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Cooking & Culture: Easy Recipes For Busy Families

Chef Sandy joined us for the latest segment of Cooking & Culture and shared a few of her favorite easy recipes for busy families for you to try at home.


Pepperoni-Spinach Mashed Potato Crust Pizza

1 (24-ounce) container Hormel® Homestyle mashed potatoes (about 2 ½ cups)

1½ cups all-purpose flour

3 cups shredded Italian cheese blend

3 tablespoons olive oil

2 cups sliced baby portobello mushrooms

3 tablespoons olive oil

2 teaspoons salt

2 teaspoons fresh ground black pepper

4 springs rosemary

1 (6-ounce) bag baby spinach

4 cloves of garlic, minced

½ cup Hormel® mini pepperoni slices


Heat oven to 350˚F


In medium bowl, combine mashed potatoes, flour, and 1 cup of cheese.


Lightly grease 13- × 9-inch baking dish with ½ tablespoon of olive oil and press mashed potato mixture into bottom of dish. Brush potatoes with ½ tablespoon olive oil. Bake 45 minutes, or until lightly browned. Remove from oven.


In large bowl, toss together mushrooms,1 tablespoon olive oil, salt, and pepper until coated. Place on baking sheet. Top with rosemary sprigs and bake 30 minutes.


In large skillet, over medium heat, add remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil. Add garlic and cook 1 minute. Add spinach, tossing to coat. Cook 1 to 2 minutes, or until wilted.


Cover potato crust evenly with 1 cup of cheese followed by mushrooms, spinach, pepperoni, and remaining cheese. Bake 15 to 20 more minutes, or until cheese has melted.


Remove from oven and let stand 10 minutes.



Broccoli and Bacon Salad

Serves 8

6 cups fresh broccoli florets, chopped

10 slices Hormel® Black Label® bacon, cooked and crumbled

3 green onions, green parts only, chopped

½ cup dried cranberries or raisins

½ cup chopped pecans

1 cup mayonnaise

½ cup sugar

2 tablespoons cider vinegar


In large bowl, combine broccoli and next 4 ingredients.


In small bowl, whisk together mayonnaise and remaining ingredients. Pour dressing over broccoli mixture and tossing to coat.



Peanut Butter Baked Apples

Makes 6 servings

½ cup granulated sugar

1 cup water

6 Golden Delicious apples

⅓ cup firmly packed light brown sugar

5 tablespoons Skippy® Natural Super Chunky Peanut Butter

4 tablespoons butter, softened

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

Vanilla ice cream

Garnish: chopped roasted peanuts, fresh mint sprigs


Heat oven to 375°F.


In small saucepan, over medium heat, combine granulated sugar with 1 cup of water. Cook 4 minutes or until sugar dissolves. Pour syrup into bottom of 9- × 9-inch baking dish.


Core apples, but don’t go all the way through to the bottom. (This will help keep the filling in the apple.) In medium bowl, combine brown sugar, peanut butter, butter, and cinnamon. Divide mixture evenly among 6 apples. Place apples in baking dish over syrup.


Bake 1 hour, or until a knife can be easily inserted into apples. Let stand 5 minutes. Serve with vanilla ice cream.  Garnish, if desired with chopped peanuts, and fresh mint sprigs.


Learn more about Chef Sandy & Stephanie in the latest chapter of Cooking & Culture.