Entries Tagged 'Tips and Tricks'



Losing Weight in the Digital Age

A Walk in the Mountains

As you might have noticed from the recent photos I’ve been posting, I’ve been up in the mountains a bit lately.  Sadly, it’s the time of year when we have to close up the family cabin for the winter and say goodbye until next spring.  That’s what we did this last weekend.  But the weekend before, when this photo was taken, we were up there just to enjoy some long walks in the crisp clean air, Jeep rides through the fall foliage, food that always tastes better in the mountains, and a cozy cabin warmed by the wood stove once more before closing time.

It’s kind of funny that I’m starting a post about fitness and dieting apps by talking about the cabin – the one place in my life that hasn’t been completely taken over by technology (at this time, we have no telephone, television, or internet access at the cabin), but it was on this latest trip to the cabin that I really got to play with my latest fitness gadget, the Fitbit One.  Have you heard of Fitbit?  It’s one of those newfangled pedometers that track your steps and then wirelessly transfers the information to your computer or smart phone where your activity level is displayed in graph form and you can easily see just how lazy active you’ve been in a day, week, or month.  Mine even has a built-in altimeter that keeps track of how many floors you climb. There is also a setting to track how well you’re sleeping based on how much you move during the night, something I didn’t care about or think I’d use, but it’s actually pretty cool. Continue reading →

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Warm Red Cabbage Slaw with Apple and Caraway Seed

Warm Red Cabbage Slaw with Caraway Seeds

Have you ever purchased a specific dried herb or spice for one recipe and then let the bottle sit on your spice rack or in the back of your pantry untouched for months, or even years?  Do you have herbs or spices in your cabinet that you’ve never even used?  I bet you do; I used to as well. Continue reading →

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How to Roast Whole Artichokes

Roasted Artichokes

I grew up in central California where I certainly ate my fair share of artichokes over the years.  And during those four years I spent in Sicily, I probably ate way more than my fair share.  Sorry, it couldn’t be helped.

My standard way of cooking/eating artichokes is to steam them whole then peel off the leaves one by one, dipping each into mayo before scraping off the tiny bits of artichoke “meat” with my teeth.  I continue to do this until I have ingested way more mayonnaise than any person needs to consume in one sitting (as evidenced by the huge pile of artichoke leaves towering in front of me by the time I’m done) and I have made my way to the heart, which I carefully trim and clean before eating it with even more mayo.  Don’t judge. Continue reading →

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Strawberry Freezer Jam

Local Strawberries

Last summer I made my first batch of homemade jam – peach jam, to be exact.  While not difficult, the process was a bit labor-intensive:  I sterilized jars, peeled and chopped fruit, boiled down the fruit and sugar, and even processed the filled jars in a water bath.  It was well worth the effort and I was quite proud of myself for successfully preserving that small bit of the summer’s bounty.  And with that first batch of jam under my belt, I had been making plans to can all kinds of jam this summer. Continue reading →

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Grilled Chicken Under a Brick

Grilled Chicken Under a Brick

Remember I told you I had butterflied a chicken and was planning on grilling it under a brick?  Well now I’ll show you how I did it.

As I mentioned the other day, Pollo al Mattone, or Chicken Under a Brick is a Tuscan style of grilling chicken.  The chicken cooks quickly since it is flattened under the weight of the brick and you end up with crispy delicious skin and juicy, perfectly cooked meat.  What more could one want from a chicken? Continue reading →

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How to Butterfly a Chicken

My favorite way to grill chicken is to butterfly (a.k.a. spatchcock) a whole bird, flatten it, and place it directly on the grill with a large brick on top to weigh it down.  Pollo al Mattone, or Chicken Under a Brick is a Tuscan style of grilling chicken and the results are fantastic!  The chicken cooks quickly since it is flattened under the weight of the brick and you end up with skin so crispy and delicious, a fight might break out before it hits the table.

I have a butterflied chicken marinating in the fridge right now that I plan on grilling later this afternoon.  I’m documenting all the steps with my camera, and I’ll show you the results tomorrow.  But in the meantime, I want you to watch this great video on how to butterfly a chicken, courtesy of the folks over at The Virtual Weber Bullet.  Since this is a skill I’ve only picked up recently, I figure there are a few others out there who might benefit from the lesson as well!

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Holiday Recipes with a Twist: Sweet Potato Buttermilk Rolls

So this is the second installment of our holiday recipe series, and I couldn’t be happier to share this dinner roll recipe with you!

In my family, the dinner rolls at our holiday meals are never homemade. For years, my grandmother would pick them up at a local bakery, but at some point we switched to the big bag of dinner rolls from Costco.  And I don’t think there’s anything wrong it.  My sister and I still love those rolls from Costco.  And really, even supermarket bakery rolls taste pretty good if you pop them in the oven for a few minutes. Continue reading →

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Finally Some Homemade Mayonnaise!

Homemade Mayonnaise Continue reading →

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