Prather's Pick: Spring recipes for winter weather

Boy, am I ever looking forward to spring -- so much so that this week I searched my files for recipes that might be more associated with spring.

I don't know where I got the recipe for "Spring Fling Cake," but I've fixed it for Easter a couple of times. (Of course, it's good anytime.)

It's similar to other cake recipes, such as "Mandarin Orange Cake" and "Orange Pineapple Cake."

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees, and lightly grease a 9-inch by 13-inch cake pan. Combine a box of yellow cake mix, 4 eggs, 1/2 cup cooking oil and an 11.5-ounce can of mandarin oranges with the juice. Mix until smooth.

Pour into the cake pan and bake for about 25 minutes or until the cake tests done. After the cake has cooled, mix a 3-ounce package of coconut cream instant pudding (I used vanilla) with a 15.5-ounce can of crushed pineapple, including the juice. Mix well.

Then fold in an 8-ounce tub of whipped topping. Spread over the cake and sprinkle with nuts. Refrigerate until serving time, and keep leftover cake refrigerated.

If you like lemon, try the next recipes for salads. They are made up the day before you serve them.

Begin making "Peaches and Cream Salad" by mixing a 3-ounce box of lemon gelatin in a cup of boiling water. When the gelatin is dissolved, pour it over a 3-ounce package of cream cheese. Beat well. I soften the cheese first.

Whip a cup of cream with 2 tablespoons of sugar (or use 2 cups of whipped topping like I did) and fold into the gelatin and cheese mixture along with a cup of orange juice. Beat just to blend.

Stir in 1/2 cup pecans. Pour this mixture into a 9-inch by 13-inch pan. Chill until firm. Dissolve a 3-ounce package of lemon gelatin in a cup of hot water and then stir it into a 1-pound, 6-ounce can of peach pie filling. Let cool.

Pour the lemon gelatin/pie filling over the other firm gelatin. Chill again until completely firm.

"Lemon Dream Salad" comes from my cookbook without a cover. First, prepare an 8-ounce package of lemon gelatin following the directions on the package. Drain a 16-ounce can of crushed pineapple and reserve the juice.

Add the pineapple and 2 sliced bananas to the gelatin, stir, and pour into a casserole dish. Cover the top with miniature marshmallows and chill until firm. Measure the pineapple juice and add water to make 1 cup. Pour it into a saucepan and add 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon of cornstarch. Stir to dissolve and then heat until the mixture thickens. Cool and add an 8-ounce container of whipped topping.

Spread over the chilled mixture and sprinkle with chopped nuts. Refrigerate.

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