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Celery Keeper

celery-keeperTo keep celery crisp, remove it from the store bag, wrap in paper towel and again in aluminum foil. When needed, remove the amount your recipe calls for, re-wrap the rest and return to the refrigerator. It will stay fresh much longer!


Cookie Monster Cookies

Cookie Monster CookiesBake up a batch of these delicious crisp cookies for the Cookie Monsters in your family. Watch how quickly they “gobble” them up!

1 cup (2 sticks) butter or margarine, softened
1 cup granulated sugar
1 cup brown sugar, firmly packed
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon almond extract
1-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
2 cups quick-cooking oats
2 cups crisp rice cereal
1 cup flaked coconut
1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 cup chopped walnuts or pecans

1. In a large bowl, cream together the butter or margarine, sugar and brown sugar until light and fluffy. Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in vanilla extract.

2. In a small bowl, combine flour, baking powder and baking soda; gradually add to the creamed mixture and mix well. Stir in the oats, cereal, coconut, chocolate chips and walnuts. Blend well.

3. Drop by heaping tablespoonfuls (3 inches apart), onto lightly greased baking sheets. Bake at 350 degrees F for 10 to 12 minutes or until golden brown. Transfer to cooling racks. Makes 4 dozen.


Easy Pork Chop Dinner

easy-pork-chop-dinnerYou’ll love how easy this dinner is to make; even more enjoyable will be the fantastic taste!

6 to 8 medium carrots, coarsely chopped
4 medium potatoes, peeled and cut into cubes
4 boneless pork loin chops (3/4 inch thick)
1 large onion, sliced
1 envelope onion soup mix, dry
2 (10-3/4 oz.) cans condensed cream of mushroom soup

1. Spray a 3 quart slow cooker with cooking spray. Place carrots and potatoes in bottom of slow cooker. Top with the pork chops and onion.

2. In a small bowl, combine dry soup mix with cream of mushroom soup until well blended. Pour over all. Cover and cook on Low for 6 to 8 hours or until meat and vegetables are tender. Makes 4 servings.


Meatballs and Little Sausages

Meatballs and Little SausagesThis hearty appetizer is sure to please everyone at your next party or get together.

36 frozen cooked Italian meatballs*
1 (16 oz) package miniature smoked sausages
1 (3-1/2 oz) package sliced pepperoni
1 (26 oz) jar meatless spaghetti sauce
1 (18 oz) bottle hickory flavor barbecue sauce
1 (12 oz) bottle chili sauce
1/4 cup packed brown sugar

Combine all the ingredients in a 5 quart slow cooker. Cover and cook on Low for 3 hours or until hot. Keep warm in slow cooker. Makes 8 cups.

* Place party toothpicks and a slotted spoon alongside the slow cooker. Guests can easily scoop the meatballs, sausages and pepperoni out of the sauce. They can use the toothpicks to make little kabobs for easy and tasty munching.


Vegetable Beef Soup

vegetable-beef-soupNothing warms you better on a cold winter day than a bowl of this hot, great tasting soup! Try it with toasted garlic bread or delicious hot cornbread!

1 pound ground beef chuck
1/3 cup chopped onion
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
3 cups water
3 medium potatoes, peeled and cut into cubes
1 (14-1/2 oz.) can Italian diced tomatoes, undrained
1-1/2 cups vegetable juice
1 cup chopped celery
1 cup sliced carrots
2 tablespoons sugar
1 tablespoon dried parsley flakes
2 teaspoons dried basil
1 bay leaf

1. In a nonstick skillet over medium heat, cook ground beef and onion until meat is no longer pink; drain. Transfer to a 5 quart slow cooker. Stir in the salt and pepper.

2. Add all the remaining ingredients and stir to blend well.

3. Cover and cook on Low for 9 to 11 hours or until vegetables are tender. Discard bay leaf before serving. Makes 7 servings.


Chicken and Mushroom Gravy

Chicken and Mushroom GravyA rich comforting chicken dinner that is so easy to make. Spoon it over rice and add your favorite vegetable, for a meal you’ll be glad to come home to!

4 boneless skinless chicken breast halves
1 (12 oz) can mushroom gravy
1 cup milk
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1 (8 oz) can mushroom stems and pieces, drained
1 (4 oz) can chopped green chilies
1 envelope Italian salad dressing mix
1 (8 oz) package cream cheese, cut into cubes

1. In a 3 quart slow cooker or crock pot, combine chicken, gravy, milk, salt, pepper, mushrooms, chilies and dressing mix.

2. Cover and cook on Low for 4 to 5 hours or until chicken juices run clear.

3. Stir in cream cheese, cover and cook 15 minutes longer or until cheese is melted. Serves 4.


Mashed Potato Casserole

mashed-potato-casseroleA cheesy delicious change of pace from plain mashed potatoes. Dress up your dinner with this flavorful side.

1 tablespoon butter or margarine
3/4 cup chopped green onion
3/4 cup chopped red bell pepper
3 cups hot water
1 cup half-and-half
4 tablespoons butter or margarine
1 (7.2 oz.) box roasted garlic instant potato flakes (2 pouches)
1-1/2 cups shredded cheddar cheese

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease or spray with cooking spray, a 2 quart casserole dish.

2. In a 10 inch skillet over medium-high heat, cook onions and bell peppers in butter or margarine for 1 minute. Remove from heat and set aside.

3. In a 2 quart saucepan over medium-high heat, heat water, half-and-half and 4 tablespoons butter or margarine to boiling; remove from heat. Stir in both pouches of potato flakes just until moistened. Let stand 1 minute or until liquid is absorbed. Beat with a fork until smooth.

4. Spoon 1-1/3 cups of the potatoes into bottom of casserole; top with 1/2 the onion mixture and 3/4 cup of cheese. Spoon another 1-1/3 cups potatoes over the cheese and carefully spread to cover. Sprinkle evenly with remaining onion mixture and top with remaining potatoes; spread to cover. Sprinkle with remaining 3/4 cup of cheese.

5. Bake uncovered, 30 minutes or until heated through. Makes 8 servings.


Wild Rice Chicken Soup

Wild Rice Chicken SoupWarm up quickly with a big bowl of this hearty and delicious chicken soup. Perfect on a cold winter night!

5-3/4 cups water
1 (4.3 oz.) package long grain and wild rice mix
1 envelope chicken noodle soup mix
1/2 cup chopped celery
1/2 cup chopped carrot
1/3 cup chopped onion
2 (10 3/4 oz.) cans condensed cream of chicken soup, undiluted
1 cup cooked chicken, cubed

1. In a large saucepan over medium-high heat, combine water, rice with contents of seasoning packet and soup mix. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; cover and simmer over medium-low heat for 10 minutes. Stir in celery, carrot and onion.

2. Cover and simmer for 10 minutes. Add cream of chicken soup and cubed chicken. Cook 8 minutes longer or until the vegetables and rice are tender. Yields 5 servings.