Videos 11 March 2019

How to Make Ricotta with Four-Berry Compote, Pistachios and Granola

(Family Features) Get out your ramekins and fill them up with layers of ricotta cheese, four-berry compote and pistachios topped with granola.  This tasty treat is perfect for breakfast or even as a sweet ending to dinner. Either way you serve it can leave your taste buds feeling happy.

For more recipes, visit culinary.net.

Watch video to see how to make this delicious recipe!


 Ricotta with Four-Berry Compote, Pistachios and Granola

  • 1/8      cup water
  • 1/4      cup granulated sugar
  • 2         cups fresh or frozen strawberries
  • 2         cups fresh or frozen blueberries
  • 2         cups fresh or frozen raspberries
  • 2         cups fresh or frozen blackberries
  • 1         teaspoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1/8      teaspoon salt
  • ricotta cheese
  • pistachios, chopped
  • granola
  1. In small sauce-pan, combine water, sugar, berries, lemon juice and salt. Bring to boil then simmer 20 minutes or until compote reduces and coats spoon. Cool to room temperature.
  2. Layer bowl with ricotta cheese, berry compote and pistachios. Repeat layers then top with granola. Serve immediately.

Note: If making ahead, add granola before serving.

Recipe adapted from MilkMeansMore.org

Source: Culinary.net

Videos 19 February 2019

How to Make Ricotta Puff Pastries with Strawberry Compote

(Family Features) Perfect for a party or simply indulging yourself, these addictive pastry puffs make it hard to stop at one.  Easy to assemble with these step-by-step instructions, the ricotta mixture and fresh strawberry compote are dynamic together, and provide a generous touch of sweetness.

For the full video and instructions, plus more dessert recipe ideas, visit culinary.net .

Watch video to see how to make this delicious recipe!



Ricotta Puff Pastries with Strawberry Compote

  • 2                      sheets puff pastry
  • 1/2                  cup, plus 1 tablespoon heavy cream
  • 1/2                  cup granulated sugar, divided
  • 1                      tablespoon ground cinnamon
  • 1                      tablespoon water
  • 1                      package of fresh strawberries, hulled and sliced
  • 1/2                  cup homemade, part-skim or whole milk Ricotta cheese
  • 1/4                  cup powdered sugar
  • 1/2                  teaspoon vanilla extract
  1. Heat oven to 400° F.
  2. Cut both puff pastry sheets into nine squares.  Make slit in corner of each square toward middle of the pastry.  Fold corners to other corners to create pinwheel shape.  Brush pastry with 1 tablespoon heavy cream.  Combine granulated 1/4 cup granulated sugar and ground cinnamon then sprinkle on each puff pastry.
  3. Bake 12-15 minutes, until pastry is golden brown and raised.
  4. In medium saucepan on medium to high heat, pour in remaining granulated sugar and water.   Once sugar is dissolved, pour in fresh strawberries.  Bring mixture to boil then simmer 10-15 minutes, stirring occasionally, until strawberries are broken apart and semi-thick sauce is created.  Let chill in refrigerator 2 hours.  To chill faster, put in freezer 45 minutes.
  5. In medium bowl, using mixer, whip heavy cream until stiff peaks form. Set aside.  In separate medium bowl, combine ricotta, powdered sugar, and vanilla extract. Mix until fluffy. Return whipped cream to ricotta mixture and whip for 1-2 minutes until mixture is light and fluffy.
  6. Spoon ricotta cream into the center of each puff pastry pinwheel. Spoon strawberry compote in middle of ricotta mixture.

Recipe adapted from Milk Means More.

Source: Culinary.net

Healthy 17 January 2019

Eat Your Way to Better Health

(Family Features) It seems like every week there is a new product claiming to promise nutrition and improve your health. However, there are some foods you likely already have on hand that can improve your diet quality and support clean-eating efforts.

Skip the total diet overhaul or the latest fad, and keep it simple by focusing on small but powerful changes to help you clean up your diet. Dairy products have always been cost-effective and nutrient-packed. These three tips can help you make the most of dairy’s health benefits.

Inspect the ingredient label. With just three ingredients, milk is the original clean and clear food, unlike trendy milk alternatives, which may contain up to 10 ingredients.

Examine the benefits beyond bone health. It’s widely known that dairy products provide calcium to build strong bones, but milk, cheese and yogurt actually provide a unique package of nine nutrients, including high-quality protein to support muscle health.

Explore its versatility. Dairy can be easily incorporated into meals and snacks to help make healthy and clean eating simple. Getting the recommended three servings of dairy every day is a cinch once you discover the possibilities.

Resolve to get three servings of milk, cheese and yogurt every day by pledging Dairy 3 for Me. You may be surprised how easy it is to create a healthier menu all day long. Try these ideas to get started:

  • Make milk your mealtime beverage. White, chocolate, strawberry; no matter the flavor, all milk provides the same nine nutrients.
  • Build a breakfast parfait with your favorite yogurt, fruit and whole grain cereal, or mix things up with milk or yogurt by blending a smoothie.
  • Sneak in healthier eating by pairing cheese with fresh fruit or vegetables. Research shows when cheese is coupled with these foods, it helps kids eat more of all of them.
  • After a workout, recover with a tall glass of chocolate milk, which studies have proven to be effective in aiding tired muscles.
  • Boost nutrition and flavor by adding shredded cheese to casseroles, soups and pasta dishes, or sprinkle on top of tacos and chili.

To find more delicious recipes to support your nutrition goals and to pledge Dairy 3 for Me, visit MidwestDairy.com.

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Raspberry-Strawberry Yogurt Smoothie

Recipe courtesy of Midwest Dairy Association
Prep time: 5 minutes
Servings: 4

  • 1 cup low-fat vanilla yogurt
  • 1 cup unsweetened frozen raspberries
  • 1 cup unsweetened frozen strawberries
  • 3/4 cup low-fat milk
  • 1 cup ice (about 12 cubes)
  1. Blend all ingredients in blender until smooth. Serve immediately.

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Pulled Pork Soft Tacos

Recipe courtesy of Midwest Dairy Association
Prep time: 8 hours, 35 minutes
Servings: 6

For pork:

  • 2 pounds boneless pork loin roast
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon ground ginger
  • 2 garlic cloves, smashed
  • 1 small white onion, coarsely chopped
  • 1/2 cup orange juice
  • 2 limes, cut in half

For tacos:

  • 1/2 cup nonfat sour cream
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 2 scallions, trimmed and chopped
  • 12 soft corn tortillas (6 inches each)
  • 1 1/2 cups shredded reduced-fat Colby Jack
  • 1  bag (8 ounces) shredded red cabbage
  • 3/4 cup fresh salsa
  1. Trim excess fat off roast. In small bowl, combine brown sugar and ginger; rub generously over roast. Place in slow cooker with garlic, onion and orange juice; cook on low heat 8 hours (or high 4-6 hours.)
  2. Transfer pork to large bowl and shred with forks. Strain pork liquid from slow cooker and pour over pulled pork to moisten. Squeeze lime juice on top and mix well. Divide into 12 servings.
  3. In small bowl, mix together sour cream, cumin and scallions.
  4. Cover each corn tortilla with 2 tablespoons cheese; microwave 20 seconds. Top with pulled pork, 2 teaspoons sour cream mix, 1 1/2 tablespoons shredded cabbage and 1 tablespoon salsa. Fold and serve immediately.

Source: Midwest Dairy Association

Breakfast & Brunch 17 January 2019

Ramp Up Breakfast with Morning Protein

(Family Features) Families across America want to make sure that they’re starting the day strong, and getting enough high-quality protein in the morning is a simple way to do so. A breakfast with protein is a great way to energize the morning, and adding it to your family’s routine doesn’t have to be complicated.

Simply add an 8-ounce glass of milk with 8 grams of natural protein plus other essential nutrients to your favorite breakfast foods for an easy, delicious way to help meet your morning protein goals.

Kids already love milk and it’s a naturally nutrient-rich, wholesome food that moms can feel good about pairing with breakfast. Plus, experts recommend 25-30 grams of protein for adults at every meal – so getting a high-protein breakfast, including milk, gives moms the energy they need to cross everything off their to-do lists. Parenting expert, pediatrician and mom of three, Dr. Tanya Altmann, recommends serving milk at breakfast for a source of high-quality protein in the morning.

“The morning is a great time to bring the family together and start the day off with a tasty breakfast. As a mom of three, I need breakfast options that are quick and easy but also nutritious,” Dr. Altmann said. “Serving my children whole-grain cereal and milk, healthy oatmeal with fruit or a smoothie made with milk guarantees that my family will get high-quality protein and other essential nutrients to start their day off strong.”

Bring a smile to your child’s face with this charming twist on a breakfast standard. Simply make instant oats with familiar flavors – cinnamon, vanilla and brown sugar – and top the bowl with a friendly bunny face. For more recipes and ideas, visit MilkLife.com.

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Bunny-Faced Microwave Oatmeal

Recipe courtesy of Tiffany Edwards of Creme de la Crumb

  • 1/3       cup instant oats
  • 3/4       cup fat free milk
  • 1/4       teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4       teaspoon vanilla                                                           
  • 1          teaspoon brown sugar
  • 2/3       small banana
  • 2          fresh blueberries
  • 1/2       small strawberry
  • chocolate syrup (optional)
  1. In microwave-safe bowl, stir together oats, milk, cinnamon, vanilla and brown sugar. Microwave on high 30 seconds-1 minute and stir.
  2. Cut banana in half crosswise. Cut 1 1/8-inch thick coin slices from flat end of each banana half. Place slices in upper-third of oatmeal bowl, side-by-side, to make eyes. Top with 1 blueberry on each banana slice.
  3. Place remaining banana halves at the top of the bowl, hanging off edge, to create ears.
  4. Place strawberry in the middle of the bowl to make the nose then drizzle chocolate, if desired, to make mouth and whiskers.
  5. Serve with 8-ounce glass of milk.

Nutritional information per serving: 320 calories; 2 g fat; 0 g saturated fat; 10 mg cholesterol; 18 g protein; 59 g carbohydrates; 5 g fiber; 190 mg sodium; 550 mg calcium (60% of daily value). Nutrition figures based on using fat free milk, and include an 8-ounce glass of milk.

Source: MilkPEP

Meal Ideas 26 March 2018

Rebalance Your Diet

(Family Features) Striking a balance between work and home life, friends and family, and hobbies and errands can contribute to a healthy lifestyle. As you look to rebalance certain aspects of your life during an opportunity like National Nutrition Month, don’t forget to take your diet into consideration as well.

Including grain-based foods as part of a balanced diet – along with proper exercise – can be an essential part of living a healthier lifestyle and can provide numerous health benefits. In fact, the Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommend a 50-50 balance between whole and enriched grains per day for optimal health. Furthermore, research from the Grain Foods Foundation suggests whole and enriched grains supply a variety of key vitamins and minerals, like thiamin, niacin, riboflavin, zinc, selenium and magnesium, and important shortfall nutrients like dietary fiber, iron and folate.

Incorporating grains into meals throughout the day, including these under-500 calorie recipes for Grilled Cinnamon French Toast with Granola Crunch and Roast Beef and Arugula Sandwiches featuring whole and enriched grains, can aid in maintaining a healthy weight. Additional benefits of consuming grains include lowering cholesterol and supporting digestion, while also providing anti-inflammatory nutrients and fiber, which helps fight belly fat.

Find more nutritionist-developed, balanced and budget-friendly recipes for every meal at grainfoodsfoundation.org.

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Grilled Cinnamon French Toast with Granola Crunch

Recipe courtesy of Oroweat on behalf of the Grain Foods Foundation
Prep time: 20 minutes
Servings: 2

  • 1/2       cup orange juice
  • 1/4       cup light brown sugar
  • 2          tablespoons butter
  • 1          teaspoon vanilla
  • 1          cup strawberries, sliced
  • 1          banana, thinly sliced
  • 3/4       cup milk
  • 1          egg
  • 1          teaspoon cinnamon
  • 4          slices whole-grain nut bread
  • 1/4       cup granola, for garnish
  1. To make sauce: In saucepan, stir together orange juice, brown sugar, butter, vanilla, strawberries and banana. Simmer over medium heat 5-6 minutes, or until flavors have combined, stirring occasionally.
  2. To make French toast: In shallow bowl, whisk together milk, egg and cinnamon. Dip slices of bread into milk mixture and cook 2 minutes on each side over medium heat on flat griddle or grill, or until golden brown.
  3. Serve French toast with strawberry-banana sauce and top with granola.

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Roast Beef and Arugula Sandwiches

Recipe courtesy of Roman Meal on behalf of the Grain Foods Foundation
Prep time: 5 minutes
Servings: 2

  • 1          tablespoon low-fat mayonnaise
  • 2          teaspoons horseradish
  • 4          slices whole- or multi-grain bread, toasted
  • 4          slices tomato
  • 4          ounces lean roast beef, thinly sliced
  • 1          cup arugula or wild greens
  1. Spread mayonnaise and horseradish evenly over two bread slices.
  2. Layer tomato, roast beef and arugula on top of mayonnaise and horseradish. Top with remaining slices of bread.

Photo courtesy of Getty Images

Source: Grain Foods Foundation

Beverages 07 September 2017

Red Wine Sangria

ffes sangria2

Red Wine Sangria

  • ¼ cup sugar
  • ¼ cup water
  • 1 bottle red dry table wine
  • ½ cup brandy
  • 1 cup pomegranate juice
  • 1 whole apple, sliced
  • 1 whole orange, sliced
  • 1 cup strawberries, sliced
  1. Add sugar and water to a small saucepan. Over medium high heat bring the mixture to a boil. Cook until sugar is fully dissolved. Allow to cool.
  2. Add red wine, brandy, pomegranate juice, apples, oranges, and strawberries to a large pitcher.
  3. Add in cooled simple syrup and stir. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours or for best results overnight.

Recipe courtesy of Chef Savvy

Kids 09 August 2017

Smart Choices

Fueling kids for back to school

(Family Features) As kids head back to school, it’s a good time to refocus on nutritious food and beverage choices to make sure kids are properly fueled and ready to learn. Making the best choices for her family is every mom’s priority, but it can be confusing to navigate all the options available.

For example, many celebrity websites, diet books, blogs and popular social media feeds make it appear trendy to ditch dairy. Yet experts say going dairy-free has significant downfalls, especially for kids and young adults. A survey from the National Osteoporosis Foundation (NOF) found 6 in 10 moms have tried restricting their dairy intake, and fewer moms encourage their kids to drink milk today compared to how many were encouraged to drink milk themselves as children – in fact, some are even restricting their children’s intake of dairy.

It can be hard to get enough nutrients without milk in your diet. Drinking dairy milk during childhood through early adulthood is important to help achieve maximum bone strength. It’s also important to drink milk as an adult to help maintain bone strength and density. Most dairy alternatives don’t have the same nutrients as dairy milk and kids may not eat enough kale, spinach or sardines to replace the calcium in milk.

However, many moms know how important milk is for their kids. According to the NOF survey, more than 80 percent of moms know milk is nutrient-rich. In fact, milk is the top food source for three of the four nutrients of concern identified by the Dietary Guidelines for Americans: calcium, vitamin D and potassium.

Incorporating farm-fresh milk into your diet can be fun for the whole family. Try making your own flavored milk or smoothie at home with these recipes for Vanilla Cinnamon Milk or a Rainbow Unicorn Smoothie.

Find more information and nutritious recipes to pair with milk at milklife.com.

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Vanilla Cinnamon Milk

  • 8          ounces milk
  • 1/2       teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1/4       teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 2          teaspoons honey
  1. In glass, combine milk with vanilla extract, ground cinnamon and honey.  Stir until well mixed.

Nutritional information per serving: 130 calories; 5 mg cholesterol; 8 g protein; 24 g carbohydrates; 105 mg sodium; 308 mg calcium (30% of daily value).

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Rainbow Unicorn Smoothie

  • 1 1/2    cups low-fat or fat-free milk, plus additional (optional)
  • 1/2       cup low-fat vanilla yogurt
  • 2          cups (about 10 large) frozen strawberries
  • 1          cup frozen blueberries
  • 1          cup frozen mango chunks

Optional toppings:

  • 6          tablespoons whipped cream
  • 4          teaspoons sprinkles
  • horn candles, wicks trimmed
  1. Blend milk, yogurt and fruit until smooth, adding additional milk or water to thin, if needed.
  2. Divide smoothie into four glasses and, if desired, top each with whipped cream, sprinkles and horn candles.

Nutritional information per serving: 120 calories; 1 g fat; 5 mg cholesterol; 5 g protein; 25 g carbohydrates; 3 g fiber; 60 mg sodium;  175 mg calcium (20% of daily value). Nutrition figures based on using fat-free milk.  

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.
Dessert 12 June 2017

Cool Down with Patriotic Frozen Pops

The perfect treat to celebrate and escape the heat this summer

(Family Features) With backyard barbecues, pool parties and patriotic celebrations in full swing leading up to the Fourth of July, kids are constantly on the go with summertime activities. For long summer days in the sun, a cool treat is the perfect way to help keep kids energized for all of their summertime activities.

These homemade red, white and blueberry frozen pops are the perfect patriotic summer snack for active kids. Made with wholesome ingredients like fruit and milk, they’re a great way for moms to add quality nutrition to snack time with flavors their kids already love. Plus, with milk as an ingredient, this delicious recipe is a creative way to help the whole family get added nutrients they need, like calcium and protein.

Whether celebrating Independence Day or relaxing following an afternoon in the sun, this tasty and nutritious summertime snack is one the whole family can enjoy together. For more inspiration and recipes to serve up summer fun, visit milklife.com.

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Red, White and Blueberry Frozen Pops

Servings: 10

  • 1/2 cup granola
  • 2 teaspoons brown rice syrup
  • 3/4 cup reduced fat milk
  • 6 ounces fat free vanilla Greek yogurt
  • 1 cup whole strawberries, tops removed
  • water
  • 1 1/4 cup blueberries, divided
  1. In small bowl, stir granola and brown rice syrup until combined. Using end of wooden spoon, press approximately 3/4 tablespoon granola into each frozen pop mold. Granola should be packed tightly into bottom of molds.
  2. In another small bowl, stir together milk and yogurt; set aside.
  3. Using small food processor or high-powered blender, puree strawberries until smooth. Stir water into each puree so they are pourable, about 2 tablespoons each, more if necessary.
  4. Set aside 30 blueberries and puree remainder. Add water, as needed, to make pourable.
  5. To layer pops, start by pouring, piping or syringing 1 tablespoon milk and yogurt mixture into each mold, covering granola layer. Put each mold in freezer until firm, at least 1 hour.
  6. Layer 1 tablespoon strawberry puree on top of frozen yogurt layer in each mold. Cover top of molds with foil, insert sticks and freeze again until solid. Remove foil, add another layer of yogurt and freeze again.
  7. For final layer, add 1 tablespoon blueberry puree and 3 blueberries to each mold. Freeze until solid. Keep frozen pops in molds until ready to eat. Run each mold under lukewarm water for approximately 10 seconds to loosen and remove frozen pops. Pops can be made 1 day in advance.

Tip: For clean lines between frozen yogurt layers, use small syringe.

Nutritional information per serving: 70 calories; 2 g fat; 0.5 g saturated fat; 3 g protein; 11 g carbohydrates; 1 g fiber; 20 mg sodium; 48 mg calcium (4% of daily value). Nutrition figures based on using reduced fat milk.

Source: MilkPEP

Meal Ideas 06 April 2017

Treat Mom on Her Special Day

(Family Features) What can family members do special this year for Mom? Most Moms dream of a fine meal they don’t have to shop for, cook or clean up afterwards. Often going out for breakfast on Mother’s Day can mean dealing with long lines and slow service. But Dad and the kids can rise to the occasion and prepare a meal themselves at home that can be a real treat.

Even the dad who only makes breakfast on weekends can cater a fine restaurant meal at home, with kids as willing sous chefs. It’s easy when your family shops where the pros shop, such as Sam’s Club for frozen appe­tizers, readymade pastry, organic produce, fine wines, quality meats, great breads and fabulous cheesecake ready to thaw and serve. For a crowning touch, add an unexpected and affordable luxury gift and Mom just might decide to sign on for another year.

Check out www.samsclub.com — or the Sam’s Club nearest you — for more great Mother’s Day ideas.

Mother’s Day Game Plan

Here’s the game plan for catering a Mother’s Day meal at home.

  • Chill the champagne or make a deli­cious punch a few hours before the meal.
  • Read the instructions on the box, then pop those frozen appetizers in the oven.
  • Prepare and cook the salmon.
  • Slice up some fresh fruit or bread.
  • Finish with a deliciously moist cheese­cake - a Mom favorite. (Remember to thaw it beforehand.)
  • Serve Mom in bed - let her relax and enjoy the meal and her day.
  • Have the kids clean up the kitchen.
  • Watch Mom smile.

Mom’s Secret Wish List

Mom usually puts the needs of her family first. But if she were really honest, she would say she’d love to have something from this list. And, Dads, when you shop smart, these become affordable luxuries.

  1. Diamonds. They’re always a girl’s best friend. Diamond solitaire earrings go with everything — jeans on the soccer field, a suit at the office or workout clothes at the gym.
  2. Designer Fragrances. Perfume and cologne in her special scent makes Mom feel pampered and special.
  3. Furniture. Surprise her with something she’s been wanting, whether it’s the armoire for the great room, a new desk for the home office or even a new leather sofa.
  4. Chocolate. Always a treat, especially now that health experts have declared that dark chocolate is actually good for us. Now, will it be Godiva or Ghirardelli?
  5. Culinary Ware. If Mom has been trying to make culinary masterpieces from a mismatched set of cookware from her early married days, it’s time for an upgrade. Or, maybe she’d love a stand mixer or a great platter.

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Salmon Wellington

Puff pastry encloses flavorful salmon, spinach and herbs in a main dish fit for a special occasion. Wellington prepara­tions are thought to take a great deal of time and skill to make. However, with the time saver of purchased puff pastry, it’s a breeze. The bundles can be pre­pared up to a week in advance and then frozen. Just pop them in the oven when needed.

Note: Puff pastry must be cold (but not frozen) when placed into a hot oven in order for the pastry to become light and flaky.

Makes: 4 servings

  • 1 tablespoon sweet butter
  • 1-1/2 tablespoons shallots or onion, minced
  • 1/2 cup frozen spinach, defrosted and well drained
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 tablespoon lemon zest
  • 1 teaspoon thyme or dill
  • minced Kosher salt and cracked black pepper
  • 1-1/2 tablespoons crumbled feta cheese
  • 4 thick, skinless fillets of salmon (about 6 ounces each)
  • 2 packages puff pastry (defrosted in refrigerator)
  • 1 lightly beaten egg
  • 1 teaspoon milk
  1. Heat sauté pan with butter over medium heat. Add shallots and sauté 3 to 4 minutes until softened. Reduce heat to medium-low and add spinach, nutmeg, lemon zest, thyme, salt and pepper. Sauté 2 to 3 minutes; remove from heat and stir in feta. Taste for seasoning and let cool.
  2. Lightly salt and pepper each piece of salmon and top with 2 tablespoons of spinach mixture.
  3. Roll out pastry sheets on lightly floured board. Cut 1 piece of pastry for bottom of each fillet — about 1 inch larger than the salmon. Cut a second piece large enough to drape over fillet and touch counter, plus 1 inch to spare all the way around.
  4. Brush edge of smaller sheet with lightly beaten egg mixed with milk. Place 1 piece of salmon in center of pastry. Drape larger piece over salmon and seal the two pieces of dough together by folding and pleat­ing like a pie crust. Repeat for each “package.” Chill at least 30 minutes or freeze up to 1 week before baking.
  5. Preheat oven to 425°F. Brush top of each package with a small amount of egg/milk mixture. Put on sheet pan lined with parchment paper and a dusting of corn meal. Bake in pre­heated oven for 18 to 23 minutes, until golden. Let rest 5 to 10 minutes before serving.

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Cranberry Splash Punch

Makes: 8 servings

  • 4 cups cranberry juice
  • 3 cups pineapple juice
  • 1/2 cup cherry juice
  • 2 cups puréed strawberries or raspberries (fresh or frozen)
  • 6 cups ice cubes
  • 2 lemons, sliced
  • 2 limes, sliced
  • 3 cups orange soda or ginger ale
  1. Mix all juices and puréed berries and chill thoroughly.
  2. To serve, put punch in handsome container and add ice and fruit. Slowly stir in orange soda.

Source: Sam's Club

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