For some reason, we continue to receive mail from the Dairygold Dairies of Seattle.

And from their newsletter, The Dairy Planet, here's a holiday hint from one of Santa's heiffers:

For the hostess, you'd like to remember with a small thank you gift, fill a holiday mug with flavored or seasoned butter.

Blend a softened cube of sweet cream butter with a bit of honey and a little grated orange peel.

Fill the mug with the butter, wrap in festive cellophane and add a ribbon.


Remember when we requested your strange food-related stories? Just found this in the files.

"One night we were at Mulboon's, and two couples walked in. When the complimentary shrimp bowl was served to them, they all proceeded to eat the shrimp, SHELLS AND ALL.

"My husband and I about died.

"We overheard them say, `Gosh, we heard how good these shrimp were supposed to be - we really don't like them.'

"It was all my husband and I could do to not just burst out laughing.

"Needless to say, they only ate a few and left the rest."


A nutrient-packed new product is rising from West Valley - Honey Valley Farms Wheat Germ & Honey Bread.

Now being sold in local supermarkets, the bread is full of wheat germ, which means lots of vitamin E. Higher protein than whole wheat bread (50 percent more), no sugar (honey sweetened) and no fat also adds to the appeal.

The taste is great . . . sometimes not the case in a nutrient-packed, no fat product. Toasted, it's even better.


Between Granny's fudge and Uncle Lemoyne's Fruitcake Extravaganza, it's not easy to keep up healthy eating this time of year.

"There's no need to deprive ourselves of traditions during the holidays," says wellness consultant Lauve Metcalfe.

"We should treat ourselves - in moderation, and believe it or not, snacking throughout the day can actually help."

Scottish shortbread and macadamia nut brownies ARE NOT on the low-fat list. But the clue to keep from eating 12 bon bons is to fill up on veggies, fruits, or some of the following first:

- Fat-free cream cheese for celery boats

- Mini bagels and fat-free white cheddar rice cakes

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- Hot cocoa made with skim milk

- Leftover, skinless hot or cold turkey with cranberry sauce

Our favorite snack?

The pomegranate. By the time you break into the thing, your hunger pangs are forgotten.

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