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4 Tips for an Ultimate Award Show Party


In Good Taste







4 Tips for an Ultimate Award Show Party


(Family Features) Glitz, glamour and good friends are the perfect ingredients to make the 2016 award show season one to remember. As any A-lister knows, hosting the perfect party is all in the details.

Set the stage for an award-worthy evening with dazzling decor accessorized perfectly with festive food to enjoy while you check out the latest red carpet fashions on Hollywood’s elite.13051

Red carpet ready. Create your own paparazzi experience with a faux red carpet guiding guests to the entrance, where a strobe light simulates the steady flash of frenzied photographers. Once inside, usher guests to a DIY photo-booth complete with a glitzy backdrop and award show-themed props that guests can don to capture memories of the evening frame by frame. There are dozens of options online to help you create your very own photo booth, whether you want to take the pics on your digital camera or use an app on your smartphone with Wi-Fi printing and social media sharing capabilities.

Bring the bling. Let your inner glamour girl go wild with Hollywood-themed party accessories. Bejeweled serving platters and centerpieces with sparkling crystals are just the start. Compliment the glistening decor with plates and serving ware in metallic tones that mimic the iconic trophies. Top it all off with a touch of whimsy by serving up snacks in trophy-shaped vessels, and labeling food on little signs designed to look like miniature film clapperboards.

Food fit for stars. Build your menu around this year’s nominees, giving dishes clever monikers that coincide with your favorite lines and scenes. And remember no menu for a film-inspired fete is complete without the popcorn. Treat your guests to new, delicious Smartfood Delight® Sea Salted Caramel Popcorn. The lightly sweetened, mouth-watering popcorn is 35 calories per cup and made with 100 percent whole grain. With no artificial colors, flavors or preservatives, it is a perfect snack option for any party. Discover all of the tasty flavors you can incorporate into a star-gazing celebration at

Sweet seats. Be sure guests are ready to get cozy for an extended stay with comfy seating for all. If couch and chair space is at a premium, add plush pillows and blankets to make floor seating a lavish experience. In tight quarters, you can also consider adding a viewing screen in a second room, such as the kitchen, where guests are likely to congregate over refreshments.

With a little advance planning, you can transform your home into a Hollywood party headquarters where you and fellow revelers can gasp and cheer with each nail-biting moment.


Photo courtesy of Getty Images


February 24, 2016 |

Power Up With a Protein Packed Breakfast


In Good Taste








(Family Features) You may recognize the importance of protein as part of a healthy eating plan, but if you’re like most people, you may not realize that the time of day you consume your protein matters.

According to the Institute of Medicine, 10 to 35 percent of total daily calories should come from protein. For a 2,000 calorie diet, this translates to about 50 to 175 grams per day. However, most Americans tend to eat most of their protein in the evening, leaving them without the appropriate fuel to feel energized in the morning.

Distributing your protein throughout the day, starting with a power punch at breakfast, will energize your mornings, and you’ll feel fuller longer and be able to focus on tackling the day ahead.  In addition to energy and focus, getting 25 to 30 grams of protein at each meal can help support bone health, maintain a healthy weight and build lean muscle.

To jumpstart your morning with protein, pair a glass of milk with your favorite breakfast foods – like eggs – or mix milk into your favorite smoothie or overnight oats combination. Whether in a glass, cup or bowl, or mixed into a simple recipe, milk is an ideal way to get high-quality protein, along with eight other nutrients you need, like calcium, vitamin D and potassium.

For additional recipes and to learn more about the power of dairy protein, visit

Power Up Muffin Cups                                                  13073
Servings: 12

nonstick cooking spray
8  large eggs
1 3/4   cups plain 2 percent Greek yogurt
1   teaspoon onion powder
1   teaspoon garlic powder
1/2  teaspoon salt
1/4   teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 1/4  cups shredded mozzarella cheese, divided
1 1/4  cups shredded cheddar cheese
1 1/2  cups frozen chopped broccoli, thawed
1 1/2  cups cubed whole-grain bread

Heat oven to 375 F. Coat standard 12-cup nonstick muffin tin with nonstick cooking spray.

In large bowl, beat eggs and yogurt until thoroughly combined. Whisk in onion powder, garlic powder, salt and pepper. Stir in 3/4 cup mozzarella cheese, all cheddar cheese, broccoli and bread; mix thoroughly.

Let stand for 10 minutes. Stir thoroughly, then divide mixture evenly among prepared muffin cups. (Cups will be about two-thirds full.) Top evenly with remaining mozzarella cheese.

Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, or until the tops are golden brown. Let stand for 5 minutes before serving.
Source: Midwest Dairy Association




February 17, 2016 |

Simple, Satisfying Soup for Supper



In Good Taste








(Family Features) A hearty, flavorful bowl of soup on a chilly night is hard to beat. But if the thought of preparing soup from scratch makes you think “nice idea, but too time consuming,” it’s time to rethink soup making.

Minimum prep and maximum flavor is what you get with Southwestern Bean and Pasta Soup. It goes together quickly, using both fresh and prepared ingredients. The beans and southwestern seasonings from READ Southwestern Bean Salad jumpstart this soup – both in flavor and sustenance. Sauteed fresh vegetables add extra color and nutrition. The pasta cooks along with the other ingredients to save yet another step. Make it vegetarian or add ground beef or poultry – either way, it’s delicious.

Serve this versatile soup meal to the family, or double the recipe and invite the neighbors over for a simple supper that’s on the table in under an hour. Offer toppings such as avocado, sour cream and cilantro to dress it up for company.

Additional tasty, timesaving recipes can be found at

Southwestern Bean and Pasta Soup                                                   13063
Preparation time: 25 minute
Cook time: 20 minutes
Servings: 8

2    cans (15 ounces each) READ Southwestern Bean Salad, divided
1    tablespoon olive or canola oil
3/4    cup chopped bell pepper
1/2    cup sliced green onions
1    small jalapeno, seeded and finely chopped
1    large clove garlic, minced
1    can (14.5 ounces) no-salt-added diced tomatoes
1    carton (32 ounces) low sodium, reduced-fat vegetable or chicken broth, divided
1    cup water
1/2    cup ditalini pasta, uncooked

Optional toppings:
sour cream
plain yogurt
chopped cilantro

Place contents of one can bean salad in blender or food processor. Process until partially pureed, with small chunks remaining.

In large soup pot or Dutch oven, heat oil over medium-high heat until hot. Add bell pepper and onions; cook and stir about 2 minutes to soften. Add jalapeno; cook and stir 1 minute. Add garlic; cook and stir 30 seconds.

Stir in pureed bean salad; add second can of bean salad and tomatoes. Add 3 cups of broth and water. Bring to boil; reduce heat and simmer, uncovered, 15 minutes. Add pasta; cook 7-9 minutes, or until pasta is al dente. Add additional broth as desired for consistency. Serve with toppings, as desired.

Variations: During step two, cook 1/2 pound lean ground beef, chicken or turkey breast in oil, stirring frequently until cooked through. Add pepper and onions and continue as recipe directs; add additional oil 1 teaspoon at a time if needed for cooking vegetables.

Nutrition information per serving (1/8 of recipe): 180 calories; 6 g protein; 26 g carbohydrate; 5 g total fat; 530 mg sodium; 0 mg cholesterol; 6 g dietary fiber; 11 mg iron; 0.06 mg thiamin; 944 IU vitamin A; 13 mg vitamin C.

Source: Seneca Foods





February 10, 2016 |

Bring Warmth and Freshness to Your Winter Breakfast



In Good Taste







(Family Features) During the cold and dark winter months, it’s important to stay warm and well-nourished. Using in-season ingredients and produce is a simple way to brighten your winter blues and introduce authentic vitamin-rich flavor to your meals.


“Florida Grapefruit reaches its best taste during the heart of winter, making it a great source of fresh, nutrient-rich fruit at a time when many others are not available,” said Emily Richards, cookbook author. “I like to add Florida Grapefruit and its juice to salads, savory dishes and snacks.”


Follow this recipe from Richards for Quinoa Grapefruit Blueberry Breakfast to add Florida sunshine and a boost of energy to your blustery mornings. This refreshing breakfast combines hot quinoa with Florida Grapefruit and blueberries for a new twist on breakfast.


To learn more about Florida Grapefruit and find more recipes, visit


Quinoa Grapefruit Blueberry Breakfast                13045

Prep time: 10 minutes

Cook time: 15 minutes

Serves: 4


3/4             cup Florida Grapefruit Juice

1/2             cup water

3/4             cup quinoa, rinsed

2             tablespoons liquid honey or maple syrup

2             Florida Ruby Red Grapefruit, segmented

1             cup fresh or frozen blueberries

1             cup 0% vanilla or plain yogurt

fresh mint leaves


In small saucepan, combine grapefruit juice, water, quinoa and honey. Bring to boil; cover and simmer for about 15 minutes, or until liquid is absorbed.


Stir in grapefruit and blueberries; divide into shallow bowls and top with yogurt. Garnish with mint to serve.



February 3, 2016 |

Bring Big Flavor to Easy Weeknight Dining


In Good Taste







(Family Features) There’s no time like the present to begin incorporating healthier meals into your menus – but that doesn’t mean you have to broadcast it to your family.

Deliver big taste with fewer calories and less sodium than you might expect with this Garlic Cream Elbows with Sun-Dried Tomatoes and Basil recipe. Pantry-friendly ingredients get the creamy Parmesan-enhanced pasta on your table in just 30 minutes.

Made with premium durum wheat semolina and added inulin, a prebiotic fiber from chicory root, Dreamfields pasta gives this recipe a nutritional boost providing 5 grams of fiber and 7 grams of protein per one-cup, cooked serving. Inulin helps promote healthy digestion and can help you feel full longer, which helps you keep up with your busy and healthy lifestyle without sacrificing taste or texture.

Pair it with a tasty side salad or grilled chicken breast for an extra boost of protein. It’s a mouthwatering meal that’s sure to become a staple at the dinner table all year round.

Look for Dreamfields’ black box in the pasta aisle of supermarkets nationwide. For more information and pasta salad recipes, visit

Garlic Cream Elbows With Sun-Dried Tomatoes and Basil                                                        13042
Recipe courtesy of Mother Thyme
Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 20 minutes
Servings: 4

8    ounces (about 2 cups) Dreamfields Elbows
1    tablespoon unsalted butter
1/4    cup diced red onion
4    cloves garlic, minced
2    tablespoons all-purpose flour
1    cup 2% milk
1/2    cup (2 ounces) grated Parmesan cheese
1/2    cup low-sodium chicken broth
1/3    cup julienne cut sun-dried tomatoes, not packed in oil, divided
1/3    cup chopped fresh basil, divided

Cook pasta according to package directions.

Meanwhile, in large, deep skillet, heat butter over medium heat until melted. Add onion; cook 5 minutes or until tender, stirring occasionally. Add garlic to skillet; cook 1 minute or until fragrant, stirring frequently. Stir in flour; cook and stir 1 minute or until flour is dissolved and mixture is smooth and paste-like. Gradually whisk in milk, about 2 tablespoons at a time, until sauce thickens.

Stir in Parmesan cheese until well combined. Stir in chicken broth. Reduce heat; simmer 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Season with salt and pepper, as desired. Remove from heat.

Add pasta to skillet; toss to combine. Stir in 1/4 cup of the tomatoes and 1/4 cup of the basil. Season with salt and pepper, as desired. Top with remaining tomatoes and basil; serve immediately.

Nutritional information (1/4 of recipe): 340 calories; 16 g protein; 52 g carbohydrates; 9 g total fat; 5 g saturated fat; 25 mg cholesterol; 280 mg sodium; 6 g total dietary fiber.
Source: Dreamfields Pasta


January 27, 2016 |

A Leafy Super Food Worth Learning About


In Good Taste








(Family Features) For people who manage their health through nutrition or use food as a medicinal replacement, few products offer the power of “superfoods.” Kale is one leafy green commonly recognized as a superfood, but watercress is a tastier superfood option worth considering.

Watercress has more flavor, is more versatile and is healthier than its leafy cousins. It’s also easier to digest with a more pleasing texture. In fact, according to an independent research study published last spring by the Centers for Disease Control, it is the most nutrient-dense food available today.

For a high concentration of phytonutrients, antioxidants and vitamins, look to options such as those available through hydroponic greenhouse grower Hollandia Produce, which raises two cress varieties: Live Gourmet Living Upland Cress and Grower Pete’s Living Organic Watercress. Both varieties also deliver up to twice the vitamin C of an orange; more calcium than milk; and high levels of magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, iron, beta-carotene and vitamins A, B1, B6, K and E.

Watercress also has multiple uses as a medicinal herb. Some of these more popular applications include preventing eczema, as well as supporting digestive, urinary tract, eye and respiratory health.

Visit to find more recipes and learn more about this flavorful superfood.

“Cressto” Pesto Sauce13010_A

3     cups Live Gourmet Living Upland Cress or Grower Pete’s Living Watercress, root ball and bottom 1/3 stems removed, rinsed and patted dry
2     cloves garlic, chopped
1/2     cup extra-virgin olive oil
1/2     cup grape seed oil
1    teaspoon lemon zest
1    teaspoon kosher salt
1/2     teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/2     cup plain Greek yogurt

In blender or food processor, combine cress and garlic and pulse until coarsely chopped.
Add remaining ingredients and process until blended.

Drizzle over pasta, risotto, fish, meat or eggs, or use as a spread.

Silky Egg Cress Salad

13010_B1     package Live Gourmet Living Upland Cress or Grower Pete’s Living Watercress, root ball and stems removed, leaves rinsed and patted dry
2     medium eggs
3     purple potato chips (purple potatoes sliced thin, seasoned and sauteed until crisp)
3     slices fresh avocado
3     slices ripe pear
3     slices persimmon
2     pieces toasted brioche bread
2     tablespoons Orange Vinaigrette


Orange Vinaigrette

2     tablespoons frozen orange juice concentrate
2     tablespoons grape seed oil
2     teaspoons rice wine vinegar
1    teaspoon honey
pinch cracked black pepper

In small bowl, whisk together vinaigrette ingredients and set aside.

Prepare and artfully arrange cress and all ingredients, except eggs, on serving plate and set aside.

Soft boil eggs 5 minutes in 1 quart of water. Remove from heat and cool 30 seconds under cold running water. Gently remove shells. While still warm, slice eggs in half and place atop the plated salad. Lightly drizzle with Orange Vinaigrette.
Source: Hollandia Produce

Source: Hollandia Produce

January 20, 2016 |

Swap Salt for Herbs and Spices in 2016


In Good Taste








(Family Features) Making a New Year’s resolution? Don’t forget salt. Most Americans consume about a 1,000 milligrams of sodium over the amount recommended by nutrition and health experts. New research shows cooking with spices and herbs could help you ditch the salt shaker and meet sodium recommendations.

Keeping a resolution to cut salt from your diet is easy. Use simple spice swaps to create tasty, low-sodium meals. From seasoning eggs with basil instead of salt to adding spices and herbs to no-salt tomato sauce, the McCormick Kitchens offer these easy tips and recipes to make low-sodium meals full of flavor:
* Beat 1/8 teaspoon herb instead of salt into 2 eggs before scrambling.
* Add oregano, garlic powder and red pepper to no-salt added tomato sauce for a tasty, low-sodium pasta dinner.
* Try making Citrus Herbed Chicken with Asparagus, Fiesta Citrus Salmon or Tuscan Pasta. These dishes don’t call for any salt. Instead, they swap in basil, garlic powder and oregano.

For more low-sodium tips and recipes – such as shaved vegetable salad with Italian herb vinaigrette – visit to keep your New Year’s resolutions on track. To see the full Anderson study, which examined the effects of a behavioral intervention that emphasized spice and herbs, and how it impacts sodium intake, visit

Fiesta Citrus Salmon    13022_aPO                                            
Prep time: 5 minutes
Cook time: 15 minutes
Serves: 4
1/4     cup orange juice
2     tablespoons olive oil
2     tablespoons McCormick Perfect Pinch Salt-Free Fiesta Citrus Seasoning, divided
2     tablespoons packed brown sugar, divided
1     pound salmon fillets

In small bowl, mix juice, oil and 1 tablespoon each seasoning and sugar. Place salmon in large re-sealable plastic bag or glass dish. Add marinade; turn to coat well. Refrigerate 30 minutes, or longer for extra flavor.

In another small bowl, mix remaining seasoning and sugar. Remove salmon from marinade. Discard any remaining marinade. Rub salmon evenly with seasoning mixture.

13022_cPOTuscan Pasta
Prep time: 15 minutes
Cook time: 25 minutes
Serves: 6
1     can (28 ounces) diced tomatoes, undrained
1     can (8 ounces) no-salt added tomato sauce
1     tablespoon sugar (optional)
2     tablespoons packed brown sugar, divided
2     teaspoons McCormick Garlic Powder
2     teaspoons McCormick Perfect Pinch Italian Seasoning
1/2     teaspoon McCormick Black Pepper, ground
1     tablespoon olive oil
1     pound zucchini, sliced
1     package (8 ounces) sliced mushrooms
1     small onion, chopped
6     ounces pasta, such as spaghetti or linguine

In medium saucepan, mix tomatoes, tomato sauce, sugar and seasonings. Bring to boil on medium heat. Reduce heat to low; cover and simmer 20 minutes.

In large skillet, heat oil on medium-high heat. Add zucchini, mushrooms and onion; cook and stir 4 minutes or until vegetables are tender-crisp. Stir tomato sauce into vegetables.

Meanwhile, cook pasta as directed on package. Drain well. Place pasta in serving bowl. Add vegetable mixture; toss well.

Citrus Herbed Chicken with Asparagus                                 13022_bPO
Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 20 minutes
Serves: 4
1/4     cup flour
2     tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
1/2     teaspoon McCormick Garlic Powder
1/4     teaspoon McCormick Black Pepper, coarse ground
1     pound thin-sliced boneless skinless chicken breasts
1     tablespoon oil
1 1/2     cups chicken stock
1     teaspoon McCormick Basil Leaves
1     teaspoon McCormick Oregano Leaves
1     pound asparagus, trimmed and cut into 1-inch pieces
2     tablespoons lemon juice

In shallow dish, mix flour, Parmesan cheese, garlic powder and pepper. Reserve 2 tablespoons. Moisten chicken lightly with water. Coat evenly with remaining flour mixture.

In large nonstick skillet, heat oil on medium heat. Add 1/2 of the chicken pieces; cook 3 minutes per side, or until golden brown. Repeat with remaining chicken, adding additional oil, if necessary. Remove chicken from skillet; keep warm.

In medium bowl, mix stock, basil, oregano and reserved flour mixture until well blended. Add to skillet along with asparagus. Bring to boil. Reduce heat to low; simmer 3-5 minutes, or until sauce is slightly thickened, stirring frequently. Stir in lemon juice. Return chicken to skillet; cook 2 minutes, or until heated through.
Source: McCormick Spice




January 13, 2016 |
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