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Whitehall cook contributes a family favorite

| Wednesday, Jan. 3, 2007

For Charlotte Lagoni, Ashtabula, Ohio. From Sandy Gimiliano, Whitehall, who writes, "This is a favorite of ours."

Apricot-Pineapple Squares

  • 1 cup dried apricots, cut into very small pieces
  • 2 cans (8 ounces) crushed pineapple, undrained
  • 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar, divided
  • 2 teaspoon cornstarch
  • 2 teaspoons water
  • 3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) margarine, softened
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 cup walnuts
  • 1 1/2 cups coconut

In a saucepan, combine the apricots, pineapple and 1/2 cup sugar. Cover and simmer over medium heat for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. Dissolve the cornstarch in the water and stir into the mixture. Set aside and cool.

Heat the oven to 400 degrees.

In a bowl, beat the margarine and 1 cup sugar until fluffy. Mix the flour, salt and baking soda. Gradually add to the creamed mixture. Add the nuts and coconut, mixing well.

Press 2/3 (about 4 cups) of the mixture into the bottom of 13- by 9-inch pan. Bake for 10 minutes. Remove from the oven and spread the apricot-pineapple filling over the crust. Crumble the remaining coconut mixture on top and bake for 20-25 minutes more. Let cool, then cut into squares.


Chinese Chop Suey

For Katie Monti, of Natrona Heights, who was looking for a La Choy product to make chop suey. Here's a scratch recipe from Mary Warzenski, of Youngwood, Westmoreland County. You can use one kind of meat or a combination -- poultry, fish or shellfish can be used.

  • 1 pound shredded meat
  • 1/4 cup butter or fat
  • 1 cup peeled and sliced mushrooms
  • 1/4 cup shredded celery
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1/2 cup sliced water chestnuts
  • 2 cups drained canned bean sprouts
  • 2 cups White Stock ( recipe follows )
  • Hot cooked rice
  • Soy sauce

Saute the meat in the melted butter until well browned. Strain the meat, reserving the fat. Return the fat to the pan, reheat, then add the mushrooms, celery, onion and water chestnuts. Saute for 5 minutes.

Add the drained cooked meat, bean sprouts and stock. Cover and simmer for 30 minutes. Serve with hot cooked rice, and soy sauce on the side.

Makes 6 servings.

White Stock

  • 1 chicken or hen (3 pounds)
  • 1 veal knuckle
  • Water
  • 2 ribs celery
  • 1 onion
  • 1 turnip
  • 1 carrot
  • 2 teaspoons salt

Run the chicken under cold water, pat dry, then cut into pieces. Cut the veal from the bone. Place the chicken, veal and its bone into a large kettle. Add 1 quart of water for each pound of meat and bone. Add the remaining ingredients.

Cover and simmer for 5 hours. Strain, then cool. The veal and chicken meat can be used for meatloaf, croquettes or any recipes using leftover meat, such as casseroles.


Zucchini Pineapple Cake

For Linda Magyar, Penn Hills. From Judy Bodnar, Apollo, Armstrong County.

  • Butter, for greasing baking dish
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour, more for flouring baking dish
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 1 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups chopped zucchini
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 cup drained crushed pineapple
  • 3/4 cup chopped nuts
  • 1/2 cup raisins, optional
  • Pineapple Frosting ( recipe follows )

Heat the oven to 325 degrees. Grease and flour a 13- by 9-inch baking pan.

In a large bowl, beat the eggs until fluffy. Mix in the sugar and oil. In a separate bowl, combine 3 cups flour with the cinnamon, baking powder and soda, and salt. Add to the egg mixture.

Add the zucchini and vanilla, then the pineapple, nuts and raisins, if using. Turn the batter into the prepared baking pan and bake for 1 hour. Remove from the oven and let cool completely before spreading with Pineapple Frosting.

Pineapple Frosting

  • 1 package (8 ounces) cream cheese, softened
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter or margarine, softened
  • 1 pound confectioners' sugar
  • 1/2 cup drained crushed pineapple

In a bowl, cream together the cheese, butter and confectioners' sugar. Stir in the pineapple.

Does anyone have these recipes?

  • I would like a good recipe for beef stroganoff.

    -- Marian Davis, Canonsburg, Washington County

  • I made cheesecake over the holiday, and it was a hit. Would readers share their favorite recipes?

    -- Sam Mason, Bethel Park

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