Diane Prather

Diane Prather

Diane Prather: Even green beans taste better with bacon

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Diane Prather

Diane Prather's columns appear in the Craig Daily Press and Saturday Morning Press. You can call her at 824-8809.

— This has been an even busier week than usual since the Cowbelles have been getting ready for Ag-Day. It has meant fixing quick meals, so I haven't been doing a lot of cooking.

However, one night I did try a new recipe that I had clipped from the March 3, 2008, Fence Post.

"Beef Italiano" was contributed by Chris Bryant of Johnson City, Texas.

If you like Italian foods and cheese (since there's a cup of shredded cheese on top of this casserole), you might just like this recipe (My husband doesn't care much for melted cheese on top of casseroles so he didn't care for the dish very much).

The ingredients are: 1 pound ground beef, 1 onion (chopped), 1 teaspoon garlic powder, 1/2 teaspoon salt, 1/2 teaspoon black pepper, 1/2 to 1 teaspoon oregano (I used 1/2 teaspoon), 1 (10 3/4-ounce) can tomato soup, 1/3 cup water, 2 cups egg noodles (cooked) and 1 cup shredded cheese. I used Mozzarella cheese.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. The recipe calls for a two-quart casserole dish. I used a 9-by-13 inch baking pan.

However, I could have used a little smaller one. Do not grease.

Cook the noodles according to the directions on the package.

Drain.

Brown the beef, onion and seasonings. Add the tomato soup and water. Mix well. Put the noodles in the bottom of the baking dish and pour the beef mixture over them. Top with the shredded cheese.

Bake, uncovered, for 20 to 25 minutes. Serve with a salad or vegetables.

We have been having lots of green salad and vegetables with our meals lately. I especially like the new varieties of frozen vegetables that can be microwaved right in their packages. Mixtures such as cauliflower, broccoli, carrots, corn, green beans and asparagus are quick to fix, nutritious and delicious.

It won't be terribly long until we'll have vegetables fresh from our gardens. A good recipe to make "from scratch" is "Bacon-flavored green beans."

The ingredients are: 1 pound fresh green beans, 1 large or 2 small onions, 2 large potatoes, 7 slices bacon, 1 1/2 cups water and salt and pepper to taste.

Get out a big kettle. Snap the ends of the beans but leave whole. Put them in the kettle. Peel the potatoes and cut into cubes. Do the same with the onions. Cut the uncooked bacon into 1 1/2 inch pieces. Add all of these ingredients to the kettle. Add seasonings and 1 1/2 cups water.

Cook until the vegetables are done but not mushy. Sometimes, I cook the beans in the crock pot on lowest heat, but watch to make sure the potatoes don't get mushy.

Do you have recipes for using vegetables? I haven't heard from readers in awhile. Send your recipes to me at Box 415, Craig 81626 or call me at 824-8809.

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