Grape Salad with Cream Cheese-Vanilla Dressing (from

2 1/2 cups green seedless grapes (about 1 pound) that have been sliced in half horizontally
2 1/2 cups red seedless grapes (about 1 pound) that have been sliced in half horizontally
3/4 cup coarsely chopped pecans (plus a few extra to sprinkle on top, if desired)
3/4 cup nonfat vanilla Greek yogurt
3 tablespoons packed brown sugar
2 tablespoons reduced-fat cream cheese (Neufchâtel cheese), softened
1/4 teaspoon vanilla
1/16 teaspoon kosher salt


Place grapes and pecan pieces in a large bowl.
In a medium bowl, whisk yogurt, sugar, cream cheese, vanilla, and salt until smooth.
Pour dressing over grapes and nuts and stir until the dressing is evenly distributed.
Top with a few extra nuts for garnish, if desired. Serve immediately (or refrigerate up to 3-5 days – see note about making ahead).

Make-ahead tips: This salad refrigerates well for 3-5 days. Stir before serving to redistribute the dressing evenly (it may thin slightly during refrigeration). Also, note that, although the pecans stay relatively crunchy during refrigeration, the salad does take on a more notable pecan flavor after sitting for a day or two. So, you can choose to stir the pecans in (and optionally sprinkle some on top) just prior to serving, if you prefer.

Cranberry-Jalapeno Relish (from:
1 cup dried cranberries
½ cup orange juice
½ cup diced red onion
½ cup chopped fresh cilantro
1 teaspoon minced garlic
1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and minced
¼ cup fresh lime juice
½ teaspoon ground cumin
½ teaspoon salt


In a mixing bowl, combine the cranberries, orange juice, onion, cilantro, garlic, jalapeno, lime juice, cumin and salt.
Stir together and chill 2 hours before serving.

Minnesota Wild Rice Dressing (from:

2 (4.5 ounce) packages instant long grain and wild rice
1 (16 ounce) package ground pork sausage
1 (16 ounce) package ground sage pork sausage
½ cup chopped celery
1 medium onion, chopped
½ pound fresh mushrooms, sliced
1 (5 ounce) can water chestnuts, drained and sliced
¼ teaspoon garlic powder
2 eggs, beaten

Prepare instant long grain and wild rice according to package directions.
While the rice is cooking, preheat the oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Lightly grease a 9×13-inch baking dish.
Place ground pork sausage and ground sage pork sausage in a large, deep skillet. Cook over medium-high heat until evenly brown. Drain, and set aside. Cook and stir celery, onion, mushrooms, and water chestnuts in the skillet until browned and tender. Season with garlic powder.

Mix prepared rice, sausage, celery mixture, and eggs in the prepared baking dish. Bake 15 minutes in the preheated oven, until lightly browned.

Cranberry Apricot Chutney

2 12 oz. bags fresh cranberries
2/3 cup orange juice
1/2 cup dried apricot halves, cut into little pieces
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
1 teaspoon finely grated orange peel (1 large orange)
pinch of salt

In biggest pan, boil all ingredients on medium high, stirring frequently, cook until cranberries pop and it thickens. (About 10 minutes.) Let cool and put in serving dish or half pint jars

Pecan Pie Bars (from:

4 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 cup light corn syrup
1 cup dark brown sugar
5 large eggs
1 ½ teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1 ½ teaspoons kosher salt
2 cups pecan halves
Baked Press-In Crust


Preheat the oven to 350°F. In a medium saucepan, melt the unsalted butter over moderate heat. Remove the saucepan from the heat and whisk in the light corn syrup and dark brown sugar, then whisk in the eggs until thoroughly blended. Whisk in the vanilla extract and salt and stir in the pecan halves until combined.
Pour the pecan filling into the prebaked crust and bake for about 35 minutes, until the filling is set. Transfer the pan to a rack and let cool completely. Cut into bars and serve.

Upside Down Pumpkin Cake (from:


1 (29 ounce) can pumpkin puree
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
½ teaspoon ground cloves
salt to taste
1 ¾ cups white sugar
3 eggs
1 (12 fluid ounce) can evaporated milk
1 (18.25 ounce) package yellow cake mix with pudding
1 cup chopped pecans
1 cup butter, melted


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
In a mixing bowl, blend pumpkin, cinnamon, cloves, salt, sugar, eggs, and milk. Pour mixture into a 9×13-inch baking dish. Sprinkle dry cake mix and nuts over the batter. Pour melted butter over the cake.
Bake in the preheated oven for 60 minutes, then let cool. The cake will be liquidy at first, but will solidify as it cools.