Festive dishes and drinks to get in the holiday spirit
(Family Features) Whether you’re getting together with family or throwing a party with friends, holiday festivities are intended to be merry and bright. And one of the best ways to celebrate the spirit of the season is to share simple, wholesome food with the ones you love.
When you use real dairy milk in your favorite holiday recipes, you can feel good knowing it provides a unique nutrient package that is hard to match in any other single food or beverage. During this holiday season, bring family and friends together to enjoy savory comfort foods and sweet holiday treats – all made with nutrient-rich milk.
These eight easy-to-make recipes make it simple to create special moments around nourishing meals and homemade treats, leaving ample time to relax and make family memories that last a lifetime. For more seasonal inspiration and recipe ideas, visit milklife.com .
Toast to the holiday season with this classic New Orleans-inspired cocktail. When you use milk as the base of your cocktails, you’re serving a wholesome, quality beverage that will impress your guests.
If you’re looking for a new twist on those post-holiday leftovers, turn your roasted Brussels sprouts into this savory quiche to enjoy during breakfast, and pair each serving with an 8-ounce glass of milk for added nutrition. With deliciously sweet and nutty flavors, this recipe is sure to be a crowd-favorite.
This simple slow cooker recipe elevates mashed potatoes, a holiday staple, with cauliflower, brown butter and fresh sage, made even more satisfying with milk.
With the winter months bringing cold weather, few dishes provide a warm-up quite like pot pie. A vegetarian twist on a British classic, this recipe combines wild mushrooms and fennel in a creamy milk and Camembert sauce to create a mouthwatering puff pastry perfect for dinner parties.
Put a twist on an ordinary drink this holiday season by simply combining cocoa mix, chocolate syrup, milk and ice cubes for a creamy, extra chocolatey treat.
For a reimagined side dish, combine fresh green beans with cremini mushrooms, shallots and nutrient-rich milk.
It’s simply not the holidays without eggnog, which makes this recipe a perfect choice for dessert. Combine cinnamon bread, milk, eggnog and warm spices to create this treat for your gatherings.
For a simple dessert to bake with your kids, these homemade whoopie pies make the ideal wintertime treat. With light, airy cookies and fluffy cream cheese filling, these gingerbread goodies are a must-make around the holidays.
(Family Features) If you are looking to host an unforgettable holiday cocktail party, punch can make a memorable impression on your guests and bring your get-together to the next level.
Punch reached the height of its popularity during the Victorian Age. Originally made with alcohol, it ultimately became a non-alcoholic drink largely due to the preference of Queen Victoria. Over the following decades, it faded in popularity, briefly regaining favor in the 1920s when champagne punch was a hallmark of parties and celebrations.
Now, as new generations are reinvigorating old favorites and enjoying the art of mixology, punch is trending again.
Start by making punch a visual centerpiece at your holiday party. Consider a charming drink dispenser, an unusual punch bowl or an elegant glass pitcher. Let your personal and unique style shine through with your choice of glassware and table decorations and offer a variety of garnish selections for your guests to further personalize their glasses.
Typically, punches start with a blend of sweet and tangy, and you can get that "swangy" taste with an option like Tree Top's 100% Pure Pressed Sweet & Tart Apple Cider as a base. For inspiration, take a mixologist's approach to creating a memorable punch. Lemon, cinnamon and cloves not only spice up the flavor but can also double as decorations. Try ginger beer for a nice fizzle, and for an adult-only punch, consider adding vodka or rum.
Your punch table can be a place to gather and reconnect with loved ones while enjoying a trending holiday beverage. Find more recipes perfect for entertaining at treetop.com.
Swangy Cider Punch
Servings: 10 (8 ounces each)
- 1 bottle (64 ounces) Tree Top 100% Pure Pressed Sweet & Tart Apple Cider
- 16 ounces ginger beer
- 2 oranges, juice only
- 1 lime, juice only
- 1 lemon, juice only
- 1 cup vodka or light rum (optional)
- 1 sliced Granny Smith apple
- 6 star anise pieces, plus additional for garnish (optional)
- 6 whole cloves
- 3 cinnamon sticks
- frozen cranberries, for garnish (optional)
- colored sugars or ginger crystals, for garnish (optional)
- In punch container, combine apple cider, ginger beer, orange juice, lime juice, lemon juice and vodka or rum, if desired, for an alcoholic version.
- Decorate container with apple slices, star anise pieces, cloves and cinnamon sticks.
- Personalize each serving with additional star anise pieces, frozen cranberries and sugars or ginger crystals, as desired. Serve cold.
Photo courtesy of Alamy
Source: Tree Top
(Family Features) Summer is all about enjoying the warm weather with family and friends, but even with the longer summer days, the season can feel short for many. That’s why it’s important to make the most of summer by maximizing your fun in the sun with some of the best memories being made while entertaining al fresco.
For a fun-filled, yet relaxing summer, it’s important to keep the essentials on-hand for easy entertaining. From bright decor to refreshing drinks and fresh ingredients, party prep ensures you save time and money, and are always ready to wine and dine your guests.
No matter the occasion, a store like ALDI can be your guide to summer entertaining with everything you need to celebrate the season, including high-quality and affordable ingredients for this summer’s must-have recipes.
A fresh and easy recipe to try this summer is Grilled Chicken and Pineapple Skewers with Lemon-Cucumber Salsa. This entree pairs perfectly with a crisp, fruit-forward wine like Exquisite Collection Sauvignon Blanc or Trestoria Rosé from ALDI. When there’s a crowd to serve, consider mixing up a pitcher of Citrus Ginger Rosé Punch.
Find more seasonal recipe ideas to celebrate summer at ALDI.us.
Grilled Chicken and Pineapple Skewers with Lemon-Cucumber Salsa
Recipe courtesy of Chef Alyssa, ALDI Test Kitchen
Prep time: 15 minutes
Cook time: 15 minutes
- 8 skewers
- 1 pineapple
- 2 tablespoons Carlini Vegetable Oil
- 1/2 teaspoon Stonemill Iodized Salt
- 1 teaspoon Stonemill Ground Black Pepper
- 1 3/4 pounds Never Any! Fresh Boneless Skinless Chicken Breasts, diced into 1-inch pieces
- 1 lemon, supremed
- 1 cucumber, diced
- 1/2 red onion, diced
- 1 tablespoon SimplyNature Organic Wildflower Honey
- 1 teaspoon Stonemill Ground Black Pepper
- Soak wooden skewers for 15 minutes prior to grilling.
- Heat grill to medium-high heat.
- Remove rind from pineapple and dice into 1-inch pieces.
- In small bowl, combine oil, salt and pepper. Add chicken and pineapple; toss to coat.
- Alternating chicken and pineapple, pierce onto skewers.
- Grill skewers 8 minutes each side, or until chicken is cooked thoroughly.
- To make Lemon-Cucumber Salsa: In medium bowl, combine lemon, cucumber, onion, honey and pepper.
- Serve lemon-cucumber salsa over cooked chicken skewers.
Tip: Supreme citrus fruit by cutting off top and bottom of fruit then cut away peel and pith, leaving no white on outside of fruit. Slice each segment into wedges by cutting toward center of fruit along membrane.
Citrus Ginger Rosé Punch
Recipe courtesy of Chef Leigh An, ALDI Test Kitchen
- 1/2 cup minced ginger
- 1 cup Baker’s Corner Granulated Sugar
- 1 cup water
- 2 bottles (750 milliliters each) Trestoria Rosé, chilled
- 5 cans (12 ounces each) PurAqua Belle Vie Grapefruit Sparkling Water, chilled
- 2 cans (12 ounces each) PurAqua Belle Vie Lemon Sparkling Water, chilled
- In small pot, combine ginger, sugar and water to make simple syrup. Bring to boil. Remove from heat and allow to cool completely in refrigerator.
- Strain simple syrup and discard ginger.
- In large punch bowl or pitcher, combine rosé, grapefruit sparkling water and lemon sparkling water. Add simple syrup.
- Serve in chilled glasses.
Tip: Freeze lemon slices in ice cube trays or silicone muffin trays and add them to punch for pop of color.
(Family Features) What can family members do special this year for Mom? Most Moms dream of a fine meal they don’t have to shop for, cook or clean up afterwards. Often going out for breakfast on Mother’s Day can mean dealing with long lines and slow service. But Dad and the kids can rise to the occasion and prepare a meal themselves at home that can be a real treat.
Even the dad who only makes breakfast on weekends can cater a fine restaurant meal at home, with kids as willing sous chefs. It’s easy when your family shops where the pros shop, such as Sam’s Club for frozen appetizers, readymade pastry, organic produce, fine wines, quality meats, great breads and fabulous cheesecake ready to thaw and serve. For a crowning touch, add an unexpected and affordable luxury gift and Mom just might decide to sign on for another year.
Check out www.samsclub.com — or the Sam’s Club nearest you — for more great Mother’s Day ideas.
Mother’s Day Game Plan
Here’s the game plan for catering a Mother’s Day meal at home.
- Chill the champagne or make a delicious punch a few hours before the meal.
- Read the instructions on the box, then pop those frozen appetizers in the oven.
- Prepare and cook the salmon.
- Slice up some fresh fruit or bread.
- Finish with a deliciously moist cheesecake - a Mom favorite. (Remember to thaw it beforehand.)
- Serve Mom in bed - let her relax and enjoy the meal and her day.
- Have the kids clean up the kitchen.
- Watch Mom smile.
Mom’s Secret Wish List
Mom usually puts the needs of her family first. But if she were really honest, she would say she’d love to have something from this list. And, Dads, when you shop smart, these become affordable luxuries.
- Diamonds. They’re always a girl’s best friend. Diamond solitaire earrings go with everything — jeans on the soccer field, a suit at the office or workout clothes at the gym.
- Designer Fragrances. Perfume and cologne in her special scent makes Mom feel pampered and special.
- Furniture. Surprise her with something she’s been wanting, whether it’s the armoire for the great room, a new desk for the home office or even a new leather sofa.
- Chocolate. Always a treat, especially now that health experts have declared that dark chocolate is actually good for us. Now, will it be Godiva or Ghirardelli?
- Culinary Ware. If Mom has been trying to make culinary masterpieces from a mismatched set of cookware from her early married days, it’s time for an upgrade. Or, maybe she’d love a stand mixer or a great platter.
Puff pastry encloses flavorful salmon, spinach and herbs in a main dish fit for a special occasion. Wellington preparations are thought to take a great deal of time and skill to make. However, with the time saver of purchased puff pastry, it’s a breeze. The bundles can be prepared up to a week in advance and then frozen. Just pop them in the oven when needed.
Note: Puff pastry must be cold (but not frozen) when placed into a hot oven in order for the pastry to become light and flaky.
Makes: 4 servings
- 1 tablespoon sweet butter
- 1-1/2 tablespoons shallots or onion, minced
- 1/2 cup frozen spinach, defrosted and well drained
- 1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1/2 tablespoon lemon zest
- 1 teaspoon thyme or dill
- minced Kosher salt and cracked black pepper
- 1-1/2 tablespoons crumbled feta cheese
- 4 thick, skinless fillets of salmon (about 6 ounces each)
- 2 packages puff pastry (defrosted in refrigerator)
- 1 lightly beaten egg
- 1 teaspoon milk
- Heat sauté pan with butter over medium heat. Add shallots and sauté 3 to 4 minutes until softened. Reduce heat to medium-low and add spinach, nutmeg, lemon zest, thyme, salt and pepper. Sauté 2 to 3 minutes; remove from heat and stir in feta. Taste for seasoning and let cool.
- Lightly salt and pepper each piece of salmon and top with 2 tablespoons of spinach mixture.
- Roll out pastry sheets on lightly floured board. Cut 1 piece of pastry for bottom of each fillet — about 1 inch larger than the salmon. Cut a second piece large enough to drape over fillet and touch counter, plus 1 inch to spare all the way around.
- Brush edge of smaller sheet with lightly beaten egg mixed with milk. Place 1 piece of salmon in center of pastry. Drape larger piece over salmon and seal the two pieces of dough together by folding and pleating like a pie crust. Repeat for each “package.” Chill at least 30 minutes or freeze up to 1 week before baking.
- Preheat oven to 425°F. Brush top of each package with a small amount of egg/milk mixture. Put on sheet pan lined with parchment paper and a dusting of corn meal. Bake in preheated oven for 18 to 23 minutes, until golden. Let rest 5 to 10 minutes before serving.
Cranberry Splash Punch
Makes: 8 servings
- 4 cups cranberry juice
- 3 cups pineapple juice
- 1/2 cup cherry juice
- 2 cups puréed strawberries or raspberries (fresh or frozen)
- 6 cups ice cubes
- 2 lemons, sliced
- 2 limes, sliced
- 3 cups orange soda or ginger ale
- Mix all juices and puréed berries and chill thoroughly.
- To serve, put punch in handsome container and add ice and fruit. Slowly stir in orange soda.
Source: Sam's Club