Cheeseburger Soup

1/2 pound ground beef
3/4 cup chopped onion
3/4 cup shredded carrots
3/4 cup diced celery
1 teaspoon dried basil
1 teaspoon dried parsley flakes
4 tablespoons butter, divided
3 cups chicken broth
4 cups diced peeled potatoes (1-3/4 pounds)
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
2 cups (8 ounces) VELVEETA Pasteurized Prepared Cheese Product
1-1/2 cups milk
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon pepper
1/4 cup sour cream

In a 3-qt. saucepan, brown beef; drain and set aside. In the same saucepan, saute onion, carrots, celery, basil and parsley in 1 tablespoon butter until vegetables are tender, about 10 minutes. Add broth, potatoes and beef; bring to a boil. Reduce heat; cover and simmer for 10-12 minutes or until potatoes are tender.

Meanwhile, in a small skillet, melt remaining butter. Add flour; cook and stir for 3-5 minutes or until bubbly. Add to soup; bring to a boil. Cook and stir for 2 minutes. Reduce heat to low. Add cheese, milk, salt and pepper; cook and stir until cheese melts. Remove from the heat; blend in sour cream.

Yield: 8 servings (2-1/4 quarts).

From Taste of Home

One-Skillet Spaghetti

1 pound ground beef
2 medium onions, chopped
1 package (7 ounces) ready-cut spaghetti
1 can (28 ounces) diced tomatoes, undrained
3/4 cup chopped green pepper
1/2 cup water
1 can (8 ounces) sliced mushrooms, drained
1 teaspoon chili powder
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup (4 ounces) shredded cheddar cheese

In a large skillet, cook beef and onions over medium heat until meat is no longer pink; drain. Stir in uncooked spaghetti and the next eight ingredients; bring to a boil. Reduce heat; cover and simmer for 30 minutes or until the spaghetti is tender. Sprinkle with cheese; cover and heat until melted. Yield: 4-6 servings.

From Taste of Home

Balsamic-Garlic Chicken Breasts


4 (6-oz.) skinned and boned chicken breasts
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon pepper
2 tablespoons butter
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1/2 cup chicken broth
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
3 garlic cloves, chopped
1 1/2 teaspoons honey

1. Sprinkle chicken breasts with salt and pepper.
2. Melt butter with oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat; add chicken, and cook 6 to 7 minutes on each side or until done. Remove chicken, and keep warm.
3. Add chicken broth and next 4 ingredients to skillet, and cook 5 minutes or until slightly thickened, stirring to loosen particles from bottom of skillet. Serve chicken with sauce.

Easy side: Stir together 1 cup uncooked orzo pasta, cooked according to package directions, and 1/4 cup refrigerated pesto. Sprinkle with freshly grated Parmesan cheese, if desired.

Yield: Makes 4 servings

From Southern Living, July 2010

Creamy Cheese Grits and Spinach

1 (5 oz.) package fresh baby spinach, thoroughly washed
1 cup quick-cooking grits
112 cups vegetable broth
1 cup milk
12 tsp salt
18 tsp garlic powder
12 (8 oz) package shredded mozzarella-provolone cheese blend

1. Coarsely chop spinach.
2. Bring grits and next 4 ingredients to a boil in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. 3. Reduce heat to low, and simmer, stirring occasionally, 10 to 12 minutes or until thickened.
4. Stir in spinach and cheese until well blended and cheese is melted. Serve immediately.

From Southern Living, April 2008

Sweet Potato and Pineapple Casserole

2 cups of grated, raw sweet potatoes (I use 1 large can of sweet potatoes or yams)
1 8 ½ oz can of crushed pineapple, drained
2 eggs, well beaten
½ cup sugar
1 Tbls. Flour
2 Tbls. Melted butter
½ tsp. salt

Mix all ingredients together well ( I use a hand mixer). Bake in buttered casserole dish, uncovered.

Cooking temperature 350 degrees
Cooking time 30 minutes

Cowboy Caviar

1 (15.5 ounce) can black beans, drained
1 (15.5 ounce) can black-eyed peas, drained
1 (14.5 ounce) can diced tomatoes, drained
2 cups frozen corn kernels, thawed
1/2 medium onion, chopped
1/4 green bell pepper, finely chopped
1/2 cup chopped pickled jalapeno peppers
1/2 teaspoon garlic salt
1 cup Italian salad dressing
3/4 cup chopped cilantro

Mix beans, peas, tomatoes, corn, onion, bell pepper, and jalapeno peppers in a large bowl. Season with garlic salt. Add dressing and cilantro; toss to coat. Refrigerate for 20 minutes or until ready to serve.

Greek Bruschetta

1 ½ C coarse chopped cherry tomatoes
½ C Black & green Kalamata (pitted) olives
3 T EVOO
1 T Red Wine Vinegar
¾ C crumbled Feta Cheese
¾ C diced Roasted Red pepper (jar)
2 – 4 T chopped fresh Basil

Mix all ingredients and serve with a sliced Baguette.

Rogers Family Banana Pudding

2 boxes instant vanilla pudding
4 cups cold milk
8 medium ripe bananas
1 box vanilla wafers
½ pint sour cream
1 small container Cool Whip

Mix pudding with milk according to instructions on box for 2 ½ minutes with mixer.
Stir in sour cream with spoon until blended.
Stir in ¾ of the Cool Whip with spoon until blended.

Coat bottom of dish with thin layer of pudding. Add layer of vanilla wafers. Layer of banana slices. Layer of vanilla wafers.
Repeat. Layer balance of pudding on top.

Cover top with remainder of Cool Whip.

Yield: 20 servings.

Crispy Shrimp Cakes

2 cups panko breadcrumbs
1 pound peeled, deveined frozen shrimp, thawed, coarsely chopped
1/2 cup light mayo
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
1/3 cup chopped red bell pepper
1/3 cup chopped scallions
2 teaspoons garlic paste
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup canola oil

Place 1 1/2 cups of the breadcrumbs on a flat plate.

In a bowl, mix shrimp, mayonnaise, eggs, bell pepper, scallions, garlic paste, mustard, pepper, salt, and the remaining 1/2 cup breadcrumbs until combined. Use a ?-cup measure to scoop shrimp mixture and make a shrimp cake. (Mixture will be wet.) Turn out cake onto plate of breadcrumbs; coat completely. Make 7 more cakes with the remaining shrimp mixture and transfer them with a flat metal spatula to a baking sheet lined with waxed paper; flatten cakes slightly, to a 3½-inch circumference. Refrigerate 1 hour.

In a large nonstick skillet, heat 2 tablespoons of the oil over medium heat. Add 4 cakes and cook, about 4 minutes per side, until crisp and browned. Transfer to a plate; loosely cover with foil to keep warm or place on a baking sheet lined with nonstick foil and keep warm in a 200 degree oven. Repeat with the remaining 2 tablespoons oil and 4 cakes. Serve shrimp cakes with lemony tartar sauce.

Yield: 8 cakes (4 servings)

Lemony tartar sauce
3/4 cup jarred tartar sauce
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon lemon zest

Mix all ingredients to blend.

From Redbook Magazine