Fast to fix foods

I like meals that are fast and easy to prepare. Using the microwave and stove you can have dinner on the table in under an hour. Put some meat to marinade in the refrigerator before work and its ready for the stove when you get home. – Pat

 Chili barbecue chops ½ cup Italian salad dressing

½ cup barbecue sauce

2 teaspoons chili powder

4 bone-in pork chops (¾-inch thick)

In a bowl, combine the salad dressing, barbecue sauce and chili powder; mix well. Pour ½ cup marinade into a large re-sealable plastic bag; add the pork chops. Seal bag and turn to coat; refrigerate for at least 1 hour.  Cover and refrigerate remaining marinade. Drain and discard marinade from pork. In a large skillet coated with nonstick cooking spray, brown chops on both sides over medium heat; drain. Add reserved marinade. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; cover and simmer for 5-7 minutes or until a meat thermometer reads 160 degrees. Yield: 4 servings.


Colorful zucchini boats

4 medium zucchini (about 7 inches each)

¼ pound fresh mushrooms, sliced

1 small onion, chopped

½ cup frozen corn, thawed

1 tablespoon butter or margarine

½ teaspoon dried thyme

¼ to ½ teaspoon dried basil

¼ teaspoon salt

¼ teaspoon pepper

2 tablespoons prepared ranch salad dressing

½ cup shredded cheddar cheese, divided

4 cherry tomatoes, quartered

Cut a thin slice off bottom of zucchini so it sits flat. Cut a thin length from top of zucchini and discard. Scoop out pulp, leaving a ¼-in. shell. Chop 1 cup pulp; set aside. Place zucchini shells in an ungreased 8-in. square microwave safe dish. Cover and microwave on high for 3 minutes or until crisp-tender; drain and set aside. In a microwave-save bowl, combine mushrooms, onion and reserved zucchini pulp. Cover and microwave on high for 4 minutes; drain. Heat 1-2 minutes longer; drain thoroughly. Stir in the corn, butter, thyme, basil, salt and pepper. Cover and microwave on high for 1 minute. Stir in salad dressing and 1/4 cup cheese; top with tomatoes. Heat 1-2 minutes longer or until the vegetables are tender and the cheese is melted. Let stand for 3-5 minutes before serving. Yield: 4 servings.


Swiss vegetable medley

1 16-oz package frozen loose-pack broccoli, cauliflower, and carrots, thawed

1 10-¾-oz can condensed cream of mushroom soup

1 cup shredded Swiss cheese (4-oz.)

1/3 cup dairy sour cream

¼ teaspoon black pepper

1 2.8-oz can French-fried onions

In a large bowl combine vegetables, mushroom soup, half the Swiss cheese, the sour cream, and pepper. Stir in half of the French-fried onions. Spoon vegetable mixture into an ungreased 2-quart square baking dish. Bake, covered, in a 350 degree oven for 30 minutes. Uncover and sprinkle with remaining cheese and French-fried onions, bake about 5 minutes more or until heated through. Yield: 6 servings.


Hot fudge sundaes

¾ cup sugar

6 tablespoons baking cocoa

1 can (5-oz.) evaporated milk

1/3 cup butter or margarine

¾ cup miniature marshmallows

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

vanilla ice cream

nuts and maraschino cherries, optional

In a saucepan, combine the sugar and cocoa; stir in milk. Add butter. Bring to a boil over medium heat; cook and stir until sugar is dissolved. Add marshmallows; cook until melted. Remove from the heat; stir in vanilla. Serve over ice cream. Top with nuts and cherries if desired. Yield: 2 cups.



• Before baking a cake, run a knife through the batter to remove air pocket, then drop the pan on the table.

• Quick breads will slice better if you prepare them a day ahead of serving, then wrap tightly and refrigerate. You’ll love the rich flavor, moist texture and perfect slices.

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