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Keep It Fresh And Fantastic With The Versatile Cranberry

Contributed by: NAPSA

Keep It Fresh And Fantastic With The Versatile Cranberry
(NAPSA) - There's a reason that Americans consume more than 400 million pounds of cranberries a year. Though the most traditional use of cranberries is during the holiday season as cranberry sauce, this versatile fruit is used year-round in everything from appetizers to dessert-and even as festive home decor.

Since entertaining is at its height during the holidays, harried hosts are looking for new ideas for festive, holiday-inspired dishes. There are so many delicious ways to put new twists on traditional favorites. Cooks can take a fresh look at seasonal favorites by adding fresh cranberries to make a dish different and fun, but also give it that special holiday feeling.

Tom Berry, executive chef of Bambara Restaurant in Cambridge, Massachusetts, uses cranberries to create rather untraditional holiday dishes that still work in the flavors of the season like Cranberry Chicken Stew and Roasted Pumpkin Risotto with Cranberry Brown Butter Sauce.

"Cranberries are an essential part of the holiday meal, and it's more than just the sauce. I've added the popular fruit to stuffing, marinades and appetizers," said Tom. "To cook with cranberries year-round, toss them in the freezer, without pre-washing, in their original plastic bag. Cranberries are one of the best fruits for freezing."

Creative yet simple recipes are just the beginning for fresh cranberries-the most imaginative hosts think decorations. Your meal is planned and now you need a centerpiece for the table-from naturally rustic to simply elegant, cranberries add festive flair to your decor. Create a quick and easy Cranberry Candle Float by adding fresh cranberries and floating candles to a wide glass bowl, or for the more artistic hosts, a Cranberry Topiary by attaching cranberries to Styrofoam balls with toothpicks and covering with shellac.

You can also add sparkle to your holiday festivities with a cranberry of a different color-Ocean Spray's White Cranberry Juice Drink. The smooth, refreshing, less tart taste of White Cranberry Juice Drink is simply delicious on its own, or in cocktails and punches. And, as a fabulous garnish to your favorite concoction, skewer fresh cranberries on a toothpick or freeze in an ice ring.

Whether you plan on serving the traditional holiday dishes or are thinking about trying Tom's Pumpkin Risotto, a special section on www.oceanspray.com called Plan-it Thanksgiving has everything the holiday host needs. Plan-it Thanksgiving provides ideas for decorating with the crimson berry for festive holiday ambiance and gives guidance on how to cook, store, measure and decorate with this holiday staple. For a free brochure filled with fabulous fall food & craft ideas, call Ocean Spray's Consumer Helpline Monday-Friday from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. EST at 1-800-662-3263 and ask for the Set Your Holiday Table with Ocean Spray food and crafts brochure.


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