As you prepare for this season of celebrations, consider recipes that offer a fresh approach to the traditional holiday menu.

Fresco Cheese Crostini with Pumpkin Mojo

Servings: 25 crostini

1/2 French Baguette, sliced into 1/4-inch slices
1 cup Carlini Extra Virgin Olive Oil, divided
1 teaspoon Stonemill Essentials Chili Powder
2 teaspoons Stonemill Essentials Pumpkin Pie Spice
1 tablespoon Baker’s Corner Brown Sugar
1/2 teaspoon Stonemill Essentials Iodized Salt
1/2 teaspoon Stonemill Essentials Ground Black Pepper
3/4 cup Baker’s Corner 100% Pure Canned Pumpkin
1 orange, zested
1/3 cup fresh orange juice
1 lime, zested
1/4 cup fresh lime juice
5 ounces Benita Fresco Cheese, sliced into 10 rectangles
2 1/2 cups SimplyNature Organic Baby Arugula

Preheat oven to 400°F. In large bowl, combine baguette slices and 1/4 cup oil, toss until coated. Place in single layer on baking sheet. Bake for 6 minutes. Reserve.
In medium bowl, combine chili powder, pumpkin pie spice, brown sugar, salt, pepper, pumpkin, orange zest, orange juice, lime zest and lime juice. Gradually whisk in remaining oil. Reserve.
Heat non-stick skillet over medium- high heat. Sear fresco cheese on each side until golden brown. Remove from pan and cool. Slice each rectangle on diagonal.
Arrange baguette slices on serving platter. Top each with few pieces of arugula followed by slice of fresco cheese. Drizzle with pumpkin mojo.

Recipe Courtesy of Chef Michelle, ALDI Test Kitchen Visit www.aldi.us for more entertaining ideas


Cornbread Dressing with Roasted Grapes, Walnuts and Pancetta

Servings: 12

2 cups red seedless California grapes
2 cups green seedless California grapes
2 cups cubed butternut squash
1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
Salt and pepper, to taste
6 ounces diced pancetta
3/4 cup sliced celery
1 large onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
5 cups coarsely crumbled cornbread, toasted
3/4 cup coarsely chopped walnuts, toasted
2 tablespoons chopped fresh sage
1 cup reduced-sodium chicken broth
3 tablespoons butter, melted
3 tablespoons white balsamic vinegar
1 egg, beaten

Preheat oven to 400°F. Toss grapes and squash cubes together in large bowl with oil, salt and pepper, to taste. Spread in single layer on baking sheet and roast for about 20–30 minutes, until grapes have begun to slightly shrivel and squash is tender. Set aside.
Heat large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat and cook pancetta until it begins to brown slightly. Add celery and onions and cook until tender and onions are translucent, about 5–6 minutes. Add garlic and cook for one minute more. Remove from heat.
In large bowl, combine cornbread, pancetta mixture, grapes, squash, walnuts, sage and salt and pepper to taste, if desired. Set aside.
In medium bowl, whisk together broth, butter, vinegar and egg. Pour over cornbread mixture and toss well to combine.
Spray 9-by-13-inch baking dish with cooking spray. Spoon dressing evenly into dish. (At this point, you can either bake immediately or cover and refrigerate overnight to bake the next day.)
Bake, covered with foil, at 350°F for 20 minutes. Uncover and bake another 20 minutes, or until warmed through and golden brown.

Recipe provided by: California Table Grape Commission


Helpful Tips for the Perfect Holiday Turkey

• To thaw, keep turkey in the refrigerator based on its weight. To thaw quickly, place turkey in the sink and cover with cold water, changing the water every half hour per pound.
• Before cooking, baste the bird with extra virgin olive oil. Place turkey with the breast up on a rack in a shallow roasting pan in an oven preheated to 325°F. Loosely cover turkey with foil to prevent over-browning.
• The turkey is done when the meat thermometer reads 180°F, and the drumstick feels soft or moves easily.
• Always allow the bird to rest for at least 20 minutes for easy carving.
• Present your turkey on a platter with colorful garnishes such as, fresh herbs, roasted vegetables or fruit.