Cheesecake Cherry Topping Bread Pudding Caramel Sauce Simple Roast Turkey Pear Tartlets Festive Popcorn Trees Bourbon Ham Balls Crispy Juicy Fried Turkey Candy Cane Biscotti

Stock Up For Health And Happiness

(NAPSI)—Staying healthy over the holidays, experts advise, requires at least two simple steps: planning ahead and taking time for yourself.

Fortunately, this can be simpler than many suspect because the “cool aisles” of the grocery store have many “secret weapons” to make holiday food preparation and entertaining easier and more enjoyable. Frozen and refrigerated foods provide an excellent opportunity for planning ahead for the holidays so you can spend less time in the kitchen and more time for yourself.

It helps to “stock up” your freezer and fridge with:

• Delicious breakfast selections—waffles, pancakes, eggs, cheeses and breakfast sandwiches; combine fruit with yogurts and juices for smoothies to make holiday mornings even more fun.

• Super snacks and appetizers—cheeses, dips, egg rolls, shrimp, pizza, wings and meatballs; serve on attractive platters and let the party begin.

• Dinner plans—the frozen aisles offer a variety of fully prepared entrées; they can be on the table for your family in minutes on busy nights.

• Side-dish pleasures—ready-to-heat-and-eat vegetables, potatoes and breads can make holiday meals less work.

• Delightful desserts—fill the freezer and refrigerator with enough delicious pies, cakes, ice cream, puddings, whipped toppings and ready-to-bake cookies to please your family, friends and guests.

Here, from the experts at the National Frozen & Refrigerated Foods Association (NFRA), is a delicious, easy holiday dessert you can serve with a “homemade touch”:

Cheesecake with Cherry Topping


  • 1 frozen cheesecake

  • 10 ounces sweet or sour pitted cherries (frozen works well)

  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice

  • ¼ cup sugar

  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch

  • ½ cup water

  • Fresh mint


Thaw cheesecake according to package directions. To make topping, combine cherries, lemon juice, sugar, cornstarch and water in medium saucepan. Bring to a boil. Once boiling, cook it for an additional 1 to 2 minutes, then remove from heat. Cool completely. Spread on top of cheesecake. Garnish with mint leaves. Serves 4−6.

For more delicious recipes, tips and important information on frozen and refrigerated foods, visit and “like” NFRA on Facebook at

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New Twists On Traditional Holiday Favorites

(NAPSI)—During the holiday season, many creative cooks find ways to make their guests feel special by giving them something new to try. With some clever recipe tweaks, it can be easy to improve on traditional holiday favorites. Sometimes all it takes is a simple ingredient substitution to take a dish from “the usual” to “surprising and memorable.”

For example, substitute dried cranberries for raisins or nuts in a carrot salad, pumpkin bread or your favorite stuffing. Instead of stuffing made from plain white bread, the classic holiday roasted turkey can get a special new flavor from stuffing made with Aloha Spirit. King’s Hawaiian, the family-owned company best known for its line of Hawaiian bread products made from its authentic Island recipe, has developed a cranberry-studded stuffing that uses cubes of its Original Hawaiian Sweet Round Bread or Rolls in place of ordinary white bread, and adds another taste of Hawaii with macadamia nuts instead of traditional chestnuts.

The company’s Round Bread not only makes an elegant centerpiece appetizer (use the hollowed bread as a container for your favorite dip recipe) but it can also serve as the heart of a delicious dessert—White Chocolate Chip Bread Pudding with Caramel Sauce. The easy-to-assemble dessert travels very well and is a delicious and surprising alternative to traditional pies or cakes.

As for the leftovers, King’s Hawaiian Rolls, already a favorite on holiday dinner tables, are a great size for leftover turkey, ham or roast beef sliders. Their touch of sweetness can accent any sandwich. Alternatively, you can toss diced turkey or ham, mayonnaise, dried cranberries and macadamia nuts to make a tasty sandwich filling. Toss shredded cheese and cubed dinner rolls to create a memorable version of your favorite turkey casserole—another great-tasting holiday leftovers meal.

Make the holidays a time to share these extra-special ideas with your family and friends, who just may request that you make those new recipes part of next year’s traditions. You can find all these recipes

White Chocolate Chip Bread Pudding with Caramel Sauce

Serves 9


  • 1 (16-oz.) King’s Hawaiian Original Hawaiian Sweet Round Bread

  • 2 cups heavy cream

  • 1¼ cups white chocolate chips

  • 1½ cups sugar

  • 2 cups milk

  • 2 eggs, beaten

  • 3 egg yolks, beaten

  • 2 tsp. vanilla extract

  • 2 cups toasted pecans, chopped

  • Ingredients for Caramel Sauce (or use your favorite brand of caramel sauce)

  • 1⅓ cups sugar

  • ½ cup water

  • 1 tsp. corn syrup

  • 1¾ cups heavy cream

  • 6 Tbsp. butter or margarine

  • 2 tsp. vanilla extract

  • pinch of salt


  1. Cut the bread into cubes the night before and leave out to become a tad stale.

  2. In a medium saucepan, heat the cream over medium heat. Meanwhile, place the white chocolate chips in a large mixing bowl. When the cream comes to a simmer, remove the pan from the heat and slowly pour over the chips, whisking until the chips melt. Whisk the sugar into the mixture; add the milk, eggs, egg yolks and vanilla.

  3. Add the bread to the bowl, gently stirring to coat the cubes. Set the mixture aside to allow the bread to soak, tossing periodically (about 30−40 minutes or so).

  4. Toss the pecans into the soaked bread mixture, then pour into a baking dish (individual dishes can be used for single servings).

  5. Place in 350º oven for about 45 minutes. Test the bread pudding to make sure the top is golden brown and the inside is cooked.

  6. Remove from oven and serve with caramel sauce.

Caramel Sauce Preparation

  1. In a large saucepan, combine the sugar, water and corn syrup. Place over high heat and cook until the sugar dissolves and begins to boil. Note: Do not stir the sugar, as this could cause it to seize.

  2. While the sugar is cooking, combine the cream, butter and salt in a saucepan over medium heat. Keep an eye on the sugar while heating the cream to keep it from scorching. Cook until the butter melts, stirring it into the cream. When the mixture comes to a simmer, remove from heat.

  3. Continue to cook the sugar until it darkens to a rich caramel color, 9−15 minutes. Swirl the pan as the sugar darkens—watch carefully, as it can burn easily at this stage.

  4. When sugar mixture is rich caramel in color, immediately remove the pan from the heat and add the cream mixture in a slow, steady stream. The sugar will bubble and steam as the cream is added. Stir in the vanilla.

  5. When the pudding is baked, spoon generous helpings into bowls. Drizzle the sauce over the portion and serve immediately

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Keep It Simple This Holiday Season

Tips To Help Focus On What’s Really Important During The Holidays

(NAPSI)—The holidays should be a time to reconnect with our loved ones, not exhaust our energy and financial resources. If the season has become more stressful than joyful, it’s time to get back to holiday basics. The experts at Grocery Outlet Bargain Market can help you stay focused on what’s really important this year with tips to prevent you from overstressing and overspending.

How To Simplify The Holiday Season

Get ready. Take inventory of your supplies early on. Buy items such as wrapping paper, tape, ribbons, stamps, boxes and pantry staples (sugar, flour) well in advance of the holidays. You can look for discounted items when you’re not rushed.

Revisit your family traditions. Think through holidays from years past. Which activities caused you anxiety, stress and precious time? Focus on what makes you happy and eliminate what stresses you out.

Don’t overcommit. Don’t say “yes” to every invitation. Save room in your schedule for things that might pop up at the last minute.

Evaluate your gift list. Limit gifts to children only. Pick names or host a gift exchange.

Focus on gifts from the heart. Give gifts that show your love—not the size of your wallet. Grandparents will likely value a photo album or a framed piece of children’s art far more than expensive presents.

Stay home. A holiday stay-cation eliminates the numerous stresses and expenses that come from travel.

Shop strategically. Sometimes, the places that will save you the most money might not be your go-to store for certain items. For example, extreme discount retailer Grocery Outlet also sells personal care products, toys, decorations and kitchen supplies—at prices up to 50 percent less than traditional stores’.

Tips For The Big Holiday Meal

Make it potluck. Ask your guests to contribute an appetizer, side or dessert. Ask visiting relatives to make breakfast, so you can focus on the turkey.

Prep ahead. Chop, measure and prepare as much as you possibly can in the days leading up to a big holiday meal.

Fake it. Not everything needs to be made from scratch. Grocery store bakeries can provide delicious pies, cakes and cookies—just add a freshgarnish.

Don’t overspend. Shop at places that offer you the most value. For example, Grocery Outlet purchases overstocks and closeouts directly from brand-name manufacturers. That means prices that are up to 50 percent cheaper than regular grocery stores.

Quality over quantity. You don’t need seven vegetables and six pies. Keep it simple. Grocery Outlet’s Simple Holiday Menu can feed a family of six for less than $20. For other cost-saving recipes,

$3 Holiday Menu—Cost Per Serving

Simple Roast Turkey      $0.93

Harvest Apple Stuffing   $0.45

Green Bean Casserole    $0.50

Cranberries                     $0.11

Rolls                               $0.13

Pie                                  $0.50

Total                               $2.62

Simple Roast Turkey

Serves 8−12
93¢ per serving


  • 1 12−18-pound turkey

  • 1 stick butter, room temperature

  • 1 lemon, thinly sliced

  • Salt and freshly ground pepper


Preheat oven to 325°F. Remove neck and giblets from inside the turkey. Refrigerate for other use or discard. Rinse and drain juices from turkey. Pat dry with paper towels.

Slice butter into 8 slices. Slide two slices butter under skin of the breast and one slice on each drumstick, also under the skin. Place turkey, breast up, on a roasting rack in a shallow roasting pan. Sprinkle turkey cavity generously with salt and pepper. Place three butter slices and lemon slices in main cavity. Tuck wing tips under. Tie legs together loosely.

Rub the last slice of butter on the outside breast skin. Sprinkle outside of turkey generously with salt and pepper. Transfer turkey to the oven. Cover breast and top of drumsticks with aluminum foil once they begin to brown to prevent them from drying out.

The turkey is done when a meat thermometer reaches 180°F when inserted into the deepest part of the thigh and 170°F in the breast. Let stand 15 minutes before carving.

For specific roasting times, additional recipes, shopping lists and money-saving tips, visit

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Pair Your Party With Pears 

(NAPSI)—This year, enjoy the bounty of the holiday season without feeling sorry about consuming too many calories.

How? Include USA Pears in your meals to add natural sweetness to many dishes in one nutrient-dense package. December is National Pear Month, and you can celebrate by pairing this seasonal fruit with other produce in both savory and sweet dishes. For example:

  • • Roast diced pears and diced winter squash for a simple side dish.

  • • Polish off your holiday meal with poached, baked or sautéed pears spiced with cinnamon and nutmeg.

  • • Sweeten up your cranberry sauce with puréed pears.

  • • Serve a large green salad on a platter and top with pear slices, candied nuts and cheese crumbles.

  • • Place pear chutney next to your leftovers to spice up turkey sandwiches and add flavor to extra pork chops.

  • • Impress guests at your next gathering with this festive appetizer. The great flavor of red pears combined with toasted hazelnuts and Gorgonzola is hard to beat and using ready-made tartlet shells cuts the prep time down, so you’ll have more time to enjoy your guests.

Pear Tartlets

Prep time: 20 minutes
Yield: Serves 10


  • 30 frozen mini phyllo shells

  • ½ cup toasted hazelnuts, chopped

  • 4 ounces Gorgonzola cheese, crumbled

  • 1 Red Anjou USA Pear, cored and diced


Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place mini phyllo shells on baking sheet. In medium-size mixing bowl, combine hazelnuts, cheese and pears. Fill shells with pear mixture. Bake for 15 minutes or until cheese is hot and starting to bubble. Serve warm.

For more seasonal recipe ideas, visit Follow USA Pears on Facebook and Twitter for helpful tips, serving suggestions and the latest recipes.

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Deck The Halls With Popcorn Trees

(NAPSI)— ‘Tis the season of decking halls and trimming trees, and now there’s a delicious way to do both—in the kitchen.

There’s no chance of breaking heirloom ornaments when you’re decorating miniature Festive Popcorn Trees made from The Popcorn Board’s recipe. Roll up your sleeves, gather the kids and pull out your prettiest decorating sugars and sprinkles. Then turn marshmallows and popcorn into a scenic winter wonderland to display—or eat.

Long ago, Christmas trees were trimmed with treats such as apples, nuts or dates. With Festive Popcorn Trees, your entire tree is edible. There’s no right or wrong way to decorate a tree, but if you’re not happy with the results, eat it and start again. It’s the ultimate eco-friendly way to trim a tree.

And if you’re looking to trim fat and calories during this hectic season, pop up a bowl of plain popcorn to nibble on when hunger strikes. At 30 calories a cup, wholesome, whole grain popcorn is naturally low in fat and calories and the fiber can help fill you between meals. Leave the padding to jolly old St. Nick.

Festive Popcorn Trees
Yield: 10 trees


  • 10 cups air-popped popcorn*

  • 1 10-ounce bag miniature marshmallows

  • 2 tablespoons butter

  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

  • decorating sugar (green, blue)**

  • 1 tube of white frosting (with decorating tip)

  • assorted small colorful candies, such as sprinkles and miniature silver dragées


Place popcorn in large bowl. Place marshmallows and butter in medium saucepan over medium-low heat. Stir until marshmallows are melted and mixture is smooth. Remove from heat. Stir in vanilla extract. Pour mixture over popcorn in bowl. Toss well to coat popcorn evenly. Line a baking sheet with foil. Spray hands with nonstick cooking spray, then scoop up about 1 cup of popcorn mixture. Shape mixture into a cone shape, keeping the base flat. This forms the tree. Sprinkle tree with decorating sugar; place tree on baking sheet. Continue to make the rest of the trees. Pipe frosting on trees to make a garland, then decorate them with colorful candies.

Serving suggestion: Place each tree on a sugar cookie and decorate your serving tray with shredded coconut to resemble snow.


* It’s important that this recipe starts with unflavored white popcorn for best color and flavor.

** You can make your own colored sugar by adding food coloring to sugar, stirring in a bowl or shaking vigorously in a sealed container. Add more food coloring for more intense tones.

For more information, visit

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Hints On Hamming It Up For The Holidays

(NAPSI)—Preparing a delicious ham this holiday season can be easy and stress-free. It helps to know that ham experts are on standby at the Ham Hotline to help ensure every bite turns out perfectly, from tangy ham appetizers to a welcome ham dinner.

The hotline at (866) 343-5058 is open from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. Eastern Time, Monday through Friday, from November 8 through December 28. It’s staffed by experts who can help anyone prepare and serve a great ham for a memorable meal.

Launched in response to the many calls received regarding ham preparation, the Kentucky Legend Ham Hotline is the first and only seasonal hotline dedicated just to ham. Each fall and spring, the hotline ramps up to field questions that range from the practical to the unusual, including:

• How much ham should I buy to feed 10 people?

Answer: If the ham is boneless, estimate one-quarter to one-third pound per person; for a bone-in ham, one-third to one-half pound per person.

• How can I be sure my ham will turn out moist?

Answer: Most hams are pre-cooked (read the label) and require only gentle reheating at 325° F to an internal temperature of 140° F. Place a pan of water on an oven rack to increase humidity.

• Can I make ham ice cubes to use in drinks?

Answer: Sounds interesting, but it is not recommended. You can find great ways to use the left-overs quickly and deliciously

One good way to use leftover ham is in Bourbon Ham Balls with Holiday Sauces. This recipe uses Kentucky Legend Ham to take the traditional treat from a sweet to a savory appetizer.

Bourbon Ham Balls with Holiday Sauces


  • 3 cups buttermilk baking mix

  • 1½ cups Kentucky Legend Ham; finely chopped

  • 4 cups cheddar cheese; grated

  • ½ cup grated Parmesan cheese

  • 2 tablespoons parsley flakes

  • 2 teaspoons honey

  • ⅓ cup milk

  • ⅓ cup bourbon

Holiday Sauce

  • 1½ teaspoons cornstarch

  • 2 teaspoons honey

  • ¼ cup bourbon

  • 1 (8-ounce) can whole-berry cranberry sauce

  • 1 dash ground cinnamon

  • Heat oven to 350° F. Lightly grease jellyroll pan. Mix all ingredients thoroughly. Shape mixture into 1-inch balls. Place about 2 inches apart in pan. Bake 20 to 25 minutes or until brown. Serve warm.

Holiday Sauce

In a heavy saucepan, combine the cornstarch, honey and bourbon until smooth. Bring to a boil over medium heat; cook and stir for 1−2 minutes or until thickened. Remove from the heat; stir in the cranberry sauce and cinnamon until blended. Serve warm.

Kentucky Legend Hams have been made for more than 100 years inOwensboro, Kentucky, where each ham is hand selected, trimmed and cured the traditional way from a recipe handed down through generations. Kentucky Legend Hams are produced by Specialty Foods Group, Inc., a leading U.S. producer and marketer of a wide variety of premium-branded and private-label processed meat products.

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Fried Turkey: A Hot New Trend

(NAPSI)—Add a dash of Southern hospitality to your holidays and serve fried turkey to wow your guests.

Deep-frying a turkey in 100% peanut oil will put a delicious, tender, and juicy bird with crispy skin on your table. It is preferred for deep-frying over other oils for its high smoke point and slightly nutty flavor. True chefs of the South opt for peanut oil. This trend is now the second most preferred way to prepare turkey and only takes about half the time it takes to roast a turkey in the oven.

Mouthwatering side dishes can be prepared in the same oil as you fry your turkey, such as hush puppies, fried okra, sweet potato fries, and veggie chips since the flavors won’t transfer within the oil. Deep-frying can also become a social event by inviting friends and neighbors to use your fryer and peanut oil as you can fry up to six turkeys with the same oil. Peanut oil can safely be reused 3-4 times before it needs to be replaced. Just let the oil cool completely after use, strain it, and store in a cool place.

Peanut oil offers a healthy way of frying foods. It is trans fat-free, cholesterol-free, allergen-free, and low in saturated fats. It is also high in unsaturated fats, which benefit heart health. Fried turkey in peanut oil is very similar nutritionally to a roasted turkey. A 4-ounce serving of roasted turkey has 244 calories and 12 grams of fat while a 4-ounce serving of turkey deep-fried in peanut oil comes in at 255 calories and under 14 grams of fat, a very subtle difference. The American Heart Association considers peanuts a heart-healthy food and research shows that peanut oil can even improve cholesterol levels and prevent chronic diseases such as diabetes and heart disease. In addition to its healthfulness, foods fried in peanut oil taste great! Stay authentic and fry in 100% peanut oil to improve both flavor and health. Bon Appétit even dubbed chicken fried in peanut oil the “Best Fried Chicken Ever.” See the recipe here: Fried chicken isn’t the only thing the South does best though; try deep-frying a turkey for the holidays. Warning: Don’t batter the turkey!

Crispy and Juicy Deep-Fried Turkey


  • 1 whole turkey

  • 1 tablespoon of salt

  • 1 teaspoon of black pepper

  • 1 teaspoon of garlic powder

  • 2 tablespoons of your favorite dry rub

  • 3 to 4 gallons of 100% peanut oil (just enough to cover the turkey)


  1. Wash bird inside and out and allow it to drain.

  2. Rub turkey with the salt, pepper, garlic and dry rub.

  3. 3. Allow turkey to sit at room temperature for 1 hour or until completely thawed and dry.

  4. Preheat peanut oil in an outdoor or countertop turkey fryer to 350ºF.

  5. Make sure there is no moisture on the skin and carefully lower turkey into hot oil either in a fryer basket or using a sturdy tool inserted into the chest cavity. Submerge the turkey completely.

  6. Fry turkey for 3 minutes per pound plus 5 minutes per bird. Internal temperature should reach 165ºF.

  7. Remove turkey from the oil and let sit 20 minutes before serving.

Makes 4 servings.

Visit to view recipes from celebrity chefs, instructional videos, and nutritional information on deep-frying in peanut oil.

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A New Twist On A Delicious Tradition

(NAPSI)—For years, friends and families have been getting together to share recipes, especially around the holiday season. Now, thanks to today’s technology, recipes that once were only shared by passing down family favorites on weathered recipe cards are just a click away.

There are several ways to celebrate the social aspect of sharing recipes. For instance, you can have a cookie party. At these, families and friends, neighbors and club members all make cookies together. Each one brings a favorite recipe and ingredients and everyone shares the result.

A similar get-together is the cookie exchange. In this case, you make dozens of cookies at home and bring them to the exchange at a designated time and place so all participants get to enjoy what each other has baked.

With social media, such as Pinterest, recipe sharing can be easier and more widespread. That’s because you can post pictures of your baked goods on the site and see recipes, tips and creative ideas for making food craft projects. The average “pinner”—someone who uploads or “pins” photos, recipes and the like on Pinterest—makes some 2,708 pins and one in every eight is about food and drink.

To help make the cookies you share more attractive and delicious, however you go about it, consider these tips:

• Make sure all the ingredients are fresh—be sure everything rises with a new can of Clabber Girl Baking Powder.

• Measure carefully. Cooking may be an art but baking is a science.

• Check your oven. Some run hotter than others and you may need to adjust the temperature or cooking time.

• Here’s a festive recipe to try:

Candy Cane Biscotti


  • 3½ cups all-purpose flour

  • 1 teaspoon Clabber Girl Baking Powder

  • ½ teaspoon salt

  • 1 cup sugar

  • 1 cup butter, softened

  • 2 tablespoons water

  • 1 teaspoon peppermint extract

  • 2 large eggs

  • 1 cup finely crushed candy canes

  • ½ cup slivered almonds, toasted

  • 4 squares white chocolate, melted


Preheat oven to 350º F; line 2 cookie sheets with parchment paper. Combine flour, baking powder and salt in large bowl; set aside. Cream sugar, butter, water, extract and eggs in large bowl with electric mixer at medium speed until well blended. Add flour mixture, ½ cup crushed candy canes and almonds. Beat on low speed until just blended. Divide dough in half. Shape each half into 10x3-inch log; place each log on separate prepared cookie sheet. Bake each log 30 minutes or until center is firm to the touch. Cool 15 to 20 minutes. Using a serrated knife, cut logs diagonally into ½-inch slices. Place on cookie sheets. Bake 15 minutes; turn and bake 12 to 15 minutes longer or until edges are browned. Cool completely on wire racks. Dip each cookie halfway into melted chocolate. Before chocolate solidifies, dip ends into remaining ½ cup crushed candy canes. Store in tightly covered container—and pin the picture of what you’ve created onto Pinterest.

Learn more

You can find more tips and recipes at or go to

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