New Year’s Resolutions-365 days? How ’bout 21?

January 7, 2010 at 3:21 pm | Posted in Food Talk, reviews | Leave a comment
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OK, so I’ve been contemplating my New Year’s resolution. I love baking and I’m usually pretty good at eating only small amounts (in my opinion) of what comes out of my oven. But I’ll admit, I am notorious for licking the bowls. Don’t tell me you resist-I’ve tried running water in the bowl before temptation strikes, but I never make it to the sink.

So, that brings me to my New Year’s resolution. As I was thinking about what I should work on this coming year, I received a link to an article which gave me the determination to see my resolution through. My resolution?? Going off all sugar and unhealthy food of any kind for 21 days. My inspiration? Check out this article entitled The Hazards of Sugar  http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2010/01/02/HighFructose-Corn-Syrup-Alters-Human-Metabolism.aspx.

The whole segment is quite long (9 parts), but it is well worth watching.

So, starting January 11, I’m starting my resolution-strategically scheduled after my Texas-Alabama football party and when all the biscotti is gone from my kitchen.  I’m starting a 21 day heath kick. Fresh, wholesome food which means no sugar or sugar substitutes. This will be hard-not even sugar for my coffee-aahhhh! But 21 days-I’m thinkin’ this isn’t a full month, and it is just long enough so I can accomplish my goal and rid myself of all gunk. OK, I had better state up front-my husband’s birthday falls in this time period, so that might be the one day I fall off the wagon, and coffee isn’t gunk- it’s essential for me to function; I’ll go off coffee in the summer. The upside is I can start the year off right and reintroduce baking on a good note-just in time for Valentine’s!

Healthy Resolutions

I’ll keep you updated periodically on my progress and let you know what I end up cooking for family dinners. Good luck with your resolutions, and let me know if you were amazed as I was about what the doctor had to say. You might just want to join me!

~Karin~

The Frosting in Austin For All Your Baking Needs

November 12, 2009 at 4:28 am | Posted in reviews | 2 Comments
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On my plight into Austin recently I ran across a wonderful little shop called The Frosting. For those of you who like to bake, this is the place for all your creating supplies! They have just about every cake or cookie decorating gadget you can think of. The owner, Mary Ann Reyes, has been a professional cake decorator for over 20 years and her talent and love of baking shows. With her expertise, she can help you with any questions you might have.

Upon entering The Frosting, you will see a huge selection of cake molds. I guess there are up to 30 different kinds of molds; one for every occasion you can think of! There is also a wall stocked with cake toppers of all sorts. With their remarkable supply, they are Austin’s preferred cake and candy supplier.

Their supplies include:
Fondant * Gum Paste * Fillings * Decorating Flowers * Candy & Candy Molds * Wedding Pillars * Separator Plates * Cake Fountains * Flavorings * Food Colorings * Cookie Cutters * Cake Cutters * Novelty Cake Pans * Cake Pan Rentals * Chocolates * Candies * Cake Candles * Decorating Books * Cake Toppers * Cake Decorating Classes * Baking Supplies & More! They can also ‘special order’ supplies for you.

Not only does The Frosting offers a great variety of supplies to help you create your own masterpiece, they also offer decorating classes, so you can hone your creative skills and impress your friends! Wednesday, December 16th they will be having their Gingerbread House Construction. What a wonderful time to start a holiday tradition with your children or grandchildren!

The Frosting has exceptional customer service, and Mary Ann is always there to answer any questions you might have. Whether you’re celebrating a Wedding, Sweet 16, or Office Party, The Frosting has what you need. They are happy to help make your special occasion one to remember.

So contact The Frosting for all your cake and baking needs. Once you have all your supplies, grab your Meggie Mae Apron and start baking up some memories!

Check out their website at www.thefrostingaustin.com for class schedules, hours of business and other information.

The Frosting
Austin’s Best Selection of Cake & Candy Supplies
(512) 445-7475
maryann@thefrostingaustin.com

The Sonoma Diet-Why I Like It!

August 27, 2009 at 12:38 pm | Posted in reviews | Leave a comment
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The Sonoma Diet, written by Dr. Connie Guttersen, R.D., Ph.D, has been around a while-since 1995 to be exact, so many of you are familiar with it. Just this past January, after deciding to improve my healthy eating (or lack of), I purchased The Sonoma Diet book.
After being on the plan more than 6 months, I’d have to say it is no diet at all! This is just healthy eating, pure and simple. For someone looking to loose weight, this seems the logical course. For someone looking to incorporate more fruit and vegetables into their diet, this is it. For someone needing more simple, easy and flavorful recipes, here you go. I have tried almost all the recipes, and find them all to be simple and tasty.

The book is listed as a “Diet” book because yes, you can loose weight. It also takes you through a series of “Waves” in which you are allowed to eat only food from certain categories. This is so you will loose the habits and desires you have for processed foods, refined flours, and sugars. If your goal is to eat healthy and/or to loose weight, this is just logical.

Another aspect of the Sonoma “Diet” would be the plate/portion size. For example, it calls for a dinner plate no larger than 9 inches. Also, you are to fill your plate with a certain portion of proteins, grains, and vegetables. The book goes on to discuss the pros of eating whole grains, the right kind of dietary fat, and which proteins are best. For someone just starting out on a journey to healthy eating, this is a good starting place.

Another aspect of the Sonoma diet is that yes, you will be cooking more. It takes planning and time. It takes time to look through the book and decide what recipes I want to try. I have to plan my grocery store trips with a well thought out meal plan and item list. I have to get up a little earlier in order to pack my lunch. When there is a ball game or meeting to attend, I have to prepare in advance and make decisions for my family and their health. If you are the one in your family who prepares the meals, your family’s health also rests on your shoulders. In our family, it is my responsibility to see that my children know good eating habits. No longer do I send my son off to school with a peanut butter and jelly sandwich, chips and a coke (what was I thinking?!). The Sonoma diet actually has some great recipes for wraps and sandwiches, and looking through the book just makes it easier to remember that yes, there are alternatives.

Something I found refreshing is this – Your grocery basket will take on a new look. No longer will you have a basket filled with processed foods such as cookies, white bread, canned vegetables or boxed cereals. The majority of your grocery bill will come from the produce section. Your choice of protein might contain a little more seafood. Where once my family consumed a lot of milk and cereal that is now cut in half. Where we once consumed regular pasta, we are now transitioning into whole grain pasta (in my family this appears harder for some than others). We eat lots of fresh, grainy bread dipped in olive oil (oh so yummy!). I have experimented with using more herbs and actually growing my own. I have found it fun to experiment with the recipes, deciding which ones worked for me, and which ones didn’t.

Changing the eating habits of my family and myself has not been easy-it has been a slow process, one which is still evolving. Has it been worth the time and effort put into every eating decision? Yes! Trying new foods, experimenting with herbs and spices, and educating myself about the importance of nutrition have all been well worth it! It is less difficult now, since choosing fresh ingredients seems to come second nature. My family seems to appreciate it -we enjoy the time spent together at the table, and we are acquiring a love for truly good, fresh, tasty foods, and our overall health is improving (including our waistlines). For those of you wanting to loose weight, or others who just want to eat healthier, the Sonoma Diet seems to work. With its sensible, educational approach to eating, The Sonoma Diet Book gives you a good boost in the right direction.

The Throwdown

August 20, 2009 at 1:41 pm | Posted in reviews, Uncategorized | Leave a comment
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So it was a Throwdown between Meghan and Rachel vs Michael and Chase. While the girls were displaying their culinary skills, the families oohhed and ahhed over each dish, and the boys had heard enough. Yes, Meghan and Rachel are fabulous cooks, but the boys wanted everyone to know they weren’t too shabby in the kitchen either, and that they could whip up more than just oatmeal. Needless to say, the girls, with a little (make that a lot) of smack talk and bravado, took the challenge.047

So the following Sunday afternoon was scheduled for the throwdown. The boys poured over cooking books, made a special trip into Austin to Whole Foods, and began planning days in advance.

Needless to say, the planning payed off. The meal was such a huge hit, I would have to say it was one of the most enjoyable meals I have ever experienced! From the preparation, to the presentation, to the exceptional taste of the dish (not to mention doing it on a budget), I can’t think of anything they didn’t do right. They kept the table cleared, eloquently described each dish, and even served dessert along with a special coffee menu they wrote themselves! Did I mention the edible fruit centerpiece?


WOW! Great job boys! If you ever want to join your sister Rachel and Meghan in the culinary industry, you’re sure to be a hit. Then again, one day when you’re married your future wife will be just as pleased (I know your mother was)!

Thank you for the delightful dinner!
Karin
www.meggiemaeaprons.com
Did I mention the Iron Chef Cook Off is planned for December?

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