The holidays are over and it’s back to 9 to 5 work days. I like recipes that you can make a day or two ahead and then pull out of the refrigerator and bake or serve. – Pat
1 broiler/fryer chicken (4 to 5 pounds), cut up
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1/2 cup chicken broth
1/2 cup ketchup
1/4 cup cider vinegar
1 tablespoon brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon curry powder
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground mustard
1/8 teaspoon chili powder
2 tablespoons onion soup mix
In a large skillet, brown the chicken on all sides in oil in batches; drain. Place the browned chicken in a greased 13x9x2-in. baking dish and in an 8-in baking dish. Combine the broth, ketchup, vinegar, brown sugar, curry powder, paprika, salt, mustard, chili powder and pepper; pour over the top of the chicken. Sprinkle with the onion soup mix. Cover and bake at 350 degrees for 55-65 minutes or until the chicken juice run clear. Yield: 4-6 servings.
Twice-baked potato casserole
8 medium baking potatoes, about 4 pounds
1 (8 oz) package cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, softened
2 cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese
1 pint (16 oz) sour cream
2 cloves garlic, minced
1-1/2 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1/4 cup chopped fresh chives, for garnish
6 slices bacon, cooked crisp, drained and crumbled, for garnish
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Pierce the potatoes and place on a baking pan. Bake the potatoes for 1 hour and 15 minutes, until very soft. Peel and mash the potatoes in a large bowl with a potato masher or the back of a fork. Add the cream cheese, butter, 1 cup of the cheddar cheese, and the sour cream. Stir well. Add the garlic, salt, and pepper and stir again. Spray a 13 x 9 x 2-in. baking dish with vegetable oil cooking spray. Place the potatoes into the dish. The casserole may now be covered with plastic wrap and refrigerated until ready to bake. When ready to bake, preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Remove the plastic wrap and bake the potatoes for 30 to 35 minutes, until hot. Sprinkle the remaining 1 cup cheddar cheese over the top of the casserole and return to the oven for about 5 minutes, until the cheese melts. Garnish with the chopped chives and crumbled bacon before serving.
Poppy seed pasta salad
1 package (12 oz) tricolor spiral pasta
1 cup halved cherry tomatoes
1 can (3.8-oz) sliced ripe olives, drained
1/2 cup fresh broccoli florets
1/2 cup fresh cauliflowerets
1/4 cup julienned yellow summer squash
1 bottle (12 oz) poppy seed salad dressing
1/4 cup sunflower kernels
Cook pasta according to package directions; drain and rinse in cold water. Place in a large serving bowl, add the tomatoes, olives, broccoli, cauliflower and squash, drizzle with dressing and toss to coat. Cover and refrigerate for 2 hours or overnight. Just before serving, sprinkle with sunflower kernels. Yield: 6 servings.
• Garlic will keep for up to 3 months if stored properly in a cool, dark, dry location. If the cloves sprout, the garlic is still usable and the sprouts can be used for salads.
• Cheddar cheese is so low in moisture that it can last for years. However, it will get a stronger taste as it ages. Low-fat cheeses do not have a long shelf life due to their increased water content. You’re just paying for more water.