Weekly food for thought with items on cleverly gifting baked goods, Hot Mulled Cider recipe, Bobby Flay's cookbook and more.
Buttery chocolate cookie dough with nuts and marshmallows. Creamy caramels with apple cider and warm spices. These are just a taste of some of the irresistible sweets you could be gifting this holiday season.
Homemade holiday gifts deserve special presentations, but these finishing touches don't have to mean a lot of extra time or money. Break out the crafting supplies, hit up a vintage shop or venture online to gather an inspired collection of packaging materials. With a few simple tips, you can create a memorable presentation worthy of the sweet, buttery goodness inside:
Create a candy cone. To package small, individually wrapped candies like caramels, find festive paper at a craft or scrapbook store. Then, roll it into a cone shape and tape it shut at the seam. Add ribbon or other decorations, and then fill the cone with candy.
Think outside the cardboard box. Consider packaging your gifts in a simple wooden box with a festive bow tied around it. Visit your local craft store for interesting containers to help you break free of the typical cardboard variety.
Take and bake. A ready-to-bake treat like cookie dough is the perfect hostess gift. Consider presenting it in disposable pint-sized ice cream containers. You can find them online, or simply ask for a few from your local ice cream shop. Don't forget to add a festive tag with baking instructions.
Be sure to label. Use festive gift tags with the name of your recipe so your lucky friends and family know what a special treat they're receiving. Custom complimentary gift tags can be found at ButterIsBest.com, courtesy of America's Dairy Farmers.
Easy recipe: Hot Mulled Cider
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 quarts apple cider
1 teaspoon allspice
1 teaspoon whole cloves
3-inch stick cinnamon
Combine ingredients and gradually bring to a boil. Simmer 20 minutes.
Makes 2 quarts.
-- State Journal-Register/ Carole M. Smith of Peoria, Ill.
Did You Know?
Soy packs a powerful nutrition and protein punch. Find it in foods like tofu, soybean sprouts, soy flour, soy milk and miso.
What cut of meat would one use for country fried steak?
A. Ribeye steak
B. Pork chop
C. T-bone steak
D. Cube steak
Answer is at bottom of column
Wise to the Word: Hake
?[HAYK] Related to the cod, hake is a saltwater fish that makes its home in the Atlantic and northern Pacific oceans. It's low in fat and has white, delicately flavored meat. Ranging in size from 1 to 8 pounds, hake is marketed whole or in fillets and steaks. It comes in fresh, frozen, smoked and salted forms. Hake may be prepared in any way suitable for cod.
Number to Know
310: A McDonald’s Fruit and Walnut salad is 310 calories.
The Dish On …
"Bobby Flay's Throwdown! More Than 100 Recipes from Food Network's Ultimate Cooking Challenge" by Bobby Flay, Stephanie Banyas and Miriam Garron
Every week on “Throwdown!” celebrity chef and restaurateur Bobby Flay goes head-to-head with cooks who have staked their claim as masters of an iconic dish. In his first-ever cookbook collaboration with Food Network, Flay shares the recipes from his popular TV show. For each episode, both Bobby’s recipe and his challenger’s are included, creating a cross-country tour of regional specialties and good-hearted competitive spirit.
-- Crown Publishing Group
From the Beer Nut’s Blog: Top 5 European beers
European brewers really like Christmas. Breweries in Belgium brew some of their best beers for this jolly time of year, while England dedicated an entire beer style - the winter warmer - to the coldest of seasons.
Last week, I gave you my top 5 American winter seasonal beers. Here's a look at my top 5 European winter seasonals, which change every year:Christmas Ale, St. Bernardus, Belgium, 10 percent alcohol by volume Christmas Ale, Corsendonk, Belgium, 8.5 percent ABV Noel, Gouden Carolus, Belgium, 10.5 percent ABV Winter Welcome Ale, Samuel Smith Old Brewery, England, 6 percent ABV N'ice Chouffe, Brasserie d'Achouffe, Belgium, 10 percent ABV
To read more from the Beer Nut, visit http://blogs.townonline.com/beernut/.
Food Quiz Answer
D. Cube steak
GateHouse News Service