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Dear Joyce: I absolutely love this pecan pie! Get ready for the calories!

Mystery Pecan Pie

Crust:

1 refrigerated pie crust, softened as directed on box

Cream cheese layer:

1 (8-oz.) pkg. cream cheese, softened

1/3 cup sugar

1/4 tsp. salt

1 tsp. vanilla

1 egg

Pecan layer:

3 eggs

1/4 cup sugar

1 cup corn syrup

1 tsp. vanilla

1-1/4 cups chopped pecans

Heat oven to 375 degrees. Place pie crust in 9-inch glass pie pan as directed on box for one-crust filled pie.

In small bowl, beat all cream cheese layer ingredients with electric mixer on low until well-blended and smooth. Set aside.

In another small bowl, beat 3 eggs with mixer on medium speed. Add remaining pecan layer ingredients except pecans. Beat until well-blended.

Spread cream cheese mixture in bottom of crust-lined pan. Sprinkle with pecans.

Gently pour egg mixture over pecans. Cover crust edge with 2-3 inch wide strips of foil to prevent excessive browning.

Remove foil during last 15 minutes of baking.

Bake 35-45 minutes or until center is set. Cool completely, about 2 hours, before serving. Store in refrigerator.

You can use cashews or macadamia nuts in place of pecans. It's the cream cheese that makes this pie outstanding.

Since I mentioned calories, 1 serving size piece has 570. From this total, 290 are from fat. Total fat is 32 grams; total carbohydrates are 64 grams.

But you must try a sliver at least.

Here's another super-good, super-tasty recipe.

Maple Crescent Pull-Aparts

1/2 cup butter or margarine

3/4 cup packed brown sugar

2 tbsp. maple-flavored syrup

1/2 cup chopped pecans or walnuts

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

1 tbsp. sugar

1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon

Heat oven to 375 degrees.

In ungreased 8- to 9-inch round cake pan, mix butter, brown sugar and syrup. Heat in oven 2-4 minutes or until butter melts. Blend well. Sprinkle with pecans.

Remove dough from can in 2 rolled sections. Do not unroll dough. Cut each roll into 6 slices.

In small bowl, mix granulated sugar and cinnamon; dip both sides of each slice in sugar mixture. Arrange slice over butter mixture in pan. Sprinkle with any remaining sugar mixture.

Bake 17-25 minutes or until golden brown. Cool 1 minute; invert onto serving plate.

Serve warm.

Two of these rolls have 310 calories with calories from fat 170. Total fat is 19 g.; total carbohydrates is 32 g.

Try eating just one. I dare you. - Reader, via e-mail.

Dear reader: Yummy, but you'd better make my slice tiny and maybe just one roll. Thank you for sharing.

Dear Joyce: I am from Nebraska and have heard about Frontier Pies from Montana.

Are there a variety of recipes or one pie in particular that has the name Frontier Pie?

I would like to have any recipe if available. - Lanette Smith, via e-mail.

Dear Lanette: Frontier Pies is the name of a restaurant that used to be in Bozeman that served a variety of foods including a variety of pies that you could purchase for take-out. Both food and pies were notable, as was the cornbread.

Readers, if you have any recipes from the restaurant, please share.

Dear Joyce: I used to get minestrone soup at a café called Mama Cassies in Great Falls (late '80s-early '90s). It contained Italian sausage, hamburger, lots of basil and still is the best minestrone soup I have ever eaten.

Does anyone have that recipe? - Sherry, Billings.

Dear Sherry: Good minestrone is wonderful. Readers, can you help Sherry?

Dear readers: A reader e-mailed me asked me for help finding Fels Naptha soap. She knew it was a great wash soap for heavily soiled clothing but couldn't find it locally. Neither could I.

If any of you know of stores that carry it, please let us know. Pels Naptha is a Dial Corp. product and can be ordered via Amazon.com or can be found on eBay.

It is a strong soap and not meant as a hand soap.

Please send your recipes and requests to: Just ask Joyce; c/o The Billings Gazette; P.O. Box 36300; Billings, Mont. 59107 or e-mail to justaskjoyce@aol.com.

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