RECIPES:
Rum and Nut Cake With Glaze Pepperoni Pie Squares Merry Shrimp Martinis Cobb Scramble Red Recharger Smoothie Lobster Guard House

Planning A Bash Without Breaking The Bank

(NAPSI)-Throwing a great holiday get-together doesn't have to break the bank. Instead, something as simple as creating your own dishes can save you some money. Plus, with the right recipes, you can serve up some party foods and cocktails worth celebrating.

For instance, this ever-popular BACARDI® rum and nut cake has a sweet glaze that is perfect for the season.

Rum and Nut Cake With Glaze

Cake:
  • ½ cup BACARDI® Gold Rum
  • 1 cup chopped pecans or walnuts
  • 1 18½-oz. package yellow cake mix
  • 1 3½-oz. package vanilla instant pudding mix
  • 4 eggs
  • ½ cup vegetable oil
  • ½ cup cold water

Glaze:

  • ½ cup BACARDI® Gold Rum
  • ½ stick butter
  • 1 cup sugar
  • ¼ cup water

Directions:

Preheat oven to 325° F. Grease and flour a 12-cup Bundt pan or 10-cup tube pan. Sprinkle nuts over bottom of pan.

In a large mixing bowl, combine cake mix, pudding mix, eggs, BACARDI® Gold Rum, oil and water. Using an electric mixer, beat at low speed until moistened. Beat at high speed 2 minutes. Pour batter over nuts. Bake 1 hour or until a skewer inserted into the cake comes out clean. Cool 15 minutes, then invert onto serving plate.

Melt butter in saucepan. Then, stir in sugar, water and BACARDI® Gold Rum. Boil 5 minutes, stirring constantly. Remove from heat. Prick top of the cake with a fork. Spoon and brush glaze evenly over the top and sides. Allow cake to absorb glaze. Repeat until all glaze is absorbed.

BACARDI® Party Punch

Makes 16 cups

Ingredients:

  • 750-mL bottle BACARDI® Gold Rum
  • 1 L cranberry juice
  • 2 L ginger ale, chilled
  • 8 oz. orange juice
  • 1 oz. lime juice
  • 1½ oz. lemon juice
  • Extra citrus fruit for garnish
  • Ice

Directions:

In large container, combine BACARDI® Gold Rum and fruit juices. Chill. Just before serving, pour into large punch bowl. Add ice and gently stir in chilled ginger ale. Garnish by floating orange, lemon and lime slices on top.

For more recipes and tips, visit www.bacardi.com.

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TV's Favorite Recipes

(NAPSI)-The recipe for success followed by many of today's top celebrity chefs may have been cooked up by one of television's most beloved culinary pros.

For 30 years, TV personality and cookbook author Art Ginsburg, a.k.a. "Mr. Food," has helped millions of Americans create quick 'n' easy dishes that use off-the-shelf ingredients. Now, the man once dubbed "the working stiff's Martha Stewart" has compiled his most popular television recipes in a new cookbook. Called "Mr. Food TV Favorites," it offers more than 150 recipes, step-by-step instructions and behind-the-scenes stories from his set. Try this recipe:

Pepperoni Pie Squares

Ingredients:
  • 1½ cups flour
  • 2 cups milk
  • 2 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1 pound Muenster cheese, cubed
  • 1 (8-ounce) package sliced pepperoni, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon dried Italian seasoning

Makes: 8 to 10 appetizers

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Coat a 9" x 13" baking dish with nonstick cooking spray.
  2. In a large bowl, combine all ingredients; mix well then pour into baking dish.
  3. Bake 25 to 30 minutes, until top is golden; cool slightly then cut into squares. Serve as is or topped with warm marinara or pizza sauce.

For more information, visit www.mrfood.com.

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A Simply Extraordinary Holiday Party

(NAPSI)-For a holiday party with plenty of pizzazz--but not a lot of expense--focus the spotlight on one signature dish as your centerpiece.

For example, shrimp can make a big impression, especially when you consider this example of simple, at-home cooking, the gourmet way. In less than 15 minutes, this recipe is ready to serve and wow your guests.

Merry Shrimp Martinis

Ingredients:
  • 2 (12-oz) packages SeaPak® Shrimp Scampi, frozen
  • 1 can (14.5 oz) diced tomato
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest
  • 1 teaspoon horseradish
  • 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 teaspoons hot sauce
  • Celery sprigs
  • Garlic Crostini (recipe below)

Makes: 6 appetizer servings

Directions:

Preheat large skillet 1-2 minutes on medium-high heat. Preheat oven to 400°. Place shrimp in skillet and sauté for 7 minutes. Pour off ½ cup of scampi butter and reserve. Add tomatoes, lemon zest, horseradish, Worcestershire sauce and hot sauce to skillet. Stir. Bring to a simmer. Portion shrimp into serving dishes. Garnish with celery sprigs and Crostini.

Garlic Crostini

  • Reserved scampi butter
  • Bread slices (such as thinly sliced ciabatta bread)

Brush reserved scampi butter on bread slices. Place on baking sheet and bake for 10 minutes.

Once you have your showpiece dish, you can then fill in the party with other more-simple dishes that can be picked up from a local market or prepared ahead of time, such as a fruit and cheese tray, a simple dip and a dessert platter.

You can find more recipes, tips and entertaining ideas online at www.seapak.com.

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Entertain At Home, Inexpensively
Bring An Easy Cobb Scramble To Brunch

(NAPSI)-Going out is out, eating in is in. Home entertaining has become big again, as folks look for an economical way to gather friends and family together but still stay within a budget. This easy meal in a skillet is just right for any brunch occasion--pregame, lazy Sunday or "just let's get together"--or for a weekend breakfast or weekday supper.

The cook gets a break because this unique dish is as simple as scrambled eggs plus the traditional Cobb salad ingredients: avocados, chicken or turkey, bacon, blue cheese and some green onion. Serve the scramble right from the skillet, pass whole grain rolls or crisp French bread and add a side of seasonal fruit such as apples or citrus.

This winter there's a bumper crop of beautiful Hass Avocados from Chile. The seasons down there are just the reverse of ours, so Hass Avocados from Chile complement the California supply. Use leftover chicken or turkey and select less expensive blue cheese crumbles and you'll have an impressive main dish. The food cost is low and so is the calorie count--less than 250 per serving!

Avocados are more than just pretty and tasty--they provide nearly 20 vitamins and minerals, including phytonutrients thought to help prevent many chronic diseases, and all for just 50 calories in a 1-ounce serving. They have no sodium and no cholesterol. A 1-ounce serving of avocados contains MUFAs (monounsaturated fatty acids)--the "good" fats.

For other eating-in events, consider a fruit plate of citrus and avocado slices sprinkled with some fresh mint, or Hass avocado slices atop a frittata, in a club sandwich, on a burger or even scattered over a hot dog--a Chilean favorite.

For plenty of great recipes, visit www.chileanavocados.org.

Cobb Scramble

Makes 4 servings

All the great flavors of the famous Cobb salad--turkey, bacon, blue cheese and, of course, avocado--in an easy, easy skillet breakfast, brunch or supper. Complete the quick-to-make meal with a fruit salad and you're done.

Ingredients:
  • 1 Hass Avocado from Chile
  • 6 eggs OR 1½ cups egg substitute
  • ½ cup chopped turkey or chicken
  • 2 slices turkey bacon, crisp-cooked and crumbled
  • ¼ cup crumbled blue cheese
  • ¼ cup chopped green onions

Directions:

Rinse avocado and cut in half. Spoon out pit. Spoon out flesh and cut into chunks. In medium bowl, beat eggs. Stir in avocado, turkey, bacon, blue cheese and onions.

Heat nonstick skillet sprayed with pan coating over medium-high heat. Add egg-avocado mixture and scramble, stirring occasionally, until eggs are set but still moist.

Or, scramble eggs and then top with avocado, turkey, bacon, blue cheese and onions.

Nutritional information per serving--calories 243, fat 17g, monounsaturated fat 7.8g, saturated fat 5g, protein 19g, carbohydrates 5g, cholesterol 345mg, sodium 327mg, fiber 1.4g.

With egg substitute: calories 183, fat 11.5g, monounsaturated fat 5.74g, saturated fat 3.27g, protein 17g, carbohydrates 4.5g, cholesterol 25mg, sodium 328mg, fiber 1.4g.

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Think Red For Powerful Pain-Relief Benefits

(NAPSI)-Here's tasteful news about feeling fit: According to sports dietitian Leslie Bonci, diet can be a key factor in managing pain that can come from exercise--and cherries are an optimal solution to include in any training routine--before, during and after a workout.

In fact, researchers from Oregon Health & Science University revealed that runners who drank cherry juice twice a day for seven days prior to and on the day of a long-distance relay reported significantly less muscle pain following the race than those who drank another fruit juice beverage.

Managing Muscle Recovery

"Most people only think about how to manage postworkout pain, not realizing that pain management and the ability to maximize muscle recovery starts before you even put on your shoes," said Bonci, who is also director of Sport Nutrition at the University of Pittsburgh and nutritionist for many professional sports teams.

She developed the Red Recovery Routine, which offers pain relief and performance tips on reducing inflammation, staying hydrated and fueling with proper foods such as tart cherries before, during and after workouts. Cherries contain powerful anti-inflammatory compounds called anthocyanins 1 and 2 that have been shown to relieve the pain associated with inflammation.

Bonci said cherries are great for all athletes, not only because the fruit is readily available year-round dried, frozen and as a juice, but because it's portable, too.

Pre- And Postworkout  Snacking

Here are hints on how to enjoy them:

  • Enjoy dried cherries added to a bowl of whole grain oatmeal or mixed in a homemade trail mix with almonds and sunflower seeds.
  • Create a quick parfait with vanilla yogurt, granola and dried cherries.
  • Pack a single-serve bottle of 100 percent cherry juice or a cherry juice blend in your gym bag or try a smoothie like the following:

Red Recharger Smoothie

This triple hit of tart cherries, antioxidants and protein is a great postexercise treat.

Ingredients:
  • 1 cup thawed tart cherries
  • 1 cup fresh or partially frozen strawberries
  • 3 tablespoons orange juice concentrate
  • ½ cup plain nonfat yogurt (or vanilla nonfat yogurt)
  • ½ cup tart cherry juice
  • 2 tablespoons honey

Directions:

Combine all ingredients in a blender and whip until smooth. Pour into two glasses and serve.

Makes 2 servings.

Learn More

Visit choosecherries.com for the Red Recovery Routine, recipes and more information.

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Delicious And Festive Traditional Fare

(NAPSI)-One tasty way to honor the nation's Founding Fathers is to sample a dish that might have appeared on their menus and is still prepared in some of the nation's oldest inns.

Back in Colonial times, hungry settlers headed to the taverns and inns that dotted the Colonies. Some of those same establishments still serve up delicious traditional fare.

In Pennsylvania's oldest continuously operating country inn, the William Penn Inn, the Penn family zucchini bread is still baked daily. General Lafayette Inn & Brewery was part of the Barren Hill encampment in 1778. It serves Colonial-inspired dishes like meat loaf and crab cakes.

Historic General Warren Inne, once a Tory stronghold, was renamed in honor of an American hero who died during the Battle of Bunker Hill. The inn now serves a variety of Continental cuisine.

Legend has it that Colonial troops quenched their thirst from a water pump at The Old Guard House Inn. The inn offers this mouthwatering, easy recipe, ideal for holiday entertaining.

Lobster Guard House

Ingredients:
  • 2 4-oz. cold-water lobster tails
  • 1 oz. flour
  • 1 egg
  • 2 oz. butter
  • Salt and pepper

Directions:

Remove lobster meat from the shell. Slice tails down the middle. Roll in flour. Dip tails in egg wash. Melt butter in sauté pan. Place lobster in hot sauté pan, sauté for 2 minutes per side. Serve with your favorite vegetables: asparagus, corn, etc.

Serves 1

Lobster Sandwich

  • Soft roll, toasted
  • 1 cold-water lobster tail
  • 1 oz. butter
  • Salt and pepper

Cold Lobster Sauce

  • 3 parts mayonnaise
  • 1 part ketchup
  • Salt and pepper
  • Grand Marnier to taste

Directions:

Prepare lobster tail the same way as Lobster Guard House. Brush both halves of the roll with lobster sauce. Place lobster in roll.

For more information on visiting Valley Forge, you can go to www.valleyforge.org.

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