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Illinois Country Living

Penne With Tomatoes, Olives and Two Cheeses

Concordia Cooks

Who: Concordia United Church of Christ, Belleville, IL
Cost: $10, plus $3 shipping
Details: hard-backed, comb-bound
Pages of recipes: 102
Send checks to: Doris Steiger, 5734 Bohleysville Road, Millstadt, IL 62260.

Photo by Catrina McCulley Wagner

Penne With Tomatoes, Olives and Two Cheeses (above)

  • 6 T. olive oil
  • 1-1/2 C. chopped onion
  • 3 (28-oz.) cans Italian plum tomatoes
  • 2 tsp. dried basil
  • 1-1/2 tsp. dried crushed red pepper
  • 2 C. low-sodium canned chicken broth
  • 1 lb. penne or rigatoni pasta
  • 2-1/2 C. grated Havarti cheese
  • 1/3 C. sliced kalamata olives
  • 1/3 C. grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1/4 C. finely chopped fresh basil

Heat 3 T. olive oil in a heavy large Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add onion and garlic; sauté until onion is translucent, about 5 minutes. Mix in tomatoes, basil and red pepper. Bring to a boil, breaking up the tomatoes with the back of a spoon. Add broth and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to simmer and simmer until mixture thickens to a chunky sauce and reduces to 6 cups. Stir occasionally, about 1 hour and 10 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Preheat oven to 375°. Cook pasta in a large pot of boiling water until tender. Drain well. Return pasta to the pot. Toss pasta with 3 T. olive oil. Pour sauce over and toss to blend well. Mix in Havarti cheese. Transfer to a 9x13-inch glass baking dish. Sprinkle with olives and Parmesan. Bake until heated through, about 30 minutes. Sprinkle with basil before serving.


Feta Chicken With Oregano

  • 1 (8-oz.) ctn. plain yogurt
  • 2 lg. garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 T. chopped, fresh oregano, or
  • 1 tsp. dried oregano
  • 1/2 tsp. freshly ground pepper
  • 4 skinned and deboned chicken breasts
  • 3/4 C. crumbled feta cheese

Combine yogurt, garlic, oregano and pepper in a large bowl. Add chicken; turn to coat. Cover and marinate in the refrigerator for 30 minutes, turning after 15 minutes. Preheat broiler. Remove chicken from marinade, reserving marinade. Place chicken on a lightly greased rack in a broiler pan. Brush with remaining marinade. Broil 5-1/2 inches away from heat for 8-10 minutes. Turn chicken over; sprinkle evenly with feta cheese. Broil 4-5 minutes more or until chicken is done and golden. Serve immediately.


Apricot Bread

  • 1 C. snipped, dried apricots
  • 2 C. warm water
  • 1 C. sugar
  • 2 T. butter, softened
  • 1 egg
  • 3/4 C. orange juice
  • 2 C. all-purpose flour
  • 2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp. baking soda
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 3/4 C. nuts

Preheat oven to 350°. Grease a 9x5-inch loaf pan. Soak apricots in warm water for 30 minutes. Cream sugar, butter and egg in a mixing bow. Stir in orange juice. Combine flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Stir into creamed mixture just until combined. Drain apricots well. Add to batter with nuts. Pour into a loaf pan. Bake at 350° for 55 minutes. Cool for 10 minutes, then remove to a wire rack.



Three-Step Brownie Bottom Pudding Pie

  • 4 (1-oz.) squares semi-sweet baking
  • chocolate
  • 1/4 C. margarine
  • 3/4 C. sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 1/2 C. flour
  • 1/2 C. chopped nuts, opt.
  • 2-1/2 C. cold milk
  • 2 (4-serving) pkgs. instant chocolate
  • pudding
  • Whipped topping for garnish

Microwave chocolate and butter on high for 2 minutes; stir until chocolate is melted and smooth. Stir in sugar, eggs and vanilla. Blend in flour, then nuts. Spread batter in a greased 9-inch pie plate. Bake at 350° (325° for glass pie plate) for 25 minutes or until a wooden toothpick inserted in the center comes out with fudgy crumbs. Do not over bake. Cool. Pour milk into a large bowl. Add pudding mixes. Beat with a wire whisk for 1 minute. Let stand 2 minutes. Spread over brownie pie. Top with whipped topping. Refrigerate.


Ding-Dong Cake

Become Like Christ, Become Christ’s Light
Who: Freeburg Community Bible Church
Cost: $13, including postage
Details: soft-backed, comb-bound
Pages of recipes: 104
Send checks to: Debbie Fox, 4551 Elk Meadows Lane, Smithton, IL 62285.

Photo by Catrina McCulley Wagner

Apple Apricot Stuffed Pork Chops

  • 1/2 C. chopped onion
  • 1/2 C. chopped celery
  • 1 T. butter, melted
  • 1/2 C. bread crumbs
  • 1/2 C. peeled, chopped cooking apples
  • 1/3 C. raisins
  • 1 T. brown sugar
  • 1/2 tsp. ground ginger
  • 1/4 C. apricot preserves, divided
  • 6 (1-inch thick) pork loin chops, trimmed and cut with pockets

Sauté onion and celery in butter in a skillet until crisp. Combine onion mixture, breadcrumbs, apples, raisins, brown sugar and ginger. Stir in 2 T. preserves. Stuff breadcrumb mixture into pockets of chops. Place in an ungreased 9x13-inch baking dish. Cover and bake at 325° for 45 minutes. Uncover and brush with remaining 2 T. of preserves. Bake an additional 15 minutes until pork chops are tender.


Hash Brown Casserole

  • 30-oz frozen hash browns, country style
  • 1 (16-oz.) and 1 (12-oz.) pkg.
  • American cheese slices, torn into pieces
  • 1 (16-oz.) sour cream
  • 2 cans cream of mushroom soup
  • 2-1/2 C. milk
  • 3 C. cornflakes, crushed
  • 3 T. margarine, melted
  • Salt and pepper, to taste

In a large bowl, mix cheese and hash browns. In a smaller bowl, mix sour cream, soup and milk; blend well. Add to hash brown mixture. Mix well. Pour into a large, greased baking dish. In a small bowl, add melted margarine to crushed cornflakes and mix well. Pour over hash brown mixture. Bake at 350° for 1 hour to 1 hour and 10 minutes.


Cranberry Chicken

  • 4 chicken breasts, boneless
  • 1 envelope dry onion soup mix
  • 1 (16-oz.) can whole cranberry sauce
  • 1 C. spicy-sweet French dressing

Place chicken breasts in a single layer in a lightly greased 13x9-inch baking dish. Sprinkle soup mix evenly over chicken. Stir cranberry sauce and spoon over chicken. Top evenly with dressing. Cover with foil and bake at 400° for 40 minutes. Remove foil and reduce temperature to 350°. Bake 20 minutes more.


Ding-Dong Cake (above)

  • 8-9 Ding Dong snack cakes
  • 1 (8-oz.) pkg. low fat cream cheese
  • 1/2 C. sugar (can substitute with Splenda)
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 16-oz. Cool Whip light
  • 2 sm. boxes sugar free instant chocolate pudding
  • 1 sm. box sugar free instant vanilla pudding
  • 3 C. milk

Slice Ding Dongs in half lengthwise and place in a 9x13-inch pan, cream side up. Soften cream cheese. Mix with sugar, vanilla and 1/2 the Cool Whip. Mix until smooth and spread over Ding Dongs. Mix all three puddings with 3 C. of milk. When thick, spread over cream cheese mixture. Spread the rest of the Cool Whip on top. Refrigerate until ready to serve.



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