Kid-Friendly Recipes for At-Home Learning

Try starting the day with this Chocolate Banana Cinnamon Toast recipe…..

(Family Features) During a school year that’s sure to be a crazy new experience for students and parents alike, many of the everyday necessities, like eating breakfast and lunch, remain. However, this year, many little learners will be enjoying their lunches from the comfort and safety of home rather than at school, meaning moms and dads are back in charge of keeping the kitchen running throughout the day.

According to a survey conducted by OnePoll in conjunction with Sabra, 74% of caregivers expect this school year to be more chaotic than ever and 64% of moms and dads complain they are dreading becoming the “lunch lady” at home.

You can improve those school day blues with quick, kid-friendly recipes that refuel children for their educational explorations. By providing a steady stream of balanced meals and snacks made with wholesome ingredients, you can feel good about boosting your at-home students’ learning capabilities even during these tricky times.

In the morning, try starting with this Chocolate Banana Cinnamon Toast recipe from Tabitha Brown, the actress and vegan foodie known as “America’s Mom.” Sliced banana powers this breakfast with the rich, decadent taste of Sabra Dark Chocolate Dessert Dip & Spread to thrill chocolate lovers for a combination of flavors kids love.

For a lunchtime solution with easy prep and quick cleanup, a Hummus Flatbread Pizza takes just 10-15 minutes to make. Made with easy-to-find ingredients you can keep on-hand like pizza sauce and hummus, simply top with sweet favorites like pineapple for a fun boost for long days of learning.

To find more at-home recipe inspiration, visit sabra.com.

 

Hummus Flatbread Pizza

Recipe courtesy of Tabitha Brown
Prep time: 10-15 minutes
Yield: 1 flatbread

  • 4          teaspoons pizza sauce
  • 1          rectangular flatbread
  • 3          tablespoons Sabra Classic Hummus
  • 1/2       teaspoon garlic powder, divided
  • 1/3       cup pineapple tidbits or fresh pineapple pieces
  • strawberries
  • chopped romaine lettuce
  • English cucumber slices
  1. Preheat oven to 500 F.
  2. Brush pizza sauce to edges of flatbread. Swirl to spread hummus to edges of flatbread. Sprinkle 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder over flatbread. If using canned pineapple tidbits, drain and pat dry with paper towel. Add pineapple tidbits to flatbread and sprinkle with remaining garlic powder.
  3. Bake 5-10 minutes, or until flatbread is light golden brown.
  4. Cool and cut flatbread. Serve with strawberries and mix chopped romaine lettuce and English cucumber slices for simple salad.

 

Chocolate Banana Cinnamon Toast

Recipe courtesy of Tabitha Brown
Prep time: 10-15 minutes
Yield: 2 pieces toast

  • 2          slices cinnamon raisin bread
  • 3          tablespoons Sabra Dark Chocolate Dessert Dip & Spread
  • 6          banana slices, plus additional for serving (optional)
  • 1/8       teaspoon cinnamon powder
  • 1          tablespoon maple syrup
  • fresh strawberries (optional)
  • powdered sugar
  1. Toast bread to desired doneness.
  2. Using spoon, swirl to spread 1 1/2 tablespoons chocolate spread on each slice of toast.
  3. Add banana slices to one slice of toast and sprinkle with cinnamon.
  4. Top with second slice of toast.
  5. Slice in half diagonally. Add to plate with extra sliced banana and fresh strawberries, if desired. Drizzle toast with maple syrup and sprinkle with powdered sugar.


SOURCE:
Sabra

An Easy Way to Make Your Holiday Healthier

Many health-conscious consumers are interested in wholesome foods and products with less ingredients and natural sugars…

(Family Features) Planning your holiday menu? Dried cranberries are an ingredient found in many classic holiday recipes, but what you may not know is that they are packed with added sugars.

Photos courtesy of Getty Images

Raisins, on the other hand, are naturally sweet with 0 grams of added sugars, making them a healthy alternative that can help enhance the flavor and nutrition of your favorite holiday recipes.

Raisins fit seamlessly into many family-friendly recipes, like traditional oatmeal cookies, stuffing and sweet breads. They also make for easy salad, oatmeal and yogurt toppers, provide a naturally sweet fruit option on charcuterie boards and are a great standalone holiday snack.

Why is this important? Many health-conscious consumers are interested in wholesome foods and products with less ingredients and natural sugars, like those that occur in fruits, vegetables, grains and dairy products. Added sugars, however, refer to any sugars or caloric sweeteners that are added to foods during processing or preparation. Consumption of excessive added sugars may be associated with health consequences, such as obesity, cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes, insulin resistance, fatty liver, dental caries and more, according to research published by the National Library of Medicine.

“Consumers are becoming more health conscious and trying to include more nutrient-dense options with less ingredients,” says Sarah Schlichter, a registered dietitian with a master’s in public health. “Yet, consumers often don’t recognize how added sugars throughout the day can quickly add up.”

The U.S. Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee’s 2020 Scientific Report, which sets the stage for the 2020-2025 Dietary Guidelines for Americans, has proposed an overall reduction in added sugars, recommending that added sugars comprise no more than 6% of the overall diet for adults and children ages 2 and older. This is a reduction from the previous recommendation of less than 10% of the overall diet, bringing further attention to the serious health risks of excessive sugar intake.

Understanding Natural Sugars vs. Added Sugars
Nutrition labels haven’t always distinguished between natural and added sugars, Schlichter said, but instead lumped them together under “total sugars.” However, the Food and Drug Administration’s Nutrition Facts label, which is currently being transitioned to, makes this easily discernible by clearly outlining how much of the total sugar content comes from added sugars.

“One key difference between natural and added sugars is that natural sugars usually complement other nutrients naturally found in a food or fruit, such as fiber, potassium, vitamin C or antioxidants, all of which confer several health benefits,” Schlichter said. “These complementary nutrients may also slow the rate of digestion, keeping blood sugar more stable. Conversely, added sugars are added in isolation and aren’t adding any nutrients to the product.”

To put this in perspective, 1/4 cup of dried sweetened cranberries contains 29 grams of sugar. Of those 29 grams of sugar, 27 grams are added sugars, meaning that most of the sugar is not found naturally in dried cranberries. While a 1/4-cup serving of raisins also contains 29 grams of sugar, the difference is that all 29 grams are naturally found in raisins and none are added. Raisins also naturally offer potassium, iron and fiber.

Making the Case for Raisins
To reduce added and total sugars, many products have been formulated using artificial sweeteners, such as sucralose, aspartame or other no-calorie sweeteners. No-calorie sweeteners are not free from health risks, however, and have been linked to weight gain, obesity, changes to the microbiome, decreased satiety and altered blood sugar levels, according to research published by the National Library of Medicine.

These products are not really any healthier, Schlichter said, noting there is still much unknown about artificial sweeteners and how they impact hormones, satiety and gut health. Because raisins have no added sugars, no artificial flavors and no unnecessary ingredients, Schlichter recommends swapping them for dried cranberries this holiday season.

SOURCE:
Sarah Schlichter

Chowline: Storing small holiday meals safely

When reheating cooked foods, be sure to use a food thermometer to make sure they have been heated to an internal temperature of 165 degrees F….

Due to COVID-19 restrictions, we plan to host only our immediate family for Thanksgiving this year, but I still anticipate having leftovers. How long after Thursday can we safely eat the leftovers?

As COVID-19 safety restrictions tighten across the country, many families are changing their usual Thanksgiving plans, with many planning to put precautions in place at holiday gatherings such as social distancing and asking those with COVID-19 symptoms not to attend, according to a nationwide survey from The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center.

The survey found that 79% of respondents say they plan to celebrate only with household members, 73% plan to follow social distancing measures, 67% plan to wear masks, and 62% plan to celebrate with no more than 10 people in their homes.

And even though more people are opting for smaller turkeys this year, according to the National Turkey Federation, leftovers are still likely to be plentiful this year. With that in mind, it’s important to know how long is too long to eat turkey leftovers.

You’ll be happy to know that if you store your leftover turkey in the refrigerator within two hours of cooking, you can eat the leftovers for up to four days, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture. These short-but-safe limits will also keep refrigerated foods from spoiling.

However, it’s important to note that the recommended refrigerated storage time for different foods can vary by food type, but in general, the refrigerated storage time is quite short, according to Sanja Ilic, food safety state specialist with Ohio State University Extension. OSU Extension is the outreach arm of The Ohio State University College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences.

“After four days of refrigeration, the risk of foodborne illness-causing bacteria growing on leftovers increases,” Ilic said in a previous Chow Line. “And because pathogen bacteria typically doesn’t change the taste, smell, or look of food, you can’t tell whether leftovers are safe to eat.”

For turkey storage, the USDA Food Safety and Inspection Service recommends that you remove the turkey from the bone, slice it into smaller pieces, and store it in small containers if you plan to eat it within four days. If you want to store the turkey longer, you should pack it into freezer bags or other airtight containers and place it in the freezer. While the taste and texture of the frozen meat will decline after about four months, turkey that is correctly prepped for frozen storage is safe to eat indefinitely, the UDSA says.

For the other leftover foods, you should cover and wrap them in airtight packaging, or seal them in storage containers for storage in the refrigerator. This helps to keep bacteria out, retain moisture, and prevent leftovers from picking up odors from other food in the refrigerator, the USDA says. Taking care to store leftovers correctly can help you avoid getting a bad case of foodborne illness.

“Remember that cooked foods have to be kept out of the temperature danger zone (40 to 135 degrees Fahrenheit),” Ilic has said. “Turkey, like other cooked foods, should be kept warm (135 degrees Fahrenheit.)”

“Turkey can only be at room temperature for two hours. After that, it should be refrigerated.”

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Clostridium perfringens is one of the bacteria that can grow in cooked foods that are left at room temperature for too long after cooking. It also produces toxins that cannot be inactivated by reheating the foods.

In fact, C. perfringens is the second most common bacteria that causes foodborne infections. As many as one million individuals are affected by C. perfringens each year, according to the CDC. Perfringens food poisoning symptoms include severe abdominal cramps and pain, diarrhea, and flatulence within six to 24 hours after eating foods that contain high numbers of bacterial cells.

Another interesting fact: C. perfringens outbreaks occur most often in November and December, with many of the outbreaks linked to turkey and roast beef, according to the CDC.

Here are some other tips from the USDA regarding leftovers:

  • Keep leftovers in a cooler with ice or frozen gel packs if the food is traveling home with a guest who lives more than two hours away.
  • Store stuffing separately from leftover turkey. Remove the stuffing from the turkey, and refrigerate the stuffing and the meat separately.
  • When reheating cooked foods, be sure to use a food thermometer to make sure they have been heated to an internal temperature of 165 degrees Fahrenheit.

Lastly, whether those leftovers are served as turkey casserole, turkey soup, turkey pot pie, turkey salad, turkey quesadillas, or turkey tetrazzini, remember to keep food safety in mind so that you can do without developing a bout of food poisoning.

Chow Line is a service of the 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 writer Tracy Turner, 364 W. Lane Ave., Suite B120, Columbus, OH 43201, or turner.490@osu.edu.

Coffee and Sweetness Whipped to Perfection

Watch video to see how to make this recipe for easy tiramisu dip!

(Culinary.net) Do you know that moment when something sweet hits your taste buds and a smile instantly spreads across your face? It’s almost magic to some. To others it’s just simply bliss. This holiday season, try something that’s simple yet sophisticated for an easy way to ensure smiles all around.

Try an Easy Tiramisu Dip because whether you’re relaxing at home, having a small get-together with friends or joining your annual family gathering virtually, this dip is sure to spread culinary cheer.

The recipe starts with “easy,” and it holds true to its name. With a short list of ingredients and only a handful of instructions, this is something you can whip up (literally) in just a few moments. Also, using minimal tools in the kitchen is always a plus for at-home chefs. The only appliance needed to make this recipe is a mixer.

The outcome is fluffy, rich and sweet with a hint of espresso. It’s not overpowering, however, so little ones or non-coffee lovers can still enjoy this delicious dip.

This is also a unique dessert because it can be served cool or chilled. If you are planning to take a sweet treat to a party this holiday season, this is nearly perfect. No oven time needed and simple to serve to kids and adults alike.

Serve with ladyfingers or fruit to bring that sweetness to a whole new level, and it’s topped with a final sprinkle of cocoa powder to give it that extra appeal. You do eat with your eyes first after all.

Give this one a try and see the faces of your loved ones light up with joy this season. This creamy, tasty dip is sure to impress.

For more easy dessert recipes, visit Culinary.net.

Watch video to see how to make this recipe!

Easy Tiramisu Dip

Servings: 4

  • 1          cup heavy whipping cream
  • 1          tablespoon espresso powder
  • 4          ounces cream cheese, softened
  • 8          ounces Mascarpone cheese
  • 1/2       cup powdered sugar
  • 1          teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2          teaspoons cocoa powder
  • wafers or fruit, for dipping
  1. In medium bowl, whisk heavy whipping cream and espresso powder until blended.
  2. In large bowl, use hand mixer to beat cream cheese until smooth. Add Mascarpone cheese and beat until combined. Gradually add powdered sugar, beating after each addition. Add vanilla extract; beat mixture. Add espresso mixture; beat until soft peaks form.
  3. Keep refrigerated until ready to serve.
  4. Spoon mixture into serving bowl. Sprinkle with cocoa powder. Serve with wafers or fruit.

SOURCE:
Culinary.net

Easy Dishes to Boost Immunity

Nourishing meals help provide the body’s immune system with the nutrients it needs…..

(Family Features) Staying healthy is important year-round, but especially in the cooler months when temperatures drop, people spend more time inside and germs can spread easily. What you eat and the lifestyle you embrace are critical components of staying healthy.

Nourishing meals full of fruits, vegetables, protein-rich foods and whole grains help provide the body’s immune system with the nutrients it needs. Maintaining a healthy lifestyle by getting enough sleep, being physically active every day, having enough fluids and reducing stress also help keep the immune system in shape.

As a nutritious food to include on your grocery list, grapes of all colors – red, green and black – contain more than 1,600 natural plant compounds such as antioxidants and other polyphenols that help protect the health of cells throughout the body. They also contain about 82% water, so they provide important fluids for hydration, which is also critical to a healthy immune system.

Grapes can be enjoyed as a healthy snack or an immune-boosting ingredient in recipes like Chicken, Spinach and Grape Pita sandwiches and Grape and Salmon Power Salad. Each provides a mix of immune-supporting nutrients, including zinc in chicken, vitamins A and C in kale, polyphenols in grapes and other important nutrients in the salmon, walnuts and barley.

Find these recipes and more in “Eating for Immune Health” along with additional ways to eat healthy and stay well at grapesfromcalifornia.com.

Chicken, Spinach and Grape Pita

Servings: 4

  • 2 tablespoons pine nuts
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons minced shallot
  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 pinch red pepper flakes
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground sumac
  • salt
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 package (5-6 ounces) fresh baby spinach, washed and dried
  • 1 1/2 cups shredded, cooked chicken (about 8 ounces)
  • 1 cup red California grapes, sliced
  • 1/4 cup crumbled feta cheese
  • 4 whole-wheat pita breads (6 1/2 inches each), warmed and halved
  1. In small skillet over medium-high heat, toast pine nuts, stirring constantly until toasted, about 5 minutes. Transfer to bowl and let cool. In large bowl, whisk lemon juice, shallot, olive oil, red pepper flakes, sumac, salt and pepper. Add spinach, chicken, grapes, feta and pine nuts; toss to mix. Stuff into pita breads and serve.

Nutritional information per serving: 445 calories; 24 g protein; 46 g carbohydrates; 20 g fat (39% calories from fat); 5 g saturated fat (10% calories from saturated fat); 57 mg cholesterol; 658 mg sodium; 6 g fiber.

Grape and Salmon Power Salad

Servings: 6

  • 3/4 cup pearled barley
  • 3 cups firmly packed kale leaves, torn and sliced into ribbons
  • 1 cup halved red or black seedless California grapes
  • 8 ounces cold, cooked salmon, skin and bones removed
  • 1/2 cup walnuts, lightly toasted and coarsely chopped

Dressing:

  • 1/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1 clove garlic, mashed
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 pinch cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  1. Cook barley according to package directions. Drain and cool.
  2. Tenderize kale by blanching in boiling water 2-3 seconds or microwaving 1 minute. Rinse pieces in cold water to stop cooking; squeeze dry. Fluff and uncrimp dry kale pieces with fingers. In medium bowl, mix barley, kale, grapes, salmon and walnuts.
  3. To make dressing: In small bowl, whisk lemon juice, garlic, salt, pepper and cayenne. Gradually mix in olive oil. Pour onto salad and fold gently to combine.

Nutritional information per serving: 413 calories; 15 g protein; 30 g carbohydrates; 16 g fat (47% calories from fat); 3 g saturated fat (8% calories from saturated fat); 22 mg cholesterol; 232 mg sodium; 500 mg potassium; 4 g fiber.


SOURCE:
California Table Grape Commission

Great Game Day Grub

Even at home, game day means good times with family while enjoying moments together watching your favorite teams…..

(Family Features) While you may not be able to enjoy game day with thousands of your closest friends at the stadium this year, that doesn’t mean you can’t still enjoy tailgate-worthy grub at home.

Step up your home-gate with an appetizing pre-game lineup featuring customized hot dogs and bratwursts as the main course with other plate-filling appetizers on the side to keep the noshing going right up to game time like bacon-wrapped potatoes, sweet cinnamon churros and a savory take on guacamole.

Find more game day recipes worth cheering about at Culinary.net.

Build-Your-Own Brat Bar

Photo courtesy of Getty Images

A simple and tasty main course, hot dogs and bratwursts are mainstays on game day and can be easily topped and customized to match each guests’ taste buds, regardless of age. Consider setting out a variety of garnishes and topping options such as these:

  • Ketchup
  • Mustard
  • Relish
  • Onions
  • Chili
  • Nacho cheese
  • Shredded cheese
  • Jalapeno peppers
  • Diced tomatoes
  • Sauerkraut
  • Cole slaw
  • Pickle spears
  • Barbecue sauce
  • Sriracha

A Bacon-Wrapped Winner

Photo courtesy of The Little Potato Company 

Creating a mouthwatering game day spread is all about teamwork, and it’s hard to find a better set of teammates than crispy bacon and potatoes.

Take one to the house with these Pigskin Potatoes that cut down on prep time and cleanup as an easy-to-eat finger food that can be made in advance. Just prep the potatoes and wrap with bacon a day or two ahead of time then throw in the oven an hour or so before kickoff.

Your base ingredient in these tasty, touchdown-worthy snacks, Wisconsin Potatoes, are low in calories, high in fiber and a source of vitamin B6, potassium, vitamin C and antioxidants.

Find more game day inspiration at eatwisconsinpotatoes.com .

Pigskin Potatoes

Recipe courtesy of The Little Potato Company on behalf of Wisconsin Potatoes
Prep time: 20 minutes
Cook time: 44 minutes
Serves: 8

  • 1 1/2    pounds Boomer Gold Little Potatoes
  • 6          ounces plain cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 1/3       cup orange cheddar cheese, finely shredded
  • 3          tablespoons fresh chives, finely chopped
  • 1/8       teaspoon salt
  • 1/8       teaspoon pepper
  • jalapenos, to taste (optional)
  • 1       pound bacon, thinly sliced, rashers cut in half
  1. Preheat oven to 400 F.
  2. Boil potatoes until fork tender, approximately 15-20 minutes. Cut in half and allow to cool.
  3. In bowl, use spatula to combine cream cheese, cheddar, chives, salt, pepper and jalapenos, if desired.
  4. Once potatoes cool, spread cream cheese on one half of each cut potato and sandwich using other half. Wrap each potato using half rasher of bacon around cut middle to secure cheese filling.
  5. Bake on middle rack 10 minutes to allow bacon to set. Flip and bake 10 minutes.
  6. Turn oven to broil. Broil 2 minutes, turn and broil 2 minutes until bacon reaches desired crispiness.

Tip: Bacon-wrapped potatoes can be made ahead of time and kept in refrigerator until ready to bake.

A Sweet Cinnamon Snack

Photo courtesy of C&H Sugar 

Sweet, handheld snacks make for perfect teammates while watching a game at home, and these Churros are an ideal example of a quick, fun bite that’s made with ease.

Requiring less than an hour in the kitchen, they can be made in short order without missing your favorite team’s first play. Lightly coated with fresh cinnamon and flavored with C&H Golden Brown Sugar, these deep-fried delights are as simple to make as they are delicious.

Find more home-gating recipe ideas at chsugar.com .

Churros

Prep time: 20 minutes
Cook time: 20 minutes
Yield: 45 churros

  • 1 1/4    cups water
  • 1/2       cup (1 stick) unsalted butter
  • 2          teaspoons C&H Golden Brown Sugar
  • 1/4       teaspoon salt
  • 1          cup all-purpose flour
  • 3          large eggs, lightly beaten
  • 3          cups canola oil, for frying
  • 1          cup C&H Granulated Sugar
  • 2          tablespoons ground cinnamon
  1. In medium saucepan over high heat, combine water, butter, sugar and salt; bring to boil.
  2. Reduce heat and add flour. Using wooden spoon, mix vigorously until mixture forms into dough. Remove from heat.
  3. While stirring, gradually add eggs into dough. Mix well. Place dough in pastry bag fitted with large star tip.
  4. In heavy pot over medium-high heat, heat oil until it reaches 365 F.
  5. On plate, mix granulated sugar and cinnamon; set aside.
  6. Squeeze churro dough in 4-inch strips into hot oil. Fry 5-6 churros in batches until golden brown, about 2 minutes per side. When ready, transfer to plate lined with paper towels.
  7. Roll churros in sugar-cinnamon mix.

A Tasty Take on a Tailgate Favorite

Photo courtesy of Avocados From Mexico 

Even at home, game day means good times with family while enjoying moments together watching your favorite teams. A menu full of flavorful favorites takes the experience to another level, and tackling your spread by starting with a tasty dip is a sure way to fire up the crowd.

No tailgate or home-gate is complete without fresh guacamole made with the Avocados From Mexico brand. Because they’re always in season, you can enjoy guac during your favorite sporting events and beyond.

Take it to the house with a twist on a game day classic by testing out this Bacon Chipotle Guacamole, a tailgate-worthy snack loaded with crowd-pleasing flavor. Because it’s such a fan-favorite, you might find yourself making another round at halftime.

To find this recipe and more ways to take your tailgate to new heights, including more than 200 guacamole recipes to choose from, visit avocadosfrommexico.com .

Bacon Chipotle Guacamole

  • 3          Avocados From Mexico, halved, pitted and peeled
  • 3          tablespoons shallot, minced
  • 2          garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/2       cup cilantro, finely chopped
  • 1          lime, juice only
  • 8          ounces applewood smoked bacon, cooked and crumbled
  • 1/2       cup tomatoes, small diced
  • 2          canned chipotle chiles, finely chopped
  • ground cumin. to taste
  • salt, to taste
  • pepper, to taste
  1. In large bowl, mash avocados with shallots, garlic, cilantro and lime juice to desired consistency. Fold in bacon, tomatoes and chipotle chiles until well combined. Season with cumin, salt and pepper, to taste.

SOURCE:
Wisconsin Potatoes
C&H Sugar
Avocados From Mexico

Create a Trendy Twist on Sushi

Watch video to see how to make this recipe for Beef Cali Roll!

(Family Features) An innovative sushi-style concept, “beefshi” features convenient beef products like pastrami, roast beef, summer sausage, hot dogs, corned beef or bologna prepared in rolls with rice and vegetables.

You can beef up your menu with a trendy twist with a recipe like this Beefy Cali Roll that includes corned beef, avocado and cucumber. Find more information and recipes at beefshi.com.

Watch video to see how to make this recipe!

Beefy Cali Roll

Recipe courtesy of the North American Meat Institute on behalf of the Beef Checkoff
Yield: 2 rolls (16 pieces)

Hand Vinegar:

  • 1          cup water
  • 1/4       cup rice vinegar

Piquant Sauce:

  • 1/2       cup plain yogurt
  • 1          tablespoon mustard
  • 1          tablespoon horseradish
  • 1/2       avocado, mashed until smooth

Maki:

  • 2          sheets nori
  • 2          cups prepared sushi rice
  • 6          thin slices corned beef
  • 1/2       avocado, cut into slivers
  • 1/4       cucumber, cut lengthwise into thin strips
  • rice seasoning
  • wasabi peas
  1. To make hand vinegar: In small bowl, stir water and rice vinegar.
  2. To make piquant sauce: In small bowl, blend yogurt, mustard, horseradish and avocado.
  3. To make maki: Lay sushi mat on clean surface. Moisten hands with hand vinegar and shake off excess. Place one nori sheet on mat, shiny-side down. Spread 1 cup rice across nori, leaving 1 inch empty at farthest end.
  4. Lay half of corned beef, avocado and cucumber crosswise along rice, covering half the surface closest to you.
  5. Securing corned beef, avocado and cucumber with fingers, use thumbs to push end of mat up and over filling until edge of the nori meets rice on opposite side. Press firmly on roll.
  6. Lift top of mat and roll firmly until tight and round. Squeeze gently to shape roll. Press ends in carefully to secure loose rice. Remove mat and set roll aside.
  7. Repeat to make second roll.
  8. Use thin, sharp knife to cut each roll into eight slices. Arrange on sushi platter and sprinkle with rice seasoning and wasabi peas. Serve with piquant sauce.

SOURCE:
North American Meat Institute

A Savory Way to Start Holiday Celebrations

Watch video to see how to make this Savory Cheeseball recipe!

(Culinary.net) It’s the holiday season and your family can feel the cheer as loved ones fill their appetizer plates and excitement fills the air as gifts are being placed beneath the tree.

Someone asks, munching away near the table, “Wow, how did you make this?” In your mind, you think, “It was too easy.”

These Savory Cheese Balls are not only simple to make but perfect for any holiday get-together or celebration. They’re fun to create and even more enjoyable to dive in to once finished. Texture and color are the name of the game with this recipe. The result is a beautiful array of red, gold and green, all on one plate.

Start by rolling cream cheese into balls and mixing up three bowls with powerful flavors to create the three different colors. The “green” bowl gets parsley, thyme, rosemary and, of course, some garlic, just for an extra kick of seasoning. The “gold” ball calls for caraway seeds, poppy seeds and garlic. Finally, the “red” ball includes cranberries and pecans.

Simply roll each cream cheese ball around gently until it’s coated. It doesn’t get any simpler than that. Display the array of cheese balls on a festive plate for something equally cheery and heavenly. Serve the plate with crackers, fruit or vegetables for complementary dipping options.

Find more recipes and holiday fun this season at Culinary.net.

Watch video to see how to make this recipe!

 

Savory Cheese Balls

Servings: 6-12

  • 2          packages (8 ounces each) cream cheese
  • 2          tablespoons caraway seeds
  • 1          teaspoon poppy seeds
  • 2          cloves garlic, minced, divided
  • 1/4       cup parsley, chopped
  • 2          teaspoons thyme leaves, chopped
  • 1          teaspoon rosemary, chopped
  • 1/4       cup dried cranberries, chopped
  • 2          tablespoons pecans, chopped
  • crackers (optional)
  • fruit (optional)
  • vegetables (optional)
  1. Cut each cream cheese block into three squares. Roll each square into ball.
  2. In small bowl, combine caraway seeds, poppy seeds and half the garlic.
  3. In second small bowl, combine parsley, thyme, rosemary and remaining garlic.
  4. In third small bowl, combine cranberries and pecans.
  5. Roll two cheese balls in seed mixture, two in herb mixture and two in cranberry mixture.
  6. Cut each ball in half and serve with crackers, fruit or vegetables, if desired.

SOURCE:
Culinary.net

Put a Zesty Spin on Weeknight Meals

Finding new ways to put a twist on meals throughout the week adds fun to time spent in the kitchen

(Family Features) Dinner in many households means foolproof recipes that families can count on, but those can become bland and boring. Finding new ways to put a twist on meals throughout the week adds fun to time spent in the kitchen while bringing new flavor to the table.

To help reinvigorate traditional weeknight dinners, chef Bobby Flay and Hidden Valley Ranch created the three-part Hidden Valley Ranch Night! series to debut dishes that bring bold flavor to traditional meals, such as these recipes for Ranch Crusted Burgers with Avocado Ranch Sauce and Ranch Seasoned Chicken and Mushroom Quesadillas with Tomato Salsa and Sour Cream. The series will provide a spin on weeknight staples to showcase the simplicity, versatility and zesty flavor of ranch seasoning when used to create family-friendly dinners any night of the week.

Find more information, including series episodes and additional recipes, at hiddenvalley.com/ranch-night.

Ranch Crusted Burgers with Avocado Ranch Sauce

Servings: 4

Avocado Ranch Sauce:

  • 1/4       cup mayonnaise
  • 1/4       cup sour cream
  • 1          tablespoon well-shaken buttermilk
  • 1/2       teaspoon Hidden Valley Ranch Seasoning
  • kosher salt
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • 3          green onions, thinly sliced
  • 2          avocados, peeled, pitted and diced

Ranch Spice Crusted Burger:

  • 1 1/2    teaspoons Hidden Valley Ranch Seasoning
  • 1          teaspoon paprika
  • kosher salt
  • freshly ground pepper
  • 1 1/2    pounds ground chuck (80% lean)
  • 2          tablespoons canola oil
  • 8          slices American cheese
  • 1/4       cup water
  • 4          brioche buns, split in half
  • Avocado Ranch Sauce
  1. To make avocado ranch sauce: In bowl, whisk mayonnaise, sour cream, buttermilk, ranch seasoning, salt and pepper until smooth. Fold in green onions and diced avocados; set aside.
  2. To make burgers: In small bowl, whisk ranch seasoning, paprika, salt and pepper.
  3. Heat large cast-iron pan or griddle over high heat. Divide meat into four 6-ounce patties and make deep depression in centers with thumb. Season each with spice rub on one side.
  4. Add canola oil to pan and heat until shimmering. Place on burgers in pan, spice side down, and cook until golden brown and lightly charred, 4 minutes. Turn burgers over and cook 4 minutes, or until they reach desired doneness.
  5. Top each burger with two slices cheese. Add water to pan and cover tightly with lid 10 seconds, or until the cheese is melted.
  6. Place burgers on bottom buns and top each with avocado ranch sauce and top buns.

Ranch Seasoned Chicken and Mushroom Quesadillas with Tomato Salsa and Sour Cream

Servings: 4

Tomato Salsa:

  • 4          plum tomatoes, seeded and finely diced
  • 1/2       small red onion, finely diced
  • 1/2       jalapeno, finely diced
  • 1          lime, juice only
  • 2          tablespoons olive oil
  • 3          tablespoons fresh basil, finely chopped into ribbons
  • kosher salt
  • freshly ground black pepper

Quesadillas:

  • 2          tablespoons canola oil
  • 1 1/2    pounds cremini or button mushrooms, thinly sliced
  • 2          teaspoons Hidden Valley Ranch Seasoning, divided
  • 12        flour tortillas (6 inches)
  • 2          cups shredded Monterey Jack cheese
  • 16        ounces roasted or rotisserie chicken, shredded
  • kosher salt
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • canola oil
  • 1/2       cup sour cream
  • tomato salsa
  • 2          tablespoons fresh basil, chopped
  1. To make tomato salsa: In medium bowl, combine tomatoes, red onion, jalapeno, lime juice, olive oil and basil; season with salt and pepper. Refrigerate until ready to use.
  2. To make quesadillas: Preheat oven to 450 F.
  3. In large saute pan over medium-high heat, heat oil. Add mushrooms and season with 1 1/2 teaspoons ranch seasoning. Cook until mushrooms are golden brown and liquid has evaporated. Set aside to cool.
  4. Place tortillas next to each other on baking sheet. Sprinkle thin layer of cheese on eight tortillas. Add cooled mushrooms to four tortillas and shredded chicken to other four tortillas. Season each layer with salt and pepper. Stack tortillas to create four, two-layer quesadillas. Cover each with remaining tortillas; brush top tortillas lightly with canola oil and sprinkle with remaining ranch seasoning.
  5. Bake 6-8 minutes until cheese is melted and tortillas turn lightly golden brown with crispy edges.
  6. Cut each quesadilla into four pieces. Garnish each slice with dollop of sour cream. Add dollop of tomato salsa on top of sour cream and garnish with basil.

SOURCE:
Hidden Valley Ranch

Pop Up New Traditions This Holiday Season

You can cook up some great gifts in your own kitchen with tasty popcorn recipes……

(NAPSI)—Although the holiday season may be a little different this year for families, you don’t have to say goodbye to fun and good cheer.

Create new traditions and make lasting memories of good times together with fun family projects. For example, you can cook up some great gifts in your own kitchen with tasty popcorn recipes.

Wrap them up beautifully and do contactless drop-off to spread some tasteful cheer among all your friends and family—and give yourself and your immediate family a good time making them, too.

Here’s one recipe to try:

Cook It Up White Chocolate Peppermint Popcorn Bark

5 cups popped popcorn

12 ounces white chocolate baking chips, chopped white chocolate or white candy coating

1 cup crushed hard candy peppermints

Cover a baking pan with foil or wax paper; set aside. Place popcorn in a large bowl; set aside. Melt chocolate in a double boiler over barely simmering water, stirring until smooth OR melt according to package directions. Stir in crushed peppermints after chocolate is melted. Pour chocolate mixture over popcorn mixture and stir to coat. Spread onto prepared pan; allow to cool completely. When chocolate is cooled and set, break into chunks for serving. Store in an air-tight container at room temperature.

Variation:

White Chocolate Popcorn Crunch

Omit candy peppermints. Mix 1/2 cup dried sweetened v cranberries and 1/2 cup sliced almonds with the popcorn. Pour chocolate over the mixture after it is melted.

Wrap It Up

Pack the treat in a tin with a tightly fitting lid. Add a beautiful bow and a clever card, maybe something like “Best wishes for poppin’ good Christmas and a sweet New Year!”

Learn More

The recipe can be seen at: https://www.popcorn.org/Recipes/Details/white-chocolate-peppermint-popcorn-bark.