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Another lesson learned

May 1, 2013
By Pat Jensen , Marshall Independent

At one time or another, most of us have found ourselves asking our husbands to pick up a couple of things at the grocery store.

On a recent shopping trip, I gave my hubby a very short and detailed list of a few items to purchase. I included the brand, flavor and size of all items. It should be no problem, as he had shopped before and came home with exactly what I had requested.

But on this particular shopping spree, his mind had to be elsewhere. The list had specified plain diced canned tomatoes. He brought me Italian style tomatoes. At least they were diced. He got it half right. Needless to say, I will be preparing dishes that call for Italian style tomatoes, as he purchased six cans. The bacon was on sale, but he came home with the wrong brand - and it cost much more than the advertised brand.

I had been considering giving my personal shopper a "shopping diploma," but after this trip, I'm thinking he will be in training for a while longer. Learning to read the entire label is key to his success.

Similar to traditional stuffed cabbage rolls


1-lb. lean ground beef

1 garlic clove, minced

8 cups chopped cabbage

2-1/2 cups water

2/3 cup uncooked long grain rice

1 T. Worcestershire sauce

1 tsp. onion powder

1/2 tsp. dried basil

1/8 to 1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper

1/4 tsp. black pepper

1 can (28 oz.) diced tomatoes (Italian style)

1/2 tsp. salt

In a nonstick Dutch oven, cook beef and garlic over medium heat until meat is no longer pink; drain. Stir in the cabbage, water, rice, Worcestershire sauce, onion powder, basil, cayenne and pepper; bring to a boil. Reduce heat; cover and simmer for 20 min. Stir in tomatoes (including the juice) and salt. Cover. Simmer until rice is tender and tomatoes heated through; about 15 to 20 min.

Yield: 6 servings

Variation: Sprinkle with grated Parmesan cheese before serving.

Easy and economical


12-oz. penne pasta

3-1/2 T. olive oil, divided

1/2 cup chopped onion

dash salt and pepper

2 cups shelled fresh or thawed frozen peas

4 oz. chopped lean ham

3 T. butter or margarine

1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese

Cook pasta according to package directions. Drain and set aside. In a skillet, combine 1-1/2 T. olive oil, onion, salt and pepper. Cook five minutes. Add peas. Cook three to four min. more. Add chopped ham and cook four min. longer. Stir in cooked pasta, the remaining 2 T. of olive oil and the butter. Add cheese. Taste and add more salt or pepper as needed. Simmer, covered, until pasta is hot.

Notes: I added 2/3 cup onion and 3/4 cup chopped ham.

Packed with flavor


1 med. size bunch celery

1 T. rice wine vinegar [unseasoned]

1 tsp. sesame oil

4 T. soy sauce (reduced sodium)

1/2 tsp. sugar

Dash of tabasco, opt.

Cut each rib of celery in half or thirds. Place into boiling water and blanch; then shock in cold water. Drain well. (celery should be only slightly limp) Slice on the bias after draining, cutting into 1/2 inch thick slices.

In a bowl with lid, combine vinegar, sesame oil, soy sauce, sugar and tabasco (if adding). Add celery and stir well. Cover and chill before serving for best flavor.

Notes: I added 3 or 4 sliced green onions; included the tops. Omitted the tabasco sauce. With lid in place, may shake bowl gently to distribute dressing. Hint: Store sesame oil in fridge - will keep longer.

Hard to resist


2 cups oatmeal (quick)

1-1/2 cups flour

1 cup lightly salted peanuts, chopped

1 cup packed brown sugar

1 tsp. baking soda

1 stick plus 6 T. melted butter

1 can sweetened condensed milk

1/3 cup peanut butter

1 cup M & M candies

Combine oatmeal, flour, peanuts, brown sugar and baking soda. Add melted butter. Mix until coarse crumb consistency. Reserve 1-1/2 cups of crumb mixture for top and press remaining crumbs into a greased jelly roll pan. Bake for 10 min. at 350. Mix sweetened condensed milk with peanut butter. Spread on baked crust. Mix M & M candies with reserved crumb mixture and sprinkle over top. Bake 15 to 18 min. more. Don't overbake.

Just a thought: Every great achievement was once considered impossible.



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