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Easy Cheesy Manicotti

easy-cheesy-manicottiThis delicious easy-to-make manicotti recipe from Betty Crocker is a great make-ahead dinner idea. Keep one handy in your freezer for one of those hectic days when you are short on time and energy!

1 (26 ounce) jar chunky-style tomato pasta sauce
2 (9 ounce each) boxes frozen spinach, thawed & well drained
1 (12 ounce) container small curd cottage cheese
1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 teaspoon dried oregano leaves, crumbled
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1 (8 ounce) package manicotti shells (14 shells)
1/4 cup water
1 (8 ounce) package shredded mozzarella cheese

1. Heat oven to 350 degrees F. In an ungreased 13×9-inch baking dish, spread about 1/3 of the pasta sauce.

2. Stir together the spinach, cottage cheese, Parmesan cheese oregano and pepper. Fill the uncooked manicotti shells with the spinach mixture; place on sauce in baking dish.

3. In a medium bowl, stir together the remaining pasta sauce and water; pour evenly over the shells, covering completely. Cover and bake for 1 hour.

4. Sprinkle with the mozzarella cheese; cover and bake 15 to 20 minutes longer or until the shells are tender.

Note: You can assemble this recipe, cover and refrigerate for 24 hours before cooking; then bake as directed. Or cover tightly, label and freeze for up to 1 month; bake for about 2 hours.



Smoked Salmon & Potatoes

smoked-salmom-potato-gratinTender golden potatoes, flaky bites of smoked salmon in a rich creamy cheese sauce. Yummy!

8 cups Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled & thinly sliced
2 tablespoons butter
1 cup thinly sliced onion
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
3 cups half-and-half
1 cup Swiss cheese
2 tablespoons chopped fresh dill weed
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
12 ounces smoked salmon, flaked into 1/2-inch pieces
1 cup plain bread crumbs
3 tablespoons butter, melted

1. Fill a 4-quart saucepan 2/3 full with water; heat to boiling over high heat. Add the potatoes and cook for 6 to 9 minutes or until almost tender; drain and return to the saucepan.

2. Heat oven to 350 degrees F. Spray a 3-quart baking dish with cooking spray.

3. In a 12-inch nonstick skillet over medium heat, melt the 2 tablespoons butter; add onions and cook and stir until softened, about 4 minutes. Stir in the flour. Gradually add the half-and-half and heat to a boil. Remove from the heat; stir in the cheese, dill, salt and pepper until the cheese is melted.

4. Pour sauce mixture over the potatoes in saucepan; spoon 1/2 the potato mixture into baking dish. Top with 1/2 the salmon; repeat the layers.

5. Stir together the bread crumbs and 3 tablespoons melted butter; sprinkle over the salmon. Bake uncovered 30 to 40 minutes or until the potatoes are tender and the topping is browned. Makes 8 servings.



Corn and Sage Risotto

DSCN2141This is a wonderful recipe for using fresh corn from your garden or local farmer’s market.

1 tablespoon cooking oil
1 cup fresh corn kernels*
1 cup chopped red bell pepper
1/2 cup chopped onion
1-3/4 cup uncooked regular long-grain white rice
4 cups chicken broth
1 teaspoon ground sage
1 (10-3/4 ounce) can condensed cream of celery soup
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese

1. In a 4-quart saucepan over medium heat, heat the oil; add the corn, pepper and onion and cook for 6 minutes or until the vegetables start to brown.

2. Add the rice; cook for 30 seconds, stirring constantly. Stir in the broth and sage; heat to a boil. Reduce the heat to low; cover and cook 20 minutes or until the rice is done and most of the liquid is absorbed.

3. Stir in the soup; cook 2 minutes more, stirring occasionally, until heated through. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese. Makes 8 to 10 servings.

* You may substitute 1 cup of drained, canned whole kernel corn for fresh corn, if desired.



Chicken in Creamy Sun-Dried Tomato Sauce

DSCN2131-12 (10-3/4 ounce) cans condensed cream of chicken soup
1 cup chicken broth
1/4 cup coarsely chopped pitted kalamata olives
2 tablespoons drained capers
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 (14 ounce) can artichoke hearts, drained and chopped
1 cup drained, coarsely chopped sun-dried tomatoes
8 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves
1/2 cup chopped fresh basil leaves
Hot cooked rice

1. Stir the soup, wine, olives, capers, garlic, artichokes and tomatoes in a 3-1/2 quart slow cooker. Add the chicken and turn to coat with the soup mixture.

2. Cover and cook on Low for 7 to 8 hours or on High for 4 to 5 hours or until the chicken is cooked through. Sprinkle with basil; spoon over hot cooked rice. Makes 8 servings.



Italian-Style Shepherd’s Pie

italian-style-shepherd's-pieThis savory, satisfying, all-in-one dinner from Betty Crocker is sure to bring smiles to your dinner table!

1 pound beef sirloin steak, fat trimmed, cut into 1-inch pieces
1 cup sliced onion
1 cup sliced carrots
1/2 teaspoon seasoned salt
1/8 teaspoon pepper
1-1/2 cups sliced mushrooms
1 (14 ounce) jar tomato pasta sauce (any variety)
1 pouch roasted garlic mashed potatoes (from 7.2 ounce box)
1 cup hot water
2/3 cup milk
2 tablespoon butter
2 tablespoons shredded fresh Parmesan cheese

1. Heat oven to 375 degrees F. Spray a 2-quart casserole or baking dish with cooking spray. Heat 12-inch nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add beef, onion and carrots to skillet; sprinkle with seasoned salt and pepper. Cook 3 to 5 minutes, stirring frequently, until beef is brown.

2. Stir in mushrooms and pasta sauce; heat to boiling. Cook over medium heat 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Spread in casserole.

3. Make potatoes as directed on box for 4 servings, using 1 pouch potatoes and seasoning, hot water, milk and butter. Spoon into 8 mounds around edge of hot beef mixture. Sprinkle cheese over all.

4. Bake 25 to 30 minutes or until bubbly and potatoes are light golden brown. Makes 4 servings.



Crock-Pot Chicken & Rice

Crock-Pot Chicken & RiceI put this together for dinner last night using what I had available in my freezer and pantry. It was really good and required only a little of my time to prepare.

2 (10.5 ounce) cans condensed cream of chicken soup
1 (10.5 ounce) can condensed cream of celery soup
1 cup instant rice
1/2 cup chopped onion
1 (6.5 ounce) can mushroom stems & pieces, drained
1 teaspoon curry powder
4 large chicken breast halves

1. In a 5-quart crock-pot or slow cooker, stir together the soups, rice, onion, mushrooms and curry powder. Place the chicken breasts on top.

2. Cover and cook on High for 3 hours or on Low for 4 to 5 hours. Makes 4 servings.



Chicken Ham & Swiss Casserole

swiss-chicken-casseroleChicken, ham and Swiss cheese are a winning combination in this tasty all-in-one casserole.

4 cups boiling water
2 (5.7 ounces each) boxes sun-dried tomato Florentine long grain & wild rice mix*
4 large boneless skinless chicken breasts
8 slices thick-sliced fully cooked deli ham
1/4 cup diced red bell pepper
4 (1 ounce each) slices Swiss cheese, cut in half

1. Heat the oven to 350 degrees F. Spray a 13×9-inch baking dish with nonstick cooking spray.

2. Stir together the boiling water, rice and rice seasoning mixes in the baking dish.

3. Cut the chicken breasts in half lengthwise; wrap a ham slice around each chicken piece. Add the bell pepper to the rice mixture; place the wrapped chicken pieces over the rice. Cover with foil and bake for 40 to 45 minutes. Uncover and bake an additional 10 minutes or until the liquid is absorbed and chicken juices run clear when thickest part is cut.

4. Top each chicken breast with cheese. Bake, uncovered, 3 to 4 minutes or until cheese is melted. Makes 8 servings.**

* You may substitute other varieties of rice mixtures, such as mushroom or chicken.

**This recipe is easily divided in half if you only need 4 servings.