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MIX IT UP WITH JENNY- Slam Dunk Favorites PDF Print E-mail
Written by Jenny Harper, Family Features   
Thursday, 24 March 2011 02:23

(Family Features) It's true - the kitchen is the heart of the home. Ever notice how people always gather there? Whether baking treats, making dinner or spending time with family and friends, the kitchen is my favorite place to be. Since my day job is Consumer Test Kitchen Project Manager for the Nestlé Test Kitchens, you can bet I love to stir things up. This column lets me pass along to you some of my best recipes, tips and baking secrets.

When March Madness tips off, I know it's time for some fun foods that will be slamdunk favorites at game-watching parties.

Chips and other munchies are always good, but I thought I'd spice things up a bit with these two recipes — they're easy to hold and eat while cheering on our favorite underdogs.

* Tex-Mex seasonings liven up these mini meatballs, which are great for dipping in salsa and sour cream.

Putting them on skewers makes them fun for guests of all ages.

* Smoked almonds team up with creamy Carnation to make a great blue cheese dip for wings, veggies or crackers.Be sure to have plenty of napkins!

For more ways to enjoy the hoopla of March Madness, including recipes, nutritional information and tips, visit

Mexi-Meatball Kabobs

Makes 30 servings, 2 skewers each

Prep: 35 minutes

Cooking: 15 minutes

• Nonstick cooking spray

• 3 pounds lean ground beef

• 2 cups quick oats

• 1 can (12 fluid ounces) Nestlé Carnation Evaporated Milk

• 2 large eggs

• 1/2 cup ketchup

• 2 packets (1.25 ounces each) taco seasoning mix

• 1 teaspoon ground black pepper

• 3 large bell peppers (any color), cut into 60, 1-inch pieces

• 60 4-inch wooden skewers

• Salsa and sour cream (optional)

PREHEAT oven to 350° F. Foil-line 3 baking sheets and spray with nonstick cooking spray.

COMBINE ground beef, oats, evaporated milk, eggs, ketchup, taco seasoning and black pepper in large bowl until just mixed. Form mixture into 120, 1-inch meatballs. Place on prepared baking sheets.

BAKE for 15 to 20 minutes or until no longer pink in center. Drain on paper towels, if needed.

THREAD two meatballs and one piece of pepper on each skewer. Place on large serving platter. Serve with salsa and sour cream.

TIPS: Meatballs can be made and baked ahead of time, refrigerated for up to 3 days or frozen up to 3 months and heated prior to serving.

Smokin' Almond Blue Cheese Dip

Makes 20 servings (2 tablespoons each)

Prep: 5 minutes

Refrigerate: 2 hours

• 1 cup sour cream

• 3/4 cup mayonnaise

• 2/3 cup (5 fl.-oz. can) Nestlé Carnation Evaporated Milk

• 1/2 cup smoked almonds, chopped

• 4 ounces blue or Gorgonzola cheese, crumbled

• 1 tablespoon cider vinegar

• 1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper

COMBINE sour cream, mayonnaise, evaporated milk, almonds, cheese, vinegar and black pepper in medium bowl; cover. Refrigerate for 2 hours before serving. Makes about 2 1/2 cups.

SERVE with assorted cut up vegetables or chicken wings.

NOTE: To use as a dressing, increase evaporated milk to 1 cup.

Jenny Harper is Consumer Test Kitchen Project Manager for the Nestlé Test Kitchens and

Photos courtesy of Nestlé

Source: Nestlé

Last Updated on Thursday, 24 March 2011 02:57