Woman showing a healthy heart

Heart Healthy Recipes

Following a heart-healthy diet doesn’t mean cutting flavor from your dishes, in fact increasing the amount of herbs you use while decreasing sodium can actually bring more flavor and excitement to the meals you prepare. We’ve rounded up three of our favorite heart-healthy recipes that are quick to prepare and that don’t require expert level culinary skills.

Salmon with vegetables.

Salmon with Grape Tomatoes and Green Beans

Ingredients:

  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 lb fresh green beans
  • 1 pt grape tomatoes
  • ½ cup pitted kalamata olives
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • Himalayan pink salt
  • Black pepper (cracked or ground)
  • 1 skinless salmon filet

Heat oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit. In a large bowl, toss together the garlic, green beans, grape tomatoes and olives with one tablespoon of olive oil and add black pepper to taste. Transfer vegetables coated vegetables to a large baking sheet and roast in preheated oven until vegetables are tender and just beginning to brown, about 12 to 15 minutes. While the vegetables are roasting, heat the remaining tablespoon of olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Season the salmon filet with Himalayan pink salt and black pepper. Place salmon in skillet and cook until golden brown and opaque throughout, about four to five minutes per side. Move vegetables and salmon to a serving dish and enjoy.

Turkey soup

Turkey and Kale Soup with Quinoa and Garbanzo Beans

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup dry quinoa
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 lb ground turkey
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 cup onion, diced
  • 2 tablespoons fresh sage, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons fresh rosemary, chopped
  • 3 (14 oz) cans vegetable broth
  • ¾ cup water
  • 1 (15 oz) can garbanzo beans, drained and rinsed
  • ⅓ cup tomato paste
  • 2 cups kale, chopped
  • Sea salt and black pepper to taste

Heat olive oil in a large soup pot, then add turkey, garlic and onion. Cook over medium heat until onion is soft and turkey is browned. Add sage and rosemary and stir to combine, but do not allow herbs to brown. Pour vegetable broth, water, garbanzo beans and tomato paste into the pot and bring to a boil. Once boiling, add kale and quinoa. Simmer until kale is tender and quinoa is cooked. Season with salt and black pepper to taste.

Spaghetti

Spaghetti With Roasted Tomatoes

Ingredients:

  • 12 oz whole grain spaghetti
  • 6 cups cherry tomatoes
  • 6 cloves garlic, minced
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • Sea salt and black pepper
  • ½ cup fresh herbs of your choice, chopped (we recommend basil, rosemary and chives)
  • Parmigiano Reggiano to top

Heat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Cook pasta according to directions on package. When done, drain and return to pot. On a rimmed baking sheet, toss cherry tomatoes with garlic, two tablespoons of olive oil, salt and pepper to taste. Place tomatoes in oven and roast, tossing once, until they begin to burst, about 20 to 25 minutes. Add roasted tomatoes, fresh herbs and one tablespoon olive oil. Grate or shave Parmigiano Reggiano on top just before serving.

These three heart-healthy recipes are absolutely perfect for beginners and won’t have you standing in the kitchen all night to prepare a healthy, delicious meal. Experiment with different vegetables and herbs to add even more flavor to your heart-healthy foods.

Woman eating berries

Best Foods for Anti-Aging

Aging is inevitable, but you can prolong your life and improve your quality of life by keeping a healthy lifestyle. Your health is influenced by many things like stress, sleep and activity level, but one of the most important factors is the food you consume. A healthy, nutritious diet not only helps to control weight and keep you full of necessary vitamins and minerals, there are many studies suggesting that there are certain foods you can eat to help slow down the aging process. Below, find five of our favorite foods for anti-aging.

Avocado

Avocados
This green fruit (yes, it’s technically a fruit) is an incredible addition to your diet when you want to fight aging because it contains fat. Specifically, it contains a beneficial type of fat known as monounsaturated fats. Monounsaturated fat is minuscule and as such, it can slip through membranes and provide you with protection from free radical damage. Additionally, avocados may also help to increase your bone density due to the presence of the mineral boron, which helps to absorb calcium. Avocado contains about 14 grams of fiber, which expedites the removal of harmful toxins that can speed up the aging process.

Whole wheat bread

Whole Grains
Whole grains are an important component of an anti-aging diet because they contain several health benefits that become increasingly important as you age. By affecting the rate at which your arteries age, whole grains can help to reduce your risk of cardiovascular disease. Whole grains are processed more slowly than processed grains, so they help prevent high blood sugar and diabetes by keeping blood sugar levels more steady for longer periods of time.

Fish

Fish
A staple of the famous anti-aging regime, the Mediterranean diet, fish is an excellent way to provide your body with nourishment and some serious heart health benefits. Studies conducted thirty years ago indicated that native Inuit of Alaska were impressively free of heart disease and scientists attribute this to the extraordinary amount of fish that Inuits consume. Omega-3 fatty acids are found in abundance in fish and these fatty acids prevent cholesterol from building in the arteries and protect against irregular heart rhythms. Additionally, those who consume fish regularly have a lower risk of stroke and Alzheimer’s disease.

Olive oil

Olive Oil
Another essential in the Mediterranean diet is olive oil. Like the avocado, olive oil contains monounsaturated fats, but it also contains other significantly beneficial ingredients that fight aging and age-related diseases. The monounsaturated fats in olive oil have anti-inflammatory properties, which help reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease and cancer. Antioxidants and polyphenols in olive oil also help to slow cognitive decline as you are.

Dark chocolate

Dark Chocolate
Proving that you can enjoy dessert while improving your health, dark chocolate, in moderation, is another food to add to your anti-aging grocery list. Cocoa, the main ingredient in dark chocolate, is full of helpful flavonoids and antioxidants. According to a study published on PubMed.gov, “the body of short-term randomized feeding trials suggests cocoa and chocolate may exert beneficial effects on cardiovascular risk via effects on lowering blood pressure, anti-inflammation, anti-platelet function, higher HDL, decreased LDL oxidation. Meanwhile, the large body of prospective studies of flavonoids suggests the flavonoid content of chocolate may reduce risk of cardiovascular mortality.”

The foods you choose to put into your body have a direct impact on not only your current health, but your future health as well. Eating foods that fight aging help you achieve your maximum potential right now and can help you decrease your risks for major aging concerns including brain function and cardiovascular disease. Construct a diet that includes plenty of fresh produce, lean protein, whole grains and healthy fats and use some of our favorite foods for anti-aging as a guide.

Woman having lunch

Eat Like a Supermodel

It’s no secret that the world’s top supermodels train hard to keep in shape, but exercise is only part of the equation to their enviable bodies. Supermodels also are very intentional about what foods go into their bodies, making sure that they are eating foods that are high in vitamins and nutrients. With just three tips, you can eat like a supermodel and truly nourish your body.

Start Your Morning Right
Many supermodels begin their day by drinking warm water with lemon. “Hot water with lemon to start the day, it’s really good and it stimulates the digestive systems,” says Australian supermodel Miranda Kerr. Vanessa Packer of modelFIT, the New York City gym used by models like Karlie Kloss, Martha Hunt and Miranda Kerr, is also an advocate of beginning the morning with light foods. “Begin your day with warm water and lemon followed by a juice or smoothie, which will boost alkalinity [aka your body’s best natural pH for your cells to thrive], give you energy with raw and living vitamins and minerals, and will hydrate you and prep you for the day ahead.”

Stop Counting Calories
“I never count calories. I base my meal plans and system of eating on seasonality, alkalinity and food combining,” says Packer. Victoria’s Secret Angel Candice Swanepoel agrees. “I eat whatever I want, but to me it needs to be healthy – I always think about what sort of vitamins are in the food and what it’s giving my body…I make sure I eat a lot of protein, carbohydrates, good sugars and good fats.” Eliminating calorie counting isn’t a license to go crazy, you still need to be thoughtful about what foods you are eating to make sure you’re filling your body with essential vitamins, minerals and other nutrients.

Woman eating protein bar.

Snack Smart
Kate Upton swears by her daily snacks of 10 raw almonds, green juice and protein bars. Vanessa Packer advises her model clients about snacking saying, “I’m not a big snacker because I think it’s important to sit down and enjoy a meal; your body responds better to that. However, if you are a gal on the go, try packing some crudite with hummus or smashed avocado, or even summer rolls are a great option.” Although Upton snacks on nuts, Packer says to proceed with caution when it comes to eating nuts as your snack. Says Packer, “[y]es they are healthy fats and are packed with protein, but they are very heavy on the digestive system and very dehydrating. Also, if you opt for roasted instead of raw, they become very fattening because the oil found in nuts is compromised when heated.” Eat raw nuts, in moderation and be sure to hydrate with plenty of water after snacking.

The days of the diet coke and cigarette diet are over for models, today they eat real food that provides nourishment and energy to keep up with their demanding schedules. These tips not only help you eat like a supermodel and get into fashion week shape, they are excellent tips for giving your body the nutrition that it requires to keep you healthy and happy.

Woman reading a recipe

Immune Boosting Recipes

The height of winter is prime time for cold and flu season. Avoid getting sick by boosting your immune system with proper nutrition. The following recipes are all easy to make and don’t require any exotic ingredients. Enjoy these immune boosting recipes to keep your body as healthy as possible this winter.

Roasted Salmon with Oranges

Roasted Salmon with Oranges
Salmon is a good source of vitamin D which is a nutrient that triggers your immune cells to kill bacteria and viruses that are invading your body. With the addition of the orange and its vitamin C content, you have a double-whammy immune boosting, healthy and delicious dinner.

Ingredients:

  • 2 fresh oranges cut into rounds
  • 1 white onion thinly sliced
  • 1 ½ tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 5 (6oz) salmon fillets
  • 1 tablespoon lemon pepper seasoning
  • 1 ½ teaspoons garlic powder
  • 1 tablespoon dried parsley
  • ¼ cup orange juice
  • 1 ½ tablespoons lemon juice

Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. In a small cup, stir together lemon pepper seasoning, garlic powder and dried parsley. In a 9×13 dish, arrange orange slices in one layer then place a thin layer of onions on top of the oranges. Drizzle with olive oil, then sprinkle ½ of the spice mix on the top. Roast for about 25 minutes in preheated oven until onions are brown and tender. Remove baking dish and increase oven temperature to 450 degrees Fahrenheit. Move onion and orange mixture to the sides of baking dish and place salmon fillets in the middle. Season salmon with the remaining spice mixture. In a small bowl, whisk together orange and lemon juices, then pour evenly over salmon. Bake for 12 to 15 minutes at 450 degrees, then remove. Discard roasted oranges and garnish the salmon with fresh orange slices and the roasted onions.

Green smoothie

Healthy Green Smoothie
The greens in this smoothie provide immune-boosting vitamins A and C, in addition to protein, fiber and calcium. This smoothie is a perfect immune boost and can be enjoyed as a quick breakfast or an afternoon snack.

Ingredients:

  • 2 medium bananas
  • 1 apple chopped (for the most nutrients, leave skin on)
  • 1 cup chopped kale with stems removed
  • 1 cup spinach
  • ½ cup orange juice
  • ½ cup water
  • Ice cubes (around 10-12)

Place all ingredients in a blender and pulse several times. Puree until the mixture is smooth and serve. You can increase the nutrition by adding some ground flaxseed or chia seeds to this recipe or try a slightly different flavor by chopping a pear rather than an apple.

Cold cucumber salad.

Cold Cucumber Salad
Perfect for a refreshing side, this cucumber salad is super quick and easy to make. Cucumbers contain potassium, phosphorus, calcium, magnesium, iron, zinc, vitamins C, B1, B2, B6 and provitamin A. Cucumbers also aid healthy blood circulation, which is an essential factor in boosting your immune system.

Ingredients:

  • 3 cucumbers peeled and thinly sliced
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • ¼ cup fresh vidalia onion
  • 1 ½ cups sour cream
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • Cracked black pepper

In a bowl, toss cucumber slices with salt, then refrigerate for one hour. When chilled, drain the cucumbers and pat dry. In a large bowl, mix sour cream, sugar and black pepper. Stir in the cucumber and onion and stir until thoroughly mixed.

Other immune boosting foods include tomatoes, mangoes, kiwis and carrots, to name a few. Prepare a spinach salad with tomatoes, carrots and bell peppers or create a tropical fruit salsa with mango, papaya, pineapple and kiwi. Have fun in the kitchen preparing the above immune boosting recipes, and coming up with your own dishes.

Food and wine

Moscato Food Pairings

Moscato wine is characterized by its sweet, fruity and sometimes floral aroma and taste. Many Moscato wines have a bit of effervescence to them, and Moscato d’Asti is a sparkling wine. If you thought that Moscato must be reserved as a dessert wine, think again. Moscato wine is one of the most versatile types of wine available thanks to its sweetness and lower alcohol levels. Below, learn what foods pair well with Moscato wine from your cocktail hour appetizers to your indulgent dessert.

Crudite platter.

Appetizers
One of the easiest possible foods for a cocktail hour is a crudite platter, and Moscato wine pairs perfectly with this crowd favorite. The crispness of raw vegetables plays well with the crisp finish of Moscato and vegetables such as carrots, celery, red and yellow bell peppers and green onion are all vegetables that work especially well with Moscato wine. Cheeses that pair well with Moscato are varied and range from soft cheeses, like Brie to medium-firm cheeses like Pecorino Romano. A simple bruschetta is also a crowd-pleasing appetizer that will complement Moscato wine well.

Butter chicken and naan.

Main Dishes
When it comes to serving your main course, spicy dishes are highly recommended with Moscato. Dishes like curry whether Thai or Indian, spicy spaghetti arrabbiata and hot foods from Szechuan, Chinese and Vietnamese cuisine work seamlessly with Moscato wine. If you aren’t a huge fan of intense spices, Moscato also works with light flaky fish, chicken, turkey, shrimp, lobster, crab and duck which leaves your options virtually unlimited when it comes to preparing your main dish. For vegetarians, Moscato not only works with the vegetables listed above, but it also pairs wonderfully with tofu.

Herbs and Spices
Meal planning goes beyond just deciding what meat or vegetables to serve, you have to take into account what herbs, spices or other foods you want to incorporate into your dish. Spices that pair nicely with Moscato include cinnamon, ginger, basil, cardamom, lime, cloves, chili peppers, cayenne pepper, fennel, cilantro, orange and mint.

Biscotti.

Desserts
A sweet glass of dessert Moscato or Moscato d’Asti can be a great finish to your meal on its own, but if you want to serve something sweet, there are plenty of desserts that pair well with Moscato. Biscotti is a classic choice when it comes to desserts and Moscato, and nut-based desserts such as a caramel cashew torte taste great with Moscato as well. Because Moscato has such a fruity aroma and taste, fruit desserts are also popular with Moscato. Other desserts to enjoy with Moscato include grilled peaches, succulent cherry pie or creamy cheesecake.

Moscato wine takes you through each course of your meal effortlessly with its versatile flavor profile. When it comes to pairing wine and food the most important rule is to pair wines and foods that you enjoy and that taste good to you, but if you want a bit of help, the above foods are all impeccable choices for Moscato pairings.

Sangria cocktail

Moscato Wine Cocktails

Moscato wine is well-known for its distinctive sweet, light flavor that is full of fruit notes such as apple, peach, pear, lime, orange and pineapple. While moscato wine is a delicious, refreshing wine on its own, the sweet fruity flavor of this wine lends itself perfectly to making incredible cocktails. Below, find some of our favorite moscato wine cocktail recipes.

Sparkling Moscato Punch
This moscato punch is super quick and easy, making it perfect for last-minute get togethers.

Ingredients:

  • 1 (750) bottle moscato
  • ¼ cup pomegranate seeds
  • ¼ cup raspberries (fresh or frozen)
  • ¼ cup apples chopped
  • ½ orange thinly sliced
  • 1-1 ½ cups sparkling water

Combine all ingredients in a large pitcher and stir gently. Serve immediately over ice or chill in refrigerator to give flavors a strengthen.

Citrus Berry Moscato Sangria
Perfect for making ahead, this moscato sangria is sure to delight with a mixture of lively citrus and sweet berries.

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 cup raspberries
  • ½ cup blueberries
  • 1 orange thinly sliced
  • 1 grapefruit thinly sliced
  • ¼ triple sec
  • 1 (750ml) bottle rose moscato

Add water to a small saucepan and bring to a boil over high heat. Once boiling, add sugar and stir until dissolved. Remove from heat and allow simple syrup time to cool. Add raspberries, blueberries, orange, grapefruit, triple sec and half of the cooled simple syrup to a large pitcher. Fill pitcher with rose moscato and stir all ingredients together. Taste and if necessary, add remaining simple syrup. Allow to chill at least two hours prior to serving.

Sparkling Moscato Mimosa Floats
This holiday season, surprise your family and friends with a twist on the classic mimosa by making these sparkling moscato mimosa floats that bring together the holiday flavors of cranberry and orange. These cocktails work best when made individually, so you can skip the pitcher for this recipe.

Ingredients:

  • 1 (750ml) bottle sparkling moscato
  • 8 cups orange juice
  • ⅛ to 1.4 cup cranberries
  • cranberry juice
  • orange sherbet

Place desired amount of cranberries in the bottom of a wine glass, then fill halfway with sparkling moscato. Add orange juice being sure to leave room for a small scoop (½ cup or less depending on the size of the glass) of orange sherbet. Top the drink with a splash of cranberry juice and garnish with extra cranberries if desired.

Pear Cranberry Moscato
Another super quick and simple drink to make, this cocktail is perfect for a cozy evening in or for two, but works just as well for festive holiday party crowds.

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup cranberries
  • 1 cup pear peeled and chopped
  • 1 (750 ml) bottle moscato wine (use sparkling moscato for a more festive drink)
    cinnamon sticks

Add cranberries and pear to a small saucepan and cook over low heat with the lid on. Stir every five minutes, mashing up the fruit as much as possible. Cook until fruit is very soft, about 15-20 minutes. When finished, strain using a fine mesh sieve. Throw away fruit solids and chill fruit puree until ready to use. Add fruit puree to the bottom of a champagne flute or wine glass, then fill with moscato. Garnish each glass with a cinnamon stick stirrer for a bit of sweet spice.

Mix up one of these moscato cocktails when you want a light, sweet cocktail. Adjust levels of fruit or sugar to your tastes and experiment using other citrus fruits, such as lime or pineapple or juicy fruits like peaches and watermelon. These delicious moscato wine cocktails are easy to make and can be enjoyed anytime. Cheers!

Woman eating fruits in a garden

Foods That Keep You Young

Aging is inevitable, but if you are eating the right foods, you can help yourself feel young for a longer period of time. A healthy lifestyle including a balanced, nutritious diet and plenty of exercise keep you looking and feeling young and in great shape. There are tons of foods that benefit you when it comes to aging, but here are four of our very favorites.

Woman holding an apple.

Apples
The old adage “an apple a day keeps the doctor away” is pretty spot on; apples contain a range of health benefits two of which are improving your body’s immune system and digestive functioning. The vitamin C content in apples provides anti-aging effects while also helping your immune system fight diseases. As you age your digestive system tends to slow down, but eating foods that are high in fiber, like apples, boost your digestive system to keep your healthy.

Woman holding a bunch of grapes.

Grapes
Grapes are one of the best fruits you can eat to help slow down the aging process. Technically classified as berries, grapes are packed with antioxidants, flavonoids, polyphenols and potassium. One of the greatest things you can do for your body as you age is to decrease your sodium intake and increase the amount of potassium you get. Potassium is associated with lowered risks of stroke, lowered blood pressure, the prevention of losing bone mineral density and decreased risks of heart disease. Grapes contain the flavonoid quercetin, which is a natural anti-inflammatory. Quercetin benefits you as you age by reducing the risk of atherosclerosis, a disease of the arteries by a buildup of plaque, and is thought to have anti-cancer benefits, although more human studies are needed. Polyphenols in grapes also work to lower your blood pressure and reducing the risk of cardiovascular disease. Lastly, the polyphenol resveratrol helps to protect your body against heart disease, cancer, Alzheimer’s disease and diabetes. As if that wasn’t enough, resveratrol is also a key player in keeping your skin looking young and healthy.

Woman holding kale.

Kale
There’s a reason you hear about kale all the time, it’s truly a superfood and it can help combat aging. Kale is an incredibly nutrient dense food and comes with very little calories; a one-cup serving of cooked kale contains only 36 calories. Kale contains vitamins K, A, E and B vitamins 1, 2, 3 and 6 in addition to manganese, copper, calcium, potassium, iron, fiber, omega-3 fatty acids and folate. Kale is rich in antioxidants and the beta-carotene and lutein content protect your body against oxidative damage from free radicals. It is also thought that kale helps protect against cancers such as breast, colon, bladder, prostate and ovaries.

Woman eating walnut

Walnuts
Nuts in moderation are great for your health and walnuts may be the most beneficial of them all. Walnuts are full of protein, healthy fats, fiber, antioxidants and a host of vitamins and minerals. One of the most frustrating parts of aging is the loss of mental sharpness and walnuts help fight this. Walnuts contain omega-3 fatty acids, vitamin E, melatonin and antioxidants that all slow cognitive decline. A study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, found that those whose diets included a healthy amount of nuts showed that body mass index, body weight and waist circumference were controlled among the groups of individuals who consumed a healthy amount of nuts. Additionally, the amino acid l-arginine can provide vascular benefits to those who are at risk of or have heart disease.

Eating a varied diet full of lean proteins, fresh produce and whole grains is one of the greatest things you can do for your body at any age. Selecting foods that have amazing nutritional content, like the four above, help keep you healthy and young.

Hannukah with candles

Easiest Hannukah Recipes

Hanukkah is an eight-day celebration, also known as the Festival of Lights. One of the most significant periods in the Jewish calendar, Hanukkah is a time full of friends, family and of course, food. You don’t have to be a culinary genius to prepare traditional holiday fare; we’ve come up with three of the easiest recipes for traditional Hanukkah treats.

potato latkes.

Potato Latkes
No Hannukah celebration is complete without these hot potato pancakes. This recipe results in delicious and traditional potato latkes. Bonus, it’s super simple to make!

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups potatoes, peeled and shredded
  • 1 tablespoon grated onion
  • 3 eggs, beaten
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 ½ teaspoon sea salt
  • ½ cup peanut oil

Begin by straining as much moisture from potatoes as possible; cheesecloth is perhaps the most effective method of removing moisture. Once potatoes are strained, place in a medium bowl and add onion, eggs, flour and salt. Mix well. Heat the peanut oil in a skillet over medium-high heat until hot. Drop large spoonfuls of the mixture into hot oil and press down to create pancakes that are ½ to ¼ inch thick. Brown on one side then flip and brown on the other. Remove from heat and drain on paper towels.

Sufganiyot

Sufganiyot
Donuts are a traditional treat for Hanukkah and this recipe is for classic Jewish sufganiyot (donuts without holes). The best part is that these donuts are much easier to make than others, so you don’t have to be a wiz in the kitchen to whip these up.

Ingredients:

  • 4 cups self-rising flour
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 containers yogurt (8oz each) – plain or vanilla work best
  • 4 tablespoons white sugar
  • Pinch of salt
  • 3 quarts vegetable oil
    Powdered sugar

In a large mixing bowl, combine eggs, flour, sugar, yogurt, vanilla sugar and salt. Mix well then set aside for 30 minutes. After 30 minutes, form dough into balls that are 1 ½ inches in diameter. Heat the vegetable oil in a large pot (or deep fryer) over high heat until a temperature of 365 degrees is reached. Deep fry the dough using either a basket or slotted spoon and drain on paper towels. Roll the sufganiyot in powdered sugar or cinnamon sugar for added sweetness.

Wine-braised beef brisket.

Easy Wine-Braised Beef Brisket
Beef brisket is another food enjoyed during Hanukkah and this recipe is not only incredibly tender and tasty, it is also easy to make.

Ingredients:

  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • ½ teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 beef brisket (3lb)
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 red onion sliced
  • 1 can beef broth (14.5oz)
  • 1 can unsalted tomato sauce (8oz)
  • ½ cup red wine

Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Mix thyme, salt and pepper in small bowl and rub both sides of brisket with the seasoning. In a roasting pan, heat oil over medium-high heat, place brisket in pan and brown three to four minutes per side. Remove brisket from pan and set aside. Add onions to the hot roasting pan and cook until onion is semi-soft, about two minutes. Add beef broth, tomato sauce and red wine and stir well. Place brisket back into the roasting pan then cover with aluminum foil. Place in the preheated oven and bake for one hour. After one hour, remove the foil and braise brisket with juice from the roasting pan. Put aluminum foil back over the brisket and place back into the oven. Continue to bake until pan juices have thickened and beef is tender, anywhere from one to two more hours.

Gather friends and family and show off your cooking skills when you prepare these easy Hanukkah recipes. Don’t forget the applesauce and sour cream for the latkes and you can make the sufganiyot more delectable by filling with jam. Enjoy Hanukkah and celebrate the successful rebellion of the Maccabees with amazing food, wonderful friends and loving family.

Christmas cookies

Traditional Holiday Recipes

When you think of your favorite holiday memories, some of them are bound to include the incredible tastes of the season. Our traditional holiday recipes blend old tradition and new flavors so you can create new memories with the ones you love.

Sugar Roasted Pecan

Sugar Roasted Pecans
The mouthwatering main dishes and scrumptious side dishes often are the center of attention, but sometimes you just want something quick to snack on. These sugar roasted pecans are perfect as an appetizer, snack or even as a dessert!

Ingredients:

  • 1 egg white
  • 1 lb pecan halves
  • ¾ teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 cup white sugar

Begin by preheating oven to 250 degrees Fahrenheit and grease a baking dish. In a medium mixing bowl, whisk egg whites and water together until frothy. In a separate bowl, blend sugar, salt and cinnamon, then pour into gallon size plastic bag. Add pecans to the egg white and water and stir until pecans are well coated. Remove pecans and add to plastic bag. Shake well so all pecans are coated. Spread coated pecans evenly onto greased baking sheet. Bake for one hour in preheated oven, stirring every 15 minutes.

Baked brie.

Baked Brie
This warm and cozy appetizer blends sweet and savory in a sophisticated puff pastry. You can substitute the raspberry preserves for nearly anything that suits your preferences like apricot preserves, cranberry chutney or a herb spread.

Ingredients:

  • 1 egg white
  • ½ 17.5 oz package frozen puff pastry, thawed
  • 3 tablespoons raspberry preserves
  • 1 8 oz wheel of Brie cheese

Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit and lightly grease a cookie sheet. Slice Brie in half horizontally so there are two halves. Spread preserves on cut side of the bottom half of the Brie, then place the other half of Brie on top, making a sort of Brie/preserve sandwich. Wrap the entire wheel of Brie with one piece of puff pastry. Flip Brie so the seam of puff pastry is on the cookie sheet and brush with egg white. Bake for 30 minutes or until puff pastry is golden brown. Serve immediately.

Creamy Potatoes Au Gratin

Creamy Potatoes Au Gratin
Mashed potatoes are pretty much a staple at any holiday gathering and while they are delicious comfort food, it can be fun to take a traditional ingredient and get a bit creative with it. Potatoes au gratin makes an excellent accompaniment to your Christmas ham.

Ingredients:

  • 4 large russet potatoes, sliced into ¼ inch slices
  • 1 onion, sliced in rings
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 1 ½ cups shredded cheddar cheese
  • 3 tablespoons all-purpose (or whole wheat) flour
  • 2 cups milk
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • salt and pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit and butter a one-quart casserole dish. Layer half of the potatoes into the bottom of buttered casserole dish and top with onion rings. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Melt butter over medium heat in a medium-sized saucepan. Mix in flour and ½ teaspoon of salt. Whisk constantly for 60 seconds and stir in milk. Cook until the mixture is thick, then stir in cheese. Stir cheese until melted, about 30 to 60 seconds. Pour cheese sauce over potatoes and onions and cover casserole dish with foil. Bake 90 minutes in preheated oven.

Soft Ginger Cookies

Soft Ginger Cookies
Gingerbread is one of the most distinctive flavors of the season, but it isn’t suited to everyone’s taste. If you prefer a slightly milder and definitely softer cookie, this ginger cookie recipe is for you.

Ingredients:

  • 2 ¼ cups all-purpose (or whole wheat) flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 teaspoons ground ginger
  • 1 egg
  • ¾ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon ground cloves
  • ¾ cup softened margarine
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • ¼ cup molasses
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • colored sugar sprinkles or additional white sugar

Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Sift together flour, ground cinnamon, baking soda, ground cloves, ground ginger and salt, then set to side. Take a large mixing bowl and cream together the margarine and one cup of flour until light and fluffy. Next, beat in egg, then stir in water and molasses. When well mixed, stir the sifted ingredients into molasses mixture. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 2 (or more but no longer than 24) hours. Shape dough into one inch balls and place on an ungreased cookie sheet. Flatten gently using the palm of your hand or the bottom of a small glass. Sprinkle extra white sugar or colored sugar sprinkles on top of cookies and bake for 8 to 10 minutes in preheated oven. Allow cookies to cool on a cooling rack, then remove from cookie sheet and cool completely on a wire cookie rack. When cool, store in a moist and airtight container.

Traditional holiday dishes vary from family to family, but the tastes of the season are a common thread. Make memories in your kitchen this year when you whip up one, or all, of our tasty traditional holiday recipes.

Turkey and wine

Best Wines to Pair With Turkey

Thanksgiving is all about coming together with friends and family to give thanks and show appreciation for all of the blessings in your life, and if you’re like us, one of those blessings is an incredible glass of wine. Your turkey dinner is an amazing time to sit and truly enjoy some great wine pairings. Ultimately, wine pairing is a matter of personal preference. While it’s great to try new things, if you know you absolutely hate a Zinfandel, try the less intense Pinot Noir instead. The only real rule to wine pairing is to do what makes you, and your palate, happy. That being said, we’ve got some guidelines as to where you might want to begin your search for the perfect wine/turkey pairings.

Champagne/ Sparkling Wines/ Rose
If you want a super simple pairing that will work with everything served from appetizers to dessert, look to Champagne, Rose and other sparkling wines. Sparkling wines have an acidity level that makes them easy to pair with dishes filled with herbs, cranberries and turkey. The effervescent quality of Champagne and sparkling wines help them to cut through truly rich foods like that gorgeous pecan pie.

Pinot Noir
Pinot Noir is perhaps the most traditional red wine pairing when it comes to Thanksgiving dinner. It has a lighter body than red wines like Cabernet and is softer on the palate than a Merlot. Pinot Noir typically features lush, berry fruits with an earthy undertone that pairs well with everything from the turkey to the cranberry sauce.

Zinfandel
Nicknamed the All-American grape, Zinfandel is another versatile red that pairs well with not just your turkey, but other trimmings on the table. Zinfandel is fuller in body than Pinot Noir and has a more intense flavor profile. As with Pinot Noir, Zinfandel has impressive fruit notes and it also features a bit of spice, both of which make it an excellent accompaniment to herb-laden dressings and both white and dark meat turkey.

Chardonnay
Another traditional Thanksgiving wine, Chardonnay is a pretty standard white at the table. An oaked Chardonnay has a round mouthfeel and is usually a bit creamy. The toasty oak flavors combine well with holiday classics like mashed potatoes and gravy and of course, your turkey. If you aren’t a fan of oaked Chardonnay, an un-oaked version of this white wine features more crisp citrus and apple flavors.

Riesling
Depending upon the Riesling, you may find that it is quite sweet or very dry, but the flavor profile of Riesling’s make them an excellent white wine choice for Thanksgiving dinner. Fruits such as apricots and apples and hints of delicious honey make this wine a great pairing for your sweet potato casserole as well as your turkey.

Remember that when it comes to wine, your tastes and preferences are more important than sticking to traditional wines that you don’t enjoy. If you feel adventurous, try pairing a few wines with your meal. Serve rose with appetizers, Pinot Noir or Riesling for dinner and finish with a sparkling wine. Savor your wine and your time with family and friends by picking a wine pairing that is meant for turkey.