From the Farm

FROM the FARM: Readers looking for special cookie recipes

Phil Potempa's weekly farm column recipe
2014-02-05T00:00:00Z 2014-02-06T17:57:11Z FROM the FARM: Readers looking for special cookie recipesBy Philip Potempa, 219.852.4327

When a favorite clipped recipe gets lost or misplaced, it is frustrating.

I'm hoping Times readers might be able to help me out with today's readers' recipe requests.

The snowy, cold weather months are always a great time for sorting through kitchen recipe drawers and cookbook shelves. First up, if you can lend a helping hand locating the following cookie mix recipe request from Valparaiso reader Pat Glenn, please let me know.

"Hi Phil: I'm sure you won't remember me, but I used to work at Moellering Library on the Valparaiso University campus years ago when you were a student. I just retired from the VU Law Library last February. I worked in the backroom where the deliveries and staff came in. I used to let you in through the workroom when you came to water your Mother's fern and plants that you would bring from your farm during the winter months to add some green to the Reference Room. Like I said - this was a long time ago! Anyway, I hope you can help me as you're the food expert. I had a dry cookie mix recipe that was published in the newspaper from years ago, possibly in the late 1970s or early '80s. You mixed only the dry ingredients together and you could keep this basic mix in your fridge for quite some time. Included with this basic mix recipe were instructions for sugar cookies, chocolate chip cookies, peanut butter kiss cookies, lemon bars and several others. It was a fantastic recipe and extremely easy to use. Trouble is that this recipe got lost during a house move and I would really like to find out if someone in the area still has this recipe and would be willing to share it. I've searched so many cookie recipes on the Internet, but can't find one mix for these basic cookies. Do you know of any way that maybe I could find a copy? If so, I know that I and possibly others would love to have it too. It's so easy and all the cookies are homemade from scratch. I read your 'From the Farm' column in The Times and really enjoy it. And I hope you can help with my recipe problem. If not, I'll just have to make separate recipes for each type of cookie. Thanks so much for your time. Pat Glenn"

Thank you Pat for your note. And yes, even after all these years later, our houseplants from our porches at our family farm still spend the winters on the Valparaiso Campus, including my mother's Boston fern, which will be 30 years old in May!

A second reader request today is from Dorothy Pazanin of Munster:

"Hello Phil! I do a lot of baking for family and friends and a while ago, I got a great recipe from your column for gluten-free peanut butter cookies. Now, if possible, I would like to have a recipe for gluten-free chocolate chip cookies. Thank you in advance, Dorothy Pazanin."

It is my hope that Times readers can help me hunt for these cookie recipe requests. Stay tuned! As for this week, it is the perfect weather for chili. Last Friday, my newsroom colleague, Times Health Writer Vanessa Renderman, shared her recipe for a favorite, gluten-free slow cooker chilli.

"It's just a basic chili and nothing fancy," Vanessa said.

"But it IS a gluten-free and dairy-free recipe originally from online, but I tweaked it a bit for seasonings and because my slow cooker wasn't big enough to contain all the ingredients as originally listed."

Vanessa's Favorite Easy Gluten-Free Chili

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 or 1 1/2 large sweet onions, chopped

2 green peppers, chopped

2 or 3 cloves garlic, minced

1 pound ground beef or ground turkey

1 (15-ounce) can kidney beans, drained and rinsed

1 (15-ounce) can black beans, drained

1 small (8-ounce) can chili beans

1 (32-ounce) can crushed tomatoes

2 jalapeños, diced

4 tablespoons chili powder

1/2 teaspoon cumin

1 cup water

DIRECTIONS: Heat oil over medium heat, adding onion and garlic and cooking until onions are golden. Add green pepper and cook for 4 minutes until tender, remove from heat and put in slow cooker. In frying pan, brown ground meat. As meat is cooking, add the assorted beans, tomatoes and jalapeños to slow cooker, stirring to combine. Add browned beef, chili powder and cumin to slow cooker. Add water and mix well to combine. Cover and cook on low setting for 4-6 hours. Makes 8 servings.

The opinions expressed are solely those of the writer. He can be reached at or 219.852.4327.

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