Eye-popping recipes worth sharing
(Family Features) It seems that taking pictures of mouthwatering food to share online is all the rage for social media users. Food is art, and toast and its trimmings can be the perfect canvas. Creating a social media-worthy slice requires a bit of creativity, some patience, quality and, of course, aesthetically pleasing ingredients.
The versatility and distinct flavor profile of California Ripe Olives make them an ideal ingredient to fuel your imagination and add an extra bit of finesse to your edible creation.
California farmers are responsible for producing more than 95 percent of the ripe olives consumed in the United States. From planting, pruning, harvesting and processing, they make sure the highest quality olives come from their farm to your table – one can at a time. Adding olives to any dish helps bring California sunshine into each bite.
Put your creativity to the test with these delicious designs. For more delightful and artistic recipes with California Ripe Olives, visit calolive.org.
Toast Like a Butterfly
- 2 slices wheat bread
- large butterfly cookie cutter
- 1/2 avocado, mashed
- salt, to taste
- pepper, to taste
- 1 cheese stick
- 2 slices orange bell pepper
- 2 thin slices red bell pepper
- 6 black California Ripe Olives
- 3 green California Ripe Olives
- 1 sugar snap pea
- Lightly toast wheat bread and use cookie cutter to cut one wing from each slice.
- Mash avocado and mix with salt and pepper, to taste. Spread on both wings.
- Slice cheese stick to fit between wings and act as body of butterfly.
- Slice orange bell pepper into antenna and red bell pepper into thin slices to line body of butterfly.
- Slice black olives in half, lengthwise, and place on upper and lower portions of each wing. Slice green olives into rounds and place on middle of each wing.
- Decorate plate with quartered olives and place sugar snap pea in center.
Pro Tips for Creating Shareable Slices:
These pro tips can take you from toast trainee to skillful slice creator.
- Have a vision. Don’t be afraid to sketch it out.
- The base of your toast is everything. Pick a sturdy variety.
- Consider your ingredients and play with flavors, textures and colors. For example, try to incorporate both green and black California Ripe Olives for greater versatility.
- Shapes, colors and textures can add excitement.
- Toast is a small canvas, so consider the tools you’re working with and get creative.
A Toast to Summer
- 2 slices white bread, toasted
- 4 tablespoons cream cheese
- 3 crackers, crushed
- 1/4 cup sliced almonds
- handful leafy greens of choice (green onions, parsley, cilantro or chives)
- 2 black California Ripe Olives
- 1 green California Ripe Olive
- Slice each piece of toast into a square and place one above other on plate.
- Spread layer of cream cheese on bottom third of lower piece of toast and cover spread with crushed crackers.
- Spread layer of cream cheese from lower-right corner to upper-left corner and, starting at bottom, layer sliced almonds on top of each other to create trunk spreading across both pieces of bread.
- Arrange greens into palm fronds at top of trunk. Use cream cheese as glue if they begin to slip.
- Arrange black olives and green olive as coconuts between top of trunk and base of leaves, covering bottom of leaves.
Singing in the Grain
- 1/4 avocado, peeled and thinly sliced
- 1 slice sourdough bread, toasted
- salt, to taste
- pepper, to taste
- handful of green California Ripe Olives, sliced into rounds
- 1 orange bell pepper, sliced
- 1 red bell pepper, sliced
- handful of black California Ripe Olives, sliced into raindrop shapes
- 1 large sugar snap pea
- Arrange sliced avocado on toasted sourdough bread and top with salt and pepper, to taste.
- Slice green olive rounds in half and arrange in line beneath toast.
- Place one slice orange bell pepper below bread as handle and one small piece orange bell pepper above bread.
- Place one straight slice of red bell pepper on bottom edge of toast.
- Arrange black olive slices and sugar snap peas around toast as raindrops.
Walking in a Toasty Wonderland
- 2 slices white bread, toasted
- 2 tablespoons cream cheese, divided
- 5 slices red bell pepper
- 1 orange bell pepper, sliced small
- 2 black California Ripe Olives, 1 jumbo and 1 medium
- 5 small sugar snap peas, divided
- 1 pretzel stick, cut in half
- 3 green California Ripe Olive rounds
- small snowflake cookie cutter
- large snowflake cookie cutter
- 4 slices gouda or white cheddar cheese
- 8 cilantro or parsley leaves
- Slice one piece of toast into circle with 4-inch diameter.
- Slice second piece of toast into half-circle with 4-inch diameter, which will act as base of snow globe.
- Spread 1 tablespoon cream cheese onto bottom fifth of circular toast.
- Cover base of snow globe with slices of bell pepper, cut to correct width.
- Stack medium black olive on top of jumbo black olive and affix to toast with cream cheese.
- Add decorations to olive snowman by affixing two small sugar snap peas to body of snowman, pretzel stick arms to sides, small piece orange bell pepper for nose and two small dots cream cheese for eyes.
- Decorate base with green olive rounds and three sugar snap peas in center.
- Use cookie cutters to cut four small snowflakes and four large snowflakes out of slices of cheese. Arrange snowflakes around outside of plate and place cilantro leaves between each snowflake.
- Place remaining cream cheese in small plastic bag and cut small hole in corner. Pipe small dots on circular toast around snowman.
Source: California Ripe Olive Committee
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.
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
- 1/3 cup part skim mozzarella cheese, shredded
- Heat oven to 400° F and spray 12-well muffin tin with nonstick olive oil spray.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
(Family Features) Fireworks, family and food are what the Fourth of July is all about. This year, add some spark to backyard staples like grilled chicken and potato salad with a little help from tangy condiments, smoky rubs and your cast-iron skillet.
For a main dish that’s sure to be a crowd pleaser, smother grilled chicken with a white barbecue sauce – the South’s tangy little secret. It’s made with simple pantry ingredients like mayonnaise, cider vinegar and mustard.
Make a one-pan side dish next to the cooking chicken by placing your cast-iron skillet directly on the grates. Smash whole potatoes in the pan then top with bacon, cheese and a chipotle seasoning. Let it all melt together and then top with sour cream for a smoking side.
Round out the meal with a festive cake that looks as impressive as it tastes. Dye white cake mix batter red and blue using food color then assemble in a flag shape with whipped cream and berries.
Find more recipes and ideas to fire up your Fourth of July at McCormick.com.
White Barbecue Sauce with Smoky Chicken
Prep time: 15 minutes
Cook time: 45 minutes
White Barbecue Sauce:
- 1 cup mayonnaise
- 1/2 cup cider vinegar
- 2 tablespoons Zatarain’s Creole Mustard
- 1 teaspoon prepared horseradish
- 1/2 teaspoon McCormick Coarse Ground Black Pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon McCormick Garlic Powder
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup hickory wood chips
- 2 pounds bone-in chicken parts
- 2 tablespoons McCormick Grill Mates Applewood Rub
- To make sauce: In medium bowl, mix mayonnaise, vinegar, creole mustard, horseradish, black pepper, garlic and salt until well blended. Cover. Refrigerate at least 2 hours before serving to blend flavors.
- To make chicken: Cover wood chips in water and soak 30 minutes. Season chicken with rub. Drain wood chips. Fill smoker box with wet wood chips. Place smoker box under grill rack on one side of grill before lighting. Close grill.
- Prepare grill for indirect medium heat (350-375° F). Heat grill by turning all burners to medium. Once cooking temperature is reached, turn off burner(s) on one side. Place chicken on unlit side of grill. Close grill cover.
- Grill, turning occasionally, 30-40 minutes, or until internal temperature of thickest part of chicken is 165° F. Move chicken to lit side of grill with skin side down. Turn lit side of grill to high.
- Grill, uncovered, 3-5 minutes longer, or until chicken is charred. Serve chicken with White Barbecue Sauce.
Test Kitchen Tip: Refrigerate any leftover sauce and use as salad dressing, condiment for burgers or dipping sauce for pretzels and vegetables.
Grilled and Loaded Smashed Potatoes
Prep time: 15 minutes
Cook time: 25 minutes
- 1 1/2 pounds medium Yukon gold potatoes
- 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
- 5 teaspoons McCormick Grill Mates Bacon Chipotle Seasoning, divided
- 6 slices Applewood smoked bacon, cut into 1/4-inch pieces
- 1 cup chopped yellow onion
- 1/2 cup chopped red bell pepper
- 1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese
- 2 tablespoons finely chopped green onions
- 1/4 cup sour cream
- Heat grill to medium.
- Place potatoes on microwavable plate. Pierce potatoes with fork several times. Microwave on high 5-6 minutes, or until fork-tender but still firm. Let stand until cool enough to handle. In large bowl, toss potatoes, oil and 3 teaspoons seasoning until well coated.
- Place potatoes on grill and cook, turning frequently, 4-5 minutes or until skin is crispy. In large cast-iron skillet on grill, cook and stir bacon 8-10 minutes, or until crisp. Add yellow onion and bell pepper; cook and stir 2-3 minutes, or until tender-crisp.
- Push bacon mixture to one side of skillet. Add potatoes to other side of skillet. Smash each potato with heavy spatula, bottom of small sturdy bowl or meat pounder. Sprinkle potatoes with remaining seasoning. Spoon bacon mixture over potatoes. Sprinkle with cheese.
- Cover pan or close grill. Cook 3-5 minutes, or until cheese is melted. To serve, sprinkle with green onions and dollops of sour cream.
Test Kitchen Tip: Cooking potatoes before grilling reduces overall grill time.
Red, White and Blue Cake
Prep time: 25 minutes
Cook time: 30 minutes
- 1 package (2-layer size) white cake mix
- 2 teaspoons McCormick Pure Vanilla Extract
- 1/2 teaspoon Blue McCormick Assorted Neon Food Colors & Egg Dye
- 2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
- 2 teaspoons McCormick Red Food Color
- nonstick spray
- 1 container (16 ounces) white frosting
- 1 cup raspberries
- 1/2 cup blueberries
- Heat oven to 350° F.
- Prepare cake mix as directed on package, adding vanilla. Transfer 1 1/2 cups batter to small bowl and tint with neon blue food color. Tint remaining batter red by adding cocoa powder and red food color. Pour each color batter into separate 9-by-5-inch loaf pans sprayed with nonstick cooking spray.
- Bake blue-tinted cake 20-25 minutes; red-tinted cake 30-35 minutes. Cool cakes in pans 10 minutes. Remove from pans; cool completely.
- Trim cakes to remove rounded tops and edges. Slice red cake in half horizontally to form two thin layers. Place one layer on platter. Slice remaining red cake layer in half lengthwise. Slice blue cake in half lengthwise. (Blue and red cakes should be same dimensions.)
- Frost red cake layer on platter with 1/3 frosting. Top with lengthwise slices of red and blue cake side-by-side. Frost with 1/3 frosting. Repeat cake layer and frosting. Garnish with raspberries and blueberries to resemble flag.
Source: McCormick Spice
(Family Features) If getting your kids to embrace healthy eating habits feels like a constant uphill battle, take heart in knowing you’re not alone. However, modeling smart choices in the kitchen and at the grocery store may be just the nudge your kids need.
One of the biggest hurdles many families face when it comes to healthier eating is getting started. These tips show how subtle changes can make it simple to introduce healthier choices the whole family can enjoy.
- Mornings are a busy time for families, and it can be difficult to make a nutritious breakfast and get out the door. Even so, skip the packaged breakfast foods that are loaded with sodium and calories. Instead, make and freeze your own healthy breakfast foods ahead of time. These breakfast burritos are easy for reheating and eating on the go.
- A common misperception is that eating healthfully takes too long. Set a good example for kids to follow by preparing healthy dinners at home. This one-pot turkey skillet is ready in less than 25 minutes to make dinner and cleanup a breeze.
- When kids are empowered to choose what they eat, they’re more likely to enjoy it. One easy way for kids to identify smart choices in the produce department is by looking for foods with the Produce for Kids logo. Not only are these items an important part of a balanced meal, shoppers who support the products are giving back to local organizations that help children and families.
To find additional tips to encourage your family’s healthy eating and more than 300 registered dietitian-approved recipes, visit produceforkids.com.
Make-Ahead Freezable Breakfast Burritos
Recipe courtesy of Produce for Kids
Prep time: 20 minutes
Cook time: 20 minutes
- 2 teaspoons olive oil, divided
- 16 ounces lean turkey breakfast sausage
- 1 medium red bell pepper, finely chopped
- 1 small Vidalia onion, finely chopped
- 1 large tomato, finely chopped
- 12 large eggs
- 1/2 teaspoon pepper
- 1 cup low-fat shredded cheddar cheese
- 14 whole-wheat tortillas (8 inches each)
- In nonstick skillet over medium heat, heat 1 teaspoon oil. Add sausage and cook 5-8 minutes, or until cooked through. Transfer to plate and set aside.
- In same skillet, add remaining oil, bell peppers, onions and tomatoes, and cook 3-5 minutes, or until softened. Add tomatoes and cook 2 minutes.
- In large bowl, scramble eggs and pepper. Add to pan and cook, stirring regularly, 3-4 minutes, or until eggs are set. Remove from heat and mix in sausage and cheese. Let cool.
- Fill tortillas with 1/2 cup egg mixture, roll into burrito and lay seam-side down on parchment-lined baking sheet. Freeze 1 hour. Transfer to freezer-safe re-sealable bag and return to freezer.
- To reheat burritos, remove from freezer, wrap in paper towel and microwave on high 1-2 minutes.
One-Pot Healthy Turkey Skillet
Recipe courtesy of Produce for Kids
Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 15 minutes
- 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 pound ground turkey
- 1 medium green bell pepper
- 1 medium sweet onion
- 3 Roma tomatoes
- 8 ounces whole-wheat elbow macaroni, cooked according to package directions
- 1 can (15 1/2 ounces) kidney beans, rinsed and drained
- 2 teaspoons cumin
- 2 tablespoons chili powder
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- In nonstick skillet over medium-high heat, heat oil. Add turkey and cook 10 minutes, or until no longer pink.
- In food processor, pulse bell pepper, onion and tomatoes until chunky.
- Add vegetable mixture, noodles, beans, cumin, chili powder and salt to skillet and let simmer 15 minutes.
Source: Produce for Kids
Tex-Mex Layered Bean Salad
Preparation Time: 20 minutes
Chilling Time: up to 8 hours
Makes 8 to 10 servings (about 12 cups)
- 1 large red or yellow bell pepper, seeded and chopped
- 1/3 cup chopped red onion
- 1 bag (16 ounces) iceberg lettuce, carrot and cabbage salad mix
- 1 cup shredded Mexican cheese blend
- 2 cans (15 ounces each) READ 3-bean salad, drained
- 1/2 cup low-fat mayonnaise
- 1/2 cup low-fat sour cream
- 2 tablespoons finely chopped chipotle peppers in adobo sauce
- 1/2 cup crumbled tortilla chips (optional)
- 1 small avocado, sliced (optional)
- In a 3-1/2 quart salad bowl or soufflé dish (preferably straight-sided) layer salad as follows: bell pepper, onion, lettuce, cheese and 3-bean salad.
- Mix together the mayonnaise, sour cream and chipotle pepper. Spread over top of salad. Cover and refrigerate up to 8 hours.
- Just before serving, sprinkle top with chips and sliced avocado, if desired. Toss to serve.
Nutrition information (1/8 servings): 195 calories; 5 g protein; 18 g carbohydrate; 11 g fat; 476 mg sodium; 26 mg cholesterol; 3 g dietary fiber; 1 mg iron; 149 mg potassium;3584 IU Vitamin A; 149 mg calcium.
Note: READ 4-Bean Salad can be substituted for 3-Bean Salad.
Photo and recipe courtesy of READ Bean Salads (Seneca Foods Corporation).
(Family Features) More than nine in 10 millennial moms think it's important for their kids to learn about where their food comes from, and more than three-quarters of those moms actively do things with their kids to help learn just that, according to recent findings.
Building healthy habits is the top reason moms cite for encouraging more learning when it comes to food, according to research conducted by IPSOS on behalf of Cuties – the sweet little clementines. Even when the weather is colder outside, these tips make it fun for families to learn about where their food comes from and help encourage kids to eat healthy for a lifetime.
- Grocery shop together or go to a farmers market. Many cities now have year-round indoor markets, where together you can select fruits and veggies to try. Often the farmers are there, so you can learn about produce and get ideas for how to prepare unfamiliar items at home.
- Cook with your kids. Find fun recipes that let them explore fresh foods where they can be creative. Find age-appropriate ways to involve them, like stirring or measuring, and encourage them to get hands-on with recipes, such as this fun Flower Salad recipe from registered dietitian Ellie Krieger.
- Explore the story of where some of their favorite foods come from. Kids learn and remember information when it comes in the form of a story. Cuties is giving families the chance to uncover those stories by encouraging them to submit questions using #AskAGrower on Facebook. Actual growers will answer with stories about how this sweet, seedless and easy-to-peel fruit is grown with care by their family of growers. A video series at cutiescitrus.com/our-story also helps bring the stories to life.
“Making learning about food fun is good for the whole family,” Krieger said. “It encourages kids – and parents – to explore new foods and be more connected to where their food comes from. It’s truly a ‘healthy’ conversation to have together.”
Recipe courtesy of Ellie Krieger
- 1 Cuties clementine
- 9-10 thinly sliced strips red bell pepper, cut in 1-inch pieces
- 1/2 grape tomato
- 1 celery stick, cut to 3 inches
- 2 small leaves romaine lettuce
- 1 piece English cucumber, unpeeled, seeded and cut to 1 1/2 inches then thinly sliced
- 2 tablespoons plain Greek yogurt
- 1/2 teaspoon honey
- 1/4 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
- Peel clementine and separate sections almost all the way, leaving attached at the base. Place on plate with base down. Place piece of red bell pepper between each citrus section, and half tomato in center to form flower.
- Place celery and lettuce leaves underneath as stem and leaves. Arrange cucumber slices below to represent grass.
- In small bowl, stir together yogurt, honey and lemon juice.
- Serve dip in dish alongside flower, or in a mound underneath cucumber slices.
Nutritional information per serving: 76 calories; 0.5 g total fat; (0.3 g saturated fat, 0.2 g poly fat); 4 g protein; 15 g carbohydrates; 2 g fiber; 2 mg cholesterol; 21 mg sodium.