KDITTY's SparkPeople Blog http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal.asp?id=KDITTY KDITTY's Blog on SparkPeople, home of free diet plans and a healthy living community SparkPeople.com http://assets2.sparkpeople.com/assets/nav/logo_spark.gif http://www.sparkpeople.com/ When Willpower Is Not Enough http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5425042 <img src="http://photos-ak.sparkpeople.com/nw/3/1/l311596501.jpg"> <BR> <BR> I’m at a point in my life where, although I appreciate how important exercise is, I am absolutely unwilling to do any exercise that isn’t fun and doesn’t make me feel great. It’s taken me many years to arrive at this attitude. I’ve suffered through lots of tight leotards, gyms I didn’t feel comfortable at, countless leg lifts and sit-up’s, weird and expensive exercise equipment and Tony Little exercise videos (need... Thu, 18 Jul 2013 08:34:42 EST Mind-Body Cleanse Week 2: Cleansing Grains (Recipe: Quinoa Pilaf with Sundried Tomatoes and Basil http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5422052 <img src="http://photos-ak.sparkpeople.com/nw/6/4/l641439174.jpg"> <BR> <BR> Hello, my Cleansing Friends, <BR> <BR> I hope that you're feeling great, now that you've completed one week of this gentle, whole foods detox. If you've been starting your day with your glass of water with lemon and you've included lots of fresh greens in your diet, you've begun the process of shedding toxins. This week, we'll add a couple more steps to your regimen to help speed up the cleansing process... <... Mon, 15 Jul 2013 15:51:52 EST Mind-Body Cleanse Week 1 - Detox Naturally with Greens (Recipe: Villager Salad) http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5418023 <img src="http://photos-ak.sparkpeople.com/nw/1/3/l1370965028.jpg"> <BR> <BR> Welcome to Week 1 of the Summer Mind-Body Cleanse! <BR> <BR> Cleansing involves eliminating toxins, negativity and anything else that keeps us “stuck.” Our job this summer is to get the gunk out (literally and figuratively). Each week, I’ll post 2-3 times and, in each post, I’ll give you a couple of Action Steps. That’s right...I’m not giving you a slew of rules and things to do. No long list of forbidden f... Thu, 11 Jul 2013 15:37:37 EST We Are Always at a Choice Point http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5412519 <img src="http://photos-ak.sparkpeople.com/nw/7/1/l712488130.jpg"> <BR> <BR> Welcome to everyone participating in the Summer Mind-Body Cleanse! The response has been awesome and I’m thrilled. I expect this to be a great summer full of good food, good fun and transformation - what could be better? <BR> <BR> (If you haven't yet jumped on board, it's FREE, just sign up here: <BR> <link>feedburner.google.com/fb/a/mailverif<BR>y?uri=Sicilean&loc=en_US </link> ) <BR> <BR> To start things o... Sat, 6 Jul 2013 16:04:28 EST Summer Mind-Body Cleanse http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5409732 <img src="http://photos-ak.sparkpeople.com/nw/9/7/l971650230.jpg"> <BR> I’m thrilled to announce that I’ll be doing a series of blog posts this summer called “The SiciLean Mind-Body Cleanse.” (If you aren't already a SiciLean subscriber, click the link below and subscribe at the blog because this is gonna be a good summer!) <BR> <BR> What is the SiciLean Mind-Body Cleanse? <BR> <BR> Now don’t be afraid...this isn’t some extreme, juice only, “cut out everything but vegetables” kind of an e... Wed, 3 Jul 2013 14:28:09 EST Natural Remedies for Seasonal Allergies (Recipe: Wilted Spinach Salad with Grilled Chicken) http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5350710 <img src="http://photos-ak.sparkpeople.com/nw/1/6/l1616397336.jpg"> <BR> <BR> 'Tis the season. Allergy season, that is. Lately, my house has been a symphony of coughs, sneezes and sniffles. My first line of defense for any ailment is always diet, supplements and other natural remedies (I tend to use medication - both prescription and over-the-counter medications - as a last resort), so I've busted out my favorite holistic remedies this week, in order to give everyone in my house some reli... Thu, 9 May 2013 08:36:56 EST Fish with Rosemary and Kalamata Olives: The Good News About Fat http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5334373 <img src="http://photos-ak.sparkpeople.com/nw/3/1/l316139093.jpg"> <BR> For years, fat has gotten a really bad rap. Millions of people have cut out of their diet things like nuts, olives, oils, even avocados, in an effort to lose weight and improve their health. Unfortunately, it hasn't quite worked out. Most have replaced fat with things like sugar, salt and carbs, and this has proven to be quite dangerous. Statistics show that low fat diets haven't made Americans thinner or healthier. Quit... Wed, 24 Apr 2013 16:32:48 EST Sauteed Fennel and Olives (and Women in the Kitchen) http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5324332 <img src="http://photos-ak.sparkpeople.com/nw/1/5/l1590796569.jpg"> <BR> The image of a woman working in the kitchen seems to be one that many American women find offensive and demeaning. Some women who don't cook seem quite proud of that fact. They wear it like a badge of honor. Recently, at my daughter's school, I overheard one mother say to another, "I don't cook!" with such outrage and disgust, you would have thought she was defending herself against some terrible accusation: "I don't s... Mon, 15 Apr 2013 19:14:02 EST Meatless Monday: Barley and Veggie Stuffed Peppers http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5316237 <img src="http://photos-ak.sparkpeople.com/nw/1/4/l1443960224.jpg"> <BR> After my week in London (and all of the indulgences that went with it), I knew I needed to get back to my healthy habits, and fast. I know myself well enough to know that, the more time I spend out of my healthy routine, the harder it is to get back to it. That's the little bit of advice I'll send out to you this week: <BR> <BR> Sometimes life takes us away from our healthy habits. For whatever reason - vacation, ... Mon, 8 Apr 2013 18:41:38 EST Meatless Monday: Kale and Cannellini Bean Stew http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5291583 <img src="http://photos-ak.sparkpeople.com/nw/1/5/l1508721693.jpg"> <BR> A while back, I made the decision to decrease my consumption of meat and animal products. Not to cut them out completely, but simply to incorporate more meatless meals into my family's diet (you can read that post here). I found out about an initiative called Meatless Monday and took on the challenge of cutting out meat entirely for just that one day each week... (Read the rest of this post at: <link>www.sicilean.com/... Mon, 18 Mar 2013 20:25:03 EST Zucchini, Scallion and Tomato Frittata: Avoid the Take-Out Trap http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5285462 <img src="http://photos-ak.sparkpeople.com/nw/1/4/l1430340641.jpg"> <BR> Imagine the following scene: After a full day of work - a job, errands, children's activities, etc. - you come home exhausted. You're greeted by a pile of mail, 6 new voicemail messages, a dog in need of a walk and a fairly empty fridge. Everyone's hungry and beginning to whine (including you). What do you do?? <BR> <BR> I bet most of you answered that you'd call for a pizza, chinese food, or some other type of "... Wed, 13 Mar 2013 15:41:13 EST Meet My New Friend, Raw Food Chef Aimee DuFresne http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5281448 One of the things I love about being a food blogger (and studying to become a Certified Health Coach) is that I have the opportunity to connect with so many incredible people (yes, I'm talking about YOU!). I love receiving all of your comments, emails and facebook/twitter messages. There are so many of us on this healthy journey and I love that we can support each other along the way. One person I feel priveleged to have met is Aimee DuFresne, a raw food chef whose story is absolutely inspiri... Sun, 10 Mar 2013 17:25:55 EST Roasted Carrots and Parsnips (and why vegetables are like accessories) http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5274675 <img src="http://photos-ak.sparkpeople.com/nw/4/3/l437011535.jpg"> <BR> I have a secret obsession (which, actually, isn't much of a secret): I am an absolute accessories junkie. Scarves, bracelets, hats, earrings, handbags, belts...basically, if I can find a way to wrap, tie, pin, buckle or dangle it on myself, I LIKE it. And this is how I've managed to amass a collection of accessories that is slowly taking over my bedroom. I've stuffed dresser drawers, under-the-bed storage bins and close... Tue, 5 Mar 2013 17:38:30 EST Grilled Shrimp over Sauteed Escarole and White Beans: Get Those Greens! http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5266186 <BR> <img src="http://photos-ak.sparkpeople.com/nw/1/9/l1945846792.jpg">Hi, Friends, <BR> <BR> Have I told you how much I LOVE my greens? I love everything from green juices and smoothies to salads to cooked greens. Incorporating more dark green, leafy veggies into your diet is, without a doubt, the single best dietary change you can make (and, ironically, they are the food most commonly missing from the standard American diet). In fact, for those looking to lose weight and improve the... Wed, 27 Feb 2013 15:41:48 EST Sweet and Sour Red Cabbage: Feast on Phytonutrients http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5257421 <img src="http://photos-ak.sparkpeople.com/nw/4/2/l423009232.jpg"> <BR> Sicilians often prepare vegetables with a sauce called "agrodolce." In Italian, "agro" means sour and "dolce" means sweet, so it's a basic sweet and sour sauce. Traditionally, it's made with vinegar and sugar but, in an effort to lighten it up, I substitute stevia for the sugar. Sicilians prepare many vegetables this way (onions, carrots, eggplant, etc) and it is believed that this sauce was introduced to the Sicilians b... Wed, 20 Feb 2013 11:28:48 EST Fresh Raspberries with Zabaglione http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5250762 <img src="http://photos-ak.sparkpeople.com/nw/2/1/l2137856895.jpg"> <BR> Happy V-Day, my friends! <BR> <BR> <BR> Valentine’s Day is one of my favorite days of the year. An entire day devoted to indulgences, treats and sweets of all kinds - what's not to love? Little gifts, love notes, romantic dinners out (or in!) and, of course, a decadent dessert. When it comes to healthy eating, however, days like this can be tricky. Food is an important part of holidays and we all want to feel lik... Thu, 14 Feb 2013 19:38:18 EST Butternut Squash and Apple Soup http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5236126 <img src="http://photos-ak.sparkpeople.com/nw/1/3/l133012446.jpg"> <BR> It seems that everyone I speak with lately has been sick. The flu, the stomach virus, a cold, cough, sore throat. And, as if that isn't bad enough, there's news of a "supervirus" coming over from Australia and expected to hit the area within the next few weeks. For someone like me, who already has germaphobe tendencies, it's enough to make me want to strap on a surgical mask and a space suit before I leave the house eve... Sun, 3 Feb 2013 19:36:31 EST Hop on the Zumba Train! http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5226082 <img src="http://photos-ak.sparkpeople.com/nw/1/9/l1935547273.jpg"> <BR> <BR> This is my gorgeous friend, Elanit, Zumba instructor extraordinaire. She is my fitness guru and the one I go to when I need a tip, trick, or just a little motivation. She and I chatted recently about the health benefits of Zumba. Whether you're a Zumba fanatic (as I am) or a Zumba-virgin, check out what Elanit has to say about it and I'm sure you'll be inspired: <BR> <BR> Elanit, I've known you for a long time an... Sun, 27 Jan 2013 19:57:22 EST A Super-Salad: Watercress and Beet Salad http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5217170 <img src="http://photos-ak.sparkpeople.com/nw/1/5/l1509399453.jpg"> <BR> Hello, fellow Wellness Warriors, <BR> <BR> Salad is the best way I know to "crowd out" the foods that we don't want to be eating and incorporate more of the clean, nutrient rich foods that we do. Salad is full of fiber, so it tends to be fairly filling. That's why it's best eaten at the start of a meal. Along with some protein and healthy fats, it can be a well-balanced meal on its own. The problem is that, unless ... Mon, 21 Jan 2013 14:24:06 EST A Little Healthy Inspiration for 2013! http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5210277 <img src="http://photos-ak.sparkpeople.com/nw/1/4/l1406835618.jpg"> <BR> <BR> Hi, Friends, <BR> <BR> So much of what goes on in our bodies, is a reflection of what goes on on in our minds. The same way that we prepare healthy and delicious meals for our bodies, let's ingest more healthy and delicious thoughts. And images. And laughter. And love... <BR> <BR> (Read the rest of this post at: <link>www.sicilean.com/2013/01/food-for-th<BR>ought-cheers.html </link> ) Wed, 16 Jan 2013 15:46:59 EST Balsamic-Thyme Roasted Mushrooms http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5202681 <img src="http://photos-ak.sparkpeople.com/nw/3/7/l378641362.jpg"> <BR> We are constantly reminded to "eat all of the colors of the rainbow," and of the many health benefits of richly colored fruits and veggies, but nobody seems to talk too much about the benefits of white veggies. They're, perhaps, not as flashy as their colorful counterparts, but they are nutritional rockstars, just the same. <BR> (Read the rest of this post and get the recipe at www.sicilean.com: <link>www.sicilean.co... Fri, 11 Jan 2013 19:57:30 EST Alegna Soap Giveaway and The Benefits of Natural Soaps/Body Products http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5197593 <img src="http://photos-ak.sparkpeople.com/nw/1/8/l1880071052.jpg"> <BR> Today's post is written by my friend, Angela, owner of Alegna Soap. For those of you who are unfamiliar with Alegna's products, they are absolutely divine! Visit Alegna Soap's website and you will find soaps and bath products made with the most luxurious botanicals and essential oils that nature has to offer. They are truly a sensory experience and an indulgence. <BR> <BR> For me, the choice to use all natural bath pr... Tue, 8 Jan 2013 19:59:34 EST Happy New Year, Friends! http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5182371 I want to take this opportunity to wish you all a very happy and healthy 2013. As I sit here in my living room writing this post, I’m laughing to myself because it seems to me that, at any given moment, if someone were to look at my coffee table, he/she would see two types of books strewn across it: health and wellness books and cookbooks. Many of them. <BR> <BR> It has me considering what it is about health and wellness that I find so inspiring. I think that, for me, health and wellne... Mon, 31 Dec 2012 14:26:38 EST Cinnamon Baked Sweet Potato Fries http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5158450 <img src="http://photos-ak.sparkpeople.com/nw/1/0/l1016994740.jpg"> <BR> I recently learned a great technique for minimizing a craving for sweets - incorporate more sweet vegetables into your diet. It's so simple and "common sense" that I wonder why I haven't heard of it (or thought of it) before. There are so many wonderful sweet veggies and many of them... (you can read the rest of this post at SiciLean: <link>www.sicilean.com/2012/12/cinnamon-ba<BR>ked-sweet-potato-fries.html </link... Thu, 6 Dec 2012 17:13:24 EST "Back on Track" Lemon-Dijon Baked Fish http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5146879 <img src="http://photos-ak.sparkpeople.com/nw/1/3/l1374886819.jpg"> <BR> I came dangerously close to eating pumpkin pie for breakfast yesterday. I suppose that, on Thanksgiving Day (when I entertain), I'm kept so busy that I don't overdo it with the food. Don't get me wrong, I indulge in all of my favorites, but I don't have that difficult a time sticking to decent sized portions of things that are naughty and loading up on things that are nice. It's the day - actually, the weekend - after t... Mon, 26 Nov 2012 09:31:05 EST Cinnamon Stewed Peaches http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5076077 <img src="http://photos-ak.sparkpeople.com/nw/5/4/l543248342.jpg"> <BR> My second adventure in canning...Cinnamon Stewed Peaches, and this one is clearly the family fave!! Once again, the fruit came, courtesy of the Washington State Fruit Commission. They sent me a box of the ripest, juiciest, most intoxicating peaches, as part of their CanBassador program. In exchange, I agreed to try my hand at canning and preserving (assisted by the wealth of resources that they provide on their website,... Wed, 26 Sep 2012 17:09:44 EST Brandied Plum Jam http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5063773 <img src="http://photos-ak.sparkpeople.com/nw/1/9/l196650526.jpg"> <BR> One of the great things about being a food blogger is that it encourages me to try new recipes and techniques in the kitchen. I've always been adventurous in the kitchen, but now I seem to be in constant search of the next great recipe, tip or trick to blog about. My most recent culinary adventure is canning. Thanks to my mom (who is an expert at canning and preserving) and the Washington State Fruit Commission (who just... Mon, 17 Sep 2012 19:24:02 EST Light Peach Souffle http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=4986838 <img src="http://photos-ak.sparkpeople.com/nw/2/3/l236298876.jpg"> <BR> <BR> You all know how I love my sweets. I'm always on the lookout for desserts that aren't over-the-top rich and heavy, yet satisfy my urge for something sweet at the end of a special meal. My mother came across this one while watching Lucinda Scala Quinn's cooking show, "Mad Hungry." We tried it and it is an absolute home run... <BR> (Read the rest of this post at SiciLean: <link>www.sicilean.com/2012/07/peach-souff<... Wed, 25 Jul 2012 19:39:11 EST Grilled Corn on the Cob with Basil Oil http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=4971393 <img src="http://photos-ak.sparkpeople.com/nw/2/4/l244054036.jpg"> <BR> <BR> Yes, I've been on a bit of a basil kick lately. At this time of year, who can blame me? Another kick that I - and most other Long Islanders - are on is sweet summer corn.Those of you who live locally know that Long Island summer corn is damn near taste-bud heaven. It occurred to me that if I combine sweet corn and basil...well, I just might have a something akin to a religious experience! <BR> <BR> (Read the rest... Sun, 15 Jul 2012 14:40:02 EST Easy Basil Pesto http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=4952227 <img src="http://photos-ak.sparkpeople.com/nw/1/8/l182818375.jpg"> <BR> Every spring, I have this fantasy that I'll plant several plants of basil and, come the end of summer, have a bounty for pesto, which I will make, freeze and enjoy during the winter months. Truth is, by the time summer rolls around, the bugs/slugs have eaten their way through all of the leaves and I'm left with some sorry looking plants. This happens year after year. For some unknown reason, I continue to plant basil, b... Mon, 2 Jul 2012 16:03:01 EST Homemade Dill Pickles http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=4940638 <img src="http://photos-ak.sparkpeople.com/nw/4/5/l452959891.jpg"> <BR> <BR> These pickles are much lower in sodium than store bought pickles. My family went crazy for them! Read the full post with recipe at www.sicilean.com <BR> <link>www.sicilean.com/2012/06/dill-pickle<BR>s.html </link> Sun, 24 Jun 2012 20:28:23 EST Kale and Caramelized Onion Frittata http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=4920555 <img src="http://photos-ak.sparkpeople.com/nw/4/9/l49776947.jpg"> <BR> My new favorite day of the week is Wednesday! Allow me to explain... <BR> <BR> This year, I've joined a CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) program and every Wednesday for the rest of the summer, I can look forward to a receiving a big box of organic, just-picked vegetables from a local farm --the Golden Earthworm farm located in Jamesport , Long Island. My friend, Evelyne, has been participating in this program for ye... Sun, 10 Jun 2012 19:16:56 EST Summer Veggie Salad with Fresh Herb Vinaigrette http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=4798249 <img src="http://photos-ak.sparkpeople.com/nw/7/8/l782929383.jpg"> <BR> It's been a while, I know. My trip to Italy was fantastic - I've lots more recipes and stories to share, but I came back exhausted, swamped with work after being away so long, and absolutely stuffed! It's taken me a few weeks to get reoriented. The food was incredible, however, eating my way through Tuscany for more than two weeks definitely caught up with me. <BR> <BR> Tuscan food, delicious as it is, tends to i... Wed, 21 Mar 2012 15:30:30 EST Meatless Monday: Tuscan Vegetable Stew http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=4710874 <img src="http://photos-ak.sparkpeople.com/nw/9/0/l903277229.jpg"> <BR> This dish was inspired by my upcoming trip to Tuscany. Yes, you read that right...I. Am. Going. To. TUSCANY!! Medieval hill towns, olive groves, vineyards as far as the eye can see...THAT Tuscany! <BR> <BR> I have never been there, but I've longingly devoured every corny movie and a slew of travel memoirs set in Tuscany, and I've been dreaming about going for years. So, last week, when the opportunity presented... Sun, 29 Jan 2012 19:34:59 EST Putting Together a Healthy Pantry http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=4687650 <img src="http://photos-ak.sparkpeople.com/nw/5/8/l582043869.jpg"> <BR> <BR> When my colleagues at work see me eating my lunch (usually, leftovers from the night before), they often ask how I have time at the end of the day to prepare a full meal - main course, a couple of sides and a salad. Truth is, most of the meals I make don't take very long to prepare (30-45 minutes, at most) because I always make sure to have certain "go-to" ingredients on hand. Stocking your pantry well is the key.... Tue, 17 Jan 2012 20:01:37 EST Simple Garlic String Beans http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=4676513 <img src="http://photos-ak.sparkpeople.com/nw/4/9/l499544969.jpg"> <BR> Many of us have...shall we say... "overindulged" (translation-pigged out) on rich foods and holiday treats over the last several weeks. Well, it's now time to get our healthy mojo back! I'm not a big fan of resolutions, but I found this article (posted on the Sparkpeople website) interesting and useful: "31 Days to Unbreakable Resolutions." I particularly like the idea of an "action plan," as opposed to a set of vague r... Thu, 12 Jan 2012 15:54:56 EST Happy New Year! SiciLean's Top Ten Featured Recipes... http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=4658000 <BR> As 2011 winds down, I am spending some time reflecting on the year. It was certainly a good one, full of fun times and great people. One of the things that has been most rewarding for me, in 2011, is this blog. What began as my desire to share some of my favorite recipes with friends and family, has turned into a wonderful community of health-concious foodies, some of whom I know personally and many I've come to know through comments and emails. <BR> <BR> Admittedly, the whole ... Wed, 4 Jan 2012 20:47:49 EST Roasted Peppers with Capers and Olives http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=4643604 <img src="http://photos-ak.sparkpeople.com/nw/3/3/l336748965.jpg"> <BR> When you're a "Type A" person, like me, you can really turn entertaining at home into quite a production. That is why, for a long time, I didn't entertain much. I put too much pressure on myself to create the "perfect" evening: the food, the house, the table, the wine, even my outfit had to be just right. As you can imagine, this created so much stress that it was hard for me to enjoy the occasion. It took me a long ... Thu, 29 Dec 2011 16:07:35 EST Balsamic Glazed Cippolini Onions http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=4631920 <img src="http://photos-ak.sparkpeople.com/nw/4/7/l472034269.jpg"> <BR> <BR> At holiday time, I enjoy finding and creating new side dishes to serve alongside the classic, “tried-and-true” recipes that we all look forward to. Inspired by a big basket of these little onions at the market, I decided to give them a try. They were delicious (and got rave reviews, even from the kids!) simply roasted with olive oil, salt and pepper, but when I made them a second time, and added the balsamic glaze,... Mon, 19 Dec 2011 19:34:30 EST Healthy Apple Cake (Torta di Mele) http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=4621407 <img src="http://photos-ak.sparkpeople.com/nw/8/0/l803515276.jpg"> <BR> One of the greatest challenges at this time of year is resisting the sweets that seem to be all over the place...at parties and gatherings of all sorts, at work, given as gifts, etc. I have a pretty strong sweet tooth, so resisting them altogether seems like a fairly unrealistic goal. And a silly one. I mean, if I can't indulge myself at this time of year, then when?? So, I have some tricks for "having my cake and eat... Sun, 11 Dec 2011 13:48:16 EST Next Day Turkey and Vegetable Soup http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=4599414 <img src="http://photos-ak.sparkpeople.com/nw/7/3/l736788598.jpg"> <BR> As always, Thanksgiving was lovely. Good food, good company and, this year, good weather. It was unseasonably warm in New York, making it somewhat easier to get my butt out at 8:30 am for my town's Turkey Trot. One hour and 5 miles later, this turkey was back at home and back to work. <BR> (Read the rest of this post at SiciLean.com <link>www.sicilean.com/2011/11/next-day-tu<BR>rkey-and-vegetable-soup.html </link> ... Fri, 25 Nov 2011 22:22:32 EST Orange-Pecan Cranberry Sauce http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=4595803 <img src="http://photos-ak.sparkpeople.com/nw/6/1/l611361364.jpg"> <BR> Now that I'm back from New Orleans, it's time to focus on my very favorite holiday. I adore Thanksgiving and I especially love hosting Thanksgiving dinner. My friend, Vicki, says that people "love through food." At no time is that more apparent than at Thanksgiving. The meal is fairly simple, really. Turkey, stuffing, potatoes - none of it is terribly interesting food and, yet, friends and family around the table, a nice... Tue, 22 Nov 2011 18:31:07 EST New Orleans - A Food Lover's City!! http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=4594469 <img src="http://photos-ak.sparkpeople.com/nw/1/2/l127749352.jpg"> <BR> <BR> If it seems that I've been neglecting the blog, it's because November has been an absolute whirlwind, in the best sense of the word. Among parent-teacher conferences, an on-going construction project (the installation of a gas fireplace in our living room), training for my town's 5-mile "Turkey Trot," and preparations for Thanksgiving dinner, my husband and I managed to escape for a romantic weekend in New Orle... Mon, 21 Nov 2011 20:22:40 EST Bizarre Restaurant Experience, but a Good Salad! http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=4563491 <img src="http://photos-ak.sparkpeople.com/nw/4/5/l452334280.jpg"> <BR> I had a completely bizarre restaurant experience recently. No, I will not name the restaurant, but suffice it to say that it is a popular Italian restaurant on Long Island, with a good reputation , which made it even more bizarre. I went out to dinner with a group of... <BR> (Read the full post at SiciLean: <link>www.sicilean.com/2011/11/mixed-baby-<BR>greens-with-dried-fruit-in-a-honey-bal<BR>samic-vinaigrette.html <... Tue, 1 Nov 2011 15:18:23 EST Broccoli and Zucchini Soup and a Great Appetizer Idea... http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=4556128 <img src="http://photos-ak.sparkpeople.com/nw/6/6/l66073332.jpg"> <BR> Soup is one of my healthy "tricks". Apart from the comfort value of a steaming bowl of soup, I find it to be a great way to add more veggies into my meals, fill up before the main course and hydrate. I already shared with you my salad secret. Well, in addition to salad, I almost always have a jar or two of homemade soup in the fridge, usually made on the weekend, and ready to be served mid-week, as lunch or with dinne... Thu, 27 Oct 2011 15:40:17 EST Vegetable Stuffed Portobello Mushrooms http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=4538614 <img src="http://photos-ak.sparkpeople.com/nw/6/6/l663333689.jpg"> <BR> As you know, I've been trying to incoporate more meatless meals into my week. Of course, some weeks are better than others and it doesn't always happen on Monday but, overall, I'd say I've been pretty successful at it. This is one of my recent meatless meals, inspired by some gorgeous portobello mushrooms that I found at the market. Now, I'll begin by admitting that I'm not a big fan of portobellos. I've always found... Sun, 16 Oct 2011 20:42:53 EST Squash Blossom and Goat Cheese Omelet http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=4530919 <img src="http://photos-ak.sparkpeople.com/nw/9/0/l908236335.jpg"> <BR> <BR> One of our fall rituals is going pumpkin picking on the East End of Long Island with my brother and his family. It goes something like this: pumpkin farm, corn maze, stop at roadside stand to buy just-picked sunflowers, picnic at the vineyard, nursery to buy mums, Briermere Farms for cider and homemade fruit pies. Oh, and did I mention the squash blossoms? (Read the rest of this post at: <link>www.sicilean.com... Tue, 11 Oct 2011 20:02:47 EST Ten Minute Tomato Soup http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=4507420 <img src="http://photos-ak.sparkpeople.com/nw/4/3/l437884209.jpg"> <BR> When I was growing up, the favorite of my mother’s “pantry suppers” (my name for dinners made with ingredients found in the pantry) was Campbell’s Tomato Soup served alongside Kraft Macaroni and Cheese. It’s a great irony, really, because, now that I cook for my own family, I avoid dinners that come out of a can or a box like the plague (and, in fact, now Mom does, too). However, before we became educated about things l... Tue, 27 Sep 2011 20:58:14 EST Honey Roasted Applesauce http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=4500572 <img src="http://photos-ak.sparkpeople.com/nw/4/7/l474017018.jpg"> <BR> One of our very favorite family activities is apple picking. Every fall, since my son was born (13 years ago), we go out to the North Fork of Long Island to pick apples, hit the nurseries and farm stands, and picnic on the lawn at Palmer Vineyards – a great day and one that we all really look forward to. This year, some friends joined us on our apple-picking adventure, but to our surprise…no apples! ... (to read more... Fri, 23 Sep 2011 17:40:46 EST Penne with String Beans, Peppers and Sundried Tomatoes http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=4491680 <img src="http://photos-ak.sparkpeople.com/nw/2/5/l257311717.jpg"> <BR> <BR> I have gone through a lot of “phases” in the interest of staying healthy. There was the green smoothie phase a few years back (an incredibly expensive blender was purchased along with entirely too much kale. Don’t ask.) There were the wheatgrass “shots.” I tried to do the raw food thing (didn’t even last a full day). One friend had me sucking on cubes of Himalayan sea salt each day and another had me sucking on ... Sun, 18 Sep 2011 20:37:03 EST