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©Inter IKEA Systems B.V. 2013


$ 499

Imagine if all that you needed for the holidays was all at one place. From ornaments to ottomans, everything comes together at IKEA.

EKTORP sofa $499 Cotton, linen, viscose/rayon and polyester removable cover. Imported. Requires assembly. Svanby gray. EKTORP has a 10-year limited warranty. See IKEA store or for details. Valid in US IKEA stores. See IKEA store for country of origin information.



During the holidays, the kitchen hosts a revolving door of guests. These Unilever recipes serve up simple and festive flavors for holiday gatherings.



Stock up on these essentials to create easy and delicious crowd-pleasers.

PREP TIME: 10 minutes + 2 hours chilling YIELD: 4 cups

  • 10 oz./300 g frozen chopped spinach, cooked, cooled and squeezed dry

  • 16 oz. sour cream

    • 1 cup Hellmann’s ® or Best Foods ® Real Mayonnaise

    • 1 package Knorr ® Vegetable recipe mix

    • 8 oz. water chestnuts, drained and chopped (optional)

    • 3 green onions, chopped (optional)

Combine all ingredients and chill about 2 hours. Serve with your favorite dippers to your favorite people.

PREP TIME: 10 minutes YIELD: 6 servings


30 minutes

  • 4 Tbsp. Country Crock® Spread, melted, divided

  • 1 cup 2% milk

  • 8 ounces dry rotini pasta, cooked and drained

  • 2 cups diced cooked chicken

  • 4 cups assorted frozen vegetables, thawed

  • 2 1/4 cups finely shredded low fat cheddar cheese

1/4 cup plain dry bread crumbs

  • 1 Tbsp. grated Parmesan cheese

Preheat oven to 400°. Combine 3 tablespoons Country Crock® Spread, milk, rotini, chicken, vegetables and cheddar cheese in 8” baking dish.

Combine bread crumbs, Parmesan cheese and remaining Spread in small bowl; sprinkle over top of casserole.

Bake until heated through and crumbs are toasted, about 30 minutes.


PREP TIME: 20 minutes YIELD: 8 servings

COOK TIME: 60 minutes

30 oz. ricotta cheese

  • 2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese

1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese

  • 2 eggs

  • 1 jar

Bertolli ® Tomato

& Basil Sauce

  • 1 jar

Bertolli ® Alfredo


12 lasagna noodles, cooked and drained

Preheat oven to 375°. Combine ricotta cheese, mozzarella cheese, 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese and eggs in large bowl; set aside. Combine Sauces in medium bowl.

Spread 1 cup sauce mixture in 13 x 9” baking dish. Layer 4 lasagna noodles, then 1 cup sauce mixture and 1/2 of the ricotta mixture; repeat. Top with remaining 4 noodles, then sauce mixture and remaining 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese.

Cover with aluminum foil and bake 50 minutes. Remove foil and bake until bubbling, about 10 minutes. Let stand 10 minutes before serving.

PREP TIME: 5 minutes COOK TIME: 30 minutes YIELD: 12 servings

  • 1 box (16.5 oz.) chocolate cake mix

  • 1 Hellmann’s ® or Best Foods ® Real



  • 1 cup water

  • 3 eggs

  • 1 tsp. ground cinnamon (optional)

Preheat oven to 350°. Grease and lightly flour two 9” round cake pans; set aside.

Beat cake mix, Hellmann’s® or Best Foods ® Real Mayonnaise, water, eggs and cinnamon 30 seconds in large bowl with electric mixer on low speed. Beat on medium speed, scraping sides occasionally, 2 minutes. Pour batter into prepared pans.

Bake 30 minutes or until toothpick inserted in centers comes out clean. Cool on wire rack 10 minutes. Remove cakes rom pans and cool completely. Sprinkle, if desired, with confectioners sugar or fill and frost.









Cooking, Caring & Sharing ®

Peppermint Crunch Christmas Cookies, page 83


Home for THe


Home cooks couldn’t be more generous with their best recipes for cookies, casseroles, feasts and fast fixes. This year, give your family the gifts of satisfied smiles and happy hearts.

Gingerbread People, page 70



Cook Smart

  • 22 home sweet home Four Field Editors teamed up with our Test Kitchen to build the sweetest gingerbread houses on the block.

  • 26 JoLLy in a Jiffy Set the timer for homespun dishes that go from fridge to fork in 30 minutes or less.

    • 31 a LiGht winter’s meaL Warm up the slow cooker. These healthy suppers are done when you step in the door.

  • 38 GLuten-free made easy An Ohio mom takes gluten out of the cookie equation so the whole family can enjoy.



  • 42 munCh & minGLe Classic appetizers with fabulous flavors make just-right starters for passing around at your holiday party this year.

  • 50 five-inGredient hoLiday An entire feast of dishes worthy of a celebration, each made with five ingredients or fewer.

  • 54 wake-uP wonderLand The presents can wait. You’ve got these breakfast miracles to share with the family.

  • 62 CasseroLes to Carry Good cooks bring you their best—creamy, saucy, meaty and altogether irresistible— potluck take-alongs.

  • 69 your very merriest Christmas ever From the eggnoggiest to the snickerdoodliest, readers’ recipes for the ultimate in Christmas eats are here.

  • 85 triPLe treat Turn one decadent homemade brownie recipe into three fun and festive treats.



  • 89 Prized Pies Looking for some winning ways to fill a warm and flaky crust? Dig into 12 of our readers’ best.

Close to Home

  • 100 snowy suPPer, with Love A Colorado family brings tradition and a personal twist to cold-weather suppers.

  • 103 PoPs of Good Cheer This Kansas City reader’s sweet take on classic popcorn balls gets the kids in on the fun.

  • 106 sides to CeLebrate Spread the love of wholesome food with an Illinois mom’s fill-you-up veggie sides.

    • 110 Give santa some suGar Just add a glass of milk (and some yuletide love) to Field Editors’ favorite cookie recipes.

In Every Issue


Table Talk

9  Mixing Bowl


Tasty 10

118  Recipe Index


Recipe Swap

Have a sweet holiday. Make it merrier by sharing homemade treats including Christmas Tree Brownies (page 86), Peppermint Crunch Christmas Cookies (page 83) and Gingerbread People (page 70). Photographer: Grace Natoli Sheldon | Set Stylist:

Stephanie Marchese | Food Stylist: Sue Draheim

Christmas Tree Brownies: Frosted with Royal Icing (page 70) and decorated with “candy canes” cut from StackerMallows using R&M 1848 Christmas Linzer Cookie Cutter Set, $15.




eDitor-in-Chief Catherine Cassidy

Creative DireCtor Howard Greenberg eDitorial operationS DireCtor Kerri Balliet aSSoCiate Creative DireCtor Erin Burns

eDitor Jeanne Ambrose Senior eDitorS Emily Betz Tyra, Ellie Martin Cliffe art DireCtor Kristin Bowker

Contributing art DireCtor Jennifer Fox

aSSiStant eDitor Elizabeth Russell Harris

Contributing aSSiStant eDitor

Amanda Biedrzycki Copy Chief Deb Warlaumont Mulvey Copy eDitorS Dulcie Shoener, Joanne Weintraub

Content operationS Manager Colleen King Content operationS aSSiStant

Shannon Stroud

eDitorial proDuCtion Manager Dena Ahlers

layout DeSigner Julianne Schnuck

exeCutive aSSiStant Marie Brannon health aDviSory boarD Ari Brown, MD

( Pediatric Medicine ); Cynthia Sass, RD ( Nutrition ) ; Vonda Wright, MD ( Women’s Health/Fitness )

Chief fooD eDitor Karen Berner

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aSSoCiate fooD eDitor Krista Lanphier aSSoCiate eDitor/fooD Content

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teSt KitChen & fooD Styling Manager

Sarah Thompson teSt CooKS Nicholas Iverson ( lead ) , Matthew Hass, Lauren Knoelke fooD StyliStS Kathryn Conrad ( senior ) , Shannon Roum, Leah Rekau prep CooKS Megumi Garcia, Melissa Hansen, Nicole Spohrleder, Bethany VanOpdorp

photography DireCtor Stephanie Marchese

photographerS Dan Roberts, Jim Wieland

photographer/Set StyliSt

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exeCutive eDitor, Digital

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join the fun!

Diane Smith of Pine Mountain, Georgia, shows off her Meaty Slow-Cooked Jambalaya, page 36. Share your top recipes and you might be featured, too:

Table Talk

Make Homemade Memories

There’s no time like the holidays to

gather around the food!

A few months ago, we asked you to share your favorite winter food memories on facebook. they were delightful (and sometimes hilarious, too).

Reader Julie Hershkowitz of St. George, Utah, told about a “snowball fight” she had as a kid with her

mom, brothers and cookie dough—what a huge, fun mess. Cooks who care, like Michelle “Momma D” Dentremont in Port Hueneme, California, and Michelle Pippen of Hohenfels, Germany, told of delivering yummy baked goods all over their communities.

In other Taste of Home families, Christmas breakfast is a big deal. The recipes you share are magical. Easy Eggs Benedict Casserole, Golden Danish Twists, Black Forest Waffles—yum! It doesn’t matter if you sit down to your meal wearing a Christmas sweater (don’t we all have one?) or your comfiest pj’s, it’s the good food that gets all of us into a festive mood.

love is the best gift!

So many of you received your first Taste of Home subscription as a gift. Share your favorite magazine for Christmas with people you love!

It’s easy, right now, at

The iPad edition has fun

interactive extras plus instant recipe sharing

with friends and family. More at tasteofhome .com/mobile.

So there’s no better time than now to carve a batch of brownies (page 85) into a tree, two wreaths or a herd of reindeer. Or build a gingerbread house—the simple kind, with graham crackers, ready-made frosting and candies galore. Our Field Editors share their best tips (page 22). Did you know it’s easier to decorate the walls first, then put them together?

Oh, don’t miss the Caramel Snickerdoodle Bars (page 77) that made us all weak in the knees here—we’re better people just for knowing how to bake them now! Thanks to Niki Plourde in Gardner, Massachusetts.

Here’s wishing you a holiday season filled with surprise and delight. P

Catherine Cassidy EdITor-In-ChIEf

On this Page Black forest Waffles, page 57; reindeer Brownies, page 86; Caramel Snickerdoodle Bars, page 77; Christmas Graham houses, page 22.


Holiday Joy This is the kind of one-stop shopping I can’t resist when I have my holiday list in hand. A cartful of ingredients and dinner’s on its way. Add a prime rib like that above for a flavor- packed entree that’s incredibly easy.

Stars of the Season

For this family cook, the best recipes always start with the freshest ingredients.

My first trip to Sam’s Club ®

was with my mother and my sister Jan. The club in Concord, California, had just opened and I was in town to visit. Whenever the Cassidy women are together, we always shop. What we found on that first Sam’s Club shopping trip keeps us all coming back: great prices on incredibly fresh food in sizes that feed the whole family.

My mom is a terrific cook—just thinking about her famous prime rib and apple pie conjures up

heavenly aromas. She taught me so much about cooking, but the two most important lessons were having recipes you can trust to work and using fresh ingredients. As editor-in-chief of Taste of Home, I get to know and love the recipes that you share with us and that are tested here in our Test Kitchen. And as a Sam’s Club member, I know I can find fresh, seasonal ingredients to make these recipes shine.

That’s why I’m so excited that Taste of Home has teamed up

with Sam’s Club. Together, in our magazines and on our websites, we’ve shown how pairing family-favorite recipes with the top-notch food you find at Sam’s Club—from gourmet cheeses to fresh-picked fruits and vegetables to choice meats and seafood—makes for meals families love.

Turn to page 42 for festive and irresistible appetizer ideas. And on page 50 find a special five-ingredient holiday feast. Along with the recipes, you’ll find helpful entertaining tips from Sam’s Club to make an impressive holiday menu.

Have a warm and happy holiday!

—CaTHerine Cassidy editor-in-Chief, Taste of Home

The over



simple a how-to To



ChrisTmas robins:



Give your backyard buddies a wing up this winter. Trim the trees outside with these easy homemade birdseed ornaments.


$ 2

  • 1. Go loopy Tie ends of each ribbon

section together to form four loops for hanging. You’ll need these later.

Food on the Fly



Deck out your yard—and

wait for chirps of joy.

2. Stir away Mix gelatin with ½ cup boiling water. Stir well to dissolve, then add to birdseed, continuing to stir well. If mixture is watery, add more seed until it’s stiff but sticky.

What You Need

ɡ 4 ft. of 1/4 -in.-wide ribbon, cut into 12-in.-long sections

ɡ 1/2 oz. unflavored gelatin powder (or 2 envelopes of Knox)

ɡ 1 1/2 cups birdseed

ɡ Baking sheet lined with waxed paper

ɡ Four cookie cutters of any shape (roughly 4 in. x 4 in.)

ɡ Cooking spray

Makes: About four 4-in.-square cookie-cutter ornaments.

  • 3. Make the mold Place cookie cutters

an inch apart on the prepared baking

sheet. Lightly coat each cutter with cooking spray. Fill each halfway with birdseed mix.

4. Press tight Place knotted end of each ribbon loop on top center of each cutter. Then fill with more mix until loop is secured. Firmly press the mix with back of spoon to compact.

  • 5. Hang it up After a few hours, coax each

birdseed ornament onto fresh waxed paper. Let dry, flipping every so often, for 72 hours or until hard. Hang ornaments outside in trees.

products to try


Bake up merry moods with fun cake fixings: Duncan Hines Limited Edition Holiday Velvets or Pillsbury Holiday Funfetti Garland Green Vanilla Frosting. In most grocery stores.


one’s a





Santa’s (Kitchen) Helper

Help your favorite home cook juggle

the holiday feast with The Orange Chef’s dishwasher-safe iPad Stand. $35

toast the Hostess

Tuck this new wine to share into a

sack of presents. A tower of four disposable wineglasses from Stack wines equals one 750 ml bottle. $13

A Christmas Cookie

Brighten the face of any A Christmas Story fan with a leg-lamp cookie cutter—or a batch of leg-lamp cookies! $6


Put these affordable and oh-so-thoughtful gifts on your holiday shopping list to make your special someone say, “Wow!”

Placemat Picasso

Kids can draw their own comic strips or dream up a crocodile’s favorite foods on the paper placemats in this collection of nine kid-friendly designs. $13

Chopstick training Wheels

The chopstick-newbies in your family will eat like pros with

Fred & Friends’ soft, washable Chopstick Kids. They’re really fun for grabbing French fries. $8

A Stocking for Sparky

Treat your canine pals to a BarkBox

of carefully selected goodies. The excitement of new chew toys will keep ’em busy while you entertain. $29

a make-your-


vanilla kit!


Pasta Pageant

Bring Christmas spirit to your home cooking with snowman- or Santa Claus-shaped pasta from the Pasta Shoppe. Add the shapes to any soup, salad or casserole for a special supper. $6

Treat Tray

On Christmas Eve, add cookies to this tiny “house” flashcards tray and Santa will feel right at home. $18

Baby, It’s Cold Outside

Keep your lasagna warm all the way to Grandma’s house. Vonny’s cute-as-can-be casserole carrier comes in fun patterns that dress up anything you’re toting to a potluck. $48

Follow Your Nose

This book is beyond fun—and makes it easy to choose wines you’ll love. Add The Essential Scratch and Sniff Guide to Becoming a Wine Expert to a friend’s coffee table collection. $20

Homemade for the Holidays

Yup, you can make (or gift) your own vanilla extract. Add premium vodka to Salt Sisters’ Vanilla Infusion Kit’s Grade A beans and store for a few months. Use it in your favorite recipes. $27

Snug Mugs

Give the gift of warm winter nights

with an assortment of holiday teas. The red-ribbon gift box is a super-cozy stocking stuffer. $6




Brown Butter Baked doughnuts—yes, please! Find the recipe on Joy’s blog,

Joy to the Kitchen

There are a lot of people who are sweet on 32-year-old baker Joy Wilson. She has published a popular cookbook (with a second out this fall) and has been lauded by the Times of London for her blog, named one of the top 50 food blogs in the world. For Taste of Home readers, Joy shares some baking secrets, like her special ingredient for banana bread.

We noticed you use browned butter often. In cookies. Cakes. Doughnuts. Pancakes. Bread. What’s your favorite way to sneak browned butter into a

recipe? Browning butter really does make butter better. I love adding it to doughnuts. And to quick bread recipes

like banana bread with spices and walnuts. The browned butter adds extra richness and melds perfectly with the hearty walnuts and sweet bananas. Mini loaves make great hostess gifts!

It isn’t Christmas without…

Dad’s sweet potato pie. He’s been making it my whole life. I feel related to it in some strange sort of way. He adds a lot of ground coriander to it— a teaspoon or two. It’s his signature. The coriander adds a unique flavor and is super aromatic.

How do you spice up decorated

cookies? Everyone asks me what makes my sugar cookies taste so special. I like to fancy them up by adding fresh vanilla bean, or orange or lime zest, to the sugar before it goes into the batter.

Find Joy’s first cookbook on

“I packed it with all the love and sugar I could muster,” she says.

Joy’s Browned Butter

In a saucepan, melt ¾ cup (1 ½ sticks) unsalted butter over medium-low heat. Butter will begin to foam and crackle as it melts, but will quiet down quickly. Swirl the pan as the butter cooks. When the butter browns and begins to smell nutty, remove from the heat and transfer to a small bowl. Taking the butter out of the hot saucepan will stop the butter from overcooking and burning. Makes: Just over ½ cup of browned butter. joy wilson london, UK

Did you know?

Taste of Home handpicked a collection of favorite food blogs. Check it out at


cooks who care

Sharing Season

Follow the lead of these big-hearted readers who know that feeding hungry stomachs— and spirits—is a goodwill gift that fits anyone.

My husband is a Navy Seabee, and his guys know that our house is always good for a meal. The Seabees especially love the homemade cookies I send when they’re field training. Some of these young men are far from home for the first time in their lives, so having people they can count on for company and home cooking means a lot.

—MIcheLLe “MOMMa D” DeNtreMONt Port Hueneme, CA

One of my favorite ways to give back is to bake Christmas cookies for the local soup kitchen. Last year, when we lived in Fort Benning, Georgia, I made eight varieties, including decorated sugar cookies and pinwheels.

I package them individually so the volunteers merely have to pass them out with dinner. My daughters go with me to deliver them.

—MIcheLLe PIPPeN HoHenFeLS, GermAny

My family and I make bag lunches that we take to the homeless who live under the bridges and in the parks of Pittsburgh. I’ve also had the pleasure of serving and cooking at a local rescue mission that serves supper to 250 hungry souls during the coldest months. In turn, we’ve made many wonderful new friends because of our willingness to give help wherever needed.

—rONI LaWtON InDuStry, PA

Our children enjoy attending the local rodeo, but some of the other kids there don’t have the extra money to spend at the concession stand. So each time we go, I whip up a bunch of snacks and hand them out. If we’ve got it to give, why not share it?

—JessI MaPLe mIAmI, oK



Find the green gift!

Locate the green gift in the pages of this magazine and you could win a new cookbook from Taste of Home. Find it? tell us where by going to or mail a postcard with the page number and your name, address and phone number to Hide & Seek, Taste of Home, 5400 S. 60th St., Greendale WI 53129. In our November 2013 issue, the turkey was hidden on page 42.

Pancakes yesterday. Holiday egg bake today.

What’s inside your box of Bisquick?

© 2013 General Mills.

Impossibly Easy Holiday Breakfast Bake e

  • 2 (12 oz.) pkg. bulk pork sausage

  • 1 c. Original Bisquick ® mix

  • 1 c. chopped bell pepper

  • 2 c. milk

1 /2 c. chopped onion

  • 1 /4 tsp. pepper

  • 3 c. frozen hash brown potatoes

  • 4 eggs

  • 2 c. shredded Cheddar

    • 1. Heat oven to 400°F. Cook sausage, bell pepper and onion over

medium heat, stirring occasionally; drain. Combine sausage mixture, potatoes and 1 1 /2 cups cheese in greased 13 x 9 baking dish.



  • 2. Stir Bisquick mix, milk, pepper and eggs. Pour into baking dish.

  • 3. Bake uncovered 40-45 min. Sprinkle with remaining cheese.

Bake 1-2 min. until melted. Serves 12.

Find more power to WOW at


March of the Penguins!

Create your own colony ( yup, that’s the real term) by using a large gumdrop for the body, a small gumdrop for the head, a sour rope for the scarf, and sliced-up jellybeans for the wings, feet and beak. Snip the ends of thin black licorice for the eyes.


Take 3


Marshmallow Mash-up

  • 1 Sno-Glo Tree Using short toothpicks, attach regular-size marshmallows and gumdrops—arranged to look like lights—to a foam topiary tree cone, available at most craft stores.

  • 2 no-MelT IGloo CupCake For the dome, place an unfrosted, unlined cupcake upside down on a serving

plate. Cover with whipped topping and decorate with mini marshmallows. For the door, cut a marshmallow in half, then make a hole with an apple corer.

  • 3 Good-enouGh-To-eaT Garland String

marshmallows of varying sizes and fresh cranberries with fishing line and a needle.


A new way to save!

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As a member of Taste of Home Plus, Jennifer

knows that belonging just makes good sense.

She enjoys full one-year subscriptions to both of

our popular, recipe-packed cooking magazines

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festive Grasshopper Cheesecake below.

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know. Start saving instantly when you visit today!

Taste of Home Plus is THE ULTIMATE VALUE!

Now I enjoy both Taste of Home and Simple & cookbooks, discounts and more! 

— Jennifer H.

TasTe of home plus member

maKe aheaD Holiday deSSerT

as seen in TasTe of Home CHrisTmas 2013

Grasshopper Cheesecake

PreP: 25 min.+ chilling MakeS: 12 servings

  • 35 chocolate wafers, finely crushed (about 1- 2/3 cups) cup butter, melted


  • 1 Tbsp. plus 3/4 cup sugar, divided

  • 1 envelope unflavored gelatin

1/2 cup cold water

  • 1 pkg. (8 oz.) cream cheese, softened

1/3 cup green creme de menthe

  • 2 cups heavy whipping cream, whipped

  • 1. In a small bowl, combine the

cookie crumbs, butter and 1 tablespoon sugar. Press half of

mixture onto the bottom of a greased 9-in. springform pan. Refrigerate until chilled.

  • 2. In a small saucepan, sprinkle

gelatin over cold water; let stand for 1 minute. Heat over low heat, stirring until gelatin is completely

dissolved. Cool.

  • 3. In a large bowl, beat cream

cheese and remaining sugar until

fufy. Gradually beat in gelatin mixture. Stir in creme de menthe.

Set aside 1 cup whipped cream for

garnish. Fold remaining whipped cream into cream cheese mixture.

  • 4. Pour half of the flling over

crust. Top with remaining crumb mixture, reserving 2 tablespoons for garnish. Pour remaining flling into pan; garnish with reserved whipped cream. Sprinkle with reserved crumbs. Chill until set.

Remove sides of pan before slicing.

Start saving today at

















Sugar Cookies

“I have been delighting my children and grandchildren for years with this special cookie recipe.”

—Judith S.,

Waukesha, Wisconsin



bake &

bake &

& &





Join the fun this December with a daily holiday cookie recipe that counts down the days to Christmas.


Cookie Countdown e-Newsletter


Sign up at:


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a small



of away.








up the








Cook Smart

Fancy in a Flash light & cozy slow cooker graham cracker cottages

Gluten-Free Spritz Delights

Cheryl Costilow | amherst, oH

Raise youR foRks to Happiness, HealtH and Home.

test kitchen’s

jennifer ray’s

diane smith’s

kelly eVans’

christmas graham


meaty slow-cooked

carne guisada

houses pAGE 22

pork chops pAGE 27

jambalaya pAGE 36

pAGE 34


it snow!



coconut is


last touch.


Home Sweet Home

Grab a stack of graham crackers and a bowl of frosting (the kind from a can works like a charm). Four Field Editors share their behind-the-scenes secrets for a cheery little gingerbread house that’s a cinch to make.

Christmas Graham Houses

Bring some holiday spirit to your home with these cute creations. They’re so easy to build and decorate, even little elves can join in the fun.


GrEEndalE, WI

PreP: 40 mIn. + sTandInG maKeS: 4 housEs (2 Tall and 2 shorT)

  • 19 whole graham crackers, divided

    • 1 can (16 oz.) vanilla frosting

    • 2 cups confectioners’ sugar assorted candies and cookies

  • 1. Using a serrated knife, cut 10

crackers in half to make 20 squares.

Cut four of the squares diagonally in half to make eight triangles.

  • 2. Empty frosting into a bowl;

gradually beat in confectionersÕ sugar. Cut a small hole in the tip of a pastry bag or in a corner of a food-safe plastic bag; insert

a #4 round pastry tip. Fill bag two-thirds full with frosting mixture.

  • 3. For each roof (make four), pipe

a strip of frosting along three edges of two of the squares. Pipe a strip of frosting along short edges of two of the triangles. Hold triangles upright with unfrosted edges at the bottom. Place squares on top of the triangles, lining up edges to make a sloped roof (unfrosted edges should be at the

bottom). Let stand 1 hour to set.

  • 4. For each short house (make two),

pipe frosting on two opposite edges of four of the squares. Join frosted edges to form walls. For each tall

house (make two), pipe frosting on long edges of four rectangles; join to form walls.

  • 5. Cut remaining cracker to

make four doors; attach to houses with frosting. Pipe a thin strip of frosting along bottoms of roofs; place on walls. Decorate as desired. Let stand 2 hours or until set.

You’re invited to

tasteofhome the week of December 9 for a gingerbread

open house. Show off your own cookie house or village!











Meet the

Gingerbread Gang

Field Editors get in on a fun family tradition.

“We set up card tables with plastic tablecloths

in my basement and make gingerbread houses

as a family.” —Kelly Hayes Troy, IL

“I started making gingerbread houses for

my friends’ children about 12 years ago.

Now I make them with my own kids.”

—Kelly Kirby WEsTvILLE, Ns

“starting the weekend after Thanksgiving,

I host kiddo days for my friends’ children.

We munch on snacks, watch Christmas

cartoons and decorate our hearts out.”

—Kandy amerson INdEpENdENCE, Mo

“My passion for gingerbread houses

started when I saw them in an older issue

of Taste of Home. I’ve since spent thousands

of hours designing and building them for fun

and charity, learning a lot along the way.”

—redawna KalyncHuK sExsMITh, AB


all illustrations this page and previous spread: ALLI ARNOLD

Candy Cottage

Curb Appeal

Make magic with treats from your pantry.

“Anna’s Ginger Thins with scalloped edges make

great shingles. Use a serrated knife to gently saw

the cookies in half. Then attach them to the roof with

frosting. You can also turn Pirouette cookies into

stacks of firewood. Simply cut the cookies into six

2-in. pieces and stick them together with frosting.”

—KANdy AmerSON

“I’ve discovered that a small can

of tomato paste placed inside the

house is a sturdy support for

the walls as the frosting dries.”

—KeLLy KIrby

“Every gingerbread house

needs a snowman. Stick

three miniature marshmallows

together with vanilla frosting,

then use the frosting to glue a

chocolate chip on top for a hat

and jumbo nonpareils for eyes,

a nose and buttons. Poke chow

mein noodles in for arms.”


“Sno-Caps candies look beautiful on a

roof. And when turned upside down, sugar

ice-cream cones look like trees. For the

branches, just melt green candy-coating

disks and spread over each cone. One cup

of disks will make four trees.”

—KeLLy HAyeS

“Flaked coconut creates fluffy snow and also hides mistakes.

Necco Wafers make the perfect stone path. But my

best tip is to decorate the walls before assembling the

house. It’s easier to put creative designs on the walls when

the graham crackers are horizontal.”









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quick fix

30 5













Jolly in a Jiffy

A grocery list longer than the line to see Santa? Not this year! Give yourself the gift of time with 5-ingredient recipes ready quickly for company.

Bacon-Wrapped Scallops with Pineapple Quinoa


This is the first recipe I developed using quinoa as an ingredient. My husband thoroughly enjoyed helping me test the recipe . It’s a special dish that can be easily prepared in less than 30 minutes.

—Laura GreenBerG LAke BALBoA, CA

Start to finiSh: 30 MIN. MakeS: 4 ServINgS

  • 1 can (14 1/2 oz.) vegetable broth

  • 1 cup quinoa, rinsed 1/4 tsp. salt


tsp. plus 1/4 tsp. pepper, divided

  • 10 bacon strips

  • 16 sea scallops (about 2 lbs.), side muscles removed

    • 1 cup drained canned pineapple tidbits

  • 1. In a small saucepan, bring broth to a boil. Add

quinoa, salt and ⅛ tsp. pepper. Reduce heat; simmer, covered, 12-15 minutes or until liquid is absorbed.

  • 2. Meanwhile, place bacon in a large nonstick skillet.

Cook over medium heat, removing eight of the strips when partially cooked but not crisp. Continue cooking remaining strips until crisp. Remove to paper towels to drain. Finely chop crisp bacon strips. Cut remaining bacon strips lengthwise in half.

  • 3. Wrap a halved bacon strip around each scallop;

secure with a toothpick. Sprinkle scallops with remaining pepper.

  • 4. Wipe the pan clean, if necessary; heat over

medium-high heat. Add scallops; cook 3-4 minutes on each side or until scallops are firm and opaque.

  • 5. Remove quinoa from heat; fluff with a fork. Stir in

pineapple and chopped bacon. Serve with scallops.

note Look for quinoa in the cereal, rice or organic food aisle. Per ServinG 468 cal., 11 g fat (3 g sat. fat), 89 mg chol., 1,364 mg sodium, 43 g carb., 3 g fiber, 48 g pro.

*Plus pantry staples like salt, pepper, oil and water.


Bacon-Wrapped Scallops with Pineapple quinoa

Laura Greenberg | Lake Balboa, CA

“Some of the chicken thighs may take longer than the recipe says, depending upon their size. It’s easy to double the amount of artichokes as well.”

—chris koon


Broiled Chicken & Artichokes

My wife and I first made this chicken entree as newlyweds and have been hooked ever since. It’s so simple, affordable, delicious and healthy—you can’t beat that. We make it almost weekly.

—chris koon MIdlothIan, Va

start to finish: 15 MIn. MakEs: 8 serVIngs

  • 8 boneless skinless chicken thighs (about 2 lbs.)

  • 2 jars (7 1/2 oz. each) marinated quartered artichoke hearts, drained

  • 2 tbsp. olive oil

  • 1 tsp. salt tsp. pepper cup shredded Parmesan cheese



  • 2 tbsp. minced fresh parsley

  • 1. Preheat boiler. In a large bowl, toss chicken

and artichokes with oil, salt and pepper. Transfer to a broiler pan.

  • 2. Broil 3 in. from heat 8-10 minutes or until

a thermometer reads 170¡, turning chicken and artichokes halfway through cooking. Sprinkle with cheese. Broil 1-2 minutes longer or until cheese is melted. Sprinkle with parsley.

PEr sErving 288 cal., 21 g fat (5 g sat. fat), 77 mg chol., 584 mg sodium, 4 g carb., trace fiber, 22 g pro.



Chipotle-Raspberry Pork Chops

With only three ingredients and a 10-minute prep time, this supper’s fast enough to throw together after a long day of work.

—JEnnifEr ray Poncha sPrIngs, co

start to finish: 20 MIn. MakEs: 4 serVIngs (1/4 cuP sauce)

1/2 cup seedless raspberry preserves

  • 1 chipotle pepper in adobo sauce, finely chopped

1/2 tsp. salt

  • 4 bone-in pork loin chops (7 oz. each)

  • 1. In a small saucepan, cook and stir preserves

and chipotle pepper over medium heat until heated through. Reserve ¼ cup for serving. Sprinkle pork with salt; brush with remaining raspberry sauce.

  • 2. Lightly grease a grill or broiler pan rack. Grill

chops, covered, over medium heat or broil 4 in. from heat 4-5 minutes on each side or until a thermometer reads 145¡. Let stand 5 minutes before serving. Serve with reserved sauce.

PEr sErving 308 cal., 9 g fat (3 g sat. fat), 86 mg chol., 395 mg sodium, 27 g carb., trace fiber, 30 g pro.

quiCK fix

herb-roasted salmon fillets

Luanne Asta | New York, NY



Herb-Roasted Salmon Fillets

Roasted salmon is so simple but is elegant enough to serve to company. I make it on days when I have less than an hour to cook.

—Luanne asta New YoRk, NY

start to finish: 30 mIN. MaKes: 4 seRvINgs

  • 4 salmon fillets (6 oz. each)

  • 4 garlic cloves, minced

  • 1 tbsp. minced fresh rosemary or 1 tsp. dried rosemary, crushed

  • 1 tbsp. olive oil

  • 2 tsp. minced fresh thyme or 1/2 tsp. dried thyme tsp. salt tsp. pepper



Preheat oven to 425°. Place salmon in a greased 15x10x1-in. baking pan, skin side down. Combine remaining ingredients; spread over fillets. Roast 15-18 minutes to reach desired doneness. per serving 301 cal., 19 g fat (4 g sat. fat), 85 mg chol., 529 mg sodium, 1 g carb., trace fiber, 29 g pro. Diabetic Exchanges: 5 lean meat, 1 fat.

Tenderloin with Horseradish Cream Cheese


my husband and I both love the classic combination of beef and horseradish. He asks me to make this for dinner often, and I’m always happy to.

—Mary Lou CooK welcHes, oR

start to finish: 20 mIN. MaKes: 4 seRvINgs

  • 4 beef tenderloin steaks (4 oz. each)

1/4 tsp. each salt and pepper

  • 1 tsp. olive oil

  • 1 pkg. (8 oz.) cream cheese, softened

  • 2 tbsp. grated parmesan cheese

  • 2 tbsp. prepared horseradish

  • 2 tbsp. minced fresh parsley

  • 1. Sprinkle steaks with salt and pepper. In a large

skillet, heat oil over medium heat. Add steaks; cook 4-6 minutes on each side or until meat reaches desired doneness (for medium-rare, a thermometer should read 145°; medium, 160°; well-done, 170°).

  • 2. Meanwhile, in a small bowl, mix cream cheese,

Parmesan cheese and horseradish until blended. Serve with steaks. Sprinkle with parsley. per serving 387 cal., 28 g fat (16 g sat. fat), 114 mg chol., 378 mg sodium, 3 g carb., trace fiber, 30 g pro. P

tenderloin with horseradish Cream Cheese

Mary Lou Cook | Welches, OR



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A Light Winter’s Meal

Slow-cook your way to no-fuss feasts that are everyday easy. And straight from kitchens like yours.

Slow-Roasted Chicken with Vegetables

Anita Bell | Hermitage, TN


Slow-Roasted Chicken with Vegetables

This recipe couldn’t be simpler. A few minutes of preparation and you’ll come home to a delicious dinner. Even a beginner cook could make this and it would turn out perfectly.

—ANITA BeLL Hermitage, tN

PReP: 15 miN. Cook: 6 Hours + staNdiNg MAkeS: 6 serviNgs

  • 2 medium carrots, halved lengthwise and cut into 3-in. pieces


celery ribs, halved lengthwise and cut into 3-in. pieces


small red potatoes, quartered


tsp. salt, divided


tsp. pepper


medium lemon, halved


garlic cloves, crushed


broiler/fryer chicken (3 to 4 lbs.)


Tbsp. dried rosemary, crushed


Tbsp. lemon juice


Tbsp. olive oil


tsp. paprika

  • 1. Place carrots, celery and potatoes

in a 6-qt. slow cooker; toss with ¼ tsp. salt and the pepper. Place lemon halves and garlic in chicken

cavity. Tuck wings under chicken; tie drumsticks together. Place chicken

over vegetables in slow cooker, breast side up. Mix rosemary, lemon juice, oil, paprika and the remaining salt;

rub over chicken.

  • 2. Cook, covered, on low 6-8 hours

or until a thermometer inserted in

thigh reads 180¡ and the vegetables

are tender.

  • 3. Remove chicken to a serving

platter; tent with foil. Let stand

15 minutes before carving. Serve

chicken with vegetables.

PeR SeRVING 329 cal., 17 g fat (4 g sat. fat), 88 mg chol., 400 mg sodium, 14 g carb., 3 g fiber, 29 g pro.

LigHT nigHTS


Southwestern Chicken & Lima Bean Stew

I always try to have my daughter, my son-in-law and my grandchildren over for this supper. They make me so happy by saying “That was so good!” or simply by filling up their bowls again.

—Pam Corder Monroe, LA

PreP: 20 Min. Cook: 6 hours makeS: 6 servings

  • 4 bone-in chicken thighs (1 1/2 lbs.), skin removed

  • 2 cups frozen lima beans

  • 2 combine tomatoes, tomato paste,

cups frozen corn

  • 1 large green pepper, chopped

Worcestershire sauce, garlic and

  • 1 dry seasonings; pour over top.

large onion, chopped

  • 2 cans (14 oz. each) fire-roasted diced tomatoes, undrained 1/4 cup tomato paste

    • 2. Cook, covered, on low 6-8 hours

or until chicken is tender. Remove chicken from slow cooker. When

  • 3 Tbsp. Worcestershire sauce

  • 3 garlic cloves, minced

1 1/2 tsp. ground cumin 1 1/2 tsp. dried oregano



tsp. salt tsp. pepper Chopped fresh cilantro or parsley

  • 1. Place the first five ingredients in

a 5-qt. slow cooker. In a large bowl,

chicken is cool enough to handle,

remove meat from bones; discard bones. Shred meat with two forks; return to slow cooker and heat through. Sprinkle with cilantro.

Per Serving 312 cal., 7 g fat (2 g sat. fat), 58 mg chol., 614 mg sodium, 39 g carb., 8 g fiber, 24 g pro. Diabetic

Exchanges: 3 lean meat, 2 starch, 1 vegetable.

Southwestern Chicken

& Lima Bean Stew Pam Corder | Monroe, LA


Slow-Cooked Coconut Chicken

One of my favorite things about this dish is how incredible it makes my home smell. Everyone who comes by asks, “What are you cooking?”

—Ann SmARt North LogaN, Ut

PReP: 10 miN. Cook: 4 hoUrs mAkeS: 6 serviNgs

1/2 cup light coconut milk


tbsp. brown sugar


tbsp. reduced-sodium soy sauce


garlic cloves, minced

1/8 tsp. ground cloves


boneless skinless chicken thighs (about 1 1/2 lbs.)


tbsp. flaked coconut, toasted minced fresh cilantro

In a large bowl, combine the first five ingredients. Place chicken in a 3-qt. slow cooker. Pour coconut milk mixture over top. Cook, covered, on low 4-5 hours or until chicken is tender. Serve chicken with coconut and cilantro.

note To toast coconut, spread in a 15x10x1-in. baking pan. Bake at 350° for 5-10 minutes or until golden brown, stirring frequently. PeR SeRving 201 cal., 10 g fat (3 g sat. fat), 76 mg chol., 267 mg sodium, 6 g carb., trace fiber, 21 g pro. Diabetic Exchanges: 3 lean meat, ½ starch, ½ fat.


Beef-Stuffed Cabbage Rolls

I make this recipe for my family as a light, satisfying meal. It’s hearty without being too fattening.

—Lynn Bowen geraLdiNe, aL

Slow-Cooked Coconut Chicken

Ann Smart | North Logan, UT

Beef-Stuffed Cabbage Rolls

Lynn Bowen | Geraldine, AL

  • 1 edges of leaf to overlap; fold over

tbsp. brown sugar

  • 1 filling. Fold in sides and roll up.

tbsp. lemon juice

PReP: 20 miN. Cook: 6 hoUrs mAkeS: 6 serviNgs

  • 1 tsp. worcestershire sauce


Place six rolls in a 4- or 5-qt. slow

  • 12 cabbage leaves

    • 1 cup cooked brown rice

1/4 cup finely chopped onion

  • 1 egg, lightly beaten cup fat-free milk tsp. salt tsp. pepper




  • 1 lb. lean ground beef (90% lean)


  • 1 can (8 oz.) tomato sauce

    • 1. In batches, cook cabbage in

boiling water 3-5 minutes or until crisp-tender. Drain; cool slightly.

Trim the thick vein from the bottom of each leaf, making a V-shaped cut.

  • 2. In a large bowl, combine rice,

onion, egg, milk, salt and pepper.

Add beef; mix lightly but thoroughly. Place about ¼ cup beef mixture on

each cabbage leaf. Pull together cut

cooker, seam side down. In a bowl,

mix sauce ingredients; pour half of the sauce over cabbage rolls. Top with remaining rolls and sauce. Cook, covered, on low 6-8 hours or until a thermometer inserted in beef

reads 160° and cabbage is tender. PeR SeRving 204 cal., 7 g fat (3 g sat. fat), 83 mg chol., 446 mg sodium, 16 g carb., 2 g fiber, 18 g pro. Diabetic Exchanges: 2 lean meat, 1 starch.


Pork Tenderloin Sliders

with Three Sauces

Spice Rubbed

Pork Loin BLT Sliders

Roast Pork Tenderloin Sliders

with Cranberry Sauce


Carne Guisada

I lived in Michigan for a while, and I made this recipe when I was homesick for the spicy flavors of Texas. It’s even better with homemade flour tortillas.

—Kelly evans Denton, tX

PreP: 25 min. CooK: 7 hours MaKes: 12 servings ( about 2 qt. )


bottle (12 oz.) beer

1/4 cup all-purpose flour


Tbsp. tomato paste


jalapeno pepper, seeded and chopped


tsp. Worcestershire sauce


bay leaf


to 3 tsp. crushed red pepper



tsp. chili powder

1 1/2 tsp. ground cumin


tsp. salt


tsp. paprika


garlic cloves, minced

1/2 tsp. red wine vinegar Dash liquid smoke, optional

  • 1 boneless pork shoulder butt roast (3 lbs.), cut into 2-in. pieces

  • 2 large unpeeled red potatoes, chopped

  • 1 medium onion, chopped Whole wheat tortillas or hot cooked brown rice, lime wedges and chopped fresh cilantro, optional

  • 1. In a 4- or 5-qt. slow cooker,

combine the first 13 ingredients. If desired, stir in liquid smoke.

Add pork, potatoes and onion;

toss to combine. Cook, covered, 7-9 hours or until pork is tender.

  • 2. Discard bay leaf; skim fat from

cooking juices. Shred pork slightly

with two forks. If desired, serve with tortillas, lime and cilantro.

noTe Wear disposable gloves when cutting hot peppers; the oils can burn skin. Avoid touching your face. Per serving 261 cal., 12 g fat (4 g sat.

fat), 67 mg chol., 200 mg sodium, 16 g carb., 2 g fiber, 21 g pro. Diabetic Exchanges: 3 lean meat, 1 starch, 1 fat.

Continued on page 36 •

Find more delicious ideas at

Light nightS


pita with


it tasty








Curried Ham & Split Pea Soup

This soup is ideal for stocking in the freezer, and the curry gives it a warm flavor that goes so nicely with the ham.

—triSha kruSe EaGlE, iD

PreP: 10 Min. Cook: 7 hours makeS: 8 sErVinGs (2 qt.)

  • 2 tbsp. butter

  • 1 medium onion, chopped

  • 4 garlic cloves, minced

  • 3 tsp. curry powder

  • 1 pkg. (16 oz.) dried green split peas

  • 2 cups cubed fully cooked ham

  • 1 cup sliced fresh carrots

  • 4 cups reduced-sodium beef broth

  • 2 cups water 1/2 tsp. pepper

  • 1. In a skillet, heat butter over

medium heat. Add onion; cook and stir 3-4 minutes or until tender. Add garlic and curry powder; cook

  • 1 minute longer.

    • 2. Transfer to a 4- or 5-qt. slow

cooker. Add remaining ingredients. Cook, covered, on low 7-9 hours or until peas are tender. Stir before serving.

to Freeze Freeze cooled soup in freezer containers. To use, thaw in refrigerator overnight. Heat through in a saucepan, stirring occasionally and adding a little water if necessary.

Per Serving 288 cal., 5 g fat (2 g sat. fat), 31 mg chol., 683 mg sodium, 39 g carb., 16 g fiber, 23 g pro. Diabetic Exchanges: 3 lean meat,

  • 2 starch, ½ fat.


Meaty Slow-Cooked Jambalaya

Here’s one Cajun-inspired meal that’s sure to warm you up, no matter what the weather is like outside.

—Diane Smith PinE Mountain, Ga

PreP: 25 Min. Cook: 7 hours makeS: 12 sErVinGs ( 3 1/2 qt. )

  • 1 can (28 oz.) diced tomatoes, undrained

  • 1 cup reduced-sodium chicken broth

  • 1 large green pepper, chopped

Curried ham & Split Pea Soup Trisha Kruse | Eagle, ID

meaty Slow-Cooked Jambalaya

Diane Smith | Pine Mountain, GA


medium onion, chopped


celery ribs, sliced

1/2 cup white wine or additional reduced-sodium chicken broth


garlic cloves, minced


tsp. Cajun seasoning


tsp. dried parsley flakes


tsp. dried basil


tsp. dried oregano


tsp. salt


to 1 tsp. cayenne pepper


lbs. boneless skinless chicken thighs, cut into 1-in. pieces


pkg. (12 oz.) fully cooked andouille or other spicy chicken

sausage links

  • 2 lbs. uncooked medium shrimp, peeled and deveined

  • 8 cups hot cooked brown rice

  • 1. In a bowl, mix first 13 ingredients.

Place chicken and sausage in a 6-qt.

slow cooker. Add tomato mixture.

Cook, covered, on low 7-9 hours, or

until chicken is tender.

  • 2. Stir in shrimp. Cook, covered,

15-20 minutes longer or until shrimp

turn pink. Serve with rice. Per Serving 387 cal., 10 g fat (3 g sat.

fat), 164 mg chol., 674 mg sodium, 37 g carb., 4 g fiber, 36 g pro. Diabetic Exchanges: 3 lean meat, 2½ starch. P









Natural sweetness, fewer


Now that’s a

... happy holiday.

A holiday table brings a family together. Delicious food shared together in celebration. From appetizers to sides to dessert, SweetLeaf Stevia ® Sweetener is the go-to ingredient for a tasty holiday dinner. Naturally delicious, with no artificial ingredients, no bitterness or aftertaste.

zero carbs

zero calories



terrifi c value

  • 1 cup instant dry milk

  • 2 teaspoons SugarLeaf™

  • 4 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa

  • 1 cup milk

  • 6 drops Chocolate Sweet Drops™

  • 3 cups ice

(serves 4 - about 4 cups)

1. Stir dry milk, SugarLeaf and unsweetened cocoa in a small bowl until completely mixed. Add ingredients to blender in the following order: milk, Chocolate Sweet Drops, dry mix. Blend for 5 seconds.

2. Add ice and blend for 30 seconds until smooth and daiquiri-like in texture. Pour into a short glass.

Add 4 drops of Peppermint Sweet Drops for a minty treat





to your health








or cookies

















Gluten-Free Made Easy

All it takes are a few simple switcheroos to keep gluten-sensitive family and friends healthy and happy this season.

Gluten-Free Spritz Delights

My daughter has Down syndrome and loves hosting parties, especially on holidays. Cookies always took center stage until she was diagnosed with celiac disease. I decided then to take on gluten-free baking, and these are the best yet.

—Cheryl Costilow Amherst, Oh

PreP: 25 min. Bake: 10 min./bAtch + cOOling Makes: 8 1/2 dOzen

  • 1 cup butter, softened

1/2 cup sugar

  • 1 Bake 6-8 minutes or until bottoms


  • 1 are light brown. Remove from pans to wire racks to cool completely.

tsp. almond extract

2 1/4 cups gluten-free all-purpose baking flour


In a microwave, warm frosting

1 1/2 tsp. xanthan gum



tsp. salt cup gluten-free vanilla frosting Food coloring, optional Gluten-free sprinkles

  • 1. Preheat oven to 400°. In a large

bowl, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in egg and extract. In another bowl, whisk flour, xanthan gum and salt; gradually beat into creamed mixture.

  • 2. Using a cookie press fitted with a

disk of your choice, press dough 1 in. apart onto ungreased baking sheets.

to reach a drizzling consistency. If desired, tint with food coloring. Drizzle over cookies; decorate with sprinkles. Let stand until set.

Note This recipe was tested with King Arthur gluten-free multi-purpose

flour. Read all ingredient labels for possible gluten content. Ingredient formulas can change, and production facilities vary among brands. If you’re concerned that your brand may contain gluten, contact the company.

Per Cookie 38 cal., 2 g fat (1 g sat. fat), 7 mg chol., 30 mg sodium, 4 g carb., trace fiber, trace pro.

cranberries: EM Arts/shuttErstock.coM; strawberries: corbis/punchstock; PePPers, brussels sProuts: photodisc/gEtty iMAgEs

Flour Power

Steer clear of that bad-rap sandy texture with one of these gluten-free flour blends: King Arthur Gluten Free Multi- Purpose Flour ($8) or Bob’s Red Mill Gluten Free All- Purpose Baking Flour ($5), both available at most grocery stores.



Put these red and green foods on your “nice” list to feel your best.

Toast party guests with low-cal cranberry juice. Those who

sipped the drink daily for eight weeks lowered blood pressure

by an average of three points, according to findings presented

at an American Heart Association conference.

Hit the freezer aisle for out-of-season fruits like strawberries.

Frozen fruits pack the same nutrients as fresh—just peek at the

label to avoid added sugar.

One cup of Brussels sprouts has more than 155 mg of vitamin K,

which is linked to a lower risk for diabetes, reports a study from

Spanish universities.

Stock up on green peppers to help prevent Parkinson’s disease.

According to one study, people who ate peppers two to four times

a week reduced their chances for the disease by 30 percent.


Fresh Flavor of the Season

With its favor, tenderness and

versatility, lamb makes for a

holiday feast that will have

family and friends coming back

for more. With Sam's Club ®

pasture-raised grass-fed New

Zealand lamb, making elegant

lamb has never been easier.

From Frenched racks to boneless

legs of lamb, these Sam's Club

choice cuts are all-natural,

antibiotic and hormone-

free—ensuring you'll be serving

the best available. Anytime family

and friends sit down to a meal of

Sam's Club lamb, it's an occasion

for celebration.

Lean, meatier

cuts ensure

you'll have less

to trim away, so

you'll always get the top value.

To determine the amount of

lamb you need, a ½-lb. rack

serves 2; a 1-lb. boneless leg of

lamb serves 2-3. For optimum

favor and tenderness, lamb

should be served medium-rare

145˚to medium 165˚.

Rack of Lamb with Fresh Herbs

Prep: 15 minutes

Bake: 30 minutes Yield: 4 servings


Tbsp. coarsely chopped fresh parsley or 1 tsp. dried parsley fakes

1 /4 tsp. Montreal steak seasoning 1 /4 tsp. pepper


Tbsp. olive oil

2 frenched racks of lamb


garlic cloves, minced

(1 1 /2 lbs. each)


tsp. minced fresh rosemary

1 /4 cup pomegranate seeds

or 1 /4 tsp. dried rosemary, crushed

Preheat oven to 375°. In small bowl,


tsp. minced fresh thyme or 1 /4 tsp. dried thyme

combine the first eight ingredients. Place lamb on a rack in a shallow


/4 tsp. salt


roasting pan; rub with herb mixture.

Bake 30-40 minutes or until meat reaches desired doneness (for mediumrare, a thermometer should

read 145°; medium, 160°; well-

done, 170°). Let stand 5 minutes

before cutting. Sprinkle with pomegranate seeds.

Holidays are better in the club.


A page






comfort, family-style the season’s best starters brunch for a bunch

Yuletide Eggnog


Salina Moore

Woodward, OK

here cOMeS St. nicK—And lOAdS Of gueStS. tiMe tO MAKe Merry.

mandy rivers’ tuscan sausage & bean dip pAGE 44

roger bowlds’ salt-encrusted prime rib pAGE 51

doris heath’s citrus melon mingle

pAGE 56

nikki tsangaris’ nikki’s perfect pastitsio pAGE 63


Munch & Mingle

Cue the chorus of oohs and aahs—your holiday snack

spread is about to go down in history. Take it from the readers who shared them: These heap-your-plate appetizers keep

everyone swooping back for seconds and thirds.

spicy shrimp & Crab Cocktail

Brown sugar-

Glazed Meatballs

Spicy Shrimp & Crab Cocktail

I don’t usually like radishes, but I love them in this shrimp cocktail. Serve it straight up, with tortilla chips or on a bed of butter lettuce. Tip: Zing Zang Bloody Mary mix works just as well as spicy V8. Enjoy.

—Heidi knaak Liberty, mo

Brown Sugar-Glazed Meatballs

I modeled these sweet-spicy pork- and-shrimp meatballs after the filling in Asian wontons. They’re a family favorite, whether I serve them alone as an appetizer or over hot cooked rice as a main dish.

—LiLy JuLow LawrenceviLLe, Ga

PreP: 25 min. + chiLLinG MakeS: 12 servinGs (3/4 cup each)

  • 2 medium cucumbers, peeled, seeded and chopped

  • 8 radishes, halved and thinly sliced (about 2 cups)

  • 2 cups spicy hot v8 juice

  • 1 cup Clamato juice cup finely chopped red onion cup ketchup



  • 5 jalapeno peppers, seeded and finely chopped

1/4 cup coarsely chopped fresh cilantro

  • 2 garlic cloves, minced

1/2 tsp. salt

  • 1 lb. peeled and deveined cooked small shrimp

  • 1 lb. lump crabmeat, drained

  • 2 medium-size ripe avocados, peeled and cubed

PreP: 35 min. Bake: 15 min. MakeS: 3 1/2 dozen



lb. uncooked small shrimp,

peeled, deveined and chopped cup soft bread crumbs

  • 4 bacon strips, finely chopped

  • 1 egg, lightly beaten

  • 1 Tbsp. stone-ground mustard

1 1/2 tsp. liquid smoke, optional

1 1/2 tsp. smoked paprika

  • 1 tsp. salt

  • 1 garlic clove, minced tsp. dried oregano




to 1 tsp. hot pepper sauce tsp. onion powder

  • 1 lb. ground pork




cup packed brown sugar

cup cider vinegar

  • 4 tsp. stone-ground mustard

  • 1. Mix the first 10 ingredients in

a large bowl. Gently fold in shrimp, crab and avocados.

  • 2. Refrigerate, covered, at least

2 hours or until cold. Serve in

martini glasses or small bowls.

Per Serving 162 cal., 6 g fat (1 g sat. fat), 91 mg chol., 604 mg sodium, 11 g carb., 3 g fiber, 17 g pro.

ÒThis is my rendition of classic Mexican shrimp cocktail. I seed the cucumbers and might add fresh diced tomatoes. I sometimes serve it with buttery crackers.Ó

—Heidi knaak

  • 1. Preheat oven to 350°. In a large

bowl, combine the first 12 ingredients. Add pork; mix lightly but thoroughly.

With wet hands, shape mixture into 1-in. balls.

  • 2. Place meatballs on a greased

rack in a shallow baking pan. Bake 14-17 minutes or until meatballs are cooked through. Drain them on paper towels.

  • 3. Meanwhile, in a skillet, mix glaze

ingredients. Add meatballs; cook over medium heat 8-10 minutes or until meatballs are glazed and heated through, stirring occasionally.

Per Serving 59 cal., 3 g fat (1 g sat. fat), 23 mg chol., 112 mg sodium, 3 g carb., trace fiber, 4 g pro.


tuscan sausage


& Bean dip

salmon dip

Tuscan Sausage & Bean Dip

After trying a wicked- good Mexican dip, I switched it up. Take this spinoff to a party—no one will bring anything like it.

—Mandy riVers lexingtOn, sC

prep: 25 min. BaKe: 20 min. MaKes: 16 servings (1/4 Cup eaCh )

  • 1 lb. bulk hot italian sausage

  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped

  • 4 garlic cloves, minced cup dry white wine or chicken broth tsp. dried oregano tsp. salt tsp. dried thyme





  • 1 pkg. (8 oz.) cream cheese, softened

  • 1 pkg. (6 oz.) fresh baby spinach, coarsely chopped

  • 1 can (15 oz.) white kidney or cannellini beans, rinsed and drained

  • 1 cup chopped seeded tomatoes

  • 1 cup (4 oz.) shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese

1/2 cup shredded parmesan cheese assorted crackers or toasted French bread baguette slices

  • 1. Preheat oven to 375°. In a large

skillet, cook sausage, onion and garlic

over medium heat until sausage is no longer pink, breaking up sausage into crumbles; drain. Stir in wine, oregano, salt and thyme. Bring to a boil; cook until liquid is almost evaporated.

  • 2. Add cream cheese; stir until

melted. Stir in spinach, beans and tomatoes; cook and stir until spinach is wilted. Transfer to a greased 8-in.-square or 1½-qt. baking dish. Sprinkle with cheeses.

  • 3. Bake 20-25 minutes or until

bubbly. Serve with crackers.

per serVing 200 cal., 14 g fat (7 g sat. fat), 41 mg chol., 434 mg sodium, 7 g carb., 2 g fiber, 10 g pro.

Simple Salmon Dip

This is my go-to dip recipe for every

occasion. The secret is the green chilies—they add just enough heat.

—susan Jordan Denver, CO

prep: 15 min. + Chilling MaKes: 1 1/4 Cups

  • 1 pkg. (8 oz.) reduced-fat cream cheese

  • 2 tbsp. canned chopped green chilies

1 1/2 tsp. lemon juice

  • 2 green onions, chopped, divided

  • 2 oz. smoked salmon fillet assorted crackers or toasted French bread baguette slices

    • 1. In a small bowl, mix cream cheese,

green chilies, lemon juice and half of the green onions. Flake salmon into small pieces; stir into cream cheese mixture. Refrigerate, covered, at least 2 hours before serving.

  • 2. Top dip with remaining green

onion. Serve with crackers.

per (3-tBsp.) serVing 107 cal., 8 g fat

(5 g sat. fat), 29 mg chol., 246 mg sodium, 2 g carb., trace fiber, 6 g pro.

Christmas tree

Veggie tray!

Arrange sugar snap peas or crunchy sliced green peppers in a Christmas tree shape. Use baby carrots to create the trunk and juicy red and yellow tomatoes as ornaments.

Sam’s Club ® buyers work closely with trusted farmers to bring you exceptional vegetables, making them

the perfect complement to your homemade dips.

Cheddar & Onion Beef Sliders

I threw a casual party with a bunch of friends and these sliders were a definite hit. They also make an easy, not-too-heavy supper.

—KirK BrooKs tucson, AZ

PreP: 1 1/4 hours CooK: 10 min. MAKes: 8 servings

1/4 cup butter, cubed

  • 1. In a skillet, heat butter over

medium heat. Add onion and ¼ tsp. steak seasoning; cook and stir 6-8 minutes. Reduce heat to medium-low; cook 40 minutes or until deep golden brown, stirring occasionally. Add wine; cook until liquid is almost evaporated.

  • 2. In a small bowl, combine beef and

remaining steak seasoning, mixing lightly but thoroughly. Shape into eight ½-in.-thick patties.

  • 1 medium red onion, halved and thinly sliced 2 1/4 tsp. Montreal steak seasoning, divided

    • 3. In a large nonstick skillet,

cook burgers over medium heat 3-4 minutes on each side or until a thermometer reads 160°; top with

  • 1 cheese during the last 1-2 minutes of

cup dry red wine

  • 1 cooking. Serve on rolls; top with onion.

lb. ground beef

  • 2 slices cheddar cheese, quartered

Per serving 320 cal., 17 g fat (8 g sat. fat), 75 mg chol., 499 mg sodium, 20 g

  • 8 carb., 2 g fiber, 15 g pro.

dinner rolls, split

A Better


The secret to delicious burgers and sliders is the ingredients.

Sam’s Club offers Angus Ground Chuck that is ground fresh daily for

consistent taste and texture. For extra flavor, top with a thick slice of aged Black Diamond ® Double Smoked Cheddar from Sam’s Club.

“These sliders are really best for a party if you make them fresh just before guests arrive, so that they’re warm and juicy when you take a bite.”

—KirK BrooKs

Cheddar & onion Beef sliders


Mushroom & Leek Strudel

This elegant hors d’oeuvre is almost effortless. Use fresh herbs if possible, and feel free to use whole-wheat phyllo.

—Lisa diehL edina, mn

prep: 50 min. + CooLing Bake: 20 min. Makes: 2 strudeLs (12 sLiCes eaCh)

  • 2 tbsp. butter, divided

    • 5. Transfer to a parchment paper-

lined 15x10x1-in. baking pan, seam side down. Brush with additional butter. Repeat with remaining ingredients. Bake 18-22 minutes or until golden brown.

  • 6. Cut into slices. Serve warm.

per serving 100 cal., 8 g fat (5 g sat. fat), 22 mg chol., 135 mg sodium, 6 g

carb., 1 g fiber, 2 g pro.

  • 2 lbs. fresh mushrooms, finely chopped, divided

Crab Rangoon Cheese Ball






medium leek (white portion only), chopped, divided

My whole family loves crab rangoon, so I

garlic cloves, minced cup white wine cup heavy whipping cream

wanted a healthier version—no deep frying! Word of

tbsp. minced fresh parsley

advice: Make a double

  • 1 tbsp. minced fresh thyme or 1 tsp. dried thyme tsp. salt tsp. pepper




batch. This won’t last long.

—Bridget Mooney ChiCago, iL

prep: 20 min. + ChiLLing Bake: 10 min. Makes: 16 servings

  • 12 sheets phyllo dough (14x9 in.) cup butter, melted


  • 4 tbsp. grated parmesan cheese, divided

  • 1. In a large skillet, heat 1 Tbsp.

butter over medium-high heat. Add half of the mushrooms and leek; cook and stir until mushrooms are lightly browned and leek is tender; remove from pan. Repeat with remaining butter, mushrooms and leek, adding garlic during the last minute of cooking. Return all to pan.

  • 2. Stir in wine and cream; cook

1-2 minutes or until liquid is almost evaporated. Stir in herbs, salt and pepper. Remove from pan; cool mixture completely.

  • 3. Preheat oven to 375°. Place

one sheet of phyllo dough on a work surface; brush with butter. Layer with five additional phyllo sheets, brushing each layer. (Keep remaining phyllo covered with plastic wrap and a damp towel to prevent it from drying out.)

  • 4. Spoon half of the mushroom

mixture down the center third of the phyllo dough to within 1 in. of the ends. Sprinkle filling with 2 Tbsp. cheese. Fold up short sides to enclose filling. Roll up jelly-roll style, starting with a long side.

  • 1 pkg. (8 oz.) reduced-fat


cream cheese

  • 1 garlic clove, minced


wonton wrappers Cooking spray


tsp. sesame seeds


tsp. salt


tsp. pepper

  • 1 cup (4 oz.) shredded reduced-fat cheddar cheese

  • 1 tsp. Worcestershire sauce

  • 1 can (6 oz.) lump crabmeat, drained, or 6 oz. imitation crabmeat, chopped

  • 3 tbsp. minced fresh chives

  • 1. In a large bowl, beat cream

cheese, cheddar cheese, garlic and

Worcestershire sauce until blended. Stir in crab. Shape mixture into a ball; coat with chives. Wrap in plastic wrap; refrigerate at least 1 hour.

  • 2. Preheat oven to 350°. Cut wonton

wrappers in half; arrange in a single layer on ungreased baking sheets. Spritz with cooking spray; sprinkle

with sesame seeds, salt and pepper. Bake 5-7 minutes or until golden brown. Cool on wire racks. Serve cheese ball with wonton chips.

per serving 116 cal., 6 g fat (3 g sat. fat), 26 mg chol., 286 mg sodium, 8 g carb., trace fiber, 7 g pro.

Crab Rangoon

Cheese Ball

Mushroom & Leek Strudel


Bacon-Wrapped Sweet Potato Bites

After making little bacon-wrapped sausages for years,


needed a change.


had an extra sweet

potato and half a package of bacon on hand, so I put on my thinking cap and came up with these bite-sized treats.

—Kelly Williams Forked river, NJ

prep: 25 miN. BaKe: 40 miN. maKes: about 2 1/2 dozeN





cup butter, melted tsp. salt tsp. cayenne pepper tsp. ground cinnamon

  • 2 large sweet potatoes (about 1 3/4 lbs.), peeled and cut into 1-in. cubes

  • 1 lb. bacon strips, halved

1/2 cup packed brown sugar maple syrup, warmed

  • 1. Preheat oven to 350°. In a large

bowl, mix butter and seasonings. Add sweet potatoes and toss to coat.

  • 2. Wrap one piece bacon around

each sweet potato cube; secure with a toothpick. Dip each side in brown sugar. Place on a parchment paper- lined 15x10x1-in. baking pan.

  • 3. Bake 40-45 minutes or until

bacon is crisp and sweet potato is tender. Serve with maple syrup. per serving 64 cal., 3 g fat (2 g sat. fat), 9 mg chol., 140 mg sodium, 7 g carb., trace fiber, 2 g pro. P


Cheese platter

You can make a quick gourmet cheese platter with just a few great ingredients from Sam’s Club. The possibilities are endless.

Try different cheeses, fruits and crackers, all available in club. Ilchester Stilton with Cranberries—creamy and mild with tart cranberries Smoked Gouda—rich, smooth and smoky Sweet Cheddar Ballyshannon—sweet and creamy Artisan Fresh Baguette (toasted) Ready-to-eat smoked salmon


Makin’ Bacon

Readers are crazy for the latest in holiday wrapping—the edible kind, that is. Check out 10 new ways to make anything better. The only paper you need? Napkins.

  • 1 Dried apricots wrapped in bacon, baked at 350° for about half an hour (turn after 20 minutes). Meanwhile, make a dipping sauce from one jar plum jam and soy sauce to taste. Stir over medium-low heat till melted. —Mary albarino CoRNwall, NY

  • 2 Marinated bites of venison or chicken tenderloins wrapped in bacon, cooked on the grill! —Jeri Hunt MidlaNd, Mi

  • 3 Stuff a whole jalapeno with cream cheese and a litl Smokies link, then wrap in thick-cut bacon and grill. —WenDy MatHiS taylor EulEss, TX

  • 4 I make a yummy meatloaf wrapped in bacon, but you can use the same recipe for appetizer meatballs. And whip up a sweet BBQ sauce for a dip or topping! —StepHanie proctor oSbelt RoChEsTER, NY

  • 5 Take a cue from my daughter-in-law and wrap pineapple chunks in bacon, brush with pineapple juice and brown sugar, then bake. You can’t eat only one! —bobbi Frazier ray MaRYsvillE, oh

  • 6 pecan-stuffed dates, surrounded by bacon, of course. —Merritt Mcnabb Dill ERiE, Pa

  • 7 Bacon-wrapped red potato wedges served with a side of sour cream for dipping. —betH perry SaMMonS REgisTER, ga

  • 8 Sounds crazy, but bacon-wrapped dill pickles are amazing. Cut each dill spear in thirds and wrap with 1 / 3 to 1 / 2 piece of bacon. Bake for about 20 minutes at 375°. Wow! —tiMotHy anD SuSan Hall sT. ThoMas, usvi

  • 9 Bacon-wrapped asparagus on the grill with lemon zest, salt, pepper and maple syrup! —carla GarGuS pHeriGo MaNiTo, il

  • 10 Shrimp stuffed with Monterey Jack cheese and wrapped in bacon. Yum, yum. —barbara linkel SHear augusTa, ga

Christmas Dinner



Feast your eyes on a nostalgic Christmas dinner that uses ingredients you can count on one hand. Believe.


Prime rib

Caesar salad

in Peppered

Parmesan Bowls

Salt-Encrusted Prime Rib

Restaurants have nothing on this recipe. For a true meat lover, it’s very easy, and the results are beyond belief.

—RogeR Bowlds Bakersfield, Ca

Caesar Salad in Peppered Parmesan Bowls

This salad looks impressive but is a cinch to make. I won’t tell if you don’t.

—Melissa wilkes st. augustine, fl

PReP: 15 min. Bake: 2 1/4 hours + standing Makes: 10 servings

PReP: 20 min. Cook: 15 min. Makes: 8 servings

  • 1 box (3 lbs.) kosher salt (about 6 cups), divided

  • 1 bone-in beef rib roast (6 to 8 lbs.)

  • 3 Tbsp. worcestershire sauce

  • 2 Tbsp. cracked black pepper


tsp. garlic powder

1/2 cup water

  • 1. Preheat oven to 450°. Line a

shallow roasting pan with heavy- duty foil. Place 3 cups salt on foil, spreading to form a ½-in. layer.

  • 2. Brush roast with Worcestershire

sauce; sprinkle with pepper and garlic powder. Place roast on layer of salt, fat side up. In a small bowl, mix water and remaining salt (mixture should be just moist enough to pack). Beginning at the base of the roast, press salt mixture onto the sides and top of roast.

  • 3. Roast 15 minutes. Reduce oven

setting to 325°. Roast 2 to 2¼ hours

or until a thermometer reaches 130° for medium-rare; 145° for medium. (Temperature of roast will continue to rise about 15° upon standing.) Let stand 20 minutes.

  • 4. Remove and discard salt crust;

brush away any remaining salt. Carve roast into slices.

PeR seRving 325 cal., 18 g fat (7 g sat. fat), 107 mg chol., 900 mg sodium, 2 g carb., trace fiber, 37 g pro.

  • 2 cups shredded Parmesan cheese

1/2 tsp. coarsely ground pepper

  • 2 romaine hearts, cut into bite-size pieces (about 6 cups)

  • 1 cup grape tomatoes, halved cup Caesar salad croutons,



slightly crushed cup creamy Caesar salad dressing

  • 1. In a small bowl, toss cheese with

pepper. Heat a small nonstick skillet over medium heat. Evenly sprinkle

¼ cup cheese mixture into pan to form a 6-in. circle; cook, uncovered, 1-2 minutes or until bubbly and edges are golden brown. Remove pan from heat; let stand 15 seconds.

  • 2. Using a spatula, carefully remove

cheese and immediately drape over an inverted 4-oz. ramekin; press gently to form a bowl. Cool completely. Repeat with remaining cheese, making eight bowls.

  • 3. In a large bowl, combine romaine,

grape tomatoes and croutons.

Just before serving, drizzle with dressing and toss to coat. Serve in Parmesan bowls.

PeR seRving 138 cal., 9 g fat (4 g sat. fat), 17 mg chol., 463 mg sodium, 5 g carb., 1 g fiber, 9 g pro.

Flavorful Cut for Your Favorite Recipes

For a great-tasting main dish, try Sam’s Club ® USDA Choice Boneless Beef Ribeye Roast. Cut fresh daily, it contains rich marbling for superior texture and flavor. Five to 6 pounds serves 10 guests.

Time-saving Tip Warm bread is a delicious addition to any dinner. Artisan Fresh Herb and Garlic Focaccia loaf from Sam’s Club is easy to pull apart and is ready to eat. It’s a simple way to get just-baked taste without the hassle.

Christmas Dinner



Thyme-Roasted Carrots

oil, honey and salt; brush over carrots. Roast 20-25 minutes or until tender.

  • 2 medium rutabagas, peeled and cubed (about 5 cups)

Cutting the carrots lengthwise gives

per serving 73 cal., 3 g fat (trace sat.

  • 2 garlic cloves, peeled

them a special look.

fat), 0 chol., 275 mg sodium, 12 g carb.,

  • 2 tbsp. butter

—DeirDre Cox KAnSAS City, KS

  • 3 g fiber, 1 g pro. Diabetic Exchanges:

  • 1 tsp. salt

start to finish: 30 min. maKes: About 12 ServingS (2 CArrot hAlveS eACh)

  • 1 vegetable, ½ starch, ½ fat.



Garlic Mashed Rutabagas & Potatoes



tsp. pepper to 1/3 cup warm buttermilk

  • 1. Place potatoes, rutabagas and

garlic in a Dutch oven; add water to

  • 3 My family absolutely loves mashed potatoes. I wanted to add rutabagas

lbs. medium carrots, halved lengthwise

cover. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; cook, uncovered, 15-20 minutes or

  • 2. Drain; return to pan. Mash

  • 2 tbsp. minced fresh thyme or 2 tsp. dried thyme

and make it lighter. Use chicken broth instead of water for even more flavor.

until tender.

tbsp. canola oil

  • 2 —rosemary tatum Sterlington, lA

potatoes and rutabagas, gradually

  • 1 tbsp. honey

adding butter, salt, pepper and

tsp. salt

  • 1 start to finish: 30 min. maKes: 8 ServingS

enough of the warm buttermilk to reach desired consistency.

Preheat oven to 400¡. Divide carrots between two greased 15x10x1-in. baking pans. In a bowl, mix thyme,

  • 4 medium potatoes, peeled and cubed (about 4 cups)

per serving 220 cal., 4 g fat (3 g sat.

fat), 10 mg chol., 478 mg sodium, 42 g carb., 7 g fiber, 6 g pro.




& potatoes

roasted garlic green Beans with Cashews



EAT SMART Roasted Garlic Green Beans with Cashews

This recipe, one of my many experiments, has been a favorite of my family’s. The roasted garlic is mild and adds a rich, buttery taste to the beans.

—Virginia SturM sAN FrANCisCo, CA

PreP: 40 miN. Cook: 15 miN. MakeS: 8 sErviNGs

  • 10 garlic cloves, unpeeled