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Illinois Country Living

Holiday Cheeseball

The Fruit Of The Spirit

Who: St. Mary’s High School Youth Group of Anna, IL
Cost: $21, including shipping
Details: hard-backed, three ring-bound
Pages of recipes: 181
Send checks to: LaDonna Basler, 1390 Campground Road, Anna, IL 62906.

Photo by Catrina McCulley Wagner

Holiday Cheeseball (above)

  • 2 (8-oz.) pkgs. cream cheese
  • 1 (8-oz.) can crushed pineapple, drained
  • 2 C. chopped pecans, divided
  • 1 T. Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 T. Lowry’s seasoning

Mix cream cheese, pineapple, 1 C. pecans, Worcestershire and seasoning together. Roll into a ball, and then roll in remaining pecans. Cover with waxed paper and chill in the refrigerator until ready to use.



Russian Stroganoff

  • 6 T. butter (no substitutes)
  • ½ med. onion, diced
  • 2 lbs. beef tenderloin, thinly sliced
    into 1-inch strips
  • ½ lb. fresh button mushrooms, sliced
  • Salt, to taste
  • Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 1/8 tsp. nutmeg
  • 1 C. full fat sour cream at room
  • 2 oz. vodka
  • Splash of gin
  • Klusky noodles
  • Paprika

Melt 3 T. butter in a heavy skillet. Add the onion and cook slowly until translucent. Remove to a bowl and set aside. Turn the heat to medium-high and add beef to the skillet. If very lean, add a splash of cooking oil and brown meat on all sides. Remove the beef and set aside in the bowl with the cooked onion. Drain skillet and add the remaining 3 T. butter. Let butter melt, but not brown. Stir in mushrooms. Cook over medium heat for 3 minutes. Season with salt, pepper and nutmeg. Whisk the sour cream and add to the skillet, but do not allow it to boil. Return the beef and onions to the skillet long enough to heat through. Add a 2-oz. shot of vodka and a splash of gin. Work into sauce and serve on a bed of cooked Klusky noodles. Dust with paprika.


Easy Caramel Rolls

  • 1 (24 count) pkg. frozen dinner rolls
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1 C. pecans, chopped
  • 1 stick margarine, melted
  • ½ C. packed brown sugar
  • 1 (3-oz.) pkg. butterscotch cook pudding

Arrange rolls in the bottom of a well-buttered bundt pan. Sprinkle with cinnamon and nuts. Stir the brown sugar and dry pudding mix into melted butter until smooth. Pour mix evenly over rolls. Seal tightly with foil. Cover with a towel and leave on the counter overnight. Bake at 350 degrees for 20-25 minutes the next morning.




Chicken Tetrazzini

  • 2 C. chicken cooked and diced
  • ½ C. green pepper, diced
  • 1 sm. onion, chopped
  • 1 pkg. sliced fresh mushrooms
  • ¼ C. butter
  • 1 (15-oz.) can cream of chicken soup
  • 1 (15-oz.) can cream of mushroom soup
  • 1 (14- oz.) can evaporated milk
  • 2 T. pimento
  • 7-oz. spaghetti noodles, cooked and drained
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • ½ C. cheese, grated (your choice)

Sauté pepper, onion and mushrooms in butter in a pan. Mix chicken, sautéed vegetables, soups, milk, pimento, spaghetti and salt and pepper together. Pour into a 9x13-inch baking pan. Top with cheese. Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes.

Peanut Butter and Jelly Brownies

Apron Strings – 150th Celebration

Who: St. Stephen’s Lutheran Church of Metropolis
Cost: $20, plus $5 shipping
Details: hard-backed, three ring-bound
Pages of recipes: 388
Send checks to: St. Stephen’s Lutheran Church,
6874 Midway Road, Metropolis, IL 62960.

Photo by Catrina McCulley Wagner

Autumn Cider Punch

  • 1 (32-oz.) bottle apple juice
  • 1 (32-oz.) bottle cranberry juice
  • 1 (6-oz.) can frozen orange juice concentrate, thawed
  • 1 (6-oz.) can frozen lemonade concentrate, thawed
  • 1 (1-liter) bottle ginger ale or lemon lime soft drink, chilled

Stir together apple juice, cranberry juice, orange juice concentrate and lemonade concentrate. Chill. Stir in ginger ale or lemon lime soft drink just before serving. Serve over ice.



Holiday Pumpkin Dip

  • 1 (8-oz.) pkg. cream cheese, softened
  • ½ C. canned unsweetened pumpkin
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp. ground cumin
  • 1/3 C. minced dried beef
  • 1/3 C. chopped red bell pepper
  • 2 T. minced fresh parsley
  • 2 T. minced fresh onion
  • 1 tsp. chili powder
  • ¼ C. chopped green bell pepper
  • 2 T. lime juice

Beat together the cream cheese, pumpkin, garlic, onion, cumin and chili powder until smooth and creamy. Stir in the beef, green and red peppers and lime juice. Spoon into a small, pretty bowl and sprinkle with cilantro and chill.


Chocolate Spiced Pork Chops

  • 2 T. firmly packed brown sugar
  • 1 T. Italian seasoning
  • 2 tsp. onion powder
  • 1-1/2 tsp. unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1-1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp. paprika
  • ½ tsp. ground red pepper
  • ½ tsp. cumin
  • ½ tsp. salt
  • ½ tsp. ground black pepper
  • 4 (1-1/2-inch thick) bone-in pork chops
  • 1 T. vegetable oil

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a large bowl, combine brown sugar, Italian seasoning, onion powder, cocoa, garlic powder, paprika, red pepper, cumin, salt and black pepper. Rub mixture evenly over pork chops. In a large cast-iron skillet, heat oil over med-high heat. Add pork chops and cook for 3 minutes per side. Place skillet in the oven and bake pork chops for
8 minutes.


Peanut Butter and Jelly Brownies (above)

  • 1 C. firmly packed brown sugar
  • ½ C. crunchy peanut butter
  • ¼ C. softened margarine
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • ½ C. flour
  • ¼ tsp. salt
  • 6 squares Baker’s semi-sweet
    baking chocolate, chopped
  • ½ C. strawberry jam

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Beat sugar, peanut butter and butter in a large bowl with an electric mixer on medium speed until well blended. Add eggs and vanilla; mix well. Add flour and salt; beat until well blended. Sir in chocolate. Line a 9-inch square pan with foil, with ends of foil extending over the sides of the pan. Grease foil. Spread batter onto the prepared pan. Drop jam by spoonfuls over batter; swirl with a knife to marbleize. Bake 35 to 40 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool in the pan. Lift dessert from pan, using foil handles. Cut into 24 squares to serve.



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