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When life’s moving fast, turn to a slow cooker

Judging from mail, many Swap Shop readers rely on slow cookers during these hectic holidays, especially when the method permits cooks to prepare foods while juggling other responsibilities. It also allows for additional cooking outlets when ovens and stove tops are occupied. It’s no wonder …

Chef Patricio Sandoval’s flan made easy


SWAP SHOP: Want to try something pumpkin that’s not pie this Thanksgiving? Chef Patricio Sandoval of Mercadito offers up his family’s favorite: Pumpkin Flan.

Swap Shop: New dishes for a new year


Here are three dishes that’ll be great for New Year’s Day get-togethers.

Make holiday dishes more memorable


Before time runs out, Swap Shop is answering Christmas-related recipe requests for a leftover turkey-cranberry sandwich, from D.E. of Woodstock; old-fashioned gingerbread cake served with whipped cream, from F.Y. of Chicago, and easy red velvet cookies, from R.P. of Chicago. Gooseberry Patch Big Book of …

Hanukkah must-haves: latkes and Chicken Marbella

With the eight-day Hanukkah celebration beginning at sunset Tuesday, Swap Shop is answering requests, from readers J.P. of Evanston and D.L.S. of Chicago, for latkes and Chicken Marbella, a Jewish holiday and Shabbat dinner favorite since 1982, when the recipe first appeared in The Silver …

Swap Shop: A chicken pot pie preview


Nestle Kitchens gives Swap Shop readers an edge this week with its lighter Chicken Pot Pie, a recipe the company will publish next year. This is in answer to a request from K.G. of Chicago. In addition, Paddy Meehan, a culinary specialist at Bloomingdale’s Home …

Swap Shop: Fabulously fudgy brownies


Today's fabulous treats - blue-ribbon winning Decadent Fudgy Nutter Brownies by Emily Carrara and Bundt Carrot Cake from Lori Sana of Chicago (requested by J.G. of Elmhurst) - are perfect for holiday get-togethers.

Carrara, an attorney by trade and a baker by night, won first …

Swap Shop: Turkey leftovers won’t be left out


For Swap Shop readers, especially S.A.B. of Chicago, D.H. of Gary and C.G. of Dolton, Butterball Turkey came through with recipes for unusual ways to use turkey leftovers.

Though it's difficult to beat the standbys - cold turkey sandwiches with mayo and lettuce or turkey …

Swap Shop: Cookies with a kick, and an impressive cake


A request by B.W. of Chicago for a cookie recipe that would be appealing to men, and one from G.U. of Chicago for Eclair Cake, brought solutions of Cocoa-Ancho Chile Cookies from Nestle and Eclair Cake variations from Carol Kurczak of Roselle, Ruth Kluchenek of …

Swap Shop: From the Ritz to your holiday table


Mark Payne, the chef of deca in the Ritz-Carlton Chicago, helps this week with scrumptious recipes for Butternut Squash Soup with Apple-Celery Salad and exquisite Crepes with Apple-Raisin Compote.

Both creations by the British-born chef are from the deca menu. The soup is for A.P. …

Swap Shop: Crispy, crunchy, cheesy Halloween


P opcorn Caramel Apples and Creepy Crawly Rice Pudding are for G.S. of Tinley Park, who requested Halloween recipes she can make with her grandkids. Crispy Crunch Apple Popcorn and Nacho Cheese Popcorn, for C.J.B. of South Bend, are unique Popcorn Board recipes for tailgate …

Swap Shop: Food Network chef’s recipes offer little fuss


Swap Shop turned to personable chef Aaron McCargo Jr., star of Food Network's "Big Daddy's House" and author of Simply Done, Well Done (Wiley, $19.95), for enticing solutions to requests for tiramisu cupcakes (from L.L.M. of Chicago) and for a pasta dish featuring pesto (from …

Swap Shop: Go Polish with pierogi and sauerkraut


Celebrate October - Polish Heritage Month ­- with traditional pierogi, sauerkraut soup and beer-cheese bread.

Recipes for Sauerkraut- and Mashed Potato-Stuffed Pierogi, requested by S.J.C. of Chicago, are from Marsha Anderson of Chicago, who discovered the family favorites on allrecipes.com several years ago.

When it …

Swap Shop: Warm up to corn chowder, chicken sandwich


C ynthia Calvillo of Oak Lawn and Land O Lakes offer two thick corn chowder recipes for C.E. of Mount Prospect, and the National Chicken Council answers a request for a homemade, Potbelly-type chicken sandwich for J.R. of Chicago. The sandwich and chowder are a …

Swap Shop: Gazpacho for end-of-summer entertaining


With summer winding down, Swap Shop readers are eager to return to their kitchens. D.W. of Chicago's request for a "perfect" gazpacho, to use what remains in his end-of-summer garden, is answered by the North American Olive Oil Association.

A request from F.W. of Joliet …

Swap Shop: Saucy flavors for Labor Day


With Labor Day weekend approaching, Allison Fishman, author of the recently released You Can Trust a Skinny Cook (Wiley Hardcover, $29.95), and contributor to the best-selling Cook Yourself Thin, delivers recipes using sauces as requested by S.W. of Chicago.

Fishman's Skirt Steak with Chimichurri Sauce …