Has this been the longest winter ever? It’s starting to feel like it. Currently it’s a -21 wind chill outside and I’m starting to convince myself the sun may never come back; summer will always be a distant fond memory.
Like S’mores. That little campfire treat is one time I put my guard all the way down and say screw it! Gooey marshmallows, melty chocolate (I always splurge and use dark chocolate), and that crispy little graham cracker turn any dull summer night in to an instant memory maker. And right now, as I watch another winter storm swirl around the backyard, I’m clinging to those sweet memories of last summer to keep me warm.
Another way to keep warm? Baking, duh! All that batter beating and pre-heating turns the kitchen in to a little den of coziness. A den of coziness with cupcakes!
And not just any cupcakes, but big, fat S’more cupcakes.
And not frosted with just any frosting, but big dollops of homemade chocolate cream cheese frosting.
Winter just became manageable, folks. (more…)
Okay, I lied a bit. None of these recipes won Oscars. But, hey, all hail from right here on DietsInReview and pair perfectly for the award show.
The 86th Academy Awards air on ABC this Sunday, March 2, so you better rush to the grocery store and stockpile for the party you may or may not (but should) be having! And before you think the recipes will all be super-fattening macaroni and cheese casseroles (I mean it is gold), I am offering up some healthier alternatives for your Oscar night. After all, what would the stars do? (Hint: They would not chow down on high-cal comfort foods; at least not before.)
Let us start off right, like any good party should: with a few beverages.
A Blackberry & Basil Martini is the perfect option for the 86th Academy Awards. Fancy cocktails were prevalent in at least two of the most prominently nominated movies this year: The Wolf of Wall Street and American Hustle. Besides that, what better way to feel like you are schmoozing with the rich and famous than with a drink that looks this fabulous? (And isn’t all that bad for you!) Easy to recreate a non-alcoholic version—simply substitute the vodka with some sparkling soda and use grenadine. Yum!
Another great drink option is our Talenti Frozen Sangria, which tips a hat to the Southern representation among many of the nominated movies this year. Can’t you just imagine Meryl Streep and Julia Roberts sipping on this icy sangria to escape the 90-degree heat? I sure can. (more…)
By Team Best Life
You already know that fruit is loaded with good-for-you nutrients, including fiber, vitamins and phytochemicals, all of which can keep you healthy, so we’ll save that lecture again. Choices certainly become a bit more limited in the fall and winter (unless you want to shell out for expensive imports), but there are plenty of in-season fruits that totally satisfy your sweet tooth. Our favorite way to get our fruit fix: Have it for dessert. Fruit is the perfect base for desserts because it’s naturally sweet. So this season, grab your favorite fall or winter fruit and bake, poach, or even grill your way to five a day.
Pop some fruit in the oven for a warm, melt-in-your-mouth treat. You can make a fruit crisp or crumble, which features a crunchy, sweet topping, or a fruit slump, which boasts a moister topping that literally slumps into the fruit while it’s baking. Or top your baked fruit with a little chocolate, as in this Baked Pear with Chocolate Sauce recipe.
Simmer your fruit in liquid with a bit of sugar to create a juicy and mouthwatering dish. Want a little more flavor? Try adding some of your favorite spices, as shown in this recipe for Poached Fall Fruit: Grapes, Apples and Pears with Cinnamon, Cardamom and Anise. (more…)
By Janis Jibrin, M.S., R.D., lead nutritionist for The Best Life
How long does it take you to eat a cookie or a chocolate bar? Maybe 30 seconds? You’re left feeling like you could have about five more before you even start to feel full. While I love those treats—and do indulge in them—I alternate them with low-calorie sweets that I can savor for longer. Here are some of my favorites, ranging from 125 to 165 calories.
Biscotti dipped in tea. I just had one, in fact, and timed myself: Nearly four minutes! Dip the tip of the cookie, let it cool a little, bite, chew (chewing takes even longer if it contains nuts, as my 125-calorie chocolate hazelnut variety did), have a sip or two of tea, repeat. They’re not hard to make, as you can see from this Chocolate Dried Cranberry recipe.
Homemade strawberry shortcake. I slice a 3-inch square piece of store-bought cornbread in half lengthwise, spread each piece with strawberry jam (about a teaspoon total) and slather on 1/3 cup 0 percent Greek yogurt mixed with a teaspoon of honey. Then I top the pieces with 1/3 cup strawberries. I haven’t timed myself, but this must take at least twice as long to eat as a cookie. (more…)