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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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Pop Up Wintertime Fun

Red and green sprinkles, chocolate and popcorn make a happy winter treat.

Red and green sprinkles, chocolate and popcorn make a happy winter treat.

(NAPS)—Often defined as a time of quiet hibernation, winter is, in fact, one of the busiest times of the year. Consider the numerous celebratory occasions that begin with the harvest and continue on through the holidays and beyond, not to mention all the fun and frosty get-togethers prompted by skiing, skating and sledding.

Keep popcorn on hand and you’re only minutes away from a satisfying and healthful treat. When friends drop in or as you make your way through neighborhood parties, pop up some wintertime fun by making these simple and delicious popcorn treats.

The following recipes vary a basic method: melt chocolate, drizzle over popcorn and mix in flavorings or sprinkles. You can easily adapt these for any number of occasions—substitute holiday sprinkles with colors of your favorite Super Bowl team, red for Valentine’s Day, green for St. Patrick’s Day and so on. You’ll love having this quick “go-to” in your recipe file.

 

Easy, Elegant Holiday Popcorn

Yield: 8 cups

Ingredients:

8cups popped popcorn

2ounces white chocolate, melted

2ounces dark chocolate, melted

Red and green holiday sprinkles

Directions:

1.Place popcorn on a large baking sheet. Set aside.

2.Drizzle popcorn with melted white chocolate and melted dark chocolate.

3.Scatter sprinkles over top. Let stand until chocolate is set.

4.Break into clusters if needed. Store in an airtight container for up to 2 weeks.

 

White chocolate and peppermint plus popcorn can bring warmth to the coldest night.

White chocolate and peppermint plus popcorn can bring warmth to the coldest night.

White Chocolate Peppermint Popcorn Bark

Yield: 1 pound

Ingredients:

5cups popped popcorn

12ounces white chocolate, melted

1cup crushed hard candy peppermints

Directions:

1.Cover a baking pan with foil or wax paper; set aside.

2.Place popcorn in a large bowl; set aside.

3.Melt chocolate in a double boiler OR according to package directions.

4.Stir in crushed peppermints after chocolate is melted.

5.Pour chocolate mixture over popcorn mixture and stir to coat.

6.Spread onto prepared pan; allow to cool completely.

7.When chocolate is set, break into chunks for serving.

8.Store in an airtight container at room temperature.

 

Variation:

Cranberries & Almond Bark

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

With these, you can create gourmet gifts for friends and neighbors, and munchable snacks for the whole family. You’ll find more creative wintertime recipes at www.popcorn.org.

 

 

 

 

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Holiday Treats to Impress

Caramel Apple Pie Eggnog

Caramel Apple Pie Eggnog

(Family Features)

When planning a holiday menu, two of the most important elements to consider are cocktails and dessert, of course. Consider a twist on two seasonal staples:  eggnog and pie. With a little extra effort, and a pinch of pizzazz, these holiday treats go from mainstream to memorable.
A prominent ingredient in both recipes, raw eggs are safe to use thanks to Safest Choice Pasteurized Eggs.* Undergoing an all-natural warm water pasteurization process, the risk of salmonella is eliminated inside the shell, making the eggs the ideal choice for raw and gently cooked consumption.

Elevate your eggnog

Classic eggnog receives a makeover in the delightfully indulgent Caramel Apple Pie Eggnog cocktail. With the sweetness of apple pie filling and the smooth taste of homemade eggnog, the addition of dark spiced rum creates a rich, full-bodied flavor for a satisfying adult dessert drink. For younger guests, simply omit the rum for a sophisticated, yet fun, alternative to the average “kiddy drink.”

HOL-Holiday-treats-peppermint-pie

Chocolate Peppermint Pie

Oh my, what a pie

A holiday showstopper, treat your guests to Chocolate Peppermint Pie. Featuring a blend of white and semisweet or dark chocolate chips, crushed peppermint candy and whipped cream, the flavors and textures harmoniously combine to create a truly decadent dessert.  Use a knife to make decorative chocolate swirls on the pie’s top layer, and you have your very own masterpiece.

During the holidays, and all year round, look for the red circle “P” on the shell to ensure you are making the Safest Choice every time. Remember, pasteurized equals peace of mind.

For more recipes for all seasons and occasions, visit www.safeeggs.com.

Caramel Apple Pie Eggnog

Prep time: 15 minutes

Servings: 10 half-cup servings

4Safest Choice

Pasteurized Eggs*

1can (21 ounces) apple

pie filling

1 1/2cups milk

1teaspoon apple or

pumpkin pie spice

10tablespoons whipped cream

5teaspoons caramel icecream topping,

divided

Apple or pumpkin pie spice (optional topping)

In blender container, combine eggs and apple pie filling. Blend on high speed until very smooth, scraping container as needed. Add milk and apple pie spice. Blend on high speed until smooth.

Top each serving with 1 tablespoon whipped cream and 1/2 teaspoon caramel topping. Sprinkle with additional apple pie spice, if desired.

Note: If desired, 3/4 to 1 cup dark spiced rum can be stirred into mixture after final blending.

*Editor’s note: This brand of pasteurized egg is not available in our area. Either use a different pasteurized egg product, or use a cooked egg base. According to the FDA, here is how to make a cooked egg base:

Combine eggs and half the milk as indicated in the recipe. (Other ingredients, such as sugar may be added at this step.)

Cook the mixture gently to an internal temperature of 160 °F, stirring constantly. The cooking will destroy Salmonella, if present. At this temperature, the mixture will firmly coat a metal spoon. After cooking, chill the mixture before adding the rest of the milk and other ingredients.

 

Chocolate Peppermint Pie

Prep time: 30 minutes

Chill time: 15 minutes

Freeze time: 6-8 hours or overnight

Servings: 10-12

 

8 ounces cream cheese, softened

1 cup confectioners’ sugar

3 Safest Choice Pasteurized Eggs*

1 cup white chocolate chips, melted and cooled

1 cup whipped cream

½ cup crushed peppermint candy (about 20 candy rounds)

1 (9-inch) pie crust

½ cup semisweet or dark chocolate chips, melted and cooled slightly

Place cream cheese and confectioners’ sugar in large bowl. Beat with electric mixer on low speed to combine. Increase speed to high; beat until smooth, scraping bowl as necessary. Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition.

Remove 1/2 cup cream cheese mixture; set aside. Add white chocolate to remaining mixture; beat on medium to combine. Fold in whipped cream. Gently stir in peppermint. Pour into pie crust. Refrigerate 15 minutes.

Meanwhile, stir semisweet chocolate into reserved 1/2 cup cream cheese mixture. Remove pie from refrigerator. Slowly pour chocolate mixture over pie. Spread to cover pie, or use knife to swirl chocolate. Freeze, covered, about 6 hours or until firm.

Note: Baked pastry crust or crumb crust such as chocolate or graham cracker may be used.

*Editor’s note: This brand of pasteurized egg is not available in our area. Use an alternative pasteurized egg product. 

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A Spooky snack and drink for Halloween

Monster Mash Float

Monster Mash Float

Family Features

If your family’s Halloween consists of pumpkin carving, trick-or-treating and transforming your home into a haunted house, you’ll be happy to know that the “double, double, toil and trouble” doesn’t have to stop there. You can add a little extra hocus pocus to your season by brewing up these chillingly creative treats with the whole family.

The Monster Mash Float and Paranormal Pudding are two ghoulishly good treats that kids and adults alike will love, and they’re easy to make. The fun is all in the Limited Edition TruMoo Orange Scream milk. Inspired by an orange frozen pop with vanilla ice cream, this new creamy orange milk is so frightfully delicious, it’s sure to make you scream. Because it’s made with wholesome low-fat white milk, no artificial growth hormones or high fructose corn syrup, and is brought to you by your local trusted TruMoo dairy, you can feel great about serving it to your family.

TruMoo Orange Scream is delicious as an ingredient in your favorite Halloween treats or served by itself. Just make sure to drink it fast—it might disappear into the night like the headless horseman.

For more frightening fun visit www.TruMoo.com, www.facebook.com/TruMooMilk, www.twitter.com/TruMooMilk and www.pinterest.com/TruMooMilk.

 

Monster Mash Float

Servings: 1

1 cup TruMoo Orange Scream milk

1 large scoop low-fat vanilla frozen yogurt or ice cream

1 cup chilled seltzer

In tall glass, pour in milk. Add scoop of frozen yogurt. Slowly add seltzer to create foamy, web-like effect on top of float.

Serve immediately.

Paranormal Pudding

Paranormal Pudding

Paranormal Pudding

Servings: 2

2 cups TruMoo Orange Scream milk

1 (3.4-ounce) box instant vanilla pudding and pie filling

1/2 cup low-fat granola

2 tablespoons low-fat plain Greek yogurt

Multicolored sprinkles

In large bowl, with wire whisk beat milk and instant pudding until well blended and thickened.

Spoon 1/3 of pudding mixture into two dessert or parfait glasses; sprinkle with some granola. Repeat layering two more times. Refrigerate until ready to serve.

To serve, top each with dollop of yogurt and Halloween-themed sprinkles.

 

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Fresh Market: The Pumpkin—a Halloween tradition

HAL-FreshMarket-Pumpkin

By Vicky Babcock

Google “pumpkin” and you will find everything from riots in (Keene) New Hampshire to Ichabod Crane’s unfortunate encounter with the headless horseman, to pumpkin scones. We have pumpkin festivals, pumpkin carving contests, smashing pumpkins, pumpkin tossing, pumpkin baking and biggest pumpkin contests.

A true Native American, the pumpkin has been embraced by our cultures as both an important food source for people and livestock, and an excellent medium for carving. Something about these colorful canvasses really stirs the creative juices in artists of all ages! Throw in a candle and you have a lovely Jack-o-lantern. With its growing season complete from early to mid October, is it any wonder that this vibrantly colored fruit has become synonymous with Halloween? Yet pumpkins have a relatively short history with the holiday known as Halloween, which is believed to have evolved from the ancient festival of Samhain. It has its origins in European culture. Samhain was the Celtic harvest festival, a time to stock up supplies for the winter. The ancient Gaels believed the final day in October to be a time when the two worlds (the living and the dead) overlapped allowing the dead to return to Earth and cause havoc among the living. Offerings from the harvest were left outside their doors to appease the spirits in an effort to prevent them from bringing sickness and blight to the crops. Door to door begging, or “souling,” (a precursor to our modern day trick-or-treat) came much later and was associated with All Souls Day.

Our native pumpkin entered into the holiday when Irish immigrants brought the tradition of the Jack-o-lantern—originally a carved turnip or gourd—to the U.S. during the 1700s. Turnips had their drawbacks; they were relatively small and dense, with no pre-formed cavity in which to place a lit coal. With its broad base and large capacity, the pumpkin quickly became the preferred medium for the practice. Today, a large percentage of fresh bought pumpkins lends itself to this Halloween tradition, decorating our porches and giving young artists a chance to stretch their creative wings. Once used as a welcoming light for the spirits of our loved ones and to ward off any malevolent spirits, the Jack-o-Lantern has become a Halloween fantasy, a joyful pastime and a profitable market for farmers of the crop. Unfortunately, few of us these days consume pumpkin that does not come out of a can.

Unfortunate, because pumpkin, one of the winter squashes, is an excellent source of dietary nutrition. Pumpkins are rich in beta-carotene, an important antioxidant, which the body uses to convert to vitamin A. Foods rich in beta-carotene have been linked to lower risk of certain cancers and offer protection against heart disease as well as an aid in the degenerative aspects of aging. Pumpkin is high in potassium and dietary fiber as well, necessary nutrients for the heart and digestive tract respectively. A cup of cooked pumpkin contains about 49 calories, a dieter’s dream!

So, as you carve your pumpkins this year, consider using the cut outs (minus the rind) in soups, stews or rice dishes. Or try some pumpkin chili. Any way you slice it, it comes out deliciously nutritious.

Like pumpkins—and despite its ancestry—Halloween is a true American treat. With the mix of cultures that make up today’s Halloween, what greater place to celebrate than the Great Melting Pot of the world? Have a safe and happy Halloween. And happy “souling.”

 

Pumpkin Chili

1 ½ pounds lean ground beef

1 medium onion, chopped

2 cloves garlic, diced

2 large carrots, washed and diced (ends removed)

2 cups fresh pumpkin, peeled and diced

1 jar salsa—medium heat

1 15-oz can diced tomatoes

2 cans black beans, rinsed and drained

Chili powder (to taste)

In a large skillet, brown beef. Drain most of the oils and remove beef to a Dutch oven. In saucepan in remaining oil, cook and stir onion, garlic, carrots and pumpkin for about two minutes, until onion is tender. Drain the rest of the oil and add to the beef. Add remaining ingredients except for the chili powder. Cook and stir until boiling. Reduce heat and add chili powder to taste. This will gain some heat as it cooks, so start lightly. Cook over med to low heat about 30 minutes or until pumpkin is tender and flavors have mixed. Add additional chili powder about 15 minutes into the cooking process if you wish.

Serve with grated cheese, crushed corn chips (I like Frito’s™ Chili Cheese) and sour cream if desired. Other additions include chopped fresh onions or chopped bell peppers. This is even better the next day.

Fresh Market is brought to you by Solon Market located at 15185 Algoma Avenue.  For more information call 616-696-1718.  Like us on facebook for updates.

 

 

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