Host a brunch, relax by the pool or throw a backyard bash……
(Family Features) The summer months offer seemingly endless opportunities to enjoy the warm weather with friends and family. Serving crowd-pleasing foods and drinks can go a long way toward a successful gathering, whether you’re hosting a brunch, relaxing by the pool or throwing a backyard bash.
Regardless of the occasion, a store like ALDI has everything you need to savor summer, including entertaining items and high-quality ingredients, without the premium price tag. When you make this one-stop shop your destination for summer essentials, you can get more of what you love for less.
Find more seasonal recipe ideas like these appetizers, main dishes, desserts and drinks at ALDI.us.
Grilled Avocados with Vegetable Relish – Boost a favorite summer flavor like avocado by using your grill. Start by slicing the avocados and removing the pits before grilling flesh-side down. Fill with a vegetable relish mixture of tomatoes, bell peppers and onions then sprinkle with feta cheese.
Citrus Popping Kale Salad – This light and refreshing salad is a perfect make-ahead meal-starter. Made with a quinoa base, the combination of kale, mangoes, cranberries, toasted almonds and crumbled goat cheese provides a unique mix of flavors.
Grilled Strip Steak Skewers with Pear Slaw – Skewers are a summertime favorite that can be easily customized to meet the tastes of your guests. This version features steak marinated in a soy sauce mixture, cooked on a grill pan and served over a bed of cabbage, carrots, radishes, onions and julienned pears.
Grilled Pear and Apple Pork Tenderloin – Combining a sweet yet savory glazed pork tenderloin with a side of fresh apple and pear (or peach) wedges, this simple dish is an ideal accompaniment to a day or night spent dining al fresco.
Frozen Greek Yogurt with Blueberries – Summer calls for frozen treats, and you can put a healthier spin on dessert by substituting frozen yogurt for ice cream. Just blend blueberries, lemon juice and vanilla with Greek yogurt and freeze for a perfect indulgence on a warm afternoon.
Freezie Fruit Pops – Mix and match assorted fruits like kiwi, strawberries, grapes, blueberries, pineapple, peaches and more with fruit juices. Once mixed, freeze to create healthy fruit pops. For a grown-up version, substitute wine for the juice.
Very Berry Chiller with Lemonade Ice Cubes – When looking for a way to cool off on a hot summer day, reach for a combination of classic summer flavors. Freeze lemonade overnight in an ice cube tray then drop the cubes in a pitcher of blended blueberries, strawberries, blackberries and raspberries for a sweet, refreshing beverage.
SanGrita – A refreshing twist on a traditional Spanish punch, this adults-only beverage calls for blending frozen lime bars with sangria and garnishing with strawberries and blueberries to your liking.
Home cooks can quickly put grilled family meals together…..
(Family Features) Grilling season provides ample opportunities to put flavorful fare on the table, but it doesn’t have to be a lengthy cooking process. By planning ahead, having the right equipment on-hand and using ready-to-go ingredients, home cooks can quickly put family meals together.
With an option like Smithfield Marinated Fresh Pork, which is perfectly seasoned and ready to throw on the grill, you can have a delicious meal ready in 30 minutes or less. Available in a variety of flavors and quality cuts, it’s ideal for grilling, roasting or sauteing any night of the week. To get ready for your next grilling occasion, try something new like Grilled Pork Kebabs with Tzatziki Sauce or Grilled Pork and Potato Planks.
To help make this a successful grilling season, visit SmithfieldGetGrilling.com for more grilling tips and a chance to win $5,000.
FDA says that this standard language should be used on “packaged-food labeling…
I recently went shopping and bought a bag of salad that says “best if used by June 14” on the packaging, a carton of milk that says “sell by June 17,” and a package of eggs that says “use by June 20.” I’m confused by what all these different dates mean.
Those food label dates are confusing to many people—more than a third of consumers throw away food once the date on the label has passed because they mistakenly think the date is an indicator of food safety, according to a 2017 study by the Harvard University Food Law and Policy Clinic and the Johns Hopkins Center for a Livable Future.
But for most foods, the date label is a manufacturer’s best guess as to how long the product will be at its peak quality. With only a few exceptions, the majority of food products remain wholesome and safe to eat long past their expiration dates, the study authors said. Infant formula is the only food product that must carry product dating under current federal law.
Confusion regarding food label dates also leads to significant food waste, research has shown.
In fact, some $161 billion worth of food is wasted each year by the food industry and consumers, according to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. The FDA said consumer food waste may often result from fears about food safety caused by misunderstanding what the product date labels mean, estimating that that confusion over date labeling accounts for some 20% of consumer food waste.
To help alleviate consumer confusion on food date labels, the FDA said in a letter last week that the federal agency supports the use of “best if used by” as the standard term on food date labels to help reduce food waste and to help consumers better understand what the dates on food packaging means.
The FDA says that this standard language should be used on “packaged-food labeling if the date is simply related to optimal quality—not safety. Studies have shown that this best conveys to consumers that these products do not have to be discarded after the date if they are stored properly.”
As it stands now, the food label dates that are most often used by the food manufacturing industry have the following meanings, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture:
“Best if used by/before” date indicates when a product will be of best flavor or quality. It is not a purchase or safety date.
“Sell by” date tells a store how long to display a product for sale for inventory management. It is not a safety date.
“Use by” date is the last date recommended for the use of the product while at peak quality. It is not a safety date except when used on infant formula.
However, the USDA says most food products—excluding infant formula, for example—should still be safe and wholesome after the date passes if they have been handled properly and there is no evidence of spoilage. Spoilage is indicated if the food has an odor or has mold, for example.
Most of the dates on food labels are commonly used to inform consumers and retailers of the date up to which they can expect the food to retain its desired quality and flavor, the FDA said. The agency also said that date labels are generally not required on packaged foods.
“While manufacturers are prohibited from placing false or misleading information on a label, they are not required to obtain agency approval of the voluntary quality-based date labels they use or specify how they arrived at the date they’ve applied,” the FDA said.
The FDA supports efforts by two major food industry groups, the Grocery Manufacturers Association and the Food Marketing Institute, to get their members to use “best if used by/before” on their packaging.
The “best if used by/before” date would be used on nonperishable foods when the product might not taste or perform as expected but is safe to use or consume after the date listed.
Chow Line is a service of The Ohio State University College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences and its outreach and research arms, Ohio State University Extension and the Ohio Agricultural Research and Development Center. Send questions to Chow Line, c/o Tracy Turner, 364 W. Lane Ave., Suite B120, Columbus, OH 43201, email@example.com.
Survey of Agriculture Reveals Challenges, Opportunities for Ohio Agriculture – Positives in “New” markets
Survey of Agriculture Reveals Challenges, Opportunities for Ohio Agriculture
Columbus, OH—The U.S. Department of Agriculture National Agricultural Statistics Service (USDA NASS) recently released its five-year, comprehensive survey of U.S. agriculture, the 2017 Census of Agriculture. Using that data, the Ohio Ecological Food and Farm Association (OEFFA) has published an analysis, “Ohio Agriculture: The Changing Contours of Farming,” which illustrates important trends and opportunities for growth and investment in Ohio agriculture.
“The new NASS data reveals ongoing challenges, like an aging farmer population and consolidation in agriculture, but also very positive growth in the number of beginning and organic farmers, as well as an increase in farmland for the first time in decades,” said Amalie Lipstreu, policy director for OEFFA. “These trends provide data needed for Ohio policymakers to make real investments to grow the agricultural economy in the state and create jobs that contribute to community economic, environmental, and social health.”
The USDA NASS census was sent to millions of farmers and sought information from any farm operation generating $1,000 or more of agricultural products.
Other notable findings from the survey include:
The number of women operators in the U.S. increased 27 percent.
In Ohio, 91 percent of farms are 499 acres or less and the amount of leased land in farming decreased by almost 165,000 acres.
Nationally, the number of conventional farmers seeking organic certification increased by almost 40 percent.
Ohio is 6th in the nation in the number of certified organic farms and 2nd in the nation in the number of acres being transitioned to organic production systems.
“The growth in interest in organics, which is a voluntary, market-based certification program that requires a comprehensive annual farm plan, inspections, and oversight, should send a signal that organic agriculture is a viable option for improving water quality in Ohio,” said Lipstreu. “As the Governor and the Ohio Legislature contemplate ways to incentivize good management practices, certified organic production systems—which help to build soil structure and reduce runoff—need to be prioritized.”
Other areas ripe for investment, according to Lipstreu, include local and regional food systems. The value of food sold directly to U.S. consumers almost doubled since the last census. “Investments in meat processing, as well as fruit and vegetable processing and distribution infrastructure can result in a huge return on investment,” she concluded.
Also known as the Family Farm Regeneration Act, this credit will help next generation farmers overcome hurdles in connecting with farmland and make it easier for existing landowners to make that transfer to beginning farmers. Existing farmers that want to see their land farmed for generations to come would receive a tax credit if they sell or lease agricultural assets to newer farmers.
Learn more about this legislation and its benefits to farmers and farmland preservation here.
As our farmers age out of agriculture, we need to be proactive in preserving our food security and all of the health, economic, and social benefits that farming provides.
Watch video to see how to make this delicious recipe!
(Family Features) While lemon is a traditional summer flavor, you can add a little extra to your gatherings – from picnics and brunches – with this classic dessert. Quick and easy to make, these Lemon Bars feature a soft crust and a tangy, sweet filling topped with powdered sugar.
Make meals on the grill your own way by putting twists on a classic…
(Family Features) Summer is typically a busy time for families, making those moments you spend together all the more precious. The hustle and bustle of the season doesn’t have to mean sacrificing wholesome meals, however.
Take advantage of the warm weather and step outside the kitchen to focus on enjoying the outdoors with family around grilled favorites, such as burgers. You can even make meals on the grill your own by putting twists on a classic, such as Barbecue Macaroni and Cheese Burgers or Buffalo Macaroni and Cheese Burgers.
Another time-saving tip: Consider refrigerated side dish options like mashed potatoes and macaroni and cheese from Bob Evans Farms, which are ready in just six minutes and provide homemade taste. In addition to topping burgers, these sides can be used as an ingredient in appetizers like Crunchy Jalapeno Potato Poppers and Pulled Pork Mac and Cheese Sliders, which are perfect for snacking on while catching up on the events of the day.
Find more recipes and time-saving ideas to make the most of grilling season at BobEvansGrocery.com.
1 package (24 ounces) Bob Evans Original Mashed Potatoes
1 cup Monterey Jack cheese, shredded
1 cup sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
4 ounces diced jalapeno peppers, drained
8 ounces taco flavored tortilla chips
2 large eggs
6-8 tablespoons vegetable oil
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
sour cream (optional)
Stir together cold mashed potatoes with Monterey Jack and cheddar cheeses and diced jalapenos.
Scoop 48 tablespoonfuls of potato mixture and place on parchment- or wax paper-lined baking sheet. Refrigerate 15-20 minutes.
In bowl of food processor, pulse tortilla chips to fine crumbs or place chips in large, zip-top bag and smash using rolling pin. Pour crumbs into shallow bowl.
Beat eggs and pour into separate shallow bowl. Set aside. In fryer or Dutch oven, heat oil to 350 F.
Remove mashed potato scoops from refrigerator and roll into balls. Roll each mashed potato ball in flour, tapping off excess. Once potato balls are coated in flour, dip each into egg, allowing excess to drip off, then into tortilla chip crumbs, making sure to coat evenly. Set on clean baking sheet. Discard excess flour, egg and tortilla chip crumbs.
In hot oil, fry small batches of mashed potato poppers until golden brown, 30-40 seconds. Remove from fryer and place on paper towel to drain excess oil. Repeat until all poppers are cooked. Serve hot with sour cream, if desired.
Note: To reheat poppers, bake 6-8 minutes at 350 F.
Pulled Pork Mac and Cheese Sliders
Recipe courtesy of Karly Campbell of Buns in My Oven Prep time: 15 minutes Cook time: 10 minutes Servings: 12
1 pound pre-packaged, fully cooked pulled pork in sauce
12 slider rolls
1 package (20 ounces) Bob Evans Macaroni and Cheese
2-3 tablespoons barbecue sauce
6 slices cheddar cheese
1 tablespoon barbecue dry rub
1/4 cup butter, melted
1 teaspoon dried parsley
Heat oven to 350 F.
In microwave, warm pulled pork according to package instructions.
Slice rolls in half. Place bottom halves of slider rolls in 9-by-13-inch baking dish and top each with pulled pork.
Microwave macaroni and cheese according to package directions and spoon evenly over pork on each sandwich roll.
Drizzle barbecue sauce over sandwiches.
Lay cheese in two rows of three over sliders.
Top with top halves of slider rolls.
Stir dry rub into butter. Spoon evenly over tops of sandwiches. Sprinkle with parsley.