When it comes to Christmas dinner, anything goes. Every family has their favorite classics, but we like to mix it up each year with simple, yet elegant dishes. This holiday, we’re doing a lighter, steakhouse-inspired meal but without all those extra calories.
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Throwing a party can be overwhelming, especially when planning the menu. You may be convinced the ultimate spread includes a fatty cheese ball, sugary cookies and loads of alcohol, but healthy and tasty fare is possible. Here are top tips for planning and a bunch of recipes for your shindig.
Some of the best gifts I’ve given and received have been homemade. The effort that goes into them make the items more meaningful, and the money you save is a gift to yourself in return.
As a chef, I love using my culinary creativity when giving gifts, and these are a few ideas I’ve tried that foodies will appreciate and be sure to use.
Sure, there are faux-leather belts or wool-free sweater that you think might be perfect for that vegetarian or vegan friend, but you can be more creative than that. If you need some gift ideas for the veggie lover in your life, read on for some of my favorites.
Whether it’s for Hanukkah, Christmas or just because, ’tis the season for giving gifts. If you’re interested in giving away food-related gifts, skip those high-calorie candies or basket of sweets, and check out our ideas instead.
Each year for Hanukkah I serve up an Israeli-inspired dinner followed by traditional holiday desserts. This menu is a big hit with all our friends (and their kids).
Cookies are a big part of the holiday season. We all have our favorites along with those nostalgic family recipes. Usually when I bake a fresh batch, the family scarfs them up quickly, but I have clever, crafty way to preserve some of that holiday spirit — cookie ornaments.
My mom and I team up in the kitchen every December to tackle the holiday baking, but this year I’m on my own. Crispy rice cereal squares were the first cookies I ever learned to prepare, and these treats are definitely on my list this year. I love the festive dash of food coloring. You can choose red, green or whatever color says “holidays” to you. Better still, this version is lower in fat than the typical butter-soaked recipe. Because this is an egg-free mixture, there’s no harm in sampling as you go along.
No cookie tray would be complete without an oatmeal option. These crunchy cookies combine vitamin E-rich nuts and high-fiber oatmeal with a touch of ginger — all for only 70 calories and 4.5 grams of fat (2 grams of saturated fat). We like the Food Network Kitchens’ presentation idea; just wrap them in some festive ribbon and you’ve got a take-home treat for party guests.
(P.S.: Don’t forget to give friends with allergies a heads up on the pecans.)
When everyone thinks holiday cookies, they automatically assume Christmas, but Hanukkah can have its own special sweets, too. This year, I’m hosting friends and family for three evenings of candle lighting and desserts. Our spread will include these Star of David-shaped sugar cookies, which my family and I pep up with festive blue sprinkles; you can create any holiday theme by using your favorite cookie cutters and icing colors. These are chewy, not crunchy — perfect for the younger kids in the family.