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Cookbooks Prove Profitable for Non-Profits

Recipes compiled from local favorites.

Cookbooks sell. It doesn’t seem to matter how many cookbooks people have— they love buying new ones. This is especially true when the recipes come from local people. That is why so many non-profits have decided to print and sell their own cookbooks. It makes money for them.

Ask The Junior League of Northern Virginia (JNLV). It has raised over $150,000 selling its cookbook, “What Can I Bring?”

According to Bernice Porrazzo, chair of cookbook sales, the spiral-bound book is user friendly — it opens flat on the table.

“It is an inexpensive way to entertain, containing innovative menus with heartwarming anecdotes,” she said.

“What Can I Bring?” was first printed in 1999 as the JLNV’s signature cookbook. Proceeds from the first printing generated $37,000. Those, and future proceeds, are directly applied to community programs, ensuring a steady flow of income to the League and the community in which they serve.

“The Junior League has met its outreach goals of preparing children for success. We are particularly concerned about the welfare of at-risk and homeless children in our community,” Porrazzo said.

The cookbook was most recently revised in 2003, where it was streamlined to include only the top recipes. All of the recipes have been double and triple tested.

ANOTHER GROUP who has made money selling a cookbook is The TWIG, the Junior Auxiliary of the Alexandria Hospital. “Seaport Savories: A Cook’s Tour of Historic Alexandria, Virginia” includes more than 400 recipes donated by Alexandria's finest cooks, restaurant chefs and some of her most famous sons and daughters. The walking tour of Old Town Alexandria features Alexandria's historic attractions including Gadsby's Tavern Museum, Old Apothecary Shop and Fort Ward. All proceeds support Inova Alexandria Hospital. It's a great gift or souvenir.

THE LITTLE THEATRE OF ALEXANDRIA introduced its cookbook, “Hot Off the Stage” last year to celebrate 70 years of community theater in Old Town Alexandria. Included in the cookbook are “Scene-stealing recipes from members and friends of The Little Theatre of Alexandria.”

Also included is a history of the theater, glossary of cooking terms, food measures and equivalents, fearless cook’s guide to substitutions, herb and spice guide, cooking vessels and kitchen hazard remedies.

Act One contains the appetizers and beverages; Act Two the light fare; and Intermission has snacks, fruit, and sauces and dips. The show continues with Act Three — entrees; Act Four — starches and vegetable sides; and Act Five — sweets and desserts. Curtain Call contains “quick changes.”

CALVARY PRESBYTERIAN Church has also published a cookbook in honor of its 50th Anniversary. The inscription inside the cookbook reads: “This book is a collection of favorite recipes of members and friends of Calvary Presbyterian Church. It was put together in honor of our 50 years of history during which we were blessed with friendships, spiritual growth, as well as growth in numbers, caring for each other and good fellowship.”

Even the National Association of Chain Drug Stores has jumped on the bandwagon. They published an anniversary cookbook, “Prescriptions for Good Taste II.” Complete with colorful section dividers, this cookbook was distributed to patrons of the Campagna Center’s Taste of Alexandria.

These are just a few of the many cookbooks being sold by local groups. The Gazette will continue to update these listings. To be included in future listings, send a copy of cookbook with ordering information to: Gale Curcio, Gazette, 1604 King Street, Alexandria VA 22314.

Here are a few selected Recipes:

CLIFTON DAY PASTA

(from “What Can I Bring?”)

Ingredients:

1 pound dried fettuccine

6 garlic cloves, chopped

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

1 pound fresh button mushrooms, sliced

2 cans artichoke hearts, quartered with juice reserved

Salt and freshly cracked pepper to taste

2 cups chicken stock

1/4 cup dry white wine

1 - 2 cups cooked chicken or shrimp (optional)

1/2 - 3/4 cup Italian-seasoned bread crumbs

1/2 cup butter or margarine, melted

1/3 cup grated Parmesan and Romano cheeses

Garnishes: lemon slices, fresh parsley sprigs

Directions:

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Cook pasta in boiling water to cover until al dente. Drain and rinse with cold water; set aside. Cook garlic in hot oil in a saucepan over medium heat, stirring constantly, 20 seconds. Add mushrooms and artichoke hearts. Cook 1 to 2 minutes. Add salt and pepper to taste. Combine chicken stock and artichoke juice in a 9 x 13 x 2-inch baking dish; stir in wine. Add pasta, spreading evenly across bottom of pan. Sprinkle evenly with chicken or shrimp, if desired. Cover with mushroom mixture.

Bake at 325 degrees for 12 minutes. Remove from oven and sprinkle with breadcrumbs; drizzle with butter. Broil until bread crumbs are brown and crisp. Sprinkle with cheeses,

and garnish, if desired.

MAPLE BROWNIES

(from “Seaport Savories”)

Ingredients:

8 tablespoons melted butter

2 cups brown sugar

2 eggs

1 teaspoon salt

1 1/2 cups flour

2 teaspoons baking powder

1 teaspoon vanilla

1/2 cup coconut

1 cup chopped nuts

Frosting

1/2 cup butter

1/2 cup brown sugar

1/4 cup half and half (room temperature)

1 3/4 - 2 cups powdered sugar

1 teaspoon maple extract

Directions:

Mix all cake ingredients together. Put into a greased 9x13 pan. Bake for 25 minutes at 350 degrees. Cool. For the frosting, melt the butter until brown but do not burn. Add brown sugar and cook over low heat until melted. Pour in half and half, stir and let cool. Beat in powdered sugar until smooth. Brownies can be frozen and are also excellent unfrosted.

Makes 2 dozen.

COCK-A-LEEKIE SOUP

(from Calvary Presbyterian Church)

Ingredients:

1 cup leeks, (julienne)

1 1/2 cup potatoes, (julienne)

1 to 1 1/2 quarts chicken stock

1/2 cup cooked chicken, (julienne)

Season with salt and pepper

Directions:

In a large port, heat chicken stock. Add leeks to hot chicken stock and cook 15 to 20 minutes. Add potatoes and cook until tender. Add cooked chicken meat and heat through. Yields six servings.

PAINKILLER

(from "Hot Off the Stage")

Ingredients:

10 oz. dark rum

6 oz. pineapple juice

2 oz. cream of coconut

2 oz. orange juice

Nutmeg, grated

Directions:

Mix together and serve over ice topped with a little nutmeg.

GRILLED SALMON

(from “Prescriptions for Good Taste II")

Ingredients:

1/4 cup white wine

2 tablespoons grated fresh ginger

1/2 teaspoon pepper

2 tablespoons lemon juice and olive oil

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon grated lemon peel

4 6-oz. salmon fillets.

Directions:

Combine all ingredients; mix well. Marinate salmon in mixture for 1 1/2 hours in refrigerator. Grill or broil salmon as desired.

Serve with risotto or browned new potatoes.