September is now a memory, and now that Fall has begun, thoughts will soon begin to focus on the holidays, and many of you have mentioned that you are going to send in a recipe or two to share, and I hope you will do just that. I am easy to reach at daugherr@aol.com or at the Herald. It is always such a treat to hear from you and to know what you are cooking. Not long ago I was talking to some people who had just moved here this year from Florida, and they are so excited about seeing the seasons change, the fall colors, and the possibility of some snow. I bet you are, too!

This week there are some interesting recipes, and there are some good ones I know you are going to want to try. I am including the Pepper Jelly by special request, and with peppers plentiful, this is a good time to think about making it. It is pretty and makes nice gifts too. You can add some hot peppers for a little extra zip if you wish.

This week I was in the mood to make a cake, and I wanted to keep it simple and easy with what I had on hand. The recipe called for a package of butterscotch pudding, which I did not have. What I had instead was a package of pumpkin pudding which I had picked up for 10 cents a box at IGO. I was a little leery of the recipe since it called for no oil whatsoever, but I must say that I was very happy with the way the cake turned out. It had a delicious taste as well as texture. I think this particular recipe could be used with any flavor pudding with equally good results. Look for the Butterscotch Bundt Cake.

Make this a good week and I would love to hear from you.

Butterscotch Bundt Cake

I yellow cake mix (I used a butter-flavored one)

3 eggs

1 cup water

1 pkg. butterscotch instant pudding, 4-serving size (small box)

2 tsp. cinnamon

1/2 cup chopped pecans

Powdered sugar for dusting (optional)

Mix all the ingredients, except for the pecans, together and beat for two minutes until well blended. Stir in the pecans. Pour batter into a prepared Bundt pan and bake at 325° for 40 to 50 minutes until the top springs back when touched. Cool in the pan for 10 minutes and then invert on to the cake plate. Allow to completely cool and dust with powdered sugar before serving.

Fall Cream Cheese Mold

You will love the taste of this! Use a lite cream cheese if you wish; it does not affect the taste!

1 (8 oz.) pkg. cream cheese

1/4 cup brown sugar

1/4 cup raisins

1/4 cup pecans

1/4 cup dates

1 Tbs. candied ginger (chopped)

Mix all in ingredients and put in a 2-cup mold lined with plastic wrap which has been sprinkled with cinnamon. Chill and serve with gingersnaps.

Dinner in a Jiffy

For this to be no more trouble than it is, it is really quite good and works for a quick dinner…..Add a salad and you are all set!

You will need one large can of Tamales, or two if you are feeding a crowd and you will need two cans of Hormel chili. I like without beans for this dish, but suit yourself. A diced up onion, and I like it cut small. At least one cup of cheese. I like the Mexican Blend, but you can use whatever you like and however much you like. Put the tamales in the bottom of a baking dish. Top with the chili, the onions and then the cheese…Bake 350° for 25 minutes until all hot and bubbly.

Cucumber Nut Roll

1 (8 oz.) pkg. cream cheese

1 tsp. grated onion

2 tsp. cucumber, grated

Pecans, finely chopped

Mix together to form tiny rolls or balls. Roll each in finely chopped pecans. Place parsley leaves in the ends to decorate.

Pecan Bread

Richard’s Note: The canned rolls make this super easy, and everyone loves it. It tastes like you spent a LOT more time on it. I sometimes like to add some grated orange peel or zest for a little different taste.

Note: This bread can be made ahead and then rewarmed. Pour glaze over just before serving.

2 cans crescent rolls

Sugar and cinnamon mixed

Margarine or butter, softened

Pecans, chopped

Glaze:

1/4 cup powdered sugar

Pecan halves

2 Tbs. butter

1 Tbs. honey

1 tsp. vanilla

Separate rolls into 16 triangles. Spread each with butter and sprinkle with cinnamon-sugar mixture, then pecans. Roll up and place point side down in a greased loaf pan in to layers of eight each. Bake 350° for 35 minutes. Remove from pan. Mix powdered sugar, butter, honey, and vanilla in a small saucepan and bring to a boil. Remove from heat and add pecan halves. Pour over bread while warm.

Chili Casserole

Note: Ground turkey can be used in this recipe without affecting the taste.

1 & 1/2 lbs. extra-lean ground beef

1 large onion, chopped

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 (15 oz.) can kidney beans, drained

1 (28 oz. jar pasta sauce

2 Tbs. chili powder

1/2 tsp. cumin

1/2 tsp. oregano

1 cup shredded Cheddar cheese

2 (8 & 1/2 oz.) pkg. corn muffin mix

Preheat oven to 400°. In a large skillet, thoroughly brown beef; drain fat. Add onion and garlic; sauté lightly. Add beans, sauce and seasonings; simmer 20 minutes. Spoon into a 9×13 baking dish. Evenly sprinkle with cheese. Spoon corn muffin batter, (prepared according to package directions), over casserole. Bake 20 to 25 minutes or until cornbread tests done.

Lite Potato Soup

4 large potatoes, peeled and diced

1 small onion, chopped

1/4 cup chopped celery

2 & 1/4 cups water

1 cup skim milk

1 tsp. chicken-flavored bouillon granules

1/2 tsp. salt

1/8 tsp. pepper

Combine potatoes, onion, celery and water in a deep 3-quart, microwave-safe casserole dish; cover with microwaveable plastic wrap and microwave on high for 12 to 14 minutes, or until potatoes are tender, stirring every four minutes. Drain, reserving one and one-half cups cooking liquid. Mash vegetable mixture with a potato masher or electric mixer. Return reserved cooking liquid to mashed vegetable mixture in casserole dish; stir in skim milk, bouillon granules, salt and pepper. Cover with microwaveable plastic wrap and microwave at HIGH 4 to 6 minutes, or until thoroughly heated.

French Baked Chicken

Note: For this you will need a bottle of marinade, but it is worth a trip to the store!!

2 lbs. chicken parts

1 bottle Dijon and Honey Marinade with Lemon Juice

3 medium baking potatoes, halved lengthwise and thinly sliced

1 lb. smoked sausage (kielbasa), sliced into 1/2 inch pieces

Rinse chicken parts in cold water; pat dry. Deeply pierce chicken in several places with fork. In large resealable plastic bag, combine chicken parts and two-third cup Dijon and Honey Marinade; seal thoroughly and shake to coat. Marinate in refrigerator 30 minutes. Spray a 9×13 baking dish with nonstick vegetable spray; add potatoes and kielbasa. Top with chicken parts, discarding used marinade and plastic bag. Drizzle remaining Marinade over top; cover with foil. Bake in preheated 375° oven 30 minutes; remove foil and continue baking until chicken is no longer pink and juices run clear (175° to 185°) about 30 minutes. Makes four to six servings.

Baked Enchiladas

Note: This can be made with Turkey or Beef! Both are delicious!

2 lbs. ground beef

OR

2 lbs. ground turkey

2 Tbs. oil (2 to 3)

2 (14 & 1/2 oz.) cans diced tomatoes

1 (15 oz.) can tomato sauce

2 Tbs. chili powder

2 tsp. cumin

1 (7 oz.) can diced chiles

1 (15 & 1/4 oz.) can kidney beans with liquid

1 large onion, chopped

1 (6 oz.) can black olives

Garlic, as much as you like

Salt and black pepper

2 tsp. cilantro (add more if you like)

2 cups (or more) shredded Cheddar cheese

OR

2 cups (or more) Monterey Jack Cheese

20 corn tortillas (about 20)

Sour cream & salsa

In a large skillet brown meat, onions and garlic in oil. Drain fat. Add tomato sauce, tomatoes, chile powder, cumin, chilies, and kidney beans. Bring to a boil, cover and simmer for 20 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Add olives and cilantro. Line a 9×13 baking pan with one-third of the tortillas. Top with one-third of the meat sauce and one-third of the cheese. Repeat with the remaining ingredients, making two more layers but reserving one-third of the cheese. Bake uncovered in a 350° oven for 30 minutes. Sprinkle the remaining cheese on top of the casserole. Let casserole rest for 15 minutes before serving. Serve with salsa and sour cream. Makes eight to 10 servings.

Dinner Potatoes

These are a dressy addition to any meal!

5 lbs. potatoes, peeled and quartered

1/2 pt. sour cream

1 (8 oz.) pkg. cream cheese

1/4 tsp. pepper

1/8 tsp. garlic salt

1 tsp. salt (or to taste)

1/4 tsp. onion salt

2 Tbs. butter

Paprika

In salted water, boil potatoes for 15 to 20 minutes or until potatoes are tender when pierced with a fork. Drain. Mash until smooth. Add next seven ingredients, beat until light and fluffy. Place potatoes in greased 2-quart casserole and bake at 350° for 30 minutes. Sprinkle with paprika and run briefly under broiler.

Pepper Jelly

Note: Make this now and have it for Christmas. I like to spread it over a block of cream cheese and serve it with nice crackers as an appetizer.

1 & 1/2 cups finely chopped green bell pepper

1 & 1/2 cups distilled white vinegar

6 & 1/2 cups white sugar

3 oz. liquid pectin

In a large, stainless steel saucepan, combine green pepper, white vinegar, and white sugar. Bring to a boil, and cook for six minutes, stirring constantly. Stir in liquid pectin, and continue to boil for three more minutes, stirring constantly. Skim off foam with a metal spoon, and remove pan from heat. Ladle jelly into sterilized jars, leaving a one-halfinch space at the top. Seal and process in a boiling-water canner for five minutes.

Oktoberfest Chops—a Berry Merry Treat!

6 bone-in pork chops, 3/4-inch thick

1 (16 oz.) can sauerkraut, rinsed and drained

1 tsp. caraway seed

1 (16 oz.) can whole cranberry sauce

1 (8 oz.) pkg. cornbread stuffing mix (4 cups)

1 cup water

4 Tbs. butter, melted

Heat oven to 350°. Spread sauerkraut in a 9x13 baking dish. Sprinkle sauerkraut with caraway seed; spread cranberry sauce over. Arrange pork chops on top of cranberry sauce. In a medium bowl combine stuffing mix, water and melted butter. Divide stuffing mixture among chops, spreading to cover the top of chops. Bake, uncovered, for 45 to 50 minutes until topping is golden.