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Wild Rice Stuffed Squash

Ingredients
1 package (6 ounces) long grain and wild rice mix
2-1/3 cups vegetable or chicken broth
1 teaspoon rubbed sage
1 teaspoon dried thyme
2 celery ribs, chopped
1 medium onion, chopped
1 tablespoon olive or vegetable oil
3/4 cup dried cranberries
1/2 cup coarsely chopped pecan halves, toasted
2 tablespoons minced fresh parsley
4 medium acorn squash (about 22 ounces each)
3/4 cup water

Directions
In a large saucepan, combine the rice with contents of seasoning mix, broth, sage and thyme. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; cover and simmer for 23-25 minutes or until rice is tender and liquid is almost absorbed. Meanwhile, in a large skillet, saute celery and onion in oil until tender. Stir in cranberries, pecans and parsley. Remove from the heat. Stir in rice mixture.

Cut squash in half widthwise. Remove and discard seeds and membranes. With a sharp knife, cut a thin slice from the bottom of each half so squash sits flat. Fill squash halves with about 1/2 cup rice mixture. Place in a greased 15-in. x 10-in. x 1-in. baking pan. Pour water into pan.

Coat one side of a large piece of heavy-duty foil with cooking spray. Cover pan tightly with foil, coated side down. Bake at 350° for 50-60 minutes or until squash is tender. Yield: 8 servings.

Recipe found here: Wild Rice Stuffed Squash

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Easy Reindeer Cookies

Ingredients
1 package (17-1/2 ounces) peanut butter cookie mix
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1 egg
60 miniature pretzel twists
60 semisweet chocolate chips
30 red-hot candies

Directions
In a mixing bowl, combine dry cookie mix, oil and egg. Beat until well mixed. Shape into a 7-1/2-in. roll; wrap in plastic wrap. Refrigerate for 1 hour. Unwrap and cut into 1/4-in. slices. Place 2 in. apart on ungreased baking sheets. Using thumb and forefinger, make a slight indentation one-third of the way down the sides of each slice. Press in pretzels for antlers, chocolate chips for eyes and a red-hot for the nose. Bake at 350° for 9-11 minutes or until light brown. Remove to wire racks to cool. Yield: 2-1/2 dozen.

Editor’s Note: You may substitute any peanut butter cookie recipe for the cookie mix, oil and egg.

Recipe found here: Easy Reindeer Cookies

Shrimp Puttanesca

Ingredients
2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
1 pound uncooked shrimp (31-40 per pound), peeled and deveined
3/4 to 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes, divided
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 small onion, chopped
2 to 3 anchovy fillets, finely chopped
3 garlic cloves, minced
2 cups grape tomatoes or small cherry tomatoes
1/2 cup dry white wine or vegetable broth
1/3 cup pitted Greek olives, coarsely chopped
2 teaspoons drained capers
Sugar to taste
Chopped fresh Italian parsley
Hot cooked spaghetti, optional

Directions
In a large skillet, heat 1 tablespoon oil; saute shrimp with 1/2 teaspoon pepper flakes until shrimp turn pink, 2-3 minutes. Stir in salt; remove from pan.

In same pan, heat remaining oil over medium heat; saute onion until tender, about 2 minutes. Add anchovies, garlic and remaining pepper flakes; cook and stir until fragrant, about 1 minute. Stir in tomatoes, wine, olives and capers; bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer, uncovered, until tomatoes are softened and mixture is thickened, 8-10 minutes.

Stir in shrimp and sugar to taste; sprinkle with parsley. If desired, serve with spaghetti. Yield: 4 servings.

Recipe found here: Shrimp Puttanesca

Triple-Chocolate Brownie Cookies

Ingredients
3/4 cup butter, cubed
4 squares (1 ounce each) unsweetened chocolate
2 cups sugar
4 eggs
1-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup baking cocoa
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 cups (12 ounces) semisweet chocolate chips, divided
2 teaspoons shortening

Directions
In a small saucepan over low heat, melt butter and unsweetened chocolate; cool. Transfer to a large mixing bowl; add sugar and eggs. Beat until smooth. Combine the flour, cocoa, baking powder and salt; gradually add to chocolate mixture. Stir in 1-1/2 cups chocolate chips. Cover and refrigerate for 2 hours or until easy to handle.

Drop by tablespoonfuls 2 in. apart onto greased baking sheets. Bake at 350° for 7-9 minutes or until edges are set and tops are slightly cracked. Cool for 2 minutes before removing from pans to wire racks to cool completely.

In a microwave-safe bowl, heat shortening and remaining chocolate chips on high for 1 minute or until chips are melted; stir until smooth. Drizzle over cookies. Let stand for 30 minutes or until chocolate is set. Store in an airtight container. Yield: 6 dozen.

Recipe found here: Triple-Chocolate Brownie Cookies

Caramel Banana Cake Roll

Ingredients
1 cup cake flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
2 eggs
3/4 cup sugar, divided
1/2 cup mashed ripe banana (about 1 medium)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon grated lemon peel
3 egg whites
1 tablespoon confectioners’ sugar

FILLING:
4 ounces reduced-fat cream cheese
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup reduced-fat whipped topping
1 tablespoon confectioners’ sugar
2 tablespoons fat-free caramel ice cream topping

Directions
Line a 15-in. x 10-in. x 1-in. baking pan coated with cooking spray with waxed paper and coat the paper with cooking spray; set aside.

Combine the flour, baking soda, salt and baking powder. In a large mixing bowl, beat eggs for 5 minutes; add 1/2 cup sugar, banana, vanilla and lemon peel. In a small mixing bowl, beat egg whites on medium speed until soft peaks form. Gradually beat in remaining sugar, a tablespoon at a time, on high until stiff peaks form. Add flour mixture to banana mixture; mix gently until combined. Fold in egg white mixture.

Spread into prepared pan. Bake at 375° for 10-12 minutes or until cake springs back when lightly touched. Cool for 5 minutes. Turn cake onto a kitchen towel dusted with confectioners’ sugar. Gently peel off waxed paper. Roll up cake in towel jelly-roll style, starting with a short side. Cool completely on a wire rack.

For filling, in a mixing bowl, beat cream cheese and brown sugar until smooth and sugar is dissolved. Beat in vanilla; fold in whipped topping. Unroll cake; spread filling over cake to within 1/2 in. of edges. Roll up again; place seam side down on a serving platter. Cover and refrigerate for at least 1 hour before serving. Before serving, sprinkle with confectioners’ sugar, then drizzle with ice cream topping. Refrigerate leftovers. Yield: 8 servings.

Recipe found here: Caramel Banana Cake Roll

Caramel Banana Cake Roll

Strawberry Crumble Parfaits

Ingredients
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup chopped pecans
1/2 cup cold butter
1 can (14 ounces) sweetened condensed milk
3 tablespoons lemon juice
3 tablespoons orange juice
2 cups chopped fresh strawberries
1 cup heavy whipping cream, whipped

Directions
In a bowl, combine the flour, brown sugar and pecans; cut in butter until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Spread into an ungreased 15-in. x 10-in. x 1-in. baking pan. Bake at 350° for 15-18 minutes or until golden brown.

In a large bowl, combine the milk, lemon juice and orange juice. Add strawberries; mix well. Fold in whipped cream.

Spoon 1 tablespoon of crumb mixture into each parfait glass; top with a scant 3 tablespoonfuls of berry mixture. Repeat layers. Sprinkle with remaining crumb mixture. Freeze until firm. Remove from the freezer 20-30 minutes before serving. Yield: 10 servings.

Recipe found here: Strawberry Crumble Parfaits

Roasted Squash, Carrots & Walnuts

Ingredients
2 pounds carrots (about 12 medium), peeled
1 medium butternut squash (3 pounds), peeled and cubed
1/4 cup packed brown sugar
1/4 cup olive oil
2 teaspoons kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 cup chopped walnuts

Directions
Preheat oven to 400°. Cut carrots in half lengthwise, then in half crosswise.

In a large bowl, toss squash and carrots with brown sugar, oil, salt, cinnamon and nutmeg. Transfer to two greased foil-lined 15x10x1-in. baking pans. Roast 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Sprinkle walnuts over vegetables. Roast 5-10 minutes longer or until vegetables are tender. Yield: 8 servings.

Recipe found here: Roasted Squash, Carrots & Walnuts

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