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Food & Garden
2014 November
Pg 9 - The Sunshine Express
Clever Holiday Shortcuts
Entertaining done easy with 4 simple tips
(BPT) It¡¯s the season for entertaining. Between the
holidays, family gatherings and just needing an
excuse to socialize during the long winter months,
you¡¯ll probably be organizing several fun parties
and gatherings at your home.
If you¡¯re dreading the season because it feels like
entertaining is so much work, the following 4 tips
will help you make this holiday season and beyond
a breeze.
* Make lists - If you¡¯re a mobile device user, get a
list started for everything you need. Any time you
think of something, be sure to add it to the list
immediately, or send yourself a reminder email so
you can add it at a later time. These lists will help
you keep everything organized and remind you of
what you have left to achieve so you aren¡¯t scram-
bling to make an appetizer or clean the bathroom
at the last minute.
* Take short cuts - Of course you want to show
off your cooking skills, but that doesn¡¯t mean you
need to slave for hours in the kitchen preparing
foods. Intricately decorated sugar cookies are as
beautiful as they are delicious, but sometimes
simple shortcuts - like making bars rather than
cookies - can make an event much less stressful.
Here¡¯s a quick recipe from Simply Organic.
Sugar Cookie Bars
Prep time: 15 minutes
Cook time: 25 minutes
3 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
1 cup unsalted butter, softened
1 1/4 cups granulated sugar
1 egg
1 egg yolk
2 teaspoon Simply Organic vanilla extract
1/3 cup butter, softened
2 cups powdered sugar
2 tablespoons milk
1/2 teaspoon Simply Organic almond extract
Sliced almonds
Sugar Cookie Bars directions:
Lightly grease a 9x13-inch baking pan. Line with
parchment paper so the paper overhangs the
edges. In a large bowl, stir the flour with the
baking powder and salt; set aside. In a separate
bowl, beat the butter with the sugar until fluffy.
Beat in the egg, egg yolk and vanilla. Slowly add
the flour mixture until fully incorporated. Press
mixture into bottom of prepared pan. Chill for 30
minutes and preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
Bake for 25 to 30 minutes or until set in the cen-
ter and edges are lightly golden. Cool completely
before frosting.
Frosting directions:
Using an electric mixer, whip butter until light and
fluffy. Beat in powdered sugar, milk and almond
extract on low speed until smooth. Spread over
cooled cookie bars. Sprinkle with almonds. Cut
into 32 pieces.
* Ask for help - Just because you¡¯re hosting the
party doesn¡¯t mean you need to do all the work.
When issuing invitations, specify what kind of a
party it is. A potluck is great for family gatherings
and parties. Just provide a list of items people
should bring on the invite. Once the party is
underway, ask a friend to be in charge of keeping
drinks filled, and have another friend monitor the
music station, so you can enjoy the party as well.
* Keep it simple - Often the simplest food options
are the healthiest - something your guests might
appreciate during this season of indulgence. For
example, a fresh fruit or veggie tray is extremely
simple to put together, because you won¡¯t have
to spend time in front of the stove or mix ingre-
dients to bake in the oven. Continue to keep it
simple, but add trendy touch by trading out the
ranch dressing for a Greek yogurt dip or home-
made hummus made with Simply Organic sea-
soning packets for additional flavor for your fresh
fruit and veggie spread.
No matter the type of party you are hosting this
season, a few trendy touches and clever food
shortcuts will wow guests and keep them raving
long after it has ended. Above all else, have fun
and enjoy these special moments with loved ones
because the memories will last a lifetime.
Here are 6 very good reasons to eat beet roots:
1. Lowers Your Blood Pressure
2. Boosts Your Stamina
3. Fights Inflammation
4. Has Anti-Cancer Properties
5. Rich in Valuable Nutrients and Fiber
6. Detoxification Support
Eat beet greens for significant amounts of vita-
min A, C & B6, calcium, iron, protein, phospho-
rus, zinc, fiber, magnesium, potassium, copper,
and manganese. (source:
Dig Those Beets!