Meal Ideas 30 January 2018

Comfort Food Made Quick and Easy

(Family Features) A steaming bowl of savory soup is the perfect comfort food when the wind is howling, rain is falling or the temperature is dropping. It’s a time to cozy up and enjoy the warmth of being inside while indulging in some of your favorite flavors.

The rich, hearty tastes and textures of a soup result from the seasonings, spices and melding of different ingredients while it slowly simmers to perfection. However, when there’s no time for lots of prep and cooking, there are shortcuts that don’t sacrifice taste.

For example, when time is short, a can of READ Southwestern Bean Salad gives you a head start. The robust mixture of black beans, corn, hominy and kidney beans in a slightly spicy, chili-lime accented tomato sauce is just right in recipes that boast Tex-Mex flavors like this Chicken Enchilada Soup. Just add a few pantry staples and some sauteed chicken for a warming pot of soup in about half an hour.

For more quick and easy recipes for the season, visit
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Chicken Enchilada Soup

Recipe courtesy of Dinner, Dishes and Desserts on behalf of READ Salads
Servings: 6

  • 2          teaspoons olive oil
  • 1          pound chicken breast cut into 1/2-inch cubes
  • 1          small onion, finely chopped
  • 2          cloves garlic, minced
  • 1          can (10 ounces) enchilada sauce
  • 2          cups reduced-sodium chicken stock
  • 1          can (10 ounces) diced tomatoes with green chilis
  • 2          cans (15 ounces each) READ Southwestern Bean Salad
  • salt, to taste
  • pepper, to taste
  • crispy tortilla strips (optional)
  • shredded cheddar cheese (optional)
  • diced avocado (optional)
  1. In large saucepan or Dutch oven, heat olive oil over medium-high heat. Add chicken and onion. Cook 5-6 minutes, or until chicken is browned and onions are soft, stirring occasionally. Add garlic; cook 1 minute, until fragrant.
  2. Stir in enchilada sauce, chicken stock, tomatoes and bean salad. Bring to boil. Reduce heat and simmer 10 minutes. Season with salt and pepper, to taste. Serve with tortilla strips, cheese and avocado, if desired.

Source: Seneca Foods

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 28 December 2017

3 Tips for Cooking Up a Healthy New Year

(Family Features) After a holiday season filled with indulgent food and limited time for exercise, there’s no time like the New Year to adopt some new, healthy habits.

These additional tips can help you get a healthy start to the New Year:

Change up your routine. Start by making a few lifestyle changes, such as maintaining a healthier diet or increasing your exercise regimen. Maybe you’d like to shed a few pounds or tone up before the weather gets warmer. Changing up your eating (and drinking) habits can be the first step on the path to success.

Start at the tap. Make sure your healthy eating habits include cooking with the best-tasting water possible. That means you could be washing your fruits and vegetables or making soups and smoothies with water that contains impurities. Contrary to what some people may think, boiling water does not completely remove certain contaminants like lead from water.

“Drinking water daily is an important component to staying healthy, as water keeps you hydrated, aids in digestion and transports vitamins and other nutrients. I prefer drinking filtered water to make sure I avoid potentially unwanted contaminants,” said Keri Glassman, a registered dietitian, nutritionist and PUR spokesperson. “I recommend installing a faucet filtration system that won’t break the bank, such as the PUR Advanced Faucet Filtration System, for a superior, on-demand solution for clean, healthy and great-tasting water right from the tap.”

Visit to learn more about superior faucet filtration systems and how to get cleaner, better-tasting water.

Create healthy, hearty recipes. There are plenty of delicious and nutritious recipes that can help fuel your body all year long. For example, this hearty soup is full of tasty, powerful ingredients like protein-rich chicken sausage; nutrient-dense kale and butternut squash, which are excellent sources of fiber; plus vitamins and minerals. Garlic, onions and cloves add a kick of antioxidants and flavor.
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White Bean Soup with Spicy Chorizo

Recipe courtesy of Keri Glassman

Cook time: 30 minutes
Servings: 1

  • 4          cups kale, chopped
  • 1          medium butternut squash, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 1          can (14 ounces) cannellini beans, drained
  • 2          cups PUR filtered water, plus additional for rinsing
  • 2          tablespoons olive oil
  • 1          medium onion, chopped
  • 2          garlic cloves, minced
  • 2          links precooked chicken sausage, diced
  • 3 1/2    cups low-sodium chicken broth
  • salt, to taste
  • freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  1. Rinse kale, squash and cannellini beans in filtered water. Set aside.
  2. In pot over medium heat, heat oil. Add onion and garlic, stirring frequently until softened, about 5 minutes. Add sausage and saute 2 minutes, or until warmed through and slightly browned.
  3. Add squash, kale, broth and 2 cups filtered water. Cook, partially covered, 15-20 minutes, or until squash is softened.
  4. Reduce heat to low. Add beans and gently simmer uncovered 3 minutes. Season with salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste, before serving.

Source:  PUR

Meal Ideas 03 November 2017

Spice Up the Season

Flavorful holiday dishes for every course

(Family Features) Whether this holiday marks your culinary debut or you’re a seasoned chef looking for a fresh take on seasonal favorites, you can take some notes from the pros. Every good chef has an arsenal of tricks and techniques to create amazing dishes every time, and the perfect blend of spices is one of those winning secrets.

In a properly seasoned dish, the spice accents the natural flavors without overpowering them. That’s why it’s a good idea to build your menu around spices and herbs of the highest quality, such as Spice Islands, which crafts and packages spices and herbs from around the world to deliver the most authentic and intense flavor possible.

Add flavor-rich, seasonal spices to your holiday table with these flavorful recipes for a Traditional Turkey Rub, Cranberry Apple Chutney, Butternut Squash Soup with Thyme Butter and Mini Pumpkin Cheesecakes.

From the appetizers to the main dish to dessert, flavorful seasonings can make a good recipe great. Find more ideas for spicing up your holiday menu at

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Mini Pumpkin Cheesecakes

Prep time: 15 minutes
Total time: 1 hour, 50 minutes
Yield: 18 mini cheesecakes

  • 18        paper baking cups (2 1/2 inch diameter)
  • 18        gingersnap cookies
  • 12        ounces cream cheese, softened
  • 3/4       cup sugar
  • 1          tablespoon corn starch
  • 1          teaspoon Spice Islands Pumpkin Pie Spice
  • 2          eggs
  • 1          cup canned pumpkin
  • 1/3       cup light corn syrup
  1. Heat oven to 325° F. Line muffin tin with paper baking cups. Place 1 cookie in each cup.
  2. With electric mixer, beat cream cheese, sugar, corn starch and pumpkin pie spice. Add eggs and mix well. Add pumpkin and corn syrup; beat 1 minute.
  3. Pour filling into liners, dividing evenly. Bake 30-35 minutes until just set.
  4. Chill 1 hour.

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Cranberry Apple Chutney

Prep time: 15 minutes
Total time: 45 minutes
Yield: 2 cups

  • 1          bag (12 ounces) fresh or frozen cranberries
  • 1/4       cup water
  • 2          large apples, cored and chopped
  • 1 1/2    cups sugar
  • 2/3       cup finely chopped onion
  • 2/3       cup golden raisins
  • 2          teaspoons minced fresh ginger
  • 1          teaspoon Spice Islands Minced Garlic
  • 1          teaspoon salt
  • 3/4       teaspoon Spice Islands Ground Allspice
  • 1/4       teaspoon Spice Islands Ground Saigon Cinnamon
  • 1/8       teaspoon Spice Islands Ground Cloves
  • 2/3       cup dark corn syrup
  • 1/3       cup cider vinegar
  • 2/3       cup chopped pecans
  1. In large saucepan, combine cranberries, water, apples, sugar, onion, raisins, ginger, garlic, salt, allspice, cinnamon and cloves. Bring to boil over medium-high heat. Reduce heat; cover, stirring occasionally, 15 minutes. Add corn syrup, vinegar and pecans. Cook uncovered 15 minutes, stirring frequently.
  2. Serve with roast turkey, pork roast or baked ham.

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Butternut Squash Soup with Thyme Butter

Prep time: 35 minutes
Total time: 1 hour, 30 minutes
Yield: 6-8 servings

  • 1          tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1          teaspoon Spice Islands Ground Ginger
  • 1/4       teaspoon Spice Islands Cayenne Pepper
  • 3          pounds (about 7 cups) butternut squash, peeled and cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 2          medium cooking apples, peeled, cored and coarsely chopped
  • 2          small onions, coarsely chopped
  • 2          cans (14 1/2 ounces each) chicken broth, divided
  • 1/2       cup water
  • Thyme Butter:
  • 1/4       cup butter, softened
  • 1/2       teaspoon Spice Islands Thyme
  • 1/2       teaspoon Spice Islands Garlic Powder
  1. Heat oven to 425° F.
  2. In large bowl, combine oil, ginger and cayenne pepper. Add squash, apples and onions; toss to coat. Transfer to 15-by-10-inch baking pan. Roast in single layer 35-45 minutes, or until tender. Remove from oven.
  3. Working in batches, combine squash mixture and one can chicken broth in blender or food processor; blend until smooth. Transfer pureed mixture to large saucepan. Stir in remaining chicken broth and water. Bring soup to boil; reduce heat and simmer, uncovered, 10 minutes.
  4. To make thyme butter: Combine butter, thyme and garlic powder until well blended. Spoon onto wax paper and roll into 3-inch log; wrap tightly and refrigerate until firm.
  5. To serve, cut butter into thin slices. Ladle hot soup into individual bowls; top each with slice of butter.

Tip: Puree can be made in advance, covered and refrigerated up to 2 days.

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Traditional Turkey Rub

Prep time: 5 minutes
Yield: rub for 1 turkey (about 15 pounds)

  • 2          teaspoons Spice Islands Crushed Rosemary
  • 1          teaspoon Spice Islands Thyme
  • 1          teaspoon Spice Islands Onion Powder
  • 1/2       teaspoon Spice Islands Garlic Powder
  • 1/8       teaspoon Spice Islands Ground Saigon Cinnamon
  • sea salt
  • Spice Islands Ground Black Pepper
  • pure olive oil (optional)
  • 1          turkey
  1. In small bowl, combine rosemary, thyme, onion powder, garlic powder and cinnamon. Generously add salt and pepper. Lightly coat turkey with oil, if desired.
  2. Rub all surfaces of turkey with seasoning. Roast according to package directions.

Photo courtesy of Getty Images (whole turkey on platter)

Source: Spice Islands

Meal Ideas 03 November 2017

Spoon Up Tradition

(Family Features) When cooler temperatures call for something to warm you up, good, old-fashioned soups and stews may be just what you need.

You can create delicious, steaming pots that taste like they’re straight out of mom’s kitchen with flavorful, convenient ingredients such as Aunt Nellie’s Pickled Beets and READ Salads to help streamline preparation. With these contemporary recipes, you’re in and out of the kitchen in under an hour without any long simmering required.

Find more recipes to warm yourself from the inside out at and

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German Potato Salad Soup

Prep time: 15 minutes
Cook time: 15 minutes
Servings: 4

  • 1          cup chopped onion
  • 1          cup chopped red bell pepper
  • 1          tablespoon olive oil
  • 2          cans (15 ounces each) READ German Potato Salad, chopped
  • 1          bottle (12 ounces) light beer
  • 3/4       cup reduced-sodium, fat- free chicken broth
  • 6          ounces (1 cup) diced ham, smoked turkey or sliced smoked sausage (optional)
  • 1/2       teaspoon salt (optional)
  • 1/4       teaspoon pepper
  • 1          tablespoon chopped parsley
  • rye croutons (optional)
  • crumbled bacon (optional)
  1. In Dutch oven or 3-quart saucepan over medium heat, cook onion and bell pepper in oil until onion starts to brown, 5-7 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  2. Add potato salad, beer, broth and meat, if desired, and stir to combine. Bring to boil, reduce heat and simmer, uncovered, 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add salt, if desired, pepper and parsley.
  3. Serve topped with rye croutons and bacon, if desired.

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Rustic Vegetable Beet Soup

Prep time: 30 minutes
Cook time: 15 minutes
Servings: 6

  • 1          jar (16 ounces) Aunt Nellie’s Whole Pickled Beets, drained
  • 2          tablespoons olive oil
  • 2          medium onions, coarsely chopped
  • 2          medium carrots, coarsely chopped
  • 1          medium sweet potato, peeled and chopped
  • 2          large cloves garlic, minced
  • 2          zucchinis (about 5 ounces each), coarsely chopped
  • 2          cans (about 14 ounces each) vegetable broth
  • 1          teaspoon seasoned salt (optional)
  • 1          can (15 1/2 ounces) chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • salt, to taste
  • pepper, to taste
  • 2          tablespoons finely chopped fresh parsley
  • 2          tablespoons finely chopped fresh dill
  • Gremolata (optional)


  • 1          tablespoon minced fresh parsley
  • 1          tablespoon minced fresh dill
  • 2          cloves garlic, minced
  • 1          teaspoon grated lemon peel
  1. Coarsely chop beets; set aside.
  2. In large saucepan, heat oil over medium heat. Add onions; cook about 5 minutes, or until softened. Add carrots, sweet potato and garlic. Cook 3-5 minutes, or until vegetables begin to soften, stirring occasionally.
  3. Add zucchini, broth and seasoned salt, if desired. Bring to boil. Reduce heat and simmer, partially covered, about 15 minutes, or until vegetables are tender. Add chickpeas; heat through. Season, to taste, with salt and pepper.
  4. To prepare Gremolata: In small bowl, combine all ingredients.
  5. Stir in parsley and dill. Stir in beets. Serve immediately; top with Gremolata, if desired.

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Tex-Mex Bean and Butternut Squash Stew

Prep time: 30 minutes
Cook time: 10 minutes
Servings: 4


  • 1          can (15 ounces) READ Southwestern Bean Salad, divided
  • 1          teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/4-1/2  teaspoon chipotle chili powder
  • 1          clove garlic, chopped
  • 2          cups cubed or chopped butternut squash, fresh or frozen (about 1/2- 3/4-inch pieces)
  • 1          can (14 1/2 ounces) no-salt-added diced tomatoes
  • 1 1/2    cups low-sodium vegetable or chicken broth
  • 1          teaspoon lime zest, plus additional for garnish (optional)
  • Chipotle-Lime Crema
  • chopped cilantro (optional)

Chipotle-Lime Crema:

  • 1/4       cup plain nonfat yogurt or sour cream
  • 1          teaspoon lime zest
  • 1/8       teaspoon chipotle chili powder
  1. To prepare stew: Place half of canned bean salad, cumin, chili powder and garlic into bowl of food processor. Puree until blended but still slightly chunky.
  2. Add remaining bean salad to large saucepan. Stir in butternut squash, tomatoes, broth, pureed bean salad mixture and lime zest. Bring to boil. Reduce heat and simmer 10 minutes, or until squash is tender and stew reaches desired thickness.
  3. To prepare crema: In small bowl, combine yogurt, lime zest and chili powder.
  4. Serve topped with Chipotle-Lime Crema, cilantro and lime zest, if desired.

Notes: If using frozen butternut squash, add to stew during last 2-3 minutes of cooking to prevent overcooking. Orange zest can be used instead of lime zest, if desired. Recipe can be doubled.

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Bacon-Apple Red Cabbage Soup

Prep time: 15 minutes
Cook time: 20 minutes
Servings: 4

  • 2          slices thick-cut bacon, chopped
  • 1          medium red onion, chopped (about 1/2 cup)
  • 1          clove garlic, minced
  • 1          jar (16 ounces) Aunt Nellie's Sweet & Sour Red Cabbage, not drained
  • 2          cups low-sodium, fat-free chicken or vegetable broth
  • 1          medium apple, chopped (about 1 cup), plus additional for garnish (optional)
  • 1/4       teaspoon ground cinnamon (optional)
  • 1/8       teaspoon ground allspice (optional)
  • 1/8       teaspoon ground cloves (optional)
  • plain yogurt or sour cream (optional)
  • crumbled cooked bacon (optional)
  1. In large saucepan or Dutch oven over medium heat, cook bacon 2-3 minutes, or until cooked through and crisp. Remove bacon from skillet; reserve. Drain drippings; return 1 tablespoon to pan; discard remaining drippings.
  2. Add onion to pan. Cook about 2 minutes, until tender, stirring frequently. Add garlic; cook and stir about 30 seconds. Add red cabbage and liquid from jar, broth and chopped apple. Stir in cinnamon, allspice and cloves. Bring to boil. Reduce heat and simmer, covered, 10 minutes. Add water, 1/2 cup at a time, if soup is too thick. Add bacon to pan. Continue simmering about 3-5 minutes, until apples are tender and soup reaches desired consistency.
  3. Spoon into bowl. Garnish with apples, yogurt and crumbled bacon, if desired.

Source: Aunt Nellie’s

Meal Ideas 06 April 2017

Comida Mexicana

Sassy, Savory Mexican Home Cooking

(Family Features) The best home cooking traditions not only get passed down from generation to generation, but they also get “adopted” into other families. Emilio Ortega’s family, for example, enjoyed the benefits of his fascination with green chiles when he moved to New Mexico in 1890. When he returned home to California, he and his family started growing, then cooking with these great tasting chiles, perfecting homemade, authentic, Mexican meals the entire family would enjoy.

Today, you can pass that tradition on to your family by enjoying great tasting Mexican meals with the convenience of the Ortega family of products. Look for crisp Ortega taco shells made from whole kernel corn and vacuum-sealed trays to keep them fresh and crisp — and unbroken. And choose Ortega fire-roasted green chiles, Mexican seasonings and zesty salsas, ready to stir into your favorite casserole, cheese dip or soup.

So, gather at the table for your own “comida Mexicana” or family meal.

For more recipe ideas and information on Ortega’s Taco Shells, Kits, Soft Tortillas, Taco Sauces, Seasonings and Peppers, visit

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South of the Border Salad With Creamy Lime Dressing

Makes: 4 servings

  • 4 Ortega Taco Shells, crushed
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 pound boneless chicken breasts, cut into strips
  • 1 1.25-ounce package Ortega Taco Seasoning Mix
  • 3/4 cup water
  • 1 5-ounce package mixed salad greens
  • 1 cup (16) cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1/2 cup Ortega Sliced Jalapeños, coarsely chopped
  • 1/2 cup shredded Cheddar and Monterey Jack cheese blend
  • 1 avocado, pitted, peeled, sliced and sprinkled with lime juice

Creamy Lime Dressing

  • 1/3 cup sour cream
  • 3 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
  • 2 tablespoons lime juice
  • 1 tablespoon each oil and milk
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  1. Combine all Creamy Lime Dressing ingredients in small bowl; stir until blended. Refrigerate until ready to serve.
  2. Microwave crushed taco shells on high 30 to 45 seconds.
  3. Heat oil in large skillet over medium-high heat. Add chicken strips; cook and stir 4 to 6 minutes or until chicken is no longer pink. Stir in taco seasoning mix and water. Bring to a boil.
  4. Reduce heat to low; cook 2 to 3 minutes or until mixture is thickened, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat.
  5. Combine salad greens, crushed taco shells, tomatoes and jalapeños in large bowl. Divide mixture onto four serving plates.
  6. Sprinkle with cheese; top with chicken strips and avocado slices.
  7. Serve with Creamy Lime Dressing.

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Black and White Mexican Bean Soup

Makes: 6 servings (1 1/3 cups each)

  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1 cup chopped onion
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 1 1.25-ounce package Ortega Taco Seasoning Mix
  • 2 cups milk
  • 1 14-ounce can chicken broth
  • 1 16-ounce package frozen corn
  • 1 15.5-ounce can Joan of Arc great northern beans, drained
  • 1 15.5-ounce can Joan of Arc black beans, drained
  • 1 4-ounce can Ortega Diced Green Chiles
  • 2 tablespoons chopped cilantro
  1. Heat oil in large pan or Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add onion and garlic; cook until onion is tender.
  2. Stir in flour and taco seasoning mix; gradually stir in milk until blended. Add remaining ingredients except cilantro.
  3. Bring to a boil, stirring constantly. Reduce heat to low; simmer 15 minutes or until thickened, stirring occasionally.
  4. Stir in cilantro.

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Mexican Snack Stacks

Makes: 16 servings

  • 1/2 cup Ortega Salsa (any variety)
  • 1/4 cup sour cream
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped cooked chicken
  • 8 8-inch Ortega Soft Tortillas
  • 1/2 cup guacamole
  • 1/3 cup Ortega Refried Beans
  • 6 tablespoons (1 1/2 ounces) shredded Cheddar cheese
  • 2 tablespoons chopped cilantro
  1. Heat oven to 350°F.
  2. Mix 1/4 cup salsa, sour cream and chicken in small bowl.
  3. Place 2 soft tortillas on ungreased cookie sheet; spread each with salsa-chicken mixture. Spread 2 more soft tortillas with guacamole and stack on top of salsa-chicken tacos, guacamole side up.
  4. Mix refried beans with remaining 1/4 cup salsa; spread mixture onto 2 more soft tortillas and stack on top of guacamole. Top each stack with remaining 2 soft tortillas; sprinkle with cheese.
  5. Bake 8 to 10 minutes until cheese is melted and filling is hot.
  6. Sprinkle with cilantro. Cut each stack into 8 wedges.


Mexican Steak Tacos

Makes: 2 servings (2 tacos each)

  • 1 3 1/2-ounce bag boil-in-bag long grain rice
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon Ortega Taco Sauce
  • 1 tablespoon Ortega Salsa (any variety)
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 pound sirloin steak
  • 1 15-ounce can diced tomatoes
  • 1 4-ounce can Ortega Diced Green Chiles
  • 4 Ortega Taco Shells
  • 4 lime wedges
  • Sour cream (optional)
  1. Cook rice combining cumin, garlic powder, taco sauce, salsa and salt.
  2. Rub mixture over both sides of steak.
  3. Spray a pan with nonstick cooking spray.
  4. Place steak on broiler tray.
  5. Broil steak 4 minutes on each side or until desired degree of doneness.
  6. Cut steak into thin slices.
  7. Combine rice mixture, tomatoes and chiles. Place the mixture in shells.
  8. Top rice mixture with beef slices. Squeeze juice from limes over beef.
  9. Top with sour cream, if desired.

Source: Ortega

Main Dishes 13 March 2017


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Makes: 50 servings
Choose from Juanita’s Foods Traditional Menudo or Hot & Spicy — based on your preference.

  • 3 1-gallon cans Juanita’s Foods Menudo
  • 2 1-gallon cans Juanita’s Foods Hot & Spicy Menudo
  • 10 onions, diced
  • 5 cups chopped fresh cilantro
  • 12 limes, in wedges
  • 2 cups dried oregano
  • 2 cups crushed chilies
  1. Simply heat and serve menudo according to package directions. Set out raw onions, cilantro, lime wedges, oregano, chilies or any of your personal favorites and allow your guests to garnish menudo according to their individual tastes.

Source: Jaunita's Foods

One Dish Meals 08 October 2016

German Potato Salad Soup

Cooler weather heralds the return to warm, satisfying soups. Versatile German Potato Salad Soup is an easy main dish that takes advantage of ready-to-use canned German potato salad. Simply combine the potato salad with sautéed bell pepper and onion, beer and a meat choice, if desired. Ready in 30 minutes. Tip: Top the soup with crunchy rye croutons and crumbled bacon.

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German Potato Salad Soup

Preparation Time: 15 minutes
Cooking Time: 15 minutes
Makes 4 servings (about 1 1/2 cups each)

  • 1 cup chopped onion
  • 1 cup chopped red bell pepper
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 cans (15 ounces each) READ German Potato Salad, chopped*
  • 1 bottle (12 ounces) beer, preferably a light ale**
  • 3/4 cup reduced-sodium, fat free chicken broth
  • 6 ounces (1 cup) diced ham, smoked turkey or sliced smoked sausage, optional
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt, optional
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 tablespoon chopped parsley
  • Rye croutons, optional
  • Crumbled bacon, optional
  1. Sauté onion and bell pepper in oil in a Dutch oven or 3-quart saucepan over medium heat until onion just starts to brown, 5 to 7 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  2. Add potato salad, beer, broth and meat, if using; stir to combine. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer, uncovered, 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add salt, if desired, pepper and parsley.
  3. Serve topped with rye croutons and bacon, if desired.

*Note: To chop potato salad, remove top from can, insert clean kitchen scissors into potato salad and snip until chopped.
**Substitute 1 can (14 ounces) chicken broth for the beer and chicken broth in the above recipe.

Source: Aunt Nellie's® (Seneca Foods Corporation)


Appetizers & Sides 07 March 2016

Comfort Foods With A Twist

(Family Features) If you’re looking for a new take on home-style cooking, then George Duran has the recipe for you. Duran is a popular Food Network host and chef who likes to take favorite American dishes and give them a delightful twist. PBJ Bread Pudding, Cheeseburger Frittata and Tex-Mex Lasagna are just a few of the dishes he’s twisted.

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 “Comfort food is something that brings Americans together,” said Duran, “but I noticed that I was going to be limited with the number and originality of recipes I could introduce. (After all, how many ways can you make a PBJ sandwich?) That’s when I decided to take classic American flavors and twist them into a gourmet dish.”

Duran says that keeping these 10 must-have ingredients in the pantry makes it easy to turn a midnight snack into a work of art: curry paste, nonstick cooking spray, bacon, ground cumin, coconut milk, red wine, chipotle hot sauce, pine nuts, fresh cilantro, and vanilla ice cream.

In his new book, “Take This Dish And Twist It: Comfort Food with New & Unexpected Flavors” (Meredith Books; November 2008), Duran re-imagines familiar foods and makes them fantastic in over 100 recipes.

Break out of the ordinary by adding fun along with flavor to your favorite comfort foods. Your taste buds will be glad you did.

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Pepperoni Pizza Soup

Prep: 15 minutes
Cook: 6 minutes
Broil: 3 minutes
Yield: 4 servings

  • 2 (10.75-ounce) cans condensed tomato soup
  • 3 cups water
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 11⁄2 cups dried elbow macaroni (or other short dried pasta such as ditalini or alphabets)
  • 2 green onions, sliced
  • 2 teaspoons dried oregano, crushed
  • 1⁄3 cup diced pepperoni
  • 1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese (4 ounces)
  • 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese (4 ounces)
  • dried oregano
  1. Preheat broiler.
    In large pan put soup, water, and garlic; bring to a boil over high heat. Stir in macaroni, green onion, oregano, and pepperoni; cook for 6 to 8 minutes or until macaroni is almost done.
  2. Pour soup into 4 oven-proof bowls. Top each with 1⁄4 cup mozzarella cheese, 1⁄4 cup cheddar cheese, and some oregano. Broil for 3 to 5 minutes or until cheese is bubbly and lightly browned.
  3. Or serve soup in a small round, crusty loaf of bread. Cut top off bread and scoop out insides. Fill with soup, top with cheeses, and broil as directed above. Try different “toppings” as well, such as mushrooms, onions, and sausage.

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Granny Smith Guacamole

Prep: 10 minutes
Yield: 8 to 10 servings

  • 3 ripe avocados, halved and pitted
  • ½ cup finely chopped Vidalia onion
  • ½ cup snipped fresh cilantro
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • Bottled hot pepper sauce, to taste
  • 1 Granny Smith apple, peeled, cored, and finely chopped
  • Kosher salt or table salt, to taste
  • Assorted dippers (baked fruit crisps, apple chips, and/or tortilla chips)
  1. Scoop avocado flesh into bowl; add onion, cilantro, lime juice, and hot pepper sauce. Mash with fork until it reaches the desired consistency. Stir in apple and season with salt to taste.
  2. Serve with dippers.

Source: Meredith Corporation




Holiday 19 January 2017

From Irish Pastures Comes a Pot of Gold

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(Family Features) Yes, there’s a pot of gold at the end of the rainbow. It’s found in each blade of grass growing in Ireland’s lush pastures. Small herds of cows graze freely, and the milk, rich in beta-carotene from the grass, produces butter and cheeses of an exceptionally golden hue.

Thousands of years before the Irish discovered potatoes, dairy cows, milk and butter were being woven into the fabric of Irish society, according to the Cork Butter Museum in Cork City, Ireland. The Cork Butter Exchange, a market created by the merchants of Cork City in 1769, was in its time, the largest butter market in the world, exporting as far away as Europe and America.
Today, dairy products continue to play an important role in Irish cooking. Cooperatives of farmers, creameries and cheesemakers provide delicious Irish butter and cheeses throughout the U.S. under the Kerrygold label.
Here are some iconic recipes from some stars of Irish cooking, using Kerrygold cheeses and butter. To learn more about Kerrygold, and for where-to-buy information, visit

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Dubliner Shepherd’s Pie

Makes 4 to 6 servings
“Our family loves a hearty shepherd’s pie after a long day working on the farm. Because our cows produce milk to make Kerrygold Dubliner Cheese, we like to add some shredded Dubliner to the potato crust.” — Donal Murphy, Kerrygold dairy farmer, Bandon, County Cork, Ireland

Potato Topping:

  • 1 1/4 pounds russet potatoes, peeled and cubed
  • 2 tablespoons Kerrygold Irish Butter
  • 1/3 cup milk
  • 1 cup shredded Kerrygold Dubliner Cheese
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt


  • 1 pound lean ground beef
  • 2 tablespoons Kerrygold Irish Butter
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 4 small carrots, peeled and
  • sliced 1/4-inch thick
  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • 3/4 cup Guinness Stout
  • 3/4 cup beef stock
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup frozen peas, thawed
  1. Preheat oven to 375°F and lightly butter an 11- x 7-inch baking dish. Cook potatoes in boiling water for 15 minutes or until very tender; drain well. Mash with butter and milk until smooth, then stir in cheese and salt and set aside.
  2. Crumble beef into a medium skillet and cook until no longer pink; remove from skillet and set aside. In same skillet, melt butter. Add onion and carrots; cook for 10 minutes over medium heat to soften, stirring occasionally. Stir in flour and cook for 1 minute more.
  3. Add Guinness, stock, thyme and salt; cook and stir until mixture is slightly thickened then stir in peas and cooked beef. Spoon into prepared baking dish then spread potato mixture over the top. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until top is lightly browned.

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Roasted Root Vegetable Soup

Serves 4 to 6
“You can substitute pumpkin, turnip or celeriac for the swede (rutabaga), or just use a mixture — this is a very flexible recipe.” — Neven Maguire, chef/owner of the renowned MacNean House and Restaurant in Blacklion, County Cavan, Ireland; popular TV cooking star and cookbook author

  • 1 small swede (rutabaga) cut into cubes
  • 2 carrots, cut into cubes
  • 1 parsnip, cut into cubes
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 4 tablespoons (1/4 cup) Kerrygold Irish Butter
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 2 celery stalks, finely chopped
  • 1 garlic clove, crushed
  • 1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme
  • 1 quart (4 cups) vegetable stock
  • 1/2 cup single cream (or substitute half and half)
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  1. Preheat oven to 400°F. Place swede, carrots and parsnip on baking sheet and drizzle with 2 tablespoons olive oil. Season generously and roast for 25 to 30 minutes until golden brown and tender, shaking baking sheet occasionally to ensure even cooking.
  2. Meanwhile, heat remaining tablespoon olive oil and butter in large heavy-based pot, and add onion, celery, garlic and thyme. Cook for 4 to 5 minutes until softened but not browned, stirring occasionally.
  3. Add roasted root vegetables to pan and then pour in stock. Bring gently to boil, then reduce heat, cover and simmer for 25 to 30 minutes until completely tender, stirring occasionally. Purée with a hand blender until completely smooth.
  4. To serve, stir cream into soup. Gently heat through and season to taste, then ladle into warmed bowls.

Note: You don’t have to add the cream if you’re watching the calories, but you might need a little extra stock to thin the soup.

Cheese Toasties

Serves 4 to 6

  • 4 tablespoons (1/4 cup) Kerrygold Irish Butter
  • 8 slices firm, country-style white bread
  • 1 package (7 ounces) Kerrygold Dubliner Cheese, grated
  • 1 tablespoon snipped fresh chives
  • Salt and freshly ground black Pepper
  1. Butter bread and arrange cheese over half of the slices, buttered side down. Sprinkle with chives and cover with remaining slices, buttered side up.
  2. Preheat a griddle or large non-stick frying pan and cook sandwiches two at a time 2 minutes each side until golden brown and cheese has melted. Keep hot.
  3. To serve, cut the cheese toasts into fingers.

Brown Soda Bread

Makes 2 loaves
“This is an all-purpose and relatively foolproof recipe based on several I collected while researching ‘The Country Cooking of Ireland.’” — author Colman Andrews, whose Irish cookbook won the 2010 James Beard Foundation award for Best International Cookbook and Cookbook of the Year

  • 3 1/2 cups stone-ground whole wheat flour, preferably Irish or Irish-style
  • 1 1/2 cups unbleached white flour, preferably Irish, or pastry flour, plus more for dusting
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon softened Kerrygold Irish Butter, plus more for greasing
  • 1 3/4 to 2 cups room-temperature
  • Buttermilk
  1. Preheat oven to 375°F. Mix wheat flour, white flour, baking soda and salt together in a medium bowl. Work butter into mixture with your fingers.
  2. Form a well in the middle of flour mixture and pour buttermilk into the well. Form your hand into a rigid claw and stir dough slowly but steadily in a spiral motion, starting in the middle and working outwards. Dough should be soft but not too wet or sticky. (Start with 1 3/4 cups buttermilk, gradually adding, if necessary, to achieve the right consistency.)
  3. Turn dough out onto a floured board. Flour your hands lightly, then shape dough into a flat rectangle about 2 inches high. Cut dough in half lengthwise with a wet knife, then gently push each half into a lightly greased glass or foil loaf pan. Bake for 50 to 60 minutes, or until the tops of the loaves are nicely browned.
  4. Serve this bread with plenty of Kerrygold Irish Butter.

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Rhubarb Crumble

Serves 6
“Crumbles are the ultimate comfort food. Vary the fruit according to the season.” — Darina Allen, founder of the world-famous Ballymaloe Cookery School in Shanagarry, County Cork, Ireland


  • 1 1/2 pounds rhubarb, cut in 1/2-inch slices
  • 1/2 cup sugar


  • 4 tablespoons (1/4 cup) Kerrygold Irish Butter
  • 4 ounces (scant 1 cup) white flour, preferably unbleached
  • 1/4 cup superfine sugar
  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. In bowl, mix filling ingredients; turn into a 1-quart (4 cups) capacity pie dish.
  2. Rub butter into flour just until mixture resembles coarse breadcrumbs, then stir in sugar.
  3. Sprinkle this mixture over rhubarb in the pie dish. Bake for 30 to 45 minutes until topping is cooked and golden. Serve with whipped cream and soft brown sugar, or try stirring a little Amaretto into your cream.

Recipe adapted from the “Ballymaloe Cookery Course Book” published by Kyle Cathie.

Source: Kerrygold/Irish Dairy Board



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