Dear SOS: We recently discovered the Palace Cafe, a wonderful Cajun-Creole restaurant in Santa Barbara. In our basket of delicious assorted muffins, buttermilk-rosemary muffins were tops. These would be perfect with soups and stews. Could you get the recipe?
Dear Anne: Yes, we could, and what delightful muffins they'll make for Easter brunch, lunch or supper, too.
THE PALACE'S SOUTHERN FRESH ROSEMARY-BUTTERMILK MUFFINS
2 1/4 cups flour
2 teaspoons ground fresh rosemary or 1 teaspoon dried rosemary
2 tablespoons sugar
3/4 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons baking powder
1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon shortening
3/4 cup buttermilk
Combine flour, rosemary, sugar, salt and baking powder. Mix well. Cut in shortening until mixture is crumbly. Add buttermilk and mix just until ingredients are moistened. Scoop muffins into 12 greased muffin tins and brush with melted butter. Bake at 400 degrees 10 to 15 minutes or until golden brown. Serve warm. Makes 12 muffins.
Dear SOS: I lost the recipe for a delicious fudge made with mashed potatoes. I believe the white or chocolate fudge contained coconut. I hope you have the recipe in your file.
Dear Janice: We're happy to replace your lost recipe.
MASHED POTATO FUDGE
1/4 cup hot mashed potatoes
1 teaspoon butter or margarine
2 1/2 cups sifted powdered sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1 1/3 cups shredded coconut
2 squares unsweetened chocolate, melted
Mix potatoes and butter in bowl. Add sugar gradually and beat until well blended. Add vanilla, salt and coconut. Pack in greased 8x4-inch loaf pan. Spread chocolate over top. Chill until chocolate is firm. Cut in squares. Makes 1 1/4 pounds.
Note: If desired 4 squares candy-making chocolate, melted, may be substituted for unsweetened chocolate in recipe.
Dear SOS: I would like to have the recipe for President Reagan's Favorite Macaroni and Cheese.
Dear Esther: What a wonderful dish this is to serve anytime, even with Easter ham. Patriotic, too.
PRESIDENT REAGAN'S FAVORITE MACARONI AND CHEESE
1/2 pound macaroni
1 teaspoon butter
1 egg, beaten
1 teaspoon dry mustard
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup milk
3 cups grated sharp American cheese
Cook macaroni in water until tender and drain thoroughly. Stir in butter and egg. Mix mustard and salt with 1 tablespoon hot water and add to milk. Add cheese, reserving enough to sprinkle on top.
Pour macaroni into buttered casserole. Add milk and sprinkle with cheese. Bake at 350 degrees 45 minutes or until custard is set and top is crusty. Makes 4 to 6 servings.
Dear SOS: I would appreciate a good recipe for Hot Cross Buns. It is a little early to be thinking about these buns, but they are good anytime of the year.
Dear Elsie: It is never too soon for those planning ahead for Easter meals. And you're right, the buns are great anytime. Decorations can vary from the traditional icing (how about writing an initial of a guest, instead) to powdered sugar--or no decoration at all.
HOT CROSS BUNS
1 cup milk
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup shortening
2 teaspoons salt
1/4 cup warm water
2 envelopes dry yeast
1 egg yolk
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom
4 1/2 cups flour
1 cup raisins
3 tablespoons melted butter
Scald milk and stir in sugar, shortening and salt. Cool to lukewarm. Measure water into large warm bowl and sprinkle in yeast. Let stand about 5 minutes, then stir until dissolved. Add lukewarm milk mixture, egg, egg yolk, cinnamon and cardamom.
Beat in about 1 1/2 cups flour. Stir in additional flour to make soft dough. Turn onto lightly floured surface and knead until smooth and elastic, about 5 to 8 minutes. Shape into ball and place in greased bowl, turning to grease top. Cover and let rise in warm place until doubled, about 1 1/2 hours.
Punch dough down and knead in raisins. Divide dough into 16 portions and roll each into ball. Arrange dough balls about 1/2-inch apart on greased baking sheet. Cover and let rise in warm place until doubled.
Bake at 350 degrees 20 to 25 minutes, or until golden. Remove from baking sheets and brush with melted butter. Cool slightly and decorate tops with crosses made with Sugar Icing. Makes 16 buns.
1 cup sifted powdered sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1 1/2 tablespoons water
Blend powdered sugar, salt and vanilla with enough water to make good spreading consistency.
Dear SOS: I have candy canes galore left over from this past Christmas season. I hope you have a recipe that uses candy cane pieces as an essential ingredient.
Dear Lola: Good idea. How about a pretty pink peppermint Easter cake, using at least half a cup of crushed peppermint candy?
OLD-FASHIONED PEPPERMINT CAKE
3 cups sifted flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup butter or margarine
1 1/2 cups sugar
3/4 cup milk
1/2 cup water
1 teaspoon vanilla
3 egg whites
Pink Peppermint Frosting