Cooks Exchange

Ground beef is good for many stews

Slumgullion, a meat and vegetable stew, is a an inexpensive, hearty way to feed the family.

Ground beef is the basis for the stew, along with pasta and tomatoes. This dish has been around for decades and makes use of ingredients that most cooks already have in the freezer and pantry. It also is a good way to use leftover spaghetti sauce or any type of leftover pasta.

Susan Daugherty of Bradenton asked for the recipe. She remembers it being printed on Hunt's tomato sauce labels.

"I checked the Hunt's site, but did not find slumgullion," she said. "It may have been replaced by newer recipes. Thanks for continuing to search."

Two readers have found recipes for her, and, yes, these are old recipes.

"The recipe was handed down to me by my sister more than 25 years ago," said a reader named Lori. "It's an easy go-to weekday meal that sounds boring yet comes out perfect every time. I think this is what your reader was referring to."


1-pound ground beef, browned, drained

1/2 cup onion, chopped

1/2 cup green pepper, diced

1 (15-ounce) can tomato sauce

1 cup macaroni, cooked and drained

1 cup water

3 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce

Salt and pepper to taste

Simmer 20 minutes in a skillet on stovetop and serve. In place of tomato sauce, I substitute whatever I have on hand. Canned chopped tomatoes and chiles works well. The same goes for the pasta, whatever I find I use.

"I've fixed this for years and years and finally published it in the 'Cooking in The Pass' cookbook by the Pass Christian Chamber of Commerce," said Judith Holder of Diamondhead, Miss. "Of course, Katrina took away all our cookbooks, but the Chamber republished as soon as possible. It's a great cookbook. Here's my take on slumgullion."


(What to fix when you can't figure out what to fix.)

1 package macaroni and cheese dinner

3/4 pound very lean ground beef

1 medium onion, chopped

1/4 bell pepper, chopped

Salt and pepper to taste

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 can condensed tomato soup or can of chili or quart jar of marinara sauce

Dash of Worcestershire sauce, if desired

Prepare macaroni and cheese dinner according to box directions. (I usually add 2 or 3 extra slices of cheese!) Keep warm.

Add onion and bell pepper to a microwave-safe bowl with lid; season with salt and pepper. Toss with olive oil. Microwave, covered, on high for 1 minute.

In a large skillet, sauté ground beef, crumbling as you cook. Drain as desired. Add dash of Worcestershire sauce.

Add onion and pepper combo to meat mixture. Add can of tomato soup (or other choice). Combine lightly.

Add macaroni and cheese dinner and toss well. Heat through and serve with garlic Texas toast and a salad.

-- Submitted by Judith Holder

Cake mix found

In the Sept. 5 column, the pound cake called Grand Prize Pound Cake originally called for a coconut cake mix, but Linda Hooks could not find it when she made the cake. She substituted a Betty Crocker Super Moist French Vanilla cake mix plus 1/2 teaspoon coconut flavoring.

"I would like you to know that Duncan Hines' Coconut Supreme cake mix can be found at Food Giant on Porter Avenue in Biloxi and also may at Gulfport's Food Giant," Donna Walters said. "But, I am happy that Linda Hoods suggested a substitute cake mix."

Speaking of cakes

The request for pound cake recipes has been one of the most popular this year. Clara Kirby of Bradenton shares her grandmother's recipe from the 1940s. She got it from her mother, Elsie Lastinger of Lithia. Toni Sykes of Long Beach, Miss., offers her Aunt El's, and Margaret Prevou of Bay St. Louis, Miss., says this sour cream cake that appeared in paper years ago is the best.


1 cup butter

2 cups sugar

4 eggs

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

1 teaspoon lemon extract

3 cups sifted flour

1/2 teaspoon soda

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

3/4 teaspoon salt

1 cup buttermilk

Cream butter and sugar thoroughly. Beat in eggs, one at a time. Beat all at medium speed 2- 1/2 minutes. Add flavorings.

Sift together dry ingredients. Add to egg mixture alternately with buttermilk. Beat 3- 1/2 minutes at medium speed.

Place mixture in a greased loaf pan (10-by-5-by-3-inch). Bake slow at 325 degrees 1 hour and 10 minutes or until done. Can use a large tube pan lined with wax paper.

-- Submitted by Clara Kirby

"This recipe has been in the family for many years," Sykes said. "It is a plain pound cake that we call Aunt El's Pound Cake."


2 cups plain flour

5 eggs

2 sticks oleo

1/4 teaspoon baking powder

1-1/3 cups sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla

1 teaspoon almond extract

Cream oleo and sugar well. Add eggs, one at a time. Beat well. Slowly add flour and baking powder. Add vanilla and almond flavorings. Mix well. Grease and flour a loaf pan. Spoon in batter. Bake at 350 degrees about 1 hour or until cake tests done.

-- Submitted by Toni Sykes

"This recipe was in the 'Daily Herald' more than 20 years ago," said Prevou. "Through the years I have tried other recipes but have not found one as good as this one. This was by Janie B. Guice."


3 sticks margarine

3 cups sugar

6 eggs

3 cups all-purpose flour

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon soda

1 cup sour cream

2 teaspoons vanilla

In large mixer bowl, cream margarine and sugar until light and fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. In a small bowl, sift flour, salt and soda. Alternate the addition of dry ingredients and sour cream to creamed mixture, beginning and ending with dry ingredients. Add vanilla.

Pour into a greased and floured bundt pan or angel food pan. Bake at 300 degrees for 1 hour and 15 minutes to 1- 1/2 hours. Cool 10 minutes in pan. Invert on cake dish. This also will make 2 loaf cakes in regular bread loaf pans.

-- Submitted by Margaret Prevou

Another pound cake request

A reader that I ran into at the grocery said she remembered a chocolate pound cake that had raspberries in it. She said it was so good and wondered if anyone else remembered this cake. She would love to have the recipe.

Readers, do you remember this type of pound cake? She thinks it was made with cocoa. If so, please send me those recipes.

Andrea Yeager, a freelance writer, can be reached at Send requests to Cook's Exchange, P.O. Box 4567, Biloxi, MS 39535-4567.