Sharing recipes is always fun, and the members of the Susquehanna Senior Center have put their favorites together in a cookbook titled "A Susquehanna Potluck."

The book features old family favorites that have been tried and tested over the years, a lot of them popular with the folks who enjoy the potluck dinners at the center.

It was the potluck dinners that led to the idea to publish a cookbook, member Crystal Nispel of Red Lion said.

People were always asking for recipes, and putting them all together in a cookbook seemed like a good way to share the recipes and make a little money for the center, she said.

These are just some of the recipes in the book, including some of the stories behind them.

Ice water cake
Ice water cake (SUBMITTED)

Ice water cake

¾ cup butter

2½ cups sugar

1½ teaspoons vanilla

3 eggs

3 cups flour

1½ teaspoons baking soda

¾ teaspoon salt

1½ cups ice water

3 one-ounce squares unsweetened chocolate

Beat butter, sugar, vanilla and eggs until light and fluffy. Melt and add the chocolate. Sift together flour, baking soda and salt. Mix with the egg and sugar mixture, then add the ice water. Mix together well. Pour batter into either two 9-inch round or one 9-by-13-inch pan that is greased and floured. Bake at 350 degrees for 30 to 40 minutes. Frost with ice water cake frosting.


Ice water cake frosting

2 tablespoons cornstarch

1 cup milk

1 cup Crisco

1 teaspoon vanilla

1 cup sugar

Cook cornstarch and milk until thickened. Cool. Beat Crisco, vanilla and sugar on high speed for 10 to 12 minutes.

Add cornstarch mixture and beat until it looks like whipped cream.

Use to frost ice water cake. Can be used to frost other cakes, as well.

Spaghetti pizza pie
Spaghetti pizza pie (SUBMITTED)

"This is (husband) Merle's favorite cake," Sonia Renoll of Glen Rock, said.


Baked pretzels

1 bag pretzels, broken

1 package onion soup mix

Ð cup oil

1 stick butter, melted

Preheat oven to 200 degrees. Line a baking sheet with foil.

Toss all ingredients in a bowl.

Spread evenly on the baking sheet and bake for 1 hour, stirring halfway through.


Spaghetti pizza pie

8 ounces spaghetti, cooked and drained

½ cup grated Parmesan cheese

1 egg, lightly beaten

1 pound ground beef, cooked and drained

2 cups spaghetti sauce

8-ounce package shredded mozzarella cheese

Toss together cooked spaghetti, Parmesan cheese and egg. Place in a 9-inch pie plate. Press along bottom and sides to form crust.

Mix cooked meat and spaghetti sauce. Spread mixture over spaghetti crust. Sprinkle with mozzarella cheese.

Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes or until thoroughly heated. Let stand 5 minutes before cutting into wedges. Makes 6 servings.

"This dish is simple and quick to make. You make it like a pizza and sprinkle on a lot of cheese," said Sonia Renoll of Glen Rock. "I serve it with some warm garlic bread and you can add a salad if you like for a complete meal."


Unbaked fruitcake

1 pound graham crackers, rolled

1 pound seedless raisins

1 pound dates, cut into thirds

1 pound English walnuts

1 pound mini marshmallows

1 can sweetened condensed milk

1 bottle red cherries, drained and cut up

1 container mixed fruit for fruitcake

Mix all ingredients. Lay foil in pan and press ingredients in pan, wrap and refrigerate overnight. It will be ready to eat the next day.

Klein said this recipe is easy, takes very little time to put together and something everyone seems to enjoy.


No bake cookies

2 cups sugar

½ cup margarine

½ cup cocoa

½ cup milk

1 teaspoon salt

1 cup peanut butter

3 cups oats

2 teaspoon vanilla

Boil first five ingredients slowly. Add peanut butter, then oats, finally vanilla. Stir together and drop by tablespoon onto waxed paper. Let cool.

These cookies are something kids can make with a little help. They might come out a little lopsided at times but kids seem to like them anyway, Marti Zech said.

Baked corn
Baked corn (SUBMITTED)


Baked corn

1 can corn

1 tablespoon corn starch

½ cup milk

1 tablespoon butter or margarine

2 eggs

Salt and pepper to taste

Drain corn reserving small amount of liquid. Stir liquid and all remaining ingredients together and pour into greased casserole dish. Bake at 375 degrees for 35 minutes or until golden brown.

"This was my grandmother's recipe. I like it because it is more like a custard than some other recipes. Other people seem to like it, too," Juanita Klein said.


Homemade play dough

1 cup flour

½ cup salt

1 cup water

2 teaspoon cream of tartar

1 tablespoon cooking oil

Food coloring (optional)

Combine first five ingredients in a saucepan.

Cook until the moisture leaves sides of pan and has the consistency of mashed potatoes.

Add food coloring if desired.

Store in an air-tight container.


Oven porcupine meatballs

1 pound hamburger

½ cup uncooked rice

½ cup water

Ð cup chopped onion

1 teaspoon salt

½ teaspoon celery salt

teaspoon garlic powder

teaspoon pepper

15-ounce can tomato sauce

2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce

Mix hamburger, rice, water, onion, salt, celery salt, garlic powder and pepper.

Shape mixture into 12 balls. Place meatballs in an 8-inch square baking dish.

Mix remaining ingredients and pour over meatballs, cover and cook at 350 degrees for 45 minutes. Uncover and cook for 15 additional minutes.

"I have been using this recipe for years," said Marti Zech of Windsor. "Several people at the center like it and asked me for a copy of it. It is so easy to make."


Coated grapes

1 cluster red seedless grapes

Two 8-ounce packages cream cheese, softened

Caramel or butterscotch topping

Crushed pecans

Wash grapes, dry on paper towel, pull apart from step.

Pour topping over cream cheese, enough to cover cheese. Blend with mixer until smooth.

Drop grapes into mixture and coat with a fork.

Put crushed pecans on cookie sheet. Drop coated grapes into the pecans. Roll grapes until covered with pecans, then use palms ofyour hands to roll grapes around to press pecans into grapes.

Put in fridge to cool.

Add chocolate syrup to any leftover cream cheese mixture and blend; it's good for dipping fruit.


Best in the West beans

1 pound hamburg

1 pound bacon

4 tablespoons yellow mustard

4 tablespoons molasses

½ cup ketchup

½ cup barbecue sauce

1 meduim onion, chopped

1 teaspoon salt

¾ teaspoon pepper

1 teaspoon chili powder

Two 16-ounce cans kidney beans, drained

Two 16-ounce cans pork and beans, drained

Two 16-ounce cans butter beans, drained

Brown beef, bacon and onions in large skillet.

Combine mustard, molasses, ketchup, barbecue sauce, salt, pepper and chili powder; fold in beef mixture, then beans.

Pour in large casserole dish and bake in preheated 350-degree oven until hot and bubbly.


Lime honey dressing for fruit

Blend ¼ cup honey, 1 tablespoon lime juice, ¼ teaspoon celery seed and a dash of salt.

Makes ¼ cup.

Strawberry pie

¾ cup sugar

¾ cup water

1 tablespoon corn starch

1½ ounces strawberry Jell-O (about half a package)

1 quart strawberries

1 graham cracker crust or one pre-baked crust

Stir sugar, water, and corn starch until thick and bubbly. Add Jell-O, stirring until dissolved. Pour over piled berries in baked or graham crust.

"This is something my kids want all the time when we get together with the family. I got the recipe from my sister-in-law, but I tweaked it a little bit," Crystal Nispel said. "There are two ways you can make it. You can use sugar-free Jell-O and substitute Splenda for the sugar to cut down on calories and the sugar content."

There is nothing like York County strawberries to add to the flavor of this family favorite, she said.

Crab salad

1 pound crab meat

½ cup chopped celery

½ cup mayonnaise

1 small onion, chopped fine

1 teaspoon old bay seasoning

½ teaspoon salt

½ teaspoon pepper

Mix all ingredients in bowl and chill for several hours before serving.


Poormans crabcake

2 cups grated zucchini

1 cup seasoned bread crumbs

2 eggs, beaten

1 tablespoon mayonnaise

1 teaspoon Old Bay seasoning

Combine all ingredients, form into cakes.

Fry in hot oil (olive or vegetable) until brown.

Serves 4.


Ham loaf

1 pound fresh ground pork

1 pound ground cured ham

1 cup bread crumbs

¾ cup brown sugar

1 teaspoon mustard

½ cup water

½ cup vinegar

1 egg

1 teaspoon salt

1 cup milk

Mix together the pork, ham, bread crumbs, egg, salt and milk. Form and place in loaf pan.

Bake at 350 degrees for 1½ to 2 hours.

Mix brown sugar, mustard, water and vinegar together and bring to a boil.

When the ham loaf has baked for 1 hour, pour sauce over the loaf and continue to bake.


'A SUSQUEHANNA POTLUCK', a cookbook published by the Susquehanna Area Senior Center, features a variety of favorite recipes submitted by members of the center.

There are recipes for appetizers, soups and salads, vegetables, main dishes desserts, and "this and that," along with a variety of helpful hints useful for seasoned cooks and beginners alike.

Cost is $10 and proceeds support the senior center.

To purchase a cookbook, call 717-244-0340.

The center, at 2427 Craley Road, Lower Windsor Township, invites visitors to stop by anytime to learn more about the center.

Call 717-244-0340 or email for more information.

Tell us

THIS IS PART OF A SERIES OF COLUMNS about people who enjoy cooking and want to share their recipes and about individuals or organizations who have written a cookbook.

Email, write to Barb Krebs in care of the Weekly Record, 1891 Loucks Road, York, 17408 or call Krebs at 717-235-1042.