RECIPES:

 

 

Chilled Shrimp Gazpacho Cranberry Strawberry Sparkle Agave Carrot Muffins Grilled Or Fried Chicken Red Hot Peppers Pasta Sauce Canning Party Firefly BBQ Sauce Mediterranean Lamb-Sliders

Seasonal Vegetables Add A Splash Of Color And Fresh Flavor

(NAPSI)—Vegetables are an ideal canvas for showcasing sunny and seasonally inspired flavors, including fresh citrus, garlic, ginger and fresh herbs. The experts at Campbell’s Kitchen have made it deliciously simple to enjoy eating vegetables. Following are two recipes to try.

Visit www.CampbellsKitchen.com for more recipes, cooking solutions and tips.

Chilled Shrimp Gazpacho
Prep: 15 minutes
Cook: 3 hours
 
Makes: 6 servings (1½ cups each)

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups Swanson Vegetable Broth (Regular or Certified Organic)

  • ¾ cup V8 100% Vegetable Juice

  • 1 slice Pepperidge Farm Farmhouse Soft Hearty White Bread, torn into pieces

  • 4 cups grape or cherry tomatoes, cut into quarters

  • 1 small cucumber, peeled, seeded and diced (about 1 cup)

  • 1 cup diced cantaloupe or Cavaillon melon

  • 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar

  • 3 fresh basil leaves, cut into very thin strips

  • ½ pound cooked small shrimp

  • Additional fresh basil leaves (optional)

Directions:

Place the broth, juice and bread in a blender. Cover and blend until the mixture forms a paste. Pour into a large bowl.

Stir the tomatoes, cucumber, cantaloupe, vinegar and basil in the bowl and season to taste.

Place ½ of the broth mixture into a blender. Cover and pulse about 5 times for a partially blended mixture. Pour the mixture into a medium bowl. Repeat the blending process with the remaining broth mixture. Stir into the pureed mixture.

Cover and refrigerate for 3 hours or until the soup is cold.

Ladle 1 cup of the gazpacho into each of 6 chilled serving bowls. Top each serving of soup with about 2 shrimp and additional basil for garnish, if desired.

Savory Spinach with Blue Cheese and Walnuts
Prep: 15 minutes
Cook: 15 minutes
Makes: 6 servings (½ cup each)

Ingredients:

  • 1 tablespoon butter

  • 1 large sweet onion, halved and thinly sliced (about 1 cup)

  • 2 cloves garlic, sliced

  • 2 large tomatoes, seeded and chopped (about 3 cups)

  • ¾ cup Swanson Chicken Broth (Regular, Natural Goodness or Certified Organic)

  • 1 bag (11 ounces) fresh baby spinach

  • Ground black pepper

  • ¼ cup crumbled blue cheese (about 2 ounces)

  • 2 tablespoons chopped walnuts

Directions:

Heat the butter in a 12-inch nonstick skillet. Add the onion and garlic and cook until they’re tender, stirring occasionally.

Add the tomatoes, broth and spinach. Cook for 2 minutes or until the spinach is wilted. Season with the black pepper. Sprinkle with the cheese and walnuts, if desired.

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Sparkling Cocktail Ideas For Any Soiree

(NAPSI)—A few simple tips can help you add some sparkle to this season’s celebrations.

Transform ordinary cocktails and mocktails into extraordinary beverages that are sure to dazzle dinner guests. The basis for these bubbly beverages starts with a few common items from the fridge and freezer and a flashy finish using Ocean Spray’s new Sparkling Juice Drinks.

  • Chill out with a sweet twist on a smooth cocktail by combining ice cream with your favorite Sparkling Juice Drink flavor and liqueur.

  • Put a cool spin on mixers and avoid watering down drinks by freezing juice in festive ice cube trays.

  • Add a refreshing pop of bubbly goodness to seasonal fruit drinks by muddling strawberries, blueberries, pineapples and peaches with a splash of Sparkling Juice and your favorite spirit.

  • Dress up gatherings with formal champagne flutes or make guests look and feel extra cool with their drinks served in frosted mugs and glasses.

Scan here for more bubbly cocktail ideas. Scanning the QR code will take you to additional Ocean Spray recipes.

Don’t have a QR reader? Download a free reader from the Mobile App store or visit us at www.OceanSpray.com.

Cranberry Strawberry Sparkle

Ingredients:

  • 2 medium strawberries, hulled, chopped

  • 2 tablespoons frozen strawberry daiquiri mix

  • 1 8.4-ounce can Ocean Spray® Sparkling Juice Drink, any flavor, chilled

  • fresh strawberry, garnish

Directions:

Combine strawberries and daiquiri mix in a tall glass; crush strawberries with a spoon. Pour in Sparkling Juice Drink. Add ice. Garnish with strawberry, if desired. Makes 1 serving.

You can share recipes, tips and photos from your favorite parties, past and present, at www.oceanspray.com and also www.facebook.com/oceanspray.

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Sweet Idea: Give Your Baked Goods Agave

(NAPSI)—Here’s food for thought: The agave cactus can supply a delicious and natural liquid sweetener. The nectar of the succulent plant is not onlytasty, it has a low glycemic index, which can help keep energy levels balanced. In addition, agave nectar is gluten-free and contains no known allergens.

Many stores now stock agave nectar in two flavors: light agave nectar and amber agave nectar (dark). Light agave nectar offers a pure sweetness that doesn’t alter the original flavor when sweetening beverages or in recipes. It can be used in hot beverages such as coffee and teas and dissolves easily in cold drinks such as lemonades and smoothies. Light agave nectar is best used for baking desserts that are light in color such as vanilla cake, muffins and cheesecake.

Amber agave nectar has a slightly thicker consistency and adds a slight caramel flavor to foods. It’s good on pancakes, oatmeal or cereal. The richer flavor of amber agave nectar makes it particularly delicious in baked goods with a darker color such as brownies, chocolate cake and cookies. It’s also good for BBQ sauces and salad dressings.

Since Domino Organic Agave Nectar is a liquid, it will incorporate easily into favorite desserts. When using recipes that call for granulated sugar, remember:

• ⅔ cup light agave nectar = 1 cup granulated sugar; reduce other liquids by ¼ to ⅓ cup

• ⅔ cup amber agave nectar = 1 cup brown sugar; reduce other liquids by ¼ cup.

One tasty way to try agave nectar can be in these wholesome muffins:

Agave Carrot Muffins
Makes 30 muffins

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup Domino Organic Amber Agave Nectar

  • 4 large eggs

  • 1 cup canola oil

  • 3 cups shredded fresh carrots

  • 2¼ cups whole-wheat flour

  • 1 tsp. baking soda

  • 1 tsp. baking powder

  • 2 tsp. cinnamon

  • ½ tsp. salt

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350° F. Prepare three 12-cup muffin pans with liners. In a large bowl, combine agave, eggs and oil; beat well. Stir in carrots. In separate bowl, combine dry ingredients. Blend in batter. Pour into prepared pans. Fill cups only halfway to ensure proper baking. Bake 22−25 minutes until the center of the muffin springs back when lightly touched.

Free Recipes And Advice

You can discover useful baking tips plus delicious recipes using agave nectar at www.dominoagave.com.

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Tips For Making Picnics Easier

(NAPSI)—One of the most delicious things to do during the warmer months is to eat outside, and, fortunately, planning a picnic does not have to be a big production. Picnics can be spontaneous gatherings if you follow a few expert tips. Here’s what you need to do:

• Pick the location. You can have a picnic anywhere—in your living room, backyard or on the front porch. Or you can choose a park with recreational activities such as basketball courts, volleyball courts or a playground.

• Pack something to sit on. Keep a soft blanket and plastic tarp (in case the ground is wet) in the car so you can decide to picnic on the spot.

• Stock up for spontaneity. Keep your picnic basket ready to go with unbreakable plates and glassware, and utensils, plus paper napkins. Tuck in a corkscrew, salt and pepper, trash bags and something to store leftovers in.

Keep condiments from fast-food restaurants and drive-throughs in the fridge because they are handy for picnic use.

Food For Thought

Let someone else do the cooking. One good idea, suggests KFC Corporate Chef Bob Das, is to get a mix of fried and grilled chicken.

Pick up a bucket from the world’s most popular chicken restaurant chain to mix and match Kentucky Grilled Chicken with the Colonel’s Original Recipe or Extra Crispy Chicken. Packed with flavor, the grilled chicken is marinated and seasoned with a savory blend of secret herbs and spices and slow grilled by real cooks. New, bigger white meat breast pieces are marinated, delicious and convenient.

Learn More

For further advice, recipes and information or to find a nearby restaurant, visitwww.kfc.com.

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Add Some Pop To Your Party With Popcorn

(NAPSI)—Americans love a celebration, especially during the warmer months. For example, three of this country’s most important national holidays mark the beginning, middle and end of summer: Memorial Day, Fourth of July and Labor Day.

These holidays have an excitement that comes from more than just having a day off. They’re an opportunity to gather with family and friends and celebrate being an American.

An All-American Food

This summer, as you enjoy the many things that make this country great, from baseball to barbecue, blue jeans to blues, be sure to include another all-American favorite—popcorn.

Popcorn is one of the oldest and most beloved American snack foods. It’s been around for countless years, yet over time, it has remained a simple little kernel of goodness. Wholesome and whole grain, popcorn costs just pennies per serving.

For a star-spangled snack that’ll have you popping with pride, try this recipe courtesy of the Popcorn Board (www.popcorn.org).

Red Hot Poppers
Makes: about 24 balls
Preparation time: 25 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 3 quarts popped popcorn

  • 4 tablespoons (½ stick) butter or margarine

  • 3 cups miniature marshmallows

  • ½ cups red hot cinnamon- flavored candies

  • Red and blue confection stars

  • Red licorice string

Directions:

  1. Spread a large sheet of plastic wrap onto a work surface and spray with cooking spray.

  2. Spray a large mixing bowl lightly with cooking spray and place popcorn inside.

  3. In a medium saucepan, melt butter over low heat. Stir in marshmallows until marshmallows are melted and mixture is smooth. Pour over popcorn, adding red hot candies, and mix well until coated.

  4. Spray hands with cooking spray and form mixture into 24 balls. Gently press red and blue stars onto balls. Place a piece of licorice string on top of each ball.

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Canning Parties With Friends And Family Can Be Fun

(NAPSI)—Gardens, farmer’s markets and grocery stores are brimming with fresh seasonal produce. Enjoy fantastic flavors all year by gathering friends and family to celebrate nature’s bounty at your own canning party.

Mrs. Wages spokeswoman Laura Strickland says, “Plan ahead to divvy up the supplies and make sure everyone brings different fruits or vegetables to share.”

Equipment You’ll Need:

  • Glass canning jars

  • Rings and lids

  • A nonreactive pot

  • Hot water bath canner with a rack

  • Jar lifter

  • Canning funnel

  • Fruit, vegetables and canning spices

Pasta Sauce 
Yields 5 pints

Ingredients:

  • 6 pounds fresh tomatoes (about 18 medium)

  • ¼ cup granulated sugar

  • 1 pouch (5 ounces) Mrs. Wages Pasta Sauce Mix

Directions:

Wash fresh tomatoes. Scald 3 minutes in boiling water. Dip into cold water. Cut out cores, remove skins and puree to smooth consistency in blender or food processor.

Combine puree, sugar and pasta sauce mix in a large pot and bring to a boil. Stir occasionally. Reduce heat and simmer 25 minutes. Stir occasionally. Pasta sauce is ready.

Serve it: Ready to use, or pour into containers and refrigerate up to one week.

Freeze it: Pour into freezer containers and let cool. Store in freezer up to one year.

Can it: Pour hot sauce into clean, sterilized pint canning jars, leaving ½-inch headspace. Cap each jar when filled.

Process 40 minutes in boiling water bath.

Test jars for airtight seals according to manufacturer’s directions. Store up to one year. If jars do not completely seal, refrigerate and consume within one week.

Canning 101 Tips:

  • Use fresh produce.

  • Pickling salt is a finely milled salt, with no anti-caking additives. It dissolves cleanly and quickly. Pectin is a very fine, water-soluble fiber that helps create a stable gelled preserve. With Mrs. Wagesproducts, you don’t need specialty spices or ingredients. The company uses high-quality, 100% natural ingredients.

  • Fill jars quickly and carefully. Use a wide-mouth funnel and avoid spilling liquid on the jar’s rim, where it may interfere with a good seal.

  • Wash and rinse jars thoroughly. Set jars in clean, hot water until used. If using dishwasher, keep jars in dishwasher until use.

  • For food safety, do not alter recipes.

For canning tips, a canning guide, recipes and templates for print-at-home labels, visit www.mrswages.com.

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Firefly Sweetens Summer Fun!

(NAPSI)—In celebration of June being National Iced Tea Month and in honor of the Fourth of July holiday, Firefly Sweet Tea Vodka is sharing fun party tips and recipes that will light up your summer scene.

National Iced Tea Month is a time for stirring up favorite Firefly Sweet Tea Cocktails and raising your glass with one of America’s favorite refreshers.

Only with Firefly, “This ain’t your grandma’s sweet tea!”

As June gets underway, plan a Fourth of Firefly holiday. Create an “On-the-Fly” get-together with virtual party kits that are available onwww.fourthoffirefly.com. From there, you can check out locations where Firefly will be celebrating the Fourth with its friends. The easy recipes are perfect for backyard barbecues, pool, beach & boat parties, and festive patriotic occasions.

Firefly BBQ Sauce

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup ketchup

  • ⅓ cup Firefly Bourbon

  • ¼ cup vinegar

  • ¼ cup molasses

  • 2 cloves garlic

  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice

  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce

  • ½ teaspoon dry mustard

  • ¼ teaspoon pepper

  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce

Crush the garlic cloves. Add bourbon. Add the remaining ingredients.

Firefly Spiked Palmer

  • 1 part Firefly Sweet Tea Vodka

  • 1 part Lemonade

  • Lemon Twist

Firefly attributes its success to being genuine, all natural and all American. The Firefly distillery is located on Wadmalaw Island, South Carolina. Firefly co-founder Scott Newitt comments, “As a ‘Founding Father of Firefly,’ I am proud to be from South Carolina, where you can find the nicest people serving up some of the best Sweet Tea in the country. That’s because it’s Firefly Sweet Tea, and I invite you to join us as we toast the bounty of Iced Tea with the beauty of our country.”

The name “Firefly” comes from the simple joy that fireflies bring. Newittadds, “There is a basic element of happiness that people experience when they are around. I remember being mesmerized by them when I was younger. I used to catch them in mason jars. I wanted to bring that summer feeling to life. I think our Sweet Tea Vodka does that, especially when it’s served out of a mason jar.”

The distillery currently offers a full portfolio of Sweet Tea spirits. You can check them out at www.fireflyvodka.com. Remember: This ain’t your grandma’s sweet tea!

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Boring Burgers No More: Make Everyday Grilling Gourmet

(NAPSI)—From the backyard barbecue to the tables of some of the finest restaurants across the country, the burger is a “hot” item on menus and at mealtime. This season, Le Cordon Bleu College of Culinary Arts instructors are putting a new spin on the traditional burger. Grilling up a burger doesn’t have to be limited to lettuce and tomato any more.

“With 85 percent of Americans saying they eat burgers once a month or more, we know that they can enjoy putting a twist on an old favorite,” said Chef Edward Leonard, certified master chef and Le Cordon Bleu executive chef. “Our goal is to make it easy to experiment with new ingredients that can make ordinary into extraordinary. When it comes to creating your own, don’t be afraid to mix it up and combine a variety of ingredients that appeal to you.”

Before you head out to the grill, browse the farmers’ market or grocery store to get inspiration from fresh produce. If you are looking for something spicy, try adding fresh jalapeños or cayenne pepper to your patties. If you like sweet and salty combinations, grill up some pineapple and add teriyaki sauce.

“The toppings and seasoning of a burger play a big role in the overall taste,” said Chef Leonard, “but if they aren’t grilled properly, chances are it won’t turn out well.” Preparing burgers for the grill can be a critical step to ensure they turn out juicy and delicious. When selecting meat, purchase the freshest meat to achieve the best taste. Before placing burgers on the grill, heat it up and brush the grates with olive oil. This will prevent the burgers from sticking. When grilling the patties, do not press down with a spatula. This squeezes the juices out and can result in a dry burger.

Once the burgers are cooked, the real fun begins. Chef Leonard suggests creating a Mediterranean lamb burger to wow your guests.

“For those who have a passion for cooking and want to create more mouthwatering food, I suggest checking out the Le Cordon Bleu Chef’s Series,” said Chef Leonard. “Our 16 campuses across the country hold monthly, hands-on classes where food enthusiasts can experience a class with a professional instructor.”

Mediterranean Lamb Sliders

Relish Ingredients

  • 1 cup coarsely chopped red bell peppers that have been grilled or broiled until charred and then skinned and seeded

  • 1 finely chopped sweet Walla Walla onion

  • ½ cup coarsely chopped, pitted, kalamata olives

  • ½ cup coarsely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley

  • the juice of one lemon

  • 1 tsp thyme leaves

  • 2 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil

  • 2 cloves finely minced garlic

  • Slider Ingredients

  • 1½ lb. lean ground lamb

  • 1 tsp chopped fresh rosemary

  • ¼ cup finely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley

  • ½ tsp crushed red pepper

  • 2 Tbsp finely minced garlic

  • salt and cracked pepper to taste

  • ½ cup crumbled feta

Directions:

Heat grill to medium-high heat. Prepare the relish: In a small serving bowl, stir together the peppers, onion, thyme, olives, parsley, lemon juice, olive oil and garlic.

Prepare the burgers: In a large bowl, gently mix together the lamb, parsley, red pepper, rosemary, garlic, salt and black pepper. Form into 8 mini burgers, flatten to about ¾ inch thick, and gently press your thumb in the center of each to help cook evenly.

Grill or panfry the burgers carefully for about 3 to 4 minutes per side for medium-rare. A few minutes before they are done, top with feta and finish cooking to melt. Note: The fat in lamb can cause flare-ups. Serve on lightly grilled soft mini buns, topped with the relish.

Makes 8 mini burgers.

To learn more about Le Cordon Bleu, visit www.chefs.edu.

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