recipes

Videos 02 December 2020

Creamy Macaroni and Cheese Casserole

(Culinary.net) There’s almost nothing better than keeping warm and cozy on cold winter days. One thing that can help make staying indoors more enjoyable is delicious, warm, perfectly baked food. Casseroles are hearty options for cold, brisk winter days with mixed ingredients baked in a hot oven and served in large scoops.

This Creamy Macaroni and Cheese Casserole is a twist on a childhood favorite (adult-approved, too). Adding a hint of seasoning, like dry mustard and onion powder, and making the cheese sauce with dairy and lots of shredded cheeses gives it just the right amount of flavor and kick.

This recipe is fairly simple, and kids will devour it in seconds. It’s creamy, cheesy and rich with ingredients that combine to create one spectacularly cozy comfort food. It’s baked to meld all those wonderful ingredients into one large masterpiece.

Start by following the package instructions to cook your noodles. Then melt butter, whisk in flour and stir. Next add your dairy and seasonings. Then it’s time for cheese. Combine the noodles and cheese sauce then bake. It only requires a few steps, with one cooking pot and one baking pan, and it’s guaranteed deliciousness.

Next time your family is stuck at home, try this recipe and see the smiles appear on your little ones’ faces as they gobble down every bite. It’s almost impossible to resist a recipe with 4 cups of shredded cheddar cheese and 1 cup of shredded Parmesan cheese. It’s what makes this recipe so gooey and delectable.

So when the wind is howling and there is snow on the ground, don’t fret about making a filling and satisfying dinner. This Creamy Macaroni and Cheese Casserole has you and your family covered.

Find more recipes and comfort food favorites at Culinary.net.

Watch video to see how to make this recipe!

Creamy Macaroni and Cheese Casserole

Servings: 4-6

  • 12        ounces dry elbow macaroni
  • 1/4       cup butter
  • 1/4       cup flour
  • 2          cups milk
  • 1          cup heavy whipping cream
  • 1/2       teaspoon dry mustard
  • 1          teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/2       teaspoon salt
  • 1/8       teaspoon pepper
  • 4          cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese, divided
  • 1          cup shredded Parmesan cheese
  1. Heat oven to 425 F.
  2. Cook macaroni according to package directions. Drain and set aside.
  3. In large saucepan, melt butter over medium heat. Whisk in flour and cook 2 minutes, stirring continuously. Slowly whisk in milk, cream, mustard, onion powder, salt and pepper. Whisk and cook until thickened. Remove from heat and stir in cheeses until melted.
  4. In large bowl, add cooked macaroni and cheese sauce. Mix well and pour into greased 9-by-13-inch baking pan.
  5. Bake 18-24 minutes, or until bubbly. Cool slightly before serving.
Holiday 15 October 2020

Combat Cool Days with Comforting Dishes

(Family Features) From filling dinners to favorite desserts, comfort foods can bring smiles to friendly faces. As temperatures drop, lean on recipes that add flavor and bring warming scents to your kitchen.

Loaded with comforting ingredients like READ German Potato Salad, this Cheesy German Potato Soup can appease appetites with tantalizing taste. Ideal at dinner parties or festivities throughout winter, Mini Chocolate-Beet Cheesecakes with Maple-Orange Glaze combine Aunt Nellie's Sliced Beets with familiar cheesecake flavor for a tempting treat.

Visit readsalads.com and auntnellies.com for more comforting inspiration.

Mini Chocolate-Beet Cheesecakes with Maple-Orange Glaze

Servings: 12

Crust:

  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup chopped walnuts
  • 3 tablespoons salted butter, softened

Cheesecake:

  • 1 jar (15 ounces) Aunt Nellie's Sliced Beets
  • 1 package (8 ounces) cream cheese, softened
  • 1/4 cup pure maple syrup
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips, melted

Topping:

  • 2 tablespoons frozen orange juice concentrate
  • 3 tablespoons pure maple syrup
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • whipped cream (optional)
  1. Preheat oven to 350 F. Line 12 medium muffin cups with foil liners.
  2. To make crust: In medium bowl, combine flour and walnuts.
  3. Using fork or pastry blender, cut in butter until mixture resembles fine crumbs. Place about 1 tablespoon mixture into each lined muffin cup. Lightly press crumbs into bottom. Bake 5-6 minutes, or until crust begins to brown.
  4. To make cheesecake: Drain beets, reserving 2 tablespoons liquid. In blender, puree 1/2 cup beets and reserved liquid until smooth; set aside. Dice remaining beets; set aside.
  5. In large bowl, combine cream cheese and syrup. Beat until smooth. Add egg; mix until blended. Stir in reserved pureed beets. Add melted chocolate; mix well. Spoon about 3 tablespoons cream cheese mixture into muffin cups over warm crusts. Bake 15 minutes, or until filling is set. Let cool to room temperature. Place cheesecakes in refrigerator at least 30 minutes.
  6. To make topping: In small saucepan, combine reserved diced beets, orange juice concentrate, syrup and cinnamon. Cook and stir over medium heat until mixture comes to boil, stirring frequently. Continue cooking and stirring until mixture thickens and appears glossy, 5-8 minutes. Remove from heat; let cool to room temperature.
  7. Remove cheesecakes from muffin liners. Top evenly with glazed beets. Serve with whipped cream, if desired.

Cheesy German Potato Soup

Recipe courtesy of "Today's Creative Life"
Servings: 8

  • 1 1/2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
  • 1 cup shredded Gruyere cheese
  • 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 8 slices bacon, chopped
  • 3 large carrots, chopped
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 6 cups low-sodium chicken broth
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1 tablespoon dried parsley
  • 2 cans (15 ounces each) READ German Potato Salad
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1 cup whole milkchopped parsley or chives (optional)
  1. Place cheeses and flour in gallon-size zip-top bag. Close bag. Shake until cheese is covered with flour; set aside.
  2. In large Dutch oven over medium heat, cook bacon until crisp, stirring occasionally. Transfer to paper towel-lined plate; set aside.
  3. Pour off all but 2-3 tablespoons bacon drippings. Return Dutch oven to medium heat. Add carrots, onion and garlic. Cook until onions are translucent and carrots are softened, 3-4 minutes. Add chicken broth, black pepper, red pepper flakes, thyme and parsley. Stir in potato salad. Continue cooking over medium heat 5 minutes, or until potatoes are heated through, stirring occasionally.
  4. Reduce heat to low. Slowly stir in cream and milk. Cook 5-8 minutes until blended and heated through, stirring frequently. Slowly add cheeses, stirring until melted.
  5. Top with bacon. Garnish with parsley or chives, if desired.

Source: Seneca Foods
https://auntnellies.com/

Videos 05 October 2020

Oatmeal Cream Cookie Sandwiches

Cooler weather often brings about nostalgic cravings for seasonal dishes and desserts. From grandma’s classic pies, to the sweet taste of apple cider touching your tongue, Fall is full of flavor, spice, sweets and treats, just waiting to be devoured with family and loved ones alike.

Home chefs will know it’s time to tap into the flavor of fall once that first leaf drops to the ground. The pumpkins are set on porches and little ones all bundle up to go outside and play in the cool breeze. Nearly everyone can tell when the warm and cozy delight is here to stay for the season.

The kitchen is often known as the “heart of the home” and homes all over the country will smell and taste like fall festivities all season long with this recipe for Oatmeal Cream Cookie Sandwiches.

 The best part about this timeless recipe is that it’s known to evoke memories from childhood and can help introduce a new generation to a treat many generations before them have enjoyed.

Easy to make and pretty to look at, these cookies are great to make with little ones after a long day of pumpkin carving. Let the kids help with the preparation. They can use many ingredients you may already have in your pantry especially the ones they can reach with their little hands.

The result are a soft and slightly chewy, cinnamon-spiced oatmeal cookies sandwiched around a fluffy layer of vanilla bean cream filling that can keep each member of the family reaching for another.

Serve them to friends, neighbors, kids and adults and you will notice the delight spread across their faces with the very first bite. This recipe is something scrumptious that makes a statement for the upcoming season.

Find more seasonal dessert recipes and fall flavors for your family at Culinary.net.

Watch video to see how to make this recipe!

Oatmeal Cream Cookie Sandwiches

Servings: 10-12

Oatmeal Cookies:

  • 1          cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 1          cup dark brown sugar
  • 1/2       cup light brown sugar
  • 2          large eggs
  • 2          teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2    cups flour
  • 1          teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2       teaspoon salt
  • 1          teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4       teaspoon ground cloves
  • 3          cups rolled old-fashioned oats

Vanilla Bean Cream Filling:

  • 3/4       cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 2 1/2    cups powdered sugar
  • 1          teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1          tablespoon heavy cream
  1. Heat oven to 350 F. Line baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.
  2. To make oatmeal cookies: with a mixer, cream butter, dark brown sugar and light brown sugar on medium-high speed until creamy. Add eggs and vanilla extract; mix until combined.
  3. In medium bowl, whisk flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, cloves and oats. Gradually add oat mixture to wet ingredients, mixing until just combined.
  4. Spoon dough into hands and roll into balls. Flatten balls and place onto prepared baking sheet, leaving about 2 inches between each cookie. Bake 10-12 minutes, or until lightly golden brown around edges. Move cookies to wire rack to cool completely.
  5. To make vanilla bean cream filling: with a mixer, cream butter on medium-high speed until light and fluffy. Gradually add powdered sugar, vanilla extract and heavy cream; mix until combined.
  6. Pipe or spoon a large dollop of filling on bottom sides of half the cookies; top each with second cookie.
Dessert 11 September 2020

Family Foods to Fuel Education

A Sweet School Day Treat

A long day of learning and activities calls for a well-deserved snack, and cookies are just the solution for many families.

Soft, chewy oatmeal cookies sandwiched together with a fluffy vanilla bean buttercream create the perfect treat with these Homemade Oatmeal Creme Cookies. Because they take just an hour to create using flavor-boosting ingredients like Domino sugars, you’re left with plenty of time for helping with homework or simply enjoying moments together with loved ones.

Find more dessert inspiration at DominoSugar.com.

Homemade Oatmeal Creme Cookies

Recipe courtesy of Michael Johnson on behalf of Domino Sugar
Prep time: 45 minutes
Cook time: 15 minutes
Servings: 10-12

Oatmeal Cookies:

  • 1          cup unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1          cup Domino Dark Brown Sugar
  • 1/2       cup Domino Golden Sugar
  • 2          large eggs
  • 2          teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2    cups all-purpose flour
  • 1          teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2       teaspoon coarse sea salt
  • 3/4       teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4       teaspoon ground cloves
  • 3          cups rolled old-fashioned oats

Vanilla Bean Creme Filling:

  • 3/4       cup unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 2 1/2    cups Domino Confectioners’ Sugar
  • 1          teaspoon vanilla bean paste or vanilla extract
  • 1          tablespoon heavy cream
  1. To make Oatmeal Cookies: Preheat oven to 350 F. Line baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.
  2. In bowl of stand mixer fitted with paddle attachment or in large bowl with electric mixer, cream butter, brown sugar and golden sugar on medium-high speed until light and creamy, about 2 minutes. Add eggs and vanilla; mix until combined, scraping down sides of bowl as needed. Set aside.
  3. In medium bowl, whisk flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, cloves and oats. With mixer on low, slowly add oat mixture to wet ingredients, mixing until just combined.
  4. Using large cookie scoop, scoop dough onto prepared baking sheet, leaving about 2 1/2 inches between each cookie. Bake 12-14 minutes, or until lightly golden brown around edges. Allow cookies to sit on pan about 3 minutes before removing to wire rack to cool completely.
  5. To make Vanilla Bean Creme Filling: In bowl of stand mixer fitted with paddle attachment or in large bowl with electric mixer, beat butter on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes.
  6. Turn speed to low and gradually add confectioners’ sugar, mixing until completely incorporated. Add vanilla bean paste and heavy cream; mix until combined.
  7. Turn mixer to medium-high speed and beat 3-5 minutes until buttercream is fluffy. If necessary, add cream 1 teaspoon at a time until desired consistency.
  8. To fill and assemble, pipe or spread about 1 1/2 tablespoons Vanilla Bean Creme Filling on bottom halves of Oatmeal Cookies; top with remaining halves.

Source: Domino Sugar

Meal Ideas 10 April 2020

Nutritious Eating at Home

(Family Features) If spending additional time in the comfort of your home has you rethinking the family menu and looking for new ways to enjoy nutritional meals, rest assured you can make better-for-you food choices without losing mouthwatering taste.

Easy, efficient at-home recipes like Thai Coconut Lime Freezer Chicken, Burrito Beef and Cauli Mac and Cheese can all be made in less than an hour while reducing the intake of carbs and unnecessary sugars. All are part of a balanced Atkins low-carb lifestyle, a long-term, healthy eating approach focused on high-fiber carbohydrates, optimal protein and healthy fats.

The eating approach, which is a more flexible version of the popular ketogenic diet, offers a balanced mix of foods containing fiber-rich and nutrient-dense carbohydrates while focusing on reduced levels of refined carbohydrates, added sugars and the “hidden sugar effect” – when carbohydrates convert to sugar when digested. You don’t see the sugar, but your body does.

Introducing your family to smarter food choices can also support your immunity. According to research published in “The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition,” simply substituting whole grains for refined grains has a modest effect on gut microbiota and immunity. Refined grains have had most of the fiber milled out of them, leaving a refined carbohydrate that impacts your body the way sugar would. Opt for whole grains to get the fiber you need, along with protein and healthy fats.

Visit atkins.com for more nutritious recipes


Thai Coconut Lime Freezer Chicken

Prep time: 8 minutes
Cook time: 22 minutes
Servings: 4

  • 1 3/4    cups coconut milk
  • 2          tablespoons basil
  • 1          tablespoon xylitol (sugar substitute)
  • 1          ounce cilantro
  • 1          ounce fresh lime juice
  • 1/2       teaspoon salt
  • 1/2       teaspoon garlic
  • 1          teaspoon lime zest (optional)
  • 20        ounces boneless, cooked chicken breast
  • 20        ounces broccoli flower clusters
  1. In bowl, mix coconut milk, basil, xylitol, cilantro, lime juice, salt and garlic. For more citrus flavor, add lime zest, if desired.
  2. Add chicken, broccoli and sauce to 1-gallon zip-top freezer bag. Squeeze out any air and seal bag. Freeze bag flat up to 1 month.
  3. To cook: Thaw in refrigerator overnight. Heat oven to 350° F.
  4. Place in glass 8-by-8-inch pan and bake 20-25 minutes.

Burrito Beef

Prep time: 15 minutes
Cook time: 8 hours
Servings: 6

  • 2          pounds beef arm chuck roast
  • 4          tablespoons green taco sauce
  • 1          teaspoon minced garlic
  • 2          large scallions or spring onions, chopped
  • 1          jalapeno pepper, diced
  • 2          teaspoons chili powder
  • 1/2       teaspoon cumin
  • 1/2       teaspoon salt
  1. Trim fat from beef. In slow cooker on low heat, cook beef, taco sauce, garlic, onions, jalapeno, chili powder, cumin and salt 8 hours, or until beef is tender.
  2. Using two forks, remove beef and shred. Mix beef with 1/2 cup cooking juices before serving.
  3. A Low-Sugar Swap to Satisfy Cravings
  4. While spending more time at home than normal, those snack cravings can be hard to shake. Rather than relying on easy-to-grab eats from the pantry or freezer, focus on more nutritious choices that don’t sacrifice flavor.
  5. Turn to a creamy solution to satisfy your hunger such as the Atkins Milk Chocolate Delight Shake, a filling option for chocolate lovers. The drinks are packed with 15 grams of protein, 5 grams of fiber, 20% of the daily recommended amount of vitamin D and 1 gram of sugar to keep you going throughout the day.

Cauli Mac and Cheese

Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 40 minutes
Servings: 6

  • Nonstick cooking spray
  • 1          teaspoon salt, divided
  • 1          head large (6-7-inch diameter) cauliflower
  • 1          cup heavy cream
  • 2          ounces cream cheese
  • 1 1/2    teaspoons ground mustard
  • 1 1/2    cups shredded cheddar cheese, divided
  • 1          clove garlic, minced
  • 1/4       teaspoon white pepper
  • 1/4       teaspoon pepper sauce
  1. Heat oven to 375° F and prepare 9-by-9-inch baking dish with nonstick cooking spray. Heat large pot of water to boiling and add 1/2 teaspoon salt.
  2. Remove stem and leaves from cauliflower. Cut into small pieces and place in boiling water; cook until crisp-tender; about 5 minutes. Drain well then pat between paper towels to remove moisture.
  3. In medium saucepan over medium heat, bring cream to simmer. Whisk cream cheese and powdered mustard into simmering cream until smooth. Add 1 cup cheddar cheese, garlic, remaining salt, white pepper and pepper sauce, whisking until cheese melts; about 1-2 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in cauliflower.
  4. Pour into baking dish and top with remaining cheese. Bake 15 minutes until browned and bubbly.

 

Photos courtesy of Getty Images (Thai Coconut Lime Freezer Chicken, Burrito Beef and Cauli Mac and Cheese)

Source: Atkins

Videos 06 March 2020

Luck o’ the Irish Mint Pie

(Culinary.net) Even if you’re not Irish, a green treat like this Luck o’ the Irish Mint Pie can get you and your guests into the festive spirit. With enough seasonal flavor to go around, this recipe makes two pies, so be sure to cut every leprechaun a generous portion.

Find more festive recipes at Culinary.net.

Watch video to see how to make this recipe!



Luck o’ the Irish Mint Pie

Makes: 2 pies (9 inches each)

  • 3 3/4    cups heavy whipped cream, divided
  • 8          ounces cream cheese, softened
  • 1 1/4    cups, plus 2 tablespoons, powdered sugar, divided
  • 5          drops green food coloring
  • 1 1/4    teaspoons vanilla extract, divided
  • 1/4       teaspoon mint extract
  • 1          bag mint chocolate candies, chopped, divided
  • 2          chocolate cookie crusts (9 inches each)
  • 1          bag mint chocolate candies
  1. To make filling: In bowl of stand mixer, whisk 2 1/2 cups heavy cream until stiff peaks form. Transfer to bowl.
  2. In separate stand mixer bowl, beat cream cheese on high 2 minutes. Gradually add 1 1/4 cups powdered sugar and green food coloring; mix until smooth. Add 1/4 teaspoon vanilla and mint extract; mix well.
  3. Fold prepared whipped cream into cream cheese mixture. Fold 1 cup chopped mint chocolate candies into filling.
  4. To make frosting: In bowl of stand mixer, whisk remaining heavy cream and remaining powdered sugar. Add remaining vanilla extract and mix until stiff peaks form.
  5. Pour filling into crusts and smooth tops.
  6. Fill decorating bag with frosting and pipe thick band around edges of pies. Then pipe circle dollops evenly around edges of pies.
  7. Scatter 1 cup chopped mint chocolate candies in middle of pies. Place whole mint chocolate candies into each dollop of frosting around edges of pies.
  8. Refrigerate until firm, 5-6 hours.
Appetizers & Sides 08 November 2019

A Hot and Spicy Fall Staple

(Family Features) As the weather cools, spicy recipes can warm things up by satisfying your taste buds.

For example, award-winning chef Elise Wiggins brings the heat with this Fiery Beef Harissa Polpettes with Cooling Milk Goat Cheese Sauce recipe.

Inspired by her time spent cooking in Mexico and Central America, Wiggins puts a new spin on the popular polpette (Italian meatball), pairing bold seasonings with a cooling, dairy-based dipping sauce, made with pure, fresh Shamrock Farms milk.  

The recipe combination is a nice addition to any seasonal gathering, and the naturally soothing proteins in milk help combat the spice of the various chiles to cool down taste buds and complement flavors. Shamrock Farms milk also provides calcium, potassium and vitamin D, delivering flavor and versatility to a balanced diet without added growth hormones.

For more recipes perfect for cooler weather, visit shamrockfarms.net.

Fiery Beef Harissa Polpettes with Cooling Milk Goat Cheese Sauce

Recipe courtesy of chef Elise Wiggins
Yield: 12 polpettes

Polpettes:

  • 1          dry ancho chile
  • 2          dry guajillo chiles
  • 10        dry arbol chiles
  • 2          dry cayenne chiles
  • hot water
  • 1          tablespoon cumin seeds
  • 1          tablespoon coriander seeds
  • 2          garlic cloves, minced
  • 1          tablespoon tomato paste
  • 1          tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1/4       cup Shamrock Farms Heavy Cream
  • 1          lemon, zest only, finely chopped
  • 2          teaspoons hot smoked paprika
  • 1          teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1          pound ground beef

Dipping Sauce:

  • 1          cup Shamrock Farms Whole Milk
  • 1          cup goat cheese
  • 1/4       cup fresh mint, loosely packed and julienned
  • 1/2       teaspoon sugar

Breading:

  • 2          whole eggs
  • 1          teaspoon water
  • all-purpose flour
  • panko bread crumbs
  1. To make polpettes: Heat oven to 350° F.
  2. In pan, cover chiles with hot water; simmer until chiles are soft and pliable. In warm sauté pan, toast cumin and coriander until fragrant. In spice grinder, grind until seeds turn to powder.
  3. Remove chiles from water; reserve water. In blender, combine chiles, garlic, ground spices, tomato paste, lemon juice, heavy cream, lemon zest, hot smoked paprika, salt and 1/2 cup reserved chile water; blend until smooth, thick paste forms.
  4. Combine spicy harissa sauce with beef; mix well to incorporate. Roll into 2-ounce balls and place on sheet tray. Cook 10 minutes. Remove and allow to cool. Leave oven on.
  5. To make dipping sauce: In food processor, blend milk, goat cheese, mint and sugar. Place in dipping bowl in refrigerator until ready to serve. 
  6. To make breading: In pan, crack eggs and add water; whip to incorporate. In separate pans, place flour and bread crumbs. Roll cooled polpettes in flour. Dust off excess. Roll in egg wash then breadcrumbs; set aside. Repeat until all polpettes are breaded. 
  7. Place polpettes back on sheet tray. Cook until golden brown, approximately 10-12 minutes. Serve polpettes hot with chilled dipping sauce.

Note: If unable to find specific chiles, substitute any Mexican chile variety.

Source: Shamrock Farms

Videos 25 February 2019

How to Make Crème Brûlée

(Family Features) Dazzle your guests with a decadent dessert like this Crème Brûlée.  With a rich and creamy filling topped with a sugary crust, these individual-sized sweets can provide a perfect ending to nearly any get-togther.

Find more dessert recipes at www.culinary.net.

Watch video to see how to make this delicious recipe!

Crème Brûlée

  • 4          cups heavy cream
  • 2          teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2          teaspoons ground cardamom
  • 1/2      cup granulated sugar
  • 6          egg yolks
  • vanilla sugar
  1. Heat oven to 300° F.
  2. In a medium saucepan, bring the cream, vanilla and cardamom to simmer, whisking occasionally. Do not boil. Remove pan from heat and let rest 10 minutes.
  3. In large bowl, whisk together sugar and egg yolks. Slowly whisk warm cream into egg mixture until smooth.
  4. Set ramekins into baking dish with sides.  Pour mixture into ramekins.  Pour boiling water into baking dish about half way up sides of ramekins. Bake 40-45 minutes, or until custard is firm.  Chill 1 hour.
  5. Before serving, evenly sprinkle vanilla sugar on top.  Use kitchen torch to caramelize vanilla sugar.

Recipe adapted from Milk Means More.

Source: Culinary.net

Holiday 01 November 2018

Fuss-Free Holiday Recipe Inspiration

(Family Features) Hosting holiday dinners can be stressful, even for the most seasoned home cooks. Between gift giving, cookie baking, home decorating and more, there’s often little time left to think through a festive feast for a hungry crowd of family and friends.

While the main entree and dessert are usually the first courses to be accounted for when planning, seasonal appetizers and sides can set your spread apart. Perfect for intimate gatherings or larger parties, a simple app like Cranberry Walnut and Brie Bites, filled with ingredients like Willow Tree Classic Chicken Salad and creamy Brie cheese, can leave guests anxiously awaiting the rest of the meal.

Round out your menu with must-have sides like potatoes. For example, a traditional French dish like Dauphinoise Potatoes are easy to make and feature a homemade butter and garlic sauce, thinly sliced potatoes and rich Gruyere cheese.

Once the hustle and bustle of the holidays are over, however, one of the last things many hosts want to do is cook another big meal. With an option like Willow Tree Chicken Pies, you can skip the hassle and get a meal on the table quickly.

For more easy hosting ideas and recipes, visit willowtreefarm.com.

Cranberry Walnut and Brie Bites

Prep time: 20 minutes
Cook time: 10-15 minutes
Servings: 12-16

  • 2          packages (17 ounces each) puff pastry
  • 1          bag (12 ounces) fresh or frozen cranberries
  • 1          cup sugar, plus additional, to taste
  • 1          orange or lemon, zest only, cut into strips
  • 2          tablespoons water
  • salt, to taste
  • pepper, to taste
  • 1          container (7 1/2 ounces) Willow Tree Classic Chicken Salad
  • 4          ounces Brie cheese, cut into 48 pieces
  • 1/4       cup finely chopped walnuts
  • 2          tablespoons minced fresh sage
  1. Heat oven to 375° F.
  2. Thaw puff pastry sheets according to package instructions. Once thawed, unfold into thirds.
  3. Cut each third into 12 equal squares to make 48 squares.
  4. Grease two mini muffin tins; press each puff pastry square into muffin cup.
  5. Bake 8-10 minutes; remove from oven and press center of each cup in with end of wooden spoon.
  6. While puff pastry is baking, prepare cranberry sauce. Add bag of cranberries into saucepan. In pan over low heat, combine sugar, one strip orange or lemon zest and water; cook, stirring occasionally, until sugar dissolves and cranberries are soft, about 10 minutes. Increase heat to medium and cook until cranberries burst, about 12 minutes. Reduce heat to low. Add sugar, salt and pepper, to taste; let cool slightly and reserve.
  7. Fill center of each puff pastry cup with chicken salad, 1/2 teaspoon cranberry sauce and one piece Brie cheese.
  8. Bake 5-7 minutes, until Brie is melted.
  9. Top with chopped walnuts and minced sage. Serve warm.

Dauphinoise Potatoes

Prep time: 20 minutes
Cook time: 30-45 minutes
Servings: 1

  • 8          ounces potatoes
  • 1          tablespoon butter
  • 1          large clove garlic
  • 1/2       cup heavy cream
  • 1          ounce Gruyere cheese, for garnish
  • salt
  • pepper
  1. Heat oven to 350° F.
  2. Peel and finely slice potatoes.
  3. Add butter to saucepan and melt. Finely mince garlic and add to saucepan; saute gently until garlic is pale golden color.
  4. Add cream to saucepan and bring to rapid simmer but do not boil.
  5. In oven-safe dish, arrange slices of potato in even layers.
  6. Pour warm cream over potatoes slowly, allowing to seep between layers without overflowing dish.
  7. Top generously with sliced Gruyere cheese and place in oven, 30-45 minutes per portion. When done, potatoes should be golden-brown on top, bubbling at edges and a knife should slide easily into center.

Note: Recipe can be multiplied for additional servings.

Photo courtesy of Getty Images (Dauphinoise Potatoes)

Source: Willow Tree

Videos 19 February 2019

How to Make Ricotta Puff Pastries with Strawberry Compote

(Family Features) Perfect for a party or simply indulging yourself, these addictive pastry puffs make it hard to stop at one.  Easy to assemble with these step-by-step instructions, the ricotta mixture and fresh strawberry compote are dynamic together, and provide a generous touch of sweetness.

For the full video and instructions, plus more dessert recipe ideas, visit culinary.net .

Watch video to see how to make this delicious recipe!



Ricotta Puff Pastries with Strawberry Compote

  • 2                      sheets puff pastry
  • 1/2                  cup, plus 1 tablespoon heavy cream
  • 1/2                  cup granulated sugar, divided
  • 1                      tablespoon ground cinnamon
  • 1                      tablespoon water
  • 1                      package of fresh strawberries, hulled and sliced
  • 1/2                  cup homemade, part-skim or whole milk Ricotta cheese
  • 1/4                  cup powdered sugar
  • 1/2                  teaspoon vanilla extract
  1. Heat oven to 400° F.
  2. Cut both puff pastry sheets into nine squares.  Make slit in corner of each square toward middle of the pastry.  Fold corners to other corners to create pinwheel shape.  Brush pastry with 1 tablespoon heavy cream.  Combine granulated 1/4 cup granulated sugar and ground cinnamon then sprinkle on each puff pastry.
  3. Bake 12-15 minutes, until pastry is golden brown and raised.
  4. In medium saucepan on medium to high heat, pour in remaining granulated sugar and water.   Once sugar is dissolved, pour in fresh strawberries.  Bring mixture to boil then simmer 10-15 minutes, stirring occasionally, until strawberries are broken apart and semi-thick sauce is created.  Let chill in refrigerator 2 hours.  To chill faster, put in freezer 45 minutes.
  5. In medium bowl, using mixer, whip heavy cream until stiff peaks form. Set aside.  In separate medium bowl, combine ricotta, powdered sugar, and vanilla extract. Mix until fluffy. Return whipped cream to ricotta mixture and whip for 1-2 minutes until mixture is light and fluffy.
  6. Spoon ricotta cream into the center of each puff pastry pinwheel. Spoon strawberry compote in middle of ricotta mixture.

Recipe adapted from Milk Means More.

Source: Culinary.net

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