Grilling-Tailgating 22 June 2020

Cookout Cravings: Appease summer appetites with grilled fare

(Family Features) The first thought that comes to mind when picturing grilling in the summer sun might be a perfectly cooked steak or a juicy burger, but no backyard barbecue is complete without the all-important sides and beverages that complete the meal.

Whether you're pairing a main protein with separate side dishes or going all-in-one by combining tender chicken with veggies on skewers, the opportunities are endless for a crave-worthy cookout.

Find more summer grilling recipes at Culinary.net.

5 Steps for Sizzling Steak

A sizzling steak is a surefire sound of summer, and the flavors achieved from one that's perfectly grilled are hard to match.

Before you fire up your grill, consider these five basics for cooking a chef-worthy steak:

Prepare Your Cut
Taste preferences (and prices) may differ among sirloins, ribeyes, T-bones and more, but the way you prepare steaks likely won't change much from cut to cut. You'll want to trim the thickness down to 1/2-1 inch for proper cooking, and setting the meat out ahead of time allows it to warm to room temperature before hitting the grill.

Add Some Salt
Feel free to add any spices you prefer, but remember a good steak typically doesn't require fancy seasoning - a pinch of salt works just fine. Add your salt anywhere between 30 minutes to a few hours before grilling time to help retain moisture and improve flavor.

Aim for High Heat
A two-zone fire is usually the way to go - one side of the grill should be hot (using direct heat) with the other side not quite as warm (indirect heat). This allows you to create a sear over direct heat before finishing cooking through - without burning - over indirect heat.

Sear and Slide
Cooking your steak over direct heat 1-2 minutes on each side is normally about right for creating a proper sear. At this point, depending on the thickness of your steak, you'll want to check for doneness. If it's not quite to the temperature you're looking to achieve, simply slide it over to the indirect heat for a finishing touch. Keep in mind these general guidelines for doneness: 120-125 F is rare, 130-135 F is medium-rare, 140-145 F is medium, 150-155 F is medium-well and 160-175 F is well done.

Let Rest
Finally, as hungry as you may be at this point, resting steaks is an important last step before diving in. Giving your steaks 5-10 minutes (foil or no foil) allows flavors to redistribute and moisture to be retained in the meat.

Less Prep, More Summer with a Skewered Solution

Make summer grilling easy and delicious by cooking your side dish and main dish together so you can spend more time outdoors and less time meal planning. These Grilled Greek Kebabs pair cubed chicken thighs with little potatoes on skewers, making for a classic cookout combo.

With no washing or peeling required, Creamer potatoes from The Little Potato Company require little prep, which helps make this recipe a breeze, and they cook quickly on the grill. Just marinate your chicken and potatoes with this zesty dressing and prepare for a taste bud-tingling backyard barbecue.

Visit littlepotatoes.com/summertime for more summer grilling recipes.

Grilled Greek Kebabs

Dressing/Marinade:

  • 3/4 cup olive oil
  • 2 lemons, zest and juice only
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
  • 1 garlic clove, finely chopped
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • salt, to taste
  • pepper, to taste
  • 3 teaspoons mayonnaise
  • Skewers:
  • 2 cups The Little Potato Company Dynamic Duo bagged Creamer Potatoes, cut in half
  • 4-6 boneless, skinless chicken thighs, cut into 1-inch cubes
  • 8 wooden skewers dipped in water
  • pita bread (optional)

Salad:

  • 2 cups cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 4 sliced Lebanese cucumbers
  • 1/4 cup red onion, finely sliced
  • 1 cup feta cheese
  • 1 cup pitted kalamata olives

To make dressing/marinade: In measuring cup, mix olive oil, lemon juice, lemon zest, oregano, Dijon mustard, garlic and sugar. Season generously with salt and pepper, to taste. Pour 1/3 cup marinade into large bowl. Refrigerate remaining.

To prepare skewers: Add potatoes and chicken pieces to bowl with marinade. Mix well to coat and marinate 30 minutes, or as long as overnight in refrigerator.

Preheat grill to medium heat.

Skewer potatoes and chicken cubes alternately on wooden skewers. Grill 6-8 minutes on both sides. Grill pita bread, if desired.

Finish dressing by adding mayonnaise.

To make salad: In large serving dish, mix tomatoes, cucumber, onions, feta cheese and olives. Place kebabs on top and drizzle with dressing.

Serve with grilled pita bread, if desired.

Sipping on Sweetness

When it's summertime, many people crave something cold and fruity. Simply combine frozen strawberries with frozen pink lemonade concentrate to create a cool concoction perfect for a sizzling day. This fizzy summertime treat can delight your taste buds and keep you quenched while enjoying the sun's rays.

Find more summer drink recipes at Culinary.net.

Strawberry Spritzer

Recipe adapted from Taste of Home

  • 1 package (10 ounces) frozen sliced strawberries, sweetened and thawed
  • 2 liters lemon-lime soda, chilled
  • 1 can (12 ounces) frozen pink lemonade concentrate, thawed
  1. In blender, process strawberries until blended thoroughly.
  2. Pour strawberries into large pitcher; stir in soda and pink lemonade.

A Simple Stuffed Side

Whether you need a quick appetizer or something to snack on, these Stuffed Cherry Tomatoes make for an appealing bite.

Find more snack recipes at Culinary.net.

Stuffed Cherry Tomatoes

Recipe courtesy of Culinary.net

  • 24-48 cherry tomatoes
  • 1 package (8 ounces) cream cheese, softened
  • 2 tablespoons mayonnaise
  • 1 medium cucumber, peeled and diced
  • 3 green onion stalks, diced
  • 2 teaspoons minced dill
  • fresh dill, for garnish
  1. Cut thin slice off top of each tomato. Scoop out pulp. Invert tomatoes on paper towel to drain.
    In medium bowl, combine cream cheese and mayonnaise until smooth. Stir in cucumber, green onion and dill. Spoon mixture into tomatoes. Top with fresh dill.
  2. Refrigerate until ready to serve.

 

Photo courtesy of Getty Images (Steak)

Source:  The Little Potato Company

Videos 11 June 2020

Cheesecake Cupcakes with Oat & Walnut Crust

(Family Features) Make family meals part of your home by digging into kid-friendly desserts like these Cheesecake Cupcakes with Oat and Walnut Crust, and join the Family Meals Movement, which encourages Americans to pledge to share one more family breakfast, lunch or dinner at home per week. Find tips, recipes and ways to increase your family meal frequency at familymealsmovement.org.

Cheesecake Cupcakes with Oat and Walnut Crust

Recipe courtesy of Liz Weiss on behalf of the FMI Foundation

Crust:

  • 1/2       cup old-fashioned or quick oats
  • 1/2       cup walnut halves or pieces
  • 1          tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1          tablespoon butter, melted
  • 1          tablespoon granulated sugar
  • 1/2       teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1          pinch salt

Filling:

  • 1          package (8 ounces) light cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 1/4       cup granulated sugar
  • 1          large egg
  • 1/2       tablespoon cornstarch
  • 1/2       lemon, zest only
  • 1/2       teaspoon vanilla extract

Toppings (optional):

  • plain or vanilla Greek yogurt
  • sliced strawberries
  • sliced raspberries
  • sliced blueberries
  • fresh mint
  • toasted coconut flakes
  • agave
  • sliced almonds
  • lemon zest
  1. Preheat oven to 350 F.
  2. Line cupcake pan with eight paper baking cups and set aside.
  3. To make crust: In bowl of food processor, pulse oats and walnuts until coarsely ground. Add olive oil, butter, sugar, cinnamon and salt; pulse until evenly moistened and combined.
  4. Press 1 tablespoon of mixture firmly onto bottoms of cups. Bake 7 minutes until cooked.
  5. To make filling: In medium bowl, beat cream cheese and sugar until smooth and creamy. Add egg, cornstarch, lemon zest and vanilla; continue beating until well combined.
  6. Spoon mixture evenly into muffin cups. Bake 20-22 minutes until cream cheese mixture is set. Remove from oven and cool in tins about 10 minutes. Transfer to wire rack and cool completely. Place in refrigerator and chill completely before serving or decorating with yogurt, strawberries, raspberries, blueberries, mint, coconut flakes, agave, almonds and lemon zest, if desired.

Source:  FMI Foundation

Meal Ideas 20 May 2020

A Simply Sensational Summer Meal

(Family Features) Whipping up a fresh cooked meal is one of the true joys of summer, especially when grilled grub is paired with tantalizing sides and tempting desserts.

Spice things up with Mexican Beef Sliders with Jalapeno Salsa and Avocado Cream coupled with a side like Roasted Potatoes then cap off a filling meal with these sweet and decadent Strawberry Cream Cheese Tartlets. If you’re looking for ways to mix meat and veggies all at once, these ideas for kebabs are a surefire way to please a variety of palates.

Find more summer meal ideas at Culinary.net.

Cook Up Kebabs

As one of the most versatile main courses that can be grilled, kebabs offer nearly endless opportunities for customization. From protein to veggies, soaked wooden skewers can be loaded with just about any favorite flavors before hitting the grates. Consider these options for kicking your kebabs up a notch:

  • Steak, cut into chunks
  • Chicken, cut into chunks
  • Bratwurst or sausage, cut into slices
  • Ground beef, shaped into balls
  • Lamb
  • Shrimp
  • Salmon, cut into chunks
  • Bacon, cut into small pieces
  • Sliced onions
  • Sliced bell peppers
  • Sliced jalapenos
  • Sliced mushrooms
  • Sliced cucumbers
  • Cherry tomatoes

Summer Sliders with a Spicy Kick

Summer calls for firing up the grill for a fresh-cooked meal, and sliders are an ideal way to enjoy a downsized version of a warm weather favorite.

These Mexican Beef Sliders with Jalapeno Salsa and Avocado Cream are perfect for summer with their spicy kick of salsa and bright, cooling cream. Made with grass-fed beef from New Zealand, where the animals are allowed to roam and graze freely over lush green hills and pastures year-round, the mini burgers boast a lean, finely textured meat that tastes just as nature intended.

Find more tasty summer recipes at beefandlambnz.com.

Mexican Beef Sliders with Jalapeno Salsa and Avocado Cream

Recipe courtesy of Beef + Lamb New Zealand
Prep time: 20 minutes
Cook time: 15 minutes
Servings: 4

Patties:

  • 1 1/3    pounds lean New Zealand grass-fed ground beef
  • 1          clove garlic, crushed
  • 1          medium onion, grated or finely chopped
  • 1          egg, lightly beaten
  • 3/4       cup red kidney beans, rinsed and drained
  • 2          tablespoons tomato paste
  • 3          teaspoons dried oregano, chopped
  • 2          teaspoons mild smoked paprika
  • 2          teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1          teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1/2       cup Parmesan cheese, grated
  • salt, to taste
  • pepper, to taste
  • olive oil

Jalapeno Salsa:

  • 1          cup cucumber, thinly sliced into long ribbons
  • 3/4       cup fresh cilantro leaves, chopped
  • 1          red onion, finely sliced
  • 1/2       cup pickled jalapenos, finely chopped
  • salt, to taste
  • pepper, to taste
  • olive oil
  • lime juice

Avocado Cream:

  • 1          avocado, mashed
  • 1/2       cup sour cream
  • 1          lime, juice and zest only
  • salt, to taste
  • pepper, to taste
  • 8-12     slider buns, halved
  • 2-3       cobs sweet corn, cooked and sliced into shards
  • 8-12     small bamboo skewers
  1. To make patties: In bowl, combine beef, garlic, onion, egg, kidney beans, tomato paste, oregano, paprika, cumin, coriander, Parmesan cheese, salt, to taste, and pepper, to taste. Shape into 8-12 small patties. Cover and refrigerate 15 minutes.
  2. Heat grill or frying pan to medium heat.
  3. Brush patties with oil on both sides. Cook 2-3 minutes on each side, turning once to brown both sides evenly, until cooked through.
  4. To make Jalapeno Salsa: In bowl, combine cucumber, cilantro, onion and jalapenos; season with salt and pepper, to taste. Drizzle with olive oil and lime juice.
  5. To make Avocado Cream: In bowl, combine avocado, sour cream, lime juice and lime zest; season with salt and pepper, to taste.
  6. Spread Avocado Cream on bottom buns and place patties on top. Top patties with Jalapeno Salsa, corn and top buns. Press down gently and poke in skewers to secure sliders.

A Sweet Summer Treat

Sweet flavors and warm weather go hand-in-hand, and many summer occasions and get-togethers call for dessert. Take advantage of warm weather favorites like strawberries and raspberries with these Strawberry Cream Cheese Tartlets.

Made using the best berries nature can provide, these bite-size tartlets feature a graham cracker crust base and an indulgent cream cheese filling flavored with sliced strawberries, honey and lemon topped with Well•Pict’s sweet, juicy strawberries and raspberries, which come fresh in clamshell packaging made from 70% recycled water bottles.

Find more sweet recipes that can bring a smile to your loved ones’ faces at wellpict.com/recipe.

Strawberry Cream Cheese Tartlets

Makes: 24 tartlets (4 ounces each)

  • 1/2       cup water
  • 2          tablespoons lemon juice
  • 3          tablespoons lemon zest
  • 2          tablespoons gelatin
  • 4          cups Well•Pict Strawberries, sliced, divided
  • 1/3       cup honey
  • 2          packages (8 ounces each) cream cheese
  • 1/2       cup sour cream
  • 1          cup ice cubes
  • 2          cups graham cracker crumbs
  • 1/2       cup melted butter
  • 1          cup Well•Pict Strawberries, rinsed, for garnish
  • 1          cup Well•Pict Raspberries, rinsed, for garnish
  1. In blender, mix water, lemon juice, lemon zest and gelatin until frothy.
  2. Add 2 cups strawberries and honey; blend until smooth. Pour into bowl and chill mix 15 minutes.
  3. In blender, mix cream cheese, sour cream and ice cubes while incorporating strawberry mixture. Mix in remaining strawberries.
  4. In blender or food processor, mix graham crackers and melted butter to crumb consistency. Lightly grease two medium muffin pans and pack graham cracker mixture at bottom of each opening. Pour strawberry mixture over graham cracker mixture and chill until set. Gently pull tartlets from muffin tins and place on serving tray. Garnish with strawberries and raspberries.

Roasted and Ready to Serve

Summer meals centered around grilled fare call for a complementary pairing that completes the classic profile of warm weather food. Using a versatile vegetable like potatoes allows you to think up different methods of cooking for a new flavor each time.

While you’re focused on the main dish being grilled, these Roasted Potatoes can bake away indoors for a simple side that requires little attention.

Find more health resources at usda.gov.

Roasted Potatoes

Recipe courtesy of “A Harvest of Recipes with USDA Foods
Servings: 6

  • 1          pound potatoes, chopped into 1-inch cubes
  • 1/2       cup onion, chopped into 1-inch cubes
  • 1/2       cup green pepper, chopped into 1-inch cubes
  • 1          teaspoon garlic, finely chopped
  • 1          teaspoon vegetable oil
  • 1/4       teaspoon salt
  • 1/4       teaspoon pepper
  • 1          tablespoon parsley, finely chopped
  • 1/2       teaspoon paprika
  1. Preheat oven to 350° F.
  2. In medium bowl, mix potatoes, onions, green peppers and garlic.
  3. Add vegetable oil, salt, pepper, parsley and paprika. Mix well.
  4. Cover bowl and refrigerate 15 minutes.
  5. Spread potato mixture evenly on cookie sheet. Bake about 35 minutes.

Photos courtesy of Getty Images (Kebabs and Roasted Potatoes)

Source:  New Zealand Wagyu Beef
Well•Pict Berries

 

Pasta 14 April 2020

Perfect Pantry Pastas

(Family Features) Constantly seeking out recipe-specific ingredients that may only be used once or twice can be a burden. Instead, keep your home stocked with necessities to simplify dinner prep with dishes made using common household staples.

One perfect example: pastas. These recipes for Minestrone Pasta Saute with Ricotta, Creamy One-Pot Spaghetti and Pasta in a Pinch include easily recognizable seasonings and canned goods for simple dinner solutions. Plus, they all include dairy, an irreplaceable part of a balanced diet as a source of essential nutrients.

Another way to scale back on unnecessary grocery purchases is to give yourself permission to modify. Many recipes can be tweaked for personal preferences, such as using black beans rather than kidney beans or adjusting the amount of a spice used based on your family’s tastes.

Stock your pantry and refrigerator with versatile ingredients like these:

  • Canned tomatoes
  • Canned beans
  • Quick-cook rice
  • Small whole-grain pasta
  • Stock, like vegetable, chicken or beef
  • Fluid milk
  • Shredded cheese
  • Plain Greek yogurt

For more ideas to simplify family meals, visit milkmeansmore.org.

Minestrone Pasta Saute with Ricotta

Recipe courtesy of Lori Yates of “Foxes Love Lemons” on behalf of Milk Means More
Prep time: 15 minutes
Cook time: 15 minutes
Servings: 4

  • 8          ounces ditalini pasta
  • 1 1/2    tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 3          carrots, finely diced
  • 3          cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2       medium onion, chopped
  • 1/2       bunch kale, thinly sliced
  • 1/2       pound green beans, trimmed and halved
  • 1/4       cup dry white wine
  • 1/2       pound lean ground beef (optional)
  • 1          can (15 ounces) kidney beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1          jar (24 ounces) marinara sauce
  • 1/2       teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4       teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1          cup Ricotta cheese
  • 1/4       cup grated Parmesan cheese
  1. In large pot of boiling salted water, cook pasta according to package instructions. Reserve 1/4 cup pasta cooking water then drain pasta.
  2. In large skillet over medium-high heat, heat oil. Add carrots, garlic and onion; cook 3 minutes, or until vegetables start to soften, stirring occasionally. Add kale and green beans; cook 3 minutes, or until green beans are tender-crisp, stirring occasionally.
  3. Add wine to skillet; cook 2 minutes, or until most liquid has evaporated. Transfer vegetables to medium bowl. If including meat, return skillet to medium-high heat. Add ground beef; cook 6-8 minutes, or until meat is cooked through, breaking up with side of spoon. Spoon off excess fat.
  4. Reduce heat to medium-low. Add kidney beans, marinara sauce, salt, pepper, pasta, reserved pasta cooking water and cooked vegetable mixture to skillet with beef, if using. Cook 2 minutes, or until warmed through, stirring occasionally. Divide pasta between four pasta bowls or plates and top with Ricotta and Parmesan cheeses.

Pasta in a Pinch

Recipe courtesy of Jenn Fillenworth, MS, RDN, of “Jenny With the Good Eats” on behalf of Milk Means More
Prep time: 5 minutes
Cook time: 15 minutes
Servings: 6

  • 8          ounces uncooked penne pasta
  • 2 1/2    cups water
  • 1/4       teaspoon salt
  • 1/4       teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/2       teaspoon dried basil
  • 1/2       teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2       cup milk
  • 2          cups mozzarella cheese, grated
  • 1          can (15 ounces) cannellini beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1          can (14 1/2 ounces) diced tomatoes, drained
  • 1/4       cup Parmesan cheese
  • freshly chopped herbs, for garnish (optional)
  1. In large microwavable bowl, place uncooked penne pasta and pour water over top to cover. With food-safe plastic wrap, cover bowl, leaving small section to vent as it cooks. Cook 3 minutes longer than package directs, approximately 13 minutes.
  2. Once pasta has cooked, drain into colander then place back in bowl. Add salt, pepper, basil, garlic powder and milk; stir to combine. Begin to stir in cheese a little at a time. Microwave 1 minute. Remove from microwave and stir again.
  3. Add cannellini beans and diced tomatoes; stir. Microwave 1 minute. Remove from microwave and stir. Assess if ingredients are hot and cheese is melted. If not, microwave 1-2 minutes.
  4. Top with Parmesan cheese and garnish with fresh herbs, if desired.

Creamy One-Pot Spaghetti

Recipe courtesy of Marcia Stanley, MS, RDN, on behalf of Milk Means More
Prep time: 20 minutes
Cook time: 10 minutes
Servings: 8

  • 1          tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1          pound lean ground turkey or lean ground beef
  • 1/2       cup chopped onion
  • 2 1/2    cups reduced-sodium chicken broth or reduced-sodium beef broth
  • 2          cups marinara sauce
  • 1/2       teaspoon crushed fennel seeds
  • 1/8       teaspoon ground cayenne pepper
  • 8          ounces spaghetti noodles, broken into 3-4-inch pieces
  • 1          package (8 ounces) reduced-fat cream cheese, cubed
  • 1 1/3    cups shredded cheddar cheese, divided
  • chopped fresh basil or parsley (optional)
  1. Using saute function of pressure cooker, heat oil until hot. Add meat and onion. Cook, uncovered, about 5 minutes, or until meat is browned, stirring to break up. Press cancel.
  2. Stir broth, marinara sauce, fennel seeds and cayenne pepper into meat. Stir in spaghetti, making sure noodle pieces are covered by liquid. Secure lid and set pressure release to sealing function. Select high pressure and cook 5 minutes. Press cancel.
  3. Allow pressure to release naturally 2 minutes. Move pressure release to venting function to release remaining steam. Remove lid.
  4. Stir spaghetti mixture. Stir in cream cheese and 1 cup cheddar cheese until melted. Ladle into bowls to serve. Sprinkle with remaining cheddar cheese. Garnish with chopped fresh basil or parsley, if desired.

Source: United Dairy Industry of Michigan

Meal Ideas 10 April 2020

Nutritious Eating at Home

(Family Features) If spending additional time in the comfort of your home has you rethinking the family menu and looking for new ways to enjoy nutritional meals, rest assured you can make better-for-you food choices without losing mouthwatering taste.

Easy, efficient at-home recipes like Thai Coconut Lime Freezer Chicken, Burrito Beef and Cauli Mac and Cheese can all be made in less than an hour while reducing the intake of carbs and unnecessary sugars. All are part of a balanced Atkins low-carb lifestyle, a long-term, healthy eating approach focused on high-fiber carbohydrates, optimal protein and healthy fats.

The eating approach, which is a more flexible version of the popular ketogenic diet, offers a balanced mix of foods containing fiber-rich and nutrient-dense carbohydrates while focusing on reduced levels of refined carbohydrates, added sugars and the “hidden sugar effect” – when carbohydrates convert to sugar when digested. You don’t see the sugar, but your body does.

Introducing your family to smarter food choices can also support your immunity. According to research published in “The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition,” simply substituting whole grains for refined grains has a modest effect on gut microbiota and immunity. Refined grains have had most of the fiber milled out of them, leaving a refined carbohydrate that impacts your body the way sugar would. Opt for whole grains to get the fiber you need, along with protein and healthy fats.

Visit atkins.com for more nutritious recipes


Thai Coconut Lime Freezer Chicken

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

  • 1 3/4    cups coconut milk
  • 2          tablespoons basil
  • 1          tablespoon xylitol (sugar substitute)
  • 1          ounce cilantro
  • 1          ounce fresh lime juice
  • 1/2       teaspoon salt
  • 1/2       teaspoon garlic
  • 1          teaspoon lime zest (optional)
  • 20        ounces boneless, cooked chicken breast
  • 20        ounces broccoli flower clusters
  1. In bowl, mix coconut milk, basil, xylitol, cilantro, lime juice, salt and garlic. For more citrus flavor, add lime zest, if desired.
  2. Add chicken, broccoli and sauce to 1-gallon zip-top freezer bag. Squeeze out any air and seal bag. Freeze bag flat up to 1 month.
  3. To cook: Thaw in refrigerator overnight. Heat oven to 350° F.
  4. Place in glass 8-by-8-inch pan and bake 20-25 minutes.

Burrito Beef

Prep time: 15 minutes
Cook time: 8 hours
Servings: 6

  • 2          pounds beef arm chuck roast
  • 4          tablespoons green taco sauce
  • 1          teaspoon minced garlic
  • 2          large scallions or spring onions, chopped
  • 1          jalapeno pepper, diced
  • 2          teaspoons chili powder
  • 1/2       teaspoon cumin
  • 1/2       teaspoon salt
  1. Trim fat from beef. In slow cooker on low heat, cook beef, taco sauce, garlic, onions, jalapeno, chili powder, cumin and salt 8 hours, or until beef is tender.
  2. Using two forks, remove beef and shred. Mix beef with 1/2 cup cooking juices before serving.
  3. A Low-Sugar Swap to Satisfy Cravings
  4. While spending more time at home than normal, those snack cravings can be hard to shake. Rather than relying on easy-to-grab eats from the pantry or freezer, focus on more nutritious choices that don’t sacrifice flavor.
  5. Turn to a creamy solution to satisfy your hunger such as the Atkins Milk Chocolate Delight Shake, a filling option for chocolate lovers. The drinks are packed with 15 grams of protein, 5 grams of fiber, 20% of the daily recommended amount of vitamin D and 1 gram of sugar to keep you going throughout the day.

Cauli Mac and Cheese

Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 40 minutes
Servings: 6

  • Nonstick cooking spray
  • 1          teaspoon salt, divided
  • 1          head large (6-7-inch diameter) cauliflower
  • 1          cup heavy cream
  • 2          ounces cream cheese
  • 1 1/2    teaspoons ground mustard
  • 1 1/2    cups shredded cheddar cheese, divided
  • 1          clove garlic, minced
  • 1/4       teaspoon white pepper
  • 1/4       teaspoon pepper sauce
  1. Heat oven to 375° F and prepare 9-by-9-inch baking dish with nonstick cooking spray. Heat large pot of water to boiling and add 1/2 teaspoon salt.
  2. Remove stem and leaves from cauliflower. Cut into small pieces and place in boiling water; cook until crisp-tender; about 5 minutes. Drain well then pat between paper towels to remove moisture.
  3. In medium saucepan over medium heat, bring cream to simmer. Whisk cream cheese and powdered mustard into simmering cream until smooth. Add 1 cup cheddar cheese, garlic, remaining salt, white pepper and pepper sauce, whisking until cheese melts; about 1-2 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in cauliflower.
  4. Pour into baking dish and top with remaining cheese. Bake 15 minutes until browned and bubbly.

 

Photos courtesy of Getty Images (Thai Coconut Lime Freezer Chicken, Burrito Beef and Cauli Mac and Cheese)

Source: Atkins

Videos 01 April 2020

Carrot Cake

(Culinary.net) Surprise your family with a dessert fit for the season. This Carrot Cake recipe is a traditional take on the timeless treat and created using everyday ingredients. 

Find more dessert inspiration at Culinary.net.

Watch video to see how to make this recipe!

Carrot Cake

  • 2 1/4    cups flour
  • 1          teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2       teaspoon salt
  • 1          teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2       teaspoon baking powder
  • 1          cup vegetable oil
  • 1 1/4    cups sugar
  • 3          eggs
  • 1 1/2    cups carrots, shredded
  • 1          cup crushed pineapple with juice
  • 2/3       cup walnuts

Frosting:

  • 2          packages (8 ounces each) cream cheese
  • 3/4       cup butter, softened
  • 1          teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 5 1/2    cups powdered sugar
  1. Heat oven to 350° F.
  2. In large bowl, sift flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon and baking powder.
  3. In mixing bowl, cream together oil and sugar. Add eggs one at a time. Gradually add in carrots and crushed pineapple.
  4. Add dry mixture to wet ingredients and beat until smooth. Fold in walnuts.
  5. Pour batter into two lightly greased 8-inch round cake pans and bake 25-30 minutes, or until knife inserted in center comes out clean. Allow cakes to cool completely. Remove cakes from pans and slice off tops to level cakes.
  6. To make frosting: In mixing bowl, cream together cream cheese, butter and vanilla. Gradually add in powdered sugar and mix until smooth.
  7. Spread two large spoonfuls frosting over top of one cake and stack second cake on top. Frost entire cake with remaining frosting.
Videos 06 March 2020

Luck o’ the Irish Mint Pie

(Culinary.net) Even if you’re not Irish, a green treat like this Luck o’ the Irish Mint Pie can get you and your guests into the festive spirit. With enough seasonal flavor to go around, this recipe makes two pies, so be sure to cut every leprechaun a generous portion.

Find more festive recipes at Culinary.net.

Watch video to see how to make this recipe!



Luck o’ the Irish Mint Pie

Makes: 2 pies (9 inches each)

  • 3 3/4    cups heavy whipped cream, divided
  • 8          ounces cream cheese, softened
  • 1 1/4    cups, plus 2 tablespoons, powdered sugar, divided
  • 5          drops green food coloring
  • 1 1/4    teaspoons vanilla extract, divided
  • 1/4       teaspoon mint extract
  • 1          bag mint chocolate candies, chopped, divided
  • 2          chocolate cookie crusts (9 inches each)
  • 1          bag mint chocolate candies
  1. To make filling: In bowl of stand mixer, whisk 2 1/2 cups heavy cream until stiff peaks form. Transfer to bowl.
  2. In separate stand mixer bowl, beat cream cheese on high 2 minutes. Gradually add 1 1/4 cups powdered sugar and green food coloring; mix until smooth. Add 1/4 teaspoon vanilla and mint extract; mix well.
  3. Fold prepared whipped cream into cream cheese mixture. Fold 1 cup chopped mint chocolate candies into filling.
  4. To make frosting: In bowl of stand mixer, whisk remaining heavy cream and remaining powdered sugar. Add remaining vanilla extract and mix until stiff peaks form.
  5. Pour filling into crusts and smooth tops.
  6. Fill decorating bag with frosting and pipe thick band around edges of pies. Then pipe circle dollops evenly around edges of pies.
  7. Scatter 1 cup chopped mint chocolate candies in middle of pies. Place whole mint chocolate candies into each dollop of frosting around edges of pies.
  8. Refrigerate until firm, 5-6 hours.
Videos 09 December 2019

No Bake Chocolate Caramel Cheesecake

Add the rich flavor of caramel to your dessert table with a recipe like this No Bake Chocolate Caramel Cheesecake for a tempting, tasty treat.

Find more dessert recipes at Culinary.net.

Watch video to see how to make this recipe!

No Bake Chocolate Caramel Cheesecake

  • 10        graham crackers, crumbled
  • 7          tablespoons butter, melted
  • 1/4       cup sugar
  • 1          tablespoon cinnamon
  • caramel sauce, divided
  • 16        ounces cream cheese
  • 7          tablespoons powdered sugar
  • 1          cup whipping cream
  • chocolate covered caramels
  1. Place graham crackers in re-sealable plastic bag. Using rolling pin or soup can, roll graham crackers into fine crumbs.  
  2. In medium bowl, add cracker crumbs, melted butter, sugar and cinnamon; stir until combined. Press into bottom of pie plate. Drizzle caramel sauce over crust; set aside.
  3. In medium bowl, combine cream cheese, powdered sugar and whipping cream. Pour over graham cracker crust. Refrigerate 24 hours.
  4. Place chocolate caramel candy pieces around pie. Drizzle with caramel sauce. Refrigerate leftovers.
Dessert 22 November 2019

Holiday Desserts from Around the Globe

(Family Features) Over time, many families tend to return to the same holiday favorites, from ham and mashed potatoes to pies and cookie classics. This season, you can add a twist to tradition with these globally inspired desserts.

Rugelach, for instance, is like a cross between a croissant and a cookie featuring walnuts for a nutty flavor and crunch with ties to Greece, Turkey and the Middle East. If you’re looking to steal the show at cookie exchanges, Mexican Wedding Cookies provide a crumbly, melt-in-your-mouth texture perfect for dipping in hot chocolate.

Both treats include California walnuts, which have an agricultural history deeply rooted in tradition and can stand alone as a tasty snack or offer an opportunity to level up dishes from appetizers to desserts.

Find more holiday dessert ideas at walnuts.org/holiday.   

Rugelach

Recipe courtesy of California Walnuts
Prep time: 50 minutes
Cook time: 20 minutes
Servings: 32

Dough:

  • 1/2       cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
  • 4          ounces cream cheese, softened
  • 1          tablespoon granulated sugar
  • 1          teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2       teaspoon salt
  • 1          cup flour

Filling:

  • 1/3       cup granulated sugar
  • 1          tablespoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2       cup apricot jam
  • 1          cup finely chopped California walnuts
  • 1/2       cup raisins, chopped
  • 2          tablespoons unsalted butter melted
  1. To make dough: In large bowl, using electric mixer on medium speed, beat butter, cream cheese, sugar, vanilla and salt until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes.
  2. Scrape sides of bowl and beaters as necessary. Reduce speed and slowly mix in flour, about 30 seconds.
  3. On floured work surface, form dough into ball. Divide into two equal pieces.
  4. Wrap tightly in plastic wrap and press into two disks. Refrigerate 30 minutes, or until firm.
  5. To make filling: Heat oven to 375° F and place racks at upper-middle and lower-middle positions.
  6. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
  7. In small bowl, combine sugar and cinnamon; mix well and set aside.
  8. On lightly floured surface, roll out each piece of dough into 11-inch circles, about 1/4-inch thick. On each round, spread 1/4 cup jam and sprinkle 1/2 cup walnuts and 1/4 cup raisins. Evenly sprinkle 1 tablespoon cinnamon-sugar mixture on each disk.
  9. Using knife, cut each round into 16 even wedges. Beginning at wide ends, roll each wedge up into cookie.
  10. Place cookies on prepared baking sheet with pointed end underneath cookie. Space cookies about 2 inches apart.
  11. Using pastry brush, brush melted butter over cookies; sprinkle remaining cinnamon-sugar over top.
  12. Bake cookies about 20 minutes until slightly puffed and pale gold, rotating baking sheets halfway through.
  13. Transfer hot cookies to wire rack and allow to cool completely before serving.

Mexican Wedding Cookies

Recipe courtesy of California Walnuts
Prep time: 20 minutes
Cook time: 38 minutes
Servings: 36

  • 2          cups California walnuts, toasted, divided
  • 2          cups all-purpose flour
  • 3/4       teaspoon salt
  • 1          cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
  • 1/3       cup granulated sugar
  • 1 1/2    teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2    cups powdered sugar, plus additional (optional)
  1. Heat oven to 325° F. Adjust oven racks to upper-middle and lower-middle positions. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone mats.
  2. In food processor, finely grind 1 cup walnuts, about 10-15 seconds. Transfer to medium bowl.
  3. In food processor, pulse remaining walnuts about 5 seconds. Add to medium bowl with finely ground walnuts. Stir in flour and salt; set aside.
  4. In electric mixer bowl, combine butter and granulated sugar. Beat 2 minutes, or until fluffy. Scrape sides of bowl. Add vanilla; beat 1 minute. Add flour and walnut mixture; beat 30 seconds, or until combined. Scrape down sides of bowl and beaters; continue hand-mixing dough until well combined.
  5. Working with 1 tablespoon dough at a time, roll into 1 1/4-inch balls and arrange 1 inch apart on prepared baking sheets. Bake until cookies are lightly golden brown, about 18 minutes, rotating baking sheets halfway through.
  6. Remove cookies from oven and cool on baking sheets 10 minutes. Transfer to wire rack; cool completely. Roll cookies in powdered sugar.
  7. Before serving, re-roll cookies in powdered sugar, if desired. Gently shake to remove excess.

Source: California Walnuts

Videos 18 October 2019

Whoopie Pies

(Culinary.net) If you’re looking for an easy dessert, this Whoopie Pie recipe is the perfect way to cap off weeknight meals.

Find more dessert recipes at Culinary.net.

Watch video to see how to make this recipe!

Whoopie Pies

  • 1          box spice cake mix
  • 1 1/2    cups apple butter
  • 1/2       cup canola oil
  • 2          eggs
  • 8          ounces cream cheese
  • 4          tablespoons butter
  • 3          cups powdered sugar
  • 2          tablespoons milk
  • 1          teaspoon vanilla
  1. Heat oven to 350° F.
  2. Line baking sheet with parchment paper.
  3. In large bowl, whisk spice cake mix, apple butter, oil and eggs.
  4. With ice cream scoop or large tablespoon, spoon batter into rounded heaps, about 2-3 inches in diameter, onto parchment paper. Space spooned batter 2 inches apart.
  5. Bake 14 minutes. Let cool.
  6. In large bowl, beat cream cheese, butter and powdered sugar until smooth. Add milk and vanilla; beat until blended.
  7. Frost flat sides of pie halves and place halves together.
  8. Refrigerate and store in sealed container.

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