recipes

Meal Ideas 06 April 2017

Treat Mom on Her Special Day

(Family Features) What can family members do special this year for Mom? Most Moms dream of a fine meal they don’t have to shop for, cook or clean up afterwards. Often going out for breakfast on Mother’s Day can mean dealing with long lines and slow service. But Dad and the kids can rise to the occasion and prepare a meal themselves at home that can be a real treat.

Even the dad who only makes breakfast on weekends can cater a fine restaurant meal at home, with kids as willing sous chefs. It’s easy when your family shops where the pros shop, such as Sam’s Club for frozen appe­tizers, readymade pastry, organic produce, fine wines, quality meats, great breads and fabulous cheesecake ready to thaw and serve. For a crowning touch, add an unexpected and affordable luxury gift and Mom just might decide to sign on for another year.

Check out www.samsclub.com — or the Sam’s Club nearest you — for more great Mother’s Day ideas.

Mother’s Day Game Plan

Here’s the game plan for catering a Mother’s Day meal at home.

  • Chill the champagne or make a deli­cious punch a few hours before the meal.
  • Read the instructions on the box, then pop those frozen appetizers in the oven.
  • Prepare and cook the salmon.
  • Slice up some fresh fruit or bread.
  • Finish with a deliciously moist cheese­cake - a Mom favorite. (Remember to thaw it beforehand.)
  • Serve Mom in bed - let her relax and enjoy the meal and her day.
  • Have the kids clean up the kitchen.
  • Watch Mom smile.

Mom’s Secret Wish List

Mom usually puts the needs of her family first. But if she were really honest, she would say she’d love to have something from this list. And, Dads, when you shop smart, these become affordable luxuries.

  1. Diamonds. They’re always a girl’s best friend. Diamond solitaire earrings go with everything — jeans on the soccer field, a suit at the office or workout clothes at the gym.
  2. Designer Fragrances. Perfume and cologne in her special scent makes Mom feel pampered and special.
  3. Furniture. Surprise her with something she’s been wanting, whether it’s the armoire for the great room, a new desk for the home office or even a new leather sofa.
  4. Chocolate. Always a treat, especially now that health experts have declared that dark chocolate is actually good for us. Now, will it be Godiva or Ghirardelli?
  5. Culinary Ware. If Mom has been trying to make culinary masterpieces from a mismatched set of cookware from her early married days, it’s time for an upgrade. Or, maybe she’d love a stand mixer or a great platter.

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Salmon Wellington

Puff pastry encloses flavorful salmon, spinach and herbs in a main dish fit for a special occasion. Wellington prepara­tions are thought to take a great deal of time and skill to make. However, with the time saver of purchased puff pastry, it’s a breeze. The bundles can be pre­pared up to a week in advance and then frozen. Just pop them in the oven when needed.

Note: Puff pastry must be cold (but not frozen) when placed into a hot oven in order for the pastry to become light and flaky.

Makes: 4 servings

  • 1 tablespoon sweet butter
  • 1-1/2 tablespoons shallots or onion, minced
  • 1/2 cup frozen spinach, defrosted and well drained
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 tablespoon lemon zest
  • 1 teaspoon thyme or dill
  • minced Kosher salt and cracked black pepper
  • 1-1/2 tablespoons crumbled feta cheese
  • 4 thick, skinless fillets of salmon (about 6 ounces each)
  • 2 packages puff pastry (defrosted in refrigerator)
  • 1 lightly beaten egg
  • 1 teaspoon milk
  1. Heat sauté pan with butter over medium heat. Add shallots and sauté 3 to 4 minutes until softened. Reduce heat to medium-low and add spinach, nutmeg, lemon zest, thyme, salt and pepper. Sauté 2 to 3 minutes; remove from heat and stir in feta. Taste for seasoning and let cool.
  2. Lightly salt and pepper each piece of salmon and top with 2 tablespoons of spinach mixture.
  3. Roll out pastry sheets on lightly floured board. Cut 1 piece of pastry for bottom of each fillet — about 1 inch larger than the salmon. Cut a second piece large enough to drape over fillet and touch counter, plus 1 inch to spare all the way around.
  4. Brush edge of smaller sheet with lightly beaten egg mixed with milk. Place 1 piece of salmon in center of pastry. Drape larger piece over salmon and seal the two pieces of dough together by folding and pleat­ing like a pie crust. Repeat for each “package.” Chill at least 30 minutes or freeze up to 1 week before baking.
  5. Preheat oven to 425°F. Brush top of each package with a small amount of egg/milk mixture. Put on sheet pan lined with parchment paper and a dusting of corn meal. Bake in pre­heated oven for 18 to 23 minutes, until golden. Let rest 5 to 10 minutes before serving.

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Cranberry Splash Punch

Makes: 8 servings

  • 4 cups cranberry juice
  • 3 cups pineapple juice
  • 1/2 cup cherry juice
  • 2 cups puréed strawberries or raspberries (fresh or frozen)
  • 6 cups ice cubes
  • 2 lemons, sliced
  • 2 limes, sliced
  • 3 cups orange soda or ginger ale
  1. Mix all juices and puréed berries and chill thoroughly.
  2. To serve, put punch in handsome container and add ice and fruit. Slowly stir in orange soda.

Source: Sam's Club

Beverages 31 March 2017

Natural Sleep Solutions to Dream About

(Family Features) It’s no secret: Americans are desperate for sleep. In fact, the U.S. sleep aid market is expected to grow to $44 billion by 2020, according to data from Persistence Market Research. However, achieving better sleep may be as easy as changing what you eat.

A survey commissioned by the Cherry Marketing Institute and conducted online by Harris Poll in January 2017 among more than 2,000 adults suggests that Americans may be open to alternate sleep solutions. An overwhelming 83 percent of Americans would prefer to improve their sleep through diet rather than using over-the-counter sleep aids.

One promising solution that doesn’t require a trip down the pharmaceutical aisle: Montmorency tart cherry juice, which has been scientifically studied for its ability to help improve sleep quality and duration. Montmorency tart cherries are one of the few food sources of melatonin, a sleep-regulating hormone.

“Melatonin plays a big role in the sleep equation,” said Dr. Michael Breus, a nationally renowned sleep expert. “Without it, our bodies aren’t triggered to regulate the sleep cycle and therefore, we can’t get the rest we need. One simple, delicious and natural way to incorporate melatonin into your sleep routine is with Montmorency tart cherry juice. Research has shown adding two glasses of Montmorency tart cherry juice to your daily routine can improve your sleep quality and duration.”

A growing body of research suggests Montmorency tart cherry juice may help with sleep-related concerns, such as:

  • Improving sleep efficiency
  • Reducing the severity of insomnia and sleep disturbances
  • Increasing sleep time

Tart cherries are available year-round in dried, frozen and juice forms at retailers across the country and online. For additional information, including more recipes like this soothing bedtime tea, visit choosecherries.com.

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Tart Cherry Turmeric Bedtime Tea

Recipe courtesy of Kristina LaRue of LoveandZest.com
Prep time: 2 minutes
Cook time: 7 minutes
Yield: 2 cups

  • 1 cup Montmorency tart cherry juice
  • 1 cup water
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • 1/8 teaspoon freshly grated ginger
  • 2 bags chamomile tea
  • 1/4 cup frozen Montmorency tart cherries
  1. In small pot or tea kettle, bring tart cherry juice and water to boil. Stir in turmeric and ginger, and pour over tea bags and frozen Montmorency tart cherries. Steep 5 minutes. Remove tea bags and drink warm, at room temperature or chilled.

Source: Cherry Marketing Institute

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