A Modern Twist on Italian Cuisine

Mealtime is a celebration, and Italian food is often viewed as an art form that includes the freshest, most authentic ingredients, prepared with passion and served with love to family and friends. Put a refreshing, modern twist on tradition with this Caprese Zucchini Noodle Bowl and help keep the love affair alive and well with this simple, colorful, flavorful, healthy cuisine. For more recipe creations, visit FilippoBerio.com/recipes. (Family Features)

Distribution authorized by Filippo Berio.

 

A Festive Season Ham Worth Celebrating

Cooks today crave new food inspiration, creative recipes and flavorful dishes, and they want it all at a great price. Whether you’re trying one of the year’s hottest cooking trends or serving up a spread for a festive season celebration, pork offers an affordable variety of cuts and flavor profiles to help inspire every occasion.

This season, the National Pork Board is teaming up with leading chefs from across the country –Matt Abdoo, Adam Sappington and Jose Mendin – to discover their favorite pork dishes, the techniques behind them and how pork inspires their creativity in the kitchen.

Chef Mendin is a five-time James Beard semi-finalist and founding partner and chef at Pubbelly Noodle Bar, an Asian-inspired gastropub in Miami. In his Honey Balsamic-Glazed Ham recipe, pineapple combines with honey and balsamic vinegar for a flavorful centerpiece that’s easily paired with smashed potatoes.

Visit PorkBeinspired.com for more pork cooking inspiration this holiday season.

Honey Balsamic-Glazed Ham with Smashed Potatoes

Recipe courtesy of Jose Mendin, Pubbelly Noodle Bar, on behalf of the National Pork Board

Prep time: 15 minutes

Cook time: 1 hour, 20 minutes

Servings: 8

  • 1          3-pound boneless ham, netting removed and casing trimmed off
  • 1/2       cup water

Honey Balsamic Glaze:

  • 1          can (8 ounces) crushed pineapple (2/3 cup pineapple, 1/3 cup juice)
  • 1/2       cup honey
  • 1/2       cup balsamic vinegar
  • 2          tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2          tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1/2       teaspoon finely chopped fresh thyme (or 1/4 teaspoon dried thyme)
  • 1/2       teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Smashed Potatoes:

  • 3          pounds small red potatoes, scrubbed but unpeeled
  • 3          tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2          tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 1/2    teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1/4       teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 2          tablespoons fresh parsley (or 1 1/2 teaspoons dried parsley)
  1. Make the Honey Balsamic Glaze: In a small heavy saucepan, bring ingredients to a boil over high heat, stirring often. Reduce the heat to low and simmer, stirring often, until the liquid is reduced by about half, 7-10 minutes. Transfer to small bowl and let cool to room temperature.
  2. Preheat oven to 350° F. Using a sharp knife, score ham in a crosshatch pattern. Place ham in roasting pan and add 1/2 cup water. Cover tightly with aluminum foil. Bake for 30 minutes. Uncover and spread half of the glaze over the ham, forcing it into the scored cuts. Bake for 15 minutes. Repeat with remaining glaze and bake until a meat thermometer inserted into the center of the ham reads 140° F, about 15 minutes more. If necessary, to keep glaze from scorching, tent ham with aluminum foil. Let stand at room temperature for 10 minutes before slicing.
  3. Make the Smashed Potatoes: After about 30 minutes of baking the ham, place potatoes in large saucepan and add enough cold, salted water to cover by 2 inches. Cover saucepan and bring to a boil over high heat. Uncover and reduce heat to medium. Cook until tender, about 20 minutes. Drain well and return potatoes to saucepan. Add butter, oil, salt and pepper, and crush with a large fork then stir in the parsley. Partially cover with the lid to keep warm.
  4. Slice the ham crosswise and serve with the smashed potatoes. (Family Features)

A Friendsgiving Feast

Sides, drinks and leftovers perfect for sharing with friends

Friendsgiving is the perfect opportunity to celebrate your second family with festive, fun recipes that stray a bit away from traditional fare.

“Friendsgiving is often held on the Saturday before Thanksgiving,” said Chef Kevan Vetter of the McCormick Kitchens. “It’s more of a potluck party than a traditional Thanksgiving – everyone is usually assigned a dish. Instead of stuffing or a green bean casserole, bring a dish that’s a little more fun, like corn pudding with a dash of smoky heat from chipotle chili pepper.”

These recipes for a caramelized Brie and a chocolatey red wine from the McCormick kitchens are also sure to please. If your party falls after the big day, put those turkey leftovers to good use with a cheesy turkey crescent ring perfect for feeding a group of friends.

Find more recipes to share with friends this season at McCormick.com.

Chipotle Corn Pudding

Prep time: 10 minutes

Cook time: 1 hour

Servings: 8

  • 1/4       cup cornstarch
  • 1/4       cup sugar
  • 2          teaspoons McCormick Minced Onions
  • 1 1/2    teaspoons McCormick Ground Mustard
  • 1          teaspoon McCormick Gourmet Sicilian Sea Salt
  • 1/4       teaspoon McCormick Chipotle Chili Pepper
  • 4          eggs
  • 1/2       cup milk
  • 1/4       cup (1/2 stick) butter, melted
  • 2          cans (14 3/4 ounces each) creamed corn
  • 1          can (15 1/4 ounces) whole- kernel corn, drained
  • nonstick cooking spray
  1. Heat oven to 400° F. In small bowl, mix cornstarch, sugar, onions, mustard, sea salt and chili pepper until well blended; set aside.
  2. In large bowl, lightly beat eggs. Stir in milk, butter and all corn. Gently stir in cornstarch mixture until well blended. Pour into 2 1/2-quart baking dish sprayed with nonstick cooking spray.
  3. Bake 1 hour, or until set, stirring halfway through cooking. Let stand 10 minutes before serving.

Slow Cooker Red Wine Hot Chocolate

Prep time: 5 minutes

Cook time: 1 hour

Servings: 14

  • 1          bottle (750 milliliters) red wine
  • 8          cups whole milk
  • 1          can (14 ounces) sweetened condensed milk
  • 1          package (12 ounces) dark chocolate chips
  • 1          teaspoon McCormick Ground Nutmeg
  • 4          McCormick Cinnamon Sticks
  1. Place all ingredients in slow cooker. Cover.
  2. Cook 60-70 minutes on high, or until chocolate is melted and mixture is heated through, stirring every 15 minutes.
  3. Reduce heat to low. Serve from slow cooker.

Pecan Pie Brie

Prep time: 5 minutes

Cook time: 12 minutes

Servings: 12

  • 1/2       cup firmly packed brown sugar
  • 1/2       teaspoon McCormick Ground Cinnamon
  • 1/4       teaspoon salt
  • 1/8       teaspoon McCormick Ground Nutmeg
  • 3          tablespoons butter, divided
  • 1          cup pecans, chopped
  • 1/2       cup light corn syrup
  • 2          tablespoons water
  • 1          teaspoon McCormick Pure Vanilla Extract
  • 1/2       teaspoon McCormick Rum Extract
  • 1          wheel Brie cheese, warmed
  1. In small bowl, mix brown sugar, cinnamon, salt and nutmeg until blended. Set aside.
  2. In large skillet over medium heat, melt 2 tablespoons butter. Add pecans; toast 5-7 minutes, or until golden brown, stirring frequently. Reduce heat to low.
  3. Stir remaining butter, corn syrup, water, vanilla extract, rum extract and brown sugar mixture into skillet. Cook and stir until butter is melted and mixture is heated through. Remove from heat. Mixture will thicken as it cools.
  4. Spoon over warmed Brie.

Leftover Turkey Taco Crescent Ring

Prep time: 25 minutes

Cook time: 25 minutes

Servings: 10

  • 1          package McCormick Original Taco Seasoning Mix, divided
  • 2          tablespoons butter
  • 1          cup finely chopped onion
  • 2          cups shredded, cooked turkey
  • 1          can (15 1/4 ounces) whole-kernel corn, drained
  • 1          can (10 ounces) diced tomatoes and chilies, drained
  • 1          garlic clove, minced
  • 1          container (8 ounces) whipped cream cheese
  • 2          cups shredded cheddar cheese, divided
  • 2          packages (8 ounces each) refrigerated crescent dinner rolls
  1. Heat oven to 375° F. Reserve 1 teaspoon taco seasoning mix in small bowl; set aside.
  2. In medium saucepan over medium heat, melt butter. Add onion; cook and stir 3 minutes, or until tender. Add turkey, corn, tomatoes, garlic and remaining seasoning mix. Cook and stir 5 minutes. Remove from heat. Stir in cream cheese and 1 cup shredded cheese.
  3. Unroll crescent roll dough on greased or parchment paper-lined baking pan. Separate into triangles. Arrange triangles to resemble sun with center open. Press dough where bottoms of triangles overlap. Spoon turkey mixture in ring where dough overlaps. Fold triangle points over filling, tucking into bottom layer to secure. Continue until entire ring is enclosed.
  4. Bake 15 minutes, or until golden brown.
  5. In bowl, stir remaining shredded cheese into reserved seasoning mix. Remove ring from oven. Sprinkle with cheese mixture. Bake 5 minutes longer, or until cheese is melted.
  6. Serve with desired toppings, such as shredded lettuce, sour cream or guacamole. (Family Features)

10 Winning Hacks for a Stress-free Tailgate

Tailgate

If there’s one thing fans look forward to more than the game itself it’s tailgating. This pregame ritual is essential, but it can also involve a lot of planning and organization. This season, if you’re looking for less stress and more fun at your tailgate, it’s time to bring in a fresh playbook.

With the right plays and a few smart hacks, you can streamline your tailgating experience to earn rave reviews without breaking a sweat. To be tailgate MVP, consider revising your pregame plan with these winning plays:

1st play: Know the rules
Every tailgate location has its own rules. Know what’s allowed so you’re not caught off guard. Info on food, drink, music, even electronics and generators is widely available on stadium websites.

2nd play: Plan the menu
Forget manning the flames. Create a burger-building extravaganza with Red Robin Gourmet Burgers and Brews’ new Gourmet Burger Bar. The hassle-free, traveling burger bar is complete with 10 (or more) individually wrapped and made-to-order beef, turkey, chicken breast and veggie burgers, with plenty of Yukon kettle chips, a bounty of fresh toppings and mouth-watering condiments to create customized burgers to everyone’s tastes. To order, call your local Red Robin restaurant or visit www.redrobin.com/catering.

3rd: Hydrate
Just like your team needs stamina to win, you’ll need it to last an entire day of tailgating. Feel your best by staying hydrated. In addition to your favorite drinks, freeze water bottles to use as ice. As they melt, you’re left with chilled water to quench your thirst.

4th play: Keep organized
When your team is flustered, it can cost them the game. Similarly, when you’re disorganized, it can cause your tailgate to fumble. Stay organized by packing essentials like bottle openers, sunscreen, duct tape, permanent markers and first-aid supplies in a toolbox or craft container.

5th play: Magnets are magical
Heavy-duty or industrial magnets are a lifesaver when surface area is scarce. Stock up so you can adhere banners and garbage bags safely to your car or nearby light posts.

6th play: Stand out
Your tailgate buddies will have a hard time finding you in a sea of vehicles. To stand out, go high. Fly a flag or inflate helium balloons with long strings to help direct friends to your location.

7th play: Stay connected
The modern tailgater needs to stay connected. Bring a car phone charger so you don’t drain your battery by continuously checking the out-of-town scoreboard. What’s more, bring multiple extension cords to keep your entire crew charged up.

8th play: Game on
As you get closer to kickoff, why not have some friendly competition of your own? Classic tailgate games like cornhole, ring toss and ladder ball will get everyone in the mood to cheer their favorite team to victory.

9th play: Keep clean
To make sure a win is the only thing you bring home from the stadium, create a portable hand-washing station. Fill an empty laundry detergent dispenser with water, place a bottle of liquid hand soap beside it and hang paper towels with a bungee cord. You’ll keep hands clean for cheering and keep cold and flu bugs at bay.

10th play: Pack the night before
If you’re packing in the morning, you’re wasting valuable time while someone else is taking the best tailgating spot. Pack as much as you can the evening prior, leaving only the last-minute essentials for game day. (BPT)

Simple Snacks for Anytime Entertaining

When it comes to entertaining, it’s not always about three-course meals or hours upon hours of preparation. Sometimes, the best hosts look toward simple snacks and small plates to please guests with an array of palates.

Herbs, onions, artichokes and olives create a medley of flavors atop this savory flatbread that makes it easy to give guests a fresh bite without spending too much time in the kitchen. Or you can enjoy a berry and beet chutney as a topping for crostini that is spread with goat or cream cheese, or topped with a thin slice of Gouda or a runny slice of Brie. It’s also a welcome addition to an open-face sandwich.

The secret is using convenient ingredients like Aunt Nellie’s Harvard Beets and Holland-Style Onions that contribute great flavors to recipes and also help streamline preparation as guests settle in for an evening of fun and relaxation.

Explore more ideas to make your entertaining skills shine at AuntNellies.com.

Herbed Mediterranean Flatbread

Prep time: 15 minutes

Cook time: 10-12 minutes

Servings: 4

  • 1          jar (16 ounces) Aunt Nellie’s Holland-Style Onions
  • 1          jar (7 1/2 ounces) quartered, marinated artichoke hearts
  • 1/4       cup finely chopped red bell pepper
  • 1/4       cup chopped fresh parsley
  • 2          tablespoons chopped or sliced Kalamata olives
  • 1/4       teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • coarsely ground black pepper
  • 2          tablespoons shredded Parmesan cheese, divided
  • 2          teaspoons olive oil
  • 1/2       teaspoon dried thyme leaves, crushed
  • 1          clove garlic, minced
  • 2          whole-grain round or square flatbreads (about 6-7 inches diameter)
  • fresh basil (optional)
  1. Heat oven to 400° F. Drain onions. Pat dry. Discard liquid. Drain artichokes well. Discard liquid.
  2. Press onions with spatula to crush lightly. Pat dry again. Place in large bowl. Coarsely chop artichokes. Add to bowl with onions. Stir in bell pepper, parsley, olives, red pepper flakes, black pepper and 1 tablespoon Parmesan cheese; set aside.
  3. In small bowl, stir together olive oil, thyme and garlic. Brush over one side of flatbreads. Place on baking sheet; bake 2 minutes. Remove from oven.
  4. Top each flatbread with onion mixture. Sprinkle with remaining Parmesan cheese. Return to oven. Bake 8-10 minutes, or until heated through and flatbread is crisp.
  5. Cut each flatbread in half. Sprinkle with fresh basil, if desired.

Beet and Berry Chutney

Prep time: 20 minutes

Servings: 10

  • 1/2       cup orange marmalade
  • 1          jar (15 1/2 ounces) Aunt Nellie’s Harvard Beets, not drained
  • 1/4-1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1          tablespoon finely chopped candied ginger (optional)
  • 1 1/2    cups berries (fresh or frozen unsweetened cranberries, blueberries, raspberries or strawberries, cut in half or quartered, if large)
  1. In medium saucepan over medium heat, stir marmalade until melted. Stir in beets and red pepper. Cook 3-5 minutes until liquid is reduced by about half, stirring frequently. Add ginger, if desired.
  2. If using only cranberries, add to pan with beet mixture and cook until they just begin to pop. If also using other berries, add to beet-cranberry mixture; stir and heat through. If using only blueberries, raspberries or strawberries, add to beet mixture after reducing liquid. Stir and heat through.
  3. Remove pan from heat; cool to room temperature before serving.

Note: Chutney can also be served chilled. Store, covered, in a refrigerator up to 1 week. (Family Features)

Park & Palate Announces Wineries and Spirits to be Featured at 2017 Grand Taste on October 14

Klyde Warren Park is excited to announce the wineries and spirits that will be featured in its annual fundraiser, Park & Palate’s Grand Taste, taking place on Saturday, October 14 from 2 to 6 p.m. In addition to enjoying the best of Texas cuisine, guests at the Grand Taste will enjoy a tasting of premier wines, spirits, and beer.

“We’re complementing the creative dishes our participating chefs will be featuring with a wide variety of wines and spirits at this year’s Park & Palate,” said Erika White, vice president of events and programs at Klyde Warren Park. “We are deeply grateful for Republic National Distributing Company’s collaboration and the support of Klyde Warren Park.”

The Grand Taste will showcase popular wineries and spirits from all over the state and country, including Joseph Phelps Vineyards, Wines of Bordeaux, and Duckhorn Vineyards.  The list of Grand Taste wine, spirits, and beer at Park & Palate 2017 is included below:

  • Alaskan Brewing Company
  • Austin Cocktails
  • Austin Hope
  • Banfi Wines
  • Becker Vineyards
  • Bishop Cider Company
  • Blue Moon Tequila
  • Canvasback
  • Casa Noble
  • Chateau Ste. Michelle
  • Cherry Pie Wines
  • Community Beer Company
  • Crawford Malone
  • Crimson Wine Group
  • Davis Bynum
  • Deep Ellum Brewing Company
  • Delicato Family Vineyards
  • Diora Wines
  • Duchman Family Winery
  • Duckhorn Vineyards
  • Excelsior Wines
  • Francis Ford Coppola Winery
  • Gentleman Jack
  • Glenfiddich
  • Hendrick’s Gin
  • High West Distillery
  • Hope Family Wines
  • Hundred Acre Wine Group
  • Impatience
  • Impeccable
  • Jackson Family Wines
  • Joseph Phelps Vineyards
  • K Vintners
  • Kobrand Wine & Spirits
  • Korbel California Champagne
  • Layer Cake Wines
  • Llano Estacado
  • Pahlmeyer
  • Palm Bay International
  • Reyka Vodka
  • Rodney Strong Vineyards
  • Round Pond Estate
  • Roxor Artesian Gin
  • Santa Margherita
  • SIXTO
  • Sonoma-Cutrer Wines
  • Treana Wines
  • Trinchero Family Estates
  • Tullamore Dew
  • Vektor Vodka
  • VINO
  • Vintage Wine Estates
  • Vintus Wines
  • Wines of Bordeaux
  • Wines of Rioja
  • Wines of Substance
  • Yellow Rose Distilling
  • Z. Alexander Brown
  • Zephyr Gin and more

“We’re excited to be a part of Klyde Warren Park’s annual fundraiser for the third year, and to host such an exciting culinary experience with world-class wines and spirits,” said Leon Cikota, vice president of Fine Wine Texas at Republic National Distributing Company.

Guests will also have the opportunity to join special wine seminars as well as pop-up bars from local favorites inside Savor Gastropub. The schedule for the Grand Taste seminars and pop-up bars is as follows:

Wine Seminars:

2:30 p.m. – 3 :15 p.m.: Discover the Cuts: Wine pairing with steaks from 44 Farms and Chef Jr. Borges

3:30 p.m. – 4:15 p.m.: Bubbles for Days!:  Sparkling wines from around the world

4:30 p.m. – 5:15 p.m.: Taste of Spain: A walk through Rioja

Pop-up Bars (available for VIP ticket holders):

2 – 3:30 p.m.: The Typsy Alchemist

3:30 – 5 p.m.: The Hide Bar

5 – 6 p.m.: Savor Bar

This year, the culinary celebration is taking the unique theme of “Pillars and Protégés”, featuring well-known pillar chefs who are selecting a partner with whom to create a special collaborative dish for the weekend’s tasting. The Grand Taste lineup includes notable regional and national chefs, including four-time James Beard Award nominated chef from Dallas Kent Rathbun, Jason Dady of the Jason Dady Restaurant Group,Executive Chef Junior Borges of The Joule Hotel, Rico Torres and Diego Galicia of Mixtli, Amanda Rockman of South Congress Hotel, Page Pressley of Emmer & Rye, Richard Ruskell, and more.

Returning as co-chairs for Park & Palate are Lyn and John Muse and Carolyn and Rob Walters. Republic National Distributing Company is returning as the event’s presenting sponsor. Additional sponsors include D Magazine, Texas Capital Bank, Winston & Strawn LLP, Lucchese Bootmaker, Visit Dallas, Briggs Freeman Sotheby’s International Realty, Hardie’s, Rental Stop, CBRE, Boardwalk Auto Group, Firebird Restaurant Group, Nestlé Waters, and WeWork.

The Grand Taste will take place on Saturday, October 14 at Klyde Warren Park, located at 2012 Woodall Rodgers Freeway in downtown Dallas, Texas. Tickets for the Grand Taste are $75 for general admission and $125 for VIP and are still available to be purchased online at www.parkandpalate.org. Tickets must be purchased in advance, as they will not be sold at the door. Proceeds will benefit Klyde Warren Park, which is managed by the nonprofit Woodall Rodgers Park Foundation. For more information, please visitwww.parkandpalate.org.

Houndstooth Coffee New East MLK Location Coming Fall 2017

Houndstooth Coffee is opening a new location at Platform, the mixed-use development located in East Austin on East Martin Luther King Jr Blvd.
Located at 2823 East Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd Ste 101, the new cafe marks the third Austin cafe for the Texas-based brand. A collaboration between Houndstooth Coffee and Dallas-based architecture and design studio, OFFICIAL, the location’s overall design embraces the large, naturally lit volume of the retail space while concentrating on the functionality of the Houndstooth Coffee experience. Design is centered around an expansive U-shaped counter that offers traditional seating and custom-made bar seating, maximizing engagement between baristas and their guests. Natural finish materials like white oak, alder, quartz and leather are used throughout to balance the bright openness of the space, creating an airy and welcoming interior.
With built-in bench seating along the walls, leather arm chairs, and additional counter seating overlooking the patio and street, the new cafe offers flexible seating options for groups and individuals alike. In addition to plenty of indoor seating, the new Houndstooth Coffee cafe will feature a patio along East MLK Jr Blvd with additional outdoor seating from RAD furniture.
The new Houndstooth location will offer beer, wine and a small cocktail menu in addition to its standard coffee / espresso / tea beverages menu. Situated on the light rail line and open late (until 11 p.m. on weekdays and midnight on weekends), the new cafe will be an ideal happy hour stop for commuters on their way home.
The MLK cafe joins the existing two Austin cafes located at 4200 N Lamar Blvd STE120 and 401 Congress Ave STE100C. Houndstooth Coffee also has two current locations in Dallas, with a third Dallas cafe opening this fall as well, at The Hill Shopping Center in North Dallas, on property at sustainable home improvement store TreeHouse.

Reserve the Rind

Watermelon rinds make for more than just attractive containers for serving cold dishes and beverages. The rind can also be used in creative, edible ways and is good for your heart.

Watermelon, both the flesh and the rind, is a good source of a compound called citrulline, an amino acid that raises levels of arginine in the blood, which in turn helps maintain blood flow, healthy blood vessels and heart health.

Whether you’re eating for good health or good taste (or both), you can use the rind to make pickles and relishes, grate into salads and slaws, toss into stir-fry and add to smoothies and juice. The key to chowing down on watermelon rind is knowing how to prepare it. These three preparation methods can help you put that rind to good use:

Pickled: Watermelon rind is similar to a cucumber, which is why it’s no surprise that pickled watermelon rind is a popular option.

Juiced: Most people know you can enjoy juice from red flesh of the melon, but you can juice the rind, too. Just like the watermelon flesh, the rind is loaded with water and nutrients.

Stir-Fried: When it’s cut up, watermelon rind is just like a vegetable, which means it can be tossed in a pan and stir-fried right alongside broccoli and carrots.

Look for more creative ways to use your watermelon rind at watermelon.org.

Watermelon Rind Pickles

  • 4          cups water
  • 1          tablespoon coarse salt
  • 2          cups peeled watermelon rind, cut into 1-1/2-by-2-inch pieces (leave thin layer of pink)
  • 3/4       cup granulated sugar
  • 1          allspice berry
  • 1/2       cup cider vinegar
  • 4          peppercorns
  • 4          whole cloves
  • 1/2       teaspoon pickling spice
  • 1          long slice of fresh gingerroot
  • 1/4       teaspoon celery seeds
  1. In large pot over medium-high heat, bring water and salt to boil. Add rind pieces and boil until tender, about 5 minutes. Strain. Transfer rinds to large metal bowl.
  2. In saucepan, combine watermelon rind, sugar, berries, vinegar, peppercorns, cloves, pickling spice, gingerroot and celery seeds. Bring to boil over medium-high heat, stirring until sugar dissolves. Simmer 15 minutes until slightly reduced. Pour over watermelon rinds in bowl. Place plate over top to keep rinds submerged in liquid.
  3. Cover and refrigerate 1 day. Transfer to glass jar and keep sealed in refrigerator up to 2 weeks.

Watermelon Rind Stir-Fry

  • 2          teaspoons sesame oil
  • 2          cups watermelon rind, julienned (white part only, from about 1/2 of seedless watermelon)
  • 1          cup julienned carrots
  • 1/2       cup chives, cut into 3-inch pieces
  • 1          tablespoon honey
  • 1          tablespoon soy sauce
  • 1          tablespoon fish sauce
  • 1          clove garlic, minced
  • 1          piece (about 1 inch) ginger, minced
  • 1/2       cup fresh basil leaves, torn
  • 1/4       cup cilantro leaves
  • 1/4       cup mint leaves
  • crushed red pepper flakes (optional)
  1. In wok over high heat, heat sesame oil. Add watermelon rind and carrots and fry, stirring constantly, 1-2 minutes. Let sit over high heat 1 additional minute without stirring. Add chives and stir to combine.
  2. In small bowl, whisk together honey, soy sauce, fish sauce, garlic and ginger. Pour sauce over watermelon rind and cook, stirring, 30 seconds-1 minute, until fragrant.
  3. Transfer to serving dish. Add basil, cilantro and mint, tossing to combine. Sprinkle with red pepper flakes, if desired, and serve. (Family Features)

SOURCE:
National Watermelon Promotion Board

Pumpkin-Perfect Autumn Recipes

Fall is perfect for making time for fun before the busy holiday season – go for a fall picnic, visit your local orchard or pumpkin patch, and take advantage of all the flavors fall has to offer. Try these delicious, comforting, no-hassle fall ideas that won’t carve a big chunk out of your budget:

  • The great taste of seasonal produce can stand on its own, adding star power to simple recipes. Baked pears or apples are a sweet, festive treat. Slice them in half and fill with walnuts, drizzle with honey and sprinkle with cinnamon. Bake until the sugars caramelize and fruits soften.
  • Take on-the-go snacks to the next level by coating almonds or garbanzo beans in your favorite seasonal spices and baking until crispy.

No matter the season, trim time grocery shopping by relying on a one-stop-shop like ALDI. Whether you’re looking for a new pumpkin spice treat or need quality ingredients for your famous chili, you can find it all at wallet-friendly prices.

Find more tips and recipes for a hassle-free fall at ALDI.us.

Pumpkin Pie Smoothie Bowl

Recipe Courtesy of Chef Audrey, ALDI Test Kitchen

  • 1/2       cup Baker’s Corner 100% Pure Canned Pumpkin
  • 1/2       cup Friendly Farms Plain Nonfat Greek Yogurt
  • 1/2       frozen banana
  • 1/2       cup Friendly Farms Unsweetened Original Almondmilk
  • 2          teaspoons Specially Selected 100% Pure Maple Syrup
  • 1          teaspoon Stonemill Pumpkin Pie Spice

Optional garnishes:

  • SimplyNature Flax Seed
  • Southern Grove Chia Seeds
  • Baker’s Corner Semi-Sweet Mini Morsels
  • Southern Grove Chopped Pecans, toasted
  • Apple slices
  • SimplyNature Organic Ground Cinnamon
  1. Blend canned pumpkin, yogurt, banana, milk, syrup and pumpkin pie spice until smooth. Transfer to serving bowl. Top with desired garnishes.

Mini Pumpkin Parfait with Cranberry Caramel

Recipe courtesy of Chef Kates, ALDI Test Kitchen

  • 1          package Cafe Bistro Spekulatius Spiced Cookies
  • 1/2       cup Countryside Creamery Unsalted Butter, divided
  • 1/2       cup packed Baker’s Corner Brown Sugar
  • 1/4       cup water
  • 1          cup Sweet Harvest Whole Berry Cranberry Sauce
  • 8          ounces Happy Farms Pumpkin Spice Cream Cheese Spread, softened
  • 1/4       cup Baker’s Corner Powdered Sugar
  • 1          cup Baker’s Corner 100% Pure Canned Pumpkin
  • 8          ounces Friendly Farms Whipped Topping, divided
  1. Place cookies in food processor and pulse to form fine crumbs.
  2. In medium saucepan, melt 1/4 cup butter. Add cookie crumbs and stir over medium heat 5 minutes, or until toasted. Remove from heat.
  3. To make caramel: Bring brown sugar and water to simmer. Cook about 10 minutes, or until color changes to dark amber. Do not stir, but watch closely. Stir in cranberry sauce and remaining butter. Return to simmer and continue stirring until well combined and thickened slightly, 3-4 minutes. Remove from heat and let cool to room temperature.
  4. Press warm cookie crumbs in bottom of small serving glasses, such as clear shot glasses, espresso cups, small bowls or parfait glasses. Set aside.
  5. In medium bowl, beat cream cheese and powdered sugar until light and fluffy. Add pumpkin and continue mixing to combine. Gently fold in 6 ounces whipped topping.
  6. To complete assembly, top crumbs with layers of cranberry caramel and pumpkin cream. Repeat layers, including crumbs, 2-3 times depending on glass size. Top each parfait with dollop of remaining whipped topping. Serve immediately or refrigerate up to 8 hours. (Family Features)

SOURCE:
ALDI

Local Alcohol Worth Traveling For!

(Hotels with their own line of alcohol or an “in” to experience local alcohol) 

We’re presenting thrilling ideas that speak to the art of living well and having an “in” to immerse yourself in local culture.

No matter what your cup of tea or shot of liquor is, trying local alcohol will spice up your travel and give you a taste of the destination’s flavors. For every type of alcohol, there are always places rumored to be the best to try it and the experiences are definitely worth traveling for. Whether it’s an alochol specific to a certain region, winery, distillery, or even bar, these hotels offer an “in” for you to experience local alcohol, and some have their very own exclusive line of alcohol.

Choose your insider booze experience:

Sandpearl Resort Deep Blue Tangerine Wheat

Sandpearl Resort Deep Blue Tangerine Wheat

Booze: Craft Beer

Where to have it: Opal Sands Resort, Sandpearl Resort, Lido Beach Resort – Opal Collection hotels in Clearwater Beach and Sarasota, Florida

With trendy craft breweries popping up all over Florida, a few of the Opal Collection hotels offer guests a taste of local beer through a partnership with Sea Dog Brewing Company based in Clearwater, Florida. This local brewery created an exclusive line of craft beers for the Opal Collection hotels, with two brews, the “Deep Blue IPA” and “Deep Blue Tangerine Wheat”, available on tap at Opal Sands Resort, Sandpearl Resort, and Lido Beach Resort. The Deep Blue IPA is a medium-bodied crisp, triple-hopped IPA with citrus and floral spices and the Deep Blue Tangerine Wheat is a light, fruity, and earthy ale. For a chance to check out the local brewery scene along the St. Pete / Clearwater Craft Beer Trail, Sandpearl Resort offers a Craft Beer Trail Chauffeur Service, where up to 14 beer lovers get their own VIP ride for the day or night and a map of the all the best hotspots.

Aruba Marriott - Aruba Ariba

Aruba Marriott – Aruba Ariba

Booze: Coecoei (Aruban liquor)

Where to have it:Aruba Marriott Resort & Stellaris Casino – Aruba

Sure to ease you into vacation mode, when you first arrive at Aruba Marriott Resort & Stellaris Casino’s tropical oasis, you’ll be greeted with the One Happy Island’s signature cocktail, an Aruba Ariba. While to first-time visitors, it may just look like a tropical rum punch due to its vibrant red-pink color, but it’s so much more than that. The Aruba Arriba features 3 juices including pineapple juice, orange juice, and cranberry juice as well as 5 liquors including rum, vodka, banana liquor, Grand Marnier, and Coecoei – a centuries-old Aruban liquor first made by Indian tribes and derived from the sap of the kukwisa agave plant and then mixed with rum and cane sugar.

The House Rum

The House Rum

Booze: Rum

Where to have it: The House – Barbados

The island of Barbados may only measure 166 square miles, but this eastern Caribbean locale (aka the birthplace of rum) has no shortage of lively spots to ‘lime.’ The most iconic: the Mount Gay Rum Factory where travelers can sign up for distillery tours and tastings, complete with a few sips of the limited edition 1703 Master Select blend. For rum lovers looking to imbibe on the beach (because when in Barbados, right?), head toThe House, the chic, adults-only boutique hotel on the island’s platinum west coast. Not only can the property arrange private Mount Gay tastings, but the friendly staff will help keep the party going at the on-site 1703 Mount Gay Rum Bar. When the iconic sunset calls for a drink to complete the ultimate Insta story, look no further than the Bajan Rum punch, best enjoyed from the comfort of the bar’s plush, oversized lounge chairs.

CasaMagna Puerto Vallarta Tequila

CasaMagna Puerto Vallarta Tequila

Booze: Tequila

Where to have it: CasaMagna Marriott Puerto Vallarta – Mexico

At the epicenter of tequila culture you’ll find CasaMagna Marriott Puerto Vallarta — one of the few resorts in the world that grows its own agave azul onsite and produces a proprietary brand of tequila. The resort offers 114 tequilas by the glass, an in-house Tequila Sommelier, and weekly tasting classes for guests as part of the “CasaMagna Secretos de la Familia” program to help increase their knowledge of and appreciation for the most famous product of the resort’s home State of Jalisco: Tequila. Try their signature tequila mixed in the Margarita Magna – tequila cuervo gold, controy (Mexican orange liqueur), freshly squeezed lemon juice, mango & coconut cream. Oh boy!

JW Marriott Cusco Camote Pisco Sour with Sweet Potato

JW Marriott Cusco Camote Pisco Sour with Sweet Potato

Booze: Pisco

Where to have it:JW Marriott El Convento Cusco  -  Peru

Cusco is one of the world’s top destinations for gastronomy. Beyond native dishes, their national spirit, Pisco, is a big part of the culture, and a must-have when visiting Peru. JW Marriott El Convento Cusco invites you to join Executive Chef Thais Rodriguez behind the bar for a hands-on tutorial on how to make the perfect Pisco Sour – the national drink. During the lesson, guests learn the origins of Pisco, the different ways to enjoy it, and the secrets to mastering Peru’s classic cocktail, while personalizing their Pisco Sours with macerated varieties of pisco like passionfruit, ají picante — a hot chili pepper — or the hotel’s signature drink, the Camote Sour. Made with juiced sweet potatoes, the cocktail is loaded with nutrient-rich health benefits and served exclusively at the JW Marriott Cusco. Not only will you leave with lasting memories, but also with a pretty useful party skill that’s sure to impress. 

Il Salviatino Laterrazza

Il Salviatino Laterrazza

Booze: Wine

Where to have it:Il Salviatino – Tuscany, Italy

Among the rolling Tuscan hills you will find Il Salviatino, a hand-restored, 15th century villa just 15 minutes outside of the pulsing city of Florence. As one of the oldest wine-producing regions in the world, Il Salviatino makes it a priority to connect guests with the area’s most cherished wine makers by arranging tours and tastings at private, family-owned wineries… so it’s less about the crowds, and all about the vino. A favorite among the hotel’s Service Ambassadors isColle Bereto, a hidden gem in the Chianti country offering beyond-belief views and private tastings within its 11th century, 148-acre property, which is owned by the Panzauti family. Here, guests encounter a variety of Sangiovese grapes, Pinot Noir, and Merlot. After touring the vineyard and cellars, they are treated to a wine pairing lunch – al fresco – with the simplest, but most delicious Italian specialties – cheeses, meats and homemade pastas — on the menu.

Blue Curacao  and Coconuts

Blue Curacao and Coconuts

Booze: Blue Curaçao

Where to have it: Willemstad, Curaçao

Curaçao, the “C” of the ABC islands in the Caribbean, is known for its blues music, its 35+ ocean-blue beaches, and most importantly, its Blue Curaçao liqueur. This famous drink is distilled and bottled at Landuis Chobolobo, an estate built in the early 19th century, located in the heart of the island, Willemstad. The refreshing bright blue liqueur is crafted from dried Laraha orange peels exclusively grown in Curaçao. Want to try the different flavors of The Genuine Curaçao Liqueur? Take a guided tour of the Chobolobo factory and witness how the famous “Blue Curaçao” has been distilled using traditional methods for more than 100 years while enjoying the different flavors including tamarind and chocolate.