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8:50 PM Sun, Nov. 18th

Writers channel creativity into recipes

At a recent meeting of a writers' networking group, food was the theme, as it is often used in stories. So I suggested the writers contribute favorite recipes to this column. Here is the result and a few comments about each contributor. Several of the recipes may be useful for the coming holiday events.

JELL-O CUPCAKES

Connie Johnson Kramer, a Prescott author, remembers these from her childhood - they were always a part of her family's big Sunday afternoon meals.

2 pkg. (3 oz. each) raspberry Jell-O

1 (20 oz.) can crushed pineapple

1 (16 oz.) can whole cranberry sauce

1 apple chopped into small pieces

1/2 cup walnut pieces

Drain pineapple and use juice plus enough water to measure 2 1/2 cups liquid. Put liquid into pan and bring to boil, pour over gelatin in bowl, dissolve. Add cranberry sauce, pineapple, apple pieces and walnuts. Spoon into paper lined muffin cups placed in muffin pans. Refrigerate until firm. Makes 18 cupcakes.

Note: Especially for Christmas, Connie suggests topping some with red-stemmed cherries, others with green ones.

Be sure to use cupcakes within 24 hours as the papers become soggy.

GRANDMOTHER JOHNSON'S APPLE CRISP

This is also from Connie Johnson Kramer, and is perfect for this apple season (or anytime).

Grease an 8x8 inch pan. Fill with 6 large sliced apples or as needed to fill pan, 1/2 cup sugar, sprinkled on apples.

Mix together the following and spread over top of apples.

1/4 cup flour

1/2 cup sugar

1/2 tsp. baking powder

1/4 tsp. salt

1 egg, beaten (add this last to flour/sugar mixture)

Melt 1/3 cup butter or margarine and pour over top of apples. Sprinkle with sugar and cinnamon. Bake at 350 until apples are done.

MOM'S FUDGE

This is sure to be "gobbled" up on Turkey Day - or any other occasion. Shared by Don E. Cunningham, local author and poet. When Don was a child, his mother made this fudge for him as a special birthday treat.

1/3 stick of butter

2 cups peanut butter

2 cups sugar

1 can (14 oz. can) sweetened condensed milk

1 tsp. vanilla extract

Melt butter; add peanut butter and dry ingredients with condensed milk over medium heat until they totally dissolve in the condensed milk. Continue heating and stir slowly for about 10 minutes. Dip out a small drop on spoon and drop into cold water. If it forms a soft ball, remove pan from stove and set in pan of cold water.

Add vanilla. Stir in pot while in cold water until it has a granular appearance. Remove mixture to a buttered pan and let sit for 1-2 hours until set. Cut and wrap in waxed paper and refrigerate. It will keep for up to one week in refrigerator.

CHALUPAS

Shared by Don and Elaine Hardt, this recipe is perfect for easy entertaining. Guests can fix their plates as they choose.

Laid out to accompany the following are bowls of chopped tomatoes, shredded cheddar cheese, shredded jack cheese, finely chopped onion, olives, guacamole, sour cream, salsa and a big bag of Fritos.

For the chalupas:

Soak 2 1/2 cups of dry beans overnight. Drain. Put into crockpot with enough water to cover. Buy a rotisserie chicken and dice and add to the beans. Also add 1 can tomato sauce, 2 tsp. garlic salt, 1 tsp. each cumin and oregano, 1 (4 oz.) can diced green chiles, 1

tsp. salt and one whole chopped onion. Simmer in crockpot 8-9 hours. Serves 8.

"YOU DO IT AS YOU LIKE IT" DESSERT

(Also from the Hardts).

Each person chooses from the following to build their fruit dessert as they like it. A can of sliced mangoes, a can of fruit cocktail, and a can of blueberries are each poured into separate bowls. To accompany the fruit are bowls of granola, different kinds of nuts, whipped cream, ice cream, chocolate chips and/or chocolate syrup. Guests help themselves to their favorites and everyone is happy.

MICROWAVE CARAMEL CORN

From Welcome to My Kitchen columnist Joanne Sandlin as featured in my cookbook "The Front Burner with Family and Friends," published 2003. This is one of my favorites for fall and holiday munching. It can also be used for a gift that pleases all ages when put in a pretty container. Enjoy!

1 cup brown sugar

1/4 cup Karo light syrup

1/2 cup margarine

1/2 tsp. salt

1/4 tsp. baking soda

1 tsp. vanilla

4 quarts (air-popped only) popcorn.

Combine sugar, syrup, margarine and salt in saucepan and cook 5 minutes after mixture boils, stirring constantly. Remove from stove and stir in soda and vanilla. Place popped corn in large paper grocery sack and pour syrup mixture over it; mix with wooden spoon. Close bag and place in microwave oven about 50 seconds on 80 percent power to prevent scorching. Remove from oven and shake it well and return to cook about the same time also on 80 percent power. Remove and place in a large bowl - carefully, as it will be hot.

It hardens as it cools.

Note: As microwaves vary, for the first time, use these times and powers and then adjust as needed to your oven.

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Thank you, Prescott writers, for sharing your talents in words and your recipes.