The movie, which is set to be released in 2019 of Mulan and The Story of Mulan.

Statue of Mulan being welcomed home, in the city of Xinxiang, China

 

Hua Mulan (Chinese: 花木蘭) is a legendary woman warrior from the Southern and Northern Dynasties period (420–589) of Chinese history, who was originally described in a ballad known as the Ballad of Mulan (Chinese: 木蘭辭; pinyin: Mùláncí). In the ballad, Hua Mulan takes her aged father’s place in the army. She was a beautiful woman who was very strong, and was known for practicing martial arts such as kung fu and for being skilled with the sword. Mulan fought for twelve years and gained high merit, but she refused any reward and retired to her hometown instead.The historic setting of Hua Mulan is in the Northern Wei. Over a thousand years later, Xu Wei’s play from the Ming dynasty places her in the Northern Wei (386–536), whereas the Qing dynasty Sui Tang Romance has her active around the founding of the Tang c. 620. In 621, the founder of the Tang dynasty was victorious over Wang Shichong and Dou Jiande, the latter was the father of Dou Xianniang, another female warrior who became Mulan’s laotong in the Sui Tang Romance.

The Hua Mulan crater on Venus is named after her.

The poem starts with Mulan sitting worriedly at her loom, as one male from each family is called to serve in the army to defend China from invaders. Her father is old and weak and her younger brother is just a child, so she decides to take his place and bids farewell to her parents, who support her. She is already skilled in fighting, having been taught martial arts, sword fighting, and archery by the time she enlists in the army. After twelve years of fighting, the army returns and the warriors are rewarded. Mulan turns down an official post, and asks only for a swift horse to carry her home. She is greeted with joy by her family. Mulan dons her old clothes and meets her comrades, who are shocked that in their years traveling together, they did not realize that she was a woman. However, this does not change their good friendship.

Sui Tang Romance

Chu Renhuo’s Romance of the Sui and Tang (c. 1675) provides additional backdrops and plot-twists.Here, Mulan lives under the rule of Heshana Khan of the Western Turkic Khaganate. When the Khan agrees to wage war in alliance with the emergent Tang dynasty, which was poised to conquer all of China, Mulan’s father Hua Hu (Chinese: 花弧) fears he will be conscripted into military service since he only has two daughters and an infant son. Mulan crossdresses as a man and enlists in her father’s stead. She is intercepted by the forces of the Xia king Dou Jiande and is brought under questioning by the king’s warrior daughter Xianniang (Chinese: 線娘), who tries to recruit Mulan as a man. Discovering Mulan to be a fellow female warrior, she is so delighted that they become sworn sisters.In the Sui Tang Romance, Mulan comes to a tragic end, a “detail that cannot be found in any previous legends or stories associated Hua Mulan,” and believed to have been interpolated by the author Chu Renho.Xianniang’s father is vanquished after siding with the enemy of the Tang dynasty, and the two sworn sisters, with knives in their mouths, surrender themselves to be executed in the place of the condemned man. The act of filial piety wins reprieve from Emperor Taizong of Tang and the imperial consort who was birth-mother to the Emperor bestows money to Mulan to provide for her parents and wedding funds for the princess who confessed to having promised herself to general Luó Chéng (zh) (Chinese: 羅成).(In reality, Dou Jiande was executed, but in the novel he lives on as a monk.)Mulan is given leave to journey back to her homeland, and once arrangements were made for Mulan’s parents to relocate, it is expected that they will all be living in the princess’s old capital of Leshou (Chinese: 樂壽, modern Xian County, Hebei). Mulan is devastated to discover her father has long died and her mother has remarried. According to the novel, Mulan’s mother was surnamed Yuan (袁) and remarried a man named Wei (魏). Even worse, the Khan has summoned her to the palace to become his concubine.Rather than to suffer this fate, she commits suicide. But before she dies, she entrusts an errand to her younger sister, Youlan (Chinese: 又蘭), which was to deliver Xianniang’s letter to her fiancé, Luó Chéng. This younger sister dresses as a man to make her delivery, but her disguise is discovered, and it arouses her recipient’s amorous attention.In the novel, Mulan’s father was from Hebei during the Northern Wei dynasty while her mother was from the Central Plain of China. But “even a Chinese woman would prefer death by her own hand to serving a foreign ruler,” as some commentators have explained this Mulan character’s motive for committing suicide.Mulan’s words before she committed suicide were, “I’m a girl, I have been through war and have done enough. I now want to be with my father.”

Films

  • Hua Mulan Joins the Army (1927 film) – a silent film released by Tianyi Film Company and directed by Li Pingqian.
  • Mulan Joins the Army (1928 film) – Mingxing Film Company production, directed by Hou Yao. The film was unsuccessful, in part due to the Tianyi film that was released the previous year.
  • Mulan Joins the Army (1939 film) – popular Chinese film made during the Second Sino-Japanese War, directed by Bu Wancang and written by Ouyang Yuqian. The film also created a large spark of popularity, in terms of literature.[15]
  • Lady General Hua Mu-lan (1964 film) – Hong Kong opera film.
  • Saga of Mulan (1994 film) – Film adaptation of the Chinese opera based on the legend.
  • The Secret of Mulan – A 1998 animated film by Hong Ying Animation, in which the characters are anthropomorphic animals.
  • Mulan (1998 film) – Disney animated feature, and the basis of many derivative works. Disney’s version of the Mulan character has subsequently appeared in other media and promotions, mainly as part of the Disney Princess product line.
    • Mulan II (2004 film) – Sequel that is set one month after the events of the Disney’s 1998 film.
  • Mulan (2009 film) – Live action film about the Chinese legend.

 

A young Chinese maiden disguises herself as a warrior in order to save her father. A live-action feature film based on Disney’s ‘Mulan’.

Movie poster mulan.JPGFearful that her ailing father will be drafted into the Chinese military, Mulan (Ming-Na Wen) takes his spot — though, as a girl living under a patriarchal regime, she is technically unqualified to serve. She cleverly impersonates a man and goes off to train with fellow recruits. Accompanied by her dragon, Mushu (Eddie Murphy), she uses her smarts to help ward off a Hun invasion, falling in love with a dashing captain along the way.

The Great Wall, when a falcon named Hayabusa knocks off his helmet. After the Huns, who are led by the ruthless Shan Yu, invade Han China by breaching the Great Wall, the Chinese emperor orders a general mobilization. Conscription notices require one man from each family to join the Chinese army.

When Fa Mulan hears that her elderly father Fa Zhou, the only man in their family and an army veteran, is once more to go to war, she becomes anxious and apprehensive due to his weakening health. Taking her father’s old armor, she disguises herself as a man, so that she can enlist instead of her parent. The anxious family quickly learn of her departure and Grandmother Fa prays to the family ancestors for Mulan’s safety. The ancestors then order their “Great Stone Dragon” to protect Mulan.

A small dragon named Mushu is sent to awaken the Stone Dragon, but accidentally destroys it in the process. Mushu conceals this from the ancestors and resolves to protect Mulan himself.

Reporting to the training camp, Mulan is able to pass as a man, although her military skills are initially inexperienced. Mushu provides clumsy guidance to Mulan on how to behave like a man. Under the command of Captain Li Shang, she and her fellow recruits Yao, Ling, and Chien-Po, gradually become trained warriors. Desiring to see Mulan succeed, Mushu creates a fake order from Shang’s father, General Li, ordering Shang to follow the main Imperial Army into the mountains. The reinforcements set out, but arrive at a burnt-out encampment and discover that General Li and his troops have been massacred by the Huns.

As the reinforcements solemnly leave the mountains, they are ambushed by the Huns, but Mulan cleverly uses a cannon to cause an avalanche, which buries most of the invaders. An enraged Shan Yu slashes her in the chest, and her deception is revealed when the wound is bandaged.

Instead of executing Mulan as the law requires, Shang spares her life, but nonetheless expels her from the army. Mulan is left to follow alone as the recruits depart for the Imperial City to report the news of the Huns’ destruction. However, it is revealed that several Hun warriors, including Shan Yu have survived the avalanche, and Mulan catches sight of them as they make their way to the City, intent on capturing the Emperor.

At the Imperial City, Mulan is unable to convince Shang about Shan Yu’s intentions. The Huns capture the Emperor, then seize the palace. With Mulan’s help, Yao, Ling, and Chien-Po pose as concubines, and are able to enter the palace. With the help of Shang, they defeat Shan Yu’s men; as Shang prevents Shan Yu from assassinating the Emperor, Mulan lures the Hun leader onto the roof where she engages him in single combat. Meanwhile, acting on Mulan’s instructions and signal, Mushu fires a huge skyrocket at Shan Yu. The rocket strikes and propels him into a fireworks launching tower, where he dies in the resulting explosion.

Mulan is praised by the Emperor and the assembled inhabitants of the city, who bow to her in an unprecedented honor. While she accepts the crest of the Emperor and the sword of Shan Yu as gifts, she politely declines his offer to be his advisor, and asks to return to her family.

Mulan returns home and presents these gifts to her father, who is more overjoyed to have Mulan back safely. Having become enamored with Mulan, Shang soon arrives under the pretext of returning her helmet, but accepts the family’s invitation to stay for dinner. Mushu is granted a position as a Fa family guardian by the ancestors amid a returning celebration.

 

Cast

A close-up portrait of Mulan's voice actress, Ming-Na Wen, at a conference.Chinese-American actress Ming-Na Wen voiced Mulan in both animated films.

  • Ming-Na Wen as Mulan (singing voice provided by Lea Salonga)
  • Eddie Murphy as Mushu
  • B. D. Wong as Captain Li Shang (singing voice provided by Donny Osmond)
  • Miguel Ferrer as Shan Yu
  • June Foray as Grandmother Fa (singing voice provided by Marni Nixon)
  • Harvey Fierstein as Yao
  • Gedde Watanabe as Ling (singing voice provided by Matthew Wilder)
  • Jerry Tondo as Chien-Po
  • James Hong as Chi-Fu
  • Soon-Tek Oh as Fa Zhou
  • Pat Morita as The Emperor of China
  • George Takei as First Ancestor
  • Miriam Margolyes as The Matchmaker
  • Freda Foh Shen as Fa Li
  • James Shigeta as General Li
  • Frank Welker as Cri-Kee and Khan (Mulan’s horse)
  • Chris Sanders as Little Brother (Mulan’s dog)
  • Mary Kay Bergman as various ancestors

Kelly Chen, Coco Lee and Xu Qing voiced Mulan in the Cantonese, Taiwanese Mandarin and Mainland standard versions of the film respectively, while Jackie Chan provided the voice of Li Shang in all three Chinese versions and appeared in the version of promotional music videos of “I’ll Make a Man Out of You”.

 

 

 

                            Disney has found its Mulan.

Chinese actress Liu Yifei, also known as Crystal Liu, has scored the title role in the live-action version of “Mulan,” Disney confirmed to CNN.
The movie, which is set to be released in 2019, is based on the 1998 animated feature film that grossed more than $300 million worldwide.
Ming-Na Wen voiced Mulan in the animated version of the film. The voices of Eddie Murphy, Miguel Ferrer and BD Wong also were featured.
A well-known figure in China, Liu has starred in “The Forbidden Kingdom” with Jackie Chan.Image result
Liu, also a model, has served as a brand ambassador for Dior.
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Why I like Tropicana Essentials Probiotics

Tropicana Probiotics is available in three delicious flavors: Strawberry Banana, Pineapple Mango and Peach Passion Fruit (Photo: Business Wire)

 

There are no added sugars, preservatives, or artificial flavors in the product. It is described as a “delicious, accessible, nutritious and convenient way for consumers to get more probiotics into their daily routine.” It comes in three flavors: strawberry banana, pineapple mango, and peach passion fruit.

Bacteria that benefit your health are called probiotics. These critters live harmoniously in your gut, for example, and are a normal part of your digestive system. Fermented foods, such as yogurt, contain probiotics. You can also finddrinks that contain added probioticYes it did Probiotics may ease constipation. Probiotics, the beneficial bacteria found in yogurt and other cultured foods, have long been touted for their ability to ease digestive woes. … Most over-the-counter remedies for constipation, such as laxatives andstool softeners, aren’t all that helpful.Stress, changes in the diet, contaminated food, chlorinated water, and numerous other factors can also alter the bacterial flora in the intestinal tract. So to play it safe, I recommend taking a probiotic supplement every day—even on the days you are able to eat fermented foods.Available in three delicious flavors – Strawberry Banana, Pineapple Mango and Peach Passion Fruit Tropicana Essentials Probiotics® Strawberry Banana Peach Passion Fruit Pineapple Mango is a 100% juice blend with no added sugar or artificial flavors

 

                    Incredibly Simple Swaps That Could Change Your Life

Your first step is to eat fewer foods high in calories, fat, salt and sugars and swap them for something healthier, including more fruit and vegetables.

                                                Food and drink swaps

Try these small changes when you have your next meal or drink, or when you open the kitchen cupboard or fridge looking for a snack. Once you’ve got started, try thinking of your own healthier swaps, too.

When buying pre-packed food, don’t rely on the attractive promotional print on the wrapping, which can be misleading. Instead, learn to read the nutritional information when checking for calorie, fat, salt and sugar content.

Breakfast:

  • swap whole milk for semi-skimmed, 1% fat or even skimmed milk
  • swap a sugar-coated breakfast cereal for a wholegrain breakfast cereal such as porridge or shredded wholegrain wheat cereal with no added sugar
  • swap a sprinkle of sugar on your breakfast cereal for a topping of fresh or dried fruit, which counts towards one of your 5 A DAY
  • swap full-fat greek yoghurt for lower-fat or fat-free greek yoghurt, or natural low-fat yoghurt

 

Lunch:

  • swap white breads, bagels and muffins for wholegrain varieties
  • swap butter and cheese in your baked potato for reduced-fat spread and reduced salt and sugar baked beans
  • swap a tuna melt panini for a tuna salad sandwich on wholemeal bread without mayo
  • swap a cheddar cheese filling in your sandwich for reduced-fat hard cheese

Dinner

  • swap creamy or cheesy sauces for tomato- or vegetable-based sauces on your pasta, meat or fish dishes
  • swap mashed potato made with butter and whole milk for mash with low-fat spread and a lower-fat milk, such as semi-skimmed, 1% fat or skimmed
  • choose leaner cuts of meat – for example, swap streaky bacon for back bacon
  • swap the frying pan for the grill when cooking meat

Drinks:

  • swap a coffee made with whole milk to a “skinny” coffee made with semi-skimmed or skimmed milk
  • swap a cordial for a cordial with no added sugar
  • swap a few of your sugary drinks for a glass of water
  • swap a cola or fizzy drink with some 100% fruit juice (with no added sugar) mixed with soda water
  • swap hot chocolate made with whole milk and served with whipped cream for a hot chocolate made with skimmed milk and no cream

Snacks:

  • swap a blueberry muffin for a currant bun on its own or with some reduced-fat spread
  • swap yoghurt-coated raisins for plain raisins
  • swap salted nuts for unsalted nuts
  • swap cheese straws for rice cakes with lower-fat cream cheese

 

 Use unsweetened almond milk in your coffee. While a splash of skim or 1 percent milk obviously won’t kill your diet, the calories in creamers and whole milks add up. Unsweetened almond milk often contains half the calories of skim, so the simple swap can save you quite a few calories over time.

  1. Eat powdered peanut butter instead of the real stuff. Powdered peanut butter products like PB2, which is designed to be mixed with water or added to smoothies and sauces directly, deliver peanuty flavor without the fat found in regular nut spreads.
  2. Eat white fish instead of dark fish.Cod, mahi-mahi, tilapia, and tuna contain fewer calories per ounce than salmon.
  3. Bake or grill instead of frying. When you cook food in a frying pan over direct heat, you need to add oil or butter to the bottom of the pan to stop ingredients from sticking.
  4. Eat whole grain bread instead of white bread. Some whole grain breads contain slightly fewer calories than white bread (or just as many). But whole grain breads contain more fiber to keep you full for longer, so you end up eating fewer calories later on.

 YOUR GOAL IS TO EAT MORE PROTEIN:

  1. Add chicken to your pizza. A measly 3 ounces of chicken can add about 25 grams of protein to your meal, according to Smith.
  2. Use Greek yogurt instead of mayo. Smith likes this trick because Greek yogurt contains about 10 times as much protein as mayonnaise.
  3. Mix in liquid that forms on top of yogurt. As unappetizing as the cloudy water might appear, that liquid is worth eating because it contains valuable whey protein. Mix it back into the yogurt and try to forget what you saw when you peeled back the lid.
  4. Eat quinoa instead of rice.Quinoa may be a grain, but it stands alone as a complete source of protein. It also makes a solid stand-in for oatmeal in the morning.
  5. Combine two carbs to make a complete protein. It’s a trick vegetarians and vegans swear by.
  6. Scoop the dough of out your bagel. This can save you upwards of 200 calories, according to Schapiro, and it creates a cavity for you to refill that calorie void with protein-rich toppings, like tuna, cream cheese, and smoked salmon.

Healthy Food Swaps

Breakfast

Instead of Cinnamon raisin bagel
TRY 2 mini–cinnamon raisin bagels
Why Trading volume for quantity makes you feel like you’re eating more, so you’ll never even notice that you’ve nixed 181 calories.

Instead of Nonfat strawberry yogurt
TRY Nonfat Greek yogurt with sliced fresh strawberries
Why Creamy Greek-style yogurt has nearly twice the protein of traditional yogurt; fresh berries add antioxidants.

Instead of Breakfast quesadilla with eggs, black beans, cheddar and bacon
TRY Egg, cheese and bacon on an English muffin
Why You’ll zap 290 calories and 17 fat grams.

Instead of 4 French toast sticks
TRY 2 whole-grain waffles
Why Choosing the light, airy waffles will save you 202 calories and add fiber.

Instead of Apple-cinnamon instant oatmeal
TRY Steel-cut oats with 1⁄4 cup fresh chopped apples and a dash of cinnamon
Why You’ll still get that apple-cinnamon taste, but you’ll feel full longer—less-processed oats take longer to digest.

Instead of Corn flake cereal
TRY Bran flake cereal with raisins
Why Just 1 cup provides you with about a quarter of the fiber you need in a day. (Corn flake cereal, on the other hand, has hardly any.)

Lunch

Instead of Smoked turkey and Cheddar on a baguette
TRY Natural sliced turkey with roasted peppers on a whole-wheat baguette
Why You’ll banish cancer-causing compounds found in smoked foods and add protective antioxidants.

Instead of Chicken salad sandwich made with regular mayo
TRY Tuna salad sandwich made with canola oil mayonnaise
Why You’ll get a double dose of heart-healthy omega-3 fats.

Instead of Grilled veggie burrito
TRY Chicken burrito bowl
Why You’ll lose 160 calories and 26 grams of fat—and add 4 grams of fiber.

Instead of Cheese calzone
TRY Slice of stuffed-crust pizza
Why The pizza has 410 fewer calories and 12 fewer grams of fat.

Instead of Corned beef sandwich
TRY Ham sandwich
Why You’ll eat 55 percent less fat.

Instead of Crispy chicken wrap
TRY Kid-sized hamburger
Why You’ll save 90 calories and 8 grams of fat.

Instead of Grilled chicken sandwich with mayo on white bread
TRY Grilled chicken sandwich with avocado on whole-wheat bread
Why Avocado has tons of vitamins, minerals and phytochemicals, plus cholesterol-lowering plant sterols. Whole-wheat bread adds fiber and 30 percent more protein than white bread.

Instead of Falafel pita
TRY Pita with hummus
Why The fried falafel has 203 more calories and 11 more grams of fat than the hummus.

Starters

Instead of Vegetable soup
TRY Split pea soup
Why You’ll get 10 grams of protein. That’s more than what’s in a glass of milk or an egg.

Instead of Buffalo wings with ranch or blue cheese dressing
TRY Shrimp cocktail with cocktail sauce
Why You’ll lose the bad fats (in the dressing and chicken skin) and gain inflammation-fighting omega-3s.

Instead of Panfried pork dumplings
TRY A cup of wonton soup
Why You’ll trim 257 calories and 22 grams of fat.

Instead of Shrimp tempura appetizer (3 shrimp)
TRY Tuna sashimi (4 pieces)
Why You’ll get more heart-healthy omega-3s while also saving 11 grams of fat and 58 calories.

Instead of Half a cheese quesadilla
TRY A bowl of chicken tortilla soup
Why The soup has 60 percent less fat and calories than the quesadilla. Bonus: Its high water content will fill you up so you’ll eat less later.

Instead of Bread and butter
TRY Baguette dipped in olive oil and vinegar
Why Vinegar is rich in acetic acid, which has been shown to make you feel fuller after a meal by stabilizing blood sugar. And the olive oil’s better for your heart than that artery-clogging butter.

Dinner

Instead of Chicken cutlets sautéed in corn oil with a side of roasted potatoes
TRY Chicken cutlets sautéed in canola oil with roasted cauliflower
Why Canola oil provides more omega-3s than most other cooking oils, and cauliflower is loaded with phytochemicals that protect against carcinogens.

Instead of Steak fajitas with flour tortillas
TRY Shrimp fajitas with corn tortillas
Why You’ll save 400 calories and 22 fat grams, and trade saturated fat for heart-smart omega-3s.

Instead of Meat lasagna
TRY Cheese ravioli
Why Compared with the lasagna, the ravioli is downright skinny—it has roughly half as much total and saturated fat.

Instead of Hot dog with a small serving of fries
TRY Veggie burger with 1⁄2 cup vegetarian baked beans
Why You’ll cut 22 fat grams and gain 7 grams of fiber.

Instead of Spaghetti with broccoli, garlic and olive oil
TRY Udon noodles with broccoli, garlic and sesame oil
Why A bowl of udon noodles (Japanese noodles made from whole wheat) has 40 percent more fiber.

Instead of Meat loaf made from 85 percent lean ground beef
TRY Meat loaf made with white-meat ground turkey
Why In addition to trimming 100 calories, you’ll save a whopping 13 grams of fat per slice.

Instead of Sichuan beef
TRY Moo shu pork
Why You’ll lose 300 calories and gain 20 grams of fiber.

Instead of Chicken stir-fry
TRY Tandoori chicken
Why The tandoori has turmeric, an antioxidant spice in curry powder that may help ward off Alzheimer’s disease.

Sides

Instead of Rice
TRY Baked potato
Why That spud has nearly three times the fiber you’d get in a cup of cooked rice. You’ll also get 20 percent of your daily dose of potassium, which helps control blood pressure.

Instead of Spinach
TRY Broccoli
Why The calcium in broccoli—it has as much as 1⁄4 cup of milk—is much more easily absorbed than the calcium in spinach.

Instead of French fries
TRY Potato salad
Why Cooking and then cooling potatoes causes them to form resistant starch, which is a special kind of carb that helps you burn more fat. Make it even healthier by tossing your potatoes with extra-virgin olive oil, red wine vinegar and mustard instead of mayo.

Instead of Couscous
TRY Quinoa
Why When it comes to protein, quinoa is the granddaddy of grains, with more than 8 grams per cooked cup. Drizzle with 1 tsp lemon- or garlic-infused olive oil for added flavorand healthy fat.

Instead of Tossed salad with iceberg lettuce
Try Spinach salad
Why Spinach is a top source of zeaxanthin and lutein, antioxidants that keep your eyes healthy by preventing macular degeneration.

Instead of Small order of nachos
TRY 1 cup chili with 1 Tbsp lowfat shredded Cheddar cheese and 10 tortilla chips
Why You’ll still get a cheesy, crunchy dish, but for at least 300 calories and 20 fat grams less. Beans are a great source of protein and fiber, too.

Sweets, Snacks, & Munchies

Instead of Chocolate glazed doughnut
TRY French cruller
Why You’ll save 190 calories.

Instead of Hummus and pita wedges
TRY Hummus with red pepper slices
Why Red peppers are rich in beta-cryptoxanthin, an antioxidant that may help prevent lung cancer.

Instead of Cheese and crackers
TRY Cheese and an apple
Why Apples contain quercetin, a phytochemical that may help keep cancer cells from multiplying.

Instead of Potato chips
TRY Blue corn tortilla chips
Why More protein and fiber, less fat and calories.

Instead of 1⁄2 cup chocolate ice cream
TRY 1⁄2 cup fat-free chocolate pudding
Why Lose 7 grams of fat.

Instead of 1 oz cashews
TRY 1 oz almonds
Why You’ll gain 2 grams of protein and 2 grams of fiber.

Drinks

Instead of Apple juice
TRY Phytosterol-fortified orange juice
Why The phytosterols may lower LDL cholesterol.

Instead of Hot chocolate
TRY Chocolate instant breakfast drink
Why You’ll get half your daily dose of calcium.

Instead of Diet soda
TRY Coffee
Why Coffee’s a top source of antioxidants.

Instead of Flavored water
TRY 4 oz grape juice mixed with 4 oz seltzer
Why Grape juice has resveratrol, which may keep your heart healthy.

Instead of Tomato juice
TRY Calcium-enriched vegetable juice
Why It has as much calcium as a glass of milk.

Instead of Strawberry shake
TRY Strawberry smoothie
Why Fresh strawberries have plant chemicals that fight off free radicals.

Breakfast: Granola

Instead of: Granola
Eat this: Oatmeal

The body benefit: A half-cup cooked serving of Quaker Steel Cut Oats contains just 150 calories, 2.5 grams of fat, and 1 gram of sugar. Sprinkling 10 fresh blueberries onto your oatmeal adds natural sweetness for just 8 calories. Meanwhile, a half-cup of Quaker’s Apple, Cranberry, & Almond Granola clocks in at 200 calories, 5 grams of fat, and a whopping 13 grams of sugar—and that’s before you add any milk.

vegetable-omelette

Breakfast: Eggs

Instead of: Egg sandwich
Eat this: Scrambled eggs with veggies

The body benefit: Filled with fiber, veggies will give you a longer-lasting energy boost than the empty carbs in a breakfast sandwich. Plus, a generous helping of tomato, mushroom, or spinach in your eggs is a flavorful way to sneak in at least one of your five-a-day. Two large eggs scrambled with a half-cup of spinach comes in at 150 calories, a far cry from the 290 calories you’ll find in a Dunkin’ Donuts Bacon, Egg, and Cheese English muffin sandwich.

yogurt-fruit-

Breakfast: Yogurt

Instead of: Fruit at the bottom yogurt
Eat this: Plain yogurt with fresh fruit

The body benefit: The concoction at the bottom of yogurt containers is typically more sugar than fruit. Slice up some strawberries or plop in some blueberries for a fresher take on the fruit-yogurt combo. Switching from Dannon’s blueberry-flavored fruit-on-the-bottom yogurt to their plain variety topped with fresh blueberries will save you 60 calories and 13 grams of sugar.

american-coffee

Breakfast: Coffee

Instead of: Latte
Drink this: Café Americano

The body benefit: Sticking with the straight stuff gives you a more concentrated dose of coffee—and its free-radical fighting antioxidants. After all, research from the University of Scranton shows coffee is the greatest source of antioxidants in the American diet. Even if you can’t stand black coffee, a splash of low-fat milk, drizzle of honey, or dash of good-for-you cinnamon can still help you save hundreds of calories over a latte, which gets its extra calories from steamed milk and added sugar.

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minestrone-soup

Lunch: Soup

Instead of: Tomato-basil soup
Eat this: Broth-based minestrone

The body benefit: Don’t let the word “tomato” fool you. It’s so thick because it’s full of heavy cream, and a serving can set you back nearly 500 calories. Stick with broth-based soups with chunks of vegetables you can actually sink your teeth into, like this tomato soup recipe, which is just 129 calories per serving.

spinach-

Lunch: Salad

Instead of: Iceberg
Eat this: Spinach

The body benefit: Sure, it’s sort of green, but iceberg lettuce really doesn’t have much nutrition to call its own. Spinach, however, is full of iron, magnesium, folate, and vitamins A and C, which your body needs to keep your metabolism in tip-top shape

chilled-potato-

Lunch: Side

Instead of: French fries
Eat this: Potato salad

The body benefit: Chilled potatoes pack more resistant starch than any other kind of spud, according to a 2013 USDA Agricultural Research Service study. Sometimes called the third starch, resistant starch is not absorbed in the small intestine, making you eat less and feel fuller longer. Use mustard in place of mayo to cut even more calories.

wheat-bun

Lunch: Bread

Instead of: White hamburger bun
Eat this: Whole-wheat hamburger bun

The body benefit: While they both come in at about 150 calories per serving, a whole-grain bun has several added benefits. Compare Arnold’s 100% Whole Wheat Sandwich Buns with their White Hamburger Rolls, for instance: the wheat version contains three extra grams of both protein and fiber, which each help you feel fuller for longer. Plus, research shows that consuming whole grains as opposed to refined can help prevent inflammation and may even help your body burn more fat.

tandoori-chicken

Dinner: Chicken

Instead of: Chicken stir-fry
Eat this: Tandoori chicken

The body benefit: Besides skipping the sodium-filled soy sauce, tandoori’s curry is a great source of the antioxidant curcumin, which, according to research from Tufts University, inhibits the formation of fat tissue.

spaghetti-squash

11 of 25 Getty Images

Dinner: Pasta

Instead of: White pasta
Eat this: Spaghetti squash

The body benefit: Automatically make your pasta a veggie-filled one with this low-cal, high-fiber replacement. In addition to saving you close to 200 calories, the squash’s generous helpings of vitamin C, folate, and magnesium will increase your energy.

Try this recipe: Creamy Spaghetti Squash with Asparagus and Rosemary

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grass-meat

Dinner: Steak

Instead of: Standard steak
Eat this: Grass-fed steak

The body benefit: Grass-fed steak cuts have 92 fewer calories and up to a third less fat per serving, and the fat they do have is higher in omega-3s and more similar to that found in seafood.

cauliflower-mash

Dinner: Side

Instead of: Mashed potatoes
Eat this: Mashed cauliflower

The body benefit: The skinny starch delivers almost a day’s worth of vitamin C for the small price of 27 calories per cup. (Compare that to potatoes, which clock in at 116 calories per cup.)

hummus

Snacks: Dips

Instead of: Hummus and toasted pita
Eat this: Hummus and red pepper

The body benefit: Pita loves to masquerade as a healthy snack, but nutritionally it’s not that different than white bread, and no one’s calling that a health food. Trade in the enormous amounts of sodium (one serving has about 13% of your recommended daily intake) and munch on some equally crunchy—and much more flavorful—red pepper slices. Red peppers are packed with fiber as well as vitamins A, C, and K, and you’ll save about 135 calories.

kale-chips

Snacks: Chips

Instead of: Potato chips
Eat this: Kale chips

The body benefit: You can eat a cup and a half of kale chips for just 84 calories, while the same amount of potato chips will set you back more than 200. A serving of kale hits your entire daily requirement of vitamins A and C, not to mention delivering a generous helping of calcium and folate.

cheese-apple

Snacks: Crackers

Instead of: Cheese and crackers
Eat this: Cheese and apple slices

The body benefit: It doesn’t take long to put a big dent in your box of crackers. Do the same to apple slices, and your body rejoices. One apple packs about 17% of your daily filling fiber needs, and with significantly fewer calories. Plus, eating apples may help erase signs of aging.

almond-snack-

Snacks: Protein

Instead of: Snack bar
Eat this: Handful of almonds

The body benefit: Far too many bars (snack bars, protein bars, meal-replacement bars) contain high-fructose corn syrup. And even the ones that don’t are generally high in sugar and binding additives. For protein without all of the fillers, a handful of almonds will do the trick. A recent Harvard study found a daily dose of nuts can lengthen your lifespan by cutting your risk of conditions including heart disease, diabetes, and obesity.

cheese

Snacks: Cheese

Instead of: Low-fat cheese
Eat this: Fresh goat cheese or feta

The body benefit: The low-fat processed cheeses you’ll find hanging in the dairy section are filled with additives and preservatives, not to mention they lack much flavor. Instead, go for fresh goat cheese or feta. They contain conjugated linoleic acid (CLA), which rmay help your body burn more fat.

greek-yogurt

Condiments: Sour cream

Instead of: Sour cream
Eat this: Greek yogurt

The body benefit: Plain Greek yogurt and sour cream are so similar in taste and texture that you really have no excuse not to use the lean, protein-packed alternative to fattening sour cream. As a fajita-topper, sauce base, or chip dip, a dollop of Greek yogurt can save you 20-plus grams of saturated fat while more than doubling your protein intake.

spinach-salad

Condiments: Salad toppings

Instead of: Croutons
Eat this: Nuts

The body benefit: Besides lending your salad a healthier crunch, the unsaturated fatty acids in nuts can help you get the most nutrients from said salad. Vitamins A, D, E, and K are all fat-soluble, meaning your body can’t absorb them unless you eat fat (like those in nuts!) along with them.

olive-oil-

Condiments: Cooking oil

Instead of: Butter
Use this: Extra-virgin olive oil

The body benefit: Both pack fat, sure, but not all fats are created equally. While butter is a big source of artery-clogging saturated fat, extra-virgin olive oil has healthy unsaturated fats. Olive oil promotes higher levels of the satiety hormone serotonin, which prevents overeating, according to a 2013 study from the Technische Universitat Munchen in Germany.

banana
Dessert: Frozen

Instead of: Ice cream
Eat this: Frozen banana

The body benefit: Replacing a huge splurge with fruit is a win-win. You not only sidestep tons of sugar, but you score plenty of potassium, folate, and vitamin C. If you have a few minutes, you can even throw the banana in the food processor to give it the same creamy, spoon-able texture as your favorite soft serve.

dark-chocolate

Dessert: Chocolate

Instead of: Milk chocolate bar
Eat this: Dark chocolate covered peanuts

The body benefit: The darker your chocolate, the less sugar and milk and the more antioxidant-packed cacao it has. No wonder why research in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that dark chocolate improves insulin sensitivity and reduces blood sugar, markers of diabetes and heart disease. Meanwhile, peanuts give the treat a salty and protein-packed crunch.

figs

Dessert: Cookies

Instead of: Chocolate chip cookies
Eat this: Fig bars

The body benefit: Fig bars are technically still cookies, but since figs are deliciously sweet all on their own, you’ll use much less refined sugar in your recipes. Plus, they are a great source of fiber, meaning you won’t plow through the whole batch in a single sitting.

fruit-tart-

Dessert: Pie

Instead of: Cream pie
Eat this: Fruit tart

The body benefit: Chocolate cream, banana cream, cheesecake, it doesn’t matter. A single slice can set you back hundreds of calories, and all with little nutritional benefit. A tart can give you a similar taste with less fat and more good-for-you fruit.

10 Healthy Choices You Should Make! Easy swaps that everyone should change! From Picklee

 

Winter is here :2017 Holiday Movie Preview

“Star Wars: The Last Jedi” will hit on December 15. “Star Wars” films always attract a huge audience, but the chance for viewers to say goodbye to Carrie Fisher .

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Star Wars: The Last Jedi is scheduled for release on December 15, 2017

 

Star Wars The Last Jedi.jpg

Directed by Rian Johnson
Produced by
  • Kathleen Kennedy
  • Ram Bergman
Written by Rian Johnson
Based on Characters
by George Lucas
Starring
  • Mark Hamill
  • Carrie Fisher
  • Adam Driver
  • Daisy Ridley
  • John Boyega
  • Oscar Isaac
  • Andy Serkis
  • Lupita Nyong’o
  • Domhnall Gleeson
  • Anthony Daniels
  • Gwendoline Christie
  • Kelly Marie Tran
  • Laura Dern
  • Benicio del Toro

Mark Hamill as Luke Skywalker, a powerful Jedi Master who has been in self-imposed exile on the planet Ahch-To. He is the son of Anakin Skywalker and Padmé Amidala.Luke Skywalker.pngHe is Rebel Alliance’s struggle against the Galactic Empire. He is the twin brother of Rebellion leader Princess Leia Organa of Alderaan, a friend and brother-in-law of smuggler Han Solo, an apprentice to Jedi Masters Obi-Wan “Ben” Kenobi and Yoda, the son of fallen Jedi Anakin Skywalker (Darth Vader) and Queen of Naboo/Republic Senator Padmé Amidala and maternal uncle of Kylo Ren/Ben Solo. The now non-canon Star Wars expanded universedepicts him as a powerful Jedi Master, husband of Mara Jade, the father of Ben Skywalker and maternal uncle of Jaina, Jacen and Anakin Solo.

Carrie Fisher as General Leia Organa, twin sister to Luke, former princess of Alderaan, and a leading general in the Resistance.She is the   daughter of Anakin Skywalker and Padmé Amidala.Princess Leia Organa of Alderaan (also Senator Leia Organa or General Leia Organa) is a fictional character in the Star Wars franchise, portrayed in films by Carrie Fisher. Introduced in the original Star Wars film in 1977, Leia is princess of the planet Alderaan, a member of the Imperial Senate and an agent of the Rebel Alliance. She thwarts the sinister Sith Lord Darth Vader and helps bring about the destruction of the Empire’s cataclysmic superweapon, the Death Star. In The Empire Strikes Back (1980), Leia commands a Rebel base and evades Vader as she falls in love with the smuggler, Han Solo. In Return of the Jedi (1983), Leia leads the operation to rescue Han from the crime lord Jabba the Hutt, and is revealed to be Vader’s daughter and the twin sister of Luke Skywalker. The prequel film Revenge of the Sith (2005) establishes that the twins’ mother is Senator (and former queen) Padmé Amidala of Naboo, who dies after childbirth. Leia is adopted by Senator Bail and Queen Breha Organa of Alderaan. In The Force Awakens (2015), Leia is the founder and General of the Resistance against the First Order and has a son with Han named Ben, who goes by the name Kylo Ren.Princess Leia's characteristic hairstyle.jpg

    • Adam Driver as Kylo Ren, Supreme Leader Snoke’s loyal servant who is strong with the dark side of the Force and leader to the Knights of Ren. He was born Ben Solo, the son of  The late Han Solo and Leia Organa, nephew of Luke Skywalker, and the grandson of Anakin Skywalker and Padmé Amidala.Kylo Ren is the chosen name of Ben Solo,the son of original Star Wars trilogy characters Han Solo and Leia Organa. Though trained by his uncle Luke Skywalker as a Jedi, he has been seduced to the dark side of the Force by Supreme Leader Snoke, and aspires to be as powerful as his grandfather, Darth Vader. 
    • Daisy Ridley as Rey, a highly Force-sensitive scavenger from the desert planet Jakku who joined the Resistance and goes to find Luke Skywalker. Rey is a scavenger who was left behind on the planet Jakku when she was a child, and later becomes involved with the Resistance’s conflict with the First Order when her solitary life is interrupted by BB-8, the droid of ace Resistance pilot Poe Dameron, and a runaway Stormtrooper named Finn.Rey Star Wars.png
    • John Boyega as Finn, a former stormtrooper of the First Order who defected to the Resistance.Finn, designation number FN-2187,he is a stormtrooper for the First Order who flees and turns against it after being shocked by their cruelty in his first combat mission.Finn-Force Awakens (2015).png

Oscar Isaac as Poe Dameron, an X-wing fighter pilot in the ResistancePoe is an X-wing fighter pilot for the Resistance who inadvertently brings renegade stormtrooper Finn  and Jakku scavenger Rey  into the fight against—and eventually a victory over—the sinister First Order. Poe Dameron-Force Awakens (2015).png

 

  • Andy Serkis as Supreme Leader Snoke, the mysterious leader of the First Order and Kylo Ren’s master. Snoke is the leader of the First Order, a military junta resurrected from the fallen Galactic Empire, which seeks to reclaim control of the galaxy. Powerful with the Force, he has seduced Ben Solo to the dark side.Snoke-The Force Awakens (2015).png
  • Lupita Nyong’o as Maz Kanata, a pirate and longtime friend of Han Solo and Chewbacca. she is a CGI character voiced and performed through motion capture by Lupita Nyong’o. Maz, a former pirate and smuggler, is over 1000 years old and manages an interstellar tavern in a castle on the fictional planet Takodana.Maz Kanata-Force Awakens.jpg
  • Domhnall Gleeson as General Hux, the former head of the First Order’s Starkiller Base.He is a ruthless commander in a power struggle with Kylo Ren for the First Order leadership, and being exceeded only by Supreme Leader Snoke.Hux was born on Arkanis and was rumored to have been sired from an affair between his father, Commandant Brendol Hux of the Arkanis Academy, and a kitchen worker. Hux and his father, whose ruthless training methods at the Arkanis Academy inspired those of the future General Hux and the First Order, were rescued from the Academy when it was about to fall to the New Republic near the end of the Galactic Civil War. When the war ended with the Battle of Jakku and the signing of the Galactic Concordance, the young Hux and his father were part of the Imperial Navy forces who retreated into the Unknown Regions. These forces later emerged as the First Order. The Republic believed that the First Order was just an unimportant band of Imperial holdouts, but Hux’s training methods forged a formidable military. He also longed to use the Starkiller weapon against the Republic; Hux believed that the Republic was a threat to galactic stability, and that it was his destiny to rule the galaxyGeneral Hux Star Wars.jpg
  • Anthony Daniels as C-3PO, a humanoid protocol droid in the service of Leia Organa.-3PO has played a pivotal role in the Galaxy’s history, appearing under the service of Shmi Skywalker, the Lars homestead, Padmé Amidala, Raymus Antilles, Luke Skywalker, and Leia Organa. In the majority of depictions, C-3PO’s physical appearance is primarily a polished gold plating, although his appearance varies throughout the films; including the absence of metal coverings in The Phantom Menace, a dull copper plating in Attack of the Clones, a silver lower right leg introduced in A New Hope, and a red left arm in The Force Awakens.
  • Gwendoline Christie as Captain Phasma, the commander of the First Order’s stormtroopers.The commander of the First Order’s stormtroopers, Captain Phasma is described as a “tough veteran commander” and one of a “commanding triumvirate” of the First Order alongside Kylo Ren and General Hux. Christie compared Phasma to Boba Fett in the sense of being a character who, while not “at the forefront of the action all the time”, still has “a lot of impact”Phasma is depicted wearing salvaged chromium armor, which in The Force Awakens visual dictionary is established as coming from a Naboo yacht once owned by Palpatine. It is said to serve “primarily as a symbol of past power”
  • Kelly Marie Tran as Rose Tico, a member of the Resistance who works in maintenance.
  • Laura Dern as Vice Admiral Amilyn Holdo, an officer in the Resistance.
  • Benicio del Toro as an unnamed character, referred to by writer and director Rian Johnson as “DJ”

A sequel, tentatively titled Star Wars: Episode IX, is scheduled for December 20, 2019.

Menu Ideas for Your Best Christmas Dinner Ever Part 1

Beef Tenderloin with Roasted Cauliflower-Pomegranate Salad

This juicy beef tenderloin is brightened by a tangy cauliflower-pomegranate salad. It is sure to satisfy any crowd and the best part is you only need one dish!

TOTAL TIME: 
PREP: 
COOK: 
LEVEL: Moderate
SERVES: 6

Ingredients

  • 1 whole filet of beef
  • 6 tbsp. olive oil
  • 2 tsp. Kosher salt
  • 1 tsp. Freshly ground pepper
  • 1 head cauliflower
  • 5 large shallots
  • 2 tbsp. fresh lemon juice
  • 2 tsp. whole-grain Dijon mustard
  • 1 package baby kale
  • ½ c. pomegranate seeds

Directions

  1. Heat oven to 475 degrees F. Place the beef on a large rimmed baking sheet. Rub with 1 tablespoon olive oil, salt, and pepper. Bake at 475 degrees F for 12 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, toss 2 tablespoons oil with cauliflower and shallots; season with additional salt and pepper. Quickly scatter vegetables around beef in the pan and continue to bake, stirring vegetables once, 18 more minutes (for medium-rare) or until meat reached desired degree of doneness.
  3. Remove beef from pan and cover with foil; let stand 15 minutes. Whisk together remaining 3 tablespoons olive oil, lemon juice, and mustard; season with salt and pepper to taste. Stir kale into hot pan with vegetables. Drizzle with olive oil mixture and sprinkle with pomegranate seeds. Slice beef and serve with cauliflower pomegranate salad.

Herb and Citrus Butter Roasted Turkey

 

Oven management on the big day can be hectic, but don’t stress. Bake your sides once the bird comes out of the oven. The turkey will stay warm for about an hour, leaving you plenty of time to finish cooking the meal.

TOTAL TIME: 
PREP: 
LEVEL: Moderate
YIELD: 10 to 12 servings

Ingredients

  • 1 lemon
  • ½ c. butter
  • ½ shallot
  • 8 large sage leaves
  • 2 tbsp. fresh thyme leaves
  • 1 tbsp. rosemary leaves
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1 fresh whole turkey
  • 1 medium onion
  • 2 carrots
  • 2 celery ribs
  • Kitchen string
  • 1 c. dry white wine
  • 1 c. low-sodium turkey or chicken broth
  • ¼ c. all-purpose flour

Directions

  1. Zest and juice lemon to equal 3 tablespoons into the bowl of a food processor; add butter and next 5 ingredients. Process until very smooth and herbs are minced. Reserve and chill 1/4 cup herb butter.
  2. Heat oven to 425 degrees F. Remove giblets and neck from turkey and discard. Drain cavity well; pat dry with paper towels. Loosen and lift skin from turkey breast without totally detaching skin. Rub 3 tablespoons herb butter under skin; replace skin and secure with wooden picks if desired. Sprinkle cavity and outside of turkey with desired amount of salt and freshly ground pepper.
  3. Arrange onion and next 2 ingredients in a large roasting pan. Place turkey, breast side up, on a lightly greased roasting rack in pan. Tie ends of legs together with kitchen string; tuck wingtips under. Rub entire turkey with remaining herb butter. Pour wine and chicken broth into roasting pan.
  4. Bake on lowest oven rack at 425 degrees F for 30 minutes. Reduce temperature to 325 degrees F and cook 2 to 2 hours 30 minutes or until a meat thermometer inserted into thickest portion of thigh registers 165 degrees F, basting every 30 minutes with pan juices. Shield with aluminum foil to prevent excessive browning, if necessary. Remove from oven, and let stand 20 minutes.
  5. Transfer turkey to a serving platter. Pour drippings through a fine wire-mesh strainer into a bowl, discarding solids. Reserve 2 1/2 cups pan drippings.
  6. Melt reserved chilled butter in a saucepan over medium heat; whisk in flour, and cook, whisking constantly, 1 to 2 minutes. Gradually add reserved 2 1/2 cups drippings to saucepan, and bring to a boil, whisking constantly. Reduce heat, and simmer, stirring occasionally, 5 minutes or until thickened. Serve turkey with gravy.

Cheddar Biscuits

Serve these biscuits with Sweet-and-Spicy Cola-Glazed Ham and store-bought chutneys and mustards for a savory brunch or hearty dinner.

TOTAL TIME: 
PREP: 
LEVEL: Moderate
YIELD: 24 biscuits

Ingredients

  • 4 c. all-purpose flour
  • 8 tsp. baking powder
  • 2 tsp. salt
  • 2 tsp. Freshly ground pepper
  • 1½ stick unsalted butter
  • 2 c. Buttermilk
  • 1 c. Grated Cheddar

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees F. Meanwhile, in a large bowl, combine flour, baking powder, salt, and pepper. Using a pastry cutter or your fingers, cut in butter until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Add buttermilk and Cheddar, and stir until dough just comes together.
  2. Turn out dough onto a lightly floured surface; divide dough into halves and pat each into a rectangle. Set aside one rectangle and cover with a clean dish towel.
  3. Working with the other rectangle and using your hands, fold, flatten, and repeat until the dough has been folded over 4 times. Pat out until 1 inch thick. Cut out biscuits using a 2-inch round cutter. Repeat with reserved dough rectangle. Reroll scrap dough and repeat until all dough is used.
  4. Transfer biscuits to two baking sheets and bake until golden on top, 14 to 18 minutes.

 

Sweet-and-Spicy Cola-Glazed Ham

Paired with Cheddar Biscuits and store-bought chutneys and mustards, this ham makes for a comforting dinner after a cold winter day.

TOTAL TIME: 
PREP: 
LEVEL: Moderate
YIELD: 12 servings

Ingredients

  • 16 oz. cola
  • 1 c. dark-brown sugar
  • ½ c. Dijon mustard
  • 1 tbsp. red pepper flakes
  • 1 bone-in cooked ham
  • butter

Directions

  1. In a medium saucepan over medium-high heat, bring cola, brown sugar, mustard, and red pepper flakes to a boil. Reduce heat to low, and simmer until glaze is reduced and slightly thickened, 20 to 30 minutes.
  2. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Meanwhile, using a sharp knife, score ham, making 1/2-inch-deep marks in a grid pattern. Line a roasting pan with a piece of buttered aluminum foil. Transfer ham to pan and, using a pastry brush, cover with a third of the glaze.
  3. Bake ham for 1 1/2 hours, and brush with a third of the glaze. Bake for another hour, and brush with remaining glaze. Continue baking for up to 30 minutes more, until an instant-read thermometer reaches 145 degrees F when inserted into ham. Remove from oven and let rest for 20 minutes.

Vanilla Yogurt and Berry Trifle

TOTAL TIME: 
PREP: 
LEVEL: Easy
SERVES: 10

Ingredients

  • 2 package frozen strawberries
  • 1 package frozen raspberries
  • 1⅓ c. confectioners’ sugar
  • 1½ tsp. cornstarch
  • ¾ c. heavy cream
  • 3 container nonfat vanilla Greek yogurt
  • 40 ladyfingers
  • 2 tbsp. orange liqueur (optional)
  • 1 package frozen blueberries

Directions

  1. In a medium saucepan over medium heat, whisk together raspberry and strawberry juices with 2/3 cup sugar and cornstarch. Boil until thickened, 1 to 2 minutes. Transfer to a medium bowl and refrigerate until cool, about 20 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, in a medium bowl, whip heavy cream to stiff peaks; set aside. In a large bowl, combine yogurt and remaining 2/3 cup sugar. Fold in whipped cream.
  3. Break ladyfingers in half. Place half of them in a 2-quart glass bowl or trifle dish. Drizzle cookies with 1 tablespoon liqueur, if using, and dollop with one-third of yogurt mixture. Spoon half of berries over yogurt mixture, then drizzle 3 to 4 tablespoons thickened juices. Layer another one-third of yogurt mixture over berries, followed by a layer of remaining ladyfingers. Drizzle with remaining 1 tablespoon liqueur and dollop with remaining yogurt mixture. Top with remaining berries and 3 to 4 more tablespoons thickened juice. Refrigerate until chilled, about 2 hours, before serving.

Baked Two-Cheese Rigatoni

This fancy spin on mac and cheese also works as a perfect Thanksgiving side.

TOTAL TIME: 
PREP: 
LEVEL: Easy
SERVES: 8

Ingredients

  • 4 tbsp. unsalted butter, divided, plus more for baking dish
  • 1 16-oz. package rigatoni
  • 3 tbsp. all-purpose flour
  • 2 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 3 c. half-and-half
  • 12 oz. white Cheddar cheese, grated
  • Kosher salt
  • black pepper
  • 6 oz. Fontina cheese, grated
  • 1 c. coarse fresh breadcrumbs

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Butter a 3-quart baking dish.
  2. Cook pasta according to package directions.
  3. Meanwhile, melt 3 tablespoons butter in a large saucepan over medium heat. Whisk in flour and garlic and cook, whisking 1 minutes. Whisk in half-and-half and cook, whisking until thickened, 4 to 6 minutes. Remove from heat and whisk in Cheddar until smooth. Fold in pasta. Season with salt and pepper. Transfer to prepared baking dish.
  4. Melt 1 tablespoon butter. Toss together Fontina, breadcrumbs, and melted butter; sprinkle over pasta. Bake until golden and bubbly, 25 to 30 minutes.

HOW TO MAKE THE PERFECT HOLIDAY CHEESE BOARD

Organizing the perfect holiday party is something of an art form. Between planning food and cocktails and setting the mood with music and décor, a little thoughtfulness goes a long way in making sure your party’s a success.

Cheese

For a full-on and well-balanced cheese fest, choose a blue, goat, hard and a creamy cheese. And just for fun, throw in something unique – a showstopper, if you will.

Blue

With their contrasting blue swirls, blue cheeses bring color and a bold taste to your board. We suggest selecting a mild blue that’s sure to be a crowd pleaser.

 

Goat

Part of the fun of a good cheese board is having lots of color and textures on display. Goat cheese, whether it’s a pyramid, log or round shape, will add variety to your board.

 

Hard

Cheddar is one classic option, although any nutty, alpine-style cheese – think comté – would work well.

 

Creamy

Triple cream cheeses are the perfect holiday indulgence, given that they get their rich, creamy flavor from a high fat content close to that of extra-heavy liquid cream. These cheeses are made by having extra cream added to them.

 

Showstopper

A showstopper cheese is one that will kick your board up a notch – a unique cheese you don’t see everyday, to be indulged in for the special holiday occasion.

Bread

Good cheese deserves a sturdy base – this is where the bread comes in!

Jams & Honey 

Whether your cheese is creamy and indulgent or has a bit more bite, nothing pairs better than a sweet jam or drizzle of honey. We like the following flavor combinations…

  • Apricot jam and goat cheese
  • Four red fruits jam and creamy cheese
  • Fig jam with nutty cheese
  • Honey with blue cheese

 

 

That’s right, every cheeseboard needs delicious accompaniments and I always like to have the perfect mix of sweet and savory.  Here are some ideas for those little extra pairings:

  • Sweet – This can include fresh fruit like grapes, apples, pears, etc., (but make sure to keep it seasonal!), dried fruit like cranberries or raisins, and a dollop of honey also tastes perfect on top of brie or other soft cheeses.  I also like to use different types of spreads and for this board I used my favorite fig and orange jam along with homemade sweet and spicy cranberry salsa which tasted incredible on top of cheese and crackers!
  • Savory – Here’s where you add your favorite charcuterie! Olives are great to add to your cheeseboard as well, but I ended up making the cranberry salsa, rather than a tapenade, for some fun holiday flare.

Sweet and Spicy Cranberry Salsa
Serves: 6 Servings
Ingredients
1 (12 oz) package fresh cranberries
1 Tbsp orange zest
2 jalapenos, seeded and chopped
½ cup sliced green onions
½ Tbsp lime juice
½ cup raw sugar
¼ tsp. salt
Instructions
1. In a food processor or blender, pulse cranberries, orange zest, jalapenos, and green onions until finely
chopped.
2. Transfer to a bowl and mix in lime juice, sugar and salt, cover and chill for at least 2 hours. Enjoy!

Garnish, garnish, garnish!

Make sure to choose garnishes that go with the season, so for example  added sprigs of rosemary and juicy pomegranate seeds which added a pretty pop of color, but I also placed a little greenery and pine cones around the sides just to give the display a little something extra.  Your guests will be impressed and it sure makes everything that much more appetizing!

 Pour the wine

Every great cheese display needs a bottle or two of wine to go with it!

Rosemary-Infused Gravy

Rosemary makes for beautifully fragrant gravy, but thyme or sage works wonderfully as well. Be sure to strain just before serving—not ahead of time, as the gravy will set quickly and need to be worked over again.

TOTAL TIME: 
PREP: 
LEVEL: Moderate
SERVES: 14

Ingredients

  • Roasting pan and its contents (From our Herb Roasted Turkey Recipe, see prep tip below)
  • 1 c. dry white wine
  • 1 c. low-sodium chicken broth
  • 4 tbsp. unsalted butter
  • ⅓ c. all-purpose flour
  • 2 sprig fresh rosemary
  • Kosher salt
  • pepper

Directions

  1. Remove the vegetables and neck from the roasting pan; discard. Strain the pan drippings into a fat separator. Let it stand for 5 minutes so fat rises to the top. Pour the juices from the bottom into a large (at least 4 cup) measuring cup, leaving the fat behind.
  2. Place the empty roasting pan across two stove burners over medium-high heat. Add the wine and cook, stirring and scraping up any brown bits for 1 minute.

Cheesy pesto brioche wreathCheesy pesto brioche wreath

 

INGREDIENTS
  •  125ml (1/2 cup) milk, warmed
  •  7g sachet (1 teaspoon) dried yeast
  •  2 tablespoons caster sugar
  •  375g (2 1/2 cups) bread pizza flour
  •  3 eggs
  •  125g unsalted butter, chopped, at room temperature
  •  1 1/2 tablespoons bought chilli garlic pesto
  •  1 1/2 tablespoons bought basil pesto
  •  60g (1/3 cup) semi-dried tomatoes, drained, finely chopped
  •  100g (1 cup) coarsely grated mozzarella
  •  40g (1/2 cup) finely grated parmesan
  •  Roasted cherry truss tomatoes, to serve
  •  Small fresh basil leaves, to serve

CHILLI MAYO DIP

  •  125g (1/2 cup) sour cream
  •  65g (1/4 cup) Praise Real Whole Egg Mayonnaise
  •  2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
  •  1 tablespoon bought chilli garlic pesto
METHOD
  • Step 1
    Whisk together milk, yeast and sugar in a jug. Set aside for 10 minutes or until frothy.
  • Step 2
    Process yeast mixture, flour, 2 eggs and a pinch of salt in a food processor until mixture just comes together. With the motor running, add butter, 1 piece at a time, until a very soft, sticky dough forms. Turn onto a lightly floured surface. Knead for 3 minutes or until smooth. Place in a greased bowl. Cover. Set aside in a warm, draught-free place to prove for 1 hour, until doubled in size.
  • Step 3
    Grease a large baking tray and line with baking paper. Punch down dough. Roll out on a lightly floured surface to a 30 x 40cm rectangle, with a short side closest to you. Spread the top half with chilli and garlic pesto and the bottom half with basil pesto. Sprinkle with semi-dried tomato, mozzarella and parmesan. Starting at a long side, roll up tightly to form a log. Slice into log at 2cm intervals, stopping just short of the base (don’t cut through). Carefully transfer to the prepared tray and shape into a circle, pressing the ends together to seal. Lightly grease the outside of a ramekin and place in the middle of the circle. Twist and slightly flatten each slice of dough to expose filling. Set aside in a warm, draught-free place to prove for 40 minutes, until doubled in size.
  • Step 4
    For dip, combine sour cream, mayonnaise and juice in a bowl. Swirl through pesto.
  • Step 5
    Preheat oven to 200C/180C fan forced. Whisk remaining egg. Brush over pastry. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until puffed and golden. Serve with tomatoes, basil and dip.

Gentlemen’s Casserole

Prep Time
25 Mins
Cook Time
6 Mins
Bake Time
20 Mins
Yield
Makes 2 servings

This recipe easily doubles to serve four. You can bake puff pastry shells the day before. Remove tops and reheat on a baking sheet at 350° for five minutes.

How to Make It

Step 1

Bake 4 pastry shells according to package directions. Reserve remaining shells for another use.

Step 2

Melt butter in a medium-size nonstick skillet over medium heat; add ham and green onions. Sauté 2 minutes or until green onions are tender. Add eggs, and cook, without stirring, 1 to 2 minutes or until eggs begin to set on bottom. Gently draw cooked edges away from sides of pan to form large pieces. Cook, stirring occasionally, 1 to 2 minutes or until eggs are thickened and moist. (Do not over stir.) Gently fold in Gruyère Cheese Sauce.

Step 3

Spoon egg mixture into prepared pastry shells. Sprinkle with cheese and paprika. Garnish, if desired. Serve immediately.

Step 4

Chicken-and-White Cheddar Casserole: Substitute extra-sharp white Cheddar cheese for Gruyère, Cheddar Cheese Sauce for Gruyère Cheese Sauce, and chopped cooked chicken for ham. Proceed with recipe as directed.

Christmas Shortbread Cookies

Prep Time
20 Mins
Bake Time
15 Mins
Cool Time
6 Mins
Yield
Makes 16 (4 3/4-inch) cookies

Ingredients

  • 2 cups unsalted butter, softened
  • 4 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/4 cups lightly packed light brown sugar
  • Pinch of salt

How to Make It

Step 1

Preheat oven to 275°. Beat all ingredients at medium speed with a heavy-duty electric stand mixer just until combined.

Step 2

Place dough on a lightly floured surface, and roll to 1/8-inch thickness. Cut with a 4 3/4-inch Christmas tree-shape cookie cutter. Place 1 inch apart on ungreased baking sheets.

Step 3

Bake, in batches, at 275° for 15 minutes or until golden brown. Let cool on baking sheets 1 minute. Remove to wire racks, and cool completely (about 5 minutes).

 

Holiday Roast With Gravy
Prep Time
35 Mins
Cook Time
2 Hours 1 Min
Other Time
8 Hours 30 Mins
Yield
Makes 8 to 10 servings

How to Make It

Step 1

Cut 12 (1-inch-deep) slits in top and bottom of roast.

Step 2

Stir together garlic, next 3 ingredients, and 1 Tbsp. vegetable oil to form a paste. Rub mixture into slits. Cover and chill at least 8 hours or up to 12 hours. Let roast stand at room temperature 30 minutes.

Step 3

Brown roast on all sides in remaining 2 Tbsp. hot oil in a heavy-duty roasting pan over medium-high heat 5 to 6 minutes.

Step 4

Stir together tomato sauce and next 3 ingredients; pour over roast in roasting pan.

Step 5

Bake, covered, at 325° for 1 hour and 35 minutes or until a meat thermometer inserted into thickest portion registers 135°. Remove roast, reserving sauce in roasting pan. Keep roast warm.

Step 6

Whisk together flour and beef broth until smooth; whisk into sauce mixture in pan. Cook mixture, whisking frequently, over medium heat 15 to 20 minutes or until thickened. Serve gravy with roast.

Buttermilk Mashed Potatoes

Yield
Makes 12 servings (serving size: 3/4 cup)

Prep: 7 minutes; Cook: 30 minutes. You can get a head start on this sure-hit dish by cooking and refrigerating the potatoes a day before your meal.

Step 1

Boil potatoes and garlic cloves in lightly salted water until tender, about 30 minutes. Drain and cover potatoes with a towel to keep warm.

Step 2

Bring the 1% milk and butter to a boil and cover to keep warm.

Step 3

Use a ricer to rice the potatoes into a large bowl. The potatoes may also be mashed with a large fork, but they might not be as smooth.

Step 4

Gradually add the hot milk and butter, then add the buttermilk until you get the consistency of thick mashed potatoes (you may not need to use all of the buttermilk). Season with salt to taste. Coat a 9- x 13-inch baking dish with cooking spray, place the potatoes in the dish, and top with freshly chopped chives. Serve immediately, or rewarm in the oven before serving.

Thick and Chewy White Chocolate Cranberry Cookies

author bakerbynature

Ingredients

  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 15 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1 cup + 2 tablespoons dark brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 2 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 2 cups white chocolate chips
  • 1 cup dried cranberries, chopped

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees (F).
  2. Line 2 large baking sheets with parchment paper; set aside.
  3. In a medium-sized bowl whisk together the dry ingredients; set aside.
  4. In a large bowl combine the butter, sugars, and vanilla; whisk until light and fluffy; about 2 minutes (you may use a standmixer/ handheld mixer to help if you have one).
  5. Add the eggs and beat quickly – for only about 30 seconds – until they’re just combined. Let the mixture rest for 5 minutes, then beat the eggs for another 30 seconds. Gently fold in the flour mixture with a wooden spoon, stirring only until the flour begins to disappear.
  6. Fold in the white chocolate chips and cranberries.
  7. Roll 3 tablespoon sized balls of dough between your palms to form a ball (they should be big; almost a 1/4 cup), then place on prepared sheet (make sure to leave enough room in between each cookie for inevitable spreading). Continue this process until all the dough has been rolled. Place baking sheets in preheated oven and bake for 11-14 minutes, or until golden at the edges but still soft in the middle. Let cookies cool for 5 minutes on the sheet before transferring to a wire wrack to cool completely.

White Chocolate Peppermint Cookies

White chocolate chip cookies with a hint of peppermint, making them perfect for holiday baking. Cream cheese is also a fun secret ingredient that gives the cookies a little something extra.

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup (113 grams) butter, at room temperature
  • 1/3 cup (85 grams) cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 1 cup (210 grams) brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup (100 grams) sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon peppermint extract
  • 2 1/2 cups (300 grams) all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup (170 grams) white chocolate chips
  • 1 cup (140 grams) peppermint crunch baking chips (see Note)
  • Coarse sugar, for sprinkling (optional)

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Line a sheet pan with parchment paper.
  2. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, or in a bowl with a hand-held mixer, beat together the butter, cream cheese, brown sugar, and sugar until creamy, about 3 minutes, scraping down the bowl as needed. Add the eggs one at a time, mixing after each, followed by the vanilla and peppermint extracts.
  3. In a separate bowl, combine the flour, baking soda and salt. Add to the mixer and mix on low speed just until incorporated. Mix in the white chocolate chips and peppermint chips.
  4. Roll cookie dough into rounded tablespoons (dough will be sticky) and place on the prepared sheet pan about 2 inches apart. Sprinkle with coarse sugar, if using. Bake until edges just begin to turn golden, about 9-11 minutes. Let cool on the sheet pan 5 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

Milk & Cookies Shots

TOTAL TIME: 
LEVEL: EASY
SERVES: 12 SHOTS

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 tube chocolate chip cookie dough
  • 1 c. semisweet chocolate chips
  • 2 tbsp. coconut oil (or butter)
  • 1 part Baileys Irish Cream
  • 1 part milk

DIRECTIONS

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease the cups of a muffin tin, then fill each one with a small ball of cookie dough, pressing down gently to form a well. Bake for 10-12 minutes, or until the cookies are lightly golden.
  2. As soon as they’re out, use a shot glass to gently press down the center of each cookie. Set tray aside to cool for at least 20 minutes.
  3. In a microwave-safe bowl, combine chocolate chips and coconut oil. Microwave in 25-second intervals, stirring in between, until chips are fully melted. Line each cookie dough cup with the melted chocolate, place on a baking sheet or platter, and refrigerate until the chocolate has hardened, about 15 minutes.
  4. In a shaker filled with ice, combine equal parts Baileys Irish Cream and milk. Shake, then pour into each cookie shot glass.

Chocolate-Pecan Chess Pie

Hands-on Time
15 Mins
Total Time
2 Hours 5 Mins
Yield
Makes 8 servings

Dark, rich, and intensely chocolaty, this is our favorite new twist on pecan pie.   Make it even more special and serve with sweetened whipped cream.

How to Make It

Step 1

Preheat oven to 350°. Roll piecrust into a 13-inch circle on a lightly floured surface. Fit into a 9-inch pie plate; fold edges under, and crimp.

Step 2

Microwave butter and chocolate squares in a large microwave-safe bowl at MEDIUM (50% power) 1 1/2 minutes or until melted and smooth, stirring at 30-second intervals. Whisk in evaporated milk, eggs, and 1 tsp. vanilla.

Step 3

Stir together granulated sugar and next 3 ingredients. Add sugar mixture to chocolate mixture, whisking until smooth. Pour mixture into prepared crust.

Step 4

Bake pie at 350° for 40 minutes. Stir together pecans, next 2 ingredients, and remaining 1 tsp. vanilla; sprinkle over pie. Bake 10 more minutes or until set. Remove from oven to a wire rack, and cool completely (about 1 hour).

Gingerbread roll cake
Yields 1 roll cake
Moist gingerbread cake filled with spiced creamy filling. A delicious twist on the traditional Christmas
gingerbread cake.
20 minPrep Time
12 minCook Time
2 hrTotal Time

Gingerbread cake
3 eggs room temperature
1/4 cup molasses
1/4 cup honey
1 tbsp melted butter
1/4 cup (50 grams) sugar
1 cup (120 grams) all purpose flour

1/4 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1/2 tsp cinnamon
pinch of salt
powder sugar (for dusting)
11/28/2017
2/3
Filling
1 1/2 cups (360 ml) heavy cream
1/3 cup (40 grams) powder sugar
1 tsp cinnamon

Instructions
1. Line a 15X10 jelly roll pan with parchment paper. Grease and flour the pan (and the paper) and set aside.
2. Heat the oven to 375F.
3. In a mixing bowl beat the egg yolks on high speed until thickened, about 3 minutes. Add the molasses,
honey and melted butter and mix well.
4. In a clean grease free bowl, with a clean whisk, beat egg whites until soft peaks form. Slowly add the
sugar and continue whisking until firm peaks form.
5. Carefully fold into the egg yolks mixture.
6. Sift the flour, baking soda, salt and spices above the egg mixture, slowly folding in making sure you don’t
lose all the air that was incorporated with the egg whites.
7. Spread the batter into the prepared pan and bake for about 11 minutes or until top springs back with
touched.
8. Cool in the pan for about 3 minutes.
9. In the meantime heavily sprinkle powder sugar on a damp tea towel.
10. Carefully turn the pan allowing the cake to rest now on the prepared tea towel. Remove the pan and gently
peel the parchment paper.
11. Roll up the cake, starting with the short side. I actually find it easier to roll it with the towel as well,
although some advise to peel the towel as you roll. Either way it’s fine.
12. Cool completely.
13. In the meantime make the filling.
14. In a clean grease free mixing bowl combine the heavy cream, sugar and cinnamon and start whisking, on
low speed first, slowly increasing to medium speed and whisk until firm peaks form.
15. Unmold the cake, gently peeling the towel and spread 2/3 of the filling over the cake. Roll it again (this
time without the towel). Spread the remaining filling on top of the cake.
16. Sprinkle some cinnamon (optional)
17. Let sit for a couple of hours before serving.
18. Slice and enjoy

 Christmas vanilla roll cake recipe
Roxana
Yields one roll cake
A simple vanilla roll cake with red and green dots and spirals of creamy buttercream is the perfect dessert for
Christmas parties.
15 minPrep Time
7 minCook Time
3 hrTotal Time
Save Recipe
Print Recipe
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Ingredients
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Vanilla Roll Cake
2 eggs
3 egg yolks
1/2 cup (100 grams) sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/3 cup (30 grams) sifted cake flour
3 tablespoons (30 grams) cornstarch
1/4 cup red & green Wilton batter bits or edible confetti
2 egg whites
1 tablespoon sugar
Vanilla Buttercream
1 cup butter, room temperature
3 cups (360 grams) powdered sugar
3-4 tbsp red & green sprinkles
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1-3 teaspoons heavy cream
Decorations

4 oz white chocolate
red & green sprinkles

Instructions
1. Heat the oven to 450F.
2. Line a 17X12 jelly/sheet pan with parchment paper . Set aside.
3. In a mixing bowl add the 2 eggs, 3 egg yolks and 1/2 cup sugar. With the paddle attachment on, beat on
medium to high speed around 5 minutes until pale in color and thickened. Add the vanilla extract and beat
few more seconds.
4. Sift the flour and the cornstarch over the egg yolks mixture and with a spatula gently fold it in.
5. Fold in the batter bits as well.
6. In a separate grease-free bowl, add the 2 egg whites and 1 tablespoon of sugar. With a whisk, whip until
firm peaks form.
7. With the spatula, fold the whipped egg whites into the egg yolks mixture.
8. Pour the cake batter into the prepared pan, spread it evenly and bake for 6-7 minutes until golden brown
and, when touched, it springs back.
9. As soon as you remove the cake from the oven sprinkle with powder sugar and then invert the cake onto a
clean dish towel. Remove the parchment paper, sprinkle with more powder sugar, and roll up the cake
with the towel. Place on a wire rack to cool
Vanilla buttercream
10. In a clean bowl add the butter. With the whisk attached on to the the mixer whip the butter for 2-3 minutes
on medium to high speed.
11. Lower the speed and slowly add the sugar, 1/2 cup at a time.
12. When all the sugar is incorporated increase the speed and whip for 2 more minutes.
13. Add few drops of heavy cream until it reaches the consistency you desire.
14. With a spatula fold in the sprinkles.
15. Gently unroll the cake and spread the buttercream evenly all over it.
16. Roll it again and place in the fridge for a couple of hours.
17. To decorate, melt the white chocolate in double boiler or microwave and pour it over the cake. Add Add
more sprinkles (optional)
18. Let the chocolate settle for few minutes and slice the cake.

Lauren Conrad’s Ginger Bee Sting

Toast the holidays with this gingery-lemon cocktail.

TOTAL TIME: 
PREP: 
LEVEL: Easy
SERVES: 4

Ingredients

  • 5 (1-in.) chunks peeled fresh ginger
  • 1 c. water
  • 1/2 c. honey
  • 1/2 c. fresh lemon juice
  • pinch cayenne (ground red) pepper
  • pinch salt
  • 6 oz. blended Scotch

Directions

  1. In blender, puree ginger and water; strain juice into a medium bowl and discard solids.
  2. Whisk honey, lemon juice, cayenne and salt into ginger juice. Stir in blended Scotch. Serve over ice.

white christmas mojito.

prep time 5 minutes
total time 5 minutes
servings 0 makes 1 drink

INGREDIENTS

  • juice of 1 lime
  • 8 leaves mint
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 2 tablespoons white rum
  • 1 tablespoon coconut rum
  • 1/4 cup canned coconut milk
  • sparkling water for topping
  • pomegranate arils for serving

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. In a glass, muddle the lime juice, sugar and mint leaves until the leaves have broken down. Fill the glass half way with ice.
  2. In a blender, combine the white rum, coconut rum, and coconut milk and pulse until smooth. Pour over the ice and stir to combine. Top with sparkling water, mint and pomegranate. Drink!

white christmas mojito punch.

 prep time 10 minutes
 total time 10 minutes
 servings 0 serves 4-6

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 cup lime juice
  • 1/4 cup packed fresh mint leaves plus more for serving
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup white rum
  • 1/4-1/2 cup coconut rum dependent on your taste
  • 1 cup canned coconut milk
  • sparkling water for topping
  • pomegranate arils for serving

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. In a large pitcher, muddle the lime juice, sugar and mint leaves until the leaves have broken down.
  2. In a blender, combine the white rum, coconut rum, and coconut milk and pulse until smooth. Pour over the mint/lime sugar mixture and stir to combine. Chill until ready to serve.
  3. To serve, divide ice among glasses and fill halfway with the mojito mix. Top with sparkling water, mint and pomegranate.

the north pole.

 prep time 10 minutes
 total time 15 minutes
 servings 0 makes 4 drinks

INGREDIENTS

THE NORTH POLE

  • 4 ounces vodka
  • 2 ounces Kahlúa or more to taste
  • 4 tablespoons chocolate syrup
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 3 teaspoons molasses
  • 1/8 teaspoon ginger
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream or whole milk
  • whipped cream candy canes and gingerbread cookies, for serving (optional)

INSTRUCTIONS

THE NORTH POLE

  1. In a cocktail shaker filled with ice, combine the vodka, Kahlúa, chocolate syrup, vanilla, molasses, and ginger. Shake until combined well. Strain into 4 glasses. Top off each glass with heavy cream. Dollop with whipped cream and garnish as desired. DRINK!

Watermelon Rum Smash

INGREDIENTS:

  • 2 ½ ounces TROPICANA® Watermelon drink
  • 4 fresh basil leaves
  • ¼ ounce lime juice
  • 1 ½ ounces rum
  • A watermelon slice and a sprig of fresh basil for garnish
INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. In a cocktail shaker, lightly muddle the basil.
  2. Add lime juice, rum, and TROPICANA® Watermelon drink.
  3. Add ice and shake well.
  4. Pour into a highball or Collins glass.
  5. Garnish with a watermelon slice and a sprig of fresh basil.

Please drink responsibly.

Strawberry Splash

INGREDIENTS:

  • 2 ½ ounces TROPICANA® Strawberry Peach drink
  • 1 ounce vodka
  • 1 ounce bitter liqueur
  • Fresh strawberry slices for garnish
INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. Combine TROPICANA® Strawberry Peach drink, vodka and bitter liqueur in a cocktail shaker.
  2. Add ice and shake well.
  3. Strain into a coupe glass.
  4. Garnish with fresh strawberry slices.

Please drink responsibly.

Tangerine Sour

INGREDIENTS:

  • 2 ½ ounces TROPICANA® Tangerine Lemonade
  • 1 dash of orange bitters
  • ¼ ounce simple syrup*
  • 1 ½ ounces bourbon
  • An orange twist for garnish
INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. Combine all ingredients into a cocktail shaker.
  2. Add ice and shake well.
  3. Strain into a rocks glass.
  4. Garnish with an orange twist.

*SIMPLE SYRUP:

  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup water
  1. Combine the sugar and water in a small saucepan over medium heat.
  2. Stir until the sugar has fully dissolved.
  3. Remove from heat and let cool to room temperature.
  4. Transfer to a clean glass jar.
  5. Cover and refrigerate.

Please drink responsibly.

Winter’s Ginger

INGREDIENTS:

  • 2 ounces TROPICANA® Lemonade
  • ¼ ounce honey syrup*
  • ¼ ounce ginger syrup**
  • 1 ½ ounces scotch
  • Candied ginger for garnish
INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. Combine all ingredients in a cocktail shaker.
  2. Shake well.
  3. Strain over ice in a rocks glass.
  4. Garnish with candied ginger.

*HONEY SYRUP:

  • 1 cup honey
  • 1 cup water
  1. Combine the honey and water in a small saucepan over medium heat.
  2. Stir until the honey has dissolved.
  3. Remove from heat and let cool to room temperature.
  4. Transfer to a clean glass jar.
  5. Cover and refrigerate.

**GINGER SYRUP:

  • 1 cup fresh ginger, chopped
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 ½ cups water
  1. Combine all ingredients in a large pot and stir until it comes to a boil.
  2. Reduce to a simmer over medium-low heat and cook for one hour.
  3. Remove from heat and allow to cool to room temperature.
  4. Strain the syrup twice through a sieve or cheesecloth into a glass jar and refrigerate.

Please drink responsibly.

Elderflower Watermelon Spritz

INGREDIENTS:

  • 2 ounces TROPICANA® Watermelon drink
  • ½ ounce elderflower liqueur
  • ½ ounce gin
  • Champagne
  • A lemon twist for garnish
INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. Combine the gin, elderflower liqueur, and TROPICANA®Watermelon drink in a mixing glass.
  2. Add 2-3 ice cubes and stir well to combine.
  3. Strain into a champagne flute.
  4. Top with champagne.
  5. Garnish with a lemon twist.

Please drink responsibly.

2018 Movie Release Calendar

January

Friday, January 5

Insidious: Chapter 4

After the events in the previous film, Elise Rainier goes on to investigate the recent supernatural disturbances occurring in a family’s home in New Mexico, a house she used to live in in her youth, diving her deeper into The Further.

Friday, January 12

The Commuter

Insurance salesman Michael is on his daily commute home, which quickly becomes anything but routine. After being contacted by a mysterious stranger, Michael is forced to uncover the identity of a hidden passenger on the train before the last stop. As he works against the clock to solve the puzzle, he realizes a deadly plan is unfolding, and he is unwittingly caught up in a criminal conspiracy that carries life and death stakes for everyone on the train

Paddington 2 Paddington Brown, alongside Hugh Bonneville, Sally Hawkins, Brendan Gleeson, Julie Walters, Jim Broadbent, Peter Capaldi and Hugh Grant in live action roles.

Proud Mary

Taraji P. Henson is Mary, a hitwoman working for an organized crime family in Boston. Mary’s life is completely turned around when she meets a young boy whose path she crosses when a professional hit goes awry.

Friday, January 19

Den of Thieves

An elite unit from the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department squares off against a crew of successful thieves who plan a seemingly impossible heist — the city’s Federal Reserve Bank.

Horse Soldiers

Friday, January 26

Extinction

Midnight Sun

White Boy Rick

February

Friday, February 2

Untitled Cloverfield Movie (previously titled The God Particle)

Winchester: The House that Ghosts Built

After the sudden death of her family, firearms heiress Sarah Winchester becomes convinced that she’s haunted by the souls of those killed by guns. Winchester then decides to build an enormous mansion that’s designed to keep the evil spirits at bay. When skeptical psychiatrist Eric Price visits the estate to evaluate her state of mind, he soon discovers that her obsession may not be so far-fetched after all.

Friday, February 9

Fifty Shades Freed

Dark events surround billionaire Christian Grey and his new wife Anastasia.

Maze Runner: The Death Cure

Thomas leads some escaped Gladers on their final and most dangerous mission yet. To save their friends, they must break into the legendary Last City, a WCKD-controlled labyrinth that may turn out to be the deadliest maze of all. Anyone who makes it out alive will get answers to the questions that the Gladers have been asking since they arrived in the maze

Peter Rabbit

Peter Rabbit’s feud with Mr. McGregor reaches new heights as both compete for the affections of a kind animal lover who lives next door.

The 15:17 to Paris

American tourists Anthony Sadler, Alek Skarlatos and Spencer Stone thwart an ISIS attack on a train heading to Paris.

Friday, February 16

Black Panther

After the events of Captain America: Civil War, King T’Challa returns home to Wakanda. But when two enemies conspire to bring down the kingdom, T’Challa must team up, as the Black Panther, with CIA agent Everett K. Ross and members of the Dora Milaje—Wakanda’s special forces—to prevent a world war.

Early Man

Friday, February 23

Annihilation

A biologist’s husband disappears. She puts her name forward for an expedition into an environmental disaster zone, but does not quite find what she’s expecting. The expedition team is made up of the biologist, an anthropologist, a psychologist, a surveyor, and a linguist.

March

Friday, March 2

Red Sparrow

A Russian spy (Jennifer Lawrence) falls for a CIA officer (Joel Edgerton) and considers becoming a double agent.

Alpha

While on his first hunt with his tribe’s most elite group, a young man is injured and left for dead. Awakening to find himself broken and alone – he must learn to survive and navigate the harsh and unforgiving wilderness. Reluctantly taming a lone wolf abandoned by its pack,he learns to rely on it, and they become unlikely allies, enduring countless dangers and overwhelming odds to find their way home before the deadly winter arrives.

Game Night

Max and Annie’s weekly game night gets kicked up a notch when Max’s brother Brooks arranges a murder mystery party — complete with fake thugs and federal agents. So when Brooks gets kidnapped, it’s all supposed to be part of the game. As the competitors set out to solve the case, they start to learn that neither the game, or Brooks, are what they seem to be. The friends soon find themselves in over their heads as each twist leads to another unexpected turn over the course of one chaotic night.

Death Wish

A doctor in Chicago becomes a vigilante when his wife is murdered and his daughter brutally attacked by robbers.

Friday, March 9

Gringo

A Wrinkle in Time

After the disappearance of her scientist father, three peculiar beings send Meg, her brother, and her friend to space in order to find him.

The Intouchables (2018)

Friday, March 16

Tomb Raider

Lara Croft, the fiercely independent daughter of a missing adventurer, must push herself beyond her limits when she finds herself on the island where her father disappeared.

Untitled Greg Berlanti Film

Untitled Entebbe Project

Friday, March 23

Action Point

Sherlock Gnomes

Isle of Dogs

In the future, an outbreak of canine flu leads the mayor of a Japanese city to banish all dogs to an island that’s a garbage dump. The outcasts must soon embark on an epic journey when a 12-year-old boy arrives on the island to find his beloved pet.

Pacific Rim: Uprising

It has been ten years since the Battle of the Breachand the oceans are still, but restless. Vindicated by the victory at the Breach, the Jaeger program has evolved into the most powerful global defense force in human history. The PPDC now calls upon the best and brightest to rise up and become the next generation of heroes when the Kaiju threat returns.Thrust into this is ex-Jaeger pilot Jake Pentecost, son of the late Stacker Pentecost, who is given a chance by his adopted sister, Mako Mori, to unite with the world and fellow Jaeger pilots to prevent humanity’s extinction

Friday, March 30

Ready Player One

Mary Magdalene

April

the-new-mutants-movie-image-maisie-williams

Friday, April 6

Magic Camp

The Pact

A Quiet Place

Chappaquiddick

Friday, April 13

New Mutants

Friday, April 20

Rampage

The military springs into action when three gigantic, mutated monsters embark on a path of destruction.

 

Tully

Overboard (2018)

Super Troopers 2

May

Friday, May 4

Avengers: Infinity War

Four years after the events of Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, the Avengers, torn apart after the events of Captain America: Civil War, join forces with the Guardians of the Galaxy to battle Thanos, who is trying to amass the Infinity Stones for a gauntlet that will allow him to inflict his will on all reality

Friday, May 11

Life of the Party

Friday, May 18

Slenderman

Untitled LAIKA Project

A Star Is Born (2018)

Country music star Jackson Maine discovers an unknown but talented singer named Ally. As her career quickly takes off, Jackson starts to realize that his best days may be behind him.

Friday, May 25

Star Wars: Untitled Han Solo Film

June

Friday, June 1

Deadpool 2

After surviving a near fatal bovine attack, a disfigured cafeteria chef (Wade Wilson) struggles to fulfill his dream of becoming Mayberry’s hottest bartender while also learning to cope with his lost sense of taste. Searching to regain his spice for life, as well as a flux capacitor, Wade must battle ninjas, the yakuza, and a pack of sexually aggressive canines, as he journeys around the world to discover the importance of family, friendship, and flavor – finding a new taste for adventure and earning the coveted coffee mug title of World’s Best Lover.

Untitled WB Animation Film

Friday, June 8

Ocean’s 8

A criminal mastermind (Sandra Bullock) and seven other female thieves (Cate Blanchett, Anne Hathaway) try to pull off the heist of the century at New York’s annual Met Gala.

Friday, June 15

The Incredibles 2

Elastigirl springs into action to save the day, while Mr. Incredible faces his greatest challenge yet — taking care of the problems of his three children.

Friday, June 22

Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom

Ex-military man Owen Grady encounters terrifying new breeds of gigantic dinosaurs.

Friday June 29

Tag

I Feel Pretty

Sicario 2: Soldado

July

Wednesday, July 4

The Purge 4 (Official Title TBD)

Friday, July 6

Ant-Man and the Wasp

Set after the events of Captain America: Civil War, Scott Lang tries to balance his home life as a father with his responsibilities as Ant-Man, when Hope van Dyne and Hank Pym present him with a new mission, requiring him to team up with van Dyne as the new Wasp.

The Spy Who Dumped Me

Friday, July 13

Hotel Transylvania 3

Summer Vacation, join our favorite monster family as they embark on a vacation on a luxury monster cruise ship so Drac can take a summer vacation from providing everyone else’s vacation at the hotel. It’s smooth sailing for Drac’s Pack as the monsters indulge in all of the shipboard fun the cruise has to offer, from monster volleyball to exotic excursions, and catching up on their moon tans. But the dream vacation turns into a nightmare when Mavis realizes Drac has fallen for the mysterious captain of the ship, Ericka, who hides a dangerous secret that could destroy all of monsterkind.

The Nun

Skyscraper

Friday, July 20

Alita: Battle Angel

In the twenty-sixth century, a female cyborg is rescued from the scrap heap by a scientist.

Mamma Mia: Here We Go Again!

Young Donna, Sam and Harry forge relationships that resonate in the present.

Friday, July 27

Mission: Impossible 6 (Official Title TBD)

 

August

Friday, August 3

The Predator

The Equalizer 2 (Official Title TBD)

Wednesday, August 8

Barbie

Friday, August 10

Amusement Park

Meg

Scarface (2018)

Say hello to our little friend, Scarface.

Friday, August 17

Captive State

The Happytime Murders

In a world where puppets and humans live side-by-side the puppet stars of the iconic TV show The Happytime Gang are some of the biggest celebrities around. But off camera, the family-friendly cast leads the kinds of lives that would make a tabloid writer blush. When the stars of “The Happytime Gang” are mysteriously murdered, two mismatched detectives – one a type-A, take-no-prisoners human with a secret, and the other a crass, hard-drinking puppet with a connection to one of the victims – must put aside their huge differences to stop the killings and catch the culprit, while resisting the temptation to murder each other.

Friday, August 24

Cadaver

September

Friday, September 14

The Darkest Minds

Smallfoot

Friday, September 21

Goosebumps 2 (Official Title TBD)

Robin Hood (2018)

Friday, September 28

The Kid Who Would Be King

Night School

October

Friday, October 5

Venom

Bad Times at the El Royale

Friday, October 12

First Man

Friday, October 19

The Girl in the Spider’s Web

Jungle Book: Origins

Halloween (2018)

Friday, October 26

Overlord

November

Friday, November 2

Dark Phoenix

Set in the 1990s, a decade after the events of X-Men: Apocalypse, the film adapts “The Dark Phoenix Saga” comic storyline, seeing Jean Grey lose control of her abilities as the Dark Phoenix, forcing the X-Men to fight her while the alien empress Lilandra seeks to capture and destroy her

Mulan (Disney)

The Nutcracker and the Four Realms

The Nutcracker and the Four Realms is an upcoming American fantasy film and a live-action adaptation of E.T.A

Mary, Queen of Scots

Friday, November 9

Dr. Seuss’ The Grinch

Holmes & Watson

Friday, November 16

Fantastic Beasts 2 (Official Title TBD)

Widows

Wednesday, November 21

Ralph Breaks the Internet: Wreck-It Ralph 2

Untitled Zemeckis/Carell Project

December

Friday, December 14

Untitled Animated Spider-Man Movie

Mortal Engines

Friday, December 21

Aquaman

Bumblebee

Tuesday, December 25

Bohemian Rhapsody

Mary Poppins Returns

‘Lucifer’: Who is Chloe Decker?

 

Michael Demiurgos is the son of Yahweh and brother of Lucifer Morningstar. He, along with his brother, is one of two fictionally accredited with the creation of the DC Multiverse. He is often described as the second mightiest of all the beings god created.

 

Lucifer:

When Lucifer rebelled in heaven billions of years ago, Michael led God’s forces against Lucifer but during the battle he was felled by Sandalphon from behind when he hesitated. From that point on, he was kept in captivity by “Lucifer’s follower” whose grand scheme was to use Michael’s genetic material to create an army of archangels to finish what Lucifer started, which basically is to overthrow Heaven.The majority of these children were failures but one, his prize, was not, for even better than having the Demiurge inside the child, the child was a female, meaning she could sexually create even more servants for him, she was of course Elaine Belloc. But before Sandalphon could put these plans to fruition, Lucifer came to collect both Elaine and Michael from Sandalphon for he himself needed them. It was revealed that if Michael should die, the release of the power within him would destroy creation.Lucifer brought Michael to The Lux and was eventually granted entrance for it was the only place it would be safe for Michael to die and rebirth, and there it was that Lucifer impaled his brother and the Demiurge filled the Void.After dying, Michael was reborn, healthy and full of life once again and he and his brother parted ways. Michael returns to Heaven where he seeks out Yahweh’s counseling… counseling which he did not expect . Michael is exiled from Heaven and he begins a quest to find and rescue his daughter.

 

Powers
Agility
Blast Power
Cosmic Awareness
Dimensional Manipulation
Divine Powers
Flight
Healing
Immortal
Intellect
Invulnerability
Leadership
Light Projection
Magic
Omni-lingual
Phasing / Ghost
Reality Manpulation
Stamina
Super Hearing
Super Sight
Super Speed
Super Strength
Swordsmanship
Telekinesis
Telepathy
Teleport
Weapon Master

SandalphonRelated image

Sandalphon is a fallen angel of Heaven who sided with Lucifer and in the great battle was the one who defeated Michael Demiurgos.Sandalphon’s plan is thwarted, by Lucifer himself — with his wings restored, as well as his angelic powers.

Powers
Divine Powers
Immortal
Intellect
Super Strength
Unarmed Combat

THE POWER OF ‘LOVE’

Image result for lucifer morningstar Sandalphon

This is, perhaps, the most prevalent theory for why Chloe holds so much power over Lucifer and why it has only become more potent over time — as Lucifer and Chloe have grown closer and become more open and vulnerable with each other.

 

GOD’S PLAN

It could be that Chloe is part of plan much larger than Lucifer, Maze and even Amenadiel can comprehend. That uncanny ability of her’s to be able to withstand Lucifer’s gentle persuasion into honesty, and the resulting sway she has over him, could literally be a God given gift. Chloe maintaining her own mortality would also reinforce that ongoing theme of the strength and weaknesses of humanity — which Lucifer seems at turns fascinated and frustrated by.

LUCIFER’S PROTECTION

Image result for lucifer morningstar Sandalphon

Lucifer will go to some astonishing lengths to protect Chloe — if, at first, this is only to pick apart the mystery of her resistance to his persuasions. Lucifer has bled, and been burned, whilst in close proximity to Chloe, but she, in turn, has come out of all of these potentially dangerous situations unharmed. There is no denying that Chloe has, over the course of the season, become someone that is incredibly important to Lucifer — but would he continue to give up his immortality for her, if he became aware that was what he was doing and could exert some control over it?

 

 Lucifer taps Leftovers star to play twisted criminal mastermindImage result for The Leftovers star Kevin Carroll has booked a guest spot on Lucifer in season 3.

The Leftovers star Kevin Carroll has booked a guest spot on Lucifer in season 3.

Carroll will play The Sinnerman, a mysterious and twisted criminal mastermind with deep-seated motivations, who has set his sights on Lucifer  Like Lucifer, he’s earned quite the reputation for doing favors. The question is: Why has he set his sights on Lucifer, and how is he connected to Lucifer’s recently returned wings?

Carroll, whose credits also include The Catch and Snowfall, will appear in at least two episodes come December, including the winter finale.

Summary 

“Lucifer is worried when he realizes that recipients of his favors start to turn up dead. After he and Chloe investigate, they are finally brought face-to-face with the Sinnerman. Meanwhile, Detective Pierce returns to work after taking a bullet, Charlotte finds a new career and Amenadiel has a new love interest.”

winter finale on December 4  next 2 week .

Starring 

  • Tom Ellis as Lucifer Morningstar
  • Lauren German as Chloe Decker
  • Kevin Alejandro as Dan Espinoza
  • Tricia Helfer as Charlotte Richards
  • D.B. Woodside as Amenadiel
  • Lesley-Ann Brandt as Mazikeen
  • Aimee Garcia as Ella Lopez
  • Scarlett Estevez as Trixie Espinoza
  • Tom Welling as Marcus Pierce
  • Rachael Harris as Linda Martin

Guest Starring 

  • Kevin Carroll as Sinnerman
  • Andy Davoli as Frankie Ferrante
  • Andy Cohen as Joey Pilegg
  • Momo Dione as Bouncer