Dash of Class recipe roundup: Pretzel-crust treat with a new twist

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Food column by Nora Sweat

By Nora Sweat

Here we are at the end of the month with Recipe Roundup and you will find two soups and a dessert.

I love Pretzel Salad. A good pretzel salad, that is. Some people don’t crush the pretzels fine enough or get the gelatin firm enough and it runs under the pretzel crust and you have a whole new dish. Through my online Taste of Home subscription, I found the Pretzel Dessert. Cherry pie filling is used instead of strawberry gelatin. Give it a try.

Kroger is the setting for the Taco Soup. At least a year ago, a friend, Tom Franklin, my husband and I were shopping there on Senior Day and Tom asked me if I had a good recipe for Taco Soup. At the time I didn’t, but after researching online, I found one and I think I had it in this column.

This past Wednesday, again on Senior Day at Kroger, Martha Martin stopped me and asked if I had a good recipe for Taco Soup. She didn’t need one, she had one to share, and for those of you who like spicy food, give this one a try.

The Baked Potato Soup comes from a book “Unbelievably Gluten Free!” I have many people tell me of their celiac disease that they have or a loved one has suffered from for a significant time.

The simple thing to do is just simulate the textures and flavors of wheat with other all-natural ingredients. Sure! That is not an easy thing to do, and hopefully this recipe helps. It doesn’t include flour, which has gluten, that often is used to thicken potato soups in restaurants and at home.

The final recipe is a taco seasoning mix. Instead of a not-so-healthy mix available in groceries, this recipe is a less expensive alternative. It also has lesssodium and monosodium glutamate and is made with natural spices.

Nora Sweat, author of “Mama and Me,” is a native of HardinCounty and a retired home economics/ family and consumer science teacher. She can be reached at norasweat@thenewsenterprise.com or by mail at 408 W. Dixie Ave., Elizabethtown, KY 42701.

Pretzel Dessert

  • 2 c. crushed pretzels
  • ¾ c. sugar
  • ¾ c. butter, cubed
  • 2 envelopes whipped topping mix
  • 1 c. cold milk
  • 1 t. vanilla
  • 8 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • 1 c. confectioners’ sugar
  • 21 ounce can cherry pie filling

In a large bowl, combine pretzels, sugar and butter; set aside ½ c. for topping. Press the remaining mixture into an ungreased 9-by-13-by-2-inch dish.

In another large bowl, beat the whipping topping mix, milk and vanilla on high for 4 minutes or until soft peaks form. Add cream cheese and confectioners’ sugar; beat until smooth.

Spread half over crust. Top with pie filling and remaining cream cheese mixture. Sprinkle with reserved pretzel mixture. Refrigerate overnight.

Source: www.tasteofhome.com

Taco Soup

  • 1 package taco seasoning mix (low sodium)
  • 1 envelope Spanish rice — Lipton or Knorr brand’s work
  • 1 ½ pounds lean ground beef or turkey
  • 2 c. water
  • 2 cans chopped Mexican tomatoes
  • 1 can Rotel tomatoes (with chilies)
  • 1 can hominy
  • 1 can whole kernel corn
  • 1 can chili hot beans
  • 1 can pinto beans
  • Shredded cheddar cheese

Brown and drain ground beef. Add the remainder of ingredients, all undrained. Simmer until hot and thoroughly mixed. Serve with cheddar cheese on top.

Source: Martha Martin

Baked Potato Soup

  • 4 large baking potatoes
  • 2 T. butter or olive oil
  • ½ c. chopped onion
  • 8 c. low-sodium chicken broth
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • ½ c. heavy (whipping) cream
  • 2 c. shredded Colby or mild cheddar cheese
  • 1 c. crumbled cooked bacon
  • ¼ c. chopped fresh chives or parsley

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Rinse potatoes and pat them dry with a paper towel. Prick several times with a fork. Bake until cooked through, about 1 hour.

Place the butter or olive oil in a large heavy soup pot. Add the onion and cook over medium-low heat until it softens, 4 to 5 minutes. Turn off heat. Cut the baked potatoes in half lengthwise and scoop the cooked potato flesh into the pot with the onions. Add chicken broth and season to taste with salt and pepper. Bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring, and then reduce heat to low, cover the pot and let simmer until the potatoes are very tender and the soup is well combined, about 15 minutes. Stir in cream.

Working in batches, ladle the warm soup into a blender or food processor and puree until smooth. Return the soup to the pot and add 1 cup of the cheese. Cook, stirring over low heat until the cheese has melted, 1 to 2 minutes. The soup can be refrigerated for 2 to 3 days.

To serve, ladle the soup into bowls and garnish with the remaining 1 c. cheese and bacon and chives or parsley.

Source: “Unbelievably Gluten Free!” by Anne Byrn

Taco Seasoning Mix

  • 2 tsp. chili powder
  • 1/2 tsp. garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp. onion powder
  • 1/4 tsp. oregano
  • 1 tsp. cumin
  • 1/2 tsp. salt

Mix together