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New Year, New You? (or just a tasty breakfast treat!)

17 Dec

Not to be one of those crazies who puts out her Halloween decorations in July like a big box store, but I’m already thinking about the New Year. I mean, don’t get me wrong – I’m still sipping gingerbread lattes and listening to Christmas music at work all day long in the background…and of course it’s snowing on my blog. However, there’s just something about the hope of a new year, another 1/1/20?? that gets my creative juices flowing.

To that end, I wanted to share a really tasty looking “New You” breakfast for those that are thinking about the age old resolution of improving their health. I am NO STRANGER to this (or the failing of this….but that’s another blog altogether. And I digress). Earlier this year, I met a phenomenal trainer, Jenn, who has an amazing business in helping women of all types and purposes improve health aspects of their life. Her company, For the Glow, kind of represents what many women strive for – it’s a power house of DOING things that are great for you and make you feel great, none of that “ughhhhhh, I can’t believe I have to go to the gym. And I hate my work out pants. And I hate the way health food tastes.” No, no, no.

I wanted to show you this recipe and awesome New Years package Jenn put together, which is super yummy and happens to be super healthy. Of course you can always make modifications to suit your lifestyle, and Jenn is all about accommodations and customization. Happy Holidays to everyone and with that, here’s Jenn:

I’m a woman on a mission.  The mission? To make EVERY recipe (even the detox ones!) just as delicious as they are nutritious. One of my favorite recipes in the upcoming Resolution Challenge meal plan is the Acai Power Breakfast.  Hard to believe, but this yummy breakfast is part of the slim-down protocol!  Acai fruit is a TRUE superfood & one that we should all add in to our routine.  The perks of eating acai:  Improved heart health/lower cholesterol, anti-aging via phytochemicals (buh-bye wrinkles), improved immune function via anti-viral/anti-bacterial properties, weight loss potential, reduced allergies & inflammation, increased energy and clearer skin.  One of my favorite parts:  Acai is loaded with fiber & essential fatty acids, so it’s not your typical fruit that leaves you feeling hungry 10 minutes later.  You’ll feel happy & satisfied! 

Acai Power Breakfast (serves 1)

1 packet of Sambazon Acai, run under warm water for 10 seconds
1/2 c dark berries (frozen or fresh)
1/4 c vanilla almond milk (unsweetened)
1/2 banana, sliced
1/4 c organic, GF granola
1 tbs chia seeds

Blend the acai, berries & almond milk together. Blend until smooth & creamy, pour into your serving dish. Top with sliced banana, granola & chia seeds. Note:  Large blenders like the Vitamix struggle as the fruit doesn’t cover the blade.  Use a smaller gadget like the Magic Bullet if you have one, or make two servings & pop the other in the freezer until you’re ready to use.

Want to UP your superfood intake?  Add 1 tsp of spirulina to your acai mix when you blend & add 2 tbs of goji berries to your toppings!  Spirulina will add a detoxification element & the goji berries provide you with complete protein!

Want fewer carbs & more protein?  Blend a scoop of your favorite organic protein powder to the mix!  Instead of granola + bananas on top, go for 2 tbs of goji berries, 1 tbs of hemp seeds and 1 tbs of chia seeds.

To get the rest of this scrumptious meal plan + recipe package,  join the 3rd Annual Resolution Challenge!  The entire 30-day program is just $20.13 through Sunday (uh, seriously!), which includes our detox/slimdown meal plan, recipes, daily video workouts + bonuses galore!  Check out the details here & join us today!  (Lifetime Glow Girls are already in, so why not forward this to a friend?) :)

Happy Holidays!  Wishing you & your loved ones a happy, healthy + peaceful close to 2012, and a beautiful start to the new year!

Cake for Adults

7 Dec

If I say the words “fruit cake” will you immediately stop reading and close the web browser? I sure hope not, because I have to tell you, I have this friend who makes THE. BOMB. FRUIT CAKE…….FOR ADULTS. :)

You may have heard of this friend of mine, her name is Kathy Casey. She is just the sweetest, funniest, warmest person, and girl can COOK (and mix a mean cocktail!)!!!

Every year, Kathy and her crew create the most a.MAZ.ing fruit cakes. I don’t even like fruit cake – but this is just heaven!

Courtesy of Kathy Casey.

Courtesy of Kathy Casey.

The picture from Kathy above just doesn’t do it justice, I swear! Check out her blog post on her “Over 21″ Real Fruit Cake made with Maker’s Mark.

Or, if you are in the mood for a little entertainment, watch this fun video that shows the labor of love involved in getting a batch of these cakes ready for gobbling!

If you now have a serious hankering for something devilish, you can buy it until December 14th or while supplies last. You can purchase them thru Kathy’s website and at her Food Studios (for those that are local) which is open Monday – Friday, 9:00am – 5:00pm.

OR – if fruit cake still sounds too dangerous, Kathy left this great recipe that I’m re-posting below. This would be great for a Christmas morning brunch with a nice cup of espresso and some friends in their snugglies!

Unbelievable Apple Cake with Cider Crème Anglaise and Cranberry Compote

(re-posted from Dishing with Kathy Casey)
Makes 1 cake, serving 8 to 10

2 cups (about 10 ounces) unpeeled, diced Granny Smith apples
2 cups (about 10 ounces) unpeeled, diced red-skinned apples, such as Braeburn, Winesap, or Jonathan
2 cups sugar
3 cups flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground allspice
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 cup canola oil
2 eggs, beaten
1 tablespoon Worcestershire
1 cup walnuts, coarsely chopped
1/2 cup golden raisins
1/2 cup dark raisins
Cider Crème Anglaise (recipe follows)
Cranberry Compote (recipe follows)

Preheat an oven to 325°F. Grease and flour a 10-inch tube pan or a large Bundt pan and set aside.

Combine the apples and sugar in a large bowl. Let sit for 15 minutes.

Meanwhile, sift the dry ingredients into a bowl. Stir in the oil, eggs, and Worcestershire. Add this mixture to the apple mixture all at once and mix well. Fold in the walnuts and raisins.

Scrape the cake batter into the prepared pan. Rap the pan on the counter to release any bubbles.

Bake for about 1 1/4 hours, or until a cake tester or toothpick comes out clean when poked into cake. Cool the cake in the pan, then turn it out onto a cake plate.

To serve: Slice the cake into desired number of servings. Pool a little Cider Crème Anglaise on individual dessert plates, then place a cake slice on top. Spoon a little Cranberry Compote over each cake slice. Pass additional Crème Anglaise and Cranberry Compote at the table.

Cider Crème Anglaise
Makes 2 cups

4 large egg yolks
1/4 cup sugar
1 cup half-and-half
3 tablespoons apple juice concentrate, undiluted

In a small bowl, whisk together the egg yolks and sugar until well combined.

In a double boiler or medium bowl set over a pan of simmering water, heat the half-and-half until hot but not simmering. Whisk half of it into the egg mixture to temper the eggs. Add the tempered egg mixture back into the hot half-and-half, stirring constantly with a whisk. Cook slowly until the sauce just begins to thicken and become slightly shiny, about 5 minutes. (Do not overcook or it will turn into scrambled eggs!)

Immediately remove the bowl from over the hot water. Stir in the apple juice concentrate and place the bowl in another bowl of iced water to cool quickly. Stir often during cooling. Refrigerate until needed, up to 3 days.

Cranberry Compote
While cranberries are in season, buy a bag and stick them in the freezer. Then, at any time during the year, you can enjoy the cranberry compote. Try it over vanilla ice cream or plain cheesecake for a scrumptious treat!

Makes 1 heaping cup

1 1/2 cups fresh or frozen cranberries
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup apple juice

Place all ingredients in a medium-sized, heavy saucepan over medium-high heat. Bring to a simmer, then reduce the heat to medium. Cook until the cranberries pop and the mixture has a thick compote consistency, 5 to 6 minutes. Let cool completely before serving.

Refrigerate until needed, up to 3 days.

 

Recipe from Dishing with Kathy Casey cookbook.

My Birthday, My BARRIO

1 Sep

It’s sadly been exactly three weeks since my birthday. For me, birthdays are the BEST. Like, “super-duper, look forward to it ALL YEAR LONG” the best.  Like, “I’m already starting to think about what I want to do for my 30th next year” the best. I love them so much because it’s one of the few times during the year when you can get a bunch of people, who are pivotal in your life and who contribute to your happiness, together at the same time and celebrate life.  How could that NOT be good?!

Just before devouring my birthday churros! YUM

This year, I did a low-key, girls night out in my hood. At one of my favorite places. BARRIO. It’s one of my favorites because they just do the food and service so well. They are not pretentious, the food is by and large fantastic, and they welcome everyone in to try what it is they’re doing.  They even take constructive criticism well, and USE IT, to be better.  That is why I like them.  (*And they’re not paying me to blog about them either. I have been a fan since DAY ONE.)

Because foodies love to share their favorite spots with others, and talk about food until everyone tunes them out, and because everyone loves a little gratuitous food porn, I am sharing a little montage of my birthday dinner with you all.

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Sip it Real Good Giveaway!!!!

3 Jun

Please god let summer be just around the corner, AHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!! I almost can’t take the grey anymore.  To help Mother Nature get in the mood, I thought it’d be fun to do a giveaway for the first week of June!

So, what’s the loot? It’s a SIGNED copy of the fabulously composed “Sips & Apps” book that’s just busting at the seams with great ideas for the summer!

Copyright Kathy Casey 2009

Kathy is just wonderful, warm and fun to be around, and of course it doesn’t hurt that she’s a killer cook that never fails to impress me with the great treats (liquid or otherwise) she offers up.

Want to enter to win? Click through to the full post for details!

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Please Come In: Steelcut Oats Overnight from NudeFood

21 Jan

credit: Kate Schenk @ NudeFood

A great food friend of mine, Kate, has a fabulous food blog that is very well educated and thoughtful about food. The dishes she makes are tasty, wholesome, and not skimpy on the flavor or filling.

She recently posted on something I have almost every day: steelcut oatmeal. I learned something new, and I thought I’d share it with you today, as a nice little read that might just make you reconsider what you eat for breakfast!

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