10 Tips for Healthy Eating in 2012

Veggies

Use your Dinner Plate (or large bowl) for Salads.

At the dawn of a new year, you may be taking a closer look at what or how you’re eating. Congratulations! Becoming more aware of your eating habits is an important step toward making changes to them. But did you know that what (and how much) we eat is a lot more complicated than logically deciding what (and how much) to put in our mouths?

What we eat is often more than just personal will – it’s also about our surroundings, including what’s available and what’s distracting us. Food choices involve complex decision-making processes and multiple spheres of influence, including family, culture, environmental cues, social situations, government policies, genetics, doctor’s orders — not to mention taste, price, marketing, and availability. It can be hard out there for an aspiring healthy eater.

In fact, many experts call the American food landscape obesigenic – which means that it actually promotes obesity. While we can’t change the world overnight, there are plenty of simple things we can do today to make our personal eating environments more conducive to healthy eating. The best part is, most of these solutions are the fix-it-and-forget-it type. Here are 10 easy ways to change your personal food landscape for better health….

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5 Easy Recipes for New Year’s Eve

Chicken Wings

What better way to ring in 2012 than with good food and great company?

Are you ready for the final party of the year? I love having friends and family over for small bites and festive holiday drinks. It’s a great way to celebrate 2011 and ring in the New Year.

To help you with your holiday planning, we’ve collected some perfect New Year’s Eve party recipes on our site. Click here for the complete list of recipes.

When it comes to easy entertaining, I love simple finger foods that can be whipped up ahead of time or in mere minutes before guests arrive. Here are my 5 favorite Quick and Easy New Year’s Eve appetizers:…

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Turn your Grocery List into Santa’s List!

Sarabeth preserves

Give the gift of Brunch! Love these Sarabeth preserves!

Every year, I feel like my holiday to-do list keeps getting longer. Between baking holiday treats, visiting with friends and family, packing for my trip home, and buying gifts, I find that December just flies by!

This year I realized I could add a lot of gifts to my grocery list. After all, grocery shopping is perfect for the food and drink lovers on your list!  Here are some of my ideas:

chocolate

Wrap these delicious PB&J chocolate bars in scrapbook paper for a festive stocking stuffer!

For a Stocking Stuffer Idea: Take a chocolate bar (our PB&J dark chocolate bars are fantastic!) and wrap it in scrapbook paper for a festive touch!

For the budding foodie: Teach kids to grow their own food with the Back to the Roots mushroom garden.  In just a couple of weeks, they’ll have their own pearl oyster mushrooms to enjoy.

Then I decided to ask the people who know our products best – my co-workers. From sweets to beer and everything in between, they came up with a lot of ideas that will surely satisfy anyone on your gift list!…

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Holiday Cookie Tips from Everyday Food Magazine

Sugar Cookies from Everyday Food Magazine

Sugar Cookies. Recipe from Everyday Food Magazine

Sure, it takes a little more effort to make your own holiday cookies, but those who take the time to bake their own are rewarded with a warm kitchen, an assortment of irresistible scents, and batches of homemade treats that are perfect for giving as host gifts, swapping in cookie exchanges or offering as treats for holiday guests.

The baking pros at Martha Stewart’s Everyday Food magazine have assembled a group of holiday baking tips and tricks to help make sure your cookie creation is fast, foolproof and fuss-free.

Read on to learn more:…

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Holiday Recipe Makeover

Endive salad

This beautiful crab salad placed on endive leaves makes for a healthy alternative.

Is it weird that the holiday season makes me look forward to spending some quality time in the kitchen? If that’s wrong, I don’t want to be right. I tend to prefer fresh flavors, bright colors, and foods that won’t make me feel heavy or comatose after eating. Enjoy the holiday season without suffering food hangovers. It’s easier than you think to make crowd-pleasing dishes that you won’t regret in the morning.

If you can make something taste delicious and shave off a hundred calories here and there, isn’t that better than letting those extra calories add up, leading to weight gain and health concerns? Save yourself from the all-or-nothing mentality and make some smarter choices this holiday season!…

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Festive Holiday Drinks

Champagne

For a holiday party, you can't go wrong with Champagne!

Can you believe we’re already a week into December? With the holiday season already upon us, I’m sure you’ll be serving (and enjoying!) a drink or two.

When I have a party, I always have a favorite red and white wine on hand, a bottle of bubbly, and one signature cocktail and mocktail. I also love to have apple cider and eggnog on hand because the taste and smell just evokes memories of the holiday.

For cocktails, I loved these ones developed by Tom Smith of Union Square Wines: The Gingered Apple and The Kentucky Toddy. They were perfect for Thanksgiving and are still wonderful now in the colder months.

Here are a few more beverages that are sure to make you the toast of the party!…

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‘Tis the season for unexpected guests!

Veggies and Dip

A tray of pre-cut veggies and dip is easy to put together at the last minute!

If you have a sneaky suspicion that you might have a few additional guests over the holidays, stock up your freezer with some crowd pleasing favorites and some classic staples.

A tradition in and of themselves, warm bundles of puff pastry and beef franks are delicious dipped in whole grain or yellow mustard. Make your own (to freeze ahead of time) or have these frozen pigs in a blanket available in your freeze for last minute guests. The best part? Pop them in the oven and they’re ready in as little as 10-minutes.

Cute as a button and tasty too, our mini beef burger sliders come tucked in teeny tiny sesame buns with a slice of dill pickle and cheddar cheese. Total time from freezer to table is less than 20-minutes….

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Getting Ready for the Holiday Cookie Swap!

Holiday Cookies

Holiday Cookies

I love the holiday season.  After all, it’s the season for giving and I love baking sweet treats to give away!

The cookie swap is one of my favorite reasons to get-together. Whether it’s with friends, family, co-workers, or neighbors, it’s a great excuse to bake my favorite cookies and come home with so much more!

When we asked on our Facebook page for our fans’ favorite cookie recipes, one fan mentioned Jam Thumbprints (a classic). I always bake sugar cookies for my nieces and nephews because they love all the decorations (like sprinkles) I add to them.

Here are 5 more simple and delicious cookie ideas for your holiday cookie swap:…

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