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Picture Perfect Portions – A New American Plate Challenge Update

Is it just me, or does anyone else feel like summer lasts for 2 weeks and winter for 10 months?  I can’t believe it’s August already :(.  I was just starting to get used to the hot weather, and next week’s forecast is already calling for “fall like temperatures”, AND Target is already full of school supplies.   Summer is flying by as it does for me every year, and I need to savor every last minute of it.

Much like summer, my 12 week New American Plate (NAP) Challenge, is also flying by.  We’re already on week 11, so it’s time for a recap.  I’ve been posting about my experiences with each challenge to reduce my risk of cancer, all summer.  There is so much great information to share about the challenges the past few weeks, so I’m going to break weeks 9 and 10 into two posts. Continue Reading..

When Life Gives You Citrus Fruits… Juice ’em!

My favorite quick tip to punch up the flavor of almost any food, is to add a splash of citrus juice.  From vegetables and salads, to fish or chicken, and even a wine spritzer or plain old water,  the clean, refreshing flavor and aroma of lemon, lime, orange, or grapefruit immediately perks up almost any dish.  In my next house (where it will be warm all of the time), I will have at least one Meyer lemon tree in the back yard, so I can their enjoy the sweet/tangy flavor whenever I want.  For now, I try to buy a few lemons and limes at the grocery store most weeks, because I never know when my recipe will need a quick kick.  Citrus fruits are also especially high in vitamin C, so that’s always a nutrition bonus, and did you know that the pith (the white stuff under the peel) has antioxidant properties that can reduce blood pressure and cholesterol? Continue Reading..

Granola Factory Granola

I have to give a shout out to the wonderful folks at Granola Factory for making my very favorite granola – add this to the list of foods you’ll always find in my kitchen.  I found this small, artisan brand about a year ago, and I love it so much, that have to share it with you.

I don’t usually get so excited about granola – It’s not unusual to see “all natural” or “”organic” on the label.  And to me it usually all tastes pretty much the same, with slight flavor variations.  But this one caught my eye because of one particular flavor – and one ingredient. Continue Reading..

Salt, Sugar and Fat – Why We Can’t Stop Eating It

In case you don’t have enough things to wonder and worry about, here’s something new to ponder:  Why are there always so many new products at the grocery store, which seem specifically designed to sabotage our plans to eat better?  If you’ve ever walked through any snack food, cereal, juice or soda aisle, you know exactly what I mean. Continue Reading..

(Almost) Fat Free Peanut Butter

Holy. Spoonfuls. Of. Deliciousness.  Raise your hand if you love peanut butter but won’t allow yourself to keep it in the house because it’s high in fat and calories.  First of all, let me tell you that the fat in peanut butter is mostly heart healthy, so it’s actually a healthy food to eat.  Whenever I say that to people, their face always lights up like a kid on Christmas morning.  Continue Reading..

America’s Test Kitchen Cookbooks

I collect cookbooks and must have accumulated hundreds over the years. I pick them up when I travel, as a reminder of the place I visited, and I usually can’t resist a new cookbook when I’m browsing a bookstore.  Periodically, I review my collection, purge, donate, or pass on those that I don’t use as much.  My collection has grown to include quite a few books from America’s Test Kitchen and Cook’s Illustrated, and these I never give up. Continue Reading..

Dean Jacobs Bread Dipping Seasonings

LOVE, LOVE this seasoning mix! I find it in a gourmet Italian market in Providence, and whenever I drive down to stock up on fresh pasta, I grab a few.  I’m actually not sure I’ve ever mixed it with olive oil and used it for a bread dip as recommended, but I do use it to season any and all of my grilled or roasted meat, fish, or vegetable dishes. Continue Reading..

New England Soup Factory Cookbook

Several years ago, I took a series of cooking classes at an adult education center, which featured local chefs from the Boston area.  One of my favorite classes was taught by Marjorie Druker, chef and owner of the New England Soup Factory, not only because I loved the soups she made, but also because of her wonderful personality, and all of the fabulous cooking tips she shared with us.  When I stumbled upon the New England Soup Factory Cookbook at a bookstore a few years later, I knew it would be a staple in my kitchen. Continue Reading..

Immersion Blenders

I’ve had my immersion blender for at least 25 years, and it is one one my favorite kitchen tools.  Perfect for blending soups without the mess and explosion of a blender or food processor.  It’s also super convenient for making frozen coffee drinks or smoothies, or quickly whipping up cream.  Mine is Braun, and I don’t think it’s made anymore, but these are two that I have purchased as gifts for family members and recommend. Continue Reading..

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