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Potatoes the popular accent dish perfect with any entree

The last several weeks I've been trying to focus on recipes using fresh garden ingredients. I'm reluctant to admit it, but I am soon running out of ideas. However, for any of you who have planted potatoes I've saved some of the best for last this week.

And for you gardeners who didn't plant any, they are coming down a bit in price in the grocery stores.

With the cooler temperatures we've been experiencing mixed in with the heat, our thoughts of outdoor cooking will soon turn away from the grills and back into the kitchen ovens. The following recipes I'm sharing are all perfect for that - all excellent side dishes that can be prepared from your fresh garden stash, but are as delicious substituting any of the store bought variety.

The "Crowd Pleaser" is similar to other recipes made with frozen hash browns, but using the fresh cooked potatoes is the best route, greatly enhancing the flavor. It may involve a little extra time, but is well worth every minute spent. The "Scalloped Potatoes" are definitely not calorie free, but it's okay to splurge once in a while. This recipe is definitely the one to do it with, filled with rich, sweet cream. The "Oven Fried" potatoes are a nice variation and also make a wonderful pairing with any type of meat. The "Make Ahead" potatoes are also an excellent choice, they can be made ahead and frozen and popped into the oven when needed with no extra fuss.

Until next week, from my kitchen to yours, happy cooking.

Crowd Pleaser

8 medium potatoes (unpeeled-boil until tender)

3 green onions (diced)

1 cup sour cream

1 can cream of chicken soup (undiluted)

1 cup grated Cheddar cheese

1 cup corn flake crumbs

1 stick margarine

After potatoes have cooled, grate and place in oblong pan. In a sauce pan melt margarine, add soup and sour cream. Pour over grated potatoes, add 1/2 cup cheese and fold mixture together (also green onions). Mix corn flake crumbs and 1/2 cup cheese and sprinkle over top of mixture. Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes.

Scalloped Potatoes

Fill a deep baking dish with peeled and sliced potatoes, leaving about a two inch space from the top, so it doesn't bake over. Add onion, salt and pepper to taste. Pour whipping cream over the top until you can just see the cream but not covering the potatoes.

Bake in 400 degree oven, uncovered. This is important so it doesn't cook over and allows it to make a slight crust. Turn the oven down to 350 degrees after 15 minutes, and bake another 45 minutes to an hour, or for as long as needed until they are done when tested with a fork. These are also wonderful with ham added.

Oven Fried Potatoes

6 large potatoes

1/4 cup oil

2 tbsp. grated Parmesan cheese

1/2 tsp. garlic powder

1 tsp. paprika

1 tsp. salt

1/2 tsp. pepper

Cut potatoes into strips, leaving skins on. Combine the rest of the ingredients in a plastic bag. Add potato strips and shake to coat. Spread on two cookie sheets in single layer. Bake at 400 degrees for 20-30 minutes until golden brown, stirring once.

Make Ahead Mashed Potatoes

12 potatoes - cooked in salted water and drained

1 8 oz. package cream cheese

1 8 oz. carton sour cream

1 tsp. onion flakes

Combine potatoes, cream cheese, sour cream and onion. Whip or mash until fluffy. Spread into buttered dish. Refrigerate or freeze until ready to use. When ready to bake, drizzle with stick of melted butter and pour enough grated cheese over top to cover. Bake 1 hour at 350 degrees or until hot and bubbly.