(Family Features) For people who manage their health through nutrition or use food as a medicinal replacement, few products offer the power of “superfoods.” Kale is one leafy green commonly recognized as a superfood, but watercress is a tastier superfood option worth considering.
Watercress has more flavor, is more versatile and is healthier than its leafy cousins. It’s also easier to digest with a more pleasing texture. In fact, according to an independent research study published last spring by the Centers for Disease Control, it is the most nutrient-dense food available today.
For a high concentration of phytonutrients, antioxidants and vitamins, look to options such as those available through hydroponic greenhouse grower Hollandia Produce, which raises two cress varieties: Live Gourmet Living Upland Cress and Grower Pete’s Living Organic Watercress. Both varieties also deliver up to twice the vitamin C of an orange; more calcium than milk; and high levels of magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, iron, beta-carotene and vitamins A, B1, B6, K and E.
Watercress also has multiple uses as a medicinal herb. Some of these more popular applications include preventing eczema, as well as supporting digestive, urinary tract, eye and respiratory health.
Visit hollandiaproduce.com to find more recipes and learn more about this flavorful superfood.
Silky Egg Cress Salad
- 1 package Live Gourmet Living Upland Cress or Grower Pete’s Living Watercress, root ball and stems removed, leaves rinsed and patted dry
- 2 medium eggs
- 3 purple potato chips (purple potatoes sliced thin, seasoned and sauteed until crisp)
- 3 slices fresh avocado
- 3 slices ripe pear
- 3 slices persimmon
- 2 pieces toasted brioche bread
- 2 tablespoons Orange Vinaigrette
- 2 tablespoons frozen orange juice concentrate
- 2 tablespoons grape seed oil
- 2 teaspoons rice wine vinegar
- 1 teaspoon honey
- pinch cracked black pepper
- In small bowl, whisk together vinaigrette ingredients and set aside.
- Prepare and artfully arrange cress and all ingredients, except eggs, on serving plate and set aside.
- Soft boil eggs 5 minutes in 1 quart of water. Remove from heat and cool 30 seconds under cold running water. Gently remove shells. While still warm, slice eggs in half and place atop the plated salad. Lightly drizzle with Orange Vinaigrette.
“Cressto” Pesto Sauce
- 3 cups Live Gourmet Living Upland Cress or Grower Pete’s Living Watercress, root ball and bottom 1/3 stems removed, rinsed and patted dry
- 2 cloves garlic, chopped
- 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
- 1/2 cup grape seed oil
- 1 teaspoon lemon zest
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1/2 cup plain Greek yogurt
- In blender or food processor, combine cress and garlic and pulse until coarsely chopped.
- Add remaining ingredients and process until blended.
- Drizzle over pasta, risotto, fish, meat or eggs, or use as a spread.
(Family Features) Instead of fighting crowds at the store, head to the kitchen and whip up Pinterest-worthy treats and crafts. Whether you’re gifting a gracious host or just want a few extra presents on hand for unexpected holiday guests, flavorful and aromatic kitchen creations are a delicious way to show you care this holiday season.
“Christmas cookies are always a popular gift but they’re not the only homemade option for the cookie lovers on your list,” said Chef Kevan Vetter of the McCormick Kitchens. “A small jar of spreadable Gingerbread Cookie Butter brings the taste of a classic holiday treat to unexpected places like toast and pancakes.”
Prep time: 5 minutes
Cook time: 15 minutes
Makes: 1 jarSupplies
- 2-3 pine branches (4 inches long)
- 2 McCormick Gourmet Cinnamon Sticks
- 1 teaspoon McCormick Gourmet Whole Jamaican Allspice
- Place pine, cinnamon and allspice inside 8-ounce jar. Pour water to fill jar, leaving 1/2-inch headspace; seal.
- To add a lovely fragrance around the house, pour all contents of jar into small saucepan. Simmer on medium heat 10-15 minutes or until fragrant, adding additional water as needed.
Gingerbread Cookie Butter
- 8 ounces gingerbread cookies, about 8 (3 1/2-inch long) cookies
- 1/2 cup confectioners’ sugar
- 1/2 cup coconut oil
- 1/4 cup water
- 2 teaspoons McCormick Pure Vanilla Extract
- 1/2 teaspoon McCormick Ground Cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon McCormick Ground Ginger
- Pulse cookies in food processor until resembling fine crumbs. Add sugar; pulse until just blended.
- Heat oil and water in small saucepan on low heat until coconut oil is melted. Slowly add oil mixture to processor while pulsing. Add vanilla and spices; pulse until just blended.
24 (1 tablespoon each)
McCormick & Company, Inc.
(Family Features) A table filled with delicious food and dazzling decor surrounded by family and friends is the perfect recipe for a holiday dinner to remember. Once you’ve figured out your menu, be sure to leave time to plan the table decor.
A festive and memorable gathering can be achieved without the fuss by using things you already have around the house. Use these tips to help make your holiday dinner party a success during this most wonderful time of year:
- Keep things simple. White dinnerware, such as Mikasa’s Ciara dinnerware, which features embossed swirling lines on a durable bone china body, makes a great backdrop to showcase your holiday meal. Look for Ciara, Loria and Ortley white dinnerware sets (16-piece sets) at Macys.com for $99.
- Add splashes of color and texture. It’s OK to mix and match patterns, colors and textures on the table. If you have white or solid colored dishes, layer with decorative salad plates or add seasonal glassware or use red napkins, chargers or placemats to create a holiday atmosphere.
- Be creative with table decorations. Try using things you have in new ways. Scatter candles, ornaments and greenery down the center of the table. Add some holly leaves and berries to a vase or pitcher to complete the look.
- Don’t skip the details. It’s easy to focus on the bigger elements, but small touches can take your spread to another level. Coordinate details, such as place cards, napkin rings and placemats, with the theme to make your tablescape memorable.
End the evening with a crowd-pleasing dessert, such as this Vanilla-Orange Cheesecake with Cranberry Swirl and Gingersnap Crust.
Vanilla-Orange Cheesecake with Cranberry Swirl and Gingersnap Crust
- 2 cups fresh or frozen cranberries
- 1 3/4 cup sugar, divided
- 1/2 cup orange juice, plus 1 tablespoon
- 1/2 cup water
- 24-32 purchased gingersnap cookies (to make 1 cup crumbs)
- 1/3 cup graham cracker crumbs
- 4 tablespoons butter, melted
- 3 packages (8 ounces) cream cheese, room temperature
- 2 eggs
- 1/4 cup sour cream
- 1/4 cup heavy cream
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- Heat oven to 300°F.
- Simmer cranberries, 3/4 cup sugar, 1/2 cup orange juice and water in saucepan over medium-high heat until berries burst and begin to break down, about 10 minutes. Let cool 10 minutes, then in blender or food processor puree until smooth. Set sauce aside.
- Coat 9-inch springform pan with nonstick spray. Process gingersnaps in food processor until fine; add graham cracker crumbs. With machine running, drizzle in melted butter. Press crumb mixture firmly into bottom of prepared springform pan and about 1 inch up sides of pan. Set aside.
- In large mixing bowl, blend cream cheese and remaining sugar with an electric mixer until smooth. Scrape sides of bowl, then add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Blend in sour cream, heavy cream, vanilla and 1 tablespoon orange juice, then pour into prepared pan. Drizzle top of cheesecake with 1/4 cup of prepared cranberry sauce, then drag skewer, toothpick or knife tip through sauce to create marbled swirl pattern on top. Place cheesecake on baking sheet and bake on center rack until edges are set and puffed but center is slightly jiggly, about 45 minutes. Do not overbake. Turn oven off, crack door open slightly and allow cheesecake to cool inside for 1 hour. Remove from oven and let cool completely at room temperature, then cover cheesecake with tea towel and refrigerate overnight.
- Run knife around sides of cheesecake, then release and remove side of pan. To cut, dip blade of thin, sharp knife into hot water (do not wipe dry) and slice into wedges, cleaning blade between each cut to prevent smearing. Serve with remaining cranberry sauce.
Simple Starters. Cheese and crackers or vegetable trays are reliable starters that can serve as a precursor to any meal. For an easy and eye-appealing appetizer, serve a hand-crafted cheese inside a wreath of fresh rosemary and pomegranate seeds, along with honey and premium deli crackers. The Litehouse Simply Artisan Reserve line cheeses are prepared in open air vats in small batches, handcrafted, hand-salted and aged 100 days for top-market flavor quality and gourmet taste. For a delicious twist on a veggie tray, round out traditional favorites such as broccoli and carrots with unexpected delights, such as endive leaves and blanched green beans.
Easy Flavor Boosters. Dial up the flavor of your favorite holiday recipes with a simple, single ingredient. A quality, perfectly seasoned dressing, such as those from Litehouse, are a delicious and convenient way to add flavor to any recipe, whether it’s making a salad that’s the star of a holiday party, or using it as a quick-and-easy marinade for an appetizer, such as a shrimp skewer. You can also add a pinch of freeze-dried herbs to your favorite recipe for added brightness and flavor.
Ready-In-Minutes Favorites. Making delectable appetizers doesn’t mean you have to spend hours in the kitchen. Timesavers, such as the easy-to-serve feta cheese crumbles used in this Holiday Bruschetta, are also a quick way to enhance any salad, cheese plate or side dish. Then round out your menu with a diverse offering of other crowd-pleasing, quick-prep items, from deviled eggs and pinwheels, to shrimp cocktail and bagel pizzas.
Blue Cheese, Pomegranate and Quinoa Caviar
- 2 ounces Simply Artisan Reserve Blue Cheese (Crumbles or Center Cut)
- 1/3 cup pre-cooked red quinoa
- 1/3 cup pomegranate arils (seeds), 1 tablespoon reserved
- 1 teaspoon Litehouse Organic Balsamic Vinaigrette
- 1 teaspoon Litehouse Instantly Fresh Thyme
- 1 tablespoon chopped walnuts
- assorted crackers
- In small bowl, add blue cheese crumbles, quinoa, pomegranate arils and vinaigrette. Stir gently to combine.
- Transfer to 6-ounce ramekin dish and use back of spoon to tightly pack down.
- Place serving plate on top of ramekin and quickly invert. Carefully lift ramekin, leaving mixture in mold form.
- Sprinkle top with thyme, walnuts and reserved pomegranate arils.
- Serve with crackers.
- 1 baguette
- olive oil
- 1 tomato, diced
- 1/2 cup red pepper, diced
- 1 container (6 ounces) Simply Artisan Reserve Feta Cheese
- 1 teaspoon Litehouse Instantly Fresh Basil
- 1/2 cup Litehouse Organic Balsamic Vinaigrette
- Cut baguette into 1/2-inch slices. Brush with olive oil and grill lightly.
- In bowl, combine tomato, red pepper, feta cheese, basil and just enough vinaigrette to lightly coat.
- Place heaping spoon of mixture on each baguette slice and drizzle with more vinaigrette, to taste.
How to Host a Mad Scientist Halloween Party
(Family Features) Transform your house into Frankenstein’s lab with a few party tricks and Halloween treats. Set the scene with a mad scientist-themed sweets table and carry it home with a crazy good menu featuring frightfully yummy appetizers, mocktails and, of course, treats.
Tricks for Your Treats
- Chili Mac Cup Concoction: Use a regular muffin pan to bake mac and cheese cups – a fun twist on the kids’ favorite. The macaroni cups are the perfect chili topper for a hearty fall favorite.
- Little Monsters Mocktail: Play mixologist with a perfect potion recipe featuring a few easy ingredients: apple juice, club soda and delicious drops of Treatology flavor concentrates in taste-tempting Cinnamon Graham and Creamy Vanilla Custard flavors. Serve up these mad scientist mixtures in food-safe Wilton plastic beakers.
- Candy Corn Craze: Halloween wouldn’t be the same without candy, especially candy corn. Wow guests with your inventive use of the iconic Halloween flavor. Infuse limited edition Candy Corn flavored Candy Melts Candy into cupcake icing.
- The Guest of Horror: You can’t have a mad scientist Halloween party without Frankenstein. This easy buttercream cake makes a big statement, a fantastic centerpiece for your sweets table and will make others green with envy over your decorating skills. The Color Right Performance Color System makes it easy to mix the precise shade of Frankenstein green.
For more Halloween party ideas and inspiration, visit www.wilton.com.
- 6 cups favorite cake recipe or mix
- 4 cups Wilton White Ready-To-Use Decorator Icing (4.5-pound tub)
- Wilton Color Right Performance Color System
- Wilton Black Icing Pouch with Tips
- Wilton Large Candy Eyeballs
- Wilton 6-by-3-inch Round Pan
- Wilton 10-by-16-inch Cooling Grid
- Cake plate
- Wilton Cake Leveler
- Wilton 13-inch Angled Spatula
- Wilton 12-inch Disposable Decorating Bags
- Prepare cake according to box instructions and make two layers using 6-inch round pans. Bake and cool on cooling grid.
- Prepare Spring Green icing using this color tint formula from the Color Right Performance Color System: 4 cups icing + 30 Y + 6 B. Stack layers on cake plate for a two-layer cake, using leveler as needed. Ice cake sides smooth with green icing.
- Use black pouch icing without tip to cover top of cake. Use tip of spatula to create spiral effect. Use black pouch icing with star tip to pipe pull-out bangs around top edge and two hair strands on cake top.
- Prepare a disposable decorating bag with green icing; cut a hole in point of bag the size of tip 3. Attach candy eyeballs with dots of green icing. Pipe green eyelids.
- Use black pouch icing with round tip to pipe dot nose and neck bolts, outline mouth and stitches.
Mac and Cheese Cups with Chili
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
- 2 cups milk
- 8 ounces white American cheese, shredded
- 1 package (8 ounces) Monterey Jack cheese, shredded
- 1/4 teaspoon onion powder
- 1/4 teaspoon dry mustard
- 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1 package (16 ounces) elbow pasta, cooked and kept warm
- 2 cans (25 ounces each) chili
- Heat oven to 350$deg;F. Prepare two muffin pans with vegetable pan spray.
- In large pan, melt butter over medium heat. Stir flour into butter and cook 2 minutes on medium heat, stirring constantly. Gradually whisk milk into flour mixture and cook until thickened, stirring constantly. Reduce heat to low and stir in cheeses, onion powder, dry mustard and pepper. Stir in cooked pasta.
- Divide evenly into prepared pans. Bake 15 minutes or until bubbly. Cool in pans 15 minutes.
- Meanwhile, in saucepan, heat chili according to package directions. Serve each macaroni cup on top of 1/4 cup chili.
- Tip: To make ahead, refrigerate macaroni and cheese cups in muffin pans after baking. When ready to serve, remove from pans and microwave 30-45 seconds each until heated through.
Candy Corn Cupcakes
- 1 package (16.25 ounces) white cake mix
- Egg whites, water, vegetable oil to prepare mix
- 17 drops Wilton Orange Color Right Performance Color
- 3 drops Wilton Yellow Color Right Performance Color
- 1 package (10 ounces) Wilton Limited Edition Candy Corn Candy Melts Candy
- 1/4 cup heavy whipping cream
- 2/3 cup solid vegetable shortening
- 2 tablespoons honey
- 1 teaspoon Wilton Imitation Clear Vanilla Extract
- 2 cups confectioners’ sugar (about 1/2 pound)
- Candy corn for garnish (optional)
- Heat oven to 350°F. Prepare muffin pans with baking cups.
- In large bowl, beat cake mix, egg whites, water and colors with electric mixer at low speed 30 seconds. Scrape bottom and sides of bowl; beat at medium speed 2 minutes. Divide batter evenly among baking cups, filling about 2/3 full.
- Bake 18-20 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool cupcakes in pans on cooling grid 5 minutes. Remove from pans; cool completely on grid.
- In medium microwave-safe container, combine Candy Corn Candy Melts Candy and heavy cream. Microwave at half (50 percent) power 1 minute. Stir. Microwave on half power in 30-second intervals, stirring between each, until melts are almost melted. Stir thoroughly until mixture is smooth. Cool slightly.
- In large bowl, beat shortening with electric mixer until light and fluffy. Add Candy Melts mixture and beat until smooth. Beat in honey and vanilla. Gradually add confectioners’ sugar and beat until light and fluffy. Pipe or spread onto cooled cupcakes. Top with candy corn, if using.
Apple Pie Potion
- 1 bottle (1 liter) club soda, chilled
- 5 cups apple juice, chilled
- 7 drops Wilton Treatology Warm Cinnamon Graham Flavor Concentrate
- 3 drops Wilton Treatology Creamy Vanilla Custard Flavor Concentrate
- 4 drops Wilton Yellow Color Right Performance Color
- 1 drop Wilton Blue Color Right Performance Color
- In large pitcher, combine club soda, apple juice, Warm Cinnamon Graham and Vanilla Custard flavors and colors. Whisk until well combined. Serve immediately or chill until ready to serve.