(Family Features) If you are looking to host an unforgettable holiday cocktail party, punch can make a memorable impression on your guests and bring your get-together to the next level.
Punch reached the height of its popularity during the Victorian Age. Originally made with alcohol, it ultimately became a non-alcoholic drink largely due to the preference of Queen Victoria. Over the following decades, it faded in popularity, briefly regaining favor in the 1920s when champagne punch was a hallmark of parties and celebrations.
Now, as new generations are reinvigorating old favorites and enjoying the art of mixology, punch is trending again.
Start by making punch a visual centerpiece at your holiday party. Consider a charming drink dispenser, an unusual punch bowl or an elegant glass pitcher. Let your personal and unique style shine through with your choice of glassware and table decorations and offer a variety of garnish selections for your guests to further personalize their glasses.
Typically, punches start with a blend of sweet and tangy, and you can get that "swangy" taste with an option like Tree Top's 100% Pure Pressed Sweet & Tart Apple Cider as a base. For inspiration, take a mixologist's approach to creating a memorable punch. Lemon, cinnamon and cloves not only spice up the flavor but can also double as decorations. Try ginger beer for a nice fizzle, and for an adult-only punch, consider adding vodka or rum.
Your punch table can be a place to gather and reconnect with loved ones while enjoying a trending holiday beverage. Find more recipes perfect for entertaining at treetop.com.
Swangy Cider Punch
Servings: 10 (8 ounces each)
- 1 bottle (64 ounces) Tree Top 100% Pure Pressed Sweet & Tart Apple Cider
- 16 ounces ginger beer
- 2 oranges, juice only
- 1 lime, juice only
- 1 lemon, juice only
- 1 cup vodka or light rum (optional)
- 1 sliced Granny Smith apple
- 6 star anise pieces, plus additional for garnish (optional)
- 6 whole cloves
- 3 cinnamon sticks
- frozen cranberries, for garnish (optional)
- colored sugars or ginger crystals, for garnish (optional)
- In punch container, combine apple cider, ginger beer, orange juice, lime juice, lemon juice and vodka or rum, if desired, for an alcoholic version.
- Decorate container with apple slices, star anise pieces, cloves and cinnamon sticks.
- Personalize each serving with additional star anise pieces, frozen cranberries and sugars or ginger crystals, as desired. Serve cold.
Photo courtesy of Alamy
Source: Tree Top
(Family Features) Although you may share a passion for a favorite sports team, not everyone has the same taste when it comes to the tailgating menu. Enter these seven dips: from a yogurt turmeric dip to spicy buffalo chicken dip, you’re sure to please nearly every game-day guest.
There won’t be any trash talk when it comes to this dip. It’s the ultimate ooey, gooey, cheesy dish that’s sure to be all the rage at game-day parties and social gatherings.
Games and wings go hand-in-hand, but you can keep hands mess-free with this alternative that combines all the flavors of savory Buffalo chicken wings in a warm, creamy dip.
Think outside the box this season with a dip that is the perfect blend of salty and sweet. Bacon, Georgia peaches, sweet onions and a brown sugar bourbon marinade are complemented by pecans for a nutty, crunchy finish.
Low-fat yogurt and milk blend with golden turmeric and cinnamon for a tangy dip just waiting for crispy dippers like pita chips and veggies.
Move over cheesy, chili dips – the tangy sweetness of orange juice, carrots and honey make for a simple dip you can feel good about devouring.
Warm up with this crowd-pleasing dip made with fresh spinach, artichoke hearts, cream cheese and Parmesan.
Simply mix together a can of black beans, chopped tomatoes and spices like chili powder and cumin for an easy dip to throw together for last-minute guests.
Sweeten up your morning with this recipe for Orange Crescent Swirls. Orange glaze drizzled over crescent roll dough then baked to perfection is exactly what your tastebuds are craving.
For more breakfast recipes, go to Culinary.net.
Orange Crescent Swirls
- 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
- 2 tablespoons butter or margarine
- 1 tablespoon grated orange peel
- 3 tablespoons orange juice
- 2 cans (8 oz each) Pillsbury™ refrigerated crescent dinner rolls
- Heat oven to 375°F. Spray 12-inch pizza pan with 1/2-inch-high sides with cooking spray. In 1-quart saucepan, mix brown sugar, butter, orange peel and juice. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until bubbly; set aside.
- Remove dough from each can in 1 long roll; do not unroll. Cut each roll into 12 slices; arrange slices, cut side down, in pan. Spoon brown sugar mixture evenly over slices.
- Bake 13 to 15 minutes or until golden brown. Serve warm.
Recipe adapted from Pillsbury.
Watch video to see how to make this recipe!
(Family Features) When it comes to balancing heart-healthy meals with appealing flavors, it’s important to lean on nutritious ingredients that pack mouthwatering taste. For example, grapes are a delicious yet subtle way to incorporate a little something extra into your diet while adding a juicy burst of flavor.
Grapes of all colors – red, green and black – can be enjoyed as a ready-to-eat, on-the-go food anytime and anywhere. Grapes are also a healthy choice, as they’re a natural source of antioxidants and other polyphenols, and contain no fat and virtually no sodium.
Because of their versatility, heart-healthy grapes can also be used as an ingredient to add fresh appeal, vibrant color and a light touch of sweetness to almost any dish, like Roasted Cod with Fennel and Grapes or Spaghetti Squash with Pesto and Grapes. For something quick and nutritious featuring fresh fruits and vegetables, try this Vegetarian Poke Bowl with tofu, fresh grapes, avocado and crunchy, raw beets and carrots.
Grape Goodness for Healthy Aging
In addition to helping maintain heart health, grapes may also play a role in healthy aging. A review of the science linking the consumption of grapes to health highlights grapes’ potential to impact many areas of health, according to research published in “Grapes and Health: A Monograph.” The evidence that grapes support heart health is well-established, and emerging research in other areas of health suggests that grapes’ ability to promote antioxidant and anti-inflammatory activities at the cellular level may also play a protective role in eye, brain and joint health, among others.
Find more recipes to make healthy eating easy at GrapesfromCalifornia.com.
Vegetarian Poke Bowl
Prep time: 20 minutes
- 5 cups cooked brown or white jasmine rice
- 2 packages (6 ounces each) extra-firm tofu, cubed
- 2 cups red California grapes, halved
- 1 avocado, pitted, peeled and thinly sliced
- 1 large golden beet, peeled and shredded
- 1 large carrot, peeled and shredded
- 2 scallions, thinly sliced
- sprinkle of toasted sesame seeds
- 6 ounces light Asian ginger-sesame salad dressing
- Divide rice between four bowls and arrange tofu, grapes, avocado, beets and carrots on top. Sprinkle with scallions and sesame seeds; serve with dressing.
Nutritional information per serving: 620 calories; 19 g protein; 101 g carbohydrates; 17 g fat (25% calories from fat); 2.5 g saturated fat (4% calories from saturated fat); 450 mg sodium; 11 g fiber.
Roasted Cod with Fennel and Grapes
Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 15 minutes
- 1 pound cod loin, cut into four equal pieces
- 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
- 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
- 1/2 teaspoon orange zest
- 1/4 teaspoon sea salt, divided
- fresh ground pepper
- 1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
- 1 tablespoon orange juice
- 1 tablespoon minced shallot
- 1/4 teaspoon ground coriander
- 1 teaspoon honey
- 1 tablespoon fresh chopped oregano
- 1 medium fennel bulb, fronds removed, chopped and reserved
- 1 cup red California grapes, halved
- Heat oven to 400° F. Arrange cod pieces in baking dish.
- In small bowl, combine 1 tablespoon olive oil with lemon juice, orange zest, 1/8 teaspoon salt and pepper. Spoon mixture onto cod in equal amounts. Bake 10-12 minutes, or until desired doneness is reached.
- While cod is baking, in small bowl, combine remaining olive oil, remaining salt, pepper, vinegar, orange juice, shallot, coriander, honey and oregano; set aside. Halve and core fennel bulb then thinly slice and place in separate bowl. Add grapes and dressing; toss to combine.
- Serve cod topped with fennel and grape salad. Garnish each serving with 1 tablespoon chopped fennel fronds.
Nutritional information per serving: 200 calories; 19 g protein; 15 g carbohydrates; 8 g fat (36% calories from fat); 1 g saturated fat (4% calories from saturated fat); 45 mg cholesterol; 240 mg sodium; 2 g fiber.
Spaghetti Squash with Pesto and Grapes
Prep time: 15 minutes
Cook time: 45 minutes
- 1 large spaghetti squash
- 1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil, divided
- 1/2 cup chopped walnuts, divided
- 2 cloves garlic
- 2 cups packed basil leaves
- 1 cup packed arugula
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon lemon zest
- 1/3 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- freshly ground pepper, to taste
- 1 cup cannellini beans, rinsed and drained
- 1 1/2 cups red California grapes, halved
- Heat oven to 400° F. Cut squash in half lengthwise and remove seeds. Using fork, poke shallow holes in skin of squash then brush with 1 tablespoon oil and place it, cut-side down, in rimmed baking dish. Bake 30-40 minutes, or until tender.
- To make pesto: In food processor, process 1/4 cup walnuts, garlic, basil, arugula, lemon juice and lemon zest until well chopped. Add remaining olive oil, Parmesan, salt and pepper; process until well blended.
- Once squash is done baking, remove from oven. Cool squash 5-10 minutes then, using fork, scrape inside flesh of squash, removing “spaghetti,” and place it in large bowl. Add pesto and beans to cooked squash and toss gently with tongs to combine. Divide equally into six bowls and top each with 1/4 cup grapes and 2 teaspoons chopped walnuts.
Nutritional information per serving: 290 calories; 7 g protein; 24 g carbohydrates; 20 g fat (62% calories from fat); 3 g saturated fat (9% calories from saturated fat); 5 mg cholesterol; 160 mg sodium; 6 g fiber.
(Family Features) When it comes to fresh fruit, watermelon is a top pick in many households.
It’s available year-round and makes for a nutritious snack, but its great taste is the reason most people buy watermelon, according to research from the National Watermelon Promotion Board.
Not only is watermelon a tasty snack by itself, it’s a great complement to other flavors, making it easy to create flavorful pairings. This sweet take on pizza combines watermelon with a host of other good-for-you ingredients for a delicious treat. Healthy enough for breakfast and sweet enough for dessert, this pizza can make its way into your weekly meal rotation.
For another nutritious option, consider this Buddha bowl featuring watermelon, which contains higher levels of lycopene, an antioxidant, than any other fresh fruit or vegetable. Watermelon is also an excellent source of vitamin C, and it provides vitamin B6 and potassium. It’s the perfect sweet addition to balance the savory flavors of this traditional plant-based Buddha bowl.
Each of these recipes leaves plenty of room for personalization; experiment with your favorite flavors to make each dish your own. Also remember that watermelon travels well, so these recipes make for ideal take-along snacks when you’re on the go.
Find more fresh, fruity recipes to enjoy any time of year at watermelon.org.
Watermelon Buddha Bowl
Citrusy Tahini Dressing:
- 3 tablespoons tahini (ground sesame seed paste)
- 1/3 cup fresh-squeezed orange juice
- 1/4 cup rice vinegar
- 1 teaspoon soy sauce
- 1 teaspoon freshly grated ginger
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 2 cups seedless watermelon, cubed
- 4 mini cucumbers, thinly sliced
- 1 cup sweet cherries, pitted and halved
- 2 avocados, sliced
- 2 cups cooked black rice
- 1 cup sliced, toasted almonds
- Citrusy Tahini Dressing
- To make Citrusy Tahini Dressing: In bowl, whisk tahini, orange juice, rice vinegar, soy sauce, ginger and salt. If dressing seems thick, add more orange juice or water to reach desired consistency.
- To arrange Buddha Bowls: Separate watermelon, cucumbers, cherries, avocados and rice in four bowls. Sprinkle with toasted almonds and drizzle with dressing. Serve immediately.
Sweet Watermelon Pizza
- Greek yogurt
- Watermelon, cut to 1-inch thick round slice
- Shredded coconut
- Berries, such as blueberries, strawberries or blackberries
- Slivered almonds
- Spread yogurt to cover fleshy part of watermelon, leaving room to hold rind. Sprinkle with coconut, mint, berries and almonds, or other toppings, as desired.
(Family Features) Berry season means colors, tastes and aromas that are sure to please. With a variety of gorgeous fresh fruits at your fingertips, why not whip up a fabulous fruit pie or tart to surprise family or share with friends? From family dinners to spur-of-the-moment picnics, pies are easy to make and easy for family and friends to appreciate.
To save time in the kitchen, start with Pillsbury Refrigerated Pie Crusts for a flaky, tender base. Just unroll it into your favorite pie plate or tart pan, spoon in a delicious fruit filling, bake and enjoy. Pillsbury has updated the packaging with a fresh, contemporary look and features a recipe for Perfect Apple Pie. For more delicious recipes, visit www.pillsbury.com/pie.
Make Crusts Extra Special
When making a top crust for pies, these tips can help you make them look extra special.
Glossy Upper Crust: Brush the dough with slightly beaten egg white (if desired, sprinkle with sugar, too) before baking.
Sweet Glazed Top: Brush the top pastry with a small amount of water, and sprinkle with granulated or coarse sugar before baking.
Pretty Cutouts: Cut shapes from the top crust with a canapé cutter or a knife before placing the top crust over the filling. With water or beaten egg, moisten the back of each cutout and set the design, moistened side down, on the crust.
Perfect Apple Pie
Prep time: 30 minutes
Ready in: 3 hours
- 1 box (14.1 ounces) Pillsbury refrigerated pie crusts, softened as directed on box
- 6 cups thinly sliced, peeled apples (6 medium)
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- Heat oven to 425°F. Place 1 pie crust in ungreased 9-inch glass pie plate. Press firmly against side and bottom.
- In large bowl, gently mix filling ingredients; spoon into crust-lined pie plate. Top with second crust. Wrap excess top crust under bottom crust edge, pressing edges together to seal; flute. Cut slits or shapes in several places in top crust.
- Bake 40 to 45 minutes or until apples are tender and crust is golden brown. Cover edge of crust with 2- to 3-inch-wide strips of foil after first 15 to 20 minutes of baking to prevent excessive browning. Cool on cooling rack at least 2 hours before serving.
Tip: Two cans (21 ounces each) apple pie filling can be substituted for the filling.
Lemon Raspberry Pie
Prep time: 45 minutes
Start to finish: 3 hours 45 minutes
- 1 Pillsbury refrigerated pie crust (from 14.1-ounce box), softened as directed on box
- 1 teaspoon flour
- 2 tablespoons finely chopped pecans
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 2 tablespoons cornstarch
- 1/2 cup water
- 2 tablespoons margarine or butter
- 1 egg yolk, beaten
- 1/4 to 1/3 cup lemon juice
- 2 3-ounce packages cream cheese, softened
- 1/4 cup powdered sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon lemon extract
- 1 8-ounce carton frozen whipped topping, thawed
- 1 tablespoon milk
- 3 cups fresh raspberries or frozen raspberries without syrup, thawed, dried on paper towels
- Mint sprigs, if desired
- Heat oven to 450°F. Prepare crust according to package directions for unfilled one-crust pie using 9-inch pie pan. Press pecans into bottom of pie crust-lined pan. Generously prick crust with fork. Bake for 9 to 11 minutes or until light golden brown. Cool completely.
- In small saucepan, combine sugar and cornstarch; blend well. Stir in water, margarine and egg yolk. Cook over medium heat until mixture boils and thickens, stirring constantly. Boil 1 minute. Remove from heat. Stir in lemon juice. Pour into cooled crust. Refrigerate 1 hour.
- In small bowl, beat cream cheese, powdered sugar and lemon extract until smooth. Beat in whipped topping at low speed until well blended. Add milk; mix until smooth and of spreading consistency. Spread thin layer of topping mixture around edge of crust. Reserve 4 raspberries for garnish. Arrange remaining raspberries over top of filling. Spread remaining topping over raspberries. Garnish with mint sprigs and reserved raspberries. Refrigerate 2 hours before serving. Store in refrigerator.
Fresh Berry Cream Tart
Prep time: 15 minutes
Start to finish: 2 hours 55 minutes
- 1 Pillsbury refrigerated pie crust (from 14.1-ounce box), softened as directed on box
- 1 8-ounce package cream cheese, softened
- 1/3 cup sugar
- 1 tablespoon orange-flavored liqueur or orange juice
- 4 cups assorted fresh whole berries (small strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, and/or blackberries)
- 1/3 cup red currant jelly, melted
- Heat oven to 450°F. Prepare pie crust as directed on package for one-crust baked shell using 9-inch tart pan with removable bottom. Bake for 9 to 11 minutes or until light golden brown. Cool completely.
- In small bowl, combine cream cheese, sugar and liqueur; beat until smooth and well blended. Spread cream cheese mixture evenly in cooled baked shell. Top with berries; brush berries with melted jelly to glaze. Refrigerate at least 2 hours before serving. Store in refrigerator.
What does it mean for your family’s health?
(Family Features) Sugars are one of the most important health conversations today. A diet filled with too many added sugars is associated with weight gain, type 2 diabetes and heart disease. According to the 2005-2010 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, the average American consumes an average of 20 teaspoons a day, significantly more than the 6-9 teaspoons recommended daily by the American Heart Association.
Sugar can mean different things to different people, which not only adds to the confusion, but can quickly derail even your best intentions as you try to make the right choices for your family.
The difference between added and naturally occurring sugars
Many nourishing foods such as fruits, vegetables, certain whole grains and dairy products contain what are known as naturally occurring sugars; these are simple carbohydrates that are naturally present in a food’s biological structure. For example, the lactose found in milk is a sugar, as is the fructose in fruit.
In contrast, added sugars are those sugars or sweeteners you add in your kitchen – adding sugar or honey to a recipe or onto your breakfast cereal, for example – as well as sugars and sweeteners that are added to a variety of products by food manufacturers. Added sugars are often used to enhance taste and flavor, of course, but can also be included for other reasons, such as to prevent spoiling – think summer jams – or assist in fermentation, such as in baking.
“Working with the Florida Department of Citrus, I’ve seen firsthand how much confusion there is around this topic for many families,” said registered dietitian Kate Geagan, author of “Go Green Get Lean.” “Yet while too many added sugars can fill your diet with ‘empty calories,’ naturally occurring sugars are found in some of nature’s most nutrient-rich packages, delivering a bevy of benefits such as vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and more.”
An 8-ounce glass of 100 percent orange juice, for instance, has no added sugar. Beyond being an excellent source of vitamin C, it’s a good source of folate, especially important for women of childbearing age, as well as potassium, a vital mineral which helps nerves and muscles communicate and can help offset the effects of too much sodium in the diet. In fact, the FDA recently announced it will add potassium to the Nutrition Facts Panel because many Americans are falling short.
The benefits don’t stop there, though. A glass of 100 percent orange juice also delivers magnesium, vitamin A and niacin. Plus, it’s a significant source of hesperidin, an antioxidant that research suggests may have heart, blood pressure and cognition benefits, as well as reduce inflammation and oxidation. Furthermore, one glass counts as one serving (1 cup) of fruit to help you meet the 1.5-2 cups per day recommended by the Dietary Guidelines for Americans.
How much added sugar is too much?
A delicious, vibrant eating plan that you can stick with for the long haul doesn’t mean you can’t ever consume added sugar, but it is about cutting back for most Americans – especially for groups with the highest intakes, such as adolescents and men – and replacing those calories with nutrient-rich foods.
The most recent Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommend limiting added sugar intake to a maximum of 10 percent of total calories each day, or 200 calories of a 2,000 calorie diet, which matches guidelines from the World Health Organization and the American Heart Association.
Clearing up food label confusion
In May 2016, the FDA announced a revamped Nutrition Facts Panel that includes, among other improvements, clearly listing added sugars on their own line for the first time.
Up until now, both added and naturally occurring sugars have been lumped together under one “sugars” line, making it vexing for the average eater to determine how much sugar is naturally occurring versus added, especially given the dozens of different names for sweeteners that manufacturers often use. When this change hits supermarket shelves, families will be able to more easily spot foods and beverages that contain little to no added sugar.
In addition to highlighting added sugars and potassium, the Nutrition Facts Panel will now more accurately reflect serving sizes that Americans actually eat and drink. Also, packages that are reasonably consumed in a single sitting will no longer get a free ride using smaller serving sizes and listing multiple “servings” per bag, container or can.
For best results, focus on filling your diet with an abundance of naturally nutrient-rich foods and shift to a diet that includes plenty of plant foods. For more recipes using Florida orange juice, visit floridacitrus.org.
Homemade Orange Granola
- 1 1/2 cups quick cooking oatmeal
- 1 cup chopped walnuts
- 1/2 cup sliced almonds
- 1/4 cup sunflower seeds or pumpkin seeds
- 1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
- 1 cup 100 percent Florida orange juice, divided
- 3 tablespoons canola oil
- 2 tablespoons honey
- 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1/2 cup dried cranberries
- Heat oven to 325° F. Spray baking sheet with non-stick cooking spray.
- In large bowl, combine oatmeal, walnuts, almonds, sunflower seeds and cinnamon; mix well. Drizzle in 1/3 cup orange juice; stir well to evenly coat oatmeal mixture.
- Repeat twice more, stirring after each addition of orange juice.
- In small bowl, combine oil, honey and vanilla; stir well to combine. Drizzle oil mixture over oatmeal mixture; stir well to coat oatmeal mixture.
- Spread oatmeal mixture on prepared baking sheet in even layer. Bake 30 minutes, stirring every 10 minutes, to evenly brown granola.
- Remove from oven, add cranberries and cool completely. Store in airtight container up to one week.
Serving suggestion: For a morning parfait, serve homemade orange granola with milk or a dollop of plain Greek yogurt. Add in sliced fruit for extra color.
Sloppy O Joes
- 9 ounces lean ground turkey
- 1/2 large minced onion
- 1 small red bell pepper, minced
- 1 teaspoon cumin seed, ground
- 1 teaspoon coriander seed, ground
- 1 cup Florida orange juice
- 1 cup organic tomato juice
- 1 large sweet potato, baked and diced
- 4 whole wheat dinner rolls
- In medium saute pan, saute ground turkey over medium heat until cooked thoroughly. Remove turkey; reserve.
- Saute onion until translucent. Add red pepper, cumin and coriander; saute for 1 minute then add orange juice. Cook until orange juice is reduced by two-thirds; add tomato juice and cooked turkey.
- Cook until tomato juice has reduced by two-thirds then add diced baked sweet potato and stir until combined.
- Split dinner rolls in half; spoon turkey mixture in center. Serve immediately.
Source: Florida Department of Citrus
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 3/4 cup 2% Plain Chobani
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 egg
- 3/4 cup orange juice
- 1 tablespoon grated orange zest
- 1 1/2 cups fresh cranberries
- 1/2 cup walnuts, lightly toasted and chopped coarsely
- Preheat oven to 350°F. Spray 9 x 5-inch loaf pan with nonstick spray. In medium bowl, combine dry ingredients. Set aside.
- In large bowl, mix together Chobani and sugar. Add egg and combine. Stir in orange juice. Add dry mixture to wet mixture. Mix only until just combined. Carefully, fold in orange zest, cranberries and walnuts. Pour into prepared pan.
- Bake for 1 hour or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean. Cool in pan on wire rack for 10 minutes. Carefully invert pan to remove, and finish cooling on rack.
- Wrap in plastic and foil. This bread is extra delicious on the second day.
Total Fat: 3.5g
Yield: 10 (3/4-inch) slices