New Year Deals: Why Winter is the Perfect Time to Buy a Boat

Winter may be frigid for many, but it’s an ideal time to plan for warmer days ahead and make dreams of owning a boat a reality. Beginning in January, boat shows across the country offer some of the hottest post-holiday deals around, with special pricing and incentives on new boat models and marine accessories – a major draw for the 142 million Americans who take to the water each year, according to the National Marine Manufacturers Association. For those ready to plan their summer adventures on the water, boat shows are the best place to start.

Whether you fish or sail, enjoy cruising, riding personal watercraft or wakesurfing, boat shows provide the unique opportunity to browse and board hundreds, sometimes thousands, of boats while taking advantage of once-a-year pricing and boat show specials. Boat shows also provide an avenue to enjoy a taste of the boating lifestyle during the off-season, plus they offer educational opportunities and alternative ways to get on the water for novices looking to get their feet wet.

Whether you want to fulfill that New Year’s resolution of spending more time on the water with family and friends, or are simply in the mood to escape the winter doldrums, Discover Boating, the national awareness program to help get people on the water, offers three tips to get started in boating at a 2018 boat show:

Escape cabin fever for the year’s best deals. Unlike auto shows, boat shows are the place to buy. Hundreds of new-year models are available to buy right on the show floor at some of the best prices of the year, with many exhibitors offering special show pricing and other incentives. Boat shows make it easy for you to shop all the region’s dealers in one location. Plus, it’s the perfect time to order a new boat to ensure it arrives ready to launch in the spring.

Test the waters. Boat shows are a great place to learn the ropes of boating and take advantage of onsite training, which is usually offered at little to no cost. Educational opportunities at boat shows include everything from knot-tying and DIY boat maintenance seminars, to sailing simulators and boating lessons. You can often find fun activities to entertain the family and get everyone into the outdoors, from practicing how to reel in a fish to learning to dock and more.

Look for the seal of approval. When shopping for a boat at a show, online or at a dealership, always check to make sure it is certified by the National Marine Manufacturers Association. An “NMMA Certified” seal means a boat has met strict industry standards for safety, construction and federal regulations, enhancing an improved and safer boater experience. Look for the NMMA Certified sticker near the helm of a boat, and find a full list of certified boat manufacturers at DiscoverBoating.com.

Visit DiscoverBoating.com to find a boat show near you, a list of certified dealers and manufacturers, and unbiased advice for getting started in boating. (BPT)

Fashionable Gifts for the Trendy Guy on Your Shopping List

Men often get a bad rap for dressing like slouches, especially when what they wear is under their own control. While we all have men in our lives with t-shirts that they’ve owned since the ‘80s; some of us also know men who are trend-setters. The latter can be harder to buy for, as we are anxious to get them something that will please their picky sense of taste. Don’t panic, though, as we’ve got your back (or, really, his back). Read on for fashionable gift ideas for the trendy guy on your shopping list.

A Masculine Man Bag

The man purse is an oft-used punchline but the reality is men need something stylish to store their goodies in just as much as women do. If your dapper dude is a workout fanatic, likes or needs to travel, or commutes into work, he needs a bag that’s both fashionable and functional—and that’s not always an easy task. If you go for a work bag, make sure it suits his work atmosphere and commute, so something leather might not work for someone who gets caught in the rain at least once a week. As for workout bags, you want these to be waterproof on the bottom, stylish on the outside, but also be small enough to store. And when it comes to the weekender, you can’t go wrong with something like this sleek Michael Kors duffle. It’s not the cheapest bag on the market but it will last for a very long time.

A Watch That Works and Wows

If your man is still using his cell phone to tell time, you need to sit him down for a little chat. All grown men should own a watch, and preferably at least one for the active portion of their lives and one that’s more for work and/or going out at night. There are a lot of amazing sports watches that can do everything from tell him where he is if he were dropped in the middle of a desert to timing his next 10-mile hike. If he needs one that will impress both at the office and out at night, check out MVMT leather watches. Bonus: He’ll no longer have any excuses for being late.

Throw Some Shade

Sunglasses are a great gift, as many of us often need them but we don’t think to replace scratched or lost pairs for ourselves. And stylish men like to have a pair for every occasion, so you can’t go wrong. Whether you get him a classic pair of Ray-Ban wayfarers, some sporty Von Zippers for his next time on the slopes, or a pair of classic Burberry sunglasses for the office, he’ll think of you every time he puts them on (and it’s hard to argue with that).

Sneakers

While these have never gone out of style for their pure functionality, there is no doubt sneakers are having a moment. A pair of clean Converse, Adidas, or insanely expensive designer sneakers can even be used in lieu of dress shoes on many occasions. Many men have their groomsmen in these instead of dress shoes on their big days, which surely makes the transition to the dance floor easier. And because they must be clean and flawless-looking to be a proper part of your stylish man’s closet, a new pair of sneaks is never a bad idea. 

He Can Leave His Hat On

Hats are another big part of many men’s lives. While they might not be allowed in the office during the week, he surely dons a variety of them on the weekends. There’s something about a hat that just screams, “It’s time for lounging.” And from a warm beanie for cooler days and/or a ski hat to baseball hats that rep his favorite team and fedoras, there is no shortage of options to choose from.

The trendy men in our lives keep us on our toes when it comes to shopping for them but to that we say: CHALLENGE ACCEPTED. Buy anything off this list of gift ideas for men and you’ll surely beat Santa at his own game.

Heart Attack Survivor Bob Harper’s Journey

Bob Harper - Survivor

Bob Harper – Survivor

A heart attack can happen to anyone, and Bob Harper is living proof. As a celebrity trainer, Harper dedicated his life to helping others live a healthier lifestyle, but even his devotion to fitness couldn’t keep a heart attack from striking him.

Harper suffered his heart attack in February 2017. Harper was in the middle of a workout when he lay down on the ground and others ran to his aid. “I was so lucky that there was a doctor in the gym,” he said. Harper fell into cardiac arrest, and they had to shock him three times. “I woke up in the hospital two days later, dumbfounded and confused. Once the realization set in, I spent an emotional and upsetting eight days in the hospital.”

Surviving with heart

Since his heart attack, Harper has learned to adjust his lifestyle to help reduce his risk of suffering another heart attack, and he’s doing all he can to help educate fellow survivors about what they can do to help reduce their risk in the future.

Harper has partnered with AstraZeneca to launch Survivors Have Heart, an essay contest where survivors can describe their personal journey and connect with other survivors, including Harper. Together, AstraZeneca and Harper are teaming up to help people like him who have experienced a heart attack share their stories to educate and inspire others. They’re asking those who have had a heart attack to visit www.survivorshaveheart.com and submit an essay of 500 words or less about their experience and journey by January 15, 2018. Five stories will be chosen and those survivors, along with a caregiver of their choice, will travel to New York City to be welcomed into a heart attack survivors’ club. There they will have the opportunity to join Harper in celebrating survivorship and helping those who may be at risk of another heart attack understand the symptoms, know their body and take the necessary steps toward living a healthier life.

For Harper, Survivors Have Heart gives him a chance to practice what he preaches. “Being a heart attack survivor adds you to a club you never want to join, but once you are a part of it, you feel bonded by the experience,” he said. “As survivors, we carry each other and together we can make a meaningful difference in raising awareness on how to navigate this complex journey.”

Harper hopes to share his commitment to living in the now. If you have suffered a recent heart attack, talk to your doctor today about treatment strategies that are right for you. To share your own heart attack survivor story and connect with other survivors, including Harper, visit www.survivorshaveheart.com.

After Bob had his heart attack as part of his journey to recovery, he knew he had to adjust his lifestyle to help reduce his risk of having another heart attack. In addition, Harper followed his treatment regimen as his doctor prescribed. “I’ve been working to rebuild the relationship with my heart. Fortunately, I had complete trust in my doctors,” he said. In addition to making lifestyle changes and following his doctor’s treatment plan, Harper was prescribed BRILINTA® (ticagrelor) 90-mg tablets, made by AstraZeneca, to help reduce the risk of having another heart attack or dying from one.

BRILINTA is a prescription medicine for people who have had a heart attack or severe chest pain that happened because their heart wasn’t getting enough oxygen. BRILINTA is used with aspirin to lower your chance of having another serious problem with your heart or blood vessels such as heart attack, stroke, or blood clots in your stent if you received one. These can be fatal.

IMPORTANT SAFETY INFORMATION ABOUT BRILINTA® (ticagrelor) 60-MG AND 90-MG TABLETS

BRILINTA is used to lower your chance of having another heart attack or dying from a heart attack or stroke, but BRILINTA (and similar drugs) can cause bleeding that can be serious and sometimes lead to death. Instances of serious bleeding, such as internal bleeding, may require blood transfusions or surgery. While you take BRILINTA, you may bruise and bleed more easily and be more likely to have nosebleeds. Bleeding will also take longer than usual to stop.

Call your doctor right away if you have any signs or symptoms of bleeding while taking BRILINTA, including: severe, uncontrollable bleeding; pink, red, or brown urine; vomit that is bloody or looks like coffee grounds; red or black stool; or if you cough up blood or blood clots.

Do not stop taking BRILINTA without talking to the doctor who prescribes it for you. People who are treated with a stent, and stop taking BRILINTA too soon, have a higher risk of getting a blood clot in the stent, having a heart attack, or dying. If you stop BRILINTA because of bleeding, or for other reasons, your risk of a heart attack or stroke may increase. Tell all your doctors and dentists that you are taking BRILINTA. To decrease your risk of bleeding, your doctor may instruct you to stop taking BRILINTA 5 days before you have surgery. Your doctor should tell you when to start taking BRILINTA again, as soon as possible after surgery.

Take BRILINTA and aspirin exactly as instructed by your doctor. You should not take a dose of aspirin higher than 100 mg daily because it can affect how well BRILINTA works. Tell your doctor if you take other medicines that contain aspirin. Do not take new medicines that contain aspirin.

Do not take BRILINTA if you have a history of bleeding in the brain, are bleeding now, or are allergic to ticagrelor or any of the ingredients in BRILINTA.

Slow heart rhythm has been reported with BRILINTA.

BRILINTA can cause serious side effects, including bleeding and shortness of breath. Call your doctor if you have new or unexpected shortness of breath or any side effect that bothers you or that does not go away. Your doctor can decide what treatment is needed.

Tell your doctor about all the medicines you take, including prescription and over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal supplements. BRILINTA may affect the way other medicines work, and other medicines may affect how BRILINTA works.

Approved use
BRILINTA is a prescription medicine for people who have had a heart attack or severe chest pain that happened because their heart wasn’t getting enough oxygen.

BRILINTA is used with aspirin to lower your chance of having another serious problem with your heart or blood vessels such as heart attack, stroke, or blood clots in your stent if you received one. These can be fatal.

Please read Medication Guide and Prescribing Information, including Boxed WARNINGS, for BRILINTA.

You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit www.fda.gov/medwatch or call 1-800-FDA-1088. (BPT)

Make Memories with Festive Season Meals

Festive season meals are all about creating memories with loved ones at the family table. One way to make those special moments truly stand out is to fill your table with delicious recipes and the perfect wine pairings to help make the meal unforgettable.

Begin the dining experience with a perfect light bite like scallops to tease the taste buds. Try pairing this starter with a versatile option from an established producer like Louis Jadot Mâcon-Villages (SRP: $14.99) – which shows floral, apple and citrus aromas and flavors – to help bring out the distinct flavor profile. Choosing wines from an established producer is one way to help ensure you will select crowd-pleasing wines. For example, Jadot – one of the most trusted names in Burgundy – offers consistency and quality at an affordable price point.

“The scallops and truffles complement the wine’s crisp, bright and refreshing fruit finish beautifully,” said Allison Fasano, resident chef at Urbani Truffles. “The light citrus notes awaken the flavors of the scallops. The beurre blanc is buttery, and the earthiness of the truffles throughout makes for a perfect match with the wine.”

A hearty main course like Beef Tenderloin with Truffles alongside Louis Jadot Beaujolais-Villages (SRP: $13.99) – a crisp, fruit-forward, juicy wine with expressive aromas and flavors of ripe red berries – can help fulfill guests’ desires for a savory meal.

Find more affordable, versatile wines to pair with festive season recipes at Facebook.com/LoveJadot.

Beef Tenderloin with Truffles

(Filetto Di Manzo con Tartufo)

Recipe courtesy of Allison Fasano, Urbani Truffles resident chef

  • 1          center-cut beef tenderloin, about 3 pounds
  • salt
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • 4          tablespoons olive oil
  • 1          teaspoon cornstarch (optional)
  • 1/2       ounce Urbani Black Truffles
  • 2          cloves garlic, minced
  • 1          carrot, diced
  • 1          stalk celery, diced
  • 1          white onion, diced
  • 2          sprigs rosemary
  • 2          bay leaves
  • 3          sage leaves
  • 2          tablespoons Urbani Truffle Butter
  • 2          cups dry wine, divided
  • 2          shallots
  • 1          cup beef stock
  1. Heat oven to 350° F. Season beef on all sides with salt and pepper.
  2. Heat skillet or pan to high with olive oil; add beef and sear all sides, about 3-4 minutes on each side, until brown and crust forms.
  3. Remove beef from pan and let rest. Add cornstarch, truffles, garlic, carrot, celery, onion, rosemary, bay leaves and sage leaves to skillet and lower heat to medium-low. Allow to cook 10-15 minutes, or until vegetables are soft. Add beef back to skillet.
  4. Deglaze skillet with 1 cup wine, scraping up brown bits from bottom of pan.
  5. Place skillet in oven to allow beef to finish cooking at desired temperature.
  6. While tenderloin is roasting, in saucepan over medium heat, melt truffle butter. Add shallots and saute until softened and lightly golden, 8-10 minutes. Add remaining wine and simmer until almost completely reduced. Add stock and simmer until it reduces and thickens slightly, about 10 minutes. Remove sauce from heat and season with salt and pepper. (Family Features)

SOURCE:
Kobrand Importers

5 Tips to Start Your Own RV Adventure

If you’re looking for a way to get away without the hassle of planes, hotels and an exorbitant travel budget, a recreation vehicle may be just the answer.

Whether you’re traveling with family, your significant other or several generations of family and friends, these tips from world-renowned auto travel expert Alan Taylor can get you on your way to an unforgettable RV vacation adventure.

  1. Put style first. The first step to planning an RV getaway is deciding what works best for you: a motorhome or trailer. Motorhomes are built on a motorized chassis and are designed as temporary living quarters for camping, travel or seasonal use. Towable RVs or trailer RVs are towed by another vehicle to be moved from place to place. Many are designed to be lightweight, so even family vehicles like minivans or SUVs can tow them.
  1. Take time to plan ahead. Beyond the type of RV you need, think about how you’ll use it to understand what features you’ll want. What types of trips will you take? Who will be traveling with you? What’s your budget? There are hundreds of models, so how you answer these questions will guide your purchase.
  1. Try it before you buy it. There’s no better way to try before you buy than by renting an RV. Many people rent RVs simply for a change of pace by taking a trip to a special event or destination. You can rent near home and journey to your final destination or fly and pick up your RV at the other end. More than 460 national chain outlets and local RV dealerships rent RVs, including state-of-the-art, late-model-year units. A growing number of campgrounds offer on-site RV rentals, as well.

Most RV rental companies offer housekeeping packages (dishes, pots, pans, bed linens, etc.) for a fee, or you can bring your own. Even if you’re driving or towing an RV for the first time, features like automatic transmissions, power steering, large external mirrors and rearview cameras make it easy for inexperienced drivers to adjust to the difference in size, height and weight.

  1. Do your research. You’ll find plenty of information online, but another source of knowledge is any person who owns an RV or regularly rents one. One way to get the scoop and gather tips from experienced owners is to stay at a local campground and talk to your neighbors about their RVs. Ask questions about the space, key features, expenses, tricks they’ve learned and so on. Also be sure to ask about any problems they’ve encountered or any decisions they’d make differently if they could.
  1. Get practical. Unless you’re planning to make RVing a way of life, when the vacation is over and the real world beckons, you’ll have to do something with the RV. Before you buy, be sure you have plans for storage, be it a campground, in your garage or at a storage facility. Learn what’s involved in safely storing your investment while it’s not in use and take those needs into account when considering what type of RV you’d like to own.

As you work your way through the preparations, visit GoRVing.com to learn more about the different types of RVs, get ideas about what to do and find a wealth of information, including dealers near you, as well as campgrounds, manufacturers and rental companies. (Family Features)

SOURCE:
Recreational Vehicle Industry Association

8 Gift Ideas to Sink Your Teeth Into

When you’re shopping for someone who has everything he or she needs, finding the perfect gift can be a real challenge. Fortunately, there’s one type of gift that virtually everyone can appreciate: a kitchen gadget that answers their favorite food cravings. This guide offers some of this season’s most clever ideas, from the perfect cocktail mug to a vendor-style hot dog maker.

For the Home Entertainer

The Moscow Mule cocktail has been a beloved beverage for decades. This commemorated libation is so divinely delicious, it even has its own copper mug counterpart to bring out the drink’s smoothest, most refreshing flavors. The Mikasa Moscow Mule Mugis ideal for enjoying this famous drink – or any other cool, refreshing beverage – year-round. Available with either a hammered or smooth finish, each mug holds 16 fluid ounces and is handcrafted from solid copper with a food-safe, nickel-plated interior and a brass handle.

For the Home Chef

Sharp knives perform best in the kitchen, but many people don’t know how to properly sharpen their knives. Take out the guesswork with the Sabatier 12-Piece Edgekeeper Pro Self-Sharpening Knife Block Set. The set features five integrated sharpening slots with ceramic rods that hone the blade’s edge every time the knives are removed or placed back into the hardwood block. Each knife features an ergonomic, triple-riveted handle and the blades are made of high-carbon stainless steel, which is corrosion- and stain-resistant.

For the Cocktail Aficionado

This BarCraft 7-Piece Deluxe Wine Gift Setincludes all of the essential tools and accessories for opening, pouring, storing and enjoying a bottle of wine. The twist-action foil cutter makes it simple to quickly and easily remove the foil from nearly any bottle. The deluxe lever-arm corkscrew keeps the wine bottle in place with squeezable lever arms to remove the cork, and a wine pourer is ideal for spill-free pouring. The vacuum pump removes excess air from the bottle, helping prevent oxygenation and preserving freshness. Two included stoppers help keep wine bottles sealed tight.

For the Baker

Bake two different types of pies in one pan, or one traditional full-sized pie, in the Chicago Metallic Split Decision 9-Inch Pie Pan. The three-piece set includes a 9-inch pan and two inserts. One insert divides the pie in half, allowing two different types of pies to be baked at once. The second insert is for a full-sized pie. The lift-and-serve removable bottom allows you to push the baked pie up from underneath to easily remove the pie without wrecking the crust.

For the Foodie

Delight the foodie on your shopping list with a kitchen gadget that makes food preparation easier. The West Blade Large Flake Hand Grater features patented “tineless” blades, which enable effortless grating in both directions; perfect for rapidly shaving hard cheeses and creating delicate flakes of chocolate. The grater also comes with a hand guard attachment and a protective blade cover for storage.

For the Bagel Lover

The Hoan Bagel Guillotinemakes it easy to safely and effortlessly slice bagels in half. A cradle holds the bagel in place while two clear acrylic safety shields help keep fingers away from the bagel-piercing blade. It features precision ground serrated cutting edges and a Xylan-coated stainless steel blade for smooth slicing and durability.

For the Hot Dog Lover

Try a quick and easy way to make a perfectly cooked, vendor-style hot dog in the microwave with Hot Doglicious. This device cooks the hot dog and warms the bun at the same time for a ready-to-eat, in-the-bun hot dog in less than 55 seconds. The cooking chamber has unique ribs that pierce the dog’s casing, allowing it to grill and sear from the inside out, while the vent allows just the right amount of steam to escape to warm the bun for that delicious, concession stand-like taste.

For the Stocking

Preserve the freshness of leftover fruits and vegetables with Farberware Food Huggers, a set of four reusable silicone covers. Just push leftover produce down into the hugger that gives the snuggest fit and save it in the fridge. The food hugger creates a seal to hold in natural juices and prevent exposure to circulating air, which can cause food to spoil or dehydrate. Additionally, they’re dishwasher-, microwave- and freezer-safe. (Family Features)

SOURCE:
Lifetime Brands

Own the Festive Season with Gifts for Thrill-Seekers

You may spend hours browsing online gift guides, but can never seem to find the perfect gift for the impossible-to-shop-for thrill-seeker on your list. This year, skip the potential aggravation by getting your hands on some of the season’s hottest items that can increase the heart rate of even the most adrenaline-fueled folks.

These five tips can help you ditch the expected and own the festive season with praise-worthy gifts, no matter your budget.

Experiential Packages

Help the adventurer in your life unwrap an experience and learn something new. Look for rock climbing, an escape room package or snowboarding sessions, or take it to the next level and gift them a real-life skill with motorcycle riding lessons. Learn more about Harley-Davidson Riding Academy motorcycle classes by visiting your local dealership or H-D.com/LearnToRide.

Hands-On Pursuits for Hobbyists

For those who like to experiment closer to home, treat them to a longer-term project package. From woodcarving and iron working to home distilling, there are options sure to fit nearly any hobby imaginable.

Take-Anywhere Tech

Whether shredding down the backside of a mountain or winding through a scenic region on a motorcycle, the Harley-Davidson Boom! Audio 20S EVO Bluetooth Helmet Single Headset can help your recipient cut the cord and connect to his or her Bluetooth-enabled smartphone for hands-free calling, access to music, podcasts and voice-enabled GPS throughout the journey.

Barware that Rocks

When they’re not catching waves or blazing a new trail, adventure-seekers can often be found entertaining friends with stories of their latest adventures. Break the ice at any party with a boxed barware set and accessories. Look for unique options like a set of beer flight glasses, cocktail-specific mixing sets or go further and serve-up bar decor that fits your recipient’s personality with clocks, signs, picture frames or coasters.

Amped-Up Style

Match an adventurous lifestyle with on-trend apparel. For example, Harley-Davidson’s Women’s 115th Anniversary Limited Edition Bomber Jacket features creative, printed graphics, unique hardware and custom-embroidered sleeve tape that celebrates the brand’s heritage. For warmer climates, the 1903 Pullover Hoodie, cut from warm French terry cloth reversed on the sleeves for a textured look, is a fresh option. The full 1903 line rolls out in 2018, and includes a wide array of apparel and accessories.

For more festive season gift-giving inspiration, check out the guide at H-D.com/Holiday. (Family Features)

SOURCE:
Harley-Davidson

Throw a Festive Season Cookie Party

The next best thing to baking cookies for many home chefs is baking cookies with friends. Dust off your favorite recipes, create a festive playlist and fill your home with the tantalizing aroma of baked goodies for the ultimate Festive Season cookie party.

Turn things up a notch and swap classic sugar cookies for these festive Red Velvet Crinkle Cookies, Peppermint Truffle Cookies and Almond Gingerbread Cookies. Along with those tasty treats, don’t let your guests go thirsty. Add peppermint extract to a slow cooker hot chocolate so guests can sip and be merry throughout the party.

Find more holiday recipes at McCormick.com.

Peppermint Truffle Cookies

  • 8          ounces bittersweet baking chocolate
  • 1/2       cup (1 stick) butter
  • 1          cup sugar, divided
  • 1          egg
  • 1/2       teaspoon McCormick Pure Peppermint Extract
  • 2          cups flour
  • 36        milk chocolate kiss-shaped candies, unwrapped
  1. Heat oven to 350° F.
  2. In large, microwavable bowl, heat chocolate and butter on high 1-2 minutes, or until butter is melted. Let stand 10 minutes to cool slightly. Add 1/2 cup sugar, egg and peppermint extract. Beat with electric mixer on medium speed until well blended. Gradually beat in flour on low speed until well mixed.
  3. Shape dough into 1-inch balls. Press chocolate candy into center of each ball, forming dough around candy to enclose it. Roll in remaining sugar to coat. Place 1 inch apart on greased baking sheets.
  4. Bake 9-11 minutes, or until cookies are set. Cool on baking sheets 5 minutes. Remove to wire racks; cool completely.

Almond Gingerbread Cookies

  • 3          cups flour
  • 2          teaspoons McCormick Ginger, Ground
  • 1          teaspoon McCormick Cinnamon, Ground
  • 1          teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4       teaspoon McCormick Nutmeg, Ground
  • 1/4       teaspoon salt
  • 3/4       cup (1 1/2 sticks) butter, softened
  • 3/4       cup firmly packed brown sugar
  • 1/2       cup molasses
  • 1          egg
  • 1          teaspoon McCormick Pure Vanilla Extract
  • 1 1/3    cups sliced almonds
  1. In large bowl, mix flour, ginger, cinnamon, baking soda, nutmeg and salt.
  2. In separate large bowl, beat butter and brown sugar with electric mixer on medium speed until light and fluffy. Add molasses, egg and vanilla extract; beat well. Gradually beat in flour mixture on low speed until well mixed. Press dough into thick, flat disk. Wrap in plastic wrap. Refrigerate 4 hours, or as long as overnight.
  3. Heat oven to 350° F. Shape dough into 1-inch balls. Roll in sliced almonds, pressing almonds into dough. Place 2 inches apart on ungreased baking sheets.
  4. Bake 8-10 minutes, or until edges of cookies just begin to brown. Remove to wire racks; cool completely. Store cookies in airtight container up to 5 days.

Slow Cooker Peppermint Hot Chocolate

  • 1/2       gallon (8 cups) whole milk
  • 1          can (14 ounces) sweetened condensed milk
  • 1          package (12 ounces) dark chocolate chips
  • 1/2       teaspoon McCormick Pure Peppermint Extract
  1. Place whole milk, condensed milk, chocolate chips and peppermint extract in slow cooker. Cover. Cook 60-70 minutes on high, or until chocolate is melted and mixture is heated through, stirring every 15 minutes.
  2. Reduce heat to warm or low to serve.

Red Velvet Crinkle Cookies

  • 1 2/3    cups flour
  • 1/3       cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 1/2    teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4       teaspoon salt
  • 1/2       cup (1 stick) butter, softened
  • 1 1/4    cups granulated sugar
  • 2          eggs
  • 1 1/2    teaspoons McCormick Red Food Color
  • 1          teaspoon McCormick Pure Vanilla Extract
  • 1/2       cup confectioners’ sugar
  • nonstick cooking spray
  1. In medium bowl, mix flour, cocoa powder, baking powder and salt; set aside. In large bowl, beat butter and granulated sugar with electric mixer on medium speed until light and fluffy. Add eggs, food color and vanilla extract; mix well. Gradually beat in flour mixture on low speed until well mixed. Refrigerate 4 hours.
  2. Heat oven to 350° F. Shape dough into 1-inch balls. Roll in confectioners’ sugar to completely coat. Place 2 inches apart on baking sheets sprayed with nonstick cooking spray.
  3. Bake 10-12 minutes, or until cookies are puffed. Cool on baking sheets 2 minutes. Remove to wire racks; cool completely. (Family Features)

SOURCE:
McCormick

Prepare the Perfect Turkey for Your Festive Season Meal

Festive Season

Think of the festive season and answer this question: The festive season is the only time of year I do … what?

Maybe it’s the only time of year you set up a Christmas tree, hang mistletoe or travel to a certain destination. For many, the festive season is also the only time of year that you prepare the traditional festive season meal.

And that can lead to trouble.

Each year in the U.S., one in six people will experience food poisoning. There are 48 million illnesses, 128,000 hospitalizations and 3,000 patient deaths that can be traced back to foodborne pathogens, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. It’s especially dangerous for young children, the elderly, pregnant women and others with weakened immune systems.

Improper food preparation is one of the most common causes of food poisoning, and the risk increases during the festive season when people try to make lavish meals they would otherwise not prepare. To help keep you and your family safe this season, The Partnership for Food Safety Education — supported by Cargill, Costco Wholesale and the Frozen Food Foundation — is launching The Story of Your Dinner campaign and sharing safe preparation tips for a festive season staple: the turkey dinner.

Preparing the perfect turkey this festive season

* Plan for one pound of meat per person. If a frozen turkey works best for you, allow the bird to thaw for several days in the refrigerator. Generally, you will need to plan one day for every four pounds of turkey to ensure your bird completely thaws. While your turkey is thawing, keep it on the bottom shelf in a rimmed baking pan to prevent juices from spreading.

* Do not rinse your raw turkey. Rinsing the turkey is not a safety step and can increase the risk of spreading bacteria to the sink and other surfaces.

* For optimum safety, cook stuffing in a casserole. Because stuffing is an excellent medium for bacterial growth, it’s important to handle it safely and cook it to a safe minimum internal temperature (at least 165 F) as measured with a food thermometer.

* Cook your turkey to at least 165 F and always use a food thermometer to ensure your turkey reaches this safe internal temperature.

* When checking to see if your turkey is done, insert the food thermometer into the innermost part of the thigh and wing and the thickest part of the breast.

* Put extra turkey, stuffing and other leftovers in the fridge within 2 hours. Consume, freeze or discard leftovers within 3 or 4 days.

The annual turkey dinner is a seasonal staple. A little extra preparation can make the meal as satisfying and enjoyable as the rest of the festive season. To learn more about safe food preparation and find a complete turkey roasting chart, visit StoryofYourDinner.org. (BPT)

Helpful Festive Season Recipes for the Home Chef

With everything that goes into creating a full festive season menu for guests of different ages and palates, taking on that task can be a challenge for any host. However, simple recipes that please the masses can help make life easier for home chefs.

From the main dish all the way to dessert, plus the drinks in-between, put these recipes to the test to help make your festive season gathering a breeze. Put your adult guests at ease with a cranberry-flavored cocktail, followed by a main course made sweet thanks to this turkey brine. As things come to a close, finish off any leftover appetites with a quick cookie recipe.

To help make your festive season hosting easier, find more tips and recipes at Culinary.net.

Dessert in a Snap

After spending hours preparing appetizers, drinks and the main course for holiday get-togethers, many hosts are ready to call it quits in the kitchen. However, that won’t stop guests from getting those late cravings for a tasty treat. If you’re looking for a reprieve from being the lead chef, go for a quick dessert like these Gingersnap cookies, which take just 10 minutes to bake and can leave hosts with more time to mingle. For more quick, nutritious recipes for every meal, visit AICR.org.

Gingersnaps

Reprinted with permission from the American Institute for Cancer Research

Yield: 24 cookies

  • 3/4       cup unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 1/2       cup whole-wheat pastry flour
  • 1/2       teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 1/4    teaspoons ground ginger
  • 1/2       teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/8       teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4       teaspoon salt
  • 1/3       cup dairy-free butter shortening sticks
  • 1/2       cup sugar, plus 2 tablespoons, divided
  • 2          tablespoons unsulphured molasses
  • 1          large egg white
  • Glaze (optional):
  • 1/3       cup confectioners’ sugar
  • 2          teaspoons fresh lemon juice
  1. Heat oven to 350° F.
  2. In mixing bowl, whisk flours, baking soda, ginger, cinnamon, pepper and salt.
  3. In separate bowl, use electric mixer on medium-high speed to beat shortening sticks with 1/2 cup sugar 2 minutes. Add molasses and egg white; beat 3 minutes. Set mixer on low speed and mix in dry ingredients to combine. Don’t over-mix. Batter will form soft ball.
  4. Place remaining sugar in wide, shallow bowl. Pinch about 1 tablespoon batter and roll it between palms, forming 1-inch ball. Place ball in bowl with sugar and roll to coat then place on light-colored, ungreased baking sheet. Repeat, spacing balls 2 inches apart. Discard leftover sugar. Using bottom of a glass, press to flatten each ball into 1-by-3-inch disks.
  5. Bake cookies 10 minutes.
  6. To make glaze, if desired: While cookies bake, in small bowl, combine confectioners’ sugar with lemon juice, mixing until sugar is completely dissolved.
  7. When cookies are done, immediately use spatula to transfer to wire cooling racks. Using tip of knife, spread 1/4 teaspoon glaze on top of each warm cookie. Cool completely.

Note: Can be stored in cookie tin up to 1 week.

Cranberry Cocktail Cravings

If holiday cocktails are on your menu, give guests a twist on a classic with this Cranberry Moscow Mule made with Nemiroff Original Vodka. This premium vodka is bold with a smooth, full-bodied finish that hints of citrus and fruit. Combined with cranberry juice and ginger beer, it’s an ideal holiday cocktail. Find more holiday cocktail options at nemiroff.vodka.

Cranberry Moscow Mule

  • 1          part Nemiroff Original Vodka
  • 1          part cranberry juice cocktail
  • 2          parts ginger beer
  • 1          tablespoon lime juice
  • ice
  • orange wedges, for garnish (optional)
  • fresh cranberries, for garnish (optional)
  • rosemary sprigs, for garnish (optional)
  1. Pour vodka, cranberry juice cocktail, ginger beer and lime juice into copper mug filled with ice. Gently stir to combine.
  2. Garnish with orange wedges, fresh cranberries and rosemary sprigs, if desired.

A Sweeter Centerpiece

A holiday meal is only complete with the centerpiece of the table: a tender turkey that side dishes and desserts can complement for guests of all palates. For a new twist on a holiday classic, add some sweetness to your main course with a Sweet Tea Turkey Brine, featuring Milo’s Famous Sweet Tea. It’s freshly brewed from real tea leaves using simple, quality ingredients free from preservatives, colors or added acids. The family- and certified women-owned business offers a multitude of beverages, all with the same dedication to quality and excellence. Find more information and recipes at drinkmilos.com.

Milo’s Sweet Tea Turkey Brine

Prep time: 20 minutes

Cook time: 15-20 minutes per pound

  • 1          gallon Milo’s Sweet Tea
  • 1          cup kosher salt
  • 3          large sweet onions, quartered
  • 4          lemons, sliced
  • 8          garlic cloves, peeled
  • 5          sprigs rosemary
  • 10        cups ice
  • 1          turkey
  1. In large stock pot over medium heat, combine tea and kosher salt. Stir frequently until salt is dissolved. Add onion, lemon, garlic and rosemary. Remove from heat and let cool to room temperature.
  2. When brine has cooled, pour into food-grade, 5-gallon plastic container. Stir in ice.
  3. Wash and dry turkey. Remove innards. Place turkey, cavity-side up, into brine, making sure cavity gets filled. Cover and place bucket in refrigerator overnight.
  4. Heat oven to 350° F.
  5. Remove turkey from brine, draining excess, and pat dry. Discard excess brine.
  6. Cook turkey 15-20 minutes per pound, or until internal temperature reaches 165° F on instant-read thermometer, reserving drippings for gravy. (Family Features)

SOURCE:

Culinary.net