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I don’t write about holidays often, but due to the extra work the fire in my home has caused and my other many things I do, I have failed to have time to even set up any appointments with people to be a Cook of the Week, let alone meet with them. My part of the work is about finished at my home. I will have more time then, in fact every morning might be free! When I realized it was already Wednesday and the weekend was a holiday, I decided I would write about party food since so many graduations and weddings happen in June, which is just around the corner.
Punch is one of the favorites on a hot summer afternoon or evening. It is so easy to mix up this refreshment. I also have a brunch punch that is delicious which is also easy to mix together.
Cakes are another favorite at parties when people are coming and going. It is easy to serve and an easy item to have a couple choices to choose from, also. Cupcakes have also become a popular dessert at graduations. I have discovered that a “box” cake usually is just as delicious as if we work hard measuring everything out and stirring together. Someone once gave me a few changes to use when using a box cake to make it more like a cake made from scratch. Sandwiches and salads are yet another easy item to serve at a party. With crockpots or slow cookers, a hot sandwich is easy and there are so many delicious cold sandwiches that can be served. I’ve included a few ideas and recipes that I have used for parties.
And if all these recipes still look like too much work, you may just have to call a caterer!! Hope you all have great parties.

Simple Punch
A delicious combination I use when I make punch and there is no measuring! You just dump!
46 ounce can of pineapple juice
1 big jar of cranberry juice
2 liter bottle of ginger ale
1 can of lemonade and 3 cans of
water may be added to stretch
the recipe, but not necessary
If you are watching sugar content, you can use sugar free juices and ginger ale. Pour it all together in a punch bowl. Depending on the cup size you are using determines how many people each one of these batches will serve. It is tangy and delicious.

Alcohol Free Bloody Mary Punch
A delicious punch for a brunch.
46 ounce container low-sodium
vegetable juice, chilled
1 tablespoon freshly ground
3 tablespoons fresh lime juice
1 tablespoon hot sauce
1 tablespoon Worcestershire
1/2 teaspoon Old Bay seasoning,
celery sticks, optional
If wanting to use alcohol, 1/2 cup vodka could be added, but is good without.
Combine vegetable juice with rest of ingredients, and, if desired, vodka in a punch bowl or pitcher. Serve over ice in glasses. Serve with celery sticks, if desired. I personally like the flavor of key lime flavored water added to this to add a little fizz to the punch.

How To Make a Box Cake Taste Like a Bakery Cake
I have also tried this and it turned out really good.
Step 1: Look at the directions on the cake mix box.
Step 2: Add one more egg (or add 2 more eggs if you want it to be very rich).
Step 3: Use melted butter instead of oil and double the amount.
Step 4: Instead of water, use milk.
Step 5: Mix well and bake at the oven temperature and time recommended on the box.
This can be used for any flavor regular cake mix. NOT to be used with angel food mix.

Blueberry Salad
2 small packages raspberry
Jell-O (you can use sugar
1 can blueberry pie filling
8 or 12 ounce carton Cool Whip
8 ounce cream cheese (you can
use fat free or Neuchatel)
2 cups boiling water
2 tablespoons powdered sugar
Dissolve 1 package Jell-O in 1 cup boiling water. Stir in blueberry pie filling. Pour into 9-by-13-inch pan. Put in refrigerator. Dissolve 1 package Jell-O in 1 cup boiling water and cool. Add powdered sugar to cream cheese and whip well, stir in softened cool whip. Blend into cooled Jell-O and pour over blueberry layer and chill.

Strawberry Cheesecake Salad
Serves about 10.
12 ounce whipped topping
1 small package of cheesecake
pudding (just the powder,
don’t add the milk)
(3) 6 ounce strawberry yogurts
1 pound fresh strawberries,
3 bananas, sliced (add just
before serving or they will
turn brown)
Miniature Marshmallows (add
just before serving)
Thaw whipped topping and in a large salad bowl stir together whipped topping, yogurts, and pudding powder. Let this set up in the fridge for at least an hour before serving. Wash and slice strawberries. You can add strawberries to salad or wait to add them with sliced bananas and marshmallows just before serving. Keep refrigerated.

Crockpot Turkey Sandwiches
6 cups diced turkey
3 cups diced cheese (American
or Velveeta)
1 can cream of mushroom soup
1 can cream of chicken soup
1 onion, chopped
1/2 cup Miracle Whip
Mix all of above and put in crockpot for 3-4 hours. Stir occasionally. Add liquid, if needed. Serve with buns.

Crockpot Bar-B-Q Pork for Sandwiches
1-1/2 pounds cubed pork
1 pound cubed beef
6 ounce can tomato paste
1/4 cup vinegar
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon chili powder
1 large chopped onion
1 chopped green pepper
Mix together in crockpot, cooking at least 8 hours. Shred meat with fork before serving on buns or hard rolls.

Best Chicken Salad Sandwich
1/2 cup light mayonnaise
1/2 cup low-fat plain yogurt
1 teaspoon paprika
1 teaspoon seasoned salt
1-1/2 cups dried cranberries
1 cup chopped celery
1 cup cubed Granny Smith apple
1 cup sliced red grapes
1 cup chopped pecans
4 cups cooked chicken, cut up
ground pepper to taste
Mix mayonnaise, yogurt, paprika, and seasoned salt together in a bowl; fold in cranberries, celery, apple, grapes, and pecans. Stir in chicken and season with black pepper. Refrigerate until serving.

If you are reading this, then you probably enjoy new recipes. If you would like to share some of your recipes with the community YOU could be Cook of the Week. Please contact me, Sally Cuthbertson, if you would like to be in this column some week. I can be reached by phone at 515-373-6346 or email me at sacuthbe@msn.com.
I will be happy to email or send you my short questionnaire and set up a time to come and visit you at your convenience. I’m always looking for NEW Cook’s of the Week. Also, if you are new in town, this is a good way to introduce yourself to the Humboldt community and surrounding communities. I look forward to visiting with you.
The COOK OF THE WEEK 3rd Edition Cookbook is available. Cost per copy is $10.70, plus $4.80 shipping/handling. Order a copy today by sending a check or money order, along with name and shipping address, to: Humboldt Independent, 512 Sumner Ave., Humboldt, IA 50548.