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Diane Prather: Popping up some good ideas

Diane Prather
Diane Prather
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— This past weekend, I finally took time to put up some of my Halloween decorations.

It doesn’t seem possible, but it’s time to start thinking about fall/winter holiday cooking. I’m hoping that you’ll all share your favorite recipes.

This week’s column begins with a recipe for spicy popcorn, courtesy of the residents of Sandrock Ridge Care and Rehabilitation and Mary Gillingham, director of Recreation and Leisure. It is a modified recipe for Spicy Popcorn Snack.

The original recipe calls for: 1/4 cup margarine, 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder, 1/2 teaspoon onion powder, 1 1/2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce, 1/8 teaspoon Tabasco sauce, 2 quarts popped popcorn, 1 1/2 cups peanuts and 1 cup small pretzels.

Melt the margarine in a small saucepan. Stir in the powders and sauces. Remove the pot from the heat. Spread the popped corn, peanuts and small pretzels in a shallow baking dish. Pour the spicy mixture over this.

Gently stir with a spoon to coat the dry ingredients.

Bake at 275 degrees for one hour/ stirring every 15 to 20 minutes. Store the cooled snack in an airtight container until ready to serve.

At Sandrock Ridge, they put the spices and sauces directly into the popped corn. They eliminated the peanuts, pretzels and oven part of the recipe.

The popcorn is indeed spicy but good. The amounts of spices and sauces could be modified to taste. The recipe came from “A New Day,” Gary Grimm and Associates, September/October 2004.

Fall and pumpkin recipes just go together. I don’t know who gave me the photocopied recipe for “Pumpkin Cake” or what it was clipped from, but the word “good” was written in the column. I made the cake last night, and it is good.

The ingredients for the cake are: 3 cups flour, 2 1/2 cups sugar, 2 teaspoons soda, 1 1/2 teaspoons salt, 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon, 1 teaspoon ground nutmeg, 1 cup vegetable oil, 4 eggs, 2/3 cup water, 1 (16-ounce) can pumpkin and 1 cup chopped pecans.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 10-inch tube pan. (I used a 9 x 13-inch pan instead.)

Combine the flour, soda, salt and spices. Add the remaining ingredients, stirring well. Spoon batter into the prepared pan. Bake at 1 1/2 hours for the tube pan and less for the 9 by 13-inch pan (about 35 to 40 minutes or until the cake tests done)

The recipe doesn’t call for an icing. It tasted good to me without. Lyle put some table cream on his piece of cake.

The next time I bake the cake, I may make a cream cheese frosting from softened cream cheese, powdered sugar and a little milk and some vanilla.


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