When celebrating the New Year, you need some good beverages to serve your friends and family. I am giving you a couple of easy to make and great to drink beverages.
For those of us who don't do alcohol (for health or other reasons), I am posting a mock champagne. It was so good that I have been sipping it all day long.
1 qt. apple juice
2 2 liter bottles of ginger ale
few drops of red food coloring
frozen decorative ice cubes (if you like) Just freeze ice with cherries or olives or mint or whatever you like in the center
Mix apple juice and ginger ale right before serving. Add a few drops of food coloring to make the mixture a light pink. Put ice in glasses and add "champagne". serve with appetizer or dinner or just toast in the new year with it. Make sure to keep it in an airtight container so that the bubbles don't disappear.
Mix equal parts of frozen lemonade and grape juice together with the amount of water called for on each container. My grandchildren love this drink with nothing else in it, but you can add ginger ale in place of some of the water to give it a holiday flair.
2 C crispy cereal squares (choose organic)
2 C low sodium or salt-free mixed nuts
1 C dried cherries
1 C dried cranberries
1 C dried blueberries
1 C dark chocolate chips
Simply combine all ingredients and serve. Store leftovers in an airtight container.
When I was growing up, my mother always made mince pie for Christmas. My brothers and I didn't like it. After I was married, I remembered and thought I would try to bake one and maybe I would like it more as a grown up. Fortunately, I found the recipe below. It is so good.
2/3 C prepared mincemeat
1/2 C brown sugar
3 T cornstarch
1 C chopped pecans
1 C orange juice
Combine ingredients in a large bowl and stir. Put in a 9 inch crust. Roll top crust, cutting slits for steam to escape. Any small cookie cutter will make a nice design.
What do you do with that leftover turkey carcass--turn it into soup. Click the picture to get the recipe for tasty turkey soup. We made this after Thanksgiving. If you have a turkey for Christmas, that will give you some nice soup and you can relax from all that holiday cooking.
Ingredients and directions:
cube from 1/4 to 1/2 of your red watermelon
Cube and add about 1 1/2 cups of yellow watermelon
Cube and add 1/2 a good sized cantaloupe
Add two cups red or green grapes
Chop and add 1 or two nectarines (I use one large one)
optional: 1 cup chopped plums and 1 cup pineapple and 1 to 2 bananas
If I am going to save some salad to make smoothies, I don't add bananas at
this time as they can get mushy.
Mix all the fruit together in a large bowl. Juice one good sized orange and add juice to the fruit. Stir well. If you make the salad an hour before dinner, it will have a nice juice. You can add bananas about 15 minutes before serving.
Fruit Salad Smoothie
This smoothie is so simple to prepare. Just scoop the desired amount of leftover watermelon fruit salad into the blender container.
Add 1 banana and 1 cup of crushed ice. Add 1 T chia seeds and 1 T flax seed if you like. Blend to desired consistency and enjoy.
This smoothie is not thick. It is more like juice.
The fourth of July is a good time for a family get together. We will soon be outside enjoying the fireworks and relaxing. We chose to fix fajitas with black beans, vegetables and rice. With the men barbecuing and the women preparing the vegetables, it doesn't take long to have a meal ready.
You will need a metal basket similar to the one pictured above. Cut the peppers into strips. We used red, orange, yellow and green peppers and large onions which we cut into triangles.
1. Pour olive oil into a large bowl. Add Mrs. Dash seasoning. We chose Southwest chipotle flavor. Mrs. Dash seasonings have no msg or salt. They are a healthy choice. Then add some crushed red pepper. Stir together and add peppers. Toss to coat well
2. Place peppers in metal pan and cook on your barbecue with the cover down until tender. For the fajitas we barbecued flank steak and chicken and then sliced it with an electric knife into thin strips. Place the fajitas in a dish on your buffet table or counter. Serve with some Mexican rice, beans and toppings that your family enjoys. Don't forget fresh, crisp vegetables. You can feed a a good number of people with not much work and it is delicious. Use paper plates for minimal clean up.
holiday eating can be very challenging. When you have been eating healthy foods for months all of a sudden it is the holidays which are full of fattening and cholesterol laden traditions. Candy, cookies, processed foods. There are so many temptations. The good news is, you can cook a tasty and nutritious dinner for your family. Christmas, Thanksgiving, New Years, Easter, Fourth of July in the U.S. Every country has special holidays with special foods.
For the children (and some adults I know) Christmas is always coming. The day after Christmas, someone will start the countdown for next year, on Facebook of course.
1. Buy a natural turkey.
You will sometimes need to shop around for a good turkey. Choose a turkey which has not been injected with anything. Look for labels saying 100% natural. If you live close to a whole food store, that is the best place to buy your turkey. Some turkeys in the grocery stores have been frozen for months before they are put on display as natural. Those are a better choice than the injected ones, but fresh-never frozen are what to look for.
2. Replace bread with cornbread in your dressing.
I always make cornmeal dressing with homemade cornbread. If you buy your cornmeal at a whole food or health food store, look for non genetically modified varieties. Read the labels.
You can also make your own cornmeal by grinding pop corn. Grinding corn in a blender can pit your jar and discolor it. If you have an extra blender container jar, you can relegate one to grinding whole grains and have a jar that is not pitted as well. Be sure to use non genetically modified popcorn.
3. Instead of canned vegetables, use fresh or frozen
4. sweet potatoes are a traditional part of most family's holiday meals. Use maple syrup instead of sugar or a little honey. Sweet potatoes contain many nutrients. Instead of marshmallows on top put pecans or walnuts. Very tasty.
5.Pumpkin is another treat you do not need to give up. Use alternative sweeteners and alternative milk. you can leave the crust off and it will still be delicious. Or you can use tapioca flour or nut flour in the crust. A pecan crust is tasty. Fresh pumpkin is easy to use, but Libby's canned pumpkin seems to have no preservatives or additives so it appears to be a good choice.
3. Steam covered for 10 to 15 minutes, until tender.
4. Add about 2 T butter cut up. Stir until butter melts. Cut into smaller pieces if you like
5. Pour on 1/3 to 12 c syrup and stir. You may chop sweet potatoes smaller if you like. It is now ready to eat or bake for a while to blend the flavors and thicken the syrup. Bake about 10 to 20 minutes at 325 degrees stirring occasionally.
6. Sprinkle with pecans and serve.
Tips for above dish: Use grade B maple syrup for the best flavor. Grade A works, but grade B makes this much nicer. You can also use honey or a combination of honey and maple syrup. I usually order maple syrup online as it is a little cheaper and you can get larger quantities. I use a lot of maple syrup in my kitchen.
It has long been a tradition in the south to eat black eyed peas on New Years Day to bring good luck throughout the year. I am from California, but have lived in Texas long enough that it seems best to eat those black eyed peas each New Years day. The tradition evidently began after the civil war when food was scarce.
Centuries ago, the Sephardic Jews ate black eyed peas as a part of Rosh Hashanah. This were said to bring good fortune. This tradition may have come to America with Jewish families who settled in the south.
Black eyed peas are an extremely healthy food. In just 1/2 cup of peas, you get:
As with all foods high in fiber, these beans are good for lowering cholesterol as well as for bringing you luck in the year to come.
Sort and rinse the peas, then add to the crock pot with remaining ingredients. Cook until peas are soft.
Some people add bacon or ham which gives a great flavor, but is not so great for your cholesterol. If you use bacon, be sure to fry it first so some of the fat is cooked out. You may also add chopped green peppers and other vegetables of your choice. Serve with a fresh salad and cornbread. Good luck will be yours - or so they say- if you eat this meal on New Year's day.
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