Earth Eats: Real Food, Green Living

Green Holiday Party Decor, Holiday Cocktails And Squash Tempura

Seasons greetings from Earth Eats! This week on the podcast we help you plan your perfect green holiday party with decorating tips, cocktails, and recipes.

holiday wreath hanging on a coat hook

Photo: Andrew Olanoff/WFIU

The Earth Eats crew wishes you a safe and Happy Holiday!

holiday wreath

Photo: Andrew Olanoff/WFIU

Happy Holidays from Earth Eats! Today on the podcast we have green holiday party tips as well as cocktails and recipes to make your holiday party the social event of the season.

Green Holiday Party Planning

Scientists at Ryerson University in Toronto assembled a list of 15 ways people can green up their holiday season and we talk with two experts from Celebrate Green about their favorite green party tips. Read More »

Holiday Cocktails From The Scholars Inn

An important part of hosting a party is deciding what drinks to serve your guests! There’s traditional eggnog, spiced cider, wines, soda, punch… the list is never-ending.

But why not mix it up this holiday season? Start a new tradition.

The Earth Eats crew recently visited one of our favorite local martini joints, the Scholars Inn Gourmet Cafe and Wine Bar in Bloomington, Indiana, where we met up with Scott and Phil, the masterminds behind these next two delectable beverages.

two holiday drinks

Photo: Bernard Gordillo/WFIU

Cranberry Cooler

(Note) Equal parts soda and cranberry juice, double parts vodka. Just mix it up! Feel free to add in a few frozen berries.

Ingredients:

  • 3 parts vodka
  • some cranberries
  • splash of soda

Peppermint Froth

Ingredients:

  • 1 ounce. chocolate vodka
  • 1 ounce crème de cacao
  • ¼ oounce crème de menthe
  • splash half and half

Process:

  1. Mix and Shake
  2. Poor into chocolate rimmed martini glass
  3. Add in a bit of candy-cane and mint leaf for bit of decor

Holiday Entertaining Tips From Chef Orr

The holidays can be a stressful time. What’s meant to be a joyful period spent with friends and family, can easily turn into a  rat-race of shopping and “last-minute” gift-wrapping.

Over the next few weeks, remember to take time to enjoy the little things. Light the fireplace. Enjoy a cup of cocoa.

When it comes to meat, try organic and free-range game that is raised locally. Take a whack at updating the family recipes with new flavors, like star anise, ginger, or spice blends. And the end of the year is also a great time to use up the old spices in your cabinet so you can start the new year with fresh ones.

If you enjoy crafts, create succulent gardens decorated with holiday ornaments and tiny little snowmen. Make X-mas tree ornaments with natures themes like corn, corncobs, seeds, grains… Savor every flavor of the season.

Holiday Acorn Squash Tempura Bites

acorn squash tempura

Photo: Andrew Olanoff/WFIU

For your holiday party, try whipping up this tasty take on a Japanese classic.

Ingredients:

  • vegetable oil, for frying
  • 2 acorn squash-local, unwaxed
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup unbleached flour
  • 1/2 cup cornstarch
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 large egg,beaten
  • 1 cup ice-cold beer

Directions:

  1. Wash and cut squash into thin ½ moon shapes. Combine remaining ingredients for batter, mix just to combine.
  2. Heat oil to 350 degrees.
  3. Do a test batch by frying one or two pieces until lightly browned and crunchy. The batter should be light and crisp. If too thin add some more flour, little by little. If too thick a touch more beer or water.
  4. Just before serving toss the squash in the batter and fry until crispy, about 2-3 minutes.
  5. Drain on paper towel and season with salt while hot from the fryer.
  6. Serve straight away with assorted dipping sauces.

Beet and Honey Vinaigrette with Orange

As a great accompaniment to your squash tempura, try making these delicious beet and honey vinaigrette. It works great as a dipping sauce, dressing, or garnish. This particular recipe makes approximately 4 cups, and keeps up to 1 week in the refrigerator. (also goes great with: Harrison Lake Garden Burger)

Ingredients:

  • 1 inch peeled and roughly chopped ginger
  • 3 strips orange peel
  • juice of 1 orange
  • 2 medium roasted beets- peeled and roughly chopped
  • ¼ cup white balsamic vinegar
  • 2 – 3 cups salad oil
  • salt and pepper
  • ¼ cup honey
  • ¼ cup water
  • 2 cloves garlic

Directions:

  1. Combine all ingredients in a blender and puree until very smooth.
  2. Taste and adjust seasoning as needed.

Next Week

That’s it for this week! Be sure to join us next time, when help you out by making some greener New Year’s resolutions.

Be sure to subscribe to our free weekly podcast in iTunes so you’re sure not to miss it.

In the meantime, give these recipes a try and let us know what you think. From all of us here at Earth Eats, have a safe and Happy Holiday!

Adam Schweigert

Adam Schweigert is the Managing Editor and Senior Producer for Earth Eats. He is also the Online Director for Indiana Public Media (WFIU/WTIU) and has been with WFIU Public Radio since the fall of 2003, previously serving as Director of Multimedia Initiatives, Music Director and Arts Bureau Chief. He lives in Bloomington, Indiana with his dog Sydney.

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