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Tropical Muffins

Tropical Muffins

Ingredients
1/4 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup sugar
1 egg
1 cup (8 ounces) sour cream
1-1/2 teaspoons rum extract
1-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 can (8 ounces) crushed pineapple, drained
1/2 cup flaked coconut
1/3 cup chopped pecans

Directions
In a large bowl, cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in the egg, sour cream and extract. Combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt; stir into the creamed mixture just until moistened. Fold in the pineapple, coconut and pecans.

Fill greased or paper-lined muffin cups two-thirds full. Bake at 375° for 22-25 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Cool for 5 minutes removing from pan to a wire rack. Yield: about 1 dozen.

Freeze option: Freeze cooled muffins in resealable plastic freezer bags. To use, thaw at room temperature or, if desired, microwave each muffin on high for 20-30 seconds or until heated through

Recipe found here: Tropical Muffins

Raspberry Swirl Pound Cake

Raspberry Swirl Pound Cake

Ingredients:
For Raspberry Pound Cake:
15 Tbsp Butter, softened
1/4 cup Milk
3 Eggs
1/4 tsp Raspberry Extract (Optional – adds flavor if raspberries aren’t ripe enough)
1 tsp Vanilla Extract
1/4 tsp Almond Extract
1 1/2 cup Cake Flour
3/4 cup Sugar
3/4 tsp. Baking Powder
1/2 cup Raspberries
For Cream Cheese Frosting:
1/4 cup Butter, softened
1/4 Cream Cheese, softened
1 cup Powdered Sugar

Directions:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease a 9×5 loaf pan with non-stick spray.

In bowl, whisk together milk, eggs, and raspberry, vanilla and almond extract. (*note* Raspberry extract is optional if raspberries are not available or very ripe – just adds touch of flavor). Set aside.

With a mesh strainer over a small bowl, use a spatula to push and mash the raspberries through the strainer. The seeds and pith will be left behind and the raspberry juice will be in the bowl. Set aside the raspberry juice and discard the seeds.

Sift together flour, sugar and baking powder into the bowl of a stand mixer. Fit mixer with paddle attachment, and turn on low. Add in softened butter and mix on low until the flour/butter mixture has combined. It doesn’t have to be completely smooth, but just make sure majority of flour and butter has been mixed together. Slowly pour in eggs/milk mixture into the stand mixer in a steady stream. Continue to beat on low or medium-low until throughly mixed.

Remove stand mixer bowl from mixer and pour about 1/3 to 1/2 of the batter into a separate bowl. Into the batter, stir in the raspberry juice.

Alternate pouring the batters into the prepared loaf pan, smoothing out the batters with a spoon between each addition. Bake for 45-50 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the middle comes out clean. Let rest in loaf pan for 10-15 minutes on a wire rack, then turn out of pan and allow to complete cooling.

For Frosting:
With a mixer, beat together softened butter and cream cheese until smooth. Slowly add in powdered sugar and combine until smooth. Spread over the top of the cooled pound cake. Let rest, slice and serve.

YIELD: 1 Loaf – 8 Slices

Tomato Cheese Melt

Tomato Cheese Melt

Ingredients
1 onion bagel or English muffin, split
1/4 cup shredded cheddar cheese
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
2 tomato slices
1 tablespoon shredded Parmesan cheese

Directions
On each bagel or muffin half, sprinkle half of the cheddar cheese and cayenne pepper. Top with a tomato slice. Sprinkle half of the Parmesan cheese over each tomato.

Broil 6 in. from the heat for 4-5 minutes or until cheese is bubbly. Yield: 2 servings.

Recipe found here: Tomato Cheese Melt

Vietnamese Pork Lettuce Wraps

Vietnamese Pork Lettuce Wraps

Ingredients
1/2 cup white vinegar
1/4 cup sugar
1/8 teaspoon salt
2 medium carrots, julienned
1/2 medium onion, cut into thin slices

FILLING:
1 pound ground pork
1 tablespoon minced fresh gingerroot
1 garlic clove, minced
2 tablespoons reduced-sodium soy sauce
1 tablespoon mirin (sweet rice wine)
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1 teaspoon fish sauce, optional

ASSEMBLY:
8 Bibb lettuce leaves
1/2 English cucumber, finely chopped
1 small sweet red pepper, finely chopped
3 green onions, chopped
1/2 cup each coarsely chopped fresh basil, cilantro and mint
1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and finely chopped
1/4 cup salted peanuts, chopped
Hoisin sauce
Lime wedges

Directions
In a small bowl, mix vinegar, sugar and salt until blended. Stir in carrots and onion; let stand at room temperature 30 minutes.

In a large skillet, cook pork, ginger and garlic over medium heat 6-8 minutes or until pork is no longer pink, breaking up pork into crumbles; drain. Stir in soy sauce, mirin, salt, pepper and, if desired, fish sauce.

To serve, drain carrot mixture. Place pork mixture in lettuce leaves; top with cucumber, red pepper, green onions, carrot mixture and herbs. Sprinkle with jalapeno and peanuts; drizzle with hoisin sauce. Squeeze lime juice over tops. Fold lettuce over filling. Yield: 8 servings.

Recipe found here:

Peanut Butter Blondies

Peanut Butter Blondies

Ingredients
3/4 cup creamy peanut butter
2/3 cup butter, softened
1 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup sugar
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1-3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/3 cup milk
1 cup peanut butter chips

FROSTING:
1/4 cup butter, softened
1/4 cup baking cocoa
2 tablespoons milk
1 tablespoon light corn syrup
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1-1/2 cups confectioners’ sugar
1/3 cup peanut butter chips

Directions
In a large bowl, cream the peanut butter, butter and sugars until light and fluffy. Beat in eggs and vanilla. Combine the flour and baking powder; add to creamed mixture alternately with milk, beating well after each addition. Stir in chips.

Spread into a greased 13-in. x 9-in. baking pan. Bake at 325° for 35-40 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean (do not overbake). Cool on a wire rack.

For frosting, in a small bowl, combine the butter, cocoa, milk, corn syrup and vanilla. Gradually add confectioners’ sugar; beat until smooth. Frost brownies. Sprinkle with chips. Cut into bars. Yield: 2 dozen.

Recipe found here: Peanut Butter Blondies

Raspberry Lemon Cake

Raspberry Lemon Cake

Ingredients
3 eggs
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup lemon juice
1/4 cup butter, cubed
1 tablespoon grated lemon peel

CAKE:
1 package (3 ounces) lemon gelatin
1/2 cup boiling water
1/2 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup canola oil
1-3/4 cups sugar, divided
4 eggs
1/2 cup lemon juice
4 teaspoons grated lemon peel
1 teaspoon lemon extract
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2-1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup evaporated milk
3/4 cup thawed lemonade concentrate

FROSTING:
2 packages (3 ounces each) cream cheese, softened
6 tablespoons butter, softened
3-3/4 to 4 cups confectioners’ sugar
4-1/2 teaspoons lemon juice
1-1/2 teaspoons grated lemon peel
3/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
3/4 cup seedless raspberry jam
Fresh raspberries, optional

Directions
For lemon curd, in a heavy saucepan, beat eggs and sugar. Stir in the lemon juice, butter and lemon peel. Cook and stir over medium-low heat for 15 minutes or until mixture is thickened and reaches 160°. Cool for 10 minutes. Cover and chill for 1-1/2 hours or until thickened.

For cake, preheat oven to 350°. In a small bowl, dissolve gelatin in boiling water; set aside to cool.

In a large bowl, cream beat butter, oil and 1-1/2 cups sugar until blended, about 5 minutes. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in gelatin mixture, lemon juice, lemon peel and extracts. Combine flour, baking powder and salt; add to the butter mixture alternately with milk, beating well after each addition.

Pour into three greased and floured 9-in. round baking pans. Bake at for 20-25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean.

In a microwave-safe bowl, combine lemonade concentrate and remaining sugar. Microwave, uncovered, on high for 2 minutes or until sugar is dissolved, stirring occasionally. Poke holes in warm cakes with a fork; pour lemonade mixture over cakes. Cool 10 minutes before removing from pans to wire racks to cool completely.

For frosting, in a large bowl, beat cream cheese and butter until fluffy. Add confectioners’ sugar, lemon juice, lemon peel and vanilla; beat until blended.

To assemble, place one cake layer on a serving plate; spread with 6 tablespoons raspberry jam. Repeat. Top with remaining cake layer. Spread about 1/2 cup lemon curd over top of cake (save remaining curd for another use).

Spread frosting over sides of cake and pipe a shell border along the top and bottom edges. Garnish with raspberries if desired. Chill 1 hour. Yield: 12 servings.

Recipe found here: Raspberry Lemon Cake

Tuscan Pasta With Tomato-Basil Cream

Tuscan Pasta With Tomato-Basil Cream

Ingredients
1 (20-oz.) package refrigerated four-cheese ravioli*
1 (16-oz.) jar sun-dried tomato Alfredo sauce
2 tablespoons white wine
2 medium-size fresh tomatoes, chopped**
1/2 cup chopped fresh basil
1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese
Garnish: fresh basil strips

Preparation

1. Prepare pasta according to package directions.

2. Meanwhile, pour Alfredo sauce into a medium saucepan. Pour wine into sauce jar; cover tightly, and shake well. Stir wine mixture into saucepan. Stir in chopped tomatoes and 1/2 cup chopped basil, and cook over medium-low heat 5 minutes or until thoroughly heated. Toss with pasta, and top evenly with 1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese. Garnish, if desired.

*1 (13-oz.) package three-cheese tortellini may be substituted.

**1 (14.5-oz.) can petite diced tomatoes, fully drained, may be substituted.

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