Satisfying Seafood

October is National Seafood Month, so I thought I’d share some recipes that you can try to spice up your date night, or try with your family!

Seafood dip

Hot shrimp dip

Red chile seafood soup

Shrimp bisque

Savannah seafood gumbo

Spicy shrimp and bok choy noodle bowl

Spaghetti with pinot grigio and seafood

Scampi on couscous

Seafood mac and cheese

Seafood risotto

Sicilian rice salad with seared tuna

Asian broth poached shrimp, scallops and soba noodles

Quinoa and curried shrimp

Crab ravioli with citrus shrimp

Bucatini with shrimp and spicy cherry tomato pan sauce

Sea bass alla fiorentina

Shrimp boil with clams and lemon

Grilled seafood salad

Spicy seafood potpie

Grilled fish tacos

Scallops with orange and honey

What are your favorite seafood recipes?

Trying New Things

I am not the type of person to go out there and try new things if I don’t think I’ll like them, or if I’ve had something similar and didn’t like that. But I usually will try it, especially if it comes in a small enough package or portion for me to try without buying a ton. I tried a new hummus this week and I was definitely not a fan. So I’ve portioned it out to add to soup that I make over the winter rather than eat it with carrots or celery. So as I was thinking about this and it being Columbus Day this past Monday, it got me thinking about what it means to try new things, and why it’s so challenging for us.

All parents have the challenge of getting their kids to eat something different, something other than what feels like the same 4 dishes and snacks, when you’d really like to cook or make something else, not just for your sake but because just eating the same 4 dishes can’t be balanced nutrition. I know that cooking things differently and seasoning them differently, not to mention correctly, can make a big difference to liking or disliking something. So don’t be afraid to try some different versions.

Unfortunately, we are all different with different palates and different preferences. What tastes good to you won’t taste good to someone else. If they try it and don’t like it you can’t blame them. But don’t let their fears of trying something new stop them from trying. All of the stories of Columbus tell us that he had a really hard time convincing people of his beliefs on the true nature of the world and that there was more land to be found. Columbus didn’t give up just because others had tried and failed, he kept trying.

So this weekend, don’t be afraid to try something new for dinner, go with your partner on a different date than you usually do, pick out different clothes the next time you go shopping, or try a different approach for handling things at work. As Columbus discovered trying new things can have great results.

Plans with Popcorn

Today I’m sharing lots of popcorn recipes to get you ready for the World Series, scary Halloween movies, or just a yummy afternoon snack.

Chili Lime

Cheesy garlic

Mexican chocolate

Sage

Chocolate almond

Sweet and spicy crunch

Macadamia butter crunch

Kettle corn

Sweet and nutty

Sesame ginger

Aztec chocolate and caramel

Cranberry orange caramel

Herbs de Provence and asiago cheese

Carmel apple monster munch

Slacker jacks

Grandma Paul’s caramel corn

Theater style butter

More Treat Ideas

Chewy caramel popcorn and pretzel bars

Golden popcorn squares

Toffee almond popcorn balls

Gooey Halloween popcorn balls

Candy corn popcorn balls

What toppings have you tried and enjoyed with popcorn?

Awesome Apples

Today we’re celebrating a delicious fall food: the apple!

Breads:

Cinnamon apple twist bread

Cinnamon apple pull apart bread

Apple muffins

Apple cranberry spice muffins

Apple dumpling slices

Fresh apple cinnamon scones

Apple cinnamon pull apart rolls

Cinnamon apple flat bread

Apple cranberry toasted bread pudding

Double apple walnut bread

Cake:

Old fashioned apple cake with brown sugar frosting

Apple upside down cake

Apple skillet cake

Fresh apple cake from Georgia

Caramel apple cheesecake

Apple coffee cake with crumble topping and brown sugar glaze

Pie:

Classic apple crisp

Cranberry and apple crumble

Crusty apple pie

Flat apple pie with perfect pie crust

Treats:

Apple tortilla bake

Slow cooker apple butter

Apple strudel

Apple phyllo triangles

What are your favorite apple recipes?

Love for Ice Cream

There’s nothing quite like having a bowl of ice cream on a hot summer day, so today I thought I’d share some yummy ways you can top your favorite flavors at your next family event.

Marshmallow spread

Salted vanilla caramel icing

Salted caramel sauce

Caramel sauce

Butterscotch sauce

Chocolate maple sauce

Peanut butter sauce

Hazelnut mocha sauce

Dark chocolate fudge sauce

Hard shell ice cream topping

Praline ice cream sauce

Orange ginger ice cream sauce

Apricot orange sauce

Tart cherry sauce

Raspberry sauce

Homemade sprinkles

Rainbow sprinkles

 What are your favorite ice cream toppings?

Fresh Food for Summer

With summer just a few weeks away today we’re taking time to look at some delicious recipes that you can use to incoporate more fresh fruits and vegeables into your diet!  Yummy choices like tomatoes, corn, strawberries, peaches, blueberries, tomatoes, corn, zucchini, cherries, melons, peppers, avocados, and more are great choices to add to your diet, as well as taste yummy when combined with other ingredients.

Vegetables

Whole wheat zucchini chocolate chip bread

Baked zucchini sticks and sweet onion dip

Zucchini fritters

Grilled zucchini rolls with herbs and cheese

Avocado, bacon and tomato sandwich

Avocado and corn tostaditas

Confetti corn

Corn chowder

Sweet corn with baby beets and basil

Stuffed cherry tomatoes

Tomato and beet salad

Grilled portabello mushrooms

Grilled eggplant flatbread

Eggplant Parmesan

Roasted tomato and eggplant soup

Roasted red pepper and walnut dip

Shaved summer salad

Grilled summer vegetable paninis

Balsamic grilled vegetables

Summer rolls

Summer soup

Veggie melt

Veggie dip

Veggie chips

Fruits

Mango salsa

Strawberry shortcake

Strawberry rhubarb pie

Rustic peach tart

Peach cobbler

Peach jam

Stone fruit compote

Watermelon slushies

Blueberry hand pies

Blueberry muffins

Blackberry oat bran muffins

Blackberry skillet cake

Sour cherry pistachio crisp

Raspberry scones

Raspberry swirl cheesecake

Cherry chocolate chunk ice cream

Cantaloupe, tarragon and vodka sherbet

Tropical fruit with lime dressing

Summer fruit pizza

 What are you growing and cooking this summer?

Perfect Pasta

March is National Noodle month, a month that most kids and parents love.  Noodles are part of many of our favorite foods including lasagne, mac and cheese and chicken noodle soup.  Today I thought we’d recognize this favorite food with some yummy recipe ideas!

Noodles

Homemade egg noodles

Homemade pasta with sage butter

Gluten free pasta

Fresh herb pasta

Fresh dough for ravioli

Red pepper

Fresh beet dough

Soup

Chicken noodle

Spicy shrimp and Bok Choy noodle bowl

Spicy shrimp and noodles

Confetti chicken

Pasta e Fagioli

Salad

Greek pasta salad

Cilantro-lime pasta salad

Garden pasta salad with chicken

Pasta salad with fresh herbs

Buckwheat noodle salad

Pasta salad with broccoli and peanuts

Wacky Mac pasta salad

And More

Lasagna rolls

Fettuccine Alfredo

Creamy orzo

Cheesy pasta primavera

Grilled tomato and corn pasta

Pasta and white beans with broccoli pesto

 

 

Nutrition, Naturally

If you’ve been following me for a while you know I love food.  It’s something I think about almost constantly.  I never leave home without a snack in my bag (never can be too careful!).  But before the Christmas holidays I made a decision about what I was eating because something had to change (simply put: tummy trouble).  Don’t get me wrong, I’ve never been the type to curl up on the couch and eat a whole container of ice cream, box of Fruity Pebbles and couple of Twinkies (yes, I like sweet things). But something wasn’t right and I’d been ignoring my body for a while.

I won’t go into details but I’ve cut a lot of processed foods, most white flour and a big percentage of (white) sugar from my diet.   It turns out that there’s some truth in the health professional’s opinions that those “food” groups are some of the biggest causes in our dis-health.  Of course the biggest challenge was figuring out what I could eat that didn’t involve those foods/ingredients.  I’ve learned a lot from these months of eating different stuff, and I’m sure I’ll continue to learn more.  But since it’s National Nutrition Month I thought I would share a few of the lessons I’ve had to learn and work with that can help you whether you’re on a special diet or just really busy.

1-snacks: it’s really hard to know that if you want a snack it will take prep time.  With the exception of a handful of nuts, craisins, or a yogurt just about every vegetable or fruit takes preparation.  I still sigh every time I get hungry because I know it will take a lot more work to feed me than just grabbing some cereal or a pbj.  Preparing celery sticks, carrots and finger fruits (strawberries, grapes, berries) 2-3 times a week instead of on demand helps to cut down on some of that stress.

2-dinner time: everyone struggles with that ‘just got home, am starving, what’s for dinner’ issue.  Again, having finger vegetables and fruits on hand helps cut the hunger enough that you can focus on preparations.  The other big key is planning ahead for the whole week.  By doing a weekly schedule of dinners you know when you can have a less-healthy snack because you’ve planned for a very healthy dinner or that you need to eat better during the day because you’re going out for dinner.

3-feeling good is worth it.  I feel a lot better, that’s the bottom line.  As I said I wasn’t a really bad eater, but obviously my body knew better than I did.  Knowing that I’ll make it through the day and go to bed feeling good is pretty strong motivation for taking the extra time to eat right.

What has food taught you?

Change and Happiness

Are you happy today? How many days would you say each week you are happy?  If you were to take a look at the news headlines and numbers of people on depression and other drugs, you might think there are no happy people in the world.  I can’t disagree that it’s nice to be happy.  Those warm fuzzy feelings that you have (especially around the holidays or special occasions) are awesome!  I love those really special moments that you know you’ll remember forever.  One thing that doesn’t bring up warm fuzzy feelings is the thought of change, right?  I mean most people hear the word change and either cringe or run in the opposite direction.  Most people don’t jump up and down for joy.  But what if change was the way to happiness?

What if by changing a few little things in your life you could be significantly happier?  Would you do it?

Of course the little things that need to change are no stranger to most people, they are in the categories of health, relationships, and finance.  Yet most people steer clear of these changes until change is forced upon them.  Here are 3 simple things for each you can do to simply be happier.

Health: eat more veggies (no, ketchup and potato chips don’t count), spend more time in nature relaxing, and exercise.

Relationships: communicate more often and clearer, do one thing each day that makes your partner happy, and be honest with each other about fears and issues/challenges/dislikes/unhappiness.

Finance: pay your bills on time each month, have a plan in action for saving for the future as well as emergencies, and follow a responsible budget.

These may sound really simple and really obvious.  And they are.  I’m not accusing you of being a baby or stupid, just stating facts: I know many people who don’t follow any or most of these simple things.  Yet if they did their lives would be much happier and freer.  Why?  They would feel better, look better, be more confident in their future and be more receptive to relationships and changes that happen in life.  Which ones will you incorporate into your life starting today?

World Series Wins

Today we’re celebrating with the baseball teams who have gotten this far and the two teams who will go all the way this year to play ball for champion of the 2013 season.  If you’re a big baseball fan it’s a great time to have friends over and have a party, and a great time to teach your kids about this great American past time.

Crafts:

Baseball pinata

Baseball wristband

Baseball party favors

Baseball and softball scrapbook ideas

Play ball bracelet

Baseball applique pillow

Food:

Chicago style hot dogs

Bulldog hot dogs

Best beef burgers

Turkey sausage sandwiches

Pulled pork sandwiches

Nachos supreme

Cookie pops

Bats, balls and bases snack mix

Caramel, peanut and popcorn baseballs

Cracker jacks

Baseball cupcake

Will you be celebrating or watching the World Series? Who are you rooting for?