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Cella's Recipe Corner: Munch through the holidays

The boys stuck in my junior high class chorus did not want to sing. But, when the choir director had us all perform “I Don’t Want to Sing,” the boys always joined in.

I have often sung “I don’t like snickerdoodles; I don’t like snickerdoodles,” but Gayle Thorpe changed my tune, when she sent some of her soft snickerdoodles home with my husband. I just had to have the recipe.

I made these cookies three times, during the past month. Follow the recipe closely, so the cookies turn out chewy and soft.

I was treated to a piece of pumpkin-rhubarb pie, at Thanksgiving. The cook’s dad used to make the dessert, every Thanksgiving. I was hesitant to try it at first, but it was quite good, even though it looked a little strange.

I finally obtained my sister-in-law’s recipe for goulash. Because the Worcestershire sauce is a little strong, reduce it as much as you like, or leave it out.

I went to a Thanksgiving buffet with my mother, husband and brother, in Franklin, Pa. My favorite dish of the day was the spinach salad with the red dressing. I went back for seconds and begged for the dressing recipe, after I got back home.

The recipe was quite large, calling for 2 quarts of ketchup, 4 cups of cider vinegar, 12 cups of white sugar, 4 quarts of vegetable oil and 1 cup of Worcestershire sauce. I have scaled it back to something more family friendly.

Soft snickerdoodles
Gayle Thorpe

These cookies will be soft, if you remove them from the oven as soon as the cookies crack across the top and if you take them off the cookie sheet immediately, placing them on a wire rack to cool.

1 cup softened butter
1 1/2 cups white granulated sugar
2 large eggs
2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons cream of tartar
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
Cinnamon sugar 
3 tablespoons white granulated sugar
3 teaspoons cinnamon
In a large mixing bowl, cream together the butter, sugar and eggs. Mix in the flour, cream of tartar, baking soda and salt. If the mixture gets too hard to mix, use clean hands to work dough into a ball. Refrigerate dough to cool.

Meanwhile, in a small bowl, combine the sugar and cinnamon. Roll dough into 1-inch balls, then roll into cinnamon-sugar mixture. Place rolled balls onto a cookie sheet. Place cookie sheet with dough balls into the freezer for 15 minutes.

Bake on the top rack of a 350-degree oven for 10 minutes, just until the top of cookie cracks. Immediately remove cookies to a wire rack to cool. If cookies remain on the cookie sheet, the bottoms of the cookies will be crisp and not soft.

Pumpkin rhubarb pie

Stir up your regular pumpkin pie and, before baking, sprinkle in a handful or two of uncooked rhubarb pieces. Bake as normal. No additional sugar is needed.

Deb’s goulash

Deb Richards

1 pound box elbow macaroni
1 pound hamburger
1 tablespoon chili powder
1 teaspoon garlic salt
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1 cup diced onion
2 10 3/4-ounce cans condensed tomato soup
1/4 cup Worcestershire sauce (optional)
2 cups cheddar cheese, shredded and divided

Cook elbow macaroni according to directions on box. Drain and set aside. Place hamburger, chili powder, garlic salt, salt, black pepper and onion into a large frying pan. Cook until no pink remains in the meat and the onion is cooked through. Stir in tomato soup and Worcestershire sauce. Cook until heated through.

Take off heat and stir in a handful of cheddar cheese and the cooked macaroni. At this point, you can put additional cheese on top of the macaroni, cover with a lid and let sit until the cheese melts, or put mixture in a baking pan, cover with cheese and bake in 350-degree oven for half an hour.

Red dressing for spinach salad
The Commons

For a wilted salad, put the dressing on a few minutes before serving and toss. Save some bacon bits and sliced mushrooms to sprinkle decoratively on the top.

The ingredients for a spinach salad include the following in any amount you desire: baby spinach leaves, fresh sliced mushrooms, bacon bits, diced onion and tiny pieces of boiled eggs.

Use a grid hand potato masher to mash the eggs into small pieces. Use a jar of real bacon bits in the salad, as you will not need bacon grease in this recipe.

1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1/2 cup ketchup
1/4 cup cider vinegar
3/4 cup white granulated sugar
1 cup vegetable or olive oil
Mix Worcestershire sauce, ketchup, cider vinegar, sugar and oil together with a whisk, until sugar is dissolved. Store in a glass jar in the refrigerator, until ready to use.

Send your favorite family recipes to Marcella Stockin, 5200 Riceville Road, West Valley, New York 14171 or email me at Providing you with recipes to help make you the best cook in the neighborhood. Visit my website at for more recipes and archived newsletters.

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