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Mango Punch
Cheesy Olive Appetizers
Caliente Breakfast Egg Casserole
Tomato-Lentil Soup
Connecticut Veggie Grinder
Beans and Chiles Salad
Baked Mexican Rice
Macaroni Salad Chincoteague
Blue Cheese Muffins
Apricot Oatmeal Cookies

MANGO PUNCH
1 can Mango Slices (26 oz.) -- undrained
1 bottle Ginger Ale (1 liter)
Lime Slices
Mint Sprigs
Additional Mango Slices
Place mangos and their juice into a blender; blend until smooth. Transfer mixture to a 2-quart pitcher; stir in ginger ale. Serve over ice in tall glasses; garnish with lime slices, mint sprigs, and/or mango slice. Yields about 1-1/2 quarts.
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CHEESY OLIVE APPETIZERS
These are really terrific for a snack or last-minute guests. Great as part of Sunday Brunch, too!
Yields 10 appetizers
Prep.Time 20 minutes
1 cup shredded Cheddar cheese
1 can chopped Ripe Olives (4-oz.) -- drained
1/2 cup finely chopped Onion
5 English Muffins -- split
Combine cheese, olives and onion. Spread over muffin halves. Broil 4 inches from heat 5 minutes or until cheese is melted and bubbly.
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CALIENTE BREAKFAST EGG CASSEROLE
This is perfect for any brunch, luncheon, or Saturday night supper.
Serves 8-9
Prep.Time: 20 minutes
8 eggs
1 teaspoon Tabasco sauce
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
3 cups shredded Montery Jack Cheese
1 1/2 cups shredded Cheddar cheese
1/3 cup finely diced green bell pepper
2 tablespoons sliced black olives
2 tablespoons chopped green chiles
Preheat oven to 375 degrees; Lightly grease a 9-inch square pan. Combine eggs and Tabasco sauce in a mixing bowl. Use high speed on mixer to beat until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes. Add flour, baking powder and salt. Mix well then stir in cheeses, green pepper, olives and green chiles. Pour into prepared pan and bake 20-25 minutes. Let stand 5 minutes before serving. Cut into 36 pieces for appetizer or into larger portions for serving with a spicy tomato sauce or salsa.
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TOMATO-LENTIL SOUP
I found this in February's Woman's Day Magazine. It's so yummy, homey comfort food. For added flavor, garnish with fresh cilantro leaves or other fresh herbs (chives, parsley, etc.). If you're not avoiding meat, cooked diced smoked sausage or pork sausage can be added.
Serves: 8
Prep.Time: 45 minutes
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 1/2 cups diced onions
1 1/2 cups diced red bell pepper
2 teaspoons minced garlic
1 teaspoon dried thyme
4 cups water
1 cup rinsed sorted dried lentils
1 bay leaf
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1 can crushed tomatoes (28 oz.)
In a Dutch oven ot large pot, heat oil over medium-low heat; add onions, red pepper, garlic and thyme and cook covered 8 minutes or until soft but not browned. Add water, lentils bay leaf, salt and pepper; bring to a boil. Reduce heat, cover and simmer 30 minutes or until lentils are tender. Stir in tomatoes; simmer uncovered 5-10 minutes.
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CONNECTICUT VEGGIE GRINDERS
A big grinder is one of my Connecticut cousin's favorites. And during Lent, a Veggie Grinder does the trick!
Serves: 4
Prep.Time about 10-15 minutes
4 soft baguettes, 10"-12" long
4 teaspoons mustard
4 teaspoons mayonnaise
4 teaspoons diced hot cherry peppers
8 slices provolone cheese
2 large tomatoes -- thinly sliced
1 medium onion -- thinly sliced
1/2 cup grated carrot
24 round dill pickle slices
1 red or yellow bell papper -- julienned
2 tablespoons sliced pitted black olives
Fresh ground black pepper to taste
8 crisp lettuce leaves
Cut each baguette in half lengthwise horizontally, but not all the way through to leave one side attached. Spread one side of each roll with mustard, mayonnaise and chile peppers. Place a layer of cheese on the length of each roll; add a layer of tomatoes, then a layer of onions, grated carrot, pickle slices and pepper strips. Sprinkle with black olives; grind pepper over all. Press lettuce leaves over the top and press rolls closed. Use a large sharp knife and sawing motion to cut sandwiches in half. Serve cold.
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BEANS AND CHILES SALAD
I adapted this from a recipe I saw on "Grillin' and Chillin'" on Food TV 8/98.Now, as you know I love hot chiles---if you don't, you can leave out the chipotle chile and adobo sauce.
Serves: 4-6
Prep.Time: 20 minutes
1/2 pound dried kidney, pinto or black beans -- cooked and drained or 2 16-oz. cans, rinsed and drained
2 canned poblano chiles -- seeded and chopped or 2 4-oz. cans chopped green chiles
1 medium red onion -- diced
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
1 canned chipotle chile (or more to taste) -- chopped (optional)
1 teaspoon adobo sauce from canned chipotle chiles
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
2 tablespoons olive oil
Salt and fresh ground pepper to taste
Combine all ingredients in a large mixing bowl; season with salt and pepper. Cover and refrigerate 1-2 hours before serving.
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BAKED MEXICAN RICE
This is from Chile Pepper Magazine. It's not hot, but if you want to leave out the chile, go ahead.
Serves: 8
Prep.Time: 45 minutes
1 teaspoon olive oil
1/2 cup finely diced carrots
1/2 cup finely diced onion
2 cloves garlic -- minced
Kosher salt & fresh ground pepper
1 cup long-grain rice
1 medium tomato -- chopped
1 chile de arbol -- chopped
1 1/2 cups chicken or vegetable stock or water
1 tablespoon chopped fresh cilantro
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In an oven-proof saute pan over medium heat, heat oil; add carrots, onion and garlic, season with salt and pepper and saute 2-3 minutes. Add rice; cook and stir 2 minutes. Add toamto, chile and stock; mix well. Reseason if needed; stir in cilantro. Cover and bake 30 minutes. Remove from oven and let stand covered 5 minutes to steam. Lift lid to test if done; if not, return to oven a few minutes longer until cooked.
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MACARONI SALAD CHINCOTEAGUE
This is a stand-by in our house. What a combination----and it is absolutely delicious!! Chincoteague is a gorgeous remote part of the Virginia coast where you find wonderful people and wonderful food.
Serves 8
Prep.Time: 30 minutes
1 pound Elbow Macaroni -- cooked and drained
1/2 cup Onion -- chopped
1/2 cup Celery -- chopped
1/2 cup Red and green bell peppers -- chopped
1 tablespoon fresh Parsley -- minced
3 tablespoons Sweet Pickle Relish
2 tablespoons Cider vinegar
2 tablespoons Spicy Brown Mustard
1 cup Mayonnaise
3 tablespoons Whipping cream
2 tablespoons Sugar
Salt and Pepper to taste
In a large bowl, combine macaroni. onion, celery, pepper, parsley and relish; mix well. In small bowl, combine remaining ingredients; add to salad mixture; mix well. Cover and refrigerate several hours or until ready to use.
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BLUE CHEESE MUFFINS
If you have a blue-cheese-freak in your house like I do, these will really be a hit. Nancy Bruce of Citrus Heights, California, submitted this recipe to Country Woman Magazine a while back---yummy!
Yields 12 muffins
Prep.Time: 35 minutes
1/3 cup Butter -- softened
3/4 cup Sugar
2 Eggs
2/3 cup Milk
1 teaspoon Lemon juice
1 1/2 cups All-purpose flour
1/2 cup Whole Wheat Flour
2 teaspoons Baking Powder
1/2 teaspoon Salt
1/4 teaspoon Baking Soda
1 package Blue Cheese (4-oz.) -- crumbled
3/4 cup finely chopped Walnuts (optional)
Sesame Seeds (optional)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees; grease 12 muffin cups. In a mixing bowl, cream butter and sugar; beat in eggs until lght and fluffy. Add milk and lemon juice; mix well. In another bowl, combine flours, baking powder, salt and baking soda; add to creamed mixture. Fold in blue cheese, and nuts if used; stir until just moistened (batter will be lumpy). Spoon batter into muffin cups 3/4 full; sprinkle with sesame seeds, if used; bake 18-20 minutes or until lightly browned. Serve warm.
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APRICOT OATMEAL COOKIES
I found these in Taste Of Home Magazine, submitted by Eileen Milacek, Waukomis, Oklahoma. Hubby loves oatmeal cookies of any kind, and the apricots really give these a nice change.
Prep.Time: 30 minutes
1 cup shortening
1 1/2 cups packed dark brown sugar
1/3 cup molasses
3 eggs
3 cups quick-cooking oats
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 teaspoon ground cloves
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 package dried apricots (6 oz.) -- chopped *
In a mixing bowl, cream shortening and brown sugar. Beat in molasses. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after ead. Combine remaining ingredients; stir into batter. Cover and refrigerate at least 2 hours.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees; grease a baking sheet. Shape cookie mixture into 1-inch balls and place 2 inches apart on prepared baking sheet. Bake 10 minutes or until browned. Cool on the pan 2 minutes; remove to a wire rack and cool completely. Yields about 5 dozen cookies.
*NOTE: I snip my apricots with kitchen shears (it's faster) and soak them in hot water for 15-20 minutes to soften them.
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