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Merry Christmas 2019

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Recipes

Nutty Apricot Cheese Spread

3/4 cup chopped dried apricot

3/4 cup apricot nectar

1/3 cup raisins

1/3 cup commercial chopped chutney

1/4 cup brandy

1/2 teaspoon ground ginger

2 cups (8 ounces) shredded sharp Cheddar cheese

2 (8-ounce) packages cream cheese, softened

1/2 cup margarine, softened

1 1/3 cups finely chopped honey-roasted peanuts, divided

Edible flowers (optional)

72 gingersnaps

Combine first 6 ingredients in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil; reduce heat, and simmer, uncovered, 12 minutes or until thickened, stirring frequently. Transfer to a bowl; chill thoroughly.

Position knife blade in food processor bowl. Add cheeses and margarine; process until smooth, scraping sides of processor bowl occasionally.

Line 2 (2 1/2-cup) molds with heavy-duty plastic wrap. Spread 1/2 cup cheese mixture in bottom of each mold. Spread 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons apricot mixture over cheese mixture in each. Repeat layers with 1/2 cup cheese mixture and half of remaining mixture in each mold. Spread remaining cheese mixture evenly over each. Cover and chill.

Unmold onto serving plates, peel off plastic wrap. Press 2/3 cup peanuts gently onto each cheese mold. Garnish edible flowers, if desired. To serve, spread 1 tablespoon cheese mixture on each gingersnap.

Yield: 72 appetizers

German Chocolate Espresso

1 1/2 ounces premium quality milk chocolate finely chopped

2 2/3 cups hot brewed espresso

3 tablespoons Coco Ribe or other coconut-flavored liqueur

3 tablespoons Frangelico or other hazelnut liqueur

1/4 cup whipping cream, whipped

1/4 cup flaked coconut, toasted

Place chocolate in a medium bowl; pour espresso over chocolate, stirring until chocolate melts. Stir in liqueurs. Pour into individual cups. Top each serving evenly with whipped cream and coconut. Serve immediately.

Yield: 4 (3/4-cup) servings

Turkey with Leek Nut Stuffing

4 cups coarsely chopped leeks

1 cup chopped onion

1 teaspoon dried whole thyme

3/4 cup unsalted butter, melted and divided

1/2 cup chopped hazelnuts, toasted

2 (6 ounce) packages plain croutons

1/3 cup chopped fresh parsley

1 tablespoon grated orange rind

1 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper

1 1/3 cups canned ready-to-serve chicken broth

1 (10-pound) turkey

Vegetable cooking spray

Fresh fruit (optional)

Fresh thyme (optional)

Saute leeks, onion, and thyme in 1/2 cup butter in a large skillet until tender. Transfer leek mixture to a bowl; add hazelnuts and next 6 ingredients. Cover and chill.

Remove giblets and neck from turkey. Rinse turkey under cold water; pat dry. Pack about 7 cups leek mixture into cavity of turkey. Tuck legs under flap of skin around tail, or close cavity with skewers, and truss. Tie ends of legs to tail with cord. Lift wing tips up and over back; tuck under turkey.

Brush turkey with 2 tablespoons butter, and place breast side up, on a rack in a roasting pan. Insert meat thermometer in meaty part of thigh. Cover with heavy-duty aluminum foil, and bake at 325 F for 2 hours. Uncover and baste with remaining 2 tablespoons butter. Bake 2 hours until meat thermometer registers 180 degrees.

Spoon remaining leek mixture into a 1-quart casserole coated with cooking spray. Bake at 325 F for 25 minutes. Serve with turkey. If desired, garnish with fresh fruit and thyme.

Yield: 20 servings.

Creamy Napoleon

1 1/2 cups sugar

1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon cornstarch, divided

1/8 teaspoon salt

3 cups whole milk

8 egg yolks

1 tablespoon vanilla extract

2 sheets commercial puff pastry, thawed

1 (10-ounce) package frozen sweetened strawberries, thawed

1/4 cup red currant jelly

2 tablespoons Cognac

3/4 cup whipping cream, whipped

2 tablespoons sifted powdered sugar

2 tablespoons grated semisweet chocolate

Fresh strawberries (optional)

Combine 1 1/2 cups sugar, 1/2 cup cornstarch, and salt. Add milk, stirring well. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until thick. Beat egg yolks until thick and pale. Stir one-fourth of hot mixture into yolks; add to remaining hot mixture, stirring constantly. Bring to boil; cook, stirring constantly, 1 minute or until thick. Remove from heat; stir in vanilla. Let stand at room temperature 30 minutes. Cover and chill.

Roll pastry to remove fold lines. Cut into 8 squares. Place on baking sheet; bake at 350 F for 15 minutes. Let cool. Cut each square in half horizontally.

Place strawberries in an electrical blender; cover and process until smooth. Press through a sieve; discard pulp. Combine strawberry puree and remaining 1 tablespoon cornstarch in a saucepan; stir. Add jelly; cook over medium heat until thick. Cook, stirring constantly, 1 minute. Remove from heat; stir in Cognac.

Place bottom halves of pastry squares onto plates. Fold whipped cream into custard; spoon onto pastry squares. Top with remaining halves. Sprinkle with powdered sugar and chocolate. Spoon strawberry sauce in small circles onto plates; pull a wooden pick through circles. Garnish with berries, if desired.

Yield: 8

NOTE: THESE FOUR RECIPES CAME FROM LIGHT & DELICIOUS

Chocolate Fondue

(with avocado and carrot)

1 tablespoon trans-fat-free soft tub margarine spread

1/2 cup avocado puree

1/4 cup carrot puree

1 cup confectioners’ sugar

1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Sliced fruit, whole berries, or cherries, for dipping

Melt the margarine over low heat in a medium saucepan. Add the avocado and carrot purees, sugar, cocoa powder, and vanilla, and whisk well until smooth. Serve warm, with fruit.

The Story of Christmas

The Candy Cane Story

Merry Christmas from us!

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