Category Archives: Kids Love It

A Unique Use for Apple Juice

Written by: Chris

Every now and again I come across a recipe or creative way to use an ingredient that really gets me thinking – like infusing chocolate with herbs. Infusing chocolate isn’t new, but it certainly was when I created this  Chocolate Rosemary Tart nearly 10 years ago.  The flavors are pretty adventurous, so the recipe can be a hit or a miss (especially if you introduce it before the trend really takes off!).

So how about adding apple juice to savory recipes? I’ve added it to quinoa, chicken, salmon, and even beef empanadas. But I’ve never thought of adding it to tacos. So when this Tacos to Go recipe came through for testing, I couldn’t wait to dive in. Would it taste like apple? Would it be too sweet? What benefit could there be?

Tacos To Go Recipe

Apple juice is added to the skillet with lean ground turkey and cooked until the apple juice is nearly gone. The turkey takes on just a hint of sweetness, which complements the turkey perfectly. The apple juice adds moisture too, making it great for leftovers. So to answer my questions above, it’s not too sweet and it doesn’t taste like apple. The real benefits I see are the delicate flavor and the ability to keep the lean turkey moist.

For a delicious weeknight meal, simply serve in tortillas with assorted toppings. Or, take it on the go! For those of us who struggle with school lunches (that would be me), this is a wonderful solution!

Baked taco shell cups really hold up well in lunch boxes and kids absolutely love them. All you need to do is cut circles out of your tortillas, press into a muffin tin and bake. To keep the turkey filling hot, it’s best to preheat your thermos. Simply fill your thermos with piping hot water, put on the lid and seal it. Empty the thermos after letting it sit for several minutes, and then fill with the taco filling. Place all of the toppings in sealed containers with an ice pack. Easy peasy.

Here’s a look at the ingredients. I like to add a clove of finely chopped garlic when cooking the turkey, but this is completely optional.

Tacos To Go

Ingredients for 6 servings (2 taco cups per serving):

TACO FILLING

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 pound lean ground turkey
  • 1 tablespoon MAGGI Granulated Chicken Flavor Bouillon
  • 1 cup Apple NESTLÉ® JUICY JUICE® 100% Juice

TACO SHELLS

  • 6 (8-inch) soft taco-size whole wheat flour tortillas
  • Nonstick cooking spray
  • Toppings of your choice: chopped tomatoes, lettuce, shredded cheese, sour cream, salsa

Directions:
FOR TACO FILLING:
HEAT oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add turkey and bouillon; cook, stirring frequently, for 5 to 7 minutes or until no longer pink.

POUR apple juice over turkey. Increase heat to high; bring mixture to a boil. Reduce heat to medium; cook for 10 minutes until almost all of the juice is absorbed.

FOR TACO SHELLS:
PREHEAT oven to 400° F.

CUT tortillas into twelve 4-inch circles using a cookie cutter or the top of a glass. You will cut 2 circles out of each tortilla.

SPRAY a 12-cup muffin tin with nonstick cooking spray. Press tortilla circles into each cup.

BAKE for 12 to 15 minutes or until golden and crispy.

FILL taco shells with taco filling and your choice of toppings.

Short cut: instead of baking the taco shell, cut rounds out of a tortilla and serve like a soft taco.

Now it’s your turn. What unique uses for ingredients have you come across?

JUICY JUICE® is a registered trademark of Société des Produits Nestlé S.A., Vevey, Switzerland. 

Related Recipes:

Juicy Juice Apple Pork Chops Mixed Greens with Apple Vinaigrette
Juicy Juice Apple
Pork Chops
Mixed Greens with Apple
Vinaigrette

Game Day Slow Cooker Chicken Tacos

Written by Chris -

chicken tacos 1

Do you like to host game day parties? Regardless of who is playing, game day is a great excuse to try new recipes! And we have a new one for you that’s made in a slow cooker, packs a little heat and serves a crowd. Plus, it’s versatile! Think tacos, wraps and nachos. I’ve made these Slow Cooker Chicken Tacos a number of times so I can tell you, they’re tried and true and sure to become a favorite!

From start to finish, you need to give yourself about 5 hours before you plan to serve it. No pre-cooking or browning is required. Just add the chicken, onion, garlic, fresh jalapeños, bouillon and tomato sauce to the slow cooker. Cook for approximately 4 hours or until tender. Shred the chicken, add a can of black beans and continue to cook for an additional 30 minutes. The recipe serves 5, but you can double the ingredients if your slow cooker can handle the volume.  Then you can serve a crowd, or have plenty of leftovers.

To make it easier on you, set up a self-serve station for your guests. Next to the slow cooker, set out plates, napkins and utensils and toppings (like shredded lettuce, fresh cilantro, sliced jalapeños, shredded cheese, diced tomatoes, sour cream, salsa, guacamole and lime wedges). Offer tortillas for tacos or wraps and baked tortilla chips for nachos.

Let’s take a look at the ingredients.

ingredients 2

SLOW COOKER CHICKEN TACOS

Ingredients for 5 servings (2 tacos each):

  • 1 ¼ pounds boneless, skinless chicken thighs
  • 1 cup chopped onion
  • 4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 2 jalapeños, seeded and diced
  • 1 tablespoon MAGGI® Granulated Chicken Flavor Bouillon OR 1 tablet MAGGI® Chicken Flavor Bouillon, dissolved in 1/4 cup warm water
  • ½ cup tomato sauce
  • 1 cup canned black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 10 corn tortillas
  • Toppings of your choice: cilantro, shredded cheese, sour cream, guacamole

DIRECTIONS:

slow cooker ingredients 3

PLACE chicken in 5-quart slow cooker. Add onion, garlic, jalapeños, bouillon mixture and tomato sauce.

slow cooker ingredients 4

STIR to combine; cover.  Cook on low setting for 4 hours or until chicken is tender.

slow cooker cooked 5

SHRED with a fork.

slow cooker add beans 5

STIR in black beans. Cover and cook for an additional 30 minutes.

slow cooker with beans 5

So easy! This is what it looks like when done.

chicken tacos final 6

SERVE warm in corn tortillas with toppings of your choice.

chicken tacos final 7

Or…make nachos.

Shredded Chicken Wrap

Or…make a wrap!

For more Game Day recipe ideas, check out meals.com.

MAGGI® is a registered trademark of Société des Produits Nestlé S.A., Vevey, Switzerland.

Related Recipes:

Tequila Citrus Wings BBQ Beef Sandwiches
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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.

How to Temper Chocolate Using a Microwave: Candy Shop Chocolate Bark Recipe

Written by Chris -

Candy Shop Bark Recipe

Here’s an easy, no-bake Halloween treat that’s sure to please! Since the chocolate is tempered (which means it won’t melt or get soft at room temperature), it’s great for parties! Just snap the bark into pieces and serve. Or, if you want to make treat bags, just place a few pieces into a festive bag and secure with a ribbon. So simple!

Don’t let tempering chocolate scare you. I use a microwave to speed up and simplify the entire process. Tempering involves raising and lowering the temperature of the chocolate to encourage strong, organized crystallization of the cocoa butter so that the finished chocolate will have a glossy look, crisp texture and will be firm to the touch.

I like to top the bark with an assortment of fun-size NESTLÉ candy bars, like BUTTERFINGER,  NESTLÉ CRUNCH, BABY RUTH and 100 GRAND. You can even fold the chopped candy bars into the chocolate after it’s been tempered. And if you’re a planner and already thinking of the winter holidays, you can substitute the candy bars with crushed gingersnaps, crushed peppermint candies, or even smoked almonds with dried cherries. You can truly customize to your personal taste.

Candy Shop Chocolate Bark

Ingredients for 40 servings:

Directions:

LINE a 10 x 15-inch rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper. Set aside 1 1/3 cups morsels.

PLACE remaining 2 2/3 cups morsels in large, microwave-safe bowl. Microwave on HIGH (100% power) for 90 seconds; stir. Continue to microwave at 15- to 30-second intervals, stirring until smooth. Transfer melted chocolate to a large, room temperature dry bowl.

Candy Shop Bark Recipe

ADD reserved 1 1/3 cups morsels to melted chocolate; stir until smooth. Let cool down, stirring occasionally, until it reaches 88° F.

Candy Shop Bark Recipe

FOLD in chopped Baby Ruth (this is optional – you could just use it as a topping).

Candy Shop Bark Recipe

POUR onto prepared baking sheet, spreading with an offset spatula until 1/8-inch thick.

Candy Shop Bark Recipe

SPRINKLE chopped Butterfinger and Crunch candy bars evenly over chocolate. Tap baking sheet on counter several times to help the candy settle.

Candy Shop Bark Recipe

PLACE white morsels in small, heavy-duty food storage bag. Microwave on MEDIUM-HIGH (70% power) for 45 seconds. Knead until smooth. If necessary, microwave an additional 5 seconds. Cut tiny corner from bag; squeeze to drizzle over bark.

Candy Shop Bark Recipe

COOL at room temperature until chocolate is completely set (this will take a couple hours). Break into pieces. Store bark in airtight container at room temperature.

Now that you’ve mastered tempering chocolate, try coating fresh strawberries, dried fruit, graham crackers or peppermint sticks! Do you have any shortcuts you’d like to share?

Related Recipes:

Candy Shop Pizza Recipe Toasted Almond Berry Bark Recipe
Candy Shop Pizza Toasted Almond Berry
Chocolate Bark

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
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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
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