A beautifully set table can elevate your holiday dinner from just great to simply perfect.

“Table-setting is an art form anyone can learn to execute beautifully,” says Mary Bernardo, an independent business owner with Princess House cookware company.

Tablecloths, placemats, table runners and chargers not only help protect your table from spills and scrapes, but they also create a lovely backdrop for dishes, glasses, stemware and — of course — the food. Layering these items adds depth and interest to the tabletop.

If chargers take up too much room on the table (or too much of your holiday budget), you can layer a solid, deep red dinner plate under a lunch plate with a poinsettia motif to create the same effect.


Try this candy cane dip

Give your traditional holiday cookies a festive makeover with this quick, delicious dip.


— 1 (3-oz) package cream cheese, softened

— 2 (6-oz) containers French vanilla yogurt

— 1/4 cup crushed red and white peppermint candies

— 28 chocolate fudge creme-filled tubular-shaped wafer cookies or chocolate sugar wafer cookies

In medium bowl, beat cream cheese until smooth. Beat in yogurt until blended. Stir in candies.

Serve immediately, or cover and refrigerate until serving time. Serve with wafer cookies.

For a fun and festive presentation, Betty Crocker recommends moistening the rim of a large martini glass with a small amount of the dip. Place rim in a shallow dish of crushed peppermint candies before filling the glass with the dip.


What are ancient grains?

Take a walk through your grocery store and you’ll probably notice the term “ancient grains” has made its way onto a lot of packaging. What exactly are these and what do they mean by “ancient?”

Unlike many grains such as wheat, barley or rice, which have been cultivated and modified to produce larger yields for thousands of years, ancient grains have not been changed by agricultural practices, according to https://recipes.howstuffworks.com. In addition, much of them are not refined, which means they retain more minerals and vitamins.

Some of the most popular of these ancient grains include quinoa, sorghum, amaranth, teff, freekeh and chia seeds. These are all generally loaded with protein, fiber, essential vitamins and are gluten free.

— Brandpoint


People eat healthier when options are cheaper, study says

According to a recent study, Americans are more likely to eat a healthy diet if the price of healthier options were closer to the price of less healthy options. Researchers at Drexel University found that healthier perishable foods were twice as expensive as unhealthy packaged foods on average: 60 cents compared to 31 cents per service, respectively. The study also found that impact of increasing healthy food prices compared to unhealthy food prices was strong for people in the middle range of income/wealth.

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