December 18, 2008
Ocean Mist Farms’ Simple Ideas for Your Holiday Party
It’s that time of year again. Houses are sprinkled with glistening lights, kids are writing gift wish lists, and family and friends are coming together to celebrate the holidays. If you’re like many people, you may be in charge of hosting a holiday get-together this year. You may also be looking for ways to save money without cutting down on your guests’ fun.
Hosting a holiday get-together can be stressful, but it can also be a breeze if you plan ahead. Make sure to prepare your home as much as possible prior to the event, including making a list of needed supplies and stocking up on essential food items. You can also try making some dishes ahead of time and freezing them, so you won’t be overwhelmed with cooking on the day of the event. The following tips offer some other ways to help make your holiday party a hit:
Deck the Halls with Boughs of Holly – Decorating can make a great holiday party even better, and it is possible even when sticking to a budget. Try placing colorful candles, fresh-cut flowers, and bowls of candy canes or other treats throughout the house. You can also get creative by picking a theme that allows you to use items you might already have around your house. Don’t forget to re-use those leftover lights from last year!
Offer Tasty Treats – If you don’t have the budget to offer a sit-down meal, opt for a variety of appetizers you can offer throughout the day. Include favorites like cheese and crackers, and dips and chips, while also providing more filling choices like traditional holiday tamales with an Artichoke twist. Try our recipes for Artichoke-Chicken Tamales and Fennel Cornbread.
Healthy Entertaining: – Using cooked, low-calorie Artichoke petals instead of chips or crackers to dip with is a healthy and delicious alternative for your guests. Fill a jumbo, cooked Artichoke with your favorite dip creating an “edible bowl.” Don’t forget to make it easier by cooking your Artichokes a couple of days ahead of time and store them in the refrigerator until you need them.
Don’t Forget the Drinks – Just because you’re hosting the party doesn’t mean you need to be prepared with a fully stocked liquor cabinet. Try offering a signature cocktail that goes along with the theme of your party and easy, non-alcoholic beverages. Or, simply offer wine and beer. Did you know Artichokes and wine make a great combination? Check out our onlineArtichoke pairing tips, which can help you pick the perfect wine to compliment your holiday meal.
Spread Seasons Greetings – For many people, the holiday season is a time for gift giving. This year, why not ask guests to share the spirit of the holidays with others? Instead of purchasing gifts for everyone, start a holiday grab bag and invite family and friends to purchase a gift for just one person. Or, ask all your party guests to bring a small gift to donate to a local homeless shelter or food bank. You’ll not only be helping everyone save money, but also sharing the gift giving spirit with those in need. Looking for a good cause to support? Check outAg Against Hunger, one of several non-profit organizations Ocean Mist Farm’s supports throughout the year.
If you’re searching for more holiday recipe ideas, check out the Ocean Mist Farms recipe database, which features a number of other great-tasting recipes you can use at all your holiday celebrations.
December 1, 2008
Newsletter - December 2008
For most people across the country, Thanksgiving is the official kickoff of the holiday season and the perfect time to learn more about the yearly celebration. It is also a great time to add some new recipes to your holiday cookbook. This year, why not try using Artichokes in your traditional recipes? The veggie is delicious and healthy, and can offer a colorful surprise to everything from starters to the main course.
Did you know that Thanksgiving was first celebrated in 1621 by pilgrims living in Plymouth Colony? While Thanksgiving today is all about gathering with family and friends to eat traditional items such as pumpkin pie, cranberry sauce and sweet potatoes, it is believed the first Thanksgiving meal didn’t consist of most of these items and instead included foods like lobster, duck, chestnuts and Indian corn.
One item that is still on the Thanksgiving menu from the 17th century is turkey. In fact, according to the National Turkey Federation, 80 percent of Americans say they eat turkey each Thanksgiving. While turkey may be a Thanksgiving staple, it is never too late to try some new dishes you may have never considered. The following ideas and recipes can help you plan a delicious meal using Ocean Mist Farms vegetables:
Get Started – Keep your guests happy by offering some tasty appetizers like Artichoke Bruschetta or Artichoke Stuffed with Brie. For those who love dip, but still want to eat healthy, try our Light and Healthy Artichoke Dip. Don’t forget to save the leaves for a lighter alternative to chips!
Keep Things Healthy – Offering salads with or before the main course is an easy way to satisfy guests who are watching what they eat. Plus, salads are a quick way to make meals more filling. Check out our Fresh Raw Artichoke Salad for a tasty alternative.
Scrumptious Sides – Thanksgiving sides are just as important as the main dish! If you love rice but hate the carbs, try our Cauliflower Rice, which uses only Cauliflower and other veggies. Don’t forget the cranberry sauce! Ours is made with a secret ingredient – Fennel.
The Main Course – Whether you like turkey, ham or another food for your main dish, Artichokes make the perfect edible decorations. Try placing cooked and halved Artichokes on your serving platter and encourage guests to enjoy them along with the main course. You can even decorate your table with vegetables by creating a festive Artichoke and flower centerpiece, or by using Baby Artichokes as a creative addition to your dinner place cards.
Looking for more recipes to include in your Thanksgiving meal? Check out our Thanksgiving recipe and planning guide (PDF)!