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Cooking with Sam

FRANKLIN LIVING— Enjoy these recipes by Sam.

White Cheddar Scalloped Potatoes

¼ cup butter

1 medium onion, finely chopped

1/4 cup all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon dried parsley flakes

1/2 teaspoon pepper

1/2 teaspoon thyme

3 cups 2% milk

10 3/4 oz. can condensed cream of mushroom soup, undiluted

1 cup sour cream

8 cups thinly-sliced peeled potatoes

3.5 cups cooked cubed ham

2 cups shredded sharp white cheddar cheese

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. In a large saucepan, heat the butter at medium heat. Add onion and cook, stirring, until tender.

Stir in flour and seasonings until blended. Gradually whisk in milk. Bring to a boil, stirring constantly. Cook and stir two minutes or until thickened, then stir in soup.

Remove from heat. Stir in sour cream.

In a greased 13×9-inch baking dish, layer half of each of the following: potatoes, ham, cheese and sauce. Repeat layers.

Bake covered for 30 minutes then bake uncovered 40-50 minutes longer or until potatoes are tender.

Texas Taco Platter

2 pounds ground beef

1 large onion, chopped

14.5 oz. can diced tomatoes, drained

12 oz. can tomato paste

15 oz. can tomato puree

2 tablespoons chili powder

1 teaspoons ground cumin

1/4 teaspoon garlic powder

2 teaspoons salt

2 cans ranch-style beans pinto beans in seasoned tomato sauce

10.5 oz. package of corn chips

2 cups of cooked rice

Toppings: 2 cups shredded cheddar cheese; 1 diced medium onion; 1 medium head iceberg lettuce, shredded; 4 medium tomatoes, chopped; 1 can of ripe olives, sliced and drained; and 1 cup picante sauce

In a large skillet or Dutch oven, cook beef and onion over medium heat until meat is no longer pink. Drain and add next seven ingredients. Simmer 1.5 hours.

Add beans and heat through. On platter, layer corn chips, rice, meat mixture, cheese, onion, lettuce, tomatoes and olives. Serve with picante sauce if desired.

Avocado Dip

3 medium ripe avocados, peeled

1 cup mayonnaise

1 chopped onion

1 chopped banana pepper

1 tablespoon minced picked hot cherry pepper

1.5 teaspoons garlic powder

1 teaspoon onion powder

1 teaspoon seasoned salt

1 cup tomatoes, chopped very fine

In a small bowl, mash avocados and then stir in mayonnaise, onion, pepper and seasoning. Chill until serving. Serve with vegetables or chips.

Lime Divine Tarts

2 eggs

1 egg yolk

1/2 cup sugar

1/4 cup lime juice

1 teaspoon grated lime peel

1/4 cup unsalted butter, cubed

Garnish: white chocolate curls and lime peel strips

Tart shells: ½ cup unsalted butter, softened; 3 oz. cream cheese, softened; and 1 cup all-purpose flour

In a small heavy saucepan over medium heat, whisk, eggs, egg yolk, sugar, lime juice and lime peel until blended.

Add butter and cook, whisking constantly, until mixture is thickened and coats the back of a spoon. Transfer to a small bowl and let cool. Cover and refrigerate until chilled.

In a small bowl, cream butter and cream cheese until smooth, gradually adding flour. Mix well. Cover and refrigerate one hour or until easy to handle.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Shape dough into 1-inch balls and press them onto bottom and up sides of 36 ungreased miniature muffin cups. Prick bottoms with a fork.

Bake for 15-17 minutes or until golden brown. Cool five minutes before removing from pans to wire racks to cool completely.

Fill shell with lime mixture and garnish with chocolate curls and lime peel. Refrigerate leftovers.

Peaches ‘n’ Cream Bars

8 oz refrigerated seamless crescent dough sheet

8 oz. cream cheese, softened

1/2 cup sugar

1/4 teaspoon almond extract

21 oz. can peach pie filling

1/2 cup all-purpose flour

1/4 cup packed brown sugar

3 tablespoons cold butter

1/2 cup sliced almonds

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Unroll crescent dough sheet into a rectangle and press onto bottom and slightly up sides of a greased 13×9-inch baking dish. Bake five minutes and cool completely on wire rack.

In a large bowl, beat cream cheese, sugar and extract until smooth. Spread over crust and spoon pie filling over cream cheese layer.

In a small bowl, whisk flour and brown sugar and cut in the butter until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Stir in almonds and sprinkle over peach filling.

Bake 25-28 minutes or until edges are golden brown. Cool in pan on a wire rack. Cut into bars. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator.

Slow Cooker Beef Bourguignon

3 pounds beef stew meat

1.75 cups dry wine

3 tablespoons olive oil

3 tablespoons dried minced onion

3 tablespoons dried parsley flakes

1 bay leaf

1 teaspoon thyme

1/4 teaspoon pepper

8 bacon strips, chopped

1 pound fresh mushrooms, quartered

24 pearl onions, peeled (about 2 cups)

2 garlic cloves, minced

1/2 cup all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon salt

Hot cooked whole wheat noodles or rice (optional)

Place beef in a large resealable plastic bag. Add wine, oil and seasonings. Seal bag and turn to coat. Refrigerate overnight.

In a large skillet, cook bacon over medium heat until crisp, stirring occasionally. Remove with a slotted spoon and drain on paper towel. Discard drippings, reserving one tablespoon in pan.

Add mushrooms and onions to drippings; cook and stir over medium high until tender. Add garlic and cook one minute.

Drain beef, reserving marinade. Transfer beef to a 4- or 5-quart slow cooker. Sprinkle beef with flour and salt and toss to coat. Top with bacon and mushroom mixture; add reserved marinade.

Cook, covered, on low 8-10 hours or until beef is tender. Remove bay leaf if desired. Serve over rice or with noodles.

Creamy Spinach Casserole

2 cans cream of chicken soup, undiluted

8 oz. package cream cheese, cubed

1/2 cup milk

1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese

4 cups herb-seasoned stuffing cubes

2 packages frozen chopped spinach, thawed and squeezed dry

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a large bowl, beat soup, cream cheese, milk and Parmesan cheese until blended. Stir in stuffing cubes and spinach.

Spoon into a greased 2-quart baking dish. Bake uncovered 35-40 minutes or until heated through.

You can cook half a cup of onion to add to the mixture just before it goes in oven.

Top with sliced almonds.

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