recipes

Holiday 09 November 2017

Deliver Holiday Flavor with Pecans

(Family Features) The holiday season is ripe with opportunities to gather around the table with loved ones and enjoy a delicious meal.

Elevate your holiday menu with freshly harvested ingredients like naturally sweet pecans. As America’s only native tree nut, the pecan boasts a proud heritage shared by the farmers who have grown it for generations – but this tree nut is more than a pie ingredient.

While the American Pecan Council’s Classic Pecan Pie is an ideal grand finale, consider including nutrient-dense pecans throughout the holiday season as a snack or in innovative pecan-filled dishes like Roasted Acorn Squash with Pecan Vinaigrette and Pecan Wild Rice Pilaf.

In addition to being a versatile addition to your holiday feast, in each 1-ounce serving of pecans, you’ll get 12 grams of “good” monounsaturated fat with zero cholesterol or sodium, according to the USDA. Compared to other nuts, pecans are among the lowest in carbs (4 grams) and highest in dietary fiber (3 grams) per serving.

For more seasonal recipes, nutritional information and cooking tips, visit AmericanPecan.com.

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Classic Pecan Pie

Prep time: 15 minutes
Cook time: 70 minutes
Servings: 10

  • 1          pie dough (9 inches)
  • 6          tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled
  • 1          cup light corn syrup
  • 1          cup light brown sugar
  • 2          teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 3          large eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1/2       teaspoon salt
  • 2 1/2    cups raw pecan halves
  1. Place baking sheet in oven. Heat oven to 350° F.
  2. Line pie pan with rolled out pie dough. Press into edges and up sides. Use fingers or fork to create decorative edge. Set aside.
  3. In large bowl, whisk together butter, corn syrup, brown sugar and vanilla extract. Add eggs and salt, and whisk until mixture is even. Fold in pecan halves.
  4. Pour mixture into pie crust and spread evenly with spatula. Use pieces of aluminum foil to cover edges of pie crust. Place pie on prepared baking sheet and bake 60-70 minutes, or until pie is set in center.
  5. Remove pie from oven and allow to cool completely before serving or chilling.

Note: Pie can be made 1 day ahead and refrigerated overnight. Allow pie to come to room temperature before serving.

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Roasted Acorn Squash Salad with Pecan Vinaigrette

Prep time: 15 minutes
Cook time: 35 minutes
Servings: 4

Squash:

  • 1          small acorn squash
  • 1          tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/4       teaspoon sea salt

Dressing:

  • 1/2       cup raw pecan pieces
  • 1/4       cup olive or pecan oil
  • 2          tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 1          tablespoon maple syrup
  • 1/4       teaspoon sea salt

Salad:

  • 3-4       handfuls baby spinach
  • 1 1/2    cups cooked farro
  • 1          medium shallot, thinly sliced
  • 1          ounce crumbled goat cheese
  1. Heat oven to 425° F.
  2. To create base, slice small part of one side of squash. Trim ends from squash, cut in half lengthwise and scoop out sides. Place cut-side down and cut squash into 1/4-inch thick slices. Place on sheet tray and toss with olive or pecan oil and salt. Roast until squash and peels are tender, 30-40 minutes.
  3. While squash is roasting, heat small skillet over medium heat. Add pecans and toast, shaking pan, until nuts are fragrant. Transfer 1/3 cup of pecans to bowl and reserve remaining pecans for topping. Add oil, vinegar, maple syrup and salt while nuts are still warm. Stir vigorously and set aside.
  4. In large bowl, combine spinach, farro, shallot, half the squash and half the dressing. Toss to combine then lay remaining squash on top of salad. Drizzle with remaining dressing and sprinkle with goat cheese and remaining toasted pecans before serving.

Note: Acorn squash skin is edible but needs roasting long enough to make it tender. If unsure, use delicata squash or skinless butternut squash.

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Pecan Wild Rice Pilaf

Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 45 minutes
Servings: 12

  • 2          cups chicken or vegetable stock
  • 2          cups water
  • 1/8       teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/4       teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1          teaspoon kosher salt, plus additional, to taste
  • 1/4       teaspoon cloves
  • 1          cinnamon stick
  • 3/4       cup wild rice, rinsed
  • 1          cup black rice, rinsed
  • 1          tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil or pecan oil
  • 1          tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 1/2       large sweet onion, diced
  • 2          cups butternut squash, diced
  • 1          medium tart apple, peeled and diced
  • black pepper, to taste
  • 1/2       teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1/2       teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 3/4       cup chopped pecans or pecan pieces
  • 1/3       cup dried currants
  1. In medium saucepan, bring stock, water, nutmeg, ginger, 1 teaspoon kosher salt, cloves and cinnamon stick to boil. Add rice and bring back to simmer. Reduce heat to low and half cover with lid. Allow rice to simmer about 45 minutes, or until tender and liquid is absorbed. Remove and discard cinnamon stick.
  2. While rice is cooking, in large skillet, heat olive or pecan oil and butter. Add onion and cook, stirring frequently, until translucent, about 4 minutes. Add in butternut squash and cook, stirring often, until squash is tender and beginning to caramelize at edges, about 8-10 minutes. Add in apples and cook additional 3-4 minutes, or until apples soften. Season with salt and pepper, to taste, along with thyme and ground cinnamon. Stir in chopped pecans and currants, and cook until pecans are slightly golden and fragrant. Remove mixture from heat.
  3. Stir butternut squash mixture with cooked rice and season, to taste, with salt and pepper. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Source: American Pecan Council

Dessert 06 April 2017

Impressive Fruit Pies and Tarts Made Easy

(Family Features) Berry season means colors, tastes and aromas that are sure to please. With a variety of gorgeous fresh fruits at your fingertips, why not whip up a fabulous fruit pie or tart to surprise family or share with friends? From family dinners to spur-of-the-moment picnics, pies are easy to make and easy for family and friends to appreciate.

To save time in the kitchen, start with Pillsbury Refrigerated Pie Crusts for a flaky, tender base. Just unroll it into your favorite pie plate or tart pan, spoon in a delicious fruit filling, bake and enjoy. Pillsbury has updated the packaging with a fresh, contemporary look and features a recipe for Perfect Apple Pie. For more delicious recipes, visit www.pillsbury.com/pie.

Make Crusts Extra Special

When making a top crust for pies, these tips can help you make them look extra special.
Glossy Upper Crust: Brush the dough with slightly beaten egg white (if desired, sprinkle with sugar, too) before baking.

Sweet Glazed Top: Brush the top pastry with a small amount of water, and sprinkle with granulated or coarse sugar before baking.

Pretty Cutouts: Cut shapes from the top crust with a canapé cutter or a knife before placing the top crust over the filling. With water or beaten egg, moisten the back of each cutout and set the design, moistened side down, on the crust.

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Perfect Apple Pie

8 servings
Prep time: 30 minutes
Ready in: 3 hours

Crust

  • 1 box (14.1 ounces) Pillsbury refrigerated pie crusts, softened as directed on box

Filling

  • 6 cups thinly sliced, peeled apples (6 medium)
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  1. Heat oven to 425°F. Place 1 pie crust in ungreased 9-inch glass pie plate. Press firmly against side and bottom.
  2. In large bowl, gently mix filling ingredients; spoon into crust-lined pie plate. Top with second crust. Wrap excess top crust under bottom crust edge, pressing edges together to seal; flute. Cut slits or shapes in several places in top crust.
  3. Bake 40 to 45 minutes or until apples are tender and crust is golden brown. Cover edge of crust with 2- to 3-inch-wide strips of foil after first 15 to 20 minutes of baking to prevent excessive browning. Cool on cooling rack at least 2 hours before serving.

Tip: Two cans (21 ounces each) apple pie filling can be substituted for the filling.

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Lemon Raspberry Pie

8 servings
Prep time: 45 minutes
Start to finish: 3 hours 45 minutes


Crust

  • 1 Pillsbury refrigerated pie crust (from 14.1-ounce box), softened as directed on box
  • 1 teaspoon flour
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped pecans

Filling

  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 2 tablespoons margarine or butter
  • 1 egg yolk, beaten
  • 1/4 to 1/3 cup lemon juice

Topping

  • 2 3-ounce packages cream cheese, softened
  • 1/4 cup powdered sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon lemon extract
  • 1 8-ounce carton frozen whipped topping, thawed
  • 1 tablespoon milk
  • 3 cups fresh raspberries or frozen raspberries without syrup, thawed, dried on paper towels
  • Mint sprigs, if desired
  1. Heat oven to 450°F. Prepare crust according to package directions for unfilled one-crust pie using 9-inch pie pan. Press pecans into bottom of pie crust-lined pan. Generously prick crust with fork. Bake for 9 to 11 minutes or until light golden brown. Cool completely.
  2. In small saucepan, combine sugar and cornstarch; blend well. Stir in water, margarine and egg yolk. Cook over medium heat until mixture boils and thickens, stirring constantly. Boil 1 minute. Remove from heat. Stir in lemon juice. Pour into cooled crust. Refrigerate 1 hour.
  3. In small bowl, beat cream cheese, powdered sugar and lemon extract until smooth. Beat in whipped topping at low speed until well blended. Add milk; mix until smooth and of spreading consistency. Spread thin layer of topping mixture around edge of crust. Reserve 4 raspberries for garnish. Arrange remaining raspberries over top of filling. Spread remaining topping over raspberries. Garnish with mint sprigs and reserved raspberries. Refrigerate 2 hours before serving. Store in refrigerator.

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Fresh Berry Cream Tart

8 servings
Prep time: 15 minutes
Start to finish: 2 hours 55 minutes

Crust

  • 1 Pillsbury refrigerated pie crust (from 14.1-ounce box), softened as directed on box

Filling

  • 1 8-ounce package cream cheese, softened
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1 tablespoon orange-flavored liqueur or orange juice
  • 4 cups assorted fresh whole berries (small strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, and/or blackberries)
  • 1/3 cup red currant jelly, melted
  1. Heat oven to 450°F. Prepare pie crust as directed on package for one-crust baked shell using 9-inch tart pan with removable bottom. Bake for 9 to 11 minutes or until light golden brown. Cool completely.
  2. In small bowl, combine cream cheese, sugar and liqueur; beat until smooth and well blended. Spread cream cheese mixture evenly in cooled baked shell. Top with berries; brush berries with melted jelly to glaze. Refrigerate at least 2 hours before serving. Store in refrigerator.

Source: Pillsbury

Dessert 24 March 2017

Edible Easter Fun

(Family Features) Little ones (and big ones too) will have fun making these adorable Easter Lamb Carrot Cupcakes. Easter is a special time for bringing families together. Make memories happen in the kitchen when you get hands on with these sweet cupcakes made with Dixie Crystals Sugar. Marshmallow lambs sitting atop moist carrot cupcakes on a bed of green coconut grass are a sure way to sweeten any family gathering.

For more recipes to add fun and flavor to your Easter festivities, visit www.dixiecrystals.com.

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Easter Lamb Carrot Cupcakes

Servings: 12-16

  • 1 2/3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ginger
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 1/2 cups Dixie Crystals Extra Fine Granulated Sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 cups finely shredded carrots
  • 1 can (8 ounces) crushed pineapple, drained
  • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts or pecans

Frosting:

  • 1 package (8 ounces) cream cheese
  • 1 stick or 1/2 cup unsalted butter, very soft
  • 4 cups Dixie Crystals Confectioners Powdered Sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Royal icing:

  • 1 cup Dixie Crystals Confectioners Powdered Sugar
  • 2 1/4 teaspoons dried egg whites
  • 2 tablespoons warm water
  • 1/2 teaspoon lemon juice

Decoration:

  • 1 cup sweetened coconut
  • Green food coloring
  • Black food coloring
  • 1 bag regular size marshmallows
  • 1 bag miniature marshmallows
  • 24-36 pink jelly beans
  • 24 black jelly beans
  • 12-16 hard candy caramels
  1. Heat oven to 350°F.
  2. Place 16 cupcake liners in cupcake or muffin tin and set aside.
  3. Sift together flour, baking soda, cinnamon and ginger and set aside.
  4. In large bowl, whisk together eggs and vegetable oil until well blended. Add sugar, salt and vanilla; mix well.
  5. Add carrots, pineapple and nuts and combine well. Stir in flour mixture.
  6. Scoop into paper cups about 2/3 full. (May make more depending on size.)
  7. Bake until center of cupcakes bounce back when lightly pressed or inserted toothpick comes out clean, about 23 minutes. Allow to cool before frosting.
  8. For frosting, mix cream cheese and soft butter on low speed until blended. Add one cup powdered sugar and mix on low speed. Gradually add remaining powdered sugar and mix on low to medium speed until light and fluffy. Add vanilla and mix well. Set aside covered in refrigerator.
  9. Place coconut in bowl and add drop of green food color, mix by gloved hand until color is well distributed. (Add touch of yellow if color is too harsh.)
  10. Fill piping bag or food storage bag fitted with medium round decorating tip with cream cheese frosting.
  11. Prepare 2 small paper piping bags; set aside to prepare icing.
  12. To make royal icing, sift together powdered sugar with dried egg whites and place in bowl. Add water and lemon juice and whip several minutes to stiff mixture. Thin mixture with water if necessary.
  13. Place 3 – 4 tablespoons of royal icing in a small bowl and tint with black food coloring.
  14. Fill 2 small piping bags; one with white and the other with black royal icing. Set aside.
  15. Using cream cheese frosting pipe generous circle of frosting onto cupcake.
  16. Cut large marshmallow crosswise in half. Lay one and a half large marshmallows horizontally onto cupcake. Pipe thin layer of cream cheese frosting onto marshmallows.
  17. Starting at bottom surround large marshmallows with miniature marshmallows. Pipe a little cream cheese frosting onto first layer of mini marshmallow and stack another layer of mini marshmallows. Continue until completely covered.
  18. Press green coconut onto edges of cupcake.
  19. Position cupcake so circle side of large marshmallow faces you.
  20. For head, place hard caramel onto top edge of large marshmallow and ensure it is resting onto miniature marshmallows. (Remove some marshmallows to fit if necessary.)
  21. For ears, cut pink jelly bean lengthwise in half. Pinch beans to make pointy. Place next to head and use a little cream cheese frosting to make them stick.
  22. Cut black jelly beans in fours to create feet. Cut black jelly bean lengthwise to create tail. Attach with cream cheese frosting.
  23. Using white royal icing pipe eyes, followed by black. Pipe with black royal icing for nostrils.

Notes: When measuring flour, avoid firmly packing measuring cup. Mixing frosting on high will make it runny and too soft.

Source: Dixie Crystals Sugar

Dessert 07 February 2016

Sweet Cherry Bars

Crust

  • 1/2 cup canola oil
  • 1/2 cup confectioner’s sugar
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour

Filling

  • 2 egg whites
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 tablespoon all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup coconut
  • 1 cup maraschino cherries, drained, coarsely chopped
  • 1/4 cup chopped pecans

Icing

  • 2 cups confectioner’s sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon almond extract
  • 1/4 cup maraschino cherry juice
  1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
  2. Crust: Combine all ingredients; mix well. Pat firmly into 8-inch square cake pan. Bake 12 minutes or until golden.
  3. Filling: Beat egg whites and brown sugar. Combine flour, baking powder and salt. Stir into egg mixture; mix well. Stir in coconut, cherries and pecans. Spread over crust. Bake 20 to 25 minutes or until lightly browned.
  4. Icing: Beat all ingredients together until creamy. Drop spoonfuls of icing onto warmed bars; spread gently. Cool completely before cutting into bars.

Makes 16 bars

Source: CanolaInfo | National Sweet Cherry Foundation

Dessert 23 February 2017

Sweet Spring Desserts

(Family Features) When the scent of fresh blooms begins to fill the air, it’s a sure sign that spring has sprung. It’s the perfect time of year to gather loved ones for a leisurely meal, then linger over dessert as you enjoy this season of refreshment.

No dessert menu is complete without an array of treats, and these creamy, homemade Blueberry Key Lime Cheesecake Bars are the perfect way to put a sweet finishing touch on your celebrations. Or go for a crowd pleaser with this Cherry Cheesecake Lush Dessert and its smooth, velvety texture and plump, juicy cherries.

The secret ingredient in each of these desserts is Lucky Leaf Fruit Fillings, which are GMO-free and contain plenty of fruit – and no high-fructose corn syrup – for exceptional tasting desserts every time. With popular flavors like apple, blueberry, cherry and strawberry, you have plenty of convenient, versatile ways to dress up desserts.

Find more tasty treats for all your spring entertaining at luckyleaf.com.

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Blueberry Key Lime Cheesecake Bars

Recipe courtesy of Inside BruCrew Life blog
Prep time: 25 minutes
Cook time: 45 minutes
Servings: 24

  • Nonstick cooking spray
  • 30 vanilla cream-filled cookies
  • 1/4 cup butter, melted
  • 3 packages (8 ounces each) cream cheese, softened
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 3/4 cup sour cream
  • 1/3 cup key lime juice
  • 1 tablespoon key lime zest
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 3 eggs
  • green gel food coloring (optional)
  • 1 can (21 ounces) Lucky Leaf Blueberry Pie Filling, divided
  • 1 container (8 ounces) whipped topping, thawed
  • key lime slices (optional)
  1. Place baking sheet on bottom rack of oven. Fill halfway with water. Heat oven to 325° F. Line 9-by-13-inch pan with foil and spray with nonstick spray.
  2. Using food processor, pulse cookies until crumbly. Stir together crumbs and butter. Press evenly into bottom of prepared pan.
  3. Beat cream cheese until creamy. Add sugar and sour cream, and beat again until smooth. Add key lime juice, zest and flour, and beat until mixed thoroughly. Add eggs, one at a time, and beat gently after each. Add green food coloring to cheesecake mixture, if desired.
  4. Spread cheesecake batter evenly over crust in pan. Add 1 cup of blueberry pie filling over top of cheesecake. Use butter knife to gently swirl pie filling into cheesecake. Do not let knife go through to crust.
  5. Place pan on oven rack above tray of water. Bake 45-48 minutes. Remove immediately and place on wire rack for 1 hour then place in refrigerator until completely chilled.
  6. Cut into 24 squares and serve with whipped topping, remaining pie filling and key lime wedges.

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Cherry Cheesecake Lush Dessert

Recipe courtesy of Lemon Tree Dwelling blog
Prep time: 15 minutes
Cook time: 15 minutes
Servings: 12

  • 1 cup vanilla wafer crumbs
  • 1 cup finely chopped pecans
  • 1 cup butter, melted
  • 8 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 16 ounces whipped topping, divided
  • 2 small boxes cheesecake-flavored pudding
  • 3 cups milk
  • 1 can (21 ounces) Lucky Leaf Cherry Pie Filling
  • 1/2 cup. chopped pecans
  1. Heat oven to 350° F.
  2. In medium mixing bowl, combine vanilla wafer crumbs, finely chopped pecans and butter.
  3. Press into 9-by-13-inch baking pan; bake 15 minutes. Remove from oven and cool.
  4. In separate mixing bowl, combine cream cheese, powdered sugar and 1 1/2 cups whipped topping. Mix until smooth; spread evenly over cooled crust.
  5. Combine cheesecake pudding mix, milk and 1 1/2 cups whipped topping, and mix until smooth. Spread evenly over cream cheese layer in pan.
  6. Top with pie filling, remaining whipped topping and chopped pecans.

Source: Lucky Leaf

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Appetizers & Sides 24 January 2017

Mini Three-Cheese Balls

Mini Three-Cheese Balls

Yields 24 to 30 balls

  • 1 4-ounce log fresh goat cheese
  • 6 ounces crumbled blue cheese
  • 2 cups coarsely grated Jarlsberg cheese
  • 2 tablespoons grated onion
  • 1/4 cup non fat plain yogurt
  • 1/4 cup finely diced fresh chives, plus extra for garnish
  • Dash hot sauce (optional)
  • 1 cup slivered almonds or chopped pecans
  1. In a food processor, process cheeses with onion, yogurt and chives until well blended. If you'd like, add a dash of hot sauce.
  2. Shape into mini balls and roll in slivered almonds or chopped pecans and chives, or spread in serving dish and top with nuts/chives.
  3. Chill several hours or until ready to serve. Serve with flat breads, fresh vegetables, etc.

Tip: You can also mix nuts into cheese mixture and use to stuff cherry tomatoes and peppadews, sweet peppers or top cucumber rounds, mini party breads, etc. Chill several hours or until ready to serve.

Source: Jarlsberg

Breakfast & Brunch 04 January 2017

Cranberry-Orange Pecan Bread

  • 1 rounded cup fresh or frozen cranberries (about 4 1/2 ounces)
  • 2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 3/4 cup toasted pecans or walnuts, coarsely chopped
  • 1 large egg
  • 2/3 cup low-fat buttermilk
  • 6 tablespoons butter, melted
  • 2 tablespoons orange zest
  • 1/3 cup orange juice
  • 2 teaspoons Angostura Orange Bitters
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  1. Heat oven to 350° F. Lightly grease 9-by-5-inch loaf pan.
  2. If using frozen cranberries, spread berries out on cutting board and let rest for 10 minutes. Cut large cranberries in half.
  3. In large bowl, combine flour with sugar, baking powder, salt, baking soda, nuts and egg; blend thoroughly with whisk. Stir in cranberries.
  4. In small bowl, whisk together buttermilk, butter, orange zest, orange juice, bitters and vanilla extract. Add to dry ingredients and stir gently until fully moistened; do not over mix. Spoon batter into pan and smooth out top.
  5. Bake 50 minutes, or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Let rest in pan 10 minutes then turn out onto wire rack to cool completely for at least 1 hour before slicing.

Source: Angostura

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