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Pat’s Pantry: No-fuss favorites

By Pat Mills

After a busy day I don’t want to stand in the kitchen and cook, so I found some no-fuss quick recipes to get me through the week. – Pat

Apricot chicken

8 boneless skinless chicken breast halves, (4 oz each)
1 tablespoon butter
1 tablespoon vegetables oil
1 cup apricot jam
1 cup Catalina salad dressing
2 to 3 tablespoons onion soup mix

In a large skillet, brown chicken in butter and oil over medium heat for 3 minutes on each side or until lightly browned. Combine the apricot jam, salad dressing and soup mix; pour over chicken. Cover and simmer for 10 minutes or until juices run clear. Yield: 8 serving.

Bacon and cheese
stuffed potatoes

4 medium baking potatoes
¼ cup butter, cubed
1 cup (8 oz) sour cream
1 cup (4 oz) shredded cheddar cheese
4 bacon strips, cooked and crumbled
3 or 4 green onions, sliced

Bake potatoes at 400 degrees for 1 hour or until tender. Cool slightly. Reduce heat to 350 degrees. Cut each potato in half lengthwise. Scoop out pulp, leaving thin shells. In a large mixing bowl, mash the pulp with butter. Stir in the sour cream, cheddar cheese, bacon and green onions. Spoon or pipe the mixture into the potato shells. Place on a baking sheet. Bake for 30-35 minutes or until heated through. Yield: 8 servings.

Creamed peas and carrots

4 medium carrots, sliced
2 cups frozen peas
1 tablespoon cornstarch
¼ teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon pepper
½ cup heavy whipping cream

Place carrots in a large saucepan; add 1 inch of water. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat; cover and simmer for 10 minutes. Add the peas; return to a boil. Reduce the heat; cover and simmer 5-10 minutes longer or until vegetables are tender. Drain, reserving 1/2 cup cooking liquid. Return vegetables and reserved liquid to the pan. In a  small bowl, combine the cornstarch, salt, pepper and cream until smooth. Stir into vegetables. Bring to a boil; cook and stir for 1-2 minutes or until thickened. Yield: 4 servings.

Frozen lemon pie

1-¾ cups cold milk
2 packages (3.4 oz each) instant vanilla pudding mix
1 can (6 oz) frozen lemonade concentrate, thawed
1 carton (8 oz) frozen whipped topping, thawed
1 graham cracker crust (9 in)

In a large bowl, whisk the milk and pudding mixes for 2 minutes. Let stand for 2 minutes or until soft-set. Add concentrate; whisk for 30 seconds. Immediately fold in the whipped topping. Spoon into crust. Freeze until set, about 25 minutes. Yield: 6-8 servings.

FOOD FACTS

• The colder the water we do drink with meals, the slower the digestive process works.
• Meat tenderizer can be used to relieve the pain and itching from insect bites. dissolve ¼ to ½ teaspoon in a small amount of water.

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