Easter entertaining: Hop to it!

Your guests will never realize how little time it took to prepare these easy recipes.

Family Features

Put time on your side this Easter with quick-prep recipes that are perfect for buffets or family gather ings. Serve a turkey, ham or roast as the main dish, then add some of these creative and simple sides, salads and desserts.

Start off with a little flair by offering crab cakes or stuffed endive spears. The recipes are so easy your guests will never know how little time was spent in the kitchen!

For the main event, try the Honey Nut Dressing with ham, or the Orange, Cranberry, Spinach Salad alongside poultry. The Waldorf Brown Rice Salad would complement beef or pork roast. Finish things off with a classic (and fast) Rice Pudding.

Versatile and healthy, dried fruits and quick-cooking brown rice combine for savory and sweet dishes that leave you more time to enjoy yourself.

Visit MinuteRice.com for additional recipes that will take the hassle out of cooking.

For more delicious recipes and tips on healthy living, visit www.sunmaid.com.

Honey Nut Dressing

Serves 6

1 cup Minute Brown Rice, uncooked

1 tablespoon reduced-calorie margarine

1‚Ñ4 cup chopped walnuts

3‚Ñ4 cup chopped onion

3‚Ñ4 cup chopped celery

1‚Ñ4 cup each Sun-Maid Apricots, chopped, and Golden Raisins

2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley

2 tablespoons honey

1 tablespoon lemon juice

1‚Ñ4 teaspoon salt

Prepare rice according to package directions.

Melt margarine in a large skillet over medium heat. Add walnuts; cook and stir until lightly toasted. Add onions and celery; cook and stir until crisp-tender.

Stir in rice and remaining ingredients. Heat thoroughly, stirring occasionally.

Classic Rice Pudding

Serves 4

3cups milk

1 cup Minute White Rice, uncooked

1‚Ñ4 cup sugar

1‚Ñ4 cup Sun-Maid Natural Raisins

1‚Ñ4 teaspoon salt

2 large eggs

1 teaspoon vanilla

Combine milk, rice, sugar, raisins and salt in medium saucepan. Bring to a boil, stir ring con stantly. Reduce heat to medium-low; simmer 6 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Beat eggs and vanilla lightly in a small bowl. Stir small amount of hot mixture into eggs. Stir ring constantly, slowly pour egg mixture back into hot mixture.

Stirring constantly, cook on low heat 1 minute until thickened. Do not boil. Remove from heat. Let stand 30 minutes.

Serve warm. Store any remaining pud ding in refrigerator.

Orange, Cranberry, Spinach Salad

Serves 4

3 tablespoons plain rice vinegar

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 tablespoon honey

1 teaspoon grated orange zest

1‚Ñ2 teaspoon Dijon mustard

1‚Ñ2 cup Sun-Maid Cape Cod Cranberries

15- or 6-ounce bag fresh baby spinach (about 8 cups)

1large orange sliced into bite-size pieces

2 tablespoons thinly sliced or chopped red onion

1‚Ñ2 cup crumbled feta cheese

Combine vinegar, oil, honey, zest and mustard in small bowl; blend vigorously with a whisk. Add dried cranberries and let stand 10 minutes. Mix spinach, orange slices and onion in large bowl. Toss with dressing to evenly coat. Sprinkle with feta cheese.

Amazin’ Crab Rice Cakes

Serves 4

1 cup chicken broth

1 cup Minute White Rice, uncooked

2 eggs

2 cans (6 ounces each) crabmeat, drained, flaked

2 tablespoons seafood seasoning

1‚Ñ4 cup (1‚Ñ2 stick) butter or margarine

Fresh lemon wedges (optional)

Bring broth to a boil in small saucepan. Stir in rice; cover. Remove from heat; let stand 5 min utes. Fluff with fork.

Beat eggs lightly in medium bowl. Add rice, crab meat and seasoning; mix well. Refrigerate 5 minutes.

Shape into 8 patties. Melt butter in large skillet over medium heat. Add patties; cook 5 minutes on each side or until golden brown and heated through. Serve with fresh lemon wedges.

French Raisin Apple Pie

Serves 8

1 cup Sun-Maid Natural Raisins

1‚Ñ2 cup sugar

2 tablespoons plus 3‚Ñ4 cup all-purpose flour, divided

1‚Ñ2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1‚Ñ4 teaspoon salt

4 cups (4 to 6 medium) peeled, chopped tart apples

1 tablespoon lemon juice

1 9-inch unbaked pie dough round or shell

1‚Ñ2 cup packed brown sugar

1‚Ñ3 cup butter or margarine

Heat oven to 425 degrees. Combine raisins, sugar, 2 table spoons flour, cinnamon and salt. Mix with apples and lemon juice.

If using pie dough, fit into 9-inch pan accord ing to package directions. Pour fruit into pie shell.

Combine remaining 3‚Ñ4 cup flour, brown sugar and butter just until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Sprinkle crumbs evenly over raisin-apple mixture. Bake on lowest oven rack for 10 min utes. Reduce temperature to 350 degrees and bake an additional 45 to 55 min utes or until golden brown. Serve warm or cold.

Festive Endive Spears

Makes about 3 dozen appetizers

1‚Ñ2 cup Sun-Maid Natural Raisins

2 tablespoons orange or apple juice

8 ounces goat cheese softened, or cream cheese

1‚Ñ4 cup finely chopped sun-dried tomatoes in oil

1‚Ñ4 cup chopped fresh basil

1 clove minced garlic

1‚Ñ4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes

3 heads Belgian endive

Basil sprigs for garnish

Combine raisins and juice. Cover and micro wave on high power 45 seconds. Let stand 2 minutes.

Combine cheese, tomatoes, basil, garlic and pepper flakes. Mix well. Stir in raisin mixture.

Trim ends of endive and separate heads into spears. Spread cheese mixture on endive spears. Arrange spoke-fashion on serving platter. Serve immediately or cover and chill up to 2 hours before serving. Gar nish with basil sprigs.

Waldorf Brown Rice Salad

Serves 4

1 cup Minute Brown Rice, uncooked

2 medium apples

2 tablespoons lemon juice

1‚Ñ2 cup chopped celery

1‚Ñ2 cup chopped walnuts

1‚Ñ2 cup Sun-Maid Natural Raisins or Tart Cherries

1‚Ñ2 cup fat-free mayonnaise

3‚Ñ4 cup nonfat vanilla yogurt

Spring salad greens (optional)

Prepare rice according to package directions. Cool.

Wash, core and dice apples, without peel ing. Place apples in large bowl and toss with lemon juice. Add rice, celery, nuts and raisins or cherries; toss to combine.

In medium bowl, combine mayonnaise and yogurt. Blend well. Fold into rice mixture. Serve over salad greens, if desired.

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