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A Birthday Meal

Written by Anna Aughenbaugh
Now and then my husband will ask, as did our kids when they were growing up, “Please make some ‘old’ recipes.” It seems as though I have been addicted to saving and fixing new recipes for years. If a new recipe didn’t meet with approval, the kids got to tear it up, assuring that it wouldn’t be served again. Our children got to pick what they wanted for their birthday meals and our youngest son always chose these recipes.
    The hamburger rice pie can be assembled in the morning, ready to be baked an hour before it is to be served. If the hamburger isn’t very lean, I cook it until almost done, and then drain off the fat. I often cook extra rice to have on hand to make rice pudding or to add to soup.
    Our daughter-in-law has cancer; one way I can help her is to provide meals that she can use on the days when she has doctor appointments. These recipes are always welcome.
    We all like the Copper Pennies, and it is a good way to use fresh carrots. It calls for ingredients that are usually found in the pantry and will keep for three to four days.
    We feel that no meal or coffee break is complete without dessert. I make small cookies because, no matter the size of them, I always want to eat two. These cookies are full of nutritious ingredients; the applesauce in them cuts down on the amount of shortening that is needed. They freeze well, and when my stash of them in the freezer gets low it is time to make more. If you aren’t fond of raisins, they can be omitted, just add more chocolate chips and/or peanut butter chips. If you don’t have a heavy duty mixer, use your clean hands and a sturdy spoon to mix in the dry ingredients.

Hamburger Rice Pie
1 lb. lean ground beef
½ cup fine dry bread crumbs
¼ cup chopped onion
¼ cup chopped green pepper
¼ tsp. black pepper
2 (8 oz.) cans tomato sauce
2 cups cooked rice
½ cup grated American cheese
Mix crumbs, onion, pepper, beef, pepper, and ½ can sauce. Spread in a greased 10” pie pan. Mix rice, cheese and remaining sauce in a bowl; spoon onto meat. Bake at 350 degrees for 35 to 40 minutes, or until meat is done. Makes 6 servings.

Copper Pennies
1 lb. carrots
1 small green pepper, chopped
½ cup chopped onion
½ can tomato soup, undiluted
¼ cup vegetable oil
½ cup sugar
1/3 cup white vinegar
½ tsp. prepared mustard
½ tsp. Worcestershire sauce
Peel and slice carrots; boil in salted water until tender crisp. Drain. Put carrots, pepper and onions into a bowl with a lid. In a small bowl, mix dressing ingredients; pour over vegetables, cover and refrigerate for 8 to 12 hours. Serves 8.

Power Cookies
1 cup brown sugar
1 cup sugar
½ cup butter or margarine
½ cup shortening
1 cup unsweetened applesauce
4 eggs
2 tsp. vanilla
3 cups all purpose flour
2 tsp. baking soda
3 cups oatmeal
2 cups coconut
2 cups raisins
1 cup chocolate chips
1 cup chopped walnuts
    In mixer bowl, beat sugars, butter and shortening until fluffy. Beat in applesauce, eggs and vanilla. Stir in dry ingredients; mix in coconut, raisins, chips and nuts. Drop by teaspoons, 2 inches apart, onto a greased cookie sheet. Flatten a bit with a fork dipped in water. Bake at 375 degrees for 10 to 12 minutes, or until lightly browned. Cool on wire racks. Makes 7 dozen.