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Paradise Parfaits

Paradise Parfaits

2 cups cold fat-free milk
1 package (3.4 ounces) instant French vanilla pudding mix
1/4 teaspoon coconut extract
16 reduced-fat vanilla wafers, divided
1 medium firm banana, sliced
4 tablespoons chopped walnuts, toasted
1 cup sliced fresh strawberries
3/4 cup halved green grapes
2 tablespoons flaked coconut, toasted

In a large bowl, whisk milk and pudding mix for 2 minutes. Whisk in extract. Let stand for 2 minutes or until soft-set. Refrigerate for 5 minutes.

Meanwhile, coarsely crush 12 wafers; set aside. In parfait glasses, layer banana slices, half of the cookie crumbs, half of the walnuts and pudding and all of the strawberries. Top with the remaining cookie crumbs and pudding, all of the grapes and remaining nuts. Garnish with toasted coconut and a whole vanilla wafer. Yield: 4 servings.

Recipe found here: Paradise Parfaits

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Turkey Swiss Quiche

Turkey Swiss Quiche

1 unbaked pastry shell (9 inches)
1-1/2 cups finely chopped cooked turkey
4 eggs
3/4 cup half-and-half cream
2 cups (8 ounces) shredded Swiss cheese
4 green onions, finely chopped
2 tablespoons diced pimientos
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon dried parsley flakes
Dash salt and pepper
3 slices (3/4 ounce each) Swiss cheese, cut into thin strips

Preheat oven to 450°. Line unpricked pastry shell with a double thickness of heavy-duty foil. Bake 8 minutes. Remove foil; bake 5-7 minutes longer or until golden brown. Reduce heat to 375°.

Sprinkle turkey into pastry shell. In a large bowl, whisk eggs and cream. Stir in the shredded Swiss cheese, onions, pimientos, oregano, parsley, salt and pepper. Pour into crust.

Bake 20 minutes. Arrange Swiss cheese strips in a lattice pattern over quiche. Bake 10-15 minutes longer or until a knife inserted near center comes out clean. Let stand 10 minutes before cutting. Yield: 6 servings.

Recipe found here: Turkey Swiss Quiche

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Quick and Easy Peanut Butter Fudge

Quick and Easy Peanut Butter Fudge

1 cup packed brown sugar
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup milk
5 large marshmallows
1 jar (12 ounces) creamy peanut butter

In a heavy 2-qt. saucepan, combine the sugars, milk and marshmallows. Bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring until the sugar dissolves and marshmallows melt. Remove from the heat; stir in peanut butter. Pour into a buttered 8-in. square dish. Cool. When firm, cut into squares. Yield: 3 dozen.

If Cooking for Two: Fudge will keep for several weeks wrapped or store in an airtight container in the refrigerator

Recipe found here: Quick and Easy Peanut Butter Fudge

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Apple Cider Cinnamon Rolls

Apple Cider Cinnamon Rolls

3-1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 cup sugar
1 package (1/4 ounce) quick-rise yeast
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup 2% milk
1/4 cup apple cider or juice
1/4 cup plus 1/3 cup butter, softened, divided
1 egg
2 cups finely chopped peeled tart apples
1-1/4 cups packed brown sugar
3/4 cup finely chopped walnuts
3 teaspoons ground cinnamon

2 cups apple cider or juice
1 cinnamon stick (3 inches)
1 package (8 ounces) cream cheese, softened
1/4 cup butter, softened
1 cup confectioners’ sugar

In a large bowl, combine 2-1/4 cups flour, sugar, yeast and salt. In a small saucepan, heat the milk, cider and 1/4 cup butter to 120°-130°. Add to dry ingredients; beat just until moistened. Add egg; beat until smooth. Stir in enough remaining flour to form a soft dough (dough will be sticky).

Turn onto a floured surface; knead until smooth and elastic, about 6-8 minutes. Cover and let rest for 10 minutes. Roll into a 15-in. x 10-in. rectangle. Spread remaining butter to within 1/2 in. of edges. Combine the apples, brown sugar, walnuts and cinnamon; sprinkle over butter.

Roll up jelly-roll style, starting with a long side; pinch seam to seal. Cut into 12 slices. Place cut side down in a greased 13-in. x 9-in. baking dish. Cover and let rise in a warm place for 30 minutes.

Bake at 325° for 30-35 minutes or until golden brown. For frosting, place cider and cinnamon stick in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil; cook until liquid is reduced to 1/4 cup, about 20 minutes. Discard cinnamon stick; cool cider.

In a large bowl, beat cream cheese and butter until fluffy. Add confectioners’ sugar and reduced cider; beat until smooth. Spread over warm rolls. Yield: 1 dozen.

Recipe found here: Apple Cider Cinnamon Rolls

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Sausage Corn Bread

Sausage Corn Bread

1 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup cornmeal
1/4 cup sugar
3 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup buttermilk
1/4 cup unsweetened applesauce
2 egg whites

1 pound turkey Italian sausage links, casings removed
4 celery ribs, chopped
1 medium onion, chopped
1 medium sweet red pepper, chopped
2 medium tart apples, chopped
1 cup chopped roasted chestnuts
3 tablespoons minced fresh parsley
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1 cup reduced-sodium chicken broth
1 egg white

For corn bread, combine the first five ingredients in a large bowl. Combine the buttermilk, applesauce and egg whites; stir into dry ingredients just until moistened.

Pour into an 9-in. square baking dish coated with cooking spray. Bake at 400° for 20-25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Cool on a wire rack.

In a large nonstick skillet, cook the sausage, celery, onion and red pepper over medium heat until meat is no longer pink; drain. Transfer to a large bowl. Crumble corn bread over mixture. Add the apples, chestnuts, parsley, garlic, thyme and pepper. Stir in broth and egg white.

Transfer to a 13-in. x 9-in. baking dish coated with cooking spray. Cover and bake at 325° for 40 minutes. Uncover; bake 10 minutes longer or until lightly browned. Yield: 16 servings.

Editor’s Note: Dressing can be prepared as directed and used to stuff a 10- to 12-pound turkey.

Recipe found here: Sausage Corn Bread Dressing

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For the filling:
1 lb. walnuts, coarsely ground
1/2 lb. almonds, coarsely ground
1/2 cup sugar
1 tbsp. ground cinnamon

For the syrup:
2 cups water
1 1/2 cups sugar
10 whole cloves
Juice of half a lemon

1 lb. phyllo pastry sheets
1/2 lb. unsalted butter, melted
Prep Time: 40 minutes
Cook Time: 45 minutes
Total Time: 85 minutes
Yield: Approximately 24 pieces


If you are using a food processor to grind the nuts, process the almonds separately from the walnuts. Almonds take a bit more time to grind than walnuts and you don’t want the walnuts to be ground too finely.

Mix the walnuts, almonds, sugar, and cinnamon in a bowl. Set aside.

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees.

Unwrap the Phyllo:

Carefully remove the Phyllo roll from the plastic sleeve. Most packages come in 12 x 18 inch sheets when opened fully. Using a scissor or sharp knife, cut the sheets in half to make two stacks of 9 x 12 inch sheets. To prevent drying, cover one stack with wax paper and a damp paper towel while working with the other

Assemble the Baklava:

Using a pastry brush, brush the bottom and sides of a 9 x 12 rectangular pan. Begin by layering six sheets of phyllo making sure to brush each with melted butter.

Add half of the nut mixture in an even layer. Pat it down with a spatula to flatten.

Continue layering another 6 sheets of phyllo. Add the remaining nut mixture in an even layer. Top with the remaining phyllo sheets.

Before baking, score the top layer of phyllo (making sure not to go past the top filling layer) to enable easier cutting of pieces later. I place the pan in the freezer to harden the top layers and then use a serrated knife.

Bake in a preheated 325 degree oven for about 45 minutes or until the phyllo turns a rich golden color.

Prepare the Syrup While the Baklava is Baking:

In a medium saucepan, combine the water and the sugar and mix well. Add the cloves and simmer over medium high heat for about 20 minutes. You want the syrup to be slightly thickened. Remove from the heat and discard the cloves. Stir in the juice of half a lemon. Allow the syrup to cool slightly.

When the baklava is out of the oven and still warm, ladle the syrup carefully into the pan. Baklava can be refrigerated or stored at room temperature.

Recipe found here: Baklava

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Carrot Layer Cake

Carrot Layer Cake


1 cup sugar
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup heavy whipping cream
1/2 cup butter
1 cup chopped pecans
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1-1/4 cups canola oil
2 cups sugar
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
4 eggs
4 cups finely shredded carrots
1 cup raisins
1 cup chopped pecans

3/4 cup butter, softened
2 packages (3 ounces each) cream cheese, softened
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 cups confectioners’ sugar

In a large heavy saucepan, combine sugar, flour and salt. Stir in cream; add butter. Cook and stir over medium heat until the butter is melted; bring to a boil. Reduce heat. Simmer, uncovered, for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. Stir in nuts and vanilla. Cool and set aside.

In a large bowl, beat oil and sugar until well blended. Combine the flour, cinnamon, baking powder, baking soda and salt; add to the creamed mixture alternately with eggs, beating well after each addition. Stir in the carrots, raisins and nuts.

Pour into three greased and floured 9-in. round baking pans. Bake at 350° for 35-40 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Cool in pans 10 minutes before removing to wire racks to cool completely.

For frosting, in a small bowl, beat the butter, cream cheese and vanilla until fluffy. Gradually beat in sugar until smooth. Spread filling between cake layers. Frost the sides and top of cake. Store in the refrigerator. Yield: 16-20 servings.

Recipe found here: Carrot Layer Cake

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