The Season for GIVING

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Throw a Holiday Party for Charity.

Throw a Holiday Party for Charity.As the holidays draw near and families look forward to spending time together, get creative with the recipes you make and the parties you host. Celebrity event designer Preston Bailey, who has planned events for such notables as Donald Trump, Oprah Winfrey and Catherine Zeta-Jones, has partnered with Uncle Ben’s to encourage people to consider a charitable approach to holiday entertaining this year.

“I am urging my guests to give back to a cause that is dear to my heart this holiday season,” said Bailey, author of three entertaining books. “For me, it’s the fight against hunger. In lieu of traditional hostess gifts, I’m suggesting on my party invitations that guests make a charitable donation to Feeding America.”

Feeding America is the nation’s largest domestic hunger-relief charity, and maintains a network of more than 200 food banks that reach communities across the country.

Although Bailey’s number one tip this year is to give back to a good cause, he also shares this advice for memorable holiday entertaining:

  • Fill clear glass vases of various sizes with monochromatic seasonal produce, such as pomegranates, cranberries, clementines and artichokes, for a festive update to the traditional cornucopia.
  • Get creative with your party theme — throw a winter white party by substituting traditional holiday décor with a snow-covered forest.
  • Make extra food so you have plenty for any surprise guests. Bailey’s recipe for Wild Rice Salad with Cranberry and Hazelnuts is perfect for a large group.

To download a complete holiday entertaining guide filled with recipes and tips from Bailey — and give to Feeding America in the process — visit UncleBensGivesBack.com. For every holiday entertaining guide downloaded, Uncle Ben’s will donate $1 to Feeding America.

Wild Rice Salad with Cranberry and Hazelnuts (30 servings)
Prep time: 25 mins.; cook time: 25 mins., plus 30 mins. to cool
• 5 boxes Uncle Ben’s Long Grain & Wild Rice Original Recipe
• 1 2/3 cups dried cranberries
• 1 2/3 cups toasted, roughly chopped hazelnuts
• 1 cup chopped dried apricots
• 3/4 cup chopped Italian parsley

For vinaigrette:
• 1 1/4 cups freshly squeezed orange juice
• 3/4 cup balsamic vinegar
• 1/2 cup finely chopped shallot
• 1 1/2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
• 1 1/4 teaspoons chopped garlic
• 2/3 cup extra virgin olive oil

Prepare according to package instructions. When rice is finished cooking, fluff with fork and allow to cool to room temperature. While rice is cooking, whisk together orange juice, vinegar, shallots, Dijon and garlic. Slowly whisk in olive oil to emulsify. Once rice is cool, stir in cranberries, hazelnuts, apricots and parsley. Pour vinaigrette into rice salad and toss to coat. Serve at room temperature.

Each serving has 230 calories, 9 grams of fat, 2 grams of fiber, 4 grams of protein, 34 grams of carbohydrates and 640 milligrams of sodium. Source: unclebens.com