Cook's Corner: Feed whole family with these recipes

Published 9:15 pm Wednesday, May 10, 2006

By By Lisa Tindell
It's the time of year when you start getting those post-card reminders in the mail, or the phone call from your Granny telling you about the family reunion that's coming up.
With the busy lives that most of us lead, it's hard to prepare a dish that will be welcomed and consumed at the annual family gathering. Nothing disappoints me more than to take a dish to a gathering and have to bring most (or all) of it home because nobody thought it looked good. Although the taste of the dish may have been wonderful, if it doesn't look good, chances are you'll be bringing that full bowl/pan home with you.
This week I hope that I've collected some recipes that will help you to prepare something that will be eaten (and maybe you'll even be asked for the recipe). I have chosen a few recipes that will also be time sensitive to your busy schedule. Most are quick and easy as well as tasty. When trying out a new recipe, it's best to do a test run. Those folks who win those big checks on the Food Network Challenge shows, didn't prepare the dish just once before making it to the competition stage.
This first recipe is for a pie that sounds almost too good to be true. I haven't tried it yet, but I do intend to.
Amazing Coconut Pie
2 cups milk
Three-fourths cup sugar
One-half cup biscuit mix
4 eggs
One-fourth cup butter, melted
One-half tsp. vanilla
1 cup coconut
Combine everything except coconut in blender and blend on low for 3 minutes. Pour into a 9 inch pie plate and let sit for 5 minutes. Top with coconut. Bake at 350 degrees for 40 minutes.
A lot of times it is necessary to travel anywhere from a couple to 50 miles to get to the reunion site. Therefore it's always nice to have something that will travel well. There's nothing worse than having butterbean juice all over the backseat or melted Cool Whip slopping into the carpet of your vehicle. The coconut pie recipe above would be a great traveling recipe as would any type of pound cake or bread. If you do have to travel a great distance, plan ahead and bake fresh breads (or buy really good ones from the bakery or grocery deli) or, if you just have to, wait until you reach the town of your destination and purchase a box of fried chicken and put in on your platter when you reach the reunion site. It's not something you cooked, but you did make provisions.
I have seen, more times than I can count, a young child asking for a piece of Aunt Lee's chocolate cake (that we must have) only to find three-fourths of it lying on the ground or in the garbage can. When I realized what was happening, I decided to take matters in my own hands. Here's a couple of quick recipes that the kids can pick up and eat on the run as they play hide-and-seek with their cousins. You can bet they won't drop these!
Easy Holdin' Brownies
1 and one-half cups all-purpose flour
1 cup baking cocoa
One-half tsp. baking powder
One-half tsp. salt
Two-thirds cup shortening (butter flavored is best)
2 cups sugar
4 large eggs
2 cups (12-ounce package) chocolate or white morsels.
Preheat oven to 350