(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
- Leave bread slices out, at room temperature, at least 3 hours, or until slightly stale.
- Generously coat 9-inch baking dish with nonstick cooking spray. Arrange bread, slightly overlapping.
- 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.
- Cover baking dish with plastic wrap. Refrigerate at least 5 hours, or overnight.
- Heat oven to 375 F. Remove plastic. Sprinkle remaining bacon and Swiss cheese over top of bread mixture.
- Bake 45-50 minutes, or until golden brown and set.
- 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
- Heat oven to 325 F.
- Bake ciabatta bread cubes until lightly toasted, about 15 minutes. Set aside. Increase oven temperature to 375 F.
- In skillet over medium-high heat, melt 1 tablespoon butter.
- Cook sausage, breaking meat into medium pieces, until browned, about 8-10 minutes. Transfer sausage to large bowl; set aside.
- Add remaining butter to skillet; cook carrots, onions and celery until soft, 5-7 minutes, and transfer to bowl with sausage.
- 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.
- Spread evenly in greased 9-by-13-inch baking dish. Bake until golden brown and bread is slightly crisp on top, 30-35 minutes.
- Garnish with additional parsley before serving.
Tip: Recipe can be made one day before and refrigerated overnight.
(Family Features) Striking a balance between work and home life, friends and family, and hobbies and errands can contribute to a healthy lifestyle. As you look to rebalance certain aspects of your life during an opportunity like National Nutrition Month, don’t forget to take your diet into consideration as well.
Including grain-based foods as part of a balanced diet – along with proper exercise – can be an essential part of living a healthier lifestyle and can provide numerous health benefits. In fact, the Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommend a 50-50 balance between whole and enriched grains per day for optimal health. Furthermore, research from the Grain Foods Foundation suggests whole and enriched grains supply a variety of key vitamins and minerals, like thiamin, niacin, riboflavin, zinc, selenium and magnesium, and important shortfall nutrients like dietary fiber, iron and folate.
Incorporating grains into meals throughout the day, including these under-500 calorie recipes for Grilled Cinnamon French Toast with Granola Crunch and Roast Beef and Arugula Sandwiches featuring whole and enriched grains, can aid in maintaining a healthy weight. Additional benefits of consuming grains include lowering cholesterol and supporting digestion, while also providing anti-inflammatory nutrients and fiber, which helps fight belly fat.
Find more nutritionist-developed, balanced and budget-friendly recipes for every meal at grainfoodsfoundation.org.
Grilled Cinnamon French Toast with Granola Crunch
Recipe courtesy of Oroweat on behalf of the Grain Foods Foundation
Prep time: 20 minutes
- 1/2 cup orange juice
- 1/4 cup light brown sugar
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 1 cup strawberries, sliced
- 1 banana, thinly sliced
- 3/4 cup milk
- 1 egg
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 4 slices whole-grain nut bread
- 1/4 cup granola, for garnish
- To make sauce: In saucepan, stir together orange juice, brown sugar, butter, vanilla, strawberries and banana. Simmer over medium heat 5-6 minutes, or until flavors have combined, stirring occasionally.
- To make French toast: In shallow bowl, whisk together milk, egg and cinnamon. Dip slices of bread into milk mixture and cook 2 minutes on each side over medium heat on flat griddle or grill, or until golden brown.
- Serve French toast with strawberry-banana sauce and top with granola.
Roast Beef and Arugula Sandwiches
Recipe courtesy of Roman Meal on behalf of the Grain Foods Foundation
Prep time: 5 minutes
- 1 tablespoon low-fat mayonnaise
- 2 teaspoons horseradish
- 4 slices whole- or multi-grain bread, toasted
- 4 slices tomato
- 4 ounces lean roast beef, thinly sliced
- 1 cup arugula or wild greens
- Spread mayonnaise and horseradish evenly over two bread slices.
- Layer tomato, roast beef and arugula on top of mayonnaise and horseradish. Top with remaining slices of bread.
Photo courtesy of Getty Images
Source: Grain Foods Foundation
(Family Features) Between blossoming flowers and warmer temperatures, there are plenty of reasons to spend more time outside. Brighten up your spring family gatherings with the sweet flavors of the season. You can prepare a delicious brunch for your family or bring a fun dessert to your next gathering without having to take away any of your time enjoying the outdoors.
Spring is also the perfect time to introduce new twists on classic desserts that will impress your loved ones. Dessert combinations, like a classic cheesecake laced with sweet cherries on a buttery chocolate chip cookie crust or a brunch-perfect cinnamon French toast with your favorite features of an apple fritter, are sure to be the talk of your family’s table.
No matter the occasion, great-tasting Lucky Leaf Premium Fruit Filling and Topping is sure to deliver. With more fruit and many options to choose from, such as apple, cherry, lemon or blueberry, you can add better flavors to your recipes. The premium line contains no high-fructose corn syrup, so you can feel good about whipping up something special for your family.
Find more easy recipes for spring at luckyleaf.com.
Overnight Apple Fritter French Toast Casserole
Recipe courtesy of Kate of I Heart Eating
Prep time: 15 minutes
Cook time: 45-55 minutes
- 1 package (24 ounces) thick-sliced cinnamon bread, divided
- 1 can (21 ounces) Lucky Leaf Apple Premium Fruit Filling and Topping
- 9 large eggs
- 1 cup fat-free half-and-half
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1 cup powdered sugar
- 1-2 tablespoons milk
- Grease 9-by-9-inch baking dish.
- Cube cinnamon bread and add half to prepared baking dish. Add fruit filling over bread. Cover fruit filling with rest of bread cubes.
- In bowl, whisk together eggs, half-and-half and cinnamon. Pour evenly over bread.
- Cover and chill overnight.
- Heat oven to 325° F.
- Uncover and bake for 45-55 minutes. If it starts to brown too much, tent aluminum foil over casserole.
- Let cool in pan for about 10 minutes.
- Whisk together powdered sugar and 1 tablespoon milk, adding more as needed to make pourable glaze. Drizzle glaze over casserole just before serving.
Chocolate Chip Cookie Cherry Cheesecake Pie
Cook time: 67-82 minutes
- 1 roll (16.5 ounces) refrigerated chocolate chip cookie dough
- 2 package (8 ounces) cream cheese, softened
- 2/3 cup sugar
- 1 egg
- 2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 cans (21 ounces each) Lucky Leaf Regular or Premium Cherry Fruit Filling, divided
- Heat oven to 350° F.
- Press cookie dough evenly into bottom and sides of deep dish (2-inches deep) 9-inch pie plate.
- Bake 12 minutes. Cool completely. While crust is cooling, prepare filling.
- In large bowl, beat cream cheese, sugar, egg and vanilla until smooth. Stir in 1 can of cherry fruit filling. Pour filling into cooled crust.
- Bake 55-70 minutes, or until filling is set and golden brown.
- Cool. Refrigerate until ready to serve. Top with remaining can of cherry fruit filling.
Source: Lucky Leaf
- 3 large eggs
- 3/4 cup Silk Nog or Vanilla Silk
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/8 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
- 6 (1-inch thick) slices cinnamon swirl or any sliced bread
- 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
- Maple syrup or fruit
- Sifted powdered sugar
- In large bowl, whisk together eggs, soymilk, vanilla, cinnamon and nutmeg. Place bread slices in flat casserole dish and cover with egg mixture. Let soak 5 to 10 minutes.
- Heat non-stick skillet over medium heat and melt 1 tablespoon of butter. Add slices of soaked bread and cook until golden brown. Top French toast with maple syrup or fruit and sprinkle with powdered sugar.