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WEDNESDAY, JULY 18, 2007
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Kim Gann, education director for Junior Achievement, made her favorite recipe from the group's new cookbook, Punch Bowl Cake, to serve at a recent board meeting.
Daily photo by Gary Lloyd
Kim Gann, education director for Junior Achievement, made her favorite recipe from the group's new cookbook, Punch Bowl Cake, to serve at a recent board meeting.

Cooking for a cause
Junior Achievement launches cookbook to benefit student program

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

Junior Achievement is cooking up a way for more students to learn about the economics of life.

Food plays a big part in life, so the board and staff of Junior Achievement of North Central Alabama developed a fundraiser cookbook.

"What's Cookin' " includes recipes for tempting dishes such as Cream Cheese Blackberry Cobbler, Blender Chocolate Pie, Apricot Nectar Cake, Hot Crab Dip, German Pork Chop Bake, and Carrot and Mint Soup.

Hungry yet?

The JA staff was by the time the cookbook arrived, so they whipped up some dishes to serve at their July 10 board meeting.

The book includes recipes from staff, board members and spouses, and teachers at the 17 schools where 3,800 students in Decatur City, Morgan County and Hartselle systems are learning about free enterprise, personal finance and the economics of staying in school.

Last year 287 juniors and seniors learned about the workplace through job shadowing arranged by JA, too.

Junior Achievement President Paula Rigler of Decatur said four new schools want to be added.

"Supply and demand are high, and we're trying to build a financial base so we can move into new schools," Rigler said.

The cookbook can help, and so can sponsorships by industries.

"When I started in 2003, we were only reaching 1,600 students in five schools," Rigler said.

Now JA also will be partnering, through Calhoun Community College, with WIRED, a six-year effort to reach into Limestone County and other parts
of North Alabama and track student progress
.

For the board tasting, Rigler prepared a Chicken Salad recipe that was submitted by Anita Halbrooks and a new take on Broccoli Salad by Betty Lawrence. Both women are teachers at F.E. Burleson Elementary School in Hartselle, one of the schools where the Junior Achievement program is in place.

Rigler also pulled out for the cookbook a family recipe from Sicily for mushroom salad and one for her favorite holiday pumpkin bread, plus Tex-Mex Turkey Bake, Mexican Casserole and Broccoli Nut Casserole.

Easy-to-make appetizers

And don’t miss her recipe for Crab Appetizers.

“They are wonderful, and I’ve made them hundreds of times. I got the recipe from a lady in Maryland where they have the blue crabs,” she said.

“They’re easy to make. Then you just put them in the freezer, and pull them out when company arrives and stick them under the broiler for a minute before serving. It’s hard to keep them on the serving plate,” said Rigler.

Kim Gann, education director for Junior Achievement, made her favorite, Punch Bowl Cake, to serve at the board meeting in a glass punch bowl.

“I love the fruit in it — it’s pretty and a fun summer cake to make,” said Gann, who often adds a layer of blueberries and slices more strawberries on top for events around the Fourth of July. She used cherries on top for the board version.

“An aunt, Brenda Dillard of Decatur, gave me this recipe. She makes this dessert around Christmas and uses red and green cherries on top. And she doesn’t use the bananas listed, because she doesn’t like them.

“That’s the great part about this recipe — you can substitute a variety of things,” said Gann.

Other recipes Gann put in the cookbook include the devilishly chocolate “Ho Ho Cake” recipe she got from aunt Anita Miller in Muscle Shoals and Texas Caviar from another aunt, Donna Rhodes of Haleyville.

Vee Harness, the new chairwoman of the Junior Achievement board who is from Wales, cooked the Shepherd’s Pie Casserole that was submitted for the cookbook by Annette Layton, wife of board member Lynn Layton. Tang Pie is another Layton recipe in the book.

On a hot summer day, the cold cucumber soup recipe that Harness turned in for the cookbook might cool you off.

JA board member and Treasurer Tricia Pruitt sent in her recipes for Cream Cheese Monkey Bread, Yeast Biscuits, several salads, snacks and more.

“She’s a fabulous cook, but I don’t know how she finds the time,” Gann said of the regional vice president for the Better Business Bureau.

Board member Dena Stephenson of Calhoun Community College turned in recipes for tasty appetizers such as Creamy Baked Crab Dip and Mexican Roll-ups.

You can get copies of the 60-page cookbook ($10 for pickup, $11 by mail) from the JA office, 2528 Spring Ave. S.W., Decatur, AL 35601, phone 353-3573. Copies also are available at Westside Café; other locations will be added, so call for information, or e-mail Rigler at tcrja2528@charter.net.

Here are a few of the recipes:

Punch Bowl Cake

1 box yellow cake mix with pudding
2 large boxes of vanilla pudding
5 ripe bananas
1 can crushed pineapple
1 box frozen strawberries
1 large container Cool Whip
1 can coconut
1 bag pecans
1 large punch bowl

Bake two cake layers from mix as directed on box and let cool. Mix vanilla pudding and put in refrigerator to cool.

Punch holes in cake layers. Place strawberries in bottom of punch bowl; put one layer of cake on top of strawberries.

Slice 21/2 bananas on top of layer and then pour half of the pudding mix on top of that.

Put the other layer of cake on top. Pour crushed pineapple and juice over it. Then slice 21/2 more bananas on top of that. Pour the rest of pudding on top of that.

Spoon large container of Cool Whip on top of that and sprinkle with coconut and pecans.

Serve in a large glass punch bowl or trifle bowl.

Mexican Casserole

11/2 pounds browned ground beef
1 can cream of chicken soup
1 can cream of mushroom soup
1 10-ounce mild or hot enchilada sauce
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 cup milk
1 4-ounce can chopped green chilies
1 8-ounce bag taco-flavored Doritos
Grated Cheddar cheese

Spread chips in bottom of 9x13-inch pan. Spread remaining ingredients that have been mixed together (except for cheese) over chips. Top with grated cheese and bake for 30 minutes in a 350-degree oven. Serves 6 to 8.

Tang Pie

1 can Eagle Brand condensed milk
6 tablespoons Tang
4 ounces sour cream
4 to 6 ounces Cool Whip
1 butter or graham cracker pie crust

Mix first three ingredients together and pour mixture into pie crust. Top with Cool Whip. Delicious if frozen.

Iced Cucumber Soup

1 large cucumber, unpeeled
10 ounces natural yogurt
1/2 small green pepper, finely chopped
1 garlic clove, crushed
2 tablespoons wine vinegar
1 tablespoon chopped green onions
1/2 pint milk, chilled

Grate cucumber on a medium grater. Transfer into a bowl. Stir in the yogurt, garlic, green pepper and vinegar. Season with salt and pepper. Add milk and stir. Chill well before serving.

Chicken Salad

JA President Paula Rigler prepared this Chicken Salad, a recipe submitted by F.E. Burleson Elementary School teacher Anita Halbrooks.
Daily photo by Gary Lloyd
JA President Paula Rigler prepared this Chicken Salad, a recipe submitted by F.E. Burleson Elementary School teacher Anita Halbrooks.
4 cooked and shredded chicken breasts
1 large red apple, chopped
1 bunch red seedless grapes
1 cup chopped nuts
Mayonnaise
Pepper to taste

Mix all ingredients together until well coated. Chill.

Broccoli Salad

Betty Lawrence submitted this recipe for Broccoli Salad. She is a teacher at F.E. Burleson Elementary School, one of the schools where the Junior Achievement program is in place.
Daily photo by Gary Lloyd
Betty Lawrence submitted this recipe for Broccoli Salad. She is a teacher at F.E. Burleson Elementary School, one of the schools where the Junior Achievement program is in place.
Fresh broccoli (large head)
1 onion, peeled and chopped
3 hard-boiled eggs, shelled and chopped
Small jar green stuffed olives, sliced
Mayonnaise

Break broccoli flowerettes into small pieces. Chop stalk into small pieces. Add onions, eggs and olives. Add enough mayonnaise to coat mixture to desired consistency. Chill overnight.

Shepherd’s Pie Casserole

2 pounds ground beef
1 chopped onion
1/2 cup plain flour
1 jar sliced mushrooms
Kitchen Bouquet flavoring
Mashed potatoes
Grated Cheddar cheese
Salt and pepper
Milk

Cook ground beef; season with salt and pepper. Add the onion and cook it. Sprinkle in flour and cook for 5 minutes. Add milk to make gravy. Add a little Kitchen Bouquet flavoring. Add the mushrooms.

Place in a 9x13-inch glass baking dish. Cover with mashed potatoes. Spread cheese on top. Bake at 350 degrees for about 45 minutes.

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