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Bacon wraps up a popular appetizer

While vacationing in Florida from Minnesota, Stacey Whalen saw Deborah Griswold's request for appetizers. Bacon-Wrapped Water Chestnuts is Stacey's signature dish. All of her friends have come to expect it at potluck parties. She says it's criminally easy to make.

Danielle Alessandro was looking for a sausage-gravy recipe. Rosemary Eustis is sure she will enjoy this version.

Rosemary says it's as good as or better than that served by most restaurants. Her family loves it.

Bruce O'Grady was looking for a recipe from scratch for marble pound cake. Eileen Aguilar is happy to share hers.

For: Deborah Griswold of Dunedin.

From: Stacey Whalen of Plymouth, Minn.

Recipe: Bacon-Wrapped Water Chestnuts.

Bacon-Wrapped Water Chestnuts

2 8-ounce cans whole water chestnuts

1 pound bacon

Brown sugar to taste


Drain water chestnuts and set aside.

Cut bacon in half, vertically. Wrap half a strip of bacon around one water chestnut and secure with toothpicks. Place in foil lined baking pan. Repeat with remaining water chestnuts and bacon.

Sprinkle appetizers with brown sugar.

Bake at 350 degrees for 20 to 25 minutes or until bacon is cooked but not crisp. Take special care not to burn toothpicks.

For: Danielle Alessandro of St. Petersburg.

From: Rosemary Eustis of St. Petersburg.

Recipe: Sausage Gravy.

Sausage Gravy

1 pound of bulk pork sausage

2 tablespoons finely chopped onions

3 tablespoons flour

1 quart of milk

{ teaspoon poultry seasoning

{ teaspoon ground nutmeg

\ teaspoon salt

Dash of Worcestershire sauce

Dash of hot pepper sauce, to taste

Crumble sausage in a large saucepan and cook over medium heat. Add onion, cook and stir until transparent.

Drain and discard all but 2 tablespoons of drippings. Reserve cooked sausage mixture and return drippings to pan.

Stir in flour, cook over medium heat about 6 minutes or until mixture bubbles and turns golden. Stir in milk. Add seasonings and cook, stirring until thick. Add sausage mixture and heat through.

Serve over biscuit halves.

Serves 4 to 6.

For: Bruce O'Grady of Land O'Lakes.

From: Eileen Aguilar of Hudson.

Recipe: Chocolate Ripple Cake.

Chocolate Ripple Cake

1 cup (two sticks) butter, softened

2 cups sugar

3 eggs

1{ teaspoons vanilla

3 cups sifted all-purpose flour

2 teaspoons baking powder

{ teaspoon salt

1 cup milk

} cup chocolate syrup

\ teaspoon baking soda

Confectioners' sugar for dusting

Cream butter and sugar together until light and fluffy. Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add vanilla.

Sift dry ingredients together; add to creamed mixture alternately with milk, beating until smooth after each addition. Pour of the batter into a greased and floured 10-inch tube pan. Combine chocolate syrup and baking soda; lightly blend with remaining batter. Pour over batter in pan. DO NOT MIX.

Bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes. Place a piece of aluminum foil over top of pan and continue baking 25 minutes longer, or until done. Cool completely before removing from pan. Sift confectioners' sugar over top and sides of cake.

Makes 12 to 16 servings.

Recipe requests

Donald Noll of Tampa is looking for a recipe for his father, who remembers Makus hamburgers back in Detroit; he's hoping someone has a recipe for them. Donald searched the Internet but found nothing.

April Roberts is looking for a recipe for stuffed mushrooms.

Backyard citrus trees are producing at full tilt this month, and many of us are wondering what to do with the bounty. If you have interesting recipes for desserts, marinades, salad dressings or anything else that takes advantage of all this fruit, please send them in.

You Asked for It is a reader mail column. Send recipe requests to You Asked for It, the Times, P.O. Box 1121, St. Petersburg, FL 33731 or e-mail them to Please put "Recipe request" in the subject line. Recipes will be received by mail only. Be sure to include your full name, city and phone number. Letters without this information will be discarded. Requests cannot be answered by phone or mail.