Magic Cookie Bars

This recipe came out of a magazine with a Borden Eagle Brand Sweetened Condensed Milk Advertisement. It quickly became one of our favorites and an easy one to take to events.

1/2 cup margarine or butter

1 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs

1 (14 ounce) can Eagle Brand Sweetened Condensed Milk (not evaporated milk)

1 (6 ounce) package semi-sweet chocolate morsels

1 ( 3 1/2 ounce) can flaked coconut (1 1/3 cups)

1 cup chopped nuts

(Makes 24 Bars)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees (325 for glass dish). In 13x9 inch baking pan, melt margarine or butter in oven. Sprinkle crumbs over the melted margarine or butter; mix together and press into pan. Pour sweetened condensed milk evenly over crumbs. Top evenly with remaining ingredients; press down firmly. Bake 25 t0 30 minutes or until lightly browned. Cool thoroughly before cutting. Store loosely covered at room temperture.


Manhattan Clam Chowder

Almost like the New Mexican "Green Chile" and "Red Chile" debate, one might think of "Boston" Clam Chowder (White) and "Manhattan" Clam Chowder (Red) in the same way. Our Mom made Manhattan style, so that is what we took into our kitchens. We liked to make it with the cooling of the weather and the first rain. 

This recipe comes from Chef Quin in a California Department of Fish and Game publication. It is a variation of what our Mom made, as she used Tomato sauce and Milk, and I never saw a red wine bottle!

1 pint Clams

1/2 cup diced Onion

1 cup chopped Celery

1/4 cup red Wine

1 dollop Tabasco

Salt to taste

1/4 cup chopped crisp Bacon

1/4 cup chopped green Bell Pepper

1 cup diced Potatoes

2 cups Tomato Juice 

1/4 teaspoon Thyme

1 teaspoon Butter

Dash of Cayenne

First you drain the clams and save the liquor. Next you saute the bacon, green pepper and celery until light brown. Then you add the clam liquor, potatoes, seasonings and clams and cook for about five minutes. At this point you add the wine and continue cooking for an additional 10 minutes or until the potatoes are tender. Finally you add the tomato juice to the hot chowder, stir, bring it to the desired warmth and serve.

Accompany the soup with warm and well-buttered Sourdough French Bread for a cold evening delight!





Pronounced "Mock Shoe," this dish was Native American (populating southwest Louisiana) and made popular by the Cajun culture. It can be easily varied by adding chicken, crawfish tails or crab meat.

Melissa Mendonca lived in New Orleans, Louisiana, while attending Tulane University to obtain her Master's Degree, and brought this recipe home to California and to our family gatherings.

1 dozen ears fresh, sweet corn

8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter

1 1/2 cups finely chopped onions

1 large green bell pepper, finely chopped

1 large red bell pepper, finely chopped

3 ribs celery, finely chopped

3 large ripe tomatoes, peeled, seeded and roughly chopped

2 teaspoons salt

1 teaspoon cayenne pepper

2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper

4 tablespoons sugar

1 cup evaporated milk

Shuck the corn and remove all of the cornsilk. Hold each cob over a bowl and cut the kernels away in layers (don't cut kernels), then scrape the knife along the cob to get all of the "milk" out.

Melt the butter in a large sauce pan or pot over medium-high heat. Add the onions, bell peppers, celery and tomatoes and sauté until the onions are transparent, about 10 minutes. Stir in salt and peppers, then add the corn and milk from the cobs, the sugar and the evaporated milk and stir well. Reduce heat to medium and cook until the corn is tender, about 10-15 minutes more. Adjust seasonings to taste.


Meat Pie

I have this recipe in Grandmother Eva Ruth Haynes Giessner's own handwriting. I've corrected the spelling for this entry, but will always treasure finding something she has written in her own words! At the bottom of the recipe was "My Life History", so I'm assuming she contributed this to a Cook book or recipe project somewhere along the way.


3 lbs lean meat cut in small pieces

2 medium potatoes sliced

1 onion cubed

1 can tomatoe sauce

Salt and Pepper to season

One large, deep pie pan. Use Bisquick recipe for dough for bottom and top crusts.

Bake in slow oven, 325 degrees for about 1 - 1 1/2 hour.

Can use catsup on pie when served.

This makes the main dish with a salad and dessert is a complete meal.

~ Eva R. Giessner


"I have spent my life so far all in Shasta County. born on Goose Creek and my school days were in a little school house on Goose Creek at the edge of Goose Valley walking 4 1/2 miles to and from school down Goose Creek Canyon making 9 miles each day. I was 13 years old when my folks and I moved to Burney Valley, the Haynes Ranch which I still own an interest in. My father and mother had 12 children which seven are still alive and own our home ranch, The Haynes Ranch belongs to the seven remaining Haynes family which is scattered not too far apart. I have not moved far from the place.

I married Maximilian Otto Giessner in 1913 when we bought the Van Norman Ranch from A.W. Giessner and I am on that place now. We were blessed with five sons which there are three still alive. Otto passed away the 18th of February 1956. I am still hale and hearty and able to work with the help of my sons keep the ranch going."


Mississippi Mud Cake

Jill Giessner Stoltenberg first tasted this delicious cake when our aunt, Jean Lack Parry made it. She then found it in the Cassel Cook Book compiled by the Women's Auxiliary Cassel Volunteer Fire Department, 1981. We all received a copy of the cook book from our grandmother, Eva Ruth Haynes Giessner, in 1981.

There are two versions of the recipe on pages 119 and 120. I am including here the one on page 119 by Cindy Diezsi.

Cream together: 1 cup Margarine (or Butter); 2 cups Sugar, and 2 tablespoons Cocoa.

Beat in:  4 Eggs and 1 teaspoon Vanilla.

Then add gradually, while stirring well, 1 1/2 cups Flour.

Fold in:  1 1/2 cups Coconut and 1 1/2 cups Chopped Nuts (Pecans or Walnuts)

Pour into well greased and floured 9x13 inch pan. Bake at 350 degrees until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean (about 40 minutes). Remove from oven and spread one jar (7 ounces) Marshmallow Creme over the cake. Return to oven for five minutes. Remove from oven and cool in pan. When cool, frost with the following:

Beat together:  1/2 Cup Margarine (or Butter) 1 teaspoon Vanilla, 1 box Powdered Sugar, 1/4 cup Milk and 1/2 cup Cocoa. 

Spread over cake and sprinkle with nuts if desired.