As one of nine children, Donna Sawyer had to help around the house – and that help included cooking. By age 10, this Limington resident was making yeast bread.

“We had homemade bread every day,” she said. “Store-bought bread was a treat as were store-bought cookies.”

So it’s no wonder that Sawyer, who says her favorite foods are “anything with a lot of sugar,” would be a weekly winner in this contest with her recipe for Yummy Peanut Butter Balls. For her winning entry, Sawyer receives a $10 gift certificate to For the Chef in North Windham.

Sawyer, who discovered the recipe in a cookbook compiled by Blue Cross employees in the 1990s, says she starts making the balls just after Thanksgiving.

“I make hundreds of them during the holidays and give them as gifts,” she said. “I buy inexpensive holiday tins and pack them using miniature cupcake papers. You can make them ahead as they freeze well.”

Besides her job as the planning secretary for the town of Standish, Sawyer has two hobbies that she’s “totally consumed with:” gardening and quilting. Right now, she is working on a whole cloth quilt, which involves hand quilting that’s spaced at about 5/8 inch intervals.

“My husband estimated I’ve got 120 hours left to get it done before Christmas,” she said.

She’s already put in 80 hours on the queen-sized quilt, a present for her daughter.

When she has time to cook, Sawyer most enjoys baking, especially cakes and whoopee pies.

Good from Beginning to End

The holiday season is fast approaching. What tantalizing desserts make you thankful? What elegant appetizers put you in the spirit? Enter your favorite award-worthy appetizer and dessert recipes for our November/December contest.

The contest is open to amateur cooks and there is no limit to the number of submissions. Winners receive a $10 gift certificate to the week’s advertising sponsor.

Be sure to include your name, address, and daytime phone number with your submission. Send your recipe, complete with the list of ingredients, preparation instructions, and number of servings to:


Now You’re Cooking!

Lakes Region Suburban Weekly

PO Box 790

Windham, Maine 04062


[email protected]

Yummy Peanut Butter Balls Makes 100 to 125 balls

1 pound butter (softened)

2 cups peanut butter (plain or crunchy)

2 teaspoons vanilla

2 to 2 1/2 pounds confectionary sugar

16 ounces chocolate chips

about 1/8 pound paraffin wax

Combine first three ingredients. Add confectionary sugar and mix well (mixture will be stiff and may require heavy duty mixer). Refrigerate for 1 hour and then shape into 3/4″ balls.

Melt chocolate in top of double boiler. Add paraffin. Note: chocolate mixture must be made in a double boiler, as paraffin is flammable.

Using a toothpick, dip balls in chocolate mixture, place on cookie sheet and refrigerate until well chilled.

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