All Good April

Since The Hubs and I started living the pescatarian lifestyle earlier this year, we’ve been experimenting with of new foods. I’ve learned all about vegetarian meat AKA mock meats — foods make to look like various meats, but made from soy, gluten, eggs, veggies or a combo of those ingredients — and that kale is the new spinach! Most recently I learned about the many health benefits of coconut oil and flax seeds to a persons daily diet, courtesy of a care package from Carrington Farms for #AllGoodApril month.

THM_CarringtonFarms_AllGoodApril_1My Carrington Farms “All Good April” care package included Liquid Coconut Cooking Oil, Organic Extra Virgin Coconut Oil tub & Organic Milled Flax Seeds

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Plank Grilling: 75 Recipes for Infusing Foods with Flavor Using Wood Planks – Cookbook Review, Recipe & Giveaway

My favorite cooking appliance isn’t in my kitchen, it’s right outside, literally. It’s my gas grill! I love cooking meals on the grill and use it all year-long — in rain or shine, snow or sleet, as long as there is a clear path leading to the gill, I cook on it. It wasn’t until a few years ago though that I started to plank grill.

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Grilling with a plank is a lot like using a pan, except the plank has the ability to produce smoke. This method is great because it provides a stable surface to grill your food on while at the same time infusing it tons of flavor. It’s also healthier than traditional grilling, as dishes remain juicier and require less added fat and salt for flavor.

So when Plank Grilling: 75 Recipes for Infusing Foods with Flavor Using Wood Planks by Dina Guillen showed up at the house, I was excited. Up until that point I’d just been pulling plank grilling recipes off the internet, not realizing there were whole cookbooks devoted to this cooking method. Plank Grilling – 75 Recipes for Infusing Foods with Flavor Using Wood Planks is the perfect cookbook for a grill plank beginner or even an intermediate planker like myself. Continue reading ⇒

Meatless Meals – Veggie Quiche

Most weeknights The Hubs and I don’t get home until after 6:30 pm from work.   Once we do get home we try to spend as much time as possible hanging out with the kidlets before they go to bed.  That means we play board games, build LEGOs, play with Super Heroes/Disney Princesses, read books or if it’s Wednesday night, give the kidlets baths!  By the time 8 pm rolls around the kidlets are safely snuggled into bed and The Hubs and I are starving!  But who wants to start cooking a meal at 8 pm to eat at 9 pm and then go to bed not too long after?  Not this gal – so lately I’ve been making extra meals/dishes on Sundays that we can just re-heat during the week.

THM_MeatlessMeals_VeggieQuiche3My Veggie Quiche – made quick & easy!

One of my current favorites is making quiche.  This might be a little rudimentary, but I have had people ask me what it is — a quiche is an open-faced pastry crust with a savory filling thickened with eggs. I like quiches because they are so versatile. You can fill them with just about anything you have in the fridge — cheese, meat, seafood or vegetables — and you can serve it either hot or cold.   They are the perfect meal to make in advance, store in either the fridge or freezer and pop out when needed.

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Getting Ready For the Big Game – Super Bowl Appetizer Recipes

This year the Super Bowl is a big deal in our house.  See, The Hubs is originally from Colorado and grew up a Denver Broncos fan, which means he’s been united in orange his entire life and not just some guy jumping on the Peyton Manning bandwagon.

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The Hubs was a long-suffering Broncos fan until John Elway stepped onto the field in Mile High Stadium as a rookie in 1983 and eventually led them to 5 AFC championships and two Super Bowl wins. Continue reading ⇒

Meatless Meals – Easy Manhattan Clam Chowder

This year The Hubs and I jointly made a resolution and that was to take better care of ourselves.  For us that meant making a big lifestyle decision.  On Jan 1 we adopted a pescatarian diet.  That means that we abstain from eating all meat – beef, chicken and pork.  We are not vegetarians since we eat fish, eggs and dairy as well as fruits, vegetables, plants, legumes, nuts and grains. I guess it’s comparable to a what some people call a Mediterranean Diet.

As I write this, I haven’t had meat in 14 days and surprised at how easy the transition has been.  I’ll be honest, I did have a craving about seven days ago at work to eat in a big juicy cheeseburger at lunch but instead opted for a cup of vegetarian soup and a spinach salad tossed with hard-boiled eggs.  Yay for me!  I’m proud of myself for not giving in to my craving.  I haven’t missed meat since.

So with our new pescatarian lifestyle, I’ve been experimenting with a number of fish recipes/dishes.   This week I tried my hand at Manhattan Clam Chowder and I have to say it was a tremendous success!

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What Gets You Fueled Up And Running In the Morning?

What gets you running in the morning?  For some people, like The Hubs, it’s coffee – he likes it both hot and cold but it totally depends on his mood.  As for me, I’ve never been much of a coffee drinker.  While I love the aroma of coffee, my stomach isn’t a big fan, which is why I always opt for tea.  Now it doesn’t matter to me if it’s winter, spring, summer or fall – I always like to start my day (or for that matter, end my day) with an iced tea.

DD_LogoNow Dunkin’ Donuts, America’s all-day, everyday stop for coffee and baked goods is giving fans a sipping start to 2014 with a special deal for iced beverage lovers in the New York Metro area*.  From now through January 26, all Iced Coffee and Iced Tea in any size is just 99 cents at participating Dunkin’ Donuts restaurants. Continue reading ⇒

Serving Up A Great Meal! Wilton Armetale Flutes & Pearls Rectangular Tray Review

I received the Wilton Armetale Flutes & Pearls Rectangular Tray for review purposes.  All opinions expressed are my own. 

I’ve always loved to cook and entertain. It doesn’t matter if it’s a family dinner, holiday gathering, birthday party or a backyard cook out, I’m truly in my element when I’m feeding others. Maybe it’s because I’m Italian, maybe it’s because I’m a mom or maybe it’s just because I love food, that I love to cook and share it with others!

Now as much as my food has to smell and taste good, it also has to look good when it’s brought to the table and served.  We all eat with our eyes first – which is why I have a variety of platters, trays and bowls to help create a great presentation for my meals.  The newest addition to my serve wear collection is this gorgeous Wilton Armetale® Flutes & Pearls Rectangular Tray.

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What’s In Your Lunch? JIF Most Creative Sandwich Contest – Win A $25K College Fund, Ends 11/8

“I participated in a campaign on behalf of Mom Central Consulting (#MC) for Jif. I received a promotional item as a thank you for participating.”

One of my biggest daily challenges as a mom – and trust me there are many – is figuring out what to make for my son for lunch each day! Two days a week I’m off the hook since he gets the school lunch, but that still leaves me with three days of wracking my brain trying to come up with something healthy and that my son will actually eat.  His #1 lunch request is a peanut butter sandwich!

Luckily my son’s school allows peanut butter sandwiches, they just have to sit at a separate “nut” table to eat them.  However, sending him with a regular PB&J day after day gets boring pretty quick, so I’m always looking for new peanut butter sandwich ideas to create for him.   Do a quick search of the internet or Pinterest and you can find tons of yummy, amazing and even bizarre peanut butter sandwich ideas out there.

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Grabbing A Slice To Celebrate National Pizza Month!

This post was made possible by Mom Spark Media. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

I love Fridays.  Not just because it’s the end of the week and the start of the weekend (Woo Hoo!) – but because in our house it’s PIZZA DAY!  Everyone in our household loves pizza and we each have our own favorite type of pizza.  My son prefers the thicker slices that Sicilian or Chicago Deep Dish offer while my daughter likes plain pizza with a thin crust. The Hubs likes his spicy, so it’s covered in hot peppers galore and as for me, I’m pretty traditional with mushrooms and sausage.

THM_NationalPizzaMonthSo it should come as no surprise that National Pizza Month is a huge thing in our house.  How do we celebrate?  Well, by going out and eating pizza at our local pizzeria!  The folks at Restaurant.com are celebrating by compiling this fun infographic based on a survey that asked diners, “How well-rounded is your pizza eating routine?”  Their findings were simply delicious!

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Using My Noodle – Shirataki Noodles Veggie Stir Fry Recipe

Ever since I got my kitchen back in mid-September, after a nightmarish six-week reno, I’ve cooked dinner pretty much every night.  I love coming home after work and cooking in my new kitchen whether I’m whipping up the simplest of dishes – spaghetti & meatballs – or more challenging ones – seared scallops in herb butter sauce with roasted seasonal veggies.  Since the new kitchen my cooking mojo has kicked back in and I’ve been inspired me to try new foods and to create new recipes.

THM_Noodle3My Shirataki Noodle Veggie Stir Fry Recipe

My latest food obsession is Shirataki noodles!  If you haven’t heard of these noodles, they are a healthy and amazing pasta alternative. Shirataki noodles are low carb, low-fat, low-calorie and wheat, gluten and dairy free pasta alternative.  They’re made from blending Continue reading ⇒