holiday season

Nancy Leson

It's not the three cookbooks pictured above, though Nancy really loves them and recommends them swooningly and from a great height.  Nope, this is an enjoyable DIY project.  Click "Listen" and all will be revealed.  Now let's talk about saffron,

During the Holiday Season, from Thanksgiving to New Years Day, a lot of people are spending extra hours in the kitchen. And while that used to entail dusting off an old recipe box or paging through a sticky and splattered cookbook – today, more aspiring chefs are using their laptops, tablets or smart-phones to look up recipes online.

And when they do, there will be one Website from Seattle that will serve up more piping hot recipes than any other.

*Psycho Delia* photo / Flickr

"It was like Palm Springs around much of the Northwest" recently, says KPLU's weather man, Cliff Mass. But that will be shifting soon. 

"Unfortunately, we're about to make a major shift into a much rainier pattern - a much more normal pattern."

artisticconcretellc.com

Your Christmas tree can take on new life as wood chips or compost.  In Seattle and Tacoma, you can recycle your tree for free. 

Gary Davis/KPLU

Here’s some holiday cheer: Consumer spending is up since last year. The increase is a small one, at about 2%. The National Retail Federation expects that number to rise to 3% by the end of the season. Why the increase?

If you are looking for some jazz in holiday style to get your hands on, you might want to consider these Christmas jazz albums I've listed on Groove Notes. Some might be more of a challenge to track down than others.

Dr. Marius Laumans, right, examining Lynnette Drake, at a Group Health facility
Ted S. Warren / AP Photo

Along with egg nog and presents, doctors say families should share their health histories this holiday season.  Health officials say family history is a leading predictor of illnesses and a big gift for loved ones. 

Rachel Solomon

The Mercer Island High School marching band weaves and dances through the streets. They’ve been practicing since 7 a.m.,even though it’s winter break, and a lot of their friends are sleeping in.

Chris Bennion / ACT

There's about 180 roles in Pacific Northwest Ballet's Nutcracker. There’s also some engaging props like a Christmas tree that grows right before your eyes, and one enormous rat with a twitching tale.

But the snow scene – the first time Clara dances with her Nutcracker-turned Prince is the sight to behold.

The couple dance in the moonlight, surrounded by ballerina snowflakes dressed in pale blue skirts. A dusting of snow falls throughout the scene.

© Edgar Turner

Three books by Pacific Northwest authors have come to my attention this season that would please airplane aficionados of many persuasions. 

Carolyn Kaster / AP Photo

Whether you’re going to a corner lot or snowshoeing into the backcountry – picking the perfect Christmas tree can be daunting. We tracked down a certified Christmas tree expert and have this primer on how to care for evergreen trees.

Solid Ground says kids and families benefit from gift cards for the holidays
Solid Ground

With the holiday shopping season in full swing, local non-profits want to make sure needy families are on your list.  Several charities are collecting toys and clothes for people who can’t afford presents, but a few Adopt-a-Family programs ask donors to give something more than stuff. 

Erin Hennessey/KPLU

Glamour Barbie dolls, pink poodles, and the fishnet stockinged-leg lamp popularized in the movie A Christmas Story are part of the festive view at Seattle's downtown Westin Hotel.