Holiday 01 November 2018

Holiday Inspiration for Every Occasion

(Family Features) The holiday season is full of opportunities to eat, drink and gather around the table with the ones you love. Whether it's a family dinner, office potluck or neighborhood brunch, good food is a cornerstone of nearly every great holiday celebration.

From hosting guests to kids returning home on winter break, the holiday season can require more planning than usual. Ensure you're prepared this year with a savory centerpiece staple like Smithfield Spiral Sliced Ham or a crowd-pleasing favorite like Bacon French Toast Bake, giving you more time to soak in the best parts of the season.

To keep the holiday season fresh and exciting, consider putting a twist on a classic, like adding sausage to a traditional side dish like Sausage and Ciabatta Stuffing. Available as links, patties and rolls, Smithfield's line of Fresh Breakfast Sausage is made using premium, high-quality pork to provide big flavor that can be enjoyed any time of day.

For more recipes and tips that can help make your holiday soiree a breeze, visit Smithfield.com/HolidayHub.


Bacon French Toast Bake

  • 1 small loaf challah or brioche bread, cut into 1/2-inch-thick slices
  • nonstick cooking spray
  • 6 large eggs
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 1/2 cup grated Gruyere cheese
  • 1/3 cup maple syrup
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 4 slices Smithfield Bacon, cooked and chopped
  • 1/4 cup grated Swiss cheese
  • 1/2 cup blackberries
  • 1 teaspoon powdered sugar, for dusting
  1. Leave bread slices out, at room temperature, at least 3 hours, or until slightly stale.
  2. Generously coat 9-inch baking dish with nonstick cooking spray. Arrange bread, slightly overlapping.
  3. In large bowl, whisk eggs, heavy cream, milk, Gruyere cheese, maple syrup and cinnamon. Add chopped bacon, saving 2 tablespoons for later. Pour over bread in baking dish. With hands, press down on bread to submerge.
  4. Cover baking dish with plastic wrap. Refrigerate at least 5 hours, or overnight.
  5. Heat oven to 375 F. Remove plastic. Sprinkle remaining bacon and Swiss cheese over top of bread mixture.
  6. Bake 45-50 minutes, or until golden brown and set.
  7. Top with blackberries and dust with powdered sugar before serving.

Sausage and Ciabatta Stuffing

  • 1 large loaf ciabatta bread, cut into 1-inch cubes
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided
  • 1 pound Smithfield Fresh Sausage Roll
  • 1 cup carrots, diced
  • 1 1/2 cups onion, diced
  • 2 cups celery, diced
  • 2 cups chicken broth
  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons chopped parsley, plus additional for garnish
  • 2 tablespoons chopped rosemary
  • salt, to taste
  • freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  1. Heat oven to 325 F.
  2. Bake ciabatta bread cubes until lightly toasted, about 15 minutes. Set aside. Increase oven temperature to 375 F.
  3. In skillet over medium-high heat, melt 1 tablespoon butter.
  4. Cook sausage, breaking meat into medium pieces, until browned, about 8-10 minutes. Transfer sausage to large bowl; set aside.
  5. Add remaining butter to skillet; cook carrots, onions and celery until soft, 5-7 minutes, and transfer to bowl with sausage.
  6. In large bowl, mix bread cubes, chicken broth, olive oil, parsley, rosemary and salt and pepper, to taste. Add vegetable and sausage mixture to bread cubes mixture and combine.
  7. Spread evenly in greased 9-by-13-inch baking dish. Bake until golden brown and bread is slightly crisp on top, 30-35 minutes.
  8. Garnish with additional parsley before serving.

Tip: Recipe can be made one day before and refrigerated overnight.

Source: Smithfield

Meal Ideas 19 February 2019

Savor the Season

(Family Features) Spice things up this season with some uniquely delicious recipe options that are perfect for most any meal occasion.

Serve Beet, Feta and Walnut Scones for brunch or as an accompaniment to soups or salads. Starting with Aunt Nellie’s Pickled Beets cuts time and adds flavor.

Quick Sausage and German Potato Salad Skillet is on the lunch or dinner table in 20 minutes thanks to pre-cooked sausages and a can of heat-and-eat READ German Potato Salad.

Sides are easy, too. A jar of Aunt Nellie’s Glazed Small Sliced Carrots is the main ingredient in this quick-to-assemble Spicy Carrot-Sweet Potato Casserole. If roasted vegetables are more your style, try Thyme-Scented Roasted Vegetables, accented with sweet, tangy pickled beets.

For more seasonal recipes, visit AuntNellies.com and READsalads.com.

Thyme-Scented Roasted Vegetables and Beets

Servings: 4
Prep time: 20 minutes
Cook time: 30 minutes

  • 1          jar (16 ounces) Aunt Nellie’s Whole Pickled Beets, drained, halved
  • 1/2       pound baby carrots
  • 1          medium onion, cut through core into 1/2-inch wedges
  • 8          ounces shallots, peeled, halved if large
  • 1          tablespoon olive oil
  • 1          teaspoon dried thyme leaves
  • 1/2       teaspoon salt
  • 1/4       teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1          clove garlic, minced
  1. Heat oven to 400°F.
  2. Line 15-by-10-inch jelly roll pan with aluminum foil. Add beets, carrots, onion and shallots. Drizzle with oil; sprinkle with thyme, salt and pepper; toss to coat.
  3. Roast, uncovered, 15 minutes. Add garlic to vegetables; toss well. Return to oven and continue roasting 15 minutes, or until vegetables are tender and lightly browned.

Note: 1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme may be substituted for dried thyme leaves.

Spicy Carrot-Sweet Potato Casserole

Servings: 6
Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 30 minutes

  • 1          jar (15.5 ounces) Aunt Nellie’s Glazed Small Sliced Carrots
  • 1/4       cup orange juice
  • 1          teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2       teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/2       teaspoon grated orange peel
  • 1          cup cooked sweet potato pieces (about 2 inches each)
  • 1/4       cup coarsely chopped pecans
  1. Heat oven to 350°F. In large bowl, gently stir together carrots with jarred liquid, orange juice, cinnamon, ginger and orange peel.
  2. Spray 1 1/2- to 2-quart baking dish with nonstick cooking spray. Arrange sweet potatoes in dish. Pour carrot mixture over potatoes. Sprinkle with pecans.
  3. Bake 30 minutes, or until bubbling and heated through. Allow to stand 5-10 minutes before serving.

Note: 1/2 cup chopped apples can be added to carrot mixture.

Beet, Feta and Walnut Scones

Servings: 8
Prep time: 25 minutes
Cook time: 20 minutes

  • 1          jar (16 ounces) Aunt Nellie’s Sliced Pickled Beets
  • 2          cups all-purpose flour
  • 1          tablespoon baking powder
  • 1/2       teaspoon salt
  • 1/2       teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1/2       cup milk (2 percent or skim)
  • 1/3       cup olive oil
  • 1          egg, beaten
  • 1/4       cup thinly sliced green onion
  • 1          tablespoon chopped fresh rosemary
  • 1          small clove garlic, minced
  • 2/3       cup crumbled feta cheese (not fat-free)
  • 1/2       cup coarsely chopped toasted walnuts
  • 8          rosemary sprigs
  1. Heat oven to 400°F.
  2. Drain beets well. Chop coarsely; set aside on paper towels.
  3. In large bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, salt and pepper.
  4. In small bowl, whisk together milk, oil and egg. Stir in onion, rosemary and garlic. Add milk mixture to flour mixture. Stir to combine. Gently stir in feta and walnuts, just until combined, then add beets and stir gently to combine.
  5. Turn out onto lightly floured surface. Knead dough three to four times to smooth. Pat into 9-inch round on ungreased baking sheet. Cut into 8 triangles; do not separate. Lightly press rosemary sprigs into each scone.
  6. Bake 20 minutes, or until light golden-brown. Cool on baking sheet; set on wire rack. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Quick Sausage and German Potato Salad Skillet

Servings: 4
Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 10 minutes

  • 2          teaspoons olive or vegetable oil
  • 1          medium red or yellow onion, cut into 1/2-inch thick wedges
  • 1          cup chopped red bell pepper
  • 3/4       pound pre-cooked smoked chicken or turkey sausage links
  • 1          can (15 ounces) READ German Potato Salad
  • 1/4       teaspoon cracked black pepper
  • chopped parsley (optional)
  1. In large skillet, heat oil over medium heat. Add onion and bell pepper. Cook and stir 1 minute. Add sausages; continue cooking 5 minutes until browned and heated through, turning occasionally. Remove sausages from skillet.
  2. Add potato salad and black pepper to skillet. Stir to combine with onion mixture. Return sausages to skillet. Cook 2-3 minutes until heated through. Sprinkle with parsley, if desired.

Source: Seneca Foods

Meal Ideas 01 August 2018

Reserve the Rind

(Family Features) Watermelon rinds make for more than just attractive containers for serving cold dishes and beverages. The rind can also be used in creative, edible ways and is good for your heart.

Watermelon, both the flesh and the rind, is a good source of a compound called citrulline, an amino acid that raises levels of arginine in the blood, which in turn helps maintain blood flow, healthy blood vessels and heart health. 

Whether you’re eating for good health or good taste (or both), you can use the rind to make pickles and relishes, grate into salads and slaws, toss into stir-fry and add to smoothies and juice. The key to chowing down on watermelon rind is knowing how to prepare it. These three preparation methods can help you put that rind to good use: 

Pickled: Watermelon rind is similar to a cucumber, which is why it’s no surprise that pickled watermelon rind is a popular option.

Juiced: Most people know you can enjoy juice from red flesh of the melon, but you can juice the rind, too. Just like the watermelon flesh, the rind is loaded with water and nutrients.

Stir-Fried: When it’s cut up, watermelon rind is just like a vegetable, which means it can be tossed in a pan and stir-fried right alongside broccoli and carrots.

Look for more creative ways to use your watermelon rind at watermelon.org.

Watermelon Rind Pickles

  • 4          cups water
  • 1          tablespoon coarse salt
  • 2          cups peeled watermelon rind, cut into 1-1/2-by-2-inch pieces (leave thin layer of pink)
  • 3/4       cup granulated sugar
  • 1          allspice berry
  • 1/2       cup cider vinegar
  • 4          peppercorns
  • 4          whole cloves
  • 1/2       teaspoon pickling spice
  • 1          long slice of fresh gingerroot
  • 1/4       teaspoon celery seeds
  1. In large pot over medium-high heat, bring water and salt to boil. Add rind pieces and boil until tender, about 5 minutes. Strain. Transfer rinds to large metal bowl.
  2. In saucepan, combine watermelon rind, sugar, berries, vinegar, peppercorns, cloves, pickling spice, gingerroot and celery seeds. Bring to boil over medium-high heat, stirring until sugar dissolves. Simmer 15 minutes until slightly reduced. Pour over watermelon rinds in bowl. Place plate over top to keep rinds submerged in liquid.
  3. Cover and refrigerate 1 day. Transfer to glass jar and keep sealed in refrigerator up to 2 weeks.

Watermelon Rind Stir-Fry

  • 2          teaspoons sesame oil
  • 2          cups watermelon rind, julienned (white part only, from about 1/2 of seedless watermelon)
  • 1          cup julienned carrots
  • 1/2       cup chives, cut into 3-inch pieces
  • 1          tablespoon honey
  • 1          tablespoon soy sauce
  • 1          tablespoon fish sauce
  • 1          clove garlic, minced
  • 1          piece (about 1 inch) ginger, minced
  • 1/2       cup fresh basil leaves, torn
  • 1/4       cup cilantro leaves
  • 1/4       cup mint leaves
  • crushed red pepper flakes (optional)
  1. In wok over high heat, heat sesame oil. Add watermelon rind and carrots and fry, stirring constantly, 1-2 minutes. Let sit over high heat 1 additional minute without stirring. Add chives and stir to combine.
  2. In small bowl, whisk together honey, soy sauce, fish sauce, garlic and ginger. Pour sauce over watermelon rind and cook, stirring, 30 seconds-1 minute, until fragrant.
  3. Transfer to serving dish. Add basil, cilantro and mint, tossing to combine. Sprinkle with red pepper flakes, if desired, and serve.

Source: National Watermelon Promotion Board

Meal Ideas 05 February 2019

6 Ways to Build a Better Lunchbox

(Family Features) Coming up with fresh ideas every day to keep kids’ lunches exciting is no small task. When the goal is an empty lunchbox and a full, happy tummy, the winning combination is a blend of nutrition and flavor.

Step up your game this school year with these ideas for a better lunchbox:

Get creative. Foods that look can good taste good, too. Transform sandwiches into fun shapes using cookie cutters or make tiny heart- or star-shaped, bite-size pieces of cheese for a fun finger food. Another fun idea: thread sliced and bite-sized vegetables on a wooden stick for a no-cook kabob. For a sweet variation, use fruit instead and sprinkle with coconut for extra flavor.

Skip the packaging. Little fingers can struggle to open pre-packaged foods, so instead opt for fresh ingredients that fit into a bento-style box. Not only can kids see what tasty treats await and dig straight into their meals, less packaging means less processing, which is good for their health and the environment.

Keep it simple. Opt for delicious, flavorful foods that deliver nutrients kids need and the taste they want without any extras. An option like Hidden Valley Simply Ranch makes for a rich and creamy complement to carrot sticks, cucumber and other lunchbox staples. With no artificial preservatives, flavors or colors this ranch is perfect for encouraging kids to eat the veggies you pack. Look for Classic Ranch or for a special twist, try flavors such as Cucumber Basil or Chili Lime.

Rely on the familiar. Refueling during the day is important to keep kids focused and able to mentally and physically tackle the rest of the school day. Avoid trying out new foods at lunchtime and save experimenting with new flavors for meals at home.

Go for variety. Representing multiple foods groups isn’t only a good way to deliver good nutrition, the variety in colors and textures can make the meal more interesting and encourage kids to eat more. Include savory meats, crunchy crackers, veggies and sweet fruits.

Add a treat. Whether it’s a favorite fruit or yogurt, a single piece of candy or even a simple note that says “I love you and I’m proud of you,” find a way to add something sweet to every lunch and bring a smile to your child’s daily routine.

Look for more kid-friendly meals at hiddenvalley.com
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Portable Veggie Kabobs with Tangy Veggie Dip

Prep time: 5 minutes
Cook time: 10 minutes
Total time: 15 minutes
Servings: 6-8

  • 1          cucumber, sliced
  • 1          cup broccoli florets
  • 2          carrots, sliced
  • 8          cherry tomatoes
  • 6-8       wooden skewers
  • Hidden Valley Simply Ranch
  1. Gently thread cucumber slices, broccoli, carrot slices and cherry tomatoes on skewers, placing 2-3 pieces of each veggie on each skewer to make a rainbow of colors.
  2. Serve ranch dressing with veggies for dipping.

Tip: Add cheese cubes for protein on kabobs, if desired.

Photo courtesy of Mick Jones

Source: Hidden Valley

Grilling-Tailgating 16 January 2019

Dig Into 7 Game-Winning Dips

(Family Features) Although you may share a passion for a favorite sports team, not everyone has the same taste when it comes to the tailgating menu. Enter these seven dips: from a yogurt turmeric dip to spicy buffalo chicken dip, you’re sure to please nearly every game-day guest.

Visit McCormick.com or find McCormick on Facebook and Pinterest for more recipes to make your tailgating menu a winner.

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Texas Trash Dip

There won’t be any trash talk when it comes to this dip. It’s the ultimate ooey, gooey, cheesy dish that’s sure to be all the rage at game-day parties and social gatherings.

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Easy Buffalo Chicken Dip

Games and wings go hand-in-hand, but you can keep hands mess-free with this alternative that combines all the flavors of savory Buffalo chicken wings in a warm, creamy dip. 

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Sweet Georgia Peach and Pecan Dip

Think outside the box this season with a dip that is the perfect blend of salty and sweet. Bacon, Georgia peaches, sweet onions and a brown sugar bourbon marinade are complemented by pecans for a nutty, crunchy finish.

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Creamy Turmeric and Cinnamon Dip

Low-fat yogurt and milk blend with golden turmeric and cinnamon for a tangy dip just waiting for crispy dippers like pita chips and veggies.

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Roasted Carrot Yogurt Dip

Move over cheesy, chili dips – the tangy sweetness of orange juice, carrots and honey make for a simple dip you can feel good about devouring.

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Spinach Artichoke and Dill Dip

Warm up with this crowd-pleasing dip made with fresh spinach, artichoke hearts, cream cheese and Parmesan.

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Spicy Black Bean Dip

Simply mix together a can of black beans, chopped tomatoes and spices like chili powder and cumin for an easy dip to throw together for last-minute guests.

Source: McCormick

Videos 16 January 2019

Cooking Up Comfort

Hearty dishes for cold, dreary days

(Family Features) On crisp winter days when the wind blows cold, warming up from the inside-out with hearty comfort foods can feel like a worthy solution. From chili to cornbread to dumplings, flavorful and filling foods prepared without an overload of ingredients certainly can provide a feel-good boost on chilly evenings.

Chili, a classic wintertime favorite, can be taken to the next level with a few tasty additions. Make a spicy version by mixing in bacon, sweet potatoes and a chopped jalapeno pepper for a quick warm-up. A simple and somewhat sweet spin on a classic, comforting side, Honey-Pumpkin Cornbread pairs well with the slightly spicy chili. If you’re really looking to put the comfort in a comforting main course, this Skillet Chicken and Dumplings recipe takes less than an hour to create.

To make these heart-warming recipes stand out from a crowd, Circulon Symmetry Chocolate Cookware provides dishwasher-safe, premium nonstick cookware for easy cleanup and food release that slides right off.

Find more information and comforting family-favorite recipes at circulon.com.

Watch video to see how to make this delicious recipe!

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Sweet Potato and Black Bean Chili

Prep time: 30 minutes
Cook time: 60 minutes
Servings: 6

  • Circulon Symmetry Chocolate 5.5-Quart Casserole
  • 6          slices thick-cut smoked bacon, chopped
  • 1          pound sweet potatoes, peeled and diced into 3/4-inch pieces
  • 2          medium onions, chopped
  • 1          jalapeno pepper, seeded and finely chopped
  • 5          garlic cloves, minced
  • 2          tablespoons chili powder
  • 2          teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1/2       teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/4       teaspoon ground chipotle pepper
  • 2          cups chicken broth
  • 1          can (14 1/2 ounces) no-salt-added fire-roasted diced tomatoes
  • 1          can (15 ounces) no-salt-added black beans
  • 1/2       cup quick-cooking barley
  • 1/2       teaspoon salt
  1. Heat casserole over medium heat. Add bacon and cook until browned and crisp, about 7-8 minutes. Using slotted spoon, transfer bacon to paper towel-covered plate.
  2. Reduce bacon fat in casserole to 2 tablespoons and return to stove over medium-high heat. Add sweet potatoes, onions and jalapeno pepper; cook, stirring occasionally, until onion is slightly softened, about 5 minutes.
  3. Add garlic and cook 1 minute. Stir in chili powder, cumin, oregano and ground chipotle; cook until fragrant, 15 seconds.
  4. Pour in broth, tomatoes, beans and barley; reduce heat to medium-low, cover and simmer until sweet potatoes are tender and barley is cooked through, about 20 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in bacon and salt; let stand 15 minutes before serving.

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Honey-Pumpkin Cornbread

Prep time: 20 minutes
Cook time: 20 minutes
Servings: 12-16

  • Circulon Nonstick 9-Inch Square Baking Pan
  • 1 1/2    cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/4    cups yellow cornmeal
  • 3          tablespoons sugar
  • 1 1/2    teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4       teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2       teaspoon sea salt
  • 1          cup canned pumpkin puree
  • 2          large eggs, at room temperature
  • 5          tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
  • 4          tablespoons honey
  • 1/3       cup buttermilk
  • 1          tablespoon grated orange zest
  1. Heat oven to 400° F. Lightly butter baking pan.
  2. In bowl, combine flour, cornmeal, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt.
  3. In separate bowl, whisk pumpkin puree, eggs, butter, honey, buttermilk and orange zest. Stir flour mixture into pumpkin mixture until moistened; transfer to prepared baking pan.
  4. Bake until cornbread pulls away from sides of pan and toothpick inserted into center comes out clean, 20-22 minutes. Cool in pan 5 minutes. Remove from pan and cool on wire rack at least 10 minutes before cutting.

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Skillet Chicken and Dumplings

Prep time: 30 minutes
Cook time: 40 minutes
Servings: 8

  • Circulon Symmetry Chocolate 3.5-Quart Saucepan
  • 3          containers (32 ounces each) low-sodium chicken stock
  • Circulon Symmetry Chocolate 12-Inch Essentials Pan
  • 2          medium onions, diced
  • 4          carrots, peeled and sliced into 1-inch rounds
  • 1          head broccoli, chopped
  • 2          tablespoons butter
  • 2          tablespoons olive oil
  • 2-3       cups chopped chicken
  • 2          bay leaves
  • 1/2       teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/2       teaspoon dried basil
  • 1/2       teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1          teaspoon powdered garlic
  • 1/2       teaspoon salt
  • 1/4       teaspoon pepper
  • 1/2       cup half-and-half
  • 2          tablespoons cornstarch

Dumplings:

  • 1 1/2    cups whole-wheat or all-purpose flour
  • 2          teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2       teaspoon salt
  • 1          cup half-and-half

Garnish:

  • fresh grated Parmesan cheese
  • fresh black pepper
  1. In saucepan, bring chicken stock to boil.
  2. In essentials pan, saute onions, carrots and broccoli with butter. Add olive oil as needed if pan looks dry. Cook until onions are translucent and carrots are beginning to soften.
  3. Add chopped chicken, bay leaves, oregano, basil, thyme, garlic, salt, pepper and hot chicken stock to skillet. Simmer 20-30 minutes until vegetables are softened. Adjust seasoning, as necessary.
  4. Whisk cornstarch into half-and-half until smooth. Whisk into soup and simmer 5 minutes, until slightly thickened.
  5. To make Dumplings: In medium bowl, mix flour, baking powder, salt and half-and-half. Swirl soup with wooden spoon and add heaping tablespoons into center of soup at strong simmer. Continue adding until all dumpling batter is used. Cover with lid and cook on high 2-3 minutes.
  6. Serve topped with grated Parmesan and fresh cracked pepper.

Source: Circulon

Meal Ideas 16 March 2018

Easy Spring Lamb, Sides and Treats

(Family Features) This Easter holiday, hop into a new tradition and swap your classic ham for savory lamb.

Cooking lamb can be easier than many might think, especially when using a pressure cooker. You can combine aromatic herbs with white wine for a juicy leg of lamb in under an hour. Or try baking a rack of lamb crusted with a quinoa-hazelnut combination and topped with a mint pesto.

For a perfect, set-and-forget side, try slow cooker carrots, sprinkled with dill weed and lemon extract for a delightful spring dish. End the meal with festive cupcakes modeled after the Easter bunny, which can satisfy the sweet tooth of guests of all ages.

Find more Easter recipes at McCormick.com and find McCormick Spice on Facebook and Pinterest.
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Bunny Butt Cupcakes

Recipe courtesy of Amanda Rettke of “I am baker”
Prep time: 45 minutes
Cook time: 20 minutes
Servings: 24

  • 1          2-layer size white cake mix
  • 1          tablespoon, plus 2 teaspoons, McCormick Pure Lemon Extract, divided
  • 1          tablespoon McCormick Pure Vanilla Extract
  • 3/4       cup white chocolate chips
  • 2          sticks butter, softened
  • 16        ounces confectioners’ sugar
  • 2          tablespoons milk
  • 10        drops McCormick Green Food Color
  • 1-2       drops McCormick Red Food Color
  • 12        large marshmallows, halved crosswise
  • 3          tablespoons white nonpareil sprinkles
  1. Prepare cake mix as directed on package, adding 1 tablespoon lemon extract and vanilla. Spoon 3 tablespoons batter into 24 paper-lined muffin cups. Bake as directed on package for cupcakes. Cool cupcakes on wire rack.
  2. To make bunny feet: In medium, microwave-safe bowl, microwave white chocolate chips on high 30 seconds. Stir until completely melted and smooth. Spoon into pastry bag or re-sealable plastic bag. Snip small corner from bag. Pipe 24 pairs of bunny feet onto parchment or wax paper-lined cookie sheet. Use toothpick to smooth out bumps or rough edges, and gently tap cookie sheet on counter to help settle. Allow to harden 2 minutes in freezer or 15 minutes in refrigerator.
  3. To make frosting: In large bowl, beat butter and remaining lemon extract until light and fluffy. Gradually add confectioners’ sugar, beating well after each addition and scraping sides and bottom of bowl frequently. Add milk; beat until light and fluffy. Remove half the frosting and place in medium bowl. Add green food color; mix until evenly blended. Spoon into pastry bag fitted with grass decorating tip. Set aside. Remove half the remaining frosting into small bowl. Add red food color; mix until light pink. Spoon into another pastry bag.
  4. Using pink frosting, pipe three toes and padding on each bunny foot. Once frosting has set (about 1 hour) gently press down on pink frosting to create smoother look.
  5. To assemble cupcakes: Pipe green frosting onto each cupcake in series of short motions to create individual grass spots. Cover top of each cupcake completely.
  6. To make bunny butts: Place cut sides of marshmallow halves onto each frosted cupcake, leaving room for bunny feet. Shape remaining white frosting into dime-sized balls then roll with white sprinkles to cover. Pipe small drop of remaining pink or white frosting onto top of each marshmallow. Press bunny tail on top.
  7. Place both bunny feet against base of marshmallow with toes facing down.

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Lemon Dill Slow Cooker Carrots

Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 3-4 hours
Servings: 6

  • Nonstick cooking spray
  • 2          pounds carrots, peeled and cut into 1/2-1-inch chunks
  • 2          tablespoons water
  • 1/2       teaspoon salt
  • 2          tablespoons olive oil
  • 2          teaspoons McCormick Dill Weed
  • 2          teaspoons McCormick Pure Lemon Extract
  • 2          teaspoons Dijon mustard
  • teaspoon white wine vinegar
  1. Spray inside of 4-quart slow cooker with nonstick cooking spray. Add carrots, water and salt; toss to coat. Cover.
  2. Cook on high 3-4 hours, or until tender.
  3. In small bowl, mix olive oil, dill weed, lemon extract, Dijon mustard and vinegar. Stir into cooked carrots in slow cooker before serving.

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Rack of Lamb with Quinoa-Hazelnut Crust and Mint Pesto

Prep time: 20 minutes
Cook time: 40 minutes
Servings: 6

  • 2          tablespoons red quinoa
  • 2          tablespoons white quinoa
  • 1/2       cup water
  • 1/4       cup, plus 1 tablespoon, finely chopped toasted hazelnuts, divided
  • 2          racks of lamb, about 1 pound each
  • 3          tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 1 1/8    teaspoons McCormick Gourmet Sicilian Sea Salt, divided
  • 1/4       teaspoon McCormick Gourmet Organic Black Pepper
  • 2          teaspoons lemon juice
  • 2          tablespoons McCormick Gourmet Organic Mint
  • 1/8       teaspoon McCormick Gourmet Organic Garlic Powder
  • cup plain Greek yogurt
  1. Rinse quinoa; drain well. In small saucepan over medium-high heat, bring quinoa and water to boil. Reduce heat to low; cover and simmer 13 minutes, or until liquid is absorbed, stirring occasionally. Spread cooked quinoa on baking sheet to cool. Stir in 1/4 cup hazelnuts. Set aside.
  2. Heat oven to 450° F. Brush racks of lamb lightly with 1 teaspoon oil. Sprinkle with 1 teaspoon sea salt and pepper. Coat lamb with quinoa mixture, pressing firmly to adhere. Place lamb on roasting rack in foil-lined, shallow roasting pan. Drizzle with 2 teaspoons oil.
  3. Roast 20-25 minutes, or until desired doneness.
  4. To make Mint Pesto: In small bowl, mix remaining oil, remaining hazelnuts, lemon juice, mint, garlic powder and remaining sea salt until well blended. Stir 1 teaspoon pesto into yogurt.
  5. To serve: Carve lamb into chops. Drizzle with remaining pesto. Serve with yogurt sauce.

Electric Pressure Cooker Lamb

Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 48 minutes
Servings: 12

  • 1          tablespoon McCormick Garlic Powder
  • 1          tablespoon McCormick crushed Rosemary Leaves
  • 2          teaspoons McCormick Sea Salt
  • 1          teaspoon McCormick Thyme Leaves
  • 1/2       teaspoon ground McCormick Black Pepper
  • 2          tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1          semi-boneless leg of lamb (about 4 pounds)
  • 1          cup Kitchen Basics Original Chicken Stock
  • 1/2       cup dry white wine
  • 2          medium carrots, peeled and cut into 2-inch chunks
  • 1          medium yellow onion, cut into wedges
  • 1/4       cup water
  • tablespoons cornstarch
  1. In small bowl, mix garlic powder, rosemary, sea salt, thyme and black pepper. Set aside.
  2. In electric pressure cooker, heat oil on saute setting until simmering. Sprinkle half the seasoning mixture evenly over lamb. Place lamb in pressure cooker. Cook 8-10 minutes, or until browned on all sides, turning occasionally. Add stock, wine and remaining seasoning mixture to pressure cooker. Arrange carrots and onion around lamb. Close lid.
  3. Cook 25 minutes on high pressure. Once complete, allow pressure to release naturally with vent closed 15 minutes. Vent to release remaining pressure; remove lid. Remove lamb and vegetables from pressure cooker; set aside and keep warm.
  4. Set pressure cooker to saute. Cook, uncovered, until liquid is reduced by about half, about 5-10 minutes. In small bowl, mix water and cornstarch. Stir into pressure cooker with wire whisk. Cook, stirring occasionally, 1-2 minutes, or until thickened. Serve lamb and vegetables with gravy.

Source: McCormick

Meal Ideas 16 March 2018

An Easy, Excellent Easter

(Family Features) Amazing food is the centerpiece of most holiday gatherings. This Easter, impress guests with your culinary talent by making simple dishes simply amazing. With a little special attention, even the most basic foods can evolve into dishes worth sharing with loved ones.

Most chefs agree that spices and seasonings are essential elements of your kitchen arsenal. This Easter, give your spread a boost with spices and herbs of the highest quality, such as those from Spice Islands, which crafts and packages spices and herbs from around the world to deliver the most authentic and intense flavor possible.

Sensational Cinnamon

With its rich hue and warm aroma, cinnamon can bring spicy sweetness to all kinds of baked goods. However, all cinnamon is not the same. There are two main varieties of cinnamon, Indonesian and Vietnamese.

Vietnamese, which is used in the Spice Islands Saigon Cinnamon featured in these recipes, tends to have a brighter, spicy taste. The forests of Vietnam are known for their premium cinnamon. High in volatile oils, the Vietnamese cinnamon trees produce a deep, reddish-brown cinnamon with an intense fragrance and sweet, red-hot-candy-like flavor.

Update your traditional ham with a spicy, honeyed glaze; give a side serving of carrots a tasty twist and end the affair on a sweet note with a rustic, utterly delicious dessert. Find more flavorful ideas to elevate your Easter menu at spiceislands.com.

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Spiced Honey and Black Pepper-Glazed Ham

Prep time: 10 minutes
Total time: 30 minutes
Servings: 12

  • 8-10     pounds cooked shank-end ham
  • water (optional)
  • 1          tablespoon Spice Islands Cracked Black Pepper
  • 1          tablespoon Spice Islands Ground Mustard
  • 1          tablespoon Spice Islands Garlic Powder
  • 1/2       cup honey
  • 1 1/2    teaspoons Spice Islands Ground Saigon Cinnamon
  • 1/2       teaspoon Spice Islands Ground Cloves
  1. Heat oven to 325° F.
  2. With sharp knife, score ham at 1-inch intervals; place in baking dish. If ham appears dry, moisten surface with water. In small bowl, combine black pepper, mustard and garlic powder. Rub pepper mixture over surface of ham. Roast according to package directions.
  3. Combine honey, cinnamon and cloves. Drizzle over ham during last 30 minutes of roasting. Remove ham from oven and let rest 20 minutes before slicing.

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Spiced Maple Carrots

Prep time: 5 minutes
Total time: 15 minutes
Servings: 4

  • 1          pound (4 cups) baby carrots
  • 1/2       cup water
  • 1          teaspoon Spice Islands Ground Saigon Cinnamon
  • 3/4       teaspoon Spice Islands Ground Ginger
  • 2          tablespoons Maple Grove Farms 100% Pure Maple Syrup
  • 1          tablespoon butter
  • sea salt, to taste
  1. In large skillet, combine carrots, water, cinnamon and ginger. Mix well. Cover and cook on high 6 minutes until almost tender.
  2. Add maple syrup and butter. Mix well and continue to cook, uncovered, 2-3 minutes, until carrots are well-glazed. Season, to taste, with sea salt.

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Anise, Pear and Almond Crostata

Prep time: 45 minutes
Total time: 2 hours, 30 minutes
Servings: 6

Crostata Crust:

  • 1 1/4    cups all-purpose flour
  • 1          stick butter, cut into 1/2-inch cubes and frozen
  • 1/2       teaspoon Spice Islands Fine Mediterranean Sea Salt
  • 1/4       cup ice water

Anise Almond Filling:

  • 1          cup blanched, slivered almonds
  • 3/4       teaspoon Spice Islands Anise Seeds
  • 1/3       cup sugar
  • 1          large egg
  • 1          teaspoon Spice Islands Vanilla Extract
  • 1/4       teaspoon Spice Islands Fine Mediterranean Sea Salt
  • 2          tablespoons butter, at room temperature
  • 3          Fiorelle or small pears, sliced into thin wedges
  • 2          tablespoons sugar, plus extra for sprinkling
  • 1          tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1          large egg, beaten
  • 2          tablespoons Polaner Apricot Preserves, heated
  • cream or ice cream (optional)
  1. To make crust: In food processor, combine flour, frozen butter and salt. Pulse until dough is size of large peas. Add 3 tablespoons ice water and pulse several times. Pinch dough to see if it is holding together; if not, add water a couple of teaspoons at a time, pulsing once or twice after each addition, until dough holds together. Form dough into disk, wrap in plastic wrap and chill 30 minutes.
  2. Heat oven to 400° F.
  3. To make filling: In food processor, blend almonds, anise seeds, sugar, egg, vanilla and salt until paste forms. Add room temperature butter and blend again. Set aside.
  4. Toss sliced pears with 2 tablespoons sugar and lemon juice. Set aside.
  5. On sheet of floured parchment paper, roll out dough into 13-inch circle; transfer on parchment to rimless cookie sheet.
  6. Spread almond paste onto circle, leaving 2-inch border. Scatter pears on top, covering almond paste. Fold dough up and over pears, overlapping dough as needed. Brush with egg wash and sprinkle crust generously with extra sugar.
  7. Bake until pears are tender, 40-45 minutes. If crust starts to get too brown, lightly cover with foil. Remove tart from oven and brush pears with heated apricot preserves. Serve with cream or ice cream, if desired.

Source: Spice Islands

Meal Ideas 26 February 2018

Throw a Shamrockin' St. Patrick's Day Party

With Irish Classics and Green-Tinted Treats

(Family Features) It doesn’t take the Luck o’ the Irish to throw a great St. Patrick’s Day party. These tips and recipes will help you throw a festive celebration you’ll enjoy as much as your guests — including make-ahead corned beef and a minty-green cookie recipe both adults and little leprechauns will love.

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For more St. Patrick’s Day recipes, check out www.McCormick.com and visit McCormick Spice on Facebook and Pinterest.“We’ve developed recipes that make the tastes of Ireland easy to create — from a simple Irish Soda Bread to a classic corned beef and cabbage recipe that can be made in a slow cooker,” said Mary Beth Harrington of the McCormick Kitchens. “And don’t forget the treats! Our Mint Chocolate Chip Cookies are the perfect ending to a perfectly green party.”

Mint Chocolate Chip Cookies

  • 2 1/2 cups flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened
  • 1 1/4 cups sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1–1 1/2 teaspoons McCormick Green Food Color
  • 1 teaspoon McCormick Pure Peppermint Extract
  • 1 1/2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips
  1. Preheat oven to 375°F. Mix flour, baking soda and salt in medium bowl. Set aside. Beat butter and sugar in large bowl with electric mixer on medium speed until light and fluffy. Add eggs, food color and peppermint extract; mix well. Gradually beat in flour mixture on low speed until well mixed. Stir in chocolate chips.
  2. Drop by heaping tablespoons about 2 inches apart onto ungreased baking sheets.
  3. Bake 10–12 minutes or until edges are lightly browned. Cool on baking sheets 1 minute. Remove to wire racks; cool completely.

Savory Irish Cheese Soda Bread

  • 2 1/2 cups flour
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons McCormick Caraway Seed
  • 1 teaspoon McCormick Garlic Powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon McCormick Red Pepper, Ground
  • 1/2 cup shredded Irish Cheddar cheese
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 1/4 cups buttermilk
  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Mix flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt and seasonings in large bowl. Stir in cheese. Set aside. Mix eggs and buttermilk in medium bowl. Add to dry ingredients; stir until well blended. Spread in lightly grease 9-inch round cake pan.
  2. Bake 30–40 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool in pan on wire rack 10 minutes. Remove from pan. Cool completely on wire rack.

Tip: Make muffins instead of bread. Prepare dough as directed and divide among 12 greased muffin cups. Bake 20–25 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.

Slow Cooker Corned Beef and Cabbage

  • 8 small red potatoes
  • 2 cups baby carrots
  • 1 small onion, quartered
  • 1 corned beef brisket (4 pounds), rinsed and trimmed
  • 2 tablespoons McCormick Mixed Pickling Spice
  • 1 teaspoon McCormick Minced Garlic
  • 1/2 head cabbage, cored and cut into wedges
  1. Place potatoes, carrots and onion in slow cooker. Place corned beef brisket over vegetables. Sprinkle with pickling spice and minced garlic. Add enough water (about 8 cups) to just cover meat. Cover.
  2. Cook 7 hours on high. Add cabbage. Cover. Cook 1–2 hours on high or until cabbage is tender-crisp.
  3. Remove corned beef brisket to serving platter. Slice thinly across grain. Serve with vegetables.

Tip: For best results, do not remove cover while cooking in slow cooker.

Source:  McCormick & Company, Inc.

Meal Ideas 25 January 2018

Throw a Hot-Pot Dinner Party

(Family Features) Heat up your next get-together by inviting family and friends over to try a DIY trend, the hot-pot party. It can be easy to prep and your guests can enjoy cooking and customizing their own meals.

First, prepare a rich, flavored broth and serve steaming-hot in a slow cooker or multi-cooker. Next, offer a selection of meat, seafood and veggies for dunking. Cook for a few minutes then garnish with sauces and various toppings to match individual tastes.

A traditional East Asian hot-pot broth is flavored with beef stock, soy sauce, chilies, ginger and garlic. Try a Mexican-inspired version by serving a spiced chicken broth with ancho chile pepper, cumin and oregano, or offer a taste of the Caribbean with a coconut milk broth and fresh papaya pica sauce.

Learn more about this hot-pot trend and all the latest flavor trends in McCormick’s 2018 Flavor Forecast at FlavorForecast.com.
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Caribbean Hot-Pot Broth with Papaya Pica Sauce

Prep time: 45 minutes
Cook time: 3 hours
Servings: 10

Caribbean Hot-Pot Broth:

  • 2          pounds smoked ham hocks
  • 2          cups sliced yellow onions
  • 1          cup diagonally sliced carrots
  • 1/2       cup diagonally sliced celery
  • 8 1/4    cups water, divided
  • 1          container (32 ounces) Kitchen Basics Original Chicken Stock
  • 1          whole chile pepper, such as Scotch bonnet or habanero
  • 2          McCormick Bay Leaves
  • 1          teaspoon McCormick Thyme Leaves
  • 1          teaspoon McCormick Ground Turmeric
  • 1/2       teaspoon ground allspice
  • 1/2       teaspoon ground black pepper
  • salt, to taste
  • 2          tablespoons cornstarch
  • 2          cans (13.66 ounces each) Thai Kitchen Coconut Milk
  • 2          tablespoons lime juice

Papaya Pica Sauce:

  • 3          cups cubed fresh papaya
  • 1/2       cup cider vinegar
  • 1/4       cup chopped, seeded Scotch bonnet (chile pepper)
  • 1/4       cup chopped yellow onion
  • 1/4       cup yellow mustard
  • 1          teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/2       teaspoon ground allspice
  • 1/2       teaspoon McCormick Garlic Powder
  • 1/2       teaspoon McCormick Ground Ginger
  • 1/4       teaspoon McCormick Ground Cloves
  • 1          pound uncooked bay scallops
  • 1          pound uncooked shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • cooked rice
  • toasted shredded coconut (optional)
  • fresh red or green bell pepper slices (optional)
  1. To make broth: Place ham hocks, onion, carrots and celery in 6-quart stockpot. Cook on medium heat 5-6 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add 8 cups water, chicken stock, chile pepper, bay leaves, thyme leaves, turmeric, allspice and pepper. Add salt, to taste. Bring to boil. Reduce heat to low; cover and simmer 1 hour, skimming fat occasionally.
  2. Remove cover and simmer 30 minutes, skimming fat occasionally. Remove ham hocks and skim fat. In small bowl, whisk cornstarch and remaining water. Add to pot with coconut milk. Cook on medium heat 30 minutes. Skim fat. Stir lime juice into broth.
  3. To make Papaya Pica Sauce: In food processor on high speed, process papaya, vinegar, chile pepper, onion, mustard, salt, allspice, garlic powder, ginger and cloves until smooth. Transfer to medium saucepan. Bring to boil. Reduce heat to low; simmer, uncovered, 10-15 minutes. Pour into medium bowl.
  4. To serve, pour broth into heated 6-quart electric slow cooker or hot pot. Cook shrimp and scallops in broth about 5 minutes, or until cooked through, stirring occasionally.
  5. Place some rice in bowl then ladle broth and seafood over top. Stir in Papaya Pica Sauce and top with shredded coconut and pepper slices, if desired.

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Asian Hot-Pot Broth with Tangy Chili Sauce

Prep time: 15 minutes
Cook time: 25 minutes
Servings: 10

Hot-Pot Broth:

  • 2          teaspoons vegetable oil
  • 1          large sweet onion, thinly sliced
  • 2          containers (32 ounces each) Kitchen Basics Original Beef Stock
  • 1/4       cup Thai Kitchen Red Curry Paste
  • 2          tablespoons reduced sodium soy sauce
  • 1          tablespoon packed light brown sugar
  • 1          tablespoon McCormick Garlic Powder
  • 1          teaspoon McCormick Ground Ginger
  • 2          tablespoons lime juice

Tangy Chili Sauce:

  • 1/2       cup Thai Kitchen Sweet Red Chili Sauce
  • 3          tablespoons lime juice
  • 1          pound flank steak, thinly sliced
  • Simply Asia Lo Mein Noodles, cooked
  • assorted mushrooms, sliced (optional)
  • baby bok choy, coarsely chopped (optional)
  • crunchy Chinese noodles (optional)
  1. To make broth: In 6-quart stockpot over medium-high heat, heat oil. Add onion; cook and stir until tender, about 3 minutes. Stir in beef stock, curry paste, soy sauce, brown sugar, garlic powder and ginger. Bring to boil. Reduce heat to low; cover and simmer 20 minutes. Stir lime juice into broth before serving.
  2. To make Tangy Chili Sauce: In small bowl, mix red chili sauce and lime juice. Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve.
  3. To serve, pour broth into heated 6-quart electric slow cooker or hot pot. Cook steak in broth about 2-3 minutes, or until it reaches desired doneness.
  4. Place lo mein noodles in bowls then ladle broth and steak over top. Stir in Tangy Chili Sauce and top with mushrooms, baby bok choy and Chinese noodles, if desired.

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Puebla Hot-Pot Broth with Avocado Crema

Prep time: 45 minutes
Cook time: 45 minutes
Servings: 10

Puebla Hot-Pot Broth:

  • 3          tablespoons McCormick Gourmet Ancho Chile Pepper
  • 2          teaspoons ground cumin
  • 2          teaspoons oregano leaves
  • 2          teaspoons McCormick Smoked Paprika
  • 1/2       teaspoon McCormick Gourmet Sicilian Sea Salt
  • 1          tablespoon olive oil
  • 1          cup finely chopped white onion
  • 6          cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 2          containers (32 ounces each) Kitchen Basics Original Chicken Stock
  • 1          can (28 ounces) crushed tomatoes
  • 2          ears fresh corn, shucked and cut into 1-inch rounds
  • 2          tablespoons lime juice

Avocado Crema:

  • 1/2       medium avocado, peeled, pitted and coarsely chopped
  • 1          cup sour cream
  • 1          tablespoon lime juice
  • 1/4       teaspoon McCormick Gourmet Sicilian Sea Salt
  • 1/4       teaspoon McCormick Garlic Powder
  • 1          pound boneless skinless chicken breast, cut into thin strips
  • 1          chayote, peeled and cut into matchsticks
  • avocado, chopped (optional)
  • fresh cilantro, chopped (optional)
  • crunchy tortilla strips (optional)
  1. To make broth: In small bowl, mix chile pepper, ground cumin, oregano, paprika and salt. Set aside. In 6-quart stockpot on medium heat, heat oil. Add onion and garlic; cook and stir until softened. Stir in chicken stock, crushed tomatoes and 1/2 of seasoning mixture. Bring to boil. Reduce heat to low; simmer 20 minutes, adding corn during last 10 minutes of cooking. Remove corn to plate. Stir lime juice into broth.
  2. To make Avocado Crema: In food processor on high speed, process avocado, sour cream, lime juice, salt and garlic powder until smooth. Transfer to bowl; cover. Refrigerate until ready to serve.
  3. Coat chicken strips with remaining seasoning mixture.
  4. To serve, pour broth into heated 6-quart electric slow cooker or hot pot. Cook chicken and chayote in broth 4-5 minutes, or until cooked through, stirring occasionally.
  5. Ladle broth with cooked chicken and vegetables into individual bowls. Top with Avocado Crema and avocado, fresh cilantro and tortilla strips, if desired.

Source: McCormick

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