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Recipes that appear in Idea Alley have not been tested by the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette.

Several years ago, after I received complaints from Alley Kats who had been contacted at home with questions about recipes that ran in the column, I stopped listing city of residence as way to ensure privacy for those sharing their recipes.

However, I know how much people like seeing their friends, family and their own names in the paper and including a city of residence makes it more personalized. So I am asking you Alley Kats, would you like for me to once again include where you live with your names? As always, you can opt to be an anonymous or Unidentified Reader or simply A Cook, but if you'd like your hometown included, let me know.

And now, on with the good stuff.

This vegetable packed dish is from Sheila Strack. I've had the recipe for quite some time — my apologies to Strack — but it got lost in a shuffle of emails and I just found it again this week.

It could be considered an ideal dish for spring — full of the vegetables our bodies are craving after a long winter, but hearty enough for a chilly day.

American Legion Hot Dish

1 pound ground beef

½ cup onion, chopped

1 cup sliced carrots

1 cup chopped cauliflower

1 cup chopped broccoli

1 can cream of mushroom soup

1 can cream of chicken soup

4 ribs celery, chopped

2 tablespoons soy sauce

½ teaspoon white pepper

Heat oven to 325 degrees. Fry beef and onion in large cast-iron pan, breaking beef up into small pieces. Drain and place in large baking pan. Mix vegetables, soups, celery, soy sauce and pepper, then combine with meat in pan. Cover and bake for about 1 hour and 15 minutes.

This chicken recipe from Lu Jones.

''To 'pay my dues,' here is one of her [Betty Crocker] recipes I still use: Easy Oven-Fried Chicken from Betty Crocker's New Dinner for Two Cookbook (1964)," Jones writes.

Easy Oven-Fried Chicken

¼ cup shortening (can use part butter)

½ cup flour

1 teaspoon salt

¼ teaspoon ground black pepper

¼ teaspoon paprika

About ½ teaspoon poultry seasoning

1 frying chicken, cut up OR boneless breasts

Heat oven to 425 degrees.

Melt fat in a shallow baking dish in the oven.

Combine flour, salt, pepper, paprika and poultry seasoning. Place seasoned flour in a plastic bag and drop in chicken and coat chicken with flour.

Arrange coated chicken pieces in the baking pan in a single layer. Bake 15 minutes, turn pieces over and bake 15 minutes more or until chicken is tender and cooked through.

I'm always looking for a great potato soup recipe. This one from Marjorie West sounds simple and delicious.

"My precious Aunt Lou always made her great potato soup for anyone that was sick. It was always a big hit," West writes.

Aunt Lou's Potato Soup

2 to 3 rib celery, strings removed, chopped

1 large onion, finely chopped

5 to 6 medium potatoes, peeled and quartered

¼ cup butter (½ stick)

½ teaspoon salt

Milk, to thin

Ground black pepper, optional

Combine celery, onion and potatoes in a pot and add enough water to cover. Cook until potatoes are tender. Drain.

Add butter and salt as you would for creamed potatoes and beat with a mixer; add enough milk to thin to desired consistency. You can add some black pepper, if desired.

Send recipe contributions, requests and culinary questions to Kelly Brant, Idea Alley, Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, P.O. Box 2221, Little Rock, Ark. 72203; email:

Please include a daytime phone number.

Food on 03/13/2019

Print Headline: Beef casserole, oven-fried chicken easy for busy cooks

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