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Chill in spring air removed with kitchen magic

This week's recipes include Dutch Oven Beef Stew, Chicken in a Skillet, and Honey Baked Apples
From the Kitchen by Joyce Walter

Spring might be here according to the calendar, but some days there is still a chill in the air, a chill that could be removed with a stove-top beef stew or a skillet chicken dinner, followed by an apple dessert.

This week’s recipes come from clippings saved over the years, recipes that looked interesting at the time and are still tasty when prepared today.

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Dutch Oven Beef Stew

3/4 cup Italian dressing
2 lbs. stewing beef or round steak, cut into 1 inch chunks
6 slices bacon, chopped
5-6 carrots, peeled and sliced
1 lb. fresh mushrooms, sliced
1 large onion, chopped
5 potatoes, peeled and cut into large chunks
1-19 oz. can diced tomatoes, undrained
1-10 oz. can low sodium beef or mushroom broth
salt and pepper to taste

Pour Italian dressing over beef chunks in a large resealable plastic bag. Seal bag and flip bag several times to evenly coat beef chunks. Refrigerate for 30 minutes.

Meanwhile, cook bacon in Dutch oven or large, deep skillet on medium heat until crisp, stirring occasionally. Remove bacon from pan, drain on paper towels and discard drippings.

Add mushrooms and onion to Dutch oven and cook about 10 minutes until tender. Stir occasionally.

Remove meat from marinade and discard marinade. Add meat to Dutch oven with bacon, carrots, potatoes, tomatoes and broth. Stir to mix.

Bring to a boil, stirring constantly. Cover. Simmer on low heat about 90 minutes or until beef is cooked and sauce is thickened. Stir occasionally. Remove lid for final 15 minutes of cooking. Season as desired.

Makes eight servings. Leftovers may be frozen.

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Chicken in a Skillet

4 small boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1/4 cup sandwich spread, plain or flavoured
1 1/2 cups instant white rice, uncooked
1 1/2 cups low sodium chicken broth
1/2 cup water
1 tbsp. chili powder
1 tomato, chopped
1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese

Mix sandwich spread, rice, broth, water and chili powder in a large skillet. Top with chicken breasts. Bring to a boil on medium heat. Cover and simmer on low heat for 25-30 minutes.

Top with chopped tomato and cheese, cover, and cook about 5 minutes until cheese is melted. Makes four servings.

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Honey Baked Apples

1/2 cup honey, divided
1 tsp. grated orange rind
1/4 tsp. cinnamon
4 apples, cored and pared 1/3 down from top

Blend 1/4 cup honey with orange rind and cinnamon and set aside.

Prepare apples and place in a 9 inch baking dish. Fill the centre of each apple with 1 tbsp. honey mixture. Bake at 350 degrees F for 25-30 minutes or until soft.

Drizzle remaining honey over apples and allow to stand 2-3 minutes. Serve warm with ice cream. Serves four.

Joyce Walter can be reached at