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Ripe for Pairing


In Good Taste








(Family Features) Enjoying the bounty of harvest means creating dishes that celebrate the most intense character and flavors a region can deliver. Put a fresh twist on farm-to-table goodness by pairing two vine-ripened garden treasures: heirloom tomatoes and crisp, refreshing white wine.

Northern California’s Sonoma County is known for some of the nation’s finest vineyards. It’s also a culinary destination with a wide range of farms and artisan food purveyors. The Kendall-Jackson Wine Estate and Gardens offers the best of both: sampling wine while exploring the four-acre estate’s culinary garden, which offers a wide array of unique crops, including 150 varieties of heritage tomatoes.

Inspired by the annual Kendall-Jackson Heirloom Tomato Festival, which celebrates its 20th anniversary this year, these recipes are a twist on classic favorites, delighting the palate by pairing farm-fresh tomatoes with the perfect wine. A perfect accompaniment to grilled chicken, this simple tomato and mozzarella salad is only better paired with Chardonnay. Or, for an elevated take on an old southern favorite, serve up these fried green tomatoes with a glass of Sauvignon Blanc.

Find more pairing tips and recipes featuring seasonal ingredients at

Heirloom Tomato and Mozzarella Salad 13386_A

Servings: 4

2 1/2    pounds heirloom tomatoes, mixed varieties

1/4       cup good quality extra-virgin olive oil

kosher salt, to taste

freshly ground black pepper, to taste

1/4       cup micro basil (or 1 dozen basil leaves, sliced and torn), divided

2          large balls fresh mozzarella, cut into wedges

flaked sea salt

Slice tomatoes into 3/4- to 1-inch thick wedges. In large bowl, add tomatoes, olive oil, kosher salt, pepper and half the basil. Toss and allow to marinate 2 minutes. Arrange tomatoes and mozzarella on serving plate, alternating each. Pour marinating liquid over tomatoes and mozzarella. Garnish with remaining basil and sprinkle with sea salt and pepper.

Serve with Kendall-Jackson Grand Reserve Chardonnay. Chardonnay’s flavors of orchard fruit complement the sweetness of late summer tomatoes.


13386_BFried Green Tomatoes with Delice de la Vallee

Servings: 4

2          large unripe green tomatoes, sliced 1/2-inch thick

1          cup buttermilk

1/2       cup all-purpose flour

1/2       cup cornmeal

1          teaspoon kosher salt

1/4       teaspoon black pepper

2          tablespoons rice oil (or other neutral flavored oil)

1/4       teaspoon good quality sea salt

1/4       cup Delice de la Vallee

1          ounce trout caviar, for garnish (optional)

1          ounce purslane, picked

In medium bowl, soak tomatoes in buttermilk at least 30 minutes (or as long as overnight).

In large bowl, mix flour, cornmeal, kosher salt and pepper. Using tongs or fork, remove tomato slices from buttermilk and coat with cornmeal-flour mixture.

In 12-inch cast iron skillet, add oil and heat over medium-high heat. Place tomato slices in skillet in batches and fry until golden brown on both sides.

Place fried tomatoes on paper towel-lined plate and sprinkle with sea salt. Place tomatoes on serving plate and garnish with cheese, caviar, if desired, and purslane.

Serve immediately with Kendall-Jackson Vintner’s Reserve Sauvignon Blanc. The crisp Sauvignon Blanc matches the acidity in the tomatoes.


Note: Fromage Blanc, cream fresh or sour cream can be substituted for Delice de la Vallee.

February 22, 2017 |

Easy Potluck Party Dishes


In Good Taste








(Family Features) As the saying goes, sharing is caring, and nothing spreads a little love like a potluck gathering among family and friends. Whether you’re celebrating the holidays or at a watch party for your favorite team, bring a simple make-and-take recipe for a tasty good time.

Not only does a potluck menu take some pressure off the host, it gives each guest the chance to share beloved recipes and introduce new dishes featuring favorite ingredients. One sure bet for a crowd pleaser is the rich flavor of Musselman’s Apple Butter, a classic Pennsylvania Dutch spread made with apples and cinnamon that can add a special touch to your favorite sweet or savory recipes.

Be sure your dish arrives looking as good as it tastes with these tips for smart food transport:

  • Keep plastic wrap or foil from touching food on a serving platter by inserting toothpicks to create a tent.
  • For hot dishes, such as these Sweet Bacon Smokies, prevent the condensation that accumulates in the lid from dripping on food by wrapping the lid with a small cloth or paper towels.
  • Use an insulated cooler to maintain the temperature of a dish for longer journeys, but for a short distance, place the serving dish in a larger pan lined with towels for a hot dish or with ice-filled plastic bags to keep a cool dish chilled.

Find more recipes just right for sharing at

Sweet Bacon Smokies

1          package bacon13437_A

1          package little smokies (little sausage or hot dogs)

1          cup Musselman’s Apple Butter

Heat oven to 350 F. Place parchment paper on jelly roll pan or other edged baking pan.

Cut bacon strips into thirds. Wrap each strip of bacon around a smokie, piercing with toothpick to hold bacon in place. Place smokies on pan.

Baste each smokie with generous amount of apple butter.

Bake 20 minutes. Remove and flip each smokie. Baste again with apple butter.

Reduce heat to 275 F and bake another 20 minutes until bacon is cooked to desired doneness. Make sure apple butter doesn’t burn.

Transfer smokies to slow cooker on low heat to keep warm for serving.


Apple Butter Gooey Butter Cake


1          cup flour

3/4       cup sugar13437_B

1 1/2    teaspoons baking powder

1/2       teaspoon salt

1          egg

1/4       cup unsalted butter, melted

2          tablespoons milk

1/2       teaspoon vanilla extract


4          ounces cream cheese, softened

1          cup Musselman’s Apple Butter

1          egg

1/4       cup unsalted butter, melted

1/2       teaspoon vanilla extract

1          cup powdered sugar

1/2       teaspoon ground cinnamon, plus additional for serving

1/2       teaspoon ground nutmeg

whipped cream

Heat oven to 350 F. Lightly grease 8-by-8-inch square pan.

To make cake: In large mixing bowl, whisk together flour, sugar, baking powder and salt. Whisk in egg, melted butter, milk and vanilla until moistened. Spread evenly in pan

To make filling: In large bowl with electric mixer, beat together cream cheese and apple butter until smooth. Beat in egg then beat in melted butter and vanilla. Scrape bowl then beat in powdered sugar, 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon and nutmeg.

Spread filling over cake; bake 45-50 minutes, or until center is set. Do not overbake as center should be slightly gooey. Cool completely before serving.

Garnish with whipped cream and dust with cinnamon to serve.

February 15, 2017 |

Create a Cold-Weather Solution


In Good Taste








(Family Features) While it can be a challenge, there are several ways to pair food and wine appropriately during winter, despite bitter weather.

Just because it’s colder doesn’t mean it’s time to stop enjoying the lively and nuanced flavors of chilled wine. While once only sipped on warm days of summer, rosé, for example, has become a year-round wine to enjoy any time with its crisp and cool strawberry and rhubarb flavors

A warm, comforting dish, like this Roasted Chicken with Salsa Verde from James Beard award-winning chef Jonathan Waxman, combines well with rosé during the cold season. As the chicken roasts in the oven, it warms the kitchen and fills the house with wonderful aromas, tempting any chef or home cook to steal a sip of wine.

One reasonably priced wine that matches chicken well is Angeline California Rosé of Pinot Noir. The crisp flavors of light red fruits combine with the herbs accompanying the chicken. It’ll also complement the many other flavors of winter, when an array of dishes hit the table and challenge hosts to find the right wine to serve.

For more wines that work well in wintertime, visit

Chicken and Salsa Verde

Recipe courtesy of chef Jonathan Waxman13551

1    fresh free-range organic chicken (4 pounds)

sea salt, to taste

freshly ground black pepper, to taste

1/4   cup extra-virgin olive oil

1       lemon


Salsa Verde:

1/4    cup capers in salt

4        anchovy filets

3        cloves garlic

1/2     cup chopped fresh parsley

1/2     cup chopped arugula

1/2      cup chopped fresh basil

1/2      cup chopped fresh cilantro

1/4      cup chopped tarragon

1/4      cup chopped fresh chives

1/4      cup chopped fresh sage

1          cup extra-virgin olive oil

1/4      teaspoon sea salt


To make chicken: Heat oven to 450 F.

Wash chicken in hot water. Dry with paper towels.

Using kitchen shears, cut out backbone of chicken and remove any fat (this can be added to chicken stock). Using heavy chef’s knife, cut out breastbone. Season halves with sea salt and black pepper.

Place chicken halves, skin side up, on two sizzle platters and dab with olive oil. Cut lemon in half and place 1 half, cut side down, next to chicken on each platter.

Roast chicken 35 minutes, basting every 10 minutes. When done, remove chicken to platter and pour off excess fat. Cut each breast in half and cut the thigh from the leg. Serve with salsa verde (recipe below) and garnish with roasted lemon.

To make salsa verde: Soak capers in cold water 1 hour then drain.

Soak anchovies in cold water 15 minutes then pat dry and remove bones.

Using mortar and pestle, smash capers, anchovies and garlic, until smooth, then transfer to large bowl.

Add all herbs and olive oi

Season with sea salt.

Pair each serving with Angeline California Rosé of Pinot Noir.


February 8, 2017 |

Bake a Batch of Bars for Dessert


In Good Taste









(Family Features) With baking season here, it’s time to turn on the oven, bring out the recipes and enjoy the spicy aromas wafting from the kitchen – a promise of delicious treats ahead.

Bars, whether they are cookie, cake or even pie, are the easiest to make and serve, especially when there’s a crowd clamoring for dessert. You might have a pumpkin or sweet potato bar in your repertoire, but Aunt Nellie’s suggests Carrot Crumble Bars for a change of pace.

Grab a jar of glazed, sliced carrots, slightly sweet and spicy, and ready to enjoy in numerous ways. They are also a great time-saving step for this delicious dessert. They’re cooked and ready to eat, so just puree the entire jar of carrots and add the remaining four ingredients. That’s it for the tasty filling, which is nestled between a crunchy oat crust and topping. Start to finish in under an hour, most of the ingredients are probably already in your kitchen. Plus, they can be made a couple of days in advance and refrigerated until serving time.

The family can enjoy them for a yummy weeknight dessert or make them company-perfect topped with a dollop of whipped cream or a scoop of vanilla ice cream, sprinkled lightly with pumpkin pie spice. Find this and other recipes from Aunt Nellie’s jarred vegetables at


Carrot Crumble Bars13513

Prep time: 15 minutes

Cook time: 30 minutes

Servings: 16



1      cup all-purpose flour

1      cup old-fashioned oats

1/2  cup packed light brown sugar

6      tablespoons unsalted butter, melted


1      jar (15.5 ounces) Aunt Nellie’s Glazed Small Sliced Carrots

1      egg, beaten

1/4   cup granulated sugar

1       teaspoon pumpkin pie spice or ground cinnamon

1       teaspoon vanilla extract

Heat oven to 350 F.

In large bowl, combine flour, oats and brown sugar. Add butter; stir to coat. Reserve 1/3 cup for topping. Press remaining mixture evenly into bottom of 9-inch square baking pan lined with aluminum foil, if desired. Bake 10 minutes, or until lightly browned and set.

For filling, place carrots and liquid in food processor or blender container; puree until smooth. Transfer to medium bowl. Add egg, sugar, pumpkin pie spice and vanilla; stir until well combined. Pour over baked crust.

Sprinkle carrot mixture evenly with reserved crumbs. Bake 30 minutes, or until knife inserted near center comes out clean. Cool completely on wire rack. Refrigerate until firm.

Cut into 16 squares. Refrigerate leftovers, covered, for up to 3 days.

Nutritional information per serving: 140 calories; 2 g protein; 22 g carbohydrate; 5 g fat; 70 mg sodium; 23 mg cholesterol; 1 g dietary fiber; 1 mg iron; .09 mg thiamin; 1,230 IU vitamin A; .4 mg vitamin C.








February 1, 2017 |

Bring Balance to Family Dinners


In Good Taste








(Family Features) A delicious and nutritious dinner seems like the last thing on everyone’s mind during busy weeks throughout the year. Between sports, school, extracurricular activities, work and everything else going on, sitting down together for dinner seems to be a rare occasion for many families.

Registered dietitian and cookbook author Carolyn O’Neil offers a few quick, simple tips to help bring the family together, one meal at a time.

  • Turn off the TV. When trying to bring everyone together, electronics of any kind – including cell phones – can be a big distraction.
  • Follow guidelines. Americans are only meeting the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s MyPlate recommendations for vegetables, fruit, proteins, dairy and grains seven days out of the year. By pairing frozen meals and pizzas with fruits, vegetables, whole grains and low-fat dairy, you can build a family meal that meets the Dietary Guidelines for Americans.
  • Start with sides. When meal-planning, don’t forget to think about how you’ll round out your meal with vegetables, fruits, grains and low-fat dairy for a balanced diet. Nestle’s Balance Your Plate program focuses on simple solutions, offering a range of recipes and tips that allow you to choose the perfect pairings to help you build a nutritious and delicious meal.

Frozen entrees are easy to keep on hand for a meal that will be ready to go whenever you need it. O’Neil recommends using the freezer like “nature’s pause button” to save great flavors and good nutrition for when you’re ready to cook. One flavorful option is Stouffer’s Lasagna with Meat and Sauce, which contains ingredients you trust and recognize, with no artificial flavors, colors or preservatives, and just needs to be popped in the oven before serving.

For a balanced meal the whole family will enjoy, try pairing the lasagna with a Farmers’ Market Salad with Sweet and Spicy Dressing or Sweet Pea Hummus. A frozen meal coupled with a simple side can be the perfect way to balance out a nutritious family dinner.

For more recipes and tips to balance your plate, visit

Farmer’s Market Salad with Sweet and Spicy Dressing 13494_A

Recipe courtesy of Carolyn O’Neil on behalf of Stouffer’s


1          green apple, diced

1          red apple, diced

1/2       cup thinly sliced green onion

1          cup chopped baby kale

1          cup sliced Napa cabbage

1          cup sliced red cabbage

1/2       cup golden raisins


1/4       cup lemon juice

1/4       cup honey

2          tablespoons hot sauce

2          tablespoons canola oil

1          teaspoon celery salt

1/4       teaspoon black pepper

In small bowl, whisk together all ingredients. Store in refrigerator in airtight container up to 3 days.


Sweet Pea Hummus

Recipe courtesy of Carolyn O’Neil on behalf of Stouffer’s

2          packages (9 ounces each) frozen sweet peas, thawed13494_B

3          garlic cloves, chopped

3          tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

2          tablespoons fresh lemon juice

1/16     teaspoon table salt

freshly ground black pepper, to taste

1          cucumber, sliced into 1/4-inch rounds.

Place peas and garlic in food processor; with processor running, pour oil through food chute in slow, steady stream, processing until smooth

Stir in lemon juice and salt; season with freshly ground black pepper, to taste. Cover and chill 2 hours.

Serve with cucumber slices.


January 25, 2017 |

Find Better Balance for Family Meals This Year


In Good Taste








(Family Features) This New Year, set a realistic resolution to take time to sit down with your family and eat balanced meals together. A few simple solutions and a dash of inspiration are all you need to set the tone for a year of health and wellness.

Last year, Americans were only meeting the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s MyPlate recommendations for vegetables, fruit, protein, dairy and grain consumption one week out of the entire year. While many families try to cook nutritious meals at home, a balanced plate can be hard to achieve. Educational programs, such as Nestlé’s Balance Your Plate, make it simple to create delicious and balanced meals by pairing frozen prepared meals and pizzas with made-from-scratch side dishes, which makes meeting the dietary guidelines a more attainable goal.

Frozen entrees are a convenient starting point for a well-rounded meal.

“It’s so important to me that we sit down as a family and have a nutritious meal,” said Kim Stoegbauer, creative director and founder of The TomKat Studio, who created a few easy ways to add some special touches to your next family dinner.

By pairing Stouffer’s Lasagna with Meat & Sauce, made with ingredients you would find in your own kitchen cupboard, with a homemade Panzanella Salad and Garlic Roasted Asparagus with Tomatoes and Balsamic, Stoegbauer demonstrates how easy it is to create a family-friendly meal without the hassle.

“It’s a frozen entree that you can feel good about feeding your family, especially paired with some delicious and easy-to-prepare sides,” Stoegbauer said.

Find more simple, delicious and well-balanced meal ideas to share with your family at

Panzanella Salad

Recipe courtesy of The TomKat Studio blog on behalf of Stouffer’s13583_A
Serves: 8-10

1          whole wheat baguette, cut into 1-inch cubes
4          tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
2          cloves garlic, minced
1          tablespoon Dijon mustard
3          tablespoons red wine vinegar
salt, to taste
pepper, to taste
1          cup grape tomatoes, halved
1          hothouse cucumber, diced
3          assorted bell peppers, diced
1/2       red onion, diced
10        sprigs basil leaves, julienned

Heat oven to 350 F.

On baking sheet, spread bread in single layer and drizzle with 1 tablespoon olive oil. Bake 20 minutes, or until golden brown. Remove and set aside.

In bowl, whisk together garlic, mustard, vinegar, salt and pepper with remaining olive oil to make vinaigrette.

In large bowl, toss ingredients together, making sure to coat all ingredients with vinaigrette. Serve immediately.

Garlic Roasted Asparagus with Tomatoes and Balsamic
Recipe courtesy of The TomKat Studio blog on behalf of Stouffer’s13583_B

Serves: 6

2          pounds asparagus, ends trimmed
1          pint cherry tomatoes
4          garlic cloves, minced
salt, to taste
black pepper, to taste
reduced balsamic vinegar

Heat oven to 375 F.

On baking sheet, toss together all ingredients, except balsamic vinegar. Roast 15 minutes, or until asparagus is tender. Transfer asparagus and tomatoes to platter. Drizzle with reduced balsamic vinegar to taste and serve.

Tip: Add some leftover fresh basil to the top of your lasagna for a pretty and flavorful garnish that complements your sides.

January 18, 2017 |

Bring Maple to Your Table


In Good Taste







Flavorful food and beverage pairings for winter

(Family Features) Some foods just seem to evoke the smell, taste and feel of chilly weather months.13512

As a beloved fall and winter flavor, maple syrup can be much more than a breakfast condiment or pancake topping – it can be an impressive way to transform simple, seasonal snacks.

A delicious beverage or dessert can be enhanced with the flavor of maple. For example, chef Megan Miller, of Baker Miller in Chicago, recommends the crisp, fresh taste of Homemade Maple Cream Soda as a seasonal beverage that pairs perfectly with the smoky kick of Stacy’s® Fire Roasted Jalapeno Pita Chips – a pantry staple in her home.

For a sweet treat, chef Joanne Chang, of Flour in Boston, suggests New England Maple Apple Dip. This dip delivers the flavors of the season with maple syrup, fresh apples and cinnamon as another delectable accompaniment to pita chips.

By combining these seasonal ingredients, you can create delicious pairings and mouthwatering desserts for winter. Find more chef selections and featured pairings at

New England Maple Apple Dip
Prep time: 5 minutes
Servings: 6

1     cup cream cheese

1/2  cup maple syrup

1/2  teaspoon cinnamon

pinch of salt

1/4  cup Greek yogurt

2     apples, peeled and chopped into 1/4-inch cubes

Stacy’s Cinnamon Sugar Pita Chips or Stacy’s Simply Naked Pita Chips

Using food processor, blend cream cheese with maple syrup, cinnamon and salt until smooth.

Fold Greek yogurt into cream cheese mixture; mix in apples.

Serve with pita chips.

Homemade Maple Cream Soda

Prep time: 1 minute
Servings: 1

1/2  ounce maple syrup

1      tablespoon warm water

ice cubes

6      ounces sparkling water

orange or lemon, for garnish

Stacy’s Fire Roasted Jalapeno Pita Chips

Stir maple syrup in warm water to dissolve.

Add ice and sparkling water; stir and garnish with orange or lemon.

Serve with pita chips.



January 11, 2017 |
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