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April Recipes

BEEFY BURRITO CASSEROLE

1 1/2 lbs. Lean Ground Beef

1 Can (16 oz.) Refried Beans

1 Medium Onion (chopped)

1 Red or Green Bell Pepper (chopped)

1 Envelope Burrito or Taco Seasoning Mix

1 Jalapeno Pepper (minced or use 1 can chopped Mild Green Chiles)

1 1/2 to 2 Cups Salsa

1 Cup Shredded Cheddar Cheese

6 to 8 Corn Tortillas (cut in strips)

Brown ground beef with onion, jalapeno pepper, and bell pepper. Stir in burrito seasoning and refried beans. Spray crock pot lightly with nonstick cooking spray. Spread about 3 tablespoons of salsa over the bottom of the pot. Place a layer of tortilla strips over the salsa, then a layer of ground beef and bean mixture, a sprinkling of shredded cheese, then a few tablespoons of salsa. Repeat layers, ending with salsa. Cover and cook on low for 5 to 7 hours. Serve with rice. Serves 6.


NO-BAKE CHEESECAKE

1/3 Cup butter or Margarine

1 Cup graham Cracker Crumbs

1/4 Cup sugar

1 Pkg. (8 oz.) Cream Cheese

1 Can (15 oz.) Lemon Fruit Filling or Topping

1 Tub (8 oz.) Nondairy Whipped Topping (thawed)

Place butter in 8” or 9” square microwave pan; microwave on 1 minute or until melted. Add crumbs and sugar, stir to mix. Press into bottom of pan.

Remove foil wrap from cream cheese. Microwave 40-60 seconds, until softened. Beat cream cheese until fluffy; beat in lemon filling.

Fold in whipped topping. Spoon into crust. Quick chill in freezer 30 minutes, or refrigerate. Makes 9 servings.


CHICORY

Chicory is a hardy perennial that was brought to North America from Europe in the 1700s, and is now well-established across the continent. Though chicory has a variety of uses, it’s best known for its association with coffee.

At many times through history, coffee has become unavailable or too costly. During these times, people have often turned to roasted chicory as a substitute. Folks also used to make coffee from roasted acorns, yams and a variety of local grains. Anything was better than going without!

The root of the chicory plant is long and thick, like the root of the dandelion. When dried, roasted and ground, it makes an excellent substitute for coffee. There is no caffeine in chicory, and it produces a more ‘roasted’ flavor than coffee does. Many coffee producers offer blends with up to 30% chicory, which cuts down on the caffeine content of your cup.

But many folk enjoy a cup of ‘coffee’ made entirely from ground, roasted chicory.

Another perk about chicory is that it’s more soluble in water than coffee, which means you use a lot less of it when brewing. Very economical for someone on a tight budget.

Chicory also offers extra health benefits that you wouldn’t normally get from your cup of coffee. It is reported to help cleanse the blood and improve the health of your liver.

The young leaves can be used in salads, and the root can also be boiled and eaten like a vegetable (it’s related to endive and radicchio). It’s also grown for cattle food in Europe. The flowers are blue-purple, and will open and close at precisely the same time every day.


SAUSAGE CASSEROLE WITH WILD RICE

1 Pkg. (4 oz.) Wild Rice

1 Pkg. (6 oz.) Long-grain and Wild Rice Mix

1/2 lb. Bulk Sausage

1/2 Cup Onion (chopped)

1/2 Cup Green Bell Pepper or Combination of Red and Green (chopped)

1/2 Cup Celery (chopped)

4 oz. Sliced Mushrooms

1 Can (10 1/2 oz) Cream of Mushroom or Cream of Celery Soup

1 Cup Cheddar Cheese (shredded)

Cook wild rice in water, following package directions, but for 45 minutes. Cook the long-grain and wild rice mix for 15 minutes, with just water. Save the seasoning pack to add later. Drain rices and rinse with hot water.

Meanwhile, in a large skillet, brown sausage; remove sausage with a slotted spoon. If sausage was very fatty, drain fat into a small cup and return 2 to 3 teaspoons of the drippings to the skillet. Add chopped onion, bell pepper, and chopped celery. Sauté until onion is just tender then add the sliced mushrooms. Continue to cook until mushrooms are golden brown and vegetables are tender.

In a large bowl, combine sausage, cooked vegetables, cooked and drained rices, seasoning packet, the shredded cheese, and condensed soup. Transfer sausage mixture to a shallow 2-quart casserole (9-inch square baking dish or 11x7-inch). Cover with foil and bake sausage casserole at 325° for 55 to 60 minutes, or until hot and bubbly.

Sausage casserole serves 8.


GARLIC CHICKEN ALFREDO


1 Jar (16 oz.) Creamy Garlic Alfredo Sauce

4 to 6 Boneless Chicken Breast Halves

1 Can (4 oz.) Sliced Mushrooms (drained)

8 oz. Spaghetti (cooked, hot)

Grated Parmesan Cheese

Pour about 1/3 of the sauce into the slow cooker. Place chicken in the slow cooker; top with mushrooms and remaining sauce. Cover and cook on LOW setting for 6 to 8 hours. Serve with hot cooked spaghetti, Parmesan cheese and a tossed salad. Serves 4 to 6.


GERMAN CHOCOLATE RICE CRISPY TREATS

1/4 Cup Butter

1 Pkg. (10 oz.) Regular Marshmallows or 4 Cups Miniature Marshmallows

1 tsp. Vanilla Extract

5 Cups Chocolate Rice Crispies Cereal

1 Cup Pecan Pieces

1/2 Cup Sweetened Flaked Coconut (not shredded)

Grease well a 9x13 pan with butter.

Melt 1/4 cup butter in large saucepan over low heat. Add marshmallows and stir until completely melted. Remove from heat. Stir in vanilla. Add Rice Crispies cereal, pecans and coconut. Stir until well coated.

Press mixture into pan with a sheet of waxed paper or a greased spoon. Let cool and slice into squares with a greased knife.

Recipe From: Susie D


SAUSAGE SWEET POTATO CASSEROLE

1 Can (20 oz.) Pineapple Chunks in Juice

1 Can (about 18 oz.) Sweet Potatoes (sliced 1 inch thick)

12 to 16 oz. Smoked Sausage (links or sliced in serving-size pieces)

3 Tbsp. Brown Sugar

2 Tbsp. Cornstarch

1⁄4 tsp. Salt

1 Tbsp. Butter

Drain pineapple, reserving juice in a 2 cup measure. Add water to juice to make 1 1⁄2 cups. Arrange pineapple chunks, sliced sweet potatoes, and sausage in a lightly greased shallow baking dish.

In a small saucepan over low heat, combine brown sugar, cornstarch, and salt. Gradually stir in reserved pineapple juice. Cook, stirring constantly, until thickened and bubbly; cook and stir for 1 minute longer. Remove from heat; stir in butter. Pour mixture over sausage and sweet potato mixture. Cover and bake at 350° for 30 to 40 minutes, until sweet potato casserole is heated through.

Casserole serves 4 to 6.


Homemade marshmallows are a surprisingly easy to make treat. They are a means unto themselves, but can also be incorporated into your favorite recipes. Dipped in chocolate, these marshmallows become a gourmet delight. Please read and understand the directions before starting. It is also very important to follow the directions.

VANILLA MARSHMALLOW

4 Gelatin Envelopes

3⁄4 Water

1 Tbsp. Vanilla Extract

3 Cups Sugar

3⁄4 Cup Water

1 1⁄4 Cups Corn Syrup

1⁄2 tsp. Salt

Rice Flour

Confectioners Sugar

Line a 9” x 13” (8” x 8”) pan and a loaf pan with parchment paper. Coat the paper with vegetable oil or nonstick spray.

Fit a stand mixer with the whisk attachment. In the mixer bowl combine the 3/4 cup of water with vanilla extract. Sprinkle the gelatin over the liquid to bloom (soften).

Add the sugar, salt, corn syrup, and remaining 3/4 cup water to a heavy saucepan. Bring to a boil with the lid on and without stirring. When this mixture is at a boil, remove the lid and continue to cook without stirring until it reaches the soft-ball stage (234-240 F).

With the mixer at medium speed, pour all of the hot syrup slowly down the side of the bowl into the awaiting gelatin mixture. Be careful as the hot syrup is very liquid and hot at this point and some may splash out of the bowl - use a splashguard if you have one. When all of the syrup is added, bring the mixer up to full speed.

Whip until the mixture is very fluffy and stiff, about 8-10 minutes. Pour marshmallow into the parchment-lined pans and smooth with an oiled offset spatula if necessary. Allow the mixture to sit, uncovered at room temp for 10 to 12 hours.

Mix equal parts rice flour and confectioners sugar and sift generously over the rested marshmallow slab. Turn the slab out onto a cutting board, peel off paper and dust with more sugar/starch mixture. Slice with a pizza cutter into desired shapes. Dip all cut edges in sugar/starch mixture and shake off excess powder. Marshmallows will keep several weeks at room temp in an airtight container.

FLAVOR VARIATIONS:
#1 Replace first measure of water (with which the gelatin is bloomed) with 1/2 cup fruit puree and 1/2 cup of water.

#2 Replace one third of the sugar with ground up flavored sugar candies.