Meal Ideas 25 January 2018

Throw a Hot-Pot Dinner Party

(Family Features) Heat up your next get-together by inviting family and friends over to try a DIY trend, the hot-pot party. It can be easy to prep and your guests can enjoy cooking and customizing their own meals.

First, prepare a rich, flavored broth and serve steaming-hot in a slow cooker or multi-cooker. Next, offer a selection of meat, seafood and veggies for dunking. Cook for a few minutes then garnish with sauces and various toppings to match individual tastes.

A traditional East Asian hot-pot broth is flavored with beef stock, soy sauce, chilies, ginger and garlic. Try a Mexican-inspired version by serving a spiced chicken broth with ancho chile pepper, cumin and oregano, or offer a taste of the Caribbean with a coconut milk broth and fresh papaya pica sauce.

Learn more about this hot-pot trend and all the latest flavor trends in McCormick’s 2018 Flavor Forecast at
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Caribbean Hot-Pot Broth with Papaya Pica Sauce

Prep time: 45 minutes
Cook time: 3 hours
Servings: 10

Caribbean Hot-Pot Broth:

  • 2          pounds smoked ham hocks
  • 2          cups sliced yellow onions
  • 1          cup diagonally sliced carrots
  • 1/2       cup diagonally sliced celery
  • 8 1/4    cups water, divided
  • 1          container (32 ounces) Kitchen Basics Original Chicken Stock
  • 1          whole chile pepper, such as Scotch bonnet or habanero
  • 2          McCormick Bay Leaves
  • 1          teaspoon McCormick Thyme Leaves
  • 1          teaspoon McCormick Ground Turmeric
  • 1/2       teaspoon ground allspice
  • 1/2       teaspoon ground black pepper
  • salt, to taste
  • 2          tablespoons cornstarch
  • 2          cans (13.66 ounces each) Thai Kitchen Coconut Milk
  • 2          tablespoons lime juice

Papaya Pica Sauce:

  • 3          cups cubed fresh papaya
  • 1/2       cup cider vinegar
  • 1/4       cup chopped, seeded Scotch bonnet (chile pepper)
  • 1/4       cup chopped yellow onion
  • 1/4       cup yellow mustard
  • 1          teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/2       teaspoon ground allspice
  • 1/2       teaspoon McCormick Garlic Powder
  • 1/2       teaspoon McCormick Ground Ginger
  • 1/4       teaspoon McCormick Ground Cloves
  • 1          pound uncooked bay scallops
  • 1          pound uncooked shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • cooked rice
  • toasted shredded coconut (optional)
  • fresh red or green bell pepper slices (optional)
  1. To make broth: Place ham hocks, onion, carrots and celery in 6-quart stockpot. Cook on medium heat 5-6 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add 8 cups water, chicken stock, chile pepper, bay leaves, thyme leaves, turmeric, allspice and pepper. Add salt, to taste. Bring to boil. Reduce heat to low; cover and simmer 1 hour, skimming fat occasionally.
  2. Remove cover and simmer 30 minutes, skimming fat occasionally. Remove ham hocks and skim fat. In small bowl, whisk cornstarch and remaining water. Add to pot with coconut milk. Cook on medium heat 30 minutes. Skim fat. Stir lime juice into broth.
  3. To make Papaya Pica Sauce: In food processor on high speed, process papaya, vinegar, chile pepper, onion, mustard, salt, allspice, garlic powder, ginger and cloves until smooth. Transfer to medium saucepan. Bring to boil. Reduce heat to low; simmer, uncovered, 10-15 minutes. Pour into medium bowl.
  4. To serve, pour broth into heated 6-quart electric slow cooker or hot pot. Cook shrimp and scallops in broth about 5 minutes, or until cooked through, stirring occasionally.
  5. Place some rice in bowl then ladle broth and seafood over top. Stir in Papaya Pica Sauce and top with shredded coconut and pepper slices, if desired.

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Asian Hot-Pot Broth with Tangy Chili Sauce

Prep time: 15 minutes
Cook time: 25 minutes
Servings: 10

Hot-Pot Broth:

  • 2          teaspoons vegetable oil
  • 1          large sweet onion, thinly sliced
  • 2          containers (32 ounces each) Kitchen Basics Original Beef Stock
  • 1/4       cup Thai Kitchen Red Curry Paste
  • 2          tablespoons reduced sodium soy sauce
  • 1          tablespoon packed light brown sugar
  • 1          tablespoon McCormick Garlic Powder
  • 1          teaspoon McCormick Ground Ginger
  • 2          tablespoons lime juice

Tangy Chili Sauce:

  • 1/2       cup Thai Kitchen Sweet Red Chili Sauce
  • 3          tablespoons lime juice
  • 1          pound flank steak, thinly sliced
  • Simply Asia Lo Mein Noodles, cooked
  • assorted mushrooms, sliced (optional)
  • baby bok choy, coarsely chopped (optional)
  • crunchy Chinese noodles (optional)
  1. To make broth: In 6-quart stockpot over medium-high heat, heat oil. Add onion; cook and stir until tender, about 3 minutes. Stir in beef stock, curry paste, soy sauce, brown sugar, garlic powder and ginger. Bring to boil. Reduce heat to low; cover and simmer 20 minutes. Stir lime juice into broth before serving.
  2. To make Tangy Chili Sauce: In small bowl, mix red chili sauce and lime juice. Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve.
  3. To serve, pour broth into heated 6-quart electric slow cooker or hot pot. Cook steak in broth about 2-3 minutes, or until it reaches desired doneness.
  4. Place lo mein noodles in bowls then ladle broth and steak over top. Stir in Tangy Chili Sauce and top with mushrooms, baby bok choy and Chinese noodles, if desired.

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Puebla Hot-Pot Broth with Avocado Crema

Prep time: 45 minutes
Cook time: 45 minutes
Servings: 10

Puebla Hot-Pot Broth:

  • 3          tablespoons McCormick Gourmet Ancho Chile Pepper
  • 2          teaspoons ground cumin
  • 2          teaspoons oregano leaves
  • 2          teaspoons McCormick Smoked Paprika
  • 1/2       teaspoon McCormick Gourmet Sicilian Sea Salt
  • 1          tablespoon olive oil
  • 1          cup finely chopped white onion
  • 6          cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 2          containers (32 ounces each) Kitchen Basics Original Chicken Stock
  • 1          can (28 ounces) crushed tomatoes
  • 2          ears fresh corn, shucked and cut into 1-inch rounds
  • 2          tablespoons lime juice

Avocado Crema:

  • 1/2       medium avocado, peeled, pitted and coarsely chopped
  • 1          cup sour cream
  • 1          tablespoon lime juice
  • 1/4       teaspoon McCormick Gourmet Sicilian Sea Salt
  • 1/4       teaspoon McCormick Garlic Powder
  • 1          pound boneless skinless chicken breast, cut into thin strips
  • 1          chayote, peeled and cut into matchsticks
  • avocado, chopped (optional)
  • fresh cilantro, chopped (optional)
  • crunchy tortilla strips (optional)
  1. To make broth: In small bowl, mix chile pepper, ground cumin, oregano, paprika and salt. Set aside. In 6-quart stockpot on medium heat, heat oil. Add onion and garlic; cook and stir until softened. Stir in chicken stock, crushed tomatoes and 1/2 of seasoning mixture. Bring to boil. Reduce heat to low; simmer 20 minutes, adding corn during last 10 minutes of cooking. Remove corn to plate. Stir lime juice into broth.
  2. To make Avocado Crema: In food processor on high speed, process avocado, sour cream, lime juice, salt and garlic powder until smooth. Transfer to bowl; cover. Refrigerate until ready to serve.
  3. Coat chicken strips with remaining seasoning mixture.
  4. To serve, pour broth into heated 6-quart electric slow cooker or hot pot. Cook chicken and chayote in broth 4-5 minutes, or until cooked through, stirring occasionally.
  5. Ladle broth with cooked chicken and vegetables into individual bowls. Top with Avocado Crema and avocado, fresh cilantro and tortilla strips, if desired.

Source: McCormick

Meal Ideas 04 January 2018

Simple Sheet Pan Suppers

(Family Features) At times, spending hours in the kitchen can be a relaxing, enjoyable experience. However, even for avid home cooks, a busy weeknight isn’t one of those times. Fortunately, solutions like sheet pan suppers make it easy to create dishes with exceptional flavor depth that come together quickly and clean up just as fast.

Keeping a variety of vegetables on hand makes it simple to pull together a family meal. Onions, for example, are versatile, flavorful, easy to store, have a long shelf-life and are available year-round from U.S. growers. An added benefit when cooking with onions is that you’re serving up a good source of fiber.

All About Onions

Knowing how to buy and store onions can make them true superstars in your kitchen. Growers and shippers of the National Onion Association and Idaho-Eastern Oregon Onion Committee offer these tips:

When shopping, buy onions with dry outer skins, free of spots or blemishes. The onion should be firm and have no scent. Avoid bulbs that have begun to sprout.

Yellow, red and white onions are available year-round from
producers in the United States.

Seasonal differences like flavor and texture are noticeable and highlighted during these time frames:

Fall and winter onions (available August-April ) have multiple layers of thick, paper-like layers of skin. Known for their mild to pungent flavor profile, these varieties can be eaten raw, and are ideal for roasting, caramelizing, grilling and frying because they have less water content.

Spring and summer onions (available March-August) have thin, often transparent skins and are typically sweeter and milder than fall and winter varieties. Due to their high water content and mild flavor, they are best used for raw, pickled, lightly cooked or grilled dishes.

Store onions in a cool, dry, well-ventilated place, not the refrigerator. Do not store whole, unpeeled onions in plastic bags. Lack of air movement reduces storage life. Peeled or cut onions may be stored in a sealed container in the refrigerator for up to 7 days.

For more tasty recipes to make supper a cinch, visit and
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Spicy Sheet Pan Roasted Jambalaya

Recipe courtesy of the National Onion Association and Idaho-Eastern Oregon Onion Committee
Servings: 4-6

  • 1          large yellow onion, diced
  • 1/2       large green bell pepper, diced
  • 1/2       large yellow bell pepper, diced
  • 1/2       large red bell pepper, diced
  • 3          stalks celery, sliced or diced
  • 2          garlic cloves, minced
  • 1-2       jalapenos, seeded and diced
  • 1          pint cherry tomatoes
  • 3          tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 1/2       teaspoon salt
  • 1/2       teaspoon black pepper
  • 1          link (13.5 ounces) Andouille sausage, sliced
  • 1          pound large shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • 1          tablespoon Cajun seasoning blend
  • linguine noodles, cooked according to package directions
  • 1-2       lemons, sliced in thin wedges
  • 2          green onions, sliced
  • fresh chopped parsley
  1. Heat oven to 400° F.
  2. Line 13-by-18-inch sheet pan with parchment paper.
  3. In large bowl, combine onion, bell peppers, celery, garlic, jalapenos, tomatoes, 2 tablespoons olive oil, salt and pepper until evenly combined. Spread out evenly on pan in single layer. Add slices of Andouille sausage. Roast 15-20 minutes, or until vegetables are tender and start to brown.
  4. Toss shrimp with Cajun seasoning and prepare linguine noodles.
  5. When ready, remove baking sheet from oven. Place shrimp on top of vegetable and sausage mixture in single layer. Top with half the lemon wedges. Return to oven and cook about 5-8 minutes, or until shrimp is no longer pink.
  6. Serve over linguine garnished with green onions and parsley with remaining fresh lemon wedges on side.

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Easy Drumstick-Quinoa Sheet Pan Supper

Recipe courtesy of the National Onion Association and Idaho-Eastern Oregon Onion Committee
Servings: 4-6

  • 8-10     chicken legs
  • 1          fennel bulb
  • 1          large yellow onion, sliced
  • 1          large red onion, sliced
  • 2          garlic cloves, sliced
  • 3          medium-sized potatoes, cubed
  • 1          orange (1/4 cup juice and zest)
  • 1/4       teaspoon thyme, dried
  • 2          tablespoons olive oil
  • 1          teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/2       teaspoon black pepper
  • 2          tablespoons fresh chopped parsley
  • orange rind curls
  • brown rice, cooked according to package directions
  • quinoa, cooked according to package directions
  1. Heat oven to 400° F.
  2. Line 13-by-18-inch sheet pan with parchment paper.
  3. Place chicken legs on pan. Spread fennel, yellow onion, red onion, garlic and potatoes around and in between legs.
  4. In small bowl, whisk together orange juice and zest, thyme and olive oil. Pour mixture over chicken and vegetables. Season with salt and pepper.
  5. Roast 45 minutes, or until chicken is cooked through and vegetables are tender. Cook rice and quinoa.
  6. Garnish chicken with parsley and orange curls. Serve over brown rice and quinoa.

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Sheet Pan-Style Buddha Bowls

Recipe courtesy of the National Onion Association and Idaho-Eastern Oregon Onion Committee
Servings: 4-6

  • 2          yellow onions, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch wedges
  • 1/2       head of red or purple cabbage, cut into wedges
  • 2          red potatoes, cut into 1/2-inch wedges
  • 1          small butternut squash, peeled and 1/2-inch diced
  • 1          pound Brussels sprouts, halved
  • extra-virgin olive oil
  • salt, to taste
  • black pepper, to taste
  • 1 1/2    cups quinoa, cooked according to package directions

Tahini sauce:

  • 1          tablespoon tahini
  • 1/2       lemon, juiced
  • 1          teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 1/2-1    teaspoon maple syrup
  • 2          avocados, peeled and sliced
  • fresh parsley
  1. Heat oven to 400° F.
  2. Line 13-by-18-inch sheet pan with parchment paper.
  3. Place onion, cabbage, potatoes, squash and Brussels sprouts in single layer on pan. Drizzle with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Roast vegetables 40 minutes, or until tender. Add more salt and pepper if needed.
  4. While vegetables roast, cook quinoa.
  5. To make tahini sauce: In small bowl, whisk tahini, lemon juice, mustard and syrup until smooth.
  6. To assemble Buddha bowls: Spoon quinoa into bowls. Add roasted veggies and garnish with avocado and parsley. Drizzle tahini sauce over each bowl and serve.

Source: National Onion Association and Idaho-Eastern Oregon Onion Committee

Meal Ideas 30 October 2017

Bolder, Healthier and Easier Meals

(Family Features) One of the challenges of cooking at home is creating bold and unique flavors with healthy, organic and wholesome ingredients without spending hours in the kitchen. With the right tools, you don't have to go to extremes or make drastic changes to eat healthy.

Try these tips to prepare tasty, healthy meals in less time:

  1. Double or triple up on ingredients: If you’re making a recipe you love, double or triple the recipe so you have plenty of leftovers throughout the week. Prepare extra servings of staple ingredients and protein so you have healthy basics ready then just add a base like rice for a quick meal.
  1. Don’t sacrifice nutrition for flavor: Purchase products made with certified organic ingredients that have no artificial colors or flavors and are grown by trusted farmers who share the same passion. Consider including items like Organic Simmer Sauces from SEEDS OF CHANGE, which donates 1 percent of sales to support and develop sustainable community-based farming and growing programs. Add some zest to your favorite meals by sauteing your favorite protein, veggies or tofu with one of an array of flavors: Sesame Ginger Teriyaki, Taco Roasted Chipotle, Sweet and Sour, Mushroom and Tikka Masala. Just add and simmer for 10 minutes.
  1. Know your sources: Buy fresh and organic foods from trusted sources. When you’re at the grocery store, keep in mind the farmers who are behind the labels on your family’s favorite foods, and try to make an effort to understand where those foods come from.

Start your journey toward bolder, healthier meal options with this easy and nutritious Seared Polenta Rounds with Mushrooms and Caramelized Onions recipe. Find more organic ways to add nutrition to your meals at

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Seared Polenta Rounds with Mushrooms and Caramelized Onions

Recipe courtesy of Tiffany from the blog
Servings: 5

  • 1          large yellow onion, sliced
  • 1          tablespoon butter
  • 1/2       tablespoon olive oil, plus additional for searing
  • 1/4       cup vegetable stock
  • 10        ounces cremini mushrooms, sliced
  • 4          ounces shiitake mushrooms, sliced
  • 3          cloves garlic, minced
  • pepper, to taste
  • 1          pouch SEEDS OF CHANGE Organic Mushroom Simmer Sauce
  • 1          tube (18 ounces) prepared organic polenta
  • 10        teaspoons shaved Parmigiano cheese
  • fresh parsley
  1. Caramelize onions.
  2. Heat butter and 1/2 tablespoon olive oil over medium heat until hot. Add sliced onions to butter mixture and stir gently to coat. Spread onions in one layer, and cook until golden brown and caramelized, stirring every 5 minutes for about 40 minutes, or until caramelized.
  3. Once caramelized, add vegetable stock to deglaze pan and scrape browned bits. Add mushrooms and garlic, and season, to taste, with pepper. Cook until mushrooms are browned and tender. Stir in mushroom sauce, lower heat and bring to slow simmer.
  4. Cut polenta tube into eight even rounds. Sear polenta rounds in bit of olive oil and season each side with pepper. Cook until polenta is golden brown on each side, about 4-5 minutes per side. Transfer to plates.
  5. Spoon mushroom mixture over polenta rounds and top with 2 teaspoons Parmigiano cheese per serving and fresh parsley.
Breakfast & Brunch 31 March 2017

Serve Up a Nutritious Seasonal Brunch

A perfect way to entertain around the table

(Family Features) With springtime in full bloom, brunch is the perfect way to entertain friends and family for nearly any upcoming occasion or celebration. Take advantage of the budding season with quality time spent with loved ones, more outdoor experiences and wholesome nutrition for the whole family, starting with a delicious morning meal around the table.

When it comes to the food they serve their families, moms want to provide good nutrition, especially for their kids, to help them grow up healthy and strong. Serving a nutritious meal each morning is one way to help kids get a good start to the day, so they can be their best in school, play and any other activities the day brings.

Whether moms know it or not, they are powerful role models for their children’s health and nutrition. When moms set the example and eat nutritious meals themselves, kids notice. For instance, according to a study from the U.S. National Library of Medicine, moms who drink milk are more likely to have kids who drink milk, which is a household staple that provides important nutrients such as calcium, vitamin D and potassium. Setting the example for quality nutrition can be made easy with a delicious meal served with milk to celebrate any occasion this season with guests of all ages.

This simple egg casserole is the perfect excuse to bring the family together and start a beautiful spring day with a wholesome meal and quality time together. For more recipes and reasons to bring the family together, visit

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Easy Egg Casserole

Servings: 4

  • Nonstick cooking spray
  • 1 cup lean ham, cubed
  • 1 cup frozen seasoned potatoes with onions and peppers
  • 3/4 cup frozen spinach, chopped
  • 1/2 cup lowfat cheddar or Swiss cheese, shredded
  • 6 eggs
  • 3/4 cup milk
  1. Heat oven to 375° F. Lightly coat 8-by-8-inch casserole dish with nonstick spray.
  2. Arrange ham, potatoes, spinach and cheese in bottom of casserole dish. In large bowl, beat eggs and milk together and pour over ingredients in casserole dish.
  3. Bake 25-30 minutes, or until lightly browned and puffed. Serve immediately.
  4. Pair each serving with 8-ounce glass of milk.

Nutritional information per serving: 350 calories; 9 g fat; 3 g saturated fat; 350 mg cholesterol; 32 g protein; 34 g carbohydrates; 2 g fiber; 630 mg sodium; 500 mg calcium (50% of daily value). Nutrition figures based on using fat free milk, and include an 8-ounce glass of milk.

Source: MilkPEP

Main Dishes 16 March 2017

30 Minutes to Mealtime

(Family Features) Variety certainly is the spice of life, but after a long day, it’s easy to get stuck in a mealtime rut and turn to the same dishes each week. With fast-paced lifestyles, many families are left with little time to come up with new, creative meals.

However, with freshly seasoned ingredients like Smithfield Marinated Fresh Pork, a delicious, healthy and hassle-free meal can be made in 30 minutes or less. These 100 percent fresh pork products are slow-marinated in delicious seasonings like Roasted Garlic & Herb and Applewood Smoked Bacon, and can be grilled, roasted, sauteed or slow-cooked for a fast mealtime solution any night of the week.

Take an extra step to simplify dinner with an easy slow-cooker recipe such as this Cheesy Pork and Enchilada Stew, or try Pork Chops Smothered in Onions and Mushrooms for a quick, savory supper. With effortless recipes like these, you’ll always have an answer to the age-old question “what’s for dinner?”

For more recipe ideas, and to see what you can do with 30 minutes, visit

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Cheesy Pork Enchilada Stew

Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 4-5 hours
Servings: 8

  • 1 package Smithfield Boneless Pork Shoulder Seasoned Carnitas
  • 1/2 cup corn flour
  • hot sauce
  • 2 cans (10 ounces each) red enchilada sauce
  • 1 can (10 ounces) diced tomatoes and green chiles
  • 1 can (4 ounces) chopped green chiles
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons minced garlic
  • fresh cilantro
  • 1 can (15 ounces) black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 cup no-salt-added chicken stock
  • 1/2 large red onion, diced
  • sour cream
  • 4 ounces cream cheese
  • 2 cups (8 ounces) shredded sharp cheddar cheese
  1. Place carnitas in 5-quart slow cooker. Add corn flour and toss to coat meat.
  2. Add all remaining ingredients except cream cheese and shredded cheddar. Cover and cook on high 4-5 hours (low 7-9 hours).
  3. Break meat apart with spoon. Add cheeses and stir until melted.

Tip: Leftover stew can be made into dip. Heat 6 cups stew; add 2 cups shredded cheddar cheese and 4 ounces cream cheese; stir until melted. Serve with tortilla chips.

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Pork Chops Smothered in Onions and Mushrooms

Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 35 minutes
Servings: 5

  • 6 slices Smithfield Hickory Smoked Bacon, cut into 1-inch slices
  • 1 Smithfield Garlic & Herb Marinated Fresh Pork Sirloin Roast, cut into five 1-inch chops
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 large sweet yellow onion, thinly sliced
  • 8 ounces cremini mushrooms, sliced
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 cup no-salt-added chicken stock
  • 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  1. In large skillet over medium-high heat, cook bacon until browned and crisp. Carefully remove bacon and drain on paper towels.
  2. Brown pork chops in bacon grease over medium-high heat, about 2 minutes per side; remove chops from skillet.
  3. Add butter to bacon grease in skillet; saute onions, mushrooms, salt and pepper until onions have browned and are tender. Stir in stock, vinegar and garlic; cook and stir until reduced by half.
  4. Add browned chops and cooked bacon to skillet. Cover and simmer until internal temperature of meat reaches 150° F, turning once, about 10 minutes.

Source: Smithfield Foods

Appetizers & Sides 19 January 2017

Bourbon Caramelized Onions

Makes 4 servings

  • 1 teaspoon vegetable oil
  • 1 teaspoon butter
  • 1 small yellow onion
  • 1 teaspoon brown sugar
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1 shot bourbon* (optional)
  1. Heat vegetable oil in sauté pan over high heat.
  2. Add butter to pan and brown slightly.
  3. Add onions to pan and sear for about 1 to 2 minutes.
  4. Add brown sugar and salt. Stir well and continue cooking for approximately 10 minutes or until onions are light brown, stirring constantly to prevent burning.
  5. When onions began to caramelize add bourbon. Continue cooking until all liquid is cooked off and onions are a nice brown color.

*For regular caramelized onions omit bourbon.

Source: Omaha Steaks

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