Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Holiday Birthday's

Happy Birthday to all of the people who were born around the Holiday Season. Especially my best friend Megan and my Dad! I know that it must be hard every year to receive "Holiday/Birthday Gifts" and to be somewhat forgotten..but this year we are thinking of you!

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Want to lose weight?...then shut your mouth

Want to lose weight? ...Then shut your mouth! Sounds kind of harsh right...well we aren’t talking about closing your mouth to food, we are talking about keeping your diet a secret from your friends and family. Check out this great article on CNN about a woman who lost 242lbs by following 4 simple tips.

1. Eat 8 ounces of food every 3 hours
2. No sugary drinks
3. Do not skip meals
4. Do not tell anyone what you're doing


When I was first reading this article I thought, “this is going against everything I believe in”. Doctors, nutritionists, Weight Watchers and other diet gimmicks, we believe in support, and talking out your fears, and sharing your success and failures if so…so why was this women so successful all on her own?

I’m a broken record when it comes to recommending small frequent meals and snacks throughout the day, I always promote water and seltzer and sugar free beverages, skipping meals is a big no no in my book…But “don't tell anyone what you're doing”. Seems simple enough! No one likes change, lets think about when you are dieting or trying to change your lifestyle. When you are starting out you are almost looking for any excuse to say “forget it” or to give up. When talking to your friends you are most likely talking about how change is negatively affecting you. This negative talk and negative attitude that you are most likely getting back from your friends about how dieting blows and who cares if I am wearing elastic waste band (J) will most likely cause you to fail. BUT, if no one knows what you are doing, you can chuckle when they say “Wow,you look great”.

Just some food for thought…

Monday, November 28, 2011

Happy Birthday Basil!

Today we celebrate our fur baby's birthday. Basil today on November 28th is 4 years old! I know we are silly but for all you animal people out there I know you get it.

Believe it or not, Basil is a foodie (like me). She loves people food of all kinds but is very picky when it comes to dog foods. She is a “treat snob” she only likes quality ingredients; otherwise she will turn her nose to it. Today for her special day I decided to put my cooking abilities to the ultimate test by attempting to make homemade dog biscuits and guess what, she loved them!

Patiently waiting to eat my Birthday Treats!

Homemade Pumpkin Biscuits

1-½ cups flour
¼ cup pumpkin puree
2 tbsp melted butter (shortening or peanut butter could also be used)
1 egg
¼ cup finely shredded chicken (I used dehydrated chicken treats, chopped finely)

In a large bowl mix all ingredients until they form a ball of dough. Knead dough on a floured surface, adding flour to avoid stickiness. Roll out dough and cut into desired shapes. Bake at 350*F for 20 minutes. Cool and serve to your pup.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving!

The holiday season is here..whether we like it or not they are starting to play Christmas carols on the radio, sell decoration in the store and we are all getting ready to indulge in Holiday time foods.

Growing up my mom always put on a spectacular Thanksgiving dinner. She would plan for weeks, marinating the turkey in all kinds of special spices, planning the desserts, inviting guest, ironing linens.. but for the past few years we have taken on the tradition of either making a turkey breast and a few side dishes or purchasing the complete turkey dinner (pies and all) from Gerard's Turkey Farm in Marshfield, Ma. Now don't get me wrong, Gerard's has great food but on a holiday there is nothing like the smell of a home cooked meal coming from your oven.

This year I have take on the challenge of preparing the Thanksgiving meal for our big deal..right? While in the process of planning my menu I made sure of course that the recipes and the foods will taste traditional and yummy but I made sure to also take into consideration that it is a healthy meal.

Here are a few tips to consider during the holiday season...
*At a party there will be lots of great things to taste. Try to take small portions of each (one or two bites) if you plan to taste it all.
*If you overindulge its ok! Get back on track the next morning.
* Include extra exercise during this season, I'm sure you could find a buddy to join you.
*Offer to bring an appetizer or healthy dish you know you and others will enjoy.
*Be realistic, dont make a goal to lose weight during the holiday season..just try to maintain the same weight
*Eat until you are satisfied, not stuffed like the turkey!

Here are some food tips and substitutes to use when preparing meals during the holidays..

*Turkey/chicken - Enjoy delicious meat without the skin and save 11 grams of saturated fat per 3 oz serving!! (OMG right)
*Mashed Potato - Use skim milk, chicken broth, garlic or garlic powder, and Parmesan cheese instead of whole milk and butter.
*Cookies and Cakes - use pumpkin puree or apple sauce as a fat substitute
*Go moderate on the alcohol - we all know its a source of empty calories and fruity holiday cocktails are usually loaded with sugar. Go skinny and try your favorite liquor with mineral or seltzer water to cut the cals.
*Food Safety – keep cold foods cold and hot foods hot to avoid any illness or food poisoning.

By the way...cookie orders are rolling in which is great!!! 12 dozen in total for this week J!
Check out the "Holiday Cookie Ordering" Link for more information and holiday platter ideas.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Spooktacular Cookie and Cupcake Decorating


Check out all my fun treats!

Homemade cookie cutouts, homemade frosting, experiments with fondant...all on a Wednesday night.

Want cookies or desserts like this for your next party?..check out the **Holiday Cookie Ordering Link.

Pumpkin Cookies

 Ghost Cookies and Happy Skull Cookies
 Mummy Cupcakes
 Peanut Butter Filled Chocolate Skulls

Scary Skulls
 Pumpkins and Black Cats

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Breast Cancer Awareness Month

October is Breast Cancer Awareness month. Almost every person in America is affected in some way by breast cancer or just cancer in general. Breast cancer is one of the most common cancers among American women today. The chance of developing breast cancer is 1 in 8…scary.

It is unclear at this time what we can do as women to prevent these scary diseases. Of course they have the books like “Breast Cancer Prevention Diet” or “The Non Dairy Prevention Program” but I truly believe that an overall healthy diet and lifestyle is the way to go.  Studies have shown that women who limit alcohol, exercise regularly, and maintain a healthy body weight have a lower risk of developing breast cancer, also, mothers who choose to breastfeed may reduce their breast cancer risk.

Some Helpful Links:

A few weeks back I stumbled upon a fellow Bostonian’s Blog. It’s called "Beantown Baker" and I love everything about it!  This month Jen is having a contest called The Power of Pink Challenge where basically you enter a recipe and photo of a food that is pink! Knowing of course that October is breast cancer awareness month and having planned on doing this post anyways, I figured, hey…why not enter the contest too. Wish me luck J!

Pink Whoopie Pies and Pink Marshmallows
 Pink Awareness Cookies (...and Fondant Experiment)
 Beet Breast Cancer Gnocchi

Beet Breast Cancer Gnocchi

3 pounds potatoes, peeled and cubed
2 beets, peeled and cubed
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 egg, extra large
½ tsp salt

Boil the potatoes and beets until they are soft, about 45 minutes. While still warm, pulse in a food processor until smooth.

In a large bowl mix together all ingredients using a fork. Once dough is somewhat together knead gently on a floured surface until a smooth ball is formed, at this time sprinkling flour to prevent sticking.

Cut dough into 4 sections. Roll each section into a ½ in thick dowels and cut dowels into 1 inch long pieces. To cook, gently drop into boiling water until they float (2-3 minutes).

These earthy tasting gnocchi’s pair great with a butter and herb sauce or a Alfredo cream sauce.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

End of Season...

Sadly, today ended my main season CSA share. It was bittersweet picking up my goods this week because I knew that it was the end and I wasn’t going to get anymore amazing produce. Of course I know that I can continue shopping at the farmers markets (which I will) until the end of the month, and of course they have winter markets as well, but I have to say, I enjoyed the challenge of getting something new and interesting every week from the share and figuring out what to do with it.

Laura and Theresa are the girlies in charge of my pick up location at the Whole Foods Market in Brighton. They work for Red Fire Farm and have an extreme passion for food and locavore-ism. Their excitement and knowledge about food and recipes never went without notice this summer..they are so great and quick to help people figure out what to do with their produce. Their ideas were original, inspiring and so delicious. I’d like to say thank you to them both for making my first (but not last!) CSA so amazing. Oh, and by the way…thank you for the yummy homemade Lemon Raspberry Jam J.

Check them out at…

 Lemon Raspberry Jam..Thanks Lovely Ladies!
Root Veggies (Celery Root and Pasnip)
Potato and Red Onion
Leeks and Thyme
Spinach and Romane Lettuce


Sunday, October 16, 2011

Morning Brunch with the Girlies!

Saturday I had the pleasure of having some of my college buddies over for breakfast/brunch. Seeing that we are all nutritionist and somewhat health conscious, I knew that my menu had to be fresh, simple, healthy and delicious of course.  We had a lot of yummy food, mimosa (made with bubbly Moscado wine and Sara’s made with sparkling cider..she’s expecting a little bean J), and lots of giggles of course.

Homemade Banana Pecan Muffins and Apple Crumble Muffins
  Sweet Potato Hash and A Yummy Spinach and Mushroom Quiche

Sweet Potato Hash (serves 4-6 people)

3-4 sweet potatoes, pealed and diced into ½ inch cubes
2 tbsp olive oil
½ large white onion, diced
1 tsp fresh thyme
½ tsp salt
Pinch of red pepper flakes
1-2 slices of crispy bacon, crumbled

Heat a sauté pan with 1 tbsp oil on high and add onions. Sauté until caramelized, about 5 minutes. Add salt, thyme, and red pepper flakes and sauté another minute. Add the other tbsp of oil and add sweet potatoes, let cook without stirring for 2-3 minutes, stir and allow to cook another 2-3 minutes without stirring (this allows the sweet potatoes to get brown on the edges). Turn heat on low and allow to cook for about 15 minutes or until potatoes are soft, stirring every few minutes. Right before serving mix in crumbled bacon.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Lets go fishing...

Cheers to another great weekend with food and family. It was very unexpected here in Boston mid October having weather like we did. Amazing, 80s, got one last beach weekend before the snow arrives!

This weekend we spent it of course with great friends and family. We went to Marshfield and stayed for the 3 weekend days. Had lots of laughs, lots of snacks, and even visited a new place, Duxbury Beach. All the years we have been going south in the summer we have never been to Duxbury…the guys wanted to do some fishing off the bridge near the beach, so we pack up our chairs and a cooler full of cocktails and we went on our way. No luck with fishing but we still had fun.

Last weekend my Mom and Father In Law...caught a Blue Fish!
Very proud of them...
The Beautiful Duxbury Beach
 Me trying to catch dinner...
 (back up plan...from the supermarket he he)
Simple Haddock Filets with Garlic and Fresh Herbs