Put a twist on that Thanksgiving dish you're going to pass

MILWAUKEE (WITI) -- Are you in charge of bringing a dish to pass on Thanksgiving? Why not put a twist on it. Mark Hagen with Taste of Home joined the Studio A team with tips.

Recipe # 186140
Slow Cooker Spiced Mixed Nuts

What slow cookers do for soups and stews, they'll do for mixed nuts, too. Just add, stir and enjoy the scent of cooking spices. — Stephanie Loaiza, Layton, UT

Prep: 15 min. Cook: 1 hour 50 min. + cooling

1 egg white
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup unblanched almonds
1 cup pecan halves
1 cup shelled walnuts
1 cup unsalted cashews
1 cup sugar
1 cup packed brown sugar
4 teaspoons ground cinnamon
2 teaspoons ground ginger
1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
1/8 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons water

In a large bowl, whisk egg white and vanilla until blended; stir in nuts. In a small bowl, mix sugars, spices and salt. Add to nut mixture and toss to coat.
Transfer to a greased 3-qt. slow cooker. Cook, covered, on high 1-1/2 hours, stirring every 15 minutes. Gradually stir in water. Cook, covered, on low 20 minutes.
Spread onto waxed paper; cool completely. Store in airtight containers up to 1 week. Yield: 6 cups.

Nutrition Facts: 1/3 cup equals 261 calories, 15 g fat (2 g saturated fat), 0 cholesterol, 26 mg sodium, 30 g carbohydrate, 2 g fiber, 5 g protein.
Recipe # 179903
Twice-Baked Cheddar Potato Casserole

Bacon, cheddar and sour cream turn ordinary potatoes into an extraordinary casserole. It's one of our family's beloved standards for the holidays. —Kyle Cox, Scottsdale, Arizona

Prep: 70 min. Bake: 15 min.

8 medium baking potatoes (about 8 ounces each)
1/2 cup butter, cubed
2/3 cup sour cream
2/3 cup 2% milk
1 teaspoon salt
3/4 teaspoon pepper
10 bacon strips, cooked and crumbled, divided
2 cups (8 ounces) shredded cheddar cheese, divided
4 green onions, chopped, divided

Preheat oven to 425°. Scrub potatoes; pierce several times with a fork. Bake 45-60 minutes or until tender. Remove from oven; reduce oven setting to 350°.
When potatoes are cool enough to handle, cut each potato lengthwise in half. Scoop out pulp and place in a large bowl; discard shells. Mash pulp with butter; stir in sour cream, milk, salt and pepper.
Reserve 1/4 cup crumbled bacon for topping. Gently fold remaining bacon, 1 cup cheese and half of the green onions into potato mixture (do not overmix).
Transfer to a greased 11x7-in. baking dish. Top with the remaining cheese and green onions; sprinkle with reserved bacon. Bake 15-20 minutes or until heated through and cheese is melted. Yield: 12 servings (2/3 cup each).

Nutrition Facts: 2/3 cup equals 301 calories, 19 g fat (11 g saturated fat), 57 mg cholesterol, 517 mg sodium, 22 g carbohydrate, 2 g fiber, 10 g protein.


Recipe # 185578
Jalapeno-Bacon Mac & Cheese

All my dishes use ingredients that are usually sitting in the fire department pantry. I just adjust amounts depending on how many people we have on duty that day. This is always popular. —Nick Kaczor, New Hudson, Michigan

Prep: 25 min. Bake: 10 min.

1 package (16 ounces) elbow macaroni
3 tablespoons butter
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 cans (12 ounces each) evaporated milk
3 tablespoons yellow mustard
3 to 4 tablespoons chopped pickled jalapenos
4 cups (16 ounces) shredded cheddar cheese, divided
1/2 pound thick-sliced bacon strips (about 7 strips), cooked and crumbled

Preheat oven to 350°. In a 6-qt. stockpot, cook macaroni according to package directions.
Meanwhile, in a large saucepan, melt butter over medium heat. Stir in flour until smooth; gradually whisk in milk and mustard. Bring to a boil, stirring constantly; cook and stir 1-2 minutes or until thickened. Stir in jalapenos and 3 cups cheese until cheese is melted. Reserve 1/4 cup crumbled bacon; stir remaining bacon into sauce.
Drain macaroni and return to pot; stir in cheese sauce. Transfer to a greased 13x9-in. baking dish; sprinkle with remaining cheese and reserved bacon. Bake, uncovered, 8-10 minutes or until cheese is melted. Yield: 8 servings.

Nutrition Facts: 1-1/3 cups equals 636 calories, 34 g fat (20 g saturated fat), 105 mg cholesterol, 759 mg sodium, 53 g carbohydrate, 2 g fiber, 31 g protein.


Recipe # 170100
Spiced Pumpkin Tiramisu

I transformed tiramisu from coffee to pumpkin-flavored for a special holiday with my brother and parents. A new Christmas tradition was born! —Heather Clary, Downingtown, Pennsylvania

Prep: 30 min. + chilling Cook: 5 min.

1 cup water
1 cup brewed coffee
2/3 cup sugar
2/3 cup hazelnut liqueur
2 cartons (8 ounces each) mascarpone cheese
3/4 cup canned pumpkin
5 tablespoons sugar, divided
1-1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
1-1/4 cups heavy whipping cream
54 crisp ladyfinger cookies (about 16 ounces)
1 tablespoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

In a small saucepan, combine water, coffee, sugar and liqueur; cook and stir over medium-low heat until sugar is dissolved, about 3 minutes. Transfer to a shallow bowl; cool completely.
In a large bowl, mix mascarpone cheese, pumpkin, 3 tablespoons sugar and spices just until blended. In a small bowl, beat cream until it begins to thicken. Add remaining sugar; beat until soft peaks form. Fold into mascarpone mixture.
Quickly dip 18 ladyfingers into coffee mixture, allowing excess to drip off. Arrange in a single layer in a 13x9-in. dish. Spread with 1-2/3 cups cheese mixture. Repeat layers twice.
Mix sugar and cinnamon; sprinkle over top. Refrigerate, covered, at least 8 hours or overnight. Yield: 12 servings. Editor's Note: This recipe was prepared with Alessi brand ladyfinger cookies.

Nutrition Facts: 1 piece equals 491 calories, 28 g fat (15 g saturated fat), 121 mg cholesterol, 88 mg sodium, 52 g carbohydrate, 1 g fiber, 7 g protein.