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In Loving Memory

My Sweet Michael

My Sweet Michael

August 30, 1967–January 29, 1991

I miss you more than words can say
through every hour of every day.

I long to look and see you here
sharing life you once held dear.

To hear your voice, to see your smile
to hold you close for just a while.

To tell you things I failed to say
when you were with me every day.

Each time you called or just stopped in
I should have shared so many things.

I hope somehow that you can see
how very dear you were to me.

In memories you’re with me still
I love you son, I always will.

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Chicken Cacciatore

Chicken CacciatoreTender bites of chicken in a hearty, thick, flavorful sauce served over hot cooked noodles or rice will make short work of satisfying your family’s dinnertime hunger. And it only takes a matter of minutes to have this taste tantalizing dinner ready for the table!

2 pounds boneless skinless chicken breast halves
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
3 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 cup chopped onion
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 cup chopped green bell pepper
1 tablespoon butter
2 (14-1/2 ounce) cans diced tomatoes
1 (6.5 ounce) can mushroom stems & pieces
1 cup white cooking wine
1 teaspoon oregano
Hot cooked egg noodles or white rice
Grated Parmesan cheese (optional)

1. Cut the chicken into bite-sized pieces. Combine the flour, salt and pepper in a large resealable plastic bag; add the chicken a few pieces at a time and shake to coat.

2. In a large skillet over medium heat, brown the chicken in the oil in small batches; transfer to a Dutch oven.

3. In a small skillet, cook the onion, garlic and green bell pepper in the butter until vegetables are tender; add to the meat in Dutch oven. Stir in the diced tomatoes, mushrooms, white cooking wine and oregano; cover and simmer over medium-low heat for 30 to 40 minutes. Serve over hot cooked noodles or white rice; sprinkle with Parmesan cheese, if desired. Makes 6 to 8 servings.

Emily

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Caramel Apple Oat Squares

Caramel Apple Oat SquaresThese turned out delicious. They are very similar to an apple crisp but with the added decadence of rich creamy caramel. We enjoy these best served warm with a scoop of vanilla ice cream.

1-3/4 cups unsifted all-purpose flour
1 cup quick-cooking oats
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup cold butter
1 cup chopped walnuts
20 caramels, unwrapped
1 (14 ounce) can sweetened condensed milk
1 (21-ounce) can apple pie filling

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.

2. In a large bowl, combine the flour, oats, brown sugar, baking soda and salt; cut in the butter until crumbly. Reserve 1-1/2 cups of the crumb mixture; press remainder on bottom of a 13×9-inch baking pan. Bake for 15 minutes.

3. Add the walnuts to the reserved crumb mixture. In a heavy saucepan, over low heat, melt the caramels with the sweetened condensed milk stirring until smooth. Spoon the apple filling over the prepared crust; top with the caramel mixture then the reserved crumb mixture. Bake for 20 minutes. Cool before cutting. Makes 10 to 12 servings.

Emily

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Mexican Dip

Mexican DipWhether you are hosting a party, hanging out with friends, or watching a movie with your family, this dip is sure to be a favorite.

1-1/2 pounds lean ground beef
1 pound bulk hot Italian sausage
1 cup chopped onion
1 (8.8 ounce) package ready-to-serve Spanish rice*
1 (16 ounce) can refried beans
1 (10 ounce) can enchilada sauce
16 ounces process cheese (Velveeta), cubed
Tortilla chip scoops

1. In a large skillet over medium heat, cook the ground beef, Italian sausage and onion until the meat is no longer pink and the onion is tender; drain. Transfer meat mixture to a 3 to 5-qt. slow cooker.

2. Heat the rice according to the package directions; stir into the meat mixture. Add the refried beans, enchilada sauce and cubed cheese; stir to blend. Cover and cook on Low for 1-1/2 to 2 hours or until the cheese is melted. Serve with the tortilla scoops.

* I did not have the ready-to-serve Spanish rice so I substituted a 5.6 ounce package of regular Spanish rice. I prepared it according to the package directions and stirred it into the meat mixture before adding the remaining ingredients.

Emily

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Golden Fried Pork Chops

Golden Fried Pork ChopsIf you and your family enjoy moist, golden brown, pan fried pork chops then you are sure to love this simple and easy recipe! It is my family’s favorite way for me to prepare pork chops.

1 egg
1 cup all-purpose flour  (more if needed)
3 tablespoons vegetable oil  (add more if needed to keep sufficient amount for frying)
4 to 6 Pork Chops
Salt to taste
Pepper to taste
Garlic powder (sprinkle each chop lightly)
Onion powder (sprinkle each chop lightly)

1. In a small bowl, beat egg with a fork or wire whisk. Pour flour onto a shallow plate.

2. Pour oil into a large skillet and heat over medium heat until hot. Dip pork chops in egg 1 chop at a time; shake off excess then dredge in flour. Place in hot oil; repeat with remaining chops. Sprinkle each chop with a little salt, pepper, garlic powder and onion powder. Fry until golden brown; turn and cook on the other side until golden brown and the meat is no longer pink.*

*Cut into the thickest part of each chop; if the meat is white, the chops are done.

I usually serve these with Mom’s Awesome Cheesy Potatoes and “Best Ever” Baked Beans.

Emily

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Simply Marvelous Cookie Bars

Simply Marvelous Cookie BarsThese incredibly rich decadent chocolate cookie bars are so simple and easy-to-make! My family enjoys these chocolaty bars with a tall glass of cold milk. But, of course, you all know that I prefer a hot cup of coffee with mine!

1 (14 0z.) can sweetened condensed milk
1 egg, slightly beaten
1 (18.25 oz.) box yellow cake mix
1 cup chopped walnuts or pecans
1 (12 oz.) package semisweet chocolate chips
1/2 of an 8 ounce package Heath Bits ‘O Brickle

1. In a large mixer bowl, stir together the sweetened condensed milk and egg until well blended. Stir in the cake mix (dry) and chopped nuts; spread mixture in bottom of a well greased 9×13-inch baking pan. Sprinkle with the chocolate chips and Bits ‘O Brickle.

2. Bake at 350 degree F. for 25 to 30 minutes. Cool before cutting. Makes 24 cookie bars.

Emily

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Simple Beef & Noodles

Simple Beef and NoodlesDSCN2071Sometimes the simple things in life turn out to be the best. Such is the case with this simple easy-to-make dinner from Better Homes and Gardens.

1 (17 ounces) package refrigerated cooked beef tips with gravy
1/2 teaspoon dried basil, crushed
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 (10.75 ounces) can condensed golden mushroom soup
1/2 cup beef broth
1-1/2 cups sliced fresh mushrooms
1 cup peeled baby carrots, halved lengthwise
1 cup loose-pack frozen small whole onions
12 ounces dried wide egg noodles

1. In a large saucepan, combine beef tips with gravy, the basil and pepper. Stir in the soup and beef broth; bring to a boil. Add mushrooms, carrots and onions. Return to a boil; reduce heat to Low. Cover and simmer 20 to 25 minutes or until the vegetables are tender, stirring frequently.

2. Meanwhile, cook the noodles according to the package directions; drain. Spoon the meat mixture over the noodles to serve. Makes 6 servings.

Emily

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“This & That” Skillet Dinner

"This & That" Skillet DinnerAs the title of this recipe suggests, I threw in a “little of this & a little of that” and came up with this better than expected skillet dinner. Hubby declared it a “keeper” and asked me to repeat it later in the week!

2 pounds lean ground beef
1/2 cup chopped onion
1/2 cup chopped green bell pepper
1 (14 ounces) jar pizza sauce
1 (15 ounces) can tomato sauce
1 (6.5 ounces) can mushroom pieces & stems, drained
1 (2.25 ounces) can sliced black olives, drained
2 tablespoons Italian seasoning
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
Salt & Pepper (to taste)
1-1/2 cups pasta (your choice)
1/2 cup sour cream
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese

1. In a large skillet over medium-high heat cook ground beef, onion and green bell pepper until the meat is no longer pink and the vegetables are tender; drain well.

2. Stir in the next 8 ingredients; reduce the heat to medium and cook until the pasta is tender, about 15 minutes.

3. Stir in the sour cream; top with the cheddar cheese. Cover and simmer until heated through and the cheese is melted, about 5 minutes. Makes 8 servings.

Emily

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