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Eating well

Toasting the new year before midnight

Don’t want to stay up till midnight on the last day of the year? Families, early sleepers and those wanting to social distance might consider a midday celebration for December 31. It’s easy to bring the festive feeling of a nighttime soiree into the daylight hours at home. SETTING THE ...

Nutritional inspiration for the new year

FAMILY FEATURES — A new year brings new opportunities for personal changes and improvement from taking steps forward in a career to bettering personal relationships and - perhaps most common - starting on a path toward better health. For many, the worthwhile challenge of enhancing physical ...

Holiday libations and lamentations

I wrote this column four Christmases ago. I’ve since retired and like many I’ve spent a lot of time at home in 2020. However, even with all that time on my hands, I still find myself in the same situation that prompted me to originally write this column. If you missed it the first time, ...

Festive and flavorful holiday snacks

Family Features — The holidays are filled with delicious food - from indulgent breakfasts to decadent desserts - but snacks can get overlooked. Spice up this holiday season with festive snacks that are perfect for a quick on-the-go bite or a taste of your favorite holiday dessert. ...

Add fruity flavor and fun to holiday desserts

Family Features — Making the holiday season special is an important tradition for many families, and it’s likely to take on heightened importance this year with gatherings, celebrations and festivities taking on a different look than years past. One family-favorite way to create holiday ...

Restauranteur wants food truck to inspire East St. Louis

EAST ST. LOUIS, Ill. — For Harry Parker, owning a restaurant isn’t just about making good quality food for customers. He also wants to give back to the community, especially those that are underserved. Parker, the owner of Gulf Shores Restaurant and Grill, remembers hearing gunshots while ...

Holiday baking pointers

METRO — The holiday season is steeped in tradition. Baking is one tradition that comes with the holiday territory. Many people may only bake in November and December, so it’s understandable if they’re a little rusty come the holiday season. These baking tips can lead to successful ...

A few of my favorite things

For most of us Christmas Eve may look a little different this year. I would normally bake a great big ham, mac and cheese and other assorted sides and set up buffet-style for drop-in guests. However, because there will be no guests, I’m nixing the ham in favor of a few favorite appetizers and ...

Add memorable meaning to holiday mornings

Family Features — Of all the traditions that make the holiday season truly special, there’s one that often stands above the rest by bringing loved ones to the table: food. This year, despite all the unknowns that’ll likely make the festivities different than ever before, you can bring ...

Learn to steep tea for ideal flavor

METRO — Tea is an ancient beverage enjoyed for millenia. It is derived from the leaves of a plant called camellia sinensis. One theory regarding the origins of tea suggests it was accidentally discovered in China when tea leaves from a wild tree blew into Emperor Shen Nung’s pot of boiling ...

For baking season, a primer on an essential: vanilla

I used to take vanilla for granted. Then, I was making chocolate chip cookies one day and ran out of vanilla extract. So I left it out. It was like leaving salt out of the recipe. The cookies lacked the round, full flavors they usually had. I realized vanilla was the foundation of all my ...

Have your cookies and save some, too

Christmas cookies. To bake or not to bake, that is the question. With Covid-19 cases at an all-time high it’s pretty much a given that my holiday celebration 2020 will be a party of two, my husband and I. On one hand, we don’t need dozens of cookies sitting around tempting us to be naughty, ...

Busy season meal solutions

FAMILY FEATURE — As families across the country transition back into more normal routines this fall with work, school - whether virtual or in-person - and calendars jam-packed with commitments, it’s important to find ways to save precious time and squeeze in more moments with loved ones. ...

Eat and drink smart to fend off cold and flu season

FAMILY FEATURE — It’s no secret that a balanced diet with plenty of fruits and veggies can deliver important vitamins and nutrients for better health, but many of your favorite foods can actually help support your immune system, too. In addition to precautions like avoiding people who are ...

Special delivery sweet treats

Looks like it’s time to start the countdown to Christmas, though this holiday season is going to be a lot different than ever before. For safety’s sake the annual family party is canceled and my son, the cookie-eater, won’t be coming home. Gifts will be ordered online, sight unseen, ...

Holiday spirits to sip on

Family Features — Despite a holiday season that’s practically guaranteed to feel different than any other, one constant will remain for many: enjoying the tastes of favorite foods and beverages while cozied up at home. Enhance the holiday spirit and complement the meal at your table with ...

Make raisins part of your holiday spread

Family Features — Planning your holiday menu? Dried cranberries are an ingredient found in many classic holiday recipes, but what you may not know is that they are packed with added sugars. Raisins, on the other hand, are naturally sweet with 0 grams of added sugars, making them a healthy ...

Americans turn up heat as Cholula sells for $800 million

With millions dining at home for safety and a swing to the spicier side in the U.S. in recent years, Cholula, the hot sauce with the distinctive wooden cap and a cult following, has become a very valuable brand. McCormick & Co., the spice maker that dominates U.S. grocery shelves, said ...

Foods that can positively affect mood

METRO — No one is immune to the occasional bad mood. Whether it’s the weather, waking up on the wrong side of the bed or another variable, various factors can have an adverse affect on a person’s mood. Food is one factor that can have a positive effect on mood. Certain foods have been ...

Flavorful holiday dishes prepped in minutes for small, family gatherings

Family Features — In what’s certain to be a holiday season unlike any other, you can transform your seasonal menu in 20 minutes of prep time or less by incorporating flavorful ingredients that make ordinary dishes extraordinary, ensuring the holidays are as special and memorable as any ...