Top Tips for a Perfect Mother’s Day

Brandpoint  |  2016-04-20

(BPT) - She’s spent years taking care of you, whether it was mending your first broken heart, helping you pack and move for college, or moving in to help take care of your first child. Mom has always been around to help. For all the times she’s been there for you, now is the time to be there for her. This Mother’s Day, plan the perfect day to show mom just how thankful you are.

Plan a day together. Set aside all other plans and treat your mom to a day filled with her favorite people, places and things. Whether it’s a day spent indoors playing games or reminiscing, or grabbing the extended family and heading to her favorite park, lake or ocean for a picnic, simply sharing in these moments is sure to bring your mom joy and delight.

Host an afternoon tea. While breakfast in bed may have been your Mother’s Day tradition growing up, perhaps it’s time for something new. This year, treat mom to a relaxing and indulgent afternoon tea filled with delicious treats like these Lavender Buttermilk Scones.

Ingredients:

8 ounces self-raising flour, plus extra for dusting

1 teaspoon baking powder

2 ounces unsalted butter, cut into small cubes, plus extra for greasing

3 ounces lavender-flavored sugar, sifted if preferred (see Cook’s Tip below)

1 pint buttermilk, plus extra for brushing

Salt

Your choice of Bonne Maman Preserves

Directions:

Heat the oven to 425 degrees.

Sift the flour and baking powder into a bowl and rub in the butter until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs.

Stir in the lavender sugar (sifted if preferred) and a pinch of salt and make a well in the center of the flour mixture. Pour in the buttermilk and mix to combine, making a soft dough.

Briefly knead the dough on a floured surface, then lightly roll out to about 3/4-inch thick. Cut scones with a 2-inch pastry cutter and place on a greased baking sheet.

Brush the top of each scone with a little extra buttermilk and bake for 12–15 minutes, until lightly browned on the top. Cool on a wire rack, dust lightly with flour and serve with your favorite choice of Bonne Maman preserves.

Cook’s tips:

  • To make lavender-flavored sugar, push 2–3 small washed and dried sprigs of fresh lavender into a jar of caster sugar. Leave for at least 24 hours before using.

  • Brushing the scones with beaten egg before baking will give them a shiny golden top.

Give Mom a well deserved day off. Even after a perfect day spent with loved ones, sometimes all mom really wants is a day to herself doing whatever she pleases. While you may not be able to give her just that, Bonne Maman, maker of 100 percent natural preserves and jellies, is here to help through the Share The Love national sweepstakes. Mom can enter for a chance to win a $4,500 day off to spend doing whatever she’d like, plus she can download a $2 off coupon for her next Bonne Maman purchase. For more information and to enter, visit www.BonneMaman.us.

...Read More!  
  |  

Start Your Day with Fun: 4 Fresh Takes on Breakfast

Brandpoint  |  2016-04-20

(BPT) - A great way to start your day is to add breakfast to your morning routine. But as we all know, routines can get dull fast, especially after you’ve been eating the same breakfast for a few months. If you find your family is in a breakfast rut, it may be time to switch things up and add some excitement to those early hours.

Here are a few new ideas to brighten up everyone’s morning:

Get the whole family to cook.

Getting everyone in the family to help out in the kitchen is easy, especially on weekends, and they’ll love feeling more involved. The next time you make breakfast, ask your kids to help you. Enjoy connecting as a family and building memories you will all cherish for years to come.

Set up a pancake bar.

Make a weekend breakfast extra special by setting up a short-order pancake station in your kitchen. Offer different flavors of pancake mix, set out chocolate chips, sliced fruit or any other ingredients to create special pancakes that appeal to your family. Don’t forget to top each pancake with a pat of butter or a dollop of whipped cream and, of course, warm syrup. If you use a microwavable syrup bottle, like Hungry Jack, you can microwave the whole bottle and pour hot syrup straight onto your pancakes with no mess.

Host a breakfast lottery.

Do your kids complain about having to eat the same thing every day? Surprise them with a special breakfast lottery. Have ingredients on hand for several breakfast entrees, like pancakes, waffles, or crepes. Put the names of each breakfast item in a hat and make whichever one you draw. This makes for an entertaining and suspenseful breakfast.

Try a new recipe.

Mini Pancake Kabobs

When it comes to breakfast kabobs, the possibilities are endless. Mini pancake kabobs are a lively twist on a classic breakfast. All you need for this recipe, courtesy of I Heart Naptime Blog, is a pancake mix, like Hungry Jack Complete Buttermilk Pancake and Waffle Mix, syrup, kabob skewers and your favorite pancake toppings. Cook small, cookie-sized pancakes on a griddle. Then, stack them on skewers with toppings like fruit and peanut butter. Top each kabob off with a drizzle of warm syrup.

Lemon ricotta pancakes, courtesy of Lauren’s Latest blog

Yield: Six 4-inch pancakes

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 5 minutes

Total Time: 10 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup pancake mix, such as Hungry Jack Buttermilk Pancake & Waffle Mix

  • 3/4 cup cold water

  • 1/4 cup ricotta cheese

  • zest of 2 small lemons

  • powdered sugar, for garnish

  • Hungry Jack syrup

Directions:

In a medium sized bowl, stir pancake mix, water, ricotta cheese and lemon zest together until mostly smooth with a few small lumps. Fry on a lightly greased nonstick skillet until golden brown. Serve with powdered sugar and warm syrup.

Start your day with a satisfying breakfast while enjoying the company of your loved ones. Get creative and try some of these ideas for a whole new take on the first meal of the day.

...Read More!  
  |  

What the H? Rhum Finally Arrives to the Cocktail Party

NewsUSA  |  2016-04-19

(NewsUSA) - Sponsored News - Just as Miami has mojitos and Mexico has margaritas, so too is a French Caribbean Island. Martinique, also known as the “island of flowers,” is not only home to warm, tropical breezes and blue waters, but also to Ti’ Punch -- the cocktail that is the heart of this island’s culture.

With a selection of just three simple ingredients: Rhum Agricole, sugarcane syrup or natural raw sugar, and a piece of lime, one can experience the spirit of Martinique and enjoy the island’s culture in a glass. Islanders already know Ti’ Punch (short for ‘petit ponch,’ or ‘small punch’) is to be savored throughout the day in the French West Indies, much like espresso is woven into daily lives in Italy. The cocktail’s foundation is Rhum Agricole, a French-style rum made from freshly squeezed sugarcane juice rather than molasses. The spelling of rum with an “H” distinguishes it from its counterparts and signifying that it is Rhum Agricole.

In the spirit of promoting this classic cocktail, Rhum Clement, a world-class producer of Rhum Agricole, hosted the first Clement Ti’ Punch Cup beginning with several regional contests in 2015, and finally concluding early last month at Habitation Clement. The Ti’ Punch Cup world final brought together 17 finalists from 10 countries, whittled down from more than 400 accomplished bartenders who hailed from Hong Kong to the United States, as well as other local and European countries. All entrants submitted recipes that stuck to the skeleton of the cocktail recipe, with an added twist.

More than 1,400 people attended the event held at Habitation Clement, a historical landmark in Martinique, and watched as the finalists first presented their winning cocktail recipe qualifying them to travel to Martinique. From there, 10 contestants competed in the semifinal “marketplace” round, challenged by creating a Ti’ Punch using a secret ingredient sourced from a banquet table of more than 60 local fruits, herbs, spices and local elixirs. The final round, the Ti’ Punch Speed Challenge, ultimately awarded Dirk Hany, the head barman of The Widder Bar in Zurich, Switzerland, the coveted first Clement Ti’ Punch Cup trophy.

“Rhum Clement has demonstrated that Rhum Agricole has an equal footing in the world of cocktails? and that Ti’ Punch is in the spotlight as one of the world’s great classic cocktails,” says Gregoire Gueden, CEO of Rhum Clement.

Due to the success of the first Ti’ Punch Cup, Rhum Clement has set the dates for its second contest. Registration will begin in the spring of 2017 and the next world final in Martinique will be held in March of 2018.

Follow Rhum Clement at facebook.com/rhumclement, on Twitter at @rhumclement and on Instagram at @rhumclementofficial for more information on this popular event.

...Read More!  
  |  

Food for Thought: Cooking for Your Heart

Brandpoint  |  2016-03-01

(BPT) - Nearly one-third of adults have high LDL-cholesterol levels, which is also known as bad cholesterol, a key risk factor for heart disease, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. And, unfortunately, about 70 percent of adults with high LDL-cholesterol don’t have the condition under control.

For the many people working to manage their cholesterol levels with the help of their diet, including corn oil may provide important heart-health benefits. Recent research in the Journal of Clinical Lipidology shows that a diet with corn oil, like Mazola, helps lower LDL-cholesterol and total cholesterol more than extra virgin olive oil. Additionally, corn oil has four times more cholesterol-blocking plant sterols than olive oil and 40 percent more than canola oil. Plant sterols are plant-based compounds naturally present in fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, cereals, legumes and vegetable oils. When consumed as part of a diet low in saturated fat and cholesterol, plant sterols can help reduce the absorption of cholesterol in the gut, which, in turn, can lower LDL-cholesterol.

And, when it comes to heart health, the type of fat in the diet matters. In fact, in the newly released 2015-2020 Dietary Guidelines for Americans, the emphasis is no longer on eating a low-fat diet but instead choosing quality fats. This includes replacing saturated fats that are known to contribute to heart disease with unsaturated fats, including polyunsaturated fats, like those in Mazola Corn Oil. Corn oil has more than five times the amount of polyunsaturated fats compared to olive oil. Replacing saturated fat with heart-healthy polyunsaturated fats can reduce the risk of heart disease.

What’s more, corn oil’s neutral taste complements the natural flavors of foods, making it perfect for stir-frying, sautéing, grilling and even baking. Get more delicious recipes at Mazola.com.

Warm Tomato & Kale Pasta
Yield: 8 servings
Prep Time: 25 minutes

Ingredients
12 ounces uncooked whole grain rotini pasta
2 tablespoons Mazola Corn Oil
1/3 cup chopped onion
2 cups cherry tomatoes, halved
2 cups chopped kale
1/2 cup no-salt or reduced sodium vegetable broth
1/4 cup lime juice
2 teaspoons chili powder
1 teaspoon garlic salt
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper
4 ounces feta cheese, crumbled
2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro

Instructions

  1. Cook and drain pasta according to package directions. Set aside.

  2. Heat oil in large skillet over medium heat until hot. Add onion; cook and stir until tender, about 3 minutes. Stir in tomatoes, kale, vegetable broth, lime juice, chili powder, garlic salt and crushed red pepper. Cook 7 to 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.

  3. Combine hot pasta, tomato mixture, feta cheese and cilantro in a large serving bowl. Toss lightly and serve.

Quinoa & Sweet Potato Chili
Yield: 3 quarts
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 40 minutes

Ingredients
1 tablespoon Mazola Corn Oil
1 cup chopped onions
1/2 cup chopped bell pepper
1 jalapeño, seeded and finely diced
3 tablespoons chili powder
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1 quart unsalted chicken OR vegetable broth
4 cups sweet potatoes, peeled and cubed
2 teaspoons minced garlic
2 cans (15 ounces each) no salt added diced tomatoes
1/2 cup quinoa
1 can (15 ounces) no salt added OR reduced salt black beans, rinsed and drained
2 cups frozen corn
Garnish with green onions, chopped cilantro or sliced jalapeños

Instructions

  1. Heat Dutch oven or large pot over medium-high heat and add oil. Add onion, bell and jalapeño peppers and cook for 2 to 3 minutes until vegetables are softened. Add chili powder and cumin and cook for 1 to 2 minutes until spices are aromatic.

  2. Add chicken broth, sweet potatoes and garlic. Bring soup to a boil; reduce heat to medium and cover. Cook for 15 minutes. Add tomatoes, quinoa, black beans and corn and cook an additional 15 to 20 minutes until potatoes and quinoa are tender.

  3. Serve with fresh green onion, cilantro or jalapeños for garnish.

...Read More!  
  |  

5 Better-For-You Ways to Host Your Next Spring Gathering

Brandpoint  |  2016-02-25

(BPT) - As the weather warms up and you're beginning to think about sunny brunches and breezy dinners on the patio, it may be time to take a fresh approach to your spring entertaining. From Easter and Mother's Day to a number of other spring holidays, who wouldn't want to step up their hosting game?

During a season of celebration, temptations can preoccupy you, but that doesn't mean you have to give in. These tips will help you plan a spring gathering to impress your guests while treating them to better-for-you choices.

  1. Choose dishes that can be prepared ahead of time.
    While you may be looking to wow your family and friends with your impressive entertaining abilities, you also want to catch up and spend time with them. After all, isn't that the point of hosting a gathering? Find a main course that can be prepped before your gathering so you'll have more time to laugh and talk with your guests. Make a plan so everything will be ready for your guests to enjoy at the same time.

  2. Reach for home-style-tasting and simple ingredients.
    Take pride in each ingredient you use while preparing to entertain. Read labels and be conscious of what you are putting on your table. A brand such as Naturally Fresh(R) offers delicious, home-style-tasting salad dressings and dips with no artificial colors, flavors or preservatives.

  3. Make better-for-you substitutions.
    Sticking with a better-for-you theme doesn't mean you have to skip dessert. You can find plenty of dessert recipes that substitute ingredients to increase nutrition and lower fat and calorie content. For example, you can substitute applesauce for oil and butter, or coco nibs for chocolate chips. Get creative and your guests will marvel at your fresh approach to cooking and baking.

  4. Opt for fresh foods when possible.
    Include various types of fresh fruits and vegetables in your appetizers, main course and side dishes. Fresh foods contain wonderful vitamins and minerals, so why not share some of the benefits with your friends? A veggie tray with Naturally Fresh(R) Classic Ranch Brand Dressing is a classically refreshing hors d'oeuvre to serve at any spring gathering while beautifully displayed watermelon makes a sweet and guilt-free dessert.

  5. Create shared platters.
    To avoid loading your guests' plates with huge portions, create platters that everyone can share. While you're setting up, be mindful of the number of people you're hosting compared to the amount of food you prepare. Serve the meal family style and encourage everyone to try a little bit of everything.

Bring a better-for-you mindset to your spring gatherings when you follow these tips. For more recipes and to find Naturally Fresh(R) Brand Dressings in store, visit: naturallyfresh.com/recipes or naturallyfresh.com/find-a-store.

Grilled Ranch Chicken Quesadilla

1/2 cup Naturally Fresh(R) Classic Ranch Dressing

8 - 12 ounces of boneless, skinless chicken breast

2 medium red bell peppers

Olive oil, as needed

1 cup cheddar cheese, shredded

1 cup Monterey Jack cheese, shredded

2 tbsp. green onions, chopped

1 tbsp. cilantro, fresh, chopped

1/4 tsp. cumin, ground

8 (6"- 8" size) flour tortillas

Marinate chicken in ranch dressing, cover and refrigerate for one hour. Grill 4 to 5 minutes on each side, or until no longer pink. Cool slightly; slice thinly.

Brush peppers with olive oil. Grill over high heat, turning frequently, until charred. Remove from grill; peel off skins, remove seeds, and chop coarsely. Combine cooked chicken, chopped roasted peppers, cheeses, green onions, cilantro and cumin in medium bowl; mix well.

Brush one side of tortilla with olive oil; turn over. Spread chicken mixture on one half. Fold other half over filling; press firmly. Grill tortilla over low heat for 4 to 5 minutes on each side; increase heat to medium to crisp. Repeat with remaining tortillas and filling. Cut into wedges and serve.

...Read More!  
  |  

One Simple Ingredient for a Better-for-You Breakfast

Brandpoint  |  2016-02-25

(BPT) - If you think of oatmeal as part of your average, boring breakfast, it's time to think again. As a morning staple, oatmeal gives you the get-up-and go you need to start the day.

The demand for non-GMO products continues to rise as people become aware of the benefits and desire transparency on the ingredients they consume. In fact, many oat brands now offer non-GMO products. McCann's Steel Cut Irish Oatmeal(R) offers three products - Steel Cut Irish Oatmeal in the 28oz. Tin, Quick & Easy Steel Cut Irish Oatmeal(R) in the 24 oz. Canister, and Quick Cooking Rolled Oats in the 16 oz. Box - that are certified non-GMO.

Whichever oatmeal product you choose for breakfast, there are many unique and delicious ways - beyond your plain, traditional oatmeal - to enjoy the oats. Power up the first meal of your day with any of these ideas:

Baked oatmeal: If you prefer an on-the-go breakfast bar, baked oatmeal is for you. Add in your favorite fruit combination and you'll feel like you're biting into a delicious oatmeal cookie every morning.

Oatmeal breakfast smoothie: Smoothies are the perfect breakfast solution for a busy morning. Add McCann's Steel Cut Irish Oatmeal(R) before you blend to provide a delicious, nutty taste. With no processing or artificial ingredients, these certified non-GMO oats add rich texture and the benefits of 100 percent whole grain.

On-the-go oat bars: Whip up a pan of protein packed oat bars and you'll have a better-for-you breakfast for days. With ingredients like protein powder, peanut butter and coconut oil, it's a quick and easy breakfast that will help fuel you for the day ahead.

Oat flour muffins or pancakes: Did you know you can easily make oat flour at home? Simply grind up oats in a blender or food processor. Use it in place of regular flour for your baked goods and breakfast favorites.

Easy overnight oats: Put your oatmeal together the night before and let the oats soak in a mixture of almond milk, Greek yogurt and fruit. The next morning, the flavors will have deliciously combined to create a creamy on-the-go breakfast, no cooking required.

Oatmeal banana bread: Bananas and oats always create a winning combination of flavors to provide energy for the day. And better yet, adding oats to the recipe keeps your banana bread from getting mushy.

Get more out of your breakfast with any of these delightful breakfast options. For more recipes and ideas, visit mccanns.ie.

Irish Oatmeal Muffins

Ingredients

1 cup McCann's Quick & Easy Steel Cut Irish Oatmeal(R)

1 cup all-purpose flour

1 cup sunflower seeds

1 1/2 cup 2 percent milk

1/2 cup honey

1 cup raisins

2 teaspoons baking powder

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

2 teaspoons cinnamon

2 eggs, slightly beaten

1/2 cup butter, melted

Preparation

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Grease the muffin pan or line with paper baking cups.

Lightly toast sunflower seeds for about five minutes. But take care, they burn easily.

Combine the toasted sunflower seeds, the flour, oatmeal, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon and raisins in a large mixing bowl and stir them together with a fork. In another bowl, mix the milk, eggs, honey and butter. Then add the combined dry ingredients. Stir with a fork until just blended.

Spoon the batter into the prepared muffin pans, filling each about two-thirds full. Bake for about 20 minutes. Remove from the oven and cool on a rack.

...Read More!  
  |  

But First, Coffee

Family Features  |  2016-02-23

Explaining Different Coffee Drinks

(Family Features) Americans love their coffee. Millions of people drink at least one cup of coffee per day and many get their caffeine fix with a specialty coffee drink.

Dairy milk is a great complement for any cup of coffee; it’s both a tasty addition and a way to add essential nutrients to your mug. Every type of dairy milk, whether lowfat, fat free or organic, contains nine essential nutrients, including high-quality protein. In fact, milk is the top food source for three of the four nutrients of concern, or the nutrients Americans, including children, are most lacking: calcium, potassium and vitamin D.

If you enjoy a morning cup of coffee, here are a few ways to create gourmet coffee drinks at home.

How to Make a Cafe au Lait
A cafe au lait is simply a strong-brewed coffee drink mixed with steamed milk. The best way to make one is to brew a dark-roast blend in a French press and mix with equal parts steamed milk.

There are a few easy ways to froth milk at home. Use an inexpensive milk frother or try this DIY tip: shake your favorite type of milk in a jar until it froths up. Remove the lid and microwave to desired temperature. Now you’ve got warm milk for your coffee and foam to top it off.

How to Make a Latte
Lattes are two parts milk to one part espresso. Starting your day with a morning latte is a wonderful way to enjoy the buzz of coffee plus milk’s nine essential nutrients, including eight grams of high-quality protein per eight ounces.

How to Make a Cappuccino
Another Italian coffee drink, the cappuccino’s name comes from the Italian word for “hood.” A cappuccino is made with equal parts espresso, steamed milk and foamed milk. A “dry” cappuccino has more foam while a “wet” cappuccino is closer to a latte in consistency.

Whether you prefer a cappuccino, latte or cafe au lait, adding milk to your coffee is a delicious, nutritious complement to your coffee beverage of choice. From espresso to strong brewed coffee – adding dairy milk only adds to the enjoyment. For more tips, tricks and recipes, visit milklife.com.

Spicy Latte
Servings: 1

2          teaspoons instant espresso powder or instant coffee granules
2          teaspoons unsweetened cocoa powder
1 1/2    teaspoons sugar
Pinch of ground cinnamon
Pinch of ancho, chipotle or cayenne chile pepper
1          cup fat free milk

In serving mug, stir together espresso, cocoa, sugar, cinnamon and pepper. Stir in 2 tablespoons milk to make a paste.

In saucepan, heat remaining milk until very hot. Pour milk into mug and stir to blend with paste. Serve immediately.

Nutrition information per serving: 120 calories; 0.5 g fat; 0 g saturated fat; 5 mg cholesterol; 9 g protein; 22 g carbohydrates; 1 g fiber; 105 mg sodium; 309 mg calcium (30% of daily value).

#13105
Source: MilkPEP

...Read More!  
  |