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A Strawberry Lemonade Cake For Your Sweetest Spring Celebrations

My daughter is turning three this week. As any mother can attest, I just can’t understand where the time has gone. She’s smart, sassy, full of song, and has been waiting for her birthday for months. With no prompting she has provided constant reminders of her wish for birthday hats, balloons (one of each color), and a cake (with fire on top) for months. I was happy to finally oblige with all three this weekend.

Strawberry Lemonade Cake

The cake, of course, is the centerpiece of any birthday party. But I’m also that mom and sugar is a rare treat in our house – birthdays being a reasonable exception. Still, I didn’t want to overload her, myself, or our guests with a sugar bomb topped with more fat and sugar in the frosting. So, I shared my vision for a fresh, homemade, but easier-on-the-sugar cake with our assistant editor and resident baker extradordinaire, Dana.

This Strawberry Lemonade Cake was a hit! It was rich and dense like a restaurant or bakery cake, but felt clean, light, and perfectly sweet. That’s because we didn’t use any butter and went light on the sugar, but made up for it with honey and fresh strawberries.
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10-Calorie Fresh Sweet and Sour Mix for Your Skinny Cocktails

We keep experiencing these little glimpses of spring, which immediately puts me in the mood for summer. Does that make me an over achiever or impatient? Either way, both seasons make me want to sit on my patio, sip something delicious, and revel in my family and friends. I can’t be alone in this – just look at the Mason Jars full of beverages on Pinterest. We’ve all got the itch.

The scratch? My Sweet and Sour Vodka. It’s as light and refreshing as a tart glass of lemonade but has that little somethin-somethin to bring you back down after a long day. It’s. Amazing.

I stopped buying the jug o’ drink mixer at the grocery store years ago. Master of Mixes’ Sweet ‘n Sour has 110 calories and 25 grams of sugar per four-ounce serving. Our recipe has TEN calories and LESS than 1 gram of sugar. That neon yellow color, ridiculous after taste, and undesirable ingredient list left me thirsty for something better.

The answer was in front of me all along – my own lemons and limes squeezed to cocktail-mixing perfection.
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The Real Way to Cure a Hangover

The New Year’s celebration is one of the biggest in the world. For many, the revelry involves alcohol, and lots of it. But when a new day (and year) dawns, party goers often feel the aftereffects of their festivities in the form of a nasty hangover.

If this is your predicament, don’t reach for greasy foods, caffeine, or medications, which can worsen the effects of alcohol on your body. Use these natural remedies instead for a fast and healthy hangover recovery.

1. Water

One of the most tried-and-true, widely recognized remedies for too much alcohol is to drink lots of water. Many hangover remedies sound strange and follow bad logic, and will probably not do any good, but this simple tip makes sense. Water will dilute the alcohol in your body, minimize alcohol’s dehydrating effect on your body, and flush out toxins. Try to stay hydrated before, during, and after drinking and its negative effects will diminish considerably.

2. Fruit and fruit juice

Once you’re properly hydrated, start replenishing the vitamins you’ve lost and get your blood sugar back to normal with a tall glass of juice. Orange or tomato juice will replenish lost vitamins and contain natural sugars to help your body metabolize alcohol faster. Bananas are great for restoring depleted potassium levels associated with overindulging, and they have magnesium, beneficial for headaches. If you don’t have any fruit juice, down a Gatorade or other electrolyte-containing sports drink.

3. Ginger

Ginger has been used for centuries as an aid for motion sickness, nausea, and vomiting. Brew some ginger root tea for soothing relief, or pop open a ginger ale for a quick fix.
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Banh Mi Sliders are a Hit as Holiday Party Appetizers

I spent a week in Portland, Oregon with my husband this fall. We fell in love with the city instantly and felt right at home with its laid back vibe. We hiked Mt. Hood, explored Hawthorne, did wine tastings straight from the barrel, I took a pole dancing class, and coveted the Portland Farmer’s Market.

It was just the getaway we needed – a lot of time outdoors, a lot of good wine, and a lot of even better food. The first meal we had came within an hour of stepping off the plane and it was a Banh Mi sandwich. It’s a Vietnamese sandwich that has become quite the trend recently, and I feel like we got treated to one of the best around.

The small bakery cafe served up the best French bread I have ever tasted. Stuffed inside, like any traditional Banh Mi, was pork, vegetables, and a dressing. Before I’d finished the first bite I knew I’d found something spectacular.

So good, in fact, I knew I’d have to create my own, especially after I learned that a standard Banh Mi can hit 600 calories with the pork, bread, and dressing! With simple ingredients like pork and vegetables, why couldn’t I make one that was better?


I got my chance when a holiday party needed something more substantial than cookies and champagne. Inspired by a true Banh Mi, I turned this traditional recipe into sliders and shaved off a few hundred calories in the process. Each of these sliders has only 181 calories!
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Kick-Off College Football With Healthier Man-Approved Tailgate Recipes

Finally! The weather is just starting to cool off, my favorite alma mater T-shirt is hanging front and center, and college football kicks off tomorrow. It’s almost more excitement than I can bear. I know I’m not alone, and I know I’m not the only one preparing a first game feast for my friends.

Whether you tailgate at home or from your couch, you can consume A LOT of calories in the four hours it takes to win a football game. I, for one, don’t want to be bloated when the big score comes in at the end, so I make a healthier spread. It’s far from rabbit food, but it’s also not the calorie bomb that most of my fellow fans are dishing up.

If I can promise you bold-flavored, sticky-fingered buffalo chicken, wicked dips, and killer desserts, can you promise to try at least one lighter tailgate party this season? I’m pretty sure everyone scores in that deal!

BBQ Pork Sliders

No one needs a half-pound pile of pulled pork, but a tiny slider or two can really fill you up. Our little pork sliders are smothered in a homemade barbecue sauce and a little coleslaw for a cool crunch.

Lighter Buffalo Chicken Dip

We guarantee everything about this recipe is the same as any you’ve tried before, except we’ve cut more than 200 calories out of it! A few simple swaps make this appetizer just as creamy, spicy, and in demand as its gut-busting counterpart.
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