When I get up in the morning I may add items to my to-do list, my to-get list; my steno pad is with me all the time. A smaller notebook would never do, I write too many things down, I need more lines; I need a page-a-day. I map out my errand stops, to avoid the back-and-forth.
I keep an ongoing grocery list, crossing off needs as purchased, moving items forward a day if I need to. Once every flip page is filled (and some on the reverse) it’s onto a new steno, the old one being filed.
But in spite of my plan and all things organized, there are distractions that take me on another route. Again I am cautious, to a point, but my adventurous side tugs me another direction, another one of those unexpected, yet expected turns in my routine.
Another curve in my daily drive is often tested by small signs at road’s edge; garage sale, sweet corn, auction, and “free.” Even the typical “open” sign gets my attention, no matter what is open.
Driving straight ahead, eyes on the road, both hands on the wheel, may seem all safe and sound, but that is when the unexpected interrupts your path. This is the same for getting through your day as well. Interest and adventure keeps your mind sharper than a mundane day-after-day routine. Take a turn off your map. Add a stop along your path. Walk a different sidewalk. Ride your bike down another street. Trot your pony on a new trail.
Every day is a new day for a new recipe, be it served at the table, noted in a steno pad, or a route change in your map. Take the day, cook as you like and serve those around you, especially the ones that are unexpected, yet expected.
Comfort food can be a mental band-aid, but for our physical health we need comfort food makeovers. Send your redo recipes to: Country Cupboard, 5973 Blachleyville Road, Wooster 44691.
Creamy Potato Sticks (Marie Hoyer)
1/4 cup flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups milk
1 can (10 3/4 ounces) condensed cream of celery soup, undiluted
1/2 pound process American cheese, cubed
5 to 6 large baking potatoes, peeled
1 cup chopped onion
In a saucepan, combine flour and salt; gradually whisk in milk until smooth. Bring to a boil; cook and stir for 2 minutes. Remove from the heat; whisk in soup and cheese until smooth. Set aside. Cut potatoes into 4 inch x 1/2 inch sticks; place in a greased 13-by-9 baking dish. Sprinkle with onion. Top with cheese sauce. Bake, uncovered, at 350 degrees for 55 to 60 minutes or until potatoes are tender. Sprinkle with paprika.
Cow Pies (Karen Kenney)
2 cups (12 ounces) milk chocolate chips
1 tablespoon shortening
1/2 cup raisins
1/2 cup chopped slivered almonds
In a double boiler over simmering water, melt the chocolate chips and shortening, stirring until smooth. Remove from heat; stir in raisins and almonds. Drop by tablespoonfuls onto waxed paper. Chill until ready to serve.
Banana Squares (Susan Miller)
2 eggs, separated
2/3 cup shortening
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 cup mashed ripe bananas (2 to 3 medium)
1 1/2 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 cup sour milk (add 1 teaspoon white vinegar to milk)
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup chopped walnuts, optional
Whipped cream, optional
In a small mixing bowl, beat egg whites until soft peaks form; set aside. In a large mixing bowl, cream shortening and sugar. Beat in egg yolks; mix well. Add bananas. Combine flour and baking soda; add to creamed mixture alternately with milk, beating well after each addition. Add vanilla. Fold in egg whites. Fold in nuts, if desired. Pour into a greased 13-by-9 inch baking pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 45 to 50 minutes. Cool on a wire rack. If desired, garnish with a dollop of whipped cream.
Dairy Delicious Dip (Karen Kenney)
1 package (8 ounces) cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup sour cream
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup packed brown sugar
1 to 2 tablespoons maple syrup
In a small mixing bowl, combine cream cheese, sour milk, sugars and syrup to taste; beat until smooth. Chill. Serve with fresh fruit.
Ham & Cheese Muffins (Doris Heath)
2 cups self-rising flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 cup milk
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1/2 cup finely chopped fully cooked ham
1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese
In a large bowl, combine flour and baking soda. Combine remaining ingredients; stir into dry ingredients just until moistened. Fill greased or paper-lined muffin cups 2/3 full. Bake at 425 for 16 to 18 minutes.
Vanilla Wafer Cookies
1/2 cup butter (no substitutes), softened
1 cup sugar
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1 1/3 cups flour
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
In a mixing bowl, cream butter and sugar. Beat in egg and vanilla. Combine dry ingredients; add to creamed mixture and mix well. Drop by teaspoonfuls 2 inches apart onto ungreased baking sheets. Bake at 350 degrees for 12 to 15 minutes or until edges are golden brown. Remove to a wire rack to cool.
Spicy Potato Soup (Audrey Wall)
1 pound ground beef
4 cups cubed peeled potatoes (1/2 inch cubes)
1 small onion, chopped
3 cans (8 ounces each) tomato sauce
4 cups water
2 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 teaspoons pepper
1/2 to 1 teaspoon hot pepper sauce
In a Dutch oven or large kettle, brown ground beef. Drain. Add potatoes, onion and tomato sauce. Stir in water, salt, pepper and hot pepper sauce; bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 1 hour or until the potatoes are tender and the soup has thickened.
Green Beans with Hazelnut-Lemon Butter
1 pound fresh green beans, cut
1/4 cup butter or margarine
1/2 cup toasted chopped hazelnuts
1 teaspoon minced fresh parsley
1/2 teaspoon dried basil
1/2 teaspoon salt
In a saucepan, cover beans with water; cover and cook until crisp-tender, about 15 minutes. Meanwhile, in a small saucepan over medium-high heat, brown the butter. Add the hazelnuts, lemon juice, parsley, basil, and salt; heat through. Drain beans; add the butter mixture; toss to coat. Serve immediately.
Raisin Filled Cookies (Lizzie Stutzman, Homerville)
3 cups brown sugar
1 1/2 cups margarine
2 teaspoons vanilla
2 teaspoons baking powder
4 cups flour
1 teaspoon soda
4 cups oats
1 teaspoon salt
Mix dough ingredients, chill; then roll out. Fill with raisin filling (raspberry or pineapple is good, too.), a teaspoonful on one cookie, place another cookie on top with a hole in it. Bake at 350 degrees until golden.
Published: September 7, 2011