Elegant Appetizer Recipes for Your Holiday Party

Just because you’re throwing a holiday party at home doesn’t mean that it has to be plain and casual. Add a bit of class to this year’s soiree by serving elegant appetizers that are just as artistic as they are tasty. Here are three great ideas that are so delicious, your guests will think you had the party catered.

Baked Prosciutto and Brie with Apple Butter [Cooking Channel TV]
The salty taste of prosciutto, the gooey texture of brie, and the sweet tang of apple butter all mingle seamlessly in these appetizer toasts. Best of all, there’s no cooking involved in the preparation, so you can throw these together right before your guests arrive.

Spinach and Goat Cheese Tartlets [Food Network]
Phyllo dough is a very popular base for many types of appetizers because it’s so versatile and easy to work with, and these tartlets are a great example. The dough forms a small cup that’s filled with goat cheese, spinach, and a number of herbs and spices that’s perfectly light and cheesy omeprazole dr 20mg capsule.

Mexican Shrimp Cocktail [My Recipes]
Instead of the usual creamy shrimp dip, make this cool, refreshing alternative with an adventurous Mexican fare flavor. Serve it with tortilla chips and a freshly ground pepper garnish.

Delicious Uses for Thanksgiving Leftovers

If you’ve ever made a turkey sandwich from Thanksgiving turkey, you know that the leftovers are almost as good as the meal itself. Here are a few new ways to use Thanksgiving leftovers in creative and delicious ways.

Thanks Benedict on Stuffing Cakes with Sage Hollandaise [Food Network]
If the long name on this one leaves you scratching your head, you’ll understand once you see this breakfast dish in action. Thanksgiving stuffing is molded into small, flat cakes and toped with pancetta and poached eggs to create a new version of eggs Benedict using mostly holiday leftovers.

Cranberry Sauce Over Pound Cake A la Mode [Rachael Ray]
If your dinner guests leave behind an excess of cranberry sauce, use it as a topping on this delicious seasonal dessert. You can also use pre-packaged pound cake to make the whole thing even easier.

Turkey Banh Mi [Martha Stewart]
Instead of your usual day-after turkey sandwich, get a bit global by creating a traditional Vietnamese banh mi with the leftover Thanksgiving turkey. Top it with spicy mayonnaise, fresh cilantro and crispy vegetables and serve the whole thing on a whole wheat baguette. This sandwich is especially great for those who can’t bare another bite of the cranberry and gravy flavors of Thanksgiving dinner.

How to Extend the Life of Fresh Fruit

If you’re frustrated with always purchasing fruit only to have it turn brown and rotten in a few days, there are a few ways that you can extend the lifespan of nature’s candy. Here are just a few tried-and-true tips for preventing fruit from going bad.

  • Fruits continue to ripen when left at room temperature, and when they become overripe, that’s when we consider them rotten. To prolong the life of delicate berries, citruses, and grapes, store them in the refrigerator instead of out on the counter.
  • When fruit is moist it tends to mold or rot, so be sure to keep your fruit dry before eating it. It may seem like a good idea to wash fruit immediately after bringing it home, but it’s a better idea to leave the washing until you’re ready to eat it omeprazole 20 mg cap.
  • Fruits like apples and stone fruits (such as nectarines and peaches) produce a great deal of ethylene gas that causes other fruits and veggies to ripen more quickly, so be sure to store these away from other produce.
  • Bananas ripen at a faster pace than other fruits, so purchase them in smaller batches. Keep these out of the refrigerator as well, as the cold is too much for their delicate peel.

The Kitchn's Guide to Storing Fruits and Vegetables [The Kitchn]
Keep Fruits & Vegetables Fresher Longer [American Heart Association]
Spoiled Rotten – How To Store Fruits And Vegetables [Vegetarian Times]

How to Store Fresh Herbs

Adding fresh herbs to a dish is one of the best ways to add a bit of gourmet flair and delicious flavor, but storing those herbs is a bit trickier Visit This Link. If it seems like your colorful herbs wilt and brown within a day or two after bringing them home, use these smart tips to keep them fresh longer.

  • First things first: make sure to wash your herbs gently right after picking or purchasing them. Use a salad spinner or simply swirl them around by hand in a shallow bowl of cool, fresh water to remove dirt and debris, then allow them to dry thoroughly on an absorbent towel.
  • For resilient, hardy herbs like rosemary, thyme, and sage, store them in the refrigerator. Simply lay them lengthwise across a paper towel, roll them up and place them inside of a plastic baggie. Put the whole thing in the refrigerator and it should last for weeks to come.
  • For tender herbs like parsley, cilantro, and dill, you want to keep them well hydrated. Begin by picking off any wilted leaves, then trim off the bottoms of their stems. Place the herbs in a mason jar with about an inch of water in the bottom, then place the lid on tightly and store it in the refrigerator.
  • Store basil in a jar of water just like you would flowers in vase. Keep this out of the refrigerator in a well-lit spot.

The Best Way to Store Fresh Herbs [Serious Eats]
4 Easy Ways to Preserve Herbs [Rodale’s Organic Life]
Keeping the fresh in herbs [Sunset]

How to Eat More Fruit and Veggies Every Day

If we’re being honest, most people would say that they would much rather have a bowl of ice cream than a bowl of vegetables. If you still struggle with eating your recommended daily amount of fresh fruit and veggies, these simple tips will help make it a bit easier.

  1. Make a smoothie. To jump-start your fruit and veggie intake first thing in the morning, blend them into a smoothie to start your day. Add any fruit that you have around the house, and even toss in some spinach or cucumber for a boost of veggies that you likely won’t even notice.
  2. Keep frozen veggies on hand. If you’re unsure of how to prepare vegetables with your meal, keep a few bags of frozen vegetables in the freezer. That way, you can simply pop them into the microwave come mealtime.
  3. Think more veggies than protein. If you don’t like to weigh and measure everything that you eat, keep in mind that your vegetables should always be the largest portion on your plate.
  4. Have fruit for dessert. If you have an insatiable sweet tooth, switch out your usual chocolate for a plate of fresh fruit. It packs the same sweet punch, and by making this healthy switch, you won’t have to skip dessert entirely when you’re on a diet.

6 Easy Ways to Eat More Fruits and Vegetables [Live Science]
22 Easy Ways to Eat Fruits and Veggies Every Single Day [Organic Life]
Eat More Fruits and Vegetables [American Heart Association]

Pinterest Can Help You Lose Weight! Here’s How!

Pinterest is a social media site that operates just like a digital bulletin board, and its vast network of users proves it to be a great motivational tool to help you lose weight. Pinterest contains thousands of articles, tips, workouts, and recipes that will help you to create a weight loss plan and sustain a healthy lifestyle even after you drop those extra pounds. Here are two of Pinterest’s best weight loss boards.

Cardio Workouts
This board is packed full of fast-paced, high-energy cardio workouts that will help you to burn calories without spending hours on the treadmill. There are so many workout ideas on this board that you’ll never have to do the same routine twice, and you can pick and choose which sound the most enjoyable to you. Visit the board any time you need a bit of pre-workout motivation, or create your own version filled with only the workouts that you like.

Healthy Eating
If you struggle with eating low-calorie, nutrient-rich meals, all it takes is a bit of healthy eating inspiration to make you excited about cooking nutritious meals at home. This board is filled with mouthwatering recipes that look so delicious, you’ll forget they’re actually good for you, from chewy cookies made with fruit and oatmeal to chicken tenders dipped in a low-fat avocado dipping sauce.

How to Ensure You’re Safely Serving and Preparing Eggs

Eggs are essential ingredients in a number of dishes, but they can also be dangerous to your health if handled incorrectly. To reduce your risk of salmonella and other diseases that come from eggs, follow these important guidelines.

  1. Shop smart. The first step toward healthy egg care is inspecting your eggs in the grocery store for cracks or dirty appearance. Also be sure to only purchase eggs that are stored in a refrigerated case.
  2. Store them properly. Eggs should be stored in a clean spot in the refrigerator at 40°F or lower.
  3. Cook them thoroughly. If you’re preparing scrambled eggs or another egg dish, be sure that both the yolk and white are firm and that the egg reaches a temperature of 160°F. Never eat batter or dough containing raw eggs before it's cooked or baked.
  4. Store egg dishes properly. Dishes made of only eggs cannot be stored, so be sure to eat them immediately after cooking. If you prepare something else that contains eggs, always keep it refrigerated.
  5. Keep it clean. Even if you use the utmost care when handling eggs, it’s essential to wash your hands, cooking and prep surfaces, and any utensils thoroughly to remove any traces of eggs. Wash hands and utensils with hot, soapy water, and scrub kitchen countertops with bleach or another germ-killing product.

Playing It Safe With Eggs [FDA]
Eggs & Food Safety [Incredible Egg]
Tips to Reduce Your Risk of Salmonella from Eggs [CDC]

What Are Your Tips for Cooking the Perfect Omelet?

Omelets are seemingly simple breakfast foods that are deceptively difficult to make. If you’re all too accustomed to overcooked, broken omelets, these seven expert tips will help show you how to flip one like a pro. And if you have your own omelet cooking tips, be sure to share them!

  1. Use the proper tools. For best results, use a skillet that’s 8 or 9 inches in diameter, plus a heatproof spatula and an egg whisk.
  2. Assemble the ingredients. A standard omelet uses two or three eggs per person, as well as whichever veggies, meats, or cheeses that you prefer. Be sure to chop and prepare your toppings in advance!
  3. Add a splash of water to your eggs. Before adding the other ingredients, whisk a splash of water into the eggs. This will help ensure a light, fluffy omelet.
  4. Heat the skillet. Heat your skillet to medium-high heat and coat the bottom with unsalted butter.
  5. Add the eggs. Add just the eggs to the pan first and let the edges set for about 10 seconds. Pull the now-set edges in toward the center and rotate the pan to disperse the raw egg.
  6. Add toppings. Gently sprinkle the toppings on the surface of the eggs.
  7. Fold. Fold only one side of the omelet in toward the center. Once it’s done cooking, fold the other side by tilting the skillet. Flip the whole thing face down onto your plate to complete the perfect omelet.

How to Make the Perfect Omelet [Food Network]
How to Make the 'Perfect' French Omelet [Instructables]
How to Make an Omelet [Organic Valley]

4 Facts You Probably Didn’t Know About Tea

Whether you prefer a soothing green or an English breakfast with a splash of milk, tea is a delicious treat that can be enjoyed a number of different ways. Even the most experienced tea drinker may not know everything about this steaming beverage, so here are a few fascinating tea facts.

  1. The word “tea” comes from the Chinese word “t’e,” which refers to the plant from which tea leaves are sourced. It's believed that tea was first discovered in China around 2737 B.C., when emperor Shen Nong found that a few leaves fell from the tree into water that his servants were boiling.
  2. All teas, from black to green to oolong, come from the same camellia sinensis plant. Their leaves are plucked from the same bush, but the fermenting process gives them their unique styles. Interestingly enough, herbal teas do not come from this plant because they are not true “teas” at all.
  3. Tea wasn’t grown in countries outside of China until the 19th century. Today, China still supplies around 29 percent of the world’s total tea, although its residents are not the biggest consumers. The United Arab Emirates takes that title, with each individual citizen consuming an average of 14 pounds per year.
  4. Green tea is considered the healthiest of all teas, and some even call it a “superfood.” Studies show that regularly drinking green tea may prevent against heart disease, certain forms of cancer, and diabetes!

Tea Facts [UK Tea & Infusions Association]
10 Interesting Facts About Tea [Food Network]
Tea Fact Sheet – 2013 [Tea Association of the U.S.A. Inc.]
26 Things You Didn't Know About Tea [Fine Dining Lovers]

Think Beyond Citrus With These Surprising Sources of Vitamin C

You probably remember your parents telling you to drink orange juice as a child because it provided you with Vitamin C, but do you really understand the benefits of this miracle vitamin? Vitamin C boosts your immune system to prevent you from getting sick, and it provides beneficial antioxidants that keep you looking and feeling your best. Here are a few lesser-known sources of Vitamin C.

  1. Red bell peppers. One small red bell pepper actually provides even more Vitamin C than a cup of orange juice, and it contains only four grams of the carbohydrates that many citrus fruits are high in. In fact, a juicy bell pepper actually provides 203% of your recommended daily value of Vitamin C.
  2. Strawberries. If you want to extend your Vitamin C search to fruits outside of the citrus family, strawberries are a great option. One cup contains 97.6 milligrams of Vitamin C, which is about 130% of your daily value. Even more conveniently, the same amount of frozen strawberries offers 105.6 milligrams of beneficial C vitamins.

10 Surprising Sources of Vitamin C [Doctor Oz]
Surprising Sources of Vitamin C [d Life]

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