Displaying articles for: October 2010
Halloween is here! And so are the parties – three class parties this year and one parade now that the girls are all in one school. I was asked to bring some snacks for the girls’ class rooms. Trying to keep it healthy I opted for some cheese and crackers. And, in one of my “inspired moments” (what is it about October?) I used my mini cookie cutters to make Halloween themed shapes – bats, pumpkins, and cats. The kids loved their healthy snack and actually “admired” my work of art, for about one second, before they gobbled them up. What are some of the snacks that you bring for Halloween parties?
You may think that Halloween is a dietitian’s nightmare. But it’s no trick: you can have a fun Halloween without going crazy with candy. Here’s how I do it in my house:
o Tim gets two or three mini-size candies each day the first week.
o At the end of the week, he tosses the candy he doesn’t like or we give it away. We freeze the chocolate candies and set hard candy, taffy and lollipops aside to use as decorations on our holiday gingerbread house.
o After the first week, Tim usually forgets about his candy, but when he wants a once-in-a-while treat, he knows he can find one in the freezer.
What are your “tricks” for enjoying Halloween goodies in moderation?
The smell of pumpkin pies always evokes memories of days gone by. All the Jack O Lanterns were saved and the bright orange pumpkin was cut carefully from the skin. The pieces of pumpkin then made their way to the refrigerator where they would spend the next few weeks. Then on the morning before Thanksgiving, something magical happened. The bland pumpkin was cooked and spices were added until the smell of Thanksgiving permeated the house and eventually the entire neighborhood. That’s the way it was done; ritually year after year. I tried to make pumpkin pie using the ways of the past, but never quite got the hang of it. When I went to work in the bakery, the pumpkin was already cooked. All the bakers had to do was mix it with our other “secret” ingredients to get flavorful pie. We would make thousands of pies on the day before. The next day when dessert was served, wonderful childhood memories of Thanksgiving would reappear just by savoring a piece of the pumpkin pie. The pies at the Safeway bakery are almost carbon copies of the way my mom used to make them, so I can enjoy those flavors without having to do the work. Give Safeway's Pumpkin Pie a try this Thanksgiving. You may rekindle some of your own memories, along with creating new ones for the next pumpkin pie lovers.
There’s no doubt about it, pumpkins are most famously associated with the fall season. From jack-o-lanterns to pumpkin pie, about 80% of annual pumpkin supply is available during October. You want to look for a pumpkin with 1 to 2 inches of stem left, free from blemishes or soft spots. The shape is unimportant, but it should be heavy for its size. This means greater moisture, and less of a tendency to be dry and stringy. Smaller pumpkins have more moisture as well, and will cook better than a big one made for turning into a jack-o-lantern. So what great ways can you enjoy a pumpkin?
Last month, my son Tim and his pint-size football team had the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to play a game at Qwest field before the Seattle Seahawks kick-off. His team also got to meet some players and carry out the American flag during the opening ceremony. Talk about a fun day for a young football fanatic! A celebration was definitely in order, so we decided to tailgate with some other families. Although tailgating isn’t usually the most nutrition-minded affair, you can lighten up your game-day spread and enjoy delicious food, too. Here are two favorites from our menu:
Do you have favorite healthy tailgating tips to share?
I remind myself often that our Floral department is truly a one-stop shopping experience for: Flowers (of course!), Vases, Giftables (Orchids, Baskets, Plush, and Chocolates) but also Home Décor. Right now in the midst of fall, there are many items in the Floral department to choose from. There are pumpkins, candles, mushrooms, roosters, fairies, and witches!! Harvest wreaths and mantelpieces, wheat stacks and topiaries. One of my favorite décor items are the Bobblehead Halloween cupcakes! It is worth an extra stroll through the department to see all the fall goodies that can really bring Harvest to your own home. Celebrate the ambers, reds, oranges, greens and brown colors that are so warm and inviting. Bringing home some of these fall décor items will truly bring that same feeling of warmth into my house, and yours!
Into the home stretch of the year and doing pretty well on my resolutions. The highlight for me was that I finished a book! Not the one I had intended to read next (Still Alice) but another one that had come highly recommended from a number of friends - The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo – loved it! And given there are two more in the trilogy and how fast I powered through the first one I should be able to hit my “3 books in 2010”. Getting back into the school routine has helped tremendously with healthier eating habits and knowing I had two half marathons to run in October helped me stick to those as well. The races went well, no improvements to my time but I’m not any slower despite being another year older! I finished at a respectable pace with a good recovery and no injuries – now I just need to find one more to hit my “4 races 2010“. How are you doing on your resolutions?
Fall is finally upon us, and there’s no better time for apple picking! October is National Apple Month so I’m going to tell you about the best ways to pick apples out at your local Safeway. When you choose an apple first look at the color. Apples should be vibrant no matter the variety, without any browning near the core, and the skin shouldn’t have any blemishes. Ripe apples are large in size, so remember the bigger the apple, the riper it is on the inside. Apples become ripe very quickly, so store them in the coldest part of your refrigerator as soon as you get home to avoid any decay. After you bring them home, there are so many delicious ways to enjoy them! Make a pie or tart, eat them out of hand or with peanut butter, the possibilities are endless!
I am a self-professed book nerd. With books, you have access to the greatest literary minds that history has ever known. Lately though, I’ve been thinking about the natural resources that are being used in order for me to fulfill my book needs. I cherish my books.Much like a security blanket, I take comfort in the fact that they’re there for me when I need them. In fact, I imagine my final will and testament will read, “To my beloved children, I leave Henry David Thoreau, Leo Tolstoy and Howard Zinn—you’re welcome.” Being a purist, I used to scoff at the idea of electronic books, as if a digital format would somehow strip Steinbeck and Vonnegut of their genius. A recent commute to work has me rethinking my position on these devices. I sat next to a gentleman on the train who was reading a book he recently downloaded onto his Amazon Kindle. It was a sleek little device that fit nicely into his messenger bag. I asked him if he would recommend one to an avid reader and he said he too loved the feel of a printed book, but appreciated the convenience his device provided. Always on lookout for ways to “green” my life and reduce my personal carbon footprint, it may be time for me to take a leap into the digital age of literature. Do you read on one of these devices? Do you have any advice for a newcomer?
Ah-choo! Cold and flu season is upon us, and I’m often asked what to eat when you’re feeling under the weather. Here’s my “nutrition prescription:”
To keep from getting sick in the first place, wash hands frequently and thoroughly with soap and water, cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough and sneeze, and avoid contact with sick people. Consider getting a flu shot (conveniently available in our pharmacy), especially if you’re in a high-risk group: young children, pregnant women, people older than 65, and those with chronic health conditions.
Have you gone for your flu shot yet? Finding time to make another stop can be tough but if you tack it on to your regular trip to Safeway then you can also get a coupon for 10% off your next trip. Not bad! Seriously though, fall is the best time to get your flu shot, before the season really gets started. And of course there are the things we should always be doing - washing hands, covering our mouths with our sleeves when we cough/sneeze, keeping our hands away from our face, disinfecting the surfaces in our kitchens, and if you do get sick - staying home until you’re fever free for 24 hours.
What would Monday Night Football be without Pizza coming fresh out of the oven at kick off time? Frozen pizzas are good, but they are not the same as a pizza from the corner pizza place. Problem with that is the crust gets soggy because it sat in a box before it was delivered. So, what to do?
To start you need to have perfect Pizza dough. To me the crust either makes or breaks any Pizza. Where can you get this perfect dough? Get it at your Safeway Bakery. Just call the morning you need French bread dough for your pizza and they will be happy to save it for you. Figure a one pound dough ball for every 12-16 inch Pizza.
When you pick up your dough, it will be refrigerated. Just leave it at room temperature for about an hour. Once the dough is warm, take a rolling pin and a little bit of flour and roll the dough on a suitable size counter top. Use only enough flour to keep the dough from sticking to the counter. Keep rolling until the dough is about 12 inches around (if you like deep dish style Pizza). If you like thinner crust, keep rolling until the dough has reached 14 to 16 inches. Place the dough in a flat cookie sheet large enough to hold your pizza. Next put your favorite Pizza sauce on the top of the dough with a brush. Then load it with toppings such as Linguica, Italian Sausage, Pepperoni, fresh mushrooms, olives, onions, your favorite cheeses or others that you like. Let the Pizza sit for about a half hour so the dough can rise. Place in a 450° oven for 20-25 minutes. The crust should be a medium golden brown on the bottom of the pizza. Once you try this Pizza, you will be hooked. By the way, there is nothing better than making a special pizza for the “gang” and letting them know you have become a pizza chef.
Daikon radish is a popular Asian vegetable that looks like a carrot, but is mostly white and large in size. Radishes originated in China thousands of years ago, and come in a variety of shapes, sizes and colors. In fact in Asia, the Japanese Daikon radishes can grow up to one yard in length, and up to a foot around! Daikon radishes should be smooth, firm, and bright, almost gleaming. They get flabby quite easily, so keep them refrigerated in plastic bags for up to a week. The most popular way Daikon radishes are served are in traditional dishes like tempura, and Oden soup; but, you can enjoy these radishes by stuffing them, baking them with cheese, or simply sautéing them in oil. Peel Daikon radishes like a carrot before you slice or shred them. Be careful not to over cook them, because unlike carrots, they cook quickly. They're fine in stir-fries, but I like them better raw, shredded and added to salads.
You know that being well not only means exercising and eating the right foods, but taking care of the outside too, like your body, hair, face and hands. And we’ve just made it easier with our new In-Kind product line. In-Kind lotions, body washes, shampoos, conditioners, facial products, hand soaps, and more have all been specially formulated with gentle ingredients so you can be your best you.
All products have:
* +90% natural ingredients
* Clean, Fresh, and Natural Scents
* Strong efficacy
All Products DON’T have:
* Animal by-products
* Petroleum or petroleum based products
* Synthetic colors
* Mineral oil
* Synthetic fragrance
Look for the distinctive In-Kind packaging (who doesn’t love a pretty, curvy bottle?) on your store shelves now. Tell us what you think of In-Kind.
October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Like many, I’ve had friends who have battled this disease. Although diet isn’t thought to be a major factor as it is with other cancers, there is evidence that leading a healthy lifestyle may offer some protection. Here’s what the latest research shows:
It seems like twice a year, in conjunction with the change in the weather, I get an energy spurt. This fall was no exception and it was accompanied by a creative urge as well (no idea where that came from!). Gabby has started decorating her bedroom with the pictures that she draws or other items of interest. While I love seeing her artwork I’m not a fan of random tape all over the painted walls in her room. So, taking advantage of some discarded foam board from the office I decided to create a pin board for her so she would have a destination for her work. The hardest thing about this project was getting Gabby to decide which fabric she wanted to use – too many choices! I covered one side of the foam board with self-adhesive cork tiles, covered the board with fabric and using a high capacity stapler (3/8” staples) secured the fabric to the back of the board, and then added complimentary ribbon for a little “flair”. Not too bad for a first attempt. I’d love to hear about some of your home organizing projects!
‘Easy’ is not always the way to describe behavior change. However, I recently witnessed an almost instant behavior change in a large group of people that forced me to rethink possibilities. As you can see in the photo, The California Academy of Science, San Francisco, has a new spin on garbage cans. The way they have labeled the recycle, compost, and landfill categories is simple but brilliant. For over half hour I watched as visitor after visitor approached the bins, read the labels, and stopped to properly dispose off the contents of their tray. Each individual conscientiously sorted and carefully separated their waste. Formerly known as “garbage”, the new recycle, compost, or landfill bins led to a slightly longer but far more accurate dumping task. Hats off to the Academy for the usage of the new bins. Congrats for educating visitors with such a simple touch point!
Looking for new recipes this fall? Try this great chop salad! It’s full of vegetables and has a hearty, Italian flavor. You can find this and other great recipes in this month’s issue of Fresh Ideas Magazine!
1 head Romaine lettuce, chopped
1/2 cup garbanzo beans (rinsed & drained)
1 cup cherry tomatoes, sliced
1/2 small red onion, chopped
1/2 - 1 cup chopped pepperoni or salami
1/4 cup cilantro
Salt and pepper to taste
Extra Virgin Olive Oil & Balsamic Vinegar to taste
(A 2:1 ratio of oil to vinegar should suffice)
Chances are, at some point in my lifetime, I will feel the effects of breast cancer. Whether personally, or through the pain of a loved one, statistically, it will happen to each one of us—frightening to say the least! As the neighborhood supermarket in hundreds of communities across North America, Safeway recognizes their obligation to serve in ways that extend beyond our core business. Nearly 10 years ago, Safeway began raising money towards breast cancer research as we race ever closer to a cure. Thanks to the generosity of customers (like you) and employees (like me), we have raised more than $78 million—every penny of which went to fund research for new treatments and, ultimately, a cure. During this October (breast cancer awareness month), while you’re shopping at your local Safeway, please consider giving $1 to fund the research that could potentially save your life, or the life of a loved one.
I’m the host at my book club meeting next week and with that comes the responsibility for providing dinner. Although on occasion we’ve tied the dinner menu to the book, it’s usually more of a casual affair. I don’t like staying in the kitchen having to cook and missing out on conversations about the book (and other things, of course!), so I tend to keep the menu easy–but still delicious. My plan for next week’s entrée is a super simple–and nutritious–version of cioppino, an Italian-style seafood stew:
Ingredients (Makes 8 servings)
2 Tablespoons olive oil
1 cup diced onion
1 teaspoon minced garlic (2 cloves)
4 teaspoons dried Italian seasoning
½ cup fresh chopped parsley
2 28-ounce cans no-salt-added diced tomatoes, undrained
1 32-ounce can of reduced-sodium chicken broth
1 8-ounce bottle clam juice
2 teaspoons hot sauce (optional)
Half package Waterfront Bistro™ Raw Frozen Shrimp (31-40 count), defrosted
Half package each Waterfront Bistro™ Sea Scallops and Pacific Cod Frozen Fillets, defrosted and cut into bite-size chunks
Salt and pepper to taste
Heat olive oil in large pot over medium heat. Add onion, garlic and Italian seasoning; sauté 4 minutes. Add parsley; sauté another minute. Add tomatoes, chicken broth, clam juice and hot sauce; bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer uncovered, 5 minutes. Add shrimp, scallops and cod; simmer 5 – 8 minutes, until shrimp turn pink. Add salt and pepper to taste.
Do you have a favorite book club recipe to share?