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Ronald Reagan's favorite recipe


© St. Petersburg Times, published August 1, 2001

Is there a comfort food more traditional than macaroni and cheese? The specific recipe that Sue and Bill Snyder asked for is Ronald Reagan's favorite recipe. Many Suncoast cooks have it in their files and shared it with us.

Is there a comfort food more traditional than macaroni and cheese? The specific recipe that Sue and Bill Snyder asked for is Ronald Reagan's favorite recipe. Many Suncoast cooks have it in their files and shared it with us.

We are sure it would be impossible to walk into a house where cinnamon sticky buns are baking and not have our mouth water. William A. Beck Jr. won a silver medal in the 1988 Tampa Bay Chefs Open cooking contest with this recipe. It is interesting that a professional chef takes advantage of a commercial product, frozen bread in this case, to prepare a prize-winning result. That makes sense to us, and it obviously did to the judges also.

Juanita Washington sends her recipe for pecan sticky muffins. This is a baking powder recipe and is easier and quicker than using yeast dough. This is a great idea for a company breakfast or Sunday brunch.

Louis Dolin had lost his recipe for Caribbean chicken, which was included in a Farberware booklet. Our readers are resourceful and can usually supply wanted recipes, and they did.

* * *

For: Sue and Bill Snyder of Clearwater.

From: Velma Kehres of Dunedin, Sally Blum of North Redington Beach, Frances Tibbits of Homosassa, Marcella Sanford of Zephyrhills, L.G. DuPont of Ocala, Bea Simon of Bayonet Point, Alice Brown of Tampa, Leona Yerges of Holiday, Pat Burnham and Marsha Vano of New Port Richey, Gloria Housler and Marilyn Leeth of Largo and Millie Dobbs, Linda Ciali, Dorothea Dakin and Ruth Rydberg of Spring Hill.

Recipe: Macaroni and cheese, sent by Mrs. Ronald (Nancy) Reagan from the White House.

Ronald Reagan's Favorite Macaroni and Cheese

1/2 pound macaroni

1 teaspoon butter

1 egg, beaten

1 teaspoon dry mustard

1 teaspoon salt

1 tablespoon hot water

1 cup milk

3 cups shredded sharp cheese

Boil macaroni in water until tender; drain thoroughly. Stir in butter and egg. Mix mustard and salt with hot water; add to milk. Add cheese to macaroni, leaving enough to sprinkle on top. Pour macaroni and cheese into buttered 1-quart casserole; add milk mixture; sprinkle with reserved cheese.

Bake at 350 degrees for about 45 minutes or until custard is set and top is crusty. Serves 6-8.

* * *

For: Carol Brosky of Port Richey.

From: William A. Beck Jr. of Dunedin.

Recipe: Pecan cinnamon sticky buns, silver medal winner in the 1988 Tampa Bay Chefs Open cooking contest.

Pecan Cinnamon Sticky Buns

1 loaf frozen bread dough, thaw and let rise

2/3 cup light brown sugar, packed, plus 3 tablespoons reserved

8 tablespoons margarine, divided into 6 and 2 tablespoons

4 tablespoons milk

3/4 cup pecan halves

1 tablespoon ground cinnamon

3 tablespoons raisins, optional

Shortening, to grease loaf and loaf pan

Lightly grease frozen bread dough and place in a greased loaf pan. Cover with a towel and place in a warm place to rise until it has risen over the top of the pan, i.e. overnight.

Combine brown sugar and 6 tablespoons of the margarine cut into small pieces. Melt in a microwave oven on 50 percent power for 1-2 minutes. When melted, pour in milk and stir until smooth. Pour into a 7- by 103/4- by 11/2-inch baking pan. Place pecan halves on top of the margarine and sugar mixture. (This can be done the night before so all you have to work with in the morning is the dough while the oven is heating.)

When the dough has risen, empty it onto a floured board. Pat down into a rectangle about 5- by 12- by 1/2-inch thick. Melt remaining 2 tablespoons of margarine and spread on the dough. Sprinkle cinnamon and reserved brown sugar on the dough. (You can add more or less of each to suit your taste.) Add raisins if desired.

Roll dough up jelly roll fashion. Cut into 12 equal pieces and place in pan, cut side down, on top of the pecans. Let rise about 15 minutes. Bake in preheated 350 degree oven on the middle rack 25-30 minutes until golden brown. Immediately remove from pan by turning upside down onto a sheet of aluminum foil. Let cool a short time but serve warm with butter or margarine. Makes 12 buns.

Caution: The sugar mixture is very hot. Be careful when removing the rolls from the pan not to get any on you, as it sticks to skin and can cause a painful burn.

* * *

From: Juanita Washington of Clearwater.

Recipe: Pecan sticky muffins.

Pecan Sticky Muffins

2 cups all-purpose flour

1 tablespoon baking powder

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon salt

2 eggs

1 cup milk

1/4 cup vegetable oil

1/2 cup packed brown sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla extract


1/4 cup butter or margarine, melted

1/4 cup packed brown sugar

1 cup chopped pecans

In a large bowl, combine flour, baking powder, cinnamon and salt. In another bowl, beat the eggs, milk, oil, sugar and vanilla until smooth. Stir into dry ingredients just until moistened.

Into each greased muffin cup, spoon 1 teaspoon butter, 1 teaspoon brown sugar and 1 heaping tablespoon of pecans. Top each with 1/4 cup of batter. Bake at 350 degrees for 25-30 minutes or until muffins test done.

Invert pan onto a piece of foil. Let stand for 2 minutes; remove pan. Serve warm. Yield: 1 dozen.

* * *

For: Louie Dolin of Dunnellon.

From: Gerry Hoag of Palm Harbor, Louise Reichert of Seminole, Joan Cerrato of St. Petersburg and Lois Tague and Gene Marshall of Largo.

Recipe: Caribbean chicken, from a Farberware booklet.

Caribbean Chicken

2 fryers, about 21/2 pounds each, split

Juice of 1 lime

2 cloves garlic

2-3 peppercorns

1 teaspoon dried oregano

2 teaspoons salt

3 tablespoons olive oil

1 tablespoon vinegar

Rinse chicken halves in 1 quart cold water mixed with juice of 1 lime. Drain and dry on paper toweling.

In a mortar or blender, mash remaining ingredients to a thick paste. If necessary for spreading, add a little more oil or vinegar. Spread chicken halves with seasoned mixture and let stand at room temperature for 1 hour.

Place prepared chicken halves skin side down on rack; broil 3 minutes and turn. Broil chicken 25 minutes, spreading top with any remaining seasoning mixture during this time. Turn chicken halves and broil 25 minutes or until done to taste. Makes 4 servings.

If a meat thermometer is used, insert after chicken has been turned once.

Recipe requests

Robert Redford cake was served at a coffee shop in Ocala's Paddock Mall at one time. Wendy Stillwell of Inverness writes that it was a "blonde, moist cake with a big mop of yellow icing (of course!)." Wendy would be delighted to have the recipe.

French vanilla strawberry pie is the recipe Agnes Gour of Spring Hill asks for. Fresh strawberries are available most of the year, and this is a lovely way to use them.

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