Sure, you can have a straight glass of bubbly during the holiday season, but gals love a good cocktail, especially when there is sparkling wine involved. Update your old mimosa routine by serving bubbly with pomegranate seeds, kumquats, and frozen blueberries, to name a few. Or, if you're looking for something sweeter, why not try a cake Champagne cocktail and rim the glass with colorful sugar crystals? Take a look at these six Champagne cocktail ideas, and start popping those corks.
Champagne and sharp cheddar are two of my absolute favorite things to eat, so you'd think that I would be thrilled by the mere existence of Somerdale's Champagne cheddar. Quite to the contrary, I was skeptical at best, but thankfully let my curiosity get the best of me and sampled a sliver. Firm but creamy, sharp but nutty, with an ineffable fruity note, this cheese is my new dairy crush.
My one quibble — a minor one at that — is that if I didn't know this cheese was infused with Champagne I likely wouldn't pick up on its addition. Rather, its subtle tart and fruity flavor meshes so well with the cheese that it's a seamless inclusion (so in the end, it's essentially a positive).
If I have my way, I'll be including it in cheese plates throughout the holiday season (and for months to come), and if you'd like to do the same, it can be found at Whole Foods, starting tomorrow, Dec. 26.
Photos: Anna Monette Roberts
So you didn't organize and plan your time appropriately for holiday shopping? Don't be too down on yourself. Christmas is a time for giving and giving thanks, which doesn't have to equal extravagant gifts that drain your wallet and start your 2013 off in debt. Give the gift of entertainment with these affordable digital gifts the whole family will enjoy.
If you can't really get away to a luxe vacation spot during the holidays, you can at least temporarily transport yourself to a relaxing mental state via a satisfying sparkling cocktail. Apples, orange, and lemon juices, elderflower liqueur, and sweet sparkling wine are all easy-to-find ingredients, so this cocktail is as stress-free as can be. And with all the rough-and-tumble going on about you during the holidays, keep spills and glass breakage to a minimum by serving the cocktails in Govino plastic flutes like the ones above.
The sparkling cocktail is surprisingly light and sweet, and you can munch on the wine-soaked apple slices once you've drained the flute. If you're prepared to be sent to a temporary dream state, see the sparkling cocktail recipe now.
He stays busy as a media personality, author, fashion consultant, and designer, but even Clinton Kelly — of ABC's The Chew and TLC's What Not to Wear — believes in the importance of slowing down for the holidays. Despite it being the busiest time of the year, the television star took a moment to chat with us about his holiday menu, what still makes him nervous, and how to deal in that awkward moment when the first person arrives alone to your holiday party.
YumSugar: What are you making for the holidays?
Clinton Kelly: I'm spending Christmas Eve with my entire family at my sister's house on Long Island.
Then I'm going to come back and spend Christmas morning with my husband, Damon, in New York City, and then we're going to go to Connecticut to see some more family. My sister's asked me to bring a salad, and I'm bringing something I just whipped up the other night with endive, candied walnuts, blue cheese, and balsamic vinaigrette. She's serving seafood fra diavolo over angel hair, so that'll be a fun Christmas dinner. I'm embarrassed to say I have not decided yet what to cook for Christmas lunch; I figure I'll go to the butcher and see what looks beautiful and try to be inspired. I'm thinking about maybe beef tenderloin with horseradish crème fraiche and roasted potatoes.
YS: Holiday leftovers are always a big thing. What do you suggest doing with them?
Find out Clinton's answer when you read more.
Planning to wow this New Year's Eve? Don't skip your workouts this week. We've got a seven-day plan that incorporates short workouts that pack a punch in the calorie-burning department. Even if you're busy, you can fit these workouts in — and burn over 2,000 calories in the process. All calculations are based on a 130-pound woman unless otherwise noted.
Monday: Start out your week with half an hour of energizing cardio. Jogging at five mph will burn 216 calories in 30 minutes.
Tuesday: If you're celebrating Christmas, you may be pressed for time today. Instead of skipping your workout, take a break with one of our 10-minute total-body workouts (try this 10-minute no-equipment full-body workout) and burn 72 calories.
Wednesday: Go for another 30-minute jog at five mph and burn another 216 calories.
Thursday: Time to strength train. Strengthening and toning your muscles will help you look your best. Thirty minutes of strength training will burn 216 calories and work your entire body. Here are three 10-minute workouts to try:
- Jeanette Jenkins's belly-fat-blasting workout
- Tony Horton's P90X workout
- Ashley Borden's metabolism-boosting workout
Kids will enjoy this season's best Christmas-themed apps, whether they're keeping them entertained on a plane ride or just having some plain old holiday fun. We've rounded up some that are just as educational as they are entertaining, and there's sure to be an option out there for each and every type of tot.
The Bubbly Poinsettia is a Christmas-appropriate cocktail if there ever was one. The vivacious red cocktail gets its color from pomegranate liqueur, maraschino liqueur, and Rosé Champagne, and gin gives the tipple a spicy kick. Lighten the stiff drink with lemon juice and a generous splash of bubbly. Learn how to make a poinsettia-colored Champagne cocktail.
The parents of aspiring artists and crafty kids are always on the lookout for fun projects to keep their lil ones entertained, and if the output is something that they can proudly display, then that's even better! Here at LilSugar, we featured tons of arts and crafts projects throughout the course of the year — some were holiday-centric, some seasonal, and others were good for any old day. Here, check out our 12 favorite kids crafts of 2012 — what better way to keep your brood busy over Winter break?!
Red lentil terrine might not elicit a delicious food reaction for you, so think of the vegetarian appetizer this way: it's like combining Japanese condiments with red lentils. The mixture is baked until it sets, which makes it a terrine; once it's cooled and served, the red lentil terrine spreads upon crackers like a pâté.
Unlike brown or French lentils, red lentils cook into a puree, so don't be surprised when the lentils transform into an orange mush. Caramelized onions and mirin, or Japanese rice wine, add a natural sweetness to the earthy spread, while umeboshi plum paste and miso contribute to the savory umami flavors. Toasted walnuts, processed into a nut butter, thicken the mixture, ensuring that the terrine bakes into a sliceable loaf.
For parties, opt to serve the whole loaf, or for smaller gatherings, cut a one- or two-inch slice and save the rest for another occasion. Serve the terrine with the crackers of your choice, although I especially love it with either Japanese rice crackers or Mary's Gone Crackers Black Pepper Crackers. Take a look at the recipe.