It’s that time of year again! To keep your 2013 nutrition and fitness resolutions attainable and lasting, keep these four tips in mind:
1. Be specific. Instead of saying, “I’m going to exercise more,” decide on details. A better plan is “I’m going to start walking on Monday, Wednesday and Friday mornings at 7 a.m. each week and walk from my house to the park and back.”
2. Find friends. I’ve said it before, but this is absolutely key for me. Knowing that my friends are counting on me to show up is what gets me out of bed on chilly mornings. I’d feel too guilty having them wait and be a no-show. Bonus: friends won’t let you get away with blowing them off – they’ll call you on it!
3. Say it out loud. Right before Halloween, one of my exercise buddies said that she wasn’t going to eat any Halloween candy. I said that I was going to do that, too. And guess what? I didn’t! I didn’t sneak into the bags of candy I bought to give away and I didn’t sneak any of my son Tim’s candy haul, either. Every time I felt like eating just one little bar, I remembered that I made that darn commitment. Much to my surprise, because I love chocolate–I kept my promise. Try it with something you either want to do or stop doing. I think you’ll find that the power of promise is pretty amazing.
4. Record in a daily log. A study this past summer found that women who kept food logs and consistently wrote down the foods they ate lost more weight than women who didn’t record. Food logs keep you accountable on what you’re eating and how much in relation to the calorie limit you’ve set for losing weight. Whether you fancy the traditional pen and notebook method or prefer to use an online food log or app that electronically tallies the calories for you, keeping track of what you’re munching might be the missing link to help you reach your weight loss goal.
What nutrition and activity goals do you have this year-- and what strategies are you going to use to stick to them?
With 2013 just around the corner, the celebrations don’t stop! This unique pairing of a Sweet Tequila Squeeze cocktail and what we like to call "The World’s Best Cookie" will set a festive, fun and delicious atmosphere for any New Year’s party.Save the recipe image below and celebrate all that’s to come in 2013!
What’s your cocktail celebration combo?
Nothing says traditional holiday meal like a good roast. A staple during the holidays when I was growing up (I just don’t make them as often as my mom), and every once in a while we all get that craving . This recipe for Rancher’s Reserve® Holiday Red Wine Roast consists of a red wine marinade that uses garlic and brown sugar, giving the roast a perfect flavor for your holiday dinner.
Save the recipe image below and enjoy this holiday tradition.
How often do you make roasts?
Instead of the classic holiday meals, this year I’ll be doing something a little different: lamb! I’m excited to make this delicious roasted rack of lamb from Safeway.com. It’s not only tasty, but easy to make and included rosemary (which I love). I’m bringing Lamb home for the holidays this year, instead of the traditional ham or turkey. Below is a delicious and fairly simple recipe sure to please everyone at your table. Happy Holidays to all and enjoy!
Roasted Rack of Lamb
1/2 cup fresh bread crumbs
2 tablespoons minced garlic
2 tablespoons chopped fresh rosemary
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 (7 bone) rack of Open Nature lamb, trimmed and frenched
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon black pepper
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
Allow internal temperature to be 5 to 10 degrees less than you like because the meat will continue to cook while it sits. Bloody rare: 115 to 125 degrees l Rare: 125 to 130 degrees l Medium rare: 130 to 140 degrees l Medium: 140 to 150 degrees
Cookies, fudge and eggnog are fantastic, but there’s something to be said about the perfect pairing of a festive cocktail and a dessert turned up a notch. This Spiced Rum Cooler combined with a Brown Sugar Apple Sauté Pumpkin Pie Topping is the perfect sugar and spice combo.
Save the recipe image below and indulge in this adult treat.
What’s your favorite cocktail and dessert combo?
Whether at the office or a friend’s house, potluck parties abound during the holiday season and that can make managing your weight a little trickier than usual. One of the best strategies for surviving the buffet table is to offer to bring a dish. That way you’ll have at least one go-to option among the spread. Here are a few of my favorite better-for-you potluck party dishes:
• Create a pretty veggie platter by arranging a festive pattern of red and green rows around a bowl of Open Nature Roasted Red Pepper hummus: slices of red bell peppers, blanched green beans or broccoli, cherry tomatoes and sugar snap peas. In a time crunch? Just grab an Eating Right Veggie Party Platter from our produce aisle.
• Make fun fruit kabobs: thread strawberries, grapes, orange segments and pineapple chunks onto wooden skewers. For a fun display, insert the skewers into a piece of foam set inside a decorative bowl. Serve with a bowl of low fat strawberry yogurt for dipping, if you’d like.
• Toss together a winter salad of baby spinach leaves, dried cranberries, chopped apples and toasted walnuts, drizzled with light vinaigrette dressing.
• Grab a bag of Waterfront Bistro tail-on cooked shrimp and defrost. Serve with a dish of zesty cocktail sauce for dipping. Always a party favorite!
• Mix things up with a corn and black bean salad: toss together defrosted frozen corn, a can of black beans (rinsed and drained), a can of Mexican-style diced tomatoes (with juice), diced avocado, finely-diced red bell pepper and onion, lime juice, cumin and chopped cilantro.
• Roast winter veggies for a side dish that’s sure to be devoured!
What favorite dish do you bring to potlucks?
It’s the day after Thanksgiving and you’ve got more leftovers than you know what to do with. Instead of going in for round two of the same, try giving this classic meal a new twist. One of the simplest and tastiest ways to make use of those Thanksgiving leftovers is by trying this variation on the holiday favorite.
Turkey Avocado Sandwich with Fresh Cranberry Sauce
Here’s what you’ll need:
There have been a number of studies getting press over the past few years regarding the positive benefits of feeling grateful. Better health, less stress, more long-term life satisfaction, less depression, better sleep, and less aggression when provoked – pretty compelling don’t you think?
When the girls were toddlers we started a Thanksgiving tradition of going around the table and naming the things we were thankful for before we began dinner. We’ve incorporated this tradition into dinners year-round as well so we can keep the “gratitude attitude” going throughout the year.
What do you do to give thanks on Thanksgiving?
Thanksgiving may be all about turkey, but let’s not forget the seafood!
Clam chowder can be a hearty, healthy and sustainable meal for the holidays. Farm raised clams are a Responsible Choice product, rated a green ‘Best Choice’ by the Monterey Bay Aquarium’s Seafood Watch program.
Here are a few fun facts about clams: Clams are filter feeders which means they actually improve the water quality around them. They are also low in saturated fats and a good source of vitamin B12, making them a healthy option for you and the oceans. One of my favorite chowders is a great addition or substitute for a traditional holiday dinner – try it out!
Yields: 4 serving - you need:
• 5 lbs. of fresh clams
• 3 bay leaves
• ¼ tablespoon salt
• 1 tablespoon corn starch
• 1/8 lb. bacon (diced)
• 1 onion (diced)
• ½ teaspoon thyme
• 2 tablespoons butter
• ¼ teaspoon white pepper
• 2 cups peeled and diced russet potatoes
• 3 tablespoons flour
• 1 cup milk
• 1 bottle clam juice (also save liquid the clams are cooked in)
• 1 cup heavy cream
• Additional salt (to taste)
• Cayenne pepper
• Chopped parsley
1. If the clams are already shucked, you can go ahead and skip this step. Clean the outside of the clams and put them into a large soup pot filled with cold water. Add ¼ cup of salt and a tablespoon of cornstarch. Letting the clams sit for an hour in this solution will cause them to expel any sand. Rinse and then drain in a colander.
2. Clean the pot and then put the clams back in, adding a cup of water and 2 bay leaves.
3. Cover the pot and place on medium-high heat for 15 minutes. Important: throw away any clams that do not open after being steamed for 15 minutes. After taking the clams out of the liquid, strain and save the leftover liquid to add to your chowder.
4. Remove the clams from their shells and dice them.
5. Clean the pot and place back on the stove – add bacon and cook until almost crisp.
6. Add onion, bay leaf, thyme, pepper, and butter. Sprinkle flour over the mixture and stir. When the onions become translucent, add milk, diced potatoes, and the clam liquid that you saved. Bring up to a boil and then simmer, stirring frequently. This should take about 10 minutes.
7. Add the heavy cream and the diced clams while the pot is simmering. Cook for several more minutes, taking care not to overcook. Taste, and add salt/pepper/cayenne as needed.
8. Serve with parsley topping and oyster crackers!
Like many American families, ours is a hybrid of different ethnic backgrounds: Mexican, Irish, French and English. When my son Tim was little, we decided to celebrate our various family heritages by making special dinners on holidays throughout the year. St. Patrick’s Day belongs to me, and I always make colcannon, a traditional Irish side dish made of mashed potatoes and cabbage. It’s delicious served with beef or lamb stew.
2 ½ pounds Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled and cut into 1-inch pieces
6 cups green cabbage, thinly sliced
1 cup Lucerne® low-fat milk, heated
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into small pieces and softened
Salt and pepper to taste
Place potatoes in a large saucepan and cover them with water. Cover pan and simmer about 15 minutes, until potatoes are tender. While potatoes are cooking, steam cabbage for about 5 minutes, or until tender. Drain potatoes; place potatoes in a bowl and mash, stirring in milk and butter. Mix in cabbage and season with salt and pepper. Serve immediately.
Makes 8 servings. Per serving: Calories: 190; Fat: 5 g (Saturated Fat: 3 g); Protein: 4g; Carbohydrates: 33 g; Fiber: 4 g; Sodium: 370 mg.
Do you have a special St Patrick’s Day dish?
One simple idea for entertaining this season is a Champagne & Sweets Open House! If you’re not up for the full blown holiday party, with heavy hors d'oeuvres, drinks and dips, why not invite some friends over for a simple, elegant after-dinner treat! Turn on some Burl Ives, bring out your pedestal dessert platters and champagne flutes, and have some fun.
First things first – choose your color theme! From the flowers, to serving platters, to napkins, ribbon and decorations, pick one festive color to spruce up you clear, white or silver dishes serving dishes!
Next, pick your favorite champagnes or dessert wines! I like to have a variety available. Put out the flutes and let your guests serve themselves at their own pace.
Next, pick fun cookies, candy and desserts that you love! My favorite desserts are the ones that you can find already prepared at Safeway Bakery! If you’re up to it, you can even make fun finger desserts such as fruit skewers! Enjoy your holiday season!
Must-Have Bite Size Desserts available at Safeway!
Caramel Apples – Keep chilled, slice into wedges for your serving trays
Brownie Bites – Top with whip cream and a decadent raspberry!
Cream Puffs – Dip in chocolate for an extra special touch!
Red Velvet Cupcakes or Mini Cupcakes
Fruit Skewers Recipe:
Cut larger fruit into bite size chunks, assemble skewers and drizzle with honey.
Can you remember that sweet smell of fresh baked Pumpkin Pie as a kid? I still have fond memories of baking with my grandmother and getting to make my own special cinnamon sugar twists from unused portions of pie crust! What are you going to serve for this Thanksgiving holiday? Is it going to be a homemade Pumpkin–Pecan Pie that will give your home the smell of the season, or are you starved for time and want something that is both elegant and simple to serve?
If you want easy pre-made desserts that will surely impress your guests, come by Safeway Bakery and pick up one of our Pumpkin Streusel Cheesecakes or Pumpkin Mousse Cakes! These are a twist to your typical pumpkin pie, but are light and fluffy and a delicious way to celebrate the season! I recommend having at least two desserts available, perhaps one pre-made and one of your own!
Here is a decadent recipe for a Pumpkin–Pecan Pie!