The tree, the presents, the decorations — all reflect the colors of Christmas. Don’t think the Christmas table is exempt.

From the holiday china and table covering to the chosen foods, the season is indeed colorful.

Food, however, has to have functional color. In other words, the ultimate result has to taste good. Jazz up the end product with garnish or have fun with more colorful ingredients to add a pop of color.

In the case of slow-cooked Cranberry Carrots, baby carrots are mixed with the seasonal whole berry cranberry sauce. Garnish with parsley and fresh cranberries. The dish is not only pretty, but the flavor contrasts are surprisingly good. Baby carrots or carrot chips (found in the same area as baby carrots) simply are more convenient since they don’t require peeling and chopping, but feel free to slice regular carrots if you prefer. It’s also a recipe that can easily be doubled if your guest list runneth over. Merry Christmas to all.

Julie Kay is a columnist for The Advocate. She can be reached at