Tag Archives: beverage

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

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

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

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

Liquid “Cookies” and a New Caramel & Coconut Milk Shake Recipe

Written by Chris -

Coffee Mate Girl Scouts Flavors

Have you had a chance to try Coffee-mate’s newest creamers, flavored like Girl Scouts® cookies? Thin Mints are the top selling Girl Scouts® cookies followed closely by Samoas/Caramel deLites, so it makes sense that Coffee-mate selected these cookies as their two new flavors.

When I first tasted the Girl Scouts® flavors, I was immediately taken back to my childhood. I was actually a Brownie when I was in grade school, which is a division of Girl Scouts of the USA. So, not only did I sell the cookies, I ate my fair share!

I loved to freeze Girl Scouts® cookies as a child, and it wasn’t necessarily to preserve them. I just liked to eat them when they were really cold. I admittedly did this with Ding Dongs® (remember those?) and candy bars, too. So, thinking of these cookies in a chilled, liquid form caught my attention. And if you are wondering, yes, I still do freeze my Girl Scouts® cookies.

I decided to share my frozen fetish with our test kitchen, but in the form of a milk shake. Not just any milk shake. A milk shake made with refrigerated coconut milk (the lower fat/calories kind), light vanilla ice cream and Caramel & Coconut flavored creamer. I even got all fancy and drizzled dulce de leche caramel down the inside of the glasses (this is just a serving suggestion, but I couldn’t help myself). Wow, was this ever good! Now that the creamer is widely available, I can share the recipe with you!

Caramel & Coconut Milk Shakes Recipe

Coconut & Caramel Milk Shakes

Ingredients for 2 servings:

Directions:

PLACE ice cream, milk and Coffee-mate in blender; cover. Blend until smooth.

SWIRL caramel syrup around inside of 2 glasses. Divide milk shake between glasses. Garnish milk shakes with coconut and chocolate, if desired. Got a crowd? Recipe can easily be doubled.

Thin Mint Chocolate-Drizzled Pretzels Recipe

A milk shake made with Thin Mints-flavored creamer, light chocolate ice cream and lowfat milk would be absolutely divine! Or, how about trying these Thin Mint Chocolate-Drizzled Pretzels? I couldn’t just share one recipe with you!

Also, if you are attending the BlogHer conference in Chicago this week, be sure to drop by our Coffee-mate Coffee Bar. We will be sampling our Nestlé Coffee-Mate Girl Scouts® Liquid Coffee Creamers!

Cheers!

Chris

Related Recipes

Caramel Coconut Cookie Ice Cream Pie Recipe Chocolate Pretzel Coconut Layer Bars Recipe
Caramel Coconut
Cookie Ice Cream Pie
Chocolate Pretzel
Coconut Layer Bars
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