recipes

Appetizers & Sides 01 November 2018

Party Prep Pointers for Stress-Free Holiday Entertaining

(Family Features) Thoughts of hosting and entertaining during one of the busiest seasons of the year can be stressful. With so much party preparation for the holidays, from decor to drinks and appetizers to activities, it’s easy to see how even the most experienced hosts can get a little flustered.  

One way to make sure you get to enjoy this year’s festivities is to streamline preparation without sacrificing flavor, quality or appearance. By limiting the number of drinks and dishes you serve, you can wow your guests with both your culinary expertise and your smile.

  • Stick to one or two signature cocktails so you won’t have to stock the bar (which can be expensive) or take drink orders and play bartender all night. Save even more time by serving make-ahead cocktails that simply require adding soda when ready to drink. Add white and red wine options, and offer seltzer and cranberry or pomegranate juice for mocktails.
  • Make a festive centerpiece that’s also edible, such as this Wreath Centerpiece from Kaukauna Cheese. Assemble it the day before or the morning of the party, eliminating last-minute stress. It’s simple to make and appropriate for nearly any holiday gathering. Plus, the “No-Artificial-Anything” Cheese Ball, with no additives or artificial ingredients, can appeal to the taste buds of hungry guests. 
  • Let your hors d’oeuvres serve double duty as both appetizer and party decor. To make it nearly effortless, head to your local grocery store’s deli section. Pick up cured meats, cheeses, pickled vegetables, assorted olives, breads, crackers, nuts and fruits. Arrange on a large platter, board or tray then garnish with rosemary sprigs and scatter with pomegranate seeds for a festive finish in a flash.

For more easy entertaining recipes, visit Kaukaunacheese.com.  

Edible Wreath Centerpiece

  • 1          Kaukauna Port Wine Cheddar Cheese Ball (10 ounces)
  • 1          container (11.3 ounces) Kaukauna Sharp Cheddar Cheese Spread
  • sesame seeds or poppy seeds
  • bacon bits or chopped walnuts
  • 10-12   small pretzel sticks 
  • rosemary, for garnish (optional) 
  1. Place cheese ball in center of large, round platter.
  2. To make mini cheese balls, shape 1-2 tablespoons of cheese spread into balls. Roll lightly in seeds and bacon bits or walnuts.
  3. Insert pretzel sticks into mini cheese balls up to 1 hour prior to serving. Store in refrigerator. Remove from refrigerator about 15 minutes before serving. Garnish with rosemary sprigs, if desired. 

Source: Kaukauna Cheese

Meal Ideas 19 February 2019

Savor the Season

(Family Features) Spice things up this season with some uniquely delicious recipe options that are perfect for most any meal occasion.

Serve Beet, Feta and Walnut Scones for brunch or as an accompaniment to soups or salads. Starting with Aunt Nellie’s Pickled Beets cuts time and adds flavor.

Quick Sausage and German Potato Salad Skillet is on the lunch or dinner table in 20 minutes thanks to pre-cooked sausages and a can of heat-and-eat READ German Potato Salad.

Sides are easy, too. A jar of Aunt Nellie’s Glazed Small Sliced Carrots is the main ingredient in this quick-to-assemble Spicy Carrot-Sweet Potato Casserole. If roasted vegetables are more your style, try Thyme-Scented Roasted Vegetables, accented with sweet, tangy pickled beets.

For more seasonal recipes, visit AuntNellies.com and READsalads.com.

Thyme-Scented Roasted Vegetables and Beets

Servings: 4
Prep time: 20 minutes
Cook time: 30 minutes

  • 1          jar (16 ounces) Aunt Nellie’s Whole Pickled Beets, drained, halved
  • 1/2       pound baby carrots
  • 1          medium onion, cut through core into 1/2-inch wedges
  • 8          ounces shallots, peeled, halved if large
  • 1          tablespoon olive oil
  • 1          teaspoon dried thyme leaves
  • 1/2       teaspoon salt
  • 1/4       teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1          clove garlic, minced
  1. Heat oven to 400°F.
  2. Line 15-by-10-inch jelly roll pan with aluminum foil. Add beets, carrots, onion and shallots. Drizzle with oil; sprinkle with thyme, salt and pepper; toss to coat.
  3. Roast, uncovered, 15 minutes. Add garlic to vegetables; toss well. Return to oven and continue roasting 15 minutes, or until vegetables are tender and lightly browned.

Note: 1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme may be substituted for dried thyme leaves.

Spicy Carrot-Sweet Potato Casserole

Servings: 6
Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 30 minutes

  • 1          jar (15.5 ounces) Aunt Nellie’s Glazed Small Sliced Carrots
  • 1/4       cup orange juice
  • 1          teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2       teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/2       teaspoon grated orange peel
  • 1          cup cooked sweet potato pieces (about 2 inches each)
  • 1/4       cup coarsely chopped pecans
  1. Heat oven to 350°F. In large bowl, gently stir together carrots with jarred liquid, orange juice, cinnamon, ginger and orange peel.
  2. Spray 1 1/2- to 2-quart baking dish with nonstick cooking spray. Arrange sweet potatoes in dish. Pour carrot mixture over potatoes. Sprinkle with pecans.
  3. Bake 30 minutes, or until bubbling and heated through. Allow to stand 5-10 minutes before serving.

Note: 1/2 cup chopped apples can be added to carrot mixture.

Beet, Feta and Walnut Scones

Servings: 8
Prep time: 25 minutes
Cook time: 20 minutes

  • 1          jar (16 ounces) Aunt Nellie’s Sliced Pickled Beets
  • 2          cups all-purpose flour
  • 1          tablespoon baking powder
  • 1/2       teaspoon salt
  • 1/2       teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1/2       cup milk (2 percent or skim)
  • 1/3       cup olive oil
  • 1          egg, beaten
  • 1/4       cup thinly sliced green onion
  • 1          tablespoon chopped fresh rosemary
  • 1          small clove garlic, minced
  • 2/3       cup crumbled feta cheese (not fat-free)
  • 1/2       cup coarsely chopped toasted walnuts
  • 8          rosemary sprigs
  1. Heat oven to 400°F.
  2. Drain beets well. Chop coarsely; set aside on paper towels.
  3. In large bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, salt and pepper.
  4. In small bowl, whisk together milk, oil and egg. Stir in onion, rosemary and garlic. Add milk mixture to flour mixture. Stir to combine. Gently stir in feta and walnuts, just until combined, then add beets and stir gently to combine.
  5. Turn out onto lightly floured surface. Knead dough three to four times to smooth. Pat into 9-inch round on ungreased baking sheet. Cut into 8 triangles; do not separate. Lightly press rosemary sprigs into each scone.
  6. Bake 20 minutes, or until light golden-brown. Cool on baking sheet; set on wire rack. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Quick Sausage and German Potato Salad Skillet

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

  • 2          teaspoons olive or vegetable oil
  • 1          medium red or yellow onion, cut into 1/2-inch thick wedges
  • 1          cup chopped red bell pepper
  • 3/4       pound pre-cooked smoked chicken or turkey sausage links
  • 1          can (15 ounces) READ German Potato Salad
  • 1/4       teaspoon cracked black pepper
  • chopped parsley (optional)
  1. In large skillet, heat oil over medium heat. Add onion and bell pepper. Cook and stir 1 minute. Add sausages; continue cooking 5 minutes until browned and heated through, turning occasionally. Remove sausages from skillet.
  2. Add potato salad and black pepper to skillet. Stir to combine with onion mixture. Return sausages to skillet. Cook 2-3 minutes until heated through. Sprinkle with parsley, if desired.

Source: Seneca Foods

Seafood 01 June 2018

Find Picnic Perfection with Nutritious Seafood

(Family Features) From the trees to the breeze, picnics are a fun way your family can soak up the sunshine while enjoying a delicious and nutritious meal together.

“Picnics should be a prescription for health,” said registered dietitian nutritionist and TV host Annessa Chumbley. “They accomplish three amazing things needed for healthy living: nourishing the body, focusing on relationships and soaking up the benefits of being surrounded by nature.”

Consider stepping up your picnic game with a refreshing option like seafood. Eating seafood two times per week, as recommended by the Dietary Guidelines for Americans, can provide unique health benefits as a lean protein and source of omega-3s, healthy fats that are beneficial for your heart and your brain. To make it easier to create picture-perfect picnics, try these tips from Chumbley.

  • Pack bottles of cold or even frozen water in the picnic basket to help keep everything chilled and fresh so it’s ready to devour.
  • Plan to eat fresh and healthy foods like this Crab Salad for an easy-to-make option.
  • Create a dip nearly everyone can enjoy. Seafood can be added to almost any dip, and can be enjoyed with fresh, crunchy vegetables.
  • Jars can be a lifesaver when packing a picnic. Tape utensils to the sides of the jars for easy access to your favorite foods.
  • Don’t bring your phones, tablets or any other device that can distract you from family time. This is a time to relax and socialize with one another.
  • Try taping a thermometer inside your bag or cooler so you know the food is at safe, cool temperatures.
  • Place a small cutting board and knife in your pack, which can come in handy for chopping up fruits and vegetables when it’s time to chow down.

For more seafood recipes and meal inspiration, visit seafoodnutrition.org or follow #Seafood2xWk on social media.
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Crab Salad

Recipe courtesy of the Seafood Nutrition Partnership Eating Heart Healthy Program
Serves: 4

Dressing:

  • 1/2       cup plain non-fat yogurt
  • 1          lemon, juiced
  • 2          tablespoons green onions
  • 2          tablespoons olive oil
  • salt, to taste
  • pepper, to taste
  • 1          ounce walnuts (about 14 halves)
  • cayenne pepper, to taste  
  • 1          bag (8 ounces) spinach
  • 1          can (6 ounces) crab meat or fresh lump crab
  • 1/2       cup lentils, cooked
  • 1          grapefruit, cut into sections
  1. Heat oven to 300° F.
  2. To make dressing: Mix yogurt, lemon juice, green onions and olive oil. Add salt and pepper, to taste.
  3. Toss walnuts with cayenne pepper, to taste, and bake 4-5 minutes. Make sure walnuts do not burn. Remove walnuts from oven and let cool.
  4. Toss spinach with dressing. Toss with crab meat. Sprinkle lentils on top and add walnuts. Place grapefruit pieces around edge.

Source: Seafood Nutrition Partnership

Healthy 05 February 2019

Help Fight Inflammation with Food

(Family Features) On top of being tasty, certain foods contain specific nutrients and natural compounds that may help fight inflammation, a condition linked to arthritis and gout. With that in mind, try heading to the fridge or pantry the next time you feel joint pain, swelling or stiff knees.

Colorful fruits and vegetables, including ruby red tart cherries and dark leafy greens like spinach and kale, are among the most powerful anti-inflammatory foods, along with oily fish (salmon, sardines and scallops), nuts, seeds and whole grains. Ingredients such as ginger, turmeric and olive oil may also help combat inflammation.

For an inflammation-fighting boost, Montmorency tart cherries contain the “highest anti-inflammatory content of any food,” according to research conducted at Oregon Health & Science University. Results show that cherry intake can help reduce blood levels of gout-causing uric acid and reduce the painful symptoms of osteoarthritis. Research also shows that Montmorency tart cherry juice can reduce post-exercise inflammation and muscle pain.  

“For decades, people with arthritis and gout have consumed tart cherry juice for pain relief. Now there’s scientific evidence to back up this popular folklore remedy,” said registered dietitian Michelle Babb, author of “Anti-Inflammatory Eating Made Easy.” “Since Montmorency tart cherries are one of the richest sources of anthocyanins, a potent type of flavonoid, they can offer a natural way to help ease the pain related to arthritis and gout.”

To help fight inflammation with food, try this recipe for Bay Scallop, Baby Kale and Corn Salad with Tart Cherry Granola, which is packed with anti-inflammatory ingredients. Learn more about the research on Montmorency tart cherries and inflammation, and find more recipes, at choosecherries.com.

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Bay Scallop, Baby Kale and Corn Salad with Tart Cherry Granola

Prep time: 30 minutes
Cook time: 15 minutes
Total time: 45 minutes
Yield: 1 salad

Savory Granola:

  • 1/3       cup oats
  • 1/3       cup chopped walnuts
  • 1/4       cup sunflower seeds
  • 2          tablespoons buckwheat groats
  • 2          tablespoons pepitas
  • 1/4       cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2          tablespoons honey
  • 1          tablespoon spicy brown mustard
  • salt
  • pepper
  • 1/4       cup dried Montmorency tart cherries

Dressing:

  • 1          shallot, minced
  • 3          tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2          tablespoons dried Montmorency tart cherries
  • 2          tablespoons Montmorency tart cherry juice
  • 1          tablespoon spicy brown mustard
  • 2          teaspoons apple cider vinegar
  • 1          teaspoon honey
  • salt
  • pepper

Salad:

  • 10        ounces baby kale
  • 1          grilled ear of corn, kernels sliced off
  • 1          cup sprouts (alfalfa or microgreens)
  • 1/2       tablespoon butter
  • 8          ounces bay scallops, patted dry
  1. To make savory granola: Heat oven to 350° F. Line baking sheet with parchment paper or baking mat.
  2. In large bowl, combine oats, walnuts, sunflower seeds, buckwheat groats and pepitas. In small bowl, whisk together olive oil, honey, mustard, salt and pepper.
  3. Pour wet ingredients into large bowl and toss until well combined.
  4. Spread mixture onto baking sheet in single layer and bake 18-20 minutes, tossing once halfway through, until granola starts to turn golden brown and crispy around edges.
  5. Remove from oven, add cherries, toss to combine, spread into single layer and let cool.
  6. To make dressing: In food processor, process shallot, olive oil, cherries, cherry juice, mustard, vinegar, honey, salt and pepper until smooth.
  7. To make salad: Place kale, corn kernels and sprouts in large bowl; set aside.
  8. In large skillet over medium-high heat, melt butter. Once hot, add scallops and cook until golden and starting to caramelize on one side. Flip and repeat on other side.
  9. Add scallops to large salad bowl. Pour dressing over top and toss until well combined.
  10. Break up granola into small pieces and add to salad bowl. Toss lightly before serving.

Source: Cherry Marketing Institute

Dessert 12 July 2018

Pop Up Sweet Treats

(Family Features) When the weather is warm and it’s time for a sweet treat, look for seasonal goodies that complement summertime fun. For example, reach for an option like whole-grain, fluffy and crisp popcorn which can be an easy, DIY snack.

Combine sweet and salty flavors to create something delicious to devour like Coconut Popcorn Crunch Pie or delightful Down Home Apple Pie Popcorn.

To better serve a crowd, try these Perfect Picnic Popcorn Squares, Popcorn S’mores or Key Lime Popcorn Clusters at your next family pool party or summertime barbecue with friends.

For more creative, DIY popcorn recipe ideas, visit popcorn.org.
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Down Home Apple Pie Popcorn

Yield: 10 cups

  • 3          tablespoons melted butter
  • 1          teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2          tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1          teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/8       teaspoon ground allspice
  • 1/8       teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 8          cups popped popcorn
  • 1          cup dried apple chips, broken into large pieces
  • 1/4       cup toffee bits
  1.  Heat oven to 300° F. Whisk melted butter with vanilla. Toss brown sugar with cinnamon, allspice and nutmeg.
  2. Toss popcorn with butter mixture. Sprinkle evenly with brown sugar mixture. Stir. Transfer to baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
  3. Sprinkle apple chips and toffee bits over top. Bake 15 minutes, or until toffee bits start to melt. Cool before serving.

Tip: Add chopped pecans for extra crunch.

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Key Lime Popcorn Clusters

Yield: about 32 clusters

  • 8          cups popped popcorn
  • 4          whole graham crackers, finely chopped, divided
  • 1          jar (7 1/2 ounces) marshmallow creme
  • 1/4       cup butter or margarine
  • 2          tablespoons grated lime peel
  • 1          tablespoon key lime juice
  1. Line 9-inch square pan with foil.
  2. In large bowl, combine popcorn and all but 2 tablespoons graham cracker pieces.
  3. In large glass bowl, microwave marshmallow creme and butter on high 1 minute. Stir until butter is melted. Stir in lime peel and lime juice.
  4. Pour marshmallow mixture over popcorn, mixing thoroughly.
  5. Using damp hand, firmly press mixture into prepared pan. Sprinkle with reserved graham cracker pieces. Refrigerate 2 hours until firm.
  6. Lift foil from pan. Break popcorn mixture into clusters.

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Coconut-Popcorn Crunch Pie

Yield: 12 servings

  • 2          quarts popped popcorn, unsalted
  • 1          can (4 ounces) flaked coconut, toasted
  • 1          cup sugar
  • 1          cup light corn syrup
  • 1/2       cup butter or margarine
  • 1/4       cup water
  • 2          teaspoons salt
  • 1          teaspoon vanilla
  • 1          quart vanilla, spumoni or butter pecan ice cream
  • fresh fruit, for topping (optional)
  • chocolate sauce, for topping (optional)
  1. In large, buttered bowl, mix popcorn and coconut. In saucepan, combine sugar, syrup, butter, water and salt. Bring to boil over low heat, stirring until sugar dissolves. Continue cooking until syrup reaches hard crack stage (290-295 F).
  2. Stir in vanilla. Pour syrup in fine stream over popcorn mixture; stir until particles are evenly coated with syrup.
  3. On buttered, 12-inch pizza pan, spread half of popcorn mixture in thin layer, covering bottom of pan. Mark off into wedge-shaped servings; set aside. Repeat using remaining popcorn mixture; cool.
  4. Cover one layer with ice cream; top with second popcorn layer. Store in freezer. To serve, cut in wedges. Serve with fruit or chocolate sauce, if desired.

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Perfect Picnic Popcorn Squares

Yield: 12 squares

  • 1          cup light corn syrup
  • 1/2       cup sugar
  • 1/2       cup brown sugar
  • 1          cup reduced-fat peanut butter
  • 3/4       cup raisins
  • 8          cups air-popped popcorn
  • nonstick cooking spray
  1. In large saucepan, combine corn syrup, sugar, brown sugar and peanut butter.
  2. Bring to boil over low heat, stirring constantly; boil 2-3 minutes. Remove saucepan from heat.
  3. In large bowl, combine raisins and popcorn; pour hot mixture over popcorn and toss carefully with wooden spoons until well-coated.
  4. Spray 9-by-13-inch baking dish with cooking spray; press popcorn mixture into pan and cool completely.
  5. Cut into squares and serve.

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Popcorn S’mores

Yield: 20 pieces

  • 1          cup firmly packed light brown sugar
  • 1/2       cup (1 stick) butter or margarine
  • 1/2       cup corn syrup
  • 1/2       teaspoon baking soda
  • 10        cups freshly popped popcorn
  • 1          package (10 1/2 ounces) miniature marshmallows
  • 2          cups mini graham cookies
  • 1          cup chocolate chips
  1. In medium saucepan, combine brown sugar, butter and corn syrup.
  2. Cook over high heat 5 minutes; remove from heat and stir in baking soda.
  3. In large bowl, combine popcorn and marshmallows.
  4. Pour sugar mixture over popcorn to coat.
  5. Gently stir in graham cookies and chocolate chips.
  6. Spread mixture evenly into greased 15-by-10-inch pan.
  7. Let cool completely. Break into pieces.

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Ballpark Popcorn Crunch (VIDEO)

  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 3 quarts unsalted popped popcorn
  • 1 cup chopped walnuts
  1. Cream together butter and brown sugar till light and fluffy.
  2. In a separate bowl, toss popcorn and walnuts.
  3. Add creamed mixture to popcorn and nuts. Combine until coated.
  4. Spread on a large baking sheet in a single layer.
  5. Bake at 350-degree oven for 10 minutes or until crisp.

Source: Popcorn Board

Meal Ideas 25 June 2018

Good-for-You Meals with Grape Taste

(Family Features) When it comes to balancing heart-healthy meals with appealing flavors, it’s important to lean on nutritious ingredients that pack mouthwatering taste. For example, grapes are a delicious yet subtle way to incorporate a little something extra into your diet while adding a juicy burst of flavor.

Grapes of all colors – red, green and black – can be enjoyed as a ready-to-eat, on-the-go food anytime and anywhere. Grapes are also a healthy choice, as they’re a natural source of antioxidants and other polyphenols, and contain no fat and virtually no sodium.

Because of their versatility, heart-healthy grapes can also be used as an ingredient to add fresh appeal, vibrant color and a light touch of sweetness to almost any dish, like Roasted Cod with Fennel and Grapes or Spaghetti Squash with Pesto and Grapes. For something quick and nutritious featuring fresh fruits and vegetables, try this Vegetarian Poke Bowl with tofu, fresh grapes, avocado and crunchy, raw beets and carrots.

Grape Goodness for Healthy Aging

In addition to helping maintain heart health, grapes may also play a role in healthy aging. A review of the science linking the consumption of grapes to health highlights grapes’ potential to impact many areas of health, according to research published in “Grapes and Health: A Monograph.” The evidence that grapes support heart health is well-established, and emerging research in other areas of health suggests that grapes’ ability to promote antioxidant and anti-inflammatory activities at the cellular level may also play a protective role in eye, brain and joint health, among others.

Find more recipes to make healthy eating easy at GrapesfromCalifornia.com.

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Vegetarian Poke Bowl

Prep time: 20 minutes
Servings: 4

  • 5          cups cooked brown or white jasmine rice
  • 2          packages (6 ounces each) extra-firm tofu, cubed
  • 2          cups red California grapes, halved
  • 1          avocado, pitted, peeled and thinly sliced
  • 1          large golden beet, peeled and shredded
  • 1          large carrot, peeled and shredded
  • 2          scallions, thinly sliced
  • sprinkle of toasted sesame seeds
  • 6          ounces light Asian ginger-sesame salad dressing
  1. Divide rice between four bowls and arrange tofu, grapes, avocado, beets and carrots on top. Sprinkle with scallions and sesame seeds; serve with dressing.

Nutritional information per serving: 620 calories; 19 g protein; 101 g carbohydrates; 17 g fat (25% calories from fat); 2.5 g saturated fat (4% calories from saturated fat); 450 mg sodium; 11 g fiber.

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Roasted Cod with Fennel and Grapes

Prep time: 10 minutes            
Cook time: 15 minutes
Servings: 4

  • 1          pound cod loin, cut into four equal pieces
  • 2          tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
  • 1          tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1/2       teaspoon orange zest
  • 1/4       teaspoon sea salt, divided
  • fresh ground pepper
  • 1          tablespoon white wine vinegar
  • 1          tablespoon orange juice
  • 1          tablespoon minced shallot
  • 1/4       teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1          teaspoon honey
  • 1          tablespoon fresh chopped oregano
  • 1          medium fennel bulb, fronds removed, chopped and reserved
  • 1          cup red California grapes, halved
  1. Heat oven to 400° F. Arrange cod pieces in baking dish.
  2. In small bowl, combine 1 tablespoon olive oil with lemon juice, orange zest, 1/8 teaspoon salt and pepper. Spoon mixture onto cod in equal amounts. Bake 10-12 minutes, or until desired doneness is reached.
  3. While cod is baking, in small bowl, combine remaining olive oil, remaining salt, pepper, vinegar, orange juice, shallot, coriander, honey and oregano; set aside. Halve and core fennel bulb then thinly slice and place in separate bowl. Add grapes and dressing; toss to combine.
  4. Serve cod topped with fennel and grape salad. Garnish each serving with 1 tablespoon chopped fennel fronds.

Nutritional information per serving: 200 calories; 19 g protein; 15 g carbohydrates; 8 g fat (36% calories from fat); 1 g saturated fat (4% calories from saturated fat); 45 mg cholesterol; 240 mg sodium; 2 g fiber.

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Spaghetti Squash with Pesto and Grapes

Prep time: 15 minutes
Cook time: 45 minutes
Servings: 6

  • 1          large spaghetti squash
  • 1/3       cup extra-virgin olive oil, divided
  • 1/2       cup chopped walnuts, divided
  • 2          cloves garlic
  • 2          cups packed basil leaves
  • 1          cup packed arugula
  • 1          tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1          teaspoon lemon zest
  • 1/3       cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1/4       teaspoon salt
  • freshly ground pepper, to taste
  • 1          cup cannellini beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 1/2    cups red California grapes, halved
  1. Heat oven to 400° F. Cut squash in half lengthwise and remove seeds. Using fork, poke shallow holes in skin of squash then brush with 1 tablespoon oil and place it, cut-side down, in rimmed baking dish. Bake 30-40 minutes, or until tender.
  2. To make pesto: In food processor, process 1/4 cup walnuts, garlic, basil, arugula, lemon juice and lemon zest until well chopped. Add remaining olive oil, Parmesan, salt and pepper; process until well blended.
  3. Once squash is done baking, remove from oven. Cool squash 5-10 minutes then, using fork, scrape inside flesh of squash, removing “spaghetti,” and place it in large bowl. Add pesto and beans to cooked squash and toss gently with tongs to combine. Divide equally into six bowls and top each with 1/4 cup grapes and 2 teaspoons chopped walnuts.

Nutritional information per serving: 290 calories; 7 g protein; 24 g carbohydrates; 20 g fat (62% calories from fat); 3 g saturated fat (9% calories from saturated fat); 5 mg cholesterol; 160 mg sodium; 6 g fiber.

Source:  California Table Grape Commission

Dessert 06 March 2018

Pistachio Cake

This delicious Pistachio Cake will be a hit at your next get together.  Simple to make and your guests will devour it in minutes.  For more recipes go to www.culinary.net.
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Pistachio Cake

  • 1 package white cake mix
  • 1 package instant pistachio pudding mix
  • 3 Large eggs
  • 1 cup Club Soda
  • 3/4 cup canola oil
  • 1 cup chopped walnuts

Frosting

  • 1 package instant pistachio pudding mix
  • 1 cup 2% milk
  • 1 carton frozen whipped topping, thawed.
  1. Preheat oven to 350° F.  Spray non-stick spray into bundt pan.
  2. Combine cake mix, pudding mix, eggs, club soda and canola oil into a large bowl.  Beat mixture on medium speed for 2 minutes.  Add in walnuts and stir.
  3. Transfer mix to prepared bundt pan.
  4. Bake 40-45 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean from the center.
  5. Cool in pan 10 minutes before transferring to plate.
  6. For Frosting: Combine pudding mix and milk in large bowl.  Beat mixture on low for 1 minute.
  7. Fold in thawed whipped topping.
  8. Spread over cake.
  9. Refrigerate until serving.
Snacks 21 July 2017

Snack Smarter with Dairy

(Family Features) Americans are snacking more and more these days, with the average person consuming 25 percent of daily calories in the form of snacks. This school year, aim for an A-plus in nutrition by snacking smarter on nutrient-rich dairy products.

Snacking goes hand-in-hand with dairy products since they are a tasty, convenient and cost-effective way to fuel up throughout the day. There are a variety of grab-and-go milk, cheese and yogurt products that provide portable nutrition.

What’s more, dairy packs a nutritious punch. Together, milk, cheese and yogurt provide nine essential nutrients, including high-quality protein, an important nutrient to include in snacks since it helps you feel fuller longer. 

Boost your snacking IQ with these smart tips:

  • Add dairy to your favorite treats for a well-rounded snack. Pair cheese sticks with fresh fruit, such as an apple, pear or grapes. Reach for cheese cubes and whole-grain crackers when you want something savory. Or dip strawberries in yogurt for a tasty, sweet treat. For a kid-friendly snack, make it hands-on fun by creating colorful fruit and cheese kabobs.
  • Flavored milk provides the same nine essential nutrients as unflavored milk. The only difference is the addition of flavorings and minimal amounts of sugar, which can lead to improved consumption, especially among children.
  • Whip up a dairy-based smoothie made for an on-the-go snack or create your own yogurt parfait, such as this flavorful recipe that combines favorites like peanut butter and bananas in a deliciously refreshing treat.

For more tips and recipes to help you snack smarter, and for stories about dairy farm families and where dairy foods come from, visit MidwestDairy.com.

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Peanut Butter Banana Crunch Yogurt Parfait

Recipe courtesy of the Midwest Dairy Council
Prep time: 10 minutes
Servings: 1

  • 1          cup nonfat, light vanilla yogurt
  • 1          tablespoon creamy peanut butter
  • 1          tablespoon chopped walnuts
  • 4          pretzel twists, crumbled (about 1 tablespoon)
  • 1          banana, sliced
  1. In small bowl, mix yogurt and peanut butter together. In separate bowl, toss walnuts and pretzels together.
  2. In tall glass, build parfait. Layer 1/2 cup yogurt, half of banana slices and 1 tablespoon of walnut/pretzel mixture. Repeat layers. Serve immediately.

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Rainbow Fruit and Cheese Kabobs

Recipe courtesy of the Midwest Dairy Council
Prep time: 15 minutes
Servings: 6

  • 8          wooden skewers
  • 6          ounces Monterey Jack cheese, cut into 18 cubes
  • 1/2       cup strawberries, halved
  • 1/2       cup cantaloupe, cut into 3/4-inch cubes
  • 1/2       cup pineapple, cut into 3/4-inch cubes
  • 1          kiwi, peeled and cut into 6 pieces
  • 1/4       cup blueberries
  • 6          purple grapes
  1. Thread each skewer with one piece of cheese, one strawberry half, one cantaloupe cube, one pineapple cube, another piece of cheese, one piece of kiwi, two blueberries, one grape and another piece of cheese. Repeat pattern with remaining skewers.
Breakfast & Brunch 18 July 2017

Make Breakfast Time Anytime

(Family Features) Give your meals a wake-up call because breakfast is no longer just for mornings. From weeknight family dinners to a quick lunch, you can make mealtime fun with breakfast recipes any time of day.

Delicious, wholesome ingredients are the centerpiece of breakfast dishes, and hand-crafted Smithfield bacon, ham and sausage lends mouthwatering flavor to breakfast dishes you can enjoy all day, any day. Put a hearty spin on avocado toast or get creative with a protein-packed breakfast bowl.

Find more recipes you can enjoy morning, noon and night at Smithfield.com.

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Breakfast Avocado Toast with Bacon and Ham

Cook time: 30 minutes Serves: 4

  • 12        slices Smithfield Thick Cut Bacon
  • 16        ounces Smithfield Anytime Favorites Boneless Sliced Ham
  • 1 1/2-2 quarts water
  • 1          lime, juiced
  • 1          cup freshly made or refrigerated, prepared guacamole
  • 4          large eggs
  • 4          thick slices seeded whole-grain bread, toasted golden brown
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • 1          tablespoon chopped parsley or cilantro leaves
  1. Heat oven to 375° F. Lightly spray baking rack and place on top of foil-lined, rimmed baking pan. Separate strips of bacon and lay flat in single layer on rack. Bake 15-18 minutes, or until just crisp, rotating pan halfway through cooking. Using spatula, remove bacon from pan while warm; drain on paper towels.
  2. While bacon is baking, lay sliced ham on lightly sprayed, rimmed baking pan. Bake 5-7 minutes, or until warmed through. Keep bacon and ham warm.
  3. In saucepot over medium-high heat, heat water and lime juice until simmering. Crack eggs into small cups. Slowly add eggs one at a time to pot and simmer 4-5 minutes, or until whites are just set for runny yolk or a little longer for firmer yolk. Remove eggs from water with slotted spoon and drain on paper towel.
  4. Spread guacamole onto toast, topping each with sliced ham, egg, pepper and bacon. Sprinkle with parsley or cilantro and serve warm.

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Hearty Breakfast Bowl

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

  • 8          slices Smithfield Thick Cut Bacon
  • 16        ounces Smithfield Boneless Ham Steaks, cubed
  • 3          cups cooked steel-cut Irish or traditional oatmeal
  • 3 1/2-4 quarts water, divided
  • 1          pound fresh asparagus
  • 4          eggs
  • 2          cups fresh assorted berries
  • 1/2       cup walnuts
  • 1/3       cup pepitas (Spanish pumpkin seeds)
  1. Heat oven to 375° F. 
  2. Lightly spray baking rack and place on top of foil-lined, rimmed baking pan. Separate strips of bacon and lay flat in single layer on rack. Bake 15-18 minutes, or until just crisp, rotating pan halfway through cooking. Using spatula, remove bacon from pan while warm; drain on paper towels. Drain fat from pan. Place ham cubes on same rack and bake 5-7 minutes, or until heated through.
  3. Prepare oatmeal as directed on package and keep warm with ham and bacon.
  4. Over high heat, bring 2 quarts water to boil and blanch asparagus 1-2 minutes, or until tender-crisp when pierced with fork. With tongs or slotted spoon, remove asparagus; drain and reserve. In same saucepot over high heat, bring 1 1/2-2 quarts water to boil. Reduce heat to simmer and, using slotted spoon, carefully lower eggs into water individually. Cook 6 1/2 minutes for softer, jammy yolk or a little more for firmer yolk, keeping water simmering during cooking. Transfer eggs to bowl of ice water and chill 1 minute for easier peeling.

To assemble: divide oatmeal, asparagus, berries, ham and bacon among four bowls. Place peeled, halved egg in each bowl and top with walnuts and pepitas.

Source: Smithfield

Snacks 19 June 2017

Pop-ular Summer Snacks

(Family Features) From casual gatherings with friends to outdoor athletic activities and leisurely time at home, all of the best summer pastimes have one thing in common: tasty snacks make them more enjoyable.

Light, airy and fresh popcorn is a perfect summer snack. It’s naturally low in fat and calories, non-GMO and gluten free – all the makings of an ideal guilt-free treat. Whether you enjoy it one delicious handful at a time, sprinkled with seasonings or as an ingredient in fun summertime recipes, popcorn offers plenty of versatility for every occasion.

You can kick up the heat with a zesty popcorn mix or take a sweeter route with a blend of toasted coconut and bananas. No summer sporting event is complete without some good old toffee-style popcorn and nuts, and even a favorite like ice cream sandwiches can only get better with the addition of sweet, crunchy popcorn and candy.

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Spice Up Summer Snacks
Freshly popped popcorn is a light snack perfect for summer, and you can add just about any flavor to satisfy whatever you may be craving. Start by sampling these topping favorites then taste your way to other creative combinations.

  • Garlic salt
  • Parmesan cheese
  • Cumin
  • Oregano
  • Dry taco seasoning mix
  • Dry ranch-style seasoning mix
  • Lemon pepper
  • Italian herbs: oregano, basil, marjoram, thyme and crushed rosemary
  • French herbs: marjoram, thyme, summer savory, basil, rosemary, sage and fennel
  • Cinnamon
  • Brown sugar
  • Nutmeg

Find more popcorn recipes perfect for summer at popcorn.org.

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Coconut Monkey Mix

Yield: 7 cups

  • 1 cup flaked coconut (unsweetened or sweetened)
  • 6 cups popped popcorn
  • 1 tablespoon butter or margarine, melted
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • dash of nutmeg
  • 1 cup dried banana chips
  1. Heat oven to 325° F.
  2. Spread coconut in 13-by-9-inch baking pan, breaking up any clumps as needed. Bake 10 minutes, or until edges of coconut begin to brown.
  3. Spread popcorn over coconut and sprinkle with butter; toss. Sprinkle popcorn mixture with sugar, salt and nutmeg; toss.
  4. Bake 5 minutes longer, remove from heat and toss with banana chips. Serve immediately or cool and store in airtight container.

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Popcorn Chipwiches

Yield: 12

  • 2 1/2 quarts popped popcorn
  • 1 1/2 cups light brown sugar
  • 3/4 cup dark corn syrup
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1 tablespoon vinegar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 package (6 ounces) chocolate pieces
  • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts
  • 2 pints brick-style vanilla ice cream
  1. Keep popcorn warm.
  2. In 3-quart saucepan, combine brown sugar, corn syrup, butter, vinegar and salt. Cook and stir until sugar dissolves. Continue to cook until hard ball stage (250 F on candy thermometer).
  3. Pour syrup over popcorn; stir to coat. Add chocolate pieces and nuts; stir just until mixed.
  4. Pour into two 13-by-9-by-2-inch pans, spreading and packing firmly. Cool.
  5. In each pan, cut 12 rectangles. Cut each pint of ice cream into six slices. Sandwich each ice cream slice between two popcorn rectangles.

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Ballpark Popcorn Crunch

Yield: 3 quarts

  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 3 quarts unsalted popped popcorn
  • 1 cup chopped walnuts
  1. Heat oven to 350° F.
  2. Cream together butter and brown sugar until light and fluffy.
  3. In separate bowl, toss popcorn and walnuts. Add creamed mixture to popcorn and nuts. Combine until coated.
  4. Spread on large baking sheet in single layer.
  5. Bake 10 minutes, or until crisp.

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Beach Party Popcorn

Yield: 2 1/2 quarts

  • 1 teaspoon soy sauce
  • 1-2 drops hot pepper sauce
  • 1/3 cup melted butter
  • 2 quarts popped popcorn
  • 2 cups assorted seasoned snacks (crackers, pretzels, etc.)
  • 1/2 package (0.56 ounces) bacon-onion dip mix
  1. Heat oven to 350° F.
  2. Add soy sauce and hot pepper sauce to melted butter.
  3. Put popcorn and seasoned snacks in large bowl. Pour butter mixture over popcorn and snacks; toss. Sprinkle with bacon-onion dip mix; toss again.
  4. Spread mixture in 15 1/2-by-10 1/2-by-1-inch jelly roll pan and bake 8-10 minutes, stirring once.

Source: The Popcorn Board

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