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 line...is 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.

Friday, November 25, 2022

The 10 Surprising Benefits of Getting Your Kids to Help Out In the Kitchen #cookingkids #familykitchentime #kidsinthekitchen

Many adults who love to cook -- including me -- started out by helping family members in the kitchen during childhood! Spending time with family cooking a healthy meal is an essential skill all children can benefit from. Today, The Weekend Gourmet correspondent is sharing 10 key benefits children receive by helping adults with kitchen tasks. This article may contain affiliate links.

Cooking is an important life skill that all children should learn. Not only does it teach them about nutrition and how to prepare food, but it also teaches them about teamwork and responsibility. Cooking can also be a fun family activity that brings everyone together. Here are some surprising benefits of getting your kids to help out in the kitchen.

(1) Enhances Motor Skills

Cooking is an excellent way for kids to develop their motor skills. This is because cooking requires them to use a wide range of muscles in their hands, arms, and fingers. Cooking also helps improve hand-eye coordination and fine motor skills.

(2) Encourages Creativity and Imagination

Cooking encourages children to be creative, and it uses their imaginations. Kitchen tasks allow them to experiment with different ingredients and techniques...coming up with unique and delicious recipes in the process.

(3) Teaches Responsibility

One of the most essential life skills kids can learn is responsibility. There’s simply no better way to teach this essential trait than by having them help in the kitchen. They will learn how to be responsible for completing tasks, meeting deadlines, and following instructions.

(4) Encourages Teamwork Skills

Cooking is a perfect opportunity for kids to foster their teamwork skills. This is because cooking involves working together as a team to achieve a common goal. By working together in the kitchen, kids will learn how to communicate effectively, share ideas, and cooperate with one another.

Photo by olia danilevich

(5) Reduces Your Workload

Having your kids help in the kitchen will reduce your workload and make meal preparation much easier. For example, if you want to make chicken tortilla soup in the crock pot, kids can help you complete simple tasks like chopping vegetables or stirring the pot.

(6) Builds Self Confidence

Cooking is a great way to boost self confidence in children. When they successfully complete tasks and make something delicious, it gives them a sense of accomplishment that helps build their confidence.

(7 )Improves Nutrition Knowledge

By helping in the kitchen, kids will begin to understand nutrition...and how different ingredients can affect their health. They’ll also learn about food safety and hygiene, which is essential for keeping them healthy.

(8) Leads to Healthy Eating Habits

When children are involved in cooking, they’re more likely to eat healthier foods. This is because they’ll become familiar with different ingredients, and they'll be able to create their own healthy meals.

(9) Quality Family Time

Cooking is not just about teaching kids life skills! It's also a great way to spend quality time with your family. Cooking a meal together allows everyone to talk and bond while creating a delicious meal to share.

(10) Provides a Fun Activity

Cooking is a lot of fun! Kids will have fun experimenting with different ingredients and techniques to create something unique and delicious. They’ll also be satisfied with having created something with their own hands.

Getting your kids to help you in the kitchen can be a great way to teach them essential life skills, reduce your workload, and spend quality family time together. Not only that, it’s also a fun and creative activity that will lead to healthier eating habits. That's a winning scenario for sure!

Thursday, November 24, 2022

Making Sweet Treats On a Cold Winter Day #homebaking #winterbaking #sweetreats

Chilly Winter days are just made for baking...and eating...sweet treats! During the holiday season and beyond, baking is in the forefront. So, today The Weekend Gourmet correspondent is sharing tips to ensure your baked treats come out perfect every time. This article may contain affiliate links.

When the Winter chill starts to creep in, there's nothing better than curling up with a warm blanket and a delicious sweet treat. This article will show you how to make some of our favorite Winter treats. From classic comfort foods like apple pie and chocolate chip cookies...to new favorites like salted caramel popcorn and pumpkin spice latte cupcakes...there's something for everyone! So put on your favorite cooking show, grab your apron, and let's get baking!

(1) First, Get Your Recipes

Pull out your favorite cookbooks or search the Internet for some of your favorite treats. Create a list of all recipes you'd like to try on a cold Winter day. In addition, consider adding widely available seasonal cold-weather ingredients like oranges, clementines, cranberries, and flash frozen year-round fruits.

(2) Gather Your Ingredients

Once you have your recipes selected and have a shopping list, it's time to head to the grocery store to purchase all the ingredients for your sweet treat. Make sure you buy larger quantities of ingredients than what the recipe calls for so you can make extra batches -- in case someone wants seconds (which they likely will)!

Via Pexels

(3) Preheat the Oven

Now that your ingredients are purchased, it's time to get baking! Set your oven temperature according to each recipe -- and be sure to let your oven preheat while you prepare your ingredients. Further, be sure to grease your baking pans, dust them with flour, and line them with parchment paper if necessary. This will prevent sticking and provide even coloring.

(4) Start Baking

Once the oven is preheated, it's time to start baking! Make sure you follow every recipe carefully --- and pay attention to any tips or tricks mentioned in the cooking instructions. Further, remember to check your treats periodically while baking. Some recipes may require a few minutes more (or less) cooking time than what's indicated in the recipe.

(5) Mix Everything Together

Once your ingredients are prepared, it's time to start mixing! Depending on the type of recipe you're making, you may use either a mixer or simply stir everything together with a wooden spoon. If you're making a frosting or topping, now is the time to do so.

(6) Bake to Perfection

Once mixed and assembled, put sweet treats in the oven and bake them according to each recipe's specific guidelines. Be sure to pay close attention and remove them from the oven once they've reached a perfect golden brown color. Let your baked goods cool for a few minutes before removing them from the pan to cool -- or serve warm. Enjoy!

(7) Recipes to Consider

Here are a few recipe ideas to get you started: Apple Pie, Chocolate Chip Cookies, Salted Caramel Popcorn, Pumpkin Spice Latte Cupcakes, Zucchini Brownies (from Butter Your Biscuit), and Oatmeal Raisin Bars. That said, no matter which recipe you choose, there's sure to be something delicious for everyone to enjoy on a chilly Winter day!

(8) Finishing Touches

To finish off your sweet treats, add some of the extra seasonal ingredients you gathered at the grocery store. For example, we recommend adding orange slices or cranberries to apple pies, cinnamon to pumpkin spice lattes, or chocolate chips sprinkled over oatmeal raisin bars. The possibilities are endless...and the finishing touches will surely impress your friends and family.

In conclusion, there's no better way to combat the cold

Winter chill than via delicious homemade sweet treats. With the above tips and recipes, you'll be able to make something special for your loved ones this holiday season. So why wait? Break out your cookbooks, start preheating the oven, and let's get baking!

Wednesday, November 23, 2022

Four Tips for Creating a Gourmet Meal at Home #cookathome #athomegourmet #lovetocook #kitchenadventures

Cooking a gourmet-quality meal at home is something many home cooks aspire to do. You control the ingredients used, it provides a cost savings over dining out, and it's also great fun! Today, The Weekend Gourmet correspondent is sharing a quartet of tips for successfully creating gourmet meals in your kitchen. This article may contain affiliate links.

Who doesn’t love indulging in an occasional gourmet meal? Creating a gourmet meal at home can be fun and exciting. However, you must be prepared to spend time planning and researching. If you don't know what you're doing, you could end up with a bland and unappetizing meal. However -- if you know what you're doing -- there are a few tips for creating a gourmet meal at home that can make the process easier and more enjoyable.

Image credit

(1) Be Confident In Your Cooking Abilities

The best way to make a successful recipe is to ensure you're confident with your cooking skills. If you don't believe you're capable of making a good dish, you're going to make a lot of mistakes. Even something as simple as smoked salmon can go wrong if you lack confidence. You'll also find that it takes time to get the hang of every technique. You can do this by following clear, easy-to-follow recipes. The more recipes you try, the better you'll get.

You can always take cooking classes to improve your skills/techniques...and gain confidence as a home cook. Getting a private cooking lesson from a professional chef can be a great way to gain kitchen confidence! It's also a great way to learn the ins and outs of culinary lore and techniques.

(2) Try a New Recipe

As a major food lover, you should always be looking for fun recipes -- especially gourmet-focused ones. Learning to prepare a gourmet meal in your own kitchen is no small feat. The best part is that you'll have fun while doing something new! Trying new recipes is fun -- and it's a great way to see what recipes work and which don't. It's also a great way for you and your family to eat well and some spend quality time together.

(3) It’s All In the Ingredients

The best way to create a gourmet meal is to choose the freshest possible ingredients. Keeping your ingredients fresh will ensure the dish has the very best flavor -- and that it will keep the dish fresher longer. You should also choose vegetables that have a colorful, healthy look. Some examples of vegetables to use include kale, broccoli rabe, cauliflower, and carrots. That said, don’t forget about experimenting with spices either. Doing so can enhance the flavor in your final dish, which will result in a satisfactory gourmet meal.

(4) Take Your Time

Gourmet cooking is all about taking your time and planning out each step of the cooking process. This will ensure you're performing each step in the proper order. In addition, you'll avoid mistakes that could potentially ruin the dish. For example: if you want to save time, roast your ingredients early in the day. This ensures the dish will be ready when it's time to serve. Your meal will not be successful -- or taste good -- if you simply turn the cooking heat to High. Doing so, can mean the end result doesn't turn out well. By taking your time to properly cook your recipe, you’ll be doing yourself a major favor. 

Tuesday, November 22, 2022

Top Tips to Improve Your Diet #healthy2022 #eatbetterfeelbetter #positivehealthchanges #takecontrolofyourhealth

Many people have a goal to improve their nutrition and lose weight in the new year. But? It's always the right time to improve the quality of your daily diet! Today, The Weekend Gourmet correspondent is sharing some simple tips for changes you can incorporate today...to improve your long-term health. The article may contain affiliate links.


Photo by Anete Lusina: https://www.pexels.com/photo/crop-woman-cutting-tomatoes-in-kitchen-6331142/ 

If you're starting to feel sluggish and tired when you wake up, it could indicate that your diet isn’t helping your performance. What you eat and drink on a daily basis can have a big impact on your overall health. Enjoying a healthy diet can help improve your overall mood, reduce the chances of you becoming ill, and maintain a healthy weight -- among many other positive outcomes. 

Improving your diet isn’t as difficult as you may think! There are many simple lifestyle changes you can implement that can make a big difference within a few days of starting them. These changes include drinking more water, eating more fruit and vegetables, reducing your alcohol consumption, trying to smoke less (or taking up an alternative such as Delta 8 THC Vape Cartridge), and so on. 

Here are a few top tips to help with your journey of improving your diet.

(1) Consume More Fruit and Vegetables 

When it comes to improving your diet, fruit and vegetables are one of the first things you should pay attention to. How many servings of fruit and vegetables are you consuming each day? Are you consuming the recommended five pieces daily? If you aren't sure, install a diet/nutrition app on your mobile phone to track what you're eating. These apps are incredible...and will tell you of all the nutrients and vitamins you're short of. You may be surprised at what the results show. One trick to eat more vegetables is to cook with them. For example: when making dishes that involve sauces, try to incorporate peas, corn, onions, tomatoes etc. A lasagne, spaghetti bolognese, or pasta bake is great for this method. Here are some low cost living tips for eating healthy

(2) Drink Plenty of Water 

Another area where many people struggle with their diet is drinking enough water. It's recommended to drink 2-3 litres a daywhich can be hard to achieve when you're not paying attention to it. On a daily basis, make a conscious effort to drink more -- and see how you feel after just a couple of days. You can use an app to track how much water you drink -- or you can purchase a 1-litre water bottle. Make sure you drink two to three of these bottles of water daily. There are many benefits to drinking more water! Your skin clarity will not only improve, but you'll also get an energy boost...and it will help improve your joint health. 

(3) Drink Less Alcohol 

Pay attention to the amount of alcohol you drink on a weekly basis. If you think it's more than the average person, try to cut it down. Alcohol is a big contributor to weight gain, stress, and a variety of illnesses. Depending on your consumption, try to reduce it so you have a drink once or twice a week over the weekend -- instead of during the week. If you can eliminate alcohol, that could be ideal for your health -- but we know this can be very difficult to do. As with anything in life, it’s generally ok to enjoy alcohol in moderation. 

(4) Don't Skip Breakfast 

It can be tempting to skip breakfast when you're trying to lose weight...or if you simply don’t enjoy eating in the morning. However, this isn’t advised -- because it's actually worse for your diet. Breakfast gets your metabolism working, reduces the likelihood of your sugar levels dropping, and reduces your stress hormones. If you don’t enjoy eating breakfast, play around with different options available. Instead of cereal, try toast or eggs! There's bound to be something you will enjoy. 

We hope these tips help start your journey to improving your diet. With a small amount of research, you’ll find many other tips that can improve your diet. Start by making a couple of changes, then gradually make more to continually improve and refine your diet. Try not to put too much pressure on yourself to make big changes...every little step will help. In addition to top working on your diet, try to add some exercise. Doing so can also help your overall health -- especially your mental and physical well-being. 

Are there any tips that you'd like to share that can help my readers improve their diet? Which of the above tips have you found most useful? Is there anything you'd like to comment on that would benefit others? Let us know in the Comment box below!