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Meatball dish 'stew-pendous'

Over the holidays, I made a big casserole full of meatballs. After enjoying a couple of meatball sandwiches, I came up with this hearty meal-in-one as another way to use up the remaining meatballs.

Stews are wonderful. If you love meatballs, then a meatball stew is even more wonderful! This one-pot stew is delicious and appetizing with the great added flavor from the sweet potatoes and parsnips.

Meatball stew

Serving size: 8

4 cups water

2 medium potatoes, peeled and cubed

2 medium carrots, cut into 3/4-inch cubes

1 large onion, cut into eighths

2 tablespoons of beef bouillon granules or 2 beef bouillon cubes

1 bay leaf

1 teaspoon dried thyme

1 teaspoon dried basil

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon pepper

2 medium sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1-inch cubes

2 medium parsnips, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch rounds

1 cup frozen peas

1/3 cup flour

1/2 cup cold water

1/4 teaspoon browning sauce, optional

 In a large Dutch oven or soup kettle, bring water to a boil. Add potatoes, carrots, onions and seasonings; return to a boil. Reduce heat; cover and simmer for 10 minutes. Add the sweet potatoes and parsnips. Cover and continue to cook until vegetables are tender. Add the meatballs.

*May use frozen, if desired. Continue to cook until meatballs are heated. Discard bay leaf; stir in frozen peas. Combine flour and cold water and browning sauce, if desired, until smooth and gradually stir into the hot stew. Bring to a boil and stir for two minutes or until thickened.

Bread Sticks

2 packages yeast

1/2 teaspoon sugar

1/2 cup warm water

1/4 cup olive oil

2 teaspoon salt

4 cups flour

1 cup warm water

Dissolve the yeast and sugar in the 1/2 cup warm water. Put all ingredients in a food processor. Mix on high until well mixed. Put dough in bowl and let raise about one hour. Do no punch down. Roll dough into strips to desired lengths. Brush top of strips with melted butter. Sprinkle with salt, poppy seeds or sesame seeds. Bake at 350 degrees for 10 minutes. Lower heat to 325 degrees and bake 15 minutes or until bread sticks are nicely browned. These are delicious served with a cheese dip.

Crispy Potato Snack

Serving Size: 8

4 large baking potatoes, baked

3 tablespoon vegetable oil

1 tablespoon grated parmesan cheese

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon garlic powder

1/4 teaspoon paprika

1/8 teaspoon pepper

8 strips bacon, cooked and crumbled

1 1/2 cups cheddar cheese or American cheese, shredded

1/2 cup sour cream

4 green onions chopped

Cut baked potatoes in half lengthwise; scoop out the pulp, leaving a 1/4-inch shell (save pulp for another use. Place potato skins on a greased baking sheet. Combine oil, Parmesan cheese, salt, garlic powder, paprika and pepper; brush over both sides of skins. Bake at 475 degrees for seven minutes. Turn and bake until crisp, about seven minutes more. Sprinkle bacon and shredded cheese inside skins. Bake two minutes longer or until the cheese is melted. Top with sour cream and onions. Serve immediately.

FOOD FOR THOUGHT: An adult is someone who has stopped growing, except in the middle.

GARY'S TIP: To eliminate odor when cooking cauliflower or cabbage, add a little vinegar to the water.