Category Archives: food

World Nutella Day: Friday, February 5, 2010


It’s World Nutella Day. Yay!

Thanks to Michelle at bleeding espresso along with Ms. Adventures in Italy and At Home in Rome, we have World Nutella Day.

I’m celebrating by spreading Nutella between two Nilla Wafers. Yum!

Hmm, maybe I’ll buy a package of Oreos and replace all the cream with Nutella. Or maybe I’ll just eat it with a spoon. I wonder if I could stir it into coffee? Perhaps I should just stick to the Nilla Wafers.

What is your favorite way to enjoy Nutella?

Find out more by clicking this image:

World Nutella Day 2010

Five Foods to Include in Your Diet

If you’re like me, and most other people in the U.S., you’ve resolved to eat better in 2010. Who doesn’t want to be healthier? And there is no time like the present, right? Especially after eating so many goodies over the holidays.

CNN Health suggests five foods for us to work into our diets so we can be healthier in 2010.

Whole Grains
If, like me, the thought of wheat bread makes you think of cardboard, remember that you have options. You can get whole grain goodness in rye, barley and oats. Try a snack of rye crackers with low-fat cheese. Or put some barley in your soup. Oatmeal makes a warm and comforting breakfast. You’ll reduce your risk of high cholesterol, type 2 diabetes, and your waist line will look slimmer.

Every vegetarian’s favorite word. But have no fear. Soy is not boring. Soy is so versatile. It’s full of vitamins, minerals, fiber, and low in fat. Try soy burgers, soy cheese, or soy milk. Toss some edamame pods in some sea salt and eat the beans. Use silken tofu as a thickener in soups (instead of milk or cream). The possibilities are endless.

Salmon and Other Oily Fish
High in vitamin D, omega-3 fatty acids, and the most delicious food on this list, salmon and other oily fishes can help prevent heart disease. If salmon is not to your liking, try fresh tuna or trout, two of my favorites. Mackerel, herring, sardines and anchovies also fit this category.

Red Wine
Thank the maker. Red wine is good for us. And it is 10 times better for us than white wine. Taken in moderation red wine can reduce the risk of blood clots, inflammation, and therefore, heart disease. But too much alcohol can negatively outweigh the benefits. So, drink wisely.

Green Tea
Antioxidants fight cancer, increase metabolism, and help reduce belly fat. And green tea is full of them. But it needs to be brewed, not taken in the form of iced tea. And the catch is that you have to drink a lot of it for the full effect. Whatever. It tastes delicious and is a soothing treat.

Read the full article at

Mmm, Pizza…On the Grill


Pizza is easy to make at home. But it’s best when you can bake it in a really hot oven.

Of course, not everyone has a pizza oven that can get to a high enough temperature. If you have an outdoor grill, you can make pizza as good as the kind they serve in Italian restaurants.

It’s super easy if you have a pizza stone. Pizza stones heat evenly so your pizza cooks all over at the same rate.

I’ve slowly been accumulating every kitchen appliance and gadget known to man. And it’s finally paying off.

In my Cuisinart bread machine I made pizza dough following the recipe booklet. It makes a light fluffy dough that uses wheat flour as well as high-protein bread flour, so you’re not eating so much white food. The machine kneads the dough, lets it rise, kneads it again, all the exhausting steps that go into making good pizza dough.

In had some tomato sauce left over from a pasta meal that I used for the pizza. I topped with shredded cheese and oregano.

Warm the pizza stone on the grill on high. Then place the pizza onto the stone. Lower the heat and cook on low until the cheese is golden and bubbly. It only takes a few minutes.

I used a pizza stone set from Bialetti, the company famous for its espresso makers. The set includes pizza stone, serving rack and pizza cutter. It’s inexpensive and very easy to use. You can even use it to bake frozen pizzas or cookies.


3 Piece Rectangular Pizza Stone Set

Heirloom Tomatoes

heirloom tomatoes at farmers market

Have you ever seen those funny shaped multi-colored tomatoes in the market?

Heirloom tomatoes come in many varieties and are full of flavor.

I picked up a giant, juicy red one this week at the supermarket. It was so big, it looked like another tomato was growing out of its side.

I sliced it up, sprinkled on a little salt, and it was perfect.

Run to your market and enjoy these ugly beautiful tomatoes while they are in season.

Lemon Love


I bought a lemon tree for my yard. Yay!

Or as I like to call it, a cocktail fruit tree.

A long time ago when I was planning on moving to California from New York, I had a dream that I rented a house with a lemon tree in the yard. Well, I have rented a house but no lemons.

On Saturday I went to an Armstrong Nursery and wandered around wondering what type of lemon to buy. They had all kinds, even one called a pink lemonade tree, which is supposed to have a light pink flesh. I was intrigued by this but thought I should start off with a classic lemony lemon.

After much debate, I chose a semi-dwarf Meyer lemon. It has real-size lemons on a tiny little tree that you can grow in a large pot. A very large pot. I’ve replanted it into something four or five times the size of what you see in the photo. I don’t want to plant it in the ground because I am only renting this property.

If you’ve read any of my gardening posts before, you know I have a dangerously black thumb. So, wish me luck!

Mmm, Homemade Bread


Next time you’re at the supermarket, read the ingredients on a loaf of bread.

Not only will you find a list of words you can’t understand, but you’ll be hard-pressed to find bread made without the evil high-fructose corn syrup.

In my continuing effort to completely block HFCS from my diet and avoid eating processed white flour, I bought a bread machine.

I know too much bread can be fattening if you don’t work off those carbohydrates. So, I’m trying the recipes that contain alternate flours. So far I’ve only ventured into whole wheat flour territory, making classic honey wheat bread, wheat pizza dough, and wheat rolls with kalamata olives.

The machine makes it so easy. It does everything for me, mixes, kneads, rises, and bakes. I made perfect bread from my first try. All you have to do is follow the instructions and measure correctly. Recipes are included for all kinds of breads, rolls, dessert breads, even jam.

I ordered this Cuisinart breadmaker from

Cuisinart® Stainless Steel Breadmaker – $129.99

Have you ever made your own bread?

Summer Pasta

Closeup of rotini pasta on a fork

Here’s a quick and easy recipe for a light summer pasta dish for two.

Boil two cups of dried pasta according to the package instructions. I used multigrain pasta because it is healthier for your heart than regular semolina pasta.

While you are waiting for the water to boil, chop two plum tomatoes, retaining all of the juice, and put into a bowl. Add a large clove of garlic, crushed. Grind in some fresh black pepper and salt to taste. Add dried oregano and a splash of olive oil. Toss it all until well blended.

When the pasta as cooked, drain and add to the tomato mixture. Take a small can of tuna packed in olive oil. Drain out most of the oil and dump the whole can into the pasta mixture. Sprinkle in some grated cheese. Toss until everything is blended through. Serve.

This meal is very tasty and easy to make. Serve with a glass of red wine.


Best Cocktails

Red Wine

With summer fast approaching, we’re all trying to keep slender figures. But once in a while, you gotta get your party on. Here are some summer drinks that, when taken in moderation, won’t pack on the pounds as quickly as others.

Full of antioxidants, it’s no surprise that red wine tops the list. Microbrews come in second because they contain protein, electrolytes, vitamins and phytonutrients. But don’t confuse them with regular mass-marketed American beers, which are as bad as eating junk food from the 7-Eleven. Guinness, my personal favorite is also good. It’s low in calories and high in iron.

Who knew all those pints I downed in my youth were actually good for me? When I lived in New York City, I once ingested nothing but Guinness for an entire week, and did just fine, thank you.

Stay away from sugary drinks like grog, Long Island Iced Tea, Red Bull and vodka and Piña coladas.

Learn more at


Poll: Easter Candy

Easter Cup of chocolate candies.

When I was a kid, we dyed hard-boiled eggs on Holy Saturday and my Mother hid them around the house on Easter morning. Whatever we found went into our Easter baskets. My mother is a chocoholic, so our baskets always included a giant hollow chocolate egg that was filled with foil-wrapped chocolate footballs, jelly beans, speckled malty ball eggs, and I would get a chocolate bunny and my brother would get a chocolate cross. There was a huge coconut cream egg in the center of the dining room table that we could slice and eat.

What was in your Easter basket?

Padma Lakshmi Wants You To Be Fat


Padma Lakshmi, host of the television show Top Chef, is starring in a sexy commercial for fast food chain Carl’s Jr.

In the TV spot, she eats a Western Bacon Cheeseburger.

Well, let’s looks at the nutritional information in a Carl’s Jr. Western Bacon Cheeseburger. This info comes directly from the Carl’s Jr. Web site.

Western Bacon Cheeseburger

720 calories, 300 of those calories from fat
Total fat is 33 grams!, 13 grams is saturated fat
75 mg cholesterol
1410 mg sodium
69 grams of carbohydrates
3 grams of dietary fiber
15 grams of sugars
32 grams of protein

You want fries with that? The small fries add:

320 calories, 140 calories from fat
15 grams of total fat, 3 saturated
0 cholesterol
830 mg sodium
42 g carbohydrates
4 g dietary fiber
0 sugars
4 grams of protein

And what is this doing to your kids? If you get them the Chicken Stars:

320 calories, 140 of them from fat
15 grams of fat, 3 saturated
0 cholesterol
830 mg sodium
42 g carbohydrates
4 g dietary fiber
0 sugars
4 protein

I’ll bet you anything Padma Lakshmi spit out every bite while filming that spot.

Now, I have nothing against Padma Lakshmi, but don’t pretend that you have that body and eat at Carl’s Jr.

Couldn’t she do a commercial for the broccoli industry?