recipes

Dessert 15 November 2017

Popping Up a Winter Wonderland

Edible, handmade holiday decor perfect for gifting

(Family Features) ’Tis the season to pop up some holiday fun by creating a scenic winter wonderland that tastes as great as it looks.

Gather the kids and make a hands-on family holiday tradition out of crafting festive, edible decorations. Popcorn is the perfect choice to pop up and eat while trimming your popcorn tree and decking out your creations. At 30 calories a cup, whole-grain, freshly popped popcorn offers a nutritious alternative to traditional holiday party nibbles. Popcorn is naturally low in fat and calories, non-GMO, gluten-free, has no artificial additives or preservatives and is sugar-free.

These clever recipes can help you make edible decor or gifts to give to friends, family and co-workers. Find more creative holiday recipes at popcorn.org.

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Festive Popcorn Trees

Yield: 10 trees

  • 10        cups air-popped popcorn
  • 1          bag (10 ounces) miniature marshmallows
  • 2          tablespoons butter
  • 1          teaspoon vanilla extract
  • nonstick cooking spray
  • green decorating sugar
  • blue decorating sugar
  • 1          tube white frosting with decorating tip
  • small, colorful candies (such as sprinkles and miniature silver dragees)
  1. Place popcorn in large bowl.
  2. Place marshmallows and butter in medium saucepan over medium-low heat. Stir until marshmallows are melted and mixture is smooth. Remove from heat.
  3. Stir in vanilla extract.
  4. Pour mixture over popcorn in bowl. Toss well to coat popcorn evenly.
  5. Line baking sheet with foil.
  6. Spray hands with nonstick cooking spray then scoop up about 1 cup popcorn mixture.
  7. Shape mixture into cone, keeping base flat to form tree.
  8. Sprinkle tree with decorating sugars; place tree on baking sheet.
  9. Make nine additional trees.
  10. Pipe frosting on trees to make garland then decorate with sprinkles and silver dragees, as desired.

Serving suggestion: Place each tree on sugar cookie and decorate serving tray with shredded coconut to resemble snow.

Notes: For best flavor and color, start recipe with unflavored white popcorn. You can make your own colored sugar by adding food coloring to sugar then stirring in bowl or shaking vigorously in sealed container. Add additional food coloring for more intense tones.

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Holiday Popcorn Snowman

Yield: 5 snowmen

  • 1          package (1 pound) large marshmallows
  • 1/4       cup (1/2 stick) butter or margarine, plus additional
  • 1          teaspoon vanilla
  • 10        cups popped popcorn
  • sprinkles (optional)
  • licorice (optional)
  • gum drops (optional)
  • cinnamon candies (optional)
  1. In large saucepan, melt marshmallows and 1/4 cup butter.
  2. Remove from heat and stir in vanilla.
  3. Let stand 5 minutes.
  4. Pour over popcorn and stir mixture.
  5. Butter hands well and form into balls.
  6. Decorate with sprinkles, licorice, gum drops and cinnamon candies, as desired.

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Holiday Wreath Popcorn Treats

Yield: 8 wreaths

  • Nonstick cooking spray
  • 3          quarts popped popcorn
  • 4          tablespoons (1/2 stick) butter or margarine
  • 3          cups miniature marshmallows
  • 3          tablespoons lime gelatin dessert mix
  • small red candies
  • jellybeans
  • red fruit leather
  1. Lightly spray large mixing bowl with nonstick cooking spray and place popcorn inside.
  2. In medium saucepan over low heat, melt butter. Stir in marshmallows and gelatin dessert mix until marshmallows are melted and mixture is smooth. Pour over popcorn and mix until coated.
  3. Spray hands with cooking spray and press firmly to form into 9-inch logs then bend to form wreaths.
  4. Place wreaths on wax paper. Press candies and jellybeans into wreaths as decorations; cut fruit leather to make ribbon and add.
  5. Serve immediately or wrap individually in plastic wrap for storage. Add ribbon tie to plastic wrap as decorative closure.

Tip: Soak saucepan before cleaning.

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Chocolate Popcorn Reindeer

Yield: 8 reindeer

  • 8          cups unsalted, unbuttered popped popcorn
  • 2 1/2    cups mini marshmallows
  • 1/2       cup chopped dark chocolate or dark chocolate chips
  • 2          tablespoons butter or light olive oil
  • 1/4       teaspoon salt
  • 16        pretzel sticks
  • 16        eyeball candies
  • 8          red candy-coated chocolate candies
  1. Place popcorn in large mixing bowl.
  2. In saucepan set over medium heat, heat marshmallows, chocolate, butter and salt, stirring often until smooth. Toss marshmallow mixture with popcorn until well combined.
  3. Scoop 3/4 cup popcorn mixture into ball. Repeat with remaining mixture to make eight balls total. Place each ball in paper muffin cup liner.
  4. Insert pretzel stick on each side of ball to resemble antlers, attach two eyeball candies for eyes and red candy for nose. Let cool completely.

Tip: Eyeball candies can typically be found in baking aisles of supermarkets or bulk food stores.

Snacks 25 October 2017

Pumpkin-Perfect Autumn Recipes

(Family Features) Fall is perfect for making time for fun before the busy holiday season – go for a fall picnic, visit your local orchard or pumpkin patch, and take advantage of all the flavors fall has to offer. Try these delicious, comforting, no-hassle fall ideas that won’t carve a big chunk out of your budget:

  • The great taste of seasonal produce can stand on its own, adding star power to simple recipes. Baked pears or apples are a sweet, festive treat. Slice them in half and fill with walnuts, drizzle with honey and sprinkle with cinnamon. Bake until the sugars caramelize and fruits soften.
  • Take on-the-go snacks to the next level by coating almonds or garbanzo beans in your favorite seasonal spices and baking until crispy.

No matter the season, trim time grocery shopping by relying on a one-stop-shop like ALDI. Whether you’re looking for a new pumpkin spice treat or need quality ingredients for your famous chili, you can find it all at wallet-friendly prices.

Find more tips and recipes for a hassle-free fall at ALDI.us.

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Pumpkin Pie Smoothie Bowl

Recipe Courtesy of Chef Audrey, ALDI Test Kitchen

  • 1/2       cup Baker’s Corner 100% Pure Canned Pumpkin
  • 1/2       cup Friendly Farms Plain Nonfat Greek Yogurt
  • 1/2       frozen banana
  • 1/2       cup Friendly Farms Unsweetened Original Almondmilk
  • 2          teaspoons Specially Selected 100% Pure Maple Syrup
  • 1          teaspoon Stonemill Pumpkin Pie Spice

Optional garnishes:

  • SimplyNature Flax Seed
  • Southern Grove Chia Seeds
  • Baker’s Corner Semi-Sweet Mini Morsels
  • Southern Grove Chopped Pecans, toasted
  • Apple slices
  • SimplyNature Organic Ground Cinnamon
  1. Blend canned pumpkin, yogurt, banana, milk, syrup and pumpkin pie spice until smooth. Transfer to serving bowl. Top with desired garnishes.          

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Mini Pumpkin Parfait with Cranberry Caramel

Recipe courtesy of Chef Kates, ALDI Test Kitchen

  • 1          package Cafe Bistro Spekulatius Spiced Cookies
  • 1/2       cup Countryside Creamery Unsalted Butter, divided
  • 1/2       cup packed Baker's Corner Brown Sugar
  • 1/4       cup water
  • 1          cup Sweet Harvest Whole Berry Cranberry Sauce
  • 8          ounces Happy Farms Pumpkin Spice Cream Cheese Spread, softened
  • 1/4       cup Baker's Corner Powdered Sugar
  • 1          cup Baker's Corner 100% Pure Canned Pumpkin
  • 8          ounces Friendly Farms Whipped Topping, divided
  1. Place cookies in food processor and pulse to form fine crumbs. 
  2. In medium saucepan, melt 1/4 cup butter. Add cookie crumbs and stir over medium heat 5 minutes, or until toasted. Remove from heat.
  3. To make caramel: Bring brown sugar and water to simmer. Cook about 10 minutes, or until color changes to dark amber. Do not stir, but watch closely. Stir in cranberry sauce and remaining butter. Return to simmer and continue stirring until well combined and thickened slightly, 3-4 minutes. Remove from heat and let cool to room temperature.
  4. Press warm cookie crumbs in bottom of small serving glasses, such as clear shot glasses, espresso cups, small bowls or parfait glasses. Set aside.
  5. In medium bowl, beat cream cheese and powdered sugar until light and fluffy. Add pumpkin and continue mixing to combine. Gently fold in 6 ounces whipped topping.
  6. To complete assembly, top crumbs with layers of cranberry caramel and pumpkin cream. Repeat layers, including crumbs, 2-3 times depending on glass size. Top each parfait with dollop of remaining whipped topping. Serve immediately or refrigerate up to 8 hours.

Source: ALDI

Snacks 07 August 2017

Back-to-School Power for Body and Mind

(Family Features) Nutritious, well-rounded meals are essential for growth and proper brain development. A complete midday meal also helps boost mental and physical power so kids can keep on learning until the afternoon bell rings.

It’s not always easy to find new and appealing ideas to fuel kids’ bodies and minds as they head back to school, but programs for families and educators such as the Power Your Lunchbox Pledge can help.

“Families are looking for ways to start the year on the right foot and the Power Your Lunchbox Pledge offers everything they need in one spot,” said Trish James, vice president of Produce for Kids. “Families want to know their kids are receiving the right brain food to get them through the day. Our registered dietitian-approved meal inspiration, tips and ideas provide the foundation families need for success.”  

In addition to kid-tested, lunchbox-friendly recipe ideas, the program provides resources and lesson plans for educators who want to create activities to inspire healthy eating in the classroom. This year’s program also includes a partnership with The World of Eric Carle, allowing students to win copies of his popular collection of children’s books. Additionally, every online pledge results in a $1 donation to Feeding America programs that support families and children.

Look for recipes, tips and ideas on Instagram and Twitter using #PowerYourLunchbox, and learn more about the program at poweryourlunchbox.com.

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Banana Sushi Rolls

Recipe courtesy of Produce for Kids

  • 1          large (8-inch) whole-wheat tortilla
  • 3          tablespoons peanut butter, divided
  • 1          banana, peeled
  • 1          strawberry, sliced
  • 1/2       kiwi, sliced
  • 1          tablespoon shredded coconut
  1. Lay tortilla on flat surface. Spread with half of peanut butter. Place banana on one end of tortilla and roll up. Cut into even slices and place strawberries and kiwi slices on top.
  2. Microwave remaining peanut butter on high 30 seconds, or until melted, and drizzle over banana sushi. Top with shredded coconut.

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Brown Bear Bento Box

Recipe courtesy of Produce for Kids

  • 1          tablespoon soy butter
  • 3          graham cracker squares
  • 3          banana slices
  • 9          blueberries
  • variety of colorful fruit, chopped
  1. Spread soy butter on graham crackers. Arrange banana slices and blueberries to create eyes and noses to resemble bear faces. In another container, add colorful fruit, such as raspberries, cantaloupe, pineapple, honeydew, blueberries and blackberries, to create a rainbow fruit salad.

Suggested Side: 1 tablespoon ranch dressing and three mini sweet peppers, sliced into strips.

Source: Produce for Kids

Healthy 07 August 2017

A Sweet Solution for Busy School Days

(Family Features) The busy pace of back-to-school schedules can make it feel like nearly every aspect of life has you under a time crunch. Fortunately, when it comes to feeding the family, there are some simple foods you likely already have on hand that can provide easy solutions for snacks and mealtime alike.

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A go-to fruit like California grapes is a fresh staple you can depend on because they are always ripe and ready to eat when you buy them. While grapes are indeed ideal for snacking because they hold, store and travel well, this healthy and delicious fruit is also a simple addition to meals throughout the day. Grapes require minimal preparation, so they’re equally easy as a side dish or as a fun way to deliver the fresh produce factor in a wide range of family-friendly recipes, such as these Grape and Ricotta Pita Pizzas.

Tips like these show how you can easily incorporate grapes into every meal:

Breakfast: A cup of creamy yogurt and crunchy granola takes on a sweet note when topped with a handful of grapes. Slice or quarter grapes then mix well for a medley of textures and flavors in every bite.

Morning snack: Pair grapes with cheese and crackers for a sweet and savory snack to keep your energy strong and your hunger in check until lunchtime.

Lunch: A handful of grapes can balance out a sandwich and add some sweet indulgence to the midday meal.

After school: Grapes offer hydration and quick energy so they’re the perfect way to fuel up for after school sports or to lend some extra brain power for study time.

Dinnertime rush: Use grapes for an easy side dish that goes with anything. A quick meal like grilled cheese and grapes brings out the kid in everyone.

Evening snack: Toward the end of the day, cravings can creep up but keeping a bowl of fresh grapes on hand for after dinner snacking helps avoid alternative salty, highly processed choices.

Find more great ideas for enjoying grapes throughout the day at grapesfromcalifornia.com.

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Grape and Ricotta Pita Pizzas

Servings: 4

  • 2          whole-wheat pita pocket breads (about 6 inches in diameter)
  • 1          tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/2       cup part-skim ricotta cheese, divided
  • 1          cup seedless red or black California grapes, thinly sliced or halved
  • 2          teaspoons honey
  • 1          teaspoon lemon juice
  • 6          large or 12 small fresh basil leaves, cut into ribbons
  1. Heat oven to 450° F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
  2. Slice pita pockets in half so each forms two rounds, creating four rounds total. Place pita rounds on baking sheets cut-side up and brush top of each with oil.
  3. Spread 2 tablespoons ricotta cheese on each pita, leaving about 1/2-inch border around edges then arrange sliced grapes in single layer on top of cheese. Bake until edges are crisped and cheese is warmed, 5-7 minutes.
  4. In small bowl, stir together honey and lemon juice until honey is dissolved.
  5. When pizzas are done, drizzle each with about 1/2 teaspoon honey-lemon mixture. Sprinkle basil on top of pizzas. Serve immediately.

Source: California Table Grape Commission

Healthy 06 June 2017

Go Ahead ... Eat the Whole Watermelon

(Family Features) Sliced or diced, grilled or blended, there are countless ways to prepare watermelon. With some fruits, half or more is wasted when you throw away the seeds and peel, but you may be surprised to learn that you can use an entire watermelon, including the rind, to make delicious and refreshing dishes.

Most people think of watermelon as a sweet, juicy snack perfect for hot summer days, but with its high water content (92 percent), the fruit is more than just tasty. It’s also an ideal way to keep your body hydrated. What’s more, the ability to use the entire fruit makes watermelon one of the most versatile and value-conscious options in the produce department.

An average watermelon consists of about 70 percent fruit and 30 percent rind. Hollowed out, the rind is an attractive way to serve any number of recipes, but the rind is actually edible, too, and can be stir-fried, stewed or pickled, or even enjoyed raw. This yummy slaw gets its distinctive crunch from the watermelon rind, which is packed with citrulline and arginine, two compounds that may aid in healthy blood flow.

Watermelon is also a flavorful substitute for tomatoes, as shown in this traditional Italian appetizer, and contains higher levels of lycopene than any other fresh fruit or vegetable per serving, according to award-winning nutrition author and registered dietitian Elizabeth Somer.

Additionally, it lends some sweetness to a spicy salsa and a refreshing twist on a summery salad. You can also try blending watermelon with other fresh fruits for a super smoothie or mixing it up with some adult libations (and don’t forget, you can transform the rind into a mini-keg in minutes; just add a pour spout).

Find more ideas for using every bite of fruit, juice and rind at watermelon.org.

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Watermelon Caprese Salad with Balsamic Vinegar Reduction

Makes: 6 servings

  • 12 slices watermelon cut into rounds or squares, approximately 3 inches wide and 1/2 inch thick, with seeds removed
  • 1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 1/2 pound fresh mozzarella cheese, cut into 12 slices
  • salt, to taste
  • pepper, to taste
  • 1/4 cup fresh basil leaves, loosely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 sprig basil, for garnish
  1. Place watermelon slices on paper towels and cover with additional paper towels to absorb excess fluid.
  2. In small saucepan over medium heat, add vinegar and honey. Stir to blend, bring to simmer and reduce heat. Stir occasionally until mixture is reduced by almost half. (Do not let reduce too far or allow to froth.) Set aside to cool slightly.
  3. On large platter, place watermelon slices and top each with slice of cheese. Add salt and pepper, to taste, then sprinkle basil leaves evenly over top. Drizzle with olive oil, followed by reduced balsamic vinegar. Garnish with sprig of basil.

Tip: Use red and yellow watermelon for an extra pretty presentation.

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Watermelon Rind Slaw

Makes: 4 one-cup servings

Dressing:

  • 1/4 cup fat-free plain Greek yogurt
  • 1/4 cup low-fat sour cream
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons stone-ground mustard
  • 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
  • 4 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 teaspoon poppy seeds
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • salt, to taste
  • pepper, to taste

Slaw:

  • 4 cups grated watermelon rind (fruit and green peel removed)
  • 1 cup grated carrot
  • 1 1/2 cups diced fresh pineapple
  1. In small bowl, blend Greek yogurt, sour cream, mustard, vinegar, lemon juice, sugar, poppy seeds, olive oil, salt and pepper thoroughly. Set aside.
  2. Place watermelon rind on several layers of paper towels to soak up excess fluid.
  3. In medium bowl, place dressing, rind, carrot and pineapple, and toss to thoroughly coat.

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Watermelon Slice Ice Pops

Makes: 5-15 servings

  • 5-15 watermelon slices, cut into triangular wedge shapes, about 1/2 to 1 inch thick, with seeds removed
  • 5-15 ice pop sticks
  1. Insert ice pop stick into rind of each slice.

Optional variation: After inserting sticks, freeze ice pops before serving.

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Superfood Smoothie

Makes: 3 cups

  • 2 cups cubed and seeded watermelon
  • 1 cup fresh or frozen raspberries
  • 1 cup raspberry kefir
  • 2 tablespoons orange juice concentrate
  • 2 tablespoons hemp
  • 2 tablespoons agave syrup
  • ice (optional)
  1. Place watermelon, raspberries, raspberry kefir, orange juice concentrate, hemp, agave syrup and ice, if desired, in blender and blend until smooth.

Source: National Watermelon Promotion Board

Snacks 05 June 2017

Smart Summer Snacks

(Family Features) A busy summer schedule requires plenty of energy, and while relaxation is sure to help, what you eat is your essential source of fuel. Just like filling up your gas tank, food is what makes your body go.

A well-balanced approach to eating is a smart way to ensure your body gets the nutrients it needs to power you through each fun-filled day and keep you operating in tip-top shape. An eating plan such as Atkins offers a balanced approach with delicious foods that contain fiber-rich and nutrient-dense carbohydrates and good fats and proteins, while focusing on reduced levels of refined carbohydrates and added sugars.

Reach for snacks full of seasonal fruits and vegetables like peaches, cucumbers, zucchini and raspberries that will satisfy your appetite and fuel your summer days. Find more warm-weather recipes and tips to stay energized throughout the season at Atkins.com.

Avoid the Hidden Sugar Effect

The frenetic pace of summer activities makes on-the-go foods the norm. While many portable snacks tout healthy benefits and good-for-you nutrition, it’s easy to be confused about what truly makes up nutritious foods, as well as how the body responds to various foods.

According to the recent Sugar Gap Study conducted by Atkins Nutritionals, Inc., there is a significant gap in Americans’ knowledge about nutrition and the “hidden sugar effect,” where certain foods turn into sugar during the digestive process. While a person can’t see these sugars, his or her body can. The study revealed that only 1 in 10 Americans are aware that certain foods can cause the hidden sugar effect.

Make better choices and avoid hidden sugars this summer with these tips for finding foods that won’t create excessive sugar spikes:

  • Beware of sugary beverages, especially fruit juices. Keeping well hydrated is especially important when temperatures rise, but sweet drinks can pack an excessive amount of sugar.
  • Know that not all snack bars are created equal – with many packing a sugary punch. An option such as the Atkins Harvest Trail Coconut Almond Bar combines roasted coconut and almonds which can keep you feeling full and satisfied without the hidden sugars.
  • Understand which foods can cause blood sugar spikes – it’s more than cakes and candy. All carbohydrates elevate blood sugar; even ancient grains and brown rice convert into sugar when digested, making it important to enjoy these foods in smaller portions. Learn more at hiddensugar.com.

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Tropical Raspberry Smoothie

Recipe courtesy of Atkins
Prep time: 5 minutes
Servings: 1

  • 1/2 cup coconut cream
  • 4 ounces firm silken tofu
  • 1/2 cup red raspberries, plus additional (optional)
  • 2 teaspoons sugar substitute (optional)
  • 1/8 teaspoon coconut extract
  • 3 ice cubes
  • whipped cream (optional)
  1. In blender, combine coconut cream, tofu, raspberries, sugar substitute, if desired, and coconut extract; blend until smooth. To remove seeds, strain mixture through sieve then return to blender.
  2. With machine running, add ice cubes, one at a time, and blend until smooth.
  3. Pour into tall glass and garnish with whipped cream and raspberries, if desired.

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Peachy Prosciutto Bites

Recipe courtesy of Atkins
Prep time: 10 minutes
Servings: 4 (3 bites per serving)

  • 1/2 cup whole almonds
  • 2 medium peaches (each 2 1/2 inches in diameter)
  • 4 ounces cream cheese
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • sugar substitute (optional)
  • 12 thin slices prosciutto
  • 12 basil leaves (optional)
  1. Heat oven to 350° F.
    In single layer, toast almonds 10 minutes. Let cool then coarsely chop. Set aside.
    Slice each peach into six wedges and set aside.
  2. In small bowl, combine softened cream cheese with cinnamon and pinch of sugar substitute. Add almonds; blend to combine.
  3. Lay out single slice of prosciutto, place 1 tablespoon cheese mixture on top of peach wedge and top with basil leaf. Place wedge at one end of prosciutto and roll up. Repeat with remaining ingredients.

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Smoked Salmon, Cucumber and Cream Cheese Roll-Ups

Recipe courtesy of Atkins
Prep time: 5 minutes
Servings: 4

  • 2 cucumbers (8 1/4 inches long each)
  • 8 tablespoons cream cheese
  • 12 ounces smoked chinook salmon (lox)
  1. Use mandolin or vegetable peeler to cut long, thin strips of cucumber.
  2. Spread cream cheese onto smoked salmon, place strip of cucumber at one edge and roll up with salmon and cream cheese. Pin in place with toothpick. Repeat with remaining ingredients.

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Zucchini Crisps

Recipe courtesy of Atkins
Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 10 minutes
Servings: 4

  • 2 medium zucchinis
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons Parmesan cheese, grated
  • garlic powder (optional)
  • Italian seasoning (optional)
  • rosemary (optional)
  • dill (optional)
  1. Heat oven to 400° F.
  2. Cut zucchini into 1/4-inch slices. If small, cut diagonally. Brush both sides with olive oil and season with salt, pepper and Parmesan. Season as desired with garlic powder, Italian seasoning, rosemary or dill.
  3. Place in single layer on baking sheet and bake 10 minutes, turning once. Cool on wire rack.

Photos courtesy of Getty Images

Source: Atkins

Snacks 06 April 2017

Sensational Snacktivities at Home

(Family Features) Getting creative with snack time is an activity the whole family can enjoy. And when it comes to making delicious, fun and contemporary treats, the Jellymongers have turned fun into an art form.

The Jellymongers, Sam Bompas and Harry Parr, are big fans of JELL-O gelatin and are masters when it comes to using it to create spectacular works of art. They have achieved worldwide recognition for their eye-catching sculptures and monuments from their native England. According to Bompas and Parr, making JELL-O creations is a perfect way to have fun in the kitchen. They have put together a few quick tips for some sensational snacks that can be tried at home:

  • Everyday home items can be used to create fun shapes — the only limit is your creativity! Try setting JELL-O in ice cube trays, cupcake pans or reusable plastic containers.
  • When making the gelatin, stir in fruit or substitute juice for some of the water for an extra fruity creation.
  • Looking to give your gelatin a firmer set? Try adding KNOX gelatin to help your shapes and molds keep their form. Perfect for bite-sized snacks!
  • To easily release a masterpiece from its mold, dip mold in a bowl of hot water for a few seconds. Wet a sturdy plate, place on top of the mold and invert. The JELL-O will slip out onto the plate for display.

“JELL-O gelatin has a great collection of snack ideas that are fun to make, and even more fun to eat,” says Bompas. “These everyday snacks are easy to do at home and take 20 minutes or less to prepare.”

The classic JELL-O JIGGLERS recipe serves as a wonderful “snacktivity” for small hands. From moons and stars to racecars and footballs, you can create endless, fun shapes with a pan of gelatin and cookie cutters. Finger Gelatin is another bite-sized snack idea, perfect for parties or an afternoon treat.

It’s mix and match time! Unleash inner creativity with Jellin’-Melon, by combining your favorite fruit and gelatin flavor. Try chilling lime gelatin in a hollowed out cantaloupe for a refreshing citrus treat. With all the possible combinations, this makes for an extra special snack time treat.

For more information, creative recipe ideas and special savings, visit www.jello.com.

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“Jellin’-Melon” Snacks

Prep Time: 15 min. plus refrigerating
Makes: 8 servings

  • 1 cantaloupe, or other melon, cut lengthwise in half
  • 3/4 cup boiling water
  • 1 pkg. (3 oz.) JELL-O Lime Flavor Gelatin
  • 1/2 cup cold water
  1. REMOVE seeds from melon halves; cut thin slice from bottom of each half. Scoop out melon flesh, leaving 1-inch-thick shells. Place upside-down on paper towels to drain.
  2. ADD boiling water to gelatin mix; stir 2 min. until completely dissolved. Stir in cold water. Refrigerate 15 min. or until slightly thickened. Pour into melon shells.
  3. REFRIGERATE 3 hours or until gelatin is set. Cut into wedges.

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JELL-O JIGGLERS

Prep Time: 10 min.
Total Time: 3 hours 10 min. (incl. refrigerating)
Makes: 2 doz. or 24 servings, 1 JIGGLER each

  • 2 1/2 cups boiling water (Do not add cold water)
  • 2 pkg. (6 oz. each) JELL-O Gelatin, any flavor
  1. STIR boiling water into dry gelatin mix in large bowl at least 3 min. until completely dissolved. Pour into 13x9-inch pan.
  2. REFRIGERATE at least 3 hours or until firm.
  3. DIP bottom of pan in warm water 15 sec. Cut into 24 decorative shapes using 2-inch cookie cutters, being careful to cut all the way through gelatin to bottom of pan. Lift JIGGLERS from pan. Reserve scraps for snacking. Store in tightly covered container in refrigerator.

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Finger Gelatin

Prep Time: 20 min.
Total Time: 1 hour 20 min.
Makes: 12 servings, about 12 squares each

  • 3 pkg. (4-serving size each) JELL-O Raspberry Flavor Gelatin
  • 4 envelopes KNOX Unflavored Gelatin
  • 4 cups boiling water
  1. MIX both gelatins in large bowl; stir in boiling water until completely dissolved.
  2. POUR into 13x9-inch pan. Refrigerate 1 hour or until firm.
  3. CUT gelatin mixture into small squares. Store in tightly covered container in refrigerator.

 

Layered Mousse Bites

Prep Time: 10 min.
Total Time: 3 hours 10 min.
Makes: 9 servings

  • 2 1/2 cups boiling water
  • 2 pkg. (3 oz. each) JELL-O Strawberry Flavor Gelatin
  • 2 cups thawed COOL WHIP Whipped Topping
  1. ADD boiling water to gelatin mixes in medium bowl; stir with whisk for 2 minutes until completely dissolved. Stir in COOL WHIP until well blended.
  2. POUR into 8-inch square pan.
  3. REFRIGERATE for 3 hours or until firm. Cut into 36 pieces.

 

Patriotic Parfaits

Prep Time: 10 min.
Total Time: 4 hours 10 min.
Makes: 9 servings

  • 2 cups boiling water
  • 1 pkg. (6 oz.) or 2 pkg. (3 oz. each) JELL-O Berry Blue Flavor Gelatin
  • 2 cups cold water
  • 1 tub (8 oz.) COOL WHIP Whipped Topping, thawed, divided
  • 1 cup fresh strawberries, halved
  1. ADD boiling water to gelatin mix in large bowl; stir for 2 minutes until completely dissolved. Stir in cold water. Pour into 9 parfait or dessert glasses.
  2. REFRIGERATE for 4 hours or until firm.
  3. SPOON 2 cups COOL WHIP over desserts; top with berries and remaining COOL WHIP.

 

Juicy Gelatin

Prep Time: 5 min.
Total Time: 4 hours 5 min.
Makes: 4 servings

  • 1 cup boiling water
  • 1 pkg. (4-serving size) JELL-O Strawberry Flavor Sugar Free Gelatin
  • 1 cup cold orange juice
  1. STIR boiling water into gelatin in medium bowl for at least 2 minutes until completely dissolved. Stir in orange juice.
  2. REFRIGERATE for 4 hours or until firm.

Source: JELL-O

Kids 13 March 2017

Playing With Food

Helping kids learn to love healthy eating

(Family Features) According to the 2007 Produce For Kids study, 96 percent of children don’t get the recommended five servings of fruits and vegetables every day. That won’t surprise a lot of parents. Getting children to eat any fruits or vegetables at all can be a big challenge.  With 39 percent of all U.S. children overweight or obese, getting kids to make better food choices is more important than ever.

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Fruits and vegetables are loaded with vitamins, nutrients and fiber, are low in calories and can help prevent many diseases, including high blood pressure, heart disease and some cancers. But kids aren’t compelled by the nutritional benefits of produce. They want to have fun eating food they like. So they need some help to become healthy eaters.
How can a parent get fruit-phobic or veggie-avoiding kids to eat more of what they really need? Mypyramid.gov, a Web site dedicated to helping people make smart food choices, has some tips for coping with picky eaters.

  • Let your kids be “produce pickers.” Let them help pick out fruits and veggies at the store.
  • Kids like to try foods they help make. All of that mixing, mashing and measuring makes them want to taste what they are creating.
  • Make meals a stress-free time. If meals are times for family arguments, your child may learn unhealthy attitudes toward food.
  • Offer choices. Rather than ask “Do you want broccoli for dinner?” ask “Which would you like for dinner: broccoli or cauliflower?”

Another suggestion, from The Produce For Kids study, is to use dips to get kids to eat more fruits and vegetables. Sixty-eight percent of the moms surveyed said that their children ate more fruit and vegetables when they were served with dip.

One of the latest items on the market to help meet this need is Marzetti Dip Snack Packs, a line of fruit and veggie dips for children that makes eating produce fun and nutritious. Each portion-control package contains the right amount of dip for a serving of fruit or vegetables.

Turn the frowns upside down

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Do your kids turn up their noses at fruits and veggies? Here are some fun and smart ideas to please even the pickiest of eaters:

  • Bagel snake ― Split mini bagels in half. Cut each half into half circles. Spread the halves with tuna salad, egg salad, or peanut butter. Decorate with sliced cherry tomatoes or banana slices. Arrange the half circles to form the body of a snake. Use olives or raisins for the eyes.
  • English muffin pizza ― Top half an English muffin with tomato sauce, chopped veggies and low-fat mozzarella cheese. Heat until the cheese is melted.
  • Potato pal ― Top half a small baked potato with eyes, ears, and a smile. Try peas for eyes, a halved cherry tomato for a nose, and a low-fat cheese wedge as a smile.
  • Fruit smoothies ― Blend fresh or frozen fruit with yogurt and milk or juice. Try 100 percent orange juice, low-fat yogurt, and frozen strawberries.
  • Ants on a log ― Thinly spread peanut butter or apple dip on narrow celery sticks. Top with a row of raisins or other diced dried fruit.
  • Fruit kabobs – Spear chunks of pineapple, banana and melon on skewers or chopsticks. Let kids dunk them in a fruit dip.

Picky eaters don’t have to stay picky eaters. With some encouragement and creative ideas from parents, they can learn to love eating what’s best for them.
For more information, visit marzetti.com.

Turn PB & J into PB & A — peanut butter and apples! This lunchtime treat is a great way to please picky sandwich eaters and make sure they get some healthy fruit.

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Open Face Caramel Peanut Butter Sandwich

Prep Time: 5 minutes
Servings: 2

  • 2 tablespoons Marzetti Caramel Apple Dip
  • 2 tablespoons favorite peanut butter
  • 2 slices favorite bread
  • Sliced apples, peanuts, dried cranberries or raisins
  1. In a small bowl, mix together dip and peanut butter until smooth.
  2. Spread two tablespoons of caramel mixture on each slice of bread.
  3. Arrange sliced apples, peanuts and dried fruit atop each sandwich and serve.

Put some crunchy fun into snack time with this fruity rice cake. This is one treat the kids will love making themselves — just set out the ingredients and let them build a fruit-filled snack!

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Rice Cake Snack

Prep Time: 3 minutes
Servings: 1

  • 2 tablespoons Marzetti Caramel Apple Dip
  • 1 rice cake

Topping options: Diced red or green apple, chopped bananas, favorite dried fruit, mini chocolate chips or favorite chopped nuts
Spread 2 tablespoons dip onto a rice cake. Top with one or two topping options and serve.

Source: Marzetti

Snacks 07 March 2017

Pretzel Stick Roll Ups

Want your kids to acquire healthy eating habits? Start them cooking! Taking part in snack and meal preparation encourages children to develop sound food choices and may even persuade a picky eater to try new tastes. Some of the best items for kids to work with can be found at the supermarket deli counter. Boar’s Head, makers of premium deli products, offers an assortment of fine meats and cheeses for young chefs to make some of their favorite treats. Plus Boar’s Head products meet many of a child’s daily nutritional needs.

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Pretzel Stick Roll Ups

  • 2 slices Boar’s Head Gold Label Swiss Cheese
  • 2 slices Boar’s Head Maple Honey Ham
  • 1 slice Boar’s Head American Cheese
  • 1 slice Boar’s Head Bologna
  • Small pretzel sticks (There are a number of varieties available — make sure to select a sturdy kind.)
  1. On clean work surface (plastic cutting board or plate will do), lay out cheese slices. Place 1 ham slice on each Swiss cheese slice and bologna on American cheese. Starting at one end, roll up each pair of slices and skewer with pretzel stick. (Grownup helper may need to assist small hands with pretzel spearing.)


Yield: 3 roll ups

Source: Boar's Head

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Snacks 30 January 2017

Plan an Award-Worthy Watch Party

(Family Features) Whether you’re gearing up for awards season or spending an evening catching up on your favorite TV drama, there are plenty of small screen events that provide the perfect backdrop for a watch party. Gather your friends and family and get ready to tune in to a fun-filled evening with these helpful tips.

Use themed decor to set the stage. If you’re watching an awards show, go big on blingy accents and metallic tones that mimic the glimmering trophies. Golden-hued serving bowls and plastic cutlery help carry the theme into your kitchen. For an extra special touch to help capture memories of the celebration, create a red-carpet photo booth and snap photos of your VIP guests as they arrive.

Provide ample comfy seating. You don’t have to have an elaborate theater-style media room to create a comfortable viewing experience. Just be sure you have a spot for everyone, even if you rely on pillows on the floor.

Plan a menu that reflects the occasion. Since no party is complete without a delicious food spread, create finger foods that fit the theme of your viewing party. An iconic option like microwave popcorn is sure to be a crowd-pleaser because of its delicious flavor and versatility. Whether you create an enticing popcorn station with fun mix-ins or prepare mouthwatering snacks like festive Mini Popcorn Balls with Chocolate Fondue, microwave popcorn is always a party pleaser. Use a high-quality gourmet popcorn, such as Orville Redenbacher’s, which is the only leading brand that uses real butter. From buttery to sweet and savory, all varieties feature non-GMO, 100 percent whole-grain kernels that pop up lighter and fluffier than ordinary popcorn.

Pop onto orville.com to find more recipes for your watch party, or look for Orville Redenbacher’s on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

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Mini Popcorn Balls with Chocolate ‘Fondue’


Prep time: 25 minutes
Servings: 12

  • 1 bag Orville Redenbacher's Smart Pop! 94 Percent Fat-Free Butter Microwave Popcorn
  • nonstick cooking spray
  • 1/4 cup stick butter or margarine (1/4 cup = 1/2 stick)
  • 1 package (10 ounces) marshmallows
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 cups light chocolate syrup
  • colored candy sprinkles (optional)
  1. Prepare popcorn according to package directions. Remove all un-popped kernels. Spray large bowl with nonstick spray; add popped corn.
  2. In medium saucepan over medium heat, melt butter. Add marshmallows and vanilla. Heat 5 minutes, or until marshmallows melt, stirring frequently. Pour over popcorn; mix well with spoon sprayed with cooking spray. Moisten hands with water before shaping popcorn mixture into 24 small balls, about 1/3-cup popcorn mixture each.
  3. In small saucepan, heat chocolate syrup over medium heat 5 minutes, or until warm, stirring occasionally. Transfer to small, fondue-style pot.
  4. Use wooden skewers or fondue forks to pick up popcorn balls and dip into chocolate and sprinkles, if desired.

Source: Orville Redenbacher's

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