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Taste of Home delivers mouth-watering recipes

The two Taste of Home cookbooks recently published have a variety of great recipes for both new and classic tastes.

The first of the two cookbooks, Best of Country Breakfast and Brunch, features dishes ranging from comfort food to breakfast for those on-the-go.

The first chapter, Comfort Classics, has recipes such as Gran's Granola Parfaits. This recipe comes from Angela Keller of Newburgh, Ind. There are 17 ingredients and one would have to plan for the recipe, however it looks yummy and the ingredients sound like something tastebuds of all different ranges might enjoy ... ingredients such as oats, pinapple, strawberries, almonds, coconut and maple syrup layered with vanilla yogurt.

There are recipes for overnight preparation and holidays. Kid-friendly recipes are also included in this cookbook.

The photos of the meals were tempting to my palate. They aren't full-page or even half-page photos, but the idea is definitely conveyed to one who is looking through the cookbook.

The name of the person who submitted the recipe and their city and state are included with a small description of the recipe's origins or responses to the recipe.

Some of the recipes have nutrition facts for those who are watching their diet for any particular reason, such as fat or sugar content.

The back of the book has two indexes. One is a general index for those seeking a recipe with a specific ingredient, and the other is an alphabetical index for those looking for a particular recipe.

Throughout the book, little hints are boxed with a graphic of the sun. These hints are helpful in possible preparation, gift ideas or even in buying and storing an ingredient.

Taste of Home also has a second new cookbook, which is great for those who are looking to fix a smaller meal. It is Down Home Cooking for One or Two.

This cookbook features soups, treats, breakfast ideas and much more.

The table of contents is easy to use, and the downsized kitchen strategies are helpful. There are recommended storage times, and meal ideas.

The pages that introduce a chapter include five photos of recipes included in the chapter. There are four smaller photos under the chapter introduction and a full-page photo on the opposite page. Each photo includes the name of the recipe and the page it may be found on.

The photos on the pages are colorful and made me hungry. On page 80, there are two recipes juxtaposed with a full-page photo, which features the finished product of the two recipes. The Mexican Shrimp Bisque made my mouth water. This recipe yields three cups. The ingredients include onion, garlic, chili powder, shrimp and sour cream among 13 total ingredients. Most of the ingredients are pretty common in any kitchen.

In addition, the recipe seemed to be an easy recipe to follow. Not a lot of difficulty appeared to be involved in creating this luscious-looking soup. I think I may even try it the next time it's "just the two of us" at home.

Both of these cookbooks have recipes that are contributions from all over the country. I even noticed a few from Washington state. None of them looked terribly difficult to fix for anyone who knows their way around a kitchen.

Overall, I enjoyed looking through these cookbooks and wouldn't mind adding them to my library of cookbooks.

courtesy of Best of Country Breakfast and Brunch

Gran's Granola Parfaits

Angela Keller, Newburgh, Indiana

2cups old-fashioned oats

1 cup Wheaties

1 cup whole almonds

1 cup pecan halves

1 cup flaked coconut

4-1/2 teaspoons wheat germ

1 tablespoon sesame seeds, toasted

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/4 cup butter, melted

2 tablespoons maple syrup

2 tablespoons honey

1 can (20 ounces) pineapple tidbits, drained

1 can (15 ounces) mandarin oranges, drained

1 cup halved green grapes

2 to 3 medium firm bananas, sliced

1 cup sliced fresh strawberries

1 carton (32 ounces) vanilla yogurt

In a bowl, combine the first eight ingredients. Combine the butter, syrup and honey; drizzle over oat mixture and stir well until well coated. Pour into a greased 13-in.x9-in.x2-in. baking pan. Bake, uncovered, at 350° for 30 minutes, stirring every 10 minutes. Cool on a wire rack; crumble into pieces.

Combine the fruits in a large bowl. For each parfait, layer 2 tablespoons yogurt, 2 tablespoons granola and 3 round tablespoons fruit in a parfait glass or dessert bowl. Repeat layers. Sprinkle with remaining granola. Serve immediately. Yield: 16 servings.

courtesy of Down Home Cooking for One or Two

Mexican Shrimp Bisque

Karen Harris • Castle Rock, Colorado

1/2 cup chopped onion

2 garlic cloves, minced

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 tablespoon all-purpose flour

1 cup water

1/2 cup heavy whipping cream

1 tablespoon chili powder

2 teaspoons chicken bouillon granules

1/2 teaspoon ground cumin

1/2 teaspoon ground coriander

1/2 pound uncooked medium shrimp, peeled and deveined

1/2 cup sour cream

Fresh cilantro and cubed avocado, optional

In a large saucepan, sauté onion and garlic in oil until tender. Stir in flour until blended. Stir in the water, cream, chili powder, bouillon, cumin and coriander; bring to a boil. Reduce heat; cover and simmer for 5 minutes.

Cut shrimp into bite-size pieces; add to soup. Simmer 5 minutes longer or until shrimp turns pink. Gradually stir 1/2 cup hot soup into sour cream; return all to the pan, stirring constantly. Heat through (do not boil). Garnish with cilantro and avocado if desired. Yield: 3 cups.

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