Tag Archives: prepared

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 Family Favorite: Slow Cooker Fettuccine Bolognese

Written by Chris – 

SlowCookerFettucineBolognese

Bolognese sauce is a slow cooked, meat-based sauce for pasta originating in Bologna, Italy. It’s one of my absolute favorite Italian sauces! It’s perfect for a large family or can be easily frozen and kept on-hand for a quick and easy weeknight meal. Serve with a healthy side salad, and you will have one happy family!

Because Bolognese sauce needs to cook over low heat for several hours to develop the deep flavors it’s known for, a slow cooker/crock pot is ideal for this. You can make this with ground beef, or use a combination of meats like beef, veal and pork. That’s what I like to do.

This sauce starts out on the stovetop, and then it gets transferred to a slow cooker. If you have a slow cooker that allows you to sauté, you can skip the stovetop part. And if you want, you can prepare the meat mixture the night before, refrigerate, and then add to the slow cooker along with all the other ingredients the next day.

As you read through the recipe below, you may wonder why I am using NESTLÉ® CARNATION® Evaporated Milk. Simply put, it tenderizes the meat. This hearty sauce is best served over a wide cut pasta, so BUITONI Refrigerated Fettuccine will be a perfect match.

Slow Cooker Fettuccine Bolognese

Ingredients for 14 servings (1/2 cup sauce plus 1 cup fettuccine):

Directions:

Slow Cooker Fettuccine Bolognese2

MELT butter in large saucepan over medium heat. Add onion, carrot, celery, garlic, chopped thyme, pinch of salt and pepper; cook, stirring frequently, for 5 to 10 minutes or until tender but not browned.

Slow Cooker Fettuccine Bolognese3

INCREASE heat to medium-high; add the pancetta. Cook, stirring frequently, for 5 minutes or until pancetta is golden.

Slow Cooker Fettuccine Bolognese4

ADD the meat a third at a time, stirring and breaking lumps with a spoon between each addition. Cook for about 15 minutes total (this is where this recipe develops so much flavor, so let it cook the full 15 minutes).

Slow Cooker Fettuccine Bolognese5

STIR in tomato paste; cook for about 2 minutes.

Slow Cooker Fettuccine Bolognese7

ADD wine; bring to a boil. With a wooden spoon, scrape all the brown bits stuck to the bottom of the pan and cook for 3 to 4 minutes or until wine has almost evaporated.

Slow Cooker Fettuccine Bolognese6

TRANSFER mixture to slow cooker along with tomatoes with juice, evaporated milk, water and bouillon; then stir to combine.

Slow Cooker Fettuccine Bolognese8

COVER; cook on HIGH for 4 hours or LOW for 6 hours.

PREPARE pasta according to package directions (just make enough for what you plan to serve). Top with sauce, then sprinkle with a little cheese, if desired.

Slow Cooker Fettuccine Bolognese9

This plate is for me, so please excuse me while I eat. If you want to check out additional slow cooker recipes, visit meals.com.

Related Recipes:

TurkeyBologneseNew PumpkinSagePastaNew
Turkey Bolognese with Vegetables Pumpkin Sage Pasta

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

Keeping Cool with Chiffon

Written by Jenny – 

Key Lime Chiffon Pie Recipe

Summer is finally here and we have the temperatures to prove it! It’s time to turn the oven off for a while and focus on “cool” desserts to adorn the table with. For me, one of my favorite “cool” colors to both wear and eat is lime. I like lime in any form: cookies, zest, marinades, beverages (cheers!), sorbet, cheesecakes and well, yes, pies! Chiffon, as in Key Lime Chiffon Pie, is my new best friend.

Like Natalie, I like desserts this time of the year to be super and easy. Our Carnation Key Lime Pie Kit has everything you need to make the Chiffon Pie below, with the exception of butter, water and a pie plate. Once the lime filling and whipped topping are made separately, you fold them gently together to make a light, airy pie filling and then spoon into the graham cracker crust. After the recipe below, check out the tasty mini cup variation that I made in the kitchen today.

One thing that does make me a little sad… Chiffon, in the shape of a pie or mini cups will not be around for long. I better partake before it is too late!

Key Lime Chiffon Pie

Ingredients for 8 servings:

Directions:

GRAHAM CRACKER CRUST
MELT butter in medium microwave-safe bowl. Mix in Crust Mix until well blended. Reserve 1 tablespoon of crust-butter mixture for decoration. Lightly press crust mixture up the side and onto bottom of 9″ pie plate.

KEY LIME CHIFFON FILLING
ADD Filling Mix, 1 1/4 cups CARNATION® Evaporated Milk and 2/3 cup water to large mixer bowl. Mix on LOW speed for 30 seconds. Scrape bowl. Continue mixing on MEDIUM-HIGH speed until thickened, about 3 minutes. Set aside.

ADD Topping Mix, remaining 1/4 cup CARNATION® Evaporated Milk and 1/2 cup water to small, dry mixer bowl. Mix on LOW speed for 30 seconds. Scrape bowl. Continue mixing on MEDIUM-HIGH speed, about 2 1/2 minutes. Whipped Topping will thicken and hold peaks.

FOLD whipped topping into Key lime filling until mixture is blended. Spoon into Graham Cracker Crust. Sprinkle with reserved crust-butter mixture.

REFRIGERATE for 3 hours or until firm.

TIP:
For easier cutting and slice serving, carefully dip pie plate in very warm water for 30 seconds.

Key Lime Chiffon Pie Recipe

To make these mini cups, I used 30, 2-ounce plastic cups that I found a party-supply store. The graham cracker crust and key lime chiffon filling were prepared as stated above. Don’t forget to save 2 tablespoons of the crust-butter mixture for sprinkling on top! A heaping measuring teaspoon of crust mixture was put into each cup, followed by about 2 tablespoons of chiffon filling and a sprinkling of the reserved crust-butter mixture. Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes. These will disappear fast!

Related Recipes:

Frozen Key Lime Pie Pops Recipe Lemon Cheesecake Bars Recipe
Frozen Key Lime Pops Lemon Cheesecake Bars

Flag Day Cookies

Written by Nick – 

Stars and Stripes Cookies Recipe

Flag Day seems to sneak up on me every year. I’m always unprepared and missing out on all the amazing Flag Day traditions, like… hanging a flag and … uh… New tradition! Stars and Stripes Cookies! Now, I might not “celebrate” Flag Day. I’m not sure of many people who really go out of their way to celebrate Flag Day, but I will take any excuse to make some sugar cookies. Plus it’s a great day to test out some upcoming 4th of July recipes.

I’m not a baker. Not even close. I contribute to the blog as an everyday guy in the kitchen, trying to make something better than I did yesterday. And I’m definitely learning my way around the kitchen. I even got a nice stand mixer for all my doughy kneads (I know it’s a bad joke, but I couldn’t resist).

Every once in a while I see a recipe that seems too good to be true. Using refrigerated cookie dough and cookie cutter to make star shaped cookies. Sounds like a recipe right up my alley. Make a simple icing with food coloring do a little decorating and you’ve got some fancy cookies.

Now it’s time for the debate. Can I call these homemade? I think so. I made the shapes, I made the icing, and I did the decoration. What do you think?

Debate aside, these cookies were easy, looked great and most importantly tasted delicious. I used Flag Day as a 4th of July test run and I’m sure going to be whipping these up again in a few weeks.

Stars and Stripes Cookies Recipe

Note: I’m no photographer but thought I’d share how my cookies turned out. Even an amateur can make a festive treat.

Stars and Stripes Cookies

Ingredients for 24 cookies:

Directions:

PREHEAT oven to 325° F.

SPRINKLE flour onto work surface. Roll out dough to 1/4-inch thickness, using additional flour as needed to prevent sticking. Cut into star shapes with cookie cutters. Transfer cookies to ungreased baking sheets with spatula.

BAKE for 10 to 14 minutes or until light brown around edges. Smaller cutters and sharp edges tend to produce darker cookies. Cool on baking sheets for 1 minute; remove to wire racks to cool completely. Pipe, spoon or spread red, white and blue icing onto cookies to create stripes.

FOR EASY COOKIE ICING:
COMBINE 1 cup sifted powdered sugar, 1 tablespoon milk and 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract in small bowl. Stir in additional milk, a teaspoon at a time, until desired consistency. Set aside one-third of icing. Divide remaining icing between two bowls. Add red food coloring to one bowl and blue to the other; stir well.

Related Recipes:

Patriotic Fruit Pops Recipe NESTLÉ® TOLL HOUSE® Stars and Stripes Cookies Recipe
Patriotic
Fruit Pops
NESTLÉ® TOLL HOUSE®
Stars and Stripes Cookies

Bachelor in the Kitchen: Simple Pasta for Two

Written by Nick – 

Spicy Beef & Sausage Ravioli with Zucchini and Peppers Recipe

I enjoy cooking, but cooking on the weekday for two people (I live with my brother) can be a challenge. There are always leftovers and you’re stuck eating taco meat 20 different ways (this example is not usually a problem with me – I love all things taco).

Lately we’ve resorted to a simple pasta dish. Just pick your favorite Buitoni pasta, add sauce, easy. I wanted to try something new and was looking for inspiration on meals.com. I found a few recipes and this Spicy Beef & Sausage Ravioli with Zucchini and Peppers caught my eye for a few reasons; I was in the mood for sausage ravioli (that helps), I love zucchini but don’t often cook with it, and we always have red peppers on hand.

So, like the genius that I am, I went to the store and picked up half the things I needed, some extra things I didn’t, and a lot of things I don’t know what I’m going to do with. When I got home, I looked at the recipe and realized… I needed to improvise. Luckily there are a few simple pasta dishes on meals.com and I just made a collection of them all.

Firstly, the zucchini I got, well I forgot it was supposed to be zucchini… oh well, eggplant it is. Then the basil I got, I didn’t get, so I used a bit of pesto instead of the olive oil and fresh basil. Finally the sausage ravioli I got, I thought that would go well with some lighter cheese tortellini too. Looks like we’ll be having some leftovers after all.

Below is the recipe as it was intended. But I’ll tell you what, my improvised recipe turned out great. So, try to experiment a little, pasta dishes can be so much more than just pasta with sauce. Adding some tasty vegetables is a nice way to mix it up and fresh crunchy red peppers gave the meal a real summery feel.

A side note, this meal looks really elegant. This “dinner for two” was me and my brother, but this would be a great “dinner for two” for you and a date. Buitoni offers some wine pairings on their website that can complete the “stay home date.”

Spicy Beef & Sausage Ravioli with Zucchini and Peppers

Ingredients for 2 servings:

Directions:

PREPARE pasta according to package directions, adding zucchini during last 2 minutes of cook time. Drain; place in large serving bowl. Add bell pepper and oil; toss gently to coat. Sprinkle with basil before serving.

More Pasta Dishes:

Chicken & Four Cheese Ravioli with Peas and Basil Recipe Tortellini with Pesto and Sun-Dried Tomatoes Recipe
Chicken & Four Cheese Ravioli
with Peas and Basil
Tortellini with Pesto
and Sun-Dried Tomatoes
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