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Let the holiday soirées begin! Lee and I are planning ours already, and I know others are doing the same. Holidays are such a warm and inviting time. Friends and family all get together, putting their differences aside, sharing in the festivities and opening their hearts & homes. Ahhh…just talking about it gives me goosebumps! If we could only capture this ‘feeling’ and stay with it all year long – how nice it would be!

There are many ways to entertain; perhaps you want to enjoy your favorite holiday and Christmas music as you mix & mingle with old friends, neighbors and family while enjoying a few light appetizers. Maybe you are in the mood for a cocktail party, with a festive atmosphere, serving apéritifs. Some may want to go ‘all out,’ spending all day in the kitchen, maybe even 2 days in the kitchen, cooking and baking for their annual party. However it is that you choose to celebrate this year, I wish you the spirit of love, friendship, faith and hope to fill your hearts and homes.

Food plays a big part in every celebration. This year for me, I will focus on a healthier display of food. Of course I respect that others choose to eat differently than I do, so I will always graciously accommodate. However, I will showcase my ambrosial ME-gan food, which will no doubt raise brows, and surely wet palettes. I call it The Art of Mother Nature’s Healthy and Delicious Persuasion.

My meals don’t keep me in the kitchen all day long, but depending on how much I’ll be making may very well keep me in the kitchen all day long. But I don’t mind, I LOVE it, and I turn up the music and enjoy the moment! Lee and I work well together in the kitchen and truly have a fun time.

But just remember, it’s not all about ‘big meals,’ I mean, there are also the ‘snacks’ that will be lying around.  People LOVE to snack and talk, snack and talk, snack and talk!  HA!  One of my favorite quick snacks is a ‘Gluten Free Chex Party Mix.’ You can get creative and make up your own ‘mix,’ or follow one off a box of gluten free Chex. This year I’m going to try out the “Sweet and Spicy Honey Nut Chex Mix.”  You can tell by just reading the ingredients that it’s gonna be a good one!

Ingredients

  • 4 cups Honey Nut Chex cereal – Gluten Free
  • 1/2 cup dry-roasted peanuts
  • 1/3 cup roasted salted sunflower seeds or hulled pumpkin seeds
  • 2 Tbsp. honey
  • 1 Tbsp. warm water
  • 3/4 tsp. salt
  • 3/4 tsp. ground cumin
  • 1/2 tsp. ground red pepper (cayenne)
  • 3/4 cup raisins

Directions

In large microwavable bowl, mix cereal, peanuts and sunflower seeds – set aside. In a small bowl, mix honey and warm water. Stir in salt, cumin and red pepper until blended. Pour over cereal mixture, stirring until evenly coated. Microwave uncovered on high 3 minutes, stirring every minute. Stir in raisins. Microwave 1  minute longer. Spread on wax paper or foil to cool. Store in an airtight container.

This will keep people’s tastes buds bouncing for sure! It’s so simple, inexpensive and adds a little twist to entertaining. Put away the bowl of potato chips this year, and set this out. Get ready for some positive reactions!

Now you probably know what I’m going to suggest… after you try this once, then get creative and make it your own next time.  Add to it, take away from it, point being – let your imagination get busy! That’s the ME-gan way!

Ooohhh.. the holidays…they truly fill my heart with LOVE and JOY! Christmas only comes once a year, but should be with us every day. Put a healthy touch on your party this year; celebrate health, happiness and good fortune!

Great tasting love!

Mary

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