Almond Fresh Cinnamon–Spiced French Toast with Maple Apples
(NC)—Treat yourself to a hearty French toast breakfast this weekend. More great recipes can be found online at www.almond–fresh.com.

Makes 4 servings

Ingredients:
• 2 apples, peeled
• 1 squeeze lemon juice
• 1/2 cup (125 mL) water
• 1/3 cup (80 mL) maple syrup
• 1/4 tsp (1 mL) cinnamon
• 3 eggs
• 1 cup (250 mL) Almond Fresh original or vanilla
• 1 tbsp (15 mL) brown sugar
• 1/4 tsp (1 mL) salt
• 1/4 tsp (1 mL) nutmeg
• 1/4 tsp (1 mL) ginger
• 1/4 tsp (1 mL) cinnamon
• 4–6 slices Italian, brioche or sourdough bread
• 1 tbsp (15 mL) butter
• 1 tbsp (15 mL) icing sugar

Almond Fresh Fudge Cake with Creamy Chocolate Frosting
(NC)—This easy chocolate cake is rich and dense, and surprisingly easy to make. More great recipes can be found online at www.almond–fresh.com.

Makes 8 to 10 servings

Ingredients:
• 3/4 cup (180 mL) unsweetened cocoa
• 2 cups (500 mL) all purpose flour
• 1 3/4 cups (440 mL) granulated sugar
• 2 tsp (10 mL) baking powder
• 1 tsp (5 mL) baking soda
• 1/2 tsp (2 mL) salt
• 1 cup (250 mL) strong freshly brewed coffee
• 1 cup (250 mL) Almond Fresh vanilla
• 1/2 tsp (2 mL) vegetable oil
• 2 eggs
• 1 tsp (5 mL) white vinegar

Almond Chocolate Chews
(NC)—Developed for the Almond Board of California by Trish Magwood, author of James Beard award winning cookbook 'dish entertains', and TV host of 'party dish'

I used to make a variation of these no bake treats in high school with my friend as the ultimate after school snack. Now, I make them with our kids at Christmas time – they love the simple assembly and they are great, casual teacher and host gifts from the kids in the kitchen. Put in a little pastry box or Chinese take–out box with brown wool string and tie on a recycled gift card.

Makes 3 dozen

Ingredients:
1 package (2 cups, 500 mL) butterscotch chips
1 package (2 cups, 500 mL) chocolate chips
1 cup (250 mL) raisins
1 cup (250 mL) dried cranberries
1 ½ cups (375 mL) salted pretzels, broken in half
2 cups (500 mL) whole almonds, dry roasted (or substitute with whole almonds, salted)

Turn the coffee into dessert
(NC)—Some dinner party coffees are so eye-catching no dessert is necessary. Here's how to do it with flare, from Europe's most popular brand, Tchibo:

Cafe Cocoa

Ingredients:
4 tbsp Exclusive Mild, smooth and rich roasted coffee
1 tbsp cocoa powder
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
4 shots (3 tbsp per shot) coffee liqueur
Whipped cream

For 4 servings: Put coffee, cocoa and cinnamon in a coffee filter and brew 4 cups. In heat resistant glasses, or mugs, pour one shot of coffee liqueur each and add the mocha-cinnamon coffee brew. Top with whipped cream and sprinkle with cinnamon.

Winter Sparkles Fruit Pie

(NC)— What holiday dinner is complete without a fruit pie for dessert? Seasonal fruits like apples paired with pears, frozen cranberries and juicy oranges create a perfect medley of tastes. For a tart taste, try Jonagold or Pippin apples or for a sweeter taste try Fuji or Empire. And remember to let your pie sit for about an hour after removing from the oven to let the juices settle before serving. More holiday tips, recipes and free printable stencils are available at www.tenderflake.com.

Preparation time: 10 minutes

Serves 8

Snowflake Chocolate and Pecan Pie

(NC)— A chocolate pecan pie is the perfect dessert to end any holiday feast. A basic recipe with only a handful of ingredients, you can whip this pie together in an hour. This gooey dessert will impress your guests and warm their hearts. More holiday tips, recipes and free printable stencils are available at www.tenderflake.com.

Preparation time: 15 minutes.

Serves: 8

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(NC)—With the cost of food on the rise, there's no better time to start growing your own organic herbs, fruits and vegetables. The best part about incorporating edible items into the garden (aside from the taste and health benefits) is that you don't need to be an avid gardener or have a large garden space to get started.

Herbs and vegetables can easily be grown right in your backyard garden or in containers on your patio or balcony. Certain items such as tomatoes come in a variety of vibrant colours and when mixed in with traditional flowers and plants, make for breathtaking displays.

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