Happy New Year

Val.inddSHRIMP PASTA SALAD

4 c. small pasta shells, cooked
1 c. frozen peas
1 lb. large cooked shrimp, peeled, deveined and cut into thirds         1/2 c. green onions, chopped
1/4 c. fresh parsley, minced
1 c. mayonnaise
8 oz. plain yogurt
1/4 c. lemon juice
2 Tbsp. fresh dill, snipped
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. pepper
In large bowl combine pasta, shrimp, peas, onions and parsley. In small bowl combine yogurt, mayonnaise, lemon juice, dill, salt and pepper. Pour over pasta mixture and toss gently. Cover and refrigerate for at least two hours before serving. Makes 10 servings.

MEXICAN FIESTA BITES

24 won ton wrappers
1/4 c. sour cream
1 c. cooked crumbled Italian sausage
1/2 c. thick ‘n chunky salsa
2 Tbsp. chopped fresh cilantro
3/4 c. Mexican style four-cheese
with touch of Philadelphia
Place one won ton wrapper in each of 24 mini muffin cups sprayed with cooking spray, with edges of wrappers extending over tops of cups. Bake in preheated 350° oven five minutes. Meanwhile combine sausage and salsa. Spoon sausage mixture into won ton cups. Bake 10 minutes or until filling is heated through and edges of cups are golden brown. Top with cheese; bake one – two minutes or until melted. Top with sour cream and cilantro. 24 servings.

SLOW-COOKER HEARTY BEEF CHILI

1 1/2 lbs. lean ground beef
1 c. frozen corn
1 (16 oz.) can no-salt-added tomato sauce
1 (15 oz.) cans red kidney beans, rinsed
1 1/2 c. thick ‘n chunky mild salsa    1 onion, chopped
1 c. Mexican-style finely shredded four-cheese
2 Tbsp. chili powder
Brown meat; drain. Add to slow cooker with all remaining ingredients except cheese; stir. Cover with lid. Cook on low five – six hours (or on high three – four hours). Stir just before serving. Serve topped with cheese. For added color and flavor top individual bowls of chili with sour cream, bacon bits and/or coarsely crushed saltine crackers.  Makes eight (one cup) servings.

HERBED SPINACH DIP

1 (10 oz.) box frozen chopped spinach
2 (5 oz.) pkgs. garlic-and-herb cheese spread
1 (8 oz.) can sliced water chestnuts, drained
1/2 c. grated Parmesan cheese
1/4 tsp. salt
1 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice
1/2 tsp. hot pepper sauce
1/4 tsp. black pepper
Thaw spinach in warm water. Drain, squeezing out as much water as possible. Process spinach, cheese spread, water chestnuts, Parmesan cheese, lemon juice, hot sauce, salt and pepper in food processor until smooth. Serve with pita wedges or crackers.

TRIPLE-LAYER EGGNOG PIE

10 caramels
1 c. cold milk, divided
1 (6 oz.) graham pie crust
1 c. cold eggnog
1/2 c. chopped pecans, toasted
2 (3.4 oz.) pkgs. vanilla flavor instant pudding
1 (8 oz.) tub whipped topping, thawed, divided
Microwave caramels and 1 Tbsp. milk in microwavable bowl on medium (50 percent) 30 seconds or until caramels are completely melted when stirred. Pour into crust; sprinkle with nuts. Beat pudding mixes, eggnog and remaining milk with whisk two minutes; spoon 1 1/2 cup over nuts. Stir half the whipped topping into remaining pudding; spread over pudding layer in crust. Top with remaining whipped topping. To toast nuts, heat oven to 350°. Spread nuts in single layer in shallow pan. Bake five – seven minutes or until lightly toasted, stirring occasionally. Makes 10 servings.

TIRAMISU BOWL

1 (8 oz.) pkg. cream cheese, softened
48 vanilla wafers
2 (3.4 oz.) pkgs. vanilla flavor instant pudding
1 (8 oz.) tub whipped topping,   thawed, divided
1/2 c. brewed strong coffee, cooled
2 sqs. semi-sweet chocolate, coarsely grated
1 c. fresh raspberries
Beat cream cheese in large bowl with mixer until creamy. Beat in milk and dry pudding mixes. Stir in two cups whipped topping. Line 2 1/2-quart bowl with 24 wafers; drizzle with 1/4 cup coffee. Top with half each of the pudding mixture and chocolate. Repeat all layers. Top with remaining whipped topping and raspberries. Refrigerate two hours. To easily grate chocolate, unwrap chocolate squares, leaving each square on paper wrapper. Microwave on high 10 seconds, then grate with largest hole of cheese shredder. Makes 16 (2/3 cup) servings.

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