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Thursday, May 30, 2013

Colorful, Braces-Friendly Recipes for the Summertime

Hi Everyone! 
Summer is right around the corner. We found some fun, healthy, and braces-friendly recipes we thought you would enjoy! Be sure to share your cooking experience with us and send over some pictures! We hope you enjoy kicking off the season with fun and colorful food! 

Crab Cakes
Serving: 4 
  • 2 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1-1/2 cups panko
  • 1/4 cup sliced green onion
  • 2 Tbsp. mayonnaise
  • 2 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
  • Hot pepper sauce
  • 2 6-oz. cans cooked crabmeat, drained, flaked, and cartilage removed
  • 2 Tbsp. butter
  • 1/3 cup apricot fruit spread
  • 1 tsp. Chinese-style hot mustard
  • 1/4 tsp. ground ginger
  • Sliced heirloomed tomatoes
  • Fresh dill 
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. For crab cakes, in a large bowl combine eggs, 1 cup of the panko, green onion, mayonnaise, Worcestershire, and hot pepper sauce to taste. Fold in crabmeat. Shape into four cakes about 1-1/4 inches thick. Place remaining panko in a shallow bowl. Add crab cakes; lightly coat on both sides
  2. In a very large nonstick over-safe skillet heat olive oil and butter over medium-high heat. Add crab cakes. Cook for 6-8 minutes or until golden on both sides, turning once. Transfer skillet to the oven; bake for 10 to 15 minutes or until cakes reach 160 degrees F on an instant-read thermometer. 
  3. Meanwhile, for Apricot Sauce, in a small microwave-safe bowl stir together apricot fruit spread, mustard, and ground ginger. Microwave on high for 20-30 seconds or until heated through. 
  4. Spoon Apricot Sauce over crab cakes. Serve with sliced tomatoes and sprinkle with fresh dill, if desired.
Gormet BBQ Chicken
Take 1 grilled chicken breast, skin brushed with 1-1/2 tablespoons barbecue sauce, over 3/4 cup steamed whole-wheat couscous and topped with fresh cilantro and lime zest to taste; 1-1/2 cups haricots verts sauteed in 1 teaspoon butter. 

Gluten-Free Spaghetti Caprese
Take 2 ounces gluten-free spaghetti tossed with 1 large diced heirloom tomato, 2 tablespoons sliced fresh basil, 1 minced clove garlic, 1 teaspoon extra-virgin olive oil, and 1/4 teaspoon sea salt, and sprinkled with 1 ounce finely diced fresh mozzarella, then topped with a mixture of 1/2 cup rinsed and drained canned cannellini beans, 1-1/2 teaspoons white balsamic vinegar, and fresh parsley to taste.

Vegetarian Blue Cheese Veggie Burger
Take 1 cooked veggie burger on 1 whole-grain bun with 2 teaspoon ketchup, 1 large slice red onion, 1 tablespoon crumbled Gorgonzola, and 1/2 cup baby arugula dressed with 1/2 teaspoon balsamic vinegar; 1 ear grilled corn with a pinch fresh rosemary and sea salt to taste.

Butternut Squash Mac 'N' Cheese
Serving: 6
  • 1-1/2 pounds butternut squash
  • 8 cloves garlic
  • 1 sprig thyme
  • 2 cups unsweetened almond milk
  • 2 cups low-sodium chicken stock
  • 1 pound small elbow macaroni cooking spray
  • 2 tablespoons grated Gruyere
  • 3/4 cup panko bread crumbs
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped flat-leaf parsley
  • 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Peel, halve and seed squash, then cut into 1-inch-thick chunks. Add to a large saucepan with 6 cloves garlic, thyme, almond milk, and chicken stock. Cook over medium heat for 15 to 20 minutes or until squash is fork-tender, remove from heat and discard thyme. Transfer mixture to a food processor or blender and pulse until smooth; set aside.
  2. Meanwhile, cook macaroni according to package directions until al dente. Drain and rinse with cool water.
  3. Lightly coat a casserole dish with cooking spray and spread macaroni in an even layer. Pour squash puree over noodles, cover dish with foil, and bake for 45 minutes.
  4.  While the macaroni is cooking, mince the 2 remaining garlic cloves and combine in a small bowl with Gruyere, panko, parsley, and salt. Top cooked noodles with cheese and bread crumb mixture and broil for 5-10 minutes or until browned. Divide evenly among six plates and serve immediately. 

Red's Amazing M&M'S Cookies 
Serving: 24-30 cookies
  • 1 cup butter
  • 2/3 cup brown sugar
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1-1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1-1/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1-1/4 cups M&M'S Brand Milk Chocolate Candies
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees
  2. Mix and blend butter, brown sugar, sugar, egg, and vanilla extract in large bowl
  3. In a different bowl sift the flour, baking soda, and salt. Slowly add these ingredients into butter mixture and stir.
  4. Fold in the M&M'S Brand Chocolate Candies and chill dough for 1 hour.
  5. Drop dough by rounded tablespoons onto a lightly greased tray, 2 inches apart.
  6. Bake for 8-10 minutes for chewy cookies or 12-14 minutes for crispy cookies!
Strawberry-Mango Ice Pops
Serving: 10 pops
  • 1 cup thinly sliced ripe strawberries
  • 1 mango peeled and diced
  • 1 Tbsp. sugar
  • 1-2/3 cup mango nectar
  1. Set freezer to the lowest temperature. Soak 10 wooden pop sticks in warm water for 10 minutes
  2. Drop strawberry slices into each cavity of a 10-pop mold, bending them so they won't clump. Blend mango and sugar in a food processor until smooth. With machine running, pour into nectar.
  3. Pour mango mixture over strawberries to fill each cavity. Poke with a skewer to release air bubbles and distribute berries. Place top on mold and add sticks. Freeze for 8-12 hours. 
  4. Remove pops from mold by running top under tepid water to loosen, then swish bottoms in a basin of tepid water until loose. Pull middle sticks to remove top and all 10 pops. Store pops in ziplock freezer bags
Chocolate Olive Oil Cake
Serving: 12 slices
  • 2/3 cup regular olive oil
  • 6 Tbsp. unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/2 cup boiling water
  • 2 tsp. pure vanilla extract
  • 1-1/2 cups almond meal 
  • 1/2 tsp. baking soda
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 cup superfine sugar
  • 3 large eggs
  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Grease a 9-inch springform cake pan with a littel oil and line base of pan with parchment paper
  2. Sift cocoa powder into a bowl and whisk in boiling water until you have a smooth, chocolaty, still running paste. Whisk in vanilla extract and set aside to let cool. 
  3. Combine almond meal with baking soda and pinch of salt.
  4. Put sugar, olive oil and eggs into bowl of freestanding mixer with a paddle attachment. Beat until mixture is pale-primrose, aerated, thickened and creamy for about 3 minutes. 
  5. Turn down mixer speed a little and beat in cocoa mixture. Slowly add almond-meal mixture.
  6. Turn off mixer. Scrape down sides of bowl and stir a little with spatula. Pour batter into prepared cake pan. Bake until sides of cake are set and very center, on top still looks slightly damp, 40-45 minutes. 
  7. Let cake cool in its pan on a wire rack for 10 minutes. Ease sides of cake with a small metal spatula and spring cake out of pan. Leave to cool completely or serve warm with ice cream. 
Sources: Better Homes and Gardens Magazine, Health Magazine, and Shape Magazine (June 2013 Issues) 

Friday, May 24, 2013

In Remembrance

Memorial day is a day of remembrance dedicated to the brave men and women who sacrificed their lives during military service. Proclaimed after the Civil War, Memorial Day has since became a national holiday celebrated by Americans to honor soldiers who dedicated their lives for our freedom. Although many of us take this day to enjoy the company of friends and family, we must always remember the people who made it possible for us to have this privilege. As President Clinton once said, "We have so much to be grateful for today: peace, prosperity, the spreading power of our original ideas". We hope everyone enjoys their Memorial Day weekend while we remember those who made this day possible.

Saturday, May 11, 2013


Hi everyone! What are you guys doing this weekend to celebrate and honor your mothers? Whether you are making her breakfast in bed, taking her out to dinner, clean the house, or simply drawing her a special picture we are sure it will be greatly appreciated! Don't forget to share with us pictures of your special weekend! Did you know that Mother's Day was first celebrated in 1908?! Let's continue this wonderful tradition and celebrate our mothers every year!