Recipes All Rounded Up

For the last several days, my life has been focused on recipes.

Not that it’s unusual for my thoughts to drift in that direction, since cooking and eating are two of my favorite endeavors. But in this instance, the efforts have been toward the Daily Globe’s Holiday Recipe Roundup and Activity Book, which will be inserted in Friday’s edition.

I am greatly appreciative of everyone who took the time to send in a favorite recipe or two for the publication. Whether emailed or mailed, the recipes all need to be retyped and formatted to make them consistent. Occasionally, an ingredient or method needs to be clarified.

Thankfully, while I was out of the office last week, co-worker Julie Buntjer proofed all the recipes and tackled a big chunk of putting the booklet together. In the end, all I had left to do was a bit of rearranging and adding some of the graphics to make it look nice.

But it was with a sigh of relief that I finished the project on Tuesday morning.

Alas, one reader’s recipe didn’t make it into the booklet, arriving just a bit too late to squeeze it in. Deb Harberts of rural Reading says this is one of her family’s favorites.

Wild Rice Casserole

¼ pound (½+ cup) wild rice

½ cup chopped onion

¾ cup chopped celery

1 can beef consommé soup

Mushrooms, sautéed in butter

Place in covered casserole dish and bake at 350 degrees for 1 to 1½ hours.

During a visit to the Daily Globe’s advertising department this week, I snagged a taste of this snack treat, made by multimedia sales consultant Chandra Carlson. The recipe is a bit different than other snack pretzels I’ve encountered. She has dubbed the snack …

Dragon Breath Pretzels

One 16-ounce bottle Orville Redenbacher popcorn oil

1 tablespoon black pepper

1 tablespoon dill

1 tablespoon cayenne pepper (Chandra uses Frank’s Redhot Sauce to taste instead)

2 packets dry ranch dressing mix

2 bags pretzels

Mix together oil, seasonings and ranch dressing mix. When dissolved, add one bag of pretzels. Put covered pretzels onto a cookie sheet. Mix in second bag of pretzels and distribute onto a second cookie sheet.

Bake in a 200-degree oven for 1 hour, stirring every 15 minutes.

More hungry for a sweet snack? Here’s a version of the well-known “puppy chow” mixes, passed along by high school friend Mary Ormberg Theesfeld, now of Windom. Mary provided bags of this mixture for our holiday baking get-together.

Pumpkin Spice Chow

13.5-ounce box Cinnamon Chex

12 ounces white almond bark

3 teaspoons cinnamon (divided)

½ teaspoon ground nutmeg

½ teaspoon ground cloves

¼ teaspoon allspice

1 cup powdered sugar

1 to 2 cups candy corn or other fallish treat (pumpkin kisses, spice M&Ms, cinnamon chips, etc.)

Pour cereal into large bowl; set aside.

Melt almond bark in microwave on 50-percent power in 30-second increments until melted. Stir in 2 teaspoons cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves and allspice. (2½ teaspoons pumpkin pie spice can be substituted for the allspice, nutmeg and cloves.) Pour the mixture over the cereal and toss gently to coat.

Pour powdered sugar and 1 teaspoon cinnamon into a large ziplock plastic bag. Add coated cereal and shake until each piece is coated. Toss in candy corn or other treat. Cover and store for up to 2 weeks.