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Make Holiday Memories with Sweet Eats

Whether your festivities include immediate family or bring together relatives from around the country, the holidays are about making memories with loved ones.



(Family Features) Whether your festivities include immediate family or bring together relatives from around the country, the holidays are about making memories with loved ones. From the first days of the season to the last, many families spend their precious time together with favorite activities and the best foods the holidays have to offer.

This year, you can change things up and start new traditions with a fresh ingredient like Envy apples, which provide an easy way to update classics due to their sweet taste and availability. The sweet, sophisticated flavor; uplifting, fresh aroma; delightfully satisfying crunch; beautiful appearance; and naturally white flesh that doesn’t brown as quickly as other apples all lend themselves to shareable recipes like this Apple Wreath Salad or Roasted Apple Macaroni and Cheese, both perfect for holiday parties.

Because cherished memories are made with sweet ingredients, you can turn cozy movie nights into festive and memorable events year after year by pairing Hallmark Channel’s popular “Countdown to Christmas” holiday movies with delicious desserts like Apple Custard Sponge Trifle and Brown Butter Apple Pie.

Find more memory-making recipes at

Apple Custard Sponge Trifle

Servings: 8-10

  • 6 Envy apples
  • 2 tablespoons golden caster sugar
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup, plus 2 tablespoons, water
  • 1 tablespoon corn flour
  • 1 large plain sponge cake
  • 2 cups vanilla bean custard
  • 1/2 cup caramel or butterscotch sauce, plus additional for garnish, divided
  • 1/2 cup creamfresh apple slices
  • fresh strawberry slices
  1. Peel, core and dice apples; place in large saucepan. Add caster sugar, cinnamon and 1/2 cup water. Simmer apples 5-8 minutes until tender.
  2. Combine corn flour and remaining water. Stir corn flour mixture into apples until apples are syrupy.
  3. Cut sponge cake into 2-centimeter diced pieces. Arrange 1/3 of sponge pieces in base of serving bowl. Add half of cinnamon apple pieces, including syrupy juices. Add 1 cup custard and drizzle with 1/4 cup caramel sauce. Repeat with remaining ingredients, finishing with sponge cake; chill.
  4. Whip cream and spoon dollops over sponge cake to cover top. Garnish with apple slices, strawberry slices and caramel sauce.

Apple Wreath Salad

Recipe courtesy of “The Produce Moms” (@theproducemoms)

Balsamic Dressing:

  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper, finely ground
  • 1 large garlic clove, minced
  • 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 3/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil


  • 10 ounces baby arugula
  • 3 Envy apples, sliced
  • 9 ounces goat cheese, crumbled
  • 3 ounces pomegranate arils
  • 3 ounces pecans, toasted
  1. To make balsamic dressing: In small serving bowl, whisk honey, Dijon mustard, salt, pepper, garlic, balsamic vinegar and olive oil.
  2. Place dressing bowl in center of large board or platter. Arrange arugula around dressing bowl in wreath shape.
  3. Place apple slices on top of arugula. Sprinkle on goat cheese, pomegranate arils and pecans.

Brown Butter Apple Pie

Streusel Topping:

  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 1/4 cup chopped pecans
  • 2 tablespoons light brown sugar
  • 4 tablespoons butter, cut into 1/2-inch cubes


  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • 2 pounds Envy apples, cut into 1/4-inch slices
  • 1/2 cup light brown sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/8 teaspoon grated nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 3 tablespoons flour
  • 1 deep dish frozen pie shell
  1. Preheat oven to 375 F.
  2. To make streusel topping: Mix flour, chopped pecans and light brown sugar. Stir in butter using fingertips until incorporated with small lumps of butter visible. Refrigerate.
  3. To make filling: In large skillet over medium heat, melt butter until amber, stirring often. Set aside to cool. In large bowl, stir sliced apples, brown sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, salt, vanilla and flour using spatula. Pour brown butter over apples and mix, scraping skillet with rubber spatula to incorporate brown butter bits.
  4. Place frozen pie shell on baking sheet. Add 2 cups apple mixture into shell, gently pressing apple slices for even base. Add remaining apple slices and gently press. Sprinkle streusel topping evenly over apples.
  5. Bake 30 minutes then reduce oven temperature to 350 F and bake 35-45 minutes until topping is golden and apples feel tender when pierced with fork.

Roasted Apple Macaroni and Cheese

  • Salted water
  • 1 pound macaroni noodles
  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • 1 Envy apple, peeled and diced
  • 4 tablespoons flour
  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • 2 cups milk
  • 3 cups sharp cheddar cheese, grated
  • 1 cup Romano cheese, grated
  • 1 cup gruyere cheese, grated
  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon Worcestershire


  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 cup panko breadcrumbs
  1. Bring large pot of salted water to boil. Add noodles and cook until just tender. Drain and set aside.
  2. In large pot over high heat, melt butter then saute diced apple until caramelized and tender. Sprinkle in flour and stir. Cook 1 minute, stirring frequently.
  3. Whisk in heavy cream and milk; bring to boil, whisking frequently so milk doesn’t burn.
  4. Once boiling, turn heat to low and whisk in cheddar cheese, Romano cheese, gruyere cheese, salt and Worcestershire. Continue whisking until cheese is melted thoroughly.
  5. Carefully pour mixture into large blender and blend on high until smooth.
  6. Pour cheese sauce over noodles and stir.
  7. Pour macaroni and cheese into 9-by-13-inch pan and spread evenly.
  8. Heat oven to broil.
  9. To make topping: In medium bowl, melt butter and stir in panko breadcrumbs.
  10. Sprinkle breadcrumbs over macaroni and cheese; broil until golden brown.

Envy Apples


5 Health Tips to Help You Succeed in the New Year

The new year brings a time to reassess health habits. New Year’s goals and resolutions are often focused on weight loss or exercise. Although these are important indicators of health and happiness for many people, maintaining overall health is important, too.



Photo courtesy of iStock

(Family Features) The new year brings a time to reassess health habits. New Year’s goals and resolutions are often focused on weight loss or exercise. Although these are important indicators of health and happiness for many people, maintaining overall health is important, too.

Registered dietitian, author and nutrition consultant Manuel Villacorta offers these tips to start the new year with a healthy routine:

Photo courtesy of iStock

Create a Meal Plan You’ll Want to Eat
For well-balanced meals, think ahead and plan a weekly menu that matches your taste preferences to stay interested. When you feel like you’re on a diet or being forced to eat something, you’re more likely to stop following the plan. It’s helpful to make something to enjoy together with family or friends and make sticking to a meal plan easier. Manuel suggests:

  1. Making shopping lists to stay organized
  2. Checking your cupboards to avoid overbuying and waste
  3. Scheduling a day of the week to shop

This Ground Chicken and Sweet Potato Skillet is an easy meal plan starter.

(Click image for more information)

Fill in Dietary Gaps with Flavanol Supplements

A balanced diet is key to overall health, including your heart and brain health. In fact, the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics released a first-of-its-kind recommendation to eat 400-600 milligrams of flavanols daily to support cardiometabolic health. Flavanols are bioactive compounds found in plant-based foods like cocoa, tea, apples and berries; however, levels can vary across foods, and it can be difficult to get everything you need from food alone.


A flavanol supplement like CocoaVia™ can help fill dietary gaps when you can’t meet the recommendations with food alone. The flavanols in CocoaVia are clinically proven to promote cardiovascular and brain health for the long-term, supporting a strong heart and better memory.* Each Cardio Health product serving provides 500 milligrams of cocoa flavanols in two capsules or one powder scoop. Additionally, Memory+ – containing 750 milligrams of cocoa flavanols per three-capsule serving – is’s Overall Top Pick for cocoa products with the highest concentration of flavanols. Only CocoaVia is made with Cocoapro™ cocoa extract, the most concentrated and clinically proven flavanol extract ingredient on the market.

Try adding CocoaVia capsules to your routine or a scoop of Cardio Health powder to smoothies, coffee or this Cocoa Blueberry Smoothie Bowl. Learn more at

Photo courtesy of iStock

Fuel for Energy

Not having enough energy can impact performance at work and the gym. What you eat can impact your energy levels. Manuel suggests eating every 3-4 hours and including all three macronutrients – carbohydrates, protein and fat – at mealtimes.

For example, many people eat salads with greens and protein, but you can bulk them up with broccoli and carrots for a heartier mix. Aim for meals packed with vitamins, minerals and nutrient-dense foods like grains and starchy vegetables that provide energy.

Photo courtesy of iStock

Make Fiber a Focus


Fiber is a nutrient often overlooked. Soluble fiber helps maintain glucose levels, which are important for your brain to function at its best. Oats, beans and avocados are all good sources of soluble fiber. Including fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds and whole grains can increase your fiber intake and benefit your gut health.

Photo courtesy of iStock

Be Strategic About Stocking Your Kitchen

Making several weekly grocery trips is time consuming and better spent on things like physical activity. Try strategies to get most of what you need in the fewest trips possible like buying bulk beans, grains and pasta. Remember, not everything has to be fresh. Frozen and canned produce are often stored at their peak freshness to offer many of the same nutrients. Choose low-sodium, canned options when possible and rinse before eating.

*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.


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Consumer Corner

Accessorize New Holiday Tech Gifts with OtterBox



-Deals to Help Reach New Year Goals-

FORT COLLINS, Colo. /PRNewswire/ — Fight the post-holiday blues with a sitewide sale from OtterBox. The more you buy, the bigger your discount on cases, screen and power products to protect your new tech.

“We know some big-ticket items around the holidays may require a new case or power accessories,” said OtterBox CEO JC Richardson. “As the holidays pass and New Year’s resolutions are made, OtterBox wants to be sure a dropped phone or watch doesn’t put you out from achieving those goals.”

Get those new tech gifts protected and powered with accessories from OtterBox – on sale now.

Protect and power up that holiday tech gift with accessories from OtterBox – the perfect gear for the New Year. Get cases, cables, power banks and more from

Add total protection to your device with cases and screen protection from OtterBox. Symmetry Series and Symmetry Series+ cases are super sleek and come in a variety of fun colors and graphics so you can express your personal style every day. Pair with an Amplify Glass screen protector to keep that brilliant device screen looking like new and protected from falls and scratches. For your smaller devices, OtterBox offers an assortment of Apple Watch, AirPod and AirTag cases for protection against daily mishaps while you pursue those new year goals.

OtterBox power products will help you power through. From MagSafe charging stands to 30-watt USB-C to USB-C Premium Pro Fast Chargers, your devices will be powered up every morning before you head out the door. With OtterBox power banks, you never have to worry about your device running out of battery while you are on the go.

Bundle all these items together for big savings to keep your devices going long after the new year—and new you—takes over. OtterBox cases, screen protectors and power products are available now on

About OtterBox:


OtterBox creates bold products that empower connection. From our humble beginnings in a Fort Collins, Colo., garage, we’ve leveraged more than 20 years of experience to become the No. 1-selling smartphone case brand in the U.S.2 We’ve also expanded our portfolio of products to include screen protection, power accessories and business-to-business solutions.

At the core of every OtterBox innovation is the goal of giving. Through the OtterCares Foundation, we invest in programs and projects that inspire kids to be entrepreneurs, philanthropists and makers.

Explore more at

Symmetry Series, Symmetry Series+ are NOT protective against water. Will provide added protection against drops and shock.
2Source: The NPD Group/ U.S. Retail Tracking Service: Cell Phone Device Protection / Units Sold / Jan. 2017 – Jan. 2021


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Tulane expert offers ‘smart’ advice on making and keeping New Year’s resolutions



Newswise — It’s almost 2023, a new year, a new you. You’ve resolved to be thinner, healthier, kinder. You’ve vowed to cook more, read more, exercise more. You’re going to declutter your house, beautify your garden, get out of debt.

There’s only one problem, said Tonya Hansel, PhD, am associate professor of social work at the Tulane University School of Social Work.

“By year’s end, or even February, these personal goals are forgotten, ignored or deemed unattainable,” she said. “The problem with a New Year’s resolution is not lack of will power or self-determination, rather it is with the resolution itself – lofty goals that anyone would find difficult to implement.”

For those making resolutions, Hansel advises to make them SMART — specific, measurable, achievable, relevant and time bound. She uses the example of adopting a healthier lifestyle. A more specific resolution would be to exercise three times a week for at least 30 minutes.

By making it measurable, you can keep track of your progress or setbacks to work on. “Perhaps you measure healthier by three days per week for at least 30 minutes or losing 1 pound per week,” she said.

Making a resolution achievable gets to the attainability of your resolution. “You could join a gym, online workout or weight loss program and identify a friend with similar resolutions to exercise with or to check in with weekly to discuss barriers and successes,” she said.


As for relevance, Hansel said this part of the resolution may change. “Perhaps the relevance is that you want to fit into clothes, receive better health reports or feel or look better,” she said. “If these goals are no longer as important, it may be worth investing your energy into a different resolution.”

Hansel said realistic timing is one of the most important aspects of the resolution because it involves creating positive habits. She said studies show that 21 days is enough to form a habit. So instead of committing to a full year, take it one month at a time.  “This will allow you to reevaluate whether your resolution was achievable and still relevant.”  

Source: Tulane University

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