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Published: Thursday, 12/4/2008

Savoring the Holidays: Tropical Traditions, Tastes and Tips

(ARA) - Whether your family is celebrating the holidays on the coast of Atlanta or the coast of Maui, one central value bonds families together during this season: tradition. Regardless of locale, every family embraces annual rituals in which they partake, whether it's fighting over the wishbone on the Thanksgiving turkey or strolling the neighborhood to view holiday lights on Christmas Eve.

On the islands of Hawaii, the holiday season is a significant time of year for native families, each holding unique traditions of their own. Some of these include hosting a Thanksgiving or Christmas luau where friends and family will roast a Kalua pig and feast on traditional pupus (appetizers). Although the tradition may seem a bit foreign to families on the mainland, there is one purpose intended -- to spread the holiday spirit.

In the same island spirit, King's Hawaiian has created a batch of recipes and tips for the holiday season that fosters a variety of traditions for every family home.

Simple and Sumptuous Holiday Berry Trifle

Makes 12 servings

1 -16 oz. loaf King's Hawaiian Sweet Bread

3 tbsp. orange liqueur

1/2 cup raspberry all-fruit spread

1 package vanilla pudding mix

1 pint sliced strawberries or raspberries

1 cup heavy whipping cream

2 tbsp. sugar

Cook vanilla pudding with 2 cups of milk, following package directions. Cover with wax paper and set aside to cool.

Whip the heavy whipping cream with 2 tbsp. sugar until stiff peaks form.

Trim the bottom of the King's Hawaiian loaf to make a 1-inch thick slice. Place in a clear glass bowl or trifle bowl and sprinkle with orange liqueur then cover with fruit spread. Add a layer of the cooled pudding; then spread a layer of the whipped cream. Repeat layering: 1 inch slice of King's Hawaiian Sweet Bread, orange liqueur, fruit spread, pudding and whipped cream.

The 16 oz. King's Hawaiian Sweet Bread fits perfectly into a trifle bowl measuring 8 inches in diameter and 5 inches in height. Serve chilled.

Reduced Calorie Alternatives: Use sugar-free pudding and nonfat milk; Replace heavy whipping cream with low-calorie whipped topping and use all-fruit spread instead of preserves.

Egg Nog French Toast

Makes 4 servings

1 loaf King's Hawaiian Bread

3 eggs

1 cup egg nog

1/2 teaspoon vanilla

3/4 teaspoon cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon nutmeg (if not included in the egg nog ingredients)

Slice bread crosswise so that each slice is about 1-inch thick. Cut slices in half. Combine remaining ingredients. Quickly dip slices (do not soak) in egg mixture and cook on hot buttered or oiled griddle until golden brown on both sides.

Sprinkle with powdered sugar and serve with warm syrup.

Tropical Cheese Board

King's Hawaiian Sweet Rolls

3-4 diverse varieties of cheese, thinly sliced or in small cubes - see below on

choosing an appropriate cheese

3-4 types of dried tropical fruit (papaya, pineapple, guava)

Chocolate-covered macadamia nuts

Toasted macadamia nuts

Flavored honey

Finding well-chosen and well-cared-for cheese is the most important step in creating your tropical cheese board. The best source of cheese is identified as "farmstead" which means they are produced from the maker's own herd. Also, look for raw-milk cheeses, which usually have more flavor than pasteurized counterparts. Make sure the cheese that you purchase is not dried out, moldy or poorly wrapped.

To prepare the bread, trim of some of each Hawaiian Sweet Roll then cut horizontally into four equal layers. Brush one side of each piece with olive oil. Bake in a preheated 350 F oven for 7 to 8 minutes, or until golden brown. Cool.

Lay out all ingredients on a rustic wooden board or silver tray with enough room for your guests to have easy access to each selection.

Tips For Keeping Old Traditions And Creating New Ones

Keep it in the family. Sometimes new and exciting holiday pastimes can be found within your own family. Start by researching your ancestors or nationality to see if there are historical traditions that would complement your annual gatherings.

Find new ways to decorate the tree as a family. Host a Christmas tree decorating party where each family member creates their own ornament that reflects a significant event or pastime. This is a great way to bring loved ones together for a seasonal party with layered themes.

Decorate progressively. Instead of unpacking the holiday decorations in mass, try putting up one decoration per day beginning the day after Thanksgiving. Allow a different member of your family to decide the next day's decoration.

Cook an annual dish. Try developing a holiday tradition with flavor that everyone will remember. Create a recipe that can be shared year-after-year with your family. If you don't have enough time to create a recipe, borrow one. Courtesy of ARAcontent



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