I recently met a lovely woman who was sitting on a bench. During our talk, I mentioned I do a column called “Penny’s Pantry” in our local paper. She perked right up and said she and her husband always read my column and enjoy it. She wished she had a copy so I could autograph it for her. She seemed so nice and friendly — she made my day.
A big smile brightens up everybody’s life, I think. I know I like bringing so much joy and happiness to the people I see and meet.
It’s time for us to fix light and healthy summer foods; when it’s hot out, it seems no one really wants to cook heavy foods. We drink a lot of water, homemade lemonade, ice tea, and a nice ice cold beer sometimes.
When my children were growing up, I had to make two gallons of iced tea every day. I hardly bought pop — they’d rather have my tea. I made it the old fashioned way: I boiled the water and then put the tea bags in. It tasted better than sun tea.
I had a delicious spinach salad the other night with glazed pecans, strawberries, and feta cheese. I put some raspberry vinaigrette dressing on it — boy, was it ever light and refreshing! I love salads of all kinds because they’re so healthy for you. You can always put fruit in them (I like mine with grapes).
If you need a certain recipe let me know and I’ll find it for you. Until next time, enjoy these recipes.
Bacon Wrapped Water Chestnuts
• 2 cans whole water chestnuts, drained
• 1 pound bacon strips, cut into thirds
• 1 cup brown sugar
• 3/4 cup ketchup
• 3/4 cup mayonnaise-like salad dressing
Set oven to broil at 425 degrees. Wrap a bacon piece around a water chestnut and secure bacon in place with a toothpick. Repeat with all the water chestnuts. Place on broiler pan and broil for 20 minutes. Remove from broiler pan and place in 9×13-inch pan. In a bowl, mix brown sugar, ketchup, and dressing together and pour over the chestnuts; bake at 425 degrees for 20 minutes.
Note: You can also use barbecue sauce and bake for one hour in a 400-degree oven.
Oven Caramel Corn
• 1 cup packed brown sugar
• 1/2 cup butter
• 1/4 cup light corn syrup
• 1/2 tsp. salt
• 1 tsp. baking soda
• 15 cups popped popcorn
Preheat oven to 200 degrees. Heat brown sugar, butter, syrup, and salt in saucepan until it comes to syrup and salt in saucepan until it comes to a boil. Simmer over medium high heat stirring for five minutes. Remove from heat. Stir in soda. Pour over popcorn and stir until well coated. Pour into two ungreased 9×13-inch pans. Bake for one hour, stirring every 15 minutes.
Note: 1 1/2 cup nuts may be added, but then popcorn should be decreased to 12 cups.
Honey Mustard Pretzels
• 7 tbsp. honey mustard powder (available in bulk food stores)
• 3/4 cup vegetable oil
• 1 1/2 lbs. pretzel sticks
Preheat oven to 300 degrees. Mix powder and oil in a bowl and pour over pretzel sticks, stirring to coat. Bake on ungreased cookie sheet for one hour, stirring a couple of times during baking.
Crunchy Peanut Butter Balls
• 1 cup peanut butter
• 1 (7 oz.) jar marshmallow creme
• 1 1/2 cup crisped rice cereal
• 1 (12 oz.) package chocolate chips, melted
In a bowl, mix the peanut butter, marshmallow creme, and crisped rice and form into balls. Chill. Dip in melted chocolate. Chill again.
Spicy Sandwich Loaf
• 1 tbsp. margarine or butter
• 1 cup sliced mushrooms
• 1/2 cup chopped green pepper
• 1 pound frozen bread dough, thawed
• 4 oz. ham, thinly sliced
• 4 oz. salami, thinly sliced
• 4 oz. shredded mozzarella cheese
• 1 1/2 oz. pepperoni, thinly sliced
Melt butter in a large skillet. Add mushrooms and peppers; cook, stirring often until tender. Set aside. On a large baking sheet lined with aluminum foil, press dough into a 10×13-inch rectangle. Layer the ham, salami, cheese, and pepperoni down center of the dough. Top with mushrooms and peppers. Fold sides of dough, overlapping the edges. Turn the seam side down and pinch ends together. Let rise for one hour. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Bake for 30 to 40 minutes until golden brown. Good served hot or cold.
Note: You can use sliced mozzarella cheese and thinly sliced onions (uncooked) and put over meat and then bake. Also, brush garlic butter over baked loaf.
Penny Case is a lifelong resident of Wellington who loves to cook and share recipes. Send recipes to her at 22 Johns St. or at email@example.com.