recipes

Videos 01 March 2019

How to Make Caramel Apple Wraps

(Family Features) Snack time just got a bit sweeter.  These wraps are simple enough to make that even kids can enjoy putting them together. For more snack recipes, visit culinary.net.

Watch video to see how to make this delicious recipe!

Caramel Apple Wraps

  • 3              large apples, any kind
  • 1              tablespoon granulated sugar
  • 1/4          teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1              cup fat-free vanilla Greek yogurt
  • 1/3          cup creamy peanut butter, or almond butter
  • 8-10       fajita-sized tortillas
  • caramel sundae syrup
  1. Wash and dice apples.  In medium bowl, mix sugar and cinnamon.  Add diced apples to sugar mixture.  Toss apples to coat.
  2. In small bowl, stir together yogurt and peanut butter until smooth.
  3. Layout tortillas and spread 2 tablespoons yogurt mixture on each.  Spoon small amount of apple mixture at one end of each tortilla.  Start from end with apples and roll tortillas.
  4. Drizzle with caramel syrup.

Recipe adapted from Milk Means More.

Source: Culinary.net

Breakfast & Brunch 21 February 2019

Master Your Family's Morning Routine with Protein

(Family Features) As the weather cools down and routines ramp up, parents know it becomes increasingly challenging to keep the whole family on track. While most people know breakfast is the most important meal of the day, many don’t realize that protein in the morning is key to starting the day off right.

A protein-rich breakfast including milk can help energize your morning. Plus, protein at breakfast can help you feel full and satisfied, so you won’t feel hungry by mid-morning, which helps the whole family tackle work, errands, school, extracurricular activities or whatever else the day has in store.

One easy way to increase your family’s protein intake at breakfast is to simply add a glass of milk. Each 8-ounce serving has nine essential nutrients, including 8 grams of high-quality, natural protein. If mornings in your household are chaotic, plan ahead by making protein-rich breakfasts the night before that are easy to pair with milk, ensuring that the whole family can get out the door on time and fed in the morning.

“As a mom and a pediatrician, I’m focused on what I feed my kids each day,” said Dr. Jennifer Shu, pediatrician and author. “Milk is a simple, nutritious way to make sure they get high-quality protein at each meal, plus other nutrients like calcium, vitamin D and more.”

When thinking about the week ahead, consider tasty, protein-rich recipes the whole family will love that can be prepared in advance and eaten on the go – like these PB and J Protein Power Muffins. For more recipe ideas and morning inspiration, visit milklife.com/morningprotein.  

PB and J Protein Power Muffins

Servings: 6

  • Nonstick cooking spray
  • 1 3/4    cups milk, divided
  • 1          cup uncooked quinoa, rinsed according to package directions
  • 2          cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2       cup loosely packed brown sugar
  • 1 1/2    teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2       teaspoon salt
  • 1/4       cup plain nonfat Greek yogurt
  • 2          large eggs
  • 1          teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 4          tablespoons creamy reduced-fat peanut butter
  • 1/4       cup strawberry preserves
  1. Heat oven to 350°F and grease 12-muffin tin with nonstick cooking spray.
  2. In medium saucepan, stir together quinoa and 1 cup milk. Bring to boil over medium heat. Reduce to simmer, cover and cook 10-15 minutes until quinoa is tender and milk is absorbed.
  3. In large bowl, combine flour, brown sugar, baking powder and salt; whisk to combine. In medium bowl, combine remaining milk, Greek yogurt, eggs, vanilla and peanut butter; mix well. Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients and mix until combined. Stir in cooked quinoa. Divide batter among muffin cups.
  4. Drop 1/2 teaspoon of strawberry preserves into center of each muffin tin on top of batter. Bake 20-25 minutes until an inserted toothpick comes out clean.
  5. Allow to cool 5-10 minutes. Serve with 8-ounce glass of milk.

Nutritional information per serving: 540 calories; 8 g fat; 1.5 g saturated fat; 70 mg cholesterol; 25 g protein; 91 g carbohydrates; 4 g fiber; 520 mg sodium; 517 mg calcium (50% of daily value). Nutrition figures based on using fat free milk, and include an 8-ounce glass of milk.

Leidy HJ, Lepping RJ, Savage CR, Harris CT, Neural responses to visual food stimuli after a normal vs. higher protein breakfast in breakfast-skipping teens: a pilot fMRI study. Obesity. 2011;19:2019-2025.

Leidy HJ,Bossingham MJ, Mattes RD, Campbell WW. Increased dietary protein consumed at breakfast leads to an initial and sustained feeling of fullness during energy restriction compared to other meal times. British Journal of Nutrition. 2009;101:798-803.

Source: MilkPEP

Kids 02 July 2018

Smart Ways to Fuel Kids this Summer

(Family Features) Parents may be wondering how to ensure their children are staying hydrated, maintaining healthy diets and getting the nutrients they need during the summer months. According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, the reality is one out of two kids ages 9 and up are missing out on key nutrients like calcium, vitamin D and potassium – putting them at risk for serious health issues.

Pediatrician and best-selling author Dr. Tanya Altmann suggests moms can help fill that gap by making sure kids fuel their bodies with proper nutrition. Milk is the top food source for calcium, vitamin D and potassium, and Altmann encourages moms to serve milk at most meals and water in between to ensure kids get the recommended servings of milk, depending on age group, throughout the day.

“Milk is a simple way to help give kids of all ages nutrients they need to grow strong, and they already love it,” Altmann said. “Pour a glass of milk alongside your kid’s favorite snack or use milk in a smoothie or oatmeal for breakfast.”

This summer, try a twist on a classic, kid-approved lunch – for breakfast. These Peanut Butter and Jelly Pancake Dippers combine two favorite flavors, a peanut butter pancake with a jelly dip, for a simple recipe the whole family is sure to enjoy eating. Pair with an 8-ounce glass of milk for nine essential nutrients to fuel summer mornings.

For more nutritious, kid-approved recipes to pair with a glass of milk, visit pourmoremilk.com.

Peanut Butter and Jelly Pancake Dippers

Recipe courtesy of MilkPEP
Servings: 5 (2 pancake dippers per serving)

  • 1/4       cup old-fashioned rolled oats
  • 1/2       cup whole-wheat flour
  • 1/4       cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/4       teaspoon salt
  • 2          teaspoons brown sugar, packed
  • 1          teaspoon baking powder
  • 1          large egg
  • 1          tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 4          tablespoons reduced-fat creamy peanut butter
  • 1          cup fat-free milk
  • nonstick cooking spray
  • 1/3       cup sugar-free raspberry preserves, for dipping
  • 1          glass (8 ounces) fat-free milk
  1. In blender, combine oats and flours and pulse 3-4 times. Add salt, brown sugar, baking powder, egg, vegetable oil, peanut butter and 1 cup milk. Pulse several times until combined and no lumps in batter.
  2. Heat nonstick skillet to medium-low heat and lightly grease with cooking spray. Pour 1/4 cup batter onto skillet, cook 1-2 minutes until bubbles appear around edges then flip and cook another 1-2 minutes until golden. Immediately roll up pancake and secure with toothpick. Repeat process with remaining batter.
  3. Serve with raspberry preserves for dipping and pair with remaining 8-ounce glass of milk.

Nutritional information per serving: 310 calories; 9 g fat; 1.5 g saturated fat; 45 mg cholesterol; 17 g protein; 43 g carbohydrates; 3 g fiber; 430 mg sodium; 431 mg calcium (45% of daily value). Nutrition figures based on using fat-free milk, and include an 8-ounce glass of fat-free milk.

Source: MilkPEP

Kids 06 February 2019

New Research Links Refrigerator Staple to Teenage Height

Study finds drinking more milk growing up is associated with increased height at 17

(Family Features) Drinking real dairy milk is especially important for growing kids, and new research suggests regularly drinking more milk throughout childhood is associated with an increase in teenage height, according to a new study in “The Journal of Nutrition.”1

Researchers followed more than 700 kids from the time they were born, analyzing their height and diet from ages 2-17, and found each additional glass of milk kids drank per day throughout childhood increased their height at age 17 by around 0.39 centimeters. That means the more milk kids drank regularly growing up, the taller they were. Water and other beverages, including 100 percent juice and sugar-sweetened beverages, didn’t have the same effect.

These findings add to a growing body of research that suggests regularly drinking milk during the growing years is associated with greater height in the teen years, while regularly skipping milk or drinking non-dairy milk alternatives, like almond or soy milk, is linked to shorter height.2, 3, 4

The 2015-2020 Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommend two cups of milk and milk products each day for kids ages 2-3, two and a half cups each day for kids 4-8 and three cups each day for kids 9-18. While it’s hard for kids to get nutrients they need to grow strong without milk in their diets, eighty-five percent of Americans fall short of these daily recommendations, which includes most children over 3 years old.5, 6

Serving an eight-ounce glass of milk alongside meals or snacks is an easy way to give kids nine essential nutrients, including high-quality protein, and get them closer to these recommendations. Try pairing these homemade cereal bars from Jamielyn Nye, author of iheartnaptime.net, with a cold glass of milk for an easy after-school snack, and find more kid-approved recipes at pourmoremilk.com.
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Homemade Cereal Bars

Recipe courtesy of Jamielyn Nye, author of iheartnaptime.net, on behalf of Milk Life

Servings: 16

  • 1/2       cup peanut butter
  • 1/2       cup honey
  • 1/2       teaspoon vanilla
  • 3 1/2    cups dry cereal
  1. Line 8-by-8-inch pan with parchment paper and set aside.
  2. In a medium size sauce pan, combine peanut butter and honey and cook 3 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat and stir in vanilla.
  3. Add in dry cereal and stir until completely coated then press into lined pan. Use piece of parchment paper to press firmly down on bars.
  4. Refrigerate bars 1 hour, or until ready to serve.
  5. Serve with eight-ounce glass of milk.

Nutritional information per serving: 180 calories; 4 1/2 g fat; 1 g saturated fat; 5 mg cholesterol; 10 g protein; 26 g carbohydrates; 1 g fiber; 160 mg sodium; 306 mg calcium (30% of daily value). Nutrition figures include an eight-ounce glass of fat free milk. 
 


1Marshall TA, Curtis AM, Cavanaugh JE, Warren JJ, Levy SM. Higher longitudinal milk intakes are associated with increased height in a birth cohort followed for 17 years. The Journal of Nutrition. 2018;148(7):1144-1149.

2Wiley AS. Does milk make children grow? Releationships between milk consumption and height in NHANES 1999-2002. American Journal of Human Biology. 2005;17(4):425-441.

3Rockell JEP, Williams SM, Taylor RW, Grant AM, Jones IE, Goulding A. Two-year changes in bone and body composition in young children with a history of prolonged milk avoidance. Osteoporosis International. 2005;16(9):1016-1023.

4 Morency M, Birken CS, Lebovic G, Chen Y,  L’Abbé M, Lee GJ, Maguire JL and the TARGet Kids! Collaboration. Association between noncow milk beverage consumption and childhood height. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. 2017;106(2):597-602.

5 Krebs-Smith SM, Guenther PM, Subar AF, Kirkpatrick SI, Dodd KW. Americans do not meet federal dietary recommendations. The Journal of Nutrition. 2010;140:1832-1838.

6 U.S. Department of Agriculture and U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Dietary Guidelines for Americans, 2015. 8th Edition, 2015.

Source: MilkPEP

Breakfast & Brunch 05 February 2019

7 Breakfasts to Keep the Family on Track this New Year

Start the year off right with wholesome, nutritious morning recipes

(Family Features) With each New Year comes new goals and resolutions for the entire family. It’s the perfect time to start fresh and get everyone back on track with healthy nutrition. Starting each day with a nutritious breakfast is one way to do just that, not to mention a healthy habit to maintain throughout the year.

By incorporating simple, wholesome ingredients like milk into a balanced breakfast each morning, you can feel good knowing your family is starting the day on the right foot. With nine essential nutrients, including high-quality protein, calcium and vitamin D, pairing milk with breakfast can help everyone be their best.   

Try these seven breakfast recipes paired with milk, one for each day of the week, to fuel all kinds of mornings throughout the New Year. Visit MilkLife.com for additional recipe inspiration.

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Southwest Breakfast Protein Sandwich

Add Southwestern flavors to spice up this breakfast sandwich. Scrambled eggs seasoned with cumin, pepper and chili powder are topped with shredded cheese, ham and sliced avocados and placed inside a toasted English muffin for a twist on a classic breakfast favorite.

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Peanut Butter and Jelly Protein Power Muffins

When you’re in a rush on weekday mornings but still want a wholesome breakfast while on the go, try these protein muffins with peanut butter and jelly. This simple recipe is a kid-friendly way to serve a childhood favorite and start the day with a smile.

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Raspberry Cottage Cheese Protein Pancakes

While cottage cheese is not a traditional ingredient in pancakes, these pancakes definitely make it work. By combining blended cottage cheese with rolled oats, this dish adds protein and fiber at breakfast without skimping on taste.

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Chai Quinoa Protein Breakfast Bowl

How about a modern take on an ancient grain? This breakfast bowl with quinoa is a delicious and nutritious way to start your day. Chai spices combined with brown sugar, vanilla and milk add vibrant flavors sure to excite your taste buds.

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Protein Power Huevos Rancheros

This tasty twist on eggs brings a Southwestern flair to breakfast with avocados and turkey sausage piled high on a tortilla to spice up your morning.

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Vegetable and Sausage Mini Protein Quiches

This mini quiche recipe makes serving up protein at breakfast a snap. Use a muffin tin to create individual sausage quiches that are perfect for a make-ahead, grab-and-go breakfast.

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Savory Smoked Salmon and Cream Cheese Protein Crepes

Lock down your week’s breakfast plan with these savory crepes the entire family will enjoy. Cream cheese with chives mixed in topped with smoked salmon and wrapped inside a warm crepe winds up being a delicious morning jump-start.

Source: MilkPEP

Meal Ideas 29 January 2019

Healthy Mealtime Inspiration in Your Pantry

(Family Features) One of the secrets to ordering less takeout and serving more nutritious homemade meals may be as simple as keeping a well-stocked pantry of canned foods. By cooking with canned foods, you can cut down prep time, meaning less time in the kitchen and more time with family.

Canned fruits, vegetables, proteins and soups can help you get through the week with creative meals you can feel good about serving your family like Panzanella Salad and Slow Cooker Coconut Curry Chili. In addition, according to a study published in “Nutrients,” kids and adults who use six or more canned foods per week are more likely to have diets higher in 17 essential nutrients, including potassium, calcium and fiber.

Canned foods can also help reduce the amount of perishable fruits and vegetables purchased then thrown away. how many times you’ve opened the fridge only to find the fresh produce you purchased only days ago has already spoiled. Because fresh fruits and vegetables are harvested at the peak of ripeness and canned within four hours, sealing in their nutrition and flavor, your family can have access to seasonal, ready-to-use fruits and vegetables year-round. Simply reach in your pantry – or your “cantry” – and get cooking.

For more information about the benefits of cooking with canned foods and to find more flavorful recipes, visit CansGetYouCooking.com.
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Panzanella Salad

Prep time: 10 minutes
Servings: 4

Dressing:

  • 1/2       cup olive oil
  • 1/4       cup white wine vinegar
  • 1/2       teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2       teaspoon fresh black pepper

Salad:

  • 1          pound day-old Italian bread, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
  • 8          ounces romaine lettuce, chopped
  • 2          cans (10 ounces each) tomato wedges
  • 1          can (15 1/2 ounces) garbanzo beans
  • 1          can (14 1/2 ounces) artichoke hearts
  • 1          can (3.8 ounces) olives
  • 1          can (1 1/2 ounces) sliced radishes
  1. To make dressing: In small bowl, stir together olive oil, white wine vinegar, salt and pepper. Set aside.
  2. To assemble salad: In large bowl, toss bread cubes, lettuce, tomato wedges, beans, artichoke hearts, olives and radishes; drizzle with dressing.

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Slow Cooker Coconut Curry Chili

Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 4-8 hours
Servings: 6-8

  •             Nonstick cooking spray
  • 1          small yellow onion, diced
  • 2          cloves garlic, minced
  • 2          cans (12 1/2 ounces each) white premium chunk chicken breast, drained
  • 1          can (14 1/2 ounces) diced tomatoes with green chilies, drained
  • 3          tablespoons red curry paste, plus additional, to taste
  • 1/4       cup all-natural peanut butter
  • 1          tablespoon brown sugar
  • 1/2       teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1          can (13 1/2 ounces) coconut milk
  • 1          tablespoon fish sauce
  • 3          tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1          can (15 1/2 ounces) chickpeas, drained
  • 1          can (14 1/2 ounces) whole potatoes, drained and cubed
  • 1          can (14 1/2 ounces) sliced carrots, drained
  • 3          tablespoons lime juice, plus additional, to taste
  • salt, to taste
  • brown rice, cooked according to package instructions (optional)
  • cilantro, for garnish
  • salted peanuts, for garnish
  1. Grease slow cooker with nonstick cooking spray. Add onion, garlic, chicken, tomatoes, red curry paste, peanut butter, brown sugar, ginger, coconut milk, fish sauce and soy sauce to slow cooker. Stir to combine. Cover and cook on high 4 hours or low 8 hours.
  2. Uncover and stir in chickpeas, potatoes, carrots and lime juice. Taste and add lime juice and salt, to taste, if necessary.
  3. Serve on top of brown rice, if desired, and garnish with cilantro and peanuts.

Source:  Can Manufacturers Institute

Holiday 04 December 2018

Twice-As-Nice Holiday Treats

(Family Features) With 334 days leading up to December, make the most of the season by enjoying the holiday’s quintessential flavors like gingerbread, peppermint and cinnamon – with double the festive treats to please every taste.

Transform one vibrant holiday flavor into two festive treats that family and friends are sure to love. Nothing signals the holiday season like the sweet and spicy snap of gingerbread. Enjoy this must-have flavor in freshly baked Gingerbread Men Cookies or a Triple Chocolate Gingerbread cake.

Peppermint offers a refreshing, sweet taste that’s perfect for gifted treats like Peppermint Crunch Popcorn and Peppermint Bars. Also, cinnamon stars twice as nice in a Peanut Butter Snickerdoodle Tart with Cinnamon Peanut Crust and decadent Cinnamon Caramel Swirl Bars.

Find more gingerbread, peppermint and cinnamon treats at McCormick.com.

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Gingerbread Men Cookies

Prep time: 20 minutes
Cook time: 8 minutes
Servings: 24

  • 3          cups flour
  • 2          teaspoons McCormick Ground Ginger
  • 1          teaspoon McCormick Ground Cinnamon
  • 1          teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4       teaspoon McCormick Ground Nutmeg
  • 1/4       teaspoon salt
  • 3/4       cup (1 1/2 sticks) butter, softened
  • 3/4       cup firmly packed brown sugar
  • 1/2       cup molasses
  • 1          egg
  • 1          teaspoon McCormick Pure Vanilla Extract
  1. In large bowl, mix flour, ginger, cinnamon, baking soda, nutmeg and salt. Set aside.
  2.  
  3. In separate large bowl, using electric mixer on medium speed, beat butter and brown sugar until light and fluffy. Add molasses, egg and vanilla; mix well. Gradually beat in flour mixture on low speed until well mixed. Press dough into thick, flat disk. Wrap in plastic wrap. Refrigerate 4 hours or overnight.
  4. Heat oven to 350° F. Roll out dough to 1/4-inch thickness on lightly floured work surface. Cut into gingerbread men shapes with 5-inch cookie cutter. Place 1 inch apart on ungreased baking sheets.
  5. Bake 8-10 minutes, or until edges of cookies are set and just begin to brown. Cool on baking sheets 1-2 minutes. Remove to wire racks; cool completely. Decorate as desired.

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Triple Chocolate Gingerbread

Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 50 minutes
Servings: 16

  • 1          package (2-layer size) chocolate cake mix
  • 1          package (4-serving size) chocolate instant pudding mix
  • 4          eggs
  • 1          tablespoon McCormick Ground Ginger
  • 1          teaspoon McCormick Ground Cinnamon
  • 1/2       teaspoon McCormick Ground Allspice
  • 1/2       cup sour cream
  • 1/2       cup vegetable oil
  • 1/2       cup molasses
  • 1/2       cup water
  • 1          cup miniature chocolate chips
  • nonstick baking spray with flour
  1. Heat oven to 350° F. In large bowl, using electric mixer on low speed, beat cake mix, pudding mix, eggs, ginger, cinnamon, allspice, sour cream, vegetable oil, molasses and water until moistened, scraping sides of bowl frequently. Beat on medium speed 2 minutes until well blended. Stir in chocolate chips.
  2. Pour into 10-cup Bundt pan prepared with nonstick spray.
  3. Bake 50 minutes, or until cake pulls away from sides of pan and springs back when touched lightly. Cool in pan 15 minutes. Invert cake onto wire rack. Cool completely.

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Peppermint Bars

Prep time: 15 minutes
Cook time: 15 minutes
Servings: 36

Brownies:

  • 1          family-size package fudge brownie mix

Peppermint Filling:

  • 5          cups confectioners’ sugar
  • 14        tablespoons butter, melted
  • 2          tablespoons heavy cream
  • 1          teaspoon McCormick Pure Peppermint Extract
  • 1/8       teaspoon McCormick Food Color & Egg Dye, Red

Chocolate Glaze:

  • 12        ounces semi-sweet baking chocolate, coarsely chopped
  • 1/2       cup (1 stick) butter
  • crushed peppermint candies (optional)
  1. To make Brownies: Heat oven to 350° F. Prepare brownie mix according to package instructions. Spread on greased, foil-lined, 15-by-10-by-1-inch baking pan.
  2. Bake 15 minutes, or until toothpick inserted in center comes out almost clean. Cool in pan on wire rack.
  3. To make Peppermint Filling: In large bowl, using electric mixer on medium speed, beat confectioners’ sugar, melted butter, cream, peppermint extract and food coloring until well blended and smooth. Spread evenly over cooled brownies. Refrigerate 30 minutes.
  4. To make Chocolate Glaze: In large, microwavable bowl, microwave chocolate and butter on high 2 minutes, until butter is melted. Stir until chocolate is completely melted. Spread over top of chilled brownies. Sprinkle with crushed peppermint candies, if desired. Cut into bars.

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Peppermint Crunch Popcorn

Prep time: 10 minutes
Servings: 16

  • 6          cups plain popped popcorn
  • 1          bag (12 ounces) candy-coated chocolate pieces
  • 12        ounces white baking chocolate, chopped
  • 1          teaspoon McCormick Pure Peppermint Extract
  • 1 tablespoon red and green sprinkles
  1. In large bowl, mix popcorn and candy-coated pieces. Line large, shallow baking pan with wax paper. Set aside.
  2. Melt white chocolate according to package instructions. Stir in peppermint extract. Pour over popcorn mixture. Toss to coat evenly. Spread in single layer on prepared pan. Sprinkle evenly with red and green sprinkles.
  3. Let chocolate cool and harden completely. Gently break into clusters. Package in cellophane bags with ribbons for holiday gifting.

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Peanut Butter Snickerdoodle Tart with Cinnamon Peanut Crust

Prep time: 30 minutes
Cook time: 8 minutes
Servings: 8

  • 1 1/2    cups lightly salted roasted peanuts, lightly crushed
  • 3          tablespoons packed brown sugar
  • 3          tablespoons butter, melted
  • 1          teaspoon McCormick Ground Cinnamon, divided
  • 3          tablespoons chocolate milk
  • 4          ounces semi-sweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
  • 1/2       cup creamy peanut butter
  • 2          tablespoons sweetened condensed milk
  • 1          teaspoon McCormick Pure Vanilla Extract
  • 1/2       cup heavy cream
  1. Heat oven to 350° F. In medium bowl, mix peanuts, sugar, butter and 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon. Remove 1/4 cup and spread on small baking sheet. Divide remaining peanut mixture among four (4-inch) tart pans with removable bottoms. Press firmly onto bottom and sides of each pan.
  2. Bake tart crusts and peanut mixture together 8 minutes. Cool on wire racks.
  3. In medium microwavable bowl, microwave chocolate milk on high 45 seconds. Add chocolate; stir until completely melted and smooth. Set aside.
  4. In large bowl, using electric mixer on medium speed, beat peanut butter, sweetened condensed milk, vanilla and remaining cinnamon until smooth. Add heavy cream; beat until soft peaks form. Spread in prepared tart crusts. Spread chocolate mixture over top.
  5. Refrigerate at least 1 hour, or until ready to serve. Cut each tart in half. Sprinkle with toasted peanut crumble.

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Cinnamon Caramel Swirl Bars

Prep time: 25 minutes
Cook time: 35 minutes
Servings: 24

  • 1 1/2    cups flour
  • 2          teaspoons baking powder
  • 2          teaspoons McCormick Ground Cinnamon
  • 1/4       teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2    cups firmly packed brown sugar
  • 1/2       cup (1 stick) butter, melted
  • 2          eggs
  • 1          tablespoon McCormick Pure Vanilla Extract
  • 1          cup coarsely chopped pecans
  • 1          package (14 ounces) caramels, unwrapped
  • 1/4       cup milk
  1. Heat oven to 350° F. In medium bowl, mix flour, baking powder, cinnamon and salt. Set aside.
  2. In large bowl, mix brown sugar, butter, eggs, vanilla and pecans until well blended. Add flour mixture; mix well. Reserve 1 cup batter. Spread remaining batter into lightly greased, foil-lined, 13-by-9-inch baking pan. Bake 15 minutes, or until firm.
  3. In microwavable bowl, microwave caramels and milk on high 2-3 minutes, or until caramels are completely melted, stirring after each minute. Cool 5 minutes, or until slightly thickened. Pour over baked layer in pan, spreading to within 1/2 inch of edges. Drop reserved batter by spoonfuls over caramel layer. With knife, cut through batter several times for marble effect.
  4. Bake 15-20 minutes, or until center is set. Cool in pan on wire rack. Lift from pan. Cut into bars.

Source:  McCormick

Meal Ideas 19 March 2018

Refreshing Recipes for a Healthier Spring

Add healthy avocado for fresh, creamy flavor

(Family Features) For many, spring is an opportunity to hit refresh on many aspects of life, including what you eat. Rather than instituting a restrictive diet that forces you to cut back on your favorite snacks and dishes, consider making simple changes that can go a long way so you can enjoy the flavors of the season without sacrificing taste or eating less.
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For example, Atkins offers a long-term, healthy lifestyle featuring a balanced approach of high-fiber carbohydrates, optimal protein and healthy fats, while focusing on reducing levels of refined carbohydrates, added sugars and “hidden sugars,” which are the carbohydrates that convert to sugar in the body – you can’t see them but your body does.

Fresh flavors abound during spring, and you can enjoy nature’s bounty while avoiding hidden sugars by selecting high-fiber, low-glycemic fruits and vegetables. For example, a single avocado contains 10 grams of dietary fiber in addition to healthy fat. Consider a menu comprised of recipes like Egg-Filled Avocado with Prosciutto, Avocado Kale Berry Smoothie Bowl and Thai Peanut Buddha Bowl.

Live Low-Carb

Find more inspiration, tips and recipes by seeking out additional resources like “Atkins: Eat Right, Not Less: Your Guidebook for Living a Low-Carb and Low-Sugar Lifestyle.” The book, filled with 100 whole-food recipes and simple solutions for living a low-carb lifestyle, contains a variety of meal plans, low-carb takes on classic comfort foods and tips for creating a low-carb kitchen. Readers can also learn about Atkins 100, a flexible and personalized low-carb lifestyle program.

Learn more about the benefits of a balanced, flexible, low-carb approach to eating at Atkins.com.
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Thai Peanut Buddha Bowl

Recipe courtesy of “Atkins: Eat Right, Not Less”
Active time: 15 minutes
Total time: 30 minutes
Servings: 4

  • Olive oil spray
  • 2          skinless, boneless  chicken breasts  (12 ounces total)
  • 4          cups baby spinach
  • 1          ripe Hass avocado,  thinly sliced
  • 1          medium zucchini,  cut into noodle  shapes
  • 2          carrots, cut into  noodle shapes
  • 2          radishes, thinly  sliced
  • 8          sprigs cilantro

Dressing:

  • 1/2       cup peanut butter
  • 3          tablespoons coconut  milk
  • 1          tablespoon fish sauce
  • 2          teaspoons hot chili  sauce
  • 2          garlic cloves, minced
  • 1          tablespoon minced  fresh ginger
  • 1          tablespoon sesame  oil
  • 3          tablespoons hot  water
  1. Heat oven to 400° F.
  2. Coat small skillet with olive oil spray. Add chicken to skillet and cook 3-4 minutes, turning once or twice to brown chicken. Slide into oven and bake 6- 8 minutes, until chicken is cooked through and no longer pink in center when sliced with a knife. Set aside to rest 5 minutes then shred.
  3. To make dressing: In large bowl, mix peanut butter, coconut milk, fish sauce, chili sauce, garlic, ginger, sesame oil and hot water. Whisk well until smooth.
  4. Divide spinach and avocado among four bowls. Top with chicken, zucchini, carrots, radishes and cilantro. Drizzle with dressing and serve immediately.

Tip: If you don’t have a spiralizer, you can achieve the same effect by using a vegetable peeler to shave thin ribbons. You can also use a mandoline vegetable slicer then use a knife to cut the strips into thinner noodle-like strips.

Nutritional information per serving: 10.8 g net carbs; 427 calories; 18.1 g total carbs; 7.3 g fiber; 21.8 z protein; 30.7 g fat.
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Egg-Filled Avocado with Prosciutto

Recipe courtesy of “Atkins: Eat Right, Not Less”
Active time: 10 minutes
Total time: 15 minutes
Servings: 4

  • 6          ounces watercress or baby spinach
  • 2          tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 8          large eggs
  • 4          ripe Hass avocados, halved lengthwise and pitted
  • olive oil spray
  • 8          slices (about 4 ounces) prosciutto
  1. Place the watercress or baby spinach in large bowl. Drizzle with balsamic vinegar and toss well. Divide among four small plates.
  2. In large skillet, heat 2 inches water over medium heat until bubbles cover bottom and sides of pan. Crack eggs into small bowl (do not use eggs with broken yolks). When a few bubbles have broken surface of water, gently pour each egg into pan, leaving room between them.
  3. Cook eggs, without stirring, until whites are just set and yolks are still runny, 2-3 minutes. Use rubber spatula to gently release eggs from bottom of pan, if necessary. Using slotted spoon, remove eggs from water and drain on paper towels.
  4. Place poached egg in each avocado half. Coat medium skillet with olive oil spray. Heat skillet over medium heat and add prosciutto. Cook until crispy, about 2 minutes per side. Transfer two avocado-filled egg halves to each plate and serve immediately with two slices prosciutto.

Nutritional information per serving: 4.1g net carbs; 422 calories; 16 g total carbs; 11.9 g fiber; 18.5 g protein; 34 g fat.
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Avocado Kale Berry Smoothie Bowl

Recipe courtesy of “Atkins: Eat Right, Not Less”
Active time: 10 minutes
Total time: 10 minutes
Servings: 2

  • 1/3       cup plain protein powder
  • 1          cup plain full-fat Greek yogurt
  • 1/4       cup water
  • 1/2       ripe Hass avocado
  • 1          cup kale leaves
  • 2          tablespoons chopped fresh mint
  • 1          teaspoon stevia (sugar substitute)
  • 1/2       cup fresh or frozen berries such as blackberries, strawberries or raspberries
  • 2          tablespoons almond or walnut halves
  • 2          tablespoons chia seeds
  1. In blender, blend protein powder, yogurt, water, avocado, kale, mint and stevia until smooth then divide between two bowls.
  2. Sprinkle berries, nuts and chia seeds over smoothies. Serve immediately.

Nutritional information per serving: 12.5 g net carbs; 356 calories; 24.2 g total carbs; 11.8 g fiber; 32.2 g protein; 15.6 g fat.

Source: Atkins

Breakfast & Brunch 16 March 2018

Reimagine a Creative Breakfast

(Family Features) Mornings for many people start with snoozing, scrubbing and hustling in a rush to get out the door on time, making it easy to fall into a rut when it comes to breakfast. From grabbing a cup of coffee or breakfast bar on-the-go to eating the same cereal every day, your morning meal could benefit from a little imagination.

Break from the mundane and reimagine breakfast for something a little more creative in the mornings. Upgrade bland breakfast toast with unique toppings and flavor combinations, like Peanut Butter, Bacon and Banana Toast. The smokiness of Smithfield bacon pairs perfectly with the sweetness of peanut butter and banana for a flavor-filled breakfast. Available in a wide variety of flavors and cuts, like Cherrywood, Thick Cut and classic Hometown Original, it’s smoked and cured to perfection so you can incorporate it into breakfast recipes all week long.

Better yet, you don’t have to wake up early or spend hours in the kitchen to have a scrumptious start to your day.

With an easy option like Smithfield Anytime Favorites Ham, the work is done for you so you’re well on your way to a wholesome breakfast in minutes. This Ham and Blueberry Toast can be the fresh take your morning needs.

For more creative and filling breakfast ideas, visit Smithfield.com.
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Ham and Blueberry Toast

Servings: 4

  • 3/4       cup cream cheese
  • 1          cup blueberries, divided
  • 4          slices sourdough bread
  • 1          cup Smithfield Anytime Favorites Hickory Smoked 8-ounce Boneless Ham Steak, cooked and cut into cubes
  • 1/4       cup pistachios
  • 1/2       cup microgreens
  1. In food processor, blend cream cheese and 1/2 cup blueberries until smooth.
  2. Toast bread until brown. Spread with blueberry cream cheese mixture. Top with ham steak cubes, remaining blueberries, pistachios and microgreens.

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Bacon, Peanut Butter and Banana Toast

Servings: 4

  • 4          slices whole-wheat toast
  • 3/4       cup peanut butter
  • 2          medium bananas
  • 1/3       cup shelled pistachios
  • 4          slices Smithfield Cherrywood Bacon, cooked and cut into pieces
  1. Toast bread until brown. Spread with peanut butter.
  2. Cut bananas into thin slices and place on top of peanut butter. Sprinkle with pistachios and bacon pieces.

Source: Smithfield

Dessert 16 March 2018

Sweet Ways to Welcome Warmer Days

(Family Features) Warmer, longer days are made for quality time with friends and family. There’s no better way to cap off an afternoon in the sun than a good meal followed by a great dessert. Plan to end your next gathering on a sweet note with these fruity desserts to conclude a day spent with loved ones.

Fruity treats are hard to resist, especially when paired with tasty, complementary flavors and textures. If you’re looking for a treat that travels a bit off the beaten path, this pie may be just the answer. A crushed pretzel crust and creamy peanut butter filling provide a salty, savory background for plump, sweet strawberries. Or serve up a taste of the tropics with a cream pie that celebrates a medley of textures and flavors from lively blueberries to toasted coconut.

When you make fruit the star of the dessert, there’s no question you need top-quality ingredients. Each of these desserts features Lucky Leaf Fruit Fillings, which are made from fresh fruit, contain no high-fructose corn syrup and are GMO-free, for a delicious dessert every time. With a variety of flavors to choose from, including apple, blueberry, cherry, peach and strawberry, there are plenty of convenient, versatile dessert options for any occasion.

Find more tasty treats for entertaining and beyond at luckyleaf.com.

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Strawberry Peanut Butter Pie

  • 1 1/4    cups crushed pretzels
  • 1/4       cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2       cup butter, melted
  • 1          cup creamy peanut butter
  • 1          package (8 ounces) cream cheese
  • 1/2       cup powdered sugar
  • 1 1/2    cups frozen whipped dessert topping, thawed
  • 1          can (21 ounces) Lucky Leaf Premium Strawberry Fruit Filling and Topping
  1. Combine pretzels and granulated sugar then stir in butter. Press crumb mixture onto bottom and sides of 10-inch pie plate. Cover and chill.
  2. With electric mixer on medium speed, beat together peanut butter, cream cheese and powdered sugar. Fold in whipped dessert topping.
  3. Spoon 1/2 cup pie filling into crust-lined pie plate. Carefully spread peanut butter filling over top. Top with remaining pie filling. Cover and chill 2 hours before serving.

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Fluffy Blueberry Cream Pie with Toasted Coconut

  • 1          package (8 ounces) cream cheese, softened
  • 1/3       cup sugar
  • 1          tablespoon milk
  • 2          cups frozen whipped topping, thawed
  • 1          can (21 ounces) Lucky Leaf Premium or Organic Blueberry Fruit Filling or Topping
  • 1/2       cup toasted coconut flakes, plus additional for topping, if desired
  • 1          graham cracker crust (9 inches)
  1. In large bowl, beat together cream cheese, sugar and milk until creamy, about 1-2 minutes. Add whipped topping, pie filling and coconut; carefully fold together until no streaks remain.
  2. Spoon filling mixture into graham cracker crust. Sprinkle top with additional coconut flakes, if desired. Cover and chill 2 hours, or until firm.

Source: Lucky Leaf

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