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Thanks for making 1996 so much fun. (I must have been having fun, because the year flew by!) May 1997 be filled with happiness for you and yours ... not to mention great new recipes on the Open Line.


1 small can evaporated milk
1½ lbs. ground beef
½ cup oatmeal or crushed crackers
1 egg
½ cup chopped onion
1 tbsp. prepared mustard
1½ tsp. salt
1/8 tsp. pepper
2 cups grated cheese

Combine together. Place open hamburger buns on a cookie sheet. Spread 2-3 tablespoons of mixture onto each bun. Bake 350 degrees 25-35 minutes. If desired, top with cheese slices during the last five minutes of baking time.


2 cans artichoke hearts drained
2 cups mayonnaise
2 cups grated Parmesan cheese

Finely chop the artichoke hearts. Combine ingredients and place in a 1½ quart casserole. Bake 350 degrees for 20 minutes. Stir in 1 jar of chunky salsa. Return to oven for ten minutes.


2 envelopes unflavored gelatin
½ cup unsweetened applesauce
¾ cup unsweetened applesauce
2 cups sugar
dash salt
1 tsp. vanilla
2 tbsp. chopped nuts (optional)
2 tbsp. butter

Stir the gelatin and ½ cup of applesauce together. Set aside. Combine the ¾ cup applesauce, sugar and salt. Bring to a boil. Add gelatin mixture and boil 15 minutes, stirring constantly. Remove from heat and stir in vanilla, nuts and butter. Pour into a buttered 5" x 9" pan. Chill overnight. Cut into cubes with a hot knife, Roll in powdered sugar. Let stand until outside has dried.


I hope you receive a sweet treat in the month of February. If not, perhaps you will find a recipe that will give you a lift.

The 1996 Best of the Open Line Indexes are ready. To receive your copy, just mail a stamped, self-addressed envelope and a check for $1.00 to: Open Line Index, P.O. Box 2147. Cedar Rapids, IA 52406. All checks must be separate from renewals.

Our thanks to everyone sending in gift subscriptions and I hope your holidays were healthy and memorable.

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Little noticed when first received in 1991. Tiger Butter was one of our most popular Holiday recipes in 1996.


Microwave 1 lb. almond bark and one 12 oz. jar peanut butter till melted. Mix well. Spread on wax paper lined jelly roll pan. Melt 1 lb. semi sweet chocolate chips. Pour over bark. Swirl with knife. Chill till firm and cut in pieces.


2 (8 oz.) packages cream cheese
26 packets Equal (or any artificial sweetener to equal ½ cup sugar)
1 tsp. vanilla
2 (1 oz.) squares unsweetened chocolate
½ cup pecans

Beat the cream cheese and Equal together until smooth. Add the vanilla. Melt the chocolate and allow to cool. Beat cooled chocolate into the cream cheese. Stir in pecans. Spread into an 8" x 8" dish. Keep refrigerated.


1 package chocolate cake mix
8 oz. sour cream
1/3 cup whiskey or water
3 eggs
2 cups chopped pecans
6 oz. semi sweet chocolate chips
1 cup maraschino cherries
8 oz. candied pineapple
1 cup golden raisins

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour a 12 inch fluted tube pan. Halve the cherries and cut the pineapple into half inch pieces. Combine the first four ingredients. Blend at low speed until moist. Blend at high speed for 2 minutes. Stir in remaining ingredients. Pour into pan. Bake 50-60 minutes until cake springs back. Cool 20 minutes before removing from pan. Cool completely.

Variations: Use a spice cake with butterscotch chips; or chocolate cake with peanut butter chips; or white cake with chocolate chips.


2 cups dried apricots
1 cup warm water
2 cups sugar
1 tbsp. cornstarch
1/8 tsp. salt
2 tbsp. unflavored gelatin
½ cup cold water
½-2/3 cup chopped or slivered almonds or walnuts
1/3 cup powdered sugar

Soak the apricots in the warm water for one hour. Cook slowly until tender, stirring to avoid scorching. Run through a food mill, sieve or food processor. Cook until very thick, stirring frequently. Combine sugar, cornstarch and salt. Add to apricots. Cook until very thick, stirring constantly. Dissolve gelatin in cold water. Add to saucepan and stir until well dissolved. Cook until very thick. Remove from heat and add nuts. Turn into a shallow 9" x 7" glass dish that has been rinsed in cold water. Let stand 24 hours. Cut into rectangular pieces and roll in powdered sugar. Let stand on a rack until outside is dried.


1 loaf French bread (18 inches long)
1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 lb. extra lean ground beef
¼ cup minced onion
½ tsp. salt
½ tsp. dried oregano
dash of pepper
3 sliced tomatoes
6 slices mozzarella cheese

Heat broiler. Halve loaf of bread lengthwise. Combine meat, Parmesan cheese, onion, salt, oregano, pepper, and COOKIES BAR-B-Q SAUCE. Spread evenly over both sides of loaf. Broil 5 inches from heat for about 12 minutes or until meat is done. Top with tomato and cheese slices. Broil 1 to 2 minutes or until cheese melts.

Enjoy COOKIES Regular or Western Style

For more recipes send self addressed stamped envelope to:
Cookies Food Products 104 N. Cornfield Rd.
Wall Lake, Iowa 51466

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3 beaten eggs
1 (16 oz.) can pumpkin
1 cup sugar
12 oz. evaporated milk
1 tsp. pumpkin pie spice
1 yellow cake mix
1 cup chopped nuts
¾ cup melted margarine

Combine and spread into a greased 9" x 13" dish. Sprinkle with one yellow cake mix. Top with 1 cup of chopped nuts. Drizzle ¾ cup melted margarine over nuts. Bake 350 degrees 40-45 minutes until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool.


1 (1 oz.) package Ranch Party Dip
1 pint sour cream
1 cup shredded Cheddar cheese
¼ cup bacon bits
Ritz Crackers, Triscuit Wafers, or Wheat Thins Snack Crackers

In bowl, combine dip mix, sour cream, cheese and bacon bits. Chill until serving time. Serve with crackers.


Wash all eggs to be dyed in a mild detergent solution. (This should be done no matter what method of dyeing you plan to use.) This removes the oil coating so the color will adhere more evenly.

For food color dyeing, soak the eggs 1 or 2 minutes before putting them in full strength food coloring. Let them set until they reach the desired color.

Or use colors from nature. Simmer eggs in water and cover for 20 minutes with a teaspoon of vinegar and one of the following:

Fresh oregano or mint       beige
Strong coffee                   brown
Red cabbage leaves          blue
Walnut shells                   buff
Onion skins                     orange
Carrot tops                      greenish
Orange peels                   yellow
Spinach                          grayish gold/pink


1 cup margarine
2 cups sugar
4 eggs
6 tbsp. cocoa
1 cup flour
2 tsp. vanilla
½ tsp. salt
7 oz. marshmallow cream
1 cup peanut butter
2 cups chocolate chips
3 cups Rice Krispies

Combine the first seven ingredients. Spread into a 9" x 13" dish. Bake 350 degrees for 25 minutes. Cool and spread marshmallow cream over top. Melt together remaining ingredients and pour over top.


2 pounds chicken wings
1 egg
1 cup vegetable oil
2 cups cider vinegar
1 tsp. salt
½ tsp. pepper
Cayenne pepper to taste
1/8 tsp. garlic powder
1/8 tsp. nutmeg
1/8 tsp. celery salt
Dash coriander and ground cloves
Celery sticks
Blue cheese dipping sauce (See below)

Preheat oven to 500 degrees. Beat egg, Add oil and beat again. Add vinegar. salt, pepper, cayenne, garlic powder, nutmeg, celery salt, coriander and cloves. Stir well. Dip wings into sauce and place in shallow roasting pan.

Bake about 10 minutes at 500 degrees, turning and basting with sauce several times until wings reach desired crispness. Remove from oven, drain and place on warm platter garnished with celery sticks. Serve with Blue Cheese Dipping Sauce.


Combine 2 tablespoons chopped onion, 1 crushed garlic clove, ¼ cup chopped fresh parsley, 1 cup mayonnaise, ½ cup sour cream, 1 tablespoon lemon juice, 1 tablespoon vinegar and ¼ cup crumbled blue cheese. Stir and add salt, pepper, and cayenne to taste. Cover and chill.

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Just before Thanksgiving, Rich Balvanz shared this family favorite with the Open
Line ...


¾ cup water
2 cups diagonally sliced carrots
8 ozs. fresh pea pods
3 tbsp. butter or margarine
½ tsp. cornstarch
2 tbsp. honey

Bring water to boil in 2 quart saucepan. Add carrots. Cover and cook over medium heat until carrots are crisp tender (10-12 minutes). Add pea pods. Continue cooking until pods are crisp tender (1-2 minutes). Drain and set aside. Melt butter and stir in cornstarch. Add vegetables and honey. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until heated through (2-3 minutes). Note: 2 packages frozen pea pods can be substituted for fresh.


1 lb. sausage
1 lb. bacon
6 slices Texas toast
7 eggs
2 cups milk

Fry, drain, cool and crumble the sausage and bacon. Butter one side of the bread slices. Place buttered side down in a 9" x 13" dish. Beat the eggs and milk. Season with salt and pepper. Pour over toast. Sprinkle with meat and top with shredded cheese. Chill. Bake 350 degrees 25-30 minutes.


1 tbsp. yeast
½ cup water
2½ cups flour
2 tbsp. sugar
1 tbsp. baking powder
½ tsp. salt
¾ cup margarine
½ cup milk
¼ cup shredded cheddar cheese

Dissolve yeast in water and set aside. Mix dry ingredients and cut in margarine. Add yeast and milk. Dough will be soft, so add just enough flour to work with. Cut out biscuits and bake 10-12 minutes at 450 degrees.


1 lb. cranberries
2 cups sugar
1 cup brandy or Grand Marnier
½ cup orange peel

Line a 9" x 13" pan with foil. Add ingredients and seal with foil. Bake 350 degrees for 1 hour.


4 pound beef tip or top round roast
Seasoning salt and pepper
Au Jus (See below)

Place roast on rack in shallow roasting pan. Season with salt and pepper. Insert meat thermometer into center of thickest muscle, not resting in fat. Do not add water. Do not cover. Roast in 325 degree oven for 20 to 25 minutes per pound or until meat thermometer reads 135 degrees to 140 degrees. Remove roast, tent with foil and let stand 15 minutes in warm place. Prepare Au Jus. Slice roast, across the grain, into thin slices. Place slices in serving dish and cover with hot Au Jus. Keep warm (at least 140 degrees) in chafing dish or slow cooker for serving. Serve as sliced beef or on a bun with Au Jus as a French Dip.

Au Jus

2 cups beef broth or bouillon
1/3 cup brown sugar
¼ tsp. Lawry's seasoning salt
½ tsp. Liquid Smoke
¼ cup reduced sodium soy sauce
1 can (4 ounces) sliced mushrooms and juice

Combine all ingredients and heat to boiling. Stir until sugar dissolves.


1 lb. ground pork
2 tbsp. basil leaves
2 cloves minced garlic
2 tbsp. paprika
2 tsp. crushed dried thyme
2 dried, crushed red peppers
2 tsp. crushed fennel seed
1 tsp. pepper
½ tsp. cayenne pepper

Combine and cook until done.

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What to do with leftover turkey during the holidays? The Iowa Turkey Federation has a few ideas.


1 cup each chopped onion and red pepper
1 tsp. minced garlic
2 tsp. olive oil, divided
¼ pound mushrooms, thinly sliced
1 medium red skinned potato, cooked and cut into ½ inch cubes
½ tsp. each dried rosemary and pepper
¼ tsp. salt
1 cup cooked asparagus, cut into small pieces
2 cups shredded cooked turkey
4 beaten eggs
¼ cup Parmesan cheese

In a 10 inch non stick oven proof skillet over medium high heat, sauté onion, red pepper and garlic in 1 teaspoon olive oil 3 to 4 minutes or until onions are translucent. Add mushrooms and potato, sauté 1 to 3 minutes or until mixture is heated throughout. Stir in rosemary, pepper and salt. In medium bowl, combine mixture with asparagus, turkey and egg; set aside.

In skillet over medium high heat, add remaining olive oil. Pour turkey and vegetable mixture into pan. Reduce heat to medium low and cook 10 to 15 minutes or until mixture is set on bottom and lightly browned. Sprinkle Parmesan cheese over top and broil 3 to 4 minutes or until cheese is lightly browned.


1 large cucumber
1 cup flaked tuna
2 tbsp. mayonnaise
2 grated onions
½ tsp. lemon juice
dash Worcestershire sauce
dash salt
dash paprika

Pare and trim the ends of the cucumber. Remove center using a zucchini corer. Combine remaining ingredients. Fill cucumber tightly with stuffing. Chill thoroughly. To serve, cut cucumber crosswise into half inch slices.


1 cup green pepper, cut into ¼ inch cubes
1¼ cups coarsely chopped onion
2 minced garlic cloves
3 tbsp. oil
2 cans (15½ ounces) kidney beans, drained
1 can (28 ounces) stewed tomatoes, crushed
1 cup red wine
3 cups cooked turkey, cut into ½ inch cubes
1 tbsp. chili powder
1 tbsp. coarsely chopped fresh cilantro
1 tsp. crushed red pepper
½ tsp. salt

In a 3 quart saucepan over medium high heat, sauté green pepper, onion and garlic in oil five minutes or until vegetables are tender crisp.

Add beans, tomatoes, wine, turkey, chili powder, cilantro, red pepper and salt. Increase heat and bring mixture to boil. Reduce heat and simmer, uncovered, 25 minutes. To serve, ladle into bowls and garnish with onion or fresh cilantro, if desired.


1 (15½ oz.) can salmon
3 tbsp. butter
2 chicken bouillon cubes
1 (10 oz.) package frozen chopped broccoli
3 tbsp. flour
½ tsp. salt
2/3 cup chopped onion
2 cups half and half
¼ tsp. thyme
3 cups milk
½ tsp. cayenne pepper

Drain salmon and save liquid. Break salmon into crumbs. Cook broccoli as directed. Drain and set aside. Sauté onion in butter. Blend in flour. Add salmon liquid, half and half and milk. Stir until thick. Add bouillon. Add salmon, broccoli, and seasonings. Heat slowly.


Gently stir flour to loosen and break up any clumps. Spoon flour (don't pack it down) until it's slightly above rim of measuring cup. Level off excess flour with the edge of metal spatula (or blunt side of knife blade.)

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2 pints cherry tomatoes
1 (8 oz.) package softened cream cheese
6 bacon strips
¼ cup minced green onion
¼ cup minced fresh parsley
¼ tsp. Worcestershire sauce

Cook and crumble bacon. Cut a thin slice off top of each tomato. Scoop out seeds and drain upside down. Combine remaining ingredients and spoon into tomatoes. Chill.


1 carton (8 oz.) plain yogurt
1/3 cup crumbled Blue Cheese
1 tsp. sugar
½ tsp. salt
½ tsp. celery seed
¼ tsp. dried basil

3 cups torn lettuce
1 cup torn spinach
½ cup sliced fresh mushrooms
½ cup red onion rings

For dressing, combine ingredients in small bowl. Refrigerate, covered. 1½ hours to allow flavors to blend. For salad, toss ingredients in bowl; cover and refrigerate. To serve, pour dressing over greens and toss. NOTE: For a main dish salad, add strips of cooked beef, chicken or turkey.


½ cup diced carrots
½ cup diced celery
½ cup chopped onion
1 clove garlic
¼ cup (½ stick) butter
3 tbsp. flour
½ tsp. salt
½ tsp. paprika
dash of pepper
2 cups chicken stock
2 cups milk
2 cups flat beer
3 cups (12 ounces) shredded Cheddar cheese

In large saucepan, cook vegetables in butter until tender. Stir in flour and seasonings. Gradually add chicken stock. Stir until mixture begins to thicken. Add milk and beer. Gradually stir in cheese. Simmer until ready to serve. If necessary, additional milk may be added to thin soup.

Boy! The Iowa Egg Council sure scored some points with this one! Don't know how many times I've repeated this, but I wish I had a dime for each one!


12 slices firm day old white bread. cut into 1" cubes
2 (8 oz.) packages cream cheese, cut into 1" cubes
1 cup fresh or frozen blueberries
12 eggs
2 cups milk
1/3 cup honey

Lightly grease a 3 quart casserole or a 9" x 13" glass baking dish. Place half of the bread cubes in the bottom of the dish. Distribute cream cheese cubes evenly over the bread. Top with blueberries and remaining bread. In a large bowl, whisk eggs with milk and honey. Pour over the bread mixture. Do not stir. Cover and chill casserole for 2 hours or overnight. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Bake the casserole, covered, for 45 minutes. Then uncover and bake for 25-30 minutes more or until it's puffed in the center and golden brown.

Blueberry Sauce:

1 cup sugar
2 tbsp. cornstarch
1 cup cold water
1 cup fresh or frozen blueberries
1 tbsp. butter or margarine

In a saucepan, combine sugar and cornstarch. Add water and mix well. Bring to a boil over medium heat. Boil, stirring constantly, for 3 minutes or until mixture changes from opaque to clear. Stir in blueberries. Reduce heat and simmer until the berries burst (about 8-10 minutes). Serve warm with French toast.


3 oz. box gelatin (any flavor)
1 cup hot water
½ cup vodka
½ cup cold water

Combine gelatin and hot water. Stir until dissolved. Stir in remaining water and vodka. Pour into containers and chill. Potency may be adjusted by altering the amount of vodka and cold water.

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1 (16 oz.) can tomato puree
1 cup water
2 tsp. Italian herb seasoning
½ tsp. garlic powder
1½ pounds low fat cottage cheese
½ tsp. onion powder
½ tsp. garlic powder
1 (8 oz.) uncooked package elbow macaroni.
4 oz. part skim mozzarella cheese. sliced

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly spray a 9" x 9" x 2" casserole with vegetable oil. In a small bowl combine tomato puree, water, Italian seasoning and ½ teaspoon garlic powder. In another bowl, combine cottage cheese, onion powder and ½ teaspoon garlic powder. Spoon one third of tomato mixture into prepared casserole. Layer half of macaroni, all cottage cheese mixture and one third tomato mixture on top. Add remaining macaroni and top with remaining tomato mixture. Cover and bake 1 hour. Uncover casserole and top with mozzarella cheese. Return to oven, uncovered. for five minutes or until cheese is melted. Let dish stand for 10 minutes before serving.


1 cup sugar
1 cup brown sugar
1 cup softened margarine
2 tsp. vanilla
2 eggs
1 cup peanut butter
1 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. baking soda
½ tsp. salt
3 cups flour
1 lb. bite size Snickers bars

Cream sugars and margarine together. Beat in vanilla and eggs. Mix in the peanut butter and dry ingredients. Form dough around candy bars. Bake 12-15 minutes at 350 degrees. Do not overbake!


10-12 cups popped corn
1 pkg. Original Ranch dry dressing
1 tsp. garlic salt
½ tsp. lemon pepper
½ tsp. dill weed

Mix and pour over popped corn in a brown paper bag. Add 1/3 cup oil and shake
occasionally for one hour.


1 tbsp. butter
1 pound lean ground beef
2 cans (15 oz. each) black beans, rinsed and drained
1 can (16 oz.) tomato sauce
1 jar (11.5 oz.) chunky style medium hot salsa
1 cup shredded hot pepper Monterey Jack cheese

Melt butter in a Dutch oven or large pot over medium heat. Add beef. Cook, stirring frequently, until brown. Stir in black beans, tomato sauce and salsa. Reduce heat, cover and simmer about 15 minutes. Remove from heat. Stir in ¾ cup Monterey Jack cheese until melted. Serve immediately, sprinkled with remaining ¼ cup cheese.


½ cup margarine
2/3 cup flour
1 quart milk
2 cups chicken stock
10 slices crisply fried, crumbled bacon
1 cup finely chopped lettuce
½ cup finely chopped fresh tomatoes
2 tbsp. white Worcestershire sauce
½ tsp. nutmeg
¼ tsp. pepper
¼ tsp. Italian seasoning (optional)

Melt margarine and blend in the flour. Add milk. Cook and stir until thickened. Heat bacon and vegetables in boiling chicken stock. Stir flour mixture into chicken stock. Add remaining ingredients. Season to taste.


1 cup frozen Granny Smith apple juice concentrate (thawed)
2 tsp. cornstarch
2 tsp. Equal (7 packets)
1 tsp. margarine
1 tsp. maple extract
1 tsp. vanilla
2 lbs. sweet potatoes

Peel and cut the sweet potatoes into 1 inch slices. Cook until tender. Combine the first three ingredients. Bring to a boil, stirring constantly, until thickened. Remove from heat and stir in remaining ingredients. Pour over warm potatoes. Toss gently and serve.

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½ cup butter
2 cups sugar
2/3 cup evaporated milk
12 large marshmallows
10 oz. cherry chips
1 tsp. vanilla
12 oz. chocolate chips
¾ cup peanut butter
1 cup Spanish peanuts

Combine the first four ingredients. Boil 5 minutes, stirring constantly. Remove from heat and stir in the cherry chips and vanilla. Pour into a sprayed 9" x 13"dish. Chill 1 hour. Melt the chocolate chips and stir in peanut butter and peanuts.Spread over chilled layer. Chill and cut into squares. Serve on its side to display cherry chips.


2 sticks melted butter (do not use margarine)
1 cup brown sugar
1 (8 oz.) package pecan halves

Line a 9" x 13" dish with whole graham crackers. Combine butter, sugar and nuts. Boil 5 minutes. Pour over crackers. Bake 350 degrees for 8 minutes. Layer with Hershey bars or chocolate chips. Allow to melt, then spread.


8 (2 inch diameter) firm tomatoes
8 eggs
¼ tsp. salt
¼ tsp. pepper
8 slices lean bacon
½ cup grated Parmesan cheese

Stem and core tomatoes, making a cavity large enough to contain the egg. Save the core. Place tomatoes in a well buttered deep baking dish. Break an egg carefully into each tomato, and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Bake in oven for ten minutes at 375 degrees or until eggs are set and firm in center of tomatoes.

Chop tomato cores quite finely. Sauté bacon until crisp and golden brown. Place bacon on paper towels to drain, then crumble. Mix tomato pulp and bacon and place a spoonful on each egg. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese. Place under the broiler. about 6 inches from heat, until the cheese turns a golden brown. Serve at once.

For a pronto pasta dish, toss hot cooked pasta with prepared herb cheese spread, crumbled Blue cheese or Feta cheese. Add chopped sun dried tomatoes, fresh or dried basil and thinly sliced green onion.

The Open Line
PO BOX 2147
365-0600 1 800-332-5401

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