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EatingWell Blogs (Page 247)

December 16, 2009 - 10:44am

I love going all out for the holidays, but what I don’t love is being stuck in the kitchen at my own party. I used to think I had to slave away like Martha to be the hostess with the mostest. But the truth is the best parties are the impromptu ones, when you can whip up a few finger foods, shake up some cocktails and mingle with your friends all night long. (Get 7 expert tips for easy holiday entertaining here.)

The 6 practically instant appetizers below and these 3 helpful tips are my secret weapons for the best party ever, without a lot of work:

Tip 1. Save money on booze. Most...

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December 14, 2009 - 1:38pm

’Tis the season of eggnog, Christmas cookies and decadent holiday drinks from Starbucks—at least in my house. ’Tis also the season when Americans put on half of our annual weight gain—two pounds a year—so give or take a pound between Thanksgiving and New Year’s. (Find out my secrets to putting off the holiday pudge here.)

It’s no wonder our waistlines expand when you see just how calorie- and fat-laden some of our favorite holiday foods are (check them out below). And for those who refuse to give up those holiday favorites (for my husband, it’s eggnog and for me it’s holiday cookies!), try some of the healthier versions I suggest below.

1. Eggnog: One recipe...

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December 14, 2009 - 12:07pm

I come from a long line of holiday-cookie bakers. My great-grandma baked oodles of cookies each year for the grand cookie platter that served as the only dessert on Christmas Day. My mom started her own cookie-baking tradition when she got married 30-plus years ago. On Thanksgiving weekend we’d pick out all the holiday cookie recipes she was going to make and then for weeks she baked one kind of cookie a day. She hit her peak when my sister, Jennie, and I were kids, baking 1,000 cookies or more each holiday season, at least 100 of each variety. Crazy, huh?

While I’m not going to bake quite that many cookies this year, today marks the last 12 days before Christmas and I plan to bake one cookie recipe a day until the big day!...

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December 11, 2009 - 12:17pm

The other night on my drive home, I heard something on National Public Radio that really got under my skin. Some schools across the country are outlawing flavored milk. And crusading for the cause is Ann Cooper, who I must admit, I generally respect as a school-lunch-reform maven: she called chocolate milk "soda in drag." Cooper, Nutrition Services Director for Boulder Valley School District, has outlawed flavored milk from her district, just one of many other schools to do so. (Enough have banned the drink to prompt the dairy industry to rally the many pediatricians and dietitians who vehemently oppose the ban on chocolate milk for a new campaign called Raise Your Hand for Milk...

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December 10, 2009 - 10:58am

I have a tight budget for Christmas this year, but my gift giving isn’t going to suffer. All it takes is little creativity to put together some holiday gifts from the kitchen. This way, I can get into the spirit of giving by delivering healthy homemade gifts that everyone appreciates without worrying too much about blowing my budget.

One of my favorite kitchen gifts to give is pasta sauce—every year I make a huge batch, divide it up into jars and give it to friends and family with storage instructions and a few ideas for how to use it. This year I’m going to make Salsa alla Capricciosa; for more ideas, check out these...

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