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Somethin' Good is Always Cookin' (Recipes)

Gorgonzola and Cranberry Cheese Ball

1 package (8 ounces) cream cheese, softened
1 cup (4 ounces) crumbled Gorgonzola cheese
1 cup dried cranberries
2 tablespoons each finely chopped onion, celery, green pepper and sweet red pepper
¼ teaspoon hot pepper sauce
¾ cup Diamond of California Chopped Pecans
assorted crackers

In a small bowl, combine cheeses. Stir in the cranberries, vegetables and pepper sauce.

Shape into a ball; wrap in plastic wrap. Refrigerate for 1 hour or until firm.

Roll cheese ball in pecans. Serve with crackers. Yield: 2 cups.

Nutritional Facts: ¼ cup (calculated without crackers) equals 274 calories, 22 g fat (10 g saturated fat), 44 mg cholesterol, 277 mg sodium, 16 g carbohydrate, 2 g fiber, 6 g protein.

Originally published in Country Woman Magazine Dec./Jan. 2010

Drusilla's Health and Wellness Recipe
Pumpkin Nut Bread

A family favorite, pumpkin nut bread makes a wonderful snack, breakfast or dessert. This recipe makes one large loaf or 2 mini loaves for gift giving. Freezes well. Freeze on a plate 6 hours, wrap frozen loaf in heavy duty aluminum foil and return to the freezer for up to six months.
2 cups all-purpose flour or
1 cup whole wheat flour and 1 cup all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
½ teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
½ teaspoon each: salt and nutmeg
1 cup solid pack canned pumpkin
1 cup sugar
½ cup skim milk
2 eggs, slightly beaten
¼ cup vegetable oil
½ cup each: chopped pecans and black or English walnuts (may substitute raisins or any combination to equal one cup)

Preheat oven to 350°F. Sift together flour, baking powder, baking soda, ground cinnamon, salt and ground nutmeg. In a large mixing bowl, combine pumpkin, sugar, milk and eggs. Mix well.

Add dry ingredients, oil and nuts mixing until just moistened. Batter will be slightly lumpy. Do not over mix.

Spoon batter into 9 x 5 inch loaf pan or two 7½ x 3¾ inch loaf pans, sprayed with non-stick oil. Bake (in the middle of the oven) large loaf for 65 minutes or two mini loaves for 50 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in the center comes out clean.

Cool 10 minutes in the pan. Use a knife to loosen bread from the sides of the pan, invert and cool on a cooling rack or plate. Slice and serve.

Nutrition Facts per slice: 150 calories, 5g total fat, 25mg cholesterol, 150mg sodium, 22g carbohydrate, 1g dietary, fiber 3g protein

Cooking Tips

  • For best results when you're baking, leave butter and eggs at room temperature overnight. Ina Garten Barefoot Contessa: Back to Basics.
  • The smaller the item, the higher the baking temperature. For example, I bake mini chocolate chip-toffee cookies at 500 for only 4 minutes. Perfect end result. Jim Lahey Co. and Sullivan Street Bakery, New York City.
  • When cooking eggplant, I like to use the long, skinny, purple Japanese kind because you don't have to salt it to pull out the bitter liquid, like you do with the larger Italian variety. Andrew Carmellini Locanda Verde and The Dutch, New York City.

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