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A Healthy Table virtual workshop returns with holiday meal prep

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By Kirsten Romaguera, UF/IFAS

It’s hard to believe, but the holiday season is just around the corner again, and many people will look forward to cooking festive meals.

“A Healthy Table, Festive Feasts” is a special holiday-themed virtual cook-along workshop with University of Florida family and consumer sciences (FCS) experts. One admission grants access to all four hourlong sessions: Sept. 21, Sept. 28, Oct. 19, and Oct. 26 at 7 p.m. Eastern / 6 p.m. Central.

Tickets go on sale Sept. 1-14 at the early bird price of $14.99 at tinyurl.com/AHT-FestiveFeasts2021. One week before the first event, regular ticket pricing is $20.

“We’ve had a lot of interest from folks who want to use fall flavors to create a healthy meal for their families but just don’t know where to start. This program gives you the opportunity to try out new recipes, flavors, and cooking skills right in your own home,” said Jill Breslawski, UF/IFAS Extension Okaloosa and Walton counties’ FCS agent and one of the presenters.

Each session will feature the process to prepare a thematic recipe, which will be provided in advance so that participants may purchase ingredients and join in the live cooking demonstration. While the dish cooks, other presenters will share techniques and pointers, and each session closes with a family time tip and/or de-stressing activity from Nelly Nelson, UF/IFAS Extension Manatee County FCS agent.

Sept. 21 | Fresh Florida Fall Flavors

Highlights for this session include the cook-along activity (a pork, apple, and squash skillet dinner), how to dry-fry, and reasons to buy local produce.

Sept. 28 | Comfort foods: Soups and breads

Highlights for this session include two cook-along activities (a five-ingredient soup and a pumpkin soup), and breadmaking pointers like kneading and the difference between quick and yeast breads.

Oct. 19 | Healthier holidays

Highlights for this session include the cook-along activity (air fryer squash), knife tips and safety, and healthy recipe conversion and substitution options.

Oct 26 | Turkey talk

Highlights for this session include the cook-along activity (cranberry sauce), turkey prep (basting, temperature checking, and carving), and how to store leftovers.

In addition to Breslawski and Nelson, the presentation team includes Kendra Zamojski, UF/IFAS Extension Northwest District regional specialized FCS agent; Marie Arick, UF/IFAS Extension Liberty County director and FCS agent; Melanie Taylor, UF/IFAS Extension Bay County FCS agent; Angela Hinkle, UF/IFAS Extension Escambia County Expanded Food and Nutrition Education Program (EFNEP) agent; Dorothy Lee, UF/IFAS Extension Escambia County FCS agent; Julie McMillian, UF/IFAS Extension Gulf County FCS agent; Terri Keith, UF/IFAS Extension Jackson County FCS agent; and Claire Reach, UF/IFAS Extension Calhoun County FCS and 4-H agent.

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