It’s that time again and football season is in full swing. Minnesota takes their Vikings games very seriously. Fans wear purple jerseys and some hang Vikings flags from their homes. Many people get together on a Sunday night to drink bear, eat snacks, and watch the game with friends.
The easy solution is to throw some chips or pretzels into a bowl next to a bowl of store bought dip. However, with a little bit of effort (not too much), there are some delicious and simple snacks which are sure to please any football fan. Invite some friends over for the next Vikings game and serve one or all of these snacks. You will be the best host ever!
6 eggs, hard boiled, cooled and peeled
2 Tbsp. mayonnaise
1 tsp. Dijon mustard
1 tsp. white wine vinegar
1 Tbsp. celery, minced
½ onion, minced
1 clove garlic, minced
Dash of hot pepper sauce
1/8 celery salt
Salt and pepper to taste
3 sprigs parsley for garnish
Dash of paprika for garnish
Slice the eggs in half and spoon the yolk into a large bowl. Combine mayonnaise, Dijon mustard, vinegar, celery, onion, garlic, pepper sauce, celery salt and salt and pepper. Mix well. Spoon this mixture back into the egg whites. Sprinkle the paprika over the finished eggs and top with parsley for garnish.
5 Layer Bean Dip:
2 cans black beans
2 C. cheddar cheese, shredded
1 onion, chopped
1 C. Salsa
½ C. sour cream
Place one two cans of black beans into an oven ready dish. Pour the cheese over the beans. Cook in a preheated 350 degree oven until cheese melts and beans are warm (about 15 minutes). Layer the onions, salsa and sour cream. Serve with tortilla chips.
1 loaf French or Italian bread, sliced in half lengthwise
2 cloves garlic sliced in half and 1 Tbsp. minced
1 Tbsp olive oil
¼ C. Parmigiano cheese, freshly grated
1/3 C. basil, thinly sliced
2 Tbsp. balsamic
Salt and pepper to taste.
Preheat the broiler and place the rack six inches beneath broiler. Rub the sliced garlic onto the face of the bread halves. Drizzle the olive oil on the bread. Top with the cheese. Place this into the oven until golden brown (about ten minutes). In a separate bowl, combine tomatoes, garlic, basil, vinegar, oil, salt and pepper. Stir. Once you take the bread out of the oven, cut into desired sizes. Top the bread pieces with the tomato mixture. Serve.
“Nothing would be more tiresome than eating and drinking if God had not made them a pleasure as well as a necessity.”
If you really love food: cooking, eating, discovering new cuisines, and learning new food related facts, you will be happy to read these books. Both books, although completely different, present food as more than just the three meals each day. In each book, food is part of a lifestyle which includes health of the mind, body, and spirit. It opens doorways to passion, people, and fun.
French Women Don’t Get Fat: The secret of eating for pleasure by Mireille Guiliano. This book is fascinating. It is supposed to be a diet book. But, soon, you realize that to get thin or to stay thin involves more than counting calories for a few months. It takes a change in lifestyle. The lifestyle Guiliano describes is one most people would love to have. It involves long walks around Paris, drinking champagne or wine with lunch, eating delicious salads, and…never going to the gym. Therefore, dieting becomes fun and not really dieting at all. She reveals how loving life and food and love keep you thin. One chapter is called, “eating for life” because she describes how to eat forever, not just to shed a few pounds. The book also contains delicious low fat recipes. She gives great tips like, “The full taste of wine reveals itself only when paired with the right food.” She goes on to say that French women would never drink wine without food, like a cocktail. It’s a fun book and you won’t be able to put it down. You will probably want to get on the next plane to France. However, everything she describes in her lifestyle you could adopt wherever you live.
The Man Who Ate Everything by Jeffrey Steingarten. This book is entertaining, fact filled, and so funny. You may know Jeffrey Steingarten as a judge on Iron Chef America. He is extremely well educated in all things food related. He found that one can get rid of preconceived notions of disliking certain foods with discipline and curiosity. He says that you can learn or train yourself to like food if you increase exposure to them. In this book, he travels and tries so many different foods. He gives you detailed information about everything. You will learn all you ever wanted to know about fries because there is an entire chapter on them. He bottles his own water and makes the perfect sourdough bread. He offers many recipes as well. It reads like a cookbook, travel guide and food encyclopedia. Plus, it’s a comedy. You’ll love it.
You would be doing yourself a favor to add these foodie books to your library. Whether you are a seasoned chef or a novice, you will enjoy reading these. They teach you about the author’s passion for food and life. Both are passions worth reading about.
There are so many reasons to have your children involved in the kitchen. First, it is nice to have help, even if it involves a bit of training. Also, cooking with children promotes bonding, conversation, and increases your time spent together. Finally, your children will learn valuable lessons in nutrition and cooking.
Help with cooking meals:
Cooking meals should not be a lonely chore. If everyone is involved, it becomes more of a pleasure. Turn on some good music. Sing and dance a little to liven the mood. Sure, you will have to teach your children while you all cook together, but soon they will know so much. Before long, they will know their way around without your help. Having your children cooking at your side makes meals so much more pleasurable.
Bonding, conversations and spending time together:
As with any activity involving your children, cooking with them allows you to spend some quality time together. You will find that conversations flow. You learn about their day at school, their friends, their likes and dislikes. Cooking together creates an opportunity to really bond and communicate. It will seem like less of an interrogation and more of a fun talk.
Nutrition and How to Cook:
So many young adults leave home with no understanding of basic cooking skills or nutrition. Perhaps every meal was just put in front of them to eat. They have no idea how to prepare meals for themselves. You can take the opportunity to teach them about the nutrients involved in each part of the recipe: the protein, the vegetable, the herbs, etc…Without this knowledge, your child could leave home and make meals of ramen noodles or cold cereal. How much cooler would it be to be the roommate who can cook for the entire apartment? He or she would become the superstar of the household. You child will be happy to grow up with this knowledge.
Really, above all else, cooking with your children is fun. It’s fun for the parent as well as the child. One very important thing to remember…involve them in the cleaning of the dishes too.
Dan Buettner, author of the New York Times best selling book, The Blue Zone, travelled the world in search of Blue Zones. Blue Zones are places where the highest percentage of the population in relation to the rest of the world live the longest. They have more people living beyond 100 years than anywhere else on the planet.
Dan was curious to find out why or at least to find common elements in each place to help determine a key to longevity. The first place he discovered was Sardinia. Sardinia is an Italian island located 120 miles west of mainland Italy. It has a population of 1.6 million people. In all of the blue zones discovered by Buettner, there were common characteristics among the longest living populations. In addition to Sardinia, the other blue zones are: Okinawa, a U.S. city in Southern California (in particular the Seventh Day Adventists within this city) called Loma Linda, and Costa Rica. In all of the blue zones, Dan Buettner tried to determine key factors in the longevity of the lives of the inhabitants. The factors were very similar among each blue zone.
The Sardinian lessons were:
1. They ate a lean plant based diet:
This includes whole grain bread, veggies, beans, fruit, pecorino cheese made from grass fed sheep (high in omega 3 fatty acids). They only ate meat on special occasions. Therefore, their diet was “accented with meat”.
2. The Sardinians put family first:
Everyone in the family was cared for by each other. This included the elderly and the babies. Family helped family. This decreases the rate of depression and levels of stress.
3. They drink goat’s milk:
This may protect against inflammatory disease such as heart diseases.
4. They celebrate their elders:
Grandparents provide child care, financial help, wisdom and motivation for thier younger relatives. They promote traditions which, in turn, produces healthier children (emotionally and physically).
5. Sardinian’s (shepherds) walk at least five miles each day:
This provides great cardiovascular health as well as muscle and bone metabolism. It does not provide the joint pounding you get from running.
6. Sardinian’s drink 1 – 2 glasses of red wine per day.
This provides artery scrubbing flavonoids and may reduce stress.
7. They laugh with their friends regularly.
Sardonic sense of humor (have you heard of this?) comes from these people. They gather each afternoon to talk and joke. This lowers risks of cardiovascular damage and decreases health.
Dan’s book is so well written. It takes you into the heart and soul of each of the blue zones. You feel like you know the families he interviews personally. It really makes you want to visit each one of these places yourself. Furthermore, the book encourages the reader to do more to improve your own life and live a longer and healthier one. All of the advice given throughout the book is easy to follow and makes you feel so much better each day. I highly recommend it. Here is the link to buy the book: http://www.thebluezonesstore.com/
I had Archie, Ella, Daphne and Jack all snuggled up in my bed on a snowy cold winter night. Claud was on a business trip. I told the children a story before they fell asleep. Out of my imagination came the story of Sasparilla Villa. She is a young girl who teaches her family and her village about compassion and sharing. Also, because everything I do or think is food related, Sasparilla’s mom makes amazing bread. The story was published on Authspot.com. It will be the first in a series of Sassy Stories. Here is the link:
My motivation behind writing this blog is to inspire people to cook and to be passionate about food. However, I believe that this should spread to all areas of life. Passion should apply to every nook and cranny of your existence. You should discover your dreams and live towards fulfilling your goals. It doesn’t hurt to have an amazing meal here and there too.
My mom sent me this information today from a motivational speaker, Barry Eisen. I found it to be inspirational. I like the idea of saying yes more. I hope you will too. I am providing you with an excerpt from the entire email. You can apply these ideas to cooking, eating, or to wherever your passions lie. Here it is:
- “Say yes: Attitude is a choice
- It is more important to be kind than right
- Blame is really: blame-me
- Intimacy is really: Into-me: See
- Surround yourself with those already happy
- Forgiving is not for them; it is for you
- Goals are dreams with deadlines
- Whatever were your results, were your intentions
- No one can make you feel inferior without your consent
- A lesson is repeated until learned
- You train others how to treat you by how you treat yourself
I hope something(s) mentioned above has made you smile or say “hmmm” – stay with it – and personalize the thought for a moment. Then take action or make the change that matters.
I have many seminars scheduled soon throughout L.A.and Orange Counties. Know someone who could benefit? Call or email me for information regarding these seminars and personal coaching.
Please do pass this email on to your relatives, friends, associates and clients.
Developmental Excelerations Inc.
11684 Ventura Blvd. #747
Studio City, Ca. 91604
PS Once again, Personal Excellence magazine has chosen to publish one of my articles (in October’s edition). Open the attachment and you will see my article and some others, truly worth reading. Hope you enjoy.”