Dessert 22 November 2019

Pop Up Holiday Traditions New and Old

(Family Features) From decorating the tree to carving the turkey, there are many time-honored holiday traditions observed by families around the country. However, the holiday season is about more than just celebrating old traditions.

A perfect opportunity for creating new memories and, in turn, traditions, popcorn can serve as an ideal ingredient to bring family time to life. Whether wrapping the tree with garland made from the light and airy treat, filling clear ornaments with freshly popped kernels or simply popping up a bowl as a nutritious alternative to other holiday noshes, popcorn makes it easy to get hands-on while you deck the halls.

These seasonal recipes for traditional treats like peppermint bark and popcorn balls plus edible trees and a more elegant take on a simple snack highlight low-fat, non-GMO, gluten-free whole-grain popcorn as the main ingredient. Find more modern takes on traditional holiday recipes at popcorn.org.

White Chocolate Peppermint Popcorn Bark

Yield: 1 pound

  • 5          cups popped popcorn
  • 12        ounces white chocolate baking chips
  • 1 cup crushed hard candy peppermints Cover baking pan with foil or wax paper; set aside.
  1. Place popcorn in large bowl; set aside.
  2. In double boiler over barely simmering water, melt chocolate, stirring until smooth.
  3. Stir in crushed peppermints.
  4. Pour chocolate mixture over popcorn and stir to coat.
  5. Spread onto prepared pan; cool completely. When chocolate is cooled and set, break into chunks.

Easy, Elegant Holiday Popcorn

Yield: 8 cups

  • 8          cups popped popcorn
  • 1/2       cup milk chocolate chips
  • 1/2       cup white chocolate chips
  • candy sprinkles
  1. Line baking sheet with wax paper. Spread popcorn in thin layer on prepared pan.
  2. Place chocolate chips in microwave-safe bowl. Microwave on medium 30 seconds; stir. If necessary, microwave in additional 10-second increments, stirring after each heating, until chips are melted and smooth. Drizzle over popcorn.
  3. Place white chocolate chips in separate microwave-safe bowl. Microwave on medium 30 seconds; stir. If necessary, microwave in additional 10-second increments, stirring after each heating, until chips are melted and smooth. Drizzle over popcorn.
  4. Sprinkle desired amount of candy sprinkles over warm chocolate-coated popcorn.
  5. Allow chocolate drizzles to set until firm. Break popcorn into pieces.

Note: Chocolate chips can be replaced with cut up chocolate bars.

Cranberry Popcorn Balls

Yield: 18 balls

  • 2          cups sugar
  • 1          cup whole berry cranberry sauce, slightly mashed
  • 1          tablespoon grated orange peel
  • 1/2       cup cranberry juice
  • 1/2       cup light corn syrup
  • 1          teaspoon vinegar
  • 1/2       teaspoon salt
  • 5          quarts unsalted, popped popcorn
  • butter
  1. In heavy saucepan, combine sugar, cranberry sauce, grated orange peel, cranberry juice, corn syrup, vinegar and salt.
  2. Bring to boil; lower heat and cook until temperature reaches 250 F on candy thermometer.
  3. Slowly pour cranberry mixture onto hot popcorn; mix until well-coated.
  4. Let stand 5 minutes, or until mixture can easily be formed into balls.
  5. Butter hands and form into 3-inch balls.

Festive Popcorn Trees

Yield: 10 trees

  • 10        cups air-popped popcorn
  • 1          bag (10 ounces) miniature marshmallows
  • 2          tablespoons butter
  • 1          teaspoon vanilla extract
  • nonstick cooking spray
  • green decorating sugar
  • blue decorating sugar
  • 1          tube white frosting
  • small, colorful candies such as sprinkles and miniature silver dragees
  1. Place popcorn in large bowl.
  2. In medium saucepan over medium-low heat, stir marshmallows and butter until marshmallows are melted and mixture is smooth. Remove from heat.
  3. Stir in vanilla extract.
  4. Pour mixture over popcorn in bowl. Toss well to coat popcorn evenly.
  5. Line baking sheet with foil.
  6. Spray hands with nonstick cooking spray then scoop about 1 cup popcorn mixture.
  7. Shape mixture into cone, keeping base flat to form tree.
  8. Sprinkle tree with decorating sugars; place tree on baking sheet.
  9. Make nine additional trees.
  10. Using decorating tip, pipe frosting on trees to make garland then decorate with sprinkles and silver dragees, as desired.
  11. Serving suggestion: Place each tree on sugar cookie and decorate serving tray with shredded coconut to resemble snow.

Notes: For best flavor and color, start recipe with unflavored white popcorn. You can make colored sugar by adding food coloring to sugar then stirring in bowl or shaking vigorously in sealed container. Add additional food coloring for more intense tones.

Source: Popcorn Board

Appetizers & Sides 04 November 2019

How to Host a Friendsgiving Feast

(Family Features) As one of the most popular holiday traditions in the United States, families have celebrated Thanksgiving for decades. However, as more and more hosts look to put a new spin on the festivities, Friendsgiving continues to grow in popularity.

While the two “holidays” generally involve the same ideals – showing appreciation for loved ones, whether family or friends – cooking for both can be a challenge during this busy season. Consider these quick and easy ideas from the Friendsgiving experts at Sabra to celebrate this vibrant event with your closest friends.

Decorations
Plenty of planning and preparation goes into Thanksgiving festivities, which makes Friendsgiving an opportunity to take a step back and focus on simplicity. Keep your table decor clean and modern, like an understated black-and-white design, where food and fun can take center stage.

Attire
Friendsgiving strikes a delicate balance between a reunion of companions and just an excuse to spend time with your closest cohorts, which can make a normally tricky decision even more difficult: what to wear. Try aiming for the more casual look, or try something low-key and fun like a pajama party.

Food
Because Friendsgiving is usually celebrated within a week or so of Thanksgiving, whether it’s before or after, most guests will be tired of turkey and stuffing – meaning it’s time to think outside the box. For just enough of a twist on traditional seasonal taste, try making plant-based versions of your childhood favorites.  

This Hummus Mashed Potatoes recipe is a perfect example – creating a dairy-free and gluten-free version of the classic dish that’s bursting with unexpected flavors. Alternately, if you’re hosting this year, these Sweet and Savory Cranberry Hummus Bites can hold over a hungry crowd. For another simple snacking solution, pairing a dip like Sabra Hummus, available in more than a dozen flavors, with pita chips or baby carrots may be your party-perfect appetizer.

Find more Friendsgiving inspiration at Sabra.com

Hummus Mashed Potatoes

  • 5          cups yellow potatoes (about 6 potatoes), peeled and cut into 1 1/2-inch cubes
  • 1/4       teaspoon salt, plus additional, to taste, divided
  • 1 1/3    cups Sabra Classic Hummus
  • 2          tablespoons olive oil or coconut oil
  • fresh pepper, to taste
  • 2          tablespoons finely chopped fresh parsley
  1. Place potato cubes and 1/4 teaspoon salt in medium-sized pot with enough water to cover. Bring to boil and simmer over medium heat about 30 minutes, or until fork tender.
  2. Drain potatoes and place back into pot over medium heat until moisture comes out and potatoes appear dry, about 3 minutes. Remove from heat.
  3. In same pot using potato masher, mash potatoes. Mash in hummus and oil, followed by salt and pepper, to taste.
  4. Serve topped with fresh parsley.

Sweet and Savory Cranberry Hummus Bites

  • 9          teaspoons whole berry cranberry sauce
  • 12-14   tablespoons Sabra Classic Hummus
  • 24        slices French-style baguette, sliced about 1/4-inch thick
  • 5          teaspoons fresh chopped herbs, such as parsley (optional)
  1. Open cranberry sauce can and stir well.
  2. Spread about 1/2 tablespoon hummus on each baguette slice.
  3. Place 3/4 teaspoon cranberry sauce on top of hummus on each baguette slice.
  4. Garnish with fresh herbs, if desired.

Source: Sabra

Meal Ideas 31 October 2019

A Holiday Roast to Remember

(Family Features) The holiday season is a perfect opportunity to gather with friends and family, and few things bring people together like an elegant, seasonal meal. Serving up a mouthwatering main dish worth celebrating can elicit rave reviews from your guests and keep them gathered around the table longer, creating lasting memories.

Creating a crowd-pleasing holiday centerpiece starts with choosing a flavorful, tender cut of meat. For example, elegant cuts like Chateaubriand (roast-size filet mignon) or Bone-In Frenched Rib Roast from Omaha Steaks, a leading provider of premium beef and gourmet foods, can serve as the focal point of a memorable meal. Flash-frozen to capture freshness and flavor at their peak, you can select a roast hand-cut and carved by an expert butcher and have it delivered directly to your door.

Simple to prepare and easy to carve, all you need to do is season (or marinate) and roast before serving alongside a wine-infused sauce like Red Pepper Cranberry Sauce or Apricot and White Wine Glaze.

Create a holiday dinner to remember at OmahaSteaks.com

Simple Holiday Side Dishes

While the star of most holiday meals is the main course, side dishes like potatoes, green bean casserole and dressing make it complete. Instead of spending all day in the kitchen cutting, prepping and chopping sides, try one of Omaha Steaks’ pre-made heat-and-serve side dishes.
Consider these ideas to round out your holiday table this season:

  • Scalloped Potatoes – Layers of thinly sliced potatoes smothered in a velvety Parmesan and cheddar cheese sauce, accented with the slight savory crunch of green onions.
  • Green Bean Casserole – French-fried onions, mushrooms, milk and butter makes for a must-have, homemade side dish.
  • Smashed Red Potatoes – Red potatoes mashed to a hearty, chunky texture with their skins and mixed with sour cream, butter, half-and-half, garlic, salt and a touch of rosemary.
  • Steakhouse Creamed Corn – Buttery, sweet corn in a seasoned, creamy Parmesan cheese sauce.
  • Steakhouse Cauliflower Gratin – Fresh cauliflower baked in a rich and creamy Parmesan and white cheddar cheese sauce and topped with crispy breadcrumbs.
  • Sage Dressing – French bread croutons, sage, celery and caramelized onions create a traditional and flavorful profile.
  • Roasted Garlic Mashed Potatoes – Real russet potatoes, butter and sour cream enhanced with chopped roasted garlic and pepper.
  • Creamed Spinach – Vibrant, all-natural green spinach with onion and garlic accents, amplified by sea salt and white pepper in a rich, creamy Parmesan cheese sauce.

Find more delicious side dishes at OmahaSteaks.com.

Red Pepper Cranberry Sauce

Prep time: 5 minutes
Cook time: 25 minutes
Total time: 30 minutes
Yield: 2 cups

  • 1          tablespoon olive oil
  • 2          medium red bell peppers, finely diced
  • 1          cup red wine
  • 1/4       cup red wine vinegar
  • 1/3       cup white sugar
  • 2          teaspoons yellow mustard seeds
  • 6          tablespoons dried cranberries
  • 6          tablespoons dried currants
  • 1/4       teaspoon salt
  1. Heat medium skillet on medium-high heat.
  2. Add olive oil and diced red pepper; saute 3-5 minutes.
  3. Add red wine, red wine vinegar, sugar, mustard seeds, cranberries, currants and salt. Bring mixture to boil then turn temperature to low and simmer 20 minutes, or until liquid is mostly evaporated and thickened.
  4. Bring to room temperature before serving alongside holiday roast.

Note: Red Pepper Cranberry Sauce can be made up to 3 days in advance

Whiskey Marinated Holiday Roast

Prep time: 45 minutes-1 hour, plus 48-72 hours thawing time
Cook time: 2-3 1/2 hours
Total time: 4 days
Yield: 4-6 servings

Marinade:

  • 4          ounces water
  • 2          ounces whiskey
  • 1/4       teaspoon baking soda

Roast:

  • 2          pound chateaubriand or 4 pound bone-in frenched prime rib roast, thawed completely (allow 48-72 hours)
  • 1          package Omaha Steaks Private Reserve Rub
  1. To make marinade: In large, re-sealable bag, mix water, whiskey and baking soda.
  2. To make chateaubriand: Place roast in bag and marinate in refrigerator 30 minutes.
  3. Remove roast from marinade. Discard marinade.
  4. Season roast with rub 12-18 hours before cooking and leave uncovered in refrigerator overnight. When ready to cook, heat oven to 225° F. Place roast on elevated rack in roasting pan.
  5. Roast 2 hours, or until roast reaches internal temperature between 120-125° F.
  6. Let roast rest 30-45 minutes.
  7. Broil on high 2 inches from broiler, 4 minutes on one side then flip and broil 2 minutes on other side, or until brown crust uniformly covers roast.
  8. To make bone-in frenched prime rib roast: Place roast in bag and marinate in refrigerator 45 minutes.
  9. Remove roast from marinade. Discard marinade.
  10. Season roast with rub 12-18 hours before cooking and leave uncovered in refrigerator overnight. When ready to cook, heat oven to 225° F. Place roast on elevated rack in roasting pan.
  11. Roast 3 hours and 15 minutes, or until roast reaches internal temperature between 120-125° F.
  12. Let roast rest 30-45 minutes.
  13. Broil on high 2 inches from broiler, 4 minutes on one side then flip and broil 2 minutes on other side, or until brown crust uniformly covers roast.

 

Apricot and White Wine Glaze

Prep time: 5 minutes
Cook time: 25 minutes
Total time: 30 minutes
Yield: 1 1/2 cups

  • 1 1/2    cups white wine
  • 2/3       cup white wine vinegar
  • 3/4       cup apricot jam
  • 2          tablespoons yellow mustard seeds
  • 2          tablespoons brown mustard seeds
  • 1          teaspoon salt
  • 1/2       teaspoon granulated garlic
  • 3/4-1    teaspoon chili flakes
  1. In medium saucepan over medium heat, combine white wine, white wine vinegar, apricot jam, mustard seeds, salt and garlic.
  2. Bring to boil then turn to low and simmer 25 minutes, or until reduced by one-third.
  3. Remove from heat and stir in chili flakes.
  4. Reheat or bring to room temperature to use as glaze or serve as sauce for holiday ham.

Note: Apricot and White Wine Glaze may be prepared up to 3 days in advance.

Source: Omaha Steaks

Holiday 01 November 2018

Fuss-Free Holiday Recipe Inspiration

(Family Features) Hosting holiday dinners can be stressful, even for the most seasoned home cooks. Between gift giving, cookie baking, home decorating and more, there’s often little time left to think through a festive feast for a hungry crowd of family and friends.

While the main entree and dessert are usually the first courses to be accounted for when planning, seasonal appetizers and sides can set your spread apart. Perfect for intimate gatherings or larger parties, a simple app like Cranberry Walnut and Brie Bites, filled with ingredients like Willow Tree Classic Chicken Salad and creamy Brie cheese, can leave guests anxiously awaiting the rest of the meal.

Round out your menu with must-have sides like potatoes. For example, a traditional French dish like Dauphinoise Potatoes are easy to make and feature a homemade butter and garlic sauce, thinly sliced potatoes and rich Gruyere cheese.

Once the hustle and bustle of the holidays are over, however, one of the last things many hosts want to do is cook another big meal. With an option like Willow Tree Chicken Pies, you can skip the hassle and get a meal on the table quickly.

For more easy hosting ideas and recipes, visit willowtreefarm.com.

Cranberry Walnut and Brie Bites

Prep time: 20 minutes
Cook time: 10-15 minutes
Servings: 12-16

  • 2          packages (17 ounces each) puff pastry
  • 1          bag (12 ounces) fresh or frozen cranberries
  • 1          cup sugar, plus additional, to taste
  • 1          orange or lemon, zest only, cut into strips
  • 2          tablespoons water
  • salt, to taste
  • pepper, to taste
  • 1          container (7 1/2 ounces) Willow Tree Classic Chicken Salad
  • 4          ounces Brie cheese, cut into 48 pieces
  • 1/4       cup finely chopped walnuts
  • 2          tablespoons minced fresh sage
  1. Heat oven to 375° F.
  2. Thaw puff pastry sheets according to package instructions. Once thawed, unfold into thirds.
  3. Cut each third into 12 equal squares to make 48 squares.
  4. Grease two mini muffin tins; press each puff pastry square into muffin cup.
  5. Bake 8-10 minutes; remove from oven and press center of each cup in with end of wooden spoon.
  6. While puff pastry is baking, prepare cranberry sauce. Add bag of cranberries into saucepan. In pan over low heat, combine sugar, one strip orange or lemon zest and water; cook, stirring occasionally, until sugar dissolves and cranberries are soft, about 10 minutes. Increase heat to medium and cook until cranberries burst, about 12 minutes. Reduce heat to low. Add sugar, salt and pepper, to taste; let cool slightly and reserve.
  7. Fill center of each puff pastry cup with chicken salad, 1/2 teaspoon cranberry sauce and one piece Brie cheese.
  8. Bake 5-7 minutes, until Brie is melted.
  9. Top with chopped walnuts and minced sage. Serve warm.

Dauphinoise Potatoes

Prep time: 20 minutes
Cook time: 30-45 minutes
Servings: 1

  • 8          ounces potatoes
  • 1          tablespoon butter
  • 1          large clove garlic
  • 1/2       cup heavy cream
  • 1          ounce Gruyere cheese, for garnish
  • salt
  • pepper
  1. Heat oven to 350° F.
  2. Peel and finely slice potatoes.
  3. Add butter to saucepan and melt. Finely mince garlic and add to saucepan; saute gently until garlic is pale golden color.
  4. Add cream to saucepan and bring to rapid simmer but do not boil.
  5. In oven-safe dish, arrange slices of potato in even layers.
  6. Pour warm cream over potatoes slowly, allowing to seep between layers without overflowing dish.
  7. Top generously with sliced Gruyere cheese and place in oven, 30-45 minutes per portion. When done, potatoes should be golden-brown on top, bubbling at edges and a knife should slide easily into center.

Note: Recipe can be multiplied for additional servings.

Photo courtesy of Getty Images (Dauphinoise Potatoes)

Source: Willow Tree

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

Holiday 01 November 2018

Holiday Pairing Perfection

Festive flavors and seasonal sips

(Family Features) The holidays are the perfect time to gather with friends and family to celebrate the season.

Take the stress out of hosting by shopping at a store like ALDI for your holiday must-haves, including everything from food and wine to holiday decor and even gifts for nearly anyone on your list, helping you to save time and money.

Toast to the holidays with an impressive appetizer spread, paired with award-winning wines, with recipes like Cranberry Shrimp Ceviche Cups paired with the creamy and tropical taste of William Wright Chardonnay. Or whip up quick and easy Party Poppers made with dates, Brie cheese and bacon to mesh with the fruit, vanilla and spicy fall notes of Peaks & Tides Cabernet Sauvignon.

Blue Cheese and Walnut Mousse provides a savory finish when matched with La Rue Côtes de Provence Rosé and its hints of lavender, rosemary and thyme. Finally, add a little something sweet to your spread by pairing the refreshingly ripe Landshut Riesling with a festive Gingerbread Trifle.

Find more holiday recipes and shopping solutions at ALDI.us .

Blue Cheese and Walnut Mousse

Recipe courtesy of Chef Scott, ALDI Test Kitchen
Prep time: 5 minutes
Cook time: 15 minutes
Yield: 10 servings

  • 2          tablespoons Simply Nature 100% Pure Avocado Oil
  • 3          large yellow onions, sliced
  • 5          ounces Happy Farms Preferred Blue Cheese Crumbles
  • 8          ounces Happy Farms Cream Cheese
  • Stonemill Ground Black Pepper, to taste
  • 1          cup Friendly Farms Heavy Whipping Cream
  • 8          ounces Southern Grove Chopped Walnuts, divided
  • 5          cucumbers, thinly sliced
  1. In large pan, heat oil and saute onions until brown and caramelized.
  2. In food processor, combine blue cheese crumbles and cream cheese. Process until smooth. Season with pepper, to taste.
  3. In medium bowl, using hand mixer, whisk cream until soft peaks form. Fold in cheese mixture and 4 ounces chopped walnuts.
  4. Top cucumber slices with mousse, caramelized onions and remaining chopped walnuts. Finish by grinding black pepper over top for garnish.
  5. Pair each serving with glass of La Rue Cotes de Provence Rosé.

Tip: Mousse can also be served as a dip with baguette slices.

Gingerbread Trifle

Recipe courtesy of the ALDI Test Kitchen
Prep time: 20 minutes
Yield: 12 servings

  • 1          package (3.4 ounces) Baker’s Corner Vanilla Pudding
  • 1 3/4    cups Specially Selected Premium Eggnog
  • 1/2       teaspoon Stonemill Pumpkin Pie Spice
  • 7          ounces Café Bistro Soft Gingerbread, crumbled, divided
  • 1 1/4    cups Friendly Farms Whipped Topping, divided
  • 1          cup Berryhill Apple Butter, divided
  • 2          teaspoons Stonemill Ground Cinnamon
  1. Whisk vanilla pudding mix and eggnog. Add pumpkin pie spice and beat 2 min­utes. Chill in refrigerator 10 minutes.
  2. In large glass bowl, layer one-third of gingerbread cookies, one-third of pudding, one-third of whipped topping and 1/2 cup apple butter; repeat two more times.
  3. The third layer will end with whipped topping. Garnish with cinnamon.
  4. Chill in refrigerator 2 hours.
  5. Pair each serving with glass of Landshut Riesling.

Party Poppers

Recipe courtesy of Chef Alyssa, ALDI Test Kitchen
Prep time: 25 minutes
Cook time: 15 minutes
Yield: 36 poppers

  • 8          ounces Southern Grove Pitted Dates
  • 4          ounces Specially Selected Brie Cheese Round
  • 6          ounces Southern Grove Slivered Almonds
  • 1 1/2    pounds Specially Selected Thick Sliced Hickory Bacon
  • 2          teaspoons Stonemill Ground Black Pepper
  1. Heat oven to 375° F.
  2. Cut dates in half, lengthwise.
  3. Cut brie into bite-size pieces, about the size of peanuts.
  4. Place one piece of Brie and four almond pieces on each open date half. Place other half on top.
  5. Quarter bacon slices, wrap tightly around stuffed dates and secure with toothpicks. Sprinkle with pepper.
  6. Line baking sheet with foil and place wrapped dates on top. Bake 15 minutes, or until bacon is crispy. Serve warm.
  7. Pair each serving with glass of Peaks & Tides Cabernet Sauvignon.

 

Cranberry Shrimp Ceviche Cups

Recipe courtesy of Chef Kates, ALDI Test Kitchen
Prep time: 20 minutes, plus 1 hour chill time
Cook time: 3 minutes
Yield: 16 ceviche cups

  • 1 1/2    teaspoons Stonemill Iodized Salt, divided
  • 16        ounces Specially Selected Black Tiger Shrimp, thawed
  • 1          cup Southern Grove Dried Cranberries
  • 1/2       red onion, roughly chopped
  • 1/2       cup fresh parsley
  • 1/2       jalapeno, roughly chopped
  • 1/4       cup fresh lemon juice
  • 1/4       cup fresh lime juice
  • 1/4       teaspoon Stonemill Crushed Red Pepper or Ground Black Pepper
  • 1          teaspoon Stonemill Oregano
  • 13        ounces Simply Nature Organic Tortilla Chips, for garnish
  • 2          limes, cut into wedges, for garnish
  • fresh cranberries, for garnish (optional)
  1. Bring medium pot of water to boil. Season with 1 teaspoon salt. Add shrimp and cook 3 minutes. Immediately plunge cooked shrimp into ice water bath. Peel shrimp and place in flat dish.
  2. In food processor, combine dried cranberries, red onion, parsley and jalapeno. Pulse until finely chopped. Add cranberry mixture to shrimp.
  3. Add lemon juice, lime juice, remaining salt, pepper and oregano. Stir to combine thoroughly. Refrigerate 1 hour.
  4. To assemble: Spoon ceviche (about 4-5 shrimp each) into small clear cups or glasses. Garnish with tortilla chips, lime wedges and fresh cranberries, if desired.
  5. Pair each serving with glass of William Wright Chardonnay.

Source: ALDI

Holiday 01 November 2018

Easy Holiday Hosting and Toasting

(Family Features) If the very notion of holiday hosting has you feeling a bit overwhelmed, get organized with these simple ideas that can help you serve up a successful holiday celebration.

Entertainment: Ensure guests enjoy a good time by offering entertainment that is suitable for their personality types. If your guests are more drawn to energetic activities, choose light-hearted, competitive games like charades. For guests who are more laid back, organize classic board games. There are many popular games available in special holiday editions for extra-festive fun. You can also simply play holiday movies and music in the background for crowds that would rather just mingle.

Beverages: Stock up on refreshments all ages can enjoy. Keep a kid-friendly favorite like lemonade on hand, and tea is a traditionally well-received option for the grownups. Put a special holiday touch on your drink menu with a recipe like this Holiday Hot Tea featuring Milo's Famous Sweet Tea, which has been fresh brewed from custom-blended tea leaves with no added acids or preservatives for generations.

Favors: Send guests home with a sweet memory of the event, such as an ornament that connects to the party’s theme or a bag of seasonal treats like homemade cookies or candy to nibble on during the trip back home.

Simple Snacks: Building your menu around simple snacks and finger foods guests can nibble on while they mingle is perfectly acceptable for almost any type of holiday gathering. Include options that can satisfy all the taste buds. You can even combine sweet and sour with a seasonal crowd-pleaser like this Lemonade Cranberry Orange Bread, which draws its flavor from a secret ingredient: Milo’s All Natural Lemonade.

Find more holiday hosting ideas and recipes at drinkmilos.com .

Lemonade Cranberry Orange Bread

Prep time: 15 minutes
Cook time: 1 hour
Servings: 8

  • 1          can cranberry sauce
  • 3/4       cup Milo’s All Natural Lemonade
  • 1          orange, zest only
  • 2          tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1          egg
  • 2          cups flour
  • 1          cup sugar
  • 1 1/2    teaspoons baking powder
  • 1          teaspoon salt
  • 1/2       teaspoon baking soda
  1. Heat oven to 350° F.
  2. In large bowl, mash cranberry sauce into small pieces. Add lemonade, orange zest, vegetable oil and egg; mix until blended.
  3. In separate bowl, combine flour, sugar, baking powder, salt and baking soda. Combine wet and dry ingredients; mix until batter is formed.
  4. Pour batter into greased loaf pan. Bake 1 hour. Let cool 20 minutes before slicing and serving.

Holiday Hot Tea

Prep time: 5 minutes
Cook time: 2 hours, 30 minutes
Servings:  12

  • 12         cups Milo's Famous Sweet Tea
  • 2           cans (12 ounces each) frozen limeade juice concentrate
  • 1 orange, thinly sliced, plus additional for garnish (optional)
  • 12         whole cloves
  • 4           cinnamon sticks
  • 1           teaspoon vanilla
  • 1           cup fresh cranberries
  • 1           cup ginger ale
  • raw sugar, for garnish (optional)
  1. In large slow-cooker, combine sweet tea, limeade concentrate, orange slices, cloves, cinnamon sticks, vanilla, cranberries and ginger ale; stir.
  2. Heat on high 30 minutes then reduce heat to low for 2 hours, or heat on low 2 hours then reduce setting to warm overnight.
  3. Invert moistened glass rims in sugar then fit orange slice over rim, if desired. 

Note: For easier serving, place cloves in tea ball or double layer of coffee filters sealed with kitchen twine.

Photo courtesy of Getty Images (Lemonade Cranberry Orange Bread)

Source: Milo’s Tea Company

Holiday 01 November 2018

Helpful Holiday Recipes for the Home Chef

(Family Features) With everything that goes into creating a full holiday menu for guests of different ages and palates, taking on that task can be a challenge for any host. However, simple recipes that please the masses can help make life easier for home chefs.

From the main dish all the way to dessert, plus the drinks in-between, put these recipes to the test to help make your holiday gathering a breeze. Put your adult guests at ease with a cranberry-flavored cocktail, followed by a main course made sweet thanks to this turkey brine. As things come to a close, finish off any leftover appetites with a quick cookie recipe.

To help make your holiday hosting easier, find more tips and recipes at Culinary.net.

Dessert in a Snap

After spending hours preparing appetizers, drinks and the main course for holiday get-togethers, many hosts are ready to call it quits in the kitchen. However, that won’t stop guests from getting those late cravings for a tasty treat. If you’re looking for a reprieve from being the lead chef, go for a quick dessert like these Gingersnap cookies, which take just 10 minutes to bake and can leave hosts with more time to mingle. For more quick, nutritious recipes for every meal, visit AICR.org.

Gingersnaps

Reprinted with permission from the American Institute for Cancer Research
Yield: 24 cookies

  • 3/4       cup unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 1/2       cup whole-wheat pastry flour
  • 1/2       teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 1/4    teaspoons ground ginger
  • 1/2       teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/8       teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4       teaspoon salt
  • 1/3       cup dairy-free butter shortening sticks
  • 1/2       cup sugar, plus 2 tablespoons, divided
  • 2          tablespoons unsulphured molasses
  • 1          large egg white
  • Glaze (optional):
  • 1/3       cup confectioners’ sugar
  • 2          teaspoons fresh lemon juice
  1. Heat oven to 350° F.
  2. In mixing bowl, whisk flours, baking soda, ginger, cinnamon, pepper and salt.
  3. In separate bowl, use electric mixer on medium-high speed to beat shortening sticks with 1/2 cup sugar 2 minutes. Add molasses and egg white; beat 3 minutes. Set mixer on low speed and mix in dry ingredients to combine. Don’t over-mix. Batter will form soft ball.
  4. Place remaining sugar in wide, shallow bowl. Pinch about 1 tablespoon batter and roll it between palms, forming 1-inch ball. Place ball in bowl with sugar and roll to coat then place on light-colored, ungreased baking sheet. Repeat, spacing balls 2 inches apart. Discard leftover sugar. Using bottom of a glass, press to flatten each ball into 1-by-3-inch disks.
  5. Bake cookies 10 minutes.
  6. To make glaze, if desired: While cookies bake, in small bowl, combine confectioners’ sugar with lemon juice, mixing until sugar is completely dissolved.
  7. When cookies are done, immediately use spatula to transfer to wire cooling racks. Using tip of knife, spread 1/4 teaspoon glaze on top of each warm cookie. Cool completely.

Note: Can be stored in cookie tin up to 1 week.

Cranberry Cocktail Cravings

If holiday cocktails are on your menu, give guests a twist on a classic with this Cranberry Kiev Mule made with Nemiroff Original Vodka. This premium vodka is bold with a smooth, full-bodied finish that hints of citrus and fruit. Combined with cranberry juice and ginger beer, it’s an ideal holiday cocktail. Find more holiday cocktail options at nemiroff.vodka.

Cranberry Kiev Mule

  • 1          part Nemiroff Original Vodka
  • 1          part cranberry juice cocktail
  • 2          parts ginger beer
  • 1          tablespoon lime juice
  • ice
  • orange wedges, for garnish (optional)
  • fresh cranberries, for garnish (optional)
  • rosemary sprigs, for garnish (optional)
  1. Pour vodka, cranberry juice cocktail, ginger beer and lime juice into copper mug filled with ice. Gently stir to combine.
  2. Garnish with orange wedges, fresh cranberries and rosemary sprigs, if desired.

A Sweeter Centerpiece

A holiday meal is only complete with the centerpiece of the table: a tender turkey that side dishes and desserts can complement for guests of all palates. For a new twist on a holiday classic, add some sweetness to your main course with a Sweet Tea Turkey Brine, featuring Milo’s Famous Sweet Tea. It’s freshly brewed from real tea leaves using simple, quality ingredients free from preservatives, colors or added acids. The family- and certified women-owned business offers a multitude of beverages, all with the same dedication to quality and excellence. Find more information and recipes at drinkmilos.com.

Milo’s Sweet Tea Turkey Brine

Prep time: 20 minutes
Cook time: 15-20 minutes per pound

  • 1          gallon Milo’s Sweet Tea
  • 1          cup kosher salt
  • 3          large sweet onions, quartered
  • 4          lemons, sliced
  • 8          garlic cloves, peeled
  • 5          sprigs rosemary
  • 10        cups ice
  • 1          turkey
  1. In large stock pot over medium heat, combine tea and kosher salt. Stir frequently until salt is dissolved. Add onion, lemon, garlic and rosemary. Remove from heat and let cool to room temperature.
  2. When brine has cooled, pour into food-grade, 5-gallon plastic container. Stir in ice.
  3. Wash and dry turkey. Remove innards. Place turkey, cavity-side up, into brine, making sure cavity gets filled. Cover and place bucket in refrigerator overnight.
  4. Heat oven to 350° F.
  5. Remove turkey from brine, draining excess, and pat dry. Discard excess brine.
  6. Cook turkey 15-20 minutes per pound, or until internal temperature reaches 165° F on instant-read thermometer, reserving drippings for gravy.

Photo courtesy of Getty Images (Gingersnaps and Turkey Brine)

Source: Culinary.net

Healthy 05 February 2019

A Positive Path to a Healthy New You

(Family Features) For many people, the New Year brings the resolve to just say no to indulgent food and drink, to inactivity and to a host of other unhealthy habits.

However, you can also approach your reset with balance and positive thinking. This can be your year to say "yes" and rework the all-or-nothing mentality, which can be a more mindful way to reach your goals.

From eating with purpose to finding healthier options for tasty meals, making small changes can help you reap rewards throughout the year. Start 2018 with a clean slate of practical and attainable eating goals that are realistic for the life you want to lead by shopping at a grocery store like ALDI, a one-stop shop with a wide selection of high-quality, affordable food choices. Whether you follow a paleo, plant-based or organic eating plan, all of the following nutritious options can be incorporated into your lifestyle and budget for less than $20:

  • SimplyNature Organic Coconut Oil: This trendy ingredient can elevate better-for-you recipes like this Cranberry Orange Chia Granola. You can also use it as a replacement for butter or vegetable oil because it's a versatile choice for both sweet and savory dishes.
  • SimplyNature Chia Seeds: Use chia seeds to top your smoothie, overnight oats or make chia pudding in the morning for an easy way to power up the most important meal of the day. Chia seeds serve up protein, fiber and antioxidants. 
  • Earth Grown Black Bean or Veggie Burgers: If you follow a vegetarian or vegan diet, or just want to join the Meatless Monday movement, black bean burgers are one option to try. 
  • Earth Grown Vegan Shredded Cheese: This dairy-free cheese is a tasty addition to vegan recipes. 
  • SimplyNature Organic Popcorn: Movie nights call for popcorn, and this organic version can quickly become a family favorite. Each serving provides 3 grams of both fiber and protein.

Part of making healthy choices includes finding quick and easy recipes. Discover how easy it is to make fresh meals at home with this better-for-you recipe and find more options at aldi.us.

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Cranberry Orange Chia Granola

Recipe courtesy of Chef Linsey, ALDI Test Kitchen

  • 2 1/2 cups Millville Old Fashioned Oats
  • 6 ounces Southern Grove Shelled Pistachios, chopped
  • 1/4 cup SimplyNature Chia Seeds
  • 5 ounces Southern Grove Dried Cranberries
  • 1 tablespoon orange zest
  • 3/4 cup SimplyNature Organic Wildflower Honey
  • 3 tablespoons SimplyNature Organic Coconut Oil
  • 1 teaspoon Stonemill Essentials Pure Vanilla
  • 1/2 teaspoon Stonemill Essentials Ground Cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground Stonemill Essentials Sea Salt Grinder
  1. Heat oven to 325 F.
  2. In large bowl, combine oats, pistachios, chia seeds, cranberries and orange zest. Toss until orange zest is evenly distributed.
  3. In separate medium bowl, combine honey, coconut oil, vanilla, cinnamon and salt. Heat in microwave 1 minute; stir. Continue cooking in 30-second intervals until coconut oil is melted.
  4. Add honey mixture to oat mixture. Toss until thoroughly coated. Transfer to parchment- or foil-lined baking sheet. Spread into even layer and bake in center of oven 20 minutes. Stir and continue cooking until evenly browned, about 10-15 minutes.
  5. Remove from oven and cool to room temperature. Serve with yogurt or enjoy on its own.

Note: Granola can be stored in airtight container up to 3 weeks.

Source: ALDI

Meal Ideas 16 November 2018

Savor the Season with Comfort Foods

(Family Features) Few things go together quite like the holidays and comforting seasonal recipes.

When time is short during the season’s hustle and bustle but you’re craving a savory meal, reach for an ingredient like READ German Potato Salad, which can be the shortcut you need to get Potato, Turkey and Veggie Casserole on the table quickly.

Dessert is a must during the holidays, and this Cranberry-Beet Bundt Cake with Orange-Walnut Glaze draws its unique flavor from Aunt Nellie’s Beets and a sweet blend of spices and seasonings.

Find more seasonal recipes at READSalads.com and AuntNellies.com.
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Cranberry-Beet Bundt Cake with Orange-Walnut Glaze

Prep time: 50 minutes  
Cook time: 45 minutes
Servings: 16

  • 1          jar (16 ounces) Aunt Nellie’s Sliced Pickled Beets, drained
  • 2 1/4    cups granulated sugar, divided
  • 1 1/4    cups dried sweetened cranberries
  • 2 1/2    cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2    teaspoons baking powder
  • 1          teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2       teaspoon salt
  • 1          teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2       teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 4          large eggs, room temperature
  • 1 1/2    sticks (12 tablespoons) unsalted butter, softened
  • 1/4       cup vegetable oil
  • 1          orange, zest only, finely grated
  • 2          teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1/2       cup buttermilk

Orange-Walnut Glaze:

  • 2 1/2    cups confectioners’ sugar, sifted
  • 1          orange, zest only, finely grated
  • 1/4       cup orange juice, plus additional (optional)
  • 1 1/2    tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
  • 1          cup finely chopped walnuts
  1. Heat oven to 350° F.  Butter and lightly flour fluted 10-inch Bundt pan.
  2. In food processor, puree beets and 1 cup sugar until smooth, about 30 seconds, scraping down sides of bowl once.
  3. In small bowl, cover cranberries with hot water.
  4. In medium mixing bowl, sift flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon and nutmeg.
  5. In large mixing bowl using electric mixer on medium-high, beat remaining sugar, eggs, butter and oil2-3 minutes until light and smooth. Blend in beet puree. Add orange zest and vanilla; mix until blended. Add half of flour mixture; beat on low until smooth. Add buttermilk; beat on low until smooth then add remaining flour mixture, beating until blended. Drain cranberries; fold into batter.
  6. Turn batter into prepared pan, spreading evenly. Bake on center rack 45-50 minutes. When done, cake will pull away from sides of pan and toothpick, inserted into center will come out clean.
  7. Cool 15 minutes then invert cake onto rack.
  8. To make Orange-Walnut Glaze: In large mixing bowl, combine sugar and orange zest. Add orange juice; whisk until smooth. Whisk in butter. Add additional juice, if necessary.
  9. Spoon glaze over cake while still warm. Sprinkle with walnuts.

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Potato, Turkey and Veggie Casserole

Prep time: 15 minutes
Cook time: 30 minutes
Servings: 6

  • 1          tablespoon, plus 1 teaspoon, olive oil
  • 3/4       pound extra-lean ground turkey breast
  • 1/2       teaspoon dried thyme leaves
  • 1/2       teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2       teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1/2       teaspoon salt (optional)
  • 1          can (15 ounces) READ German Potato Salad
  • 1/2       cup light sour cream
  • 2          cups frozen, thawed or canned mixed vegetables, drained
  • nonstick cooking spray
  • 1/2       cup bread crumbs
  1. Heat oven to 350° F. In large, nonstick skillet over medium heat, heat 1 tablespoon oil. Add turkey, thyme, garlic powder, pepper and salt, if desired. Cook 5-7 minutes, until cooked through, stirring occasionally and breaking turkey into large crumbles.
  2. Stir in potato salad and sour cream. Add vegetables; stir to combine. Spray 2-quart casserole dish with nonstick cooking spray. Spoon in casserole mixture.
  3. Toss together bread crumbs and remaining oil. Sprinkle over casserole. Bake 30 minutes, or until bubbly and heated through.

Substitution: Leftover chopped turkey (about 1 1/2 cups) can be cooked 2-3 minutes in skillet in place of ground turkey.

Source: Seneca Foods
AuntNellies

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