May is grad time

   

 CUCUMBERS & ONIONS

 

1 medium cucumber, thinly sliced

1/4 c. vinegar

1 small onion, thinly sliced

1 tsp. salt

1 (5 oz.) can light evaporated skim milk

1 tsp. dill weed

In medium bowl combine cucumber and onion. In small bowl combine remaining ingredients and pour over cucumbers and onion; toss well. Chill before serving. Makes six servings.

 

BASIL-TOMATO DIP

 

2 c. water

1 c. sour cream

1/3 c. dry-packed sun-dried tomatoes (10 halves)

2/3 c. dry-packed basil leaves, chopped

1 (1 oz.) pkg. ranch seasoning/salad dressing mix

1/4 c. milk

1 tsp. minced dried onion

1/4 tsp. garlic powder

1/2 c. mayonnaise

Assorted veggies, chips, crackers

In small saucepan bring water to boil. Add tomatoes; simmer three minutes. Remove from heat; let stand three minutes to soften. Drain; let cool. In bowl mix sour cream, basil, mayonnaise, seasoning mix, milk, dried onion and garlic powder. Chop tomatoes into small pieces. Stir into mixture in bowl. Cover with plastic wrap. Refrigerate for at least one hour. To serve, stir dip, accompany with veggies, chips and crackers. Makes about two cups.

 

CHEESECAKE SWIRL BROWNIES

 

1/2 c. butter or margarine

1 c. sugar

3 oz. unsweetened chocolate

2 eggs

1 tsp. vanilla

2/3 c. all-purpose flour

1/4 tsp. baking soda

1/2 c. chopped nuts

2 (3 oz.) pkgs. cream cheese, softened

1 egg

In medium saucepan melt butter and chocolate over low heat, stirring constantly. Remove from heat; cool. Stir sugar into chocolate mixture in saucepan. Add eggs, one at a time, beating by hand just until combined. Stir in vanilla. In small mixing bowl stir together flour and baking soda. Add flour mixture to chocolate mixture; stir just until combined. Stir in nuts if desired.  In medium mixing bowl beat together cream cheese and egg. Spread 2/3 of brownie batter in greased 8-inch or 9-inch square baking pan. Drizzle cream cheese mixture on top. Drop remaining brownie batter by spoonfuls on top of cream cheese batter. Using a knife gently swirl to create a marbled effect. Bake in 350° oven 40 minutes for 8-inch pan, or 30 minutes for 9-inch pan. Cool on wire rack. Makes 16 bars.

 

CHICKEN CASSEROLE FOR PARTY

 

12 oz. uncooked broken spaghetti

4 c. cooked, cubed (1/2-inch chicken)

1 1/2 c. cubed (1/2-inch) cooked ham

1 c. chicken broth

1/2 c. chopped onion

1/2 c. chopped green pepper

1/2 tsp. celery salt

2 (10 3/4 oz.) cans cream of mushroom soup

1 (4 oz.) jar chopped pimiento, drained

1 (4 oz.) can sliced mushrooms,

1/2 tsp. pepper drained

3 c. (12 oz.) shredded Cheddar cheese

Cook spaghetti according to package directions; drain. In large bowl combine all ingredients except cheese; mix well. Stir in 1 1/2 cups cheese. Spoon into greased 13-inch by 9-inch baking dish. Bake in 325° oven for 55-65 minutes or until heated through. Sprinkle with remaining cheese; bake two – four minutes or until cheese is melted. Makes 12-15 servings.

 

OVEN-BRAISED CHILI & BEANS

 

5 Tbsp. vegetable oil

1 1/2 Tbsp. ground cumin

2 lbs. trimmed lean beef chuck or bottom round, cut into 1” pieces

1 1/2 Tbsp. dried oregano

2 lbs. trimmed boneless pork loin, cut in 1” pieces

3 large onions, chopped   (about 4 1/4 c.)

5 large cloves garlic, crushed thru press

1/2 c. chili powder

1 Tbsp. sugar

1 Tbsp. unsweetened cocoa powder

2 tsp. salt

1 (12 oz.) bottle beer

1 (1 lb.) can diced tomatoes

3 Tbsp. tomato paste

3 (1 lb.) cans kidney beans, rinsed

Heat one tablespoon oil in ovenproof six-quart Dutch oven over high heat. Add third of chuck and pork; cook until browned on one side, four – five minutes. Turn pieces over; cook one minute. Remove meat to platter. Repeat with two more batches of chuck and pork. Heat remaining two tablespoons oil in pot over medium-high heat. Add onion; saute for 10 minutes. Stir in garlic, cumin and oregano; cook for one minute. Stir in chili powder, cocoa powder, sugar and salt; cook for one minute. Pour in beer, scraping any brown bits from bottom of pan with wooden spoon. Stir in tomatoes and tomato paste. Return meat with any accumulated juices to the pot. Bake, covered, in preheated 300° oven for about two hours, stirring once, or until meat is tender. Add beans. Bake, covered, for one hour longer. Serve with sour cream and top with some shredded Cheddar cheese if desired.  Makes 12 servings.

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