hour.
  4. Bake, uncovered, 40-50 minutes or until a knife inserted near the center comes out clean. Let stand 10 minutes before serving.
    Freeze option: After assembling, cover and freeze. To use, partially thaw in refrigerator overnight. Remove from refrigerator 30 minutes before baking. Preheat oven to 350°. Bake strata, covered, 45 minutes. Uncover; bake 10-15 minutes longer or until a knife inserted near the center comes out clean. Let stand 10 minutes before serving. Yield: 12 servings.

Banana Sundae Dessert
• 1 package (12 ounces) vanilla wafers, crushed
• 1/2 cup butter, melted
• 2 tablespoons sugar
• 6 cups chocolate chip ice cream, softened if necessary
• 4 large firm bananas, sliced
• 2 jars (11-3/4 ounces each) hot fudge ice cream topping, divided
• 6 cups strawberry or cherry ice cream, softened if necessary
• Optional toppings: whipped cream, maraschino cherries, chopped walnuts, banana slices and colored sprinkles

  1. In a bowl, mix wafer crumbs, melted butter and sugar; press onto bottom of a 13x9-in. dish. Freeze 15 minutes.
  2. Spread chocolate chip ice cream over crust. Layer with bananas and 1-1/2 jars fudge topping (about 1-1/2 cups). Freeze, covered, at least 30 minutes.
  3. Spread strawberry or cherry ice cream over top. Freeze, covered, 6 hours or overnight.
  4. Remove from freezer 10 minutes before cutting. Warm remaining fudge topping; drizzle over top. Serve with toppings as desired. Yield: 16 servings.

Fudgy S’mores Brownies
• 1-1/3 cups butter, softened
• 2-2/3 cups sugar
• 4 large eggs
• 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
• 2 cups all-purpose flour
• 1 cup baking cocoa
• 1/2 teaspoon salt
• 1 cup Golden Grahams, coarsely crushed
• 1-3/4 cups miniature marshmallows
• 4 ounces milk chocolate, chopped

  1. Preheat oven to 350°. In a large bowl, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in eggs and vanilla. In a bowl, mix flour, cocoa and salt; gradually beat into creamed mixture.
  2. Spread into a greased 13x9-in. baking pan. Bake 25-30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in center comes out with moist crumbs (do not overbake).
  3. Preheat broiler. Sprinkle baked brownies with cereal and marshmallows; broil 5-6 in. from heat until marshmallows are golden brown, 30-45 seconds. Immediately sprinkle with chopped chocolate. Cover with foil and let stand until chocolate begins to melt, 5 minutes. Remove foil and cool completely in pan on a wire rack. Cut into bars. Yield: 1 dozen.

Potluck Taco Salad

1 pound ground beef
1 envelope taco seasoning, divided
1 medium head iceberg lettuce, torn
1 can (16 ounces) kidney beans, rinsed and drained
1 large red onion, chopped
4 medium tomatoes, seeded and finely chopped
2 cups (8 ounces) shredded cheddar cheese
4 cups crushed tortilla chips (about 8 ounces)
1 bottle (8 ounces) Thousand Island salad dressing
2 tablespoons taco sauce



In a large skillet, cook beef over medium heat 6-8 minutes or until no longer pink, breaking into crumbles; drain. Stir in 3 tablespoons taco seasoning.
In a large bowl, layer beef mixture, lettuce, beans, onion, tomatoes, cheese and crushed chips. In a small bowl, mix salad dressing, taco sauce and remaining taco seasoning; serve with salad. Yield: 8 servings (1 cup dressing). 

Strawberry Oatmeal Bars

1-1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1-1/4 cups quick-cooking oats
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup butter, melted
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup strawberry preserves
1/2 cup sweetened shredded coconut


In a bowl, combine first five ingredients. Add butter and vanilla; stir until crumbly. Set aside 1 cup. Press remaining crumb mixture evenly into an ungreased 13-in. x 9-in. baking pan. Spread preserves over crust. Combine coconut and reserved crumb mixture; sprinkle over preserves.
Bake at 350° for 25-30 minutes or until coconut is lightly browned. Cool. Yield: 2 dozen. 

Sweet Macaroni Salad

1 package (16 ounces) elbow macaroni
4 medium carrots, shredded
1 large green pepper, chopped
1 medium red onion, chopped
2 cups mayonnaise
1 can (14 ounces) sweetened condensed milk
1 cup cider vinegar
1/2 cup sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper


Cook macaroni according to package directions. Drain and rinse in cold water; drain well.
In a large bowl, combine macaroni and vegetables. Whisk together remaining ingredients until smooth and sugar is dissolved; stir into macaroni mixture. Refrigerate, covered, overnight. Yield: 16 servings. 

Caramelized Ham & Swiss Buns

1 package (12 ounces) Hawaiian sweet rolls, split
1/2 cup horseradish sauce
12 slices deli ham
6 slices Swiss cheese, halved
1/2 cup butter, cubed
2 tablespoons finely chopped onion
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1 tablespoon spicy brown mustard
2 teaspoons poppy seeds
1-1/2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder



Spread roll bottoms with horseradish sauce. Layer with ham and cheese; replace tops. Arrange in a single layer in a greased 9-in. square baking pan.
In a small skillet, heat butter over medium-high heat. Add onion; cook and stir 1-2 minutes or until tender. Stir in remaining ingredients. Pour over rolls. Refrigerate, covered, several hours or overnight.
Preheat oven to 350°. Bake, covered, 25 minutes. Bake, uncovered, 5-10 minutes longer or until golden brown. Yield: 1 dozen.

Turn this sandwich into a Reuben! Swap corned beef or pastrami for the ham, add a layer of sauerkraut and substitute caraway seeds for poppy.
Vegetarians coming for dinner? These buns can easily go meat-free by omitting the ham and doubling the cheese. We like Swiss and cheddar.

Beans and Sausage

1-1/2 pounds bulk spicy pork sausage
1 medium green pepper, chopped
1 medium onion, chopped
1 can (31 ounces) pork and beans
1 can (16 ounces) kidney beans, rinsed and drained
1 can (15-1/2 ounces) great northern beans, rinsed and drained
1 can (15-1/2 ounces) black-eyed peas, rinsed and drained
1 can (15 ounces) pinto beans, rinsed and drained 
1 can (15 ounces) chickpeas, rinsed and drained
1-1/2 cups ketchup
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
2 teaspoons ground mustard



In a large skillet, cook sausage over medium heat until no longer pink; drain. Add green pepper and onion; saute until tender. Drain. Add remaining ingredients.
Pour into a greased 13x9-in. baking dish. Cover and bake at 325° for 1 hour. Uncover. bake 20-30 minutes longer or until bubbly. Yield: 12-16 servings. 

Loaded-Up Pretzel Cookies

1 cup butter, softened
1 cup sugar
1 cup packed brown sugar
2 large eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
2 cups miniature pretzels, broken
1-1/2 cups sweetened shredded coconut
1-1/2 cups milk chocolate M&M's



Preheat oven to 350°. In a large bowl, cream butter and sugars until light and fluffy. Beat in eggs and vanilla. In another bowl, whisk flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt; gradually beat into creamed mixture. Stir in remaining ingredients.
Shape 1/4 cupfuls of dough into balls; place 3 in. apart on ungreased baking sheets. Bake 12-14 minutes or until golden brown. Remove from pans to wire racks to cool. Yield: 2 dozen.

To make smaller cookies, shape rounded tablespoons of dough into balls. Bake as directed.

Creamy Hash Brown Casserole

1 package (32 ounces) frozen cubed hash brown potatoes, thawed
1 pound process cheese (Velveeta), cubed
2 cups (16 ounces) sour cream
1 can (10-3/4 ounces) condensed cream of chicken soup, undiluted
3/4 cup butter, melted, divided
3 tablespoons chopped onion
1/4 teaspoon paprika
2 cups cornflakes, lightly crushed
Fresh savory, optional



In a large bowl, combine the hash browns, cheese, sour cream, soup, 1/2 cup butter and onion. Spread into a greased 13x9-in. baking dish. Sprinkle with paprika. Combine cornflakes and remaining butter; sprinkle on top. Bake, covered, at 350° for 40-50 minutes or until heated through. Uncover, bake 10 minutes longer or until top is golden brown. If desired, garnish with savory.
Freeze option: Cover and freeze unbaked casserole. To use, partially thaw in refrigerator overnight. Remove from refrigerator 30 minutes before baking. Preheat oven to 350°. Bake casserole as directed, increasing time as necessary to heat through and for a thermometer inserted in center to read 165°. Yield: 8 servings.