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Game day chili in a bread bowl Served with a winter acini de pepe fruit salad

Chili Ingredients:
1 pound ground beef
1 can chili beans
1 can kidney beans
1 can petite diced tomatoes
1 medium chopped yellow onion
1 t. chili powder
1 t. cumin
Salt and pepper to taste

Bread bowl:
2 large sturdy round bread loaves

Condiments available:
Shredded cheese
Sour cream
Sliced black Olives
Diced onions (any variety: red, white or yellow)

Directions:
1. Brown ground beef with diced onion. Break in small pieces. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Drain fat.
2. Add chili beans, kidney beans, tomatoes (include liquids) and spices. Simmer one hour. Additional spices or peppers may be added according to heat preference.
Bread bowls:
Cut bread in half. Hollow out leaving walls thick enough to accommodate chili. Reserve bread for dipping.
Service:
Fill bowls with chili. Add condiments as desired. Makes 4 servings. Enjoy!


Acini di pepe winter salad

For those unfamiliar with acini di pepe, it is a small pasta typically sold in a box in the pasta section of the grocery store. It may be used in savory or sweet applications. Some refer to it as “frog eye salad.” To prepare, boil in salted water like pasta, drain.
Salad Ingredients:
1 can mandarin oranges, drained
1 can fruit cocktail, drained
1 can pineapple tidbits, drain
Cooked acini di pepe, about 2 cups
1 small tub frozen whipped topping, thawed.
½ cup chopped nuts (optional)
Scant amount almond extract (optional, go lightly, it is very EASY to overpower a dish with this product)

Directions:
Cook pasta in salted water 6 to 8 minutes until done.
Drain pasta, do not rinse.
Mix fruits, nuts, whipped topping and extract.
Enjoy.


Easy Beef Stroganoff over poppy seed noodles

Beef Stroganoff Ingredients:
1 pound beef round steak
½ cup all-purpose flour
2 t. Canola or vegetable oil (I prefer Canola oil)
Salt and pepper
1 small onion, diced
1 small package fresh mushrooms, rinsed and sliced into ¼” slices
1 cup beef broth, salted or unsalted
1/2 cup red wine (optional)
8 oz. sour cream
8 oz. plain (not vanilla) yogurt

Directions:
Cut round steak in 4” strips.
Salt and pepper to taste.
Dredge beef in flour. Shake off excess flour
Brown beef, onion, and mushroom until golden brown.
Add beef stock and wine.
Boil at low for 30 minutes. May add more stock if gets dry.
Just before serving, add sour cream and yogurt. Cook to just boiling, take off burner.
Serve over poppy seed noodles.

Poppy Seed Noodles Ingredients:
Egg noodles, 1 package
Boiling Salted water as directed on package
1 tablespoon poppy seeds

Directions:
Boil noodles per package directions. Drain. Do not rinse.
Toss with Poppy seeds
Serve with Stroganoff. Makes 4 servings.


Easy Valentine’s fudge

Ingredients:
1-12 oz. package semi sweet, milk chocolate, white chocolate, or butterscotch chips
1 can sweetened condensed milk (not evaporated milk, they are different)
½ cup chopped nuts

Directions:
This is a versatile fudge recipe that is virtually fail proof. Combine your chips of choice and sweetened condensed milk in a microwave safe bowl and microwave until chips are melted, stirring every 30 seconds. When chips are melted, stir in nuts quickly. Turn into buttered square pan. Refrigerate. Enjoy. Tip: to remove entire pan of fudge, line pan with aluminum foil and butter. The entire fudge square will then come out of the pan. It is much easier to cut that way. My favorite flavor combination is the dark chocolate chips with chopped walnuts.


Happy St. Patrick’s Day – Corned beef and Cabbage, slow cooker recipe

Ingredients:
3-5# corned beef brisket, raw
Pickling spices (these are usually included in the package with corned beef)
Water to cover brisket in crock pot
1/2 pound sliced carrots
2 stalks diced celery
2 small onions, sliced
1# peeled and diced potatoes, add 2 hour prior to serving corned beef
1 head cabbage, either cut in wedges or slices, to your preference.

Directions: I have a very difficult time cooking corned beef so it is tender. The crock pot version is successful in producing a tender corned beef. Placed all ingredients in crock pot excluding cabbage and potatoes. Cook at least 8 hours in crock pot to minimum internal temperature of 160 degrees for the beef. 2 hours prior to service, add the potatoes and cabbage. Check potatoes and cabbage for tenderness prior to service. Enjoy!


Lime gelatin with pears and cottage cheese

Ingredients:
2 packages lime gelatin (small packages)
2 cups boiling water
2 cups cold water less liquid from canned pears
1 can diced pears, drained. Reserving liquid.
1 cup cottage cheese

Directions: Some refer to this recipe as “under the sea salad” because it looks like lovely green water with white specks throughout. Dissolve 2 small packages of lime gelatin in boiling water. Drain canned diced pears into a 2 cup measuring cup. Add cold water to make 2 cups total liquid. Mix cold fruit liquid/water mixture and hot gelatin, add pears and cottage cheese. Stir. Pour in a glass square or rectangular pan. Refrigerate at least 2 hours before service. Mixture will gel on refrigeration. Enjoy green salad for St. Patrick’s Day.


Grilled summer kabobs with packaged foil potatoes

Summer is a great time to break out the grill and create some colorful summer kabobs.

Ingredients:
Chicken, Beef, Pork, sausage, or shrimp in 1” pieces
Marinade of your choice (soy sauce, teriyaki, or bottled are all good)
Pineapple, cut in 1” cubes, or canned cubed Pineapple
1 pint cherry tomatoes
3 large fresh bell peppers
2 red onions, diced in 1” wedges
Fresh button mushrooms
8 fresh medium Yukon gold or russet potatoes
¼ pound butter
Salt and pepper to taste.
Aluminum foil
Metal or wood skewers

Directions: Marinade meat or fish in marinade preferably refrigerated overnight, but a minimum of 1 hour.
Wash and prep vegetables in 1” bite size pieces.
Wash and slice potatoes in thin slices.

Kabob Assembly: Arrange small pieces of vegetables and meats on a skewer.
If wood skewers are used, thoroughly soak in salted water to prevent burning.
If preferred, all meats and all vegetables can be placed on the same kabob, or they can be alternated.
Salt and pepper as desired.
Hint: use two skewers for each kabob to make kabobs stronger and easier to turn on the grill.

Potato packet assembly: Place potato slices equivalent to 1 whole potato on a 1 foot square piece of foil sprayed with cooking spray.
Place 1 Tablespoon of butter, salt and pepper to taste in each packet.
Fold packet to form a pouch and crease foil so as not to leak.

To grill: Salt and pepper kabobs to taste.
Spray with cooking spray or brush with oil to prevent sticking.
Place kabobs on grill until vegetables are charred to your preference and meat is cooked to appropriate temperature.
Hint: Invest in a meat thermometer (I like the digital ones because they are easier to read).
Chicken internal temperature should be 165 degrees.
Beef internal temperature should be 145 degrees.
Shrimp should be opaque in color.
Sausage should be 165 degrees.

Cook potatoes in foil packets until potatoes are fork tender. Cooking time will vary according to how hot your grill is. Serve your BBQ with desserts of your choice, I like s’mores or some fresh juicy watermelon.


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