recipes

Meal Ideas 15 September 2018

Give a Fall Facelift to Outdoor Entertaining

(Family Features) Whether it’s pumpkin spice everything, sweater weather or the anticipation of the holidays, there are many reasons to be excited about this time of year. Autumn is the perfect time to extend the warm-weather fun and celebrate with some fall-focused outdoor entertaining. 

Just as the weather is changing, so can your approach to cooler weather celebrations. Try these tips to help you make the most of your fall festivities:

  • There’s no need to say farewell to the outdoors just yet. Make the focal point of your party a cozy outdoor setting, such as a patio with heaters or a fire pit. Add some warm blankets and comfy pillows, and you’ll hardly notice the lower temps.
  • Remember days get shorter as they grow colder, so a fall get-together may require special lighting to keep things going after the sun goes down. Fall-inspired string lights, lanterns or candles can add the perfect ambiance for a party that lasts well into the late-night hours. You can find great, affordable options online.
  • While it may seem like time to swap the tiki drinks and frozen cocktails for hot toddies and spiked ciders, fall doesn’t mean you must say goodbye to warm-weather favorites. Put an autumn twist on go-to drinks by adding in fall spices. This easy mulled sangria recipe is perfect for sharing with friends at outdoor celebrations.

Find more ideas for fall entertaining at WineFix.com.

Cinnamon Mulled Sangria

Recipe courtesy of the World Wine Guys, authors of “Red Wine

  • 1          bottle Eppa Sangria
  • 1          cup apple cider
  • 1/2       cup Licor 43 liqueur
  • 2          cinnamon sticks
  • 1/2       cup packed light brown sugar
  • 3          whole cloves
  • 1          strip orange peel
  • 2          green apples, sliced
  1. In large saucepan, mix sangria, apple cider, liqueur, cinnamon sticks, brown sugar, cloves and orange peel. Bring to simmer over medium heat and cook, stirring, 5 minutes, or until sugar dissolves. Stir in apples and simmer additional 5 minutes. Serve warm with desired garnishes.

Photo courtesy of Getty Images

Source: Deutsch Family Wine and Spirits

Grilling-Tailgating 02 July 2018

Add Spice to Summer Entertaining

(Family Features) Warmer weather may mean finding ways to cool off, but that doesn’t mean you can’t bring bold flavors to the gathering you’re hosting with family and friends. Whether it’s a barbecue bash or a casual pool party, there is a flavorful blend perfect for nearly every occasion.

When the sun is shining, it’s time to fire up the grill, which means you can get creative and show off your skills. Add a little flavor to your world – Dale Sabor A Tu Mundo – with a versatile ingredient like Tabasco Sauce, which has helped personalize the flavors of food across the globe for nearly 150 years. Whether used as an ingredient or condiment, it can add flavor to virtually any type of cuisine, including Mexican favorites like this Parrillada Mixta with Garlic and Sweet Chipotle Marinades.

Throw some steak, shrimp and chicken on the grill and combine with sweet and spicy marinades to create a grilled spread that’s nearly irresistible. Take it up a notch and serve it with sides such as fresh limes, sizzling onions, creamy guacamole, pico de gallo and soft corn tortillas to complete your meal. It’s a tasty way to add an extra kick of flavor to summer entertaining.

Find more recipes and ways to flavor your world at Tabasco.com.

Parrillada Mixta with Garlic and Sweet Chipotle Marinades

Servings: 6-8

Garlic Chipotle Marinade:

  • 14        garlic cloves, peeled
  • 1          medium white onion, quartered
  • 1 1/2    cups light Mexican beer
  • 3/4       cup olive oil
  • 1          tablespoon coarse black pepper
  • 4          tablespoons Tabasco Chipotle Pepper Sauce 
  • 1          teaspoon salt 
  • 2          flank steaks (1 pound each)

Sweet Chipotle Marinade:

  • 8          garlic cloves, peeled
  • 1          red bell pepper, de-seeded and stemmed 
  • 1          small white onion
  • 1          teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1          teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 8          tablespoons olive oil
  • 8          tablespoons agave syrup
  • 4          tablespoons fresh lime juice
  • 1 1/4    cups orange juice
  • 1 1/4    cups cold water
  • 4          tablespoons Tabasco Chipotle Pepper Sauce 
  • salt, to taste 
  • 2          pounds extra-large shrimp, peeled, deveined and tails on
  • 4-6       boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  1. To make Garlic Chipotle Marinade: In blender, puree garlic, onion, beer, olive oil and pepper. Transfer puree to large mixing bowl; add chipotle sauce and salt.
  2. Place steaks in re-sealable plastic bag and pour in marinade.

Note: Marinating time depends on the cut of beef selected. For fajitas or skirt steak, marinate at least 6 hours. 

  1. To make Sweet Chipotle Marinade: In blender, puree garlic, bell pepper, onion, cinnamon, paprika, olive oil, agave, lime juice, orange juice, water and chipotle pepper sauce.
  2. In separate re-sealable plastic bags, divide marinade over chicken and shrimp. Allow shrimp to marinate 8 hours and chicken 24 hours.
  3. To prepare meat: Remove steak, shrimp and chicken from marinade and set aside. Heat grill to medium-high heat. Brush off excess marinade and grill chicken first, to desired doneness, then steak and shrimp.

Note: Cooking times will vary depending on cuts of meat and desired doneness. For best results, use a meat thermometer.

Serving suggestion: Place steak, shrimp and chicken on large platter and serve with side items such as fresh guacamole, pico de gallo, grilled onions, fresh limes and fresh corn tortillas.

Source: Tabasco

Meal Ideas 03 September 2018

Crowd-Pleasing Summer Entertaining

(Family Features) If you’re hosting a backyard barbecue, game night or TV show marathon with friends this summer, it’s helpful to have a plan in mind before diving in.

Consider these tips and recipes featuring Mrs. T’s Pierogies that can help make planning a breeze and allow you to kick back and enjoy the fun alongside your guests.

  • Master the Music. Set the mood as soon as your guests walk in with an upbeat playlist.
  • Add a Creative Twist to Your Menu. When you’re craving something real and satisfying – but want to keep things simple – reach for an option like Mrs. T’s Pierogies. Available in 16 varieties, including mini-size, these pasta shells, filled with creamy whipped potatoes, are loaded with flavor and perfect served alone or as part of creative recipes like a Farmers Market Mini Pierogy Salad. You can also grill them up like in this Mini Pierogy Slider Kebab recipe.
  • Create Self-Serve Stations. Arrange a buffet-style table to allow your guests to help themselves to food. It’s a simple way to ensure you get to enjoy yourself. Just remember to provide the necessary fixings at each station.
  • Bust Out Some Games. Whether it’s a game night or just a get-together with friends, keep games like cornhole or bocce ball on-hand to keep your soiree lively.

For more recipes perfect for entertaining, visit MrsTsPierogies.com.

Mini Pierogy Slider Kebabs

Prep time: 15 minutes
Total time: 20 minutes
Servings: 4-6

  • 1          box Mrs. T’s Mini Classic Cheddar Pierogies
  • 2          tablespoons olive oil
  • kosher salt
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • 1          pound ground beef
  • 1 1/2    teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 1          tablespoon minced red onion
  • 4          deli slices Colby Jack cheese, quartered
  • 4-6       skewers
  • 14        pieces curly leaf lettuce
  • 7          cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 14        cornichon pickles
  1. Heat grill or indoor grill pan to medium heat. Toss pierogies with oil and season with salt and pepper. Grill 8-10 minutes, flipping halfway through. Remove.
  2. In medium bowl, combine ground beef, Worcestershire sauce, onion, salt and pepper. Form into 14 equal sized patties.
  3. Add patties to grill and cook 3-4 minutes per side. Add one slice of cheese to each during last minute of cooking to melt. Remove and cool slightly to handle.
  4. To assemble: skewer one pierogy, flat-side down, then one piece of lettuce, tomato, pickle, burger and another pierogy, flat-side down, to sandwich it all together. Repeat with remaining ingredients.

Farmers Market Mini Pierogy Salad

Prep time: 12 minutes
Total time: 18 minutes
Servings: 4

  • 1          box Mrs. T’s Mini Classic Cheddar Pierogies
  • 1/2       cup white balsamic or cider vinegar
  • 1          small garlic clove, crushed
  • 1/4       teaspoon salt
  • 1/4       teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/3       cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1          large tomato, coarsely chopped
  • 1          medium cucumber, seeded, if necessary, and coarsely chopped
  • 1/4       cup red onion, thinly sliced
  • 4          ounces feta cheese, crumbled
  1. Saute pierogies according to box directions; place in large bowl.
  2. In small bowl, combine vinegar, garlic, salt and oregano; whisk in olive oil until well-blended.
  3. Add tomato, cucumber, red onion, feta and vinaigrette to bowl with pierogies; toss to mix well.

Source: Mrs. T’s Pierogies

Snacks 06 February 2019

Simple Snacks for Anytime Entertaining

(Family Features) When it comes to entertaining, it’s not always about three-course meals or hours upon hours of preparation. Sometimes, the best hosts look toward simple snacks and small plates to please guests with an array of palates.

Herbs, onions, artichokes and olives create a medley of flavors atop this savory flatbread that makes it easy to give guests a fresh bite without spending too much time in the kitchen. Or you can enjoy a berry and beet chutney as a topping for crostini that is spread with goat or cream cheese, or topped with a thin slice of Gouda or a runny slice of Brie. It’s also a welcome addition to an open-face sandwich.

The secret is using convenient ingredients like Aunt Nellie’s Harvard Beets and Holland-Style Onions that contribute great flavors to recipes and also help streamline preparation as guests settle in for an evening of fun and relaxation.

Explore more ideas to make your entertaining skills shine at AuntNellies.com.

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Herbed Mediterranean Flatbread

Prep time: 15 minutes
Cook time: 10-12 minutes
Servings: 4

  • 1          jar (16 ounces) Aunt Nellie's Holland-Style Onions
  • 1          jar (7 1/2 ounces) quartered, marinated artichoke hearts
  • 1/4       cup finely chopped red bell pepper
  • 1/4       cup chopped fresh parsley
  • 2          tablespoons chopped or sliced Kalamata olives
  • 1/4       teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • coarsely ground black pepper
  • 2          tablespoons shredded Parmesan cheese, divided
  • 2          teaspoons olive oil
  • 1/2       teaspoon dried thyme leaves, crushed
  • 1          clove garlic, minced
  • 2          whole-grain round or square flatbreads (about 6-7 inches diameter)
  • fresh basil (optional)
  1. Heat oven to 400° F. Drain onions. Pat dry. Discard liquid. Drain artichokes well. Discard liquid.
  2. Press onions with spatula to crush lightly. Pat dry again. Place in large bowl. Coarsely chop artichokes. Add to bowl with onions. Stir in bell pepper, parsley, olives, red pepper flakes, black pepper and 1 tablespoon Parmesan cheese; set aside.
  3. In small bowl, stir together olive oil, thyme and garlic. Brush over one side of flatbreads. Place on baking sheet; bake 2 minutes. Remove from oven.
  4. Top each flatbread with onion mixture. Sprinkle with remaining Parmesan cheese. Return to oven. Bake 8-10 minutes, or until heated through and flatbread is crisp.
  5. Cut each flatbread in half. Sprinkle with fresh basil, if desired.

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Beet and Berry Chutney

Prep time: 20 minutes
Servings: 10

  • 1/2       cup orange marmalade
  • 1          jar (15 1/2 ounces) Aunt Nellie’s Harvard Beets, not drained
  • 1/4-1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1          tablespoon finely chopped candied ginger (optional)
  • 1 1/2    cups berries (fresh or frozen unsweetened cranberries, blueberries, raspberries or strawberries, cut in half or quartered, if large)
  1. In medium saucepan over medium heat, stir marmalade until melted. Stir in beets and red pepper. Cook 3-5 minutes until liquid is reduced by about half, stirring frequently. Add ginger, if desired.
  2. If using only cranberries, add to pan with beet mixture and cook until they just begin to pop. If also using other berries, add to beet-cranberry mixture; stir and heat through. If using only blueberries, raspberries or strawberries, add to beet mixture after reducing liquid. Stir and heat through.
  3. Remove pan from heat; cool to room temperature before serving.

Note: Chutney can also be served chilled. Store, covered, in a refrigerator up to 1 week.

Source: Aunt Nellie’s

Meal Ideas 20 July 2018

Tips for Hosting a Healthy Summer Cookout

(Family Features) When people think of barbecues, many think of foods loaded with fat, salt and sugar, which can seem challenging if you are trying to eat healthy. However, it is possible - and easier than you think - to host a balanced cookout with nutritious options, without sacrificing flavor or quality.

Smithfield nutritionist Erin Thacker, MA, RDN, recommends these tips for hosting a backyard barbecue that will leave your guests healthy and happy:

  • Stick to lean protein: fresh pork cuts such as sirloins, tenderloins, boneless loins and chops are packed with protein and contain key nutrients like vitamin B6, thiamin, phosphorus, niacin, potassium, riboflavin and zinc. Smithfield fresh pork tenderloins and boneless sirloin roasts are even certified by the American Heart Association* as heart-healthy foods.
     
  • Layer on fruits and veggies: grilled vegetables make for a quick and delicious side dish, and grilled fruits are a health-conscious way to end the meal on a lighter note.
     
  • Lighten up: swap mayonnaise and heavy creams for Greek yogurt and vinegars, and opt for homemade dressings or sauces instead of store-bought condiments, which often have high sugar contents.

Try these simple, dietitian-approved recipes for Grilled Fresh Pork and Veggies with Lemon or Sweet and Spicy Fresh Pork Mini Kebabs. For more healthy and great-tasting recipe ideas, visit Smithfield.com.

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Grilled Fresh Pork and Veggies with Lemon

Prep time: 8 minutes
Cook time: 22 minutes
Servings: 4

  • 1 Smithfield Fresh Pork Tenderloin, cut into four thick slices
  • 2 teaspoons garlic pepper
  • 1 zucchini squash, cut in half lengthwise
  • 1 yellow summer squash, cut in half lengthwise
  • 1 large portobello mushroom
  • 1/2 large red bell pepper, cut in half lengthwise and flattened
  • 1/2 large red onion, cut into slices
  • 1 lemon, cut in half
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  1. Heat charcoal or gas grill to medium-high. Season fresh pork slices with garlic pepper; grill about 5 minutes per side until internal temperature reaches 145-160° F.
  2. Brush both sides of zucchini squash, yellow squash, mushroom, pepper and onion, plus cut sides of lemon, with oil.
  3. Grill vegetables for 10 minutes, turning occasionally. Add lemon to grill, cut-side down, and cook additional 2 minutes.
  4. Place vegetables and lemon on cutting board; coarsely chop vegetables. Serve with fresh pork slices on top; squeeze lemon over meat.

Nutritional information per serving: 200 calories; 6 g total fat; 1 g saturated fat; 75 mg cholesterol; 75 mg sodium; 8 g total carbohydrates; 2 g dietary fiber; 4 g sugars; 30 g protein.

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Sweet and Spicy Fresh Pork Mini Kebabs

Prep time: 20 minutes
Cook time: 10 minutes
Servings: 16 kebabs

  • 1 Smithfield Roasted Garlic and Cracked Black Pepper Marinated Fresh Pork Sirloin, cut into 1-inch cubes
  • 1/2 pineapple, cored and cut into 16 (1-inch) cubes
  • 2 red bell peppers, cut into 16 (1-inch) pieces
  • 16 bamboo skewers (6 inches), soaked in water and drained
  • 2/3 cup honey
  • 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons Caribbean jerk seasoning
  1. Heat gas or charcoal grill to medium-high.
  2. Thread two pieces of fresh pork sirloin, one pineapple cube and one red pepper piece onto each skewer. Wrap exposed end of skewer with foil to discourage scorching.
  3. Mix honey, vinegar and jerk seasoning together for glaze.
  4. Grill kebabs approximately 10 minutes, turning occasionally, until fresh pork reaches internal temperature of 145° F and then rest for 3 minutes. Generously brush kebabs with glaze during last 2-3 minutes.

Nutritional information per serving: 80 calories; 1 g total fat; 0 g saturated fat; 20 mg cholesterol; 90 mg sodium; 12 g total carbohydrates; 1 g dietary fiber; 9 g sugars; 8 g protein.

*Information and recipes not provided by the American Heart Association unless expressly stated.

Source:  Smithfield

Dessert 27 November 2017

Throw a Christmas Cookie Party

(Family Features) The next best thing to baking cookies for many home chefs is baking cookies with friends. Dust off your favorite recipes, create a festive playlist and fill your home with the tantalizing aroma of baked goodies for the ultimate Christmas cookie party.

Turn things up a notch and swap classic sugar cookies for these festive Red Velvet Crinkle Cookies, Peppermint Truffle Cookies and Almond Gingerbread Cookies. Along with those tasty treats, don’t let your guests go thirsty. Add peppermint extract to a slow cooker hot chocolate so guests can sip and be merry throughout the party.

Find more holiday recipes at McCormick.com.

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Peppermint Truffle Cookies

  • 8          ounces bittersweet baking chocolate
  • 1/2       cup (1 stick) butter
  • 1          cup sugar, divided
  • 1          egg
  • 1/2       teaspoon McCormick Pure Peppermint Extract
  • 2          cups flour
  • 36        milk chocolate kiss-shaped candies, unwrapped
  1. Heat oven to 350° F.
  2. In large, microwavable bowl, heat chocolate and butter on high 1-2 minutes, or until butter is melted. Let stand 10 minutes to cool slightly. Add 1/2 cup sugar, egg and peppermint extract. Beat with electric mixer on medium speed until well blended. Gradually beat in flour on low speed until well mixed.
  3. Shape dough into 1-inch balls. Press chocolate candy into center of each ball, forming dough around candy to enclose it. Roll in remaining sugar to coat. Place 1 inch apart on greased baking sheets.
  4. Bake 9-11 minutes, or until cookies are set. Cool on baking sheets 5 minutes. Remove to wire racks; cool completely.

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Almond Gingerbread Cookies

  • 3          cups flour
  • 2          teaspoons McCormick Ginger, Ground
  • 1          teaspoon McCormick Cinnamon, Ground
  • 1          teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4       teaspoon McCormick Nutmeg, Ground
  • 1/4       teaspoon salt
  • 3/4       cup (1 1/2 sticks) butter, softened
  • 3/4       cup firmly packed brown sugar
  • 1/2       cup molasses
  • 1          egg
  • 1          teaspoon McCormick Pure Vanilla Extract
  • 1 1/3    cups sliced almonds
  1. In large bowl, mix flour, ginger, cinnamon, baking soda, nutmeg and salt.
  2. In separate large bowl, beat butter and brown sugar with electric mixer on medium speed until light and fluffy. Add molasses, egg and vanilla extract; beat well. Gradually beat in flour mixture on low speed until well mixed. Press dough into thick, flat disk. Wrap in plastic wrap. Refrigerate 4 hours, or as long as overnight.
  3. Heat oven to 350° F. Shape dough into 1-inch balls. Roll in sliced almonds, pressing almonds into dough. Place 2 inches apart on ungreased baking sheets.
  4. Bake 8-10 minutes, or until edges of cookies just begin to brown. Remove to wire racks; cool completely. Store cookies in airtight container up to 5 days.

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Slow Cooker Peppermint Hot Chocolate

  • 1/2       gallon (8 cups) whole milk
  • 1          can (14 ounces) sweetened condensed milk
  • 1          package (12 ounces) dark chocolate chips
  • 1/2       teaspoon McCormick Pure Peppermint Extract
  1. Place whole milk, condensed milk, chocolate chips and peppermint extract in slow cooker. Cover. Cook 60-70 minutes on high, or until chocolate is melted and mixture is heated through, stirring every 15 minutes.
  2. Reduce heat to warm or low to serve.

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Red Velvet Crinkle Cookies

  • 1 2/3    cups flour
  • 1/3       cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 1/2    teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4       teaspoon salt
  • 1/2       cup (1 stick) butter, softened
  • 1 1/4    cups granulated sugar
  • 2          eggs
  • 1 1/2    teaspoons McCormick Red Food Color
  • 1          teaspoon McCormick Pure Vanilla Extract
  • 1/2       cup confectioners’ sugar
  • nonstick cooking spray
  1. In medium bowl, mix flour, cocoa powder, baking powder and salt; set aside. In large bowl, beat butter and granulated sugar with electric mixer on medium speed until light and fluffy. Add eggs, food color and vanilla extract; mix well. Gradually beat in flour mixture on low speed until well mixed. Refrigerate 4 hours.
  2. Heat oven to 350° F. Shape dough into 1-inch balls. Roll in confectioners’ sugar to completely coat. Place 2 inches apart on baking sheets sprayed with nonstick cooking spray.
  3. Bake 10-12 minutes, or until cookies are puffed. Cool on baking sheets 2 minutes. Remove to wire racks; cool completely.

Source: McCormick

Appetizers & Sides 05 October 2017

Excellent Entertaining

Elegant ideas for a meal worth celebrating

(Family Features) Delighting guests in unexpected ways is the hallmark of exceptional entertaining. With a little creative flair, you can elevate your menu to impress guests with every course.

A savory appetizer is set off beautifully by fresh, sweet grapes in this Grape and Goat Cheese Crostini. Festive, bright and refreshing, grapes are a versatile ingredient that take dishes to the next level, making them ideal for special occasions.

Not only are grapes a smart choice to keep on hand for healthy snacking and everyday eating, the vibrant colors and flavors bring extra life to a basic protein. For a unique twist on a main dish, try dressing up chicken with an elegant addition like fresh grapes, as in these Seared Chicken Breasts with Grapes and Artichokes.

The secret to a winning dessert is presentation, and the vibrant colors of red, green or black grapes lend just the right look to these tasty Mini Pavlovas with Lemon Cream and Grapes. What’s more, the juicy sweetness offsets the tartness of the lemon for an explosion of flavor perfection.

A Fresh Approach to Décor

Not only do fresh grapes’ lively flavors make for exceptional dishes, their vibrant colors can also enhance your table in other ways. Lend natural beauty to your decor while providing your loved ones with a healthy snack option with these creative ideas:

  • Arrange grapes in bowls, on platters or draped from a cake plate for attractive and edible centerpieces.
  • Dress snacking grapes up for the occasion by dipping clusters in liquid gelatin. Roll them in sugar, spices and finely chopped nuts to make a “frosted” finger food with a hint of crunch.
  • Colorful grapes lend a pretty pop when used as a garnish to decorate serving plates.

Plan your next special occasion with the host of recipes at GrapesfromCalifornia.com.

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Grape and Goat Cheese Crostini

Serves: 8

  • 2          cups quartered green, black or red California grapes (or a mixture)
  • 2          teaspoons lemon juice
  • 2          teaspoons honey
  • 1          tablespoon chopped fresh thyme leaves
  • 1/4       teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4       teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1          tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 16        baguette slices, thinly cut on diagonal
  • 8          ounces fresh goat cheese
  1. In medium bowl, combine grapes, lemon juice, honey, thyme, salt, pepper and olive oil. Spread each baguette with goat cheese and top with grape mixture.

Nutritional information per serving: 200 calories; 9 g protein; 23 g carbohydrates; 8 g fat (36 percent calories from fat); 4.5 g saturated fat (20 percent calories from saturated fat); 15 mg cholesterol; 340 mg sodium; 1 g fiber.

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Mini Pavlovas with Lemon Cream and Grapes

Serves: 6

  • 4          large egg whites
  • pinch of salt
  • 1          cup sugar
  • 2          teaspoons cornstarch
  • 1          teaspoon vanilla
  • 2/3       cup heavy whipping cream
  • 1/3       cup lemon curd
  • 1 1/2    cups halved California grapes
  • chopped smoked or tamari almonds (optional)
  1. Heat oven to 350° F. Line baking sheet with parchment paper. With electric mixer on medium speed, in large bowl, beat egg whites and salt until firm peaks form. On low speed, add sugar 1 tablespoon at a time until meringue forms stiff peaks. Whisk in cornstarch and vanilla.
  2. Divide meringue into six 4-inch circles on baking sheet. With large spoon, make indentations in middle of each. Place baking sheet in oven and lower temperature to 300° F. Bake 30 minutes then turn off oven and leave baking sheet inside another 30 minutes. To serve, whip cream to soft peaks and stir in lemon curd. Dollop onto meringues and top with grapes. Garnish with almonds, if desired.

Nutritional information per serving: 350 calories; 4 g protein; 58 g carbohydrates; 12 g fat (31 percent calories from fat); 8 g saturated fat (20 percent calories from saturated fat); 55 mg cholesterol; 90 mg sodium.

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Seared Chicken Breasts with Grapes and Artichokes

Serves: 4

  • 2          boneless, skinless chicken breasts (8 ounces each), butterflied lengthwise into 4 cutlets
  • salt, to taste
  • pepper, to taste
  • 2          tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 2          cloves garlic, minced
  • 1          leek, white part only, halved and thinly sliced
  • 2          tablespoons chopped fresh oregano
  • 1 1/2    cups quartered artichoke hearts, frozen, canned or jarred
  • 1/2       cup dry white wine
  • 1/2       cup low-sodium chicken stock
  • 1          tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1/2       teaspoon lemon zest
  • 2          teaspoons butter
  • 3/4       cup green California grapes
  • 3/4       cup red California grapes
  • 2          tablespoons chopped flat-leaf parsley
  1. Season chicken breasts with salt and pepper, to taste. In saute pan over medium-high heat, heat 1 tablespoon olive oil. Add chicken breasts and sear 3-4 minutes per side. Remove chicken and set aside.
  2. Add remaining olive oil to pan, along with garlic, leek and pinch of salt; cook on medium heat 2-3 minutes to soften leek. Stir in oregano, artichokes, wine, chicken stock, lemon juice, lemon zest and butter. Simmer 2-3 minutes then add chicken back to pan, basting each breast with sauce. Add grapes and simmer 3-5 minutes, or until grapes are just soft and chicken is cooked through.
  3. Stir in fresh parsley and serve.

Nutritional information per serving: 320 calories; 26 g protein; 23 g carbohydrates; 12 g fat (34 percent calories from fat); 3 g saturated fat (8 percent calories from saturated fat); 70 mg cholesterol; 390 mg sodium; 5 g fiber.

Source: California Table Grape Commission

Dessert 13 March 2017

Sweet Surrender: Easy Chocolate Truffles

(Family Features) Named for the earthy, exotic fungi they resemble, chocolate truffles require no hunting, digging or specially trained dogs and they won’t break the budget either. Real white truffles from Italy can set back the pocketbook more than $1000 for just one pound. Of course, chocolate truffles are a visual imitation only; they are sweet, addictive, and a great way to turn some organic chocolate, cream and butter into a decadent treat.

These ultra creamy truffles are made in the tradition of the Swiss style of chocolate truffle using heavy cream and butter to create what is called a ganache – a lovely French word for a mixture of chocolate and cream. According to Monique Hooker, Organic Valley’s French-born Chef, “using the best quality, organic cream and butter makes a difference.”

This recipe is so easy that kids can help and it is open to many variations. One option is to infuse the cream with some rich, floral Organic Madagascar vanilla extract, or split a whole vanilla bean and scrape the seeds into the cream as it simmers. Or, try using white chocolate, and roll the balls in finely minced sweetened coconut. For decoration, top each truffle with a small piece of roasted nut such as pistachio or pecan, a tiny candy, or if serving immediately, add one perfect raspberry to each truffle. Serve for parties, birthdays, or any occasion that needs a little chocolate.

For more dessert recipes using organic cream and butter, visit www.organicvalley.coop.

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Easy Decadent Chocolate Truffles

Makes 25 truffles

  • 1/2 cup Organic Valley heavy whipping cream
  • 12 oz best quality semisweet chocolate (preferably Fair Trade and Organic) chopped into small pieces, or 2 cups semisweet chocolate chips
  • 6 tablespoons Organic Valley unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
  • 3 tablespoons cocoa powder
  1. In a small heavy saucepan, bring the cream gently to a simmer over medium low heat. Remove from heat and stir in the chocolate and butter. Stir mixture just until the chocolate has completely melted, using very low heat if necessary. Remove from heat. Pour the chocolate mixture into a shallow bowl, and allow to cool. Cover tightly and refrigerate until firm, at least two hours or overnight.
  2. Line a cookie sheet or platter with baking parchment or waxed paper. Dip a teaspoon or small scoop such as a melon baller into warm water and scrape across the surface of the truffle mixture to form a 1-inch ball. Quickly roll balls in cocoa powder. Repeat with the remaining truffle mixture. Cover and refrigerate truffles. Serve in paper candy cups which are available in cookware shops or where cake decorating items are sold.

Variations: For a variety of truffles, roll balls in finely chopped nuts, finely minced sweetened coconut flakes, chocolate sprinkles, colored sugar or powdered sugar.

Tips: Truffles make a wonderful gift. Nothing says “I Love You” better than chocolate. Wrap a selection of truffles on a small red paper plate with cellophane and tie with a ribbon.

Source: Organic Valley

Appetizers & Sides 24 January 2017

Mini Three-Cheese Balls

Mini Three-Cheese Balls

Yields 24 to 30 balls

  • 1 4-ounce log fresh goat cheese
  • 6 ounces crumbled blue cheese
  • 2 cups coarsely grated Jarlsberg cheese
  • 2 tablespoons grated onion
  • 1/4 cup non fat plain yogurt
  • 1/4 cup finely diced fresh chives, plus extra for garnish
  • Dash hot sauce (optional)
  • 1 cup slivered almonds or chopped pecans
  1. In a food processor, process cheeses with onion, yogurt and chives until well blended. If you'd like, add a dash of hot sauce.
  2. Shape into mini balls and roll in slivered almonds or chopped pecans and chives, or spread in serving dish and top with nuts/chives.
  3. Chill several hours or until ready to serve. Serve with flat breads, fresh vegetables, etc.

Tip: You can also mix nuts into cheese mixture and use to stuff cherry tomatoes and peppadews, sweet peppers or top cucumber rounds, mini party breads, etc. Chill several hours or until ready to serve.

Source: Jarlsberg

Holiday 24 January 2017

Turkey Leftovers With a Twist

(Family Features) Long on ingenuity, but short on prep, these recipes elevate holiday leftovers to celebrity status.  Leftovers ... whether you love ’em, or hate ’em, everyone seems to ponder one thing: What do you do with them, especially after the holidays? You could eat turkey sandwiches every day for a week, or just give up and toss it out altogether. Better yet, you could transform those mounds of turkey, gravy and stuffing into something new and exciting.

Consider a recipe for Turkey Tetrazzini. It puts a new twist on this perennial Italian favorite. This luxurious dish combines Wyler’s Chicken Bouillon granules, butter, cream, white wine and freshly grated Parmesan cheese with your leftover turkey for a dish that’s simple to make but elegant enough to serve for company.

If you want to turn the ordinary into the extraordinary and like to flex your culinary muscles, try Turkey Croquettes. Your friends and family will never guess that the origin of these tasty French delicacies was your own humble turkey dinner. The recipe can add flair to any meal as hors d’oeuvres, a side dish or an entree. Just add Heinz HomeStyle Roasted Turkey Gravy for dipping and a side of cranberry sauce — then sit back, relax, and call it a holiday.

Looking for something the kids or grandkids will love? A savory Leftover Turkey Casserole wins the prize for ease and convenience. Pull up a chair and let your little ones spread the mashed potatoes. They can also help you stir leftover turkey, gravy and stuffing together and spoon it on top of the potatoes. And, if you don’t have any of your famous, home- made gravy left, a jar of Heinz HomeStyle Roasted Turkey Gravy has a taste that’s so close to homemade your guests won’t know the difference. Thirty minutes later you have a leftover holiday dinner reinvented into a new one-dish meal.

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Leftover Turkey Casserole

Serves: 4 to 6

  • 2 1/2 cups prepared mashed potatoes
  • 2 cups cooked, shredded turkey
  • 1 12-ounce jar Heinz HomeStyle Roasted Turkey Gravy
  • 1 cup prepared stuffing
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Spray a 2-quart casserole dish with nonstick cooking spray and spread prepared mashed potatoes in the bottom.
  2. Combine turkey and gravy in large skillet and bring to a simmer, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat and stir in stuffing until thoroughly combined. Add salt and pepper to taste, if desired. Spoon turkey mixture on top of potatoes and spread evenly.
  3. Cover and bake 25 to 30 minutes, or until heated through.

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Turkey Tetrazzini

Serves: 8

  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 3 cups hot water, combined with 1 tablespoon Wyler’s® Chicken Bouillon granules
  • 1/2 cup whole milk
  • 1/2 cup white wine
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1/4 cup chopped parsley
  • Salt and freshly ground
  • black pepper to taste
  • 1 pound fettuccini, cooked al dente
  • 1 pound fresh mushrooms, halved and sautéed until tender
  • 3 cups leftover turkey cubes
  • 1 cup freshly grated
  • Parmesan cheese, divided
  • 1 1/2 cups fresh breadcrumbs
  • Toasted almonds for garnish
  1. Blend butter and flour in saucepan over low heat and cook, stirring constantly, 3 to 4 minutes. Add chicken broth, milk and wine. Cook until thickened. Add cream and parsley and season to taste with salt and pepper. Combine with cooked fettuccini, mushrooms and turkey. Mix in 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese.
  2. Grease 9- by 13-inch glass baking dish; pour tetrazzini mixture into dish. Sprinkle liberally with breadcrumbs and top with remaining Parmesan cheese and toasted almonds.
  3. Bake in a preheated 350°F oven until bubbly, about 30 minutes.

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Turkey Croquettes

Makes: 8 croquettes

Croquettes

  • 1/2 cup chopped onion
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour plus 1/2 cup additional for dredging
  • 1/2 cup whole milk
  • 1/2 cup water plus 1/2 teaspoon Wyler’s® Chicken Bouillon granules
  • 2 cups finely chopped, cooked turkey
  • 3/4 cup mashed potatoes
  • 1/4 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon poultry seasoning
  • Pinch of nutmeg
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • 1/4 cup chopped parsley

Coating

  • 2 large eggs beaten with 1 tablespoon water
  • 1 1/2 cups dry seasoned bread crumbs
  • Vegetable oil for deep-frying
  • Heinz HomeStyle Roasted Turkey Gravy
  • Leftover cranberry sauce
  1. In small saucepan, cook onion in butter over moderately low heat, stirring 5 minutes. Mix in 1/4 cup flour, and cook, stirring constantly, 3 to 4 minutes. Stir in milk and bouillon. Cook mixture, stirring until it forms a paste. Continue to stir and cook paste 3 minutes. Remove pan from heat, stir in turkey, potatoes, paprika, poultry seasoning, nutmeg, salt, pepper and parsley. Combine mixture well.
  2. Chill turkey mixture, covered, 2 hours or until firm. Divide into 8 portions; roll or mold into desired shape. Dredge balls in additional 1/2 cup flour, shaking off excess. Coat balls thoroughly with egg wash, letting excess drip off; then dredge in bread crumbs. Transfer croquettes to parchment paper. Allow them to dry at room temperature for 30 minutes before frying.
  3. In large saucepan, heat 2 inches of oil until deep-fat thermometer registers 365°F. Fry croquettes in batches 3 to 4 minutes, or until golden brown. Transfer to paper towels to drain. Serve croquettes with gravy and cranberry sauce.

Source: Heinz Gravy / Wyler’s Bouillon

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