Belinda Baldwin, Leesburg
No Bake Peanut Butter Cookies
2 cups granulated sugar
1/2 cup milk
1 stick of butter
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup of creamy peanut butter
3 cups quick oats
Put granulated sugar, milk and butter in saucepan over medium-high heat. Stir constantly. Bring to a boil. Boil for 1-1/2 minutes (no more, no less). Remove from heat, add vanilla and peanut butter, stir until creamy smooth. Quickly add the oats, stir until well mixed. Drop by teaspoon onto wax paper. Let cool. Makes about 3 dozen depending on size of the cookies.
Linda Jordan, Maineville
The custard pie is an awesome pie for summer.
My grandma, Dortha Trout, used to work for Highway 559 Coffee Shop in North Lewisburg for many years. She would get up at 3 a.m. and go into the restaurant, bake all the pies and get everything ready for the day. (It was a small restaurant but served breakfast, lunch and dinner for all the local farmers and whoever drove into town that day. Best hamburgers ever.) People used to drive for miles for her pies and cole slaw.
At all the family gatherings, we would fight over who would take the leftover pie — when there was any left over.
She used to make them just for me all the time when I stayed at her home in the summer.
She would be so proud to know I still bake them. She has been gone 10 years and I miss her every day.
1 unbaked pie shell
3 large eggs
1/2 cup of sugar
1/2 teaspoon of salt
1/2 teaspoon of nutmeg
1-2/3 cups of milk
1 8-ounce can of evaporated milk
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
Mix eggs, sugar, vanilla extract and salt together, warm the milk, and temper the milk into the eggs.
Pour into pie shell and bake at 350 for 35 to 40 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean with a slight jiggle. I don’t put the nutmeg in the custard, only on the top.
Savannah Bradley, Leesburg
Cheesy Bacon Bites
4 ounces cream cheese, softened
1/4 cup real bacon pieces
1 package (8 ounces) refrigerated crescent roll dough
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. In small bowl, combine cream cheese, bacon and mix well.
Unroll crescent dough; separate into 2 large rectangles. Press perforations together to seal. Spread cream cheese mixture on each rectangle. Starting at longest side, roll up each rectangle, jelly-roll fashion; press seams together to seal.
Cut each roll into 16 slices. Place slices, cut-side down, on a large pan. Bake 15-17 minutes or until golden brown. Serve warm.
You may also add chopped onion to the mixture.
Helen Ellison, Waynesville
Helen’s Healthy Muffins
1 cup shredded raw unpeeled apple
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup fresh cranberries chopped or 1/2 cup dried cranberries or raisins
1/2 cup shredded carrots
1/2 cup chopped walnuts or pecans
1-1/4 cup flour
1-1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 egg, slightly beaten
1/4 cup oil
Put cupcake papers in 12 muffin cups.
In a mixing bowl, put shredded apple and sugar and mix. Add cranberries, shredded carrot and nuts and mix.
In another small bowl, mix flour, baking powder, soda, cinnamon and salt. Stir flour mixture into fruit mixture. Mix together egg and oil. Add to fruit mixture until just combined. Spoon into muffin cups. Bake at 375 degrees for about 20 minutes or until toothpick inserted comes out clean. Cool 5 minutes in pan. Serve warm and enjoy.
Laura Kasserman, Wilmington
Simply Scrumptious Strawberry Cake
This is the freshest-tasting and refreshingly light cake I have ever had. It’s been a hit with everyone I shared it with and it’s well worth the extra time and effort it takes to prepare.
1 box white cake mix
1 3-ounce box of strawberry-flavored instant gelatin
1 24-ounce package frozen strawberries in syrup, thawed and pureed (divided into portions — 14 ounces for the cake, 10 ounces for the frosting)
4 large eggs
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1/4 cup butter, softened
1 8-ounce package cream cheese, softened
10 ounces strawberries, as above
1/2 teaspoon strawberry extract
7 cups confectioner’s sugar
Fresh strawberries for garnish
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease 2 9-inch cake pans. In a large bowl, combine cake mix and gelatin. Add pureed strawberries, eggs, oil and water. Beat at medium speed until smooth. Pour into prepared pans, bake for 20 minutes or until toothpick inserted into middle comes out clean. Cool in pans for 10 minutes, turn out onto wire racks and cool completely.
In a large bowl, beat butter and cream cheese at medium speed until creamy.
Beat in half of the remaining strawberries and the extract, reserving the rest of the pureed berries in case you need to adjust the consistency.
Gradually add the confectioner’s sugar, beating until smooth and the consistency you desire.
Spread the frosting between the layers and on the sides of the cake. Garnish with fresh strawberries if you’d like, but I never do because it’s perfect without them.
Monica Schultz, Dayton
Spicy Bean “Croutons”
On a salad, these oven-roasted beans are crunchy enough to serve as the perfect alternative for croutons, and their rich, savory, spicy flavor often serves as a great substitute for meat.
Start with three cans of beans drained, rinsed and patted dry. I use a mix of garbanzo (chickpea), pinto and black beans.
Toss in a 9×12 baking pan or a cookie sheet with sides.
Drizzle olive oil over top the beans in a zig-zag pattern and shake them to coat.
Sprinkle your desired spices over top and shake again to coat. I use a 2:1 ratio of cumin powder and chili powder to garlic salt and cracked black pepper, then dust lightly with cayenne.
Bake at 400 degrees for 30-40 minutes or until the beans are crunchy. They can be served hot or cooled and kept up to a week in an air-tight container in the refrigerator. Mine never last that long … mostly because they also make a great spicy snack for movie night!
Red, White & Blue Sangria
This festive beverage is not only beautiful, it’s delicious, too!
1 750 ml. bottle of Riesling, or other white wine of choice
1/4 cup Black Haus blackberry schnapps (Substituting Tessoro limoncello, made in New Albany, Ohio, instead of Black Haus, is delicious, too!)
1/2 cup strawberries, quartered
1/2 cup blueberries, squished lightly between the fingers, just to break the skin
1/2 cup blackberries, rolled lightly between paper towels
1/2 cup raspberries
Pour the white wine into a glass pitcher. Add the juice from one lemon and schnapps.
Stir and refrigerate for at least 12 hours before serving chilled. Serves four.
*If you prefer sweeter sangria, you can add up to a 1/4 cup sugar, but wait until the sangria has set for 12 hours before deciding. The sangria will become sweeter as the fruit mellows in the wine.