COOK OF THE WEEK: Christine Howard recipes

By NEMS Daily Journal

Fried Apricot Pies
Filling
1 pound dried apricots
2 cups water
1 cup sugar

Pastry
3 cups self-rising flour
1 cup shortening
11⁄4 cups water
Oil for frying
Place apricots and water in a saucepan and cook until tender. Mash up and add sugar.
For the pastry, combine flour and shortening. Add water and mix until dough forms. Roll out thinly on floured wax paper and cut with a round bowl into 4-inch circles.
Heat oil in a black iron skillet over medium heat. Put a heaping tablespoon of fruit on one side of each circle, fold over and seal, pressing edges with a fork (you may need to use a little water to help them close). Cook pies, 5 at a time, for 2 to 3 minutes each side or until browned. Drain on paper towels.

Strawberry Cake
1 box yellow cake mix
1 quart fresh strawberries, sliced
1 package strawberry glaze
1 (8-ounce) carton Cool Whip
Bake cake in three layers according to package directions. Let cool.
Combine strawberries and glaze.
Spread some Cool Whip on each layer and top with some of the fresh berry-glaze mixture. Pour remaining strawberry mixture over top layer, so that it drizzles down the sides. Keep refrigerated.

Tea Time Tassies
Crust
4 ounces cream cheese, softened
1 stick margarine, softened
11⁄4 cups self-rising flour

Filling
1 egg, beaten
3⁄4 cup light brown sugar
1 tablespoon margarine, softened
1 teaspoon vanilla
3⁄4 cup chopped pecans
For the crusts, cream the cream cheese and margarine. Add flour, mix well and chill in refrigerator about 1 hour. Roll dough into 24 balls and press balls into mini-muffin tins. With your thumb, press the dough up the sides of the tin, to form cups.
For the filling, combine ingredients and pour into unbaked dough shells. Bake at 325 degrees for 20 to 25 minutes.

Beef Hash
2 pounds beef stew meat
3 cups water
1 large onion, chopped
4 medium potatoes, cubed
Salt and pepper
Cook beef in water until tender. Add onion and potatoes and season with salt and pepper. Cook until potatoes are tender.

Chicken Casserole
2 cups cooked, chopped chicken
1 (8-ounce) carton sour cream
1 can cream of chicken soup
1⁄2 cup milk
Salt and pepper
1 tube Ritz crackers, crushed
1⁄2 stick melted butter
Combine chicken, sour cream, soup and milk. Season with salt and pepper. Pour mixture into a greased casserole. Combine crushed Ritz with butter and sprinkle on top. Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes or until bubbly.