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Go Beyond Pecan Pie this Holiday Season

  When deciding which dishes to serve this year at holiday gatherings, consider going beyond traditional recipes and use beloved seasonal ingredients in new ways. For example, while pecan pie is top of mind for many dessert-makers, it’s also a perfect time to make new dishes with an ingredient like pecans, also known as The Original Supernut. Naturally sweet and nutritious, the pecan lends itself to nearly endless holiday menu inspiration. It hasn’t been an easy year for the pecan industry, but you can support American pecan growers and #PledgePecans – that’s a promise to add one more pecan-friendly...

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Holiday Baking and Wine Pairings

There are few holiday traditions as sweet as baking a selection of treats to share with family and friends. This is especially true for the California winemaking family the Mondavis as it is for families across America. As the season begins, Janice Mondavi, wife of third-generation CK Mondavi and Family co-proprietor Marc Mondavi and their four daughters, Angelina, Alycia, Riana and Giovanna, always set aside time to gather for an afternoon of holiday baking. Their Grandma Rosa was an incredible cook, and the tradition continues through the generations. It should surprise no one that in this household, instead of...

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4 Favorite Dishes You Didn’t Know Pair with Champagne

While you may think of Champagne as just for toasting, experts point out that it can actually be quite food-friendly. “Champagnes with a higher proportion of Chardonnay in their blends — such as the signature style of Champagne Taittinger — can be particularly versatile when it comes to food pairings,” says Chicago-based sommelier, Belinda Chang. For this purpose, Chang recommends the family-owned and operated champagne house, which offers a distinctive, light and delicate style, a longer aging period before release and sustainable production processes. “Every self-respecting foodie and wine geek knows to pair Champagne with a towering icy plateau...

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Comforting Dishes for Cooler Days

There’s almost nothing like a warm dish to help melt away the chills of winter. Combining classic flavors and a blend of comforting spices, this Roasted Turkey and Cranberry Soup is a warm-up waiting to happen on a cold day. For a hearty breakfast option, Sweet Orange and Cranberry Muffins can feed the whole family – simply bake the flavorful pastries a day ahead then warm the morning of for a quick, hot breakfast. If the craving for comfort food strikes when you don’t have time for a home-cooked dish, consider scratch-made options available at restaurants like Sweet Tomatoes...

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Stress-Free Holiday Entertaining Tips

The holiday season is meant for spending quality time with friends and family, not stressing out over hosting. With some simple tips, you can cut down on hectic preparations while creating a memorable holiday full of food and fun guests can savor. Consider these suggestions from the entertaining experts at Real California Milk: Plan Ahead Heading into your seasonal soiree with a plan in place can help avoid snafus. Make a shopping list of ingredients and decorations. Then put together a schedule a few days prior to the event to cover last-minute preparations. Elevate Holiday Classics Elevating classic appetizers...

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Mionetto’s Last Minute Thanksgiving Cocktail and Entertaining Tips

Pop the bubbly…we’re less than 24 hours away from Thanksgiving! Mionetto has shared with us some of their favorite spritz cocktails to kick-off your Thanksgiving holiday celebration. Spritz is Italy’s most popular aperitivo cocktail. The Mionetto Spritz is as easy to make as 3-2-1…pick the one that suits your taste!  Mionetto’s Prosecco is one of my favorites. It has the right amount of bubbles and is not too sweet. The Mionetto Aperol Spritz, Mionetto Elder Flower Spritz and Mionetto Limone Spritz cocktail recipes follow the holiday entertaining tips. Cin Cin! Mix It Up With a DIY Garnish Bar Cart...

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WÜSTHOF A Cut Above

Carving the Thanksgiving turkey or Christmas ham is a symbolic ritual that signifies a celebration is underway. As I started formulating my plans for the holiday season, the majority of my lists revolve around food, cocktails and desserts. Once the menus are established, I move on to tableware, accessories and the like. My mind wanders and I reflect back to holidays past. In my family, we’re all very particular as to the specific knife used for the bird or dessert pie. We still laugh about my grandma using the long serrated bread knife to reach across the table to...

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Creative Entertaining: Giving Thanks Tips

By Rana Florida Thanksgiving entertaining doesn’t have to be a stressed-out ordeal. The real focus should be on gathering family and friends for a festive feast and an opportunity to reflect and to give thanks. There are so many amazing ideas, from cocktails to food to tabletop décor that will work for both the intimate dinner and the big family gathering alike. But the key to keeping it stress-free is to keep it stylish, yet simple. The key to enjoying your holiday is to do most of the work before your guests arrive.  Set the table a few days...

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Happy Halloween Cocktails!

Happy Halloween! From bewitching cocktails to devilish sangrias, zero-calorie Sparkling Ice, is sure to be the perfect cocktail mixer for you and your guests on this goolish of holidays! Boo! Bloodsucker INGREDIENTS 2 Parts Dark Rum 1 Part Pumpkin Puree 1 Part Intense Ginger Liqueur 1 Part Sparkling Ice Black Cherry Grated Ginger DIRECTIONS Shake puree, rum, ginger liquor and grated ginger over ice and pour into goblet. Add Sparkling Ice Black Cherry and garnish with ginger root “tombstone.” Zombie Slime INGREDIENTS 1 Part Wicked White Whiskey 2 Parts Sparkling Ice Kiwi Strawberry Sparkling Ice Black Raspberry / Sugar syrup “Blood” Kiwi slices DIRECTIONS Reduce...

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Beyond Sushi: How to Enjoy Sake at Home

Sake, made from fermented rice, is an up-and-comer in the world of wine and spirits, and Americans consume about 35 percent of all sake exported from Japan, according to John Gauntner’s Sake World. Often remembered as that simple, warm drink consumed exclusively at sushi bars and Japanese restaurants, it’s sometimes notorious for its associations with sake-bomb-induced debauchery. To gain a better understanding of this complex beverage, here are five common sake myths — debunked! 2. Sake is Served Hot. False! Sake was originally served warm in order to mask certain off-putting flavors present prior to the rise of premium...

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Simple Yet Stunning

  Set the menu for easy entertaining One of the best-kept chef secrets to hosting the most memorable at-home parties is keeping the food simple and adding small details to make it special. After all, a host who isn’t hard at work in the kitchen is a host who can spend more time with guests. One way to make every minute in the kitchen count and provide crowd-pleasing food is by using wholesome, quality core ingredients like olive oil, fresh bread, cheese and artisan chocolate to create flavorful dishes that are easy to prepare, and leave you with more...

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