Give leftover treats another look, taste

November 7, 2012 

Are there Halloween or fall festival leftovers at your home such as pumpkins and those tempting chocolate candies?

Today, we'll explore some healthy and not so healthy ways to put those items to use. Fresh pumpkin makes for great soup, and its seeds make a spicy snack or nice crunchies atop a salad. I did both earlier this week. My photo prop pumpkin was good eating.

A special friend of mine who winters in Texas and summers in Red Lodge, Mont., and his wife stocked up on Halloween candy and had only two trick-o'-treaters.

He and his wife also go to an exercise class where their instructor told them to eat their red, yellow and greens. His response? "Got to love those leftover M&M's."

SPICED PUMPKIN SEEDS

1 egg white

2 tablespoons sugar or sugar substitute (equivalent to 2 tablespoons)

1 tablespoon canola oil

1 teaspoon finely shredded lemon peel

1/4 teaspoon kosher salt

1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg

1/4 teaspoon ground allspice

1/4 teaspoon chili powder

1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper

2 cups unsalted pumpkin seeds (pepitas)

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or foil; lightly coat paper or foil with nonstick cooking spray. Set aside.

In a medium bowl, combine egg white, sugar, oil, lemon peel, kosher salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice, chili powder, cayenne pepper and1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper; whisk until egg white is frothy and sugar is nearly dissolved. Add pumpkin seeds; toss gently to coat.

Spread pumpkin seeds evenly on the prepared baking sheet. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until pumpkin seeds are dry and crisp. Cool completely; break into

pieces. Makes 3 cups.

Make-ahead directions: Prepare as directed. Place in an airtight storage container. Cover; seal. Store at room temperature for up to 2 weeks.

-- From Diabetic Weekly

SPICY PUMPKIN SOUP

1/2 stick butter

3 cloves garlic, minced

2 stalks celery, finely chopped

1 large onion, finely chopped

2 carrots, finely chopped

1 large potato, finely chopped

2 cups chicken broth

1 15-ounce can pumpkin or 2 cups of cooked fresh pumpkin

2 teaspoons allspice, divided

2 teaspoons cinnamon, divided

2 teaspoons cloves, divided

1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper, divided

1/2 cup finely chopped cilantro, divided

1/2 cup honey, divided

1/2 cup sugar, divided

2 cans unsweetened coconut milk

Half-and-half or heavy cream (can use non-fat half-and-half)

Black pepper to taste

Melt butter in heavy stockpot. Stir in garlic, onions, and celery. Add 1/2 cup chicken broth and cook 5 minutes over medium high heat. Add the potato, carrots and pumpkin and mix well. Add remaining chicken broth and bring to a low boil. Add cilantro and half of the spices, plus the sugar and honey. Stir well and reduce to simmer. Simmer until potatoes and carrots are tender, stirring often.

When vegetables are tender, remove from heat and allow mixture to cool enough to be comfortable to transfer in batches to blender. Blend until smooth.

Return to stockpot and add coconut milk. Add additional spices to taste. Let simmer 15-20 minutes, stirring often. Add cream or half-and-half as needed for desired consistency. Sprinkle with black pepper and cilantro.

Serve hot.

-- Submitted by Meg Henson

BUTTERFINGER DELIGHT

Angel food cake

6 Butterfinger candy bars (regular size)

2 cups powdered sugar

2 (8-ounce cartons) frozen whipped topping

1 teaspoon vanilla

4 pasteurized egg yolks

1/2 cup butter

Cream together vanilla, butter, egg yolks and powdered sugar and beat. Fold in whipped topping. Cube cake (break apart) and crush candy bars fine.

Layer cake, creamed mixture and candy bars in large glass dish. Refrigerate.

Editor's note: If a recipe calls for eggs that are raw or undercooked in the final dish, use either pasteurized or treated eggs or pasteurized egg products. "However, for those at high risk -- infants, older people, pregnant women, and people with a weakened immune system -- it can be life-threatening." the Food and Drug Administration's website states.

-- Submitted by Arin Ward from "Sugar and Spice and Everything Nice"

MILKY WAY PIE

Dissolve 1- 1/2 envelopes unflavored gelatin in1/4 cup cold water. Bring 1/2 cup water to boil and add the cold gelatin, stirring until it is completely dissolved and add 3/4 cup milk.

Melt 6 regular-size Milky Way bars and add 1/2 of gelatin mixture to melted bars. Let both mixtures set until they mound. Whip 1- 1/2 cups heavy cream and add1/4 cup powdered sugar, and the rest of the gelatin. Add 1/2 teaspoon vanilla.

Pour the Milky Way mixture into a baked pie shell and cover with the cream mixture. Let set in refrigerator for several hours and serve.

-- From "It's a Daisy Cookbook" by Boo Leet

GARLIC CHEESE, PLEASE

"Spinach Madeline ("River Roads" cookbooks) is a family favorite for Thanksgiving. You recently had a substitute for the garlic cheese rolls that Kraft no longer makes, and I can't find the clipping. Could you send it or reprint it?" asked Mary Lou England of Bradenton,. "Thank you for wonderful 'food talk' and recipes and recipe sharing!"

For England and others who may have missed it, here's Marian Szmurlo's recipe for garlic cheese rolls.

GARLIC CHEESE ROLL

1- 1/2 pounds sharp Cheddar cheese, grated

1/2 pound processed cheese, such as Velveeta

3 ounces cream cheese

1 teaspoon seasoned salt

Garlic to taste

Soften cheeses and mix all together well. Shape into 4 rolls and wrap well in plastic wrap.

Note: I would use the fine grater and don't use a mixer to mix the room temperature cheeses.

-- Submitted by Marian Szmurlo

Persimmon bread

Eunice Van Loon of Biloxi, Miss., shares her persimmon bread, which she says is very good.

PERSIMMON BREAD

2 cups sugar

3 eggs, beaten

3- 1/2 cup all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon baking powder

2 teaspoons salt

1 teaspoon allspice

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1 cup chopped pecans

1 cup corn oil

2 cups ground up persimmons

2 teaspoons baking soda

1/2 teaspoon cloves, ground

1 teaspoon nutmeg

1/3 cup water

Combine sugar, oil and eggs. Add persimmons. Sift together dry ingredients and add to persimmon mixture. Add water. Fold in nuts. (Optional: 1/2 teaspoon butter flavoring, sherry or vanilla).

Bake in well-greased pans at 350 degrees for 1 hour if using 3-by-7-inch pans; 1 hour and 15 minutes if using 5-by-9-inch pan, or until toothpick stuck in the middle comes out clean.

-- Submitted by Eunice Van Loon

Translated potato salad

Reader Margret Schade quickly translated the potato salad recipe that was printed in a German cookbook.

GERMAN POTATO SALAD

Cold Potato Salad

(6 to 8 servings)

6 to 8 boiling potatoes

Water to cover

Salt

1 medium onion, minced

1- 1/2 cups beef stock

2 tablespoons white vinegar

4 to 5 tablespoons salad oil (olive oil)

Black pepper

Cook unpeeled potatoes in boiling salted water to cover. Do not overcook or they will fall apart in salad. Peel while hot and slice thinly. Place in bowl and add minced onion.

Bring beef stock to a boil. Pour over potatoes and marinate until almost all liquid is absorbed, about 1 hour. Pour excess liquid off and gently fold in vinegar, oil, salt and pepper.

That's it! Enjoy!

-- Submitted by Margret Schade

Another German dish, please 

"I am a Yankee from southwest Massachusetts and grew up amidst some fine German cooking. I remember chicken and dumplings being a great favorite of mine," said Larry Cunningham of Gulfport, Miss. "I married a Southern girl from a (very) Southern state (Mississippi), who was a pretty good cook. 

"One day at breakfast she asked what I'd like for supper. Right away, I told her I'd love some good ol' chicken and dumplings. She said she could make them. When she called me for supper that night, I found a large pot on the table with some flat white things swimming around in chicken soup. 

"When I asked her what had happened to the dumplings, she said, 'Nothing, there they are!' My response was, 'No, those are not dumplings. Dumplings are fat and round," said Cunningham. "After the tears stopped, she said I must have meant that I liked the German type of chicken and dumplings.

"Now that we are both well into our octal years, her eyesight has failed, and she not longer can cook. Thus, I am learning to do so. So, would you please consider putting out an article requesting recipes for some good ol' German-style chicken and dumplings?" he asked.

Readers, please send me your recipes for German style chicken and dumplings. Fat dumplings only, please. 

Andrea Yeager, can be reached at ayeager51@cableone.net. Send contributions or requests to Cook's Exchange, P.O. Box 4567, Biloxi MS 39535-4567. If requesting a recipe, include the name or describe it.

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