3 tips to make this the cheesiest year ever
(BPT) - Looking for a stress-free and undeniably delicious snack for your family game night? Want to surprise a special person you haven’t seen in a while with a gift delivery? Or do you simply want to kick grandma’s recipes up a notch this year? The solution is simple: cheese. Not just any cheese; awesome cheese.
Cheese makes everything better. That’s why Josh Gentine, a third-generation member of the Sargento Foods legacy, founded The Big Cheese Co. Well, that, and he got his hands on some extra-sharp, 12- to 15-year aged Wisconsin cheddar. According to Gentine, cheese ages like fine wine, getting sharper and more complex with each passing year. He maintains his cheddar is “the sharpest you’ve ever tasted,” adding jokingly, “it’s so sharp it has a British accent, and it was so good that it was worth starting this new company.”
With that in mind, here are three tips for making this year your cheesiest ever.
Tip 1: Sharpest surprise
Cheese is the perfect gift. “Cheese is our common denominator,” says Gentine. “There are only two types of people in this world: people who already love cheese and people who need to try The Big Cheese.”
With The Big Cheese, blocks are sent directly to your doorstep, so you can send a little love without leaving the sofa. A 2.5-pound block to your foodie aunt, a 5-pounder to the family of four. A 40-pound behemoth sent directly to the door of your friend who’s always entertaining (or will be, once that's safe again). It’s an unexpected gift that you can be confident will be enjoyed and not regifted or left to gather dust in a hallway closet.
Tip 2: Charcuterie champion
Charcuterie boards have become their own popular subgenre . Some would say a full-fledged movement, with people creating over-the-top, picture-perfect trays packed with premium deli and dairy. The art of the board is all about balance, in color and flavor. Put your folded, reddish cuts of cured meat opposite pale cheeses, next to green olives or grape garnish. Mix and match an assortment of hard and soft cheeses with tapenades and spreads. Temper the salty meats with sweeter fruits like pears or apples. Or keep it simple when you’re looking for something quick and tasty for family movie night. Simply pile up the plate the way they like it, so everyone has options.
Pro Pointer: Serve your extra-sharp, aged cheddar (and other cheeses) at room temperature. When cheese is too cold, its taste is muted. By allowing cheese to come to room temperature, you’re allowing its flavors to come out and join the party.
Tip 3: Sharpen a family favorite
Family recipes that stay the same year after year can become tired or stale, so add a little zing with a cheesy kick. The secret is the sharp cheddar. Adding shreds of the zesty treat brings more complexity to dishes. It’s the perfect way to amp up mac and cheese, bring extra creaminess to grits or polenta, elevate a grilled cheese sandwich or breathe second life into leftovers like turkey melts.
Try this recipe for a great new take on a family classic:
The Big Cheese Mac & Cheese
From Jessica Slomberg @NYCFoodComa
1 and 1/2 cups half-and-half
Bring large pot of water to a boil. Once water is boiling, add plenty of salt and 1 pound radiatori pasta. Cook until pasta is al dente (5-10 minutes depending on type of pasta).
For more information, visit TheBigCheese.com.
For those who are always on the go, it can be difficult to find time to whip up meals and snacks that are both nutritious and tasty. However, with some simple changes – and timesaving recipes like Egg Roll Bowl with Shrimp, Parmesan Crisps, Avocado Chocolate Mousse and Yogurt Parfait – you can create delicious dishes and meals that will keep you feeling energized to fuel your busy lifestyle.
Busy Season Solutions
Quick and tasty meals and snacks
(Family Features) For those who are always on the go, it can be difficult to find time to whip up meals and snacks that are both nutritious and tasty. However, with some simple changes – and timesaving recipes – you can create delicious dishes and meals that will keep you feeling energized to fuel your busy lifestyle.
For example, these quick and easy recipes for a main course, snacks and even desserts are all part of the Atkins low-carb lifestyle, a long-term, healthy eating approach focused on high-fiber carbohydrates, optimal protein and healthy fats. The eating approach, which is a more flexible version of the popular ketogenic diet, offers a balanced mix of foods containing fiber-rich and nutrient-dense carbohydrates while focusing on reduced levels of refined carbohydrates, added sugars and the “hidden sugar effect” – when carbohydrates convert to sugar when digested. You don’t see the sugar, but your body does.
An On-the-Go Morning Treat
Busy mornings can lead to breakfast being put on the backburner or skipped altogether. However, with an option like the Atkins Chocolate Banana Shake, which is made with real fruit, you can enjoy the most important meal of the day on-the-go or anytime you need a snack break.
A beneficial source of B vitamins, these protein-rich shakes can satisfy hunger with 5 grams of fiber and provide steady energy all day long. Made to easily fit into a busy lifestyle, they’re also gluten-free with no artificial colors or preservatives, and low-glycemic with 4 net carbs and 2 grams of sugar.
Learn more about the benefits of a balanced, low-carb approach, and find more recipes to help kickstart a nutritious eating plan, at Atkins.com.
Egg Roll Bowl with Shrimp
Recipe courtesy of Atkins
Notes: To help meal come together quickly, use frozen cauliflower rice, pre-grated ginger paste, pre-minced jarred garlic and bagged coleslaw mix. Green onions and bell pepper can also be pre-sliced.
Recipe courtesy of Atkins
Avocado Chocolate Mousse
Recipe courtesy of Atkins
Note: All ingredients should be at room temperature to make blending smooth and easy.
Prep time: 5 minutes
Photos courtesy of Getty Images (Egg Roll Bowl with Shrimp, Parmesan Crisps and Avocado Chocolate Mousse)SOURCE:
Big-game watch parties call for big-game snacks, but that doesn’t have to mean complicated recipes or hours spent in the kitchen. Prepare a double serving of guacamole and split it in two. Keep one as-is for an easy and healthy vegan option, and make BLT Guacamole with the rest.
A Winning Spread for the Big Game
(Family Features) Big-game watch parties call for big-game snacks, but that doesn’t have to mean complicated recipes or hours spent in the kitchen. Small bites and hearty dips made with real ingredients can be easy to prepare, and make an impressive spread that guests can enjoy from opening kickoff to the final whistle.
To avoid the classic snacking fumble of having your guests’ chips crumbling in your dips, choose an option like Garden of Eatin’ Blue Tortilla Chips, the mother of all chips, made with organic whole blue corn kernels that are stone ground to perfection for thick, tasty and hearty chips that stand up to any dip.
To prepare for fellow viewers with other lifestyle or dietary needs, plan to offer snacks and dips that satisfy even the most finicky of fans. Prepare a double serving of guacamole and split it in two. Keep one as-is for an easy and healthy vegan option, and make BLT Guacamole with the rest.
Serve with Garden of Eatin’ Grain Free Cassava Chips, which are made with organic cassava, sunflower and chia seeds. Crafted to perfection, these gluten-free, grain-free, vegan, paleo-approved chips provide a tasty touchdown for the whole team.
If you’re looking to bring the heat with bold taste and just enough spice in each bite, go for a warm option like Tex-Mex Enchilada Queso. To save time, you can assemble it a few hours before kickoff or even a day ahead of the game then bake just prior to guests arriving. An easy way to make this recipe stretch is to make a portion without meat so you have a vegetarian option as well.
Find more recipes to bring victory to your game-day spread at gardenofeatin.com.
Recipe courtesy of Gaby Dalkin of What’s Gaby Cooking
Tex-Mex Enchilada Queso
Recipe courtesy of Gaby Dalkin of What’s Gaby Cooking
Garden of Eatin’
Savoring the moment is at the heart of Tuscan-inspired entertaining, where everyone has a seat at the table to enjoy simple and delicious dishes like Ricotta Bruschetta, Prosciutto and Arugula Rustica Pizza and Eggs in Purgatory that boast authentic flavor and incorporate quality ingredients.
Bring Tuscany to the Table
Simple, flavorful recipes for fall entertaining
(Family Features) Take time this fall to slow down and experience the pure delight of great-tasting food with family and friends.
Savoring the moment is at the heart of Tuscan-inspired entertaining, where everyone has a seat at the table to enjoy simple and delicious dishes that boast authentic flavor and incorporate quality ingredients.
With a passion for the simplicity of Italian food and homemade Tuscan cooking, Italian-American chef Laura Vitale, host of “Laura in the Kitchen,” traveled to the small town of Lucca, Italy, where she reconnected with a region rooted in heritage, experienced rich traditions and embraced “The Tuscan Way” in crafting her own unique takes on classic dishes.
“I’m incredibly inspired by the spirit of Tuscan cooking,” Vitale said. “It encourages you to get into the kitchen, embrace simple ingredients and cook something delicious for the ones you love.”
For your next fall entertaining occasion, consider bringing Tuscany to your table with an ingredient such as Bertolli Rustic Cut pasta sauce as the centerpiece. Try Vitale’s classic Eggs in Purgatory or other recipes like Prosciutto and Arugula Rustica Pizza and traditional Ricotta Bruschetta.
Remember, homemade Tuscan cooking is about great company, a simple menu and making memories. Find more fall flavors and entertaining tips at Bertolli.com.
Prep time: 10 minutes
Prosciutto and Arugula Rustica Pizza
Prep time: 15 minutes
Eggs in Purgatory
Recipe courtesy of Laura Vitale
Note: If using skillet larger than 12 inches, you can add eight eggs instead of four for additional servings.SOURCE:
Many of today’s families have something in the kitchen that previous generations didn’t – more men involved in meal preparation. On the Fourth of July, that trend will likely continue as men, especially fathers, take to the grill to prepare popular summer fare like these Easy Cheesy Burgers.
Serve Up Some Love This Fourth of July
Grill with your children for an exciting shared experience
(Family Features) Many of today’s families have something in the kitchen that previous generations didn’t – more men involved in meal preparation. On the Fourth of July, that trend will likely continue as men, especially fathers, take to the grill to prepare popular summer fare for the family.
As millennials shatter stereotypes and share household tasks, fathers are using cooking as a way of bonding with their children by making their favorite family meals together. According to a study conducted by Men’s Health, more men are helping out in the kitchen than ever. Not only are they becoming primary grocery shoppers, but 92 percent of men surveyed said they are preparing meals for themselves and 77 percent are preparing meals for others.
Men are also among the ranks of the top food bloggers, often writing about their cooking adventures with their children. Among them is Derek Campanile of “Dad with a Pan,” whose passion for cooking and sharing recipes grew even stronger with the birth of his son.
“I’ve always enjoyed cooking for people and mixing different ingredients to come up with something everyone enjoys, but it wasn’t until I became a dad that it truly began to sink in,” Campanile said. “When I cook with my son, food is so much more than food – it’s pure love. Cooking together makes it fun to come to the table and enjoy great food.”
Many times, fatherly chefs include meat in all kinds of recipes, but swapping in an ingredient like Jennie-O turkey for beef makes it easy to modify their favorites into more nutritious choices for the entire family without sacrificing flavor. Give it a try with this Easy Cheesy Burgers recipe that makes it simple for parents to cook with their kids this Fourth of July.
Find more ways to involve the whole family in the kitchen at jennieo.com.
Easy Cheesy Burgers
Instead of planning an elaborate menu for brunch with family and friends, keep your plans simple and hit that snooze button. Transform a recipe like Duck Bacon and Brie Cheese Stuffed French Toast with new, inspired ingredients instead of traditional brunch fare.
Brighten Up Your Brunch Menu
(Family Features) Waking up early is hardly anyone’s favorite thing to do, especially on the weekends. Instead of planning an elaborate menu for brunch with family and friends, keep your plans simple and hit that snooze button. Transform a favorite recipe with new, inspired ingredients instead of traditional brunch fare.
Try putting a twist on a classic breakfast by opting for Maple Leaf Farms Duck Bacon instead of pork bacon. It's thick-cut, ready to cook and perfect for pairing with eggs, pastries or fruit. With a hearty taste and texture and 57 percent less fat than traditional pork bacon, duck bacon can satisfy hungry, waiting guests and give them a tasty start to their weekend.
This brunch recipe for Duck Bacon and Brie Cheese Stuffed French Toast can be thrown together in an instant with mouthwatering ingredients. The addition of duck bacon adds a unique flavor and wow-factor that can leave guests asking for more.
Find more brunch recipes and information about cooking with duck at mapleleaffarms.com.
Duck Bacon and Brie Cheese Stuffed French Toast
Recipe courtesy of Chef Ben Vaughn on behalf of Maple Leaf Farms
Maple Leaf Farms
(BPT) - Savvy hosts and hostesses know that the keys to a successful holiday soiree are when the room is filled with laughter and guests leave satisfied from all the yummy treats served. If you’re hosting a holiday get together or special event with friends and family, impress and delight your guests with fresh, new takes on the classic foods everyone serves.
A chip buffet is a simple, delicious and perfect way to indulge during the holidays and into the New Year. Here are some ideas to help get started:
* Vary the chip choices. It’s hard to beat the classic potato chip at any snacking occasion. Make your snacks special by adding crispy kettle cooked chips to the mix. Lay’s Kettle Cooked Chips are cooked in small batches to create extra crunch. They are delicious to enjoy on their own but also stand up well to dips. To make sure everyone leaves satisfied, serve a variety of Lay’s Kettle Cooked Chips' 11 flavors, from classic Original to a better-for-you Lightly Salted Olive Oil & Herbs or a spicy Jalapeno.
* Play with presentation. Bowls are a tried-and-true way to serve chips, but the holidays are a great opportunity to innovate your setup. A quick search can yield plenty of inspiring ideas like glass jars for guests to see all the delicious flavors, mini apple baskets with metal scoops for a rustic look or individual take-out boxes for your guests to quickly grab.
* Do it up with dip. Dips and spreads are a great way to dress up a potato chip and when you’re entertaining a crowd, the more the merrier! Serve the holiday classics like French onion, spinach and artichoke and baked brie, all of which are simple to prepare and can even be prepped a day ahead of time. To really impress your guests, mix in a few out-of-the-ordinary recipes such as a Jalapeño Pimento Cheese dip. Pair with classic Lay’s Kettle Cooked Original Chips, or 40% Less Fat Jalapeño Cheddar to get a kick out of this spicy dip!
Jalapeño Pimento Cheese
Eating the same thing every day can make lunch seem so “blah.” Now’s the perfect time to break out of the lunch rut and add some excitement to your meals. Try some of these portable and packable recipes for Greek Salad in Jars, Maple Olive Cheesecake Bites, and Black and White Pizza to add excitement to lunch on-the-go.
Think Outside the Lunchbox
(Family Features) Eating the same thing every day can make lunch seem so “blah.” Now’s the perfect time to break out of the lunch rut and add some excitement to your meals.
California farmers grow more than 95 percent of the ripe olives consumed in the United States. From planting, pruning, harvesting and processing, they make sure that the highest quality olives come from their farms to your table – one can at a time.
Adding olives to any lunch can help bring California sunshine to each and every bite. Try some of these portable and packable recipes to add excitement to lunch on-the-go and find more at calolive.org.
Greek Salad in Jars
Courtesy of Simply Recipes
Note: Store and transport salads upright so dressing stays on bottom.
Smoked California Ripe Olives can produce a crave-worthy culinary surprise and become one of your favorite flavor discoveries. There are a few easy ways to make your own smoked olives, including preparing them on the grill with these quick steps:
Maple Olive Cheesecake Bites
Makes: 16-20 mini cheesecakes
Black and White Pizza
Makes: 1 pizza
California Olive Committee
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