Tuesday, December 1, 2009

The 25 Days of Christmas Day 1: Christmas Tree Selection Complimented by Green Bean Casserole Recipe

Merry Christmas Friends,

Christmas is the perfect time to share with family and friends. Interior Design is happy to bring to you, our good friends, The 25 Days of Christmas. December 1st through December 25th you can visit our blog for helpful, money-saving ideas to decorate your space for the holidays. It is just a little something to show our appreciation for your continued support of Interior Design eBlog.

Black Friday has been the traditional day for Christmas tree shopping but it's also the most expensive day to purchase your tree. Waiting just a week will save you some money and still give you an early start on the holiday decorating celebrations. This year wait until the 4th to visit your favorite or local Christmas tree lot or farm and take advantage of Christmas-tree expert Denise Pagura tips on choosing a live tree.

Denise Pagura from Northern Lights Tree Farms talks about various types of real trees that are available during the holidays and also offers tips on choosing a tree and how to tell if a tree is fresh.

Christmas Tree Factoids

1. Snap the needles to judge the freshness of a tree. If a tree is fresh, the needles will have a fairly crisp snap. Think about carrots. A fresh carrot will snap, but an old carrot will bend.

2. Before bringing a cut tree into the house, place it in a five-gallon bucket of water and leave it to rehydrate for a day. Make sure the tree always has plenty of water in the stand.

3. Real trees are a renewable, recyclable resource. One acre of Christmas trees produces enough oxygen for 18 people for a year.

4. Make sure to recycle a live tree instead of burning it or disposing of it in a landfill. Find out the recycling options that are available in your community.

Enjoy and share this Green Bean Casserole recipe courtesy of Paula Deen.

Pinch Paula Deen House Seasoning
1 2.8-ounce can French-fried onion rings
1 10 3/4-ounce can cream of mushroom soup
3 cups chicken broth
2 cups sliced green beans
1/2 cup sliced fresh mushrooms
1/2 cup diced onions
1/3 stick butter
1 cup grated Cheddar cheese

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Melt the butter in a large skillet. Saute the onions and mushrooms in the butter. Boil green beans in chicken broth for 10 minutes and drain. Add the green beans, mushroom soup, onion rings, and House Seasoning to taste. Stir well. Pour into a greased 1 1/2-quart baking dish. Bake for 20 minutes, then top the casserole with the Cheddar and bake for 10 minutes longer, or until the casserole is hot and cheese is melted.

Servings: 6 servings
Prep Time: 10 min
Cook Time: 20 min
Difficulty: Easy

Check back for more ideas and enjoy your Christmas tree shopping.

Wishing you all the timeless treasures of the season; the warmth of home, the love of family and the company of good friends.

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Live well,

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