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It’s time for some tasty tailgating

ENJOY THESE RECIPES from the pages of “Twenty Years of The Wooden Spoon,” published by The Daily Leader, as you prepare to enjoy football games this weekend and all throughout the season.

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SWEET & SOUR PINEAPPLE MEATBALLS

Meatball ingredients

1/2-lb. ground beef

1/4-cup dry bread crumbs

2 Tbsp. chopped onion

1 egg

1/4-cup milk

1/2-tsp. salt

1/4-tsp. black pepper

1/4-tsp. nutmeg

Butter or margarine

Sauce ingredients

1 Tbsp. oil

1/4-tsp. salt

1 med. onion, chopped

1 med. green or red pepper, chopped

1/2-cup ketchup

2 Tbsp. vinegar

1.5 tsp. cornstarch

1 8-oz. can pineapple chunks or crushed, reserve syrup

2 Tbsp. sherry (optional)

Chopped green onions (garnish)

Directions

To prepare the meatballs, combine all the ingredients except butter in a bowl and mix well. Form into small balls. Fry a few at a time until browned and cooked through. Drain on power towels, set aside.

Prepare sauce by heating oil in a skillet. Add salt, onion and green pepper. Cook until tender but not browned; drain oil. Combine ketchup and vinegar. Stir into onion-pepper mixture. Make past with cornstarch and reserved pineapple syrup. Add to vegetable mixture and cook, stirring 3-5 minutes, or until mixture thickens. Stir in pineapple chunks and sherry. Simmer 3 minutes. Mix in meatballs;  heat through. Transfer to serving bowl, garnish and serve.

30 minutes prep. Serves 4-6.

213 calories each.

Zenus Owens, finalist, 1991

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CHICKEN RO-TEL

Ingredients

3-4 lbs. chicken breasts (or 1 hen equal weight)

1 large onion

1 cup diced celery

Salt & pepper to season well

1 cup chopped onion

1 cup chopped bell pepper

1 can mushroom soup

1 can cream of chicken soup

1/2-lb. grated cheddar cheese

Garlic salt

1 pkg. frozen flour tortillas

2 10-oz. cans Ro-Tel tomatoes and chilies, undrained

Directions

Boil chicken until tender in water seasoned with the large onion, celery, salt and pepper. Cut chicken into bite-sized pieces and save all stock. Combine soups. Just before putting casserole together, soak tortillas in broth until wilted. Start layering casserole in a 9×12 x2-inch casserole dish in this order: (1) tortillas dripping in stock; (2) chicken; (3) onion and bell pepper sprinkled with garlic salt; (4) soup mixture; and (5) cheese. Repeat layers twice more. Cover with Ro-Tel tomatoes and chilies and all juice. Juices should be about half the depth of dish. If not, add more stock. Refrigerate overnight or one day before baking so flavors will blend. Bake, uncovered, at 375 degrees for 30 minutes or until bubbly all through. If you don’t like it spicy, use 1 can of Ro-Tel instead of 2.

Serves 8-10.

Thelma Haley, finalist, 1986

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CHICKEN ORIENTAL

Ingredients

1-Tbsp. oil

2-1/2 to 3 cups chicken, cooked and diced, or 2 lbs. boneless breasts, cooked

1 cup bell pepper, diced

1 cup red or green onion, diced

1-3-cup celery, diced

1/2 to 1 tsp. Mrs. Dash herb seasoning, to taste

1/8-tsp. salt

1 16-oz. Oriental vegetables, drained

1 cup long grain and wild rice

1 Tbsp. wild rice seasoning (optional)

1 Tbsp. low-calorie butter of margarine (optional)

2 cups water

Directions

Brown chicken in skillet with oil on medium-high heat  Remove chicken from skillet and place on paper towels. Combine pepper, onion, celery, herb seasoning and salt in skillet and cook until pepper and onion are “clear” — approximately 15 minutes; stir constantly. Add Oriental vegetables, rice and rice seasoning. Simmer about 15 minutes. If needed, add butter to prevent sticking.

Stir in water and place chicken on top of rice-vegetable mixture. Cover tightly and cook over medium heat for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally to prevent sticking and to keep mixture moist. Remove from heat and let stand 10-15 minutes.

Serves 6-8.

Variation: Substitute Ramen noodles for rice, and follow package instructions.

Betty L. Baker, finalist, 1987

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BARBECUE BRISKET

Ingredients

1 10-lb. brisket, trimmed

Onion salt

Celery salt

Garlic salt

1/2-bottle liquid smoke

Black pepper

1/2-bottle Worcestershire sauce

Barbecue sauce

Directions

Sprinkle brisket with onion, garlic and celery salt. Cover with liquid smoke. Put into a plastic bag or wrap in aluminum foil. Seal tightly so it can be turned. Leave to marinate overnight.

Drain and sprinkle with black pepper and Worcestershire sauce.Cover pan with foil and bake 4 hours at 275 degrees. Take cover off and cover with barbecue sauce. Bake another hour. Slice with electric knife.

This can be made ahead of time and frozen. Add sauce to your preference.

Clara J. Magee, finalist, 1991

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ALMOND JOY CAKE

Ingredients

1 chocolate cake mix

1 cup evaporated milk

1 cup sugar

26 large marshmallows

1 14-oz. pkg. coconut

1 stick margarine

1-1/4-cup sugar

1/2-cup evaporated milk

1 6-oz. pkg. chocolate chips

1 3-oz. pkg. almonds (substitute walnuts or pecans, if preferred)

Directions

Make cake as directed on package. As cake is almost done, in a saucepan combine milk, sugar and marshmallows. Cook over low heat until melted. When melted, stir in coconut. Pour over hot cake. Mix together, stirring constantly over low heat: margarine, 1-1/4-cups sugar and 1/2-cup evaporated milk. When melted, remove from heat and stir in chocolate chips. Stir until melted and add nuts. Pour on top of cake. Let cool and eat.

Serves 12-16.

Rhonda Magee, finalist, 1992

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LEMON SURPRISE SHEET CAKE

Cake ingredients

1 cup shortening

1/2-cup butter

2-1/2 cups sugar

4 eggs

3-1/2 cups cake flour

1 cup buttermilk

2-tsp. lemon extract

1/2-tsp. baking soda

1 Tbsp. hot water

Filling ingredients

1 cup sugar

3 Tbsp. cornstarch, heaping

1 cup water

1 stick margarine

Juice of 3 lemons

Icing ingredients

1/2-cup shortening

1/3-cup milk

1-1/2-tsp. vanilla flavoring

1/2-tsp. lemon flavoring

1 box confectioner’s sugar

Directions

For cake, cream first 3 ingredients well. Add 4 eggs, one at a time, and cake flour. Alternate flour with 1 cup buttermilk. Add lemon extract. Mix soda in hot water and add last. Bake 1 hour at 325 degrees in 9×13 sheet pan. When cake is cool, remove from pan. Split in half when completely cold.

For filling, cook first 3 ingredients until thick and clear. Add margarine and juice. Spread between layers.

For icing, blend ingredients (except sugar) well. Add sugar. Beat until real creamy. Spread on cake.

Mary D. Moak, category winner, 1997

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Keep a copy of GRIDIRON magazine handy to keep up with local teams’ schedules and to read articles on players, coaches and programs. PLUS: Carl Craig has burger grilling tips on page 17.