Easy Entertaining

IN THE KITCHEN

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Seasonal celebrations -- such as Mother's Day, graduations, Memorial Day -- provide a perfect opportunity to entertain at home. Just remember, the key to a successful and stress-free celebration is to keep it simple and think "side dishes."

Side dishes are a great way to show your versatility and shine in the kitchen. Prepare a meal with a simple roast or store-bought entrée, such as a glazed ham or roasted turkey, and you've got a terrific spread that will keep your guests coming back for more.

Any of these special side dishes will go well with the Mother's Day recipes presented in this edition of The Rim Review.

Casual entertaining tips

  • To make dinner extra special, set the table with matching linens and provide a place card at each diner's seat.
  • Music is an easy way to set the tone for a gathering. Once you choose a theme, select a few favorite compact discs to play throughout the evening.
  • Create a menu using several dishes that can be prepared ahead of time. That way, when guests arrive, you can spend more time socializing and less time in the kitchen.

Broccoli ‘n' Cheese Casserole is an easy and delicious spin on a plain broccoli side dish. Plus, it's a great way to get your younger guests to eat their veggies.

For a dish that is simple, but full of flavor, try Broth Simmered Rice. Prepared with Swanson Broth instead of water, it is easy to customize to complement any main course. For a tasty twist, make it "Florentine" by adding Italian seasoning, spinach and Parmesan cheese.

Three-Cheese Pasta Bake is a creamy pasta dish that is sure to satisfy. Made with Campbell's Cream of Mushroom soup, this crowd-pleaser has only six ingredients and can be ready in just 25 minutes.

For more festive and flavorful recipes, please visit www.campbellskitchen.com and www.swansonbroth.com.

Squash Casserole

Prep time: 15 minutes; bake time: 40 minutes

Makes 8 servings

3 cups Pepperidge Farm Corn Bread Stuffing

4 tablespoons butter, melted

1, 10-3/4-ounce can Campbell's Condensed Cream of Chicken Soup (Regular or 98% Fat Free)

1/2 cup sour cream

2 small yellow squash, shredded (about 2 cups)

2 small zucchini, shredded (about 2 cups)

1/4 cup shredded carrot

1/2 cup shredded Cheddar cheese

Mix stuffing and butter in a medium bowl. Reserve 1/2 cup stuffing mixture for topping. Spoon remaining stuffing mixture into an 11- by 8- by 2-inch shallow baking dish.

Stir soup, sour cream, yellow squash, zucchini, carrot and cheese in a large bowl. Spread vegetable mixture over stuffing mixture; sprinkle with reserved stuffing.

Bake at 350 degrees for 40 minutes or until hot and topping is golden.

Roasted Asparagus with Lemon and Goat Cheese

Prep time 10 minutes; bake time: 20 minutes

Makes: 6 servings

Vegetable cooking spray

1 lemon

2 pounds asparagus, trimmed

1 tablespoon olive oil

Freshly ground black pepper

1/2 cup Swanson Vegetable Broth (Regular or Certified Organic)

3 ounces soft goat cheese, crumbled

Heat oven to 425 degrees. Spray a 17-inch-by-11-inch roasting pan or shallow baking sheet with cooking spray.

Grate enough lemon peel to make 1 teaspoon. Squeeze lemon to make 1 tablespoon lemon juice. Set peel and juice aside.

Stir asparagus and oil in prepared pan. Season with black pepper; add broth.

Bake 20 minutes or until asparagus is fork-tender, stirring once. Top with cheese, lemon peel and juice.

Broth Simmered Rice

Prep time: 5 minutes; cook time: 25 minutes

Makes: 4 servings

1-3/4 cups Swanson Chicken Broth (Regular, Natural Goodness or Certified Organic)

3/4 cup uncooked regular long-grain white rice

Heat broth in 2-quart saucepan over medium-high heat to boil.

Stir in rice. Reduce heat to low. Cover saucepan and cook 20 minutes or until rice is tender and most of liquid is absorbed.

Florentine Simmered Rice

Prepare as above and add:

1 teaspoon dried Italian seasoning to broth,

1 cup chopped spinach with rice.

Stir in 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese before serving.

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A broccoli-and-cheese casserole makes a great main dish, as well as a tasty side dish.

Serve with additional cheese.

Broccoli ‘n' Cheese Casserole

Prep time: 5 minutes; bake time: 30 minutes

Makes: 6 servings

1, 10-3/4-ounce can Campbell's Condensed Cream of Mushroom Soup (Regular, 98% Fat Free or 25% Less Sodium)

1/2 cup milk

2 teaspoons yellow mustard

1, 16-ounce bag frozen broccoli florets, thawed (about 4 cups)

1 cup shredded Cheddar cheese (4 ounces)

1/2 cup dry breadcrumbs

2 teaspoons butter, melted

Stir soup, milk, mustard, broccoli and cheese in 1 1/2-quart casserole.

Mix breadcrumbs and butter in small bowl; sprinkle over broccoli mixture.

Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes or until hot and bubbly.

3-Cheese Pasta Bake

Prep time: 15 minutes; bake time: 20 minutes

Makes: 4 servings

1, 10-3/4-ounce can Campbell's Condensed Cream of Mushroom Soup (Regular, 98% Fat Free or 25% Less Sodium)

1, 8-ounce package shredded two-cheese blend

1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese

1 cup milk

1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper

3 cups corkscrew-shaped pasta (rotini), cooked and drained

Stir soup, cheeses, milk and black pepper in 1-1/2-quart casserole. Stir in pasta.

Bake at 400 degrees for 20 minutes or until hot.

Easy Substitution: Use 2 cups of your favorite shredded cheese for the 8-ounce package.

From Family Features

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