Fall is here and the trees are so beautiful. We have many things to be thankful for each day, even in this trying time.

This week, we celebrate Indiana Extension Homemakers Week. This year, our activities have been very limited. Our Mission Statement is to strengthen families through continuing education, leadership development and volunteer community service. Some of the activities we support locally are New Directions, planting daffodils on the hospital grounds, Pop Tabs for Ronald McDonald House, Operation Christmas Child and our Military Project. We appreciate everyone’s support. For more info on any of these projects, just contact our local Extension Office. Also if you are interested in joining our organization.

This week we also celebrated Columbus Day. We need to think more about the founders of our country and the freedom we enjoy.

Here are a few recipes for you to try.

Hot Chicken Salad

1 c. cooked chicken, diced

1 c. celery , chopped

1 medium onion, chopped

1/2 c. almonds, chopped

1 can water chestnuts, sliced

1 can cream of chicken soup

3/4 c. salad dressing

2 hard boiled eggs, chopped

salt and pepper to taste

3 T. lemon juice

2 c. crushed potato chips, or crushed corn flakes

Mix together the chicken, celery, onion, almonds, water chestnuts and eggs and place in a greased 9 by 13 inch pan. Mix together soup, salad dressing, salt, pepper and lemon juice. Pour over chicken mixture. Sprinkle chips over top and bake at 375 degrees for 25 to 30 minutes.

Orange Banana Bread

1 1/2 c sugar

3 T. oil

2 large eggs

3 medium bananas, mashed, about 1 1/4 c.

3/4 c. orange juice

3 c. flour

1 1/2 tsp. baking powder

1 1/2 tsp. baking soda

1/2 tsp. salt

1 c. chopped nuts

Combine the sugar, oil and eggs; mix well. Stir in bananas and orange juice. Combine the dry ingredients and add to banana mixture, beating until just moistened. Stir in nuts. Pour batter into two greased loaf pans. Bake at 325 degrees for 50 to 60 minutes. Cool for 10 minutes before removing from pan.

Pear Pandowdy

2 medium pears, peeled and sliced

2 T. brown sugar

4 1/2 T. butter

1 1/2. tsp. lemon juice

1/4 tsp. cinnamon

1/4 tsp. nutmeg

Topping

1/2 c. flour

2 T. sugar

1/2 tsp. baking powder

dash of salt

1/4 c. cubed cold butter

2 T. water

Combine the first six ingredients. Cook and stir over medium heat until pears are tender (about 5 minutes). Pour into a greased 3-cup baking dish. Combine topping ingredients and sprinkle over pears. Sprinkle with 1 T. sugar. Bake at 375 degrees for 20 to 25 minutes and topping is lightly browned. Serve warm with ice cream.

Double-Layer Pumpkin Cheese Cake

1 1/2c. crushed gingersnaps (about 30 cookies

3/4 c. toasted chopped pecans

1 T. sugar

dash of salt

1/4 c. butter, melted

Cheese Cake Layer

1 8oz. pkg. cream cheese,softened

1/3 c. sugar

1 large egg, slightly beaten

1 tsp. vanilla

Pumpkin Layer

2 large eggs, lightly beaten

1 1/3 c. pumpkin

1/3 c. sugar

2 tsp. pumpkin pie spice

dash of salt

2/3 c. heavy whipping cream

Preheat oven to 325 degrees

Pulse first four ingredients in food processor until ground, add the butter, pulse to blend. Press the mixture onto bottom and sides of 9 -inch deep dish pie pan. Refrigerate while making filling. For the cheesecake layer, beat all the ingredients until smooth. For the pumpkin layer, whisk together the eggs, pumpkin, sugar, spice and salt.; gradually whisk in cream. Spread the cheesecake mixture onto crush and cover with pumpkin mixture. Bake on a lower oven rack until filling is set (55 to 60 minutes).Cool at least one hour on wire rack. Top with whipped cream and nuts.

Decatur County resident Eileen Fisse may be contacted via this publication at news@greensburgdailynews.com.

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