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Reader's Recipes

Almond Butter Balls
• 1 cup butter
• 3 teaspoons powered sugar
• 1 teaspoon vanilla
• 1/2 teaspoon almond essence
• 2 cups flour
• 1/2 cup ground almonds

Cream together butter, powdered sugar and vanilla. Add flour and almonds. Roll into tiny balls. Bake in a 350 degree oven for 20 minutes. Roll in powered sugar while hot.

Liliann Wilton, Largo
November 2007 Holiday Gift Guide
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Bacon Wrapped Scallops
• 1 package lean bacon
• 1 bag New Bedford sea scallops
• Dark brown sugar

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Cut bacon in thirds, cut scallops in half. Wrap bacon over scallops and secure with toothpick. Place on flat pan and sprinkle with brown sugar. Bake for approximately 20 minutes. Remove from oven and serve solo or over rice.

Pam Mosher, Pinellas Park
November 2007 Holiday Gift Guide
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Baked Stuffed Shrimp
Serves 6
Layer 1 lb. cleaned, shell removed shrimp in bottom of buttered 9x13 baking dish.

Mix together:
• 1 cup cracker crumbs (make a mixture of Ritz and/or lunch crackers)
• 1 cup bread crumbs
• 1 tbsp. parsley flakes
• 1/3 cup oil
• 1 can minced clams and juice

Season lightly with salt and pepper. Cover shrimp and top with dabs of butter. Bake 350 degrees for 30 minutes.

Victoria L. Tocchi, Pinellas Park
Winner - November 2007 Holiday Gift Guide
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BIGOS (Polish Stew)
• 2 large cans or bags of sauerkraut
• 2 regular size cans of vegetable broth
• 1 package kielbasa
• 1 sliced onion
• 1 small can mushrooms
• 5 slices of bacon
• 2 cloves of sliced garlic
• 2 bay leaves
• 4 dried pitted prunes or dates

Fry onion and garlic in oil until golden brown, then place into a large cooking pot. Fry bacon until done. Cut bacon into pieces and add to pot. Slice kielbasa into small slices, fry in a little oil and add to pot. The kielbasa from the store is already cooked. It just needs to be fried before adding to the pot.
Drain sauerkraut and add to pot. Add mushrooms and vegetable broth. Add sliced prunes or dates. Add bay leaves. Add salt and pepper to taste. Cook on low heat for at least three hours.
This is one of the national dishes of Poland.

Alexsandra and Jonathan Vangeli, Clearwater
November 2007 Holiday Gift Guide
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Braised Chestnuts
• 2 tablespoons butter
• 1 pound whole, peeled chestnuts
• 1 medium onion, finely chopped
• 1 cup dry red wine
• 1 tablespoon fresh thyme
• 3 cups chicken broth
• Dash salt
• 1/4 teaspoon pepper

Melt butter in Dutch oven over medium heat. Add onion and sautι until slightly brown. Add wine and bring to a boil, stirring occasionally for one minute. Add broth and remaining ingredients. Reduce heat to medium-low, cover and simmer for one hour or until nuts are tender and liquid is mostly absorbed.

Suzanne Fuller, Largo
November 2007 Holiday Gift Guide
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Butternut Squash Bisque
• 1 Butternut squash
• 1 Vidalia or sweet onion
• 4 cups chicken stock
• 1 cup heavy cream
• 1/4 pound bacon
• 2 tablespoon roux
• 1 red bell pepper, roasted, skin and seeds removed
• Salt and pepper to taste

Cut squash lengthwise in half, rub with olive oil and bake on cookie sheet, cut side down until tender; scoop out meat and reserve. Bring stock and cream to a boil, thicken with a roux. Add cooked squash, salt and pepper and puree the mixture.
Chop bacon and sautee until browned and reserve. Caramelize sliced onion in bacon drippings, drain excess fat. Dice roasted pepper, add to onions and bacon, dollop into center of each bowl of soup and serve.

Mr. and Mrs. Robert Younghouse, Clearwater
Winner - November 2007 Holiday Gift Guide
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Christmas Butter Balls
• 1 cup margarine
• 1/2 cup sifted XXXX powdered sugar
• 1 teaspoon vanilla
• 2 1/4 cups flour
• 1 teaspoon salt
• 3/4 cups chopped nuts

Cream all ingredients together and chill overnight. Shape into one-inch balls. Bake on cookie sheet in 400 degree oven for 10 to 12 minutes. Roll in powered sugar. Place on wax paper to cool.

Jacqueline Morgan, Pinellas Park
November 2007 Holiday Gift Guide
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Christmas Fruit Cake Cookies
• 1 cup chopped maraschino cherries
• 3 slices chopped pineapple
• 1/4 pound seedless raisins
• 3 1/2 cups chopped pecans
• 1/4 cup milk
• 1/2 cup brown sugar
• 2 eggs
• 1/2 cup butter
• 1 1/2 cups flour
• 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
• 1 teaspoon cinnamon

Beat eggs and then cream butter, sugar and beaten eggs together. Mix flour, baking soda and cinnamon together. Add to butter, sugar and egg mixture, alternating with the milk. Add fruit and nuts. Mix well.
Drop by teaspoons on greased cookie sheet. Bake in preheated 300 degree oven for 25 minutes.
This recipe has been in our family for more than 50 years and is great for holiday company. The cookies keep very well in a cookie tin.

Gail Strelesky, Largo
November 2007 Holiday Gift Guide
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Corn Casserole
• 2 cans niblet corn (drained)
• 1 can of cream of celery soup
• 1/2 cup chopped onion
• 1 cup shredded cheese (sharp)
• 3/4 cup sour cream

Mix together above ingredients in oven-safe bowl. Take 1 stick of butter or oleo melted and mix with 1 sleeve Ritz crackers, crumbled. Sprinkle on top of casserole and bake uncovered in 350 degrees for 40 minutes.

Genevieve Shakas, Largo
November 2007 Holiday Gift Guide
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Cornish Game Hens with Plum Sauce
• 2 Cornish game hens
• Plum sauce
• 1/4 cup butter
• 1/4 cup chopped onions
• 1 can purple plums
• 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
• 3 tablespoons lemon juice
• 2 tablespoons chili sauce
• 1/4 cup dark brown sugar

Preheat oven to 400 degrees

Drain plums and reserve liquid. Remove pits from plums and puree in blender. Melt butter in fry pan; add onion and sautι until golden. Stir in remaining ingredients, including plums and liquid. Simmer 30 minutes.
Season hens with salt and pepper and place in glass baking dish. Pour plum sauce over hens. Roast uncovered (basting occasionally) about 45 minutes or until tender. Serves two.

Ursula Robertson-Goguen, Largo
November 2007 Holiday Gift Guide
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Depression Soup (Circa 1930-1933)
Ingredient costs from the 1930s

• 1 large pot hot water - $0
• 2 heads shredded cabbage – 1 cent
• 1 large can pork and beans – 15 cents
• 1/2 cup vinegar – 4 cents

Bring ingredients to a boil. Cool and serve.
This recipe kept a family of 10 alive and thanking God for his goodness.

Walter H. Dzik, St. Petersburg
November 2007 Holiday Gift Guide
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Grandma Mary’s Knobby Apple Cake
• 3/4 cup margarine
• 3/4 tsp. baking soda
• 1 1/2 cups sugar
• 1 egg
• 3/4 teaspoon cinnamon
• 4 1/2 cups apples, diced
• 1 1/2 cups flour
• 3/4 cup walnut pieces

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cream margarine and sugar until fluffy. Add egg, flour, salt to taste, baking soda and cinnamon to cream mixture. Add apples and nuts, mixture will be stiff. Press into a large pan and bake for 1 hour. Top with whipped topping or vanilla ice cream.

Reenie Pascal, Pinellas Park
November 2007 Holiday Gift Guide
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No Bake Plum Pudding
A Christmas dinner favorite since the 1930s

• 1 package lemon Jello
• 1 pint boiling water
• 3/4 cup grape nuts cereal
• 3/4 cup English walnuts
• 1/4 cup cooked prunes
• 1/4 cup citron (chopped fine)
• 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
• 1/4 tsp. cloves
• salt to taste.

Dissolve Jello in water. While it is still hot, stir in 3/4 cup grape nuts cereal, 3/4 cup English walnuts, 1/4 cup cooked prunes and 1/4 cup citron (chopped fine). Add 1/2 tsp. cinnamon, 1/4 tsp. cloves, salt to taste. Mix well and let sit in refrigerator. Served with whipped cream.

Jeanette B. Tooker, Clearwater
November 2007 Holiday Gift Guide
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Pecan Balls
Makes 3 dozen

• 1 cup butter
• 3 tablespoon powdered sugar, cream
• 1 teaspoon vanilla
• 2 cups flour
• 1 cup chopped pecans

Shape into small balls, put on ungreased cookie sheet. Bake in 325 degrees oven for 20 minutes. Roll in powdered sugar while hot.

Andrew McIntosh, Indian Rocks Beach
November 2007 Holiday Gift Guide
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Pine Cone Cheese Spread
• 8 ounce blue cheese
• 2 pkgs. of soft cream cheese (8 oz. each)
• 1/2 cup soft butter
• 8 ounce of Bucheron goat cheese
• 1 teaspoon caraway seeds (ground)
• 1 tablespoon dijon mustard
• 1 tablespoon chopped capers
• 2 tablespoon minced green onions
• 1 pound whole almonds
• 1/4 cup butter
• Pine sprigs from yard and favorite crackers

In a bowl, mix blue cheese, cream cheese, softened butter, goat cheese, mustard, caraway, capers and onions until well blended. Pile cheese on a cutting board and shape with a spatula into a small football shape. Chill in refrigerator.
Blanch almonds (drop in pot of boiling water for 30 seconds), cool almonds in water, then drain and slip off skins. Split almonds in half while still wet (use a knife).
In a large skillet, melt butter and saute almonds, stirring until a nice brown color. Cool on paper towels.
Press almond halves, rounded side up, into cheese in overlapping rows to resemble pine cone scales.
Garnish board with pine sprigs and crackers and a cheese spreader. It really looks like a giant pine cone.

Audrey Burke, Seminole
Winner - November 2007 Holiday Gift Guide
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Pistachio Holiday Salad
• 1 package pistachio instant pudding
• 1 20-ounce can crushed pineapple (do not drain)
• 1 cup miniature marshmallows
• 1 small can mandarin oranges, drained and cut up
• 1/2 cup maraschino cherries, drained and cut up
• 10 ounce container of Cool Whip

Combine all ingredients except Cool Whip in a large bowl and mix well. Blend in Cool Whip. Put in serving dish or cake pan and chill.

Carol Botwinski, Largo
November 2007 Holiday Gift Guide
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Pumpkin Pie Cake
Canned pumpkin pie filling for two pies

• 1 package yellow cake mix
• 1 stick butter or margarine
• 3/4 to 1 cup chopped nuts
• Whipped topping

Prepare canned pumpkin as you would to make two pies. Pour into a greased 9-x 13-inch pan. Sprinkle dry cake mix evenly over the pumpkin pie filling. Slice the butter or margarine and dot over the dry cake mix. Spread nuts on top of butter. Bake in a 350 degree oven for 50 minutes. Cool. Cover with whipped cream and serve.

Beverly Herman, Kenneth City
November 2007 Holiday Gift Guide
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Queen’s Cake with Fluffy White Icing
Combine:
• 1 cup dates (chopped)
• 1 teaspoon baking soda
• 1 cup boiling water

Then mix as for cake:
• 1 stick butter (I use half margarine)
• 1 cup sugar
• 1 egg
• 1 1/2 cup sifted cake flour
• 1 teaspoon baking powder
• 1/2 teaspoon salt

Add date mixture to above. Bake in two 9-inch cake pans at 350 degrees for 25 minutes.

Fluffy White Icing
• 3 egg whites
• 1 1/2 cup sugar
• 1/2 cup + 1 tbsp. water
• 1 1/2 teaspoon vinegar
• 1 1/2 teaspoon white Karo

Cook (boil) all above except egg whites, to about 230 degrees. I use a candy thermometer. Beat egg whites until foamy, and gradually add hot syrup. Beat until fluffy and frosting holds peaks. Add a little vanilla.
Serves 12 or more.

Hallie S. Maxon, Belleair
November 2007 Holiday Gift Guide
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Quick and Easy Tartar Sauce
• 1 cup light mayonnaise
• 1/4 cup sweet pickle relish
• 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

Stir together all ingredients in a small bowl until well blended. Cover and chill until ready to serve.

Lillian Mende, Largo
November 2007 Holiday Gift Guide
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Ritz Cracker Peanut Butter Fudge
• 2 cups sugar
• 1/2 cup evaporated milk
• 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
• 6 rounded tablespoon smooth or chunky peanut butter
• 21 Ritz crackers rolled into powder

In saucepan, heat sugar and milk on low for 3 minute, remove from heat, stir in vanilla, peanut butter and cracker crumbs. Pour into buttered 9 inch square pan. Cool and cut into 36 square pieces.

Florence Tirabassi, Kenneth City
November 2007 Holiday Gift Guide
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Santa’s Ready for the Trip Appetizer to Go
• 1 or 2 cans diced tomatoes, drained well
• 1 package Good Seasons Italian dressing
• 1 four-ounce package feta cheese

Mix together and let flavors blend a few hours. Serve with baked Tostitos scoops or crackers of choice.

Barbara J. Nickse, Seminole
November 2007 Holiday Gift Guide
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Scalloped Pineapple
• 1 1/2 cup sugar
• 1/2 cup melted butter
• 1/2 cup milk
• 1 large can crushed pineapple, do not drain
• 3 beaten egg whites
• 4 cups cubed plain bread

Beat egg whites. Mix other ingredients in large bowl. Fold in egg whites. Grease large casserole dish with butter. Bake at 375 degrees for 45 minutes. Serve warm.

Monica Edwards, Seminole
November 2007 Holiday Gift Guide
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Sour Cream Holiday Cookies
• 1 1/2 cup sugar
• 1 cup shortening
• 2 eggs
• 3 tablespoon sour cream
• 1 teaspoon baking soda
• 1/2 teaspoon salt
• 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
• 3 cups flour

Mix the above ingredients, slowly adding the flour last. Chill for at least 3 hours. Roll out and cut into your favorite holiday shapes. Bake at 350 degrees for 6 minutes. Frost with your favorite frosting.

Janie Hewitt, Clearwater
November 2007 Holiday Gift Guide
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Uncle Ernie's Toffee
• 1/2 pound butter
• 1 cup light corn syrup
• 3 cups brown sugar
• 1 can sweetened condensed milk

Mix first 3 ingredients in a pot on stove, med. heat. Add sweetened condensed milk, bring to a boil. Now slowly boil for 30 minutes, stirring often to prevent burning. Pour onto cookie tray or cake pan. Cool in refrigerator, score when getting hard.

Carol Van Buren, Belleair Beach
November 2007 Holiday Gift Guide
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Tampa Bay Newspapers
9911 Seminole Blvd.,
Seminole, FL 33772
Phone: (727) 397-5563
Fax: (727) 397-5900
Submit News