From the Farm

FROM the FARM: Hope luncheon a success, along with cookie request

2014-02-19T00:00:00Z 2014-02-19T19:58:13Z FROM the FARM: Hope luncheon a success, along with cookie requestBy Philip Potempa philip.potempa@nwi.com 219.852.4327 nwitimes.com

My thanks to the 300 readers who attended Sunday's sold-out 6th annual Valentine's Day luncheon at Teibel's restaurant saluting legendary Bob Hope and raising money for Honor Flight Chicago.

With your reader generosity, once again, more than $1,300 was raised to help a great cause from our enjoyable afternoon of great food, prizes and fun memories from yesteryear. Additionally, more than $500 was raised just during the combination "final course" "SPAM" sale, which was our can luncheon meat nod to the food staple so many veterans recall from the days of war rations.

Six lucky guests who donated money for a can of SPAM also went home with great donated prizes, including bottles of wine, a donated signed mystery novel from Kate Collins, an Albert's Diamond Jewelers Gift Card for $100 and reservations to Sunday champagne brunch and tickets to "Ring of Fire," the new stage musical about the life of Johnny Cash at Theatre at the Center in Munster. An extra special "thank you" to the generous folks at Sno Joe for donating their new electric snow blower to a lucky guest, and just in time for Monday's fresh blanket of white.

Thank you to Don Weiss and the kindness of WiseWay Foods, which still has one anchor store located in Winfield, for donating the 100 cans of SPAM, in addition to the beautiful cakes for dessert featuring beautiful portraits of Bob Hope, with wife Dolores and their friend Phyllis Diller, in addition to a big thanks to Teibel's for helping host the event and to Debbie Albanese and Albanese Candy for providing packages of their yummy gummi "sour green apple" green soldier men for each guest.

Also, in addition to thanking my parents and all of my helpers for the day, including my Valparaiso University students who volunteered, under the patient and cool-headed direction of Ann Scamerhorn and the one-and-only Debbie (Reilly) Robertson.

An added reason to celebrate this week is because a reader named LuAnn helped me with the cookie recipe request from reader Pat Glenn published in my Feb. 5 column. Thank you LuAnn for unearthing the recipe for a "universal" cookie dough that can be kept for weeks and customized to make so many various cookie favorites.

Basic Make-Ahead Cookie Mix

1 1/2 cup margarine or butter, softened

1 tablespoon salt

2 tablespoons baking powder

6 cups flour (if using self-rising flour, omit salt & baking powder)

DIRECTIONS: In very large bowl, combine margarine, salt and baking powder. Using electric mixer, blend well. Lightly spoon flour into measuring cup, level off. (Do not scoop or sift flour.) Add flour to margarine mixture and blend until fine crumbs form, scraping bowl often. Store tightly in refrigerator up to 4 weeks. Makes 4 dozen.

Chocolate Chip Cookies

2 cups cookie mix

2 eggs

1/2 cup sugar

1 6 ounce package (1cup) semi-sweet chocolate pieces

1/2 cup firmly packed brown sugar

1/2 cup chopped nuts (optional)

1 tablespoon softened margarine

1/2 teaspoon vanilla

DIRECTIONS: Heat oven to 375 degrees. In large bowl, combine all ingredients except chocolate chips. Blend until smooth. Drop by teaspoon onto lightly greased cookie sheet, two inches apart. Bake 7 to 14 minutes. Yields about 3 dozen.

Oatmeal Carmelites Bars

2 cups mix

1 cup oats

3/4 cup sugar

1/4 cup brown sugar

2 teaspoons vanilla

1 egg

3/4 cup caramel ice cream topping

3 tablespoons flour

1 6 ounce package chocolate chips

1/2 cup chopped nuts

DIRECTIONS: Heat oven to 375 degrees. Grease bottom and sides of 13-inch by 9-inch pan. Combine first 6 ingredients and mix until blended and crumbly. Press 2 cups of this mix on bottom of pan and bake 10 minutes. Blend caramel topping and flour. Remove from oven and sprinkle baked layer with chocolate chip pieces and nuts, drizzle with caramel mixture. Sprinkle remaining crumbs over caramel. Bake 20 to 30 minutes, until golden brown. Cut when cool. Yields 24 bars.

Oatmeal Raisin

2 cups mix

2 eggs

1/2 cup sugar

1 1/2 cups oats

1/2 cup brown sugar

1/2 cup raisins

1 teaspoon vanilla

DIRECTIONS: Heat oven to 375. Blend first 5 ingredients until smooth. Stir in oats and raisins. Drop by heaping tsp 2-inches apart on greased cookie sheet. Bake 9 to 13 minutes. Yields 3 dozen.

Sugar Cookies

2 cups mix

3/4 teaspoon vanilla

1 egg

DIRECTIONS: Heat oven to 400 degrees. Combine 1 cup mix with remaining ingredients and blend until smooth, then add other cup of mix. Knead on floured surface about 20 strokes, until smooth. Roll out dough 1/8-inch thick for cookie cutters. Place on greased cookie sheet and bake 5 to 8 minutes. Cool 1 minute and decorate with frosting. Makes 2 dozen.

Peanut Butter Cookies and Blossom Option

2 cups mix

1 cup brown sugar

1/3 cup solid shortening

1/2 cup peanut butter

1/2 teaspoon vanilla

1 egg

Chocolate candy stars

DIRECTIONS: Heat oven to 375. Combine all ingredients and blend until smooth. Shape dough into 1-inch balls and place on ungreased cookie sheet. Flatten with a fork in a crisscross pattern. Bake 7 to 11 minutes. For Peanut Butter Blossoms variation, roll balls in sugar and bake 9 to 12 minutes. Immediately top each cookie with a candy kiss, pressing down firmly so cookie cracks around edges. Yields about 4 dozen.

The opinions expressed are solely those of the writer. He can be reached at philip.potempa@nwi.com or (219) 852-4327.

Copyright 2014 nwitimes.com. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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