[Mexican cheese is hot right now]
Cheeses from Mexico rival anything the French can dish out, offering a wide range of tasty, savory, nutty, even sweet cheeses to tempt any palate. They're just not as well known as their French cousins.
Queso Fresco is a soft, fresh cheese similar to ricotta, but with more savory, salty and tangy notes. Use it with tacos and enchiladas.
Panela has a mild, creamy, slightly tangy flavor, with a texture that is a cross between feta and ricotta. This cheese is great for baking, grilling or frying.
Cotija is like Parmesan but creamier, with a savory flavor and crumbly texture. Use it just like you'd use Parmesan.
Manchego has a nutty, earthy flavor and thick, creamy texture. Similar to sharp English cheddar.
Oaxaca has a mellow, earthy flavor and buttery texture, similar to mozzarella with a superior melt.
[Headline: Holiday cheeseboards made simple]
The culinary experts at Stella Cheese provide simple tips for creating an impressive cheeseboard:
Choose cheese wisely: Select three to five varieties of cheese for your board. This provides nice variation without overwhelming guests with too many options.
Get the right amounts: Typically 4-6 ounces of cheese per person is a good estimate, but increase or decrease that amount based on time of day and other foods being served.
Add accompaniments and garnishes: For a festive take on your cheeseboard, add quintessential holiday-themed foods such as cranberry jam, roasted chestnuts, fresh figs and even pumpkin butter.
Consider proper preparation: Set cheese out about an hour before serving as this time allows cheese to adjust to room temperature which maximizes flavors.
[Headline: Tips to keep pests out of your home]
Keep your pantry pest-free with these tips from the National Pest Management Association.
* Store things properly. Plastic containers with secure lids are affordable and invaluable when it comes to protecting your pantry goods from pests. Look for plastic or glass solutions instead of other materials and always try the lid before you buy.
* Make it a total kitchen effort. Your work to protect the cleanliness of your pantry will be more successful if you are vigilant about your entire kitchen. This means routinely emptying trash receptacles, clearing crumbs from countertops, scrubbing the floors and running the dishwasher.
* Inspect your packages closely. You can protect yourself from rolling out the red carpet for these pests by closely inspecting your food packages before tossing them in your cart. Avoid purchasing any package that shows a hint of damage.
[Headline: 4 ways to host a no-hassle holiday]
1. Cater in
Companies like Boston Market specialize in preparing complete holiday spreads with classics that belong on every holiday table. You don’t have to sacrifice a quality, delicious meal to gain sanity this holiday season.
2. Host a potluck
Loved ones will be more than happy to pitch in to help you make this gathering great.
3. Make a statement with a few decorative touches
Wrap a strand of twinkle lights into garland or place the lights into glass vases to create a cozy look in any room. Place ornaments into a large vase for a pop of color at the dining table.
4. Give your guests a memorable time with games
Brainstorm lighthearted games that large groups can play, such as charades. If you don’t own many games yourself, ask around to see what your friends and family can bring.
[Headline: Deck the Halls with Cherry Preserves]
The rich fruitiness of sweet cherries helps blunt the sharp edge of fresh cranberries. Cooked together, these anthocyanin powerhouses make a great holiday staple that can be used as a base ingredient for cocktails, a glaze for meats, a spread for sandwiches, a topping for yogurt and more.
* Equal portions fresh cranberries and dried/frozen Northwest cherries
* 1/4 cup water or pomegranate juice
* Optional: 4 –2” peels fresh ginger, 3 tbsp citrus zest, black pepper, fresh herbs, raspberries
In medium-sized sauce pot, add 1/4 cup water and cranberries. Bring to simmer, stirring occasionally and more frequently as the sauce begins to form. Add sweet cherries, continue stirring. Once reduced, remove from heat, incorporate other flavorings if desired.
Cool for 30 mins – 1 hour before transferring to wider, shallow pan to speed cooling. Once cooled, refrigerate in air-tight container for up to 2 weeks.
[Headline: Where does your holiday turkey come from?]
Where does your holiday turkey come from? With sustainability and farm-to-table becoming the norm in the food industry, it's a question more and more people are asking. Whether it's grass-fed beef, antibiotic-free chicken or organic produce, people are increasingly aware of the food they put on their family's dinner table. They want to know how and where the animals were raised and how the vegetables were grown, because knowing what goes into the food you eat — and what doesn't — brings peace of mind.
At Shady Brook Farms, turkeys are raised with care on family farms. The farmers, some of whom have been raising turkeys for generations, are the company's heart and soul.
[Headline: Where does your holiday turkey come from?]
Where does your holiday turkey come from? With sustainability and farm-to-table becoming the norm in the food industry, it's a question more and more people are asking. Whether it's grass-fed beef, antibiotic-free chicken or organic produce, people are increasingly aware of the food they put on their family's dinner table.
At Honeysuckle White, turkeys are raised with care on family farms. Customers in some areas can actually trace where their turkey was raised by entering a code that's on the package into a field on the Honeysuckle White website. They can learn about the farmer who raised the turkey and see the farm where it was raised.
[Headline: 3 key ingredients for healthier holiday baking]
Registered dietitian Dawn Jackson Blatner shares three ingredients for better holiday baking:
High-quality eggs: Eggland’s Best eggs have double the Omega-3s compared to ordinary eggs, which are healthier for recipes and enhance emulsifying qualities during baking. Plus, they have 25 percent less saturated fat, six times more vitamin D, 10 times more vitamin E and more than double the vitamin B12, so you’ll improve the nutritional profile overall.
Dark chocolate: Skip milk or white chocolate and use dark chocolate, which is lower in sugar content and contains important antioxidants that are good for your heart.
Whole-wheat flour: Whole-wheat flour options boost fiber. For cookies with a more delicate texture, consider using a finely milled whole-wheat pastry flour.
[Headline: Can too much potassium be harmful?]
For patients with hyperkalemia, controlling potassium levels is important. This might require replacing high-potassium foods such as bananas, melons and oranges with low-potassium foods such as apples, grapes and berries.
Here are other considerations to think about:
*Impact of salt substitutes. While salt substitutes have their appeal for many reasons, some carry very high levels of potassium. Before using such a substitute in meal preparation, it is important to thoroughly read the label.
*Various treatment options exist. Doctors can speak with you about potential treatments including water pills and potassium binders. Only your doctor will know the best choice for you.
*Supplements and remedies. Many herbal remedies or supplements could create more problems because of their high potassium content. Patients should consult their healthcare provider before taking any supplement or remedy to learn more about how the solution could impact their potassium levels.
[Headline: A mobile man cave for football tailgate season]
An offensive line — of vehicles: A big tailgate party does not require a big vehicle: While a hatchback or pickup truck is a plus, most important is to have wheels that can deliver the goods. One fresh take is for tailgaters to team up with a caravan of cars for a multi-stationed tailgate.
Put in the QB of TVs: A TV is vital for the tailgating entertainment. There are many options for outdoor TVs that provide for great pictures even in the sun’s glare and in extreme temperatures. Be sure to test out the picture in advance so it is ready to go come kick-off.
Linebacker-like power: The most critical factor of all in making a powered-up tailgate is the power source itself. That’s where a generator like the Powerhorse Portable Inverter Generator from Northern Tool + Equipment comes in.
[How to Eat Like a Local in El Salvador]
Foodies with adventurous palates might be tempted to vacation in El Salvador just to enjoy its array of delectable local dishes.
Follow these tips for experiencing the destination’s top attractions and eating like a local along the way.
The capital of San Salvador: Start your trip in the capital city and explore fusion-focused restaurants representing Spanish, Mediterranean and American cuisine. On the second Sunday of November, experience the country’s largest National Pupusa Day festival.
Joya de Cerén: A visit to El Salvador’s UNESCO World Heritage archaeological park offers travelers a history lesson on Salvadoran culture and cuisine.
The Flowers Route: This roadway guides visitors through the Apaneca-llamatepec mountains, showcasing several artisan towns. Catch the weekend food festival in Juayua.
La Libertad Coast: This internationally known surfing destination is also a favorite among seafood connoisseurs who feast on the daily catch at its top eateries.
For more information visit www.elsalvador.travel.
[Headline: The perfect cup of coffee in 4 steps]
A cup of steaming rich coffee is one of life’s simple pleasures. To achieve better java at home, give these tips a try.
Step 1: Choose the freshest beans. Glossy beans are a tell-tale sign of freshness.
Step 2: Don’t scoop, but weigh your beans. A food scale will get you the most consistent results.
Step 3: Unlock the magic of spices. Before brewing, add Simply Organic Pre-Brew Spice Blends to your ground coffee beans and your coffee will be infused with a delicious, more distinctive flavor and aroma, thanks to the handcrafted blend of organic spices that goes into every jar. For information, visit SimplyOrganic.com.
Step 4: Not too hot! When using a French press, keep water between 195 and 205 degrees. If using tap water, filter it first.
[Headline: Boost your fat IQ with these tips]
Here are two things that can help you boost your fat IQ and live a healthier life.
* Recognize your hang-ups. Recognize where your weak spots are and take steps to correct them. Consider a meal delivery service that's both healthy and convenient, pack nutritious snacks in your carry-on or go for a walk when the urge to eat a cookie strikes. Change up your routine once or twice a week.
* Be open and honest with your doctor. If you're serious about managing your weight, you want a primary care doctor who will help uncover your personal obstacles and work with you on a plan to reach your goals. Physicians like those in the MDVIP network have more time to consult patients on diet and exercise and provide the coaching and follow-up they need to be successful.
[Headline: Recipe: Pickled Ginger Onion Relish]
A Datassential survey says the use of pickled onions has grown 191 percent in restaurants and diners in the U.S. in just four years. Try this recipe for Pickled Ginger Onion Relish from the National Onion Association.
Yields: 3 cups
3 cups onions, red, sliced 1/8-inch thick
3/4 cup rice wine vinegar
2 tablespoons honey
1 teaspoon sea salt
1/8 teaspoon ground red pepper
1/2 cup pickled ginger with juices
Place onions into a bowl and cover with icy water for 10 minutes. Drain when ready to use. In a saucepan, heat vinegar, honey, salt and pepper over low heat just until boiling. Remove from heat. Pour over drained onions, mix well. Stir in ginger with juices, mix. Cover and cool to room temperature, stirring occasionally. Place in a covered container and refrigerate at least 24 hours.
[Headline: 3 tips for simple holiday entertaining]
To save time on holiday party planning, focus your efforts on a few star desserts and cocktails, which can easily elevate any party.
1. Prepare cocktails in batches for easy serving. Look to classics like the Old-Fashioned, which features holiday flavors and warm spices.
2. Ditch the expensive holiday decor and florals, and let the desserts serve as your holiday centerpiece. Serve a variety of flavor options with different textures and colors, such as layered trifles, fluffy pies and stacks of cookies and bars.
3. Opt for eye-catching items that will leave your guests thinking you spent hours in the kitchen. A thaw-and-serve pie from Edwards Desserts can elevate any occasion, whether served straight out of the box, or deconstructed into a new holiday dish.
Here are some tips for keeping your sanity while managing your busy lifestyle:
Sneak in a workout: Short bursts of high-intensity exercise, like interval training, can be more effective.
Plan ahead for meals and snacks: Shop for all your weekday meals at the beginning of the week and prep them in bulk ahead of time. Keep ready-made, protein-packed snacks like SeaPak’s On-the-Go Shrimp Cocktail on hand.
Make music part of your routine: If you’re feeling mentally tense or worn out, music’s always a great way to collect yourself or reinvigorate your state of mind.
Schedule some me time: In the middle of your busy schedule, don’t forget to prioritize some time for yourself.
Don't push yourself too hard: If you’re feeling stressed, take some time to evaluate the situation. You might need to ask for help. Be sure to make time for what matters most to you.
[Headline: 3 tips to plan the perfect game day]
Follow this guide and you’ll make this year your best season yet.
* Get creative with your seating. This year give your home that true game-day feel by setting up designated seating for your friends based on team affiliation. You can also build a simple stage to create a stadium seating environment.
* Upgrade your viewing experience. The LG Oled lineup features sophisticated design to complement stunning picture quality. With an Alpha 9 intelligent processor — LG’s most powerful ever — the Oled provides true-to-life images coupled with rich colors, sharpness and depth.
* Have plans for halftime. Halftime is normally downtime so put a little excitement into it. Plan a mini game to take place during halftime, get new food from the kitchen or simply go outside and throw a football around for a while.
[Headline: Forget 'wine rules': 3 unconventional pairings for guys]
The Federalist wines and Dan Dunn, author of American Wino: A Tale of Reds, Whites and One Man's Blues, are on a mission to take the stuffiness out of wine. Some of Dunn's unconventional wine pairings:
* With Elvis’ Christmas Album
“Here Comes Santa Claus” with a red wine blend. Like Jolly Ol’ St. Nick, this North Coast California wine is timeless, big, red and revered.
* With a big juicy burger
Think of a great hamburger like Paul Simon. Both are special on their own, but when paired with the right partner — be it a robust cabernet sauvignon or a spindly, curly-haired tenor from Queens — magic happens.
* With pork
For smoky roasted pork, you can go with a richer, heavier red — say The Federalist Cabernet Sauvignon.
Check out three places germs like to hide, and things you can do to clean up your act.
1. Your dishwashing station: Researchers from the University of Mauritius discovered towels can develop nasty bacteria when used for a month. Grab a clean towel every few days, a new sponge every few weeks.
2. Your food prep surfaces: According to the NSF study, fecal coliform was present on 45 percent of kitchen sinks, 32 percent of countertops and 18 percent of cutting boards. Wash these areas with hot, soapy water before use.
3. Your refrigerator: These tested positive for E.coli, salmonella or listeria 36 percent of the time. Discard food that’s past its prime, and maintain a consistent temperature between 40 and 32 degrees Fahrenheit. When it’s time to replace your fridge, consider the LG InstaView Door-in-Door, designed to maintain the ideal humidity and temperature levels.
[How to create the perfect, four-season outdoor living space]
Creating an outdoor living space will give you an extra "room" to enjoy in all types of weather. Here are some ideas for must-have elements in your perfect outdoor living space.
Using real wood for your deck is the key to creating a natural, beautiful outdoor living space. One great option is Western Red Cedar.
Choose from fire pits, chimeneas or fireplaces.
* Outdoor kitchen
It's essential to be able to cook outside so you won't be stuck in your home's kitchen preparing dinner while your family and friends chat on the deck.
Comfort, durability in all types of weather, and the size (not too big or too small) are prime considerations.
Shelter lets you enjoy it in all types of weather.
The final touch is the yard beyond your deck. Pavers, flowers and shrubs are beautiful additions.
[Headline: A wine with a ‘sea view’]
The playful name of Ca'Marcanda Vistamare, which means "sea view," was inspired by the Tyrrhenian sea breeze, the sun and the cheerful, lighthearted outlook of the Tuscan coast.
Italian coastal innkeepers would use "vistamare" to entice hotel guests, even if their rooms only offered a limited view of the Mediterranean. The vineyards used for Vistamare have a panoramic view of the Tuscan horizon, and their grapes are touched by the salt air and brilliant colors of the Tuscan sea.
Vistamare is fresh and light on the palate, with notes of bergamot, pear and nectarine. Then it shifts toward a more mineral and spicy character, with notes of flint, rosemary and saffron. The wine gets riper in the finish with hints of mango.
Loss of balance, along with dehydration, attention deficits and loss of cognition are symptoms of a condition known as hyponatremia, low salt levels in the blood. The symptoms can occur even with just slight hyponatremia and can have particularly harmful effects for the elderly as the condition is difficult to diagnose. A study presented at an American Society of Nephrology meeting suggests that low-salt diets may be a contributing factor.
According to Dr. Ewout J. Hoorn, PhD, Erasmus Medical Center, Rotterdam, the Netherlands, "Although the complications of hyponatremia are well-recognized in hospitalized patients, this is one of the first studies to show that mild hyponatremia also has important complications in the general population." He added, "Screening for a low sodium concentration in the blood, and treating it when present, may be a new strategy to prevent fractures."
[Headline: Recipe: Zesty Egg Fried Rice Lettuce Wraps]
4 Eggland's Best Eggs (large)
2 tablespoons Sriracha sauce
6 strips lean smoked bacon, chopped
2 cups cooked jasmine rice
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
2 tablespoons low sodium soy sauce
1/3 cup sliced scallion greens
12 leaves Boston/Bibb lettuce
In a medium bowl, whisk eggs and Sriracha together until well combined. In large non-stick skillet, over medium-high heat, cook bacon until crisp. Transfer bacon to plate, leaving drippings in the skillet. When cooled, chop bacon into small pieces. Drizzle the egg mixture into the skillet, stirring as you drizzle. Add bacon, black pepper, rice and soy sauce to skillet and stir-fry 3-4 minutes, or until eggs are set. Stir in scallion tops. Remove from heat. Divide the mixture among the lettuce leaves and serve immediately.
October is National Seafood Month. One of the best ways to keep the world’s waters full of life is to choose certified wild, sustainable seafood.
The Marine Stewardship Council’s blue fish label indicates the product meets sustainability standards. So why pick seafood with this label?
1. It’s better for the oceans. Certified sustainable seafood ensures whole ecosystems remain healthy and thriving with marine life.
2. It’s good for the whole family. Seafood provides nutrients, vitamins and omega-3 fatty acids.
3. It’s a way to drive change with your shopping habits. You’re protecting jobs and preserving coastal communities.
4. It’s available at every price point. Whether you’re looking for healthy, affordable lunch options or celebrating a special occasion, sustainable seafood is a viable option.
5. It’s a way to ensure seafood for generations to come. Consumers have the power to support individuals and organizations committed to protecting our wild oceans.
[Headline: 3 tips for achieving the Danish concept of hygge]
Hygge is a Danish word for the feelings of coziness and contentment often associated with cooler weather. Noa Santos of Homepolish provides three tips so you can master this trend at home.
"There’s nothing more satisfying than coming home to a streamlined space," says Santos, who stresses decluttering doesn't mean de-styling. He recommends LG’s line of matte black stainless-steel appliances for a sleek yet cozy vibe.
Invite the outdoors inside
"Artfully arranged flowers and perfectly placed plants help cement your space as an indoor Eden," says Santos. "The positive psychological benefits aren’t too shabby either. Organic materials like wood and leather work like a charm as well."
It could be a cozy night in for two or a bountiful feast for a crew — togetherness is at the heart of hygge and allows you to show off your home design.
[Headline: Exploring Guadalajara’s Tequila Trail]
Just outside of Guadalajara are sprawling agave fields, a UNESCO World Heritage Site where the world's tequila is produced. Drive past fields of the blue agave plant that stretch out over the rugged, hilly terrain, en route to the town of Tequila.
After visiting the distilleries and purchasing bottles to serve back home, you can peruse smaller shops and stalls for necklaces and earrings crafted using blue agave leaves, agave syrup and figurines made from the obsidian of the nearby volcano.
Guadalajara is the birthplace of tequila, as well as mariachi and charrería, the Mexican rodeo, and offers culture, cuisine and shopping.
For more information, see www.visitguadalajara.com.
[Headline: Tips for tailgating with beef]
Try these 5 beef-friendly tailgating tips.
1. Prep as much as possible at home. This will help you save time and pack less.
2. Check your cooking equipment. Make sure your grill or camp stove is clean and ready. Keep backup propane and stick lighters on hand.
5. Embrace the cast iron skillet. Great for cooking burgers, steaks and one-pan meals. Try a beef stir fry. Cut and marinate meat and veggies at home, toss in the skillet and enjoy!
9. Pack and store everything safely. Raw beef should be at the bottom of the cooler (or in another cooler), packed separately.
10. Serve food in creative, easy-to-hold ways. Use chip bags as a vessel for chili or beef tacos. Skewer steak chunks, veggies and meatballs on short bamboo sticks.
Find tailgating tips and recipes at BeefItsWhatsForDinner.com, funded by farmers and ranchers.
[Headline: Recipe: Caprese Pizza Sandwich]
Here's a delicious sandwich idea your children are sure to love.
1 Arnold Honey Wheat Sandwich Thins Roll
2 tablespoons pizza sauce
4 slices fresh mozzarella
8-10 pepperoni slices
5 basil leaves
Salt and pepper
1. Open Arnold Sandwich Thins Roll and smear the pizza sauce onto the bottom half.
2. Top with fresh mozzarella and add a sprinkle of salt and pepper.
3. Add pepperoni and basil and place the top on the sandwich. Keep refrigerated until ready to eat.
[Headline: Fabulous fall food ideas]
With the onset of fall, new schedules and an invigorating pace, eating nourishing meals is an important way to keep up energy levels. With few having the time to devote to cooking an elaborate meal, a collection of delicious and dependable 30-minute recipes for a quick but satisfying meal can be handy. What else keeps things simple? Having fresh staples such as California table grapes on hand helps brighten up any recipe and fuel up after activities. Try Quinoa Tabbouleh Salad with Grapes, which replaces traditional bulgur with quinoa, or a Mediterranean Pizza using whole-wheat naan instead of a traditional crust. For these recipes and more recipe ideas, visit grapesfromcalifornia.com.
And when it’s time to decorate the table, create a simple but stunning centerpiece with gorgeous black, red and green California grapes. Add fall leaves, mini pumpkins and gourds if desired.
[Headline: What food labels really mean]
Everyone has a right to know what is in their food and where it comes from. Look to these certifications to guide your next shopping trip:
* The Fairtrade certification ensures safe and fair working conditions, prohibits child labor and provides farmers and workers with a fairer price or better wages. Fairtrade products originate in developing and least developed countries.
* By choosing MSC Certified seafood with the MSC blue fish label you are supporting independently certified sustainable fisheries.
* The Responsibly Grown, Farmworker Assured label indicates that the workers who harvested your food are treated with respect, compensated fairly and engaged to identify problems that impact the safety of your food.
* The Non-GMO Project Verified standard is North America’s most rigorous and most reliable standard for GMO avoidance. The best way to avoid consuming GMOs is to look for the butterfly.
For information, visit www.fairtr.de/TruthBehindLabels.
[Understanding complete vs. incomplete proteins]
Not all proteins are created equal; “incomplete” proteins must be combined with other foods to build the nine essential amino acids your body can’t produce on its own. Three other facts to know about the differences:
* Animal-derived products such as cottage cheese, meat and eggs are complete proteins in and of themselves and need not be eaten with other foods to release their full nutritional potential.
* In comparison to animal proteins, plant proteins are not always complete and must be combined with other foods to achieve their full nutritional value (the exceptions are edamame, tofu, tempeh, quinoa, chia and hemp).
* Unlike meat, eggs and fish, cottage cheese is a ready-to-eat complete protein that requires no cooking. When you choose ultra-creamy Muuna Cottage Cheese, for example, you get calcium, potassium, Vitamin A probiotics and — in Muuna’s real fruit-filled varieties — Vitamin C.
More research seems to contradict the notion that we eat too much salt. The latest study appeared in The Lancet medical journal. It found that for the vast majority of people there is no health benefit from a low-salt diet and no harm from the average salt consumption of most people.
The lead scientist working on this study, Dr. Andrew Mente of McMaster University, worked with researchers to monitor the salt intake and health of over 95,000 individuals in 18 countries for an average of eight years. They also monitored associations between sodium and potassium intake and blood pressure and cardiovascular disease and mortality.
They found most people around the world already eat in the healthy range of sodium consumption — between 3,000 and 5,000 mg per day — and that people who consumed salt at the higher end of that range had better health outcomes and fewer incidences of heart attacks.
[Headline: 5 healthy kid-approved lunchbox ideas]
You are what you eat, so it's important to choose your children's lunch foods wisely. These five ideas are wholesome and fun for kids of all ages.
Breakfast for lunch: Pack whole grain cereal with a side of milk, or muffins with secret healthy ingredients like fruit or shredded veggies.
Protein: Try hard-boiling eggs or scrambling and packing in an insulated container. Other foods high in protein include cottage cheese, Greek yogurt, beans and many nuts.
Freeze-dried fruit: Crispy Fruit freeze-dried fruit comes in many single-serving varieties to keep lunchboxes interesting, including banana, apple, pineapple and pear.
Bread alternatives: Instead of bread, use whole-grain tortillas to create wraps, or, whole-wheat waffles as the sandwich ends and fill with peanut butter and banana.
Dip: A little yogurt will encourage kids to gobble up fruits, and low-fat salad dressing or hummus is the perfect pairing for veggie straws.
[Headline: Tips to welcome your party guests]
Here are three ways you can make your party guests feel welcome.
* Be there to greet them. Resolving to stay near the door and welcome each of your guests warmly reduces their concerns of intruding into another person’s home. Greet them warmly and let them know they are welcome.
* Keep your home comfortable. The Champion Momentum Series air conditioner features a Wi-Fi-enabled touch-screen to provide precision comfort and allow you the ability to monitor and control the system from your smartphone, even out by the grill. In addition, its innovative ShadowDrive Sound Reduction system means that your guests will always be able to enjoy their conversations.
* Give them a quick tour. If your guests see the room on the tour, they’ll be more comfortable mingling in that space during the party.
[Headline: Recipe: Chicken Veggie Skewers]
Makes 4 servings
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
Pinch of salt and pepper
1 and 1/2 peppers (yellow, red and green), chopped into bite-sized pieces
2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into bite-sized pieces
In a medium bowl, whisk together olive oil, garlic powder and Italian seasoning, and season with a pinch of salt and pepper. Add bell peppers and chicken and, using tongs, toss until coated. Thread chicken and bell peppers onto skewers. Heat a large grill pan over medium heat. Add skewers to grill pan and cook until chicken is cooked through and peppers are tender, 4 minutes per side. Remove from pan.
Plate skewers and serve with Stouffer's Macaroni & Cheese. For additional ideas and inspiration for cooking with kids, visit Nestle's Balance Your Plate.
[Headline: Tips for bonding with kids over cooking]
Cooking with kids is just plain fun. Everyone likes good food, and being in the kitchen together offers an excellent opportunity to work as a team. Consider these suggestions as you cook with your child.
* Expect messiness. As young kids brush up on motor skills while measuring and mixing, spills, stains and a little waste will be the norm.
* Choose fast, easy options. At least initially, select simple recipes that offer a good chance at success.
* Experience trumps outcome. Some projects may not come out as planned. Share a laugh, discuss what went wrong and try again.
Already bonding with your children over cooking? Consider entering the BEN’S BEGINNERS(TM) contest sponsored by UNCLE BEN’S
Naturally sweet, yet low in sugar
One serving of eight strawberries has only 50 calories and eight grams of sugar.
Bursting with nutrients
Filled with antioxidants, potassium and fiber, strawberries don’t stop there: A single serving has more vitamin C than an orange.
Helps with cognitive function
According to a study in the Annals of Neurology, eating strawberries at least twice per week may delay cognitive aging by two and a half years, which includes improvement in memory and motor function.
Snacks anyone will love
Both kids and adults love a good strawberry snack. From quick and kid-friendly to show-stopping hors d'oeuvres, visit CaliforniaStrawberries.com for snacks perfect for all ages and occasions.
Great for diabetes management
The nutrient-packed berries are a great option for those with diabetes. In fact, the American Diabetes Association lists strawberries as a top superfood for diabetic meal plans.
[Headline: Easy entertaining and recipe tips from celebrity chef Katie Lee]
TV chef and cookbook author Katie Lee offers these tips for easy entertaining.
Consider a buffet or family-style menu
Try veggie burgers or shrimp rolls with new Sara Lee Artesano Bakery Buns and Rolls to kick the flavor up a notch. Have people "Create Your Own" (CYO) with a buffet of toppings.
Prepare your side dishes ahead of time
Any kind of grain salad, such as a quinoa or farro, is an easy, go-to choice.
Hors d’oeuvres are a must
Easy options are cantaloupe wrapped in prosciutto, a cheese plate or a tasty dip.
Cool off with cocktails
Set up a bar area where guests can make their own drinks. Be sure to include non-alcoholic choices.
Smart grilling options
Fresh fish or veggie burgers lighten up the grill.
For recipe tips, visit saraleebread.com.
[Celebrate the season! 3 ways to get your yard party-ready]
Part of the fun of hosting a backyard gathering is taking pride in the yard you’ve worked so hard to maintain. To ensure the grass is green, landscaping looks neat, and bugs and rodents stay away, consider these tips.
Create a lush mix of plants. Why not go all out this season by investing in a wealth of gorgeous, colorful blooms and lush emerald foliage? Then take care of your investments with Miracle-Gro potting mix and plant food.
Show off a carpet of green. Make your blades greener in as few as three days by applying micronutrient-rich Scotts Green Max Lawn Food.
Repel the bugs. Discourage mosquitoes and gnats by lighting citrus-scented Ortho Home Defense Perimeter Protection Repellent Candles, or adding several drops of spearmint or lemongrass oil to unscented or beeswax candles.
[Headline: The greatest salt myths]
After more than a century of debate over the role of salt in human health, the overwhelming medical evidence makes it clear that reducing salt in the U.S. diet may pose a greater risk to many consumers. Consider these common myths about salt:
Myth 1: Americans eat more salt than ever
Military records from the early 1800s up to WWII show that the average soldier was consuming between 6,000 and 6,800 mg/day of sodium. We eat about half of that today, and that number has remained consistent since WWII.
Myth 2: Salt consumption leads to hypertension
According to Dr. Jan Staessen, head of the Research Unit on Hypertension at the University of Leuven in Belgium, “The evidence relating blood pressure to salt intake does not translate into an increased risk of incident hypertension in people consuming a usual salt diet.”
A new review of nearly 30 published studies confirms that sweet cherries can help tackle some big wellness issues. Sweet cherries can play a part in improving these five common concerns:
1. Studies have shown that eating sweet cherries can increase antioxidant capacity and reduce oxidative stress, bringing the body back into a healthy balance.
2. Research shows that the anti-inflammatory properties of cherries can have the same effect as ibuprofen.
3. When eating sweet cherries was combined with prescribed medicine, specifically allopurinol, the risk of a gout attack was 75 percent lower.
4. A good night’s sleep is essential to functioning at top form during the day. With sweet cherries, you have a reliable source of tryptophan, serotonin and melatonin.
5. Studies point to a link between the consumption of sweet cherries and a lowering of blood pressure, both systolic and diastolic measures.
[Headline: 4 ways gardening is good for you]
In this digital world, there's an app for just about everything. People are interacting with technology more than they do with the world. But there's a cure for tech overload: Gardening.
Here are four surprising ways gardening is good for you.
Locally grown food is healthy. What's more local than your own backyard? Locally grown veggies are picked at the peak of ripeness, full of flavor and freshness.
It counts as a workout. Whether you’re pulling weeds or lifting your Wave petunia planters, research shows you'll burn 200-400 calories per hour!
Gardening combats loneliness. Gardening gives us a sense of community. Start a weekly cooking group with friends using ingredients from your gardens! Get started with one of Burpee's favorite recipes at www.burpeehomegardens.com.
[Headline: 3 common mistakes when planning a DIY deck]
While building a deck on your home isn’t difficult, it’s helpful to understand some potential pitfalls. Three common mistakes made by inexperienced homeowners:
* Choosing the wrong side of your house. Are you most apt to enjoy a full-on sunny spot, or a shady haven on a hot day? Do you seek privacy, an optimal view or a chance to socialize with neighbors?
* Not researching your optimal layout. Think beyond aesthetics and consider how you’ll use the space. Where will furniture be placed? What will the foot traffic patterns be?
* Not opting for real wood. Wood can be less expensive than composite and just as easy to maintain while recouping greater resale value. Western Red Cedar, a knotty pine species offered by RealCedar.com, inherently resists rot, decay, shrinkage and insects even as it weathers over time into a silver patina.
[Headline: Ways to make family meals more enjoyable]
With our busy lifestyles, finding time to meet with our families to enjoy meals can be a major challenge. Some tips from actress, host, food lover and mom of two Courtney Lopez:
1. Focus on family. “No phones at the table. Mealtime should be a time to unplug and focus on loved ones.”
2. Make it a team effort. “Getting kids involved in the kitchen could help develop healthy habits for the future, plus it’s more fun when everyone is involved. Give them simple, safe tasks to keep them busy."
3. Try new things. “Comfort food can be a great thing, but so can the sense of adventure that comes from trying new dishes. Eggland’s Best eggs can be incorporated into an endless spectrum of family-friendly recipes, like a Southwestern Quinoa and Egg Breakfast Bowl. EB eggs are the only eggs good enough for my family meals with superior nutrition like 25 percent less saturated fat and 6 times more vitamin D than ordinary eggs."
[Headline: 5 simple tips to make feeding your pet fun]
Try these pet mealtime tips:
1. Create a mealtime routine: Whether they get fed first thing in the morning or as small meals throughout the day, your pooch will quickly catch on.
2. Purchase a puzzle bowl or toy: Puzzle bowls and food dispensing toys stimulate your dog’s mind during mealtime.
3. Provide your dog with a meal that gives them variety: New varieties like Bacon & Steak Flavored dry dog food from Kibbles ‘n Bits offer its signature combination of crunchy kibble and tender bits.
4. Turn mealtime into a dance party: Play a song before each mealtime to signal when it’s time for your dog to eat.
5. Make it a training opportunity: Using commands like “sit” and “wait” before allowing your dog to eat helps them practice impulse control and good manners.
To learn more, visit www.kibblesnbits.com.
[Headline: Set your child up for success this school year]
On that hectic first day of school, it’s easy to overlook the most important meal of the day, especially if sleepy, grumpy kids wake up claiming they’re not hungry.
Don’t let kids opt out when you can opt for easy. Fuel them with a protein-packed breakfast, like a peanut butter and banana smoothie, which is delicious, nutritious and ready in minutes. Mooala’s Original Bananamilk makes a great smoothie base, since it’s organic, plant-based (made from real bananas), dairy-free and has no added sugar.
Kids and teens who eat breakfast are more focused, perform better in school and make healthier food choices.
Additional tips to make a smooth transition back to school:
* Start the bedtime schedule a week before school begins.
* Involve the whole family in meal planning for the week.
* Designate a quiet area as a homework station.
* Use an app to create a family calendar.
* Schedule annual medical exams.