Recipes

Take Family Favorites Al Fresco

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(Family Features) Bright sunshine, warm patios and fresh foods go hand in hand. As warm weather and sunny days call you outdoors, bring the whole family along with favorite meals that blend perfectly with a soft breeze and the subtle sounds of nature.
Salad season means fresh ingredients from lettuce and veggies to favorite toppings and beyond. Add a crisp bite to your next al fresco occasion with this Southwest Ranch Taco Salad featuring Newman’s Own’s Southwest Ranch Dressing. The dressing is creamy and smoky with a kick of spice and features no artificial flavors, no colors from artificial sources and no MSG, making it a perfect companion for salads and dips. In fact, you can enjoy this seasonal salad even more knowing that 100% of profits from the sale of the dressing goes toward helping nourish and transform the lives of children facing adversity.

Southwest Ranch Taco Salad

• 1/2 head romaine lettuce
• 1 pint cherry tomatoes
• 2 small avocados
• 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
• 1 pound ground beef (80/20 ground chuck)
• 2teaspoons Newman’s Own Mild Taco Seasoning
• 1/4 cup water
• 1 can (15 1/2 ounces) black beans
• 1 1/2 cups canned corn
• 1 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese
• 2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro, plus additional for serving (optional), divided
• 1 cup Newman’s Own Southwest Ranch Dressing
• 6 ounces tortilla chips
Directions
Coarsely chop lettuce, halve cherry tomatoes and pit, peel and slice avocados. Set aside.
In large frying pan over medium-high heat, heat olive oil. Brown ground beef, stirring occasionally, 4-5 minutes. Add taco seasoning and water; cook according to package directions, 5-8 minutes, or until meat is thoroughly cooked.
Drain and rinse black beans. Set aside.
Divide lettuce among serving bowls or plates. Top with ground beef, tomatoes, avocados, black beans, corn, cheese and 2 tablespoons cilantro. Tuck in tortilla chips.
Drizzle with southwest ranch dressing and sprinkle with additional cilantro, if desired.

Show off your kitchen skills

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(Family Features) There’s perhaps no better way to show off your kitchen skills than by working up a batch of Apple Ricotta Crepes, which require a soft touch to cook the light, silky batter to golden perfection. This rendition of the beloved thin pancakes calls for a ricotta spread and apple-cinnamon topping for a delightful pairing of savory and sweet.
Special occasions with those you love can be uplifted with the aroma and flavor Envy Apples that offer an invitation to savor small moments around the table. Available at Whole Foods and other major grocery stores, the craveable texture and crunch of this leading apple variety provides balanced sweetness as the ultimate apple experience for family gatherings. Along with their delicious flavor, the flesh remains whiter longer, even after cutting, slicing, dicing or cubing, so that homemade meals look as good as they taste.

Apple Ricotta Crepes

Crepes:
• 1 cup flour
• 1 tablespoon sugar
• 1/2 teaspoon salt
• 1cup whole milk
• 2 eggs
• 1 teaspoon vanilla
• butter, for cooking

Apple Topping:
• butter
• 2 tablespoons brown sugar
• Envy Apples, sliced or cubed
• 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
• 1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
• salt, to taste
• maple syrup

Ricotta Filling:
• 1 cup ricotta cheese
• 1 lemon, zest and juice only
• 2-3 tablespoons sugar, or to taste

Directions
To make crepes: In bowl, combine flour, sugar and salt. Add milk, eggs and vanilla then, using whisk, combine thoroughly. Mixture should be silky smooth. Refrigerate.
To make apple topping: In pan over medium heat, heat butter and brown sugar until bubbly and golden.
Add apples, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt, to taste; cook over medium-low heat until apples are soft. Turn off heat and finish with maple syrup.
To make ricotta filling: Combine ricotta, lemon zest, lemon juice and sugar, mix well and set aside.
In nonstick pan over medium-low heat, melt small amount of butter.
Add one ladle crepe batter, cook until bubbles form, flip and cook until golden. Repeat with remaining batter. Stack crepes to keep warm and soft.
Spread ricotta
Using 1/3 measuring cup, spoon frittata mixture into oven-safe large skillet or 9-by-9-inch pan.
Bake 25-30 minutes, or until eggs are set.
Let cool slightly then serve.

Make mom’s day with a craveable brunch

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(Family Features) There’s perhaps no better occasion to show off your kitchen skills than Mother’s Day, a perfect opportunity to turn the tables on mom and let her relax while you handle cooking duties. A homemade breakfast — or better yet, letting her sleep in for brunch — is a sure way to win her over and show how much you care.
If a full Mother’s Day celebration is on the menu, try this hearty dish. A frittata provides the best of both worlds, as it’s a filling meal that’s also easy to make — just let the oven do the work. This Apple, Tomato and Goat Cheese Frittata is no exception as it calls for a handful of everyday ingredients you can whisk together in a cinch. While it’s in the oven (about 30 minutes, give or take) you can put the finishing touches on your last-minute decorations and handwritten cards.

Apple, Tomato and Goat Cheese Frittata

Ingredients:
• 6 eggs
• 1 teaspoon hot pepper sauce
• 2 teaspoons kosher salt
• 20 turns fresh cracked pepper
• 1/4 cup whole milk
• 1 Envy Apple, small diced
• 1/2 cup sundried tomatoes, chopped
• 4 ounces goat cheese, crumbled
• 2 tablespoons thinly sliced chives

Directions
Preheat oven to 350 F.
In large mixing bowl, whisk eggs, hot pepper sauce, salt, pepper and milk until well combined.
Stir in apples, tomatoes, goat cheese and chives until well combined.
Using 1/3 measuring cup, spoon frittata mixture into oven-safe large skillet or 9-by-9-inch pan.
Bake 25-30 minutes, or until eggs are set.
Let cool slightly then serve.

Sweet solutions to celebrate Cinco de Mayo

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(Family Features) From fajitas and tacos to everything in between, fueling your Cinco de Mayo fiesta starts with delicious food that brings everyone to the table. Traditional dishes and new twists on classics can be equally satisfying whether you’re feeding your nearest and dearest or hosting the entire neighborhood.
Start with these vegan apple and black bean fajitas for a plant-forward spin on a popular dish that features sauteed apples, peppers, zucchini, jicama, onion and jalapeno. The craveable texture and crunch of Envy Apples – a leading apple variety available at Whole Foods and other major grocery stores – shine both in the mixture of sauteed produce and sliced raw into sticks for a crunchy finish with added sweetness. Plus, their flesh remains whiter longer, even after slicing, so this dish looks as good as it tastes.

Vegan Apple and Black Bean Fajitas

Ingredients:
• 1 bell pepper, sliced, seeds removed
• 1 zucchini, sliced
• 1 small jicama, sliced
• 3 Envy Apples, sliced
• 1 yellow onion, sliced
• 1 jalapeno, sliced, seeds removed
• 1 teaspoon garlic
• 1teaspoon ground cumin
• 2 sprigs fresh oregano
• 1 teaspoon chili pepper (optional)
• salt, to taste (optional)
• pepper, to taste (optional)
• 1 cup cooked black beans
• 1 lime
• 3 sprigs fresh cilantro
• 4 small flour tortillas

Directions
In skillet over high heat, saute bell pepper, zucchini, jicama and half the apple slices. Set aside.
In same hot skillet, saute onions, jalapenos and garlic until lightly caramelized. Combine with sauteed apple mixture. Season with cumin and oregano. Add chili powder and salt and pepper, to taste, if desired.
Add cooked black beans to saute mixture. Top with squeeze of lime. Garnish with cilantro and remaining raw apple slices.
Serve with tortillas.

Unite loved ones with a luscious dessert

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(Family Features) Celebration-worthy treats are perfect ways to cap off days spent with those you love, whether there’s a special occasion or you’re simply looking for creative ways to share more moments together. As a beloved staple in American households for generations, pie provides a sweet, delicious way to bring family and friends to the table.

Tart Cherry Unity Pie
Recipe courtesy of the U.S. Tart Cherry Industry
Prep time: 20 minutes
Cook time: 55 minutes
Servings: 8

Pie:
• 1 pie crust (9 inches)
• 2 cups canned tart cherry pie filling
• 2 cups canned apple pie filling
• 1 egg, beaten (for egg wash)
Streusel:
• 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
• 1/4 cup brown sugar
• 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
• 1/3 cup pecans, roughly chopped
• 1 pinch salt
• 4 tablespoons butter, melted
Pumpkin Spice Whipped Cream:
• 1 cup heavy cream
• 2 tablespoons powdered sugar
• 1/2 teaspoon pumpkin spice

Directions
Preheat oven to 400 F.
Fit pie crust to 9-inch pie dish. Crimp edges and use fork to poke holes in bottom. Place pie crust in freezer to chill.
In large bowl, combine tart cherry pie filling and apple pie filling. Set aside.
To make streusel: In bowl, use fork to mix flour, brown sugar, granulated sugar, pecans and salt. Pour butter over dry ingredients and mix until ingredients come together in clumps.
To assemble pie: Pour cherry-apple filling into prepared pie crust and sprinkle streusel on top. Brush beaten egg onto exposed pie crust edges.
Bake 25 minutes. At 10-minute mark, cover pie dish with foil to prevent crust from over-browning. After 25 minutes, lower oven temperature to 375 F and bake 30 minutes.
To make pumpkin spice whipped cream: In large bowl or bowl of stand mixer, add heavy cream, powdered sugar and pumpkin spice. Use hand mixer or beater attachment on stand mixer to beat on medium-high speed 3-5 minutes until stiff peaks form. Refrigerate whipped cream until ready to serve.
Let pie cool 2-3 hours then dollop pumpkin spice whipped cream on top, slice and serve.
Substitution: Storebought whipped cream topped with pumpkin spice can be used in place of homemade pumpkin spice whipped cream.

Make Mom’s day extra special

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(Family Features) Don’t let Mother’s Day pass by as just another day on the calendar. Make this year’s celebration a true ode to the moms in your life with some extra special touches at breakfast and beyond.
Give Her the Day Off: Whether she’s the culinary expert of the home or cooking is usually a team effort, make sure her morning is one of rest and relaxation while you handle kitchen duties from prep to cleanup. These Bacon-Wrapped Egg Muffins are easily customizable to suit your family’s favorite tastes with nearly endless possibilities. Just make sure to place a foil-lined cookie sheet under the muffin tin to make cleanup a breeze.

Bacon-Wrapped Egg Muffins
Recipe courtesy of “Cookin’ Savvy”

Ingredients:
• 1 pound regular-sliced bacon (not thick-sliced)
• 10 eggs
• 1/2 cup shredded cheese
• 1/3 cup half-and-half or milk
• 1 tablespoon garlic pepper
• 1/3 cup chopped fresh or frozen spinach

Directions
Preheat oven to 400 F.
Using muffin tin, wrap bacon around inside of each muffin hole. In bowl, whisk eggs, cheese, half-and-half, garlic pepper and spinach. Pour into each hole, filling about halfway to avoid overflowing while cooking. Cook 40 minutes, or until eggs are golden.

Tips: Place muffin tin on cookie sheet lined with aluminum foil to catch grease and make cleanup easier. If you want bacon taste without lining muffin holes, mix fried bacon pieces into eggs.
Substitutions: Line each hole with hashbrowns then add egg mixture. Use broccoli instead of spinach, if desired.

Make Mom’s day extra special

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(Family Features) Don’t let Mother’s Day pass by as just another day on the calendar. Make this year’s celebration a true ode to the moms in your life with some extra special touches at breakfast and beyond.
Whether she’s the culinary expert of the home or cooking is usually a team effort, make sure her morning is one of rest and relaxation while you handle kitchen duties from prep to cleanup. These cinnamon muffins offer a one-ingredient solution that take just 15 minutes to prepare.
Add flowers: Flowers are a timeless Mother’s Day gift for a reason. They provide pops of color on dining room tables, kitchen counters, end tables or even nightstands. Consider mom’s favorite spot in the house and place them within eyeshot for a frequent reminder of how much she’s appreciated.
Create a personalized card: Add a special final touch to an already memorable morning with a thoughtful card and handwritten message. Get the kiddos involved and create a card from scratch with construction paper, colored pencils, markers and more for a homemade gift she’ll cherish. If you didn’t fall from the artistic tree, don’t fret — a storebought card means all the same when paired with a heartfelt message that conveys your love.

Cinnamon muffins
Recipe courtesy of “Cookin’ Savvy”

Ingredients:
• 2 tubes (8-count each) cinnamon rolls

Directions
Preheat oven to 400 F.
Grease muffin tin or line with liners. Using kitchen shears, cut each cinnamon roll into pieces and place in muffin holes.
Bake about 15 minutes, or until golden. Let cool then add provided icing.
Tip: To make icing extra special, add 2 tablespoons creamer and mix well before icing muffins.

A Better-for-You Way to Begin the Day

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(Family Features) Starting a journey toward better health and wellness can begin the same way you can (and should) start each day: with a nutritious breakfast. A morning meal loaded with nutrient-boosting flavor provides the foundation you need not only for the day at hand, but for a sustainable long-term eating plan, as well.
Consider this Sweet Potato Breakfast Bake as a budget-friendly way to feed your family with plenty of leftovers for days to follow. Full of eggs, bell peppers and turkey sausage, it’s a surefire crowd-pleaser that’s also loaded with shredded sweet potatoes. According to the American Diabetes Association, sweet potatoes are a “diabetes superfood” because they’re rich in vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and fiber, all of which are good for overall health and may help prevent disease.

Sweet Potato Breakfast Bake
Recipe courtesy of Tessa Nguyen, RD, LDN, on behalf of the North Carolina Sweetpotato Commission
Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 15 minutes
Servings: 12

Ingredients:
• Nonstick cooking spray
• 1 cup sweetpotatoes, shredded
• 1/2 cup cooked turkey sausage crumbles or cooked turkey bacon
• 1/4 cup green onions, sliced
• 1/2 cup bell pepper, diced
• 9 eggs, beaten
• 1/2 cup cheddar cheese, shredded
• 1/2 teaspoon black pepper

Directions
Heat oven to 400 F. Spray 13-by-9-inch baking dish with nonstick cooking spray.
Evenly spread sweet potatoes, sausage or bacon, green onions and bell peppers in dish. Pour eggs carefully into baking dish. Sprinkle shredded cheese and black pepper over eggs.
Bake 15 minutes.
Slice into 12 pieces and serve hot.

Easy Easter eats

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(Family Features) Even if Easter hosting duties fell on your plate this year and added one more thing to your holiday to-do list, that doesn’t mean it has to be difficult. After all, Easter is a time meant for fun and fellowship with the food just one part of the celebration.
Building the menu around simple, one-pan dishes can keep the focus where it needs to be: spending time and creating memories with family and friends. These dishes call for short lists of ingredients, many of which you may already have in your pantry, and simple preparation to create a full spread perfect for sharing with loved ones. Plus, using only one pan makes cleanup a breeze, so you can get back to the festivities quickly.

Blueberry crumble
Finish off your feast with an adaptable dessert like this blueberry crumble. Made using just five ingredients and ready in about an hour, you can swap the blueberry pie filling and yellow cake mix for any combination that suits your guests’ tastes like apple pie filling with spice cake or cherry pie filling with chocolate cake; the sky’s the limit when it comes to satisfying that sweet tooth.

Ingredients:
• 1 can blueberry pie filling
• 1 box yellow cake mix
• 1 bag (4 ounces) chopped pecans
• 1 stick butter, melted
• 1/4 cup oil
• whipped cream, for serving (optional)
• vanilla ice cream, for serving (optional)

Directions
Preheat oven to 350 F.
Spread pie filling on bottom of 9-by-11-inch pan. Sprinkle cake mix and pecans on top. Do not mix.
Drizzle melted butter and oil on top of cake mix and pecans. Do not mix. Lift pan and tilt from side to side until cake mix is completely covered in butter.
Bake 1 hour until golden brown and bubbly.
Serve with whipped cream or vanilla ice cream, if desired.

Get Creative with Easter Sweets

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(Family Features) Holiday hams and deviled eggs may take center stage at Easter gatherings, but edible crafts offer a reminder of the magic of the season that’s found in moments spent together. Simple recipes that call for a dose of creativity are perfect ways to bring the kids to the kitchen, made even easier when all that work leads to sweet treats.
Children of virtually any age can relish in the joys of using cookie cutters and decorating Easter Sugar Cookies, all with a little supervision and short list of instructions. This version shows how to make the cookies and homemade icing so you can create any color you desire for maximum creativity.

Easter Sugar Cookies
Recipe courtesy of “Cookin’ Savvy”

Icing:
• 1/3 cup meringue powder
• 1/2 cup warm water, plus additional for thinning (optional), divided
• 3 tablespoons vanilla
• 1 bag (2 pounds) powdered sugar
• 2 tablespoons corn syrup
• assorted food coloring

Cookies:
• 2 sticks unsalted butter, at room temperature
• 1 cup sugar
• 1 egg
• 1 tablespoon vanilla
• 2 teaspoons baking powder
• 1 dash salt
• 3 cups all-purpose flour

To make icing:
Mix meringue powder, 1/2 cup warm water, vanilla, powdered sugar and corn syrup. Separate into bowls and add food coloring; mix with water, as needed, to thin for piping.
To make cookies:
Cream butter and sugar. Mix in egg, vanilla, baking powder and salt. Mix in flour 1 cup at a time to form dough. Roll dough out to 1/4-1/2-inch thickness.
Cut into shapes, place on baking sheet and freeze 10 minutes. Bake 8-12 minutes. Cool completely before icing.
Place icing in zip-top or piping bags and cut off tips. Put cookies on parchment paper. Trace outline first then fill in middle. Use toothpicks to smooth out.
Let dry 6 hours and finish decorating with different icing colors or edible markers.

Get Creative with Easter Sweets

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(Family Features) While plastic eggs may have led to a decline in good, old-fashioned egg-dyeing, there are still fun ways to bring crafts back to Easter celebrations. Consider these Kids Krafty Easter Cake Pops, which call for little ones to help dip seasonal shapes in chocolate, use cake molds and more.
Remember, these delicious crafts don’t have to be perfect – having fun and making memories that last a lifetime are what make Easter truly special.

Kids Krafty Easter Cake Pops
Recipe courtesy of “Cookin’ Savvy”

Ingredients:
• 1 box cake mix
• 1 can frosting
• 1 bunny chocolate mold
• 1 cakesicle mold
• ice pop sticks
• 1 bag white chocolate chips or melting chips
• cake pop sticks
• 1 bag orange melting chips
• 2 tablespoons canola or coconut oil, divided
• 1 bag green melting chips
• pastel sprinkles
• 1 piece hard foam (optional)
• edible markers

Directions:
Bake cake according to package instructions and let cool completely.
Crumble cake and mix with 1/2 can frosting until dough forms. Add more frosting, if needed. Using small cookie scoop, form dough into balls and set aside. Place dough in bunny molds then pop out and set aside with balls. Place dough in cakesicle mold, insert ice pop stick in each slot and freeze 5-10 minutes.
Melt handful of white melting chips. Stick tip of each cake pop stick in chocolate then insert into every cake ball and bunny until each has one stick. Set aside to dry.
Remove cakesicles from freezer and pop out of molds. In bowl, melt orange melts then mix in 1 tablespoon oil and transfer to cup. Dip cakesicles and scrape off excess using rim of cup. Place on parchment paper to dry.
In bowl, melt green melts then place in zip-top or piping bag. Cut tip off bag, pipe carrot leaves onto piece of parchment paper and let dry.
Melt remaining white melts and mix in remaining oil. Transfer to cup and dip ball-shaped cake pops and bunnies then tap stick on edge of cup to remove excess.
Over separate bowl, sprinkle ball-shaped pops with pastel sprinkles. To keep ball shape, let dry by sticking in piece of hard foam. Bunnies can dry face side up on parchment paper. After bunnies are dry, use edible markers to make face and color in ears.
When carrots and leaves are dry, remelt orange melts and place in piping or zip-top bag. Cut off tip and drizzle orange over carrots. Add small line of orange on each ice pop stick and place leaves on each stick. Let dry.

Celebrate St. Pat’s with A Traditional Irish Dish

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(Family Features) If St. Patrick’s Day inspires feelings of hearth and home rather than leprechauns and green beer, you can celebrate tradition with warm, filling recipes that harken back to Irish heritage.
Share a sweet way to complete the meal in style with Irish Apple Cake, a classic dessert to top off a filling celebration. This version is easy enough to prepare with a handful of everyday ingredients for the cake, a crumbly topping and homemade custard for the finishing touch.

Irish Apple Cake

Cake:
• 3 cups self-rising flour
• 1/2 tablespoon cinnamon
• 1/4 teaspoon cloves
• 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
• 1/4 teaspoon ginger
• 1 stick butter, cubed
• 3/4 cup sugar
• 4 apples of choice, peeled and cubed
• 2 eggs
• 1 cup half-and-half

Topping:
• 1/2 stick butter
• 3/4 cup flour
• 1 cup brown sugar

Custard:
• 6 large egg yolks
• 6 tablespoons sugar
• 1 1/2 cups half-and-half
• 2 teaspoons vanilla

Directions:
Preheat oven to 375 F. Grease and flour 9-inch round springform pan.
To make cake: In large bowl, sift flour with cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg and ginger. Using fork, cut butter until mixture resembles crumbs. Add sugar and apples; mix well. Stir in eggs and half-and-half until mixture reaches thick, dough-like batter. Pour batter into prepared pan.
To make topping: In bowl, mix butter, flour and sugar to create crumbled mixture. Sprinkle on top of batter in pan. Bake 1 hour. Check with toothpick to make sure middle is completely done. If not, bake 5-10 minutes. Let cool on rack.
To make custard: Whisk egg yolks and sugar. In saucepan, bring half-and-half to boil. Add one spoonful half-and-half at a time to egg mixture, whisking while adding. Once whisked together, return to saucepan and stir over medium heat until thickened, about 4 minutes. Remove from heat and whisk in vanilla.
Serve custard over cake.

Celebrate St. Pat’s with A Traditional Irish Dish

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(Family Features) If St. Patrick’s Day inspires feelings of hearth and home rather than leprechauns and green beer, you can celebrate tradition with warm, filling meals that harken back to Irish heritage. Soups and stews are certain to conjure up some nostalgia while soft, delicious cake is a perfect way to honor tradition regardless of your ancestry.
This Irish Sláinte Stew offers a warm welcome to guests with your own way of toasting to the holiday – Sláinte is “cheers” in Gaelic. This hearty meal is perfect for a crowd with traditional stew meat slow-cooked in a Dutch oven with beef broth, spices, carrots, potatoes, herbs and an Irish draught beer. Serve alongside crusty bread that’s ideal for soaking up each delicious drop.
If you’re looking for additional ways to honor tradition this St. Patrick’s Day, consider a few other cozy Irish dishes: boxty (potato pancakes, similar to latkes), boiled cabbage, Irish soda bread, shepherd’s pie, corned beef and cabbage, potato soup, Irish coffee, colcannon (mashed potatoes and greens), coddle (typically including pork sausage, potatoes and onions) or seafood chowder.
To find more ways to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day, visit Culinary.net.

Irish Sláinte Stew

• Oil, for drizzling
• 1 pound stew meat
• 1-2 pinches salt, plus additional to taste, divided
• 1-2 pinches pepper
• 3 tablespoons flour
• 48 ounces beef broth
• 1 cup carrots, diced
• 1 cup celery, diced
• 3cups potatoes, diced
• 1/2 onion, diced
• 2 tablespoons garlic pepper
• 1 tablespoon dried thyme
• 1/2 tablespoon dried rosemary
• 1 tablespoon dried chives
• 1 bottle Irish draught beer of choice
• crusty bread, for serving

Directions:
In Dutch oven over medium heat, drizzle oil and brown stew meat with salt and pepper. Sprinkle flour over meat.
Add beef broth, carrots, celery, potatoes, onion, garlic pepper, thyme, rosemary and chives. Add Irish draught beer.
Bring to boil, stirring, 5 minutes. Simmer 2 hours, stirring occasionally.
Serve with crusty bread.

Comfort classics with an authentic Mexican twist

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Family Features) Soup is a wintertime staple thanks to its simplicity, and you can put a delicious spin on your next winter warmup with Mexican-inspired ingredients. Giving soup night a twist starts with Cacique Foods, one of the country’s top authentic Mexican food brands, that invites friends and family to share real moments while savoring authentic flavors.
This Smoky Chorizo and Chicken Pozole relies on the bold, hearty, spicy taste of Cacique’s Pork Chorizo combined with handcrafted Homestyle Salsa. Queso Fresco’s crumbly, creamy texture and milky, fresh flavor adds the perfect finishing touch, making this soup a perfect way to warm up weeknights with just the right amount of heat.

Smoky Chorizo and Chicken Pozole
Prep time: 5 minutes
Cook time: 30 minutes
Servings: 6-8

• 2 tablespoons olive oil
• 1 large white or yellow onion, finely chopped
• 1 teaspoon kosher salt, plus additional, to taste (optional)
• 1 package (9 ounces) Cacique Pork Chorizo
• 2 teaspoons smoked paprika
• 1 teaspoon dried Mexican oregano
• 1 container (16 ounces) Cacique Medium Homestyle Salsa
• 1quart chicken stock
• 2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken thighs or breasts, trimmed of excess fat and diced
• 1 can (25 ounces) white hominy, drained and rinsed
• 1 lime, cut into wedges
• 3/4 cup crumbled Cacique Ranchero Queso Fresco
• 1/2 cup chopped cilantro

Directions:
In large, heavy pot over medium heat, heat oil. Reserve 1/4 cup onion for garnish; add remaining onion to pot and season with salt. Saute until translucent, about 5 minutes.
Increase heat to medium-high; add pork chorizo and break it apart with spoon. Cook chorizo undisturbed until deeply browned and cooked through, 3-5 minutes. Add smoked paprika and oregano; cook 30 seconds, or until fragrant.
Pour in salsa and scrape up browned bits from bottom of pan. Bring to simmer 1-2 minutes, allowing it to thicken slightly then add stock and bring to simmer.
Stir in diced chicken and hominy. Decrease heat to medium and cook 8-10 minutes until chicken is cooked through. Taste and season with more salt, if necessary. Remove from heat.
Serve bowls of pozole with reserved onion, lime wedges, crumbled queso fresco and chopped cilantro.

Give comfort food classics a Mexican twist

Mexican potatoes
(Family Features) If winter evenings have you stuck in a dinner rut, heat up the kitchen with family favorites everyone can look forward to. Shaking off the chill can start with a cozy blanket and comforting food that warms you from the inside out.
For a flavorful side that complements a variety of main courses while adding Mexican flair, consider Mexican loaded mashed potatoes. This recipe is a familiar favorite with the unique twist of bacon and pork chorizo for a meat-infused recipe that will become a menu mainstay.
Plus, for an extra creamy texture, it calls for cacique crema Mexicana — an everyday table cream with a neutral, fresh-tasting flavor ideal for balancing out spice — and Oaxaca, a semisoft cheese with a mellow, buttery flavor.

Mexican loaded mashed potatoes
Prep time: 35 minutes
Cook time: 40 minutes
Servings: 10

• 3 pounds russet potatoes (about 9 medium potatoes), peeled and cubed
water
• 6 bacon strips, chopped
• 1 package Cacique Pork Chorizo
• 12 ounces Cacique Crema Mexicana
• 1/2 cup butter, cubed
• 1 1/2 teaspoons onion powder
• 1 teaspoon salt
• 1teaspoon garlic powder
• 1/2 teaspoon pepper
• 1 cup Cacique Oaxaca or Queso Quesadilla, shredded
• 1/2 cup Cacique Crema Mexicana Agria, for topping (optional)
• 3 green onions, chopped

Directions:
In Dutch oven, add potatoes and cover with water. Bring to boil. Reduce heat; cook, uncovered, 10-15 minutes, or until tender.
In skillet over medium heat, cook bacon until crisp. Drain on paper towels, chop into small pieces and set aside. Remove bacon grease from skillet and cook chorizo over medium-high heat, 6-8 minutes.
Drain potatoes; add to pan. Mash potatoes, gradually adding crema Mexicana, butter, onion powder, salt, garlic powder and pepper. Transfer to greased 13-by-9-inch baking dish; sprinkle with cheese, chorizo and bacon. Refrigerate, covered, up to 1 day.
Preheat oven to 350 F. Remove potatoes from refrigerator and let stand while oven heats. Bake, covered, about 30 minutes. Uncover; bake 10 minutes, or until heated through.
Drizzle with crema Mexicana agria and chopped green onions.

A Valentine’s recipe you’ll love to share

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(Family Features) If the way to your loved one’s heart is through the stomach, there’s no better way to start off this Valentine’s Day than with a homemade breakfast prepared with love.
Show your affection with a plate of these colorful Cocoa-Kissed Red Velvet Pancakes featuring rich 100 percent cocoa, buttermilk and fresh berries. Heart-shaped cookie cutters lend a special touch to these fluffy, flavorful pancakes. Add sweet garnishes like powdered sugar and berries for a sensational way to say, “I love you.”

Cocoa-Kissed Red Velvet Pancakes
Recipe courtesy of Nestlé
Servings: 10 pancakes

• 1 cup all-purpose flour
• 1/4 cup granulated sugar
• 3 tablespoons Nestlé Toll House Baking Cocoa
• 1 teaspoon baking powder
• 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
• 1/2 teaspoon salt
• 1 large egg
• 1 cup reduced-fat buttermilk or low-fat milk
• 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
• 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
• 1 teaspoon red food coloring
• heart-shaped pancake cutters or cookie cutters (optional)
• butter, for garnish (optional)
• powdered sugar, for garnish (optional)
• maple syrup, for garnish (optional)
• fresh berries, for garnish (optional)

Directions:
In large bowl, combine flour, sugar, baking cocoa, baking powder, baking soda and salt; stir well.
In separate large bowl, whisk together egg, buttermilk, unsalted butter, vanilla extract and food coloring. Add to flour mixture; stir to combine. Allow mixture to sit 5 minutes.
Heat nonstick skillet or griddle over medium heat. Brush with oil or butter. Add about 1/4 cup batter to skillet. Cook about 2 minutes, or until bubbles start to form on top. Flip and cook 1-2 minutes, or until bottom is lightly browned. Serve immediately with butter, powdered sugar, syrup and berries, if desired.
Tip: If using pancake or cookie cutters, be sure to coat with oil so pancakes don’t stick. Place cutters in skillet and pour batter into cutters. Remove cutters before flipping.

A light but satisfying soup

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(Family Features) On the lighter side when it comes to soup, but still satisfying, Tuscan 3 Bean Peasant Soup calls for shallots, diced tomatoes, spinach, cannellini beans, cooked small pasta and more for a true winter warmup. Served with toasted bread cubes, it’s sure to warm loved ones up from the inside out.
Its key ingredient is Aunt Nellie’s 3 Bean Salad, featuring premium green, wax and kidney beans in a light, sweet-tangy vinegar dressing. As a ready-to-eat solution, it can be served chilled, at room temperature or as part of comforting winter recipes.

Tuscan 3 Bean Peasant Soup
Recipe courtesy of Sarah Meuser on behalf of Aunt Nellie’s
Prep time: 20 minutes
Cook time: 27 minutes
Servings: 8

• 10 ounces day-old crusty bread, such as ciabatta, cut into 1-inch cubes
• 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus additional for drizzling (optional)
• 2 medium shallots or 1 small yellow onion, peeled and chopped
• 3 cloves garlic, peeled and chopped
• 1 can (15 1/2 ounces) cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
• 1 can (28 ounces) diced tomatoes
• 3 cans (14 1/2 ounces each) low-sodium chicken broth (about 6 cups)
• 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
• 1/2 cup small pasta, such as ditalini, uncooked
• 2 cups frozen cut leaf spinach or chopped fresh spinach
• 2 jars (15 1/2 ounces each) Aunt Nellie’s 3 Bean Salad, drained
• 1 tablespoon lemon zest (optional)

Directions:
Preheat oven to 375 F. Place bread cubes in single layer on large baking pan. Bake until bread cubes are lightly browned, 8-12 minutes. Set aside.
Heat large saucepan or Dutch oven over medium heat. Add 2 tablespoons oil; swirl to coat. Add shallots; cook 5 minutes, or until soft, stirring occasionally. Add garlic; cook 1 minute, or until fragrant. Add cannellini beans, tomatoes, broth and black pepper; bring to boil. Add pasta; cook 8 minutes, or according to package directions. Stir in spinach and bean salad. Simmer 5 minutes, or until heated through.
Ladle soup evenly into bowls. Top with toasted bread cubes and lemon zest, if desired. Drizzle with additional olive oil, if desired.

Solve Winter Blues with Cozy Recipes

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(Family Features) Cozying up with a bowl of warm deliciousness is a perfect way to ward off the chill of winter, and it’s made even better when shared with those you love. Turning to favorite chilis and soups with comforting ingredients and smoky spices can transport your family from snow and sleet to warmth and paradise.

Smoky German Potato, Sausage and Bacon Chili
Recipe courtesy of “Dad with a Pan” on behalf of READ
Prep time: 20 minutes
Cook time: 40 minutes
Servings: 8

• 4 strips thick bacon, cut into cubes
• 1 pound smoked sausage, sliced into 1-inch segments
• 1 small onion, diced
• 4 cloves garlic, minced
• 4 tablespoons chili powder
• 1 tablespoon ground coriander
• 1 tablespoon ground cumin
• 1 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper
• 1 teaspoon dried oregano
• 2 Fresno peppers, diced
• 1 can (14 1/2 ounces) diced tomatoes, drained
• 1 can READ German Potato Salad, drained
• 1 cup beef broth
• salt, to taste
• pepper, to taste

Directions:
In large saucepan over medium heat, cook bacon until crispy. Remove and set aside, leaving about 2 tablespoons drippings in saucepan.
Add smoked sausage and cook until browned.
Once sausage is cooked, add diced onion and minced garlic, cooking until onion is translucent.
Drain excess fat then stir in chili powder, coriander, cumin, cayenne pepper, oregano and Fresno peppers until well mixed.
Add drained diced tomatoes, German potato salad and cooked bacon to saucepan.
Add beef broth and stir to combine. Season with salt and pepper, to taste.
Bring mixture to simmer and let cook about 30 minutes, stirring occasionally, until flavors are melded.

Substitution:
Jalapenos can be used for Fresno peppers.

Quick, easy and nutritious meals

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(Family Features) Making time for meals together can have a positive impact on the wellbeing of families, including children and adolescents. In fact, regular meals at home can help reduce stress and boost self-esteem, according to research published in “Canadian Family Physician.”
Making time for meals together shouldn’t require spending all night in the kitchen, however. A simple-to-prepare ingredient like eggs can help you spend less time cooking and more time with family.

Sweet Potato Hash with Eggs
Servings: 4 (1 cup per serving)

• 2 teaspoons canola or corn oil
• 1/2 medium onion, chopped
• 4 medium sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch cubes
• 1/2 medium red or green bell pepper, chopped
• 2/3 cup fat-free, low-sodium vegetable broth
• 2 teaspoons minced garlic
• 2 teaspoons smoked paprika
• 1 teaspoon ground cumin
• 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme, crumbled
• 1/2 teaspoon coarsely ground pepper
• 1/8 teaspoon salt
• 4 large eggs
• hot pepper sauce (optional)

Directions:
In pressure cooker set on saute, heat oil. Cook onion 3 minutes, or until soft, stirring frequently. Turn off pressure cooker.
Stir in potatoes, bell pepper, broth, garlic, paprika, cumin, thyme, pepper and salt. Secure lid. Cook on high pressure 3 minutes. Quickly release pressure. Turn off pressure cooker.
Remove pressure cooker lid. Crack one egg into small bowl. Using back of spoon, make small well in potatoes. Slip egg into well. Repeat with remaining eggs, making separate well for each egg. Secure lid with pressure vent open. Saute 2 minutes. Let stand on “keep warm” setting 2 minutes, or until eggs are cooked to desired consistency.
Serve hash sprinkled with dash of hot pepper sauce, if desired.

Nutritional information per serving:
258 calories; 7.5 g total fat; 2 g saturated fat; 1.5 g polyunsaturated fat; 3 g monounsaturated fat; 186 mg cholesterol; 244 mg sodium; 39 g carbohydrates; 6 g fiber; 9 g total sugars; 10 g protein.

Family-Friendly Fun to Beat Winter Blahs

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(Family Features) Making time for meals together shouldn’t require spending all night in the kitchen. A simple-to-prepare ingredient like eggs can help you spend less time cooking and more time with family.

Poached Egg Tostadas with Avocado-Tomatillo Salsa
Servings: 4 (1 egg and 1/2 cup salsa per serving)

• 2  Nonstick cooking spray
• 4 corn tortillas (6 inches each)
• 4 cups water
• 1 tablespoon white vinegar
• 4 large eggs

Salsa:
• 1 medium avocado, diced
• 1 medium Anaheim or poblano pepper, seeds and ribs discarded, diced
• 1 medium tomatillo, papery husk discarded, washed and diced
• 1/2 medium tomato, diced
• 1/4 cup diced red onion
• 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
• 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
• 1 medium garlic clove, minced
• 1/8 teaspoon salt

Directions:
Preheat oven to 400 F. Line baking sheet with aluminum foil. Lightly spray foil with nonstick cooking spray.
Arrange tortillas in single layer on foil. Lightly spray tortillas with nonstick cooking spray. Using fork, pierce tortillas to prevent from filling with air. Bake 5-6 minutes on each side, or until golden brown. Transfer to serving plates.
In large skillet over high heat, bring water and vinegar to boil.
Once water is boiling, reduce heat and simmer. Break egg into cup then carefully slip egg into simmering water. Repeat with remaining eggs, avoiding eggs touching in water. Simmer 3-5 minutes, or until egg whites are completely set and yolks are beginning to set but aren’t hard. Using slotted spoon, drain eggs. Place each egg on tostada.
To make salsa: In medium bowl, gently stir together avocado, pepper, tomatillo, tomato, red onion, cilantro, lime juice, garlic and salt. Serve with tostadas.

Family-Friendly Fun to Beat Winter Blahs

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(Family Features) Cool winter days may have you tempted to burrow under a blanket and wait out the weather, but there are plenty of entertaining and affordable ways to enjoy quality family time together despite chilly temperatures.
Kids who are cooped up indoors during the winter often get restless, but you can make the most of that boredom by gathering everyone and discovering new ways to create memories together.

Cocoa Smiley Face Waffle
• 2  Cocoa PEBBLES waffles
• 1  cup Cocoa PEBBLES cereal
• 1  container whipped cream
• chocolate chips (optional)
• chocolate sprinkles (optional)
• strawberries (optional)
• chocolate syrup (optional)

Directions:
Heat waffles until golden brown and place on plate. Use whipped cream to make smiley face eyes, nose and mouth.
Place cereal on top of whipped cream to make eyes, nose and mouth colorful. Add chocolate chips, chocolate sprinkles, strawberries and chocolate syrup, if desired.

Fruity Smiley Face Waffle
• 2  Fruity PEBBLES Waffles
• 1  container whipped cream
• 1  cup Fruity PEBBLES cereal
• blueberries (optional)
• rainbow sprinkles (optional)
maple syrup (optional)

Directions:
Heat waffles until golden brown and place on plate. Use whipped cream to make smiley face eyes, nose and mouth.
Place cereal on top of whipped cream to make eyes, nose and mouth colorful. Add blueberries, rainbow sprinkles and syrup, if desired.

A Pop of Peppermint

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(Family Features) While there are countless ingredients that harken to the taste of holidays past, there’s one sweet favorite that truly symbolizes the season: peppermint. Whether enjoyed in the familiar shape of a candy cane — the original kid-favorite — or added to recipes from beverages to desserts and everything in between, it’s a delicious way to connect generations.
For example, White Chocolate Peppermint Popcorn Bark offers a tasty way for everyone to get in on the fun. The taste of peppermint and white chocolate make this a perfect holiday treat for sharing with a crowd. Plus, the easy prep means less time in the kitchen and more time savoring the classic flavors.
Better yet, it makes for a delicious gift to send off with guests as another festive celebration comes to a close. Simply package in a small, clear bag tied off with a colorful bow so loved ones can enjoy the tastes of the season in the days to follow.
These favorites are made possible by the versatility of popcorn, one of America’s most beloved snack foods. Celebrated for its seed-to-snack simplicity, popcorn’s smell, taste and versatility mean it can enhance any occasion as a budget-friendly solution for family gatherings.

White Chocolate Peppermint Popcorn Bark
Yield: 1 pound

• 5 cups popped popcorn
• 12 ounces white chocolate baking chips, chopped white chocolate or white candy coating
• 1 cup crushed hard candy peppermints

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

Sweet and savory way to shake up holiday celebrations

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(Family Features) Among the many enchanting elements of the holiday season, the family traditions and familiar flavors of favorite foods enjoyed year after year bring loved ones together better than perhaps any other occasion. From decorating wreaths and trees to crafting ornaments and preparing classic recipes, it’s a season of cherishing memories and creating new ones.
While there are countless ingredients that harken to the taste of holidays past, there’s one sweet favorite that truly symbolizes the season: peppermint. Whether enjoyed in the familiar shape of a candy cane — the original kid-favorite — or added to recipes from beverages to desserts and everything in between, it’s a delicious way to connect generations.
For example, these Jingle Balls provide a perfect kid-friendly project to keep them busy rolling popcorn balls in sparkling colored sugar for bite-size bits of holiday magic. They’re equal parts holiday spirit and sweet appetizer, snack or dessert. Just be sure to have an adult melt together the butter, marshmallows and peppermint extract before letting little ones show off their creativity.
This favorite is made possible by the versatility of popcorn, one of America’s most beloved snack foods. Celebrated for its seed-to-snack simplicity, popcorn’s smell, taste and versatility mean it can enhance any occasion as a budget-friendly solution for family gatherings.

Jingle Balls
Recipe courtesy of the American Pecan Promotion Board
Cook time: 24 minutes
Servings: 8

• Nonstick cooking spray
• 12 cups popped popcorn
• 6 tablespoons butter or margarine
• 3 cups mini marshmallows
• 1/2 teaspoon peppermint extract
• assorted colored sugars

Directions:
Lightly spray large mixing bowl with nonstick cooking spray. Add popcorn.
Spread plastic wrap on cookie sheet; set aside.
In medium saucepan, melt butter and marshmallows; stir until mixture is smooth. Stir in peppermint extract. Pour over popcorn, mixing until well coated. Let cool 2 minutes.
Spray hands with cooking spray and form popcorn mixture into 3-inch balls. Gently press colored sugar onto balls. Let sit on prepared cookie sheet until cool and set.

Sweet and savory way to shake up holiday celebrations

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(Family Features) ’Tis the season for sweet and savory favorites – from the mouthwatering desserts you crave each year to starters and snacks that hold over hungry guests. Elevate your holiday entertaining with the right combination of appetizers, main courses, sides, sweets and beyond that start with the same seasonal staple: pecans.
To help celebrate the holiday season, the American Pecan Promotion Board introduced a digital Pe-Calendar to highlight the many ways pecans can be enjoyed in and beyond a traditional pie. From Dec. 7-18, the interactive calendar will unveil tasty recipes for pecan fans to enjoy, along with fun games that can enter you in to win exciting prizes each day. From delicious Baked Brie with Pecans and Cranberry Orange Chutney to nutritious Pecan Snack Mix with Cranberries and Chocolate, along with prizes, the calendar provides an ultimate way to shell-ebrate with the must-have holiday nut.

Baked Brie with Pecans and Cranberry Orange Chutney
Recipe courtesy of the American Pecan Promotion Board
Cook time: 24 minutes
Servings: 8

• 1 bag (12 ounces) fresh cranberries
• 1/2 cup maple syrup, plus 1 teaspoon for garnish, divided
• 1/2 cup water
• 1 orange, zest and juice only
• 1 teaspoon freshly chopped thyme, plus additional for garnish, divided
• 1 teaspoon freshly chopped rosemary
• 1 tablespoon bourbon (optional)
• 1 round brie (13.4 ounces)
• 1/2 cup roasted pecan pieces
• crackers
• toasted bread
• apple slices

Directions:
Preheat oven to 350 F. Line baking sheet with parchment paper or silicone baking mat.
In medium saucepan over medium-high heat, bring cranberries (reserving some for garnish), 1/2 cup maple syrup and water to boil. Reduce heat to medium-low and cook, stirring occasionally, until cranberries pop and mixture thickens, 8-10 minutes.
Remove cranberry mixture from heat and stir in orange zest, orange juice, 1 teaspoon thyme, rosemary and bourbon, if desired.
Place brie on parchment-lined baking sheet. Bake 5-7 minutes, or until inside of cheese softens while outside remains intact.
Transfer brie to serving platter and top with chutney and toasted pecans. Drizzle remaining maple syrup over brie and garnish with remaining fresh thyme and reserved cranberries. Serve with crackers, toasted bread and apple slices.

A regionally inspired snack

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(Family Features) If you’re in need of a quick snack everyone can share while mingling, opt for this Chocolate Cherry Pecan Snack Mix that takes just 20 minutes to prepare. It includes chocolate-glazed pecans tossed with yogurt-covered raisins, pretzels and dried tart cherries — a staple of the North.
When it comes to pecans, great taste is just the beginning. They’re the ultimate supernut due to their flavor, versatility and nutritional benefits. Next time you’re shopping for holiday ingredients, remember you can pick up a bag to add to favorite appetizers, snacks, meals, desserts and more all holiday season long.

Chocolate Cherry Pecan Snack Mix
Recipe courtesy of Emily Caruso of “Jelly Toast” on behalf of the American Pecan Promotion Board
Prep time: 5 minutes
Cook time: 20 minutes
Servings: 20

• 1 large egg white
• 1/4 cup light brown sugar
• 1 1/2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
• 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
• 1 teaspoon salt
• 1 tablespoon water
• 1 1/2 cups pecan halves
• 1 cup dried tart cherries
• 1 cup small pretzels
• 3/4 cup yogurt-covered raisins

Directions:
Heat oven to 325 F.
In bowl, whisk egg white, brown sugar, cocoa powder, vanilla extract and salt until well blended. Add water to thin mixture slightly. Fold in pecan halves until well coated. Spread mixture onto parchment-lined baking sheet.
Bake 15-20 minutes, or until mixture is well set. Stir mixture several times during baking. Allow pecans to cool completely and transfer to bowl. Mix in dried cherries, pretzels and raisins.

Ring in the holidays with regionally inspired recipes

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(Family Features) When Thanksgiving hosts and their guests ponder must-have desserts, one of the most common favorites is an oh-so-delicious pie. More specifically, with nearly endless possibilities and its familiar festive flavor, pecan pie is one of America’s most beloved holiday treats.
From nods to the Northeast’s love of maple to celebrating sweet tastes of the West Coast with a citrus twist, the American Pecan Promotion Board is celebrating regionally inspired recipes. While the classic pecan pie is a hit at the Thanksgiving table, you can make it a perfect palette for creativity this year by enjoying local flavors that take the festivities up a notch.

Bourbon Bacon Pecan Pie
Recipe courtesy of Emily Caruso of “Jelly Toast” on behalf of the American Pecan Promotion Board
Prep time: 20 minutes
Cook time: 70 minutes
Servings: 10

• 1 pie dough (9 inches)
• 4 strips thick-cut bacon
• 1/2 cup dark corn syrup
• 1/2 cup light corn syrup
• 1 cup light brown sugar
• 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
• 2 tablespoons bourbon
• 3 large eggs
• 1/2 teaspoon salt
• 2 1/2 cups raw pecan halves

Directions:
Place baking sheet in oven. Preheat oven to 350 F.
Gently line pie pan with rolled out pie dough. Press into edges and up sides. Use fingers or fork to create decorative edge. Set aside.
In skillet, fry bacon until crisp. Remove from pan and drain on paper towels then chop into small pieces and set aside. Reserve 1/4 cup bacon grease.
In large bowl, whisk dark corn syrup, light corn syrup, brown sugar, reserved bacon grease, butter and bourbon. Add eggs and salt; whisk until mixture is even. Fold in pecan halves and chopped bacon.
Pour mixture into pie crust and spread evenly with spatula. Gently cover edges of pie crust with aluminum foil. Place pie on preheated baking sheet and bake 60-70 minutes, or until pie is set in center.
Remove pie from oven and cool completely before serving or chilling.
Notes: Pie can be made 1 day ahead and refrigerated overnight. Allow pie to come to room temperature before serving.

Dairy-free salted caramel cupcakes

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Prep time: 25 minutes
Total time: 1 hour, 15 minutes
Servings: 12

Salted Caramel:
• 2 cups granulated sugar
• 6 tablespoons Country Crock Plant Butter Sticks with Avocado Oil, at room temperature
• 1/2 cup Country Crock Plant Cream, at room temperature
• 2 tablespoons coconut oil
• 1/2 teaspoon salt

Cupcakes:
• 1 cup all-purpose flour
• 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
• 1 teaspoon baking powder
• 2 teaspoons cinnamon
• 1/2 teaspoon salt
• 1 cup (2 sticks) Country Crock Plant Butter Sticks with Avocado Oil, at room temperature
• 1 cup powdered sugar
• 1/2 cup brown sugar
• 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
• 1 cup Country Crock Plant Cream

Vegan Caramel Frosting:
• 1/2 cup (1 stick) Country Crock Plant Butter Sticks with Avocado Oil, at room temperature
• 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar, plus additional, if necessary
• 2 teaspoons caramel sauce, at room temperature
• Country Crock Plant Cream, as needed
• 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
• 2 teaspoons caramel
salt flakes (optional)
caramel cubes (optional)

To make caramel:
In medium, light-colored saucepan over medium heat, stir sugar constantly until evenly melted.
Remove pan from heat and add Plant Butter, Plant Cream, coconut oil and salt.
Return mixture to medium heat, stirring constantly, 1 minute. Turn heat to low, stir and cook until mixture is thick and smooth. If caramel separates, whisk vigorously until it’s back together.
Pour caramel into heat-proof bowl, passing through fine mesh strainer to remove crystallized sugar. Cover and cool completely in fridge.

To make cupcakes:
Preheat oven to 350 F. Line cupcake pan with liners; set aside.
In medium bowl, whisk flour, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon and salt. Set aside.
In bowl of stand mixer, using whisk attachment, cream together Plant Butter, powdered sugar and brown sugar until light and fluffy. Add vanilla and cooled caramel, whisking on medium speed until combined.
Slowly add flour mixture, Plant Cream, scraping down sides of bowl until combined. Divide batter evenly into liners, filling each 3/4 full.
Bake until tops spring back when touched or toothpick inserted in center comes out clean, 18-20 minutes. Transfer cupcakes to wire rack and cool 5 minutes then remove from pan. Allow cupcakes to cool completely at room temperature.

To make frosting:
In bowl of stand mixer, mix Plant Butter on medium-high speed about 1 minute.
Add powdered sugar and Plant Cream together about 1 minute then add caramel sauce and mix until fully combined.
Add vanilla then Plant Cream as necessary, 1 teaspoon at a time, while mixing to desired consistency.
Pipe frosting onto cupcakes, drizzle with caramel and sprinkle with salt flakes, if desired. Garnish with caramel cubes, if desired.

Savvy steps toward grocery store savings

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(Family Features)  Whether you live alone or have multiple mouths to feed each day, grocery bills can add up. It’s an inevitable expense for everyone, but there are tried-and-true ways to limit your spending and put money back in your pocket.
Stick to your list: It may sound obvious, but avoiding impulse purchases is one of the easiest ways to save at the store. Creating a menu and buying only what you need keeps the bill lower and helps limit food waste at home.
Shop for seasonal produce: While it’s easy to get caught up buying specific items for specific recipes, remember to keep seasonality in mind. Oftentimes, in-season produce is more readily available and, therefore, cheaper. Enjoy seasonal classics like apple pies, crumbles and tarts, and consider adding this Baked Apples with Coconut and Crumble Topping recipe to your dessert rotation.
Stretch your meals at home: While it may not show a direct impact on your receipt, taking recipes further at home can limit how often you head to the store. For example, leftovers from one evening’s rotisserie chicken dinner can be repurposed for the following day’s lunches. Or you can turn steak night scraps into a memorable weekend steak-and-egg brunch. When you cook a large meal for guests, don’t let all the extra food go to waste; freeze portions separately then enjoy them later as a family dinner.

Baked Apples with Coconut and Crumble Topping
Servings: 8

• 6 Envy Apples
• 3/4 cup dark chocolate
• 1/2 cup chopped roasted hazelnuts
• 1 cup instant or rolled oats
• 1/2 cup dried coconut
• 2 tablespoons flour
• 1/3 cup butter
• 2 tablespoons brown sugar
• maple syrup or honey, for serving

Directions:
Core apples then score skin around apple a few times. Cut small slice from top and bottom to make apple more stable and give room for crumble topping.
Finely chop chocolate and combine with hazelnuts.
Arrange apple slices in lined baking dish.
Fill center of each apple generously with chocolate and hazelnut mixture (reserve about 2 tablespoons for topping).
Preheat oven to 350 F.
Combine oats, coconut, flour, butter and brown sugar; mix well.
Top each apple generously with crumble mixture, creating small mound on top of each apple; sprinkle with reserved chocolate and hazelnut mixture.
Bake apples 20-25 minutes, or until crumble is golden and apples start to soften.
Serve with drizzle of maple syrup or honey.

Warm cold-weather meals

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(Culinary.net) When the winds howl and the chill of changing seasons brings a crispness to the air, one way to warm up from the inside out is with favorite foods. Filling up on comforting recipes like hearty soups and stews can be the solution you need to fight off cold temperatures.
Consider quick and easy ingredients that add a little warmth to your plate as the cravings for comfort kick in.
A family favorite in recipes year-round, ooey-gooey cheese is a hallmark of cool-weather recipes. Consider creamy mac and cheese mixed with your preferred protein, homemade Mexican cuisine topped with melted chile con queso or an appetizer plate with options like brie, Manchego, aged cheddar, Parmesan and more.
Available in many varieties, curry paste is a common ingredient in South Asian dishes. It typically consists of ingredients like garlic, chiles or peppers, ginger and lemongrass. When you’d like to add some spice to your menu without bothering with takeout, this Thai Chicken and Rice Soup calls for green curry paste, which is generally spicier than red or yellow versions, but any can be substituted based on your heat tolerance. You can take the dish up a level with lightly seasoned Minute Cilantro & Lime Jasmine Rice for zesty flavor in a BPA-free, microwaveable cup for a simple solution when life gets hectic and preparing a time-consuming meal becomes challenging.

Thai Chicken and Rice Soup
Prep time: 2 minutes
Cook time: 5 minutes
Servings: 1

• 1 Minute Ready to Serve Cilantro & Lime Jasmine Rice Cup
• 1/2 cup (3 ounces) cooked rotisserie chicken, chopped
• 1/2 cup chicken broth
• 1/2 cup coconut milk
• 1 tablespoon Thai green curry paste
• 3 small shiitake mushrooms, thinly sliced
• 1 green onion, thinly sliced


Directions:
Heat rice according to package directions.
In medium, microwave-safe bowl, combine chicken, broth, coconut milk, curry paste and mushrooms.
Microwave on high 3 minutes. Stir in rice and garnish with green onion.

Warm cold-weather meals

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(Culinary.net) When the winds howl and the chill of changing seasons brings a crispness to the air, one way to warm up from the inside out is with favorite foods. Filling up on comforting recipes like hearty soups and stews can be the solution you need to fight off cold temperatures.
Consider quick and easy ingredients that add a little warmth to your plate as the cravings for comfort kick in.
If you’re craving a meal that’s big on flavor but short on prep time, it’s hard to top the classic comfort food combo of chicken and rice. This Parmesan chicken and rice with spinach and artichoke starts with the homestyle taste of fully cooked Minute Chicken & Herb Seasoned Rice Cups with carrots, onion and garlic. The BPA-free cups offer a quick and flavorful option for an on-the-go power-up loaded with chicken, vegetables and herbs paired with hearty rice. Ready in only 1 minute, you can enjoy the flavored rice right out of the cup or prepare it as part of this 5-minute recipe on a busy weeknight.

Parmesan Chicken and Rice with Spinach and Artichoke
Prep time: 5 minutes
Cook time: 5 minutes
Servings: 1

• 1 Minute Chicken & Herb Seasoned Rice Cup
• 1 tablespoon olive oil
• 1 cup spinach, stems removed
• 2 ounces chicken, cooked and shredded
• 1/4 cup canned artichokes, drained and quartered
• 1/4 cup shredded Parmesan cheese


Directions:
• Heat rice according to package directions.
• In medium saute pan over medium heat, heat olive oil. Add spinach and sauté 1 minute.
• Add chicken and artichokes; sauté 2 minutes, or until heated through.
• Add cheese and rice; stir to combine until heated through.

Impress Friends and Family with a Quick Appetizer

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(Culinary.net) If you’re looking for a new dip for your next get-together and tired of the same boring salsas and layered dips, this Cowboy Caviar may quickly become a family favorite.
Also known as Texas Caviar, this bean salad can be a hit with loved ones at birthdays, holidays, graduations, reunions and more. It serves well with tortilla chips but can be enjoyed in a variety of ways. Plus, it’s a breeze to make and can be even simpler when prepared the night before your big event.

Cowboy Caviar
• 1 can (15 ounces) sweet corn
• 1 can (15 ounces) black beans
• 1 bunch cilantro
• 3 Roma tomatoes
• 2 jalapenos
• 1/2 red onion
• bell peppers (mix of green, red, orange and yellow, as desired)
• tortilla chips, for serving

Dressing:
• 1/3 cup olive oil
• 1/3 cup red wine vinegar
• 1 tablespoon honey
• 1 tablespoon paprika
• 1 lime, juice only
• salt, to taste
• pepper, to taste

Directions:
Drain and rinse corn and black beans; dry well.
Finely chop and dice cilantro, tomatoes, jalapenos, onion and bell peppers.
To make dressing: Combine olive oil, red wine vinegar, honey, paprika and lime juice. Season with salt and pepper, to taste.
Mix vegetables with dressing. Serve with tortilla chips.

Bring Back Family Bonding This Fall

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(Family Features) Busy fall schedules often leave little time for the things that matter most — sharing special moments with those you love. This year, as time seems to speed up during another school year, making family bonding a priority in your household can start with a few simple tricks.

Make Cooking Together a Family Activity
Making dinner for the family shouldn’t take up valuable time that could be used for quality moments together. Seeking out quick and easy recipes leaves more hours in the day to spend with family members – or you can even make preparing dinner a family activity.

Teaching kids how to make your favorite recipes creates great memories and can maximize time spent together. From making kid-approved lunchbox sliders together to preparing time-saving, weeknight-friendly sliders as a family after school, King’s Hawaiian Rolls and Slider Buns have the power to help unite busy parents and picky kids. Plus, they’re soft and fluffy with the right touch of sweetness, and sliders are customizable, easy, fun and always a crowd pleaser. These Ham and Swiss Sliders or Peanut Butter, Jelly and Banana Sliders offer ways kids can help, from layering meats and cheeses to spreading peanut butter. Everyone can lend a hand in the kitchen while enjoying quality time together.

Peanut Butter, Jelly and Banana Sliders
Prep time: 5 minutes
Servings: 4-6

• 1 package (12 rolls) King’s Hawaiian Original Sweet Rolls
• 4 tablespoons salted peanut butter
• 4 tablespoons strawberry jam
• 2 bananas, sliced

Directions:
Cut entire pack of rolls in half horizontally, keeping all top and bottom halves intact.
Spread peanut butter on bottom halves followed by strawberry jam. Top with banana slices then top halves of rolls.

Bring Back Family Bonding This Fall

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(Family Features) Busy fall schedules often leave little time for the things that matter most — sharing special moments with those you love. This year, as time seems to speed up during another school year, making family bonding a priority in your household can start with a few simple tricks.

Schedule Family Nights
Desiring evenings spent with your nearest and dearest and actually making them happen are two separate things entirely. It’s easy to get caught up in the hustle and bustle of the season with days that feel too long and evenings that are often too short. Putting dedicated family nights on the calendar is a good way to avoid last-minute commitments that take away from important bonding time. Incorporate some favorite activities, whether your loved ones are board game enthusiasts or movie buffs, to give everyone something exciting to look forward to.

Encourage Extracurricular Participation
Beyond those special moments at home, there are plenty of ways to connect with your kiddos. Encouraging them to participate in extracurriculars, like sports, band, theater, dance, choir or other activities, provides a great way to enjoy something together as you watch your children branch out and try new things. If they happen to try an activity you used to (or still do) participate in, it’s an easy way to make a unique connection by sharing your own memories, offering helpful tips or even passing down old equipment like sports gear or an instrument.

Ham and Swiss Sliders
Total time: 25 minutes
Servings: 4-6

• 1 stick butter
• 1 package (12 rolls) King’s Hawaiian Original Hawaiian Sweet Rolls
• 1 pound shaved deli ham
• 1 pound thinly sliced Swiss cheese

Directions:
Heat oven to 350 F. Melt butter and set aside.
Cut entire pack of rolls in half horizontally, keeping all top and bottom halves intact.
In 9-by-13-inch pan, place bottom halves of rolls and cover with ham and cheese.
Cover ham and cheese stacks with top halves of rolls. Drizzle butter mixture over tops of rolls.
Bake, uncovered, 15-20 minutes. Separate rolls for serving.

Tips for supporting your immune system

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(Family Features) Catching a cold or getting the flu can happen any time of year, but the height of cold and flu season requires extra precaution. Flu activity often increases in the fall and peaks between December and January, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Staying completely healthy throughout cold and flu season can’t be guaranteed, but, along with following guidance from your health care provider, dietary and lifestyle changes can help optimize your immune system and wellbeing.

Eat healthfully
Eating a healthy diet is essential for optimizing your immune system. Many experts recommend consuming whole foods and plant foods like fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds and legumes as well as whole grains. These foods contain beneficial plant compounds linked to health benefits in humans. Consider one prime example, fresh grapes, and how they may support immune health.

Stay Hydrated
Drinking plenty of water is important for staying hydrated, which helps your immune system by keeping the body’s defenses functioning properly. In addition to water, you can increase hydration by eating foods with high water content like Grapes from California, which contain about 82% water.

Immune-Boosting Green Grape Smoothie
Prep time: 5 minutes
Servings: 1

• 1 cup green Grapes from California, chilled
• 2 1/2 ounces baby spinach
• 1/3 cup plain low-fat Greek yogurt
• 1/4 cup fresh orange juice
• 1 cube (1/2 inch) peeled fresh ginger or 2 teaspoons prepared minced ginger
• 1 tablespoon walnut pieces
Directions:
In blender, blend grapes, spinach, yogurt, orange juice, ginger and walnuts until smooth, scraping down sides as needed.

Nutritional information per serving:
280 calories; 12 g protein; 46 g carbohydrates; 7 g fat (23% calories from fat); 1.5 g saturated fat (5% calories from saturated fat); 10 mg cholesterol; 110 mg sodium; 4 g fiber.¬¬

Simplify School Nights with Easy, Cheesy Meals

Bacon wrapped chicken
(Family Features) Putting a delicious, kid-friendly meal on the table in an hour or less is goal No. 1 for many families. When the hectic schedules of back-to-school season are in full effect, saving some precious time in the kitchen can make all the difference.
If letting your oven do the work is an appealing solution, try an easy recipe like Bacon Wrapped Potato Stuffed Chicken. As a meal and side dish all in one, this simple weeknight dinner starts with cutting a pocket into boneless, skinless chicken breasts before filling with cheesy goodness.
Layer cheddar cheese slices inside the chicken then spoon in READ German Potato Salad made with thinly sliced potatoes, bacon and a sweet-piquant dressing. Finally, fold the chicken breasts closed, wrap with bacon slices and bake 40 minutes to tender, juicy perfection with a final broil to crisp the bacon.

Bacon Wrapped Potato Stuffed Chicken
Recipe courtesy of MacKenzie Smith of “EZPZMealz”
Prep time: 20 minutes
Cook time: 40 minutes
Yield: 8 servings

• 2  pounds (approximately 4 large) boneless, skinless chicken breasts
• 8 slices sharp cheddar cheese
• 1 can READ German Potato Salad with sauce
• 8-12 bacon slices
• nonstick cooking spray
• freshly ground pepper, to taste

Directions
Preheat oven to 400 F.
Using sharp knife, slice pocket or slit into each chicken breast and fold open.
Place two slices sharp cheddar cheese in pockets then spoon 4 ounces potato salad onto cheese.
Fold chicken over and close so cheese and potatoes are inside pockets.
Take 2-3 bacon slices and completely wrap stuffed chicken breasts, tucking loose ends of bacon on undersides of chicken.
Spray baking dish with nonstick cooking spray then place bacon wrapped chicken on tray. Season chicken with pepper, to taste.
Bake approximately 40 minutes until internal temperature of chicken reaches 160 F.
Turn oven to broil on high (500 F) and broil 2-3 minutes to crisp bacon until chicken reaches 165 F.
Remove from the oven and rest 5 minutes then serve.

Simplify School Nights with Easy, Cheesy Meals

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(Family Features) Putting a delicious, kid-friendly meal on the table in an hour or less is goal No. 1 for many families. When the hectic schedules of back-to-school season are in full effect, saving some precious time in the kitchen can make all the difference.
Take a homework timeout and bring loved ones running to the dining room for family favorites like Sweet Heat Pickled Beet Grilled Cheese. This modern take on a childhood classic pairs sourdough bread with brie cheese, a spicy-sweet hit of hot honey and juicy Aunt Nellie’s Diced Pickled Beets.

Sweet Heat Pickled Beet Grilled Cheese
Recipe courtesy of MacKenzie Smith of “Grilled Cheese Social”
Prep time: 5 minutes
Cook time: 12 minutes
Yield: 2 sandwiches

• 4 slices (3 ounces each) sourdough bread
• 2 tablespoons hot honey
• 1 small wheel (8 ounces) brie, at room temperature, cut into thin strips
• 8 ounces Aunt Nellie’s Diced Pickled Beets (1/2 jar or 2 individual diced pickled beet cups)
• 2 tablespoons fresh basil, cut into thin strips
• 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
• 1/2 teaspoon garlic salt, or to taste

Directions
Place two bread slices on cutting board. Drizzle with hot honey then add 4 ounces brie evenly across bread.
Drain beets and pat dry. Add evenly on top of brie followed by basil and remaining brie.
Spread 1 tablespoon butter on one side of remaining bread slices. Sprinkle with 1/4 teaspoon garlic salt. Place top piece of bread on each sandwich.
Heat cast-iron or frying pan over medium-low heat then add sandwiches butter sides down. Butter top sides and add remaining garlic salt.
Cook about 5 minutes on each side, or until bread is golden brown and cheese has melted, flipping halfway through.
Once sandwiches have cooked on both sides, remove from heat and serve.

Breaking Better-for-You Bread

16752 b
(Family Features) For many looking to make healthy dietary changes, weight loss is a primary concern. Because the Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommend 45-65% of daily calories come from carbohydrates, an eating plan like the ketogenic diet (or keto, for short), which involves consuming a low amount of carbs and replacing them with healthy fats, can be a popular choice for achieving weight loss goals.
Replacing carb intake with fat can put your body in a metabolic state called ketosis, which makes you more efficient at burning fat for energy. The keto diet can also help reduce blood sugar and insulin levels and lower risk for certain diseases.
Those following the keto eating plan typically significantly reduce or avoid consuming bread, pasta, rice and baked goods, which are all traditionally high in carbohydrates. However, Toufayan Bakeries introduced a line of keto-friendly wraps, pitas and flatbreads that are high in fiber and protein while containing no sugar and being lower in carbs than traditional bread.
Try serving these satisfyingly light solutions as the base ingredients in this delicious recipe for a Keto Egg and Sausage Flatbread from chef George Duran.

Keto Egg and Sausage Flatbread
Yield: 1 flatbread

• 1 Toufayan Keto Flatbread
• 1/4 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
• 2 cooked sausage links (approximately 2 ounces each), cut into pieces
• 1/4 cup thinly sliced red bell pepper
• 1 large egg
• 1 tablespoon fresh chives
• salt, to taste
• pepper, to taste

Directions
Preheat oven to broil.
On foil-lined baking sheet, place flatbread and top with mozzarella cheese; add sausage pieces and bell pepper.
Crack egg in center of flatbread and broil 5-8 minutes, or until egg is cooked to desired firmness.
Remove from oven and top with chives.
Season with salt and pepper, to taste, and serve.

Nutritional information per serving (1 flatbread):
435 calories; 29.1 g protein; 25.6 g fat; 8.6 net carbs.

A Fresh-Baked After-School Sweet

16709 b
(Family Features) After a long day of learning or a tough homework assignment, many kids love a warm, chocolatey homemade cookie. Once your kiddos pack away the calculators and put their pencils down, serve up an ooey-gooey delight as a reward for all that hard work.
These Brown Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies are ready in just 30 minutes and made with high-quality ingredients you can count on like C&H Dark Brown Sugar for that familiar homemade flavor.

Brown Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies
Prep time: 15 minutes
Cook time: 15 minutes
Yield: 18 cookies

• 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
• 2 cups all-purpose flour
• 1 teaspoon baking powder
• 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
• 1/2 teaspoon salt
• 1 1/4 cups C&H Dark Brown Sugar
• 2 large eggs, at room temperature
• 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
• 1 cup chopped pecans, toasted
• 1 1/2 cups semisweet chocolate chips

Directions
In medium saucepan over medium heat, melt butter and cook until foaming and golden brown. Remove from heat and transfer to heatproof bowl. Place in refrigerator until solidified, about 45 minutes.
In medium bowl, whisk flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Set aside.
Once butter has solidified, remove from refrigerator. In bowl of electric stand mixer, using paddle attachment, beat butter and sugar at medium speed 2-3 minutes until light and fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, and vanilla. Mix until combined. Scrape sides of bowl as needed. Reduce speed, add flour mixture and beat to combine. Add pecans and chocolate chips; mix at low speed until combined. Place dough in refrigerator and rest 30 minutes.
Preheat oven to 350 F and line baking sheets with parchment paper.
Using 2-ounce ice cream scoop, portion out dough on prepared baking sheets, spacing about 3 inches apart. Gently flatten dough balls using palm.
Bake 13-15 minutes, or until golden brown. Allow cookies to cool on baking sheets 10 minutes then transfer to wire rack. Serve warm.

A Traditional Breakfast with a Twist

16709 c
(Family Features) Between morning routines, days spent in the classroom, extracurriculars and homework, it may seem like there’s never enough time in the day during the school year. However, making time for tasty meals and snacks doesn’t have to be another burden on jam-packed schedules.
This quick recipe for a flavorful twist on a breakfast favorite can help keep little learners (and older family members, too) fueled up and ready to tackle all the school year throws their way.
The same bowl of cereal can get boring after eating it for breakfast day in and day out. You may find yourself looking for something new and exciting to start school day mornings on the right foot.
Kids can be picky when it comes to breakfast foods, but this recipe for Sausage French Toast Roll-Ups is a quick and easy way to fill their bellies with a taste of several flavors they may already love. A sizzling sausage link wrapped with French toast, it combines a favorite breakfast protein and traditional deliciousness in one roll.

Sausage French Toast Roll-Ups
Servings: 12

• 12 sausage links
• 2 eggs
• 2/3 cup milk
• 3 teaspoons almond extract
• 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
• 6 bread slices, crust removed, cut in half
• 3 tablespoons butter
• syrup

Directions
In skillet, cook sausage links according to package directions. Set aside.
In medium bowl, whisk eggs, milk, almond extract and cinnamon.
Dip bread slice in egg mixture. Wrap bread slice around cooked sausage link, pressing seam to keep from unrolling. Repeat with remaining bread slices and sausage links.
In large skillet over medium-high heat, melt butter. Place roll-ups in skillet, seam-sides down, and cook until all sides are browned, approximately 10 minutes.
Drizzle with syrup.

Fuel for Full Days of Learning

Pepperoni pizza sliders
(Family Features) Between morning routines, days spent in the classroom, extracurriculars and homework, it may seem like there’s never enough time in the day during the school year. However, making time for tasty meals and snacks doesn’t have to be another burden on jam-packed schedules.
These easy-to-make sliders featuring kid-friendly flavors can help keep little learners (and older family members, too) fueled up and ready to tackle all the school year throws their way.

Simple, Kid-Friendly Sliders
For those busy school nights when time is at a premium and you need to get a meal on the table quickly, these simple yet savory Pepperoni Pizza Sliders can be a perfect solution. A modified take on a kid favorite – pizza – they’re easy to make after work and extracurricular activities to steal a few moments of family time enjoying the cheesy pepperoni goodness before completing homework and beginning preparations for a new day.

Pepperoni Pizza Sliders
Recipe adapted from MilkMeansMore.org

• 1 package slider rolls
• 1/2 cup pizza sauce
• 1/2 cup mini pepperoni
• 1 1/2 cups shredded, low-moisture, part-skim mozzarella cheese
• 1/4 cup butter, melted
• 1 teaspoon parsley flakes
• 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
• 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
• 1/2 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
nonstick cooking spray

Directions
Heat oven to 350 F.
Keeping rolls connected, cut sheet of rolls horizontally, separating tops from bottoms. Place bottom halves of rolls in baking dish.
Spread pizza sauce evenly over bottom halves. Sprinkle pepperoni over sauce. Sprinkle mozzarella over pepperoni and cover with top halves of rolls.
Mix melted butter with parsley flakes, dried oregano, garlic powder and shredded Parmesan cheese. Spoon evenly over sliders.
Cover baking dish with aluminum foil sprayed with nonstick cooking spray to keep cheese from sticking.
Bake 20 minutes.
Remove foil and bake additional 5-10 minutes, or until Parmesan is melted and golden brown.
Cut sliders and serve immediately.

Breaking Better-for-You Bread

16752 a
(Family Features) For many looking to make healthy dietary changes, weight loss is a primary concern. Because the Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommend 45-65% of daily calories come from carbohydrates, an eating plan like the ketogenic diet (or keto, for short), which involves consuming a low amount of carbs and replacing them with healthy fats, can be a popular choice for achieving weight loss goals.
Replacing carb intake with fat can put your body in a metabolic state called ketosis, which makes you more efficient at burning fat for energy. The keto diet can also help reduce blood sugar and insulin levels and lower risk for certain diseases.
Those following the keto eating plan typically significantly reduce or avoid consuming bread, pasta, rice and baked goods, which are all traditionally high in carbohydrates. However, Toufayan Bakeries introduced a line of keto-friendly wraps, pitas and flatbreads that are high in fiber and protein while containing no sugar and being lower in carbs than traditional bread.
Try serving these satisfyingly light solutions as the base ingredients in this Keto Enchilada Quesadilla recipe from chef George Duran.

Keto Enchilada Quesadilla
Recipe courtesy of chef George Duran
Yield: 1 quesadilla

• Rotisserie chicken, pulled and chopped
• enchilada sauce
• olive oil
• Toufayan Bakeries Keto Wraps
• Tex-Mex cheese, grated
• jarred or fresh jalapenos, thinly sliced
• cilantro, chopped
• salsa, for serving

Directions:
In bowl, mix pulled chicken and enchilada sauce until fully covered. Set aside.
Spray or brush olive on both sides of keto wrap and place on nonstick pan or skillet over medium heat. Once wrap is heated on one side, flip and heavily top entire wrap with grated cheese. Allow cheese to melt then disperse chicken mixture, sliced jalapenos and chopped cilantro on half of wrap. Fold wrap over ingredients and cook until quesadilla is golden brown on both sides.
Cut into three triangles and serve with salsa.

Cool Off with a Sweet, Frozen Treat

16706 vid peanut butter ice cream sandwiches
(Family Features) When the sun is shining and you need to beat the heat, cool down with a little shade and a nutty, frozen treat. This kid-favorite is a childhood classic you can customize with favorite toppings, too.
Made with the protein power of peanuts, these Peanut Butter Ice Cream Sandwiches are easy to prepare on hot days that call for a cold dessert. Just bake chocolate chip cookies, spread them with peanut butter, add a scoop of ice cream and roll in chopped peanuts, chocolate chips or toasted coconut for a sweet bite of perfection.
With approximately 4,000 active peanut farmers, it’s likely your peanuts — often referred to as “nutrition in a nutshell” — came from Georgia, which produces 52% of the country’s supply.

Peanut Butter Ice Cream Sandwiches
Recipe courtesy of Peanut Butter Lovers and the Georgia Peanut Commission
Yield: 12

• 24 fresh baked chocolate chip cookies (about 3 inches in diameter), cooled
• 1 1/2 cups creamy or crunchy peanut butter
• 1 1/2 quarts vanilla ice cream, slightly softened
• chopped peanuts, for topping (optional)
• mini chocolate chips, for topping (optional)
• toasted coconut, for topping (optional)

Directions:
On 12 cookies, top sides down, spread layer of peanut butter. Add one scoop of ice cream to each. Create sandwiches by topping with remaining cookies.
Roll edges of ice cream in chopped peanuts, mini chocolate chips or toasted coconut, if desired. Place on baking sheet in freezer and freeze until firm.
Serve slightly frozen.

Time-Saving Breakfast

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(Family Features) Mornings can be hectic enough with wake-up calls, preparing for work, getting the kids ready and so many other daily tasks. Add in the need (or desire, at least) for a nutritious breakfast, and starting a new day can feel downright exhausting.
For a creamy, fruity, dairy-free option, Quinoa Overnight Oats make for a satisfying breakfast you can grab from the fridge and take to the office. Loaded with whole grains, bananas, blueberries and pomegranate, they’ll provide the energy you need to get through the day while saving time in the morning.
These tasty treats can also last up to 1 week in the refrigerator, but remember to wait to add any crunchy toppings, honey or syrup until you’re ready to enjoy so those favorite ingredients stay fresh longer. Another pro tip: Once you’re done preparing your sweet, nutritious breakfast for the week ahead, divide evenly into four resealable to-go containers to make weekday mornings as easy as possible.

Quinoa Overnight Oats
Prep time: 15 minutes
Cook time: 10 minutes
Servings: 4

• 1  bag Success Tri-Color Quinoa
• 2 cups almond milk
• 1 cup quick-rolled oats
• 2 bananas, mashed
• 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
• 1 cup fresh blueberries
• 1/2 cup pomegranate seeds

Directions:
Prepare quinoa according to package directions. Let cool completely.
In large bowl, combine almond milk, oats, bananas and cinnamon. Stir in quinoa and blueberries.
Cover and refrigerate overnight. Divide among four serving bowls and garnish with pomegranate seeds.

Tips:
For added sweetness, drizzle with honey, maple syrup or agave syrup, to taste. For a grab-and-go breakfast, combine overnight oats mixture and divide in resealable, single-serving jars or containers. Seal and refrigerate overnight.

Make Mornings a Breeze with Time-Saving Breakfasts

16680 a
(Family Features) Make your mornings easier with delicious, better-for-you meals you can make ahead of time using simple ingredients like Success Boil-in-Bag Tri-Color Quinoa, which offers a heat-safe, BPA-free and FDA-approved bag and is easily prepared in just 10 minutes. You don’t have to know how to pronounce quinoa to enjoy its light, nutty flavor packed with protein and all nine essential amino acids.
As a good source of fiber, it’s a perfect solution composed of a medley of red, black and white quinoa that can make these Ham, Cheese and Zucchini Breakfast Cups a breeze. They’re an ideal on-the-go solution for weekday breakfast bites that fit your busy schedule.
Cook up a batch as part of your Sunday meal prep and enjoy a week’s worth of tasty, simple cups for the entire family. Once the combination of green onions, cheddar, ham, quinoa and more have been cooked and cooled, they can be refrigerated for up to one week.


Ham, Cheese and Zucchini Breakfast Cups
Prep time: 15 minutes
Cook time: 25 minutes
Servings: 12

• 1 bag Success Tri-Color Quinoa
• nonstick cooking spray
• 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
• 1 cup shredded zucchini
• 1/2 cup diced ham
• 2 eggs
• 1/4 cup egg white
• 1/4 cup sliced green onion
• 1/2 teaspoon salt
• 1/4 teaspoon black pepper

Directions:
Prepare quinoa according to package directions. Preheat oven to 350 F.
Coat 12-cup muffin tin with nonstick cooking spray.
In large bowl, combine shredded cheddar cheese, shredded zucchini, diced ham, eggs, egg white, sliced green onion, salt and black pepper. Mix well. Spoon batter into prepared muffin tin.
Bake 25 minutes. Cool 5 minutes then remove to wire rack to cool completely.

Elevate Summer Entertaining with an Enjoyable Crunch

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(Family Features) As families and friends gather on patios and decks to enjoy the warmth of summer and meals fresh off the grill, many are searching for that perfect ingredient that can complement salads, appetizers, main courses, desserts and more.
From an enjoyable crunch to comforting creaminess and a satisfying chew, pecans deliver a perfect bite and texture. These Grilled Pork Chops with Peach Pecan Salsa, for example, are loaded with fresh flavors for an easy, nutritious warm-weather meal.
Taste is just the beginning — pecans also pack a nutritious punch with a unique mix of health-promoting nutrients and bioactive compounds. Known for their rich, buttery consistency and naturally sweet taste, pecans have a longstanding tradition as a nut topping. They’re sprinkled atop this Spiced Pecan Grilled Peach Salad with Goat Cheese for a refreshing seasonal salad with a nutty crunch.

Grilled Pork Chops with Peach Pecan Salsa
Cook time: 25 minutes
Servings: 4

• 4 boneless pork loin chops (each 1-inch thick)
• 3/4 teaspoon, plus 1/8 teaspoon, kosher salt, divided
• freshly ground black pepper, to taste
• 2 medium peaches, diced
• 2/3 cup raw pecan pieces
• 2 tablespoons red onion, diced
• 2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
• 1 teaspoon minced jalapeno pepper
• 2 teaspoons lime juice

Directions:
Season pork chops with 3/4 teaspoon salt and black pepper, to taste.
Heat grill or grill pan to medium-high heat.
Grill pork chops until browned, about 5 minutes. Flip and cook 5-6 minutes until food thermometer inserted in center registers 135 F.
Transfer to plate and rest at least 5 minutes until internal temperature rises to 145-160 F.
Gently stir peaches, pecans, onion, basil, jalapeno, lime juice and remaining salt.
Add salsa on top of each pork chop with remaining salsa on side.

Elevate Summer Entertaining with an Enjoyable Crunch

16693 a
(Family Features) As families and friends gather on patios and decks to enjoy the warmth of summer and meals fresh off the grill, many are searching for that perfect ingredient that can complement salads, appetizers, main courses, desserts and more.
This year, you can turn to pecans to elevate meals and give your guests something to rave about. Known for their rich, buttery consistency and naturally sweet taste, pecans have a longstanding tradition as a nut topping. They’re sprinkled atop this Spiced Pecan Grilled Peach Salad with Goat Cheese for a refreshing seasonal salad with a nutty crunch.

Spiced Pecan Grilled Peach Salad with Goat Cheese
Prep time: 5 minutes
Cook time: 50 minutes
Servings: 4

Spiced Pecans:
• 1  large egg white
• 3  tablespoons dark brown sugar
• 1  teaspoon cinnamon
• 1/4  teaspoon cayenne pepper
• 1/4  teaspoon kosher salt
• 2  cups pecan halves

Salad:
• 1/4  cup, plus 2 teaspoons, extra-virgin olive oil or pecan oil, divided
• 1/4  cup white wine vinegar
• 1  teaspoon Dijon mustard
• 1/4  teaspoon garlic powder
• 1/8  teaspoon kosher salt
pepper, to taste
• 2  large peaches, halved and pits removed
• 6  cups mixed baby greens (such as arugula, spring mix and spinach)
• 4  ounces soft goat cheese

To make spiced pecans:
Preheat oven to 275 F. Line rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.
In medium bowl, whisk egg white, brown sugar, cinnamon, cayenne pepper and salt until well combined. Fold in pecans and mix until evenly coated in mixture. Spread in single layer on prepared baking sheet.
Bake 45-50 minutes, stirring occasionally until pecans are fragrant and golden brown. Allow to cool completely.

To make salad:
Heat grill to medium-high heat.
In small bowl, whisk 1/4 cup olive oil, white wine vinegar, Dijon mustard, garlic powder, salt and pepper, to taste. Set aside.
Brush cut sides of peach halves with remaining olive oil and grill until grill lines appear and peaches become tender, 3-5 minutes. Remove peaches and cut into slices.
Divide greens among four plates. Top with grilled peach slices and goat cheese. Divide 1 cup spiced pecans evenly among salads and reserve remaining cup for snacking. Drizzle each salad with vinaigrette..

Make Family Meals Special with a Fresh, Homemade Dish

16539 asparagusbaconandeggsalad
(Family Features) Nothing makes family time special quite like a homemade meal, especially one made with locally sourced ingredients that are as fresh and flavorful as they are thoughtfully prepared.
Whether your gatherings with loved ones take place in the family kitchen, on the patio or at a picnic area, this asparagus, bacon and egg salad makes for a perfect brunch or appetizer that leans on local ingredients like Michigan asparagus, which takes just about three days to get from the field to your table. Grown by more than 100 family farmers, it can be found in your local store at one to four days old, compared to 10-20 days old for imported asparagus.
As a nutrient-dense, low-calorie vegetable with no fat, no cholesterol and little sodium, it’s also easy to prepare — just don’t overcook it. Look for thicker spears at the store, as they tend to have greater texture and more flavor and tenderness because the fiber is less concentrated.

Asparagus, Bacon and Egg Salad
Recipe courtesy of Ashley from “Cheesecurd in Paradise” on behalf of the Michigan Asparagus Advisory Board

• bacon slices
• 1 pound fresh Michigan asparagus, ends trimmed
• 1/3 cup olive oil
• 2 tablespoons champagne vinegar
• 1 tablespoon honey
• 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
• 1/4 teaspoon salt
• 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
• 4 hard-boiled eggs, peeled and quartered
• 2/3 cup halved cherry tomatoes
• 1/4 cup sliced green onion

Directions:
In skillet, cook bacon until crisp. Remove from pan. Set aside.
Cut asparagus into four pieces. Add asparagus to same skillet used to cook bacon. Cook until fork tender, about 4 minutes, depending on thickness of asparagus.
While asparagus cooks, prepare dressing. Whisk oil, vinegar, honey, mustard, salt and pepper. Set aside.
Chop bacon.
Remove asparagus from pan and place on platter. Top with chopped bacon, eggs, tomatoes and green onion. Pour dressing over top.

A Saltier, Easy-To-Make Snack

Rice squares
(Family Features) Work, social commitments, kids’ activities and the daily grind can take over schedules and wreak havoc on your opportunities to sit at the table for meals. As your calendar seems to fill up with meetings, family occasions and more, you might just find yourself skipping breakfast or lunch and opting for filling snacks instead.
In fact, according to the International Food Information Council’s 2022 Food and Health Survey, 75% of Americans snack at least once per day, which means 2023 could become the year of the snack. Whether it’s forgoing breakfast at home for a bite on the go or powering up with an afternoon morsel, one flavor favorite and nutritional powerhouse you can turn to is the pecan.
As pecans are used in an increasing number of snack innovations, they’re being hailed as the fastest growing nut in new snack applications, according to Information Resources Inc. They’re an ideal snack for punching up your routine with great taste, plant-based nutrition and an easy-to-pair profile.
If a salty treat is more your speed, consider this Salty Pecan Snack Mix for a grab-and-go breakfast as you head out the door or an easy way to keep hunger at bay in the afternoon. Because pecans pair with a variety of ingredients and flavors, they’re a perfect partner for this combination of rolled oats, coconut, honey, cinnamon and more.

Salty Pecan Snack Mix
Recipe courtesy of Mallory Oniki and the American Pecan Promotion Board
Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 20 minutes
Servings: 15

• 2 cups rice squares cereal
• 1 cup rolled oats
• 1 cup unsweetened coconut
• 1/3 cup honey
• 1/4 cup coconut oil
• 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
• 1/2 teaspoon salt
• 1/4 cup butter
• 2 cups chopped pecans
• 1 cup oyster crackers

Directions:
Preheat oven to 350 F.
In bowl, add rice squares cereal, oats and unsweetened coconut.
In small saucepan over medium heat, add honey, coconut oil, cinnamon and salt. Stir until mixture starts to boil then pour over snack mix and stir until well combined.
Transfer to baking sheet and bake 8-10 minutes.
In saucepan over medium heat, add butter. Stir until butter browns then add chopped pecans and oyster crackers. Turn heat to low and stir while pecans roast.
Remove snack mix from oven and add brown butter pecan and cracker mixture; stir to combine.

Save Time with Sweet, Savory, Salty Snacks

Pecan with cranberries
(Family Features) Work, social commitments, kids’ activities and the daily grind can take over schedules and wreak havoc on your opportunities to sit at the table for meals. As your calendar seems to fill up with meetings, family occasions and more, you might just find yourself skipping breakfast or lunch and opting for filling snacks instead.
In fact, according to the International Food Information Council’s 2022 Food and Health Survey, 75% of Americans snack at least once per day, which means 2023 could become the year of the snack. Whether it’s forgoing breakfast at home for a bite on the go or powering up with an afternoon morsel, one flavor favorite and nutritional powerhouse you can turn to is the pecan.
As pecans are used in an increasing number of snack innovations, they’re being hailed as the fastest growing nut in new snack applications, according to Information Resources Inc. They’re an ideal snack for punching up your routine with great taste, plant-based nutrition and an easy-to-pair profile.
For example, they’re poised to remix your snack mix mentality as they complement sweet, savory, spicy and buttery combinations. Ready in less than half an hour, you can add some sweetness to your workday with this Pecan Snack Mix with Cranberries and Chocolate for a fruity, nutty, chocolatey twist on traditional trail mix.

Pecan Snack Mix with Cranberries and Chocolate
Recipe courtesy of Jess Larson and the American Pecan Promotion Board
Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 5 minutes, plus 10 minutes cooling time

• 1 cup pecan halves
• 1 cup rice squares cereal (wheat or cinnamon)
• 1/2 cup pretzels
• 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
• 1 tablespoon brown sugar
• 1 1/2 tablespoons pure maple syrup
• 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
• 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
• 1/2 cup dried cranberries
• 1/2 cup dark chocolate chips

Directions:
In large, microwave-safe bowl, add pecans, rice squares cereal and pretzels. In small, microwave-safe bowl, add butter, brown sugar, maple syrup, salt and nutmeg. Microwave butter mixture 1-2 minutes until melted then pour over dry mix. Toss well to combine.
Microwave snack mix in 45-second intervals, about 4-5 intervals total, until mix is fragrant, golden and toasty.
Cool mix completely then stir in cranberries and dark chocolate chips.