Tag Archives: family

National Food Holiday Recipes

National Food Holiday Recipes

This week, we’re celebrating with national food holiday recipes that feature popular holiday dishes and ingredients perfect for a week of entertaining. 

First up for National Pumpkin Pie Day, indulge without the guilt with the Ultimate Healthy Pumpkin Pie.

The Ultimate Healthy Pumpkin Pie


For National Candy Cane Day, make breakfast for visiting family special with Dark Chocolate Peppermint Muffins.

Dark Chocolate Peppermint Muffins with Soothing Peppermint oil {Grain Free}


Beat fruitcake’s bad rap for National Fruitcake Day with these gorgeous Mini Fruitcakes.

mini fruitcakes


Whip up Dark Chocolate Bark with Dried Fruit for an easy and beautiful National Chocolate Day treat.

Dark Chocolate Bark with Dried Fruit Recipe


It’s National Pepper Pot Day, and Pepper Pot is a Caribbean stew, especially popular in Philly and at Christmastime. Try making your own.

Pepper Pot
Image and Recipe via Saveur


It’s National Bacon Day, and a little bacon goes a long way in this delicious Creamy Butternut Squash Alfredo.

Creamy Butternut Squash Alfredo Pasta


It’s time for a new year! Clear out your leftover cranberry sauce and impress your guests with Easy Cranberry Brie Crostini.

Easy Cranberry Brie Crostini

Beat Holiday Stress

Beat Holiday Stress

Holiday stress takes a toll on everyone, even the most prepared among us. Our tips can help you reduce it.

Are you traveling this week? We can help prepare your family.

The Ultimate Guide to Holiday Travel with Kids


Make the most of nice days and get some sunshine. It can help you produce serotonin and also helps relieve seasonal affective disorder, which affects millions of Americans.

Soaking Up Sunshine


Walk away. Taking a walk can have a tranquilizing effect on your brain, lower anxiety, and improve sleep.

Go for Holiday Walks


Don’t lose your daily routine in the holiday rush. Go to the gym, plan your meals, and schedule “me time.” Don’t squeeze in more than you can handle.

Maintain Your Routine


If your family always fights during holidays, think about getting together for your holiday meal at a nice restaurant. Being in public can discourage the fighting.

Family Meals Made Public


Abandon customs you don’t love. If the kids are all grown, stop bringing presents for everyone to family gatherings. Hate putting up the tree? Get a little one instead. Find ways to make the holidays work for you.

Adjust Holiday Traditions for What Your Love


Know when to say no. Don’t feel bad for missing the holiday office party or not bringing a dish. Your priority should be enjoying the holidays, not perfection!

Baking Up Gluten-Free Cookie Recipes

Gluten-Free Cookie Recipes

The holidays can be a hard time if you have dietary restrictions, especially if you have Celiac disease. If you or your loved one needs to avoid gluten, bring one of this week’s gluten-free cookie recipes.

Whip up these adorable Vegan Gingerbread Cookies with your kids for Christmas Eve.

Vegan Gingerbread Cookies
Image and Recipe via VegAnnie


These Chocolate Peppermint Bark Cookies are perfect with a mug of hot cocoa.

Chocolate Peppermint Bark Cookies

Chocolate Peppermint Bark Cookies


Whip up these spicy and delicious Chai Spiced Cookies for a warm winter treat.

Chai Spiced Cookies
Image and Recipe via Texanerin


These light Lemon and Lavender Meringue Cookies are just right after a big dinner.

Lemon and Lavender Meringue Cookies


These Vegan Coconut Almond Macaroons are a light take on the classic.

Vegan Coconut Almond Macaroons

Image and Recipe via Holy Cow Vegan


Gluten-Free Almond Biscotti are perfect to dunk in your coffee Christmas morning.

Gluten-Free Almond Biscotti


Bake with your family today with these Vegan Gluten-Free Gingerbread Cookies.

Chewy Vegan Gluten Free Gingerbread Cookies

Making Holiday Memories Together

Vantage Point: Making Precious Holiday Memories

Holiday memories can be such a precious thing for so many people. I have fun and fond memories of numerous holiday eves and mornings with my family. When I was growing up, the night before a holiday consisted of sharing the holiday evening at a relative’s house, surrounded by aunts, uncles, cousins, and maybe other family members, if they were able to attend.

When a holiday eve memory conversation starts up, we still to this day like to remind our parents how us 2 older kids (my cousin and myself) were always last to open presents, and how much we objected to that rule.

My holiday memories, however, are an ‘80s throwback when I recall them. I would often wake up before my parents (Hello! What kid didn’t do that!?), and spy on all my presents. I would then run into their room and wake them up, bursting with anticipation because I couldn’t wait to open my presents. This gleeful anticipation then turned into longing as I waited for my dad to put together “The Camera.”

“The Camera” was the typical, large and in charge, RCA camera of the ‘80s. We are talking VHS recording here. It often reminded me of a news camera, complete with the giant, blinding light. It seemed like it would take my dad literally forever to set this up in order to film my holiday morning memories.

My mother would finally call my name, after waiting what seemed like forever, and I had to play it like I had just woken up to a holiday present wonderland. (And like the camera had been placed there, all put together, from Santa himself…) So not only did I get to open presents (Finally!), but I also got this great memory of the most ‘80s camera, which we still laugh about.

Memories are so individualized to us, and not everyone has the same experience. This time of year, it’s important to look out for those who need a helping hand when resources may be tight and food insecurity is high.

There are food programs available in the area for seniors here in the Yakima Valley, such as Meals on Wheels. They have many site locations throughout the Valley. You can help give the gift of great holiday memories.

The holidays make me want to share my memories of holiday fun with family, snow, presents, and a large camera with a bright, white light that could probably land planes in our living room if we tried. I know that it’s a rather odd and really random memory, but it’s my family’s, and I still giggle over it to this day.

Now that I have kids, I hope that their memories are as fun and silly and original as mine, and that they look back on them with fondness. What fun holiday memories have you made or would like to make in the future?

Breck Obermeyer is a community liaison with Health Alliance Northwest, serving Yakima County. She is a homegrown girl from Naches and has a great husband who can fix anything and 2 kids who are her world. When not attending community events or providing Medicare education throughout the Valley, she can be found indulging in her hobbies of homesteading, pioneer cooking, and learning new survival techniques. She also has a strong love for all things Halloween.

Change in the Air

Vantage Point: Change Is Near

As our days get shorter, our nights get longer, the temperature drops, and the cool crisp air hits our faces, we know winter is approaching. It’s also a reminder that the year is about to end, and a busy time is coming.

Our grocery lists start to get longer as we start preparing for Thanksgiving. We begin our research for recipes to outdo our dessert from last year. Then, we gather with our family and friends, share what we’re all thankful for, and of course, enjoy a delicious meal.

I personally start to reflect on the year I’ve had. Was this a good year? What would I do differently? Did my health change? Do I need to look at my coverage?

As you all know, we’re in the Medicare Annual Enrollment Period (AEP), which runs from October 15 to December 7 each year. This is the time for you to reassess what type of coverage you might need for the upcoming year.

In September and October, Medicare beneficiaries’ mailboxes were full of marketing materials from many different insurance companies. So much information is provided that it can be hard to keep track of everything that’s coming in. Each company has different prices, networks, copays, and perks.

It’s hard to handle all of this alone. Your family might be able to try to help sort everything out, but even then, it is a hard task to take on without any background knowledge. You want to make sure you’re making the right decision for the year ahead and that you’re not missing out on the perfect plan for yourself. Who should you turn to?

Luckily, Health Alliance Northwest has a local office in Wenatchee with a staff ready to assist current or future members. Our local office is a great asset to our community. We know insurance is already hard, and getting help over the phone can be an added barrier. We’re able to sit down with you and your family to answer and explain any questions you might have.

Our Wenatchee office is open Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., and no appointment is needed to sit down with our representatives. We want to help educate you, put you at ease before the holidays begin, and make sure you’re ready for a new year.

Jessica Arroyo, born and raised in Wenatchee Valley, is a Medicare community liaison for Health Alliance, serving Chelan, Douglas, Grant, and Okanogan counties in Washington. During her time off, she enjoys spending time with her husband and infant son.

Signs of Dyslexia

Dyslexia Awareness Month

October is also Dyslexia Awareness Month. Dyslexia is a neurological condition, which causes a difference in how people understand and process language.

Dyslexia Awareness Month


Since there’s no cure, a dyslexia diagnosis can feel overwhelming. While it makes reading more difficult, almost all people with dyslexia can learn to read.

Learning to Read


Dyslexia does not affect intelligence. Thomas Edison, Albert Einstein, Stephen Spielberg, and many more have excelled despite having dyslexia.

Intelligence and Dyslexia


Dyslexia runs in families, so if you have dyslexia, you should keep an eye out for signs of it in your children.

Dyslexia and Your Kids


Your child might have dyslexia if they have trouble learning their sounds or letters, or to speak, read, and write.

Getting special instruction that breaks down language structure can help your student cope with dyslexia.

Help Learning with Dyslexia


You have a right to get help or special considerations when taking certain tests, applying for colleges, or applying for jobs.

Your Rights with Dyslexia

Organize Your Medical Information Month

Organize Your Medical Information Month

October is both Long-Term Care Planning Month and Organize Your Medical Information Month, so it’s the perfect time to get organized for your health.

Start by creating a healthcare notebook with important medical details.

Organize Your Health


Organize info for everyone in your family and plan to keep it up to date.

Stay Up-to-Date


Don’t forget to compile insurance info and mark emergency contacts and doctor.

If you have a serious disease, this cancer checklist can help you organize your critical information.

Prepare for Serious Illness


Prepare and get help talking to your loved ones about planning for future healthcare decisions.

Talk to Your Loved Ones About the Future


Start thinking about long-term care and how you should plan for it.

Planning for Long-Term Care


Plan ahead with legal documents called advance directives to make sure your wishes are honored.

Advance Directives Planning