(Family Features) If you are looking to host an unforgettable holiday cocktail party, punch can make a memorable impression on your guests and bring your get-together to the next level.
Punch reached the height of its popularity during the Victorian Age. Originally made with alcohol, it ultimately became a non-alcoholic drink largely due to the preference of Queen Victoria. Over the following decades, it faded in popularity, briefly regaining favor in the 1920s when champagne punch was a hallmark of parties and celebrations.
Now, as new generations are reinvigorating old favorites and enjoying the art of mixology, punch is trending again.
Start by making punch a visual centerpiece at your holiday party. Consider a charming drink dispenser, an unusual punch bowl or an elegant glass pitcher. Let your personal and unique style shine through with your choice of glassware and table decorations and offer a variety of garnish selections for your guests to further personalize their glasses.
Typically, punches start with a blend of sweet and tangy, and you can get that "swangy" taste with an option like Tree Top's 100% Pure Pressed Sweet & Tart Apple Cider as a base. For inspiration, take a mixologist's approach to creating a memorable punch. Lemon, cinnamon and cloves not only spice up the flavor but can also double as decorations. Try ginger beer for a nice fizzle, and for an adult-only punch, consider adding vodka or rum.
Your punch table can be a place to gather and reconnect with loved ones while enjoying a trending holiday beverage. Find more recipes perfect for entertaining at treetop.com.
Swangy Cider Punch
Servings: 10 (8 ounces each)
- 1 bottle (64 ounces) Tree Top 100% Pure Pressed Sweet & Tart Apple Cider
- 16 ounces ginger beer
- 2 oranges, juice only
- 1 lime, juice only
- 1 lemon, juice only
- 1 cup vodka or light rum (optional)
- 1 sliced Granny Smith apple
- 6 star anise pieces, plus additional for garnish (optional)
- 6 whole cloves
- 3 cinnamon sticks
- frozen cranberries, for garnish (optional)
- colored sugars or ginger crystals, for garnish (optional)
- In punch container, combine apple cider, ginger beer, orange juice, lime juice, lemon juice and vodka or rum, if desired, for an alcoholic version.
- Decorate container with apple slices, star anise pieces, cloves and cinnamon sticks.
- Personalize each serving with additional star anise pieces, frozen cranberries and sugars or ginger crystals, as desired. Serve cold.
Photo courtesy of Alamy
Source: Tree Top
Ahhhh....soda floats. Remember being a kid and getting so excited for a root beer float or a coke float during the hot days of summer? One scoop, then two scoops of vanilla ice cream plopping into the glass. Oh and the root beer, the delectable liquid sugar being poured over the scoops of vanilla ice cream creating a frothy white foam at the top of the glass. You just couldn't wait to drop in a straw and slurp it all up.
Well, nowadays we like to change things up a bit. We like to take a classic and give it twist. VOILA! introducing the Watermelon Soda Float. Not only do you get to plop in scoops of your favorite vanilla ice cream, but you'll add in some watermelon balls, a bit of lime zest and fizzy water to give you the awesome fizz and frothy foam you loved as a kid.
When it's a hot summers day, you'll be pleasantly surprised with the refreshing taste of watermelon, vanilla ice cream and fizzy water in this frothy concoction.
For more beverage ideas, go to culinary.net.
Watermelon Soda Float
- Vanilla Ice cream (2 scoops)
- 12 watermelon balls
- 1/2 cup watermelon juice
- 1/2 teaspoon lime zest
- 1/2 cup fizzy water
- Mix lime zest with watermelon water.
- Place 6 watermelon balls in tall glass.
- Add 1 scoop of vanilla ice cream.
- Add in remaining watermelon balls.
- Add 2nd scoop of ice cream.
- Pour watermelon water over the watermelon balls and ice cream.
- Top off with fizzy water.
Recipe adapted from Watermelon Board.
When it's summertime, you crave for something cold and fruity. Combine frozen strawberries with frozen pink lemonade concentrate and you have a recipe for deliciousness. This fizzy summertime strawberry treat will delight your tastebuds and keep you quenched while basking in the sun.
Find more drink recipes at culinary.net.
- 1 package (10 oz) frozen sliced strawberries, sweetened and thawed
- 2 liters lemon-lime soda, chilled (may substitute for ginger ale)
- 1 can (12oz) frozen pink lemonade concentrate, thawed
- Pour strawberries in a blender and process until blended thoroughly.
- Pour strawberries into a large pitcher; stir in soda and pink lemonade.
- Serve immediately.
Recipe adapted from Taste of Home.
(Family Features) Becoming a master of the grill doesn’t have to be complicated. Test out these seven tips for quick marinades, flavorful sauces and marinade hacks to take your summer grilling to the next level.
- The 5-Minute Marinade
If you want flavorful meat but don’t have the time to wait for a marinade to do its magic, try this technique. In a re-sealable plastic bag, combine your protein and marinade, such as the one in this Sweet and Smokey Grilled Flank Steak. Squeeze the air out of the bag and seal tightly. Massage the meat for 5 minutes, turning the bag over often so the meat absorbs most of the marinade. Remove the meat and discard remaining marinade.
- Bring Your Favorite Brew to the Grill
Don’t just drink that beer; add it to your marinade. This recipe for Mexican Chipotle Shrimp Skewers with Lime Beer Basting Sauce combines a generous pour of your favorite Mexican-style beer with a zesty marinade mix, brown sugar and lime juice for a spicy, citrusy marinade and glaze.
- Pep Up Produce
Hearty slabs of meat may be the heroes of the grill, but fruit and veggies have a rightful place on those smoky grates. These Cabbage Steaks with Bacon Blue Cheeseblend sweet and slightly sour notes with savory crumbles of cheese for a dish that pleases every last one of your taste buds.
- Go for White Barbecue Sauce
Discover the south’s tangy little secret, white barbecue sauce. This White BBQ Sauce with Smoky Chicken artfully blends the creamy sauce – complete with the bite of creole mustard and horseradish – with smoked chicken. You can also use it as a dip for fresh veggies or drizzled over salad greens.
- Grill a Whole Fish
Grilling a whole fish may seem intimidating, but it can be done in a few simple steps. To prepare this Applewood Grilled Whole Fish, start by patting the fish dry. Score the sides and brush liberally with oil. Then add seasonings or a rub, and stuff the cavity with citrus slices before placing directly on the grill.
- Switch Up Your Sear
An imperfect sear can result in dry, tough meat. Instead, use this recipe for Sweet Soy Bourbon Chickento practice a tried-and-true technique from grilling experts: start with indirect heat for evenly cooked, juicy meat then finish over high heat for a crispy char on each side.
- Accent Chimichurri with Blue Cheese
Blue cheese adds intense flavor to the classic garlic-tang of chimichurri. Try it with this recipe for Beer Marinated Flank Steak with Blue Cheese Chimichurri.
(Family Features) Dozens of streaming video providers are making it easier than ever to watch the TV programming you want when you want it, and exclusive programming released an entire season at a time is transforming the way Americans watch TV. The flip side of this convenience is a surge in binge-watching, which can have some negative side effects, including binge eating.
When your favorite show is available back-to-back, it’s easy to let substantial blocks of time get away as you watch “just one more” episode to follow the twists and turns of the plot. In fact, according to a recent survey by Dole, the average binge-watching session clocks in around 5 hours. The same survey found that more than two-thirds of people prefer healthy snacks to fuel their marathon viewing.
Treating yourself to an occasional binge session may give your brain a well-earned break, and it’s easy to do many forms of exercise in front of the screen. The trick to keeping your binge-watching session in check and getting rid of the guilt is to exercise good habits when you head to the kitchen.
- Opt for snacks that include valuable vitamins and minerals.
- Keep your kitchen stocked with ingredients such as high quality, ready-to-eat Dole Jarred Fruit so you can create quick and easy snacks with a serving of fruit in between episodes or during a commercial break.
- Look for quick solutions that help trim prep time and skip the cutting, peeling and mess.
- Avoid waste or spoilage with convenient, re-sealable lids that let you use what you need for a single serving and save the rest for later.
- Get creative to satisfy cravings. Instead of reaching for cookies or cake, dip fruit in melted chocolate and pop it in the freezer. Let it sit while you watch a few episodes of your favorite show and then enjoy.
Find more quick and easy snacks that can be made during a commercial break at dolesunshine.com.
- Pre-made flatbread crust
- Broccoli rabe
- Cooked and chopped turkey bacon
- Dole Jarred Mandarin Oranges
- Cover flatbread with chopped broccoli rabe, turkey bacon and oranges.
- Low-fat yogurt
- Dole Jarred Sliced Peaches
- In cup or jar, alternate layering yogurt, granola and chopped peaches. Top with mint and serve immediately.
Brightened Up Caprese Salad
- Fresh mozzarella cheese
- Dole Jarred Sliced Peaches
- Fresh basil
- Salt, to taste
- Pepper, to taste
- Balsamic glaze
- Arrange alternate slices of mozzarella and peaches. Sprinkle fresh basil, season with salt and pepper, to taste, and drizzle with balsamic glaze.
- Whole-wheat bread
- Dole Jarred Sliced Peaches
- Crushed red pepper flakes
- Slice avocado in half, remove pit and scoop out avocado into bowl. Smash until desired consistency.
- Toast bread, layer with avocado and top with peaches. Season with salt, pepper and crushed red pepper flakes.
1-2-3 Chicken Wrap
- Whole-wheat tortilla
- Dole Jarred Mandarin Oranges
- Cooked chicken, chopped
- Yogurt-based dressing of choice
- Lay tortilla flat and add spinach, oranges and chicken. Top with dressing. Fold, cut and serve.
Substitution: Preferred greens can be added in place of or in addition to spinach
Tropical Fruit Salsa
- Dole Jarred Tropical Fruit
- 1 white onion
- 1 bunch cilantro
- 1 jalapeno
- 1 lime, juiced
- Tortilla chips
- Chop 2 cups fruit, dice onion, chop cilantro and seed and mince jalapeno.
- Combine ingredients and stir in lime juice. Serve alongside tortilla chips.
Source: Dole Jarred Fruit
(Family Features) A bake sale is a sweet way to support any charitable cause, whether it’s raising money for new uniforms or donating to a local animal shelter. These tips and recipes from the celebration experts at Wilton will make bake sale treats that stand out among the rest — it’s a piece of cake.
- Baking delicious goodies is just the start to a successful bake sale. Add some dazzling details. The eye-catching finishes on Bake-Sale Ready Cupcakes — swirls of colorful icing topped with jumbo sprinkles and butterfly decorations, complete with vibrant wraps — will ensure they sell out fast.
- Serve sweets-on-a-stick like Kaleidoscope Cookie Pops and School Star Cereal Treat Pops. Favorite treats are more fun and easier to eat when customers can just grab them and enjoy.
- Offer size options. Sell some cupcakes and mini breads by the “eaches” and cookies by the pop. Have dozens available, too.
- Wrap goodies using treat bags and ribbon, or pack in colorful, easy-to-transport boxes — making them perfect gifts customers will want to keep for themselves.
Visit www.wilton.com for other bake sale ideas and recipes, and for all of your baking and decorating supplies.
Coconut Lime Mini Breads
Makes 9 petite loaves
- 1-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon finely grated lime zest
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, softened
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 3 eggs
- 1-1/2 teaspoons coconut extract
- 1/3 cup unsweetened coconut milk
- 1/2 cup confectioners’ sugar
- 1 to 2 teaspoons fresh lime juice
- 3 tablespoons toasted sweetened flaked coconut
- Preheat oven to 350°F. Line cavities of Petite Loaf Pan with Petite Loaf Baking Cups.
- In medium bowl, combine flour, lime zest and baking powder. In large bowl, beat butter and sugar with electric mixer until light and fluffy. Add eggs one at a time, mixing well after each addition. Stir in coconut extract. Add flour mixture alternately with coconut milk to butter mixture; mix until well combined. Divide mixture evenly into baking cups.
- Bake 25 to 28 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool loaves in pan 10 minutes. Remove loaves from pan; cool completely.
- To make icing, combine confectioners’ sugar and lime juice in small bowl to desired consistency. Drizzle icing over tops of loaves, allowing icing to run down sides. Sprinkle with toasted coconut.
Zucchini & Apple Bread
Makes about 12 servings
- 2-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1-1/4 cups granulated sugar
- 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 3/4 cup vegetable oil
- 3 eggs
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 medium zucchini, shredded (about 1-1/2 cups)
- 1 medium apple, peeled, cored and shredded (about 1 cup)
- 3/4 cup chopped pecans or walnuts
- Preheat oven to 325°F. Spray 9 x 5-inch loaf pan with vegetable pan spray.
- In large bowl, combine flour, sugar, cinnamon, baking powder, salt and nutmeg. In medium bowl, whisk together oil, eggs and vanilla. Stir into flour mixture. Stir in zucchini, apple and pecans, mixing until just combined. (Do not overmix.) Turn mixture into prepared pan.
- Bake 50 to 60 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool bread in pan 10 minutes. Loosen edges of bread from pan. Remove bread from pan; cool completely.
Kaleidoscope Cookie Pops
Makes about 2 dozen cookies
- 2-3/4 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened
- 1-1/2 cups granulated sugar
- 1 egg
- 1-1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1/2 teaspoon almond extract
- Round Comfort Grip Cutter
- Assorted Colors Cookie Icing
- Assorted Jumbo Sprinkles or other favorite Sugars and Sprinkles
- Cookie Treat Sticks
- Candy Melts candy (optional)
- Preheat oven to 350°F.
- In small bowl, combine flour, baking powder and salt. In large bowl, beat butter and sugar with electric mixer until light and fluffy. Add egg and extracts; mix well. Do not chill dough.
- Divide dough into 2 balls. On floured surface, roll each ball into a circle approximately 12-inch diameter x 1/8-inch thick. Dip cookie cutter in flour before each use. Bake cookies on ungreased cookie sheet 8 to 11 minutes or until cookies are lightly browned. Cool cookies completely.
- Outline and fill-in cookie with Cookie Icing. Add zigzag border to some cookies. If desired, pipe alternating circles of colors onto cookie surface; immediately pull toothpick through icing from center of cookie to outer edge, pulling colors through. Or, arrange sprinkles and sugars on iced cookie surface. Let dry.
- Attach sticks to back of cookies with icing or melted candy. Let dry.
Bake Sale-Ready Cupcakes
Each cupcake serves 1
- Assorted Primary, Gold or Silver Baking Cups
- Favorite cupcake recipe or mix
- Buttercream or Chocolate Buttercream Icing
- Golden Yellow or other desired Icing Color
- Jumbo Stars and Jumbo Nonpareil Sprinkles
- Butterfly or other favorite Icing Decorations
- Preheat oven to 350°F. Line cavities of standard muffin pan with baking cups.
- Bake your favorite cupcakes in prepared pan. Cool completely. Color buttercream icing with icing color. Pipe tip 1M buttercream or chocolate buttercream icing swirl on cupcake top; insert icing decoration.
School Star Cereal Treat Pops
Makes about 2 dozen pops
- 1/4 cup (1/2 stick) butter or margarine
- 4 cups mini marshmallows
- 6 cups crisp rice cereal
- Cookie Treat Sticks
- Cookie Icing
- Assorted Sprinkles
- Spray Star Cookie Treat Pan and rubber spatula or wooden spoon with vegetable pan spray.
- In large saucepan, melt butter. Add marshmallows; cook and stir until melted. Remove from heat and add cereal; mix well. Press into prepared pan; insert cookie sticks. When cool to touch, remove from pan. Repeat with remaining cereal mixture. (If mixture becomes hard to work with, microwave at 50 percent power 30 to 60 seconds to soften.)
- Outline treat with Cookie Icing; add Sprinkles. Let dry.
- 2 packages (12 oz. ea.) White or Light Cocoa Candy Melts candy
- Rainbow Chip Crunch or other Sprinkles or Sugars
- Line 10.5 x 15.5-inch cookie pan with parchment paper.
- Melt Candy Melts candy following package instructions; spoon into prepared pan. Tap pan on counter to remove air bubbles; if needed, smooth top with large spatula. Sprinkle on Rainbow Chip Crunch. Chill until firm, about 15 minutes. Remove parchment from pan; break candy into smaller serving pieces.
Source: Wilton Enterprises
Moscato Moscow Mule
- 4 ounces ginger beer
- 3 ounces Gallo Family Vineyards Moscato
- 1 ounce lime juice
- 1 lime wheel
- 1 mint sprig for garnish
- Pour ginger beer, Moscato and lime juice into ice-filled copper mug. Garnish with lime wheel and mint sprig.
Source: Gallo Family Vineyards
Makes: 50 servings
Choose from Juanita’s Foods Traditional Menudo or Hot & Spicy — based on your preference.
- 3 1-gallon cans Juanita’s Foods Menudo
- 2 1-gallon cans Juanita’s Foods Hot & Spicy Menudo
- 10 onions, diced
- 5 cups chopped fresh cilantro
- 12 limes, in wedges
- 2 cups dried oregano
- 2 cups crushed chilies
- Simply heat and serve menudo according to package directions. Set out raw onions, cilantro, lime wedges, oregano, chilies or any of your personal favorites and allow your guests to garnish menudo according to their individual tastes.
Source: Jaunita's Foods
(Family Features) It’s summer and there’s little that can compare to the refreshing sparkle that fresh lemon or lime gives a tall glass of iced tea or an ice-cold bottle of water. (And how about that great citrus taste on grilled fish?) But it’s not always easy — or convenient — to bring a whole lemon or lime with you when you’re on the go. Worse yet, it’s so frustrating to reach for a fresh lemon or lime at home only to realize either you’re out or they’ve gone bad sitting in your refrigerator.
Now, there’s good news for lemon and lime lovers. Fresh squeezed lemon and lime taste is now as simple as a tear of a packet or a shake of a bottle — and you don’t have to worry about it going bad before you’ve had a chance to use it. True Lemon and True Lime crystallized lemon and lime substitutes are made with 100 percent all-natural ingredients including real lemon and lime juice and oils. Available in packets and now rolling out nationwide in shaker containers, both can be used just like you would fresh lemon or lime juice.
True Lemon and True Lime can add true citrus flavor to:
- Drinks and smoothies,
- Marinades, rubs and flavoring pastes,
- Main dishes,
- Fruits, vegetables and side dishes,
- Desserts and
- Any dish or drink that needs flavor-enhancing lemon or lime.
Convenient packets of the all-natural crystallized lemon and lime are also great to take to the office, to the gym or on summer vacation — anytime you’re on the go. Each packet contains the equivalent of 1 tablespoon of fresh lemon or lime juice with no calories, carbohydrates, preservatives or sodium, but with a full 25 percent of an adult’s daily vitamin C requirement. True Lemon and True Lime shakers have the same health benefits and offer an easy way for home chefs to sprinkle on a zesty citrus taste. They are also a great salt substitute for those watching their sodium intake.
For more information and recipes, visit www.truelemon.com.
Luscious Lime Summer Smoothie
Makes 1-1/2 cups
- 3/4 cup orange juice
- 2 packets True Lime
- 1 ripe medium banana
- 3 tablespoons chopped fresh mint
- 2 kiwi fruit, peeled and halved
- 2 cups crushed ice
- Place all ingredients in blender and blend until smooth.
Lemon Herb Salmon
- 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 4 packets True Lemon
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 1/8 teaspoon rosemary
- 1/2 teaspoon thyme
- 1 tablespoon chives
- 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 4 medium salmon steaks, cut 1/4 inch thick
- In large bowl, combine all ingredients except salmon steaks; mix well. Add fish to bowl; spoon marinade over fish until well coated. Cover; refrigerate at least 2 hours, turning fish over after 1 hour.
- Place fish on broiler pan or on hot grill. Broil or grill 4 to 6 inches from heat, 10 to 15 minutes or until fish flakes easily with fork.
Source: True Lemon
(Family Features) If you’re looking for a new take on home-style cooking, then George Duran has the recipe for you. Duran is a popular Food Network host and chef who likes to take favorite American dishes and give them a delightful twist. PBJ Bread Pudding, Cheeseburger Frittata and Tex-Mex Lasagna are just a few of the dishes he’s twisted.
“Comfort food is something that brings Americans together,” said Duran, “but I noticed that I was going to be limited with the number and originality of recipes I could introduce. (After all, how many ways can you make a PBJ sandwich?) That’s when I decided to take classic American flavors and twist them into a gourmet dish.”
Duran says that keeping these 10 must-have ingredients in the pantry makes it easy to turn a midnight snack into a work of art: curry paste, nonstick cooking spray, bacon, ground cumin, coconut milk, red wine, chipotle hot sauce, pine nuts, fresh cilantro, and vanilla ice cream.
In his new book, “Take This Dish And Twist It: Comfort Food with New & Unexpected Flavors” (Meredith Books; November 2008), Duran re-imagines familiar foods and makes them fantastic in over 100 recipes.
Break out of the ordinary by adding fun along with flavor to your favorite comfort foods. Your taste buds will be glad you did.
Pepperoni Pizza Soup
Prep: 15 minutes
Cook: 6 minutes
Broil: 3 minutes
Yield: 4 servings
- 2 (10.75-ounce) cans condensed tomato soup
- 3 cups water
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 11⁄2 cups dried elbow macaroni (or other short dried pasta such as ditalini or alphabets)
- 2 green onions, sliced
- 2 teaspoons dried oregano, crushed
- 1⁄3 cup diced pepperoni
- 1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese (4 ounces)
- 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese (4 ounces)
- dried oregano
- Preheat broiler.
In large pan put soup, water, and garlic; bring to a boil over high heat. Stir in macaroni, green onion, oregano, and pepperoni; cook for 6 to 8 minutes or until macaroni is almost done.
- Pour soup into 4 oven-proof bowls. Top each with 1⁄4 cup mozzarella cheese, 1⁄4 cup cheddar cheese, and some oregano. Broil for 3 to 5 minutes or until cheese is bubbly and lightly browned.
- Or serve soup in a small round, crusty loaf of bread. Cut top off bread and scoop out insides. Fill with soup, top with cheeses, and broil as directed above. Try different “toppings” as well, such as mushrooms, onions, and sausage.
Granny Smith Guacamole
Prep: 10 minutes
Yield: 8 to 10 servings
- 3 ripe avocados, halved and pitted
- ½ cup finely chopped Vidalia onion
- ½ cup snipped fresh cilantro
- Juice of 1 lime
- Bottled hot pepper sauce, to taste
- 1 Granny Smith apple, peeled, cored, and finely chopped
- Kosher salt or table salt, to taste
- Assorted dippers (baked fruit crisps, apple chips, and/or tortilla chips)
- Scoop avocado flesh into bowl; add onion, cilantro, lime juice, and hot pepper sauce. Mash with fork until it reaches the desired consistency. Stir in apple and season with salt to taste.
- Serve with dippers.
Source: Meredith Corporation