Cherry Cake Pistachios Healthy Snacks Grilled Steak Dining Out Gift Card S'mores Chef LaDuke 
Grilling Secrets
Barbecue Master's Tips Safer Grilling

New Dessert Trend Keeps It Fresh

(NAPSI)—Move over, cupcakes. The newest dessert trend is here—single-layer minicakes.

Minicakes, made in 8- or 9-inch pans, look special yet can be eaten in a day or two, when cake is freshest.

“Cake is best eaten in the first day or two,” says Carol Kicinski, a gluten-free recipe developer, food writer and TV chef.

Kicinski created the single-layer Cherry Cake recipe featured below. It is studded with ruby-red maraschino cherries and has a tart, lemony flavor. And, as an added benefit, the recipe can be prepared with a gluten-free flour blend, if desired.

She recommends keeping a jar or two of maraschino cherries on hand because these tasty fruits are an easy way to add color and fun to many desserts. For more recipes, tips and information,

Cherry Cake 
(Makes 8 servings)


  • Nonstick cooking spray

  • 1½ cups sliced almonds, divided

  • 1¼ cups maraschino cherries, quartered

  • 1½ cups all-purpose flour or gluten-free flour blend

  • 1 teaspoon baking powder

  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt

  • ¾ cup unsalted butter, room temperature

  • 1 cup sugar

  • 3 large eggs, room temperature

  • 1 lemon

  • 1 tablespoon turbinado sugar

  • Freshly whipped cream


Preheat oven to 350º F. Spray 8- or 9-inch cake pan well with cooking spray. Line with parchment paper on the bottom and sides.

Finely grind 1¼ cups almonds in food processor (you should end up with 1 cup); combine with cherries in small bowl. In separate bowl, place flour; take out 1 tablespoon flour and stir into cherry mixture. To the remaining flour, add baking powder and salt; whisk to combine.

Cream butter and sugar with electric mixer for 3 minutes or until light and fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well and scraping down sides of bowl after each addition. Add flour mixture and fold together. Stir in the cherry mixture. Finely grate lemon peel into the batter and add juice of the lemon; stir to combine. Pour the batter into the prepared pan. Sprinkle with remaining ¼ cup sliced almonds and turbinado sugar on top. Bake 50 to 75 minutes or until cake is golden brown and toothpick inserted into center comes out clean. Cool in pan 15 minutes, then remove from pan to wire rack. Cool completely.

Serve topped with whipped cream, if desired.

Download article content                                                                                          [Top]

Go NUTS For Healthy Snacks

(NAPSI)—Eat nuts as a healthy source of protein, according to research published by the Harvard School of Public Health.* Researchers looked at the diets of more than 37,000 men and 83,000 women to see if they could find a link between diet and increased risk of death from heart disease or cancer. They found that replacing one serving of red meat with one serving of nuts was linked to a 19 percent lower risk of premature death or total mortality. The study reinforces the role of nuts as an important part of a healthy diet.

In addition to the Harvard study, the 2010 Dietary Guidelines for Americans (DGA) encourages eating more plant-based foods, which has brought nuts into the spotlight as a great choice for protein, fiber and healthy fats. In fact, the DGA includes nuts on its list of “foods and nutrients to increase” for disease prevention and overall good health. Additionally, the DGA includes nuts as an example in its suggestion to choose a variety of protein-rich foods.

“Protein is used most efficiently when consumed throughout the day,” says Becci Twombley, RD, CSSD, Nutrition Director for the UCLA Bruins, who is a board-certified specialist in sports dietetics. “Adding protein-rich snacks like one ounce of pistachios in between meals will help the body to build muscle more effectively.”

Athletes and fitness enthusiasts are well aware of nuts as a valuable snack, accomplishing two goals: adding protein to their diets while satisfying hunger pangs between meals. The USA Men’s and Women’s Water Polo Teams have identified pistachios as their “Official Snack.”

“You really can’t go wrong with pistachios,” says Twombley. “With six grams of protein in every 160-calorie serving, pistachios are a protein front-runner compared to 160 calories of other convenience snacks.”

Pistachios provide a new twist for nut lovers. They can be enjoyed right out of the bag or prepared in a creative way, like these flavored pistachios developed by Chef Grant MacPherson. He suggests experimenting with your own seasoning to customize your snacks.

For more information about the health benefits of pistachios and to find tasty recipes, visit

Pistachios with Black and White Peppercorns


  • 4 tablespoons canola oil

  • 1 pound American pistachios, in shell

  • ¼ ounce ground black peppercorns

  • ¼ ounce ground white peppercorns

  • Sea salt to taste


Warm the canola oil in a stovetop pan, add the pistachios and toast evenly. Add the ground black and white pepper, coat evenly and continue toasting; season with sea salt to taste. Remove from heat and serve warm in the dish of your choice.


*Pan A, Sun Q, Bernstein AM, Schulze MB, Manson JE, Stampfer MJ, Willett WC, Hu FB. Red meat consumption and mortality: results from 2 prospective cohort studies. Arch Intern Med. 2012 Apr 9; 172(7):555-63.

Download article content                                                                                          [Top]

Five Simple Steps For Cooking A Great Steak

(NAPSI)—While steak has long been a crowd favorite at cookouts, not everyone is comfortable preparing it—so here’s some advice from steak experts.

Follow these five tips that make grilling up steak simpler than it seems.

1. Choose the right cut and quality of meat. Some cuts are better for grilling than others, depending on the combination of fat and meat that contribute to the flavor. There’s no right or wrong answer. Decide what’s right for you and consult your grocer or butcher on the choices available. Meats are graded on several categories, including the marbling of fat, which adds to the distinct flavor of steak.

2. Give your steak time to breathe and season early. Let your steak sit on the counter for at least 20 minutes before cooking. Steaks at room temperature take seasoning better and will cook faster. Season steaks about 15 minutes before you put them on the grill to give the seasoning a chance to dissolve and evenly flavor the meat.

3. Find your grill style and flavor. Gas grills are great for cooking but can sometimes impart a gas flavor to the steak. Coal grills create a more natural smell of the meat cooking. Wood chips can add flavor if you’re smoking your meat but may also add to grilling time.

4. Hands off. Avoid constantly flipping your steak. Know how thick your steak is and roughly how long it takes to cook. Flip it once and give it a quarter turn once on each side. For a one-inch steak, cook each side for approximately nine minutes for a medium temperature.

5. Keep it simple. Let the natural flavors of the steak stand on their own. A good cut of meat doesn’t need to be slathered in sauces, thick rubs and butter. A little salt, pepper and light seasoning will do just fine.

If you don’t have the time or patience to cook your own steak, you can leave the grilling to the restaurants of Buffets, Inc. The new Rancher’s Select® Sirloin is now available every night of the week after 3:30 p.m. at Ryan’s®, Old Country Buffet® as well as Country Buffet®, Hometown® Buffet, Fire Mountain® and Granny’s BuffetSM. This premium steak is grilled fresh and served to order by skilled Grillmasters.

For more information, visit,,,, and

Download article content                                                                                          [Top]

A Gift For Your Favorite Family

(NAPSI)—Spending family time together can be a relaxing moment in today’s fast-paced world.

Studies have shown that it is important for families to spend time together on a regular basis and share as many meals as possible. Eating together is about more than just food. When families eat together, they talk about the things that happened in their day and how they felt. They grow closer and build a stronger bond because they are some of the most important people in your life.

If your family seeks more ways to spend quality time together, consider the following ideas:

• Family fun. Set a night aside that you always spend together. Don’t allow any interruptions, even if the night revolves around games and pizza.

• Brunch. If coordinating everyone for dinner is a problem, have breakfast together on the weekend.

• Sweet Treat. Plan a dessert night once a week. Take turns choosing or making the dessert.

• Celebrate. Find family occasions to celebrate together over a special meal out. You don’t have to wait for graduations or other special events. Get together for a meal to celebrate life’s small victories, such as your child learning to ride a bike.

If you know a family that finds it a challenge to eat together, give them a gift card for a meal. Bakers Square has launched a new online gift card program at The gift cards can be e-mailed, texted or posted to the Facebook wall of the recipients. Birthday, Graduation and everydayeGift Cards, along with many other holiday-themed cards, are available. You don’t have to wait until a holiday comes along to celebrate because you can celebrate the small victories in life. If your son has a great game or if your daughter gets good grades in school or if your spouse or you earn a promotion, you can customize the message for pretty much anything.

With personalization options available, the fun, convenient gift cards can be sent with personal photos and/or audio messages. To redeem the cards, print out the e-mail or show the message on a smartphone to the cashier. BakersSquare serves breakfast, lunch, dinner and weekend brunch, and is renowned for its award-winning pies, with over 25 varieties.

Download article content                                                                                          [Top]

Five Suggestions To Simplify Your Daily Life

(NAPSI)—Life can be a little less complicated if you consider these hints to help simplify daily life:

1. Before you barbecue. Preslice and chop veggies for sides the day before a family barbecue. Similarly, bake treats the night before, cool and seal them in air-tight containers. Cutting back on prep the day of an event means more time to mingle and enjoy the company of family and friends.

2. Simplify s’mores. Portion out s’mores supplies for a camping trip by placing equal amounts of marshmallows, graham squares and chocolate pieces into separate baggies for each camper. When the time comes to roast this favorite treat around the fire, there will be no scrambling for supplies and no one will worry about missing out on the chocolate!

3. Break up cleaning projects. Spread household chores throughout the week. Pick a time to clean every day and pair each room with a specific day of the week; for instance, always declutter the living room on Tuesdays. Set a timer for 20 to 30 minutes, and tackle that daily chore.

4. Tote a gym bag. Pack a gym bag with workout clothes, a towel and a water bottle and keep it at your desk or in your car. Having these items easily accessible will make it easier to seize any window of opportunity for exercise.

5. Stock the kitchen. Avoid the weekday “what’s for dinner?” crunch by stocking a few staples in the pantry. Keeping dried grains or pastas from the bulk aisle, frozen veggies, favorite proteins and fresh salad greens in the pantry or fridge helps when busy days call for throwing together a quick meal. Stock up on R.W. Knudsen Family® Just Juice® juices to use in a quick salad dressing or reduction sauce with wholesome fruity flavors.

To celebrate the simple things in life, R.W. Knudsen Family created the Share Your Simple promotion. The company’s all-natural beverages have been made with a simple philosophy for more than 50 years without added sugar or artificial ingredients.

You can share your tips to simplify life for a chance to win one of three $4,500 Grand Prizes or 14 biweekly prizes

No purchase necessary. Promotion open to legal residents of the 50 United States and D.C., 18 years and older. Promotion subject to complete Official Rules, available Void where prohibited.

Download article content                                                                                          [Top]

Chef LaDuke Shares Secrets For Successful Grilling Season

(NAPSI)—If warmer weather has you craving fresh, grilled food, Red Lobster’s Senior Executive Chef LaDuke has some helpful tips for you this grilling season. Or, if you prefer to save time and eat from the experts, be sure to visit Red Lobster to enjoy delicious seafood, steak and chicken, prepared by trained Grill Masters.

1. Clean Reigns Supreme. Whether grilling fish, steak or chicken, a clean grill is a must. Start by scraping the grill with a wire-bristled brush to remove any remnants from previous grilling. Then, using a nonaerosol product such as a towel, coat the grill grates with a light coat of vegetable or olive oil to prevent food from sticking.

2. Marinate Gradually. Let your meat marinate in a refrigerator for up to two hours before cooking to infuse the flavor. Set aside an extra dish of marinade just for basting while cooking to avoid spreading any bacteria. Finally, before putting your meat or seafood on the grill, drain off the excess marinade or sauce and pat dry.

3. Identify the Hot Spots. Check the grill for hot and moderate temperature zones. The chefs at Red Lobster do this by briefly running a hand about three inches above the grill. It should be at least at 500 degrees for meat and fish. For even cooking, place thicker foods at the center of the grill, smaller pieces toward the edges, and leave one inch of space between each piece of food.

4. Check the Clock. Steak, fish and chicken can all be grilled at the same temperature, but they require different grill times. Fish, depending on thickness, should be cooked for about two to three minutes on each side. Steak, depending on preference, should be cooked for about four to five minutes on each side. For boneless chicken, cook for about four to five minutes on each side. And for bone-in chicken, cook for six to eight minutes and always use a meat thermometer to ensure a proper temperature of 165 degrees.

For additional grilling tips and seafood recipes, visit

Download article content                                                                                          [Top]

Tips From The Masters Of Barbecue

(NAPSI)—From Brooklyn to Albuquerque, Seattle to Sarasota and everywhere in between, few things say summer in America the same way that barbecue does.

To help you maximize your outdoor cooking experience, here are some tips:

Cooking Low And Slow

While there are exceptions, barbecue is about cooking low and slow-at a low temperature in a leisurely manner using indirect heat. This is different from grilling—think steaks, hamburgers or hotdogs—on a grill that’s much closer to the coals.

If you’re cooking brisket or pork shoulder, the temperature should be about 225° F, and you will want to let it go for several hours because the fatty and connective tissue in these cuts need time to cook until tender.

Learn From Those Who Know

Mastering the art and craft of barbecue is easier with expert guidance. EvenKansas City’s legendary Arthur Bryant learned about barbecue from his brother Charlie, who learned his craft from a man named Henry Perry, known in Kansas City as “The Barbecue King.”

Fortunately, you don’t have to travel through time or across the country to learn from a barbecue master. Tune in to the new season of barbecue competition TV series “BBQ Pitmasters,” now airing on Destination America.

At each stop, contestants cook dishes from St. Louis pork ribs to Texasbrisket and Carolina pulled pork and everything in between-all in an effort to find out who truly is the best of the best when it comes to barbecue. The contestants will be competing for $50,000 and the title of Kingsford BBQPitmasters Grand Champion.

Viewers will learn the secrets of the craft, both from the contestants and the judges, such as Myron Mixon, who is considered a BBQ legend and one of the most awarded men in competitive BBQ. He is also a previous winner on the series.

Your Destination

Destination America is a TV network that celebrates the people, places and stories of the United States. Its original series cover such diverse subjects as American food favorites; mysteries and legends; heroes and innovators; and iconic landmarks and natural wonders.

To learn more and discover whether Destination America is available in your local area, visit

Download article content                                                                                          [Top]

Simple Guidelines For Safer Grilling

(NAPSI)—Cooking outdoors is in at any time of year. When you grill, it’s important to follow the guidelines from the USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service to prevent harmful bacteria from multiplying and causing food poisoning:

• When shopping, buy cold food such as meat and poultry last, right before checkout. Separate raw meat and poultry from other food in your shopping cart and put packages of raw meat and poultry into plastic bags.

• Plan to go home right from the store. Consider taking a cooler with ice for perishables. Always refrigerate perishable food within two hours—within one hour when the temperature is above 90° F.

• At home, place meat and poultry in the refrigerator immediately. Freeze poultry and ground meat that won’t be used in a day or two.

• Completely thaw meat and poultry before grilling so it cooks evenly. Use the refrigerator for slow, safe thawing. For quicker thawing, you can defrost in the microwave or in cold water if the food will be placed immediately on the grill.

• A marinade is a savory, acidic sauce in which a food is soaked to enrich its flavor or to tenderize it. Marinate food in the refrigerator, not on the counter. Poultry and cubed meat or stew meat can be marinated up to two days. Beef, veal, pork and lamb roasts, chops and steaks may be marinated up to five days. If some of the marinade is to be used as a sauce on the cooked food, reserve a portion before putting raw meat and poultry in it. However, if the marinade used on raw meat or poultry is to be reused, make sure to let it come to a boil first to destroy any harmful bacteria.

• When transporting food, keep it cold. Use an insulated cooler with sufficient ice or ice packs to keep the food at 40° F or below. Pack it immediately before leaving home. Keep it cold until ready to use.

• Always wash hands with soap and water before handling food. Use hand sanitizer or moist towelettes if soap and water are not available.

• Meat and poultry cooked on a grill often brown very fast on the outside. Use a food thermometer to be sure the food has reached a safe minimum internal temperature.

• After cooking meat and poultry on the grill, keep it hot until served-at 140° F or warmer. Keep cooked meats on the side of the grill rack. At home, cooked meat can be kept hot in an oven set at approximately 200° F, in a chafing dish or slow cooker or on a warming tray.

• Refrigerate any leftovers promptly in shallow containers. Discard any food left out more than two hours.

• Learn more

For more information, visit or ask a food safety question anytime at or via smart-phone at or call 1-888-MPHOTLINE.

Download article content                                                                                          [Top]


Bookmark and Share LIST OF SUBJECTS LEAVE A MESSAGE  Follow Me on Pinterest