(Family Features) For holiday parties of any size, tasty appetizers and starters are menu must-haves. While the main course roasts and before dessert is served, guests may flock to the table for snacks and small plates to keep cravings at bay.
When pre-dinner hunger strikes at your holiday gathering, be the center of attention with quick, delicious and simple appetizers that deliver exactly what your guests crave. One way to be the star of your holiday soiree is with Litehouse’s rich and flavorful Simply Artisan Reserve blue cheese and gorgonzola center cuts. Whether the foundation of a delicious cheese plate or crumbled in a recipe – such as one of these eight apps – it’s a win-win solution.
Find more holiday solutions and appetizer recipes at litehousefoods.com.
(Family Features) Back-to-school season means plenty of evening hours spent completing homework, attending extracurricular activities and preparing to repeat the school-day routine the next day. For many families, having time to prepare and cook quality, nutritious meals can be next to impossible.
Instead of choosing between valuable family time and hours spent in the kitchen, RAGÚ blogger, fitness enthusiast and busy mom Jamie Krauss Hess recommends stocking up on go-to pantry staples you feel good about and including them in quick, nutritious recipes everyone can enjoy together.
Try recipes such as Mini Turkey Sloppy Joes, which swap out beef for ground turkey to provide a flavorful alternative while offering a special twist to a classic family favorite. Quinoa Penne with Savory Tomato-Basil Sauce can hit the spot with just a handful of ingredients. Or, if the little ones clamor for a more kid-friendly dish and the adults don’t mind a throwback to childhood, Grown-Up Tomato Mac and Cheese can provide the best of both worlds.
All three recipes take less than an hour to make and feature RAGÚ Simply pasta sauces, which are made with 100 percent olive oil and contain no added sugar. They’re available in four varieties including: Traditional, Chunky Marinara, Chunky Garden Vegetable and Flavored with Meat. By using simple ingredients like California vine-ripened tomatoes, carrots, bell peppers, zucchini, onions and spices, the result is a taste-tempting sauce with recipe versatility.
Find more family-pleasing and simple-to-prepare recipes ideal for busy school nights at ragu.com.
Grown-Up Tomato Mac and Cheese
Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 30 minutes
- 1 box (16 ounces) gemelli pasta
- 4 cups water
- 2 1/2 cups sharp cheddar cheese, shredded, divided
- 1/2 cup (2 ounces) Pecorino Romano cheese, grated
- 1 tablespoon corn starch
- 1 can (5 ounces) evaporated milk
- 1 jar (24 ounces) RAGÚ Simply Traditional Pasta Sauce
- 2 teaspoons cracked black pepper
- In large pot, combine pasta and water. Cook over medium-high heat 20-22 minutes, or until pasta is done, stirring occasionally.
- In bowl, combine 2 cups cheddar cheese, Pecorino Romano cheese and corn starch. Reduce heat to medium; stir milk, cheese mixture and sauce together with cooked pasta. Cook 5-7 minutes, or until cheese is melted and mixture is thickened, stirring frequently.
- Sprinkle with remaining cheddar cheese and pepper; serve immediately.
Tip: This stovetop method eliminates the need to drain the pasta after cooking. The starchy pasta water gets stirred in and helps create an extra-rich sauce. Elevate this dish by sprinkling crushed Parmesan cheese crisps on top before serving.
Mini Turkey Sloppy Joes
Recipe courtesy of Honey and Birch
Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 20 minutes
- 1 teaspoon extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 cup onion, diced
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 pound ground turkey
- 1 cup carrots, finely diced
- 1 medium green pepper, diced
- 1 medium red pepper, diced
- 1 jar (24 ounces) RAGÚ Simply Chunky Marinara Sauce
- 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
- 1 teaspoon ground mustard
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
- 8 mini buns
- In large skillet over medium heat, heat extra-virgin olive oil. When hot, add onion and garlic; sauté until onion is translucent.
- Add ground turkey to pan. Break up meat and stir frequently until meat is browned. Add carrots, green pepper and red pepper. Cook 5 minutes so vegetables can begin to soften.
- Add marinara sauce, Worcestershire sauce, ground mustard, kosher salt and black pepper. Stir and bring to boil. Reduce heat so it simmers; partially cover pan. Cook 10 minutes.
- Serve on mini buns.
Quinoa Penne with Savory Tomato-Basil Sauce
Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 8-10 minutes
- 12 ounces (about 5 cups) uncooked quinoa penne pasta
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 large shallot, chopped
- 4 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
- 1/4 cup oil-packed sundried tomatoes, drained and chopped
- 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
- 1 jar (24 ounces) RAGÚ Simply Chunky Garden Vegetable Pasta Sauce
- 1 1/4 cups tightly packed fresh basil leaves, chopped, divided
- Cook pasta as directed on package.
- In large skillet over medium heat, heat oil. Add shallots; cook 5-7 minutes, or until lightly browned, stirring frequently. Add garlic, tomatoes and paprika; cook and stir 1 minute. Stir in sauce and basil, reserving small amount of basil for garnish.
- Drain pasta; add to sauce mixture. Mix well. Cook 1-2 minutes until heated through. Sprinkle with reserved basil before serving.
Tip: For extra protein, add 1 pound sliced, grilled chicken when stirring in pasta.
(Family Features) The holiday season can be full of special occasions that bring friends and family together around the dining room table. While certain classic dishes may be expected, adding new recipes to your holiday menu can keep even the traditionalists reaching for seconds.
A staple of any holiday dinner is the tried-and-true green bean casserole. Tender green beans immersed in a creamy mushroom sauce that are then topped with a crunchy layer of classic French’s Fried Onions to complete the dish. These flavorful and crunchy onions can be the star ingredient of many of your holiday recipes.
The green bean casserole recipe may be an expected part of the holiday dinner spread, but you can add other sides to bring a new twist to this year’s meal. A fun way to start is a macaroni and cheese recipe with a twist to spice up the dinner table.
Mix French’s Crispy Jalapenos into your favorite mac and cheese recipe to kick the spice and crunch up a notch. Made with real jalapenos, the addition creates a flavor explosion of cheesy goodness paired with just the right amount of spice to become a new family favorite.
For more holiday recipe inspiration, visit Frenchs.com/Friendsgiving.
Crunchy Jalapeno Mac and Cheese
- 8 ramekins (4 ounces each), greased
- 1 box (7 1/2 ounces) macaroni and cheese
- 1/2 cup milk, divided
- 1/2 teaspoon chili powder
- 1/2 teaspoon paprika
- 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
- 1 1/2 cups shredded Italian cheese blend, divided
- 1 cup French’s Crispy Jalapenos
- Heat oven to 350° F. Place ramekins on baking sheet.
- Cook macaroni and cheese, according to package instructions.
- Stir in 1/4 cup milk, chili powder and paprika while macaroni is still hot. Add cheddar cheese and 1 cup Italian cheese blend and continue to stir, over low heat, until melted.
- Remove from heat and mix in 1/2 cup of crispy jalapenos.
- Fill ramekins topping with remaining Italian cheese blend and crispy jalapenos. Bake 10 minutes.
Green Bean Casserole
- 1 can (10 1/2 ounces) cream of mushroom soup
- 3/4 cup milk
- 1/8 teaspoon black pepper
- 4 cups cooked cut green beans
- 1 1/3 cups French's Crispy Fried Onions, divided
- Heat oven to 350° F.
- In 1 1/2-quart baking dish, mix soup, milk and pepper. Stir in beans and 2/3 cup onions.
- Bake 30 minutes, or until hot. Stir.
- Top with remaining onions. Bake 5 minutes until onions are golden.
Substitution: Use 2 cans (14 1/2 ounces each) green beans, drained, in place of 4 cups cooked cut green beans.
(Family Features) When the temperature drops, there’s nothing quite like the pleasure of simple and delicious comfort food. Instead of letting the winter chill get you down, warm your body and heart with dishes that are both comforting and delicious. After all, there is no better time to satisfy your cravings for feel-good favorites than during the cold winter months.
These mouthwatering winter recipes will not only help warm you up, but create a loving family dining experience that everyone can enjoy. When serving up hearty winter recipes, such as a savory Pulled Pork Grilled Cheese or delectable Baked Spaghetti, there’s no better way to satisfy the craving for wholesome comfort food than with Borden Cheese and its wide range of offerings. From mild cheddar and mozzarella to Mexican, Swiss, American and more, every chunk, slice and shred is pure, creamy goodness that transforms family recipes into something truly memorable.
For more inspiration and ideas for family dinners, visit bordencheese.com.
Cook time: 35 minutes
- Nonstick spray
- 1 package (16 ounces) spaghetti
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 1 cup chopped onion
- 1 cup chopped green pepper
- 1 pound ground beef
- 1 can (28 ounces) tomatoes with liquid, cut up
- 1 can (4 ounces) mushrooms, drained
- 1 can (2 1/4 ounces) sliced ripe olives, drained
- 2 teaspoons dried oregano
- 2 cups Borden Cheese Mild Cheddar Shreds
- 1 can (10 3/4 ounces) condensed cream of mushroom soup
- 1/2 cup water
- 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
- Heat oven to 350° F.
- Spray 9-by-13-inch baking dish with nonstick spray. Cook spaghetti according to package directions.
- In large, nonstick skillet, heat butter over medium-high heat until hot. Saute onion and pepper until tender. Add ground beef and cook until beef has browned; drain.
- Stir in tomatoes, mushrooms, olives and oregano. Bring to boil and reduce heat to medium. Simmer 10 minutes.
- Place half of spaghetti in prepared baking dish. Top with half of vegetable-meat mixture. Sprinkle with half of cheddar cheese. Repeat layers.
- Combine soup with water; pour over casserole. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese.
- Bake uncovered 30-35 minutes, or until thoroughly heated.
Ham and Gouda Quesadilla
Cook time: 15 minutes
- 2 teaspoons olive oil
- 1 small onion, thinly sliced
- 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
- 1 flour tortilla (10 inches)
- 2 slices deli ham
- 8 dill pickle rounds
- 1/2 cup (2 ounces) Borden Cheese Gouda Shreds
- In small, nonstick skillet, heat olive oil over medium-high heat until hot. Stir in onions. Cook, stirring frequently, until onions become tender and golden brown.
- Spread mustard on one half of tortilla. Top with ham, onions, pickles and cheese; fold uncovered part of tortilla over filling to form semi-circle.
- Cook quesadilla in dry skillet over medium-high heat until browned on both sides and cheese is melted.
- Cut into four pieces and serve.
Pulled Pork Grilled Cheese
- 3 pounds pork shoulder
- Barbecue Sauce (recipe below)
- 4 tablespoons Borden Butter
- 1 loaf (1 pound) sourdough bread, sliced
- 16 slices Borden Cheese Singles Sensations Extra Sharp Cheddar
- 2 tablespoons Borden Butter
- 1 medium yellow onion, diced
- 1 jalapeno, diced (optional)
- 1 cup ketchup
- 1/2 cup brown sugar
- liquid smoke, to taste
- To make sandwiches: Heat smoker to 210° F.
- Smoke pork shoulder 3-5 hours, until internal temperature reaches 150° F. Remove and wrap in aluminum foil. Refrigerate overnight.
- Remove excess fat from pork. Using two forks, shred remaining meat into large bowl. Mix in Barbecue Sauce.
- In skillet or griddle, brown two slices of buttered sourdough bread over medium heat.
- Place slice of cheese on each piece of bread. Top with one-eighth of pulled pork mixture, second slice of cheese and another slice of buttered bread.
- Turn sandwich over when bottom slice has browned and brown other side.
Tip: Use prepared pork shoulder in place of smoking pork.
To make Barbecue Sauce: In medium skillet, melt butter over medium heat. Saute onions until soft; stir in jalapenos, ketchup, sugar and liquid smoke. Bring to boil then reduce heat to medium-low and simmer 1 hour, or until sauce has thickened to desired consistency.
Tips: To make sweeter sauce, add more sugar. To make spicier, add more jalapenos.
Easy Quinoa Mac and Cheese
Cook time: 55 minutes
- Nonstick spray
- 2 teaspoons olive oil
- 1 tablespoon minced onion
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 1 cup quinoa, rinsed and drained
- 2 1/2 cups water
- 2 large eggs
- 1 cup non-fat milk
- 1 cup Borden Cheese Sharp Cheddar Shreds, divided
- chopped tomato (optional)
- green onion (optional)
- Heat oven to 350° F and spray 8-by-8-inch baking dish with nonstick spray.
- In medium skillet, heat oil over medium heat until hot. Add onion and garlic, and saute 1 minute, or until onion is tender.
- Add quinoa and cook, stirring, until golden brown and toasted, 2-3 minutes. Add water, bring to boil, reduce heat to medium-low and simmer, covered, until water has been absorbed, about 10 minutes. Remove from heat.
- In large bowl, whisk together eggs and milk. Stir quinoa into egg mixture and whisk in 1/2 cup cheese. Spread in prepared baking dish and sprinkle with remaining cheese.
Bake 30 minutes.
- Garnish with chopped tomato and green onion, if desired. Serve immediately.
Source: Borden Cheese