Category Archives: Food Trends

Stout Brownies for St. Patrick’s Day

Written by: Chris

Brownies 1

Beer in a brownie may seem unconventional, but the malt actually adds depth by intensifying the chocolate flavor. Stout and other dark beers are often described as having chocolate and coffee overtones, so this combination may not be too far-fetched. 

These brownies couldn’t be any easier to make. In fact, most of the ingredients you likely have on hand. And with St. Patrick’s Day right around the corner, you might even have stout!

Speaking of stout, if you want a more intensely flavored chocolate brownie, you can boil the stout to concentrate the flavors. To do this, place the stout (1/2 cup total) in a small saucepan and bring it to a boil over medium heat for 5 minutes or until reduced by half. Allow it to cool a bit before adding to the chocolate mixture. I’ve made the brownies this way as well as straight from the bottle and loved both. You really don’t taste the stout in the brownies – it just intensifies the chocolate flavor and makes them a bit more fudge-like.

Here’s a look at the ingredients.

Brownies 2

Easy Dark Chocolate Stout Brownies

Ingredients needed for 16 brownies:

  • 1 2/3 cups (10-ounce package) NESTLÉ® TOLL HOUSE® Dark Chocolate Morsels, divided
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, cut into pieces
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup stout beer
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 2 large eggs
  • 3/4 cup all-purpose flour, sifted
  • Powdered sugar (optional)

Directions:

Brownies 3

PREHEAT oven to 325° F. Line an 8- or 9-inch-square baking pan with foil leaving a 2-inch overhang. If you like thick brownies use an 8-inch pan.

Brownies 4

MELT 1 cup morsels and butter in large, microwave-safe bowl on HIGH (100%) power for 1 minute; stir until smooth.

Brownies 5

STIR in granulated sugar, beer, vanilla extract and salt with a whisk or wooden spoon. Add eggs one at a time, stirring well after each addition.

Brownies 6

STIR in flour.

Brownies 7

FOLD in remaining 2/3 cup morsels. Spread into prepared baking pan.

brownies 8

BAKE for 38 to 40 minutes or until wooden pick inserted in center comes out slightly sticky. Cool completely in pan on wire rack. Using foil overhang, lift brownies from pan; cut into bars. Dust with powdered sugar, if desired.

brownie final baked

Now if you are really pressed for time and want to try your hand with beer and brownies, you can use your favorite box mix brownie and replace the water with stout beer. I’d also recommend stirring in a half cup of NESTLÉ® TOLL HOUSE® Dark Chocolate Morsels into the batter.

All trademarks are owned by Société des Produits Nestlé S.A., Vevey, Switzerland.

Related Recipes:

Oven Irish Stew   Lucky You Mint Pie  
Oven Irish Stew
“Lucky You” Mint Pie

We Love Potlucks!

Written by Chris -

Potlucks

I absolutely love potlucks! There is nothing better than getting together to share favorite recipes and celebrate good family, friends and food. It seems like every month there is a work function, school activity or gathering of friends that revolves around a buffet style meal, and I love it!

Here are some tips and ideas to help with your next potluck:

Feeding a Crowd
One of the biggest questions when cooking for a potluck is, “How much do I make?” Try to take an estimated headcount and plan accordingly, but you don’t need to make full portions for each person. Remember, there are always many options and dishes at potlucks! Typically, count on having enough food for 8-15 small servings, depending on the dish.

Making the Perfect Dish
When choosing a main dish to share, think simplicity and portability. Focus on recipes that combine common ingredients into one dish or pot so that it’s recognizable, easy to serve and will please even the picky eaters. Casserole and crock pot recipes are great ways to combine flavorful ingredients into one transportable meal – just make sure the dish is cooked prior to transporting.

Keep Cool with Appetizers
One concern with potlucks is keeping food warm. You can avoid the hassle by bringing a dish that can sit at room temperature. Salads, vegetable and fruit dishes, and dips are great contributions to the buffet line!

Don’t Forget Dessert
Potlucks are a great time to try out a new cookie, brownie or other decadent recipe. Dessert recipes are often easy to multiply or divide to accommodate any amount of guests, and are an added bonus to the end of the meal.

Find Your Go-To Dish
There is nothing wrong with bringing the same crowd-pleasing dish to multiple potlucks. Find a couple fool-proof dishes that you can rotate throughout the year. Having your go-to meals will reduce the amount of time and planning spent on your end.

Tips and Etiquette
Serving: Be sure to bring the appropriate serving ware for your dish so people can easily fill their plate and move on to the next yummy treat.

Portions: Everything on the table looks amazing! Don’t let your eyes fill up your plate! Be sure to take small portions of the dishes you like, and pass on others.

Thank the host: Always thank the host or coordinator of the evening before leaving. For an added touch, bring a small gift as a special way to show your appreciation.

Recipe Ideas
Looking for a new recipe to wow the crowd? Check out some of our favorite potluck dishes!
Baked Potato Casserole
Cheesy Macaroni and Cheese
Creamy Chicken and Rice Bake
Spinach and Fresh Fruit Salad
Slow Cooker Spinach Artichoke Dip
Italian Antipasta Cold Salad
Original Nestlé Toll House Chocolate Chip Cookies

What’s in Your Drawer? Top 10 Kitchen Tools & Gadgets

Written by Chris

Kitchen Gadgets

Whether you are setting up your very first kitchen or have mastered the art of cooking, certain tools and gadgets are essential.

  1. You don’t necessarily need a big block of knives.  But I’d recommend having a good sharp Chef’s and a bread knife at minimum.
  2. Every kitchen needs a cutting board whether it be wood (I like Boos brand) or plastic.
  3. A digital instant-read thermometer that can be used for checking doneness of meat and poultry, as well as for use with deep frying and candy making, is essential.
  4. I love my microplane zester, this is another must.  You can add instant flavor with a little grated citrus or even spices (cinnamon, nutmeg, etc.).
  5. To measure the correct amount of flour or cheese or to make sure that pieces of meat, poultry, and fish are the specified size, use a food scale.
  6. Kitchen shears are perfect for cutting small amounts of herbs, chopping canned tomatoes directly in the can and trimming fat from meat and skin from poultry. When pinched for time, I even cut my kids cooked meat with kitchen shears. It’s much faster than using a knife.
  7. Stainless steel measuring cups are used for measuring ingredients like flour, sugar, grains and cereals.  Liquid glass measuring cups, sized from 1 cup to 4 cups, used for measuring wet ingredients. Both are must haves. As are measuring spoons. These items ensure that your recipes come out just right. Use them for your baking recipes, at minimum.
  8. Whisks in assorted sizes are ideal for beating eggs and egg whites, blending salad dressings, and dissolving solids in liquids. They are available both in stainless steel and nylon; the nylon ones won’t harm nonstick surfaces. I’d recommend having both.
  9. A peeler removes the skin from both vegetables and fruits. It’s also handy for making chocolate curls!
  10. A cookie scoop makes the most uniform cookies every single time. You can also use it to make melon balls.

What kitchen tool or gadget are you most passionate about?

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.

Adding Sabor to Your Thanksgiving: Latin-Inspired Stuffing Recipes

Written by Natalie -

Stuffing is my favorite of all the Thanksgiving side dishes. This year I’ve come up with a few Latin-inspired recipes that are so good and definitely unique. I invite anyone who is looking to shake up their traditional stuffing repertoire to add some sabor!

Mexican Chorizo Stuffing

This Mexican Chorizo Stuffing will definitely be a hit. The chorizo (Mexican sausage) and jalapeño add a little kick. The olives and cilantro create a blend of savory and fresh. And for the first time, I used NESTLÉ® CARNATION® Evaporated Milk to moisten it which I find really gives it a creamy texture that water alone can’t achieve.

Puerto Rican Stuffing

Now if you’re a little concerned about the spicy factor from the Mexican Chorizo Stuffing but still want to make a delicious and original stuffing this Puerto Rican Stuffing is for you! It’s inspired by many typical flavors of the island: sofrito (combination of tomatoes, bell peppers and onions), pork and coffee. I know what you’re thinking, “Coffee?”  Yes, browning the pork with the NESCAFÉ® CLÁSICO™ Pure Instant Coffee Granules gives it a very rich flavor that is fantastic.

Guatemalan Stuffing

And last, but certainly not least there is a Guatemalan Stuffing. This is the Latin version of cornbread stuffing. Roasted corn and cornbread stuffing are added to the mix, along with jalapeños and cilantro. It’s a real treat for your family holiday meal.

Related Recipes:

Latin Turkey Rub & Gravy Pumpkin Bread Stuffing
Latin Turkey Rub & Gravy Pumpkin Bread Stuffing
with Fennel Apple

Cooking with Chia Seeds: Pumpkin Chia Seed Pancakes Recipe

Written by Chris – 

Pumpkin Chia Seed Pancakes Recipe

Chia seeds are a newly popular food which has a history of use by many Pacific Coast groups of Native Americans. One half ounce has about 70 calories, 2.5 grams of protein, 4.5 grams fat, 6 grams carbohydrates and 5 grams of fiber (source: USDA). The seeds look a little like poppy seeds and can be eaten right out of the bag or sprinkled over hot or cold cereal, yogurt and the like. They can even be added to salads, vegetables and cooked grains. You can bake with them, too! They’re mild in flavor, making them easy to incorporate into just about any recipe.

Pumpkin Chia Seed Pancakes Recipe

I recently added chia seeds to my family-favorite pumpkin pancake recipe. Let me start out by saying that this recipe already has LIBBY’S® 100% Pure Pumpkin in it, which is a nutritious powerhouse in itself (excellent source of Vitamin A and fiber per serving!). I added 2 tablespoons of chia seeds to the batter. You can add more if you want, but 2 tablespoons is a good starting point. When cooked, you can’t taste them in the pancakes, but you can see little black flecks. I wanted a little crunch and extra nutrition so I added some to the top, too.

Pumpkin Chia Seed Pancakes Recipe

Pumpin Chia Seed Pancakes

Ingredients for 18 pancakes:

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour or white whole-wheat flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups lowfat buttermilk
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup LIBBY’S® 100% Pure Pumpkin
  • 2 tablespoons honey, granulated sugar or packed brown sugar
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled
  • 2 tablespoons chia seeds, plus more for garnish
  • Nonstick cooking spray
  • Pure maple syrup

Directions:

COMBINE flour, baking powder, cinnamon, baking soda and salt in large bowl.

Pumpkin Chia Seed Pancakes Recipe

WHISK together buttermilk, eggs, pumpkin, honey and butter in large bowl. Add to flour mixture; stir until combined. Do not over mix. Let batter sit for 10 minutes; stir in chia seeds.

Pumpkin Chia Seed Pancakes Recipe

SPRAY griddle or a large nonstick skillet with cooking spray and heat over medium-high heat. Pour ¼ cup batter for each pancake onto griddle and cook for about 2 minutes or until edges are set and look dry. Flip over and cook for an additional 2 minutes or until golden brown. Top with additional chia seeds. Serve with syrup.

Tip: I don’t have a griddle at home, so I use a large skillet… which means I can only make 3 pancakes at one time. To keep the pancakes warm and moist while preparing the entire batch, spray a large cooling rack with nonstick cooking spray, and then place it on a large baking sheet in a 200° F. oven. As the pancakes are done, place them on the cooling rack, uncovered and in a single layer. I picked up this tip from Cook’s Illustrated. Works every time!

To print this recipe and check out the nutrition profile, click here and you will be taken to our recipe site, meals.com. You can print the recipe from there, plus find all sorts of other great recipes and articles, too! And if you are a pumpkin fan like me and like to add pumpkin to your recipes to boost nutrition, click here for creative solutions that may surprise you!

Related Recipes:

Puffy Pumpkin Pancakes Recipe Pumpkin-Orange Pancakes Recipe
Puffy Pumpkin Pancakes Pumpkin-Orange Pancakes
Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 17,668 other followers

%d bloggers like this: