recipes

Meal Ideas 01 November 2018

8 Simple Small Plates for Holiday Entertaining

(Family Features) For holiday parties of any size, tasty appetizers and starters are menu must-haves. While the main course roasts and before dessert is served, guests may flock to the table for snacks and small plates to keep cravings at bay.

When pre-dinner hunger strikes at your holiday gathering, be the center of attention with quick, delicious and simple appetizers that deliver exactly what your guests crave. One way to be the star of your holiday soiree is with Litehouse’s rich and flavorful Simply Artisan Reserve blue cheese and gorgonzola center cuts. Whether the foundation of a delicious cheese plate or crumbled in a recipe – such as one of these eight apps – it’s a win-win solution.

Find more holiday solutions and appetizer recipes at litehousefoods.com.

  1. Pear Obatzda

    Traditionally served with fresh pretzels, this 15-minute Obatzda recipe is the perfect dip for the snack table. The savory taste of pear can keep the whole party satisfied. 

  1. Steak Crostini

    With appetizers, the name of the game is providing quick bites that make for easy eating. Look no further than bite-sized Steak Crostini served with blue cheese and crackers. 

  1. Grilled Raspberry, Basil and Blue Cheese Sandwich

    Handheld nibbles go a long way when entertaining a crowd, which is why sandwiches are an obvious solution. Go for sourdough bread and melty cheese like mozzarella and Litehouse Simply Artisan Reserve Blue Cheese to make this appetizer a snap. 

  1. Bacon Blue Cheese and Mac

    This mac and cheese recipe can help please guests of all ages, but there’s just one problem: it’ll be gone quicker than you think.

  

  1. Gorgonzola, Grape and Honey Crostini

    A quick and easy appetizer, this crostini recipe is perfect for entertaining guests because there is minimal prep involved. Gorgonzola, juicy grapes and sweet honey converge for a delightful snack. 

  1. Blue Cheese, Pomegranate and Quinoa Caviar

    If you’re going for classy without all the hassle, 5 minutes is all you need. This quinoa caviar recipe comes together in almost no time by incorporating blue cheese and pomegranate for a decadent starter.  

  

  1. Figgy Blue Cheese Bacon Bites

    Guests at holiday parties typically crowd the kitchen anyway, but blue cheese and fig cookies wrapped in bacon can make it hard for even the most patient eaters to stay away. 

  1. Harvest Salad

    For those trying to save room for the main course, a light salad is a great option. Freshen up a standard salad with sliced apple and pear and tangy Simply Artisan Reserve Gorgonzola Cheese.

Source: Litehouse

Kids 01 September 2018

School Mornings Made Easy

(Family Features) Most parents know the first few weeks of school season and new daily routines can be hectic. From stocking up on school supplies to finishing up homework, there's few unused minutes in the day.

One thing that's particularly easy to forget in the mad dash to catch the bus or make it to morning drop-off is a well-balanced, protein-packed breakfast. According to a No Kid Hungry study, when students have a balanced breakfast in the morning, they are more likely to attend school and perform better on standardized tests.

Start the school year off right by giving your kids a breakfast they'll love that also provides the protein they need to kick-start their day. Recipes like Simple Ham and Waffle Breakfast Sandwiches or Baked Eggs in Avocado can be ready in minutes and provide fuel long past the first morning school bell.

As a simple time-saver, Smithfield offers pre-diced, cubed and sliced ham that can make breakfast a breeze any day of the week. Incorporate it into a simple breakfast sandwich for a protein boost you can enjoy on-the-go. Served crispy or chewy depending on your preference, Thick Cut Bacon also puts a savory spin on nearly any breakfast plate, whether paired with eggs and avocado or a simple side of toast.

For more information and breakfast ideas, visit smithfield.com.

Simple Ham and Waffle Breakfast Sandwiches

Cook time: 30 minutes
Servings: 4

  • 8 frozen prepared waffles, toasted
  • 8 ounces Smithfield Anytime Favorites Quarter Boneless Sliced Ham, any flavor
  • 4 large eggs
  • 4 slices cheddar or American cheese
  • maple syrup (optional)
  1. Prepare waffles according to package directions; keep warm.
  2. In nonstick skillet over medium-high heat, cook ham slices until lightly browned, about 30 seconds per side; keep warm. In same skillet over medium heat, fry eggs until desired doneness.
  3. Lay out four waffles and top each with sliced cheese, ham and fried egg, topping with remaining waffles to finish. Serve warm with maple syrup, if desired.

Tip: Try spreading fruit jam on your sandwich for a change of pace.

Baked Eggs in Avocado

Cook time: 10 minutes
Servings: 6

  • Nonstick cooking spray
  • 3 large avocados
  • 6 eggs
  • 4 strips Smithfield Thick Cut Bacon, diced and cooked until crispy
  • 1 cup blue cheese
  • 1/4 cup fresh cilantro
  1. Heat oven to 450 F. Spray baking sheet or glass baking pan with cooking spray. Cut avocados in half. Scoop out 1-2 tablespoons of avocado to create well for eggs. Place avocados flesh-side up on prepared baking sheet or glass pan.
  2. Gently crack one egg in each avocado well, making sure to keep yolk intact. Bake 10 minutes, or until eggs reach desired temperature. Remove.
  3. Top with bacon pieces, blue cheese and cilantro.

Source: Smithfield

Grilling-Tailgating 01 August 2018

Add Sizzle to Summer Salads

(Family Features) During the warm summer months, salad makes for a refreshing lunch or convenient dinner option that can be delicious and nutritious. With a variety of salad options available, they don’t have to be boring or monotonous.

For example, greens can instantly transform into a unique meal when you add creative options like duck breast to help elevate the dish. Because it’s a red meat, duck breast provides a hearty taste, similar to steak, while being leaner and lower in saturated fat than other red meats.

In this Cherry-Glazed Duck Breast Salad, homemade cherry vinaigrette glazes duck breast and dresses baby spinach while blue cheese and slivered almonds add texture and flavor. As a bonus, you can save the duck breast skin to make cracklins for a quick snack or crunchy salad topping.

Find more salad recipes and tips for cooking with duck at mapleleaffarms.com.

Cherry-Glazed Duck Breast Salad

Recipe courtesy of Chef Ted Cizma on behalf of Maple Leaf Farms
Prep time: 40 minutes
Cook time: 20 minutes
Servings: 4

Cherry Vinaigrette:

  • 2          cups dried cherries, divided
  • 3          cups hot water
  • 1/3       cup raspberry vinegar
  • 1          cup extra-virgin olive oil
  •             salt, to taste
  • freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 2          Maple Leaf Farms Boneless Duck Breasts
  • 6          cups loosely packed baby spinach leaves, washed and trimmed
  • 2          cups blue cheese
  • 2          cups slivered almonds
  1. To make Cherry Vinaigrette: In small saucepan over low heat, cover 1 cup cherries with water. Bring to simmer, cover pan and remove from heat. Let cherries soak in hot water 15-20 minutes. Strain cherries and reserve liquid.
  2. In food processor or blender, puree cherries until smooth, adding reserved liquid as necessary. Add raspberry vinegar to cherry mixture. With blender or food processor on low, slowly add olive oil, reserving about 2 tablespoons. Season mixture, to taste, with salt and pepper. Set aside Cherry Vinaigrette.
  3. Heat grill to medium heat. Remove skin from duck breasts. Rub with remaining olive oil and season liberally with salt and pepper. Pour some Cherry Vinaigrette into separate container to use as glaze; reserve remaining for dressing. Using pastry brush, coat duck breasts with Cherry Vinaigrette.
  4. Cook duck until crisp and dark brown (about 5-6 minutes), turn over and recoat with Cherry Vinaigrette. Continue cooking until second side is crisp and brown, brushing with vinaigrette as needed, about 4 minutes, or until internal temperature reaches 155 F. Remove to cutting board and let rest at least 5 minutes.
  5. Place spinach in mixing bowl. Toss spinach with enough dressing to coat leaves. Add blue cheese, almonds and most of remaining dried cherries, reserving some of each for garnish. Season with salt and pepper.
  6. Divide spinach mixture among four bowls.
  7. Slice duck breast thinly on bias, starting at one end of each breast with knife at 45-degree angle.
  8. Fan slices of duck on top of each salad. Sprinkle each salad with crumbled blue cheese, almonds and dried cherries.

Source: Maple Leaf Farms

Meal Ideas 05 July 2017

7 Tips to Master the Grill This Summer

(Family Features) Becoming a master of the grill doesn’t have to be complicated. Test out these seven tips for quick marinades, flavorful sauces and marinade hacks to take your summer grilling to the next level.

Find more recipes and tips at McCormick.com or check out McCormick on Facebook and Pinterest.

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  1. The 5-Minute Marinade

If you want flavorful meat but don’t have the time to wait for a marinade to do its magic, try this technique. In a re-sealable plastic bag, combine your protein and marinade, such as the one in this Sweet and Smokey Grilled Flank Steak. Squeeze the air out of the bag and seal tightly. Massage the meat for 5 minutes, turning the bag over often so the meat absorbs most of the marinade. Remove the meat and discard remaining marinade.

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  1. Bring Your Favorite Brew to the Grill

Don’t just drink that beer; add it to your marinade. This recipe for Mexican Chipotle Shrimp Skewers with Lime Beer Basting Sauce combines a generous pour of your favorite Mexican-style beer with a zesty marinade mix, brown sugar and lime juice for a spicy, citrusy marinade and glaze.

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  1. Pep Up Produce

Hearty slabs of meat may be the heroes of the grill, but fruit and veggies have a rightful place on those smoky grates. These Cabbage Steaks with Bacon Blue Cheeseblend sweet and slightly sour notes with savory crumbles of cheese for a dish that pleases every last one of your taste buds.

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  1. Go for White Barbecue Sauce

Discover the south’s tangy little secret, white barbecue sauce. This White BBQ Sauce with Smoky Chicken artfully blends the creamy sauce – complete with the bite of creole mustard and horseradish – with smoked chicken. You can also use it as a dip for fresh veggies or drizzled over salad greens.

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  1. Grill a Whole Fish

Grilling a whole fish may seem intimidating, but it can be done in a few simple steps. To prepare this Applewood Grilled Whole Fish, start by patting the fish dry. Score the sides and brush liberally with oil. Then add seasonings or a rub, and stuff the cavity with citrus slices before placing directly on the grill.

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  1. Switch Up Your Sear

An imperfect sear can result in dry, tough meat. Instead, use this recipe for Sweet Soy Bourbon Chickento practice a tried-and-true technique from grilling experts: start with indirect heat for evenly cooked, juicy meat then finish over high heat for a crispy char on each side.

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  1. Accent Chimichurri with Blue Cheese

Blue cheese adds intense flavor to the classic garlic-tang of chimichurri. Try it with this recipe for Beer Marinated Flank Steak with Blue Cheese Chimichurri.

Source: McCormick

Appetizers & Sides 14 March 2017

Savory Honey Mustard Poached Pears and Figs

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Savory Honey Mustard Poached Pears and Figs

Submitted by Pamela V.
Servings: 4 to 6
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes

  • 2 cups College Inn® Chicken Broth
  • 1 cup dry white wine
  • 1 cup water
  • 1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 3 tablespoons honey, divided
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 4 pears (firm variety such as Bosc), peeled, halved and cored
  • 6 ounces dried figs, stems removed
  • 1/2 cup chopped hazelnuts
  • 1/2 cup crumbled blue cheese or goat cheese
  1. Trace diameter of large saucepan onto parchment paper. Cut out and set aside.
  2. Combine broth, white wine, water, mustard, 2 tablespoons honey, lemon juice and bay leaves in large saucepan. Bring to a boil, whisking occasionally. Reduce heat to low and simmer 5 minutes.
  3. Add pears, core-side-up, and figs; cover with vented parchment paper so pears stay fully submerged.
  4. Simmer 20 minutes until pears are fork-tender.
  5. Toast hazelnuts in small, non-stick sauté pan over medium high heat, about 2 minutes or until fragrant, stirring constantly. Quickly remove nuts from pan onto a separate plate.
  6. To serve, remove pears from poaching liquid and place onto individual salad plates. Drizzle with remaining 1 tablespoon honey and sprinkle with nuts and cheese.

Source: College Inn

Appetizers & Sides 24 January 2017

Mini Three-Cheese Balls

Mini Three-Cheese Balls

Yields 24 to 30 balls

  • 1 4-ounce log fresh goat cheese
  • 6 ounces crumbled blue cheese
  • 2 cups coarsely grated Jarlsberg cheese
  • 2 tablespoons grated onion
  • 1/4 cup non fat plain yogurt
  • 1/4 cup finely diced fresh chives, plus extra for garnish
  • Dash hot sauce (optional)
  • 1 cup slivered almonds or chopped pecans
  1. In a food processor, process cheeses with onion, yogurt and chives until well blended. If you'd like, add a dash of hot sauce.
  2. Shape into mini balls and roll in slivered almonds or chopped pecans and chives, or spread in serving dish and top with nuts/chives.
  3. Chill several hours or until ready to serve. Serve with flat breads, fresh vegetables, etc.

Tip: You can also mix nuts into cheese mixture and use to stuff cherry tomatoes and peppadews, sweet peppers or top cucumber rounds, mini party breads, etc. Chill several hours or until ready to serve.

Source: Jarlsberg

Grilling-Tailgating 23 January 2017

Grilled to Perfection

(Family Features) Tender, juicy, flame-kissed and seasoned just right — there may not be anything more satisfying than a perfectly grilled steak.

These recipes and grilling tips from the steak experts at Omaha Steaks will help you put the perfect steak on your plate any time you want.

Get more grilling recipes at www.omahasteaks.com. You can also download the free Steak Time app to get exclusive recipes and an innovative grilling timer.

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Peppercorn Crusted Strip Steaks

Serves 4

  • 4 Omaha Steaks Strip Loin Steaks
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 3 teaspoons coarsely ground black peppercorns
  • 1 teaspoon coarsely ground sea salt
  • 4 teaspoons garlic cloves, minced
  1. Preheat grill on high.
  2. In small bowl, combine black peppercorns, salt and garlic.
  3. Blot steaks dry with a clean paper towel.
  4. Brush both sides of steaks with olive oil.
  5. Evenly apply rub on to one side of each steak.
  6. Grill steaks to desired doneness. Use Steak Time app or grilling chart to determine correct cooking times.
  7. Serve steaks with rub side up.

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Buffalo Sirloin Tips

Serves 4 to 6

  • 1 pound Omaha Steaks Sirloin Tips
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon chile powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 4 to 6 bamboo or stainless steel skewers
  • 1 recipe Buffalo Sauce
  • Leaves green leaf lettuce
  • Optional celery sticks, ranch or blue cheese dressing
  1. Preheat grill on high.
  2. Prepare Buffalo Sauce.
  3. Blot sirloin tips dry with a clean paper towel.
  4. In small mixing bowl, combine sirloin tips, salt, chile powder and pepper.
  5. Thread seasoned sirloin tips onto skewers, keeping the thickness even and allowing space between each piece.
  6. Place skewers on grill and cook to desired doneness. Use Steak Time app or grilling chart to determine correct cooking times.
  7. Remove skewers from grill and use tongs to slide cooked sirloin tips into a large bowl.
  8. Toss cooked tips with Buffalo Sauce until well coated.
  9. Use a toothpick to remove tips from bowl onto a plate lined with lettuce leaves.
  10. Pour extra sauce into a dipping cup and serve with tips. If desired, serve with celery or dressings.

Buffalo Sauce

  • 4 tablespoons butter, softened
  • 2 tablespoons hot sauce
  • 2 tablespoons chile sauce
  1. Mix ingredients in mixer or food processor until completely combined.

Filet Mignon with Garlic Butter Medallions

Serves 4

  • 4 Omaha Steaks Filet Mignon Steaks
  • Kosher salt and ground black pepper to taste
  • 1 recipe Garlic Butter
  1. Preheat grill on high.
  2. Season steaks with salt and pepper.
  3. Grill steaks to desired doneness. Use Steak Time app or grilling chart to determine correct cooking times.
  4. Just before removing the steaks from the grill, place a generous medallion slice of Garlic Butter on each steak.
  5. Let steaks rest 2 minutes, while butter continues to melt and then serve.

Garlic Butter

Serves 4 to 6

  • 2 heads garlic
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/4 pound unsalted butter, softened
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tablespoon chopped parsley
  1. Preheat oven to 375°F.
  2. Slice half an inch off tops of garlic heads and place on baking sheet.
  3. Drizzle olive oil over garlic and cover with tented foil. Roast in oven for 1 hour.
  4. Remove garlic from oven and let cool until able to handle. Squeeze roasted garlic out of the skin into food processor or blender.
  5. Add butter, salt, Worcestershire and parsley, blend all ingredients together.
  6. Place mixture in middle of a large piece of plastic wrap. Form into a log and wrap tightly.
  7. Refrigerate 4 to 6 hours. Butter will keep for several weeks in refrigerator.

Ribeye Steak with Shallot Demi-Glace

Serves 4

  • 4 Omaha Steaks Rib Eye Steaks
  • Kosher salt and ground black pepper to taste
  • 1 cup Shallot Demi-Glace
  1. Prepare Shallot Demi-Glace sauce.
  2. Blot steaks dry with a clean paper towel.
  3. Preheat grill on high. Season steaks with salt and pepper.
  4. Grill steaks to desired doneness using Steak Time app or grilling chart.
  5. Place steaks on serving plate and sauce with the Shallot Demi-Glace.

Shallot Demi-Glace

Serves 4

  • 1 tablespoon cooking oil
  • 1 medium shallot, minced
  • 1/2 cup red wine
  • 1 cup demi-glace (can be found in most grocery and specialty food stores)
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  1. Preheat oil in a small sauce pan.
  2. Add shallots and cook them for 1 1/2 to 2 minutes. Shallots should be well browned and some should be blackened.
  3. Add red wine and reduce liquid by 2/3.
  4. Add demi-glace and bring to a boil. Reduce sauce while stirring for 2 to 3 minutes or until desired consistency reached. If desired, add salt and pepper.
Top 5 Tips for Perfect Grilling
  1. Clean and pre-heat grill on high.
  2. Lightly oil and season everything before you put it on the grill. This helps the searing process and prevents sticking.
  3. Sear the outside of steaks when grilling, using tongs or a spatula to turn the meat, and cover the grill as much as possible during the grilling process to help lock in the great flavor and to prevent flare-ups.
  4. Use the 60/40 grilling method. Grill for 60 percent of the time on the first side, then grill 40 percent of the time after you turn over the food. This will give you an evenly cooked steak.
  5. Place your cooked steak on a clean plate and allow to rest for five minutes before serving to retain moisture and juiciness.
How Long?

Here’s how long you should keep steaks on the heat for grilling perfection. Cooking times are in minutes and based on fully-thawed steaks.

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