recipes

Meal Ideas 10 October 2017

Family-Focused Foods

Hearty meals to bring the family together

(Family Features) Gathering the family around the table with delicious, traditional meals is the ultimate combination for many home chefs like Catherine Lowe, winner of the 17th season of ABC’s “The Bachelor.”

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Lowe, who partnered as a celebrity spokesperson with Bertolli to create this Roasted Garlic Marinara Braised Chicken with Linguine recipe, enjoys adding authenticity to the table with recipes that provide homemade taste and layers of flavor.

“I pride myself on my strong Italian roots,” Lowe said. “My dad taught me how to cook at a young age, and growing up, it was an event to make and enjoy dinner with his side of the family. It’s important for me to remember and celebrate that heritage.”

Full of hearty vegetables you can see and taste, and inspired by the simple goodness of Tuscan cooking, Bertolli Rustic Cut Pasta sauces help bring homemade flavor to your table. Offered in four varieties – Marinara with Traditional Vegetables, Spicy Marinara with Traditional Vegetables, Roasted Garlic Marinara with Garden Vegetables and Sweet Peppers with Portobello Mushrooms – it’s Lowe’s secret ingredient to helping make family meals more enjoyable.

Find more family-friendly recipes to bring everyone together at bertolli.com.

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Roasted Garlic Marinara Braised Chicken with Linguine

Recipe courtesy of Sean and Catherine Lowe
Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 60 minutes
Servings: 4-6

  • 23        ounces Bertolli Rustic Cut Roasted Garlic Marinara Sauce
  • 6-8       bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs
  • 2          teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1/2       teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1          tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1          pound whole-wheat linguine
  • 8          ounces sliced cremini mushrooms
  • 1/2       cup small diced onion
  • 1/4       cup white wine (optional)
  • 3          ounces baby kale
  • Parmesan cheese
  1. Heat oven to 350° F.
  2. In 3-quart Dutch oven over medium heat, heat sauce. Season chicken on both sides with salt and pepper.
  3. In large skillet over medium-high heat, heat olive oil. Add chicken, skin-side down, and cook 3-5 minutes, or until skin is crisp and deep golden-brown. Turn chicken over and cook 3-5 minutes until golden-brown on second side.
  4. Remove chicken from skillet, leaving fat in pan. Set aside skillet to be used later.
  5. Add chicken to sauce in Dutch oven in single layer, skin-side up, with skin just above surface of sauce. Cover and bake 40 minutes. Begin to boil water for pasta.
  6. Remove cover from Dutch oven and cook in oven 10 minutes.
  7. Cook pasta al dente according to package instructions. Drain.
  8. Heat reserved skillet and fat over medium-high heat; add cremini mushrooms and onions; saute until lightly browned. Deglaze with white wine, if desired, and cook until dry. Add kale to mushrooms and toss gently to wilt.
  9. Remove Dutch oven from oven and gently transfer chicken to large plate. Add pasta to sauce in Dutch oven and stir gently to coat.
  10. Place portion of pasta in pasta bowl and make well in middle. Spoon mushroom-kale mixture into center of well and top with one piece of chicken.
  11. Shave Parmesan cheese over dish to finish.
  12. Spoon polenta into serving dish and make a well in middle. Place mushroom-kale mixture in well. Top with marinara sauce and one piece of chicken.

Substitution: Portobello, shiitake or button mushrooms may be used in place of cremini mushrooms.

Tip: Serve with creamy polenta instead of pasta. In saucepan, combine 2 cups chicken stock, 2 cups milk, 2 tablespoons butter and 1 teaspoon kosher salt. Bring to boil and whisk in 1 cup instant polenta and cook, while stirring, 5 minutes. Add 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese and whisk to combine.

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Grilled Mediterranean Stuffed Peppers

Prep time: 20 minutes
Cook time: 20 minutes
Servings: 6

  • 2          tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 1 1/2    cups (10 ounces) uncooked orzo pasta
  • 1          can (14 1/2 ounces) vegetable broth
  • 1          jar (23 ounces) Bertolli Rustic Cut Spicy Marinara with Traditional Vegetables Sauce, divided
  • 6          ounces crumbled feta cheese
  • 1/2       cup (2 ounces) coarsely chopped smoked almonds
  • 1/2       cup chopped fresh mint, divided
  • 6          large red, yellow or orange bell peppers, top 1/2 inch removed and seeded
  1. Heat grill to high.
  2. In medium skillet on medium-high heat, heat 1 tablespoon oil. Add pasta; cook and stir 2-3 minutes, or until light golden brown. Stir in broth and 1 cup sauce; bring to boil.
  3. Reduce heat to low; cover. Cook 4 minutes, or until pasta is al dente, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat; cool slightly.
  4. Stir in cheese, almonds and 1/4 cup mint. Brush outsides of peppers with remaining oil. Grill 4-6 minutes, or until crisp tender and lightly marked on all sides, turning frequently; cool slightly.
  5. Place peppers in center of 12-by-12-inch square of heavy duty foil. Bring sides of foil up and shape foil around each pepper, leaving tops open. Shape foil into stable base to secure peppers firmly. Keep upright while grilling.
  6. Fill each pepper with 1 tablespoon sauce and about 3/4 cup orzo mixture. Grill peppers 8-10 minutes, or until filling is heated through. Remove from foil. Warm remaining sauce. Sprinkle with remaining mint before serving with warmed sauce.
  7. To prepare peppers: Heat oven to 400° F. Prepare orzo mixture as directed but do not grill peppers. Fill raw peppers with orzo mixture and place on foil squares. Bring sides of foil up and seal tops to fully enclose each pepper.
  8. Arrange on rimmed baking sheet and bake 20-25 minutes, or until peppers are soft and filling is heated through.

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Three-Cheese Farmstand Cups

Prep time: 20 minutes
Cook time: 15 minutes
Servings: 6

  • 2          cups cooked mini penne pasta
  • 1          cup small broccoli florets, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
  • nonstick cooking spray
  • 1/4       cup mascarpone cheese
  • 3          eggs, beaten
  • 1/2       cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1          jar (23 ounces) Bertolli Rustic Cut Sweet Peppers and Portobello Mushroom Sauce, divided
  • 1 1/2    cups shredded mozzarella cheese, divided
  • 1/4       cup chopped fresh basil
  1. Heat oven to 375° F. Divide penne pasta and broccoli evenly between 12 standard muffin cups sprayed with cooking spray. Whisk in mascarpone until smooth; gradually whisk in eggs.
  2. Stir in Parmesan, 2 cups sauce and 1/2 cup mozzarella cheese. Spoon 1/4 cup egg mixture over pasta and broccoli in each cup; with spoon press filling down gently. Bake 18-20 minutes, or until set.
  3. Sprinkle tops with remaining mozzarella cheese halfway through bake time. Let stand 3 minutes before unmolding. Warm remaining sauce and serve over top of cups with basil.

Source: Bertolli

Breakfast & Brunch 14 July 2017

Start a Successful School Year with a Balanced Breakfast

How a breakfast with milk can help lead the way to academic success

(Family Features) As kids get ready to start a new school year, moms are also getting back into the swing of a morning routine. One thing that can’t be missed? A complete breakfast! Research shows eating breakfast helps kids concentrate and focus at school, giving moms good reason to serve up balanced nutrition before that first morning bell.  

This back-to-school season, start the day off strong and pair your little one’s breakfast with a glass of milk. An 8-ounce glass of milk gives kids 8 grams of high-quality protein plus other essential nutrients like calcium and vitamin D to the morning meal.

Most days, finding time for a balanced breakfast may be easier said than done. One way to help alleviate the morning rush is to make breakfast ahead of time, so it’s ready to go before sending kids off to school. These make-ahead Protein-Packed Eggs in a Nest are simple and fun to make. Served with an 8-ounce glass of milk, they make for a delicious breakfast to help start everyone’s school day off right.

Find more nutritious recipes to pair with milk at milklife.com.

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Protein-Packed Eggs in a Nest

Servings: 6 (2 nests per serving)

  • Nonstick olive oil spray
  • 4          cups frozen shredded potatoes, defrosted
  • 3          large eggs
  • 3          large egg whites
  • 1/4       cup fat free milk
  • 1/4       teaspoon salt
  • 1/8       teaspoon pepper
  • 1/3       cup cooked, lean ground turkey sausage, crumbled
  • 1/3       cup green bell pepper, diced
  • 1/3       cup tomatoes, chopped
  • spinach
  • mushrooms
  • 1/3       cup part skim mozzarella cheese, shredded
  1. Heat oven to 400° F and spray 12-well muffin tin with nonstick olive oil spray.
  2. Place a scoop of shredded potatoes into each muffin hole, pressing around edges to create “nest”. Bake for 15-20 minutes or until lightly golden. Remove pan from oven and using spoon, gently press any fallen potatoes back up against sides of each muffin hole. Turn oven down to 350° F.
  3. In a bowl, add eggs, egg whites, 1/4 cup milk, salt and pepper. Whisk to combine and place in fridge while preparing green pepper, tomatoes or additional vegetables.
  4. Stir cooked meat and vegetables into the bowl with egg mixture and pour equally between all “nests.” Sprinkle a pinch of cheese over each nest. Bake for 15-20 minutes or until egg is set.
  5. Remove from oven and serve with remaining 8-ounce glass of milk.

Note: Nests can also be stored in airtight bags in fridge once cool for 3-4 days, and be reheated for an on the go breakfast.

Nutritional information per serving: 200 calories; 4.5 g fat; 1.5 g saturated fat; 105 mg cholesterol; 17 g protein; 23 g carbohydrates; 1 g fiber; 510 mg sodium; 381 mg calcium (40% of daily value). Nutrition figures based on using fat free milk, and include an 8-ounce glass of fat free milk.

Meal Ideas 13 July 2017

Summer Brunch Fare

(Family Features) When it comes to planning brunch, there really are no rules. It’s the perfect opportunity to combine your favorite flavors and foods in one delicious meal.

Warmer weather calls for putting a summer twist on brunch classics. Breakfast Tacos Al Pastor are a fresh, flavorful addition to a festive summer brunch, while this Brunch Bruschetta Bar is a gorgeous way to feed a crowd and highlight your favorite summertime ingredients. These recipes are made and served with not-from-concentrate Florida’s Natural Brand Orange Juice, made entirely from oranges grown, picked and squeezed in Florida, with no water or sugar added.

Both recipes are from the Florida’s Natural Brunch Club, a collection of brunch experts creating recipes to celebrate brunch throughout the year. Brighten up your brunch with more fresh takes on classic recipes at floridasnatural.com.

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Breakfast Tacos Al Pastor

Recipe courtesy of Half Baked Harvest
Prep time: 10 minutes
Total time: 30 minutes
Servings: 4-6

  • 2          tablespoons olive oil
  • 1          pound ground chicken or pork
  • 1/2       sweet onion, chopped
  • 2          cloves garlic, minced or grated
  • 2          teaspoons chili powder
  • 1          teaspoon paprika
  • 1          teaspoon, plus pinch, kosher salt, divided
  • 2          chipotle peppers in adobo, chopped
  • 1/2       cup not-from-concentrate Florida's Natural Brand Orange Juice
  • 1/4       cup water
  • 2          cups fresh pineapple chunks, divided
  • 1/4       cup fresh cilantro, chopped
  • 1/4       cup fresh basil, chopped
  • 1          jalapeno, seeded and chopped
  • 1          lime, juice only
  • 4-6       fried eggs
  • 6-8       corn or flour tortillas, warmed
  • sliced avocado
  • feta or cheddar cheese
  1. In large skillet, heat olive oil over high heat. When oil shimmers, add ground chicken and onion. Cook, stirring often and breaking up meat as it cooks, until chicken is browned, about 5 minutes.
  2. Add garlic, chili powder, paprika, salt, chipotle peppers, orange juice, water and 1 cup pineapple. Reduce heat to medium and simmer until sauce has thickened slightly around chicken, about 10-15 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in cilantro.
  3. In bowl, combine remaining pineapple, basil, jalapeno, lime juice and pinch of salt.

To serve: Divide fried eggs among tortillas and top with chicken. Add pineapple-basil salsa, avocado and cheese.

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Brunch Bruschetta Bar

Recipe courtesy of Half Baked Harvest
Prep time: 20 minutes
Servings: 8-12

  • 1          cup basil pesto
  • 1          cup sun-dried tomato spread
  • 2          cups cherry tomatoes, marinated cherry tomatoes or diced tomatoes
  • 6-8       soft-boiled or poached eggs
  • 6-8       scrambled eggs
  • 12        slices grilled or toasted bread
  • olive oil, to taste
  • salt, to taste
  • pepper, to taste
  • 2-3       varieties of soft cheeses
  • 2          cups fresh fruit
  • 1          sliced avocado
  • 2          cups sauteed veggies, such as spinach and mushrooms
  • 6-8       pieces fried bacon
  • 2-3       varieties of prosciutto, salami or smoked salmon
  • 1          cup fruit jam
  • 1          cup nut butter
  • 1/2       cup honey
  • 1          carton not-from-concentrate Florida's Natural Brand Orange Juice
  1. On large serving board, arrange sauces and spreads. Add poached eggs, scrambled eggs and bread. Drizzle poached eggs with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Arrange cheese, fruits, veggies, meats, jams, nut butter and honey around eggs. 
  2. Pour orange juice into juice glasses for sipping.

Source: Florida's Natural

Meal Ideas 31 May 2017

Big Flavor Recipes for Summer Get-Togethers

(Family Features) From patio potlucks to backyard barbecues, summer is the ultimate time to kick back and enjoy delicious food with your favorite people. If you’re looking to add big flavor to your warm-weather menu, get inspired by these recipes from celebrity chef Jose Garces.

For a taste of Southern cooking, pair Classic Cheddar Pierogies with a buttermilk ranch sauce in Garces’s Chicken-Fried Pierogies. Also enjoy a delicious twist on an Asian favorite by serving up Garces’s Szechuan-Style Pierogies featuring savory Garlic & Parmesan Pierogies, one of 16 different varieties from Mrs. T’s Pierogies, which are the perfect canvas for your favorite ingredients and spices.

For more recipe inspiration, visit MrsTsPierogies.com.

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Chicken-Fried Pierogies

Recipe courtesy of Chef Jose Garces

Flour Dredge:

  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons kosher salt
  • 2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons freshly ground white peppercorn
  • 1 teaspoon sweet paprika
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground dried sage
  • 1/8 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper

Pierogies:

  • 1 box (16 ounces) Mrs. T’s Classic Cheddar Pierogies
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 2 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 2 cups flour dredge (recipe below)
  • canola oil
  • large kosher pickles, cut into round slices
  • ranch dressing
  1. To make flour dredge: In large mixing bowl, mix all flour dredge ingredients until thoroughly combined.
  2. To make pierogies: Bring large pot of water to boil. Place pierogies in boiling water until no longer frozen in center, about 2 minutes. Remove pierogies from water and cool in refrigerator 10 minutes.
  3. Place buttermilk, eggs and flour dredge in three separate bowls. One at a time, dip pierogies in buttermilk then in eggs and finally in flour dredge. Once all pierogies are dredged, fry in deep fryer at 350 F in canola oil, approximately 3 minutes until golden brown. Repeat flour dredge process with pickle slices and fry 3 minutes.
  4. To serve, place fried pierogies and pickles on serving plate. Serve with ranch.

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Szechuan-Style Pierogies

Recipe courtesy of Chef Jose Garces

  • 1/2 cup, plus 2 tablespoons, vegetable oil, divided
  • 3 Arbol chilies
  • 1/4 cup Szechuan chili sauce
  • 4 tablespoons, plus 2 teaspoons, fresh minced ginger, divided
  • 2 tablespoons, plus 1 teaspoon, garlic, minced (about 5 cloves), divided
  • 1/2 tablespoon Szechuan peppercorns, toasted and ground
  • 1/2 cup black bean garlic sauce
  • 2 cups chicken stock
  • 1 tablespoon thinly sliced scallion (white parts only)
  • 1 cup ground pork
  • 1 teaspoon soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 1 box (16 ounces) Mrs. T’s Garlic & Parmesan Pierogies
  • 1 tablespoon peeled edamame
  • 2 tablespoons firm tofu, diced
  • 1 1/2 cups bean sprouts
  1. Place 1/2 cup oil and chilies in saucepan. Cook over low heat 2 minutes, or until chilies turn brown. Remove chilies from oil and discard oil.
  2. Add Szechuan sauce to saucepan; cook 3 minutes. Add 4 tablespoons ginger, 2 tablespoons minced garlic and ground peppercorns; cook until fragrant, about 2 minutes. Add black bean sauce and cook another 2 minutes. Add chicken stock and bring to boil. Reduce heat to simmer and cook 20 minutes. Reserve.
  3. In saute pan, heat 1 tablespoon vegetable oil over medium-high heat. Add remaining ginger, remaining garlic and scallions; cook 1 minute. Add pork and cook 5 minutes, breaking up with wooden spoon. Add soy sauce and combine. Reserve.
  4. In saute pan, melt butter and remaining vegetable oil. Add pierogies and sear lightly, about 7 minutes on each side until lightly browned. Reserve.
  5. In large saute pan, combine Szechuan sauce, ground pork mixture, seared pierogies, edamame and tofu. Cook over medium-high heat until combined, about 2 minutes. Garnish with bean sprouts.

Source: Mrs. T's Pierogies

Breakfast & Brunch 28 April 2017

Bring Brunch Home

(Family Features) There’s no denying that brunch is a popular favorite, but you don’t have to leave the comfort of your own home to enjoy a delicious spread with family and friends.

Enjoy this weekend luxury every day and bring brunch home with premium ingredients like Smithfield’s Hometown Original Bacon, Anytime Favorites Diced Ham and Fresh Breakfast Sausage.

Delight friends and family with a full spread of mouthwatering recipes like Sausage and Egg Tarts dressed with Asparagus and Tomatoes, Cheesy Bacon Jalapeno Corn Muffins, Cinnamon French Toast Sausage Roll-Ups and Scrambled Eggs and Ham in a Waffle Cup. Then enhance your menu with options for customization like jams, butters and toppings to make brunch at home unique and unforgettable.

Boost Brunch with a Bloody Mary Bar
Premium ingredients and worthwhile recipes are a great way to make brunch at home, and adding a Bloody Mary bar to the mix is one way to give your spread extra flair. Provide your guests multiple options for toppings so they can perfectly customize their adult beverages with garnishes like these:

  • Salt (plain or flavored)
  • Pepper
  • Horseradish
  • Smithfield Hometown Original Bacon
  • Celery stalks
  • Worcestershire sauce
  • Lemons
  • Limes
  • Hot sauces
  • Stuffed olives
  • Pickled green beans
  • Pickle spears
  • Onions
  • Cheese cubes
  • Cherry tomatoes

For more brunch and entertaining recipe inspiration, visit Smithfield.com.

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Cheesy Bacon Jalapeno Corn Muffins

  • Nonstick cooking spray
  • 1 package (16 ounces) Smithfield Hometown Original Bacon
  • 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup yellow cornmeal
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese
  • 2 eggs
  • 6 tablespoons butter, melted
  • 1/3 cup honey
  • 3/4 cup milk or buttermilk
  • 1 can corn kernels, drained
  • 2 medium jalapeno peppers, seeded and diced
  • 1 medium jalapeno pepper, thinly sliced
  1. Heat oven to 375° F.
  2. Line rimmed baking pan with foil and set lightly sprayed baking rack in pan. Cut bacon crosswise into thirds and lay out bacon strips on rack, being careful not to overlap slices. Bake 10-12 minutes, or until bacon has just begun to crisp. Remove from oven and drain on paper towels. Increase oven temperature to 400 F.
  3. In large bowl, stir together flour, cornmeal, baking powder, salt and cheese until well mixed.
  4. In small bowl, whisk eggs until frothy and stir in melted butter, honey and milk. Add milk mixture to dry ingredients and stir until combined. Fold in corn and diced jalapeno and reserve.
  5. Lightly spray or butter 12-cup muffin tin and line each cup with two slices of bacon. Evenly divide muffin batter into cups, filling about three-fourths full and top with remaining bacon and sliced jalapeno. Bake muffins 20 minutes, or until golden brown, using toothpick to test doneness. Let cool briefly, remove muffins from tin and serve while still warm.

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Sausage and Egg Tarts with Asparagus and Tomatoes

  • Flour, for dusting
  • 1 package (about 1 pound) frozen prepared puff pastry, thawed
  • 9 eggs, brought to room temperature for 30 minutes, divided
  • 1 teaspoon water
  • 1 Smithfield Hometown Original Fresh Sausage Roll, sliced into 8 patties, cooked and halved
  • 1 pound fresh asparagus spears, cut into pieces
  • 1 pint grape tomatoes, halved lengthwise
  • salt, to taste
  • freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 1/2 cup shredded Parmesan cheese (optional)
  1. Heat oven to 400° F.
  2. On lightly floured surface, roll out pastry and cut into eight 4-5-inch squares and transfer to greased or parchment-lined baking sheets spaced about 1 inch apart. Using small knife, lightly score line 1/2-inch inside edges of squares to create framed border. With fork, prick several holes in center of pastry squares.
  3. Bake squares 7-8 minutes, or until pastry has puffed substantially yet not begun to brown. Remove from oven and immediately tamp down centers inside of scored line carefully with back of fork.
  4. Lightly beat 1 egg with water and brush outside frames of pastry with egg wash. Slightly overlapping framed pastry borders, equally divide and arrange sausage, asparagus and tomatoes in pastry squares, leaving centers open for eggs. Top each with cracked egg, seasoning with salt and pepper and sprinkling with cheese, if desired.
  5. Return to oven and bake 8-10 minutes, or until puff pastry is golden brown and eggs have just set. Let cool slightly and transfer tarts with spatula to serving plate and serve warm.

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Cinnamon French Toast Sausage Roll-Ups

  • 12 Smithfield Fresh Sausage Links
  • 2 eggs
  • 2/3 cup milk
  • 3 tablespoons almond liquor (optional)
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 6 slices whole-wheat bread, crust removed and cut in half
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  1. Cook sausage according to package directions; keep warm.
  2. Beat together eggs, milk, almond liquor and cinnamon. Dip one bread slice half in egg mixture and wrap around one sausage link. Press bread edges together where they overlap to keep from unrolling. Repeat with remaining bread and sausage links.
  3. Heat large skillet over medium heat; add butter and let melt. Place French toast-wrapped sausages in skillet, seam-side down. Cook until browned on all sides, about 10 minutes total.

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Scrambled Eggs and Ham in a Waffle Cup

  • 6 eggs
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 2 cups Smithfield Honey Cured Boneless Ham Steak, diced
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 8 waffle cups (4 ounces each)
  • 4 teaspoons maple syrup, warm, divided
  • 1 teaspoon fresh thyme, chopped
  1. In bowl, whisk together eggs, milk, cheese, salt and pepper; stir in ham.
  2. In 10-inch, nonstick skillet, melt butter over medium-high heat. Add egg mixture; reduce heat to medium-low.
  3. Using wooden spoon, scrape eggs from edges of pan to center. Continue stirring eggs 3-5 minutes, or until fluffy.
  4. Scoop 1/2 cup warm scrambled eggs into waffle cup and drizzle with 1/2 teaspoon maple syrup. Garnish with fresh thyme leaves. Repeat for each waffle cup.

Source: Smithfield Foods

Healthy 04 April 2017

Picnics With Panache

Swing into summer with a basketful of delicious picnic fare ready to share in minutes

(Family Features) Good friends, great food, and the best season for outdoor entertaining add up to one thing — a glorious picnic season. If you’re just warming up to the idea of planning a picnic at the park or a backyard potluck, it’s the prime time to prepare and make your plans.

First set the date with your best mates. Then grab the gingham tablecloth and break out the picnic basket. What to serve? Start simple with a menu that’s casual, delicious, and easy to make and take, especially if you’re off to the perfect picnic destination.

Choose light, flavorful pasta salads that combine summertime flavors, such as creamy ranch and Dijon mustard, or chicken with marinated artichoke hearts. Be prepared to pass the deviled eggs more than once. Bring along fresh fruit for a refreshing dessert. And, try a cool lemonade that combines two favorite summertime flavors — watermelon and kiwi.  All that’s left is to savor every moment and every bite!

Picnic Season’s Top Tips

Consider these hints for summer gatherings:

  • An “eggs-cellent” way to tote deviled eggs: sandwich two halves with filling sides together, wrap well with plastic wrap, and place in a chilled, insulated box.
  • When the ants begin their march, reach for a natural deterrent — vinegar. Fill a spray bottle with white vinegar to have at the ready.
  • Cooking for a crowd? Streamline your menu by choosing convenience products, such as boxed salad mixes that only require a few on-hand ingredients. Reach for prewashed, precut veggies. And, sprinkle a bit of flavor onto grilled potatoes and salads by adding a tasty topper, such as Bac~Os (an easy option that is less messy than frying bacon).
  • Got sunscreen? Make sure it’s in your pack.

For more great summertime recipes and tips, visit www.bettycrocker.com.

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Creamy Ranch Pasta Salad

Makes: 6 servings

  • 1 box Betty Crocker Suddenly Salad ranch and bacon pasta salad mix
  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise or salad dressing
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 4 medium green onions, chopped
  • 1 medium stalk celery, thinly sliced
  • 3 hard-cooked eggs, coarsely chopped
  • 1 hard-cooked egg, sliced
  • Paprika
  1. Empty pasta into 3-quart (or larger) saucepan 2/3 full of boiling water. Gently boil uncovered 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. Drain pasta; rinse with cold water. Shake to drain well.
  2. In large bowl, stir together seasoning mix, mayonnaise, mustard, onions and celery. Add pasta and chopped eggs and stir until evenly coated. Garnish with egg slices and paprika.
  3. Store in refrigerator.

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Chicken and Artichoke Pasta Salad

Makes: 6 servings

  • 1 box Betty Crocker Suddenly Salad classic pasta salad mix
  • 3 tablespoons cold water
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 cup cubed, cooked chicken
  • 1 6-ounce jar marinated artichoke hearts, drained
  • 1/4 cup sliced ripe olives
  • 2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
  1. Empty pasta into 3-quart (or larger) saucepan 2/3 full of boiling water. Gently boil uncovered 12 minutes, stirring occasionally. Drain pasta; rinse with cold water. Shake to drain well.
  2. In large bowl, stir together seasoning mix, cold water, and oil. Stir in pasta, chicken, artichokes, olives, and cheese. Store in refrigerator.

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Watermelon Lemonade With Kiwifruit Splash

Makes: 6 1-cup servings

  • 2 kiwifruit, peeled and cut into fourths
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons sugar
  • 4 cups cubed, seedless watermelon
  • 1 12-ounce can frozen lemonade concentrate
  • 2 cups water
  1. Place kiwifruit and sugar in blender; cover and blend on medium just until smooth. Pour into another container; freeze 1 to 2 hours or until firm.
  2. Place watermelon in blender; cover and blend on medium until smooth. Place frozen lemonade concentrate and water in large pitcher. Add watermelon mixture; mix well.
  3. Pour watermelon lemonade into glasses. Spoon a dollop of frozen kiwifruit mixture on top. Serve immediately.

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Poppy Seed Salad

Makes: 6 servings

  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1/4 cup frozen limeade concentrate, thawed
  • 2 teaspoons poppy seeds
  • 1 cup strawberries, halved
  • 1 cup cubed pineapple
  • 1 cup fresh blueberries
  • 1 cup cubed watermelon
  1. In large bowl, mix honey, limeade concentrate, and poppy seeds.
  2. Carefully toss in fruits.

 

Devilishly Good Eggs

Makes: 6 servings

  • 6 hard-cooked eggs
  • 1/4 cup mayonnaise or salad dressing
  • 2 tablespoons Betty Crocker Bac~Os bacon-flavored bits or chips
  • 2 teaspoons lemon juice
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon or yellow mustard
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon pepper
  1. Cut eggs lengthwise in half. In small bowl, slip out yolks and mash with fork.
  2. Stir in remaining ingredients except egg white halves.
  3. Fill egg white halves with egg yolk mixture, heaping it lightly.

 

Source: Suddenly Salad

Breakfast & Brunch 03 April 2017

Bring Back Breakfast

This Weekend, Spend the Most Important Meal of the Day with the Most Important People in Your Life

(Family Features) Baseball practices, dance rehearsals, school work, and other weekday activities often make family mealtime seem like a thing of the past.

If you’re looking for ways your family can spend more quality time together, consider bringing back breakfast this weekend.

Enjoying each other’s company and a delicious breakfast is the perfect opportunity for your family to reconnect. Use the added time weekend mornings provide to prepare a wonderful, warm meal for your family to sit down and create lasting memories. Make your morning meal a weekend tradition the whole family can look forward to all week long.

Here are some easy tips to help make breakfast a family occasion:

Make Breakfast Special – Each week, request that a family member choose a fun theme for the breakfast table. From sports teams to movie themes to favorite colors - you’ll see that the choices are endless and they can inspire creative breakfast menus.

Find Some Breakfast Helpers – Let the whole family practice their cooking skills by helping you in the kitchen. Serve foods that are easy to dress up, like Hungry Jack® pancakes. Sometimes the simple pleasure of a warm plate of pancakes is all you need to create the perfect start to your weekend mornings together.

Create Breakfast Menu Magic – The sky is the limit when you have extra time to craft a hearty breakfast, so serve a variety of foods your family will love. You can’t go wrong with breakfast classics – from fresh veggie and egg dishes to the warm, fluffy goodness of a stack of Hungry Jack pancakes. Does your family enjoy creating breakfast masterpieces? Try these Upside-Down Breakfast Stacks, made with Hungry Jack pancakes, sausage patties, cheddar cheese and eggs, for a magical take on an ordinary meal.

For more recipes and breakfast tips to bring families together on the weekends, visit www.hungryjack.com.

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Upside-Down Breakfast Stacks

Yield: 6 stacks
Prep Time: 15 min
Cook Time: 15 min

  • Crisco® Original No-Stick Cooking Spray
  • 3 large eggs, lightly beaten
  • 6 fully cooked sausage patties OR
  • 6 vegetable sausage patties
  • 3/4 cup Hungry Jack® Complete Buttermilk Pancake & Waffle Mix
  • 1/2 cup water
  • Shredded sharp cheddar or pepper jack cheese (optional)
  • Hungry Jack Original Syrup
  1. HEAT oven to 375°F. Coat 6 muffin cups or glass custard cups generously with no-stick cooking spray.
  2. DIVIDE eggs evenly into prepared muffin cups. Top with sausage patty. Whisk pancake mix and water together in medium bowl until smooth. Pour evenly over sausage.
  3. BAKE 14 to 16 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool 2 minutes. Invert onto baking sheet. Sprinkle immediately with cheese, if desired. Serve warm with syrup.

Source: Hungry Jack

Breakfast & Brunch 31 March 2017

Serve Up a Nutritious Seasonal Brunch

A perfect way to entertain around the table

(Family Features) With springtime in full bloom, brunch is the perfect way to entertain friends and family for nearly any upcoming occasion or celebration. Take advantage of the budding season with quality time spent with loved ones, more outdoor experiences and wholesome nutrition for the whole family, starting with a delicious morning meal around the table.

When it comes to the food they serve their families, moms want to provide good nutrition, especially for their kids, to help them grow up healthy and strong. Serving a nutritious meal each morning is one way to help kids get a good start to the day, so they can be their best in school, play and any other activities the day brings.

Whether moms know it or not, they are powerful role models for their children’s health and nutrition. When moms set the example and eat nutritious meals themselves, kids notice. For instance, according to a study from the U.S. National Library of Medicine, moms who drink milk are more likely to have kids who drink milk, which is a household staple that provides important nutrients such as calcium, vitamin D and potassium. Setting the example for quality nutrition can be made easy with a delicious meal served with milk to celebrate any occasion this season with guests of all ages.

This simple egg casserole is the perfect excuse to bring the family together and start a beautiful spring day with a wholesome meal and quality time together. For more recipes and reasons to bring the family together, visit milklife.com.

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Easy Egg Casserole

Servings: 4

  • Nonstick cooking spray
  • 1 cup lean ham, cubed
  • 1 cup frozen seasoned potatoes with onions and peppers
  • 3/4 cup frozen spinach, chopped
  • 1/2 cup lowfat cheddar or Swiss cheese, shredded
  • 6 eggs
  • 3/4 cup milk
  1. Heat oven to 375° F. Lightly coat 8-by-8-inch casserole dish with nonstick spray.
  2. Arrange ham, potatoes, spinach and cheese in bottom of casserole dish. In large bowl, beat eggs and milk together and pour over ingredients in casserole dish.
  3. Bake 25-30 minutes, or until lightly browned and puffed. Serve immediately.
  4. Pair each serving with 8-ounce glass of milk.

Nutritional information per serving: 350 calories; 9 g fat; 3 g saturated fat; 350 mg cholesterol; 32 g protein; 34 g carbohydrates; 2 g fiber; 630 mg sodium; 500 mg calcium (50% of daily value). Nutrition figures based on using fat free milk, and include an 8-ounce glass of milk.

Source: MilkPEP

Breakfast & Brunch 17 March 2017

Celebrate with a Gourmet Brunch

(Family Features) As warmer weather approaches, so do a variety of special occasions. If you’re looking for an easy way to celebrate with family and friends, brunch is a perfect option.

Not too early and not too late, everyone can enjoy a hearty meal and good company before the day gets busy. A brunch menu can include both elegant options and classic favorites, so it’s easy to customize to fit the occasion and your guests’ preferences.

With so many possibilities, brunch is the perfect opportunity to get creative. Develop your own versions of traditional dishes by incorporating new ingredients, such as using duck bacon to change up your menu and add some extra flair.

With a rich, hearty texture, duck bacon is more like pork bacon than traditional poultry bacons. Made from duck breast meat, it brings a touch of sophistication to any menu item. Plus, duck bacon is healthier for you, too. With 26 percent less sodium and 57 percent less fat than traditional pork bacon, it’s the perfect way for you to enjoy great flavor without the extra calories.

For an exciting added element, use duck bacon with this version of classic Eggs Benedict. This brunch recipe feeds a crowd and is ready in less than 30 minutes, making it the perfect choice when you want to whip up a quick entree for family or friends.

Find more brunch recipes and information about cooking with duck at mapleleaffarms.com.

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Eggs Benedict with Duck Bacon

Servings: 6

Hollandaise Sauce:

  • 3 egg yolks
  • 10 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into 1-tablespoon pieces
  • 2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 12 slices Maple Leaf Farms Duck Bacon, cut in half
  • 12 English muffin halves, toasted
  • 12 eggs, poached
  • pinch of salt
  • chopped parsley, for garnish (optional)
  1. To make Hollandaise Sauce: Fill medium saucepan with 1 inch of water (for double-boiler) and bring to simmer over medium heat. Reduce heat to low.
  2. In medium bowl, whisk egg yolks until they lighten in color, about 1 minute.
  3. Place bowl with eggs over saucepan and whisk constantly until thickened and doubled in volume, about 3-5 minutes.
  4. Remove bowl from saucepan and whisk in butter, 1 tablespoon at a time. Whisk in lemon juice, salt and cayenne pepper. Keep warm, covered, over double-boiler.
  5. To cook duck bacon and poach eggs: In skillet over medium-high heat, fry duck bacon halves 4 minutes per side; set aside. In large pot over medium heat, bring water to simmer and add salt.
  6. Crack egg into cup or small bowl. Gently pour egg into simmering water; repeat for additional eggs, leaving room around each one for cooking. Cook 2-4 minutes, depending on desired firmness.
  7. Using slotted spoon, carefully remove eggs from pan and place on paper towels to drain.
  8. To assemble Eggs Benedict: Lay two toasted English muffin halves on each plate. Top each with two duck bacon halves. Carefully place poached egg on top of each muffin stack. Pour Hollandaise Sauce over each. Garnish with parsley, if desired.

Source: Maple Leaf Farms

Breakfast & Brunch 07 March 2017

Easy Egg Casserole

With Jimmy Dean fully cooked Hearty Sausage Crumbles, you can whip up an Easy Egg Casserole in the morning – or even the night before – and pop it in the oven for a no-hassle breakfast that’s so comforting and delicious, they’ll be coming back for seconds.

Yield: 12 servings (1 square each)

  • 8 eggs
  • 3 cups milk
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 8 cups French bread cubes (3/4-inch pieces)
  • 1 package Jimmy Dean Hearty Original Sausage Crumbles
  • 2 cups (8 ounces) shredded sharp cheddar cheese, divided
  1. Preheat oven to 350°F
  2. Beat eggs, milk and pepper in large bowl with a wire whisk until well blended. Add bread cubes; stir gently until evenly coated. Stir in sausage crumbles and 1 1/2 cups cheese.
  3. Pour into lightly greased 13 x 9-inch baking dish; sprinkle with remaining cheese.
  4. Bake 45 minutes or until knife inserted in center comes out clean. Let stand 10 minutes before cutting into 12 squares to serve.

Spinach-Egg Casserole: Add 1 package (10 ounces) frozen chopped spinach, thawed and squeeze dry, to egg mixture before pouring into prepared baking dish.

Make-Ahead Egg Casserole: Assemble casserole as directed; cover. Refrigerate overnight. When ready to serve, uncover and bake 50 to 55 minutes or until knife inserted in center comes out clean.

Source: Jimmy Dean

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