Friday, January 30, 2015

Eat Fruit Friday: Kiwi

It's Eat Fruit Friday. There are so many types of citrus fruit, and this one is an overlooked one. Originally discovered in the Chang Kiang Valley of China, kiwifruit was considered a delicacy by the great Khans who relished its emerald green color and dazzling flavor. Over 70% of kiwifruit production is in Italy, New Zealand and Chile. It's also grown in the United States.

Kiwifruit is a Superfood.  Nutritious. Like all citrus fruits, kiwi can also help to reduce the risk and retard the progression of chronic diseases, such as diabetes. Diabetes causes more deaths per year than breast cancer and AIDS combined.

Kiwi are in season right now. It's a small fruit that can rest in the palm of your hand. The golden kiwi has a smooth, bronze color skin from bright green to a clear, intense yellow. It's sweeter and more aromatic in flavor. It has a short storage life.

Firm kiwi fruit ripens after in just a few days when stored at room temperature. Do not store kiwi in direct sunlight. Faster ripening occurs when placed in a paper bag with an apple, pear or banana.

Sliced kiwifruit has long been used as a garnish atop whipped cream. The United States Department of Agriculture suggests cooking kiwi for a few minutes before adding it to a gelatin dessert.

In fact, kiwifruit is added to a variety of savory and sweet dishes.

Kiwi fruit can also be used as a natural meat tenderizer. Just slice the kiwi in half and rub the cut end over the meat and let stand for 10 minutes.

You're gonna wanna make Food Network Kitchen's recipe courtesy of Robin Miller for Turkey-Mixed Greens Salad with Strawberries, Kiwi and Cashews in Honey-Sesame Dressing. It makes you smile with every bite.

Kiwifruit is a rich source of vitamin C (1.5 times the United States DRI per 100 grams) and vitamin K, and a good source of dietary fiber and vitamin E. The fruit and skin contain flavonoids, actinidain, and adhered pollen, which may produce irritation in the mouth and throat for some allergic individuals.

Store unripened kiwi on the countertop away from direct sunlight.

Eating fruit provides health benefits. Most fruits are naturally low in fat, sodium, and calories. None have cholesterol, and are a source of essential nutrients such as potassium, dietary fiber, vitamin C, and folate (folic acid).

People who eat fruits regularly are likely to reduce risk of chronic diseases, such as heart disease, including heart attack and stroke, certain types of cancers, obesity, type 2 diabetes, kidney stones, bone loss to name a few of the health benefits.

Fruits provide nutrients vital for health and maintenance of your body.

Potassium may help to maintain healthy blood pressure. Fruit sources of potassium include bananas, prunes and prune juice, dried peaches and apricots, cantaloupe, honeydew melon, and orange juice.

Dietary fiber from fruits, as part of an overall healthy diet, helps reduce blood cholesterol levels and may lower risk of heart disease. Fiber is important for proper bowel function. Fiber helps reduce constipation and diverticulosis.

Fiber-rich fruits help provide a feeling of fullness with fewer calories. Whole or cut-up fruits are sources of dietary fiber. (Fruit juices contain little or no fiber.)

Vitamin C is important for growth and repair of all body tissues, helps heal cuts and wounds, and keeps teeth and gums healthy.

Folate (folic acid) helps the body form red blood cells. Women of childbearing age who may become pregnant should consume adequate folate from foods, fortified foods or supplements. This reduces the risk of neural tube defects, spina bifida, and anencephaly during fetal development.

Food that's good and healthy for diabetics is good for healthy bodies, as well. It's Fruit Friday. Eat kiwi today.

* Source: USDA, FAO, Kiwifruit Organization

Food Network (www.foodnetwork.com) is a unique lifestyle network, website and magazine that connects viewers to the power and joy of food. The network strives to be viewers’ best friend in food and is committed to leading by teaching, inspiring and empowering through its talent and expertise.

Posted by Alexandria Marx, the Yum Expert. Anyone can cook up a great meal that gets oohs and aahs from family and friends. Make noise about food. Contact me. Follow me. Share your ideas.. Click here now to get the next menu, meal plan and kitchen tips in your inbox. Forward to a friend.

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

How to Make Mexican Wedding Cookies

It's How To Tuesday, and today, it's light and yummy cookies that literally melt in your mouth. That's not all. They are incredibly easy to make and bake.

Mexican Wedding Cookies are usually served from Christmas through the winter months to March, but they're good anytime of year. They are buttery cookies that kinda disintegrate on your tongue.

I grew up thinking my father invented them just for me. He popped one in his mouth, and then he handed me one with a big bowl of whipped cream.

I'm not sure why the whipped cream. I was a real skinny kid with anemia. Maybe he was trying to fatten me up. Maybe he just wanted to see me smile.

I think I only made them for my children once when they were little. I just forgot until I came across the picture from our friends at C&H Sugar.

How to Make Mexican Wedding Cookies
Serving size: 2
Makes 5 dozen

On your kitchen counter, line up your little glass prep bowls, spoons and measure out the flour, sugar and vanilla.

Ingredients:
1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened
2 to 2 1/2 cups C&H® Powdered Sugar, divided
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/8 teaspoon salt
2 cups nuts (any kind), finely chopped

You need a hot oven, so preheat your oven to 350°F. With your electric mixer, beat butter with 1/2 cup sugar until smooth and fluffy. Add the vanilla, mix some more. Combine flour, salt and nuts; gently stir into sugar mixture by hand. Roll dough into 1-inch balls. Place on ungreased cookie sheets.

Bake 15 minutes until lightly browned. While hot, roll in remaining 1 1/2 cups sugar. Cool on wire rack, then roll again in additional powdered sugar to coat.

You can omit the nuts in half the cookies, if anyone in your family is allergic. I prefer pecans, but I'm pretty sure that my dad made them with walnuts.

Nutritional Information (amount per serving)
Calories 96; Carbohydrates 8g; Cholesterol 14mg; Fiber .3g; Sodium: 62mg; Fat7g; Protein 1g

Source: C & H Sugar

One of the nice things about these cookies is that you almost always have the ingredients on hand.

I'm Alexandria Marx, the Yum Expert and everyday home kitchen cook on family friendly food that's easy to make and tastes good. After feeding three kids for more than a couple of decades, living with diabetes and blogging over 500 posts, I evaluate everything food, and write about how to Think Thin. Forward to a friend.

Monday, January 26, 2015

Make It Monday: Edamame Corn Salad with Oregano Vinaigrette

It's Make-It-Monday. This recipe from McCormick features oregano, a perennial herb, sometimes called wild marjoram,. Its close relative, O. majorana, is known as sweet marjoram.

Oregano is an important culinary herb, used for the flavor of its leaves, which can be more flavorful when dried than fresh. It has an aromatic, warm and slightly bitter taste, which can vary in intensity.

Edamame are fresh green soybeans which are high in soy protein and fiber. They are found in Asian markets or in the frozen section of supermarkets and are sold shelled or still in the pod. Introduce your family to edamame with this healthful salad.

Edamame and Corn Salad with Oregano Vinaigrette Recipe
Serves: 10 (2/3-cup)

Edamame and Corn Salad:
1 package (16 ounces) frozen shelled edamame
3 ears fresh corn, cooked and kernels cut from cob (2 cups)
1 medium red bell pepper, coarsely chopped
4 green onions, thinly sliced (1/2 cup)
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley

Oregano Vinaigrette:
1/4 cup olive oil
1/4 cup cider vinegar
1 tablespoon McCormick® Oregano Leaves
1 teaspoon McCormick® Garlic Powder
1 teaspoon Sea Salt from McCormick® Sea Salt Grinder
1/4 teaspoon McCormick® Black Pepper, Coarse Ground

Bring 2 quarts water to boil in medium saucepan on high heat. Add edamame; cook 4 minutes or until edamame are bright green and tender. Drain and rinse under cold water.

For the Oregano Vinaigrette, mix all ingredients in large bowl until well blended. Add edamame, corn, red bell pepper, green onions and parsley; toss well to coat. Cover.

Refrigerate at least 1 hour to blend flavors. Toss before serving.
(Substitute 2 cups frozen corn, thawed, for the fresh corn.)

Nutritional Information (amount per serving)
Calories 148; Carbohydrates 13g; Cholesterol 0mg; Fiber 4g; Fat 8g; Sodium 185mg; Sugars 0g; Protein 6g

* Source: McCormick

Good food, meatless and decadent recipes, and kitchen basics from top chefs around the web, all in one place, for everyday busy home kitchen cooks, empty nesters, diabetics and lovers of Mexican cuisine from Alexandria, the Yum expert. ¡Olé!

Saturday, January 24, 2015

Sandwich Saturday: Homemade Roast Beef Au Jus

It's Sandwich Saturday. This week's recipe courtesy of Jeff Mauro, Food Network's Sandwich Guy, is a homemade roast beef bite with shallots, coriander and radishes on hoagie rolls. It's a bit of work to get all the parts cooked and ready to assemble this popular sandwich -- but OMG is it worth it.

Hoagie Roll is a soft Italian long bread used in Submarine Sandwiches. It's a big yummy hot dog bun, grinder, hero, submarine, torpedo, or simply a sub sandwich.

There are different meats and cheeses for a hoagie.

An American-style sandwich often contains common luncheon meats such as bologna, ham and salami.

The Italian-style version usually omits the bologna and includes spicier Capicola ham along with salami and mild white cheese. Some sandwich makers scoop out a portion of the bun to accommodate all of the meats, cheese, and condiments.

Homemade Roast Beef Au Jus Sandwich
Serves 6 to 8

Au Jus:
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon black peppercorns
1 teaspoon kosher salt
4 sprigs fresh thyme
2 cloves garlic, smashed
2 sprigs fresh rosemary
1 large shallot, thinly sliced
2 tablespoons dry sherry
4 cups low-sodium beef stock

Pickled Radishes:
1 cup white wine vinegar
2 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon coriander seeds
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 star anise
1 bay leaf
1 clove garlic
2 cups thinly sliced radishes (about 8 ounces)

Sandwich Build:
4 crusty hoagie rolls
1 pound Homemade Roast Beef, thinly sliced
8 thick slices gruyere
Watercress, for serving

Homemade Roast Beef:
1 tablespoon fresh rosemary leaves, minced
1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves, minced
2 teaspoons kosher salt
1 teaspoon ground black pepper
3 cloves garlic, minced
One 4-pound boneless beef eye round roast
2 tablespoons olive oil

For the au jus: Heat the oil over medium heat in a medium saucepan. Add the peppercorns, salt, thyme, garlic, rosemary and shallots. Cook the shallots, stirring occasionally, until they become translucent, 6 to 8 minutes. Add the sherry and simmer, a few minutes. Add the stock and simmer, 20 to 25 minutes. Remove the saucepan from the heat and strain the liquid. Keep warm.

For the pickled radishes: Simmer 1/2 cup water, the vinegar, sugar, coriander seeds, salt, star anise, bay leaf and garlic. After 10 minutes of simmering, pour the mixture over the radishes in a heat-proof container and cool.

For the sandwich build: Place the bottom halves of the rolls on a work surface. Place the sliced Homemade Roast Beef on the bottom. Top with 1 slice gruyere each, some pickled radishes and watercress. Cover with the tops of the rolls. Cut each sandwich in half, dunk into the au jus and realize sometimes leftovers are just better.

For homemade roast beef: Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Mix the rosemary, thyme, salt, pepper and garlic in a small bowl. Rub the mixture all over the roast, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate, about 20 minutes.

Heat the oil in a large heavy skillet over high heat. Wipe off the excess garlic and herbs and add the roast to the pan. Sear the roast on all sides, 2 to 3 minutes per side. Transfer the roast to a roasting pan with a rack. Roast until an instant-read thermometer inserted into the center registers 125 degrees F, about 50 minutes. Transfer the roast to a cutting board and let rest, about 10 minutes. Thinly slice the roast and serve.

* Source: Sandwich King, Jeff Mauro of Food Network

Hoagies are built-to-order sandwiches filled with meat and cheese, as well as lettuce, tomatoes, and onions, topped off with a dash of oregano-vinegar dressing on an Italian roll. A true Italian Hoagie is made with Italian ham, prosciutto, salami, and provolone cheese, along with all the works. It was declared the “Official Sandwich of Philadelphia” in 1992.

Submarine is a king-sized sandwich on an Italian loaf of bread approximately 12 inches long an 3 inches wide, filled with boiled ham, hard salami, cheeses, lettuce, tomatoes, onions, and sometimes flavored with garlic and oregano. It is thought that the original concept of these sandwiches came from the Italians who immigrated to New York in the late 1800s and brought with them their favorite Italian Sandwich recipes.

Posted by Alexandria Marx, the Yum Expert. Anyone can cook meals that get oohs and aahs from family and friends. Comment questions, requests and recipes. Share your ideas. Click here now to get the next recipe in your inbox. Forward to a friend.

Friday, January 23, 2015

Eat Fruit Friday: Grapefruit

It's Eat Fruit Friday. Grapefruits are in season. The grapefruit is a subtropical citrus tree known for its sour to semi-sweet fruit. It's an 18th-century hybrid first bred in Barbados. When found, it was named the "forbidden fruit.

The varieties of Texas and Florida grapefruit include: Oro Blanco, Ruby Red, Pink, Thompson, White Marsh, Flame, Star Ruby, Duncan, and Pummelo HB". The United States is the top producer of grapefruit and pomelo followed by China and South Africa.

Grapefruit is a Superfood. It's delicious for breakfast, but it can be a tart taste and may need a sprinkle of sugar or sugar substitute.

You're gonna wanna make Food Network Kitchen's recipe for Grapefruit Infused Water

Store fresh grapefruit on the countertop away from direct sunlight.

Eating fruit provides health benefits. Most fruits are naturally low in fat, sodium, and calories. None have cholesterol, and are a source of essential nutrients such as potassium, dietary fiber, vitamin C, and folate (folic acid).

People who eat fruits are likely to reduce risk of some chronic diseases such as heart disease, including heart attack and stroke, certain types of cancers, obesity, type 2 diabetes, kidney stones, bone loss to name a few of the health benefits.

Fruits provide nutrients vital for health and maintenance of your body.

Potassium may help to maintain healthy blood pressure. Fruit sources of potassium include bananas, prunes and prune juice, dried peaches and apricots, cantaloupe, honeydew melon, and orange juice.

Dietary fiber from fruits, as part of an overall healthy diet, helps reduce blood cholesterol levels and may lower risk of heart disease. Fiber is important for proper bowel function. Fiber helps reduce constipation and diverticulosis. Fiber-rich fruits help provide a feeling of fullness with fewer calories. Whole or cut-up fruits are sources of dietary fiber. (Fruit juices contain little or no fiber.)

Vitamin C is important for growth and repair of all body tissues, helps heal cuts and wounds, and keeps teeth and gums healthy.

Folate (folic acid) helps the body form red blood cells. Women of childbearing age who may become pregnant should consume adequate folate from foods, fortified foods or supplements. This reduces the risk of neural tube defects, spina bifida, and anencephaly during fetal development.

Food that's good and healthy for diabetics is good for healthy bodies, too. Diabetes causes more deaths a year than breast cancer and AIDS combined. It's Fruit Friday. Eat grapefruit today.

* Source: USDA, Food Network

Food Network (www.foodnetwork.com) is a unique lifestyle network, website and magazine that connects viewers to the power and joy of food. The network strives to be viewers’ best friend in food and is committed to leading by teaching, inspiring and empowering through its talent and expertise.

Posted by Alexandria Marx, the Yum Expert. Anyone can cook up a great meal that gets oohs and aahs from family and friends. Make noise about food. Contact me. Follow me. Share your ideas.. Click here now to get the next menu, meal plan and kitchen tips in your inbox. Forward to a friend.

Monday, January 19, 2015

Benefits of Cooking

Knowing how to cook has big benefits: First, cooking at home saves money; second, you know what you're eating; and third, cooking is an ageless skill:  The benefits of cooking spread out like an octopus limited only by your imagination.  Here are the benefits of cooking:

 When you cook at home, you also have control over what you cook, the kinds of foods and the ingredients. Control in the kitchen can mean more nutritious meals and better health for the cook and the family.

Home kitchen cooking also results in a great deal of pleasure. If you're the family cook, you already know how rewarding cooking can be.

One of the pleasures and a nice side benefit is that a home kitchen cook can actually turn their talents into a second career -- but that's not all. There are wide-open options.

My father was a magnificent cook, a genuine restaurateur. I remember his food as if it was sloshing around in my mouth right now. He made the most incredible recipes, and I never saw a cookbook.  It was all his creative imagination mixed with his passion for making food flavors.  He didn't just cook at home.

I was five years old when I first remember going with him to his beachfront walk-up in Balboa, California. Later, he opened a bigger place by the ferry.

He had three restaurants: one was a lovely "white tablecloth" in Costa Mesa, California with a gorgeous view of the Pacific Ocean.  As a teen, I helped out clearing tables.  Even then, I knew his menu was really special, exquisite. The restaurant was always full.  He'd walk around the tables of "beautiful people" including celebrities dressed to the nines, and say hello. Everyone loved my father. As far as I know, my father had no formal education.

Cook's Options

There are cooks who become food critics, while others write cookbooks, judge cooking contests and turn their passion for food in lucrative online business.

Some cooks create a recipe for their own cookies, fudge, tamales, hot sauce, salsa, even dog biscuits, and then (for example) sell their "packaged dog biscuits" over the Internet on Amazon and eBay. This is a good option for dog lovers who can take photos of their dog nibbling on the homemade treat.

Another option is to become a personal chef or caterer, run your own food truck, even open your own restaurant. Some cooks with food experience, good kitchen technique and talent for running a kitchen crew, work as executive chef for 5-star hotels and first-class restaurants.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), chefs, cooks and food preparation workers held 3.1 million jobs in 2006. Of these, two-thirds worked in restaurants and other food services such as diners and fast food places.

About 15 percent worked in institutions such as schools, universities, hospitals, nursing care facilities, airline catering services. The remainder worked in deli shops or grocery stores, hotels and convenient stores. Other cooking jobs include short-order cooks, line chefs, sous chefs, executive chefs and corporate chefs.

Cookbooks: Bobby Flay, Rachael Ray, Emeril Lagasse and other celebrity chefs earn royalties from their books. Even though not everyone can be a celebrity chef, the income that a cookbook earns can be substantial. You don't even need a traditional publisher:  You could write your own cookbook and sell it on Ebay or Amazon. 

According to one source, overall book sales dropped last year as the economy continued to stagnate -- but not cookbooks.  Cookbook sales flourished.  Consumers apparently wanted to save money staying home and cooking their own meals.

Cooking is Win Win: When the economy is good, people dine out more. When the economy is not-too-good, people cook more at home, but still dine out. 

"At the peak of the recession we saw a nesting thing going on," said Aaron Wehner, publisher of Ten Speed Press, a subsidiary of Random House Inc. As a result, do-it-yourself books in kitchen arts, such as cooking, canning, kitchen gardening experienced a renaissance.

Cooking as a second career: According to American Association of Retired Persons (AARP), the over 50s who enjoy cooking and baking can and do turn their culinary skills into a money-making career. Consider how many restaurants and delicatessens you can think of who have or probably employ a cook.

Age is a benefit in the culinary field. As many older Americans put off leaving the work force for many reasons, most of which are lack of retirement savings, it makes sense that some of them are looking for second careers.  In fact, the number of workers age 50 and over is soaring from 20 percent of the workforce in 1996 to 31 percent today. Most jobs for seniors may have little to do with the careers they became experts at. 

AARP notes that second careers have become increasingly common among those age 50 and older, noting the some 9 million boomers have found new livelihoods, while some 30 million more say they would like to make a change.

According to Pew Research, 50-plus workers face brutal odds if and when they lose their jobs. 44% of jobless workers 55 or older have been unemployed for over a year in 2012, and while older workers have a lower unemployment rate overall, the ones who lose their jobs can find the long hunt for work unbearable. 

Another benefit is income. While many over 50s suffer with part-time and seriously reduced incomes (if they can even find a job) the culinary field is wide open for over 50s with talent and cooking skills.

According to AARP, salaries range from $32k to $86k. $32k may seems low unless you're over 50 and can't find a job, and end up waiting tables or bagging groceries for $9 an hour ($18,720/yr probably without vacation time or benefits).

Executive chefs can earn an annual income of six digits and up. Now, that's a second career to look forward to, but it takes preparation, and of course, a love of food. 

According to one study, of the 2,134 certified chefs in the U.S, only 4.3% are women.  

Future Prospects

The BLS reports that culinary employment is predicted to grow 11 percent by 2016. Can you imagine one out of every eleven employers will be looking for help in the food industry?

Chefs can find available jobs nearly anywhere they want to go and can enjoy long-term employment once they find employment that matches their skills and interests. Age for over 50s is often a benefit.  It's never too late to turn a cooking hobby or interest into a money making career.

Guy Fieri, born in 1968, is an American success story and television personality currently working for Food Network. Although he always loved food, he started as an executive in management. it wasn't until mid-2010 at age 42, that the Food Network made Fieri the "face of the network." It's reported his networth as of this year is around $16 million. His degree is in hotel management.

AARP reports five industries that show new job growth, the salary and education are:

1. Home health aide: 460,900 new jobs, $20,460, short-term on-the-job training.
2. Medical assistant: 163,900 jobs, $28,300, moderate-term on-the-job training
3. Self-enrichment education teacher: 81,300 jobs, $35,720, work experience in related occupation
4. Dental hygienist: 62,900 jobs, $66,570, associate degree
5. Computer software engineer: 175,100 jobs, $85,430, bachelor’s degree

Education.  Like my father, anyone with a passion for cooking can be a cook.  A home kitchen cook can turn those skills into a money-making proposition.  They can also bolster their credentials and abilities with a 2-year associate or 4-year degree attending culinary school, gain on-the-job training,  If you're a talented cook, simply apply and cook something to show off your skills. You could even go on "Chopped," and become a "Chopped Champion." That's a terrific way to bolster your cooking skills.

There are schools all over, even online. Two-year programs include the Associate of Arts in Baking & Pastry Arts and the Associate of Arts in Culinary Arts, while the 4-year programs include the Bachelor of Arts in Baking and Pastry Arts and the Bachelor of Arts in Culinary Arts and Food Management.

What's appealing about the culinary industry is that people always have to eat.

Posted by Alexandria Marx, the Yum Expert. Anyone can cook meals that get oohs and aahs from family and friends. Comment questions, requests and recipes. Share your ideas. Click here now to get the next recipe in your inbox. Forward to a friend.

Saturday, January 17, 2015

Sandwich Saturday: Not Your Ordinary Grilled Cheese

It's Sandwich Saturday. The day the home kitchen cook devotes the meal to yummy food laid between two pieces of amazing bread.

Today's sandwich spectacular is the ever-popular, easy-to-make grilled cheese sandwich that's anytime good.

It's what I call "Sgt Pepper," because I make it with three kinds of "Sargento" cheese, and it's guaranteed to raise a smile.

It's definitely not the old-fashioned grilled cheese version I used to make for the kids with Velveeta cheese.

Sandwich refers to a food item consisting of one or more ingredients placed on or between slices of bread. In other words, any food that uses two or more pieces of bread as the container.

Whole-wheat bread a is a type of bread made using flour that is partly or entirely milled from whole or almost-whole wheat grains.

The majority of what is marketed in the USA under the name "wheat bread" has very little whole grain content, and is made primarily of white flour, with caramel coloring added to them to give an illusion of a higher whole wheat content. Source 

If it’s real whole-grain bread you should see “whole wheat,” “whole grain corn,” “100% rolled oats,” or other terms that clearly specify the inclusion of “whole” grain ingredients.

Pucker up for a real taste bite. It is so good.

Not Your Ordinary Grilled Cheese Sandwich
Serves 1

2 (1/2-inch thick) slices wheat bread
2 slices Sargento® Deli Style Sliced Pepper Jack Cheese
1 slice Sargento® Deli Style Sliced Chipotle Cheddar Cheese
1 slice Sargento® Deli Style Sliced Havarti Cheese
4 tablespoons unsalted butter

Heat a large skillet over medium-low heat. Lightly butter one side of two slices of bread. Place 2 slices face down in medium-warm skillet.

Add two slices of Pepper Cack cheese, one slice of Chipolte Cheedar cheese and one slice of Havarti cheese. Top with the other slice of bread, buttered-side up.

Cook, without pressing, until bread browns and cheese melts slightly. It might take 4 or 5 minutes, otherwise you're cooking it too fast. Use your pancake spatula to turn the sandwich over and brown the other side. This time make sure all the cheese melts.

Cut in two and serve with cold pickles and a catsup dipping sauce.

Catsup Dipping Sauce: Mix 1 cup of your favorite ketchup with 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce, 1 tablespoon spicy horseradish, 2 teaspoons brown sugar, 1 teaspoons cayenne pepper and 1/2 teaspoon garlic salt.

It's a dance. Dip, twirl and bite, then crunch a bite of dill pickle spear. Repeat.

Sargento Foods Inc. is a family-owned company comprising three business divisions: Consumer Products, Food Service and Food Ingredients. The company employs more than 1,500 people at four Wisconsin facilities: Plymouth, Kiel, Hilbert and Elkhart Lake.

The Consumer Products Division is a leading national packager and marketer of natural shredded, sliced, snack and specialty cheeses sold under the Sargento brand.

Posted by Alexandria Marx, the Yum Expert. Anyone can cook up a great meal that gets oohs and aahs from family and friends. Make noise about food. Contact me. Follow me. Share your ideas.. Click here now to get the next menu, meal plan and kitchen tips in your inbox. Forward to a friend.