Home Cooking Recipes
home cooking recipes                                            home cooking recipes
Quick & Easy
By Beverly Barbour


Oldies but good goodies

Does 32 years sound old to you? February of 1968 is when a column entitled, "Cupid's Arrow Losses Game of Hearts to Mixing Spoon," found its way into the recipe collection of Joanne Albercht of Jamestown, ND. That is the year when Chocolate Peppermint Cream Cookies first came out of her oven and the last batch she baked in December of 1999.

She mentioned the recipe to me, saying that she had made about 50 of the cookies for a show at the Jamestown Art Center, which is one of her many interests. I hadn't thought about the recipe for years so she sent me the original clipping and believe it or not, it was "yellowed with age." No batter spots though. (I swear and declare that I still can't seem to bake anything without spotting up the recipe.)


CHOCOLATE PEPPERMINT CREAM COOKIES

For a valentine make them heart-shaped and sandwich with pink icing. Or, frost and sprinkle with red, heart-shaped cinnamon candies.

3 cups sifted all-purpose flour
1 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups brown sugar, packed
1 1/2 sticks (3/4 cup) butter
2 tablespoons water
2 packages (12 oz. total) chocolate chips
2 eggs
Peppermint Cream Filling

Preheat oven to 350 F and grease cookie sheets. Sift together flour, baking soda and salt. Place sugar, butter and water in saucepan or microwave and heat until melted. Add chocolate chips and stir until melted. Remove from heat and beat in eggs, one at a time. Stir in flour mixture. To make small round cookies place on tablespoon at a time into palm of hand and shape into a ball. To roll and cut cookies you may need to add a little more flour. Bake for 8 to 10 minutes. Frost or sandwich together, with Peppermint Cream. Makes 8 dozen.


PEPPERMINT CREAM FILLING OR ICING

You can leave this white or tint it either pink or green. Try green in March when St. Patrick comes marching around.

3 cups (1 1/2 boxes) sifted confectioners sugar
1/3 cup ( 5 tablespoons + 1 teaspoon) soft butter
2 tablespoons milk
1/8 teaspoon peppermint extract
Dash of salt
Food coloring, if desired

Combine 1 cup sugar and butter. Combine remaining ingredients using only a few drops of food coloring ( you can add more later.) Stir in remaining sugar alternately with milk mixture. Adjust color and flavor. Fill or frost cooled cookies.


This pasta salad is favorite of my husband's. One of its virtues is that it is versatile- you can add or change ingredients at will which means, I guess, that its character lies in the dressing. Another virtue is that when served with bread makes an inexpensive meal.

When pomegranates are in season, do add them. Their cherry red color and juicy crunch really add a lot of pleasure. But, separating the seeds from the membrane and the skin can be a pain-juice squirting everywhere and black fingers. Here is and easy way to remove the seeds from the fruit.


HOW TO SEED A POMERGRANATE

The crunchy red seeds add elegance to any fruit plate, salad and even sprinkled on meat.

Quarter the pomegranate by lightly scoring through the skin but NOT the fruit with a paring knife. Separate into quarters by holding the fruit in a bowl of water and slowly pulling the segments apart.

Working one segment at a time, remove the seeds under the water. The white pith will float to the top while the seeds sink to the bottom. Discard the skin and pith;drain the seeds.


WARM PASTA SALAD WITH SPINACH, WALNUTS AND CHEESE

Substitutions welcome in this hearty salad-you may want to add raw apple or orange segments.

4 1/2 tablespoons wine vinegar
3/4 teaspoon salt
Pepper
1/2 cup olive oil
1 pound penne rigati (grooved) pasta, or pasta of choice
1/2 pomegranate, seeds only
1/2 red onion, or other mild onion, or 4 scallions, sliced
3/4 cup chopped walnuts, other nuts or sunflower seeds
1 bag spinach or other salad greens
3/4 cup crumbled goat cheese, feta, blue cheese or cheddar

While pasta is cooking, combine vinegar, slat and pepper in a bowl; whisk in the oil.

Drain the pasta and transfer to large salad bowl. Toss with half of the dressing. Add spinach and toss again. Add remaining ingredients and toss again. Serve warm. Makes 4 to 6 servings.


I've had this recipe since June of 1967 and I still use it, though I don't use quite as much salad dressing as I used to. I think the recipe originally cam from a home economist friend and I remember being a bit surprised that she, too, liked shortcuts. Who doesn't?

OLD DAYS, OLD WAYS-TRIED AND TRUE

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