Old time popcorn balls

Old Time Popcorn Balls
2 quarts popped popcorn
1/2 cup molasses
1/2 cup sugar
1/3 cup water
1 tablespoon vinegar
1 tablespoon butter or margarine
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
Place popcorn in a large bowl; set aside. In a heavy saucepan, combine molasses, sugar, water, vinegar and butter. Cook over medium heat, without stirring, until candy thermometer reads 235 degrees (soft-ball stage). Add baking soda; stir well. Remove from the heat and immediately pour over popcorn, stirring gently with a wooden spoon until well coated. When cool enough to handle, quickly shape into 3 inch balls, dipping hands in cold water to prevent the syrup from sticking.
Note:
After shaping the popcorn balls, wrap with clear or colored plastic wrap. You can add a holiday touch by tying them with colored ribbons.
Makes 6 to 8 servings.

Apple cranberry pie

Apple Cranberry Pie
2 cups fresh or frozen cranberries
1 3/4 cups sugar
1/3 cup quick-cooking tapioca
1/4 cup water
2 teaspoons grated orange peel
3 cups thinly sliced peeled tart apples
Pastry for double crust pie
1 egg white, beaten
1 tablespoon water
Additional sugar
In a saucepan, combine the cranberries, sugar, tapioca, water and orange peel. Bring to a boil; stirring occasionally. Remove from the heat and stir in apples. Set saucepan in a pan of cold water for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Meanwhile, line a 9 inch pie plate with the bottom crust. Trim pastry to 1 inch beyond edge of pie plate. Pour filling into crust. Roll out remaining pastry; make a lattice crust. Seal and flute edges. Beat together egg white and water until foamy; brush over lattice top. Sprinkle with sugar. Cover edges loosely with foil. Bake at 375 degrees for 20 minutes. Remove foil; bake for 25 to 35 minutes longer, or until crust is golden brown and filling is bubbly. Cool on a wire rack.
Makes 6 to 8 servings.

Peanut butter icecream topping

Peanut Butter Ice Cream Topping
1 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup light corn syrup
3 tablespoons butter or margarine
Pinch of salt
1 cup creamy peanut butter
1/2 cup evaporated milk
Vanilla ice cream
Peanuts, optional
Combine brown sugar, corn syrup, butter and salt in a 1 1/2 quart microwave-safe dish. Cover and microwave on high for 4 minutes, or until mixture boils, stirring twice. Add peanut butter; stir until smooth. Stir in milk. Serve warm over ice cream. Sprinkle with peanuts, if desired. Cover and store in the refrigerator. To reheat, microwave on medium for 1 to 2 minutes, or until heated through.
Makes 2 3/4 cups.

Homemade fudge sauce

Homemade Fudge Sauce
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 cup baking cocoa
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 cup whipping cream
1/2 cup milk
1/2 cup butter (no substitutes), cut into 8 pieces
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
In a heavy saucepan, combine sugar, cocoa and cinnamon. Add cream and milk; mix well. Bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring constantly. Cook for 2 minutes. Remove from the heat; cool for 15 minutes. Add butter and stir until melted. Stir in vanilla. Cool to room temperature. Cover and store in the refrigerator. Stir before serving.
Makes 3 cups.

Chicken macaroni casserole

Chicken Macaroni Casserole
2 cups cubed cooked chicken
2 cups elbow macaroni
1 (10 3/4 ounce) can cream of celery soup
1 (10 3/4 ounce) can cream of mushroom soup
1/2 pound process cheese, diced
1/4 green pepper, diced
1 (2 ounce) jar diced pimientos
1 (4 ounce) can mushroom pieces, undrained
1 (5 ounce) can sliced water chestnuts, undrained
2 cups milk
1 teaspoon salt
In a large bowl, combine all ingredients; cover and refrigerate overnight. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Pour mixture into a 9 by 13 by 2 inch glass casserole dish. Bake, uncovered, for 1 1/2 hours.
Variation:
Substitute tuna, shrimp or crab for the chicken.
Makes 6 servings.

Banana cake

Banana Cake
1 1/4 cups flour
2/3 cup sugar
1/4 cup cornstarch
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup bananas, mashed
1/3 cup oil
1 egg, slightly beaten
1 teaspoon vinegar
1 teaspoon vanilla
Mix together flour, sugar, cornstarch, baking soda and salt; set aside. Combine bananas, oil, egg, vinegar and vanilla; stir into flour mixture. Pour into a 9 by 13 inch baking pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 55 to 60 minutes.