Crab Mini Stack Sara’s Make-Ahead Gravy Classic Poached Pears Greek Yogurt Dips Backyard Grilling Lunch Meat Lunch For School Mozzarella Bites

Ready-To-Serve Seafood Sure To Please A Crowd

(NAPSI)—Here’s news to make you merry: Holiday entertaining does not require complicated recipes. Dressing up a ready-to-serve item such as frozen crab cakes can create sumptuous appetizers that are sure to please.

Phillips Seafood offers a few quick-fix suggestions:

Crab Mini Stack
Serves 8


  • 8 each Phillips Maryland Style Crab Cake Minis

  • 4 oz. dill Havarti cheese, cut into 8 cubes

  • 8 grape tomatoes

  • 2 oz. peeled seedless cucumber, cut into 8 cubes

  • ¼ c. ranch dressing

  • 8 “sandwich” (long) toothpicks

Bake or pan sauté crab cake minis according to package directions. Skewer cheese, crab cake, cucumber, then tomatoes on toothpicks.


Mini Crab Cups with Peach Salsa & Honey-Lime Drizzle
Serves 8


  • 8 each Phillips Maryland Style Crab Cake Minis

  • Mini phyllo cups

  • 2 oz. peeled seedless cucumber, sliced

  • ¼ c. peach salsa, such as Newman’s Own

Honey-Lime Drizzle:


  • 1 tsp. lime juice

  • ½ tsp. honey

  • 1 Tbsp. sour cream

  • 2 Tbsp. mayonnaise

Cook crab cake minis according to package directions. In small bowl, whisk all honey-lime drizzle ingredients together. Place cucumber in phyllo cups and top with salsa and then crab cake. Drizzle with honey-lime.

Crab Mini Crostini with Artichoke Pesto
Serves 8


  • 8 each Phillips Crab Cake Minis, thawed

  • 8 slices French bread, ½” thick

  • 2 Tbsp. olive oil

Artichoke Pesto:


  • ½ c. canned artichoke hearts, chopped

  • ⅓ c. shredded mozzarella or “Italian blend” cheese

  • 2 Tbsp. prepared basil pesto

  • 1 Tbsp. sundried tomatoes, packed in oil, minced

Preheat oven to 375° F. In small bowl, mix artichoke hearts, cheese, pesto and tomatoes. Spread about 1 Tbsp. of artichoke pesto on each slice of bread. Top with a crab cake mini and brush with olive oil. Bake approximately 12 minutes or until center reaches 165° F, bread is toasted and filling is hot.

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Tips For A Stress-Free Thanksgiving

(NAPSI)—“Thanksgiving is the biggest food holiday of the year, but preparing the feast doesn’t have to be stressful if you follow a few simple tips,” says Sara Moulton, chef, cookbook author and TV host of “Sara’s Weeknight Meals” on PBS.

“First, decide what kind and what size of turkey you’re going to buy,” says Moulton. She recommends buying 1 pound of bird per person, to allow for leftovers. “If you’re buying a frozen bird, note when to start defrosting it in the fridge—you’ll need 24 hours for every 4 to 5 pounds,” she says.

“Prepare the gravy a day ahead, then ‘marry’ it to the drippings in roasting pan while the turkey is resting. Other essential dishes to prepare ahead are stuffing, cranberry sauce and mashed potatoes. Cook and rice the potatoes, then refrigerate. On Thanksgiving, “nuke” them and add softened butter and warm milk. Another trick to make preparation go more smoothly is to create a timetable listing everything you are going to prepare and when and post it on the fridge,” says Moulton.

Sara’s Make-Ahead Gravy
serves 8

Make about ½−¾ cup gravy per person. You’ll need that much gravy to pour over everything and have leftovers. For each cup of gravy, use 1 cup broth, 2 tablespoons butter and 2 tablespoons flour.


  • 8 Tbsp. (1 stick) unsalted butter

  • ½ cup all-purpose flour

  • 4 cups chicken or turkey broth, heated

  • ½ cup dry red or white wine reserved liquid from turkey roasting drippings reserved liquid from turkey resting platter


In medium saucepan over moderate low heat, melt butter. Whisk in flour and cook, whisking, for 5 minutes. Add broth in a stream, whisking to boil. Simmer for 5 minutes. Let gravy cool, transfer to a bowl and cover and chill overnight. Note: The gravy will be thick but you’ll be adding liquid and thinning it before serving.

On Thanksgiving Day, platter your cooked turkey and cover it loosely with foil, pour drippings into a fat separator and discard fat. Place bird roasting pan on two burners of the stovetop and use medium heat. Add wine and reserved drippings, scraping up the brown bits on bottom of pan. Whisk in premade gravy and any juices from resting turkey; salt and pepper to taste, cooking until hot. Serve with bird.

Carving the bird: “My last tip to avoid stress: Carve the bird in the kitchen, not at the table and make sure you have a very sharp knife or knives.”

Chef’sChoice® Carving Tips

According to Chef’sChoice®, knife sharpener manufacturers, “sharp knives are not only safer, they will help you smoothly cut thin, even slices without shredding the meat.

The Chef’sChoice® M130 makes sharpening easy. It professionallysharpens, steels and strops all brands and types of knives. Precision guides eliminate guesswork for sharp, durable edges. (Visit www.chefschoice.comor call 800-342-3255.)

After the turkey is cooked (meat thermometer should read 180° when inserted in the thickest part of bird), cool for 20 minutes. Cooling makes meat firmer and easier to slice. Remove and set aside the legs and last joint of each wing. Make a long, deep (to the bone), horizontal “base cut” into the breast just above wing.

Slice down vertically through breast until you meet the original base cut. This will release perfect, even slices.

Following these preparation and carving tips can help make your Thanksgiving a meal to remember.

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Fresh Pear Desserts

(NAPSI)—Fresh seasonal fruit can be quickly and easily transformed into luscious desserts. And since pears are in season nearly year-round, their naturally sweet flavor and juicy texture can’t help but inspire dazzling desserts.

Try pears in buttery turnovers, spiced crisps, tarts and even creamy cheesecakes. Or simply bake, roast, sauté or grill them and serve with ice cream, vanilla yogurt or whipped topping.

Pair Them With Plenty

Pears complement a variety of other foods, including fruits such as cranberries and strawberries, toasted nuts such as almonds and walnuts, and warming spices like ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg and cardamom.

A versatile fruit, pears are just as delicious eaten fresh out of hand as they are cooked. Simple poached pears make a particularly appealing dessert for any meal.

Pears are often described as “jewel-like” in both their shape and rich color when poached in red wine or juice. They’re impressive when served but simple to make, as this recipe shows:

Classic Poached Pears
Serves 6


  • 1¼ cups packed brown sugar

  • 2½ cups dry red wine or nonalcoholic cider

  • 1½ cups water

  • 3 whole cloves

  • 1 stick cinnamon

  • 6 ripe USA Pears, such as Anjou, Bosc or Concorde, peeled and cored


Dissolve sugar into wine and water. Add cloves and cinnamon stick. Pears may be poached whole or cut in half and poached. Add pears to wine mixture and heat until just simmering. Lower heat and poach gently for 20 to 25 minutes. Remove from heat and allow to stand in poaching liquid overnight. Gently remove them from the poaching liquid and drain briefly on paper towels. Serve with crème anglaise, whipped cream or a reduction of the poaching liquid. To reduce poaching liquid, boil until liquid is reduced by 2/3 or becomes a lightsyrup.

Poached pears can also be combined with other desserts, such as in a yogurt parfait or alongside cake or gingerbread. The poaching liquid can also be flavored with vanilla beans, spices, fresh ginger, wine or just about anything else you like.

Learn More

For pear recipes and more, visit and follow USA Pears on Facebook and Twitter.

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Fresh To The Table

(NAPSI)—Casual meals offer a great excuse to broaden your food horizons—using fresh, healthy guacamole, salsa and yogurt-based veggie dips.

  • Serve up cut veggies, tortilla chips or a plate of homemade nachos with four salsa flavors: Classic, Southwestern Style, Homestyle, and Chunky Pico de Gallo.

  • Veggies are also delicious with Greek Yogurt Veggie Dips, which combine the delicious creaminess of small-batch Greek yogurt with fresh vegetables, herbs and spices. Roasted Garlic, Spinach & Artichoke, Sun Dried Tomato, and Onion & Fresh Herbs dips by Sabra provide a great-tasting alternative to fattening sour cream−based dips.

  • Natural Guacamole made fresh from Mexican-grown Hass avocados is nutritious, flavorful, all-natural, gluten-free and kosher. Use it to sub for mayonnaise or as a dip.

  • Yummy hummus adds even more flavor. Sabra’s Basil & Pesto Hummus blends fresh pesto with creamy classic hummus. Buffalo Style Hummus delivers a worldly take on an American favorite.

For more information, visit

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Heat Up Your Backyard Grilling Skills

(NAPSI)—A few simple tips can help you brush up on your grilling skills. Mike Garcia, executive chef at the Pollo Tropical chain of 121 chicken-on-the-grill restaurants, says grill cleanliness is next to grill deliciousness. That’s why it’s important to start with a clean and clutter-free grill.

How you position your meats, fish or vegetables is equally important. “Try to position your food items in their own unique section of the grill, particularly if you can localize them to one of the burners, to control temperature and prevent flare-ups,” said Garcia.

Apply cooking oil or nonstick cooking spray on the grill before it is heated to prevent food from sticking. Use tongs to turn the meat instead of a barbecue fork to prevent natural juices from escaping.

When barbecuing meat, it’s best to turn it just once. Turning it more often slows down the cooking and may cause the meat to become dry.

Finally, wash all cooking and serving utensils that may have come in contact with raw meat.

For more information, visit The chain is known for its marinated and Caribbean-style food items.

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Five Things You May Not Know About Lunch Meat

(NAPSI)--Do parents really know what they are feeding their kids? Land O’Frost, the nation’s largest family-owned packaged lunch meat brand, is demystifying lunch meat and offering consumers “Did You Know?” facts about their product.

As a company whose priority is food safety, Land O’Frost is a leader in keeping lunch meat tasty, fresh and safe both on and off the shelves. In fact, Land O’Frost has been awarded numerous industry recognitions for food safety technologies, including American Meat Institute safety awards and Safe Quality Food Certification on all three of the company’s facilities.

“Every school season brings the return of thousands of sandwiches being made, packaged and eaten every day by families across the country,” said Karen Malsom, director of innovation at Land O’Frost. “Food safety and making quality products have always been top priorities for Land O’Frost, which is why it is our goal to help consumers better understand lunch meat by clearing up some common misconceptions.”

Myths And Facts

Malsom debunks the following myths about a product that thousands of people in the U.S. eat every day:

  1. Deli meat is fresher than prepackaged lunch meat. FALSE: When lunch meat is packaged in Zip-Pak pouches, as is Land O’Frost lunch meat, the freshness is sealed in. This keeps prepackaged lunch meat fresher, longer compared to deli meat.

  2. Nitrites in lunch meat are bad for you. FALSE: Nitrite occurs naturally in many plants and foods and is produced by the human body. Nitrites that are used in processing lunch meat prevent the growth of bacteria that produce food poisons. Nitrites are the curing agent used during processing and impart a preservative effect in meat products.

  3. Eating meat daily is not healthy. FALSE: The U.S. Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommend eating 5 to 7 ounces of meat per day as part of a healthy, balanced diet.

  4. Processed lunch meat is less sanitary than raw produce and other meat products. FALSE: Lunch meats have been cooked and packaged in a sanitary manner under controlled conditions, unlike raw products such as sprouts, lettuce, spinach and raw hamburger meat.

  5. Lunch meat only stays fresh for a few days. FALSE: Packaged lunch meat kept at 35 degrees Fahrenheit, the average temperature of a refrigerator, will last up to its sell-by date unopened or seven days after opening.

More Fun Facts

In addition, here are five “Did You Know?” facts related to lunch meat:

  • Lunch meat was brought to the U.S. in the 1800s by European immigrants.

  • Sandwiches, a $121 billion market, are the most popular item eaten by Americans, according to food experts.

  • Lunch meat is a $3.4 billion industry.

  • American men, on average, eat 6.9 ounces of meat per day and women eat 4.4 ounces.

  • Total meat and poultry production in 2010 reached more than 92.1 billion pounds.

Land O’Frost manufactures sliced packaged luncheon meats (beef, chicken, turkey and ham) and is the largest family-owned brand of packaged deli meat in the U.S. Some of the leading products marketed by Land O’Frost include: Land O’Frost Premium One Pound, the top-selling deli pouch in the U.S.; Land O’Frost Deli-Shaved and its ultrapremium line Land O’Frost Bistro Favorites. Information on several additional items can be found on its website. The Land O’Frost brand can be found in the supermarkets and mass merchandisers that account for nearly 90 percent of the retail sales in the country, as well as Mexico, Puerto Rico and other U.S. territories. The company operates three facilities in Lansing, Ill., Madisonville, Ky. andSearcy, Ark.

Learn More

You can get great recipes, nutritional information and more

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Pack A Healthier Lunch For School

(NAPSI)—With children back at school, it’s time to think about packing a healthy, nutritious lunchbox. Following the USDA’s new “MyPlate” guide to healthier eating, ideally, half of the lunchbox should be fruits and vegetables, with the other half split between protein and whole grains.

Here are some tips to help pack a nutrient-dense lunchbox from culinary and nutrition experts at Whole Foods Market, the natural and organic grocer that has launched its Health Starts Here™ program to help families find healthy food choices.

  • Use fresh-sliced or dried pureed fruits instead of sweetened jelly—sliced apples, bananas and strawberries offer great nutrition and taste great paired with nut butters.

  • Substitute avocado or hummus for mayo—avocado offers healthy fats naturally plus provides a creamy spread for sandwiches. Hummus provides protein.

  • Add lots of fresh veggies—they pack more nutrients per calorie. The more color, the better.

  • Use almond butter instead of peanut butter—it adds more protein with a twist to your sandwich.

  • Always use whole grain breads or tortillas—wraps are a fun change of pace, especially when packed with veggies.

  • Replace iceberg lettuce with dark, leafy greens like spinach or arugula as they pack more nutrients per bite.

  • For crunch, add a homemade trail mix with dried fruits and raw nuts—a fun snack the kids will love.

Take a look at Whole Foods Market’s “lunchbox makeovers” and snacks that fuel the body and brain.

Nutrient-Dense Lunch Ideas:

  • Instead of a PB&J sandwich, chips, cookies and chocolate milk...

  • Try a whole wheat tortilla wrap with almond or peanut butter, sliced strawberries and fruit-sweetened jelly, carrot sticks or sugar snap peas, homemade trail mix, and a bottle of water.

  • Instead of mac & cheese, cheese puffs, applesauce and soda...

  • Try hummus served with veggies and whole wheat pita, unsweetened applesauce or in-season fresh-cut fruit, and almond or soy milk.

For more information and resources on healthy eating,

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Wholesome Snacks

(NAPSI)--With busy schedules, families may face a challenge getting kids to activities on time and with enough energy to succeed.

So what’s a busy parent to do? Work wholesome snacks into their schedules.

Planning is Key. Planning snacks in advance can help eliminate impulse buys that are often poor choices.

Mini-Meal Replacement. Snacks that serve as a mini-meal can be a lifesaver. Pop something like Farm Rich Mini Quesadillas or Pizza Slices into the microwave so kids can eat them on the way to the game and they’re good to go until dinner.

Sneak In Wholesome Snacks. Instead of letting teens load up on sugary soda and potato chips, try Farm Rich Cheese Sticks or Mozzarella Bites made with real mozzarella cheese, a good source of calcium and protein.

Make Wholesome Snacking Convenient. Stock the freezer with things that are easy to heat and eat. Kids like being able to reach into the freezer to grab a snack they can heat in the microwave and be ready to eat in just minutes.

According to a University of North Carolina study, nearly 98 percent of children 2 to 18 said they snack between meals.

For more information on wholesome snacks for busy families,

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