This week's column is dedicated to friends – one can never have too many and it's not difficult to become one.


He-Man Casserole

6 tablespoons butter

1/2 cup onion, chopped

1/2 cup green pepper, chopped

6 tablespoons flour

1/8 teaspoon pepper

1 1/2 cup milk

1 cup chicken broth

4 cups cooked ham, cubed

10-oz. package frozen peas, thawed and drained

4 cups mashed potatoes

1 egg, beaten

1 cup shredded cheddar cheese

Melt butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Add onion and green pepper; saute until tender, add flour and pepper; stir until smooth. Gradually stir in milk and broth. Cook, stirring until thickened. Stir in ham and peas; pour into a lightly greased 3-quart casserole dish. In a large bowl, combine mashed potatoes, egg and cheese, drop by spoonfuls onto ham mixture. Bake, uncovered, at 375 degrees for 45 minutes, or until hot and bubbly. Serves 8.


Walnut Raisin Pie

3 eggs, beaten

2/3 cup sugar

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon nutmeg

1/2 teaspoon cloves

1 cup corn syrup

1/3 cup butter melted

1 cup walnuts, coarsely chopped

2 cups raisins

9-inch pie crust

Beat together eggs, sugar, salt, spices, corn syrup and butter until well mixed. Stir in walnuts and raisins; pour into pie crust. Bake at 375 degrees for 40 to 50 minutes, until set.


Wyoming Praline Muffins

3 tablespoons brown sugar, packed

1 tablespoon butter, softened

1/3 cup shopped pecans

3 ripe bananas

1 egg, beaten

1/2 cup sugar

1/4 cup oil

1 1/2 cup pancake mix

Stir together brown sugar and butter in a small bowl; add pecans and set aside. In a separate bowl, mash bananas and stir in egg, sugar and oil until well blended. Add pancake mix; stir just until moistened. Fill greased muffin cups 2/3 full. Drop 1 teaspoon pecan mixture on top of each muffin. Bake at 350 degrees for 12 to 15 minutes, until golden. Makes 12.


Jazzed-Up Candied Carrots

2 lbs. carrots peeled and sliced 1/4-inch thick

1/2 cup butter

1 cup brown sugar, packed

1/2 teaspoon vanilla

1/2 teaspoon pepper

Place carrots in a large saucepan; cover with water. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Cook until fork tender; drain. Add butter, brown sugar, vanilla and pepper; simmer over medium heat until thickened, about 5 minutes.


Our thought for the week: "If you lose your temper, it's a sign that you have wrong on your side."