recipes

Meal Ideas 29 January 2019

Easy Cold-Weather Cooking

(Family Features) As the chill settles in, comforting, warming, seasonal favorites like stews and soups become top of mind. However, with busy work schedules, there’s often not enough time to prepare them during the week.

When Carrot-Lentil Stew is on the menu, time isn’t an issue. It’s ready in under an hour, plus it’s packed with healthy ingredients and robust flavor. Start with quick-cooking lentils, add nutrient-rich vegetables, vegetable broth and the secret ingredient: a jar of Aunt Nellie’s Glazed Sliced Carrots. The perfectly cooked carrot slices and their flavorful sauce add texture, flavor and vibrant color to the stew, which needs only 10 minutes to cook.

Serve topped with fresh parsley and Parmesan cheese for another splash of color and an extra layer of flavor. This vegetarian stew can easily be adjusted to include chicken sausage for even more protein.  

For additional cold-weather cooking ideas, visit AuntNellies.com.

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Carrot-Lentil Vegetable Stew

Prep time: 20 minutes
Cook time: 25 minutes
Servings: 4

  • 1          cup dry lentils
  • 3          cups fat-free, reduced-sodium vegetable broth, divided
  • 1          cup water
  • 3/4       cup chopped onion
  • 3/4       cup sliced celery
  • 3/4       cup chopped bell pepper
  • 1          can (14 1/2 ounces) no-salt-added diced tomatoes
  • 1          jar (15 1/2 ounces) Aunt Nellie’s Glazed Small Sliced Carrots
  • 1          large clove garlic, minced
  • 1/2       cup chopped fresh parsley
  • shaved Parmesan cheese (optional)
  1. Rinse lentils and drain. Place in Dutch oven or other large saucepan. Add 2 cups broth and water. Bring to boil, reduce heat and simmer 15 minutes (lentils should be slightly undercooked).
  2. Add onion, celery, bell pepper, remaining broth, tomatoes with liquid, carrots with liquid and garlic. Bring to boil, reduce heat and simmer 10-15 minutes, until liquid is reduced as desired and vegetables are just tender. Stir in parsley. Serve topped with Parmesan, if desired.

Note: If desired, 1/2 pound chicken sausage links, cooked and cut into bite-sized pieces, can be added to stew during last 5 minutes of cooking.

Nutritional information per serving: 280 calories; 14 g protein; 54 g carbohydrate; <1 g fat; 390 mg sodium; 10 g dietary fiber; 5 mg iron; 0.46 mg thiamin; 5499 IU vitamin A; 36 mg vitamin C.

Source: Aunt Nellie’s

Meal Ideas 26 October 2018

Try the Trendiest Flavors Tonight

New seasonings make it easy

(Family Features) Exotic flavors common in the Middle Eastern region of the world like harissa, za’atar and shawarma are having a moment, appearing on restaurant menus and in popular make-at-home recipes.
 
Now is the perfect time to give these flavors a try. Thanks to new global seasonings from McCormick Gourmet, the spice combinations are already blended for the ultimate taste and simplicity.

Made from high-quality herbs and spices, the seasonings are USDA-Organic certified and Non-GMO Project verified so you can feel good about the ingredients used in your cooking. The expertly blended spices help create distinctive global-inspired dishes that take your home dining experience to the next level so you can explore these flavors from around the world without leaving the comfort of home.

  • Za’atar: This traditional Middle Eastern blend of spices including thyme, oregano and sesame seeds is perfect for sprinkling on flatbreads, roasted vegetables, nuts
    or popcorn. It can also be mixed into hummus or oil
    for dipping.
  • Harissa: A spicy flavor found in North African cuisine, this seasoning is made from a combination of chilies, warm spices and mint. Add it to meat and veggies before roasting, stir it into cooked rice and grains, mix it into yogurt to make a dip or combine it with roasted bell peppers and oil to turn this spice into its namesake sauce.
  • Shawarma: Often associated with the slow roasting of meat, this Middle Eastern street food favorite is made with cinnamon, coriander, cardamom and more. Use this seasoning to flavor an easy marinade for chicken, pork or steak.

Look for these flavors as well as new Peruvian and Berbere seasonings in the spice section of retailers nationwide. Find more recipe ideas at McCormickGourmet.com.
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Grilled Chicken Shawarma

Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 16 minutes
Servings: 8

  • 1 1/4    cup plain Greek yogurt, divided
  • 5          teaspoons McCormick Gourmet Organic Shawarma Seasoning, divided
  • 2          tablespoons olive oil
  • 1          tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1          teaspoon McCormick Gourmet Sicilian Sea Salt
  • 2          pounds boneless, skinless chicken breast
  • 4          pita pockets, halved
  • 1          medium seedless cucumber, thinly sliced
  • 8          lettuce leaves
  1. In small bowl, mix 1 cup yogurt and 1 teaspoon shawarma seasoning. Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve.
  2. In small bowl, mix oil, lemon juice, remaining yogurt, remaining shawarma seasoning and sea salt. Reserve 2 tablespoons of mixture; set aside.
  3. Place chicken in large re-sealable plastic bag or glass dish. Add marinade; turn to coat well. Refrigerate 1 hour, or longer for extra flavor.
  4. Heat grill or skillet to medium heat.
  5. Remove chicken from marinade. Discard remaining marinade. Grill or saute 6-8 minutes per side, or until cooked through and internal temperature reaches 165 F, brushing with reserved marinade.
  6. Slice chicken into thin strips. Serve in pitas with cucumber, lettuce and yogurt dressing.

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Shaved Carrot Salad with Pomegranate Harissa Dressing

Prep time: 20 minutes
Servings: 5

  • 1/4       cup chopped fresh mint
  • 3          tablespoons pomegranate juice
  • 1          tablespoon honey
  • 2          teaspoons McCormick Gourmet Organic Harissa Seasoning
  • 1/2       teaspoon McCormick Gourmet Sicilian Sea Salt
  • 1/4       teaspoon McCormick Gourmet Organic Black Pepper, coarse ground
  • 3          tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/2       pound multicolor carrots, washed and peeled
  • 1/2       cup shelled roasted pistachios
  • 1/2       cup dried cranberries
  • 3          cups baby arugula
  • 1/4       cup crumbled feta cheese
  1. In large bowl, mix mint, pomegranate juice, honey, harissa seasoning, sea salt and pepper. Gradually add oil while mixing with wire whisk until well mixed. Set aside.
  2. Trim carrot ends. Slice each carrot lengthwise into ribbons with vegetable peeler or mandoline. In medium bowl, toss carrots with 1/4 cup prepared dressing. Stir in pistachios and cranberries.
  3. Arrange arugula on serving platter. Drizzle with remaining dressing and top with carrot mixture. Sprinkle with feta before serving.


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Za’atar Labneh

Prep time: 5 minutes
Servings: 8 (2 tablespoons each)

  • 1          cup labneh (yogurt cheese)
  • 2          teaspoons McCormick Gourmet Organic Za’atar Seasoning, divided
  • 1          tablespoon olive oil
  • pita bread, for serving (optional)
  • pita chips, for serving (optional)
  • sliced fresh vegetables, for serving (optional)
  1. In small bowl, mix labneh and 1 teaspoon seasoning until well blended.
  2. Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with remaining seasoning.
  3. Serve with fresh pita bread, pita chips or sliced fresh vegetables, as desired.

Source:  McCormick

Appetizers & Sides 14 September 2018

Exquisite Eating

Small plates to make for appealing dishes

(Family Features) Imagine treating yourself and your dinner guests to a delicious, restaurant-caliber meal without leaving your dining room or hiring a personal chef. Small plates, also known as tapas, are lighter, bite-sized indulgences that you can prepare and style seamlessly. By putting your own artful, unique spin on small plates, you can indulge in a meal that appeals to the senses and conveys sophistication.

It can be easy to create delicious small plates: all you need are wholesome, seasonal ingredients to pair with an artisan-crafted, quality olive oil such as Carapelli. The line, with three varieties to explore, brings a renaissance to the modern kitchen and is ideal for endeavoring chefs looking to try new flavors and experiment with tastes or recipes. It embodies a true passion for the art of creating extra-virgin olive oils and is designed to lift cooks out of the everyday cooking experience.

Keep in mind that when it comes to small plates, what’s important isn’t just the recipe, but the plate – and plating – of the cuisine itself. Foods that appeal to the eye are likely to tempt the taste buds as well. Invest in appropriate-sized dishware for small plates that allows the food to take center-stage.

For a true multi-sensory indulgence, also take time to garnish your dishes, big and small, with edible enhancements that lend a subtle complement to the main attraction. A selection of fresh greens, sprinkling of herbs and even a light drizzle of olive oil can do the trick.

Plan how you’ll adapt your favorite dishes for size – and season – with more tips and recipes at carapelliusa.com.
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Carrots and Fresh Herbs with Champagne-Dijon Vinaigrette

Prep time: 10 minutes
Servings: 6

Champagne-Dijon Vinaigrette:

  • 2          tablespoons champagne vinegar
  • 1          teaspoon Dijon Mustard
  • 1          tablespoon clover honey
  • 1/2       cup Carapelli Organic Olive Oil
  • 1/2       teaspoon garlic, minced
  • 1/2       teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/4       teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1          teaspoon fresh parsley, finely chopped
  • 1          teaspoon basil, finely chopped

 

  • 1          pound carrots, peeled and finely shredded
  • 2          tablespoons Italian parsley, chopped
  • 2          tablespoons chives, thinly sliced, plus more cut into 3/4-inch  pieces, for garnish
  • 1/3       cup Champagne Vinaigrette
  • fine sea salt, to taste
  • freshly ground black pepper,  to taste
  • chive sticks, for garnish
  1. In medium mixing bowl, combine champagne vinegar, Dijon and honey. Whisk constantly until well combined. While whisking, slowly drizzle in olive oil to emulsify. Add garlic, salt, pepper, parsley and basil: whisk to combine.
  2. In mixing bowl, toss carrots, parsley and chives. Add dressing. Season, to taste, with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper. Garnish with chive sticks.

Notes: Vinaigrette can be stored in refrigerator up to five days. For zestier salad, add additional 2 tablespoons vinaigrette to carrots; serve with crusty bread.
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Whipped Ricotta and Goat Cheese Beet Skewers

Prep time: 20 minutes
Cook time: 3 hours, plus cooling time
Servings: 42 skewers

Beets:

  • 2          beets (about 1 pound), 3 inches in diameter, peeled and sliced into 3/4-inch chunks
  • 1          tablespoon Carapelli Oro Verde Extra Virgin Olive Oil, plus more for drizzling
  • 1/2       teaspoon fresh thyme leaves
  • 1          teaspoon sea salt
  • arugula, for garnish
  • flaked sea salt, for garnish

Whipped Ricotta and Goat Cheese:

  • 4          ounces goat cheese
  • 1/4       cup whole milk ricotta cheese
  • 1          tablespoon Carapelli Oro Verde Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 1/4       teaspoon lemon zest
  • 1/8       teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/8       teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  1. Heat sous vide water bath to 185° F.
  2. In mixing bowl, combine beets, olive oil, thyme and salt; toss to coat. Remove beets from liquid and divide, placing them in single layer into two quart-sized vacuum-seal bags, leaving any excess liquid behind.
  3. Use vacuum sealer to remove air and double-seal bag. To use zip-top bags instead, slowly dip slightly open bags into large container filled with water, allowing water to displace air. Seal bags when air is removed.
  4. Place vacuum-sealed bag into prepared water bath, placing heavy, heat-resistant bowl on top of beets to keep them submerged, if necessary. Cook 3 hours.
  5. If you do not have a sous vide machine, bring large stock pot filled with water to rolling boil. Place vacuum-sealed bags in water. Reduce to gentle simmer, cover and cook 1 hour.
  6. Carefully remove beets from water bath and cool in sealed bag until they reach room temperature, about 30 minutes. Refrigerate at least 30 minutes more before serving.
  7. In mini food processor, cream goat cheese, ricotta and olive oil until smooth. Add zest, salt and pepper: stir to combine.
  8. Transfer cheese mixture to piping bag fitted with star tip and refrigerate until ready to use.
  9. To serve, remove beets from bag and arrange on serving platter. Pipe dollop of Whipped Ricotta and Goat Cheese onto each beet. Drizzle with olive oil.
  10. Garnish with arugula and pinch of flaked sea salt; place skewer through each beet to serve.

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Olive Oil Drizzled Pecorino Popcorn

Prep time: 5 minutes
Cook time: 5 minutes
Servings: 4

  • 1/2       cup grated pecorino, plus more for garnish
  • 1/2       teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, plus more for garnish
  • 3          tablespoons Carapelli Unfiltered Extra Virgin Olive Oil, divided
  • 1/3       cup yellow popcorn kernels
  1. In bowl, combine pecorino and pepper; mix until well combined and there are no cheese clumps.
  2. In small saucepan over low flame, heat 2 tablespoons olive oil; keep warm.
  3. Add remaining olive oil and popcorn to large Dutch oven. Stir until all popcorn kernels are coated in oil.
  4. Cover Dutch oven with lid and cook over medium-high heat, shaking pot periodically. Once popcorn begins to pop, lower heat to medium and continue to shake pot approximately every 15 seconds. When popping slows considerably, remove Dutch oven from heat and allow to rest until popping ceases, about 30 seconds.
  5. Remove lid and transfer popcorn to large mixing bowl. Drizzle warm olive oil over popcorn; toss to coat. Sprinkle cheese mixture over popcorn; toss to coat.
  6. Divide popcorn into bowls. Sprinkle some freshly grated pecorino and dash of freshly ground black pepper over top; serve.

Source:  Carapelli Olive Oil

Meal Ideas 11 June 2018

Brighten and Awaken Summer Flavors

(Family Features) Summer provides an abundance of delicious, fresh-picked flavors, giving home chefs plenty of opportunities to use them in both classic recipes and newfound favorites. From sides to salads to smoothies and everything in between, summer is all about creating dishes that taste tempting, bright and balanced.

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Using seasonal ingredients, like peaches and other sun-ripened fruits, can help play up the bounty of summer for all types of eating occasions. However, with a wide variety of available choices, it can be a dizzying task to select recipes you’ll want to make again and again.

This summer, Nature’s Intent Organic Apple Cider Vinegar and celebrity chef Candice Kumai – also known as the “Golden Girl of Wellness” – recommend these make-at-home recipes to help brighten and awaken the best flavors at your table.

“Apple cider vinegar is my favorite natural way to cook, look and feel my very best for all of summer,” Kumai said. “These recipes feature its powerful benefits and bright taste, which awaken summertime cooking.”

Kumai recommends her Carrot Beauty Noodles as a show-stopping side dish to accompany main courses throughout the summer, while a light and savory Miso Kale Caesar Salad can curb and satisfy appetites before dinner. Meanwhile, the fresh-and-fruity versatility of this Peach Smoothie means you can enjoy it at breakfast, as a nutritious midday snack or even for dessert.

All three recipes feature Nature’s Intent Organic Apple Cider Vinegar, which is raw, unfiltered, made with the mother and can be a chef’s secret ingredient to brighten and awaken taste buds to the true flavors of food by enhancing your favorite recipes during the summer or any time of year. Because it’s crafted with care, the clean, crisp flavors provide a difference you can see and taste while helping add a perfect sweet-and-sour balance to traditional meals as well as new favorites.

With so many fresh, delicious choices, summer is the perfect opportunity to make the most of flavors in almost anything you’re making, but selecting the right recipes and ingredients can be the first step toward truly soaking up the brightness of the season.

Find more tips and recipes for enjoying summer flavors at NaturesIntentVinegars.com, and find Nature’s Intent on Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest.

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Carrot Beauty Noodles

Recipe courtesy of Candice Kumai
Prep time: 20 minutes
Cook time: 20 minutes
Servings: 2

  • 2          cups cooked brown rice or quinoa
  • 3          tablespoons organic red miso paste
  • 3          tablespoons Nature’s Intent Organic Apple Cider Vinegar
  • 1/4       cup rice vinegar
  • 2          tablespoons roasted sesame oil
  • 2          teaspoons honey
  • 2          teaspoons freshly grated ginger
  • 2          tablespoons reduced-sodium tamari or soy sauce
  • 9          cups spiralized carrots
  • 2          cups shelled organic edamame
  • 1          avocado, cubed
  • 2          tablespoons fresh mint (leaves removed from stems)
  • 2          tablespoons ground sesame seeds
  1. Cook rice or quinoa according to package directions.
  2. In medium mixing bowl, add red miso paste, apple cider vinegar, rice vinegar, roasted sesame oil, honey, ginger and tamari or soy sauce. Whisk well to combine. Add spiralized carrots, edamame and cooked rice or quinoa. Toss well to coat.
  3. Garnish with avocado cubes, fresh mint leaves and ground sesame seeds.

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Peach Smoothie

Recipe courtesy of Candice Kumai
Prep time: 5 minutes
Servings: 2

  • 2 1/2    cups unsweetened almond milk
  • 1/2       frozen banana
  • 3/4       cup sweet-potato puree
  • 3          cups frozen organic peaches
  • 1/4       teaspoon freshly ground ginger
  • 1/4       teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1          scoop collagen powder
  • 1-2       tablespoons Nature’s Intent Organic Apple Cider Vinegar
  1. In blender, combine almond milk, banana, sweet-potato puree, peaches, ginger, cinnamon, collagen powder and apple cider vinegar; blend until smooth. Serve immediately.

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Miso Kale Caesar Salad

Recipe courtesy of Candice Kumai
Prep time: 15 minutes
Cook time: 20 minutes
Servings: 2

Dressing:

  • 1/4       cup tahini paste (ground sesame seed paste)
  • 1/4       cup organic red or white miso paste
  • 1/4       cup rice vinegar
  • 1          teaspoon honey or maple syrup
  • 3          tablespoons Nature’s Intent Organic Apple Cider Vinegar

Salad:

  • 1          large bunch finely chopped curly kale, destemmed
  • 1/2       cup (about 1 ear) raw white corn, shaved off cob
  • 2          cups daikon radish (about 1/2 radish), peeled, halved and thinly sliced into half-moons
  • 2          ripe avocados, halved, pitted, peeled and cut into 3/4-inch cubes
  • 2          tablespoons baked hemp seeds

Optional toppings:

  • 8          ounces wild salmon, grilled
  • 8          ounces organic tofu, grilled and cubed
  1. To make dressing: In medium mixing bowl, whisk tahini paste, organic miso paste, rice vinegar, honey and apple cider vinegar.
  2. Add kale, corn and daikon radish. Toss well to coat with dressing.
  3. Serve topped with cubed avocado, hemp seeds and salmon or tofu, if desired.

Source:  Nature’s Intent

Dessert 24 March 2017

Carrot Cake Swirled Cream Cheese Bars

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Carrot Cake Swirled Cream Cheese Bars

Prep time: 15 minutes
Cook time: 40 minutes
Servings: 24

  • 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons flour, divided
  • 2 cups sugar, divided
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons McCormick Ground Cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon McCormick Ground Nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2/3 cup vegetable oil
  • 4 eggs, divided
  • 2 teaspoons McCormick Pure Vanilla Extract
  • 1 1/2 cups finely grated carrots
  • 3 packages (8 ounces each) cream cheese, softened
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 1 teaspoon McCormick Pure Lemon Extract
  1. Preheat oven to 325°F. Mix 1 cup each of flour and sugar, cinnamon, baking soda, nutmeg and salt in large bowl. Add oil, 2 eggs, vanilla extract and carrots; mix well. Spread 1/2 of the batter into greased and floured 13x9-inch baking pan. Reserve remaining batter. Set aside.
  2. Beat cream cheese and remaining 1 cup sugar in another large bowl with electric mixer on medium speed until well blended. Add milk, remaining 2 tablespoons flour and lemon extract; beat until well blended. Add remaining 2 eggs, 1 at a time, beating on low speed after each addition just until blended.
  3. Drop spoonfuls of cream cheese mixture and reserved carrot cake batter, alternately, over carrot cake batter in pan. Cut through several times with knife for marble effect.
  4. Bake 40 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool in pan on wire rack.

Source: McCormick Spice

Dessert 24 March 2017

Impress Spring Party Guests with Surprise Sweets

(Family Features) Transform an ordinary cupcake into something extraordinary with a peek-a-boo filling. These simple cupcakes are an easy addition to any spring celebration. You’ll want to serve every variety of these turned up treats for Easter and beyond.

The best part about this party trick? It’s easy. You’ll be digging this one out of your recipe repertoire for every spring soiree.

Hop to Easter
Who said Easter baskets are just for the kids? Treat your holiday guests to take-home cupcakes served in individual cupcake boxes. They’ll be delighted to find a surprise inside these icing-filled cupcakes.

The Garden Party
Spring into the season and host an outdoor party on the patio or in the garden. Your guests will enjoy the fresh air and the sweetly decorated desserts.

Add Fresh Flavor
Shake things up with a refreshing new twist. Try filling your cupcakes with refreshing lemon meringue, raspberry mousse or peanut butter and jelly cupcake fillings.

No matter how you slice it, fill it or serve it, these cupcakes are a party pleaser that’s guaranteed to impress. Find tasty filling recipes, fresh ideas and easy decorating projects at www.wilton.com.

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Carrot Garden Easter Cupcakes

Servings: 1 dozen cupcakes

  • Favorite chocolate cake mix or recipe
  • Creamy Decorator Icing
  • Chocolate Decorator Icing
  • Leaf Green Icing Color
  • Orange Icing Color
  • Crushed chocolate sandwich cookies
  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Place Color Wheel baking cups in standard muffin pan.
  2. Prepare cake mix following package instructions. Bake in prepared muffin pan 18-20 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool completely in pan on cooling grid.
  3. To decorate, tint small amount of creamy decorator icing green; tint remaining orange. Use spatula and chocolate icing to ice tops of cupcakes smooth. Sprinkle with cookie crumbs. Chill until set, about 15 minutes.
  4. Use knife to cut out center of cupcakes almost to bottom of cupcake. Use tip 2A and orange icing to fill in center of cupcake and pipe about 1/4 inch above cupcake; pat smooth. Use tip 352 and green icing to pipe pull-out leaf carrot tops.

Source: Wilton

Dessert 24 March 2017

Edible Easter Fun

(Family Features) Little ones (and big ones too) will have fun making these adorable Easter Lamb Carrot Cupcakes. Easter is a special time for bringing families together. Make memories happen in the kitchen when you get hands on with these sweet cupcakes made with Dixie Crystals Sugar. Marshmallow lambs sitting atop moist carrot cupcakes on a bed of green coconut grass are a sure way to sweeten any family gathering.

For more recipes to add fun and flavor to your Easter festivities, visit www.dixiecrystals.com.

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Easter Lamb Carrot Cupcakes

Servings: 12-16

  • 1 2/3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ginger
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 1/2 cups Dixie Crystals Extra Fine Granulated Sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 cups finely shredded carrots
  • 1 can (8 ounces) crushed pineapple, drained
  • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts or pecans

Frosting:

  • 1 package (8 ounces) cream cheese
  • 1 stick or 1/2 cup unsalted butter, very soft
  • 4 cups Dixie Crystals Confectioners Powdered Sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Royal icing:

  • 1 cup Dixie Crystals Confectioners Powdered Sugar
  • 2 1/4 teaspoons dried egg whites
  • 2 tablespoons warm water
  • 1/2 teaspoon lemon juice

Decoration:

  • 1 cup sweetened coconut
  • Green food coloring
  • Black food coloring
  • 1 bag regular size marshmallows
  • 1 bag miniature marshmallows
  • 24-36 pink jelly beans
  • 24 black jelly beans
  • 12-16 hard candy caramels
  1. Heat oven to 350°F.
  2. Place 16 cupcake liners in cupcake or muffin tin and set aside.
  3. Sift together flour, baking soda, cinnamon and ginger and set aside.
  4. In large bowl, whisk together eggs and vegetable oil until well blended. Add sugar, salt and vanilla; mix well.
  5. Add carrots, pineapple and nuts and combine well. Stir in flour mixture.
  6. Scoop into paper cups about 2/3 full. (May make more depending on size.)
  7. Bake until center of cupcakes bounce back when lightly pressed or inserted toothpick comes out clean, about 23 minutes. Allow to cool before frosting.
  8. For frosting, mix cream cheese and soft butter on low speed until blended. Add one cup powdered sugar and mix on low speed. Gradually add remaining powdered sugar and mix on low to medium speed until light and fluffy. Add vanilla and mix well. Set aside covered in refrigerator.
  9. Place coconut in bowl and add drop of green food color, mix by gloved hand until color is well distributed. (Add touch of yellow if color is too harsh.)
  10. Fill piping bag or food storage bag fitted with medium round decorating tip with cream cheese frosting.
  11. Prepare 2 small paper piping bags; set aside to prepare icing.
  12. To make royal icing, sift together powdered sugar with dried egg whites and place in bowl. Add water and lemon juice and whip several minutes to stiff mixture. Thin mixture with water if necessary.
  13. Place 3 – 4 tablespoons of royal icing in a small bowl and tint with black food coloring.
  14. Fill 2 small piping bags; one with white and the other with black royal icing. Set aside.
  15. Using cream cheese frosting pipe generous circle of frosting onto cupcake.
  16. Cut large marshmallow crosswise in half. Lay one and a half large marshmallows horizontally onto cupcake. Pipe thin layer of cream cheese frosting onto marshmallows.
  17. Starting at bottom surround large marshmallows with miniature marshmallows. Pipe a little cream cheese frosting onto first layer of mini marshmallow and stack another layer of mini marshmallows. Continue until completely covered.
  18. Press green coconut onto edges of cupcake.
  19. Position cupcake so circle side of large marshmallow faces you.
  20. For head, place hard caramel onto top edge of large marshmallow and ensure it is resting onto miniature marshmallows. (Remove some marshmallows to fit if necessary.)
  21. For ears, cut pink jelly bean lengthwise in half. Pinch beans to make pointy. Place next to head and use a little cream cheese frosting to make them stick.
  22. Cut black jelly beans in fours to create feet. Cut black jelly bean lengthwise to create tail. Attach with cream cheese frosting.
  23. Using white royal icing pipe eyes, followed by black. Pipe with black royal icing for nostrils.

Notes: When measuring flour, avoid firmly packing measuring cup. Mixing frosting on high will make it runny and too soft.

Source: Dixie Crystals Sugar

Soups 10 August 2015

Hearty Potato and Cheddar Soup With Bacon

Ingredients
  • 4 ounces bacon, coarsely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 small leeks, trimmed and chopped
  • 1 large onion, diced (about 1 cup)
  • 1 large carrot, diced (about 1/2 cup)
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 6 cups Wolfgang Puck Organic Free Range Chicken Broth
  • 3 large Russet potatoes, cut into cubes (about 4 cups)
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 2 cups grated sharp cheddar cheese (about 8 ounces)
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • Chopped fresh chives
Preparation
  1. Cook bacon in a 4-quart saucepan over medium-high heat until crisp. Remove bacon from saucepan. Pour off all but 1 tablespoon drippings. Add butter to saucepan and cook and stir until melted.
  2. Add leeks, onion, carrot and garlic to saucepan and cook until tender, stirring occasionally. Add flour and cook and stir for 2 minutes. Gradually stir in broth.
  3. Add potatoes and heat to a boil. Reduce heat to low. Cook for 15 minutes or until potatoes are tender and the broth mixture is thickened.
  4. Stir cream and cheese in saucepan and cook until cheese is melted. Season with black pepper. Crumble bacon. Sprinkle soup with bacon and chives before serving.
Preparation Time

35 minutes

Cook Time

40 minutes

Serves

Makes 6 servings

Source Wolfgang Puck Soup, Stock, Broth

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