GHNS' weekly Food for Thought with holiday tips from Mrs. Claus, an easy appetizer recipe, and a year-round holiday cookbook.
If you think you're busy this time of year, imagine how busy the first lady of holiday cheer can be. Not only does she help the big guy get ready for Christmas, but she makes sure everyone in the North Pole has a memorable holiday season. From hosting parties to keeping the elves happy and healthy, this joyful time of year is also her busiest.
For a holiday season filled with joy and laughter, Mrs. Claus shared her favorite ways to make lasting memories with your little ones.
Letters to Santa: Santa loves receiving letters from children. Encouraging your kids to write to Santa provides a great opportunity to teach them how to spell, compose written text and allows them to practice handwriting. For younger kids who haven't started reading or writing, encourage them to draw pictures, instead.
Leave something special: Making a snack for Santa with your little helpers offers an extra opportunity to spend time together creating memories that will last a lifetime. Think beyond the cookie tray and personalize your treats just for him. One of Santa's favorites is Kellogg's Rice Krispies Tree Trimmer Treats.
Holiday cheer: Make decorating the house a fun event for the whole family. Engage your kids in holiday crafts to display on the mantle and make sure everyone has ornaments to hang on the tree.
Rudolph roadmap: Make sure Santa and his reindeer can find your house. Sprinkle a mixture of oats and glitter on your front yard to help guide them right to your home — even if it gets a little foggy.
Rice Krispies Tree Trimmer Treats Recipe
Yields 12 servings
12 (6-inch lengths) red or black string licorice
12 miniature marshmallows
3 T butter or margarine
1 package (10 ounces, about 40) regular marshmallows or 4 cups miniature marshmallows
6 cups Kellogg's Rice Krispies cereal
M&M's brand chocolate candies
Fold each licorice piece in half and push ends through centers of 12 miniature marshmallows. Set aside. In large saucepan melt butter over low heat. Add 10 ounces marshmallows and stir until completely melted. Remove from heat. Add cereal. Stir until well coated. Using 1/2-cup measuring cup coated with cooking spray, divide warm cereal mixture into 12 portions. Using buttered hands shape each portion into ornament shape around licorice ends. Cool. Decorate with frosting and candies. Best if served the same day.
Tip of the Week: Add more vegetables to your day
Cook fresh or frozen vegetables in the microwave for a quick-and-easy dish to add to any meal. Steam green beans, carrots or broccoli in a bowl with a small amount of water in the microwave for a quick side dish.
Easy recipe: Crispy Garlic Shrimp Skewers
Total time: 30 minutes
Makes: 32 appetizers
6 T extra virgin olive oil, divided
2 T fresh lemon juice, divided
1 egg white
2 large cloves garlic, minced
32 raw medium shrimp, shelled and deveined (about 1 1/4 pounds)
1 t finely chopped fresh dill or parsley
1/2 t grated lemon peel
Dash salt, optional
3/4 cup panko bread crumbs
1/3 cup finely shredded pecorino or Parmesan cheese
16 pitted large green olives
16 pitted large ripe olives
32 grape tomatoes
1/2 medium cucumber, sliced lengthwise and cut into 32 pieces
32 (4 to 6-inch) appetizer skewers
Heat oven to 475 degrees F.
Blend 3 tablespoons olive oil, 1 tablespoon lemon juice, egg white and garlic in small bowl. Add shrimp; toss to coat; set aside.
Blend remaining 3 tablespoons olive oil, 1 tablespoon lemon juice, dill, lemon peel and salt in small bowl. Set aside.
Mix bread crumbs and cheese on waxed paper; dredge shrimp to coat evenly. Place in single layer on baking sheet. Bake 8 to 12 minutes or until light golden and thoroughly cooked. Gently loosen shrimp from baking sheet; cool 1 to 2 minutes.
Thread a single shrimp, olive, tomato and cucumber piece on each skewer. Serve immediately drizzled with olive oil mixture.
Tip: Rub bread crumbs and cheese between your palms to create a uniform, consistent mixture. The mixture will adhere more evenly to the shrimp.
-- Family Features
What is the name of the unleavened bread traditionally eaten throughout Passover/Pesach?
Answer is at the bottom of the rail.
Wise to the Word: Kecap Manis
Often referred to as "Indonesian soy sauce," Kecap Manis is a syrupy, dark brown sauce sweetened with palm sugar and seasoned with things like garlic and star anise. Used as a condiment and for marinating dishes like satay (and ribs), Kecap Manis is generally a little sweeter than soy sauce, but you can use the two interchangeably.
Number to Know
29: percent of U.S. adult drinkers who reported binge drinking within the past month, usually on multiple occasions. According to the USDA, this results in about 1.5 billion episodes of binge drinking in the United States each year.
The Dish On ...
"Gooseberry Patch Big Book of Holiday Cooking: Celebrate all year-round with favorite family recipes," by Gooseberry Patch
Celebrate the holidays with Gooseberry Patch's biggest collection of holiday recipes throughout the entire year. Loyal fans of Gooseberry Patch and new readers alike will delight in this must-have cookbook with delicious home-cooked holiday meals to celebrate with family and friends. With over 400 recipes, Gooseberry Patch Big Book of Holiday Cooking is a must-have for every cook looking for home-cooked inspiration for their favorite holidays — from Thanksgiving to Christmas to July 4th celebrations.
Food Quiz answer
B. Matzah. Matzah is eaten throughout Passover to honor the Jews who left Egypt in such a hurry that they had no time to leaven their bread.
GateHouse News Service