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Thursday, December 30, 2010

♥ Meringue Kisses ♥

Ingredients:
* 3 egg whites
* 1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
* Pinch salt
* 1 cup sugar
* 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
* Red and green food coloring, optional
* 44 milk chocolate kisses

Directions:
* Place egg whites in a small bowl; let stand at room temperature for 30 minutes. Beat egg whites until foamy. Sprinkle with cream of tartar and salt; beat until soft peaks form. Gradually add sugar and vanilla, beating until stiff peaks form, about 5-8 minutes. If desired, divide batter in half and fold in red and green food coloring.
* Drop by rounded tablespoonfuls 1-1/2-in. apart onto lightly greased baking sheets. Press a chocolate kiss into the center of each cookie and cover it with meringue using a knife.
* Bake at 275° for 30-35 minutes or until firm to the touch. Immediately remove to a wire rack to cool. Store in an airtight container.

Yield: 44 cookies.

~~Country Woman Christmas Annual 1997~~

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

♥ Lemon Drop Cookies ♥

Ingredients:
* 1/2 cup butter, softened
* 3/4 cup sugar
* 1 egg
* 1 tablespoon half-and-half cream
* 1 teaspoon grated lemon peel
* 1-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
* 1/2 cup finely crushed lemon drops
* 1 teaspoon baking powder
* 1/4 teaspoon salt

Directions:

* In a large bowl, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in the egg, cream and peel. Combine the flour, lemon drops, baking powder and salt; gradually add to the creamed mixture and mix well.
* Drop by rounded teaspoonfuls 3 in. apart onto greased baking sheets. Bake at 350° for 8-10 minutes or until edges are lightly browned. Cool for 2 minutes before removing to wire racks.

Yield: about 3-1/2 dozen.

~~Best of Country Cookies~~

Sunday, December 26, 2010

♥ Gingerbread Cookies with Buttercream Icing ♥

Ingredients:
* 2/3 cup shortening
* 1 cup sugar
* 1 egg
* 1/4 cup molasses
* 2 cups all-purpose flour
* 1 teaspoon baking soda
* 1 teaspoon salt
* 1 teaspoon each ground cinnamon, cloves and ginger

ICING:
* 3 cups confectioners' sugar
* 1/3 cup butter, softened
* 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
* 1/4 teaspoon lemon extract
* 1/4 teaspoon butter flavoring
* 3 to 4 tablespoons milk

Directions:

* In a bowl, cream shortening and sugar. Beat in egg and molasses. Combine flour, baking soda, salt and spices; gradually add to the creamed mixture and mix well. Refrigerate for 2 hours or overnight.
* On a lightly floured surface, roll dough to 1/4-in. thickness. Cut into desired shapes. Place on ungreased baking sheets. Bake at 350° for 8-10 minutes or until edges begin to brown. Cool on a wire rack.
* For icing, beat sugar, butter and flavorings in a bowl. Gradually stir in milk until smooth and thick. Frost cookies.

Yield: about 3-1/2 dozen.

~~Country Woman Christmas Annual 1997~~

Friday, December 24, 2010

♥ Christmas Eve Mice ♥

Ingredients:
* 24 double-stuffed cream-filled chocolate sandwich cookies
* 1 cup (6 ounces) semi-sweet chocolate morsels
* 2 teaspoons shortening
* 24 red maraschino cherries with stems, well drained
* 24 milk chocolate kisses
* 48 sliced almonds
* 1 small tube green decorative icing gel
* 1 small tube red decorative icing gel

Directions:
* Carefully twist cookies apart; set aside the halves with cream filling. Save plain halves for another use.
* In a microwave, melt chocolate chips and shortening; stir until smooth. Holding each cherry by the stem, dip in melted chocolate, then press onto the bottom of a chocolate kiss. Place on the cream filling of cookie, with cherry stem extending beyond cookie edge.
* For ears, place slivered almonds between the cherry and kiss. Refrigerate until set. With green gel, pipe holly leaves on the cream. With red gel, pipe holly berries between leaves and pipe eyes on each chocolate kiss. Store in an airtight container at room temperature.

~~Country Woman Christmas Annual 2000~~

Thursday, December 23, 2010

♥ Coconut Clouds ♥

Ingredients:
* 1/4 cup butter, softened
* 1/4 cup shortening
* 1 cup sugar
* 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
* 2 eggs
* 1 teaspoon coconut extract
* 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
* 1 cup (8 ounces) sour cream
* 2-3/4 cups all-purpose flour
* 1 teaspoon salt
* 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
* 1 cup flaked coconut, toasted

FROSTING:
* 1/3 cup butter, cubed
* 3 cups confectioners' sugar
* 3 tablespoons evaporated milk
* 1 teaspoon coconut extract
* 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
* 2 cups flaked coconut, toasted

Directions:

* In a large bowl, cream the butter, shortening and sugars until light and fluffy. Beat in eggs and extracts. Stir in sour cream. Combine the flour, salt and baking soda; gradually add to creamed mixture and mix well. Fold in coconut.
* Drop by tablespoonfuls 2 in. apart onto lightly greased baking sheets. Bake at 375° for 8-10 minutes or until set. Remove to wire racks to cool.
* In a small heavy saucepan, cook butter over medium heat for 5-7 minutes or until golden brown. Pour into a small bowl; beat in the confectioners’ sugar, milk and extracts. Frost cookies; dip in coconut. Let stand until completely dry. Store in an airtight container.

Yield: about 5-1/2 dozen.

~~Country Woman December/January 2008~~

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

♥ Chocolate Meringue Stars ♥

Ingredients:
* 3 egg whites
* 3/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
* 3/4 cup sugar
* 1/4 cup baking cocoa

GLAZE:
* 3 ounces semisweet chocolate, chopped
* 1 tablespoon shortening

Directions:
* In a large bowl, beat egg whites and vanilla until soft peaks form. Gradually add sugar, about 2 tablespoons at a time, beating until stiff peaks form. Gently fold in cocoa.
* Insert a #8b large open star tip into a pastry bag; fill half full with meringue. Pipe stars, about 1-1/4 in. in diameter, or drop by rounded teaspoonfuls onto parchment paper-lined baking sheets.
* Bake at 300° for 30-35 minutes or until lightly browned. Remove from paper; cool on wire racks.
* In a microwave, melt chocolate and shortening; stir until smooth. Dip cookies halfway into glaze; allow excess to drip off. Place on waxed paper; let stand until set.

Yield: about 4 dozen.

Nutrition Facts: 1 serving (2 each) equals 40 calories, 1 g fat (trace saturated fat), 0 cholesterol, 7 mg sodium, 7 g carbohydrate, trace fiber, 1 g protein.

~~Taste of Home December/January 1998~~

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

♥ White Chocolate Peanut Butter ♥

Ingredients:
* 1 tablespoon plus 3/4 cup butter, divided
* 3 cups sugar
* 2/3 cup evaporated milk
* 1 package (10 ounces) peanut butter chips
* 1 jar (7 ounces) marshmallow creme
* 1 cup chopped nuts
* 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
* 1-1/2 pounds white candy coating, coarsely chopped
* 1/2 cup semisweet chocolate chips, optional
* 1 teaspoon shortening, optional

Directions:
* Line a 13-in. x 9-in. pan with foil. Grease the foil with 1 tablespoon butter; set aside. In a heavy saucepan, combine the sugar, evaporated milk and remaining butter. Bring to a boil over medium heat; cook and stir for 5 minutes. Remove from the heat; stir in the peanut butter chips until melted. Add the marshmallow creme, nuts and vanilla; stir until blended. Pour into prepared pan. Cool.
* Remove from pan and cut into 1-in. squares. Place on waxed paper-lined baking sheets; freeze or refrigerate until firm.
* In a microwave, melt candy coating; stir until smooth. Dip the squares into the coating; place on waxed paper-lined baking sheets until set.
* In a microwave, melt chocolate chips and shortening if desired; stir until smooth. Drizzle over the squares. Store in an airtight container.

Yield: 3-1/4 pounds (about 9-1/2 dozen).

~~Country Woman Christmas Annual 2001~~

Monday, December 20, 2010

♥ Jelly-Topped Sugar Cookies ♥

Ingredients:
* 3/4 cup sugar
* 3/4 cup canola oil
* 2 eggs
* 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
* 1 teaspoon lemon extract
* 1 teaspoon grated lemon peel
* 2 cups all-purpose flour
* 2 teaspoons baking powder
* 1/2 teaspoon salt
* 1/2 cup jam or jelly

Directions:
* In a large bowl, beat sugar and oil until blended. Beat in eggs, extracts and lemon peel. Combine the flour, baking powder, and salt; gradually add to sugar mixture and mix well.
* Drop by rounded tablespoonfuls 2 in. apart onto ungreased baking sheets. Coat bottom of a glass with cooking spray, then dip in sugar. Flatten cookies with prepared glass, redipping in sugar as needed.
* Place 1/4 teaspoon jelly in the center of each cookie. Bake at 400° for 8-10 minutes or until set. Remove to wire racks to cool.

Yield: about 3-1/2 dozen.

~~Taste of Home's Holiday & Celebrations Cookbook Annual 2002~~

Sunday, December 19, 2010

♥ Linzer Cookies ♥

Ingredients:
* 1-1/4 cups butter, softened
* 1 cup sugar
* 2 eggs
* 3 cups all-purpose flour
* 1 tablespoon baking cocoa
* 1/2 teaspoon salt
* 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
* 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
* 1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
* 2 cups ground almonds
* 6 tablespoons seedless raspberry jam
* 3 tablespoons confectioners' sugar

Directions:

* In a large bowl, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Combine the flour, cocoa, salt and spices; gradually add to creamed mixture and mix well. Stir in almonds. Refrigerate for 1 hour or until easy to handle.
* On a lightly floured surface, roll out dough to 1/8-in. thickness. Cut with a floured 2-1/2-in. round cookie cutter. From the center of half of the cookies, cut out a 1-1/2-in. shape.
* Place on ungreased baking sheets. Bake at 350° for 10-12 minutes or until edges are golden brown. Remove to wire racks to cool.
* Spread the bottom of each solid cookie with 1/2 teaspoon jam. Sprinkle cutout cookies with confectioners' sugar; carefully place over jam.

Yield: 3 dozen.

~~Taste of Home December/January 2010~~

Saturday, December 18, 2010

♥ Lime Christmas Tea Cookies ♥

Ingredients:
* 1 cup butter, softened
* 1/2 cup sugar
* 1/4 cup lime juice
* 2 teaspoons grated lime peel
* 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
* 2-3/4 cups all-purpose flour
* 10 to 12 drops green food coloring
* 3/4 cup finely chopped pistachios

FROSTING:
* 1 package (3 ounces) cream cheese, softened
* 1 cup confectioners' sugar
* 1 teaspoon lime juice
* Green colored sugar

Directions:
* In a large bowl, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in the lime juice, lime peel and vanilla. Gradually add flour and mix well. Beat in food coloring. Stir in pistachios. Cover and refrigerate for 4 hours or until easy to handle.
* On a lightly floured surface, roll out dough to 1/4-in. thickness. Cut with a floured 2-1/2-in. tree shaped cookie cutter. Place 1 in. apart on ungreased baking sheets. Bake at 350° for 8-10 minutes or until set. Cool for 5 minutes before removing from pans to wire racks to cool completely.
* In a small bowl, beat the cream cheese, confectioners' sugar and lime juice until smooth. Decorate cookies with frosting as desired and sprinkle with colored sugar. Store in the refrigerator.

Yield: About 4 dozen.

~~Country Woman Christmas Annual 2004~~

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

♥ Caramel Tassies ♥

Ingredients:
* 1 cup butter, softened
* 2 packages (3 ounces each) cream cheese, softened
* 2 cups all-purpose flour

FILLING:
* 1 package (14 ounces) caramels
* 1/4 cup plus 3 tablespoons evaporated milk

FROSTING:
* 2 tablespoons shortening
* 2 tablespoons butter, softened
* 1 cup confectioners' sugar
* 1 tablespoon evaporated milk

Directions:
* In a large bowl, cream butter and cream cheese until light and fluffy. Gradually add flour and mix well. Cover and refrigerate for 1 hour or until easy to handle.
* Roll dough into 1-in. balls; press onto the bottom and up the sides of ungreased miniature muffin cups. Prick bottoms with a fork. Bake at 375° for 15-17 minutes or until golden brown. Cool for 5 minutes before removing from pans to wire racks.
* In a large heavy saucepan over low heat, melt caramels with milk. Remove from the heat; cool slightly. Transfer to a heavy-duty resealable plastic bag; cut a small hole in a corner of the bag. Pipe filling into pastry cups. Cool to room temperature.
* For frosting, in a small bowl, beat shortening and butter until smooth. Gradually beat in confectioners' sugar and milk until fluffy. Pipe onto filling. Store in the refrigerator.

Yield: 4 dozen.

~~Caramel Tassies published in Taste of Home's Holiday & Celebrations Cookbook Annual 2007~~

Sunday, November 28, 2010

♥ Calypso Cups ♥

These are great cookies to prepare for parties throughout the year. I simply tint the frosting for the occasion - red for Valentine's Day, pastel colors for baby showers and green for Christmas.

Ingredients:
* 1 cup butter, softened
* 2 packages (3 ounces each) cream cheese, softened
* 2 cups all-purpose flour


FILLING:
* 1/2 cup flaked coconut
* 1/2 cup sugar
* 1-1/2 teaspoons cornstarch
* 1 can (8 ounces) crushed pineapple, undrained
* 1 egg


FROSTING:
* 2 cups confectioners' sugar
* 1/2 cup shortening
* 1 teaspoon Pure Vanilla Extract
* 3 to 4 tablespoons milk
* Finely chopped walnuts and/or additional flaked coconut, optional

Directions:
* In a large bowl, beat butter and cream cheese until smooth. Gradually add flour and mix well. Cover and refrigerate for 1 hour or until easy to handle.
* Roll into 1-in. balls. Press onto the bottom and up the sides of greased miniature muffin cups. Combine filling ingredients; spoon into cups. Bake at 350° for 15-20 minutes or until edges are lightly browned. Cool in pans on wire racks.
* For frosting, combine the sugar, shortening and vanilla until smooth; add enough milk to achieve spreading consistency. Remove cooled cups from pans. Frost; sprinkle with walnuts and additional flaked coconut if desired.

Yield: 4 dozen.


~~Calypso Cups published in Best of Country Cookies~~

Friday, November 26, 2010

♥ Peppermint Meltaways ♥

Ingredients:
* 1 cup butter, softened
* 1/2 cup confectioners' sugar
* 1/2 teaspoon peppermint extract
* 1-1/4 cups all-purpose flour
* 1/2 cup cornstarch
FROSTING:
* 2 tablespoons butter, softened
* 1-1/2 cups confectioners' sugar
* 2 tablespoons milk
* 1/4 teaspoon peppermint extract
* 2 to 3 drops red food coloring, optional
* 1/2 cup crushed peppermint candies

Directions:
* In a small bowl, cream butter and confectioners' sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in extract. Combine flour and cornstarch; gradually add to creamed mixture and mix well.
* Shape into 1-in. balls. Place 2 in. apart on ungreased baking sheets. Bake at 350° for 10-12 minutes or until bottoms are lightly browned. Remove to wire racks to cool.
* In a small bowl, beat butter until fluffy. Add the confectioners’ sugar, milk, extract and food coloring if desired; beat until smooth. Spread over cooled cookies; sprinkle with crushed candies. Store in an airtight container.

Yield: 3-1/2 dozen.

~~Peppermint Meltaways published in Simple & Delicious November/December 2008~~

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

♥ Brownie Crackles ♥

Ingredients:
* 1 package fudge brownie mix (13-in. x 9-inch pan size)
* 1 cup all-purpose flour
* 1 egg
* 1/2 cup water
* 1/4 cup canola oil
* 1 cup (6 ounces) Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chips
* Confectioners' sugar

Directions:
* In a large bowl, beat the brownie mix, flour, egg, water and oil until well blended. Stir in chocolate chips.
* Place confectioners' sugar in a shallow dish. Drop dough by tablespoonfuls into sugar; roll to coat. Place 2 in. apart on greased baking sheets.
* Bake at 350° for 8-10 minutes or until set. Remove from pans to wire racks to cool.

Yield: 4-1/2 dozen.

~~Brownie Crackles published in Quick Cooking September/October 2000~~

Saturday, November 20, 2010

♥ Double Decker Pumpkin Bread ♥

Ingredients:
* 1/2 of an 8-ounce package cream cheese, softened
* 1/4 cup sugar
* 1 8-ounce carton dairy sour cream
* 1 egg
* 2 tablespoons finely chopped crystallized ginger
* 3 cups all-purpose flour
* 2 teaspoons baking soda
* 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
* 1 teaspoon ground ginger
* 1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
* 1/2 teaspoon salt
* 2 cups sugar
* 4 eggs
* 1 15-ounce can pumpkin
* 1 cup cooking oil
* 1/3 cup water

Directions:
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease the bottoms and 1/2 inch up the sides of two 9x5x3-inch loaf pans; set aside. In a medium bowl, combine cream cheese and the 1/4 cup sugar. Beat with an electric mixer on medium speed until combined. Add sour cream and the 1 egg; beat until combined. Stir in the crystallized ginger; set aside.

2. In another medium bowl, stir together flour, baking soda, cinnamon, the ground ginger, the nutmeg, and salt; set aside.

3. In a large bowl, combine the 2 cups sugar, the 4 eggs, the pumpkin, oil, and water. Beat on low speed until combined, scraping side of bowl occasionally. Gradually add flour mixture, beating until combined.

4. Spoon 1-1/2 cups of the pumpkin batter into each of the prepared pans. Divide the cream cheese mixture between pans, spreading evenly. Spoon the remaining pumpkin batter onto cream cheese mixture, spreading evenly.

5. Bake for 60 to 70 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool in pans on wire racks for 10 minutes. Remove bread from pans. Cool completely on wire racks.

6. Wrap and store in the refrigerator overnight before slicing. Store any leftover bread in the refrigerator for up to 1 week.

Makes 32 servings.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

♥ Pumpkin Bread Pudding ♥

Ingredients:
* Butter
* 1-1/4 cups whipping cream
* 1 cup milk
* 4 or 5 large croissants or 10 oz. egg bread, torn (about 6 cups)
* 1-1/4 cups roasted, shelled chestnuts, crumbled, or one 8- to 10-oz. can chestnuts, drained and crumbled
* 3 large eggs
* 1 egg yolk
* 1 cup granulated sugar
* 1 cup packed brown sugar
* 1 lb. roasted pumpkin flesh or hard squash flesh, mashed (2 cups) or one 15-oz. can pumpkin
* 1-1/4 cups dried currants or golden raisins
* 3 Tbsp. butter, melted
* 1/2 tsp. ground cardamom
* 1/2 tsp. ground ginger
* Seeds of one vanilla bean* or 2 tsp. vanilla extract
* 1 recipe Molasses Cream (recipe below)
* Fresh thyme (optional)

Directions:
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Butter a 2-1/2- to 3-quart casserole; set aside. In large bowl combine whipping cream and milk. Add torn croissants and chestnuts. Gently press until everything is covered by the milk mixture. Let stand while preparing custard.

2. For custard, combine eggs, egg yolk, sugars, pumpkin, currants, melted butter, spices, and vanilla in the top insert of a large double boiler (or in a large heatproof bowl set over a saucepan of simmering water). Place double boiler over medium heat and stir constantly until warm mixture is warm and sugars have dissolved. Fold into croissant mixture. Pour all into prepared casserole. Bake, uncovered, 50 minutes or until set. Serve warm with Molasses Cream and thyme. Store any remaining bread pudding in refrigerator up to 2 days.

Makes 12 servings.

Molasses Cream: In large bowl whisk 1 cup whipping cream until it starts to thicken. Gradually whisk in 1 tablespoon molasses, sorghum or honey. Serve at once.

Roasting Chestnuts: Cut an X on flat side of each chestnut. Place in baking pan. Roast at 400 degrees F for 15 minutes, tossing occasionally. Peel chestnuts while still warm.
Roasting Pumpkin or Squash: Wash, halve lengthwise, and remove seeds of pie pumpkin or hard (winter) squash. Place halves, cut sides down, in baking dish. Bake at 350 degrees F for 45 to 55 minutes or until tender; cool. Scrape flesh from shell with a spoon.
*Kitchen Tip: To remove seeds from vanilla bean, use small knife to split bean in half lengthwise. Using tip of knife, scrape out the small black seeds from each half, discard pod.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

♥ Pumpkin Tiramisu ♥

Ingredients:
* 1/4 cup pure maple syrup or maple-flavor syrup
* 1 tablespoon bourbon
* 1/2 of a 15-ounce can (3/4 cup) pumpkin
* 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
* 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
* 1/4 teaspoon salt
* 1/2 cup whipping cream
* 1/4 cup granulated sugar
* 1/2 of an 8-ounce container mascarpone cheese, softened
* 1 tablespoon powdered sugar
* 1/2 cup whipping cream
* 1 3-ounce package ladyfingers, split
* Ground nutmeg or freshly grated nutmeg

Directions:
1. Line a 9x5x3-inch loaf pan with plastic wrap; set aside. For syrup, in a small bowl, combine maple syrup and bourbon. Set aside.

2. For filling, in a small bowl, combine pumpkin, cinnamon, ginger, and salt. In a small mixing bowl, combine 1/2 cup whipping cream and granulated sugar. Beat with an electric mixer on medium speed until soft peaks form (tips curl). Gently fold whipped cream into pumpkin mixture.

3. For topping, in another small mixing bowl, combine mascarpone cheese and powdered sugar. Beat on low speed until combined. Gradually beat in 1/2 cup whipping cream just until thickened (do not overbeat).

4. To assemble, arrange half of the ladyfingers in a single layer in the bottom of the prepared pan. Drizzle evenly with half of the syrup. Top with half of the filling, spreading evenly. Arrange remaining ladyfingers in a single layer over filling. Drizzle with remaining syrup and top with remaining filling. Dollop topping over filling. Using the back of a spoon, carefully spread topping evenly over filling. Cover and chill for 8 to 24 hours.

5. Use the plastic wrap to lift tiramisu out of pan. Place tiramisu on a serving platter. Sprinkle with nutmeg. Carefully cut the dessert crosswise into slices.

Makes 6 servings.

~~bhg.com~~

Sunday, November 14, 2010

♥ Chocolate Chip-Cherry Biscotti ♥

Perfect for dunking into a cup of coffee or tea. Swap dried cranberries, chopped dried strawberries or apricots for the cherries.

Ingredients:
2 spray(s) cooking spray
2 cup(s) all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/8 tsp table salt
1 Tbsp canola oil
2/3 cup(s) sugar
1 large egg(s), beaten
2 large egg white(s), beaten
1/2 cup(s) mini chocolate chips
1/2 cup(s) dried cherries
1 Tbsp all-purpose flour, for rolling out dough

Instructions:
* Preheat oven to 375°F. Coat a baking sheet with cooking spray.

* In a large bowl, sift together flour, baking powder and salt; set aside.

* In another large bowl, using an electric mixer, beat together oil, sugar, egg and egg whites until well-combined. Add flour mixture to egg mixture, a little at a time, beating with each addition (dough will be stiff); fold in chocolate chips and cherries.

* Working on a lightly floured surface, roll dough into a 13- X 1 1/2-inch log and place on center of prepared baking sheet; bake for 25 minutes.

* Reduce heat to 350°F and remove baking sheet from oven. Cool dough long enough to cut into twenty-four 3/8-inch-thick diagonal slices. Lay slices on their sides on same baking sheet; return to oven. Bake for 10 minutes; flip and bake until lightly browned, about 5 to 10 minutes more. Yields 1 cookie per serving.

Notes: Store extras in an airtight container for up to 10 days.

WW POINTS® Value: 2
Servings: 24

Friday, November 5, 2010

♥ Pumpkin Gingerbread ♥

Ingredients:
* 2-1/4 cups all-purpose flour
* 1/2 cup sugar
* 2/3 cup butter
* 3/4 cup chopped pecans
* 3/4 cup buttermilk (or sour milk)*
* 1/2 cup molasses
* 1/2 cup canned pumpkin
* 1 egg
* 1-1/2 teaspoons ground ginger
* 1 teaspoon baking soda
* 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
* 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
* 1/4 teaspoon salt
* 1 recipe Caramel Sauce, recipe below (optional)
* Vanilla ice cream (optional)
* Chopped pecans (optional)

Directions:
In a large bowl combine flour and sugar. Cut in butter until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Stir in the 3/4 cup pecans. Press 1-1/4 cups of the crumb mixture into bottom of an ungreased 2-quart square baking dish. To remaining crumb mixture, add buttermilk, molasses, pumpkin, egg, ginger, soda, cinnamon, cloves, and salt; mix well. Pour over crumb mixture in baking dish. Bake in a 350 degree F oven about 50 minutes or until center tests done. Cool 30 minutes. Serve warm with Caramel Sauce, if desired. Top with ice cream and additional pecans, if desired.

Makes 9 servings.

Caramel Sauce: In a saucepan, melt 1/2 cup butter; stir in 1-1/4 cups packed brown sugar and 2 tablespoons light-colored corn syrup. Cook and stir until boiling. Stir in 1/2 cup whipping cream; return to boiling. Serve warm.

*Note: To make sour milk, place 2 teaspoons lemon juice or vinegar in a glass measuring cup. Add enough milk to make 3/4 cup total liquid; stir. Let the mixture stand for 5 minutes before using.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

♥ Pumpkin Cheesecake in Gingersnap Crust ♥

Ingredients:
* 1 1/2 cups gingersnap cookie crumbs
* 3/4 cup ground hazelnuts
* 3 tablespoons brown sugar
* 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
*
* 3 (8 ounce) packages cream cheese, softened
* 1 cup brown sugar
* 1 1/2 cups canned solid pack pumpkin
* 1/2 cup heavy cream
* 1/3 cup maple syrup
* 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
* 3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
* 1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
* 4 eggs

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F (165 degrees C). Grease and flour a 9 inch springform pan.
2. Using a fork, combine gingersnaps, hazelnuts, 3 tablespoons brown sugar and melted butter. Press mixture onto the bottom and two inches up the sides of the pan to form the crust.
3. With an electric mixer, beat cream cheese and brown sugar until light and fluffy. Stir in the pumpkin. Mix in the cream, maple syrup, cinnamon, allspice and vanilla. Beat in the eggs, one at a time, mixing until smooth.
4. Pour batter into prepared crust. Bake in the preheated oven for 90 minutes, or until center of cheesecake is set. Allow to cool in pan for 30 minutes, then refrigerate overnight.

~~AllRecipes.com~~

Saturday, October 23, 2010

♥ Harvest-Time Pumpkin Bars ♥

Ingredients:
* 2 cups all-purpose flour
* 2 teaspoons baking powder
* 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
* 1 teaspoon baking soda
* 1/4 teaspoon salt
* 1-2/3 cups sugar
* 1 15-ounce can pumpkin
* 4 eggs
* 1 cup cooking oil
* 3/4 cup toasted chopped pecans (optional)
* 1 recipe Cream Cheese Frosting (see recipe below)

Directions:
1. Preheat oven to 350 degree F. In a medium mixing bowl, stir together flour, baking powder, cinnamon, baking soda, and salt; set aside. In a large mixing bowl, beat together sugar, pumpkin, eggs, and oil with an electric mixer on medium speed. Beat in the flour mixture until well mixed. If desired, stir in pecans.

2. Spread batter in an ungreased 15x10x1-inch baking pan. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until a wooden toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool in pan on a wire rack. Prepare Cream Cheese Frosting; spread over top Cut into bars. Top with desired toppings. Store in the refrigerator.

Makes 24 bars.

Cream Cheese Frosting: In a large mixing bowl, combine two 3-ounce packages cream cheese, softened; 1/2 cup butter, softened; and 2 teaspoons vanilla. Beat with an electric mixer on medium speed until fluffy. Gradually add 4 cups sifted powdered sugar, beating until smooth.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

♥ Pumpkin-Shrimp Bruschetta ♥

Ingredients:
* 20 fresh or frozen peeled and deveined jumbo shrimp in shells
* 1 cup canned pumpkin
* 1/2 cup crumbled goat cheese, at room temperature (2 ounces)
* 1 tablespoon lemon juice
* 1 tablespoon honey
* 1 cup arugula
* 1/2 cup finely chopped red onion
* 1/2 cup toasted pumpkin seeds*
* 1/4 cup bottled Italian vinaigrette salad dressing
* 20 3/4-inch-thick slices baguette-style French bread
* 2 tablespoons olive oil
* 2 ounces Parmesan cheese, shaved (optional)

Directions:
1. Peel and devein shrimp, if desired, leaving tails intact. Rinse shrimp. In a large skillet, cook shrimp in a large amount of boiling water for 2 to 3 minutes or until shrimp are opaque. Drain well.

2. Preheat broiler. In a medium bowl, whisk together pumpkin, goat cheese, lemon juice, and honey; set aside.

3. In a large bowl, combine shrimp, arugula, onion, pumpkin seeds, and salad dressing; set aside.

4. Brush both sides of baguette slices lightly with olive oil. Arrange on a large baking sheet. Broil 3 to 4 inches from the heat about 2 minutes or until toasted, turning bread over once.

5. Spread pumpkin mixture on one side of toasted baguette slices. Top each with a shrimp and some of the arugula mixture. If desired, top each with shaved Parmesan cheese.

Makes 20 appetizers.

*Kitchen Tip: To toast pumpkin seeds: Place pumpkin seeds in a dry large skillet; cover. Heat over medium heat about 5 minutes or until seeds are toasted, shaking skillet occasionally.

~~BHG.COM~~

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

♥ Pumpkin Charlotte ♥

Ingredients:
* 2 3-ounce packages (24 total) ladyfingers, split
* 2 3-ounce packages cream cheese, softened
* 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
* 2 cups whipping cream
* 2 tablespoons powdered sugar
* 2 4-serving-size packages instant vanilla pudding mix
* 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
* 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
* 1/4 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
* 1 15-ounce can pumpkin
* 1 cup milk
* 1/2 cup apricot jam, melted (optional)
* Pumpkin pie spice (optional)

Directions:
1. Chill a mixing bowl and beaters. For crust, line the bottom of a 9-inch springform pan with ladyfingers, cutting to fill spaces. Trim bottoms of the remaining ladyfingers slightly to stand in pan. Place ladyfingers, round side out, against pan sides. Set aside.

2. For cream cheese filling, beat cream cheese and granulated sugar with an electric mixer on medium speed until combined. In the chilled bowl beat 1-3/4 cups of the whipping cream and the powdered sugar until soft peaks form; set aside 1/2 cup of the whipped cream mixture. Fold remaining whipped cream mixture into cream cheese mixture.

3. For pumpkin filling, stir together pudding mixes, cinnamon, ginger, and pie spice. Add pumpkin and milk; beat until thick. Fold in reserved whipped cream mixture.

4. Spread the cream cheese filling evenly onto the bottom of prepared pan. Carefully spread pumpkin layer over cream cheese layer. Cover and refrigerate overnight.

5. To serve, remove side from pan; place charlotte on a platter. If desired, brush side with melted jam. Beat remaining whipping cream to soft peaks; spoon some atop each serving. If desired, sprinkle with additional pumpkin pie spice.

Makes 12 servings.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

♥ Pumpkin Pound Cake ♥

Ingredients:
* 1 cup granulated sugar
* 1 cup packed brown sugar
* 3/4 cup shortening
* 2 eggs
* 2-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
* 2 teaspoons baking soda
* 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
* 1 teaspoon ground cloves
* 1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
* 1/4 teaspoon salt
* 1 15-ounce can pumpkin
* 1 cup raisins
* 1 cup chopped pecans or other nuts
* 1 cup chopped maraschino cherries
* Orange juice (optional)
* Coarse sugar (optional)
* Maraschino cherries (optional)


Directions:
1. In a large mixing bowl beat granulated sugar, brown sugar, shortening, and eggs with an electric mixer on medium speed for 2 minutes, scraping bowl occasionally. In a medium mixing bowl stir together flour, baking soda, cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, and salt. Add flour mixture and pumpkin alternately to shortening mixture, beating on low speed after each addition until combined. Stir in raisins, nuts, and cherries.

2. Turn batter into a greased and floured 10-inch fluted tube pan. Bake in a 350 degree F oven about 1 hour or until a toothpick inserted near center comes out clean. Cool on a wire rack for 10 minutes. Remove from pan. Cool completely on wire rack. Brush with orange juice and sprinkle with coarse sugar, if desired. Garnish with maraschino cherries, if desired.

Makes 14 to 16 servings.

tip: Refrigerate cake, covered, up to 3 days. Or freeze, wrapped in foil, up to 2 months.

~~bhg.com~~

Friday, October 15, 2010

♥ Pumpkin Cream Cheese Spread ♥

Ingredients:
* 1 8-ounce package cream cheese, softened
* 1/2 cup canned pumpkin
* 1/4 cup sugar
* 3/4 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
* 1/2 teaspoon vanilla

Directions:
Beat all ingredients in a medium mixing bowl with an electric mixer on medium speed until smooth. Cover and refrigerate for at least 1 hour or up to 24 hours.

Makes 1-1/2 cups (24, 1-tablespoon servings).

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

♥ Pumpkin Marmalade ♥

Ingredients:
* 2 cups cooked fresh pumpkin puree or one 15-oz. can pumpkin
* 1 cup orange marmalade
* 1 tsp. grated fresh ginger
* 2 Tbsp. lemon juice
* English cheddar cheese, white cheddar cheese, or Parmesan cheese (buy about 2 oz. for each person you'll be serving)
* Assorted hearty breads

Directions:
1. In a medium saucepan combine cooked fresh pumpkin puree, marmalade, and ginger. Bring to boiling. Reduce heat to medium-low. Simmer, uncovered, for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat. Stir in lemon juice. Transfer to a serving bowl. Cover and cool. Serve as a spread with cheese and bread.

Makes about 3 cups or 24 (2-tablespoon) servings.

Tip: Spread will keep in the refrigerator up to 1 week.

Monday, October 11, 2010

♥ Autumn Pear and Pumpkin Soup ♥

Ingredients:
* 1/2 cup chopped onion
* 1/2 cup water
* 2 teaspoons instant chicken bouillon granules
* 1 15-ounce can pumpkin
* 2-1/2 cups half-and-half or light cream
* 1-3/4 cups pear nectar
* 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
* 1/4 teaspoon white pepper
* Pear slices (optional)

Directions:

1. In a large saucepan combine onion, water, and bouillon granules. Bring to boiling. Reduce heat and simmer, covered, about 10 minutes or until onion is very tender; cool slightly. Do not drain.

2. Transfer mixture to a blender container or food processor bowl. Add pumpkin. Cover and blend or process until smooth. Return pumpkin mixture to saucepan. Stir in half-and-half or light cream, pear nectar, ginger, and white pepper. Cook and stir until heated through.

3. Ladle into soup bowls. If desired, garnish each serving with pear slices.

Makes 6 servings.

Saturday, October 9, 2010

♥ Autumn Brown Sugar Pear Pound Cake ♥

Ingredients:
* 3-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
* 1-1/2 tsp. baking powder
* 1/2 tsp. salt
* 1-1/2 cups butter, softened
* 3 cups packed light brown sugar
* 1 Tbsp. vanilla
* 5 eggs
* 3/4 cup milk
* 1/4 cup brandy, pear brandy, pear liqueur, or orange juice
* 2-1/4 cups firm, ripe pears, peeled, cored, and cut into 1/4-inch pieces
* 2 to 3 tsp. finely shredded orange peel
* 1/3 cup granulated sugar
* 1/3 cup brandy, pear brandy, pear liqueur, or orange juice
* For Pear Sauce:
* 4 large Bartlett pears, peeled, cored, and thinly sliced
* 1-1/2 tsp. lemon juice
* 1/3 cup pear nectar or pear juice
* 1/4 cup sugar
* 1 500 mg vitamin C tablet (to prevent browning)
* 1/4 tsp. vanilla

Directions:
1. Butter a 10-inch fluted tube pan. Coat lightly with flour, shaking out excess. Set pan aside.

2. In a medium bowl stir together flour, baking powder, and salt; set aside. In a very large mixing bowl beat butter with an electric mixer on medium to high speed for 30 seconds. Add brown sugar and vanilla; beat on high speed until mixture is smooth and light, about 3 minutes. Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating just until combined.

3. Alternately add milk and the 1/4 cup brandy to flour mixture, beating just until combined after each addition and stopping occasionally to scrape the bowl. Fold in pears and orange peel. Pour batter into prepared pan, spreading evenly.

4. Bake in a 350 degree F oven about 1 hour 10 minutes or until golden brown and a long wooden skewer inserted near the center comes out clean. Cool cake in pan on a wire rack for 10 minutes.

5. For glaze, combine granulated sugar and the 1/3 cup brandy in a small saucepan. Cook and stir over medium heat until mixture just boils and sugar is dissolved.

6. Remove cake from pan and place on wire rack. Place a piece of waxed paper under the wire rack. With a pastry brush, brush the warm glaze over the entire surface of the cake. Cool cake completely. Serve with Pear Sauce. Makes 16 servings.

7. Pear Sauce: In a medium saucepan combine pears, lemon juice, pear nectar, sugar, and vitamin C tablet. Bring to boiling over medium heat; reduce heat. Simmer, covered, about 15 minutes or until pears are soft. If mixture seems dry and in danger of scorching, add a bit more nectar to pan.

8. Remove from heat. Cool slightly. Puree mixture in a food processor or blender; strain through a fine-mesh sieve. Stir in vanilla. Taste sauce and adjust sugar if necessary. Cool and refrigerate in an airtight container for up to 72 hours.

Makes about 2 cups.

Make-Ahead Tip: Store cooled cake tightly wrapped at room temperature up to 2 days.

~~bhg.com~~

Thursday, October 7, 2010

♥ Light & Luscious Angel Food Cake with Lemon Cream and Berries ♥

Ingredients:
* 3 6-ounce cartons lemon yogurt
* 1 4-serving-size package instant vanilla pudding mix
* 1 8-ounce container frozen light whipped dessert topping, thawed
* Fresh blueberries
* 1 8- to 9-inch purchased angel food cake, cubed
* Fresh mint sprigs (optional)

Directions:
1. In medium bowl, whisk together yogurt and one-fourth of the pudding mix until smooth. Gradually add remaining pudding mix to yogurt, whisking until smooth after each addition. Fold in whipped topping, half at a time. Serve lemon cream and berries over cubed cake. If desired, garnish with mint sprigs.

Makes 16 servings.

Kitchen Tip: Any leftover lemon cream can be stored in the refrigerator for up to four days.

Nutrition Facts:
* Calories 172,
* Total Fat (g)2,
* Saturated Fat (g)2,
* Monounsaturated Fat (g)0,
* Polyunsaturated Fat (g)0,
* Cholesterol (mg)2,
* Sodium (mg)269,
* Carbohydrate (g)34,
* Total Sugar (g)23,
* Fiber (g)4,
* Protein (g)3,
* Vitamin A (DV%)0,
* Vitamin C (DV%)12,
* Calcium (DV%)8,
* Iron (DV%)2,
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

♥ Pretty Pear Gingerbread Tart ♥

Ingredients:
* 1/2 cup shortening
* 1/2 cup sugar
* 1 teaspoon baking powder
* 1 teaspoon ground ginger
* 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
* 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
* 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
* 1/2 cup molasses
* 1 egg
* 1 tablespoon vinegar
* 3 cups all-purpose flour
* 2 8-ounce tubs cream cheese spread
* 1/3 cup orange marmalade, melted
* 3 ripe medium pears, peeled, cored, and very thinly sliced
* 1 to 2 tablespoons lemon juice

Directions:
1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Grease a 12-inch pizza pan; set aside. For crust: In a large bowl, beat shortening with an electric mixer on medium to high speed for 30 seconds. Add sugar, baking powder, ginger, baking soda, cinnamon, and cloves. Beat until combined, scraping side of bowl occasionally. Beat in molasses, egg, and vinegar until combined. Beat in as much of the flour as you can with the mixer. Using a wooden spoon, stir in any remaining flour.

2. Press dough into the prepared pan, building up edge slightly. Crimp edge as desired. Bake about 12 minutes or until edge is lightly browned and center appears set. Cool in pan on a wire rack.

3. Stir cream cheese to soften. Spread cream cheese over crust. Carefully brush melted marmalade over cream cheese. Brush pear slices with lemon juice. Arrange pear slices in a decorative pattern on top of tart. Cover and chill for 1 to 4 hours.

Makes 12 servings.

~~bhg.com~~

Sunday, October 3, 2010

♥ Peanut Butter Chocolate Divine Cupcakes ♥

Ingredients:
* 1 package (3 ounces) cream cheese, softened
* 1/4 cup creamy peanut butter
* 2 tablespoons sugar
* 1 tablespoon 2% milk

BATTER:
* 2 cups sugar
* 1-3/4 cups all-purpose flour
* 1/2 cup baking cocoa
* 1-1/2 teaspoons baking powder
* 1 teaspoon salt
* 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
* 2 eggs
* 1 cup water
* 1 cup 2% milk
* 1/2 cup canola oil
* 2 teaspoons vanilla extract

FROSTING:
* 1/3 cup butter, softened
* 2 cups confectioners' sugar
* 6 tablespoons baking cocoa
* 3 to 4 tablespoons 2% milk

Directions:
* In a small bowl, beat cream cheese, peanut butter, sugar and milk until smooth; set aside.
* In a large bowl, combine sugar, flour, cocoa, baking powder, salt and baking soda. In another bowl, whisk the eggs, water, milk, oil and vanilla. Stir into dry ingredients just until moistened (batter will be thin).
* Fill paper-lined jumbo muffin cups half full with batter. Drop scant tablespoonfuls of peanut butter mixture into center of each; cover with remaining batter.
* Bake at 350° for 25-30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into cake comes out clean. Cool 10 minutes; remove from pans to wire racks. Cool completely.
* In a large bowl, combine frosting ingredients until smooth; frost cupcakes. Store in the refrigerator.

Yield: 1 dozen jumbo cupcakes.

~~Taste of Home April/May 2007~~

Friday, October 1, 2010

♥ Snappy Pumpkin Cheesecake ♥

Ingredients:
* 1-1/2 cups crushed gingersnap cookies (about 30 cookies)
* 1/2 cup finely chopped pecans
* 1/4 cup butter, melted
* 2 packages (8 ounces each) cream cheese, softened
* 3/4 cup sugar, divided
* 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
* 3 eggs, lightly beaten
* 1 cup canned pumpkin
* 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
* 3/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg

GARNISH:
* Whipped topping, optional
* Additional gingersnap cookies, cut into wedges, optional

Directions:
* Place a greased 9-in. springform pan on a double thickness of heavy-duty foil (about 18 in. square). Securely wrap foil around pan; set aside.
* In a small bowl, combine cookie crumbs and pecans; stir in butter. Press onto the bottom and 1 in. up the sides of prepared pan. Bake at 325° for 9-11 minutes or until set. Cool on a wire rack.
* Meanwhile, in a large bowl, beat cream cheese and 1/2 cup sugar until smooth. Beat in vanilla. Add eggs; beat on low speed just until combined.
* Place 1 cup filling in a small bowl; stir in the pumpkin, cinnamon, nutmeg and remaining sugar. Remove 3/4 cup pumpkin filling and set aside. Pour remaining pumpkin filling into the crust; top with plain filling. Drop reserved pumpkin filling by spoonfuls over top; cut through filling with a knife to swirl.
* Place pan in a large baking pan; add 1 in. of hot water to larger pan. Bake for 50-60 minutes or until center is just set and top appears dull. Remove springform pan from water bath. Cool on a wire rack for 10 minutes. Carefully run a knife around edge of pan to loosen; cool 1 hour longer. Refrigerate overnight. Remove sides of pan. Garnish with whipped topping and cookie wedges if desired.

Yield: 12 servings.

~~Taste of Home August/September 2008~~

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Lemon Curd Cupcakes

Ingredients:
* 3 tablespoons plus 1-1/2 teaspoons sugar
* 3 tablespoons lemon juice
* 4-1/2 teaspoons butter
* 1 egg, lightly beaten
* 1 teaspoon grated lemon peel

BATTER:
* 3/4 cup butter, softened
* 1 cup sugar
* 2 eggs
* 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
* 1 teaspoon grated lemon peel
* 1-1/2 cups cake flour
* 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
* 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
* 1/4 teaspoon salt
* 2/3 cup buttermilk

FROSTING:
* 2 tablespoons butter, softened
* 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
* Pinch salt
* 2 cups confectioners' sugar
* 2 to 4 tablespoons milk
* Edible flowers or additional grated lemon peel, optional

Directions:
* For lemon curd, in a heavy saucepan, cook and stir the sugar, lemon juice and butter until smooth. Stir a small amount of hot mixture into egg; return all to pan. Bring to a gentle boil, stirring constantly; cook 2 minutes longer or until thickened. Stir in lemon peel. Cool for 10 minutes. Cover and chill for 1-1/2 hours or until thickened.
* In a large bowl, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each. Add vanilla and lemon peel. Combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt; add to creamed mixture alternately with buttermilk.
* Fill paper-lined muffin cups three-fourths full. Bake at 350° for 20-25 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Cool for 10 minutes; remove from pan to a wire rack to cool completely.
* Cut a small hole in the corner of a pastry or plastic bag; insert a small round pastry tip. Fill bag with lemon curd. Insert tip 1 in. into center of each cupcake; fill with curd just until tops of cupcakes begin to crack.
* In a small bowl, combine the butter, vanilla, salt, confectioners' sugar and enough milk to achieve frosting consistency. Frost cupcakes. Store in the refrigerator. Garnish with flowers or lemon peel if desired.

Yield: 1 dozen.

~~Taste of Home April/May 2007~~

Monday, September 20, 2010

Veggie Meatloaf with Checca Sauce

Checca Sauce:
* 1 pint cherry tomatoes (about 2 cups, or 12 ounces), halved
* 3 scallions (white and pale green parts only), coarsely chopped
* 3 cloves garlic, chopped
* 8 fresh basil leaves
* 3 tablespoons olive oil
* Pinch salt
* Pinch freshly ground black pepper

Lentil Loaf:
* 3/4 cup lentils (about 5 ounces)
* 3 cups reduced-sodium vegetable broth
* 1 cup uncooked short-grain brown rice, rinsed well
* 1/2 cup finely chopped white onion
* 1/2 cup shredded carrots
* 1 celery rib, sliced
* 1/2 cup frozen corn kernels
* 2 tablespoons butter, divided
* 10 ounces fresh baby spinach leaves (about 4 cups)
* 1 1/2 cups cubed whole milk mozzarella cheese, divided (about 8 ounces total)
* 2 eggs, lightly beaten
* 1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese, plus 2 tablespoons
* 1/3 cup chopped fresh basil leaves
* 1/2 teaspoon salt
* 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
* 1 tomato, sliced

Directions:
For the Checca Sauce: Combine the cherry tomatoes, scallions, garlic, basil, and oil in a processor. Pulse the tomatoes until they are coarsely chopped, being careful not to puree. Set aside. Season the sauce with salt and pepper.

For the Lentil Loaf: Place the lentils in a large saucepan of cold water. Bring the water just to a boil over high heat. Carefully drain the boiling water and rinse the lentils. Meanwhile, in a heavy large saucepan over medium heat, bring the broth to a boil. Add the rice and return the liquid to a boil. Decrease the heat to low, cover the rice, and gently simmer without stirring for 10 minutes. Stir in the lentils, onion, carrot, and celery. Cover and continue cooking without stirring until the rice and lentils are tender and the liquid is absorbed, about 30 minutes longer. Turn off the heat. Sprinkle the corn over the rice and lentils and let stand, covered, for 5 minutes. Uncover and fluff the rice with a fork. Cover and let stand for 5 more minutes.

Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Spread 1 tablespoon of the butter over a 10 by 4 1/2 by 3-inch loaf pan. In a heavy, large skillet, cook the spinach over medium heat until the spinach wilts, about 3 minutes. Drain and squeeze the excess liquid from the spinach. Transfer the spinach to a work surface and coarsely chop.

In a large bowl, gently mix the lentil mixture, spinach, 1 cup of the mozzarella cheese, eggs, 1/4 cup of Parmesan cheese, basil, salt, pepper, and half of the checca sauce. Spoon the mixture into the prepared pan. Arrange the sliced tomatoes in a row over the lentil mixture. Sprinkle with the remaining 1/2 cup of mozzarella cheese and 2 tablespoons of Parmesan cheese. Dot the top with the remaining 1 tablespoon of butter.

Bake uncovered until the loaf is heated through and the topping is melted and starting to brown, about 30 minutes. Let cool for 15 minutes. Slice the loaf into 2-inch slices, arrange on plates, and serve with the remaining checca sauce.

Serves 4 to 6.

~~ Giada De Laurentiis, Everyday Italian~~

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Shrimp Bisque

Ingredients:
* 1 pound large shrimp, peeled and deveined, shells reserved
* 4 cups seafood stock
* 3 tablespoons good olive oil
* 2 cups chopped leeks, white and light green parts (3 leeks)
* 1 tablespoon chopped garlic (3 cloves)
* Pinch cayenne pepper
* 1/4 cup Cognac or brandy
* 1/4 cup dry sherry
* 4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter
* 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
* 2 cups half-and-half
* 1/3 cup tomato paste
* 2 teaspoons kosher salt
* 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Directions:
Place the shrimp shells and seafood stock in a saucepan and simmer for 15 minutes. Strain and reserve the stock. Add enough water to make 3 3/4 cups.

Meanwhile, heat the olive oil in a large pot or Dutch oven. Add the leeks and cook them for 10 minutes over medium-low heat, or until the leeks are tender but not browned. Add the garlic and cook 1 more minute. Add the cayenne pepper and shrimp and cook over medium to low heat for 3 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the Cognac and cook for 1 minute, then the sherry and cook for 3 minutes longer. Transfer the shrimp and leeks to a food processor fitted with a steel blade and process until coarsely pureed.

In the same pot, melt the butter. Add the flour and cook over medium-low heat for 1 minute, stirring with a wooden spoon. Add the half-and-half and cook, stirring with a whisk, until thickened, about 3 minutes. Stir in the pureed shrimp, the stock, tomato paste, salt, and pepper and heat gently until hot but not boiling. Season, to taste, and serve hot.

Serves 4 to 6.

~~Ina Garten, Barefoot Contessa at Home, 2006~~

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Garlic-Herb Potato Nests

Ingredients:
* 2 cups grated peeled potatoes, drained and squeezed dry
* 1 egg white, lightly beaten
* 1/4 teaspoon salt
* 1/8 teaspoon pepper
* 1/3 cup garlic-herb cheese spread
* Fresh dill sprigs

Directions:
* In a large bowl, combine the potatoes, egg white, salt and pepper. Place 1 tablespoonful in each of 24 greased miniature muffin cups, lining the bottom and sides of cups.
* Bake at 375° for 20-25 minutes or until golden brown. Cool for 2 minutes before removing from pans to wire racks to cool completely.
* Shape 1/2 teaspoonfuls of cheese into ovals; place in potato nests. Garnish with dill. Serve at room temperature.

Yield: 2 dozen.

Nutrition Facts: 1 serving (1 each) equals 25 calories, 1 g fat (1 g saturated fat), 4 mg cholesterol, 48 mg sodium, 3 g carbohydrate, trace fiber, 1 g protein.

~~Taste of Home August/September 2005~~

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Tuna Tea Sandwiches

Ingredients:
* 1 can (6 ounces) light water-packed tuna, drained and flaked
* 1 to 2 tablespoons mayonnaise
* 1/4 teaspoon lemon-pepper seasoning
* 4 tablespoons crumbled goat cheese
* 4 slices multigrain bread, crusts removed
* 4 large fresh basil leaves

Directions:
* In a small bowl, combine the tuna, mayonnaise and lemon-pepper. Spread 1 tablespoon of goat cheese on each slice of bread. Spread two slices with tuna mixture; top with basil leaves and remaining bread. Cut in half or into desired shapes.

Yield: 8 tea sandwiches.

~~Taste of Home's Holiday & Celebrations Cookbook Annual 2007~~

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Apple-Nut Blue Cheese Tartlets

Ingredients:
* 1 large apple, peeled and finely chopped
* 1 medium onion, finely chopped
* 2 teaspoons butter
* 1 cup (4 ounces) crumbled blue cheese
* 4 tablespoons finely chopped walnuts, toasted, divided
* 1/2 teaspoon salt
* 1 package (1.9 ounces) frozen miniature phyllo tart shells

Directions:
* In a small nonstick skillet, saute apple and onion in butter until tender. Remove from the heat; stir in the blue cheese, 3 tablespoons walnuts and salt. Spoon a rounded tablespoonful into each tart shell.
* Place on an ungreased baking sheet. Bake at 350° for 5 minutes. Sprinkle with remaining walnuts; bake 2-3 minutes longer or until lightly browned.

Yield: 15 appetizers.

~~Light & Tasty December/January 2008~~

Friday, September 10, 2010

Blueberry Cobbler

Ingredients:
* 4 cups fresh or frozen blueberries, thawed
* 3/4 cup sugar, divided
* 3 tablespoons cornstarch
* 2 tablespoons lemon juice
* 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
* 1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
* 1 cup all-purpose flour
* 2 teaspoons grated lemon peel
* 3/4 teaspoon baking powder
* 1/4 teaspoon salt
* 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
* 3 tablespoons cold butter
* 3/4 cup buttermilk

Directions:
* In a large bowl, combine the blueberries, 1/2 cup sugar, cornstarch, lemon juice, cinnamon and nutmeg. Transfer to a 2-qt. baking dish coated with cooking spray.
* In a small bowl, combine the flour, lemon peel, baking powder, salt, baking soda and remaining sugar; cut in butter until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Stir in buttermilk just until moistened. Drop by tablespoonfuls onto blueberry mixture.
* Bake, uncovered, at 375° for 30-35 minutes or until golden brown. Serve warm.

Yield: 8 servings.

~~Healthy Cooking June/July 2008~~

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Caramel Pear Pudding

Ingredients:
* 1 cup all-purpose flour
* 2/3 cup sugar
* 1-1/2 teaspoons baking powder
* 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
* 1/4 teaspoon salt
* Pinch ground cloves
* 1/2 cup milk
* 4 medium pears, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch cubes
* 1/2 cup chopped pecans
* 3/4 cup packed brown sugar
* 1/4 cup butter
* 3/4 cup boiling water
* Vanilla ice cream or whipped cream, optional

Directions:

* In a large bowl, combine the first six ingredients; beat in milk until smooth. Stir in pears and pecans. Spoon into an ungreased 2-qt. baking dish.
* In another bowl, combine the brown sugar, butter and water; pour over batter. Bake, uncovered, at 375° for 45-50 minutes. Serve warm with ice cream or whipped cream if desired.

Yield: 8 servings.

~~Taste of Home August/September 1998~~

Monday, September 6, 2010

Salmon Canapes

Ingredients:
* 1 package (8 ounces) reduced-fat cream cheese
* 1 teaspoon snipped fresh dill or 1/4 teaspoon dill weed
* 36 slices cocktail rye bread
* 12 ounces sliced smoked salmon or lox
* 1 medium red onion, thinly sliced and separated into rings
* Fresh dill sprigs, optional


Directions:
* In a small bowl, combine cream cheese and dill. Spread on rye bread. Top with salmon and red onion. Garnish with dill sprigs if desired.

Yield: 12 servings.

Nutritional Analysis: One serving (3 canapes) equals 155 calories, 7 g fat (3 g saturated fat), 21 mg cholesterol, 905 mg sodium, 15 g carbohydrate, 2 g fiber, 11 g protein. Diabetic Exchanges: 1 starch, 1 lean meat, 1/2 fat.

~~Light & Tasty December/January 2005~~

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Basil Jelly

The jelly is really good with cream cheese as an appetizer. I also like to combine a jar with 1 cup of barbecue sauce and simmer mini meatballs or cocktail wieners in the mixture.

Ingredients:
* 4 cups water
* 2 cups firmly packed fresh basil leaves, finely chopped
* 1 package (1-3/4 ounces) powdered fruit pectin
* 3 drops green food coloring, optional
* 5 cups sugar

Directions:

* In a large saucepan, bring water and basil to a boil. Remove from the heat; cover and let stand for 10 minutes. Strain and discard basil. Return 3-2/3 cups liquid to the pan. Stir in pectin and food coloring if desired. Return to a rolling boil over high heat. Stir in the sugar. Boil for 1 minute, stirring constantly. Remove from the
* heat; skim off foam.
* Carefully ladle hot mixture into hot half-pint jars, leaving 1/4-in. headspace. Remove air bubbles, wipe rims and adjust lids. Process for 15 minutes in a boiling-water canner.

Yield: 6 half-pints.

Note: The processing time listed is for altitudes of 1,000 feet or less. Add 1 minute to the processing time for each 1,000 feet of additional altitude.

~~Taste of Home June/July 2003~~

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Summer Tea Sandwiches

Ingredients:
* 1/2 teaspoon dried tarragon
* 1/2 teaspoon salt, divided
* 1/4 teaspoon pepper
* 1 pound boneless skinless chicken breasts
* 1/2 cup reduced-fat mayonnaise
* 1 tablespoon finely chopped red onion
* 1 teaspoon dill weed
* 1/2 teaspoon lemon juice
* 24 slices soft multigrain bread, crusts removed
* 1 medium cucumber, thinly sliced
* 1/4 medium cantaloupe, cut into 12 thin slices

Directions:
* Combine the tarragon, 1/4 teaspoon salt and pepper; rub over chicken. Place on a baking sheet coated with cooking spray.
* Bake at 350° for 20-25 minutes or until a meat thermometer reads 170°. Cool to room temperature; thinly slice.
* In a small bowl, combine the mayonnaise, onion, dill, lemon juice and remaining salt; spread over one side of 12 slices of bread. Top with cucumber, chicken, cantaloupe and remaining bread. Cut sandwiches in half diagonally. Serve immediately.

Yield: 12 servings.

~~ Light & Tasty June/July 2005~~

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

How about a giveaway?

Hello friends!

It has been awhile since I had a giveaway and I just happen to have an extra copy of NEW Fall issue of Phyllis Hoffman's Celebrate magazine! I would love to give it away to someone...so leave me a comment HERE over at my Prim Rose Hill Studio blog and tell me what you love about autumn & you could be the lucky winner on Sept 10! ;) You'll receive this just in time for the first day of fall--lots of time to cook all these delicious recipes!

From her website:
* 130 New Tailgating Ideas & Recipes
* Crowd-Pleasing Recipes * Easy-To-Make Centerpieces * Delicious Rum-Glazed Apple Tart * Grill a Homemade Pizza Tonight!

"Phyllis Hoffman Celebrate is a premium national magazine that highlights the most important events in our lives. Whether celebrating a birthday, anniversary, wedding, or a simple 4th of July barbeque with friends and family, Celebrate offers inspiration for every occasion.
Each issue brings you more than 70 ideas, recipes, and tips—from tabletop ideas, party planning menus to creative invitations. Celebrate features beautiful photography throughout and best of all it's 95% advertising free!"

As the temperature outside cools, warm up the inside with a party. Download our patterns and how-tos to make celebrating easy at your house this fall.

Grandparents’ Memories, from You Are My Sunshine, page 25

Napkin rings, from Columbus Day, page 32

Menu, from A Fall Gathering, page 38

Fall invitation, from Designed for You, page 109

Party Planner, pages 110–112

Monday, August 30, 2010

Smoked Salmon Cucumbers

Ingredients:
* 1 large English cucumber
* 1 carton (8 ounces) spreadable chive and onion cream cheese
* 7 to 8 ounces smoked salmon or lox, chopped
* Minced chives

Directions:
* With a fork, score cucumber peel lengthwise; cut into 1/4-in. slices. Pipe or spread cream cheese onto each slice; top with salmon. Sprinkle with chives. Refrigerate until serving.

Yield: about 3 dozen.

~~Quick Cooking November/December 2004~~

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Strawberries with Chocolate Cream Filling

Ingredients:
* 1-1/2 ounces semisweet chocolate, grated, divided
* 1 package (8 ounces) cream cheese, softened
* 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
* 1 cup whipped topping
* 18 large fresh strawberries, halved

Directions:
* Set aside 2 tablespoons chocolate. In a microwave, melt remaining chocolate; stir until smooth. Cool to room temperature.
* In a small bowl, beat cream cheese and vanilla until smooth. Beat in melted chocolate. Fold in whipped topping and 1 tablespoon reserved chocolate. Cut a small hole in the corner of pastry or plastic bag; insert #21 star pastry tip. Fill the bag with cream cheese mixture.
* Place strawberries cut side up on a serving platter. Pipe cream cheese mixture onto strawberries. Sprinkle with remaining chocolate. Refrigerate leftovers.

Yield: 3 dozen.

Nutrition Facts: 2 strawberry halves equals 81 calories, 6 g fat (4 g saturated fat), 14 mg cholesterol, 38 mg sodium, 5 g carbohydrate, 1 g fiber, 1 g protein.

~~Simple & Delicious May/June 2009~~

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Tiny Shortbread Tarts

Ingredients:
* 1 cup butter, softened
* 1/2 cup confectioners' sugar
* 2 cups all-purpose flour
* 1 can (21 ounces) raspberry, cherry or strawberry pie filling

Directions:
* In a large bowl, cream butter and confectioners' sugar until light and fluffy. Gradually add flour and mix well.
* Shape into 1-in. balls; press onto the bottom and up the sides of greased miniature muffin cups.
* Bake at 300° for 17-22 minutes or until set. Cool for 15 minutes before carefully removing from pan to a wire rack to cool completely. Spoon 1 teaspoon of pie filling into each tart.

Yield: about 3 dozen.

~~Taste of Home February/March 1999~~

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Nasturtium Nibbles

Ingredients:
* 3 dozen nasturtium blossoms, washed and drained
* 1 jar (5 ounces) cream cheese and pineapple spread
* 1/4 cup whipped cream cheese with chives
* 1/4 cup ham salad spread
* Nasturtium leaves, optional

Directions:
* With a small spoon, carefully stuff each blossom with a small amount of one of the three fillings. Line serving tray with nasturtium leaves if desired and top with filled blossoms. Refrigerate for 30 minutes.

Yield: 3 dozen.

Note: Verify that flowers are edible and have not been treated with chemicals.

~~Birds & Blooms April/May 1995~~

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Mock Devonshire Cream

Ingredients:
* 1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
* 2 tablespoons confectioners' sugar
* 1/2 cup sour cream


Directions:
* In a small bowl, beat whipping cream for 2 minutes. Add confectioners’ sugar and continue beating until stiff. Place the sour cream in a bowl; stir in a small amount of whipped cream. Fold in remaining whipped cream. Cover and refrigerate until serving.


Yield: about 1 cup.

Nutrition Facts: 1 serving (1 tablespoon) equals 44 calories, 4 g fat (3 g saturated fat), 15 mg cholesterol, 7 mg sodium, 1 g carbohydrate, 0 fiber, trace protein.

~~Taste of Home's Holiday & Celebrations Cookbook Annual 2005~~