A warm welcome | TheUnion.com

A warm welcome

John HartStephanie Norton (left), Mary Albrecht and Darlene Driscal prepare cookies at Driscal's home in Lake Wildwood Feb. 15. for a Welcome Wagon party.
ALL | GrassValleyArchive

When you think of Welcome Wagon, you probably remember the basket of goodies brought to your home shortly after moving in to the new neighborhood.

The organization is still in the vanguard but offers so much more. The local chapter has more than 850 members and offers at least 24 activity groups. Men and women get together to enjoy fishing, gardening, computers, quilting, photography and more. Many of the Welcome Wagon members get together for wine and to dine. Good food is often the focal point that brings people together.

As a newcomer to the area, you can join Welcome Wagon and stay on to benefit from all it offers, to build friendships and enjoy the fun. The general meeting is the third Wednesday of the month and always has a featured speaker. For more information, call Welcome Wagon at 477-3750.

The organization will be presenting its Secret Garden Party fashion show and luncheon March 13 at the Nevada City Elks Club. Twelve models from Welcome Wagon will be showing off clothing from 10 clothing stores in Grass Valley and Nevada City.

Darlene Driscal, who has been organizing the event, said, “Wild Plum in Grass Valley was a big help with the decorations. They also donated a gift certificate as the grand prize for the drawing.” For information on the event, call 432-7531.

Welcome Wagon members also have to share recipes that are great for potlucks or special dinners at home.

Chutney Cream Cheese Pie

(Jacque Cowgill)

8 ounces cream cheese

1 cup grated sharp cheddar cheese, softened

4 teaspoons sherry

1/2 teaspoon curry powder

1 jar Rafetto’s Chut-Nut or Major Grey’s Chutney

1/4 cup bacon bits

Mix cream cheese with cheddar, sherry and curry powder. Shape into a 10-inch circle and chill until firm. Spread with chutney and garnish with bacon bits. Serve as a spread for crackers.

Blueberry Snow Jell-O Salad

(Darlene Driscal)

1 cup heavy cream

1 cup sugar

1 envelop plain Knox gelatin

1/2 cup cold water

1 cup sour cream

1 can blueberries

1/2 cup crushed pineapple

1 large package black raspberry or blueberry Jell-O

Heat cream and sugar in small saucepan. Dissolve plain gelatin in water, then add cream and sugar. Add sour cream. Beat mixture with a whisk until creamy. Pour into Jell-O mold; refrigerate until firm. Drain blueberries and pineapple. Pour both juices into measuring cup; add enough water to make 2 cups. Heat this liquid to boiling. Pour into bowl with flavored Jell-O; add blueberries and pineapple. Pour this mixture on top of firm gelatin. Refrigerate overnight.

Pea Salad

(Darlene Driscal)

2 packages frozen peas

4 stalks celery, diced

1/2 pound sharp cheese, cubed

1/2 cup chopped green onions

5 sweet pickles, diced fine

4 hard cooked eggs, chopped

1/2 pound bacon, fried crisp and crumbled

1/2 cup mayonnaise

Salt and pepper to taste

Combine all ingredients; mix well. Chill and serve.

Pork Tenderloin with Orange Mustard Sauce

(Jacque Cowgill)

1 cup low-sodium chicken broth

1 cup dry white wine

11/2 tablespoons orange marmalade

1 teaspoon Dijon mustard

1 teaspoon cornstarch

1 pork tenderloin (1/2 pound)

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon pepper

1 teaspoon olive oil

Vegetable cooking spray

1/2 pound fresh mushrooms, sliced

1 tablespoon olive oil

Pinch oregano

Garlic salt to taste

Dash balsamic vinegar

Combine broth and wine in large nonstick skillet; cook 10 minutes over medium heat until liquid is reduced to2/3 cup. Combine marmalade, mustard, and cornstarch; stir into wine mixture. Bring to boil and cook one minute, stirring constantly. Add pork; cook 30 minutes or until meat thermometer inserted in thickest part registers 160 degrees. Turn pork every 10 minutes.

Saute fresh mushrooms in olive oil. Sprinkle with oregano, garlic salt and vinegar. To serve, slice pork and arrange slices on plate. Spoon seasoned mushrooms and sauce over sliced pork.

Herbed Chicken

(Pat Pedersen)

1/4 teaspoon garlic powder

1/4 teaspoon paprika

1 teaspoon flour

4 large pieces chicken

2 tablespoons butter

1/4 teaspoon dried basil

1/4 teaspoon dried rosemary

1/2 cup white wine

Combine garlic powder, paprika and flour, and dredge chicken in mixture. Melt butter in frying pan and brown chicken in butter. Sprinkle with wine and herbs. Cover and cook slowly until tender, about 20 to 25 minutes. Serve with rice and fresh salad.

Coconut Cranberry Chews

(Sue Gundred)

11/2 cups butter, softened

2 cups sugar

1 tablespoon grated orange peel

2 teaspoons vanilla

31/4 cups flour

1 teaspoon baking powder

1/4 teaspoon salt

11/2 cups dried cranberries

11/2 cups sweetened flaked coconut

Heat oven to 310 degrees. In a large mixing bowl, cream butter and sugar; add orange peel and vanilla. In another bowl mix flour, baking powder and salt. Add to creamed mixture, stir to mix, then beat on low speed until dough forms a ball, about five minutes. Mix in cranberries and coconut. Shape into 1-inch balls and place about 2 inches apart on greased cookie sheet. Bake until cookie edges begin to brown, eight to 11 minutes. Let cookies cool on sheet for five minutes, then transfer to a rack to cool completely.

Applesauce Spice Cake

(Darlene Driscal)

1 package spice cake mix

3 eggs

11/4 cups applesauce

1/3 cup oil

1 cup chopped nuts

1 can (16 ounces) vanilla frosting or packaged mix

1/2 tablespoon cinnamon

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour 9-by-13-inch cake pan. Combine cake mix, eggs, applesauce and oil in a large mixing bowl. Beat on medium speed with electric mixer for two minutes. Stir in nuts. Pour into prepared pan.

Bake 40 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool in pan 15 minutes, then invert on cooling rack. Turn right side up; cool completely. Combine frosting and cinnamon, stir until well blended and spread over cooled cake.

Write Bette Worth at The Union, 464 Sutton Way, Grass Valley, 95945; or she can be reached at

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