TRAVERSE CITY — When Caroline Bardenhagen was too sick to cook, the parishioners of Holy Rosary Church near Cedar brought her family food. They loved the recipes so much that Bardenhagen thought it would be a great idea to compile them into a cookbook.
She formed a cookbook committee and solicited the parish for their favorite recipes. More than 500 were submitted and "The Heavenly Favorites" cookbook debuted this summer.
"The whole parish really came through," said Bardenhagen. "It's a wonderful recipe collection. There are a lot of really great Polish recipes and really good gluten-free recipes."
It's not unusual for churches and other organizations to compile their recipes into cookbooks that serve both as fundraisers as well as a way of sharing potluck, family and ethnic favorites.
Holy Rosary's includes sections for appetizers, beverages, vegetables and side dishes, main dishes, breads and rolls, desserts, cookies and candy. It's also full of bread recipes, from quick breads like chocolate banana to coffee hour and beer bread. There's also a Christmas cream cheese cookie recipe perfect for cutouts. The "This and That" section includes recipes for inedible goodies like play dough, modeling clay and life advice.
"There are a lot of Catholic tidbits throughout and even our bishop submitted a recipe," said Bardenhagen.
Holiday recipes can be found throughout the book, including several of Polish origin like Chrusciki, or Angel Wings. A strip of sweet pastry, it's quickly fried and dusted with a little confectioners sugar or a drizzle of honey.
"There are quite a few eggs in it and a little brandy," said Bardenhagen. "It's really popular around the holidays."
The church is hosting a bake and coat sale Dec. 8 after the 4 p.m. Mass and Dec. 9 after the 8 a.m. Mass until 1 p.m. The books will also be available for purchase for $18 and are sold at Bunting's in Maple City. All cookbook proceeds go to the church's capital campaign for parish building improvements.
The Jordan River Arts Council Cookbook, "Flavors and Visions," was first published in 2006 and includes more than 200 recipes from members. It also offers reproductions of members' original art work, from paintings to pottery, on every page.
The book encompasses appetizers, soups and salads, entrees, beverages, breads, desserts and a section titled "Chefs of the North," which mainly includes recipes from Charlevoix County restaurants, said Nancy Carey, a founding member of the arts council and member of the cookbook committee.
"My husband's baklava recipe is in it," said Carey. "He makes it every Christmas and he makes it a little lighter than the traditional recipe."
She suggested a recipe for Iced Almonds as ideal for a party.
"They include sugar, butter and vanilla, then baked," said Carey. "They're a nice little treat."
"Flavors and Visions" also includes a Tips and Tidbits section with craft project ideas and other advice like how to fold napkins and make fancy garnishes.
The 250-page cookbook was laid out by a graphic designer and is a work of art itself, said Carey. It is $25 and available at the JRAC office at 301 Main in East Jordan or at www.jordanarts.com. Proceeds are used for operations and scholarships.
The Long Lake Friends Church in Traverse City put together their "Hometown Favorites" cookbook in 2010 and still have some for sale, said church secretary Linda Rider. It includes appetizers and beverages, soups and salads, vegetable and sides, main dishes, breads and rolls, cookies, candy, desserts and "This and That." One of the recipes, Florence Tanner's peanut butter fudge bars, was a first-prize sweepstakes winner at the Northwestern Michigan Fair.
"The recipes come from our congregation, their friends and families," Rider said.
In book form or on CD, the book sells for $10 at Oleson's on North Long Lake Road in Traverse City and at the Long Lake Friends Church, 4172 Church Road, on Fridays from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. or by appointment at 946-5289.