SOURCE: Smucker's

November 15, 2012 05:00 ET

A Sweet and Savory Holiday Menu

MISSION, KS--(Marketwire - Nov 15, 2012) - (Family Features) You want to bring out the best for your next holiday gathering, ensuring a memorable meal for family and friends. With a few simple tips and easier-than-you-think recipes, you can do just that.

Entertaining Tips

  • Prep the Night Before - Save time by chopping vegetables or prepping glazes the day before. For example, prepare the spread for Goat Cheese Bruschetta with Berry-Thyme Spread the night before. The day of the party, toast baguette slices 10 minutes before guests arrive, and the delicious appetizer will come together in minutes.

  • Allow for Creativity - Allow guests to put their own finishing touches on their dishes by setting out a variety of toppings. Raspberry Almond Waffles provide a base for your friends and family to get creative.

  • Make It a Group Effort - Ask guests to bring their favorite holiday side dishes or desserts to complement the main course to encourage a wide variety. If you're making Red Tart Cherry Glazed Ham as the centerpiece of the meal, let guests know so they can plan accordingly.

Each of these suggestions incorporates a delicious recipe using Smucker's® Orchard's Finest® Preserves, a gourmet line of preserves made with the best fruit from the best places. The preserves contain only four ingredients, and add rich flavor to both sweet and savory holiday dishes. From classic Pacific Mountain Strawberry Preserves to the new Lakeside Raspberry Cranberry Preserves, there's a flavor that's sure to be a hit with each guest. These holiday recipes are wonderful options to share with family and friends at your next gathering because, during the holidays, only the finest will do.

For more recipes to round out your holiday menu, visit

Dress It Up
Here are four delicious ways to dress up your holiday salads. Just start with this basic vinaigrette recipe, and mix in your favorite Smucker's® Orchard's Finest® Preserves flavor and one other simple ingredient.

Basic Vinaigrette - Mix 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar, 1 tablespoon water, 1 1/2 teaspoons Dijon mustard, 1/2 teaspoon minced garlic, 1/4 teaspoon black pepper, and 1/8 teaspoon salt. Whisk in 1/4 cup Crisco® Pure Canola Oil.

  • Strawberry Basil Vinaigrette - Add 1/2 cup Smucker's Orchard's Finest Pacific Mountain Strawberry Preserves and 2 teaspoons finely minced basil.

  • Raspberry Cranberry and Rosemary Vinaigrette - Add 1/2 cup Smucker's Orchard's Finest Lakeside Raspberry Cranberry Preserves and 1 teaspoon finely minced fresh rosemary.
  • Citrus Ginger Vinaigrette - Add 1/2 cup Smucker's Orchard's Finest Pacific Grove Orange Marmalade Medley and 1 teaspoon finely grated fresh ginger root.

  • Apricot Ginger Vinaigrette - Add 1/2 cup Smucker's Orchard's Finest Coastal Valley Peach Apricot Preserves and 1 teaspoon finely grated fresh ginger root.
Red Tart Cherry Glazed Ham   
Makes: 16 servings   
Prep Time: 10 minutes   
Cook Time: 50 minutes   
         1   4 to 5-pound fully cooked boneless ham,
            sliced 1/4 inch thick
         1   12-ounce jar Smucker's Orchard's Finest
            Michigan Red Tart Cherry Preserves
         1   tablespoon apple cider vinegar
         1/8   teaspoon ground cinnamon
         1/8   teaspoon ground nutmeg
            Dash ground cloves, if desired
         2   tablespoons raisins, if desired

1. HEAT oven to 325°F. Overlap slices of ham in shallow baking pan; cover with aluminum foil. Bake 50 to 60 minutes, or until internal temperature reaches 140°F.

2. COMBINE preserves, vinegar, cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves in a small microwave safe bowl. Microwave on high for 2 minutes.

3. ARRANGE ham slices on serving platter. Spoon 1/4 cup glaze over center of ham. Serve with remaining warm glaze.

Raspberry Almond Waffles   
Makes: 10 (6-inch) waffles   
Prep Time: 10 minutes   
Cook Time: 5 minutes   
         1   14-ounce can Eagle Brand®
            Sweetened Condensed Milk,
         3   large eggs
         2   cups Pillsbury BEST® All Purpose
         3/4   cup water
         1/2   cup Crisco Pure Vegetable Oil
         4   teaspoons baking powder
         1/2   teaspoon salt
         1/2   teaspoon almond extract
         1/2   cup sliced almonds, chopped
    Crisco Original No-Stick Cooking
         1   cup heavy cream
         1/8   teaspoon almond extract
         2/3   cup Smucker's Orchard's Finest
            Lakeside Raspberry Cranberry
            Preserves or 2/3 cup Smucker's
            Red Raspberry Preserves
         2/3   cup sliced almonds, toasted*
         30   fresh red raspberries

For Waffles:
1. COAT waffle iron with no-stick cooking spray. Heat waffle iron according to manufacturer's directions. Reserve 2 tablespoons sweetened condensed milk for topping.

2. WHISK eggs in large bowl until fluffy. Blend in remaining sweetened condensed milk, flour, water, oil, baking powder, salt and almond extract just until batter is smooth. Stir in chopped almonds.

3. POUR a scant 2/3 cup of batter onto center of hot waffle iron and close lid. Bake about 3 to 4 minutes or until steaming stops. Use a fork to remove waffle. Repeat with remaining batter.

For Topping:
1. BEAT cream in medium bowl with electric mixer on high speed until stiff peaks form. Add reserved 2 tablespoons sweetened condensed milk and almond extract. Beat until smooth.

2. SPREAD each waffle with 1 tablespoon preserves. Top with whipped cream, toasted almonds and fresh raspberries.

*To toast almonds: Place almonds in dry nonstick skillet. Cook over medium heat, shaking pan until nuts are lightly browned. Remove from pan immediately to avoid over-browning.

Goat Cheese Bruschetta with Berry-Thyme Spread   
Makes: 12 slices   
Prep Time: 15 minutes   
Cook Time: 6 minutes   
         1/4   cup Smucker's Orchard's Finest Northwest
            Triple Berry Preserves
         1   tablespoon minced shallot
         1   teaspoon balsamic vinegar
         1   teaspoon minced fresh thyme, plus additional
            for garnish
         1/4   teaspoon salt
         1/4   teaspoon black pepper
         1   8-ounce baguette
         1   tablespoon Crisco® 100% Extra Virgin
            Olive Oil
         4   ounces goat cheese
            Fresh thyme leaves (optional), for garnish

1. COMBINE preserves, shallots, balsamic vinegar, thyme, salt and pepper in small bowl.

2. SLICE baguette into 1/2-inch slices. Brush both sides of each slice lightly with olive oil. Heat skillet or griddle over medium-high heat. Grill baguette slices, 4 at a time, 2 to 3 minutes per side or until lightly browned. Place on serving platter.

3. SPREAD about 2 teaspoons goat cheese over each baguette slice. Top each slice with 1 teaspoon preserves mixture. Garnish with additional fresh thyme, if desired. Serve immediately.

Tip: Triple Berry-Thyme Spread can be prepared up to two days ahead. Cover and chill.

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