Category Archives: Food

1280px-Chocolate_Chip_Cookies_-_kimberlykv

National Chocolate Chip Day

pogx9oohog7-honey-choc-chip-400x267Chocolate-Chip-Pancakes-8dough-balls

 

In 1937, Ruth Graves Wakefield of the Toll House Inn in Whitman, Massachusetts was making chocolate cookies for her guests when she realized she was out of baker’s chocolate. She substituted a chopped Nestle chocolate bar, thinking that the chocolate would melt. Although that didn’t happen, the cookies became an instant hit with her friends and guests. The cookies became a overnight local sensation, and the recipe was published in a Boston newspaper. As the popularity of the cookies increased, sales of Nestle’s semi-sweet chocolate bars also increased. Nestle reached an agreement with Ruth Wakefield: they would print the Toll House Cookie recipe on their packages, and Wakefield would be given a lifetime supply of Nestle chocolate. The chocolate chip cookie soon became the most popular kind of cookie in America. Today, Nestle’s Toll House chocolate chips are named for the inn where Ruth Graves Wakefield invented the famous cookies.

May 15 is National Chocolate Chip Day, so why not celebrate this sweet occasion with one of the following recipes? Chocolate chips are a versatile and delicious addition to cakes, cookies, cheesecakes, puddings, pies, and more. Here are a few recipes you won’t want to miss:

Double Chocolate Chip Pancakes

Start your day off with a delicious twist: chocolate pancakes packed with miniature chocolate chips. You can whip up a batch of these chocolatey pancakes in less than 20 minutes. They’re great served with whipped cream or maple syrup and butter.

Source: Taste of Home

Serves: 3

Ingredients:

2 cups baking/biscuit mix

2 teaspoons baking powder

1 cup chocolate milk

1 egg

1/2 cup sour cream

1/4 cup miniature semi-sweet chocolate chips

Maple syrup and butter, optional

Instructions:

1.) In a large bowl, combine the biscuit mix and baking powder. Combine the egg, milk and sour cream; stir into dry ingredients just until moistened. Fold in chocolate chips.

2.) Pour batter by 1/4 cupfuls onto a greased hot griddle. Turn when bubbles form on top; cook until second side is golden brown. Serve with maple syrup and butter if desired.

 

Honey Chocolate-Chip Cookies

Looking for a new twist on an old favorite? Try these cookies! Made with honey instead of brown sugar, the cookies are a chewy, rich alternative to traditional chocolate chip cookies.

Source: Saveur

Serves: 4 dozen cookies

Ingredients:

2¼ cups all-purpose flour

1 tsp. baking soda

½ tsp. salt

1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened

1½ cups white sugar

3 tbsp. honey

2 eggs

2 tsp. vanilla extract

2 cups bittersweet chocolate chips, or chopped bittersweet chocolate

Instructions:

1.) Heat oven to to 375º F. In a small mixing bowl, mix together the flour, baking soda, and salt. In a large mixing bowl, cream together the butter, sugar, honey, eggs, and vanilla; gradually add the dry ingredients until a dough forms. Stir in the chocolate.

2.) Drop 1-tablespoon portions of dough onto cookie sheets lined with parchment paper; bake for 8-9 minutes, rotating the cookie sheets after 5 minutes.

 

Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Brownies

Looking for a rich, chocolatey brownie that won’t mess up your diet? These brownies have just 125 calories and 5 grams of fat per serving, so you won’t have to feel bad about enjoying one (or two)!

Source: Cooking Light

Serves: 16

Ingredients:

Cooking spray

1 cup all-purpose flour

1/4 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips

1/4 teaspoon baking soda

3/4 cup white sugar

1/4 cup brown sugar

1 tablespoon vegetable oil

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 large egg

1 egg white

 

Instructions:

1.) Preheat oven to 350°.

2.) Coat bottom of an 8-inch square baking pan with cooking spray (do not coat sides of pan).

3.) Lightly spoon flour into a dry measuring cup; level with a knife. Combine flour, chocolate chips, soda, and salt in a bowl.

4.) Combine sugars and remaining ingredients in a bowl; stir until well-blended. Add flour mixture, stirring just until blended. Spread batter in bottom of prepared pan. Bake at 350° for 25 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out almost clean. Cool on a wire rack.

iStock_000016739223Small

Cinco de Mayo Recipes

Are you planning a festive Cinco de Mayo party for your family and friends? If so, here are a few tried-and-true recipe ideas they’re sure to love!

1.) Guacamole

guacamole-pico-de-gallo_300No Cinco de Mayo party would be complete without guacamole and chips! Serve heaping bowls of salsa alongside this guacamole recipe from Real Simple:

  • 1/2 white onion, finely chopped
  • 1 jalapeno, finely chopped
  • 1/4 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
  • kosher salt and black pepper
  • 2 ripe avocados, diced
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lime or lemon juice
  1. In a large bowl, combine the onion, jalapeño, cilantro, 3/4 teaspoon salt, and 1/2 teaspoon pepper. Using the back of a fork, mash the vegetables until they begin to release their juices.
  2. Add the avocados and lime juice and stir to combine. Refrigerate until serving. Serve with tortilla chips.

2.) Pork Tacos

Soft Taco - Photographed on Hasselblad H3D2-39mb Camera This slow cooker recipe couldn’t be easier to prepare, but the flavorful meat will make your guests think you fussed. You can easily prepare the meat a day or two in advance and refrigerate it until your party. Create a buffet with meat, tortillas, and toppings so that guests can choose what they want on their tacos.

  • 1 tablespoon canola oil
  • 3 pounds pork shoulder, trimmed and cut into 3-inch pieces
  • 2 tablespoons dried oregano
  • 1 tablespoon ground cumin
  • kosher salt and black pepper
  • 1 large yellow onion, chopped
  • 4 garlic cloves, chopped
  • ¼ to ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 2 cups low-sodium chicken broth
  • 16 6-inch corn tortillas
  • sour cream, salsa, sliced radishes, cilantro leaves, and lime wedges, for serving
  1. Heat the oil in a 5- to 6-quart Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Season the pork with the oregano, cumin, ¾ teaspoon salt, and ½ teaspoon black pepper. Add the pork to the Dutch oven and cook, turning, until brown on all sides, 6 to 8 minutes; transfer to a plate.
  2. Add the onion, garlic, and cayenne to the Dutch oven and cook, stirring, until the onion is softened, 3 to 5 minutes. Return the pork to the Dutch oven and add the broth. Bring to a simmer and cook, covered, stirring occasionally, until the pork is very tender and shreds easily, 1½ to 1¾ hours.
  3. Transfer the pork to a medium bowl and, using 2 forks, shred the meat; return it to the Dutch oven and stir into the cooking liquid. (Alternatively, the pork can be made in a slow cooker: Combine the pork, oregano, cumin, ¾ teaspoon salt, ½ teaspoon black pepper, onion, garlic, and cayenne in a 4- to 6-quart slow cooker. Add ½ cup broth and cook until very tender, on low for 7 to 8 hours or on high for 4 to 5 hours.)
  4. Twenty minutes before serving, heat oven to 350° F. Wrap the tortillas in foil and bake until warm, 12 to 15 minutes. Serve the pork with the tortillas, sour cream, salsa, radishes, cilantro, and lime wedges.

3.) Margaritas

iStock_000016739223Small

If you’re looking for authentic margarita recipes, peruse a copy of Saveur magazine. For a  traditional recipe, try this lime margarita from Real Simple. You can create fun variations by  adding strawberries to the recipe or serving frozen margaritas.

  •  3/4 cup tequila
  •  1/2 cup fresh lime juice (from 4-6 limes)
  •  1/2 cup Triple Sec or Cointreau
  •  1 lime, sliced
  •  kosher salt (optional)
  1.    In a medium pitcher, combine the tequila, lime juice, Triple Sec, and 1/2 cup water.
  2. If desired, rub the rims of 4 glasses with a lime slice and dip in salt to coat. Serve the margaritas in the prepared glasses over ice and garnish with the lime slices.

 

 

4.) Dessert

SONY DSCIf you’re feeling adventurous, try making the Pinata Cake featured in the May 2014 edition of Food Network. For something easier, you can make this sopapilla recipe from Taste of Home. The light, airy fried pastries are perfect served with confectioners sugar or honey, but they’re also delicious on their own.

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon shortening
  • 1/3 cup warm water
  • Oil for deep fat frying
  • Honey and confectioners’ sugar, optional
  1. In a large bowl, combine flour, baking powder and salt. Cut in shortening until mixture resembles fine crumbs. Gradually add water, tossing with a fork until a loose ball forms (dough will be crumbly).
  2. On a lightly floured surface, knead the dough for 3 minutes or until smooth. Cover and let rest for 10 minutes. Roll out into a 12-in. x 10-in. rectangle. Cut into 12 squares with a knife or cut into 12 circles using a round biscuit cutter.
  3. In a deep-fat fryer, heat 2 in. of oil to 375°. Fry sopaipillas for 1-2 minutes on each side. Drain on paper towels; keep warm. Serve with honey and/or dust with confectioners’ sugar if desired.
strawberries

Spring Recipes

The arrival of spring means that seasonal fruits and vegetables like asparagus, strawberries, and rhubarb are finally in season. We’re scoured some of our favorite cooking magazines to find the perfect spring meal. Begin by serving the chicken and asparagus dish alongside a flavorful strawberry spinach salad. Finish with a sweet yet tart rhubarb crumble for a satisfying finish to the meal. Your family will love this colorful, delicious meal so much they won’t even realize how healthy it is!

Asparagus:

Roasted Chicken with Asparagus:

roasted-chicken-asparagus_300For a delicious meal-in-one, try this simple yet flavorful dish. With only six ingredients, it can be prepared in mere minutes. You can substitute other spring vegetables, such as new potatoes or mushrooms, in place of the asparagus. This is the perfect dish to serve when you want a meal that highlights the new vegetables you got from your garden or farmer’s market.

Source: Real Simple

Serves: 4

Ingredients:

1 tablespoon olive oil

8 bone-in chicken thighs

Salt and pepper

1 bunch asparagus, trimmed

1 pint grape tomatoes

1 tablespoon fresh thyme, plus more for garnish

Instructions:

1.) Heat oven to 400° F. Heat the oil in a large ovenproof skillet over medium-high heat. Season the chicken with ½ teaspoon salt and ¼ teaspoon pepper. In batches, cook the chicken, skin-side down, until browned and crisp, 8 to 10 minutes. Transfer to a plate.

2.) To the skillet, add the asparagus, tomatoes, and thyme. Top with the chicken and roast until cooked through, 20 to 25 minutes. Serve sprinkled with thyme.

 

Strawberries:

Your family will love this vibrant, colorful strawberry spinach salad. If you want to make a meal out of it, add some chopped cooked chicken. The salad is also delicious when served with pecans instead of walnuts.

Spinach-Strawberry-Salad-1Spinach Strawberry Salad

Source: Taste of Home

Serves: 8-10

Ingredients:

1 package (10 ounces) fresh spinach, torn

2 cups fresh strawberries, sliced

1/2 cup chopped walnuts, toasted

1/3 cup canola oil

3 tablespoons raspberry vinegar

1 teaspoon sugar

1/2 teaspoon salt

Feta cheese, optional

 

Instructions:

1.) In a large bowl, combine the asparagus, spinach, strawberries and walnuts. In a small bowl, whisk the canola oil, vinegar, sugar and salt. Drizzle over salad and toss to coat. Serve immediately.

Rhubarb:

rhubarb-crumble-ck-665505-lHoney-Rhubarb Crumble

Source: Cooking Light

Serves: 6

Rhubarb is the perfect change of pace from more traditional fruits. Many people pair the tart fruit with raspberries or strawberries for a tangy yet sweet dessert. This rhubarb crisp is a unique, delicious alternative to a more traditional apple or cherry crisp. Because it’s made with low-fat ingredients, it’s something that the entire family can enjoy.

Ingredients:

5-1/2 cups sliced rhubarb

1/4 cup honey

1 teaspoon grated lime rind

Vegetable cooking spray

1/3 cup regular oats

1/3 cup all-purpose flour

1/4 firmly packed brown sugar

  • 3 tablespoons chilled stick margarine, cut into small pieces

1 1/2 cups vanilla nonfat frozen yogurt, optional

Instructions:

1.) Combine the first 3 ingredients in a bowl, and toss well. Spoon into an 8-inch square baking dish coated with cooking spray.

2.) Place oats, flour, and sugar in food processor, and pulse 2 to 3 times. Add chilled margarine, and process until mixture resembles coarse meal; sprinkle over rhubarb mixture. Bake at 375° for 40 minutes or until rhubarb is tender. Serve with frozen yogurt if desired.

garden

Magazines for National Nutrition Month

Did you know that March is National Nutrition Month?garden

According to the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, the day was created to remind people of the importance of “making informed food choices and developing sound eating and physical activity habits.” This year’s theme is “Enjoy the Taste of Eating Right.” The goal is to combine taste and nutrition to create healthy meals that individuals will enjoy. “It is important that we find the balance between choosing the foods we like with those that provide the nutrients we need,” said registered dietitian nutritionist and Academy President Dr. Glenna McCollum. “This year’s ‘Enjoy the Taste of Eating Right’ theme reinforces that the two choices are not mutually exclusive.”

Here are a few things to keep in mind:

1.) Strive for Balance

Rather than trying to go cold turkey on day one, aim for proper balance. Instead of completely cutting out all sugary sodas and desserts, begin by reducing the amount that you consume. Instead of swearing off pizza forever, start by serving pizza with a healthy vegetable salad and fruit. Remember that it’s okay to enjoy portions of your favorite foods in moderation, as long as you’re also eating proper amounts of fruits, vegetables, and whole grains. (The Academy recommends making sure that half of each meal consists of fruits and vegetables.) Try to reduce the amount of calories you eat each day by cooking with reduced fat ingredients. Remember that healthy habits are achieved over time, not in the course of a day.

How we can help: We sell subscriptions to Cooking Light, a magazine with reduced-fat and low-fat recipes. It’s a great asset for anyone wanting to enjoy healthy renditions of their favorite foods.

2.) Prepare Your Own Food

Bringing lunch to work or cooking dinner at home is often much healthier than dining out. Try a new fruit or vegetable each week so that you can find healthy new foods that you enjoy eating. You can also consider preparing old favorites in new ways. For example, rather than making French fries, you can roast potatoes. Rather than boiling vegetables, you can saute them. Experiment so that you can find new ways to make old foods.

How We Can Help: We sell subscriptions to several magazines such as Vegetarian Times and Eating Well, which are packed with healthy and delicious recipe options. If you’re dedicated to eating better but aren’t sure what to cook for each meal, these magazines will be perfect for you.

 3.) Exercise Regularly

In order to achieve a healthy and balanced lifestyle, eating properly and exercising regularly must go hand-in-hand. Mayo Clinic recommends aiming for at least 30 minutes of exercise per day. According to the Harvard School of Public Health, “When it comes to physical activity, some is better than none, and more is better.” If you don’t currently exercise, then any increase in physical activity will be beneficial for you. It’s important to remember that you don’t have to work out for 30 consecutive minutes. You can also exercise for shorter intervals throughout the day. The most important thing is just to make sure that you are beginning a lifestyle of regular exercise.

How we can help: We sell subscriptions to several health magazines that give important information and helpful tips about exercise and workouts. Women would enjoy a subscription to Health, a women’s fitness magazine that features informative articles on how to stay fit and feel great. Men would benefit from a subscription to Men’s Fitness, a magazine filled with workout routines and suggestions for healthy food.

url

Celebrate National Oreo Day With Deals & Recipes

url102 years ago, American baking company Nabisco decided to create a new kind of cookie by pairing two chocolate disks with a rich crème filling. The delectable result: the Oreo cookie that we all know and love. Today, Oreos are so well-loved that they are now the best-selling cookie in the United States!

March 6 is National Oreo day, so why not celebrate with some delicious recipes from Taste of Home? (And, to make this day even sweeter, we have deals on several popular cooking magazines!)

 

1.) Oreo Cookie Truffles

truffles

These chocolaty Oreo truffles require only three ingredients and are ready in minutes, so they couldn’t be easier to prepare. The tiny truffles are the perfect fancy finish to a nice meal, and they also make great gifts.

Ingredients:

1 package (8 ounces) softened cream cheese

3 cups finely crushed Oreo cookies

16 ounces semisweet chocolate, broken into pieces and melted

Instructions:

1.) Mix the cream cheese and cookie crumbs until blended.

2.) Shape into 48 (1-inch) balls. Freeze 10 min. Dip balls in melted chocolate; place in single layer in shallow waxed paper-lined pan.

3.) Refrigerate 1 hour or until firm.

 

2.) Cookies-and-Cream Cake 

cookies and cream cake

You know that moment when you experience something that’s almost too good to be true? This Oreo cake is such an occasion. Not only is the cake laced with cookie crumbs, but the frosting is decorated with crushed Oreos and topped with whole ones. We would say it’s an Oreo overload…but the truth is you can never have too much of a good thing!

Ingredients:

1 package white cake mix (regular size)

1-1/4 cups water

1/3 cup canola oil

3 egg whites

1 cup coarsely crushed Oreo cookies (about 8)

Frosting:

1/2 cup shortening

4 to 4-1/2 cups confectioners’ sugar

1/4 cup milk

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Oreo cookies and crushed Oreo cookies

Instructions:

1.) In a large bowl, combine the cake mix, water, oil and egg whites; beat on low speed for 30 seconds. Beat on high for 2 minutes. Gently fold in crushed cookies.

2.) Pour into two greased and floured 9-in. round baking pans. Bake at 350° for 30-35 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Cool for 10 minutes before removing from pans to wire racks to cool completely.

3.) For frosting, beat the shortening, sugar, milk and vanilla in another large bowl until smooth. Spread frosting between layers and over top and sides of cake. Decorate the top with cookies and the sides with crushed cookies if desired.

 

3.) Oreo Cookie Pie

pie

This delectable recipe combines two of the best things in life: Oreos and peanut butter. The result is a rich, smooth, pie that will have your family and friends clamoring for seconds. Although it looks like you fussed, the reality is that you can prepare this pie in less than half an hour.

1-1/4 cup Oreo cookie crumbs (20 cookies)

1/4 cup sugar

1/4 cup butter, melted

Filling:

1 package (8 ounces) cream cheese, softened

1 cup creamy peanut butter

1 cup sugar

1 tablespoon butter, softened

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 cup heavy whipping cream, whipped

Additional crushed Oreos

Instructions:

1.) Combine cookie crumbs and sugar; stir in butter. Press onto the bottom and up the sides of a 9-in. pie plate. Bake at 375° for 10 minutes. Cool on a wire rack.

2.) For filling, beat the cream cheese, peanut butter, sugar, butter and vanilla in a large bowl until smooth. Fold in whipped cream. Gently spoon into crust. Garnish with cookie crumbs. Store in refrigerator.

Americans have eaten over 350 billion Oreos since their invention in 1912. Somehow, though, the age-old question still remains: what is the best way to eat an Oreo cookie? Do you dunk it in milk? Twist it apart and eat the cream first? This question may be debated for centuries to come, but one thing is for sure: you don’t want to miss out on trying these delicious recipes, or on our great deals!

6 More of the Easiest Christmas Recipes on Pinterest

6 More of the Easiest Christmas Recipes on Pinterest

6 More of the Easiest Christmas Recipes on Pinterest Holiday Recipes Easy Appetizers DessertsToo busy? Can’t cook? No problem! You can still make the cutest holiday appetizers and treats with these super easy  recipes we scoured Pinterest to find. Even better—little to  no cooking required!

Oops, you did it again. You got so consumed in the decorating, the shopping, and the wrapping that there’s precious little time to devote to making all those festive holiday treats you found in December cooking magazines or pinned on Pinterest.

With Christmas Eve just a week away, don’t think you have to resort to serving a bowl of red and green candies. We’ve scoured the popular pinning phenomenon that is Pinterest to find the easiest, most festive ideas we could find.

The “6 Easiest Christmas Recipes on Pinterest” that we highlighted last year were so popular that this year we’re giving you six more (clockwise from left on photo)—so even the busiest, least creative, or cooking-challenged among us create a treat that’s the hit of the holiday party.

1. Edible Caprese Wreath: Start with a pretty platter or a pedestal dish, like a cake stand, and create a layer of basil. Then arrange mozzarella balls and cherry tomatoes on toothpicks in a wreath design for an easy and festive appetizer. No cooking required!

2. Grinch Kebobs: Fun for kids—or kids at heart—this treat could not be easier. Simply arrange a mini marshmallow, strawberry, banana slice, and a grape on a small stick. (Tip: Spritz banana slices with lemon or pineapple juice to keep from turning brown.)

3. Chocolate Reindeer Donuts or Snowman Donuts: Dress up your donuts for the season! Add red candies for the nose and pretzels the antlers to chocolate donuts to make reindeer. Use candy corn and pipe melted chocolate to turn powdered donuts into snowmen.

4. Santa Hat Brownie Bites: Bake your favorite brownie mix using a mini cupcake pan. Cool and remove from the pan, then add a swirl of buttercream frosting, and garnish with a strawberry with the top sliced off. Easy to pull off, even at the last minute!

5. Rice Krispies Trees: Take your Rice Krispies treat making up a notch. Add green food coloring, shape into trees and decorate with red sprinkles or small cinnamon candies. Top with a yellow candy, such as mini M&M’s and add a Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup for the base.

6. Dipped Candy Cane Chocolate Marshmallows: For an elegant, but still very easy treat, stick a candy cane into a large marshmallow, then dip in chocolate and crushed candy canes. Melting the chocolate is the only “cooking” required!

For these and other easy Christmas recipes, check out our Pinterest board here!