New Castle News

March 22, 2014

Culinary Conversation: Greens, cakes among reader’s recipes

Lugene Hudson
New Castle News

NEW CASTLE — Weeks always start out better when something pleasant arrives in the mail.

No, I didn’t win the Publisher’s Clearinghouse Sweepstakes.

But I did receive a envelope with the return address of Jane Warneck of Columbus, Ohio, and it was stuffed with five different recipes.

What a variety, too. It’s obvious Jane really knows her way around the kitchen.

In beautiful handwriting, she submitted recipes for homemade pizza greens, two appetizers and two cakes.

For the greens, her recipe calls for a hot roll mix but she said you may make your own dough.

The stuffed dates with cheese and bacon sound sublime, and it only takes five minutes to put together the creamy spinach dip.

And Jane included instructions for making ginger ale pound cake and pineapple cream cheese upside down cake.

Thanks, Jane, for taking the time to contribute to Culinary Conversation.

It’s your turn next.

However you get them to us, it will be a day brightener for sure.

Homemade Pizza Greens

Wash and cook, and cut up escarole ahead of time so it will be ready. Squeeze out excess water. Mix with 1/2 cup to 1 cup vegetable oil, salt and pepper, garlic powder, a little bit of hot pepper flakes and grated Parmesan cheese to suit your own taste.

Make dough according to directions on box. Let rise, covered, in a warm place. Flour table and rolling pin. Roll out dough from one box to fit a greased cookie sheet, with dough overlapping on all four sides.

Cover dough with greens mixture and cover with top dough from second box. Press, overlapping sides together to close. Pierce top with fork all over. Grease top of dough well with oil. Sprinkle with garlic powder, salt, pepper and grated cheese, and lightly with parsley flakes. Bake at 350 until browned, about 1/2 hour. Let cool and cut into squares.

•Optional — cut sliced Italian sausage, sweet or hot on top of greens before baking. (Bake sausage first.) Or you may add mozzarella cheese on top of greens before putting on top dough and baking.

Stuffed Dates

Place oven rack in middle position of oven. Preheat oven to 450. Insert one piece of cheese into date. Wrap date with one piece of bacon; secure with wooden pick. Repeat process with remaining dates, cheese and bacon. Arrange dates one-inch apart on a foil lined rimmed baking sheet. Bake at 450 for 10 to 11 minutes until bacon is crisp, turning after 5 minutes. Drain dates well on paper towels. Serve immediately.

Ginger Ale Pound Cake

Preheat oven to 325. Generously grease Bundt pan with Crisco and dust with flour. In a large mixing bowl, beat butter and Crisco until creamy. Add eggs, one at a time. Mix in sugar, alternating between the two; add flour and ginger ale, then add salt, vanilla and lemon flavoring. Continue beating for 5 minutes. Pour mixture into pan and bake for 90 minutes. Do not open oven door while baking. Remove cake and set on wire rack to cool — about 20 minutes. Flip it upside down on place. Cake should drop out.

Creamy Spinach Dip

Preheat oven to 350. Spray a 9-inch springform pan with nonstick cooking spray.

Stir together melted butter and brown sugar in pan. Place 8 pineapple slices in sugar mixture. Place cherry in center of each slice. Cut remaining two slices of pineapple in half and place around slice in center of pan.

Prepare cake mix as directed. Pour 1/2 of the cake batter evenly over pineapple. Beat cream cheese, lemon gelatin and eggs with electric mixer until smooth. Spread cream cheese mixture gently over cake mix. Pour remaining cake mix over cheesecake in pan. Bake for 65 to 75 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool. Loosen edges and turn onto plate.