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DECEMBER RECIPES

A Holiday dinner that is exquisite and delicious and not a hint of turkey or ham in the mix ...

Holiday Appetizer Puffs Recipe
Ingredients

1 cup water
1/2 cup butter, cubed
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup all-purpose flour
4 eggs

FILLING:
1 package (8 ounces) cream cheese, softened
1/4 cup mayonnaise
1 can (6 ounces) crabmeat, drained and cartilage removed
1/2 cup shredded Swiss cheese
1 tablespoon minced chives
1 teaspoon garlic salt
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1/4 teaspoon pepper

Directions

In a small saucepan, bring the water, butter and salt to a boil. Add flour all at once and stir until a smooth ball forms. Remove from the heat; let stand for 5 minutes. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Continue beating until mixture is smooth and shiny.

Drop by rounded teaspoonfuls 2 in. apart onto greased baking sheets. Bake at 400° for 25-30 minutes or until golden brown. Remove to wire racks. Immediately cut a slit in puffs to allow steam to escape. When cool, split puffs open; remove tops and set aside. Discard soft dough from inside.

In a small bowl, beat cream cheese and mayonnaise until smooth. Stir in the remaining filling ingredients.

Just before serving, spoon filling into puffs; replace tops. Yield: 4 dozen.


Marinated Mozzarella Cubes Recipe

Ingredients

1 pound mozzarella cheese, cut into 1-inch cubes
1 jar (7 ounces) roasted red peppers, drained and cut into bite-size pieces
6 fresh thyme sprigs
2 garlic cloves, minced
1-1/4 cups olive oil
2 tablespoons minced fresh rosemary
2 teaspoons Italian seasoning
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
Bread or crackers

Directions

In a quart jar with a tight-fitting lid, layer a third of the cheese, peppers, thyme and garlic. Repeat layers twice.

In a small bowl, whisk the oil, rosemary, Italian seasoning and pepper flakes. Pour into jar; seal and turn upside down. Refrigerate overnight, turning several times.
Serve with bread or crackers. Yield: 4 cups.


Fruit and Broccoli Salad
Ingredients

1 16-ounce package shredded broccoli (broccoli slaw mix)
2 cups seedless red and/or green grapes, halved
2 medium apples, cored and chopped
2/3 cup bottled citrus salad dressing (such as tangerine vinaigrette)
1 cup coarsely chopped pecans or walnuts, toasted if desired*

Directions

In a very large bowl combine shredded broccoli, grapes, and apples. Up to 1 hour before serving, pour salad dressing over broccoli mixture; toss to coat. Cover and chill . Transfer to a serving bowl.

Sprinkle with nuts; toss again. Makes 12 to 16 servings.

To Toast Nuts:
Preheat oven to 350 degree F. Spread nuts in a single layer in a shallow baking pan. Bake for 5 to 10 minutes or until light golden brown, stirring once or twice.


Beef Rib Roast with Yorkshire Pudding
Ingredients

Beef Roast
1 beef rib roast (small end), 4 to 6 lb
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper

Yorkshire Pudding
Vegetable oil, if necessary
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup milk
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 eggs


Directions

Heat oven to 350°F. For easy cleanup, line shallow roasting pan with foil. In pan, place beef, fat side up; sprinkle with 1/2 teaspoon salt and the pepper. Insert ovenproof meat thermometer so tip is in center of the thickest part of beef and does not rest in fat or touch bone. (Do not add water.)

For medium-rare, bake 1 hour 45 minutes to 2 hours 15 minutes or until thermometer reads 135°F. Remove beef from pan onto carving board. Cover beef loosely with foil and let stand 15 to 20 minutes until thermometer reads 145°F. (Temperature will continue to rise about 10°F, and beef will be easier to carve.) For medium, bake uncovered 2 hours 15 minutes to 2 hours 45 minutes or until thermometer reads 150°F. Cover beef loosely with foil and let stand 15 to 20 minutes or until thermometer reads 160°F.

While beef is standing, make Yorkshire Pudding. Measure pan drippings, adding enough oil to drippings, if necessary, to measure 1/4 cup. Place hot drippings in 9-inch square pan; place pan in oven and heat until hot. Increase oven temperature to 450°F. In medium bowl, beat flour, milk, 1/2 teaspoon salt and the eggs with wire whisk just until smooth. Pour batter into pan of drippings and oil. Bake 18 to 23 minutes or puffy and golden brown (pudding will puff during baking but will deflate shortly after being removed from oven). Cut pudding into squares; serve immediately with beef.



Artisanal Bread Stuffing
Ingredients

12 cups 1/2- to 3/4-inch cubes artisanal bread, such as rosemary, dried tomato, or cheese (about a 1 1/4-pound loaf)
1/2 cup pine nuts
Nonstick cooking spray
6 tablespoons butter
4-1/2 cups coarsely chopped, cored fennel (reserve leafy green tops for another use)
1-1/2 cups chopped onion
1-1/2 cups pitted and sliced kalamata olives
3 tablespoons snipped fresh thyme or 1 tablespoon dried thyme, crushed
3/4 teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper
1-1/4 cups chicken stock or broth

Directions

Place bread cubes and pine nuts in a large roasting pan. Toast in a 325 degrees F oven for 15 to 20 minutes or until bread cubes are crisp and pine nuts are lightly browned, tossing once. Set aside to cool. Meanwhile, lightly coat a 3-quart casserole with cooking spray; set aside. In a large skillet, melt butter over medium-high heat. Add fennel and onion; cook about 10 minutes or until vegetables are tender, stirring occasionally. Stir in the olives, thyme, and pepper. Transfer mixture to an extra-large bowl. Add bread cubes and pine nuts, tossing to combine. Add chicken stock, stirring until moistened.

Spoon bread mixture into prepared casserole. Cover with foil. Chill up to 24 hours. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Let stuffing stand at room temperature 30 minutes. Bake, covered, for about 1 hour or until heated through. Makes 10 to 12 servings.

To serve right away: Stuffing may be baked without chilling. Bake covered, for about 45 minutes.



Cheesy Mashed Potato Pots
Ingredients

2 pounds red skinned or Yukon gold potatoes, peeled, if desired and cut up
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Milk (optional)
1/2 cup whipping cream
1/3 cup shredded American or cheddar cheese
Freshly ground black pepper (optional)


Directions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. In a covered large saucepan, cook potatoes in enough boiling water to cover for 15 to 20 minutes or until tender. Drain. Mash with a potato masher or beat with an electric mixer on low speed. Season with the salt and 1/8 teaspoon pepper. If necessary, add a small amount of milk for desired consistency.

Grease four 10- to 12-ounce individual casseroles or custard cups or a 1- to 1-1/2-quart casserole.

Spoon potato mixture into prepared casserole(s). In a chilled medium bowl, beat whipping cream with chilled beaters of an electric mixer on medium speed until soft peaks form (tips curl over); fold in cheese. Spoon cheese mixture over potatoes. Place casserole(s) on a baking sheet. Bake, uncovered, about 20 minutes or until lightly browned and heated through. If desired, sprinkle with additional black pepper. Makes 4 servings.



Glazed Carrots with Pistachios
Ingredients

3 pounds small carrots with tops
3 cups water
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup shelled unsalted pistachios
1/2 cup butter (no substitutes)
1/3 cup packed brown sugar
1-1/2 teaspoons snipped fresh thyme

Directions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Trim carrots, leaving about 1/2-inch tops. Combine water and salt in a 12-inch skillet; bring to boiling. Add carrots; return to boiling. Reduce heat; cover and simmer for 10 to 12 minutes or until carrots are just tender. Drain carrots in a large colander; set aside.

Meanwhile, place pistachios in a single layer in a shallow baking pan. Bake in the preheated oven for 8 to 10 minutes or until lightly toasted, stirring once. Set aside. Melt butter in the heavy skillet. Add brown sugar and thyme, stirring over medium heat until sugar is melted. Add drained carrots. Bring just to boiling. Reduce heat and cook, uncovered, over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally just until well-glazed, about 10 minutes. Transfer carrots to a serving bowl or platter. Sprinkle with toasted pistachios.

Makes 10 to 12 servings.



Rosemary "Braidsticks"
Ingredients

1 to 1-1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 package active dry yeast
1 tablespoon snipped fresh rosemary or 1/2 teaspoon dried rosemary, crushed
1/4 teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper
3/4 cup milk
2 tablespoons butter or margarine
1 tablespoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup semolina pasta flour*
1 egg white
1 tablespoon water


Directions

In a large mixing bowl, stir together 3/4 cup of the all-purpose flour, the yeast, the rosemary, and the pepper. In a small saucepan, heat the milk, butter, sugar, and salt just until warm (120 degree F to 130 degree F) and butter almost melts. Add milk mixture to flour mixture. Beat with an electric mixer on low to medium speed for 30 seconds, scraping sides of the bowl constantly. Beat on high speed for 3 minutes. Stir in semolina flour. Let stand for 1 minute. Stir in as much of the remaining all-purpose flour as you can with a wooden spoon. Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface.

Knead in enough of the remaining all-purpose flour to make a stiff dough that is smooth and elastic (8 to 10 minutes). Shape into a ball. Place in a lightly greased bowl; turn once to grease surface. Cover and let rise in a warm place until nearly double (about 45 to 60 minutes). Punch dough down. Turn out onto a lightly floured surface. Divide dough in half. Cover and let rest 10 minutes. Line a baking sheet with foil; grease foil. Roll each portion into a 10x9-inch rectangle. From one portion of dough, cut lengthwise into 24 strips.

For each breadstick, pinch together ends of three strips. Braid the strips of dough. Pinch the other ends together. Tuck under the thin, pinched ends. Place on the prepared baking sheet. Repeat with remaining half of dough. Cover and let rise in a warm place unto nearly double in size (about 30 minutes). Preheat oven to 350 degree F. In a small bowl, beat together egg white and water. Lightly brush egg white mixture on breadsticks. Bake about 15 minutes or until golden. Serve warm. Makes 16 breadsticks.

Make-Ahead Tip: Prepare breadstick dough. Freeze in an airtight container for up to 3 weeks. To serve, thaw dough. Shape and let rise. Bake in a 350 degree F oven about 20 minutes or until golden.

*Semolina flour substitution: Instead of semolina flour, you can use 3/4 cup all-purpose flour and 1/4 cup of yellow cornmeal.


Gingersnap Crumble Pumpkin Parfaits
Ingredients

1 recipe Gingersnap Crumble (recipe, below)
1 quart vanilla ice cream
1 15-oz. can pumpkin
2 Tbsp. packed brown sugar
1-1/2 tsp. pumpkin pie spice
1/2 tsp. salt
1 cup whipping cream, whipped
Pumpkin pie spice (optional)

Directions

Prepare Gingersnap Crumble. Set aside.
Place ice cream in refrigerator for 20 to 30 minutes or just until softened. In a large bowl combine pumpkin, brown sugar, pumpkin pie spice, and salt. Stir ice cream to soften; fold into pumpkin mixture.
Cover and freeze 20 minutes or until pumpkin mixture holds its shape when heaped with a spoon.
Spoon ice cream into parfait glasses; sprinkle with Gingersnap Crumble. Cover and freeze until firm (4 hours to 48 hours).
Before serving, top with whipped cream and a leaf pastry cutout. Sprinkle with additional pumpkin pie spice. Makes 10 servings.

Gingersnap Crumble: In a small bowl stir together 1-1/2 cups crushed gingersnaps (about 30 gingersnaps) and 1/4 cup melted butter. Stir just until crumbs are coated.


Iced Apple Tea
Ingredients

cups cold water
2 cups cold apple juice
1 pkt. (makes 2 qt. drink) or 2 pkt. (makes 1 qt. drink each) CRYSTAL LIGHT Natural Lemon Flavor Iced Tea Mix*

Directions

ADD water and juice to drink mix in large plastic or glass pitcher; stir until mix is dissolved.

SERVE over ice.

*NOTE: CRYSTAL LIGHT Packets come in two sizes. Please note packet size before preparing recipe.


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