Easy favorites great for Super Bowl, parade parties

January 23, 2013 

My late mother-in-law believed the adage "A place for everything and everything in its place."

Her cupboards were to be envied: Spices, mixes and canned fruits and vegetables were alphabetized. My spice cabinet looks like Hurricane Katrina hit it.)

She was taught at a young age how to keep a spotless house. Everything was always neat and in order: no papers or books or stuff strewn about.

I never would have thought her a packrat, but when it came to recipes she certainly was. Saturday, my father-in-law asked if I would like to have a book of newspaper and magazine clippings that my mother-in-law kept.

Of course, being a messy packrat myself, I didn't hesitate to pick up the book, not realizing how meaningful it would be.

I found old Sun Herald clippings from 1987 and 1988 that Lue Rogers and I had done, plus many more from magazines, product packages and cookbooklets. All were neatly tucked inside a notebook. From the recipes, I knew she loved chocolate, Mexican food, blueberries, salads and sweets.

Some of the recipes I found would be great for Super Bowl or Mardi Gras parties, such as sausage biscuit bites, queso Mexicano, sour cream enchiladas or white chocolate pound cake.

Reader Nedra Baldwin of Biloxi, Miss., sent in a sweet-and-salty party mix and easy-to-do cookies that also would work well for those parties.

Here are some ideas that are party perfect. Most are finger foods, which keep the party simple.

QUESO MEXICANO

1 pound mild Cheddar cheese

1 pound Monterey Jack cheese

1 can chopped green chilies or

jalapenos, chopped to taste

1 large can evaporated milk

2 eggs

1 cup flour

Crumble cheese in baking pan or casserole dish. Sprinkle chopped peppers on top. In blender, mix milk, eggs and flour. Pour over cheese mixture. Bake at 350 degrees for 30 to 40 minutes. Cool slightly before cutting.

-- From Yvonne Yeager's files

SWEET AND SALTY MIX

1 (15-ounce) bag of pretzel sticks

1 (7-ounce) can potato sticks

1 (7-ounce) can or bag cheese curls

12 ounces chow mein noodles

M&Ms (you could use Mardi Gras or team colors)

Raisins

Pour all of the ingredients into a large bowl, gently toss to mix. Just add candy and raisins and mix to make a favorite snack.

-- Submitted by Nedra Baldwin

SWEET NOTHINGS

1 stick oleo

1 (6-ounce) package butterscotch chips

1/2 cup peanut butter

1 box Rice Chex cereal

1 box powdered sugar

Melt butter, peanut butter and chips together. Pour over cereal, coating well. Put1/4 box sugar and1/4 of mixture into a bag, shaking to coat. Do remaining mixture the same way. Store in covered container.

-- From Yvonne Yeager's files

OYSTER CRACKERS

1 package Hidden Valley Ranch style dressing mix

1 teaspoon garlic powder

1 teaspoon lemon pepper

1 teaspoon dill weed, chopped

3/4 cup oil

1 (16-ounce) box oyster crackers

Mix all ingredients well. Pour over crackers. Mix crackers well into solution. Let set 3-4 minutes. May need to add a few more crackers. Keep in airtight container until ready to eat.

-- From Yvonne Yeager's files

SAUSAGE BISCUIT BITES

1/4 pound chorizo (Mexican sausage) or other bulk sausage

1 can (11 ounces) Campbell's Condensed Cheddar Cheese Soup/Sauce

1/2 cup milk

3 cups packaged baking mix

1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. In 10-inch skillet over medium-high heat, cook sausage, stirring to separate meat. Drain on paper towel.

In large mixing bowl, stir soup. Stir in milk, baking mix, cooked sausage and parsley. Mix thoroughly.

Onto ungreased cookie sheet, drop about 2 teaspoons batter 1 inch apart. Bake 12 minutes or until crisp and golden. Makes about 60 appetizers. Calories per appetizer: 38.

-- From Yvonne Yeager's files

SOUR CREAM ENCHILADAS

2 cups sour cream

1 cup green onions, chopped, including some tops

1/2 teaspoon ground cumin

4 cups (about 16 ounces) shredded Longhorn Cheddar cheese

12 corn tortillas

Salad oil

1 (10-ounce) can enchilada sauce, heated

Toppings:

Sour cream

Chopped green onions

Chopped cilantro

Blend 2 cups sour cream, 1 cup chopped onion, cumin and 1 cup shredded cheese. Fry tortilla in oil just until pliable. Drain on paper towels and dip into enchilada sauce. Repeat with remaining tortillas.

In an ungreased 7-by-11-inch baking dish, overlap two tortillas at one end of the dish, allowing part of tortillas to extend over the center of tortillas and fold extending sections down vertically. Repeat this technique to fill remaining tortillas, placing them side by side and completely covering dish bottom. Place sour cream mixture in tortillas. Spread remaining 3 cups cheese evenly over top. Cover and chill up to 3 to 4 hours if made ahead.

Bake uncovered at 375 degrees for 10 minutes (30 minutes if chilled) or until hot throughout. Garnish with dollop of sour cream spooned down center of enchiladas. Sprinkle with green onions and cilantro. Serves 6.

-- From Yvonne Yeager's files

EASY COOKIES

2 cups coconut

2 cups chopped dates

2 cups chopped nuts

1 can sweetened condensed milk

Mix all ingredients. Bake at 300 degrees for 15 minutes.

-- Submitted by Nedra Baldwin

WHITE CHOCOLATE POUND CAKE

1 tablespoon finely chopped pecans

2 sticks unsalted butter, softened to room temperature

3 cups granulated sugar

1 cup whipping cream

4 ounces finely chopped white chocolate, melted and slightly cooled

6 large eggs, at room temperature

3 cups all-purpose flour

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon baking soda

Confectioners' sugar for garnishing

Position a rack in the center of oven and preheat oven to 300 degrees. Butter a 10-inch fluted tube pan or bundt pan. Dust with flour and tap upside down to remove excess. Sprinkle chopped pecans over bottom of pan.

In a large bowl, with electric mixer on medium speed, beat butter until light and fluffy. Add sugar, 1 cup at a time, beating well after each addition. Blend in the cream and white chocolate. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition.

Sift together the flour, salt and baking soda. Add the dry ingredients to creamed mixture, 1 cup at a time, mixing just until blended. Pour batter into prepared pan and bake at 300 degrees until a cake tester inserted near the center of cake comes out clean, about 1 hour and 15 minutes to 1 hour and 30 minutes. Remove from oven to wire rack and let cool in pan for 15 minutes. With slim metal spatula, loosen cake from edges of pan. Invert cake onto wire rack and let cool completely.

When cool, sift confectioners' sugar through a fine-mesh sieve over top of cake. Wrap so cake is airtight and store at room temperature. Makes 12 servings.

Note: Cake can be made up to 1 week in advance or frozen up to 1 month.

-- From Yvonne Yeager's files

Super Bowl or Mardi Gras

If you have a favorite Mardi Gras or Super Bowl recipe, please share it with readers. Send them to me quickly. The parades start rolling Saturday, and the big game is Feb. 3.

Getting healthy

Don't forget to send in your favorite healthy-eating recipes, too. My family has been doing mostly fish and chicken, brown and wild rice, fruits and vegetables, whole wheat and no salt. I have had fun creating new ways with chicken. Pounding chicken breasts is such a stress reliever.

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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