RECIPES:

 

 

Brownie Bits Cheesecake Avocado Yogurt Key Lime Pie Royal Pecan Rice Stuffing Blackened Catfish Sandwich More Flavor, Less Sugar Fruits And Vegetables More Flavor, Fewer Calories Chocolate Rice Pudding

Brownies And Cheesecake: A Perfect Match

(NAPSI)—Can’t decide what to make for dessert? Why not try two fabulous favorites in one with a Brownie Bits Cheesecake—what’s not to love when a chocolaty brownie serves as a classic cheesecake’s crust, stir-in and topping?

Start with a packaged brownie mix to save time when making the brownie crust and stir-ins. Once baked and cooled, the brownie “crust” is covered with a creamy cheesecake batter—but better, because it’s filled and topped with decadent brownie bits.

Brownie Bits Cheesecake

Crust:

  • 2 packages (about 16 oz ea.) brownie mix (8-in.-square size)

  • Eggs, water and oil to prepare mixes

  • Filling:

  • 3 packages (8 oz. ea.) cream cheese, softened

  • 1 cup granulated sugar

  • ¾ cup sour cream

  • 6 eggs

  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

  • ¼ teaspoon almond extract

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350° F. Spray 9-in. springform pan and 8x2-in. square pan with vegetable pan spray.

In large bowl, prepare one brownie mix following package instructions. Spread into bottom of prepared square pan. Prepare remaining brownie mix following package instructions. Spread into prepared springform pan. Bake both pans together for 35−40 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool completely. Turn oven down to 325° F.

Cut approximately half of the brownies from the square pan into ¾-in. pieces (about 1½ cups); set aside. Reserve remaining brownie for snacking.

For filling, beat cream cheese and sugar with electric mixer at medium speed in large bowl until smooth and creamy, about 5−10 minutes. Beat in sour cream and eggs. Add vanilla and almond extracts. When filling is smooth, gently stir in ½ cup of the cut brownies. Pour over cooled crust. Sprinkle remaining 1 cup cut brownies over cheesecake batter; lightly press into batter. Place cheesecake in middle of oven. Fill a large pan with hot water and place on rack underneath cheesecake.

Bake 1 hour, 25 minutes or until cheesecake is firm on top but mixture is still jiggly when gently shaken. Turn off oven; leave cheesecake in closed oven 30 minutes to cool down slowly. Remove cheesecake from oven and cool on cooling grid 1 hour. Refrigerate covered at least 4 hours or overnight.

Makes about 12 servings.

This delicious dessert duo serves a crowd, making it just right for entertaining or for any family celebration. Since it’s made ahead of time and chilled, there’s less time spent in the kitchen and more time enjoying the festivities.

For more special occasion and baking ideas, visit www.wilton.com.

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A Favorite Summer Dessert Reimagined WithCalifornia Avocados

(NAPSI)—After all the hard work of getting into tip-top shape for the summer season, many folks have a tinge of guilt while they enjoy those traditional picnic dishes.

Fortunately for summer foodies everywhere, Liz Weiss, MS, RD and Janice Newell Bissex, MS, RD—better known as The Meal Makeover Moms—have partnered with the California Avocado Commission to put a healthy spin on a summer favorite…pie.

Desserts made with fresh, seasonal produce are a great way to celebrate the summer. With California avocados in season from spring to fall, they are a delicious ingredient for any summer dish, including dessert. The Meal Makeover Moms reimagined the traditional Key Lime Pie and developed a zesty California Avocado Yogurt Key Lime Pie recipe that combines limes, creamy Greek yogurt and avocados nestled inside a delicious homemade graham cracker crust.

One might not immediately think of avocados as something to use in baking, but the versatile California avocado adds a creamy rich flavor to any recipe. In addition to their consistent quality and exceptional flavor, they also offer an array of nutritional benefits. California avocados are naturally sodium and cholesterol free and contain “good” fats (both poly- and monounsaturated fats), along with nearly 20 vitamins, minerals and phytonutrients. Since the greatest concentration is in the dark green fruit closest to the peel, The Meal Makeover Moms suggest nicking and peeling the skin from the avocado to get to the most nutrient-rich fruit.

To view more of The Meal Makeover Moms’ recipes or learn aboutCalifornia avocados, visit www.CaliforniaAvocado.com.

California Avocado Yogurt Key Lime Pie
Serves: 10

Ingredients

  • 2 ripe Fresh California Avocados, quartered, peeled and seeded

  • ½ cup nonfat vanilla Greek yogurt

  • ½ cup light agave nectar

  • 1 lime, zested

  • ½ tsp. vanilla extract

  • ½ cup light coconut milk

  • ½ cup lime juice

  • 1 envelope unflavored gelatin

  • Graham Cracker Almond Crust (see make-ahead recipe below)

  • Raspberries and light whipped cream, for garnish (optional)

Instructions 

  1. Place avocados in the bowl of a food processor with the yogurt, agave, lime zest and vanilla extract; pulse until well combined. Scrape down the sides of the bowl as necessary. Set aside.

  2. Place the coconut milk in a small saucepan and bring to low boil. Set aside. Place the lime juice in a large bowl. Sprinkle the gelatin over the juice and let stand 1 minute. Gently whisk in the hot coconut milk. Continue to whisk until the gelatin completely dissolves, about 5 minutes. Stir in the avocado mixture until well combined.

  3. Pour the mixture into the prepared pie crust. Carefully transfer to the refrigerator and chill, uncovered, until firm, about 3 hours. Garnish with optional toppings. (Store leftovers in the refrigerator and cover with plastic wrap.)

Graham Cracker Almond Crust

Ingredients

  • ½ cup unsalted, whole roasted almonds

  • 7 whole graham crackers (14 squares)

  • 3 Tbsp. granulated sugar

  • ¼ tsp. salt

  • 1 Tbsp. unsalted butter, melted

  • 1 egg white

Instructions 

  1. Preheat the oven to 350° F.

  2. Place the almonds in the bowl of a food processor and pulse until coarsely ground. Add the graham crackers, sugar and salt and pulse until finely ground. Add the butter and egg white and pulse until evenly moistened and combined.

  3. Press the crumb mixture firmly on the bottom and up the sides of a 9-inch pie plate. Bake 10 to 12 minutes or until fragrant and golden. Cool completely before filling.

Nutrition Information Per Serving: Calories 220; Total Fat 11 g (Sat 2.5 g, Trans 0 g, Poly 1.5 g, Mono 6 g); Cholesterol less than 5 mg; Sodium 100 mg; Potassium 340 mg; Total Carbohydrates 27 g; Dietary Fiber 2 g; Total Sugars 19 g; Protein 6 g

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Easy, Everyday Stuffing

(NAPSI)—You don’t have to wait for a special occasion to enjoy a great stuffing. Paired with roast chicken and pork chops or stuffed into acorn squash or bell peppers, rice stuffing makes a delicious side dish any day of the year.

Start with U.S.-grown and packaged Royal Blend rice in your next stuffing for a nutty flavor and unique aroma. Made with Texmati white, brown, red and wild rice, the colorful blend is easy to prepare, all natural and great tasting.

This Southern-inspired Pecan Rice Stuffing can easily move to the center of the plate with the addition of chopped rotisserie chicken, smoked turkey breast or even fish.

Royal Pecan Rice Stuffing

Ingredients:

  • ¼ cup butter

  • ¾ cup chopped onions

  • ¾ cup chopped celery

  • 3 cups cooked Royal Blend rice

  • ½ cup chopped pecans, toasted

  • ¼ cup chopped parsley

  •     Salt, to taste

  • ¼ teaspoon pepper

  • 1 teaspoon poultry seasoning

Directions:

In large skillet, sauté onion and celery in butter until tender. Stir in remaining ingredients, mixing well. Spoon into casserole, cover tightly and bake at 375° F, 15−20 minutes.

Tip: Recipe may be doubled and used to stuff a 10−12-lb. turkey.

For more delicious recipes, visit www.riceselect.com.

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Great Louisiana Seafood

(NAPSI)—Many people are looking for simple, nutritious and easy-to-prepare recipes—and seafood can be a fresh alternative to meat and poultry.

Fortunately, preparing a tasty seafood meal is easier than you might imagine—if you have a little inspiration and fresh, premium quality ingredients from the Gulf.

Chef Keith Frentz of LOLA Restaurant, winner of the 5th annual Louisiana Seafood Cook-Off and culinary ambassador for the Louisiana Seafood Promotion & Marketing Board (LSPMB), used such ingredients to create his winning dish.

“It was important for me to use products from the local farmers market and wild-caught Louisiana catfish because you don’t see them very often on menus,” said Frentz, who was crowned King of Louisiana Seafood.

Chef Frentz offers another of his delicious recipes for Blackened Catfish Sandwich which may give you the confidence you need to make seafood a regular part of your home cooking repertoire.

Blackened Catfish Sandwich
Yield: 4 servings

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup paprika

  • 2 Tbsp. black pepper

  • 2 Tbsp. white pepper

  • 3 Tbsp. cayenne pepper

  • 1 tsp. sugar

  • ¼ tsp. kosher salt

  • ½ Tbsp. granulated garlic

  • ½ Tbsp. granulated onion

  • ¼ cup mayonnaise

  • ¼ cup Dijon mustard

  • 8 slices French bread

  • 4 2-oz. pieces wild Louisiana catfish

  • 2 beefsteak tomatoes, sliced

  • 5 oz. spring salad mix

  • Sliced pickles

Directions:

Combine spices; set aside. Combine mayonnaise and mustard; set aside.

Toast bread until crisp. Coat nonstick skillet with olive oil. Preheat over medium-high heat. Generously rub fish pieces with seasoning mix. Place in skillet and cook 3−4 minutes per side until cooked through.

Spread bread with mayonnaise mixture. Place fish on half of the bread slices. Top with tomato, salad mix and pickles. Place remaining bread on top of each portion to complete sandwich. Press lightly and serve immediately.

For more information and Louisiana seafood recipes, visit LSPMB’s website at louisianaseafood.com.

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Helping Kids Enjoy More Flavor, Less Sugar

(NAPSI)—Sweet news for many parents is that you can reduce the amount of sugar in your youngster’s diet—and still get some affection from your happy kids.

Here are hints on how:

• Substitute applesauce or pureed prunes for half the sugar in recipes, which can cut sugar content in half.

• Use spices and herbs such as cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves and ginger to enhance the flavor of foods naturally instead of adding sugar.

• Instead of chips, candy or pastry, offer crackers, a piece of fruit or vegetables such as carrots or a glass of fruit juice.

• Offer fruit juice instead of sugary drinks. The USDA says most kids should have fruit every day, and while the majority of fruit servings should come from whole fruit, 100 percent juice is a healthy option when consumed as part of a balanced diet.

If 100 percent fruit juice isn’t your choice, you can dilute it to reduce the sugar (lots of parents do these days). If dilution compromises the juice flavor that appeals to kids, try a no-added-sugar juice beverage like Juicy JuiceFruitifuls, an all-natural juice beverage that has 35 percent less sugar than regular juice, provides a full serving of fruit and tastes great. You can decrease the amount of sugar your kids consume, provide refreshment and still make sure they get fruit juice nutrition. As an added bonus, like original Juicy Juice products, it’s an excellent source of vitamin C and can be a part of a healthy, balanced diet for kids who can now drink up to 30 percent more juice and still remain within the USDA guidelines.

• You can use fruit juice as a substitute for pancake syrup. Just add a little bit of molasses, to taste, and some cornstarch and simmer the mixture until it reaches the thickness you like.

• If you serve canned fruit, make sure it’s packed in water or juice, not syrup.

• Read labels and compare products. The nutritional label lists the ingredients in a product in order. The higher up an ingredient is on the list, the more there is of it in the food.

• Make your own salad dressing with fruit juice, balsamic vinegar, honey and mustard.

Learn More

You can find more tips, facts and coupons online at www.juicyjuice.com.

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Giving Kids A Taste For Fruits And Vegetables

(NAPSI)--Research from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) shows that most children should eat more fruits and vegetables, which contain essential nutrients that may help protect against chronic diseases. But how can parents, schools and other caregivers get kids to chow down?

Cut up fruit before serving it, suggests Mark Schuster, M.D., Ph.D., a researcher with the Prevention Research Centers (PRC) Program, a nationwide network of 37 academic research centers funded by the CDC to find ways to help people get and stay healthy.

Dr. Schuster, while leading the University of California at Los Angeles PRC, partnered with the Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) in developing Students for Nutrition and Exercise (SNaX), a program in which middle school students promote healthy eating and physical activity among their peers. During testing of SNaX, Dr. Schuster (now at Harvard MedicalSchool) and colleagues discovered that in general, kids don’t like to bite into whole fruit. “But if you cut it up for them, even though it’s the exact same fruit, instead of going in the trash can, it goes into their mouth,” he says.

Dr. Schuster is now preparing SNaX for use throughout LAUSD and beyond. But LAUSD is already using some key features, including the cut fruit component.

Parents should model healthy eating habits, says Becky Mozaffarian, M.S., M.P.H., a researcher at the Harvard University PRC. Fruits and vegetables should always be readily available in the home. “Try keeping a supply of cut-up fruits and veggies in the refrigerator, at eye level, for snacking,” she says.

Mozaffarian helped develop Food & Fun After School 2nd Edition, a curriculum that outside-of-school programs can use to promote physical activity and healthier food to children. The YMCA has committed to using Food & Fun nationwide as part of First Lady Michelle Obama’s Partnership for a Healthier America initiative. The curriculum is available free atwww.foodandfun.org.

“Serve a fruit or vegetable with every meal and snack,” says Mozaffarian. “Even if children don’t touch the fruit or vegetable at first, one day they just might try it. Don’t give up.”

For more information about the PRC Program, go to www.cdc.gov/prc.

More Tips

Parents and caregivers should:

• Introduce fruits and veggies early in life.

• Involve children in fruit and veggie purchases.

• Involve children in preparing fruit and veggie snacks.

Schools should:

• Offer salad bars.

• Involve students in taste tests.

• Pay attention to presentation. For example, a package with condensation on the plastic cover may look unappetizing.

See www.cdc.gov/nutrition/everyone for recommended daily amounts of fruits and vegetables, depending upon age, sex and physical activity level.

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More Flavor, Fewer Calories

(NAPSI)—Good news for many people who feared they had a slim chance of enjoying great food while on a diet.

A popular restaurant chain, famous for its grilled chicken and fresh Caribbean-inspired menu, is spotlighting a dozen great ways to sizzle up and slim down with 12 Create Your Own meals that are each under 400 calories.

You just follow a simple four-step process to create your own TropiChop dish: First, decide whether you want grilled chicken, slow roasted pork or a vegetarian meal. Then order a base from among yellow rice with vegetables, white rice, brown rice, romaine lettuce or a combination of lettuce and rice. Then you can order from a variety of toppings, including beans, tomatoes, corn, peppers and onions. Finally, pile on your choice of salsas or sauces from the fresh salsa bar. The secret to the sizzle is the Create Your Own freedom that Pollo Tropical customers enjoy.

Each of the company’s more than 100 restaurants worldwide is known for fresh, never frozen, open-flame grilled chicken, marinated in a proprietary blend of tropical fruit juices and spices, as well as authentic “made from scratch” side dishes.

For menu items, nutritional information and facts on franchising, visitwww.pollotropical.com.

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Chocolate Change-Up

(NAPSI)—Trendy TV celebrity chefs fearlessly combine ingredients and flavors to create exciting new dishes. Now, here’s a sweet idea from the No. 1 rice pudding manufacturer in North America, which has played “matchmaker” and created an unforgettable dessert combining two of the country’s most popular and classic tastes—creamy rice pudding and rich chocolate. The delicious result is Chocolate Rice Pudding, a taste sensation that can turn any dinner into a special occasion.

This winning combination gives you the best of both worlds: rice pudding, the timeless dessert heralded throughout the U.S., now united with chocolate,America’s favorite flavor. In fact, when it comes to chocolate in the U.S., Americans individually consume, on average, over 12 pounds of the sweet stuff each year.

Besides being a good source of calcium and made with natural ingredients,Kozy Shack Chocolate Rice Pudding is gluten free, low in sodium and does not contain artificial preservatives, colors or flavors.

You can find Chocolate Rice Pudding in ready-to-serve containers in the refrigerated dairy section of the supermarket.

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