Spring Spinach Salad

Spring is in the air – and it’s time to start talking about some healthy springtime food options. This spinach salad is a quick and easy way to get some healthy greens on your plate just in time for swimsuit season!


  • 1 (6 ounce) package fresh baby spinach
  • 1 cup chopped cucumber
  • 1 cup fresh broccoli florets
  • 1/2 cup golden raisins
  • 1/2 cup real bacon bits
  • 1/4 cup slivered almonds
  • 1/4 cup sliced fresh mushrooms
  • 1/4 cup chopped red onion
  • 1/3 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar


  1. In a large salad bowl, combine the spinach, cucumber, broccoli, raisins, bacon, almonds, mushrooms and onion. In a small bowl, whisk the dressing ingredients until smooth. Drizzle over salad and toss to coat.

NCAA Tourney Chili Recipe

The NCAA Tourney is in full swing! Invite your friends over, and cook up a batch of the CalCas special March Madness Chili!


  • 2 pounds ground beef chuck
  • 1 pound bulk Italian sausage
  • 3 (15 ounce) cans chili beans, drained
  • 1 (15 ounce) can chili beans in spicy sauce
  • 2 (28 ounce) cans diced tomatoes with juice
  • 1 (6 ounce) can tomato paste
  • 1 large yellow onion, chopped
  • 3 stalks celery, chopped
  • 1 green bell pepper, seeded and chopped
  • 1 red bell pepper, seeded and chopped
  • 2 green chile peppers, seeded and chopped
  • 1 tablespoon bacon bits
  • 4 cubes beef bouillon
  • 1/2 cup beer
  • 1/4 cup chili powder
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 1 tablespoon dried oregano
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 2 teaspoons hot pepper sauce (e.g. Tabasco™)
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 teaspoon white sugar
  • 1 (10.5 ounce) bag corn chips such as Fritos®
  • 1 (8 ounce) package shredded Cheddar cheese

  1. Heat a large stock pot over medium-high heat. Crumble the ground chuck and sausage into the hot pan, and cook until evenly browned. Drain off excess grease.
  2. Pour in the chili beans, spicy chili beans, diced tomatoes and tomato paste. Add the onion, celery, green and red bell peppers, chile peppers, bacon bits, bouillon, and beer. Season with chili powder, Worcestershire sauce, garlic, oregano, cumin, hot pepper sauce, basil, salt, pepper, cayenne, paprika, and sugar. Stir to blend, then cover and simmer over low heat for at least 2 hours, stirring occasionally.
  3. After 2 hours, taste, and adjust salt, pepper, and chili powder if necessary. The longer the chili simmers, the better it will taste. Remove from heat and serve, or refrigerate, and serve the next day.
  4. To serve, ladle into bowls, and top with corn chips and shredded Cheddar cheese.

Mardi Gras King Cake Recipe

Get in the Mardi Gras spirit with this great recipe for King Cake!

This traditional Mardi Gras dessert makes two king cakes each topped with a creamy glaze and festive gold, purple, and yellow sugar sprinkles.

Yield: Makes 2 cakes (about 18 servings each)


  • 1  (16-ounce) container sour cream
  • 1/3  cup  sugar
  • 1/4  cup  butter
  • 1  teaspoon  salt
  • 2  (1/4-ounce) envelopes active dry yeast
  • 1/2  cup  warm water (100° to 110°)
  • 1  tablespoon  sugar
  • 2  large eggs, lightly beaten
  • 6  to 6 1/2 cups bread flour*
  • 1/3  cup  butter, softened
  • 1/2  cup  sugar
  • 1 1/2  teaspoons  ground cinnamon
  • Purple-, green-, and gold-tinted sparkling sugar sprinkles

For the Glaze:

  • 3  cups  powdered sugar
  • 3  tablespoons  butter, melted
  • 2  tablespoons  fresh lemon juice
  • 1/4  teaspoon  vanilla extract
  • 2  to 4 tablespoons milk

Stir together first 4 ingredients. Stir in 2 tablespoons milk, adding additional milk, 1 teaspoon at a time, until spreading consistency.

Cake Preparation

Cook first 4 ingredients in a medium saucepan over low heat, stirring often, until butter melts. Set aside, and cool mixture to 100° to 110°.

Stir together yeast, 1/2 cup warm water, and 1 tablespoon sugar in a 1-cup glass measuring cup; let stand 5 minutes.

Beat sour cream mixture, yeast mixture, eggs, and 2 cups flour at medium speed with a heavy-duty electric stand mixer until smooth. Reduce speed to low, and gradually add enough remaining flour (4 to 4 1/2 cups) until a soft dough forms.

Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface; knead until smooth and elastic (about 10 minutes). Place in a well-greased bowl, turning to grease top.

Cover and let rise in a warm place (85°), free from drafts, 1 hour or until dough is doubled in bulk.

Punch down dough, and divide in half. Roll each portion into a 22- x 12-inch rectangle. Spread 1/3 cup softened butter evenly on each rectangle, leaving a 1-inch border. Stir together 1/2 cup sugar and cinnamon, and sprinkle evenly over butter on each rectangle.

Roll up each dough rectangle, jelly-roll fashion, starting at 1 long side. Place one dough roll, seam side down, on a lightly greased baking sheet. Bring ends of roll together to form an oval ring, moistening and pinching edges together to seal. Repeat with second dough roll.

Cover and let rise in a warm place (85°), free from drafts, 20 to 30 minutes or until doubled in bulk.

Bake at 375° for 14 to 16 minutes or until golden. Slightly cool cakes on pans on wire racks (about 10 minutes). Drizzle Creamy Glaze evenly over warm cakes; sprinkle with colored sugars, alternating colors and forming bands. Let cool completely.

Cream Cheese-Filled King Cake: Prepare each 22- x 12-inch dough rectangle as directed. Omit 1/3 cup softened butter and 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon. Increase 1/2 cup sugar to 3/4 cup sugar. Beat 3/4 cup sugar; 2 (8-ounce) packages cream cheese, softened; 1 large egg; and 2 teaspoons vanilla extract at medium speed with an electric mixer until smooth. Spread cream cheese mixture evenly on each dough rectangle, leaving 1-inch borders. Proceed with recipe as directed.

Valentine’s Day Fondue

Just in time for Valentine’s day, one of our Field Marketing Managers, Rebecca Stumpf, has provided us with a great guest blog post. Did you forget to make that V-day reservation? Worried about crowded restaurants? Want to save money and have a fun dinner at home? Becky has your solution:

I have always been a fan of the fondue themed restaurants. Expensive prices, over-eating and a recommendation from a friend led me to the idea of having my own home fondue experience. The result, a wonderful meal at a reasonable price and none of the wait, tipping or other diners 3 feet away!

Start with a simple cheese fondue, one that includes a combination of cheeses such as Gruyere and Emmenthaler. Once prepared this is a great snack while prepping the main course. Set out vegetables, crusty bread and even cooked pieces of meat (salami, meatballs, etc…) to go with this fondue. A cheese fondue is easy and fun for kids, plus it’s a great incentive to get them to eat their veggies! *Ok, my kids like fondue, there are no guarantees your kids will too, but give it a try!

I have found that it’s best to coat the freshly shredded cheese with a flour mixture containing salt, pepper and paprika. Adding kirsch or cognac is optional as these can be expensive liquors. However, the liquor brings out a certain flavor that really makes this fondue pop. Try other cheeses and other spices to make a unique blend special to your family!

Now onto the main course of steak, filet and seafood! At first I was hesitant to trust my abilities to cook raw meat; chicken and seafood at home in a pit of boiling broth. What seemed like an invitation for sickness due to undercooked meat became a silly notion after successfully cooking my first chunk of filet!

I have tried two different ways of cooking raw meat fondue style: hot oil and hot broth. The hot oil fondue is also referred to as bourguignonne. There are many recipes on the internet that are as basic as hot peanut oil to more elaborate that have extra ingredients to give the oil a certain flavor. This method was good but I didn’t like that my kitchen smelled like a deep fat fryer for hours, seriously stinky!

Another option is to use hot broth instead of hot oil. My husband, kids and I like the Coq Au Vin recipe from the Melting Pot. Vegetable broth, red wine, garlic, mushrooms and green onions are the only ingredients to this fondue giving each piece of meat and/or seafood an enhanced richness, full of flavor. We like to serve the meat with Chantilly Cream, a mixture of sour cream and horseradish. You can find many other dipping sauce recipes online.

Now, if you haven’t already caught on, you will need two fondue pots or plan to be washing pots between courses. If this is your first fondue experience you may be feeling that something is missing if you don’t have the chocolate! Yes, you’ll have to clean a pot and prepare the chocolate; however this is the best part of the fondue experience! There are many great recipes online for chocolate fondue whether you like milk chocolate, white or dark or perhaps you want to add in caramel or something else to jazz up the fondue. Fruits, sweet-dense cakes like pound cake, marshmallows, and graham crackers are all good dipping items for chocolate fondue.

If you’re lazy like me, you might find that cleaning a pot only to make another fondue is just too much for one night. Typically I will pick up a fabulous dessert from my local bakery or grocery store. A beautifully decorated cupcake or cheesecake with a cup of coffee is just the right sweetness to end a great meal!

I am lucky that my children (4 years and almost 2 years) eat almost everything that my husband and I eat, so they had a great time with this meal. Prior to having kids my husband and I liked our romantic dinner at home and now we get to spend our Valentine’s Day with a couple of cute kiddos who appreciate good food and family as much as we do!

If you want to see Becky’s detailed recipes, check out our Facebook Page.

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