Meal Ideas 15 March 2019

Easy Al Fresco Entertaining

(Family Features) Dining out in the fresh air always seems to turn even a simple meal into an event. You can turn your next dinner party into a memorable event with these simple and delicious recipes.

- Rosemary Almond Crackers make a terrific appetizer served alongside cheese or a savory dip.
- Spiced Almonds can be served in a martini glass for a stylish addition to any party.
- Almond Crusted Shrimp are deceptively easy - and distinctly delicious.
- Banana Almond Kahlúa Frappés are a cool and creamy way to finish off the evening.

California Almonds aren't just delicious, crunchy, and ideal for any snack or mealtime, they're also a nutritious solution that adds a burst of flavor and texture to any recipe.

For more entertaining tips and recipes, visit AlmondBoard.com.

Nutrition Made Easy - and Delicious

California Almonds are an excellent source of Vitamin E (35% DV), magnesium (20% DV), manganese (.648 mg), fiber (3.5 g), protein (6 g), copper (0.3 mg), phosphorus (137 mg), and riboflavin (0.3 mg). Plus, a one-ounce serving has 13 grams of good unsaturated fats, just 1 gram of saturated fat, and is always cholesterol- and gluten-free.

Here are some more ideas for making your next gathering a little more special - and a little more nutritious.

- Craving something sweet? Try adding toasted sliced almonds and crumbled biscotti to your favorite gelato.
- In a nonstick skillet over medium-low heat, toss whole natural or slivered almonds in a small amount of vegetable oil until golden. Add your choice of dried herbs and then sprinkle over salads, vegetables, or pasta for the perfect accent. And - if you don't have time to make your own, grab your favorite flavored almonds from your local grocer.

Rosemary Almond Crackers

Created by Elana Amsterdam author of "The Gluten-Free Almond Flour Cookbook"
Makes 24 crackers

  • 1 3/4 cups blanched almond flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh rosemary
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 egg
  1. In large bowl, combine almond flour, salt and rosemary. In medium bowl, whisk together olive oil and egg. Stir wet ingredients into almond flour mixture until thoroughly combined.
  2. Roll dough into a ball and press between 2 sheets of parchment paper to 1/8-inch thickness. Remove top piece of parchment paper.
  3. Transfer the bottom piece with rolled out dough onto baking sheet. Cut dough into 2-inch squares with a knife or pizza cutter.
  4. Bake at 350°F for 12 to 15 minutes, until lightly golden. Let crackers cool on baking sheet for 30 minutes, then serve.

Almond Crusted Shrimp

Created by Almond Board of California
Makes 4 servings

  • 1/2 cup ground almonds
  • 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoons minced fresh parsley, or 1/2 teaspoon dried
  • 1/2 teaspoon seafood seasoning
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 pound (61- to 70-count) shrimp, with tails and veins removed
  • 1 egg white
  • 2 tablespoons almond or corn oil, divided
  • 1 lemon, cut into wedges
  1. Stir together almonds, flour, parsley, seafood seasoning, salt and pepper.
  2. Dip each shrimp in egg white, then in almond mixture; lay on a baking sheet or platter until ready to cook. Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a large skillet; grill shrimp in batches on medium heat, cooking 3 to 4 minutes, turning once, until pink and golden. Use remaining 1 tablespoon oil as necessary.
  3. Serve shrimp immediately, accompanied by lemon wedges.

Spiced Almonds

Created by Ellie Krieger author of "So Easy: Luscious Healthy Recipes for Every Meal of the Week"
Makes 8 servings

  • 1 large egg white
  • 2 teaspoons sweet paprika
  • 2 teaspoons dark brown sugar
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 2 cups natural almonds
  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. In large bowl whisk together egg white, paprika, sugar, salt, Worcestershire sauce, and cayenne pepper until well combined. Add almonds and toss until evenly coated.
  3. Transfer almonds to parchment lined baking tray; spread out to form a single layer. Bake for 20 minutes, until the coating is crisp. Almonds will continue to crisp as they cool. Allow to cool completely then break up any nuts that are stuck together. Nuts will keep up to 5 days in an airtight container.

Banana Almond Kahlúa Frappé

Created by Almond Board of California
Makes 4 servings

  • 1 cup crushed ice or 1 1/2 cups ice cubes
  • 2 medium bananas, cut into chunks
  • 4 ounces almond milk
  • 2 ounces Kahlúa or other coffee liqueur
  • 1/2 ounce Irish cream liqueur
  • 4 whole natural or blanched almonds
  1. Combine ice, bananas, almond milk and liqueurs in a blender; blend until smooth. Divide among 4 old-fashioned glasses and garnish each with an almond; serve immediately.

Source: California Almond Board

Holiday 13 March 2019

Pantry Secrets for Easter Dinner

(Family Features) You probably don't know it, but you may have the secret ingredients for an exceptional Easter dinner in your pantry right now. The holidays are a perfect opportunity to sprinkle creativity into special meals by using staples like pancake mix, syrup and instant mashed potatoes in unexpected ways to craft new and delicious dishes the whole family will love.

Here are ways to use up what you already have to make a complete Easter menu, including savory Bacon and Cheese Appetizer Bites, Spinach Salad with Warm Maple Dijon Vinaigrette, Maple Glazed Pork Tenderloin, and a sweet Spiced Mocha Fudge Cake. You'll create an Easter meal worth celebrating and make your hungry family a happy one.

For more creative recipes and tips, visit www.hungryjack.com.

Spiced Mocha Fudge Cake

Makes: 12 servings
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour

CAKE:

  • Crisco Original No-Stick Cooking Spray
  • 4 (1-ounce) squares unsweetened baking chocolate
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 1cup hot brewed Folgers Classic Roast® Coffee
  • 2/3 cup Hungry Jack Instant Mashed Potato Flakes
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper (optional)
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 4 large eggs, separated
  • 1/2 cup Pillsbury BEST® All Purpose Flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • Powdered sugar

SPICED WHIPPED CREAM:

  • 1/2 pint whipping cream
  • 3 tablespoons powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
  1. HEAT oven to 350°F. Line bottom of a 9-inch springform pan with parchment paper. Coat paper with no-stick cooking spray. Place chocolate and butter in medium microwave-safe bowl. Microwave on HIGH power 45 to 60 seconds or until chocolate is melted and smooth when stirred.
  2. COMBINE coffee, potato flakes, cinnamon and cayenne in large mixing bowl, stirring until moistened. Blend in sugar and vanilla. Blend in chocolate mixture and egg yolks. Stir together flour, baking powder and salt. Gradually blend into chocolate mixture.
  3. BEAT egg whites on medium speed of electric mixer until stiff. Add to chocolate mixture and blend on low speed until completely blended, scraping sides and bottom of bowl frequently. Pour batter into prepared pan. Bake 55 to 60 minutes or until set in center. Cool completely in pan on wire rack. Remove from pan. Sprinkle liberally with powdered sugar.
  4. COMBINE whipping cream, powdered sugar, cinnamon and vanilla in medium mixing bowl. Beat on medium speed of electric mixer until stiff. Serve with cake.

Maple Glazed Pork Tenderloin

Makes: 4 servings
Prep Time: 7 minutes
Cook Time: 12 minutes

  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme leaves, crushed
  • 1 teaspoon dried marjoram leaves, crushed
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 pound pork tenderloin, cut into 1/2-inch slices
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 2 tablespoons Hungry Jack Original Regular Syrup
  1. COMBINE thyme, marjoram, salt, onion powder and garlic powder in large resealable food storage bag. Seal bag and shake well. Add pork slices. Seal bag. Shake to coat.
  2. MELT butter in large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add pork mixture. Cook and stir 8 to 10 minutes or until pork is browned and no longer pink in center. Add syrup. Cook and stir until pork is glazed.

Spinach Salad with Warm Maple Dijon Vinaigrette

Makes: 4 servings
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 1 minute

  • 1/4 cup Hungry Jack Original Syrup
  • 3 tablespoons cider vinegar
  • 4 teaspoons Dijon mustard
  • 1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves, minced, or 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme leaves
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/2 cup Crisco 100% Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 1 (6-ounce) bag fresh baby spinach leaves
  • 1 small unpeeled red apple, cored and thinly sliced
  • 1/2 cup crumbled blue cheese
  • 2 tablespoons crumbled cooked bacon or real bacon bits
  1. WHISK together syrup, vinegar, mustard, thyme, garlic, salt and pepper in a medium microwave-safe bowl until well blended. Gradually whisk in oil, stirring until thickened.
  2. COMBINE spinach, apple, cheese and bacon in a large bowl. Just before serving, microwave vinaigrette on HIGH for 30 to 45 seconds or until warm. Drizzle salad with desired amount of vinaigrette; toss salad and serve immediately.

Bacon and Cheese Appetizer Bites

Makes: 24 appetizers
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes

  • Crisco® Original No-Stick Cooking Spray
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • 1 cup Hungry Jack Buttermilk Complete Pancake & Waffle Mix (Just Add Water)
  • 1/2 cup (2 ounces) shredded cheddar cheese
  • 1/4 cup bacon, cooked and crumbled
  • 2 tablespoons butter, melted
  • Paprika
  1. HEAT oven to 400°F. Spray cookie sheet with no-stick cooking spray.
  2. MIX sour cream and water in medium bowl until well combined. Add pancake mix, cheese and bacon pieces. Stir just until dry ingredients are moistened. Drop by rounded teaspoons onto prepared cookie sheet.
  3. BAKE 10 to 12 minutes or until lightly browned. Brush with melted butter, sprinkle with paprika. Serve warm.

(c)/® The J.M. Smucker Company. Folgers Classic Roast is a trademark of The Folgers Coffee Company. Pillsbury BEST is a trademark of The Pillsbury Company, LLC, used under license.

Source: Hungry Jack

Holiday 01 November 2018

A Fitting Snack for Holiday Festivities

(Family Features) The to-do list for holiday hosts seems to be a never-ending one, starting with planning, guest lists and preparation then ending with goodbyes and cleanup. The hours of work that go into a festive get-together are almost always worth it in the end, and family members surely appreciate the hospitality – especially when it comes to food.

When hosting for the holidays, it can be a challenge to accommodate all of your guests’ favorite tastes while factoring in dietary preferences and restrictions. Building out a balanced menu, like other parts of hosting, starts with devising a thought-out plan.

To help accomplish this task without cooking up personal dishes for everybody in the house, consider these simple tips:

  • Request that guests RSVP. Assuming you have a basic understanding of which friends and family members adhere to special diets, knowing exactly who is coming can be a major help before heading to the store.
  • Think back to past festivities. Try to remember which dishes were hits at last year’s party, and which ones were hardly touched. Maybe the appetizers that disappeared in a flash will be good ideas to repeat this year.
  • Create dishes that fit (almost) everyone. While you can’t control guests’ flavor preferences, it is possible to whip up snack trays, main courses, desserts and more that fit a multitude of dietary restrictions. For example, these Bacon, Baked Brie and Cranberry Holiday Melts feature Crunchmaster Multi-Grain Crackers for a gluten-free, non-GMO, low-sugar, tasty crunch. Because they’re made with wholesome ingredients, these simple snacks are crafted to fit nearly every healthy lifestyle. Plus, if multiple family members adhere to vegetarian lifestyles, you can simply omit the bacon.
  • Add “warning” labels. Despite your best efforts, it can be nearly impossible to create foods every single person can enjoy. If you make a dish containing a common allergen, such as peanuts, simply place a card next to the bowl, tray, plate or pan that informs guests of the ingredients included.

For other recipes, coupons, tips and nutritional information, visit crunchmaster.com.

Bacon, Baked Brie and Cranberry Holiday Melts

Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 5 minutes
Servings: 6

  • 24        Crunchmaster Multi-Grain Crackers, Sea Salt flavor
  • 24        small slices Brie cheese
  • 1/4       cup prepared cranberry sauce
  • 2          slices bacon, cooked and crumbled
  1. Heat broiler to high and position rack in center of oven. Arrange crackers in single layer on foil-lined baking sheet.
  2. Top each cracker with slice of Brie, 1/2 teaspoon cranberry sauce and sprinkle of bacon. Broil 1-2 minutes, or until cheese is melted.  

Tip: For vegetarian option, substitute chopped hickory-smoked almonds or pecans for bacon.

Nutritional information per serving: 200 calories; 13 g fat; 7 g saturated fat; 45 mg cholesterol; 350 mg sodium; 11 g carbohydrates; 1 g fiber; 4 g sugar; 10 g protein.

Source: Crunchmaster

Appetizers & Sides 01 November 2018

Appetizers for Easy Entertaining

(Family Features) When it comes time to entertain family and friends, it’s important to have a few simple, warm appetizers and small plates at the ready. Plan your menu with recipes that can be prepped ahead of time and popped in the oven when guests arrive. It can make hosting easier and more enjoyable.

A versatile ingredient that can enhance your favorite sweet and savory recipes, Musselman’s Apple Butter is more than just a spread. It’s made the old-fashioned way for perfect texture and a rich apple-cinnamon flavor, giving parties and get-togethers a unique taste in recipes like these Apple Brie Bites and Apple Butter Bacon-Wrapped Shrimp.

Find more appetizers ideal for entertaining at musselmans.com.

Apple Butter Bacon-Wrapped Shrimp

Servings: 10

  • 3/4       cup Musselman’s Apple Butter
  • 1/2       cup maple syrup
  • 1/2       teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1/2       teaspoon salt
  • 1/2       teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 10        pieces bacon
  • 10        extra-large shrimp, cleaned and deveined
  • chopped cilantro, for garnish (optional)
  1. Heat oven to 400° F. Line rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. In medium-sized skillet over medium heat, add apple butter, maple syrup, red pepper flakes, salt and paprika. Whisk until mixture is thick and cooked down by half, about 10 minutes. Set aside.
  3. In large skillet over medium heat, add bacon slices and cook until browned but still flexible.  Remove from pan and drain on paper towel-lined plate.
  4. Wrap one bacon slice around each shrimp, secure with toothpick and place onto prepared baking sheet.
  5. Once all shrimp have been wrapped, baste tops with apple butter mixture.
  6. Bake 5 minutes then flip and baste other side of shrimp. Bake another 5 minutes. Continue to flip and baste shrimp (2 minutes each time) until shrimp is fully cooked. Do not overcook as glaze can burn. Sprinkle with cilantro, if desired.

Apple Brie Bites

Servings: 24

  • 1          sheet puff pastry, thawed
  • 5          ounces Brie cheese
  • 1/2       cup Musselman's Apple Butter
  • 1/4       cup pecans, chopped
  1. Heat oven to 400° F. Grease mini muffin pan.
  2. Press seams of puff pastry sheet together. Cut sheet into quarters then each quarter into six pieces. 
  3. Use rolling pin to flatten each piece of pastry into square shape. Place one square into each muffin cup.
  4. Put 1/2 teaspoon brie, 1 teaspoon apple butter and 1/2 teaspoon chopped pecans into each muffin cup.
  5. Bake 13-15 minutes until golden brown. Serve warm.

Source:

Meal Ideas 01 November 2018

8 Simple Small Plates for Holiday Entertaining

(Family Features) For holiday parties of any size, tasty appetizers and starters are menu must-haves. While the main course roasts and before dessert is served, guests may flock to the table for snacks and small plates to keep cravings at bay.

When pre-dinner hunger strikes at your holiday gathering, be the center of attention with quick, delicious and simple appetizers that deliver exactly what your guests crave. One way to be the star of your holiday soiree is with Litehouse’s rich and flavorful Simply Artisan Reserve blue cheese and gorgonzola center cuts. Whether the foundation of a delicious cheese plate or crumbled in a recipe – such as one of these eight apps – it’s a win-win solution.

Find more holiday solutions and appetizer recipes at litehousefoods.com.

  1. Pear Obatzda

    Traditionally served with fresh pretzels, this 15-minute Obatzda recipe is the perfect dip for the snack table. The savory taste of pear can keep the whole party satisfied. 

  1. Steak Crostini

    With appetizers, the name of the game is providing quick bites that make for easy eating. Look no further than bite-sized Steak Crostini served with blue cheese and crackers. 

  1. Grilled Raspberry, Basil and Blue Cheese Sandwich

    Handheld nibbles go a long way when entertaining a crowd, which is why sandwiches are an obvious solution. Go for sourdough bread and melty cheese like mozzarella and Litehouse Simply Artisan Reserve Blue Cheese to make this appetizer a snap. 

  1. Bacon Blue Cheese and Mac

    This mac and cheese recipe can help please guests of all ages, but there’s just one problem: it’ll be gone quicker than you think.

  

  1. Gorgonzola, Grape and Honey Crostini

    A quick and easy appetizer, this crostini recipe is perfect for entertaining guests because there is minimal prep involved. Gorgonzola, juicy grapes and sweet honey converge for a delightful snack. 

  1. Blue Cheese, Pomegranate and Quinoa Caviar

    If you’re going for classy without all the hassle, 5 minutes is all you need. This quinoa caviar recipe comes together in almost no time by incorporating blue cheese and pomegranate for a decadent starter.  

  

  1. Figgy Blue Cheese Bacon Bites

    Guests at holiday parties typically crowd the kitchen anyway, but blue cheese and fig cookies wrapped in bacon can make it hard for even the most patient eaters to stay away. 

  1. Harvest Salad

    For those trying to save room for the main course, a light salad is a great option. Freshen up a standard salad with sliced apple and pear and tangy Simply Artisan Reserve Gorgonzola Cheese.

Source: Litehouse

Appetizers & Sides 14 September 2018

Exquisite Eating

Small plates to make for appealing dishes

(Family Features) Imagine treating yourself and your dinner guests to a delicious, restaurant-caliber meal without leaving your dining room or hiring a personal chef. Small plates, also known as tapas, are lighter, bite-sized indulgences that you can prepare and style seamlessly. By putting your own artful, unique spin on small plates, you can indulge in a meal that appeals to the senses and conveys sophistication.

It can be easy to create delicious small plates: all you need are wholesome, seasonal ingredients to pair with an artisan-crafted, quality olive oil such as Carapelli. The line, with three varieties to explore, brings a renaissance to the modern kitchen and is ideal for endeavoring chefs looking to try new flavors and experiment with tastes or recipes. It embodies a true passion for the art of creating extra-virgin olive oils and is designed to lift cooks out of the everyday cooking experience.

Keep in mind that when it comes to small plates, what’s important isn’t just the recipe, but the plate – and plating – of the cuisine itself. Foods that appeal to the eye are likely to tempt the taste buds as well. Invest in appropriate-sized dishware for small plates that allows the food to take center-stage.

For a true multi-sensory indulgence, also take time to garnish your dishes, big and small, with edible enhancements that lend a subtle complement to the main attraction. A selection of fresh greens, sprinkling of herbs and even a light drizzle of olive oil can do the trick.

Plan how you’ll adapt your favorite dishes for size – and season – with more tips and recipes at carapelliusa.com.
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Carrots and Fresh Herbs with Champagne-Dijon Vinaigrette

Prep time: 10 minutes
Servings: 6

Champagne-Dijon Vinaigrette:

  • 2          tablespoons champagne vinegar
  • 1          teaspoon Dijon Mustard
  • 1          tablespoon clover honey
  • 1/2       cup Carapelli Organic Olive Oil
  • 1/2       teaspoon garlic, minced
  • 1/2       teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/4       teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1          teaspoon fresh parsley, finely chopped
  • 1          teaspoon basil, finely chopped

 

  • 1          pound carrots, peeled and finely shredded
  • 2          tablespoons Italian parsley, chopped
  • 2          tablespoons chives, thinly sliced, plus more cut into 3/4-inch  pieces, for garnish
  • 1/3       cup Champagne Vinaigrette
  • fine sea salt, to taste
  • freshly ground black pepper,  to taste
  • chive sticks, for garnish
  1. In medium mixing bowl, combine champagne vinegar, Dijon and honey. Whisk constantly until well combined. While whisking, slowly drizzle in olive oil to emulsify. Add garlic, salt, pepper, parsley and basil: whisk to combine.
  2. In mixing bowl, toss carrots, parsley and chives. Add dressing. Season, to taste, with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper. Garnish with chive sticks.

Notes: Vinaigrette can be stored in refrigerator up to five days. For zestier salad, add additional 2 tablespoons vinaigrette to carrots; serve with crusty bread.
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Whipped Ricotta and Goat Cheese Beet Skewers

Prep time: 20 minutes
Cook time: 3 hours, plus cooling time
Servings: 42 skewers

Beets:

  • 2          beets (about 1 pound), 3 inches in diameter, peeled and sliced into 3/4-inch chunks
  • 1          tablespoon Carapelli Oro Verde Extra Virgin Olive Oil, plus more for drizzling
  • 1/2       teaspoon fresh thyme leaves
  • 1          teaspoon sea salt
  • arugula, for garnish
  • flaked sea salt, for garnish

Whipped Ricotta and Goat Cheese:

  • 4          ounces goat cheese
  • 1/4       cup whole milk ricotta cheese
  • 1          tablespoon Carapelli Oro Verde Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 1/4       teaspoon lemon zest
  • 1/8       teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/8       teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  1. Heat sous vide water bath to 185° F.
  2. In mixing bowl, combine beets, olive oil, thyme and salt; toss to coat. Remove beets from liquid and divide, placing them in single layer into two quart-sized vacuum-seal bags, leaving any excess liquid behind.
  3. Use vacuum sealer to remove air and double-seal bag. To use zip-top bags instead, slowly dip slightly open bags into large container filled with water, allowing water to displace air. Seal bags when air is removed.
  4. Place vacuum-sealed bag into prepared water bath, placing heavy, heat-resistant bowl on top of beets to keep them submerged, if necessary. Cook 3 hours.
  5. If you do not have a sous vide machine, bring large stock pot filled with water to rolling boil. Place vacuum-sealed bags in water. Reduce to gentle simmer, cover and cook 1 hour.
  6. Carefully remove beets from water bath and cool in sealed bag until they reach room temperature, about 30 minutes. Refrigerate at least 30 minutes more before serving.
  7. In mini food processor, cream goat cheese, ricotta and olive oil until smooth. Add zest, salt and pepper: stir to combine.
  8. Transfer cheese mixture to piping bag fitted with star tip and refrigerate until ready to use.
  9. To serve, remove beets from bag and arrange on serving platter. Pipe dollop of Whipped Ricotta and Goat Cheese onto each beet. Drizzle with olive oil.
  10. Garnish with arugula and pinch of flaked sea salt; place skewer through each beet to serve.

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Olive Oil Drizzled Pecorino Popcorn

Prep time: 5 minutes
Cook time: 5 minutes
Servings: 4

  • 1/2       cup grated pecorino, plus more for garnish
  • 1/2       teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, plus more for garnish
  • 3          tablespoons Carapelli Unfiltered Extra Virgin Olive Oil, divided
  • 1/3       cup yellow popcorn kernels
  1. In bowl, combine pecorino and pepper; mix until well combined and there are no cheese clumps.
  2. In small saucepan over low flame, heat 2 tablespoons olive oil; keep warm.
  3. Add remaining olive oil and popcorn to large Dutch oven. Stir until all popcorn kernels are coated in oil.
  4. Cover Dutch oven with lid and cook over medium-high heat, shaking pot periodically. Once popcorn begins to pop, lower heat to medium and continue to shake pot approximately every 15 seconds. When popping slows considerably, remove Dutch oven from heat and allow to rest until popping ceases, about 30 seconds.
  5. Remove lid and transfer popcorn to large mixing bowl. Drizzle warm olive oil over popcorn; toss to coat. Sprinkle cheese mixture over popcorn; toss to coat.
  6. Divide popcorn into bowls. Sprinkle some freshly grated pecorino and dash of freshly ground black pepper over top; serve.

Source:  Carapelli Olive Oil

Appetizers & Sides 19 January 2017

Simple Appetizers for Your Holiday Gathering

11804 B embed(Family Features) Kick off your holiday parties in style with flavorful appetizers every guest will enjoy.
Whether you’re a seasoned holiday host or a first-timer, throwing a holiday party can be a bit overwhelming. But with the proper tools, such as a great sampling of easy-to-make appetizers and delicious beverage pairings, you and your guests will get in the festive mood in no time.

Simple starters

When planning your appetizer fare, go with casual selections that require little to no clean-up. Finger foods, like this recipe for Sweet Slice® Ham Sliders, require just a few savory, mouth-watering ingredients and minimal time in the kitchen. Or, take some inspiration from the menus of Italian restaurants and wine bars and create an old world-inspired charcuterie board composed of Boar’s Head Brand® artisan meats and cheeses. Here are a few tips to create your own:

  • Delight and prime guests’ palates: Use one to two ounces of cheese and three slices of meat per person. This will give your guests a mix of salty and savory items to delight their palates but not overwhelm them before the main course.
  • Arm independent snackers: Don’t fully pre-cut your cheese choices. To give guests the most interaction with the delicacies, slice a few pieces and then pair a knife with each selection.
  • Choose the cheese: The cheese selection should also be diverse and include a minimum of a fresh, semi-soft, firm and hard cheese. Try Boar’s Head Asiago Vecchio Cheese, Picante Sharp Provolone Cheese and Aged Gouda. For more tasty ideas, visit www.boarshead.com.
  • Match your meat: You’ll want to display a variety of charcuterie including cured, smoked and preserved meats. Boar’s Head Bianco D’Oro® Italian Dry Salame,
    Italian Dry Sausage and Prosciutto Di Parma® are robust and delicious.
  • Add the finishing touches: Recreate the artisan culinary experience by placing meats and cheeses on a wood platter or cutting board. Accessorize by adding fruits, nuts, olives, grapes and honey for dipping. Be sure to offer textural contrasts with dippers, such as whole grain crackers, crusted breads, breadsticks and crostini.
  • Cheers to your success: Pair a great wine or beer with your choice of meat and cheese. For example, a Cabernet Sauvignon goes great with a dry salami, while dark beers pair perfectly with aged Gouda.

So, get your party started right with a delicious assortment of appetizers and just relax. As long as the drinks and delicious foods are flowing, the good times will as well.

Sweet Slice® Ham Sliders

Serves: 8
Cooking time: 10 minutes

  • 8 appetizer size rolls
  • 1/2 cup apple butter
  • 4 slices Sweet Slice Boneless Smoked Ham, sliced thick
  • 4 slices Whole Milk Low Moisture Mozzarella Cheese, sliced thick
  1. Slice rolls and spread with apple butter. Cut ham and cheese slices in half to fit on roll. Add one slice each of ham and cheese to roll. Arrange on dish and serve.

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