Every family has a favorite recipe.
This can be cakes, pies, soups, entrees or whatever.
Today, readers share a pumpkin roll, gumbo and how to decorate the fresh strawberry upside down cake that appeared in this column.
"This has been a favorite with my family and friends," said Geneva Bunch of Biloxi, Miss.
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1 cup sugar
2/3 cup canned pumpkin
3/4 cup flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1 teaspoon ginger
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
Beat eggs and sugar for 5 minutes. Add pumpkin and mix. Add dry ingredients. Bake at 350 degrees for 15 minutes on a jellyroll pan or cookie sheet. Turn out onto damp dish towel and roll.
1 (8-ounce) package cream cheese
1 cup powdered sugar
4 tablespoons margarine
1 teaspoon vanilla
Unroll baked pumpkin roll. Spread the filling on top. Sprinkle with chopped pecans if desired (I do!). Re-roll cake, chill, slice and enjoy.
-- Submitted by Geneva Bunch
"I make birthday and anniversary cakes once a month at church. I try to do something different from a plain birthday cake," said Ellen Nyberg of Bradenton. "I made the fresh strawberry upside down cake for a birthday party yesterday. Because it was a birthday cake, I frosted it with stabilized whipped cream frosting. I made it very simple with just a few rosettes around the top and bottom borders and put a set of candles on the top that spelled out 'Happy Birthday.'"
What a clever idea. This is a good way to turn a simple cake into a special one.
"They all said it was the best I've ever made and want another for cake Sunday next week," she said.
Good gumbo recipe
Lynnette Faul of Gulfport, Miss., asked for a good chicken and sausage gumbo recipe, and Charles Duffy has one for her.
CHICKEN SAUSAGE GUMBO
1 large chicken, cut into pieces
5 tablespoons oil or lard
6 tablespoons flour
2 large onions, minced
1 bell pepper, chopped
1 cup chopped celery
3 cloves garlic, minced
1- 1/2 pounds andouille or smoked sausage
2- 1/2 quarts chicken stock
1/2 teaspoon thyme
3 bay leaves
1/8 teaspoon powdered cloves
1/8 teaspoon powdered allspice
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/2 teaspoon basil
Salt and pepper to taste
1/2 cup chopped green onions
Filé powder, optional
Fry the chicken in the oil until brown. Next, fry the andouille for 4 or 5 minutes. Reserve the chicken and sausage. To the oil left in the pot, add the flour and slowly cook to a nice brown.
Place in the pan the onions, bell pepper and celery and sauté until vegetables are limp. Add the chicken stock, garlic, thyme, bay leaves, cloves, allspice, cayenne and basil. Carefully add the salt and the black pepper. Let this mixture slowly simmer for at least 40 minutes, then add the chicken and sausage. Cook until the chicken is tender.
Remove from heat and add the green onions. Let it sit for 10 to 15 minutes. Serve over rice. Add a pinch or 2 of file' to each bowl of gumbo. Serves 6 to 8 diners.
-- Submitted by Charles Duffy
Chappy's in New Orleans
"I noticed your article in the paper. Chappy has a restaurant in New Orleans on Magazine Street next to Monkey Hill Bar and by Audubon Zoo," Wayne McQueen said. "Great food, and he will do those Trout Long Beach!
"It's worth the drive! You never know who is in his restaurant," McQueen said. "I was there for my birthday, and Saint's coach Sean Payton walked in!"
Cheryl Rambo, formerly of Gulfport, now in Bradenton, will really miss Chappy's now that he has the new location.
"Just wanted to say thank you for giving me memories of home. I was born and raised on the Coast from Bay St. Louis to Biloxi," Rambo said. "Your words and recipes had me reminiscing for days. We left the Coast one year before Katrina and haven't been back.
"We're here in Florida now, retired. Although there is plenty of fresh seafood, no one cooks and spices it like we do along the Coast," she said. "We miss everything from Boomtown's Jonah crab claws to McElroy's fried crab claws. Don't get me started on the fried shrimp, lightly breaded with spicy cocktail and tartar sauces. Keep the recipes and the memories coming."
Bananas are back
Donna A. Cox of Gulfport, Miss., found an error in the banana nut cake recipe.
"An error in mixing the cake section of recipe left out bananas, and I think 40 minutes made the cake too dry, or overcooked," said Cox. "I think 30 minutes, or so, may be enough. "
Yes, the recipe didn't say when to add bananas. I do bake the cake for 40 minutes, but some ovens cook quicker than others. Readers may want to start checking the cake at 30 minutes as Cox suggested. Here is the recipe, complete with corrected ingredient additions.
BANANA NUT CAKE
3- 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1-2/3 cups sugar
1- 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1-1/4 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
2/3 cup shortening
2/3 cup buttermilk (divided) (See note)
1- 1/2 cups mashed bananas (3-4)
1 cup chopped pecans (I used my food processor for a finer chop)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 9-by-13-inch pan well, not just with non-stick spray.
Sift all dry ingredients together. Add shortening, 1/3 cup buttermilk; beat at medium speed for 2 minutes.
Add other 1/3 cup of buttermilk and eggs; beat until well combined. Fold in bananas and pecans. Pour in pan and bake for 40 minutes.
Let cool and remove from pan before icing.
Note: I used regular milk and added 1 teaspoon of vinegar instead of buttermilk. Works just as well. I turned the cake out on a cake board, but you could use a large tray.
1/4 cup butter, softened
1/4 cup mashed bananas (1)
1 (16-ounce) box powdered sugar
2 tablespoons lemon juice
Mix butter and bananas in mixing bowl. Gradually add powdered sugar, mixing well. Add lemon juice. Mix well.
Andrea Yeager, can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
and takes requests at Cook's Exchange, P.O. Box 4567, Biloxi, MS 39535-4567.