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Archive | Recipes

Dazzle guests with a July 4th Feast

Photo courtesy of Getty Images

Photo courtesy of Getty Images

Family Features

Celebrate warm weather, abundant outdoor activities and all the fun of July Fourth with a flavorful and festive gathering. Independence Day only comes once a year, so make it count and invite your favorite guests over for a memorable event. You’ll go out with a bang when you serve up these palate-pleasing dishes at your patriotic party.

Patriotic and Perfectly Sweet

This July Fourth, serve watermelon. This yummy fruit boasts sweetness and nutrition at a great value. Loaded with vitamins A, B6 and C, as well as antioxidants and heart-healthy amino acids, it’s a welcome addition to your summer spread. For more recipes, visit www.watermelon.org.

Red, White and Blue Watermelon Cake

Red, White and Blue Watermelon Cake

Red, White and Blue Watermelon Cake

Servings: 6–8

1 seedless watermelon

1 cup low or no fat natural vanilla flavored yogurt

1 cup sliced almonds

1 cup blueberries

1 cup sliced strawberries

Place watermelon on side on cutting board.

Cut 3–5 inches off each end to create large center slice between 3–5 inches in depth. Trim off outer rind.

Cut watermelon slice into 6–8 pie-shaped wedges. Blot edges with paper towels to absorb excess moisture.

Dip the back (curved) side of each slice in yogurt and then almonds, re-assembling pieces on serving platter as each piece is completed.

When finished, it will look like piecrust of almonds around watermelon slices. Frost top of reassembled watermelon with remaining yogurt and decorate top with berries. Serve cold.

Fresh Off the Grill

“For a red-white-and-blue burger that tastes as good as it looks, I use ground bison on a brioche bun, topped with Castello Burger Blue Cheese,” says celebrity chef Michael Symon. For more recipes, visit castellocheeseusa.com.

Bison Burger with Blue Cheese

Bison Burger with Blue Cheese

Bison Burger with Blue Cheese

Recipe courtesy of Michael Symon

Servings: 4

Kosher Salt

Freshly ground black pepper

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 pound ground bison, loosely packed into burger patties

4 slices Castello Burger Blue cheese

4 brioche-style soft hamburger buns, toasted

1 small red onion, very thinly sliced into rings

1 cup arugula

Heat your grill to medium-high heat.

Season burgers with salt and freshly ground black pepper on both sides. Drizzle with olive oil, then place on grill.

Cook 3 minutes, then flip.

Add slices of blue cheese (1 slice per burger), and let cook another 1–2 minutes.

Remove burgers from grill and place patties on toasted buns.

Top each burger with slice of red onion and 1/4 of arugula.

Serve.

Star-Spangled Dessert

Add color and crunch to your cones with a dip in red, white or blue melted Candy Melts candy and a variety of patriotic sprinkles. The Cone Cakes baking rack holds the cones for drying and serving. For more recipes, visit www.wilton.com.

Dipped Ice Cream Cones

Dipped Ice Cream Cones

Dipped Ice Cream Cones

Yield: 12 ice cream cones

1 bag (12 ounces) Bright White

Candy Melts Candy

Sugar ice cream cones

Jimmies 6-Mix Sprinkle Assortment

Rainbow Jimmies

Melt candy in microwave safe bowl. Dip cones about 1 inch deep around opening of cone. Cut small hole in tip of bag and drizzle melted candy 1 inch deep around opening of cone. Tap cone lightly to smooth, and sprinkle with jimmies. Position cone in cone rack. Let chill, about 10–15 minutes.

Add ice cream scoops at party and serve in cone rack.

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Celebrate Dad with grilling and golf

FATH-Celebrate-Dad2

Family Features

This year for Father’s Day, skip the tacky tie and give dad something he truly wants – quality time with the kids who gave him such an honorable title. Plan an intimate family gathering with all his favorite foods and a few special touches that reflect his other passions in life, such as golf.

Let dad savor some grilled goodness (and a healthy dose of antioxidants) with colorful fruit and veggie kabobs. Healthy, hydrating watermelon is the star ingredient of these colorful skewers, which also include marinated chunks of pork.

Add a low-calorie, fat-free side by serving watermelon balls in a fun golf ball-shaped vessel carved from a watermelon rind.

For more recipes and carving ideas using versatile watermelon, visit www.watermelon.org.

Pork and Watermelon Kabobs

Pork and Watermelon Kabobs

Pork and Watermelon Kabobs

Servings: 8

6 tablespoons brown sugar

6 tablespoons soy sauce

6 tablespoons diced red onion

3 garlic cloves, minced

3 tablespoons lemon juice

1 tablespoon olive oil

1/4 teaspoon ground thyme

Pepper to taste

1 pound boned, lean pork chop, cut into 1-inch cubes (approximately 38-40 pieces)

32 cubes watermelon (1 inch each), plus extra for garnish if desired

16-24 zucchini rounds (1/2 inch)

16 pineapple chunks, fresh or canned (1 inch each)

24 yellow or orange peppers chunks (1 inch each, approximately 3-4 peppers total)

Cooking spray

Sesame seeds for garnish

Combine sugar, soy sauce, onion, garlic, lemon juice, olive oil, thyme and pepper in mixing bowl. Pour into resealable bag and add pork pieces. Seal bag, mix thoroughly and refrigerate for at least 1 hour, turning bag periodically.

Remove pork from bag and reserve marinade. Thread 5 pork pieces, 4 watermelon cubes, 2-3 zucchini rounds, 2 pineapple chunks and 3 peppers on each of 8 skewers, alternating the order.

Spray cooking surface on heated grill and place kebobs on grill. Grill for 12-15 minutes, or until done, turning and basting frequently with reserved marinade. Garnish with sesame seeds and chunks of watermelon.

Golf Ball Serving Bowl

Wash watermelon under cool running water and pat dry.

On cutting board, place watermelon on side and cut off 1/4-inch to 1/2-inch from stem end, being careful not to cut too deep into white part of rind. This will provide sturdy base.

Using paring knife, cut a 3- to 4-inch round circle in top of watermelon.

Use melon baller to make shallow round divots into rind of watermelon to mimic dimples in golf ball. Next, use kitchen knife to peel thin layers of rind off to expose white underneath, being careful not to cut too deep or red flesh will be exposed. Try to get as much of green rind off so it will resemble a white golf ball.

Hollow out watermelon with spoon or scoop. Place on tray and add watermelon balls to serve.

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Dote on Dad with a backyard brunch

Cedar Plank Grilled Egg in Toast

Cedar Plank Grilled Egg in Toast

Family Features

Brunch isn’t just for mom. This Father’s Day, make eggs, toast and bacon on the grill for a breakfast that’s sure to spoil the man of the house.

Not sure how to make eggs on the grill? It’s easy! Crack an egg into a cut-out hole in toast set on a cedar plank, then sprinkle with a little cheddar and an Applewood rub for smoky grilled flavor.

“To complete the meal on dad’s favorite outdoor tool, cook the bacon in a shallow disposable foil pan next to the eggs,” said Chef Kevan Vetter of the McCormick Kitchens. “Once the bacon is almost done, I love to brush it with a honey-cinnamon mixture, then grill it directly on the grates for a few minutes to add a candied crisp.”

For more grilling recipes and tips visit www.grillmates.com, and check out McCormick Grill Mates on Facebook.

Cedar Plank Grilled Egg in Toast

Makes 4 servings

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 20 minutes

2 cedar planks (about 12×6 inches each)

4 slices bread, such as brioche or challah (3/4-inch thick slices)

7 eggs, divided

2 tablespoons milk

2 tablespoons plus 1/2 teaspoon McCormick Grill Mates Applewood Rub, divided

1/2 cup grated smoked Cheddar cheese

Soak cedar planks in water for at least 4 hours or overnight. Drain and pat dry.

Remove centers of each slice of bread with 3-inch round cookie cutter. Beat 3 eggs with milk and 2 tablespoons of the Applewood Rub in medium bowl until well blended.

Lightly oil 1 side of each of planks. Place planks, oil side up, on preheated grill over medium heat. Dip bread in egg mixture. Place on planks. Break an egg into each of holes. Sprinkle eggs with remaining 1/2 teaspoon Applewood Rub. Cover grill.

Grill 10 minutes. Sprinkle eggs with cheese and additional Applewood Rub, if desired. Grill, covered, 10 minutes longer.

Candied Grilled Bacon

Makes 6 servings

Prep Time: 5

Cook Time: 15

6 slices thick-cut applewood bacon

3 tablespoons honey

2 teaspoons McCormick Ground Cinnamon

Arrange bacon slices in single layer on bacon grilling rack or shallow disposable foil pan. Grill over medium-high heat 10 to 12 minutes or until bacon edges begin to curl. Remove pan from grill. Drain drippings.

Microwave honey and cinnamon in small microwavable bowl on high 30 seconds, stirring after 15 seconds. Brush bacon with honey mixture. Place bacon directly on grill over low heat. Grill 2 to 3 minutes per side or until crisp.

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Every Bunny Loves Easter

Egg-Ceptional Easter Nests

Egg-Ceptional Easter Nests

Basket goodies and more for your celebrations

(Family Features) With Easter just around the corner, everyone is hopping to the candy aisle to pick up tasty treats. Celebrate the fun of the season with special sweets that everyone will enjoy.

With the never-ending selection of Easter candies to fill your baskets and dessert spreads, picking the best can be difficult. In fact, the National Confectioners Association ranks this springtime celebration as the nation’s second top-selling candy holiday.

A new addition to the candy aisle this spring includes a Nestlé Crunch candy line inspired by Charles Schulz’s beloved Peanuts characters, including Charlie Brown and Snoopy. These whimsical products join Nestlé’s existing collection of chocolate and sugar favorites that are sure to inspire creativity with gift baskets, egg hunts and sweet treats.

Also new this year, candy lovers can feel better about the chocolate they’re choosing. Nestlé Confections & Snacks has announced the purchase of certified, sustainable cocoa equal to the amount needed to produce the entire Easter chocolate collection for the season through the Nestlé Cocoa Plan, Nestlé’s global commitment to sustainable cocoa.  For the first time, U.S. consumers can purchase any products from Nestlé’s chocolate Easter collection and know that their purchase supports Nestlé’s commitment to better cocoa farming practices, improving social conditions and ethical sourcing.  All of Nestlé’s Easter chocolate collection will feature a Nestlé Cocoa Plan logo on-pack to help you make a choice this Easter that is delicious and sustainable.

EAS-Every-bunny2Do you have an Easter gathering to host or attend? Hop into the kitchen and whip up this simple recipe for Egg-Ceptional Easter Nests. Featuring Nestlé NestEggs, the bite sized NestEggs are available in a variety of flavors including Nestlé Crunch, Crunch Creamy Caramel, Crunch Peanut Butter and Butterfinger, providing plenty of options to please every palate.

For more Easter inspiration visit www.Facebook.com/NestleCrunch or www.Facebook.com/Butterfinger.

Egg-Ceptional Easter Nests

Prep time: 20 minutes

Total time: 21 minutes

Servings: 30

Wax paper

1 2/3 to 2 cups (11 to 12-ounce package) Nestlé Toll House Butterscotch or Semi-Sweet Chocolate Morsels

1/4 cup creamy peanut butter

2 cans (5 ounces each) chow mein noodles

30-60 Nestlé NestEggs, any flavor

Line trays with wax paper.

Microwave morsels in large, uncovered, microwave-safe bowl on medium-high (70 percent) power for 1 minute; stir. The morsels may retain some original shape. If necessary, microwave at additional 10- to 15-second intervals, stirring just until morsels are melted. Stir in peanut butter until well blended.

Add chow mein noodles to morsel mixture; toss until coated. Using ice cream scoop that measures about 2 rounded tablespoons, scoop and drop onto prepared trays then immediately shape into nests. Refrigerate until ready to serve. Before serving, place 1 or 2 candy eggs in each nest. Store prepared nests in covered container for up to 1 day.

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Nutrition choices made easy in the grocery aisle

Poached Eggs with Serrano Ham and Garlic Asparagus

Poached Eggs with Serrano Ham and Garlic Asparagus

(BPT) – Should you buy eggs instead of cereal? Popcorn in place of pretzels? For consumers seeking “better-for-you” foods at the grocery store, these types of decisions can feel overwhelming, and for some, time-consuming.

With the help of the NuVal Nutritional Scoring System, making healthier decisions at store shelves becomes easier and quicker. Developed by a team of recognized experts, led by Dr. David Katz of the Yale Griffin Prevention Research Center, the NuVal Nutritional Scoring System was created as a direct response to America’s rapidly rising rates of obesity and diabetes in both adult and child populations. This team advocated the development of an independent and simplified nutritional scoring system to help improve public health.

The easy-to-use NuVal Nutritional Scoring System provides foods throughout participating grocery stores with a score of one to 100, 100 being the most nutritious. Scores are determined by an independent team of nutrition and medical experts who analyze more than 30 nutrition factors such as vitamin D, omega 3 fatty acids, saturated fat and calories. The experts do the research, so consumers can feel better about their food choices.

“Choosing the right foods at the grocery store can make or break your healthy meal plan for the week,” says registered dietitian Tammy Lakatos Shames. “When walking the aisles, pick up wholesome foods that are packed with essential vitamins and nutrients. For example, Eggland’s Best eggs are the highest-scoring egg on the NuVal scale and the only egg I recommend to my clients and serve my family due to their superior nutrition!”

Check out the foods Tammy recommends for your shopping cart next time you hit the grocery store:

* Fruits and vegetables top the list

With a score of 100, vegetables like broccoli and asparagus receive a perfect score due to their nutritional benefits. They provide important nutrients including vitamin A, which helps protect against infections, dietary fiber which helps reduce blood cholesterol levels and may lower risk of heart disease, and folate, which helps the body form red blood cells.

* Seafood catches top scores

Fishing for healthy foods? Try wild Atlantic salmon filets, which have a score of 96 on the NuVal scale. This fish selection offers calcium, which helps build strong bones, and phosphorus, which helps with digestion. Fish is also a great source of minerals such as iron, zinc, iodine, magnesium and potassium.

* Eggs crack the NuVal Code

Eggs are a complete protein that keeps you full to prevent snacking and also include important nutrients your body needs throughout the day. Out of 56 brands of eggs reviewed, Eggland’s Best eggs scored the highest at 85. Compared to ordinary eggs, Eggland’s Best eggs contain four times more vitamin D, 10 times more vitamin E and double the omega 3s.

Find fresh and nutritious recipe ideas, including this Poached Eggs with Serrano Ham and Garlic Asparagus, at www.egglandsbest.com or www.pinterest.com/egglandsbest.

Poached Eggs with Serrano Ham and Garlic Asparagus

Ingredients:

8 Eggland’s Best Egg, large

4 tablespoons olive oil, divided

3 large cloves garlic, peeled and thinly sliced

1 1/2 pounds medium asparagus spears, trimmed

1/2 cup chicken broth

Sea salt and coarsely ground black pepper to taste

1 tablespoon white vinegar

1 tablespoon salt

4 large slices from round loaf of crusty Italian bread, toasted (3/4-inch thick)

4 ounces very thinly sliced Serrano ham

1/4 cup finely shredded Manchego cheese

1 tablespoon minced fresh Italian parsley

Ground Spanish paprika

Directions:

In large skillet, heat 2 tablespoons olive oil over medium-low heat. Add garlic; saute 1 minute or until very lightly browned. Remove garlic with slotted spoon; reserve for later use. Add asparagus and broth to hot oil; simmer 3 minutes or until crisp-tender, turning asparagus occasionally. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Fill a large pot halfway with water. Add white vinegar and salt. Bring to a boil over high heat; reduce heat to low. Break Eggland’s Best eggs into custard cups, one at a time. Gently slide eggs into hot water, in 2 to 3 batches. Poach eggs 3 to 4 minutes or until egg whites are firm and yolks are slightly thickened. Remove eggs with slotted spoon.

Place toast on 4 serving plates. Top each evenly with Serrano ham, asparagus spears, asparagus broth and 2 poached eggs. Sprinkle with cheese, parsley and reserved garlic. Drizzle plates evenly with remaining 2 tablespoon olive oil. Sprinkle lightly with paprika.

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Cure cravings with satisfying snacks

Top a slice of banana bread with a smear of rich, creamy spreadable cheese, such as The Laughing Cow Creamy Swiss, and add a crunchy protein punch with walnuts.

Top a slice of banana bread with a smear of rich, creamy spreadable cheese, such as The Laughing Cow Creamy Swiss, and add a crunchy protein punch with walnuts.

(Family Features) When a snack attack hits you, your mood may influence the flavor you crave. Taking a more mindful approach will let you savor what you eat and give you a more satisfying snack experience.

Mindful eating is all about being more aware of what foods you choose – such as the connection to your senses and emotions.

Being more conscious of snacking habits can help you make smarter, well-balanced choices and be more intentional with your snacks to be sure you’re truly answering your craving.

Hone in on your senses of taste and touch with these ideas so you can sit down and savor your next snacking session:

Sweet

•Enjoy the natural sweetness of fruit with a parfait by layering your favorite fruits with plain or vanilla yogurt and topping with a handful of granola.

•Top a slice of banana bread with a smear of rich, creamy spreadable cheese, such as The Laughing Cow Creamy Swiss, and add a crunchy protein punch with walnuts.

Salty

•Slice a potato in paper-thin pieces and bake in a single layer at 400°F for about 15 minutes, flipping half-way. Sprinkle with a dash of sea salt before serving either alone or with dip.

•Jazz up plain popcorn with an assortment of lightly salted nuts and dried fruit.

For a fresh take on traditional veggies, top mini bagels with a creamy sun-dried tomato and basil spread, such as the Creamy Mozzarella, Sun-Dried Tomato & Basil Flavor by The Laughing Cow, and add your favorite veggies (cherry tomatoes, roasted red pepper, mushrooms, etc.) for a delicious white pizza

For a fresh take on traditional veggies, top mini bagels with a creamy sun-dried tomato and basil spread, such as the Creamy Mozzarella, Sun-Dried Tomato & Basil Flavor by The Laughing Cow, and add your favorite veggies (cherry tomatoes, roasted red pepper, mushrooms, etc.) for a delicious white pizza

Crunchy

•Dip pretzel sticks in a light coating of melted chocolate (roll in crushed nuts while chocolate is still wet for extra crunch).

•For a fresh take on traditional veggies, top mini bagels with a creamy sun-dried tomato and basil spread, such as the Creamy Mozzarella, Sun-Dried Tomato & Basil Flavor by The Laughing Cow, and add your favorite veggies (cherry tomatoes, roasted red pepper, mushrooms, etc.) for a delicious white pizza.

Creamy

•Treat your taste buds with a richly flavored cheese spread, such as those available from The Laughing Cow, smeared over a thinly sliced baguette or multi-grain muffin.

•Mash an avocado with a dash of salt, pepper and garlic; add a squeeze of lime juice and some diced tomatoes for an instant guacamole dip to enjoy with corn chips or tortilla wedges.

For more satisfying snack suggestions, visit www.thelaughingcow.com.

 

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Forget the pricey trip to the spa with simple DIY tips and tricks

HEA-Forget-pricey-trip-to-spa

 

(BPT) With a whole new year ahead, now is the perfect time to relax and refresh with at-home spa treatments that are easy, natural, luxurious and, best of all, affordable.

“Skin care does not have to be costly to be effective,” says Janet Little, director of nutrition at Sprouts Farmers Market. “By preparing your own body care products, you can have beautiful-looking skin, slow down premature skin aging and save money.”

As a matter of fact, you probably already have fresh and natural ingredients in your refrigerator and cupboards, or you can easily purchase them from a grocery store or health food store. These simple ingredients can eliminate dry skin, reduce wrinkles, banish dark under eye circles and relax sore muscles. The advantages of homemade skin care products include:

* Significant savings. Most of the products that you’ll use are already in your home, and are less expensive than department store-bought skin care products or spa treatments.

* Avoiding harsh chemicals. Artificial ingredients found in typical drug store beauty products may contain cancer-causing compounds that can penetrate the skin and potentially cause harmful effects.

* Always natural and fresh. Skin care products purchased in a store contain preservatives to avoid bacteria contamination and growth. On the other hand, when you prepare your skin care items yourself you get a fresh and natural batch every time.

* Easy and fun to make. Simple recipes take minutes to prepare, but can be just as effective as store bought products.

Here are a few easy, at-home spa recipes that will leave you glowing:

Gentle exfoliant

* Brown sugar is a natural and affordable exfoliant with many health benefits, while grapeseed oil gently and deeply moisturizes skin without clogging pores.

Ingredients:

1/2 cup grapeseed oil

1/2 cup brown sugar

Mix together with your fingers. Apply to face and body by rotating in a circular motion. Rinse off with warm water.

Firming facial mask

Egg white is great for tightening and toning skin and helps shrink pores. Yogurt is packed with vitamins and proteins, which promotes strong wrinkle-free skin.

Ingredients:

1/2 tablespoon vitamin E oil

1 tablespoon yogurt

1 egg white

Whisk together. Massage onto face and neck. Leave on for at least 20 minutes. Rinse off with warm water.

Avocado-honey facial mask 

Avocados are rich in omega-3 fatty acids, perfect for hydrating and great for moisturizing skin. Honey acts as a natural humectant, boosting skin’s hydration and is also a wonderful skin lightening agent.

Ingredients:

1/2 avocado

1/2 cup honey

First, place a cloth in warm water and apply to your face to open the pores. Mash avocado until creamy, combine with honey and apply to face for 15 to 30 minutes. Rinse off with warm water, then use cold water to close the pores. Use once a week.

Wrinkle reducer

Banana is wonderful as an anti-wrinkle treatment.

Ingredients:

1 over-ripe banana

Mash 1/4 banana until very creamy. Spread all over face and leave for 15-20 minutes before rinsing off with warm water followed by a dash of cold. Gently pat dry.

Under-eye circle treatment 

Grated potatoes can lighten under-eye circles. Potatoes contain an enzyme called catecholase, which is used in cosmetics as a skin lightener.

Ingredients:

1 potato

Cheese cloth

Run one spud through your food processor and stuff the raw mash into a piece of cheesecloth. Apply to the area directly beneath your eye – don’t let the potato juice come in contact with the eye itself – and leave for 15 to 20 minutes. Wipe away the starchy residue.

Tired and aching muscle relaxer

Epsom salts and essential oils are known for their powerful ability to sooth sore muscles and relieve aches and muscle pain.

1/2 cup Epsom Salt

5 drops lavender essential oil

2 drops chamomile essential oil

Place Epsom salts in a mixing bowl and add drops of essential oil. Mix ingredients together and add to a hot bath.

 

 

 

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Sweet strategies for a healthier you

Watermelon Pistachio Sundae

Watermelon Pistachio Sundae

Family Features

 

When celebrating the past and looking forward to the future, the New Year is a perfect time to set goals for a better, healthier you.

Setting yourself up with a strong nutrition foundation is essential for long-term success. An expert on helping others attain healthy lifestyles, registered dietitian Elizabeth Somer offers these four time-proven skills for permanent weight loss and health management.

1. Balance calories

Seek the right mix of calories in from your diet, versus calories out from exercise and daily activity. Your goal is gradual weight loss of no more than two pounds per week, which ensures you lose fat weight, not water or muscle weight. Daily exercise is a must to maintain the loss. If you can’t lose weight on at least 1,500 calories a day, you need to move more, not eat less.

2. Focus on plants

Emphasize colorful fruits and vegetables, with at least half of every plate heaped with produce. Complement with whole grains and moderate amounts of foods that are calcium-rich (nonfat or low-fat milk) and iron-rich (extra-lean meats, chicken, fish or legumes). Snack on watermelon cubes rich in vitamins A and C, as well as the antioxidant lycopene. This juicy treat is available all year, even in the winter. In addition, a real food such as watermelon contains at least two of the magic three ingredients for weight loss: protein, water and fiber. These nutrients fill you up before they fill you out, so you are satisfied on fewer calories.

3. Eat regularly

When you eat these calories is also important. Large, infrequent meals result in big-time hunger, which can cause you to lose control of your appetite. Eating regularly and when you are comfortably hungry keeps you in control of your appetite, allowing you to make wiser decisions. Here is an example of a day’s menu:

• Breakfast: 100 percent whole grain cereal topped with nonfat milk and berries

• Mid-Morning Snack: A bowl of watermelon with a 6-ounce tub of low-fat yogurt

• Lunch: A turkey sandwich on 100 percent whole grain bread, baby carrots and an apple

• Mid-Afternoon Snack: 1 ounce of nuts with a glass of watermelon juice

• Dinner: Grilled salmon, baked sweet potato and green peas

• Evening Snack: 2 cups air-popped popcorn and 1 cup of fat-free hot chocolate

4. Commit to Health: Keep in mind that your ultimate goal is not just a certain figure or a number on the bathroom scale; it is a lifelong commitment to be the best and healthiest you. This plan requires a lifetime commitment; not to lose weight and keep it off, but to modify habits so they support health and maintain the best weight for you for life.

For sweet recipes to help you stay on track, visit www.watermelon.org.

 

Watermelon Pistachio Sundae

Servings: 6

1egg white, lightly beaten

2tablespoons maple syrup

2teaspoons brown sugar

1/4teaspoon salt

1cup roasted, salted and shelled pistachios

6watermelon scoops (using ice cream scooper)

6scoops raspberry sorbet (using ice cream scooper)

1cup marshmallow sauce

 

To candy pistachios, preheat oven to 300ºF. In medium mixing bowl, combine egg white, syrup, brown sugar and salt. Stir in pistachios until evenly coated. Spread on foil lined baking sheet and bake 15-20 minutes, stirring once, until crisp and lightly browned. Cool. Break apart.

 

Using ice cream scooper, arrange watermelon at bottom of 6 sundae cups or martini glasses. Top with scoops of sorbet. Drizzle sauce over sorbet and sprinkle candied pistachios over sundaes and serve immediately.

 

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Pop the cork at home this New Year’s Eve

HOL-Pop-cork-at-home

 

(Family Features) If you’ve thought staying home to celebrate New Year’s Eve sounded like a great idea, you’re not alone.

According to a recent survey commissioned by Barefoot Wine & Bubbly, this year, 61 percent of Americans who plan on celebrating New Year’s Eve plan on celebrating at home. To help make your night the most memorable celebration ever, here are some great ways to ring in 2015 from the comfort of your own home.

Girls just want to have fun

Ladies leave your man at home – tonight it’s all about you. Instead of waiting for a drink in that crowded party full of strangers, have a girls’ night in at your place. Of women surveyed, 67 percent said they would skip a New Year’s Eve party for a girls’ night in. So, pop open some bubbly and celebrate 2014 with your closest girlfriends. For more inspiration on what to serve, visit www.barefootwine.com.

Sing in the New Year

What’s the best part of celebrating at home? You can dance like no one’s watching. Make your New Year’s bash a dance party. Create a playlist with all of your favorite songs from 2014 and dance the night away.

Get your party poppin’

Pop some bubbly, pop some popcorn and pop in a movie. Waiting until midnight leaves plenty of time to throw on a good movie before the clock strikes. Continue celebrating the best of 2014 by watching this year’s biggest blockbuster movies. Need a little inspiration for what to watch? Try something starring Kate Upton or Bradley Cooper. According to the survey, when asked which celebrity women most want to have as their New Year’s kiss, Bradley tops the list, while the guys would go for Kate. If you want to serve your guests a signature drink while they enjoy the movie, try the Barefoot Bubbly New Year’s Rock.

Game on

Looking for a fun game to play? Have everyone write down a pop culture event or relevant celebrity from 2014 on a sticky note (for example, Pharrell’s crazy hat, Taylor Swift, Ellen’s award show selfie, the 2014 Sochi Olympics, George Clooney getting married), and give it to the person to your left without revealing what is written, and stick it to their forehead. The person will ask yes or no questions and attempt to guess what is written on the note.

With a few friends, yummy cocktails and fun games, you’ll have a memorable New Year’s celebration.

Pink In the New Year

1/2 ounce apricot brandy

1/2 ounce lemon juice

1/2 ounce simple syrup

3 ounces Barefoot Bubbly Pink Moscato

Mint sprig or lemon twist garnish

Place apricot brandy, lemon juice and simple syrup in cocktail shaker with ice. Shake until chilled. Strain into chilled champagne flute. Top with Barefoot Bubbly Pink Moscato. Garnish with mint sprig or lemon twist.

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Tips for enjoying a healthier holiday 

HOL-Tips-healthier-holiday

(Family Features)

The holidays bring lights, cheer, TV specials and treats – plenty of them. While it is tempting to eat all that gets placed in front of you, it isn’t worth the extra pounds you may gain during the holidays.

Here are some tips to balance healthy living with enjoying the holiday spirit:

Get in a festive mood with wintry activities. Bring the holidays to life by planning some fun seasonal activities with loved ones, such as ice skating, sledding, going to a tree farm to pick your tree, or decorating for the holidays. You will create some great memories with your favorite people, which is what the season is all about.

Share the joy. Sharing is encouraged when it comes to holiday deliveries loaded with carb-filled goodies. Instead of keeping temptations around your house, share them with your neighbors or coworkers along with a holiday card to spread the cheer.

Don’t drink your carbs. If you’re not careful with loaded winter beverages, you could derail your healthy eating efforts. Instead of hot chocolate, opt for peppermint tea or add peppermint extract to your coffee for some holiday flavor. This also applies to alcohol consumption – red wine or spirits with low-glycemic mixers are best.

Bake yummy low-carb goodies. This is a good approach both for sweets around the house and for attending a party. Your friends and family will love your thoughtful contribution and you get to enjoy a healthier holiday treat.

For example, bake a classic like the Holiday Cookies below from www.Atkins.com, where you can find many low-carb versions of your favorite holiday treats.

Holiday Cookies

Prep time: 25 minutes

Cooking time: 12 minutes

Makes: 24 servings

1 cup sifted soy flour

1 tablespoon baking soda

3 tablespoons granular sugar substitute (Sucralose)

4 ounces cream cheese

2 tablespoons unsalted butter

2 tablespoons sour cream

1 large egg

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 350°F. Line baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.

In food processor, pulse soy flour, baking soda, sugar substitute, cream cheese and butter for 30 seconds, until texture resembles coarse meal.

In mall bowl, mix together sour cream, egg and vanilla extract. Add sour cream mixture to soy mix mixture and pulse until just-combined, about 15 seconds. Chill in freezer 10 minutes or until firm.

Roll dough out between 2 sheets of plastic wrap or waxed paper to 1/8 thickness. Using cookie cutters, cut out dough in desired shapes. Arrange cookies on prepared baking sheet and bake cookies 10-12 minutes, until lightly golden. Allow to cool completely before decorating.

Nutritional information per serving: Net carbs: 1.4 g; Fiber: 0.3 g; Protein: 1.8 g; Fat: 3.7 g; Calories: 46.

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