Thursday, July 30, 2015

Lemon Scallion Chicken and Vegetable Kabobs Recipe

It's summertime and the grilling is easy! July’s National Grilling Month is the perfect opportunity to treat your friends and family to some delicious (but rather unhealthy) food from the grill. When most people think of a cookout, they have dreams of hot dogs, hamburgers, creamy potato salad and chips.

According to a survey from Medifast, over half of the participants just sit and eat at a BBQ rather than move around and partake in physical activity…So why not add some healthy, light and delicious meals to the menu to make up for the lack in cardiovascular activity? To help combat the BBQ weight gain, Medifast has created a few grilling recipes perfect to help celebrate National Grilling Month while keeping you slim and trim.

Lemon Scallion Chicken and Vegetable Kabobs Recipe

Prep time: 15-20 minutes + 30 minutes soak time for wooden skewers
Cook time: 10-15 minutes
Yields: 3 servings

24 oz raw, boneless, skinless chicken breast (should yield three 6-oz cooked servings)
2 cups (2 small) summer squash*
2 cups (18 medium) mushrooms, quartered
1-1/2 cups (1 small-medium) zucchini*
1 cup (8 medium) cherry tomatoes
*Half lengthwise, then cut into 1″ chunks

Lemon scallion sauce:

3/4 cup (4-6) scallions, chopped
1 Tbsp olive oil
1/2 tsp salt or salt substitute
6 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
1 Tbsp hot red pepper sauce
1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper

If using wooden skewers, soak in water 30 minutes. In small bowl, combine scallion sauce; set aside. (You may wish to reserve part of this sauce for finished kabobs.) Preheat grill to medium heat. Thread kabobs with chicken, zucchini, squash, mushrooms, and tomatoes.

Brush kabobs before and during cooking with sauce. Grill kabobs 10 minutes, turning once, until cooked through.

Disclosure: The recipe and photo is courtesy of Medifast.

Sunday, July 26, 2015

3 Vanillas Ice Cream Recipe

I love ice cream and one of the most popular ice cream flavors in the world happens to be vanilla. Today's guest recipe puts a whole new twist on this classic favorite!

3 Vanillas Ice Cream Recipe

* Pastry Chef Evan Sheridan, The Umstead Hotel and Spa – Cary, North Carolina

5 each egg yolks
2 cups heavy cream
2 cups whole milk
2 oz dry milk powder
1/2 lb. granulated sugar
1/4 lb. Nielsen Massey vanilla sugar
1 each Nielsen Massey Whole Tahitian vanilla bean
1 Tbsp. Nielsen Massey Mexican vanilla extract

Bring the milk and cream to a simmer with the whole vanilla, milk powder and sugars. Allow the milk mixture to sit covered off heat until cooled (or overnight) in order to infuse. Strain the milk mixture through a mesh sieve and bring back to a simmer. Temper the hot milk mixture into the egg yolks slowly. Add the remainder of the ingredients and allow to cool completely before spinning in your favorite machine. Top with fresh, local berries and mint.

Thursday, July 23, 2015

Bare's Skinny Cocktail Recipe

Summer is here and what could be more perfect than a cool, refreshing, delicious summer inspired cocktail to enjoy without having to worry about the calories? Bare's Skinny Cocktail combines some of spring's natural flavors to make the perfect organic and low calorie treat to relax with while enjoying the warm weather and sunshine (and you can easily leave out the alcohol to make a non-alcoholic version). Everyone wants to have a drink but are too worried about the high calories especially right before bikini season; thankfully Bare's Skinny Cocktail is only 120 calories.

Bare's Spring Skinny Cocktail Recipe

6 .oz rum
2 .oz strawberry simple syrup
12 .oz Bare’s Lemon Drop Mixer
Splash of Orange Juice
Splash of Pineapple Juice
8 .oz club soda

For the Strawberry Simple Syrup:

1 1/3 cup agave nectar
1 3/4 cup water
12 large strawberries

For the strawberry simple syrup: Combine agave nectar, water, and strawberries into a small saucepan over high heat. Mash strawberries as the mixture comes to a boil. Boil for 30 seconds, then turn off the heat and allow syrup to cool completely. Transfer syrup to a food processor or blender, process until smooth, then strain through a fine mesh sieve to remove the strawberry seeds (optional.) Chill in the fridge. Fill a pitcher with ice, then add rum, strawberry simple syrup, Bare Organic Mixer: Lemon Drop, orange juice, and pineapple juice. Mix until very cold. Pour into a glass, with ice, then top with club soda.

Bare Mixers are a natural, low-calorie cocktail mixer used for margaritas, martinis, and so much more made with only the simplest and freshest ingredients including 100% real fruit juices, purified water, and organic agave syrup. Bare comes in a variety of mixers such as margarita, lemon drop and pomegranate cranberry cosmo that blend well with nearly any liquor or spirit or can also be enjoyed straight up on the rocks. Bare Mixers are free of artificial flavors, high fructose corn syrup, and empty calories. Each mixer is only 17 calories per ounce and 51 per serving, making Bare Mixers a much healthier option than other mixers on the market.

Monday, July 20, 2015

Blood Orange Panna Cotta Recipe

Here in the northeast the months of July and August are typically our hottest months of the year. For the past few weeks we have had mainly temperatures 85 to 95 degrees with high humidity. Boy, it has been a super hot summer already!!!

Today I am sharing with all of you a guest post recipe that will help to keep you cool on those hot summer days. Not only that, it's easy to prepare and delicious too! The recipe is courtesy of: Paulding & Company— a full catering kitchen based in San Francisco, founded by mother-daughter duo Tracy and Terry Paulding. This recipe will yield 8 servings.

Blood Orange Panna Cotta Recipe

8 blood oranges
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 small fresh lemon
2 Tbs. sweet Vermouth
1/2 cup granulated sugar
2 tsp. unflavored gelatin powder (most likely not quite a packet!)
1 ½ cup whipping cream
2 1/4 cups buttermilk, chilled
1 tsp. vanilla extract
Neutral vegetable oil for the cups (if unmolding)

Prepare the oranges:

Pare the zest from one orange with a vegetable peeler. Blanch the zest strips in boiling water for two minutes. Drain, cool and cut into fine julienne. Set aside. Peel the zested orange and one more, paring away the pith, and cut supremes (sections). Juice the remaining six oranges. Juice the lemon as well, adding its juice to the bowl.

Make the sauce:

Combine zest, supremes, ¼ cup of the juice, ½ cup brown sugar, and ¼ cup water in a small pot. Bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer, and cook until slightly thickened and sauce-like, 10-15 minutes. Remove from the heat, add the Vermouth, and set aside.

Make the panna cotta:

Put ¼ cup water in a small bowl, and sprinkle the gelatin on top. Place the remaining orange juice (you should have around ¾-1 cup) in a small pan, and cook over medium-high heat until reduced by half, about 5 minutes. Add ½ cup sugar, stirring to dissolve it. Add the cream, and bring to a simmer. Add the gelatin mixture, stirring it in off the heat until dissolved completely. Stir in the buttermilk and vanilla. Let cool, stirring occasionally.

Lightly oil 8 panna cotta molds, custard cups, or, if you don’t want to unmold the dessert, use un-oiled wine or fancy dessert glasses. Divide the cooled panna cotta mix between the prepared molds, and refrigerate until firm, at least one hour, or overnight.

To unmold, run a knife around the edge, then dip bottom of each mold in hot water for a second or two. Turn onto a plate. Garnish with the sauce.

Friday, July 17, 2015

Peppercorn Steak Recipe

It's summertime and the grilling is easy! July’s National Grilling Month is the perfect opportunity to treat your friends and family to some delicious (but rather unhealthy) food from the grill. When most people think of a cookout, they have dreams of hot dogs, hamburgers, creamy potato salad and chips.

According to a survey from Medifast, over half of the participants just sit and eat at a BBQ rather than move around and partake in physical activity…So why not add some healthy, light and delicious meals to the menu to make up for the lack in cardiovascular activity? To help combat the BBQ weight gain, Medifast has created a few grilling recipes perfect to help celebrate National Grilling Month while keeping you slim and trim.

Peppercorn Steak Recipe

Prep time: 15 minutes Cooking time: 14 minutes Yield: 1 serving

7 oz flank steak
¼ tsp whole peppercorns
1/8 tsp kosher salt
½ tsp dry mustard
¼ tsp garlic powder
¼ tsp dried thyme
½ cup mushrooms, sliced thin
½ cup green bell peppers, chopped

Mix the peppercorn, salt, mustard, garlic powder, and thyme. Rub evenly over steak. Let stand for 10 minutes. Heat a non-stick grill pan over medium heat. Grill steak five to seven minutes on each side, until steak is desired doneness. Grill mushrooms and green peppers until tender; serve alongside steak.

Disclosure: Recipe and photo is courtesy of Medifast.

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Low-Fat Tiramisu Recipe

These days...we all are watching what we eat. Some of us are trying to cut calories to lose weight and others are just trying to cut down on the sugar for various other health reasons. Today's guest recipe is by Chef Kim Lassiter of Symply Pure and Decadent Bakery. This tasty treat is not only packed with-tons of flavor, but is perfect for anyone who is looking for low-fat dessert options!
Low-Fat Tiramisu Recipe

2 pkg. (3 oz. each) ladyfingers, split, divided
2 Tbsp. Coffee liqueur
1 Tbsp. organic sugar
1 cup boiling water
2 pkg. (8 oz. each) Neufchatel Cheese, softened
½ Organic cup sugar
½ Tbsp. coffee liqueur or fresh organic brewed coffee
2 cups LITE Whipping cream
1 tsp. unsweetened natural cocoa powder
½ cup of 10x sugar
1 package of powder gelatin or three sheets of gelatin soaked in cold water

ARRANGE 1 pkg. of the ladyfingers on bottom of 13x9-inch dish. Dissolve instant coffee and 1 Tbsp. organic sugar. Mix the sugar and 1/2 cup of fresh brewed coffee in a bowl. Brush 1/2 cup of the coffee mixture over ladyfingers in a dish.

BEAT Neufchatel Cheese with electric mixer on medium speed until smooth and add 1 package powder or three sheets of gelatin. Add 2 tsp of the coffee liqueur 1/2 cup organic sugar and liqueur, mixing until blended. Gently stir in whipped topping.

Whipped Topping 2 cups of LITE whipping cream in a mixer whip on high speed until it has a medium peak add 1/2 cup 10x

SPREAD Neufchatel Cheese filling into a silicone mold. Refrigerate for two hrs. After two hours pop out of mold and top with remaining ladyfingers; brush with remaining coffee. Top with whipped cream. Dust with cocoa powder and serve.

Tip: (Optional) Drizzle chocolate sauce or chocolate syrup on plate with fresh berries for d├ęcor

About: Based in the New York metropolitan area, Symply Pure and Decadent Bakery not only bakes to order but they also offer catering services for all special occasions. Founder Kim Lassiter works tirelessly to create yummy treats for her loyal customers. “At Symply Pure and Decadent, we are focused on providing premium services with the highest levels of customer satisfaction – we will do everything we can to meet your expectations,” says Lassiter. Visit for more details on the company.

Saturday, July 11, 2015

X-Men: Days of Future Past Rogue Cut on DVD July 14th

X-Men: Days of Future Past Rogue Cut on DVD July 14th!!!

The Version Fans Have Been Waiting For hits Blu-ray™, DVD and Digital HD July 14th, 2015. Includes an Alternate, Never-Before-Seen Cut and Nearly 90 Minutes of New Special Features, as well as the Theatrical Version.

Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment will take you back in time for an all new experience as the X-Men: Days of Future Past Rogue Cut hits Blu-ray™ and DVD July 14. Fan-favorite mutant Rogue, played by Anna Paquin, finally joins the all-star cast, including Hugh Jackman, Michael Fassbender, James McAvoy, Halle Berry, Jennifer Lawrence, Ellen Page, Ian McKellen and Patrick Stewart, as they prepare to battle the Sentinels!

With a never-before-seen, alternate cut of the film—plus nearly 90 minutes of all-new, immersive special features, The X-Men: Days of Future Past Rogue Cut takes you deeper into the X-Men universe than ever before. Rogue makes her return as the all-star characters from the original X-Men film trilogy join forces with their younger selves and unite to battle armies of murderous Sentinel robots who are hunting down mutants and humans alike!

Packed with an all new cut of X-Men: Days of Future Past and nearly 90 minutes of new content, the Rogue Cut is the ultimate fan collectible! Go behind-the-battle for Earth with the definitive documentary “Mutant vs Machine” or look into the future with a sneak peek of the new Fantastic Four film.

TWENTIETH CENTURY FOX HOME ENTERTAINMENT: Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment is the industry leading worldwide marketing, sales and distribution company for all Fox produced, acquired and third party partner film and television programing. Each year TCFHE expands its award-winning global product portfolio with the introduction of new entertainment content through established and emerging formats including DVD, Blu-ray™ and Digital HD™. Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment is a subsidiary of 21st Century Fox.

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Green Chili Mac and Cheese Recipe

How many of you love a good homemade mac and cheese? For those of you who do and who are looking for a new twist on a traditional dish...check out this recipe from the great folks over at Colman mustard. This recipe will make 4-6 servings.

Green Chili Mac and Cheese Recipe

2 cups macaroni, regular or whole wheat
1 tsp. salt, divided
2 cups whole milk
¼ cup unsalted butter
¼ cup flour
6 ounces shredded Colby or Colby jack cheese, about 1 ½ cups
4 ounces shredded extra sharp cheddar cheese, about 1 cup
1 ½ teaspoons Colman’s Dry Mustard Powder
4 ounces canned diced roasted green chilies, hot or mild

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Bring a large pot of water to a boil and add 1/2 teaspoon salt. Cook the macaroni for about 2 minutes less than the cooking time according to the pasta box instructions. Drain the pasta. Rinse with cold water and drain thoroughly.

In a saucepan melt the butter over medium heat. Whisk in the flour until smooth but still pale. Cook, stirring often, for about a minute. Whisk in the Colman’s Dry Mustard then add the milk to the flour mixture, a little at a time, whisking constantly to prevent lumps. Stir until the sauce bubbles and thickens.

Combine the drained macaroni with the sauce, green chilies, the remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt and all but 1/2 cup of cheese. Pour into a buttered baking dish or casserole, top with remaining cheese, and bake for 20 minutes or until bubbly and brown in spots. Let cool 10 minutes before serving.

Sunday, July 5, 2015

7 Container Plants to Help Repel Mosquitoes

We have a semi-large suburban property that is bordered on two sides by a tree line. Behind our property about a 1/2 mile is a small pond that seems to attract all kinds of wildlife and bugs. Mosquitoes have been a big problem in this area and it seems we are always getting bitten up, especially during the early morning or late evening hours.

I did some extensive research online and talked to a local gardening expert who educated me on some container plants that I could place around my patio, deck and front porch to help repel mosquitoes. I wanted plants in containers so that I can move them around our yard when we are entertaining family and friends.

Here are 7 Container Plants to Help Repel Mosquitoes. All of these plants are readily available at your local garden center or neighborhood nursery.

1. Citronella

2. Rosemary

3. Lemon Balm

4. Basil

5. Catnip

6. Lavender

7. Marigold

What I love about these plants is that many can do double duty in your garden. For example: The Rosemary and Basil can be used in the kitchen when you are cooking. The Lemon Balm, Marigold and Lavender are great in homemade bath, body and beauty products. Matter of fact, you can find some great DIY beauty recipes right here on my blog that call for those ingredients.

You can plant these plants in any containers that you would like. I used plastic planters, metal sand buckets, old metal watering cans and even an old metal mop bucket. The containers also added some interest and appeal to your garden decor and landscaping.

When the growing season is over here in the northeast, I remove my plants and save my gardening containers in our backyard shed for the next growing season. No need to go out and buy new containers!

We've had great success by planting these plants in containers to help repel the mosquitoes. We move them all around the yard, depending on where we are gathering, working or playing that day. It's been a great solution for us and we haven't used any nasty bug or pest repellents this year.

Thursday, July 2, 2015

The Delicious Capri Spritz Cocktail Recipe

Limoncello di Capri’s story began at the start of the 20th century when Vincenza Canale, a hotelier on the island of Capri, was the first to offer limoncello, derived from the Caprian word “limonillo,” to her guests. Her descendants formed Limoncello di Capri S.r.L. in 1988 continuing the old family tradition and becoming the first company to patent and use the “Limoncello” name now used by many other brands. In 1999, the Molinari family, famous for creating the Sambuca category, became a shareholder in “Limoncello di Capri, SrL.”

Today, Limoncello di Capri is the #1 selling Limoncello in bars and restaurants in Italy (Source: Nielsen). Produced in small batches using only IGP certified lemons grown on the Island of Capri and in the Sorrento Peninsula, Limoncello di Capri is one of the few brands of Limoncello produced using only real lemons. The lemons are hand-picked then peeled and naturally infused over a four to six day period to create a naturally infused spirit without the addition of coloring, preservatives or additives.

The Delicious Capri Spritz Cocktail Recipe

1 oz. Limoncello di Capri
5 oz. Prosecco wine or Champagne

Pour Limoncello di Capri in a flute or martini glass, top with Prosecco wine or Champagne.

Disclosure: This is a guest post recipe courtesy of Limoncello di Capri. You must be 21 years of age or older to consume alcohol. Please drink responsibly.