The Family Cookbook
by Linda Sikut
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Homemade Gifts for Christmas
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Do you have special recipes that your family truly loves? Why not create a family recipe book or recipe card file that you can pass on to your children when they are ready to cook for themselves?
The format would depend on the software you have and your ability to use it. You could create pages of recipes in MS Word, Works or any other word processing program, print them out and put them in a binder that you personalize. It could be as simple as a binder with a slip in cover that you design or, if you have crafting skills, you could cover the binder with fabric and add trim. Wouldn't it be cute to cover the binder with fabric from your children's favorite outgrown shirts or dresses?
You could also create recipe cards with a publishing program that you could print, cut and put in a recipe box. The actual recipe cards could be personalized and the box could be decorated with your child's favorite colors. For example, my daughter loves roses so I made the cards with roses on them and personalized them just for her. You can see a sample of a personalized recipe card here.
You can use this same idea to create a very special wedding or shower gift. Prior to the wedding or shower, contact as many of the guests as possible and ask them to send their favorite family recipes to you. Ask them to send along a comment about why this recipe is special and include that with the recipe. Collect them all and put them into a book or create recipe cards. Personalize it for the bride and you will have a gift that she will cherish forever.
Here are a few of my family's favorite recipes:
Maple Snack Mix
5 Tbs. butter or margarine
2 tsp. Watkins Maple Flavor
8 cups Crispex
1-cup stick pretzels
Melt margarine with sugar and maple flavoring. Pour over Crispex to coat then cook in microwave 5 minutes on high - stirring occasionally. Add pretzels & nuts & mix together. Cool spread out on wax paper. This is the key because it will stick if you don't do this.
The taste of this one is addicting.
350 degrees - 25 minutes total - 9" pie pan
6 ounces spaghetti
2 Tbs. butter or margarine
1/3 cup grated parmesan cheese
2 well beaten eggs
1 cup cottage cheese (8 oz.)
1 lb. ground beef
1/2 cup chopped onion
1/4 cup chopped green pepper
1- 8 oz can tomatoes, cut up
1 - 6 oz can tomato paste
1 tsp. sugar
1 tsp. Watkins Oregano
1/2 tsp. Watkins Garlic Granules
1/2 cup shredded mozzarella cheese (2 oz.)
Cook and drain spaghetti. Stir butter or margarine, eggs and parmesan cheese into hot spaghetti. Spray a 10" pie plate with Pam. Form spaghetti mixture into a crust in pan. Spread cottage cheese over crust.
Cook ground beef, onion and green pepper until veggies are tender and meat is browned. Drain excess fat. Stir in undrained tomatoes, tomato paste, sugar, oregano & garlic salt. Heat.
Put meat mixture on top of cottage cheese. Bake uncovered 20 min. Sprinkle mozzarella cheese on top and bake 5 more minutes or until cheese melts.
All the neighborhood kids wanted to come for dinner when I made this.
Traditional Peanut Butter Fudge
8" square pan
2 cups sugar
3/4 cup milk
2 Tbs. corn syrup
pinch of salt
1/3 cup peanut butter
1/2 tsp. Watkins Vanilla
Blend sugar, milk, corn syrup and salt and bring to a boil until it forms a soft ball. About 15 min. Add peanut butter and vanilla. Pour into greased pan. Cool. Slice.
My sister and I made this ourselves when we were kids because we loved Peanut Butter Fudge.
We're still paying off last Christmas and worry how we'll afford the holidays this year without charging it again! Tell us: Yes, we could use help getting out of the debt trap we're in! or No, debt is not a problem for us but I'm always looking for ways to trim my family's expenses further!
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- How much do kids need to know about the family budget?
- This week's Readers' Tips