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A Tart, Tasty Way to Snack






(Family Features) With about 90 percent of Americans snacking daily, snacks now account for as much as 25 percent of many Americans’ daily calories. Indeed, the snack category is growing, with the biggest gains in better-for-you options that blend taste and nutrition.


“The secret to smart snacking is to choose a bite that contains a combo of protein and fiber, a power pair that will help you feel full longer. And of course, you can’t forget about flavor – it has to taste good, too. That’s why tart cherries are such a great pick; they offer great taste coupled with nutrition,” says Joy Bauer, MS, RDN, and the Today show’s nutrition expert.


Bauer suggests these simple snack-time strategies:


  • Don’t get caught in a snack attack. If you start searching for food after you’re already hungry, you’re more likely to make choices that are high in calories and low in nutrients. Plan and pre-package munchies in the morning or keep wholesome single-serve snacks on-hand so you’re prepared when hunger strikes.


  • Go for nutrient-dense noshes. The right snacks with the right nutrients can help keep hunger in check until your next meal. Dried fruits, like anthocyanin-packed tart cherries, and nuts, including protein-rich almonds, team up to create a tasty, wholesome snack that will satisfy your appetite.


  • Take time to taste. Don’t be a distracted snacker, eating while standing at the fridge, watching TV or multi-tasking. Mindless eating can lead to calorie overload. Instead, grab a snack, sit down, relax and enjoy every bite.


Sour and tart flavors are gaining popularity in a wide range of foods, including snacks. Tart cherries have emerged as a star ingredient in a range of new snack products, especially in dried form. Montmorency tart cherries, the most popular variety grown in the United States, are packed with anthocyanins – natural compounds that provide the ruby-red color, distinctive tart taste and potential health benefits.


“Dried tart cherries are fantastic on their own, but there’s something magical when you combine this distinctive-tasting fruit with other ingredients, like dark chocolate and nuts,” Bauer said.


While there are many pre-packaged tart cherry snacks available today, you can also make simple, delicious recipes at home, such as these Tart Cherry, Dark Chocolate and Cashew Granola Bars, which are bursting with flavor and sure to become a favorite go-to snack.


For more recipes and information on tart cherries, visit


Tart Cherry, Dark Chocolate & Cashew Granola Bars

Recipe courtesy of Kristina LaRue,


Total time: 25 minutes

Prep time: 10 minutes

Cook time: 15 minutes

Servings: 10 bars


1             cup chopped raw cashews

1/2         cup chopped raw almonds

1/2         cup dried tart cherries

1/2         cup puffed rice cereal

1/4         cup pumpkin seeds

1/4         cup semi-sweet chocolate chunks

1/8         teaspoon sea salt

1             tablespoon whole golden flaxseeds

1/4        cup brown rice syrup

1             tablespoon almond butter


Preheat oven to 325°F. Line 8-by-8-inch baking pan with parchment paper.


Mix all dry ingredients together in bowl.


In small bowl, stir together syrup and almond butter until combined and gently fold into nut mixture until completely incorporated.


Transfer bar mixture to prepared baking dish.


Using extra sheet of parchment paper, press down on mixture to form to pan and ensure there are no spaces in mix.


Bake for 15 minutes; allow bars to cool completely in pan on wire drying rack. Place in fridge or freezer for faster cooling.


Remove parchment paper with cooled bars from pan and using serrated knife, slice into 10 even bars. Remove parchment paper from bottom of each bar.


Wrap each bar individually with plastic wrap to store for snack time. Place wrapped bars in airtight container and store on counter up to 5 days or in fridge up to 2 weeks.



February 24, 2015 |

Pasta Salad Makes Weeknight Dinner Quick and Healthy




(Family Features) Now is the time for diners to transition palates to lighter and healthier meals, especially those packed with fresh, satisfying ingredients.


Whether serving dinner at home or heading out to a picnic, Lemony Peas and Pasta Salad is a snap to make, with few steps and minimal preparation time. It’s also packed with colorful fresh vegetables that are back in season once again.


Start by preparing the pasta according to package directions. Dreamfields penne rigate is premium pasta made from durum wheat semolina that has the taste and texture of traditional pasta but with a healthy twist. A one-cup cooked serving provides five grams of fiber and seven grams of protein. While the pasta is in its final minutes of cooking, add two of nature’s wonderful gifts: fresh sugar snap peas and green peas. A dressing of lemon zest and juice whisked into olive oil adds just the right amount of zip when tossed with the drained pasta and peas.


Then, add in crisp young greens such as arugula or spinach – the two can be blended, if desired. Once you’ve added a few shavings of Parmesan cheese on top, it’s ready to serve. Have a taste for fresh herbs with your pasta salad? You can choose anything from chopped mint to chives to parsley, or pick your own favorite to sprinkle on top.


For the best flavor and texture, be sure to prepare the pasta salad on the same day as it is served. This recipe yields enough for the whole family – including vegetarians – to enjoy. It’s an easy way to make life just a little bit healthier.


Dreamfields can be found in the pasta aisle of supermarkets nationwide – just look for the black box. For more information and pasta salad recipes, visit



Lemony Peas & Pasta Salad

Prep time: 20 minutes

Cook time: 10 minutes

Servings: 6-8


1            box Dreamfields Penne Rigate

2            cups sugar snap peas

2            cups fresh or frozen green peas

1/4         cup fresh lemon juice

2            teaspoons lemon zest, plus extra for garnish

1/2         teaspoon salt

3            tablespoons olive oil

4            cups baby greens (arugula, spinach or blend)

1/4         cup chopped fresh herbs (optional)

Parmesan cheese, shaved


Cook pasta according to package directions, adding sugar snap and green peas during last 3 minutes of cooking; drain. Rinse with cold water; drain again. Place in large bowl.


Meanwhile, combine lemon juice, zest and salt in small bowl. Whisk in oil. Toss with pasta and peas. Gently toss in greens and herbs, if using. Garnish with shaved Parmesan and additional zest, if desired.


Note: For herbs, use one or a combination of chopped mint, thyme, chives, basil, parsley or other favorites.


Nutrition information (1/6 of recipe): 328 calories; 8 g total fat (1 g saturated fat); 12 g protein; 56 g total carbohydrate; 9 g total dietary fiber; 0 mg cholesterol; 218 mg sodium.

February 24, 2015 |

Excuse Me, Can You Send a Drone Over to Take My Order? Dining Goes Digital

TownLink Tech Tuesday


By Carol Tice

Time was, dining out was a chance to get away from all those beeping screens. But now, tech is invading the restaurant space, as operators look for ways to turn tables faster, keep kids entertained, and avoid errors.

If you’ve ordered your meal off a touchscreen kiosk, made a reservation with your phone, and paid with your virtual wallet, what else can perk up your dining experience? Take a look at the new ways technology may jazz up your restaurant meal in the coming year:



Infinium Robotics makes drones that can deliver meals to tables, as illustrated here.

December 23, 2014 |

Contest to Find ‘Yorktown’s Best Pizza’ by Yorktown Small Business Association will Benefit Local Charities


The Yorktown Small Business Association (YSBA) will hold a pizza contest at Yorktown Grange on Moseman Avenue on Sunday, Oct. 5, 2014 from 1-4 p.m.

The event is an opportunity for locally-owned pizza shops to share a spotlight with their competition, highlight their product and have some fun. Judged by a panel of culinary experts, prizes will be awarded for 1st, 2nd and 3rd place.

Each prize winner will designate a community service organization as a beneficiary of the fundraiser. Awards will be presented and recorded at each winner’s place of business and also at a Yorktown town board meeting.

Pizza makers must register and pay an application fee by Sept. 15 to compete in the contest . The public is invited to attend by buying a ticket in advance for $10. Samples of each contestant’s thin crust cheese pie and soft drinks will be available.

For ticket information or to participate in the pizza contest, contact Bob Giordano: or 914-874-4347. To attend the event, send a check for $10 per ticket to Yorktown Small Business Association. 1795 Hunter Brook Road, Yorktown Heights, NY 10598. We will hold your prepaid tickets at the door on the day of the event. No refunds. Donations accepted to benefit our community service organizations.

Space is limited to 120 attendees. The YSBA says it does not expect to be able to accommodate walk-in attendees who have not prepaid for a ticket.

September 12, 2014 |

Lemon Garlic Shrimp with Linguini


Hudson Fare-LemonGarlicShrimp



Recipe Courtesy of Hudson Fare,

Jefferson Valley Mall,Yorktown


Serves 4-6


1 lb. of Linguine

1 lemon

1 lb. Jumbo (16 to 21 per pound) shrimp, peeled and deveined

Freshly ground black pepper

Sea Salt or Kosher Salt

2 Tbs. unsalted butter

3 medium cloves garlic, thinly sliced (1 Tbs.)

1/8 to 1/4 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes

1/4 cup dry white wine, such as Pinot Grigio

1/2 cup mascarpone cheese

2 Tbs. of grated Parmesan

2 Tbs. thinly sliced chives


Bring a large pot of well-salted water to a boil over high heat. Cook the linguine in the boiling water according to package directions until al dente. Reserve about 3/4 cup of the cooking water and then drain the pasta.
Meanwhile, finely grate 1-1/4 tsp. of zest from the lemon and squeeze 2 Tbs. of juice. Toss the shrimp with 1/2 tsp. of the zest and 1/4 tsp. each salt and pepper.

In a 12-inch skillet, melt the butter over medium-high heat until the foam subsides. Add the garlic and red pepper flakes and cook until the garlic just begins to brown, about 1 minute. Add the shrimp and cook until just opaque, about 3 minutes. Add the wine and lemon juice, bring to a boil, and cook until slightly reduced, 1 minute.

Add the drained pasta, mascarpone, and 1/2 cup of the cooking water. Toss well, adding more cooking water as needed, until the pasta and shrimp are coated and the sauce looks creamy. Remove from the heat. Toss in the remaining 3/4 tsp. lemon zest and the chives. Season to taste with salt, pepper, parmesan and serve.

Did You Know?

Shrimp is rich in antioxidants and has anti-inflammatory benefits.

Shrimp is also rich in vitamin B-12 and a 4 ounce serving provides 75% on the recommended daily allowance.

Here’s to your health!!!

July 25, 2014 |

Gear Up for Big Game with Buffalo Chicken Sliders


In Good TasteJust A Pinch Recipe Column
By Janet Tharpe

Gathering friends to watch the big game and looking for something to serve? Make sure to add Tawni Cress’ Buffalo Chicken Sliders to your menu game plan.

Wing sauce and blue cheese… in one?! Sign me up! This dish is delightfully easy and turns out one memorable game-day treat. Serve these and your guaranteed to earn some extra points.

January 24, 2014 |
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