RECIPES:

 

 

Macaroni Ham Casserole Blueberry Corn Bread Pudding Kale Butternut Squash and Bacon Ham & Egg Breakfast Garlic Ginger Mongolian Chicken  Spicy Asian Salad Cups David Venable Grilling Tips Health Pears Kid-Friendly

Hints On Ham

(NAPSI)—Serving ham can be easier than ever with new recipes and experts on hand to help at the Ham Hotline, making it a delicious choice for every occasion from family celebrations to everyday meals and snacks.

To help make every bite turn out right, anyone can turn to the experts at the Kentucky Legend Ham Hotline at (866) 343-5058, open weekdays March 1 to April 15, from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. Eastern Time.

The ham pros there have helped thousands of at-home chefs serve up ham as an economical, family-favorite meal. They’ve coached newlyweds creating their first big dinner, helped parents find kid-friendly ham recipes, and provided tips on ham basics, from choosing the right-size ham to glazing, heating and carving.

Here are answers to the most- often-asked questions about ham preparation:

• When choosing a ham, plan on ¼ to ⅓ pound of boneless ham per serving; ⅓ to ½ pound for bone-in hams.

• Most hams are precooked (read the label) and should be gently reheated at 325° F to an internal temperature of 140° F.

• To ensure a moist and flavorful ham, place a pan of water in the oven when you reheat it.

“Ham can make anyone look like an accomplished cook in the kitchen,” says Janet Sweeney, marketing director for Kentucky Legend Ham. “Best of all, it tastes great at dinner and it’s easy to create delicious casseroles, salads and even appetizers with the leftovers.”

For example, you may care to try this popular casserole:

Macaroni Ham Casserole 
(4 servings)

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup diced Kentucky Legend ham

  • ¼ cup chopped bell pepper

  • ¼ cup chopped onion

  • 1 tablespoon butter

  • 1 tablespoon chopped pimiento

  • 1 can cream of mushroom soup

  • 7 to 8 ounces of uncooked macaroni

  • ½ cup milk

  • 1 tablespoon chopped parsley

  • ½ cup shredded cheddar cheese

Directions:

In a skillet, sauté bell pepper and onion in the tablespoon of butter for 5 minutes. Add ham and continue cooking until thoroughly heated. Cook macaroni according to package directions; drain. Combine all ingredients except cheese, and pour into a greased casserole dish. Bake at 350º F for about 30 minutes, until bubbly. Sprinkle with cheese and bake until melted.

Free Recipes

For more ham recipes plus exciting accompaniments such as mango salsa and garlic spinach, visit www.specialtyfoodsgroup.com.

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Easy, Elegant Dish Is The Berries

(NAPSI)—When you’re looking for something to serve for breakfast, brunch or even dessert, Blueberry Corn Bread Pudding with Blueberry Sauce may be the answer. It’s simple to prepare, stays beautiful even when made ahead, and looks sophisticated and elegant upon presentation.

Soft corn bread paired with sweet, fresh blueberries and crunchy pistachios creates just the right balance of flavor and texture. Finished with a sweet and silky blueberry sauce, this dish should become a family favorite.

Whether fresh or frozen, blueberries provide the antioxidant vitamin C and fiber, making them a great ingredient to incorporate into meals and to include in your daily diet.

Blueberry Corn Bread Pudding with Blueberry Sauce

Ingredients:

  • 6 cups prepared corn bread, cut into 1-inch cubes

  • 1 cup sugar

  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

  • 2 cups milk

  • 1 cup half-and-half

  • 4 eggs

  • 3 egg yolks

  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract

  • 2 cups fresh blueberries

  • ½ cup unsalted pistachios, skins removed

  • 2 tablespoons sugar

  • 2 teaspoons cornstarch

  • 1 pound blueberries, frozen, not thawed (3 cups)

Directions:

Preheat oven to 225ºF. On a baking sheet, place corn bread cubes; bake until dry, stirring occasionally, about 1 hour; cool. Increase oven temperature to 375ºF. Grease a 10x12-inch pan. In a large bowl, combine sugar, cinnamon, milk, cream, eggs, yolks and vanilla. Gently stir in corn bread until coated. Stir in blueberries and pistachios. Transfer blueberry mixture to prepared pan; cover. Bake 45 minutes. Uncover; bake until golden, about 20 minutes; cool. In a medium saucepan, stir 2 tablespoons sugar and cornstarch together until blended; add frozen berries, toss until coated. Cover and cook over low heat, stirring occasionally until berries thaw and mixture starts to boil, 5 to 7 minutes. Remove lid, cook, stirring constantly, until boiling and thickened, 1 to 2 minutes. Stir in additional sugar, if desired. To serve: Cut pudding into 3-inch squares; arrange on plates. Drizzle Blueberry Sauce over pudding. Serve with additional blueberries and whipped cream, if desired.

Yield: 12 portions; 2 cups sauce

Learn More

For recipes and more information on blueberries and your health, go towww.LittleBlueDynamos.com.

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Boost Your Family’s Health With These Time-savers

(NAPSI)—Keeping mealtimes healthy and delicious for today’s on-the-go family can be easier than many realize.

To help, Earthbound Farm’s Executive Chef Sarah LaCasse offers these tips for “convenience without compromise.”

• Pick prewashed salad greens: A salad is one of the easiest ways to ensure an extra serving of vegetables. Prewashed greens are ready to use right out of the package. Organic greens, which are grown in ways that protect the health of people and the planet, cost about the same as conventional prewashed salad greens while offering flavor, freshness and convenience.

• Pick ready-to-use cooking greens: Saves the washing, de-stemming and chopping that can mean many minutes of prep time.

• Chill out with frozen foods: Reduce what is sometimes intimidating prep time and gain optimum nutrition by reaching for frozen fruits and vegetables. Keep a reserve of frozen produce in your freezer, ready for any meal.

Braised Kale with Butternut Squash and Bacon
Serves 4

Ingredients:

  • 6 to 8 ounces thick-sliced bacon, cut into 1-inch pieces

  • 1 medium Earthbound Farm organic yellow onion, peeled, cut in half and thinly sliced (about 1½ cups)

  • 3 to 4 cloves Earthbound Farm organic garlic, thinly sliced

  • 1 pinch red pepper flakes

  • 1 bag (10 ounces) Earthbound Farm frozen organic butternut squash, not defrosted

  • 1 cup chicken broth or vegetable broth

  • 1 clamshell (5 ounces) Earthbound Farm Organic Mixed Baby Kales

  • ¼ cup chopped fresh Earthbound Farm organic Italian parsley

  • Salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

Heat a large skillet over medium heat; when hot, add bacon. Cook, stirring frequently, until the bacon is crisp. Transfer the bacon to paper towels to drain. Add the onion to the skillet with the bacon fat and cook, stirring occasionally, until the onion begins to soften, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and pepper flakes and cook, stirring frequently, for 2 minutes. Add the butternut squash and broth to the skillet and cook, covered, for 5 minutes. Add the kale and cook uncovered until the squash and kale are tender and almost all of the braising liquid has been absorbed, about 3 minutes, adding more broth if needed. Stir in the bacon and parsley; season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve hot.

For more “convenience without compromise” recipes from Earthbound Farm, visit www.ebfarm.com. Sign up today for its Take an Organic Step Forward program to get a weekly coupon and daily delicious deals and ideas directly in your inbox. Earthbound Farm is making it easy, fun and rewarding to incorporate organic living into your life—one step every day.

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Easy Ways To Make Your Next Brunch Extra Special

(NAPSI)—Whether you’re gathering family and friends around your table for an Easter brunch or a Saturday morning breakfast at home, put your own signature on the meal with these savory and sweet recipes for delicious, crowd-pleasing alternatives to an ordinary heat-and-serve offering.

Ham and eggs combine in an all-in-one dish that can be customized with a variety of toppings.

1-Dish Ham & Egg Breakfast

Prep Time: 20 minutes
Bake Time: 30 minutes
Yield: 6 servings

Batter:

  • Mazola® Cooking Spray

  • 1½ cups all-purpose flour

  • 2 envelopes Fleischmann’s® RapidRise Yeast

  • ½ teaspoon salt

  • ¾ cup very warm water (120° to 130°F)

  • 3 tablespoons Mazola® Corn Oil

Toppings:

  • 4 eggs

  • 2 tablespoons milk

  • ½ teaspoon garlic salt

  • ¼ teaspoon fine-grind black pepper

  • 4 slices (¾ ounce each) American cheese

  • 1 cup (4 ounces) diced ham

  • 1 cup (4 ounces) shredded mild cheddar cheese

Directions:

Mix batter ingredients together in a pre-sprayed 8x8-inch baking dish. Beat eggs, milk, garlic salt and pepper together in a small bowl. Top batter evenly with cheese slices, diced ham and egg mixture; sprinkle with shredded cheese.

Bake by placing in a COLD oven; set temperature to 350ºF. Bake for 30 minutes or until done.

These classic, sweet cinnamon rolls are sure to please.

Classic Cinnamon Rolls

Prep Time: 30 minutes
Bake Time: 25−30 minutes
Proof Time: about 1½ hours 
Yield: 24 rolls

Rolls:

  • 1 cup mashed potatoes (about 2 medium potatoes)

  • 1 cup reserved potato water

  • ¾ cup butter OR margarine

  • ¾ cup sugar

  • 2 teaspoons salt

  • 1 cup hot water

  • 2 envelopes Fleischmann’s Active Dry Yeast

  • ½ cup warm water (100° to 110°F)

  • 2 eggs

  • 8½ to 9½ cups all-purpose flour

Filling:

  • ½ cup butter OR margarine, softened

  • 1 cup sugar

  • 1½ tablespoons ground cinnamon

  • Icing:

  • 3 cups powdered sugar

  • 6 tablespoons butter OR margarine, softened

  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

  • 5 to 6 tablespoons milk

Directions:

Combine potatoes, potato water, butter, sugar, salt and hot water in large mixer bowl. Stir until butter melts; set aside and let cool. Combine yeast and ½ cup warm water in small bowl. Let rest 5 minutes. Add eggs, 2 cups flour and yeast mixture to potato mixture. Beat until well mixed. Continue adding flour, 1 cup at a time, until soft dough forms. Knead on a lightly floured surface until smooth and elastic (about 4 to 6 minutes), OR knead with electric mixer using dough hook. Place in a greased bowl, turning to coat. Cover. Let rise in a warm, draft-free area about 1 hour, until doubled in size. Punch dough down; divide in half. Roll one portion of dough on a lightly floured surface to a 12x18-inch rectangle. Spread with half the butter. Combine sugar and cinnamon; sprinkle half of the mixture over surface. Roll up tightly lengthwise, sealing edges. Cut into 12 slices. Place in greased 13x9-inch pan. Repeat with remaining dough. Cover. Let rise 30 to 45 minutes until nearly doubled. Bake in preheated 350°F oven for 25 to 30 minutes. Cool for 15 minutes. Combine icing ingredients and drizzle over rolls. To Freeze (unbaked rolls): Follow recipe as recommended up to and including when rolls are shaped and placed in pan. Tightly wrap rolls and pan with plastic wrap and foil. For best flavor, thaw and bake within one week of freezing. To Thaw: Place pan of rolls covered in refrigerator overnight. Remove from refrigerator and continue the thaw and rise process at room temperature. When thawing at room temperature, allow at least 2 hours for rolls to rise after removing from the refrigerator. If rolls are not rising, boil a pot of water, remove from heat, cover the pot with a wire rack and place pan of rolls, covered with a cloth, on top of rack. The steam will warm the dough to speed the rising process. Once the rolls have doubled in size, bake according to recipe.

Learn More

For other breakfast options, you can visit the Fleischmann’s Yeast website at www.BreadWorld.com.

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Stir-fry Cooking Takes Flavor To The Next Level

(NAPSI)—Here’s delicious news: You can enjoy great meals that are high in flavor yet low in calories when you turn to the stirring tastes of stir-fry cooking.

This kind of cuisine originated in China many years ago with the wok and has become a major part of many American lifestyles. The trend is growing as more and more people realize that this type of cooking can be a healthy part of the family diet—whether you use a skillet, wok or pan. The key is in the preparation.

As with any method of cooking, it is still possible to make a dish that is high in fat and calories with stir-fry cooking if you’re not careful. By working with a small amount of cooking oil and sticking to lean meats and lots of vegetables, however, you can do stir-fry cooking that’s a quick and easy way to prepare healthy and flavorful meals.

“Asian-inspired cuisine is one of the major food trends today because of the fresh ingredients and exciting flavor combinations available,” explained one expert on food, Jason Abelkop of Buffets, Inc.

Popular restaurants that are owned by Buffets, such as Ryan’s® as well asHomeTown® Buffet and Old Country Buffet®, are helping to lead the trend with made-to-order Mongolian Stir Fry, now available for lunch and dinner at most locations. Guests choose from chicken, beef or shrimp to create the combination that’s just right for them.

To kick-start stir-fry cooking in your kitchen, check out this recipe from the restaurants’ chefs:

Garlic Ginger Mongolian Chicken 
Yield: 2 servings

Ingredients:

  • 2 4-oz. chicken breasts

  • 1 tsp. vegetable oil

  • 1 tsp. chopped ginger

  • 1 tsp. chopped garlic

  • 1 cup peapods

  • 1 cup cabbage, shredded

  • ½ cup ¼” julienned onions

  • ½ cup matchstick carrots

  • 1 cup broccoli florets

  • 1 Tbsp vegetable oil

  • ¼ cup low-sodium soy sauce

  • ¼ cup teriyaki sauce

  • 2 sprigs cilantro

  • 2 servings unconverted rice (cooked according to recipe)

Directions:

Cut chicken into ½” strips. Mix vegetable oil, ginger and garlic together. Rub mixture on the chicken breast strips, place in refrigerator for a minimum of two hours. Mix vegetables together in bowl. Place oil in sauté pan over medium heat. Add chicken strips and sauté for five minutes. Toss frequently to evenly brown. Turn up heat to “high” and add fresh vegetables. Toss frequently. Cook for one minute. Vegetables should be crisp in texture. Add soy sauce, teriyaki sauce and the cilantro sprigs to taste. Quickly toss to coat, thenremove from heat. Top rice with hot fresh stir-fry and enjoy.

Learn More

For locations and other information on Buffets restaurants, visitwww.Ryans.com as well as www.HomeTownBuffet.com andwww.OldCountryBuffet.com.

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Program Promotes Heart-Healthy Home Cooking

(NAPSI)—Cooking at home can be simple, affordable and heart-healthy. The bad news is that it’s becoming increasingly rare.

That’s the word from experts who say take-away-from-home meals account for at least half of all U.S. food expenditures. These meals typically contain more saturated fat, trans fat, cholesterol, sodium, added sugars and calories and fewer fruits, vegetables and whole grains than home-cooked meals.

The American Heart Association is serving up help for families who are looking for healthy, affordable solutions thanks to its Simple Cooking with Heart program. The popular website has added 30 recipes, a good mix of popular dishes from around the world, to help teach people that cooking at home can be simple, affordable and heart-healthy.

The program, funded by a $1 million grant from the Walmart Foundation for the second year, features several recipes that can feed four people for under $15.

In addition, there are live cooking demonstrations, online how-to videos, tips and free downloadable host kits that encourage people to host cooking demonstrations or parties with family, friends and neighbors.

A Nutritional Impact

“With busy, on-the-go lifestyles, many Americans have lost touch with their kitchens and thrown in the towel on eating healthy, which is key to prevention of heart disease and stroke,” said Rachel Johnson, Ph.D., R.D., an American Heart Association spokesperson. “The program and its recipes make it easy to bring nutrition back in the home, and it’s easy on the pocketbook, too.”

“We believe in supporting initiatives that help people improve their nutritional knowledge and skills, so they are able to identify, shop for and prepare healthy, home-cooked meals,” said Karrie Denniston, director of hunger relief and nutrition at the Walmart Foundation.

Spanish-language materials that include recipes and instructional videos can be accessed at www.heart.org/cocinasimple. To download the Simple Cooking with Heart organization or host kits, find a live cooking demonstration in your area or for more information on the Simple Cooking with Heart program, visit www.heart.org/simplecooking.

Spicy Asian Salad Cups

About $1.50 per serving

Ingredients: 

  •  ½ cup light mayonnaise

  • 1½ teaspoons Dijon mustard

  •    1 teaspoon Chinese chili sauce

  •    2 (12.5-oz) cans salt-free white meat chicken packed in water, drained

  •    1 (8-oz) can water chestnuts, drained and chopped

  •    4 green onions, chopped

  •    2 tablespoons unsalted chopped nuts (cashews, almonds or walnuts)

  •  ¼ teaspoon black pepper

  •      Juice of 1 lime or 2 teaspoons from jar

  • 12 lettuce leaves (iceberg, green leaf, bib, etc.)

Directions:

  1. In a medium mixing bowl, combine mayonnaise, mustard and chili sauce.

  2. Stir in chicken, chestnuts, onions, nuts, pepper and lime juice.

  3. Spoon equally into lettuce leaves (“cups”) and serve.

Per serving: Calories 215, Total Fat 8.0 g, Saturated Fat 0.5 g, Trans Fat 0.0 g, Polyunsaturated Fat 4.5 g, Monounsaturated Fat 2.5 g, Cholesterol 59 mg, Sodium 297 mg, Carbohydrates 8 g, Fiber 2 g, Sugars 0 g, Protein 26 g, Potassium 301 mg, Calcium 8 mg.

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The Thrill Of The Grill

by David Venable

(NAPSI)—Here are four tips every grill owner should follow:

1. Never flatten your burgers; you’ll lose the juices that keep them flavorful.

2. Grilled red meats need to rest for at least five minutes after cooking. Food covers will protect the meat—as well as your entire barbecue—from bugs, pets and other uninvited guests.

3. Never use a fork to flip your food. You want to preserve those juices and a fork pierces the outside. I recommend tongs for your everyday fare but for ribs, porterhouses, pizzas and big cuts of meat, try Mr. Bar-B-Q Stainless Steel Oversized Spatula from QVC. There’ll be practically nothing you can’t move.

4. While you can cook your entire meal on your grill—everything from steak and mushrooms to broccoli and fries—smaller foods tend to disappear down the grates unless you have skewers or, better yet, a grill basket. I like the Technique Stainless Steel BBQ Chef’s Pan with Grill Basket Lid that’s made of tightly woven mesh, so you can roast seeds or even pop popcorn.

• QVC Program Host David Venable is the author of the cookbook “In the Kitchen with David: Comfort Foods That Take You Home.” He gives 3.5 million weekly viewers an inside look at his “kitchen” as the host of QVC’s most popular cooking show, “In the Kitchen with David.”

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Website Shows Kids Pears Are A Fun Fruit

(NAPSI)—There’s good news for parents who want their children to eat more fruit. A fun new website has been created by the growers of USA Pears to engage and educate children about pears.

The site—Pear World—is an online destination for elementary school−agechildren. Located under the “Kids & Classroom” section of www.usapears.org, the site brings a pear orchard to life, encouraging families to include pears as they strive to make half their plate fruits and vegetables as recommended by the USDA’s MyPlate initiative.

The site features the “Pear Buddies,” a friendly and physically active crew of different varieties of pears, each with their own color, shape and personality. There’s even an interactive “Living Orchard” that changes with the seasons.

While at the site, children are encouraged to visit:

• The Pear Orchard, where kids will learn about the 10 different varieties of USA Pears, where they are grown, and how they get from the orchard to the grocer

• The Pear Kitchen, which is full of kid-friendly pear recipes, kitchen safety tips and an introduction to cooking tools and utensils

• The Pear Lab—With arts and crafts, hands-on educational “experiments,” and fun games, this section is sure to be popular with kids and parents alike.

Explore Pear World at www.usapears.org. Visit USA Pears on Facebookand follow @USAPears on Twitter for recipes, tips and more.

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