Readers frequently tell me that what they like about this column is that it is filled with mostly simple, everyday food that is easy to prepare. There is no better resource for that type of tasty recipes than the community, family and church cookbooks lovingly compiled with tried and true family favorites. One of the best cookbooks I've come across in a long time is Hannah's Heavenly Delights! Hannah Circle of Bethany Lutheran Church in Nevis uses the proceeds from the cookbook to fund their many church, community, synod and global mission activities. If you're interested in purchasing a copy, phone the Bethany Church office at 652-2030.

Amish Breakfast Casserole

1 lb. sliced bacon, diced

1 medium sweet onion, chopped

6 eggs

4 c. frozen hash browns

1 1/2 c. cottage cheese

1 1/4 c. Swiss cheese, shredded

1 1/2 c. Cheddar cheese, shredded

Fry bacon and onion. Combine with all other ingredients in a large bowl. Put into 9-x13-inch pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 40 minutes. Yields 12 servings.

Green Chili Cornbread

1 (8 1/2-oz.) pkg. cornbread mix

1 egg

2 T. butter, melted

1 (11-oz.) can Mexicorn, drained

1 (4-oz.) can chopped green chilies, drained

1 1/2 c. (6 oz.) shredded Pepper Jack cheese

1/4 t. hot pepper sauce

In a large bowl, combine cornbread mix, egg and butter. Stir in corn, chilies, cheese and hot pepper sauce. Pour into a greased 7-x11-inch baking dish. Bake at 400 degrees for 20 to 22 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean.

Up North Minestrone Soup

3/4 lb. Italian sausage

1 T. olive or vegetable oil, for browning meat

1 c. diced onion

1 clove garlic, finely minced

1 c. sliced carrots

1 t. crumbled basil

2 small zucchini, sliced

1 (1-lb.) can Italian pear tomatoes, undrained and chopped

2 (10 3/4-oz.) cans beef bouillon, or 3 beef bouillon cubes and 1 1/2 c. hot water

2 c. finely shredded cabbage

1 t. salt

1/3 t. pepper

1 (1-lb.) can Great Northern beans, undrained

Chopped fresh parsley, for garnish (optional)

If you have links, cut into 1/2-inch-thick slices and cut in half. Brown in oil. (Ground Italian sausage works well also.) Coarsely crumble while browning. Add onion, garlic, carrots and basil; cook for 5 minutes. Add zucchini, tomatoes with liquid, bouillon, cabbage, salt and pepper. Bring soup to boil; reduce heat and simmer, covered, for about 45 minutes. Add beans with liquid; cook another 20 minutes. Notes: If desired, add a handful or two of macaroni for appropriate amount of cooking time to get it tender. This soup freezes well.

Slow-Oven Stew

2 lb. beef stew meat, cubed in 1/2-inch pieces

2 medium onions, sliced

3 stalks celery, cut into 1-inch pieces

4 medium carrots, cut into 1-inch pieces

2 c. tomato juice, or more

1/2 c. quick-cooking tapioca

1 T. sugar

1 1/2 t. salt

1/4 t. pepper

1/2 t. basil

3 to 4 medium potatoes

1 can beef broth

1 T. Worcestershire sauce

Combine all ingredients except potatoes in a large ovenproof pot. Mix well. Cover tightly. Cook in slow oven (300 degrees) for 2 1/2 hours. Peel and cut potatoes into pieces. Stir into stew and continue cooking for 1 hour, or until done. Stir occasionally. Add water or more tomato juice, if needed. For electric slow cooker, combine all ingredients. Cook on low for 8 to 10 hours.

Pepperoni Hot Dish

2 c. cooked noodles

1 1/2 lb. hamburger

1/2 c. onion, chopped

1/2 c. celery, chopped

1/4 c. green pepper, chopped

2 cans tomato sauce

1/2 pkg. pepperoni, sliced

1/2 t. garlic

1/4 t. oregano

1/4 t. basil

Mozzarella cheese

Brown hamburger, onion, celery and green pepper. Add tomato, garlic, oregano and basil. Place noodles in buttered casserole, then add hamburger sauce. Place sliced pepperoni on top of this and layer with Mozzarella cheese. Bake at 350 degrees for 30 to 45 minutes. Note: I used to double this recipe to feed my son's basketball team before a game, and they loved it. Serve with garlic bread and a crunchy salad with lots of veggies added for extra nutrition.

Banana Nut Cake

2 1/4 c. flour

1 1/3 c. sugar

1 t. salt

1 1/4 t. baking soda

1/2 c. shortening

2 eggs

1 t. vinegar + 1/2 c. milk

2 medium bananas

1/2 c. chopped nuts (optional)

1 t. vanilla

Combine all ingredients together for 2 minutes. Pour into a 9-x13-inch pan, greased and floured on bottom. Bake at 350 degrees for 30 to 35 minutes. Frost with caramel frosting.

Caramel Frosting:

1/4 c. butter

1/3 c. cream or milk

3/4 c. brown sugar

Put ingredients in small saucepan. Melt the butter slowly and then boil vigorously for 1 minute. Cool, and add 1 t. vanilla and 1 3/4 c. powdered sugar, more or less.