Sweet and sour chicken, Creamed spinach, Lemon coconut bars

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No need to plan dinner. Try this.
Sweet and sour chicken
1 onion sliced
1 carrot, sliced
1 stalk celery, sliced
1-1/2 lbs. boneless skinless chicken thighs, cut into bite-size pieces
1/3 C packed brown sugar
1/3 C Catalina dressing
1/4 C lite soy sauce
1 tsp. grated gingerroot
1 can (8 oz.) pineapple chunks in juice, undrained
1 TBS cornstarch
1 each green and red pepper, cut into strips
3 C hot cooked long-grain white rice
Place onions, carrots and celery in slow cooker; top with chicken. Mix sugar, dressing, soy sauce and ginger until blended; pour over chicken. Cover with lid. Cook on low 4 to 5 hours, increasing heat to high for the last 30 min.
Drain pineapple, reserving juice. Mix reserved juice with cornstarch. Add to slow cooker with the pineapple and peppers; stir. Cook, covered, 30 min. or until sauce is thickened. Serve over rice.
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Creamed spinach
8 oz. spinach
2 cloves garlic
1 TBS butter
4 TBS sour cream
1/2 tsp. salt
2 TBS Parmesan cheese
Start off cooking spinach in an oiled pan on medium heat. Use a potato masher to press spinach down towards heat to wilt faster. Mash spinach and keep using potato masher to squeeze some excess water out of spinach. You should see greenish liquid at bottom of your pan. Let spinach cook and liquid evaporate a bit until wilted. When all spinach is wilted, make some space in center for butter and garlic. Place a tablespoon of butter in the middle to melt and squeeze your garlic into the butter. Let that cook for 2-3 minutes until garlic is fragrant. Add garlic and butter.
Add in sour cream and salt and mix to combine. If there’s still a lot of liquid in pan, turn heat down to low and let whole mixture simmer and evaporate a little. Add sour cream and Parmesan cheese and evaporate liquid. When you’ve got a thicker mix, add Parmesan cheese and mix one last time. Serve right away with an extra sprinkle of Parmesan or a drizzle of olive oil. Serves 2.
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Lemon coconut bars
35 vanilla wafers, finely crushed (about 1-1/3 C)
1 C sugar, divided
1/4 C butter or margarine, melted
1 tsp. zest and 1/4 C juice from 2 lemons, divided
2 eggs
2 TBS flour
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/3 C shredded coconut
Heat oven to 350 degrees. Mix wafer crumbs, 1/4 cup sugar, butter and lemon zest until blended; press onto bottom of 8-inch square pan. Bake 8 min. Beat eggs and remaining sugar in small bowl with whisk until well blended and thickened. Add lemon juice, flour and baking powder; mix well. Pour over crust; sprinkle with coconut.
Bake 25 to 30 min. or until center is set and top is lightly browned. Cool completely. Refrigerate several hours or until chilled before cutting to serve.
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She said, “I’m just a girl standing in front of a salad, asking it to be three tacos, two margaritas and an order of queso!”
If you would like to share a recipe with me, just send it to the J-T or email it to me.
(Melanie Behrens – melb@marysvillejt.com)



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