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FRESH CHEESY MUSHROOM TARTS

24 slices white bread

1/2 stick butter or margarine, melted

1/4 cup minced green onions

1/2 stick butter or margarine, melted

1/2 pound fresh mushrooms, finely chopped

2 tablespoons all-purpose flour

1 cup whipping cream

1 tablespoon + 1-1/2 teaspoon minced fresh chives

1 tablespoon minced fresh parsley

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon lemon juice

1/8 teaspoon ground red pepper

grated Parmesan cheese

Cut a 3-inch circle from each slice of bread, using a 3-inch biscuit cutter. Brush miniature (1-3/4-inch) muffin pans with melted butter. Gently fit bread rounds into miniature muffin pans, forming cups. Brush bread with remaining melted butter. Bake at 350º for 10 to 12 minutes or until lightly browned. Let cool in pan.

Sauté green onions in 1/2 stick butter in a large heavy skillet 1 minute. Stir in mushrooms; cook, uncovered, 10 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in flour. Gradually stir in whipping cream. Bring mixture to a boil over medium heat; cook 1 minute or until mixture is thickened and bubbly. Remove from heat; stir in chives and next 4 ingredients. Spoon mushroom mixture evenly into toast cups. Sprinkle Parmesan cheese over mushroom mixture. Bake at 350º for 10 minutes. Serve immediately. Yield 2 dozen.

POTATO AND CABBAGE CHOWDER

1 (14-1/2-ounce) can chicken broth (not condensed)

3 medium potatoes (about 3 cups) peeled and cubed

1/2 cup skim milk

2 cups chopped cabbage

1/2 cup shredded carrot

1/2 teaspoon dried dill weed

1/4 teaspoon black pepper

In a medium saucepan combine broth and potatoes; bring to a boil. Reduce heat; cover and simmer 8 minutes or until potatoes are tender. Cool slightly. Place 1 cup hot potato mixture in blender or food processor. Add milk, cover and blend 30 seconds or until mixture is smooth. Return to saucepan; stir in remaining ingredients. Cook over medium heat for 8 to 10 minutes or until cabbage is crisp-tender. Yield: 5 (1-cup) servings.

WESTERN ROUND STEAK

2 pounds boneless round steak, 1-inch thick

1/2 cup all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon garlic salt

dash black pepper

2 tablespoons vegetable oil

1 (28-ounce) can whole tomatoes, undrained

1 small onion, sliced and separated into rings

1 small green pepper, cut into rings

Remove excess fat from steak and cut into 8 pieces. Blend flour, garlic salt and pepper in small bowl. Coat steak pieces in flour contents and brown in oil in skillet over medium heat. Transfer steak to an ungreased 13-by-9-by-2-inch baking pan. Place tomatoes in container of an electric blender; cover and blend until smooth. Pour over steak; top with green pepper and onion. Cover and bake at 325º for 2-1/2 hours. Yield: 8 servings.

TURKEY CHILI WITH CORN MUFFIN TOPPING

1 teaspoon oil

1 pound Italian turkey sausage, removed from casings

1 cup each, coarsely chopped, onions and carrots

1-1/2 tablespoons chili powder

1 tablespoon minced garlic

1 teaspoon ground cumin

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 (28-ounce) can tomatoes in puree

1 can (15-ounce) black beans rinse

1 can (5-ounce) chopped green chiles

1 medium zucchini, sliced thin

1 box (8-ounce) corn muffin mix

3/4 cup thinly sliced scallions

Heat oil in a large, deep nonstick skillet. Add sausage, onions, carrots, chili powder, garlic, cumin and salt. Cook sausage thoroughly, until it is no longer pink. Add tomatoes, beans, and chiles; simmer approximately 8 minutes (until slightly thickened). Remove from heat and stir in zucchini. Transfer to a 2-1/2-quart shallow baking dish. Cool, cover and refrigerate up to 3 days. To bake: Heat oven to 350º. Bake chili 35 minutes or until bubbles form around edge. Prepare corn muffin mix as package directs, adding the scallions. Top chili with large spoonfuls of mix. Bake 25 minutes longer until topping is golden. Yield: 6 servings.

MINCEMEAT TWISTS

2 cups all-purpose flour

1/3 cup packed brown sugar

1/2 teaspoon nutmeg

1/4 teaspoon baking powder

1-1/2 sticks butter or margarine

6 to 7 tablespoons cold water

2/3 cup prepared mincemeat

2 teaspoons finely shredded orange peel

milk

sugar

Stir together flour, brown sugar, nutmeg and baking powder. Cut in butter or margarine until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Sprinkle water, one tablespoon at a time, over mixture until all is moistened, tossing gently with a fork. Form dough into a ball. Cover and refrigerate at least an hour until easy to handle. Combine mincemeat and orange peel in a small bowl; set aside. Divide dough into quarters. On a floured surface roll two of the quarters into 12-by-4-inch rectangles. Spread each with half of the mincemeat mixture. Roll the remaining quarters into 12-by-4-inch rectangles and carefully place over the mincemeat. Trim uneven edges. Cut each rectangle into twelve 4-by-1-inch strips. Twist each strip twice. Place on an ungreased cookie sheet and bake at 350º for about 12 to 15 minutes until lightly browned. Remove from oven. Brush with milk and sprinkle with sugar. Return to oven; bake 5 to 8 minutes more or until golden. Remove from pan; cool on wire racks. Yield: 2 dozen twists.

APPLE CUPCAKES

2 apples, peeled, cored and diced

1/4 cup water

1-1/4 cups sifted all-purpose flour

2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa

1/2 cup sugar

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon allspice

2 eggs, separated

1/4 cup raisins

Combine diced apples and water in a saucepan. Simmer, covered, until tender, about 5 minutes; cool. Sift flour and next 7 ingredients into a mixing bowl. Add prepared apples and egg yolks; beat until blended. Stir in raisins. Beat egg whites until stiff but not dry; fold into batter. Fill about 15 nonstick muffin pan-cups or paper baking cups half-full with batter. Bake at 350º for 20 minutes or until tops of cupcakes spring back when lightly touched with finger. Cool on wire rack. Sprinkle lightly with powdered sugar, if desired.

Any comments, questions or favorite recipes? I would love to hear from you! Feel free to send your email to helenkitchen@msn.com, and please write “Helen’s Kitchen Request, ATTN: Lori” in the subject line to make sure that I receive your email. Thank you!