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Gluten-Free Graduation Party Treats

May 21, 2015

GF Graduation Foods That Everybody Can Enjoy  chips-and-salsa-435989_1280

Believe it or not, it’s nearly time for high school graduation, and that means parties. Here in Minnesota, we are known for throwing among the best high school graduation parties around. If you are hosting a gathering and want to ensure you have gluten-free selections for your guests, or if you are invited to a party and want to bring a GF item, we have some ideas for you. There are so many GF-friendly foods and options now available that you’ll just need to pick your soon-to-be favorites.

We’ve put together a few ideas along with easy-to-follow recipes to help keep your family and guests healthy and happy. Read more…

Peanut Butter for Dinner

May 19, 2015

4 Recipes to Make Peanut Butter a Supper Superstar 

Peanut butter and jelly. Peanut butter and chocolate. Peanut butter and pasta. That’s right, the quintessential childhood favorite — crunchy or creamy — can have a place on your dinner menu. It’s been the star of breakfast, lunch, and snacks, and now it’s time to give it a new twist and let it shine at the dinner table. Read more…

Easy Eats: Cookie Salad

May 17, 2015

A Salad the Kids are Sure to Love cookie_salad

Pudding mixed with cool whip and buttermilk surrounds mandarin oranges and fudge striped cookies. It’s dessert time. Read more…

5 Easy Dinners with Canned Tomatoes

May 13, 2015

Creative Meals with a Pantry Staple tomato_soup

Let’s face it. There are days we just open the cupboards and hope for the best. Coming up with ideas for dinner after a long day can be stressful, especially when the family is hungry and the kids want to eat now. Don’t worry. You’ve got this.

We say keep cans of tomatoes in your pantry and you’ll be able to whip up a delicious dinner in no time. Tomatoes: diced, stewed, whole. It doesn’t matter. You can do wonders with a few ingredients. It’s not cheating. It’s being creative. Read more…

Easy Eats: Grilled Pesto Steaks

May 10, 2015

Fire Up the Grill With This Easy Dinner ee_grilled_pesto_steaks

A phenomenal flavor of the pesto and parmesan along with the drizzle of olive oil over the rib eye is unbelievable. Read more…

Tasty Walleye Recipes for the Minnesota Fishing Opener

May 7, 2015

3 Great Ways to Make Minnesota’s Favorite Fish fish_fry

There is only one word for the Minnesota fishing opener: walleye. It’s as iconic to our state as beer and baseball or perhaps our beloved loon. So, if you or a family member are lucky enough to reel in the big one – or if you just happen to have a few fillets show up in your refrigerator – what are some of the best ways to prepare this Minnesota classic? Read more…

Salad Extravaganza with Early Spring Lettuces

May 5, 2015

Go Green With Early Spring Lettuces 

lettuce

Credit: Rudi Riet, on Flickr (CC License)

Aw, spring. The tulips are blooming, the trees are budding, and spring lettuces are in abundance. It’s the perfect time to start bringing more greens into your family diet. As temperatures begin to rise, our palates tend to seek cooler food.

While many varieties of lettuce can surely be found year-round, tis the season for these greens that thrive in the cooler temps: arugula, Bibb lettuce (also known as Boston lettuce), mache, and mesclun. A salad can be as simple or as complex as you like. Be creative. Have fun. And, consider adding a special bottle of extra virgin olive oil and white balsamic vinegar to your pantry for an extra touch to your salads.

Before we share a few of our favorite spring salad recipes, let’s look at different types of lettuce.

Arugula, a staple in Italian cuisine, is a spicy little leaf with a slightly bitter, mustardy, peppery flavor.

Bibb or Boston Lettuce has a distinctive creamy flavor, and crisp, crunchy texture with leaves that tend to be crisp. The leaves can hold their shape without wilting for up to a week after they have been cut.

Mache—also known as lamb’s lettuce—has been cultivated in France for centuries and is now gaining popularity around the United States. This delicate dark green is perfect with a touch of salt, pepper and a dash of really good olive oil along with a baguette. Perfection.

Mesclun (see first picture) is not actually one plant, but a French term for salad mix of assorted small, young salad green leaves.

Recipes Ideas:

Bibb Salad with Radishes and Asparagus

Ingredients:

In a medium bowl, whisk together mustard, vinegar, and olive oil; season with salt and pepper. Add lettuce, radishes, and asparagus. Toss to combine. Serve immediately.

Strawberry Arugula Salad with Sweet Lime Vinaigrette

Ingredients:

Toss the strawberry slices, arugula, and Parmesan crumbles in a large bowl. In a medium bowl, vigorously whisk together the mustard, sugar, lime juice, and orange juice, allowing time between additions to completely blend and dissolve. When adding the olive oil, be sure to add slowly in a thin stream while still whisking with the other hand. This is a perfect time to ask for an extra hand, or simply place the bowl in the center of a dishtowel curled into a circle around the base to stabilize it while whisking. Taste and season with a pinch of salt, if needed, and a grind or two of pepper. Pour over the salad and toss.

Spring Greens with Orange-Fennel Vinaigrette

Ingredients:

Whisk orange juice, shallots, thyme, orange peel, and honey in medium bowl to blend. Gradually whisk in oil, then fennel and fennel fronds. Season dressing to taste with salt and pepper. Cut peel and white pith from oranges. Working over bowl, cut between membranes to release orange segments from pith. Combine assorted greens, green onions, and toasted walnuts in large bowl. Drain orange segments and add to salad. Toss salad with enough dressing to coat evenly. Season to taste with salt and pepper and serve.

Note: Dressing can be made one day ahead. Just cover and chill, and re-whisk before using.

Tip: Consider adding grilled fresh tuna, shrimp or chicken to any of these dishes for a protein packed complete lunch or dinner.

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