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Heart-Shaped Napoleon

2 sheets frozen puff pastry, thawed to room temperature

1/2 cup/125 mL Vanilla Dessert Mix (ref ID# 358211)

1/2 cup/125 mL sugar

2 cups/500 mL lowfat milk

2 cups/500 mL sweetened whipped topping flavored with 1 tsp/5 mL Double-Strength Imitation Clear Vanilla Flavor (11 oz) (ref ID# 358211)

1/2 cup/125 mL semi-sweet chocolate chips

1 tsp/5 mL vegetable shortening

1 cup/250 mL powdered sugar

1/4 tsp/1.2 mL Almond Extract (ref ID# 358211)

Hot water
Cooking Directions
On lightly-floured surface, roll one sheet of pastry into a 12 x 12-inch/30 x 30-cm rectangle. Trace a large heart onto pastry and cut out with sharp knife. Place on baking sheet. Repeat with other sheet. Prick pastry well with fork. Bake at 400°F/200°C for 15 to 20 minutes or until pastry is puffed and golden brown. Remove pastry to wire rack to cool.Meanwhile, prepare filling by combining the Dessert Mix, sugar and milk. Cook over medium heat until mixture comes to a boil. Remove from heat and cover with plastic wrap; cool to room temperature. Beat pudding until smooth; fold in whipped topping, then set aside. Split each pastry layer in half to make 4 layers in all. Melt chocolate chips and shortening over low heat; set aside. Combine powdered sugar, extracts and enough hot water to make a smooth icing. Pour over one pastry layer. Drizzle or pipe chocolate in an attractive design on top; set aside. Place one undecorated pastry layer on serving tray; spread with one third of filling. Repeat with second and third layers. Top with decorated pastry. Refrigerate 1 hour.Makes 10 servings.


Courtesy of Watkins Online (ref ID# 358211)


Pecans earn an "A" on USDA Dietary Guidelines

Pecans contain more antioxidants than any other nut

Pecans are high in vitamin E, calcium, magnesium, potassium, zinc and fiber

Pecans help boost the immune system

Studies have shown that nuts can reduce LDL cholesterol levels

Pecans are rich in oleic acid. Oleic acid has the ability to suppress the activity of a gene in a cell that is thought to trigger breast cancer

Gamma-tocopherol, a type of vitamin E found in Pecans has the ability to kill prostate cancer cells

Pecans are high in protein and count as a meat serving

Pecan Tarts

Ingredients Tart Shell:
1/2c butter, softened
3 oz cream cheese, softened
1 C all purpose flour
1/4 tsp salt
1 tsp Watkins Vanilla Nut (ref ID# 358211)

Ingredients Filling:
2tbsp butter, melted
3/4 C brown sugar
1 egg beaten
1 tsp Watkins Vanilla Nut (ref ID# 358211)
1/2 tsp Watkins ground Cinnamon
1 C pecans, chopped

Tart Shells: beat butter and ceam cheese together until smooth. Add flour and salt, and blend. Form into a ball. Chill for 1 hour or more.

Preheat oven to 350 deg. shape douogh into 1 inch balls. Using a mini muffin tin, place balls into each cup and press to outer edges.

Filling: combine remaining ingredients in a small bowl, adding pecans last. Add filling to formed tart shells. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until light brown. Allow to cool before removing.

Variation: Add approx. 3 chocolate chips to each formed tart before adding the filling! Mmmm!


1-2-3- Avocado Salsa


1 tbsp/15 mL water
2 tsp/10 mL Cilantro
1/2 tsp/2.5 mL Cumin
1/4 tsp/1.2 mL Cayenne Pepper
1 tsp/5 mL salt
1 red onion, diced
2 avocadoes, peeled and diced
3 tomatoes, chopped
2 limes

Cooking Directions
Combine the first five ingredients in a bowl and let sit while chopping vegetables.Dice and chop onion, avocados and tomatoes. Place in bowl; add spice mixture and toss to coat evenly. Squeeze limes over salsa; toss to coat.Serves 8.
Courtesy of Watkins Online (ref ID# 358211)

The TRUTH about Avocados

*Even though avocados are high in calories, they help fight obesity because they give you a sense of fullness.

*Avocados are high in monounsaturated fats and research shows that exercise burns this type of fat a lot better than saturated fat.

*Avocados help fight prostate cancer since they are high in the carotenoid luetin, as well as other carotenoids and tocopherols that inhibit the growth of prostate cancer cells.

*Avocados are one of the most nutrient-dense foods. They are high in fiber, folate, magnesium, potassium, and vitamin E.

*Avocados are high in magnesium. They provide more magnesium than the 20 most commonly eaten foods, with the banana in second place and the kiwi in third. Magnesium is essential for healthy bones, helps regulate blood pressure and cardiac rhythms, helps prevent migraines and helps prevent diabetes II.

*Avocados are high in potassium. Potassium also helps regulate blood pressure, and helps prevent stroke and heart disease.

*Avocados are a powerful “nutrient booster”, which means that it helps the body absorb the nutrients in foods. It’s important to remember that it’s not just the presence of nutrients in the food that matters, it is also our body’s ability to absorb these nutrients. Research has shown that avocados aid in this process.

So, even though avocados may be high in calories, it’s important that you eat some avocado everyday. It will help your satiety level so you won’t eat so much, it will provide some wonderful nutrients to your body, and best of all, it will help your body absorb the nutrients from other foods. Enjoy an avocado today! Here are some ways of doing so:
-Spread a bit of mashed avocado on your turkey sandwich in place of mayo.
-Dice some avocado on your green leafy salad
-Make a guacamole dip and enjoy it with a few corn chips or with a low-fat cheese quesadilla
-Garnish your tacos with some chopped avocado or freshly made guacamole.
Enjoy eating avocados! They are truly good for you.
Courtesy of Mirdza Hayden ~ Health4U ~ Helping people lead healthier lives