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Brandi Koskie

Garlicky Mushroom Cavatappi Pasta Recipe: A Love Story

mushroom cavatappi pasta recipe

Do you remember the Book-It program? It’s Pizza Hut‘s program for rewarding kids for reading. I crushed Book-It. I mean, in first grade, I had piles of those free Personal Pan pizza coupons stacked up at home. About once a month, mom would take me to the neighborhood Pizza Hut to collect my prize. You were only allowed one topping. One.

Here kids, here’s a whole bag of Skittles, now let’s just eat one. Say what?


Early on I narrowed in on my choice and never once deviated. At age six — through elementary school — it was a plain mushroom pizza for me. I love those little squishy, cheesy bites of fungi! Three nights ago I ordered pizza for dinner — mushrooms only. It’s really the best option. Even my homemade pizzas are piled high with thick slices of mushrooms, and the salami, bell peppers, and basil are just there for decoration.

This, however, is not about pizza. It is a lot about how I’ve found one more place to enjoy three of my favorite things — mushrooms, cheese, carbs. Pile ‘em up, baby!
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Sunny Side Up Breakfast Sandwich: Because We are Free to Eat Egg Yolks Again!


While most people like to take advantage of sleeping in on a weekend morning, I roll out of bed and start cooking. Similar to most other families, mine is a crazy kind of busy all week. But on Saturdays we get one another’s undivided attention over a hearty breakfast that fuels our equally busy weekends. Since I have a preschooler who rises at dawn, sometimes my version of sleeping in is letting someone else cook, and that’s where I found this sandwich.

One morning at a favorite local breakfast dive, I poured over the menu and couldn’t find anything I wanted. However, the BLT on the lunch menu called to me, especially with the mention of avocado and tomato slices. I asked them to breakfast-ize it with an over-medium egg. They did, and it was glorious. It seemed so obvious, yet, I’d never thought about it before!

Any guilt you’ve harbored for the last few decades over eating a fried egg, well go ahead and shake it loose. Cholesterol is no longer the nutritional enemy we’ve been told to avoid. Our Mary Hartley, RD explains why we are no longer relegated to egg white omelets. That’s why we’re celebrating over runny egg yolk sandwiches!
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7 Health and Fitness Newsletters that aren’t Spam!

If you’re like most people, you receive dozens of emails each day that you never actually read before deleting. These are the messages you know are junk, yet somehow you keep resisting the urge to actually mark as spam. Maybe you actually took the time to subscribe to a certain email list, maybe you were added after making a purchase or signing up for a service. No matter why you get these messages, the beginning of the year is a good time for clearing out the clutter and your inbox is a great place to start.

Easier said than done, right? Wrong. Our own Brandi Koskie recently used to see what subscriptions were lurking in her inbox and found 99 different email newsletters! She unsubscribed from about 65 of them.

reading email

Margo Donohue, aka Brooklyn Fit Chick, also sees a lot of surplus emails flow into her inbox. “On average I read and answer about 250 emails per day,” says Margo. “These are from people I need to deal with on top of the regular newsletters. I don’t always have the time to read even the newsletters I’m  interested in, but the ones I do read usually have snappy headlines linked to a few articles.” (Note to publishers: Keep it quick and simple!)

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Spice Up Fall with a Chicken Taco Soup Recipe That’s Simple and Satisfying

It is the crunchy season, aka fall, and that means it’s soup and stew season, too. Woohoo!

I love fall. Like lovvvve fall.

Not such a fan of the soups though. I’m more of a stew and chili kind of girl, if I have to be. But a few years ago, I found a compromise in my Crock Pot and it has become my family’s single most favorite meal of fall and winter.

I used simple, healthy Mexican ingredients — a food genre I swear I could eat every single day — stirred them up, and started filling bowls with Taco Soup.

chicken tortilla soup

It’s one of those slow cooker meals that fills the house with intoxicating smells for hours until you’re so hungry you’ll risk third degree burns on your tongue just to get that first taste!
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Twice Baked Shepherd’s Pies Makeover a Favorite Winter Classic with Baked Potatoes

New on our “cozy food” seasonal menu rotation is a made-over classic. It’s the Shepherd’s Pie like you’ve never tried it before. It’s usually not my thing – loaded with lamb and mashed potatoes – two foods I don’t particularly care for. But I’ve got a pretty big thing for the baked potato.

I made a Shepherd’s Pie that’s a little leaner, bigger on flavor, and maybe even cuter.

Call them miniature. Call them single-serve. Call them dinner! These Twice-Baked Shepherd’s Pies are bound to be a staple of your winter menu.

twice baked potato shepherd's pie

I skipped the mashed potatoes because, like I said, I’m a little un-American and truly can’t stand the stuff. But, a baked potato, much less one that’s been baked twice, I’m all over that.

Then I cut the lamb and even skipped over the beef and went right to ground Italian turkey sausage – super lean with a great taste that fits right in here.
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