Dennis Fuller
1045theriver: Did you meet our Wet Nose Wednesday pet this week? Meet Rich! http://t.co/6oAEEXIf7o http://t.co/rGXUuZh8ER

Heather Moore

 


Sweet Pepper Pesto Pasta

Great for potluck picnics!

4-1/2 cups uncooked bow tie pasta
1 large sweet red pepper, chopped
1 large sweet yellow pepper, chopped
2 tsp olive oil
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1 cup prepared pesto
1 can (2-1/4 oz) sliced ripe olives, drained
1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese

Cook pasta according to package directions. Meanwhile, combine peppers, oil and garlic powder in a bowl; toss to coat. Arrange peppers in a single layer on a lightly greased baking sheet. Bake at 350 for 15 minutes until peppers are tender. Drain pasta and rinse in cold water. In a large salad bowl, toss the pasta, pesto, olives and peppers. Refrigerate until serving. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese.
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Curry Chicken

An easy weeknight dish sure to impress the family!

1-1/2 cups uncooked instant rice
1 pound boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1-inch pieces
2 tsp curry powder
3/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
1/2 cup chopped onion
1 tbsp canola oil
1 can (14 oz) coconut milk
2 tbsp tomato paste
3 cups fresh baby spinach
1 cup chopped tomato

Cook rice according to package directions. Meanwhile, sprinkle the chicken with curry, salt and pepper. In a large skillet, saute chicken and onion in oil until chicken is no longer pink. Stir in coconut milk and tomato paste. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer uncovered for 5 minutes or until thickened. Add spinach and chopped tomato; cook 2-3 minutes longer or until spinach is wilted. Serve with rice.
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Baked Catfish

Round out this meal with a side of your favorite rice and a dinner salad!

2 tbsp minced fresh parsley
1 tsp salt
3/4 tsp paprika
1/2 tsp dried thyme
1/2 tsp dried oregano
1/2 tsp dried basil
1/2 tsp pepper
4 catfish fillets (6 oz each)
2 tbsp lemon juice
1 tbsp butter, melted
1 garlic clove, minced

Combine the parsley, salt, paprika, thyme, oregano, basil and pepper; sprinkle over fillets on both sides. Place in a greased 13-in by 9-in baking dish. Combine the lemon juice, butter and garlic; drizzle over fillets. Bake uncovered at 350 for 15-20 minutes or until fish flakes easily with a fork.
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Spicy Sloppy Joes

The sloppier the better, am I right?!?!

1 pound lean ground beef
1 small onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves minced
1 cup ketchup
1 can (4 oz) green chilies
1/2 cup beef broth
1/4 cup chili sauce
1 tsp chili powder
1/2 tsp ground cumin
1/4 tsp crushed red pepper flakes (or 1/2 tsp if you dare!)
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp coarsely ground pepper
6 hamburger buns, split
2 tbsp butter, softened

In a large skillet, cook beef and onion over medium heat untl beef is no longer pink; drain. Add garlic; cook 1 minute longer. Stir in ketchup, chilies, broth, chili sauce and seasonings. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer uncovered for 15 minutes, stiring occasionally. Meanwhile, spread cut sides of bun with butter. Place on baking sheet, buttered side up. Broil 4 inches from the heat until toasted (1 to 2 minutes). Serve beef mixture with buns.
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Triple Cheese Macaroni

Not one, not two...THREE cheeses make this dish so delicious!

1 package (16 oz) elbow macaroni
2 egss
1 can (12 oz) evaporated milk
1/4 cup butter, melted
2 tbsp prepared mustard
1 tsp seasoned salt
1 tsp pepper
8 oz process cheese (Velveeta), melted
2 cups (8 oz) shredded mild cheddar, divided
2 cups (8 oz) shredded sharp cheddar cheese, divided

Cook the pasta according to package directions. In a large bowl, whisk the eggs, milk, butter, mustard, seasoned salt and pepper until combined. Stir in the melted Velveeta and 1-1/2 cups of each cheddar cheese. Drain pasta; stir into cheese mixture. Pout into a greased 3-qt. baking dis. Sprinkle top with remaining cheeses. Bake uncovered at 350 for 25-30 minutes until cheese is melted and edges are bubbly.
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Spinach Salad with bacon dressing

Add a grilled chicken breast and you're all set!

5 slices bacon, roughly chopped
1/4 cup white wine vinegar
1 tsp sugar (or honey)
1 tsp dijon mustard
2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
1 pound spinach, tough stems removed
2 cups seedless red grapes, halved
4 oz (about 3/4 cup) crumbled blue cheese
Croutons, for topping
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

Cook the bacon in a medium size skillet over medium heat until crisp (9-11 minutes). Remove bacon to paper towels; reserve the drippings in the skillet. Whisk the vinegar, suagr, mustard and 1/4 tsp each salt and pepper into the drippings. Slowly whisk in the olive oil. Place the spinach in a large bowl and pour the warm dressing on top; add the grapes, blue cheese and bacon. Toss; season with salt and pepper and top with croutons.
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Upside Down Pancake (with Bacon!)

Surprise Mom with this delicious dish!

6 bacon strips, cooked and diced
1/4 cup packed brown sugar
2 cups complete buttermilk pancake mix
1-1/2 cups water
Butter and syrup

In a large oven proof skillet, cook bacon over medium heat until crisp. Remove bacon to drain on paper towels. Reserve 2 tbsp drippings. Wipe pan clean. Return bacon to pan with reserve drippings; sprinkle with brown sugar. In a small bowl, combine pancake mix and water just until moistened. Pour into pan. Bake at 350 for 18-20 minutes. Cool for 10 minutes before inverting onto a serving plate. Serve with warm syrup and butter!
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Cashew Chicken Pasta Salad

Perfect for potlucks or as a light, weeknight meal!

1 package (16 oz) spiral pasta
4 cups cubed cooked chicken
1 can (20 oz) pineapple tidbits, drained
1-1/2 cups sliced celery
3/4 cup thinly sliced green onions
1 cup seedless red grapes
1 cup seedless green grapes
1 package (6 oz) dried cranberries
1 cup ranch salad dressing
3/4 cup mayonnaise
2 cups salted cashews

Cook pasta according to package directions. Meanwhile in a large bowl combine chicken, pineapple, celery, onions, grapes and cranberries. Drain the pasta and rinse in cold water; sitr into chicken mixture. In a small bowl, whisk ranch dressing and mayo. Pour over salad and toss to coat. Cover and refrigerate for at least an hour. Just before serving, stir in cashews.
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Simple Pico de Gallo

To go with whatever dish you make on Cinco de Mayo...

3 red onions
12 Roma tomatoes
2 cups fresh cilantro
2 jalapenos
1 lime
Salt

Chop equal amounts of onion and tomato. Chop up cilantro. Slice the jalapenos in half and scrape out the seeds (unless you want the heat!!). Finely dice the jalapenos. Put all four ingredients in a bowl. Squeeze the juice from half of the lime into the bowl. Sprinkle with salt and stir. Taste and adjust seasonings if needed by adding more salt and jalapeno.
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Feta-Fettuccine

With fresh corn and tomatoes, it's perfect for a meat-free Monday!

8 oz uncooked fettuccine
2 medium ears sweet corn, husks removed
2 tsp plus 2 tbspolive oil, divided
1/2 cup chopped red sweet pepper
4 green onions, chopped
2 medium tomatoes, chopped
1/2 tsp each salt and pepper
1 cup crumbled feta cheese
2 tbsp minced fresh parsley

In a Dutch oven (or large pot) cook fettuccine according to package directions; adding corn during the last 8 minutes of cooking. Meanwhile, in a small skillet, heat 2 tsp oil over medium-high heat. Add red pepper and green onions; cook and stir until tender. Drain pasta and corn; transfer pasta to a large bowl. Cool corn slightly; cut corn from cob and add to pasta. Add tomatoes, salt, pepper, remaining oil and red pepper mixture; toss to combine. Sprinkle with cheese and parsley.
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Chimichangas

Let everyone top 'em their favorite way!!!

1-1/2 pounds lean ground beef
1 medium onion, chopped
1 medium green pepper, chopped
1 garlic clove, minced
2 cans (16 oz) refried beans
1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese
1/2 cup taco sauce
16 flour tortillas (10 in.)
Vegetable oil
Toppings: shredded lettuce, sour cream, chopped ripe olives, chopped tomatoes, salsa, addt'l cheddar cheese

In a large skillet, coof beef, onion, green pepper and garlic over medium heat until meat is no longer pink; drain. Add the beans, cheese and taco sauce. Cook and stir until cheese is melted. Remove from heat. Spoon about 1/3 cup off-center on each tortilla. Fold up edge nearest filing; fold in both sides and roll up. Secure with a toothpick. In a large skillet, fry tortillas, folded side down, in oil 2-3 minutes or until lightly browned. Turn: cook 2-3 minutes longer. Drain on paper towels. Serve with toppings.
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Aloha Hamburgers

With pineapple and bacon, these burgers make your family ready to surf the dinner wave!

1 can (8 oz) sliced pineapple
3/4 cup teriyaki sauce
1 pound ground beef
1 large sweet onion, sliced
1 tbsp butter
4 lettuce leaves
4 sesame seed buns, split and toasted
4 slices Swiss cheese
4 bacon strips, cooked (and cut in half)

Drain pineapple juice into a small bowl, add teriyaki sauce.  Place 3 tbsp mixture in a resealable plastic bag.  Add pineapple; toss to coat and set aside.  Shape beef into four patties; place in a baking dish.  Pour the remaining teriyaki sauce mixture over the patties; marinate 5-10 minutes, turning once.  Drain and discard teriyaki marinade.  Grill burger patties, covered, over medium heat for 6-9 minutes until no longer pink.  Meanwhile, in a small skillet, saute onion in butter until tender, about 5 minutes; set aside.  Drain and discard pineapple marinade.  Place pineapple on the grill to heat through.  Layer lettuce and onion on bottom of buns.  Top with burgers, cheese, pineapple and bacon.  Top with bun, serve immediately!

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Four Cheese Baked Ziti

Using Alfredo sauce gives this dish a nice spin from typical tomato-sauced pasta casseroles.  Add a garden salad to round out the meal.  (Recipe makes 8 servings.)

1 package (16 oz) ziti (or other small tube pasta)
2 cartons (10 oz each) refrigerated Alfredo sauce
1 cup (8 oz) sour cream
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1 carton (15 oz) ricotta cheese
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese, divided
1/4 cup grated Romano cheese
1/4 cup minced fresh parsley
1-3/4 cups shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese

Cook pasta according to package directions; drain and return to pan.  Stir in Alfredo sauce and sour cream.  Spoon half into a lightly greased 3-qt. baking dish.  In a small bowl, combine the eggs, ricotta cheese, 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese, Romano cheese and parsely; spread over pasta.  Top with remaining pasta mixture; sprinkle with mozzarella and remaining Parmesan.  Cover and bake at 350 for 25 minutes.  Uncover and bake 5-10 minutes longer until bubbly.
 
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Pizza Pasta

Chock full of awesomeness, your family will love this fast feast!

2 cups uncooked spiral pasta
1/2 pound lean ground beef
1/2 pound bulk Italian sausage
1 small green pepper, chopped
1 small onion, chopped
3 oz sliced pepperoni
1 can (14-1/2 oz) diced tomatoes, undrained
1 jar (14 oz) spaghetti sauce
1 jar (4-1/2 oz) sliced mushrooms
1 can (4-1/4 oz) chopped ripe black olives, drained
1 cup (4 oz) shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese
Grated Parmesan cheese

Cook the pasta according to package directions.  In a large skillet, cook the beef, sausage, green pepper and onion until the meat is no longer pink; drain.  Add the pepperoni, tomatoes, spaghetti sauce, mushrooms and olives and cook/stir for 5 minutes.  Drain the pasta; stir into meat mixture.  Heat through.  Sprinkle with cheese.  Remove from the heat; cover and let stand until cheese is melted. Top each serving with grated Parmesan cheese.
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Panzanella Salad

Meat-Free Monday just got interesting with this "no-lettuce-allowed" salad.

1 loaf sourdough bread, cubed
2 tbsp olive oil
2-1/2 pounds fresh tomatoes, chopped
1 can (15 oz) cannellini beans, rinsed and drained
1 can (14 oz) water-packed artichoke hearts, rinsed, drained and quartered
1 cup thinly sliced roasted red peppers
1/2 cup fresh basil leaves, thinly sliced
1/3 cup thinly sliced red onion
1/4 cup Greek olives, quartered
Serve with Italian dressing

In a large bowl, toss bread with oil and transfer to a baking sheet.  Bake at 450 for 8-10 minutes until golden brown.  Cool to room temp.  In a large bowl, combine the tomatoes, beans, artichokes, peppers, basil, onion, olives and bread.  Serve with your family's favorite Italian dressing
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Shrimp Po' Boys

So easy and delicious, this recipe might just become a fave with your fam!

3/4 cup mayo
1/2 up ketchup
1 tsp prepared horseradsih
1 tsp hot pepper sauce
Oil for frying
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
3/4 cup cornmeal
1 tbsp cajun seasoning
1 tsp salt
1 pound uncooked medium shrimp (peeled, deveined, tails removed)
4 french rolls, split
2 medium tomatoes, sliced
2 cups shredded lettuce

In a small bowl, mix the mayo, ketchup, horseradish and hot pepper sauce.  Cover and chill until serving.  Heat 1/2 inch oil on medium high in a skillet.  In a large resealable plastic bag, combine the flour, cornmeal, cajun seasoning and salt.  Add shrimp, a few at a time.  Seal bag and toss to coat; fry in oil for 2-3 minutes on each side until golden brown.  Drain on paper towels.  Spread rolls with some of the sauce.  Layer bottoms with lettuce, shrimp and tomatoes; serve with remaining sauce.
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Enchilada Stuffed Shells

By combining Mexican and Italian ideas, you get this great dish!

15 uncooked jumbo pasta shells
1 pound lean ground turkey (or beef, if you prefer)
1 can (10 oz) enchilada sauce
1/2 tsp dried minced onion
1/4 tsp each dried basil, dried oregano and ground cumin
1/2 cup refried beans
1 cup (4 oz) shredded cheddar cheese

Cook pasta according to package directions; drain and rinse in cold water.  In a nonstick skillet, cook meat over medium heat until no longer pink; drain.  Stir in enchilada sauce and seasonings; set aside.  Place a rounded teaspoonful of refried beans in each pasta shell, then fill with meat mixture.  Place in a baking dish coated with cooking spray.  Cover and bake at 350 for 25 minutes.  Uncover; sprinkle with cheese.  Bake five minutes longer until cheese is melted.
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Potato Corn Chowder

Quick and easy meat-free Monday meal!  Of course, you can add crumbled bacon if you'd like...

1 medium onion, chopped
1 tbsp olive oil
2 can (14-1/2 oz each) chicken broth
3 large Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled and cubed
1 can (15-1/4 oz) whole kernel corn, drained
1 cup 2% milk, divided
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
Minced fresh parsley

In a large saucepan, cook and stir onion in oil over medium heat until tender.  Add broth and potatoes; bring to a boil.  Reduce heat; cover and simmer 10-15 minutes or until potatoes are tender.  Stir in the corn, 1/2 cup milk, salt and pepper.  In a small bowl, whisk flour and remaining milk until smooth.  Stir into soup; return to a boil.  Cook and stir for 2-3 minutes or until thickened.  Sprinkle servings with parsley.
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Teriyaki Grilled Chicken

The weather screams GRILL TONIGHT...

1/3 cup reduced-sodium soy sauce
1/4 cup canola oil
2 green onions thinly sliced
2 tbsp plus 1-1/2 tsp honey
2 tbsp chicken broth
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 tsp minced fresh gingerroot
6 bone-in chicken breast halves (around 8 oz each)

In a large resealable plastic bag, combine the first seven ingredients; add chicken.  Seal bag and turn to coat; refrigerate at least 5 hours.  Drain and discard marinade.  Prepare grill for indirect heat, using a drip pan.  Place chicken skin side down on grill rack.  Grill, covered, over indirect medium heat for 20 minutes.  Turn; grill 20 minutes more until juices run clear.
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Spaghetti Carbonara

Nice little recipe to have in your back pocket...it's done in 25 minutes!

12 oz spaghetti
6 slices thick-cut bacon, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
4 large eggs, slightly beaten
1 cup grated Parmesan cheese (about 4 oz), plus more for topping
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
2 tbsp chopped fresh parsley

Cook pasta according to package directions, reserve 1/4 cup of the cooking liquid before draining pasta.  Meanwhile, cook the bacon in a large skillet over medium heat, stirring occasionally until crisp.  Add the spaghetti and reserved pasta cooking water to the skillet and toss to combine.  Add the eggs, Parmesan, 1/2 tsp salt and 1-1/2 tsp pepper; toss to coat.  Cook, tossing continuously to avoid scrambling the eggs, until the sauce is creamy, about 1 minute.  Stir in the parsley.  Serve topped with extra Parmesan.
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Lemon Olive Chicken

Easy clean up with this one pan meal!

1 tbsp olive oil
4 boneless skinless chicken thighs (about 1 lb.)
1 can (14-1/2 oz) chicken broth
2/3 cup orzo pasta
1/2 lemon, cut into wedges
1/2 cup pitted Greek olives, sliced
1 tbsp lemon juice (squeeze it fresh from that other lemon half!)
1 tsp dried oregano
1/4 tsp each salt and pepper

In a large nonstick skillet, heat oil over medium heat.  Brown chicken on both sides; remove from pan.  Add broth to skillet; increase heat to medium-high.  Cook, stirring to loosen browned bits from pan.  Stir in the remaining ingredients.  Return to a boil.  Reduce heat; simmer uncovered for 5 minutes, stirring ocasionally.  Return chicken to pan.  Cook, covered, 5-8 minutes or until pasta is tender and chicken is cooked throughout.
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Crunchy Burritos

How do you make a good thing great?? Fry it!

1 pound lean ground beef
1 envelope taco seasoning
1 can (16 oz) refried beans
6 flour tortillas (12 inches), warmed
1 cup (4 oz) shredded Colby-Monterey jack cheese
4 tsp canola oil
Salsa and sour cream

In a large skillet, brown beef over medium heat until no longer pink; drain.  Stir in taco seasoning.  In a small saucepan, cook refried beans over medium-low heat for 2-3 minutes or until heated through.  Spoon about 1/3 cup of beans off center on each tortilla; top with about 2 tablespoons of beef mixture.  Sprinkle with cheese.  Fold sides and ends of tortilla over filling and roll up.  In a large skillet over medium-high heat, brown burritos in oil on all sides.  Serve with salsa and sour cream.
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Chicken Rotini Salad with cashews

Great for potlucks and picnics!

1 package (16 oz) rotini pasta
4 cups cubed cooked chicken
1 can (20 oz) pineapple tidbits, drained
1-1/2 cups sliced celery
3/4 cup thinly sliced green onions
1 cup sedless red grapes
1 cup seedless green grapes
1 package (6 oz) dried cranberries
1 cup ranch salad dressing
3/4 cup mayonnaise
2 cups salted cashews

Cook pasta according to package directions.  Meanwhile, in a large bowl, combine chicken, pineapple, celery, onion, grapes and cranberries.  Drain the pasta and rinse in cold water; stir into chicken mixture.  in a small bowl, whisk ranch dressing and mayo.  Pour over salad and toss to coat.  Cover and refrigerate at least an hour.  Just before serving, stir in cashews.
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Chicken with tomato-caper sauce

If capers aren't your thing, use diced green olives instead!  Add a side of rice or pasta to round out the meal. 

4 boneless skinless chicken breast halves
1/2 tsp pepper
2 tbsp olive oil, divided
1 medium onion, chopped
3 garlic cloves, minced
2 cans (14-1/2 oz each) diced tomatoes, undrained
1 package (6 oz) fresh baby spinach
2 tbsp drained capers (or diced green olives)
2 tbsp minced fresh basil (or 2 tsp dried basil)
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
1/2 cup shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese

Pound chicken breasts with a meat mallet to 1/4-in thickness; sprinkle with pepper.  In a large nonstick skillet, heat 1 tbsp oil over medium heat.  Brown chicken on both sides; remove from pan.  In the same skillet, heat remaining oil over medium-high heat.  Add onion; cook and stir until tender.  Add garlic; cook 1 minute longer.  Stir in tomatoes, spinach, capers, basil and cayenne.  Return chicken to pan.  Cook covered 8-10 minutes or until chicken is no longer pink.  Sprinkle with cheese.  Remove from heat; let stand covered until cheese is melted.
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Tom and Avo Wrap

Such a nice day deserves a fast (re: no cooking required!) dinner.  As tomatoes and avocados are two of my fave things, putting them together in a wrap in a no-brainer for me!  (This recipe makes two so double up if you need more.)

1 medium ripe avocado, peeled and thinly sliced
2 10-inch tortillas (flavored if you like), room temperature
2 lettuce leaves
1 medium tomato, thinly sliced
2 tbsp shredded Parmesan cheese
1/4 tsp garlic powder
1/8 tsp each salt and pepper

In a small bowl, mash 1/4 of the avocado with a fork; spread over tortillas.  Layer with lettuce, tomato and remaining avocado.  Sprinkle cheese, garlic powder, salt and pepper; roll up.  Serve immediately.
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Brown Sugar Salmon with strawberry relsih

Quick and easy but it looks so fancy!

1/3 cup packed brown sugar
1 tbsp canola oil
1 tsp ground mustard
1 tsp ground allspice
1/2 tsp salt
4 salmon fillets (5 oz each)
Strawberry relish:
1 tbsp minced fresh mint
1 tbsp canola oil
1 tbsp lemon juice
2 tsp grated lemon peel
1/8 tsp sugar
1 cup finely chopped fresh strawberries
1 small cucmber, peeled and finely chopped

In a small bowl, whisk the first five ingredients; rub over the flesh side of the salmon fillets.  Refrigerate, covered, for an hour.  For the relsih, in another bowl, mix mint, canola oil, lemon juice, lemon peel and sugar.  Add strawberries and cucumber; toss to coat.

Fire up the grill and lightly coat it with oil.  Place salmon on grill rack, skin side down.  Grill covered over medium heat 8-10 minutes or until fish flakes easily with a fork.  Serve with strawberry relish.
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Shepherd's Pie

Mashed potatoes are the "crust" for this midweek masterpiece!

1 pound lean ground beef
3 bacon strips, diced
1 small onion, choppped
1/4 tsp dried oregano
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 cup tomato sauce
1 can (11 oz) Mexicorn, drained
5-1/2 cups hot mashed potatoes (made without milk and/or butter)
2 eggs, lightly beaten
2 tbsp butter, softened
1 tbsp minced fresh parsely
1/2 tsp salt
Additional melted butter

In a large skillet, cook beef over medium heat until no longer pink; drain and set aside.  In the same skillet, cook the bacon, onion and oregano until bacon is crisp.  Add garlic; cook 1 minute longer.  Stir in tomato sauce, corn and reserved beef.  Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer uncovered for 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, combine the mashed potatoes, eggs, butter, parsley and salt.  Spread half of the potato mixture onto the bottom and up the sides of a greased 9-in. pie plate.  Top with beef mixture and remaining potato mixture.  Bake at 375 for 20 minutes.  Brush with melted butter.  Bake 10 minutes more until top is golden brown.
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Baked Ziti with four cheeses

Another great Meat-free Monday recipe (with eight servings)!

1 package (16 oz) ziti pasta
2 cartons (10 oz each) refrigerated Alfredo sauce
1 cup (8 oz) sour cream
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1 carton (15 oz) ricotta cheese
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese, divided
1/4 cup grated Romano cheese
1/4 cup minced fresh parsley
1-3/4 cups shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese

Cook ziti according to package directions; drain and return to the pan.  Stir in Alfredo sauce and sour cream.  Spoon half into a lightly greased 3-qt. baking dish.  In a small bowl, combine the eggs, ricotta cheese, Romano cheese, 1/4 cup of the Parmesan cheese and parsley; spread over pasta.  Top with remaining pasta mixture; srpinkle with mozzarella and remaining Parmesan.  Cover and bake at 350 for 25 minutes.  Uncover; bake 10-15 minutes longer until bubbly.
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Pizza Sammies

Quick, weeknight meal your entire family will love!

1 pound lean ground beef
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp onion powder
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp Italian seasoning
1/4 tsp pepper
1-1/2 cups pizza sauce
2 loaves (8 oz each) French bread, halved lengthwise
1/2 cup shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese

In a small bowl, mix the beef and seasonings just until combined.  Divide into twelve portions; shape each into a 1-1/2-in. patty.  In a large nonstick skillet, cook patties for 4 to 5 minutes on each side or until meat is no longer pink; drain.  Pour pizza sauce over patties and heat through.  Spoon onto French bread; sprinkle with cheese.  Cut into sandwiches and serve.
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Spring Pea Soup

Okay, maybe it's not spring yet but here is a snazzy soup recipe that is gorgeously green!

2 cups cubed peeled potatoes
2 tbsp butter
6 cups chicken broth
2 cups fresh or frozen peas, thawed
2 tbsp minced chives

In a large saucepan, saute potatoes in butter until lightly browned.  Stir in broth; bring to a boil.  reduce heat; cover and simmer 10-15 minutes until potatoes are tender.  Add peas; cook 5-8 minutes longer until peas are tender.  Cool slightly.  In a blender, process soup in batches until smooth.  Return all to the pan; heat through.  Sprinkle with chives.
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BBQ Mini Meatloafs

What fun these are, to make and to eat!!

1 package (6 oz) stuffing mix
1 cup water
2 tbsp hickory smoke-flavored barbecue sauce
1 pound ground beef
4 oz (1 cup) shredded cheddar cheese

Combine the stuffing mix, water and bbq sauce.  Mix in ground beef.  Place 1/3 cup into each of 12 ungreased muffin cups.  Bake at 375 for 18-22 minutes.  Sprinkle tops with cheese; bake 2-4 minutes longer until cheese is melted.  Serve with additional bbq sauce if desired.
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Peanut, Chicken and Rice salad

This dish comes together so fast on a weeknight!  And it's delicious..

2 packages (8.8 oz) ready to serve long grain rice
2/3 cup Thai peanut sauce
2 tbsp canola oil
2 tbsp water
1 package (16 oz) coleslaw mix
2 package (6 oz each) ready to use grilled chicken breast strips (or 1-1/2 cups shredded rotisserie chicken or other leftover cooked chicken)
1/2 cup torn cilantro leaves
1-1/2 cups dry roasted peanuts

Prepare rice according to package directions; remove to a large bowl.  In a small bowl, whisk the peanut sauce, oil and water until blended; set aside.  Add the coleslaw mix, chicken and cilantro to the rice.  Drizzle with peanut sauce mixture; toss to combine.  Sprinkle with peanuts; serve immediately.
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Roasted Red Pepper Soup

My husband is not a big fan of tomato soup.  But since he loves red peppers, this soup is a nice alternative.

1 large sweet onion, chopped
2 tsp butter
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 jars (15-1/2 oz each) roasted red peppers, drained
2 cups vegetable broth
1/2 tsp dried basil
1/4 tsp salt
1 cup half and half cream

In a large saucepan, saute onion in butter for 2-3 minutes or until tender.  Add garlic; cook 1 minute longer.  Stir in the red peppers, broth, basil and salt.  Bring to a boil.  Reduce heat; cover and simmer for 20 minutes.  Cool slightly.  In a blender, cover and process soup in batches until smooth.  Remove 1 cup to a small bowl; stir in cream.  Return remaining puree to pan.  Stir in the cream mixture; heat through but do not boil.
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Chicken Tomato Soup

With super-cold weather hanging around for a few days, a big ol' pot of this soup will go a long way!

1-1/2 cups water
3 cups frozen chopped broccoli
3/4 cup chopped onion
1 garlic clove, minced
3/4 pound boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1-in. chunks
1/2 tsp seasoned salt
1/4 tsp pepper
1 can (46 oz) tomato juice
1 can (15-1/2 oz) great northern beans, rinsed and drained
1 can (15 oz) black beans, rinsed and drained
1 can (11 oz) whole kernel corn, drained
1 tbsp ketchup
1 tsp brown sugar
Crumbled bacon and shredded cheddar cheese, optional toppings

In a Dutch oven, combine the water, broccoli, onion and garlic.  Bring to a boil; boil for 8-10 minutes, stirring frequently.  Meanwhile, in a nonstick skillet, cook the chicken until no longer pink, about 6 minutes.  Sprinkle with seasoned salt and pepper.  Add to broccoli mixture; stir in the tomato juice, beans, corn, ketchup and brown sugar; bring to a boil.  Reduce heat; cover and simmer 10-15 minutes, stirring occasionally.  Garnish servings with bacon and cheddar cheese if desired.
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Hot Fudge Cake

Just right for Valentine's Day...a chocolate cake that is not too sweet, easy to make and special for your sweetheart!

1 cup all-purpose flour
3/4 cup sugar
6 tbsp baking cocoa, divided
2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup 2% milk
2 tbsp canola oil
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup packed brown sugar
1-3/4 cups hot water
Serve with ice cream or whipped topping

Preheat oven to 350.  In a large bowl, whisk flour, sugar, 2 tbsp cocoa, baking powder and salt.  In another bowl, whisk milk, oil and vanilla until blended.  Add to flour mixture; stir until just moistened.  Transfer to an ungreased 9-in. square baking pan.  In a small bowl, mix brown sugar and remaining cocoa; sprinkle over batter.  Pout hot water over all; do NOT stir.  Bake 35-40 minutes.  Serve warm, topped wth ice cream or whipped cream!
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Broccoli Carrot Soup

After seeing Paul McCartney dancing on the Grammys last night, I knew I would give you a Meat-Free Monday recipe today!

1 medium onion, chopped
2 medium carrots, chopped
2 celery ribs, chopped
1 tbsp butter
3 cups fresh broccoli florets
3 cups fat-free milk, divided
3/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp dried thyme
1/8 tsp pepper
3 tbsp all-purpose flour

In a large saucepan coated with cooking spray, cook the onion, carrots and celery in butter for 3 minutes.  Add the broccoli; cook 3 minutes longer.  Stir in 2-3/4 cups milk, salt, thyme and pepper.  Bring to a boil.  Reduce heat; cover and simmer for 5-10 minutes until veggies are tender.  Combine the flour and remaining milk until smooth; gradually stir into the soup.  Bring to a boil; cook 2 minutes longer until thickened.
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Spinach Lasagna Roll Ups

Such a fancy dish but these are WAY easier to put together than they look!

12 uncooked lasagna noodles
2 eggs, lightly beaten
2-1/2 cups ricotta cheese
2-1/2 cups (10 oz) shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 package (10 oz) frozen chopped sipnach, thawed and squeezed dry
1/4 tsp each salt, pepper and nutmeg
1 jar (26 oz) meatless spaghetti sauce

Cook the lasagna noodles according to package directions; drain.  In a large bowl, combine the eggs, cheeses, spinach, salt, pepper and nutmeg.  Spread 1/3 cup cheese mixture over each noodle; carefully roll up.  Pour 1 cup spaghetti sauce into an ungreased baking dish (13x9).  Place the lasagna roll ups seam side down over sauce.  Top with remaining sauce.  Bake uncovered at 375 for 20-25 until heated through.
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Tomato Bacon Casserole

Everyone loves the bacon in this dish!

6 oz uncooked egg noodles
1 pound sliced bacon, diced
1/3 cup chopped green pepper
1/3 cup chopped onion
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp dried marjoram
1/2 tsp dried thyme
1/8 tsp pepper
1 can (28 oz) stewed tomatoes
1 cup (4 oz) shredded cheddar cheese

Cook noodles according to package directions; drain. In a large skillet, cook bacon until crisp.  Remove to paper towels to drain, leaving 2 tbsp bacon drippings.  In the drippings, saute green pepper, onion, salt, marjoram, thyme and pepper for 5 minutes.  Stir in the tomatoes.  Bring to a boil.  Reduce heat; simmer uncovered for 10 minutes.  Stir in noodles.  Add half the bacon.  Transfer to a greased 2-qt. baking dish.  Top with cheese and remaining bacon.  Bake uncovered at 350 for 10 minutes until cheese is melted.
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Cheeseburger Pitas

Nice twist on the average burger recipe!

1 pound ground beef
1/2 cup chopped onion
1/2 cup chopped green pepper
1 cup cooked long grain rice
1 can (8 oz) tomato sauce
2 tsp Worcestershire sauce
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
2 cups (8 oz) shredded cheddar cheese
4 pitas (6 inches), halved

In a large skillet, cook the beef, onion and green pepper over medium heat until meat is no longer pink; drain.  Add the rice, tomato sauce, Worcestershire sauce, salt and pepper.  Bring to a boil.  Reduce heat; cover and simmer for 10-15 minutes.

Stir in cheese; cover and cook 2-3 minutes longer or until cheese is melted.  Spoon 1/2 cup into each pita half.
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Greek Pasta

Great use of rotisserie chicken!

2 cups uncooked penne pasta
1/4 cup butter, cubed
1 large onion, chopped
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 can (14-1/2 oz) chicken broth
3 cups shredded rotisserie chicken
1 jar (7-1/2 oz) marinated quartered artichoke hearts, drained
1 cup (4 oz) crumbled feta cheese
1/2 cup chopped oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes
1/3 cup sliced pitted Greek olives
2 tbsp minced fresh parsley

Cook pasta according to package directions.  In a large ovenproof skillet, melt butter over medium-high heat.  Add onion; cook and stir until tender.  Stir in flour until blended; gradually add broth.  Bring to a boil; cook and stir for 2 minutes until thickened.  Stir in chicken, artichoke hearts, cheese, tomatoes and olives.  Drain pasta; stir into the pan.  Broil 3-4 inches from the heat for 5-7 minutes or until bubbly and golden brown.  Sprinkle with parsley.
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Veggie Chowder

Fast fix for your Monday meal!

2 cups chicken broth
2 cups peeled potatoes
1 cup chopped carrots
1/2 cup chopped onion
1 can (14-3/4 oz) cream-style corn
1 can (12 oz) evaporated milk
3/4 cup shredded cheddar cheese
1/2 cup sliced fresh mushrooms
1/4 tsp pepper
Bacon crumbles, if desired

In a large saucepan, combine the broth, poatoes, carrots and onion.  Bring to a boil.  Reduce heat; simmer uncovered for 10-15 minutes or until veggies are tender.  Add the corn, milk, cheese, mushrooms and pepper.  Cook and stir for 4-6 minutes longer until heated through.  Serve with bacon crumbles, if so desired.
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Spaghetti Casserole

Everyone will LOVE this dish!!!

1 package (8 oz) spaghetti
1 pound lean ground beef
1 small onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 jar (14 oz) spaghetti sauce
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
3 oz. cream cheese
1 cup (8 oz) sour cream
3 green onions, chopped
1-1/2 cups (6 oz) shredded cheddar-Monterey Jack cheese

Cook spaghetti according to package directions; drain.  Meanwhile, in a large skillet, cook the beef, onion (not the green onions!) and garlic over medium heat for 6-8 minutes until beef is no longer pink, breaking beef into crumbles; drain.  Stir in the spaghetti sauce, salt and pepper; bring to a boil.  Reduce heat; simmer uncovered for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.

In a small bowl, mix cream cheese and sour cream together; stir in green onions.  In a greased 11x7 baking dish, layer the spaghetti, cream cheese mixture and meat mixture.  Top with shredded cheese.  Baked covered at 350 for 25 minutes.  Uncover and bake 5-10 minutes until cheese is bubbly.  Let stand for a few minutes before serving.
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Black Bean Chicken with rice

Fast weeknight meal that's pretty healthy and tasty too!

3 tsp chili powder
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp pepper
1/4 tsp salt
4 boneless skinless chicken breast halves (4 oz each)
2 tsp canola oil
1 can (15 oz) black beans, rinsed and drained
1 cup frozen corn
1 cup salsa
2 cups cooked brown rice, warmed

Combine the chili powder, cumin, pepper and salt; rub spices over chicken.  In a large skillet coated with cooking spray, brown chicken in oil on both sides.  Stir in beans, corn and salsa.  Cover and cook over medium heat for 10-15 minutes.  Slice chicken; serve with rice and bean mixture.
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Cream of Mushroom Soup

Homemade cream of mushroom soup is ALWAYS a hit with me!  Small recipe here because other people in my house (you know who you are) don't exactly enjoy the earthiness of mushrooms.  (Double up everything to get 6 servings.)

1 tsp beef bouillon granules
1/4 cup boiling water
3 cups sliced fresh mushrooms
1/4 cup chopped onion
2 tbsp butter
2 tbsp all-purpose flour
1 cup 2% milk
6 oz cream cheese, cubed

In a small bowl, dissolve bouillon in water; set aside.  In a small saucepan, saute the mushrooms and onion in butter until tender.  Stir in the flour.  Gradualy add the milk and reserved broth.  Bring to a boil over meat heat, stirring constantly; cook for 1-2 minutes or unitl thickened.  Reduce the heat; stir in the cream cheese until melted and soup is heated through.  Salt and pepper to taste!
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Ginger-Sesame Chicken

Sometimes, a simple weeknight stir-fry is all you need to make your family happy!

1 tbsp cornstarch
3/4 cup chicken broth
2 tbsp sesame seeds
2 tbsp maple syrup
4 tsp soy sauce
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1/4 tsp pepper
1-1/2 pounds boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1-inch cubes
2 tbsp olive oil, divided
1 cup chopped green pepper
1/2 cup chopped onion
Hot cooked rice

In a small bowl, combine the first seven ingredients until blended; set aside.  In a large wok (or skillet), stir-fry chicken in 1 tbsp oil for 4-6 minutes or until no longer pink.  Remove and keep warm.  Stir-fry green pepper and onion in remaining oil for 2 minutes. Stir cornstarch mixture and add to the pan.  Bring to a boil; cook and stir for 1 minute or until thickened.  Add chicken; heat through.  Serve with rice.
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Chicken Nachos

Everyone loves to dig into a heaping pile o' these!

6 cups nacho tortilla chips
1/4 cup finely chopped onion
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 tbsp canola oil
3 cups shredded cooked chicken breasts
2 tbsp taco seasoning
1 cup salsa
1 cup (4 oz) shredded Colby Jack cheese
1 plum tomato, seeded and diced
2 green onions, chopped

Arrange tortillas on a lightly greased baking sheet.  In a large skillet, cook and stir onion and garlic in oil until tender.  Add chicken and taco seasoning.  Stir in salsa; heat through.  Spoon over chips; sprinkle with cheese.  Bake at 350 for 10-15 minutes or until cheese is melted.  Top with tomato and green onions.
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Chicken Taco Fettuccine

Your family will be pleasantly surprised by this flavorful dish!  Plus, it's great for leftover chicken.

8 oz uncooked fettuccine
2 cups cubed cooked chicken
1-1/2 tsp olive oil
1/2 tsp minced garlic
1/2 cup heavy whiping cream
3 to 4 tsp taco seasoning
2 tbsp shredded Parmesan cheese

Cook fettuccine according to package directions.  In a large skillet, heat the chicken in olive oil for 4-5 minutes.  Add garlic; cook 1 minute longer.  Whisk in cream and taco seasoning until blended.  Cook and stir until heated through (don't boil).  Drain fettuccine; toss with chicken mixture.  Top servings with Parmesan cheese.
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Monday Soup

Participate in the Meat-Free Monday movement started by Paul McCartney by preparing this delicious soup!

3 cups cubed peeled potatoes
1 medium onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 cups chicken broth
1-3/4 cups water
1/2 tsp pepper
Dash salt
3 cups frozen broccoli florets
3 tbsp all-purpose flour
1/3 cup fat-free milk
1/2 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese
Minced fresh parsley

In a large saucepan, combine the first seven ingredients; bring to a boil.  Reduce heat; simmer, covered, for 10-15 minutes or until potatoes are tender.  Stir in broccoli; return to a boil.

In a small bowl, whisk flour and milk until smoth; stir into soup.  Cook and stir for 2 minutes more or until thickened.  Remove from heat; cool slightly.  Process in batches in a blender until smooth (skip this step if you like a chunky soup).  Return to pan; heat through.  Sprinkle servings with cheese and parsley.
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Pepperoni Pizza Chili

With this recipe, you don't have to decide between the flavors of pizza and chili!

2 pounds ground beef
1 pound bulk hot Italian sausage
1 large onion, chopped
1 large green pepper, chopped
4 garlic cloves, miced
1 jar (16 oz) salsa
1 can (16 oz) hot hili beans, undrained
1 can (16 oz) kidney beans, rinsed and drained
1 can (12 oz) pizza sauce
1 package (8 oz) sliced pepperoni, halved
1 cup water
2 tsp chili powder
1/2 tsp each salt and pepper
3 cups (12 oz) shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese

In a Dutch oven, cook the beef, sausage, onion, green pepper and garlic over medium heat until meat is no longer pink; drain.  Stir in the rest of the ingredients.  Bring to a boil.  Reduce heat; cover and simmer for 20 minutes or until heated through.  Sprinkle servings with cheese.
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Winter Beef Soup

So thick, so hearty and so satisfying...just what's needed on this cold winter's night!

1 pound lean ground beef (90%)
4 celery ribs, chopped
1 medium onion, chopped
1 medium green pepper, chopped
1 garlic clove, minced
2 cups water
2 cups reduced-sodium tomato juice
1 can (14-1/2 oz) diced tomatoes, undrained
1 can (8 oz) tomato sauce
2 tsp beef bouillon granules
2 tsp chili powder
1/2 tsp salt
2 cans (16 oz each) kidney beans, rinsed and drained
2 cups chopped cabbage

In a large saucepan or Dutch oven, cook the beef, celery, onion, green pepper and garlic over medium heat until meat is no longer pink; drain.  Stir in the water, tomato juice, tomatoes, tomato sauce, bouillon, chili powder and salt.  Bring to a boil.  Reduce heat; cover and simmer for 30 minutes.  Stir in kidney beans; return to a boil.  Stir in cabbage.  Reduce heat; cover and cook 12 minutes or until cabbage is tender.
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Gnocchi Chicken Skillet

Always looking for a way to make ground chicken taste divine, this one works!

1 package (16 oz) potato gnocchi
1 pound ground chicken
1/2 cup chopped onion
2 tbsp olive oil
1 jar (26 oz) spaghetti sauce
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp dried oregano
Shredded Parmesan cheese

Cook gnocchi according to package directions.  Meanwhile, in a large skillet, cook chicken and onion in oil over medium heat until chicken is no longer pink; drain if necessary.  Stir in the spaghetti sauce, salt and oregano; cook for 5-10 minutes or until heated through.  Drain gnocchi; gently stir into skillet.  Garnish servings with Parmesan cheese.
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Shrimp Skillet

Quick, delicious dish!  Serve with hot, cooked rice to round out the meal.

1 small onion, chopped
1 small green pepper, chopped
3 tbsp butter
3 cups frozen corn
2 tsp sugar
1/2 tsp each salt, dried basil, dried thyme, pepper
3/4 pound uncooked medium shrimp, peeled and deveined

In a large skillet, saute onion and green pepper in butter for 2 minutes.  Stir in the corn, sugar, salt, basil, thyme and pepper.  Cover and cook over medium-low heat for 5-8 minutes or until corn is tender.  Add shrimp; cook and stir for 3-4 minutes or until shrimp turn pink.  Serve over hot, cooked rice.
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Cheeseburger Cups

Quick dish for this busy week, the kids will love it!!

1 pound ground beef
1/2 cup ketchup
2 tbsp brown sugar
1 tbsp prepared nustard
1-1/2 tsp Worcestershire sauce
1 tube (12 oz) refrigerated buttermilk biscuits
1/2 cup cubed Velveeta

In a large skillet, cook beef over medium heat until no longer pink; drain.  Stir in the ketchup, brown sugar, mustard and Worcestershire sauce.  Remove from the heat; set aside.  Press each biscuit onto the bottom and up the sides of a greased muffin cup.  Spoon beef mixture into cups; top with cheese cubes.  Bake at 400 for 14-16 minutes or until golden brown.
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Pistachio Salmon Cakes

Even kids will love these crunchy, buttery patties!!!

1-1/2 salmon fillets
1 egg
1/2 cup soft bread crumbs
1 tbsp Dijon mustard
1 tsp grated lime peel
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
1 cup coarsely ground pistachios
2 tbsp canola oil
Lime wedges

In a large nonstick skillet, bring 4 cups of water to boil.  Reduce heat; add fillets and poach, uncovered, for 8-10 minutes or until fish flakes easily with a fork.  Remove from pan and cool slightly.

In a large bowl, combine the egg, bread crumbs, mustard, lime peel, salt and pepper.  Shred salmon with two forks; fold into bread crumb mixture.  Shape into eight patties.  Coat both sides with pistachios.

In a large skillet over medium heat, cook patties in oil in batches for 1-2 minutes on each side or until golden brown.  Serve with lime wedges.
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Zesty Meat Loaf

Little known fact:  I am a sucker for horseradish!  This meat loaf surprises and satisfies...

4 slices whole wheat bread, crumbled
1/4 cup fat free milk
1/2 cup finely chopped celery
1/4 cup finely chopped onion
1/4 cup prepared horseradish
2 tbsp Dijon mustard
2 tbsp chili sauce
1 egg, lightly beaten
1-1/2 tsp Worcestershire sauce
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
1-1/2 pounds lean (90%) ground beef
1/2 cup ketchup

In a large bowl, soak bread in milk for 5 minutes.  Drain and discard milk.  Stir in celery, onion, horseradish, mustard, chili sauce, egg, Worcestershire sauce, salt and pepper.  Crumble beef over mixture and mix well.

Shape into a loaf in an 11-in. by 7-in. baking dish coated with cooking spray.  Spread top with ketchup.  Bake at 350 for 45-55 minutes or until no pink remains and a meat thermometer reads 160. Let stand 10 minutes before cutting and serving.
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Mexican Chicken Penne

Quick weeknight meal needed?  Here it is!

1 package (16 oz) penne pasta
2 cups cubed cooked chicken
1-1/4 cups salsa con queso dip
1/2 cup 2% milk
1/4 tsp salt
1 can (15 oz) black beans, rinsed and drained
1 large tomato, chopped
3 green onions, sliced
1/4 cup shredded cheddar cheese

Cook pasta according to package directions.  Meanwhile, in a large bowl, combine the chicken, dip, milk and salt.  Drain pasta; return to pan.  Stir in chicken mixture and toss to coat.  Top with black beans, tomato, onions and cheese; heat through.
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Blue Cheese-Crusted Steaks

So simple AND so tasty...

2 tbsp butter, divided
1 medium onion, chopped
1 beef top sirloin steak (1-inch thick and 1-1/2 pounds)
3/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
1/3 cup crumbled blue cheese
2 tbsp soft bread crumbs

In a large ovenproof skillet, heat 1 tbsp butter over medium heat.  Add onion; cook and stir until tender.  Transfer to a small bowl.  Cut steak into four equal portions; season with salt and pepper.  In the same skillet, heat remaining butter over medium heat.  Brown steaks about 5 minutes on each side.  Meanwhile, add blue cheese and bread crumbs to onion; spread over steaks.  Broil steaks 4-6 inches from the heat for 3-5 minutes or until steaks reach desired doneness.
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Boozy Cherries and Spicy Nuts

Nice to have both of these treats around during the holidays, you never know when friends might stop by!

Chocolate Brandy-soaked Cherries:
1 jar (10 oz) maraschino cherries (with stems), drained
1/2 cup brandy
4 oz bittersweet chocolate, chopped
1 tsp shortening

Place cherries in a bowl; cover with brandy.  Refrigerate covered overnight.  Drain and pat dry.  In a microwave, melt chocolate and shortening; stir until smooth.  Holding stems, dip cherries in chocolate mixture; allow excess to drip off.  Place on waxed paper; let stand until set.

Spicy Nuts:
1/4 cup sugar
2 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp cayenne pepper (or 2, if you dare)
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp chili powder
1/4 tsp salt
4 cups mixed nuts

In a large bowl, mix the first six ingredients.  Add nuts; toss to coat.  Spread onto a big baking pan.  Bake at 300 for 35-40 minutes or until nuts are lightly toasted and appear dry, stirring occasionally.  Serve warm or at room temp.  Store in an airtight container.
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Chicken Artichoke Pasta

Such an elegant looking dish, hard to believe it's this easy to make!

8 oz uncooked bowtie pasta
1-1/2 pounds boneless skinless chicken breasts, cubed
1/2 tsp dried oregano
1/4 tsp each salt and pepper
3 tbsp olive oil
1 to 2 tbsp minced garlic
2 cans (14 oz each) water-packed artichoke hearts, rinsed, drained and quartered
1 jar (8-1/2 oz) oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes, quartered
1 can 92-1/4 oz) sliced ripe olives, drained
Shredded Parmesan cheese

Cook pasta according to package directions.  Meanwhile, sprinkle chicken with the oregano, salt and pepper.  In a large skillet, saute chicken in oil until no longer pink.  Add garlic; saute 1 minute longer.  Stir in the artichokes, tomatoes and olives; heat through.  Drain pasta; toss with chicken mixture.  Sprinkle with cheese.
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Baked Eggs and Potatoes with cheddar

Who doesn't love breakfast for dinner every now and then?  This dish starts out on the stovetop but finishes in the oven.  (And a side of bacon is always appreciated!)

3 tbsp butter
1-1/2 pounds red potatoes, diced
1/4 cup minced fresh parsley
3/4 tsp kosher salt
1/4 tsp pepper
8 eggs
1/2 cup shredded extra sharp cheddar cheese

Preheat oven to 400.  In a 10-inch ovenproof skillet, heat butter over medium-high heat.  Add potatos; cook and stir until golden brown and tender.  Stir in the parsley, garlic, salt and pepper.  With the back of a spoon, make four wells in the potato mixture; break two eggs into each well. 

Bake at 400 for 9-11 minutes or until egg whites are completely set and yolks begin to thicken but aren't hard.  Sprinkle with cheese; bake 1 minute longer or until the cheese is melted.
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Tortellini and Spinach Soup

Nice, quick weeknight meal! 

2 cans (14-1/2 oz each) vegetable broth
1 package (9 oz) refrigerated cheese tortellini
1 can (15 oz) cannellini beans, rinsed and drained
1 can (14 oz) Italian diced tomatoes
1/4 tsp salt
1/8 tsp pepper
3 cups fresh baby spinach
3 tbsp minced fresh basil
1/4 cup shredded Asiago cheese

In a large saucepan, bring broth to a boil.  Add tortellini; reduce heat.  Simmer uncovered for 5 minutes.  Stir in the beans, tomatoes, salt and pepper; return to a simmer.  Cook 4-5 minutes longer or until tortellini are tender.  Stir in spinach and basil; cook until spinach is wilted.  Top servings with cheese.
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Potato Pumpkin Mash

Always room for another tasty dish at Thanksgiving, right?!

8 cups cubed peeled pie pumpkin (about 2 pounds)
8 medium Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled and cubed (about 2 pounds)
1/2 to 3/4 cup 2% milk, divided
8 tbsp butter, softened, divided
1 tsp salt, divided
1 tbsp olive oil
1/4 tsp coarsely ground pepper

Place pumpkin in a large saucepan; add water to cover. bring to a boil.  Reduce heat; cook uncovered for 20-25 minutes until tender.  Meanwhile, place potatoes in another saucepan; add water to cover.  Bring to a boil.  Reduce heat; cook uncovered for 10-15 minutes until tender.

Drain potatoes; return to pan.  Mash potatoes, adding 1/4 cup milk, 4 tbsp butter and 1/2 tsp salt.  Add addtional milk if needed to reach desired consistency.  Transfer to a serving bowl, keep warm.

Drain pumpkin; return to pan.  Mash pumpkin, gradually adding the remaining butter and salt and enough remaining milk to reach desired consistency; spoon evenly over potatoes.  Cut through with a spoon or knife to swirl the potatoes and pumpkin.  Drizzle with olive oil and pepper.  Serve immediately.
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Mozzarella Beef Rollups

So fast and easy to throw together on a weeknight!

1 pound lean ground beef (90%)
1 medium green pepper, chopped
1/3 cup chopped onion
1 can (or jar) pizza sauce (8 oz)
28 slices pepperoni
1/2 tsp dried oregano
 6 flour tortillas (10 inches), warmed
6 pieces (1 oz each) string cheese

In a large skillet, cook the beef, green pepper and onion over medium heat until meat is no longer pink; drain.  Stir in the pizza sauce, pepperoni and oregano.  Spoon about 1/2 cup beef mixture off-center on each tortilla; top with a piece of string cheese.  Fold one side of tortilla over filling and roll up from the opposite side.  Place seam side down on an ungreased baking sheet.  Bake at 350 for 10 minutes until heated through and cheese is melted.
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Spinach Stuffed Chicken

Wow.  These bubbling pockets of goodness are flat-out delicious!  Rice makes a nice side dish to round this meal out.

4 cups fresh baby spinach
1 garlic clove, minced
2 tsp olive oil, plus 1/4 cup olive oil, divided
1/2 cup garlic-herb cheese spread
2/3 cup plus 1/4 cup seasoned bread crumbs, divided
1/2 tsp salt, divided
4 boneless skinless chicken breast halves (about 5 oz each)
1 egg, beaten
1/4 tsp pepper

In a large skillet, saute the spinach and garlic in 2 tsp oil until spinach is wilted.  Remove from the heat.  Stir in the cheese spread, 2/3 cup bread crumbs and 1/4 tsp salt.  Cut a pocket in the thickest part of each chicken breast; fill with spianch mixture.  Secure with toothpicks.

Place egg in a shallow bowl.  In another shallow bowl, combine the pepper with the remaining bread crumbs and salt.  Dip chicken in egg, then coat with bread crumb mixture.  In a large skillet over medium heat, cook chicken in remaining oil for 6-8 minutes on each side (or until a thermometer reads 170).  Discard toothpicks before serving!!
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Tuxedo Pasta

Great use for leftover chicken or turkey and it comes together quickly too!

2 cups uncooked bow tie pasta
2 cups cubed cooked chicken
1 medium zucchini, sliced
1-1/2 cups sliced fresh mushrooms
1/2 cup chopped sweet red pepper
3 tbsp butter, divided
1/4 cup lemon juice
2 tbsp chicken broth (or white wine)
3/4 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
1 tbsp dried basil (or 3 tbsp minced fresh basil)

Cook pasta according to package directions.  Meanwhile in a large skillet saute the chicken, zucchini, mushrooms and red pepper in 2 tbsp butter for 4-5 minutes or until veggies are tender.  Add the broth and lemon juice.  Bring to a boil.  Reduce heat; cook and stir for 2 minutes or until heated through.  Drain pasta; add to skillet.  Stir in the cheese, basil and remaining butter.
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Taco Bowls

Fast for a weeknight--you'll surprise your family with the ramen in this dish!

1 pound lean ground beef
4 tbsp finely chopped onion
1 can diced tomatoes, drained
4 tbsp taco seasoning
2 cup water
2 package (3 oz) ramen noodles
1/2 cup shredded cheddar
Crushed tortilla chips

In a small skillet, cook the beef and onion over medium heat until meat is no longer; drain. Stir in the tomatoes, taco seasoning and water.  Bring to a boil.  Add the ramen noodles (discard seasoning packet or save it for another use).  Cook and stir for 3-5 minutes or until the noodles are tender.  Spoon into serving bowls; sprinkle with cheese and crushed tortilla chips.
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Steak and Rice Rollups

Your family will feel so special enjoying this dish!

1 cup finely chopped fresh mushrooms
2 green onions, finely chopped
1/4 cup finely chopped green pepper
2 tbsp butter
1-1/2 cups cooked long grain rice
2 tbsp diced pimientos
1/4 tsp dried thyme
1/4 tsp dried marjoram
2 pounds beef top round steak (1/2 inch thick)
2 tbsp canola oil
2 tbsp plus 1 tsp onion soup mix
1 cup water

In a large skillet, saute the mushrooms, onions and pepper in butter until tender.  Transfer to a small bowl; stir in the cooked rice, pimientos, thyme and marjoram.  Cut steak into six pieces; flatten to 1/2-in. thickness.  Spread evenly with mushroom mixture; roll up and secure with toothpicks.

In the same skillet, brown rollups in oil on all sides.  Add soup mix and water; cover and simmer for 1 to 1-1/2 hours or until meat is tender, occasionally spooning cooking liquid over the rollups.  Thicken cooking juices if desired; serve with rollups. Discard toothpicks!
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Crustless Chicken Quiche

Real men will eat quiche if it tastes this good!  Start with a salad to get your veggies.

1 large sweet onion, chopped
2 tsp minced garlic
2 tbsp olive oil
6 eggs
3/4 cup heavy cream
2 cups cubed cooked rotisserie chicken
2 cups (8 oz) shredded cheddar cheese
5 bacon strips, cooked and crumbled

In a small skillet, saute onion and garlic in oil until tender.  In a large bowl, combine eggs and cream.  Stir in the chicken, cheese, bacon and onion mixture.  Pour into a greased 9-in. deep-dish pie plate.

Bake at 375 for 35-45 minutes or until a knife inserted near the center comes out clean.  Let stand for 10 minutes before serving.
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Mexican Beef Cobbler

Got to love a good casserole, and this one certainly fits the bill!  Spice it up with "hot" taco seasoning and a medium or hot salsa too!!

1 pound lean ground beef
1 envelope taco seasoning
3/4 cup water
1 jar (16 oz) salsa
1 can (8-3/4 oz) whole kernel corn
2 cups (8 oz) shredded sharp cheddar cheese
3-1/3 cups biscuit/baking mix
1-1/3 cups 2% milk
1/8 tsp each salt and pepper

In a large skillet, cook beef over medium heat for 6-8 minutes or until no longer pink, breaking into crumbles; drain.  Stir in taco seasoning and water.  Bring mixture to a boil; cook until liquid is evaporated.  Transfer to a 11-in. x 7-in. baking dish; layer with salsa, corn and cheese.

In a large bowl, mix biscuit mix and milk until just blended; drop mixture by tablespoonfuls over cheese (dish will be full!).  Sprinkle with salt and pepper.  Bake uncovered at 350 for 35-45 minutes or until bubbly and top is golden brown.
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Creamy Chicken Angel Hair

Serve everyone a big portion...they're going to LOVE this dish!

1 package angel hair pasta
1-1/2 pounds boneless skniless chicken breasts, cut into 1-in. cubes
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
3 tbsp olive oil, divided
1 large carrot, diced
2 tbsp butter
1 medium onion, chopped
1 celery rib, diced
3 large garlic cloves, minced
2 cups heavy whipping cream
5 bacon strips, cooked and crumbled
1 tbsp lemon juice
1 tsp Italian seasoning
1 cup shredded Parmesan cheese

Cook pasta according to the package directions.  Meanwhile, in a large skillet, saute the chicken, salt and pepper in 2 tbsp oil until no longer pink.  Remove and keep warm.  In the same sklillet, saute carrot in butter and remaining oil for 1 minute.  Add onion and celery; saute 3-4 minutes longer or until tender.  Add garlic; cook for 1 minute.

Stir in the cream, bacon, lemon juice and Italian seasoning.  Bring to a boil.  Reduce heat; simmer uncovered for 2-3 minutes or until slightly thickened, stirring constantly.  Return chicken to the pan.  Drain pasta; toss with chicken mixture.  Garnish with cheese.
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Shrimp Fettuccine with no cook tomato sauce

So fresh, so light...try this dish tonight!

5 medium tomatoes (about 1-1/2 lbs), chopped
4 green onions, chopped
1/4 cup snipped fresh basil
2 garlic cloves, minced
4 tbsp olive oil, divided
Salt and pepper to taste
1 package (16 oz) fettuccine
1-1/2 lbs uncooked medium shrimp, peeled and deveined
Grated Parmesan cheese

In a large bowl, combine the tomatoes, green onions, basil, garlic and 1 tbsp oil; toss lightly.  Add salt and pepper.  Let stand for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.  Meanwhile, cook fettuccine according to package directions.  In a large skillet, heat remaining oil over medium-high heat.  Add shrimp; cook and stir 2-4 minutes or until shrimp turn pink; add to sauce.  Drain fettuccine; transfer to a platter.  Top with sauce; sprinkle with grated Parmesan cheese.
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Inside-out Cabbage Roll

All of the tastiness of a cabbage roll without all the work!

1 pound lean ground beef
1 large onion, chopped
1 large green pepper, chopped
1 small head cabbage, chopped
1 can (10 oz) diced tomatoes and green chilies
1 cup reduced-sodium beef broth
1 can or jar (8oz) pizza sauce
1 cup cooked brown rice
1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese

In a Dutch oven, cook the beef, onion and green pepper over medium heat until the meat is no longer pink; drain.  Stir in the cabbage, tomatoes, broth and pizza sauce.  Bring to a boil.  Reduce heat; cover and simmer for 20-25 minutes or until cabbage is tender, stirring occasionally.

Stir in cooked rice; heat through.  Remove from the heat.  Sprinkle with cheddar cheese; cover and let stand until cheese melts.
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White Chicken Chili

For a chili change of pace, try this version!  (It's a large recipe--the leftovers will be awesome too)

1 medium onion, chopped
1 tbsp olive oil
2 garlic cloves, minced
4 cooked boneless skinless chicken breast halves, chopped
2 cans (14 oz each) chicken broth
1 can (4 oz) chopped green chilies
2 tsp ground cumin
2 tsp dried oregano
1-1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
3 cans (14-1/2 oz each) great northern beans, divided
1 cup (4 oz) shredded Monterey Jack cheese

In a large saucepan over medium heat, cook onion in oil for 10 minutes or until tender.  Add garlic; cook 1 minute longer.  Add the chicken, chicken broth, green chilies, cumin, oregano and cayenne pepper; bring to a boil.

Reduce heat to low.  With a potato masher (or fork), mash one can of beans until smooth.  Add to saucepan.  Add remaining beans to saucepan.  Simmer for 20-30 minutes or until heated thoroughly.  Top each serving with Monterey Jack cheese.
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Banana Split IceBox Dessert

Knock their socks off with this tasty treat!  Best part?  No cooking...you just put it all together.

1 carton (16 oz) frozen whipped topping, thawed
1 cup (8 oz) sour cream
1 package (3.4 oz) instant vanilla pudding mix
1 can (8 oz) crushed pineapple, drained
24 whole graham crackers
2 medium bananas, sliced
Toppings:  chocolate syrup, fresh strawberries and addt'l banana slices

In a large bowl, mix the whipped topping, sour cream and pudding mix until blended; fold in pineapple.  Cut a small hole in the corner of a plastic bag; fill with pudding mixture.

On a flat serving plate, arrange four crackers in a rectangle.  Pipe about 1 cup pudding mixture over crackers; top with about 1/4 cup banana slices.  Repeat layers five times (or four if you run out of pudding mixture too soon!).  Cover and refrigerate overnight.  Before serving, top with chocolate syrup, strawberries and banana slices.  (Yes, it will be a gigantic, delicious mess!!!)
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Zucchini Boats

Who doesn't love food this fresh, simple and tasty?!?!

2 medium zucchini (about 8 inches each)
3/4 pound lean ground beef
1 small onion, chopped
1/2 cup large fresh mushrooms
1/2 cup chopped sweet red bell pepper
1/2 cup chopped green bell pepper
1 cup (4 oz) shredded cheddar cheese, divided
2 tbsp ketchup
Salt and pepper to taste

Trim the ends of the zucchini.  Cut in half lengthwise; using a teaspoon, carefully scoop out pulp, leaving 1/2-in. shell.  Finely chop pulp.

In a skillet, cook beef, zucchini pulp, onion, mushrooms and peppers over medium heat until meat is no longer pink; drain.  Remove from the heat.  Add 1/2 cup of the cheese, ketchup, salt and pepper; mix well.  Spoon into zucchini shells.  Place in a lightly greased baking dish.  Sprinkle with remaining cheese.  Bake uncovered at 350 for 25-30 minutes or until zucchini is tender.
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Parmesan Corn Chowder

Happy Meat-Free Monday!

2 cups water
2 cups cubed peeled potatoes
1/2 cup sliced carrots
1/2 cup sliced celery
1/4 cup chopped onion
1/4 cup butter
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
2 cups whole milk
1 can (14-3/4 oz) cream-style corn
1-1/2 cups (6 oz) shredded Parmesan cheese

In a large saucepan, combine the first five ingredients; bring to a boil.  Reduce heat; cover and simmer for 12-15 minutes or until veggies are tender.  Meanwhile, in a small saucepan, melt butter.  Stir in flour, salt and pepper until smooth; gradually stir in milk.  Bring to a boil; cook and sitr for 2 minutes or until thickened.  Stir into veggie mixture.  Add corn and cheese.  Cook 10 minutes longer or until heated through.
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Cran-Apple Raisin Pie

What a great fall pie!  Cranberries? YES! Apples? YES! And raisins?!? YES!!!

Pastry for double-crust pie (9-in)
1-1/2 cups sugar
1 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
3 tbsp cornstarch
1-1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp ground nutmeg
1/2 tsp ground allspice
1/4 tsp salt
3 cups thinly sliced peeled tart apples (about 3 medium apples)
2 cups fresh cranberries
2 cup raisins
1/4 cup butter, melted

Line a 9-in. pie plate with bottom pastry; trim even with edge of plate.  Set aside.  In a large bowl, combine the sugars, flour, cornstarch, cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice and salt.  Add the apples, cranberries and raisins; toss to coat.  Pour into crust.  Drizzle with butter.

Roll out remaining pastry to fit top of pie; place over filling.  Trim, seal and flute edges.  Cut slits in pastry.  Cover edges loosely with foil.  Bake at 400 for 20 minutes.  Remove foil; bake 30-35 minutes longer or until crust is golden brown and filling is bubbly.  Cool on a wire rack.
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Hash Brown Apple Pancake

Love breakfast for dinner?  Try this tonight!

1-1/4 cups frozen shredded hash brown potatoes, thawed
1/2 cup finely chopped apple (I love Pink Lady apples!)
1/4 cup finely chopped onion
1 tbsp fresh chives, snipped
1/4 tsp each salt and pepper
2 tbsp butter, divided
2 tbsp canola oil, divided
1/2 cup shredded Swiss cheese
'
In a large bowl, combine the hash browns, apple, onion, chives, salt and pepper.  In a large nonstick skillet, melt 1 tbsp butter and 1 tbsp canola oil over medium-high heat.  Spread half of the hash brown mixture in an even layer on the skillet.  Sprinkle with cheese; topp with remaining hash browns.  Press mixture gently into skillet.  Cook for 5 minutes or until bottom is browned.

Invert pancake onto a plate.  Heat remaining butter and oil in the skillet.  Cook 5 minutes longer or until bottom is browned and cheese is melted.  Slide pancake onto a plate; cut into wedges to serve.
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Pork Chops with apples and raisins

This savory dish just might satisfy your sweet tooth tonight!

4 bone-in pork loin chops (3/4 in thick and 8 oz each)
1 tsp canola oil
1/4 tsp salt
Dash pepper
1 cup apple cider (or juice)
2 tbsp spicy brown mustard
2 medium apples, sliced
1/4 cup sliced green onions
2 tbsp raisins
1 tbsp cornstarch
2 tbsp cold water

In a large skillet, brown pork chops in oil in batches on both sides.  Sprinkle with salt and pepper.  Return all chops to the skillet.  Combine cider and mustard; pour over meat.  Bring to a boil; reduce heat.  Cover and simmer 13-18 minutes or until a meat thermometer reads 160.  Remove chops to s serving dish; keep warm.

Add the apples and raisins to the skillet.  Cover and cook over medium heat for 5-6 minutes or until apples are tender.  Combine cornstarch and water until smooth; stir into apple mixture.  Bring to a boil; cook and stir for 2 minutes or until thickened.  Serve with pork chops.
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Toamto Basil Salmon

So easy, so delicious, so GOOD FOR YOU!

4 salmon steaks (about 6 oz each)
2 tbsp olive oil
1 large onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
6 large plum tomatoes, peeled, sedded and chopped
1/4 cup water
2 tbsp minced fresh basil
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
Hot cooked linguine (or your favorite pasta)

In a large skillet over medium heat, cook salmon in oil for 2-3 minutes on each side or until golden brown.  Remove and keep warm.  In the same skillet, cook and stir onion until crisp-tender.  Stir in garlic; cook 1 minute longer.  Add the tomatoes, water, basil, salt and pepper.

Bring to a boil.  Reduce heat to low; carefully return salmon to the pan.  Cover and simmer for 10-12 minutes or until fish flakes easily with a fork.  Serve with linguine.
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Potato Soup with roasted red peppers

Simple soup for a Meat-Free Monday!  And it's fast too--on the table in 30 minutes.

2 medium onions, chopped
2 tbsp canola oil
1 jar (7 oz) roasted red peppers, undrained and chopped
1 can (4 oz) chopped green chilies, drained
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp salt
1 tsp ground coriander
3 cups diced peeled potatoes
3 cups vegetable broth
2 tbsp minced fresh cliantro
1/2 cup cream cheese, cubed

In a large saucepan, saute onions in oil until tender.  Stir in roasted peppers, chilies, cumin, salt and coriander.  Cook and stir for 2 minutes.  Stir in potatoes and broth; bring to a boil.

Reduce heat; cover and simmer for 10-15 minutes or until potatoes are tender.  Stir in cilantro.  Cool slightly.  In a blender, process the cream cheese and half of the soup until smooth.  Return all to the saucepan and heat through before serving.
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Rice Pudding

Swap savory for sweet...rice is very versatile!  Makes 4 servings; easy to double if you need more.

1-1/2 cups water
1/2 cup uncooked long grain rice
1 cinnamon stick ( 3 inches)
1 cup sweetened condensed milk
3 tbsp raisins

In a small saucepan, combine the water, rice and cinnamon.  Bring to a boil.  Reduce heat; simmer, uncovered, for 15-20 minutes or until water is absorbed.  Stir in milk and raisins.  Bring to a boil.  Reduce heat; simmer, uncovered for 10-15 minutes or until thick and creamy, stirring frequently.  Discard cinnamon.  Serve warm or cold.
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Thumbprint Cookies with jam

Your favorite jam is the star of the show!

1-1/2 cups butter, softened
1 cup sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 tsp salt
3-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/3 cup flaked coconut
1 egg
1 tbsp water
1/3 cup apricot preserves (or your fav jam!)

In a large bowl, cream the butter, sugar, vanilla and salt until light and fluffy.  Gradually beat in flour.  Wrap dough in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes or until easy to handle.

Place coconut in a bowl.  In another bowl, whisk egg and water.  Shape the cookie dough into 1-in. balls; dip tops in egg mixture, then in coconut, pressing to adhere.  Place balls 2 in. apart on parchment paper-lined baking sheets, coconut side up.  Press a deep indentation in center of each with the end of a wooden spoon handle.  Fill holes with preserves.  Bake at 350 for 18-20 minutes or until bottoms are browned.
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Blueberry-Rhubarb Crumble

Swap out the rhubarb for strawberries if you'd like!

2/3 cup sugar
2 tbsp cornstarch
3 cups fresh blueberries
3 cups fresh (or frozen) rhubarb, thawed
Topping:
3/4 cup biscuit/baking mix
1/3 cup sugar
1/8 tsp salt
1/3 cup cold unsalted butter, cubed
1/2 cup old-fashioned oats
1/2 cup chopped almonds

Preheat oven to 375.  In a large bowl, mix sugar, cornstarch and salt.  Add blueberries and rhubarb; toss to coat.  Transfer to a greased 8-in. square baking dish.  For topping, in a small bowl, mix baking mix, sugar and salt.  Cut in butter until crumbly; stir in oats and almonds.  Sprinkle ovr filling.  Bake 40-45 minutes or until filling is bubbly and topping is golden brown.
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Red Velvet Cookies

Wow, love 'em as cupcakes but they're even better as cookies!

2 oz. unsweetened chocolate, chopped
1/2 cup butter, softened
2/3 cup packed brown sugar
1/3 cup sugar
1 egg
1 tbsp red food coloring
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup sour cream
1 cup (6 oz) semisweet chocolate chips
1 can (16 oz) cream cheese frosting

In a microwave, melt unsweetened chocolate; stir until smooth.  Cool.  In a large bowl, cream butter and sugars until light and fluffy.  Beat in the egg, food coloring and vanilla.  Add cooled chocolate; beat until blended.  In another bowl, mix the flour, baking soda and salt; add to creamed mixture alternately with sour cream, beating well after each addition.  Stir in chocolate chips.

Drop by tablespoonfuls 2-in. apart onto parchment paper-lined baking sheets.  Bake at 375 for 6-9 minutes or until set.  Cool completely before frosting.
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Curried Beef

Here's a dish that tastes like it was a ton of trouble but really is simple to make!

1 tbsp all-purpose flour
1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
1 pound beef top round steak, cut into thin 3-in strips
3 tbsp canola oil, divided
2 cups sliced onions
1 garlic clove, minced
1 tsp curry powder
1 tsp beef bouillon granules
1 cup boiling water
1/2 cup tomato juice
3 tbsp tomato paste
Hot cooked noodles or rice

In a large resealable bag, combine the flour, salt and pepper; add beef.  Seal bag and shake to coat.  In a large skillet, brown beef in 2 tbsp oil; drain.  Add the onions and remaining oil; saute until onions are golden brown.  Add garlic; cook 1 minute longer.  Sprinkle with curry.  Dissolve bouillon in boiling water; pour over beef and onion mixture.  Bring to a boil.  Reduce heat; cover and simmer for an hour or until meat is tender.  Add tomato juice and paste; cook for 5 minutes or until heated through.  Serve with your choice of hot cooked noodles or rice.
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Goulash Soup

So satisfying, this dish is destined to be a family favorite soon!

3 bacon strips, diced
1-1/2 pounds beef stew meat, cut into 1/2-in cubes
1 small green pepper, seeded and chopped
2 medium onions, chopped
1 large garlic clove, minced
1 can (14-1/2 oz) diced tomatoes
3 cups beef broth
2 tbsp paprika
1-1/2 tsp salt
Pepper to taste
Dash sugar
2 large potatoes, peeled and diced
Sour cream, dollops on servings optional

In a Dutch oven, cook bacon over medium heat until crisp.  Remove bacon to paper towels; drain--leaving about 2 tbsp drippings in pan.  Add beef cubes and brown on all sides.  Add green pepper and onions; cook until tender.  Add garlic; cook 1 minute longer.  Stir in the tomatoes, broth, paprika, salt, pepper and sugar.

Cover and simmer for about 1-1/2 hours or until beef is tender.  About a 1/2 hour before serving, add the potatoes and reserved bacon; cook until potatoes are tender.  Garnish each serving with a dollop of sour cream if desired.
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Oven Swiss Steak

Your family will thank you for making this dish.  Don't tell 'em it was so easy!

1 pound beef top round steak
4 tbsp all-purpose flour
1 tsp salt
2 tbsp canola oil
1/2 cup each chopped carrot and celery
2 tbsp chopped onion
2 cans (14-1/2 oz each) stewed tomatoes, undrained
1/2 tsp Worcestershire sauce
4 tbsp shredded sharp cheddar cheese

Trim beef; cut into 4 portions and flatten each to 1/4-in. thickness.  In a large resealable plastic bag, combine flour, salt; add beef and shake to coat.  In an ovenproof skillet, brown beef in oil on both sides.

In the drippings, saute the celery, carrot and onion for 3-4 minutes or until crisp-tender.  Add tomatoes and Worcestershire sauce, stirring to loosen browned bits from pan.  Bring to a boil.  Reduce heat; simmer, uncovered, for 5 minutes.  Return beef to the pan; spoon some of the veggie mixture over the top.

Cover and bake at 325 for 1 hour or until meat is tender.  Uncover; sprinle iwth cheese.  Bake 5 minutes longer until cheese is melted.
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Dijon Mushroom Beef

Tastes so fancy but this dish is ridiculously easy to make!

1/2 pound fresh mushrooms, sliced
1 medium onion, sliced
2 tsp olive oil
1 pound beef top sirloin steak, thinly sliced
1 can (10-3/4 oz) condensed cream of mushroom soup, undiluted
3/4 cup milk
2 tbsp Dijon mustard
Hot cooked yolk-free noodles

In a large nonstick skillet, saute mushrooms and onion in oil until tender.  Remove and set aside.  In the same skillet, cook beef until no longer pink.  Add the soup, milk, mustard and mushroom mixture.  Bring to a boil.  Reduce heat; cook and stir until thickened.  Serve over hot cooked noodles.
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Chicken Broccoli Shells

All this dish needs is a loaf of warm, crusty bread!  Yummy.

1 jar (16 oz) Alfredo sauce
2 cups frozen chopped broccoli, thawed
2 cups diced cooked chicken
1 cup (4 oz) shredded cheddar cheese
1/4 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
21 jumbo pasta shells, cooked and drained

In a large bowl, combine the Alfredo sauce, broccoli, cooked chicken and cheeses.  Spoon into pasta shells.  Place in a lightly greased 13-in by 9-in baking dish.  Cover and bake at 350 for 30-35 minutes or until heated through.
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Meat Free Chili

Monday is a great day to go Meat-Free, so says Sir Paul McCartney.  You won't even miss the meat in this hearty chili.

1 can (16 oz) hot chili beans, undrained
1 can (15 oz) black beans, rinsed and drained
1 can (14-1/2 oz) Mexican stewed tomatoes
1 cup frozen corn, thawed
1/2 cup chunky salsa
1/2 cup chopped green pepper
1/2 cup chopped sweet red pepper
1 tbsp ground cumin
2 tsp chili powder
4 tbsp sour cream
4 tbsp shredded cheddar cheese

In a large saucepan.  Combine the first nine ingredients.  Bring to a boil.  Reduce heat; cover and simmer for 15 minutes or until veggies are crsip-tender.  Top each serving with a dollop of sour cream and a sprinkling of cheese.
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Maple Teriyaki Salmon

Match up a great piece of salmon with a sweet and simple marinade and you've got one fantastic dish!

1/3 cup apple juice
1/3 cup maple syrup
3 tbsp reduced-sodium soy sauce
2 tbsp finely chopped onion
2 garlic cloves, minced
4 salmon fillets (6 oz each)

In a small bow, whisk the first five ingredients until blended.  Remove 1/2 cup for basting; cover and refrigerate.  Pour remaining marinade into a resealable plastic bag.  Add salmon; seal bag and turn to coat.  Refrigerate 1-3 hours.

Drain salmon, discarding marinade in bag.  Moisten a paper towel with cooking oil; using tongs, rub on grill rack to coat lightly.  Place salmon on grill rack, skin side down.  Grill covered over medium heat (or broil 4 inches from heat) 10-12 minutes or until fish flakes easily with a fork, basting frequently the last four minutes with reserved marinade.
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Mediterranean Shrimp Linguine

Another fast weeknight dish for a super-short work week!  (Plus, it reheats well if someone shows up late for dinner.)

9 oz uncooked linguine
1 pound uncooked medium shrimp, peeled and deveined
1 cup sliced fresh mushrooms
2 tbsp olive oil
3 medium tomatoes, chopped
1 can (14 oz) water-packed artichoke hearts, rinsed, drained and halved
1 can (6 oz) pitted ripe olives
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 tsp dried oregano
1/2 tsp dried basil
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper

Cook linguine according to package directions.  Meanwhile, in a large skillet, saute shrimp and mushrooms in oil for 2 minutes.  Add the remaining ingredients; cook and stir for 5 minutes or until shrimp turn pink and sauce is heated through.  Drain linguine; toss gently with shrimp mixture and serve.
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Beef Spanish Rice

Quick dishes are always nice to prepare during a four day work week!

1 pound lean ground beef
1 medium onion, chopped
1 green pepper, chopped
1 garlic clove, minced
1 can (14-1/2 oz) stewed tomatoes
1-1/2 cups water
1 cup uncooked long grain rice
1 tsp salt
1 tsp chili powder
1/2 tsp dried thyme
1/4 tsp dried basil
1/4 tsp pepper
2 tbsp tomato paste
French bread

In a large skillet, cook the ground beef, onion, green pepper and garlic until meat is no longer pink; drain.  Stir in the next eight ingredients; bring to a boil.  Reduce heat; cover and simmer for 20 minutes or until rice is tender.  Stir in tomato paste and cook until heated through.  Serve with French bread.
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Pasta with Chicken and Roasted Peppers

Quick and easy weeknight meal!

2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil

 

In a sauté pan or skillet large enough to hold all of the pasta after it has been cooked, warm the olive oil over medium-high heat for 1 minute. Add the chicken and sauté, stirring, until it is cooked through. Lower the heat to medium and add the roasted red peppers, oregano, rosemary, and chicken broth.

In a large pot of boiling salted water, cook the pasta according to package directions for al dente. Drain the pasta and add it to the sauté pan with the chicken. Stir to combine. Add freshly ground pepper. Serve in large pasta bowls, with parmesan cheese on the side.

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Pepperoni Burgers

A nice compromise when one family member wants pizza and another wants burgers for dinner!

1-1/2 lb ground beef 


Combine the ground beef, salt, pepper, garlic, and oregano. Mix the ingredients well and form into six patties. Place the patties on a broiler and cook on both sides until almost done. Spoon the pizza sauce over the top of the cooked burgers and top with the grated mozzarella, Place the pepperoni slices on top of the cheese and broil until the cheese is melted and starting to brown. Serve open-faced on a slice of toasted Italian bread!
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Hot Chicken Salad

Chicken salad doesn't have to just make sandwiches...it can also make a delicious casserole!

4 cup cold, chopped cooked chicken

 
Grease a 2-quart oval or rectangular baking dish; set aside.  In a large bowl, toss together the chopped chicken, eggs, undiluted cream of chicken soup, chopped celery, mayonnaise or salad dressing, pimientos, lemon juice and onion.  Spoon the chicken mixture into the prepared baking dish. Sprinkle with the cheddar cheese.

In a small bowl, stir together the crushed potato chips and slivered almonds. Sprinkle the mixture over the chicken salad. Cover and refrigerate at least one hour (or even overnight).  Preheat the oven to 400°. Bake, uncovered, about 30 minutes or until heated through. Cover the top loosely with aluminum foil, if necessary, to prevent overbrowning.
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Chimichangas

Chimichangas are like really awesome fried burritos!  (This is a big recipe, fyi.)

1-1/2 pounds lean ground beef
1 medium onion, chopped
1 medium green pepper, chopped
1 garlic clove, miced
2 cans (16 oz each) refried beans
1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese
1/2 cup taco sauce
16 flour tortillas (10-inch)
Vegetable oil (for frying)
Optional Toppings: salsa, shredded lettuce, sour cream, chopped ripe olices, chopped tomatoes, addtional cheese

In a large skillet, cook beef, onion, green pepper and garlic over medium heat until the meat is no longer pink; drain.  Add the beans, cheese and taco sauce.  Cook and stir until cheese is melted, about 5 minutes.  Remove from the heat.

Spoon about 1/3 cup of beef and bean mixture off-center on each tortilla.  Fold up edge nearest filling; fold in both sides and roll up.  Secure with a toothpick.  In a large skillet, fry tortilla, folded side down, in oil for 2-3 minutes or until lightly browned.  Turn; cook 2-3 minutes longer.  Drain on paper towels.  Serve with toppings!
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Adobo Shrimp Scampi

Don't be afraid of a little spice...

2 plum tomatoes, seeded and chopped
1 poblano pepper, seeded and chopped
1 tbsp minced chipotle pepper in adobo sauce
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 tbsp olive oil
1 pound uncooked medium shrimp, peeled and deveined
1/2 cup reduced-sodium chicken broth
1/2 cup minced fresh cilantro
3 tbsp lime juice
2 tbsp butter
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 cup shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese

In a large skillet, saute the tomatoes, peppers and garlic in oil for 2 minutes.  reduce heat to medium; stir in the shrimp, broth, cilantro, lime juice, butter and salt.  Cook and stir for 3-4 minutes or until shrimp turn pink.  Remove from the heat; sprinkle with cheese.                    
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Skillet Chicken and Veggies

Change out the veggies to suit your family's tastes! 

1 package (7 oz) spaghetti
1 pound boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1/2 inch strips
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp dried basil
1 tbsp canola oil
1/2 pound fresh mushrooms, sliced
1 large zucchini, julienned
1 medium onion, chopped
1 medium green pepper, chopped
1 medium sweet red pepper, chopped
3/4 cup mayonnaise
4 tbsp grated Parmesan cheese, divided

Cook spaghetti according to package directions.  Meanwhile, in a large skillet, saute the chicken, garlic and basil in oil for 2-3 minutes or until garlic is tender.  Add the mushrooms, zucchini, onion and peppers.  Cook and stir for 5-7 minutes until chicken juices run clear and veggies are crisp-tender.

Stir the mayonnaise and 3 tbsp Parmesan cheese into chicken mixture.  Drain spaghetti; top with chicken mixture.  Toss gently to combine.  Serve sprinkled with remaining cheese.
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