The Legendary Key Lime Cheesecake Tart

Key Lime Pie Cheeseball & Dessert Mix was one of the original flavors from Wind & Willow. Since it first hit the shelves, this mix has been a summertime best seller year after year. The classic lime flavor is familiar and comforting, yet light and refreshing. This is summer comfort food. 

The simple cheeseball directions on the box make for an easy, no-bake summer dessert that your friends and family will love. However, it is hard to resist taking the mixture one step further. By folding in whipped topping and adding the mixture to a pre-made graham crust, you can easily make a  Quick Key Lime Pie Cheesecake. This summer we are taking it over the top with our new Key Lime Cheesecake Tart recipe. See below for full directions on this show stopping summer dessert. 


Baked Key Lime Tart

Ingredients:

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a mixing bowl, combine Key Lime Cheeseball Mix, softened cream cheese, and egg until smooth. Pour the mixture into a graham tart crust. Bake for 30 minutes. Allow to cool at room temperature before refrigerating. Optional: top with slices of fresh lime and whipped topping. 


Stay Connected

The Wind & Willow blog is all about grilling this month! Our most recent post is all about punching the flavor up with Wind & Willow products. We also posted a full guide covering the components of a perfect grill-out menu. Perfect your summer barbecue with these tips and hundreds of recipes at windandwillow.com/recipes.

We love to see how you are using Wind & Willow this summer! Tag us on Facebook and Instagram @WindandWillowFoods for a chance to be featured on our page.

Grilling Tips and Ideas

Marinate to Infuse Flavor

Infuse your meat and veggies with flavor by marinating them before grilling. Combine 1 cup of oil and 1/2 cup of vinegar or citrus juice (lemon or lime). Mix in a Wind & Willow Dip Mix such as Roasted Red Pepper, Back at the Ranch, or Fiesta Ranchero. To the mixture add your meat (in a separate bowl or zipper top bag, you can also marinate vegetables). Stir to coat each piece and allow to marinate for at least 30 minutes (up to four hours) . Remove the meat and veggies and place on paper towels to catch excess moisture. Grill vegetables until slightly softened and meats until appropriate internal temperature is reached.



Pick a Contrasting Dip

You’ve kicked up the flavor with the marinade, now let’s add even more depth with another layer of flavor.  If you marinated with spicy Roasted Red Pepper Dip Mix, try dipping your meat (or kabobs as pictured) into a cool Cucumber Dill Dip Mix or Asiago & Roasted Garlic Dip Mix prepared as directed on the packaging. If you marinated with something cool and tangy like Back at the Ranch Dip Mix, try dipping your grilled masterpiece into something with a little kick like Chipotle Cheddar Dip Mix.


Grill up a Side Dish

While you have the grill hot, why not grill up your side dish as well? Try one of our grilled side dish recipes to complete your summer meal. Roasted Corn is as simple as combining Roasted Red Pepper Dip Mix and oil, then coating fresh corn before roasting it on the grill. Bacon Wrapped Stuffed Jalapenos are stuffed with the classic BLT Cheeseball and Appetizer mix, wrapped in bacon, and then thrown on the grill until the bacon is nice and crispy. Another great grilled side dish are Zucchini Boats. Just spread some prepared Bruscetta Cheeseball & Appetizer Mix on to zucchini halves and cover with fresh tomatoes and cheese. Grill them until the cheese has melted and zucchini has began to soften.  



Show us your Creations

We hope these ideas and recipes inspire you to gather with your family and create memories over good food. We love to see how you are using Wind & Willow products whether you are preparing them according to the directions right on the box, cooking up one of our hundreds of recipes online, or creating your own original recipe. Tag us in pictures of your creations on Instagram and Facebook @WindandWillowFoods for a chance to be featured!

Summer Barbecue Menu

Around here we call it “grilling out,” but what ever you call it, preparing and eating food outside with family, is one of the best parts about summer. So, what’s on the menu? We believe there is a bit of a formula to it: a great appetizer to tide the family over while the meat is on the grill; grilled veggies that are packed with flavor; a crisp, fresh salad; and of course that meaty main dish that everyone came for. These are all components of the perfect summer barbecue menu. Let us explain each of these components just a bit more. 


Fresh Veggies and Dip

Timing is everything, especially when it comes to waiting on the main dish on a hot summer day. To keep the family at bay, it is important to have a fresh little snack for them while they wait. Any one of our Dip Mixes would make the perfect starter. Prepare with mayo and sour cream as directed on the box (or sub in Greek yogurt to keep things light.) Serve with fresh, crunchy vegetables or your favorite chips.


Grilled Veggies

We love grilling summer vegetables as a side dish for a barbecue. Simple but full of flavor, our roasted corn recipe fits the bill perfectly. You could use the same technique with a number of vegetables such as zucchini or portobello mushrooms, just adjust the heat and time on the grill accordingly. 


A Bright Summer Salad

The perfect way to lighten up the traditionally heavy menu at a cookout is to include a nice light salad. Cut up vegetables into bight-size pieces and toss with vinaigrette.  For the vinaigrette simply combine Roasted Red Pepper Dip Mix with 1 cup of olive oil and 1/2 cup of white wine vinegar. Add about a tablespoon of agave nectar or honey for a little sweetness. Whisk until well incorporated and drizzle desired amount over your salad.


The Main Dish

Don’t let the main attraction fall flat! Jazz up your main dish with a punch of flavor. Top burgers with a zesty sauce; incorporate chipotle and cheddar right in your hamburger meat; and if steaks are more your style, you will love this bacon and blue cheese steak recipe. 


Finishing Touches

Don’t forget to set out condiments. Displaying them in glass bowls makes them feel a bit more polished. To really elevate your condiment game, try this super easy homemade relish recipe from Pearl and Johnny. Once you try homemade relish it will be hard to ever eat the jarred stuff again.  We also like the idea of having two entree options in case there are any picky eaters in the bunch. Grab a few hot dogs and buns to have some variety.

If possible prepare things ahead of time. Your dip and burger sauce could be prepared a few days in advance. You could also prepare your vegetables to go with the dip and any vegetables – like lettuce, tomato, and onions – that you might want to top your burgers with. This will ensure you have maximum time to spend with guests when they arrive. 

Smokey, Cheesy Bacon Appetizer

Summer is finally here. The heat is sizzling and so are our appetizers! We are cranking up the dial on flavor this month with Smokehouse Bacon and Cheddar Cheeseball and Appetizer Mix. This mix is always a favorite at a barbecue, use it to top some summer squash and pile it high with extra cheese and bacon. No one will be able to resist! Follow our recipe below for a step-by-step on how to make your own Smokehouse Zucchini Bites .

Another great recipe for Smokehouse Bacon and Cheddar is Loaded Potato Skins. This recipe is featured right on the box. It is a real show stopper that makes guests think you worked all day to perfect the flavoring. The secret? One little box of Wind & Willow. 


Smokehouse Zucchini Bites 

Ingredients:

    • Wind & Willow Smokehouse Bacon & Cheddar Mix
    • 8 oz pkg. cream cheese
    • 1 medium zucchini, 1/4″ slices
    • ½ cup shredded cheese
    • ¼ cup bacon bits

Directions:

Prepare Smokehouse Bacon & Cheddar mix with cream cheese as directed on packaging. Spoon about 1 Tbs of the mixture on to each slice of zucchini. Bake in a 350 degree oven for 10 minutes. Pull the baking sheet out of the oven and sprinkle topping packet, cheese, and bacon on to each slice. Bake for another 5 minutes or until the cheese has melted. 


Stay Connected

We would love to see what recipes you are loving this season. Tag us @windandwillowfoods on Facebook or Instagram for a chance to be featured.

11 Perfect Poolside Recipes for Summer

This weekend is the traditional kickoff to summer. We could not be more excited! We are dreaming of blue skies, warm weather, and outdoor activities. Today we are lining up our favorite recipes that are perfect to eat while you are laying out by the pool, lake, beach, river, or as you watch the kids play outside in the sprinkler.


1. Triple Berry Smoothie

Cool off with a cold drink. This smoothie is full of summer berries and is sweetened up with our Triple Berry Cheeseball & Dessert Mix


2. Southwest Steak Fries

We love having lots of finger foods to snack on when we are headed out to the water. These fries are packed with flavor. Any one of our savory Cheeseball & Appetizer Mixes are perfect for this recipe, so you can mix it up everytime you make them!


3. BLT Veggie Appetizer

Gather up any ripe vegetables in your garden, or grab whatever is looking good at the farmers market to use in this fresh recipe. Slice up cucumbers, hollow out tomatoes, and get creative filling your vegetables with a prepared Wind & Willow Cheeseball. Here we used The BLT Mix, but any savory flavor would be great.


4. Chili Cheese Nachos

Our Southwest Queso Hot Dip Mix makes the perfect addition to these classic nachos. All we need now is a margarita and we will be daydreaming about the beach. 


5. Country Club Chicken Salad

This sandwich has all the sophistication of the country club without the membership. Pair any savory Cheeseball & Appetizer Mix with this classic recipe to turn up the flavor. Serve with a croissant, on your favorite sandwich bread, in a lettuce wrap, or alongside crackers for the perfect light lunch.  


6. Hummus

Hummus makes for the perfect light snack, and it is anything but boring with the addition of any savory Cheeseball & Appetizer Mix. Serve with veggies, crackers, or chips for an easy dip. 


7. Poolside Dip

We seriously cannot get enough of this dip. It is full of veggies and flavor. Serve it up with tortilla chips and watch it disappear before your eyes!


8. Tuscan Salad

Two ingredients are all you need to create the perfect protein packed salad. Simply add Tuscan Olive Cheeseball & Appetizer Mix to cottage cheese. Eat it on its own or top a green salad with it.  


9. Easy Elegant Fruit Tarts

This recipe is so simple, but what you end up is a beautiful dessert that looks like it belongs in a pastry shop. As if that wasn’t enough they are also delicious and super refreshing, making them perfect for a hot day.


10. Key Lime Pops

Key Lime Pops take the cake as the most refreshing treat for a hot summer day. No need for an ice cream truck when the best frozen treats in town are already in your freezer.


11. White Chocolate Cherry Topped Cookies

We love eating cherries in the summer; they are sweet, tart, and fun to eat! This recipe elevates store bought (or homemade) cookies with White Chocolate Cherry Cheeseball Mix. Now we can have our cherries and eat cookies too!


Poolside Day Dreaming

Even if it isn’t possible to make it to the pool or lake this weekend, we hope these recipes will help you get in that summertime spirit! Buy a sprinkler or a baby pool to cool off with, or just have a little picnic in your living room. Maybe summer is a mindset, not a season.

Tag us on Instagram @WindAndWillowFoods or on Facebook.com/WindAndWillowFoods with your summertime Wind & Willow creations for a chance to be featured on our page. 

A Juicy Mango Paradise

Moms deserve the world. For mother’s day, we think it would be ideal to arrange for them to have a week or even a month relaxing in the tropics, but that might not be realistic. This year, why not bring the tropics to her? Fix up a Juicy Mango Parfait so she can have a taste of paradise. Better yet, make her a whole brunch spread using Wind & Willow recipes like Cheesy Bacon Scones, French Toast Bake, or Morning Breakfast Scramble



We also want to take a special moment to recognize all the moms that are the unsung heroes right now. From cooking more meals at home, keeping kids entertained and educated, braving the grocery stores, and keeping the whole family glued together during this strange spring we have had. Thanks, moms. xoxo



Juicy Mango Parfait Shooters
 
Ingredients:
•8 oz pkg cream cheese, softened
•8 oz pkg whipped topping, thawed
Crushed graham crackers or granola
•Pieces of fresh mango and mint, optional
 
Directions:
Combine mix and cream cheese. Then, fold in the whipped topping. Spoon the mixture into a piping bag or zip top bag, and cut off the corner. Place graham cracker or granola in the bottom of a 3 ounce shot glass. Next, fill the shot glass with the cream cheese mixture, sprinkle with topping packet, and top with fresh mango and mint. 

Stay Connected

We love seeing how you and your family gather around our products. Tag us on Instagram @WindAndWillowFoods or on Facebook.com/windandwillowfoods with pictures of your Wind & Willow creations for a chance to be featured on our page! 

Plant this Fruit in your Veggie Garden

Can you guess what fruit we think is essential for any vegetable garden? It is one of the juiciest fruits and is full of flavor, though they aren’t too sweet. They come in a variety of colors from yellow to purple, though usually they are red. If you haven’t guessed, we are thinking of tomatoes! 

That is right; technically tomatoes are classified as fruit, though they are obviously used more often in savory dishes and nutritionally they pan out more as a vegetable. However you want to label them, they are delicious and one of the easiest things to grow. Furthermore, if you have ever had a home-grown tomato then you know that there is not much else that can compare to their rich color and burst of flavor. Here are our best tips on how to grow this sought after produce and our favorite recipes that are full of them!

Our Top Tips on Growing Tomatoes

Plant After the last Frost

The most important piece of advice we can give you is to make sure you don’t plant your seedling outside until your area has had its last frost. The handy map below can help you determine when this usually is in your area. For us here in the Ozarks, we can be sure the last frost has come when May rolls around. 

Until then, you can start your tomatoes from seeds inside near a window, or you can pick up seedlings at your local nursery after the last frost has come and gone. Some say it is best to let your plants spend a little time outside each day leading up to planting them so that they get used to the temperature.

National Centers of Environmental Information by The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, “Last Day of Spring Freeze Map.”

Make Sure to Plant in Direct Sunlight

Tomatoes are native to South America, so it is no wonder they naturally like it hot! Most varieties do best in full sunlight. Make sure to give them a couple feet of space between each plant and use a tomato cage to allow them to grow tall toward the sun.


Water Every Morning

Tomatoes like their water. It is best to water them in the morning so that they have the moisture they will need to bare the drying sun all day. Spray near the roots, not on the leaves. This is said to prevent disease, strengthen the root system, and to keep sunlight from damaging the leaves. 


Harvest when Plump and Rich in Color

Tomatoes can very in color anywhere from orange to dark purple color when they are mature. It is best to become familiar with they type of tomato you have selected to determine what color you should be looking for it to reach. Regardless of the color, every variety of tomato becomes a very rich color when it is ripe and is firm to the touch with just a bit of give.

The very best way to get familiar with when your type of tomatoes are ripe? A good old fashioned taste test will do the trick!

The Best Homegrown Tomato Recipes

Now for the grand finale of growing tomatoes in your garden… eating them! One of the most exciting times of the year is harvesting home grown tomatoes, or seeing them at the farmers market for the first time this season. Now it is time for all the tomato recipes! Here are a few of our favorites.

BLT Sandwich

There are no amount of words that could describe our obsession with a classic BLT sandwich with homegrown tomatoes. Here is the recipe: Toast up 2 slices of your favorite bread (depending on our mood we use anything from white bread to potato bread to 9 grain whole wheat); spread one side of each slice with a generous amount prepared BLT Cheeseball Mix; pile the bread high with slices of your fresh tomato, crispy thick cut bacon, lettuce and if you are like us you won’t be able to resist the addition of thinly sliced red onion. BLTO? Enjoy!

Heirloom Tomato Tart

Prepare to impress your garden party guests with this one! Added bonus: this recipe is just as easy as it is beautiful. Follow along our recipe here that shows you how to use a pre-made crust and your gorgeous homegrown produce to create this side dish that will double as a centerpiece.

Bruschetta

Tomatoes and Italian seasonings combine perfectly in this simple recipe. This is the perfect appetizer for a summertime cocktail party or big summer family get-together. It is easy to double or even triple the recipe, and trust us it will go fast. To make this dish extra special, drizzle balsamic vinegar reduction over the top of the mixture once it is spooned on to toasted bread.

Zucchini Boats

These stuffed zucchinis are filled with meat and topped with tomatoes and cheese, making them an quick side dish or an easy weeknight meal. We just love how they showcase our fresh tomatoes right on top.

Stacked BLT Bites

Pretty much that first BLT recipe.. but teeny tiny! These BLT bites use pre-made croutons instead of toast, and we LOVE the ratio of Cheeseball to all the other ingredients. They are flavorful, portable, and adorable. What more could one want?

There is nothing more satisfying than watching something that you have planted and watered every day grow into something beautiful, except then getting to eat it! Growing your own veggies (and fruits) is a great way to spend more time outside, eat more nutritious food, and get the satisfaction of having created something yourself. Let us know how you end up pairing Spring and Summer veggies with Wind & Willow by tagging us on Facebook and Instagram @WindandWillowFoods.

Best Cheesy Bacon Savory Scone Recipe

We love all of the contrasting flavors that brunch is known for. Light breakfast fair like parfaits and oatmeal are accompanied by heavier lunch options like soups and sandwiches. Sweet french toast, pancakes, and pastries are paired with savory options like bacon, sausage, and eggs. So, why not wrap these contrasts all into one perfect brunch recipe? That is just what we did with our Savory Cheesy Bacon Scone recipe below. Follow this step-by-step guide for a dish that is everything we love about brunch in one recipe. 

First things First

Start by preheating your oven to 400 degrees. This seems hot, but it will ensure the crisp outside, moist inside consistency you are looking for. Next, gather your ingredients and measure them out into a medium mixing bowl. First, combine the dry ingredients: Dip Mix, flour, and baking powder. Whisk together until combined. Next, either cube your cold butter into about 1/4 inch pieces, or freeze your butter for about 30 minutes to ensure it is extremely cold and then use the large side of a cheese grater to shred the butter into small pieces. However you accomplish it, you are just wanting the butter to be very cold and cut into small pieces before adding it to the flour mixture.

Cut in the butter in using a pastry knife or fork until the mixture reaches a sandy consistency. Then, slowly add the heavy cream as you stir the mixture (about 2 tablespoons to a 1/4 cup at a time). Mix everything just until everything comes together. You do not want to overwork the dough. 

Shaping, Cutting, and Baking the Dough

Once combined, turn  the dough out onto a parchment paper lined baking sheet. Using your hands, form a disk that is about 1 inch thick.

Use a knife or pizza cutter to cut the dough into 6 even pieces. Place each piece about an inch or two apart on a parchment lined baking sheet. You can use a basting brush to coat the top of the scones with more cream if you wish, but this is an optional step that we did not find necessary. 

Place the baking sheet into your preheated oven for 20 minutes or until golden brown on the outside. about 2 minutes before they are done cooking you can add extra cheese and crisp bacon to the top of the scones to let them heat and melt before pulling them out of the oven. Let them cool on your pan for at least 10 minutes. The scones will continue cooking on the pan. 

Serve and Enjoy!

We added some chives to the top of our scones when we pulled them out of the oven. Enjoy these savory pastries with a cup of tea or coffee. They make the prefect hearty breakfast for one, or a great addition to a big brunch spread.

Cheesy Bacon Savory Scones

Ingredients:

      • Wind & Willow Cheesey Bacon Dip Mix
      • 1.5 cups all-purpose flour
      • 2 tsp baking powder
      • 4 Tbs cold butter, cubed or grated
      • 1 cup heavy cream
      • Cheese, bacon, and chives for garnish, optional

Directions:

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Whisk the Dip Mix, flour, and baking powder together in a medium mixing bowl. Cut in the butter using a pastry knife or fork until the mixture reaches a sandy consistency. Slowly add the heavy cream as you stir the mixture. Mix just until everything comes together. Then, turn  the dough out onto a parchment paper lined baking sheet. Form the dough into a 1 inch thick disk and cut into 6 even pieces.  Place each scone 2 inches apart on the baking sheet. Bake for 20 minutes. You can top them with bacon and extra cheese just before pulling them out of the oven, allowing the cheese to melt. After taking them out of the oven, you can top them with chopped chives for a bit of color and freshness.  Allow to cool on the baking sheet at least 10 minutes before serving.

Stay Connected

We love seeing how you and your family gather around our products. Tag us on Instagram @WindAndWillowFoods or on Facebook.com/windandwillowfoods with pictures of your Wind & Willow creations for a chance to be featured on our page! 

A Box Full of Possibilities

Every Wind & Willow product is a box full of possibilities! Each has directions and an additional recipe on the box as well as several recipes online. As we began discussing this blog post, we discovered that our staff uses products in many more ways than are even listed here. One staff member referred to our products as “the Swiss Army Knife of the kitchen.” 

To show you the versatility and hopefully get your own creative juices flowing, we have decided to select one of our favorite products and list some of the many ways our Wind & Willow staff really uses them at home. Follow along as we give you the inside scoop on how we use these mixes to flavor just about everything we cook, along with a couple recipes perfect for this product. 

Roasted Red Pepper Dip Mix

Prepare mix as directed -with sour cream and mayo:

• Enjoy as a dip for veggies, chips, or crackers

• Use on a sandwich as a spread

• Stir into cooked and cubed chicken for delicious chicken salad

• Stir into cooked pasta and chopped fresh veggies for pasta salad

Use the dry mix:

• Sprinkle on to vegetables tossed in olive oil and bake at 350 until softened

• Add to two 8-ounce cans of diced tomatoes for a quick salsa

• Combine with homemade or store-bought hummus 

We also love these quick and easy recipes:

Morning Breakfast Scramble

Take the flavor up a notch or two with the taste of roasted red peppers in this simple recipe.


Winter Squash Casserole

This warm and cheesy winter squash casserole is the perfect weeknight dinner regardless of the season.


Roasted Red Pepper Cheesy Bread

This recipe is about as easy as it gets. 4 ingredients create this cheesy masterpiece that is so flavorful it is hard to stop eating.

When you keep Wind & Willow products on hand, you have a pantry’s worth of recipes at your finger tips. This is just a sample of all the creative ways we use Wind & Willow beyond the basic instructions. Each and every mix we create is truly a box of possibilities, so we hope we have inspired you to come up with your own creative ways to utilize these mixes.

We would love to see how you are using Wind & Willow. Tag us on Instagram @WindAndWillowFoods or on Facebook.com/windandwillowfoods with pictures of the creative ways you are using our products! 

Indoor Activity For Kids – Dessert Pizza

Stuck inside all day with the kids? This is the perfect fun and easy indoor activity for kids (or adults).  Dessert Pizza! Bonus: you probably have all the ingredients on hand. Follow our youngest Chef at the Wind & Willow Kitchen as she guides you through the simple, kid friendly steps in this DIY project.  

First things first, you will need a cookie crust. If you have store bought cookie dough (really any flavor should work) this is the perfect application. If not, simply use the baking staples that you have on hand to make a simple sugar cookie dough. Next, follow these steps to turn your dough into “pizza crust.”

 

Make the Crust

    1. Press cookie dough evenly in the bottom of a greased 12″ round pan.
    2. Bake 16 to 20 minutes or until golden brown.
    3. Set aside and let cool.

Kids will love mushing the cookie dough into the pan or even helping you make the dough if you are going the homemade route. 

 

Make the Cream Cheese Spread

Next, prepare the “sauce.” Combine a softened 8 oz block of cream cheese with your favorite Sweet Cheeseball Mix. Choosing flavors like Chocolate Chip , Creme Brulee, or White Chocolate Amaretto are a nice base to add a variety of toppings. Try flavors like Lemon Cheesecake, Key Lime Pie, or Chocolate Covered Strawberry for tropical fruit pizzas or Caramel Apple or Pumpkin Pie for a pizza featuring fall flavors like apples, caramel, and candied pecans.

This is a great time for your kiddos to step in and help. They may fling half of the mixture out of the bowl, but you can spare a tablespoon or two. No big deal! After they are done, give the bowl one more little mix to combine and then spread evenly over the top of the cooled cookie crust.

 

Prepare your Toppings

Our young chef enjoyed decorating from small ramekins that each had a different topping in them. She used chocolate chips, sprinkles, marshmallows, and gummy candies. Anything you have on hand would work: chopped up cookies or candy bars, any flavor baking chip, chocolate syrup and other ice cream toppings, candy, nuts, or fruit are all great choices. Even the topping packet that comes with your cheeseball mix alone will finish off a yummy dessert pizza!

 

Get Creative

Now it’s time to get creative. No two pizzas are ever the same. It is fun to see what kids come up with on these projects. Have fun and let this cooking project turn into an art project.  Remember, the fact that they have the chance to create something all their own is the most beautiful thing of all.

 

Final Touches

Add any final touches you feel you need. One last marshmallow? A cherry on top? A dollop of whipped topping? Anything goes here.

 

Admire your Work and Dig In!

Step back and admire your masterpiece. Kids really take pride when they get to help out in the kitchen. Wouldn’t it be nice to have a friend look at you the way our Wind & Willow Jr. Chef looks at her beautiful dessert pizza!?

It’s no fun to be stuck in the house all day, but if that is where you find yourself, we hope you take advantage of that precious family time for fun projects like this. Tag us on Instagram @WindAndWillowFoods with pictures of you and your family enjoying Wind & Willow for a chance to be featured on our page.