October 13, 2012

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Whether to watch the game, play cards, just hang out, etc, when your gang of friends and family show up, food is usually a part of the plan. The recipes in this article are easy and tasty so you can prepare the food and still enjoy whatever is happening around you.

When looking for a bit of a different dip to go with your Tex-Mex meal or snacks try this easy dip.

1 lb shredded Mexican blend cheese
1 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
1 cup mayonnaise
1/2 cup cream-style corn
1/2 cup frozen whole-kernel corn
1 can (4-oz) diced green chile peppers
1 tbsp red pepper flakes
1/4 cup chopped tomatoes

Combine all ingredients in a slow cooker or crockpot; stir to blend well. Place lid on cooker and cook on high for 1 hour or on low for 2 hours. Serve with your favorite tortilla chips.

2 lbs lean ground beef
1 tsp minced onion
1 jar (16-oz) your favorite salsa
1 pkg (1 1/4-oz) taco seasoning mix
1 can (4-oz) corn taco shells, break into bite-size pieces
8 buns or rolls for serving

In a medium to large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat, brown the ground beef until no longer pink; drain well and wipe skillet with a paper towel. Return meat to skillet.

Stir the minced onion, salsa, and taco seasoning into the meat and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 1 hour or until the mixture is thick and bubbly; stir occasionally.

Before serving, stir in the taco shell pieces. Place meat mixture on buns and top with your favorite condiments.

Suggested Toppings:
sour cream
shredded Mexican-Blend cheese
chopped tomatoes
chopped red onion
sliced black olives
shredded lettuce

1/2 cup butter, softened
1 cup packed light brown sugar
1 large egg
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/3 cup unsweetened baking cocoa
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 cup chopped pecans
1 cup flaked coconut

Cream the butter and brown sugar together in a large bowl until blended. Beat in the egg and vanilla extract.

Combine the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, and pecans in a small bowl to blend together well. Add to the butter mixture, blending until a stiff dough forms. Sprinkle the coconut on a flat work surface.

Divide the dough into 4 parts. Shape each part into a roll about 1 1/2-inches in diameter; roll in the coconut until heavily coated. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate until firm; at least one hour but up to 2 weeks. (May be frozen up to 6 weeks.)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Line cookie sheets with parchment paper or just leave ungreased.

Cut dough into slices about 1/8-inch thick. Place slices 2-inches apart on the baking sheets. Bake at 350 degrees for 10 to 13 minutes or until firm. Do not overbake. Remove from pans and cool on wire racks.

Yield: 6 dozen cookies


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