This week's column is dedicated to the reality show "The Voice." Kudos to a show that judges one ones talent, not looks, and gives deserving  people a hand in making their dreams come true.


Ham Fritters

In a medium bowl combine 2 1/2 cups mashed potatoes, 1/2 cup chopped ham, 1 green onion, finely chopped, and 1/8 teaspoon pepper. Using 1/4 cup measuring cup, form mixture into 1/2 inch thick patties. Place 1/4 cup flour in a dish. Coat patties with flour tapping off excess. In 12-inch skillet, heat 1/4 cup canola oil, on medium-high until hot. In two batches, fry patties 5 minutes or until golden brown on both sides, turning over once.


Feather Dumplings

1 cup flour

1 teaspoons baking powder

1 teaspoon salt

1/2 cup milk (about)

Mix all together using milk enough to make a stiff dough. Have soup or stew nearly done. Drop batter by spoonfuls, dripping spoon in soup each time. This amount should cover top of soup. Let cook slowly for 15 minutes uncovered, then put cover on and cook 15 minutes more. This method of cooking is the secret to light dumplings.


Walnut Clusters

1/4 cup soft butter

1 egg, unbeaten

1 1/2 squares unsweetened melted chocolate

1/2 teaspoons salt

1/2 cup sugar

1/4 teaspoon baking powder

1 1/4 teaspoon vanilla

1/2 cup flour

2 cups coarsely broken walnuts

Cream butter and sugar until fluffy; add egg, beat well. Add vanilla. Stir in melted chocolate, then flour, baking powder and salt. Add walnuts. Drop by teaspoon on greased sheets. Bake at 350 degrees for 10 minutes. Cool on rack.


Peanut Butter Pie

1 baked 9-inch pie crust

3/4 cup sugar

1/3 cup cornstarch

1 teaspoon salt

4 cups whole milk

4 large egg yolks, lightly beaten

3/4 cup peanut butter (preferably crunchy)

3 tablespoons butter, at room temperature

1 tablespoon vanilla

In a 4 quart saucepan, stir together sugar, cornstarch and salt. In a large bowl whisk milk and egg yolks until blended, gradually whisk into sugar mixture. Heat on medium heat for 6 to 7 minutes or until mixture thickens and boils, stirring constantly. Boil 1 minute and keep stirring. Remove from heat, stir in peanut butter, butter and vanilla until well blended. Immediately pour peanut butter mixture into baked pie shell, press plastic wrap onto surface of filling. Refrigerate at least 4 hours or until well chilled and set.To serve, top with whipped cream and garnish with chopped peanuts.


Our thought for the week: "Children often make parents feel old and grandparents feel young."