Tag Archives: snacks

A Simple Guacamole for Father’s Day

Written by Chris – 

Guacamole Recipe

Father’s Day falls on the third Sunday of June, which also coincides with the U.S. Open. It’s been a standing tradition in my family to celebrate Dad while watching this major golf championship together. My husband actually dabbled in professional golf early on, but once the triplets arrived, he put his golf aspirations on hold (he has his eye on the Champions Tour!). Our kids are now in a Junior Golf League, so golf is just part of our life. As is good food!

We usually keep it simple (as in little time spent in the kitchen) when it comes to food. So in the spirit of keeping it simple, I wanted to share a new Guacamole recipe with you! Whether you are entertaining or lounging, this appetizer is sure to please!

A few weeks ago I tested Natalie’s guacamole recipe – Natalie is a culinary professional in our test kitchen. If you haven’t met her, you can check her out here. She’s awesome, trust me! I noticed the guacamole used Maggi Seasoning Sauce. I’ve been splashing Maggi Seasoning over my avocado and scrambled eggs for years – it’s full of umami-rich flavor and adds depth to stir-fries, gravies, soups, stews and such. A little goes a long way, so go easy! This guacamole uses classic ingredients like avocado, tomato, peppers, cilantro and lemon, then adds a little cream for a smooth and creamy texture. The cream is really optional.

Here’s a few avocado and guacamole tips…

Avocados are best ripened at room temperature. You will know they are ripe if they give to gentle pressure. You can speed the ripening process by putting the avocado in a paper bag in a warm place (like on top of the refrigerator) or in a bowl with other fruit; the ethylene gas they emit will ripen the avocados. It’s best to not refrigerate avocados after they are ripe as this weakens their flavor.

Guacamole Recipe

To dice the avocado, I find it easiest to make cross-hatch incisions in flesh with a knife, cutting down to but not through skin. With a spoon, scoop out the cubes.

You really can’t keep guacamole from turning brown, but you can slow down the process. Use Hass avocados and add citrus (lemon or lime) to your guacamole, cover with plastic directly on its surface, and keep it cold. That’s the best advice I can give.

Ok, here’s Natalie’s delicious recipe…

Guacamole Recipe

Guacamole

Ingredients for 3 ½ to 4 cups of guacamole:

  • 1/4 cup NESTLÉ Media Crema Ligera Lite Table Cream or light sour cream
  • 1 teaspoon MAGGI Seasoning Sauce
  • 4 medium ripe avocados, peeled, pitted and diced
  • 2 medium tomatoes, diced (about 1 cup)
  • 1 jalapeño, deveined and seeded, finely chopped
  • 1/4 cup chopped cilantro
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon or lime juice
  • Baked tortilla chips

Directions:

MIX media crema, seasoning sauce and avocados gently in a medium bowl. Add tomatoes, jalapeño, cilantro and lemon juice; mix until incorporated. Serve with tortilla chips.

It’s best to serve guacamole right after it’s made. If you want to make it in advance, place plastic wrap directly over the surface of the guacamole and place in the refrigerator until ready to serve.

If you are looking for a last-minute gift for Dad, I highly recommend this cookbook, Absolutely Avocados by Gaby Dalkin. I’ve made several of Gaby’s recipes and all are outstanding!

Happy Father’s Day!

Related Recipes:

Avocado Cilantro Dip Recipe Avocado and Tomato Salad with Confetti Vinaigrette Recipe
Avocado
Cilantro Dip
Avocado and Tomato Salad
with Confetti Vinaigrette

10 Summer Grilling Tips + Zesty BBQ Ribs Recipe

Written by Liz -

Zesty BBQ Ribs recipe

Summer is grilling time! If you aren’t as familiar with grills and how to use them to their full, delicious advantage, you can be out in the cold this time of year. Well, we’ve got 10 grilling tips to get you heated up and in the swing of summer.

  1. Gas grills burn cleaner than charcoal grills, but give food a less smoky taste.
  2. Grilling is a great way to eat healthy (because grilled vegetables taste so good!) as long as you pick lean meats to grill.
  3. Make sure to preheat your grill 10-15 minutes before cooking, to get it to the right temperature and clean the grill.
  4. Cooking on high heat caramelizes the food on the outside, boosting flavors on the inside.
  5. Wet & dry rubs are a quick way to season meat and vegetables; marinades can be done the night before.
  6. Apply BBQ sauce after grilling or near the end of the grilling time. The sugar in the sauce can burn more quickly, charring the meat on the outside too soon.
  7. Try to turn the food as little as possible; keep the food on one side to get seared, turning it only once. If the outside is seared well and the inside isn’t done, consider lowering the heat or moving the food to the top shelf.
  8. Follow the FDA’s guidelines to safe cooking temperatures for meats.
  9. Pull food off the grill just before it’s done and let it rest for 5-10 minutes under foil; it will continue cooking and marinate in its own juices.
  10. If you want to cut fat off the meat, do it after cooking. Fat helps the meat retain juices during cooking and it will taste better.

Zesty BBQ Ribs (shown at top)

Ingredients for 8 servings:

RIBS

BBQ SAUCE

  • 2 tablespoons canola oil
  • 2 tablespoons chopped onion
  • 2 cups ketchup
  • 1 1/2 cups apple cider vinegar
  • 3/4 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons MAGGI Granulated Chicken Flavor Bouillon
  • 3 tablespoons Dijon mustard
  • 2 teaspoons chili powder
  • 2 teaspoons chipotle adobo sauce

Directions:

FOR RIBS:  FIT rack inside large roasting pan or rimmed baking sheet. Using knife, remove membranes from bone side of ribs (this step is very important for tender ribs). Pat ribs dry with paper towel; place on rack with meat side up.

COMBINE sugar, coffee granules, salt, garlic powder, coriander, pepper and cocoa in coffee or spice grinder; cover. Process until smooth. Lightly rub ribs with oil. Sprinkle with rub mixture, pressing gently to help it adhere to the ribs. Let stand at room temperature for no more than 1 hour.

PREHEAT oven to 250° F. Pour beer into bottom of roasting pan. Cover pan with foil; bake for 4 to 5 hours (this will be long enough for the meat to be very tender, but not falling off the bones). Prepare sauce during the last 30 minutes of baking.

PREHEAT grill. Grill ribs over medium flame, turning once, for 5 minutes. Brush with sauce during grilling. Let ribs rest for 10 minutes before serving.

FOR BBQ SAUCE:  HEAT oil in medium saucepan over medium heat. Add onion; cook for about 3 minutes or until tender. Add ketchup, vinegar, brown sugar and bouillon. Stir until sugar and bouillon are dissolved. Stir in mustard, chili powder and adobo sauce. Cover; cook for 30 minutes. The sauce will thicken as it simmers.

Cook’s Tip: Double or triple the spice rub and store in a tightly sealed container in a cool, dry place. It will remain fresh for up to 1 month. Use 2 to 3 teaspoons rub per pound of meat. Rub is also great on pork chops, pork tenderloin, skinless chicken breasts and salmon fillets!

More rib recipes:

Coffee-Spice Rubbed Ribs Recipe Grilled Sticky Ribs recipe
Coffee-Spice Rubbed Ribs Grilled Sticky Ribs

A New Take on Homemade Granola: Quinoa Granola with Raisinets

Written by Chris – 

Quinoa Granola with Raisinets

March 24th is National Chocolate Covered Raisinets Day. Did you know that? What better way to celebrate than with a brand NEW Nestlé Raisinets recipe!

Raisinets are best known as a movie theater treat, but they also make a great addition to granola (and cookies!). When I make homemade granola, snack or trail mix, I like a little chocolate and dried fruit, so Dark Chocolate Raisinets make the perfect addition!

Let’s talk quinoa. Quinoa has been around long enough that you probably already know how good it is for you. You also likely know it’s a great addition to salads, sides and mains. But have you tried it in granola?

Maria of Two Peas and Their Pod created a recipe for Crunchy Quinoa Granola that looked fantastic! I have her to thank for the initial inspiration. Thanks, Maria! Brandi of BranAppetit developed a Stove Top Spiced Raisinets Granola for Nestlé that I fell head over heels for. She used cardamom, ginger, cinnamon and maple syrup and something about that combination tantalized my taste buds!

In this recipe, cooked quinoa (cooked in just water or equal parts water and apple juice), oats, nuts, seeds and spices are coated with a little coconut oil and maple syrup and then baked until golden. Raisinets and toasted coconut are added to the mixture once cool. Oh wow is this good!

Here’s the recipe…

Quinoa Granola with Raisinets

Ingredients for 24 (¼ cup) servings:

  • Parchment paper
  • 2 cups cooked ivory or red quinoa (cooked in water)
  • 1 cup old-fashioned oats
  • 1 cup coarsely chopped almonds
  • 1/2 cup raw pepitas
  • 1/2 cup sunflower seed kernels
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom
  • 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/3 cup coconut oil, melted
  • 1/3 cup maple syrup
  • 1 package (11 ounces) NESTLÉ RAISINETS Dark Chocolate-Covered Raisins
  • 1 cup shredded coconut, toasted

Directions:

PREHEAT oven to 375° F. Line a large, rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.

COMBINE quinoa, oats, almonds, pepitas, sunflower seed kernels, cinnamon, ginger, cardamom and salt in large bowl. Add coconut oil and maple syrup; stir to coat. Spread onto prepared baking sheet.

Quinoa Granola with Raisinets Recipe

BAKE for 35 to 40 minutes, stirring halfway through baking time, until golden and toasted. Once it has cooled completely, stir in the Raisinets and coconut. Store the granola in airtight container for up to 2 weeks.

Quinoa Granola with Raisinets Recipe

Here’s a little tip. Add a few tablespoons of this granola to nonfat Greek yogurt, and then drizzle with a little maple syrup. Perfect snack!

More Raisinets Snacks:

Nutty Raisinets Trail Mix Recipe Raisinets Cereal Snacking Mix Recipe
Nutty Raisinets Trail Mix Raisinets Cereal Snacking Mix

My Slow Cooker Obsession: Bread Pudding and Spinach Artichoke Dip

Written by Natalie

Slow Cooker Bread Pudding Recipe

My slow cooker is a huge part of my cooking. I love the fact that I can set it in the morning, go to work and when I get home a scrumptious meal is waiting for me. But I relegated the slow cooker to main dish functions only. It turns out, it can do it all! Behold a dessert and appetizer all made easily and painlessly in the trusty slow cooker. These two dishes are PERFECT for pot lucks, or football Sunday as they can be kept warm and delicious in their slow cooker home.

This Bread Pudding (pictured above) is comfort food to the max. It’s perfectly sweet, has a soft crunch from pecans and is creamy thanks to a blend of both evaporated and condensed milks. This is now a staple of my slow cooker repertoire.

Slow Cooker Spinach Artichoke Dip Recipe

Go Team! Recreate this fan favorite dip in the slow cooker. It’s very simple to prepare and the results are fantastic. Your team is sure to win when you serve this!

Slow Cooker Spinach Artichoke Dip

Ingredients for 40 servings:

  • 1 (12 fluid ounces) can NESTLÉ® CARNATION® Evaporated Milk
  • 1 (12 ounces) package STOUFFER’S Spinach Souffle, thawed*
  • 1 (13.75 ounces) can quartered artichoke hearts, drained, coarsely chopped
  • 1 small onion, grated
  • 1 (8 ounces) package cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 2 (8 ounces) cups shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 1 (4 ounces) cup crumbled Cotija cheese
  •  Pita or tortilla chips

Directions:

MIX evaporated milk, spinach soufflé, artichokes, onion, cream cheese, mozzarella cheese and Cotija cheese in a 5-quart slow cooker until well blended.

COOK on low for 2 to 3 hours or until dip is hot and cheeses are melted. Serve in slow cooker on warm with chips.

*NOTE: If unable to find Spinach Soufflé, substitute 1 package (10 ounces) frozen spinach, thawed, drained and squeezed dry.

More Slow Cooker Recipes:

Slow Cooker Enchiladas Recipe Barbecued Beef Sandwiches Recipe
Slow Cooker Enchiladas Barbecued Beef Sandwiches
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