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Dining In — Recipe of the Week: Stay home and eat well

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One of my friends posted an image of the key lime pie she made with her son while they are social distancing at home. The pie looked great and was a reminder that although many of us may have to stay home, at least we can eat well.

Grocery stores were emptied of many ingredients, so chances are that everyone will have what they need to make favorite dishes and try some new ones.

Typically we have cabin fever in winter, when we are stuck inside due to weather conditions and start making hearty soups and stews. Soups would be good right now, too, but the early taste of spring we have been experiencing means we can do a lot more.

Now is a good time to break out the grill; any sunny day is a good time to grill burgers, chicken, sausage or vegetables. Eating outside, if the weather allows it, also is a good way to get out of the house for a while.

Baking is also fun when you are stuck inside due to circumstances beyond your control. A favorite recipe for cookies, pie or cupcakes will help to cheer up the baker as well as those who get to share them.

If you stocked up on bananas, then banana bread is an easy family-pleaser and the kids can help put it together. This recipe from allrecipes.com includes plenty of bananas for flavor. Tip: I like to add a cupful of mini chocolate chips.

Banana Banana Bread

2 cups all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon baking soda

¼ teaspoon salt

½ cup butter

¾ cup brown sugar

2 eggs, beaten

2 1/3 cups mashed overripe bananas

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease a 9x5-inch loaf pan.

2. In a large bowl, combine flour, baking soda and salt. In a separate bowl, cream together butter and brown sugar. Stir in eggs and mashed bananas until well blended. Stir banana mixture into flour mixture; stir just to moisten. Pour batter into prepared loaf pan.

3. Bake in preheated oven for 60 to 65 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into center of the loaf comes out clean. Let bread cool in pan for 10 minutes, then turn out onto a wire rack.

If you are in the mood for soup, this recipe from tasteofhome.com is a meal in itself.

Best Ever Potato Soup

6 bacon strips, diced

3 cups cubed peeled potatoes

1 small carrot, grated

½ cup chopped onion

1 tablespoon dried parsley flakes

½ teaspoon salt

½ teaspoon pepper

½ teaspoon celery seed

1 can (14 ½ ounces) chicken broth

3 tablespoons all-purpose flour

3 cups 2% milk

8 ounces process cheese (such as Velveeta), cubed

2 green onions, thinly sliced, optional

1. In a large saucepan, cook bacon over medium heat until crisp, stirring occasionally; drain drippings. Add vegetables, seasonings and broth; bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer, covered, until potatoes are tender, 10 to 5 minutes.

2. Mix flour and milk until smooth; stir into soup. Bring to a boil, stirring constantly; cook and stir until thickened, about 2 minutes. Stir in cheese until melted. If desired, serve with green onions.


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