The area where I live has been documented in various articles and news publications to be one of the most diverse locations in the country. The week before Thanksgiving, my son's Cub Scouts pack had a Thanksgiving potluck. Sure, there was your typical turkey, ham, and macaroni and cheese. For a healthier, but still fairly standard option, there was a basic tossed salad and fruit. To keep the kids happy some brought things like tater tots, carrots and ranch dip, and of course a table filled with cookies and brownies.

And then there was the lumpia. And the curry chicken. And the samosas. And the lemon rice.

Wow, guys, so much delicious food from all around the world that my kids got to try at an age where the most  exotic thing I ate was lasagna. I mean, I try to make or take the kids out for food from different cultures, but to experience it with their friends, and made by their friends families is a special thing. My husband had a good friend in high school who was Filipino, so he was happy to enjoy the lumpia that was a favorite of his when he was at his friend's house as a teenager. My boys were all over the samosas. It was such a wonderful experience to come together to celebrate an American holiday with people of all cultures.

Just take some softened cream cheese and stir in a bit of honey or maple syrup, a sprinkle of cinnamon, and some vanilla, then add the cranberries and  Dole Mandarin Oranges. These festive flavors are perfect for a Christmas brunch, but they taste delicious any time of year. It's a little something with just the right about of sweetness and zing to smear on mini whole wheat bagels for a healthy lunchbox, dip apple or pear slices into as an after school snack, spread on graham crackers for a treat in the evening with a cup of tea, or even stuff into dates on a charcuterie platter at your next party.

  • 4 oz. cream cheese at room temperature (regular or light is fine)
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon honey or maple syrup
  • 4 oz Dole Mandarin Oranges in 100% Juice, drained well
  • 2 Tablespoons dried cranberries, chopped
  1. In a small bowl, stir together the cream cheese, vanilla, cinnamon, and honey or maple syrup until smooth.
  2. Gently stir in the Mandarin Oranges and dried cranberries. The oranges will break up as you stir, which is what you want, though take care not to break them down completely or the cream cheese will be too runny.
  3. ............................................
for full instruction please see : cupcakesandkalechips.com

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