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Swap Shop: Food Network chef’s recipes offer little fuss

Chef AarMcCargo's Tiramisu Cupcakes are his cookbook 'Simply Done Well Done.' | Courtesy AarMcCargo

Chef Aaron McCargo's Tiramisu Cupcakes are in his cookbook "Simply Done, Well Done." | Courtesy Aaron McCargo

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Updated: November 15, 2011 9:24AM

Swap Shop turned to personable chef Aaron McCargo Jr., star of Food Network's "Big Daddy's House" and author of Simply Done, Well Done (Wiley, $19.95), for enticing solutions to requests for tiramisu cupcakes (from L.L.M. of Chicago) and for a pasta dish featuring pesto (from F.W. of Elk Grove Village).

McCargo's no-fuss approach is evident in the down-to-earth, family-friendly recipes in his first cookbook. His decadent Tiramisu Cupcakes evolved from an ordinary boxed white cake mix. Bacon and Pesto Pasta Salad is best made ahead for optimum flavor.

Both recipes from the winner of the fourth season of "The Next Food Network Star" will make you a star at your next tailgate party.


My boyfriend loves baked potato soup with all the trimmings (bacon and cheese, etc.). Can you help with a recipe?

A.P., Dolton

I would treasure a recipe for what we used to call "Grandma's Spicy Date Cake" - my grandmother always baked it for our holiday get-togethers.

W.P., Gary

Can anyone help with a recipe for pumpkin soup?

Y.E., Chicago

Send recipes and requests to: Swap Shop, Chicago Sun-Times, 350 N. Orleans St., 9th Floor, Chicago 60654 or by e-mail, Please include a daytime telephone number.

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