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November 2017

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18 IDEAS FOR MAKING HOLIDAY MEMORIES

A QUICK HOLIDAY DESSERT

PUMPKIN PERFECT RECIPES

A DELICIOUS HOLIDAY COOKIE


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November 19, 2017 Chisago County Press/SEARCH

18 ideas for making holiday memories Counting down to Christmas Day means many different things to people across the globe. Although families likely have several different traditions they anticipate each year, it can be fun to incorporate some new merrymakers into the festivities. Here are some festive ideas to include in the days leading up to Christmas — a special family calendar of fun finds. 1. Annual memento: Have the kids or adults make one new handmade ornament each year. This way the tree is always evolving, and everyone can track milestones. 2. Cookie day: Devote one day to making Christmas cookies. Invite friends or family members over.

Distribute some cookies to elderly neighbors. 3. Holiday classic: Spend a night in and watch a classic Christmas flick you’ve never seen before. Streaming movie services often put classics and obscure titles into rotation during the holiday season. 4. Christmas concert: Host a gathering of children where they can sing or perform their favorite tunes for an audience. Take it on the road to a nearby nursing home. 5. Dine out: Take a break from cooking, shopping and hosting and stop into a restaurant you’ve been meaning to try. Keep it local to support nearby businesses. 6. Adopt a child/family: Volunteer with a charitable organization that

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provides for less fortunate families. Answer the Christmas desires of a needy child or family by purchasing an item on their wish lists. 7. See the sights: Pack the children into the family car to tour nearby areas and look at Christmas lights displays. Bring along cookies and hot chocolate. 8. Trim a tree: Get together with adult friends at a tree-trimming party. Rotate the hosting house each year. 9. Play dress-up: A gentleman can dress up as the man in red and pop into a friend’s holiday gathering.

it out to shoppers or workers who have been out in the cold. 14. Read religious stories: Understand the true meaning of the season by reading Biblical passages. 15. Camp-in: The first night the tree is decorated, allow the kids to sleep beside it under the glow of Christmas lights. 16. Scavenger hunt: Plan holidaythemed trivia questions and hide small trinkets for children to find. 17. Surprise box: Put a gender and age nonspecific gift into a box. On Christmas Eve or Christmas Day, the person who finds a hidden gift tag under their chair at dinner gets to open the box. 18. Family portrait: Wear your holiday finery and pose for a portrait that actually will be printed and framed.

10. Wilderness walk: Enjoy the crisp air and snow and see a local park from a winter perspective. 11. Acts of kindness: Choose any act of kindness and make it happen this Christmas. It can include feeding the hungry or helping a disabled person shop for the season. 12. Kids’ Secret Santa: Spread the joy of giving by having the kids choose a sibling or friend’s name from a hat and purchasing or making a gift for that person. 13. Hand out hot chocolate: Make a big thermos of hot chocolate and give

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The origins of some beloved holiday traditions

England. Originally, a berry was picked from the sprig of mistletoe before the person could be kissed. When all the berries had gone, there could be no more kissing.

Throughout the month of December, traditions fill people’s days and comprise the many reasons why individuals decorate, celebrate and dine the way they do this time of year. Christmastime is here. The presents are being purchased and wrapped. The stockings will soon be hung on the fireplace mantle. Mistletoe is pinned above the front entryway, and poinsettias add rich color to home decor. Tradition is integral come the holiday season. But few may know the origins of some of the most beloved holiday traditions.

would leave shoes full of food to feed St. Nicholas’ donkeys, and then St. Nicholas would leave small gifts in return. Another origin story of Christmas stockings can be traced to the 12th century, when nuns would leave socks full of nuts, fruit and tangerines for the poor. This is why some people still put tangerines in Christmas stockings. Christmas tree Christmas Trees are everywhere this time of year. The use of evergreen trees predates Christmas and is associated with the pagan festival of Saturnalia, which celebrated the agricultural god Saturn with partying and gift-giving. During the winter solstice, green branches served as a reminder that spring would arrive anew. Germans are credited with first bringing evergreens into their homes and decorating them.

Christmas stockings The Christmas stockings of today may be a byproduct of various traditions. One such tradition dates back to a Dutch custom in which children

Santa Claus Santa Claus’ origin story can be traced to St. Nicholas, a Christian bishop who lived during the fourth

Christmas bells Church bells ring for many special services, including Christmas mass. During Christmas midnight mass in the Catholic Church, the altar bells may be rung while the priest says the “Gloria.” Bells are part of caroling, and jingling bells are associated with sleighs and Santa’s reindeer. century. St. Nicholas was very generous and gave away his fortune to help the needy. He also did various other good deeds. St. Nicholas became infamous and began to be known by various names around the world. The Dutch called him Sinter Klaas, which was eventually transformed to Santa Claus. The jolly persona came later when 20th century advertisers — especially the artists responsible for Coca-Cola ads — portrayed Santa in a red suit with a big smile. Mistletoe Mistletoe is hung in doorways, and couples who stand beneath are encouraged to share a kiss. The tradition of hanging it in the house goes back to the times of the ancient Druids. Mistletoe was thought to bring good luck to a household and ward off evil spirits. The custom of kissing under mistletoe can be traced to

Christmas is rife with traditions that date back ages.


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Rudolph the red-nosed reindeer

Although Rudolph is now beloved, May’s original ideas included Rollo and Reginald. Also, Rudolph’s famed red nose almost didn’t come to be. Because a red nose at the time was viewed as a sign of alcoholism, Montgomery Ward was hesitant to be on board with the bulbous, red snoot. A blue nose was considered, but later changed. In its first year of publication, Montgomery Ward had distributed 2.4 million copies of Rudolph’s story.

Adults and children alike are familiar with the tale of “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer.” As the lyrics of the song illustrate: Rudolph the red-nosed reindeer had a very shiny nose / And if you ever saw it, you would even say it glows. Popularized by the song written by Johnny Marks and sung by Gene Autry, Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer dates back to 1939. A copywriter named Robert L. May created the story of the misfit reindeer in 1939 when working for Montgomery Ward. The retail giant was producing marketing holiday coloring books for children and wanted to come up with a clever character.

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The catchy tune came thereafter, followed by a cartoon short in 1948. In 1964, the stop-motion animated television special further propelled Rudolph to celebrity and became the most recognizable Rudolph adaption. Today, Rudolph is known across the globe as the reindeer responsible for navigating Santa’s sleigh through tricky weather on Christmas Eve. He continues to be loved by many, young and old.

Max Fleischer’s original 1948 animation

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A quick and delicious holiday dessert The holiday season is synonymous with many things, including delicious foods. While Thanksgiving turkeys or Christmas geese will be found on many a table this holiday season, baked goods and desserts are what many people look forward to this time of year. Holiday hosts with a lot on their plates might not have the time to prepare homemade baked goods for their guests. Thankfully, the following recipe for “Chocolate-Strawberry Pie” from Addie Gundry’s “No-Bake Desserts” (St. Martin’s Press) can be prepared in just 15 minutes, all without turning on the oven.

Chocolate-Strawberry Pie 1 pint fresh strawberries, washed, trimmed and halved 1 store-bought (or homemade) chocolate cookie pie crust 2⁄3 cup sugar 1⁄4 cup cornstarch 2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder 1⁄4 teaspoon minced crystallized ginger 1⁄8 teaspoon ground nutmeg

Pinch of kosher or sea salt 6 large egg yolks 2 1⁄2 cups half-and-half 6 oz. bittersweet or semisweet chocolate, chopped 1⁄2 tablespoon rum extract 1 teaspoon vanilla extract Additional strawberries for garnish (optional)

1. Place the strawberry halves in a single layer in the bottom of the pie crust. 2. In a medium saucepan, whisk together the sugar, cornstarch, cocoa powder, ginger, nutmeg, and salt over medium heat. 3. Whisk in the egg yolks to create a thick paste. Gradually whisk in the half-and-half until the mixture thickens, about 5 minutes. Bring to a boil and cook for 1 minute. Remove from the heat. 4. Add the chocolate and whisk until combined. Add the rum and vanilla extracts. Cool the mixture for 4 minutes. 5. Pour the filling over the strawberries and up to the top of the crust. Chill the pie for 2 hours or until set. 6. Garnish with additional strawberries, if desired.

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Family Features

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hen planning this year’s holiday menu, consider building meals around a versatile main course that you can dress up or down and then integrate into easy leftover dishes. A ham is a perfect solution because it works equally well as the centerpiece of an elegant meal or as savory sliders to serve with chutney or hot mustard. Beyond versatile ingredients, a winning holiday menu relies on proper preparation, and that’s why quality cookware is essential. An option like Anolon Gourmet Cookware is designed for superior performance that can help bring joy to cooking and features heavy-duty pan bodies and comfort-grip handles for safe and secure lifting and leverage. The aesthetically pleasing cookware’s premium-quality, nonstick surface provides lasting durability, effortless food release and easy clean up – perfect for the busy holiday season. Explore more cookware options to serve up your holiday best at anolon.com. h

COLA AND BROWN SUGAR GLAZED HAM Recipe courtesy of Anolon Gourmet Cookware Servings: 14-16 11-12 pounds shank half bone-in cooked ham large Anolon roasting pan 4 cups cola, divided 2 cups orange juice, divided 1/2 cup dark brown sugar 1/4 cup Dijon mustard teaspoon baking soda

COUNTRY HAM AND CHEDDAR ON BISCUITS

Heat oven to 350 F. medium Anolon skillet Trim skin and excess fat off ham. With sharp Anolon large nonstick baking sheet knife, score ham all over in diamond pattern. Place ham in roasting pan then pour 1 cup cola and 1 cup orange juice over it. Cover pan with slices (about 6 ounces) sharp cheddar cheese aluminum foil and roast 1 hour and 15 minutes. T While ham roasts, in medium saucepan, combine remaining cola, orange juice, brown sugar and Dijon mustard. Bring mixture to boil over medium-high heat and cook about 45-48 minutes, until reduced to 1 cup and mixture is slightly syrupy. After ham roasts 1 hour and 15 minutes, remove foil and baste with glaze. Continue roasting and basting ham every 15 minutes with glaze until it is glossy and instant read thermometer inserted into thickest portion registers 145 F, about 1 hour and 15-30 minutes longer. Remove from oven and let rest 15-20 minutes before slicing.

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Chutney: h 1 tablespoon olive oil medium Anolon skillet 1 small onion, finely chopped 2 teaspoons fresh ginger, minced teaspoon curry powder 3/4pounds shank half bone-in cooked ham Anolon roasting pan 1/4large teaspoon ground cinnamon 3/4 cup dried currants 3 tablespoons water 2 tablespoons raspberry vinegar 2 tablespoons sugar 1/4 cup apple jelly 1 tablespoon country Dijon mustard 1/4 teaspoon salt

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Biscuits: 2 cups all-purpose flour 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder 1 teaspoon coarse ground black pepper 1/4 teaspoon baking soda B 1 teaspoon salt 8 tablespoons chilled unsalted butter, cut into small pieces h B 3/4 cup low-fat buttermilk, plus 2 tablespoons Anolon large nonstick baking sheet 1 large egg yolk, beaten h 12 ounces country ham, thinly sliced 6 slices (about 6 ounces) sharp cheddar cheese

To make chutney: heat oil in skillet over medium heat. Add onion and ginger; cook, stirring occasionally, until slightly softened, 3-4 minutes. Add curry powder and cinnamon; cook, stirring, 30 seconds. Stir in currants and cook until slightly softened, 2 minutes. Add water and vinegar and cook large until currants slightly, Anolon plump roasting pan about 3 minutes. Stir in sugar and cook 1 minute. Remove from heat and let cool 10 minutes. Stir in jelly, mustard and salt; refrigerate until ready to serve.

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To make biscuits: Heat ovenpan to 425 F. large Anolon roasting cup dark brown sugar In large bowl, combine baking powder, pepper, baking soda and salt. Using pastry blender, baking powder cup Dijon mustardflour, teaspoons cut butter into flour mixture until resembles coarse crumbs. Stir in buttermilk until mixture is teaspoonit baking soda teaspoon salt H moistened. In bowl, knead dough tablespoons chilled unsalted butter, cut into smalltogether. pieces 3-4 times to bring Press dough into disk and wrap in tablespoon oil cupolivedark brown sugar cup low-fat buttermilk, plus 2 tablespoons Anolon large nonstick sheet plastic wrap; refrigerate Onbaking lightly floured surface, roll dough out to 1/2-inch thicklarge egg yolk, beaten cup Dijon mustard20-30 minutes. ness. Using 2-inch fluted biscuit cutter, start at outside edge of dough and cut out biscuits and set ounces country ham, thinly sliced H on baking sheet. Gently press dough slices (about 6 ounces) sharp cheddar cheese scraps together and roll again to 1/2-inch thickness. Repeat to T cuttablespoons out 24 biscuits total. Brush tops of biscuits with egg yolk. sugar cup apple jelly Bake in center of oven until puffed and tops are golden brown. Remove from oven and tablespoonbiscuits country Dijon mustard teaspoon salt Bcool 15 minutes. Split biscuits in half and set aside. Lay ham slices on cutting board in single layer. cups all-purpose flour Using 2-inch fluted biscuit cutter, punch out 24 ham circles and place each on bottom half of biscuit. Lay cheese slices on cutting board and punch out 24 circles to place each on top of ham. Spoon chutney evenly on top of each biscuit then replace top half of each biscuit. Note: Biscuits can be assembled several hours ahead of serving and kept in refrigerator.

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Ham it Up (or Down) Ham is an ideal holiday protein because you can serve it as a centerpiece dish or as part of a more casual meal and still achieve great results either way. Make the most of this holiday favorite with these tips: „

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Be sure to get a ham big enough for leftovers. It’s just as good sliced up for sandwiches or fried with eggs as it is when presented in its full glory out of the oven. Think beyond the main table. A glazed ham is pretty on the table, but it’s also delicious when served casually, for example on a sandwich bar with savory rolls, tangy mustards and other condiments. If your holiday plans are up in the air, go ahead and make a ham in advance to keep on hand for casual meals during the busy holiday season or for a quick meal with unexpected guests.

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Holiday Baking for Family and Friends (Family Features)

A holiday season filled with gatherings calls for simple recipes that make baking for family and friends easy and enjoyable.Traditions are often enjoyed more around the holidays and some classic flavors are must-haves for seasonal parties and dinners.

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ndividually portioned desserts are ideal for entertaining, and these smooth, creamy cheesecakes with vivid holiday color are a perfect single serving that is sure to brighten any dessert table. Or put a festive twist on apple pie with a cinnamon roll-inspired crust.

Each of these desserts features quick and easy preparation, and the delicious flavors of Lucky Leaf Fruit Fillings, which use high-quality fruit and contain no high-fructose corn syrup, for great tasting desserts every time. An array of popular flavors like apple, blueberry, cherry and strawberry make it possible to prepare your favorite holiday desserts in minutes. Find more inspiration for this season's holiday baking at luckyleaf.com.

MINI MARBLED CHERRY CHEESECAKES 18 chocolate cookies with white filling 2 packages (8 ounces each) cream cheese, softened 1/3 cup sugar 2 eggs 1 teaspoon vanilla 1 can (21 ounces) Lucky Leaf Premium Cherry Fruit Filling, divided Heat oven to 350 F. Line muffin tins with 18 paper liners. Place one chocolate cookie in bottom of each paper liner. In mixing bowl, beat cream cheese, sugar, eggs and vanilla until light and fluffy. Fold in half of fruit filling. Fill each muffin liner about three-fourths full with mixture. Bake 20-25 minutes, or until done. Cool. Top each cheesecake with spoonful of remaining fruit filling.

Mini Marbled Cherry Cheesecakes

CINNAMON APPLE PIE 1 refrigerated pie crust 1 tablespoon butter, melted 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon 2 cans (21 ounces each) Lucky Leaf Premium Apple Fruit Filling 1 stick (8 tablespoons) butter, softened 1 cup flour 1 cup light brown sugar 1/2 cup powdered sugar, plus additional (optional) 1/4 teaspoon vanilla 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon 2 teaspoons milk, plus additional (optional) Heat oven to 400 F. On lightly floured surface, unroll pie crust. Brush with melted butter and sprinkle evenly with cinnamon. Roll up tightly and slice into 1/2-inch rounds, like miniature cinnamon rolls. Press miniature cinnamon rolls evenly into bottom and sides of 9-inch pie plate, making sure there are no spaces between rolls. Pour fruit filling on top of crust. In large bowl, using pastry blender, combine stick of butter, flour and brown sugar, until crumbly. Sprinkle over apple filling. Bake pie until top and crust are golden brown and filling is bubbling, about 40-45 minutes (cover top and crust with foil, if necessary, to prevent from getting too dark). Remove from oven and allow to cool. In small bowl, whisk together powdered sugar, vanilla, cinnamon and milk to form icing. Add more sugar or milk, if necessary, to reach desired consistency. Drizzle icing over cooled pie. Source: Lucky Leaf

Cinnamon Apple Pie

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Hope your Holiday

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Christmas Coloring Contest

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A prize winner in each age catagory. Ages: 3-5, 6-8, 9-11. Send your entry to Chisago County Press, P.O. Box 748, Lindstrom, MN 55045 by Friday, Dec. 15, 2017.


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Pumpkin-PerfectAutumn Recipes

(Family Features) Fall is perfect for making time for fun before the busy holiday season go for a fall picnic, visit your local orchard or pumpkin patch, and take advantage of all the flavors fall has to offer. Try these delicious, comforting, no-hassle fall ideas that won't carve a big chunk out of your budget: * The great taste of seasonal produce can stand on its own, adding star power to simple recipes. Baked pears or apples are a sweet, festive treat. Slice them in half and fill with walnuts, drizzle with honey and sprinkle with cinnamon. Bake until the sugars caramelize and

Mini Pumpkin Parfait with Cranberry Caramel 1 pkg. Cafe Bistro Spekulatius Spiced Cookies 1/2 cup Countryside Creamery Unsalted Butter, divided 1/2 cup packed Baker's Corner Brown Sugar 1/4 cup water 1 cup Sweet Harvest Whole Berry Cranberry Sauce

8 ounces Happy Farms Pumpkin Spice Cream Cheese Spread, softened 1/4 cup Baker's Corner Powdered Sugar 1 cup Baker's Corner 100% Pure Canned Pumpkin 8 oz. Friendly Farms Whipped Topping, divided

Place cookies in food processor and pulse to form fine crumbs. In medium saucepan, melt 1/4 cup butter. Add cookie crumbs and stir over medium heat 5 minutes, or until toasted. Remove from heat. To make caramel: Bring brown sugar and water to simmer. Cook about 10 minutes, or until color changes to dark amber. Do not stir, but watch closely. Stir in cranberry sauce and remaining butter. Return to simmer and continue stirring until well combined and thickened slightly, 3-4 minutes. Remove from heat and let cool to room temperature.Press warm cookie crumbs in bottom of small serving glass-

fruits soften * Take on-the-go snacks to the next level by coating almonds or garbanzo beans in your favorite seasonal spices and baking until crispy. No matter the season, trim time grocery shopping by relying on a one-stop-shop like ALDI. Whether you're looking for a new pumpkin spice treat or need quality ingredients for your famous chili, you can find it all at wallet-friendly prices. Find more tips and recipes for a hassle-free fall at ALDI.us. es, such as clear shot glasses, espresso cups, small bowls or parfait glasses. Set aside. In medium bowl, beat cream cheese and powdered sugar until light and fluffy. Add pumpkin and continue mixing to combine. Gently fold in 6 ounces whipped topping. To complete assembly, top crumbs with layers of cranberry caramel and pumpkin cream. Repeat layers, including crumbs, 2-3 times depending on glass size. Top each parfait with dollop of remaining whipped topping. Serve immediately or refrigerate up to 8 hours.

Pumpkin Pie Smoothie Bowl 1/2 cup Baker's Corner 100% Pure Canned Pumpkin 1/2 cup Friendly Farms Plain Nonfat Greek Yogurt 1/2 frozen banana 1/2 cup Friendly Farms Unsweetened Original Almondmilk 2 teaspoons Specially Selected 100% Pure Maple Syrup 1 teaspoon Stonemill Pumpkin Pie Spice

SimplyNature Organic Ground Cinnamon Blend canned pumpkin, yogurt, banana, milk, syrup and pumpkin pie spice until smooth. Transfer to serving bowl. Top with desired garnishes.

Optional garnishes: SimplyNature Flax Seed Southern Grove Chia Seeds Baker's Corner Semi-Sweet Mini Morsels Southern Grove Chopped Pecans, toasted Apple slices Recipe Courtesy of Chef Audrey, ALDI Test Kitchen


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A Holiday cookie the whole family will love

Many people enjoy baking come the holiday season, and perhaps no dish is more synonymous with holiday baking than cookies. Children leave cookies out for Santa Claus on Christmas Eve, while adults may indulge and enjoy an extra cookie or two at family gatherings or holiday office parties. Cookies come in all shapes and sizes, so bakers have an array of options at their disposal when planning their holiday menus. Chocolate chip cookies may be among the most popular types of cookies, and bakers who want to capitalize on that popularity while giving loved ones something a little different may want to try the following recipe for “Double Chocolate Chip Cookies” from Maxine Clark’s “Chocolate: Deliciously

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DOUBLE CHOCOLATE CHIP COOKIES 15 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened 5 tablespoons granulated sugar 5 tablespoons light brown sugar, sifted 1 large egg, beaten 1⁄2 teaspoon pure vanilla essence or chocolate extract (see note) 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons self-rising flour 3 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa 1⁄4 teaspoon salt 2⁄3 cup (or more) dark and white (or milk) chocolate chips (or roughly chopped chocolate) A heavy, nonstick baking sheet Preheat the oven to 350 F. Using an electric mixer, cream the butter and sugars together until pale and fluffy. Beat in the egg and vanilla essence. Sift the flour with the cocoa and salt in a small bowl. Fold into the egg mixture with the chocolate chips. Place 4 heaping tablespoonsfuls of the mixture on the prepared baking sheet, spacing them well apart. Press down and spread out to about 1⁄4-inch thick with the back of a wet spoon or with dampened fingers (you may like to scatter some more chocolate chips over the top). Bake for 10 to 12 minutes. Let cool on the baking sheet for 1 minute, then transfer to a wire rack. When cool, store in an airtight container. Repeat with the remaining mixture. Note: Chocolate extract is a fat-free flavoring ingredient made from a blend of roasted cacao beans, water and alcohol.


14

Holiday Gift Guide

November 19, 2017 Chisago County Press/SEARCH

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15

Holiday Gift Guide

November 19, 2017 Chisago County Press/SEARCH

Fresh Christmas tree care Christmas trees are often the centerpiece of holiday decor and one of the hallmarks of the season. The National Christmas Tree Association states that there are approximately 25 to 30 million real Christmas trees sold each year in the United States, where there are close

to 350 million currently growing on Christmas tree farms. The NCTA also notes that, when a Christmas tree is cut, more than half of its weight is water. To maintain its quality and appearance, keeping the tree hydrated is of utmost importance. There are other steps to take as well to minimize

needle loss and help ensure the tree lasts through the holiday season. • Buy a quality tree. It’s adviseable to buy a freshly cut tree from a local nursery or cut one down yourself. Trees available at tree lots may have been cut down weeks prior and may have already started to deteriorate.

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Some needle loss is to be expected, but if the tree you’re considering loses lots of needles when shaken, go elsewhere. • Fit the stand to the tree. Rather than whittling down the trunk to fit the stand, choose a stand with an adequate reservoir to fit the trunk and water. Stands should provide one quart of water per inch of stem diameter. Make a fresh cut in the trunk before putting the tree in the stand. Be careful to cut perpendicular to the stem axis, not at an angle or v-shape. The outer layers of wood are the most efficient in absorbing water and should not be removed. • Keep it cool. Trees are used to being outdoors and not inside. Therefore, inside the home, place the tree away from a heat source to prolong its life. Avoid drafts from heating vents, radiators and fireplaces as well. • Consider a living tree. Living trees can be planted in the yard after the season, ensuring that the beauty of the evergreen can be enjoyed yearround. Select a tree that is hardy to your planting zone. Live trees often need to be transitioned from the outdoors to a garage and then into the house so they will not be shocked. Reverse this process when returning the tree to the outdoors. Do not keep the tree inside longer than 10 days, advises HGTV. Monitor any tree’s condition daily, keeping it watered regularly. Select lights that use low heat. Remove the tree if it has dried out to avoid a fire risk. Following these suggestions can help trees last the entire holiday season as they serve as the centerpiece of holiday decorations.

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16

Holiday Gift Guide

November 19, 2017 Chisago County Press/SEARCH

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