Thursday, April 30, 2009

Sweeten Summer with Cool, Refreshing Smoothies

(ARA) - Warm summer days call for the perfect frosty refreshment. Try homemade fruit smoothies -- sweetened naturally with pure honey. Creating your own creamy concoctions is easy -- simply blend together your favorite fruits with ice cubes, milk or yogurt and a touch of honey. Honey is the secret ingredient to enhancing the sweet flavors of the fruits.

Blend up your own delicious smoothies with these easy tips:

* Add variety: Experiment with different combinations of fresh fruits. Try melons, berries and tropical fruits such as mangoes, bananas and pineapple.
* Make it thick: Add a few more ice cubes for a creamier mix.
* Keep it cold: Instead of using fresh fruit, use frozen fruit for a colder and thicker beverage. You can buy frozen fruit or freeze your own.
* On the go: Make smoothies ahead of time and store in the freezer.
* Prevent sticky situations: Add honey and any additional liquids to the blender first to prevent it from binding up on the frozen fruit and getting stuck.

Try these simple smoothie recipes from the National Honey Board. For more recipes and additional honey tips and information, visit

Strawberry Kiwi Smoothie
Makes 2 servings

1 1/2 cups fresh or frozen strawberries
1 large kiwi, peeled
1 container (8 ounces) low-fat vanilla yogurt
1/4 cup honey
12 to 15 ice cubes

In a blender or food processor, combine all ingredients and process until smooth. Serve immediately.

Tropical Smoothie
Makes 4 servings

1 1/2 cups low-fat milk
1/4 cup honey
2 medium ripe bananas, peeled
1 cup plain yogurt
1 teaspoon vanilla (Substitute vanilla yogurt for plain yogurt and vanilla, if desired.)
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
5 ice cubes

Combine milk, bananas, yogurt, honey, vanilla, cinnamon and nutmeg in blender or food processor; process until thick and creamy. Add ice cubes, one at a time, and blend until smooth.

Honey Breakfast Drink
Makes 4 servings

2 cups milk
1/2 cup orange juice
1/3 cup honey
1/4 cup low-fat dry milk
1/4 cup wheat germ
1 large banana, peeled and sliced
4 to 5 ice cubes

Combine all ingredients in blender or food processor and mix well.

Courtesy of ARAcontent

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Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Boost Your Energy With Peanuts And Peanut Butter

(NAPSI)-If you have been skipping your favorite peanut and peanut butter recipes, it's time to add them back into your diet.

A handful of peanuts or a two-tablespoon serving of peanut butter remains a delicious, convenient and inexpensive way to add nutrients like protein, vitamin E, niacin, manganese, magnesium, phosphorus, folate and dietary fiber to your diet.

People still love a PB&J sandwich, peanut butter on apple slices or celery sticks, but, say the experts at the National Peanut Board, you can also use it to add flavor to any meal or snack. Whether you're on the go or powering up before or after a workout, this Fruity Peanut Butter Spread makes a great sandwich spread or a dip for fresh fruit that is sure to be a favorite of both kids and adults. To use as a dip, add extra orange juice until it's the right dipping consistency. The Blueberry Peanut Shake makes a refreshing snack:

Fruity Peanut Butter Spread

1 medium apple, quartered but not peeled

½ cup dried cherries or dried cranberries

1 cup peanut butter

¼ cup orange juice

½ teaspoon cinnamon

In a food processor, chop apple and cranberries. In a small bowl, combine peanut butter, orange juice and cinnamon. Stir apple/cranberry mixture into peanut butter mixture until combined. Cover and refrigerate.

Makes: 12 servings of two tablespoons each

Blueberry Peanut Shake

2 cups fresh or frozen blueberries

⅓ cup creamy peanut butter

½ cup ice

2 cups frozen yogurt

1½ cups whole (or low-fat) milk

Place all ingredients into a blender. Blend at high speed for 1 minute. Pour in glass and serve.

Makes: three servings of 12 oz. each

For more recipes and nutritional information, go to

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Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Summer Family Fun with Blueberries

(ARA) – Summer brings warm weather, a break from school and endless hours spent outdoors with friends and family. Summer is also a time for good eating, with farmer’s markets and roadside stands brimming over with the fruits and berries of the season. Locally grown blueberries are available in most areas of the country and from all reports, this year’s supply is excellent.

Blueberries are the perfect grab ‘n’ go snack for active families, combining the best that nature has to offer: good nutrition and luscious flavor. A cup of blueberries has just 80 calories and is an excellent source of vitamin C, a good source of fiber and manganese, an essential mineral our bodies need every day. Blueberries also contain antioxidants that may contribute to good health. But there’s no need to clue the kids into the nutrition benefits of blueberries when they’re so much fun to eat.

A great summer family activity is blueberry picking at a local farm. Look for nearby pick-your-own farms or, if the drive is a bit longer, make a day trip out of it. Kids of all ages can get in on the action since blueberries grow on bushes within arm’s reach.

Once you get your berries home -- whether from the farm or the supermarket -- refrigerate in a covered container or the plastic packs they came in. A quick rinse just before using and they’re ready for action. They never need to be peeled, pitted, stemmed or chopped.

A breakfast featuring fresh blueberry pancakes is certain to be a hit. Use your favorite pancake recipe or a prepared batter and simply drop a few blueberries onto the pancakes as they cook in the pan, before flipping them over.

For a lazy summer afternoon refresher, make a tall pitcher of “Pink-and-Blueberry Lemonade.” The pink color of the lemonade happens completely naturally with the addition of a few blueberries to the fresh lemon juice and sugar. This lemonade treat can be even more fun with long spoons to pull out and eat the blueberries that float in the glass. If you don’t have fresh blueberries on hand, this special lemonade works just as well with frozen blueberries.

And throughout the year, you can surprise the kids with blueberry ice cubes to add to lemonade, apple juice or fruit punch. Just drop blueberries into an ice cube tray, cover with water or juice and freeze.

You can find more blueberry recipes and information, including a list of u-pick farms, at

Pink and Blueberry Lemonade

1/3 cup sugar
1-1/4 cups fresh or frozen blueberries, divided
1/2 cup lemon juice

In 1-quart glass measuring cup, combine sugar, 2 tablespoons of the blueberries and 1/2 cup water. Microwave on high until hot, about 1 minute; stir until sugar dissolves. Add lemon juice and enough water to make 1 quart; chill. Fill tall glasses with ice cubes, add chilled blueberry mixture and remaining berries, dividing equally. Garnish with lemon slices if desired.

Yield: 1 quart or 4 (8-ounce) servings

Per serving: 94 calories, 25 g carbohydrate, 0 g fat, 1 g fiber, 20 mg vitamin C

Courtesy of ARAcontent

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Monday, April 27, 2009

P'cheen International Bistro & Pub Introduces New Spring Menu!

Serving Creative Dishes Featuring Fresh, Seasonal Ingredients

P’cheen International Bistro & Pub in the Old Fourth Ward will introduce its new spring menu and wine list on Tuesday, April 28, 2009. The new menu, created by Co-owner and Executive Chef Alex Friedman, celebrates fresh, seasonal flavors with an international flare and will feature a variety of new small plates and entrees in addition to the restaurant's staple upscale pub grub favorites.

New appetizers and small plates include: ceviche mixto with Thai basil, kaffir lime, and green chili; traditional spanakopita with roasted garlic infused extra virgin olive oil; house smoked trout dip with toasted pita; and grilled merguez sausage with saute of spring mushrooms and harissa vinaigrette. The new soup and salad selection features cream of asparagus soup; bibb lettuce salad with shaved fennel, papaya, gorgonzola, and a blood orange vinaigrette; and a marinated artichoke and green been salad with crispy prosciutto, manchego, and a saffron vinaigrette. Seasonal entrée choices include: bouillabaisse with shrimp, mussels, squid, cod in a saffron fennel broth with fresh tomato, toasted baguette, and rouille; Jamaican jerk baby back ribs with stewed green beans and ginger honey roasted parsnips; and a grilled double cut pork chop with garlic artichokes, truffled hash browns and a smoked bacon vinaigrette.

Staple menu items like the risotto du jour, chef’s curry trio, grilled angus and portabella hamburger, and the Guinness beer battered fish n’ chips will still be still available.

P'cheen's desserts are created by Chocolate Pink Executive Pastry Chef Christian Balbierer.

WHEN: Launching April 28, 2009

WHERE: P’cheen International Bistro & Pub
701-5 Highland Ave.
Atlanta, Georgia 30312

HOURS: Monday – Friday: 5 p.m. – 2 a.m.
Saturday: 3 p.m. – 2 a.m.
Sunday: 3 p.m. – 12 a.m.

Kitchen closes at 10:30 p.m. Monday through Saturday, 10p.m. Sunday.

WEB SITE: Visit P'cheen online at
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Celebrate Savings And A Healthier Diet With A Pantry Staple

(NAPSI)-A growing number of consumers are celebrating the fact that cooking and baking from scratch-instead of from a mix-can be just the recipe for saving money and adding important nutrients to their diets.

Cooking and baking from scratch can be very convenient if you stock your pantry with a few affordable staples. Whole wheat flour is one such staple that is drawing interest from consumers who are looking to boost the nutritional value of their favorite homemade foods, but they don't enjoy its taste, texture and appearance.

According to Phil Lempert, food trends expert and Supermarket Guru, "Today's consumers are looking for whole grain products that offer a balance of health benefits and taste. Ultragrain White Whole Wheat Flour from Eagle Mills is an example of a product that gives consumers the nutrition they need with the taste and texture they want."

Eagle Mills Ultragrain White Whole Wheat Flour is made from specially selected white wheat that is milled to the consistency of refined white flour so products are lighter in color with the taste, appearance and texture consumers know and love, but with higher levels of fiber, vitamins, minerals and antioxidants-including 30 grams of whole grains and 4 grams of dietary fiber per serving.

It can also be purchased as a blended flour under the Eagle Mills label. Made with a blend of 70 percent premium white flour and 30 percent Ultragrain flour, Eagle Mills All-Purpose Flour made with Ultragrain is intended to give consumers a middle ground as they move from refined white flour to 100 percent whole wheat flour. The blended flour works as a cup-for-cup replacement for other all-purpose flours, and provides 9 grams of whole grains per serving and two times the fiber. Look for the flours at mainstream grocery stores nationwide.

The recipe below is a great example of how a well-stocked pantry can make affordable and tasty treats with the added benefit of whole grain nutrition:

Celebration Cupcakes

Prep Time: 45 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour, 30 minutes

Makes: 20 servings


2 cups Eagle Mills® All-Purpose Unbleached Flour made with Ultragrain®

2 teaspoons baking powder

½ teaspoon salt

½ cup butter, softened

1¼ cups granulated sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

2 eggs

1 cup milk


2 tablespoons Eagle Mills®

All-Purpose Unbleached Flour made with Ultragrain®

½ cup milk

½ cup butter, softened

½ cup granulated sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1. Preheat oven to 375° F. Line twenty 2½-inch muffin cups with paper bake cups. Set aside.

2. For cupcakes: Combine 2 cups flour, baking powder and salt in medium bowl. Place ½ cup butter in large mixing bowl. Beat with an electric mixer 30 seconds. Add 1¼ cups sugar and 1 teaspoon vanilla; beat until well combined. Add eggs, one at a time, beating 1 minute after each. Gradually add flour mixture alternately with the milk, beating on low speed after each addition just until blended.

3. Fill each cup half full. Bake 18 minutes, or until toothpick inserted in center of cupcake comes out clean. Cool on wire rack.

4. For frosting: Place 2 tablespoons flour in small saucepan; whisk in ½ cup milk until blended. Heat over low heat until thickened. Remove from heat. Cover and cool.

5. Beat ½ cup butter in large mixing bowl with electric mixer until fluffy. Add ½ cup sugar; beat on high speed 4 minutes. Gradually add milk mixture and 1 teaspoon vanilla; beat on low speed until combined. Beat on high speed 7 minutes, or until light and fluffy.

6. Frost cupcakes with frosting. Decorate as desired.

To learn more or for recipes, visit

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Thursday, April 23, 2009

Lightening Up Your Favorite Recipes

(NAPSI)-Most people love the rich and creamy taste of macaroni and cheese, fettuccine Alfredo and creamy tomato soup.

Fortunately, popular creamy recipes can be made into something even better and healthier with recipe secrets from award-winning cookbook author Pam Anderson for losing weight and eating great.

The following are a few tips for creating healthy meals at home:

• Shop smart: Always keep a well-stocked pantry of flavorful but healthy items. Having several types of vinegar on hand helps to serve up a flavorful punch without adding fat or calories. Store lower-fat, high-flavor cheeses such as goat, blue, Parmesan and feta in the fridge to add flavor to any dish. A well-stocked pantry will help you to easily make the perfect recipe at home.

• Eat smarter: Eating frequently and in small amounts throughout the day may prevent you from overeating; you should never go more than three hours without eating. Before making dinner, have a predinner nibble to stop you from grazing while cooking.

• Make every cup count: You typically use your drinking milk for cooking, but why not try using evaporated milk for richer and creamier meals with more nutrition? Low-fat evaporated milk has twice the calcium and protein of low-fat drinking milk, plus it's much lower in calories than the half-and-half or cream typically added to Alfredo recipes. Heavy cream has 50 calories per tablespoon, while evaporated milk has 20 calories per tablespoon and low-fat 2 percent evaporated milk has 12.5 calories per tablespoon. Simply use one cup of evaporated milk to replace one cup of milk or cream. Try a delicious CARNATION® Evaporated Milk recipe such as Crustless Broccoli & Cheddar Mini Quiches, which are great as an appetizer or with a salad for a light meal.

Crustless Broccoli & Cheddar Mini Quiches

(Makes 12-16 quiches)


1 can (12 fl. oz.) NESTLE® CARNATION® Evaporated Lowfat 2% Milk

3 large eggs, beaten

2 tablespoons all-purpose flour

¼ teaspoon salt

¼ teaspoon ground black pepper

2 cups (8 oz.) shredded mild or sharp cheddar cheese

2 cups chopped, frozen broccoli, thawed and drained

½ cup chopped red bell pepper


PREHEAT oven to 350° F. Grease and lightly flour twelve 2½-inch muffin cups.

WHISK evaporated milk, eggs, flour, salt and black pepper in medium bowl until blended. Stir in cheese, broccoli and bell pepper. Spoon ¼ to ⅓ cup of mixture into each prepared muffin cup, filling almost to rim*. Stir mixture frequently to evenly distribute ingredients.

BAKE for 23 to 28 minutes or until knife inserted near centers comes out clean and tops are lightly browned. Cool in pans for 15 minutes. Run knife or small, flat spatula around inside edges of muffin cups. Carefully remove quiches.

*NOTE: Number of quiches that you get will depend on the size of your muffin cups. Bake time may need some adjusting.

Nutrition facts per serving: 120 cal, 7 g total fat (5 g sat fat), 80 mg chol, 220 mg sodium, 6 g carbo, .5 g fiber, 8 g pro, 15% Daily Value vitamin A, 35% Daily Value vitamin C, 2% Daily Value iron, 25% Daily Value calcium

For more recipe ideas, visit

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Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Celebrate Earth Day: Save Seafood

/PRNewswire/ -- As the world celebrates Earth Day 2009 on April 22, more people than ever are actively looking for ways to protect and preserve the world we live in. Not surprisingly, sustainability of our seas is gaining increased attention.

The American Heart Association (AHA) recommends eating a variety of seafood at least twice a week to maintain a healthy heart. But that recommendation presents a problem. If everyone were to eat a mere 39 pounds of seafood per year, seafood could quickly become a scarce natural resource.

Overfishing - catching fish faster than they can reproduce - is a potential threat to our environment. Only so many fish swim in the sea. So what can be done to protect this valuable resource? One practical solution is to support sustainably-sourced seafood.

Sustainable seafood is fished or farmed in ways that protect the existence and health of the species and the surrounding ecosystem. "If the seafood industry and consumers who purchase seafood give high priority to sustainability, we will have sufficient resources through aquaculture (farmed seafood) and wild-caught seafood to meet the increased demand that eating seafood twice a week requires," said Daryl Miller, WorldCatch senior marketing manager. "By making a commitment to buying and enjoying sustainable seafood, Americans can help ensure that future generations will continue to enjoy the benefits of this marvelous and nutritious natural resource."

One way consumers can quickly determine if seafood is sustainable is by looking for sustainability seals on the fresh or packaged seafood that they purchase in grocery stores. When these seals are present, they can be assured that they are making responsible seafood choices.

WorldCatch uses two such seals on their sustainably-certified products. The first seal, from the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC), is a blue ecolabel with the diagram of a fish. It identifies sustainable, wild-caught seafood. The second seal, from the Aquaculture Certification Council (ACC), is a blue circular label that is found on farmed seafood that conforms to the "Best Aquacultural Practices."

WorldCatch frozen seafood offers a win-win proposition. They aim to use sustainable seafood sourcing practices and their ready to cook products are delicious. The company's line-up of all-natural, easy-to-prepare, chef-inspired seafood products includes Salmon Burgers, Shrimp Scampi, Coconut Shrimp, and Crab Cakes.

"Americans are increasingly appreciating seafood's inherent health benefits, like lean protein and Omega-3's," said Miller. "Frozen seafood offers the benefit of longer shelf life than fresh. And, WorldCatch products offer greater convenience and value than plain seafood because they are already sauced or seasoned, which means shoppers don't have to find and purchase recipe ingredients. Products come ready to cook right from the package."

This Earth Day, WorldCatch is encouraging consumers to start a healthy, environmentally-friendly new habit. "Enjoy eating delicious WorldCatch seafood meals," suggests Miller, "and at the same time gain the satisfaction of knowing that you're working toward the goal of seafood twice a week while supporting more sustainable seas."

In honor of Earth Day, enjoy this delicious recipe courtesy of WorldCatch. For more information, visit

Aloha Salmon Burgers
Prep Time: 10 minutes Cook Time: 10 minutes Makes: 4 servings

1 package MSC Certified WorldCatch Wild Alaskan Salmon Burgers (SeaPak
Salmon Burgers may be substituted)
1/4 cup teriyaki sauce
1 small can pineapple slices, drained
4 slices red onion
4 slices Swiss cheese (if desired)
4 leaves green leaf lettuce
4 hamburger buns


PREHEAT grill to medium-high heat.
GRILL salmon burgers according to package directions brushing periodically
with teriyaki sauce. Grill pineapple slices until slightly browned and
warmed through. Remove both from grill. Lightly toast hamburger buns on
PLATE by placing salmon burger on toasted bun and topping with pineapple
slice, lettuce, onion and Swiss cheese.
SERVE immediately.

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Monday, April 20, 2009

Grilling With Seasonal Fruits

(NAPSI)-Grilling is one of the most popular ways to entertain at home, but have you thought of preparing dessert on the grill?

For a light, refreshing dessert, pair the lively flavors of seasonal fruits with lime juice, grated gingerroot and the mellow taste of olive oil in Lime-Ginger Grilled Fruit. Pineapple, pear and apple chunks are tossed in a sweet marinade and grilled, then mixed with oranges, mango, kiwis, berries or other seasonal fruit favorites. Family and guests will appreciate this delightful departure from traditional fruit compote.

Lime-Ginger Grilled Fruit

Prep Time: 35 minutes

Cook Time: 10 minutes

Total Time: 45 minutes

3 teaspoons grated lime peel

3 tablespoons lime juice

1 tablespoon brown sugar

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil or other olive oil

3 teaspoons grated ginger root

2 (¾-inch-thick) slices fresh pineapple

1 Bosc or D'Anjou pear

1 large crisp apple

2 navel oranges, peeled and coarsely chopped

1 mango, peeled, pitted and diced

1½ cups blueberries or blackberries

1½ cups coarsely chopped hulled strawberries

1 kiwi fruit, peeled, cored and cut into pieces

⅓ to ½ cup powdered sugar

1. Heat grill to medium direct heat. Blend 1 tablespoon lime juice and brown sugar in small bowl to dissolve sugar. Blend in olive oil, 1 teaspoon lime peel and 1 teaspoon gingerroot. Peel and core pear and apple; cut each into quarters.

2. Brush pineapple, pear and apple lightly with olive oil mixture. Place fruit on grill. Grill 5 minutes; brush with remaining olive oil mixture; turn and grill 4 to 6 minutes longer. Remove from grill. Coarsely chop grilled fruit into bite-size pieces.

3. Place grilled fruit, oranges, mango, blueberries, strawberries, kiwi, remaining 2 tablespoons lime juice, ⅓ cup powdered sugar, remaining 2 teaspoons lime peel and 2 teaspoons gingerroot in large bowl; toss lightly to mix. For best flavor, cover and refrigerate at least 2 hours to allow flavors to blend. Serve in bowls or over sponge cake cups or cake, if desired. Makes 10 to 12 servings.

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Friday, April 17, 2009

Palate-Pleasing Plates That Save Cents

(NAPSI)-Looking for meals that bank on flavor while saving cents? You can find a repertoire of recession-proof and nutritious recipes online at a new section of the Idaho Potato Commission's Web site called Watching Waistlines & Wallets:

One of the key ingredients in each recipe is an Idaho® potato. An average 5.3-ounce spud has only 110 calories, contains zero fat and cholesterol and is packed with nutrients including 45 percent daily value of vitamin C, nearly twice as much potassium as a banana, fiber, protein, vitamin B6 and complex carbohydrates. At about 25 cents per potato, that's a lot of nutritional bang for your buck--and even better, your quarter.

Twice-Baked Idaho® Potatoes with Sausage & Cheese

Servings: 8

8 large Idaho® potatoes, scrubbed

2 teaspoons olive oil (optional, for a softer-skinned potato)

12 ounces ground turkey sausage

1 cup skim milk

1 stick (½ cup) margarine or butter

½ teaspoon salt (optional)

pinch white pepper (optional)

¼ cup chopped chives (optional)

1 8-ounce package reduced-fat, shredded cheddar cheese

Preheat oven to 425° F. Pierce potatoes with a fork several times. Rub potato skins with olive oil if a softer potato skin is desired. Bake potatoes directly on the middle oven rack for 50-60 minutes or until they yield to gentle pressure. While the potatoes are baking, cook the turkey sausage. Drain the sausage, crumble it and set aside. While potatoes are still hot (use oven mitt to hold potato), cut them in half lengthwise. Scoop out the interior flesh of the potato into a medium-size bowl, leaving a shell about ¼-inch thick all around. Using a potato masher, mash the potato flesh. In a small saucepan over medium heat, heat milk until hot, but not boiling. Add milk to potato a little at a time, mashing it together each time. Mix in butter and mash all until smooth. Add salt, white pepper and chives, if desired, and mix together thoroughly. Stir in the shredded cheese and sausage. Turn oven to 400° F. Using a spoon, gently fill the potato shells with the potato mixture, mounding it up high. Place filled potatoes on a baking sheet, sprinkle with Parmesan cheese, if desired, and bake for 18-20 minutes or until hot.

Estimated Nutritional Analysis per Serving: 476 calories, 21 g fat, 48 g cholesterol, 738 g sodium, 18 g protein, 53 g carbohydrates

More Recipes

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Thursday, April 16, 2009

Great Dinners Start on the Grill

(ARA) - Dinnertime is a lot more fun as the grilling season gets under way and aromas of sizzling food fill the air. In fact, there’s a good case to make for cooking the whole dinner on the grill.

This time of year, supersweet corn from Florida ranks high on the list of delectable grillables -- and, like grilling, corn on the cob is just plain fun.

Ready for the Grate
Some cooks grill corn ears in their husks. But Cheryl and Bill Jamison, authors of "The Big Book of Outdoor Cooking and Entertaining," prefer to “flame sear” ears stripped of their husks. “You get a much deeper taste,” they say. Their basic recipe calls for basting the ears with melted butter as they grill over a medium fire. At the end comes a sprinkle of flaky sea salt. While the corn is cooking, throw chicken breasts, steak, pork tenderloin or sausages on the fire. Everything will be done at about the same time.

One easy idea from Diane Morgan, author of "Dressed to Grill: "Rub corn ears with a basting sauce like her zesty Hotlips Chili Butter (recipe below) and grill them alongside skewered chicken and bell pepper chunks. Then relax and chat while dinner takes care of itself.

Dual-use Rubs and Marinades
There’s no end to the marinades, slathers, basting sauces and rubs that make corn and other meal components taste fabulous. For instance, whip up a Greek-style marinade of olive oil, fresh lemon juice, garlic and oregano -- brush the mixture on skewers of pork chunks, corn rounds and zucchini that very conveniently add up to a meal.

For a great chicken and corn dinner, coat cutlets and ears with melted butter, olive oil or nonstick cooking spray. Sprinkle with a Southwest seasoning blend (or salt, pepper cumin and oregano) and head for the grill.

Many marinades and rubs are added before grilling so that the foods and flavorings will really bond. But freshly chopped herbs such as parsley or basil are best added after grilling the corn with just a light coating of oil -- that way, they’ll stay fresh and green. When a marinade like barbecue sauce might burn, basting at the halfway point is the right choice.

Grill Once, Eat Twice
As long as you’re grilling, why not cook extra? Serve corn on the cob tonight and refrigerate the leftover ears. The next night, scrape off the nicely caramelized kernels and toss with a few other ingredients for a distinctive salsa to go with your leftover grilled chicken, pork or other protein.

The Jamisons suggest combining the grilled kernels with diced red bell pepper, red onion and a bit of corn oil. They flavor the salsa with lime juice and salt and, just before serving, fold in diced avocado.

Grilled corn kernels can be used in lots of other ways. Sprinkle them into salads or soups, or add to shrimp or chicken salad destined for a wrap.

Supersweet Corn Care
Supersweet corn from Florida is in markets until June. Today, you may find corn in or out of the husk with kernels of yellow, white or both (bi-color) -- all of it has the same deliciously sweet flavor. Make sure you store the corn in your refrigerator to keep it fresh and sweet. For information on how to keep your corn fresh, visit

Grilled Corn with Hotlips Chili Butter
Serves six

1/4 cup butter, softened
2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon chili powder
1/4 teaspoon sugar
Pinch ground red pepper
6 ears fresh supersweet corn, husked

Preheat outdoor grill or broiler. In a small bowl, combine butter, cilantro, salt, chili powder, sugar and red pepper. Brush corn lightly with mixture; grill, turning occasionally, until some kernels turn golden brown, 10 to 12 minutes. Remove to platter; brush with remaining chili butter. Serve with grilled chicken and red pepper kabobs, if desired.

Corn and Pork Skewers
Serves four

3 ears fresh supersweet corn, husked
12 ounces pork tenderloin or boneless, cooked chicken breasts
2 small zucchini
2 small sweet red bell peppers
1/4 cup olive oil
2 tablespoons lemon juice
4 teaspoons oregano
2 teaspoons chopped garlic
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper

Preheat grill or broiler. With a large, sharp knife, cut corn in 2-inch pieces and the pork, zucchini and bell peppers in 1-inch pieces. In a large bowl, combine oil, lemon juice, oregano, garlic, salt and pepper. Add pork and vegetables; toss to coat. Let stand for 10 minutes at room temperature. On eight (10- to 12-inch) metal skewers, loosely thread pork and vegetables. Grill or broil, turning occasionally, until meat is cooked through, eight to 10 minutes. If desired, serve with salad greens. Pork and vegetables can also be cooked “unskewered” on a grill rack or broiler pan, for eight to 10 minutes, turning often.

For more delicious grilled corn recipes, visit

Courtesy of ARAcontent

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Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Peanut Butter: High-Value Superfood

(NAPSI)-Want to spread the value in your meals and snacks and boost your protein and nutrients? Spread peanut butter. The benefits of peanut butter are clear when you compare cost per serving.

For instance, just two spoonfuls of peanut butter-a serving about the size of a ping-pong ball-costs around 13 cents but has just as much protein as a glass of milk (24 cents per serving) and more than a hot dog (56 cents per serving).

In addition to packing plenty of protein, researchers using data from the U.S. Department of Agriculture found that people who eat peanuts and peanut butter regularly take in many more nutrients-including vitamin E, magnesium, iron, zinc, folate and fiber-than those who don't. Plus, peanut butter provides good fats that lower cholesterol, according to researchers from Penn State.

One delightful way to up your protein and nutrients for less with peanut butter is with this recipe, which can healthfully feed a family of four.

Peanutty Vegetable Medley

2 teaspoons peanut oil

1 large onion, chopped

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 can (8 oz.) tomato sauce

½ cup water

2 teaspoons chili powder

½ teaspoon salt

1 cauliflower (about 2½ pounds), broken into large florets

2 carrots, cut into ½-inch slices

1 green pepper, cut into 1½-inch pieces

⅓ cup creamy peanut butter

8 ounces couscous, pasta or rice, cooked

In a 5-quart Dutch oven, heat oil over medium-high heat. Add onion and garlic; cook, stirring frequently, 3 to 5 minutes or until onion is translucent. Stir in tomato sauce, water, chili powder and salt. Add cauliflower, carrots and green pepper; bring to boil. Reduce heat, cover and simmer 15 minutes. Stir in peanut butter. Cover and simmer 5 minutes longer or until vegetables are tender. Serve with couscous, pasta or rice.

Makes 4 servings.

You can find more recipes and information about the nutrition in peanuts and peanut butter from the experts at The Peanut Institute. Look online at or call (888) 8PEANUT.

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Monday, April 6, 2009

Potatoes Pack a Hearty Punch

(ARA) - It’s no secret that heart disease remains the leading cause of death in America, where one in every three Americans is at high risk, according to the American Heart Association. Sadly, most people don’t know about the risk.

If that thought doesn’t get your heart pumping, this will: Potassium, like that found in potatoes, may help lower diastolic blood pressure. Potatoes with skin are a good source of potassium, a nutrient that can help reduce the risk of high blood pressure and promote heart health. In fact, a recent study from Deakin University found that increased potato consumption was associated with a decrease in diastolic blood pressure, likely due to the potassium content of potatoes.

Potassium is an electrolyte that’s necessary to keep a normal balance of water inside and outside of the body’s cells. It also plays an essential role in nerve stimulation and the contraction of muscles, including the heart muscle.

Take it to heart
Simple lifestyle modifications, such as maintaining a healthy body weight and choosing foods that are a good source of potassium and that are low in sodium may reduce the risk of high blood pressure and stroke.

“When I want to do something good for my heart -- I reach for potatoes,” says Devin Alexander, host of Healthy Decadence with Devin Alexander. “Research indicates that keeping weight down and eating a diet high in potassium is important to heart health. As a good source of potassium that is naturally fat-free and contains only 110 calories, potatoes fit the bill.”

One medium potato with the skin contains 620 mg of potassium. That’s 18 percent of your daily requirement. In fact, potatoes rank highest for potassium among the top 20 most frequently consumed raw vegetables and the top 20 most frequently consumed raw fruits -- yes, even more than bananas.

As an added benefit, diets high in potassium-rich fruits and vegetables may also help maintain lean body mass and bone-mineral density as we age, according to research published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.

So, how do you perk up your basic potato?

* Add spicy salsa and low fat sour cream
* Top it with vegetarian chili and sprinkle with low fat shredded cheddar cheese
* Make it Italian with marinara sauce and parmesan cheese
* Steam vegetables with olive oil and herbs and perch them on top
* “Repurpose” last night’s rotisserie chicken; add sautéed, diced onions and peppers for a fajita potato

Or take it a step further with easy, one-dish potato wonders from your microwave, like Microwave Mashed Potatoes:

4 medium russet, yellow-flesh or white potatoes or 6 to 8 small red potatoes
Salt and pepper

1. Wash potatoes, do not puncture potato skin
2. Place potatoes into either a microwave steam bag or into a microwave-safe dish with lid or with plastic wrap cover. Note: If using plastic wrap, poke one small hole in cover to vent.
2. Microwave for 9 minutes on high (cooking time may vary depending on microwave).
3. Add milk, butter, salt and pepper to your taste, mashing until desired consistency is reached (for best results, add milk and butter, and then microwave for one more minute). Leave the skin on to enjoy all the wonderful color and nutrients, like potassium, fiber and vitamin C.

For a quick fix to get more potassium into your diet, visit for nutritious potato recipes. And, as an added benefit, you don’t have to break the bank to eat healthy -- at just 25 cents per serving, potatoes are by far one of the most cost effective ways to boost your daily potassium intake.

Courtesy of ARAcontent

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Thursday, April 2, 2009

Last Chance to Enter Million-Dollar Pillsbury Bake-Off® Contest

(BUSINESS WIRE)--The heat is on for home cooks to come up with a recipe idea that could be worth $1 million, as the April 20, 2009, entry deadline for the 44th Pillsbury Bake-Off® Contest is quickly approaching. One hundred finalists will earn a trip to Orlando, Fla., next year to vie for the million-dollar grand prize and the glory of winning America’s most prestigious cooking competition.

This contest marks 60 years of recognizing and rewarding home cooks’ creativity, a history that began when the first Pillsbury Bake-Off® Contest was held at the Waldorf=Astoria in New York City. Pillsbury will celebrate this 60th anniversary at the contest finals April 11-13, 2010, at the newest Waldorf=Astoria property—the Waldorf=Astoria Orlando and Hilton Orlando Bonnet Creek hotel in Florida.

Entrants must submit their original recipes at or the Spanish language site for preliminary judging.

“The recipes that make it into the final 100 are dishes families across the country will love. They’re new ideas that look tempting and taste great,” said Kim Anderson, Pillsbury Bake-Off® Kitchens Manager. “Finding inspiration for a simple recipe idea can be as easy as experimenting with new flavors or watching your favorite cooking show on television.”

Whether the idea comes from leftovers in the fridge or the desire to try a new product, Anderson shares these tips from the Pillsbury Bake-Off® Kitchens for creating an original recipe:

* Create a contemporary version of a traditional recipe by streamlining preparation techniques or by substituting a convenience ingredient for several ingredients.
* For inspiration, browse your grocery store aisles or visit a new restaurant and order a dish you’ve never tried.
* Adapt a recipe for a different serving occasion, such as turning a main dish into an appetizer. Try adding a new flavor twist.
* Think about a recent vacation and take cues from the new foods and flavors you tried.
* Challenge yourself to whip up a new dish from foods that are already in your fridge and pantry.
* Once you have a good idea, ask yourself, “Does it look attractive? Will it appeal to the whole family? Would my friends ask me for this recipe?”
* As you test your recipe, ask yourself, “Does it taste good? Are the seasonings too spicy, too bland or just right? What can be done to make this taste even better? Does the texture complement the recipe?”
* Remind yourself what the judges are looking for: taste, appearance, creativity and consumer appeal, and ask, “Will my recipe stand out?”

How to Enter

Creative cooks must enter online at (or at Only entries submitted via the electronic entry form provided on these web sites will be accepted. All entries must be received by 11:59 a.m. (central daylight time) on April 20, 2009.

Cash and Prizes

Four recipe categories define the kinds of recipes consumers should submit for the Bake-Off® competition. These include Breakfast & Brunches, Entertaining Appetizers, Dinner Made Easy™ and Sweet Treats. One of the four category winners will win the $1 million grand prize and a GE Profile™ Induction Free-Standing Range, plus the winner chooses $7,000 in additional GE Profile™ kitchen appliances. Combined retail value of Grand Prize is approximately $1,010,300. The three remaining Recipe Category Winners will each receive $5,000 and a GE Profile™ Induction Free-Standing Range. Combined retail value of each Category Prize is approximately $8,300.

Three additional awards will be presented to winners chosen from any of the recipe categories who have not already won another prize. The most innovative recipe will receive the GE Imagination at Work Award and its winner receives a GE Profile™ Induction Free-Standing Range, plus the winner chooses $1,700 in additional GE Profile™ kitchen appliances. Retail value of the GE Imagination At Work Award is approximately $5,000. The Jif® Peanut Butter Award recognizes the finalist who has the best recipe using at least ¼ cup of Jif® Peanut Butter. The winner will receive $5,000. The Crisco is Cooking™ Award recognizes the finalist who has the best recipe using at least 1 tablespoon of Crisco® Cooking Oil. The winner will receive $5,000.

Eligible Products

Contest officials have created two lists of eligible products. Contestants must use two or more different eligible products in their recipes, with at least one ingredient from the primary list of products and a second from either the primary or secondary list.

The primary list features returning eligible products to the contest, including Pillsbury® Refrigerated Crescent Dinner Rolls, Classic Pizza Crust, Cookie Dough and Ready to Bake Cookies, Grands!® and Golden Layers® Biscuits, Cinnamon Rolls, Breadsticks, Crusty French Loaf, and Pie Crusts; Pillsbury® Brownie Mixes and Pillsbury BEST® Flour. Pillsbury Refrigerated Crescent Recipe Creations™ flaky dough sheet and Thin Pizza Crust are new products on the primary list.

The secondary list features Green Giant® Frozen Vegetables, Jif® Peanut Butter, Smucker’s® Jams, Jellies, Preserves, Fruit Spreads and Ice Cream Toppings, Crisco® Cooking Oil, Eggland’s Best Eggs, LAND O LAKES® Stick Butter and Fisher® Nuts. Eagle Brand® Sweetened Condensed Milk and Hershey®’s cocoa, baking chips or bits and baking chocolate are new eligible ingredients also on the secondary list.

Many of the eligible ingredients are familiar to home cooks and come in a variety of flavors, so people can choose their favorite ingredients from throughout the grocery store to use in their recipes. The official contest rules are available at (or the Spanish language site and list the specific eligible products and the amount of each that must be used in a recipe entry.

The upcoming 44th Pillsbury Bake-Off® Contest is sponsored by General Mills, General Electric, The J.M. Smucker Company, Eggland’s Best, Land O’Lakes, Inc., Fisher® Nuts and The Hershey Company.

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Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Take the Guesswork Out of Passover Meal Preparation With Cabot Creamery Cooperative's Kosher Sharp Cheddar

/PRNewswire/ -- For at-home cooks, professional chefs and culinary artists alike, the most challenging of all Jewish Holidays is just around the corner... Passover! When it comes to preparing kosher foods for the Seder and other Passover meals, there's no room for guesswork. And one challenge all those cooks face is ensuring that the cheese they use is strictly kosher for Passover.

Let's give thanks that there is help, both for those home cooks and the pros: Cabot Creamery Cooperative eliminates guesswork with its new OU Kosher-for-Passover Sharp Cheddar, certified by the Orthodox Union.

Passover is an eight-day celebration of freedom, during which Jewish families unite for meals, prayer and celebration. The Holiday commemorates the Jewish exodus from Egypt and escape from slavery.

"Cabot has a longstanding tradition of making high-quality, certified kosher dairy products," states Roberta MacDonald, senior vice president of marketing for Cabot. "We work closely with our supervising rabbis from Orthodox Union and Tablet K to ensure the entire line of Cabot cheddars, cultured products, and butters meet the exacting kosher dietary standards." The OU Kosher Sharp Cheddar is available in random weight deli bars weighing approximately 10 ounces each. These bars are clearly marked with the OU's hologram sticker. Consumers may order Cabot's OU Kosher Sharp Cheddar only online at: and can purchase Cabot's other OU and Tablet K certified kosher dairy products at select retailers throughout New England, Northeast and Mid-Atlantic states, Florida, and Georgia.

During Passover, there are certain foods that are not to be eaten, making menu preparation more challenging. Though there are variations, prohibited foods include the following:

-- leavened bread (bread with yeast or baking powder - anything that
-- cakes, biscuits, crackers
-- cereal and coffees containing cereal derivatives
-- wheat, barley, oats, spelt, rye
-- corn, millet
-- legumes (beans and peas; however, string beans are permitted)
-- all liquids containing ingredients or flavors made from grain alcohol
-- peanuts and peanut oil are permissible

-- More Passover info is available at:

Keeping Passover guidelines and overall Jewish Dietary Laws in mind, Cabot has created two new Passover recipes made with Cabot OU Kosher Sharp Cheddar: Roasted Cauliflower and Cheese, and Potatoes Au Gratin. These recipes can be found below, and dozens more ideas for a delicious twist on traditional holiday recipes can be found on Cabot's website at:

Roasted Cauliflower and Cheese
Makes 16 servings

1/4-cup extra-virgin olive oil
5 to 6 cups cauliflower florets, about 1-1/2 inches in diameter
(1 medium head)
1-teaspoon salt, plus more to taste
1/2-teaspoon ground white pepper, plus more to taste
1 tablespoon sliced garlic
2 sprigs fresh thyme
1/2-cup grated Cabot OU Kosher Sharp Cheddar
1. Preheat oven to 450F.
2. Heat oil in large ovenproof saute pan over medium-high heat. Add
cauliflower and sprinkle with salt and white pepper. Add garlic and
thyme and saute until cauliflower is lightly golden.
3. Place in oven and roast for 5 to 8 minutes longer.

4. Remove from oven. Spoon off and discard any excess oil. Sprinkle
cauliflower with cheese. Return to oven for several minutes, or until
cheese is melted. Taste cauliflower, adding additional salt and white
pepper if needed.

Preparation time: 10 minutes
Cooking time: 20 Minutes

Nutrition Analysis

Calories 128, Total Fat 12g, Saturated Fat 2g, Sodium 436mg, Carbohydrates 3g, Dietary Fiber 2g, Calcium 70mg

Potatoes Au Gratin
Makes 6 servings

2 pounds Yukon Gold or all-purpose potatoes, peeled and thinly sliced
2 tablespoons chopped fresh thyme
2 large garlic cloves, thinly sliced
Salt, preferably kosher or sea salt, to taste
Freshly ground black pepper to taste
2-1/2 cups whole milk or cream
1 cup grated Cabot OU Kosher Sharp Cheddar
1. Preheat oven to 325F. Butter large shallow baking dish or coat with
nonstick cooking spray.
2. In large bowl, toss together potatoes, thyme and garlic; season
generously with salt and pepper. Spread potatoes evenly in prepared
dish. Pour cream over potatoes to cover.
3. Bake for 1-1/2 hours, or until potatoes appear to be melting into

4. Preheat broiler. Sprinkle cheese evenly over potatoes and place under
broiler until nicely browned. Let stand for 5 to 10 minutes before

Preparation time: 10 minutes
Cooking time: 1-1/2 hours

Nutrition Analysis

Calories 186, Total Fat 8g, Saturated Fat 5g, Sodium 505mg, Carbohydrates 18g, Dietary Fiber 2g, Protein 11g, Calcium 280mg

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