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Create a menu full of festive flavor

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(Family Features) Cooking up a successful holiday gathering calls for everyone’s favorite recipes. From the centerpiece main dish to fresh salads and appetizers, roasted sides and baked sweets, you can take seasonal get-togethers up a notch by mixing traditional classics with newfound favorites.

Consider this full-fledged menu of flavor to give guests a memorable holiday experience from beginning to end and find more festive recipe ideas at Culinary.net.

Fresh Flavors for Holiday Festivities

With the festive season arriving, bring together family and friends for a delicious feast you can feel good about serving. One standout recipe is this Cornish Game Hen with Kale Sweet Potato Salad that pairs fresh, leafy kale with roasted sweet potatoes and tender Cornish game hens for a truly elegant meal.

Elevate your cooking during the holidays with inspiration from Fresh Express and its more than 100 varieties of fresh, healthy and convenient ready-to-eat salads like the Sweet Kale Chopped Kit. It’s a perfect blend of a nutrient-dense salad mix of leafy kale, green cabbage, shredded broccoli and Brussels sprouts, as well as crunchy pumpkin seeds and dried cranberries, topped with a tasty poppyseed dressing.

Visit FreshExpress.com to discover more fresh, easy and healthy recipes for the holiday season.

Cornish Game Hen with Kale Sweet Potato Salad

Prep time: 20 minutes
Cook time: 1 hour, 10 minutes
Servings: 4

  • 1 package (6 ounces) stovetop stuffing
  • 2 cups chopped apples, divided
  • 4 Cornish game hens (20 ounces each)
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 2 teaspoons Italian seasoning, divided
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 teaspoon salt, plus additional, to taste, divided
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 2 large sweet potatoes, peeled, cut into 1-inch cubes
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 package (10.9 ounces) Fresh Express Sweet Kale Chopped Kit
  1. Heat oven to 350 F.
  2. Prepare stuffing according to package directions. Add 1 cup apples and fluff stuffing with fork; cool 15 minutes.
  3. Remove anything inside hens, rinse cavity with cold water and pat dry.
  4. In small saucepan, melt butter over low heat. Add 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning, paprika, 1 teaspoon salt, garlic powder and pepper; mix well. Remove from heat.
  5. Fill cavity of each hen with apple stuffing.
  6. Place hens in 13-by-9-by-2-inch baking dish. Tie legs together and tuck wings under. Baste with butter mixture.
  7. Bake 50-60 minutes, or until thermometer inserted in thickest part of thigh reads 165 F and stuffing temperature reads 165 F. Baste with butter mixture every 15-20 minutes.
  8. In bowl, toss sweet potatoes with remaining Italian seasoning and olive oil. Arrange in single layer on sheet pan. Sprinkle with salt, to taste.
  9. Bake with hens 25 minutes, or until tender. Remove from oven and cool. Tent hens with foil and let rest 10 minutes.
  10. Place greens from salad kit in large bowl. Add remaining apples and sweet potatoes; mix well. Toss with salad dressing. Add toppings; toss to combine.
  11. Serve Cornish game hens with sweet potato kale salad.

A Festive, Everyday Side Dish

While the busy holiday season can be loads of fun, you still need to get dinner on the table between parties. When you find yourself in a pinch this holiday season, squeezed for time and searching for a quick solution for dinner, turn to an easy side dish that can appease everyone. Potatoes are a nearly unanimous favorite.

Make putting dinner on the table a breeze with a solution like little potatoes from The Little Potato Company, which can help bring holiday happiness to mealtime. Ready in as little as 5 minutes, they come pre-washed and require no peeling or cutting, making them the perfect time-saving solution for the holiday season.

Ideal for this Perfect Roasted Little Potatoes recipe, these little potatoes are a tasty, fresh whole food that you can feel good about serving. Ready in half an hour with minimal prep and a few simple ingredients, it’s a perfect side dish for any occasion.

Visit littlepotatoes.com for more information and holiday inspiration.

Perfect Roasted Little Potatoes

Prep time: 5 minutes
Cook time: 30 minutes
Servings: 6

  • 1 1/2 pounds The Little Potato Company Little Potatoes
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 1-2 tablespoons fresh parsley, chopped
  1. Preheat oven to 400 F.
  2. In large bowl, toss little potatoes with oil, salt and pepper until coated.
  3. Spread potatoes in single layer on rimmed baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Bake 30 minutes, or until tender.
  4. Sprinkle with parsley and serve.

Tip: For extra holiday flavor, add paprika, garlic and fresh herbs.

Get Creative with Delicious, Decorative Cookies

A decadent holiday meal isn’t complete without a sweet dessert to cap off the evening. When in doubt, go with a traditional treat that’s perfect for sharing: cookies.

These Ornament Cookies can be shaped any way you like to celebrate the holidays. The royal icing adorning these festive favorites is made with powdered sugar and meringue powder; just use food coloring to add a personal touch.

For more than 120 years, Domino Sugar has helped millions bake special recipes like these cookies made with non-GMO, vegan, kosher and gluten-free Golden Sugar that’s free flowing and easy to scoop, spoon and pour. The sugar retains a hint of molasses flavor, giving it a golden color and providing a perfect way to add less processed sweetness to your loved ones’ favorite desserts.

Find holiday recipes, baking tips and more at dominosugar.com.

Ornament Cookies

Prep time: 25 minutes plus 1 hour to decorate
Cook time: 20 minutes
Yield: 2 dozen cookies

Cookies:

  • 1 1/2 cups (3 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1 cup Domino Golden Sugar
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 large egg
  • 3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

Royal Icing:

  • 4 cups Domino Powdered Sugar
  • 3 tablespoons meringue powder
  • 1/3 cup, plus 2-3 tablespoons, warm water, divided
  • desired food coloring
  1. To prepare cookies: In large bowl, beat butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add vanilla and egg; beat until well combined. Scrape sides of bowl as needed. Add flour and salt; beat until just combined.
  2. Dump mixture onto lightly floured surface and divide in half. Shape each half into disks and wrap with plastic wrap. Refrigerate 30 minutes.
  3. Preheat oven to 350 F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
  4. Working on lightly floured surface, roll dough to 1/2-inch thick. Cut cookies using ornament-shaped cookie cutter. Place cookies on prepared pans and bake 18-20 minutes, or until golden brown. Remove from oven and cool at room temperature.
  5. To make royal icing: In large mixing bowl, combine powdered sugar, meringue powder and 1/3 cup water. Beat on low speed until combined. Increase speed to medium-high and beat 8-10 minutes, adding 2-3 tablespoons warm water, as necessary. Icing should be stiff enough to hold peak when tested.
  6. Color royal icing with food coloring and decorate cookies.


SOURCE:
Fresh Express

Little Potato Company

Domino Sugar

 

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EDIBLES

Better-for-you meals from breakfast to dinner

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(Family Features) Whether you’re encouraging loved ones to start a new wellness kick or looking to add new ideas to an already-nutritious menu, families at any stage of a journey toward better health can use newfound favorites to bring fresh flavors to the table.

These dishes from Milk Means More provide an all-day assortment of deliciousness from breakfast to lunch and dinner so you can bring everyone together for tasty, nutritious meals no matter the occasion. Dairy foods, like the low-fat or fat-free milk, yogurt and cheese found in these recipes, are fundamental to good nutrition.

Constructing a better-for-you menu calls for a balanced diet with a variety of foods to get essential nutrients. This balance is important for maintaining healthy gut and immune function while optimizing overall wellness.

Start by ramping up your family’s breakfast with these slightly sweet Mini Greek Yogurt Pancakes with Cinnamon-Maple Topping for a protein-packed way to start the day with a healthy addition of fresh berries.

Fusion cooking is on the menu at lunchtime with the spicy-sweet combo of Cajun-seasoned chicken mingling with mango and pungent blue cheese in these Chicken, Mango and Blue Cheese Pitas. Finally, finish the day with Feta Roasted Salmon and Tomatoes – an easy-to-make family meal ready in 30 minutes.

Find additional better-for-you recipe inspiration at MilkMeansMore.org.

Mini Greek Yogurt Pancakes with Cinnamon-Maple Topping

Recipe courtesy of Marcia Stanley, MS, RDN, culinary dietitian, on behalf of Milk Means More
Total time: 25 minutes
Servings:6

Topping:

  • 1 3/4 cups plain Greek yogurt (fat free, 2% or 5%)
  • 1/3 cup maple syrup
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

Pancakes:

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • 3/4 cup plain Greek yogurt (fat free, 2% or 5%)
  • 1/2 cup milk (skim, 2% or whole)
  • 3 tablespoons melted butter
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • oil
  • 1 cup fresh blueberries or chopped fresh strawberries
  1. To make topping: Stir yogurt, syrup and cinnamon. Cover and refrigerate.
  2. To make pancakes: In mixing bowl, stir flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt. In separate bowl, whisk egg, yogurt, milk, butter and vanilla. Add yogurt mixture to flour mixture. Stir just until combined (batter should be slightly lumpy).
  3. Scrape batter into large plastic food storage bag. Oil nonstick griddle or large nonstick skillet. Heat over medium heat. Cut off about 1/2 inch from corner of plastic bag. Squeeze batter, about 1 tablespoon at a time, onto hot griddle. Cook 1-2 minutes per side, or until pancakes are golden brown, turning to second sides when bubbles form on surface of pancakes and edges are slightly dry.
  4. Serve warm pancakes topped with cinnamon-maple yogurt and sprinkled with berries.

Feta Roasted Salmon and Tomatoes

Recipe courtesy of Marcia Stanley, MS, RDN, culinary dietitian, on behalf of Milk Means More
Prep time: 15 minutes
Cook time: 15 minutes
Servings: 4

  • Nonstick cooking spray
  • 3 cups halved cherry tomatoes
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano or dried dill weed
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper, divided
  • 1 1/2 pounds salmon or halibut fillets, cut into 4 serving-size pieces
  • 1 cup (4 ounces) crumbled feta cheese
  1. Preheat oven to 425 F. Line 18-by-13-by-1-inch (half sheet) baking pan with foil. Lightly spray foil with nonstick cooking spray. Set aside.
  2. In medium bowl, toss tomatoes, olive oil, garlic, oregano, salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper.
  3. Place fish pieces, skin side down, on one side of prepared pan. Sprinkle with remaining pepper. Lightly press feta cheese on top of fish. Pour tomato mixture on other side of prepared pan. Bake, uncovered, 12-15 minutes, or until fish flakes easily with fork.
  4. Place salmon on serving plates. Spoon tomato mixture over top.

Chicken, Mango and Blue Cheese Pitas

Recipe by Marcia Stanley, MS, RDN, culinary dietitian, on behalf of Milk Means More
Total time: 25 minutes
Servings: 6

Sauce:

  • 1 cup low-fat plain yogurt
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1 tablespoon orange juice or lime juice

Filling:

  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breast halves, cut into bite-size pieces
  • 1 tablespoon Cajun or Creole seasoning
  • 1 large fresh mango, seeded, peeled and chopped
  • 3 large whole-wheat pita rounds (or 6 small), halved
  • 1 1/2 cups spring greens
  • 3/4 cup crumbled blue cheese (3 ounces)
  1. To make sauce: In small bowl, stir yogurt, honey and juice. Cover and refrigerate.
  2. To make filling: In large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat, heat oil. Cook and stir chicken with seasoning in hot oil 4-6 minutes, or until chicken is no longer pink in center. Remove from heat. Stir in mango.
  3. Fill pita pockets with greens, chicken mixture and blue cheese. Spoon yogurt sauce on top.


SOURCE:
United Dairy Industry of Michigan

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EDIBLES

Create a beautifully baked beef dinner

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(Culinary.net) Many families crave savory and delicious weeknight meals. After a long day of work and school, it’s time to gather around the table to share a mouthwatering meal and memories together.

For something truly wholesome, try this Beef Tenderloin with Roasted Cauliflower and Spinach Salad. It’s a full meal the whole family can enjoy, and you’ll be surprised at how easy it makes it to feed all the smiling faces.

This meal has layers of flavor and sneaks in a few vegetables like spinach and cauliflower, but even picky eaters can’t resist trying it.

Start with a beef tenderloin and drizzle it generously with olive oil. Add 2 tablespoons of pepper. Flip and repeat on the other side. Bake for 12 minutes at 475 F.

Next, add one head of cauliflower to a mixing bowl with five shallots cut into quarters. Add 2 tablespoons of olive oil; mix well with salt and pepper, to taste. Add this to the baking sheet with the beef tenderloin and bake 18-25 minutes.

While that’s cooking, add 3 tablespoons of olive oil to a mixing bowl with lemon juice, Dijon mustard, salt, pepper and baby spinach.

To plate, add baby spinach salad first then the cauliflower and shallot mixture and, finally, that juicy, perfectly cooked beef tenderloin. Garnish with cranberries for a splash of color.

This meal is satisfying and only requires some mixing bowls and a large sheet pan to make cleanup a breeze so you can focus on what really matters most: time with your loved ones.

Find more recipes and savory main dishes at Culinary.net.

Watch video to see how to make this recipe!

https://youtube.com/watch?v=-YVhaf57KRk%3Fmodestbranding%3D1%26rel%3D0%26showinfo%3D0

Beef Tenderloin with Roasted Cauliflower and Spinach Salad

Servings: 4-6

  • 1          beef tenderloin (4 pounds), wrapped with butcher’s twine
  • 9          tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 4          teaspoons pepper, divided
  • 1          head cauliflower
  • 5          shallots, quartered
  • 2          teaspoons salt, divided
  • 3          tablespoons lemon juice
  • 2          teaspoons Dijon mustard
  • 1          package (5 1/2 ounces) baby spinach
  • dried cranberries, for garnish
  1. Heat oven to 475 F. Place beef on baking sheet. Rub 4 tablespoons olive oil and 2 teaspoons pepper into beef. Bake 12 minutes.
  2. In large bowl, toss cauliflower, shallots, 1 teaspoon salt and 1 teaspoon pepper to combine. Scatter vegetables around beef and bake 18-25 minutes, or until desired doneness is reached. Allow meat to rest 15 minutes covered in aluminum foil.
  3. In medium bowl, whisk 3 tablespoons olive oil, lemon juice, mustard and remaining salt and pepper until combined. Add spinach; stir until combined.
  4. Serve by layering spinach topped with cauliflower and shallots then sliced tenderloin. Garnish with dried cranberries.


SOURCE:
Culinary.net

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EDIBLES

Guilty-free, superfruit snacking: Treats to make it permissible to indulge

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(Family Features) For many, enjoying a small indulgence can serve as a reward for a job well done or a mood-boosting pick-me-up. In fact, mindful snacking is on-trend for a majority of consumers.

According to Mondelez International’s Fourth Annual State of Snacking Global Consumer Trends Study, 78% are choosing small indulgences to pamper themselves and 68% are checking nutrition labels on snacks.

With today’s changing palates and the growing demand for sour, less sweet foods and beverages, a superfruit like tart cherries can help snackers permissibly indulge without the guilt. Primarily grown on small family farms in the United States, Montmorency tart cherries – also referred to as sour cherries – are available year-round in dried, juice and juice concentrate, canned and frozen forms.

More than 110 scientific research studies show Montmorency tart cherries are a superfruit. In addition to their sweet-sour taste and unique nutrient profile, research suggests tart cherries – one of the few natural food sources of melatonin – may help improve sleep, aid in exercise recovery, reduce inflammation, ease arthritis symptoms, improve gut health and promote heart health. In fact, in one study published in the “European Journal of Nutrition,” adults who drank Montmorency tart cherry juice slept about 40 minutes longer on average and had up to a 6% increase in sleep efficiency.

While increasingly featured in functional beverages and health-positioned foods, tart cherries can also add drool-worthy flavor to superfruit-infused snacks, such as these Tart Cherry Superfood Banana Splits and Tart Cherry Brownie Bites. Plus, using tart cherries as a favorite ingredient in recipes like these adds a health halo to sweets – reinforcing the trend of permissible indulgences.

As an ideal superfruit snack that makes snacking more satisfying, tart cherries provide delicious flavor and potential health benefits in these recipes and beyond so you can savor the moment and cherish every bite.

Find more tart cherry snack recipes at ChooseCherries.com.

Tart Cherry Superfood Banana Splits

Recipe courtesy of Hannah Zimmerman of Bite Sized Studio on behalf of the U.S. Tart Cherry Industry
Prep time: 15 minutes
Cook time: 20 minutes
Servings: 2

  • 1/2 cup dark chocolate chips
  • 2 cups tart cherry juice
  • 2 ripe bananas
  • 1 cup vanilla Greek yogurt
  • 1/4 cup almond butter
  • 1/4 cup granola
  • 1/4 cup dried tart cherries
  • 1/2 cup frozen tart cherries, thawed
  1. Place chocolate chips in bowl.
  2. In saucepan over medium heat, bring tart cherry juice to simmer about 20 minutes until reduced to 2/3 cup.
  3. Pour juice into bowl and mix until chocolate chips are melted and sauce is smooth.
  4. Cut bananas in half lengthwise and place on two plates. Spoon 1/2 cup Greek yogurt on each banana then drizzle with 2 tablespoons almond butter and 2 tablespoons tart cherry chocolate sauce.
  5. Sprinkle 2 tablespoons granola, 2 tablespoons dried tart cherries and 1/4 cup thawed frozen tart cherries on top of each banana split.

Note: Leftover tart cherry chocolate sauce can be stored in airtight container in refrigerator for later use.

Tart Cherry Brownie Bites

Recipe courtesy of Hannah Zimmerman of Bite Sized Studio on behalf of the U.S. Tart Cherry Industry
Prep time: 10 minutes
Yield: 12 bites

  • 10 medjool dates, pitted
  • 1/2 cup dried tart cherries
  • 1/4 cup walnuts
  • 2 tablespoons rolled oats
  • 1/4 cup cocoa powder
  • 1 tablespoon chia or hemp seeds (optional)
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons peanut or almond butter
  • 4 tablespoons tart cherry juice
  • 1/4 cup mini chocolate chips
  • cocoa powder (optional)
  • melted chocolate (optional)
  1. In bowl of food processor, combine dates; dried tart cherries; walnuts; oats; cocoa powder; seeds, if desired; salt; and nut butter. Pulse 30-60 seconds until ingredients are ground into tiny pieces.
  2. Add tart cherry juice in 1 tablespoon additions, pulsing mixture after each addition, until crumbly dough forms.
  3. Transfer dough to bowl and fold in chocolate chips.
  4. Roll dough into 12 balls. Serve plain or finish balls with dusting of cocoa powder or drizzle of melted chocolate, if desired.


SOURCE:
Cherry Marketing Institute

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