Sunday, September 25, 2016

Simple Steps to Smarter Snacking

When hunger strikes, it can be tempting to reach for the closest treat, even if it’s laden with fat and empty calories. Make it easier to enjoy better-for-you snacks with these three simple steps that appeal to your taste and your waist.

1. Know that choosing more healthy snacks can still be quick and convenient. Learn to recognize your hunger patterns and keep foods on hand to fit your cravings. For example, if you tend to need a mid-afternoon pick-me-up at work, prepare snack-size portions of finger foods that feel hearty without weighing you down.

2. Make flavor count in every bite. Watching what you eat doesn’t have to be bland. In fact, an eating plan that cuts back on your calorie intake is the perfect reason to pay more attention to what you eat and thoroughly enjoy it, rather than wasting a portion of your daily consumption on foods that don’t taste great.

3. When your sweet tooth is screaming, answer it with the refreshing indulgence of a fruity dessert. Fruit-based desserts are naturally sweet and deliver some of the key nutrients your body needs, so you can feel extra good about bypassing other options laden with unhealthy ingredients.

3 Steps for a Snack
With just three ingredients and three steps, it’s easy to choose and prepare a quick, healthy snack. All you need is celery, peanut butter and raisins.
1. Wash celery then cut stalks in half and trim to desired length.
2. Spread or pipe peanut butter into recessed side of stalks.
3. Sprinkle with raisins, as desired.

Fill Up with Fruit
Creating delicious desserts can often require a ton of time and a variety of complicated steps. Rather than wasting minutes making dessert instead of eating it, try Pineapple Cherry Minis made with Dole Canned Fruit, a convenient and easy ingredient to use in all of your dessert recipes. Pineapple Cherry Minis require just 20 minutes of preparation before chilling in the refrigerator, and the fruit makes them a healthier dessert option than most after-dinner sweets. For more quick and healthy dessert options, visit

Pineapple Cherry Minis

Prep time: 20 minutes
Total time: 3 hours
Servings: 12-14

  • 1          can (20 ounces) Dole Crushed Pineapple
  • 2          cans (6 ounces) Dole Pineapple Juice
  • 1          package (6 ounces) cherry gelatin
  • 1/2       teaspoon ground nutmeg       
  • 1          cup frozen Dole Dark Sweet Cherries
  • 1/2       cup chopped pecans
  1. Drain pineapple, reserve juice. Bring reserved juice plus canned pineapple juice to boil. Add gelatin; stir at least 2 minutes to completely dissolve. Chill until mixture thickens slightly.
  2. Fold in pineapple, nutmeg, cherries and pecans. Spoon into 12-14 foil-lined muffin cups, lightly sprayed with nonstick cooking spray. Chill until firm. Store leftover gelatin in refrigerator.
A Healthy, Frozen Treat
Maintaining a healthy diet is key to staying fit, but that doesn’t mean you can’t have a sweet treat every now and then. Make smart snack choices that taste delicious, such as Dole Jarred Fruit, which contains five servings of high-quality, ready-to-eat fruit packed in 100 percent fruit juice in every jar. With a convenient, re-sealable lid, you can just scoop out what you need to top your favorite dish with fruit or make quick and easy good-for-you treats, such as these Peach Crisp Pops. Find more healthy snack ideas at

Peach Crisp Pops

Prep time: 10 minutes
Total time: 3 hours, 10 minutes
Servings: 6

  • 1          jar (23.5 ounces) Dole Sliced Peaches, divided
  • 4          teaspoons maple syrup
  • 1/2       teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 2/3       cup granola
  • 1          cup vanilla flavored Greek yogurt
  1. Measure 1 1/2 cups drained fruit and 6 tablespoons juice. In medium bowl, combine juice, maple syrup, cinnamon, granola and yogurt. Stir to blend well.
  2. Place 2 peach slices in each frozen pop mold. Pour yogurt mixture into molds or small paper cups. Place on tray and freeze about 1 hour, or until partially set.
  3. Insert frozen pop stick into center of each mold; freeze 2 hours longer, or until firm.

Healthy Hummus for a Happy Snack
When snack time rolls around, a quick, convenient bite to eat is often the way to go. With easy-to-make Hummus Pinwheels, your light, healthy snack can be a breeze. Because any of the 14 varieties of Sabra Hummus work for this simple recipe, your taste buds have the final call on flavor. Plus, since hummus can boost fiber intake and helps keep your calorie count low, you can count on it as a healthy alternative to common snacks. To find more tips for light snacking, visit

Hummus Pinwheels

Prep time: 10 minutes
Total time: 10 minutes
Servings: 2

  • 1          cup Sabra Hummus, any flavor
  • 2          large soft tortillas
  • 1/2       cup thinly sliced red pepper
  • 1/2       cup thinly sliced cucumber
  • 1/2       cup thinly sliced cantaloupe
  • 4          leaves lettuce
  1. Spread thin layer of hummus on both tortillas.
  2. Divide red pepper, cucumber, cantaloupe and lettuce between tortillas. Roll tightly and secure with toothpicks.
  3. Slice into pinwheels and serve.

SOURCE: Family Features

 Photo courtesy of Getty Images (celery with peanut butter and raisins photo)

Saturday, September 24, 2016

Fresh Flavors with Friends

Nothing beats a meal filled with flavorful ingredients fresh off the farm – unless you add a table filled with your closest friends to enjoy the bounty. From sides to main dishes to desserts, these recipes show you how to transform wholesome farm-raised foods into a crowd-pleasing menu you can enjoy from start to finish.

Make Chicken the Centerpiece
Center your home-cooked meal around a hearty dish such as Pan Roasted Maple Dijon Chicken with Butternut Squash and Brussels Sprouts to ensure that none of your guests leave the table hungry. To find more main dish ideas for entertaining, visit

Pan Roasted Maple Dijon Chicken with Butternut Squash and
Brussels Sprouts

Servings: 4
  • 1          tablespoon olive oil
  • 4          chicken thighs
  • 4          chicken drumsticks
  • 3/4       teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2       teaspoon freshly ground pepper
  • 1          tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 16        Brussels sprouts (about 8 ounces), bottom trimmed, outer leaves removed and halved
  • 2          cups diced (1/2 inch) butternut squash
  • 1½    cups chicken stock
  • 2          tablespoons maple syrup
  • 2          teaspoons Dijon mustard
  1. In saute pan large enough to hold chicken in single layer, heat olive oil over medium-high heat. Season chicken with salt and pepper. Add chicken to pan, skin side down, and saute about 4-5 minutes per side, or until chicken is browned.
  2. Remove chicken from pan and reserve. In same pan, add butter. Allow butter to melt over medium heat. Add sprouts and squash to pan and saute, tossing occasionally, until outsides are golden brown, about 3-4 minutes. Remove from pan and hold separately from chicken.
  3. Turn heat to high and add stock, syrup and mustard. Stir and bring to boil, stirring to scrape up brown bits on bottom of pan. Add chicken back to pan, cover and reduce heat to medium-low. Cook over medium-low heat 20-25 minutes, or until chicken registers 170°F with instant read thermometer.
  4. Add vegetables back to pan, cover again and cook another 8-10 minutes until vegetables are tender. Move chicken and vegetables to serving platter, placing vegetables around chicken. Turn heat to high and boil sauce until it is reduced and slightly thickened, about 2-3 minutes.
  5. Spoon sauce over chicken and serve.
Potatoes Perfect for a Party
Perfect as a crowd-pleasing appetizer or side dish at any festive party, simply grill or bake Wisconsin potatoes and top them with your favorite flavors, like bruschetta or a combination of ingredients such as Greek yogurt, cheese, herbs, olives and tomatoes. Find more potato recipes at

Festive Papas Tapas

Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 20 minutes
Servings: 6

  • 2-4       medium Wisconsin russet or gold potatoes
  • 2          tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/4       teaspoon pepper
  • 1/2       teaspoon sea salt
  1. Heat grill or oven to 400°F. Thinly slice potatoes lengthwise to 1/4-inch thick, discarding ends.
  2. Toss with olive oil, salt and pepper.
  3. Place on grill or prepared baking sheet in single layer. Cook 10 minutes on each side. Add toppings.
Topping Ideas
Bruschetta: In bowl, mix together 2 medium tomatoes diced, 1/4 cup chopped fresh basil leaves, 2 cloves minced garlic and 1 tablespoon olive oil and spoon on top of potatoes.

Baked Potato: In bowl, mix together 1/2 cup plain nonfat Greek yogurt, 1/4 cup shredded reduced-fat cheddar cheese, 2 tablespoons fresh chives, chopped, and spoon on top of potatoes. Garnish with 1 tablespoon chives.

Mediterranean: In bowl, mix together 1 container (6 ounces) feta cheese; 1 can (2 1/4 ounces) sliced olives, drained; 1 medium tomato diced; salt and pepper, to taste; and spoon on top of potatoes.
Creamy Greek Yogurt with Lemon and Herbs: In bowl, mix together 1/2 cup plain nonfat Greek yogurt; 2 tablespoons chopped fresh dill; juice from 1/2 lemon; salt and pepper, to taste; and spoon on top of potatoes. Garnish with dill sprigs.

Better with Berries
When dinner settles, end your gathering on a high note with Mixed Berry Shortcakes. These palate-pleasing pastries combine sweet strawberries and blueberries, fluffy biscuits and a dollop of ice cream. For more delicious dessert ideas, visit

Mixed Berry Shortcakes

Recipe courtesy of Nestlé
  • 2          pounds fresh strawberries, sliced (about 6 cups total)
  • 2          containers (6 ounces each) fresh blueberries (about 2 1/2 cups total)
  • 7          tablespoons granulated sugar, divided
  • nonstick cooking spray
  • 2          cups all-purpose flour
  • 1          tablespoon baking powder
  • 1/2       teaspoon salt
  • 1/4       cup cold unsalted butter, cut into pieces
  • 2/3       cup lowfat milk
  • 1/4       cup lowfat Greek yogurt or sour cream
  • sparkling sugar (optional)
  • 3          cups light Vanilla Dreyer’s or Edy’s Slow Churned Light Ice Cream
  1. In large bowl, combine strawberries, blueberries and 3 tablespoons granulated sugar; stir gently. Let stand, stirring occasionally, for 30 minutes.
  2. Heat oven to 425°F. Spray baking sheet with nonstick cooking spray.
  3. In large bowl, whisk flour, remaining granulated sugar, baking powder and salt; cut in butter with pastry blender or two knives until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Add milk and yogurt; stir just until moist dough forms.
  4. Turn dough onto floured work surface. With floured hands, knead 6-8 times until dough is smooth. With rolling pin, roll dough into 9-by-6-inch rectangle, or about 1/2-inch thick. Cut into six 2 1/2-inch circles. Transfer to prepared baking sheet. Sprinkle with sparkling sugar.
  5. Bake 10-12 minutes, or just until golden. Transfer biscuits to individual plates; split open. Top each with about 1 cup berry mixture and 1/2 cup vanilla ice cream.

SOURCE: Family Features

Photo courtesy of Getty Images (Roast chicken)

Friday, September 23, 2016

Make the Grade In the Kitchen

with Canned Foods

During the back-to-school season, the stress of weeknight cooking can make the kitchen feel like the classroom and dinner feel like a test. But with the right preparation, parents can feel confident about making the grade in the kitchen all year long. Simply follow these steps for wholesome, delicious A-plus meals.

Study … your pantry
The key to mealtime success is being prepared and having the right ingredients on-hand. With a well-stocked pantry full of canned foods, like protein-packed garbanzo beans and nutrient-rich carrots – which are already prepped for you – you always have the makings of a healthy, homemade meal.

Just like home canning, cans seal in foods’ nutrition, freshness and flavor, and are there for you whenever you’re ready to get cooking. From nutritious after-school snacks, like Artichoke Hummus, to hearty dinners, such as Lentil Soup with Bacon, canned foods can help you get through the week with honor roll-worthy meals you can feel great serving your family.

Ace the test
According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s MyPlate nutrition guidelines, half of your plate should consist of fruits and vegetables. Picked and packed at the peak of ripeness, canned produce is on par nutritionally with fresh and frozen varieties, and in some cases even better. With canned foods in your pantry – or “Cantry” – you can make eating healthy easy.

Get extra credit
Did you know that most recipes are designed around canned food sizes? Cooking with canned foods can help you waste less food, save time and money, and reduce your impact on the environment.
For more canned food recipes and mealtime inspiration, visit

Artichoke Hummus

Prep time: 10-15 minutes
Servings: 4

  • 1          can (14 ounces) Progresso Artichoke Hearts, drained
  • 1          can (15 ounces) Goya Chick Peas, drained and rinsed
  • 1/4       cup canned Swanson Vegetable Broth
  • 1/4       cup tahini paste
  • 2          tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1          clove garlic, crushed
  • 1          tablespoon chopped Italian parsley, plus more for garnish
  • 1          teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4       teaspoon cracked black pepper
  • 1/4       teaspoon ground cumin, plus more for garnish
  • olive oil
  1. In food processor, combine all ingredients and pulse until smooth. Season to taste with additional salt and pepper, if necessary.
  2. Transfer to serving bowl and garnish with drizzle of olive oil, fresh parsley and dash of cumin.
Serving suggestions: Serve with toasted French bread slices, cut veggies or pita chips.

Lentil Soup with Bacon

Prep time: 5 minutes
Cook time: 20 minutes
Servings: 2

  • 2          slices bacon, diced
  • 1          medium red onion, diced
  • 1          large garlic clove, minced
  • 1/2       teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1          can (15 ounces) lentils, drained
  • 1          can (14.5 ounces) Swanson Vegetable Broth
  • 1          can (14.5 ounces) Del Monte Diced New Potatoes, drained
  • 1          can (14.5 ounces) Del Monte Sliced Carrots, drained
  • 1          can (8 ounces) Del Monte Cut Green Beans, drained
  1. In medium saucepan over medium-high heat, cook bacon until crisp, about 5 minutes. Remove to paper towels to drain. Reserve.
  2. In drippings remaining in skillet over medium heat, cook onion and garlic until tender, about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add cumin; cook 1 minute.
  3. Add lentils, vegetable broth, potatoes, carrots and green beans; over high heat, heat to boiling. Reduce heat to low; simmer 10 minutes uncovered to blend flavors, stirring occasionally.
  4. To serve, sprinkle soup with reserved bacon. 

SOURCE: Can Manufacturers Institute

Thursday, September 22, 2016

Celebrating the Anniversary of the Ice Cream Cone

The ice cream cone was originally invented on September 22, 1903 by a man named Italo Marchiony.  Marchiony emigrated from Italy in the late 1800s and went into business in New York City with a pushcart dispensing lemon ice. Success soon led to a small fleet of pushcarts, and the inventive Marchiony was inspired to develop a cone, first made of paper, later of pastry, to hold the tasty delicacy.
Today, the ice cream cone takes many shapes and sizes and is loved by people of all ages.  Sugar cones, cake cones, or waffle cones – the choice is yours! Load them up with ice cream, gelato, or even frozen yogurt, and top with sprinkles, nuts, fruit, gummies, or anything else that you desire!  Ice cream cones are the perfect edible container!
The folks at Zeroll wanted to celebrate the anniversary of the ice cream cone with few yummy recipes for homemade ice cream.  And for a “fall twist” – September 22 is also the first day of fall – Zeroll wanted to share their signature recipe for Marble Slab-Style Apple Pie Ice Cream!

Classic Vanilla Ice Cream with Rainbow Sprinkles

2 cups heavy cream
1 cup half-and-half
3/4 cup granulated sugar
2 vanilla beans split lengthwise and scraped, seeds reserved
6 large egg yolks
Your favorite cone J
Prepare an ice water bath by filling a large bowl halfway with ice and water; set aside.
Combine cream, half-and-half, sugar, and vanilla beans and seeds in a medium saucepan and bring to a simmer over medium heat, stirring occasionally until sugar is dissolved, about 12 minutes. Do not boil.
Meanwhile, whisk egg yolks in a second large bowl until smooth. Remove cream mixture from heat and slowly pour about 1 cup into the egg yolks, whisking constantly until smooth. Pour this very slowly and mix as you go in order to temper the eggs.  If hot liquid is added quickly without stirring you could wind up with scrambled eggs!
Pour cream-egg mixture back into the pan and cook over low heat, stirring constantly, until custard coats the spoon, about 2 minutes.
Remove custard from heat and strain through a fine-mesh strainer into a third large heatproof bowl to remove any lumps, scraping as much vanilla bean through the strainer as possible. Remove vanilla bean pods from the strainer and add to the custard. Place ice cream base over the ice bath to cool to room temperature, about 10 to 15 minutes.
Cover and place in the refrigerator to chill completely, at least 3 hours or overnight. Once chilled, remove the vanilla bean pods and freeze in an ice cream maker according to the manufacturer’s instructions. The ice cream will keep in the freezer for up to 1 week.

Marble Slab-Style Apple Pie Ice Cream

Vanilla Ice Cream base (see above recipe)
1 Granny Smith apple
¼ tsp cinnamon
½ tsp brown sugar
Pinch of nutmeg
1 oatmeal cookie
Your favorite cone J
Chill marble cutting board in freezer, or use ice packs/frozen veggies to chill a marble countertop working space
Peel, core, and slice one (1) Granny Smith apple into small pieces. Combine with ¼ tsp cinnamon, ½ tsp brown sugar and a pinch of nutmeg. Simmer ingredients for 5 minutes over a low heat to soften, then add one crushed oatmeal cookie to the mixture.
Place two large scoops of vanilla ice cream (recipe above) on the center of the chilled slab. Work scoops together until pliable, and create a small “well” in the center to add the apple mixture.
Add apple mixture to the “well”, and mash ingredients into ice cream using a Zeroll TubMate® Spade.


Goodbye Summer – Hello Pumpkin Spiced Latte!

As the crisp autumn breeze begins to cool down our days, it’s time to say goodbye to summer and hello to brightly colored leaves, light jackets, and pumpkin spiced lattes! 
Enjoy a warm coffee creation while relaxing on a Sunday morning, or brew up a bunch for your friends and family at your next fall get-together. Serve with a slice of warm apple pie or apple cider donuts for the ultimate crowd pleaser!
In honor of the first day of fall, September 22, KRUPS , the leader in coffee makers and kitchen appliances, has provided a few autumn-inspired drink recipes for our readers to enjoy this fall.

Pumpkin Spiced Latte

·         2 fluid ounces espresso coffee
·         2 tablespoons pumpkin flavored syrup
·         1/2 cup milk, steamed
·         1/8 cup frothed milk
·         1 pinch pumpkin pie spice
·         1 pinch of cinnamon
·         1/2 teaspoon vanilla powder

·         In a coffee mug, combine espresso coffee with flavored syrup. Pour in steamed milk and frothed milk and sprinkle with pumpkin pie spice, cinnamon, and vanilla powder.

Caramel Nut CafĂ©   

·         1 teaspoon coffee liqueur
·         1 teaspoon almond extract
·         1 cup hot coffee
·         Cream

·         Mix coffee, liqueur, and almond extract in a pot.  Serve with cream.

Homemade Creamy Hot Chocolate

·         2 cups whipping cream
·         6 cups milk
·         1 teaspoon vanilla
·         1 (12 ounce) package milk or dark chocolate chips
·         Whipped cream
·         Chocolate shavings

·         Stir together the whipping cream, milk, vanilla, and chocolate chips in a pot.
·         Cover and cook on low, stirring occasionally, until mixture is hot and chocolate chips are melted. Stir again before serving. Garnish with whipped cream and chocolate shavings, as desired. 


Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Fall into Fall

There’s no denying it—the air is crisp, leaves are changing colors—fall is here.  It’s time for cider, pumpkins and anything with a dusting of cinnamon. Fall is also time for these quick and flavorful seasonal recipes—fall into fall with Acorn Aplenty and Fruit Crumble—YUM! 

Acorn Aplenty

Recipe courtesy of DelMonte

2 acorn squash
1   can (14-3/4 oz.)   DEL MONTE® Sweet Corn Cream Style
3   Tbsp.  green onion , thinly sliced
1/4   cup  butter or margarine , melted
3   Tbsp  brown sugar
1/2   tsp.   cinnamon
1/4   cup  pecans , chopped
1/3    cup  saltine or graham crackers , coarsely crushed

Pierce squash in several places. In microwave, cook on high 6 minutes.
Carefully slice 1/4-inch off ends and cut in half crosswise; remove seeds. Place cut side up in microwavable dish.
Cover and microwave on high 7 to 9 minutes or until done. Combine corn and onion; spoon into squash.
4.       Combine melted butter, sugar and cinnamon. Stir in pecans and crumbs. Sprinkle over filled squash. Microwave on high 3 to 5 minutes or until heated through.

Fruit Crumble

Recipe courtesy of DelMonte

2   can (15-1/4 oz.)  DEL MONTE® Yellow Cling Sliced Peaches
1   can (15-1/4 oz.)  DEL MONTE® Pineapple Chunks In Its Own Juice , or 1 can (15-1/4 oz.) DEL MONTE® Sliced Pears, drained
1/2   cup  flour
1/2   cup  brown sugar
1/4   tsp.  cinnamon
1/3   cup  butter or margarine

Place fruit in 8x8-inch baking dish.
Combine flour, sugar and cinnamon. Cut in butter until mixture is crumbly and moist; sprinkle evenly over fruit.
3.       Bake at 375°F, 30 minutes or until topping is crisp and golden. Serve warm with vanilla ice cream or yogurt. 

Source:  Del Monte

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Quick and Easy Slow Cooker Meals for the Fall

Fall is here which means parents are once again inundated with busy school, practice, rehearsal and work schedules.  Who has time to slave in the kitchen for hours just to get dinner on the table?  KRUPS has the perfect solution for busy parents, who still want to make good home-cooked meals for their families.

Spicy Turkey Chili

2 pounds ground turkey
2 cups chopped onion
4 garlic cloves, chopped fine
1 cup chopped green pepper
3 tablespoons chili powder, plus 2 teaspoons
1 (15-ounce) can kidney beans, drained and rinsed
1 (15-ounce) can white beans, drained and rinsed
2 (28-ounce) cans diced fire roasted tomatoes
1 medium potatoe peeled and shredded
1 (15-ounce) can turkey stock
2 Tbsp tomato paste
1 Tbsp dried hot red pepper flakes
3 tablespoons salt
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
Pinch ground cloves
Toppings: Sour cream, shredded Cheddar cheese, and chopped scallions

Put the turkey in the slow cooker. Add 3 tablespoons of the chili powder and all the rest of the ingredients. Stir everything together, cover, and cook on LOW for 6 to 8 hours. Just before serving, stir in the remaining 2 teaspoons of chili powder, and season with more salt and pepper, to taste, if desired.  Serve with the topping of your choice.

 Spicy Jambalaya

1 pound boneless skinless chicken breasts cut into 1-inch cubes
1/2 pound andouille sausage, diced
1 (28-ounce) can diced tomatoes
1 medium onion, chopped
1 green bell pepper, seeded and chopped
1 stalk celery, chopped
1 cup reduced-sodium chicken broth
2 teaspoons dried oregano
2 teaspoons dried parsley
2 teaspoons Cajun seasoning
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
2 bay leaves
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
1 pound frozen peeled and cooked shrimp, thawed
2 cups cooked rice

In a slow cooker, combine chicken, sausage, tomatoes, onion, green pepper, celery, and chicken broth. Stir in oregano, Cajun seasoning, cayenne pepper, bay leaves, dried parsley and thyme.
Cover, and cook on LOW for 7 hours or on HIGH for 3 hours. Stir in the thawed shrimp, cover and cook until the shrimp is heated through, about 5 minutes. Serve mixture over cooked rice.

Slow Cooked Pot Roast

1 1/2 pounds beef bottom round roast
2  teaspoons sea salt, plus more for seasoning
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, plus more for seasoning
2 teaspoons onion powder
2 teaspoons garlic powder
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons canola oil
2 carrots, cut into 2-inch pieces
2 stalks celery
1 medium yellow onion
1 (15-ounce) can beef broth
1 cup water
1 tablespoon minced fresh garlic
2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
4 sprigs fresh thyme

Season the beef with salt and pepper, garlic and onion powder and lightly coat with flour. Heat the canola oil in a large skillet on medium-high heat and brown the meat on all sides. Remove to a platter and set aside. Arrange the carrots, celery and onion in bottom of slow cooker and top with the seared beef. Add the broth, water, garlic, Worcestershire sauce, and thyme, and set the cooker on low for 8 hours. When finished, remove the meat to a serving platter. Let the vegetables and broth cool for about 5 minutes, then add to a blender. Slowly blend until smooth and transfer to a serving bowl. Serve the gravy with the pot roast.

Monday, September 19, 2016

Bring the Family Together with a One-Pot Fiesta

School is back in session and so are hectic weeknights with little time to cook dinner. Instead of reaching for ready-made meals or takeout, make a kid-friendly, south-of-the-border casserole. All of the ingredients – from the whole grain elbow macaroni to the ground beef – are cooked in one skillet, meaning minimal cleanup and maximum quality time spent reconnecting around the dinner table.

“This simple three-step recipe is perfect for busy weeknights because it’s quick, family-friendly and just as good re-heated for leftovers,” said McCormick Executive Chef Kevan Vetter. “You don’t need a second pot to cook the pasta; it’s cooked in the skillet along with the ground beef, fresh tomatoes and corn. Season with organic taco seasoning and sprinkle with cheddar cheese and you’re sure to have a meal the kids will beg to add to the dinner rotation.” 

For more one-dish meals for the back-to-school season, visit, and check out McCormick Spice on Facebook and Pinterest.

Tex-Mex Macaroni Casserole

Makes 8 (1-cup) servings
  • 1          pound lean ground beef
  • 1          medium onion, chopped
  • 1          package McCormick Organics Taco Seasoning Mix
  • 2          cups water
  • 2          cups fresh chopped tomatoes
  • 1          cup frozen whole kernel corn
  • 2          cups uncooked whole grain elbow macaroni
  • 1          cup shredded Cheddar cheese
  1. Brown beef and onion in large skillet on medium-high heat. Drain fat.
  2. Stir in seasoning mix, water, chopped tomatoes and corn. Bring to boil. Add pasta. Reduce heat to low; cover and simmer 12 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  3. Sprinkle with cheese, cover. Let stand 5 minutes or until cheese is melted.

SOURCE: McCormick