This week's column is dedicated to caretakers — both near and far.

Cowboy Dinner

1 pound ground beef

1/4 cup onion, chopped

1/2 cup celery, chopped

1/2 cup green pepper, chopped

15 ounce can pork and beans

1/2 cup barbecue sauce

salt and pepper, to taste

11 ounce tube refrigerated bread sticks

Brown ground beef in skillet; drain. Add onion, celery and green pepper; cook until vegetables are crisp-tender. Stir in beans, barbeque sauce, salt and pepper. Pour hot mixture into a greased 2 quart casserole dish. Gently unroll bread sticks; Coil and lay across casserole to cover. Bake, uncovered, at 350 degrees for 20 to 25 minutes, until bubbly and bread sticks are golden.


Beth's Party Piggies

1 cup catsup

1 cup plum jelly

4 tablespoons mustard

1 tablespoon lemon juice

16 ounce package mini smoked sausages

In a saucepan over medium low heat, combine all ingredients except sausages. Mix well. Add sausage and simmer for 10 minutes. Serve hot.


Pizza Nibblers

1/2 cup oil

1 cup grated Parmesan cheese

20 ounces package pretzel nuggets

1 1/4 ounce package spaghetti sauce mix

Combine all ingredients in a large bowl; toss to coat nuggets well. Spread nuggets on a baking sheet that has been lined with aluminum foil. Bake for 45 minutes at 275 degrees.


Boiled Cider Spice Cake

1 cup raisins

2 cups flour, divided

1 cup apple cider

1 cup brown sugar, packed

1/2 cup butter

1/2 teaspoon salt

2 teaspoons baking powder

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon ginger

1/2 teaspoon nutmeg

Toss raisins in one tablespoon flour to coat. In a large pot combine cider, brown sugar, butter and raisins. Bring to a boil over medium heat; remove from heat. Sift together remaining flour and all other ingredients. Add flour mixture all at once to hot mixture; immediately stir rapidly into hot mixture. Pour batter into greased Bundt pan. Bake at 350 degrees for about 30 minutes, or until firm and a toothpick tests clean. Cool cake in pan on a wire rack for 10 minutes. Turn cake out of pan and cool completely on rack; remove to a cake plate. Dust with powdered sugar if desired.


Our thought for the week: "Always second guess a first impulse."