Happy New Year Hesperia! I thought honoring the Hesperia Recreation and Parks District would be a great way to start the New Year. They have done so much for all of us.

They offer many programs, including Hesperia Horsemen (Wranglers also use the Val Shearer Arena), our great rodeo in June, Hesperia Days in September, Pow Wow Days, yoga, baseball, basketball, soccer, fishing and camping at the Hesperia Lakes, annual tree lighting, movie nights and kids camp (during the summer), Veteran Memorial ceremony on Veterans Day, Hesperia Lakes equestrian camp and so much more. Visit their Web site at www.hesperiaparks.com.

I want to thank all of you that gave me recipes. A special thank you goes to Cal, Rachel, Lindsey, Steve, Don and Ginger for your help, and also Bob, Judy, Sherrie, Richard and Carol. I have fond memories when I was in the Wranglers in the '80s and I had three kids playing baseball and softball: That meant six games a week and I froze too! Sometimes we tend to take all this for granted but thank you, Hesperia Recreation and Parks, for all that is there for us to enjoy and be involved in.

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This great recipe is from Cal Camara, General Manager of Hesperia Recreation and Park District.

After you catch several big catfish at Hesperia Lake, fillet, cook in Hawaiian Black Sand, and cover (or not) with mango salsa. You will want to prepare the salsa ahead of time. Or heck, buy it ready-made.

Hawaiian Black Sand (Big Island) Catfish

3 teaspoons pepper; cracked
2 teaspoons lemon pepper
2 teaspoons garlic powder
2 teaspoons salt
2 teaspoons cayenne pepper
1 pound catfish fillets
2 tablespoons butter
1 cup Italian-style salad dressing

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease a medium baking dish. In a shallow, medium bowl, mix cayenne pepper, lemon pepper, garlic powder, salt and pepper. Brush both sides of catfish fillets with butter. Rub fillets with the Hawaii Black Sand mixture on both sides.

Heat a large, heavy skillet over medium-high heat until really hot. Add fillets, and fry approximately two minutes on each side, until slightly blackened. Arrange black sand fillets in a single layer in the prepared baking dish, and coat with Italian-style salad dressing. Bake 30 to 35 minutes in the preheated oven, until fish is easily flaked with a fork.

Mango Salsa

2 ripe mangoes (about 1 pound); peeled and diced
1 medium-size red bell pepper; diced
1 jalapeno pepper; seeded and diced
3 tablespoons fresh cilantro; chopped
2 tablespoons fresh mint; chopped
1 small red onion; chopped
2 tablespoons honey
1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
1/4 teaspoon ground red pepper
1/4 teaspoon salt

Stir together all ingredients; cover and chill at least 2 hours. Makes two cups.

Peace is not the absence of conflict, but the ability to cope with it.

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Thank you, Steve Hamm, Recreation Supervisor II, for this wonderful dessert!

Chocolate Eclair Cake

Graham crackers
2 small packages French vanilla pudding
3 cups milk
1 9-ounce container Cool Whip; defrosted
1 ounce baking chocolate; melted
2 tablespoons soft butter
2 tablespoons white Karo syrup
3 tablespoons milk
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 1/2 cups powdered sugar

Butter bottom of a 13 x 9 inch pan; line bottom with whole graham crackers. Mix pudding with 3 cups milk. Beat well. Fold in of Cool Whip. Put half of pudding mixture on graham crackers. Add layer of graham crackers, then pudding layer, then another layer of graham crackers.

For the topping, mix together chocolate, butter, Karo syrup, 3 tablespoons milk, vanilla and powdered sugar. Beat well. Pour over graham crackers and spread to the very edge. Refrigerate for 24 hours, two days is even better. Do not freeze.

You can't get anywhere today if you are still mired down in yesterday.

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This great recipe is from Ginger Price, Receptionist.

What can we say about grandma? "Grandma can cook!" This recipe has been passed down several generations. Simple but yet it is so tasty. One of my favorite ways to serve pilaf is with lamb - they complement each other.

Armenian Pilaf

1 package fine Fideo
1 cube real butter (a must!)
1 cup MJB rice (a must!)
3 tablespoons instant chicken bouillon

2 cups water

Boil water with instant chicken broth. Crush three coils of Fideo and set aside. Measure MJB rice and set aside. In a large saucepan melt butter. Add crushed Fideo; cook until light brown. Add rice; cook until white. Add chicken broth, cover with lid. Cook for 25 minutes on low heat without removing lid.

A kitchen is just not a room in a house; it is the heart and hearth of a home.

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Thank you, Rachel Thomas, Administrative Operations Manager, for this tasty jerky recipe.

Mustard Marinated Beef Jerky

5 to 6 pounds London Broil steak; thinly sliced
12 tablespoons lemon juice
6 tablespoons olive oil
6 tablespoons Dijon mustard
1 1/2 teaspoons pepper
3 1/2 teaspoons salt

Mix lemon juice, oil, mustard, pepper and salt in shallow glass or plastic dish. Add beef; turn to coat with marinade. Cover and refrigerate overnight, but not longer than 24 hours, turning occasionally.

Remove meat from marinade and place in dehydrator and follow instructions to dry jerky. Store in ziplock gab, glass jar or covered plastic dish in the refrigerator.

Parents can tell, but never teach, unless they practice what they preach...Arnold Glasow

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This hearty recipe is from Don Webb, Recreation Supervisor III.

Camping Dinner in a Skillet

1 pound round steak (can use ground beef)
4 eggs
1 12-to-16 ounce can chili without beans
3 green onions
1 clove garlic

Heat skillet until hot. Cut steak into bite size pieces and saute with sliced green onions (including stems) until just browned. Crush garlic and add to pan, cook for about another minute.

Remove mixture and leave grease. Scramble eggs and pour into pan. Cook until runny. Add steak mixture back in pan and chili. Cook until bubbling hot. Serve with red pepper flakes, salt and pepper.

If you are worried about cooking eggs in beef fat, pour it off and use a teaspoon of margarine.

The quality of a person's life is in direct proportion to their commitment to excellence, regardless of their chosen field of endeavor...Vince Lombardi

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This great casserole is from Judy Trenholm, Staff Assistant.

Chili Relleno Casserole

1 pound cheddar cheese; grated
1 pound jack cheese; grated
3 eggs
2 cups milk
1/2 cup flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 large can whole green chilies
2 small cans diced green chilies
Dash salt

Whisk together eggs, milk, flour and baking powder; set aside. Spray a 9 x 13 pan. Line pan with whole green chilies and then layer with cheese, followed by diced chilies. Continue layering with diced chilies and cheese. Pour egg mixture over top and bake in a 350-degree oven for 50 minutes.

Winning is a habit. Unfortunately, so is losing...Vince Lombardi

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This recipe from Lindsay Woods, Administration Operations Manager, is guaranteed to keep you warm on cold winter nights!

Spicy B.B.Q. Steak with Veggie Topper for Four

2 teaspoons paprika
1 teaspoon fresh oregano; chopped
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon chili powder pepper
2/3 cup balsamic vinegar
1 tablespoon gingerroot; finely minced
1 tablespoon soy sauce
2 teaspoons honey
6 teaspoons green onions
6 teaspoons jalapenos
12 ounces mushrooms
1 ounce sweet yellow or red pepper; seeded and cut into chunks
4 ounces 1-inch-thick steak; such as New York Strip lion or T-bone
Olive oil
Pepper

In small bowl, stir together paprika, oregano, salt, garlic, chili powder and a generous grinding of pepper; set aside. In small saucepan, bring vinegar to boil. Boil for about three minutes. Remove from heat. Stir in ginger, soy sauce and honey; set aside.
In small pot, bring water to boil. Add jalapeno peppers and boil for about five minutes or until soft. Drain water, remove stems and finely dice jalapeno. Add jalapenos to spice mixture; set aside.

Slice white part of green onions into 2-inch pieces. Finely chop green part of two green onions and set aside. Skewer mushrooms randomly with white part of green onions and yellow pepper. Brush lightly with olive oil. Rub both sides of steaks with spice mixture. If you really want to add some heat, consider adding two jalapeno peppers to each veggie skewer.

Place the steaks on the barbecue over high heat. Cook for two minutes. Add vegetable skewers. Cook, turning once and turning and basting frequently with vinegar mixture, for 5 to 8 minutes or until mushrooms are tender and steak is rare or medium rare.

To serve, place steaks on dinner plates. Remove vegetables from skewers and scatter over top. Sprinkle with reserved chopped green onions and jalapenos.

Forget mistakes. Organize victory out of mistakes.

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Thank you Carol Hill, Director for HARD Foundation for Hesperia Recreation and Park District, for this wonderful casserole.

Taco Casserole

1 pound hamburger; cooked and seasoned to taste
1 package Nacho Cheese Doritos
1 jar Homade chili sauce
Sour cream (amount varies)
Tomatoes; diced (optional)
Onion; diced (optional)
1 to 2 cups cheese of your choice; grated

In a 9 x 11 pan layer chips, meat, chili sauce, sour cream, tomatoes, onions and cheese. Repeat layers two or three times. Heat in a 325-degree oven until it's thoroughly heated. You can also microwave this.

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Sherrie Hinton, Clerical Assistant, shares this yummy banana bread recipe.

Banana Nut Bread

3/4 cup butter
1 cup sugar
2 eggs; beaten
2 1/2 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 1/3 cups banana; mashed
1/2 cup sour milk
1/2 teaspoon vinegar
1 cup walnuts; chopped

Cream together butter and sugar; add eggs. Add banana and mix well. Sift together flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt; set aside. Add vinegar to milk; stir and set aside. Alternately add flour and milk to butter and sugar mixture.

Line a loaf pan with wax paper. Pour batter into loaf pan. Bake in a 350-degree oven for 1 hour and 15 minutes.