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Full Plate December 18

How to make a cocktail more diet friendly

Okay so it's the last minute, normal people are done shopping, right? People like to ask me if I'm done because until midnight on December 24th the answer is always no. So it's Christmas Eve and I'm frantically taping and making bows. This year though I went to an expert. The ladies at Williams Sonoma get special training on how to wrap Christmas gifts and they let us in on their secrets so you can too!

Here at Full Plate we try to be healthy and it's tough this time of year. If it's not cookies, it's cocktails. Here's a look at some of the hidden calories in your cocktail and how to make a cocktail more diet friendly.

Kim Groomes is a mixologist and she knows that calories in your favorite holiday beverages can add up. "What a lot of people don't realize is that holiday cocktails have so many calories, they have so many sugars," says Kim. "For example, a margarita has 540 calories."

She works for Cascade Water and says the mixes can cut those calories in half.

"We're bring the calorie count down to around 45. Not only that, but we're bring the sugars down to zero."

The mixers are sweetened with sucralose instead of sugar. But how do they taste? Kim mixed up a cosmo, a margarita, and an appletini - regular and light versions for us to taste test. First up the appletini; no difference in taste but zero calories from the mixer!

"Next up we have the very popular margarita. Now this margarita, cascade ice margarita is sodium free, gluten free, caffeine free and sugar free, which means you're not getting the unhealthy extras, but you're still getting the flavorful taste."

A regular margarita can run you 540 calories. The light one - 65 calories! And we actually liked the low cal version better.

Finally the festive cosmopolitan. A regular mix will cost you 200 calories. The light water mix - 16. Then just add in the calories for the alcohol to keep an accurate count.

So if you raise your glass this holiday it's one way to make sure it's little lighter.

So what can you do at the last minute to make it seem like it isn't the last minute?

I'm Polish and to me Christmas means kielbasa. Some of the best kielbasa in our town is from Stanley's Market. The owner of Stanley's is JoeZychowicz.


Savory Palmiers by An Occasional Cookie

Preheat oven to 400 degrees

You'll need:

  • 1 sheet of puff pastry (thawed)
  • (Pepperidge Farms in the freezer section)
  • 1/2 cup of sun dried tomatoes packed in oil
  • 1/2 cup of pesto
  • 4 oz of goat cheese
  • 1/3 cup pine nuts (toast them in a pan, be careful not to burn them)
  • Salt and Pepper

You'll also need all purpose flour for dusting and parchment paper for lining your cookie sheet.

  • Lightly dust a clean surface with flour, your countertop will work great.
  • Open the puff pastry and lay it flat.
  • Spread the pesto on evenly using a spatula or pastry brush
  • Sprinkle on the bite sized pieces of sun dried tomatoes making sure to evenly distribute them.
  • Sprinkle on the pine nuts
  • Next you'll use your fingers to break the goat cheese into bits and drop them all over the puff pastry.
  • Salt and pepper to taste.
  • Fold the edges of the puff pastry inward on both sides and repeat this until you have a roll. Refrigerate for at least an hour.
  • Slice into 1 inch segments, place them on your parchment lined cookie sheet and bake for 15-17 minutes.