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Strawberry OR Cherry Butter Pretzel Salad

This salad is great with just about any kind of meat or chicken. I sometimes eat it myself as a dessert.

2 cups crushed butter pretzels (This is the secret to this recipe and Snyders of Hanover are the best pretzels we have here. These butter pretzels taste like pecans in the crust).
3/4 cup melted butter or margarine
3 Tablespoons granulated sugar

Stir together and press onto bottom of 9 x 13 inch casserole dish. Bake at 350 degrees for 15 minutes. Cool.

2 packages (3 oz.) cream cheese at room temperature
9 ounces Cool Whip or equivalent whipped topping
3/4 cup granulated sugar

Combine cream cheese and sugar, mix well. Fold in the Cool Whip. Spread over the pretzel crust, sealing the edges well. Chill at least 1 hour.

1 (6 ounce) package strawberry Jello
2 cups boiling water
2 (10 ounce) packages frozen strawberries

Dissolve the Jello in water. Stir in the frozen strawberries until thawed. Chill until almost set. Pour the Jello mixture over cheese mixture. Chill several hours before serving. Cut into squares. Yields 20 servings.

I tried a variation to this recipe for Thanksgiving. I used cherry Jello and 1 and 1/2 jars of sliced cold Maraschino cherries instead of the strawberries. I also added the juice from the one cherry jar since my cherries were not frozen. This was also delicious.

This is my oldest nieces favorite salad. She request that I make it each time she comes to my house for dinner or the family get togethers. I also had this requested to be served at a bridal shower since it is one of the brides favorites.

Toffee Graham Crackers

1 stack graham crackers broken into 1/4ths
2 sticks (1/2 pound) butter or margarine
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 cup very finely chopped nuts (I use pecans)
1 jelly roll pan

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Mix the above ingredients in a small boiler. Bring to a rolling boil for 3 minutes. Remove from heat.

Add 1 teaspoon vanilla flavoring.

Place the graham crackers flat on the jelly roll pan. Pour the liquid mixture over them. Place the pan in the oven and bake 5-8 minutes. Remove them from the pan after they are cooled.

Brunswick Stew

2  1/2 cups each of cooked chicken, pork, and beef which has been chopped or ground finely. (We use chicken that has been boiled or roasted, roast beef, and pork left over from a roast or pork chops.  If you boil the chicken, use the broth from the chicken for the moisture in the stew.)
3  potatoes diced very small
3  cups fresh frozen whole kernel corn or 2 cans whole kernel corn, drained
2  onions diced very small
1  can Rotel tomatoes
1  medium can chopped tomatoes
1  large can tomato juice
1  can tomato soup
1  tablespoon sugar
2 tablespoons white vinegar
salt and pepper to taste
(If you don't want to use Rotel tomatoes, add an additional can of tomatoes and a dash of hot sauce and 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes.)

Mix all together and cook on medium heat.  Turn the heat down and simmer like you would spaghetti sauce--at least a couple of hours.

This is great to freeze in containers that can be microwaved.  I serve it with crackers.

Wedding Cakes

Instead of adding another recipe today, I decided I would share a picture of our bride and grooms cakes from our wedding two years ago. I made both of them and wanted both of them to be something completely different from anything I had ever done before. I did an uncommon thing on the bride and grooms on each cake. Instead of the bride and groom standing next to each other, the brides cake has the bride carrying the groom. On the grooms cake, the groom is carrying the bride.


Orange Salad

1 large box dry orange jello
1 large (9 oz.) Cool Whip
1 12 oz. cottage cheese
2 small cans crushed pineapple

Mix Cool Whip and cottage cheese.  Put in drained pineapple.  Pour dry Jello over and mix well.  Chill until set least 1 hour.

***This is a great salad or can even be used as a dessert.  Strawberry Jello or lime Jello can be used instead of the orange Jello.

Sausage-Cheese Balls

10 oz. shredded sharp cheddar cheese
1 lb sausage (any flavor you like)
3 cups baking mix

Mix ingredients with just enough water to hold together.  Roll into balls about the size of a ping pong ball or golf ball.  Bake 1" apart on a cookie sheet 15 to 20 minutes at 350 degrees.

***I like to make these ahead to prepare for breakfast or parties.  I roll the balls and place them on a cookie sheet.  The cookie sheet goes into the freezer just until they are frozen.  Remove them from the freezer and place the frozen balls into a freezer safe plastic bag or container.  Take out as many of the sausage balls as you would like to cook each time.  They are great to take with you to work for break or for kids breakfast.***

Easy Italian Biscuits

2 cups self-rising flour plus a little extra for dusting cutting board 
1/3 cup canola oil
2/3 cup buttermilk
1 1/2 teaspoon Italian seasoning
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon parsley
4 ounces shredded cheddar cheese

Preheat oven to 450 degrees.
Mix all ingredients together with your hands or spoon until it forms a ball.  Sprinkle the extra flour onto a cutting board or bread board and place the dough.  Knead the dough 10-15 times.  (The more you knead it, the more your biscuits rise).  Roll the dough until it is about 1/4 to 1/2 inch thick.  Cut into desired shape. (You can use shapes for the seasons but be careful not to have too many edges.  The biscuits will get hard and crisp).  The leftover dough can be kneaded together again but don't add more flour to it.  It will dry the dough out.  This recipe makes approximately 12 biscuits.
Bake until biscuits are golden brown.  Melt 1/2 stick butter or margarine with 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder.  Brush the biscuits after they are done with this mixture.  Best served hot.

Vegetable Casserole

2 14.5 ounce canned and drained French style green beans
2 15.25 ounce fresh frozen or canned and drained whole kernel corn (yellow or white)
1 16 ounce sour cream
1/2 cup chopped onion
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
1 can cream of chicken soup

Saute the chopped onion in 1 tablespoon onion and cool. Mix other ingredients and add the onion. Pour into a 9 x 13 container which has been sprayed with a cooking spray.

1 sleeve crushed Ritz crackers
1 stick melted butter or margarine

Mix together and put on top of vegetable mixture.

Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes.
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