Cook of the Week: Linda Hand Recipes

By NEMS Daily Journal

Monster Cookies
3 pounds chunky peanut butter
1 pound margarine, softened
2 pounds brown sugar
4 cups granulated sugar
1 dozen eggs
1 tablespoon corn syrup
1 tablespoon vanilla flavoring
8 teaspoons baking soda
18 cups oatmeal
2 pounds M&Ms
1 pound chocolate chips
Combine all ingredients in a large dishpan (this recipe contains no flour). Mix with your hands (this takes muscles!). Roll into golf-ball size balls and bake at 350 degrees for 12 to 15 minutes.
Makes 150 large cookies.
Note: Once you roll these into balls, they can be placed on a cookie sheet and frozen and stored in ziptop freezer bags until ready to bake.

Oriental Salad
1 head Romaine lettuce
1 head iceberg lettuce
1 bunch green onions, chopped
1 head broccoli, cut in bite-size pieces
2 packages Ramen noodles
1⁄2 cup sunflower kernels
3⁄4 cup slivered almonds
11⁄2 sticks margarine
1 cup vegetable oil
1⁄2 cup white vinegar
1 cup sugar
1 tablespoon soy sauce
Tear lettuces into bite-size pieces. Place lettuce in a serving bowl with chopped onions and broccoli pieces.
Break Ramen noodles into pieces and discard flavoring packets. Sauté broken noodles, sunflower kernels and almonds in margarine until brown. Don’t let burn. Pour mixture out onto paper towels after cooled.
In a jar with a lid, combine vegetable oil, vinegar, sugar and soy sauce. Shake mixture vigorously.
When ready to serve, add nut mixture to lettuce and toss well to mix. Add dressing and toss gently.

My Favorite Cheese Ball
1 (8-ounce) block cream cheese, softened
1 (8-ounce) package shredded Cheddar cheese, at room temp
1⁄2 cup dried minced onion, reconstituted in a small amount of water
1⁄2 cup chopped pecans
Chili powder
Combine cheeses using hands. Add onions and pecans. Shape into a ball. Roll in chili powder until lightly covered. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until ready to serve with your favorite crackers.

Vegetable Pizzas
2 (8-ounce) tubes crescent rolls
1 (8-ounce) block cream cheese, softened
1 (3-ounce) block cream cheese, softened
1⁄3 cup mayonnaise
1 teaspoon Hidden Valley Ranch Buttermilk dry dressing mix
1 cup chopped tomato
1 cup chopped broccoli
1 cup chopped carrots
Shredded cheese
Unroll crescents and press onto a large rimmed cookie sheet (side by side), pressing seams and perforations together. Bake at 350 degrees for 15 to 20 minutes or until crust starts to brown. Let cool.
Combine cream cheeses, mayonnaise and dressing mix. Spread over cooled crust. Sprinkle tomatoes, broccoli and carrots over cream cheese mixture. Top with shredded cheese. Refrigerate 30 minutes before slicing into squares and serving.
Makes 32 appetizers.

Poppy Seed Casserole
3 tubes Ritz crackers, finely crushed
11⁄2 sticks margarine, melted
2 cups cooked, chopped chicken
1 (8-ounce) carton sour cream
2 cans cream of chicken soup
2 teaspoons poppy seeds
Combine crushed crackers and melted margarine. Spread half the mixture in the bottom of a 9×13-inch casserole. Place chopped chicken on top. Combine sour cream and cans of soup and pour over chicken. Place second half of cracker mixture on top. Sprinkle poppy seeds over all. Bake at 350 degrees for 40 minutes.

Red Velvet Cake
11⁄2 cups sugar
2 cups vegetable oil
2 eggs
2 ounces red food coloring
1 teaspoon vanilla flavoring
21⁄2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons cocoa powder
1 teaspoon vinegar
1 cup buttermilk

Icing
1 stick margarine, softened
1 (8-ounce) block cream cheese, softened
1 teaspoon vanilla flavoring
1 box powdered sugar
1 cup chopped pecans
Combine sugar and oil and mix well. Add eggs, food coloring and vanilla. Set aside.
Combine flour, soda, salt and cocoa powder and set aside.
Combine vinegar and buttermilk. Add to sugar and egg mixture and mix well. Add dry ingredients and mix well. Pour batter into three greased and floured 9-inch cake pans. Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes. Set aside to cool.
For the icing, combine margarine, cream cheese and vanilla. Add powdered sugar and mix well. Fold in chopped pecans. Spread icing between layers and on sides and top of cake.