Food & Drink

Stir Crazy: Gingerbread Cookie Day combines food, fun and exercise

Apples, pears and Greek yogurt are just about all you need to create this fun turkey.
Apples, pears and Greek yogurt are just about all you need to create this fun turkey.

Here’s a recipe you’ll want to try this season: Take homemade cookies and mix them with a stroll through downtown Belleville, some gift-shopping and the sounds of holiday entertainment. What you get is the 2015 Gingerbread Cookie Day.

It takes place from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Dec. 12. For $10, you get a special bag you can fill with three dozen homemade cookies from 36 vendors/locations as you stroll through downtown.

Register in person to get an official bag at the Bank of Belleville at 215 S. Illinois St. through Dec. 4. Or, print out a registration form at and mail it in by the same date.

A maximum of 400 bags will be handed out Dec. 12, so don’t wait until the last minute to sign up for yours. The bank is also where you pick up your bag on the day of the walk, between 9 and 11 a.m.

Plus, you’ll get a map showing the locations of all the stops to pick up the individually wrapped cookies.

While strolling, you’ll be entertained by Christmas carolers and barbershop music. Check out the gingerbread creations in store windows as well as the annual Christkindlmarkt on Public Square, a market filled with unique vendors from around the world.

Feet tired? Hop on the free horse-drawn trolley ride.

Need a pair of last-minute Thanksgiving recipes? Try a dip arranged around apple slices to look like a turkey (kids will like this one) and a Waldorf salad with cranberries. Recipes on 8B.

Contact me at, 618-239-2664 or follow me on Twitter @BoyleSuzanne. Write to P.O. Box 427, 120 S. Illinois St., Belleville, IL 62222-0427.

Thanksgiving Turkey Fruit and Yogurt Dip

Keep the kids happy with this healthy snack while you finish making the big holiday feast. Brush cut fruit with some orange juice before setting out to keep the fruit from turning brown.

1 container (5.3 ounces) flavored Greek yogurt

1 medium pear

1 medium red apple, cut into thin slices

1 medium green apple, cut into thin slices

2 chocolate chips

2 tiny pretzel sticks

Remove cover from yogurt. On large serving platter, place yogurt cup. Cut pear in half lengthwise through stem. Cut 1 slice lengthwise about 1/2-inch thick for body of turkey. Thinly slice remaining pear for feathers.

Cut shapes out of small apple slice to make turkey’s beak and wattle. Arrange pear and apple slices around yogurt cup for feathers. Place pear slice on top of yogurt cup. Garnish with apple pieces for beak and wattle, chocolate chips for eyes and pretzel sticks for legs.

Makes 4 servings.

Betty Crocker

Cranberry Waldorf Salad

1/2 pound fresh or frozen cranberries, halved

3/4 cup sugar

3 cups miniature marshmallows

2 cups chopped apples

1/2 cup chopped nuts

1 (8-ounce) can pineapple tidbits, drained

1 cup, halved green seedless grapes

1 cup heavy cream, stiffly beaten

In a large mixing bowl, combine cranberries and sugar let stand 30 minutes. Add next five ingredients and mix well. Gently fold in the whipped cream. Chill before serving.

Serves 10, each with 292 calories.

Cook’n and Taste of Home