The Dining Car Concept

If you have ever attended a MVGRS monthly meeting the one thing you will surely bring away from the meeting is a larger waist line. It has been a long running tradition for the members of the MVGRS to bring a snack item to share amongst each other. 
Snacks range from store bought cookies to extravagant home made items that are absolutely delicious. 
The summer of 2007 Judy LaMusga came up with the idea of having MVGRS members submit their recipes to be published in the monthly Tracks newsletter so members could share these wonderful food items with their family and friends. 
The next thing you know The Dining Car idea was born, the only catch is that out of respect to the person who submitted the recipe is that you not bring it to a monthly meeting, but feel free to share it with family and friends. 
If you have any recipes that you would like to submit please send them to Judy LaMusga.

2 cups crushed graham crackers with 6 TBSP melted butter. 
Place in 9 inch pie pan. 

3 oz soft cream cheese & 1 cup powdered sugar. 
Beat filling with mixer. 
Add 1 cup crunchy peanut butter–if using mixer, mix sparingly. 
Add 1/4 tsp vanilla and 1 large cool whip — fold in above mixture by hand. 
Refrigerate one day. 

Submitted by Lynne Hamilton Featured in the March 2010 TRACKS 

2 cans 9.5 oz chicken white meat (Swanson) 
1 can cream of mushroom soup 
1 chicken bouillon cube 
2 Tbs corn starch 
Mix in pan and heat on stove top until thickened. 

Submitted by Dawn Wells Featured in the February 2010 TRACKS 

Yield: 8 servings Time: 1 ½ hours 

6-8 medium sized potatoes thinly sliced, peeled or unpeeled. 
3 large green tomatoes, thinly sliced 
1 medium onion, diced 
1 c. flour 
1 pound grated cheddar cheese or more to suit 
¼ pound bacon browned and crumbled or more to suit 
Salt and pepper to taste 
½ c. milk 
Preheat oven 350º Grease a large baking dish or two smaller ones. 
Put a layer of potatoes on the bottom and cover with a layer of green tomatoes. 
Sprinkle on a little bit of onion, flour, cheddar cheese, bacon, and salt and pepper. 
Continue layering until dish is full, ending with a layer of cheese covering the top. 
Pour milk over the top and bake for at least 1 hour or until potatoes are cooked and bubbling brown on the top. 
I was able to make only two layers using two pans. 

Submitted by Judy LaMusga Featured in the January 2010 TRACKS 

Makes 28 bars, Total time about 45 min + cooling 

1 lb Peanut butter sandwich cookies, coarsely crumbled 
1 stick unsalted (or lightly salted) butter, melted 

For The Topping: 
2 C peanut butter chips 
2/3 C light corn syrup 
4 Tb unsalted butter (or lightly salted) 
1 Tsp vanilla extract 
2 C miniature marshmallows 
2 C dry-roasted peanuts 
2 C crisp rice cereal (such as Rice Krispies) 

Preheat oven to 350º, coat a 13 x 9 inch baking pan with nonstick spray. 

Pulverize cookies in a food processor until fine crumbs. (You can use a baggie and rolling pin). 
Add melted butter, process until crumbs clump together. 
Press crumbs into prepared pan. 
Bake 15 min or until golden. 
Melt peanut butter chips & corn syrup in a sauce pan over medium heat, stirring until smooth, about 5 minutes, remove from heat and add vanilla. 
Spread ½ cup of the peanut mixture over the crumb base. 
Top with marshmallows and return to the oven. 
Bake until marshmallows puff, about 2 minutes, then remove from oven. 
Do not let marshmallows brown or they’ll turn crunchy. 

Toss peanuts and cereal with remaining peanut mixture to coat. 
Drop spoonfuls of the topping over the marshmallows, then spread with a spatula, (sprayed with non-stick coating to prevent sticking). 
Cool bars before cutting with a knife coated with nonstick spray. 

Submitted by Dawn Wells Featured in the November 2009 TRACKS 

1 ½ Cups sugar
2 Cups Flour
½ Cup oil
½ Teaspoon salt
1 16oz can of fruit cocktail with juice
2 Eggs
2 Teaspoon Baking Soda

Beat sugar, oil & eggs together, add flour, salt & soda.
Bake at 350 for 45 min in 9”x13” pan.

1 stick of butter
¾ Cup sugar
½ Cup Evaporated milk
1 Teaspoon vanilla
½ Cup coconut
½ Cup nuts

Boil hard for 1 minute, remove from heat and add:
Vanilla, Coconut and Nuts spread on hot cake. 

Submitted by Jeanne Davis Featured in the September 2009 TRACKS

This month’s topic is not a specific recipe.

Several people asked about the sandwich buns that I brought to the meeting. 
They are made by Arnold Select, Sandwich Thins, 16 count value pack, multigrain.
I got them at Sam’s. 
Each bun is 100 calories, 1g fat, and 22 carbs (5 fiber and 2 sugar). 

Submitted by Judy LaMusga Featured in the August 2009 TRACKS 

2 C. shredded cheddar cheese
2 C. shredded mozzarella cheese
1 cup mayonnaise
1 small jar of sauerkraut (or what ever you like)
½ pound shredded corn beef
Mix all together and bake 350 º for 45 minutes to an hour, until cheese is bubbly.
Serve with Triscuit Rye crackers. 

Submitted by Tom Carskadon Featured in the June 2009 TRACKS 

Use any cake mix that you like.
Follow the package directions for making cupcakes.
Usually, a box will make 18 – 24 cupcakes.

12 hazelnut chocolates, (Ferrero Rocher), unwrapped or use the Optional method below for making meatballs. 

Cocoa Krispies for meatballs


3 Tablespoons margarine or butter
1 package 10 oz or 40 large marsh mallows or 4 cups miniature marshmallows
6 cups Cocoa Krispies cereal

This is best made in the microwave (less mess to clean up)
1. Put the krispies in a large mixing bowl.
2. Butter a square 9” baking pan.
3. Melt margarine/butter and marshmallows together in the microwave (keep an eye on it as it puffs quickly) for 3 minutes, stirring after 2 minutes. Stir until smooth.
4. Stir butter and marshmallows to mix thoroughly.
5. Pour over cereal and mix well
6. Pour into the prepared pan and using wax paper or plastic wrap to protect your hands while compressing the cereal mixture.


Makes: About 3 cups of icing.


1/2 cup solid vegetable shortening
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter or margarine softened
1 teaspoon clear vanilla extract
4 cups sifted confectioners’ sugar (approximately 1 lb.)
½ teaspoon unsweetened cocoa powder3 drops yellow food coloring
2 tablespoons milk
2 Tablespoons white corn syrup (optional but makes icing more elastic)

( Medium Consistency)
1. In large bowl, cream shortening and butter with electric mixer.
2. Add vanilla.
3. Gradually add sugar, one cup at a time, beating well on medium speed. (Stop blade to add powered sugar unless you wish to wear it).
4. Scrape sides and bottom of bowl often.
5. When all sugar has been mixed in, icing will appear dry.
6. Add milk and beat at medium speed until light and fluffy.
7. Keep bowl covered with a damp cloth until ready to use. 8. For best results, keep icing bowl in refrigerator when not in use. Refrigerated in an airtight container, this icing can be stored 2 weeks. Rewhip before using.

11 cupcakes baked in white paper liners
1 can (16 oz or homemade butter cream icing
½ teaspoon unsweetened cocoa powder
3 crops yellow food coloring
11 hazelnut chocolates (Ferrero Rocher), unwrapped ¾ cup low-sugar strawberry preserves (low sugar has the best color)
2 Tablespoons grated white chocolate, plus and additional chunk for garnish.

1. Tint the vanilla frosting with the cocoa powder and yellow food coloring
2. Spread a thin layer on top of the cupcakes.
3. Arrange the cupcakes on a serving platter so they are not touching.
4. Spoon the remaining frosting into a ziplock bag.
5. Press out the excess air and seal the bag.
6. Snip a 1/8 inch corner from the bag.
7. Pipe the frosting all over the cupcakes to make the spaghetti, piling it high and allowing some of the spaghetti to hang over the edges.
8. Place the “meatballs” and strawberry preserves in a medium bowl and toss to coat.
9. Spoon some of the preserves on top of the cupcakes. Place one meatball on each cupcake and one on the platter.
10. Top the cupcakes with the remaining strawberry preserves.
11. Sprinkle with the grated white chocolate.
Place the chunk of white chocolate on a separate plate with a small hand grater and bring to the table with the platter of spaghetti.

(These cupcakes come from the book, Hello, Cupcake! By Karen Tack & Alan Richardson. 
Betty brought them to a recent meeting. Betty made her own butter cream icing as she prefers it over the canned stuff, but a 16 oz can will work.) 

Submitted by Betty Messmore Featured in the July 2009 TRACKS

1 large spaghetti squash, about 3 lbs
2 Tbsp reduced fat parmesan style grated toping
½ cup 2% milk shredded reduces fat mozzarella cheese
1 cup finely chopped plum tomatoes
¼ cup chopped fresh parsley

Pierce the squash several times with a fork or sharp knife to allow steam to escape.
Microwave on HIGH 10 minutes or just until soft, turning over after 5 minutes, Let stand 5 minutes.
Cut squash in half; remove and discard seeds.
Using a fork, scrape insides of squash to form strands; place in bowl. 
Add remaining ingredients; toss lightly with fork, spoon into one of the squash shells; discard remaining squash shell.
Microwave on HIGH 2 minutes or until heated through.

Makes 10 servings, about ½ cup each.
Make ahead: this recipe can be made up to 2 days in advance. 
Prepare as directed up to spooning into squash shell; cover and refrigerate. Just before serving, microwave in HIGH 3-5 minutes or until heated through.

Submitted by Judy LaMusga Featured in the May 2009 TRACKS

2 each red, yellow, orange peppers chopped
6-8 Rome tomatoes chopped
Put into bowl and coat with olive oil
Add to taste: garlic salt and Italian seasoning (He prefers Lowry’s)
Best to marinade over night in the refrigerator

1 loaf of Italian, French, or Baget bread sliced
Coat both sides with a mixture of olive oil and garlic salt 
Broil both sides (in the summertime, you can put it on the grill)
Assemble toast with pepper mixture, cover with shaved parmesan and/or mozzarella cheese

Any left over of the mixture can be saved and used in scrambled eggs the next day!

Submitted by Frank Finney Featured in the April 2009 TRACKS

Yellow Cake Mix (Pillsbury reduced sugar}
2 small cans (or 1 large) mandarin orange, do not drain
3 egg whites (or ¾ cup egg beaters)
Bake cake as directed in an ungreased 9 x 13 pan

12 oz lite or fat free cool whip
1 lg can crushed pineapple in lite juice, juice and all
1 pkg fat free, sugar free pudding (I recommend banana crème or cheesecake)
Dissolve pudding in pineapple first, then mix with cool whip
Ice the cake when it is cooled
Option, top with maraschino cherry halves and or chopped nuts.
Cut cake into 12 pieces.

Submitted by Judy Bartsch Featured in the March 2009 TRACKS 

1 Lemon cake mix
4 eggs
¼ C. applesauce
1 large can mandarin oranges
Mix by spoon. 

Bake 350º for approximately 30 minutes.

Icing: 1 container Cool Whip
1 small box instant vanilla pudding
2 small (1lb) can crushed pineapple not drained(reserve small amount for garnish) Mix with spoon.
Frost cake 

Submitted by Bonnie Klatt Featured in the February 2009 TRACKS 

1 C. light Karo Syrup
1 C. sugar (can use artificial sweetener)
1 C. peanut butter
10 ½ oz. bag of Fritos

Mix Karo syrup and sugar in pan and bring to a boil.
Remove from the heat. Mix in the peanut butter.
Spray a large cookie sheet and put the entire bag of Fritos on it. Put the syrup mixture over the Fritos. 
Let stand to cool.
Break into pieces. 

Submitted by Diane Lott Featured in the January 2009 TRACKS 

2 Packages Honey Graham Crackers
2 Small Packages or 1 large package instant vanilla or french vanilla pudding
3 Cups milk
1 (8 ounce) Cool Whip
* 1 can chocolate icing

Layer bottom of 9 x 13 pan with Graham Crackers.
Mix pudding and milk, fold in by hand the Cool Whip.
Layer ½ of pudding top of Graham Crackers.
Repeat Graham Crackers and top with pudding.
Add another layer of Graham Crackers and top with icing and let sit overnight.

* Icing – Remove lid and sit at room temperature or sit in warm water or heat in microwave about 5 seconds.
Pour the icing on top of the Graham Crackers. 

Submitted by Elva Wright (Lyn Humston’s Mom), Featured in the December 2008 TRACKS

12-15 Graham Crackers 1 Cup 
Unsalted butter ½ Cup 
White granulated sugar 1 Cup
Coarsely chopped pecans 

Line jelly-roll pan with aluminum foil. 
Lay graham crackers on foil to the edge of the pan. 
In saucepan, bring butter and sugar to a boil and continue to boil for 3 minutes. 
Pour butter-sugar mix over crackers completely covering each cracker. 
Sprinkle with pecans and bake at 350º for 10-12 minutes. 
Cool on counter and refrigerate until cool enough to break in into pieces. 
The Toffee Chips may be made one week in advance or may be frozen. 

Submitted by Marty Ragen, Featured in the November 2008 TRACKS 

Cover a 10 ½ X 15 ½ jelly roll pan with foil. 
Line with honey graham crackers.
Caramel layer: 
2 sticks butter 
1 Cup light brown sugar, firmly packed. 
Place in sauce pan and bring to boil, stirring constantly. 
Boil 1-1 ½ minutes 
Pour over crackers. 
Sprinkle with 1 C. chopped nuts.
Bake until caramel bubbles in a 350 degree oven, about 10 minutes. 
Check often and don’t let it burn. 
Remove from oven.
Sprinkle with 1 ½ Cups milk chocolate bits (Nestles only.)
Let harden in a cool place or in refrigerator.
Break into pieces when hardened. 
Can be frozen.

Submitted by Marty Ragen, Featured in the October 2008 TRACKS

¾ cup peanut butter
1 cup chocolate chips
¼ cup butter
8 cups Crispix cereal
2 cups powdered sugar
Melt the peanut butter, chocolate chips, and butter together. 
Pour over cereal in a large kettle or bowl and stir well. 
Pour the powered sugar into a large brown paper bag and add the coated cereal mix. 
Fold the bag to seal and shake well to coat evenly. 

Submitted by Aimee Humston, Featured in the September 2008 TRACKS

1 large box Wild Strawberry Jell-O 
1 large Angel Food cake 
1 ½ cup boiling water
1 ½ cup 7up or Sprite
1 quart strawberries, or the equivalent of frozen strawberries 
Cool Whip 
13 x 9 x 2 pan or dish 

Mix water and Jell-O until Jell-O is dissolved, then mix in the 7up and fruit. 
Tear the cake into small pieces and add to Jell-O mixture until the cake is well moistened. 
Chill until set, top with the Cool Whip. 

It is also very good made with Peach Jell-O and peaches, and with Orange Jell-O and mandarin oranges.

Submitted by Judy Havens, Featured in the August 2008 TRACKS

2 pkg Philly cream cheese
2 pkg of 8 crescent rolls
1 sm jar Hellman’s mayo (15 oz)
3 green onion tops (chopped)
½ to 1 ½ cloves fresh garlic crushed
1 pkg cauliflower & broccoli flowerettes
2 carrots shredded
5-6 radishes shredded
1 pkg cherry tomatoes, cut in half
Place crescent rolls on a baking pan (Pizza sized), overlapping and press together.
Bake at 350º until brown. Cool. 
Mix cream cheese, onions, & garlic together until smooth.
Spread on dough. 
Cut broccoli & cauliflower into small pieces. 
Add carrots, radishes and tomatoes. 
Place veggie mixture on top of the cream cheese mixture. 
Press gently to make sure vegetables stay in place. 
Chill for at least 3 hours or over night.

Submitted by Dawn Wells Featured in July 2008 TRACKS

We eat buffalo because I’m allergic to beef. 
This is not a spicy chili — but if you like that sort of thing, just add more. 
Essential Ingredients for Two Person + Leftovers 

2 pounds ground buffalo (I get it at Dorothy Lane Mkt.) 
1/2 to 1 pound ground pork 
1 can whole tomatoes, use the juice, too (or fresh tomatoes in season, even yellow)
1-2 small cans tomato juice 
2 cans beans, 1 navy,1 great northern, drained

chili powder, cumin, mace, kosher salt, 
cinnamon (don’t overdo the cinnamon, can’t get it out or overcome it with anything!) 
1-2 medium sweet onions (Vidalias, Texas Sweets, etc) 
currants 3 tbs. 
chili sauce 1-3 tsp. 
Minced garlic (I use the little jars)

Occasional Ingredients: 
pasta or broken spaghetti, mushrooms, garbanzo beans, etc. 
Whatever sounds good. 
Extra water, as needed 
While cooking the meat, remove any liquid or grease from the pan.
After it is cooked, let it rest a few minutes on a plate covered with paper towels. 
This removes most of the fat from the meat, but not the flavor. 
Sweat the onions in the same pan. 
Cut up tomatoes while the meat is cooking. 
Must watch the onions while they cook to golden, sweet onions burn easily. 
I prefer to cut up the tomatoes myself, but if you are comfortable with the ready ones, that works.
After all the essentials are simmering in a pot, I start spicing. And tasting.
I love commercial chili sauce, find it very handy. 
And after working a few years in Cincinnati, I like cinnamon in my chili. 
Our daughter-in-law Juliet taught me to put currants in, and they work nicely, but if you don’t have them, use raisins. 
Simmer chili as long as you like — taste often, add what you feel is missing, and enjoy.

Submitted by Sharon Wilson Featured in March 2008 TRACKS

2 pounds of small Pretzels
1 12oz. Bottle Orville Redenbacher’s Buttery Popcorn Oil
1 Package of Dry Hidden Valley Ranch Dressing

Mix Popcorn Oil with Ranch dressing stir until mixed well.
Place Pretzels in large pan or dish, drizzle oil mixture over Pretzels and stir.
Leave uncovered stirring occasionally until all oil is absorbed into Pretzels, usually about 8 hours.

This recipe was provided by a friend of ours and may be brought to a meeting if you like.

Submitted By :Delta Graye 2/08

2 packages (8 oz. each) cream cheese, softened
1 package (1 oz.) Hidden Valley Ranch® Original Ranch® Salad dressing Mix
2 green onions, minced
4 (12 inch) flour tortillas
1 jar (4 oz.) diced pimentos (drained)
1 can (4 oz.) diced green chilies (drained)
1 can (2.25 oz.) sliced black olives (drained)

Mix the first three ingredients. 
Spread on tortillas. 
Drain vegetables and blot dry on paper towels. 
Sprinkle equal amounts of remaining ingredients on top of cream cheese. 
Roll tortillas tightly.
Chill at least 2 hours. 
Cut rolls into 1-inch pieces. 
Discard ends. 
Serve with spirals facing up. 
Makes 3 dozen.

Submitted By: Jeanne Davis Featured in February 2008 TRACKS

1 bag ORE-IDA Country Style Hash Browns
1 can Cream of Chicken Soup
2 cups Sour Cream
1 1/2 tsp Salt
1/4 tsp pepper
3 Green onions (Tops and most of the green part, chopped)
2 Cups Chedder Cheese 

1/4 cup Butter or Margarine (melted)
2 cups Corn Flakes (crushed) 

Mix soup, sour cream, salt, pepper, green onions and cheese in a large mixing bowl.
Add grated potatoes and stir to combine 
Place in greased 11 x 7 pan.
Top with butter and Corn Flakes mixed together.
Bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes until bubbly around the edges.

This recipe was provided by our daughter and may be brought to a meeting if you like.

Submitted by Aimee Humston 1/08

Every year at the Holiday gathering of MVGRS at the Barnhart home, we all enjoy the punch that Liz makes. So we begin the series with this recipe.

1 large box red Jell-O
1½ Cups of boiling water
1 large can of pineapple juice
1 12oz can of frozen lemonade
1 16oz can of frozen orange juice
2 Two-Litre bottles of ginger ale

Dissolve Jell-O in water; add pineapple juice, then everything else. Serve in punch bowl.

Submitted by Liz Barnhart Featured in January 2008 TRACKS