recipes

Meal Ideas 16 November 2017

Happier, Healthier Holidays

(Family Features) The holidays are filled with temptations and opportunities to over-indulge, and if you’re managing your health and weight, the season can feel anything but merry.

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Depriving yourself of your favorite holiday treats isn’t only unpleasant, it’s also unnecessary. Many experts recommend that instead, you focus on building a healthier lifestyle through a well-balanced, long-term eating plan. For example, Atkins offers a balanced approach with foods containing fiber-rich and nutrient-dense carbohydrates, as well as good fats and proteins, while focusing on reduced levels of refined carbohydrates and added sugars. When preparing your holiday menu, look for recipes that contain adequate protein, healthy fats and high-fiber carbohydrates, and you’ll be able to enjoy the flavors of the season without guilt.

Less is not more
If you’re looking for more inspiration, tips and recipes, try finding additional resources such as “Atkins: Eat Right, Not Less: Your Guidebook For Living a Low-Carb and Low-Sugar Lifestyle.” Filled with 100 whole-food, low-carb recipes and simple solutions, the new book contains a variety of meal plans, low-carb takes on classic foods and tips for creating a low-carb kitchen. Readers can also learn about Atkins 100, a flexible and personalized low-carb lifestyle program.

Learn more about the benefits of a balanced, low-carb approach to eating at Atkins.com.

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Garlic Rosemary Pork Loin

Recipe courtesy of “Atkins: Eat Right, Not Less”
Prep time: 15 minutes
Total time: 1 hour
Servings: 4

  • 1          pound boneless pork loin
  • olive oil cooking spray
  • 1          tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 3          garlic cloves, minced
  • 2          tablespoons fresh rosemary, thinly sliced
  1. Heat oven to 350° F.
  2. In small skillet over medium heat, cook pork loin, fatty-side down, 4-5 minutes to brown top and render some fat.
  3. Coat 7-by-11-inch baking dish with cooking spray. Place pork loin in dish.
  4. In small bowl, combine mustard, garlic and rosemary; stir well. Spoon mixture over pork. Transfer to oven and bake 45 minutes-1 hour, until loin is cooked through but still slightly pink in center.
  5. When pork is cooked, let rest 5 minutes before slicing. Slice and serve immediately.

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Sweet Potato-Pumpkin Puree

Recipe courtesy of Atkins.com
Prep time: 20 minutes
Total time: 1 hour, 20 minutes

  • 3          large egg whites
  • 5          tablespoons sugar substitute, divided
  • 1/2       cup half pecans
  • 1 1/2    pounds sweet potatoes, peeled
  • 1/4       cup unsalted butter stick
  • 1/2       cup heavy cream
  • 1/2       teaspoon salt
  • 1/2       teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
  • 1/2       teaspoon cinnamon
  • 15        ounces pumpkin (without salt, drained, cooked and boiled)
  1. Heat oven to 250° F. Lightly butter baking sheet.
  2. In medium mixing bowl, beat egg whites with electric mixer at high speed until foamy. Gradually add 3 tablespoons sugar substitute and continue mixing until soft peaks form. Spoon onto prepared baking sheet and spread with spatula to 1/4-inch thickness. Bake 35 minutes. Turn oven off; let meringue stand in oven 45 minutes. Crush meringue and place in bowl. Add pecans and toss gently to combine. Set aside.
  3. While meringue is resting, place sweet potatoes in medium saucepan. Cover with water to 2 inches above potatoes and bring to boil. Cook until tender, about 20 minutes, and drain. Return saucepan to medium-high heat. Add potatoes, butter, cream, remaining sugar substitute, salt, cinnamon, pumpkin pie spice and pumpkin puree. Stir to combine. Mash with potato masher until smooth. Heat through, about 1 minute.
  4. Transfer potato mixture to serving dish and cover with meringue topping.

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Salted Caramel Cheesecake Bites

Recipe courtesy of “Atkins: Eat Right, Not Less”
Prep time: 10 minutes
Total time: 1 hour, 10 minutes
Servings: 18

  • 1/2       cup heavy cream
  • 1/3       cup plain protein powder
  • 2          tablespoons stevia
  • 6          ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 1/3       cup chopped almonds or macadamia nuts
  • 1          tablespoon sugar-free caramel syrup
  • 1          teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/8       teaspoon xanthan gum (optional)
  • 1/4       teaspoon sea salt or sea salt flakes
  1. In large mixing bowl, combine heavy cream with protein powder and stevia. Whisk until smooth. Add cream cheese, almonds or macadamia nuts, caramel syrup and vanilla extract; blend until smooth. If cream cheese clumps slightly, mix with rubber spatula, breaking up bits of cream cheese against side of bowl.
  2. Sprinkle mixture with xanthan gum, if desired, and mix about 30 seconds. Mixture will thicken slightly.
  3. Cover tray that will fit into freezer with sheet of wax paper. Using soup spoon, scoop mixture onto tray, making 18 mounds. Alternatively, use two silicone candy molds or empty ice cube tray coated with olive oil spray and press cheesecake mixture into 18 molds. Sprinkle with sea salt.
  4. Freeze at least one hour before serving.

Note: Can be stored in freezer up to 1 month.

Tip: Switch up flavors by using sugar-free hazelnut syrup in place of caramel and hazelnuts or walnuts instead of almonds.

Photos courtesy of Getty Images (Garlic Rosemary Pork Loin, Sweet Potato-Pumpkin Puree)

Source: Atkins

Dessert 09 November 2017

Holiday Baking for Family and Friends

(Family Features) A holiday season filled with gatherings calls for simple recipes that make baking for family and friends easy and enjoyable.

Traditions are often enjoyed more around the holidays and some classic flavors are must-haves for seasonal parties and dinners. Individually portioned desserts are ideal for entertaining, and these smooth, creamy cheesecakes with vivid holiday color are a perfect single serving that is sure to brighten any dessert table. Or put a festive twist on apple pie with a cinnamon roll-inspired crust.

Each of these desserts features quick and easy preparation, and the delicious flavors of Lucky Leaf Fruit Fillings, which use high-quality fruit and contain no high-fructose corn syrup, for great tasting desserts every time. An array of popular flavors like apple, blueberry, cherry and strawberry make it possible to prepare your favorite holiday desserts in minutes.

Find more inspiration for this season’s holiday baking at luckyleaf.com.

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Mini Marbled Cherry Cheesecakes

  • 18        chocolate cookies with white filling
  • 2          packages (8 ounces each) cream cheese, softened
  • 1/3       cup sugar
  • 2          eggs
  • 1          teaspoon vanilla
  • 1          can (21 ounces) Lucky Leaf Premium Cherry Fruit Filling, divided
  1. Heat oven to 350° F.  Line muffin tins with 18 paper liners.
  2. Place one chocolate cookie in bottom of each paper liner.
  3. In mixing bowl, beat cream cheese, sugar, eggs and vanilla until light and fluffy.  Fold in half of fruit filling. Fill each muffin liner about three-fourths full with mixture.
  4. Bake 20-25 minutes, or until done. Cool. Top each cheesecake with spoonful of remaining fruit filling.

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Cinnamon Apple Pie

  • 1          refrigerated pie crust
  • 1          tablespoon butter, melted
  • 2          teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 2          cans (21 ounces each) Lucky Leaf Premium Apple Fruit Filling
  • 1          stick (8 tablespoons) butter, softened
  • 1          cup flour
  • 1          cup light brown sugar
  • 1/2       cup powdered sugar, plus additional (optional)
  • 1/4       teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/4       teaspoon cinnamon
  • 2          teaspoons milk, plus additional (optional)
  1. Heat oven to 400° F.
  2. On lightly floured surface, unroll pie crust. Brush with melted butter and sprinkle evenly with cinnamon. Roll up tightly and slice into 1/2-inch rounds, like miniature cinnamon rolls.
  3. Press miniature cinnamon rolls evenly into bottom and sides of 9-inch pie plate, making sure there are no spaces between rolls. Pour fruit filling on top of crust.
  4. In large bowl, using pastry blender, combine stick of butter, flour and brown sugar, until crumbly. Sprinkle over apple filling.
  5. Bake pie until top and crust are golden brown and filling is bubbling, about 40-45 minutes (cover top and crust with foil, if necessary, to prevent from getting too dark). Remove from oven and allow to cool.
  6. In small bowl, whisk together powdered sugar, vanilla, cinnamon and milk to form icing. Add more sugar or milk, if necessary, to reach desired consistency. Drizzle icing over cooled pie.

Source: Lucky Leaf

Meal Ideas 03 November 2017

Spice Up the Season

Flavorful holiday dishes for every course

(Family Features) Whether this holiday marks your culinary debut or you’re a seasoned chef looking for a fresh take on seasonal favorites, you can take some notes from the pros. Every good chef has an arsenal of tricks and techniques to create amazing dishes every time, and the perfect blend of spices is one of those winning secrets.

In a properly seasoned dish, the spice accents the natural flavors without overpowering them. That’s why it’s a good idea to build your menu around spices and herbs of the highest quality, such as Spice Islands, which crafts and packages spices and herbs from around the world to deliver the most authentic and intense flavor possible.

Add flavor-rich, seasonal spices to your holiday table with these flavorful recipes for a Traditional Turkey Rub, Cranberry Apple Chutney, Butternut Squash Soup with Thyme Butter and Mini Pumpkin Cheesecakes.

From the appetizers to the main dish to dessert, flavorful seasonings can make a good recipe great. Find more ideas for spicing up your holiday menu at SpiceIslands.com.

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Mini Pumpkin Cheesecakes

Prep time: 15 minutes
Total time: 1 hour, 50 minutes
Yield: 18 mini cheesecakes

  • 18        paper baking cups (2 1/2 inch diameter)
  • 18        gingersnap cookies
  • 12        ounces cream cheese, softened
  • 3/4       cup sugar
  • 1          tablespoon corn starch
  • 1          teaspoon Spice Islands Pumpkin Pie Spice
  • 2          eggs
  • 1          cup canned pumpkin
  • 1/3       cup light corn syrup
  1. Heat oven to 325° F. Line muffin tin with paper baking cups. Place 1 cookie in each cup.
  2. With electric mixer, beat cream cheese, sugar, corn starch and pumpkin pie spice. Add eggs and mix well. Add pumpkin and corn syrup; beat 1 minute.
  3. Pour filling into liners, dividing evenly. Bake 30-35 minutes until just set.
  4. Chill 1 hour.

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Cranberry Apple Chutney

Prep time: 15 minutes
Total time: 45 minutes
Yield: 2 cups

  • 1          bag (12 ounces) fresh or frozen cranberries
  • 1/4       cup water
  • 2          large apples, cored and chopped
  • 1 1/2    cups sugar
  • 2/3       cup finely chopped onion
  • 2/3       cup golden raisins
  • 2          teaspoons minced fresh ginger
  • 1          teaspoon Spice Islands Minced Garlic
  • 1          teaspoon salt
  • 3/4       teaspoon Spice Islands Ground Allspice
  • 1/4       teaspoon Spice Islands Ground Saigon Cinnamon
  • 1/8       teaspoon Spice Islands Ground Cloves
  • 2/3       cup dark corn syrup
  • 1/3       cup cider vinegar
  • 2/3       cup chopped pecans
  1. In large saucepan, combine cranberries, water, apples, sugar, onion, raisins, ginger, garlic, salt, allspice, cinnamon and cloves. Bring to boil over medium-high heat. Reduce heat; cover, stirring occasionally, 15 minutes. Add corn syrup, vinegar and pecans. Cook uncovered 15 minutes, stirring frequently.
  2. Serve with roast turkey, pork roast or baked ham.

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Butternut Squash Soup with Thyme Butter

Prep time: 35 minutes
Total time: 1 hour, 30 minutes
Yield: 6-8 servings

  • 1          tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1          teaspoon Spice Islands Ground Ginger
  • 1/4       teaspoon Spice Islands Cayenne Pepper
  • 3          pounds (about 7 cups) butternut squash, peeled and cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 2          medium cooking apples, peeled, cored and coarsely chopped
  • 2          small onions, coarsely chopped
  • 2          cans (14 1/2 ounces each) chicken broth, divided
  • 1/2       cup water
  • Thyme Butter:
  • 1/4       cup butter, softened
  • 1/2       teaspoon Spice Islands Thyme
  • 1/2       teaspoon Spice Islands Garlic Powder
  1. Heat oven to 425° F.
  2. In large bowl, combine oil, ginger and cayenne pepper. Add squash, apples and onions; toss to coat. Transfer to 15-by-10-inch baking pan. Roast in single layer 35-45 minutes, or until tender. Remove from oven.
  3. Working in batches, combine squash mixture and one can chicken broth in blender or food processor; blend until smooth. Transfer pureed mixture to large saucepan. Stir in remaining chicken broth and water. Bring soup to boil; reduce heat and simmer, uncovered, 10 minutes.
  4. To make thyme butter: Combine butter, thyme and garlic powder until well blended. Spoon onto wax paper and roll into 3-inch log; wrap tightly and refrigerate until firm.
  5. To serve, cut butter into thin slices. Ladle hot soup into individual bowls; top each with slice of butter.

Tip: Puree can be made in advance, covered and refrigerated up to 2 days.

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Traditional Turkey Rub

Prep time: 5 minutes
Yield: rub for 1 turkey (about 15 pounds)

  • 2          teaspoons Spice Islands Crushed Rosemary
  • 1          teaspoon Spice Islands Thyme
  • 1          teaspoon Spice Islands Onion Powder
  • 1/2       teaspoon Spice Islands Garlic Powder
  • 1/8       teaspoon Spice Islands Ground Saigon Cinnamon
  • sea salt
  • Spice Islands Ground Black Pepper
  • pure olive oil (optional)
  • 1          turkey
  1. In small bowl, combine rosemary, thyme, onion powder, garlic powder and cinnamon. Generously add salt and pepper. Lightly coat turkey with oil, if desired.
  2. Rub all surfaces of turkey with seasoning. Roast according to package directions.

Photo courtesy of Getty Images (whole turkey on platter)

Source: Spice Islands

Dessert 28 September 2017

Cooking for a Cause

(Family Features) If you love to entertain and want to support a good cause, now you can do both at the same time.

Currently in its 16th year, Cook for the Cure is a program that gives those with a passion for cooking a way to support the fight against breast cancer. Through culinary-based fundraising, events, auctions and the sale of select products, the partnership between KitchenAid and Susan G. Komen for the Cure® has raised more than $10.7 million for the cause.

“It adds another layer of purpose to one of life’s great pleasures, cooking and enjoying food with family and friends,” said Anthony Pastrick, brand manager for KitchenAid. “The program continues to fuel passionate cooks with simple, creative ways to support a meaningful cause."

You can make a difference by hosting a party that lets you Cook for the Cure by raising awareness and funds for breast cancer research. Here are some ideas to get you started:

Invite guests for an evening of appetizers, such as these Mini Fruit Tarts, and drinks. Encourage fundraising by awarding a prize to the guest with the highest donation, or let donors enter their names into a drawing to win a restaurant gift certificate or spa treatment.

Organize a fundraising bake sale. Get the neighbors involved in baking, promoting and selling – it’s a great way to bring people together. Your contribution could be these Lemon Berry Cheesecake Bars.

Host a potluck brainstorming party. Invite people who share your passion for helping others to bring their favorite dish and think up creative ways to support the cause as a group. Vote on a project then let everyone pitch in to get started. Cooking good food, sharing time with friends and giving back to the community – that’s a recipe for a truly great party. Learn more at CookfortheCure.com.
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10,000 Cupcakes

Sharing baked goods with friends is a pleasure. Now you can make it even more meaningful by sharing to raise money for a good cause.

From Oct. 1 through Oct. 31, for every original cupcake image or video shared on Twitter or Instagram with the collective hashtags #10000cupcakes and #donate, KitchenAid will donate $1 to Susan G. Komen, up to a maximum donation of $10,000. In addition, KitchenAid will donate $250,000 or more to Susan G. Komen through the Cook for the Cure program to support the fight against breast cancer. Since 2001, they have donated more than $10.7 million to Komen through the initiative, sales of pink products, celebrity chef auctions and fundraisers hosted by supporters.

Visit cookforthecure.kitchenaid.com/10000cupcakes/ to see the full terms and conditions and learn more about the 10,000 Cupcakes program.

Lemon Berry Cheesecake Bars

Recipe courtesy of Lindsay Conchar of Life, Love & Sugar on behalf of KitchenAid
Makes: 12-16 bars

  • 1 1/2    cups graham cracker crumbs
  • 5          tablespoons butter, melted
  • 16        ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 1 1/2    cups powdered sugar, divided
  • 3          tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1          tablespoon lemon zest
  • 1 1/4    cups heavy whipping cream, divided
  • fresh berries
  1. Line 9-inch square cake pan with parchment paper, bringing up over sides.
  2. Combine graham cracker crumbs and butter, and stir until well combined. Press crumb mixture evenly into bottom of cake pan. Set aside.
  3. In bowl of stand mixer, beat cream cheese, 1 cup powdered sugar, lemon juice and lemon zest until smooth. In separate bowl, whip heavy whipping cream until it starts to thicken. Add remaining powdered sugar and continue to whip until stiff peaks form. Gently fold half the whipped cream into cheesecake mixture and place remainder in refrigerator to use later. Spread cheesecake mixture evenly in cake pan.
  4. Refrigerate cheesecake at least 4 hours, or until firm.
  5. Use parchment paper on sides to lift bars out of pan then cut into squares. Use remaining whipped cream to top cheesecake bars then add fresh berries, as desired. Refrigerate until ready to serve.

Mini Fruit Tarts

Recipe courtesy of Kelly Kwok of Life Made Sweeter on behalf of KitchenAid
Makes: 6 pastries

Pastries:

  • 1          frozen puff pastry sheet (17.3 ounces), thawed
  • 1          large egg
  • 1-2       teaspoons milk

Frosting:

  • 1/4       cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 8          ounces cream cheese, chilled
  • 1-2       tablespoons coconut cream or full-fat canned coconut milk, plus additional             (optional)
  • 1          teaspoon coconut extract
  • 1/2       teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 3-3 1/2             cups powdered sugar, plus additional (optional)

Toppings:

  • assorted fresh fruit
  • powdered sugar, for dusting (optional)
  1. To make pastries: Heat oven to 400° F. Line baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.
  2. Place puff pastry sheet on lightly floured work surface and cut each sheet into 12 3-inch squares.
  3. In small bowl, beat egg with milk to make egg wash and lightly brush onto each square.
  4. Transfer pastries onto baking sheet and bake 10 minutes, until pastries have puffed up and are golden.
  5. Cool completely on wire rack.
  6. To make frosting: In stand mixer bowl fitted with flat beater, beat butter on medium speed until light and creamy, about 3 minutes.
  7. Add cream cheese and beat until smooth and fully incorporated. Add coconut cream, coconut extract and vanilla extract, and beat until smooth.
  8. Gently stir in powdered sugar until fully incorporated. Turn stand mixer on high and beat 1 minute, until fully combined. Add additional powdered sugar and coconut cream until desired consistency and level of sweetness is reached.
  9. Spread or pipe coconut cream cheese frosting into middle.
  10. Top with fresh fruit and another pastry square. Dust with powdered sugar, if desired.

Photo courtesy of Chris Scheuer of The Cafe Sucre Farine (cupcake)

Source: KitchenAid

Healthy 25 August 2017

Think Outside the Lunchbox

(Family Features) Eating the same thing every day can make lunch seem so “blah.” Now’s the perfect time to break out of the lunch rut and add some excitement to your meals.

Thinking outside the traditional lunchbox is easy with the right ingredients. Perk up your noontime noshing with fresh, seasonal ingredients coupled with kitchen pantry classics, like California Ripe Olives, which add a unique flavor and bold, distinctive color to any dish.

California farmers grow more than 95 percent of the ripe olives consumed in the United States. From planting, pruning, harvesting and processing, they make sure that the highest quality olives come from their farms to your table – one can at a time.

Adding olives to any lunch can help bring California sunshine to each and every bite. Try some of these portable and packable recipes to add excitement to lunch on-the-go and find more at calolive.org.
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Greek Salad in Jars

Courtesy of Simply Recipes
Makes: 4 salads

Salad Dressing:

  • 3          tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 1/4       teaspoon salt, plus additional, to taste (optional)
  • pinch of black pepper, plus additional, to taste (optional)
  • 1/4       teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1          teaspoon honey
  • 5          tablespoons olive oil
  • 4          pint-size canning jars with lids

Salads:

  • 1/4       medium red onion, thinly sliced
  • 1          cup cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1/2       large English cucumber, sliced
  • 1          yellow or orange bell pepper, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 3/4       cup California black ripe olives
  • 1/2       cup (4 ounces) crumbled feta cheese
  • 4          small handfuls fresh baby spinach or other dark, leafy greens
  • 4          pita bread rounds, halved (optional)
  1. To prepare dressing: In small bowl, whisk together vinegar, salt, pepper, oregano and honey.
  2. Gradually whisk in oil. Taste. Add additional salt and pepper, if desired.
  3. Divide dressing between four pint jars.
  4. To assemble salads: Divide onion between four jars. Divide tomatoes, cucumbers, peppers, olives and feta cheese between jars. Pack remaining space with spinach, compressing leaves slightly.
  5. Secure lids and refrigerate up to two days.
  6. To serve: Empty salads into bowls and toss with dressing. Serve with pita bread.

Note: Store and transport salads upright so dressing stays on bottom.

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Deliciously Different

Smoked California Ripe Olives can produce a crave-worthy culinary surprise and become one of your favorite flavor discoveries. There are a few easy ways to make your own smoked olives, including preparing them on the grill with these quick steps:

  1. Soak wood chips in water for 30 minutes. Drain well.
  2. Pierce a foil pan several times with a small, sharp knife and spread wood chips in a single layer in the pan. Set directly on hot coals or metal bars on a gas grill. Close the lid and set heat to high only under the pan of chips.
  3. When chips are smoking, place drained California Ripe Olives in a grill basket on grill with the burners off. Close the lid and smoke for 30 minutes.

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Maple Olive Cheesecake Bites

Makes: 16-20 mini cheesecakes

  • Nonstick cooking spray
  • 1/2       cup graham cracker crumbs
  • 2          tablespoons butter, melted
  • 3          tablespoons sugar, divided
  • 6          ounces cream cheese, room temperature
  • 3          tablespoons pure maple syrup
  • 2          tablespoons flour
  • 1          teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1          egg
  • 1/4       cup coarsely chopped California Ripe Olives
  1. Heat oven to 325° F and coat 16-20-cup mini muffin tin with nonstick cooking spray.
  2. In small bowl, stir together graham cracker crumbs, butter and 1 tablespoon sugar. Place equal amounts into each mini muffin cup then press firmly into bottom of each cup. Working with one cup at a time, press small piece of plastic wrap onto surface and press crust firmly into mini muffin cups.
  3. In large bowl of electric mixer, beat cream cheese, maple syrup and remaining sugar until smooth; beat in flour and vanilla on low speed. Add egg and beat until just combined; stir in olives.
  4. Spoon equal amounts into each cup. Bake 20-25 minutes, or until filling feels set.
  5. Let cool completely then run small, thin knife around edge of each to remove from pan.

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Black and White Pizza

Makes: 1 pizza

  • 1          tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil, plus additional for pizza crust
  • 1          cup onion, quartered and thinly sliced
  • 2          tablespoons roasted garlic, minced
  • 4          ounces small baby bella mushrooms, chopped flour
  • 1          package prepared pizza dough
  • 1          cup prepared Alfredo sauce
  • 1          cup smoked mozzarella cheese, shredded
  • 4          ounces fresh mozzarella cheese, torn into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 1          small boneless, skinless chicken breast, cooked and thinly sliced
  • 2          tablespoons fresh rosemary, chopped
  • 1          can (6 ounces) extra-large California Black Ripe Olives, drained and cut in wedges
  • freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
  1. Heat oven to 450° F and line large baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. In large skillet over medium heat, heat 1 tablespoon oil. Add onion, garlic and mushrooms, and cook, stirring frequently, 10 minutes, or until onions are soft. Reserve.
  3. Roll pizza dough into thin oval on lightly floured surface. Transfer to prepared baking sheet and brush lightly with olive oil then spread evenly with Alfredo sauce.
  4. Top with mushroom mixture, cheeses, chicken and rosemary. Sprinkle olives over pizza.
  5. Bake 10-15 minutes, or until cheese is melted and lightly browned around edges.
  6. Serve with Parmigiano-Reggiano.

Source: California Olive Committee

Breakfast & Brunch 27 March 2017

Sensational Spring Flavors

(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.

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Overnight Apple Fritter French Toast Casserole

Recipe courtesy of Kate of I Heart Eating
Prep time: 15 minutes
Cook time: 45-55 minutes
Servings: 12

  • 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
  1. Grease 9-by-9-inch baking dish.
  2. Cube cinnamon bread and add half to prepared baking dish. Add fruit filling over bread. Cover fruit filling with rest of bread cubes.
  3. In bowl, whisk together eggs, half-and-half and cinnamon. Pour evenly over bread.
  4. Cover and chill overnight.
  5. Heat oven to 325° F.
  6. Uncover and bake for 45-55 minutes. If it starts to brown too much, tent aluminum foil over casserole.
  7. Let cool in pan for about 10 minutes.
  8. Whisk together powdered sugar and 1 tablespoon milk, adding more as needed to make pourable glaze. Drizzle glaze over casserole just before serving.

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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
  1. Heat oven to 350° F.
  2. Press cookie dough evenly into bottom and sides of deep dish (2-inches deep) 9-inch pie plate.
  3. Bake 12 minutes. Cool completely. While crust is cooling, prepare filling.
  4. 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.
  5. Bake 55-70 minutes, or until filling is set and golden brown.
  6. Cool. Refrigerate until ready to serve. Top with remaining can of cherry fruit filling.

Source: Lucky Leaf

Dessert 23 March 2017

Pair Like a Pro

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(Family Features) When it comes to pairing wine with food, even experts agree that desserts can pose a challenge. A wide variety of flavor combinations can make it hard to find the perfect selection to serve with your sweet treat. While there’s no exact science to wine pairing, these simple tips can help you make your selection.

Sweet Cheesecake
A good rule: the lighter the dessert, the lighter the wine. Avoid heavy reds for a sweeter dessert and instead pair with a crisp white like Chardonnay, such as Joseph Carr from Sonoma, California.

Citrusy Lemon Meringue Pie
Lemon flavors can sometimes be polarizing, but complementing this dessert with an equally citrusy wine can work wonders. Try pairing with a food-friendly pinot grigio or a sauvignon blanc.

Rich Chocolate Cake
Red wine with chocolate seems like a no-brainer, but not all red wines are created equal. For a richer delicacy like this devil’s food cake, try something like Villa Pozzi Nero D’avola, a more fruit-forward, easy-drinking red varietal.

For more tips and wine selections, visit winefix.com

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New York-Style Honey Cheesecake

Recipe courtesy of the National Honey Board

  • 2 cups graham cracker crumbs
  • 1/2 cup butter or margarine, melted
  • 4 packages (8 ounces each) cream cheese
  • 3/4 cup honey
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 5 eggs
  • 1/3 cup heavy cream
  • 1 tablespoon lemon zest, grated
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • fresh berries, for garnish
  • fresh mint, for garnish
  1. To make crust: In small bowl, stir together graham cracker crumbs and butter until well blended. Press mixture evenly onto bottom and sides of greased 9-inch springform pan; set aside.
  2. Heat oven to 350° F.
  3. To make filling: In electric mixer bowl, combine cream cheese, honey and flour. Beat until smooth. Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each. Beat in cream, lemon zest and vanilla.
  4. Pour cream cheese mixture over crust; bake 15 minutes. Lower oven temperature to 200° F and bake 1 hour and 30 minutes longer, or until center no longer looks wet or shiny.
  5. With oven off and door ajar, let cheesecake cool 1 hour in oven. Remove cheesecake to rack to cool completely.
  6. Cover and refrigerate cheesecake at least 4 hours before serving. Garnish with fruit and fresh mint. Pair with chardonnay like Joseph Carr.

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Honey Devil’s Food Cake with Rich Chocolate Frosting

Recipe courtesy of the National Honey Board

  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 cups unsweetened cocoa powder, divided
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups honey, divided
  • 1/2 cup 2 percent low-fat milk
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 eggs
  • 3 teaspoons vanilla extract, divided
  • 1 cup boiling water
  • 1 cup heavy whipping cream
  • milk chocolate shavings, for garnish
  1. To prepare cake: Heat oven to 350° F. Grease and flour two 9-inch cake pans.
  2. In large bowl, combine flour, 1 cup cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder and salt. Add 1 1/2 cups honey, milk, oil, eggs and 2 teaspoons vanilla; beat 2 minutes. Gradually beat in water.
  3. Divide batter between pans. Bake 25-30 minutes, or until sides pull away slightly from pan and toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool 10 minutes. Turn onto wire racks and cool completely.
  4. To prepare frosting: In medium bowl, combine remaining cocoa powder, honey and vanilla, and cream. Beat until just thick and fluffy.
  5. To assemble: Spread frosting evenly over sides and top of one cake layer. Place second cake layer on top. Spread remaining frosting evenly over sides and top.
  6. Garnish with milk chocolate shavings. Pair each serving with a glass of prosecco, like Nero D’avola from Villa Pozzi.

Photo courtesy of 275847/Shutterstock.com (cheesecake)
Photo courtesy of Barnaby Chambers/Shutterstock.com (chocolate cake with wine)

Source: Deutsch Family Wines

Dessert 14 March 2017

Butterscotch Cheesecake

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Butterscotch Cheesecake

Prep Time: 15 minutes
Baking Time: 50 minutes
Makes one (9-inch) cheesecake

  • 1/3 cup butter or margarine, melted
  • 1 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs
  • 1/3 cup firmly packed brown sugar
  • 1 (14-ounce) can Eagle Brand Sweetened Condensed Milk (NOT evaporated milk)
  • 3/4 cup cold water
  • 1 (3 5/8-ounce) package butterscotch pudding/pie filling mix
  • 3 (8-ounce) packages cream cheese, softened
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Whipped cream
  • Crushed hard butterscotch candy
  1. Preheat oven to 375°F. Combine butter, graham cracker crumbs and sugar; press firmly on bottom of 9-inch springform pan.
  2. In medium saucepan, combine sweetened condensed milk and water; mix well. Stir in pudding mix. Over medium heat, cook and stir until thickened and bubbly.
  3. In large bowl, beat cream cheese until fluffy. Beat in eggs and vanilla, then pudding mixture. Pour into prepared pan. Bake 50 minutes or until golden brown around edge (center will be soft).
  4. Cool to room temperature. Chill. Garnish with whipped cream and crushed candy. Store leftovers covered in refrigerator.

Source: Eagle Brand® Sweetened Condensed Milk

Dessert 14 March 2017

Raspberry Swirl Cheesecake Pie

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Raspberry Swirl Cheesecake Pie

Prep Time: 15 minutes
Baking Time: 55 minutes
Makes one 9-inch pie

  • 1 (8-ounce) package cream cheese, softened
  • 1 (14-ounce) can Eagle Brand Sweetened Condensed Milk (NOT evaporated milk)
  • 1 egg
  • 3 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon lemon juice from concentrate, divided
  • 1 (9-inch) graham cracker crumb crust
  • 1/2 cup raspberry preserves
  1. Preheat oven to 300°F. In large mixing bowl, beat cream cheese until fluffy. Gradually beat in sweetened condensed milk until smooth, add egg and 3 tablespoons lemon juice; mix well.
  2. Pour 1/2 the batter into crust. Combine remaining 1 teaspoon lemon juice with preserves in small bowl. Spoon half the preserves over batter.
  3. Pour remaining batter on top. Using a knife, swirl remaining preserves into decorative pattern on top.
  4. Bake 55 minutes. Cool. Refrigerate leftovers.

Source: Eagle® Brand Sweetened Condensed Milk

Main Dishes 09 March 2017

Easy Al Fresco Entertaining

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(Family Features) Warmer weather is often welcome for a variety of reasons, but there’s something nearly irresistible about enjoying a meal outdoors. Whether you plan to gather on the patio or pack a picnic for the park, dining al fresco is an easy way to turn a meal into a full-fledged event.

Begin your meal with chicken sandwiches crafted on the grill and a seasonal pasta salad on the side then finish it with a glass of white wine and a dessert made for al fresco entertaining – cheesecake topped with fresh berries and mint.

For more al fresco recipes and entertaining tips, visit Culinary.net.

Serve a Sensational Side
This pretty side dish is made for sharing. Made with fiber-rich, whole-wheat pasta, colorful plum tomatoes and balanced out by the crisp, bright flavors of balsamic vinegar and fresh basil, this pasta salad is perfect for outdoor events and gatherings. Find more good-for-you recipes at AICR.org.

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Pasta Salad with Tomatoes

Reprinted with permission from the American Institute for Cancer Research
Servings: 8

  • 8 ounces whole-wheat small pasta (fusilli or farfalle), cooked according to directions
  • 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 4 tablespoons finely chopped fresh basil, divided
  • 1 teaspoon turbinado sugar (optional)
  • salt, to taste
  • freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 1/8 teaspoon crushed red pepper
  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced and divided
  • 1 medium green bell pepper, finely chopped
  • 4 plum or Roma tomatoes, coarsely chopped
  • 1 slice whole-wheat or multigrain bread
  1. In bowl, cover and chill pasta.
  2. In large mixing bowl, combine vinegar, 2 tablespoons basil, sugar, salt, pepper, red pepper, 2 tablespoons oil and half of minced garlic. Whisk to combine well. Add pasta, bell pepper and tomatoes, and toss gently until well coated.
  3. In food processor or blender, pulse bread to produce coarse crumbs. In medium skillet, heat remaining oil over medium-high heat. Stir in breadcrumbs and garlic. Saute 1 1/2-2 minutes until browned and crisp. Remove from heat and let cool.
  4. Top pasta with garlic crumbs and remaining basil.

Pair Like a Pro
When it comes to pairing wine with food, even experts agree that desserts can pose a challenge. A wide variety of flavor combinations can make it hard to find the perfect selection to serve with your sweet treat. While there’s no exact science to wine pairing, these simple tips can help you make your selection.

Sweet Cheesecake
A good rule: the lighter the dessert, the lighter the wine. Avoid heavy reds for a sweeter dessert and instead pair with a crisp white like Chardonnay, such as Joseph Carr from Sonoma, California.

Citrusy Lemon Meringue Pie
Lemon flavors can sometimes be polarizing, but complementing this dessert with an equally citrusy wine can work wonders. Try pairing with a food-friendly pinot grigio or a sauvignon blanc.

Rich Chocolate Cake
Red wine with chocolate seems like a no-brainer, but not all red wines are created equal. For a richer delicacy like this devil’s food cake, try something like Villa Pozzi Nero D’avola, a more fruit-forward, easy-drinking red varietal.

For more tips and wine selections, visit winefix.com.

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New York-Style Honey Cheesecake

Recipe courtesy of the National Honey Board

  • 2 cups graham cracker crumbs
  • 1/2 cup butter or margarine, melted
  • 4 packages (8 ounces each) cream cheese
  • 3/4 cup honey
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 5 eggs
  • 1/3 cup heavy cream
  • 1 tablespoon lemon zest, grated
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • fresh berries, for garnish
  • fresh mint, for garnish
  1. To make crust: In small bowl, stir together graham cracker crumbs and butter until well blended. Press mixture evenly onto bottom and sides of greased 9-inch springform pan; set aside.
  2. Heat oven to 350° F.
  3. To make filling: In electric mixer bowl, combine cream cheese, honey and flour. Beat until smooth. Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each. Beat in cream, lemon zest and vanilla.
  4. Pour cream cheese mixture over crust; bake 15 minutes. Lower oven temperature to 200 F and bake 1 hour and 30 minutes longer, or until center no longer looks wet or shiny.
  5. With oven off and door ajar, let cheesecake cool 1 hour in oven. Remove cheesecake to rack to cool completely.
  6. Cover and refrigerate cheesecake at least 4 hours before serving. Garnish with fruit and fresh mint. Pair with chardonnay like Joseph Carr.

Go for Grilled Chicken
Few things go better with warm weather than firing up the grill and enjoying a meal in the fresh air. These chicken sandwiches, which are topped with Brie, pesto, fresh tomato and arugula on sourdough bread and toasted on the grill, are just the excuse you need to get outside and enjoy the weather with family and friends. Find more patio-perfect recipes at chickenroost.com.

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Grilled Chicken Sandwiches with Pesto, Brie and Arugula

Recipe courtesy of the National Chicken Council
Servings: 4

  • 1/2 cup olive oil, divided
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
  • 1 pound thin-cut chicken cutlets
  • 1/4 cup basil pesto, divided
  • 1 large tomato
  • 8 slices crusty sourdough bread
  • 4 ounces Brie, thinly sliced
  • 1 cup packed baby arugula
  1. Heat grill to high.
  2. Combine 1/4 cup olive oil, lemon juice, garlic, salt and pepper; pour into plastic zipper bag. Add chicken, seal and marinate at least 30 minutes.
  3. Grill chicken 2-3 minutes, turn and grill another 2-3 minutes, or until chicken registers internal temperature of 160 F. Remove and reserve.
  4. Spread each piece of bread with 1/2 tablespoon pesto. Slice tomato into eight slices.
  5. Place chicken on four bread slices. Top with Brie slices, arugula and two tomato slices. Top with remaining bread slices, pesto side toward tomato.
  6. Brush outside of each sandwich with about 1/2 tablespoon of remaining olive oil. Place on grill, reduce heat to medium and grill 2-3 minutes per side, or until bread is nicely toasted and cheese is melted.
  7. Remove from heat, cut each sandwich in half and serve.

Photo courtesy of Getty Images (pasta salad)

Photo courtesy of 275847/Shutterstock.com (cheesecake)

Photo courtesy of Getty Images (grilled chicken sandwich)

Source: Culinary.net

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