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Cream Cheese-Olive Spread

Yield: Makes about 1 1/2 cups Prep Time: 10 Minutes Chill: 30 Minutes Bake: 8 Minutes Cool: 30 Minutes Ingredients 1 (8-oz.) package cream cheese, softened 1/2 cup finely chopped pimiento-stuffed Spanish olives 1 tablespoon mayonnaise 1/2 cup chopped pecans 1/4 cup chopped fresh chive Preparation 1. Stir together cream cheese, Spanish olives, and 1 Tbsp. mayonnaise. Shape cream cheese mixture into 2 (6-inch) logs; wrap in plastic wrap, and chill at least 30 minutes, or store in the refrigerator in an airtight container up to 2 days. 2. Place pecans in a single layer in a shallow pan. 3. Bake pecans at 350° for 8 minutes or until lightly toasted, stirring occasionally. Let cool 30 minutes or until completely cool. 4. Roll cream cheese log in chopped chives and toasted pecans just before serving. By: Myrecipes.com, Southern Living APRIL 2007. Photo: Beth Dreiling; Styling: Lisa Powell Bailey

How To Make Fruit Ice Cubes

To prepare, crush the fruit you want to incorporate (kiwi, mango, cherries, limes, watermelon ...) with some homemade lemonade. Then fill your bucket with the mixture and freeze. When ready, add these cubes to your lemonade and enjoy new flavors.

Potato Gnocchi Ravioli Recipe

This ravioli recipe takes a little skill but is well worth the effort.

Ingredients

- Swiss chard filling:

  • 2 pounds Swiss chard or fresh spinach, stemmed
  • 1 pound whole-milk ricotta, such as Bellwether Farms, drained for 30 minutes in a cheesecloth-lined colander
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt, preferably gray salt, or kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 egg yolks

- Gnocchi dough for ravioli:

  • 1 pound large unpeeled russet potatoes, preferably from Idaho
  • 3 egg yolks, plus 1 extra if needed
  • 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour, plus extra for dusting work surfaces
  • 6 egg yolks
  • 1 egg beaten with 2 tablespoons water
- Sage brown butter:
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 3 tablespoons finely shredded fresh sage
  • Sea salt, preferably gray salt, or kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 4 to 5 tablespoons freshly grated Parmesan for sprinkling

Directions

The filling:

1. Set up an ice bath. In a large pot of salted boiling water, blanch the chard for 3 minutes. Drain, then plunge it into the ice bath; drain again and squeeze out as much water as possible. Coarsely chop the chard and transfer it to a food processor.

2. Using the back of a large spoon, press the ricotta through a fine-mesh sieve into a bowl. Add the sieved ricotta to the food processor with the chard. Pulse a few times and then add the nutmeg, salt, pepper, and 2 egg yolks. Taste the filling and make sure it's well seasoned with salt and pepper, then spoon it into a pastry bag fitted with a 1/2-inch round tip and refrigerate while you make the dough.

The dough:

1. Preheat the oven to 375ºF. Pierce the potatoes and bake until tender when pierced with a knife, about 70 minutes. Remove from the oven and let cool just enough to handle; the interior should still be hot.

2. Cut each potato in half, scoop out the flesh, and put through a food mill into a bowl. (If you don't have a food mill, push the warm potatoes through a coarse-mesh sieve or a ricer.) You should have about 2 cups. On a lightly floured board or work surface, make a mound of the potatoes. Push a well into the center of the mound with a spoon. Add the 3 egg yolks and the Parmesan to the well and mix until smooth. Add the flour, 1⁄2 cup at a time, and gently knead just until the dough becomes a cohesive mound, about 3 minutes. If the dough seems too dry, add another yolk or 2 teaspoons of water. The dough should feel firm but yielding. To test, pinch off a piece of dough and roll it on a floured surface into a rope about 1⁄2-inch in diameter. If the rope holds together, the dough is perfect. If not, add more flour, knead, and test again. Cover the finished dough with a cloth and let it rest for 30 minutes.

3. On a floured surface, roll the dough until it forms an oval about 1⁄4 inch thick. With a 5-inch round pasta cutter, or a small bowl about 5 inches across, cut 12 rounds from the dough. If you need to, push together the dough scraps and reroll until smooth. Sprinkle a baking sheet with flour.

4. On 6 of the dough rounds, pipe a ring of the chard filling about 1⁄2 inch from the edge. Leave the center without filling; that's where the egg yolk will fit. With your fingers, place a whole egg yolk in the center of each dough round. Brush the egg-water mixture around the edges of each dough round. Top with another dough round and, with your fingers, seal it all the way around, gently so you don't break the yolk inside. Transfer the ravioli to the floured sheet and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes or up to 2 hours.

The butter:

1. Heat a small saucepan over medium heat, add the butter, and cook until it just begins to brown, about 2 minutes. Add the sage and season with salt and pepper; remove from the heat and set aside.

2. Gently add the ravioli to a large pot of salted boiling water (see Note, page 93) and cook for 3 minutes, or until they float to the surface. Don't overcook these. Using a large slotted spoon or a wire skimmer, transfer the cooked ravioli to individual warmed plates. Spoon on the sage brown butter and finish with a sprinkle of Parmesan.

Coconut Apricot Energy Balls

Ingredients 1 (6 oz.) package dried apricots (1 1/2 cups) 2 cups flaked coconut 2/3 cup Eagle Brand® Sweetened Condensed Milk Powdered sugar Instructions CHOP apricots by pulsing in food processor until finely chopped or mincing on cutting board with sharp knife. MIX apricots and coconut in large bowl until well blended. Stir in sweetened condensed milk until evenly blended. SHAPE into 1-inch balls. Roll in powdered sugar. Let stand at room temperature until firm. Store in refrigerator. Variation CHOCOLATE-DIPPED APRICOT COCONUT BALLS: Prepare recipe as directed above but shape into 3/4-inch balls and do not roll in powdered sugar. Microwave 2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips and 2 teaspoons all-vegetable shortening in uncovered microwave-safe bowl on HIGH power 1 minute. Stir. If necessary, microwave an additional 10 to 15 seconds or until chips are melted and smooth when stirred. DIP balls in melted chocolate to coat. Remove with fork, allowing excess chocolate to drip off before placing on sheet of wax paper. Let stand until chocolate is set. Store in refirgerator. Makes 4 1/2 dozen.

Panna Cotta with Berries

Serves 8: Ingredients 2 1/2 teaspoons unflavored gelatin (from 2 packages) 4 tablespoons water 2 1/2 cups heavy cream 2 cup plain low-fat yogurt 1/2 cup mild honey 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract 1 1/2-pint baskets assorted fresh berries (such as raspberries, blueberries, blackberries, and strawberries) 1/3 cup sweet white wine (such as Moscato) 1/3 cup sugar Directions Sprinkle gelatin over water in a small heavy saucepan and let stand 1 minute to soften. Stir in cream and a pinch of salt. Heat gently over medium-low heat, stirring, until gelatin has dissolved.Whisk together yogurt, honey, and vanilla extract, then add to cream mixture. Whisk until well combined. Pour mixture into 8 small bowls and chill, covered, until set, at least 3 hours. Combine berries, sugar and wine in a medium bowl. Cover and refrigerate until berry juices and sugar form syrup, stirring often, at least 1 hour and up to 2 hours. Spoon berries over panna cotta. Recipe Courtesy of The Jewels of NY Styling and Photography by Karen Mordechai