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Pastry for a single crust pie
2/3 cup sugar
3 tbsps. all purpose flour
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
4 medium baking apples, pealed and sliced (½ inch)


½ cup all purpose flour
1/3 cup packed brown sugar
1/3 cup rolled oats
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
¼ cup butter/margarine, softened
¼-½ cup caramel topping or caramel dip

Roll the pastry out to fit a 12 inch pizza pan; fold edges under or flute them. Combine sugar, flour and cinnamon in a bowl; add apples and toss to coat. Arrange the apples in a single layer, in a circular pattern, to cover the pastry. Combine the first five topping ingredients; sprinkle over the apples. Bake at 350° for 35-40 minutes, until apples are tender. Remove from oven and drizzle on caramel topping. Serve warm with ice cream.

What's on the agenda today?

Here's your holiday collection of The Best of The Open Line. We have more "in a jar" gift recipes in this issue, plus some new seasonal favorites. I'd like to credit the creative work of The Iowa State University Extension staff, especially Janet Martin and Jan Temple, for the new ideas for food and family activities they share, including some timely advice for making every minute matter with your family. The Open Line helped kick off the Cedar Rapids Parade of Homes with a broadcast from the awesome new house built by Jim Settler. We had four of our listeners prepare "house warming" dishes to christen the home; they're featured below. The much awaited new millennium is nearly here, let's enter it together with faith and hope, and determination to make this world lighter and lovelier for others. Happy Holidays!

From Mabel Fisher, Sigouney

½ cup butter/marg.
2/3 cup powdered sugar
½ cup firmly packed brown sugar
egg, beaten
1 tsp. vanilla
1 cup all purpose flour
½ cup cocoa
1 tsp. baking powder
12 ozs. mini M&Ms, divided (or 1 cup choc.chips + 1 cup M&Ms)
2 cups cut up candy bars (any kind)
2/3 cup coconut (fine or flaked)

Preheat oven to 350°. Cream shortening; combine thoroughly with sugars; beat in the egg and vanilla. Sift together the flour, cocoa and baking powder; stir into batter. Stir in half of M&Ms ( or 1 cup chocolate chips.) Spread batter onto a 14 inch, lightly greased, pizza pan. Bake for 18-20 minutes. Remove pan and spread candy bar bits evenly over pizza while hot; top with coconut; return to oven and bake additional 3-5 minutes. Stir the bits and coconut together with a fork, just to blend. Drizzle on melted caramels or caramel topping. Sprinkle remaining M&Ms over top and lightly press into the caramel. Let cool and cut.

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3 cups sugar
¾ cup light corn syrup
¾ cup water
¼ tsp. salt
2 egg whites
3 ozs. cherry gelatin
1 cup chopped nuts
½ cup maraschino, quartered

Combine sugar, syrup, water and salt in a heavy saucepan. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until mixture boils. Cook, without stirring, until hardball stage (250 degrees.) Remove from heat. Beat egg whites in a large bowl until soft peaks form. Gradually add gelatin and beat until stiff peaks form. Slowly add syrup, beating constantly at high speed, and cook until mixture loses its shine. Stir in nuts and cherries. Drop by teaspoons on waxed paper. (You can use any flavor of gelatin.)


12 cups popped popcorn
1 cup sugar
2/3 cup corn syrup (light or dark)
2 tbsps. butter/margarine
6 ozs. semi sweet chocolate pieces
1 tsp. vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 250°. Place popcorn in a large roasting pan. In a saucepan, over medium heat, cook sugar, corn syrup and butter, stirring constantly, until sugar is dissolved. Remove from heat. Stir in chocolate and vanilla; stir until melted. Pour over popcorn, stir until mixed well. Bake for 1 hour, stirring occasionally. Spoon onto waxed paper to cool, stir to separate.


½ cup margarine/butter
1 oz. unsweetened chocolate cut up
1 cup all purpose flour
1 cup sugar
1 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. vanilla
2 eggs
¾ cup chopped nuts

Grease and flour a 9x13" pan. Melt the margarine and chocolate together: stir in the rest of the ingredients; mix well and spread in the pan.


8 ozs. cream cheese, softened; reserve 2 ozs. for topping
¼ cup margarine, softened
½ cup sugar
2 tbsps. all purpose flour
½ tsp. vanilla
1 egg
¼ cup chopped nuts
6 ozs. semi sweet chocolate chips

Combine all filling ingredients, except nuts and chips; beat at medium speed for 1 minute, until soft and fluffy. Stir in the nuts; spread batter on the base. Sprinkle chocolate chips on top. Bake for 25-35 minutes.


2 cups mini marshmallows
¼ cup margarine
¼ cup milk
1 oz. unsweetened chocolate, cut up
2 ozs. cream cheese
3 cups powdered sugar, sifted
1 tsp. vanilla

Remove bars from oven. While bars are hot, sprinkle on marshmallows; bake an additional 2 minutes. Combine margarine, milk, chocolate and cream cheese; stir until well blended. Stir in the powdered sugar and vanilla, pour over marshmallows and swirl with a knife to marbleize. Chill the bars, cut, and keep refrigerated.


¾ cup margarine
1 can sweetened condensed milk
3 tbsps. milk
10 ozs. peanut butter chips
10 ozs. chocolate chips
11 ozs. milk chocolate chips
1 cup butterscotch chips

Melt ingredients in a saucepan, stirring with a wooden spoon. Add a 7½ oz. jar of marshmallow creme, 1½ tsps. real vanilla, ½-1 tsp. almond extract. Fold in 1 pound walnuts. Mix together and put in a 9x13" pan. Let cool.

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4 squares chocolate
1 cup margarine
4 eggs, beaten
1½ cups sugar
2 tsps. vanilla
2 cups flour

Melt the chocolate and margarine; beat in the eggs; add sugar, vanilla and flour; mix well. Drop by teaspoons on a waffle iron, heated on lowest setting; cook for 1½ minutes.


1 cup brown sugar
½ cup milk
5 tbsps. butter/margarine
1 square chocolate

Combine all ingredients; bring to a boil and cook, stirring, for 3 minutes. Let mixture cool. Add enough powdered sugar to make into a spreadable frosting.


4 cups sugar
1 cup water
Dash of salt

In a heavy pan, combine all ingredients; bring to a boil; boil past the softball stage testing with a slotted spoon. Pre pop 6 qt. popcorn. Grease your hands and combine popcorn with caramel mixture; form into balls; let cool and wrap in plastic wrap.


2 lbs. white almond bark
3 cups Rice Krispies
3 cups Captain Crunch Peanut Butter Ball cereal
3 cups colored mini marshmallows
3 cups dry roasted peanuts

Melt bark. Stir in the rest, quickly. Drop by teaspoons on waxed paper; let set. (Do not refrigerate very hard.)


1 cup butter/margarine, softened
½ cup peanut butter
½ tsp. vanilla
1 cup very fine coconut
4 cups powdered sugar, divided
½ cup rolled oats (quick)
1 cup miniature chocolate chips (or white chips)

Cream butter and peanut butter together. Stir in vanilla, coconut, 2 cups powdered sugar, oats. You can add up to an additional 2 cups powdered sugar, or cocoa, as long as mixture is still moist. Stir in the chips. Roll into walnut sized balls. Chill at least 2 hours.


2 cups unsifted flour
1½ cups rolled oats
¾ cup + 1 tbsp. firmly packed brown sugar
1 cup butter, softened
8 oz. pkg. cream cheese
1 can sweetened condensed milk
¼ cup real lemon juice
1 can whole berry cranberry sauce
2 tbsps. cornstarch

Preheat oven to 350°. With a mixer, combine flour, oats, ¾ cup of brown sugar and butter until crumbly. Set aside 1 ½ cups of this mixture. Press remaining mixture into bottom of a greased 9x13" pan. Bake for 15 minutes, until lightly brown. With a mixer, beat cream cheese until fluffy. Gradually beat in sweetened condensed milk. Stir in the juice. Spread over warm crust. Combine cranberry sauce, cornstarch and 1 tbsp. brown sugar. Spoon over cheese layer. Top with reserved crust mixture. Bake for 45 minutes, until golden brown. Cool, cut into bars. Keep refrigerated.



2 cups pumpkin (16 oz. can)
1 small pkg. instant butterscotch pudding (reg. or sugarfree)
2/3 cup non fat dry milk
1/3 cup water
8 ozs. whipped topping
1 tsp. pumpkin pie spice
1 graham cracker crust
2 tbsps. pecans
2 tbsps. butterscotch morsels

Whisk together first 4 ingredients. Blend in ¼ cup whipped topping with pie spice. Pour into crust. Top with remainder of whipped topping, nuts and chips. Chill at least 1 hour.


1 2/3 cups water
1 cup + 2 Tbsps. sugar
1/8 tsp. yellow cake coloring
3 tbsps. corn starch
¼ cup water
1 medium lemon
3 egg yolks
1 tbsp. butter
1 baked pie shell

Combine first three ingredients, boil for 5 minutes. Mix cornstarch and ¼ cup water, add to sugar mixture, cook until clear. Grate the yellow peel off the lemon and juice it, and strain. Mix juice with egg yolks, add to sugar mixture, cook for 1 minute. Remove from heat, add butter, let stand 10 minutes. Put in baked pie shell. Top with your favorite meringue.

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20 ozs. crushed pineapple, with juice
1½ cups packed brown sugar
1 cup margarine, softened
1 egg
¼ tsp. almond extract
4 cups oats (quick or old fashioned)
2 cups flour
1 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
12 ozs. chocolate chips
2 cups flaked coconut
½ cup slivered hazelnuts, or almonds

Cream the sugar and margarine together. Beat in the egg, pineapple and juice, almond extract. Combine the oats, flour, salt and cinnamon; stir into batter. Stir in the chocolate chips, coconut, and nuts, using a heavy wooden spoon. Drop by heaping tablespoons onto a greased cookie sheet. Press each cookie down with a spoon, to flatten. Bake at 350° for 20-25 minutes, until edges are golden brown. Remove cookies to a rack to cool. Makes 4½-5 dozen very large cookies.


1 large egg
1½ cups whipped topping
1 lemon cake mix, dry

Whisk the egg with whipped topping until well blended. Stir in cake mix by hand. Shape into small balls; roll in some powdered sugar. Bake on lightly greased cookie sheet at 350° for 7 minutes. Remove and let cool.


1 cup butter, softened
1 cup confectioners sugar
1 egg
2½ cups all purpose flour
1 tsp. salt
½ tsp. red food coloring
½ tsp. peppermint extract

Mix butter, sugar, and egg in a large bowl. Blend in the flour and salt. Divide dough in half, put half in a small mixing bowl. Add food coloring and peppermint to half of the dough. Cover both halves with plastic wrap; chill at least 1 hour. Preheat oven to 375°. Tear off one teaspoon of red dough and shape into a 4 inch rope. Repeat with white dough. Twist the two together to form a candy cane, then shape the top into a curve. Repeat process with rest of dough. Bake for 9-11 minutes.


3 cups flour
1 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. nutmeg
½ tsp. salt
½ tsp. baking soda
1 cup sugar
1 cup margarine
3 eggs
1 tsp. vanilla
1 tsp. lemon juice

In a mixing bowl, combine all dry ingredients. Cut in the margarine. Combine eggs, vanilla and lemon juice; add to dry ingredients and mix well. Roll out onto floured surface to ¼ inch thickness. Cut into shapes with cookie cutter. Place on greased cookie sheet and bake at 350°, 12-15 minutes. Frost when cool.


¾ cup packed brown sugar
½ cup sugar
¾ cup raisins
2 cups rolled oats
1 cup all purpose flour
1 tsp. cinnamon
½ tsp. nutmeg
1 tsp. baking soda
½ tsp. salt

Mix together the flour, cinnamon, nutmeg, soda and, salt. In a wide mouth quart jar, layer the ingredients in the order given ending with the flour mixture on top. Pack each layer well after adding.

Gift tag:

Empty contents of this jar in a large bowl; mix thoroughly using your hands. Add ¾ cup butter, softened. Stir in 1 egg and 1 tsp. vanilla; mix well until blended. Shape into walnut sized balls. Place on a parchment paperlined cookie sheet. Bake at 350°, 11-13 minutes. Let cool for 5 minutes before removing to wire racks. Makes 3 dozen.


1 Duncan Hines caramel cake mix
2 eggs
1 stick butter/margarine, softened
1 cup white chocolate chips

Combine cake mix with eggs and butter; beat well. Stir in the chocolate chips; refrigerate for 1 hour. Drop by teaspoons on a cookie sheet. Bake at 375°, 8-10 minutes.

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4 cups (1 lb.) shredded cheddar cheese
1/3 cup all purpose flour
1 can (13 oz) chicken or vegetable broth
½ package (1¼ oz) taco seasoning mix
2 tsp. Dried oregano
1 ½ tsp. Cumin seed, crushed

For dipping: Tortilla chips, corn chips, pita bread, ripe olives, sausages, red or green peppers, tortillas

Directions:  Toss together cheese and flour. Heat broth in 1½ quart saucepan until bubbles rise. Turn
heat to medium low and add cheese and flour blend, ½ cup at a time, stirring until cheese is melted
after each addition. Stir in taco mix and cumin seed. Transfer to fondue pot and serve immediately.


2 cans cheddar cheese soup
¼ cup apple juice (or dry white wine)
2 cups shredded Swiss or cheddar cheese
4 medium green onions, chopped very fine
¼ tsp. garlic powder
Dash of Tabasco or red hot sauce

Heat the soup, wine, cheese together in a saucepan; stir occasionally until melted. Stir in the remainder of ingredients; pour into fondue pot. Serve with cubed bread, broccoli, cauliflower, etc.


1 cup sour cream
1 cup mayonnaise
1 tbsp. onion flakes
1 tbsp. parsley flakes
1 tsp. dill weed
1 tsp. seasoning salt

Combine all ingredients until smooth. Keep chilled.


1½ cups fresh basil
5 cloves garlic
¼ cup pine nuts
¼ cup Parmesan cheese, grated

Blend the ingredients. Sprinkle on ¼ cup lemon juice. Use as a sauce for pasta, or as a dip for bread, etc.


Spread some olive oil on a baking sheet. Place pine nuts in olive oil and bake at 350° for 2-3 minutes.


8 ozs. cream cheese, softened
1 oz. Roquefort or Blue cheese
1 lb. Old English cheese
1 small clove garlic, minced
1 lb. pecans, chopped fine
1 cup finely chopped parsley

Blend all cheese and add garlic and half of parsley. Roll into little balls, the size of a nickel; roll in remaining parsley and nuts.


6 large hard cooked eggs
2 tbsps. mayonnaise or salad dressing
2 tbsps. cream cheese, softened
1 tsp. prepared mustard
1 tsp. lemon juice
3 tbsps. finely chopped, cooked ham
2¼ tsps. fresh dillweed
½ tsp. caraway seed
1/8 tsp. salt
1 cup finely shredded cheddar cheese

Combine all ingredients except the cheddar cheese. Roll into small balls, then roll in cheese to coat. Keep refrigerated.


¼ cup chopped onion
1 tbsp. butter or margarine
½ lb. ground beef
½ lb. ground veal
¾ tsp. salt
Dash of white pepper
2 tbsps. enriched flour
1 egg
¼ cup light cream (or milk)
1 can condensed consommé

Sauté onion in butter until tender, not brown, then drain. Combine the meats and seasonings; mix well. Beat in the flour and egg. Gradually beat in the cream. Add onion. Form mixture into 1 inch balls. Brown lightly in remaining butter; let balls drain on paper towel. Add consommé to butter. Cook uncovered for 12-15 minutes, until thickened.


1½ lbs. ground veal
5½ ozs. Pepperidge Farm Home Style croutons (sourdough & cheese, or olive & garlic flavored)
15 oz. can Del Monte hickory flavored sloppy joe mix, divided
1 egg

Combine ¾ can of sloppy joe mix with other ingredients; form into a loaf. Pour remainder of sloppy joe mix over top. Bake at 350°, 1 hour and 15 minutes.

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1 tbsp. margarine
¼ cup celery sliced
¼ cup onion, chopped
¼ cup green pepper, chopped
1 can cream of mushroom soup
¼ cup milk
1 can chow mein noodles (5 oz.)
1½ cups diced, cooked turkey
1 can mushroom pieces (4 oz.)
2 tbsps. sliced pimento
¼ tsp. salt
¼ tsp. poultry seasoning

Combine margarine, celery, onions and green pepper; cook until tender. In a small bowl, combine soup, milk and onion mixture. Stir in remaining ingredients. Bake in glass dish at 350°, 30-40 minutes.

(from The Mitchell Street Pub, Petoskey, Michigan)

2 cups chopped onion
2 tbsps. minced garlic
Some olive oil
4 oz. can green chilis, with liquid
2 cans (14 ozs.) chicken broth
3-5 cans (16 ozs.) Great Northern beans
1½ lbs. cooked, boneless and skinless chicken breasts, cubed
2 tsps. cumin
2 tsps. oregano
¼ tsp. cayenne pepper
¼ tsp. Tobasco (or more)

Sauté onion and garlic in some olive oil, until onion is clear. Stir in the green chilis, heat through. In a large pot, heat together the chicken broth, beans, the onion mixture, and the chicken and spices; heat through.


Here are some tips for taking care of the turkey when those best laid plans aren't going the way you hoped, courtesy of The Iowa Turkey Federation. You can get more help and new recipes online from the National Turkey Federation at

A whole turkey can be cooked in a large roaster; set roaster at 350° and place prepared turkey in pan. Cook according to oven time requirements for the turkey's size. Never squeeze the turkey into a pan. If it is crowded against the sides it will steam, not roast, which will take longer to cook. Instead, place a sturdy rack in the pan to raise it and allow the air to circulate around it. , If you get into a pinch and want your turkey done faster, cut off the leg thigh portions and separate the whole breast from the back. Continue, roasting on a rimmed baking sheet, skin side up, until each piece reaches 180 degrees. Not only will the heat penetrate the pieces more quickly, but you will be able to remove the faster cooking breast as soon as its done.

Gravy too salty? Add a quartered raw potato to the gravy and let simmer for
about 15 minutes.


1 lb. ground beef
1 small onion, chopped
4 small cans (15 oz.) pork and beans
1 tbsp. brown sugar
1 can chopped tomatoes (or tomato juice)
1 jar Hormel real bacon bits
¼-½ tsp. chili powder

Sauté the ground beef and onion. Layer all ingredients in a crockpot; cook on low until heated through.


The "In a jar" recipes continue their popularity. I've seen them at craft shows and in stores. This recipe for soup was adapted by Susan Uthoff, ISU Extension Nutrition Field Specialist

Use a 1 quart, wide mouthed jar to layer in this order:

¼ cup beef bouillon
¼ cup onion flakes
½ cup split peas
½ cup round macaroni
½ cup lentils
¼ cup barley

Carefully shake down each layer as you fill jar. Finish filling the jar with any shape pasta. Put jar lid on; you could decorate lid by gluing a piece of fabric to cover lid. Attach the following gift tag with a small ribbon:

To make Holiday Soup:

1. In a large pan, brown 1 pound of ground beef, pork or turkey; drain and rinse.
2. Remove pasta from the jar and set aside. Add rest of jar's contents to a pan
with 12 cups water and the meat.
3. Bring pot to a boil; simmer slowly until peas and lentils are tender. Add pasta during the last 15 minutes.


1 cup whipping cream
1/3 cup mayonnaise, or reduced fat salad dressing
¼ cup horseradish
1 tsp. prepared mustard
½ tsp. salt
dash of cayenne pepper

Whip the cream with a mixer. Gently fold in remaining ingredients; chill. Serve with roast beef or prime rib. Makes about 2 cups.

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Apple Juice
Ginger Ale (sugar free)
Red Hots cinnamon candy

Mix together equal parts of juice and ginger ale. To make it fizz, add a few red hots and stir briskly. Have the children mix this; they'll enjoy watching all the bubbles!


½ cup orange juice
8 ozs. fruit flavored yogurt (strawberry/banana is great)
1 cup frozen strawberries

Combine ingredients in a blender until well mixed.


1¾ cups brandy or whiskey
14 oz. can sweetened condensed milk
1 cup Half n Half
2 Tbsps. chocolate syrup
2 tsps. instant coffee
1 tsp. vanilla
½ tsp. almond extract

Combine all ingredients, blend until smooth. Store in refrigerator for up to a month. Re blend before each use.


16 ozs. frozen strawberries, in sugar
6 ozs. frozen limeade
6 ozs. rum
11 ice cubes

Blend ingredients in blender; makes 4 glasses.


1½ quarts cranapple juice
1 large can frozen lemonade
1 large can limeade
16 ozs. 7-up
2 cups water
2 cups vodka

Mix ingredients in blender. Freeze. Makes 1 gallon. Serve in 4 oz. glasses.


2 pkgs. Kool Aid Mix (any flavor/color)
2 cups sugar
1 can pineapple juice (46 oz.)
1 can water
2 liters 7-up or Ginger ale

Stir all ingredients, except pop, together until sugar is dissolved. Put in freezer. About 3-5 hours before serving, remove from freezer to partially thaw. Combine with pop before serving.

Holiday Favorites


2 cups water
1 tbsp. whole cloves
2 cinnamon sticks
1 whole nutmeg or 1 tsp. ground nutmeg

Simmer in a medium saucepan. Add water and spice as needed. (Use an old pan odor will cling to pan.)


1 pkg. cranberries, thawed
1 pkg. (10 oz.) strawberries, thawed
½ cup sugar

After thawing strawberries, reserve the liquid and add enough water to make 1 cup. In a saucepan, combine this liquid with sugar; cook until dissolved. Add cranberries to pan; bring to a boil and cook, stirring occasionally; until berries pop and mixture thickens. Remove from heat and stir in strawberries. Refrigerate at least 3 hours or overnight.


1 pkg. frozen cranberries
2 stalks celery
2 medium apples (any kind)
¾ cup (plus) sugar

Grind berries with celery and apples. Stir in sugar, to taste. Let set in refrigerator. When ready to serve, can stir in some drained pineapple, minimarshmallows, chopped walnuts, sliced grapes, whipped topping.

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The Index is an alphabetical listing, by category, of all the recipes featured during 1999. This is a handy reference to locate the issue you need. To receive a copy of The Index, just send $1.00, with a self-addressed, stamped business envelope to: The Open Line Index, P.O. Box 2147, Cedar Rapids, IA, 52406. All orders will be handled in January. Please remember if you are ordering the index along with a subscription to the bulletin, you must make payments with separate checks for each.


2 cups semi sweet chocolate chips
½ cup butter
8 ozs. sour cream
1 tsp. vanilla
4½-5 cups powdered sugar

In a heavy saucepan, melt chips and butter over low heat, stirring constantly. Remove from heat; cool 5 minutes. Pour chocolate in mixing bowl, add sour cream and vanilla; mix well. Gradually add powdered sugar; beat until light and fluffy. Keep refrigerated.

We all try to make the holidays the best ever for our families, but we sometimes run the risk of overload. You can tell when you are feeling tense. What families need most is relaxation to enjoy the time together. Try these tips from the family life specialists at Iowa State University Extension:  Slow down and reconnect. Give your kids 10 minutes of your uninterrupted attention. Save time for each individual for the end of every day. Put everything on hold and listen to whatever they have to say. . Give kids a role. Think how you can include them in the holiday preparations. If they feel a part of it they won't need to act up. Try some gift wrapping, decorating, baking, or sending cards, does everything have to be perfect? Their self esteem and pride will show with helping you out. Savor the upcoming traditions. Observe your families rituals; don't cut comers at your house to try to be a part of a neighbors activities.

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