(Family Features) Holiday gatherings call for an extra touch to make the celebrating special. Since many holiday festivities are centered on food, focus some attention on the refreshments for a simple way to upgrade your next holiday party.
From the presentation to the pairings, it’s easy to make an ordinary spread extraordinary this holiday season. Take this year’s event to the next level with these easy tips that bring the wow-factor to your gathering:
Make it look as pretty as it tastes. Even simple platters of crackers and cheese can feel extra special when presented on a pretty plate. If you’re serving food buffet style, use a colorful tablecloth and stack sturdy boxes of varying sizes underneath to serve as risers that create some visual interest for the spread. Incorporate seasonal decorations such as ornaments or sprigs of holly and poinsettia blooms. For a plated meal, a table-runner adds just the right pop of color and a tasteful centerpiece of candles or evergreen dressed with holiday trinkets elevates an everyday table.
Offer the perfect pairings. When planning your menu, consider the types of beverages you’ll serve along with the appetizers and dishes. When paired properly, food and cocktails complement one another, making the flavors more vibrant and the overall experience more impressive. A good starting place is cheese. Pair alpine-style cheese such as Roth Grand Cru with Riesling; creamy blue with gin; smoky blue with merlot; Havarti with pinot noir; Spanish-style such as Roth GranQueso with scotch; and Gouda with prosecco.
Enhance traditional favorites. Putting a fresh, elegant spin on the basics instantly elevates your menu and the overall experience for your guests. Even a staple like cheese can get some special dressing for the occasion. This recipe combines three rich, flavorful cheeses for a fondue that’s sure to delight guests.
Explore more ideas for exceptional holiday entertaining at rothcheese.com.
Culinary Education Center House Fondue
Cook time: 45 minutes
- 3/4 pound Grand Cru Original, shredded
- 3/4 pound Grand Cru Reserve, shredded
- 1/2 pound Roth Fontina, shredded
- 16 ounces Pinot Grigio or other light- to medium-bodied white wine
- 1 loaf crusty artisan bread
- fresh apples, grapes and pears
- black and white pepper (optional)
- nutmeg (optional)
- Combine cheeses and wine in ceramic fondue pot and stir to combine. Allow mixture to soak 15-30 minutes.
- Heat mixture over low heat, approximately 7-10 minutes, stirring constantly with wooden spoon. Do not allow mixture to boil. When cheese has melted completely, remove from heat and transfer to tabletop burner.
- Serve fondue with chunks of bread and fruit. If desired, provide pepper and/or nutmeg guests can sprinkle onto a plate and use for dipping bread and cheese. Pair with chilled dry Riesling and a shot of authentic Swiss kirschwasser.
Source: Roth Cheese
(Family Features) - Hot dogs, hamburgers, sausages and mustard - it's easy to forget that these "all-American" barbecue staples we crave this time of year originally came from Germany.
These traditional foods are delectable. But why not try some über-tasty, new German barbecue recipes? Each recipe uses typical German ingredients that are readily available and each is healthier than you might think.
All of these recipes use heart-healthy canola oil, which has the lowest saturated fat of all popular vegetable oils, is high in vitamin E, and is a good plant source of omega-3 fatty acids. With its light flavor, canola oil allows the summer vegetables and juicy grilled peaches to shine.
Visit www.germanfoods.org to find a local or online retailer of authentic German foods and beverages for barbecues, such as bratwurst, sauerkraut, rolls, mustards, pickles, cheeses and mineral water. Visit www.canolainfo.org for more tips on healthy summer barbecuing.
Tips for Safe Grilling
Eighty-four percent of gas grill owners say it is important to follow basic safe grilling tips when using a gas grill, however, only about one in three (35 percent) say they know a great deal about gas grills, according to the Propane Education & Research Council. To help the 74 million barbecue households in the United States enjoy a safe and healthy summer season, the propane industry has developed its top 10 tips for grilling safely with propane gas:
- When the cylinder is refilled, have the supplier check for dents, damage, rust or leaks.
- After filling or exchanging the cylinder, take it home immediately. Keep the vehicle ventilated and the cylinder valve closed and capped.
- Always use or store cylinders outdoors in an upright (vertical) position. Do not use, store or transport cylinders near high temperatures (this includes storing spare cylinders near the grill).
- Never leave the grill unattended. Always follow grill manufacturer's instructions for lighting the grill and make sure the grill top is open when attempting to light the grill.
- Before connecting the cylinder to a propane gas grill burner for the first time, use a leak-detection solution (a 50/50 mixture of water and liquid soap) to check connections for tightness. Do not use matches or lighters to check for leaks.
- If you suspect a gas leak and are able to safely turn off the gas supply valve, do so immediately and call the fire department.
- Do not allow children to tamper or play with the cylinder or grill.
- Do not smoke while handling a propane cylinder.
- Never pour an accelerant such as lighter fluid or gasoline on the grill.
- When not in use, turn off the grill's burner controls and close the cylinder valve.
For additional tips, visit www.usepropane.com.
- Canola oil for brushing grill
- 1/3 cup canola oil
- 3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
- 1 tablespoon German mustard
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- Sea salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
- 1 red pepper, cut in 1-inch pieces
- 1 green pepper, cut in 1-inch pieces
- 2 zucchini, cut in 1-inch pieces
- 1 eggplant, cut in 1-inch pieces
- 1 pound spätzle
- Fresh basil to garnish
- Heat grill on medium heat. Brush grill with canola oil. In a large bowl, whisk together 1/3 cup canola oil, vinegar, mustard, garlic, salt and pepper. Place cut-up vegetables in dressing. Toss to coat well. Grill vegetables on skewers or in basket until tender and lightly browned.
- Cook spätzle according to directions on package. Place cooked spätzle in a large bowl and toss with grilled vegetables. If more moisture is desired, whisk together 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar and canola oil. Toss, garnish with basil, and serve warm.
Serves 6 to 8
- Canola oil for brushing grill
- 2 tablespoons canola oil
- 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
- 1 tablespoon brown sugar
- 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
- 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
- 4 fresh peaches, halved and pitted
- 1 lemon loaf cake sliced into 8 pieces*
- Dark German chocolate shavings
- Mint sprigs
- Heat grill on medium heat. Brush grill with canola oil.
- In a small bowl, whisk together 2 tablespoons canola oil, lime juice, brown sugar, balsamic vinegar and cinnamon.
- Grill peaches 3 to 4 minutes on each side; grill lemon loaf until grill marks appear. Remove peaches and lemon loaf from grill.
- Place peaches on top of lemon loaf slices and drizzle with prepared dressing.
- Garnish with German chocolate shavings and mint sprigs, and serve with ice cream.
Notes, Tips & Suggestions
*Find the recipe at www.canolainfo.org or buy German imported packaged cake.
- Canola oil for brushing grill
- 1 pound lean ground turkey
- 1 1/2 cups shredded German Emmentaler cheese, divided
- 1 cup German sauerkraut with wine, squeezed dry
- 1/4 cup plain breadcrumbs
- 1 egg white
- 2 tablespoons Bavarian mustard
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
- 4 pretzel rolls or other sandwich rolls, split horizontally and toasted
- 1/3 cup canola oil
- 1/4 cup German mustard
- 2 tablespoons sherry wine vinegar
- 2 tablespoons minced dried cranberries
- German pickles, red onion rings, sliced tomatoes and lettuce leaves
- Combine turkey, 1 cup cheese, sauerkraut, breadcrumbs, egg white, mustard, salt and pepper in a large bowl and mix together with hands. Shape into 4 patties.
- Heat propane grill on medium-high. Brush grill with canola oil to prevent sticking. Cook burgers, turning once, 4 to 5 minutes on each side or until cooked through. Toast rolls on the grill, and sprinkle burgers evenly with remaining cheese during the last two minutes of cooking.
- For mustard sauce, whisk together canola oil, German mustard, vinegar and cranberries.
- Place burgers on rolls, spread with mustard sauce and top with accompaniments.
(Family Features) With risk factors for heart disease on the rise, it has never been more important to incorporate heart-healthy meals into your family’s diet.
According to recent statistics, heart disease is the leading cause of death among women in the U.S. With this in mind, Campbell Soup Company is on a mission to help women care for their hearts. With a diverse portfolio of foods that balance great taste and nutritional value, Campbell offers nearly 100 options that meet the criteria for the American Heart Association’s® Heart-Check mark.
Caring for your heart starts in the kitchen
Creating balanced meals for the family doesn’t have to be difficult. In addition to offering heart-healthy foods, Campbell works with its culinary staff, nutrition team and trained chefs to create healthy recipes. This recipe for Sante Fe Chicken Saute is a simple, one-skillet dish that combines lean chicken breast, black beans and corn with a spicy picante kick. Or, try this recipe for Hearty Chicken and Vegetable Chowder, which features chicken paired with a flavorful combination of zucchini, corn, potatoes and cream of celery soup. And no one can resist comforting Easy Chicken Shepard’s Pie. For more easy-to-prepare and heart-healthy recipes and for nutrition information, visit www.campbellskitchen.com.
Seven steps towards a healthier heart
A strong heart starts with a healthy diet and lifestyle. According to the American Heart Association, following these seven health and behavior factors can make a huge difference in your heart’s health. For more heart-healthy tips, visit www.heart.org.
- Don’t smoke.
- Maintain a healthy weight.
- Engage in regular physical activity.
- Eat a healthy diet.
- Manage blood pressure.
- Take charge of cholesterol.
- Keep blood sugar, or glucose, at healthy levels.
- 1 tablespoon canola oil
- 1 large onion, minced (about 1 cup)
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 1 can (10 3/4 ounces) Campbell's® Healthy Request® Condensed Healthy Request® Cream of Celery Soup
- 1 cup nonfat milk
- 1 cup water
- 2 medium red potatoes, diced (about 2 cups)
- 1 large zucchini, diced (about 1 1/2 cups)
- 1 cup whole kernel corn
- 2 cups diced cooked chicken
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
- Heat oil in 4-quart saucepan over medium-high heat. Add onion and garlic and cook for 2 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Stir in soup, milk and water and heat to a boil. Stir in potatoes, zucchini and corn. Reduce heat to medium-low.
- Cook for 35 minutes or until potatoes are tender, stirring occasionally. Stir in chicken and parsley and cook until mixture is hot and bubbling.
- 1 can (10 3/4 ounces) Campbell's® Healthy Request® Condensed Healthy Request® Cream of Mushroom Soup
- 1 1/4 cups water
- 1 1/4 pounds skinless, boneless chicken breast halves, cut into 1-inch pieces
- 3/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
- 1/2 teaspoon poultry seasoning, crushed
- 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
- 1 package (16 ounces) frozen mixed vegetables, thawed
- 1 cup instant mashed potato flakes
- 1 cup fat free evaporated milk
- 1/4 cup shredded 2% milk Cheddar cheese
- Heat oven to 350°F.
- Stir soup and 1/4 cup water in large bowl.
- Season chicken with 1/2 teaspoon black pepper, onion powder and poultry seasoning.
- Heat oil in 12-inch skillet over medium-high heat. Add chicken and cook until well browned, stirring occasionally. Add chicken and vegetables to soup mixture and stir to coat.
- Spoon chicken mixture into 2-quart round casserole.
- Microwave remaining water in microwavable bowl on HIGH for 1 to 2 minutes or until hot. Add potato flakes and stir until water is absorbed. Stir in milk and remaining black pepper. Loosely cover and microwave on HIGH for 2 minutes or until mixture is hot.
- Spread potato mixture over chicken mixture. Sprinkle with cheese. Bake for 40 minutes or until chicken mixture is hot and bubbling.
1 hour 10 minutes
- 2 teaspoons chili powder
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
- 1 3/4 pounds skinless, boneless chicken breast halves
- 1 teaspoon minced garlic
- 4 green onions, minced (about 1/2 cup)
- 1 can (10 3/4 ounces) Campbell's® Healthy Request® Condensed Healthy Request® Tomato Soup
- 1/2 cup Pace® Picante Sauce
- 1/2 cup water
- 1 can (about 15 ounces) black beans, rinsed and drained
- 1 cup whole kernel corn
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro leaves
- Stir chili powder and cumin in small bowl. Season chicken with chili powder mixture.
- Heat oil in 12-inch skillet over medium-high heat. Add chicken and cook for 6 minutes or until browned on both sides. Add garlic and onions and cook; stir for 1 minute.
- Stir in soup, picante sauce and water and heat to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low. Add beans and corn. Cover and cook for 15 minutes or until chicken is cooked through.
- Sprinkle with cilantro.
- 1 pound ground beef
- 1/2 cup chopped onion
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon pepper
- 2 cans (10 ounces each) mild enchilada sauce
- 8 small corn tortillas (6-inch diameter)
- 3/4 cup (3 ounces) shredded jalapeño pepper cheese
- 1 tablespoon chopped fresh cilantro
- Dairy sour cream (optional)
- Heat oven to 350°F. In large nonstick skillet, brown ground beef, onion and garlic over medium heat 6 minutes or until outside surface of beef is no longer pink, breaking beef up into 1/2-inch crumbles. Pour off drippings. Season with salt and pepper. Stir in 1/2 cup enchilada sauce from one can. Set aside remaining sauce from that can.
- Pour second can enchilada sauce into shallow dish. Dip tortillas, one at a time, into sauce to coat both sides. Spoon beef mixture evenly down centers of each tortilla; roll up. Place seam-side down in 12- x 8-inch baking dish.
- Cover with aluminum foil. Bake in 350°F oven 15 minutes. Remove aluminum foil. Spoon reserved enchilada sauce over enchiladas; sprinkle with cheese. Continue baking, uncovered, 10 minutes or until cheese is melted. Sprinkle with cilantro. Serve with sour cream, if desired.
Preparation and Cooking Time
Makes 4 servings (serving size: 1/4 of recipe)
- 1 10 3/4-ounce can Campbell's Condensed Cream of Chicken Soup (Regular or 98% Fat Free)
- 1/2 cup sour cream
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 1 medium onion, chopped (about 1/2 cup)
- 1 teaspoon chili powder
- 2 cups chopped cooked chicken or turkey
- 1 4-ounce can chopped green chilies
- 8 8-inch flour tortillas, warmed
- 1 cup shredded Cheddar or Monterey Jack cheese (4 ounces)
- Stir soup and sour cream in small bowl.
- Heat butter in 2-quart saucepan over medium heat. Add onion and chili powder and cook until tender. Add chicken, chilies and 2 tablespoons soup mixture.
- Spread 1/2 cup soup mixture in an 11- by 8-inch (2-quart) shallow baking dish. Spoon about 1/4 cup chicken mixture down center of each tortilla. Roll up tortillas and place seam-side down in baking dish. Spoon remaining soup mixture over filled tortillas. Top with cheese.
- Bake at 350°F for 25 minutes or until enchiladas are hot and bubbly.
Makes 4 servings
Zesty enchilada sauce and diced green chiles give these chicken enchiladas their kick. Serve them with Mexican rice and spicy black beans.
- 2 cans (10 ounces each) Las Palmas Enchilada Sauce, divided
- 2 cups cooked, shredded boneless, skinless chicken breast meat
- 1 cup Mexican blend or Monterey Jack cheese, divided
- 1 can (4 ounces) diced green chiles, drained
- 8 (6-inch) corn tortillas, warmed
- PREHEAT oven to 350°F. Grease 11- by 7-inch baking dish.
- SPREAD 1/2 cup enchilada sauce on bottom of prepared baking dish. Combine chicken, 1/2 cup enchilada sauce, 1/2 cup cheese and chiles in medium bowl. Spoon chicken mixture evenly down center of each tortilla; roll up. Place seam-side down in baking dish. Top with remaining enchilada sauce and cheese.
- BAKE 15 to 20 minutes or until heated through and cheese is melted.
- Top with sour cream and chives, if desired.
(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 johnsonville.com for great recipes and more!
Are You a Grillin' Guru?
You can be, by following Johnsonville's Tips for Grilling Success.
- 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.
- 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).
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.)
- 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
- In skillet, melt butter.
- Add garlic and sauté over low heat until tender. Add pepper and beer; bring to boil.
- Reduce heat and gradually add cheese; stirring until melted. Continue to cook and stir until mixture is reduced by 1/3.
- 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.
- 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
- In skillet, heat oil. Sauté onion and garlic until translucent and slightly brown. Remove from heat, cool slightly.
- In small bowl, combine onion mixture with barbecue sauce and coleslaw dressing. Pour over cabbage slaw and toss lightly to coat.
- Refrigerate until ready to serve as topping with grilled brats.
Yield about 5 cups
- 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
- In small saucepan, combine vinegar, sugar and salt; bring to boil.
- Reduce heat, add garlic and pepper flakes; continue to simmer 1 minute. Remove from heat, cool to room temperature.
- 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
- 1 pound Bob Evans Original roll sausage
- 1 can (16 ounces) refried beans
- 1 can (4.5 ounces) chopped green chiles
- 1 package (1.25 ounces) taco seasoning mix
- 1 container (16 ounces) sour cream
- 1 jar (11 ounces) salsa
- 1 can (6 ounces) sliced black olives
- 1 large tomato, diced
- 1 bunch green onions, chopped
- 2 cups (8 ounces) shredded Mexican cheese blend
- Tortilla chips
- In large skillet over medium heat, crumble and cook sausage until browned. Stir in beans, chilies and taco seasoning mix.
- Spread sausage mix into 7 x 11-inch serving dish. Top with sour cream, then salsa. Sprinkle olives, tomato and onion on top. Cover with cheese.
- Serve immediately with chips. Refrigerate leftovers.
Notes, Tips & Suggestions
Whether you're hosting a watch party, or headed to a tailgate, having the right foods for the big game is crucial. Use these appetizer, side dish and dessert ideas to kick game time up a notch and try this recipe for a delicious dip that will be the hit of the season.
- 1 package (16 ounces) Johnsonville Italian All Natural Mild Ground Sausage
- 1 loaf (1 pound) frozen white bread dough, thawed
- 4 ounces cream cheese, softened
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 jar (7 ounces) roasted red peppers, well drained and sliced
- 1/3 cup Kalamata olives, pitted and sliced
- 2 cups (8 ounces) Swiss cheese, shredded
- 1 teaspoon poppy seeds
- In skillet, brown sausage until no longer pink; drain.
- On lightly floured surface, roll bread dough to 16 x 12-inch rectangle.
- Transfer dough to greased baking sheet. Combine cream cheese and garlic, spread lengthwise over center third of dough. Top with sausage, peppers, olives and cheese.
- Fold dough over filling, pinching seam to seal. Make slits across top of dough every 2 inches. Brush lightly with water and sprinkle with poppy seeds.
- Bake at 400°F for 20 to 25 minutes or until golden brown. Let stand 10 minutes before slicing.
Yield 16 appetizer servings
- Non-stick cooking spray
- 1 medium onion, halved and thinly sliced
- 1 1/2 pounds Yukon gold potatoes, very thinly sliced
- 1 1/3 cups shredded low-fat sharp cheddar cheese
- 1/3 cup real bacon bits
- 1/3 cup chopped bell pepper (any color)
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic salt
- Spray 9 x 9 x 2-inch foil pan liberally with nonstick cooking spray.
- Place half the onions, potatoes, cheese, bacon bits, bell pepper and garlic salt in pan. Repeat layers.
- Cover tightly with foil; grill over medium heat for 1 hour, rotating pan occasionally to avoid hot spots.
Total Fat: 2.5g