Eat healthy! (Sweets are good too)

<strong>Penny’s Pantry</strong> Penny Case

Penny’s Pantry Penny Case

Here’s a challenge: Try to send your kids to school with healthy lunches and no junk food.

I see too many overweight kids nowadays. Pack fruits and veggie sticks like carrots, celery, and other raw veggies. They do have sugar-free jellies and reduced fat peanut butter for sandwiches.

All of my siblings were average weight because my mom fixed healthy lunches. We didn’t eat junk foods as we didn’t have as many fast food places in my childhood days, though we did have custard stands like the Dairy Barn. Mom did make snack foods for bedtime — my favorite was her peach cobbler and homemade doughnuts but it was all balanced by our a large garden of fresh veggies and orchard with fruit trees of every kind, berry bushes, and concord grapes. We never had to buy vegetables or fruit from the stores (only bananas).

Of course, I like desserts. I have three cookbooks just for cake mix recipes and I like making cookies with chocolate cake mixes. They’re so easy and faster!

The next time I see my grandsons, we are going to make brownie pops. I know they will enjoy making them and certainly eating them — they would be good to serve at a birthday party or at school on their birthday instead of cupcakes.

Until next time, enjoy these recipes.

Brownie Pops

• 1 box fudge brownie mix

• Water, oil, and eggs as called for on brownie box

• 24 craft sticks (flat wooden ones with round ends)

• 1 cup semisweet chocolate chips

• 2 tbsp. shortening

• Assorted decors or sprinkles

Heat oven to 350 degrees. Line 9×13 pan with foil so the foil extends about two inches over sides of pan. Spray foil with cooking spray. Make brownie mix as directed on box using water, oil, and eggs; spread in pan and bake as directed. Cool completely (one hour). Place brownies in freezer for 30 minutes. Remove brownies from pan by lifting foil. Peel foil from sides of brownies. Cut brownies into 24 square bars (six rows by four rows). Gently insert stick into end of each bar peeling foil from bars. Place on cookie sheet. Freeze 30 minutes. In a microwave bowl, put chocolate chips and shortening in and cook for one minute, uncovered, on high. Stir until smooth. If necessary, do additional five seconds at a time. Dip top third to half of each brownie into chocolate. Sprinkle with decors. Lay flat on waxed paper or foil to dry.

Sugared Pecans

• 1 cup sugar

• 1 tbsp. ground cinnamon

• 1 tsp. salt

• 1 egg white

• 1 tbsp. water

• 1 lb. pecan halves

Preheat oven to 300 degrees. Combine sugar, cinnamon, and salt in a small bowl, then set aside. Place egg white and water in a medium bowl. Beat with electric mixer at medium speed until frothy but not stiff. Pour pecans in egg white mixture and stir until coated. Add sugar mixture. Stir until evenly coated. Spread on cookie sheet. Bake at 300 degrees for 45 minutes, stirring every 15 minutes. Cool completely. Store in lidded container or plastic bag.

Chocolate Chip and Oatmeal Cookies

• 1 package yellow cake mix

• 1 cup quick cooking rolled oats, uncooked

• 3/4 cup margarine or butter, softened

• 2 eggs

• 1 cup semisweet chocolate chips

Heat oven to 350 degrees. Combine cake mix, oats, butter, and eggs in a large bowl, mixing well. Stir in chips. Drop by rounded teaspoons onto ungreased cookie sheets. Bake 10 to 12 minutes or until lightly browned. Cook slightly. Remove from sheets to wire racks. Cool completely. Put in lidded contained.

Dump Cake

• 20 oz. can crushed pineapple with juice, undrained

• 21 oz. can cherry pie filling

• 1 package moist deluxe yellow cake mix

• 1 cup chopped pecans or walnuts

• 1/2 cup (1 stick) margarine or butter, cut into thin slices

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease 9×13 pan. Dump pineapple with juice in pan and spread evenly. Dump pie filling and spread evenly. Sprinkle cake mix evenly over cherry layer. Sprinkle pecans over cake mix. Dot with margarine. Bake 50 minutes or until top is lightly browned. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Penny Case is a lifelong resident of Wellington who loves to cook and share recipes. Send recipes to her at 22 Johns St. or at

Penny’s Pantry Penny Case’s Pantry Penny Case