Category Archives: Holidays

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.

A New Favorite: Flourless Chocolate Fudge Crinkle Cookies

Written by Chris -

Flourless Chocolate Fudge Crinkle Cookies Recipe

Baking cookies is a wonderful holiday tradition. Each year my kids and I bake several recipes to give to family, friends and teachers to show our appreciation.  It’s a fun activity to do as a family and the recipients are always so appreciative. We’ve added a new cookie to our “Holiday Favorites” list this year!

These chocolate gluten-free cookies are rich and chewy and ridiculously easy to make, with only a handful of ingredients! The texture is similar to that of meringue cookies or French macarons, yet the centers are chewy and fudgy like brownies. Even better, they are quick to make and no mixer is required (perfect for kids to make)!

Flourless Chocolate Fudge Crinkle Cookies

Ingredients for 3 dozen cookies:

Flourless Chocolate Fudge Crinkle Cookies

PREHEAT oven to 325° F. Line baking sheets with parchment paper.

COMBINE powdered sugar, baking cocoa, coffee granules and salt in large bowl; stir in morsels. Add egg whites and vanilla extract; stir until combined. The mixture should look a little like brownie batter.

DROP by level tablespoon 2 inches apart onto prepared baking sheets. If you want fluffier cookies, after you scoop the dough, place the baking sheet in the refrigerator for 5 minutes (this is completely optional).

BAKE for 13 to 15 minutes or until tops are cracked and shiny and edges are firm. Place baking sheet on wire rack and allow cookies to cool completely. Gently peel cookies off of parchment paper with your hands (I find it’s easiest this way) or a spatula.

Flourless Chocolate Fudge Crinkle Cookies

DUST with additional powdered sugar before serving, if desired. Cookies hold well for 3 days if kept in an airtight container. They can also be frozen for up to 3 months.

Cook’s Tip: for Chocolate Fudge Coconut Crinkle Cookies, eliminate instant coffee and stir in 3/4 cup shredded sweetened coconut with the morsels.

If you are participating in a cookie exchange and looking for stress-free solutions, be sure to check out this article on Meals.com .

Happy Holidays from our kitchens to yours!

Related Recipes:

Choco-Coconut Cookies Flourless Chocolate Brownies
Choco-Coconut Cookies Flourless Chocolate Brownies

It’s In The Slice

Written by Chris -

Dulche de Leche Cheesecake Kit

At Nestlé, we receive and respond to questions all the time about simple ingredient substitutions, how to make the perfect chocolate chip cookie and where to find our products. Fortunately, we have an excellent Consumer Services team who responds to each and every question.

So what food or recipe question do I personally get asked all the time? Crazy enough, it’s about how to get the perfect slice (think cheesecakes, layered cakes and brownies). Even a beautifully frosted cake or a silky-smooth cheesecake can turn ugly after the first slice. We’ve all seen this happen, and most of us like to blame the recipe. Sadly, it’s typically not the recipe’s fault. Rather, we just haven’t mastered this simple technique:

Slicing Tips 101

In the video, I used our NESTLÉ LA LECHERA Dulce de Leche Cheesecake Baking Kit  (pictured above) for illustration purposes. It cuts beautifully especially when you clean your knife between each slice. Side note: If you are pinched for time yet want to make a grand entrance with a dessert, I highly recommend this Baking Kit! You can find it at Walmart, Safeway, and other retailers during the Holiday Season. And if you have any questions or want further cheesecake tips, like using jars to bake the cheesecakes in, using lighter cream cheese or even how to drizzle the dulce de leche, please leave a comment and I will get right back to you!

Additional tips for slicing success:

When making brownies, line your baking pan with heavy-duty foil and leave enough overhang so that you can easily lift the brownies out of the pan. I like to freeze the baked brownies for about 30 minutes so that they don’t bend as I’m lifting them from the pan. They cut a lot better when they are cold too! Once you cut the brownies (remember to clean the knife after each cut by dipping it into hot water, then drying it off between slices), gently remove the foil. If the brownies are super cold, you can peel away the foil before slicing if you’d like.

Latte Machiatto Cheesecake

When it comes to cheesecakes, I’ve found that the freezer is my friend. I like to freeze cheesecakes for 15-30 minutes before slicing. It helps to make an extra clean cut. In the cheesecake image above, I did just that.  And if you are making cheesecake bars, line your baking pan as described above. It is so much easier to cut a cheesecake when it’s outside of the pan or dish. In the photo at the very top (cheesecake bars), I lined the baking pan and froze the cheesecake before cutting. The dulce de leche was drizzled after cutting, but you can drizzle first then cut. It’s just as beautiful this way!
Do you have any tips you’d like to share?

Related Recipes:

Dark Chocolate Brownie Recipe Moist and Tender Chocolate Cake Recipe
Dark Chocolate Brownies Moist & Tender Chocolate
Cake Recipe

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

Day of the Dead – Día de los Muertos: A Tradition to Embrace

Written by Natalie – 

Day of the Dead Event

Día de los Muertos is a unique holiday that is mostly celebrated in Mexico but also known throughout the world. On this day, people honor and remember their loved ones that have passed away. It coincides with the Catholic holiday of All Soul’s day on November 2.

People set up altars featuring some of the deceased’s favorite food, beverages and objects as a means to encourage their soul to visit the living on this date. They eat a traditional bread called “Pan de Muerto” or “Bread of the Dead”. These sweet breads are filled with so much meaning!

I recently created a recipe for Pan de Muerto that incorporated NESTLÉ® LA LECHERA® Sweetened Condensed Milk. My heritage is Peruvian and we don’t observe Día de los Muertos, so I set off to do some research. What I found warmed my heart and got me very excited to create something so meaningful.

Pan de Muerto is a simple yeast bread, lightly sweetened with the LA LECHERA sweetened condensed milk, made fragrant by the addition of anise seeds and then sprinkled with sugar on top. It is usually shaped like a bun and many say that this is to portray the circle of life or a tomb. The top of the bread is decorated with pieces of dough shaped to represent the skull and bones of loved ones.

I absolutely fell in love with this holiday! The idea of celebrating those you have lost every year on the same day and eating a sweet bread that you only eat for that occasion really touched me. My children were born after their grandfathers passed away and I find this holiday will be a wonderful way to further integrate their memories into our family. If you are looking to create traditions for your family I highly encourage you to try this one. I will be!

Day of the Dead Bread Recipe

La Lechera Day of the Dead Bread

Ingredients for 2 loaves, 10 servings per loaf:

Directions:

STIR yeast and warm water in a large glass bowl; allow to rest 10 minutes. Heat La Lechera and butter in a small saucepan over medium heat until butter is melted. Add anise seeds, salt and La Lechera mixture to yeast mixture and stir to combine.

ADD eggs and 1 cup flour and mix well with a wooden spoon. Continue adding remaining flour, cup by cup, stirring well until dough comes together. Knead dough gently for about 5 minutes or until dough is smooth and elastic and no longer sticky. Place in large greased bowl. Cover with greased plastic wrap. Let rise in warm place for 1 hour or until doubled in size.

LINE a large baking sheet with parchment paper.

PUNCH dough down and divide in half. Cut 3 small (about 1 tablespoonful) balls from each half. Roll out 4 small dough balls to form the “bones.” Shape each of larger dough pieces into round loaves. Gently press the bones on top of the loaves crossing each other to make an “X”. Roll the remaining 2 small dough balls to form the “skulls”. Put skulls in middle of each “X” and gently press down. Place loaves on the prepared baking sheet and allow to rise in warm place for about 30 minutes.

PREHEAT oven to 350º F. Brush tops of each loaf with egg wash.

BAKE for 20 minutes; remove loaves from oven and brush again with egg wash and sprinkle each with half of the granulated sugar. Return to oven and bake for about 20 minutes or until loaves are golden brown and sound hollow when tapped. Serve warm or cool completely. Bread is best eaten the same day it’s prepared.

We recently hosted several Latina bloggers and writers for our second annual Dia de los Muertos Media Immersion Event. It took place at our Nestlé US Headquarters in Glendale, CA. The attendees were treated to all things Día de los Muertos. They heard speakers, made their own altars, ate delicious food and, of course, they got to make their very own loaves of Pan de Muerto with yours truly and Chris Garboski! The energy and passion these people have is contagious.

Here are some pictures from the event:

DayofDead1

DayofDead2

DayofDead3

DayofDead4

Day of the Dead Event

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

Related Recipes:

Abuelita Chocolate & Orange Fondue Recipe Day of the Dead Bread Recipe
Abuelita Chocolate & Orange
Fondue
Day of the Dead Bread

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 fruit 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.

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