Granola

December 21, 2007
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Energy and goodness in one welcome jar! That’s granola! SAM

3 cups regular, uncooked rolled oats
1 cup coarsely chopped walnuts
1 (2 1/4-ounce) package sliced almonds
1/2 cup flaked coconut
1/4 cup salted sunflower kernels
6 tablespoons honey
1/4 cup vegetable oil
2 tablespoons water
1/2 teaspoon rum extract
1/4 teaspoon salt or to taste
8 ounces dried cherries
6 ounces M&M chocolate candy or chocolate morsels

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. In a large bowl, combine the oats, walnuts, almonds, coconut, and sunflower kernels. In another bowl, combine the honey, oil, water, and rum extract. Pour into the oats mixture and stir to coat. Spread evenly on a heavy baking sheet and bake for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove from the oven, sprinkle with salt, and cool. Stir in the cherries and chocolate and transfer to decorative gift jars.
Makes 5 half-pint gift jars.

Adapted from Emily’s cookbook: All-American Comfort Food.

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Pepper Cheese Logs

December 20, 2007
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This handy appetizer is great anytime, but your friends and family will especially appreciate it during the holidays. SAM

1 (8-ounce) package cream cheese, softened
1 tablespoon half-and-half
1 large clove garlic, pressed
1 tablespoon finely grated onion with juice
1 teaspoon chopped fresh or freeze-dried chives
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes or to taste
Coarsely ground black pepper

In a medium bowl, combine the cheese, half-and-half, garlic, onion, chives, and red pepper flakes. Shape into 4 2 1/2-inch logs and roll in a generous amount of black pepper. Wrap tightly in decorative plastic wrap and chill.
Makes 4 2 1/2-inch logs.

Adapted from Emily’s cookbook: All-American Comfort Food.


Mexican-Style Hot Chocolate Mix

December 19, 2007

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A steaming cup of hot chocolate on a cold winter’s day, instantly, anytime you want it? What a great holiday gift! SAM

1 (2-pound) box instant chocolate milk
1 (1-pound) box confectioner’s sugar
1 (11-ounce) jar nondairy creamer
1 (8-quart) box powdered milk
2 tablespoons ground cinnamon

In a large bowl combine all ingredients. Transfer to decorative jars with a note reading: ‘To serve, dissolve 2 heaping tablespoons in 1 cup boiling water and stir with a cinnamon stick.’
Makes 12 half-pint gift jars.

Adapted from Emily’s cookbook: All-American Comfort Food.


Barbecued Pecans

December 18, 2007

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Barbecued pecans make wonderful gifts! They’re easy to make, very transportable, and spread such joy. If you don’t have access to good pecans, you could probably use this same recipe for English walnuts or almonds. SAM

2 tablespoons butter, melted
1/4 cup Worcestershire sauce
2 teaspoons tomato ketchup
1 teaspoon prepared mustard
2 dashes hot pepper sauce
4 cups pecan halves
Sea salt to taste

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. In a large bowl, combine the butter, Worcestershire sauce, ketchup, mustard, and Tabasco sauce. Add the pecans and stir to coat. Spread evenly on a heavy baking sheet and bake for 15 minutes, stirring every 5 minutes. Spread on paper towels and sprinkle with salt.
Makes 4 half-pint gift jars.

Adapted from Emily’s cookbook: All-American Comfort Food.