recipes

Snacks 05 June 2017

Smart Summer Snacks

(Family Features) A busy summer schedule requires plenty of energy, and while relaxation is sure to help, what you eat is your essential source of fuel. Just like filling up your gas tank, food is what makes your body go.

A well-balanced approach to eating is a smart way to ensure your body gets the nutrients it needs to power you through each fun-filled day and keep you operating in tip-top shape. An eating plan such as Atkins offers a balanced approach with delicious foods that contain fiber-rich and nutrient-dense carbohydrates and good fats and proteins, while focusing on reduced levels of refined carbohydrates and added sugars.

Reach for snacks full of seasonal fruits and vegetables like peaches, cucumbers, zucchini and raspberries that will satisfy your appetite and fuel your summer days. Find more warm-weather recipes and tips to stay energized throughout the season at Atkins.com.

Avoid the Hidden Sugar Effect

The frenetic pace of summer activities makes on-the-go foods the norm. While many portable snacks tout healthy benefits and good-for-you nutrition, it’s easy to be confused about what truly makes up nutritious foods, as well as how the body responds to various foods.

According to the recent Sugar Gap Study conducted by Atkins Nutritionals, Inc., there is a significant gap in Americans’ knowledge about nutrition and the “hidden sugar effect,” where certain foods turn into sugar during the digestive process. While a person can’t see these sugars, his or her body can. The study revealed that only 1 in 10 Americans are aware that certain foods can cause the hidden sugar effect.

Make better choices and avoid hidden sugars this summer with these tips for finding foods that won’t create excessive sugar spikes:

  • Beware of sugary beverages, especially fruit juices. Keeping well hydrated is especially important when temperatures rise, but sweet drinks can pack an excessive amount of sugar.
  • Know that not all snack bars are created equal – with many packing a sugary punch. An option such as the Atkins Harvest Trail Coconut Almond Bar combines roasted coconut and almonds which can keep you feeling full and satisfied without the hidden sugars.
  • Understand which foods can cause blood sugar spikes – it’s more than cakes and candy. All carbohydrates elevate blood sugar; even ancient grains and brown rice convert into sugar when digested, making it important to enjoy these foods in smaller portions. Learn more at hiddensugar.com.

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Tropical Raspberry Smoothie

Recipe courtesy of Atkins
Prep time: 5 minutes
Servings: 1

  • 1/2 cup coconut cream
  • 4 ounces firm silken tofu
  • 1/2 cup red raspberries, plus additional (optional)
  • 2 teaspoons sugar substitute (optional)
  • 1/8 teaspoon coconut extract
  • 3 ice cubes
  • whipped cream (optional)
  1. In blender, combine coconut cream, tofu, raspberries, sugar substitute, if desired, and coconut extract; blend until smooth. To remove seeds, strain mixture through sieve then return to blender.
  2. With machine running, add ice cubes, one at a time, and blend until smooth.
  3. Pour into tall glass and garnish with whipped cream and raspberries, if desired.

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Peachy Prosciutto Bites

Recipe courtesy of Atkins
Prep time: 10 minutes
Servings: 4 (3 bites per serving)

  • 1/2 cup whole almonds
  • 2 medium peaches (each 2 1/2 inches in diameter)
  • 4 ounces cream cheese
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • sugar substitute (optional)
  • 12 thin slices prosciutto
  • 12 basil leaves (optional)
  1. Heat oven to 350° F.
    In single layer, toast almonds 10 minutes. Let cool then coarsely chop. Set aside.
    Slice each peach into six wedges and set aside.
  2. In small bowl, combine softened cream cheese with cinnamon and pinch of sugar substitute. Add almonds; blend to combine.
  3. Lay out single slice of prosciutto, place 1 tablespoon cheese mixture on top of peach wedge and top with basil leaf. Place wedge at one end of prosciutto and roll up. Repeat with remaining ingredients.

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Smoked Salmon, Cucumber and Cream Cheese Roll-Ups

Recipe courtesy of Atkins
Prep time: 5 minutes
Servings: 4

  • 2 cucumbers (8 1/4 inches long each)
  • 8 tablespoons cream cheese
  • 12 ounces smoked chinook salmon (lox)
  1. Use mandolin or vegetable peeler to cut long, thin strips of cucumber.
  2. Spread cream cheese onto smoked salmon, place strip of cucumber at one edge and roll up with salmon and cream cheese. Pin in place with toothpick. Repeat with remaining ingredients.

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Zucchini Crisps

Recipe courtesy of Atkins
Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 10 minutes
Servings: 4

  • 2 medium zucchinis
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons Parmesan cheese, grated
  • garlic powder (optional)
  • Italian seasoning (optional)
  • rosemary (optional)
  • dill (optional)
  1. Heat oven to 400° F.
  2. Cut zucchini into 1/4-inch slices. If small, cut diagonally. Brush both sides with olive oil and season with salt, pepper and Parmesan. Season as desired with garlic powder, Italian seasoning, rosemary or dill.
  3. Place in single layer on baking sheet and bake 10 minutes, turning once. Cool on wire rack.

Photos courtesy of Getty Images

Source: Atkins

Main Dishes 11 April 2017

Unleash the Power of Dairy

(Family Features) If you’re trying to boost the nutrition of your meals and snacks, look no further than your refrigerator. Dairy products provide a powerful nutrition package that can help you meet your nutrient needs and achieve better health.

The most recent Dietary Guidelines for Americans affirm dairy’s important place in the diet with a recommendation that people ages 9 and older consume three servings of low-fat or fat-free dairy foods every day. With nine essential nutrients, milk, cheese and yogurt deliver a unique nutrition package superior to milk alternatives, such as almond or rice beverages, which are often fortified or fall short on these important nutrients.

During the hot summer months, when you don’t feel like spending much time in the kitchen, dairy products offer ease and convenience, as many are ready to use in recipes or round out a meal or snack. For a quick, easy and healthy snack this summer, put a fresh take on traditional pizza with this recipe that uses crescent rolls topped with cheeses and fresh seasonal veggies. Or turn up the heat on a classic beef burrito by adding warm pepper jack cheese and black beans.

Visit MidwestDairy.com to pledge Dairy 3 for Me, find additional recipes and learn more about how to unleash the power of dairy nutrition.

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Summer Pizza Snack

Recipe courtesy of Cindy Heins, Heins Family Farms
Total time: 22 minutes
Servings: 12

  • 1 tube (8 ounces) crescent rolls
  • 1 tub (8 ounces) low-fat cream cheese
  • 1/4 cup light mayonnaise
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 cup shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese
  • 3/4 cup sliced cherry tomatoes
  • 1/2 cup sliced black olives
  • 1/2 cup chopped broccoli florets
  • 1/2 cup chopped cucumber
  1. Heat oven to 375° F. In 9-by-13-inch baking pan, spread out crescent roll dough. Seal seams together to form one large rectangle across bottom of pan. Bake 10-12 minutes, or until lightly browned. Cool on rack.
  2. In small bowl, mix together cream cheese, mayonnaise and garlic powder. Spread evenly over entire cooled crust. Top with mozzarella, tomatoes, olives, broccoli and cucumber. Cut into 12 squares and serve.

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Beef Burrito with Pepper Jack Cheese and Black Beans

Total time: 9 minutes
Servings: 6

  • 1/2 pound ground beef sirloin
  • 2 teaspoons minced garlic
  • 1 cup chunky salsa, divided
  • 2 cups cooked brown or white rice
  • 6 whole-wheat tortillas (9 inches each)
  • 1 can (15 ounces) black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 can (11 ounces) corn kernels, drained
  • 2 cups shredded pepper jack cheese
  • sliced green onion, including green tops
  1. In medium, nonstick skillet, brown ground beef and garlic over medium heat (break beef mixture up into smaller chunks with spatula). Drain fat and stir in 1/2 cup salsa; set aside.
  2. Spread 1/3 cup rice on center of tortilla, leaving 1/2-inch border. Scatter about 2 tablespoons beans and 1 1/2 tablespoons corn over rice. Spread 1/3 cup beef mixture and 1/4 cup cheese over corn. Top with 2 teaspoons salsa and a few slices green onion. Fold in two opposite edges of tortilla 1 inch each and roll up. Place seam-side down on microwave-safe dish.
  3. Repeat with remaining tortillas. Place burritos in microwave oven and heat 1 minute, or until heated through. Serve with remaining salsa.

Source: Midwest Dairy Association

Dessert 06 April 2017

Impressive Fruit Pies and Tarts Made Easy

(Family Features) Berry season means colors, tastes and aromas that are sure to please. With a variety of gorgeous fresh fruits at your fingertips, why not whip up a fabulous fruit pie or tart to surprise family or share with friends? From family dinners to spur-of-the-moment picnics, pies are easy to make and easy for family and friends to appreciate.

To save time in the kitchen, start with Pillsbury Refrigerated Pie Crusts for a flaky, tender base. Just unroll it into your favorite pie plate or tart pan, spoon in a delicious fruit filling, bake and enjoy. Pillsbury has updated the packaging with a fresh, contemporary look and features a recipe for Perfect Apple Pie. For more delicious recipes, visit www.pillsbury.com/pie.

Make Crusts Extra Special

When making a top crust for pies, these tips can help you make them look extra special.
Glossy Upper Crust: Brush the dough with slightly beaten egg white (if desired, sprinkle with sugar, too) before baking.

Sweet Glazed Top: Brush the top pastry with a small amount of water, and sprinkle with granulated or coarse sugar before baking.

Pretty Cutouts: Cut shapes from the top crust with a canapé cutter or a knife before placing the top crust over the filling. With water or beaten egg, moisten the back of each cutout and set the design, moistened side down, on the crust.

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Perfect Apple Pie

8 servings
Prep time: 30 minutes
Ready in: 3 hours

Crust

  • 1 box (14.1 ounces) Pillsbury refrigerated pie crusts, softened as directed on box

Filling

  • 6 cups thinly sliced, peeled apples (6 medium)
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  1. Heat oven to 425°F. Place 1 pie crust in ungreased 9-inch glass pie plate. Press firmly against side and bottom.
  2. In large bowl, gently mix filling ingredients; spoon into crust-lined pie plate. Top with second crust. Wrap excess top crust under bottom crust edge, pressing edges together to seal; flute. Cut slits or shapes in several places in top crust.
  3. Bake 40 to 45 minutes or until apples are tender and crust is golden brown. Cover edge of crust with 2- to 3-inch-wide strips of foil after first 15 to 20 minutes of baking to prevent excessive browning. Cool on cooling rack at least 2 hours before serving.

Tip: Two cans (21 ounces each) apple pie filling can be substituted for the filling.

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Lemon Raspberry Pie

8 servings
Prep time: 45 minutes
Start to finish: 3 hours 45 minutes


Crust

  • 1 Pillsbury refrigerated pie crust (from 14.1-ounce box), softened as directed on box
  • 1 teaspoon flour
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped pecans

Filling

  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 2 tablespoons margarine or butter
  • 1 egg yolk, beaten
  • 1/4 to 1/3 cup lemon juice

Topping

  • 2 3-ounce packages cream cheese, softened
  • 1/4 cup powdered sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon lemon extract
  • 1 8-ounce carton frozen whipped topping, thawed
  • 1 tablespoon milk
  • 3 cups fresh raspberries or frozen raspberries without syrup, thawed, dried on paper towels
  • Mint sprigs, if desired
  1. Heat oven to 450°F. Prepare crust according to package directions for unfilled one-crust pie using 9-inch pie pan. Press pecans into bottom of pie crust-lined pan. Generously prick crust with fork. Bake for 9 to 11 minutes or until light golden brown. Cool completely.
  2. In small saucepan, combine sugar and cornstarch; blend well. Stir in water, margarine and egg yolk. Cook over medium heat until mixture boils and thickens, stirring constantly. Boil 1 minute. Remove from heat. Stir in lemon juice. Pour into cooled crust. Refrigerate 1 hour.
  3. In small bowl, beat cream cheese, powdered sugar and lemon extract until smooth. Beat in whipped topping at low speed until well blended. Add milk; mix until smooth and of spreading consistency. Spread thin layer of topping mixture around edge of crust. Reserve 4 raspberries for garnish. Arrange remaining raspberries over top of filling. Spread remaining topping over raspberries. Garnish with mint sprigs and reserved raspberries. Refrigerate 2 hours before serving. Store in refrigerator.

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Fresh Berry Cream Tart

8 servings
Prep time: 15 minutes
Start to finish: 2 hours 55 minutes

Crust

  • 1 Pillsbury refrigerated pie crust (from 14.1-ounce box), softened as directed on box

Filling

  • 1 8-ounce package cream cheese, softened
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1 tablespoon orange-flavored liqueur or orange juice
  • 4 cups assorted fresh whole berries (small strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, and/or blackberries)
  • 1/3 cup red currant jelly, melted
  1. Heat oven to 450°F. Prepare pie crust as directed on package for one-crust baked shell using 9-inch tart pan with removable bottom. Bake for 9 to 11 minutes or until light golden brown. Cool completely.
  2. In small bowl, combine cream cheese, sugar and liqueur; beat until smooth and well blended. Spread cream cheese mixture evenly in cooled baked shell. Top with berries; brush berries with melted jelly to glaze. Refrigerate at least 2 hours before serving. Store in refrigerator.

Source: Pillsbury

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 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

Appetizers & Sides 13 March 2017

Fix Up a Flavorful Spring Table

(Family Features) Finding the perfect recipe to share with loved ones can prove to be a year-round challenge. These tasty dishes that include a flatbread appetizer, shrimp main dish and a favorite seasonal dessert made with strawberries can help you serve up a meal perfect for any spring gathering.

Visit Culinary.net for more tips and recipes to make your springtime gatherings as nutritious as they are delicious.

Hearty and Flavorful
Make your meal a hearty, tasty one by starting it off with this recipe for Herbed Veggie Focaccia Bread, a pizza-esque flatbread that’s a delicious alternative to all-too-common unhealthy appetizers. Topped with mushrooms, tomatoes, peppers, olives and onion, this delightful small plate packs a nutritious load of veggies. Find more nutritious recipes at AICR.org.

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Herbed Veggie Focaccia Bread

Reprinted with permission from the American Institute for Cancer Research
Servings: 12

Dough:

  • 1 cup whole-wheat flour
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour, divided
  • 1 package (1/4 ounce) quick-rise yeast
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup warm water, 125-130° F
  • 1 tablespoon canola oil

Topping:

  • 7 medium fresh mushrooms, sliced
  • 3 plum tomatoes, chopped
  • 1 small green bell pepper, slivered
  • 1/2 cup sliced black olives
  • 1/4 cup chopped red onion
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/4 teaspoon thyme
  • 1/4 teaspoon basil
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • nonstick cooking spray
  • 2 teaspoons cornmeal
  1. Heat oven to 475° F.
  2. To make dough: In mixing bowl, combine whole-wheat flour, 1/2 cup all-purpose flour, yeast and salt. Add water and oil. Beat until smooth. Stir in remaining all-purpose flour to form soft dough. Place onto floured surface and knead by hand until consistent and elastic, about 4 minutes. Cover and let stand 15 minutes.
  3. To make topping: In bowl, combine mushrooms, tomatoes, green bell pepper, olives, onion, oil, vinegar, salt, pepper, oregano, thyme, basil and garlic powder.
  4. Coat 15-by-10-by-1-inch baking pan with nonstick cooking spray. Sprinkle with cornmeal. Gently press dough into pan. With fork, generously prick dough.
  5. Bake 10 minutes, or until lightly browned. Cover dough with topping mixture. Bake additional 10 minutes, or until edges are golden brown.

Fast, Flavorful Fish Dinner
If warm spring weather has you in the mood for a simple fish dinner, look to your humble sheet pan. Follow these simple tips from Dr. Wendy Bazilian, McCormick Health Advisor and Registered Dietitian, to enjoy tasty seafood recipes you’ll want to make all year long.

  • Sheet pans are perfect for simple fish dinners because they require minimal cleanup and everything is baked on one pan.
  • While lemon is a great complement to seafood, think about pairing with other citrus flavors like orange and lime. Try marinating shrimp in a mixture of lite coconut milk, lime extract, ginger and red pepper.
  • Add colorful vegetables like zoodles or asparagus to your sheet pan to boost both seafood and vegetable servings. You don’t need a spiralizer to make zoodles because many grocery stores offer pre-made zoodles in the produce section.

Explore more recipes to enjoy during spring and beyond at McCormick.com, or look for McCormick Spice on Facebook and Pinterest.

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Coconut Lime Shrimp with Zoodles

Prep time: 15 minutes
Cook time: 15 minutes
Servings: 4

  • 1/4 cup Thai Kitchen Coconut Milk (regular or lite)
  • 1 teaspoon McCormick Ground Ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon McCormick Garlic Powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon McCormick Crushed Red Pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon McCormick Pure Lime Extract
  • 1 pound large shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • 1 small zucchini, cut into thin noodles with spiralizer
  • 1 medium yellow squash, cut into thin noodles with spiralizer
  • 1 medium carrot, cut into thin noodles with spiralizer
  • 2 tablespoons oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon McCormick Ground Black Pepper
  1. Heat oven to 375° F.
  2. In large, re-sealable plastic bag, mix together coconut milk, ginger, garlic powder, crushed red pepper and lime extract. Add shrimp; turn to coat well.
  3. Refrigerate 15-30 minutes. Remove shrimp from marinade. Discard any remaining marinade. In center of large, shallow, foil-lined baking pan, arrange shrimp in single layer.
  4. In large bowl, toss vegetable noodles and oil. Sprinkle with salt and pepper; toss to coat well. Spread noodles around shrimp in pan.
  5. Bake 10-15 minutes, or until shrimp turn pink and are cooked through and noodles are tender. Serve shrimp over vegetable noodles.

Test kitchen tip: For faster prep, use 4 cups store-bought spiralized vegetable noodles instead of spiralizing them yourself.

Dessert Makeover
Strawberries are a seasonal favorite. Indulge by skipping the shortcake and whipping up this lower-calorie dessert for more flavor and less guilt. A whole-wheat crust layered with simple, low-fat ingredients and topped with fresh strawberries provides a tasty springtime treat. Find more good-for-you recipes at AICR.org.

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Strawberry and Cheese Refrigerator Pie

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

  • 1 prepared whole-wheat graham cracker pie crust (9 inches)
  • 4 ounces reduced-fat cream cheese
  • 1/4 cup reduced-fat sour cream
  • 2 tablespoons extra-fine sugar
  • 1 teaspoon grated lemon zest
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 pound strawberries
  • 1/2 cup strawberry fruit spread
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice (optional)
  1. Heat oven to 350° F.
  2. Place crust on baking sheet and bake 8 minutes, or until golden and fragrant. Transfer to wire rack and cool completely.
  3. Place cream cheese, sour cream, sugar, lemon zest and vanilla in small bowl. Using hand mixer on medium speed or wooden spoon, blend until combined and smooth. Spread cheese mixture evenly over bottom of pie crust. Refrigerate until set, 1-2 hours.
  4. Before serving, cut off tops of strawberries. Halve largest ones and place in bowl. Cut remaining berries lengthwise in quarters and place in another bowl. Melt fruit spread in bowl in microwave or in small saucepan over medium heat, stirring often. Mix in lemon juice, if using, and divide hot fruit spread between two bowls of berries. Using fork, toss until fruit is coated.
  5. Spoon quartered fruit into center of pie, turning most pieces cut-side down. Arrange larger halves in circle around edge of pie with flat side facing rim of crust and pointing toward center of pie. Fill open spaces with any remaining fruit spread.
  6. Serve pie within 1 hour.

Photo courtesy of Getty Images (Herbed Veggie Focaccia Bread)
Photo courtesy of Getty Images (Strawberry and Cheese Refrigerator Pie)

Source: Culinary.net

Breakfast & Brunch 07 March 2017

Throw an Epic Easter Brunch on a Budget

(Family Features) Preparing an elaborate Easter spread for your family doesn’t have to be an expensive (or exhausting) endeavor. Rethinking familiar dishes and ingredients is an easy way to add a special touch to your meal.

Add a dash of affordable elegance to your Easter brunch with these simple tips from the experts at ALDI:

  • For a colorful twist on an Easter classic, try pickling your deviled eggs. Pickling punches up the flavor of these tasty bites and gives your eggs a festive hue.
  • Offer dishes that are pretty and practical. Bake pre-cooked angel hair pasta in muffin tins until the tops are crisp. Fill your pasta “nests” with ingredients such as poached eggs, cheese or diced ham, and you have an attractive brunch dish that is portioned just right for each serving.
  • Cater to the individual tastes of your guests with a mimosa bar. Set out a table with champagne, a selection of fruit juices and sliced fruits and berries so your guests can mix and match as they wish.
  • Chocolate-dipped desserts are easy and always a crowd pleaser. Make better-for-you treats by dipping Easter goodies in smooth, dark chocolate instead of milk chocolate for lower sugar content. Or for a sweet treat without too much added sugar, repurpose dark chocolate by melting it for fondue, and serve an assortment of fruits or salty snacks, like pretzels, for guests to dip.
  • Explore new ways to enjoy timeless classics. Maple is a terrific addition to sweet and savory snacks, from bacon to cookies and beyond. Give brunch a sweet spin with these Carrot Cake Waffles, which feature a decadent maple cream cheese drizzle. You can find the premium, affordable ingredients to make this crowd-pleasing brunch recipe at ALDI, along with everything else you’ll need to entertain this Easter.

Find more ideas and recipes for an excellent Easter meal at aldi.us.

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Carrot Cake Waffles with Maple Cream Cheese Drizzle

Recipe courtesy of Chef Scott, ALDI Test Kitchen
Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 8 minutes
Servings: 8

Waffles:

  • 2 cups Baker’s Corner All Purpose Baking Mix
  • 3 tablespoons Stonemill Ground Cinnamon
  • 1/4 cup Baker’s Corner Brown Sugar
  • 1 cup Friendly Farms 1 Percent Milk
  • 2 tablespoons Carlini Vegetable Oil
  • 1 Goldhen Large Egg
  • 1/2 cup Southern Grove Chopped Pecans
  • 1/2 cup Southern Grove Raisins
  • 1 cup grated carrot
  • Carlini Butter Cooking Spray

Cream Cheese Drizzle:

  • 8 ounces Happy Farms Cream Cheese
  • 1 cup Specially Selected 100 Percent Pure Maple Syrup
  1. To make waffles: Heat waffle iron.
  2. In large bowl, combine baking mix, cinnamon and brown sugar. Whisk in milk, oil and egg until fully incorporated. Fold in pecans, raisins and carrot.
  3. Coat waffle iron with nonstick spray. Ladle 1/2 cup of batter onto iron for each waffle. Cook 6-8 minutes, or until waffle is golden brown.
  4. To make cream cheese drizzle: Using electric mixer, beat cream cheese and syrup until fully incorporated. Drizzle over waffles. Serve immediately.

Tip: Waffles can be placed in a re-sealable bag, frozen up to three months and reheated in toaster.

Source: ALDI

Holiday 20 January 2017

Happier Holiday Hors D’oeuvres

(Family Features) Holiday entertaining is all about food, wine and quality time with family and friends. This year, try a new approach to holiday get-togethers by hosting an hors d’oeuvres party.

Skip the hassle of preparing a full meal by serving a number of small bites, dips and spreads for your guests to enjoy. Most hors d’oeuvres can be prepared ahead of time so you can spend more time with your guests instead of in the kitchen, making it easy to entertain flawlessly.
The best part is you don’t have to break the bank to host a fabulous holiday gathering. By switching from national name brands to a grocer like ALDI, party essentials and seasonal must-haves, such as holiday gifts and baking necessities, can be as much as 50 percent less. Manufactured by many of the nation’s leading food producers, these exclusive brand items often meet or exceed the quality and taste of the national name brands.

Try these hors d’oeuvre serving tips from food stylist and loyal ALDI shopper Janice Stahl:

  • Rethink the regular: Surprise guests and get creative with classic recipes by changing the presentation. Square pizza bites, circular tea sandwiches or star-shaped fruit make entertaining fun.
  • Keep hors d’oeuvres simple: Serve foods that are bite-sized and easy to pick up. Try skewers to create festive kabobs, which are perfect for nibbling.
  • Presentation is everything: Experiment with serving pieces like vases, champagne glasses or appetizer cups that add special interest to bite-sized snacks from chips and dip to shrimp cocktail.

With these simple tips and recipes, you’ll be ready to throw a festive holiday hors d’oeuvres party that’s easy and affordable. Visit www.aldi.us for more entertaining ideas.

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Cranberry Shrimp Ceviche Cups

$0.58 per serving at ALDI
Recipe courtesy of Chef Alyssa, ALDI Test Kitchen
Prep time: 20 minutes, plus 1 hour to chill
Cook time: 3 minutes
Yields: 16 ceviche cups

  • 1 1/2 teaspoons iodized salt, divided
  • 16 ounces medium raw shrimp, thawed
  • 1 cup dried cranberries
  • 1/2 red onion, roughly chopped
  • 1/2 cup fresh parsley
  • 1/2 jalapeno, roughly chopped
  • 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup fresh lime juice
  • 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper or ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon oregano
  • 16 ounces tortilla chips
  • 2 limes cut into wedges
  • Fresh cranberries, optional
  1. Bring medium pot of water to a boil. Season with 1 teaspoon salt.
  2. Add shrimp and cook for 3 minutes. Immediately plunge cooked shrimp into ice water bath. Peel shrimp and place in flat dish.
  3. In food processor, combine cranberries, red onion, parsley and jalapeno. Pulse until finely chopped.
  4. Add cranberry mixture to shrimp.
  5. Add lemon juice, lime juice, remaining salt, crushed red pepper and oregano. Stir to combine ingredients thoroughly.
  6. Refrigerate for 1 hour.
  7. To assemble, spoon ceviche, about 4 to 5 shrimp each, into small clear cups or glasses. Garnish with tortilla chips and lime wedges.

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Pistachio Lemon Truffles

$0.43 per serving at ALDI
Recipe courtesy of Chef Michelle, ALDI Test Kitchen
Prep time: 30 minutes, plus 1 hour to chill
Cook time: 30 minutes, plus 1 hour to chill
Yields: 24 truffles

  • 1 1/4 cups pistachios, shelled
  • 8 ounces cream cheese
  • 4 ounces plain goat cheese
  • 3/4 cup dried mixed berries, chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon iodized salt
  • 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
  • 4 teaspoons finely chopped lemon zest
  • Pinch ground black pepper
  1. Roughly chop pistachios, place in bowl.
  2. With electric mixer, cream together remaining ingredients. Refrigerate for 1 hour.
  3. Scoop tablespoon size balls of cheese mixture and roll in pistachios to coat.
  4. To serve, sprinkle platter with remaining pistachios and place truffles on top. Serve with crackers.
Signature Drink

A signature drink is a must at any holiday soiree. Get creative by offering guests a specialty cocktail that matches the color scheme for the event. An avid party hostess, food stylist Janice Stahl makes the occasion special by pairing white wine with a splash of cranberry-pomegranate juice, garnished with fresh fruit or herbs. Giving your signature drink an original name to reflect your personality is an added touch your guests will love. For a lasting impression, hand out recipe cards of your signature drink as party favors.

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Signature Drink

$0.58 per serving at ALDI
Recipe courtesy of ALDI Food Stylist, Janice Stahl

  • Sugar for glass rim
  • 1/2 cup white wine
  • 1/2 cup cranberry- pomegranate juice
  • 1 tablespoon fresh cranberries
  • Fresh fruit for garnish
  1. Dip rim of glass in sugar.
  2. Pour wine and juice into glass, stirring to combine.
  3. Drop in cranberries, along with any additional fruit desired. Serve immediately.
Dessert 20 January 2017

Mentor Knows Best

The Mother’s Day Edition

(Family Features) Whether she’s your mom or a “like-a-mother” mentor, chances are you’ve got a lot to thank her for this Mother’s Day. It’s a time for celebrating your biggest supporters, number one fans and best friends.

In life, we’re lucky to form relationships with women we can learn from and grow with. Beth Somers, Elizabeth Nelson and Emily Tatak from the Wilton Test Kitchen consider themselves lucky.

Beth Somers, Director of Creative Content Development, owes her start to her former boss Milette Raz. Raz is trained in the Wilton Method of Cake DecoratingTM and taught Somers how to decorate. But Somers thinks of Raz as so much more — calling her a mentor, her second mother and her friend. Years after working together, the duo teamed up for Cupcake Wars on the Food Network, returning home as champions of season six with winning recipes like Tropical Getaway Cupcakes.

Elizabeth Nelson, Assistant Culinary Specialist, attributes her love of baking to her grandma Ann, learning the basics with her and picking up passed down recipes that she brought with her to college. She looks up to her mother, her grandmother and her great-grandmother, whom she’s told she also gets her competitive nature from. Nelson and her grandmother went through a lot of trial and error together to come up with what they believe is the perfect cinnamon roll recipe, very similar to this recipe for Cinnamon Rolls with Caramel Glaze.

For Emily Tatak, preserving family recipes and continuing the traditions around the holidays and in the kitchen led to her career at Wilton as an Assistant Culinary Specialist. She owes her inspiration to her mom, who taught her how to bake. Together they iced cakes, decorated sugar cookies and even made a gingerbread house from scratch. Keeping with tradition, celebrating the holidays without grandma Irene’s Kolachy recipe just wouldn’t be the same.

For more recipe ideas to honor your mother or special mentor, visit s.wilton.com/MentorKnowsBest.

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Cinnamon Rolls with Caramel Glaze

Servings: 1 dozen rolls

Rolls:
  • 1 1/3 cups warm milk (105°F)
  • 2 packages (1/4-ounce each) active dry yeast
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar, divided
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, softened
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 1 teaspoon Wilton Pure Vanilla Extract
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 4 cups bread flour, plus more for dusting
Filling:
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, softened
  • 1/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 tablespoons bread flour
  • 2 tablespoons ground cinnamon
Glaze:
  • 1/4 cup (1/2 stick) butter
  • 1/2 cup lightly-packed light brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 1 teaspoon Wilton Pure Vanilla Extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup confectioners’ sugar (about 1/4 pound)
  1. For rolls, stir together warm milk, yeast and 1 tablespoon sugar in large bowl. Let stand 5–10 minutes or until foamy. Add butter, remaining 3 tablespoons sugar, egg yolks, vanilla and salt. Mix with electric mixer using dough hook on medium speed until combined. Gradually add flour, 1 cup at a time, and mix on medium speed until smooth, elastic dough forms, about 5 minutes.
  2. Spray large bowl with vegetable pan spray. Form dough into ball, place into bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Let stand in warm place for 45 minutes or until doubled in size.
  3. For filling, stir together butter, sugar, flour and cinnamon in medium bowl until well-combined.
  4. Prepare 13-by-9-inch pan with vegetable pan spray.
  5. Punch dough down and roll out to 18-by-14-inch rectangle on floured surface. Spread filling onto dough and roll up from long end, like a jelly roll. Pinch seam to seal, trim ends and cut into 12 equally-sized pieces.
  6. Place rolls into prepared pan; cover with plastic wrap and let rise 25–30 minutes or until doubled in size.
  7. Meanwhile, heat oven to 350°F. Remove plastic wrap from rolls and bake 25–29 minutes or until golden brown. Cool in pan on wire rack while preparing glaze.
  8. For glaze, melt butter in saucepan over medium heat. Add brown sugar and cream. Cook over medium-high heat until mixture reaches a simmer; cook for 1 minute, stirring constantly. Remove from heat and stir in vanilla and salt. Whisk in confectioners’ sugar until smooth. Pour glaze over warm rolls. Serve warm.

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Grandma’s Kolachy Cookies

Servings: 6 1/2 dozen cookies

  • 1 package (8 ounces) cream cheese, softened
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon Wilton Pure Vanilla Extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • Poppy seed, apricot and strawberry pastry filling
  • Confectioners’ sugar, for dusting
  1. In large bowl, beat cream cheese and butter with electric mixer on medium speed until well combined. Add flour, vanilla and salt; beat until just combined. Divide dough into 2 disks. Wrap with plastic wrap and chill at least 12 hours.
  2. Heat oven to 375°F.
  3. Working with 1 disk at a time, roll each to 1/8-inch thickness on generously floured surface. Cut cookies using 2-inch round cutter. Place on cookie sheet and make indentation in dough with thumb. Spoon 1/2 teaspoon pastry filling into each indentation.
  4. Bake 16–18 minutes or until edges are lightly browned. Cool cookies on pan on cooling grid 5 minutes. Remove from pan; cool completely on grid. Dust with confectioners’ sugar before serving.

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Tropical Getaway Cupcakes

Servings: 2 dozen

Cupcakes:
  • 2 eggs plus 4 egg whites, lightly beaten (reserve 2 yolks for filling)
  • 1 cup cream of coconut
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 teaspoon coconut extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon Wilton Pure Vanilla Extract
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1-1/2 cups sweetened shredded coconut, coarsely chopped
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) butter, softened and cut into tablespoons
Filling:
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 3 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1 1/4 cups thick mango juice, divided
  • 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
  • Pinch salt
Icing:
  • 2 packages (8 ounces each) cream cheese, softened
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, softened
  • 2 1/2 cups confectioners’ sugar
  • 1 tablespoon finely grated orange zest (about 1 orange)
  • 1 teaspoon Wilton Pure Vanilla Extract
  1. Heat oven to 350°F. Line muffin pans with baking cups.
  2. In large bowl, whisk together eggs, egg whites, cream of coconut, water, coconut and vanilla extracts until well combined.
  3. In large bowl, mix flour, shredded coconut, sugar, baking powder and salt with electric mixer on low speed until combined, about 15 seconds. Add butter, 1 tablespoon at a time, continuing to beat on low speed until mixture looks dry and crumbly and largest chunks of butter are about 1/4 inch in diameter, about 30 seconds. Stop mixer and add half of liquid ingredients. Beat on low speed until flour mixture is moistened, about 15 seconds. Increase mixer speed to medium and beat until light and fluffy, about 45 seconds. With mixer still running, slowly stream in remaining liquid. Stop mixer and scrape sides and bottom of bowl. Beat on medium speed for an additional 30 seconds. Divide batter evenly into baking cups, filling about 2/3 full.
  4. Bake 18–22 minutes, or until toothpick inserted in centers of cupcakes comes out clean. Cool cupcakes in pan on cooling grid 5 minutes. Remove from pan; cool completely on grid.
  5. For filling, whisk together egg yolks, cornstarch and 1/4 cup mango juice in small bowl until smooth.
  6. In saucepan, combine remaining 1 cup mango juice, sugar and salt. Bring to boil over medium-high heat. Slowly stream half of hot liquid into egg yolk mixture, whisking constantly. Add egg yolk mixture back into saucepan and reduce heat to medium. Cook, stirring constantly, until mixture thickens and boils. Strain through fine mesh sieve. Cool completely.
  7. For icing, beat cream cheese and butter in large bowl with electric mixer on medium speed until creamy; gradually add confectioners’ sugar, 1/2 cup at a time, scraping down bottom and sides of bowl as necessary. Add orange zest and vanilla extract and beat until fully incorporated.
    To assemble, remove center of cupcake with coring tool or paring knife. Fill with mango filling. Pipe icing onto cupcakes.

Note: Stir cream of coconut before measuring it, as it tends to settle as it sits. Coconut can be coarsely chopped in food processor or with knife.

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