recipes

Meal Ideas 12 April 2021

Go Gluten-Free with Family Favorites

(Family Features) Time available to cook, your family's preferred dishes, ingredients you have in the pantry - there are plenty of considerations that may limit your options for an at-home menu. Add in a gluten allergy, or simply a desire to avoid it, and it may feel impossible to appease everyone.

However, all it takes is simple ingredient swaps to turn a family favorite into a gluten-free recipe. From pizza at dinnertime to a chocolatey dessert, these dishes offer easy, flavorful ways to make your menu gluten-free.

A Healthier Homemade Pizza
Creating a gluten-free dinner can be as easy as tweaking some of your loved ones' favorite meals. Even pizza can offer a gluten-free solution when you rethink the ingredients included.

Satisfy your family's needs with an option like Toufayan Gluten-Free Wraps in place of traditional crust in this Gluten-Free Barbecue Skillet Pizza. Made from wholesome, all-natural ingredients with no cholesterol or trans fats, these easily foldable wraps are available in four flavors, making them perfect for homemade pizza.

Visit Toufayan.com to find more mealtime solutions.

Gluten-Free Barbecue Skillet Pizza

Servings: 6

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil, divided
  • 1 Toufayan Gluten-Free Original Wrap
  • 3 tablespoons gluten-free barbecue sauce
  • 4 cooked sausage links, crumbled
  • 2 cups diced Mozzarella cheese
  • 2 tablespoons chopped green onion
  • fresh Parmesan cheese, for garnish (optional)
  • fresh fennel fronds, for garnish (optional)
  • crushed red pepper, for garnish (optional)
  • salt, to taste
  • pepper, to taste
  1. Heat oven to broil.
  2. Heat cast-iron skillet over medium heat. Add 1-2 teaspoons olive oil; spread to cover bottom of skillet.
  3. Place wrap in skillet, brush with barbecue sauce and add sausage, Mozzarella and green onion.
  4. Fry 2-3 minutes, or until bottom of wrap is golden and crispy.
  5. Place skillet under broiler until cheese is melted and bubbly, about 2 minutes.
  6. Remove from broiler, place on cutting board and sprinkle with Parmesan, fennel fronds and crushed red pepper, if desired.
  7. Season with salt and pepper, to taste; drizzle with remaining olive oil, cut and serve.

Dish Up a Dynamic Dessert

Going gluten-free isn't just for meals from breakfast to dinner - you can cut gluten from delicious desserts, too.

This Cookie Brownie Supreme calls for layers of cookie dough, cookies and brownies for a taste bud tempting way to round out a meal with those you love. One of the key ingredients is Goodie Girl Chocolate Creme Sandwich Cookies, made with real cocoa and a sweet cream filling between two chocolate wafers. They're made without artificial flavors, colors or preservatives for a gluten-free, vegan and peanut-free treat.

Find more varieties and dessert ideas at goodiegirl.com.

Cookie Brownie Supreme

Recipe courtesy of glutenfreewith3.com

Cookie Dough Layer:

  • 1 stick softened butter
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/4 cups gluten-free flour
  • 1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chip

Cookie Layer:

  • 25 Goodie Girl Chocolate Creme Sandwich Cookies

Brownie Layer:

  • 1 stick butter
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3/4 cup cocoa powder
  • 3 eggs
  • 3/4 cup gluten-free flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 6 Goodie Girl Chocolate Creme Sandwich Cookies, crushed
  • 1/4 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • vanilla ice cream (optional)
  • chocolate syrup (optional)
  1. Preheat oven to 350 F. Prepare 9-by-9-inch cake pan with parchment paper.
  2. To make cookie dough layer: In large bowl, combine softened butter, brown sugar, sugar and vanilla. Mix with handheld mixer until combined and creamy. Add egg and beat until combined.
  3. In small bowl, combine baking soda, salt and flour. Beat flour mixture gradually into sugar mixture. Once completely combined, fold in chocolate chips. Add cookie dough layer to bottom of prepared pan and spread evenly.
  4. To make cookie layer: Layer cookies on top of cookie dough layer.
  5. To make brownie layer: In saucepan, melt butter, sugar and salt until completely combined. Remove from heat and transfer to large bowl. Add vanilla, cocoa and eggs; mix. Slowly add flour and baking powder. Mix until completely combined.
  6. Pour brownie mixture over cookie layer. Spread evenly.
  7. Top with crushed cookies and chocolate chips.
  8. Bake 50 minutes. Let cool completely before removing from pan. Slice and top with vanilla ice cream and chocolate syrup, if desired.

Source: Toufayan

Breakfast & Brunch 05 March 2021

A Brunch Spread Fit for Spring

From tasty small bites to a filling feast and even dessert for breakfast, brunch options are nearly endless. Take your spring brunch to the next level with recipes that appease appetites of all kinds.

First, start with portioned pastry cups perfect for appetizers. Bring out the protein-packed breakfast burritos for the main course then, for a final touch of sweet deliciousness, offer up lemony doughnuts to cap off the feast.

Find more brunch recipes at Culinary.net.

Bite-Sized Breakfast

Appetizer-sized portions and small bites of all sorts are ideal for breakfast spreads, and these Pastry Brunch Cups are perfect for starting a morning meal with loved ones. Or, if a busy schedule looms, try baking a batch and separating into appropriate serving sizes for a simple way to meal prep heading into a new week.

Find more breakfast recipes at Culinary.net.

Pastry Brunch Cups

Servings: 18

  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • 1 1/2 cups milk
  • 1 cup shredded Swiss cheese
  • 2 sheets puff pastry
  • 18 eggs
  • 2 cups diced ham
  • chopped fresh green onions

Heat oven 375 F.

  1. In small saucepan, melt butter. Whisk flour with butter. Gradually pour in milk, whisking each time. Bring to simmer, whisking until mixture starts to thicken. Remove from heat; stir in Swiss cheese. Set aside.
  2. Use rolling pin to thin out puff pastries. Cut each into nine squares. Line pastry squares in muffin cups, pressing bottoms down firmly and moving pastries up sides for edges to come up just over muffin tins. Fill each cup with 1 teaspoon cheese sauce. Crack one egg into each cup and sprinkle each with diced ham.
  3. Bake 10-15 minutes until eggs set. Sprinkle with chopped green onions.

Power Brunch with a Protein-Packed Burrito

A well-rounded brunch calls for a multitude of dishes and beverages, but it wouldn’t be complete without a protein-packed recipe to get the day started.

This delicious Breakfast Burrito is loaded with colorful veggies and Silver Fern Farms 100% grass-fed strip steak. Hailing from New Zealand, home to some of the world’s most natural tasting beef and lamb, this premium cut of beef is aged 21 days and minimally processed with no added growth hormones or antibiotics. The animals are grass-fed year-round and allowed to roam and graze freely, so the beef offers a lean, flavorful texture that tastes just as nature intended.

Visit silverfernfarms.com to find more at-home brunch inspiration.

Breakfast Burrito

  • 1 Silver Fern Farms New Zealand 100% Grass-Fed New York Strip Steak (10 ounces)
  • oil
  • salt, to taste
  • pepper, to taste
  • 1/2 onion, finely chopped
  • 1 red bell pepper, sliced lengthwise
  • 4 large mushrooms, sliced
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/2-1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1 tomato, finely chopped
  • 8 eggs
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 4 large tortillas
  • 1 cup spinach
  • 1 1/2 ounces feta cheese, crumbled
  • 1/4 cup cilantro
  • 1 avocado
  • lime wedges (optional)
  • hot sauce (optional)
  1. Remove steak from packaging and set aside 10 minutes. Once steak reaches room temperature, heat pan over medium-high heat.
  2. Rub steak with oil and season with salt and pepper, to taste.
  3. Cook until medium-rare, approximately 3-4 minutes each side. Remove from pan and cover loosely with tinfoil to rest 5 minutes.
  4. Reduce heat to medium and add splash of oil. Add onion; cook 1 minute. Add red bell pepper and mushrooms; cook 1 minute.
  5. Add cumin, paprika and chili powder; stir through.
  6. When veggies are tender (about 2 minutes), add tomato and cook until soft. Season with salt and pepper, to taste.
  7. In large bowl, whisk eggs, milk and salt and pepper, to taste.
  8. Heat pan to medium heat and add splash of oil.
  9. Pour egg mixture into pan and cook, lifting and folding eggs until thickened and no visible liquid egg remains. Do not stir constantly.
  10. Lay tortillas on flat surface or plate.
  11. In center of tortilla, add cooked veggies and top with thinly sliced beef. Add handful of spinach, scrambled eggs, crumbled feta, cilantro and avocado. Fold bottom of tortilla and roll.
  12. Serve with lime wedges and hot sauce, if desired.

Dine on Deliciously Sweet Doughnuts

Brunch is never complete without something sweet to cap off the morning feast, and doughnuts are often the perfect complement to an array of main courses.

These Lemon Ricotta Doughnuts pair the bite-sized morsels with lemon curd (if that suits your style) for a sweet-tart combination. They’re made using Domino Golden Sugar, which is made from pure cane sugar and is less processed than white granulated sugar, as one you can always trust in your favorite recipes. It works cup-for-cup just like white sugar but with a golden color and distinct hint of molasses flavor.

Visit dominosugar.com to find recipes perfect for entertaining and celebrating throughout the year.

Lemon Ricotta Doughnuts

Prep time: 20 minutes

Cook time: 7 minutes

Doughnuts:

  • Vegetable oil, for frying
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 3/4 cups Domino Golden Sugar, divided
  • 2 tablespoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons lemon zest
  • 5 large eggs
  • 1 3/4 cups ricotta cheese
  • 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract

Lemon Curd (optional):

  • 1 stick unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 1/2 cups Domino Golden Sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 4 lemons, zest and juice only
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  1. To make doughnuts: In large saucepan, preheat oil to 350 F. Prepare cookie sheet with paper towel to drain doughnuts once out of hot oil.
  2. In bowl, mix flour, 3/4 cup sugar, baking powder and salt. Add lemon zest, eggs, ricotta cheese and vanilla extract; mix until well combined.
  3. Use ice cream scoop to scoop small amounts dough into oil, 4-5 pieces at a time. Fry each batch until golden brown, about 7 minutes. Keep oil at or near 350 F; if oil is too hot, doughnuts will turn golden brown but centers may still be raw. Remove from oil and drain in paper towel. Repeat with remaining dough.
  4. While still hot, toss doughnuts with remaining sugar.
  5. To make lemon curd, if desired: In large bowl of stand mixer, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add eggs and egg yolks, one at a time. Add lemon zest, lemon juice and salt.
  6. Transfer mixture to saucepan and cook at low-medium heat until thick and creamy, stirring constantly. Remove from heat and let cool before serving with doughnuts.

Source: Beef + Lamb New Zealand
Domino Golden Sugar

Meal Ideas 03 February 2021

Family Meals Cooked with Convenience in Mind

(Family Features) Part of the fun of family meals is finding inspiration in the variety of dinner ideas you can create together. From a tangy twist on traditional tacos to a favorite to-go flavor in the comfort of your own kitchen, the options are nearly endless when you use versatile, ready-to-use ingredients.

When you include protein that’s prepared, seasoned and precooked, you can cut down on time in the kitchen, while adding precious seconds to spend with loved ones. For example, Chef’s Craft® Gourmet Chicken offers a line of gluten-free, preservative-free, all-natural chicken skillfully crafted by experts and perfectly suited for culinary creations. The varieties are always fresh and perfect for preparing in 30 minutes or less. They can be enjoyed on their own or in an array of family dishes.

Consider these Barbecue Ranch Breaded Chicken Tacos to call loved ones to the table with chunks of tender chicken piled high with homemade spicy vinegar slaw, fried onions and avocado drizzled with barbecue sauce and ranch dressing.

Or, for a taste of takeout you can make in your own home, turn to Honey Soy Chicken Stir-Fry. If you don’t own a wok, don’t fret – this dish can easily be made in a skillet. Just be sure to give the veggies enough room as a crowded skillet is likely to result in steamed veggies.

Find more quick, convenient family meal ideas, as well as a store locator, at chefscraftgourmet.com.

Barbecue Ranch Breaded Chicken Tacos

Servings: 4

Spicy Vinegar Slaw:

  • 2 1/2    cups shredded purple cabbage
  • 1/2       cup shredded carrot
  • 2          jalapenos, thinly sliced
  • 1 1/2    tablespoons canola or vegetable oil
  • 2          tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 1          teaspoon sugar
  • kosher salt
  • freshly ground black pepper

Fried Onions:

  • canola or vegetable oil, for frying
  • 1/2       cup all-purpose flour
  • kosher salt
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • 1          yellow or Vidalia onion, cut into 1/4-inch slices
  • 8          taco-sized flour tortillas, warmed
  • 1          package Chef’s Craft® Breaded Chicken Chunks, cooked according to package directions
  • spicy vinegar slaw
  • 1          avocado, chopped
  • fried onions
  • 1/2       cup barbecue sauce
  • 1/2       cup ranch dressing
  • chopped cilantro (optional)
  1. To make spicy vinegar slaw: In medium mixing bowl, combine cabbage, carrot and jalapenos.
  2. In separate small bowl, whisk oil, vinegar and sugar; season generously with salt and pepper.
  3. Drizzle over coleslaw mix and stir to combine. Let sit at least 10 minutes before serving.
  4. To make fried onions: In small skillet over medium-high heat, heat 1/2 inch oil.
  5. In small bowl, season flour well with salt and pepper. Coat onion slices in flour mixture and shake to remove excess flour.
  6. Fry in batches until golden brown and crisp, about 30-45 seconds per batch. Remove to paper towel-lined plate and immediately sprinkle with salt.
  7. Top each tortilla with cooked breaded chicken chunks, spicy vinegar slaw, chopped avocado, fried onions, barbecue sauce and ranch dressing. Garnish with cilantro, if desired.

 

Honey Soy Chicken Stir-Fry

Prep time: 15 minutes
Cook time: 15 minutes
Total time: 30 minutes
Serves: 4

Honey Soy Glaze:

  • 1/2       cup chicken broth
  • 1/2       cup soy sauce
  • 6          tablespoons honey
  • 1/2       teaspoon granulated garlic
  • 1/2       teaspoon dried ground ginger
  • 4          teaspoons cornstarch
  • 3          teaspoons water
  • 2          tablespoons canola or vegetable oil
  • 1          large yellow onion, sliced
  • 3          bell peppers, sliced
  • 1          large zucchini, sliced
  • 4          ounces snow peas
  • 10        ounces sliced mushrooms
  • 2-3       cups broccoli florets, steamed to tender crisp
  • 1          package Chef’s Craft® Chicken Breast Fillets, cooked according to package directions, sliced
  • sesame seeds, for garnish
  1. To make honey soy glaze: In small saucepan over medium heat, combine chicken broth, soy sauce, honey, garlic and ginger. Bring to simmer.  In small bowl, combine cornstarch and water; stir into honey soy sauce and let cook approximately 1 minute, stirring occasionally, until sauce thickens.
  2. In large skillet or wok over medium-high heat, heat oil. Add onion, pepper and zucchini; cook 2-3 minutes. Add snow peas and mushrooms; cook 2 minutes until vegetables are crisp tender but maintain texture. 
  3. Add broccoli and chicken to pan; stir all but 3 tablespoons sauce; cook 1 minute, stirring frequently. Drizzle with remaining sauce and garnish with sesame seeds.

Source: Wayne Farms

Healthy 11 December 2020

Turn to Tempeh for a Plant-Based Superfood

(Family Features) As a key part of a nutritious eating plan, protein intake can be a healthy step to take in the new year. One increasingly popular way to add protein to your at-home menu is with protein-packed, plant-based foods like tempeh.

Tempeh’s roots date back thousands of years and originate in Indonesia. It’s an all-natural protein source made with simple, whole-food ingredients – most often fermented soybeans, water and rice – and is high in protein, packed with fiber and low in fat, sodium and calories. Tempeh is also loaded with vitamins and minerals like calcium, manganese, phosphorus and iron, and has all nine essential amino acids. Because it’s fermented, the nutrients in tempeh are easy for the body to digest.

The health benefits of tempeh, including 18 grams of protein per serving, are one reason to give it a try, but another is it’s easy and versatile to cook. It has a firm texture, nutty taste and can be baked, fried, steamed or grilled. Tempeh also easily absorbs marinades, spices and sauces. To prepare tempeh, cut it into cubes, strips or crumble it then toss into a stir-fry, layer it onto a BLT sandwich or simply warm a skillet and sear it until golden brown.

The possibilities for tempeh are nearly endless, and it’s also increasingly easy to find. For example, Lightlife, founded in 1979 as “Tempeh Works,” was among the first commercial producers of tempeh in the United States. Today, it offers its Original Tempeh at more than 18,500 retail stores nationwide.

Find protein-packed meal ideas, like Sesame Ginger Tempeh Power Bowls with Quinoa and Sweet Potatoes, at lightlife.com.

Sesame Ginger Tempeh Power Bowls with Quinoa and Sweet Potatoes

Pickled Pink Onions:

  • 1/4       cup white wine vinegar
  • 2          teaspoons white sugar
  • 1/4       teaspoon salt
  • 1/2       small red onion, peeled and thinly sliced


Sesame Ginger Vinaigrette:

  • 2          tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 2          teaspoons sesame oil
  • 2          teaspoons grated fresh ginger
  • 2          teaspoons rice wine vinegar
  • 2          teaspoons soy sauce
  • 2          teaspoons toasted sesame seeds


Sweet Potatoes:

  • 1          tablespoon olive oil
  • 1          large sweet potato, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch slices

Tempeh:

  • 1          package (8 ounces) Lightlife Original Tempeh
  • 1          teaspoon vegetable oil
  • 2          tablespoons soy sauce
  • 2          cups baby spinach or kale
  • 2          cups cooked tri-color quinoa, at room temperature
  • 1/2       ripe avocado, cubed
  • 1/2       cup canned chickpeas, rinsed and drained
  • 6          red grape cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 6          yellow grape cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1/2       cup pea shoots
  1. To make pickled pink onions: In small pot, bring white wine vinegar, sugar and salt to boil. Add onions and toss to coat 15 seconds. Turn off heat and let sit 20 minutes, stirring occasionally, until onions are soft and bright pink. Set aside.
  2. To make sesame ginger vinaigrette: In small bowl, stir vegetable and sesame oils with ginger, rice wine vinegar, soy sauce and sesame seeds. Pour into two small ramekins. Set aside.
  3. To make sweet potatoes: In large nonstick skillet over medium heat, heat olive oil. Add sweet potato slices and cook, turning occasionally, 15-17 minutes, adjusting heat as necessary until tender when pierced with knife. Remove to cutting board and cut each slice into quarters. Wipe out skillet.
  4. To make tempeh: Cut tempeh crosswise into eight triangles. In nonstick skillet over medium-low heat, heat vegetable oil. Cook tempeh with soy sauce until golden brown and warm, 2-3 minutes per side. Remove tempeh from pan and add baby spinach or kale; stir 1-2 minutes just until wilted.
  5. To assemble bowls: On bottoms of two shallow bowls or plates, spread cooked quinoa. Top with piles of warm sweet potatoes, pickled pink onions, sauteed spinach or kale, avocado, chickpeas, grape tomatoes and pea shoots. Top with tempeh and serve with sesame ginger vinaigrette.

Source: Lightlife

Holiday 07 December 2020

Pair and Pour Some Festive Holiday Cheer This Season

(Family Features) While holiday traditions and celebrations will likely look different this year, the season is still special. Set the scene for a celebratory occasion by mixing festive cocktails or creating the perfect spread to complement your wines, beers, cheeses and even chocolates.  

You can help make your spread delicious and affordable by relying on high-quality ingredients like those at ALDI. If you need inspiration, sommelier and lifestyle expert Sarah Tracey can help guide your palate with these festive ALDI-exclusive pairings and seasonal cocktail ideas:

Light and Refreshing – With aromas of Meyer lemon and flavors of fresh green apple and white peach, the crisp Landshut Riesling has a touch of delicate sweetness while still being juicy and refreshing. For a savory-and-sweet combination, try pairing it with the Emporium Selection Plain Goat Cheese Log and Winternacht Milk Chocolate Domino Cubes.

Rich and Decadent – Indulge your senses with the aromas of butterscotch, warm baking spices and the velvety dark fruit notes of the Quarter Cut Bourbon Barrel Red Blend. This decadent red blend offers a smooth finish, similar to mulled wine without the extra work. The rich flavor pairs well with a smoked cheese like Emporium Selection Smoked Gouda as well as the Moser Roth Dark Chocolate Collection Caramel Sea Salt.

Savory with Brew – If a craft beer is more your style, consider a rich and creamy dark ale like a stout. Its robust flavors of roasted coffee beans and bittersweet cocoa combine for a sweet yet savory, earthy finish. Serve it with rich flavors like Emporium Selection Premium English Truffle Cheddar and add a touch of chocolatey sweetness with Specially Selected Cocoa Dusted Truffles.

Signature Libations – Up the ante on your holiday celebration with a special yet simple cocktail you can mix at home with confidence. The secret to making the Mistletoe Mule is the 3-2-1 method: just pour wine for three counts, ginger beer for two counts and pomegranate juice for one count.

Find more holiday recipes at aldi.us/holiday-guide.

Mistletoe Mule

Servings: 2

  • Sugar
  • 4 1/2    ounces Tourner Brut Sparkling
  • 3          ounces Summit Ginger Beer
  • 1.5       ounces Specially Selected Premium 100% Pomegranate Juice
  • lime juice
  • fresh cranberries, for garnish (optional)
  1. Rim two glasses with sugar.
  2. In separate mixer or glass, combine wine, ginger beer and pomegranate juice using 3-2-1 method.
  3. To serve, pour over ice in prepared glasses then top with fresh lime juice. Garnish each glass with cranberries, if desired.

 Photos courtesy of Getty Images

 Source: ALDI

Holiday 02 November 2020

Festive and Flavorful Holiday Snacks

(Family Features) The holidays are filled with delicious food - from indulgent breakfasts to decadent desserts - but snacks can get overlooked. Spice up this holiday season with festive snacks that are perfect for a quick on-the-go bite or a taste of your favorite holiday dessert.

Although beloved in pie, pecans are a versatile nut that can be used beyond the pie shell - add them to a snack mix, incorporate them into granola or munch on them straight from the bag. Delicious and nutritious, 1 ounce of pecans offers 3 grams of plant-based protein and 3 grams of fiber, plus 12 grams of "good" monounsaturated fats and only 2 grams of saturated fat - perfect to power you through long days of holiday shopping.

This holiday season, nosh on a handful of these spiced Gingerbread Pecans for a sweet and savory snack while decorating the house or wrapping presents late at night, or set out a bowl for the family to enjoy.

You can also make snack-sized versions of your favorite holiday desserts to have on-hand when you're craving a quick and tasty treat. Chopped pecans add a flavorful and nutrient-dense crunch to these paleo-friendly No-Bake Pumpkin Pecan Pie Bites, while pecan halves provide a festive touch to these Reindeer Pecan Brownies.

Discover more nutritious, delicious and festive recipes at AmericanPecan.com.

Reindeer Pecan Brownies

Prep time: 20 minutes
Cook time: 15 minutes
Yield: 20 brownies

  • Nonstick cooking spray
  • 1 stick (1/2 cup) unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 tablespoon pecan or canola oil
  • 1 cup, plus 2 tablespoons, granulated sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon espresso powder (optional)
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 20 raw pecan halves, cut in half
  • 40 candy eyeballs
  • 20 red chocolate candies
  • 1/4 cup chocolate chip
  1. Preheat oven to 350 F. Spray mini muffin tin with nonstick cooking spray.
  2. In large bowl, whisk melted butter, oil and sugar until well combined. Add eggs and vanilla extract; beat until mixture is thick and pale in color, about 1 minute.
  3. Sift in flour and cocoa powder. Add espresso powder, if desired, and salt. Using rubber spatula, fold dry ingredients into butter mixture until just combined. Batter should be thick.
  4. Using 1-tablespoon cookie scoop, transfer batter to prepared mini muffin tin. Bake 13-15 minutes until toothpick inserted in center comes out mostly clean, with some lingering crumbs.
  5. Add chocolate chips to heat-proof bowl; microwave until smooth and melted. Pour melted chocolate into sandwich bag and cut off small portion of one corner to use as tip. Use melted chocolate to "glue" on pecan antlers, candy eyeballs and red candy noses to brownies.
  6. Allow chocolate to set before transferring brownies to airtight container.

Note: Brownies will stay fresh for up to three days.

Gingerbread Pecans

Prep time: 5 minutes
Cook time: 40 minutes
Yield: 2 cups (6 servings)

  • 1 large egg white, beaten
  • 2 cups raw pecan halves
  • 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 2 tablespoons light brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons gingerbread spice blend
  • 1 pinch salt
  1. Preheat oven to 300 F. Line baking sheet with parchment paper; set aside.
  2. In large bowl, use fork to whisk beaten egg until frothy. Add pecans and stir until coated. Sprinkle pecans with granulated sugar, brown sugar, gingerbread spice and salt. Stir to coat evenly. Spread pecans in even layer on prepared baking sheet.
  3. Bake pecans 40 minutes, stirring halfway through. Allow pecans to cool completely.

Note: Pecans can be stored in airtight container for up to four days.

No-Bake Pumpkin Pecan Pie Bites

Prep time: 15 minutes
Chill time: 1 hour
Yield: 12 bites (6 servings)

Crust:

  • 1 1/2 cups raw pecan pieces
  • 3/4 cup pitted medjool dates (about 7 dates), soaked in hot water 10 minutes
  • 1 pinch pink salt

Filling:

  • 1/3 cup pumpkin puree
  • 1/3 cup full fat coconut milk
  • 1 teaspoon pumpkin spice
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup
  • 1 pinch pink salt
  • 1 scoop collagen peptides (optional)
  • 12 raw pecan halves, for topping
  1. To make crust: In food processor, process pecan pieces, drained dates and salt until combined and "dough" starts to form into ball.
  2. To make filling: In bowl, combine pumpkin puree, coconut milk, pumpkin spice, maple syrup, pink salt and collagen peptides, if desired. Whisk until smooth.
  3. Line cupcake tin and evenly distribute crust mixture, about 1 1/2 tablespoons in each cupcake opening. Use fingers to press crust into even layer.
  4. Evenly disperse pumpkin pie filling among openings until tins are about half full.
  5. Top each with one pecan half and place in freezer at least one hour.

Source: American Pecan Council

Holiday 02 November 2020

Delectable Desserts for Holiday Celebrations

(Family Features) With so many traditions and ways to celebrate the holiday season, the options are nearly endless for families looking to spend special moments together. One of the tastiest and most enjoyable activities you can engage in with family and friends is to team up and create sweet eats in the kitchen.

Whether you’re a chocolate lover or prefer traditional seasonal flavors like peppermint and gingerbread, these tasty, dairy-inspired treats from Milk Means More provide heartwarming ways to tingle your taste buds while bringing everyone together.

Cranberry Orange Bread Pudding provides a sweet, fruity, hearty dessert while Peppermint Cheesecake Brownies combine chocolatey goodness with creamy cheesecake and peppermint. Or, for a classic holiday combination, you can turn to Gingerbread Cupcakes with Whipped Vanilla Buttercream.

Find more ways to celebrate the season with sweet eats at milkmeansmore.org.

Peppermint Cheesecake Brownies

Recipe courtesy of Sarah Bates of “The Chef Next Door” on behalf of Milk Means More
Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 30 minutes
Servings: 16

  • Nonstick cooking spray

Cheesecake Batter:

  • 8          ounces low-fat cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 1/3       cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2       teaspoon peppermint extract
  • 2          eggs
  • 1          tablespoon all-purpose flour

Brownie Batter:

  • 1          cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2       cup cocoa powder
  • 1/2       teaspoon salt
  • 1          cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4       cup vegetable oil
  • 1/4       cup milk
  • 2          eggs
  • 1          teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Topping:

  • 1/2       cup peppermint baking pieces
  1. Preheat oven to 350 F. Coat 8-inch square baking pan with nonstick cooking spray; set aside.
  2. To make cheesecake batter: Place cream cheese in bowl of stand mixer. Beat on medium speed until smooth and creamy. Add sugar and peppermint extract; beat well. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add flour and beat mixture until blended.
  3. To make brownie batter: In medium bowl, whisk flour, cocoa powder and salt until combined. In separate bowl, whisk sugar, oil, milk, eggs and vanilla until well combined. Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients and mix until blended.
  4. Pour brownie batter evenly into prepared pan. Carefully pour cheesecake batter over top, spreading evenly. Carefully swirl layers together using knife tip. Bake 20 minutes.
  5. Sprinkle top of brownies with peppermint baking pieces and bake 10 minutes until brownies are set. Cool brownies completely in pan on wire rack before cutting into 16 squares.

Cranberry Orange Bread Pudding

Recipe courtesy of Kirsten Kubert of “Comfortably Domestic” on behalf of Milk Means More
Prep time: 20 minutes
Cook time: 65 minutes
Servings: 12

Pudding:

  • 1          loaf Texas toast or day-old bread
  • 1-2       tablespoons softened butter
  • 1 1/2    cups fresh cranberries
  • 6          eggs
  • 3/4       cup granulated sugar
  • 3 1/2    cups 2% milk
  • 1          teaspoon freshly grated orange zest
  • 1/4       cup fresh orange juice
  • 1/4       cup unsalted butter, melted and slightly cooled
  • 1 1/2    teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1/8       teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 1/2    tablespoons coarse granulated sugar (optional)

Orange Custard Sauce:

  • 3          egg yolks
  • 1/4       cup granulated sugar
  • 1          cup half-and-half
  • 1/2       teaspoon freshly grated orange zest
  1. To make pudding: Cut bread into bite-sized cubes. If bread is soft and fresh, place cubes on half sheet pan and let stand at room temperature overnight to dry out.
  2. Preheat oven to 375 F.
  3. Grease 13-by-9-by-2-inch baking dish with softened butter. Place bread cubes in prepared baking pan. Scatter cranberries over bread.
  4. Beat eggs with sugar, milk, orange zest, orange juice, melted butter, vanilla and cinnamon until well blended. Pour evenly over bread and cranberries to coat. Sprinkle with coarse sugar, if desired. Bake 60-65 minutes, or until custard is set and edges of bread are browned.
  5. To make orange custard sauce: In small saucepan, whisk egg yolks with sugar until lightened to pale yellow color, about 2 minutes. Stir half-and-half into mixture until combined. Cook over low heat, stirring constantly, 15-20 minutes, or until sauce thickens enough to coat spoon. Stir orange zest into custard sauce.
  6. Serve bread pudding with warm custard sauce over top.

Gingerbread Cupcakes with Whipped Vanilla Buttercream

Recipe courtesy of Megan Gundy of “What Megan’s Making” on behalf of Milk Means More
Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 25 minutes
Servings: 20

Cupcakes:

  • 1 1/2    cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2    tablespoons ground ginger
  • 2          teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1/4       teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/2       teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/2       teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2    cups unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1 1/2    cups granulated sugar
  • 3          tablespoons molasses
  • 4          large eggs
  • 2          teaspoons vanilla extract

Whipped Vanilla Buttercream:

  • 1          cup (2 sticks) butter, softened
  • 2          teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 4          cups powdered sugar
  • 2-4       tablespoons heavy whipping cream
  • 1          pinch salt
  • cinnamon, for topping
  1. Adjust oven rack to lower-middle position and preheat oven to 350 F. Line muffin pan with cupcake liners. Set aside.
  2. To make cupcakes: In medium bowl, whisk flour, ginger, cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg and salt.
  3. In large bowl of stand mixer, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add molasses and beat until incorporated. Beat in eggs, one at a time, then beat in vanilla. Add flour mixture and mix on low speed until just combined.
  4. Divide batter evenly among muffin cups, filling each about 3/4 full. Bake 30 minutes, or until toothpick inserted in center cupcake comes out clean or with moist crumbs. Let cupcakes cool 10 minutes then transfer to wire rack to cool completely.
  5. To make whipped vanilla buttercream: In large bowl of stand mixer, beat butter on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add vanilla and, with mixer on low, slowly add in powdered sugar, cream and salt, scraping down sides of bowl as needed. Once incorporated, whip frosting at least 3 minutes on medium-high or high speed. If frosting is too thick, gradually beat in additional cream. Pipe on top of cooled cupcakes and sprinkle with cinnamon.

Source: United Dairy Industry of Michigan

Breakfast & Brunch 29 October 2020

Save Time with Simple Sweet Potato Recipes

(Family Features) When time is short and your family is hungry, you can turn to Honest Earth Mashed Sweet Potatoes from the potato experts at Idahoan. With no artificial colors, flavors or preservatives, they are made with simple ingredients, including sweet potatoes, brown sugar and real butter. They’re a good source of vitamin A and rich in fiber, antioxidants and minerals, including potassium and iron, making them a perfect addition to nutritious family meals.

As the first product of its kind, Honest Earth Mashed Sweet Potatoes save precious prep, cook and cleanup time because they come ready to heat in just 60 seconds right in their convenient, microwavable pouch. That means your family can say “good morning” to a creative breakfast like Sweet Potato Waffles with Whipped Cream and Berry Compote in just a matter of minutes.

As dinnertime draws near, turn to an American classic and the nostalgic taste of comfort food – Sweet Potato Casserole with Pecans and Toasted Marshmallows – to warm you and all your loved ones from the inside-out. Requiring just a few ingredients, it’s an ideal solution for busy weeknights when you need a shortcut that doesn’t sacrifice quality or taste.

For more information and time-saving recipe ideas, visit Idahoan.com/sweet.

Sweet Potato Waffles with Whipped Cream and Berry Compote

Yield: 4 large waffles

  • 1          cup all-purpose flour
  • 1          tablespoon baking powder
  • 1/4       teaspoon salt
  • 3          eggs, separated
  • 3/4       cup 2% milk
  • 1          pouch Honest Earth Mashed Sweet Potatoes
  • 2          tablespoons vegetable oil, plus additional for brushing on waffle iron, divided

Berry Compote:

  • 1          cup raspberries
  • 1          cup blackberries
  • 1          cup blueberries
  • 2-3       tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 1          dash lemon zest or juice
  1. Preheat waffle iron to medium heat.
  2. In medium bowl, whisk flour, baking powder and salt.
  3. In separate bowl, blend egg yolks (reserve whites), milk, sweet potatoes and 2 tablespoons oil until smooth.
  4. Add flour mixture to egg and milk mixture; blend until no clumps remain.
  5. In separate bowl, whip reserved egg whites until stiff peaks form. Fold egg whites gently into batter.
  6. Using pastry brush, oil waffle iron then add batter and cook until waffle removes easily. Repeat with remaining batter.
  7. To make berry compote: Wash raspberries, blackberries and blueberries. Drain but do not dry. In small saucepan over medium-low heat, warm berries. Add sugar and lemon zest or juice. Cook until berries have broken down and juice reaches low simmer. Serve warm over waffles and top with whipped cream.

Sweet Potato Casserole with Pecans and Toasted Marshmallows

Servings: 2

  • 1/4       cup chopped pecans
  • 1          pouch Honest Earth Mashed Sweet Potatoes
  • nonstick cooking spray
  • 1 1/2    cups miniature marshmallows
  1. Position oven rack in upper one-third of oven. Preheat oven to 350 F.
  2. In blender, blend pecans into sweet potatoes.
  3. Divide between two 1-cup ramekins sprayed with nonstick cooking spray. Sprinkle with marshmallows and bake about 15 minutes, or until marshmallows are toasted and browned.

Source: Honest Earth

Holiday 21 October 2020

Make Small Holiday Celebrations Special with a Fresh Menu

(Family Features) Holiday festivities with immediate family members or just a few friends rather than larger gatherings may feel different than normal, but you can make the most of the situation with these tips to add intimacy and special meaning to celebratory moments:

  • Use special dishes, glassware and linens to convey the tone of the celebration. Go ahead and use your best dishes or enhance your everyday plates with the use of cloth napkins or a festive tablecloth. Bring out the fancy glasses to savor every sip.
  • Arrange visually appealing, individual mini-snack platters for each person. Combine grapes with a special cheese, crackers, olives and nuts for an easy way to curb appetites before the main course.
  • Set a festive table with a simple but creative centerpiece. For instance, you can combine candles, flowers and draped bunches of colorful grapes. Place votive candles on mirrors for added shimmer and sparkle. Tie a gold or silver wire ribbon bow around the napkins at each place setting. Handwritten place cards with guests’ names can add a surprising and special touch.
  • Stay healthy to enjoy the holidays. Choose healthy foods like fruits and vegetables that help support the immune system. Maintain your exercise schedule as much as possible and ensure you are getting enough sleep.
  • Opt for homemade over processed foods for signature dishes then reinforce with prepared items to fill out the menu, if needed. Let your guests bring part of the meal or something to contribute to the festivities.

Adding a sweet touch to the menu can help keep guests coming back for more. For example, fresh California grapes are available into January and are perfect for the holiday season. Enjoy them as a fresh, healthy snack or side dish, or as an ingredient to add taste and visual appeal to recipes to make the season feel special.

Start the meal with a simple but beautiful salad such as Grape and Spinach Salad with Raspberry Balsamic Dressing, where the grapes provide festive color and pleasing texture. Pair your chosen entree with Warm Farro Salad with Grapes and Delicata Squash for a hearty side dish that can also be served on its own. Finally, cap off the celebration with homemade Grape and Apple Sheet Pan Pie.

Visit grapesfromcalifornia.com/recipe to find more holiday-worthy dishes from appetizers and entrees to sides, snacks and desserts.

Create the Perfect Appetizer Plate

Delight your guests with individual appetizer plates this season by considering color, texture and presentation. Remember, this is the prelude to the meal, so small portions are perfectly fine. Consider this starter list:

  • Cheese
  • Nuts
  • Fresh grapes
  • Olives
  • Hummus
  • Marinated artichoke hearts
  • Salami slices
  • Spinach or other dips
  • Dolmades (stuffed grape leaves)
  • Roasted red peppers
  • Crackers
  • Pita triangles
  • Thin breadsticks
  • Pretzels
  • Jam or honey

Grape and Spinach Salad with Raspberry Balsamic Dressing

Prep time: 20 minutes
Servings: 8

  • 8          cups fresh baby spinach, washed
  • 4 1/2    cups California grapes
  • 1 1/4    cups mandarin orange segments, drained if using canned
  • 1/3       cup thinly sliced red onion
  • 3/4       cup bottled light balsamic vinegar and oil dressing
  • 1/4       cup orange juice
  • 3          tablespoons raspberry jam
  • 3/4       cup crunchy chow mein noodles
  1. In large salad bowl, combine spinach with grapes, oranges and onion.
  2. Whisk together dressing, orange juice and jam. Pour over salad and toss until greens are coated with dressing. Divide among eight plates and top with crunchy noodles.

Grape and Apple Sheet Pan Pie

Prep time: 1 hour
Cook time: 50 minutes
Servings: 16

Dough:

  • 4          cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2    tablespoons sugar
  • 2          teaspoons kosher salt
  • 3 1/2    sticks cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
  • 1          cup ice water, plus additional if needed

Filling:

  • 3          pounds Granny Smith or other tart apples, peeled and thinly sliced (about 9 cups)
  • 4          cups black California grapes
  • 3/4       cup sugar
  • 2          tablespoons all- purpose flour
  • 2          tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1          pinch salt
  • 1          egg
  • 1          tablespoon water
  • demerara sugar, for garnish
  1. To make dough: In large bowl, whisk flour, sugar and salt. Add butter and toss with flour mixture. Smash each butter cube flat then use fork to stir in cold water. Knead lightly until dough comes together in ball. Transfer to floured work surface and use well-floured rolling pin to roll into 10-by-15-inch sheet. Fold each short side into middle and close like a book. Fold once more to make thick block and cut in half. Wrap each piece in plastic and chill at least 30 minutes or overnight.
  2. To make filling: In large bowl, combine apples, grapes, sugar, flour, lemon juice and salt; set aside.
  3. To assemble pie: Heat oven to 375 F.
  4. Roll one half of dough out to 18-by-13-inch rectangle. Transfer to 10-by-15-inch heavy baking sheet; place in refrigerator to chill while rolling out top sheet. Roll out remaining dough to 18-by-13-inch rectangle and use pastry cutter to cut into 1 1/2-inch wide strips.
  5. Transfer filling into chilled pastry and spread evenly. Lay dough strips on top of filling in lattice pattern and crimp sides together. Mix egg with water and brush top of pie. Sprinkle with demerara sugar and bake until filling is bubbling, and crust is nicely browned, about 45-50 minutes.

Warm Farro Salad with Grapes and Delicata Squash

Prep time: 20 minutes
Cook time: 30 minutes
Servings: 8

  • 3          pounds delicata squash, cut lengthwise, seeded and cut into 1/2-inch slices
  • 3 1/2    tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
  • 1          teaspoon coarse salt, divided
  • 1/2       teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, divided
  • 1          pinch cayenne pepper
  • 1 1/2    cups farro
  • 2          cups water
  • 3 1/2    tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1          teaspoon lemon zest
  • 1 1/2    cups halved California grapes
  • 1/2       cup chopped parsley
  1. Heat oven to 425 F.
  2. On sheet pan, toss squash with 2 tablespoons olive oil, 1/2 teaspoon salt, 1/4 teaspoon pepper and cayenne pepper. Spread into single layer and roast 10-15 minutes, or until bottoms are browned. Turn squash and roast 10-15 minutes, or until browned and tender.
  3. While squash is cooking, combine farro, water and remaining salt. Bring to boil, reduce to simmer, cover and cook until farro is tender, 25-30 minutes. Drain leftover water and transfer to large bowl. Add squash, remaining olive oil, remaining pepper, lemon juice, lemon zest, grapes and parsley; toss.

Note: Acorn or butternut squash may be substituted for delicata squash.

Source: California Table Grape Commission

Holiday 20 October 2020

Rich, Flavorful Recipes for Memorable Holiday Moments

(Family Features) For many families, spending special moments with loved ones feels more important than ever this year. Whether you’re spending the holidays with family or inviting them for a virtual call from afar, you can plan ahead to enjoy the same dishes even without being at the same table.

Tap into family favorites like these seasonal sweets that include California Walnuts for rich, holiday-worthy flavor. Overnight Walnut French Toast with Cranberry Walnut Ginger Compote offers a tart-sweet combination perfect for a holiday brunch and allows you to prep the night before and simply pop in the oven when you wake up.

Drizzled with a chocolate-peppermint glaze and finished with walnuts and crushed peppermint candies, a Walnut Chocolate Peppermint Bundt Cake can provide the perfect finish to the festivities. The soft cake and crunchy walnuts contrast for an ultimate texture combination.

Find more sweet holiday recipes at walnuts.org.

Overnight Walnut French Toast with Cranberry Walnut Ginger Compote

Total time: 1 hour
Servings: 12

Cranberry Walnut Ginger Compote:

  • 1/2       cup California Walnuts
  • 2          cups cranberries
  • 1/2       cup orange juice
  • 1/2       cup maple syrup
  • 1/4       teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1          orange, zest only

Overnight Walnut French Toast:

  • 8          slices Texas Toast or 1-inch thick slices French bread
  • 1/4       cup butter, melted, plus additional for baking dish, divided
  • 2 1/2    cups milk or walnut milk
  • 1/2       cup sugar
  • 2          teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1          teaspoon cinnamon
  • 6          eggs
  1. To make Cranberry Walnut Ginger Compote: Preheat oven to 350 F. Place walnuts on baking sheet and toast 8 minutes. Remove from heat and chop coarsely.
  2. In medium pot over medium heat, combine toasted walnuts, cranberries, orange juice, syrup, ginger and orange zest. Bring to boil and stir frequently 12-15 minutes until cranberries pop and liquid starts to reduce.
  3. Transfer to container and refrigerate once cooled.
  4. To make Overnight Walnut French Toast: Preheat oven to 350 F.
  5. Place bread on baking sheet and bake 5 minutes, or until lightly toasted on outside but still soft on inside. Butter 13-by-9-inch baking dish.
  6. In large bowl, whisk milk, sugar, 1/4 cup butter, vanilla extract, cinnamon and eggs. Dip each bread slice in mixture and let soak about 15 seconds on each side. Place in prepared baking dish, overlapping slices slightly, if necessary.
  7. Cover and refrigerate a few hours or overnight.
  8. Preheat oven to 350 F. Bake 50-60 minutes, or until golden brown and somewhat firm to touch. Serve immediately topped with Cranberry Walnut Ginger Compote.

Walnut Chocolate Peppermint Bundt Cake

Total time: 1 hour, 30 minutes
Servings: 16

Cake:

  • 1          cup butter, plus additional for greasing pan, divided
  • 1/2       cup unsweetened cocoa powder, plus additional for dusting pan, divided
  • 1          cup water
  • 2 1/4    cups sugar
  • 1          teaspoon peppermint extract
  • 3          eggs
  • 2          cups flour
  • 3/4       teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2       teaspoon salt
  • 1/4       teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2       cup buttermilk
  • 1          cup California Walnut halves and pieces

Chocolate Peppermint Truffle Glaze:

  • 1/3       cup dark chocolate chips
  • 3          tablespoons butter
  • 2          tablespoons milk
  • 1/2       teaspoon peppermint extract

Toppings:

  • 1/2       cup coarsely chopped California Walnuts
  • 1/2       cup crushed peppermint candy
  1. To make cake: Preheat oven to 350 F. Lightly butter bundt pan then dust with cocoa powder. Turn pan, tapping, to coat on all sides; tap out excess.
  2. In small saucepan over low heat, melt 1 cup butter, 1/2 cup cocoa powder and water, whisking until smooth; let cool.
  3. Transfer to bowl of mixer and lightly beat in sugar, peppermint extract and eggs.
  4. In medium bowl, mix flour, baking powder, salt and baking soda. Add about 1/3 of dry ingredients to chocolate mixture and beat on low speed to combine. Add 1/4 cup buttermilk and beat again. Repeat steps ending with flour mixture, mixing only until combined. Fold in walnuts.
  5. Spread in prepared pan and bake 50-60 minutes, or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Let cool then invert onto serving plate or platter.
  6. To make Chocolate Peppermint Truffle Glaze: While cake bakes, melt chocolate chips, butter, milk and peppermint extract together until smooth. Let cool slightly to thicken then drizzle over cake. Top with walnuts and peppermint candies.

Source: California Walnuts

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