RPL Celebrates

Library staff and their families are spreading holiday cheer with food traditions and good wishes for your health and happiness. Enjoy our cookbook now and check back for new recipes throughout December.

Appetizers

Chili cheese log

1 lb. extra sharp or sharp Cheddar – shredded (pre-shredded might not work as well)

1 c. nuts – chopped

2 T. Worcestershire sauce

3 oz. cream cheese

Chili powder, for covering

Mix first four ingredients well. Roll in logs. Roll log in chili powder on foil, cover as well as desired. Store and refrigerate in foil. Serve with crackers.

Submitted by Kathy

Italian cheese ball

16 oz. cream cheese – slightly softened

12 oz. mozzarella – shredded (try to avoid pre-shredded)

4 oz. parmesan – grated (try to avoid pre-grated – may be gritty)

1 T. balsamic vinegar

1 t. garlic powder

1 packet 0.7-1 oz. Italian dressing mix

1/4 c. sliced Kalamata olives (we sliced into 4ths)

Combine cream cheese with dressing, garlic powder, and balsamic vinegar. Add cheeses and olives. Form into balls and wrap in cling film. Refrigerate. Serve with crackers or vegetables.

Add-in suggestions: sundried tomatoes, roasted pine nuts, any other olives

Note: We combined these by hand. A mixer might over mix the mixture.

Submitted by Nelwyn

Side Dishes

Classic Latkes

There are as many recipes for latkes as there are for hash browns.  This recipe can be made vegetarian, so it is also appropriate for penitential seasons such as Advent, and can be made gluten-free.

1 ½ pounds baking potatoes (3 – 4), scrubbed well and not peeled
½ medium yellow onion, peeled and quartered
1 large egg
2 tablespoons matzoh meal or dry breadcrumbs (or substitute gluten-free equivalent, such as almond flour)
1 teaspoon kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper to taste
1 to 1 ½ cups canola oil or chicken schmaltz (or a combination)
applesauce and sour cream for serving

  1. Line one rimmed baking sheet with a double layer of paper towels. Fit another with a wire cooling rack.  Set aside.  Place baking rack in the middle of the oven, and heat to 200 degrees F.
  2. Slice potatoes in half crosswise, then grate in a food processor along with onion.
  3. Using cheesecloth or a thin clean kitchen towel, squeeze liquid from potato and onion into a large bowl. (This is important.  Squeeze until no more liquid comes out, or your latkes will fall apart.)
  4. Give the liquid in the bowl several minutes to allow potato starch to settle. Pour off and discard the liquid, but retain the starch.
  5. Return potatoes and onion to the bowl. Add in egg, matzoh/breadcrumbs, salt, and pepper. Mix with your fingers, making sure that potato starch is evenly distributed.  Set aside for ten minutes or so.
  6. Pour into a large heavy skillet oil/schmaltz to the depth of a quarter inch. Heat over medium-high until a bit of batter sizzles immediately.
  7. Form ¼ cup latke batter into a flat patty on a spoon or spatula. Slide into the hot fat with the help of a fork, repeating until pan is full but not crowded.  Cook until golden brown, flipping once, about four to five minutes per side.
  8. Drain on paper towel-lined sheet for about two minutes. Transfer to wire rack lined sheet and place in oven to keep warm up to half an hour while you cook the rest of the latkes.
  9. Serve immediately with applesauce and sour cream.
  10. Leftover latkes are a crime against the holiday, but if for some reason they are not all immediately devoured, they can be refrigerated and reheated in a moderate oven (300 degrees F) for five to ten minutes.

Submitted by Lesley

Holiday Potatoes

This casserole is a little daunting because of how large it is, but it has been a staple at any holiday feast with my husband’s family for years. It is a great side dish full of cheese and potatoes with fun green and red accents.

Ingredients:

8 Medium potatoes

1 Large chopped onion

1 Large chopped bell pepper

1 Large jar pimentos, chopped

4 Slices of bread, cubed

2 Sticks of margarine, cubed

½ lb. Velveeta cheese, cubed

¾ c Milk

Salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350°. Peel potatoes and boil until tender. Add the rest of the ingredients and mix well and put in 9 X 13 dish. Bake at 350° for 40-45 minutes. Serves approximately 15.

Submitted by Autumn

Main Courses

Lentil and Chard Soup

We always have this for dinner on Christmas Eve.
Vegan, nutritious, and so very delicious.   Leftovers freeze well, and it’s good hot and cold.
Based on a recipe from James Beard.

Ingredients

  • 1 lb dried green lentils
  • 2 1/2 pounds Swiss chard or spinach (about 3-4 bunches)
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 3 to 4 garlic cloves
  • Kosher salt
  • 1 chopped yellow onion, about ¾ cups
  • 1 celery rib, chopped
  • 3/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon all-purpose flour

The night before, wash and pick over the lentils.  Place in a large stock or sauce pot and cover with cold water.  Allow to soak overnight.

The next day, drain and wash the lentils again.  Put back in pot, cover with cold water, and simmer, covered, until tender—between 30 and 45 minutes, depending upon processing; taste to see when done.

Wash the chard or spinach.  Cut out the bitter stems, if desired (this is especially important if you use spinach) and chop.  Add to the lentils with 2 cups water. Cook until the chard is wilted, adding more water if necessary.

Meanwhile, heat the oil in a skillet. Crush the garlic with 1/2 teaspoon salt. Sauté the onion, celery, and garlic until soft, then add to the lentils. Simmer at least 30 minutes, or all day; just keep checking the water level.

Mix the lemon juice and flour and stir into the soup. Simmer, stirring, until the soup thickens slightly. Taste and correct seasoning.

Serve in soup bowls, with crusty French or Italian or sourdough bread.

Submitted by Lesley

Rajas Tamales, Hernandez Family Style

My daughter is a vegetarian, so this is her favorite tamale.  Tamales take a lot of effort to make, but they really aren’t difficult.

Ingredients:
3 dozen corn husks
3 cups masa harina
3 cups water or vegetable broth for the masa dough, plus more for steaming the tamales
8 ounces vegetable shortening or lard
2 teaspoons baking powder
2 teaspoons salt
3 to 5 Poblano Peppers or Jalapeños
1 pound oaxacan cheese or low-moisture mozzarella cheese pulled into at least strips about 3 inches long

Instructions:
Soak the Corn Husks: Bring a big pot or kettle of water to a boil. Place corn husks in a large bowl or baking dish. Cover the husks with hot water and top with a plate to help them stay submerged. Soak the husks for at least 30 minutes or until they bend easily without breaking. Tear one or two husks lengthwise to create 1/4-inch wide strips to use for tying the tamales.

Make the Tamale Dough: Bring 3 cups of water or broth to a boil in a medium saucepan. Place the 3 cups of masa harina in a bowl then pour in the water and stir to combine. Set the masa aside to hydrate, about 15 minutes.
Once the masa is hydrated, combine the 8 ounces of shortening or lard with the baking powder and salt in a
big mixing bowl. Beat on medium speed until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Scrape down the inside of the bowl with a spatula. Add the hydrated masa one handful at a time while the mixer is running until it’s all added, about 3 to 5 minutes more. (It will look like fluffy hummus when it is done) Set the dough aside for 30 minutes to rest before using.

Char the Peppers:  Place poblanos or jalapeños on a cookie sheet under the broiler.  It shouldn’t take long for them to start to brown.  Flip them over a couple of times, to make sure they get cooked on all sides.  When they are blistered, put them in a bowl and cover with plastic wrap.  When cool enough to handle, peel as much of the skin off as you can.  Cut into strips and set aside.

To Assemble the Tamales: To start making the tamales, wipe a corn husk dry with a towel. Working with one corn husk at a time, place it lengthwise with the wider end toward you and the tapered end pointing away from you. Place 3 tablespoons to 1/4 cup of the masa dough in the middle of the husk. Using a large spoon, a pastry scraper, or a masa spreader, spread the mixture into a thin rectangle about 3 inches wide and 4 inches long. Add one strip of the cheese to the middle of the masa rectangle then place a couple of strips of roasted pepper on top the cheese.  Fold the right side of the corn husk to the center of the Tamal and do the same with the left side. Fold over the narrow end of the husk towards the center and tie the tamal using a thin strip of corn husk. Repeat this process to from all the tamales.

To Cook The Tamales: Use a tamale steamer or a steamer insert set inside a large stockpot and add water to just below bottom of the steamer insert (make sure the water doesn’t touch bottom of the insert). Cover and bring water to boil.  Arrange tamales in the pot upright, leaning against one another.
Cover and steam until dough is slightly firm to touch and separates easily from husk, adding more water to pot as necessary, about 50 to 60 minutes. Turn off the heat then let the tamales steam for at least 10 minutes more before serving.

Submitted by Jess, courtesy of her son-in-law Andres

Tortellini Soup

My family eats this soup all the time.  It is so fast to make and is a great way to use up some leftover meat, especially if there isn’t enough for a whole meal.  I often get a smoked turkey for Thanksgiving and use the bones to make broth.  This is excellent made with the smoked broth and smoked turkey.  But, most of the time, I just use a box of chicken broth and whatever else I have on hand.  You can throw in that little bit of leftover green beans or that half a bell pepper languishing in the crisper.  You can leave out the beans or the meat or both.  If you don’t want tortellini or noodles, you can throw in a handful of instant brown rice.  It will still be good.

1-2 tbsp butter or olive oil

½ an onion, chopped

2 or 3 carrots, peeled and sliced into coins

1-2 ribs of celery, sliced

1 or 2 cloves of garlic, minced (or garlic powder to taste)

1 quart of chicken broth (use vegetable broth to make dish vegetarian)

1 14 oz can diced tomatoes

1 15 oz can white beans, drained

1 cup of cooked chicken, turkey, ham, or sausage (leftovers are perfect, but you can also use something from the deli, or even canned chicken) (leave this out or use veggie sausage to make vegetarian)

1 package of refrigerated tortellini (we like cheese filling, but use whatever kind you prefer)

1-2 tsp dry Italian herb blend

A couple of handfuls of spinach, kale, collard greens, or Swiss chard, washed and roughly chopped

Heat butter or oil in a large soup kettle or Dutch oven.  Add onion, carrots, celery, and garlic.  Cook over medium heat until vegetables start to soften.  Add the broth, tomatoes (with juice), beans, and meat, if using.  Bring to a simmer and cook until the carrots start to soften.  Add the tortellini (if you don’t have tortellini, you can just use egg noodles).  Cook until the tortellini are done according to package instructions. Add the Italian herbs and check to see if you need to add salt and pepper.  Toss in the greens and cook until done to your liking, spinach will only take a minute, but tougher greens may take a bit longer.  Serve with crusty bread or leftover dinner rolls.

Submitted by Jess

Vegetarian Chili

1/3 to 1/2 cup approx. olive oil
1 medium red onion chopped
2-3 cloves of garlic minced, may use garlic powder if preferred
10 oz. package frozen soy crumbles (I use brand name: Gardein the ultimate beefless ground)
½ small jalapeno pepper (chopped) add more or less to taste
10 oz. package frozen soy crumbles (I use brand name: Gardein the ultimate beefless ground)
1 teaspoon cumin powder
1 rounded teaspoon paprika
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper add more or less to taste
Salt to taste

**1 can diced or crushed tomatoes 14 oz. or 15oz.

**3 cans Aduki beans 15 oz.  (I use Aduki beans organic from Eden foods available at health food stores or online). You may use different beans if you like of course.

Add some olive oil to a saucepan on the stovetop and sauté chopped onions, jalapeno pepper, minced garlic for a couple of minutes over medium heat. Then add the soybean crumbles. I usually add the frozen crumbles and let them thaw in the saucepan along with the already heated onion mixture. You may need to add some additional olive oil after adding the soybean crumbles. Once the crumbles are thawed and stirred into the other ingredients, I mix in the tomatoes. Along this time you may also put in the seasonings: salt, paprika, cumin powder, cayenne pepper, garlic powder (if using). If I don’t have any fresh jalapeno pepper I just add a little more cayenne pepper if I want it any spicier. The last ingredient I add are the beans.  I add a little water to the cans from the beans and tomatoes which gets any remaining bean and tomato residue and add it to the chili to give it a bit more liquid.

Once all the ingredients are added I continue cooking the chili over medium heat until the mixture comes to a slow boil, bubbling gently. Then I turn off the heat and serve. Of course, any leftovers need to be refrigerated. I like to store mine in the refrigerator in some type of glass container.

You may make this a day or two ahead if you like as the chili tends to get better after the flavors have some time to blend together.

**About the beans and the tomatoes: You may wish to use a different ratio of beans vs. tomatoes than I do. I like to use more beans in mine but you may prefer an equal amount of beans to tomatoes or even more tomatoes than beans. If I am going to share the chili with friends I will use an equal ratio of beans and tomatoes, 2 cans of beans and 2 cans of tomatoes as I think this would be something other people might like better than the 3 cans of beans to 1 can of tomatoes that I like.

Submitted by Lyndall

Yellow Squash & Onion Quiche

This should make enough to fit into 2 deep dish pie shells. This recipe could also be used for a couple of frittatas instead if you wish to skip the pie crusts and/or are trying to avoid eating wheat. The oven should be preheated to 350 degrees.

olive oil to use for sautéing
3 cups diced yellow squash
1 medium to large red onion, chopped
10 to 12 large eggs
1 cup half-n-half or cream (substitute milk if preferred)
2 or 3 minced cloves of garlic (Or use garlic powder if preferred)
1/2 to 1 teaspoon salt or to taste
¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
12 oz. shredded mozzarella cheese
1 cup shredded or grated parmesan cheese

Sauté diced squash, chopped onion, and minced garlic together in some olive oil over medium heat in a saucepan on the stovetop. Place eggs in a bowl and beat well, then add the half-n-half, mozzarella cheese, salt, and cayenne pepper to the beaten eggs. Add in the sautéed vegetables to the eggs and cheese mixture. Divide the combined mixture into the 2 pie shells. Top each quiche with ½ of the parmesan cheese. Place the pie shells on cookie sheets and place them in a 350 degree oven to bake for 30 to 35 minutes. The top of the quiches should be a light golden brown when done. You can take a toothpick and insert it into the middle of the quiche to check for doneness, if the toothpick comes out clean, it should be done.

If you do decide to cook these without the crusts do rub or spray a little olive oil into the empty pie plates before adding the filling.

Submitted by Lyndall

Sweets

Chocolate Chip Cream Cheese Dip

8 oz. cream cheese – softened

1/2 c. butter – softened

3/4 c. powdered sugar

1/2 c. brown sugar – packed
1/2 t. vanilla
1/4 t. salt
1/2 c. chocolate chips (you can add more or less depending on your chocolate chip wishes)

Use a mixer to combine cream cheese and butter. Add in sugars, vanilla, and salt. By hand, add the chocolate chips. Put in a container and chill for 3 hours or overnight. Serve with vanilla wafers, graham crackers, or other firm cookies.

Suggested options:
Use mascarpone instead of butter.
Add chopped nuts.

Submitted by Nelwyn

Marranitos (Molasses Pig Cookies)

My son-in-law is Mexican and this is one of his favorite cookies.  You can always find them at the Mexican bakeries and those are delicious, but it is fun to make your own.

1 c. packed brown sugar
¼ c. lard (or Crisco)
1 egg
1/3 c. milk
1 ½ tsp. vanilla extract
1 ½ tsp. ground cinnamon
3/4 c. molasses
5 c. flour
1 egg, beaten

Preheat the oven to 350. Line cookie sheets with parchment paper or use a silicone baking mat or grease well.

In a large bowl, cream together brown sugar and lard or shortening until smooth.

Mix in 1 egg, milk, and vanilla until smooth.

Stir in the baking soda, cinnamon, and molasses.

Stir in flour until the dough is stiff enough to roll out.  You might need a little extra flour.

Roll dough out on a lightly floured surface to 1/4 inch thickness.

Cut into cookies using a pig shaped cookie cutter. The pig is traditional, but you can use other shapes if you want to.

Place cookies 2 inches apart on the cookie sheets.   Brush tops with beaten egg.

Bake for about 12 minutes, until centers are firm and edges are lightly browned.

Submitted by Jess, courtesy of her son-in-law Andres

Nanny’s Tea Cake

This recipe dates to the early 1800’s. It was passed down from my children’s great grandmother.

7-8 cups flour (all purpose)
2 cups sugar
1 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons baking powder
3 eggs
1 cup buttermilk
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 glob of lard = 1 1/2 cups
2 tablespoons meat drippings (bacon). (Optional)

Mix dry ingredients, then add the rest of the ingredients and mix well.
On a floured surface, roll out a soft ball sized portion of the dough until very thin (as you can almost see through), and cut out cookies and place on nonstick cookie sheet (or lightly spray with Pam). Bake at 350 for 8-10 min or until lightly brown on bottom.
Goes great with cup of tea or iced tea.

Note:
You can also cut out large round cookies (plate size) and bake. Then take applesauce (sweetened) and warm in microwave. Spread each tea cake with a large spoonful of the warmed applesauce and continue adding layers until you have a 3-5 inch layer “cake.” Finish spreading top and sides with applesauce and cover. Chill in refrigerator overnight.

Submitted by Loretta

Orange Cake

One of two cake recipes from my Aunt Margaret, that I am sharing.  She was quite a character.  She always had Yoohoo in her fridge and ice cream in the freezer.  Margaret was my paternal grandmother’s older sister, and when my grandmother died, Margaret became a substitute grandma for us.  She would take us swimming and mostly just let us run wild.  We loved her very much.

Heat oven to 350. Spray a 13 x 9 pan with non stick spray.

In a mixing bowl, combine:

1 stick butter, melted

3 eggs

½ c. milk

1 14 oz can mandarin oranges (drain most of the liquid and set aside some of the oranges to top the cake)

When well mixed, add a yellow cake mix and beat for about 3 minutes.

Pour into pan. Bake for about 30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Cool cake completely. Top with a container of Cool Whip and decorate the top with the reserved oranges.

This cake is best refrigerated.  This is another recipe from my Aunt Margaret.  It makes a very nice birthday cake.

Submitted by Jess

Pennsylvania Dutch Sticky Bun

Our family holiday tradition is to try something new! I discovered this recipe when my children were small and it is a favorite. Some of our most enjoyable Christmas mornings have started with these sticky buns and the oranges Santa always leaves in the toe of our stockings. The rolls take a couple of hours, so we often make them a day ahead, cover them with plastic wrap to keep them from drying out, and reheat them Christmas morning. They are best right out of the oven, so another option is to prepare them Christmas Eve, cover them with plastic wrap (sprayed with oil on the side that touches the rolls), leave them in the fridge overnight, and bake them in the morning.

(based on recipe from America’s Bread Book, Mary Gubser)

Dough:
1 c hot water (105-115 degrees)
2 pckgs active dry yeast
1 c warm milk
½ c melted butter
½ c sugar
1 ½ tsp salt
2 eggs, beaten
7 c flour, approximately

Topping:
(Cut the amounts in half for smaller amount, if desired)
2 c packed brown sugar
4 TBSP cornstarch
4 c water
2 TBSP butter
2 tsp vanilla
½ tsp salt
2 c chopped pecans (optional)
2 c raisins, scalded, drained, and dried (optional)

Filling:
1 ½ c packed brown sugar
4 tsp cinnamon
Melted butter
1 c raisins (optional)

Dough:
Combine the water and yeast in a large mixing bowl. Stir until yeast dissolves. Add milk, butter, sugar, salt, and eggs and blend well. Beat in 3 cups of flour to make a smooth batter. Add flour gradually until a soft, workable dough develops. Knead until smooth and elastic, about 8 minutes. Round into a ball and place into an oiled bowl, turning the dough to coat. Cover loosely with plastic wrap and a towel. Let raise in a warm place until doubled, about 1 hour. While dough is rising, prepare the filling and topping.

Topping:
Mix sugar and cornstarch in a saucepan. Add water, butter, vanilla, and salt. Bring to a boil, stirring constantly. Let mixture cool slightly to a medium thick syrup. (Add more water or cornstarch if necessary.) Divide the syrup between 2 9×13 baking pans to a depth of at least 1 inch. Sprinkle with pecans and raisins, if desired, or make one pan with and one without. Set aside.

Filling:
Combine sugar and cinnamon in small bowl.
Prepare Rolls:
Punch down the dough, divide in half, knead each piece lightly, and cover and let rest about 10 minutes. Roll on ball into 9×13-inch rectangle. Brush with melted butter and sprinkle on half the filling. Optional: sprinkle with raisins before rolling.) Roll up tightly, jelly-roll style, on the long edge and pinch along closing edge to seal. Cut into 1-inch slices. Place cut side up on top of syrup, 12 rolls to a pan. Repeat with remaining dough ball. Cover and let rise in a warm place 30 minutes or until rolls are light and touch each other.

Bake:
Preheat oven to 350 F. Bake about 30 minutes. Remove from oven and turn out upside down on racks set over aluminum foil or sheet pans to catch drippings. Serve hot or at room temperature. Warm in microwave for 15-30 seconds with damp paper towel to freshen day-old rolls.

Submitted by Keli

Pizzelles

My mom learned how to make pizzelles from her father’s family. Her grandpa emigrated from Naples at some point in the early 20th century and ended up in Western Pennsylvania. For as long as I can remember she’s made these every year around Christmas, although some stuff I’ve found online says that other people will also make them around Easter. Apparently you can use them to make cannoli, but I’ve always had them either by themselves or with ice cream (Neapolitan/spumone)

5 cups flour

1 ½ c sugar

2 Tablespoons Baking powder

½ teaspoon salt

1 c melted butter

2 teaspoons flavoring (vanilla, almond, etc)

Juice and zest  of one orange

½ c whiskey or white wine

I typically get a small glass and put the juice of the orange and then fill it rest of the way with the alcohol. So about a cup of liquid

Blend all dry

Add the wet in this order

Melted butter

Eggs (one at a time) 6

Juice

Flavoring

Mix Well

Cook in pizzelle iron

Submitted by Shelby

Pumpkin Muffins

These are so easy to make that it feels like cheating. I make them with white chocolate chips, but you can add just about anything to make it a little extra sweet. My sister sprinkles them with powdered sugar, and my mother makes a thin vanilla icing to pour over them.

Ingredients:

1 Box spice cake mix

1 Can pumpkin pie filling

1-2 Cups white chocolate chips

 

Directions:

Mix the spice cake mix (any brand) with the can of pumpkin pie filling until combined. Stir in the white chocolate chips. Bake according to the cupcake directions on the back of the cake mix box. Cool before serving.

Submitted by Autumn

Rocky Road Fudge

One of the best things about my family’s Christmas gatherings is all of the homemade candy! This fudge is a favorite of mine to make, that even those in our family who avoid dairy can enjoy. Feel free to substitute your favorite chocolate chips and regular sweetened condensed milk if you like.

2 cups dairy free semi-sweet chocolate chips

1 can sweetened condensed coconut milk

1/3 cup chopped walnuts

½ cup miniature marshmallows

Combine chocolate chips and sweetened condensed coconut milk in a microwave safe bowl. Microwave on high for 60 seconds. Stir until smooth. Stir in chopped walnuts and marshmallows. Pour into a parchment paper lined 8×8 dish, and let chill in fridge until firm. Cut into bite sized squares. Best served at room temp.

Submitted by Katy

Ronny’s Cake

This recipe is from my Great Aunt Margaret.  She called it Ronny’s Cake because her son-in-law loved it.  My Dad loves it too and I usually make it for his birthday.  Margaret and Ronny have both been gone for a long time, but we remember them when we eat this cake.

Heat oven to 350. Spray a 13 x 18 rimmed cookie sheet with nonstick spray.

In a large mixing bowl combine:

3 c. flour

2 c. white sugar

6 tbsp. Cocoa powder

2 tsp. Baking soda

½ tsp. Salt

 

Stir in:

¾ c. vegetable oil

2 c. cold water

1 tbsp. Vinegar

2 tsp. Vanilla extract

 

Stir until there are no lumps.  Pour into pan. Bake for about 20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

 

For frosting, combine in a saucepan:

1 ⅓ c. white sugar

6 tbsp. Butter

6 tbsp. Milk

 

Heat to boiling.  Boil for 1 minute.  Remove from heat.  Stir in 1 cup chocolate chips.

Beat until thick.  Spread on warm cake.  The frosting will soak in.  As it sets up, it will be fudgy.

Submitted by Jess

Beverages

Firecracker Punch

My mama often makes this punch when we gather for Christmas, but this punch has been a go to recipe for various family gatherings throughout the years – including my wedding.

Firecracker Punch

  • 4 cups cranberry juice
  • 1 ½ cups sugar
  • 4 cups pineapple juice
  • 1 tbsp almond extract
  • 2 quarts ginger ale

Combine the first four ingredients, stirring well until sugar is dissolved. Chill. Add ginger ale just before serving.

Submitted by Katy

Instant Hot Chocolate Mix

This is my mother-in-law, Vesta’s recipe. She shared it with me shortly after Don and I got married. We’ve made it most winters since then.

1 box (8 quart) instant dry milk

1 box (1 pound) Nestlé’s Quick (Nesquick)

1 box (1 pound) confectioner’s sugar (powdered sugar)

1 jar (11 ounces) Coffee Creamer

Mix and store in a tightly covered jar. Makes 1 gallon.

Use 2-3 heaping tablespoons per 8 ounce cup of boiling water. You can add more if you want a richer flavor.

Submitted by Mary