Passover Smoked Salmon Bites

Passover Smoked Salmon Bites

Why did I not think of this before? Passover Smoked Salmon Bites are the perfect appetizer, snack, or lunch idea that only take 5 minutes to prepare. My daughter, Leigh, thought this was a brilliant idea, and I agree. She and my son, Zachary, came home from school and ate these so fast that I barely had any left to serve for appetizers to my hubs. Oh well, he did have one, and he thought these Smoked salmon bites are a wonderful light starter or refreshing snack. Feel free to half or double this recipe–they go really fast! I know what you’re thinking…Smoked salmon has sodium. Yes, that is true, but it also is a good source of protein, Vitamin B, Vitamin D and magnesium. These are very pretty too and a great way to use up your leftover matzah or use matzah even if you’re not celebrating Passover.

Passover Brownie A La Mode

Passover Brownie with Greek Yogurt

Passover is only a few weeks ahead, and I know many of my readers are always looking for more Passover desserts to diversify their holiday cooking. This Passover Brownie A La Mode is really awesome to serve during the week of Passover. The Passover Brownie mixture is made with nonfat Greek yogurt which adds nice moistness to the texture and protein in the brownies. Serve on the brownie on their own with a glass of milk or with frozen yogurt or any nondairy whipped topping. One of my favorite Passover Brownies recipes ever are The Best Passover Brownies which I created five years ago. It’s still a huge winner! For some of my other favorite passover desserts, click here for Passover Granola, Truffles, Mandel Bread and more.

The Best Passover brownies

Happy Easter

 

Happy Easter

Happy Easter! I am so excited that my third cookbook, 200 Best Smoothie Bowl Recipes published by Robert Rose Books has been released! I’ll be sharing one of my favorite recipes here on the blog later this week, and will be doing a cooking segment on Talk of the Town Newschannel 5 in Nashville this coming Friday, April 1st at 11:30 a.m (if you’re in or around Nashville, please tune in). If you’re interested in ordering a copy to ship on Monday click here. To purchase on Amazon, chick here.

Thank you for your support and here’s to a Happy Easter and peace and hope throughout the world!

Healthy Lemon Poppyseed Muffins

Healthy Lemon Poppyseed Muffins

If you’re celebrating Easter this summer with a breakfast or brunch or want a light lunch or dinner dessert, try this recipe for Healthy Lemon Poppyseed Muffins. These muffins also make a scrumptious spring or summer breakfast, mid morning or afternoon snack or dessert. My family members love anything with fresh lemon, so these muffins always win rave reviews with my kids and husband. I lightened up this recipe which I adapted from Browneyed Baker and substituted nonfat plain Greek yogurt for the sour cream. I love her recipes, and her food blog is totally worthy of checking out! If you’re headed out of town for spring break this week or planning your summer travels, these Lemon Poppyseed Muffins are also perfect for travel snacking. Store them at room temperature in an airtight container, and they should last up to 4 days. Enjoy and happy Easter weekend!

5 Yummy Easter Recipes

this is not seafood (lamb rack)

It’s hard to grasp that Easter is this weekend! If you’re looking for an Easy Rack of Lamb recipe see on of my creations on SC Johnson. I used to be intimidated to make a rack of lamb, but it is honestly so very easy, and everyone loves it! Below are 4 of my other yummy Easter recipes for to make for this weekend’s Easter hunt and celebration with your family and friends.

Tulip TomatoesTulip Tomatoes via Surviving a Teachers Salary

Pink Mint Chip Chocolate Bark

Pink Mint Chocolate Bark via I Spy DIY

peeps-smores-I-howsweeteats.com-10

Chocolate Peanut Butter Peeps Skillet S’mores via How Sweet It Is

Pastel-Easter-Egg-Oreo-Truffles-2

Easter Egg Truffles via Gimme Some Oven

5 Winning St. Patrick’s Day Recipes

Mint Chocolate Chip Ice Cream Sandwiches

My Mint Ice Cream Sandwich recipe on Momspark

 

Slow Cooker Irish Guinness Beef Stew

My recipe of Slow Cooker Guinness Beef Stew on Momspark

St.-Pattys-Day-Trail-Mix

Saint Patty’s Day Trail Mix via me and Ingredients, Inc.

Spinach-Pineapple-Smoothie

Spinach Pineapple Smoothie via me and Ingredients, Inc.

Saint-Patrick’s-Day-Fresh-Herb-Dip

Saint Patrick’s Day Dip via me and Ingredients, Inc.

6 Healthier New Years Recipes

Pear Pecan Crostini

Healthier New Years recipes, yes it’s true! New Years Eve has snuck up on me this year, and I am still not sure of my New Years plans yet I typically make a really nice dinner at home with some wine and/or champagne, a great appetizer, entree and nice dessert. I have been working on some healthier New Years recipes this year as you’ll see below my developed recipes for SC Johnson,  Fitness Republic, Momspark and of course, Ingredients, Inc. starting with my Pear Pecan Crostini Recipe from Ingredients, Inc. Here are some of my top healthy lifestyle tips that I am going to try to stick to in 2016:

  1. Do not skip breakfast!
  2. Drink more water.
  3. Eat more color: more vegetables and fruits everyday in orange, green, yellow, purple, red and white
  4. Do more yoga
  5. Live in the moment and be more mindful.
  6. State gratitude: Write down or say to myself three things I am grateful for every day.
  7. Exercise including cardio and weight training
  8. Read more
  9. Step out of my comfort zone more often
  10. Keep on traveling

Leave a comment below and let me know what’s on your list?

Champagne Punch

Champagne Punch via Fitness Republic

New Years Good Luck Soup

New Years Good Luck Soup via momspark

New Years Lucky Dip

New Years Lucky Dip via Fitness Republic

Kale-and-Bacon-Dip

Warm Kale and Bacon Dip via Ingredients, Inc.

Balsamic Glazed Collard Greens

Balsamic Glazed Collard Greens via SC Johnson

10 Best Holiday Decor Resorts

key biscayne ritz

Happy Holidays and first day of December!  I have rounded up some of my favorite luxury hotels who are going above and beyond with their holiday decorating this year. From the world’s largest gingerbread pirate ship to hand-sculpted sand tree reaching over 20 feet tall, and snow in San Diego (yes snow), these 10 best holiday decor resorts are the perfect place to celebrate this festive season.

1. The Ritz-Carlton, Key Biscayne

Experience the holidays the Miami way at The Ritz-Carlton, Key Biscayne with a hand-sculpted sand tree reaching over 20 feet tall. Inspired by the sea, the tree is decorated with sand dollars and seahorses and laced with lights. The details on this immaculate sand tree are truly astounding. Each tier is sculpted to perfection and a starfish tops off the incredible masterpiece.

The Ritz-Carlton Key Biscayne, Miami is just minutes from the city’s cosmopolitan center, yet feels like a secluded island getaway with its lush tropical gardens, infinity ocean views and the only South Florida beach on Dr. Beach’s Top Ten Beaches in the U.S. list. Connected to Miami by a picturesque causeway, the luxury resort is a renowned spa destination, has four globally-inspired dining venues and marketplace café, which takes guests on culinary journeys to Tuscany, Coastal Mexico and St. Tropez, and has the largest tennis center of any Ritz-Carlton in the world.

rancho bernardo

2. Rancho Bernardo Inn, San Diego

Located in North County San Diego, Rancho Bernardo Inn is full of Christmas cheer, and there’s never a dull moment between caroling, photos with Santa, cookie decorating for kids, storytelling, exploring Christmas Tree Row (approx. 8 full size christmas trees decorated to the hilt), outdoor christmas light show, plus special refreshments for grown-ups (in festive ‘red’ cups) and more! Every December, locals and guests alike are welcome to participate in the merriment! Each year the property has a life-size gingerbread house constructed in the lobby, housemate by Chef Margaret Carvallo. It’s made of only edible ingredients like a real gingerbread house would be. In addition to enjoying seasonal hot chocolate and cider, cookies and popcorn while soaking up some holiday cheer, dining options at the Inn include a special dinner buffet at Veranda Fireside Lounge and Restaurant ($33 adults/$12 kids | 4-9pm), Grab & Go concessions at Granada Room, or a la carte dining in AVANT Restaurant.

ritz nola

3. The Ritz-Carlton, New Orleans  New Orleans, Louisiana 

This year, The Ritz-Carlton, New Orleans will be transforming their annual gingerbread house into a beautiful winter castle.  Enter the ornate edible structure to find glass displays of scenes inspired by the popular movie Frozen, highlighting all of the lovable characters and favorite scenes. The Ritz-Carlton, New Orleans’ ornate castle will bring a winter wonderland to the hotel this holiday season.

ritz amelia

4. The Ritz-Carlton, Amelia Island, Florida

Guests will find the World’s Largest Gingerbread Pirate Ship returns to the Lobby at The Ritz-Carlton, Amelia Island.  This culinary masterpiece is made with over 600 pieces of gingerbread and adorned with sculpted pirates with colorful fondant clothing and a chocolate cannon and cannon balls. The ship sets sail on December 27th. Also enjoy beach time looking for sharks teeth on the shore and an amazing kid’s club.

5. The Ritz-Carlton Bal Harbour, Miami

The Ritz-Carlton Bal Harbour, Miami presents a chic twist on holiday décor. Curated mannequins dressed in traditional green foliage and flowers, inspired by the latest fashions seen from designers found at the nearby Bal Harbour Shops will be displayed throughout the hotel lobby this holiday season. A fashionable twist on the traditional Christmas tree!

6. Manchester Grand Hyatt San Diego, CA 

This holiday season the tallest waterfront hotel on the West Coast is bringing the snow to sunny San Diego. From December 22-31, the lobby of Grand Hyatt San Diego will be snowing (yes, you read that right, snow!). The property will be creating a winter wonderland complete with a gingerbread village, “snow” sandcastle and more, along with the fabulous snowfall that will occur four times a day, for thirty minutes each time.

7The Ritz-Carlton, Fort Lauderdale

Throughout this holiday season The Ritz-Carlton, Fort Lauderdale will have holiday decorations and various jolly events popping up all over the resort, making it the perfect destination for guests to get their fill of holiday cheer…and milk and cookies. The resort will be throwing a crazy milk and cookies party in the lobby the week of Christmas and Santa himself has already RSVP’d! Make sure to stop by, as guests will be delighted to find yummy holiday themed cookies and fun colored milk. Guests can also take part in an ornament-decorating workshop or catch some live music on Christmas Day with a live band playing holiday tunes at the Christmas Day Brunch Buffet. To really top off the resort’s holiday spirit, guests will find a changing array of holiday treats at all times in the lobby – think rum cake, yum!

8the ART Hotel, Denver, CO

Celebrate the holidays in the heart of Denver’s cultural district surrounded by the beauty of the ART Hotel’s captivating in-house art collection. Special for the holiday season the property is taking a twist on classic Christmas tree decorations, and adding to the hotel’s art esthetic with unique pop-art inspired trees throughout the lobby and halls. (Think: Andy Warhol inspired Christmas trees!) Artfully designed by local florist, The Perfect Petal the trees will inspire the playful Christmas spirit, as well as draw from the culture of Denver’s surrounding museums.

9The Ritz-Carlton Resorts of Naples Florida

Escape to a Swiss winter wonderland at The Ritz-Carlton Resorts of Naples (one of my favorite Ritz Carlton Hotels) with a giant Swiss chalet-inspired gingerbread house. The chalet, reaching almost 13 feet in height uses over 1,200 gingerbread bricks and over 60,000 pieces of candy. With European touches, guests will feel like they’ve transported to the Swiss Alps with this oversized gingerbread chalet built at The Ritz-Carlton Resorts of Naples.

10The Ritz-Carlton, Sarasota  Sarasota, Florida

The Ritz-Carlton, Sarasota will debut a penguin-themed gingerbread display this holiday season designed as a penguin wonderland.  Filled with both adult and baby penguins, these gingerbread creations can be seen playing, sunbathing, and more.  A slide is also built into the extravagant gingerbread house making it an interactive experience for the youngest guests of the The Ritz-Carlton, Sarasota. 1,200 gingerbread bricks are used along with 400 roof tiles, 450 pounds of flour, 675 pounds of sugar, and 200 pounds of candy are used to build this penguin wonderland.

12 Healthy Eating Tips for the Holidays

12 days of Fitness copy

During the holidays it can be difficult to manage holiday eating and weight gain. I am thrilled to share these 12 healthy eating tips from Dr. Caroline Cederquist, M.D. to healthy holiday eating this holiday season, without missing out on any of your favorite staples. Here are 12 helpful tips:

  1. Drink Water. Drinking lots of water not only flushes toxins from your system but it also fills you up. Often times the body misinterprets thirst for hunger. Carrying a bottle of water with you not only will help reduce the urge to eat but it will also fill you up faster.
  2. Holiday Drinks. Alcohol has a lot of calories, as do eggnog, punch, and soft drinks, therefore try to limit these. If you are a soda drinker try to incorporate seltzer and maybe mix it with a little bit of juice. If you must have egg nog try to limit yourself to one and if making it yourself try using non-fat milk.
  3. If you’re hosting a holiday party, provide healthy snacks. Serve salsa with wholegrain, trans-fat-free chips or pita wedges. Offer guacamole with fresh vegetables.
  4. Eat smaller portions of food. This is especially important at a buffet, where you may want to try everything. Choose the items you want to try the most, and eat a small portion of each. Hors d’oeuvres
  5. Holiday hors-d’oeuvres. You don’t have to pass up the cheese tray just be smart about your choices. In addition to portion control, harder cheeses tend to be lower in fat than softer cheeses and opt for a whole-wheat or multi-grain cracker instead of one made with refined grain.
  6. Slow it down. You’ll enjoy your meals better if you eat slowly. Also eat less, because your stomach and brain will have time to realize it is “full.”
  7. Fill your diet with fruits and vegetables. The bulk of your meal should consist of fruits and vegetables.
  8. Holidays and the fast food trap. The holiday season can keep you on the go with little time to prepare meals. Fast food may be handy, but often is high in fat and calories. Prepare and freeze quick, healthy meals ahead of time to stay out of the fast-food trap.
  9. Holiday Staples and Stuffing. Cook stuffing outside of the turkey it’ll have fewer calories and will be healthier than the traditionally prepared stuffing. Also, when preparing the stuffing try to incorporate more vegetables and less bread.
  10. Don’t deprive yourself. Depriving one’s self of certain foods often leads to binge eating so if you want something eat it, just eat smaller portions and make the healthiest choice.
  11. Holiday deserts and your sweet tooth. If you are someone who loves their holiday pies you are not out of luck, just make smarter choices. Apple pie is probably better than other holiday favorites because it contains fruit and not as much sugar and calories as other rich desserts. Pumpkin pie is also a healthier choice than cookies and cakes. Fruit salad makes a delicious desert too.
  12. Holiday treats and the healthier option. If part of your holiday tradition involves baking cookies, make them with vegetable oil in place of solid fats or shortening. Add some whole grains or wheat germ, raisins, and nuts. Also, make the cookies mini-size. Use a teaspoon instead of a tablespoon for drop cookies and cut bar cookies into bite-size pieces. You can offer more varieties and you won’t have to bake nearly as many.

Thanks to bistroMD for sharing!