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Food and Beverage

How to Make Higher-Quality Choices at the Grocery Store

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(Family Features) Grocery shopping can be stressful when there are so many options, especially if you’re making a conscious effort to make high-quality food choices while you shop. Arming yourself with a plan and plenty of information can help you make smarter choices and feel good about the meals you prepare for your family.

According to the Food Marketing Institute’s Power of Meat Report, 62% of consumers are looking for better-for-you meat and poultry options. Consider these ways you can pick up higher-quality products on your next trip to the grocery store.

Make a list and stick to it. Going shopping without a plan is a surefire way to make the trip to the grocery store less productive. Creating a list and identifying high-quality products that fit your needs can help you avoid impulse purchases. Plus, list-making can also help save money if you plan meals that let you use ingredients across multiple recipes for minimal waste.

Pay attention to labels. Food labels contain insightful details that can help you make well-informed decisions about the foods you buy. Especially when it comes to fresh products, like protein, you can learn a lot about how the food was raised, simply from its label. For example, Perdue’s “No Antibiotics Ever” label is the gold standard when it comes to reducing antibiotic use in chicken farming, compared to the “no hormones or steroids” label, which shows adherence solely to federal regulations.

“You can feel good about purchasing our products labeled No Antibiotics Ever knowing they were raised and fed in such a way that no antibiotics were ever needed,” said Dr. Bruce Stewart-Brown, senior vice president of technical services and innovation at Perdue Farms. “In order to achieve No Antibiotics Ever raised chickens, we worked hard to change our feed and care approach over the last 20 years.”

Know how to select fresh foods. If you find yourself overwhelmed when it comes to selecting produce and fresh meat, you’re not alone. When choosing fruits and vegetables, you generally want produce with a consistent color that is firm but not hard to the touch. Many fresh fruits and veggies emit an appealing fragrance at their peak ripeness.

When it comes to meat and poultry products, you can use a similar approach. For example, if you’re shopping for chicken, press down on the chicken in the package. If it’s plump and somewhat resilient, reverting to its shape, it’s a fresher pack. Also be wary of excess liquid in the pack, which can dilute the flavor or contribute to a soggy texture. You may also wonder which cuts are best. For a formal family meal, consider cooking a whole bird, which offers white and dark meat to please all appetites and can serve as a beautiful mealtime centerpiece.

Take some shortcuts. Even if you aim to prepare fresh, home-cooked meals most nights, there are sure to be some evenings when you need to squeeze in a quick meal around work, school and extracurriculars. Having a few simple go-to recipes can help. For example, an easy stir-fry with fresh chicken and frozen veggies can shave off prep time while still providing a hot, well-balanced meal. If you’re meal prepping for the week, marinate pre-cut chicken thighs or legs in different spices and seasonings to make cooking throughout the week simpler. Or try an option like Perdue’s Short Cuts, which include a variety of ready-to-eat, roasted, perfectly seasoned chicken breast strips.

Shop the store’s perimeter last. In most stores, fresh foods are located in refrigerated sections around the perimeter of the store. This is where you’ll find produce, fresh meat, poultry and dairy, giving you most of the essential ingredients for wholesome, well-balanced meals. Saving this section of the store for your last stop can help ensure perishable items spend less time away from refrigeration before you check out.  

Find chicken recipes and poultry shopping tips at perdue.com.

Photos courtesy of Getty Images


SOURCE:
Perdue Farms

Family

Get Creative with Easter Sweets

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Kid-friendly crafts that bring loved ones together

(Family Features) Holiday hams and deviled eggs may take center stage at Easter gatherings, but edible crafts offer a reminder of the magic of the season that’s found in moments spent together. Simple recipes that call for a dose of creativity are perfect ways to bring the kids to the kitchen, made even easier when all that work leads to sweet treats.

While plastic eggs may have led to a decline in good, old-fashioned egg-dyeing, there are still fun ways to bring crafts back to Easter celebrations. Consider these Kids Krafty Easter Cake Pops, which call for little ones to help dip seasonal shapes in chocolate, use cake molds and more.

Children of virtually any age can relish in the joys of using cookie cutters and decorating Easter Sugar Cookies, all with a little supervision and short list of instructions. This version shows how to make the cookies and homemade icing so you can create any color you desire for maximum creativity.

Remember, these delicious crafts don’t have to be perfect – having fun and making memories that last a lifetime are what make Easter truly special.

Visit Culinary.net to find more Easter inspiration and recipes from “Cookin’ Savvy.”

Kids Krafty Easter Cake Pops

Recipe courtesy of “Cookin’ Savvy”

  • 1 box cake mix
  • 1 can frosting
  • 1 bunny chocolate mold
  • 1 cakesicle mold
  • ice pop sticks
  • 1 bag white chocolate chips or melting chips
  • cake pop sticks
  • 1 bag orange melting chips
  • 2 tablespoons canola or coconut oil, divided
  • 1 bag green melting chips
  • pastel sprinkles
  • 1 piece hard foam (optional)
  • edible markers
  1. Bake cake according to package instructions and let cool completely.
  2. Crumble cake and mix with 1/2 can frosting until dough forms. Add more frosting, if needed. Using small cookie scoop, form dough into balls and set aside. Place dough in bunny molds then pop out and set aside with balls. Place dough in cakesicle mold, insert ice pop stick in each slot and freeze 5-10 minutes.
  3. Melt handful of white melting chips. Stick tip of each cake pop stick in chocolate then insert into every cake ball and bunny until each has one stick. Set aside to dry.
  4. Remove cakesicles from freezer and pop out of molds. In bowl, melt orange melts then mix in 1 tablespoon oil and transfer to cup. Dip cakesicles and scrape off excess using rim of cup. Place on parchment paper to dry.
  5. In bowl, melt green melts then place in zip-top or piping bag. Cut tip off bag, pipe carrot leaves onto piece of parchment paper and let dry.
  6. Melt remaining white melts and mix in remaining oil. Transfer to cup and dip ball-shaped cake pops and bunnies then tap stick on edge of cup to remove excess.
  7. Over separate bowl, sprinkle ball-shaped pops with pastel sprinkles. To keep ball shape, let dry by sticking in piece of hard foam. Bunnies can dry face side up on parchment paper. After bunnies are dry, use edible markers to make face and color in ears.
  8. When carrots and leaves are dry, remelt orange melts and place in piping or zip-top bag. Cut off tip and drizzle orange over carrots. Add small line of orange on each ice pop stick and place leaves on each stick. Let dry.

Easter Sugar Cookies

Recipe courtesy of “Cookin’ Savvy”

Icing:

  • 1/3 cup meringue powder
  • 1/2 cup warm water, plus additional for thinning (optional), divided
  • 3 tablespoons vanilla
  • 1 bag (2 pounds) powdered sugar
  • 2 tablespoons corn syrup
  • assorted food coloring

Cookies:

  • 2 sticks unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 dash salt
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  1. To make icing: Mix meringue powder, 1/2 cup warm water, vanilla, powdered sugar and corn syrup. Separate into bowls and add food coloring; mix with water, as needed, to thin for piping.
  2. To make cookies: Heat oven to 350 F.
  3. Cream butter and sugar. Mix in egg, vanilla, baking powder and salt. Mix in flour 1 cup at a time to form dough. Roll dough out to 1/4-1/2-inch thickness.
  4. Cut into shapes, place on baking sheet and freeze 10 minutes. Bake 8-12 minutes. Cool completely before icing.
  5. Place icing in zip-top or piping bags and cut off tips. Put cookies on parchment paper. Trace outline first then fill in middle. Use toothpicks to smooth out.
  6. Let dry 6 hours and finish decorating with different icing colors or edible markers.


SOURCE:
Culinary.net

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Beverages

Sipping Sunshine: Celebrating National Margarita Day

Celebrate National Margarita Day on February 22nd with a glass rimmed with salt, savoring the taste of summer whether on the rocks or blended! 🍹☀️ #NationalMargaritaDay

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February 22nd marks a beloved occasion for cocktail enthusiasts worldwide – National Margarita Day! This festive day invites individuals to raise their glasses and indulge in the tangy, refreshing flavors of this iconic beverage.

The classic Margarita, with its perfect blend of zesty lime, smooth tequila, and a touch of sweetness, encapsulates the essence of summer in every sip. Whether you prefer it on the rocks, elegantly garnished with a salted rim, or blended to icy perfection, National Margarita Day is a celebration of versatility and taste.

Beyond its delightful flavors, the Margarita embodies a spirit of relaxation and enjoyment. It’s a drink that beckons you to unwind, kick back, and savor the moment. Whether shared with friends at a lively gathering or enjoyed solo as a personal indulgence, the Margarita has a way of brightening any occasion.

So, on this National Margarita Day, take a moment to treat yourself to this timeless cocktail. Allow yourself to be transported to a sun-soaked beach with every sip, relishing the flavors and embracing the carefree spirit that the Margarita embodies.

Whether you’re a devoted Margarita aficionado or new to the world of tequila-based delights, National Margarita Day is the perfect excuse to raise a glass, toast to good times, and celebrate the joy of this beloved cocktail. Cheers to National Margarita Day – a day dedicated to sipping sunshine in a glass!

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Food and Beverage

Creamy and Delicious Chicken Alfredo Recipe

Indulge in the creamy goodness of our Chicken Alfredo recipe: tender chicken, al dente pasta, and a rich Parmesan sauce—a true culinary delight!

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Authentic Italian fettuccine alfredo pasta dish with grilled chicken breast

Welcome to our kitchen! Today, we’re going to show you how to make the best chicken Alfredo that will leave you craving for more. This classic Italian dish is creamy, flavorful, and oh-so-satisfying. Let’s get cooking!

Ingredients:

  • 1 pound fettuccine pasta
  • 2 chicken breasts, boneless and skinless
  • 3 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Fresh parsley, chopped (for garnish)

Instructions:

  1. Prep the Ingredients:
  • Cook the fettuccine pasta according to package instructions until al dente.
  • Season the chicken breasts with salt and pepper. Cook them in a skillet over medium heat until fully cooked. Remove from the pan and slice into thin strips.
  1. Make the Alfredo Sauce:
  • In the same skillet, melt the butter over medium heat. Add the minced garlic and sauté until fragrant.
  • Pour in the heavy cream, stirring constantly until it starts to simmer.
  • Gradually whisk in the grated Parmesan cheese until the sauce is smooth and creamy.
  1. Combine the Ingredients:
  • Add the cooked pasta to the skillet with the Alfredo sauce. Toss to coat the pasta evenly.
  • Gently fold in the sliced chicken strips, ensuring they are well coated with the sauce.
  • Let the dish simmer for a few minutes to allow the flavors to meld together.
  1. Serve:
  • Plate the chicken Alfredo and garnish with freshly chopped parsley.
  • Optionally, sprinkle some extra Parmesan cheese on top for an added cheesy kick.
  • Serve hot and enjoy your homemade creamy chicken Alfredo!

There you have it – a simple yet decadent chicken Alfredo recipe that is sure to impress your family and friends. This dish is perfect for a cozy night in or a special gathering. Bon appétit!

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