Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Don't become a Fast Food Fatality... 4 Foolproof Ways to get Fresh, Flavorful Food on your Table- Fast!

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It's a rainy day... the kind of day where I'd like to stay in my pink PJ's all day, cuddled up on the couch with my laptop, and Food TV... and what is it with December 21st in these parts being too warm for a fire??? ;-)

And if it wasn't for the whole week's worth of carbs I ate at lunch today (thank you Mellow Mushroom!), I might have just dialed up some delivery.

But we both know that leads down a very unflavorful, ok, yea, yea, unfavorable path... ;-)

So here are 4 sure-fire ways that get me (and hopefully you) up off the couch and into the kitchen... cooking!

#1- Put on some good tunes... something that you can't help but MOVE TO!  Click play now, turn it up, and read on for even more fun!

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Christmas Dinner: Dinnertime Divas- What Started as a Challenge, Ended in Satisfied Bellies and Smiling Hearts

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"Your Italian Sausage, Spinach and Parmesan Stuffing was so moist...
~That Crown Roast was juicy and that Garlic, Balsamic Sauce was perfect!...
~The Mustard, Thyme Roasted Potatoes melted in my mouth...
~And that Cranberry Orange Cheesecake- to die for."

Yea, Yea, been there.  Done that.

Seriously, this whole holiday thing was feeling a bit dreary and dried up. 
And I was craving some outside-the-box foodie creations!

Mom & Pop came early this year (aka Mimi and Papa, in case any of the grand kids are reading... ;-)

And, well, Mom is my foodie hero.  She taught me to cook at about 2, and it's been my passion ever since.  She was the first one on our block to buy a pasta roller, garlic press, and she introduced me to roasting!  And some of the BEST restaurants and gourmet food stores in Santa Barbara (and beyond), not to mention inspired my love for B&B's and holiday cooking. 

And, I still love cooking with her.

And we've all shared some amazing meals together, especially Christmas.

Monday, December 12, 2011

Menu 9: Dinnertime Divas- Table for Two or for Nights When it's Just You, Especially After a Move!

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I moved on Saturday... and I don't just mean yoga!

(love yoga on the fly... two of the most beautiful murals in Cary, NC!) 

Up at 4am, 9 hr. round trip drive to Asheville and back to Raleigh, loaded, then unloaded a 16-footer full of very heavy furniture and even more so, beautiful memories...

Lots of stuff, 2-1/2 days of STUFF, and man, today I'm feeling stiff!

And, I'm late.  Way past my very own self-imposed Dinnertime Divas deadline... man! 

200 weekly Sunday columns over 3 years for the newspaper, and never missed a deadline- well except once...
I think I was moving then too! ;-)

Life happens.  And sometimes instead of being all healthy and combined and getting your recommended daily allowance of fruits and veggies... you'd rather just veg out.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Chef Di's Top Ten Gift Picks Sure to Bring a Smile to Even the Finickiest of Foodies

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It's always better to give than receive...

unless it's a foodie gift.  Bring it on, baby! ;-)

But seriously, there's something about a foodie gift, that's different than the standard socks, sweater or Barnes & Noble Gift Certificate
(although, that is very nice too!)

Foodie gifts are really gifts that GIVE.


Yea, Give.  Because each time we "put on our apron" and cook up meals for our family and friends, we're not just nourishing bodies, but we're also passing on love and good intentions... and a piece of our hearts and soul through our food!

Love that.

Here are 10 of my favorite foodie gifts that will help spread the love... and give a few more smiles to those who give us smiles every day through their love and passion and creativity with food!  ♥ ♥ ♥

Monday, December 5, 2011

Menu 8: Dinnertime Divas Vegan! Does the Thought of Eating Tofu, Terrify? Here are 5 Meals to Give it all a Try... on Tippytoes!

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Face it, Vegans are sexier. 

And Vegans can eat potatoes.  Without guilt.


But seriously... sexier?  Yea, sexier.  Well, at least these days, this way of eating is more accepted as a way to be more balanced, get healthier (and thinner) and help the environment... now THAT's sexy! ;-)

But seitan? Sounds scary...

And TVP and tempeh?  Not so tempting...

This week is all about baby steps.  Feeling out the waters before you take the Vegan plunge- with simple, everyday ingredients, that don't intimidate, are budget-friendly... and that you can pronounce!

Simply avoid meats and dairy one meal a day, for five days, and be introduced to new vegetables, fruits, grains, herbs and a lot of healthier, sexy foodie FLAVORS along the way!  It's all about being open-minded... try it, your arteries and sinuses will thank you.

Here are 5 Vegan Meals sure to please meat-eaters and veggies alike! (I think I just saw Mother Nature, and a few cows, pigs... and chickens smile ;-)

Bon Appétit, my sweets!