I've made a New Year's resolution that I think I'm actually going to stick to this year—I'm going to eat healthier. I know that to make this work, I'll need to prepare meals that are packed with healthful ingredients that keep me satisfied—such as whole grains, lean proteins, fruits and vegetables—so that I'm not tempted to reach for junk food.
On Christmas Eve, one of my 5-year-old daughter Parker’s favorite things to do is put together a beautiful plate of cookies for Santa, complete with carrots for the reindeer and a glass of milk. A few days before Christmas, we spend an afternoon in the kitchen together baking delicious holiday cookies to give to friends, neighbors and the man in red.
At 19 months, my son Julian doesn’t know who Dora the Explorer or SpongeBob is, let alone request the yogurts adorned with their images—but I know that some of my friends who have older kids struggle with this very thing.
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 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.
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’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.)
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.
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.
Even though I’m not Jewish, I have a soft spot for Jewish cuisine. I learned to love matzo ball soup and knish when I waited tables at a deli in college, but my real Jewish-food obsession is latkes.
I have a not-so-forgiving little black dress to get into for New Year’s Eve. And in between now and then I have a cookie swap and a couple of holiday parties to attend. So, with that dress as my goal, these 10 tips should help me wear it happily.
I live by the “everything in moderation” mantra, but something about the holidays makes me want to throw that out the window. It’s all those cookies—they’re my downfall!
I love holiday cookies so much that a few years ago, I invited some girlfriends over for a holiday cookie exchange and asked everyone to bring a platter of cookies to share. Not to be outdone, each guest showed up with a stunning platter of prize-worthy holiday cookies.