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From Dona, 12-05-1997
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Msg ID 21707
MAKE AHEAD MASHED POTATOES

6 medium potatoes (about 2 pounds)
1/2 of an 8-ounce carton sour cream
1 (3-ounce) package cream cheese, cut-up
2 tablespoons butter or margarine, divided
1 teaspoon onion salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1/4 to 1/2 cup milk

Peel and quarter potatoes. Cook, covered, in boiling salted water for 20 to 25 minutes or until tender. Drain. Mash with a potato masher or beat with an electric mixer at low speed.

Add sour cream, cream cheese, 1 tablespoon of the butter, onion salt and pepper. Gradually beat in enough of the milk to make smooth and fluffy.

Turn into greased 1 1/2 -quart casserole. Cover and chill up to 24 hours. Dot with remaining margarine.

To serve, microwave, covered, on high for 8 to 10 minutes or until heated, stirring once. Makes 6 servings.

Note: If you prefer, peeled and quartered potatoes can also be cooked in the microwave in the first step. Use 1/2 cup water, cover and cook the potatoes 15 to 20 minutes or until very tender.

(Adapted from "Better Homes and Gardens New Casserole Cook Book")

In the following recipe, zap the potatoes and assemble the casserole earlier in the same day you want to serve it.

WHIPPED SWEET POTATOES

2 pounds medium-size sweet potatoes (about 4)
1/2 cup whipping cream
1 egg
1/2 cup firmly packed brown sugar, divided
1/4 cup chopped pecans

Wash potatoes and pat dry. Prick each potato several times with a fork. Arrange potatoes 1 inch apart on a paper towel in microwave oven. Microwave, uncovered, at high for 12 to 14 minutes or until tender, turning and rearranging potatoes after 6 minutes. Let stand 5 minutes.

Peel potatoes; place in large mixing bowl and mash. Add whipping cream, egg and 1/4 cup sugar; beat at medium speed of an electric mixer until smooth. Spoon mixture into a lightly greased 1-quart casserole. Reduce microwave to medium high (70 percent) and microwave, uncovered, for 7 to 8 minutes, or until thoroughly heated. Stir once during the zapping. Remove from oven, sprinkle with remaining sugar.

Makes 6 servings

Assemble this popular dip an hour or two before dinner, then pop it into the microwave just as guests are coming in the door.

HOT ARTICHOKE CRAB DIP

1 (14-ounce) can artichoke hearts, drained and chopped
1 cup mayonnaise
1 (6-ounce) can crab meat, rinsed and drained
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
Paprika

Combine artichoke hearts, mayonnaise, crab meat, cheese and garlic powder in a medium bowl, stirring well. Spoon mixture into a lightly greased 1-quart casserole. Cover with wax paper and microwave on medium (50 percent) for 5 to 6 minutes or until heated through, rotating a half turn after 3 minutes if your microwave does not have a turntable.

Sprinkle with parsley and paprika. Serve immediately with crackers. Makes 3 cups


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