Kids 19 February 2019

Creative, Kid-Size Snacks

(Family Features) The ultimate kid-friendly snack comes as a package deal – simple, delicious, nutritious and fun. One option that readily meets those demands are apples, pears and oranges perfectly sized for small hands, mouths and appetites.

While Lil Snappers’ smaller sizes allow fresh fruits to easily fit into bento boxes and brown bags for a wholesome lunchbox companion that leaves little waste, a dash of creativity also transforms these fruits into a favorite snacktime star – from crunchy critters to sweet treats.

Available in three-pound pouches and found in the fresh produce aisle, Lil Snappers come seasonally in a wide array of fruit varieties, including organics, grown by a sixth-generation family farming operation, Stemilt Growers. Options range from popular apples such as Gala, Pink Lady and Granny Smith, to delicious Bartlett pears, Bosc pears and more.

Try out these recipes for pint-sized snackers, and find quick and easy recipe ideas at lilsnappers.com.

Crab Critter

  • 1          Lil Snappers apple
  • 1          mini marshmallow
  1. Cut apple in half lengthwise and remove stem. Remove core from one apple half.
  2. Slice apple half without core into 8 wedges to serve as critter’s legs.
  3. Set aside second apple half, which will serve as critter’s body.
  4. Take two legs and make simple zig-zag cuts into flesh to create “claw-like” shape.
  5. On a plate, arrange critter’s legs, fanning them out, then place claws in front of legs and reserved apple half on top for the head.
  6. Cut mini marshmallow in half. Gooey side of each will easily stick to critter’s head to serve as eyes.

Little Mouse

  • 1          Lil Snappers pear
  • 1          slice orange rind
  • 1          marshmallow
  • 1          grape
  • 2          toothpicks
  1. Cut pear in half lengthwise. On plate, lay pear cut-side down. Using peeler, slice 3 inches of rind from orange. Trim sides to result in long, thin rectangle. Coil length of rind around finger and hold to set shape.
  2. Cut one slice from end of marshmallow then cut that round in half to create two half-moon shapes. Gooey edge of each half-moon will stick to top of pear half to serve as critter’s ears.
  3. Break toothpick in half and place picks in location for critter’s eyes, leaving about 1/4 inch sticking out from fruit.
  4. Slice ends off of one grape and place domes over toothpicks to serve as eyes.
  5. Using toothpick, make hole in back end of critter to place tail. Stick end of coiled orange rind into hole using toothpick to wedge rind into fruit. Reshape coil, as needed.

Note: Remember to remove toothpicks before nibbling.

Source: Stemilt Growers

Healthy 14 December 2017

Fresh Fruit Flavors

(Family Features) When it comes to fresh fruit, watermelon is a top pick in many households.

It’s available year-round and makes for a nutritious snack, but its great taste is the reason most people buy watermelon, according to research from the National Watermelon Promotion Board.

Not only is watermelon a tasty snack by itself, it’s a great complement to other flavors, making it easy to create flavorful pairings. This sweet take on pizza combines watermelon with a host of other good-for-you ingredients for a delicious treat. Healthy enough for breakfast and sweet enough for dessert, this pizza can make its way into your weekly meal rotation.

For another nutritious option, consider this Buddha bowl featuring watermelon, which contains higher levels of lycopene, an antioxidant, than any other fresh fruit or vegetable. Watermelon is also an excellent source of vitamin C, and it provides vitamin B6 and potassium. It’s the perfect sweet addition to balance the savory flavors of this traditional plant-based Buddha bowl.

Each of these recipes leaves plenty of room for personalization; experiment with your favorite flavors to make each dish your own. Also remember that watermelon travels well, so these recipes make for ideal take-along snacks when you’re on the go.

Find more fresh, fruity recipes to enjoy any time of year at watermelon.org.

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Watermelon Buddha Bowl

Citrusy Tahini Dressing:

  • 3          tablespoons tahini (ground sesame seed paste)
  • 1/3       cup fresh-squeezed orange juice
  • 1/4       cup rice vinegar
  • 1          teaspoon soy sauce
  • 1          teaspoon freshly grated ginger
  • 1/2       teaspoon salt

Buddha Bowls:

  • 2          cups seedless watermelon, cubed
  • 4          mini cucumbers, thinly sliced
  • 1          cup sweet cherries, pitted and halved
  • 2          avocados, sliced
  • 2          cups cooked black rice
  • 1          cup sliced, toasted almonds
  • Citrusy Tahini Dressing
  1. To make Citrusy Tahini Dressing: In bowl, whisk tahini, orange juice, rice vinegar, soy sauce, ginger and salt. If dressing seems thick, add more orange juice or water to reach desired consistency.
  2. To arrange Buddha Bowls: Separate watermelon, cucumbers, cherries, avocados and rice in four bowls. Sprinkle with toasted almonds and drizzle with dressing. Serve immediately.

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Sweet Watermelon Pizza

  • Greek yogurt
  • Watermelon, cut to 1-inch thick round slice
  • Shredded coconut
  • Mint
  • Berries, such as blueberries, strawberries or blackberries
  • Slivered almonds
  1. Spread yogurt to cover fleshy part of watermelon, leaving room to hold rind. Sprinkle with coconut, mint, berries and almonds, or other toppings, as desired.

Source: National Watermelon Promotion Board

Snacks 21 July 2017

Snack Smarter with Dairy

(Family Features) Americans are snacking more and more these days, with the average person consuming 25 percent of daily calories in the form of snacks. This school year, aim for an A-plus in nutrition by snacking smarter on nutrient-rich dairy products.

Snacking goes hand-in-hand with dairy products since they are a tasty, convenient and cost-effective way to fuel up throughout the day. There are a variety of grab-and-go milk, cheese and yogurt products that provide portable nutrition.

What’s more, dairy packs a nutritious punch. Together, milk, cheese and yogurt provide nine essential nutrients, including high-quality protein, an important nutrient to include in snacks since it helps you feel fuller longer. 

Boost your snacking IQ with these smart tips:

  • Add dairy to your favorite treats for a well-rounded snack. Pair cheese sticks with fresh fruit, such as an apple, pear or grapes. Reach for cheese cubes and whole-grain crackers when you want something savory. Or dip strawberries in yogurt for a tasty, sweet treat. For a kid-friendly snack, make it hands-on fun by creating colorful fruit and cheese kabobs.
  • Flavored milk provides the same nine essential nutrients as unflavored milk. The only difference is the addition of flavorings and minimal amounts of sugar, which can lead to improved consumption, especially among children.
  • Whip up a dairy-based smoothie made for an on-the-go snack or create your own yogurt parfait, such as this flavorful recipe that combines favorites like peanut butter and bananas in a deliciously refreshing treat.

For more tips and recipes to help you snack smarter, and for stories about dairy farm families and where dairy foods come from, visit MidwestDairy.com.

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Peanut Butter Banana Crunch Yogurt Parfait

Recipe courtesy of the Midwest Dairy Council
Prep time: 10 minutes
Servings: 1

  • 1          cup nonfat, light vanilla yogurt
  • 1          tablespoon creamy peanut butter
  • 1          tablespoon chopped walnuts
  • 4          pretzel twists, crumbled (about 1 tablespoon)
  • 1          banana, sliced
  1. In small bowl, mix yogurt and peanut butter together. In separate bowl, toss walnuts and pretzels together.
  2. In tall glass, build parfait. Layer 1/2 cup yogurt, half of banana slices and 1 tablespoon of walnut/pretzel mixture. Repeat layers. Serve immediately.

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Rainbow Fruit and Cheese Kabobs

Recipe courtesy of the Midwest Dairy Council
Prep time: 15 minutes
Servings: 6

  • 8          wooden skewers
  • 6          ounces Monterey Jack cheese, cut into 18 cubes
  • 1/2       cup strawberries, halved
  • 1/2       cup cantaloupe, cut into 3/4-inch cubes
  • 1/2       cup pineapple, cut into 3/4-inch cubes
  • 1          kiwi, peeled and cut into 6 pieces
  • 1/4       cup blueberries
  • 6          purple grapes
  1. Thread each skewer with one piece of cheese, one strawberry half, one cantaloupe cube, one pineapple cube, another piece of cheese, one piece of kiwi, two blueberries, one grape and another piece of cheese. Repeat pattern with remaining skewers.
Meal Ideas 13 July 2017

Summer Brunch Fare

(Family Features) When it comes to planning brunch, there really are no rules. It’s the perfect opportunity to combine your favorite flavors and foods in one delicious meal.

Warmer weather calls for putting a summer twist on brunch classics. Breakfast Tacos Al Pastor are a fresh, flavorful addition to a festive summer brunch, while this Brunch Bruschetta Bar is a gorgeous way to feed a crowd and highlight your favorite summertime ingredients. These recipes are made and served with not-from-concentrate Florida’s Natural Brand Orange Juice, made entirely from oranges grown, picked and squeezed in Florida, with no water or sugar added.

Both recipes are from the Florida’s Natural Brunch Club, a collection of brunch experts creating recipes to celebrate brunch throughout the year. Brighten up your brunch with more fresh takes on classic recipes at floridasnatural.com.

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Breakfast Tacos Al Pastor

Recipe courtesy of Half Baked Harvest
Prep time: 10 minutes
Total time: 30 minutes
Servings: 4-6

  • 2          tablespoons olive oil
  • 1          pound ground chicken or pork
  • 1/2       sweet onion, chopped
  • 2          cloves garlic, minced or grated
  • 2          teaspoons chili powder
  • 1          teaspoon paprika
  • 1          teaspoon, plus pinch, kosher salt, divided
  • 2          chipotle peppers in adobo, chopped
  • 1/2       cup not-from-concentrate Florida's Natural Brand Orange Juice
  • 1/4       cup water
  • 2          cups fresh pineapple chunks, divided
  • 1/4       cup fresh cilantro, chopped
  • 1/4       cup fresh basil, chopped
  • 1          jalapeno, seeded and chopped
  • 1          lime, juice only
  • 4-6       fried eggs
  • 6-8       corn or flour tortillas, warmed
  • sliced avocado
  • feta or cheddar cheese
  1. In large skillet, heat olive oil over high heat. When oil shimmers, add ground chicken and onion. Cook, stirring often and breaking up meat as it cooks, until chicken is browned, about 5 minutes.
  2. Add garlic, chili powder, paprika, salt, chipotle peppers, orange juice, water and 1 cup pineapple. Reduce heat to medium and simmer until sauce has thickened slightly around chicken, about 10-15 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in cilantro.
  3. In bowl, combine remaining pineapple, basil, jalapeno, lime juice and pinch of salt.

To serve: Divide fried eggs among tortillas and top with chicken. Add pineapple-basil salsa, avocado and cheese.

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Brunch Bruschetta Bar

Recipe courtesy of Half Baked Harvest
Prep time: 20 minutes
Servings: 8-12

  • 1          cup basil pesto
  • 1          cup sun-dried tomato spread
  • 2          cups cherry tomatoes, marinated cherry tomatoes or diced tomatoes
  • 6-8       soft-boiled or poached eggs
  • 6-8       scrambled eggs
  • 12        slices grilled or toasted bread
  • olive oil, to taste
  • salt, to taste
  • pepper, to taste
  • 2-3       varieties of soft cheeses
  • 2          cups fresh fruit
  • 1          sliced avocado
  • 2          cups sauteed veggies, such as spinach and mushrooms
  • 6-8       pieces fried bacon
  • 2-3       varieties of prosciutto, salami or smoked salmon
  • 1          cup fruit jam
  • 1          cup nut butter
  • 1/2       cup honey
  • 1          carton not-from-concentrate Florida's Natural Brand Orange Juice
  1. On large serving board, arrange sauces and spreads. Add poached eggs, scrambled eggs and bread. Drizzle poached eggs with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Arrange cheese, fruits, veggies, meats, jams, nut butter and honey around eggs. 
  2. Pour orange juice into juice glasses for sipping.

Source: Florida's Natural

Meal Ideas 15 June 2017

Healthy Summer Treats Make for Happy Kids

(Family Features) Parents know raising healthy and successful children means more than encouraging learning and praising positive behavior. It also means instilling smart habits from the earliest years to create lifelong practices that promote overall health and good nutrition.

If getting your kids on board seems like a daunting challenge, try these tips from the fresh produce experts at ALDI for bringing more fruit, veggies and other healthy foods to your family’s table without busting your budget:

One smart cookie. For “cookies” you can feel good about giving your kids, cut an apple to create round slices then slather the slices with their favorite nut butter (peanut, almond or cashew) and top with raisins, yogurt bites or chocolate chips.

Fresh and fruity. Swap sugary drinks for fresh, fruit-infused water. Let kids pick their favorite flavor combinations each evening and refrigerate water to infuse overnight so it’s ready to enjoy the following day.

Icy sweet treats. Make your own frozen pops using ingredients like fresh fruit, yogurt or milk. Use store-bought molds or substitute small paper cups covered with plastic wrap. Just poke sticks through the plastic to hold them in place until the mixture freezes.

Hands-on helpers. Getting kids in on the action is a great way to encourage healthier eating habits. After all, if they helped make it, it has to be good. Once all the ingredients have been sliced and diced, a recipe like these Grilled Balsamic Vegetable Pops is easy for kids to assemble. Just ask them to thread the skewers in their favorite color and flavor combinations.

It takes a village. Learning about the benefits of healthy eating can be fun, especially when you take advantage of programs in your community, such as those offered by libraries, community centers and schools. Through partnerships like the one ALDI has with Action for Healthy Kids, families and schools have increased access to nutrition education and physical activity tools that make living and eating healthy fun.

Find more tips to encourage the little eaters in your family to enjoy the nutritious bounties of summer at aldi.us.

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Grilled Balsamic Vegetable Pops

Recipe courtesy of Chef Alyssa, ALDI Test Kitchen

  • 4 wooden skewers
  • 1 zucchini, cut into rounds
  • 1 yellow pepper, chopped
  • 4 mushrooms, halved
  • 4 cherry tomatoes
  • 1 ear sweet corn, cut into rounds
  • 2 tablespoons Carlini Pure Olive Oil
  • 1 teaspoon Stonemill Iodized Salt
  • 1 teaspoon Stonemill Ground Black Pepper
  • 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  1. Soak wooden skewers in water for 10 minutes before grilling. Heat grill to medium-high (400-425 F.)
  2. Pierce vegetables with skewers and drizzle with oil. Sprinkle with salt and pepper, and place on hot grill.
  3. Turn frequently to prevent burning. Vegetables should be golden and tender after 10-15 minutes. Remove from heat and drizzle with balsamic vinegar.

Source: ALDI

Dessert 14 March 2017

Spring-Inspired Dessert

(Family Features) Brighten up spring gatherings with a simple dessert inspired by the flavors of the season. Lemon, almond, vanilla and raspberry extracts give baked treats a fresh flair that matches the lively essence of spring.

“Friends and family will love these Easy Mini Cheesecakes,” said Mary Beth Harrington of the McCormick Kitchens. “Almond and vanilla give these individual treats a burst of rich flavor, while a fruit topping highlights the fresh ingredients of the season.”

To simplify preparation when making dessert for a gathering, take advantage of these ideas from the McCormick Kitchens:

  • Make Ahead and Batch Bake: Double-batch the dessert recipe and vary the extracts to make two unique treats in one effort. For even more variety, try a simple substitution like using chocolate sandwich cookies in place of the vanilla wafers for the "crust." Make day-of prep a spring breeze by preparing the recipe in advance and refrigerating it overnight.
  • Bright Fruit Topping: Fresh fruits and berries make a simple, yet colorful topping for cake, ice cream and other desserts. Stir in 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract and 2 tablespoons confectioners’ sugar to 2 1/2 cups fruit for a sweet seasonal treat.

For more inspiring spring ideas, visit www.McCormick.com, www.Facebook.com/McCormickSpice, or www.Pinterest.com/mccormickspices.

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Easy Mini Cheesecakes

These luscious cheesecakes flavored with vanilla and almond extract are sized just right. Garnish with fresh fruit, lemon curd or melted chocolate swirls.

Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 24 minutes
Refrigerate Time: 4 hours
Makes 12 servings

  • 2 packages (8 ounces each) cream cheese, softened
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 teaspoons McCormick® Pure Vanilla Extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon McCormick® Pure Almond Extract
  • 12 vanilla wafers
  1. Beat cream cheese and sugar in large bowl with electric mixer on medium speed until light and fluffy. Add eggs and extracts; beat well. Place a wafer in bottom of 12 paper-lined muffin cups. Spoon batter into each cup, filling 2/3 full.
  2. Bake in preheated 325°F oven 22 to 24 minutes or until edges are lightly browned. Cool in pan on wire rack. (Mini cheesecakes will deflate in center upon cooling.)
  3. Refrigerate 4 hours or overnight. Garnish with desired toppings.
Kitchen Tip:

Variations: Use 1 teaspoon pure lemon extract in place of almond extract. Use chocolate sandwich cookies in place of the vanilla wafers for the "crust." If you don’t have fresh fruit, top cheesecakes with canned fruit such as cherry pie filling or mandarin orange segments.

Nutritional Information Per Serving: 210 Calories, Fat 14g, Carbohydrates 17g, Cholesterol 79mg, Sodium 166mg, Fiber 0g, Protein 4g

Source: McCormick

Holiday 20 January 2017

Happier Holiday Hors D’oeuvres

(Family Features) Holiday entertaining is all about food, wine and quality time with family and friends. This year, try a new approach to holiday get-togethers by hosting an hors d’oeuvres party.

Skip the hassle of preparing a full meal by serving a number of small bites, dips and spreads for your guests to enjoy. Most hors d’oeuvres can be prepared ahead of time so you can spend more time with your guests instead of in the kitchen, making it easy to entertain flawlessly.
The best part is you don’t have to break the bank to host a fabulous holiday gathering. By switching from national name brands to a grocer like ALDI, party essentials and seasonal must-haves, such as holiday gifts and baking necessities, can be as much as 50 percent less. Manufactured by many of the nation’s leading food producers, these exclusive brand items often meet or exceed the quality and taste of the national name brands.

Try these hors d’oeuvre serving tips from food stylist and loyal ALDI shopper Janice Stahl:

  • Rethink the regular: Surprise guests and get creative with classic recipes by changing the presentation. Square pizza bites, circular tea sandwiches or star-shaped fruit make entertaining fun.
  • Keep hors d’oeuvres simple: Serve foods that are bite-sized and easy to pick up. Try skewers to create festive kabobs, which are perfect for nibbling.
  • Presentation is everything: Experiment with serving pieces like vases, champagne glasses or appetizer cups that add special interest to bite-sized snacks from chips and dip to shrimp cocktail.

With these simple tips and recipes, you’ll be ready to throw a festive holiday hors d’oeuvres party that’s easy and affordable. Visit www.aldi.us for more entertaining ideas.

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Cranberry Shrimp Ceviche Cups

$0.58 per serving at ALDI
Recipe courtesy of Chef Alyssa, ALDI Test Kitchen
Prep time: 20 minutes, plus 1 hour to chill
Cook time: 3 minutes
Yields: 16 ceviche cups

  • 1 1/2 teaspoons iodized salt, divided
  • 16 ounces medium raw shrimp, thawed
  • 1 cup 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 crushed red pepper or ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon oregano
  • 16 ounces tortilla chips
  • 2 limes cut into wedges
  • Fresh cranberries, optional
  1. Bring medium pot of water to a boil. Season with 1 teaspoon salt.
  2. Add shrimp and cook for 3 minutes. Immediately plunge cooked shrimp into ice water bath. Peel shrimp and place in flat dish.
  3. In food processor, combine cranberries, red onion, parsley and jalapeno. Pulse until finely chopped.
  4. Add cranberry mixture to shrimp.
  5. Add lemon juice, lime juice, remaining salt, crushed red pepper and oregano. Stir to combine ingredients thoroughly.
  6. Refrigerate for 1 hour.
  7. To assemble, spoon ceviche, about 4 to 5 shrimp each, into small clear cups or glasses. Garnish with tortilla chips and lime wedges.

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Pistachio Lemon Truffles

$0.43 per serving at ALDI
Recipe courtesy of Chef Michelle, ALDI Test Kitchen
Prep time: 30 minutes, plus 1 hour to chill
Cook time: 30 minutes, plus 1 hour to chill
Yields: 24 truffles

  • 1 1/4 cups pistachios, shelled
  • 8 ounces cream cheese
  • 4 ounces plain goat cheese
  • 3/4 cup dried mixed berries, chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon iodized salt
  • 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
  • 4 teaspoons finely chopped lemon zest
  • Pinch ground black pepper
  1. Roughly chop pistachios, place in bowl.
  2. With electric mixer, cream together remaining ingredients. Refrigerate for 1 hour.
  3. Scoop tablespoon size balls of cheese mixture and roll in pistachios to coat.
  4. To serve, sprinkle platter with remaining pistachios and place truffles on top. Serve with crackers.
Signature Drink

A signature drink is a must at any holiday soiree. Get creative by offering guests a specialty cocktail that matches the color scheme for the event. An avid party hostess, food stylist Janice Stahl makes the occasion special by pairing white wine with a splash of cranberry-pomegranate juice, garnished with fresh fruit or herbs. Giving your signature drink an original name to reflect your personality is an added touch your guests will love. For a lasting impression, hand out recipe cards of your signature drink as party favors.

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Signature Drink

$0.58 per serving at ALDI
Recipe courtesy of ALDI Food Stylist, Janice Stahl

  • Sugar for glass rim
  • 1/2 cup white wine
  • 1/2 cup cranberry- pomegranate juice
  • 1 tablespoon fresh cranberries
  • Fresh fruit for garnish
  1. Dip rim of glass in sugar.
  2. Pour wine and juice into glass, stirring to combine.
  3. Drop in cranberries, along with any additional fruit desired. Serve immediately.
Healthy 19 January 2017

Classic Makeover

Cottage cheese gets hip with today’s recipes

(Family Features) Classics never go out of style — whether presented simply or dressed up with trendy new touches. Cottage cheese has been a favorite for generations, but innovative serving ideas give new appeal to this trusty favorite.

Cool and refreshing cottage cheese is an easy “right now” quick meal or snack for on-the-go people. It’s naturally high in protein, low in fat and carbohydrates and is a favorite among active, nutrition-conscious adults, providing women with the calcium they need. And, parents can feel good about it as an easy, healthy snack for kids. The creamy satisfying flavor of cottage cheese is great paired with pineapple or apple wedges, or mixed with applesauce and a shake of cinnamon.

The introduction of cottage cheese from Daisy Brand, the nation’s best selling sour cream brand, is an exciting new addition to the dairy case. Fresh and wholesome, this new cottage cheese contains only natural ingredients with no preservatives or additives.

Versatile cottage cheese is perfect for a quick snack, healthy meal or satisfying dessert:

Break into breakfast: Serve cottage cheese alongside fresh fruit, mixed with yogurt or topped with cereal. Its creamy consistency is perfect stirred into eggs, pancakes, omelets or quiche.
Satisfy snack attacks: Enjoy cottage cheese with fresh fruit, raw veggies or crackers.
—Mute the munchies with a thin spread of peanut butter on crackers topped with creamy cottage cheese.
Savor smart lunch choices: Combine cottage cheese with fresh vegetables or fruit for a healthful, satisfying lunch.
—Make mid-day hearty and delicious by mixing cottage cheese into flaked tuna.
Feature family-pleasing dinners: Count on cottage cheese to round out a salad or as a side dish, or use as a central ingredient in quiches or pasta dishes such as lasagna and ravioli.
Dig into sweet endings: Scene-stealing desserts with cottage cheese include cheesecake, blintzes, turnovers and more.

Delight your palate with a cool, satisfying classic. Discover surprising, innovative ways to enjoy fresh and delicious cottage cheese by visiting www.daisybrand.com. Recipe ideas for quick snacks, simple meals and flavorful entertaining will help you put this all-natural, low-carb source of protein and calcium on your table for healthy family meals.

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Berry Breakfast Parfaits

Serves 4

  • 2 cups (16 ounces) Daisy Brand Cottage Cheese
  • 2 cups mixed fresh berries such as sliced strawberries, blueberries, and raspberries
  • 1 cup granola
  • 4 tablespoons sliced or chopped almonds
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla*
  • 3/4 teaspoon Splenda®*
  1. Refrigerate fruit mixture 2 hours before assembling. In four serving dishes layer 1/4 cup of cottage cheese, 1/8 cup of granola, and 1/4 cup of mixed berries. Repeat layers in each glass. Top each parfait with 1 tablespoon of almonds.

*For a sweeter taste, try adding 1 teaspoon vanilla and 3/4 teaspoon of Splenda to fruit and stir.

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Pita Pesto Pizza Snackers

Serves 2

  • 2 pieces pita bread
  • 2 tablespoons basil pesto
  • 1 cup (8 ounces) Daisy Brand Cottage Cheese
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons garlic bread seasoning (or garlic powder)
  • 2 tablespoons chopped Roma tomatoes
  • Chopped fresh basil, to taste
  • 2 teaspoons grated Parmesan cheese (optional)
  1. Toast pita bread until crispy and firm, about 1 minute in a toaster oven.
  2. Spread pesto on each pita bread, lightly covering entire surface.
  3. Combine cottage cheese with garlic bread seasoning and spread evenly over each pita.
  4. Top with chopped tomato and fresh basil.
  5. If desired, sprinkle each pita with Parmesan.
  6. Slice each pita into 4 wedges and serve immediately.

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Apple-Cinnamon Pancake Stackers

Serves 2

  • 1 medium apple, Fuji or Gala, peeled, cored and cubed
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 2 teaspoons Splenda® or other low calorie sweetener
  • 1 teaspoon vegetable oil
  • 2 teaspoons lite maple syrup
  • 1 cup (8 ounces) Daisy Brand Cottage Cheese
  • 6 3 1/2-inch whole wheat pancakes, frozen
  • 2 fresh mint sprigs
  1. Combine apple, cinnamon and sweetener. In small pan, heat oil and sauté apple mixture over medium heat 2 minutes. Add maple syrup and cook additional minute.
  2. Fold mixture into cottage cheese, being careful not to over mix.
  3. Heat pancakes per package instructions.
  4. To serve, place 1 hot pancake on plate and layer cottage cheese mixture between pancakes evenly, 3 pancakes per serving. Top with cottage cheese mixture, a drizzle of maple syrup and a fresh mint sprig.

Source: Daisy Brand Cottage Cheese

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Holiday 06 December 2016

Easy Upgrades for Holiday Entertaining

(Family Features) Holiday gatherings call for an extra touch to make the celebrating special. Since many holiday festivities are centered on food, focus some attention on the refreshments for a simple way to upgrade your next holiday party.

From the presentation to the pairings, it’s easy to make an ordinary spread extraordinary this holiday season. Take this year’s event to the next level with these easy tips that bring the wow-factor to your gathering:

Make it look as pretty as it tastes. Even simple platters of crackers and cheese can feel extra special when presented on a pretty plate. If you’re serving food buffet style, use a colorful tablecloth and stack sturdy boxes of varying sizes underneath to serve as risers that create some visual interest for the spread. Incorporate seasonal decorations such as ornaments or sprigs of holly and poinsettia blooms. For a plated meal, a table-runner adds just the right pop of color and a tasteful centerpiece of candles or evergreen dressed with holiday trinkets elevates an everyday table.

Offer the perfect pairings. When planning your menu, consider the types of beverages you’ll serve along with the appetizers and dishes. When paired properly, food and cocktails complement one another, making the flavors more vibrant and the overall experience more impressive. A good starting place is cheese. Pair alpine-style cheese such as Roth Grand Cru with Riesling; creamy blue with gin; smoky blue with merlot; Havarti with pinot noir; Spanish-style such as Roth GranQueso with scotch; and Gouda with prosecco.

Enhance traditional favorites. Putting a fresh, elegant spin on the basics instantly elevates your menu and the overall experience for your guests. Even a staple like cheese can get some special dressing for the occasion. This recipe combines three rich, flavorful cheeses for a fondue that’s sure to delight guests.

Explore more ideas for exceptional holiday entertaining at rothcheese.com.

13391 fondue

Culinary Education Center House Fondue

Cook time: 45 minutes
Servings: 6

  • 3/4 pound Grand Cru Original, shredded
  • 3/4 pound Grand Cru Reserve, shredded
  • 1/2 pound Roth Fontina, shredded
  • 16 ounces Pinot Grigio or other light- to medium-bodied white wine
  • 1 loaf crusty artisan bread
  • fresh apples, grapes and pears
  • black and white pepper (optional)
  • nutmeg (optional)
  1. Combine cheeses and wine in ceramic fondue pot and stir to combine. Allow mixture to soak 15-30 minutes.
  2. Heat mixture over low heat, approximately 7-10 minutes, stirring constantly with wooden spoon. Do not allow mixture to boil. When cheese has melted completely, remove from heat and transfer to tabletop burner.
  3. Serve fondue with chunks of bread and fruit. If desired, provide pepper and/or nutmeg guests can sprinkle onto a plate and use for dipping bread and cheese. Pair with chilled dry Riesling and a shot of authentic Swiss kirschwasser.

Source: Roth Cheese

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Healthy 14 September 2016

Eat Healthy at Home

(Family Features) Even if you’ve mastered the art of a smart workday lunch and can pick the most nutritious items on a restaurant menu like a pro, eating healthy at home is an unexpected downfall many people face.

When you find the chance to take a break from the busy pace of life and spend some time at home, it can be easy to slip into an all-indulgence mindset. Just remember that doesn’t have to mean going all-out on junk food.

Enjoy the comforts of home and keep your eating on track with these helpful tips.

When you’re spending time with family

It’s easy to catch a carefree spirit while you’re running the bases in an impromptu game of backyard baseball or being tempted by yet another imaginary dessert from the kiddie kitchen. When playtime winds down for dinner, there’s no reason for the fun to stop. Have kids get hands-on to help assemble a healthy meal everyone can enjoy. Skip the cutting, peeling and mess by using Dole Jarred Fruit to prepare salads, desserts and even main dishes that satisfy the whole family’s sweet tooth.

When you’re tackling chores

From seasonal landscaping to the myriad projects you’ve been putting off, the list of chores around the house may seem never-ending. Remember to stay hydrated, especially if you’re working outdoors, and be sure you make time to eat, even if it’s just a quick bite to keep you fueled. Air-popped crackers and hummus is a smart alternative to chips and dip, or get your pick-me-up from a handful of nuts and a serving of sweet, juicy fruit.

When you want to be a couch potato

When a new TV season begins this fall, keep your guilty pleasure in check with quick, healthy dishes to enjoy as you binge watch your favorite shows. Keep your kitchen stocked with ingredients such as high quality, ready-to-eat Dole Jarred Fruit so you can create quick and easy snacks with a serving of fruit in between episodes or during a commercial break.

Sweet Treats

Tickle your taste buds with these tricks that transform a kitchen staple like jarred fruit into a tasty treat:

  • Brighten up bland yogurt or frozen waffles with a serving of jarred fruit, such as sliced peaches or mandarin oranges.
  • Dip jarred pineapple chunks in melted chocolate and pop them in the freezer until hardened.
  • Top a serving of jarred tropical fruit with coconut flakes for an island escape.

For more recipes you can enjoy at home, visit dolesunshine.com.

13309 Pineapple Parfait

Pineapple Parfait

Total time: 10 minutes
Servings: 1

  • 1 jar (23.5 ounces) Dole Pineapple Chunks
  • 2 tablespoons Greek yogurt
  • 2 vanilla wafers, crushed
  1. Measure 1/2 cup drained fruit.
  2. Spoon pineapple chunks into dessert glass. Spoon yogurt over pineapple. Sprinkle crushed wafers on top.

13309 Tropical rum raisin

Tropical Rum Raisin Dessert

Total time: 30 minutes
Servings: 4

  • 1 jar (23.5 ounces) Dole Tropical Fruit, drained, juice reserved
  • 1/2 cup Dole Seedless Raisins
  • 1/4 cup spiced or coconut rum
  • 2 cups vanilla ice cream or frozen yogurt, divided
  • 4 teaspoons toasted shredded coconut, divided
  1. Place fruit in medium bowl and set aside. In small bowl, combine raisins, rum and 1/4 cup reserved juice. Allow raisins to soak at least 20 minutes until plump. Drain off liquid.
  2. Combine fruit and rum raisins; spoon into serving bowls. Top each bowl with 1/2 cup scoop of ice cream and top each with 1 teaspoon toasted coconut.

Tip: 1/2 teaspoon rum extract and 1/2 cup reserved juice may be used instead of rum.

13309 asian lettuce wraps

Asian Chicken Lettuce Wraps

Total time: 15 minutes
Servings: 1

  • 1/2 cup refrigerated cooked chicken breast strips
  • 2 Bibb or Boston lettuce leaves
  • 1/2 cup Dole Mandarin Oranges, drained
  • 2 teaspoons slivered almonds
  • 1 tablespoon light Asian salad dressing
  1. Divide chicken equally inside two lettuce leaves, making two wraps.
  2. Add 1/4 cup of Dole Mandarin Oranges and 1 teaspoon slivered almonds into each wrap.
  3. Serve lettuce wraps with light Asian salad dressing for dipping.

13309 avocado toast

Orange Chipotle Avocado Toast

Total time: 10 minutes
Servings: 1

  • 1 slice whole wheat bread
  • 1/2 avocado, diced or smashed
  • salt
  • pepper
  • 1/3 cup Dole Mandarin Oranges, drained
  • 1/2 teaspoon chipotle peppers in adobo sauce, finely chopped
  • 1/4 lime
  1. Lightly toast whole-wheat bread and top with diced avocado. Season with salt and pepper, to taste.
  2. In medium bowl, toss oranges with chipotle peppers.
  3. Spoon oranges over avocado toast and finish with a squeeze of lime.

Tip: For spicier toast, include pepper seeds. For more mild heat, remove seeds. A sprinkle of chili pepper can also be used to add spice.

Source: Dole

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