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Tip for a Specific Recipe

A Spread with Lovely Layers

The layers in your Pesto Cream Cheese Spread can look as lovely as the photo above if you have a little extra time.

Here's the trick: After evenly spreading 1/4 cup cream cheese mixture in the…

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Chocolate Mint Crepes

If you want Chocolate Crepes to have a more refreshing flavor, replace the creme de cacao with creme de menthe and be sure to use the chopped Andes candies in the fudge sauce.

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Chocolate-Laced Whipped Cream

Instead of simply topping pieces of Mud Pie with sweetened whipped cream, try the "pinstripe" look. Here's how:

Drizzle three stripes of some of the recipe's chocolate sauce into a pastry bag.…

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Cooked Chicken

If you don't have any leftover chicken for Chicken Artichoke Pizzas, you can poach, bake or microwave some chicken breasts. You'll need about 10 to 12 ounces of boneless, skinless chicken breasts…

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Decorating the Booties'n'Rattles Cake

For booties, use round tip #8 and pink frosting to pipe an elongated dot, raising up at one end to form the heel.

For rattles, use round tip #8 and blue frosting to pipe one large dot and…

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Dessert Plate Presentation

When entertaining, it's fun to focus on the presentation of food. The contrasting colors and flavor of Raspberry Sauce and Sour Cream Topping make them perfect partners for garnishing individual…

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Fast Fruit Salad

TO SAVE TIME on the day of your brunch, you can prepare the dressing for Fruit Salad with Poppy Seed Dressing the night before and store it in a covered container at room temperature. Also, cut up…

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Fruity Oatmeal Cookies

"When I make the batter for Oatmeal Scotchies, I use only 6 ounces of the butterscotch chips and add 1/2 cup raisins and 1/2 cup chopped dried apples," explains Valerie Johnstone of Bradenton,…

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Get to Know Ginger

Ginger Pound Cake uses fresh gingerroot and crystallized ginger, both of which can be found in your grocery store's produce department.
Look for fresh gingerroot that has smooth,…

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Golden Honey Sweet Rolls Preparation Pointer

When mashing sweet potatoes on Thanksgiving Day, set aside 3/4 cup before adding milk, butter and any other ingredients. Refrigerate in a covered container and use it to make Golden Honey Sweet…

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Heart-Shaped Dippers

Instead of simply serving cubes of pound cake with Caramel Fondue, make some heart-shaped dippers. Thaw a 10-3/4-ounce loaf of pound cake. Slice the cake, then cut with a 1-in. heart-shaped cookie…

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Ice Bucket Serving Suggestions

To play upon the Fire-and-Ice theme, place Tangy Cheese Bites in a clear, acrylic ice bucket and serve with ice tongs.

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Make Crepe Quiche Cups Quicker

To avoid some of the last-minute preparation of Crepe Quiche Cups, you can make and freeze the crepes in advance.
Prepare the crepes as directed and cool. Stack crepes between waxed paper or…

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Make the Mushrooms Ahead

Instead of assembling Spinach-Cheese Mushroom Caps as guests arrive, stuff them in the morning and place on a baking sheet. Cover with a damp paper towel; refrigerate until baking time.

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Making a Meringue for Baked Alaska

In a double boiler over simmering water, beat egg whites and cream of tartar with a portable mixer on low speed for 1 minute.

Continue beating on low speed until meringue reaches 160°,…

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Making Appetizer Stromboli

With a rolling pin, roll dough into a 15-in. x 12-in. rectangle on a lightly floured surface. Place ingredients lengthwise down one side of the dough.

Fold dough over filling and crimp to…

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Making Asparagus Roll-Ups

Remove the crusts from each slice of bread with a sharp knife. With a rolling pin, flatten each slice. Combine all filling ingredients.

Spread filling over bread. Place two asparagus spears…

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Making Cute Kitty Cookies

Cute Kitty Cookies have a solid center of vanilla dough encased in a chocolate dough. To make these two-toned cookies, shape the vanilla dough into an 8-in. roll. Roll out the chocolate dough…

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Making Easter Nest Torte

Cut a 29-in. x 5-in. strip of waxed paper. Fold strip lengthwise in half. Place on a large sheet of waxed paper on a work surface. Melt chocolate; spread evenly along one long edge of waxed paper…

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Making Herbed Bread Twists

Roll dough in to a 12-in. square. Spread butter mixture to within 1/2 in. of edges. Top with cheese. Fold dough into thirds.

Cut dough widthwise into 24 strips.

Twist each strip twice;…

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Making Palmiers

Roll out dough into a 14-in. x 10-in. rectangle. Sprinkle sugar over dough to within 1/2-in. of edges. Lightly press into pastry. With a knife, very lightly score a line widthwise across the…

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Making Swan Cream Puffs

To make swan necks, pipe batter into 3 dozen 2-in. long S shapes onto greased baking sheets, making a small dollop at the end of each for the head. Bake as directed.

To assemble cream puffs,…

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Marinated Mozzarella

Make a few extra batches of Marinated Mozzarella Cubes; divide among quart or pint jars. Tuck each jar into a pretty basket along with bread or crackers and give away the baskets as party favors.…

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Meatless Muffuletta

If you prefer, make Crowd-Pleasin' Muffuletta without meat. Replace the turkey, salami and ham with grilled portobello mushroom caps, fresh tomato slices and spinach leaves. You could also…

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Preparing Beef and Pepper Stir-Fry

Slice beef and peppers into thin strips.

Combine 1 tablespoon cornstarch, 2 tablespoons sherry or broth, 2 tablespoons soy sauce, garlic and red pepper flakes. Add meat and toss to coat; set…

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Sabayon Sauce Substitute

Our Test Kitchen home economists like how the sweet rose wine in our sabayon balances the tangy fruits in this recipe. You could also make the sabayon sauce with marsala, which is traditional, or…

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Second-Time Around Sweet Potatoes

Instead of just reheating any leftovers of Maple Candied Sweet Potatoes, set aside 1 cup to make Maple Candied Sweet Potato Pie.

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Secrets to Speedy Strudels

Cheese and Sausage Strudels have several make-ahead features. The night before, prepare the cheese sauce as directed; cool, cover and refrigerate. Reheat in a saucepan over low heat before…

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Serving Truffle Eggs

Dyed a robin's egg blue, Truffle Eggs bring a bit of spring to the table. To tie into our bird Nest Centerpiece, we purchased small twig nests from a craft store, set one on each dinner plate and…

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Shaping Chocolate-Tipped Butter Cookies

Shape 1/4 cupfuls of dough into logs that are 1/2 in. thick, Cut the logs into 2-1/2-in. pieces, using a ruler as your guide.

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Shoestring Sweet Potatoes

Shoestring Sweet Potatoes. Here's how to make them:
Peel 3 large sweet potatoes; julienne into 3-in. x 1/4-in. strips. In an electric skillet or deep-fat fryer, heat oil to 375°. Fry…

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Substitution Secret

Can't find prosciutto at your grocery store? Regular bacon can be used instead when making Prosciutto-Wrapped Apricots.

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Time-Saving Truffles

You can make the coconut centers for these truffles and freeze them in airtight containers for up to 2 months. Thaw in the refrigerator; dip in chocolate and decorate as directed.

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Use Your Slow Cooker

Creamy Buffalo Chicken Dip can be prepared ahead and then heated in a slow cooker instead of baked. It will also keep the dip warm during a party.

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You'll Relish Roasted Garlic

When garlic is roasted, it turns golden and buttery. Its flavor mellows and becomes slightly sweet and nutty. Roasted garlic is terrific in a variety of dishes (like Garlic-Filled Meatballs) or…

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