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Celebrate the season with pop-able fall flavors

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(Family Features) As part of the season of change with leaves crunching underfoot and a crispness in the air, remember to pause to celebrate a food known for its change, crunching and crispness – popcorn.

In honor of National Popcorn Poppin’ Month, a time when farmers head to the fields to harvest crops, gather with loved ones to celebrate this humble yet extraordinary snack. Whether it’s prepped on the stove, in the microwave or purchased ready-to-eat, Americans consume around 14 billion quarts each year of the wholesome whole grain, according to the Popcorn Board.

With each kernel, popcorn’s tantalizing aroma fills the air, setting off a journey of sensory bliss, as the sound of popping echoes in ears and the taste of buttery goodness dances on tongues. Whether enjoyed at the movies, during a cozy night in or at festive gatherings, popcorn brings people together, creating moments of shared joy and laughter. Catering to every palate, popcorn’s versatility knows few boundaries, as it can be dressed up with caramel, chocolate or even savory seasonings.

Join the celebration this fall with a fitting recipe like Old Fashioned Bourbon Maple Popcorn with Pecans. Accented with warming flavors of bourbon, orange and bitters, this maple-glazed treat offers a fun, cocktail-inspired snack perfect for sharing.

Discover more snacks that celebrate fall flavors at Popcorn.org.

Old Fashioned Bourbon Maple Popcorn with Pecans

Servings: 4-6

  • 8 cups popped popcorn
  • 1/2 cup chopped toasted pecans
  • 1/3 cup maple syrup
  • 1 tablespoon bourbon
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 tablespoon orange zest
  • 1 dash bitters
  1. Place popcorn and pecans in large bowl.
  2. In small saucepan over medium-high heat, combine maple syrup, bourbon and butter; bring to boil. Cook, swirling pan, 3-5 minutes, or until mixture thickens to corn syrup consistency. Stir in orange zest and bitters.
  3. Drizzle maple syrup mixture over popcorn; toss to evenly coat. Cool completely and serve.

Tips: Substitute bourbon with rye or whiskey. For “mocktail” popcorn, substitute with non-alcoholic bourbon or whiskey.


SOURCE:
Popcorn Board

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EDIBLES

Serve up a summertime spread

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(Family Features) Few things complement warm weather like a summer spread with everyone’s favorite foods. From fresh appetizers and classics like grilled hot dogs to skewered sides and sweet, sugary desserts, these summertime recipes are sure to bring friends, family and neighbors running to get in on the action.

To find more recipe ideas that bring the heat to summer cookouts, visit Culinary.net.

Up Your Grilling Game with Beloved Toppings

Hot dogs and brats are summer favorites for a reason: the delicious (and personalized) add-ons. Make sure your spread fits everyone’s taste buds with an assortment of tasty toppings like these:

  • Ketchup
  • Mustard
  • Relish
  • Hot sauce
  • Onions
  • Pickles
  • Sauerkraut
  • Cole slaw
  • Jalapenos
  • Diced tomatoes
  • Guacamole
  • Nacho cheese
  • Shredded cheese

Start Summer Meals with a Bright, Fresh Salad

Bright colors and fresh flavor bring out the best in summer meals, starting with seasonal salads that look as though the ingredients were just picked from a garden.

Orange, grapefruit and avocado are perfect accompaniments in this Citrus Spring Mix Salad when paired with Fresh Express Spring Mix. This garden-fresh blend combines carefully selected tender baby butter and red and green leaf lettuces with baby greens including spinach, arugula and kale that are picked when the tiny leaves are perfect and whole.

With more than 100 varieties of fresh, healthy and convenient ready-to-eat salads, as well as an assortment of salad greens you can use to create your ideal summer dishes, the kits and lettuce blends are available in the refrigerated product department of your favorite grocery store.

Visit freshexpress.com to discover more than 300 fresh recipes and find availability near you.

Citrus Spring Mix Salad

Prep time: 5 minutes
Total time: 10 minutes
Servings: 2

Dressing:

  • 1/4 cup orange juice
  • 1 teaspoon grated orange zest
  • 1 teaspoon white wine vinegar
  • 1/4 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 1/2 teaspoon sugar
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt

Salad:

  • 1 package (5 ounces) Fresh Express Spring Mix
  • 1 navel orange, peeled and sectioned
  • 1 red grapefruit, peeled and sectioned
  • 1 avocado, peeled, pitted and sliced
  • 1/4 cup red onion, thinly sliced
  1. To make dressing: In small bowl, whisk orange juice, orange zest, white wine vinegar, Dijon mustard, sugar and salt. Set aside.
  2. To make salad: In large bowl, toss spring mix with salad dressing. Divide salad evenly among two plates. Top with oranges, grapefruit, avocado and onion.

A Simple, Skewered Side

Keep your summer meals simple by leaning into versatile ingredients that can help you whip up a variety of side dishes.

These Grilled Red Potato Skewers display the delicious, nutritious, versatile qualities of Wisconsin Potatoes. With a multitude of varieties, they’re a favorite among world-class chefs, home cooks, large and small supermarkets and even the pickiest of eaters.

It can be love at first bite with these 100% gluten-free potatoes that can add a touch of nutrition to summer cookouts. They’re a good source of vitamin B6, high in vitamin C, rich in potassium and an excellent source of fiber.

Find more recipe ideas by visiting eatwisconsinpotatoes.com.

Grilled Red Potato Skewers

Recipe courtesy of the Wisconsin Potato & Vegetable Growers Association
Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 20 minutes
Servings: 4

  • 2 medium russet or Yukon gold Wisconsin potatoes or 6 red Wisconsin potatoes
  • 2 medium zucchini
  • 1/2 smoked sausage rope
  • 4 skewers (12 inches each)
  • 1/2 cup Italian dressing
  1. Preheat grill to medium heat. Cut potatoes in half. Cut zucchini and sausage same width as potatoes. Skewer potatoes, zucchini and sausage. Repeat for each skewer.
  2. Place skewers in dish and cover with Italian dressing. Marinate 5 minutes.
  3. Place skewers on grill and cook 5 minutes on each side, or until potatoes are done. Remove from grill and serve.

Cap the Night with a Brown Sugar Delight

Summer meals from small plates to grilled fare may be tasty, but don’t fill up entirely on the main course. Remember to save room for your favorite warm-weather sweets.

These Brown Sugar Meringues provide bursting summertime flavor in a little, handheld bite. They’re ideal for sharing with loved ones after a weekend barbecue or birthday celebration and, with just a few ingredients, they’re as easy to make as they are to enjoy.

To help bake this delicious dessert, you can trust Domino to deliver quality, consistency and results that only a century of experience can bring. Its Light Brown Sugar offers a buttery, caramel flavor, making it a perfect choice for sweets of all kinds.

Find more summery sweets at DominoSugar.com.

Brown Sugar Meringues

Prep time: 20 minutes
Cook time: 1 hour, plus 1 hour rest time
Yield: 3 dozen meringues

  1. Preheat oven to 225 F. Line three baking sheets with parchment paper. Set aside.
  2. Pour 1 inch of water into medium saucepan and heat it until simmering. In heat-proof bowl, mix egg whites, brown sugar, granulated sugar and salt. Put bowl on top of saucepan and warm mixture until it reaches 125 F. Stir continuously and make sure mixture does not touch water.
  3. Carefully remove from heat. Using electric mixer, beat mixture at high speed 8-10 minutes. Transfer meringue into piping bag fitted with star tip. Pipe 12 meringues per baking sheet.
  4. Sprinkle turbinado sugar on top of meringues, if desired. Bake 1 hour. Turn off oven and allow meringues to rest inside oven 1 hour. Remove from oven and enjoy.

Photo courtesy of Shutterstock (hot dogs)


SOURCE:
Fresh Express

Wisconsin Potato & Vegetable Growers Association

Domino Sugar

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EDIBLES

Bring joy to mealtimes by dining together: Benefits of a Mediterranean lifestyle

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(Family Features) The renowned Mediterranean Diet, celebrated for its myriad benefits, has been rated as a top diet in the world for years. 

Recognizing the benefits of the foods included in the Mediterranean Diet, it’s important to broaden the understanding beyond its ingredients to embrace the elements of the Mediterranean lifestyle, which also contribute to these benefits. Essentially, it’s not just about what you eat; it’s also about how you enjoy it and with whom you share the experience.

Nutrition, physical activity, sleep and togetherness comprise this balanced way of living, with preparing, eating and enjoying food together being key elements of the Mediterranean lifestyle. You can immerse yourself in the vibrant spirit of the Mediterranean lifestyle simply by inviting friends or family to gather around the table for a meal – like a family favorite pasta dish.

The benefits of gathering around the table are abundant, ranging from fostering stronger connections and communication among family members to enhancing overall well-being. In fact, first-of-its-kind research conducted by researchers at the University of Minnesota and supported by Barilla, the world’s leading pasta maker, demonstrates that people experience greater happiness when they share meals with others, highlighting the importance of togetherness.

Published in “Families, Systems, & Health,” the research shows a strong positive correlation between how often people gather around the table during mealtimes and enhanced connectedness, reduced depressive symptoms and an improvement in overall mood.

Semolina pasta is a staple for many people in the Mediterranean region, playing a significant role in culinary history and making it a favorite ingredient in dishes aligned with the Mediterranean lifestyle and gathering around the table. For example, these recipes for Cellentani Caprese Pasta Salad and Linguine with Zucchini Carbonara are perfect for sharing, whether you’re hosting friends and neighbors or enjoying a meal with someone special.

A high-quality, minimally processed carbohydrate, semolina pasta is naturally low in sodium, a good source of fiber and contains a variety of micronutrients.

“Eating together is a joyful and important practice of the Mediterranean lifestyle that truly contributes to overall well-being,” said Michele Lefebvre, registered dietitian nutritionist and manager of nutrition and well-being at Barilla America. “As a traditional yet versatile food, pasta brings a sense of nostalgia to meals as people gather together around the table and connect in an impactful way.”

Visit barilla.com/recipes to discover more dishes that can help you follow the Mediterranean lifestyle.

Cellentani Caprese Pasta Salad

Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 15 minutes
Servings: 7

  • 1 box Barilla Protein+ Cellentanii pasta
  • 4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
  • 2 pints grape tomatoes, mixed color, halved
  • 4 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 8 basil leaves, julienned
  • 2 cups small mozzarella cheese balls, halved
  • salt, to taste
  • black pepper, to taste
  1. Bring large pot of water to boil. Cook pasta according to package directions and drain. Drizzle pasta with 1 tablespoon olive oil and place on sheet tray to cool. Set aside.
  2. In large bowl, combine tomatoes, lemon juice, basil, remaining olive oil and cheese. Season with salt and pepper, to taste. Add pasta and stir.

Linguine with Zucchini Carbonara

Prep time: 5 minutes
Cook time: 10 minutes
Servings: 8

  • 5 egg yolks
  • 1 cup Pecorino Romano cheese, grated, divided
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • salt, to taste
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 medium zucchini, julienned
  • 1 box Barilla Linguine
  • 1 tablespoon fresh mint, chopped
  • black pepper, to taste
  1. Bring large pot of water to boil.
  2. In bowl, mix egg yolks, 1/3 cup Pecorino Romano cheese and milk. Season with salt, to taste. Set aside.
  3. In large skillet, heat olive oil and cook zucchini.
  4. Cook pasta according to package directions. Reserve 1/2 cup cooking water.
  5. Mix pasta in pan with zucchini. Add egg yolk mixture and 2 tablespoons cooking water. Combine well.
  6. Add remaining cheese and mint; mix. Season with salt and pepper, to taste.


SOURCE:
Barilla

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EDIBLES

Create a family-friendly grazing board

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(Family Features) A beautifully designed charcuterie board may feel more like a grown-up treat, but with the right ingredients, delicious grazing boards can provide fun and nutrition for the whole family.

No matter what you call it, charcuterie boards, grazing boards and snack platters are all basically the same thing. The boards make a trendy addition to an entertaining menu, but a platter or kid-friendly board can be equally pleasing.

What you serve on a grazing board is entirely up to you. Most include a selection of meats and cheeses, and many incorporate nuts, crackers, dips and jams. Some also incorporate fresh fruits and vegetables. Creating your own board means there really are no rules; you can add just about anything you want.

To build a successful board, keep these tips in mind:

Choose ingredients and elements that don’t require temperature control. The idea of a grazing board is that it sits out for a while. Avoid anything that needs refrigeration, heat or will lose its shape or flavor if it rests for an extended amount of time.

Select a surface large enough to hold a variety of food. It can be a simple cutting board or a cute platter. There’s no specific size requirement but err on the side of bigger; spacing out your goodies can be more attractive and less messy.

Use high-quality ingredients to ensure every bite is delicious and nutritious. While shopping, remember to look for the Produce for Kids and Healthy Family Project logos next to favorite items in the produce department, as adding these flavorful fruits and veggies to your cart can help make a difference in your community.

Build your board around a theme to add an extra element of fun. Use mini cookie cutters to make fun, kid-friendly shapes out of cheese and meats. Be mindful of colors; a rainbow platter is vibrant and appealing, and colorful fruits and veggies offer a strong mix of nutrients.

Remember it doesn’t have to be elaborate. Classic favorites are all you need. Even kid favorites like sections of mandarin oranges, carrot sticks and chocolate chips are fair game for a family-friendly board.

Find more ideas for creating family-friendly treats at healthyfamilyproject.com.

Taco Tuesday Board

Recipe courtesy of Healthy Family Project’s “Come Graze With Us” e-cookbook

  • Guacamole
  • Salsa
  • Queso
  • Hard and soft taco shells
  • Ground turkey, seasoned and browned
  • Lettuce
  • Diced tomatoes
  • Shredded cheese
  • Chopped onions
  • Chopped peppers
  • Sour cream
  • Cilantro
  • Lime wedges
  1. On grazing board or platter, arrange guacamole, salsa, queso, taco shells, ground turkey, lettuce, tomatoes, shredded cheese, onions, peppers, sour cream, cilantro and lime wedges.

Weekend Breakfast Grazing Board

Recipe courtesy of Healthy Family Project’s “Come Graze With Us” e-cookbook

  • Hard-boiled eggs
  • Cooked sausage links
  • Mini frozen waffles, toasted
  • Mini frozen pancakes, toasted
  • Mini muffins
  • Yogurt
  • Fresh fruit
  • Syrup
  • Jelly
  1. On grazing board or platter, arrange eggs, sausage links, toasted waffles, toasted pancakes, muffins, yogurt, fruit, syrup and jelly.


SOURCE:
Healthy Family Project

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