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SPEEDY DISHES

Need speedy dishes that fit into a busy schedule? Here are some quick fixes for mealtime dilemmas that are kid-pleasing and a favorite for the entire family.  – Pat

MINI MEAT LOAVES

1/2 cup finely chopped onion

1/2 cup finely chopped green pepper

1/2 cup dry bread crumbs

1/4 cup barbecue sauce

1 egg

1 1/2 pounds lean ground beef

ketchup

Combine onion, pepper, bread crumbs, barbeque sauce and egg in a large bowl. Add the beef and mix well. Press one-third cupfuls into six ungreased muffin cups. Top with ketchup. Bake at 375 degrees for 18-20 minutes or until meat is no longer pink. Yield: 6 servings.

CONFETTI GREEN BEANS

1 package (10 oz.) frozen cut green beans, thawed and drained

1 can (7 oz.) whole kernel corn, drained

1/4 cup butter or margarine

1/4 cup butter or margarine

1/4 cup sliced ripe olives

1/2 teaspoon dried basil

1/2 teaspoon dried oregano

1/4 teaspoon garlic powder

Combine the green beans, corn, butter and olives in a saucepan. Season with basil, oregano and garlic powder. Cover and cook over medium heat for 8-10 minutes or until beans are crisp-tender.  Yield: 6 servings.


CREAMY TOMATO SALAD
1 large cucumber, peeled and cut into 1/4-inch slices

1 large tomato, chopped

1 small red onion, thinly sliced

1 cup (8 oz.) sour cream

1 tablespoon sugar

1 tablespoon vinegar

salt and pepper to taste

leaf lettuce, optional

Combine cucumber, tomato and onion in a bowl. Combine the sour cream, sugar, vinegar, salt, and pepper in another bowl and mix well. Pour over vegetables and toss to coat. Refrigerate until serving. Serve over lettuce if desired. Yield: 6 servings.

BANANA BUTTERFINGER PUDDING

1 cup cold milk

1 package (3.4 oz.) instant banana pudding mix

3 Butterfinger candy bars (2.1 oz. each), crushed

1 carton (8 oz.) frozen whipped topping, thawed

3 medium firm bananas, sliced

Combine milk and pudding mix until thickened and smooth in a mixing bowl. Set aside 1/3 cup crushed candy bars for topping. Fold whipped topping, bananas and remaining candy bars into pudding. Spoon into serving dishes and refrigerate until ready to serve. Sprinkle with the reserved candy bars. Yield: 4-6 servings.

CHILI CASSEROLE

1 pound ground beef

1/2 cup chopped onion

1 can (15 ½ oz.) kidney beans, rinsed and drained

1 can (15 oz.) tomato sauce

1 can (14 ½ oz.) stewed tomatoes

1/4 teaspoon garlic powder

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon pepper

2 cups cooked bow tie pasta

Brown beef and onion in a skillet; drain. Stir in beans, tomato sauce, tomatoes, garlic powder, salt and pepper. Cover and simmer for five minutes. Stir in pasta and heat through. Yield: 6 servings.

Food facts

• Placing meats in white vinegar and water for 5 minutes will make it more tender.

• Two quarts of plain popcorn equals the calories in 15 potato chips.

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