8 of the Best Dinners for When You’re In Dire Need Of A Good Night’s Sleep

Some people have problems falling asleep. Others have absolutely no problem closing their eyes at night, but they struggle to keep them closed and end up waking up in the early hours with their minds running. You’re not alone – many of us go through a similar situation. You blame your lack of sleep on the stress that has been taking over your thoughts, but did you ever stop and think that it may actually have to do with the meal that you are consuming before you go to bed? There are certain foods out there that have an impact on the way you sleep at night, and we have given you some great dinner ideas for the next time those bags under your eyes become too unbearable.

Fettuccine with Kale, Caramelized Onions, and Goat Cheese

The key ingredient in this dish is kale. Kale and other leafy vegetables give your body the healthy dose of calcium that it needs. Sure, dairy products also contain calcium but some of them can be heavy while greens are not. Not having enough calcium in your body when you go to sleep at night can lead to a restless evening.

Fettuccine With Kale, Caramelized Onions and Goat Cheese

Herb Butter Salmon and Asparagus

Creme de la Crumb

Fish, especially salmon, are loaded with vitamin B6, the vitamin that is needed by your body to make melatonin. Melatonin is essential in order to sleep because it is a hormone that is triggered by darkness to help you fall asleep at night. Other fish that have plenty of the vitamin are tuna and halibut.

Get the recipe from Creme de la Crumb.

Yellow Jasmine Rice

Yellow-Jasmine-Rice-V1
Budget Byte$

Eating any type of grain, like rice or bulgur, before bed helps you fall asleep, but studies have shown that eating jasmine rice, specifically, before you close your eyes at night helps you shut your eyes faster. This is because jasmine rice contains a high-glycemic index, whereas other grains have lower-glycemic indexes. High-GI foods have much more insulin, which travels to the brain and triggers you to feel tired.

Get the recipe from Recipe by Budget Byte$.

Creamy Greek Yogurt Mac & Cheese

Cooking Ala Mel

Like the kale recipe, dairy products also give your body the right amount of calcium it needs. However, you have to be careful with what kinds of dairy products you are ingesting before you crawl into bed. Yogurt and milk are great to incorporate into your dinner meal because they are not as heavy. However, take it easy on the ice cream!

Get the recipe from Cooking Ala Mel.

(Almost) Classic Chickpea Vegan Meatloaf

Connoisseurus Veg

This funky, vegan spin on a traditional dish is filled with chickpeas, which, like fish, help make melatonin, triggering you to fall asleep faster at night and stay asleep.

Get the recipe from Connoisseurus Veg.

Southwest Turkey, Vegetable and Rice Skillet

Southwest-Turkey-Vegetable-and-Rice-Skillet3
Recipe Runner

Everyone who celebrates Thanksgiving know this. Turkey contains a chemical called tryptophan, which helps people fall asleep (hence why everyone ends up napping after Thanksgiving dinner). This meal has both turkey and rice (mentioned above), so that you are twice as likely to get the amount of sleep you want AND need.

Get the recipe from Recipe Runner

Chicken, Broccoli, and Sweet Potato Sheet Pan Dinner

chicken_broccoli_sweet_potato_sheet_pan_dinner2.
Cooking Classy

Sweet potatoes are the key to an insomniac’s happiness. They contain carbs, which help push sleep in the right direction, and potassium, which relaxes your body and prepares you for the night ahead.

Get the recipe from Cooking Classy.

One Pot Spinach Chicken Pasta

Spinach chicken pasta
Chef in Training

Last but not least, this leafy vegetable has got a long track record of helping people sleep. Being a source of tryptophan, it also has nutrients in it like folate, vitamins B6 and C, and magnesium, which help produce both serotonin and melatonin throughout your body. Spanish also has glutamine, which eliminates toxins that can cause you to have many restless nights.

Get the recipe from Chef in Training.

 

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Hearty Fall Food and Wine Ideas

 

(StatePoint) When brisk autumn weather makes you wish for rich hearty meals, let New Zealand be the source of your culinary inspiration. The country’s dishes make for delicious fall feasting. Think earthy meats like lamb and rich roasted vegetables, paired with juicy medium-bodied red wines.

Thanks to the development of six major grape growing regions with breathtaking landscapes, New Zealand has become a top destination for food and wine enthusiasts. While a trip halfway around the world may not be in the cards for you this fall, you can bring the classic flavors of New Zealand to your table by starting with a bottle from one of the country’s top wineries.

Craggy Range Winery, a family-owned operation, creates New World wines with Old World style. The Te Muna Road Pinot Noir 2014 (SRP $44.99), a medium-bodied selection, is an enjoyable accompaniment at a fall gathering. Its rich red fruit, fine tannins and good acidity creates a savory, dry finish on the palate and pairs nicely with the many robust flavors of the season.

For an appetizing pairing, consider serving Pinot Noir alongside a classic recipe from the Terrôir Restaurant at Craggy Range Winery: Roast lamb shoulder with salsa verde and roasted carrots. The wine’s bright red fruit will bring out the lamb’s darker, earthier notes for a delicious meal.

Ingredients:

• 1 boned lamb shoulder, rolled and tied.

• 1 lg. onion (quartered)

• 1 carrot (quartered)

• 4 cups chicken stock

For the brine:

• 8 cups of water

• 1/2 cup salt

• 2 tbsp. brown sugar

• 3 bay leafs

• 1/2 onion, sliced

• 1/2 packet pickling spices

For the Salsa Verde:

• 1/2 cup Italian parsley

• 1/2 cup mint

• 1/4 cup cornichon pickles

• 2 tbsp. capers

• 1/2 cup olive oil

• 2 lemons – juice and zest

Brine Instructions:

• 24 hours in advance: Add all the ingredients into a pot. Bring to a simmer at medium heat until all salt has dissolved. Allow brine to cool completely. Place the lamb in the cool brine, cover and leave for 24 hours. Drain the brine and pat dry.

Instructions:

• Preheat the oven to 300 degrees.

• Preheat a large skillet over medium heat for 3 to 5 minutes. Raise the heat to medium-high and add the lamb. Brown the lamb all over then remove from heat.

• On a roasting tray, add carrot and onion. Then add 4 cups of hot chicken stock.

• Place the lamb on top and then put in the oven to cook for 3 hours.

• Remove lamb from the liquid, rest for 25 minutes. In the meantime, strain and skim the stock and reduce by 2/3rds.

• For the salsa verde, blitz all ingredients in the food processor until smooth.

• Slice the lamb and garnish with roasted baby carrots, salsa verde and some stock. Serve with a glass of Te Muna Road Pinot Noir.

*****

Waterfront dining in Sarasota County

Sarasota and Venice have some great waterfront dining restaurants! Check out a list of our favorite places to eat

When the sunbathing hours draw to a sunset close, Sarasota County diners head to the bevy of beachfront restaurants nearby for a sip and some sustenance.

The Crow’s Nest Marina & Restaurant

The Crow’s Nest Marina & Restaurant has been a mainstay for four decades, overlooking a glistening marina along the Venice Inlet. Pull up the family boat and wander inside to imbibe tropical drinks and nosh on seafood entrées. The Famous Fish Sandwich has enticed patrons since 1976, the grilled Gulf red grouper is always a menu must, and the Pacific and North Atlantic oysters at the tavern’s raw bar are the freshest of waterside culinary delights.

Dockside Waterfront Grill

Not far away from the Crow’s Nest, located right on the Intracoastal Waterway at Fisherman’s Wharf Marina in Venice, is Dockside Waterfront Grill. Formerly known as Marker 4, this restaurant offers a bevy of seafood options, including peel & eat shrimp, seasonal oysters, grouper sandwiches, Maine lobster tails, Red Snapper and more.

Fins at Sharky’s and Sharky’s on the Pier

Venice’s posh upstairs restaurant, Fins at Sharky’s, treats patrons to a view of the Venice Fishing Pier, a big-city coastal vibe and a menu packed with sophisticated fare. The upscale sister restaurant to Sharky’s on the Pier, Fins is beloved for its premium steaks cooked to perfection in a high-grade Josper oven, as well as its handcrafted cocktails and coveted happy hour promotions.

Sharkey's On The Pier
Sharkey’s On The Pier

The Old Salty Dog

With various locations throughout Venice and Sarasota, The Old Salty Dog is as casual as it comes and a primo hotspot for flip-flop-wearing beachgoers. The menu is rich with standard pub food, including platters of jerk-spiced Caribbean fish tacos, Fully Loaded Salty Dogs, traditional English fish and chips, oysters on the half shell, peel-and-eat shrimp plates and heaps of conch fritters.

Chart House and Dry Dock Waterfront Grill

Longboat Key’s Chart House lets visitors dine on the terrace while lapping up an infused cocktail and a Sarasota Bay backdrop. The menu beckons guests to sample gourmet dishes like the seared golden grouper with Parmesan risotto, the miso-maple-glazed cobia, and the chilled lobster and shrimp spring rolls. Also on Longboat Key is The Dry Dock Waterfront Grill, with its panoramic Sarasota Bay views from the second-story dining room. The domestic grouper sandwich on a kaiser roll is the house specialty, and the lobster bisque is as requested as the crab-and-corn chowder. Arrive by boat to Zwick’s Channel at Marker 6 and kick back.

Dry Dock Waterfront Grill
Dry Dock Waterfront Grill

Ophelia’s On the Bay

Siesta Key boasts Ophelia’s on the Bay, which has been a classic dining landmark since 1988. Spoil the taste buds with a tender leg of duckling prepared with cardamom-spiced apples while soaking up the open-air patio views of Little Sarasota Bay. Finish off an otherworldly meal of fresh Gulf hog snapper with a dessert of white chocolate mousse.

Jack Dusty at The Ritz-Carlton Sarasota

For an unparalleled cocktail experience, with a dash of waterside ambiance and elevated cuisine, the not-to-miss spot in Sarasota is Jack Dusty at The Ritz-Carlton Sarasota. The bartenders at this Sarasota Bay-side destination turn cocktail crafting into high art. Order the Sarasota cioppino with Gulf shrimp, scallops, clams, mussels and grouper, and ask the on-duty mixologist to whip up a signature “Sipper” libation.

Drink in the bay front beauty that only Sarasota County can provide.

By: Abby Weingarten

Visit Sarasota

MEXICAN CHORIZO & GARLIC SHRIMP BURGER

MEXICAN CHORIZO & GARLIC SHRIMP BURGER

Ingredients:

Fresh Mexican chorizo patty: 

  • 17.6 oz (500 grams) of ground pork shoulder, ideally 30% fat
  • 2 cloves of garlic, grated
  • 1 1/2 tsp of Mexican chili powder
  • 1 1/2 tsp of sweet paprika
  • 1 tsp of hot paprika, or cayenne powder
  • 1 tsp of red wine vinegar
  • 1 tsp of tequila
  • 1 tsp of salt
  • 1/2 tsp of freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp of dried oregano
  • 1/4 tsp of ground cumin

Garlic shrimps/prawns:

  • 8 large shrimps/prawns (2 for each burger), peeled and deveined
  • 3 sprigs of fresh thyme leaves
  • 1 clove of garlic, minced
  • 1/2 tsp of extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/3 tsp of salt
  • 1/8 tsp of freshly ground black pepper

Paprika mayo:

  • 3 tbsp of mayonnaise
  • 1 tbsp of tomato paste
  • 1 1/2 tsp of paprika
  • 1 tsp of yellow mustard
  • Juice of 1 juicy lime
  • 4 Sweet potato burger buns (recipe follows)
  • 1/2 heaping cup of shredded manchego cheese
  • A few thin slices of tomatoes

Instructions:

To prepare the chorizo patties: Mix all the ingredients together until evenly combined. Cover with plastic wrap and let sit in the fridge for at least 1 hour, or you can certainly make this the day before and keep in the fridge.

To prepare the garlic shrimp: After peeling, deveining and rinsing the shrimps/prawns, dry them really well on a clean towel. Mix evenly with the rest of the ingredients, cover with plastic wrap and let sit in the fridge for 30 min to 1 hour.

To prepare the paprika mayo: Mix all the ingredients together until even. Set aside.

To make the burger: Divide the chorizo-mixture into 4 equal portions, then shape into patties. It’s very important to make sure the diameter of the patties is slightly larger than the diameter of the buns! Because the patties will shrink during cooking and there’s nothing more infuriating than an “I-shaped” burger. Now, next step is a little unconventional, but I like to dust a thin layer of flour on both sides of the patties so they pan-fry into nice crusts (you can take this as optional). Heat up 1 tbsp of olive oil in a skillet over medium-high heat until really hot, then add a small nub of unsalted butter in there and the chorizo patties (maximum 2 patties at a time). Leave the patties to pan-fry without moving, until a nicely browned crust has formed on the bottom. Turn the patties over, then add the shredded manchego cheese on top (2~3 tbsp on each). Cover the skillet completely with a lid and keep cooking on medium-high heat for another 1~2 min (the steam will melt the cheese as well as cook the patties), just until the center of the patties is cooked through. Transfer the patties with whatever crispy cheese-bits on the side, onto a plate and let rest.

Keep the chorizo drippings in the skillet and cook the shrimps/prawns on high-heat, about 1 min on each side until just cooked through. Then set aside.

If you want to toast the buns, remove any food-solids inside the skillet with a bit of oil left, then toast the cut-sides of the buns until golden browned in the same skillet.

Apply a good layer of paprika mayo on both sides of the buns, then put 2 thinly sliced tomatoes and a chorizo patty on top. Slice the shrimps/prawns lengthwise and place over the patty. Close it off with the top bun. I warn you, it’s going to be very messy and drippy… and happy

A Celebrity chef’s Secrets to Building a Better Sandwich

(BPT) – A great sandwich is a delicious meal choice, which could be why about 60 percent of American adults eat at least one for lunch every week and 70 percent pack one or more in their children’s lunches, according to food industry trend-watching company Datassential. In fact, sandwiches are so popular and so common that at some point in the past you’ve probably made or eaten a lackluster sandwich.

However, every sandwich has the potential to be great — or at least better — says celebrity chef and sandwich expert Tom Colicchio.

Sandwich starters

Americans eat more cold-cut sandwiches than any other kind, while burgers, poultry, hot dogs, other meats and peanut butter and jelly round out the six most commonly eaten types of sandwiches, according to the USDA’s Agricultural Research Service. Whatever you decide to put in your sandwich, always start with the freshest ingredients available, Colicchio advises. “There’s no substitute for a perfectly ripe piece of produce.”

“Create and customize sandwiches to fit your and your family’s palettes, not what the latest trends tell you to eat,” he says. “At the same time, don’t be afraid to experiment. One of the best things about sandwiches is the endless potential to create something new and delicious. If an experiment doesn’t work out, you can always try again tomorrow!”

In fact, more than one-third of consumers say they love sandwiches because of the ability to customize their meal by choosing from a variety of proteins, vegetables, cheeses and condiments, Datassential reports.

Building better sandwiches

“The architecture of a sandwich is as important as what you put in it,” Colicchio says. “I think there’s an actual science behind building the better sandwich.” Colicchio, the James Beard Award-winning founder of Craft Hospitality and ‘wichcraft, offers some tips to help ensure every sandwich you make is the best it can be:

* The bread is the foundation of every sandwich, and it should be as sturdy as it is delicious. You can find a variety of quality options from Arnold, Brownberry or Oroweat in the bread aisle of your local grocery store.

* When dealing with messier ingredients like roasted vegetables or condiments such as dressing, try lightly toasting or searing one side of each slice of bread in a pan atop the stove, until the side is crisp. Stack with the toasted sides facing in to help build a strong foundation for your sandwich.

* Build from the bottom up. Place the driest and heaviest ingredients on the bottom slice of bread first before adding toppings like lettuce and tomato. Spread condiments on the second slice of bread as the last step before topping the sandwich.

* For cold sandwiches, place the cheese next to the bread to help reinforce the stability of the sandwich. For hot sandwiches, place the cheese next to the meat so the flavors can interplay properly.

* To avoid sogginess and ensure consistent seasoning throughout, dress greens before placing them on the sandwich.

* Don’t go crazy with condiments. “The more you mix them, the more muddled the flavor becomes,” Colicchio says. “Pick one that will really accentuate the flavors you’re highlighting.”

* Finally, don’t overload your sandwich to ensure your ingredients won’t fall out or leave a mess behind when you take a bite.

Bite into better

Looking for sandwich inspiration? The America’s Better Sandwich Contest, hosted by Arnold, Brownberry and Oroweat Breads, gives entrants the chance to hone their skills by creating delicious and nutritious sandwiches that feature the breads as the base. Visit www.americasbettersandwich.com for recipe inspiration, contest rules and to find out how to enter.

Meanwhile, try the contest’s winning sandwich recipe from last year:

Moroccan Rainbow Carrot Sandwiches with Spicy Orange Dressing

Ingredients:

2 slices of Arnold, Brownberry or Oroweat Whole Grains Oatnut Bread, toasted

2 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil

1 teaspoon lemon juice

1 teaspoon harissa

1 tablespoon orange marmalade

1/4 teaspoon each of ground coriander and ground cumin

1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1 pinch each of salt and black pepper

3 medium assorted rainbow carrots, shaved into long ribbons with a vegetable peeler

1/2 cup loosely packed arugula

2 teaspoons fresh mint, chiffonade

2 tablespoons golden raisins

2 tablespoons chopped roasted pistachios

3 tablespoons crumbled feta

1/4 cup roasted garlic hummus

Directions:

In a medium bowl, whisk together the oil, lemon juice, harissa, marmalade coriander, cumin, cinnamon, salt and pepper. Add the carrots, arugula, mint and raisins. Toss mixture and let sit for five minutes.

Gently stir in the pistachios and feta.

Spread hummus over each slice of toast, and top with the carrot mixture.

Everyone In Florida Must Visit This Epic Farmers Market At Least Once.

Visiting the Sarasota Farmers Market is a longstanding tradition reaching back to 1979 when it was started to bring foot traffic and help revitalize Sarasota’s downtown.

What’s not to love about a farmers market? Where else can you find fresh produce, all kinds of tasty food, baked goods, art and handmade gifts to take home in one place?

The market has continued to grow over the decades, now with 80 vendors and 10,000 to 15,000 visitors, depending on the season.

The market has continued to grow over the decades, now with 80 vendors and 10,000 to 15,000 visitors, depending on the season.
The Sarasota Farmers Market offers the freshest local produce, seafood, artisan baked goods, plants, art, and hand-made gifts.

It’s always fun to enjoy the live music, a fun kids’ area for little ones, a space for non-profits, and much more. There’s also a wide variety of prepared foods to snack on while you shop.

The Sarasota Farmers Market has even been named one of the best in the South by Southern Living Magazine. It’s held in downtown Sarasota every single Saturday from 7:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m., all year long.
The Sarasota Farmers Market is held in downtown Sarasota (1487 2nd St c, Sarasota, FL 34236 for your GPS), from 7:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. every Saturday, year-round.

If you don’t think a farmers market is reason enough to visit a town, there’s plenty to do in beautiful Sarasota. Local destinations include the Marie Selby Botanical Gardens, The Ringling Museum of Art, and some of the most breathtaking beaches in the country.

Have you ever visited the Sarasota Farmers Market? What’s your favorite outdoor market in Florida? Tell us your experiences and stories and favorite foods to buy. Hope to see you there.

Posted in Florida May 15, 2017by Victoria W

4 Surprising Benefits of Cherries

4 surprising health benefits of cherries – this summer’s superfruit

(BPT) – Have you ever said no to a cherry? Probably not. This summertime treat is simply delicious. And if you’re looking for another reason to indulge, you’ll be pleased to know that cherries are surprisingly good for you. Recent research indicates that this summer’s superfruit offers a variety of health benefits, including the four outlined below.

Reduced risk of heart disease and diabetes

Heart disease and diabetes threaten the health of millions of Americans every year, and cherries can help. Research from Michigan State University found that 20 cherries provide 25 milligrams of anthocyanins, which reduce inflammation by shutting down the enzymes that cause tissue inflammation. This helps protect the arteries from the damage that leads to heart disease. Further research shows that those same anthocyanins also help lower blood sugar levels in animals, leading scientists to speculate that a similar blood sugar lowering effect could occur in humans.

In addition to being packed with anthocyanins, cherries also have a low glycemic index, making them a good choice for people with diabetes. Foods with a high glycemic index cause blood glucose to soar and then quickly crash. In contrast, foods with a low index, like cherries, release glucose slowly and evenly, helping you maintain a steady blood sugar level — as well as leaving you feeling full longer and potentially helping you maintain a healthy weight.

Combating arthritis and gout

More than 8.3 million Americans suffer from gout, a form of arthritis characterized by severe pain, redness and tenderness in the joints. This condition is commonly associated with elevated levels of uric acid in the blood. A study conducted by researchers at the University of California at Davis found that people who ate sweet cherries showed reduced levels of uric acid. In addition, research from the Boston University School of Medicine showed that people who ate cherries had a 35 to 75 percent lower chance of experiencing a gout attack.

Sleep support via melatonin

Everyone understands the value of a good night’s sleep, but sometimes your body simply doesn’t want to cooperate. When you find yourself wide awake and restless, your melatonin levels might be low. Melatonin is the chemical that controls your body’s internal clock to regulate sleep and promote overall healthy sleep patterns. Studies show that cherries are a natural source of melatonin, and researchers who have studied the melatonin content of cherries recommend eating them an hour before bedtime to help stabilize your sleep cycle.

Fiber for weight loss

Many Americans struggle with weight issues, and poor diet is often identified as a major culprit. But although there is a great deal of discussion about what people shouldn’t be eating, there isn’t as much talk about what people should be eating, like fiber. Most Americans’ diets are fiber-deficient, falling short of the 25-35 grams per day recommended by the USDA Dietary Guidelines. These guidelines recommend two cups of fruit daily, and cherries are an easy and delicious way to meet that target.

Enjoy a bowl of superfruit today

In addition to all these health benefits, cherries also possess cancer-fighting properties, according to a study by the USDA’s Western Human Nutrition Research Center. So whether you’re looking to boost your health or you enjoy the taste of this juicy treat — or both — there are plenty of reasons to reach for a bowl of cherries for your next snack or to add them to the menu at your next meal. Whatever your preference, be sure to get them quickly before cherry season is over.

To learn more about the health benefits of cherries, visit NWCherries.com.

Watermelon – Nature’s Healthy, Sweet Treat

 

It’s that time of year again – time to enjoy some of nature’s most delicious foods. Summertime fruits yields some of the juiciest and sweetest fruits there are and watermelon is on the top of my list. Why do I love watermelon so much? It’s sweet, juicy and refreshing.

 

Just the thought of a juicy slice makes my mouth water, especially on a hot summer’s day. Not only that, but some of that pretty red and green fruit brightens up any plate or table; not to mention how good it is for you. All the water in watermelon will fill you up and naturally cleanses your body. Yes, I know the seeds can be a little annoying, but to me, they are worth the work of picking them out (or spitting them out…politely of course) for all the other benefits you get from watermelon.

 

There are many ways you can incorporate watermelon into your meals or eat it as a healthy snack. Here are just a few of my favorites.

 

  • The obvious is to slice it up into triangular pieces, small enough for little hands. Divide them up into storage containers and place them in the fridge for easy access. I know if something is in sight and easily accessible my family will eat it up. On the other hand, if it takes a lot of work or is out of sight they won’t touch it. Obviously you will want to take out the seeds first, before storing it for the smaller kids.

 

  • For a beautiful side dish on any table, lay the watermelon on its side and cut about 1/4 of the top off using a zig-zag motion, which will make a nice oblong “bowl”. Slice about a 1/4 of the bottom off to make a stable base. You can use a round watermelon as well.

 

Create little melon balls by scooping out the fruit with the help of a melon-baller. Remove the seeds as much as possible while scooping. You will want to place the melon balls in a bowl while scooping, then once the inside of the melon is fairly clean and smooth, place the melon balls inside the watermelon bowl.

 

You can add other melon like cantaloupe and honey dew as well, if desired. The top part of the watermelon can be used as a lid if transporting. Be sure to use the flesh from the lid as melon balls as well so not to waste any of the delicious goodness.

 

For the more creative readers, create shapes out of the watermelon like fish and cars. A great site to learn how to make shapes out of watermelon is the National Watermelon Promotion Board. (http://www.watermelon.org)

 

  • For breakfast, dice up some seeded watermelon; layer with banana slices, apples, oranges or other fruit of your liking. Add some yogurt and granola for a tasty and healthy morning starter.

 

  • A fun appetizer is to make watermelon checkers. Cut equal sizes of 1/2 inch thick squares of watermelon and your favorite cheese. Layout like a checkerboard, alternating watermelon and cheese. Cut small circles of the watermelon and cheese to use as checkers. What a fun creative appetizer to serve at any summer outing.

 

  • For a fun and healthy summertime treat kids will love, make watermelon “ice cream” cones. Using regular cake cones fill the bottom of each cone with a tablespoon of pineapple cream cheese frosting. Then place a spoonful of dried Craisins over the frosting. Using an ice cream scoop, place a scoop of seedless watermelon over the Craisins, then top with sprinkles. You’ll have a healthy, delicious and adorable treat kids ask for again and again. Great for birthday parties, 4th of July or anytime.

 

  • Another fun treat kids and adults both enjoy is Frosted Watermelon. Use your favorite cookie cutters to cut out cookie-like shapes from the watermelon. Frost with flavored yogurt and sprinkle with granola. You can also use classic watermelon wedges instead of cookie shapes.

 

These ideas will brighten up any table, plus give the added benefits of eating something delicious and healthy. Watermelon really is nature’s healthy, sweet treat.

 

Here’s How To Score A Free Doritos Locos Taco From Taco Bell Today

Whether you’re bummed or ecstatic that the Golden State Warriors beat the Cleveland Cavaliers, you can get a free taco at Taco Bell today.

As part of this year’s “Steal A Game, Steal A Taco” promotion, anyone and everyone can get a complimentary Doritos Locos Taco at their local Taco Bell on June 13 between 2 and 6 p.m. local time.

Tacos will only be available while supplies last, and you’ll be limited to exactly one taco per customer. And don’t get greedy: “Participating Taco Bell restaurant managers reserve the right to deny Free Taco to any person they reasonably believe has already received a Taco or has engaged in any other fraudulent activity,” the chain says in the promotion’s official rules.

This is the second year in a row that Taco Bell has given away tacos upon the occasion of the visiting team defeating the home squad during the NBA finals. The chain has also offered a similar promotion — “Steal A Base, Steal A Taco” for the World Series in recent years.

Recipe of the Week: Chimichurri Chicken and Rice

INGREDIENTS

CHIMICHURRI

  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 Tbsp red wine vinegar
  • 1/2 tsp dried oregano
  • 1/4 tsp cumin 
  • Pinch red pepper flakes
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1/2 cup fresh parsley, chopped
  • 1/2 cup fresh cilantro, chopped

CHICKEN AND RICE

  • 1 Tbsp olive oil 
  • 1 boneless, skinless chicken breast (3/4 lb.)
  • Pinch salt and pepper
  • 1 yellow onion
  • 2 Roma Tomatoes
  • 1/2 cup frozen peas
  • 1 cup long grain white rice*
  • 1.5 cups water
  • 1/4 tsp salt

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Prepare the chimichurri first to allow time for the flavors to blend. Combine the olive oil, red wine vinegar, oregano, cumin, red pepper flakes, and salt in a bowl.

  2. Pull the parsley and cilantro leaves from the stem and finely chop them. Mince the garlic. Stir the parsley, cilantro, and garlic into the bowl with the oil, vinegar, and spices. Set the chimichurri aside.

  3. Cut the chicken breast into very small pieces, then season with a pinch of salt and pepper. Heat one tablespoon of olive oil in a deep skillet over medium heat. Once hot, add the chicken pieces and sauté until golden brown.

  4. While the chicken is browning, dice the onion. Remove the chicken pieces from the skillet once golden brown, and add the diced onion in their place. Sauté the onion until soft (about 5 minutes).

  5. While the onion is sautéing, dice the tomatoes. Once the onions are soft, add the diced tomatoes and sauté for about two minutes more, or until they begin to break down.

  6. Add the chicken back to the skillet along with the frozen peas, uncooked rice, water, and 1/4 tsp salt. Briefly stir to combine all the ingredients.

  7. Place a lid on the skillet, turn the heat up to medium-high, and let it come to a boil. As soon as it reaches a boil, turn the heat down to low or medium-low, and let it simmer gently for 15 minutes. After 15 minutes, turn the heat off and let it rest for 10 minutes.

  8. After letting the rice rest for 10 minutes, remove the lid and fluff with a fork. Pour the prepared chimichurri over the rice and fold it in to combine. Be careful not to vigorously stir the chimichurri into the rice because this will cause it to become sticky and mushy.

  9. Taste the chimichurri chicken and rice and season with extra salt if needed. Top with an extra pinch of fresh parsley or cilantro for garnish, then serve.