In 1996 Oprah greeted her audience with a treasure trove of free gifts and prizes as she debuted the hottest giveaway daytime TV had ever seen. Oprah’s Favorite Things has grown to be the stuff of legends, and people would give arms and legs to have a seat and a chance to take home the media mogul’s top picks for holiday gifts. Oprah’s a giver, a giver of high-quality, high-end, premium gifts and it’s hardly anything you’d find on a clearance rack.
Since the end of her wildly popular daytime talk show, Oprah’s Favorite Things has faded in to TV history. But now through her OWN network, O Magazine, and a new partnership with Huffington Post, Oprah’s breaking the two-year hiatus with the announcement of 48 items on the 2012 Favorite Things list.
Some of it is quite posh and not likely to make it on to the holiday budget of most of her fans (like a nearly $2,000 Jetson-style battery-powered scooter), but some of it is completely in reason. Even better, a few items on her list are even good for you!
Top of the list is the Q37ci elliptical trainer. It’s a pricey addition to a home gym at $3,099, but it certainly pays for itself with dedicated use. She says her trainer Bob Greene turned her on to it and she loves the various options for total body workouts in one machine.
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“Trick or Treat, Smell My Feet, Give Me Something Good to Eat!” is the anthem sung by children everywhere on Halloween. We’re not advocating the smelling of feet because, eww yuck. But, giving them something good to eat? Let’s get on that already! Children have been asking for years, so why don’t we listen?
This year, fill the jack-o-lantern pails with a treat that’s good for them and that they’ll actually enjoy eating. Yeah, we think kids should have more fruits and vegetables too. But, if you put an orange in those tubs, it’s not likely to make it to their bellies.
We scoped out some of the healthier treats available this year in cute Halloween packaging so you can feel good about giving them something less scary this year!
We were skeptical when we got a big bag, and then thankful that we got a big bag! This stuff is so darn good the biggest and smallest of goblins and ghouls will enjoy.
What’s In It: Four things – popcorn, corn oil, sugar, sea salt. That’s it!
The Numbers: The individual half-ounce bags have 70 calories and 4 grams of sugar.
Comparison: 1 roll of Smarties has 6 grams of sugar.
Where Is It: We found them at Target in a 24-pack for $7.99
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Whoever said you couldn’t play with your food likely never really knew the joy of eating. We certainly aren’t suggesting tossing handfuls of spaghetti across the table at your annoying little brother, but we do think that the fall season is perfect for a little crafting-meets-snacking.
Some of our favorite seasonal treats are perfect for gathering ’round the family, getting plenty messy, sharing lots of giggles, all while making something yummy to enjoy as we gear up for Halloween. Fun and delicious treats don’t have to be sugar bombs. These homemade treats are healthful and fun to eat, too!
Ready to dig in?
BROWN PAPER BAG POPCORN
Forget the microwave popcorn you think you know. With nothing more than a brown paper sack, whole popcorn kernels, and a microwave, you’ll have light and airy popcorn in minutes without the chemicals, calories, and sodium.
The kids will love helping you make this, whether it’s movie night or a Halloween party. Make the popcorn something special with our Cinnamon Raisin Popcorn treat, which is simply brown bag popcorn, cinnamon, and raisins.
To share with friends or handout at a school party, let the kids make Hand-O-Lanterns to decorate each brown paper sack. Just paint their palms orange, their fingers green, and press on to the bags. When the paint dries they can use black markers to draw pumpkin faces!
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It finally felt like fall this weekend. I hope it did where you are, too! I spotted patches of red and orange in otherwise bright green trees. We lit a fire inside and even needed hoodies to go outside. For the first time since the official first day of fall, it felt crunchy. That’s my word to describe fall – crunchy. Which is appropriate, because one of my favorite fall snacks is popcorn.
My other favorite fall flavor is cinnamon. I don’t care if it’s on a cinnamon roll, toast, oatmeal, cookies, applesauce, topping my yogurt, or wafting from a candle, my nose simply cannot get enough of this scent. So on a recent trip to the McCormick spice headquarters, as part of the Fitbloggin’ conference, outside of Baltimore, Maryland, I found myself in cinnamon-loving heaven.
We went through some of their consumer research experiments, one of which had us tasting traditional ground cinnamon next to Saigon cinnamon. I would have said cinnamon is cinnamon before that afternoon. But the ground cinnamon that I add to French toast every Saturday morning suddenly tasted like red hots candies compared to the earthy, warm, woodsy flavor that came from the McCormick Saigon cinnamon. I fell in love with cinnamon all over again.
As soon as I returned home, making something with that cinnamon was all I could think about. With the fall season in full swing, and McCormick encouraging us to freshen up one of our recipes, the only logical choice was marrying cinnamon and popcorn. Maybe some raisins, too. Cinnamon Raisin Popcorn sounds like a pretty incredible fall snack, doesn’t it?
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The Boy Scouts and Girls Scouts teach children a lot of noble life lessons, but unfortunately their practice of using high-calorie snacks for fundraiser no longer seems noble in a nation facing an unprecedented childhood obesity crisis. It’s easy to pick apart the Girl Scout cookies for their inherently high levels of sugar and fat, but a closer look at the Trail’s End snacks sold to support the Boy Scouts shows they are little better.
On the FAQ page of the Trail’s End website, there is a discussion of the health benefits of popcorn, which is a whole grain. However, the amount of added sodium, sugar and fat in the Trail’s End products pretty much negate this one healthy aspect. For example, the ingredients list on the Classic Carmel Corn reveals that three forms of sugar precede the actual popcorn. Also of concern are the artificial flavors and colors found in a number of these products. The nuts found in the trail mix may offer some real nutrients as a snack, but again the 10 grams of sugar show’s there’s an awful lot of candy.
Below is a quick look at some of the most popular Girl Scout Cookies and Trail’s End Snacks.
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