Pomegranate Margarita

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My friend, Steven, called last night and said he was having relatives in Wednesday before Thanksgiving.  He asked me for a food favor. He said they were preparing a Mexican-themed menu, and asked me to help him with a recipe for a Pomegranate Margarita which was highly requested by his wife, Bridget. I thought this sounded like a really nice idea since many of us will be entertaining family and friends next week. This recipe has the right mix of tequila, Triple Sec and pomegranate juice. I just recommend using my ultimately favorite “Patron Silver” for the tequila.


Pomegranate Margarita

Prep: 5 minutes

Yield: 8 servings

Ingredients

Lime wedges 

Salt or sugar for the rim

Ice

8 ounces white tequila

4 ounces Triple Sec

1 cup pomegranate juice

2 limes, juiced (optional)

1/2 cup club soda

Directions

1. Pour salt or sugar onto a plate or shallow dish. With a lime wedge rub along the rim of a glass and dip glasses upside down to salt the rim. Fill glasses with ice. In a cocktail shaker with ice place the tequila, triple sec, pomegranate juice, and lime juice. Pour into the salt-rimmed glasses and top off with club soda. Garnish with a lime wedges, if desired.

For tequila, see www.patronspirits.com

Holiday Spiced Nuts

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I love spiced nuts! I have been trying to develop a lower fat recipe since nuts have enough fat on their own (but don’t forget those are good fats). This recipe is just in time for the holidays, or you can enjoy them as a snack or also tossed in a mixed green salad with fresh pears and blue cheese. Feel free to use any type of nuts that you want. These are worth every bite, and there’s no oil or butter in the recipe.

 

Spiced Almonds and Pecans 

Prep: 5 minutes

Cook: 25 minutes

Yield: 41/2 cups

Ingredients

2 (6-ounce) packages pecan halves

1  (6 ounce) can whole natural almonds

1/3  cup  packed brown sugar

11/2  teaspoons  ground cinnamon

1/2  teaspoon  ground cumin

2  large egg whites, lightly beaten

Cooking spray

Preparation

1. Preheat oven to 325°.

2. Combine pecans, almonds and next 3 ingredients in a small bowl. Stir in egg whites. Spread mixture evenly onto a foil-lined baking sheet coated with cooking spray. Bake at 325° for 10 minutes. Stir mixture; bake an additional 15 minutes or until crisp. Transfer foil to a wire rack; cool almond mixture. Break almond mixture into small pieces.

Note: Store at room temperature in an airtight container for up to one week.

Thanksgiving Apple Cranberry Cobbler

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I have always loved cobbler, and it is so easy to make. I am not sure if it’s the freshness of the fruit or the warmth with cool ice cream on top that makes me crave it. Since I grew up and am still living in the South, I have had a lot of cobblers, but most were made with fresh peaches, blueberries and blackberries. Now, I make cobbler with all types of fruits and enjoy them all year long. Feel free to use fresh cranberries instead of dried in this recipe since now is the season. This is a delicious and comforting dessert, and it is one of my family’s favorites. I made individual servings for my kids one afternoon after school, and they were truly in heaven. 

 

Apple Cranberry Cobbler

This is a great Thanksgiving dessert option. It can be made a day ahead. Just warm and serve.

Prep: 20 minutes

Cook: 30 minutes

Yield: 4 to 6 servings

Ingredients

1 cup all-purpose flour

1/2 cup firmly packed brown sugar

1/4 cup regular oats, uncooked

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

1/4 cup butter or margarine, softened

3 cups peeled, cored and diced cooking apples (I used Braeburn and Honey Crisp)

3/4 cup dried cranberries

1/3 cup sugar

2 tablespoons honey

2 tablespoons butter or margarine, melted

Vanilla Ice cream

Preparation

1. Combine first 4 ingredients in a medium bowl; cut in butter with a pastry blender until crumbly.

2. Combine apples, cranberries, sugar and honey in large bowl, mixing well. Spoon in a lightly greased 8-inch baking pan or 41/2 x 41/2 individual ramekin or square baking dishes. Spoon flour mixture evenly over top and drizzle evenly with 2 tablespoons melted butter.

3. Bake at 350F for 30 to 35 minutes or until golden. Serve with vanilla ice cream, if desired.

Thanksgiving Pecan Pie Bars

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If you’re looking for a twist on pecan pie, try these simple Pecan Pie Bars. With ingredients that you probably already have in your pantry, you can prepare these with ease. I put my pecans in the food processor to speed up the prep time on this recipe. If you want to make them lighter, use skim milk instead of whipping cream. Just don’t forget to have a glass of milk on hand and an empty stomach (I’m stuffed as I am writing this).

 

Prep: 15 minutes

Cook: 45 minutes

Yield: Makes about 28 squares

Ingredients

2  cups  all-purpose flour

2/3  cup  powdered sugar

3/4  cup  butter, softened

1/2  cup  firmly packed brown sugar

1/2  cup  light corn syrup

2/3  cup  butter

3  tablespoons  whipping cream or milk (skim milk may be used)

3 1/2  cups  coarsely chopped pecans

Preparation

1. Sift together 2 cups flour and 2/3 cup powdered sugar. Cut in 3/4 cup softened butter using a pastry blender or fork just until mixture resembles coarse meal. Pat mixture on bottom and 1 1/2 inches up sides of a lightly greased 13- x 9-inch baking dish.

2. Bake at 350° for 20 minutes or until edges are lightly browned. Cool.

3. Bring brown sugar, corn syrup, 2/3 cup butter, and whipping cream (or milk) to a boil in a saucepan over low heat. Stir in pecans, and pour hot filling into prepared crust.

4. Bake at 350° for 25 to 30 minutes or until golden and bubbly. Cool completely before cutting into 2-inch squares.