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WEDNESDAY, DECEMBER 13, 2006
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Annette Sanderson's cookbook, 'Good Taste,' provided both the program and refreshments at a meeting of Hartselle's Current Review Club. Assisting with the food are, from left, Syble Murphy, Annette Sanderson, Betty Mitchell Sims and Caryl Littrell. Slices of orange and grapefruit accent Citrus-Shrimp Salad, foreground, while Cheese Rolls are secured with toothpicks before baking, background.
Daily photo by Gary Cosby Jr.
Annette Sanderson's cookbook, "Good Taste," provided both the program and refreshments at a meeting of Hartselle's Current Review Club. Assisting with the food are, from left, Syble Murphy, Annette Sanderson, Betty Mitchell Sims and Caryl Littrell. Slices of orange and grapefruit accent Citrus-Shrimp Salad, foreground, while Cheese Rolls are secured with toothpicks before baking, background.

'Good Taste'
Moulton woman's cookbook
embraces all things Southern

By Patrice Stewart
pstewart@decaturdaily.com· 340-2446

There's no better time than the Christmas season to pull out a cookbook that's full of Southern recipes and traditions.

Annette Sanderson of Moulton makes this easier with her cookbook, "Good Taste." She just received copies of the second edition of this 350-page collection of 400 tested dishes in time for holiday giving.

And best of all, you can buy a copy for yourself and several for friends and know that you also are benefiting Sanderson's favorite charity, Foundation Fighting Blindness. Her first edition in 2000 aided that foundation, too, but with this edition she added sponsors — about 92 corporate and individual friends who are listed in the book and helped pay for printing — so that even more money from the $21.95 book could go to research on eye diseases such as macular degeneration and retinitis pigmentosa.

Chocolate Chews, including pecans, marshmallows and candied cherries, make the perfect bite-sized dessert.
Daily photo by Gary Cosby Jr.
Chocolate Chews, including pecans, marshmallows and candied cherries, make the perfect bite-sized dessert.
With the help of some friends, she presented a program featuring her cookbook at a gathering of the Hartselle Current Review Club, with a tasting of recipes such as Citrus-Shrimp Salad, Vidalia Onion Soufflé, Apricot Pecan Tea Sandwiches, Whitlock Wedges, Cheese Rolls, Chocolate Chews and Christmas Cookies with Royal Icing. The Grape Juice Punch is a good party punch that is not too sweet, she said, while the other goodies are suitable for parties and all types of occasions.

Some of Sanderson's other favorites in the book are her mother's recipe for Candied Sweet Potatoes, her mother-in-law's European Cake with Ambrosia Icing, a no-flour Chocolate Torte with Strawberry Filling, and a Spinach Dill Salad made with strawberries and bananas.

This cookbook "embraces all things Southern," said Sanderson, "and many recipes are from our grandmothers' tables or friends who shared a cherished recipe for the first time."

It took Sanderson three years to complete this hard-cover, spiral bound cookbook, which is larger than most and includes plenty of cooking tips and charts. The cover design of pears is by artist Jane McCullough of Moulton, with local scenes in watercolor illustrations on section dividers by son Bart Sanderson of Seattle.

Menu suggestions, such as a Holiday Brunch, Southern Afternoon Tea and Fish Fry Down on the Farm, were included, with the help of Caryl Littrell, Syble Murphy and Betty Mitchell Sims of Hartselle. "I tried to not just fill this book with recipes but to find the best recipe" for pies and other items, said Sanderson, who tested the recipes that weren't her own.

"I started with my own favorites and was going to do a larger search, but before I knew it, I had more recipes than I could use," she said. "Those without a name listed are mine. If I knew someone who did something special, I would call and ask if I could put that in the cookbook." She asked others for their favorite recipes, and the number quickly grew as she worked to aid her favorite cause.

"The Foundation Fighting Blindness was organized in 1971 and had a name change in 1994, but it's not very well known," she said. "Because of that, the money is not there for eye disease research like it is for cancer and heart and other diseases, so my aim is to make people more aware of the organization and the need for more research." The foundation has been ranked as one of the 100 best charities by Worth magazine, Sanderson noted.

She published "Good Taste" with the same mission that FFB lists on its Web site, www.fightblindness.org: to drive the research that will provide preventions, treatments and cures" for the more than 9 million affected by these diseases of the eye.

"I want to help find a cure, and the cookbook will continue to give so that others may see," she said. Copies are available in Decatur at Jimmy Smith Jewelers, The Paper Chase and Cricket by the Creek (and later should be available at Books-a-Million); in Hartselle at Fowler Pharmacy; and in Moulton at The Gift Room, Memories, Wynken, Blynken & Nod, Scott's Guitars, and Ott's IGA, which Sanderson and her husband own.

The cookbook also can be ordered from Sanderson by phone, (256) 974-0311, or e-mail, anniels@bellsouth.net. Copies are $21.95, and Alabama sales tax of $1.98 and postage and handling of $3.05 can be added and mailed to Good Taste, 107 Woodland Terrace, Moulton, AL 35650.

Here are some recipes from "Good Taste":

Citrus-Shrimp Salad

3 quarts water

4 pounds unpeeled, medium-size fresh shrimp

1/4 cup Italian salad dressing

3 tablespoons finely chopped shallots

2 tablespoons red wine vinegar

2 tablespoons plain yogurt

2 tablespoons orange juice

1½ tablespoons Dijon mustard

1 tablespoon honey

1/8 teaspoon pepper

4 cups coarsely chopped hearts of romaine lettuce

2 cups pink grapefruit sections

2 cups orange sections

1/4 cup chopped fresh chives

In pot, bring water to a boil; add shrimp. Cook shrimp 3 to 5 minutes. Drain and rinse with cold water. Peel and devein shrimp; chill.

In bowl, combine salad dressing, shallots, vinegar, yogurt, orange juice, mustard, honey and pepper in a large bowl and stir well. Add shrimp and stir.

Line a large platter with chopped lettuce. Spoon shrimp mixture into center of platter; arrange grapefruit and orange sections around salad. Sprinkle with chives.

Note: Can be done 1 to 2 days ahead. Cook, peel and chill shrimp. Peel and section oranges and grapefruit; make dressing. Store in separate containers and assemble 1 to 2 hours before serving. Cover with plastic and chill. Serves 8 to 10.

Vidalia Onion Souffle

3 to 4 cups finely chopped Vidalia onions

1 tablespoon butter

3 8-ounce packages cream cheese (room temperature)

2 cups grated Parmesan cheese

1/2 cup mayonnaise

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Saute onions in butter. Mix all ingredients in a large mixing bowl. Bake in a 9x13x2-inch baking dish for 15 minutes. Jumbo corn chips are great for dipping this.

Apricot Pecan Tea Sandwich Spread

2 8-ounce packages cream cheese, room temperature

16 ounces dried apricots

1 cup chopped pecans

1/2 cup honey (Orange Blossom preferred)

Wheat bread

Soak apricots in 2 cups boiling water for 10 minutes; drain and chop.

In bowl, mix ingredients well and spread on wheat bread from which crust has been removed. Makes 4 cups spread.

Whitlock Wedges

Cranberry Mayonnaise:

1 cup mayonnaise

1/4 cup whole cranberry sauce

Wedges:

1 16-ounce loaf wheat or pumpernickel bread, crust removed

16 ounces shaved turkey

Broccoli sprouts or alfalfa sprouts

To make Cranberry Mayonnaise:

Mix the mayonnaise and cranberry sauce in a bowl. Store, covered, in the refrigerator until serving time.

To make wedges:

Spread one side of each slice of bread with Cranberry Mayonnaise. Layer half the slices with turkey and broccoli sprouts. Top with the remaining bread slices. Cut each sandwich into wedges. Makes 20 wedges.

Cheese Rolls

16 ounces Cheddar cheese, shredded

1/3 cup mayonnaise

2 tablespoons milk

1 tablespoon dried parsley

3 green onions, finely chopped (with green tops)

2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce

1/2 teaspoon Tabasco

1/4 teaspoon onion powder

1/2 teaspoon seasoned salt

1/2 teaspoon black pepper

1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper

1 loaf sliced white bread, crusts removed

1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. In a bowl, combine all ingredients except bread and melted butter. For each roll, flatten one slice of bread with a rolling pin and spread with cheese mixture. Roll bread diagonally and secure with a toothpick. Place rolls on cookie sheet and brush with melted butter. Bake until cheese is melted and bread is golden brown, 10 to 12 minutes. Makes 24 rolls.

Grape Juie Punch

4 25-ounce bottles white grape juice

3 33-ounce bottles ginger ale

1 ice ring (recipe follows)

Chill juice and ginger ale in bottles. Place ice ring in punch bowl andpour chilled grape uice and ginger ale into bowl.

Makes 1½ gallons punch.

Fruited Ice Ring

Thin lemon slices

Thin orange slices

Thin lime slices

Select a large gelatin mold. Pour enough water into the mold to cover the bottom. Cut citrus slices and arrange a layer of fruit in mold. Freeze until firm. Continue to add thin layers of water and fruit in mold, freezing each layer before adding the next.

Store in freezer until needed. Ice ring can be prepared several days in advance. When ready to use, dip the bottom of the mold in warm water and invert ice ring into the punch bowl. Makes 1 ice ring.

Chocolate Chews

16 squares (16 ounces) semi-sweet chocolate

21 large marshmallows, cut into halves

1/2 cup walnuts or pecans, chopped

8 red candied cherries, cut into halves

Line an 8x8-inch baking pan with foil; grease foil. In top of double boiler placed over simmering water, melt chocolate, stirring occasionally.

Scatter marshmallows in bottom of prepared pan, then nuts and cherries. Pour melted chocolate on top, spreading evenly. Refrigerate until firm, about one hour. Cut into 1-inch squares. Makes 64 squares.

Christmas Cookies
with Royal Icing

2 cups sifted all-purpose flour

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature

1 cup sugar

1 large egg

1 teaspoon vanilla extract or 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice and zest of 1 lemon

Royal Icing (recipe follows)

In a large bowl, sift together flour, salt and baking powder. Set aside.

In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream together butter and sugar until fluffy. Beat in egg. Add flour mixture and mix on low speed until thoroughly combined. Stir in vanilla or lemon juice and zest. Do not roll dough into a ball. Instead, roll and pat into a flat disc, wrap in plastic and chill for 30 minutes to an hour.

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. On a well-floured board, roll out dough to 1/8-inch. Cut into desired shapes. Place on ungreased baking sheet and chill until firm, about 15 minutes. Bake for 8 to 10 minutes, or until edges start to brown lightly. Cool on wire racks.

Makes about 4 dozen 3-inch cookies.

Royal Icing:

2 large egg whites

3½ cups sifted confectioners' sugar

Juice of 1 lemon

2 drops glycerin, optional

Food coloring, optional

In mixer bowl, beat egg whites until stiff but not dry. Add sugar, lemon juice and glycerin. Beat 1 minute. If icing is too thick, add water; if too thin, add sugar.

Divide icing into smaller bowls. Tint with small amounts of paste or liquid food coloring; mix well for an even color. Makes about 2 cups icing.

Note: Glycerin is available in pharmacies and baking-supply stores. It keeps the icing soft a little longer and adds a slight sparkle. If using food coloring, use a tothpick and add to icing one dab at a time.

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