Friday, November 28, 2008

Bringing Delicious Ingenuity To Leftovers

CC Note: Don't know about you, but I'm still stuffed from all the wonderful Thanksgiving treats on my table. Here's a variation of my own Ultimate Leftover Turkey Sandwich. In mine, I use my homemade cranberry sauce along with a healthy dose of cranberry stuffing with my turkey. An added treat is a thick slice of Havardi cheese. I find it's the perfect snack as I overdose on the college football this weekend. Of course, I will serve this sandwich in wheel form for the annual Georgia- Georgia Tech game.

(NAPSI)-When it comes to preparing festive meals, it almost seems customary for the host to prepare much more food than can be eaten at one meal so friends and family can savor the flavors for several days to come. Cold turkey and its fixings can be as delicious as when they are first served if you bring a spark of ingenuity to your leftover recipe ideas.

Why settle for an ordinary turkey sandwich when you can have a deluxe offering that combines tastes from all corners of the table? The Ultimate Leftover Turkey Sandwich starts with slices of turkey breast that are complemented with a scoop of bread stuffing and tangy cranberry sauce. This leftover classic is dressed up with hearty multigrain bread that's been spread with Kraft Mayo with Olive Oil, which has all the taste of regular mayo but only half the fat and calories.

Roasted sweet potatoes combine in beautiful color and texture with celery, walnuts and red onions in a Roasted Sweet Potato Salad. This seasonal twist on a classic potato salad is also brightened up with the great taste of Kraft Mayo with Olive Oil that delightfully blends all of the recipe's flavors, while delivering only half the fat and calories of traditional mayonnaise.

For more recipes and tips on healthy living, visit

The Ultimate Leftover Turkey Sandwich

Prep: 10 min.

Total: 10 min.

2 slices multigrain bread

1 Tbsp. KRAFT Mayo with Olive Oil Reduced Fat Mayonnaise

3 oz. oven-roasted turkey breast, sliced

½ cup prepared STOVE TOP Stuffing Mix for Turkey

2 Tbsp. cranberry sauce

Spread bread with Mayo; fill with remaining ingredients.

Makes 1 serving.

Serving Suggestion:

Serve with a mixed green salad tossed with your favorite KRAFT Dressing.

Creative Leftovers:

Substitute 1 leftover dinner roll, cut in half, for the 2 bread slices.

Roasted Sweet Potato Salad

Prep: 40 min.

plus cooling

1 lb. sweet potatoes (about 3), peeled, cubed

⅓ cup KRAFT Zesty Italian Dressing, divided

3 Tbsp. KRAFT Mayo with Olive Oil Reduced Fat Mayonnaise

2 stalks celery, chopped

½ cup PLANTERS Walnut Pieces, toasted

¼ cup chopped red onions

Heat oven to 400° F. Toss potatoes with 3 Tbsp. Italian dressing; spread into shallow foil-lined baking pan.

Bake 25 to 30 min. or until potatoes are tender, stirring after 15 min. Cool completely.

Mix Mayo and remaining Italian dressing in large bowl. Add potatoes, celery, nuts and onions; toss lightly.

Makes 6 servings, about ½ cup each.


Substitute green onions for the red onions.

Make Ahead:

Salad can be made ahead of time. Refrigerate until ready to serve.

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Thursday, November 27, 2008

Vote for the Dessert You Want to See for the Holidays

The aroma of freshly baked pumpkin pie fills the air today. Now that the dessert is taken care of, do you need help with the turkey?

There are many sites available to assist you with those last minute questions about how to cook a turkey. Pick one and enjoy the reading.

Just remember to make sure the bird is cooked thoroughly and that it has a chance to rest after it comes out of the oven.

Happy Thanksgiving from the staff and friends of the Fayette Front Page. Guess it's time to dig into the turkey, dressing and all the trimmings. Save room for the dessert.

Do you want a recipe for some out of this world bread pudding or a chocolate mock pecan pie? Send us an email with your vote. We've sampled both of these recipes and they are both worthy of preparing over the holidays.

Send your vote to:

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Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Kids Compete To Become "Baker Of The Year"

(NAPSI)-A popular recipe contest adds a new ingredient to the mix by inviting kids and their baking "sous chef" parents (grandparents, aunts or uncles) to take part.

The contest centers on recipes that can be made in Hasbro's Easy-Bake Oven, which has given many kids their first baking experience. The 2009 "Baker of the Year" contest celebrates 45 years of making sweet memories in the classic side-loading lightbulb oven.

To enter the contest, children ages 8 through 12, along with their "sous chef," are invited to log on to and submit their favorite original recipes, using one or more Easy-Bake mixes. In addition to submitting a copy of their recipe, entrants must upload a photo that features their creation, themselves and their "sous chef."

Through February 2009, one child-"sous chef" pair will be chosen each month as a finalist, for a total of seven finalists. In May, the seven pairs of finalists will be flown to Walt Disney World Resort in Orlando, Fla., where they will compete for the winning title.

Each finalist will be assisted in the kitchen throughout the competition by his or her "sous chef." Contest entries will be judged based on the criteria of creative use of ingredients, presentation, ease of preparation and taste.

The grand prize-winning pair will receive a culinary-inspired trip for four to San Francisco, where the group will visit local food-related sites and attractions. The six runners-up will each receive a $500 gift card and a one-year supply of Easy-Bake mixes. All finalists will have their recipe and photo of their creation appear on the Web site.

To honor its birthday, the oven will "cook up" a new look by bringing back its original aqua color.

For more details on how you can enter the contest, visit

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Monday, November 24, 2008

KFC Searches for America's Most Original Holiday Traditions

/PRNewswire/ -- Whether hanging homemade ornaments on the tree, dressing the family in matching holiday sweaters or decorating the yard in festive colors, it's original family traditions that make the holidays merry.

This holiday season, in the spirit of KFC's new Two Originals Meal, including Original Recipe(R) chicken and new Original Recipe Strips, KFC is asking families across the country to showcase their Original Holiday Traditions. The grand prize winner will receive $1,000 to help carry on their family's Original Holiday Traditions and a year's supply of KFC to enjoy the new Two Originals Meals with their family.

"At KFC we're all about families, and one of the Colonel's favorite occasions was gathering families 'round a good meal," said Javier Benito, executive vice president of marketing and food innovation. "This contest will celebrate the most original holiday family traditions and encourage families to start a few new ones with our new family meal option -- KFC's Two Originals Meal."

KFC's Two Originals Meal includes everything needed for a family meal: five pieces of Original Recipe chicken, four Original Recipe Strips, two large home-style sides and four buttermilk biscuits, for just $14.99 plus tax (at participating locations).

Beginning November 24, log on to and upload a photo or video featuring your family's Original Holiday Tradition. On December 11, KFC will select 12 semi-finalists and then, beginning December 15, allow America to vote to select the single-most Original Holiday Tradition. KFC will announce the grand prize winner December 22, awarding them with $1,000 cash and KFC for a year to enjoy the Two Originals Meal with their family. To further celebrate originality, 11 semi-finalists will each receive KFC for a month to enjoy the Two Originals Meal. For complete contest rules and additional information on KFC's Two Originals Meal visit While online, visitors can also purchase KFC gift checks, a perfect stocking-stuffer.

Holiday Tradition Continues at KFC

The Original Holiday Tradition contest follows last year's Festive Fanatics contest, where KFC went in search of America's most festively decorated holiday home. Dozens of homes were nominated in the contest, and thousands of festive fanatics from coast to coast voted online to select the winning house. The home of the Holdman family of Pleasant Grove, Utah, which featured 45,000 lights synchronized to music, was selected the winner.

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Avocados Add Pizzazz To Your Party

(NAPSI)-Planning a party? Add sparkling color and fresh flavor to the occasion with Avocado Mango Salsa. This elegant and versatile recipe is so easy to make with just a toss of a few tasty ingredients. The rich flavor and buttery texture of Mexican avocados are highlighted in this recipe with colorful chopped tomato and mango seasoned with the vivid flavors of jalapeño, onion, garlic, cilantro and lime juice.

No matter what kind of party you have in mind, Avocado Mango Salsa will fit right in. For a casual get-together, put the salsa in a bowl surrounded by tortilla chips and sliced veggies and let guests help themselves. On a party buffet, this salsa will star. Make a pretty buffet platter with Avocado Mango Salsa layered on grilled chicken, pork or salmon. Or start a formal dinner party with panache-simply spoon the salsa into stemmed glasses, add a sprig of cilantro and a few cooked shrimp, if you like.

Avocados from Mexico are grown in rich volcanic soil, with mountain rain and abundant sunshine. In this land, growers harvest high-quality fruit year-round so you can enjoy avocados from Mexico whenever you like. And you can feel good about entertaining your friends and family with avocados because they're loaded with fiber, vitamins and heart-healthy fats.

To get more information and easy recipes for special occasions and everyday meals, go to


2 ripe avocados from Mexico, peeled, pitted and diced

1 ripe mango, peeled and diced

1 cup diced tomato

¼ cup chopped cilantro

2 tablespoons chopped red onion

1 tablespoon minced jalapeño pepper

1 teaspoon minced garlic

½ teaspoon salt

1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper

1 tablespoon lime juice

1 tablespoon olive oil

In bowl, combine avocados, mango, tomato, cilantro, onion, jalapeño, garlic, salt, pepper, lime juice and olive oil; toss gently. Serve, if desired, with sliced veggies and chips, or with shrimp, grilled chicken or fish.

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Sunday, November 23, 2008

Southern-Style Holiday Spread Shortcuts

(NAPSI)-Hosting family and friends during the holiday season can mean hours--even days--of menu planning, grocery shopping and cooking. From serving dishes to clean plates, the big meal takes only a fraction of the time to eat as it did to prepare.

For tasty fixings prepared in less than half the time, substitute ready-made foods into recipes. Add these delicious and quick recipes to this year's holiday menu to save time in the kitchen and spend more time enjoying family and friends:

Southern-Style Sweet Potato Pie

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Bake Time: 50 minutes

1 15-ounce can Glory Foods® Sweet Potato Casserole

3 tablespoons butter, melted

2 large eggs

1 cup sweetened, condensed milk

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 teaspoon cornstarch

1 pie shell, raw, frozen

(9" deep dish)

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Combine butter, eggs, condensed milk and vanilla extract in mixing bowl. Blend in cornstarch and then sweet potato casserole, stirring until smooth. Pour mixture into unbaked pie shell and bake for 10 minutes. Reduce heat to 300 degrees and continue baking for 40 minutes or until a knife inserted to the center of the pie comes out clean. Cool before serving.

Southern-Style Hummus

Prep Time: 10 minutes

1 tablespoon olive oil

3 tablespoons garlic, minced

2 15-ounce cans Glory Foods® Sensibly Seasoned Black Beans

3 tablespoons cilantro, chopped

3 tablespoons lemon juice

⅛ teaspoon onion powder

⅛ teaspoon white pepper, ground

¼ teaspoon cumin, ground

Sauté the garlic and olive oil in a small nonstick pan for 3 to 5 minutes to soften and brown slightly. Combine all ingredients in a food processor, process until smooth and pour hummus in serving dish. Serve immediately with crackers, bread or vegetables or refrigerate for later use.

For more Southern-style holiday recipes and shortcuts, visit

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Saturday, November 22, 2008

Green Bean Casserole: A Tradition For More Than 50 Years

(NAPSI)-Green Bean Casserole is a time-honored holiday side dish that was created 53 years ago and is still just as popular today. Here's the dish on this iconic holiday staple:

• An estimated 30 million households serve this creamy, crunchy favorite year after year.

• The traditional Green Bean Casserole recipe calls for a combination of green beans, Campbell's® Cream of Mushroom soup and French's® French Fried Onions. Through the years, people have started adding their own special touches, making it an integral part of their families' holiday recipe repertoire. Custom touches include garlic, red pepper or hot sauce, bacon, almonds, pecans and cheese.

• Save some for the next day! Try cutting leftover turkey into bite-sized pieces and stirring into the leftover casserole for an all-in-one meal.

• Love the flavor of Green Bean Casserole but prefer a lower-fat or lower-sodium variation? Try substituting 98 percent fat-free or 25 percent less sodium cream of mushroom soup.

No matter how you choose to enjoy it, this is one side that serves up rave reviews each and every time. For more information and recipe ideas, visit

Green Bean Casserole

Prep: 10 minutes

Bake: 30 minutes

Makes 6 servings

1 can (10¾ ounces) Campbell's® Condensed Cream of Mushroom Soup (Regular, 98% Fat Free or 25% Less Sodium)

½ cup milk

1 teaspoon soy sauce

Dash ground black pepper

4 cups cooked cut green beans

1⅓ cups French's® French Fried Onions

1. Mix soup, milk, soy sauce, black pepper, beans and ⅔ cup onions in 1½-qt. casserole.

2. Bake at 350° F for 25 min. or until hot.

3. Stir. Sprinkle with remaining onions. Bake 5 min.

TIP: Use 1 bag (16 to 20 ounces) frozen green beans, 2 pkg. (9 ounces each) frozen green beans, 2 cans (about 16 ounces each) green beans or about 1½ lbs. fresh green beans for this recipe.

For a change of pace, substitute 4 cups cooked broccoli flowerets for the green beans.

For a creative twist, stir in ½ cup shredded Cheddar cheese with soup. Omit soy sauce. Sprinkle with ¼ cup additional Cheddar cheese when adding the remaining onions.

For a festive touch, stir in ¼ cup chopped red pepper with soup.

For a heartier mushroom flavor, substitute Campbell's® Condensed Golden Mushroom Soup for Cream of Mushroom Soup. Omit soy sauce. Stir in ¼ cup chopped red pepper with green beans.

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Friday, November 21, 2008

PANOS Brands Recalls Vegan Rella Cheddar Block

PANOS brands, of Saddle Brook, NJ is recalling Vegan Rella Cheddar Block, (a cheese substitute) with a Sell by date of 12/09/2008. This product is being recalled because it may possibly contain an undeclared milk protein. People who have an allergy or severe sensitivity to milk protein run the risk of serious or life-threatening allergic reaction if they consume this product. No other lot or variety of Vegan is involved.

The product was sold directly to the consumers from their retail stores located nationwide.

The recalled product is packed in 8oz packages with UPC Code 0 37983 00015 4 and a sell by date of 12/09/2008.

There was one reported incident of an allergic reaction associated with the consumption of the product. The product is manufactured by Swan Gardens/Tree of Life, Austell, GA. This recall is being conducted with the knowledge of the Food and Drug Administration.

Consumers who have purchased this product are urged to return it to the place of purchase for a full refund. Consumers with questions may call (800) 494-8839 ext. 425

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America's Best High School Chef Launches November 21, 2008

CC Note: High schools students in Fayette County and all of Georgia need to get their cooking caps on! Let's see Georgia represented in this contest.

/PRNewswire/ -- America's Best High School Chef, a national culinary competition for college-bound high school students with a flair for the culinary arts, launches its application period beginning Friday, November 21, 2008 through Friday, January 30, 2009. Talented, aspiring chefs will vie for high marks and impress celebrity judges, including the Food Network's Marc Summers, for the soon-to-be-coveted America's Best High School Chef title. The competition will be inaugurated the weekend of Friday, April 17 through Sunday, April 19, 2009 at Monroe College in New Rochelle, New York.


America's Best High School Chef is a three-day culinary competition, with an emphasis on promoting teamwork and acknowledging skill and leadership, for high school seniors who have a strong desire to pursue the culinary arts at a college level. A maximum of 16 teams will be selected to participate in the competition and experience the award-winning Culinary Arts center at Monroe College's School of Hospitality Management and the Culinary Arts. The top-rated member on the winning team will be acknowledged as America's Best High School Chef.

Monroe College, the host of America's Best High School Chef, is dedicated to the goal of strengthening the culinary capabilities of our nation's youth by providing a state of the art educational experience. Monroe College believes that another way to meet this goal is to identify, recognize, and reward excellence among high school students through this competition.

-- A team of four (4) high school seniors nominated and coached by their
high school culinary instructor or designee from the high school;
-- Each student must be a high school senior that has an interest in a
college level culinary program;
-- Each student must have successfully completed at least one cooking or
culinary class at the high school level; and
-- Each team member must be in very good standing, academically, and
within the community through the current school year.

America's Best High School Chef
-- Full college academic scholarship to Monroe College's School of
Hospitality Management and the Culinary Arts and admission to the
study abroad program in Italy for 15 weeks; (Total value-$35,000)


-- $2,500 scholarship if the student plans to attend another college or
-- Recognition and publicity campaign along with the opportunity to meet
New York City's leading chefs and restaurateurs; and
-- A guaranteed one-week internship at a leading restaurant.

America's Best High School Chef Team
-- $7,500 scholarship to each team member towards Monroe College tuition


-- $1,500 scholarship to each team member who plans to attend another
college or university;
-- $2,000 donation to the high school for the enhancement of its culinary
program; and
-- Recognition and publicity campaign for the high school and winning

The application package must be postmarked no later than Friday, January 30, 2009 and sent to:

America's Best High School Chef, Tanya Whaley - Office of Admissions, Monroe College, 2501 Jerome Avenue, Bronx, NY 10468.

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Wegmans Food Markets, Inc. Issues Voluntary Recall on Wegmans Italian Classics Seasoned Tomato Sauce

Wegmans Food Markets, Inc. is initiating a voluntary recall of 24 oz. Wegmans Italian Classics Seasoned Tomato Sauce with a “use-by- date of 11/26/08”, UPC 77890 79010. The product is being recalled because the package may actually contain a milk ingredient which is not declared on the label. The recall of this product is of concern only to those individuals who have an allergy to milk. Consumption may cause a serious or life-threatening allergic reaction in persons with an allergy to milk. No other code dates are affected by this recall.

The 24 oz. Wegmans Italian Classics Seasoned Tomato Sauce is packaged in a clear flexible pouch, and was sold in the prepared foods department of Wegmans stores located in New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Virginia, and Maryland.

The affected product would have been available in Wegmans stores between Saturday, November 15 and Thursday, November 20. Wegmans reports that this problem is limited to 108 cases of product, and that all product with the affected code date is no longer on store shelve.

No illnesses have been reported to date.

The problem was discovered by a Wegmans store employee. The recall was initiated after it was discovered that the affected code of Italian Classics Seasoned Tomato Sauce actually contained VODKA BLUSH SAUCE which contains milk.

Concerned customers should return the recalled product to Wegmans for a full refund. Customers who have consumed the product and feel they are experiencing symptoms should contact their physician. Wegmans’ customers who have questions or concerns about this recall should contact the consumer affairs department at 1-800-WEGMANS, ext. 4760.

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Thursday, November 20, 2008

People With Diabetes: Eating Right When Money's Tight

(NAPSI)-Diabetes is a disease that results in high glucose (sugar levels) in the blood, which can lead to serious complications. Almost 24 million people nationwide have the disease. For people with diabetes, making healthy food choices, being physically active, and reaching and staying at a healthy weight are keys to managing the disease. Although making healthy food choices on a budget can be a challenge, it is possible to eat well without spending a lot of time and money. Try these tips from the National Diabetes Education Program (NDEP) to eat better, save time, and stretch your food budget:

Review grocery store ads and clip coupons. Make a list of what you need and plan ahead to cook enough food to have a second meal. Visit your local farmers market where prices tend to be lower because you buy direct from the farmer. Buy frozen or canned vegetables with no salt added and canned fruit packed in juice--they are just as good for you as fresh produce and will not go bad. Buy low-fat or fat-free milk in the largest containers you can handle before it spoils. Make your own meals and snacks at home instead of buying less healthy, more expensive prepackaged and processed foods such as macaroni and cheese or spaghetti. Healthy snack ideas include air-popped popcorn or 1 cup of vegetables served with some salsa or a little low-fat salad dressing.

Here's an example of a healthy recipe that the whole family can enjoy. The recipe is designed to serve nine people. Nutrition information, including carbohydrate grams, is provided.

Beef & Bean Chili

2 lb lean beef stew meat, trimmed of fat, cut in 1-inch cubes

3 Tbsp vegetable oil

2 cups water

2 tsp garlic, minced

1 large onion, finely chopped

1 Tbsp flour

2 tsp chili powder

1 green pepper, chopped

2 lb (or 3 cups) tomatoes, chopped

1 Tbsp oregano

1 tsp cumin

2 cups canned kidney beans*

*To cut back on sodium, try using "no salt added" canned kidney beans or beans prepared at home without salt.

Instructions: Brown meat in large skillet with half of vegetable oil. Add water. Simmer covered for 1 hour until meat is tender. Heat remaining vegetable oil in second skillet. Add garlic and onion, and cook over low heat until onion is softened. Add flour and cook for 2 minutes. Add garlic-onion-flour mixture to cooked meat. Then add remaining ingredients to meat mixture. Simmer for 30 minutes. Serve chili with a mixed green salad with tomatoes, cucumbers and peppers topped with low-fat or fat-free salad dressing. Enjoy!

Nutrition Information Per Serving for Chili: Serving Size 8 oz, Calories 284, Total Fat 10 g, Saturated Fat 2 g, Cholesterol 76 mg, Sodium 162 mg, Total Fiber 4 g, Protein 33 g, Carbohydrates 16 g, Potassium 769 mg.

To get additional free resources to help manage diabetes, contact the National Diabetes Education Program at or call (888) 693-NDEP (6337), TTY: (866) 569-1162. For more ways to save time and money when preparing meals at home, visit the Weight-control Information Network at For more healthy, low-cost recipes, search online for "Keep the Beat: Heart Healthy Recipes" developed by the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute.

by the National Diabetes Education Program

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services' National Diabetes Education Program is jointly sponsored by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) with the support of more than 200 partner organizations.

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Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Chef's Tip: Sweet Onions Add Flavor And Nutrition While Saving You Bread

(NAPSI)-Stretching your food dollars doesn't have to mean abandoning flavor. That means you can still enjoy cool-weather favorites such as luscious stews, roasted chickens, succulent pot roasts and more, while cutting costs.

The key? Stock up on affordable, hearty root vegetables that add flavor, nutrition and value to the dishes you serve-ingredients that I call "superfoods."

For instance, take the sweet onion. It's even better for you than a normal onion, and, as any chef will tell you, a sweet onion is the ultimate in savory flavor. Plus, adding one jumbo OSO sweet onion-a type of onion grown in the mineral-rich mountains of Chile-can add two vegetable portions to a tuna casserole or your favorite Crock-Pot dish.

Maybe just as important, though, these mildly flavored sweet onions won't make you cry when you cut them and have a longer shelf life than their traditional counterparts. That means putting an end to tossing unused onions that have sprouted green shoots.

Also, anyone with a sensitive stomach will be happy to know that because of their low acid content, sweet onions will not upset your stomach like regular onions.

Cooking With Onions

Add a slice of sweet onion to a sandwich, grilled cheese or hamburger and you'll be instantly eating better. You can also sauté them and add the onions to the mac and cheese you feed your kids to boost flavor and nutritional content, or even toss them in with some canned veggies to help fight off cancer and heart disease.

The possibilities are endless because the onion is used in more cuisines than any other vegetable in the world. Try this delicious dish made with savory sweet onions:

Maple-Balsamic Chicken Thighs

1 OSO Sweet Onion

Vegetable oil spray

6 chicken thighs

Salt and pepper

¼ cup olive oil

½ cup maple syrup

3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar

3 tablespoons Italian seasoning

Remove skin from onion and cut into 6 slices. Arrange flat in a 13 x 9-inch baking pan and spray with vegetable oil spray. Place each thigh on top of an onion slice. Generously sprinkle with salt and pepper. Mix remaining ingredients and generously brush each thigh/onion combo, covering as much of the chicken and onion as possible. Roast at 400º F in middle of oven for 15 minutes; reduce oven temperature to 350º F and roast 30 minutes, basting with pan juices 2 or 3 times.

For more recipes and information, visit the Web site

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Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Get More Than Dough In Baking Competition

(NAPSI)-Dust off your recipe box and put on your thinking apron: America's oldest flour company is bringing a new baking competition for home bakers to the nation.

The National Festival of Breads, sponsored by King Arthur Flour and Kansas Wheat, is a celebration of "the staff of life," a tribute to the age-old tradition of home baking and to the role bread plays in a healthy lifestyle.

Any home baker age 18 or older with an original yeasted bread recipe can enter the contest. Contest categories include Ethnic Breads, Rolls, Time-Saving and Easy Breads, and Whole Grain Breads.

Eight finalists will bake their recipes for judges at the National Festival of Breads competition in Wichita, Kan., in June 2009. One lucky home baker will receive an all-expenses-paid trip to King Arthur Flour's Baking Education Center in Norwich, Vt.

For contest rules and entry form, visit events. Here's an idea for an easy bread that requires no kneading:

No-Fuss Focaccia

1½ cups (12 ounces) warm water

1 tablespoon instant yeast or 4 teaspoons (2 packets) active dry yeast, stirred into the water

3 tablespoons (1¼ ounces) olive oil (plus additional for drizzling)

1¼ teaspoons salt

3¼ cups (13¾ ounces) King Arthur's Unbleached Bread Flour

Italian seasoning or dried herbs of your choice, for topping

1) Lightly grease a 9" x 2" deep round or a 9" x 13" rectangular pan. Drizzle 1 tablespoon of olive oil in the bottom and tilt pan to spread.

2) Combine all of the ingredients (except the topping) in the order given. Beat at high speed with an electric mixer for 60 seconds.

3) Scoop the sticky batter into the prepared pan, cover the pan with a towel and let it rise at room temperature for 60 minutes (for instant yeast) to 90 minutes (for active dry yeast), until it becomes puffy.

4) Preheat the oven to 375° F.

5) Drizzle dough lightly with olive oil and sprinkle with Italian seasoning and/or the dried herbs of your choice, if desired.

6) Bake the bread until it's golden brown, 35 to 40 minutes.

7) Remove it from the oven, wait 5 minutes, then turn it out of the pan onto a rack. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Yield: 1 loaf.

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Monday, November 17, 2008

Vanilla Spices Up Holiday Dishes

(ARA) - Pro chefs and casual cooks alike will soon create confections for the holiday season. The best-loved delicacies will have one of the world's most popular flavors in common -- vanilla, with its heady, aromatic taste combined with sweet, fruity and floral scents.

Americans consume about 1,200 tons of vanilla beans a year. Vanilla is exciting and comforting, sexy and simple all at the same time. But not all vanilla is the same, and it pays to know the different kinds before you begin your seasonal baking.

The flavor is extracted from vanilla beans which are grown in four locations around the world -- Madagascar, Indonesia, Mexico and Tahiti.

Madagascar beans are creamy, sweet, smooth and mellow and work well in rich foods and in recipes that call for high heat, like cookies. Madagascar vanilla also works in ice cream and blends well with coffee and in chocolate recipes. Indonesian vanilla is typically a lower quality vanilla which has smoky, woody flavor notes and is often sold in supermarkets and warehouse clubs as just "Pure Vanilla Extract."

Vanilla was discovered in Mexico, and Mexican beans are spicier and complement chocolate, cinnamon, cloves and other warm spices. Surprisingly, Mexican pure vanilla extract also smoothes out the heat and acidity of tomatoes and chili peppers, which are used in salsas and barbecue sauces. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration warns consumers to purchase only Mexican pure vanilla that is produced in the United States. Mexican-produced vanilla is often made with coumarin, a toxic substance banned in the U.S.

The fourth kind of bean, Tahitian vanilla, is more delicate and works best in cooler cooked foods like refrigerated and frozen desserts, fruit pies and sauces, smoothies and shakes. Tahitian pure vanilla is known for its aromatic, cherry-like flavor and decorates fruit recipes splendidly.

Confectioners, bakers, chefs of fine restaurants and home cooks make sure they have vanilla like Nielsen-Massey Vanillas on hand to perfect their holiday baking. Nielsen-Massey Vanillas Inc. is known as the producer of the finest vanilla because it uses an exclusive cold extraction process, which slowly draws out the delicate and distinctive flavors of the vanilla beans.

One way to expand your holiday recipe list this year is to use vanilla in savory dishes like Creamy Vanilla Sweet Potatoes, in addition to cakes and cookies. Vanilla helps to enhance the inherent flavors of sweet potatoes, rather than concealing their flavor in sweeteners.

Creamy Vanilla Sweet Potatoes

Serves six

4 medium sweet potatoes
canola oil
2 ounces cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup butter softened
1/4 cup real maple syrup
1 tablespoon Nielsen-Massey Tahitian Pure Vanilla Extract
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
5 strips bacon, crisp-cooked and crumbled

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Wash sweet potatoes and lightly coat skins with canola oil. Pierce each potato several times with a fork, place the potatoes on a foil-lined baking sheet. Bake for one hour or until fork-tender.

Cut the hot potatoes into halves. Scoop the pulp into a mixing bowl, discarding the skins. Beat at medium speed for one minute using an electric mixer. Add cream cheese, butter, syrup, vanilla extract, salt and pepper. Whip until creamy.

Spoon whipped potatoes into six ramekins coated with nonstick cooking spray and top with the bacon. Place ramekins on a baking sheet. Bake in a preheated 375 F oven for five to eight minutes or until heated through. Alternatively, they may be reheated in a microwave.

Courtesy of ARA content

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Sunday, November 16, 2008

Let A Jalapeño Dip Spice Up Your Party

(NAPSI)-Jalapeños, probably the most familiar of hot peppers, not only spice up your party as a delicious dip, they have many other beneficial qualities.

Perhaps the most surprising feature of peppers is their nutritiousness: They are an excellent source of many essential nutrients, especially vitamin C. Hot peppers contain even more vitamin C, 357 percent more, than an orange. Moreover, red peppers are quite a good source of beta-carotene.

Peppers have also been known to work as an anti-coagulant, thus possibly helping to prevent heart attacks or strokes caused by a blood clot.

During the winter months, hot peppers are available from Mexico.

Here's a recipe you may want to try:

Jalapeño and Mint dip

Serves four


2 jalapeños, deseeded

1 cup fresh mint

¼ cup rice wine vinegar

¼ cup olive oil

¼ cup plain Greek yogurt


4 pita pockets, quartered and toasted

Place the jalapeños, mint, vinegar and olive oil in a home blender and puree until smooth; add the mix to the yogurt and stir until blended. Add salt to taste. Serve with the pita chips.

This delicious recipe was developed by the Fresh Produce Association of the Americas.

For more information, please visit

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Saturday, November 15, 2008

Seattle's Favorite Gourmet Cookies & Dessert Co Issues Nationwide Allergy Alert on Undeclared Milk in Muffin Tops

Seattle's Favorite Gourmet Cookies & Dessert Co. of Tukwila, WA is recalling Orange Cranberry and Banana Nut Muffin Tops because they contain undeclared milk. People who have an allergy or severe sensitivity to milk run the risk of serious or life threatening allergic reaction if they consume these products.

Orange Cranberry and Banana Nut Muffin Tops were distributed nationwide to coffee shops, espresso stands, and retail outlets.

These products are individually wrapped in clear plastic with a black product card featuring the Seattle's Favorite logo in upper left hand side and contains the product name and ingredient statement. Product may or may not contain an expiration date or best by date. The date is placed on the product at the retail location. These products, regardless of any codes, are subject to this recall.

There have been no illnesses reported to date.

During a routine FDA inspection it was discovered that the ingredient statement did not declare milk.

Consumers are urged to return these products to point of purchase for a refund. For any further concerns or questions please contact Seattle's Favorite at or 1-866-203-5588.

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Friday, November 14, 2008

Delicious Holiday Meatballs

(NAPSI)-It doesn't take a special gift to add a delicious twist to holiday gatherings--just a new take on some party classics.

For instance, meatballs are ideal because they are warm, enjoyable, bite-sized appetizers. But many holiday hosts don't know the Italian treats can be served in a number of tasty ways.

You can find recipes for serving meatballs--in virtually every form from soups and salads to stews--in a new cookbook called "101 Things to do with Meatballs" from The New York Times best-selling author Stephanie Ashcraft.

The book offers ideas for cooking with brands such as Casa Di Bertacchi meatballs, which are prepared with 100-percent boneless beef and seasoned with high-quality Italian ingredients, then seared and steamed in a traditional multigenerational Italian style. The cookbook is available for purchase online at and is available for preorder on

Try this unique twist on a classic favorite:

Holiday Meatballs


52 (2 lbs) frozen Casa Di Bertacchi fully cooked meatballs

1 can (16 oz) whole-berry cranberry sauce

1 cup barbecue sauce

Slow Cooker Directions:

• Place frozen meatballs in a 3½- to 5-quart slow cooker prepared with nonstick cooking spray.

• In a bowl, stir together cranberry sauce and barbecue sauce.

• Pour mixture over meatballs. Cover and cook on low for 5-6 hours or on high for 2½-3 hours.

• During a party, meatballs can be left in the slow cooker on warm or low setting.

• Serve as appetizers with toothpicks.

Stovetop Directions:

• Combine all ingredients in a 3- to 4-quart saucepan.

• Cover and simmer over medium-low heat on the stove for 55-60 minutes, stirring occasionally until meatballs are heated through.

• Serve immediately or place them in a chafing dish to keep them warm.

The meatballs are available at Sam's Club. For more recipes and ideas, visit

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Thursday, November 13, 2008

Take the Holidays but Leave the Turkey

Downing turkey sandwiches on a near-daily basis over the holidays may have some people reaching for any alternative. There are several healthy substitutes for those who suffer turkey overload, says a University of Georgia expert.

Don’t be afraid of real turkey. It doesn’t have to be that dry, overcooked nightmare, says Connie Crawley, a UGA Cooperative Extension nutrition and health specialist.

Most store-bought turkeys come injected with a salty, fatty basting solution and are pre-frozen, she said. But fresh turkey has a stronger poultry taste. “Real turkey really tastes good if it’s prepared correctly,” she said. “It really is different. It has a subtle, more flavorful turkey taste.”

For those who want to stay away from turkey no matter what its precooked condition, Crawley recommends:

• Fresh ham. It’s lower in sodium because it hasn’t been brined. It’s great marinated in wine, onions and garlic and then roasted in the oven.

• Cornish hens. The tiny chickens are easier to roast than a whole turkey and are more attractive on individual plates. Glaze the bird with apple or orange juice and serve it on rice pilaf or stuffing. One hen feeds two people.

• Quail. It has a more gamey poultry taste. Don’t overcook quail, or it will be tough. Sweet potato and polenta are great quail side dishes.

• Trout. Grilled, broiled or filleted, it has a rich flavor that goes well with fall vegetables like broccoli, cauliflower, sweet potatoes, Brussels sprouts, greens and winter squash.

Fish is a good option for those families that include both meat-eaters and vegetarians. Some vegetarians eat fish. It’s always best to check with the individual first to make sure.

You can totally skip the traditional holiday table, she said, and eat something completely different.

“I have had holidays where I have made Mexican food,” she said. “You don’t just have to eat turkey.”

By Stephanie Schupska
University of Georgia

Stephanie Schupska is a news editor for the University of Georgia College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences.

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Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Nestlé Withdraws Nestlé Farinha Lactea Cereal in the United States

Nestlé is withdrawing Nestlé Farinha Lactea cereal in the United States. Nestlé is taking this action as we have learned that the product may contain residual traces of a pesticide not currently approved for use on wheat in the U.S. While the pesticide is approved for use in Brazil and the noted levels are well below Brazilian standards, it is not used on wheat products in the United States and therefore there is no set standard for its presence in cereal. The pesticide is permitted in the United States on grain crops other than wheat.

Nestlé Farinha Lactea cereal is manufactured in Brazil by Nestlé Brazil and sold primarily in Portuguese language communities in the United States. The withdrawal applies to all sizes, varieties and production codes of the product. No other Nestlé products are affected.

Nestlé USA is assisting with the withdrawal of this product from the U.S. market to ensure the continued quality and safety of Nestlé products. Nestlé has not received any illness reports or consumer complaints.

Consumers who have purchased Nestlé Farinha Lactea cereal should not consume the product, and should return it to the store where they purchased it for a full refund.

We encourage consumers with questions about the withdrawal to contact Nestlé Consumer Services at (800) 628-7679.

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Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Holiday Season More Than Meat

There won’t be any meat on Robin Pratt’s holiday table. Without a turkey or ham to fuss over, the Winterville, Ga., Web designer spends her extra time “focused on friends and family instead of the food,” she said.

A vegetarian, Pratt doesn’t spend time looking for a turkey substitute either.

“If you’re a vegetarian and you go into the holiday thinking about finding a substitute for meat, you’re going to be disappointed because you can never replace a turkey,” Pratt said.

But that doesn’t mean she and her family will miss out on holiday flavors.

“We have so much food,” she said. “Eighteen people come to my house and bring two dishes each. That can be at least 20 casseroles…you can feel happy that you’ll still feel sleepy, even if you’re a vegetarian. You’ll still feel like you’re going to explode and fall asleep at the same time.”

As families gather around the table this holiday season, some are finding they may need to alter a traditional recipe so that their vegetarian and vegan family members can share in the feasting, said Connie Crawley, a University of Georgia Cooperative Extension nutrition and health expert.

“So many people make so many side dishes, it’s like a meal anyway,” Crawley said. When it comes to making those dishes, they need to be “aware of animal products in the food and their substitutes.”

Many vegetarians consume butter, milk and eggs. But for those who don’t, putting butter in the potatoes or milk in a casserole can keep them from enjoying those foods.

“If you make all the side dishes with vegetable oil, dairy free margarine or soy milk, everyone can enjoy them,” Crawley said.

Pratt focuses on regional or cultural recipes, something she did before becoming a vegetarian. She suggests trying to cook a recipe that “you’ve always wanted to cook but didn’t have time,” she said. “That way, the holidays are still about food, but not just turkey.”

She and Crawley give tips on making the holidays tasty for vegetarians and meat-lovers.

• Consider the eaters. “For families that have a vegetarian, vegetarian families that have a meat eater, or if you’re interested in eating less meat for your health, have a turkey and then have just vegetarian side dishes,” Pratt said. “For vegetarians, most of life is side dishes.”

• Know your vegetarian’s eating habits. There are all kinds of vegetarians, Crawley said. Some are lacto, meaning they drink milk and eat cheese. Others are ovo, meaning they eat eggs. Still others are pesco, meaning they eat fish. Many are a combination of these. But some are vegan, meaning they eat no animal byproducts – including gelatin and butter.

• Practice recipes beforehand. Crawley said that substituting vegan-friendly ingredients for common animal byproducts isn’t hard, especially if the recipe has been tried and tested before the holiday meal.

• Use the Web. Vegetarian recipes can easily be found with a quick search online. Crawley found many dishes made from winter vegetables.

• Keep it healthy. Crawley points out that even though vegetables are loading the table, the dishes are not necessarily low calorie or low fat. “Be reasonable about added fat,” she said. Many recipes will still be delicious if you substitute evaporated skim milk for the cream, low-fat cheese for full-fat varieties, low-cholesterol egg substitute for regular eggs and reduced-fat margarine for butter.

• Label the side dishes. If you're serving food buffet-style, Crawley recommends putting cards next to the food to indicate whether a dish is vegetarian, vegan or not.

“The good thing about the South is that we’re already used to eating a lot of vegetables on the side,” Crawley said, so making the transition to a vegetarian menu isn’t as foreign as it would be in other parts of the country.

By Stephanie Schupska
University of Georgia

Stephanie Schupska is a news editor for the University of Georgia College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences.

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Monday, November 10, 2008

Atlanta’s Premier Fall Culinary Event Benefits the Georgia Center for Child Advocacy

An Evening of Delights at Cheer for Children Ball 2008

Sample delicious delicacies, sip on great wines, and help build a brighter future for our children. The 2008 Cheer for Children Ball will be held at the beautiful Atlanta History Center on Friday, November 14, 2008 from 7 p.m. to 11 p.m. and feature a fabulous evening of great food, live music from Papa-Sol and a one-of-a-kind auction - all while raising funds and awareness to end sexual abuse among children in Atlanta. The evening will feature specially selected wines paired with culinary delights provided by the American Culinary Federation (ACF) Greater Atlanta Chefs Association and exciting live and silent auctions that include an array of jewelry, art, fabulous vacation packages and entertainment opportunities. Proceeds will benefit the Georgia Center for Child Advocacy, the preeminent authority on the treatment of childhood sexual abuse, providing evaluation and treatment for a child's long-term recovery and leading a statewide prevention and education program to end the sexual abuse on children. Cheer for Children Ball tickets are $150 in advance. For more information, call (678) 904-2880 or visit
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Nestlé USA Voluntarily Recalls Two Production Codes of Nestlé Nesquik Strawberry Powder

Nestlé USA is voluntarily recalling two (2) production codes of Nestlé Nesquik Strawberry Powder 21.8 ounce that may contain small fragments of aluminum.

The recall only includes two (2) production codes of 21.8-ounce containers of Nestlé Nesquik Strawberry Powder. Printed on the bottom of each plastic container is a production code of "82255880" or "82265880" with a best by date of "August 2010."

No other Nestlé Nesquik products or production codes of Nestlé Nesquik Strawberry Powder are affected by this recall.

The products were produced on August 12 and 13 and were distributed in the U.S. and in Puerto Rico.
Consumers who have this product at home can return it to the store where it was purchased for a refund.

Consumers with questions about the recall should call Nestlé Consumer Services Center at 888-637-4345.

Nestlé apologizes for any inconvenience experienced by our valued consumers and retail customers.

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Sunday, November 9, 2008

Tips For Holiday Decorating And Entertaining

(NAPSI)-Time-honored traditions such as baking family recipes, cracking nuts by the fire, and decorating with handmade crafts help make the holiday season merry. Some items, such as in--shell nuts, are naturally associated with the holidays and appear year after year during the season.

Over the last 96 years, the experts at leading nut brand Diamond of California have discovered many uses for inshell nuts. Tina Salter, culinary producer and cookbook author, offers the following ideas for using this heritage product at the holidays.

Roasting: All nuts, even in their shell, taste better freshly toasted. Bake inshell nuts at 375° F for 20 minutes (smaller nuts may toast faster). Crack one nut in a towel to check for doneness. The "meat" should be toasted and aromatic. If it still looks pale, roast a few minutes longer. Let the nuts cool before serving with a nutcracker and nutpick. Children and guests will delight in shelling them by the fire.

Entertaining: Finish a holiday dinner with an elegant course of port, soft blue cheese and freshly toasted inshell walnuts. Serve with slices of a crusty baguette. Guests will linger at the table to crack nuts, sip port and tell stories.

Decorating: Nuts add a touch of nature to holiday decor. For a chic table, lay a garland around the base of a large glass hurricane vase. Place a pillar candle securely in the center and fill space between candle and glass with inshell nuts to about one-third of the height of the candle. For added sparkle, paint some nuts gold and silver before filling.

Get Creative at the Holidays!

A great idea that uses Diamond inshell nuts could win you a trip to New York City for another memorable holiday tradition: "The Nutcracker" ballet. The person who submits the best idea for entertaining with Diamond inshell nuts will win a trip for four to see a performance of New York City Ballet's production of George Balanchine's "The Nutcracker." The winning idea will also be published on millions of bags of nuts in 2009 and featured on Diamond's Web site. For contest details, information on second- and third-place prizes and holiday recipes, visit

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Saturday, November 8, 2008

Time for Turkey Thawing, Selection Tips

As Thanksgiving approaches, it’s time to talk turkey. There are many questions surrounding the age-old tradition: Should you buy fresh or frozen? How do you safely thaw a turkey? What’s the best stuffing? How do you cook the turkey without drying it out? How will you know when it’s done? Food safety experts with University of Georgia Cooperative Extension offer the answers.

“Whether to buy fresh or frozen is a personal preference,” said Judy Harrison, a UGA Cooperative Extension specialist in the College of Family and Consumer Sciences. “What you use as stuffing is, too. But there are serious safety measures to keep in mind, especially if you only cook turkey once or twice each year.”

Buying and storing

If you buy a fresh turkey, check the date on the package and purchase only if the date has not passed. If the date is a “sell by” date, that is the last day the turkey can be sold. It is best to prepare the turkey by that date also. If it is a “use by” date, cook it by that date.
Fresh turkeys should be kept below 40 degrees Fahrenheit in the refrigerator until you’re ready to cook it. Put the bird on a tray or pan to catch any juices.

When serving fresh turkey, Harrison recommends allowing for one pound of turkey per person.

“Don’t buy fresh pre-stuffed turkeys,” Harrison warns. “If not handled properly, any harmful bacteria that may be in the stuffing can multiply very quickly.”

The U.S. Department of Agriculture recommends buying pre-stuffed turkeys only if they are frozen and display the USDA or state mark of inspection on the package. These turkeys are safe because they’ve been processed under controlled conditions.

Pre-stuffed turkeys should be cooked frozen, not thawed. Follow package directions for proper handling and cooking. Allow 1¼ pounds of turkey per person.

Thaw properly

If you choose a frozen turkey, allow one pound per person.
Safe handling begins when you store and defrost the bird. USDA recommends three ways to thaw a turkey: in the refrigerator, in cold water or in the microwave.

“Never thaw a turkey on the counter,” Harrison said. “Room temperature is a breeding ground for bacteria that can cause food safety concerns.”

The basic rule for thawing a turkey in the refrigerator is 24 hours of thawing time for every five pounds of turkey. Once thawed, refrigerate the turkey for no more than one to two days before you cook it.

If you don’t have room in the refrigerator for a big bird, use the cold water thawing method. Harrison says follow these steps:

1) Submerge the bird or cut-up parts in cold water in its airtight packaging or in a leak-proof bag.

2) Allow about 30 minutes defrosting time per pound of turkey.

3) Change the water every 30 minutes to be sure it stays cold.

The following times are suggested for thawing a turkey in water:

8 to 12 pound turkey, 4 to 6 hours

12 to 16 pound turkey, 6 to 8 hours

16 to 20 pound turkey, 8 to 10 hours

20 to 24 pound turkey, 10 to 12 hours

Cook the turkey immediately after it’s thawed, Harrison said.

Turkeys can be kept frozen indefinitely, however for best quality, they should be wrapped in freezer packaging and cooked within one year, she said.

The third way to thaw a turkey is in the microwave.

“Because every microwave is different, it’s very important to carefully follow the manufacturer instructions,” Harrison said. “The instruction manual should tell you how long to defrost per pound of turkey and what kind of container to put the bird in.”

Microwave-thawed turkeys should be cooked immediately after thawing.

Turkey handling instructions from the USDA are available at .

An easy to follow chart to help plan ahead is available from UGA online at

By Faith Peppers
University of Georgia

Faith Peppers is a news editor for the University of Georgia College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences.

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Friday, November 7, 2008

A Heart-Healthier And Great-Tasting Way To Cook And Bake

(NAPSI)-Americans will gather around the kitchen this holiday season to celebrate the holiday spirit with festive dishes both savory and sweet. Families and friends can always give (and receive) the gifts of better nutrition and better health when sharing their favorite fare.

It helps to gift wrap some omega-3 fatty acids in holiday foods; these essential fatty acids are not naturally manufactured by the body. Yet, according to the American Heart Association, there is evidence that omega-3s help prevent stroke, blocked blood vessels and coronary heart disease. Today's consumers want great-tasting, good-for-you foods. And omega-3s top the list of nutrients that they are looking for in new products.

One place to find these essential fatty acids is in Mazola Vegetable Plus!, a new blend of pure and natural vegetable and heart-healthy canola oils. This unique formula tastes and performs as well as vegetable oils currently on the market and makes it easy to cook in a healthier way.

A single serving of the new oil--just one tablespoon--contains zero grams of trans fat and 1,200 mg of omega-3 fatty acids, which represents 92 percent of the daily recommended value. Plus, it has 25 percent less saturated fat than other leading vegetable oils and is cholesterol free. Using a nutrient-rich oil such as Mazola Vegetable Plus! for cooking--stir frying, grilling, pan frying and making salads--can be a good way to fortify a balanced diet while enhancing the holiday season with great flavor and nutrition. You can even bake with it, as seen in this delectable, seasonal dessert.

Holiday Carrot Cake

Prep Time: 45 minutes

Cook Time: 25 to 30 minutes

Yield: 16 slices

1 Granny Smith apple

1 cup brown sugar

¾ cup Mazola® Vegetable Plus! Oil

¾ cup sugar

4 eggs

½ cup apricot jam or preserves

¼ cup apricot brandy or apricot nectar

2½ cups all-purpose flour

1 tablespoon ground cinnamon

2½ teaspoons baking powder

1½ teaspoons baking soda

1 teaspoon salt

½ teaspoon ground nutmeg

½ teaspoon ground ginger

2 cups shredded carrots

1 cup chopped pecans


8 oz. cream cheese, softened

¼ cup butter, softened

1½ tablespoons apricot brandy or apricot nectar

3½ cups powdered sugar

1. Peel and grate apple; set aside. Beat brown sugar, oil, sugar, eggs, apricot jam and brandy in a large mixing bowl until smooth.

2. Add flour, cinnamon, baking powder, baking soda, salt, nutmeg and ginger. Mix just until moistened. Stir in apple, carrots and pecans.

3. Spread batter in three greased 8- or 9-inch-round cake pans. Bake at 350° F for 25 to 30 minutes, or until cake tester inserted in center comes out clean. Cool 5 minutes, then invert onto cooling rack.

4. To make the icing, beat cream cheese, butter and brandy until smooth. Beat in powdered sugar; continue beating until frosting is of smooth spreading consistency.

5. Place one cake layer on serving plate; ice top. Add second layer and ice top. Add final layer and ice sides and top of cake.

6. If desired, garnish with halved pecans and quartered dried apricots.

Free Recipes

For additional recipes and information, visit

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Thursday, November 6, 2008

Delicious Tomatoes Offer Nutritious Flavor

(NAPSI)-Tomatoes are the third-most-popular vegetable eaten by Americans, but there was a time when the delicious vegetable was not well known.

Native to Mexico and South America, this delicious vegetable has been grown and eaten there since the days of the Aztecs. They were brought to Europe by Spanish explorers in the 16th century. However, the plant was used only as an ornamental houseplant.

Not until the 19th century was the tomato widely accepted as food, and even then it was customarily cooked for hours.

Only in the second half of the century were raw or lightly cooked tomatoes consumed by Americans.

That's a good thing, because tomatoes are the leading source of vitamin C in the American diet. They also have a fair supply of vitamin A, which has been said to lower the risk of cancer.

Some medical research indicates that consuming tomatoes may dramatically decrease the risk of heart disease.

Tomatoes are versatile. Cooked or raw, tomatoes pair well with a variety of foods and can be enjoyed year-round.

The following recipe was developed by executive chef Noah Aguilar of The Chef's Table restaurant in Tubac, Ariz., for the Fresh Produce Association of the Americas.

Asian Tomato and Cucumber Salad

Serves four


¼ cup sliced Roma tomatoes

2 cucumbers (peeled, seeded and sliced into half- moons)

¼ cup sliced sweet peppers (mixed colors)

3 tablespoons rice wine vinegar

½ teaspoon sesame oil

3 tablespoons vegetable oil

1 teaspoon black sesame seeds

1 teaspoon soy sauce

½ teaspoon sugar

Mix all ingredients together and serve chilled.

For more information, contact

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Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Ten Solutions for Guiltless Gobbling

(ARA) - For most Americans, Thanksgiving without turkey is like the Fourth of July without fireworks. That’s why it’s important not to deprive yourself during holiday meals. The holidays are full of temptations and an occasional treat is fine as long as you make sure to keep short- and long-term health goals in mind.

Your weight-loss efforts can absolutely stay on track this Thanksgiving holiday by following simple tips from Weight Watchers that allow you to enjoy yourself.

1. Slow Down for Satisfaction.
When sitting down to the Thanksgiving feast, select foods you don't normally eat so that you can easily eliminate several of the dishes. Do you really need both sweet potatoes topped with melted marshmallows and mashed potatoes? Take small portions, eat slowly and savor every bite. Sit back, take a break and if you’re still hungry continue. Remember, it takes about 20 minutes for your brain to realize your stomach is full.

2. Plan to indulge.
Don’t set yourself up for failure by depriving yourself of the special foods that are prepared and served only on Thanksgiving. Maybe it’s Aunt Martha’s candied yams, Mom’s apple pie or your sister-in-law’s pumpkin cheesecake. Savor the special dishes instead of mindlessly popping cheddar cheese cubes into your mouth before the meal. Decide how much of that favorite food will satisfy you. If you cannot conceive of eating just a small piece of pie, cut something else out to account for the larger slice.

3. Don’t starve yourself beforehand.
You’ll be more likely to gobble up everything in sight. Eat a healthy, balanced breakfast and lunch, and consider a snack before heading to the Thanksgiving celebration to take the edge off your hunger.

4. Be creative.
Practice saying “no” in case you get pressured by well-meaning relatives to eat something you haven’t planned for or don’t want to eat. Try something like, “Thanks, but I’ll have to pass on that pumpkin pie right now because I’m so full from your delicious dinner.”

5. Drink Moderately.
Alcohol adds empty calories and can make you lose sight of your goals. To reduce your alcohol intake, use low- or no-calorie beverages as mixers and alternate alcoholic beverages with low-calorie soft drinks or water.

6. Bag it.
If you're hosting the meal, remember that there is always tomorrow -- and leftovers. But if you won't be able to sleep knowing that there's half a pie in the kitchen, freeze leftovers immediately or wrap portions for your guests to take home.

7. Lighten it up.
Whether you are the host or just bringing a dish to someone else’s home, lighten up those favorite dishes. No one will know the difference. See the lighter version of a Thanksgiving classic below.

8. Get moving.
There are more ways to spend time with family on Thanksgiving than just sitting around eating. Why not go for a walk after supper, or get a game of touch football going in the afternoon?

9. Be thankful for making good choices.
Changing eating behavior and old habits take time. But starting the holiday season off mindful of moderation can be the key to a healthier season.

10. Control emotional eating.
The holidays and stress go hand in hand. Find ways to relax and focus on you overall goals. Exercise daily and make Thanksgiving a day more about family and friends than food. You’ll be thankful you did.

Visit a Weight Watchers meeting for free this holiday season for additional support. To find a meeting location near you visit or call (800) 651-6000.

Want to indulge? Enjoy with this healthy take on a holiday classic -- pumpkin pie!

Pumpkin Pie with Graham Cracker Crust from
POINTS Value: 3
Servings: 8
Preparation Time: 10 minutes
Cooking Time: 65 minutes
Level of difficulty: Moderate


3 ounces reduced-fat cinnamon graham crackers, about 5 1/2 sheets
1 tablespoon packed light brown sugar
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
2 large egg whites
1 large egg
1/2 cup dark brown sugar
1/4 teaspoon table salt
2 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice, or less to taste
1 cup canned pumpkin
1/2 cup fat-free evaporated milk
4 tablespoons light whipped topping


1. Position rack in middle of oven.

2. Preheat oven to 350 F. Place graham crackers and light brown sugar in a food processor and process into crumbs (or smash into crumbs in a sealed plastic food bag with a rolling pin). Spoon crumbs into a small bowl; add melted butter and combine with fingers into a coarse meal. Distribute crumbs evenly on bottom and up sides of an ungreased 9-inch pie plate. Chill for 30 minutes before baking. Bake until crust starts to turn golden, about 8 to 10 minutes; remove from oven and let cool.

3. Meanwhile, in a large bowl, using an electric mixer, whip egg whites until frothy; fold in egg, dark brown sugar, salt, pumpkin pie spice and evaporated milk. Beat pumpkin custard until smooth and pour into pie shell. Bake until a knife inserted in center comes out clean, about 45 to 55 minutes. Slice into eight pieces, top each piece with 1/2 tablespoon of whipped topping and serve warm or at room temperature. Yields one slice per serving.

Courtesy of ARAcontent

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Tuesday, November 4, 2008

For Party Pleasers, Choose Cheese

(NAPSI)-Spend more time celebrating with family and friends by limiting kitchen duty with easy appetizers featuring popular, affordable cheeses.

Here are hints: Boursin has an irresistible taste, a light, crumbly texture that melts readily and is best served simply on a baguette round. It comes in a variety of flavors, including Garlic & Fine Herbs and new Garlic & Roasted Red Pepper.

• Stuff the cheese into warmed minibrioche, top with herbs (savory) or sugared chopped pecans.

• On a cucumber round, layer a piping of the cheese with marinated sun-dried tomato.

• Parboil tiny potatoes. Scoop out a bit of the inside; mix potato with Boursin and diced prosciutto and stuff back into shell; bake 8-10 minutes at 350ºF.

Mild, mellow-nutty Jarlsberg is a classic, complementing a broad range of tastes.

• Cube it and skewer with a small piece of dried fruit, salami or chorizo, olive or sun-dried tomato and fresh basil.

• Try mini grilled cheese on pretzel bread with hot, sweet mustard.

• Make a fondue and dip in cubed French bread, fresh sliced apples and pears, or melt a wedge in a cast-iron skillet for satisfying raclette, served with roasted potatoes and grilled sausage.

Goat cheese is a delicious choice to have on hand for those who are lactose sensitive. Woolwich Dairy makes a style of soft, fresh chevrai that's mildly tangy plus a creamy, buttery goat Brie.

• Top goat Brie with strawberry preserves and toasted sliced almonds.

• Stuff chevrai goat cheese into fresh dates or figs; top with cherry preserves and chopped, salty nuts.

• Bake goat Brie in puff pastry dough for a classic treat.

Some simple ideas combining the cheeses:

• Stuff Boursin or chevrai goat cheese into cherry tomatoes; spread on cucumber rounds and endive leaves, sprinkle with chopped, fresh herbs or sprouts.

• Spread chevrai goat cheese or Boursin on baguette round; top with caramelized onions or fig jam and warm slightly.

For additional appetizer and entertaining ideas, visit, and

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Monday, November 3, 2008

General Mills Issues Voluntary Class One Recall Involving One Day’s Production of Progresso Hearty Tomato Soup

General Mills is voluntarily recalling a single day's production of Progresso Hearty Tomato soup because of a product labeling issue. Product produced on this date may have been mislabeled, and may contain allergens not listed on the ingredient label, specifically egg, milk, and soy.

There have been no reports of allergic reactions or illnesses associated with this product, however, the possibility of unlabeled allergens makes this a Class One recall.

This voluntary recall includes only 19-ounce Progresso Hearty Tomato soup with the following code date printed on the bottom of the can:

19May10 NV VN-3

A production error resulted in a limited number of cases of Progresso Light Vegetable and Noodle soup being mislabeled as Progresso Hearty Tomato soup. Mislabeled cans have the code date 19May10 NV VN-3 on the bottom of the can, but are mislabeled as Progresso Hearty Tomato soup.

The mislabeled soups contain a product that is visibly different from the soup depicted on the label. Rather than containing Progresso Hearty Tomato soup, a mislabeled can would actually contain Progresso Light Vegetable and Noodle soup. Consumers allergic to egg, milk or soy products, or who are unsure of whether they are allergic to egg, milk or soy products, should not consume product with a Progresso Hearty Tomato label bearing the code date 19May10 NV VN-3 on the bottom of the can, and should contact General Mills for replacement or a full refund.

No other varieties or production dates of Progresso soup are affected by this recall.

Consumers requesting refunds or calling with further questions should contact General Mills Consumer Services at 1-800-200-9377.

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Roasted Olives-Classic Holiday Snacking Favorite

(NAPSI)-Simple to prepare and easy on the budget, savory roasted olives are a delicious seasonal treat at holiday parties and fireside family gatherings. Lindsay Olives transforms everyday olives by roasting them with herbs and spices, French style.

Roasting olives is a fun, quick technique that gives them a slightly chewy outside, a dense flesh and a truly unique bite. Tomatoes, whole garlic and herbes de Provence add color, texture and flavor to a mixture of glossy, black ripe olives, brightly flavored Kalamatas and briny green olives stuffed with garlic. The garlic softens and sweetens as it roasts, a lovely complement to the herbs.

This delicious, simple recipe is ready in just 30 minutes and, if refrigerated, stays tasty for up to two weeks, making it perfect for the nonstop entertaining season.

For more easy entertaining recipes and tips, please visit

Lindsay Roasted Olives

(Serves 6-8)

Serve this starter with toasted baguette slices, crackers, pita bread or just by themselves with toothpicks to make it easy to pick them up and enjoy.

1 pint (2 cups) grape or cherry tomatoes

1 cup Lindsay® Black Ripe Olives

1 cup Lindsay® Kalamata Pitted Olives

1 cup Lindsay® Queen Olives Stuffed with Garlic

1 tablespoon herbes de Provence blend or a mix of rosemary and thyme

8 whole garlic cloves, peeled

¼ cup olive oil

¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Toasted baguette slices, pita bread or crackers.

Heat oven to 425° F.

Lay out all the ingredients on a sheet pan and toss to combine well. Roast the olive mixture in the preheated oven for 15-20 minutes or until the tomatoes have shriveled and browned lightly. Cool on the sheet pan and transfer all ingredients to a shallow serving bowl. Serve at room temperature with toasted baguette slices or crackers.

Note: Herbes de Provence is a dried herbal blend of rosemary, basil, sage, thyme, summer savory and lavender. It can be found at larger grocery stores or online. If you have trouble finding it, just make your own mix of a few of the designated dried herbs that you have on your pantry shelf.

Serving tip: If you can find them, fresh herbs such as rosemary, thyme or basil look great as a garnish. If you have trouble finding the specified olives, feel free to use any combination that appeals to you.

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Sunday, November 2, 2008

Drinks to Warm Up Your Holidays

(ARA) - Hand off a hot beverage -- to dinner guests, neighbors who drop by or kids during story time -- and you instantly warm both tummies and hearts. Make sure you treat yourself too; wrapping your hands around a warm mug in the midst of a cold day can help you unwind!

Traditional favorites include hot cider, cocoa, teas and coffees -- all so good there's no need to look for replacements. But by adding just a few of the right spices, you can transform these everyday winter drinks into extraordinary festive fare.

Tips for Spicing Up a Variety of Hot Drinks

* Mull to be merry. Mulling a beverage simply means heating and spicing it. Sometimes sweeteners and/or other beverages are added, too. Mulled apple juice or cider is classic, but why not mull other favorites, like cherry, raspberry, white grape and cranberry juices, as well as red and white wines? Just be careful not to boil the wine or you'll ruin the taste and evaporate the alcohol. Good mulling spices include allspice, cinnamon, cloves, fenugreek, ginger, lemon peel, nutmeg, orange peel and star anise. Have fun experimenting -- or streamline your routine by stocking up on a mulling spice mix, like Simply Organic Mulling Spice or Frontier Cider Mate.

* Give the crock a workout. Fill your crock pot with an aromatic and warm spiced beverage and keep it on low throughout the day. You'll have a ready-to-serve treat at any time, and your home will be scented, too.

* Make an impression with homemade gifts. For simple but lovely homemade gifting, combine the dry ingredients for a special hot drink in a small jar or canister and tie with a festive ribbon. Punch a hole in a recipe card with mixing directions and attach to the ribbon. For even easier gifting, simply place a package of beverage mix -- like those mulling spices -- in a festive mug and tie with a ribbon. Or choose a special tea and deliver it in a pretty cup and saucer.

* Stock up on cinnamon sticks. Indispensable for mulling, cinnamon sticks also spruce up hot party drinks when used as swizzlers.

* Spruce up your black teas. Add cinnamon sticks, orange peel and/or lemon peel to any black tea. Sweeten, if you like, with honey or brown sugar. To richen the flavor even further, add a tablespoon or two of cognac.

* Enliven green teas with crystallized ginger and sliced fruit (like pears).

* Think ethnic. For Spanish flair, add black pepper and chilies or cinnamon to hot chocolate. For French influence, thicken cocoas with cornstarch or arrowroot and stir in some Grand Marnier and vanilla extract. Top with a pinch of freshly ground nutmeg.

* For a mocha drink, simply use strongly brewed coffee in place of some of the liquid in your favorite hot cocoa recipe.

* Add quality flavorings or extracts for an instant flavor boost. Frontier offers every option from almond to walnut for any hot beverage -- including milk, cocoa, tea and coffee.

Here’s the recipe for a deliciously rich toddy that adds delight to any gathering:

Visions of Sugarplums Toddy
4 cups milk, divided in half (dairy, rice, or soy)
2 Tbsp. honey
1/8 tsp. cardamom powder
4 oz. white baking chocolate, chopped
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1/4 tsp. nutmeg powder
4 6-inch cinnamon sticks

Directions: Warm 2 cups of the milk, honey, cardamom, and baking chocolate in a saucepan until chocolate is melted. Add remaining milk and heat until warm. Stir in vanilla. Pour into cups, sprinkle with nutmeg and add cinnamon stick stirrers. Substitute almond extract (or another flavoring, like peppermint extract) for the vanilla now and then. At a toddler's tuck-in time, serve without the chocolate to induce slumber. Makes about 4 servings.

For more tips and recipes for hot drinks -- and an online source of ingredients like mulling spices, cocoa, cinnamon sticks and spices -- visit

Courtesy of ARAcontent

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Saturday, November 1, 2008

Stuffing: A Quick And Comforting Dish

(NAPSI)-In the top-10 list of comfort foods, stuffing is surely high on the list and the favorite part of the meal for many. Some insist on calling it "stuffing" while others prefer "dressing." Purists make a distinction between a stuffing, usually cooked inside meat, and dressing, baked separately in a casserole. What it's called at your dinner table may depend on regional differences or simply family traditions.

Onion, celery and bread are the classic components of stuffing, while dried fruits appear in many a dressing. According to the experts at Sun-Maid Growers of California, natural dried fruits such as raisins, apricots and apples perform best in dressings as they take up some of the liquids, blending well with other ingredients.

For stuffing and dressing ideas, visit

Easy Everyday Dressing

¾ cup chopped onion

½ cup sliced celery

¼ cup butter or margarine

1¾ cups (14.5-ounce can) chicken broth

½ cup Sun-Maid Natural Raisins

1 package (8 ounces) herbed stuffing mix

⅓ cup coarsely chopped pecans, toasted

Cook onion and celery in butter over medium heat until softened, 2 to 3 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add broth and raisins. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer uncovered 3 minutes. Stir in stuffing mix and pecans. Remove from heat; cover and let stand 5 minutes. Fluff with a fork before serving. Makes 6 to 8 servings.

Casserole dressing: Spoon mixture into a buttered casserole dish. Cover with foil. (If desired, refrigerate until ready to bake.) Bake 30 minutes at 350°F. Uncover and bake 5 minutes longer for a crisp top.

Waldorf Stuffing

1 cup chopped onion

1 cup sliced celery

¼ cup butter or margarine

1 cup tart apple, cored and chopped

1 cup chopped walnuts or pecans

1 cup Sun-Maid Natural Raisins

8- to 10-ounce package herb-flavored stuffing mix, prepared

Prepare stuffing mix according to package directions. In a saucepan, sauté onion and celery in butter. Stir in apple, nuts and raisins. Toss mixture with prepared stuffing. Stuff turkey, chicken or Cornish hens as desired.

Casserole dressing: Spoon into greased 1½-quart baking dish. For a moist stuffing, cover during baking. For a drier stuffing, bake uncovered. Bake at 350°F for 30 minutes or until heated through. Makes 6 servings.

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