Better Homes & Gardens May 2012 Recipes

Chile con Queso
Celebration! That's the best word to describe this collection of spring recipes. With exquisite party cakes, grilled backyard favorites, and smoky dishes to add to your recipe repertoire, you'll be the talk of the block party.

Pancetta-Wrapped Chicken with Glazed Date Sauce

Serve this delectable chicken on a bed of crisp or wilted napa cabbage, escarole, or chopped romaine. To wilt the greens, steam them slightly in a skillet with a small amount of liquid while the date sauce is cooking.

Pineapple-Black Bean Guacamole

For the ultimate guacamole, Prize Tested Recipes winner Beth McDonald kept adding new ingredients and adjusting the amounts. In this sweetened version, you'll taste a different flavor every time you take a bite.

Pink Lemonade Cake

The first slice of this darling cake reveals four flavorful pink layers -- all from a single batter and a few drops of food coloring. Lemonade concentrate adds a boost of sweet punch and pucker to each bite.

Spicy Apple-Glazed Meatballs

These party meatballs bring spicy, garlicky goodness to your next get-together.

Pan-Seared Pork & Fried Green Tomato Salad

Tender pork, crispy fried tomatoes, and mouthwatering blue cheese come together in this succulent salad. Every taste bud is bound to be satisfied.

Vanilla Ruffle Cake

Girly and sweet, this cake is simple enough for Sunday dinner and special enough for birthdays. The ruffle frosting technique is easy: Pipe frosting with a back-and-forth motion, building layer by layer. Not used to piping? The easy buttercream is a star however you spread it.

Double-Play Salmon Burgers

These deliciously healthy salmon burgers are a great option for a weeknight meal. In two steps and 30 minutes or less, you'll have an irresistible dinner ready at the table. 

Mesquite Skirt Steak with Corn & Potato Salad

Mesquite is the boldest of the smoking woods. This steak cooks quickly, so the flavor never becomes overpowering.

Orange Chiffon Cake with Marshmallow Flowers

A bouquet of flowers tops tiered layers of orange chiffon cake and honey glaze. The pastel flowers are simple -- make the petals by slicing marshmallows and dusting them with colored sugar.

Mashed Potato Veggie Strata

Strata is a flavorful dish for combining summer vegetables with mashed potatoes. This Prize Tested Recipes winner can be served as a vegetarian main dish or a hearty side with grilled meats.

Sparkling Basil Lemonade

Fresh basil is the key to this Prize Tested Recipe. The basil simple syrup is the base for the refreshing drink; jalapeno slices give the lemonade a surprising finish.

Sprinkle-Me-Happy Cake

A bagful of colorful sprinkles, plus three rich layers, makes this an outright celebration cake. You can tint bulk white sprinkles with food coloring to suit the gathering -- from springy shades of pink to bold school colors. The dense cake layers are made with banana, pineapple, and shredded sweet potato.

Gnocchi, Sweet Corn & Arugula in Cream Sauce

Potato gnocchi (NYOH-kee) usually gives a dish a hearty bite, but here it's kept light and springtime-ready with the help of crisp sweet corn and torn fresh arugula. 

Five-Spice Beef Kabobs

Serve these grilled kabobs with carrot salad. Shred ribbons of carrot using a peeler. Toss the ribbons with a squeeze of lime juice; sprinkle with five-spice powder or other desired seasoning.

Mini Chocolate Cakes

Presentation amplifies the fun factor. A stack of mismatched plates, colorful place mats, and tall cake stands enhance any cake and occasion, large or small.

Smoked Artichoke Pasta with Lemony Vinaigrette

Smoky flavor is the supporting player in this recipe. Only the peppers and artichokes are smoked using oak, a moderate wood that ensures it stays subtle.

Celebration Cake

With the easy step-by-step guide on how to prepare this partyworthy cake, you'll be on your way to becoming a cake-baking pro! Guests will be amazed that it came from your kitchen and not the local bakery. 

Cherry Flower Power Cake

This playful cake is draped in a homemade white chocolate candy clay -- a super tasty, easy-to-make alternative to fondant. Festive flowers shaped from the same clay fill the canvas.

Chile con Queso

Outdoor cooking pro Jamie Purviance says the key to smoking cheese is getting the smoke on right at the start. Wait to add your food until the smoke is pouring out of the grill.

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