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Illinois Country Living

December 2007 Issue: FeatureCommentaryCurrents SafetyGardenEnergy SolutionsFinest Cooking More

The Farm Family Cookbook

Who: Illinois Farm Bureau
Cost: $15, plus $4.50 shipping
Details: Soft-backed, book-bound
Pages of recipes: 266
Send checks to: The IAA Foundation, Attention: Carol Harms-Garman, 1701 N. Towanda Ave., Bloomington, IL 61701, or call 309-557-2230.

Photo by Catrina McCulley Wagner

Holiday Cheese Ball

  • 1 (8-oz.) pkg. shredded Mozzarella cheese
  • 1 (8-oz.) pkg. shredded Cheddar cheese
  • 2 (8-oz.) pkgs. cream cheese, softened
  • 1/2 C. ham, chopped
  • 1 tsp. garlic powder
  • Paprika

In a medium bowl, mix all ingredients except paprika and form into a ball. Sprinkle paprika on wax paper and roll cheese ball in paprika until covered completely. Place on a place and serve with crackers. Note: You can use chopped nuts instead of paprika if you like.



Festive Eggnog Sauce

  • 1/2 C. whipping cream
  • 2 T. powdered sugar
  • 1/2 C. eggnog
  • 1 T. rum or brandy (opt.)

In a small bowl, beat cream with sugar until stiff. Gently fold in eggnog and rum until they blend well. Cover and chill. Just before serving, gently blend again. Serve with pudding, fresh fruit, ice cream or over angel food cake. Makes 1-1/2 cups.



Chili-Up-Side-Down Casserole

  • 1 lb. ground beef
  • 1/3 C. chopped onion
  • 1 T. shortening
  • 1 (15-oz.) can chili beans with liquid
  • 1/4 tsp. chili powder
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 C. cooked tomatoes

Cornbread Batter:

  • 1 C. flour
  • 1 C. cornmeal
  • 1 C. milk
  • 2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/4 sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 heaping T. butter, melted
  • 1/2 tsp. salt

Preheat oven to 425°. Combine beef, onion and shortening. Sauté until brown and drain. Add chili beans, chili powder, salt, Worcestershire sauce and tomatoes. Simmer for 30 minutes. Turn into a buttered 9x13-inch baking dish. Mix all ingredients for cornbread batter and spread over casserole. Bake for 20 minutes.



Peanut Butter Cheesecake Minis (above)


  • 1-1/2 C. graham cracker crumbs
  • 4 T. sugar
  • 1/4 C. butter, melted
  • 12 bite-sized peanut butter cups


  • 2 (8-oz.) pkgs. cream cheese, softened
  • 1 C. sugar
  • 1/4 C. flour
  • 1 tsp. vanilla or almond extract
  • 2 eggs

Preheat oven to 350°. Place paper cupcake liners in each cup of a muffin pan. Mix graham cracker crumbs, sugar and butter in a bowl until crumbs are moist. Press crust into the bottom of each muffin cup and place 1 peanut butter cup into the center. beat cream cheese with mixer until fluffy. Add sugar, flour and vanilla or almond extract and beat well. Add eggs, one at a time, and beat well after each addition. Spoon cream cheese mixture over peanut butter cups. Bake for 20 minutes or just until set. Allow to cool completely before serving.


Star-Spangled Recipes

Who: P.E.O., Chapter NQ of Normal, IL
Cost: $8, plus $2.50 shipping
Details: soft-backed, comb-bound
Pages of recipes: 142
Send checks to: P.E.O. Chapter NQ, Attention: Denise Myatt, 1530 Martin Luther King Drive, Bloomington, IL 61701.

Photo by Catrina McCulley Wagner

Coconut Macaroons (above)

  • 1 C. Eagle brand milk
  • 4 C. shredded coconut
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 3/4 tsp. almond extract

Blend together all ingredients. Drop about 1 teaspoon of batter an inch apart onto well-greased cookie sheets. Bake at 350° for 8-10 minutes or until lightly brown. Remove from cookie sheet immediately. Makes 3 dozen.



Holiday Appetizer Pie

  • 1 (8-oz.) pkg. cream cheese, softened
  • 2 T. milk
  • 1 (2-1/2-oz.) pkg. dried beef, finely chopped
  • 2 T. onion flakes
  • 1/8 tsp. pepper
  • 2 T. green pepper, finely chopped
  • 1/2 C. sour cream
  • 1/4 C. walnuts

Blend cheese and milk. Stir in beef, onion, green pepper and pepper. Mix well. Stir in sour cream and spoon into an 8-inch pie plate. Sprinkle with nuts. Bake at 350° for 15 minutes. Serve with crackers or small breads.



Winter Minestrone

  • 2 T. olive oil
  • 1 lg. onion, finely chopped
  • 1 stalk celery, chopped
  • 2 lg. cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp. dry basil leaves
  • 1/4 tsp. rosemary
  • 1/4 tsp. oregano, crushed
  • 1/4 tsp. thyme
  • 1/4 C. pearl barley
  • 2 lg. thin-skinned potatoes, diced
  • 3 lg. carrots, diced
  • 8 C. low sodium chicken broth
  • 1 lg. turnip, peeled and diced
  • 1 (15-oz.) can red kidney beans, drained and rinsed
  • 2/3 C. small shell pasta
  • 1/4 C. tomato paste
  • 2 C. finely shredded cabbage
  • Grated Parmesan

Heat oil in a 5 or 6 quart pan over medium-high heat. Add onion, celery, garlic basil, rosemary, oregano and thyme. Cook while stirring for about 5 minutes. Add barley, potatoes, carrots and chicken broth and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat, cover and simmer for 20 minutes. Add the turnip and cover and simmer another 20 minutes. Stir in the beans, pasta and tomato paste. Bring to a boil. Cover and simmer for 15 minutes. Add cabbage and simmer uncovered about 5 minutes. Ladle into bowls and serve with Parmesan cheese. Serves 8-10.



Peppermint Bark

  • 2 lbs. white vanilla bark, broken into pieces
  • 1-1/2 C. peppermint candy, finely crushed

Melt bark in a double boiler. Do not let the candy boil. Never allow liquid to get into the candy. Combine candy and peppermint. Spread a thin layer on waxed paper that has been placed on a cookie sheet. Allow to cool and harden about 20 minutes. Turn out on a cutting board and peel off waxed paper. Cut into rectangles. If you decide to tint the candy, you must use paste food coloring, not liquid.


How to submit recipes:

Calling all cookbooks!

Is your church or community organization selling its own unique cookbook filled with favorite recipes of cooks in your area? If so, send your cookbook to Catrina Wagner, Illinois Country Living, P.O. Box 3787, Springfield, IL 62708. Please include the price of your cookbook plus postage costs and the name, address and telephone number of the cooperative member we should contact for more information.

© 2007 Illinois Country Living Magazine.
Association of Illinois Electric Cooperatives

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