How to Maintain Your Weight During the Holidays

I was so excited last week to be asked to be on a very popular radio station in Birmingham, WMJJ Magic 96.5, and do a show on “Tips for Eating healthy during the holidays”. Before I went on the air, I thought about what I do personally, and I asked some of my friends on Facebook and Twitter for their input. The thing to remember is to eat everything in moderation. Also, make good food choices (such as my favorite Winter Radicchio Salad with Pomegranates). The radio show was so popular that I will be doing a monthly radio show with them, and I am so excited about that!

Here’s my list of Top 10 Healthy Holiday Eating Tips:

1. Exercise during the holidays.

2. Before you leave your house, eat a small snack and eat small meals throughout the day so you’re not binging at night

3. Eat breakfast on Thanksgiving and Xmas morning

4. Eat only what you love at the holiday table

5. Don’t rush to eat. Socialize as much as you can, but do it away from the holiday table.

6. If you’re drinking alchohol, drink a nonalcoholic version first

7. Drink a lot of water that day so it makes you feel full

8. Eat veggies everywhere you can, and fill your plate up with a lot of them

9. If there are 2 plate sizes, put your meal on a salad or dessert plate

10. When you’re done eating, wait and don’t go back for more.

Great Passover or Easter Dish: Mediterranean Chicken

Passover, one of the most widely celebrated Jewish holidays, is only a few weeks away, beginning on April 18th. I have had so many email and tweets for recipe ideas, so I thought I would share this Mediterranean Chicken recipe which is a family favorite. This recipe and a Passover menu will be featured in the spring issue of “Yum Food” Magazine. This chicken is simple, yet elegant, and it’s perfect for Easter as well as all holidays.

Easiest Christmas Cookies Ever-Gingerbread Cookies

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These are the easiest gingerbread cookies ever. My daugther, Leigh, and son, Zachary made these all on their own. We used the Pillsbury slice and bake gingerbread cookie dough (found in your refrigerator section of your local grocery store), and everyone thought they were made from scratch. Purchase colored sprinkles, icing or decorator crystals for your kids to decorate, and they will have a blast.

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Pecan Pie-Traditional Thanksgiving Dessert with a Twist

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Pecan pie is the quintessential Thanksgiving dessert, and I thought I would feature two of my favorite tried and true recipes. The first is laced with the incredible combination of bourbon and semisweet chocolate. How can you go wrong? The second is a White Chocolate Pecan Pie recipe that I developed for a holiday menu for Oxmoor House books a few years ago. This is for those of you, like my husband, who are white chocolate lovers. Just remember, be sure to save room for dessert.

 

Bourbon Chocolate Pecan Pie

Prep: 10 minutes

Cook: 1 hour

Yield: 1 (9-inch) pie or 8 servings

Ingredients

1/2  (15-ounce) package refrigerated piecrusts

1 1/2  cups  chopped pecans

1  cup  (6 ounces) semisweet chocolate morsels

1  cup  dark corn syrup

1/2  cup  granulated sugar

1/2  cup  firmly packed brown sugar

1/4  cup  bourbon or water

4  large eggs

1/4  cup  butter or margarine, melted

2  teaspoons  cornmeal

2  teaspoons  vanilla extract

1/2  teaspoon  salt

Preparation

1. Fit piecrust into a 9-inch deep-dish pie plate according to package directions; fold edges under, and crimp.

2. Sprinkle pecans and chocolate evenly onto bottom of piecrust; set aside.

3. Combine corn syrup and next 3 ingredients in a large saucepan, and bring to a boil over medium heat. Cook, stirring constantly, 3 minutes. Remove from heat.

4. Whisk together eggs and next 4 ingredients. Gradually whisk about one-fourth hot mixture into egg mixture; add to remaining hot mixture, whisking constantly. Pour filling into prepared piecrust.

5. Bake at 325° for 55 minutes or until set; cool on wire rack.

 

White Chocolate Pecan Pie

Prep: 15 minutes

Cook: 1 hour

Yield: 1 (9-inch) pie or 8 servings

Ingredients

1/2 (15-ounce) package refrigerated piecrusts

1/4  cup  butter or margarine, melted

1/2  cup  sugar

1/2  cup  light corn syrup

3/4  cup  chopped pecans, toasted

1  teaspoon  vanilla extract

1/4  teaspoon  salt

2  large eggs, lightly beaten

6  (1-ounce) premium white chocolate baking squares, chopped (I used “Bakers”)

1  cup  pecan halves

Preparation

1. Unfold piecrust, and press out fold lines; sprinkle with flour, spreading over surface. Place crust, floured side down, in a 9″ pieplate; fold edges under, and flute. Bake at 450° for 5 minutes.

2. Combine butter, sugar, and corn syrup; cook over low heat, stirring constantly, until sugar dissolves. Let cool slightly. Add chopped pecans and next 3 ingredients; stir well. Pour filling into prebaked piecrust; sprinkle with two-thirds of chopped white chocolate. Top with pecan halves.

3. Bake at 325° for 50 to 55 minutes or until set. Cover with aluminum foil during last 10 minutes of baking to prevent excessive browning. Let cool on a wire rack.

4. Place remaining chopped white chocolate in a small heavy-duty, zip-top plastic bag; seal bag. Submerge bag in hot water until chocolate melts. Remove bag from water. Snip a tiny hole in one corner of bag, using scissors; drizzle chocolate over pie.