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Vol. 112 - Issue 1, Wednesday, September 15, 2010
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Pleasures found in fundraising cookbooks
by Sandy Olson

I love the community/church group fund raising-type cookbooks. They are always filled with the very best a townís or organizationís cooks have to offer. Iíve found that if I get lots of them from the same area of the county, they are pretty much the same recipes. Our favorites are all represented and most of our favorites are our friendsí favorites too.  So, one of the ways I add to my collection of this type of cookbook is to search them out when Iím on the road. The home style recipes from other areas of America are much different than those from my home in the Midwest. Pleasures From The Good Earth (2008, Morris Press, Kearney, NE) was compiled by the Logan, New Mexico United Methodist Church Women.

Ranch Burgers

One pound ground beef

One can chili sauce

One can (15 oz.) Ranch-style beans

One-half cup chopped onions

One cup grated cheese

Four hamburger buns

Brown meat. Add chili sauce, beans and onion. Cook 5 minutes more. Top burger bun halves with meat and cheese.  Enjoy!  SANDYíS NOTE: These seem to be open-faced sandwiches eaten with a fork.  YUM!

Mexican Spaghetti

One pound hamburger

One medium onion, chopped

One can Ro-Telģ tomatoes with green chiles, chopped

One can Mexican-style tomato sauce

Garlic salt to taste

Four ounces spaghetti

Parmesan cheese

Brown meat and onion. Drain. Add Ro-Tel, tomato sauce, two and one-half sauce cans of water, garlic salt and spaghetti that has been broken into one-inch pieces. Cover with lid and simmer until pasta is done. Add cheese when serving.  Delicious with flour tortillas.

Flaky Topped Spicy Lasagna

One pound ground beef

One clove garlic, minced

One-half medium onion, diced

One jar (14 oz.) pasta sauce

Two tablespoons hot sauce

One can (4 oz.) mushrooms

One cup ricotta cheese

One cup chopped fresh spinach

One cup cottage cheese

Two cups shredded mozzarella cheese

One can (12 oz.) flaky biscuits

Green chiles to taste

Heat over to 375 degrees F. Spray a 12x8 pan with cooking spray. Brown the beef, garlic and onion. Stir in pasta sauce, green chile, hot sauce and mushrooms. Simmer 15 minutes.  In a small bowl, combine ricotta and spinach; mix well. In the baking dish layer half the beef mixture, half the ricotta mixture. Layer the cottage cheese and mozzarella. Repeat. Separate biscuits into three layers. Arrange over the cheese layer, over lapping.  Bake for 25-30 minutes

Harvest Pie

One unbaked pie shell plus a lattice top crust

One bag (12 oz.) cranberries

One cup brown sugar

One-half cup white sugar

Three tablespoons flour

One can (8 oz.) crushed pineapple, drained (save juice)

One-quarter cup pineapple juice

Two tablespoons butter

One-half cup chopped pecans

One-quarter teaspoon salt

One-half teaspoon almond extract

Whole pecans for top

Combine cranberries with pineapple juice and both sugars. Cook until cranberries are hot, stirring constantly. Mix flour with pineapple and add to cranberries. Add butter, chopped pecans, salt and almond extract.  Pour into an unbaked pie crust. Place the lattice crust on top. Bake at 425 degrees F. for 25 minutes. Place whole pecans in the holes of the lattice and then bake at 350 degrees F. for 10 more minutes.

The ladies in New Mexico have a different approach to the kitchen arts and itís fun to try their ideas. I love the thought of green chiles in my lasagna.  

And...thatís all she wrote.

Sandy Olson can be reached via email at


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