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4th of July Celebration

Cooking-for-Two Meal Ideas

Tired of leftovers that are, well, just leftovers? Need some inspiration to make eating at home more enjoyable than eating out?



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Italian Beef Kabobs (Cooking for 2)

Balsamic vinegar and fresh oregano take beef kabobs to new flavor heights!

1 beef bone-in sirloin or round steak, 3/4 pound, 1 inch thick

2 garlic cloves, finely chopped

1/4 cup balsamic vinegar

1/4 cup water

1 tablespoon chopped fresh oregano leaves


1 teaspoon dried oregano leaves

2tablespoons olive or vegetable oil

1 1/2teaspoons chopped fresh marjoram leaves


1/2 teaspoon dried marjoram leaves

1 teaspoon sugar

1. Remove fat from beef. Cut beef into 1-inch pieces.

2. Mix remaining ingredients in medium glass or plastic bowl. Stir in beef until coated. Cover and refrigerate, stirring occasionally, at least 1 hour but no longer than 12 hours.

3. Set oven control to broil. Remove beef from marinade; reserve marinade. Thread beef on each of four 10-inch metal skewers, leaving 1/2-inch space between each piece. Brush kabobs with marinade.

4. Place kabobs on rack in broiler pan. Broil kabobs with tops about 3 inches from heat 6 to 8 minutes for medium-rare to medium doneness, turning and brushing with marinade after 3 minutes. Discard any remaining marinade.


Fettuccine with Ricotta, Tomatoes and Basil

An incredibly quick and easy pasta dish of a butter, ricotta and Parmesan cheese sauce on fettuccine topped with fresh tomato and basil.

1 package (9 ounces) refrigerated fettuccine

3 tablespoons butter or margarine, melted

3/4 cup ricotta cheese

1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese

1 large tomato, chopped (1 cup)

2 tablespoons coarsely chopped fresh basil leaves

1. Cook and drain fettuccine as directed on package. Return to saucepan.

2. Stir together butter, ricotta cheese and 1/3 cup of the Parmesan cheese. Toss with hot fettuccine.

3. Top pasta with tomato, basil and remaining Parmesan cheese.


Chicken Breasts with Orange Glaze for Two

Add pizzazz to ordinary boneless skinless chicken breasts with this quick-to-fix recipe.

1 1/2 teaspoons butter or margarine, melted

2 boneless skinless chicken breast halves (1/2 pound)

1/2 teaspoon cornstarch

1/4 teaspoon ground mustard

1/4 cup orange juice

2 tablespoons orange marmalade

1 tablespoon soy sauce

1. Melt butter in 8-inch skillet or 3-quart saucepan over medium heat. Cook chicken in butter about 15 minutes, turning once, until juice of chicken is no longer pink when center of thickest piece is cut.

2. While chicken is cooking, mix cornstarch and mustard in small bowl. Stir in remaining ingredients.

3. Place chicken on serving plate; cover to keep warm. Discard any juices left in the skillet.

4. To make the glaze, pour orange mixture into skillet. Heat to boiling over medium heat, stirring constantly. Boil about 1 minute, stirring constantly, until glaze is thickened. Pour over chicken.


Cornish Hen with Bulgur-Bacon Stuffing

Use this recipe when you need a special occasion dinner for two.

Bulgur-Bacon Stuffing (See Below)

1 Rock Cornish hen, (1 1/2 pounds)

1 tablespoon butter or margarine, melted

1. Make Bulgur-Bacon Stuffing.

2. Heat oven to 350°F. Fill body cavity of hen with stuffing. Fasten opening with skewer. Place hen, breast side up, on rack in shallow roasting pan. Place meat thermometer in thigh muscle so tip does not touch bone. Brush with some of the butter.

3. Bake uncovered 1 hour to 1 hour 15 minutes, brushing occasionally with remaining butter, until thermometer reads 180°F and juices are no longer pink when center of thigh is cut.

4. Remove stuffing from body cavity. Cut hen in half along the backbone from tail to neck with kitchen scissors. Serve each hen half with stuffing.

Bulgur-Bacon Stuffing

1 slice bacon, chopped

1 small onion, chopped (1/4 cup)

1/4 cup water

1 teaspoon chicken bouillon granules

3 tablespoons uncooked bulgur

1/4 cup shredded zucchini

1/4 cup chopped fresh mushroom

1/2 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme leaves


1/8 teaspoon dried thyme leaves

Cook bacon and onion in 1-quart saucepan over medium-high heat, stirring frequently, until bacon is cooked and onion is tender. Drain bacon and onion. Heat water and bouillon granules to boiling in same saucepan. Stir in bulgar; remove from heat. Cover and let stand 15 minutes. Stir in bacon mixture, zucchini, mushrooms and thyme.


Honey-Almond Green Beans

A touch of sweetness is all it takes to make these green beans a little less ordinary.

2 tablespoons butter or margarine, softened

1 tablespoon honey

2 pounds green beans

2 tablespoons sliced almonds, if desired

1. Mix butter and honey; set aside.

2. Heat 1 inch water (salted if desired) to boiling in 4-quart Dutch oven. Add green beans. Heat to boiling; reduce heat. Boil uncovered 5 minutes. Cover and boil 5 to 10 minutes longer or until crisp-tender; drain.

3. Toss beans and honey mixture. Sprinkle with almonds.


White Candy Brownies

White chocolate candies ring the edge of this incredibly delicious, showstopping finale! You're sure to get a smooch from anyone who tries it!

1 package (1 pound 3.8 ounces) Betty Crocker® fudge brownie mix

1/4 cup water

1/2 cup vegetable oil

2 eggs

1 1/4 cups white baking chips

24 Hugs® chocolates, unwrapped

1 1/2 teaspoons shortening

1. Heat oven to 350ºF. Grease bottom only of springform pan, 9x3 inches. Stir brownie mix (dry), water, oil, eggs and 1 cup of the white baking chips in medium bowl about 50 strokes with spoon or until well blended. Spread in pan.

2. Bake 35 to 40 minutes or until toothpick inserted 2 inches from side of pan comes out clean or almost clean. Immediately place chocolates around edge of brownie. Cool completely. Remove side of pan.

3. Place remaining 1/4 cup white baking chips and the shortening in resealable plastic sandwich bag; seal. Microwave on High about 30 seconds or until chips are melted. Knead chips until smooth. Cut small corner from bag. Drizzle melted chips over top of brownie. Cut into wedges.


Swiss Rye Strata

This savory bread pudding is perfect as a satisfying, low-fat comfort food.

1/4 teaspoon vegetable oil

2 tablespoons onion, chopped

4 slices caraway-dill cocktail rye bread, cubed (2 cups)

1/2 cup shredded fat-free Swiss cheese (2 ounces)

1/3 cup diced smoked chicken or turkey, if desired

1/2 cup fat-free cholesterol-free egg product


3 egg whites

3/4 cup low-fat milk

1/8 teaspoon pepper

1. Spray two 10-ounce oval or round individual casseroles with cooking spray. Heat oil in 10-inch nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Cook onion in oil about 2 minutes, stirring occasionally, until tender.

2. Mix onion, bread, cheese and chicken; spoon into casseroles. Beat remaining ingredients with hand beater until blended; pour over bread mixture. Cover and refrigerate at least 2 hours but no longer than 24 hours.

3. Heat oven to 325°F. Bake uncovered 30 to 35 minutes or until knife inserted in center comes out clean. Let stand 5 minutes before serving.


Spicy Beef Stir-Fry

Take a tasty tour of China at today’s dinner table! Western China boasts robust, spicy dishes like this beefy stir-fry.

2 teaspoons cornstarch

2 teaspoons soy sauce

2 teaspoons Chinese chili sauce with garlic

2 teaspoons sesame or vegetable oil

1/2 pound beef flank steak, cut across grain into 1/8-inch strips

1 medium yellow summer squash, cut into 1/4-inch slices (1 1/2 cups)

1/2 cup beef broth

1/3 pound snow (Chinese) pea pods, cut diagonally into pieces (1 cup)

2 cups hot cooked rice or soba noodles

1. Mix cornstarch, soy sauce and chili sauce; set aside. Heat wok or 10-inch nonstick skillet over high heat. Add 1 teaspoon of the oil; rotate wok to coat bottom and side. Add beef; stir-fry 2 to 3 minutes or until beef is brown. Remove beef from wok.

2. Add remaining 1 teaspoon oil to wok; rotate wok. Add squash; stir-fry 1 minute. Add broth; reduce heat to low. Cover and cook about 3 minutes or until squash is tender. Stir in cornstarch mixture, pea pods and beef. Stir-fry over high heat about 2 minutes or until pea pods are crisp-tender. Serve over rice.


Szechuan Chicken and Pasta

Five ingredients, 30 minutes and you've got a delicious chicken and pasta dinner!

1/2 pound boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into 3/4- to 1-inch pieces

1/2 small red onion, cut into thin wedges

1 cup water

3/4 cup uncooked fusilli (corkscrew) pasta (about 3 ounces)

1/2 bag (1 pound 5 ounces) Green Giant® Create A Meal!® frozen szechuan stir fry meal starter

1. Spray 10-inch nonstick skillet with cooking spray; heat over medium-high heat. Add chicken and onion; stir-fry 3 to 5 minutes or until chicken is light brown.

2. Stir in water; heat to boiling. Stir in pasta. Cook 8 to 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until pasta is almost tender (do not drain).

3. Stir in packet of sauce mix from stir-fry mix until well blended. Stir in vegetables; reduce heat to medium. Cover and cook 8 to 9 minutes, stirring occasionally, until vegetables are crisp-tender. Sprinkle with peanuts from stir-fry mix.


Slow Cooker Herbed Turkey and Wild Rice Casserole Casseroles for two are sometimes hard to come by. Cozy up to a special turkey dish made just for you.

2 slices bacon, cut into 1/2-inch pieces

6 ounces turkey breast tenderloins, cut into 3/4-inch pieces

1/2 cup chopped celery

1/3 cup chopped carrot

1/4 cup chopped onion

1 can (14 1/2 ounces) chicken broth

1/8 teaspoon dried marjoram leaves

1/8 teaspoon pepper

1/2 cup uncooked wild rice, rinsed and drained

1/2 cup sour cream

1. In 8-inch skillet, cook bacon over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until crisp. Stir in turkey. Cook 3 to 5 minutes, stirring occasionally, until turkey is brown. Stir in celery, carrot and onion. Cook 2 minutes, stirring occasionally; drain

2. In 2 1/2- to 3 1/2-quart slow cooker, mix turkey mixture and remaining ingredients except sour cream.

3. Cover and cook on high heat setting 30 minutes.

4. Reduce heat to low setting. Cook 6 to 7 hours or until rice is tender and liquid is absorbed; stir in sour cream.

Slow Cooker Beef Stroganoff (Cooking for 2)

Tired of large quantity recipes and leftovers? Here's a special one just for you and two.

1/2pound beef stew meat1/4cup chopped onion1can (10 3/4 ounces) condensed cream of golden mushroom soup1jar (2 1/2 ounces) Green Giant® sliced mushrooms, drained1/8teaspoon pepper1/2cup sour cream1 1/2cups hot cooked noodles or rice

1. In 2 1/2- to 3 1/2-quart slow cooker, mix beef, onion, soup, mushrooms and pepper.2. Cover and cook on low heat setting 8 to 10 hours or until beef is very tender.3. Stir sour cream into beef mixture. Serve over noodles


Countryside Pasta Toss

Weeknight? Cook and toss a pasta dish and have it on the table in less than 30 minutes.

1 cup uncooked rotini pasta (3 ounces)

1/2 pound new potatoes, cut into 1/2-inch wedges

1/2 cup broccoli florets

1/2 cup baby-cut carrots

1/4 cup snap pea pods

2 teaspoons butter or margarine

1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley

1/2 teaspoon dried dill weed

1/4 teaspoon salt

1 ounce fully cooked ham, cut into thin strips

1. Cook and drain pasta as directed on package.

2. Meanwhile, in 3-quart saucepan, place steamer basket in 1/2 inch water (water should not touch bottom of saucepan). Place potatoes, broccoli and carrots in basket. Cover tightly and heat to boiling; reduce heat to medium-low. Steam 5 minutes. Add pea pods. Cover and steam about 2 minutes longer or until potatoes are tender.3. In medium bowl, toss vegetables with butter, parsley, dill weed and salt until coated. Stir in ham and pasta; toss.


Chili Ranch Grilled Pork

Sensational chops? Ranch dressing and seasonings from your cupboard are the easy and flavor-packed secret.

2 boneless pork loin chops, 3/4 inch thick (4 oz each)

2 tablespoons reduced-fat ranch dressing

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon chili powder

1/8 teaspoon dried thyme leaves

1/8 teaspoon garlic powder

1. Heat gas or charcoal grill. Place pork chops in shallow bowl. Pour dressing over both sides of pork chops. Cover and refrigerate 15 minutes.

2. Meanwhile, in small bowl, mix remaining ingredients. Remove pork from marinade; discard marinade.

3. Sprinkle half of seasoning mixture over one side of pork chops. Place pork on grill, seasoned side down. Sprinkle remaining seasoning mixture over pork. Cover and grill over medium heat 8 to 10 minutes, turning once, until pork is no longer pink and meat thermometer inserted in center reads 160°F.



Ever wonder how to cook this favorite veggie to perfection? Whether you’re cooking on the stove-top or in a microwave, this is your recipe!


Break off tough ends of asparagus as far down as stalks snap easily; wash. Leave whole, or cut into 1-inch pieces if desired

Cooking Guide for Asparagus To Boil:

Spears--Heat 1 inch water (salted if desired) to boiling in deep, narrow pan. Place stalks upright in pan. Boil uncovered 5 minutes; cover and boil 7 to 10 minutes for 1 1/2 pounds or until crisp-tender.

Pieces--Add lower stalk pieces to boiling water; boil uncovered 6 minutes. Add tips; cover and boil 5 to 8 minutes for 1 1/2 pounds or until crisp-tender; drain.

To Microwave: Place asparagus in microwavable dish with water (1/4 cup per 1 1/2 pounds asparagus). Cover and microwave on High 6 to 9 minutes for 1 1/2 pounds or until crisp-tender; drain.

To Steam: Place steamer basket in 1/2 inch water in saucepan or skillet (water should not touch bottom of basket). Place asparagus in steamer basket. Cover tightly and heat to boiling; reduce heat to low. Steam 6 to 8 minutes for 1 1/2 pounds asparagus or until crisp-tender.


White Chocolate-Dipped Strawberries

Sweet, juicy strawberries marry with chocolate for sweet success!

1 bag (12 ounces) white baking chips (2 cups)

1 tablespoon shortening

18 large strawberries with leaves

1/2 cup semisweet chocolate chips

1 teaspoon shortening

1. Cover cookie sheet with waxed paper. Heat white baking chips and 1 tablespoon shortening in 2-quart saucepan over low heat, stirring constantly, until chips are melted.

2. For each strawberry, poke fork or toothpick into stem end, and dip three-fourths of the way into melted chips, leaving top of strawberry and leaves uncoated. Place on waxed paper-covered cookie sheet.

3. Heat semisweet chocolate chips and 1 teaspoon shortening in 1-quart saucepan over low heat, stirring constantly, until chocolate chips are melted. (Or place chocolate chips and shortening in small microwavable bowl. Microwave uncovered on Medium (50%) 1 minute; stir. Microwave 2 to 3 minutes longer, until mixture can be stirred smooth.)

4. Drizzle melted semisweet chocolate over dipped strawberries, using small spoon. Refrigerate uncovered about 30 minutes or until coating is set.


Pork Chops and Apples

Here’s an easy-to-make dish that’s perfect when you’re cooking for two!

1 medium unpeeled cooking apple, sliced

2 tablespoons packed brown sugar

1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon

2 pork rib chops, 1/2 to 3/4 inch thick (about 1/4 pound each)

1. Heat oven to 350°F. Place apples in 1 1/2-quart casserole. Sprinkle with brown sugar and cinnamon.

2. Remove fat from pork. Spray 8- or 10-inch nonstick skillet with cooking spray; heat over medium heat 1 to 2 minutes. Cook pork in hot skillet about 5 minutes, turning once, until light brown.

3. Place pork in single layer on apples. Cover and bake about 45 minutes or until pork is slightly pink when cut near the bone and apples are tender.


Pancakes for Two

Don't turn flips all day. Make just a few pancakes for the two of you.

1 cup Original Bisquick® mix

1/2 cup milk

1 egg

1. Heat griddle or skillet over medium-high heat or electric griddle to 375°F; grease with cooking spray, vegetable oil or shortening. (Surface is ready when a few drops of water sprinkled on it dance and disappear.)

2. Stir all ingredients until blended. Pour by slightly less than 1/4 cupfuls into hot griddle.

3. Cook until edges are dry. Turn; cook until golden.


Berry Cheesecake in Chocolate Crust

A basic cheesecake becomes divine when you add a chocolate cookie crust, orange peel and your favorite berries.

2 cups chocolate wafer cookie crumbs

1/4 cup butter or margarine, melted

4 packages (8 ounces each) cream cheese, softened

2/3 cup sugar

1/2 cup sour cream

1 tablespoon grated orange peel

4 eggs

1/2 cup sour cream

2 tablespoons sugar

2 cups berries

1. Heat oven to 325ºF. Mix cookie crumbs and butter. Press on bottom and slightly up side of ungreased springform pan, 9x3 inches, to seal bottom.

2. Place cream cheese, 2/3 cup sugar, 1/2 cup sour cream and the orange peel in food processor. Cover and process until smooth. Add eggs. Cover and process until well blended. Spread over crust.

3. Bake about 1 hour 20 minutes or until center is set. Cool on wire rack 15 minutes. Run metal spatula along side of cheesecake to loosen; remove side of pan. Refrigerate uncovered 3 hours; cover and continue refrigerating at least 4 hours.

4. Mix 1/2 cup sour cream and 2 tablespoons sugar; spread over top of cheesecake. Top with berries.


Wild Rice and Broccoli Timbales

Fresh basil and spaghetti sauce add an Italian twist to this attractive dish.

1 package (2 3/4 ounces) instant simmer-and-serve wild rice

1 package (10 ounces) frozen chopped broccoli

1 1/3 cups water

1 tablespoon chopped fresh basil leaves


1 teaspoon dried basil leaves

1/4 teaspoon salt

1 package (3 ounces) cream cheese, softened

2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese

1 cup spaghetti or marinara sauce

1. Heat wild rice, broccoli, water, basil and salt to boiling in 2-quart saucepan, stirring occasionally to break up broccoli; reduce heat to low. Cover and simmer 6 to 7 minutes or until wild rice and broccoli are tender. Stir in cheeses until blended.

2. Meanwhile, heat spaghetti sauce in 1-quart saucepan over medium heat until hot. Reduce heat to low; stir occasionally.

3. Spray 10-ounce custard cup with cooking spray. To form timbales, press 3/4 cup wild rice mixture into cup; turn upside down onto serving plate to unmold. Repeat with remaining mixture. Or spoon mixture onto serving plates instead of shaping into timbales.

4. Pour spaghetti sauce over timbales. Sprinkle with additional Parmesan cheese if desired.


Sausage and Egg Breakfast Pizza

Ready-to-serve pizza crusts make it easy to put together this morning meal.

1 package (8 ounces) frozen brown-and-serve pork sausage links, cut into 1/2-inch pieces

6 eggs, beaten

4 ready-to-serve pizza crusts, 6 inches in diameter

1 1/2 cups shredded Cheddar cheese (6 ounces)

1. Heat oven to 400°F. Spray 10-inch nonstick skillet with cooking spray; heat over medium heat. Cook sausage in skillet about 3 minutes, stirring occasionally, until brown; drain. Remove sausage from skillet; set aside.

2. Pour eggs into skillet. As mixture begins to set at bottom and side, gently lift cooked portions with spatula so that thin, uncooked portion can flow to bottom. Do not stir. Cook 4 to 5 minutes or until eggs are thickened throughout but still moist.

3. Place pizza crusts on ungreased cookie sheets. Sprinkle with half of the cheese. Top each with eggs and sausage. Sprinkle with remaining cheese. Bake 10 to 12 minutes or until cheese is melted.


Tarragon and Chicken Pasta

Lefover chicken or turkey? Make a sensational salad.

3/4 cup uncooked mostaccioli pasta (2 1/4 ounces)

1 cup sliced mushrooms (3 ounces)

1/2 cup broccoli florets

1 medium carrot, thinly sliced (1/2 cup)

1/2 cup fat-free (skim) milk

1 1/2 teaspoons cornstarch

1 teaspoon chopped fresh or 1/4 teaspoon dried tarragon leaves

1/8 teaspoon salt

1 clove garlic, finely chopped

1 cup shredded spinach or romaine (1 1/4 ounces)

3/4 cup cut-up cooked chicken or turkey

1/4 cup shredded reduced-fat Swiss cheese (1 ounce)

1. In 3-quart saucepan, cook pasta as directed on package-except add mushrooms, broccoli and carrot during the last 4 minutes of cooking.

2. Meanwhile, in 1 1/2-quart saucepan, mix milk, cornstarch, tarragon, salt and garlic. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until mixture thickens and boils. Stir in remaining ingredients until cheese is melted and spinach is wilted. Drain pasta mixture; toss with sauce.


Grilled Greek-Style Steak

Top this! Mediterranean-style beef with olives, feta and spinach.

1/2 lb boneless beef top sirloin, cut into 2 pieces

1 teaspoon finely chopped garlic

1/4 teaspoon lemon-pepper seasoning

1/4 cup lightly packed chopped fresh spinach leaves

1/4 cup crumbled feta cheese (1 oz)

1 tablespoon chopped ripe olives

1. Heat gas or charcoal grill. Rub both sides of each piece of beef with garlic; sprinkle with lemon-pepper seasoning.

2. Cover and grill beef over medium heat 9 to 11 minutes, turning once, until beef is of desired doneness.

3. In small bowl, mix remaining ingredients. Spoon over beef.


Slow Cooker Creole Jambalaya

Here's classic Creole flavorful cooking just for two.

1/2 cup chopped celery

2 cloves garlic, finely chopped

1 can (14 1/2 ounces) diced tomatoes with green pepper and onion, undrained

1/2 cup chopped fully cooked smoked sausage

1 teaspoon parsley flakes

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon dried thyme leaves

1/8 teaspoon pepper

4 drops red pepper sauce

6 ounces uncooked peeled deveined medium shrimp, thawed if frozen

1 cup hot cooked rice

1. In 2 1/2- to 3 1/2-quart slow cooker, mix all ingredients except shrimp and rice.

2. Cover and cook on low heat setting 7 to 8 hours or until vegetables are tender.

3. Stir in shrimp. Cover and cook on low heat setting about 30 minutes or until shrimp are pink and firm. Serve with rice.


Slow Cooker Creamy Herbed Chicken Stew

Make a bold beginning. With just a little bit of morning prep, you can come home to a delicious chicken dinner for two.

1 cup baby-cut carrots

1 Yukon Gold potato, cut into 1 1/2-inch pieces

1/4 cup chopped onion

1/4 cup sliced celery

1/2 teaspoon dried thyme leaves

1/8 teaspoon salt

1/8 teaspoon pepper

1/2 pound boneless skinless chicken thighs

3/4 cup chicken broth

1/2 cup snap pea pods

1/4 cup whipping (heavy) cream

2 tablespoons all-purpose flour

1. Place carrots, potato, onion and celery in 2 1/2- to 3 1/2-quart slow cooker.

2. Sprinkle half of the thyme, the salt and pepper over vegetables in slow cooker. Place chicken on vegetables. Pour broth over top

.3. Cover and cook on low heat setting 6 to 7 hours or until juice of chicken is clear when center of thickest part is cut (180ºF) and vegetables are tender. Add pea pods; cook 5 to 10 minutes or until crisp-tender.

4. Remove chicken and vegetables from slow cooker to serving bowl, using slotted spoon. Cover with aluminum foil; keep warm. Increase cooker to high heat setting. Mix whipping cream, flour and remaining thyme; stir into liquid in cooker. Cover and cook about 10 minutes or until thickened. Pour over chicken and vegetables.


Slow Cooker Cowboy Stew

When there's just two cowboys, here's just what you want to rope in for a meal.

6 ounces beef stew meat

1potato, unpeeled, cut into 1-inch pieces

1/4 cup chopped onion

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/8 teaspoon pepper

1 can (16 ounces) baked beans in barbecue sauce

1. In 2 1/2- to 3 1/2-quart slow cooker, mix beef, potato, onion, salt and pepper. Spread beans over beef mixture.

2. Cover and cook on low heat setting 8 to 10 hours or until beef is tender.


Slow Cooker Couscous-Stuffed Peppers

Busy schedule? Now you can fix and forget it and have just the right amount ready to serve two.

2 large bell peppers

1/4 pound ground beef

1/4 cup chopped onion

1 small clove garlic, finely chopped

1 can (8 ounces) tomato sauce

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon ground cumin

1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon

Dash of ground red pepper (cayenne)

1/3 cup uncooked couscous

1/2 cup water

Pine nuts, if desired

Fresh cilantro, if desired

1. Cut thin slice from stem end of each bell pepper to remove top of pepper. Remove seeds and membranes; rinse peppers.

2. In 10-inch skillet, cook beef, onion and garlic over medium heat about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally, until beef is brown; drain. Stir in tomato sauce, salt, cumin, cinnamon and red pepper. Stir in couscous. Divide beef mixture evenly among peppers.

3. Pour water into 3 1/2- to 4-quart slow cooker; stand peppers upright in cooker.

4. Cover and cook on low heat setting 4 to 6 hours or until peppers are tender. Garnish with pine nuts and cilantro.