Cranberries: One of the
Season's Most Nutritious
Delicacies

With a gorgeous color and a powerful
punch of flavor, cranberries are...

read more

Holiday Decorating Tips

We all have that vision - your
house, immaculately clean and
perfectly decorated with
Christmas music playing in the
background and a fire crackling...

read more

Cranberries: One of the Season's Most Nutritious Delicacies

With a gorgeous color and a powerful punch of flavor, cranberries are an unbeatable winter treat. They can add a bit of zing to nearly any recipe - from breads and beverages, to sauces, soups and salads. Here are some ideas cranberry tidbits from the Wisconsin State Cranberry Growers Association.

  1. The cranberry is nutrition powerhouse! It is high in fiber, has just 25 calories per 1/2 cup and is a good source of vitamin C. Cranberries are also low in sodium and contain vitamins A and B, calcium, phosphorus and iron.
  2. When shopping for cranberries, look for firm, plump berries with a lustrous color. You'll find fresh cranberries in the produce section from September through December. They freeze well, so buy extra and put them in the freezer. They keep in the freezer for up to nine months.
  3. Fresh cranberries will keep in the refrigerator for up to four weeks. Wash berries only when ready to use.
  4. You can substitute frozen cranberries in most recipes calling for fresh. No need thaw.
  5. To prepare cranberries for cooking, sort out bruised, soft or shriveled berries and discard. Rinse remaining berries in cold water.
  6. Cook cranberries by boiling gently in water and waiting until the berries "pop" (when the outer skin expands until it bursts).
  7. Each 12-ounce bag of cranberries yields about 3 cups.

Here are some quick and easy ideas for incorporating cranberries into your diet.

  • Mix a little cranberry juice with hot apple cider for a great fall beverage.
  • Add a half cup (or more) of chopped cranberries to your favorite quick bread or muffin recipe.
  • Chopped cranberries add flavor and color to any stuffing mix. They are especially tasty in sausage cornbread stuffing!
  • Add a kick to baked apples by filling the apple center with cranberries and a dash of brown sugar and cinnamon.
  • Add zest and moisture to your meatloaf by adding a 1/4 cup of prepared cranberry sauce (per pound of ground meat) before baking.
  • Add one cup of whole cranberries to your favorite two-crust apple pie for a rosy red color and a sweet/tart taste.

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Ten Tips for Avoiding Holiday Weight Gain

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Profile: Debra Curry

It was just over a year ago when
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Holiday Decorating Tips

We all have that vision - your house, immaculately clean and perfectly decorated with Christmas music playing in the background and a fire crackling in the fireplace, ready for the holiday guests to arrive. Unfortunately, reality is often very different. This holiday season rather than stressing out by trying to bring a grandiose plan to life, focus instead on a few small touches that will have a big impact.

Here are ten easy ideas and tips from our friends at HGTV.

1. Stay with one theme and style for your holiday decorating. It makes shopping for decor easier and makes your space feel professionally finished.

2. Let your nose know it's the holiday season. Place potpourri and scented candles near your entry and throughout your house. Or, better yet, bake some cookies shortly before guests arrive.

3. Choose two to three colors for your holiday palette and keep it consistent. Multiple color palettes can be too distracting. Try silver, blue and white or red, gold and brown.

4. Create an inexpensive family tradition that involves the kids. Purchase a ready-made wreath of greens then gather items to decorate it. Use pine cones, ribbons, crystals, feathers, beaded garland or homemade paper snowflakes.

5. Give your space a different look and feel for this special time of year. Rearrange your furniture so the focal point is the fireplace or wherever you hang stockings. If you don't have a fireplace, arrange the furniture to create the best layout for cozy conversations.

6. Colored lights can be costly if you change your color palette from year to year. Stick with white lights; they can be used with any color scheme.

7. Start investing in a collection - something that can continue to grow through the years and can be passed on to the next generation. Check out online auction sites for vintage decorations.

8. Use lots of candles (including the battery operated, no-flame kind!). Nothing makes a room feel warmer and more inviting than candlelight.

9. Bring the holiday celebration into every room. Kitchens and bathrooms are a great place to put smaller seasonal knickknacks.

10. The holiday season is definitely one time where "less is more" does NOT apply. Have fun and do it up big.

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