Cook for a Cure

(Family Features) If you love to entertain and want to support a good cause, now you can do both at the same time.

Currently, in its 16th year, Cook for the Cure is a program that gives those with a passion for cooking a way to support the fight against breast cancer. Through culinary-based fundraising, events, auctions and the sale of select products, the partnership between KitchenAid and Susan G. Komen for the Cure(r) has raised more than $10.7 million for the cause.

“It adds another layer of purpose to one of life’s great pleasures, cooking and enjoying food with family and friends,” said Beth Robinson, senior manager of brand experience for KitchenAid. “The program continues to fuel passionate cooks with simple, creative ways to support a meaningful cause.”

You can make a difference by hosting a party that lets you Cook for the Cure by raising awareness and funds for breast cancer research. Here are some ideas to get you started:

* Organize a fundraising bake sale. Get the neighbors involved in baking, promoting and selling – it’s a great way to bring people together. Your contribution could be these Lemon Berry Cheesecake Bars.
* Host a potluck brainstorming party. Invite people who share your passion for helping others to bring their favorite dish and think up creative ways to support the cause as a group. Vote on a project then let everyone pitch in to get started. Cooking good food, sharing time with friends and giving back to the community – that’s a recipe for a truly great party.
* Share on social media. Sharing baked goods with friends is a pleasure.

Lemon Berry Cheesecake Bars
Recipe courtesy of Lindsay Conchar of Life, Love & Sugar
Makes: 12-16 bars

1 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs
5 tablespoons butter, melted
16 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
1 1/2 cups powdered sugar, divided
3 tablespoons lemon juice
1 tablespoon lemon zest
1 1/4 cups heavy whipping cream, divided
fresh berries

Line 9-inch square cake pan with parchment paper, bringing up over sides.

Combine graham cracker crumbs and butter, and stir until well combined. Press crumb mixture evenly into bottom of cake pan. Set aside.

In a bowl of stand mixer, beat cream cheese, 1 cup powdered sugar, lemon juice and lemon zest until smooth. In a separate bowl, whip heavy whipping cream until it starts to thicken. Add remaining powdered sugar and continue to whip until stiff peaks form. Gently fold half the whipped cream into cheesecake mixture and place remainder in the refrigerator to use later. Spread cheesecake mixture evenly in cake pan.

Refrigerate cheesecake at least 4 hours, or until firm.

Use parchment paper on sides to lift bars out of pan then cut into squares. Use remaining whipped cream to top cheesecake bars then add fresh berries, as desired. Refrigerate until ready to serve.

Photo courtesy of Chris Scheuer of The Cafe Sucre Farine (cupcake)

#13792
Source: KitchenAid

New Year, New Family Habits

Simple ideas to make healthy eating easier

(Family Features) When your family is transitioning back into a regular routine in the new year, it’s the perfect time to recommit to healthy eating habits throughout the day. Getting the whole family on board may be easier than you think – just keep the focus on flavor and fun.

If you’re short on ideas to jumpstart better family eating, try these tips:

Keep it simple. Busy families often rely on the convenience of boxed meals, but you can get the same easy, delicious meal in a much healthier way. Everything cooks in one pot for easy clean-up, and this Cheeseburger Mac recipe swaps ground beef for leaner ground turkey. Not only is this an easy weeknight dinner, but leftovers can be packed in a thermos for lunch on chilly days.

Have fun. Try using creative shapes, textures, and colors to make mealtime and lunchboxes more fun. Use cookies cutters to easily create butterflies, flowers, dinosaurs and more. Allow your kids to get involved in packing their own lunchboxes or helping with a meal. If your kids have a love of space or are learning about it in school, this bento box is definitely out of this world. Grapes create the dark backdrop while Swiss cheese is the perfect place for a moon landing. Clementine crescent moons and mini sweet pepper planet rings round out the meal.

Make a family promise. To keep the momentum going, rely on a resource like the Power Your Lunchbox Promise website, which offers everything from healthy lunchbox ideas to after-school snacks and dinners. All meal ideas have been approved by a registered dietitian, meet USDA guidelines and are kid-friendly. What’s more, for every Power Your Lunchbox Promise made on the website, health-conscious companies supporting the initiative will make a $1 donation to Feeding America’s programs that support families and children. Learn more at poweryourlunchbox.com.

Cheeseburger Mac

Recipe courtesy of Produce for Kids

1          tablespoon olive oil

1          pound lean ground turkey

1          small onion, finely chopped

1          cup mini sweet peppers, chopped

1 1/2    teaspoons paprika

1          teaspoon sugar

1/2       teaspoon salt

1/2       teaspoon chili powder

1 1/2    cups water

1          cup milk

3          tablespoons tomato paste

1 1/2    cups whole-grain dry macaroni

1          cup shredded low-fat cheddar cheese

In a large skillet over medium-high heat, heat oil. Add turkey, onion, and peppers. Cook 7-10 minutes, or until turkey is cooked through.

In a small bowl, mix paprika, sugar, salt and chili powder. Add to turkey and stir. Add water, milk, tomato paste, and pasta. Mix well. Bring to boil, reduce heat and simmer 10 minutes, or until pasta is cooked and liquid is absorbed. Remove from heat and top with cheese.

Space Exploration Bento Box

Recipe courtesy of Produce for Kids

1/2       cup red seedless grapes

1          whole-wheat sandwich round

2          slices low-sodium deli-sliced turkey

1          slice Swiss cheese

1/2       slice low-fat cheddar cheese

1          clementine, peeled and segmented

3          mini sweet peppers, sliced into rings

1          package freeze-dried fruit

Add grapes to bottom of a large section of bento box to create space background. Place bottom of the sandwich round on top, add turkey and sandwich round top.

Lay Swiss cheese on cutting board. Using a small bowl or other round objects, cut into a circle. Place on top of the sandwich to create a moon.

Lay cheddar cheese on cutting board. Using small star cookie cutter, cut out stars. Add to space around moon.

Pair with clementine “crescent moons,” pepper “planet rings” and freeze-dried fruit.

#hellwithcancer

In our continued effort to offer simple, convenient and affordable genetic testing, Viazoi has introduced Women’s Hereditary Breast & Ovarian genetic testing kit for $199. The test will perform a comprehensive analysis of 25 targeted genes with associated cancer risk. (Predisposition related to Breast, Ovarian, Lynch syndrome and Cowden syndrome)

Inherited genetic mutations play a major role in about five to ten percent of all cancers.(1) Which means that if you have a family member who has cancer, you may have an increased risk of developing or passing on a similar condition. Genetic testing is a tool used to identify those hereditary mutations in our DNA that may indicate a predisposition for certain cancers or health conditions. Viazoi offers predisposition profiling for 94 genes and over 145 cancer and health conditions.

This is our commitment ensuring that every individual has the opportunity to understand their inherited genetic risk, and knowing about the mutation early gives individuals an opportunity to work with their healthcare provider to develop a personalized prevention plan.

(1) American Cancer Society March 23, 2016