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Southern Shepherd's Pie
with
Cheese-and-Carrot Mashed Potatoes

Ingredients

1 1/2 pounds ground round 1 cup chopped onion 1/2 (8-oz.) package fresh mushrooms, sliced 1 garlic clove, minced 1 cup frozen peas, thawed 4 teaspoons beef bouillon granules 1/2 teaspoon salt 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour 1 (14 1/2-oz.) can stewed tomatoes 1 bay leaf 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar

Cheese-and-Carrot Mashed Potatoes:

Ingredients

1 (1-lb.) package baby carrots 1 tablespoon butter 1 (22-oz.) package frozen mashed potatoes 2 1/2 cups milk 1 cup (4 oz.) shredded Cheddar cheese 1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves 1 teaspoon salt 1/4 teaspoon ground pepper

Step 1

Place carrots and 1/4 cup water in a large microwave-safe bowl. Cover tightly with plastic wrap; fold back a small edge to allow steam to escape. Microwave at HIGH 8 to 10 minutes or until carrots are tender. Drain.
Step 2

Stir in butter. Coarsely mash carrots with a potato masher.
Step 3

Prepare potatoes according to package directions, using 2 1/2 cups milk. Stir in cheese, next 3 ingredients, and carrot mixture until well blended.

Directions:

Step 1

Brown beef in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat, stirring often, 10 minutes or until meat crumbles and is no longer pink. Remove ground beef from skillet using a slotted spoon; reserve 2 Tbsp. drippings in skillet. Reduce heat to medium.
Step 2

Sauté onion, mushrooms, and garlic in hot drippings over medium heat 10 to 11 minutes or until tender. Stir in ground beef, peas, and next 4 ingredients. Sprinkle flour over meat mixture. Increase heat to medium-high, and cook, stirring constantly, 1 minute. Stir in tomatoes, bay leaf, and vinegar, breaking up large tomato pieces with a spoon. Reduce heat to medium, and cook, stirring often, 3 minutes or until slightly thickened. Remove bay leaf. Transfer mixture to a lightly greased 3-qt. baking dish or pan. Spoon "Cheese-and-Carrot Mashed Potatoes" evenly over meat mixture, smoothing with back of spoon.
Step 3

Bake at 400° for 15 minutes or until thoroughly heated. Let stand 5 minutes before serving.
Step 4

Note: To make ahead, prepare recipe as directed through Step 2. Cover tightly with aluminum foil. Freeze up to 1 month. Thaw in refrigerator 24 hours. Bake at 400° for 40 minutes or until thoroughly heated, shielding with aluminum foil after 25 minutes to prevent excessive browning.

Spoon Bread
Original recipe makes 12 servings

3 cups milk

1 1/4 cups yellow cornmeal

3 eggs, beaten

1 teaspoon salt

1 3/4 teaspoons baking powder

2 tablespoons butter, melted

Measure the milk into a saucepan and bring to a boil. Add the cornmeal; cook and stir for several minutes, until cornmeal has absorbed all of the milk. Remove from the heat and allow to cool for about 1 hour. The mixture will be very stiff.
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C). Lightly grease a 1 1/2 quart casserole dish.
Place the cornmeal mixture into a large bowl. Stir in the eggs, salt, baking powder and butter. Pour into the prepared casserole dish.
Bake for 35 minutes in the preheated oven, or until the edges become lightly toasted. Serve hot directly from the dish by the spoonful.

Old Fashioned Kentucky Nut Cake

Ingredients:
2/3 cup shortening
2/3 cup white sugar
3 eggs
2 2/3 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 cup milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/3 cups chopped walnuts

Directions:

Sift together flour, salt, and baking powder.
In a large bowl, cream shortening and sugar until fluffy. Beat in eggs one at a time. Combine milk and vanilla, and add alternately with flour mixture to egg mixture. Fold in nuts. Pour into a greased and floured 9 x 13 inch cake pan, or cupcake pans.
Bake at 350 degrees F (175 degrees C) for 35 to 40 minutes. Cool on a wire rack.

Chipped Beef Gravy and Biscuits

Ingredients
For the Drop Biscuits

3 cups flour
4 tsp baking powder
1 tbsp sugar
1 tsp salt
3/4 tsp cream of tartar
3/4 cup butter
1-1/4 cup buttermilk
1/4 cup heavy cream

For the Gravy

4 tbsp butter
4 tbsp flour
4 cups whole milk
1/2 tsp black pepper

Instructions

To Make the Biscuits:

Heat Oven to 450 degrees
Preheat oven to Sift together flour, baking powder, sugar, salt, and cream of tartar.
Using a pastry blender, cut in butter until mixture resembles coarse crumbs.
Make a well in center of flour mixture. Add buttermilk and cream and stir with fork until just blended.
Drop biscuits using large cookie scoop on baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
Bake for 12-14 min until lightly browned. This will make 12 drop biscuits (2 per serving)

To make the Gravy:

Melt butter in sauce pan until lightly browned.
Add flour and pepper and stir until well combined.
Gradually add milk and stir until blended well.
Simmer until gravy has thickened.
Add dried beef and stir to combine, (Chipped Beef is very salty. You can cover it with water, bring to a boil, then pour water off to eliminate most of the salt).

To Serve:

Scoop gravy over biscuits that have been cut in half and garnish with fresh parsley if desired.

Bacon Baked Beans

Ingredients
1/2 c. ketchup
1/2 c. barbecue sauce
1/4 c. brown sugar
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 tbsp. Dijon mustard
1 tbsp. Worcestershire sauce
Kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper
3 (15-oz.) cans navy beans, rinsed and drained
6 slices bacon, chopped
Directions

Preheat oven to 375º. In a large bowl, whisk together ketchup, barbecue sauce, brown sugar, Dijon, Worcestershire, and garlic and season with salt and pepper.
Add beans and toss until coated, then transfer to a large baking dish or Dutch oven. Top with bacon and bake until browned and crispy, about 1 hour.

Cheddar Squash Casserole
Ingredients
2
tablespoons butter or margarine
1
medium sweet onion, chopped (1/2 cup)
4
yellow summer squash (1 1/4 lb), cut into 1/4-inch slices
2
eggs
1/2
cup half-and-half
1 1/4
cups shredded sharp Cheddar cheese (5 oz)
2
teaspoons fresh thyme leaves
1/2
teaspoon salt
1/4
teaspoon freshly ground pepper
2
cups cubed (1 inch) hearty white bread
Fresh thyme sprig, if desired

Steps

1
Heat oven to 375°F. Generously spray 8-inch square (2-quart) glass baking dish with cooking spray.
2
In 12-inch skillet, melt butter over medium-high heat. Cook onion in butter 2 minutes, stirring frequently, until almost tender. Add squash; cook 4 minutes, stirring occasionally, until just tender and lightly browned. Remove from heat; cool 5 minutes.
3
In large bowl, beat eggs with whisk until blended. Stir in half-and-half, 3/4 cup of the cheese, the thyme leaves, salt and pepper. Gently stir in squash mixture and bread cubes. Spoon into baking dish.
4
Bake uncovered 20 minutes. Top with remaining 1/2 cup cheese; bake 10 minutes longer or until puffed and golden. Let stand 10 minutes before serving. Garnish with thyme sprig.

Expert Tips

For a lighter casserole, use low-fat milk instead of half-and-half, and choose a reduced-fat sharp Cheddar. A rustic whole wheat loaf would be fine used in place of the white bread in this dish.

Strawberry Cheesecake

Ingredients
For the Cheesecake
3

8-oz. blocks cream cheese, softened
1 c.

sugar
3

large eggs
1/4 c.

sour cream
1 tsp.

pure vanilla extract
1 tsp.

lemon zest

Sliced strawberries, for garnish
For the crust
15

graham crackers, crushed
5 tbsp.

butter, melted
2 tbsp.

sugar

pinch of kosher salt
For the sauce
1 c.

strawberry preserves
2 tsp.

water (or lemon juice)
Directions

Preheat oven to 325º and grease a 9” springform pan with cooking spray. Make cheesecake mixture: In a large bowl using a hand mixer, beat cream cheese and sugar until combined. Add eggs and beat until combined, then add sour cream, vanilla and lemon zest.
Make crust: Stir together graham cracker crumbs, butter, sugar, and salt until completely moist. Spray a 9” springform pan with cooking spray and press graham mixture into prepared pan until packed. Pour cheesecake mixture over crust.
Bake until slightly jiggly in the center, about 1 hour 10 minutes. Let cool 1 hour in oven, then refrigerate until completely cool, at least 4 hours and up to overnight.
Make glaze: In a small saucepan over medium heat, combine strawberry preserves and lemon juice. Whisk constantly until the mixture is smooth.
Top the cheesecake with strawberries, then brush the glaze over strawberries. Slice into wedges and serve cold.

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