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Food For Painters

Many years ago, my painting classes put together a "cookbook", actually just a collection of great recipes to share with other painters. Since it is December and the Holiday season is in full swing, one thing I always can use is more time to paint!

So here is your present from me this year: a few recipes that are tried and true AND easy to do so you will have more time to paint!

The first is one a friend gave me that has become a family & friends favorite for us:

Crockpot Turkey
Ingredients:

1 Frozen Turkey Breast
1 package dry Ranch dressing mix

Check the frozen trukey breast for giblets inside. If there is anything, run warm water into the cavity & remove what is there.

Place breast in a crockpot & add about 1 inch of water in the bottom. Cover and cook all day. About an hour or so before you want to serve it, carefully take the bones, skin & other stuff you wouldn't want to eat out and discard. Leave all liquid in the corckpot.

Pull the good meat apart into edible-sized pieces and put back into the crockpot. Add the package of dry Ranch dressing mix. You may add more water, if you like. We love the broth, so I always make sure there is enough in the crockpot.

Let it all simmer for 1/2 to 1 hour. Serve with mashed potatoes, a salad and/or veggies. I love putting a little homemade bread broken up into the bottom of a bowl & covering it all with turkey & broth. Yummmmm!

Refirgerate leftovers (if there are any) and you can add cooked or canned veggies, noodles or rice, etc. to make a wonderful soup for the next day.

It really IS that easy. I buy the Rench dressing mix in bulk now so I can add a little extra & it is a lot more economical that way.
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My father was a cook in his brother's restaurant when he was young, so he had a few favorite recipes. Here is one:

Pork Chops & Corn
Ingredients:

Pork chops - 1 or 2 for each member of your family
2 cans whole kernel corn - DO NOT DRAIN

Brown the porkchops well in an electric (or regular) skillet. Let the drippings and pork chops stay in the pan. Open the corn & pour water and corn into the skillet right over the pork chops.

Cook about 1/2 hour, covered, just making sure the pan always has plenty of water in the bottom (about 1 inch). This is another one where you will want to have plenty of juice when it is finished.

When pork chops are tender, put them on a plate & the corn, with the juice, into a bowl. This whole recipe has a wonderful flavor. You may want a bowl and homemade bread for this one, too!

Great served with mashed potatoes & a little salad.
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If the kids are wanting Christmas cookies, but there just isn't time, try this bar cookie:

Magic Cookie Bars
Ingredients:

1/2 C butter
1-1/2 C Graham Cracker crumbs (you can make your own with a plastic bag, rolling pin and some anxiety that needs to be let out)
1 can Sweetened Condensed Milk (Like Eagle Brand)
1 C Chocolate Chips
1 C Coconut
1 C chopped nuts (I like pecans on this, but use what you like)

Heat oven to 350 degrees.
In 13 X 9 pan, melt butter in oven (or melt in a glass measuring cup in microwave & put into pan).
Sprinkle crumbs over the melted butter & push them out to distribute all over pan.
Layer the other ingredients in the order given.
Bake 25 - 30 min.
Cut when cool.
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If you are really backed into a corner, this is a great pie!

Impossible Pumpkin Pie
Ingredients:
3 eggs
1/4 C margarine
1 C sugar
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 C flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1 C milk
1/2 tsp each: clover, cinnamon and ginger

Put everything, that's right, everything! into a blender, put on the top & mix.
Pour into a buttered 10" pie pan.
Bake at 350 degrees for 1 hour or until a knife inserted into center comes out clean.
Cut when cool & serve.
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This one we used so much when my kids were small that we named it after my daughter. She made it often, since I was usually painting instead of cooking!

Vonnie's Dessert
Ingredients:
1 package white cake mix
1 can prepared cherry pie filling
1 stick butter (use real butter)

Pour the pie filling into the bottom of a 9 X 11 pan (or about that size).
Dump the dry cake mix evenly over the pie filling.
Cut the butter into thin slices and lay them over the top of the dry cake mix.

Bake in 325 degree oven for about 1/2 hour.
Great for family & friends, potluck dinners or whatever.
Can be topped with whipped topping when served.

OPTIONS:
You can use any combination of pie filling & cake mix that sounds good, like lemon cake and blueberry pie filling, apple pie filling & spice cake mix ... you get the idea. You can also add chopped nuts on top - would be expecially good on apple.
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Hope you enjoy these time savers so you can get your presents painted!

Happy Painting,
Paula Deore
Painting editor!

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