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A conversation in favor of flavor: please your palate with these scrumptious recipes for vegetarian burgers, yellow cake with fudge frosting and recipes using soda pop.

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We love hearing from our readers, and especially when it comes to conversations about food. A variety of recipe requests find their way to Recipe Box, and sometimes it's a challenge to determine which of the many wonderful responses to print.

Our decision might depend on the number of responses: If there are quite a few, it's time to print one or two. If there aren't many, we wait a while longer, hoping more readers respond. And if it's been several months or more since the request was printed, then it's definitely time to go into our archives and let you see a recipe on these pages.

It's not a science, to be sure. We attempt to provide a variety of recipes from our archives, and to be a sort of "recipe broker" among our readers, who collectively form a vast storehouse of culinary knowledge. Some of these recipes go back decades, so if you've ever wished for a recipe for that special coleslaw your Great Aunt Margaret made, or wondered how to create the world's best fried chicken, Recipe Box is the place to be.

Recipe Box depends heavily on our readers: Without you this column wouldn't be here. The requests are yours; the responses are yours. Eventually, all of your responses are sent to the person who made the original request. We always enjoy reading the notes that accompany readers' recipe responses, and we're sure the requester spends a lot of time perusing the packet, reading each recipe and note, chuckling over comments, nodding in agreement when one strikes a chord. Many of those who receive such a packet take the time to send thank-you notes, although many are unable to because of time, money or other limitations. When individual notes are impossible, the lucky recipient of a recipe packet might send a thank-you note to our offices, and they are heartfelt notes.

Some people have suggested that we make Recipe Box solely an interactive feature on our Web site. But we don't want to limit this resource to the Internet because some of our readers don't use computers that much, and they're often the ones with the best old-timey recipes.

So keep those recipes rolling in, folks. We read every letter and recipe we receive, wouldn't miss a single one, and positively salivate over many of them. What a wonderful group of great cooks we have out there!

SODA POP AS INGREDIENT?

SHARON SHELTON, of Red Oak, Iowa, wrote hoping someone had a recipe for Sloppy Joes using Dr. Pepper.

While it might sound like an unusual request, many of our readers knew exactly the recipe Sharon was looking for. Joyce Wheeler, of Forest, Virginia, and Jim and Marianne Bielmaier, of Tularosa, New Mexico, sent the same recipe from a Cooking with Dr. Pepper cookbook. The Belmaiers are originally from Iowa, having lived in Webster City for 32 years.
SPOONBURGERS

1 pound ground beef
1 clove garlic, minced
1 medium onion, chopped
1 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup Dr. Pepper
1 can (6 ounces) tomato paste
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
Few drops Tabasco or hot pepper sauce

   In large skillet, brown beef, breaking
into small pieces. Add garlic, onion and
salt; cook 5 minutes. Add remaining ingredients
and simmer about 20 minutes or
until thick. Spoon onto toasted hamburger
buns. Yields 8 servings.


PATRICIA YOST, of Raytown, Missouri, wrote to request a recipe for Cherry Coke salad. She says a can of soda pop was added to cherry pie filling.

Several versions came to us in response to Patricia's request. Some used cherry pie filling, others sour cherries. This one, from Joyce Conrad of Ashley, Indiana, uses canned Bing cherries.
CHERRY COKE SALAD

1 can (20 ounces) Bing cherries,
  drained, reserve juice
1 large box cherry gelatin
1 can (12 ounces) Coca-Cola
1 small can crushed pineapple,
  drained, reserve juice
1 large package cream cheese,
  room temperature
1 cup chopped pecans

   In saucepan, heat cherry juice; add
gelatin. When gelatin is dissolved,
remove from heat; add Coca-Cola and
pineapple juice. Refrigerate mixture.

   Chop cream cheese into small
pieces. When gelatin begins to set, add
cream cheese pieces and stir into gelatin.
Add cherries, crushed pineapple
and pecans. Refrigerate until set.


BEVERLY PAYNE of El Sobrante, California, sends a slightly different version.
CHERRY COKE SALAD

1 can (20 ounces) crushed pineapple
1/2 cup water
2 packages (3 ounces each)
  cherry gelatin
1 can (21 ounces) cherry pie filling
3/4 cup Coca-Cola

   Drain pineapple, reserving juice. Set
pineapple aside.

   In saucepan or microwaveable dish,
bring juice and water to a boil. Add
gelatin; stir until dissolved. Stir in pie
filling and soda.

   Pour into serving bowl. Refrigerate
until slightly thickened. Fold in pineapple.
Refrigerate until firm. Garnish
with whipped topping to serve. Yields
10 to 12 servings.


YUMMY CAKES, WORTHY FROSTING

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KAREN HIGGINBOTHAM, of Palm Bay, Florida, requests recipes for a moist butter cake and a fudge frosting.

PATTY BEACHARD, of Cornish, Maine, sends this cake recipe, saying it's her favorite yellow cake as it's a snap to make with easy cleanup--it's mixed all in one bowl.
YELLOW CAKE

1 1/2 cups sugar
1/2 cup solid shortening
1 teaspoon vanilla
3 eggs
1 cup milk
2 cups flour
3 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt

   Heat oven to 350[degrees]F. Grease 13-by-9-by-2-inch
baking dish, or two 9-inch
round pans; set aside.

   In large mixing bowl, combine all
ingredients, beating for 30 seconds to
combine, then beat on high for 3 minutes.
Bake for 40 to 45 minutes.


OLLIE MAE FOSTER, of Piggott, Arkansas, sends her favorite version of a yellow cake.
BUTTER CAKE

2/3 cup butter, softened
1 3/4 cups sugar
2 eggs
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
2 3/4 cups flour
2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 1/4 cups milk

   Heat oven to 350[degrees]F. In large bowl,
cream together butter, sugar, eggs and
vanilla; beat about 5 minutes on high
speed.

   Sift together flour, baking powder
and salt. Using mixer on low speed,
mix in flour mixture alternately with
milk to butter mixture.

Bake for 35 to 40 minutes for
round, layer pans, or 45 to 50 minutes
for rectangle baking dish.


And MARY ANN MILLER, of Boonville, Indiana, sends this recipe to frost those delicious cakes.
NO-COOK FUDGE FROSTING

9 cups sifted confectioner's sugar,
  about 2 pounds
1 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 cup butter, softened
2/3 cup boiling water
2 teaspoons vanilla

   In very large bowl, combine confectioner's
sugar and cocoa powder.
Add butter, boiling water and vanilla.
Beat with electric mixer on low speed
until combined. Beat for 1 minute on
medium speed. If necessary, cool for
20 minutes, or until mixture reaches
spreading consistency. This frosts tops
and sides of two 8- or 9-inch cake layers.
(Halve the recipe to frost a 13-by-9-by-2-inch
cake.)


BARBARA FORTENBERRY of Kentwood, Louisiana, sends this refreshingly easy recipe.
FUDGE ICING

1 stick butter
4 tablespoons cocoa
6 tablespoons buttermilk
1 box confectioner's sugar
Chopped nuts, optional

   In saucepan, combine butter, cocoa
and buttermilk. Bring to boil.

   In large bowl, place confectioner's
sugar. Pour hot mixture over sugar and
beat well. Add nuts, if desired. Pour
over hot cake in 13-by-9-by-2-inch pan.


VEGETARIAN TASTE

PEGGY MILES, of Vincenes, Indiana, is looking for a recipe for a sausage patty made from beans as well as a veggie burger.

Here's a spicy one from our archives:
BLACK BEAN CAKES

2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
1 2/3 cups chopped onions
1 jalapeno or Serrano pepper,
  seeded and minced
4 large cloves garlic, minced
2 teaspoons ground cumin
2 teaspoons ground coriander
1/2 teaspoon hot red pepper flakes
1 1/2 cups chopped carrots
4 cans (15 ounces each) black
  beans
Salt
Pepper
1/2 cup nonfat plain yogurt

   In heated, nonstick skillet, place 1
tablespoon oil. Add onions and saute
over medium heat until they begin to
brown. Add jalapeno, garlic, cumin,
coriander and red pepper flakes.
Cook for 30 seconds, stirring well.
Add carrots and black beans; stir
well. Season with salt and pepper.

   Puree mixture in food processor.
If too thick, add a little vegetable
stock or water. Form 8 to 10 cakes;
refrigerate.

   To serve cakes, heat nonstick skillet
and add 1 tablespoon oil. Brown
both sides of cakes until heated
through. Serve with yogurt.


An Internet search yielded this recipe, found at www.Cyber-Kitchen.com.
BEAN SAUSAGE

2 cups cooked beans (1 cup dry)
1 1/2 cups bread crumbs
2 eggs
1/2 cup milk
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon pepper
1 1/2 teaspoons powdered sage
Small amount of flour
2 tablespoons oil

   In large bowl, mash beans; stir in
bread crumbs. In separate bowl, mix
together eggs and milk and beat.
Add to bean mixture. Add salt, pepper
and sage; mix well. Form patties
and dredge them in a little flour to
help them brown.

   Add oil to skillet. Fry patties over
medium heat until both sides are
brown.


Let us help

* SYLVIA BRUCE, of Billings, Montana, hopes someone has a recipe for rum cake. The one she's thinking of is very moist, and similar to a dark chocolate cake. She's also interested in finding a recipe for Spanish rice made with hamburger and tomatoes.

* MARY LOU HILL, of Jefferson, Oregon, is looking for a recipe for breaded tomatoes or scalloped tomatoes. Her mother's recipe was never written down.

* MURIEL KROENING, of Berlin, Wisconsin, asks if anyone has instructions for canning beef or pork, and she'd also like the recipe for green tomato pie. -Mmmmm ... so would the editors!

* JOSETTE GIACOBBI, of Columbia, South Carolina, is searching for a recipe for roasted red pepper spread that was in an edition of the Ball Blue Book.

* EUNICE SKELTON GRISSEN, of Beverly Hills, Florida, requests directions to make lye soap.

If you've been looking for a long lost recipe, or can provide one, please email us at RecipeBox@Grit.com or write to Recipe Box, c/o GRIT, 1503 S.W. 42nd St., Topeka, KS 66609. Please include your name, address and daytime phone.

Recipes cannot be returned as they are eventually sent to the person requesting the recipe. Recipe requests and responses will be printed at our discretion and as space allows.
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Author:Teller, Jean
Publication:Grit
Article Type:Column
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Mar 1, 2007
Words:1720
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