MAY
09

Chocolate Graduation Cap Cupcakes with Vanilla Buttercream

Graduation cupcakes on a platter

Whether your graduate is earning a high school diploma or an advanced degree, such achievement calls for celebration, and these charming dessert treats are just the thing to cap your party off right. Rich chocolate makes these cupcakes delectably decadent, and the vanilla buttercream and edible mortar board toppers are sure to move you to the head of the class!

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APR
25

Dark Chocolate Pecan Pie

The dark chocolate pecan pie

Derby Day calls for mint juleps in silver cups, fantastic hats, and barbeque! Pecan pie is the perfect end to the charm of a Kentucky Derby themed party or meal.Try our healthier dark chocolate take on the classic pecan recipe. You'll love it so much, you'll make this updated traditional Southern dessert all year long!

 

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APR
11

Hot Cross Muffins

The Hot Cross Muffins

Delicate and sweet, these hot cross muffins are a real treat and something different for the Easter Bunny to serve up this year. You can also experiment with different combinations of dried fruit or add in chocolate chips!

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683 Hits
FEB
21

Red Velvet Macarons with White Chocolate Ganache

Stacks of Red Velvet Macarons

Delicate, airy and sweet French Macarons are evocative of all the romance of Paris. This special red velvet version has a hint of chocolate flavor and is filled with a silky white chocolate ganache.

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720 Hits
MAR
16

St. Patrick's Day Recipes

St Patrick's Day Recipe Collage

 

Ah Guinness. The famous Irish Stout has been quenching thirsty palates around the globe for over 250 years. The beer is so popular, more than 1.8 billion pints are consumed each year!*

As much as we love to drink our Guinness, we also find that it adds complexity to many recipes. And what better time of year to share said recipes than St. Patrick’s Day! Give them a go – today or any day. Because food tastes better with Guinness.

Caramelized Onion and Guinness Dip

The Washington Post

1 tablespoon olive oil

2 large sweet onions, diced

1 cup cold Guinness

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper

1/4 teaspoon cayenne

1 lb extra-sharp cheddar cheese (preferably Irish), cubed

Crackers, chips or bread, to serve

In a large skillet over medium heat, heat the olive oil. Add the onions and cook, stirring occasionally, until browned and caramelized, about 20 minutes. If the onions begin to char before they caramelize, add a tablespoon or two of water. Set the onions aside and allow to cool.

Once the onions have cooled, combine them in a food processor with the Guinness, salt, pepper, cayenne, and cheddar. Pulse until combined and smooth. Serve with crackers, chips or bread. Also makes a great spread for a roast beef sandwich.

Yields: 16 servings

 

Beef and Guinness Stew

Adapted from the Guinness Storefront

7 oz Guinness Foreign Extra Stout

14 oz stewing beef, diced

1 medium onion, diced

1 large carrot, diced

1 large celery, diced

1 large parsnip, diced

33 oz. beef stock

Sprigs of fresh thyme and rosemary

Mashed potatoes, to serve

Brown the beef in a skillet, add the vegetables and cook until tender. Cover with Guinness and cook until liquid is reduced by half.

Add the beef stock and herbs and simmer on low heat for 1-1 ½ hours. Serve with your favorite mashed potatoes recipe. Tip from the Guinness Storefront Chefs– This stew is always better made one day in advance!

Yields: 4 servings

 

Guinness and Honey Glazed Pork Loin

10 oz. Guinness

3 oz honey

9 oz brown sugar

4 ½ lb boneless loin of pork

Splash white wine, Champagne, or water

3 sprigs flat leaf parsley

To make the glaze, put the Guinness, honey and brown sugar into a pan. Reduce by almost half to form a sweet syrupy glaze. Allow to cool.

Heat oven to 400F. Season the pork with pepper and salt. Place in a roasting pan and roast for 20 minutes. Remove from the oven.

Lower oven temperature to 325F. Brush the pork loin with most of the glaze, reserving 2-3 tablespoons, and cook for an additional 40-50 minutes, brushing and basting the pork as it cooks until it's beautifully caramelized and glazed.

Remove the pork from the roasting pan and leave to rest on a cutting board.

Scrape the pan juices into a small pot. Combine with the remaining Guinness/honey glaze, and the wine, Champagne or water. Place the pot on the heat and bring everything to the boil, simmer for a few minutes until you have thick gravy.

Carve pork into thin slices and drizzle with the gravy. Finish with a sprig of parsley.

Yields: 6 servings

 

Guinness Chocolate Mousse

Adapted from the Guinness Storefront

10 egg yolks

10 egg whites

12 oz dark chocolate

1 stick unsalted butter

½ c. granulated sugar

100ml Guinness draught

Melt dark chocolate and butter over a water bath. Add the Guinness draught.

Beat egg yolks and sugar with an electric mixer until light and fluffy. Fold in the melted chocolate mixture.

Separately, whip the egg whites to soft peaks. Fold into the chocolate mixture, gently, until no streaks of white remain.

Transfer mousse to serving glasses and chill.

Yields: 6 servings

* Source: http://www.beerconnoisseur.com/node/1139

 

 

 

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DEC
11

Holiday Decorated Cookies

Holiday Cookie Banner

Thanksgiving may have barely passed, and already we’re eagerly preparing for the next holiday. The bakers at Sunset Foods are particularly excited, gathering together their favorite sprinkles, edible glitter, and food coloring to tint icings to the perfect shades of green, red, blue, silver…you name it. The sweet scents emanating from the bakery department will fill you with holiday glee! Oh so good!!

Surely our lovely bakers are not the only ones caught up in the holiday spirit. Many of our loyal readers might be firing up the ovens, donning aprons, and dusting off their favorite holiday recipes as well. If you’re in a baking mood, than you’ve come to the right place – we have some excellent recipes and tips to help you make your best holiday cookies yet. These recipes are easy enough for the budding bakers in your household, so gather the kiddos around for a day of family fun in the kitchen. It’s never too early to spread some holiday cheer!

The Best Gingerbread Cookies EVER
(recipe courtesy of Southern Living)

¼ c. water
1 ½ tsp baking soda
1 c. molasses
1 c. butter
1 c. sugar
5 c. unbleached, all-purpose flour
¼ tsp coarse salt
1 ½ tsp ground ginger
½ tsp allspice
1 ½ tsp cinnamon

Line baking sheets with parchment.

Stir together the water and baking soda until dissolved. Stir in the molasses; set aside.

Beat butter and sugar until fluffy and combined.

Whisk together flour, salt, and spices. Add to the butter mixture, alternating with the molasses mixture. (Make sure to begin and end with the flour.)

Form dough into a ball, wrap in plastic wrap and chill 1 hour.

Preheat oven to 350.

On a lightly floured surface, roll dough to a ¼-inch thickness. Cut with a floured cookie cutter and place on parchment-lined baking sheets, allowing enough space around each cookie because they will spread during baking. Freeze for 5 minutes before baking.

Bake 10-12 minutes (for a large shape). Cool 1 minute on cookie sheet, then transfer to cooling rack. Cool completely before decorating with royal icing.


Vanilla-Almond Sugar Cookies
(Recipe courtesy of Bake at 350)

3 c. unbleached all-purpose flour
2 tsp baking powder
1 c. sugar
2 sticks salted butter; cold and cubed
1 egg
¾ tsp pure vanilla extract
½ tsp pure almond extract

Preheat oven to 350.

Combine the flour and baking powder, set aside. Cream the sugar and butter. Add the egg and extracts and mix. Gradually add the flour mixture and beat just until combined, scraping down the bowl, especially the bottom.

The dough will be crumbly, so knead it together with your hands as you scoop it out of the bowl for rolling.

Roll onto a floured surface and cut into shapes. Place on parchment lined baking sheets. Freeze for 5 minutes before baking.

Bake for 10-12 minutes. Let sit a few minutes on the sheet, then transfer to a cooling rack before decorating with royal icing.


Easy Royal Icing
(Recipe courtesy of Bake at 350)

4 Tbs meringue powder
scant ½ c. water
1 lb powdered sugar
½-1 tsp light corn syrup

*A few drops of pure almond extract can be added to the mixer with the corn syrup if using to decorate Vanilla-Almond Sugar Cookies.

Combine the meringue powder and water in a standing mixer bowl. Beat with the paddle attachment until combined and foamy.

Sift in the powdered sugar and beat on low until combined. (Do NOT skip the sifting step. It eliminates lumps in your Royal Icing.)

Add in the corn syrup. Increase mixer speed to med-high/high and beat for about 5 minutes, just until the icing is glossy and stiff peaks form. (You should be able to remove the beater from the mixer, hold it up and jiggle it without the peak falling.)

Cover with plastic wrap touching the surface of the icing, or divide the icing up and color using gel paste food colorings. Cover colored icings with plastic wrap touching the surface.

 

Okay. Now that you have the recipes, let’s talk technique! Here are a few items you will want to have on hand as you get started decorating your cookies:

Cooling racks
Piping bags
Piping tips
Plastic squeeze bottles with caps
Toothpicks
Gel food coloring
Mixing bowls
Spatulas
Decorative sprinkles and dragées
Edible glitter

The base Royal Icing recipe is perfect for outlining your cookies and defining different sections. (For instance, if you were decorating a cookie shaped like a candy cane, you could use this icing to create the outlines for red and white areas of the candy cane.) Simply fill a piping bag with some Royal Icing, and pipe the icing to create the outline you desire.

To fill in the outlined sections, you will need to create Flood Icing. It’s easier than you think! Simply put some of your Royal Icing in a bowl and add water in teeny tiny increments – ½ teaspoon to 1 teaspoon at a time, stirring after each addition, until the icing passes this test:

Raise up a ribbon of icing with your spoon; drag it back and forth across the surface of the icing; if the icing settles back into itself after a count of “one thousand one, one thousand two”, then it’s ready.

Too stiff? Add more water and repeat the test. Too fluid? Add more Royal Icing and repeat the test. Be patient and take your time making your Flood Icing because the end result is well worth it. You’ll end up with a smooth, shiny, easy-to-spread icing that dries to a glossy, hard finish.

Once your Flood Icing is ready, you can use gel food coloring to create the exact colors you desire. Simply divide up the base Flood Icing into bowls and tint to the shades you want. Then you can transfer the colored Flood Icing to plastic squeeze bottles for easier application. Simply squeeze a little of the flood icing onto the cookie surface in the outlined section you’ve created, then use a toothpick to carefully move the icing around to fill in the entire space. (Remember that candy cane example? You would squeeze a little red Flood Icing into a section, then use your toothpick to carefully move the icing around so that the entire outlined section is red.)

A toothpick will become your new best friend. Who knew that this little kitchen castoff would be one of the best decorating tools at your disposal? The toothpick is the easiest way to create some truly stunning effects. For instance, want to create an artsy swirl pattern on an ornament shaped cookie so that it has a stained glass effect? Simply outline the cookie in Royal Icing, then fill in with Flood Icing in the color of your choosing. Use your toothpick to smooth the Flood Icing into place. Choose another color of Flood Icing, and squeeze a few drops on top of the smoothed icing. Drag your toothpick through these drops to create a swirl pattern of color. You can repeat with as many colors as you like. The result will be simply gorgeous!

Once you’ve iced the cookie to your heart’s satisfaction, feel free to decorate with sprinkles, dragées, or edible glitter. Make it your own! Then set it aside and let the icing dry for at least one hour.

Here’s a neat tip for creating hair. Leave it to Martha Stewart to find new use for kitchen tools. Have a long forgotten garlic press hiding deep within one of your kitchen drawers? Wash it well and dry it; place a small ball of gingerbread dough inside and press…instant gingerbread hair! You can then place the hair on your gingerbread people before baking them in the oven. Neat, huh?


What holiday cookie tips and tricks have you discovered along the way? Have a favorite cookie recipe you always make? Share with our readers on Facebook!

And while you’re getting into the holiday spirit, don’t miss Sunset Foods’ Holiday Gingerbread House Making Event! Bring your kids to your local Sunset Foods to assemble and decorate a festive Gingerbread House. It will be the perfect decoration for your holiday table!

Holiday Gingerbread House Making Event
Saturday, December 15th
10 am-Noon
All Sunset Foods locations
Cost to participate: $12

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APR
28

Baked Alaskan Halibut with Asparagus

Alaskan Halibut Season

The season of Spring is upon us and at Sunset Foods, we can’t think of a better way to celebrate than by firing up the grill!

Spring ushers in fresh produce – like beautiful, bright green bunches of vitamin-rich asparagus. Grilled or steamed, it’s the perfect spring side dish.

You know what goes great with asparagus? Alaskan Halibut. Its sweet, delicate flavor and firm, hearty texture make it a versatile choice for grilling, broiling or pan-frying. Or give this easy weeknight recipe a whirl:

Baked Alaskan Halibut with Asparagus

Ingredients:

1 lb asparagus spears

1 package dry stuffing

Salt and pepper

4 halibut steaks or fillets

11 oz can chicken broth

¼ c. melted butter

2 TBS flour

2 c. milk (room temperature)

4 oz shredded cheese (flavor of your choice)

Directions:

  1. Pre-heat oven to 350°F
  2. Line bottom of a 9×12 baking dish with asparagus spears
  3. Cover with dry stuffing
  4. Season fish with salt and pepper; arrange on top of stuffing
  5. Combine chicken broth with the melted butter
  6. Whisk flour into broth/butter mixture
  7. Slowly whisk milk into flour/broth/butter mixture
  8. Pour over the fish
  9. Sprinkle with cheese
  10. Cover pan with aluminum foil and bake for 45 minutes
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JAN
26
0

Satisfying Soy Recipes

Nutrient Rich Soy Recipes

In recent years, soy foods have surged in popularity among health-conscious Americans. Scientists believe that soy foods, a food staple throughout Asia for centuries, may be responsible for the low rates of breast cancer, heart disease and osteoporosis in these countries. Today, a steady stream of innovative new products utilizing soy-based ingredients makes it easier than ever to enjoy the amazing benefits of this highly nutritious food.

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JAN
12
0

Perfect Pizza

Pizza - the perfect meal for any time of day

Few foods possess the universal appeal of pizza. Although commonly regarded as an Italian invention, the dish actually dates back to ancient Greece. However, it wasn’t until 1889 when a Neapolitan man named Raffaele Esposito topped some dough with tomatoes, chopped basil and shredded mozzarella cheese that the contemporary pizza was born. Soon after, a wave of immigrants swept into America, bringing with them this Italian specialty which has grown in popularity ever since.

Pizza can be a highly nutritious lunch or dinner option which is easy dish to make at home. Pizza also comes in a diverse variety of styles including thin crust (the most popular), deep-dish, stuffed, pizza bread, pizza wrap, and even pizza-on-a-stick. Although it is fine to serve pizza with soup or salad, it is actually one of the few dishes that is a complete meal by itself.

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534 Hits
DEC
09
0

Whipping up some edible magic!

Christmas Cookies of all sorts

You cannot help but feel nostalgic around the holidays. Certain scents,
songs, and sights evoke powerful memories. Here at Sunset Foods, we
naturally have strong connections to the feasts of the season, and the
act of creating them.

For many of us, holidays growing up meant spending quality time in the
kitchen with Grandma and/or Mom, baking and decorating delicious cookies
to celebrate that magical time of year. Sure, more batter may have ended
up in our mouths or on the floors than it did in the oven, but that too
was magical.

So we’re feeling rather nostalgic this first week in December, and have
decided to honor our Grandmothers and Mothers by sharing some of our
favorite holiday cookie recipes with you. May they inspire you to pop in
the kitchen and make holiday memories with your kids, grandkids, or
nieces and nephews. And if you have a favorite holiday cookie recipe, or
memory you’d care to share, we’d love to hear about it!

Happy baking and Happy Holidays from all of us at Sunset Foods!

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444 Hits
DEC
08

Recipe of the week: Oven-baked Scrod

Oven Baked Scrod Entree

Tired of the same old stuff for dinner, but scared of venturing out into new dishes? Working with new foods doesn’t have to be complicated—you just have to keep it simple. Here is a scrod recipe that is easy, delicious and will leave your family begging for more. Combining bread crumbs, lemon peel and a dash of paprika, this is guaranteed to make your tastebuds water. And with New Bedford Boston Scrod on sale at Sunset this week for $9.98 a pound, branching out into new territory doesn’t have to be expensive, either. Try out this recipe and let us know how it goes! We guarantee you won’t be disappointed.

Did you know? Scrod is just a term for young cod. It is a great, versatile food that can be used in a variety of dishes. And it’s also a great source of omega-3 fatty acids, which are good for your skin, hair and overall health.

INGREDIENTS:

1/2 cup seasoned dry bread crumbs
1 teaspoon grated fresh lemon peel
1 teaspoon paprika
1 teaspoon dried dill weed
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 egg whites
1 tablespoon water
1‑1/2 pounds Boston scrod or orange roughy fillets, cut into 6 pieces (1/4 pound each)
2 tablespoons margarine, melted
Tartar Sauce
Lemon wedges

PREPARATION:

1. Preheat oven to 400°F. Spray 15X10-inch jelly-roll pan with nonstick cooking spray. Combine bread crumbs, lemon peel, paprika and dill in shallow bowl or pie plate. Place flour in resealable food storage bag. Beat egg whites and water together in another shallow bowl or pie plate.

2. Add fish, one fillet at a time, to bag. Seal bag; turn to coat fish lightly. Remove fish; dip into egg white mixture, letting excess drip off. Roll fish in bread crumb mixture. Place in prepared jelly-roll pan. Repeat with remaining fish fillets. Drizzle margarine evenly over fish. Bake 15 to 18 minutes or until fish flakes easily when tested with fork.

3. Prepare Tartar Sauce while fish is baking. Serve fish with lemon wedges and Tartar Sauce.

Makes about 6 servings. We like it with green beans, but the sky’s the limit in terms of side dishes. Enjoy!

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676 Hits
NOV
11

Recipe of the week: Chicken Roll Ups

Chicken Roll Ups smothered in cheddar

When the weather gets chilly you want a hearty meal to warm the soul. Look no further— we’ve got the thing for you! This recipe perfectly hits the spot and is a kid-tested favorite- -oh-so-delicious with the perfect creamy flavor. Plus, it’s easy as 1-2-3: Just mix, dump and bake! It’s delicious and filling enough to serve alone, but you can always add a salad. Plus, with Pillsbury crescent rolls 3 cans for $5, you can make it three times. Does life get better than that?

Chicken Roll Ups

  • 1 can crescent rolls (8)
  • 2 c. cooked chicken cut in small pcs
  • 2 tbsp. mayonnaise
  • 3/4 c. lowfat milk
  • 1 c. cheddar cheese, grated
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • 1 can creamy mushroom chicken soup

 

Directions

  1. Mix soup, lowfat milk, lemon juice and mayonnaise. Pour 1/2 of mix into baking dish. Roll up chicken in crescent rolls and arrange in baking dish. Pour remaining mix over chicken and cover with cheese. Bake at 350 degrees for 30 min.
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661 Hits
SEP
09

Recipe of the week: Parmesan Chicken

Plate of Parmesan Crusted Chicken

This week’s recipe has three favorite qualities — easy, fast, and delicious. 

You’ll have no trouble getting a beautiful, crispy, browned crust while keeping the chicken moist and flavorful. The mustard provides just enough tang to make it tasty. This is a perfect family recipe –everyone from kids to the grandparents will love it. Serve with your choice of mashed potatoes, a vegetable, salad, or a pasta.

CHICKEN PARMESAN

  • 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
  • 1 teaspoon white-wine vinegar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 6 (5-oz) skinless boneless chicken breast halves
  • 1 cup panko bread crumbs
  • 3/4 cup finely grated Parmigiano-Reggiano (1 1/2 oz)
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter, melted

Special equipment:

  • Special equipment: parchment paper

Preheat oven to 450°F and line a baking sheet with parchment.

Whisk together mustard, vinegar, salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper in a large bowl and add chicken breasts, tossing to coat well.

Combine bread crumbs, cheese, butter, and remaining 1/4 teaspoon pepper and pulse in a food processor until combined well. Transfer to a shallow soup plate or pie plate.

Dredge chicken, 1 piece at a time, in crumbs, coating completely and pressing gently to help crumbs adhere, then transfer to baking sheet. Bake in middle of oven until golden brown and cooked through, 15 to 20 minutes.

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