Appetizers & Sides 23 May 2017

A Standout Graduation Menu

(Family Features) If you’re like many families, this time of year is filled with celebrations including everything from graduations to weddings, and they all have one thing in common: food, food and more food.

Whether you’re organizing a party of your own or taking a dish for a potluck, these ideas are perfect for creating a standout dish that fellow revelers will truly enjoy:

Make a DIY delight. Guests of all ages enjoy creating custom treats, and it’s easy to set up a DIY station for all kinds of snacks. Grab a handful of coordinating containers for all the ingredients and supply serving-size bags then let your imagination soar with a candy medley, trail mix or even a popcorn bar.

Go ahead, take a shortcut. This busy season, you get a pass on making everything from scratch, and options like Armour Original Meatballs are terrific for entertaining because the work is already done for you. With a few simple additions, you’ll have a delish dish to share in no time. Barbecue Glazed Meatballs make for a simple and easy recipe. If you’re looking for something fun and creative, try these Barbecue Meatball Bites.

Get clever and sweet. Every party needs dessert and if you’re honoring “one smart cookie” of a grad, why not sweeten things up with a table filled with cookies of every flavor. The sentiment will earn almost as much appreciation as all those guests who get their taste buds tickled.

These recipes and more can be found at

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Barbecue Glazed Meatballs

Prep time: 20 minutes
Total time: 20 minutes
Servings: 16

  • 1-1 1/2 cups grape jelly
  • 1 cup barbecue sauce
  • 1 bag (14 ounces) Armour Original Meatballs
  1. In large saucepan, combine jelly and barbecue sauce. Cook and stir over medium heat until jelly melts.
  2. Add meatballs and heat over medium-low heat for 15 minutes, or until meatballs are hot and glazed, stirring occasionally.
  3. Serve in slow cooker set on low, if desired.

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Barbecue Meatball Bites

Prep time: 10 minutes
Total time: 25 minutes
Servings: 12

  • Nonstick cooking spray
  • 1 can (8 ounces) refrigerated crescent dough
  • 1/3 cup barbecue sauce, divided
  • 1 1/2 cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese, divided
  • 12 Armour Original Meatballs
  • chopped dill pickles
  • crispy fried onions
  1. Heat oven to 425° F. Coat 12 muffin tin cups with nonstick cooking spray. Roll out dough and cut into 12 squares; press into bottom and up sides of each muffin cup.
  2. Spoon 1 teaspoon barbecue sauce into bottom of each cup and top each with about 1 tablespoon cheese. Place meatballs on top of cheese. Spoon another 1/2 teaspoon barbecue sauce over meatballs and sprinkle with more cheese.
  3. Top with desired amount of dill pickles and fried onions.
  4. Bake 13-17 minutes until dough is browned and meatballs are hot. Let stand 10 minutes before removing from muffin tins to serve.

Source: Armour

Meal Ideas 09 May 2017

Add Sizzle to Your Fourth

(Family Features) A dazzling fireworks display may be the grand finale for your celebration, but you can make your mouthwatering menu a close second with these ideas to light up your Fourth of July. From bold burgers to crisp salads and sweet sides, give your guests plenty of reason to feel festive all day long. And don’t forget to add a little indulgence for all ages with a DIY dessert bar.

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Find more recipes perfect for the Fourth of July at

Serve Up a Sundae Bar
The only thing better than a dish of cold ice cream on a hot summer day is the chance to make it all your own. Let guests create their own dishes of deliciousness with a DIY sundae bar. Start with a healthy supply of cups, spoons and towels to mop up inevitable drips then fill the bar with irresistible options like these:

  • A sampling of ice creams, like vanilla, chocolate and strawberry
  • Fresh sliced fruit
  • Crushed candies and cookies
  • Sauces (chocolate, caramel and something fruity, too)
  • Assorted nuts
  • Crunchy favorites like crumbled cones or salty pretzels
  • Coconut (raw and toasted)
  • Whipped cream
  • Sprinkles

A Bold Take on an American Classic
When it comes to feeding family and friends on the Fourth of July, nothing pleases guests more than fan-favorite American bites fresh off the grill. Cheeseburgers are a tried-and-true classic for summer grilling season. Give your burger recipe a bold, sweet kick this Fourth of July with honey barbecue sauce and the finishing touch of delicious, smooth-melting Borden Cheese. Find more summer recipes to transform mealtime into memorable family time at

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Bold Honey Barbecue Burger

Total time: 35 minutes
Servings: 4

  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 1/2 cup chopped green onions
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 3-4 tablespoons steak seasoning
  • 4 hamburger buns
  • 1/2 stick melted butter
  • 3/4 cup barbecue sauce
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 4 slices Borden Cheese American Singles
  • 8 slices thick bacon, cooked until crispy
  • 8 frozen onion rings
  • 4 slices tomato
  • fresh lettuce
  1. Combine ground beef, green onions, garlic powder and cayenne pepper; form into four patties. Sprinkle both sides of each patty with steak seasoning. Cover and chill. (Patties can be made several hours in advance.)
  2. Brush buns with melted butter; set aside. In small bowl, mix barbecue sauce with honey; set aside.
  3. Heat grill to medium-high heat.
  4. Grill burgers to internal temperature of 160° F, about 4-6 minutes per side. Two minutes before burgers are finished, grill buns, butter-side down, until golden brown. Place cheese slices on burgers to melt.
  5. Serve each burger on buttered bun topped with two slices bacon, two onion rings, honey barbecue sauce, lettuce and tomato.

A Tropical Summer Twist
If you find yourself hosting a last-minute barbecue without time to plan an extensive menu, don’t panic. Simply add a twist to traditional summer staples, like mixing one bag of cabbage with one jar of coleslaw dressing for a classic coleslaw side dish or incorporating coleslaw into your main course. This spin on a classic barbecue meal, Grilled Hawaiian Chicken and Tropical Coleslaw, can take your entertaining to the next level. For more recipes, visit

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Grilled Hawaiian Chicken and Tropical Coleslaw

Total time: 1 hour, 25 minutes
Serves: 6

  • 1/3 cup ketchup
  • 1/3 cup packed dark brown sugar
  • 1/3 cup low-sodium soy sauce
  • 1/4 cup pineapple juice
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil, divided, plus additional for brushing grill
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons rice vinegar
  • 4 teaspoons Litehouse Instantly Fresh Garlic
  • 1 tablespoon Litehouse Instantly Fresh Ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon sesame oil
  • 3/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, plus additional, to taste
  • salt, to taste
  • 1 3/4 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breast, chopped into 1 1/4-inch cubes
  • 1 large red onion, diced into 1 1/4-inch pieces
  • 1 1/2 large green peppers, diced into 1 1/4-inch pieces
  • 3 cups fresh cubed pineapple


  • 1 package (14 ounces) coleslaw mix
  • 1 cup diced red pepper
  • 1 cup diced pineapple
  • 1/2 cup slivered almonds
  • 1/2 cup Litehouse Coleslaw dressing
  1. In mixing bowl, whisk together ketchup, brown sugar, soy sauce, pineapple juice, 2 tablespoons olive oil, rice vinegar, garlic, ginger and sesame oil. Stir in pepper and season with salt, if desired.
  2. Place chicken in gallon-sized re-sealable bag. Reserve 1/2 cup marinade in refrigerator then pour remaining marinade over chicken. Seal bag and refrigerate 1-2 hours. Soak 10 wooden skewer sticks in water 1 hour.
  3. While chicken marinates, prepare coleslaw. In medium bowl, toss together coleslaw mix, red pepper, pineapple, almonds and coleslaw dressing. Refrigerate until ready to serve.
  4. Heat grill to 400° F.
  5. Drizzle remaining olive oil over red onion, bell pepper and pineapple; toss. Season red onion and bell pepper with salt and pepper then thread red onion, bell pepper, pineapple and chicken onto skewers until all chicken is used.
  6. Brush grill grates with olive oil then place skewers on grill. Grill 5 minutes then brush along tops with 1/4 cup marinade. Rotate to opposite side and brush remaining marinade on opposite side; grill about 4 minutes, or until chicken registers 165° F in center on instant read thermometer.
    Serve skewers warm with coleslaw.

A Honey of a Side
No summer picnic or grilling spread is complete without an array of mouthwatering sides. When planning your menu, go for variety with dishes ranging from rich and savory to light and refreshing. If you want to mix things up a bit, look for ways to dress up timeless favorites, like this take on baked beans that gets its sweetness from honey instead of sugar. Find more ways to sweeten up your celebration at

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Honey Baked Beans

Recipe courtesy of the National Honey Board
Servings: 4-6

  • 4 slices bacon, diced
  • 1/2 cup chopped onion
  • 4 1/2 cups cooked navy beans (or 3 cans, 15 ounces each)
  • 1/2 cup honey
  • 1/2 cup ketchup
  • 1 tablespoon prepared mustard
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  1. Heat oven to 350° F.
  2. Saute bacon and onion until onion is tender; combine with remaining ingredients in shallow 2-quart, oven-safe baking dish. Cover with lid or aluminum foil and bake 30 minutes. Uncover and bake 45 minutes longer.

Photo courtesy of Getty Images (berry sundaes)
Photo courtesy of Getty Images (baked beans)

Source: Family Features

Grilling-Tailgating 14 March 2017

Legendary Southern-Style Barbecue

Adds Spark to End-of-Season Cookouts

(Family Features) “Barbecue” is a word that, when uttered, makes mouths water and keeps folks tending pits and grills for hours at a time. But with little time left for optimal outdoor cooking this season, how do you turn up the heat and ensure your next barbecue is the best of the bunch?

Although the “world’s best” barbecue is perhaps the most feuded-over food claim, it’s hard not to think of the South in connection with best-of-class barbecue.

<p>Southern barbecue, with its time-burnished, rich tradition of cooking meat slowly over a wood fire, offers a distinctive style and unique flavor. Great pitmen come from the South, and many great barbecue showdowns take place in the South, like the Jack Daniel’s® World Championship Invitational Barbecue Contest held annually in Lynchburg, Tennessee. And while the definition of “best barbecue” varies from region to region, there are a few standard Southern barbecue traditions that hold true throughout the entire Southern barbecue belt and beyond.

For one, barbecue in the South usually means pork, but there are a few exceptions; beef is most often the meat of choice for Texas barbecue, and mutton is used in parts of Kentucky.

Another sticking point for Southern barbecue is the sauce. Most would agree that bathing your barbecue with a perfectly seasoned, balanced sauce makes the difference between ho-hum and sublime.

Many sauces contain ingredients such as molasses, brown sugar, tomato paste, Worcestershire sauce, cider vinegar, black pepper, onion, celery, garlic, mustard, cayenne pepper, vegetable oil and salt, with some variations. And while there are some true Southerners that would take issue with any barbecue sauce that’s simply not their own, there are a few bottled sauces that can make your celebration simpler while still holding true to Southern barbecue traditions.

Jack Daniel’s® Barbecue Sauce, for example, is a welcomed Southern guest at any barbecue just burning to make a good impression. Whether it’s the sweet and spicy flavor of Original No. 7 or the genuine wood-smoked flavoring of Hickory Brown Sugar, Jack Daniel’s Barbecue Sauce offers the flavor of the famous Jack Daniel’s Whiskey with just the right amount of Southern hospitality to please everyone.

Yet another long-standing tradition at Southern barbecues are the sides and accompaniments. Some of the most popular items used to complement a traditional barbecue meal include old standards such as cole slaw, baked beans and hush puppies. However, modern-day Southern cooks are more willing to welcome a wider array of accompaniments, including something as delightful as bacon-wrapped barbecued shrimp.

So, light the grill, hum a few bars of the “Tennessee Waltz” and get ready to go out of the season in style — Southern barbecue style, that is. Try these tempting recipes or visit for ideas on how to inspire your own barbecue specialty. Let’s get to eatin’!

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Country-Style Ribs

Makes 4 servings

  • 1-1/2 cups Jack Daniel’s® Honey Smokehouse Barbecue Sauce, divided
  • 1-1/2 cups Jack Daniel’s Hickory Brown Sugar Barbecue Sauce
  • 3 pounds country ribs (boneless pork)
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce
  • 1/4 cup honey
  1. Set aside 1/2 cup Honey Smokehouse barbecue sauce to use on cooked ribs.
  2. Place ribs in 4-quart saucepot. Combine remaining ingredients and pour over ribs. Cover and simmer 1 hour or until tender. While cooking, prepare grill.
  3. Remove ribs from sauce and discard liquid. Grill 15 minutes or until browned. Brush on reserved sauce to finish ribs.


Backyard Brawl Baked Beans

Makes 4 servings

  • 4          slices thick-sliced bacon, chopped
  • 2          cups chopped onion
  • 1/2       green pepper, chopped
  • 2          garlic gloves, chopped
  • 2          (16-ounce) cans Heinz Vegetarian Beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1/3       cup molasses
  • 1/2       cup Jack Daniel’s® Spicy Original Recipe Barbecue Sauce
  • 1/4       cup packed brown sugar
  • 1          tablespoon Lea & Perrins Worcestershire Sauce
  • 1          teaspoon dark brown mustard
  • 1          tablespoon dry mustard
  • 1          tablespoon Heinz Apple Cider Vinegar
  • 1/4       tablespoon Liquid Smoke, or to taste
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  1. In heavy pot, cook bacon over medium heat to render fat. Add onion, green pepper and garlic, and cook until vegetables are soft, about 5 minutes.
  2. Stir in beans, molasses, barbecue sauce, brown sugar, Worcestershire sauce, brown mustard, dry mustard, cider vinegar and liquid smoke. Simmer, uncovered, until rich and thickly flavored, 10 to15 minutes, stirring with wooden spoon. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Note: May also place beans in baking dish and bake in preheated 350°F oven about 30 minutes.

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Bacon-Wrapped Barbecued Shrimp

Makes 4 servings

  • 1-1/2    cups Jack Daniel’s® Barbecue Sauce
  • 1          tablespoon garlic powder
  • 2          tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1          pound peeled and deveined shrimp
  • 1/2       pound pepper bacon (or preferred bacon)
  1. Cut bacon slices in half. Cook bacon partially (should not be crisp). Prepare grill.
  2. Combine barbecue sauce, garlic powder and lemon juice; pour half of mixture into separate bowl for use later. Dip shrimp into remaining sauce to thoroughly coat. Wrap each piece of shrimp with 1/2 piece of bacon. Place on skewer (leave small space between pieces). Brush grill with vegetable oil, place skewers on hot grill and baste with remaining sauce. Grill approximately 4 to 6 minutes.


Southern-Style Cole Slaw

Makes 4 servings

  • 1/4       cup Heinz Apple Cider Vinegar
  • 2          tablespoons dark brown sugar
  • 1/2       teaspoon celery seed
  • 1/2       teaspoon ground turmeric
  • 1/4       teaspoon ground ginger
  • Pinch of ground allspice
  • 3          ounces red onion, finely diced
  • 6          ounces green cabbage, coarsely chopped
  • 4          ounces cucumbers, peeled and seeded, coarsely chopped
  • 3          ounces red pepper, coarsely chopped
  • 2          ounces green pepper, coarsely chopped
  • 3          tablespoons olive oil
  1. In medium saucepan, bring vinegar, brown sugar, celery seed, turmeric, ginger and allspice to simmer on medium heat.
  2. Stir in onion, remove from heat and allow to stand 5 minutes to cool. Meanwhile, toss cabbage, cucumbers and peppers in mixing bowl. In another bowl, whisk olive oil into cooled vinaigrette mixture.
  3. Pour mixture over vegetables and toss to coat. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Source: Jack Daniel's Sauces

Main Dishes 10 August 2015

Top Brat

Gorgonzola Mustard
Southern Roadhouse Barbecue Topping
Sweet and Hot Tropical Salsa for Brats

(Family Features) - We all seem to thrive on competition these days. Any channel surfer can find reality shows in which folks are trying to be the next survivor on a deserted island, rock star, celebrity chef or TV design guru. But nothing can beat the real life drama in your own backyard when brats vie for "top brat" awards.

First of all, choose the brat that consumers found to be the tastiest of all grillable meats in a recent taste test. Served hot and plump off the grill, alone on a bun or tortilla, this brat's robust flavor is more than delicious all by itself. But when you're in the mood to play with your food, top your brat with a favorite condiment, relish, salsa or slaw.

Top that juicy grilled brat with pickles and onions, mustard or ketchup. Go German with sauerkraut, Southern with a tangy barbecue topping, or even Hawaiian with pineapple and papaya. As long as you grill your brat so that it's plump and juicy, the topping you choose is only going to add style points. So, top that!

Check out for great recipes and more!

Are You a Grillin' Guru?

You can be, by following Johnsonville's Tips for Grilling Success.

  1. Use a clean grill. Repeated grilling causes excessive residue buildup on the grill rack and hull. An occasional cleaning will help to reduce flare-ups. Besides, your grill is a special gathering place for friends and family. Got to keep up appearances.
  2. It's OK to pre-cook. Know that it's OK to pre-cook brats. One may simmer the links in a pan of broth, or a beer and onion blend, for 8 to10 minutes prior to placing them on the grill (it's okay to dump the beer when you're done ... really, it is).
  3. Cook slow, on low heat, keeping grill covered. If you're using a charcoal grill, spread out the gray/white, hot coals in a single layer. Your charcoal grill is perfect for brats if you can hold your palm near the grill for 5 to 6 seconds before it gets uncomfortable. On a gas grill, start the flame at a medium setting, and when the sausage juices start to flow, reduce heat to low. A lid on the grill helps to minimize the flame, too.
  4. Avoid high flames! First, move the brats to safety. Raging blazes cause injury to sausage and your neighbors probably won't enjoy the sirens. Keep a spray-bottle filled with water handy to douse small flames while grilling. A garden hose would be overkill.
  5. Turn the brats every five minutes or so. Use tongs, never a fork ... EVER! A fork can puncture a link and release that great taste and savory flavor. Tongs keep the links intact, and make 'em easier to turn.

Know when your brats are done cooking, which is:

  • about 25 to 30 minutes using the above guidelines.
  • when they're golden-brown and look appetizing, not charred to a crisp. "Burning" is not "grilling"!
  • when a meat thermometer probe inserted into the link reads 160°F. (Of course, a Master Griller would never be seen doing this.)

Gorgonzola Mustard

Gorgonzola Mustard

  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 3 garlic cloves, finely minced
  • 1 tablespoon coarsely cracked black pepper
  • 1 bottle (12 ounces) dark beer
  • 4 ounces Gorgonzola cheese, crumbled
  • 1 cup stone ground mustard
  1. In skillet, melt butter.
  2. Add garlic and sauté over low heat until tender. Add pepper and beer; bring to boil.
  3. Reduce heat and gradually add cheese; stirring until melted. Continue to cook and stir until mixture is reduced by 1/3.
  4. Remove from heat. Add mustard; stir until blended. Pour into storage container. Refrigerate until ready to serve as a condiment to grilled brats.

Yield: 2 cups.

Notes, Tips & Suggestions

Grilling suggestion: Blend 1 cup Gorgonzola mustard with 1/3 cup dark beer. Use as brushing or basting sauce for brat kabobs, whole brats or vegetables when grilling.

Southern Roadhouse Barbecue Topping

Southern Roadhouse Barbecue Topping

  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 large onion, cut into 1/4-inch slices
  • 3 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
  • 1 cup barbecue sauce
  • 1 cup prepared coleslaw dressing
  • 1 package (16 ounces) cabbage slaw
  1. In skillet, heat oil. Sauté onion and garlic until translucent and slightly brown. Remove from heat, cool slightly.
  2. In small bowl, combine onion mixture with barbecue sauce and coleslaw dressing. Pour over cabbage slaw and toss lightly to coat.
  3. Refrigerate until ready to serve as topping with grilled brats.

Yield about 5 cups

Sweet and Hot Tropical Salsa for Brats

Sweet and Hot Tropical Salsa for Brats

  • 1/2 cup cider or rice vinegar
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely minced or pressed
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons crushed red pepper flakes
  • 3/4 cup diced papaya
  • 1/2 cup diced sweet onion
  • 1/2 cup diced mango
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened pineapple tidbits, drained
  • 1/2 cup diced sweet red roasted peppers, drained
  • 2 green onions, finely sliced
  • 1 tablespoon minced fresh cilantro
  • 1/2 teaspoon hot pepper sauce
  • 1/8 teaspoon Chinese 5 spices
  1. In small saucepan, combine vinegar, sugar and salt; bring to boil.
  2. Reduce heat, add garlic and pepper flakes; continue to simmer 1 minute. Remove from heat, cool to room temperature.
  3. In bowl, combine remaining ingredients. Pour vinegar mixture over fruit; toss lightly. Refrigerate until ready to serve as condiment to grilled brats.

Yield 3 cups



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