Wine Before Bed = Lost Weight

COUNT ME IN!

Marie Claire says it’s true, so who am I to dispute this fantastic piece of scientific weight loss news?  Don’t believe me?  Want to look a gift horse in the mouth?  I’ll share the article with you just as it appeared in the pages of Marie Claire Magazine – no edits, no comments:

Drinking wine before bed helps you lose weight. Seriously. Science says so

This is a wine related Public Service Announcement

Kristen Wiig

Dear everyone who thought it appropriate to sneer and cast a judgmental eye over us when we’ve admitted to enjoying a glass or few of wine before bed. You can go firmly back in your boxes, because scientists have discovered that drinking wine late in the evening aids weight loss.

The above paragraph is what music to our ears looks like.

wigwine

via GIPHYCINEMABLEND

Now let’s get scientific with the help from Washington State University and Harvard. In wine there is a chemical called resveratrol which works in the body as a means to stopping fat cells gaining more fat, therefore helping you slim.

And this isn’t one of those incidences when we’re told we can drink wine, but only a thimble mixed with vinegar every other Wednesday, according to scientists, drinking at least two glasses – half a bottle a day can help beat obesity by 70%. There’s no messing around with a number like that, is there?

The reason why coiffing your best glass of Blue Nun in the evening is best, is because the pringles_originalcalories help keep you full and reduce the need to late night snack, which is one of the biggest culprits when it comes to weight gain. *Glances towards Pringles under bed*

To back this up with even more scientific evidence, the University of Denmark found that people who drank everyday had slimmer waistlines compared to their sober lamarca-proseccocounterparts, while Harvard’s weight gain study of 20,000 people revealed that out of all of those that gained a large amount of weight, none of them were drinkers.

Oh science we love you. Now we’re off to celebrate your innovative findings by climbing into bed with a bottle of Prosecco.

If you are on Facebook and are interested in the things I may not devote an entire blog post to, recipes, food facts, nutritional information, photos and other things that make my mouth water, I have a page on Facebook you can visit too:  https://www.facebook.com/ThisGirlLovesHerFood

Hadley’s Famous Date Shake

I love fruit and most vegetables although I will readily admit that cauliflower, unless it’s swimming in butter, lemon and herbs or covered with a luscious cheese sauce, leaves a lot to be desired.  Don’t even get me started on the smell.  Gross!

My grandma was a health nut when I was growing up.  She bought off on every do-it-yourself or make-it-at-home heath trend and we were her willing samplers.

She always had cut up vegetables for us kids to snack on, although my dad and grandpa would be snacking on things she wouldn’t touch like Spam, Vienna sausages, deviled ham, pickled herring, creamed chipped beef, sardines, and really anything canned they could spread on a saltine or Triscuit cracker.

She bought a yogurt maker and fruit dehydrator but I think the amount of time it took to get a finished product, and the lack of enthusiasm her efforts were met with, led her to toss them into the garage with the other gadgets of brief interest.

hadleylogoOne thing that she did instill in all of her kids and grandkids though was a love of fruits and nuts.  Anytime we would be in the desert at one of their condos, a required stop was Hadley’s Fruit Orchard for nuts, fresh and dried fruits, and their specialty, a date shake.  Made with the sinfully delicious Deglet Noor Date, it’s pretty much heaven in a cup.

Hadley’s Famous Date Shakedate-shake-ingredients

  • 1/8 to 1/4 Cup Chopped Hadley’s Cooking Dates
  • 1/3 Cup 2% Milk
  • 1 Cup Vanilla Ice Cream
  • 1 Ripe Banana, a sprinkle of nutmeg or cinnamon (if desired –  additions on their menu, not part of the original recipe)

In a blender, combine dates with 1/4 cup of the milk. Blend to a creamy consistency. Add ice cream and the rest of the milk and blend to desired thickness. Serves 2.

deglet-noor-dates-californiaI am now about 2 hours away from Palm Springs, which puts me 2 hours away from Hadley’s but thankfully Hadley’s has entered the information age and I can order their fruits and nuts online!  Looks like I’ll be ordering some dates so I can indulge my need for a bit of memory refreshment. 😉

If you are on Facebook and are interested in the things I may not devote an entire blog post to, recipes, food facts, nutritional information, photos and other things that make my mouth water, I have a page on Facebook you can visit too:  https://www.facebook.com/ThisGirlLovesHerFood

Sunday Family Dinner

family_dinner_tableWhen I was a kid, we saw my mom’s parents all the time.  They lived just a few miles away so we often saw them during the week when they came to our various games.  On those nights, because Grandma always seemed to be on some new diet, Grandpa was excited to eat whatever junk food was being served at the snack bar, but at least twice a month, my grandparents would come to our house for a proper Sunday dinner.

My Mom didn’t have a big cooking repertoire, so dinner would be one of a four things:

  1. Roast on her counter top Farberware rotisserie;
  2. Flank or Top Sirloin Steak marinated with an envelope of Lawry’s tenderizing marinade for beef then grilled on the BBQ;
  3. Spaghetti.  Her Bolognese was one of the few things she made from scratch and my Grandpa Bob loved it; or
  4. Meatloaf.  Another basic meal that, inexplicably,  my grandparents loved coming over for.

Unless we were having spaghetti, we always had some version of the same side dishes:

  • Green salad tossed in Bob’s Bleu Cheese or Thousand Island Dressing bobsbcdressingbobs1000dressing
  • Some type of boxed potato she could throw in the oven
  • Rice-A-Roni
  • Peas, Broccoli with cheese sauce, or corn

I wasn’t kidding, cooking was not her thing.

If she was making dessert it was one of a very few things:

  • Basking Robbins Ice Cream
  • Frosted Cake
  • Cookies
  • Cherry Surprise

You may be asking yourself, what in the world is Cherry Surprise?  It was Mom’s go-to, minimal effort, no-bake, bring to any occasion dessert:

  • 2 Angel Food Loaf Cakes or 1 Angel Food Round Cake
  • 1 Large Box Instant Vanilla Pudding
  • 1 Cup of Milk
  • 16 oz Sour Cream
  • 2 Cans Comstock Cherry Pie Filling
  • Reddy-Whip Canned Whipped Cream or a Tub of Cool Whip Thawed

Assembly Directions

  1. Tear the angel food cake into small chunks and put the pieces into a 9″ x 12″ Pyrexafcake baking dish
  2. In a medium bowl (or the bowl of your stand mixer) combine the milk, sour cream, and pudding.  Mix on low until combined then switch to high and mix another 2 minutes, scraping bowl occasionally, until pudding is thick and fluffy.
  3. Using a rubber spatula, spread all of the pudding mixture over the cake layerpudding-layer.  Tap the baking dish against the counter to help the pudding settle into pockets between the pieces of cake.
  4. Pour the contents of both cans of cherry pie filling over the top of the pudding layer, spreading to evenly distribute the cherries
  5. Cover loosely and refrigerate for at least 2 hours
  6. Scoop portions onto plate and top with whipped creamcherry-delight

Simple, but always a crowd pleaser.

I try and do Sunday dinner but tonight didn’t even live up to Mom’s limited menus, I ordered pizza.  To be fair, we did eat it together as a family while watching Sunday night football. 😉

I’ll do better tomorrow.

If you are on Facebook and are interested in the things I may not devote an entire blog post to, recipes, food facts, nutritional information, photos and other things that make my mouth water, I have a page on Facebook you can visit too:  https://www.facebook.com/ThisGirlLovesHerFood

Healthier Potato Chips

potato-chipsIt’s debate night and a few girlfriends and I are throwing together a spread so we can drink wine and yell at the combatants on the television screen.  All was fine until I realized my son ate all of the chips and Amazon Prime Now had already made their second trip to my house of the day.  UG!

I remembered I had a 5 pound bag of potatoes in the cabinet so bravely I took on baking homemade potato chips.  How hard could it be?  Truth be told, the whole first batch ended up in the trash…I baked them WAY too long and they were black.  Oops!

This is the recipe that finally worked:

  • 3 Large Russet Potatoes
  • 1/4 Cup Light Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 1 -2 TBLS Sea Salt, Black Pepper, Cajun Spice Blend, Ranch Dressing Mix, Mrs. Dash, or any other seasoning blend you’d prefer
  1. Pre-heat oven to 400°
  2. Wash the potatoes thoroughly
  3. Using a mandolin type slicer, slice the potatoes into thin slices, rinse in cold water and pat dry
  4. Pour the olive oil into a medium sized mixing bowl, add the potato slices and the spice(s) you prefer
  5. Using tongs to separate, toss the potato slices making sure that they are thoroughly coated on both sides
  6. Place slices on baking sheets and put into preheated oven.
  7. Cook 12-15 minutes or until chips are brown (but not too dark)
  8. Remove from pans to paper towel lined drying racks so excess oil can be soaked up.
  9. Store in sealed container lined with paper towel between layers.

Serve with sour cream, any dip you choose or ketchup!

donaldripspageAfter drinking enough wine for a much larger party than just the 4 of us, emptying the bowl of chips, downing a pizza, tweeting until our nails were breaking, and screaming obscenities at the screen for 90 minutes, we were treated to this scene at the end of the debate when a television camera caught an angry Donald Trump angrily ripping a page out of his notebook while grinding his teeth. 😉

If you are on Facebook and are interested in the things I may not devote an entire blog post to, recipes, food facts, nutritional information, photos and other things that make my mouth water, I have a page on Facebook you can visit too:  https://www.facebook.com/ThisGirlLovesHerFood

 

Apple Cider Sangria

Yesterday I made a batch of spicy apple cider that filled the house with a delicious early fall smell.  Tonight I think I’ll spice things up a bit more by sharing a recipe I have for a large batch cocktail featuring my sweet spicy apple cider.

Fall Apple Cider Sangriaapple-sangria

  • 1 Granny Smith Apple
  • 1 Fuji Apple
  • 1 Golden Delicious Apple
  • 1 Lemon
  • 1 Navel Orange
  • 2 Cups Spicy Pressure Cooker Apple Cider
  • 4 Cans Stoli Ginger Beer
  • 1 Bottle Sauvignon Blanc Wine – I prefer one that has peachy/apple/honeysuckle undertones when I am making this Sangria.  One that leans toward the citrus/grapefruit might throw the taste off.
  • 1/4 Cup Cinnamon and 1/4 Cup Granulated Sugar

cinnamonsugarrimPrepare Serving Glasses:  Combine 1/4 cup granulated sugar and 1/4 cup cinnamon and pour onto a shallow rimmed plate (like a salad plate); Dip the rim of your serving glass into water and then touch edge of glass into the cinnamon/sugar mixture on the plate; Lightly tap the excess off of each glass and set them aside.

Prepare the Sangria:

  1. Using a Mandolin or other thin slicer (I prefer the OXO 6 Piece Grater Slicer) thinly slice the apples, orange and lemon.
  2. Fill a Large (At least 1 gallon) Pitcher, or Mason Jar with a dispenser with the fruit.
  3. Add apple cider, ginger beer, and Sauvignon Blanc wine.
  4. Stir mixture, pour into the prepared serving glasses and garnish with thin slices of apple on a small skewer if you desire.

TIP:  If you are not a White Wine person, a lot of people aren’t, here are some recommendations for the type of wine you are looking for in this recipe:

Angeline Sauvignon Blanc – About $13 “With graceful aromas of white peach and nectarine, green apple and lemon…”

Low Hanging Fruit Sauvignon Blanc – About $8  “Flavors of honeydew melon, lemon-lime and ripe apple, followed by a refreshing crisp finish.”

Cloud Break Sauvignon Blanc – About $8  “lively flavors of honeydew melon, juicy peach and pear.”

This would be a great light drink to serve while the family is gathering before Thanksgiving dinner is served, an easy picnic or tailgate treat, and would be a really fun poolside treat.

With a 7:30 PM Thursday night USC game two weeks away, I can’t think of a better time to break this recipe out alongside my cider as a bit of a treat on, what may very well be, our first chilly night of the season!

Cheers!

If you are on Facebook and are interested in the things I may not devote an entire blog post to, recipes, food facts, nutritional information, photos and other things that make my mouth water, I have a page on Facebook you can visit too:  https://www.facebook.com/ThisGirlLovesHerFood

It’s Fall Cider Time!

can-apple-cider-vinegar-help-goutWe are approaching mid-October and still seeing daytime temperatures over 90°F in Southern California.  I’m not a cold weather lover, but I do like to have 4 separate seasons and I do appreciate it greatly when we dip into the 50’s, 60’s, and 70’s so I can wear my boots, jeans and sweaters and start cooking hearty soups, stews and sip warm drinks by the fire!

Having spent the weekend sweating and getting a sunburn, it was so exciting to wake up today to a gloomy, overcast morning.  I turned off the air conditioner, opened up all the windows to let the cool outside air in and grabbed a sweatshirt.  Then, even better, I remembered that I have a bowl of apples on the kitchen counter.  It’s Cider Time!

Spicy Pressure Cooker Apple Cider

  • 12 Apples (I use a mixture of Granny Smith and Fuji)
  • 1-2 Navel Oranges
  • 3 Cinnamon Sticks
  • 1 Cup Brown Sugar (packed)
  • 6-8 Whole Cloves
  • 1+ 1/2 tsp Ground Cardamom (or 2 Pods)
  • 8 Cups Water

Preparation:

  1. Core the Apples
  2. Cut the Apples and Oranges into Quarters
  3. Place Fruit into the Inner Pot of Pressure Cookercider2
  4. Add the Spices
  5. Cover with Water
  6. Close the Pressure Cooker, set to High Pressure and Cook for a 10 minute cycle
  7. Quick Release the Pressure and Mash Up the Fruit at the end of the cycle. I use my 3 sided steel meat tenderizer and get after it to make sure the oils from the skin of the apples get agitated and the oils release from the orange skins
  8. Reclose the Pressure Cooker, set to High Pressure and Cook for an additional 10 minute cycle.
  9. When cooking is complete, unplug the Pressure Cooker and allow to come back to cider1natural pressure on its own.
  10. Strain cider through a fine mesh sieve (I use the back of a ladle to push as much out of the solids as I can) into a large bowl or pitcher.  You can transfer to a tea kettle on the stove, your crock pot, or a pan to keep warm if you are planning to drink the cider immediately.
  11. Serve with a thin slice of apple or orange and a cinnamon stick if desired.
  12. You can also add cider to bourbon, champagne, or make a fun fall martini with it

Cheers!

If you are on Facebook and are interested in the things I may not devote an entire blog post to, recipes, food facts, nutritional information, photos and other things that make my mouth water, I have a page on Facebook you can visit too:  https://www.facebook.com/ThisGirlLovesHerFood

Hula Mac

la%20coliseum-uscThe college football season is 6 weeks old and finally, this past Saturday, I got to go to a game.  I love college football season and missing six games sucked, so I was really anxious to get back into full tailgate mode.  I was warned by my fellow tail gaiters, not to overdo it, which I did, but it was SO worth it!

Because the LA Rams are sharing the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum with the USC ramscoliseumdayTrojans for the next 3 years, while their new stadium is being built in Inglewood, there are a few game weekends when both teams will be hosting home games.  This weekend happened to be one of those weekends which meant USC would be kicking off at 1:00 PM in order to give the Coliseum crew time to the complete stadium changeover that meant an early (and shorter) tailgate.  That’s always a challenge, but additionally, Southern California was in the middle of another hot and dry spell which makes bringing and keeping food fresh during the hours on the hot asphalt the hardest task.

Our friend Greg was making a Hawaiian sandwich/burrito/wrap filled with Portugese sausage and fried rice so I wanted to make something that would compliment that but would be easy to prepare, easy to transport and easy to eat while standing around with other football fans.

Hula Macaroni Salad

  • 16 Oz Spiral Pasta
  • 1 – 20oz Can Pineapple Chunks Drained (Reserve Liquid)
  • 3 Cups Cubed Ham
  • 1 Cup Shredded Carrot
  • 1/2 Cup Chopped Green Onion (About 3 Onions)
  • 1 Cup Mayonnaise
  • Reserved Pineapple Juice from Canned Fruit
  • 1 – 6oz Container Vanilla Greek Yogurt (Non-Fat)
  • 2 TBLS Apple Cider Vinegar
  • 2 TBLS Sugar
  1. Cook the pasta according to the package directions.  Remove from heat, drain and rinse in cool water.
  2. In large bowl combine the pasta, drained pineapple, ham, carrots and sliced green onion.
  3. In a 4 Cup measuring cup (or bowl) combine the reserved pineapple juice, mayonnaise, apple cider vinegar and sugar.  Whisk until well combined and sugar is dissolved.
  4. Pour dressing over the salad and use a rubber spatula to distribute throughout.
  5. Refrigerate at least an hour to allow dressing to thicken and flavors to combine.

To make this a truly portable side dish, I combined the pasta, ham, carrot, green onion and pineapple in a gallon-sized Zip Bag and them poured the dressing over the contents, sealed and refrigerated.  Made it really easy to put into the cooler until time to serve.

If you are on Facebook and are interested in the things I may not devote an entire blog post to, recipes, food facts, nutritional information, photos and other things that make my mouth water, I have a page on Facebook you can visit too:  https://www.facebook.com/ThisGirlLovesHerFood

 

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