Recipes from Cooking with The Cherry Tomato Lady 

Even picky children eat pizza so they might enjoy this non-traditional pizza, which is smothered with raw vegetables. It also ia popular as an appetizer at adult gatherings. Nancy Greer brought the snack to a potluck lunch at the former Schonberg Associates' office in Dayton.

During the holidays, I form the dough into the shape of a Christmas tree and let grandchildren help "decorate" the tree with vegetables. Bits of broccoli look like evergreen, carrot rounds and green onions make good ornaments, and thin strips of red bell peppers serve as garland. Top the tree with a cheese star.

Nancy's Veggie Pizza

1 tube (8 oz) refrigerated crescent rolls
1 package (8 oz) cream cheese, softened
2/3 cup mayonnaise
1 tsp. dried dill weed
1/2 tsp. garlic salt (optional)
Fresh vegetables cut into small pieces (onions, carrots, broccoli, cherry tomatoes, mushrooms
1/3 cup shredded cheddar cheese

Press crescent rools into a pizza pan or shape as you wish on a baking sheet. Bake eight minutes in a preheated 350-degree oven. The crust is ready when it is lightly browned. Cool the crust. Mix mayonnaise and cream cheese in a small bow. Spread on the cool crust. Sprinkle with dill and garlic salt. Arrange vegetables on top and sprinkle with cheese. About eight servings.
Penny's Brisket in Beer

One large onion, chopped
One brisket of beef, well trimmed (allow one-half pound per person)
Garlic salt
Salt and pepper
2 cups catsup or more
Bottle of beer
3 tablespoons flour
1 to 2 cups water
Salt, pepper to taste

Place chopped onions in metal baking pan. Place brisket on top of onions and sprinkle generously with garlic salt and lightly with salt and pepper. “Schmeer” a lot of catsup on it. Pour beer around the meat and cover the pan with foil. Bake at 375 degrees about two hours.

Remove meat from pan and carve into thin slices. Set aside. Place the pan over medium heat (make sure pan is the proper type to put on a stove burner) and add flour to the drippings and onions. Stir and brown; then slowly add water to make desired gravy consistency. Return sliced meat to gravy in pan, cover with foil and return to oven. Bake about another hour, until meat is tender. Remove from oven and chill overnight. The next day, reheat in a low oven before serving. 

Grandma's Never-Fail Chocolate Cupcakes

Grandma’s splattered recipe card specified her preference for Dutch cocoa for these moist cupcakes. She frosted them with only a thick curlicue of vanilla icing.

½ cup shortening, such as Crisco
½ cup Dutch cocoa, such as Droste’s
1½ cups flour
½ cup buttermilk
1 cup sugar
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 egg
½ cup hot tap water

Put all ingredients into a bowl and beat well. Fill greased cupcake pans about 2/3 full. Bake in a preheated 325-degre oven 18 to 20 minutes, until a pick comes out clean. Makes about 12 standard-sized cupcakes. Frost as you like. 

Lanell and Melissa’s Southern Stuffing

8 chicken breasts with bone in
6 small packages cornbread mix, such as Jiffy
Chicken broth, one cup or more
8 eggs, lightly beaten
1 pound butter, melted
½ to ¾ cup dried green bell peppers
1/3 cup dried onion flakes
1 package (12 ounces) herb-seasoned stuffing mix, such as Pepperidge Farm
2 teaspoons each salt and pepper, or to taste

Day 1: Boil chicken in water until tender, about 30 minutes. Cool. Pull off bones and shred. Save the broth. Refrigerate broth and chicken separately. Prepare cornbread according to package instructions.

Day 2: Crumble the baked cornbread. Heat one cup of reserved chicken broth. In a large bowl, mix the shredded chicken with eggs, melted butter, dried peppers, onion flakes, crumbled cornbread and stuffing mix. Pour enough hot broth over the mixture to make a thick cake batter consistency. You may need to add hot water if there is not enough broth. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Bake in two 9x13-inch pans at 375 degrees for 45 minutes or until golden brown. The stuffing will look like browned cornbread.  About 18 servings. You can cut this recipe in half for smaller gatherings. 

Robin’s Ramen Noodle Salad

1 bunch Napa cabbage (Chinese cabbage), chopped
6 to 8 green onions, sliced
2 packages ramen noodles, crushed
½ cup sesame seeds (yes, that’s a lot of sesame seeds)
1 small package (2 or 3 ounces) slivered almonds
1 stick butter or margarine (you can reduced the amount to half a stick if you wish)
1 cup vegetable oil
1 cup sugar (no-calorie sweetener is acceptable)
½ cup cider vinegar
Salt, pepper to taste

Mix cabbage and onions together in a large bowl. Cover and place in refrigerator. Saute noodles, sesame seeds and nuts in butter until light brown. In a medium bowl, mix oil, sugar, vinegar, salt and pepper. Chill. When ready to serve, mix cabbage and onions with noodle mixture and dressing. Serve immediately.

This salad does not keep; noodles soften after a while. If you wish to make ahead, keep the three mixtures separate and chilled; then combine at serving time. Ten to 12 side servings. 

Nancy's Shandy

½ glass cold beer
½ glass cold lemonade 
(sugar-free type, such as Crystal Light, is fine)

Combine beer and lemonade and stir. This drink is especially appealing served in a Pilsner glass 

Ned and Mooshie’s Broiled Salmon

1 large salmon fillet (allow 1/3 pound per person)
Garlic powder or fresh cloves of garlic, minced
Ground ginger
Dried dill weed
Parmesan cheese, grated

Sprinkle garlic, salt, ginger and dill weed on fish. “Schmeer” on some mayonnaise, but not too heavily. Sprinkle with Parmesan. Place on broiler pan and broil until fish flakes. Cooking time will depend on thickness of fillet. Check a one-inch fillet at eight minutes. It might take as long as 12 minutes. 

Grandma's Apple Dumplings

20 ounces 7-Up
1½ cups sugar
¼ teaspoon cinnamon
¼ teaspoon nutmeg
Combine 7-Up, sugar, cinnamon and nutmeg in a saucepan and stir over medium heat until sugar dissolves. Set aside.

6 medium-sized apples, peeled and cored
2 cups flour, sifted
1 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons baking powder
¾ cup shortening, such as Crisco
½ cup milk
6 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
3 teaspoons butter
Additional butter, about 3 tablespoons

Combine flour, salt and baking powder. Add shortening and milk and mix well. Roll into six 7-inch squares. Place apple in the center of each square. Combine the sugar and cinnamon and place one tablespoon of the mixture in the center of each apple. Place ½ teaspoon butter on each. Fold up the corners of the pastry and pinch the edges together. Arrange dumplings in a greased 9x13x2-inch baking pan. Pour prepared sauce over them. Dot with additional butter. Baked in preheated 425-degree oven about 35 minutes. Serves six. 

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