BRONX, NY--(Marketwire - Nov 29, 2012) - It is estimated that more than five million extra tons of trash are generated between Thanksgiving and New Years. How do we break through the excesses and focus holiday giving and entertaining simply on quality over mass quantity?
We can fortify relationships and delight guests this season just by being more mindful about the holiday menu and activities we incorporate. Here are three keys to help party-givers unlock joy-filled festivities for family, friends, neighbors or co-workers.
I. Reach back to meaningful traditions:
Traditions get passed from generation to generation and yet many of the most endearing social and dining traditions have all but disappeared. Take a cue from bygone days and incorporate some meaningful aspects into your own celebrations. Here are some examples:
- It has long been customary to host a half-hour cocktail period as a warm-up social occasion. Appetizers have long played an integral role in many cultures, giving guests the courtesy of socializing while making sure they are not too hungry before the main meal is served. Today's appetizers are often smaller versions of popular main courses and more adventurous than cheese cubes. Join the "mini" craze and try this holiday recipe for petite and savory Mini Veal Pastry Pies (also a great brunch menu item).
- Like in olden days, gather guests to read a passage from a classic holiday story. Or, just prior to the meal, recite a prayer or note of gratitude authored by the host family.
- Historically, and across the globe, hosts have lifted a glass before eating and all guests toast to each others' health.
II. Enhance the sensual pleasures of enjoying fine food
"I like to prepare food that is a true tribute to my guests," says Chef Chuck Kerber, Executive Chef of pittsburghhotplate.com. "A carefully selected variety of meats and side dishes are perfect!"
- A century ago, the availability of fine meats served hot (rather than the everyday cold cuts) signified a special occasion and would include a wide variety of fowl, game and seafood; with the meats taking center stage and accompaniments placed on the sides and corners (hence today's term, "side dish").
- "The meat has to be of finest quality and have virtues all its own: raised as nature intended, with no added hormones or preservatives, and sustainably and carefully harvested for peak flavor, tenderness and juiciness," said Chef Chuck. "When entertaining, we associate the specialness of Cedar Springs Nature Veal with happy occasions. It is raised and produced in the U.S.A.; fork-tender, flavorful, and lends itself particularly well to a variety or rich, succulent sauces."
- While we no longer require lemon juice daily to prevent scurvy, citrus-infused dishes are a fresh, aromatic culinary delight. Lemon and white wine deliciously perfect Veal Scaloppine, originally a traditional Jewish dish. It is prepared from thin slices of veal cut from the leg (round) and is low in fat, quick to cook, as tender and flavorful as butter, and easy on digestion.
- Time-honored Veal Marsala is a holiday favorite that traces its roots to Italy's famous fortified wine, Marsala, produced around the port city of Marsala in western Sicily. Culinary enthusiasts believe the Romans enjoyed cooking with wine so much that they created a grape concentrate in early days for adding color and sweetness to foods.
III. Share the love:
The ideal approach to the holidays is a selfless wish to make someone else happy. So another way to make holiday gatherings more meaningful for both the giver and the receiver is to "share the love."
- Invite co-workers, neighbors or elderly who have no family nearby to join your holiday meal. Perhaps they may wish to share their own holiday story or toast. Welcome them as family.
- Prepare enough food for leftovers and pack them up for delivery to neighborhood shut-ins.
- Dating back to the Middle Ages, the day after Christmas was designated "Boxing Day" and included giving money, food, and other gifts to those who were needy and in service positions. Continue to make the holiday season a memorable one by sharing mindfully with those in need.
Tis the Season to Give: Cedar Springs Nature Veal is Giving Away Mini-Pie Makers FREE
For a limited time only, consumers can enter for a chance to win a Mini Emeril Pie Maker, a must-have for preparing Chef Chuck's tapas-sized Veal Pastry Pies -- perfect as a holiday appetizer or brunch dish. Visit MSR's Facebook page to enter at and visit www.mountainstatesrosen.com to download serving suggestions and locate local retailers carrying Mountain States Rosen premium products.
About Mountain States Rosen
Premium quality, the highest-rated food safety certification in the industry and unparalleled animal care here in the U.S. -- that's the Mountain States Rosen difference. As the only farmer-owned, fully vertically-integrated American lamb and veal company, MSR has control over the rigorous production, packaging and distribution process -- able to back up their personal pledge for food safety, sustainability, best-quality, and consistency.
The MSR family of growers adheres to responsible raising practices, land management and conservation; offering the finest portfolio of lamb and veal products. MSR's fork-tender, velvety Cedar Springs Nature Veal is fresh from U.S. family farms, free of added hormones and artificial tenderizers and is full of key nutrients, like zinc, niacin, and vitamins B-12 and B-61.
1 Veal's Nutritional Profile: Veal Research funded by the Beef Checkoff Program, vealmadeeasy.com