Posts

Perfect Pumpkin Recipes

Perfect Pumpkin Recipes To Use Well After the Fall Season

Pumpkin is a harvest classic and shows up in many iconic fall dishes. But just because pumpkin is frequently used in autumn dishes doesn’t mean you can’t use it later in the year as well. Here are a few ways to make use of this healthy vegetable in baked goods throughout the year, even in some dishes that might not be quite as healthy, but just as delicious. Keep reading for three Pumpkin recipes to enjoy well past the fall season.

Pumpkin Rolls

Pumpkin Roll Photo from Food Network

This take on a dessert classic is perfect for a rich treat the whole family will love. Pumpkin rolls incorporate pumpkin puree into a layer of pumpkin cake, spread with a layer of ice cream, and then rolled to create a swirl in the center of the dessert. It’s great for the holidays, but there’s no reason you can’t indulge in this sweet year-round.

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies Photo from POPSUGAR

Chocolate chip cookies are a classic dessert that is sure to please every palette. Adding pumpkin and a bit of pumpkin pie spice takes this common cookie jar staple and adds a bit of a harvest flavor to it. Experiment with the spices if you’re not a fan of pumpkin pie to find a combination that’s perfect for your personal tastes.

Pumpkin-Parmesan Biscuits

Pumpkin-Parmesan Biscuits Photo From Lake Lure Cottage Kitchen

Not all pumpkin foods have to be sweet to be utterly delicious. Parmesan can add the perfect savory taste to accompany the pumpkin in this hearty side. The flavor pairing is complex but goes perfectly with the many hearty main dishes of winter.

Before doing any baking with pumpkin, make sure to account for the high water content of this ingredient. Pumpkins are 90 percent water, so be sure to properly prepare your pumpkin ingredients before incorporating into any baked good, or it might throw off the moisture content of your final product.

Even if pumpkin is typically used for fall classics, it can be an excellent ingredient to make use of year-round that adds excellent depth of flavor to many baked goods. What are your thoughts on these Pumpkin recipes? How will you make use of this unique vegetable in your future baking?

avocado mayo recipes

Celebrate Avocado Month with Better Body Avocado Oil Mayo

When it comes to describing mayonnaise, the words exciting, innovative, or even flavorful have never been used…..until now. Say hello to a new, exciting and flavorful new mayonnaise, Better Body Avocado Oil Mayo. It’s everything you love about the taste of avocado for a creamier, more flavorful mayo spread. June is Avocado Month, and what better time than now to celebrate enjoying better sandwiches, potato salads, and the freshest, tastiest sauces and dressings thanks to this superfood.

Better Body Avocado Oil Mayo is available in three flavor varieties, the original Avocado Oil Mayo, Avocado Oil Mayo With Chipotle and Lime, and Avocado Oil Mayo With Lime. All three varieties are Non-GMO, Keto friendly, gluten-free, and Soy and Canola free. We are happy to share some great recipes to show how these Better Body Avocado Oil Mayo varieties can make your favorite meals even more flavorful.

Avocado Mayo Dill Dip

½ cup Sour Cream
½ cup BBF Avocado Mayo
1 Tablespoon dried dill weed
1 Tablespoon dried parsley
½ teaspoon celery salt
Combine all ingredients into a bowl and stir until combined. Refrigerate dip for at least one hour. Serve and enjoy with your favorite vegetables.

Elote – Mexican Street Corn


4 ears of corn
8 Tablespoons BBF Avocado Mayo Lime
⅓ cup cotija cheese (feta or fine grate parmesan work as well)
2 limes
Chili powder
Grill or boil your ears of corn. Once corn is cooked, spread a bit of mayo all over each ear of corn, about 2 tablespoons each. Scoop the cotija cheese generously on the corn, making sure it covers all sides. Sprinkle with a little bit of the chili powder and lime juice. Serve.

Sweet Potato Salad

Salad
4 medium-sized sweet potatoes – Peeled and chopped
1 large red onion- chopped
3-4 Tablespoons of BBF Avocado oil
Salt and pepper
1 can Black beans- Drained and rinsed
1 yellow bell pepper- chopped
1 orange bell pepper- chopped
1 cup fresh cilantro- chopped

Dressing
1-2 fresh Jalapenos
Juice of 2 limes
1 clove of garlic
2 Tablespoons BBF Avocado Mayo Chipotle lime flavor
⅓ cup BBF Avocado oil
Salt and pepper to taste
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Place chopped sweet potatoes and onion on a baking sheet, drizzle with oil and season with salt and pepper. Mix around til evenly coated. Cook until sweet potatoes are tender. Place all of the salad ingredients into a large bowl. In a food processor or blender, combine all of the dressing ingredients. Pulse until combined. Drizzle the dressing over the salad and mix around. Serve and enjoy.

Avocado Mayo with Chipotle & Lime BLT

2 slices of bread
4 slices of bacon
2 lettuce leaves, romaine or red leaf
2 slices of tomato
1 Tbsp BBF Avocado Oil Mayo with Chipotle & Lime
Cook the bacon to your desired doneness. (I love mine crispy) place on a paper towel when done cooking to absorb the excess oil. Spread the Chipotle Lime mayo on both slices of bread. Top with tomato slices, lettuce, and bacon.

If you’re ready for more delicious meals, get a 28oz jar of any of the Better Body Avocado Oil Mayo flavors for $17.48 each on www.betterbodyfoods.com.

It’s Easy Eating Green: Explore Cuisine St. Patrick’s Day Pasta Recipes

We know when it comes to celebrating the luckiest day of the year, it’s usually done with cocktails, but we’re here to tell you, enjoying a delicious plate of a delicious pasta is another great way to honor the greenest holiday. All Explore Cuisine products are vegan, gluten-free, non-GMO and jam-packed with nutrients. While they may not be Irish, these Explore Cuisine pastas, made with Green Lentil, Edamame, and Mung Bean, are actually green. Ready to try these Explore Cuisine St. Patrick’s Day pasta recipes?

Free of artificial colors, Explore Cuisine integrates beans, peas, lentils, and rice to provide you with nourishing meals which are easy, quick, colorful, and simply delicious. The following Explore Cuisine St. Patrick’s Day pasta recipes include two pesto dishes and a pasta salad.

Green Lentil Penne with Deconstructed Pesto

1 package Explore Cuisine Green Lentil Penne – cooked, drained
2 T. olive oil
3 garlic cloves, sliced thin
A handful fresh basil leaves, roughly torn
salt and red chili flakes to taste
3 T. pine nuts, toasted
Parmesan cheese (optional)
Heat oil in a small sauté pan. Add garlic and cook one minute. Toss penne with garlic oil. Gently fold in torn basil. Season with salt and chili flakes. Garnish with pine nuts. Add cheese if desired.

Explore Cuisine Super Green Pasta Salad

1 7oz Explore Cuisine Edamame Spaghetti
4 cups spinach (finely sliced & packed)
2 spring onions (finely sliced)
2 cups cherry tomatoes (halved)
1/2 tsp sea salt
Green Tahini Sauce
1 cup fresh basil (packed)
1/4 cup tahini
1/4 cup cashews
1/2 cup water (the pasta cooking water)
1/2 cup lemon juice (3 lemons)
4 cloves garlic
1 tsp sea salt
freshly cracked black pepper (to taste)
1/4 cup brazil nut parmesan (to top)
Cook pasta for 4 minutes, then drain and rinse briefly under cold water. Be sure to reserve 1/2 cup cooking water – it’ll make a huge difference to your sauce! While the pasta cooks, make up the Brazil nut parmesan by blitzing all ingredients in a blender until crumbly. Once your pasta is cooked, make the sauce by blending all sauce ingredients (including your reserved pasta cooking water) until smooth. Place the pasta back in the pan and turn the element onto a low heat. Add the sauce and spinach, cooking for just a minute or two until the spinach it very lightly wilted but still vibrant. Finally, mix through the tomatoes and spring onions and then remove from heat, (this maintains all the nutritional benefits of the raw vegetables while lightly heating them). Plate your pasta into bowls, adding 1 tbsp of parmesan to each plus cracked black pepper and extra sea salt to taste. **Recipe courtesy of Recipe by Buffy Ellen of begoodorganics**

Organic Edamame and Mung Bean Fettuccine in a Light Pesto Sauce

7 oz. Explore Cuisine Edamame and Mung Bean Fettuccine – cooked and drained
2 large yellow squashes, peeled into ribbons with a peeler
3.5 oz. pecans – peeled & halved
1/2 cup pomegranate seeds
3 oz. pine nuts

LIGHT PESTO SAUCE
1 large bunch of fresh basil
2 cloves garlic
2 oz. olive oil
2 tbsp pine nuts
1/2 tsp coarse sea salt

Peel skin from garlic cloves, and chop into big chunks. Using a food processor, pulse basil, garlic, and nuts several times until finely chopped. Add the salt and olive oil, pulse until blended. Pesto may be thick, so add more olive oil for a looser consistency. Lightly toast the pecans, pomegranate seeds and pine nuts in a skillet. Mix the fettuccine with the sauce, gently fold in the remaining ingredients. Serve immediately.

What are your thoughts on these Explore Cuisine St. Patrick’s Day pasta recipes?

National Spaghetti Day – Gluten Free Version (it’s pasta-ble!)

Although you may be completely preoccupied with the current snowstorm, today is January 4th, and you know what that means? National Spaghetti Day!!! If you’re like me, finding a gluten-free pasta that doesn’t taste like it is missing gluten and can hold its weight is hard. There are so many brands out there, it’s like kissing a ton of GF frogs to find the one wheatless carb Prince. Well, my Prince in noodle armor is Explore Cuisine. Explore Cuisine offers delicious spaghettis (and pennes, and lasagna noodles) made from ingredients like chickpeas, lentils, black beans, edamame, and more.

I am thankful for brands like this because you don’t feel like you’re missing out when it comes to pasta dishes. But I am also a label reader. So seeing that it is organic, non-GMO, vegan, gluten-free, and gives you a serving of protein, what better way to indulge without the guilt on National Spaghetti Day. Find me a glutinous pasta that can do all of that.

I am such a major fan of the Explore Cuisine Black Bean Spaghetti. Who says pasta has to come in one color? To be honest, when I purchased it I didn’t think I would like the taste as much because…….black bean pasta! I mean I love black beans…over rice. However, when it comes to GF foods, I like to try everything once so I can speak on it. But surprisingly, I wound up loving the flavor as a spaghetti pasta! The black bean flavor was not overwhelming and added a nice element of taste with my spaghetti sauce. It became one of my fave pasta go-to’s. And while I am not totally committed to it yet, I can be vegan-ish, and this line of vegan pastas really help for when I want to Carbe Diem!

Since it is a snow day and National Spaghetti Day, I like to cook even more because I am home and I eat. It’s what I do. You might not have a box of Explore Cuisine pasta in your cabinets (of which I highly suggest you stock up), but for those of you that do (or will), here’s a couple of good recipes for you to try –

Simple Vegan Chickpea Spaghetti

1 box Explore Cuisine Chickpea Spaghetti
1/4 cup nutritional yeast (optional)
1 cup organic pasta sauce
Cook the spaghetti until soft according to the packet directions. Drain the water from the pasta, and stir in the pasta sauce. Add more if you like more sauce. Serve in bowls and then sprinkle the nutritional yeast on each one. Season with salt and extra nutritional yeast if desired.

Southwestern Black Bean Spaghetti

Recipe and Image Credit: Lee Tilghman (Lee From America)
Serves 1 person
Preparation 30 minutes + 10 minutes cooking

1/4 box Explore Cuisine Black Bean Spaghetti
1/2 zucchini spiralized into “noodles”
1/4 Red Bell Pepper
2 handfuls Baby Spinach
1/4 cucumber
1/4 cup corn (canned in water works great- just rinse them)
1/4 avocado mashed with fresh organic lemon juice
1 tbsp. vegan cheese (I used Leaf Cuisine Plain Cream Cheese) pumpkin seeds + dill for garnish
Start by boiling a big pot of water for your black bean spaghetti. Once boiling, add the spaghetti and let cook for 6 minutes.
Once done, remove from heat, rinse under cool water and set aside.

Prep your veggies! Finely dice your cucumber, bell pepper, mash your avocado, spiralize your zucchini. Next, add a spicy adobo chipotle sauce to your noodles and zucchini noodles. Combine the ancho and guajillo chiles in a large bowl and add plenty of cold water to cover. Let them soak until soft, about 30 minutes. Place the soaked chiles in a blender along with the ginger, cumin, salt, and pepper. Blend until very smooth. Stop the motor a few times to scrape down the sides with a spatula and give things a stir, just to make sure everything’s getting puréed. Don’t be tempted to add liquid—you want the final sauce to be thick. Scrape the purée into a small bowl if you plan to use it soon, or into a jar with a tight-fitting lid if you want to save it for later. It’ll keep in the fridge for up to 5 days, or in the freezer for 3 months. Add a few handfuls of baby spinach to a big ‘ol bowl. Add some noodles, guac, then add cucumber, red bell pepper, vegan cheese, pumpkin seeds, and freshly chopped dill!

Explore Cuisine and their awesome pasta varieties are also oh-so-perfect for National Gluten-Free Day on January 13th! Enjoy!

**P.S. I need to know when it is National Lasagna Day because I will definitely be making my lasagna with these Explore Cuisine Green Lentil Lasagna Noodles! What spaghetti dish are you enjoying on this snowy National Spaghetti Day?

Here’s How to Celebrate National Chocolate Cake Day

While we never need an excuse to indulge in a slice or two of chocolate cake, the upcoming National Chocolate Cake Day is the perfect reason to enjoy a slice or two in celebration of this most decadent of desserts. That’s right, on Friday, January 27th, two days from now, you are obligated to enjoy the sinful pleasures of chocolate cake. So without further adieu, in celebration of National Chocolate Cake Day, here are original recipes from Epicurious Wine, Veestro, and Terra’s Kitchen. We invite you to try out one or all of these delicious recipes. Here’s a great tip: To make your National Chocolate Cake Day incredibly fluffy, use sparkling water in your cake batter! We love using Sparkling Ice Essence of sparkling waters, an unsweetened, zero-calorie alternative with no artificial colors or preservatives. We promise each bite will be light as air.

Epicurious Wine’s “Darkest Chocolate Cake with Red Wine Glaze”

YIELD: Makes 10 servings

For cake:
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, cut into pieces, plus more for pan
1/3 cup all-purpose flour, plus more for pan
8 ounces bittersweet chocolate (at least 70% cacao), chopped
1 cup sugar
4 large eggs
3/4 teaspoons kosher salt
Preheat oven to 325°F. Lightly butter and flour pan. Heat chocolate, sugar, and 1 cup butter in a heatproof bowl set over a saucepan of simmering water (bowl should not touch water), stirring, until chocolate is almost completely melted, about 3 minutes; remove from heat and continue to stir until chocolate is completely melted. Let this National Chocolate Cake Day cool completely. Using an electric mixer on medium speed, add eggs to chocolate mixture 1 at a time, beating to blend after each addition. Beat until mixture has a mousse-like consistency. Reduce speed to low and add salt and 1/3 cup flour; mix until smooth. Scrape batter into prepared pan; smooth top. Bake cake until top is firm and edges are slightly darkened, 55–65 minutes (rely on visual cues; a tester inserted into cake’s center will come out clean before the cake is truly done). Transfer pan to a wire rack and let the cake cool completely in pan before turning out.

Glaze and assembly:

8 ounces bittersweet chocolate (at least 70% cacao), finely chopped
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1/2 cup Epicurious Cabernet Sauvignon
Special equipment:
9″ springform pan
Heat chocolate, butter, and salt in a heatproof bowl set over a saucepan of simmering water (bowl should not touch water), stirring, until chocolate and butter are melted about 5 minutes. Whisk in powdered sugar. Meanwhile, bring wine just to a boil in a small saucepan. Remove chocolate mixture from heat and whisk in wine; let cool until slightly thickened and a rubber spatula leaves a trail in the mixture when stirring, 8–10 minutes. Set cake on a wire rack set over a rimmed baking sheet. Pour glaze over cake and spread it across the top and over the edges with an offset spatula. Let cake stand at room temperature until glaze is set, 2–3 hours. Cake can be made and glazed 2 days ahead. Chill. Bring to room temperature before serving.

Veestro’s SuperFood Chocolate Cake

1 1/4 cups cooked amaranth
1 cup cane sugar
1/3 cup good cocoa powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1 cup filtered water
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/3 cup apple sauce
1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
Combine all ingredients and mix until smooth and well incorporated. Place in a cake pan and bake at 350 for 15-20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the middle comes out dry.

Terra’s Kitchen Bundt Cake Recipe

2 cups cake flour, plus more for dusting
2/3 cup high-quality cocoa powder, plus more for dusting
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, plus more for greasing the pan, room temperature
1 1/4 cups brown sugar
4 large eggs, room temperature
1 1/4 cups sour cream
5 tablespoons cold brewed coffee
Butter Coffee Pour Over (recipe to follow)

Preheat the oven to 350°F. Generously grease a Bundt pan with butter (we used a heart-shaped Bundt for Valentine’s Day). Set aside. In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt. Set aside. In a standing mixer, fitted with the paddle attachment, add the butter and sugar. Beat on medium speed until the mixture is smooth and light in texture (about 5 minutes). Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well and scraping down the bowl after each addition. Add the sour cream and coffee and mix until combined. Gradually add the dry JUST until incorporated. Pour the batter into the prepared Bundt and bake until the center of cake springs back when touched and a skewer inserted near the center comes out clean (about 45-50 minutes). Remove the cake from the oven and pour Butter Coffee Pour Over mixture over the hot cake. Let cool completely in the pan on a wire rack. Release the sides and bottom of the cake from the pan with a narrow metal spatula or knife. Invert the pan onto a plate or cake stand. Remove the pan and dust with cocoa powder or powdered sugar before serving.

Butter Coffee Pour Over (Makes 1 ¼ cups)
1/4 cup water
1/4 cup brewed dark roast coffee
1/2 cup butter
1/4 cup sugar
Add ingredients to a small saucepan over low heat, stirring until all the sugar has dissolved. Set aside and allow to cool slightly.

We’re sure one of these decadent chocolate cake recipes will help you celebrate National Chocolate Cake Day properly. We know our favorite (all of them), which chocolate recipe is your favorite?

Summer Loving: Community Coffee Mocha Vanilla Iced Coffee K-Cups

The weather is finally, and very slowly increasing to warmer levels, which means it will soon be time for sipping cool, refreshing drinks on those hot days. While many may opt for smoothies, lemonade, and refreshingly tropical cocktails, coffee fanatics will be very happy to know about the latest Iced K-Cup flavor launch from Community Coffee. The new Community Coffee Mocha Vanilla Iced Coffee blend is a sweet, light roast with a medium-full body, and a medium brightness.

Mocha Vanilla Iced

The Community Coffee Mocha Vanilla Iced Coffee is a delicious blend of chocolate mocha and creamy French Vanilla coffee, specially made to enjoy over ice. Available in 12-count, single-serve K-Cup pods, the Community Coffee Mocha Vanilla Iced Coffee is sweetened with cream for an indulgent iced coffee treat, and the other blends from Community coffee are made with 100% select Arabica beans.

Iced Coffee Home

Check out some great recipes you can create with the Community Coffee Mocha Vanilla Iced Coffee K-Cups:

Iced Coconut Cream

Community coffee Iced Coconut Cream

Make a 6oz serving of Mocha Vanilla Iced Coffee
2 tbsp Coconut Cream
2 tbsp sugar
Rim cup with orange slice
Dip in coconut flakes
Pour over ice into a non-glass container

Brown Sugar & Cinnamon

Community coffee Brown Sugar & Cinnamon

Make a 6oz serving of Mocha Vanilla Iced Coffee
2 tbsp sweetened condensed milk
2 tbsp brown sugar
Pour over ice into a non-glass container
Top with whipped cream
Sprinkle with cinnamon

A box of 12-count, single-serve Community Coffee Mocha Vanilla Iced Coffee K-Cup pods retails for $8.49 and can be purchased on www.communitycoffee.com.

Celebrating National Grilled Cheese Sandwich Day with Sara Lee Artesano Bread

You know the old saying, “The best thing since sliced bread”, what if the best thing is a new sliced bread. We’re counting down the days until National Grilled Cheese Sandwich Day (April is Grilled Cheese Month but National Grilled Cheese Sandwich Day is officially on April 12th) with delicious anticipation. There’s no denying that an amazing grilled cheese sandwich can cure your ills, bring you an untold amount of joy, and satisfy you like nothing else, so what better time to celebrate National Grilled Cheese Sandwich Day than with the new Sara Lee Artesano Bread.

Sara Lee Artisano Bread

The newest addition to the Sara Lee Bread family is a thick sliced, Artisan style bread with a golden crust that is dusted with a bit flour right before being packaged. The soft Artesano slices boast a rich and distinctly creamy flavor,  has no artificial flavors, colors or high-fructose corn syrup, and has a mouthwateringly soft texture that makes it perfect for memorable grilled cheese sandwiches. We just so happen to have a few momentous Sara Lee Artesano Bread grilled cheese sandwiches for you to try that are perfect for breakfast, lunch or as a snack.

Aloha Pork Grilled Cheese

Sandwich:
2 slice of Sara Lee Artesano Bread Style Bread
pulled pork – one portion from pork recipe
¼ cup tangy BBQ sauce
4 oz Hawaiian chili pepper Havarti cheese
1 grilled pineapple ring
2 tbs butter at room temperature

Slow Cooker Pork:
4lb Boston butt roast (bone-in or out)
1½ tbs Hawaiian sea salt
Hawaiian chili pepper Havarti cheese (sliced)
2 peeled garlic cloves (optional)

Hawaiian BBQ Sauce:
¾ cup unsweetened pineapple juice
½ cup vegetable oil
1/3 cup soy sauce
¼ cup molasses
1 tsp ground ginger
2 peeled garlic cloves (optional)
Combine Hawaiian BBQ sauce ingredients in bowl. Mix and add to slow cooker with pork. Slow cook pork one hour on high and eight hours on low. Shred with two forks. Butter one side of a fresh slice of bread and lay it, butter side down, in a well preheated (medium-low heat) nonstick skillet. Top with one or two slices of spicy Havarti cheese. Pile pulled pork evenly on top of the cheese, gently press the pork into the cheese. Place the pineapple slice(s) on top of the pork, and top with another slice or two of cheese, if desired. Top with remaining slices of buttered bread, butter side up. When the bottom of the bread slice reaches the desired browned color, gently but firmly press down on the top of the sandwich with your spatula, and flip over, being careful not to allow the pork shreds to fall out. Cook until the other side has reached the desired color and the interior is hot throughout.

Farm-To-Table Grilled Cheese

Sara Lee Artesano Farm-To-Table Grilled Cheese

2 slices of Sara Lee Artesano Bread Style Bread
2 tbs unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 tbs canola oil
2 fresh eggs, any size
dash of salt
1 cup fresh arugula, rinsed and dried
3 to 4 oz sliced or shredded Gruyere cheese
cracked black pepper, as desired
Fry the eggs in a preheated (medium heat) nonstick skillet and oil, breaking the yolks after the whites have begun to set, if desired. Cook to desired opaqueness. Set aside and sprinkle with pepper. In the same warm skillet, with the heat slightly reduced, place a slice of bread with one side buttered, butter side down. Top with two or three slices, or about and ounce and a half of shredded Gruyere cheese. Top the cheese with the arugula and cooked eggs. Add more cheese if desired. Top with the remaining slice of bread, one side buttered and facing up. When the bottom slice of bread is browned to your liking, gently press down on the sandwich evenly with your spatula. Gently flip the sandwich, careful not to allow the fillings to spill out. Cook until the second slice of bread reaches the desired degree of brown and cheese is melted.

Zesty Grilled Cheese sandwich

Sara Lee Artesano Zesty Grilled Cheese sandwich

2 slices of Sara Lee Artesano Bread Style Bread
10 – 12 red onion slivers
2 tbs butter, at room temperature
1 tbsp canola oil
3 tbsp aioli
4 oz Fontina, sliced or grated
2 oz spicy pickle slices
red pepper flakes (optional)
Preheat skillet over medium heat, add the oil and allow it to warm. Fry the onion slivers until the tips begin to blacken and the edges char. Lower the heat to medium-low and move the pan to a cool burner for a few moments. Remove onions from pan and set aside. Butter one side of a slice of bread and place it, butter side down, on the skillet. Place skillet back on the medium-low burner. Quickly spoon half of the aioli over the top surface of the bread and add half of the Fontina over the aioli. Scatter the charred onions over top of the cheese and place the pickles evenly over the onions. Cover the pickles with the remaining cheese, spoon over the remaining aioli, sprinkle with pepper flakes and top with remaining buttered bread, buttered side up. When the bottom slice of bread has reached the desired golden brown color, gently press down on the sandwich with your spatula, and carefully flip over. Cook until the second piece of bread has reached the desired color and the interior is heated through and the cheese is melted.

The Sara Lee Artesano Bread comes packaged in a distinct, frosted bag, is available in the bread aisle of grocery and other stores in a 20 oz., 15-slice loaf, for a suggested retail price of $2.99.  We’re already addicted to the homemade taste of this bread and we have a distinct feeling you will be too.

Seasonally Sweet: Wonderful Halos Mandarins

The spring season is finally upon us, even though Mother Nature gifted us with snow and low temperatures on the first day of Spring. Thankfully the temperatures will rise again because we are so very ready for the season of warmer days, blossoming flowers, and delicious citrus flavors…especially the citrus flavors. Over the past few weeks, we’ve found ourselves becoming addicted to the sweet, seedless, and super easy to peel Wonderful Halos Mandarins. These all natural, non-GMO, California mandarins are not only the perfect snack, they’re wonderfully delicious in recipes. Of course, just because they are the right size for kids’ hands doesn’t mean we adults can’t enjoy them (like we’ve been doing).

Wonderful_Halos_www.mylifeonandofftheguestlist.com

The Wonderful Halos mandarins come in two varieties: Clementines, which are available from November to January, and W. Murcott Afourers which are available from February to April, allowing you to enjoy this sweet and healthy alternative to fatty foods fruit, six months out of the year. In celebration of spring, we’re sharing some delicious recipes featuring these sweet little balls of sunshine. Of course you can also enjoy them on their own, especially as they’re only 50 calories and provide 45% of the recommended daily dose of vitamin C.

Wonderful Halos Smoothie Pops

Wonderful Halos Smoothie Pops

Prep: 10 minutes | Time to Table: 5 hours | Serves 12
Wonderful Halos Smoothie Pops with Mango
4 Wonderful Halos mandarins, peeled
1 cup pineapple, diced
½ cup banana, sliced
1 cup mango, diced
1 tablespoon flax meal
¾ cup vanilla yogurt
Extra Wonderful Halos mandarin segments

Wonderful Halos Smoothie Pops with Strawberry
5 Wonderful Halos mandarins, peeled
½ cup pineapple
½ cup banana, sliced
1¼ cups strawberries, sliced
1 tablespoon flax meal
¾ cup vanilla yogurt
Extra Wonderful Halos mandarin segments
For each flavor, combine all ingredients in the pitcher of a blender. Cover and blend on high speed until very smooth, about 2 minutes. Pour into ice pop molds and add extra Wonderful Halos mandarin segments to each pop; insert sticks. Freeze until solid, remove from molds and serve immediately or store in a zip lock bag in the freezer.

Wonderful Halos Prosciutto Bruschetta Bites

Wonderful Halos Prosciutto

Prep: 20 minutes | Time to Table: 45 minutes | Makes 25
1 cup Wonderful Halos mandarin segments, roughly chopped
1 baguette, sliced and toasted olive oil, bowl for brushing baguette
1 teaspoon olive oil
2 cups shallots, sliced
½ teaspoon kosher salt
½ cup white balsamic vinegar
½ cup brown sugar
1 bay leaf
1 teaspoon crushed coriander seeds
13 slices prosciutto
1/3 cup toasted hazelnuts, crushed
1 tablespoon fresh thyme
Heat oven to 375ºF. Slice baguette thinly, brush with olive oil and bake until just toasted. Let cool. Make Wonderful Halos mandarin chutney: In a skillet over medium heat, sauté the shallot and salt in 1 tablespoon olive oil until soft and translucent, about 20 minutes. Add the vinegar, brown sugar, bay leaf and coriander seeds and let simmer until vinegar is reduced and almost gone. Add the Wonderful Halos mandarin segments and stir; remove from heat. Top toasted baguette slices with a ½ slice of prosciutto, a spoonful of the Wonderful Halos mandarin chutney and sprinkle with hazelnuts and thyme.

Spiced Merry Mandarin Cider

Wonderful Halos Spiced Merry Mandarin Cider

Prep: 10 minutes | Time to Table: 20 minutes | Serves 4
1½ cups Wonderful Halos mandarins, juiced
1½ cups apple juice
¼ cup lemon juice
¼ cup water
¼ cup sugar
1 stick of cinnamon
1 star anise
1 teaspoon whole allspice
Thinly sliced Wonderful Halos mandarins for garnish
Juice Wonderful Halos mandarins and lemons. Strain out pulp and set aside. Combine all ingredients in a medium saucepan. Heat over medium-low heat until sugar has dissolved and juices are hot. Serve garnished with a thinly sliced Wonderful Halos mandarin.

Wonderful Halos Mandarin & Quinoa Chicken Bowls

Wonderful Halos Mandarin & Quinoa

Prep: 15 minutes | Time to Table: 30 minutes | Serves 4
4 Wonderful Halos mandarins, peeled and segmented
1 cup quinoa
¾ teaspoon kosher salt
½ teaspoon chili powder
¾ teaspoon ground cumin
2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
2 cups baby spinach
1 15-ounce can black beans, drained
1 small red bell pepper, sliced
1 avocado, pitted and sliced
1 scallion, sliced
Chipotle Lime Vinaigrette
¼ cup lime juice
1 garlic clove, sliced in half
2 tablespoons honey
3 teaspoons adobo sauce, from canned chipotle in adobo
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/3 cup olive oil
Cook quinoa according to package directions and set aside to cool. Heat a grill or grill pan over medium-high heat. Mix together the salt, chili powder, and cumin and rub on chicken. Grill chicken on both sides until cooked through; set aside to cool, then slice.
To make the chipotle lime vinaigrette: Whisk together the lime juice, garlic, honey, adobo sauce, salt and olive oil. Then discard halved garlic cloves. Peel Wonderful Halos mandarins and separate segments. Spoon quinoa into 4 bowls. Top each bowl with some spinach, black beans, bell pepper, avocado, Wonderful Halos mandarin segments and sliced chicken. Drizzle each with vinaigrette and sprinkle with scallions to serve.
Tip: If making ahead for lunch, pack vinaigrette separately so bowl stays fresh

Now that we’ve gotten a variety of family-friendly recipes to enjoy Wonderful Halos, here’s a fun way you and your children can enjoy this kid-friendly fruit this Easter. For some fun Easter crafting, paint your Halos just like you would paint your Easter eggs, or stick bunny ears on your Halos for an easy, cute, and healthy decoration that will vitalize your easter basket.

Wonderful Halos Easter

As you can see, these are quite simple and easy to make. For those of you who want to have a bit more fun, check out the below adorable DIY, Wonderful Halos Easter Crafts, and links to recreate them at home:

image001

Bunny Pouch – http://www.halosfun.com/halos-blog/wonderful-halos-easter-crafts-halos-bunny-pouch/

image002

Mini Baskets – http://www.halosfun.com/halos-blog/wonderful-halos-easter-crafts-halos-mini-basket/

image003

Easter Buddy – http://www.halosfun.com/halos-blog/wonderful-halos-easter-crafts-halos-easter-buddy/

Wonderful Halos are available in 2-count, 3lb, and 5lb bags, as well as a 5lb box, at the following stores: Shoprite, Aldi’s, Whole Foods, Target, Costco, Food Lion, etc.