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January Recipes

TOMATOES STUFFED WITH RICE

1 Cup Rice (uncooked)

6 Firm, Large Tomatoes

5 Tbsp. Olive Oil

1/2 tsp. Salt

1/4 tsp. Red Pepper Flakes

2 Garlic Cloves (minced)

2 Tbsp. Basil Leaves (chopped)

2 Tbsp. Italian Parsley (chopped)

1 Tbsp. Oregano (crumbled)

1/4 Cup Parmesan Cheese (freshly grated)

Cut a 1/2” thick slice off the top of each tomato. Keep the tomato tops. Scoop out the seeds, pulp, and juice from each tomato into a bowl.

Cook the rice in 1 cup of water and the juice and pulp from the tomatoes. The rice should be just cooked through (don’t let it get mushy). Drain if necessary.

Oil the bottom of a baking dish with 2 Tbs of olive oil. (The dish should be large enough to hold the tomatoes, but small enough that they all stand up.)

Add the garlic, basil, parsley, Parmesan cheese, 2 Tbs of olive oil, salt, and red pepper to the rice and mix well.

Spoon the rice mixture into the tomatoes, mounding slightly. Place each filled tomato in the baking dish.

Any leftover rice can be spread around the tomatoes in the baking dish. Place the tomato tops back on the tomatoes.

Drizzle with the remaining olive oil (1 Tbsp).

Bake at 350 degrees, until the rice is heated through, about 20 minutes. Serve hot, at room temperature, or chilled.


CROCKPOT PORK CHOPS SUPREME

Crockpot pork chops, made easy with cream of mushroom or cream of celery soup.

1 Large Onion (sliced)

4 to 6 Medium Potatoes (peeled and sliced)

1 Can (10 3/4 oz.) Condensed Cream Of Mushroom Soup

4 to 6 Pork Chops (boneless or bone-in)

Salt and Pepper to Taste

Lightly spray slow cooker with butter or garlic flavored nonstick cooking spray. Put onions and potatoes in bottom of slow cooker. Top with pork chops, salt and pepper, pour soup over chops. Cook on low for 6 to 8 hours, until tender.

Serves 4 to 6.


BAKED POTATO SOUP

2/3 Cup Butter

2/3 Cup All Purpose Flour

7 Cups Milk

4 Large Baking Potatoes (baked, cooled, peeled and cubed, about 4 cups)

4 Green Onions (sliced)

12 Bacon Strips (cooked and crumbled)

1 1/4 Cups Shredded Cheddar Cheese

1 Cup (8 oz) Sour Cream

3/4 tsp. Salt

1/2 tsp. Pepper

In a large soup kettle, melt the butter. Stir in flour; heat and stir until smooth. Gradually add milk, stirring constantly until thickened. Add potatoes and onions. Bring to a boil, stirring constantly. Reduce heat; simmer for 10 minutes. Add remaining ingredients; stir until cheese is melted. Serve immediately. Makes 2 1/2 quarts.


HAMBURGER SOUP RECIPE

1 1/2 Lbs Ground Beef (browned & drained)

1 Onion (chopped)

1/4 Head Cabbage (chopped)

4 Carrots (cut into bite sized pieces)

4 Potatoes (cut into bite sized pieces)

Crushed Garlic to Taste

Salt & Pepper to Taste

8 oz. Tomato Paste

16 oz. Tomato Juice

1 Can Cream Of Mushroom Soup

Additional Canned Vegetables Of Your Choice (optional)

Put everything in crock pot and cook on HIGH (5 to 6 hours) or LOW (8 to 10 hours). The cream soup gives it a nice, rich flavor.

Recipe From: Liddy


ITALIAN PASTA SOUP

1 Tbsp. Olive Oil

1 Large Onion (coarsely chopped)

1 Clove Garlic (mashed and minced)

4 New Red Potatoes (unpeeled, coarsely chopped)

1 Large Carrot (cut into 1/2” slices)

2 Cans (14.5 oz. each) Diced Tomatoes

1 Cup Water

1 Cup Uncooked Rotini

16 oz. Italian Sausage Links (cooked and sliced into 1/4” rounds)

1 Small Zucchini (sliced)

1/2 Cup Freshly Grated Parmesan Cheese

Heat oil in large saucepan. Add onion and cook 2 to 3 minutes. Add garlic, potatoes and carrot, cook 1 minute. Add tomatoes, water and rotini; bring to a boil over medium-high heat and cook 5 minutes.

Add sausage and zucchini. Continue to cook an additional 5-8 minutes or until pasta and vegetables are tender and soup is slightly thickened. Top each serving with Parmesan cheese.

6 servings.


ANGEL HAIR PASTA AND CRAB WITH ALFREDO SAUCE

The blend of rich crab meat and creamy Alfredo sauce tossed with delicate Angel Hair pasta is truly a marriage made in heaven. Add a salad, a nice dessert and spoil your family with this decadent treat.

1 Pkg. (9 oz.) Buitoni Refrigerated Angel Hair Pasta

1 Container (10 oz.) Buitoni Refrigerated Alfredo Sauce

8 oz. fresh Lump Crab meat or Surimi

1/2 Cup(2 oz.)Shredded Parmesan Cheese

Prepare pasta according to package directions. Heat alfredo sauce and crab meat in large saucepan until hot; add pasta. Heat through; top with cheese. Servings: 4

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PASTA TIPS:

Use at least one quart of water for every four ounces of dry pasta. Bring water to a fast boil. Pasta added to water before it starts to boil gets a head start on mushiness. Pasta quickly begins to break down in tepid water as the starch dissolves. You need the intense heat of boiling water to “set” the outside of the pasta, which prevents the pasta from sticking together. That’s why the fast boil is so important; the water temperature drops when you add the pasta, but if you have a fast boil, the water will still be hot enough for the pasta to cook properly.

DO NOT ADD OIL - Oil will coat the pasta and keep the sauce from adhering. After you add the pasta to the boiling water, stir with a long wooden spoon (stirring prevents pasta from sticking to each other and from sticking to the bottom and the edge of pan). Frequent stirring with a long wooden spoon or fork while the pasta is cooking will help the pasta to cook evenly. Make sure the pieces are moving freely.


SMOKY PASTA AND BEAN SOUP

Warm up with this hearty soup. Serve with warmed bread sticks and a salad.

6 Slices Bacon (diced)

1 Small Onion (finely chopped)

1 Rib Celery (finely chopped)

1 Medium Carrot (peeled and grated)

2 Cloves Garlic (minced)

1/8 tsp. Crushed Hot Red Pepper Flakes

2 Cups Canned Crushed Tomatoes

2 1/2 Cups Canned White Beans (drained)

6 Cups Chicken Broth

3/4 Cup Macaroni or Other Small Pasta Shape

Freshly Grated Parmesan Cheese (optional)

In a large deep skillet, sauté bacon until some fat is rendered; add onion, celery, carrot, garlic and red pepper to skillet and sauté until vegetables are softened, about 10 minutes. Stir in tomatoes, cook and stir occasionally for 10 more minutes. Stir in beans; add broth and bring to a gentle boil. Add macaroni (or other small pasta) and continue cooking until pasta is tender, but still firm, about 15 minutes. Serve immediately with Parmesan cheese if desired; or cover, refrigerate and reheat gently to serving temperature. Serves 8.


CHOCOLATE CHIP BANANA BREAD

2 Cups All-purpose Flour

1 Cup Granulated Sugar

1 tsp. Baking Powder

1 tsp. Salt

1/2 tsp. Baking Soda

1 Cup Mashed Ripe Banana (2 to 3 medium)

1/2 Cup Vegetable Shortening

2 Large Eggs

1 Cup Hershey’s Mini Chips Semisweet Chocolate Chips

1/2 Cup Walnuts (chopped)

Heat oven to 350°F. Grease bottom only of 9 x 5-inch loaf pan. Combine all ingredients except small chocolate chips and walnuts in large bowl; blend well on medium speed of mixer. Stir in small chocolate chips and walnuts. Pour batter into prepared pan. Bake 60 to 65 minutes or until wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool 10 minutes; remove from pan. Cool completely on wire rack. Makes 1 loaf (18 servings).

Variations: HERSHEY’S Milk Chocolate Chips or HERSHEY’S Semisweet Chocolate Chips may be substituted for small chocolate chips.

Recipe provided courtesy of The Hershey Company, Copyright ©1995-2005.


FRUITY POTATO BREAKFAST SQUARES

1/2 tsp. Butter

4 Large (9 oz. each) Idaho Potatoes (baked and cooled to room temperature)

1/2 Cup Mixed Dried Fruit (raisins, cranberries, cherries, chopped apricots, etc.)

4 Large Eggs

1 Cup Evaporated Skim Milk

1/2 tsp. Salt

1/4 tsp. Freshly Ground Pepper

Butter a 7 x 11-inch baking pan. Peel the skin off the cooled potatoes and slice thinly. Preheat oven to 350° F. Arrange half the sliced potatoes in the buttered pan. Cover potatoes evenly with the dried fruit. Top fruit layer with remaining potato slices. Mix eggs, milk, salt and pepper in a separate bowl and pour over potatoes. Place pan of potatoes in a large baking pan (such as a 13 x 9-inch pan) and carefully pour 1/2 inch of boiling water in the larger pan to create a water bath. Cover potatoes with foil and bake 40 minutes. Uncover potatoes and bake another 15 minutes or until a knife inserted in the center comes out clean. Remove from oven, cut into 6 squares and serve. Makes 6 servings.

Variations: Potatoes may be topped with 1/4 cup toasted, sliced almonds, and 1/2 cup diced lean ham or crumbled bacon may be added to dried fruit mixture. Squares may be served with maple syrup, if desired.

Recipe provided courtesy of Idaho Potato Commission.


WHAT IS A MARASCHINO CHERRY?

(That sweet, bright-red orb can’t possibly be fruit)

You are all familiar with maraschino cherries, those bright red cherries that often find their way into various deserts as well as being used as a garnish for a variety of cocktails.

There is however, a lot that most people don’t know about maraschino cherries.

To begin with, it (technically) should not be pronounced “mare-uh-SHEE-no” but “mare-uh-SKEE-no”, The cherries originally used to produce maraschino cherries were Marasca cherries, hence the hard “K” instead of the soft “SH”.

It should also be pointed out, that the cherries that we often refer to as maraschino cherries, should in fact be instead referred to as “imitation maraschino cherries”. In 1912, Maraschino Cherries were legally defined by the US Food and Drug Administration as marasca cherries which were preserved in maraschino liqueur. Unfortunately, today it is extremely difficult, if not impossible, to find real maraschino cherries.

This is due to Prohibition, or more accurately, the overall Temperance movement, as well as American ingenuity.

In the late 1800s, real maraschino cherries were imported from Italy and used not only in cocktails, but also in fine restaurants. These cherries were fairly expensive, as well as containing alcohol, which was developing a bad name across the country. Both of these facts led to various American companies trying to come up with an alternative. Eventually the modern imitation maraschino cherry was invented. This new product not only provided a much cheaper alternative, but it also omitted the alcohol, thus allowing it to be seen as more socially appropriate.

Modern (imitation) maraschino cherries are made by taking (usually) Queen Ann cherries and soaking them in chemicals which leach out virtually all of their color and flavor, but at the same time leave the flesh of the cherries relatively solid. These “ghosts” are then soaked in an artificially colored, artificially flavored syrup solution which introduces the radiant red color and the sweet slightly almondy flavor that is now seen as standard.

When they first came out, these cherries were deemed as unfit for consumption by the food and restaurant critiques of the day, perhaps this would have spelled the end of them, but unfortunately Prohibition came around right about that same time. Because of Prohibition, the original maraschino cherries were no longer imported. This meant that the only form of maraschino cherries, which would be available for the next 13 years, would be the imitation ones. By the time Prohibition was over, the originals were long forgotten, and the imitation variety had now become the standard.

Several years ago, there wasn’t a single “real” maraschino cherry to be found anywhere in the US, they were still being made in Europe, but the imitation variety had so far supplanted them that there was no longer a market. Even in Europe, the imitation was more common than the real. Over the years however, as the overall interest in quality foods has increased, so too has the desire to use real maraschino cherries.

While still hard to find, you can occasionally find marasca cherries, soaked in maraschino liqueur being sold at various gourmet shops, or you could make your own.

Take your new found maraschino liqueur, sweet and/or sour cherries and a new, clean mason jar, wash cherries (pit or not, as desired) and put them in the jar, pour the liqueur over them, cover tightly and refrigerate for at least two days. Can be used generously spooned over ice cream, as well as in desserts and cocktails.


ZESTY BAKED SALMON STEAKS

4 to 6 Salmon Steaks

1 Envelope Italian Salad Dressing Mix

1/2 Cup Water

2 Tbsp. Lemon Juice

6 to 8 oz. Fresh Mushrooms (sliced)

2 to 3 Tbsp. Butter

1/4 Cup Grated Parmesan Cheese

Arrange salmon steaks in a buttered 13 x 9 x 2-inch baking dish. Combine salad dressing mix, lemon juice, and water; pour over salmon. Cover dish with aluminum foil. Bake at 350° for 20 minutes. Top salmon with sautéed mushrooms and sprinkle with Parmesan cheese. Continue baking uncovered for another 10 minutes. Serves 4 to 6.


SALMON & POTATO PIE

1 Pk (11 oz.) Pastry Mix

2 lbs. Potatoes (peeled, sliced)

4 lg. Carrots (peeled, sliced)

3 Med. Onions (sliced)

2 Tbsp. Butter

1/4 Cup Butter

1/3 Cup Flour

1/8 tsp. Paprika

1 1/2 tsp. Salt

1/4 tsp. Pepper

2 Cups Milk

1 lb Cooked or Canned Salmon

2 Tbsp. Butter

1 Egg Yolk

1 Tbsp. Water

Prepare pastry mix using package directions. Roll onto floured surface, cut out circle to fit top of 2 qt. baking dish, then cut (3) 2” circles from remaining pastry and set aside.

Cook potatoes and carrots in enough water to cover, in a large sauce pan, for 10 min. and drain. Sauté the onions in 2 tbsp. butter in a skillet for 5 minutes until golden brown.

Melt 1/4 butter in small saucepan and stir in the flour, paprika, salt and pepper. Blend in the milk and simmer over medium heat until thickened and smooth, stirring constantly. Layer the potatoes, carrots, salmon, and white sauce in a greased baking dish.

Dot the top with 2 tbsp. butter and top with the pastry sealing the edges and brush with a mix of the egg yolk and water. Cut the pastry circles in half and arrange on top of pie. Bake in a 350 degree oven for 30 to 40 minutes until crust is brown and serve as a main dish.


SOUR CREAM BANANA BREAD

1 Cup Sugar

2 Tbsp. Butter

1 Egg (beaten)

2 Bananas (mashed)

2 Tbsp. Sour Cream or Milk

2 Cups All-purpose Flour

1 tsp. Baking Soda

1/2 tsp. Baking Powder

1/2 tsp. Salt

Cream sugar and butter together. Add egg, bananas and sour cream; mix well. Sift flour, salt, baking soda and baking powder together. Stir into banana mixture. Pour into prepared loaf pan. Bake for about 50 minutes at 375 degrees. This recipe lends itself well to doubling!

Recipe From: Mary