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Dear Joyce: These are easy to make and great for extra company or visitors.

Pumpkin-pecan braid

3/4 cup canned pumpkin (not pie mix)

1/3 cup packed brown sugar

1 tsp. ground cinnamon

1/8 tsp. nutmeg

1/8 tsp. ginger

1 egg, separated

1/2 cup chopped pecans

1 (8-oz.) can refrigerated crescent dinner rolls


1/2 cup powdered sugar

2-3 tsp. milk

1 tbsp. chopped pecans

Heat oven to 350 degrees. Spray cookie sheet with cooking spray.

Mix pumpkin, brown sugar, spices and egg yolk until well-blended. Stir in chopped pecans.

Unroll dough on cookie sheet; press perforations and edges to seal. Press to form 13x7-inch rectangle.

Spread filling in 3-inch-wide strip lengthwise down center of dough rectangle to within 1 inch of ends.

With sharp knife, make cuts 1-inch apart on long sides of dough rectangle just to edge of filling. Fold strips at an angle across filling, overlapping ends and alternating from side to side.

In small bowl, beat egg white until foamy. Brush over dough.

Bake 20-30 minutes or until deep golden brown. Immediately remove from cookie sheet; place on serving platter.

In small bowl, blend powdered sugar and enough milk for desired drizzling consistency. Drizzle over warm coffee cake. Sprinkle 1 tbsp. chopped pecans. — Billings reader, via e-mail.

Dear reader: Even I probably have these ingredients on hand, and, if I do, surely many more people have the makings for this tasty coffee braid. Thanks for sharing.

Dear Joyce: Here are a few healthy ideas for dinner.

Turkey chili

Brown 2 pounds of ground turkey meat (85/15) with chopped-up onion, 1 green pepper, until meat is no longer pinkish. Combine in the slow cooker with 2 cans of turkey chili, 2 cans of sloppy joe sauce (either regular or bold — I've used both), a couple teaspoons of chili powder and a couple teaspoons of ancho chili pepper

Can also add 1-2 small cans of mild jalapenos and 2 small cans of slilced black olives.

Let cook all day on low.

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Serve over chips or in taco bowls made with small shells (made in metal forms and baked in oven) and topped with sour cream and/or shredded cheese of choice (Mexican/taco) — or in a soup dish with crackers or topped with sour cream and/or shredded cheese of choice and homemade cornbread squares.

Turkey meatloaf

Mix 1 pound of ground turkey meat (85/15) with 2 beaten eggs, 1 cup Italian bread crumbs, 14.5-oz. can diced tomatoes with sweet onions (or green pepper, celery and onion).

Grease a square casserole dish — I use Pam canola spray.

Form meat mixture into loaf and place in pan. Bake meat loaf in preheated oven at 400 for 30 minutes. Reduce temperature to 350 and bake additional 25-30 minutes or until no longer pink. Cool for 10 minutes before serving.

I usually serve this with mashed potatoes and poultry gravy and a vegetable or tossed salad.

Double this recipe and use the extra for meatloaf sandwiches.

Pressure-cooker goulash

1 pound ground turkey meat (85/15) browned and drained of fat. Add 1 cup raw rice, 2 cans (10.5-oz. each) chicken rice soup, 1-1/2 cans water, 1 cup chopped celery, 3/4 cup chopped green pepper, 1/4 cup chopped onion, sea salt and pepper to taste.

Combine in a pressure cooker and cook at 15 pounds pressure for 15 minutes. Remove from heat and let pressure go down.

This is a recipe that my mother-in-law showed me how to make. She used ground beef.

I have also used ground game (deer, elk, antelope). This is so simple and on the healthy side of things. Enjoy! — Barboura, via e-mail.

Dear Barboura: Wonderful turkey recipes, and I'm sure some readers will try turkey leftovers in the casserole and goulash. Thank you.

Please send recipes and requests to Just ask Joyce; c/o The Billings Gazette; P.O. Box 36300; Billings, MT 59107 or email to