HINTS FROM HELOISE
Dear Heloise: If you are invited to dinner and you ask what you can bring, and the hostess says, "nothing," should I bring something anyway? - Henry in Nebraska
Henry, you can always bring a hostess gift of flowers or a bottle of wine. The hostess might have her menu planned and not need anything for the dinner, but a nice little gift for the hostess is always appreciated. - Heloise
MOTHER'S TOMATO SOUP CAKE
Dear Heloise: When I first heard of this recipe, I thought it was a joke, but when I tasted it, I loved it! I was telling a neighbor about it, and she asked for the recipe and, of course, I couldn't find it. Would you repeat it? - Marla in Kansas
Marla, my mother published this recipe for the first time in September 1959. When she served this cake, she would ask her guests what the secret ingredient was, so she called it the "Conversation Piece." Here it is. You'll need:
1/2 cup solid shortening
1 cup sugar
1 cup chopped nuts
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 can tomato soup
1 cup raisins
1 1/2 cup flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
The following ingredients are optional but they really make this cake exceptional!
1 1/2 teaspoons nutmeg
2 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
1 teaspoon allspice
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
Preheat your oven to 375 degrees. Cream shortening and sugar in a large bowl. Stir in one can of tomato soup (undiluted) and the rest of the ingredients, one at a time. Cream well after each addition. Grease a 10-inch square cake pan. Pour in the batter, and when the oven reaches 375, bake for 45 minutes. When the cake is done, loosen the edges with a knife. Turn upside down on a cake rack and let it cool.
The icing for this recipe:
1 (3-ounce) package of cream cheese
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup confectioner's sugar
1/4 cup chopped nuts
Place cream cheese in a small bowl and let it soften at room temperature. Add the vanilla and sugar. Mix well. Spread the icing on the cooled cake and sprinkle with chopped nuts.
If you like this recipe and want to try several other delicious ideas for dessert, order my pamphlet "Heloise's Cake Recipes" by visiting www.Heloise.com or by sending $3, along with a long, self-addressed, stamped (70 cents) envelope to: Heloise/Cake, P.O. Box 795001, San Antonio, TX. 78279-5001. By the way, if you're out of frosting, place marshmallows on the cake just before taking it out of the oven. - Heloise
Dear Heloise: During picnic and tailgate season my family and I love eating outdoors. To save time and energy, we put all the condiments we can in plastic squeezable travel bottles and label them. We find transporting them easier and less messy. When you get home, just pop them in the refrigerator for the next time you need them. - Peggy in Ohio
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