Readers’ recipes show affection for convection

“Nothin’ says lovin’ like something from the oven” was an old advertising slogan (Pillsbury, in case you’ve forgotten), but one that held a lot of truth.

During the heat of a Southern Nevada summer, nobody likes to use his oven – not an indoor oven, anyway. So, with the recent advent of cooler fall weather, we asked readers for the recipes that will reunite them with their ovens after a long, hot summer apart. We also asked them to tell us where the recipe came from, and to share a memory associated with it. And we received plenty of both.

Some were poignant, such as those from Fred Waldman, who sent in the recipe for Rosemary’s Easter Pie and a moving tribute to his late wife, the “sweet little Italian beauty” who died of cancer nine years ago. Wayne Griffin’s recipe noted that his family was poor when he was growing up, and his mom came up with creations such as Griff’s Hamburger Rolls with Cheese Sauce to feed a family of six using just a pound of meat.

Roy A. Whaley sent his mother’s cabbage-casserole recipe. Diane Maffett sent in a recipe that she said is a good one to make when her kids have friends over and she’s feeding a crowd, and Margaret Patterson said she’s inspired by the colors of fall, the crispness in the air and the wonderful aromas that drift through the house when something is in the oven.

Which all prove one thing: Like the kitchen, the oven is a source of warmth as well as heat.

We’ve included a selection of submitted recipes. And the winners of the cookbook drawing are Patricia Lennick, Marie Marinos and Lisa Potts.

GRIFF’S HAMBURGER ROLLS

WITH CHEESE SAUCE

For rolls:

2 cups baking mix

2 teaspoons baking powder

½ teaspoon salt

1/3 cup shortening

¾ cup milk

1 pound hamburger

1 medium onion, diced

½ teaspoon salt

¼ teaspoon pepper

½ teaspoon garlic powder (optional)

For cheese sauce:

1 stick (¼ pound) margarine or butter

2 cups milk (divided use)

4 tablespoons all-purpose flour

Salt and pepper, to taste

½ pound Velveeta or processed American cheese, cut into ½-inch cubes

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Prepare a 9-by-9-inch square pan with cooking spray.

Sift together the first three ingredients to combine and then cut in shortening. Add milk and stir with fork until a soft, sticky dough is formed. Turn out onto a floured board or counter and carefully knead about 20 times, incorporating just enough flour so the dough is no longer sticky.

Pat and roll dough into a triangle about 9 inches wide by 18 inches long by ¼-inch thick. Crumble hamburger evenly over the dough to within 1 inch of the edges. Sprinkle onion on top of the hamburger. Season with salt, pepper and garlic powder.

Starting from a long edge, carefully roll up. Pinch the seam and ends to seal. With a sharp knife (serrated works best), cut into nine 2-inch pieces and place cut side up in the prepared pan. Bake for 35-45 minutes, or until hamburger is cooked and rolls are lightly browned. Serve with cheese sauce (prepare sauce while rolls are baking).

For sauce, melt butter in a medium saucepan over medium-low heat. Add ½ cup milk and stir in flour to make smooth paste. Stir in remaining milk and cook, stirring constantly over medium heat, until sauce thickens. Add cheese a little at a time, stirring until melted. Season to taste and serve over hamburger rolls.

Note: Leftover sauce is delicious served over broccoli, cauliflower, green beans, carrots, baked potatoes, nachos, etc.

– Recipe from Wayne Griffin of Las Vegas

ROSEMARY’S EASTER PIE

For crust:

2 cups flour

Black pepper, to taste

1 tablespoon cooking oil

1 egg

6 tablespoons hot water, or more if necessary

For filling:

1 pound ricotta

1 to 2 handfuls of shredded mozzarella

Black pepper, to taste

Parsley, to taste

1 egg

1 hard-cooked egg, chopped

1 pound sausage, browned and well drained

1 to 2 handfuls of grated cheese

1 to 2 slices of ham, cut in small squares

Mix crust ingredients in a bowl until blended. Knead dough until smooth. Roll into two crusts.

Mix filling ingredients with a wooden spoon until smooth.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Place one half of dough on a floured baking sheet. Top with filling, leaving a border for crimping. Place top crust over filling. Press edges together, then press entire edge with fork tines.

Bake for about 1 hour. Brush top with beaten egg while still hot.

– Recipe from Fred Waldman of Henderson

HELENE’S SIMPLE CABBAGE CASSEROLE

(Mom’s Czech Hulumpki Mock

Cabbage Rolls)

Meat mixture:

1 pound ground beef

1 pound ground pork

2 cups cooked white rice

2 tablespoons smoked paprika or sweet Hungarian paprika

1 tablespoon caraway seed

1 tablespoon dried minced parsley

½ tablespoon fennel seed

1 tablespoon dried thyme

2 tablespoons dried dill

½ tablespoon dried oregano

3 tablespoons pepper sauce (Crystal or Tabasco)

1 tablespoon Worcestershire Sauce

2 tablespoons salt

1 tablespoon ground black pepper, or to taste

1 small green bell pepper, diced small

1 large onion, diced small

2 eggs

1½ tablespoons granulated garlic

Tomato sauce:

56 ounces canned tomato sauce

3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar

5 tablespoons brown sugar, or to taste

½ tablespoon (each) dill, caraway seed and salt

1 tablespoon paprika

A couple of dashes of fresh lemon juice

2 medium heads of cabbage, cored and shredded

Sour cream (for serving)

Hot cherry peppers (for serving)

Mix all meat-mixture ingredients.

Mix ingredients for tomato sauce (through lemon juice) and heat slowly (sauce should taste sweet and sour).

Lightly oil a 12-by-18-inch baking dish. Layer sauce, cabbage and meat mixture, ending with cabbage and a thin layer of sauce on top.

Cover with foil and bake in a preheated 350-degree oven for 70 minutes.

Uncover and cook 30 minutes longer until brown on top but not dry (make and add extra sauce, if necessary).

Turn off oven and let dish stand for 15 minutes, with oven slightly open.

Serve with sour cream and hot cherry peppers.

Note: Leftovers can be placed in tortillas, like a burrito.

– Recipe from Roy A. Whaley of Las Vegas

EASY CHICKEN & STUFFING CASSEROLE

6 to 8 chicken breasts, skinless and boneless

1 can cream of chicken soup

1 can cream of mushroom soup

1 can cream of celery soup

1 can evaporated milk

1 cup butter (divided use)

1 box Mrs. Cubbison’s Cornbread Stuffing (twin-pack)

Boil chicken in water for about 1 hour, or until done. Remove chicken to cool; reserve 2 cups of the broth.

In large pan, combine soups, evaporated milk and chicken broth and simmer.

Shred cooled chicken and add to simmering soup mixture.

Melt ½ cup butter and mix with one pack of stuffing. Spread on the bottom of a 13-by-9-inch pan. Layer with chicken and sauce.

Melt remaining ½ cup butter and mix it with the second pack of stuffing. Spread over the top.

Bake in a preheated 350-degree oven for 30 minutes, or until slightly browned.

Serves 6 to 8.

– Recipe from Diane Maffett of Las Vegas

BAKED STUFFED ZUCCHINI

4 medium zucchini  

Sea salt, to taste

Ground pepper, to taste

½ pound sweet Italian sausage (casing removed)

Half onion, chopped

1 clove garlic, minced

4 to 5 tablespoons olive oil (divided use)

Half apple, peeled and chopped

1 medium tomato (Roma or vine), chopped, or ¼ cup canned, crushed tomato

¼ teaspoon oregano

½ cup cooked orzo or couscous

1/3 cup grated Italian cheese (Romano or other)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Cut the zucchini in half lengthwise. Scoop out most of the insides, reserving, and place the zucchini boats in a shallow baking dish. Chop the flesh, season with salt and pepper and set aside.

Break up the sausage and saute with the onion and garlic with a little olive oil until the sausage is cooked through. Add the apple, tomato and oregano; continue to cook for another 5 minutes. Add the chopped zucchini to the mixture, cover and cook until warmed through. Transfer to a large bowl. Mix in orzo.

Spoon the mixture into the zucchini boats, arranging tightly in the baking dish, and drizzle with olive oil. Cover with foil and bake until the squash is tender, about 20 minutes.

Remove the foil, top with the grated cheese and bake for about 10 minutes, until the cheese is melted and lightly browned (or put under the broiler for 5 minutes). Serve with a side of warm marinara sauce and crusty Italian bread.

Serves 2.

– Recipe from Margaret Patterson of Las Vegas

GOULASH

2 pounds ground beef

2 green peppers, chopped

2 medium onions, chopped

Salt, to taste

Pepper, to taste

Lawry’s Seasoned Salt, to taste

Paprika, to taste

Garlic powder, to taste

2 cans tomato soup

2 8-ounce cans tomato sauce with garlic, oregano and basil

2 6-ounce cans tomato paste

1 10-ounce can Ro-Tel tomatoes and green chilies, drained well

1 15-ounce can stewed tomatoes, cut up but not drained

16 ounces dried pasta

Saute beef, peppers and onions, sprinkling with seasonings, until meat is cooked through. Add soup, tomato sauce, tomato paste and both cans of tomatoes.

Cook pasta according to package directions; drain.

Mix pasta with beef-tomato mixture and bake uncovered at 350 degrees for 45 minutes.

– Recipe from Patricia Lennick of Las Vegas

TACO BAKED ZITI

Nonstick cooking spray

8 ounces ziti or penne

½ pound ground beef

½ teaspoon salt

½ teaspoon chili powder

1 16-ounce jar salsa

1 8-ounce bottle taco sauce

1¼ cups shredded Mexican blend cheese

Sour cream for serving

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Coat a 1½-quart baking dish with nonstick cooking spray.

Cook pasta according to package directions; drain.

Heat skillet over medium heat. Cook beef, along with salt and chili powder, until lightly browned.

Combine salsa and taco sauce in a large bowl. Reserve ½ cup.

Stir beef mixture and pasta into salsa mixture in bowl. Transfer to baking dish. Sprinkle with 1 cup cheese and spread with the reserved salsa mixture.

Cover with foil and bake for 40 minutes in a preheated 350-degree oven.

Uncover, sprinkle with remaining cheese and bake until melted, 5 to 10 minutes. Serve with sour cream.

– Recipe from Marie Marinos of Las Vegas

BBQ BEAN BAKE WITH BISCUITS

1 pound ground turkey

1 tablespoon minced onion

½ teaspoon salt

1 16-ounce can Ranch Style brand Original Texas Beans

2 tablespoons brown sugar

1 cup shredded cheddar cheese

1 9½-ounce can Hungry Jack Biscuits (flaky style)

Butter and honey for serving

Brown turkey and onion; skim off fat. Add other ingredients except biscuits and cheese. Heat until bubbly.

Pour into greased 2-quart casserole. Bake, uncovered, for 30 minutes in a preheated 375-degree oven; top with cheese and bake 5 minutes longer.

Bake biscuits according to package directions. Top with butter and honey and serve with casserole.

– Recipe from Lisa Potts of Las Vegas

TATER TOT CASSEROLE

4 cups frozen Tater Tots

1 pound ground beef

12 ounces frozen broccoli, thawed and drained

1 small can French-fried onions

1 14.5-ounce can diced tomatoes

1 can cream of celery or mushroom soup

½ cup milk

4 to 8 ounces shredded cheddar cheese (to taste)

Minced garlic or garlic powder, to taste

Salt and pepper, to taste

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Arrange Tater Tots in bottom of a 9-by-13-inch baking dish and bake for 10 minutes.

Brown ground beef and drain. Layer beef, broccoli, half of the fried onions and the tomatoes on top of Tots.

In a mixing bowl, mix soup, milk, half of the cheese, the garlic, salt and pepper. Pour over mixture in pan.

Cover and bake for 25 minutes. Uncover, sprinkle with remaining fried onions and cheese and return to oven until cheese has melted.

– Recipe from Steven Bird of Las Vegas

MEXICAN NOODLE CASSEROLE

2 pounds lean ground beef or ground chuck

1 clove garlic, minced

2 green peppers, finely chopped

2 medium onions, finely chopped

1 tablespoon chili powder

2 teaspoons paprika

2 teaspoons salt

½ teaspoon dried oregano

1 14½-ounce can Italian-style Roma tomatoes

1 15-ounce can tomato sauce

8 ounces uncooked narrow egg noodles

2 cups shredded longhorn cheese, or any sharp cheddar

Cook beef in a 4- to 5-quart Dutch oven until brown and crumbly. Add garlic, green peppers and onions and cook until onion is limp, about 3 minutes. Add chili powder, paprika, salt, oregano, tomatoes and tomato sauce and cook, uncovered, for 15 minutes. Skim off and discard any fat.

Cook noodles in boiling salted water according to package directions. Drain.

Add the cooked noodles to the simmering sauce and pour into a 3-quart casserole.

Distribute cheese evenly over noodles. (If making ahead, the casserole can be covered and chilled at this point.)

Bake, uncovered in an oven preheated to 350 degrees until cheese is melted and noodles are heated through, about 15 minutes. (If you have made it ahead, bake the chilled casserole covered for 1 hour, then uncover and continue baking until casserole is heated through and cheese melted.)

– Recipe from Judy Bryer of Las Vegas

ONO KIKKOMAN MEATLOAF

Meatloaf:

1½ pounds ground chuck

3 tablespoons Kikkoman soy sauce

1/3 cup finely chopped onion

¾ cup dry breadcrumbs

½ can condensed cream of mushroom soup

1 egg

¼ teaspoon pepper

¼ teaspoon garlic powder

Sauce:

1½ tablespoons Kikkoman soy sauce

1/3 cup ketchup

½ can mushroom soup

Combine ingredients for meatloaf. Mix thoroughly. Pat into loaf shape and place in roasting pan.

Combine sauce ingredients and mix well. Pour over meat loaf. Bake in oven preheated to 350 degrees for 45 minutes.

– Recipe from Elaine Harvey of Las Vegas

COOL WEATHER POT ROAST

1 teaspoon olive oil

1 teaspoon sea salt or kosher salt

½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1 3-pound boneless beef pot roast

2 cups coarsely chopped onion

3 garlic cloves, peeled and chopped

1 cup dry red wine, or 1 cup grape juice

4 sprigs fresh rosemary or thyme

1 14-ounce can fat-free less-sodium beef broth

2 bay leaves

4 large carrots, peeled and cut diagonally into 2-inch pieces

2 pounds small red potatoes, peeled

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Heat olive oil in large dutch oven over medium-high heat. Sprinkle roast with salt and pepper. Add roast to pan and cook 5 minutes, turning to brown on all sides.

Remove roast from pan. Add onion and garlic and saute 8 minutes, or until tender.

Return roast to pan. Add the wine or grape juice, rosemary or thyme, beef broth and bay leaves to pan; bring to a simmer. Cover and place in oven and roast for 1½ hours, or until roast is almost tender.

Add carrots and potatoes to pan and roast for an additional hour, until the vegetables are tender. Remove from oven. Discard bay leaves and rosemary or thyme.

The meat can be shredded or sliced. Serve with vegetables and cooking juices, or make gravy with the juices.

Serves 6-8.

– Recipe from Joan Padilla of Las Vegas

MEXICAN CHICKEN CASSEROLE

1 onion, chopped

Grapeseed or canola oil for sauteing

1½ cups uncooked Minute rice

1½ cups chicken broth

5 cups shredded cooked chicken

1 15-ounce can Hatch green chile enchilada sauce

1 15-ounce can S&W black beans with jalapenos (chop the jalapenos)

1 jar green chile salsa

1 8-ounce package Kraft shredded four-cheese Mexican blend with touch of Philadelphia

Saute onion in oil until soft but not browned. Cook rice in chicken broth according to instructions on package.

Mix all ingredients except cheese in casserole dish; cover with cheese.

Bake at 350 degrees until cheese melts and casserole is bubbly.

– Recipe from Judi Anderson of Las Vegas

BAKED MINI CHEESE PUFFS

2 tablespoons butter

¾ cup flour

½ teaspoon salt

½ cup shredded cheddar cheese

2 tablespoons chopped chives

2 large eggs

¾ cup milk

¼ cup water

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Use butter to grease the wells of two minimuffin pans.

Mix remaining ingredients, mixing well to form a batter.

Place muffin pans in oven for two minutes. Remove and divide batter among wells. Bake for 20 minutes, or until golden brown. After removing puffs from oven, pierce top of each with a knife.

– Recipe from Ann Brown of Las Vegas

PIROGIES POTPIE

2 sheets frozen puff pastry, thawed

1 tablespoon olive or vegetable oil

1 small yellow onion, diced

2 pounds lean ground beef

1 teaspoon seasoned salt (Slap Ya Mama from Louisiana recommended)

¼ teaspoon black pepper

2 cups carrots, peeled and sliced

1 package brown or mushroom gravy mix

1 cup hot water

3 cups shredded cabbage

1 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Roll out one sheet of puff pastry to line a 10-inch deep-dish ceramic pie dish or 9-by-13-inch baking dish. Prick the bottom and bake for 5 minutes.

In a large Dutch oven, heat the oil and cook the onion until it begins to soften. Crumble in the ground beef and cook until it starts to brown. Drain fat. Sprinkle with the salt and pepper. Add the carrots and stir. Mix the gravy mix and the hot water together, pour into the pot and stir. Cook for 5 minutes.

Toss in the cabbage and pour into the prepared crust. Sprinkle cheese over the meat mixture. Roll out the remaining puff pastry and top the potpie. Cut a few slits in the top for steam to escape.

Bake for 35 minutes, or until crust starts to brown and filling is bubbling. Let rest for 10 minutes before serving.

Serves 8.

– Recipe from Aurora Gandara of Las Vegas

FIVE BEAN CASSEROLE

1 can each (15, 16 or 17 ounces): cut green beans, cut wax beans, pork and beans, dark red kidney beans and green lima beans

1 pound Jimmy Dean hot pork sausage

1 large onion, chopped

1 cup chopped celery

1 can condensed cream of tomato soup

2 tablespoons prepared mustard

½ cup sugar

2 teaspoons chili powder (or more to taste)

1 6-ounce can tomato paste

6 strips bacon

Preheat oven to 325 degrees.

Drain beans and put in a large casserole, 13-by-9-inch baking dish or roasting pan.

Brown sausage in a skillet, breaking and crumbling it as it cooks. Remove sausage and add to beans. Drain grease, reserving a small amount in skillet.

In reserved grease, saute onions and celery and cook until onions are transparent. Add undiluted soup, mustard, sugar and chili powder. Bring to a boil and remove from heat. Stir into beans and sausage mixture.

Spread tomato paste evenly over top and place bacons strips across. Bake covered, for about 1 hour, then for ½ hour uncovered.

(Drain excess liquid from the beans, if necessary. They should be a little thick – like barbecue sauce.)

– Recipe from Diane Laverty of Henderson

POTICA CAKE

For dough:

1 cup margarine

½ cup milk

2 packages active dry yeast

2½ cups flour

¼ teaspoon salt

2 tablesoons sugar

6 eggs, separated

For filling:

½ cup milk

1 cup chopped dates

1 cup ground nuts

6 tablespoons sugar

2 tablespoons cinnamon

1½ cups sugar

Powdered sugar for decorating

To make dough, heat margarine in milk until melted; cool. Dissolve yeast in ¼ cup lukewarm water. Sift flour, salt and sugar together. Stir yeast mixture and three egg yolks into milk mixture. Add liquids to flour mixture. Beat well with a wooden spoon and cover. Refrigerate overnight. (The dough will be very sticky; it changes in texture overnight.)

To make filling, heat milk. Add dates, nuts, 6 tablespoons sugar and cinnamon. Cool. Beat egg whites until stiff, gradually adding 1½ cups sugar. Fold into the filling paste.

Roll out half of the dough into a 20-inch square on a well-floured cloth. Spread half of the filling over the dough and roll up as for jellyroll. Put this roll into a greased tube pan. Roll other half of dough and proceed in same manner as above. Place roll in same tube pan, reversing the ends of the rolls in pan so that the fat side will be alternated. (You will have two layers, but the cake becomes one during baking.) Paint the top of the cake with the remaining three egg yolks.

Bake in a preheated 350-degree oven for 65 minutes. Sprinkle with powdered sugar, or glaze with confectioners’ sugar icing, if desired.

Note: You can double this recipe, since it freezes beautifully. Freeze the unbaked assembled rolls, individually wrapped in wax paper, then aluminum foil, securing ends well. Thaw, then place in pan as above and bake. (Don’t worry if the rolls seem uneven in the pan.)

– Recipe from Cindy O’Donnell of Las Vegas

EASY FILLED COOKIES

For cookie dough:

1 cup butter, softened

2 cups sugar

2 eggs

3½ cups sifted flour

½ teaspoon salt

2 teaspoons baking powder

1 teaspoon cinnamon

½ teaspoon cloves

¼ cup milk

1 teaspoon vanilla

For filling:

1 cup chopped dates

½ cup sugar

½ cup water

½ cup chopped walnuts

For cookie dough, cream butter and sugar. Add eggs and blend thoroughly. Sift dry ingredients into first mixture. Add milk and vanilla. Mix well. Chill dough.

For filling, cook dates, sugar and water together for about 5 minutes or until thick, stirring frequently. Remove from heat and stir in nuts. Cool.

Shape dough into 1-inch balls. Place 2 inches apart on ungreased baking sheets. With thumb, form a well in each ball of dough. Fill each well with cooled date mixture, then drop a small portion of dough over filling.

Bake in a preheated 375-degree oven for 12 to 15 minutes.

– Recipe from Sandra Sager of Henderson

SOUR CREAM COFFEECAKE

For batter:

¾ cup butter, softened

1½ cups sugar

4 eggs

3 cups flour

1½ teaspoons baking powder

1½ teaspoons baking soda

1 pint sour cream

1½ teaspoons vanilla

For filling:

½ cup chopped nuts

½ cup brown sugar

2 tablespoons flour

1 teaspoon cinnamon

Powdered sugar for topping

Cream together butter and sugar. Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition.

Sift together dry ingredients for batter. Add to butter mixture alternately with sour cream, beginning and ending with the flour mixture. Add vanilla.

Mix filling ingredients together.

Pour half of batter into a greased 10-inch tube pan. Add filling, then top with rest of batter.

Bake in preheated 350-degree oven for 60 to 75 minutes. Cool and sprinkle with powdered sugar.

– Recipe from Joan Morelli Caruso of Las Vegas

SIMPLE MINI CINNAMON BUNS

¼ cup real maple syrup

2 tablespoons cinnamon

1 to 2 tablespoons organic raw honey

2 tablespoons organic light brown sugar

2-4 drops orange essential oil, or orange zest to taste

1 can Pillsbury Crescent Recipe Creations seamless dough sheet

Mix the first five ingredients; spread onto dough. Then roll dough up longways into log, cut into pieces about an inch wide and place each piece in the well of a mini-cupcake pan coated with cooking spray. (If you have extra liquid ingredients, just pour over top of buns.) Bake about 10 minutes in a preheated 350-degree oven.

– Recipe from Rose Testa of Las Vegas

Contact reporter Heidi Knapp Rinella at hrinella@reviewjournal.com or 702-383-0474.

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