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Miniature pies, sweet or savory, are ideal party nibbles. I knew the ever-popular shepherd's pie would be perfect scaled down. I've also made the pies with ground lamb and a teaspoon of dried rosemary.—Suzanne Banfield, BASKING RIDGE, New Jersey
"Working in a local deli and retail outlet that sells herbs and spices gives me a change to create many recipes," says Joyce Montague of Wichita, Kansas. Cottage cheese is the main ingredient in this creamy dip that's terrific with raw veggies or crackers.
"This cake is so good, I can serve it as an everyday dessert or for special occasions," writes Dorothy Monroe, Pocatello, Idaho. Chocolate cake layers are jazzed up with whipped cream and a quick chocolate frosting.
"I don't remember where I got this recipe, but it's so good!" comments Dorothy Olivares of El Paso, Texas. Before baking the smooth and creamy chocolate cheesecake, she stirs crumbled brownies into the batter for a delectable touch.
"On St. Patrick's Day our family gets together for a special dinner and other festivities," explains Susan Frantz of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. "Green is dominant in most of the food we serve, so these cupcakes tinted with pistachio pudding mix are a perfect addition.
Try these satisfying snacks from Sue Seymour Valatie, New York. She pats cheese into the dough, then tucks in store-bought bean dip to fix these tasty turnovers. "They're easy to assemble with prepared pie crusts," she says.
"My husband and tow grown sons really enjoy these appetizers when we're camping," writes Debra Morgan of Idaho Falls, Idaho. "They can devour a platter of them in no time. They're also fun to fix when friends come over."
Our Test Kitchen staff used a bit of cocoa to turn traditional cream puffs into these extraordinary desserts. Guests will think you spent hours fussing over the tender chocolate pastries, which are filled with a rich creamy mixture and fresh strawberries.
From West Columbia, South Carolina, Saundra Busby celebrates holidays by topping store-bought miniature cream puffs with canned pie filling and melted chocolate. "These quick-to-assemble dessert call for only five ingredients," she says. "Nothing could be simpler or more elegant."
These tender puffs from our home economists feature a fast mouthwatering seafood spread. Because of their smaller size, the savory bites are an ideal addition to brunch buffets, spring luncheons or parties.
"My family has enjoyed this pretty salad for many years," comments Shelly Kaiser of Louisville, Kentucky. "To save time, use prepared balsamic dressing instead of making it yourself. Serve this salad with sourdough French bread for an easy dinner," she suggests.