(Family Features) Seeking comfort from the cold in the form of a wholesome meal is a perfect way to cap off a day with loved ones. During the winter months when brisk temperatures chill you to the bone, warming up with hearty dishes at the family table can bring everyone together.
- Full of seasonal flavors with top-notch taste, Pecan-Crusted Pork Tenderloin offers a delicious main course you don’t have to feel guilty about. This easy yet elegant entree puts a unique spin on a dinnertime staple thanks to a crunchy pecan crust.
- With cheddar and ricotta cheeses, sour cream and cavatappi noodles, this Mac and Cheese with Pecan Breadcrumbs is an extra creamy, creative twist on the kid-friendly classic. Pair this family favorite with the pork tenderloin for an easy weeknight combination that little ones can help with in the kitchen by stirring together the cheesy goodness.
This family dinner is made possible with tasty pecans, which are among the lowest in carbs and highest in fiber compared to other tree nuts, helping you stay fuller longer. As a nutrient-dense powerhouse, they have 3 grams of plant-based protein and 3 grams of fiber per 1-ounce serving with 12 grams of “good” monounsaturated fat and only 2 grams of saturated fat. Essential nutrients like thiamin, zinc, copper and manganese – a mineral that’s essential for metabolism and bone health – mean you can feel good about serving pecan-infused dishes to your loved ones.
Visit americanpecan.com to find more winter weeknight recipe inspiration.
Pecan-Crusted Pork Tenderloin
Total time: 35 minutes
- 1 pork tenderloin (about 1 1/2 pounds)
- salt, to taste
- pepper, to taste
- 1/2 cup brown sugar, divided
- 2 tablespoons soy sauce, divided
- 2 teaspoons minced garlic
- 1/2 cup pecan pieces
- 1/4 cup pineapple juice
- 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
- Preheat oven to 400 F and lightly grease large baking dish. Season pork tenderloin with salt and pepper, to taste; set aside.
- In small bowl, stir 1/4 cup brown sugar, 1 tablespoon soy sauce and minced garlic. Spread mixture over pork.
- Press pecan pieces into brown sugar mixture on pork. Bake, uncovered, 20 minutes.
- In medium saucepan over medium-high heat, combine remaining brown sugar, remaining soy sauce, pineapple juice and Dijon mustard. Bring mixture to boil; reduce to simmer 3-5 minutes then remove from heat.
- Slice pork, spoon sauce over top and serve.
Mac and Cheese with Pecan Breadcrumbs
Total time: 50 minutes
- 8 ounces cavatappi pasta
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 1 block (8 ounces) cheddar cheese
- 1/2 cup raw pecan pieces
- 15 ounces part-skim ricotta cheese
- 4 tablespoons sour cream
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon ground pepper
- 1 large egg, lightly beaten
- Preheat oven to 375 F.
- In salted boiling water, cook pasta according to package instructions. Drain, reserving 1/2 cup pasta cooking water. Return pasta to pot and stir in butter.
- Using box grater, shred cheddar cheese.
- Using food processor, process 1/4 cup shredded cheese with pecans to coarse breadcrumb consistency.
- Add remaining cheddar cheese, ricotta, sour cream, salt and pepper to warm pasta. Stir until thoroughly combined. Add egg; stir. Add reserved pasta water to loosen mixture; stir until smooth.
- Pour into buttered 9-inch square or round casserole dish and top evenly with pecan topping.
- Bake 30 minutes.
Source: American Pecan Council
Real California Milk helps impress guests with the California Cheese Centerpiece and Cookie Exchange Board
(Family Features) This holiday season, entertaining is back on the table and that means endless opportunities to showcase Instagram-worthy ideas. For those looking to impress friends and family, Real California Milk has two unique culinary ideas to take holiday traditions to the next level: The Cheese Centerpiece and Cookie Exchange Board. From fresh food as bountiful décor to camera-ready cookie presentations, incorporating California dairy into your entertaining is a winning holiday strategy.
California Cheese Centerpiece
The mission? Create a holiday centerpiece but make it delicious. Real California Milk partner Jessica Lawrenz, Founder of Monger, Mold and Milk, took the challenge with the California Cheese Centerpiece, the ultimate in edible entertaining with a beautiful display of Real California Cheeses, salami, fruits and vegetables arranged with fragrant herbal garnishes in a display sure to impress family and friends. As a bonus, it creates less waste than a stand-alone floral bouquet (and you’ll have less to clean up!).
Find additional cheese displays and holiday recipes at realcaliforniamilk.com.
Variety of firm to medium (semi-firm) Real California Cheeses (find them here: https://www.realcaliforniamilk.com/cheese-makers)
Shown in arrangement:
- Real California Dry Jack cheese wedges
- Real California Wine-soaked Cheddar wedges
- Real California Triple Cream cheese wedges
- Salumi or salami, made into roses
Fresh fruits and vegetables:
- Mini clementines or kumquats
- Grapes or currants (both shown)
- Fresh figs
- Cucamelons or mini cucumbers
- Cherry tomatoes (tiger stripe tomatoes shown but any small tomato works)
- Bay leaf stems
- Olive leaf stems
- Rosemary branches
- Lavender stems
- Sage bunches
- Chive or garlic flowers or any edible flower with a stem
Tools and Materials:
- Circular tray or plate
- Craft or flora foam (half sphere shape that is at least 1-inch smaller in diameter than your tray)
- Double-sided tape
- Plastic wrap
- Toothpicks, U-shape bamboo toothpicks (optional)
- Cookie cutter shapes (optional)
- Cover foam in plastic wrap to protect food from making contact with the foam.
- Use double-sided tape to secure the foam to the tray.
- Now you can start assembling the centerpiece. Start from the bottom and work your way up to the top of the sphere.
- Use the bulk of your leafy garnishment (bay leaf stems, olive leaf stems, sage bunches) on the bottom layer to create a base and coverage by poking the stems into the foam. If needed you can trim the bottom of the stem in a diagonal direction to create a more pokey end OR use a toothpick to pierce a hole in the place where you want to insert stems.
- For best visual appeal, fruits like grapes and currants should be arranged to kind of flow over the edge of the tray near the bottom as well. PRO TIP: Use “U” shaped bamboo toothpicks to secure the stems of the hanging fruits into the foam.
- From here use toothpicks to secure cheese wedges, salumi roses, fruits and vegetables into the foam. Cut shorter, triangular pieces of cheese (as opposed to longer triangular pieces used for a long/rectangular centerpiece). Use any tall wedges near the bottom where they will be easy to grab but not sticking out too far if placed near the top. You can use cookie cutter shapes as well for the cheeses, if desired.
- Finally, take any of the smaller garnish pieces you have (lavender, chive flowers, rosemary ends, loose leaves) to fill in the spaces between all the items.
Holiday Cookie Exchange Board
If a cookie exchange is on the docket for this year’s holiday or you’re simply looking to upgrade your dessert table, take some tips from this stunning cookie exchange presentation. Mix and match Real California Milk cookie recipes to create a mouthwatering arrangement and decorate with mini candy canes, holiday lollipops, various holiday décor and lights. Add napkins, cookie bags for take-away, and recipe cards for sharing, and let your guests go to town.
- Hot cocoa or coffee
- Milk shooters
- Coconut Walnut Cake Bars
- Chocolate Mint Cookies
- Stroopwafel Cookies
- Mini Gingerbread Cupcakes
Dipped in melted dark chocolate and rolled in crushed peppermint candies or Holiday sprinkles
Leave out ice cream, exchange holiday sprinkles for rainbow sprinkles, and dip in melted white chocolate with color for extra festivity
California is the nation’s leading milk producer and is responsible for producing more butter, ice cream and nonfat dry milk than any other state. The state is the second-largest producer of cheese and yogurt. California milk and dairy foods can be identified by the Real California Milk seal, which certifies they are made exclusively with milk from the state’s dairy farm families.
About Real California Milk/California Milk Advisory Board
The California Milk Advisory Board (CMAB), an instrumentality of the California Department of Food and Agriculture, is funded by the state’s dairy farm families who lead the nation in sustainable dairy farming practices. With a vision to nourish the world with the wholesome goodness of Real California Milk, the CMAB’s programs focus on increasing demand for California’s sustainable dairy products in the state, across the U.S. and around the world through advertising, public relations, research, and retail and foodservice promotional programs. For more information and to connect with the CMAB, visit RealCaliforniaMilk.com, Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest.
Source: Real California Milk
(Family Features) Weekend barbecues, birthday celebrations and family reunions are in full swing, so up your grill game from basic to bold with a few ideas to leave your guests wanting more.
Step outside your comfort zone and create some “wow-worthy” dishes with big flavors with these recipes from McCormick and chef Roger Mooking from Cooking Channel’s “Man, Fire, Food.”
Get started with these ideas:
- Once ribs are grilled until tender, use a sharp knife to carefully slit skin on the back of each rib for easier bone removal.
- Make a giant cheese-stuffed burger by lining a 9-inch round cake pan with foil. Add in half of the ground beef followed by a cheese layer. Top with remaining ground beef and shake on seasoning for maximum flavor.
- Brine pork chops in the refrigerator for 8-10 hours before grilling to infuse with flavor and help make tender and juicy. Top with caramelized apples cooked in a cast-iron skillet.
Find more summer recipes and tips at GrillYourBest.com.
Smokehouse Maple-Brined Pork Chops
- 1/3 cup sea salt
- 1/4 cup, plus 2 tablespoons and pinch, McCormick Grill Mates Smokehouse Maple Seasoning
- 1/2 cup packed light brown sugar, divided
- 8 cups water, divided
- 4 bone-in center-cut pork chops (3/4-inch thick, about 2 1/2-2 3/4 pounds total)
- vegetable oil
- 1 lemon, cut in half
- 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 2 Granny Smith apples, each peeled, cored and cut into six wedges
- 1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh chives (optional)
- In medium saucepan, whisk salt, 1/4 cup seasoning, 1/4 cup sugar and 4 cups water. Bring to simmer, whisking constantly, until salt and sugar dissolve. Pour in remaining water and mix thoroughly. Transfer brine to large container with lid and cool to room temperature. Add pork chops to brine. Cover and refrigerate 8-10 hours.
- Heat grill to medium-high heat.
- Remove pork chops from brine and pat dry with paper towels. Brush lightly with oil. Season both sides of pork with 2 tablespoons seasoning.
- Grill until bottom side of pork chops are well marked and charred, 7-9 minutes. Flip and grill 4-6 minutes, or until cooked through and internal temperature registers 145° F. Let rest under tented foil.
- Place large cast-iron skillet on grill. Juice one lemon half into small bowl. Add 1 teaspoon lemon juice and remaining sugar to skillet and stir with heatproof spatula until mixture resembles wet sand. Cook with grill open, stirring frequently, until sugar melts and deepens to amber, about 8 minutes. Add butter and stir until melted. Once foam subsides, add apples. Close grill and cook, stirring gently to coat apples in caramel, until apples are tender-crisp, about 8 minutes. Remove skillet from heat and add remaining lemon juice and pinch of seasoning; stir gently.
- Arrange pork chops on platter and top with apples. Zest remaining lemon half over dish. Sprinkle with chives, if desired.
Best-Ever Buffalo Rack O’ Ribs Sandwich
- 1/4 cup mayonnaise
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 1/2 teaspoon Lawry’s Seasoned Salt, plus additional, to taste
- 1/8 teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper, plus additional, to taste
- 2 cups shredded green cabbage
- 1/2 cup shredded carrot
- 1/4 cup diced celery, chopped
- 2 tablespoons fresh celery leaves
- 2 tablespoons fresh flat-leaf parsley, chopped
- 1 rack (about 2 pounds) baby back ribs
- 3 tablespoons firmly packed brown sugar
- 1 tablespoon Lawry’s Seasoned Salt
- 4 tablespoons hot sauce, divided, plus additional for spreading and serving (optional)
- 1 soft French loaf (12-14 inches), split
- olive oil
- Lawry’s Seasoned Salt
- McCormick coarsely ground black pepper
- 1/4 small red onion, thinly sliced
- 1/4 cup crumbled blue cheese
- To make slaw: In medium bowl, whisk mayonnaise, lemon juice, seasoned salt and pepper. Add cabbage, carrot, celery, celery leaves and parsley; toss to combine. Sprinkle with additional seasoned salt and pepper, to taste.
- To make ribs: Prepare grill for indirect medium heat at about 350° F.
- Insert butter knife between membrane and bone on backside of ribs. Grab membrane with paper towel then pull to remove membrane; discard. Rub ribs on both sides with brown sugar and seasoned salt. Wrap ribs tightly in aluminum foil and place on indirect-heat side of grill. Grill ribs, turning once until meat is tender and pulling away from bone but not totally falling apart, about 1 hour, 15 minutes-1 hour, 30 minutes. Remove ribs from grill.
- Unwrap ribs and let cool until cool enough to handle. Using sharp knife, carefully slit skin on back of ribs and remove bones, keeping slab in one piece.
- Place boneless rib slab on direct-heat side of grill, rounded-side up, and brush top with 2 tablespoons hot sauce. Grill until underside begins to crisp, about 2 minutes. Carefully flip ribs and brush top with the remaining hot sauce. Continue to grill ribs until glossy and caramelized, about 2-3 minutes.
- To assemble sandwich: Scoop out most of soft insides of top of French bread to make room for toppings. Brush cut sides with oil and sprinkle with seasoned salt and pepper. Grill on direct-heat side of grill until bread is toasted and grill marks appear, about 3 minutes.
- Place ribs on bottom of loaf. Brush with additional hot sauce, if desired, and top with slaw, onions and blue cheese. Cover with top of loaf. Cut into four pieces.
Giant Bacon-Cheddar Juicy Lucy Burger
- 2 tablespoons McCormick Grill Mates Montreal Steak Seasoning, divided
- 2 pounds 80 percent lean ground beef
- 8 ounces sliced medium or sharp white cheddar cheese
- 1/4 cup mayonnaise
- 1/4 cup yellow mustard
- 8 long pickle slices, plus 2 tablespoons brine
- 1 round loaf soft bread (10 inches), cut in half horizontally
- olive oil
- sea salt
- freshly ground black pepper
- 1 large heirloom tomato, thinly sliced
- 1 small red onion, thinly sliced
- 8 slices bacon, cooked
- 2 cups shredded iceberg lettuce
- Line 9-inch round cake pan with aluminum foil, leaving extra foil over edges of pan. Sprinkle with 2 teaspoons steak seasoning. Press half of ground beef into cake pan. Layer cheese in middle, leaving 1/2-1-inch border around sides. Sprinkle with additional 2 teaspoons seasoning. Top with remaining ground beef in even layer and press to seal in cheese. Sprinkle with remaining seasoning.
- Lift burger from cake pan using foil. Press to flatten to about 11 inches in diameter. Refrigerate until ready to cook. (Patty can be assembled up to 2 hours in advance.)
- In small bowl, whisk mayonnaise, mustard and pickle brine until smooth. Cover and refrigerate.
- Remove most of soft insides from top of bread to make hollow. Reserve insides.
- Prepare grill for indirect medium heat at about 350° F.
- Brush grill grates with oil. Hold burger on foil bottom and flip onto indirect-heat side of grill; peel off foil. Cook until sides of burger are cooked and it feels firm when lifted with spatula, about 8-10 minutes. Using two spatulas, carefully flip burger. Close grill and cook until burger is cooked through and cheese is melted, about 5-8 minutes longer. Move to direct-heat side of grill for 1-2 minutes per side for more char.
- Brush cut sides of bread with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Grill on direct-heat side of grill until bread is toasted and grill marks appear, about 3 minutes.
- Place bottom half of bread on large cutting board. Spread with half of mustard sauce. Place burger on top and top with tomatoes, onions, pickles and bacon. Spread top of bread with remaining mustard sauce and fill with lettuce. Place top of bun on burger and cut into eight wedges.
(Family Features) Easter is all about festive family gatherings and good food. Whether you’re celebrating with your closest or hosting a larger crowd in your home, try these simple tips to keep everyone happy and full without blowing your budget.
Plan ahead: Don’t let the pressure of hosting the holidays stress you. A well-constructed game plan can help you stay on track with your spending goals. Before heading to the grocery store, take inventory of what you already have and create a list of the items you need. These simple steps can save you time and money in the long run.
Find affordable ingredients and supplies: Grocery shopping can be a daunting task, especially with seemingly endless options. Shopping at a grocery store like ALDI helps you find everything you need in one quick and easy shopping trip, including high-quality, fresh, affordable foods for your Easter spread. While there, you can also pick up other Easter essentials like baskets, toys, bakeware, decor and more.
Keep leftovers in mind: Food (and money) can go to waste when leftovers go uneaten. Instead of tossing out your forgotten leftovers, incorporate them into a whole new dish. Try these Holiday Ham Sliders using leftovers from main dishes such as Slow-Cooked Maple Ham.
Find more tips and recipes for an appetizing Easter at ALDI.us.
Slow-Cooked Maple Ham
Recipe courtesy of Chef Alyssa, ALDI Test Kitchen
Prep time: 5 minutes
Cook time: 5 hours, 15 minutes
- 20 ounces Sweet Harvest Pineapple Chunks
- 8 pounds Appleton Farms Smoked Ham Butt
- 1 cup Specially Selected 100% Pure Maple Syrup
- 1 cup Baker’s Corner Brown Sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon Stonemill Cinnamon
- 1 tablespoon Burman’s Dijon Mustard
- 1 teaspoon Stonemill Ground Black Pepper
- Pour pineapple into large slow cooker. Place ham on top of pineapple, flat-side down.
- In small bowl, combine syrup, brown sugar, cinnamon, Dijon mustard and pepper. Pour over ham.
- Set slow cooker to low. Cook 4-5 hours.
- Remove ham; keep warm. Skim fat off top of remaining liquid in slow cooker.
- Pour liquid into small saucepan and bring to boil. Reduce heat to simmer; cook until reduced to desired consistency.
- Serve sauce on side or heat oven to broil and glaze ham. Broil 3-4 minutes for caramelized crust.
Holiday Ham Sliders
Recipe courtesy of Chef Linsey, ALDI Test Kitchen
Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 25 minutes
- Carlini Canola Cooking Spray
- 3 ounces Happy Farms Preferred Cranberry White Cheddar, shredded
- 3 ounces Happy Farms Preferred Plain Havarti Cheese, shredded
- 12 ounces L'oven Fresh Hawaiian Sweet Rolls
- 2 tablespoons Burman's Spicy Mustard
- 1/4 cup sliced red onion
- 12 ounces Appleton Farms Spiral Sliced Half Ham
- 1/4 cup sliced green apple
- 4 tablespoons Countryside Creamery butter, melted
- 1/2 teaspoon Stonemill Garlic Powder
- 1/4 teaspoon ground Stonemill Sea Salt
- 1/2 teaspoon Stonemill Parsley Flakes
- Heat oven to 350 F.
- Line 9-by-13-inch baking pan with aluminum foil and coat with cooking spray.
- In small bowl, combine cranberry white cheddar and havarti cheeses. Reserve.
- Remove entire package of rolls and, keeping rolls connected, slice in half horizontally.
- Place bottom half of rolls in baking pan. Spread with spicy mustard.
- Top with red onion, ham, apple, cheese mixture and bun tops.
- In small bowl, combine butter, garlic powder, salt and parsley flakes. Pour over sandwiches.
- Cover with foil and bake 15 minutes.
- Remove foil. Bake 10 minutes more.
- Remove from pan and separate sandwiches; serve immediately.
(Family Features) When planning this year’s holiday menu, consider building meals around a versatile main course that you can dress up or down and then integrate into easy leftover dishes. A ham is a perfect solution because it works equally well as the centerpiece of an elegant meal or as savory sliders to serve with chutney or hot mustard.
Beyond versatile ingredients, a winning holiday menu relies on proper preparation, and that’s why quality cookware is essential. An option like Anolon Gourmet Cookware is designed for superior performance that can help bring joy to cooking and features heavy-duty pan bodies and comfort-grip handles for safe and secure lifting and leverage. The aesthetically pleasing cookware’s premium-quality, nonstick surface provides lasting durability, effortless food release and easy clean up – perfect for the busy holiday season.
Ham it Up (or Down)
Ham is an ideal holiday protein because you can serve it as a centerpiece dish or as part of a more casual meal and still achieve great results either way. Make the most of this holiday favorite with these tips:
- Be sure to get a ham big enough for leftovers. It's just as good sliced up for sandwiches or fried with eggs as it is when presented in its full glory out of the oven.
- Think beyond the main table. A glazed ham is pretty on the table, but it's also delicious when served casually, for example on a sandwich bar with savory rolls, tangy mustards and other condiments.
- If your holiday plans are up in the air, go ahead and make a ham in advance to keep on hand for casual meals during the busy holiday season or for a quick meal with unexpected guests.
Explore more cookware options to serve up your holiday best at anolon.com.
Country Ham and Cheddar on Biscuits
Recipe courtesy of Anolon Gourmet Cookware
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- medium Anolon skillet
- 1 small onion, finely chopped
- 2 teaspoons fresh ginger, minced
- 3/4 teaspoon curry powder
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 3/4 cup dried currants
- 3 tablespoons water
- 2 tablespoons raspberry vinegar
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- 1/4 cup apple jelly
- 1 tablespoon country Dijon mustard
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 teaspoon coarse ground black pepper
- 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 8 tablespoons chilled unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
- 3/4 cup low-fat buttermilk, plus 2 tablespoons
- Anolon large nonstick baking sheet
- 1 large egg yolk, beaten
- 12 ounces country ham, thinly sliced
- 6 slices (about 6 ounces) sharp cheddar cheese
- To make chutney: heat oil in skillet over medium heat. Add onion and ginger; cook, stirring occasionally, until slightly softened, 3-4 minutes.
- Add curry powder and cinnamon; cook, stirring, 30 seconds. Stir in currants and cook until slightly softened, 2 minutes.
- Add water and vinegar and cook until currants plump slightly, about 3 minutes.
- Stir in sugar and cook 1 minute.
- Remove from heat and let cool 10 minutes. Stir in jelly, mustard and salt; refrigerate until ready to serve.
- To make biscuits: Heat oven to 425° F.
- In large bowl, combine flour, baking powder, pepper, baking soda and salt. Using pastry blender, cut butter into flour mixture until it resembles coarse crumbs. Stir in buttermilk until mixture is moistened.
- In bowl, knead dough 3-4 times to bring together. Press dough into disk and wrap in plastic wrap; refrigerate 20-30 minutes. On lightly floured surface, roll dough out to 1/2-inch thickness. Using 2-inch fluted biscuit cutter, start at outside edge of dough and cut out biscuits and set on baking sheet. Gently press dough scraps together and roll again to 1/2-inch thickness. Repeat to cut out 24 biscuits total. Brush tops of biscuits with egg yolk.
- Bake biscuits in center of oven until puffed and tops are golden brown. Remove from oven and cool 15 minutes.
- Split biscuits in half and set aside. Lay ham slices on cutting board in single layer. Using 2-inch fluted biscuit cutter, punch out 24 ham circles and place each on bottom half of biscuit. Lay cheese slices on cutting board and punch out 24 circles to place each on top of ham. Spoon chutney evenly on top of each biscuit then replace top half of each biscuit.
Note: Biscuits can be assembled several hours ahead of serving and kept in refrigerator.
Cola and Brown Sugar Glazed Ham
Recipe courtesy of Anolon Gourmet Cookware
- 11-12 pounds shank half bone-in cooked ham
- large Anolon roasting pan
- 4 cups cola, divided
- 2 cups orange juice, divided
- 1/2 cup dark brown sugar
- 1/4 cup Dijon mustard
- Heat oven to 350° F.
- Trim skin and excess fat off ham. With sharp knife, score ham all over in diamond pattern. Place ham in roasting pan then pour 1 cup cola and 1 cup orange juice over it. Cover pan with aluminum foil and roast 1 hour and 15 minutes.
- While ham roasts, in medium saucepan, combine remaining cola, orange juice, brown sugar and Dijon mustard. Bring mixture to boil over medium-high heat and cook about 45-48 minutes, until reduced to 1 cup and mixture is slightly syrupy.
- After ham roasts 1 hour and 15 minutes, remove foil and baste with glaze. Continue roasting and basting ham every 15 minutes with glaze until it is glossy and instant read thermometer inserted into thickest portion registers 145° F, about 1 hour and 15-30 minutes longer. Remove from oven and let rest 15-20 minutes before slicing.
Source: Anolon Gourmet Cookware
A perfect way to entertain around the table
(Family Features) With springtime in full bloom, brunch is the perfect way to entertain friends and family for nearly any upcoming occasion or celebration. Take advantage of the budding season with quality time spent with loved ones, more outdoor experiences and wholesome nutrition for the whole family, starting with a delicious morning meal around the table.
When it comes to the food they serve their families, moms want to provide good nutrition, especially for their kids, to help them grow up healthy and strong. Serving a nutritious meal each morning is one way to help kids get a good start to the day, so they can be their best in school, play and any other activities the day brings.
Whether moms know it or not, they are powerful role models for their children’s health and nutrition. When moms set the example and eat nutritious meals themselves, kids notice. For instance, according to a study from the U.S. National Library of Medicine, moms who drink milk are more likely to have kids who drink milk, which is a household staple that provides important nutrients such as calcium, vitamin D and potassium. Setting the example for quality nutrition can be made easy with a delicious meal served with milk to celebrate any occasion this season with guests of all ages.
This simple egg casserole is the perfect excuse to bring the family together and start a beautiful spring day with a wholesome meal and quality time together. For more recipes and reasons to bring the family together, visit milklife.com.
Easy Egg Casserole
- Nonstick cooking spray
- 1 cup lean ham, cubed
- 1 cup frozen seasoned potatoes with onions and peppers
- 3/4 cup frozen spinach, chopped
- 1/2 cup lowfat cheddar or Swiss cheese, shredded
- 6 eggs
- 3/4 cup milk
- Heat oven to 375° F. Lightly coat 8-by-8-inch casserole dish with nonstick spray.
- Arrange ham, potatoes, spinach and cheese in bottom of casserole dish. In large bowl, beat eggs and milk together and pour over ingredients in casserole dish.
- Bake 25-30 minutes, or until lightly browned and puffed. Serve immediately.
- Pair each serving with 8-ounce glass of milk.
Nutritional information per serving: 350 calories; 9 g fat; 3 g saturated fat; 350 mg cholesterol; 32 g protein; 34 g carbohydrates; 2 g fiber; 630 mg sodium; 500 mg calcium (50% of daily value). Nutrition figures based on using fat free milk, and include an 8-ounce glass of milk.
Cheesy Chicken & Rice Bake
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Bake Time: 45 minutes
- 1 can (10 3/4 ounces) Campbell’s Condensed Cream of Chicken Soup (regular or 98% fat free)
- 1 1/3 cups water
- 3/4 cup uncooked regular long-grain white rice
- 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
- 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1 1/2 pounds skinless, boneless chicken breast halves (about 4)
- 1 cup shredded Cheddar cheese (4 ounces)
- MIX soup, water, rice, onion powder and black pepper in 2-quart shallow baking dish. Top with chicken. Sprinkle chicken with additional pepper. Cover.
- BAKE at 375°F for 45 minutes or until chicken is no longer pink and rice is done.
- UNCOVER. Sprinkle cheese over chicken. Remove chicken and stir rice before serving. Serves 4 to 6
Source: Campbell's Soup
(Family Features) When planning a get-together with friends, finding the right playlist and inviting your favorite people over is easy, but planning the perfect menu can be daunting.
Whether it’s game day, the season premiere of your favorite show or just a casual night in, if you’re craving something satisfying and delicious, one simple solution is Mrs. T’s Pierogies.
You can easily add a creative twist to your menu by serving up bite-sized Bacon-Wrapped Pierogies, featuring Classic Cheddar Mini Pierogies, which are perfect for sharing. Or try adding some flare to your nachos by substituting chips with pierogies. Available in 15 tasty varieties, these potato-filled pasta shells are loaded with flavor and are the perfect canvas for all your favorite ingredients and spices.
Find more recipes to enjoy with your friends at MrsTsPierogies.com.
Prep time: 15 minutes
Total time: 32 minutes
- Nonstick cooking spray
- 1 box (12.84 ounces) Mrs. T’s Mini Cheddar Seasoned with Bacon or Mini Classic Cheddar Pierogies
- 14 slices bacon, sliced in half
- 1/4 cup brown sugar (optional)
- Heat oven to 400° F.
- Spray baking sheet with nonstick cooking spray. Defrost pierogies by placing in boiling water for 2 minutes or refrigerating overnight.
- Wrap half slices of bacon around each pierogy. Arrange pierogies on baking sheet. Sprinkle with brown sugar, if desired. Bake 16-18 minutes, or until golden brown, turning once.
- Optional: Saute wrapped pierogies 8 minutes, or grill 5 minutes until browned.
Prep time: 5 minutes
Total time: 20 minutes
- 2 boxes (16 ounces each) Mrs. T’s Classic Cheddar Pierogies
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 1 1/2 cups canned black beans, drained and rinsed
- 3/4 cup shredded Monterey Jack cheese
- Pico de Gallo (recipe below)
- guacamole (recipe below)
- sour cream (optional)
- pickled jalapeno peppers (optional)
Pico de Gallo:
- 2 Roma tomatoes, seeded and diced
- 1 small, diced red onion
- 2 tablespoons chopped cilantro
- 1 1/2 teaspoons lime juice
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 small, ripe avocado
- 1 seeded and minced jalapeno
- 1/2 Roma tomato, seeded and chopped
- 2 tablespoons thinly sliced green onion
- 1 tablespoon chopped cilantro
- 2 teaspoons lime juice
- salt, to taste
- pepper, to taste
- To make nachos: Saute pierogies in butter over medium heat, approximately 8 minutes on both sides.
- Preheat broiler. On large, oven-safe plate, arrange hot pierogies; sprinkle with black beans and Monterey Jack cheese.
- Broil until cheese is melted and bubbly. Top with Pico de Gallo and guacamole, and sour cream or pickled jalapeno peppers, if desired.
- To make Pico de Gallo: Mix together all ingredients and set aside. Serve on top of pierogies.
- To make guacamole: Cut avocado in half and remove seed. With spoon, scoop out inside; place in bowl.
- Mash avocado with fork until slightly chunky.
- Mix in jalapeno, tomato, green onion, cilantro, lime juice, salt and pepper. Serve on top of pierogies.
Source: Mrs. T's Pierogies
Add a delicious twist to entertaining
(Family Features) The holidays are the ultimate time for connecting with friends and family, so treat them to something special this year with your own mouthwatering take on a holiday feast. Add a new and delicious twist to entertaining this season with a festive bacon bar.
Mix things up with simple decorating tips and these easy-to-make – and even easier to eat – bacon recipes from Smithfield that can help create the perfect setting for your next holiday gathering. Whether drizzled with caramel and sea salt, twisted with puff pastry or baked with bourbon and maple syrup, your guests can enjoy bacon in a variety of ways. The classic cut and versatility of Smithfield Hometown Original Bacon is ideal for dishes you can include in your bacon bar like bacon cheddar biscuits, savory bacon jam and flavorful bacon salt. You can also incorporate different bacon flavors; with more than 10 different Smithfield varieties to choose from, there truly is something for everyone.
Complete your holiday spread with printed labels that festively identify the variety of bacon flavors, unique recipes and side dishes on display. Simply print templates onto thick card stock and cut to your desired shape. Use twine or holiday ribbon to tie the labels onto mason jars, bowls or baskets, or use a small clothespin to clip the labels onto your bacon creations. Garnish your display with garland, red berries and pine cones for added holiday cheer.
Visit Smithfield.com/BaconBar for printable labels, more decor ideas and recipe inspiration to give your own bacon bar a personal touch.
Crispy Bacon Twists with Gouda and Apricot Preserves
Cook time: 45 minutes
- Nonstick spray
- flour, for dusting
- 1 package (2 sheets) frozen puff pastry dough, thawed
- 1 egg, beaten
- 1 cup (12 ounces) apricot preserves
- 2 cups (about 7 ounces) Gouda cheese, shredded
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh rosemary leaves
- 2 pounds (about 25-30 slices) Smithfield Hometown Original Bacon
- Heat oven to 375° F. Line two rimmed baking pans with foil, set baking racks in pans and lightly spray racks with nonstick spray.
- On lightly floured surface, roll out one puff pastry sheet to roughly 8-by-12 inches. Brush top with egg and thinly spread 1/2 cup preserves over dough. Sprinkle evenly with 1 cup shredded cheese and 1 tablespoon rosemary, lightly pressing cheese mixture into dough. Fold short end of dough over to enclose cheese mixture and lightly roll to seal. Cut into 15 1/2-inch strips. Repeat with remaining puff pastry and ingredients.
- Lay one slice bacon diagonally. Grab one strip of prepared dough by ends and place one end of dough strip horizontally at top end of bacon and roll bacon with dough downward, stretching dough strip while rolling. Place spiral-wrapped bacon twist on prepared rack and repeat.
- Bake twists 35-45 minutes, or until pastry is browned and bacon crisp, rotating pans as needed for even cooking.
- Let cool 5 minutes and gently use spatula to remove twists from racks. Serve warm or at room temperature.
Tip: For a different flavor, try smoked or aged Gouda or fresh thyme instead of rosemary.
Caramelized Bourbon Bacon
Cook time: 30 minutes
- 2 packages (16 ounces each) Smithfield Thick Cut Bacon
- 4 tablespoons honey
- 1/2 cup bourbon
- 4 tablespoons maple syrup
- Heat oven to 375° F. Line two baking pans with parchment paper.
- Remove bacon from package and space evenly on pans without overlapping slices.
Place pans in oven and bake 15 minutes. Rotate pans halfway through baking time. Meanwhile, combine honey, bourbon and syrup.
- Remove bacon from oven. Carefully drain grease from pans. Brush bacon with bourbon mixture. Return to oven and bake 3-5 minutes. Let cool slightly and serve.
Sea Salt Caramel Bacon
Cook time: 40 minutes
- 2 packages (12 ounces each) Smithfield Thick Cut Bacon
- 4 tablespoons caramel topping
- 1 teaspoon flaked sea salt
- Heat oven to 375° F. Line two baking pans with nonstick foil.
- Remove bacon from package and space evenly on pans without overlapping slices.
- Place pans in oven and bake 10 minutes. Rotate pans and continue baking until crisp, about 20 minutes. Remove from oven. Using tongs, place bacon slices on clean parchment paper-lined baking sheet. Let cool slightly.
- Heat caramel in microwave 10 seconds. Drizzle bacon with caramel. Sprinkle with sea salt. Return to oven and bake 2 minutes. Let sit 5 minutes. Using tongs, remove to cooling rack. Cool 5 minutes before serving.
Bacon Cheddar Biscuits
Cook time: 30 minutes
- 4 ounces shredded cheddar cheese
- 1/4 cup chopped green onions
- 1/2 cup cooked Smithfield Hometown Original Bacon, diced
- 2 cups all-purpose flour, plus 1 tablespoon and extra for rolling, divided
- 1 tablespoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 cup (1/2 stick) butter
- 3/4 cup milk
- Heat oven to 450° F.
- In small bowl, toss together cheese, green onions and bacon with 1 tablespoon flour. Set aside. In separate bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder and salt. Use pastry cutter or two forks to cut in butter.
- Add milk and stir just enough to bring ingredients together. Gently fold in cheese mixture.
- Turn dough onto floured surface and knead about 1 minute. Pat or roll out dough to 1/2- or 3/4-inch thickness. Cut into rounds with 2 1/2-inch round biscuit cutter.
- Place biscuits on ungreased baking sheet. Bake 12-15 minutes, or until golden brown on top.
- 4 ounces bacon, coarsely chopped
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 2 small leeks, trimmed and chopped
- 1 large onion, diced (about 1 cup)
- 1 large carrot, diced (about 1/2 cup)
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
- 6 cups Wolfgang Puck Organic Free Range Chicken Broth
- 3 large Russet potatoes, cut into cubes (about 4 cups)
- 1/2 cup heavy cream
- 2 cups grated sharp cheddar cheese (about 8 ounces)
- Freshly ground black pepper
- Chopped fresh chives
- Cook bacon in a 4-quart saucepan over medium-high heat until crisp. Remove bacon from saucepan. Pour off all but 1 tablespoon drippings. Add butter to saucepan and cook and stir until melted.
- Add leeks, onion, carrot and garlic to saucepan and cook until tender, stirring occasionally. Add flour and cook and stir for 2 minutes. Gradually stir in broth.
- Add potatoes and heat to a boil. Reduce heat to low. Cook for 15 minutes or until potatoes are tender and the broth mixture is thickened.
- Stir cream and cheese in saucepan and cook until cheese is melted. Season with black pepper. Crumble bacon. Sprinkle soup with bacon and chives before serving.
Makes 6 servings