recipes

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 ArmourMeats.com.

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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

Breakfast & Brunch 28 April 2017

Bring Brunch Home

(Family Features) There’s no denying that brunch is a popular favorite, but you don’t have to leave the comfort of your own home to enjoy a delicious spread with family and friends.

Enjoy this weekend luxury every day and bring brunch home with premium ingredients like Smithfield’s Hometown Original Bacon, Anytime Favorites Diced Ham and Fresh Breakfast Sausage.

Delight friends and family with a full spread of mouthwatering recipes like Sausage and Egg Tarts dressed with Asparagus and Tomatoes, Cheesy Bacon Jalapeno Corn Muffins, Cinnamon French Toast Sausage Roll-Ups and Scrambled Eggs and Ham in a Waffle Cup. Then enhance your menu with options for customization like jams, butters and toppings to make brunch at home unique and unforgettable.

Boost Brunch with a Bloody Mary Bar
Premium ingredients and worthwhile recipes are a great way to make brunch at home, and adding a Bloody Mary bar to the mix is one way to give your spread extra flair. Provide your guests multiple options for toppings so they can perfectly customize their adult beverages with garnishes like these:

  • Salt (plain or flavored)
  • Pepper
  • Horseradish
  • Smithfield Hometown Original Bacon
  • Celery stalks
  • Worcestershire sauce
  • Lemons
  • Limes
  • Hot sauces
  • Stuffed olives
  • Pickled green beans
  • Pickle spears
  • Onions
  • Cheese cubes
  • Cherry tomatoes

For more brunch and entertaining recipe inspiration, visit Smithfield.com.

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Cheesy Bacon Jalapeno Corn Muffins

  • Nonstick cooking spray
  • 1 package (16 ounces) Smithfield Hometown Original Bacon
  • 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup yellow cornmeal
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese
  • 2 eggs
  • 6 tablespoons butter, melted
  • 1/3 cup honey
  • 3/4 cup milk or buttermilk
  • 1 can corn kernels, drained
  • 2 medium jalapeno peppers, seeded and diced
  • 1 medium jalapeno pepper, thinly sliced
  1. Heat oven to 375° F.
  2. Line rimmed baking pan with foil and set lightly sprayed baking rack in pan. Cut bacon crosswise into thirds and lay out bacon strips on rack, being careful not to overlap slices. Bake 10-12 minutes, or until bacon has just begun to crisp. Remove from oven and drain on paper towels. Increase oven temperature to 400 F.
  3. In large bowl, stir together flour, cornmeal, baking powder, salt and cheese until well mixed.
  4. In small bowl, whisk eggs until frothy and stir in melted butter, honey and milk. Add milk mixture to dry ingredients and stir until combined. Fold in corn and diced jalapeno and reserve.
  5. Lightly spray or butter 12-cup muffin tin and line each cup with two slices of bacon. Evenly divide muffin batter into cups, filling about three-fourths full and top with remaining bacon and sliced jalapeno. Bake muffins 20 minutes, or until golden brown, using toothpick to test doneness. Let cool briefly, remove muffins from tin and serve while still warm.

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Sausage and Egg Tarts with Asparagus and Tomatoes

  • Flour, for dusting
  • 1 package (about 1 pound) frozen prepared puff pastry, thawed
  • 9 eggs, brought to room temperature for 30 minutes, divided
  • 1 teaspoon water
  • 1 Smithfield Hometown Original Fresh Sausage Roll, sliced into 8 patties, cooked and halved
  • 1 pound fresh asparagus spears, cut into pieces
  • 1 pint grape tomatoes, halved lengthwise
  • salt, to taste
  • freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 1/2 cup shredded Parmesan cheese (optional)
  1. Heat oven to 400° F.
  2. On lightly floured surface, roll out pastry and cut into eight 4-5-inch squares and transfer to greased or parchment-lined baking sheets spaced about 1 inch apart. Using small knife, lightly score line 1/2-inch inside edges of squares to create framed border. With fork, prick several holes in center of pastry squares.
  3. Bake squares 7-8 minutes, or until pastry has puffed substantially yet not begun to brown. Remove from oven and immediately tamp down centers inside of scored line carefully with back of fork.
  4. Lightly beat 1 egg with water and brush outside frames of pastry with egg wash. Slightly overlapping framed pastry borders, equally divide and arrange sausage, asparagus and tomatoes in pastry squares, leaving centers open for eggs. Top each with cracked egg, seasoning with salt and pepper and sprinkling with cheese, if desired.
  5. Return to oven and bake 8-10 minutes, or until puff pastry is golden brown and eggs have just set. Let cool slightly and transfer tarts with spatula to serving plate and serve warm.

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Cinnamon French Toast Sausage Roll-Ups

  • 12 Smithfield Fresh Sausage Links
  • 2 eggs
  • 2/3 cup milk
  • 3 tablespoons almond liquor (optional)
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 6 slices whole-wheat bread, crust removed and cut in half
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  1. Cook sausage according to package directions; keep warm.
  2. Beat together eggs, milk, almond liquor and cinnamon. Dip one bread slice half in egg mixture and wrap around one sausage link. Press bread edges together where they overlap to keep from unrolling. Repeat with remaining bread and sausage links.
  3. Heat large skillet over medium heat; add butter and let melt. Place French toast-wrapped sausages in skillet, seam-side down. Cook until browned on all sides, about 10 minutes total.

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Scrambled Eggs and Ham in a Waffle Cup

  • 6 eggs
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 2 cups Smithfield Honey Cured Boneless Ham Steak, diced
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 8 waffle cups (4 ounces each)
  • 4 teaspoons maple syrup, warm, divided
  • 1 teaspoon fresh thyme, chopped
  1. In bowl, whisk together eggs, milk, cheese, salt and pepper; stir in ham.
  2. In 10-inch, nonstick skillet, melt butter over medium-high heat. Add egg mixture; reduce heat to medium-low.
  3. Using wooden spoon, scrape eggs from edges of pan to center. Continue stirring eggs 3-5 minutes, or until fluffy.
  4. Scoop 1/2 cup warm scrambled eggs into waffle cup and drizzle with 1/2 teaspoon maple syrup. Garnish with fresh thyme leaves. Repeat for each waffle cup.

Source: Smithfield Foods

Beverages 14 April 2017

Sweet Meets Spicy

Fresh ideas for a fun fiesta menu

(Family Features) There’s no better way to spice up a party than by using unexpected ingredients in fun, flavorful dishes and drinks. For your next fiesta, celebrate a star of the party with sweet and juicy watermelon.

Not only does versatile watermelon lend a unique taste to your menu, it’s a healthy ingredient that provides natural hydration with 92 percent water content, along with the antioxidant lycopene and the amino acid citrulline.

These recipes show how, with a little creative carving, you can use the whole melon, including flesh, juice and rind, for big value and zero waste.

Find more fiesta-ready recipes at watermelon.org.

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Cactus Carving

  • Medium-large oval or oblong watermelon (seeded or seedless)
  • Cutting board
  • Paring knife
  • Dry erase marker
  • Kitchen knife
  • Scoop
  • Cactus cookie cutter
  • Small flower cookie cutters
  • Toothpicks
  • Fire and Ice Salsa (recipe below)

Wash watermelon under cool, running water and pat dry.

On cutting board, place watermelon on its side and cut off 1/4 inch-1/2 inch from stem end; this will provide a sturdy base. Reserve end piece to make into small cactus.

Stand watermelon upright on base. Use dry erase marker to draw simple outline of cactus shape.

One-third up from bottom of watermelon, draw straight line around back, being careful not to go through cactus outline; this will create a serving bowl for watermelon salsa.

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Use kitchen knife to cut around outline, leaving just bowl with cactus attached. Scoop out base to form bowl.

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From pieces of watermelon that were cut away, use cookie cutters to make cactus pieces and flower pieces to decorate with, and chop remaining watermelon to make watermelon salsa and watermelon margaritas, or juice.

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Attach toothpicks randomly around cactus to make thorns and decorate with watermelon flowers. Decorate bottom rind scrap with toothpicks to resemble short, round cactus.

Fill bowl with Fire and Ice Salsa and serve with tortilla chips.

Fire and Ice Salsa

Makes: 3 cups

  • 3 cups seeded and finely chopped watermelon
  • 1/2 cup finely diced green peppers
  • 2 tablespoons lime juice
  • 1 tablespoon chopped cilantro
  • 1 tablespoon finely sliced green onion
  • 1-2 tablespoons finely diced jalapeno peppers
  1. Combine ingredients; mix well and cover. Refrigerate at least 1 hour before serving.

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Nachos with Watermelon Avocado Salsa

Makes: 8 servings

  • 1 avocado, peeled, seeded and chopped
  • 2 teaspoons lime juice
  • 1/4 cup chopped cilantro
  • 1 minced garlic clove
  • 1 can (4 ounces) diced green chilies, drained
  • 2 tablespoons diced red onion
  • 1 1/2 cups diced watermelon
  • 16 ounces fat-free refried beans
  • 11 ounces corn tortilla chips
  • 1 1/2 cups sharp cheddar cheese, grated
  • 1/3 cup fat-free sour cream
  1. Heat oven to 350° F.
  2. To make salsa: In medium bowl, combine avocado, lime juice, cilantro, garlic, chilies and red onion; toss to thoroughly mix. Add watermelon and toss gently. Set aside.
  3. Over medium heat, heat beans until hot. Mash if preferred.
  4. Place chips on flat, oven-proof plate or cookie sheet and top with beans and cheese. Repeat layers as desired. Heat in oven 10 minutes, or until cheese has melted and chips are hot.
  5. Top with salsa mixture and sour cream.

Tip: Reserve some salsa to place in bowl for dipping.

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Blended Watermelon Margarita

Makes: 2 margaritas

  • 2 cups seedless watermelon, cubed and frozen
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 3 ounces silver tequila
  • 1 1/2 ounces lime juice
  • 1 ounce elderflower liqueur
  • pinch of salt
  • lime slices, for garnish
  1. In blender, combine watermelon, water, tequila, lime juice, elderflower liqueur and salt. Blend until smooth.
  2. Pour into two chilled margarita glasses and garnish with lime slices.

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Watermelon Margarita on the Rocks

Makes: 2 margaritas

Watermelon Simple Syrup:

  • 2 cups seedless watermelon, cubed
  • 1 cup sugar

Watermelon Juice:

  • 2 cups seedless watermelon, cubed
  • 1/2 cup water

Margarita:

  • lime wedges
  • coarse salt
  • ice
  • 4 ounces silver tequila
  • 4 ounces watermelon juice
  • 2 ounces lime juice
  • 1 ounce watermelon simple syrup
  1. To make watermelon simple syrup: In small saucepan over medium heat, combine watermelon and sugar. Use potato masher to mash watermelon and sugar together, pushing out liquid and dissolving sugar. Simmer 5 minutes, stirring frequently. Pour mixture through fine mesh sieve set over bowl or jar, pressing watermelon to extract all liquid. Set aside to cool completely.
  2. To make watermelon juice: In blender, combine watermelon and water. Blend until smooth then pour through fine mesh sieve set over bowl or jar.
  3. To assemble margaritas: use lime wedge to line rims of two glasses with juice. Dip glasses in coarse salt and carefully fill glasses with ice.
  4. Combine tequila, watermelon juice, lime juice and simple syrup in cocktail shaker with ice. Shake until thoroughly chilled, about 30 seconds, and pour into prepared glasses. Garnish with lime wedges.

Source: National Watermelon Promotion Board

Healthy 11 April 2017

Simple Ways to Produce Healthy Habits

(Family Features) If getting your kids to embrace healthy eating habits feels like a constant uphill battle, take heart in knowing you’re not alone. However, modeling smart choices in the kitchen and at the grocery store may be just the nudge your kids need.

One of the biggest hurdles many families face when it comes to healthier eating is getting started. These tips show how subtle changes can make it simple to introduce healthier choices the whole family can enjoy.

  • Mornings are a busy time for families, and it can be difficult to make a nutritious breakfast and get out the door. Even so, skip the packaged breakfast foods that are loaded with sodium and calories. Instead, make and freeze your own healthy breakfast foods ahead of time. These breakfast burritos are easy for reheating and eating on the go.
  • A common misperception is that eating healthfully takes too long. Set a good example for kids to follow by preparing healthy dinners at home. This one-pot turkey skillet is ready in less than 25 minutes to make dinner and cleanup a breeze.
  • When kids are empowered to choose what they eat, they’re more likely to enjoy it. One easy way for kids to identify smart choices in the produce department is by looking for foods with the Produce for Kids logo. Not only are these items an important part of a balanced meal, shoppers who support the products are giving back to local organizations that help children and families.

To find additional tips to encourage your family’s healthy eating and more than 300 registered dietitian-approved recipes, visit produceforkids.com.

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Make-Ahead Freezable Breakfast Burritos

Recipe courtesy of Produce for Kids
Prep time: 20 minutes
Cook time: 20 minutes
Servings: 14

  • 2 teaspoons olive oil, divided
  • 16 ounces lean turkey breakfast sausage
  • 1 medium red bell pepper, finely chopped
  • 1 small Vidalia onion, finely chopped
  • 1 large tomato, finely chopped
  • 12 large eggs
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 cup low-fat shredded cheddar cheese
  • 14 whole-wheat tortillas (8 inches each)
  1. In nonstick skillet over medium heat, heat 1 teaspoon oil. Add sausage and cook 5-8 minutes, or until cooked through. Transfer to plate and set aside.
  2. In same skillet, add remaining oil, bell peppers, onions and tomatoes, and cook 3-5 minutes, or until softened. Add tomatoes and cook 2 minutes.
  3. In large bowl, scramble eggs and pepper. Add to pan and cook, stirring regularly, 3-4 minutes, or until eggs are set. Remove from heat and mix in sausage and cheese. Let cool.
  4. Fill tortillas with 1/2 cup egg mixture, roll into burrito and lay seam-side down on parchment-lined baking sheet. Freeze 1 hour. Transfer to freezer-safe re-sealable bag and return to freezer.
  5. To reheat burritos, remove from freezer, wrap in paper towel and microwave on high 1-2 minutes.

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One-Pot Healthy Turkey Skillet

Recipe courtesy of Produce for Kids
Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 15 minutes
Servings: 4

  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 pound ground turkey
  • 1 medium green bell pepper
  • 1 medium sweet onion
  • 3 Roma tomatoes
  • 8 ounces whole-wheat elbow macaroni, cooked according to package directions
  • 1 can (15 1/2 ounces) kidney beans, rinsed and drained
  • 2 teaspoons cumin
  • 2 tablespoons chili powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  1. In nonstick skillet over medium-high heat, heat oil. Add turkey and cook 10 minutes, or until no longer pink.
  2. In food processor, pulse bell pepper, onion and tomatoes until chunky.
  3. Add vegetable mixture, noodles, beans, cumin, chili powder and salt to skillet and let simmer 15 minutes.

Source: Produce for Kids

Meal Ideas 02 January 2017

Comfort Foods With a Kick

(Family Features) When the temperature drops, it’s natural for thoughts — and cravings — to turn toward soothing and hearty comfort foods. There’s nothing like a good casserole or a bowl of hot chili to make you feel good all over.

To kick up the fun in your favorite meals, try some comfort foods with salsa added into the mix. Salsa and picante sauces are convenient ways to add different flavors and heat up the whole family with a satisfying meal.

These recipes are fast and easy, making them great weeknight dinners for the busy cook.
For more creative recipes and serving suggestions, visit pacefoods.com.

Turn Up the Heat!

Here are some more ideas from Pace Foods to help you put some zip into your favorite foods.

Zesty Grilled Cheese
Dip your grilled cheese sandwich into chunky salsa or picante sauce for a full-flavored, zingy kick.

Fiesta Meat Loaf
Use chunky salsa or picante sauce instead of tomato sauce or ketchup for a juicy, zesty meat loaf. Just before serving, top with more salsa.

Soup Toppers
Stir any delicious flavored salsa into your soup for a fresh new taste. Try it in black bean, tomato or vegetable soup.

Fiesta Rice
Tired of making the same old side dishes? To freshen up any meal, stir chunky salsa or picante sauce into your cooked rice for a lively side dish the whole family will love.

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Monterey Chicken Tortilla Casserole

Prep: 10 minutes
Cook: 40 minutes
Makes: 4

  • 1 cup coarsely crumbled tortilla chips
  • 2 cups cubed cooked chicken OR cooked turkey
  • 1 can (about 15 ounces) cream-style whole kernel corn
  • 3/4 cup Pace Picante sauce
  • 1/2 cup sliced pitted ripe olives
  • 1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese
  • Chopped green pepper OR red pepper
  • Tortilla chips
  1. Layer crumbled chips, chicken, corn and picante sauce in 1-quart casserole. Top with olives and cheese.
  2. Bake at 350°F for 40 minutes or until hot. Top with peppers. Serve with chips.

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Chipotle Chili

Prep: 15 minutes
Cook: 8 hours
Makes: 8

  • 1 jar (16 ounces) Pace Chunky salsa
  • 1 cup water
  • 2 tablespoons chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground chipotle chile pepper
  • 1 large onion, chopped (about 1 cup)
  • 2 pounds beef for stew, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 1 can (about 19 ounces) red kidney beans, rinsed and drained
  • Shredded cheddar cheese (optional)
  • Sour cream (optional)
  1. Stir salsa, water, chili powder, chipotle pepper, onion, beef and beans in a 3 1/2-quart slow cooker.
  2. Cover and cook on LOW for 8 to 9 hours* or until the beef is fork-tender. Serve with cheese and sour cream, if desired.
    *Or on HIGH for 4 to 5 hours.

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2-Step Beefy Taco Joes

Prep: 5 minutes
Cook: 10 minutes
Makes: 8

  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 1 can (10 3/4 ounces) Campbell’s Condensed
  • Tomato soup (Regular OR 25% Less Sodium)
  • 1 cup Pace Thick & Chunky salsa
  • 1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese
  • 8 Pepperidge Farm Sandwich rolls, any variety
  1. Brown ground beef in skillet. Pour off fat.
  2. Add soup and salsa. Heat through. Top with cheese. Serve on rolls.

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Mexican Four Cheese Potatoes au Gratin

Prep: 10 minutes
Bake: 50 minutes
Stand: 10 minutes
Makes: 6

  • 1 jar (16 ounces) Pace Mexican Four Cheese salsa con Queso
  • 3/4 cup Swanson Chicken broth (Regular, Natural Goodness™ OR Certified Organic)
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream OR half-and-half
  • 3 medium potatoes, peeled and thinly sliced (about 3 cups)
  1. Stir queso, broth and cream together in medium bowl.
  2. Put HALF of potatoes in a 2-quart shallow baking dish. Pour HALF of queso mixture over potatoes. Repeat with remaining potatoes and queso mixture.
  3. Bake at 350°F for 50 minutes or until potatoes are tender. Let stand for 10 minutes.

Mexi-Mac

Prep: 5 minutes
Cook: 20 minutes
Makes: 4

  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 1 cup Pace Picante sauce
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 1 can (14 1/2 ounces) whole peeled tomatoes, cut up
  • 1 cup frozen whole kernel corn
  • 3 cups cooked elbow pasta
  • 1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese
  • Sliced avocado
  • Sour cream
  1. Cook beef in skillet until browned. Pour off fat.
  2. Add picante sauce, chili powder, tomatoes and corn. Heat to a boil. Cook over low heat 10 minutes. Add pasta. Sprinkle with cheese. Cover and heat until cheese melts. Garnish with avocado and sour cream.

Source: Pace Foods

Meal Ideas 06 April 2017

Comida Mexicana

Sassy, Savory Mexican Home Cooking

(Family Features) The best home cooking traditions not only get passed down from generation to generation, but they also get “adopted” into other families. Emilio Ortega’s family, for example, enjoyed the benefits of his fascination with green chiles when he moved to New Mexico in 1890. When he returned home to California, he and his family started growing, then cooking with these great tasting chiles, perfecting homemade, authentic, Mexican meals the entire family would enjoy.

Today, you can pass that tradition on to your family by enjoying great tasting Mexican meals with the convenience of the Ortega family of products. Look for crisp Ortega taco shells made from whole kernel corn and vacuum-sealed trays to keep them fresh and crisp — and unbroken. And choose Ortega fire-roasted green chiles, Mexican seasonings and zesty salsas, ready to stir into your favorite casserole, cheese dip or soup.

So, gather at the table for your own “comida Mexicana” or family meal.

For more recipe ideas and information on Ortega’s Taco Shells, Kits, Soft Tortillas, Taco Sauces, Seasonings and Peppers, visit www.ortega.com.

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South of the Border Salad With Creamy Lime Dressing

Makes: 4 servings

  • 4 Ortega Taco Shells, crushed
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 pound boneless chicken breasts, cut into strips
  • 1 1.25-ounce package Ortega Taco Seasoning Mix
  • 3/4 cup water
  • 1 5-ounce package mixed salad greens
  • 1 cup (16) cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1/2 cup Ortega Sliced Jalapeños, coarsely chopped
  • 1/2 cup shredded Cheddar and Monterey Jack cheese blend
  • 1 avocado, pitted, peeled, sliced and sprinkled with lime juice

Creamy Lime Dressing

  • 1/3 cup sour cream
  • 3 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
  • 2 tablespoons lime juice
  • 1 tablespoon each oil and milk
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  1. Combine all Creamy Lime Dressing ingredients in small bowl; stir until blended. Refrigerate until ready to serve.
  2. Microwave crushed taco shells on high 30 to 45 seconds.
  3. Heat oil in large skillet over medium-high heat. Add chicken strips; cook and stir 4 to 6 minutes or until chicken is no longer pink. Stir in taco seasoning mix and water. Bring to a boil.
  4. Reduce heat to low; cook 2 to 3 minutes or until mixture is thickened, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat.
  5. Combine salad greens, crushed taco shells, tomatoes and jalapeños in large bowl. Divide mixture onto four serving plates.
  6. Sprinkle with cheese; top with chicken strips and avocado slices.
  7. Serve with Creamy Lime Dressing.

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Black and White Mexican Bean Soup

Makes: 6 servings (1 1/3 cups each)

  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1 cup chopped onion
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 1 1.25-ounce package Ortega Taco Seasoning Mix
  • 2 cups milk
  • 1 14-ounce can chicken broth
  • 1 16-ounce package frozen corn
  • 1 15.5-ounce can Joan of Arc great northern beans, drained
  • 1 15.5-ounce can Joan of Arc black beans, drained
  • 1 4-ounce can Ortega Diced Green Chiles
  • 2 tablespoons chopped cilantro
  1. Heat oil in large pan or Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add onion and garlic; cook until onion is tender.
  2. Stir in flour and taco seasoning mix; gradually stir in milk until blended. Add remaining ingredients except cilantro.
  3. Bring to a boil, stirring constantly. Reduce heat to low; simmer 15 minutes or until thickened, stirring occasionally.
  4. Stir in cilantro.

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Mexican Snack Stacks

Makes: 16 servings

  • 1/2 cup Ortega Salsa (any variety)
  • 1/4 cup sour cream
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped cooked chicken
  • 8 8-inch Ortega Soft Tortillas
  • 1/2 cup guacamole
  • 1/3 cup Ortega Refried Beans
  • 6 tablespoons (1 1/2 ounces) shredded Cheddar cheese
  • 2 tablespoons chopped cilantro
  1. Heat oven to 350°F.
  2. Mix 1/4 cup salsa, sour cream and chicken in small bowl.
  3. Place 2 soft tortillas on ungreased cookie sheet; spread each with salsa-chicken mixture. Spread 2 more soft tortillas with guacamole and stack on top of salsa-chicken tacos, guacamole side up.
  4. Mix refried beans with remaining 1/4 cup salsa; spread mixture onto 2 more soft tortillas and stack on top of guacamole. Top each stack with remaining 2 soft tortillas; sprinkle with cheese.
  5. Bake 8 to 10 minutes until cheese is melted and filling is hot.
  6. Sprinkle with cilantro. Cut each stack into 8 wedges.

 

Mexican Steak Tacos

Makes: 2 servings (2 tacos each)

  • 1 3 1/2-ounce bag boil-in-bag long grain rice
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon Ortega Taco Sauce
  • 1 tablespoon Ortega Salsa (any variety)
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 pound sirloin steak
  • 1 15-ounce can diced tomatoes
  • 1 4-ounce can Ortega Diced Green Chiles
  • 4 Ortega Taco Shells
  • 4 lime wedges
  • Sour cream (optional)
  1. Cook rice combining cumin, garlic powder, taco sauce, salsa and salt.
  2. Rub mixture over both sides of steak.
  3. Spray a pan with nonstick cooking spray.
  4. Place steak on broiler tray.
  5. Broil steak 4 minutes on each side or until desired degree of doneness.
  6. Cut steak into thin slices.
  7. Combine rice mixture, tomatoes and chiles. Place the mixture in shells.
  8. Top rice mixture with beef slices. Squeeze juice from limes over beef.
  9. Top with sour cream, if desired.

Source: Ortega

Breakfast & Brunch 03 April 2017

Bring Back Breakfast

This Weekend, Spend the Most Important Meal of the Day with the Most Important People in Your Life

(Family Features) Baseball practices, dance rehearsals, school work, and other weekday activities often make family mealtime seem like a thing of the past.

If you’re looking for ways your family can spend more quality time together, consider bringing back breakfast this weekend.

Enjoying each other’s company and a delicious breakfast is the perfect opportunity for your family to reconnect. Use the added time weekend mornings provide to prepare a wonderful, warm meal for your family to sit down and create lasting memories. Make your morning meal a weekend tradition the whole family can look forward to all week long.

Here are some easy tips to help make breakfast a family occasion:

Make Breakfast Special – Each week, request that a family member choose a fun theme for the breakfast table. From sports teams to movie themes to favorite colors - you’ll see that the choices are endless and they can inspire creative breakfast menus.

Find Some Breakfast Helpers – Let the whole family practice their cooking skills by helping you in the kitchen. Serve foods that are easy to dress up, like Hungry Jack® pancakes. Sometimes the simple pleasure of a warm plate of pancakes is all you need to create the perfect start to your weekend mornings together.

Create Breakfast Menu Magic – The sky is the limit when you have extra time to craft a hearty breakfast, so serve a variety of foods your family will love. You can’t go wrong with breakfast classics – from fresh veggie and egg dishes to the warm, fluffy goodness of a stack of Hungry Jack pancakes. Does your family enjoy creating breakfast masterpieces? Try these Upside-Down Breakfast Stacks, made with Hungry Jack pancakes, sausage patties, cheddar cheese and eggs, for a magical take on an ordinary meal.

For more recipes and breakfast tips to bring families together on the weekends, visit www.hungryjack.com.

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Upside-Down Breakfast Stacks

Yield: 6 stacks
Prep Time: 15 min
Cook Time: 15 min

  • Crisco® Original No-Stick Cooking Spray
  • 3 large eggs, lightly beaten
  • 6 fully cooked sausage patties OR
  • 6 vegetable sausage patties
  • 3/4 cup Hungry Jack® Complete Buttermilk Pancake & Waffle Mix
  • 1/2 cup water
  • Shredded sharp cheddar or pepper jack cheese (optional)
  • Hungry Jack Original Syrup
  1. HEAT oven to 375°F. Coat 6 muffin cups or glass custard cups generously with no-stick cooking spray.
  2. DIVIDE eggs evenly into prepared muffin cups. Top with sausage patty. Whisk pancake mix and water together in medium bowl until smooth. Pour evenly over sausage.
  3. BAKE 14 to 16 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool 2 minutes. Invert onto baking sheet. Sprinkle immediately with cheese, if desired. Serve warm with syrup.

Source: Hungry Jack

Meal Ideas 30 November 2016

Home-Style Staples That Never Go Out of Style

(Family Features) No matter what the latest taste trend or hot new celebrity-endorsed recipe, you can always count on a few classic home-style standards to make a comeback around this time every year. Typically known as “comfort foods” for their ability to soothe and warm the soul, these familiar dishes not only taste delicious, but also make us feel warm and fuzzy all over — and are especially welcoming during the chill of the colder months.  Perhaps Grandma’s famed chicken noodle soup comes to mind, or Dad’s special meatballs with marinara. Maybe it’s Mom’s ultra-gooey, rich mac ’n’ cheese, your own fork-tender pot roast or delicious turkey and stuffing holiday leftovers.

Whatever the dish, though, all comfort foods have one thing in common — we turn to them for relief when we’re tired, stressed, under-the-weather or simply looking for a taste of home. They are typically simple, hearty, uncomplicated meals, informal and inexpensive to prepare, yet immensely satisfying to those lucky enough to be served them.
Three comfort classics that never seem to go out of style are pot roast, shepherd’s pie and beef stroganoff. The recipes included here require no extensive prep or unusual ingredients, so they’re easy to whip up, even on a weeknight.

The slow cooker pot roast offers a particularly convenient alternative to last-minute cooking, since the prep all occurs in the morning, leaving the roast to cook to tender perfection all day. By using some convenient comfort food shortcuts on your ingredient list, such as Heinz® HomeStyle Savory Beef Gravy and Wyler’s® Beef Bouillon cubes, you can add an extra layer of flavor to the roast, without the fuss of making gravy from scratch. The pot roast also includes a healthy helping of veggies, so it could easily become a complete meal with fresh bread or a green salad.

If you’re looking for a comfort food that doubles as a one-dish wonder — shepherd’s pie has it all. It includes the meat, vegetables and starch most of us associate with a complete home-style meal. Plus, using prepared Ore-Ida® Mashed Potatoes to top the pie eliminates the laborious task of making mashed potatoes from scratch.  Also, if you’re craving a comfort food with some added interest, try this creamy beef stroganoff. It’s simple to make and serves up a delicious plate of savory chunks of beef tenderloin, sautéed mushrooms and steaming noodles. And, if you want to add a little extra flare, try pairing it with a glass of merlot. That’s sure to offer some added warmth and a new level of sophistication.

So, with these simple, home-cooking classics in your culinary arsenal this season, there’s no need to rush out and purchase the latest “cookbook du jour.” Just stick to the basics this season and you’ll be sure to find some classic convenience, comfort and good taste.

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Beef Stroganoff

Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Serves 6 to 8

  • 1 pound sirloin steak (cut into thin strips) or 1 pound lean ground beef
  • 2 cups (8 ounces) sliced fresh mushrooms
  • 1 medium onion, sliced
  • 1/4 cup margarine or butter
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 tablespoon Wyler’s Beef Flavored Granules or 3 bouillon cubes
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 8 ounces wide egg noodles, prepared according to package directions
  • Chopped parsley, optional
  1. In large skillet, over medium-high heat, cook and stir steak, mushrooms and onion in margarine until steak is browned and vegetables are tender. Reduce heat to medium. Add flour to thicken, if desired; cook and stir 1 minute. Add water and bouillon; cook and stir until thickened and bubbly. Stir in sour cream; heat through. (Do not boil.) Serve with hot noodles. Garnish with parsley if desired.

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Slow Cooker Savory Pot Roast

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 8 to 10 hours
Serves 6 to 8

  • 3 pounds bottom round beef roast
  • 1 Wyler’s Mrs. Grass Reduced Sodium Onion Recipe, Soup and Dip Mix pouch
  • 1 jar (12 ounces) Heinz HomeStyle Savory Beef Gravy
  • 2 Wyler’s Beef Bouillon Cubes or 2 teaspoons Wyler’s Beef Granules
  • 1 can (14 1/2-ounces) diced tomato with basil, garlic and oregano
  • 2 cups water
  • 3 cups mixed vegetables, such as sliced carrots, cut green beans, diced redskin potatoes, green peas, sliced celery
  1. In large skillet sprayed with nonstick spray, brown beef over medium-high heat 8 to 10 minutes, turning occasionally.
  2. Combine soup mix, 1 jar of gravy, bouillon and diced tomato in 5-quart slow cooker. Add water and stir well. Add beef and turn until well coated. Cover and cook on low heat setting 8 to 10 hours, turning occasionally.
  3. Add mixed vegetables during last 2 hours, stirring occasionally. When vegetables are tender, remove beef from cooker. Slice or shred beef as desired, and serve with vegetables and sauce.

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Shepherd’s Pie

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 25 to 30 minutes
Serves 4 to 6

  • 1 pound lean ground beef
  • 1 jar (12 ounces) Heinz HomeStyle Savory Beef Gravy
  • 1 package (10 ounces) frozen mixed vegetables, thawed
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 3 cups prepared Ore-Ida Mashed Potatoes
  • 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
  1. In large skillet, cook ground beef over medium heat until browned and thoroughly cooked. Carefully drain liquids and return to stovetop. Stir in gravy and vegetables and bring to boil.
  2. Reduce heat and simmer 8 minutes, or until vegetables are tender, stirring occasionally. Add salt and pepper to taste.
  3. While beef mixture is still in skillet, spoon mashed potatoes onto it, forming 8 mounds, and top with cheese. Continue to simmer until potatoes are hot and cheese is melted. Serve immediately.

Source: Heinz Gravy / Ore-Ida Mashed Potatoes / Wyler’s Bouillon

Poultry 14 March 2017

Southwest Chicken and Rice Wraps

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Southwest Chicken and Rice Wraps

Serves 4

  • 1 can (14 ounces) low-sodium chicken broth
  • 2 cups Minute Brown Rice, uncooked
  • 2 tablespoons Mrs. Dash® Salt-Free Extra Spicy Seasoning Blend
  • 2 cups frozen southwest blend vegetables
  • 2 cups cooked chicken, diced
  • 4 whole wheat tortillas
  • 1 cup low-fat cheddar cheese, shredded, optional
  • 1/2 cup light sour cream, optional
  1. Bring broth to a boil in a medium saucepan.
  2. Add rice, seasoning blend, vegetables and chicken; stir. Cover, reduce heat to low and simmer 5 minutes. Remove from heat and let stand 5 minutes.
  3. Warm tortillas and divide rice mixture evenly onto tortillas. Top with cheese and sour cream, if desired, and roll into desired shape.

Source: Mrs. Dash® Salt-Free Seasoning Blends and Minute Rice

Breakfast & Brunch 07 March 2017

Easy Egg Casserole

With Jimmy Dean fully cooked Hearty Sausage Crumbles, you can whip up an Easy Egg Casserole in the morning – or even the night before – and pop it in the oven for a no-hassle breakfast that’s so comforting and delicious, they’ll be coming back for seconds.

Yield: 12 servings (1 square each)

  • 8 eggs
  • 3 cups milk
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 8 cups French bread cubes (3/4-inch pieces)
  • 1 package Jimmy Dean Hearty Original Sausage Crumbles
  • 2 cups (8 ounces) shredded sharp cheddar cheese, divided
  1. Preheat oven to 350°F
  2. Beat eggs, milk and pepper in large bowl with a wire whisk until well blended. Add bread cubes; stir gently until evenly coated. Stir in sausage crumbles and 1 1/2 cups cheese.
  3. Pour into lightly greased 13 x 9-inch baking dish; sprinkle with remaining cheese.
  4. Bake 45 minutes or until knife inserted in center comes out clean. Let stand 10 minutes before cutting into 12 squares to serve.

Spinach-Egg Casserole: Add 1 package (10 ounces) frozen chopped spinach, thawed and squeeze dry, to egg mixture before pouring into prepared baking dish.

Make-Ahead Egg Casserole: Assemble casserole as directed; cover. Refrigerate overnight. When ready to serve, uncover and bake 50 to 55 minutes or until knife inserted in center comes out clean.

Source: Jimmy Dean

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