Savor the Flavors
And Traditions of Chinese New Year
(NAPSI)-A joyous celebration that can be shared by families
everywhere is the 15-day festival known as Chinese New Year.
This special time of year, starting on February 14, 2010, marks
the beginning of the Chinese Lunar Year with symbolic new
beginnings. This year (4708 by the Chinese calendar) it's
especially exciting as we bring in the Year of the Tiger. If you
were born in a tiger year, now is the time to make the most of
your talents. Be prepared for things to happen quickly this year
and get ready to seize those opportunities before they fly by!
Traditionally, the two-week festival is ushered in with a
lavish feast, complete with bold flavors and bright colors. As
each day of the festival progresses, people honor many of the
important things in life--from ancestors and children to health
and longevity. The color red represents good luck and the
sparkle of gold symbolizes
prosperity. On the 15th day, the Lantern Festival welcomes the
first full moon of the New Year and marks the end of the
Foods of the Festival
Throughout the festival, families and friends enjoy everyday
foods as they take on special meanings. For instance, noodles
encourage longevity and sweet rice dumplings represent family
unity, completeness, happiness and the promise that the family
will "stick" together.
Kikkoman has created "The Complete Guide to Celebrating
Chinese New Year" to help you make the most of the season. The
free online guide, available at
www.kikkomanusa.com, gives you all the information you need
to join in the fun, by sharing the rich traditions and authentic
flavors of this dynamic festival.
The guide explains what goes on during each day of the 15-day
celebration, covers all the Chinese cooking techniques and gives
you a bounty of recipes to enjoy and share-from appetizers and
small plates to entrées your family is sure to love.
Here is one of Kikkoman's favorite recipes to get you in the
mood for cooking, celebrating and shouting "Gung Hay Fat Choy!"
It means "Wishing You Happiness and Prosperity," and that's
exactly what Kikkoman wishes for you this season.
- ¼ pound lean ground pork
- 2 ounces medium raw shrimp, peeled, deveined and
- 2 tablespoons minced green onions and tops
- 4 teaspoons Kikkoman Soy Sauce, divided
- ½ teaspoon cornstarch
- ¼ teaspoon grated fresh ginger
- 24 wonton wrappers
- 3 (14-ounce) cans chicken broth
- ¼ cup dry sherry
- ½ pound bok
- 2 tablespoons chopped green onions and tops
- ½ teaspoon Asian sesame oil
Makes 6 servings
Combine pork, shrimp, minced green onions, 2 teaspoons soy
sauce, cornstarch and ginger in medium bowl; mix well. Arrange
several wonton wrappers on clean surface; cover remaining
wrappers to prevent drying out. Place 1 teaspoon pork mixture in
center of each wrapper. Fold wrapper over filling to form a
triangle. Gently fold center point down and moisten left corner
with water. Twist and overlap opposite corner over moistened
corner; press firmly to seal. Repeat with remaining pork mixture
and wrappers. Bring 4 cups water to boil in large saucepan. Add
wontons. Simmer 3 minutes; remove with slotted spoon. Discard
water; pour broth and sherry into same saucepan. Cut
crosswise into ½-inch slices, separating stems from leaves. Add
stems to broth mixture; bring to boil. Add wontons; simmer 1
minute. Add bok
choy leaves and chopped green onions; simmer 1 minute
longer. Remove from heat; stir in remaining 2 teaspoons soy
sauce and sesame oil. Serve immediately.
Check out Kikkoman's new cooking videos at
www.kikkomanusa.com. Be sure to watch the technique video
for preparing wontons.
Keep an eye out for red envelopes attached to Kikkoman Soy
Sauce bottles this Chinese New Year. Inside each are a secret
pin number and lucky hexagon coin. Beginning February 1 through
April 30, you can enter your pin at
kikkomanusa.com for a chance to win Kikkoman prizes!
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Throw A 2010 Winter Olympic
Theme Party To Add Even More Excitement To The Games
(NAPSI)-Remember the thrill of watching your favorite speed
skater go for the gold? The 2010 Vancouver Olympic Winter Games
are right around the corner. Don't miss the action and start
planning your Olympic Games theme parties now, whether you want
to celebrate the opening ceremony or your favorite event with
friends and family.
Create a fun, themed Canadian party in honor of the host
city. Whipping up some cranberry- infused recipes is a great
way: There are more than 60 cranberry farms right in Vancouver's
backyard, making the region the heart of Canada's cranberry
country. A Cranberry Wassail is an easy, affordable way to spice
up your party and warm up your guests.
Celebrate the colors of Canada by incorporating red and white
into your party decor. Red napkins will pop on a white table-
cloth. Set off your table with an awe-inspiring centerpiece made
with red and white roses (Vancouver's official flower). Mini
Canadian flags can also serve as fun hostess gifts.
For more tips and ideas for hosting your next party, visit
the site you'll find party-planning basics, fresh new recipes
and cranberry-inspired crafts to help get you started.
- 1 64-ounce bottle Ocean Spray® Cranberry Juice
- 2½ cups apple juice
- ¼ cup sugar, optional
- 3 3-inch cinnamon sticks
- 1 teaspoon whole allspice
- ½ teaspoon ground nutmeg
- Orange slices, garnish
- Whole cloves, garnish
Combine all ingredients except garnishes in a large saucepan.
Heat to boiling, reduce heat and simmer 10 minutes. Strain punch
to remove spices. Place in a heat-proof punch bowl. Garnish with
orange slices studded with cloves.
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Sweet Potatoes Update A
(NAPSI)-For 200 years and more, a one-dish meal of seasoned beef
and mashed potatoes has been known as cottage pie. Like any
classic, it's ready for an update-and a sweet-potato topper does
Think about breaking through a golden crust into sweet-potato
creaminess, and then into a succulent layer of seasoned beef.
Comfort foods with such qualities are often problematical on the
nutrition front. But this clever twist on a popular pie is not
just hearty and delicious, it's downright wholesome.
Sweet potatoes provide many nutrients, including fiber,
beta-carotene, vitamin C, potassium and magnesium. And for those
on diabetic diets, there's good news: Preliminary research
suggests that sweet potatoes help stabilize blood sugar and
lower insulin resistance. Visit
www.ncsweetpotatoes.com for more information.
Most of the nation's sweet potatoes are cultivated in North
Carolina's fertile fields and are available year-round. Given
this fact, it's appropriate that our prize-winning cottage pie
recipe comes from Ashley Bonnema,
whose Ashley's Kitchen blog is described as "Southern tradition
meets genuine Midwestern values."
Sweet Potato Cottage Pie
- 1½ pounds North Carolina sweet potatoes (about 2
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 cup chopped onion
- ¼ cup chopped celery
- 1 teaspoon finely chopped garlic (1 large clove)
- 1 pound ground beef, 90% lean
- 1 can (15 ounces) tomato sauce
- 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
- 1½ teaspoons fresh thyme or teaspoon dried thyme
or herbes de Provence,
- ½ teaspoon salt, divided
- ½ teaspoon ground black pepper, divided
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 1 tablespoon milk
Preheat oven to 350°F. Oil a 6- to 8-cup shallow baking dish.
Pierce sweet potato skins; microwave until tender, about 4 to 6
minutes; cool. In large skillet, heat oil over medium heat. Add
onion and celery; cook and stir until tender, about 5 minutes.
Add garlic; cook and stir 1 minute. Add beef; cook and stir
until it just begins to brown. Stir in tomato sauce,
Worcestershire, 1 teaspoon of the thyme and ¼ teaspoon of the
salt and pepper; bring to a boil. Transfer to baking dish;
spread evenly. Scoop sweet potato from skins into medium bowl;
add butter, milk, remaining ½ teaspoon thyme and ¼ teaspoon each
salt and pepper. With electric beater, beat until smooth; spread
over meat in baking dish. Bake until bubbly, about 20 to 25
Yield: 4 to 6 portions
Per serving: 386 calories, 34 g carbs,
6 g fiber, 14 g sugar, 15 g fat. Diabetic exchanges: 1.26
starch, 1.75 vegetable, 3.45 lean
meat, 1.79 fat.
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Healthful Eating Made Easier
(NAPSI)-When you're looking for an economical, easy and
enjoyable food that's both weight-wise and heart-healthy, look
to peanuts-especially USA-grown peanuts. Protein-packed peanuts
fuel you up without weighing you down or leaving you
Scientific evidence suggests that eating 1.5
ounces of nuts, such as peanuts, every day as part of a diet low
in saturated fat and cholesterol may reduce the risk of heart
disease. In addition, peanuts are a good source of plant-based
protein, and plant-based diets are considered a good way to shed
unwanted pounds, keep certain types of cancer at bay and reduce
the risk of heart disease and diabetes.
What's more, peanut flour is gluten free and can be used as a
thickener for soups, in a variety of breads and pastries and as
a creative and flavorful coating for meat and fish.
One marvelous meal you can make with peanuts is this:
Chili Peanut Stew
- 1 can (15½ ounces) golden hominy
- 1 can (14.5 to 15.75 ounces) fat-free,
reduced-sodium chicken broth
- 1 cup water
- 1 medium onion, chopped (about 11/2 cups)
- 4 medium garlic cloves, peeled and thinly sliced
- 1 can (4 ounces) diced green chilies*
- 1½ teaspoons ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon chili powder
- ½ cup dry roasted, unsalted peanuts, chopped
- 1 can (10¾ ounces) low-fat, low-sodium cream of
Drain hominy and combine with broth, water, onion, garlic,
chilies, cumin and chili powder in large saucepan. Bring to boil
and simmer 10 minutes to blend flavors. Add peanuts and mushroom
soup and stir until evenly mixed. Return to boil and simmer 5
minutes longer. Garnishes: parsley sprigs, dashes of chili
powder or paprika and extra peanuts.
*For a milder stew, use ½ can (4-ounce size) green chilies.
Nutrition per serving: 280 calories; 9g protein; 35g
carbohydrate; 12g fat (5g monounsaturated; 2g saturated); 2mg
cholesterol; 6g fiber; 740mg sodium.
Peanuts and peanut butter are versatile and fit into almost
any eating plan. Whether you are trying to eat gluten-free,
vegetarian, vegan or heart-healthy meals or just maintain
healthy eating habits, peanuts can be part of your diet and add
great flavor to your favorite recipes.
More recipes, tips and information are at
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New Power Breakfast: It's A
(NAPSI)-For jump-starting the day, nothing beats a well-rounded
breakfast to rev you up, mentally and physically. An
empty-calorie, sugary breakfast cereal just won't do the
trick--there's sure to be an energy crash halfway through the
morning. For bonus points, a good breakfast helps curb prelunch
cravings that can wreck any diet.
The right food combination makes all the difference; far
better to spend a few minutes preparing a delicious,
nutrient-packed wrap filled with scrambled eggs, avocado, ham
A hearty breakfast that includes avocados not only fuels
morning activities but supplies valuable fiber,
cholesterol-lowering "good fats" and nearly 20 vitamins and
minerals. Grown in Mexico for centuries and perfected over
generations, avocados from Mexico are in season now and deliver
unbeatable, rich-tasting flavor that makes good food better.
An appetizing breakfast wrap is an ideal handheld item that
allows for multitasking in a typical busy morning schedule
either at home or on the road. Make the full recipe for everyone
in the house…or downsize it just for yourself.
With a great option like this, there's no need to hit the
For more avocado recipes and nutrition information, visit
and Ham Breakfast Wrap
- 6 large eggs
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 4 (8-inch) flour tortillas, warmed*
- 4 slices ham (about 4 ounces)
- 4 slices sharp cheddar cheese (about 4 ounces)
- 1 fully ripened avocado from Mexico, halved,
pitted, peeled and sliced
- ¼ cup salsa
In bowl, beat eggs with salt and pepper. In large skillet
over medium heat, melt butter; add eggs; cook and stir until
set. On each tortilla, place one slice each of ham and cheese;
top with eggs, avocado slices and salsa, dividing evenly. Roll
up and serve immediately.
Yield: 4 portions
*To warm tortillas: Place on plate; cover with dampened paper
towel. Microwave on high until warm, about 1 minute. Discard
paper towel; wrap tortillas in napkin to keep warm.
Per serving: 542 calories, 27g protein, 34g carbohydrates,
33g fat, 4g fiber
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Spicing Up Cold-Weather
(NAPSI)-When temperatures drop, you can add some heat to your
get-togethers by serving up spicy green pepper jelly. The zesty
treat can be spread across sour cream corn bread,
dolloped on cheddar cheese biscuits
or spooned on top of cream cheese and gourmet crackers. The key
is to find taste combinations with enough bite to satisfy guests
but that are light enough to not interfere with a meal.
The recipe below is made with fruit pectin to help create a
delicious jelly that captures the freshness of green and
jalapeño peppers. You can find fruit pectin in original and
liquid varieties, sugar and no-sugar-needed varieties and a
no-cook freezer variety from the Ball® brand. Try using the
products to preserve fresh fruits year-round.
Green Pepper Jelly
- 7 sweet green peppers
- 1 jalapeño pepper
- 1½ cups cider vinegar, 5% acidity, divided
- 1½ cups apple juice
- 1 box (1¾ ounces) Ball® Original Fruit Pectin
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 5 cups sugar
- Green food coloring (optional)
Yield: about 6 half-pint jars
Stem, seed and cut green and jalapeño peppers into ½-inch
pieces. Puree half the peppers and ¾ cup vinegar in a food
processor or blender. Repeat with remaining peppers and vinegar.
Combine puree and apple juice in a large bowl; cover bowl and
refrigerate overnight. Strain pureed mixture through a damp
jelly bag or several layers of cheese cloth. Measure 4 cups
Combine 4 cups juice, pectin and salt in a large saucepot.
Bring mixture to a boil over high heat, stirring constantly.
Add sugar, stirring until dissolved. Return mixture to a
Boil hard 1 minute, stirring constantly. Remove from heat.
Skim foam if necessary. Stir in a few drops green food coloring,
if desired. Ladle hot jelly into hot jars, leaving ¼ inch
headspace. Adjust 2-piece caps. Process 10 minutes in a
As a final tip, try preparing the jelly in Ball® 4-ounce jars
to give to your guests as take-home party favors.
For more recipes, tips and comments, visit
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