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Fri, March 22

Recipes make Thanksgiving leftovers disappear deliciously

While everyone is probably stuffed from Thanksgiving, here are a few recipes to use up some leftovers or continue to feed your sweet tooth. I had to include at least one new way to make a turkey sandwich plus a comfort food recipe to warm you through the rest of the winter, but be sure your gym membership is paid up! For those looking for sweet, but light, there are two for you.

Turkey Caesar wrap

Since wraps have become popular with all kinds of filling, here is one a little different for your turkey leftovers. Makes 4 wraps.

4 cups romaine lettuce, shredded

4 tbsp. Parmesan cheese; fresh grated preferred

4 chopped green onions

2-3 tbsp. vinegar-based, Caesar salad dressing

4 (8 inch) flour tortillas

8 thin slices turkey

8 marinated sun-dried tomatoes, drained

In medium bowl, combine lettuce, cheese, green onion and salad dressing. Arrange 1 cup mixture over each of 4 tortillas. Top each with 2 slices turkey, 2 sun-dried tomatoes and pepper to taste.

Fold in bottom and top portions. Roll up from side to completely enclose filling.

Winter and holidays are the perfect time for warm comfort foods. Bread pudding has become a popular dessert choice even in high-end restaurants far from its humble beginnings. This is from the Biltmore Estate Inn, Ashville, N.C., and is sure to please anytime.

The Biltmore's bread pudding

8 cups cubed day-old bread (if you made your stuffing from scratch and have bread left, this is a great way to use it up).

9 eggs

2 1/4 cups milk

1 3/4 cups heavy whipping cream

1 cup sugar

1/4 cup butter, melted

3 tsp. vanilla extract

1-1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon

Carmel sauce

1 cup sugar

1/4 cup water

1 tbsp. lemon juice

2 tbsp. butter

1 cup heavy cream

Place bread in greased 13 x 9 x 2 inch dish. In large bowl, whisk eggs, milk, cream, sugar, butter, vanilla and cinnamon. Pour evenly over bread. Bake uncovered at 350 degrees for 40-50 minutes or until a knife inserted near center comes clean. Let stand 5 minutes before cutting.

Meanwhile, in small saucepan, bring sugar, water and lemon juice to boil. Reduce heat to medium; cook until sugar is dissolved and mixture turns a golden amber color. Stir in butter until melted. Add cream. Remove from heat. Serve with bread pudding. Serves 12.

Cherry chocolate dessert

Only 10 minutes prep time and the ingredients are probably on hand.

1 carton (8 oz.)

cherry yogurt

1/2 cup chocolate syrup

1 carton (8 oz.)

frozen whipped topping, thawed

2 cups sliced strawberries or banana slices

Mint leaves for garnish, opt.

In large bowl, combine yogurt and chocolate syrup; fold in whipped topping. Set aside 12 strawberry (or banana) slices. In six dessert dishes, layer half the remaining fruit, top with half yogurt mixture. Repeat layers. Garnish with remaining fruit. Top with mint sprigs if you have it.

Coffee whip dessert

1 cup water

2 tbsp. instant coffee granules

6 1/2 cups miniature marshmallows

1 cup heavy cream

Whipped cream and additional instant coffee granules, opt.

In a large saucepan, bring water to a boil. Remove from heat; stir in coffee. Add marshmallows, cook for 5-6 minutes over low heat, stirring marshmallows to melt. Pour into large bowl. Cover and refrigerate just until thickened slightly.

In small bowl, beat heavy whipping cream until soft peaks form; fold into marshmallow mixture. Spoon into individual dessert dishes. Garnish with whipped cream and more coffee granules if desired. Serves 8.

If you have overindulged, fresh ginger can soothe the tummy so here is a dessert using it. The nuts have healthy fat and pears are delicious as well as nutritious and so good right now.

Baked pears with pistachios and ginger

4 tbsp. butter, room temperature

2 tbsp. sugar plus extra for sprinkling on top

1 egg yolk

1/3 cup pistachios, coarsely chopped

2 tsp. grated fresh ginger

Grated zest of half a lemon

4 pears, fragrant, but not too soft

1/2 cup white wine, apple cider or cranberry juice

Preheat oven to 350. Beat butter, sugar and egg yolk together. Add pistachios, ginger and lemon zest. Cut pears in half and remove seeds by scooping out the center. Fill the center of the pear with about 2 tsp. of butter mixture. Place in shallow baking dish just large enough to hold the fruit and pour the liquid of choice in bottom. Sprinkle a little more sugar over fruit and bake in lower third of oven about 30 minutes or until butter is lightly browned and pears are tender. Serve with any remaining syrup poured lightly on top and add vanilla ice cream. 4 servings.

My next two columns will give you easy candy recipes and holiday baking help.


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