New Year’s Eve Free Printable Conversation Starters

New Year's Eve Conversation Starters -

New Year's Conversation Starters - is almost here! Every year my husband’s family takes a trip up north for Christmas. We rent a cabin and enjoy food, games, movies and each other. This year we will be there on New Year’s Eve. So I started brainstorming, what could we do to celebrate that will not be too much fuss? After all, I simply do not have more room to bring more “stuff” after all the gifts, swim toys, food, etc. And I wanted to be practical. There are some seriously adorable things on Pinterest for New Year’s Eve, but this working Mama just doesn’t have time for all that and my money is spent for the rest of the year! So was born the “New Year’s Eve Conversation Starters”.

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7 Appetizing Ways to Ring in the New Year

7 Appetizing Ways to Ring in the New Year - Family, Friends & Food with Jayne

Wow! What a year! 2015 is almost over and I’m looking forward to 2016 and wondering what new adventures await us all.

Have you started planning your New Year’s Eve party? Well I have got some great and very simple recipes that are going to make your life so much easier and your party planning a huge success. Here are the items that I put together that I think you will enjoy.

Bacon Wrapped Cocktail Smokies

Bacon Wrapped Smokies

Bacon Wrapped Cocktail Smokies
  • 2 Packages of Coborn’s Signature Cocktail Smokies
  • 1 Lb. Four Brothers Smokehouse Bacon
  • ¾ Cup Brown Sugar
  • Toothpicks
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Take the one pound package of bacon and slice into thirds.
  3. Then wrap each piece of bacon around each Cocktail Smokie and use a toothpick to secure.
  4. Place them in a 9x13 glass dish.
  5. Sprinkle with ¾-cup brown sugar over the top of the wraps and bake for 40 minutes.

Maryland Crab Cakes

Crab Cakes

You can find these in the Frozen Seafood Case in the Meat Department.  All you have to do is place them on a cookie sheet and bake in a 350 degree oven for about 15 to 20 minutes and then they are ready to serve.  They are great as an appetizers cut into quarters or you can serve them as a main entrée.

Cream Cheese & Tomato Dip

Cream Cheese and Tomato Dip

Cream Cheese and Tomato Dip
  • 12 oz. Jimmy Dean’s Original Sausage
  • 2-8 oz. Cream Cheese
  • 10 oz. Rotel Tomatoes, undrained
  • Tortilla Chips
  1. In a small frying pan chop up sausage into small pieces and heat until sausage is completely cooked; drain.
  2. Add tomatoes and both 8 oz. packages of cream cheese and heat, stirring occasionally until cheese is melted.
  3. Serve hot with your Tortilla Chips.

Coborn’s Signature Meatballs

Coborn's Signature Meatballs

These are awesome and the best part is they are fully cooked.  How easy is that?  Here is all I did to put this quick appetizer together.

Coborn's Signature Meatballs
  • 10 Oz. Grape Jelly
  • ¼ Cup Chili Sauce
  • 2 T. Prepared Mustard
  1. Mix these three items together in a large bowl and then put in a dutch oven.
  2. Then add the fully cooked meatballs into this sauce and heat them all together for about 30 minutes and they are ready to eat!

Scrumptious Chicken Wings

Cajun Wings

Here are the quickest and easiest chicken wings I have ever made and my entire family loves them.  All I did was purchase what is called “ Fryin Magic” my new best friend.  I then placed my chicken wings and some of the Fryin Magic in a Ziploc bag and shook them together.  I then sprayed a 9×13 glass dish with cooking spray before I placed the chicken in the glass dish.  Then in a 350 oven I baked them for 1 hour, turning them once after the first 30 minutes.  Now if you like a little spice I did sprinkle Cayenne Pepper over the top to give it just a little spice but you don’t have to because Fryin Magic has wonderful spices already in it.

Rutherford & Mayer Fruit Paste

Rutherford & Mayer Fruit Paste

I’m so excited to introduce you to this new product that has just arrived in our Deli’s.  It is Fruit Paste and it is 100 pure fruit.  They have several flavors but I wanted to use the Pear flavor just because that is my favorite.  This is so easy just pair it with a sharp cheddar cheese.  Slice the cheese and place it on an artisan cracker and then slice the fruit paste and place on top of the cheese.  What an easy sweet appetizer and oh will you enjoy this.

Me’nage ‘a Trois

This wine has got to be my all-time favorite wine and I do love my selection of wines.  This is a red wine from California and if you are not a red wine drinker you are in luck because they also have a white wine. This wine is a fresh, ripe, jamlike fruit flavor.  Add a little cheese, a little cocktail shrimp with this wine and I guarantee that you will enjoy a very magical night.

I hope your New Year’s Eve parties are a huge success and have a very Happy New Year and we will see you in 2016!!!

Coborn’s, Inc. Meat and Seafood Merchandiser

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5 simple changes to make in the New Year

5 simple changes to make in the New Year!

Eat Healthy, Shop Smart with Ashley.

Many Americans decide to change their diet and exercise in the New Year. While this is a great goal, we sometimes tend to set goals that are too hard to achieve and by the time Valentine’s Day rolls around, we are eating the entire box of chocolates. So here are five changes you can make that are simple and a little more obtainable.

Add more fruits and veggies

I know this sounds very cliché but it is so important.  Veggies not only provide us with amazing nutrients and antioxidants but they are also low in calories and full of fiber, to keep us feeling fuller for longer, preventing us from eating extra calories throughout the day that can lead to excess weight gain.

One of our 5 simple changes for you to make in the New Year: Add more Fruits and Veggies to your diet. Read more at

All forms count

  • Fresh
  • Frozen
  • Canned
  • Dried
  • 100% juice

Yes that’s right I said canned and 100% juice! Here are some of my favorite ways to add more servings each day.

Breakfast – I always have 100% orange juice with my breakfast and I add blueberries and bananas to the top of my whole grain waffles.

Lunch – For lunch, I always have a side salad with carrots, broccoli, cauliflower, carrots, peppers and mushrooms.  It doesn’t need to be a huge salad or the main dish.  Then I always have a fruit cup in 100% juice. When I have soup, I always open up a can of veggies and pour it into my soup. Are you having a grilled cheese with that soup, why not add a tomato and spinach leaf?

Dinner – For dinner, whether I am making stir fry, hot dish, or fajitas, veggies are always the main component. When my mom made tator tot hot dish (gotta love MN cooking) she would add two pounds of beef and one bag of mixed veggies.  When I make it, I add 1 pound of beef and two bags of veggies, if not more.  Plus I always serve a veggie on the side.  With fajitas, who says meat has to be the main part? The peppers and onions sautéed in olive oil are what brings in the real flavor.  Don’t forget the guacamole made with 100% avocados.  For stir fry, try to have a ratio of two to one for veggies to meat.  Remember a fruit cup always makes a good dessert!

Limit your added sugars

One of our 5 simple changes for you to make in the New Year: Limit your added sugar. Read more at

Fruit in any form, and 100% juice does NOT count as an added sugar.  Honey, agave nectar, 100% maple syrup, evaporated cane juice, and raw organic sugar DO count as added sugar. And I’m sure you know regular sugar and high fructose corn syrup also count as added sugar.  Look for these ingredients in the labels of your favorite foods and try to make a better choice. Remember added sugars are just extra calories with very minimal if any nutritional value.

Limit your sodium

One of our 5 simple changes for you to make in the New Year: Limit your sodium. Read more at

Sodium is hidden in so many foods, always be on the look out for this! It is recommended to get no more than 2,300 mg of sodium per day, unless you had a heart condition, high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes, or African American.  Those risk factors reduce your daily intake to 1500mg/day.  Look at the nutrition facts panel, just because it says “reduced sodium” doesn’t mean its “low sodium.” Challenge yourself to add up your sodium throughout the day.  I guarantee you will be shocked! Remember the sodium amounts are PER SERVING, so if you have two servings of a food item you need to double the sodium amount.

Be activeOne of our 5 simple changes for you to make in the New Year: Get Active! Read more at

When I say this I don’t necessarily mean to exercise or go to the gym for an hour a day.  I mean lead an active lifestyle ALL day.  Park your car farther from the building, take the stairs, walk an extra lap around the store on your next shopping trip, clean your house, lift soup cans during commercials, shovel your driveway, walk to get the mail, host walking meetings, walk during your break at work. All of these little things will add up to a healthier lifestyle and your body will thank you!

Science based information and diets

One of our 5 simple changes for you to make in the New Year: No Fad Diets! Read more at www.cobornsblog.comGet your nutrition information from qualified medical professionals.  Nutritionists, Wikipedia, and Dr. Oz don’t count.  Make sure you are talking to a registered dietitian; someone with the education and credentials to give you science based information that has been researched and validated.  Be wary of fad diets and know how to pick them out.  For example, if you are supposed to eliminate an entire food group like for example in the paleo diet, it is a fad diet.  If it has promising results and huge weight loss in a small amount of time, it is a fad diet.  If it is a special pill or potion, it is a fad diet.  Honestly, eating right really does come down to the basics, some of which are mentioned above.  You will not lose 10 pounds in a week doing this, but I promise you it is the most sustainable approach and your body will love you for it. Not only will you be seeing results in your weight, but your risk for chronic disease can decrease, your skin can look cleaner and your body will be functioning at a more optimal level! I hope I can help you to eat REAL food in REAL life!

Happy New Year everyone!!

Peace and Wellness
Coborn’s, Inc. Registered Dietitian


Eat Healthy Shop Smart with Ashley -

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January is Soup Month – Italian Tortellini Soup - Italian Tortellini Soup - Family, Friends & Food with Jayne

Well, I really was a party animal for New Year’s Eve.  My husband and I, and very close friends of ours Dave and Joy, went out for dinner.  We had such a wonderful time catching up and sharing all the wonderful memories of 2013.  We arrived home around 10:00 pm and by 10:30 I was sound asleep.  I never even made it to Midnight  My husband said he kissed me and wished me Happy New Year but unfortunately I slept through everything.  I think my age is finally showing but I’m going to try my hardest to hide it.

It’s a new year and I’m really looking forward to new and exciting things for everyone.  It’s January and I believe it is probably the coldest month of the year and it is National Soup Month.  Any soup is one of my favorite meals especially during these next couple of months.  We have had some tough winter days in 2013 but don’t get me wrong, I just love winter and the good old State of Minnesota.  I couldn’t imagine living anywhere else.  This state is so beautiful during the winter and all our seasons and I am so proud to be from this state.  The winter activities on the lake are like no others and I can’t wait for my chance to go ice fishing this year.

One of my favorite soups that I like to make for my ice fishing events to share with our friends is Italian Tortellini Soup.

Italian Tortellini Soup
  • 1.5 lbs. Ground Italian Sausage
  • 1 Cup Onion, chopped
  • 6 Cups Beef or Chicken Broth
  • 2 Pints Tomatoes with liquid
  • ⅔ Cup Ketchup
  • 2 Cloves Garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp. Italian Seasoning
  • ¼ cup Parsley, chopped
  • 2 Cups Carrots, sliced
  • 1 Cup Celery, sliced
  • 2 Cups Zucchini, sliced
  • 1 Medium Green Pepper, diced
  • 1 Package Frozen Cheese Tortellini
  • 1 Can Butter Beans
  • To Taste Salt & Pepper
  1. In 5 quart Dutch oven, brown sausage, drain fat; add onions and green pepper and sauté.
  2. Add beef or chicken broth, tomatoes, carrots, celery, ketchup, Italian seasoning and garlic.
  3. Bring to boil, and simmer for 30 minutes.
  4. Stir in zucchini, parsley and tortellini.
  5. Simmer to taste with salt and pepper.
  6. Add butter beans at the end.

This recipe is very easy to make and most of the work is just chopping and slicing. It makes a good size batch so it can serve probably 6 to 8 people.  At the very end when all vegetables are tender I add in the can of butter beans and I have to admit I usually add 2 cans just because I love them so much and they really add flavor and texture to this soup.

I’m watching the weather and looking for that perfect winter day with a little sun and temperature of 30 degrees and then watch out fish because here we come.  My friends that I call family usually set up a portable fire pit on the ice, along with food and refreshments, a little snowmobiling and in between the fishing we have our outdoor Minnesota games – and don’t forget the soup to keep us warm.   Enjoy….we will! #WinSoupI just love this soup! I think it’s time to give away a starter kit to kick off  soup season. Simply “Pin” this blog post on Pinterest with #WinSoup for your chance to WIN a Stock Pot, 2 Soup Mugs, Laddle, Chicken Broth and Butter Beans.  One winner to be chosen Monday, February 3, 2014.  Good Luck!

Meat and Seafood Merchandiser
Coborn’s, Inc.

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Best wine for the Holidays The Best wine for the Holidays

Beneath the Cork with Mike H. Assistant Liquor

This time of the year I am often asked what kind of wine should I pair with appetizers, a holiday meal, dessert or sometimes all of the above.  This year I will answer any of these questions with the same response – Prosecco!  Prosecco is a soft, off-dry and slightly fizzy wine.  It has more fruit components and less crispness than champagne, making it a great partner with food.  Its food versatility is vast and it might be easier to list what I would not pair it with.  However, here are some of the things I will be using Prosecco with this holiday season – salty snacks, hors d’oeuvres, Mascarpone cheese, fried chicken (doesn’t fit the season but a personal favorite!), sushi, stuffed shrimp, ham, tiramisu and in sparkling alcoholic fruit punch.

Now that you’ve come this far the next question is, “which Prosecco?”  May I recommend, Risata Prosecco?   This Prosecco hails from the Treviso province in the Veneto region of North Eastern Italy, the presumed birthplace of Prosecco and tiramisu.  Great care in producing this wine is taken from the hand harvesting of all the grapes to the soft pressing of the fruit and gentle fermentation process.  The result is a wine with enticing peach & pear aromas.  As these aromas linger they lead to delicious flavors of Pink Lady apples, citrus and more peach finishing with delicate yet persistent bubbles.  Civilized Venetians consider this Prosecco an ombrette, or pick me up, and while we’re at it, it will also be my preferred wine of the holiday season.

Until next time – Cheers! 

– Mike
Assistant Liquor Division Manager
Coborn’s, Inc.

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Beneath the Cork with Mike -