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  • Jacquelyn Martin / AP

    A gingerbread house of the White House, complete with dogs Sunny and Bo, is part of the holiday decorations in the State Dining Room of the White House in Washington, Wednesday, Dec. 4, 2013.

  • Kimm Anderson / AP

    St. Cloud State University students make their way between classes in a heavy snowfall on the Atwood Mall Wednesday, Dec. 4, 2013, in St. Cloud, Minn.

  • Rick Scuteri / AP

    Chicago Blackhawks left wing Patrick Sharp (10) against the Phoenix Coyotes in the first period during an NHL hockey game on Saturday, Nov. 30, 2013, in Glendale, Ariz.

More Information

  • Factbox 1 revo

    Nam lobortis: mi vitae sem vehicula accumsan.

    Integer vitae: odio in felis facilisis cursus.

    Sed bibendum: mauris a justo. Integer ut mi. Maecenas quis mauris.

    Integer non: lectus at magna elementum posuere. Vestibulum et urna.

  • Revo Honeyed Cranberry Tart

    Fresh orange wedge

    1/4 ounce honey



    1 1/2 ounces Prichard’s cranberry rum

    1/2 ounce ginger-infused vodka (see note below)

    1/2 ounce apple cider


    Orange twist

    MUDDLE one orange wedge with the honey and a pinch of cinnamon and sugar. Add Prichard’s cranberry rum, ginger vodka and apple cider and shake. Pour over fresh ice into a rocks glass and garnish with frozen cranberries and an orange twist.

    NOTE: How to infuse vodka: Finely grate 1 teaspoon of fresh ginger and add to one 750 milliliter bottle of unflavored vodka. Allow to infuse at least overnight.

    Yield: 1 drink

  • The Turkey Dickel

    From chef Adam Cooke of Blackberry Farms, who has been working on the menu at Restaurant 17 at the new Hotel Domestique in Travelers Rest, S.C., where this drink is on the menu.

    1 ounce George Dickel No 12 (white label)

    1 splash Tim Burton’s Maple Syrup

    3 dashes bitters

    2 ounces hard cider

    Orange twist and candied cranberry, optional garnish

    COMBINE all ingredients, except hard cider, and shake with ice cubes. Fine-strain into a chilled flute, top with hard cider and (optional) garnish.

    Yield: 1 drink

  • 2008 winner

    Peppernuts (Pfeffernusse)

    Makes 27 dozen cookies

    Pam Thomas’ winning cookie, peppernuts, “became a holiday tradition in my family after my mom and sister moved to a small Kansas community with a strong Mennonite heritage,” she said. During the Christmas season, these small, hard, nut-size cookies are served to guests with coffee and tea “or set out for snacking, like a bowl of nuts,” she adds.

    “Peppernuts are fairly labor-intensive — that’s why we always bake these cookies when my three sisters, their families and my mom are all together at Thanksgiving time,” she said.

    Some peppernuts have a strong licoricelike anise flavor — not to everyone’s taste — but the anise flavor is mild in this recipe.

    1/2 pound margarine

    1 1/2 cups sugar

    1 egg, beaten

    2 tablespoons dark syrup

    3 3/4 cups flour (or a bit less)

    2 teaspoons soda

    1 teaspoon cloves

    1 teaspoon ground ginger

    1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

    1/2 teaspoon anise oil, optional

    1. In a large bowl, mix ingredients together in order given. Dough may be used immediately or chilled in refrigerator to be baked later.

    2. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Pinch off pieces of dough and roll into pencil-sized rolls. Cut rolls into 1/4-inch to 1/2-inch pieces.

    3. Place on cookie sheets and bake 5 to 7 minutes, or until peppernuts are brown on the bottom.

    Nutritional analysis per serving: 12 calories, trace fat, 2 grams carbohydrates, trace protein, 1 milligram cholesterol, 12 milligrams sodium, trace dietary fiber, 23 percent of calories from fat.

    — Pam Thomas, Keller (adapted from The Buhler Mennonite Brethren Church Cookbook, Buhler, Kan.)

  • 2007 winner

    Date-pecan double-deckers

    Yields about 18 bars

    Lillian Greenslade is no stranger to our Very Merry Cookie Challenge winners’ circle. In our first contest, in 2004, she was a runner-up; in 2005, she won best in show with her pecan passion cookies.

    She’s a dedicated baker, with a slew of State Fair of Texas ribbons, known particularly for her cakes.

    Greenslade, who’s in the kitchen baking “twice a week, sometimes five times a week,” said she has been making her date-pecan double-deckers for 30 years. The judges loved their “great holiday taste” and ease of preparation.

    Pastry layer:

    1 1/4 cups sifted flour

    1/3 cup sugar

    1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter

    Top layer:

    1/3 cup packed light-brown sugar

    1/3 cup granulated sugar

    2 eggs

    1 teaspoon vanilla

    2 tablespoons flour

    1 teaspoon baking powder

    1/2 teaspoon salt

    1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg

    1 cup chopped toasted pecans

    8 ounces pitted dates, chopped


    Powdered sugar

    1. Make the pastry layer: Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 9-inch square pan. (Note: Instead of greasing pan, professional testers suggest lining it with foil, leaving some overhang and buttering the foil. When cookies have cooled, they can be removed from pan by grasping the overhanging foil and lifting the foil from the pan. Then the cookies can be cut into bars.)

    2. Combine flour, sugar and butter and blend to crumblike consistency. Pack into bottom of prepared pan and bake about 20 minutes, until edges are lightly browned.

    3. Make the top layer: Meanwhile, in a large mixing bowl, combine the sugars, eggs and vanilla, and beat well.

    4. Sift flour with baking powder, salt and nutmeg, and add to sugar-egg mixture. Stir in pecans and dates.

    5. While pastry layer is still hot, pour batter into pan. Return to 350-degree oven and bake about 20 minutes.

    6. Cool in pan; sprinkle top with powdered sugar, then cut into bars.

    Nutritional analysis per bar: 203 calories, 10 grams fat, 27 grams carbohydrates, 2 grams protein, 37 milligrams cholesterol, 96 milligrams sodium, 2 grams dietary fiber, 44 percent of calories from fat.

    — Lillian Greenslade, Fort Worth

  • Red cabbage and apple salad

    Serves 3

    This crunchy, savory-sweet mixture can be doubled or cut in half, and it would make a colorful addition to a holiday meal.

    Make ahead: The salad can be refrigerated for up to 1 hour; this is preferable, to blend the flavors. Adapted from a recipe by chef Raphael Duntoye of La Petite Maison, in “GQ Eats: The Cookbook for Men of Seriously Good Taste” (Hachette).

    Note: Toast the chopped hazelnuts in a small dry skillet over medium heat for 2 minutes or so, stirring to avoid scorching, until lightly browned and fragrant. Cool completely before chopping.


    For the dressing:

    tablespoons fresh orange juice

    1 1/2 tablespoons white balsamic vinegar

    3/4 teaspoon sherry vinegar

    tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil

    3  tablespoons hazelnut oil (may substitute walnut oil)

    Pinch kosher salt

    For the salad:

    medium (4 or 5 ounces each) Pink Lady apples

    2  medium oranges, preferably navel

    5  ounces (3 generous cups) thinly sliced red cabbage

    2  tablespoons chopped hazelnuts, toasted (see Note)

    tablespoons golden raisins

    1/8 to 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt

    1/8 to 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

    8 to 10 chives, finely chopped


    For the dressing: Whisk together the orange juice, vinegars, oils and salt in a mixing bowl to form an emulsified vinaigrette.

    For the salad: Core the apple, then cut it into medium dice, adding the pieces to the dressing as you work.

    Cut off the top and bottom of the oranges; stand on each one end. Working vertically around the oranges, one at a time, use a serrated knife to cut away and discard the peel and white pith. Slice between the membranes to remove all the orange segments, letting them drop into the mixing bowl with the dressing and apple.

    Add the cabbage, hazelnuts, raisins and 1/8 teaspoon each of the salt and pepper; toss to incorporate. Taste, and add the remaining seasoning as needed.

    Transfer to a serving bowl and sprinkle with the chives; serve right away, or cover and refrigerate for up to 1 hour before serving.

    Cook-smarter tips:

    • Using prepped cabbage from the grocery store salad bar cuts the chopping time.

    • If you buy skin-on hazelnuts, their skins will crack as they toast. Transfer them immediately to a dish towel and rub to remove the skins before cooling and chopping.

    • Because the salad’s flavor improves with a little time, we’ve reordered the recipe so the dressing is made first, in the same bowl you use to build the salad.

    • As you prep the salad ingredients, they can be tossed in the dressing. That will keep the apple from oxidizing as you chop other ingredients.

    Per serving: 320 calories, 3 g protein, 33 g carbohydrates, 21 g fat, 2 g saturated fat, 0 mg cholesterol, 180 mg sodium, 6 g dietary fiber, 22 g sugar

  • Spiked mocha chestnut truffles

    Start to finish: 4 hours (25 minutes active)

    Makes 20 truffles


    One 5.2-ounce package roasted and peeled chestnuts, medium chopped

    3/4  cup water

    1/3 cup low-fat evaporated milk

    ounces bittersweet chocolate, medium chopped

    teaspoon instant espresso powder or 1 tablespoon instant coffee

    Pinch of table salt

    tablespoons light corn syrup

    teaspoons Tia Maria, Kahlua, Baileys, brandy or rum

    tablespoon unsweetened cocoa powder


    In a small saucepan over medium heat, combine the chestnuts and water. Bring to boil, then reduce the heat to maintain a simmer, cover and cook until the chestnuts are very tender and all the water has been absorbed, about 30 minutes.

    Add the milk and heat the mixture until it just comes to a simmer. Remove the pan from the heat, add the chocolate, then recover the pan. Let stand off the burner until the chocolate is melted, about 3 to 4 minutes. Stir and transfer to a blender along with the espresso powder, salt, corn syrup and liquor. Blend until very smooth.

    Transfer to a bowl, cover tightly with plastic wrap and chill until very firm, at least 3 hours. Form the mixture into small balls (about 2 teaspoons each) and roll the balls in the cocoa powder until they are coated, shaking off the excess. Chill until ready to serve. Will keep, refrigerated, for 2 weeks.

    Per truffle: 50 calories; 25 calories from fat (50 percent of total calories); 2.5 g fat (1.5 g saturated; 0 g trans fats); 0 mg cholesterol; 8 g carbohydrate; 0 g fiber; 4 g sugar; 1 g protein; 15 mg sodium.

  • Factbox 2 revi

    Integer condimentum porta arcu. Quisque faucibus. Quisque mattis, tellus eu auctor pulvinar, nulla dui sagittis elit, vel ultricies mauris lectus tempus magna.

    Aliquam pretium

    urna nec dapibus vehicula

    tellus nulla pretium dolor

    vitae gravida massa

    erat non mauris

    Aenean non erat

    Nam non leo

    Fusce sed erat

    Maecenas id odio vehicula eros elementum congue. Donec feugiat orci in lectus. Vestibulum mattis justo eget justo. Aenean eu nisl. Phasellus non ipsum non nisi ringilla cursus.

Test A Test B Test C Test D

Published: Thursday, Dec. 5, 2013 - 8:09 am

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video 2 will appear here

Nam lobortis mi vitae sem vehicula accumsan. Integer vitae odio in felis facilisis cursus. Sed bibendum mauris a justo. Integer ut mi. Maecenas quis mauris. Integer non lectus at magna elementum posuere. Vestibulum et urna. Aliquam pretium, urna nec dapibus vehicula, tellus nulla pretium dolor, vitae gravida massa erat non mauris. Aenean non erat. Nam non leo. Fusce sed erat.

Maecenas id odio vehicula eros elementum congue. Donec feugiat orci in lectus. Vestibulum mattis justo eget justo. Aenean eu nisl. Phasellus non ipsum non nisi ringilla cursus. Integer condimentum porta arcu. Quisque faucibus. Quisque mattis, tellus eu auctor pulvinar, nulla dui sagittis elit, vel ultricies mauris lectus tempus magna.

Donec auctor facilisis lorem. Ut pharetra pellentesque nulla. Phasellus libero metus, commodo sit amet, ullamcorper sit amet, euismod et, tortor. Sed nec arcu et felis vulputate venenatis.

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