Receive that extra added warmth this winter by cooking these nice foods


Wintertime in Florida is a wonderfully cool time for cooking!

When nature’s summer heat is turned off at about this time every year, home chefs are more inspired to turn on our stoves and ovens.

We appreciate that extra added warmth provided for our homes by something cooking in our ovens almost as much as we enjoy eating those nice hot meals, which can help warm us in our just as much appreciated nicely cool local winters following too much too-hot summertime.

Our homes’ hot ovens, may be sometimes left cold during the sizzling hot season but now being turned on again a lot, do double duty by helping keep us warm in cold winters while
baking our favorite wintertime hot foods.

Salads and other foods best served cold were always so very welcome on earlier days of intense summer heat but now, in this cooler season, we may be more focused on having something good and hot baking in the oven while the oven helps keep us a bit warmer at the same time.

Sizzling hot soups, still oven-warm pasta, hot cocoa, hot pancakes and other traditional old steaming hot warmer-upper hot standbys also seem sort of synonymous with the word winter.

Winter certainly is indeed here these January days, not as cold as the freezing up-north’s shivering season of ice and snow, but we’re certainly living a lot cooler now than during our earlier seasons’ sometimes sweltering midsummer nights and days!

Stay warm the next chilly day in the Apopka area with these nice-and-hot recipes below from our many local cookbooks, created for us by very much appreciated local Apopka groups like our local Habitat for Humanity chapter and our local schools and churches.

Start with Marion Bongiovanni’s Spinach Balls. They’re fun for kids to help make (remind and check to confirm they wash their hands first!) and these spinach balls are as delicious as they are a winning way to get children to eat their spinach!




Recipe from 

Fran Carlton Seniors Cookbook

2 boxes frozen chopped spinach

1 large onion, chopped

4 cups Pepperidge Farm stuffing mix

1/2 teaspoon garlic powder

4 beaten eggs

3/4 cup melted butter

1/2 cup Parmesan cheese, grated

1/2 teaspoon thyme

Cook and drain spinach. Add other ingredients. Mix well. Refrigerate at least one hour. Shape into small balls. Place on ungreased cookie sheet
and bake at 350 degrees for 20-25 minutes.



Recipe from The New Good Ole Boy’s Cookbook

2 cups cold mashed potatoes

Crushed corn flakes

1 egg, beaten

Butter or margarine

Mix well the mashed potatoes and the egg. Shape into balls. Roll in the crushed corn flakes. Make a depression in top of each ball and dot with butter. Place potato balls on greased baking sheet and bake in 425 degrees oven for 20 minutes.



Recipe from Habitat For Humanity’s Partners In The Kitchen

2 cups sliced fresh mushrooms

1 cup light ricotta cheese

2 eggs, beaten

2 cups coarsely shredded carrots

2 cups coarsely shredded zucchini

9 lasagna noodles, cooked

3 cups spaghetti sauce

1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese

Spray skillet with nonstick cooking spray and then heat the skillet over medium heat. Add mushrooms to skillet. Cook mushrooms, with skillet covered, for five minutes and then continue cooking, with skillet uncovered, until liquid evaporates.

In a bowl, mix the ricotta cheese and the beaten eggs. In smaller bowls, mix half of that cheese and egg mixture with the shredded carrots and then mix the other half with the zucchini.

Spray a 9- by 13-inch baking pan with nonstick cooking spray and, in the pan, layer three noodles, carrot mixture and one-third of the spaghetti sauce. Top with two more layers of three noodles, zucchini mixture and one-third of the spaghetti sauce. Sprinkle with mozzarella cheese. Bake at 375 degrees for 25-30 minutes or until bubbly.

coconut-cakeSARAH KUBELKA’S 


Recipe from Don Moore’s
The Good Ole Boy’s Cook Book

2 cups sour cream

2 cups sugar

1-1/2 cups coconut

1 ready-made white cake mix

Mix the first three ingredients and let mixture stay (covered) in refrigerator overnight. Make and have ready a cake from a white cake mix, using the kind that requires oil. Make the cake in four layers or split each of the two layers, making four layers.

Spread between each layer the mixture of sour cream, sugar and coconut, using as much of the mixture as possible. Do not ice the sides of the cake.

Seal in cake container and refrigerate at least three days. The longer you keep it, the better it is.



Recipe from Habitat for Humanity’s Partners In The Kitchen

1 (32-ounce) jar meatless spaghetti sauce

1 cup water

15 ounces ricotta cheese

2 tablespoons chopped fresh chives

1/2 teaspoon oregano leaves

1 egg, beaten

8 ounces uncooked lasagna noodles

2 cups chopped steamed broccoli

16 ounces Mozarella cheese, sliced

2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese

In medium-size bowl, mix spaghetti sauce and water; set aside. Combine ricotta cheese, chives, oregano leaves and egg in small bowl. Mix well.

Spread 1-1/2 cups spaghetti sauce into 9- by 13-inch baking pan. Layer the uncooked noodles, ricotta cheese mixture, broccoli and mozzarella cheese in a prepared dish. Pour remaining spaghetti sauce over layers, half at a time. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese. Cover and chill overnight. Bake the lasagna, uncovered, at 350 degrees for one hour. Let stand for 15 minutes before serving.



Recipe from First Presbyterian Church’s Treasures and Pleasures

5 slices bacon, diced

1 large onion, chopped

2 medium-size potatoes, cubed

2 cups chicken broth

1-1/2 cups fresh corn kernels (cut from cob)

1 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper

2 cups light cream (half and half)

Cook diced bacon in a kettle until crisp. Remove bacon from skillet and reserve in the fat. Saute the onion until tender. Add potatoes and broth. Cover and simmer until potatoes are barely tender. Add the corn, salt and pepper, and cook for 10-15 minutes longer. Stir in the cream and heat just to boiling.

Sprinkle top with the reserved
bacon. Recipe makes four to six servings.


Recipe from Don Moore’s The New Good Ole Boy’s Cook Book

2 cups flour

3 teaspoons baking powder

1 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon baking soda

1/4 cup shortening

3/4 cup buttermilk or sour cream

Cut shortening into dry ingredients until dough is mealy. Add milk and stir. Knead lightly for 20 seconds. Roll dough out to about one-half-inch thickness. Cut with floured biscuit cutter. Place on an ungreased cookie sheet. Bake in a very hot oven (450 degrees) for 10 minutes.