Q. I misplaced a recipe my mom had from The Miami Herald. It had three ingredients: Meatballs, grape jelly and one other item. Do you still have it?
It seems that every few years someone asks for this recipe, which first appeared in Cook’s Corner in 1985. And no wonder: It is easy, quick and delicious. The quirky ingredients make a sweet yet sassy sauce. It’s perfect for game day or a potluck.
I’ve taken to making these with ground turkey and the result is just as delicious, and a bit healthier.
Q. When I was a little girl my grandmother made me a simple dish whenever the grownups were having a fancy dinner. It was a little noodle thing and she called it lenwhey, though I am unsure of the spelling. The dough was made with farm cheese, and she always served it to me in a bowl of yogurt.
Serendipity was at work here, for I grew up in a town with a Polish community and am still in touch with a childhood friend whose mother is a fantastic Polish cook. My friend Sandra knew the dish and had gotten a new Polish cookbook for Christmas that she highly recommends — Authentic Polish Cooking by Marianna Dworak (Skyhorse, $24.95).
The recipe here is adapted from the book, which has more than 150 recipes for both traditional and modern Polish dishes. My friend says she, too, had the dumplings in a bowl of yogurt or sour cream, topped with toasted, buttered bread crumbs. My one criticism of the book is that it does not provide serving sizes, so the cook must guess how many a recipe will serve.
Q. I had a recipe taped to the inside door of my pantry for “emergency” bread. I think you made it with just three or four ingredients and it was great anytime. I forgot to save the recipe when my kitchen was redone. I’m pretty sure I got it from your column.
I had to go back to the early 1980s to find the first time this appeared in my column. The secret is to have a can or bottle of beer on hand. The original recipe just uses three ingredients — self-rising flour, sugar and the beer. If you get creative with cheese or herbs, the ingredient list can grow. I love to make it with diced tomatoes, asiago and mozzarella cheeses and oregano.
Cook’s Corner readers are fond of recipes from the Pillsbury Bake-Off, and no doubt many dream of competing for the million-dollar grand prize. So here’s the scoop: The contest has been streamlined for its 46th edition — fewer categories, fewer ingredients and, for the first time, America will vote to determine all 100 finalists.
You can find out more about the contest, now open, at bake-off.com. It takes place Nov. 10-12 in Las Vegas.
You can get a free apron and a chance to win a $500 gift card and see your recipe on a Tuttorosso tomato can by going to the brand’s Facebook page. You have to supply an original Italian recipe and photograph. The apron goes to the first 4,000 who “like” the brand.