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Posts Tagged ‘new year’s’

Cooking Channel Talents’ New Year’s Get-Healthy Tips

Most people’s resolutions include eating healthy and staying fit. Here’s how our chefs and hosts actually make it happen.

Find out Cooking Channel Talents’ New Year’s Get-Healthy Tips

Cooking Channel’s New Year’s Resolutions

Find out what Cooking Channel’s hosts and chefs hope to accomplish in the new year, besides continuing to create some of the best television humankind has ever seen.

See Cooking Channel Talents’ New Year’s Resolutions

Hump Day Snack: French Toast in a Mug

Today’s the start of a spankin’ new year of snacks, and since you’re probably still recovering from last night’s champagne-fueled shenanigans, you’ll need to ease into the day with a quick-fix breakfast. Craving French toast but don’t have the stamina to break out the griddle and spatula? No sweat, just whip out your finest microwaveable mug and stuff it full of cubed bread, an egg, some milk and a dash of cinnamon and vanilla. After a few zaps in the microwave, you’ll be rewarded with a single serving of French toast for slathering with syrup or whipped cream. Scarf it down and then head back to bed, dreaming of all the mug meals ahead of you in 2014. Start with this speedy, hangover-friendly recipe and then hit up Cooking Channel’s collection of muggable treats, both sweet and savory:

Brunch Rush! Sausage, Egg and Cheese Strata

What do the following seasonal phenomena have in common?

  1. Fitness- and diet-tracking apps flood the social media feeds.
  2. Champagne glasses clink and toast to health and good tidings.
  3. Everyone starts singing “Auld Lang Syne” (even though no one actually knows the words).
  4. Many of us brace for the first hangover of the year.

That’s right New Year’s Eve is nearly upon us again. A time to look back, celebrate the moments and achievements of the last 364 days, and flood ourselves with lofty optimism for the 12 months ahead. The best way to celebrate? A party, of course!

While the Cooking Channel team has got your back with plenty of fabulous New Year’s Eve party recipes, have you planned for the morning after? That hazy kickoff to the semi-intoxicated promises made just hours before can be a bit rough. Best to plan ahead on this one.

Few other post-drunken corpse revivers are as effective as a good ol’ sausage, egg and cheese sandwich. Putting all of that goodness together into a strata that can be made the night before should make the transition a bit easier.

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How to Make Smarter New Year’s Resolutions (plus 3 to Make Your Own)

We all know the drill: January 1 rolls around and we feel compelled to make resolutions. We go gung-ho for a week or two before we bring back our old ways. Resolve that this year, 2014, you will make New Year’s resolutions that work.

How do you do that, you ask? What works best is when you think about where you actually are and where you want to go, and then make goals (or resolutions, if you will) that bridge that gap. If you reach too far, it’s easy to miss the mark and then get discouraged. By being realistic about your current lifestyle and what typically prevents you from making the changes you’d like to make, you’ll set yourself up for success. It’s also helpful to break down a larger goal into smaller steps. Instead of creating an overwhelming goal like “lose weight,” take a close look at the behaviors that are keeping the weight on and select one or more to change. For example, maybe you notice you do a lot of late-night noshing. Try and think about why that is. Maybe you tend to eat when you’re tired or stressed? Come up with some replacement behaviors that address the real problem (like getting ready for bed earlier, or writing down your worries).

Here are some examples of those intermediate goals and how to make them achievable:

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Lighter Drinks, Dips and Treats for New Year’s Eve

This time of the year can be really fun for indulging, but there comes a point when you just need a break (hello, January 1st!). If you find yourself hitting that point when you still have some more festivities to attend (I’m looking at you, New Year’s Eve), then these lightened up drinks, dips and treats are for you.

Skinnier Sips
Alcohol is high in calories. Cutting down how much you drink in any given night is smart for a number of reasons, including your waistline. Try alternating between a drink and a glass of sparkling water to slow your drinking pace. And keep in mind that mixed drinks can often deliver lots of extra calories. A glass of wine is usually around 120 calories; beer can range upwards of 250 calories for higher-alcohol brews. Here are a few lower-calorie alternatives:

Spritzers (pictured above): Spritzers are a great way to curb the alcohol per drink.

Bellinis: They have more calories than spritzers, but like spritzers, they help you to drink less actual alcohol.

Alcohol-free wines have half the calories of regular vinos and they’re surprisingly delicious.

Desserts

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Why Eating Cabbage Rolls is Lucky on New Year’s

Photo by Kankana Saxena

In many parts of Eastern Europe, eating cabbage rolls for New Year’s is considered very lucky. Laura Kelley, author of The Silk Road Gourmet (iUniverse, 2009), says: “My mother said that cabbage rolls were considered lucky because the leaves looked like paper money. The New Year’s connection was to roll ingredients that symbolized different things — chestnuts and walnuts look like brains, so they signify intelligence; tomato is about health and transformation, etc. — into the leaves to bring these things to the family who ate them in the new year.”

According to Rabbi Issamar Ginzberg, the cabbage rolls, with cabbage on the outside and meat on the inside, are as a home should be: “Inside should be nice and comfy, but the outside? Don’t make the neighbors envious!” He says that in keeping with Hasidic Jewish tradition, the rolls are eaten on Jewish holidays like Rosh Hashana and Simchat Torah.

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Lighter Appetizers for New Year’s Eve

Who says appetizers have to be ultra-rich to be a hit? These lightened-up appetizers use healthy whole foods to make small bites that taste as good as they are good for you. Most of them are a cinch to make, too, so you can cut down on the stress as well as the calories.

Pecorino and Honey Dip (pictured above): This simple combination of pecorino and spiced honey hits the sweet, salty and spicy flavor points.

Spicy Roasted Olives: Give heart-healthy olives an update.

Roasted Chestnuts: A holiday classic studded with vitamin C and manganese

Porcini Bruschette with Nipitella: Mushrooms and fresh herbs top this quick and easy bruschetta.

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Cotechino e Lenticchie, or What Italians Eat on New Year’s for Good Luck

Photo by Kankana Saxena

This hearty Italian dish from the northern Italian region of Umbria is said to bring good luck because the lentils look like coins when they are done cooking. “It is the traditional food eaten on New Year’s for good luck,” says Italy-based chef and owner of Cooking Vacations Lauren Birmingham Piscitelli. In particular, says Lauren, lentils are considered very lucky, “Dried lentils are often wrapped in little wreath-like decorations and passed out to friends and families ensuring health, happiness and good fortune in the new year.”

Cotechino sausage really belongs to Northern Italy, where it differs slightly from region to region. For example, in the town of Villastrada, they include a small amount of vanilla in the cure. “But in Piacenza, where my mother is from, the typical cotechino sausage is encased in a bladder or intestine, dried and aged for 30 to 40 days before being boiled. It has Barbera wine, peppercorns, and a mix of lean pork and fatty pork rind,” says home cook Christian Galliani. He recalls big family celebrations that focused on this dish during New Year’s Eve. “At least 20 people would come for my grandmother’s cotechino e lenticchie. They would talk of how the dish would lead to good fortune all year!”

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We’re Up All Night Sorting Through Black-Eyed Peas to Get Lucky

Photo by Kankana Saxena

There is an old saying in the American South: “Peas for pennies, greens for dollars and cornbread for gold.” True to the saying, hoppin’ John, prepared with black-eyed peas, is served with collard greens and cornbread for a triple dose of good luck on New Year’s Day in the American South.

Chef Teddi Wohlford, co-author of The Sweet Magnolias Cookbook (Harlequin, 2012), recalls eating black-eyed peas and crowder peas for prosperity and good luck. “Although black-eyed peas can be purchased in the canned food section or in the freezer section of almost every Southern grocery store, there is something special and time-honored about going through the black-eyed peas (or any other dried bean), sorting and removing any bits of debris, pebbles or small dirt clods,” she says. In her family, this process of going through the dried legumes was known as “looking the beans.” Once the looking was done, the dried beans were soaked overnight to speed up the cooking process.

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