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The Best 15-Minute Holiday Recipes of All Time

Make things easy on yourself this holiday with the help of these festive 15-minute recipes. From appetizers to mains, desserts to drinks, you'll be able to whip up an entire holiday spread in a flash.

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Cranberry Cream Cheese SpreadTaste of Home

Cranberry Cream Cheese Spread

This festive dip is a snap to make, taking only 10 minutes from start to finish. Thanks to its hint of sweetness, both kids and adults will gobble it up. —Frankie Robinson, Lockhart, Texas

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Homemade Irish CreamTaste of Home

Homemade Irish Cream

Add some creamy goodness to your cup of joe with a splash of this alcohol-free version of the Irish favorite. —Marcia Severson, Hallock, Minnesota

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Holiday Cornflake CookiesTaste of Home

Holiday Cornflake Cookies

I can't seem to make enough of these cornflake wreaths around the holidays. The cookies firm up quickly, so you'll need to place the Red Hots right away. —Kathleen Hedger, Fairview Heights, Illinois

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Homemade Gelt

Homemade Gelt

Giving chocolate coins to children, and sometimes teachers, for Hanukkah is a long-standing tradition. This homemade gelt recipe uses a miniature muffin pan to mold the coins into shape. The sliced almonds add a nice crunch. —Taste of Home Test Kitchen

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Pomegranate Ginger SpritzerTaste of Home

Pomegranate Ginger Spritzer

Conveniently, a pitcher of this non-alcoholic beverage can be made hours before holiday guests arrive. Add the club soda just before serving. —Taste of Home Test Kitchen

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Candy Snack Mix

Candy Snack Mix

Chock-full of raisins, peanuts and M& M’s, this crunchy salty-sweet mix stays fresh for weeks. I keep it on hand to serve to unexpected guests or to fill decorative containers to give as last-minute gifts. —Mary Newsom, Grand Ridge, Florida

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Caprese Salad KabobsTaste of Home

Caprese Salad Kabobs

Trade in the usual veggie platter for these fun kabobs. In addition to preparing these for get-togethers, I often make these as snacks for my family. And because assembly is so easy, the kids often ask to help. —Christine Mitchell, Glendora, California

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Peanut Butter Snowballs

This recipe for peanut butter ball cookies is a nice change from the typical milk chocolate and peanut butter combo. It’s also an easy one for children to help with. I’ve made them for a bake sale at my granddaughter’s school and tucked them into holiday treat boxes for neighbors. These are easy peanut butter balls no baker should go without. —Wanda Regula, Birmingham, Michigan

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Cranberry Orange Mimosas Exps Hplbz18 63959 B05 17 2b 6

Cranberry Orange Mimosas

Mimosas are just so elegant for Sunday brunch. My recipe uses tart cranberries to balance the sweetness of champagne and orange juice. —Shannon Stephens, Lake in the Hills, Illinois

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Cranberry Honey ButterTaste of Home

Cranberry Honey Butter

If you are traveling to a friend's or loved one's for the holidays, bring them something even better than a bottle of wine—this easy to whip up treat! —Arisa Cupp, Sherwood, Oregon

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Stovetop Hot ChocolateTaste of Home

Stovetop Hot Chocolate

My mom created this stovetop hot chocolate recipe to serve large groups of carolers and frozen sledders. I take it to the lounge during a long winter to warm their spirits! This economical recipe could easily be warmed and served in a slow cooker. Flavor extracts could be added to the hot chocolate, too. —Mary Nine, Indianapolis, Indiana

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Honey-Lemon Asparagus

Everyone who tastes my glazed asparagus takes a second helping, so I usually double the recipe. For another option, try using a root vegetable like turnip or parsnip. —Lorraine Caland, Shuniah, Ontario

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Rubies on IceTaste of Home

Rubies on Ice

Ginger and pomegranate are made for each other, and the color of this beverage is tantalizing. If you're looking for a nonalcoholic option, you can easily leave out the vodka for a delicious and festive drink! —Tara Deshpande, New York, New York

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Smoked Salmon Cheese SpreadTaste of Home

Smoked Salmon Cheese Spread

Pretzels, chips and veggies all taste awesome with this creamy blend of salmon, cheese and herbs. Thanks to a food processor, it's always ready in a hurry. —Jill Campbell, Huntsville, Texas

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Turkey-Cranberry BagelsTaste of Home

Turkey-Cranberry Bagels

Use deli meat or take care of that leftover Thanksgiving turkey in a way your family loves. It's good with all sorts of cranberry sauces and chutneys, so have fun playing around. —Taste of Home Test Kitchen

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Antipasto SkewersTaste of Home

Antipasto Skewers

This elegant-looking appetizer is quick and easy to make. It’s perfect for dinner parties, cocktail parties and everything in between! —Amanda Dekrey, Fargo, North Dakota

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Apple Spiced TeaTaste of Home

Apple Spiced Tea

When was the last time you stopped for afternoon tea? After you try this sweetly spiced drink, you’ll make it a regular event. —Susan Westerfield, Albuquerque, New Mexico

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Orange Pomegranate Salad with HoneyTaste of Home

Orange Pomegranate Salad with Honey

I discovered this fragrant salad in a cooking class. If you can, try to find orange flower water (also called orange blossom water), which perks up the orange segments. But orange juice adds a nice zip, too! —Carol Richardson Marty, Lynwood, Washington

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Pumpkin HummusTaste of Home

Pumpkin Hummus

Our home economists give traditional hummus an autumn appeal with the addition of canned pumpkin. Hot pepper sauce lends just the right amount of heat.—Taste of Home Test Kitchen

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Broccoli Salad SupremeTaste of Home

Broccoli Salad Supreme

People can't get enough of the sweet grapes and crunchy broccoli in this colorful salad. I appreciate its make-ahead convenience. —Terri Twyman, Bonanza, Oregon

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Tropical Candy Cane FreezeTaste of Home

Tropical Candy Cane Freeze

When winter gets stormy, I try to imagine a tropical beach. This creamy beverage is frosty cold, but it warms me as if I’m in paradise. —Jennifer Stowell, Montezuma, Iowa

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Grandma's Cranberry StuffTaste of Home

Grandma's Cranberry Stuff

What could taste better than turkey and cranberry on Thanksgiving Day? My grandmother's classic recipe makes the best cranberry stuff to share with your family and friends this holiday. —Catherine Cassidy, Milwaukee, Wisconsin

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Garlic-Parmesan Cheese BallTaste of Home

Garlic-Parmesan Cheese Ball

This garlic cheese ball is one of our entertaining mainstays. It complements most meals and is so easy to prepare and dress up with a variety of garnishes. —Susan Seymour, Valatie, New York

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Pumpkin Ice Cream PieTaste of Home

Pumpkin Ice Cream Pie

Although it looks like you fussed, this pretty layered pie is easy to assemble with convenient canned pumpkin, store-bought candy bars and a prepared crust. "This make-ahead dessert is delicious any time of year," reports Suzanne McKinley of Lyons, Georgia.

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Fluffy Hot ChocolateTaste of Home

Fluffy Hot Chocolate

This is our daughter's favorite hot chocolate recipe. It may look like ordinary cocoa, but a touch of vanilla sets it apart from the rest. And the melted marshmallows give it a frothy body you won't get from a cocoa packet. —Jo Ann Schimcek, Weimar, Texas

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Mushroom and Spinach SauteTaste of Home

Mushroom and Spinach Saute

Mushrooms and spinach make a super fast combination that’s perfect for two. It’s easy to double or triple for a crowd. —Pauline Howard, Lago Vista, Texas

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Holiday Wassail

Nothing tastes like Christmas quite like a cup of this warm wassail. —Lucy Meyring, Walden, Colorado

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Marinated MozzarellaTaste of Home

Marinated Mozzarella

I always come home with an empty container when I bring this dish to a party. It can be made ahead to free up time later. I serve it with pretty frilled toothpicks for a festive look. —Peggy Cairo, Kenosha, Wisconsin

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Split-Second ShrimpTaste of Home

Split-Second Shrimp

I use my microwave to hurry along the prep of this super fast shrimp scampi. It’s deliciously buttery and full of garlic flavor. We love it as a main dish, but it makes an excellent appetizer, too. — Jalayne Luckett, Marion, Illinois

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White RussianTaste of Home

White Russian

This creamy coffee-flavored drink is a star at any occasion and perfect for any season. A White Russian is equally appropriate before or after dinner. —Taste of Home Test Kitchen

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Homemade Cherry CrispTaste of Home

Homemade Cherry Crisp

Our family loves this pretty, tasty dessert. It uses convenient pie filling, so you can make it in no time—and it takes mere minutes to heat in the microwave. —Laurie Todd, Columbus, Mississippi

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Green Beans with ShallotsTaste of Home

Green Beans with Shallots

A package of frozen green beans makes these “dill-icious” green beans a fast and tasty accompaniment to almost any main course. —Linda Rabbit, Charles City, Iowa

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Pastrami Roll-UpsTaste of Home

Pastrami Roll-Ups

For a book club event, I created pastrami roll-ups with cream cheese and a pickle. Those tasty bites quickly pulled a disappearing act. —Merritt Heinrich, Oswego, Illinois

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Lemon Garlic MushroomsTaste of Home

Lemon Garlic Mushrooms

I baste whole mushrooms with a lemony sauce to prepare this simple side dish. Using skewers or a basket makes it easy to turn them as they grill to perfection. —Diane Hixon, Niceville, Florida

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Breaded Sea ScallopsTaste of Home

Breaded Sea Scallops

I never liked seafood until my husband urged me to try scallops, and now I love them. He says my breaded version is the best he's ever had. A tip I learned was to put them on a paper-towel-topped plate to soak up excess oil. —Martina Preston, Willow Grove, Pennsylvania

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Garlic Parmesan AsparagusTaste of Home

Garlic Parmesan Asparagus

Pair any entree with this fresh side dish for a truly succulent meal. With subtle garlic, melted butter and a hint of Parmesan cheese, what’s not to love? —Tara Ernspiker, Falling Waters, West Virginia

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Artichoke Caprese PlatterTaste of Home

Artichoke Caprese Platter

I dressed up the classic Italian trio of mozzarella, tomatoes and basil with marinated artichokes. It looks so yummy on a pretty platter set out on a buffet. Using fresh mozzarella is the key to its great taste. —Margaret Wilson, San Bernardino, California

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PizzelleTaste of Home

Pizzelle

This recipe was adapted from one that my Italian-born mother and grandmother followed. They used old irons on a gas stove, but now we have the convenience of electric pizzelle irons. These delectable cookies are still a traditional treat in our family. —Elizabeth Schwartz, Trevorton, Pennsylvania

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Shrimp Salad AppetizersTaste of Home

Shrimp Salad Appetizers

This refreshing hors d'oeuvre has gained a big following since a friend shared her family recipe with me. My son says it best: The celery and shrimp are so good together. —Solie Kimble, Kanata, Ontario

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Holiday Eggnog Mix

Eggnog fans will be thrilled to receive this convenient mix. It lasts for up to 6 months, so creamy glassfuls can keep on coming throughout the winter season. —Melissa Hansen, Milwaukee, Wisconsin

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Thymed Zucchini SauteTaste of Home

Thymed Zucchini Saute

Simple and flavorful, this recipe is a tasty and healthy way to use up all those zucchini that are taking over your garden. It's ready in hardly any time! —Bobby Taylor, Ulster Park, New York

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Cannoli DipTaste of Home

Cannoli Dip

Ricotta is one of my family's favorite ingredients. I made up the cannoli filling and broke up some ice cream waffle shells to use as "chips and dip"—it was an instant hit! It's also good served slightly warm. —Ann Marie Eberhart, Gig Harbor, Washington

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Buttery Radish BaguetteTaste of Home

Buttery Radish Baguette

My dad and brother are crazy for radishes, and this peppery baguette appetizer is a big-time favorite. Add a sprinkle of fresh dill or parsley on top. —Kathy Hewitt, Cranston, Rhode Island

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Honeyed Carrots with Citrus-Basil Gremolata

I love the scent of fresh basil. It's even better when paired with fresh citrus peel! In this recipe, the carrots are sweetened with a touch of honey, then topped with a lively citrus-basil gremolata. —Naylet LaRochelle, Miami, Florida

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Cinnamon-Orange Honey ButterTaste of Home

Cinnamon-Orange Honey Butter

This is such a delicious butter spread for afternoon tea or with a dessert bread. Just mix it up and get ready for the compliments. —Mary Bates, Cleveland, Ohio

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Hot Buttered Cider MixTaste of Home

Hot Buttered Cider Mix

Put the butter base for this beverage in a decorative jar and attach a copy of the recipe for a great gift from your kitchen. You can omit the brandy for a kid-friendly version. —Taste of Home Test Kitchen

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Tomato-Goat Cheese SpreadTaste of Home

Tomato-Goat Cheese Spread

A good friend shared this recipe with me. It is super easy and so delicious. Guests will love it! It's best served with crackers that aren't strongly seasoned. —Linda Alexander, Madison, Wisconsin

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Cinnamon Apple Pan BettyTaste of Home

Cinnamon Apple Pan Betty

I found this recipe soon after I was married decades ago. You'll need just a few ingredients that you probably have on hand. It's super quick to put together and a favorite of ours during fall and winter, when apples are at their best. —Shirley Leister, West Chester, Pennsylvania

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Pressure-Cooker Orange Spice CarrotsTaste of Home

Pressure-Cooker Orange Spice Carrots

To get my son to eat veggies, I mix and match flavors and spices. My carrots with orange and cinnamon won him over. —Christina Addison, Blanchester, Ohio

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Nutty Rice Krispie CookiesTaste of Home

Nutty Rice Krispie Cookies

My mom and I used to make these treats for Christmas every year. The no-stovetop prep means the kids can help you mix up this easy batch of fun! —Savanna Chapdelaine, Orlando, Florida

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Creamy Coconut Peppermint Pie

Garnished with toasted coconut and more peppermint candy, this creamy dessert welcomes the holidays! Look for premade shortbread crusts in the baking aisle of the grocery store. —Cheryl Perry, Hertford, North Carolina

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Snow PunchTaste of Home

Snow Punch

As pretty as a fresh snowdrift, this frothy, fruity punch has been a Christmas tradition in our family for years - but it's a light and refreshing thirst-quencher in any season. —Eloise Neeley, Norton, Ohio

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Cream Cheese CandiesTaste of Home

Cream Cheese Candies

These homemade mints make a perfect last-minute addition to holiday treat trays. Pretty much everyone in my neighborhood has this recipe now! —Katie Koziolek, Hartland, Minnesota

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Marinated ShrimpTaste of Home

Marinated Shrimp

My husband's aunt shared this recipe with me ages ago. Not only is it a Christmas Eve tradition in my home, but in the homes of our grown children as well. —Delores Hill, Helena, Montana

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Creamy Turkey GravyTaste of Home

Creamy Turkey Gravy

With my easy recipe, even someone who has never made homemade gravy before can be assured of success. —Phyllis Schmalz, Kansas City, Kansas.

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Fruited Cranberry RelishTaste of Home

Fruited Cranberry Relish

This recipe came from my aunt, who for many years invited our family to her home for Christmas dinner. I took great delight in helping myself to this relish because she always served it in one of her fancy dishes, used only on the holidays. -Ruth Collins, Blossvale, New York

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Rudolph TreatsTaste of Home

Rudolph Treats

These adorable goodies are a fun treat for kids, neighbors and friends. Get the little ones involved and let them help you create a new holiday tradition. —Abigail Vandersaul, Saint Paul, Missouri

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Apricot FluffTaste of Home

Apricot Fluff

When we were young mothers, I asked my best friend if she had a recipe for an easy ambrosia salad that I could take to a cookout later that evening. She shared this recipe with me and it's become a must-have at every barbecue I attend. It's sublime with peaches and peach gelatin, too. —Melissa Meinke, Fawn Grove, Pennsylvania

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Spicy Mixed NutsTaste of Home

Spicy Mixed Nuts

Cumin and chili powder give extra oomph to the classic homemade nut mix. It's a smart solution for holiday snacking and gift giving. —Delores Hill, Helena, Montana

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Bananas Foster SundaesTaste of Home

Bananas Foster Sundaes

I have wonderful memories of eating bananas Foster in New Orleans, and as a dietitian, wanted to find a healthier version. I combined the best of two recipes and added my own tweaks to create this southern treat. —Lisa Varner, Charleston, South Carolina

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Harvard BeetsTaste of Home

Harvard Beets

This pretty side dish’s bright, citrusy flavors are an ideal companion for down-to-earth entrees—and for people who usually shy away from beets. —Jean Ann Perkins, Newburyport, Maryland

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White Christmas SangriaTaste of Home

White Christmas Sangria

This punch has a pleasant fruity flavor. It's not too sweet so everyone will enjoy it! —Taste of Home Test Kitchen

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Bacon Cheese Spread

Bacon Cheese Spread

Each year, I share Christmas cheer by setting up a buffet at my family's hardware store. This cheese spread recipe is always a biggie! —Sharon W. Bickett, Chester, South Carolina

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Peppermint PopcornTaste of Home

Peppermint Popcorn

Crisp and minty, this simple popcorn snack is a hit with all 10 of our children. For variety, use whatever kind of candy you like. —Shirley Mars, Kent, Ohio

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Zippy Curry Dip

Zippy Curry Dip

Everyone eats their vegetables when this creamy dip is served alongside them. The curry flavor gets stronger the longer the dip stands, so I like to make it in advance. —Priscilla Steffke, Wausau, Wisconsin

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Simple Macadamia Nut FudgeTaste of Home

Simple Macadamia Nut Fudge

My aunt now lives in Hawaii, and she keeps our family supplied with fresh pineapples, mangos and macadamia nuts...along with recipes like this one. When I run out of macadamias for candy-making, I substitute pecans. Whichever nuts I use, neighbors like this fudge so much that they have started to call me the "Candy Lady of Cleveland." —Vicki Fioranelli, Cleveland, Mississippi

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Gorgonzola-Pear Mesclun SaladTaste of Home

Gorgonzola-Pear Mesclun Salad

This pretty salad is a tasty way to get your greens. To change it up, swap apples for pears and pecans for walnuts. —Joylyn Trickel, Helendale, California

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Spiced Cider Punch

I’ve shared this recipe with many friends. It never wears out its welcome and is so easy to make. It’s also delicious warm. —Charles Piatt, Little Rock, Akansas

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Molasses Cookie MixTaste of Home

Molasses Cookie Mix

These spicy, old-fashioned treats are sure to be a hit with your family and friends. For holiday gift giving, I put a batch of this cookie mix in an attractive basket along with the recipe and a festive tea towel. —Barbara Stewart, Portland, Connecticut

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Zesty Marinated ShrimpTaste of Home

Zesty Marinated Shrimp

These easy shrimp look impressive on a buffet table and taste even better! The zesty sauce has a wonderful spicy citrus flavor. I especially like this recipe because I can prepare it ahead of time. —Mary Jane Guest, Alamosa, Colorado

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Cappuccino PunchTaste of Home

Cappuccino Punch

When I tried this punch at a friend's wedding shower, I had to have the recipe. Guests will eagerly gather around the punch bowl when you ladle out this frothy mocha ice cream drink. —Rose Reich, Nampa, Idaho

Caroline Stanko
As an Associate Digital Editor, Caroline writes and edits all things food-related and helps produce videos for Taste of Home. When she’s not at her desk, you can probably find Caroline cooking up a feast, planning her next trip abroad or daydreaming about her golden retriever, Mac.

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