Q: At a recent dinner party, we had a stuffing made with orange and apricots as well as the usual onions and celery. I asked for the recipe, but the hostess said she had promised not to share her step-daughter’s “secret” recipe. Then she whispered that you could find it online and that it is made with apricot preserves. I have had no luck, and hope you can help.
A: I found a similar recipe at Bonne Maman’s website. It lacked some of the ingredients you mentioned and directions were incomplete, so I adapted it into a stuffing that would be lovely with poultry or roast pork.
Q: I used to have a copy of your article from December 2008 on homemade Christmas gifts. I made the marshmallows and the toffee and they were incredible successes. I moved and now I cannot find my copy of the article. Is there any way to get the recipes or article again?
A: The toffee is an amazingly easy gift any time of year. With no need for a candy thermometer or figuring out when the ingredients have reached the soft ball stage, even candy-making novices will love it. Pecans, almonds, pistachios or macadamias may be substituted for the walnuts.
At a Christmas gathering, a nephew complained that he was subsisting on ramen noodles and peanut butter sandwiches. It wasn’t a check he needed, he said, but cooking lessons.
I promised to send him some easy family recipes, and steered him to kitchenability.com by Nisa Burns, who started her blog as a student and now is a Parade Magazine contributor. If there’s a college student or other cooking novice in your life, check out her blog, which aims to make you “best friends with your kitchen in order to feed yourself for life.”
The quick snack recipe here is from her cookbook, Kitchenability 101: The College Student’s Guide to Easy, Healthy, and Delicious Food (Kitchenability Press, $17.95). It’s a no-nonsense collection of easy, budget-conscious recipes. Besides recipes there are lists for stocking the pantry, shopping and budgeting.
Here’s my own tip on the recipe: Substitute Parmesan and/or garlic powder for the cinnamon sugar and marinara sauce for the frosting.
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