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LifestyleColumnistsMarge Perry

3 Simple holiday recipes

Brie is filled with cherry preserves, pistachios and

Brie is filled with cherry preserves, pistachios and dried cranberries and wrapped in puff pastry dough.  Photo Credit: Marge Perry

STUFFED BAKED BRIE

3 tablespoons cherry preserves

3 tablespoons dried cranberries, chopped

2 tablespoons shelled pistachios, chopped

1 (8.65-ounce) frozen puff pastry sheet, thawed

1 (19-ounce) Brie cheese wheel, chilled, halved horizontally

1 large egg, lightly beaten

1. Combine the preserves, cranberries and pistachios in a small bowl.

2. Line a baking sheet pan with parchment paper or coat it with cooking spray.

3. Working on a lightly floured work surface, roll out the puff pastry sheet into a 13-inch square and transfer to the sheet pan. Set one half of the Brie in the center of the pastry, cut side up. Spread the cherry mixture over the Brie and cover with the other half of the cheese, cut side down. Wrap the puff pastry up and over the top of the Brie, stretching slightly as needed, to completely envelop the cheese. Carefully flip the wrapped Brie over so that the smooth side is now facing up. Refrigerate for 30 minutes.

4. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.

5. Brush the puff pastry lightly with the egg. Bake in the center of the oven until golden and slightly puffed, about 20 to 22 minutes. Remove from the oven and cool 20 minutes before cutting. Makes 12 servings.

Nutritional analysis for each serving: 221 calories, 9 g protein, 9 g carbohydrates, 0 fiber, 18 g fat, 10 g saturated fat, 292 mg sodium

TIP: The Brie may be prepared a day ahead and baked several hours before serving.

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PEPPERMINT STICK HOT CHOCOLATE

8 cups milk

3/4 cup packed dark brown sugar

3 ounces semisweet chocolate, chopped

1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/8 teaspoon (3 drops) mint extract

1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg

12 small candy canes

Mini marshmallows (optional)

1. Combine the milk, sugar, chocolate, cocoa powder, vanilla extract, mint extract and nutmeg in a large saucepan over medium-low heat and cook, stirring often, 12 to 15 minutes, until the mixture is hot and smooth.

2. Ladle into mugs and serve with a candy can stirrer (which adds more peppermint flavor). Top with mini marshmallows if desired. Makes 12 servings.

Nutritional analysis for each serving (made with nonfat milk): 161 calories, 7 g protein, 31 g carbohydrates, 1 g fiber, 3 g fat, 2 g saturated fat, 88 mg sodium

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SHRIMP WITH GREEN SAUCE

1 onion, cut in wedges

2 tablespoons lemon juice

1 bay leaf

2 pounds large shrimp (about 48 shrimp), peeled and deveined

1 1/2 cups parsley leaves

1 cup basil leaves

3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

2 tablespoons red wine vinegar

1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon drained capers

1 clove garlic, peeled

2 tablespoons sliced or slivered almonds

2 teaspoons Dijon mustard

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/8 teaspoon black pepper

1. Combine 4 quarts water, the onion, lemon juice and bay leaf in a pot and bring to a boil; cook 5 minutes. Add the shrimp and cook until they are opaque and pink, 3 to 4 minutes. Drain and rinse under cold water. Chill.

2. Make the green sauce: Combine the parsley, basil, olive oil, vinegar, capers, garlic, almonds, mustard, salt and pepper in a blender and process until smooth. Refrigerate until serving. Makes 16 servings.

Nutritional analysis for each serving: 73 calories, 10 g protein, 1 g carbohydrate, 0 fiber, 3 g fat, 0 saturated fat, 166 mg sodium

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