Melissa's Cuisine: November 2012

Friday, November 30, 2012

Foodie Pen Pal

Have I mentioned before how much I love the Foodie Pen Pal program?  I think Lindsay is a genius for coming up with this idea and hosting it each month.  I know it's a ton of work for her! So, thank you for all your hard work Lindsay!
Mike and I both look forward to the arrival of our Foodie Pen Pal package each month.  This time he was so excited for it, that he opened our box while I was making supper.  Lucky for him, Kathy sent us a number of items that Mike enjoys :)
I'm a big tea drinker, so I was super excited to receive all of these fruity flavored teas.  I also enjoy flavored water, so I loved the flavoring packages as well.
Lindor truffles are my favorite candies--so I was thrilled to receive a little package!  Fridays are often movie and popcorn nights for us, so you better believe I'll be enjoying this popcorn tonight!  And, Mike loves olives so he really liked when I gave him these Oloves in his lunch. 

Popchips are one of my favorite kind of chips.  I haven't tried the chili limon yet, but I'm looking forward to it!  I often carry gum around, so this little package is perfect to fit in my purse.  And I can't wait to try out this salsa--good thing Kathy included a jar opener so it will be easier for me to open.

Thank you for a fabulous package Kathy! :)

I sent a package to Erin--you can check out her post here.

The Lean Green Bean
Are you interested in participating in Foodie Pen Pals? Here's some important info for you!

-On the 5th of every month, you will receive your penpal pairing via email. It will be your responsibility to contact your penpal and get their mailing address and any other information you might need like allergies or dietary restrictions.
-You will have until the 15th of the month to put your box of goodies in the mail. On the last day of the month, you will post about the goodies you received from your penpal! -The boxes are to be filled with fun foodie things, local food items or even homemade treats! The spending limit is $15. The box must also include something written. This can be anything from a note explaining what’s in the box, to a fun recipe…use your imagination!
-You are responsible for figuring out the best way to ship your items depending on their size and how fragile they are. (Don’t forget about flat rate boxes!)
-Foodie Penpals is open to blog readers as well as bloggers. If you’re a reader and you get paired with a blogger, you are to write a short guest post for your penpal to post on their blog about what you received. If two readers are paired together, neither needs to worry about writing a post for that month.
-Foodie Penpals is open to US & Canadian residents. Please note, Canadian Residents will be paired with other Canadians only. We’ve determined things might get too slow and backed up if we’re trying to send foods through customs across the border from US to Canada and vice versa.

We're taking a break from Pen Pal boxes in December and instead we're donating toward Hurricane Sandy relief.  You can find more information on Lindsay's site.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Gift Ideas for the Foodie in Your Life

It's hard to believe that we are less than a month away from Christmas!  We have our first Christmas party (a cookie exchange) in about 2 weeks, and our first family Christmas party a couple days later.  The Holiday season is in full swing!

Have you started Christmas shopping yet?  I'm about halfway done. I have both of our mothers done--they were the easy ones this year!  My dad is done--Mike's not so much.  Anyone have ideas for the man who has everything and needs nothing?  I'm about halfway through shopping for Mike, but I have enough ideas for him for this year and next!

I thought I'd put together a list of gift ideas that I would love to receive.  Actually the majority of these items I have and love, so I know I can recommend them to you!  These items would be perfect for the foodies in your life.  I'll also include some ideas for people who may not spend as much time in the kitchen, as well as the men in your life.  Here are some things that caught my eye:

For the Foodie in Your Life:

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Cuisinart 5-in-1 Griddler (on my wish list)
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Keurig Platinum Brewing System (Also on my wish list!)
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The Picky Palate Cookbook
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Cherry Pop tart Earrings  Miniature Food Jewelry
For the Men in Your Life:
Gourmet Pizza Making Gift Basket
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Men's Journal (1-year auto-renewal)
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The Expendables 2 [Blu-ray + Digital Copy + UltraViolet]
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Kindle Fire
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For the Kids in Your Life:

Spectacular Magic Show with Performance Table
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Don't forget to use your Ebates or Swagbucks account to save even more money while shopping for Christmas!
What's on your Christmas list this year?

Monday, November 26, 2012

White Chicken Chili

Was it just me or was it super hard to get out of bed this morning?  After 4 days of sleeping in, I did not want to get out of my cozy warm bed this morning!  The colder the weather gets, the more reason I have to stay in the warmth!

I did have some motivation to get out of bed this morning though.  Today is Mike's birthday!  I wanted to surprise him by bringing him and his co-workers doughnuts from his favorite bakery.  He started work at 5 this morning, so I left the house around 6:30 to pick up the doughnuts.  He was quite surprised when I showed up at his work with a box of doughnuts!

Anyway, we had our first snowfall of the season on Friday.  The snow actually stuck and really made it feel like the Holiday season has started.  We continued to get flurries on Saturday and though the accumulation was minimal, it was a beautiful sight.  Of course, with the cold weather comes the desire for cold weather food.  Foods like chili, stew, and other soups sure hit the spot when it's so cold!

I adapted this recipe to be made in the Crock-pot so the hands-on time was minimal.  Mike shredded the chicken when he got home from work, and when I got home, supper was ready to eat.  We both loved this soup and Mike added a couple dashes of hot sauce to really give it a kick!  You could even substitute leftover Thanksgiving turkey and cook this on the stovetop to make a fast dinner.

White Chicken Chili

Serves 8

2 chicken breasts
2 (15 ounce) cans white northern beans, drained and rinsed
32 ounces chicken broth
1 cup water
1 (4 ounce) can diced green chiles (don't drain)
1/2 onion, diced
1 garlic clove, minced
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon chili powder

1.  Place all ingredients in your Crock-pot. 

2.  Cook on low for 8 hours.

3.  Shred chicken before serving.

Serve hot.  Top with shredded cheese or crushed tortilla chips.

Slightly adapted from:  Alli 'N Sons

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Saturday Sweetness

What a week!  It's hard to believe that we're already on day 3 of our 4 day weekend.  On Thursday, we had both of our families over for Thanksgiving.  We are so blessed that everyone gets along and we are able to have combined celebrations!  After eating ourselves into a food coma, we enjoyed visiting and looking through the Black Friday sale papers.

Mike and I got up at 4am yesterday to hit up a couple sales.  The stores were less busy than we expected and we were able to get in and out and back home to bed by 6am!  Success!  Then last night we had a family potluck with Mike's extended family.  It was so fun to spend time with everyone and enjoy more delicious food.

How was your Thanksgiving?  Do you have multiple celebrations?  Did you brave the Black Friday sales?

In case you've been too busy to read blogs this week, here's what you missed here on Melissa's Cuisine:

Hot Chocolate Oreo Muffins:  This recipe was my choice for this month's Secret Recipe Club.  They were delicious and I can't wait to make them again!

Crock-pot Roasted Cinnamon Almonds: 
Mmm....if you're looking to make your house smell fantastic, as well as making a fantastic snack for your Holiday parties, this is the recipe for you!

White Chocolate Santa Mix: 
I wrote this as a guest post at A Southern Fairytale.  Be sure to check it out on Rachel's site and then enter the fabulous give-away here!

Friday, November 23, 2012

Guest Posting!

Guess what?  Today I'm participating in the Holiday Bake, Craft & Sew Along and I'm posting over at Rachel's site, A Southern Fairytale.  I hope you'll stop over at her site to check out my recipe for White Chocolate Santa Mix!

Then, head over to Kelly's blog, According to Kelly, to check out the Craft Along and Cindy's blog, Skip to my Lou, to check out the Sew Along.  Each day this month, bloggers (like myself) get to post on Rachel, Kelly, or Cindy's blog to round up some of the best Homemade Holiday ideas.  You won't want to miss all the fantastic posts!

When you're done there, come back here to enter this fantastic giveaway!   One lucky winner will win
*A $100 shopping spreet to Sweet! Baking Supply Shop
*1 copy of Bridget's book, Decorating Cookies
*1 copy of Maria's book, Cookie Cravings
*Food Photography: From Snapshots to Great Shots
*Food Photography for Bloggers, by Matt Armendariz

This prize pack is valued at over $170!

Be sure to visit the other guest blogger's sites to enter the giveaway there too!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Roasted Cinnamon Almonds

(I shared this post last week at Lady Behind the Curtain and now I'm thrilled to share it with you!)

Can you believe Thanksgiving is tomorrow?  The beginning of the holiday season.  A time filled with food, friendship, food, fellowship, food, gifts, decorations and did I mention, food?  It seems that from Thanksgiving until New Year's our lives are based around food.  Party after party, celebration after celebration.  Not that I'm complaining...I love food! 

I love to give gifts too.  There are few things in life that make me happier than giving a gift to someone and seeing their appreciation.  That's one of the reasons why I love the Holiday season so much.  Being a food blogger, you already know that I love to make food.  I enjoy making food for gifts for friends, as well as treats to take into work. 

These cinnamon almonds make a fantastic treat to gift, as well as a great snack to have out at your holiday parties.  They are simple to make because your Crock-pot does the hard work for you!  No slaving over a hot stove--instead you can be putting the finishing touches on your Thanksgiving menu, writing out your Christmas list, or, if you're really on top of it, wrapping your Christmas gifts!

The hands-on time for this recipe is quite minimal, but you should know that you do have to stay home so you're available to stir the almonds.  Sorry, this isn't quite a set it and forget it recipe!  My house smelled absolutely amazing while the almonds were roasting.  Once they were cooled, I could not stop eating them.  I ate way more than necessary while I was photographing the almonds too!  Because this recipe makes quite a bit, I decided to share some roasted almonds with my co-workers.  They were a huge hit and everyone loved them! 

Roasted Cinnamon Almonds

Makes 3-1/2 cups

1-1/2 cup sugar
1-1/2 cup brown sugar
3 Tablespoons  cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon allspice
1 egg white
2 teaspoons vanilla
3-1/2 cups almonds
1/3 cup water

1.  In a small bowl, combine the sugars, cinnamon, salt, and allspice.

2.  In a large bowl, beat the egg whites and vanilla until it's frothy, about 3 minutes.

3.  Stir in the almonds until they are completely coated with the egg white mixture.

4.  Add the sugar mixture to the almonds and toss until they're completely coated.

5.  Spray cooking spray on the bottom and sides of a large Crock-pot.  Add the almonds to the Crock-pot, cover, and turn on low heat.

6.  Cook for 2-1/2 hours, stirring every 20 minutes.

7.  After 2-1/2 hours, add the water and stir well.  Cook on low for another hour, stirring after 30 minutes.

8.  Lightly grease 2 cookie sheets and spread the almonds out on them to cool.  The almonds will be sticky.  Separate the almonds so they can crisp up and dry.

Store roasted almonds in an airtight container.

Source: Cookin' With Brook

Since tomorrow is a holiday, I'll be away from the computer and spending the day with Mike and our extended family.  I wish you all a blessed Thanksgiving.  We have so much to be thankful for!

Monday, November 19, 2012

Hot Chocolate Oreo Muffins

I'm pretty sure I did a happy dance when I received my assignment for this month's Secret Recipe Club.  I know Mike thought I had gone crazy!  You see, I was so excited because I was assigned to Alli's blog, Alli 'n Sons

I've been a fan of Alli's blog for quite some time.  In fact, I've even made quite a few of her recipes.  I knew that I was going to have fun choosing a recipe.  What I didn't realize was how difficult it was going to be to choose a recipe.  I read through each and every one of Alli's posts--stalker, huh?  I finally narrowed my list down to about 10 recipes...real narrow right?  Then it went up to 11 when she posted these Sea Salt English Toffee Bars

I finally had to decide what recipe to make because time was running out.  I actually ended up making 2 recipes.  I made Alli's Chicken Chili in the Crock-pot and then I made these muffins.  Hot Chocolate Oreo Muffins--come to find out they had caught my eye when she posted them because I pinned them!

I knew that these muffins couldn't disappoint since they had Oreos in them.  I seem to have a slight addiction to Oreos...every time they're in the house I seem to eat them non-stop!  I try not to buy them too often, but I had to buy a package to make these muffins.  The hot chocolate gives these muffins a slight chocolate flavor.  I made 4 giant muffins and 6 regular sized ones.  I took the 4 larger ones on our trip to Frankenmuth this weekend and everyone loved them. I left the rest at home for my friend who was dog-sitting for me.  She thought they were delicious--I'd have to agree with her.

You can't go wrong with Oreos!

Hot Chocolate Oreo Muffins

Makes 12 muffins

1-3/4 cups white whole wheat flour, sifted
1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
3 teaspoons sea salt hot chocolate mix
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 cup granulated sugar
3/4 cup milk
1/3 cup sour cream
1 egg
1/4 cup canola oil
12 Oreo cookies, broken into large pieces

1.  In a medium bowl, combine the flour, sea salt, hot chocolate mix, baking soda, baking powder, and sugar.

2.  In a small bowl, combine the milk, sour cream, egg, and oil.

3.  Stir the wet ingredients into the flour mixture until just combined.

4.  Reserve 12 Oreo pieces and fold the rest into the batter.

5.  Evenly divide the batter into 12 greased muffin tins.  Place one Oreo cookie piece on top of each muffin.

 6.  Bake at 400 degrees for 20-25 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the middle of a muffin comes out clean.

7.  Cool muffins in the tin for 5 minutes before transferring them to a wire rack to finish cooling.

Store in an airtight container.

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Saturday Sweetness

How was your week?  Mine was fabulous and busy.  One of the highlights of my week was seeing a Sneak-peek showing of the last Twilight movie, Breaking Dawn 2 on Wednesday night.  I won 2 tickets, so Mike and I got a mid-week date night.  We both really enjoyed the movie--I think it was the best one of the series!  And yes, Mike really did enjoy the movie.

This weekend, we're heading to Frankenmuth with my parents.  I'm looking forward to seeing the town decked out for Christmas, as well as shopping at Bronner's.  I love this time of year!

In case your week was as busy as mine, here's a round-up of recipes I posted this week:

Banana Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Pancakes--the fluffies pancakes I've ever had.  The flavors are amazing!
I guest posted at Lady Behind the Curtain.  Head over to check out my recipe for Roasted Cinnamon Almonds.
Pumpkin Caramel Monkey Bread--the flavors of fall in a delicious breakfast...or snack...or dinner bread.

Friday, November 16, 2012

Pumpkin Caramel Monkey Bread

This time of year, foods seem to revolve around fall flavors like apples and pumpkin.  I know you've seen it on my blog.  Pretty soon, we'll make the transition to flavors like gingerbread and peppermint.  I admit, I'm listening to Christmas music as I write this, but I still am enjoying the flavors of fall.  Let's continue enjoying them with this recipe...

One of my favorite breakfast recipes is Monkey Bread.  I've made it for as long as I can remember.  In fact, I remember as a young teenager, listening to my family visit in the living room while I showed my cousin how to make Monkey Bread in the kitchen.  She'd never experienced the wonder that is Monkey Bread until then, and I was delighted to introduce her.  We ended up refrigerating the dough overnight (another thing that makes this recipe so great!) and then I got up before everyone else to bake it the next morning.

It's a great deal of fun to just rip off a large chunk of this bread.  It certainly doesn't last long in my house.  I'll make a full recipe for Mike and I to have for breakfast.  Usually within 2 or 3 days, the pan is licked clean.  That was the case with this fall flavored bread.  I brought my mother-in-law a small piece of bread since she loves pumpkin, but the rest of it was eaten bite by bite...every time I walked by the pan! 

It's that good.

Pumpkin Caramel Monkey Bread

Makes 16 servings

1/3 cup reduced-fat butter
3/4 cup brown sugar
2 teaspoons water
1/3 cup canned pure pumpkin
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/3 cup sugar
2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
1 teaspoon cinnamon
3 (7.5 ounce) cans buttermilk biscuits

1.  In a small pan, melt butter, brown sugar and water.

2.  Mix in the pumpkin and vanilla. Bring to a boil, turn heat to low and cook for 2 minutes, stirring often.  Set aside.

3. In a large Ziploc bag, shake together sugar, pumpkin pie spice and cinnamon.

4. Quarter each biscuit and place in the Ziploc bag, shaking to cover.  (I do about 12 pieces at a time).

5. Evenly layer half the sugar coated biscuits in a well greased Bundt pan.

6. Spoon half of the cooked sauce over the biscuit pieces.

7.  Evenly layer the remaining half of the biscuit pieces in the pan.

8.  Sprinkle any remaining sugar  mixture over the top of  the biscuit pieces.

9.  Spoon remaining half of the cooked sauce evenly over biscuit pieces.

10. Bake at 350 for 30 minutes, until the top biscuits are golden brown. Remove from oven. Let sit for about 5 minutes.

11.  While the monkey bread is still hot, carefully loosen sides and middle of pan and invert onto a serving plate.

Serve warm.  Pull pieces apart to enjoy the monkey bread!

Source: Skinny Kitchen

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Guest Posting!

Hi there! I just wanted to pop in to give you some updates on happenings around Melissa's Cuisine...

Today I am guest posting over at Sheryl's site, Lady Behind the Curtain.  I'm sharing a recipe for Crock-pot Roasted Cinnamon Almonds.  They're a fantastic treat to have out at your Thanksgiving Day party, as well as an easy and delicious hostess gift or Christmas gift.  I hope you'll stop by to check out the recipe.

Also, since I was sleeping most of the day Saturday, trying to recover from the youth group all-nighter, I completely forgot to get a Saturday Sweetness post up.  I hope you'll forgive me, and I'll have one up for you this Saturday.

No Saturday Sweetness post meant that I didn't get a chance to recap last week's recipes, so I'll do that now!  In case you missed a post, last week I made:

Crunchwraps--a homemade version of a Taco Bell favorite!
A Fruit & Cheese Turkey--a fun to make and oh, so cute, fruit and cheese turkey.  Just in time for Thanksgiving!
Biscoff Bars--a delicious way to use Biscoff spread.
And finally, I'd like to announce that I am now a Shabby Apple Affiliate. I'm super excited to partner with this company and I love their retro and modest dresses! If you've never heard of Shabby Apple, I hope you'll take a minute to check out their site--they have everything from dresses and skirts, to jewelry, to fitness apparel, even maternity and children's clothing! Here's one of my favorite Dresses from Shabby Apple:
Purple Dress with Ruffles
Thanks for stopping by, and have a great day!

Monday, November 12, 2012

Banana Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Pancakes

When is the last time you pulled an all-nighter?  Our youth group had an all nighter this past Friday night to Saturday morning, and I was one of the few adults who "got" to stay up all night with the kids.  Honestly, it wasn't so bad.  We had a lot of activities, games, and awesome conversations to keep us awake.  The all-nighter ended on the best possible note--a pancake breakfast!

A family from our church (and good friends of mine) is moving to Haiti in 2013.  They have a ministry that they started down there a couple years ago and now they'll be taking the leap of faith and moving to Haiti to continue that ministry.  They are famous for making Haitian pancakes--Cinnamon and Haitian Vanilla flavored pancakes that are delicious! 

Speaking of pancakes...I made these beauties a couple weeks ago and posted a picture of my breakfast on my Facebook page.  I had planned to share them with you, and got a reader request to post the recipe please.  (Diane, this is for you!)  These pancakes are an upgraded version of a protein pancake that I make nearly every Friday morning for breakfast.  I had a few bananas that desperately needed eaten so I decided to add them to my pancakes.  While I was at it, I figured I might as well add in some peanut butter and chocolate chips.  It's one of my favorite flavor combinations--you simply can't go wrong!  The additions to my recipe resulted in the fluffiest pancakes I've ever had!

Banana Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Pancakes

Makes 20 pancakes


3 over-ripe bananas
3 (6 ounce) cups plain or vanilla Greek yogurt (18 ounces total)
3 eggs
1/4 cup peanut butter
1-3/4 cups flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
1/2 cup chocolate chips

1.  In a medium bowl, mash the 3 bananas.

2.  Stir in the Greek yogurt, eggs, and peanut butter until completely combined.

3.  Add in the flour and baking powder and gently mix until the flour is just combined.

4.  Fold in chocolate chips.

5.  Pour pancake batter onto a hot griddle using a 1/4 cup measuring cup.

6.  Cook pancakes for about 2 minutes before flipping and cooking for 2 more minutes.

Serve hot, with desired toppings.  These pancakes also freeze well--just cool before storing in a freezer bag in the freezer.

Come join #DairyBreakfastClub recipe party at TidyMom along with The California Milk Advisory Board and

Friday, November 09, 2012

Biscoff Bars

Have you tried Biscoff spread yet?  If not, what rock are you living under?  Just kidding.  But I'm serious about this--run, don't walk, to your nearest Walmart and pick up a jar (or three...).  All the hype you've heard about Biscoff spread is true--it really is the best thing since Peanut Butter.  After hearing all my favorite bloggers raving about Biscoff, I knew I had to try it.  I enjoyed my first jar...

Spoonful by spoonful.

Yes, when I wanted a sweet treat, I headed straight for my jar of Biscoff.  A few delicious bites later, I was satisfied.  When I bought my second jar, I thought maybe I should use it for something other than a snack.  Perhaps, a recipe?  After all that is what I do!

I took my recipe for Peanut Butter Cup Bars, but I swapped out the Peanut Butter for Biscoff spread.  What a fantastic switch!  These bars were incredibly rich, but oh so delicious.

Biscoff Bars

Makes 20 bars

1/3 cup margarine or butter
1-3/4 cups powdered sugar
1 cup Biscoff spread
3/4 cup crushed pretzels
1/4 cup margarine or butter
1/2 cup milk chocolate chips

1. Line an 8x8 pan with foil.

2. In a microwave safe bowl, melt 1/3 cup of the margarine.

3. Stir in powdered sugar until smooth.

4. Add in Biscoff spread  and crushed pretzels and stir until completely combined.

5. Spread Biscoff mixture into foil lined pan.

6. In a microwave safe bowl, melt remaining 1/4 cup of the margarine.

7. Add chocolate and stir until melted. You might need to put it back in the microwave for 15 seconds if the chips won't melt completely.

8. Pour chocolate over Biscoff layer and smooth.

9. Refrigerate at least an hour, until set.

10. Remove from pan using the foil as a "handle" and cut with a pizza cutter.

Store any leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator.

Wednesday, November 07, 2012

Fruit Turkey

Melissa's Cuisine: Fruit Turkey
The first year that Mike and I were married, we got ambitious and hosted Thanksgiving at our house.  It went really well--it helps that we have a dining room table that has enough leaves in it to expand for 9 people plus all the food to fit!  I prepared the turkey, and I brined it before baking, resulting in the best turkey I've ever had.  In fact, it still gets talked about.  After having my parents host last year, I offered to host again this year.  One fantastic thing about our families is that they all get along so well that Mike and I are able to have both our parents and siblings over for various holidays--much less stress than trying to go to 4 different places in one day!  Anyway, this year we are hosting Thanksgiving dinner again and I'll be making not one, but two turkeys.   

Melissa's Cuisine: Fruit Turkey

Two turkeys for 9 or 10 people? Am I crazy? Well, maybe just a little bit... I'll be making another brined turkey for dinner, but I'll also be making a fruit turkey for a pre or post-dinner snack. I saw a picture of a fruit turkey that my friend's daughter-in-law made for the Canadian Thanksgiving and using that picture as my inspiration I came up with this turkey. My mom helped me and I was really thankful for the extra pair of hands when it came to assembling the turkey!
Melissa's Cuisine: Fruit Turkey

Fruit Turkey

Serves 8-10 people

1 pineapple
1 pound of purple grapes
1 pear
2 raisins
peel of 1 apple
1 pineapple wedge
1 pound of cheese, cubed
10-15 wooden skewers
1 toothpick
crackers, if desired

**Note: these directions are meant to be a guide.  I simply used a picture as my reference and you certainly can do the same.  If something doesn't work for you, feel free to use a method that does!

1.  Cut the crown off the top of the pineapple.  Now you have a choice: you can leave the pineapple as it is, or you can cut the fruit out of the pineapple, leaving a shell that can be refilled with the pineapple.  Either way is fine: if you leave the pineapple whole, your turkey will be sturdier; if you cut out the interior fruit, you can enjoy the pineapple!

2.  Wash grapes and remove them from the vine. Thread the grapes onto the wooden skewers.  I did the majority of my skewers with just grapes and then a few alternating grapes and cheese.

3.  Poke the skewers into the back of the pineapple to form the "feathers".  (If the pineapple is unbalanced and wants to tilt, I found that adding pineapple to the inside added enough weight to hold it still.)

4.  Cut a skewer in half and insert the pointed end into the front of the pineapple.  Skewer the pear, wide side up, to attach the face to the pineapple body.

5.  Make the turkey face by cutting a toothpick into 3 sections.  Using a section of the toothpick, attach the raisins for eyes, apple peel for a gobbler, and pineapple (or cheese) wedge for a beak.

6.  Place the fruit turkey on a serving tray and arrange crackers and remaining cheese around the turkey.

Melissa's Cuisine: Fruit Turkey
I'm a visual learner, so here's a picture of the "rear" of the turkey after the "feathers" were attached and the pineapple was stuffed.

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