Week in Review

I just had to start this week in review with this picture. Goodness, doesn't it make you want to jump into the picture and just start eating?  I am a sucker for caramel apples and Chef Stacey makes some delicious ones!  I got to help this time, well a little bit, by helping wrap them up. And of course I couldn't resist purchasing one of my own. The turtle apple was worth every calorie. The apple part balances it out right?

This past week, the Midwest Heritage Bank in our store started this awesome fundraiser for the kids of the Variety Club. Each department in the store was to create a Snowperson that represents them, so of course the creation of the Chef/Dietitian snowlady was a must. I think she is a great combination of us. I also appreciate her impeccable juggling of fruit capabilities. Maybe it is a metaphor for all the things Stacey and I juggle each day being our own department. I hope everyone comes and casts their "votes" through January. All the donations go to an amazing cause! 

I ended the week with my monthly TV segment on KCCI on Saturday morning featuring the dietitian pick of the month: cranberries. Cranberries are in season and full of powerful and healthy antioxidants that we all could use over these cold months to keep us healthy. I like to buy a couple extra bags when they are in season and freeze them for use later. The frozen cranberries also make festive ice cubes for holiday parties. Try the recipe I made on air for a colorful and zingy holiday appetizer.

Cranberry Jalapeno Cream Cheese Dip

Serves 16. Source: | Hy-Vee dietitians. 

All you need:
1 (12 oz) bag Ocean Spray fresh cranberries
1 to 2 jalapeno peppers, stemmed and seeded
1/2 c. Hy-Vee sugar
1/4 c. Walden Farms calorie-free cranberry sauce
2 tbsp fresh orange juice
1 tsp orange zest
1/4 c. chopped green onion
1/8 – 1/4 tsp ground cumin
pinch salt
2 (8 oz each) packages Hy-Vee light cream cheese, softened
Whole-grain crackers, for serving

All you do:
In a food processor, chop cranberries and jalapeno pepper to a fine dice. Add sugar, Walden Farm cranberry sauce, orange juice, orange zest, onion, cumin and salt. Pulse to combine. Pour mixture in bowl, cover and place in refrigerator at least 4 hours or overnight.
Spread softened cream cheese into a large rimmed dish or 9-inch pie plate. Top cream cheese with cranberry-jalapeno mixture. Cover and place in refrigerator 2 hours. Serve with crackers.