COOK OF THE WEEK: Judy Hester Recipes

By NEMS Daily Journal

Harvest Cheese Ball
1 (8-ounce) block cream cheese, softened
1 (8-ounce) tub spreadable chive and onion cream cheese
8 ounces shredded sharp Cheddar cheese
2 teaspoons paprika
1⁄2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 celery rib with leaves
In a small bowl, beat the cream cheeses until smooth. Stir in Cheddar, paprika and cayenne. Shape the mixture into a ball and wrap in plastic wrap. Refrigerate several hours or overnight.
With the opposite side of a knife blade, add vertical lines to the cheese ball to resemble a pumpkin; insert half of a celery rib with leaves for the stem. Serve with assorted crackers.

Fresh Apple Cake with Caramel Glaze
1 cup vegetable oil
2 cups sugar
3 eggs, well-beaten
21⁄2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon vanilla
4 cups peeled, chopped Granny Smith apples
1 cup chopped pecans

Caramel Glaze
1⁄2 stick butter
1⁄4 cup sugar
1⁄4 cup light or dark brown sugar or mixed
1⁄8 teaspoon salt
1⁄2 cup whipping cream
Combine oil and sugar. Beat in eggs. Sift together dry ingredients and add to egg mixture. Fold in vanilla, apples and pecans. Bake in a greased Bundt pan at 350 degrees for 1 hour.
For the glaze, melt butter in a saucepan over medium-low heat. Add sugars and salt. Cook, stirring frequently, for 2 minutes. Stir in cream and bring to a boil. Cook, stirring constantly, for 2 minutes. Drizzle over sliced cake.

Cheesy Chicken Soup
3 (14-ounce) cans chicken broth
3⁄4 cup diced onion
3⁄4 cup diced celery
3⁄4 cup diced carrot
2 cans cream of chicken and mushroom soup
4 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves, cooked and chopped
1 small jar sliced mushrooms, coarsely chopped
1 (8-ounce) package Velveeta cheese, cubed
1 cup shredded Cheddar cheese
2 cups cooked white rice
Bring broth to a boil in a stockpot. Add vegetables and cook until tender, 10 to 15 minutes. Add soup and stir until incorporated. Stir in remaining ingredients; simmer over low heat until cheeses melt.

Cabin Ham Sandwiches
1 dozen Hawaiian sweet rolls
1 (8-ounce) tub chive and onion cream cheese
1 pound thinly sliced Black Forest ham
1 (6-ounce) package Provolone cheese slices
1 stick butter, melted
1⁄4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
11⁄2 teaspoons dried minced onion
Slice rolls in half horizontally (without separating the rolls) so that you have two large rectangular pieces of bread; spread cut side of top and bottom of rolls with cream cheese. Place bottom part of rolls in a 9×13-inch baking dish. Layer with ham and Provolone cheese. Place top half of rolls over cheese.
In a small bowl, combine butter, Parmesan cheese, Worcestershire and onion. Pour over sandwiches. Let stand at least 20 minutes.
Loosely cover with aluminum foil and bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes or until cheese has melted and sandwiches are heated through. With a sharp knife, slice into 12 individual sandwiches. Serve with potato salad and fresh fruit.

Baked Ziti
11⁄2 pounds ground beef
1 medium onion, chopped
1 (26-ounce) jar spaghetti sauce
2 cups shredded Mozzarella cheese, divided
8 ounces ziti pasta, cooked and drained
1⁄4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
Cook ground beef and onion in a large skillet; drain and return to skillet. Stir spaghetti sauce, 1 cup Mozzarella and cooked ziti into skillet and mix well. Spoon into a greased 3-quart casserole. Sprinkle remaining Mozzarella and then Parmesan cheese on top. Bake, loosely covered with foil, at 350 degrees for 30 minutes or until heated through. This freezes well.

Chicken-Wild Rice
Casserole
1 medium onion, chopped
1 box Uncle Ben’s Long Grain and Wild Rice
3 cups cooked, chopped chicken
2 cans cream of chicken soup
1 can sliced water chestnuts, drained and coarsely chopped
1 (4-ounce) jar sliced pimientos
1 cup mayonnaise
Cook onion and rice with seasoning packet according to package directions. Combine rice mixture with remaining ingredients and pour into a greased 9×13-inch casserole. Bake at 350 degrees for 30 to 40 minutes.
Note: This freezes well. If frozen, defrost in refrigerator overnight. Set out 30 minutes before baking, then follow baking directions. You can also make two smaller casseroles from this recipe.