(Family Features) The holiday season is full of opportunities to eat, drink and gather around the table with the ones you love. Whether it's a family dinner, office potluck or neighborhood brunch, good food is a cornerstone of nearly every great holiday celebration.
From hosting guests to kids returning home on winter break, the holiday season can require more planning than usual. Ensure you're prepared this year with a savory centerpiece staple like Smithfield Spiral Sliced Ham or a crowd-pleasing favorite like Bacon French Toast Bake, giving you more time to soak in the best parts of the season.
To keep the holiday season fresh and exciting, consider putting a twist on a classic, like adding sausage to a traditional side dish like Sausage and Ciabatta Stuffing. Available as links, patties and rolls, Smithfield's line of Fresh Breakfast Sausage is made using premium, high-quality pork to provide big flavor that can be enjoyed any time of day.
For more recipes and tips that can help make your holiday soiree a breeze, visit Smithfield.com/HolidayHub.
Bacon French Toast Bake
- 1 small loaf challah or brioche bread, cut into 1/2-inch-thick slices
- nonstick cooking spray
- 6 large eggs
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 1 cup whole milk
- 1/2 cup grated Gruyere cheese
- 1/3 cup maple syrup
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 4 slices Smithfield Bacon, cooked and chopped
- 1/4 cup grated Swiss cheese
- 1/2 cup blackberries
- 1 teaspoon powdered sugar, for dusting
- Leave bread slices out, at room temperature, at least 3 hours, or until slightly stale.
- Generously coat 9-inch baking dish with nonstick cooking spray. Arrange bread, slightly overlapping.
- In large bowl, whisk eggs, heavy cream, milk, Gruyere cheese, maple syrup and cinnamon. Add chopped bacon, saving 2 tablespoons for later. Pour over bread in baking dish. With hands, press down on bread to submerge.
- Cover baking dish with plastic wrap. Refrigerate at least 5 hours, or overnight.
- Heat oven to 375 F. Remove plastic. Sprinkle remaining bacon and Swiss cheese over top of bread mixture.
- Bake 45-50 minutes, or until golden brown and set.
- Top with blackberries and dust with powdered sugar before serving.
Sausage and Ciabatta Stuffing
- 1 large loaf ciabatta bread, cut into 1-inch cubes
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided
- 1 pound Smithfield Fresh Sausage Roll
- 1 cup carrots, diced
- 1 1/2 cups onion, diced
- 2 cups celery, diced
- 2 cups chicken broth
- 1/3 cup olive oil
- 2 tablespoons chopped parsley, plus additional for garnish
- 2 tablespoons chopped rosemary
- salt, to taste
- freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- Heat oven to 325 F.
- Bake ciabatta bread cubes until lightly toasted, about 15 minutes. Set aside. Increase oven temperature to 375 F.
- In skillet over medium-high heat, melt 1 tablespoon butter.
- Cook sausage, breaking meat into medium pieces, until browned, about 8-10 minutes. Transfer sausage to large bowl; set aside.
- Add remaining butter to skillet; cook carrots, onions and celery until soft, 5-7 minutes, and transfer to bowl with sausage.
- In large bowl, mix bread cubes, chicken broth, olive oil, parsley, rosemary and salt and pepper, to taste. Add vegetable and sausage mixture to bread cubes mixture and combine.
- Spread evenly in greased 9-by-13-inch baking dish. Bake until golden brown and bread is slightly crisp on top, 30-35 minutes.
- Garnish with additional parsley before serving.
Tip: Recipe can be made one day before and refrigerated overnight.
(Family Features) With summer comes the opening of farmers markets bursting with fresh produce ripe for the taking. Pair your fresh-picked bounty with wholesome pecans for power-packed seasonal recipes from salads and snacks to side dishes and main courses.
American Pecans are The Original Supernut; a naturally sweet superfood that’s nutritious, versatile and local as it’s the only major tree nut native to America. Pecans are also among the highest in “good” monounsaturated fats and contain plant protein, fiber, flavonoids and essential minerals, including copper, manganese and zinc, so you can feel good when adding them to your next meal or snack.
After a morning at the farmers market, cook up a nourishing spread for breakfast or lunch. For a quick, mess-free brunch, try Sheet Pan Eggs with Pecan Breakfast “Sausage.” Substitute flavored ground pecans for your sausage and add fresh greens for a quick, good-for-you option with plant-based protein.
For a simple yet sweet take on dessert, try Mini Pecan Lemon Berry Tarts with a three-ingredient, pecan-based crumb as the base, topped with a light filling and fresh berries.
To find additional seasonal recipes, nutrition information and cooking tips, and to learn more about America’s native nut, visit AmericanPecan.com.
Mini Pecan Lemon Berry Tarts
Mini Pecan Crusts:
- 2 cups pecan pieces or halves
- 1/4 cup butter, melted
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- 24 Mini Pecan Crusts
- 1/2 cup lemon curd
- 1/2 cup blueberries or raspberries
- powdered sugar, for dusting (optional)
- To make Mini Pecan Crusts: Heat oven to 350° F. Line mini muffin tin with paper liners.
- In food processor, blend pecans, butter and sugar until mixture forms coarse dough.
- Scoop about 2 teaspoons pecan mixture into each muffin tin. Use back of wooden spoon or fingers to press mixture evenly along bottom and up sides of each muffin cup.
- Bake 12 minutes, or until crusts are golden brown. Allow crusts to cool completely before removing from pan.
- Spoon 1 teaspoon lemon curd into each Mini Pecan Crust. Top each with one raspberry or three small blueberries. Dust with powdered sugar, if desired.
Sheet Pan Eggs with Pecan Breakfast “Sausage”
Pecan Breakfast Sausage:
- 1 teaspoon extra-virgin olive oil
- 1/2 medium onion, diced (about 1/2 cup)
- 1 tablespoon coconut aminos
- 1 teaspoon sage
- 1 teaspoon thyme
- 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
- 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
- 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 1 cup raw pecan halves
Sheet Pan Eggs:
- 12 eggs, beaten
- 3/4 cup fat-free or low-fat milk
- 1 1/4 teaspoons salt
- 1/2 teaspoon pepper
- 1 cup fresh spinach, chopped
- nonstick cooking spray
- Heat oven to 325° F.
- To make Pecan Breakfast “Sausage”: In pan over medium heat, add olive oil, onion, coconut aminos, sage, thyme, nutmeg, garlic powder, black pepper and cayenne pepper. Cook about 4 minutes until onion is translucent.
- In food processor, pulse onion mixture and pecans until consistency of ground beef is reached, about 8-10 pulses.
- To make Sheet Pan Eggs: In large bowl, whisk eggs, milk, salt and pepper until combined.
- Add pecan “sausage” and spinach to eggs and stir. Lightly spray nonstick 12-by-17-inch sheet pan with cooking spray. Pour egg mixture onto prepared pan. Bake 18-20 minutes, or until eggs are fully cooked.
Source: American Pecan Council
(Family Features) More daylight in the evening, birds chirping in the morning and plants sprouting up from the ground are signs that Spring has sprung. With the return of outdoor activities and sunshine, it's the perfect time to build on your family's healthy habits with farm fresh foods you can trust for quality nutrition.
Start by looking for fresh and wholesome foods at the grocery store. Milk is one of the original farm-to-table foods that contains nine essential nutrients, including high-quality protein, potassium and calcium. Milk is also remarkably simple, with just three ingredients: milk and vitamins A and D. Compare that to plant based alternatives, which often have more than 10 ingredients, including added salt, sugar, stabilizers and emulsifiers like locust bean gum, sunflower lecithin and gellan gum.
Many people don't realize that the real dairy milk at the local grocery store often originates from dairy farms about 300 miles away and arrives on shelves in just 48 hours, on average, after leaving the farm.
Try a twist on farm-fresh ingredients with an egg-infused breakfast twist on a classic Italian salad. When paired with an 8-ounce glass of milk, this delicious omelet fulfills 80 percent of your daily calcium value for a calcium-rich breakfast.
For more information and kid-friendly seasonal recipe ideas, visit milklife.com.
Recipe courtesy of MilkPEP
- 2 teaspoons olive oil
- 1 large egg
- 2 large egg whites
- 3 tablespoons fat free milk
- 1/2 beefsteak tomato, sliced
- 1/4 cup lowfat shredded mozzarella cheese
- 1 tablespoon fresh basil, chopped
- 1 8-ounce glass of milk
- Heat olive oil in a large nonstick pan over medium heat. Beat eggs and 3 tablespoons milk together in a small bowl until well mixed.
- Pour egg mixture into heated pan, swirling the pan until eggs cover the bottom. Allow the eggs to set and no visible liquid remains, about 2 -3 minutes.
- After the eggs have set, arrange the tomatoes, cheese and basil on one side of the eggs. Using a spatula, carefully fold omelet in half, bringing the egg portion over the filling. Remove omelet from pan and serve with remaining 8-ounce glass of milk and enjoy.
Nutritional information per serving: 360 calories; 18 g fat; 5 g saturated fat; 210 mg cholesterol; 32 g protein; 19 g carbohydrates; 1 g fiber; 510 mg sodium; 800 mg calcium (80% of daily value). Nutrition figures based on using fat free milk, and include an 8-ounce glass of milk.
(Family Features) Eating healthy as a family starts with a plan involving nutritious ingredients, and one of the easiest ways to incorporate them is through meal prepping. By organizing recipes and the ingredients you’ll need to make them ahead of time, you’re saving time in the kitchen and helping ensure your family members won’t go off-course.
Dishes like Chicken Cauliflower Fried Rice and Mini Apple Pie Empanadas, ideal for a weekday family dinner and dessert, involve using fresh produce to encourage nutritious eating habits. Plus, because the recipes take little time to assemble and cook, you’ll save yourself more precious moments to spend at the table with loved ones.
These recipes are part of the “Mission for Nutrition” by Produce for Kids, an effort to raise awareness on the importance of meal planning and preparation to achieve regular healthy family eating together. In addition, partners of the program will donate 800,000 meals to families in need through Feeding America.
To find more information and recipes, and to download a free e-book including meal-planning ideas, visit themissionfornutrition.com.
Mini Apple Pie Empanadas
Recipe courtesy of Produce for Kids
Prep time: 15 minutes
Cook time: 25 minutes
- 4 cups peeled, sliced Gala apples
- 1/4 cup maple syrup
- 1 tablespoon cornstarch
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 12 frozen empanada shells, thawed
- 1 large egg white, beaten
- Heat skillet over low heat. Add apples, syrup, cornstarch and cinnamon. Cook 10 minutes, stirring frequently, or until apples are tender.
- Line center of each empanada shell with apples; fold and use fork to press edges together and seal. Brush with egg wash.
- Heat oven to 375° F.
- Place sealed empanadas on parchment-lined baking sheet. Bake 25-30 minutes, or until golden brown.
Tip: To make in air fryer: Heat air fryer to 375° F. Spray air fryer basket with nonstick cooking spray. Add sealed empanadas and cook 8 minutes, or until golden brown.
Chicken Cauliflower Fried Rice
Recipe courtesy of Produce for Kids
Prep time: 15 minutes
- 2 teaspoons olive oil
- 12 ounces boneless, skinless chicken breasts, chopped
- 1 package Green Giant Fresh Cauliflower Crumbles fried rice blend
- 1 large egg, scrambled
- In large skillet over medium heat, heat oil. Add chicken and cook 5 minutes, or until cooked through. Remove from skillet.
- Add cauliflower crumbles. Cook 5 minutes, or until tender. Push to edge of skillet to make hole in middle. Pour egg into center and cook, stirring frequently, 2-3 minutes, or until firm. Add chicken back to pan and stir to combine.
Source: Produce for Kids
Did you know that strata is Italian for layers? So you'll be happy to know that this "strata" is packed with delicious layers, so be ready to sink your teeth into cream cheese, cranberries, cinnamon and french bread.Make this recipe the night before to allow it to chill over night and then pop it into the oven for a rich and delicious brunch. Drizzle maple syrup to sweeten it up a bit more.
Find more recipes at www.culinary.net.
Watch video to learn how to make this delicious recipe!
What you'll need:
- French Bread
- 8 ounce cream cheese
- Dried cranberries
- Maple Syrup
- Ground cinnamon
In a greased 2-quart baking dish, tear off pieces from 1/2 of the French bread and put into dish.
Cut the creamcheese into slices and place over the bread pieces.
Sprinkle the dried cranberries over the creamcheese and bread pieces.
Top cranberries with remaining broken french bread pieces.
In a medium bowl, mix together eggs, milk and maple syrup.
Pour egg and milk mixture over bread and lightly press down the bread to saturate in the liquid mixture. Sprinkle with ground cinnamon.
Cover with aluminum foil and bake for 45 minutes. Remove the foil and bake for another 20 minutes. Full recipe instructions below.
- 8 cups French Bread (Crusty)
- 1 8 oz package of cream cheese
- 1/2 cup dried cranberries
- 6 eggs
- 2 ¼ cups milk
- 1/3 cup maple syrup
- ½ tsp ground cinnamon or nutmeg
- In a greased 2-quart rectangular baking dish, arrange half of the bread pieces, about 4 cups.
- Cut cream cheese into 8-10 slices and arrange over the bread chunks.
- Sprinkle cranberries over bread chunks.
- Top with remaining bread pieces (4 cups).
- In a medium bowl beat together eggs, milk and maple syrup.
- Pour over bread in dish.
- Sprinkle with ground cinnamon.
- Lightly press down with back of spoon or spatula to saturate bread with egg mixture.
- Cover and chill for up to 24 hours.
- Preheat oven to 350°F.
- Bake covered for 45 minutes.
- Uncover then bake for 20 minutes more.
- Let stand for 10 minutes before serving.
- Serve warm and topped with maple syrup, if desired.
(Family Features) Putting healthy meals on the table continues to be a year-round goal for many families, one that can become more difficult with the satisfying and savory flavors of comfort-food season. From breakfast to dinner and every meal in-between, it can feel daunting to prepare simple and nutritious recipes without sacrificing taste.
While seeking healthier options for day-to-day meal planning and preparation, it’s important to start your decision-making at the grocery store. Look for items like all-natural Pure Farmland Bacon, made from pork raised without antibiotics. In addition, it contains no artificial ingredients, preservatives, MSG or added hormones, so you can feel good about incorporating a family favorite like bacon into any meal of the day.
Start the day with Baked Eggs in Avocado with Bacon, combining superfoods with a protein boost for an ideal, health-conscious breakfast. When it’s time to gather for a family dinner, try something new such as Bacon and Spaghetti Squash Fritter with Roasted Red Pepper Sauce for a filling and flavorful meal that can please nearly any palate.
Find more recipes that keep nutrition top of mind without forgoing flavor at farmlandfoods.com.
Baked Eggs in Avocado with Bacon
Prep time: 30 minutes
- Nonstick cooking spray
- 1 avocado, halved and pitted
- 2 eggs
- kosher salt, to taste
- freshly cracked pepper, to taste
- 2 slices Pure Farmland All-Natural Uncured Bacon, cooked, crumbled
- 2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
- 1 tablespoon chopped chives
- smoked paprika, for garnish
- hot sauce, for garnish (optional)
- Heat oven to 425° F. Spray baking sheet or glass baking pan with nonstick cooking spray.
- Scoop additional 1-2 tablespoons out of avocado halves to create wells for eggs.
- Place avocados flesh-side up on prepared baking sheet or glass pan. Gently crack one egg in each avocado well, keeping yolks intact. Bake 15-18 minutes, or until eggs reach desired temperature.
- Add salt and pepper, to taste. Top with crumbled bacon, Parmesan cheese and chopped chives. Garnish with paprika and hot sauce, if desired.
Bacon and Spaghetti Squash Fritter with Roasted Red Pepper Sauce
Prep time: 45 minutes
Bacon-Spaghetti Squash Fritter:
- 4 cups cooked spaghetti squash
- 6 slices Pure Farmland All-Natural Uncured Bacon, cooked, chopped, fat reserved
- 4 green onions, white parts only, sliced thin
- 2 eggs, lightly beaten
- 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese, grated
- 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
- 2 roasted red peppers, fresh or jarred
- 4 plum tomatoes, roasted, skins removed
- 3/4 cup almonds, toasted
- 4 cloves garlic, roasted
- 2 tablespoons sherry vinegar
- 2 teaspoons smoked paprika
- 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 1/2 cup olive oil
- salt, to taste
- pepper, to taste
- To make Bacon–Spaghetti Squash Fritter: Place spaghetti squash in large bowl. Add bacon, green onions, eggs and cheese. Stir to combine. Add flour and mix until combined. Form into patties.
- Heat large saute pan over medium-high heat. Add 2 tablespoons reserved bacon fat. Add fritters in batches and cook until well browned on both sides, approximately 2-3 minutes per side.
- To make Romesco Sauce: In food processor, pulse roasted red peppers, plum tomatoes, almonds, garlic, sherry vinegar, smoked paprika and cayenne pepper to combine. Slowly add in olive oil and season with salt and pepper, to taste.
- Pour Romesco Sauce over Bacon-Spaghetti Squash Fritter before serving.
(Family Features) As winter chills settle in, one way to warm up from the inside-out is with family meals centered around a delicious bowl of comfort food like pasta, soups and stews.
By planning your weeknight menu to include wholesome, organic foods made with no artificial flavors, artificial colors or high-fructose corn syrup, you can create hearty and flavorful dishes in the New Year that will have everyone in the family eager to dig in.
With a high quality, organic sauce in your pantry like one of the Bertolli USDA-certified Organic Pasta Sauces, available in red- and white-sauce varieties, you can quickly whip up a warming and indulgent winter dish while still keeping your resolutions to cook with more quality ingredients. For example, this recipe for Campanelle with Prosciutto and Peas uses Creamy Alfredo Sauce, made with organic cream, aged parmesan cheese and spices, is sure to become a cold-weather family favorite!
Find more recipes to kick-start taste-tempting family mealtimes through every season at Bertolli.com.
Campanelle with Prosciutto and Peas
Cook time: 10 minutes
Prep time: 10 minutes
- 12 ounces uncooked campanelle pasta
- 1 tablespoon Bertolli Extra-Virgin Olive Oil
- 1 large shallot, finely chopped
- 1/2 cup dry whitewine
- 1/2 cup frozen peas
- 3 ounces thinly sliced prosciutto
- 1 jar (15 ounces) Bertolli Organic Creamy Alfredo Sauce
- 4 ounces Fontina cheese, shredded
- 6 eggs
- 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- In pot of salted water, cook pasta 2 minutes less than directed on package. Drain pasta.
- In large skillet over medium-high heat, heat oil and shallots. Cook 3-4 minutes, or until softened. Add wine; cook 3-4 minutes, or until most liquid has evaporated. Stir in peas, prosciutto, Alfredo sauce and cheese. Add pasta; toss gently. Cook and stir 1-2 minutes to coat pasta with sauce.
- In saucepan, bring water to boil and add eggs. Cook 6 minutes. Transfer eggs to ice water and cool before peeling.
- Top each serving with soft-set egg and black pepper.
Note: Gouda or Gruyere can be substituted for Fontina. Unpeeled, cooked eggs can be stored in refrigerator up to one week.
(Family Features) As you prepare to take on the day, one of the most beneficial ways to energize yourself each morning is by fueling your body with the proper nutrients, including protein.
U.S. Ski & Snowboard Team High-Performance Dietitian Allen Tran works with top athletes and recognizes the key role protein plays in their diets. Developed by Tran, these breakfast recipes can provide the nutrition necessary for journeying through your day with energy and verve. Protein Waffles include Rockin’ Protein Builder for an easy boost of protein. The 12-ounce shakes, which are low in carbs and sugar, are made with fresh milk and have 30 grams of high-quality protein to help build muscle without a chalky after-taste.
If you’re looking to make healthier choices or live an active lifestyle and are short on time, a premade recipe may allow for additional productivity. Recipes that can be made in advance – like the night before – may aid your goal to consume necessary nutrients without putting a rush on your morning routine.
Chocolate Cherry and Banana Overnight Oats are made with Shamrock Farms Chocolate Milk and are a source of protein, calcium and vitamin D. Plus, they can be made in advance, allowing you to grab a healthy, ready-made breakfast to take on the go. Adding milk to your diet helps serve as a source of energy while building and repairing muscles.
Find more tips and recipes to help enhance your nutrition at shamrockfarms.net.
Chocolate Cherry and Banana Overnight Oats
Yield: 2 jars
- 1/2 cup frozen dark sweet cherries
- 1 1/2 cups old-fashioned rolled oats
- 1 container (12 ounces) Shamrock Farms Chocolate Milk
- 1 ripe banana, sliced
- 1 pinch salt
- In two mason jars, add 1/4 cup frozen cherries in each. In microwave, thaw 30 seconds.
- Divide rolled oats, milk, banana and salt between jars. Cover with lids and shake until combined.
- Store in refrigerator overnight or at least several hours.
- Serve cold or warm in microwave.
Yield: 8-10 waffles
- 2 cups pancake mix
- 2 large eggs
- 1 container (12 ounces) Vanilla or Chocolate Rockin’ Protein Builder
- 1/4 cup canola oil
- 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
- Heat waffle iron.
- Place pancake mix in bowl. In separate bowl, whisk eggs, protein shake and oil. Stir into pancake mix until just combined.
- Bake in waffle iron according to manufacturer’s directions until golden brown.
Tip: To freeze for later consumption, cool waffles on wire racks. Freeze between layers of waxed paper in re-sealable plastic freezer bag. In toaster oven or microwave, heat waffles until heated through.
Source: Shamrock Farms
Ditch the celery stick and compliment your spicy Bloody Mary with cheese filled perogies and BACON!
For more beverage recipes, go to Culinary.net.
Watch video to see how to make this delicious drink recipe!
- 1 tsp. Tabasco sauce
- 64 oz. tomato juice
- 2 cups vodka
- 2 tbsp. worcestershire sauce
- 2 tbsp. lime juice
- 6 cheese filled perogies (baked according to package)
- 6 slices bacon (cooked until crispy)
- Combine all ingredients into a large pitcher and stir well.
- Pour over ice.
- Garnish with cheese filled perogies and bacon using a wooden skewer.
Wake up the family with the delicious smell of blueberry-pecan scones baking in the oven.
- 1/2 cup 2% reduced-fat milk
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 2 teaspoons grated lemon rind
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 large egg
- 2 cups all-purpose flour (about 9 ounces)
- 1 tablespoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 3 tablespoons chilled butter, cut into small pieces
- 1 cup fresh or frozen blueberries
- 1/4 cup finely chopped pecans, toasted
- Cooking spray
- 1 large egg white, lightly beaten
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- Preheat oven to 375°.
- Combine first 5 ingredients in a medium bowl, stirring with a whisk. Lightly spoon flour into dry measuring cups; level with a knife. Combine flour, baking powder, and salt in a large bowl, stirring with a whisk. Cut in butter with a pastry blender or 2 knives until mixture resembles coarse meal. Gently fold in blueberries and pecans. Add milk mixture, stirring just until moist (dough will be sticky).
- Turn dough out onto a floured surface; pat dough into an 8-inch circle. Cut dough into 10 wedges, and place the dough wedges on a baking sheet coated with cooking spray. Brush egg white over dough wedges; sprinkle evenly with 2 tablespoons sugar. Bake scones at 375° for 18 minutes or until golden. Serve warm.
Recipe adapted from Cooking Light.