NEW CASTLE — 2014 is starting out great.
Not only did I receive an envelope stuffed with recipes, but I also got to talk to the reader who sent them.
Antionette Fragola of Neshannock Township is a delight.
It was a week before Christmas and Antionette had just started baking so all her cookies would be fresh for friends and family.
“There’s no room in the freezer,” she chuckled, adding that everyone who samples her treats really treasures them.
Antionette has been baking a “long time.”
As one of eight children, she learned her way around the kitchen at a fairly young age.
And when she and her husband were raising four children, she made bread every week, going through 25 pounds of flour.
That’s right, 25 pounds.
When I was growing up, my mother often made bread. Antionette and I agreed that the aroma of fresh bread coming from the oven is unbeatable.
It’s not an official New Year’s resolution but I am going to try to make bread more often in 2014.
The selections she submitted include Italian biscotti, which Antionette said is very good. She also sent recipes for sweet rolls, cakes and one she called nut horns. It is very similar to the recipe my brother and I have had for years and he and my niece are the pros at making those.
I’m looking forward to more sharing of recipes with Culinary Conversation in the new year.
And happy baking, everyone.
6 cups flour
1 cup Crisco
3/4 cup sugar
1 large cake yeast
1/2 cup water
1 cup milk
1 teaspoon vanilla
Combine flour and Crisco as for pie crust. Add sugar and pinch of salt. Melt warm water and yeast. Add to flour mixture. Add warm milk, vanilla and beaten eggs. Work until smooth and refrigerate overnight. Cover loosely with plastic wrap.
After refrigerated, shape into 8 balls. Roll out as for pie crust and cut into eighths. Shape into crescents and place on greased cookie sheet and let raise 2 hours. Bake at 350 for 15 minutes, until light brown.
Glaze with powdered sugar icing and sprinkle with chopped nuts.
1 pound oleo
4 cups flour
1 small cake yeast
1 cup milk
Mix oleo and flour as for pie crust. Mix eggs, milk and yeast, and add to flour mixture. Knead a few times, until dough is smooth. Refrigerate overnight. Roll out dough about the size of a walnut. Roll on powdered sugar. Put 1/4 teaspoon honey and nuts on top of dough. Roll as a small nut roll. Bake on ungreased sheet at 350 for 15 to 20 minutes.
6 cups flour
1 cup oil
2 tablespoons salt
2 tablespoons pepper
2 tablespoons fennel
1 cake yeast
2 1/2 cups water
Mix all ingredients. Knead like bread dough. Let raise for 1 hour. Roll like a pretzel. Boil in water until they float. Put on greased cookie sheet. Bake at 350 for 20 minutes.
1, 15-ounce carton ricotta cheese
1/4 cup sugar
3 tablespoons fat-free (skim) milk
1/4 cup miniature chocolate chips
1/4 cup chopped candied cherries
20 Honey Maid graham crackers
1 cup prepared whipped topping
Beat cheese, sugar and milk with mixer until smooth. Stir in chocolate chips and cherries. Place 11 graham crackers on the bottom and sides of a plastic-lined 8 1/2 x4 1/2 x2 1/2-inch loaf pan. Spread 1/3 of cheese mixture over crackers. Top with crackers. Repeat 2 more times, ending with crackers. Cover; refrigerate at least 4 hours. Unmold loaf onto serving plate. Remove wrap. Frost with whipped topping.
Butterscotch Coffee Cake
1 package plain yellow cake mix
1 package instant butterscotch pudding mix
1/2 cup oil
1 cup water
1 1/3 cups brown sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
1/2 cup chopped nuts
Mix cake mix, pudding, eggs, oil and water together. Beat 2 minutes. Pour half the batter into a greased and floured bundt pan. Mix brown sugar, cinnamon and nuts together. Cover the cake batter with half of the brown sugar mixture. Pour the remaining cake mix into pan. Top with remaining brown sugar mixture. Bake at 350 for 40 minutes.
Apple Bundt Cake
2 cups sugar
1 1/2 cups vegetable oil
3 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 cups diced peeled apples
1 cup chopped pecans
In a large mixing bowl, beat eggs, sugar and oil. Combine flour, soda, cinnamon and salt. Gradually add to batter. Fold in apples and pecans. Pour into a greased 10-inch fluted tube pan. Bake at 315 for 1 1/4 to 1 1/2 hours. Cool for 10 minutes before removing from pan to wire rack.