Saturday, May 27, 2023

ABRAMS Dinner Party Spotlight: The Great American Burger Book...Featuring The Smoked Burger from Houston #TheGreatAmericanBurgerBook #abramsdinnerparty #burgers #smokedmeat #TexasFood #summerfood

This year's ABRAMS Dinner Party blogging group posts are quickly winding down as Summer approaches. But? Today's featured 
ABRAMS Publishing cookbook is perfect to have on hand as burger season heats up! George Motz's encyclopedic The Great American Burger Book: How to Make Authentic Regional Hamburgers at Home shows readers how to recreate regional burgers at home. This expanded and updated edition features iconic burger flavors and cooking techniques like Minnesota's cheesy Jucy Lucy, Wisconsin's Butter Burger, and California's Classic Patty Melt. There's even a chapter devoted to international burgers! I opted to focus today on a Texas classic: The Smoked Burger from Guy's Market, a butcher shop in Houston. This burger is smoky and simply adorned...the beef and flavorful smoke definitely take center stage. This is definitely the burger you want to add to your Memorial Day grilling menu!

This burger forgoes traditional burger toppings like mustard, pickles, lettuce, onion, and tomato. The Smoke Burger instead features toppings typically served with smoked or chopped brisket sandwiches here in Texas: tangy BBQ sauce, sliced dill pickle, and onions. I also offered sliced cheddar cheese for those who wanted to add it to the mix. For this recipe, the beef used AND the smoking technique are key to achieving the best flavor. I used 85/15 ground Angus chuck that was smoked with a combination of charcoal and post oak wood. Soft potato buns were a perfect addition to cradle this burger. One note: instead of using the homemade BBQ sauce recommended by Motz, we opted for a favorite bottled sauce to save a bit of time.

Wednesday, May 24, 2023

Wendy's Great Eight for May 2023 #wendysgreateight #bestbites #favoritefood #healthyfoodfavorites

 After a hiatus while I overhauled my nutrition...and lost 10o monthly Wendy's Great Eight column is back! Going forward, this monthly column will focus on my favorite healthy food and beverages -- along with kitchen gadgets that support my new healthy eating goals. I hope you'll find some healthy ideas that will help you meet your personal health goals too! Let's get started...

(1) Like Air Baked Puffcorn. If you enjoy eating crunchy snacks...but not their excess fat and calories...baked puffcorn is a great snacking alternative! I've really been enjoying Like Air Baked Puffcorn recently. These all natural, gluten-free baked puffs are literally light as air. And? They come in great traditional popcorn flavors like Butter & Salt and American Cheddar. They also have two sweet flavors: maple-flavored Pancake, and Cinnamon Bun. Each generous 3-cup serving of Like Air has just 150 calories, 9 grams fat, and 15-17 carbs. All four flavors are delicious...but I have a bit of a soft spot for the Pancake. Like Air Puffcorn can be found at major retailers, including Sam's Club, Kroger, ShopRite, Fairway, Price Rite, Kings Food Market, and Balducci's. They can also be purchased via Amazon.

(2) Barebells Protein Bars. My weight loss and maintenance center on eating more protein and fewer carbs. One way I accomplish this goal is to eat protein bars. I'm picky, though! I prefer bars with around 200 calories, along with zero sugar/low carbs, and plenty of satisfying protein. I really enjoy Barebells Protein bars, because they meet these requirements and taste AMAZING! I've tried three flavors so far: Cookies & Cream, Creamy Crisp, and Caramel Cashew. These flavors have 200 calories, 20 grams of protein, and zero added sugar per substantial 1.9-oz bar. Carbs range from 18-20 grams, depending on the flavor. I sometimes cut a Barebell bar in half if I'm running low on available carbs at the end of the day. Barebells can be found at major retailers nationwide...and they can be purchased direct from their online store.

(3) Jordan's Skinny Syrups Naturally Sweetened Sugar Free Syrups. I start my day with a protein coffee shake nearly every morning...and I love using Jordan's Skinny Syrups to provide a pop of sugar-free flavor to my creations. I was excited when they introduced a line of naturally sweetened syrups with stevia, monk fruit, and erythritol. Sugar free...without artificial a winner to me! This naturally sweetened line comes in Salted Caramel, Vanilla Bean, Chocolate Mocha, and Cinnamon Dolce. Each 2-tablesoon serving has zero calories and just 6 carbs. The Naturally Sweetened line is currently available for purchase at Target, as well as via the Jordan's Skinny Syrup online shop.

(4) Chike Coffee Protein. As the weather heats up, I enjoy iced coffee to beat the heat. With Texas-based Chike? I can help meet my daily protein macros too! Chike's high-protein coffee shakes contain two shots of real espresso and whey protein isolate. All natural flavors include Chai Latte, Mocha, Caramel, Vanilla, Original Iced Coffee, Chocolate Caramel, Cinnamon, and Chocolate Peanut Butter. Simply add 10 ounces water or unsweetened almond milk, shake, and pour over ice. Each delicious Chike iced protein coffee has 120 calories, 20 grams of whey protein, 4 carbs, and just 1 gram of sugar. Chike is sweetened with sucralose, the same sweetener used in Splenda. Chike is available at retailers nationwide, and via the Chike online store. Especially convenient is their single-serve Sampler Pack for $14.95 -- which lets you try five popular flavors to find your favorite! My personal favorite is the chocolate Mocha.

Monday, May 15, 2023

ABRAMS Dinner Party Spotlight: Asada Cookbook...Featuring A Better Pico and Blended Guacamole #AsadaCookbook #abramsdinnerparty #guacamole #picodegallo #makeitfresh #mexicanfood

It's time to feature another great new cookbook as part of ABRAMS Publishing's #abramsdinnerparty blogging group. Today, I'm featuring a cookbook that's perfect for your Summer entertaining plans! Bricia Lopez and Javier Cabral's Asada: The Art of Mexican-Style Grilling features foods commonly served at an asada. Throughout 
Southern California, an asada is a gathering of family and friends, great music, cold beverages -- and a healthy side of fun and community. The party centers around smoky grilled meat with flavors and spices traditional to Mexico. Asada's 100 recipes are divided into eight key elements served at an asada: botanas (appetizers), carnes (meats), mariscos (seafood), side dishes and vegetables, salsas, aguas frescas, cocktails, and dessert. 

See my Instagram account (weekendgourmet) to get their recipe for marinated, grilled Carne Asada Classica. I opted to focus here on a pair of accompaniments: tangy-spicy Blended Guacamole and A Better Pico. Both are simple to make and taste incredibly fresh! If you've never made homemade pico de gallo, THIS is definitely the recipe you want to try. 

Monday, May 8, 2023

Weekend Gourmet Flashback: Blueberry Muffin Smoothie #breakfastinaglass #smoothies #breakfastonthego #healthyanddelicious


Protein shakes and smoothies have played a major role in my 100-pound post-stroke weight loss. I start nearly every morning with a protein coffee shake...and I've recently started including fruit-based smoothies. I love smoothies, because they make it easy to meet my daily allotment of healthy fruit and vegetables! I keep my kitchen stocked with frozen fruit, unsweetened nut milk, fat free Greek yogurt, and healthy add-ins like chia seeds. Then, I can whip up a breakfast OR afternoon smoothie in less than 5 minutes. This Blueberry Muffin Smoothie features frozen fruit, protein-packed Greek yogurt...and an extra fiber boost from the addition of oatmeal. The end result is creamy and delicious...without being overly sweet. I just love it!

Saturday, April 22, 2023

ABRAMS Dinner Party Spotlight: In Praise of Home Cooking...Featuring a Simple Frittata Template #InPraseofHomeCooking #abramsdinnerparty #frittatahowto #weekendbrunch #essentialeggs

The next cookbook I'm featuring as part of the ABRAMS Dinner Party blogging group is Liana Krissoff's encyclopedic In Prase of Home Cooking -- Reasons and Recipes. This cookbook is a must-have resource for learning classic home cooking techniques and recipes. It's perfect for both newer cooks who want to learn no-fail ways to create classic comfort home cooking...and for seasoned cooks who want to perfect cooking methods/techniques. From how to cook a pot of perfectly fluffy searing a juicy steak...and even perfectly cooking eggs in a variety of ways.

Krissoff offers readers proven cooking techniques that result in perfect fried eggs, fluffy scrambled eggs, and hard-cooked eggs that have a creamy yolk and a tender white. Then, there's her easy-to-master Frittata Template. Instead of being a set recipe, it's a versatile template that can easily be adapted to whatever veggies, cheese, and other proteins that are on hand in your kitchen. Last weekend, I made a brunch frittata with leftover roasted zucchini and yellow squash, sliced cooked potatoes, sauteed mushrooms and onions, and a bit of mozzarella. It came together quickly and baked up tender and delicious. Simply cut the cooked frittata in wedges and serve! 

Monday, April 17, 2023

A Simple Guide to Eliminating Bad Sleep Habits #healthy2023 #bettersleep #qualitysleep #restorativesleep

Getting good- quality sleep every night is important for a number of reasons...yet it can be very elusive! Today, The Weekend Gourmet correspondent is sharing some useful, practical tips to help you eliminate bad sleep habits...and replace them with positive sleep habits. This article may contain affiliate links.

 Pexels - CC0 License

Sleep difficulties can be tiring...pun absolutely intended. A sleeping issue is rarely a distinct, separate problem that you have to deal with. This is because the effects can (and often do) bleed into every other aspect of your life, from how attentive you are when behind the wheel to how well you perform at work. Scientists suggest that sleep deprivation itself can mimic the effects of being intoxicated, which goes to show just how odd we can feel should a sleep issue take root in our lives. Of course, seeing a sleep doctor is sometimes is taking medications or natural remedies like CBD to help you.

It’s also worth examining your sleep habits, because resolving these issues can greatly improve your sleep situation. In this post, we’ll discuss a clear set of simple steps you can take to improve your sleep habits. From there, you’ll be able to rest more reliably and comfortably, which will allow you to wake up each morning feeling energized and ready to tackle your day. With that in mind, consider the following information:

(1) Be Disciplined with Your Electronic Device Usage

Key items that rob people of sleep everywhere are smartphone devices and the blue light that emanates from televisions -- both affect our circadian rhythms. It’s important to be as disciplined as you can with with your use of these devices before you head to sleep. Otherwise, they can keep you alert and awake for much longer than you intend. In the long run, that will make a big difference. Excess use of these items can cause you to feel frustrated, robbing you of your sleep and restfulness. As such, we recommend taking time to relax before bed by disconnecting -- reading can be a great bedtime alternative.

(2) If the Bed’s Not Right for You, Don’t Force Yourself to Endure It

Sometimes, your bed itself might be harming your sleep. An uneven mattress with a broken spring, pillows that are too thin to give your neck adequate support, or a bedroom that's stuffy and poorly ventilated can cause discomfort and make it harder for you to feel comfortable in that space. You don’t need to spend excessive money on improvements! Items like new pillow cases, a replacement duvet, or even fixing a worn bed frame can work wonders. It’s okay to have personal preferences.

(3) Don’t Avoid Communicating with Your Partner

If you go to sleep with a partner, it’s good to discuss issues that might negatively impact your sleep. For example: your partner might have an untreated snoring habit you can do without hearing (note that sometimes snoring is a sign of a medical issue like sleep apnea). Discussing the purchase of a larger duvet so you don’t wake up shivering without it covering you is another example. Some couples even plan to sleep in different beds. This is especially true if one person works a nightshift and doesn’t want to disturb the other...or you’re swapping shifts caring for a newborn overnight. Clear, open communication is always key.

With the above advice, you’re sure to eliminate bad sleep habits, which will in turn help you start building good ones in their place.

Wednesday, April 12, 2023

ABRAMS Dinner Party: Meal Prep Magic...Featuring Double-Chocolate Protein Smoothie #ABRAMSdinnerparty #MealPrepMagic #smoothie #proteinpower

I'm back with another great cookbook feature as part of the ABRAMS Dinner Party group! Meal Prep Magic features a stepwise meal prep system to save busy cooks time, money, and mealtime stress. Author Catherine McCord's believes that kitchen success comes down to two main strategies: organization and advance meal prep. Her simple three-stage process to achieve this duo includes:
  • Stage 1: Purge -- Remove, Assess, Edit, Clean Kitchen
  • Stage 2: Organize -- Pantry, Fridge/Freezer, Utensils/Cookware
  • Stage 3: Prep -- Meal Plan, Chop, Precook Ingredients
After sharing this three-stage meal prep process, McCord shares 100 compatible
family-friendly recipes that are quick to make...and healthy. These recipes can be prepped ahead/made ahead; made with kitchen staple ingredients; and utilize your freezer, air fryer, InstantPot, and slow cooker. 
The recipe I'm sharing is McCord's Double-Chocolate Protein Smoothie...since I start nearly every morning with a smoothie. This smoothie is sweetened with frozen banana and maple syrup...and features both unsweetened cocoa powder AND semisweet chips. The secret ingredient? Frozen cauliflower! More on that in a bit...but trust me that your mind will be blown.

Friday, April 7, 2023

Easter-Ready Sipping...Featuring Sugar Free Mint-Peach Tea Sipper #springsips #sugarfree #mocktail #peachtea #perfectforeaste

Sweet tea is as common here in Texas as in-season Hill Country peaches! However, I don't drink sugary beverages these days. So, I challenged myself to create a refreshing sweet tea beverage with zero refined sugar...and plenty of peachy goodness! I used monk fruit sweetener instead of granulated sugar to make a delicious mint simple syrup for this tea. It also features a refreshing sparkling peach puree. Instead of ice, this fruity tea is poured over frozen peach slices -- to amplify the peach flavor. This minty peach tea is perfect for sipping all Spring long, but would make an especially festive addition to your Easter entertaining this weekend!
The end result is a family-friendly mocktail that everyone who tasted raved about. It smells absolutely amazing...and tastes even better! Best of all, this tea can be made up to one day ahead and chilled in the fridge. Smells heavenly...tastes even better...and can be made ahead? That's a winning trifecta, friends! Wait until you see how simple it is to whip up a pitcher of this delicious sparkling fruit tea. 

Thursday, March 30, 2023

Easter Fun...Featuring Bunny-Approved Baked Easter Doughnuts #easterbaking #bakednotfried #doughnuts

It's almost time for Easter! Today, I'm sharing a recipe for baked doughnuts that are decorated to look like colorful Easter eggs. My Bunny-Approved Baked Easter Doughnuts would make a perfect addition to your Easter breakfast table -- such a festive and special treat! They're buttermilk cake doughnuts similar in texture to a muffin, and they're baked instead of fried. They bake in about 10 minutes -- which gives you just enough time to whip up the glaze and assemble your colorful toppings. Feel free to tint the glaze if you want, but I stuck with white since I was used colorful Easter and Spring-colored sprinkles. Decorating these doughnuts is a bit like coloring Easter eggs -- only you'll have half a dozen delicious doughnuts to enjoy when you're done. I made two minor tweaks to a simple baked doughnut recipe from Sur le Table. I subbed cinnamon for the nutmeg called for, and I added vanilla extract with the wet ingredients. Feel free to double the recipe if you want to make a dozen doughnuts -- you'll have plenty of glaze!

If you're watching your carbs like I do nowadays, I'm also providing directions to make a sugar-free version of both the doughnuts and the glaze! 

Thursday, February 23, 2023

Seafood Meals for the Lenten Season...Featuring Sizzling Garlic Shrimp #shrimp #seafood #lentenfridaymeals #garlic

It's officially the Lenten season for Catholics -- which means Friday meals are meatless around here until Easter. Growing up on the Texas Gulf Coast, I grew up eating lots of seafood. Gulf shrimp? Don’t even get me started…it’s still my favorite food! Today, I'm sharing a simply delicious recipe for Sizzling Garlic Shrimp. It's made with just FIVE simple ingredients...but they combine to provide HUGE flavor. It's quick to make for a speedy dinner…and it also makes a fabulous appetizer. Here's an insiders' tip for you: if you buy shrimp that are already peeled and deveined, this dish can literally be ready to eat in about 10 minutes. If you're not watching your carb intake, put a loaf of French bread in the oven to serve on the side -- it's perfect for soaking up the flavorful sauce!

Thursday, February 16, 2023

Celebrating Mardi Gras at Home...Featuring Mardi Gras BBQ Shrimp #mardigras #shrimp #seafood #celebrateathome

Next Tuesday is Mardi Gras…one final celebration before the Lenten season begins with Ash Wednesday. Michael and I love New Orleans food, music, and spirit of celebration…so we love to celebrate Mardi Gras! I typically put on some lively Zydeco music and cook up a special Louisiana-inspired dish to celebrate. My spicy Mardi Gras BBQ Shrimp are perfect for any Mardi Gras celebrations you have planned. The dish is full of the big flavors we love, and it's not at all complicated to make. Contrary to their name, they’re not actually BBQ’ed in the typical Texas sense. Instead, this New Orleans specialty features shrimp simmered in a spicy sauce. I recently found a great version of this dish from one of our favorite restaurants, Brennan’s of Houston. BBQ shrimp definitely delivers on flavor – with a robust sauce that includes lemon, Worcestershire, and spicy Cajun seasoning. A simple salad is all you need for a complete meal.

Tuesday, January 24, 2023

Tutorial: Assembling a Lightened-Up Game Day Taco Bar Stadium #gamedayfood #snackadium #smartsnacking #footballfood #healthyanddelicious

The NFL playoffs are in full swing...and the Super Bowl is coming up in a few short weeks. That means lots of cheering...and lots of amazing FOOD!! Today, I'm going to show you step-by-step how to create a Lightened-Up Game Day Taco Bar Stadium. Since my 100-pound weight loss, I use healthier versions of my favorite taco fixings to reduce fat, carbs, and calories. I do this without sacrificing any of the fun or flavor! I use a fun football field serving platter I found a couple of years ago at my local discount store as the taco bar's centerpiece. I'll show how easy it is to create this simple football-themed display. My football field tray had sections to hold lowfat shredded cheese, fresh pico de gallo, and guacamole. Reduced fat sour cream and the trio of  healthy sauces are spooned into four smaller sections in the tray's "end zones." The end result is a display with great eye appeal...and taste! 

Keep reading to see my step-by-step method to cook and assemble this easy Lightened-Up Game Day Taco Bar Stadium. I promise it's easy...the entire process of cooking and set will take you an hour! To save time, the beef and chicken taco fillings can be made a day ahead and refrigerated overnight. This taco bar is a perfect showstopping centerpiece for any game day spread. 

Tuesday, January 17, 2023

Healthy Game Day Appetizer...Shrimp Remoulade Deviled Eggs #healthy2023 #healthygameday #healthyappetizer #deviledeggs #shrimp


It's NFL playoff season...which means we need some game day snacks! These days, I have to carefully plan so I can enjoy appetizers while sticking with my healthy eating plan. Today, I'm sharing a fun spin on traditional deviled eggs. These Shrimp Remoulade Deviled Eggs feature bold shrimp remoulade flavors in a two-bite appetizer. The high-protein, lower fat Greek yogurt-based filling can be made up to a day ahead -- making assembly time just before serving quick and easy on game day!

Tuesday, January 10, 2023

Southern Living 2022 Annual Recipes: Skillet Baked Nut-and-Banana Oatmeal for ABRAMS Dinner Party #SouthernLiving2022AnnualRecipes #abramsdinnerparty #breakfast #bakedoatmeal #brunch

I'm moving into 2023 with another great ABRAMS Dinner Party blogging group feature...showcasing one of my most anticipated books this season! Southern Living recipes are a standard bearer here in the South...a beloved food resource shared from generation to generation. That's because their recipes always seem to taste like the South...and we can always count on the recipes giving us good results and fabulous flavor! Every December, the Southern Living annual recipes cookbook is released -- featuring every recipe from the past year in one convenient hardback book. I have every edition going back to 1997, so I was thrilled to see the Southern Living 2022 Annual Recipes on my Dinner Party cookbook lineup again this year! There are so many recipes I can't wait to try in the coming months...but this time, I needed a healthy and delicious breakfast for my Dad's birthday breakfast. He picked Skillet Baked Nut-and-Banana Oatmeal -- a yummy mashup of oatmeal and banana nut bread. With just a handful of simple ingredients, this dish is a simple-to-make weekend brunch dish. It's sweetened with mashed banana and honey, so it works well with 2023 healthy eating goals you have!

NOTE: The original recipe is called Skillet Baked Almond-and-Banana Oatmeal -- featuring almonds. I subbed in pecans, because I'm unable to eat almonds. 

Monday, January 2, 2023

Winter Soup Night...Featuring Lighter Tex-Mex Albondigas Soup #soupnight #lightenup #healthy2023 #comfortfood

If you're like me...January is time to forget about holiday (over)indulgences and focus on eating healthier in the new year! Indulging is definitely fun...but eating that way long term isn't good for my health...or my waistline! When the weather turns chilly, I love making hearty soups that showcase healthy veggies and leaner cuts of meat. I recently made a lighter spin on classic Mexican albondigas (aka meatball) soup! My Lighter Tex-Mex Albondigas Soup features meatballs made with 96% lean ground beef...and a mix of cauliflower rice and a bit of brown rice. 

The mini meatballs are simmered with seasonal veggies in a flavorful broth. This soup is bursting with the big flavors we love! The spice level in this soup is moderate, so even those of you who are spice-averse will love it. To save yourself some prep time, the meatballs can be made up to a day ahead. Simply store them in the fridge in an airtight bowl until you're ready to cook the soup. This is the kind of soup that will fill your stomach...and keep you toasty warm...on the chilliest of Winter days!

Saturday, December 17, 2022

ABRAMS Dinner Party: What's Gabby Cooking: Take It Easy...Featuring Marinated Burrata with Crostini #WhatsGabyCooking #quickappetizer #easyholidayentertaining #abramsdinnerparty

The next book being featured by the ABRAMS Dinner Party blogging group is Gaby Dalkin's What's Gabby Cooking: Take It Easy...Recipes for Zero Stress Deliciousness. Dalkin is the popular author of the go-to food and lifestyle website What's Gaby Cooking, founded in 2009. 
In her latest book, Dalkin returns with her signature approach: enjoy life by focusing on eating the foods you truly love! This time around, she's emphasizing a streamlined no-fuss attitude. What's Gaby Cooking: Take It Easy has 100 delicious, stress-free recipes that are ideally suited for a range of occasions. What better approach for the hectic holiday season! We all need a quick, simple appetizer we can whip for for impromptu celebrations and last-minute party invitations. Gaby's super simple Marinated Burrata with Crostini is a perfect choice!

You can literally make this simple appetizer in 10 minutes or less, and it features only FIVE simple ingredients! It looks fabulous on a serving platter. If you've never eaten burrata, it's an Italian cow milk cheese that's a ball of fresh mozzarella on the outside...and filled with cream and curds. It's as divine as it sounds, and this recipe is a great reason to give it a try! This cheese platter can also include your favorite extras to make an elegant snacking plate. I added sliced prosciutto and a bowl of olives on the side. A stress-free, elegant appetizer. Think of it as the culinary equivalent of a little black dress!

Friday, December 16, 2022

2022 Holiday Gift Guide for Food Lovers, Part 1 #holidaygiftguide #giftsforfoodies #somethingforeveryone

It's that time of year again...time for me to share my annual Holiday Gift Guide for Food Lovers! This year's gift suggestions will be shared in three parts over the next week...and there's literally something for every kind of food lover on your shopping list. From healthy food gifts to small artisan food companies...must-have cookbooks to gourmet chocolate...and much more. I've personally tried every gift item I'm sharing this year, and they're all amazing! Let's get started with my first five gift ideas!

(1) Theo Chocolate Peppermint Wonderland Holiday Gift Box ($33.99). 
Theo Chocolate is based in Seattle, where they've been making creative artisan bean-to-bar chocolate since 2006. This year's holiday line includes an amazing chocolate gift box that's a peppermint lover's dream come true! Inside a festive holiday box are four of Theo's seasonal peppermint chocolate items: Peppermint Drinking Chocolate, a Peppermint Crunch 70% Dark Chocolate Bar, Peppermint Crunch Cookie Bites, and a box of Peppermint Cocoa Cups. That's plenty of minty goodness to celebrate the season! The combination of cooling peppermint and Theo's dark chocolate works perfectly together...not overly sweet. The Peppermint Wonderland Holiday Gift Box...and the rest of Theo's Holiday available for purchase from the company's convenient online store. As an added bonus, Theo Chocolate is currently offering free shipping on all orders that are $65+!!

(2) Reid's Gourmet Mini Classic Peanut Butter Gift Box ($11.99) and Mini Gourmet Peanut Butter Gift Box ($13.99). Reid's Gourmet is a Michigan-based company that produces delicious local honey and small-batch artisan peanut butters. Reid's Gourmet peanut butter contains no processed sugars or oils -- so the flavor of the peanuts truly shines through! Both peanut butter samplers contain four 1-ounce mini jars of their all-natural peanut butter. The Mini Classic Peanut Butter Gift Box includes Original, Honey, Cinnamon, and Spicy (perfect for making savory dishes like peanut noodles!). 
The Mini Gourmet Peanut Butter Gift Box includes Espresso, Blueberry, Maple Crunch, and Dark Chocolate flavors. Both collections feature cute  labels, packed in clear cubes tied with ribbon. When I opened my box, I immediately loved the packaging presentation! 

Either collection is a perfect gift for peanut butter lovers. And? Individual mini jars make fantastic stocking stuffers! These mini peanut butter gift sets -- plus lots of other great holiday gift ideas -- can be ordered direct from the Reid's Gourmet online Gift Shop.

(3) Crazy Cups Deluxe Flavored Coffee Gift Box 
(20 for $29.99 / 30 for $44.99). For the coffee lover on your holiday list? This collection of flavored K-cup compatible Medium roast coffee cups will make them smile from ear to ear! With fun flavors like Frosted Oatmeal Cookie, every cup of coffee will be a flavor adventure! I've been using Crazy Cups the past couple of years, and I'm impressed with their wide range of flavors AND how they truly taste like the name indicates. The coffee used is Medium roast Arabica -- naturally flavored, but not sweetened. The gift set currently includes seasonal offerings from their holiday line like Santa's Sugar Cookie and Caramel Egg Nog. The hardest part is deciding which flavor to try first! The gift set comes in a decorative box all ready to put under the tree -- simply add a gift tag, and you're done! As an added bonus? Crazy Cups coffee cups are eco-friendly and 100% recyclable! This Deluxe Flavored Gift Box can be ordered direct from the Crazy Cups online gift shop.

Wednesday, December 7, 2022

2022 Holiday Gift Guide for Food Lovers, Part 2 #holidaygiftguide2022 #giftsforfoodlovers #foodiegifts

I had so many great food and kitchen gift ideas this holiday season that I simply couldn't fit them all in one post. So here's Part 2 of this year's Holiday Gift Guide for Food Lovers...hand-selected by me! Today's gift selections include some amazing mail order gift sets...a meal subscription kit designed to make dinnertime less hectic...and even a couple of super fun and sweet suggestions! Let's get started...
(1) Crumbl Cookies. There are cookies...and then there are Crumbl Cookies. These huge gourmet cookies have blown up in popularity the past couple of years for good reason: they're delicious AND they feature a gazillion creative flavors. Example: Gingerbread Cake, Boston Cream Pie, and Sea Salt Toffee! Crumbl lovers literally can't get enough of them! Crumbl offers six rotating flavors per week...their signature milk chocolate chip and iconic iced sugar cookies are typically on the menu every week. Then? New flavors are offered weekly to round out the menu...often with seasonal themes. For the holidays, you have two gifting options: if you have a Crumble location near you, you can order for same-day local delivery direct from their easy-to-navigate app. Cookies are available in packs of four, six, or 12. Quick, easy, and delicious! 
For nationwide delivery, Crumbl also offers a convenient shipping option. Each month, they offer a dedicated shipping menu that's separate from those offered at their brick-and-mortar stores. The cookies are baked fresh, individually wrapped, and typically shipped within 2 days. This month's shipping menu includes Molten Lava, Lemon Glaze, Gingersnap, Peppermint Bark, Sea Salt Toffee, Red Velvet White Chip, Milk Chocolate, and Snickerdoodle. Your gift recipient receives Crumbl's iconic pink box with either 6 ($29.99 + shipping) or 12 cookies ($49.44 + shipping) inside. They arrive fresh...ready to unwrap and eat! The box even includes instructions for reheating the cookies to enjoy them warm. Shipments can be ordered directly from the Crumbl app...or via their website. 
(2) Dash Gingerbread Man Wonderful Mini Waffle Gift Set ($24.99). Dash's mini waffle makers have become hugely popular in recent years. They make perfect miniature versions of a wide range of waffle creations. For people like me who watch their carbs and portion sizes? This is a fun, simple way to help achieve your weight loss goals! The Dash mini waffle maker is also a family-friendly way to make breakfast and brunch fun. This festive Dash holiday set features a mini waffle maker decorated outside with adorable seasonal gingerbread men...and the design inside leaves the imprint on a gingerbread man on  your waffles. The waffle maker is paired with a Wonderful Mini Waffles cookbook, which contains dozens of recipes scaled to make with the Dash mini. As you can see? It's incredibly cute!
The Dash Gingerbread Man Wonderful Mini Waffle Gift Set -- along with several other seasonal mini waffle maker options -- is available via the Dash website

(3) DeLallo Appetizer Favorites Gift Set ($56.66).
 DeLallo is a third generation family-owned company that's sourced the best Italian foods direct from Italy for 70+ years! For true food lovers? This fantastic gift set has everything needed to create a deliciously simple Christmas OR New Year's Eve Italian antipasti board. It's basically a party in a box. Simply add your beverage of choice, and you're good to go! This flavorful gift box contains five essential items:
  • Pitted Castelvetrano Olives
  • Imported Italian Tomato Bruschetta
  • Classic Focaccia Toasts
  • 9 0z Mini Genoa Salami
  • Imported Italian Granino Cheese Wedge
This Appetizer Favorites Gift Set -- as well as DeLallo's complete line of curated holiday gift sets -- is available for purchase from the company's convenient online Shop. Act quickly, though -- they're currently offering free Economy Shipping on online orders more than $50!

Monday, November 28, 2022

How to Have a Healthier Diet #healthy2022 #healthyhabits #eatbetterlivebetter #healthylifestyle

For long-term health, it's vital to eat nutritious foods and move more. That can be hard to do if you see eating as "all or nothing." Healthy food definitely tastes delicious, in my experience losing 100 pounds! Today, The Weekend Gourmet correspondent is sharing some great tips for achieving a healthier diet. This article may contain affiliate links.

Even if you're trying to eat healthy, food should still be something you enjoy. Although some traditional diets focus on what you can't have, you don't have to give up everything you enjoy eating! In fact, it might not be a good idea to give up all foods...or even whole food groups. Such diets can be difficult to stick with...but if you can't resist a food on the "banned" list, you might feel like you've failed. This makes it more likely that you'll quit the plan.

In any case, it's hard to stick with a diet plan that feels like a chore. Focusing on positive steps instead of negative ones makes it much easier to eat healthily...and it typically works better too. Read on to find out more about what you can do to increase your likelihood of success. 


Photo by Kaboompics .com 

(1) Eat Enough Fruit and Vegetables Daily

If getting the recommended amount of fruit and vegetables each day is hard for you, remember that smoothies, juices, and dried fruit are all good options. Although advice about how much fruit and vegetables to eat daily varies, most people are told to eat 5-to-1o total servings daily.

(2) Eat More (of the Right Things)

It may seem counterintuitive to eat more when you're trying to lose weight, but eating more of the right foods at regular intervals can help you eat healthier. Don't think about the foods you can't have. Instead, think about what you can eat -- fruits and vegetables, oily fish, whole grains, and high-fiber carbohydrates. Focusing on eating these foods will leave less room for fatty or processed foods, salty and sweet snacks, and drinks with a lot of empty calories. With this approach, your diet will be more balanced -- and you should get all the nutrients, vitamins, and minerals you need for good health and the right amount of energy. This approach will also make it easier to stay at a healthy weight.

(3) Eat Less Salt 

If you eat too much salt, your blood pressure can go up. This is a problem because heart disease or stroke are more likely to happen to people with high blood pressure. Even if you don't add salt to your meals, you may still be ingesting too much sodium. About three-quarters of the salt you eat is already present in the food you buy -- like soups, breads, sauces, and breakfast cereals. Read food labels to help you eat less sodium. As a good guideline: if a food has more than 1.5g of salt per 100g, it is high in sodium. To put that in perspective, adults and children older than 11 shouldn't eat more than 6g (about a teaspoon) of salt per day. 

(4) Exercise More 

Eating well and regular exercise have both been linked to a decreased chance of developing chronic diseases. Exercise is crucial to your physical and mental health. Conditions like Type 2 diabetes, some cancers, heart disease, and stroke have all been linked to being overweight or obese. Underweight people may also have health problems. Maintaining a healthy weight can be accomplished by eating a well-balanced diet, combined with exercise. Remember to start slow if you've never exercised before, because it's easy to push yourself and become injured. If that happens, it’s good to know how to apply KT tape for cubital tunnel and other injuries. That way, you can heal and continue pursuing your health goals.

Sunday, November 27, 2022

How to Make a Diet More Fun #healthyeating #weightloss #healthy2022

With the new year on the horizon after the indulgent holiday season, many people focus on eating healthy and losing weight in January. While many people see diets as deprivation, that definitely doesn't have to be the case! I overhauled the way I eat starting last year. I'm down 100 pounds! I love the way I feel...and I love eating healthier foods! Today, The Weekend Gourmet correspondent is sharing some great tips to make eating healthier and losing weight fun and simple. This article may contain affiliate links.

Let's face it, a being on a diet isn't typically seen as the most fun thing in the world. In fact, for a lot of us, a diet can feel a bit like torture. You're afraid that you're going to have to go without some of your favorite foods, that you may feel hungry, or that you won't enjoy it. However, diets don't have to be such a chore! In many cases, all you need is a bit of creativity. Think about the possibilities a little more, and you may find changing how you eat a lot easier. Luckily, there are many ways to make a diet more fun. Below are a few ideas.


(1) Reframe Your Perspective

Changing your eating habits might not sound like fun on the surface. However, it can also be extremely interesting and challenging. To do this, you may need to question some of your most entrenched ideas about food. In fact, many of us are not even aware our views are changeable. To change your perspective, you need to open your mind -- which can actually be a lot of fun. You need to determine why you see dieting and exercise as boring and unpleasant.

You need to instead start telling yourself that a diet is a good thing, because it's the best way to add nutrients to your body. In turn, this can help you live longer, have more energy, and look better and feel better. You should tell yourself this daily as a motivational technique. You may find your mood improves from doing this. Every week you have successfully adhered to your diet, buy yourself a treat -- perhaps a handbag you've been eyeing. If you see eating healthier as a system of reward, it becomes a win-win situation. The more you can reframe the way you think, the easier it will be. 

(2) Try New Foods

There's a wide variety of healthy foods to choose from, and not all of it is labeled as such. You should use a new diet to be experimental, to reignite your passion for home cooking, and to teach your kids life-long healthy lessons. The next time you're food shopping, why not buy a vegetable you've never eaten before. Find a healthy recipe that showcases how to best cook it...and go wild. Look online for recipes labeled low fat or low calorie. If you try a lot of new foods, you're sure to find some you really enjoy. This can make eating healthy more a pleasure.  

(3) Diet Ranges

Most restaurants -- even fast food restaurants -- offer low-fat and low-calorie menu choices. The next time you're with friends who are ordering food delivery there's no reason why you need to miss out! Simply try one of the restaurant's healthy, low-fat food choices. If nothing is labeled as such, try vegetarian or vegan choices. Plant-based meals generally have fewer calories than meat-centric entrees. You may find that you love meatless dishes too.