Roasted Spices Add New Layers of Flavor

  • Written by Family Features

(Family Features) When cooking enthusiasts look for flavor-boosting secrets, roasting spices rises to the top as one of the most accessible take-home techniques. Spices like cumin, coriander, cinnamon – even ground ginger – can be heated on the stovetop to release essential oils and create deeper, more aromatic flavors.

Spices burn easily, however, and the speed with which they cook varies depending on heat, pan and individual spice. For those looking to skip the time and temperature guesswork, a new group of roasted spices from the McCormick Gourmet Collection delivers the rich, fuller taste and mouthwatering aromas of roasting – without the extra effort.

Find more information and recipes using roasted spices, visit

Steak and Veggies

Roasted Cumin-Crusted Grilled

Steaks with Tomato Relish

For maximum flavor, refrigerate steaks for 2 hours after rubbing with spice mixture. Tomato Relish can also be prepared earlier in the day and refrigerated until ready to serve.

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Marinate Time: 30 minutes

Cook Time: 16 minutes

1 Tbsp. packed dark brown sugar

1 Tbsp. McCormick Gourmet Roasted Ground Cumin

1 tsp. McCormick Gourmet Oregano Leaves, Mediterranean

1 tsp. McCormick Gourmet Sicilian Sea Salt

1/2 tsp. McCormick Gourmet Garlic Powder

1/4 tsp. McCormick Gourmet Red Pepper, Ground Cayenne

1 pound boneless beef sirloin or New York strip steaks (about 3/4-inch thick)

1 pint assorted colors cherry tomatoes, quartered (about 2 c.)

1/4 c. chopped red onion

1 Tbsp. olive oil

1 Tbsp. balsamic vinegar

Mix sugar, cumin, oregano, sea salt, garlic powder and red pepper in small bowl until well blended. Reserve 1 Tbsp. of the spice mixture. Brush steaks lightly with oil. Rub remaining spice mixture on both sides of steaks. Refrigerate 30 minutes or longer for extra flavor.

Meanwhile, mix tomatoes, onion, oil, vinegar and reserved spice mixture in medium bowl. Cover. Refrigerate until ready to serve.

Grill steaks over medium-high heat 6 to 8 minutes per side or until desired doneness. Slice steak and serve with Tomato Relish.

Makes 4 servings. Nutrition Information Per Serving:  267 Calories, Fat 15g, Protein 24g, Carbohydrates 9g, Cholesterol 57mg, Sodium 560mg, Fiber 2g

Put Produce on Your Plate

  • Written by Family Features

Do you eat enough fruits and vegetables every day? According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Americans should fill half their plate with fruits and vegetables.  Most people don’t come near that amount.

In fact, nearly 90 percent of Americans fall short of the recommended daily servings of vegetables and 80 percent fall short of daily fruit servings. But it’s easier – and more delicious – than you might think to make food choices that can help your whole family live a healthier lifestyle.



Serves: 6 to 8

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 30 minutes

Total Time: 45 minutes

6     tablespoons olive oil

1    pound yellow onion, chopped

3    cloves garlic, crushed

1    pound zucchini, chopped

1    pound yellow squash, chopped

1    pound green pepper, chopped in 1/2-inch cubes

1/2 pound red bell pepper, chopped in 1/2-inch cubes

1/2 pound yellow bell pepper, chopped in 1/2- inch cubes

1    whole bay leaf

3/4 cup tomato juice

1    teaspoon Italian seasoning

1     teaspoon red pepper flakes

1    teaspoon dried basil

Salt and pepper to taste

1 pound ripe tomato, seeded, skinned and chopped

In one large skillet, heat 2 tablespoons olive oil and sauté onions for 5 minutes. Add garlic, reduce heat to low.

In another large skillet, heat 2 tablespoons olive oil, sauté zucchini until brown. Add browned zucchini to skillet with onions and garlic, toss.

In empty skillet, heat 2 tablespoons olive oil, sauté yellow squash until brown. Add browned yellow squash to pan with onions, garlic and zucchini. Repeat process with all remaining vegetables, except tomatoes.

When vegetables are done and in same skillet, increase heat to high. Add spices and tomato juice and stir. Bring to slight boil.

Cook uncovered on low for 20 minutes. Add tomatoes and cook 10 minutes. Stir and serve.

Beyond the Scoop

  • Written by Recipe courtesy of Graeter’s and Family Features

Ice Cream

Cupcake Fruit Trifles

Yield: 20 trifles

16 ounces mascarpone cheese

1 pint Vanilla Ice Cream, thawed, refrigerated

1 quart heavy cream, whipped to soft peaks

4 to 6 cups of fruit: raspberries,  strawberries, blueberries or oranges

Sprinkle of sugar

20 yellow cupcakes, using recipe of choice, remove liners and cut into equal thirds, horizontally

20 wine or beverage glasses, 6 to 9 ounces

Place the mascarpone cheese and ice cream in a mixing bowl and whisk until smooth. Do not over mix.

Fold whipped cream into mascarpone mixture, cover and refrigerate until ready to assemble trifles.

When ready to assemble trifles, sprinkle fruit with a small amount of sugar, to create a syrupy consistency.

To assemble trifle: Place a small amount of custard in bottom of glass. Add some fruit, followed by the bottom third of the cupcake. Continue to layer custard, fruit and cupcake slices, using three cupcake slices per glass.

Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until ready to serve. Garnish with fruit just before serving. Note: it is best to make the trifle a few hours before serving, or the day before.

Serving idea: Make your presentation extra special with a chocolate-painted glass.

Score a tailgating touchdown

  • Written by Family Features

Tickets? Check. Foam finger? Check. Favorite team jersey? Check. Tailgating food that scores with all your friends? You bet. Beef and tailgating are a winning team.


Bruschetta Burger

Makes 4 servings

Total recipe time: 30 to 35 minutes

1 pound ground beef

1/4 c. grated Parmesan cheese

2 Tbsp. minced green onions

1 tsp. minced garlic

Salt and pepper

4 slices rustic crusty bread, cut 1/2 inch thick

Olive oil

Bruschetta Topping:

3/4 c. chopped red tomatoes

1/2 c. chopped yellow tomatoes

1 Tbsp. thinly sliced fresh basil

1/4 tsp. minced garlic

1/2 tsp. salt


Combine Bruschetta Topping ingredients in medium bowl; set aside. Combine ground beef, cheese, green onions and garlic in medium bowl, mixing lightly but thoroughly. Lightly shape into four 1/2-inch thick patties.

Place patties in center of grid, over medium, ash-covered coals. Grill, uncovered, 11 to 13 minutes (over medium heat on preheated gas grill, covered, 7 to 8 minutes) until instant-read thermometer inserted horizontally into center registers 160°F, turning occasionally.

Meanwhile, brush both sides of bread slices with oil. About 3 minutes before burgers are done, place bread on grid. Grill until lightly toasted, turning once.

Season burgers with salt and pepper, as desired. Place 1 burger on each bread slice; top each with 1/4 c. Bruschetta Topping. Serve open-faced.

Cook’s Tip:  Cooking times are for fresh or thoroughly thawed ground beef. Color is not a reliable indicator of ground beef doneness.

Cook’s Tip:  If using 95 percent lean ground beef, combine ground beef with 1/4 c. soft bread crumbs, 1 egg white and ingredients as directed in step 2.

Courtesy of The Beef Checkoff

Three Breakfasts in Five Minutes

  • Written by Family Features

“No time” is no longer an excuse for skipping breakfast. Not with this repertoire of easy ideas from Special Fork, a free mobile recipe cookbook where recipes are geared to people with more taste than time.

The five easy recipe ideas below cook up in just minutes, and will get any morning off to a great start.


Scrambled Egg Breakfast Burrito

Makes 1 serving

This recipe concept, developed by the American Egg Board, is genius in its simplicity.

1 flour tortilla (6-inch size)

1 egg

1 Tbsp. shredded cheddar cheese

1 Tbsp. salsa

Line 2-cup microwave-safe cereal bowl with microwave-safe paper towel. Press tortilla into the bowl. Crack egg into the center of the tortilla and beat egg gently with a fork to blend. Microwave on high 30 seconds; stir and microwave 15 to 30 seconds more until egg is almost set.

Remove tortilla to a flat surface. Top egg with cheese and salsa; fold bottom of the tortilla over the egg and fold in each side.

Microwave-Oven-Baked Apples

Makes 1 serving

Take a few minutes to core and stuff an apple; then bake for just 5 minutes.

1 small Braeburn or Granny Smith apple, peeled

1 Tbsp. butter

1 Tbsp. rolled oats

1 Tbsp. light brown sugar

1 tsp. flour

Pinch salt

1/4 tsp. ground cinnamon

1/3 c. apple juice

1/2 tsp. sugar

Freshly grated nutmeg


Use a melon baller to core the stem end of the apple, then hollow a 1-inch cavity in the center.

In small bowl, mix together butter, oats, brown sugar, flour, salt and cinnamon; fill the apple.

Set apple in a small microwave-safe dish, add juice; sprinkle apple with sugar and nutmeg. Microwave on high until apple softens and liquid is bubbling, about 5 minutes. Serve with yogurt. Recipe by Katie Barreira, cooking newbie blogger.

French Toast

Dip French bread slices into mixture of 2 beaten eggs, 1/2 c. milk, 1 tsp. sugar, a pinch of salt and 1/4 tsp. freshly ground nutmeg. Fry in butter or oil until golden.