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Fire Up the Grill with Barbecue Meatball Skewers


In Good Taste








(Family Features) There’s nothing better than firing up the grill and gathering in the backyard with family and friends. While everyone expects to see burgers, dogs and steaks, you can show your guests you’re a true barbecue master by serving up smoky, grilled appetizers fresh off the grill.

Try a new fan favorite of the season – Barbecue Meatball Skewers with Mozzarella- courtesy of Chris Lilly, world champion pitmaster. This recipe for deliciously gooey grilled meatball skewers is a tasty way to kick the party off right.

The key is a little trick all pitmasters know: the two-zone fire. Simply put, the two-zone fire splits the grill in half. Pile hot charcoal on one half for direct, high-heat cooking and searing, while leaving the other side free of charcoal for lower-temperature cooking of dishes, such as appetizers and sides.

Pitmasters and novice grillers alike choose Kingsford(r) charcoal to keep their grills burning bright. These briquets light faster and burn hotter than other fuel sources.

Follow these tips for creating the perfect two-zone charcoal fire:

1. Light your coals using a chimney starter or lighter fluid. For high heat, use a full chimney of charcoal or light a pile of about 100 briquettes.

2. Pour out your hot coals on one side or use a spatula or tongs to carefully move all the coals to cover 50 percent of the lower grill grate.

3. The void space, free of coals directly underneath the grates, is still hot. Food will cook there – just not as fast as on the direct side, right above the coals.

4. Use the hot side of your grill for direct cooking with high heat-for example, searing a steak to get good color, caramelization and grill marks. Use the other side for slow, indirect cooking and to let foods cook through after searing. The coal-free side also serves as a flame-free zone. In case of flare-ups, just move your food to the indirect side until the flames subside, then move them back to the direct side to finish cooking.

For more grilling tips and recipes, visit

Barbecue Meatball Skewers with Mozzarella                                        12664

Makes: 20 meatball skewers
Prep time: 20 minutes
Cook time: 12 minutes

1     pound ground beef
1/2     cup bread crumbs
1/3     cup basil, chopped
1     egg, scrambled
3     tablespoons onion, diced
1/2     teaspoon salt
4     ounces fresh mozzarella
2     cups KC Masterpiece Kansas City Classic Barbecue Sauce
20    3-inch wooden skewers

Build a charcoal fire for indirect cooking using Kingsford(r) Charcoal by situating the coals on only one side of the grill, leaving the other side void. Preheat to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.

In medium bowl, combine ground beef, bread crumbs, basil, egg, onion and salt. Mix well.

Form about 20 meatballs using 2 tablespoons of beef mixture for each meatball. Place meatballs over indirect heat and close grill lid. Cook for 10 minutes, or until internal temperature reaches 160∞F.

While meatballs cook, form a ball of mozzarella (1 teaspoon each) around each wooden skewer, 1 inch from end. Remove meatballs from grill and stick a mozzarella skewer into top of each meatball. Place back on grill over indirect heat, close grill lid and cook for an additional 2 minutes, or until cheese melts.

Pour 2 cups barbecue sauce into bowl. Once cheese melts, remove each skewer from grill and immediately dip meatball into barbecue sauce, up to bottom of melted cheese. Serve warm.

Source: Kingsford Products Company

July 29, 2015 |

The Surprising Beauty Benefits of Mangos


In Good Taste







(Family Features) If summertime brings visions of fresh fruity flavors to mind, remember that what you eat has an impact on the health and beauty of your skin. Choose your fruit wisely and enjoy the bonus benefits of skin-supporting nutrients and compounds.

Summer is a skin-centric season, when shorter pants and sleeves reveal more, so it’s an ideal time to be mindful of the foods that help give you a beauty boost.

Mango is a beauty fruit, containing more than 20 different vitamins and minerals, including several nutrients that stand out when it comes to skin health: vitamin C, vitamin A (or beta carotene) and folate.

* Vitamin C supports many different functions in the skin, including collagen formation, regeneration and wound repair. One cup of mango delivers a whopping 100 percent of the daily requirement for this important antioxidant. Vitamin C intake also has been associated with improved appearance of aging skin. According to the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, in a study involving 4,025 middle-aged women, researchers found that higher intakes of vitamin C were associated with lower prevalence of wrinkled appearance, dryness associated with aging and skin thinning.

* Beta carotene is an antioxidant pigment that the body converts to vitamin A. Mangos deliver 35 percent of the daily vitamin A requirement in the form of beta carotene. Research published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition has shown that lower levels of vitamin A in the diet have been associated with a wrinkled appearance. In addition, a number of studies in the same journal have shown that an elevated intake of carotenoids, such as beta carotene, may provide protection from sunlight, lessening sunburn.

* Folate supports many different processes within the body. One cup of mango contains 20 percent of the daily requirements for this B vitamin. A study by researchers from the Department of Cancer Prevention and Control, The University of Arizona Cancer Center and Dermatology Professionals Incorporated, suggests that some of these may have an important impact on the maintenance and function of healthy skin and that exposure to UV radiation can break down folate, resulting in lower levels in the skin.

The distinctive flavor of fresh mangos makes them the perfect ingredient for a summer beauty boost. With a burst of nutrients, vivid color and taste of the tropics, they are ideal for salads, yogurt, grilled meats, side dishes and drinks.

For more delicious mango recipes visit

Tomato, Chive and Mango Salsa12578
Servings: 3
Preparation time: 10 minutes

1     cup fresh mango, diced
1 1/2     cups ripe tomatoes, diced
2     tablespoons fresh chives, minced
1     tablespoon lemon juice
1/2     teaspoon lemon zest
1/2     teaspoon fresh oregano leaves, minced
1/4     teaspoon sea salt
1/8     teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Combine all ingredients in a large bowl and stir. Serve or cover and refrigerate until needed.

Nutritional analysis per serving (1/2 cup salsa): 31 calories; 0 g fat (0% calories from fat); 1 g protein; 7 g carbohydrates; 1 g fiber; 0 mg cholesterol; 121 sodium; 191 mg potassium.

Source: National Mango Board


July 22, 2015 |

Travel with Your Taste Buds


In Good Taste








(Family Features) Grilling season is already in full swing, but there are plenty of options to take your grilling menus to another flavorful level.

The barbecue and sausage experts at Johnsonville recommend incorporating your favorite flavors from various world cuisines into your outdoor entertaining menu.

One example is the unique combination of flavors found in the Vietnamese banh mi – a sandwich layered with savory grilled meat, crisp vegetables and a touch of spice atop a crusty baguette.

The options for international variations of grilled grub are limitless; here are a few other ideas:

* Mexican: Top your bratwurst with pico de gallo, guacamole or refried beans. Enjoy on a lightly toasted tortilla with melted cheese instead of a bun.

* Greek: Give the gyro a twist by substituting brats for the lamb, and serve in a pita with shredded lettuce, tomato and tzatziki.

* Italian: Enjoy sausage with roasted peppers or with marinara sauce instead of your favorite condiment. Or serve up this flavorful sandwich, which incorporates crunchy red and bell peppers, with juicy Johnsonville mild Italian sausage links. It’s sure to be a hit around your backyard grill.

For additional entertaining recipes and ideas, visit and tag your photos @jvillesausage on Instagram to share a picture of your summer grilling gathering.

Brat Banh Mi                                                                            ©Blue Moon Studio, Inc.

1/2     cup thinly sliced baby carrots
1/2     cup thinly sliced radishes
1/4     cup (or to taste) thinly sliced fresh jalapenos
1/2     teaspoon grated fresh ginger
1/2     cup rice vinegar
2     teaspoons sugar
1/2     teaspoon (or to taste) salt
3     ounces Braunschweiger
1 1/2     tablespoons mayonnaise
5     tablespoons Thai-style sweet red chili sauce
1     tablespoon finely minced onion
6     Johnsonville Bratwurst Grillers
2     crusty French baguettes (8-12 ounces, 22-24 inches long)
1     cup thinly sliced Persian or English cucumbers
2     tablespoons chopped fresh mint
1/2     cup cilantro, stems removed

In small sauce pan, mix carrots, radishes, jalapenos, ginger, rice vinegar, sugar and salt, and bring to a simmer. Remove from heat and allow to steep.

Mix Braunschweiger, mayonnaise, 1 tablespoon sweet chili sauce and onion.

Grill frozen Johnsonville bratwurst burgers according to directions.

A few minutes before burgers are done, slice baguettes lengthwise, but not all the way through.

Brush bottom half on cut side of bread lightly with remaining sweet chili sauce and place opened baguettes cut side down over grilling burgers until bread is warmed and slightly toasted around edges.

Spread Braunschweiger mixture on bottom half of bread. Cut each brat burger in half and tuck into sandwich, rounded side out.

Using slotted spoon, top burgers with marinated vegetables and cucumbers, mint and cilantro.

Cut between patty halves for individual sandwiches.

Gyro Brat Hoagie   ©Blue Moon Studio, Inc.

1     cup (8 ounces) sour cream
1/2     medium cucumber, peeled, seeded and finely chopped
2     cloves garlic, minced
2     teaspoons fresh parsley, chopped
1/4     teaspoon salt
1/4     teaspoon cracked black pepper, optional
1     package (19 ounces) Johnsonville Original Bratwurst
1     loaf French bread
1     small onion, thinly sliced
1     medium tomato, thinly sliced

Heat oven to 350∞F.

Combine sauce ingredients in bowl; cover and refrigerate until serving.

Grill brats according to package directions. When cool enough to handle, cut into 1/4-inch bias slices.

Slice French bread lengthwise and transfer to baking sheet. Arrange brat slices on bread bottom.

Bake for 10 minutes or until bread is lightly browned.

Remove from oven. Top with sauce, onion and tomato. Cut hoagie and serve.

Source: Johnsonville

July 15, 2015 |

A Tropical Summer Picnic Treat


In Good Taste






(Family Features) Summer picnics are the perfect opportunity for a getaway in your own backyard, filled with a bounty of food, laughter and fun. There’s no better way to cap off one of these memorable “staycation” meals than with a fruity, island-inspired dessert.

Create this summer’s tropical picnic to remember with these tips:
* Transform your backyard into a beachside cabana. From grass table skirts to brightly colored beach balls to flaming tiki torches, the options are nearly endless for establishing an island ambiance.
* Set the mood with music. Steel drums and lively rhythms are the perfect backdrop to a festive beach-style party.
* Greet guests with leis and umbrella-capped beverages. These simple touches go a long way to enhance the festive spirit.
* Whether guests include kids, or simply the young at heart, add some interactive beach-inspired activities, such as a volleyball net or sandbox for building sand castles.
* Serve up your own island-inspired recipes, such as a Pineapple Coconut Cake. Made with DOLE Canned Pineapple, this recipe will help you capture that tempting tropical taste for your next picnic. DOLE Canned Pineapple is naturally fat free and cholesterol free, very low in sodium and rich in Vitamin C. Plus, it comes in many forms, including slices, chunks, tidbits and crushed.

Canned fruit is also well-suited for other desserts such as fruit salads, baked muffins and breads or even as a dessert topping. It’s also a perfect ingredient for mixing into cottage cheese or blending into fruit smoothies.

For more delicious dessert ideas featuring canned fruit, including this tropical twist on an iced layer cake, visit

Pineapple Coconut Cake        12699
Prep time: 10 minutes
Bake time: 35 minutes
Servings: 12-16

1     can (20 ounces) DOLE Crushed Pineapple, divided
1     box (2-layer) yellow cake mix
1     tablespoon coconut extract
1     package (4 serving size) instant vanilla pudding
1     cup cold low-fat milk
1     tub (8 ounces) frozen whipped topping, thawed
2     cups sweetened flake coconut

Heat oven to 350∞F. Spray two 9-inch cake pans with cooking spray.

Drain pineapple; reserve juice. Divide crushed pineapple in half; set aside.

Prepare cake mix according to package directions, replacing water with reserved juice and adding coconut extract; beat two minutes. Fold half of crushed pineapple into cake batter.

Pour cake batter into prepared cake pans. Bake 30 to 35 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.

Cool in pan 10 minutes. Transfer from pan to wire rack; cool completely.

Stir together instant vanilla pudding and cold milk until smooth, about two minutes; fold in whipped topping. Combine remaining pineapple with mixture.

Place one cake layer on plate; spread pineapple frosting over top. Place second cake layer over top. Frost top and sides of cake with remaining pudding frosting. Garnish with coconut.

Refrigerate for one hour before serving.

Source: Dole

July 8, 2015 |

New American Heart Association Cookbook Focuses on Making Delicious, Healthy Meals


In Good Taste







The latest American Heart Association (AHA) cookbook to hit the shelves serves up a new twist: 175 recipes organized by 12 healthier cooking methods—including baking, broiling, braising, poaching, grilling, roasting, microwaving, blending, slow cooking, stewing, stir-frying and steaming—to bring versatility to your home-cooked meals, and better health to your menu.
Grill It, Braise It, Broil It…and 9 Other Easy Techniques for Making Healthy Meals explains the benefits of each cooking method, main tools and equipment necessary, and the best foods to use for each cooking technique.
“Good nutrition is key to heart health and these cooking methods are key to healthier recipes. This new cookbook features tasty recipes that follow the dietary recommendations of the American Heart Association,” said Carolyn Torella, AHA spokesperson, “Using healthy ingredients and prepping them in smart ways can help you improve your heart health, reduce your cholesterol and blood pressure levels.”
“By cooking at home, you’re able to control the amounts of sodium, added sugars and saturated fats you put into your meals, which can reduce your risk for heart disease and stroke,” she said.
The cookbook also includes information on food safety practices, grocery shopping, how to stock and keep a heart healthy pantry and healthy lifestyle guidelines. For more information, visit .
RECIPE from Grill It, Braise It, Broil It

Mediterranean Tuna Kebabs
Serves 4 │ 1 kebab per serving
A fresh tomato-saffron sauce doubles as a marinade to give the kebabs twice the flavor. Serve them with brown rice or whole-wheat couscous.
1/4 cup hot water
Pinch of saffron (optional)
2/3 cup chopped Italian plum (Roma) tomatoes (about 2 small)
2 teaspoons olive oil (extra virgin preferred)
1 teaspoon red wine vinegar
1 small garlic clove
1 pound tuna steaks, rinsed, patted dry, and cut into 12 1-inch cubes
1 medium onion, cut into 12 1/2-inch wedges
1 medium red or yellow bell pepper, cut into 12 strips
1 medium zucchini, cut crosswise into 12 slices
Cooking spray
Soak four 12-inch wooden skewers for at least 10 minutes in cold water to keep them from charring, or use metal skewers.
In a small glass bowl, whisk together the hot water and saffron. In a food processor or blender, process the saffron mixture, tomatoes, oil, vinegar, and garlic for 1 minute, or until smooth. Transfer 1/3 cup of the mixture to the bowl. Cover and refrigerate until 10 to 15 minutes before serving time.
About the American Heart Association
The American Heart Association is devoted to saving people from heart disease and stroke – America’s leading killers. We team with millions of volunteers to fund innovative research, fight for stronger public health policies, and provide lifesaving tools and information to prevent and treat these diseases. The Dallas-based association is the nation’s oldest and largest voluntary organization dedicated to fighting heart disease and stroke. To learn more or to get involved, call 1-800-AHA-USA1, visit or call any of our offices around the country.

Life is why we fund scientific breakthroughs that save and improve lives.

July 8, 2015 |

Freshen Up Your Summer Party


In Good Taste







(Family Features) Picnics and parties, good friends and good food – these are the things that make summertime special. Whether you’re hosting the soiree or participating via potluck, taking a unique approach to your go-to entertaining dishes is a simple way to freshen up the spread.

Garden salad: A basic tossed green salad provides nearly endless options for variations, and borrowing ethnic flavors for inspiration is a great approach. Add Kalamata olives, feta cheese and red onions for a Greek-inspired side. Incorporate some Tex-Mex flair with roasted corn, black beans, chopped scallions and cheddar cheese. Enjoy an Asian adaptation with crispy wonton strips, cabbage, carrots, green onion and chopped nuts, such as peanuts or cashews.

Deviled eggs: A staple at many social gatherings, deviled eggs are an easy way to experiment with new flavors. Simple additions to the creamy yolk filling can completely transform the taste. One unexpectedly delicious twist is the addition of a quality hummus, such as Sabra’s Lemon Twist Hummus, which combines the tanginess of juicy lemon, fresh chickpeas, a touch of garlic and tahini (ground sesame seeds), to create a smooth and creamy spread. Or sample Sabra’s other dozen varieties, which each offer an extra punch of spice or seasoning.

Upside-down cake: Summer is the perfect time to get creative with a basic upside-down cake, whether you make it from scratch or start with a box. A bounty of seasonal fresh fruit lets you explore new flavors for your cake’s topping: plump, juicy berries, plums and peaches are all excellent choices. Mix it up even more by combining some of your favorites, such as strawberries and blueberries, or switching out the traditional white base for a fruit-laden chocolatey delight.

For more summer entertaining recipes, visit          12733

Hummus Deviled Eggs
Makes: 12 servings
Prep Time: 25 minutes
Assembly: 15 minutes

6     eggs
1/3     cup, plus 1 tablespoon Sabra hummus
2     tablespoons olive oil
1/4     teaspoon freshly ground pepper
1/4     teaspoon salt
3     teaspoons relish
Paprika for garnish

Place eggs in pot and cover with cold water. Bring to a boil over high heat. Turn off heat and let sit for 14 minutes. Remove with slotted spoon and run cold water over eggs. Cool eggs 10 minutes.

Remove shells when cool. Cut in half and scoop out yolk and reserve in bowl of food processor. Repeat with remaining 5 eggs.

Add hummus, olive oil, pepper, and salt to yolks; puree in food processor. Add relish and pulse 3 to 5 times to incorporate.

Put yolk mixture in piping bag. (Use tall glass and fold edges of piping bag over glass to make it easier to transfer mixture.) Pipe about a teaspoon of mixture into each egg white half and sprinkle with paprika.
Source: Sabra Hummus

July 1, 2015 |

Bringing Your Food Focus to Summer Freshness


In Good Taste







(Family Features) Enjoying a taste of summer extends beyond ice cream, hot dogs and barbeque. There are many ways to partake in the season’s healthiest flavors, and the best place to get nutritious inspiration is your local farmers market.

If you want to fuel your summer activities in a healthy way, there are tools to help you get there. After all, the best meals are the ones that taste great and make you feel even better – so where should you start? Whether your focus is on mindful eating in general or if you are trying to eat low-carb or reduce sugar, there is a rainbow of options for you.

Offering flexibility and food variety, Atkins 40 is a low-carb eating plan that helps create and sustain the foundation for a life of healthier eating. With the power to customize menus, the plan helps people make smart food choices from an allowance of vegetables, nuts and seeds, a variety of fruits, whole grains, legumes, as well as dairy, including Greek yogurt and cheeses. Keeping a focus on portion control, the plan emphasizes eating nutrient-dense carbohydrates and avoiding added sugars.

Maintaining a low-carb lifestyle includes a colorful variety of seasonal produce picks. There is a fresh low-carb option for every taste, all summer long, if you know what to look for. Some of the best choices to add flavor to your summer menus include berries, cantaloupe, honeydew and vegetables such as salad greens, cucumbers and fresh herbs. A reliable low-carb option available through the entire season is summer squash, which can be prepared in a variety of ways – including being used as an alternative to pasta for a light summer meal.

Atkins 40 also makes it easy for consumers to track their daily intake of Net Carbs (total carbohydrates minus fiber). Through interactive tools and a new mobile app, you can plan meals, create shopping lists, track carb intake and enjoy watching your progress.
With these tools, you can eat from every food group, enjoying all that summer has to offer while making choices that work with your lifestyle.

Zucchini Pasta with Almond Pesto       12626
Prep time: 5 Minutes
Cook time: 10 Minutes

1/3     cup whole roasted and unsalted almonds
1     garlic clove
1     cup chopped fresh parsley
1/3     cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/3     cup plus 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1     teaspoon salt
2     pounds zucchini
1/8     teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes

In food processor, process almonds until finely ground. Add garlic, parsley and cheese; pulse 4-6 times. Add in 1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil and 1 teaspoon salt (or to taste) and pulse again a few times. Set aside.

Spiralize zucchini or use grater with zucchini lengthwise for longer strands. Preheat large skillet or wok over medium-high heat with 1 tablespoon olive oil. Cook zucchini 4 minutes using tongs to stir and rotate until cooked through, about 5 minutes.

Toss warm zucchini with pesto, sprinkle with pepper flakes (optional) and divide into pasta bowls. Season with additional salt and pepper to taste. Serve immediately.

Note: To roast raw almonds, heat oven to 350∞F, toss nuts on sheet pan and roast for 10 minutes. Cool before using.

For more recipes and information, visit

Source: Atkins


June 24, 2015 |
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