Archive for July, 2012

New Fiber One® Chewy Bars in Chocolate and Strawberry PB&J

Fiber One Introduces Delicious and Wholesome Snack for Kids

Fiber One Introduces Delicious and Wholesome Snack for Kids

Minneapolis, MN  (Food News)  Fiber One® is introducing a wholesome snack bar for kids that the entire family will enjoy. New Fiber One® Chewy bars, now available in delicious Chocolate and Strawberry PB&J varieties, combine the taste kids love with nutrients they need. These tasty bars are perfect for in-the-house, on-the-go, and everywhere in between.

Fiber One Chewy bars are complete with a peanut butter or chocolate-flavored bottom and yummy drizzle in every chewy bite. And with fiber and calcium kids need, parents can rest assured that their kids are getting more than just great taste from Fiber One Chewy bars. These 110 calories or less bars contain no high fructose corn syrup and 8 grams or less of sugar.

According to the results of a recent taste test*, kids prefer Fiber One Chewy Chocolate bars over Quaker Chewy Chocolate Chip Granola Bars.

“Kids won’t be able to resist the taste and parents won’t be able resist the wholesome goodness of new Fiber One Chewy bars,” stated Julia Travis, Associate Marketing Manager for Fiber One. “We’re excited to bring the delicious taste of classic, kid-favorite flavors Chocolate and Strawberry PB&J to the table. Now kids will be excited about getting the calcium and fiber they need, every day!”

New Fiber One Chewy Chocolate and Strawberry PB&J varieties are now available in grocery stores nationwide in the granola bar aisle. A box containing six 1 oz. bars has an MSRP of $3.89 and soon will feature Box Tops for Education on pack.

*Based upon independent taste tests, with kids aged 8-12, of Fiber One® Chewy Chocolate versus Quaker Chewy Chocolate Chip Granola Bars. Quaker is a registered trademark of the Quaker Oats Company.
All trademarks property of their respective owners.

About General Mills

General Mills is one of the world’s leading food companies, operating in more than 100 countries. Its consumer brands include Cheerios, Häagen-Dazs, Nature Valley, Yoplait, Betty Crocker, Pillsbury, Green Giant, Progresso and Old El Paso. Headquartered in Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA, General Mills had fiscal 2011 net sales of US$14.9 billion.



Easy Salsa, Ketchup and Pasta Sauces

Time Tested Tomato Canning Tips

Time Tested Tomato Canning Tips

St. Louis, MO  (Food News)  Check out tomato canning tips and food preservation recipes for the 2012 harvest along with safety recommendations from Mrs. Wages canning expert Shirley Camp, retired University of Illinois Extension Educator.

When it comes to food preservation, tomatoes are tops this time of year. Whether you make plain tomato juice, process whole tomatoes, salsa, catsup, or spaghetti sauce, tomatoes are a staple on the American dinner table.

“I can remember helping (or at least I thought I was helping) my mother when she was canning tomatoes,” recalls retired University of Illinois master canning educator Shirley Camp. “It was usually hot with no air conditioning. Recently I asked mom if she liked to can foods — her response was ‘Yes!’ She took pleasure in seeing the hundreds of jars of food that were stored in the cool basement.” For the best tomatoes, follow these tips and easy recipes.

Tomato Processing Tips
(Excerpts from Mrs. Wages Home Canning Guide and Recipes, ©2012, Precision Foods, Inc.)

Selecting Tomatoes
Carefully select tomatoes. They should be ripe and juicy, but not overripe and with no decayed or soft areas. A single poor tomato can spoil a batch. Discard overripe tomatoes and those with any bad spots. Choose your tomatoes from plants that are healthy and disease free.

Acidification
Regardless of what variety of tomatoes you are using, current recommendations are to acidify all tomato products. To ensure safe acidity in whole, crushed, or juiced tomatoes, add two tablespoons of bottled lemon juice or 1/2 teaspoon of citric acid per quart of tomatoes. For pints, use one tablespoon bottled lemon juice or 1/4 teaspoon citric acid.

To be sure you acidify each jar of canned product, measure the lemon juice or citric acid into the empty jars before you fill them.

Preparing Tomatoes
Most canning recipes involving tomatoes require you to blanch, peel, and core tomatoes. To do so, simply prepare a pan of boiling water. Thoroughly wash your tomatoes and remove stems. Dip a few tomatoes at a time in this boiling water for 30 seconds or until skins start to split, and then put them in cold water. Skin tomatoes and cut out cores and any green portions. Follow the recipe instructions for further preparation.

The Hot Pack Method
Tomatoes are easy to can, but the canning instructions should be followed carefully to assure your canned tomatoes are not only safe to eat but also both tasty and at their nutritional peak. The raw pack method for canning tomatoes is no longer recommended.

Note: If you add foods such as okra, zucchini, peppers, onions, or other foods to the tomatoes, you have created a lower acid product that must be processed in a pressure canner unless tested recipes indicate otherwise. Tested recipes come from the USDA, University of Georgia, or other state Extension services. Grandma’s testing doesn’t count!

Quick and Easy Tomato Canning recipes
One of the easiest ways to make your own salsa, pizza and spaghetti sauce is to buy pre-packaged spice mixes such as Mrs. Wages, which offers a variety of spice mixes to stir right into your homegrown tomatoes. “Canning mixes are great for busy folks who want homemade taste without extra time chopping vegetables and selecting spices for their tomato-based dishes,” says Shirley.

Pasta Sauce
From: Mrs. Wages Home Canning Guide and Recipes, ©2012, Precision Foods, Inc.

Approximately 6 lb fresh, ripe tomatoes*
1 pouch Mrs. Wages Pasta Sauce Mix
2 ounces (1/4 cup) granulated sugar

Yield: 5 pints.
Directions:

1. Wash tomatoes. Scald 3 minutes in boiling water. Dip into cold water. Cut out cores. Remove skins. Cut into halves or quarters. Blend in blender or food processor to smooth consistency (puree).
2. Pour puree into 5-quart saucepan; add Mrs. Wages Pasta Sauce Mix and sugar. Mix well.
3. Bring sauce to a boil. Reduce heat to medium for 25 minutes. Stir frequently. Sauce is ready to eat, to can or freeze. To freeze, pour into freezer containers, and store.
4. To can, pour boiling hot into clean, hot pint canning jars leaving 1/2 -inch headspace. Wipe rim clean and adjust lids.
5. Process 35 minutes in boiling water bath. Boiling water should cover jars by one inch.
6. Test jars for airtight seals 12 – 24 hours after canning. If jars are not properly sealed, refrigerate and use within a week.
7. Label and store in a cool, dry, dark area.

To use sauce: A pint of this pasta sauce mixed with 1/2 -pound of browned ground beef makes an excellent meat sauce to serve over pasta.

*Please Note: If fresh tomatoes are not available, use home-canned tomatoes. Blend tomatoes and liquid from 5 pints of home-canned tomatoes, or five 1-pound cans commercially canned tomatoes into a smooth puree. Or the puree can be made with four 6-ounce cans of tomato paste mixed with 7 cups of water.  All Mrs. Wages Tomato Mixes contain the proper amount of citric acid for safe processing. No need to add citric acid to the jars when using the mixes, just follow the directions on the package.

Medium or Hot Salsa
From: Mrs. Wages Home Canning Guide and Recipes, ©2012, Precision Foods, Inc.

Approximately 6 lb fresh tomatoes*
1 pouch (4.0 oz) Mrs. Wages Salsa Mix (Medium or Hot variety)
1?2 cup Mrs. Wages Pickling & Canning Vinegar (5% acidity)

Yields: 5 pints
Directions:

1. Wash tomatoes. Scald 3 minutes in boiling water. Dip into cold water. Cut out cores. Remove skins. Chop tomatoes coarsely.
2. Measure 5 pints of chopped tomatoes into 5-qt sauce pan; add Mrs. Wages Salsa Mix and vinegar. Mix well.
3. Bring salsa to a boil, stirring occasionally. Reduce heat and simmer for 10 minutes. Stir occasionally. Salsa is ready to eat, to can or freeze. To freeze, pour into freezer containers, and store.
4. To can, pour hot salsa into clean, hot pint canning jars leaving 1/2 -inch headspace. Wipe rim clean and adjust lids.
5. Process 35 minutes in boiling water bath. Boiling water should cover jars by one inch.
6. Test jars for airtight seals 12 – 24 hours after canning. If jars are not properly sealed, refrigerate and use within a week.
7. Label and store in a cool, dry, dark area.

*Please Note: If fresh tomatoes are not available, use home-canned or commercially canned tomatoes.  All Mrs. Wages Tomato Mixes contain the proper amount of citric acid for safe processing. No need to add citric acid to the jars when using the mixes, just follow the directions on the package.

Contributor: Shirley Camp is veteran educator and retired University of Illinois Extension specialist who helped develop the canning education curriculum for Illinois and taught for almost 40 years.

About Mrs. Wages: Mrs. Wages is a division of Precision Foods, Inc. Mrs. Wages inspires people to develop healthy food traditions for their families. For more information and recipes, visit www.mrswages.com

Muller Quaker Dairy Introduces Europe's Beloved Muller Yogurt to the U.S.

Muller Quaker Dairy Introduces Europe's Beloved Muller Yogurt to the U.S.

Chicago, IL  (Food News)  There’s a new yogurt in town, and it’s a totally new taste never before enjoyed on this side of the pond. Muller Quaker Dairy, a joint venture between PepsiCo, Inc. and the Theo Müller Group, is bringing Europe’s beloved Müller™ yogurt to the U.S. this summer, and consumers in the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic region will be the first to discover this rich and creamy, delightful dairy experience.

Müller™ FrütUp™ yogurt is a brand new way to enjoy parfait-style yogurt with a light, airy fruit mousse on top and will come in six flavors. Müller™ Corner™, a popular yogurt in Europe, has a two-chamber cup that includes creamy yogurt in one chamber and delicious mix-ins like fruit, caramelized almonds, crunchy cereal and chocolate in the other. There will be 10 varieties of Müller Corner, including four thicker, creamier Greek-style yogurt varieties called Müller™ Greek Corner™.

  • Müller Corner and Müller Greek Corner offer a new way to enjoy yogurt with add-ins you can flip, stir or dip. Varieties include Strawberry, Blueberry, Crunchy Granola, Crispy Crunch, Choco Balls and Choco Flakes. The Greek-style varieties include Caramelized Almonds, Strawberry, Blackberry & Raspberry, and Honeyed Apricot.
  • Müller FrütUp varieties include Peach Passion Fruit, Splendid Strawberry, Blueberry Bliss, Radiant Raspberry, Luscious Lemon and Very Cherry. Each starts with fruit carefully selected from farmers and is prepared on site with the yogurt. The unique part is the vibrant fruit mousse on top of the creamy yogurt — perfect for scooping, swirling or mixing.

Müller Dairy was founded in 1896 by German dairy farmer Ludwig Müller. Today his grandson, Theo Müller, runs the hugely successful business in several countries. Like Quaker, what started as a simple business with the desire to share nutritious products with families has grown into a powerhouse of delicious yogurt offerings that are fun to eat and enjoyed by generation upon generation.

Müller products will be sold across the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic region and will be on shelves beginning late July 2012 at retailers including Ahold, Walmart, Kroger, Delhaize, Pathmark, Shop Rite, and Safeway.

For more information, visit our website www.mullerquaker.com, or find us on Facebook www.facebook.com/mullerquaker, and Twitter www.twitter.com/mullerquaker.

View the Müller Yogurt IPK: http://www.akamediainc.com/muller-yogurt.

New Meals-in-a-Bun Offer Fast Food for Diabetics On the Go

New Meals-in-a-Bun Offer Fast Food for Diabetics On the Go

San Jose, CA  (Food News)  Lifestyle Chefs’ new Meals-in-a-Bun (www.lifestylechefs.net) offer diabetics a frozen food option that’s quick, tasty and tailored to meet their nutritional needs.

“They’re low on the glycemic index, low in sugar and carbs, high in soluble fiber, high in lean protein and low in sodium,” says Chef Robert Lewis, “The Happy Diabetic,” author of two cookbooks for people with the metabolic disorder. “And the best thing is — they are delicious.”

Meals-in-a-Bun is just the newest innovation in a growing industry. With the number of diabetics worldwide at 246 million, according to the World Health Organization, more businesses are motivated to develop products that help diabetics lead active lifestyles. In 2011, diabetes therapeutic products were a $23.7 billion dollar industry feeding a population that’s starving for a better quality of life, Lewis says.

“It wasn’t long ago that Type 1 diabetics had to be sure they packed ample sterile syringes and insulin, whether they were going to work for the day or on a road trip,” he says. “And food? That’s been the hardest. A diabetes diagnosis can feel like a life sentence of bland eating.”

Diabetic-friendly frozen foods join other recent innovations, including tubeless insulin pumps and a needleless blood-glucose monitoring system that’s currently undergoing studies for regulatory approval.

Meals-in-a-Bun products are now arriving in Louisiana grocery stores and will roll out across the country through the end of the year. They meet a wide variety of dietary needs as all-natural, vegetarian-friendly dining options, and they are ready to eat after just a few minutes in the microwave. Healthy eaters can choose from six options, including:

  • Thai Satay
  • Herb Vegetable Melange
  • Channa Masala
  • Peas Paneer
  • Creamy Vegetable Medley
  • Black Bean Fiesta

About Lifestyle Chefs

Lifestyle Chefs is a Santa Clara, Calif., company specializing in creating meals inspired by world cuisines and using only natural, healthy and nutritious ingredients. Lifestyle Chefs’ products, available on their website, are all vegetarian and diabetic-friendly, perfect for families who want fast, convenient meals that are low in calories, high in nutrition and robust in flavor. Chef Robert Lewis, “The Happy Diabetic,” was diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes in 1998. He specializes in flavorful recipes that won’t spike a diabetic’s blood sugar.

Family Fun Around the Grill

Family Fun Around the Grill

Mission, KS  (Food News)  Preparing a meal on the grill can be fun for the whole family. Gather the kids and get them involved in the meal from start to finish for an easy way to spend more quality time together.

Rebecca P. Cohen, author of “15 Minutes Outside: 365 Ways to Get Out of the House and Connect with Your Kids,” is a big believer in spending time outdoors together as a family. “We make a point of getting outside every day. Spending quality time as a family is important, and centering that time around an outdoor activity like grilling is a great way to do that,” says Cohen.

Cohen offers some tips for enjoying fun outdoor meals with the family:

  • Create a topping bar – Set out a plastic tablecloth and some kid-friendly dipping sauces, condiments and toppings, such as ketchup, grated cheese, mayonnaise, hummus and more. Have the kids prepare their favorite dipping sauces and toppings and line them up in colorful bowls.
  • Make the meal grill-friendly – Look for foods and recipes that can be prepared directly on the grill, such as New Ore-Ida® Grillers. These thick-cut, round slices of potato go from freezer to grill, where they cook in just 15 minutes and serve as a perfect side dish that goes hand in hand with your favorite toppings and dipping sauces. This way, you can spend less time inside preparing and more time outside enjoying!
  • Make it fun – What’s a cookout without family fun? Make the most of your cook time by incorporating some simple yet fun activities. Try racing with ice cubes on your spoons or tossing a refreshing ice cube back and forth. For more cool fun, freeze fruit juice in ice cube containers with popsicle sticks for a refreshing treat.
  • Enjoy a grill-side snack – Plan a special late night snack with s’mores on the grill. Try flavored marshmallows like chocolate, strawberry and toasted coconut, or spice up the graham crackers with sprinkled cinnamon and sugar. Try to name the constellations while you enjoy a late night snack together under the stars.

Who doesn’t want an extra fifteen minutes to spend with family and friends? Get them around the grill using these and other recipes from www.OreIda.com.

Glazed Chicken and Grillers
Prep time: 3 minutes
Cook time: 15 minutes
Serves: 6 to 8
1 bag Ore-Ida Grillers
1 bottle (10 ounces) Heinz 57 Sauce
1/4 cup honey
8 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves

Put Grillers on a hot grill. Cook according to package directions.

In a medium bowl, whisk together sauce and honey.

Grill chicken over medium heat for 4 to 6 minutes. Brush both sides liberally with sauce mixture, turn over and grill for additional 4 to 6 minutes, or until cooked to desired doneness.

Cook until chicken is no longer pink, or to an internal temperature of 165°F.

Loaded Potato Grillers
Cook time: 15 minutes
Serves: 6
18 Ore-Ida Grillers
1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese
1/4 cup bacon bits
Scallions
Sour cream

Prepare Grillers per package instructions.

After 12 minutes, distribute cheese evenly on top (you may need more or less).

Grill for 3 more minutes, to melt cheese.

Transfer to platter, garnish with bacon bits, scallions and sour cream as desired.

Mission, KS  (Food News)  Grapes have been enjoyed for their taste and beauty for thousands of years. And today’s scientific research keeps on showing that grapes are more than just a pretty fruit — they’re also very, very good for us.

In fact, over a decade of research suggests that grapes help maintain a healthy heart and may also help defend against a variety of age-related and other illnesses. Studies are ongoing to uncover the links between grapes and heart health, eye health, brain health, joint health, cell health and preventing certain cancers.

Of course, grapes aren’t just healthy, they also taste great: crisp, juicy and sweet. Kids love them. And, they’re convenient, making them truly a Super Snack. Eat them by the bunch, or toss them into recipes like these.

To learn more about the health benefits of grapes from California, and to get more delicious ways to enjoy them every day, visit www.grapesfromcalifornia.com or www.facebook.com/GrapesFromCalifornia.

Keeping Cells Healthy
Grapes of all colors — red, green and black — are natural sources of polyphenols, which appear to help protect the health and function of our cells. Grape polyphenols:

  • Have antioxidant properties, which can help protect against cell-damaging free radicals.
  • Can influence the communication between cells that support key biological processes.

My Heart Belongs to Grapes
Numerous studies suggest that consuming grapes and grape products may contribute to heart health in a number of ways. Eating a variety of grapes may help:

  • Improve blood flow
  • Lower blood pressure
  • Reduce oxidative stress
  • Decrease inflammation
  • Improve blood lipids

Seeing Is Believing
Research from Fordham University, funded by the California Table Grape Commission, suggests that grapes may reduce the risk of blindness related to age-related macular degeneration (AMD). In laboratory studies, grapes offered significantly more retinal protection than the much-touted lutein, and prevented blindness.

Mediterranean Grilled Chicken and Grape Skewers
These quick-to-fix skewers can also serve as appetizers.
Makes 4 entrée servings
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
2 cloves garlic, fresh minced
1/2 teaspoon red chili flakes, crushed
1 tablespoon oregano, fresh minced
1 tablespoon rosemary, fresh minced
1 teaspoon lemon zest
1 pound chicken breast, boneless and skinless
1 3/4 cups California green seedless grapes, picked from stem and rinsed
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon lemon juice, fresh

In small bowl combine olive oil, garlic, chili flakes, oregano, rosemary and lemon zest. Whisk together marinade.

Cut chicken into 3/4-inch cubes. Alternate chicken and grapes and thread onto 12 skewers.

Place skewers into a baking dish or pan large enough to hold them. Pour marinade over skewers, coating each one. Marinate for 4 to 24 hours.

Remove skewers from marinade and let excess oil drip off. Season with salt.

Grill until chicken is cooked through, about 3 to 5 minutes on each side.

Arrange on serving platter and drizzle with additional olive oil and lemon juice.

Breakfast-To-Go Grape Smoothie
Jump-start your day with this easy all-in-one drink.
Makes 2 1/3 cups
1 1/2 cups frozen California grapes
1 banana, sliced
1/2 cup vanilla or honey lowfat Greek yogurt
1/2 cup grape juice
1/4 cup wheat flake cereal

Combine all ingredients in a blender and blend for 1 minute. Serve immediately.

Grape and Salmon Power Salad
Fresh grapes are just one of the “super” foods in this hearty and heart-healthy salad.
Makes 6 servings
3/4 cup pearled barley
3 cups firmly packed kale leaves, torn and sliced into ribbons
1 cup halved, red or black seedless California grapes
8 ounces cold, cooked salmon, skin and bones removed
1/2 cup walnuts, lightly toasted, coarsely chopped
Dressing
1/4 cup fresh squeezed lemon juice
1 clove garlic, mashed
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Pinch cayenne pepper
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil

Cook barley according to package directions, or in plenty of lightly salted boiling water for about 35 to 45 minutes until it is plump and tender, and still slightly chewy. Drain and cool.

Tenderize kale by blanching it in boiling water for 2 to 3 seconds or cooking in the microwave for 1 minute. Rinse in cold water to stop cooking, and squeeze dry. Fluff and uncrimp dry kale pieces with your fingers.

In a medium bowl, mix together barley, kale, grapes, salmon and walnuts.

To prepare dressing: In small bowl, whisk together lemon juice, garlic, salt, pepper and cayenne. Gradually mix in olive oil.

Pour onto salad and fold gently to combine. Serve immediately or refrigerate.

Frozen Grape and Banana Skewers with Chocolate Drizzle
These delightful frozen treats are healthy, too.
Makes 4 servings
2 firm ripe bananas
2 tablespoons orange juice
1/2 cup red grapes (about 16)
1/2 cup green grapes (about 16)
8 10-inch wooden skewers
1 1/2 ounces dark chocolate (60 to 70 percent cocoa solids), finely chopped

Line a baking sheet with wax paper. Cut the banana into 1/2-inch-thick rounds. Place in small bowl and toss gently with the orange juice.

Skewer fruit, alternating two grapes for each piece of banana, and place fruit skewers onto lined tray.

Place chocolate in small microwave safe bowl. Microwave for 1 minute, then stir well, and microwave another 10 seconds if necessary to melt chocolate.

Using a spoon, drizzle melted chocolate onto fruit skewers.

Place the tray in the freezer for at least 2 hours. Once frozen, skewers may be transferred to a sealable plastic bag where they will keep in the freezer for up to a week. Allow to soften at room temperature for 5 minutes before eating.

Mission, KS  (Food News)  Warm weather calls for lighter fare and the simplicity of outdoor entertaining. So, take your entertaining outdoors and chill out by serving up delicious small bites paired with crisp, refreshing white wines.

Pour a glass of Chardonnay and fire up the grill for savory mini pizzas topped with fresh asparagus and marinated artichoke hearts. Then, to really heat things up, serve a spicy side of marinated green beans with a Sauvignon Blanc. End on a sweet note with zesty mini lemon cheesecakes paired with Mirassou California Moscato — as close as one can get to capturing summer in a bottle.

Get started with these recipe and wine pairings from California’s Mirassou Winery®. For more recipe ideas to brighten up your table visit www.mirassou.com or www.facebook.com/MirassouWinery.

Grilled Artichoke and Asparagus Mini Pizzas
Pair with Mirassou California Chardonnay
Prep time: 20 minutes
Cook time: 15 minutes
Makes 4 servings
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, divided
1 cup 2-inch pieces fresh asparagus, halved lengthwise
1/2 cup pitted mixed olives, cut into wedges
1/4 cup roasted red peppers, cut into thin strips
2 tablespoons chopped roasted garlic
1 6-ounce jar marinated artichoke hearts, drained and chopped
Sea salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
1 14- to 16-ounce ball of pizza dough
8 ounces fresh mozzarella cheese
1/4 cup grated dry jack cheese (plus additional for topping)
Toasted walnuts (optional topping)

Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add asparagus and cook for 1 minute.

Stir in olives, peppers, garlic and artichoke hearts; cook for a few minutes more to heat through. Season with salt and pepper; set aside and keep warm.

Divide pizza dough into two equal pieces. Roll each out into an 8 x 10-inch oval on a lightly floured board, and brush both sides with remaining olive oil.

Grill over medium-high heat for about 1 minute on each side or until puffed and lightly charred. Reduce heat to low and top with cheeses; cook for 5 minutes more or until cheese is melted, rotating pizzas once or twice to help cook evenly.

Top with vegetable mixture and additional dry jack and walnuts, if desired.

Spicy Marinated Green Beans
Pair with Mirassou California Sauvignon Blanc
Prep time: 15 minutes
Cook time: 15 minutes
Marinate time: several hours
Makes 12 servings
1 1/2 cups white wine vinegar
1 1/2 cups water
1 tablespoon whole black peppercorns
2 to 3 teaspoons crushed red pepper
2 1/2 teaspoons sugar
2 teaspoons kosher salt
1/2 tablespoon whole mustard seed
4 cloves garlic, sliced
2 large stalks fresh dill
3/4 pound fresh green beans, ends trimmed

Place all ingredients except green beans in a medium saucepan and bring to boil. Reduce heat and simmer 15 minutes.

Place green beans in shallow dish and pour boiling marinade over top. Let cool, then place in plastic bag and refrigerate several hours or until ready to serve, turning bag occasionally.

Mini Moscato Cheesecakes
Pair with Mirassou California Moscato
Prep time: 20 minutes
Cook time: 20 to 25 minutes
Makes 24 mini cheesecakes
1 cup finely ground gingersnap cookies
2 tablespoons butter, melted
12 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
1/2 cup sugar
2 tablespoons flour
2 tablespoons Mirassou Moscato
1 teaspoon each: vanilla and lemon extract
1 egg, plus 1 egg yolk, beaten
Store bought lemon curd, lemon zest, mint and fresh raspberries (if desired)

Preheat oven to 350°F, and spray a 24 cup mini muffin pan with nonstick cooking spray.

Stir together ground gingersnaps and butter in a small bowl. Press about 1 1/2 teaspoons into each cup then press firmly into the bottom of each. Brush any crumbs off the top of the muffin pan and set aside.

Beat cream cheese and sugar in a large bowl with an electric mixer until smooth; beat in flour, Moscato and extracts on low speed.

Add eggs and beat just until combined.

Spoon equal amounts into each cup (they will be very full).

Bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until filling feels set to the touch.

Let cool completely, and then run a small thin knife around the edge of each to remove from pan.

Place on a platter and top each with lemon curd, lemon zest, mint and fresh raspberries, as desired.

Your Warm-Weather Wine Choice: White or Red?

White wines are perfectly refreshing for warm-weather fare, but what about options for red wine lovers? David Mirassou, wine expert and sixth generation of America’s oldest winemaking family, recommends Pinot Noir, a light and versatile red wine that can pair just as nicely with lighter dishes and small bites as many white wines. After all, Mirassou says, just because the weather changes doesn’t mean your preference for red wine has to change with it.