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Valentine supper for your family

When you want to impress the family with a holiday-inspired meal, try this one to show your love. There is something for everyone.

Happy Valentine’s Day to everyone!

OVEN SWISS STEAK

• 8 bacon strips                                

• 2 cups fresh mushrooms                            

• 2 lbs. beef top round steak (3/4-in.) thick

• 1 can (14-1/2-oz.) diced tomatoes, undrained

• 1/2 cup chopped onions                

• 1- 2 tsp. dried tarragon

• 2 Tbsp. cornstarch                         

• 2 Tbsp. water

• 1 cup heavy cream                        

• Minced parsley, optional

In a large ovenproof skillet, cook bacon over medium heat, until crisp. Remove to paper towels to drain, reserving 1/4 cup drippings. Crumble bacon and set aside. Trim beef; cut into serving-size pieces. Brown on both sides in bacon drippings. Top beef with mushrooms, tomatoes and onions. Sprinkle with tarragon and bacon.

Cover and bake at 325 degrees for 1-1/4 to 1-3/4 hours or until meat is tender, basting twice. Remove meat to a serving platter; keep warm. Combine cornstarch and water until smooth; add to skillet. Bring to a boil; cook and stir for 2 minutes or until thickened. Reduce heat; stir in cream. Simmer for 3-4 minutes or until heated through. Return meat to skillet and turn to coat with sauce, if desired sprinkle the plates with parsley. Makes six servings.

HONEY-PECAN KIWI SALAD

• 5 cups torn Boston lettuce               

• 2 Tbsp. vanilla yogurt

• 3 medium kiwi fruit, peeled and sliced thin

• 1/4 cup chopped pecans, toasted       

• 2 Tbsp. lemon juice

• 1 Tbsp. olive oil                              

• 1 Tbsp. honey

Combine the lettuce, kiwi and pecans in a medium bowl. In a separate bowl, mix yogurt, lemon juice, oil and honey until smooth. Pour over salad and toss and serve immediately. Makes six servings.

DINNER MASHED POTATOES

• 5 lbs. potatoes, peeled and cubed     

• 1 cup sour cream

• 1 pkg. (8-oz.) cream cheese, softened

• 3 Tbsp. butter                                    

• 1 tsp. onion salt

• Salt and pepper to taste

Place potatoes in a dutch oven; cover with cold water. Partially cover pot. Bring to a boil; cook until very tender, 25-30 minutes. Drain well. In a large bowl, mash potatoes. Add the sour cream, cream cheese, 2 tbsp. butter and the seasonings; beat until fluffy. Transfer to a greased 2-qt. baking dish. Dot with the remaining butter. Bake, uncovered, at 350 degrees until heated through, 25-30 minutes. Makes six large servings.

PECAN PIE

• 1/2 cup white sugar                           

• 3 Tbsp. all-purpose flour

• 1 cup light corn syrup                       

• 1 cup dark corn syrup

• 3 large eggs, room temperature         

• 1 tsp. white vinegar

• 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract                       

• 1 cup chopped pecans

• Pastry for a single crust pie (9-in.), yours, or store bought

In a large bowl, whisk the sugar, flour, corn syrups, eggs, vinegar and vanilla until smooth. Stir in pecans. Pour into crust. Cover edges with foil. Bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes. Remove foil; bake until filling is puffed and golden (the center will still wobble), 35-40 minutes. Cool on a wire rack. Serve with whipped cream or ice cream. Makes eight servings.

FESTIVE HOLIDAY BEVERAGE

• 1 pint raspberry sherbet                     

• 1 cup orange juice

• 1 2-liter bottle ginger-ale                    

• 1 can lemon-lime soda

In a pitcher whisk all three ingredients together until smooth. You may add more ginger ale, if too thick. Enjoy!

HINT OF THE WEEK: Celebrate the Chinese New Year (based on the first full moon, it always falls between Jan. 21 and Feb. 21) by sharing snack mixes served in Chinese take-out containers. Don’t forget to tie on a fortune cookie!

Patti Howerton is a retired accountant and caterer and can be reached at pphowerton@ gmail.com