Author Archives: nkguestpost

Perfect Pumpkin Platters

Written by Cynthia -

The warmth and joy of the holiday season is only made better by the food, people and memories we share them with. What I look forward to most this time of year is spending time with family and friends, while enjoying all of the great seasonal meals. One of my favorite of which is any dish that includes pumpkin!

In early fall, pumpkin becomes a staple in most households and a versatile super food that could be enjoyed both savory and sweet. Pumpkin also adds extra flavor, fiber and Vitamin A, while being low in fat and sodium.

At Nestlé Kitchens we have tons of delicious and even unique recipes using LIBBY’s® 100% Pure Pumpkin. Here’s a few of our favorites:

Pumpkin Chia Seed Pancakes

Pumpkin Chia Pancakes

These hearty pancakes feature whole wheat flour, chia seeds and pumpkin for a nutritious boost.

Pumpkin Curry Soup

Pumpkin Curry Soup

Curry and white pepper add zest and flavor to this creamy pumpkin soup that is sure to be a winter favorite at your table!

Pumpkin Spice Panna Cotta

Pumpkin Spice Panna Cotta

Oh!… how they will adore this easy yet completely delicious Pumpkin Spice Panna Cotta treat. Crushed gingersnaps add wonderful texture and flavor. For an elegant presentation, serve in ramekins topped with orange slices and crushed cookies.

Quick Pumpkin Pizza

Quick Pumpkin Pizza

Ready in less than 30 minutes, this Quick Pumpkin Pizza uses prepared pizza crusts. You’ll love the great flavor combinations of pumpkin, shredded Gouda or Fontina and parmesan cheeses, garlic and basil pesto. Toasted pine nuts add a flair. Perfect for entertaining when you’re sure to impress your guests with your flavor creativity.

Pumpkin Sage Pasta

Pumpkin Sage Pasta Recipe

Try this amazing Pumpkin Sage Pasta when you’d like to serve something elegant and distinctive. Works well with all types of pasta such as trottole, spirals, penne or bow tie. And it’s ready in 30 minutes! Garnish with fresh sage leaves for an extra flavor dimension and eye-catching appeal.

Perfect Pizza Pairings

Written by Cynthia -

Pizza Portion

October is National Pizza Month. And I know what you’re thinking…there seems to be a food holiday for pretty much anything these days. But I must say…who doesn’t love pizza?! I, for one, love all types of pizza and for me, moderation is key, so I’m always looking for ways to combine my cheesy cravings with a nice nutritious balance.

Luckily, Nestlé USA has launched this great Pizza Portion Guide in conjunction with the Balance Your Plate initiative, a way for us to think differently about frozen meals. It’s simple – just combining a slice of pizza or a frozen entrée with fruits and vegetables helps you balance your plate with nutrients you need!

Last week, after a hard day’s work, I went out and grabbed a DiGIORONO® pizzeria!™ pepperoni pizza and put this toolkit to practice. My wish was for a quick and easy weeknight meal that I felt good about. I popped the pizza in the oven and while waiting, grabbed a spring mix of lettuce, threw in some tomatoes, carrots and avocado for a nice refreshing and simple salad. I paired the two and voilà – my 10 minute weeknight meal was ready to go!

Pizza Portion

For the approximate measure, the guide recommends picturing your hand as a pizza slice and enjoying only one or two hands’ worth. I chose one in this case, since I made a larger portion of the salad. Check out more clever ideas for enjoying perfect pizza portions.

Eating additional slices of this pizza deliciousness was definitely tempting, but merely combining it with a handful of leafy greens and fresh produce really managed to be very fulfilling in the end. Mission accomplished!

For more tips and tricks on balancing your plate with pizza, visit http://www.nestleusa.com/nutrition/enjoypizza.

Tricks & Treats: Halloween Food Decorating Ideas

Written by Cynthia – 

Halloween can be such a festive holiday to share with friends and family or just about anyone who is ready to unleash their inner child. What I love most about Halloween is you can really have fun with food! Whether you’re entertaining the kids or just want to spook up some of those fall treats you’ve been waiting to enjoy all year, we have a few simple decorating ideas that are sure to inspire!

Spiderweb Curry Soup

Spiderweb Pumpkin Curry Soup:

Ground coriander, curry powder and crushed red pepper give this soup flavor dimension for the perfect fall dish. A simple decorative technique creates an eye-catching presentation too!

Here’s the quick TRICK: Pipe circles of sour cream onto the soup through a small cut in the corner of a plastic bag, then pull a toothpick or knife through the circles from the center to the edge of the bowl.

Nesquik Dirt Cake

NESQUIK® Dirt Cake Pudding:

This Halloween treat features layers of crushed cookie crumbs coated in NESQUIK®, gummy bugs, whipped topping and smooth chocolate pudding. It’s so good guests will be “digging” for more. Watch Chris’ how-to video as she walks you through this spooktacular concoction!

Bone Chillin Brew

Bone Chillin’ Brew:

Serve a witch’s cauldron of Bone Chillin’ Brew this Halloween with JUICY JUICE® and gloves to create hands made out of ice. Add dry ice for some extra special effects.

SpookySpiders

Spooky Spiders:

Get creative with these Toll House cookies made into spooky spiders. Just use some WONKA™ LAFFY TAFFY® and NESTLÉ® TOLL HOUSE® Semi-Sweet Chocolate Morsels as frosting to create these delightfully eerie cookie spiders.

Bootiful Ghosts

Boo-ti-ful Ghosts:

Perfect for a unique Halloween treat, Boo-ti-ful Ghosts are spooky and tasty, made with NESTLÉ® TOLL HOUSE® Premier White Morsels. Wrap these in pretty cellophane paper and ribbons for an extra special presentation!

For more fall recipe ideas, visit meals.com.

Sweet Potato Pancakes with Maple Bacon Crème Sauce

Written by Char -

Sweet Potato Pancakes Recipe

There is something about sneaking a vegetable into the food served to my family. There is something even better about sneaking a vegetable into food served to my family and then hearing requests for seconds, particularly at breakfast time. Sweet potato pancakes are a tasty way to start the day and these fluffy vegetable-infused pancakes always receive requests for more. The added sweet potato lends a brightened color and additional moistness to the pancake recipe. If only spinach were this easy to hide…

The addition of the sweet potato in this recipe is actually quite easy. Why roast a whole sweet potato and measure it out for this recipe when sweet potatoes can be added conveniently by just opening a jar? A six ounce jar of GERBER® 1ST FOODS® Vegetables baby food is pre-measured, already cooked, puréed and ready for adding to this recipe.

I like my pancakes fluffy and light. This recipe results in pancakes that puff up as soon as the pancake batter hits the hot griddle and continues to rise slightly as the flapjacks cook to a beautiful golden brown. I like my pancakes to soak up any syrup or butter or topping I choose. Sweet potato pancakes taste terrific when coated in pure maple syrup; however, for an extra special breakfast I like to serve a maple bacon crème sauce. Note, however, that no sneaky vegetables were added to the crème sauce.

Sweet Potato Pancakes with Maple Bacon Crème Sauce

Ingredients for 12 Sweet Potato Pancakes:

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour, sifted
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 2 cups buttermilk
  • 4 tablespoons butter, melted
  • 6 ounce jar GERBER® 1ST FOODS® Vegetables – Sweet Potatoes
  • 2 large eggs, separated

Directions:

PREHEAT a large skillet or griddle to 350° F.

SIFT the flour into a large bowl and then add baking soda, baking powder, salt, sugar and cinnamon.

STIR in the buttermilk, melted butter, jar of sweet potato baby food and the egg yolks until only small lumps appear in the batter.

WHISK the egg whites until foamy and white.

FOLD in the egg whites gently, careful not to stir too much, as you want the whites to keep their bubbles for fluffier pancakes.

PREPARE skillet or hot griddle with enough melted butter to prevent the pancakes from sticking to the heat surface.

POUR the pancake batter onto the hot griddle. The pancakes will eventually start to form small bubbles across the top and will lightly brown around the edges.

FLIP the pancake once it appears that the first side is a golden brown. (You can peek at it before flipping, that’s okay!)

COOK the flipped pancake for a few more minutes, until both sides are a golden brown.

REMOVE pancake from griddle or pan and serve immediately.

Ingredients for Maple Bacon Crème:

Directions:

ADD evaporated milk, coffee creamer and maple syrup to a large mixing bowl. Slowly add powdered sugar and whisk until smooth and sugar is dissolved. Add bacon crumbles to the sweet crème mixture and spoon or pour over pancakes as desired.

Related Recipes:

Whole Wheat Pumpkin Pancakes Recipe French Toast with Creamy Maple Syrup Recipe
Whole-Wheat Pumpkin
Blueberry Pancakes
French Toast with
Creamy Maple Syrup

Celebrating Hot and Spicy Food Day

Written by Cynthia – 

Grilled Shrimp Skewers with Roasted Peppers

Today is Hot & Spicy Food Day, for me… one of the best days of the year! Since I come from Mediterranean descent, we don’t eat anything without a little bit of olive oil and a little bit of spice in it. So naturally, in celebration, I made these Grilled Shrimp Skewers with Roasted Peppers. I’m no expert chef, so what I love about this recipe is that it’s so quick and easy to make. I invited a girlfriend over to help me enjoy the fruits of my labor and boy was she fooled! She was pleasantly surprised at how I came up with such a “tasty and elegant-looking dish in such a short amount of time,” were her words to me exactly.

I started off with preparing the marinade, using BUITONI® Pesto with Basil. I love the taste of pesto – it adds such a rich flavor to pastas, salad dressings and marinades. While the recipe calls for some garlic, shallots and olive oil mixed into the pesto, I also added a small teaspoon of red pepper flakes to give it an extra spicy kick. Of course, you can play around with the measurements depending on how spicy or mild you prefer. I personally prefer extra spicy. Chili peppers can also be part of a healthy diet and are a source of Vitamin C to help maintain a healthy immune system.

I opted to use a broiler instead of a griller this time. Right after preparing the marinade, I started working on cutting and then broiling the bell peppers for about 10-15 minutes and then removing the charred skin after they were cooled. My advice would be to definitely prepare the marinade and shrimp first and stick it right in the refrigerator to give it ample time to marinate, while cooking the peppers. In the meantime, I also prepared a side salad using again BUITONI Pesto with Basil. Can’t you tell I just love this pesto! Check out the entire meal plan for these recipes including a starter and dessert here.

I used wooden skewers to alternately thread the shrimp and peppers. Here’s an important tip: Soak the wooden skewers in warm water for 30 minutes to help prevent them from igniting either on the grill or broiler. The hardest part about this recipe? Waiting for the shrimp to be done while smelling the rich aroma of garlic, pesto and peppers take over your kitchen. Well, I must say it was well worth the wait!

Grilled Shrimp Skewers and Roasted Peppers Basted with Basil Pesto

Ingredients for 2 servings:

  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons BUITONI Refrigerated All Natural Pesto with Basil, divided
  • 1 teaspoon finely chopped fresh garlic
  • 1 teaspoon finely chopped fresh shallots
  • 8 (about 8 ounces total) large shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • 3 bell peppers (yellow, red and green)
  • Skewers (NOTE: If using wooden skewers soak in water for 30 minutes before threading.)
  • 1 loaf ciabatta bread (about 6 inches)
  • Fresh basil sprigs for garnish
  • 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • Sea salt to taste

Directions:

PREHEAT grill or broiler.

MIX oil, 2 tablespoons pesto, garlic and shallots in medium bowl. Add shrimp; toss to coat. Marinate in refrigerator.

CUT bell peppers in quarters; grill or broil until skins blister. Place peppers in bowl; cover tightly with foil. Cool until peppers can be handled; remove charred skins.

CUT cooled bell peppers into 1 1/2-inch squares.

THREAD bell peppers and marinated shrimp alternately on skewers; discard any remaining marinade.

TRIM ends off of bread and discard; cut bread in four 1-inch-thick slices. Grill or broil until golden and crispy. Spread remaining 1 tablespoon pesto evenly on bread slices.

GRILL or broil shrimp skewers until shrimp are cooked and turn pink.

PLACE 2 slices of grilled bread on each plate. Remove shrimp and peppers from skewers and arrange on top of bread. Garnish with fresh basil sprigs or with an herb bouquet. Drizzle with lemon juice; season with sea salt.

Related Recipes:

Spicy Corn Soup & Citrus Tuna Skewers Crostini Aperitivo Recipe
Spicy Corn Soup & Citrus
Tuna Skewers
Crostini Aperitivo

A Mexican Holiday with Tamales de Chocolate y Nuez

Written by Vianney Rodriguez

Please enjoy today’s guest post by Vianney Rodriguez of Sweet Life.

Tamales de Chocolate y Nuez Recipe

Today I want to share a Holiday that is very dear to my heart, Dia de Los Muertos know as Day of the Dead. A Mexican holiday that focuses on honoring the departed, their memories and how they have touched our lives. Our family celebrates this yearly tradition with a week long celebration of honoring our loved ones with a family altar. In our altar we place favorite family photos of our departed, papel picado, candy skulls, flowers and personal mementos. We celebrate with the dishes that pay homage to their memory.

My grandfather loved tamales of every kind with any filling. He would enjoy them fresh from the pot piping hot or grilled in their husk until crispy over a warm comal for breakfast. Today I want to honor him with a sweet tamale de chocolate y nuez. A chocolate based masa with a hint of chile and lightly sweetened with piloncillo. Filled with pecans and chocolate chips these tamales are almost as sweet as my grandfather, almost. Enjoy!

Tamales de Chocolate y Nuez

Ingredients for 18 tamales:

Directions:

Prepare the corn husks: Place corn husks into a large heatproof bowl or stockpot. Cover the husk with enough boiling water to cover. Place a heatproof plate on the husks to keep them submerged. Soak for 1 hour.

In a large mixing bowl stir together masa harina, baking cocoa, baking powder, cinnamon, chile powder, and salt. Slowly add warm milk and beat until all the liquid is absorbed and semi-firm dough forms; remove dough shape into a ball and cover with lightly damp paper towels, set aside. In the same mixing bowl cream the butter and piloncillo until light and fluffy, about 3-4 minutes, scraping the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula occasionally. Add masa harina dough to the mixer with creamed butter/piloncillo mixture. Continue to beat the dough, adding the warm milk one spoonful at a time to create soft creamy dough. If the dough is too wet beat in one tablespoon of masa harina at a time, you do not want your masa too crumbly. The chocolate masa will be the consistency of a brownie batter.

Tamales de Chocolate y Nuez Recipe

Spread chocolate masa about 1/2 inches thick on corn husk with spoon, leaving about ½ inch border along the sides and 2 inch border along the top and bottom of husk. Sprinkle with pecans and semi-sweet chocolate mini morsels and fold sides until they just overlap, fold narrow end under using the husk to press dough over filling. Place tamale folded side down and repeat. You can use thin strips of corn husks to tie the tamale together, although this is isn’t necessary. 

Place the tamales in a large steamer upright. Fill the pot of water with only enough water to touch the steamer, about 2 inches. The water should not touch the tamales. Lay a damp cloth over the tamales and cover with lid. Keep the water at a low boil, checking the pot occasionally to make sure the water doesn’t boil away. Add more water as needed. Steam the tamales for 45-55 minutes.

Tamales de Chocolate y Nuez Recipe

Tamales are done when the inside pull away from the husk. The tamale should be soft, firm and not mushy.

Link:

More Tamales:

Zucchini & Corn Tamales Recipe Nicaraguan Sweet Tamales Recipe
Zucchini & Corn Tamales Nicaraguan Sweet Tamales
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