Time-saving Tips To Make Get-togethers More Fun
(NAPSI)—Whether you’re throwing a game day party or hosting a family gathering, feeding a crowd can be simpler than you may realize. To help you save time and trouble, chef Jennifer Manning, Culinary Expert with the Kraft Kitchens, offers these easy tips and advice:
“The key to saving time when hosting a get-together is organizing your menu and creating a timeline of your preparation steps,” says Manning. “Selecting recipes that can be prepared ahead of time is a huge time-saver for you and will allow you to relax and spend more time with your guests.”
Entertaining Made Easy
• Do the Math: Make sure you have enough food to feed everyone. A good rule of thumb is three to four different kinds of appetizers for a party of 15. Plan to offer at least one to 1½ servings of each appetizer to each guest.
• Use a Slow Cooker: This dish can double as a serving and cooking device. Try Slow-Cooker Hearty Chili with ground beef, beans and cheese for a tasty and hearty winning dish. Best part? Use the leftovers as a topper for nachos to save time in the kitchen the next day.
• Serve a Custom-Created Beverage: A pitcher of your favorite beverage creation will free you up from bartending duties.
• Make-Ahead Spreads: Hot spreads and creamy dips can be assembled, covered and refrigerated a day in advance. Bake them just before guests arrive so they’re hot out of the oven at party time.
• Preprep: Buy precut veggies to lessen your chopping time. Celery, cauliflower, peppers and baby carrots can all be bought the day before and simply laid out on a tray for easy dipping.
• Save the Mess: Let sticky chicken wings fly off to Buffalo and instead enjoy a tangy, no-mess Buffalo Chicken Dip featuring PHILADELPHIA Cream Cheese with a side of crackers or crudités. Much easier to make—and to clean up.
You can find many more great tips and recipe suggestions for entertaining at www.CreamCheese.com.
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Canola: A Unique Plant With Healthy Oil
(NAPSI)—Canola oil is widely regarded as heart healthy and versatile by dietitians and chefs, but many consumers may not understand why—or know what canola is in the first place.
“Canola is often confused with rapeseed, but the two crops and their oils are distinctly different both compositionally and nutritionally,” explains Minnesota canola grower Rob Rynning.
Canola oil comes from the crushed seeds of the canola plant, which is a member of the Brassica family that includes broccoli, cabbage and cauliflower. It was developed in Canada through traditional plant breeding to remove two undesirable components (erucic acid and glucosinolates) found in rapeseed. To acknowledge these differences, the new plant earned a new name, canola—a contraction of “Canadian” and “ola,” meaning “oil.”
Rapeseed, although still grown in limited quantities in North America, is confined to production under contract for specific industrial uses, Rynning notes.
The oil extracted from canola plants is also one of the most healthful in the world. Doctors and nutrition experts laud canola oil for both what it does contain and what it doesn’t. Of all common cooking oils, canola has the most plant-based omega-3 fat (11 percent) and the least saturated fat (7 percent)--half that of olive oil (15 percent).
“Since heart disease is the leading cause of death in the United States, it’s critical to lower intake of saturated fat and to consume a moderate amount of healthy fats instead,” says Dr. Suzanne Steinbaum, cardiologist and director of the women’s heart disease center at New York’s Lenox Hill Hospital. “Canola oil is simply a smart choice as an everyday cooking oil.”
In fact, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration authorized a qualified health claim on canola oil’s ability to reduce the risk of heart disease when used in place of saturated fat. Research has shown that the oil’s high unsaturated fat content (93 percent) helps lower “bad” LDL cholesterol, thereby reducing the risk of cardiovascular disease. Unsaturated fats are made up of mono- and polyunsaturated fats, including omega-3 and omega-6.
“The types of omega-3 and -6 fats that are found in canola oil can be considered ‘essential’ in the diet because the body can’t make them on its own,” notes Roberta Duyff, M.S., R.D.N., author of “American Dietetic Association Complete Food & Nutrition Guide.” “Canola oil is higher in omega-3 fat than other common cooking oils so it’s an easy way to get some of this often underconsumed nutrient in the diet.”
Moreover, chefs consider canola oil a kitchen essential, too. Its neutral flavor, light texture and high heat tolerance (a smoke point of 468° F) make it a match for almost any culinary application.
“I love cooking with canola oil because it’s incredibly versatile,” agrees Nancy Hughes, a professional recipe developer and cookbook author. “I use it for sautéing, searing, roasting, baking, stir-frying, vinaigrettes-you name it. The fact that it’s healthy to boot makes my decision in the kitchen even easier.”
Note to Editors: This is an updated copy to release 83793 posted on April 7, 2014.
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Delicious Dishes For Those With (Or Without) Diabetes
(NAPSI)—Good news for the nearly 26 million Americans who have diabetes! The American Diabetes Association has published three new cookbooks that can make creating great meals easy and fun. Better news for everyone is that even if you do not have diabetes, these recipes are a delicious way to enjoy healthy eating.
1. Diabetes & Heart Healthy Cookbook: More Than 160 Delicious Recipes for Everything From Snacks to Desserts, Second Edition, from the American Diabetes Association and the American Heart Association: Foods healthful for people with diabetes are also good for those with heart-health issues. This expanded cookbook offers new recipes, new twists on old classics and updated meal-planning advice. Each recipe has full nutritional information and exchanges and can help you eat and feel better. So can this:
• Enjoy foods from all the food groups. Include fiber-rich, whole-grain foods; legumes, nuts, seeds; vegetables, fruits, lean meats, skinless poultry and fish rich in omega-3 fatty acids.
• Aim for at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity or 75 minutes of vigorous-intensity aerobic physical activity a week.
• Limit daily intake of cholesterol to less than 300 milligrams.
• Keep intake of sodium to less than 2,300 mg per day.
• Limit alcohol consumption to one drink a day for women, two drinks a day for men.
2. The Diabetes Fast-Fix Slow-Cooker Cookbook: Fresh Twists on Family Favorites: Slow-cooker meals are inexpensive, healthful and generally hassle-free. Nancy S. Hughes’ new book brightens familiar favorites with fresh, seasonal ingredients and ways to dramatically improve flavor and texture. Chapters include appetizers, snacks, beverages, sandwiches, soups and chilis, stews, ragouts, meatless entrées, sides and desserts.
Each of the 150 recipes meets the American Diabetes Association’s nutritional guidelines and features complete nutrition information and food choices or exchanges.
3. Simply Smoothies: Fresh, Fast & Diabetes-Friendly: Linda Gassenheimer shares a terrific solution to the need for meals on the go that are not laden with fats, calories and sugar—smoothies.
She offers 60 easy and delicious meals and snacks to curb cravings and keep you satisfied. Each recipe has complete nutritional information and diabetic choices and exchanges.
These and other American Diabetes Association books are available on ShopDiabetes.org, by calling (800) 232-6733, and wherever books are sold. For further facts and tips in English and Spanish, call the American Diabetes Association at (800) 342-2383 or you can visit www.diabetes.org.
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Enter The Bigger And Better Eggland’s Best “Your Best Recipe” Contest For A Chance To Win $10,000
(NAPSI)—If your creative juices start to flow when you enter a kitchen or if you have a crowd-pleasing egg recipe hidden up your sleeve, then you might have what it takes to win the 2014 Eggland’s Best “Your Best Recipe” Contest!
Egg enthusiasts have until July 31, 2014 to visit the Eggland’s Best website to submit their most original and mouthwatering recipes into one of four categories: Breakfast, Appetizer, Main Course, and Dessert.
Recipes must include at least two whole Eggland’s Best eggs and will be judged against criteria including creativity, taste and visual appeal. Among this year’s judges is Donna Pochoday-Stelmach, the winner of the first-ever Eggland’s Best “Your Best Recipe” Contest.
“I’m honored to be part of this year’s competition as a judge,” said Donna Pochoday-Stelmach, 2012 Grand Prize Winner and 2014 judge of the Eggland’s Best “Your Best Recipe” Contest. “Creating new recipes and elevating classic recipes, is one of my passionate hobbies. The one ingredient that remains consistent in my recipes is Eggland’s Best eggs, since they are fresher and nutritionally superior, compared to ordinary eggs.”
Eggland’s Best will be awarding the best recipe in each category $1,000. One of these four recipes will also receive the $10,000 Grand Prize!
This year, Eggland’s Best is introducing “Fan Favorite” and “Kid-friendly” awards where two additional recipes will have the chance to win a $1,000 cash prize.
Visit www.egglandsbest.com/yourbestrecipe to submit your recipes and learn more about the official contest rules.
To view recipes for inspiration, including Donna’s winning Peach-Blueberry Egg Bread Bake, visit www.egglandsbest.com.
Peach-Blueberry Egg Bread Bake
5 cups egg bread chopped into 1 inch pieces
5−6 peaches, skinned and sliced into small slices
2 cups blueberries
3 Eggland’s Best eggs
¼ cup pure maple syrup
? cup brown sugar
2 cups milk
4 ounces butter, unsalted, melted
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 teaspoon cinnamon
2 teaspoons granulated sugar
1. Spray a deep pie baking dish with cooking spray; set aside.
2. Place half of the egg bread in baking dish.
3. Add 2 cups of peaches and ¾ cup of blueberries over the egg bread; cover with remaining half of egg bread.
4. In a medium bowl, beat eggs; add maple syrup and brown sugar gradually until well blended; add in milk, butter, then vanilla and cinnamon, and whisk until blended.
5. Pour liquid ingredients over the bread cubes. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for one hour.
6. Preheat oven to 350°, remove dish from refrigerator and uncover. Spread the remaining peaches and blueberries over the top of the egg bread. Sprinkle granulated sugar over the dish, and bake for one hour until it has puffed up and is lightly brown.
7. Remove from oven and cool 10 minutes
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Express Yourself From Your Refrigerator Shelf
(NAPSI)—From the clothes you wear to a Facebook profile picture, self-expression has many different forms, but have you ever thought about what the inside of your refrigerator says about you? From meat-loving maniac to vegan vixen, everyone has a personality reflected in the contents of his or her refrigerator, and determining that personality can be both humorous and telling.
Whirlpool knows that every individual and every family is different on the inside and so are their refrigerators—from takeout junkie to home gourmet, meat lover to green goddess. It is also the reason the brand launched its new 4-Door French-Door Refrigerator that is flexible enough to handle every family’s needs and personalities.
To celebrate and recognize the differences that make us unique but unite us at the same time, Whirlpool is also launching a #fridgie social media campaign to prove that no two families or consumers are the same. Joining the #fridgie fun is notable chef Francis Hogan of Bluestem Brasserie, who was guest chef at the Whirlpool-sponsored House Beautiful Kitchen of the Year at the San Francisco Decorator Showcase, cooking up his signature Lamb Meatballs with Currants and Pine Nuts.
Lamb Meatballs with Currants and Pine Nuts
1 lb. ground lamb
4 oz. breadcrumbs
4 oz. milk
2 Tbsp. kosher salt
1 tsp. black pepper
2 oz. honey
3 oz. pine nuts, toasted
2 oz. dried black currants
1 tsp. chopped garlic
Soak breadcrumbs with milk.
Combine the soaked breadcrumbs with the remaining ingredients and mix well. Allow the mixture to rest 30 minutes.
Form into desired shape and grill on all sides until cooked but still a bit pink inside. Serve immediately.
To see other people’s #fridgies, to post yours or learn more, visit the Whirlpool Facebook page: www.facebook.com/whirlpoolusa. For further facts on the spacious new 4-Door French Door Refrigerator, go to www.whirlpool.com/4-door-french-door-refrigerator/.
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Take This Quiz To Check Your Meat Nutrition IQ
(NAPSI)—Many are surprised when they learn that they underestimate the nutritional value of meat and poultry in a balanced diet.
Recent polling shows many consumers aren’t aware of the important nutritional benefits that meat and poultry can offer when included in a balanced diet. That’s the word from the experts at the American Meat Institute Foundation.
Here is a short quiz that can give you an idea how your meat nutrition IQ stacks up.
Question 1: Which food group is the only group consumed in the proper amount among Americans?
Only one in three consumers recognized that the protein category is the only food category consumed at the proper levels, according to federal data. The U.S. Dietary Guidelines recommend two to three three-ounce servings of protein. A three-ounce serving of meat is approximately the size of a deck of cards. American men eat 6.9 ounces of meat, poultry and seafood per day and women, on average, eat 4.4 ounces.
By contrast, fruits, vegetables and whole grains are underconsumed, while discretionary sugars and fats are overconsumed by Americans. This means that when it comes to meat and poultry, most consumers should continue consuming the amount of meat and poultry they currently enjoy but pair meat and poultry with more vegetables and enjoy fruit for desserts, sides or snacks. Add a whole grain bun to a burger and sip on an unsweetened beverage.
Question 2: From which food does the body absorb the most iron?
While the No. 1 answer for many consumers was spinach, kale and leafy greens, the correct answer is meat, poultry and fish. While greens such as spinach are high in iron, greens contain a type called “non-heme iron” that is not absorbed by the body as readily as heme iron, which is found in meat, poultry and fish.
Consumers may also not realize that when meat and vegetables are consumed together, the heme iron in meat actually helps the body absorb the non-heme in vegetables more readily.
Iron deficiency is a serious matter. According to the American Academy of Family Physicians, iron deficiency anemia is the most common nutritional deficiency worldwide. It can reduce the ability of adults to work at capacity, increase fatigue, and impact motor and mental development in children and adolescents. It affects 2 percent of all females 12 to 69.
Question 3: What is the only natural source of vitamin B12, which keeps the body’s nervous system healthy?
If you said cruciferous vegetables such as broccoli and cauliflower, you are in good—but mistaken—company with 20 percent of consumers.
Only 12 percent correctly answered “animal products.” Animal products are, in fact, the only natural source of the important nutrient B12. Nutritionists recommend that adult men and women consume 2.4 micrograms of B12 per day. While some foods, such as cereals, are fortified with B12, animal products are rich in B12 naturally.
For a complete, dietitian-authored brochure about the role that meat and poultry can play in your balanced diet, send a self-addressed, 4.5” x 6” envelope with 69 cents postage to American Meat Institute/Nutrition Brochure, 1150 Connecticut Ave., NW, Suite 1200, Washington, DC 20036. You may also download the brochure on the home page of www.meatami.com.
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Fun, Fresh, Healthy Salad
(NAPSI)—A big help in putting your family meals, parties and cookouts on the fast track to fun, easy entertaining can be couscous, a tiny pasta that cooks in just five minutes.
Original, whole wheat and tri-color couscous is available from RiceSelect. This versatile ingredient can be excellent in side dishes, entrées and salads such as this:
Confetti Couscous Salad
Yield: 4 servings
1 cup water
1 cup RiceSelect Couscous
½ cup celery, chopped
½ cup carrots, shredded
¼ cup green onions, finely sliced
½ cup dried cranberries
¼ cup sliced almonds
¼ cup balsamic vinaigrette (or favorite salad dressing)
In saucepan, bring water to a boil. Stir in couscous; cover and remove from the heat. Let stand for 5 minutes. Fluff with a fork; cool. When couscous has cooled, combine with all remaining ingredients except for almonds. Mix well; chill until ready to serve. Add almonds just before serving.
For further facts, tips and recipes, go to www.riceselect.com or call (800) 993-7423.
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The Best Recipe For A Great Grilling Season Is “Safety First”
(NAPSI)—Grilling is one of America’s favorite pastimes and a popular summer activity in backyards across the country. More than 60 percent of American households will cook kabobs, fresh vegetables, and of course meat on propane grills this summer, according to the Propane Education & Research Council (PERC). PERC is an energy check-off program dedicated to safety and training for the propane industry.
“Summer is a time to enjoy the outdoors with family and friends,” says PERC President and CEO Roy Willis. “And with the onset of warm weather, it’s also a good time to review outdoor safety tips, including safe grilling techniques.”
Willis offers families some simple reminders for preparing and maintaining safe cooking conditions while using propane grills.
Before using the grill, he recommends reviewing and following all grill manufacturers’ instructions.
“If you buy a propane-powered grill and assemble it yourself, follow the manufacturer’s instructions to the letter,” Willis says. “Better yet, have the grill assembled before you bring it home. If you’re planning a more elaborate outdoor kitchen, be sure to get in touch with your nearest propane professional for tips on products and access to qualified installers.”
Next, the location of the grill is an important consideration. PERC reminds families that the only safe location for any grill—including propane cooking units—is outside in a well-ventilated area and a safe distance from the home.
“Grills should never be placed in a confined area,” Willis says. “Make sure your grill is at least five feet from your house on a level surface away from siding, outdoor furniture or anything else that could be a fire hazard. It’s something that you don’t always think about when you’re grilling, but it’s a basic safety measure that’s easy to implement.”
Whether the grill is equipped with an automatic ignition or needs to be lit manually, the manufacturer’s instructions should be followed precisely.
“Always use caution when lighting the grill and never stray from the grill manufacturer’s instructions,” says Willis. “If the flames go out for any reason, turn the grill and gas off and wait 15 minutes before relighting it.”
PERC also encourages families to keep the top open when lighting the grill. This allows for ventilation and ensures that propane vapors are not being released into the confined grilling area.
Finally, proper storage of propane cylinders is an essential safety step when using propane-powered grills.
“Be sure to store propane cylinders upright and outdoors, and keep cleaning fluids, oil-soaked rags, gasoline or other flammable material away from cooking areas and gas appliances,” Willis says. “Removing combustible materials from any heat source is always a good idea.”
PERC reminds families that propane is a safe fuel when handled properly, and encourages grillers to learn about additional resources on www.usepropane.com.
“Grilling is an enjoyable way to prepare food and celebrate warm weather,” Willis says. “Enjoying warm weather throughout the summer can be easy with safe, efficient propane grills.”
Growing up in Cajun country in southern Louisiana, Willis learned to appreciate good food. In order to share his love of propane grilling, Willis shares one of his favorite grilling recipes.
“On the bayous, seafood was a part of our culture, so putting a Louisiana twist on grilling comes naturally for me,” Willis explains. “But enough about me; grilling is the main topic here, and of course propane is the main ingredient. So let’s get cooking.”
Grilled New Orleans−Style Shrimp
1½ lb large shrimp
2 tbsp olive oil
3 medium garlic cloves, minced
6 tbsp unsalted butter
2 tsp chili powder
2 tsp black pepper
4 tsp Worcestershire sauce
1 tbsp fresh lemon juice
¾ tsp salt
Toss shrimp with oil, garlic and ½ teaspoon salt and marinate at cool room temperature for 15 minutes.
While shrimp marinate, prepare grill for cooking. If using a propane grill, light the grill according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Remember to keep the top open. Once the grill is lit, the lid can be closed in order to preheat burners. Preheat the grill for 10 minutes, and then reduce heat to moderately high.
Heat butter, chili powder, pepper, Worcestershire sauce and remaining ¼ teaspoon salt in saucepan over moderately low heat, stirring, until butter is melted. Remove from heat and stir in lemon juice.
Thread shrimp onto a skewer and grill, turning over once, until just cooked through, 3 to 4 minutes total. Push shrimp off skewers into a bowl, then pour butter mixture over them and toss to combine well.
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