Tag Archives: grilling

Start 2012 Right: Top Ten Appetizers & Snacks

Written by Nick – 

Below are some of our favorite apps and snacks from 2011. Whether you’re having a super bowl bash or cocktail party, these bite size recipes will be perfect for all that 2012 has to offer.

 Party Shrimp Skewers

1. Party Shrimp Skewers

The basil pesto salsa above adds a great flavor dimension to these grilled Party Shrimp Skewers. Perfect for outdoor parties or summertime entertaining on the patio.

Layered Monterey Pumpkin Dip

2. Layered Monterey Pumpkin Dip

Enjoy this Layered Monterey Pumpkin Dip and experience unexpected flavors in this version of a traditional layered dip. Good to the last spoonful!

Crostini Aperitivo

3. Crostini Aperitivo

Buon appetito! Add a touch of elegance to any gathering with this tasty Crostini Aperitivo appetizer above. Topped with prosciutto and a delicious goat cheese and pesto spread, you’ve never experienced Tuscany like this before.

Baked Ravioli Bites

4. Baked Ravioli Bites

Baked Ravioli Bites are decorated with artful toppings and are irresistible additions to a night of entertaining.

Party-Perfect Mini Quiches

5. Party-Perfect Mini Quiches

These bite-size, crustless colorful mini quiches above are filled with cheddar cheese, broccoli and red peppers. A delicious and colorful addition to any meal and also perfect as a party appetizer.

Coffee-Glazed Nuts

6. Coffee-Glazed Nuts

Walnuts, pecans and almonds combine in this tasty twist on the classic nut mix. With a sweet and savory coffee glaze, these Coffee-Glazed Nuts are sure to create a buzz!

Pesto Party Dip

7. Pesto Party Dip

This Pesto Party Dip is perfect on veggies, crackers and bread sticks. It is a delicious crowd-pleaser with creamy texture and robust pesto taste.

Peanut Butter "Cheese Ball"

8. Peanut Butter “Cheese Ball”

It’s a fact! Peanut butter and cheese top the list of kids’ favorite foods. Try them together in this unique recipe for Peanut Butter “Cheese Ball.”

With a shell of swirled morsels, this creamy, peanut-buttery snack is perfect for dipping graham cracker sticks and apple slices — a tasty addition to your child’s party menu.

Treat the little ones (and you too!) to this ever-so-delicious twist on the traditional cheese ball.

Smokin’ Almond Blue Cheese Dip

9. Smokin’ Almond Blue Cheese Dip

Smoked almonds paired with creamy Carnation are the secrets to this extra-special blue cheese dip. Use in place of the typical Ranch dip to serve with chicken thighs or wings, fresh veggies, or hearty crackers. It’s the perfect addition to any party buffet table.


10. TOLL HOUSE® Party Mix

Don’t wait for the next football game to enjoy one of your favorite party appetizers. TOLL HOUSE® Party Mix is great for any occasion.

National Linguine Day + Wine Pairing

Written by Liz –

Pesto Linguine with Green Beans & Artichoke Hearts recipe

I love to try to incorporate as many vegetables as possible into my meals – after all, how many of us actually get the recommended dose of veggies at each meal? So when I found out about National Linguine Day, I decided to find some linguine + vegetable recipes, and also try pairing wine with them.

Well, I found 2 great recipes – super easy version and look-like-a-chef version – plus 1 great wine to go with them both. Both recipes use one of my favorite vegetables, artichoke, which is a difficult food to pair with wine, but what wine goes with artichoke, pesto, green beans and lemon? I found the winning varietal…read below to find out!

Super Easy Version: Pesto Linguine with Green Beans & Artichoke Hearts

Ingredients for 4 servings:


PREPARE pasta according to package directions, cooking green beans with pasta; drain. Transfer pasta and beans to large serving bowl; toss with pesto, artichoke hearts and pepper. Sprinkle with cheese. Garnish with basil.

Linguine with Lemon and Grilled Baby Artichokes recipe

Look-Like-a-Chef Version: Linguine with Lemon and Grilled Baby Artichokes

Ingredients for 4 servings:

  • 1 1/2 cups fresh, frozen or canned baby artichokes or artichoke hearts, tossed in 2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 package (9 ounces) BUITONI Refrigerated All Natural Linguine
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine or chicken broth
  • 3 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon finely grated lemon peel
  • 2 to 3 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
  • 2 to 3 tablespoons chopped fresh chives
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons chopped fresh tarragon (optional)
  • 1/4 teaspoon each salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • BUITONI Refrigerated Freshly Shredded Parmesan Cheese


PREHEAT grill.

GRILL artichokes over medium heat until lightly browned. Alternatively, place on baking sheet, cut-side-up and position 6 inches from broiler. Broil for about 3 minutes or until lightly browned.

BRING water to a boil in large pot; add linguine. Cook for 1 minute. Drain, reserving ¼ cup cooking water.

HEAT oil in large skillet over medium heat. Add garlic; cook for 1 minute or until fragrant (the garlic should not brown). Stir in wine and cook for about 4 minutes or until slightly reduced. Add lemon juice, lemon peel, parsley, chives, tarragon, salt and pepper; cook for about 1 minute or until mixture is heated through.

ADD cooked linguine to skillet along with reserved cooking water and Parmesan cheese. Toss gently to coat. Toss in artichoke hearts. Serve immediately with additional extra virgin olive oil and Parmesan cheese, if desired.

Verdicchio with artichokes

Wine Pairing: Verdicchio

You need a wine with high acidity to pair with artichokes and something from Italy to match the food style. And a white wine since it’s a late summer dinner, pretty light with green vegetables and plenty of freshness. A Verdicchio is perfect for this! It’s crisp and snappy, matching the acidity of the artichokes and lemon, and creating some summer sizzle in your mouth. A last hurrah to the sun.


More linguine recipes:

Sensible Linguine Alfredo recipe
Sensible Linguine Alfredo
Easy Linguine with Creamy Tomato Sauce recipe
Linguine with Creamy Tomato Sauce

Chinese Inspiration: Steamed Shanghai Black Cod with Summer Vegetables

Written by Liz –

Steamed Shanghai Black Cod with Summer Vegetables recipe

Eating out is probably my very favorite thing to do. I love to pick out a new restaurant, then go check out its neighborhood and decor, imagining myself living nearby and becoming a regular, noting coffee shops on the corner I might frequent in the morning and places to find new wines after work. I always ask the server what the chef recommends – after all, he is the expert. She is the one who knows what’s fresh, what’s done best in her kitchen.

I especially love small, family owned, neighborhood Chinese joints, where you can find dishes so authentic you could only dream of recreating them at home. On a recent visit to one such place, I promptly asked “What should I eat?” Chef sent several dishes: all traditional Chinese slightly tweaked to accommodate local ingredients and Chef’s recent culinary obsessions. My favorites were the Szechuan Lamb Loin in Traditional Orange Peel Sauce and the Braised Fresh Black Cod with Szechuan Chili Sauce. Chef gallantly shared his black cod recipe with me, which was 3 pages long and included ingredients I couldn’t pronounce! I immediately set about making a simpler version that’s also easy to cook (based on Chris’ fish packets recipe).

I love Szechuan cooking: really spicy but also a sweet or cooling element to balance it. In this recipe, you can adjust the amount of red pepper flakes to get just the right level of spice that you will love. Gourmet Chinese food at home!

Steamed Shanghai Black Cod with Summer Vegetables

Ingredients for 4 servings:

  • 4 tablespoons sesame oil, divided
  • 6 cloves garlic, chopped
  • Grated peel and juice from 1 Mandarin orange or tangerine
  • 1/4 cup chicken stock
  • 1/4 cup sake or dry white wine
  • 1 bunch green onions, half bunch sliced thinly lengthwise and other half diced for garnish
  • 4 quarter-sized slices fresh ginger, finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon packed light brown sugar
  • 1 to 3 teaspoons red pepper flakes
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 4 (4 to 5 ounces each) about 1-inch-thick Alaskan or Black Cod fish fillets (can use other white fish such as wild halibut, red snapper, orange roughy or talapia)
  • 1 bunch thin asparagus spears, cut on diagonal into 2-inch pieces (about 2 1/2 cups total)
  • 2 zucchini, sliced into 1/4-inch circles (about 1 1/2 cups total)
  • Heavy-duty foil
  • 2 tablespoons toasted sesame seeds for garnish


Steamed Shanghai Black Cod with Summer Vegetables recipe

PREHEAT oven to 450° F.

HEAT 1 tablespoon sesame oil in large skillet over medium heat. Add garlic; cook, stirring frequently, for about 4 minutes or until brown.

Steamed Shanghai Black Cod with Summer Vegetables recipe

COMBINE remaining 3 tablespoons sesame oil, browned garlic, orange juice and grated peel, chicken stock, seasoning sauce, sake, thinly sliced green onions, ginger, brown sugar, chili flakes and cinnamon in large bowl. Mix well, as shown above.

Steamed Shanghai Black Cod with Summer Vegetables recipe

ARRANGE four 12 x 13-inch pieces of foil on work surface. Divide asparagus and zucchini evenly down center of each foil sheet. Place one fish fillet over vegetables.

Steamed Shanghai Black Cod with Summer Vegetables recipe

FOLD up foil sides to create small foil bowl. Pour about one-quarter cup of the sauce over fish and vegetables for each packet. Double fold top and ends to seal each packet, leaving room for heat circulation inside. Place on 15 x 10-inch jelly roll pan or rimmed baking sheet.

BAKE for 17 to 20 minutes or until fish is just opaque in center and vegetables are crisp-tender. Carefully open packets, allowing steam to escape away from you and let cool briefly. Using a spatula, gently push the fish and vegetables onto plate. Top with sauce, diced green onions and toasted sesame seeds. (This is also great served over rice.)

Steamed Shanghai Black Cod with Summer Vegetables recipe

Cook’s Tip:

Fish packets are also great on the grill! Preheat grill to medium. Place packets on grill; cover and cook over indirect heat for 20 minutes or until fish is opaque in center and vegetables are crisp-tender. Remove from grill and open carefully.


More fish recipes:

No Mess Summer Fish Packets with Pesto recipe
No Mess Summer Fish Packets with Pesto
Lemon-Dill Salmon recipe
Lemon-Dill Salmon recipe

Perfect for Dad’s Day & Summer: Grilled Sticky Ribs + Asian Coleslaw

Written by Chris

Grilled Sticky Ribs recipe

Celebrate Father’s Day and kick off your summer festivities with these succulent ribs. They are first baked then grilled with a sweet chili glaze for a delightful Asian-inspired finish. With only 20 minutes of preparation time, and mostly-unattended cooking time, this meal is hard to beat!

Asian Coleslaw recipe

Asian Coleslaw recipe

I like to serve this with the Asian Coleslaw above, and here’s a little tip: If you have leftover glaze from the recipe below, use it in the slaw dressing; you only need 2 tablespoons. Just replace the sweet chili sauce with the glaze. Mmm, finger-licking good I tell you!

Grilled Sticky Ribs, shown at top

Ingredients for 5 to 6 servings:

  • Aluminum foil
  • 2 racks (about 4 pounds total) baby back ribs
  • Garlic salt
  • Ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped red onion
  • 1 teaspoon finely chopped garlic
  • 1 teaspoon grated fresh ginger
  • 3/4 cup MAGGI TASTE OF ASIA Sweet Chili Sauce
  • 1/2 cup Apple NESTLÉ® JUICY JUICE® All Natural 100% Juice
  • 1 tablespoon rice wine (mirin)


PREHEAT oven to 300° F.

Grilled Sticky Ribs recipe

Using a knife, remove the membrane (that’s the shiny white coating) from bone side of ribs. This step is very important for tender ribs. You basically just need to get that knife under the membrane to loosen it and then start easing the membrane away from the meat. If the membrane feels slippery, use a paper towel for a good grip. If you are lucky, the membrane will come off in one piece as shown above. Just keep working at it, it will come off. 

Grilled Sticky Ribs recipe

PAT ribs dry with paper towel; season both sides liberally with garlic salt and black pepper as show above. Place ribs in a large roasting pan, overlapping as needed. Add about ½ cup water to pan. Cover tightly with foil.
BAKE for about 3 hours or until meat is very tender but not quite falling off the bones. (If you are short on time, just make sure the ribs bake at least 1 ½ hours.)

For the Sweet Chili Glaze:

Grilled Sticky Ribs recipe

Grilled Sticky Ribs recipe

HEAT oil in small saucepan over medium-high heat. Add onion; cook, stirring occasionally, for 2 to 3 minutes or until soft. Stir in garlic and ginger; cook for 1 minute. Stir in sweet chili sauce, Juicy Juice and rice wine. Reduce heat to low; cook for 8 minutes or until sauce is reduced to about 1 cup. It should be thick and sticky as shown above. 

Grilled Sticky Ribs recipe

PREHEAT grill or broiler. Brush glaze over tops of ribs. Grill over medium flame for 4 to 5 minutes or broil about 4 inches from heat for 3 to 5 minutes or until sauce caramelizes as shown above. Cut between the bones to separate; serve with any remaining glaze.

Grilled Sticky Ribs recipe

Happy Father’s Day to all the sweet (and spicy) dads and husbands out there! 


Related recipes – make it a meal:

Mini Brownie Ice Cream Sandwiches with Fresh Mint Ice Cream recipe
Mini Brownie Ice Cream Sandwiches with Fresh Mint Ice Cream
Asian Coleslaw recipe
Asian Coleslaw (don’t forget to add sticky rib sauce!)

Easy, Healthy Summer Recipes: Bean Salad, Shrimp Skewers & Ice Cream Pie

Enjoy today’s guest post by Robyn Webb.

Mediterranean Bean Salad recipe

There is much to look forward to in the summer months. Who doesn’t love the long, warm days and balmy nights, fun pool parties and outdoor dining? And summertime is a wonderful opportunity to renew your health goals that might have gone astray from those January resolutions. With an abundance of fresh summer fruits and vegetables in every color of the rainbow, eating healthy is only a forkful away.

I started thinking about recipes that would highlight all of this. No one wants to spend hours in a hot kitchen, so I created easy recipes that get food on the backyard table quickly. And with the thought of donning a swimsuit on the minds of many, the recipes had to be as easy on the figure as they would be in preparation.

In the summer, I am always looking for foods that are filling, but not hot and heavy, and cool bean salads fit the bill nicely. In the Mediterranean Bean Salad shown above, two varieties of fiber rich beans are combined with crisp, cool vegetables dressed up in a pesto punched vinaigrette. Pesto is such an intense flavoring and using reduced fat pesto adds a wallop of flavor to this bean salad, but keeps the fat and calories on the slim side. Use the vinaigrette to dress up a green salad or as a marinade to seafood, poultry or lean meat for summer grilling.

Party Shrimp Skewers recipe

And speaking of grilling, there’s nothing more delectable in the summer than smoke-touched foods. These Party Shrimp Skewers are paired with a nutrition-filled vegetable salsa that makes a fun appetizer or light main course. Zesty pesto once again adds richness and depth of flavor to an easy tomato salsa and is a wonderful foil for the smoky flavor of plump grilled shrimp.

Frozen Vanilla Peanut Butter Pie recipe

If its summer, there has to be ice cream somewhere on the menu, right? You need not deprive yourself of one of summer’s favorite foods; ice cream can be enjoyed even with the focus on health. Frozen Vanilla Peanut Butter Pie makes a fine finish to any summer meal. Edy’s Slow Churned Light Vanilla Ice Cream is whirled with nutty peanut butter all piled high into a low fat graham cracker crust topped with potassium-rich bananas. One cool slice of this deceiving decadent pie paired with your health goals sounds like a summer indeed to look forward to.

Enjoy your summer!

-Robyn Webb


Enter the Nestlé Kitchens Pie Recipe Contest!

Learn more about the Nestle Kitchens Pie Recipe Contest
Learn more about the Contest
Enter the Nestle Kitchens Pie Recipe Contest
Enter the Contest

Meatless Monday: Grilled Portobello Burgers with Pesto Mayo

Written by Chris

Grilled Portobello Burgers with Pesto Mayo recipe

Portobello mushrooms have been called the steak of the vegetarian world because of their hearty flavor and texture. Like many, I enjoy a good burger but recently have been trying to reduce meat consumption in our household. Eating less meat is a great way to control food costs and get more variety in your diet. One portobello mushroom has about 30 calories and no fat or cholesterol – compare that to a traditional burger.

When looking for burger-style portobello mushrooms, look for smoother and firmer caps without any slimy wet patches. After you bring them home, cook them right away or store them loosely inside a closed paper bag in the refrigerator for up to 7 days.

Wine pairing: Meaty mushrooms pair best with meaty wines. Portobello burgers need bold flavor to bring out their best, so serve them with a pinot noir, sangiovese or syrah/shiraz.

Grilled Portobello Burgers with Pesto Mayo recipe

Grilled Portobello Burgers with Pesto Mayo

Ingredients for 6 servings:

  • 1 container (7 ounces) BUITONI Refrigerated All Natural Pesto with Basil (reduced-fat pesto works great too!)
  • 2 tablespoons reduced-fat mayonnaise
  • 6 large portobello mushroom caps, stems trimmed or removed
  • 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • Salt and ground black pepper
  • 6 slices provolone cheese (optional)
  • 6 whole-wheat rolls, split open
  • Thinly sliced red onions
  • Roasted red peppers
  • 2 cups arugula leaves


COMBINE pesto and mayonnaise in medium bowl; stir well.

Grilled Portobello Burgers with Pesto Mayo recipe

PREHEAT grill to medium-high. Brush both sides of portobello mushrooms with oil; season with salt and pepper. Grill on both sides for about 4 minutes. Remove from grill and top with cheese (cheese isn’t required, but really complements the Portobello!). Toast cut sides of rolls on grill just until light golden; remove.

Grilled Portobello Burgers with Pesto Mayo recipe

SPREAD bottoms of each roll with about 2 tablespoons pesto mayo.

Grilled Portobello Burgers with Pesto Mayo recipe

TOP with mushroom, red onion, roasted red pepper and small handful of arugula. Top with top of roll. Ahh, now you are ready to dig in!

Check back soon for more delicious recipes. Oh, and remember to enter our Pie Recipe Contest (worth $1,000) before June 30!


Related recipes – make it a meal:

Tuscan Tortellini & Melon Salad recipe
Tuscan Tortellini & Melon Salad
Dark Chocolate Cherry Fudge recipe
Dark Chocolate Cherry Fudge

Enter the Nestlé Kitchens Pie Recipe Contest!

Learn more about the Nestle Kitchens Pie Recipe Contest
Learn more about the Contest
Enter the Nestle Kitchens Pie Recipe Contest
Enter the Contest
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