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Blend Indulgence with Nutrition



In Good Taste








Balanced treats can help you enjoy the holiday and wellness seasons

(Family Features) With family gatherings and New Year’s resolutions, this is the time of year where the holiday and wellness seasons find themselves on a collision course. The key to fully enjoying both seasons is finding treats that balance great taste with nutritional value.

Hazelnuts, which are widely known as the culprit behind the irresistible flavor of chocolate hazelnut spreads, are one way to consciously enjoy the season. Rich in vitamins and dietary fiber, and naturally cholesterol and gluten free, hazelnuts can amplify a variety of foods and flavors for an indulgence-meets-nutritious experience.

The finest hazelnuts are grown in the lush fields along the Black Sea coast of Turkey, where the optimal climate of the region produces hazelnuts that have a creamy, buttery flavor and crunchy texture.

Turkish hazelnuts add extra vitamins and fiber to recipes, creating a nutritious but indulgent snack, such as this recipe for hazelnut chocolate energy bars. Dates, oats and chocolate chips are bound with hazelnut butter for an on-the-go boost perfect for breakfast time, or any time.

Find more hazelnut inspiration at

Hazelnut Chocolate Energy Bars                                     12888

1     cup dates
1/4     cup cocoa powder
1/4     teaspoon salt
1/3     cup hazelnut butter
1/4     cup honey
1     cup hazelnuts, toasted
1 1/2     cups rolled oats
1/2     cup semisweet chocolate chips

Place dates in food processor and mix until small bits remain and form ball. Add cocoa powder and salt and process.

Heat hazelnut butter and honey until warm. Pour into food processor along with remaining ingredients. Pulse until well mixed.

Transfer to lightly greased and foil-lined 9-by-9-inch pan. Using spatula, pack mixture into tight square. Freeze to set for 15 minutes. Remove and cut into 15 bars. Store in airtight container or bag in fridge to keep fresh, or in freezer for longer term storage.
Source: Hazelnut Marketing Board


December 23, 2015 |

Give the Gift of Dairy this Holiday Season



In Good Taste







(Family Features) This holiday season, give your family the gift of home-cooked meals that combine the flavor, comfort and variety of dairy. Dairy foods, such as milk, cheese and yogurt, can serve as helpful on-hand ingredients that also provide nutritional and economic value to help you eat, drink and be merry.

Because dairy foods are readily available in most kitchens, they are ideal for creating easy recipes for last-minute get-togethers and entertaining. The experts at Midwest Dairy offer the following tips on how to give the gift of dairy during the holidays:

* Start those busy shopping days off with a hearty bowl of oatmeal made with milk.
* For lunchtime get-togethers, give tuna or chicken salad extra zip by replacing mayo with plain yogurt.
* Make side dishes sparkle by sprinkling shredded cheese on steamed vegetables before serving for added flavor.
* Warm up everyday cold weather favorites by switching out water for milk in hot chocolate, soups and even bread dough and other baked goods.
* Get a kick start on those New Year’s resolutions by using protein-packed plain Greek yogurt to top baked potatoes, chili and soup, and as a base for homemade dressings.
* For extra flavor and nutrition, top seasonal favorite casseroles and pasta dishes with shredded cheese.
* For last-minute parties, mix plain yogurt with seasoning or mash with an avocado to create a quick dip.
* Serve delicious, one-dish dairy-inspired dinners, such as dairy farmer Chris Sukalski’s Parmesan Chicken Fettuccine.

Find more information, nutrition tips and recipes at and visit Midwest Dairy on Pinterest for more dairy-inspired holiday ideas, from home-cooked meals to party pleasing recipes and holiday gift ideas, such as The Dairy Good Cookbook.

Parmesan Chicken Fettuccine                                                 Parmesan Chicken Fettuccini

1     pound fettuccine
3     cups small fresh broccoli florets
3/4     cup butter (1 1/2 sticks), divided
3/4    teaspoon salt, divided
1/2     teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, divided
12     ounces boneless, skinless chicken breast, cut into bite-size pieces
1     small onion, chopped
2     garlic cloves, minced
4     ounces fresh mushrooms, sliced
3     cups whipping cream
1 1/2     cups grated Parmesan cheese, plus additional for serving
6     slices bacon, cooked and crumbled, divided
cracked black pepper

Cook fettuccine according to package directions, adding broccoli during last 3 minutes; drain and keep warm.

Meanwhile in large skillet, melt 2 tablespoons of butter over medium heat. Season chicken with 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon ground pepper. Cook in hot butter until cooked through, 5-6 minutes. With slotted spoon, transfer chicken from skillet to a plate; set aside. Add 2 tablespoons butter to skillet. Cook onion, garlic and mushrooms in hot butter until vegetables soften, 4-5 minutes. Set aside.

In medium saucepan, combine remaining butter and heavy cream over medium-low heat. Heat and stir until butter is melted, about 2 minutes. Stir in remaining salt and remaining ground pepper. Add Parmesan cheese and stir until melted. Stir in chicken, onion mixture and half the bacon.

Toss drained pasta and broccoli with chicken mixture. Divide among 6 serving plates. Top with additional grated Parmesan, remaining bacon and cracked pepper.

Source: Midwest Dairy

December 16, 2015 |

Flights and Bites for a Posh (and Low-Cost) Holiday Soiree


In Good Taste







(Family Features) Holiday hosting doesn’t have to be stressful or expensive. This season, ALDI partnered with Leslee Miller, a dually certified Sommelier through the International Sommelier Guild and the Court of Master Sommelier, to provide holiday hosts with sophisticated and low cost wine and cheese pairings that will please your guests’ palates and your wallet.

Style the Perfect Platter
Creating a beautiful cheese board can be simple and spectacular. Follow these tried-and-true tips for selecting and styling the components of your holiday cheese platter:
* Provide a selection of cheeses that have different textures and tastes.
* Include at least one cheese that is familiar to your guests, such as cheddar.
* Limit your selection to 3-5 cheeses so your guests can really taste and enjoy all pairings.
* Serve your cheeses with accompaniments: crackers for soft cheeses, apple slices for creamy cheeses and nuts for smoky cheeses. Jams and jellies go great with semi-hard cheeses.

Create the Flights and Bites12964_B
Rule of thumb: you need approximately 2-4 ounces of cheese per person and will get six pours per bottle of wine for tasting. You can keep it elegant and affordable with gourmet cheeses and award-winning fine wines from ALDI. This pairing menu will provide a satisfying tasting experience for your guests:
* Zum Riesling + Specially Selected HandRolled Goat Cheese Log (Blueberry Vanilla):  Notes of peach, honey and blueberries from the goat cheese intertwine beautifully with the succulent tones of the Zum Riesling.
* San Zenone Toscana Rosso + Specially Selected Manchego: Ripe black cherry and pepper spice from this complexly flavored wine combine with delicious manchego for bursting cherry and salty butterscotch tones.
* Dove Creek Cabernet Sauvignon + Happy Farms Preferred Blue Cheese Wedge:  The smoky, raspberry sides of this wine melded with the distinctive flavors of blue cheese make a dark and juicy match!
* ChiarÈ Blanc de Blancs + Specially Selected Brie Cheese Round:  A glass of this sparkling wine paired with creamy brie cheese creates an impeccable flavor blend of nuts, caramel and fall-ripe apples, reminiscent of an autumn caramel apple.
* Broken Clouds Pinot Noir + Specially Selected Cranberry White Cheddar: The dark cherry fruit and earthy spices of Broken Clouds Pinot Noir highlight the fresh cranberry and nutty tones of this cheese.

Make the Most of Every Sip
Help your guests properly taste the intricate flavors of each wine to get the most out of every pairing:
* Check the color of the wine. European wines tend to have less color, while other countries’ (New World) wines show deeper colors.
* Smell accounts for 90 percent of taste. Swirl the wine in your glass to release the flavors. European wines tend to smell earthier, while New World wines lead with fruit.
* Taste with oxygen. Suck air into the front of your mouth at the exact same time you sip to catch all the flavors. European wines tend to taste tarter, while New World wines have bolder, fruit flavors.

For more holiday inspiration and recipes, visit

December 9, 2015 |

Holiday Flavor to Savor


In Good Taste









Memorable dishes perfect for entertaining

(Family Features) As the holiday season fills with party after party and spreads of delicious food, you’ll want to ensure that your meal leaves guests with a lasting impression. With artful seasoning and creative presentation, your dish can be the shining star of this year’s holiday festivities.

When entertaining a crowd of family and friends, plan your holiday spread around a centerpiece dish. A large-format entree such as a leg of lamb, whole fish or roast will not only look beautiful on the table, it will feed everyone at the party.

Tantalize taste buds with a dish that is filled with flavor by incorporating rich ingredients, such as capers and cornichon pickles, along with a few dashes of Tabasco Sauce to create unforgettable flavor with the perfect hint of heat. Friends and family will go back for seconds and thirds while toasting to the most delicious time of the year.

Find more tips and recipes to help create a memorable holiday meal at

Prime Rib Roast with Salsa Verde
Recipe courtesy of Gabe Thompson, Dell’anima, L’Artusi, L’Apicio and Alta Linea, New York City
Servings: 6-8

Salsa verde:
1     cup extra virgin olive oil
2     tablespoons capers, rinsed
3     tablespoons cornichon pickles, roughly chopped
3     garlic cloves
1     shallot, peeled and roughly chopped
1     bunch Italian flat leaf parsley, roughly chopped
1     tablespoon Tabasco Green Jalapeno Sauce

Roast and potatoes:                                                            12932
1     boneless prime rib roast (6 pounds)
2 1/2     pounds red bliss potatoes, halved
5     tablespoons olive oil, divided
5     teaspoons kosher salt, divided
2     teaspoons fresh cracked black pepper, divided

For salsa verde, blend all ingredients and puree until smooth. Adjust Tabasco Green Jalapeno Sauce as needed.

For roast and potatoes, sit roast at room temperature 30-60 minutes.

Heat oven to 300 F.

In large roasting pan, add potatoes and drizzle with 3 tablespoons oil, 2 teaspoons salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper; toss to combine. Place roasting rack on top of potatoes.

Season roast with remaining salt and pepper.

In large skillet, heat remaining oil over medium-high heat. Add roast and cook 5-7 minutes, until golden brown on bottom. Turn roast and sear additional 5-7 minutes. Remove from heat and place on roasting rack above potatoes.

Place roasting pan in oven and roast 1 1/2-2 hours or until internal temperature is 125 F. Remove from oven and place roasting rack above cutting board; let roast rest at room temperature 20-30 minutes.

Increase oven to 400 F.

Gently toss potatoes to combine with meat drippings. Place in oven and roast 5-10 minutes until tender and golden brown.

To serve, place potatoes on platter and thinly slice roast. Serve with salsa verde on the side.
Source: Tabasco

December 2, 2015 |

Make Your Holiday Festive & Flavorful


In Good Taste








(Family Features) How can you put a unique twist on a holiday tradition that your family will love? What should you bring to your office potluck? What’s a savory appetizer that will hold everyone over until the big meal? With plenty of get-togethers during the season, deciding what will be on your holiday plate can be difficult.

When you’re challenged to find recipes that are as easy to prepare as they are savory, one strategy is to choose a versatile go-to as the base for several different dishes. Slow-marinated and seasoned just right, Smithfield Seasoned Fresh Pork brings a delicious meal to your holiday table in no time at all.

Whether entertaining a crowd at a holiday party or looking for a meal solution for a wintry weeknight, try Smithfield’s premium cuts of 100 percent fresh pork for a dish everyone will love. In flavors like Garlic and Herb, Peppercorn and Garlic and Applewood Smoked Bacon, fresh pork can be grilled, roasted or sauteed for a simple holiday recipe that will taste like you’ve been cooking for hours.

For a unique twist on your dinner table this season, try Cornbread-Stuffed Bacon-Wrapped Pork Tenderloin. Featuring delicious, seasonal ingredients including apples, cranberries and pecans, this recipe is sure to impress friends and family. These BBQ Pork Tortilla Rollups can be made in a cinch and served before the big meal or brought along to cocktail parties for an easy to eat dish that everyone will enjoy.

For more holiday meal inspiration and recipe ideas, visit or

Cornbread-Stuffed Bacon-Wrapped Pork Tenderloin
Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 55 minutes
Servings: 4

1     Smithfield Peppercorn and Garlic Seasoned Pork Tenderloin12913_A
7     slices Farmland Thick Cut Hickory Smoked Bacon, divided
3     tablespoons butter?
1/4     cup apple cider?
3/4     cup cornbread stuffing mix
1/3     cup chopped red cooking apple
3     tablespoons dried cranberries?
2     tablespoons chopped pecans, toasted?

Heat oven to 375 F. Cut 3 slices bacon into 1/4-inch wide slices. In medium saucepan, cook over medium heat until crisp; drain.

Leave 1 tablespoon grease in pan. Add butter and apple cider; bring to a boil. Remove from heat; stir in cooked bacon, stuffing mix, apple, cranberries and pecans. If needed, add additional cider to moisten stuffing.

Place remaining slices of bacon about 2 inches apart down center of 15-by-10-by-1-inch baking sheet. Cut down center of tenderloin but not all the way through; lay flat on top of bacon slices.

Spoon stuffing down center of tenderloin; wrap bacon slices around tenderloin, overlapping on top. Secure with wooden picks.

Bake 40-45 minutes until internal temperature of stuffing reaches 160 F. Let stand 10 minutes before slicing.

12913_BBBQ Pork Tortilla Rollups
Prep time: 15 minutes plus 2-hour stand time
Servings: 36 slices

1         package (12 ounces) pimiento cheese spread
3         tablespoons barbecue sauce
1         teaspoon smoked paprika
4         flour tortillas (10 inches)
1/2     Smithfield Applewood Smoked Bacon Seasoned Pork Loin Filet, cooked and finely diced

In small bowl, combine pimiento cheese spread, barbecue sauce and paprika; mix well.

Divide cheese mixture between 4 tortillas; evenly spread on each tortilla.

Sprinkle chopped pork over top of cheese spread. Tightly roll up each tortilla and wrap in plastic wrap. Place in refrigerator 2 hours or up to 2 days.

Cut each tortilla into 1/2-inch slices. Serve with light drizzle of barbecue sauce.

Source: Smithfield

November 25, 2015 |

With Eggs, the Choices are Many


In Good Taste







(Family Features) Cage-free? Organic? Local? When purchasing eggs, many people read the carton to help understand how the hens were housed when producing those eggs. But is the label on the egg carton a good indicator of the hens’ well-being?

The variety of options can make determining the eggs best for you and your family difficult. To help support consumer choice and provide information to sort through the confusion, the Coalition for Sustainable Egg Supply recently completed a three-year research study. Researchers assessed hens’ well-being, egg safety and quality, affordability, worker health and safety, and environmental impact as elements of sustainability in cage-free, conventional and enriched colony hen housing. 12808

What the researchers found might be surprising, with positive and negative aspects associated with each housing system. For instance, while conventional cage housing limits the ability of hens to exhibit natural behaviors, it also has the lowest mortality rate. Conversely, cage-free housing allows hens to nest, perch and even attempt flying, though hen mortality was more than double that of the other housing options researched. By understanding which findings are most important to them, shoppers can be confident in choosing eggs that are right for them.

“Hen well-being is an important aspect of producing eggs, but it should be considered along with many other elements of egg production,” said Darrin Karcher, Extension Specialist in the Department of Animal Science at Michigan State University and CSES Project Director. “This research allows us to better understand how each housing system affects not only the well-being of the hens, but a variety of other factors. This is a valuable tool consumers, restaurants and retailers can use to make more informed decisions about which eggs are best for them.”

When choosing what’s best for you and your family, whether you prioritize egg cost, hens being able to exhibit natural behaviors, environmental impact or another element of sustainability, making an informed choice begins with understanding which eggs best meet your needs.

For more information about sustainable egg production, as well as videos, interactive infographics and the CSES research results, visit

Photo courtesy of Getty Images
Source:  Coalition for Sustainable Egg Supply

November 18, 2015 |

Quick and Easy Make-and-Take Dishes


In Good Taste







(Family Features) Between football and the holidays, there are plenty of reasons to gather friends and family around to celebrate this time of year. No matter the occasion, one fact remains true – more time with family and friends and less time in the kitchen is important. Don’t let your busy schedule or a complicated recipe keep you from bringing a delicious dish to your next event.

Be everyone’s favorite guest with these perfect party recipes that are quick and easy to make and transport easily. One secret to rich flavor is 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.

To keep the focus on the fun, here are some tips to help make transporting treats easier:
* To keep casserole lids in place, on a cool dish, crisscross rubber bands over the lid handle.
* To keep food warm and minimize mess, place the dish in a cardboard box and wrap towels around it.
* To reduce day of stress, do prep work the night before or choose recipes, such as Cinnamon Oatmeal Bars, that can be made in advance.

Find more recipes to make, take and share for any occasion or download a free e-Recipe Book at

Party Meatballs
Recipe courtesy of Sommer of                               12900_a
Cook time: 22 minutes
Servings: 40-55 meatballs

1    tablespoon butter
1/2    cup red onion, grated
1    pound pork sausage
1    pound ground beef
2    cups panko bread crumbs
1    cup Musselman’s Apple Butter
1/4    cup sour cream
2    eggs
2    teaspoons salt
1    teaspoon black pepper
1    teaspoon allspice
1/2    cup beef broth
2    tablespoons honey
1-2    dashes of cayenne pepper

Heat oven to 400 F and line large-rimmed baking sheet with foil.

In skillet over medium heat, melt butter. Add grated onions and saute for 3-4 minutes, until soft.

In large bowl, mix sausage, ground beef, bread crumbs, 1/2 cup apple butter, sour cream, eggs, salt, pepper and allspice. Add onion, once it cools. Use hands to mix well until evenly combined.

Measure one-ounce portions. Roll tight balls and place them on baking sheet, close together, but not touching.  Bake for 15 minutes.

Meanwhile, mix remaining apple butter with beef broth, honey and 1-2 dashes of cayenne pepper. Whisk well.

Remove meatballs from oven. Pour sauce over top, making sure to cover each meatball, and place back in oven for 5-7 minutes.

Once cooked through, shake baking sheet a little to loosen meatballs and serve warm.

12900_bCinnamon Oatmeal Bars
Cook time: 40 minutes
Servings: 16

1    cup flour
1    cup old-fashioned oatmeal
3/4    cup light brown sugar
1/4    teaspoon salt
8    tablespoons butter, melted
1    cup Musselman’s Apple Butter

Heat oven to 350 F. Coat 8-by-8-inch baking pan with vegetable cooking spray. Line with heavy-duty foil, leaving overhang on two sides to facilitate removal of bars from pan. Coat foil with cooking spray.

In medium bowl mix flour, oatmeal, sugar and salt. With fork, stir in butter until well mixed and clumps form, then spread half the oatmeal mixture over foiled pan bottom, pressing to form a thin crust. Spread apple butter over crust, then sprinkle remaining oatmeal mixture on top.

Bake until crisp and golden brown, 30-40 minutes. Cool to room temperature. Use foil “handles” to remove bars from pan. Cut into squares and serve.
Source: Musselman’s Apple Butter






November 11, 2015 |
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