Warm Artichoke Dip

This is the best dip I have ever had. Hands down.  It’s not as easy as opening a container from the grocery store, but it’s only slightly more complicated and so much better tasting.  You can serve this as a half-time snack, for a warm treat on a cold afternoon, or as a starter for a special meal.  Delicious, warm, filling — it’s everything a great dip is supposed to be.  Serve this with toasted baguette, crackers, or a vegetable platter.

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Vegetable Beignets

Vegetable Beignets, simplygoodcooking.comBeignets are, perhaps, better known as a dessert or cookie, but these savory beignets are a delicious variation on the theme.  It’s kind of fun to have friends over and serve these hot, right as they come out of the pot. Have a selection of dips and sauces available, and fry until everything has been consumed.  Kind of a splurge of a meal in terms of calories and fat, but every now and then everyone appreciates a really good splurge.  It’s wonderful!

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Basic Timbale Custard, with variations

If you have never had a timbale, you’ll love this recipe.  It’s a great appetizer or side dish, and while it does take a bit of preparation, it bakes for nearly an hour, leaving the time just before eating clear so you can attend to the rest of the meal.  It’s really versatile and can be used with a variety of vegetables, or even plain.  Brunch, lunch, dinner, this dish can be used at any time that seems right for it.

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Apple Crisp

This is one of the first desserts I ever made.  It’s simple, fast to prepare, and oh so satisfying. Especially with a scoop of vanilla ice cream.  Among the countless apple crisp recipes, this one is the quickest, most simple combination, with a pure, decidedly apple flavor. Don’t even try to make a low-fat version of this treat, it’s perfect just as it is.

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Chocolate-Filled Cookies

These cookies are super fun!  They look like a plain vanilla cookie, but when you bite into one there’s a soft chocolate center.  Yum!  They’re simple to make and convey a definite playfulness, suitable for holiday cookie exchange or gift giving.

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Chocolate Oat Bars

Chocolate and oats are an almost irrestible combination.  Put them into a bar cookie and you’ve made something that will appeal to all ages and tastes. This is another quick recipe to add to your cookie recipe shelf, one you can whip up in no time and have on hand when friends drop by.

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Fruit & Oat Bar Cookies

These bars are quick to make, extremely satisfying, and quite versatile.  You can serve them as bars for an afternoon snack, or for dessert with a scoop of ice cream.  Vanilla ice cream complements any flavor of jam, but experiment with unusual combinations:  Strawberry preserve bars with chocolate ice cream.  Blackberry preserve bars with blackberry ice cream.  Cherry preserve bars with butter pecan ice cream.  Have fun with it and see what you come up with.

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Chewy Chocolate Brownies

Is there anyone who doesn’t love a really good brownie? There are countless recipes around, and countless ideas about what makes a brownie “perfect.” But with a cakey, dense, and chocolatey cookie, it’s hard to imagine how that combination could go wrong.  My personal preference is for chewy, not crumbly, with a rich chocolate flavor.  That’s what this recipe will provide, my idea of perfection in a simple chocolate brownie.

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St. John Salad

On a trip to St. John, in the USVI many years ago, I enjoyed this salad at the Caneel Resort in an open-air cafe. Wow!  It was truly delightful. Not wanting to lose that distinct mixture of  flavors, I recreated the recipe shortly afterward, bringing a memorable taste of the Caribbean back home.
This salad is a wonderful and unique combination of flavors that is fresh and delicious, perfect for a summer afternoon or light evening meal. It’s fast and easy, as well. Serve it with a loaf of fresh baguette, lemonade, and chewy chocolate brownies for dessert, and you’ve got a perfect picnic.

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