Food columnist celebrates 3 years with favorite recipes

With the cheese nicely melted, the Stuffed Peppers are ready to eat.

With the cheese nicely melted, the Stuffed Peppers are ready to eat.

The first “In the Kitchen” column appeared three years ago this month! It’s hard to believe we have shared that many recipes already. We’ve missed very few weeks in the three years, and we done some special sections along the way, so the Blount Today readers and I have quite a cooking history already under our belts.

To celebrate our three years, I thought I would repeat three of the “favorites” we have heard about along the way.

It’s interesting that not that many people say they do a lot of cooking, but everyone loves good recipes. Maybe folks are just going to “be prepared” for when the economy, guilt or just a desire to reconnect with the past pushes us back into the kitchen.

Being the Blount Today recipe lady is fun, and it’s interesting the comments I hear. My favorites usually have a little to do with how tasty the food was, although I do get a lot of people who are so generous with their praise, and more to do with feelings and memories recipes bring back.

My favorite part is when I bake something, like the Granny Moore Yellow Cake, and people take a moment to share their memories of their mother or granny and the similar cakes she made. It brings us back to our roots, connects us and gives us not only a warm slice of cake to share, but sweet memories as well.

I look forward to the next years “In the Kitchen.” Let me know your ideas for the column and pass along any recipes -- and the story behind them -- that you would like for me to try to get in the paper.

Thanks for reading In the Kitchen! Here are three of my favorites from the past three years: Granny Moore’s Yellow Cake with Caramel Icing; Stuffed Peppers and Jenny’s All-Time, All-Occasion Favorite Salad.

Granny Moore’s Yellow Cake With Carmel Icing

Cake

1 Box Yellow Cake Mix

Bake as directed, using a 9- x 13-inch cake pan or divide equally between two 9-inch round cake pans. Let cake cool.

Icing

1 1/2 sticks margarine or butter

1 1/2 cups brown sugar, packed

1 1/2 cup or 1 small can evaporated milk

4 cuts (1 box) powdered sugar

1 Tsp. Vanilla

Mix margarine, brown sugar and milk together in a sauce pan. Bring to a boil, but only boil for about 30 to 45 seconds. Set off heat.

Cool the mixture for about 5 minutes, and then add the powdered sugar and vanilla. I use a whisk for a minute or two to blend because the powered sugar will be a little lumpy at first. Switch to a spoon and beat for about 5 minutes or until it starts to lose its gloss.

Spread on cooled cake immediately as the icing tends to set quickly.

Stuffed Peppers

4 to 5 medium bell peppers, tops removed, seeds and membranes removed

1 lb. ground chuck or lean ground beef

2 cups cooked rice

2 cups spaghetti sauce or favorite tomato sauce

1 medium onion, chopped

1 clove garlic, chopped or crushed

1 small can whole kernel corn (10 oz.), drained

1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce

1/2 tsp. salt

1 can dark red kidney beans (15 oz.), rinsed and drained

1 cup shredded Mozzarella cheese, divided

Boil peppers in water for only about 3 minutes. Remove and drop in cold water to cool. Set aside.

In a skillet, brown the ground beef, adding the onion and garlic during browning. In a bowl, combine rice, spaghetti sauce, corn, Worcestershire sauce, salt, beans, and 1/2 of the cheese. Add the beef and onion/garlic mixture. Arrange the bell peppers in a baking dish.

(If the peppers won’t stand upright, just slice a small amount off the bottom). Spoon the ground beef mixture into peppers and sprinkle the remaining cheese over the top of each pepper.

Bake at 350 degrees for 15 to 20 minutes.

Jenny’s All-Time, All-Occasion Favorite Salad

1 small purple onion, chopped

1 medium head cauliflower (cut into bite size pieces)

1 large bunch broccoli (cut into bite size pieces)

1 cup raisins

1/2 cup sunflower seeds

6 strips of bacon, fried and crumbled

Dressing

1 cup mayonnaise

1/2 cup sugar

2 tablespoons vinegar

Combine all ingredients except bacon. Toss with dressing. Sprinkle bacon on top just before serving.

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