All Entries For party
Speaking as a native San Franciscan, it's been a great year for professional sports! Between the Giant's World Series championship and the 49ers super bowl berth, our athletes have given us a lot to brag about. Rooting for your team is fun, but thinking about what you eat while watching the game (and the commercials) is just as important. According to USA Today, the Super Bowl is "only second behind Thanksgiving for the average amount of calories consumed in a day." To combat this unfortunate fact, I’ve gathered our favorite healthy super bowl party food so you can celebrate without the super-high calories, fat, and sodium. Don't forget to get up at halftime and dance to the music or get outside to throw the ball with your friends, neighbors, and loved ones. That way you can enjoy some great food and keep moving too. You know who I will be rooting for on the field ("Go 49ers!"), but I'm also rooting for all my fellow Sparkers out there to have a fun and healthy super bowl celebration. Read More ›
As a chef, I love to entertain in our home--especially around the holidays when the house is decorated and we want to spend time with our family and friends.
As part of my schooling, we were taught how to entertain as part of our hospitality training. We learned to plan and pull off magnificent events without a drop of sweat.
You don't need to go to culinary school to learn the same skills. Go ahead and set the date--you'll be prepared! Just follow my tips below for a well-planned event, and you'll still be smiling at the end of the night while saying (and believing), "Well, that was fun. Let's do it again next year."
Make a party plan!
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It's the most wonderful time of the year, unless you are trying to adhere to a weight-loss plan. Then the holidays can feel like a day-after-day deprivation. The 41 days between Thanksgiving and New Year's Day can be packed with festivities filled with fattening foods making you feel frantic and frustrated. But denying yourself of all the holiday treats is not the way to go.
The act of restricting your favorite foods can actually backfire and bring about unplanned overeating and binging. A 2007 study in the journal Appetite documented this vicious cycle which can result in feelings of guilt, anxiety and depression. Dieters who implemented strict food restrictions had an increased desire for those "forbidden foods," bringing about food cravings and greater temptation; when compared to dieters who included these type "forbidden foods" on occasion.
So keep this the most wonderful time of the year--relax, enjoy the holiday and include the foods you love--on occasion! Here are strategies and tips to help: Read More ›
Looking for new recipes for your Fourth of July or Canada Day cookout?
SparkPeople has you covered. Check out our "Ultimate Grilling Guide"--which is on sale to help you celebrate your independence from greasy burgers and mayo-laden salads. For just $1.99 (50% off through July 4) you can make grill season the healthiest season with "SparkPeople's Ultimate Grilling Guide" by World Master Chef Meg Galvin and Becky Hand, R.D., M.Ed.
With 75 hearty, healthy recipes from Chef Meg, plus SparkPeople's members, this book is a must-have for the grill master in your house.
More than just a collection of recipes, you'll get:
- Tips on grilling burgers, veggies--and everything in between
- 13 ways to top your burger for 100 calories or less (including bacon!)
- Step-by-step instructions for perfect steak, burgers, chicken, and more
- Dozens of sauce combinations, plus 10 ways to spice up leftover grilled chicken
- Advice on which meats are healthy, tasty choices for the grill
- Tips for staying on track at BBQs, potlucks, and picnics
- Answers to all your toughest BBQ questions
Click here to download the book from BarnesandNoble.com.
Click here to download the book from Amazon.com.
Get a sneak peek inside the "Ultimate Grilling Guide" with our new slideshow, 13 Ways to Top Your Burger for 100 Calories or Less!
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Just in time for Cinco de Mayo, we rounded up our favorite Mexican-inspired recipes. Let's get this party started! Read More ›
Those who are close to me know that I'm not one to brag. But today, as I look out my kitchen window and prepare for my favorite holiday feast of the year, I am reminded of my days riding the greatest Thoroughbred in history, Man O'War. OK, so I brag sometimes.
For those of you that know horseracing history, I am sure the numbers are working in your heads now. That can't be right. (Or, "she looks great for her age!") Man O'War won 20 of 21 races just after World War I, how could she of possibly ridden that horse?
Well, this is what happens to the truth when we brag, it gets shaded. I rode the statue. I grew up surrounded by horse and grain farms in central Kentucky. Man O'War was born and died near my family's farm. On beautiful spring days after picking wild strawberries and asparagus, we would make our way to the tall statue and saddle up. Man O'War's remains have since moved to the Kentucky Horse Park in Lexington, Kentucky. Sadly, you can no longer saddle up and ride Man O'War, but you can take a short drive to Louisville to enjoy the fastest two minutes in sports, the Kentucky Derby.
Some folks throw Super Bowl parties. We throw a Derby party. Read More ›
Are you ready for some football? Just as the Giants and Patriots are preparing for the big game, time is running out to decide what serve to family and guests. At SparkPeople, we love to highlight recipes that are nutritious and taste great too. Here are my all time favorite Super Bowl recipes from SparkRecipes.
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Editor's Note: Coach Nicole and I recently had the pleasure of meeting Jill Donenfeld, a cookbook author, caterer, and seasoned party expert. She was home in Cincinnati to promote Party Like a Culinista: Fresh Recipes, Bold Flavors, and Good Friends. Jill's mom is a fitness instructor (who has modeled for exercise demos on SparkPeople!), and every night the family cooked healthy meals together.
Jill's philosophy: "The Culinista way to party is all about celebrating with the best ingredients—minimally processed whole foods, lots of greens and grains, seasonal and local when you can—to create incredible health-minded dishes that will wow your guests without weighing them down. Jill and Josie have written detailed menus that make dinner parties stress-free with lots of tips for pre-party planning and easy multi-task cooking. They even include a break for that essential wardrobe change so you’ll be looking great and frazzle-free when hungry guests arrive."
Today Jill is sharing her best entertaining tips, plus three recipes from Party Like a Culinista: Fresh Recipes, Bold Flavors, and Good Friends! She's also giving away three copies of the book. Take it away, Jill!
Before you even begin grocery shopping, make sure your broiler, oven, and burners are working, if you are not in the habit of cooking. Prior to cooking, take out the garbage and make sure you’ve got enough room to trash odds and ends in the appropriate places (carrot tops in compost, tofu package in recycling, etc.) as you go. Be sure all of your dishes are clean. Get the place ready for cooking! It’ll only take a few minutes—you can do it!
As your guests start arriving, think about things from their point of view: They’re nibbly and could us a glass of wine after a hard day’s work. So, first things first: Put out some bites—our menus include some great appetizers—or prepare something simple such as popcorn or a cheese plate. Then, open a bottle of wine. Done!
Guests are taken care of for at least a half an hour. Now you can stop feeling like they are waiting for something. They’re not! They are here to see you, to plug in with friends, and to enjoy themselves. So you should, too! Read More ›
Trek up steep trails. Wade through neck-deep water. Crawl under barbwire through two feet of thick mud. Jump over fire-burning coals. Climb a 30-foot cargo net. Cross over creeks. Roll down hills. Scrape up your hands and knees in the dirt. Walk the plank. Scale a rope wall. Run through tires. Puzzle through a junkyard of cars. And when you're finished? Get sprayed down by a fire hose.
Yeah, I did that all. Before lunch. And I jumped at the chance to pay $60 to be a part of it. Why? I suppose because it sounded fun.
Last weekend, I drove 2.5 hours to compete in the Warrior Dash, a Viking-themed 3.1-mile race through steep trails, peppered with obstacles along the way.
You see, as much as I still do enjoy running, I'm getting a little bored with the actual races. Each one blends into the next, and even though the courses and the crowds are all different, I need something more to get excited about. That's why every race I've signed up for this year has been something special. (Remember my Krispy Kreme Challenge?) And it doesn't get more "special" than the Warrior Dash, which takes place across the country (and even has events in Canada and Australia)!
As crazy as it sounds, what looked like a bunch of torture was actually a rolling good time. People come from far and wide to take part in these adventures—people of all sizes, shapes and fitness levels, too. They dress up in crazy costumes: I saw multiple superheroes, men in kilts, a man running in nothing but tighty whities, women in pink tutus, and young kids dressed as cavemen! Then we all get dirty (and I have the photos to prove it). Read More ›
This recipe was inspired by moussaka, eggplant Parmesan and lasagna. The result is a light and tasty meatless meal that makes any night a special occasion.
A Napoleon is a traditional French dessert made with layers of puff pastry and a pastry cream, with a thin icing. Napoleons are usually served in small, individual portions, which is perhaps how they resemble their French namesake. A Napoleon outside of desserts has come to refer to any layered dish, in this case, my layered eggplant dish. You could also call this "Eggplant Stacker," but "Eggplant Napoleon" sounds better, doesn't it?
This is a fun way to eat your eggplant. I like to serve it with pork tenderloin or roast chicken and a green pesto whole-wheat pasta. You get three servings of vegetables and almost 25% of your daily fiber requirement in this recipe for only 232 calories. This is a "fancy" meal that can fit into your meal plan even if you plan to have dessert or went a bit overboard earlier in the day.
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Families have gone to war over chili recipes! Everyone has an idea about what should go in chili. I love a thick, meaty chili with loads of beans and vegetables. Thankfully my family agrees!
I love this recipe. It's great for a crowd, and t really requires little work on my part. The slow cooker does the work.
You might be tempted to skip the steps of searing the meat and cooking the onions and spices, but don't! They're adding valuable layers of flavor to your chili.
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