St. Patrick’s Day Bars

These are delicious but always seem to be crumblier than I want.

1/2 cup butter plus one tablespoon per recipes
1/4 cup sugar
1 egg, beaten
1/3 cup cocoa
2 cups graham cracker crumbs
1 cup coconut
1/2 cup nuts, chopped
1/4 cup butter, room temperature
2 cups powdered sugar
1 tablespoon milk
green food coloring
peppermint extract
4 squares semisweet chocolate
1 tablespoon butter

For bottom layer, place 1/2 cup butter, sugar and egg in a saucepan.  Sift cocoa over mixture.  Stir over
medium heat until mixture thickens slightly, about 1 minute.
Remove from heat and stir in graham crumbs, coconut and walnuts.  Pat firmly into the pan.  Refrigerate for
at least 1 hour.
For the filling, cream 1/4 cup butter in a medium bowl, then add the powdered sugar, milk, 4 drops food
coloring and 8 drops peppermint.  Mix well.
Spread filling over bottom layer and refrigerate about 30 minutes, until firm.
Melt chocolate and butter and mix together in a small bowl.  Carefully spread the melted mixture over the
filling.  Refrigerate for about 5 minutes, then cut into squares.


Pistachio Salad

This is one of our traditional recipes for St. Patrick’s Day.







8 ounces Cool Whip, thawed
1 3.4 ounce package pistachio instant pudding
20 ounces crushed pineapple
1/2 cup nuts, chopped (optional)
1/2 cup coconut
mandarin oranges, optional
1 cup mini marshmallows

Mix Cool Whip and pudding mix together until blended.
Drain off some pineapple juice and fold into Cool Whip mixture along with marshmallows, coconut and
mandarin oranges.
Pour into serving bowl and chill.

Bang Bang Sauce

This is a spicy recipe. It can be served over just about anything and has a delicious flavor. We usually eat it with breaded shrimp, but served with steak is delicious!

1/2 cup mayonnaise
4 teaspoons chili garlic sauce (Chinese section)
1/2 teaspoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon rice vinegar

Mix until combined.

Serving Ideas:
-breaded shrimp
-over chicken
-over pasta
-over rice
-over steak

Claire’s Cheeseball

This is by far the most delicious spread. I love the flavor and texture and how easy it is to make. We rarely make it into an actual cheese ball, but usually serve it out of a glass bowl. My all time favorite way to eat it is over toasted English muffins or toasted homemade bread.

16 ounces cream cheese, softened
1/3 cup Parmesan cheese
1/4 cup mayonnaise
2 tablespoons onions, finely chopped
2 tablespoons carrot, finely chopped
2 tablespoons celery, finely chopped
1 teaspoon horseradish
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 package Ranch dressing mix
1 1/4 cups walnuts, chopped

Mix all ingredients together with electric mixer.
Place a large piece of plastic wrap on counter.  Put cheeseball on wrap.  Form into ball.
Place in small bowl, pushing down to remove air pockets.
Chill one hour or more.
When firm, roll in walnuts.  Press nuts into cheese mixture.
Serve with crackers and/or chopped vegetables.

Serving Ideas: Serve:
-as sandwich or toast spread
-on crackers
-on veggies (especially carrots, celery and cucumbers)
-can use in pastry bag with tip onto crackers with a garnish

Spinach Dip

This is another recipe that is only served once a year at our place.

1 round loaf sourdough bread, cut to make a bowl
1 cup mayonnaise
1 cup sour cream
1 tin (or less) water chestnuts, chopped
1 package Knorr leek soup mix or onion soup mix
1 package frozen spinach, defrosted, squeezed and chopped

Mix all ingredients, except bread.
Fill bread bowl with spinach dip.
Break bread lid and inside pieces into small pieces for dipping.

Serving Ideas:
-on crackers
-as sandwich spread
-with cut vegetables
-over cooked pasta

Ham and Cheese Dip

We only make this recipe once a year: on Old Year’s End (as our family calls New Year’s Eve). It is delicious with sour dough bread and I enjoy it more when it is warmed slightly.

1 1/2 cups sour cream
6 ounces cream cheese
1/2 cup green onions, chopped
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
2 cups cheddar cheese, shredded
1 1/2 cups (or more) ham, cooked and chopped
1 round loaf sourdough bread
parsley, chopped


In a saucepan, combine sour cream, cream cheese, onions and Worcestershire.
Cook and stir over low heat till blended.
Add cheese and ham.  Cook and stir till cheese is melted and ham is heated.
Cut top off loaf.  Carefully hollow out loaf, leaving 1/2″ shell.  Cube removed bread.
Pour dip into shell.  Sprinkle with parsley.
Serve with bread cubes or crackers.

Serving Ideas: Serve leftovers:
-as sandwich or toast spread
-on crackers
-with chopped veggies
-over pasta

Shrimp Cocktail

This is super easy and very impressive. Use an upside down cake plate to serve the shrimp, or just line tail-on shrimp around a bowl. It has a little bit of a kick after melding, but it isn’t overpowering.

1/2 cup chili sauce
1 tablespoon horseradish
1 1/2 teaspoons lemon juice
salt and pepper

Whisk together all the ingredients in a bowl.  Cover and refrigerate at least 6 hours to let the flavors develop.

Granny’s Stew and Dumplings

This is what we always make for Christmas dinner. Almost everyone like it with ketchup on top, but I don’t think it needs it!

1 pound stewing beef
1/4 cup flour
2 teaspoons salt
1/8 teaspoon pepper
1/8 teaspoon allspice
1/8 teaspoon ginger
1/8 teaspoon paprika
1/4 cup shortening
1 cup onions, chopped
3 3/4 cups boiling water
potatoes, peeled and cubed
carrots, peeled and chopped
pearl barley
green beans
1 1/2 cups flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
3/4 teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons shortening
3/4 cup milk

Mix flour and spices.  Roll beef in flour mixture.  Brown in shortening.
Add onions and water.  Simmer till meat is tender – about 2 hours.
Add vegetables and cook till tender.
To make dumplings:  mix dry ingredients.  Cut in shortening.  Stir in milk.
Drop by spoonfuls onto stew. Cook slowly 10 minutes uncovered and 10 minutes tightly covered.
Serve with ketchup and rice.

30 Day Brandied Fruitcake

Mum’s had this starter since the 80’s. I think the link to the recipe is the same thing. It is full of flavor and super moist. We always send it to our grandparents in Hawaii and also serve it for dessert on Christmas!

1 1/4 cups starter juice (Like this recipe…
2 1/2 cups sugar
1 quart sliced peaches with juice, or more if needed
2 1/2 more cups sugar
#2 can chunky pineapple in heavy syrup, or less if needed
2 1/2 more cups sugar
1 large jar maraschino cherries, drained
1 1/2 cups brandied fruit, without juice
1 box yellow cake mix with pudding (or add one small box of pudding)
2/3 cup oil
4 eggs
1 cup walnuts, chopped

Mix starter juice,  2 1/2 cups sugar and peaches in a one gallon glass jar.  Cover.
Stir daily for ten days.
On the tenth day, add 2 1/2 cups sugar and pineapple.
Stir daily for ten more days.
On the twentieth day (total), add 2 1/2 cups sugar and maraschino cherries.
Stir daily for ten more days.
At the end of 30 days total, you are ready to bake cakes.
Mix together cake mix, oil and eggs.
Add fruit and nuts and stir well.
Pour batter into a greased tube pan.
Bake at 325 degrees for 50-60 minutes.
Cool in pan.
Invert onto serving plate.
Poke holes in cake with chop stick.
Mix some powdered sugar and brandied fruit syrup to thick glaze consistency.
Pour glaze into holes until no more glaze can be absorbed.
Cover holes with pieces of pineapple and maraschino cherry halves.


We always triple this recipe into a jelly roll pan, so cooking it up to temperature takes forever. Mom had notes on the recipes reminding whoever makes these to wear long sleeve shirts and hot pads while stirring because when it boils it can sometimes splatter and burn. For some reason, a double recipe in a 9X13″ pan made the caramels too thick, so we recommend either doing two single batches or doing a triple!

1 cup butter
2 1/4 cups brown sugar
dash salt
1 cup light corn syrup
15 ounces sweetened condensed milk
1 teaspoon vanilla

Melt butter in large pot.  Add brown sugar and salt.  Stir till thoroughly combined.  Stir in corn syrup and mix well.  Gradually add milk, stirring constantly.  
Cook and stir over medium heat until candy reaches 245 degrees (firm ball).  Raise temperature if it gets stuck.
Remove from heat.  Stir in vanilla.
Pour into a sprayed 9″ X 9″ pan.  Cool.
Turn onto cutting board and cut into pieces.  Wrap in plastic wrap or wax paper 5 right away.