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Simple Twists Add a Special Touch to Holiday Classics

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Green Bean Casserole
Onion Gratin
Ultra Creamy Mashed Potatoes
Moist and Savory Stuffing
Easier Than Apple Pie
Spiced Pumpkin Cake

(Family Features) - At the heart of any holiday celebration is food. Certain tastes and aromas instantly conjure up images of the holidays, evoking memories of family, friends and seasons past.

Everyone has a favorite dish, so hosts look for new ways to add special touches without snubbing tradition. According to a survey conducted by Equation Research, 81 percent of people say they look for new recipes to help put a fresh twist on holiday classics. And, while the main course tends to remain constant, cooks want simple ideas to bring new flavor and flair to appetizers, side dishes and desserts.

The classic Green Bean Casserole, which gets its unmistakable flavor from cream of mushroom soup, has been a mainstay on holiday menus for more than 50 years. To add a festive touch of color, mix in chopped red pepper. Using chicken broth instead of water adds rich flavor to Moist & Savory Stuffing. Pecans and cranberries lend a flavorful twist.

Of course, no holiday gathering would be complete without scrumptious desserts. Easier Than Apple Pie - a festive interpretation of the all-American favorite - showcases the classic tastes of apples and cinnamon in a simple, rustic tart. Or, trade in traditional pumpkin pie for Spiced Pumpkin Cake, an ultra-moist treat with spiced cream cheese frosting that will win rave reviews.

For more recipes that blend tradition and creativity, visit www.campbellskitchen.com, www.mccormick.com or www.swansonbroth.com.

To-Do - Pantry Check

Before making the grocery list, check pantry staples to ensure all holiday cooking and baking starts with fresh ingredients. Some items to check: spices, dried herbs, flour, sugar, chocolate, and nuts. Even soup and broth have expiration dates.

Green Bean Casserole

Ingredients
  • 2 cans (10 3/4 ounces each) Campbell's Cream of Mushroom Soup (Regular, 98% Fat Free or 25% Less Sodium)
  • 1 cup milk
  • 2 teaspoons soy sauce
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 2 bags (16 to 20 ounces each) cut green beans, cooked and drained
  • 1 can (6 ounces) French fried onions (2 2/3 cups)

Preparation
    1. Stir soup, milk, soy sauce, black pepper, beans and 1 1/3 cups onions in 3-quart casserole.
    2. Bake at 350°F 25 minutes or until hot. Stir.
    3. Top with remaining onions. Bake 5 minutes more.

Preparation Time
10 minutes

Bake Time
30 minutes

Serves
Makes 12 servings

Notes, Tips & Suggestions
Go Nuts! Toast 1/2 cup sliced almonds. Add with remaining onions.

Bring on the Bacon: Cook 4 slices bacon until crisp and crumble. Add to green bean mixture.

Onion Gratin

Ingredients
  • 2 pounds small whole white onions (about 30 to 32), peeled
  • 1 can (10 3/4 ounces) Campbell's Condensed Cream of Mushroom Soup (Regular or 98% Fat Free)
  • 3/4 cup milk
  • 1 1/4 cups shredded Cheddar cheese (about 5 ounces), divided
  • 1/2 cup crushed corn flakes

Preparation
    1. Arrange onions in 12 x 8-inch shallow baking dish.
    2. Mix soup, milk and 1/4 cup cheese in small bowl and pour over onions.
    3. Mix corn flake crumbs with remaining cheese in small bowl and sprinkle over onions.
    4. Bake at 350°F for 45 minutes or until hot and bubbly and onions are tender.

Preparation Time
20 minutes

Bake Time
45 minutes

Serves
Makes 8 servings

Notes, Tips & Suggestions
Try This Easy Method: For peeling small white onions, cut off ends of onions and place them in a bowl. Pour boiling water over onions and let stand for 5 minutes. Pour off water and then slip the skins off the onions.

Ultra Creamy Mashed Potatoes

Ingredients
  • 3 1/2 cups Swanson chicken broth (Regular, Natural Goodness or Certified Organic)
  • 5 large potatoes, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 1/2 cup light cream
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • Generous dash ground black pepper

Preparation
    1. Heat broth and potatoes in 3-quart saucepan over high heat to a boil.
    2. Reduce heat to medium. Cover and cook 10 minutes or until potatoes are tender. Drain, reserving broth.
    3. Mash potatoes with 1/4 cup broth, cream, butter and black pepper. Add additional broth, if needed, until desired consistency.

Preparation Time
5 minutes

Cook Time
20 minutes

Serves
Makes about 6 servings

Notes, Tips & Suggestions
For an Interesting Twist: Stir 1/2 cup sour cream, 3 slices bacon cooked and crumbled (reserve some for garnish), and 1/4 cup chopped fresh chives into hot mashed potatoes. Sprinkle with remaining bacon.

Moist and Savory Stuffing

Ingredients
  • 1 3/4 cups Swanson chicken broth (Regular, Natural Goodness or Certified Organic)
  • Generous dash ground black pepper
  • 1 stalk celery, coarsely chopped
  • 1 small onion, coarsely chopped
  • 4 cups Pepperidge Farm Herb Seasoned Stuffing

Preparation
    1. Heat broth, black pepper, celery and onion in 2-quart saucepan over high heat to a boil. Reduce heat to low. Cover and cook 5 minutes or until vegetables are tender.
    2. Add stuffing and stir lightly to coat.

Preparation Time
5 minutes

Cook Time
10 minutes

Serves
Makes 8 servings

Notes, Tips & Suggestions
For an Interesting Twist: Stir 1/2 cup each dried cranberries and chopped pecans into stuffing mixture.

Easier Than Apple Pie

Ingredients
  • 1 refrigerated pie crust (from 15-ounce package)
  • 1 egg white, lightly beaten
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1 tablespoon McCormick Ground Cinnamon
  • 4 cups thinly sliced peeled apples (about 4 medium)
  • 1 teaspoon sugar

Preparation
    1. Preheat oven to 425°F. Prepare crust as directed on package. Place on foil-lined 12-inch pizza pan. If necessary, press out any folds or creases. Brush crust with about 1/2 of beaten egg white.
    2. Mix 3/4 cup sugar, cornstarch and cinnamon in medium bowl. Toss with apples. Spoon into center of crust, spreading to within 2 inches of edges. Fold 2-inch edge of crust up over apples, pleating or folding crust as needed. Brush crust with remaining egg white; sprinkle with 1 teaspoon sugar.
    3. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until apples are tender. Cool slightly before serving.

Preparation Time
15 minutes

Bake Time
20 to 25 minutes

Serves
Makes 8 servings

Spiced Pumpkin Cake

Ingredients
  • 1 package (18 1/4 ounces) yellow cake mix
  • 1 package (4-serving size) instant vanilla pudding mix
  • 1 cup canned pumpkin
  • 1/2 cup oil
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons McCormick Ground Cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon McCormick Ground Cloves
  • Spiced Cream Cheese Frosting (recipe follows)

Preparation
    1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Beat all ingredients except frosting in large bowl with electric mixer on low speed just until moistened, scraping side of bowl frequently. Beat on medium speed for 2 minutes or until well blended.
    2. Pour into greased and floured 13 x 9-inch baking pan. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool in pan on wire rack. Spread with Spiced Cream Cheese Frosting.
    3. Spiced Cream Cheese Frosting - Beat 1 package (8 ounces) cream cheese, softened; 1/4 cup (1/2 stick) butter, softened; 1 teaspoon McCormick Pure Vanilla Extract; and 1/4 teaspoon McCormick Ground Cloves in large bowl until well blended. Gradually add 1 package (16 ounces) powdered sugar (about 4 cups), beating until well blended after each addition.

Serves
Makes 18 servings

SOURCE: Campbell's Cooking Soups
McCormick & Company
Swanson Broth


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