Getty ImagesDon't let sky-high food-and-drink bills crash your party. These affordable strategies let you scrimp without looking like Scrooge.
By Yelena Moroz, Shivani Vora, Kaija Helmetag, and Brad Tuttle
Skip: A full bar.
Opt for: A single, memorable cocktail. For example: a winter lemonade. Muddle ¼ cup fresh cranberries in 8 ounces of this traditional summer drink, then top it off with 2 ounces of vodka or whiskey and a splash of seltzer. Presto! An instant merrymaking hit.
See More: 10 Healthy Foods That Cost Under $1
Allison GooteeSkip: Champagne.
Opt for: Cava or Prosecco. These affordable bubblies are available for around $10 a bottle, says Allison Enke, a spokesperson for Whole Foods Market. Find one that was produced within the past two years. For roughly half of what you would pay for a vintage bottle, you'll get just as much fizzy flavor.
See More: 10 Festive Holiday Cocktails
Skip: Fancy flat breads and spreads.
Opt for: Crostini. You'll save a few bucks if you buy a couple of
Getty ImagesDon't let sky-high food-and-drink bills crash your party. These affordable strategies let you scrimp without looking like Scrooge.Read More »from Inexpensive Ideas for Holiday Party Food
Does the week-old zucchini at the back of your fridge have the nutritional value of cardboard? If you are inclined to toss it into the garbage, you might want to reconsider. According to nutrition expert Lora Brown of Brigham Young University, refrigeration vastly improves the shelf life of most fruits and vegetables, and the loss of nutrients usually coincides with visible spoilage. "If you have to take it out of the fridge on a gurney, then throw it away," Brown told Yahoo! Shine. "But if the taste, color, and texture are good, the nutrient content will still be relatively high."
Related link: Nine fast, healthy breakfast ideas
Unless you are buying all your food straight from the farm, it is impossible to know how it was processed or how long it took to get to the supermarket. "Fresh" produce might be in transit for more than a week and then sit on the store shelf for days. For oils, nuts, and dry goods, it could be months or years before an item reaches your pantry.Read More »from How Long Does Food Retain Its Nutritional Value?
Photo: ThinkstockBy Corrie Pikul
There are nutritious snacks at a holiday party, and there are foods that only seem nutritious. We sort the naughty from the nice.
At every party you attend this year, there will be cheese. And around every cheese plate, there will be guests who don't realize how much of it they're eating. Tracy Gensler, a Best Life nutritionist, says this is one of the most common party mistakes she sees. An 80-calorie portion of cubes, slices or a spread is only about the size of two AA batteries, she says, and most people eat three to five times that amount (in case you're wondering, the calcium benefits are outweighed by the high fat content). The truth is, Gensler says, a once-a-year splurge probably isn't going to cause too much damage. But given the number of parties you'll attend this year at the homes of fromagophile hosts, it's best to be Cheddar-aware.
Photo: ThinkstockVegetable Platters
We park ourselvesRead More »from The Hidden Calories in "Healthy" Party Food
By Hilary Meyer, Associate Food Editor, EatingWell Magazine
How to make healthier holiday cookiesWhen the holiday season rolls around I eagerly break out my mixer and rolling pin and pump out tons of cookies. They're not just for me-I send them all over the country to my friends and relatives as gifts.
Recipes to try: Our Top Prize-Winning Holiday Cookies
But this whole baking extravaganza means that before they hit the post office I have tons of cookies lingering around my house. Since I care about my family's health (and my own), I've gotten savvier about making cookies that are better for you. Here are some tricks of the trade for making healthier Christmas cookies:
Tip 1: Cut Back on ButterRead More »from How to Make Healthier Holiday Cookies
Butter is a popular ingredient when it comes to cookies, but we all know by now that it's loaded with saturated fat. There's no need to get rid of it entirely, but it is a good idea to keep it in check. Try substituting canola oil for at least some of the butter in your recipe or try recipes that call for fat
Diane FieldsBon Appetit
Good guests bring great gifts. Whip up a batch of these delicious homemade treats before you head out the door.
1. Almond Bark with Sea Salt
We like the rich flavor and look of Marcona almonds in this bark, but roasted almonds work nicely, too.
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
- 1 1/2 cups roasted Marcona almonds (not in oil)
- 1 pound good-quality dark chocolate (62%-70% cacao), finely chopped
- Coarse sea salt (for sprinkling)
Related: Bon Appetit's 25 Favorite Holiday Cookie Recipes
- Line a baking sheet with a silicone baking mat or foil. Combine sugar with 2 Tbsp. water in a small saucepan. Stir over medium-low heat until sugar dissolves. Bring to a boil and cook, occasionally swirling pan and brushing down sides with a wet pastry brush, until caramel is dark amber, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat. Immediately add butter; whisk until melted. Add almonds; stir until well coated. Transfer to baking sheet, spreading
Red or white is typically the first question you'll be asked when you're about to order wine. As the category has improved and shifted from gauche to trendy, rosé even now gets thrown in as an option. But there's a fourth option you may have heard about. Hipster sommeliers around the country are putting orange wines on their lists. Be forewarned: these aren't the easiest bottles to find. And they rarely come cheap.
Related: Six Ways to Drink Wine Smarter
"Orange wine" is something of a misnomer, which is why it can be difficult to unearth. The term gets tossed around by wine geeks, but if you're looking for such a wine at your local bottle shop, you should be searching the whites section. Orange wine actually refers to white wine that has been aged for a period longer that normal on grape skins, seeds and stems, which are where the tannins live. The result is a wine with a coppery color and a tannic character. Think of it as white wine for red wine lovers.
Orange wine is something of a misnomer, which is why it can be difficult to unearthRead More »from Orange You Glad There's a New Wine Color?
Gourmet LiveKemp Minifie, Read More »from 5 Tips for Great Holiday Cookies
There's no better gift than a homemade one, and with cookie swaps on the horizon, tis the season to rev yourself up for holiday baking. Cookies should be an enjoyable project, not cause for tearing your hair out. Here then, fresh from my own recent experiences, are five tips to keep you sane:
1. Roll out Your Dough Between Sheets of Wax Paper, Not Parchment
Wax paper peels easily off the top of the dough; then cut out the cookies and they'll peel right off the bottom sheet. Not true with parchment paper; no matter how cold the dough is, it clings.
2. Chill, Baby, Chill
The secret to neat and tidy edges? Chill the dough before and after you cut out shapes, and whenever it gets soft. Just pop the dough, supported on a baking sheet, into the freezer for 10 minutes to firm it up.
Related: Best Holiday Cookie Recipes
3. Metal Cup Measures Do Double Duty
When pressing dough into a pan for bars, use the smooth bottom of metal cup measures to pack it into an even
- Reader s Digest Magazine | Tis The Season – Mon, Dec 5, 2011 9:57 AM EST
1. SECRET INGREDIENT: sour cream in chocolate cookiesRead More »from 7 Secret Ingredients for Delicious Holiday Cookies
Sour cream gives the cookies an irresistibly soft and tender crumb. Chocolate chips, chocolate sprinkles, and cocoa powder create a triple shot of chocolate flavor. Get the Triple Chocolate Cookies recipe.
2. SECRET INGREDIENT: peanut butter in chocolate chip cookies
Some people like oatmeal cookies. Some like chocolate chip cookies. Yet others prefer peanut butter cookies. This recipe combines all three! The peanut butter in the dough makes them extra rich and delicious. Get this delicious chocolate chip cookie recipe.
Whether you prefer light and airy treats, or chocolate decadence, this week's episode of 'Tis the Season has the holiday cookie for you!
HONEY THYME LACE COOKIES:
Honey Thyme Lace Cookies with a dusting of granulated sugar.
2 tbps unsalted butter
2 tbps brown sugar
2 tbps honey
2 tsp chopped thyme (fresh)
2 tsp orange zest
pinch of salt
couple twists of black pepper
one tsp vanilla
2 tbps flour
Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
Line a baking sheet with parchment paper, put aside.
Melt butter, brown sugar and honey in a small pot til bubbling. Turn off heat.
Add thyme, orange zest, salt, and vanilla; stir. Whisk in flour. Spoon the batter onto the baking sheet into nickel-sized circles. Cookies should be three inches apart from each other on the baking sheet. Add one twist of black pepper on top of each cookie.
Bake in oven at 375 degrees for five to six minutes.
Optional: Add colored sugar or granulated sugar before cookies cool.
Let cookiesRead More »from 'Tis the Season: Delicious Holiday Cookies
- bon appétit magazine | Tis The Season – Fri, Dec 2, 2011 4:40 PM EST
By Hunter Lewis & Janet McCracken, Bon Appetit
Over a billion people depend on rice as a food staple. But surprisingly, there's some confusion about how to cook it. Do you stir it? Should you let it boil the whole time? What's the proper liquid-to-grain ratio? Do you cook white rice the same way as brown? We asked our food editors to clear up the questions surrounding this starchy staple. Find their advice for making the fluffiest rice, below.
Related: Bon Appetit's 25 Favorite Holiday Cookie Recipes
6 Common Rice Cooking Mistakes
1. Following Directions on the Package
"The directions given on packaging are usually wrong, even from reputable producers. If you're using a new bag from a company that you're unfamiliar with, use this technique: Make a small pot using 1/2 cup rice and 1 cup of water (for brown rice, change that to 1/2 cup rice and 1 1/4 cup water). You're looking for fluffy rice where each grain is tender and holds its individual character. If you don't add enough
- 10 Self-Help Books for the New GenerationMon, Feb 4, 2013 6:38 PM EST
- Do You Have the Most Vivid Memories from Your Life from Age 15 to 25?Tue, Feb 5, 2013 11:35 AM EST
- Is Your Gym Making You Sick?Tue, Feb 5, 2013 10:10 AM EST
- Better Together: 4 Reasons Why I'm Glad My Kids Share a RoomTue, Feb 5, 2013 2:51 PM EST
- Is Lisa Ling's Father a Pothead?Tue, Feb 5, 2013 3:29 PM EST
- Nerding Out in Nature: One Smart Phone. Two Kids. Tons of FunTue, Feb 5, 2013 3:07 PM EST
- PHOTOS: The Best Chevron Wedding DetailsTue, Feb 5, 2013 1:42 PM EST
- Roadblocks to Intimacy--and How to Get Around ThemMon, Feb 4, 2013 6:50 PM EST
- How to Conquer Your 10 Biggest Marriage FearsFri, Feb 22, 2013 3:23 PM EST