Archive for November, 2013

Flash in the Pan, Take 6

November 29th, 2013 No Comments Tags: , , ,

Looking for some PANdemonium in the kitchen? Put some flash in your pan and give some of these recipes a try to perk up your tastebuds and add flare without the glares from your bella famiglia at mealtime:

Easy Peasy Pizza Pie – This is a fast flash in your pan recipe and can be made in so many ways with ingredients you have on hand in your fridge already. Talk about expeditious and delicious, a perfect kitchen combination!

Dough My Dear, Pizza 2-Ways – Do you say “duh” when you have dough, dear? Here are two ways to deal with dough, the possibilities are endless and you’ll earn a badge of honour!

Lean Nachos – Don’t be a moron and NOT enjoy nachos you numbskull! Lean nachos are Not an oxymoron any more! Entertain your love affair with nachos on the lighter side with crunch, gooey cheese and ultimate satisfaction.

Lovin’ Lasagna – Nothing says lovin’ like a bubbly hot pan of lasagne coming out of the oven – a dish to get a hot flash over with delight!

Roasted Rainbow of Peppers – Prepare all of the colours of peppers in your pan and they add a perfect side to adorn your dinner. Leftovers make a perfect frittata tomorrow – a peck of peppers to prepare with impunity!

Potato Perfection – This simple spud-nik combination gets rave reviews regularly and goes swimmingly with so many mains. I make a double batch every time and freeze the leftovers to use with future suppers that heat up to perfection every time.

So put some flash back in your pan by adding some of these to your repertoire. Plan to make a bigger batch and have leftovers for lunches or create something new with it at another meal. Gotta love a little PANdemonium in your kitchen when you’re orchestrating it, enjoy!
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Posted in Food Revolution Recipes, Foodie Fundamentals | No Comments »

Thanksgiving Tradition Rethink, Don’t You Think?

November 27th, 2013 2 Comments Tags: , , , ,

Ah yes, American Thanksgiving is almost upon us. It’s a perfect marathon combination of football, family meals and shop-til-you-drop all rolled in to one. I don’t know about you but Chris Berman and his iteration of “All-The-Way” needs to put a sock in it by Sunday, don’t you think??

I must say that I love festive family traditions, but some aspects of it might be ready for a rethink, don’t you think? I get a little bit crazy with all the black Friday craze. I feel rundown by the end of most weeks, who needs to get mowed over to save a buck, literally.

Ya I’m a material girl a heart, but I don’t think I need to join the Pamplona, the running of the bulls to keep up with stories at the water cooler that’ll be shared next week. With Christmas around the corner, now would be a perfect time to pause and think about gift giving from a different perspective. Here are some ideas:

  • Are you a crafter?? You might want to consider giving something you’ve made to people on your list – jams, jellies, hot peppers, truffles, cookies, Apple computer notecards
  • Time is our most precious resource – how about making a special occasion with someone you love wrapped up like a gift certificate to be used by a certain date together?
  • Consider enlarging that special photo of a loved one and framing it? “Memories, do da do do do da doooo”
  • How about recycling with a twist – giving a treasure of yours that you no longer use to that special someone who would? Try this every season, but not as a gift though……
  • Then there’s a donation to your favourite charity – food bank, hostel for single moms, Kiva? There are many who are so worthwhile and would benefit tremendously.

Before you head out to shop-til-you-drop I encourage you to sit down and think about the post Christmas pandemonium from years gone by. Do you get a sick feeling in your stomach because of what you spent with all of the excess? What was actually used and appreciated? Was all of this really needed? I’m not  saying don’t give gifts, but I am saying to give with thought, heart and sensibility and focus on what’s important.

Before you go All-the-Way and load your Santa sleigh, give the shopping part of your tradition a rethink….

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Posted in Edit-Storial By A Foodie | 2 Comments »

Moderation Consternation? Moderation Contemplation!

November 25th, 2013 No Comments Tags: , , , , , , ,

A little bird tweeted that the notion of moderation is under the microscope, what gives? “Ho ho ho”, I thought having read this after making my traditional mother load of 500+ truffles I give away for Christmas. Hmmmm, let’s see next week is the start of Hanukkah, followed by US Thanksgiving, followed by the Christmas Season topped off with a night cap at New Year’s. How many special eating occasions are already booked in to your calendar? A few more than last year I’ll bet, each one adorned with fab food and drink. As if people need an excuse to abandon moderation especially this time of year. Or worse yet become so obsessive compulsive and not allow their favourite food whatsoever. That’s crazy food police at work, don’t you think?

This is the time of year to find peace in our lives and our world. And I do declare that it is warranted in all of our relationships, especially our relationship with food. What’s Thanksgiving without pumpkin pie; what’s Christmas without my Mom’s jamborees; what’s New Year’s without a special salut? Pretty darn crummy, that’s what! There’s nothing more precious in our lives than breaking bread with the ones we love and sometimes that bread is dipped in olive oil! Time to toss out the shame, guilt or any notion of solely noshing at the salad bar for the next six weeks ’cause by New Year any resolve you had in November to abandon moderation and tighten the noose on goodies will have dissolved by the New Year in a puff of icing sugar.

When it comes to our food, that old adage of “all or none” is so passé with disco balls and go-go boots. Our society has become “all inclusive” in so many ways and our diets should be as well. Studies show when kids and adults alike are not allowed their favourite food they’ll pine for it, seek it and when they get it, gorge on it. Now that’s not a positive relationship with food, is it? It’s quite the opposite. When you allow all food to fit, with effort and in time those preoccupations diminish. The trick with food is defining moderation. With effort, everything will fall into place from there.

Don’t have consternation about moderation. Keep those dang food police out of your kitchen and life. However you’re spending the coming holidays cherish them, enjoy them and consider moderation contemplation! Check this out in more detail in my ebook, Skinny on Slim, The Little Black Dress of Diet Books available on Amazon, iTunes, Kobo and Barnes & Noble.

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Posted in Foodie Fundamentals, Francy Rants, Miss Behavin' | No Comments »

Gone Crazy for Bolognese!

November 22nd, 2013 1 Comment Tags: ,

I have had bolognese on the brain for the past number of weeks now. What kind of an Italian am I, who has not yet ventured into this bountiful bouquet of flavours yet? Shame on me! Well it’s redemption time as I sit and write while my creation bubbles on my stove. An aroma to die for!

Ingredients
olive oil
100 grams chopped hot pancetta
1 peeled, chopped onion
1 peeled, diced carrot
2 washed, diced celery
1 kilogram lean ground beef
250 mL red wine
1 medium tin tomato paste
500 mL beef stock
bay leaves

Instructions
1) Add some olive oil to the bottom of your saucepan and heat to medium low. When heated add prepared pancetta to brown slowly.
2) Then add prepared onion, carrot and celery and cook to soften.
3) Add the ground beef and cook through to doneness. Pour in the wine and allow to simmer for about a minute.
4) Add the tomato paste and stir into the mixture, then pour in the beef stock, bay leaves and combine further.
5) Turn the heat down and simmer slowly for 3 hours.
6) Serve hot on prepared pappardelle noodles, with a side salad. Sprinkle grated parmesan on your pasta and enjoy!

Commentary
Well Mama-cita this dish dazzles a weeknight dinner or a family party while you accept accolades from the compliments all around! As my saucepan bubbled I sat with my computer working with my tummy rumbling asking myself “Is it dinner yet?” Choose low sodium stock and tomato paste to cut the salt of this dish.

A perfect dish to get saucy with, enjoy!

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Posted in Food Revolution Recipes | 1 Comment »

Family Healthy & Stealthy Tips – Take 5

November 20th, 2013 No Comments Tags: , , , , , ,

It’s that time of year when the jingle jangle of advertisements beckons us into the Christmas spirit vortex. To offset that, our thoughts often turn to what we can do to help our family be healthier to create balance. I don’t know about you but I much prefer to take a stealthy approach when it comes to healthy. Don’t you think? Ok so call me passive aggressive, but who needs an argument?! Consider these 5 healthy and stealthy strategies to adopt now and into the New Year:

Get Fruity! Does the fruit you buy rot in the refrigerator drawer when it’s out of sight it’s out of mind, as the saying goes? Put your washed fruit in a bowl in a high traffic zone in your kitchen and watch it disappear!

Time Out! Is family life encircled around the television and computer screens during these cooler days of the year? Put a few limits on screen time. Do some bargaining around watching favourite shows then flick it off and put a lid on it. Aim to fill that time with activity.

Go All In! Do you think not allowing favourite food will deter your family from wanting and getting it? Think again! Allowing all food to fit, factoring in moderation will take the pressure off from food seeking behaviour. When you know “forbidden food” is allowed it’s a mute point.

Go Team! Did you know that cooking with your kids is good for their health? Ok so the crumb count might rise in your kitchen, but they’ll gain life skills galore and will eat healthier when launched out into the real world. While you’re at it, get them to help with the clean up too… another important life skill!

Bottoms Up! Do you have a storage cupboard filled with pop, flavoured drinks and crystals? All of those sweetened, coloured bubbled drinks get gulped down your loved ones gullets – gulp. Put a stop to the pop and fill your own jug of water with lemons, limes and fresh mint to quench everyone’s thirst. Great for your health and Mother Nature’s too!

Making small positive steps of change can certainly help you and your family lean in to be healthier as the New Year approaches. Trying a stealthy approach there’ll be peace in your world while you do it!

Find more healthy and stealthy ideas in my ebook Skinny on Slim, The Little Black Dress of Diet Books on Amazon,  i-Tunes, Kobo/Chapters, Barnes & Noble, Diesel and Sony.

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Posted in Foodie Fundamentals, Miss Behavin' | No Comments »

A Better You

November 18th, 2013 No Comments Tags: , , , , ,

All alone?
Unplug the phone

Decompress
Relief from stress

Rehearse my talk
Then take a walk

Time to write
A poem I might

Some chores to do
My home renew

Make a plan
The week at hand

Get up to date
On food and state

Reading list
Not to miss

What’s going on
In my field and beyond

Try to strive
And feel alive

Help renew
To a better you

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Posted in Rhyme Time! | No Comments »

Pot Shots

November 15th, 2013 No Comments Tags: , ,

The temperatures are dipping and our taste buds have morphed. It’s a perfect time to shift gears in your kitchen and take a few pot shots to change things up. Want something to stick to the ribs and not add a spare tire around your equator? Give these recipes a shot while using one pot!

Pasta Fagioli – Want a meatless Monday without the moans? Try this recipe with crispy garlic bread, it’ll be a crown pleaser that satisfies.

Home-make Mac & Cheese – Nothing says lovin’ like ewey gooey Mac & Cheese. Show homage to your favourite fromage like Mac with Jack for instance!

Barley Soup – Time to put an ole boot in your cauldron on a cool weekend and boil up some soup. Great for dinner with crusty bread or a portable potable lunch.

Pot Roast – Slow and steady makes this delish dish. Plan for extras and use for lunches too.

Chili con Carne – A steamy bowl of chili with cheese and bun after an afternoon of raking the last of the leaves will surely satisfy. Say ole to that!

So take a new shot with your pot whether you’re in a whirlwind tour on a weeknight or you’re planning for the week ahead. Good eats don’t need to be complicated, yet will still be highly rated!

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A Bubblicious Rethink of Your Drink

November 13th, 2013 No Comments Tags: , ,

I realize that I have railed on about what you drink over the past months and years. From “Filling Up on Nothingness is Dead” to “Trade of Turnaround Soda Pop Switch” and “Don’t Sink with Your Drink” you pretty much know where I stand on the topic of drinking empty calories yet making sure you drink enough water in “Water Water Everywhere,  How Much Shall I Drink?

Well I realize we’re a spoiled bunch really living in the hedonistic land where taste is king. We’ve grown accustomed to pleasing our bliss point pretty much every chance we get with every sip, guzzle and slurp.

Well I stumbled across a new contraption called Sodastream while travelling home from Frankfurt recently. An ad on the plane’s entrainment system caught my eye and not only got my attention but inspired me to write about it! If it’s effervescent bubbles you seek in your drink then you might consider coming up for air and carbonating your life with one and putting a stop to the pop!

If you and your family are trying to agree on what resolution to embrace for 2014 you may as well ask Santa to drop one of these puppies off in someone in your household’s stocking and create a distinct drink of your own that’s includes water with lemon zest or a splash of cranberry or pomegranate juice.

Set your storage closet, recycle bin and land fill free from those gargantuan sized plastic bottles of coloured, caffeinated and sweetened devil juice.

You’ll be kind to your inner environment and Mother Earth at the same time while saving some coin. Now I’ll drink to that!

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Yes John, Let’s Give Peace A Chance

November 11th, 2013 No Comments

It’s Remembrance Day. Just last week I was lucky to visit Germany. On one fine day I was invited on a private tour with a local group through an East German War Museum. Seeing and feeling the toll from my fellow compadres makes want to focus on peace though…..

Peace. It certainly is something to strive for from day to day. You faithful T & T followers know I’m a hippy at heart. I think if we dig deep enough we’ll all find some hippy genes in our make up. You don’t need to be wearing bell bottoms and a funky vest to seek peace and make it your personal cause. It’s there for the taking if we try hard enough to find it in our mind, heart and spirit.

Some people think this is a gargantuan undertaking but it doesn’t really need to be. As Mother Teresa has implied “…the greatest, most effective and powerful way to oppose war is to wage peace….” (quoted from Eknath Easwaran’s book Love Never Faileth).

Hmmmm such mammoth wisdom from such a meek saint. Think about it though: how can we find peace from day to day? Finding and making peace in your circle is certainly a choice we ALL can make every single day.

You can seek peace in the ebb and flow of your day. Really you can. You can make peace in your connections with others – whether they’re strangers, acquaintances, friends or family, especially yourself and with Mother Earth too. Do you choose to be critical or do you choose to be kind? Do you choose to gossip or do you choose to praise? Do you choose to ignore or do you choose to greet warmly? Do you choose to judge or do you choose to give someone the benefit of the doubt? Do you choose to listen or do you continually choose to lecture? Do you choose to be available or do you choose to check out?

Finding and making peace is a choice.

Mother Teresa has said:

And I think that we in our family – we don’t need bombs and guns to destroy. To bring peace, just get together, love one another, bring that peace, that joy, that strength of presence of each other in the home. And we will be able to overcome all the evil that is in the world.

So, what do you choose? Flip the switch to make peace. Makes you want to join in with John and sing Give peace a chance.

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Want Help to Shape UP? Got an App for That!

November 8th, 2013 No Comments Tags: , , , , , , ,

I found myself in Germany recently on someone else’s biz trip. I met up with a spry professor – Heir Heim who is 80 years young. Despite him walking with a cane he was looking healthier, better than I ever remembered, having known him for decades now.

You see for years I’ve met up with him on numerous biz trips around the globe. I know his old habit of spending some afternoons discussing ze issues over coffee and cake then ending the day with a lovely dinner. During one of the dinners I spied a novel looking wristband he was wearing and questioned what was up with that. Was it a gift from one of his grandchildren, perhaps? Heir Heim gave a rendition that this gadget worn 24/7 is part of the UP system, wristband + app, that tracks how you sleep, move and eat 24/7 so you can know yourself better, helping you make smarter choices, hmmmmm. Here’s the scoop:

* Track your sleep & physical activity
* Log your food & drink & tracks nutritional info
* Get insights to help you set & achieve your goals
* Set Smart Sleep Alarms to wake up refreshed
* Set Idle Alerts to remind you to move
* Team up with friends in the app and live better together

The wise professor explained in his thick German accent that “…when you know what you are doing and aware, you are prepared to make better choices. You know, when I spend time in ze house all day I barely took 300 steps, but when I went to my garden that increased to 3,000 steps.” I nearly burst with joy hearing him utter these wise words. To me it was like hearing ze angels singing. Yes awareness is bliss!

If this spry guy could learn new tricks at age 80 then we can all take small steps to a better our cause. Don’t you think? Check out UP by Jawbone for yourself and help fine-tune the moves you choose.

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Posted in Miss Behavin', Successful Loser Logic | No Comments »