These recipes will brighten the flu-bug blahs

Wednesday, February 16, 2005

We have been plagued with the flu bug at our house. It always happens that when one person gets it, the rest are sure to follow, and that is exactly what has happened. It has been an interesting week, to say the least, and I hope your family is lucky enough to escape it.

In the process of having a few extra minutes of time on my hands, I got out a couple of cookbooks I haven't used in quite some time and found recipes that I marked. When I make a recipe and we like it, I try to mark it so I can come back to it. Today I will share several of those with you. Sort of a flashback to the past.

Taco Pie

1 pie crust

1 pound ground beef

1 medium onion, chopped

1 package taco seasoning mix

1 (16-ounce) can refried beans

1 (8-ounce) jar taco sauce

2 cups shredded Cheddar cheese

15 to 20 tortilla chips, crushed

Shredded lettuce

Chopped tomatoes

Sour cream

Black olives

Chopped green onions

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Prick bottom and sides of pie crust with fork and bake for 10 minutes. Remove from oven and reduce temperature to 350 degrees. In skillet, cook ground beef and onion until browned; drain off fat. Add taco seasoning mix and water as per package directions. In a small mixing bowl, combine refried beans and 1/2 cup taco sauce. Layer half of refried beans in bottom of pie shell. Top with 1/2 of the ground beef mixture, 1 cup cheese and all of the crushed chips. Repeat layers, except chips. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes. Remove from oven. Top with sour cream, lettuce, tomatoes, remaining taco sauce and any other toppings you desire.

Banana Macaroon Salad

1 cup sugar

2 tablespoons flour

1/4 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon vanilla

1/2 cup margarine, melted

1/2 cup pecans

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 cup coconut

1/2 cup oats

1 egg, beaten

1 large carton Cool Whip

3 large bananas

Mix dry ingredients except pecans. Add egg, margarine and vanilla. Grease or spray and flour a 9-by-13-inch baking sheet. Spread in pan and bake for 30 minutes at 350 degrees or just until light brown. Immediately remove and lift up and turn over in pan. Cool and crumble. In large bowl start with Cool Whip on bottom then a layer of bananas, then nuts, then macaroon crumbs. Continue to repeat layers. Sprinkle crumbs on top. Refrigerate four hours before serving. Crumbs may be stored in tight container for some time. Smaller bowls of salad can be made at a time.

Crab Apple Salad

3 apples, chopped

2 ribs celery, chopped

1 cup red grapes, halved

1 cup shredded cabbage

1/2 cup sunflower seeds

1/2 cup chopped pecans

Combine ingredients and add mayonnaise to moisten and sugar to taste.

Barley Casserole

4 tablespoons butter

3/4 cup barley

1/2 diced onion

1 (4-ounce) can mushrooms

1 (13 3/4-ounce) can chicken broth

1/2 cup slivered almonds, optional

Saute barley and onion in butter until barley browns. Add mushrooms and chicken broth. Bake in covered casserole at 350 degrees for 1 hour and 15 minutes. Add almonds, stir well and bake uncovered for 15 minutes more. Serves 6 to 8 people.

Beets in Honey Sauce

1 tablespoon cornstarch

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 tablespoon water or beet juice

2 tablespoons vinegar

1/4 cup honey

1 tablespoon butter

2 cups diced or sliced beets

Combine all ingredients, except beets. Cook until thickened. Add beets. Serves about 4.

Pasta Con Broccoli

1 pound shell pasta

1 (16-ounce) bag frozen broccoli

1 pound fresh mushrooms

2 cups half and half

1 (8-ounce) can tomato sauce

1/2 cup fresh Parmesan cheese

1/2 stick butter

Salt, pepper and garlic, to taste

Cook shells until barely done; drain. Cook broccoli until barely tender; drain. Brown sliced mushrooms in butter. Mix all ingredients together. Heat through. The dish will taste best if you slow cook to let the flavor absorb throughout.

That will do it for this week. Next week we will have recipes for Birocks and Boston Cream Candy, so you won't want to miss that.

Have a great week, stay healthy and until next time, happy cooking.

Susan McClanahan is administrator at the Cape Girardeau Senior Center. Send recipes to her at or by mail at P.O. Box 699, Cape Girardeau, Mo., 63701. Recipes published have not been kitchen-tested by the Southeast Missourian staff.

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