Penzey’s Pumpkin Pecan Pie

Posted by Jennifer (the RD) on February 27, 2013

This is a a recipe  that was featured in the Penzey’s spice catalog.  It’s my favorite pumpkin pie recipe!


One 9 inch unbaked pie shell

One 15 oz. can solid pack pumpkin

1/3 cup brown sugar

1/3 cup granulated sugar

3/4 tsp. china cinnamon

3/4 tsp. powdered ginger

1/8 tsp. salt

1 tsp. pure vanilla extract

2 eggs, well beaten

1/2 cup milk


1/4 cup butter

1/2 cup brown sugar

3/4 cup coarsely chopped pecans


Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  In a mixing bowl, combine the pumpkin, brown sugar, granulated sugar, cinnamon, ginger, salt, vanilla, eggs, and milk.  Mix until well blended.  Pour into the unbaked pie shell.  Bake at 350 degrees for 40 minutes.  Meanwhile mix the last 3 ingredients until crumbly.  Sprinkle the toping on the pie and bake an additional 25 minutes.  Cool and refrigerate at least a few hours for easiest slicing.

 ♥ ♥


Wonderful Food Wednesday.katherines cornerThe Mandatory MoochChef In TrainingThe DIY DreamerHungryLittleGirl

WIAW # 46

Posted by Jennifer (the student) on February 27, 2013

Hello Everyone. Happy What I Ate Wednesday!  I am sharing my meals from last Saturday. I had a class in the middle of the day and that night a birthday party, so all my meals are early in the day and then at night.. Thank you to Jenn at Peas and Crayons for hosting the WIAW.

This is what I ate:

Breakfast (7:30am)

I started the day with coffee and scrambled eggs with spinach and cheese topped with bacon.



Lunch (11:00am)

A quick lunch of roasted asparagus before my class.


Dinner (7:30pm)

A birthday party at Slater’s 50/50 for my friend Mickey. We started with a Peanut Butter and Chocolate Shake with four straws (less guilt). 🙂 Next we had the Vampire Dip, made of roasted garlic, artichoke and cheese served in a bread bowl with fried pita chips. The dip was everyone’s favorite by far!!! I had the cheeseburger Salad, which I really liked. We finished with a Brownie Sundae for the birthday girl but we all had some. The brownie had bacon on top, not really my cup of tea but it was interesting to try.

4 straws0001




the girls0001



Thank you for stopping by. I hope your day was full of healthy meals!

♥ ♥

10 Tips to Help Reduce Bloating After Over Indulging in Sodium

Posted by Jennifer (the student) on February 25, 2013

Have you ever had a really delicious meal out at a restaurant and then the next morning you feel bloated and uncomfortable. No matter how well you normally eat, it is easy to over do it with sodium and not even realize it until the next day because you feel dehydrated and bloated. Here are some tips to help you get over this feeling a little quicker.

  1. Drink plenty of water. Water will help to flush out the system, consuming to much salt can cause dehydration, which will cause the body to retain water making you feel bloated.
  2. Avoid soft drinks and sport drinks.
  3. Cut back on salt intake; do not add extra salt to food.
  4. Consume foods rich in potassium to help balance sodium levels in the body.  Food that are high in potassium are spinach, white beans, baked potatoes with the skin on, mushrooms, salmon, acorn squash, plain low-fat yogurt dried apricots, raisins and bananas.
  5. Avoid processed foods and try to mostly consume fresh whole foods.
  6. Try to consume foods that are natural diuretics to encourage the elimination of sodium and water. Foods that are natural diuretics are cabbage, celery, garlic, onions, green beans, pumpkin, eggplant, asparagus, cranberry juice, pineapple, watermelon and grapes.
  7. Elevate your legs to reduce bloating in legs and ankles. Raise your legs above your head for 30 minutes, 3 to 4 times a day.
  8. Exercise, it will get your metabolism moving.
  9. Cut down on simple carbohydrates like bread and pasta because they will increase water retention.
  10. Eat foods rich in vitamin B-6, B-5, D and calcium because vitamin B-6 is a natural diuretic, vitamin B-5 and D aids in digestion and calcium decreases bloating.
  • Foods High in Vitamin B-6: brown rice, dried chili powder, fish, meat, chickpeas, lentils, pistachios, sunflower seeds, garlic, broccoli, asparagus, bell peppers and spinach.
  • Foods high in Vitamin B-5: brown rice, sunflower seeds, mushrooms, avocado, fish, sun-dried tomatoes and cheese.
  • Foods high in Vitamin D: fish, soy milk, tofu, milk, yogurt cheese, eggs, mushrooms and orange juice.
  • Foods high in Calcium: soy milk, tofu, soy beans, sardines, salmon, white beans, cheese, milk, yogurt, dried herds, oatmeal, almonds, flax seeds, sunflower seeds, spinach, kale, broccoli, and oranges.

The recommended daily intake of sodium is no more than 2,300 milligrams recommended in the Dietary Guidelines for Americans in 2010. That equals about one teaspoon a day, so it is easy to over do it. So next time the sodium bloat gets you, just follow these simple tips and you will be feeling like yourself in no time.

♥ ♥

Another Tip for Relieving Winter Dry Skin

Posted by Jennifer (the RD) on February 23, 2013

I posted earlier about my hatred of how dry my skin gets during the winter.  The heater always dries me out but I can’t do without it.  I always like to take 2 showers a day which makes things worse.  🙁  I posted earlier about some things that may give you some temporary relief…exfoliating, tips to avoid using the heater, etc.  However, they were all temporary fixes.  This is the first thing I tried that actually works.  I use this loton just once every day and it really helps!  It actually took my skin a week to respond but it REALLY works for me.  Most lotions give you only temporary relief.  I feel better all of the time When I use Sebamed.  It never feels greasy and leaves your skin feeling healthier all the time, not like other moisturizers that make you feel better for just a short while.

It is a bit more expensive, but my sister said she picked it up at Costco a couple of weeks ago.  🙂

 ♥ ♥

Pea and Pancetta Pasta

Posted by Jennifer (the student) on February 21, 2013


This recipe is so tasty and rich, I do not make it very often because of that. But each time I make it wonder why I don’t make it more often.


  • 16 oz package of pasta (any type you like, I used Fusilli Bacati)
  • 2 TBSP olive oil
  • 1 large onion, finely chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 4 oz package of pancetta (I found mine at Trader Joe’s)
  • 6 egg yolks
  • ½ cup Parmesan cheese, freshly grated
  • 10 oz package peas (fresh or frozen)
  • Tabasco (a dash or more, to your taste)
  • sea salt –to taste
  • fresh ground pepper – to taste


  1. Cook pasta according package directions.
  2. Meanwhile in a large sauté pan over medium heat, add olive oil, onion and garlic, sauté for 5 minutes and then add the pancetta. Cook for an additional 5 minutes. Take off the heat and add the peas and combine. Set aside.
  3. A few minutes before the pasta is done cooking, whisk together the egg yolks, Parmesan cheese and one ladle of pasta cooking water.
  4. Once the pasta is done cooking, strain all water and return the pasta to the stockpot.
  5. Add onion mixture, Tabasco, salt and pepper to the stockpot with the pasta and combine. Then add the egg and cheese mixture and thoroughly combine. Then let it sit for 2 minutes.
  6. Then serve and enjoy.
  • I like this topped with a little fresh grated Parmesan Cheese.
  • My pasta took a long time to cook but if you are using thinner pasta that cooks quickly, it might work out better if the onions were sautéed before starting the pasta.

♥ ♥

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WIAW #45 – Oh My!

Posted by Jennifer (the student) on February 20, 2013

Hello Everyone. Happy What I Ate Wednesday!  I am sharing my meals from last Thursday, Valentine’s Day. It was not a typical Valentine’s Day, but I was able to spend some time with my Valentine. Thank you to Jenn at Peas and Crayons for hosting the WIAW.

This is what I ate:

Coffee (6:30am)

I started the day by stopping at Starbucks for a coffee (this is a recycled photo). I was taking a short road trip that morning.


Breakfast (8:00am)

We stopped at a random diner along the way. I had tomato juice, scrambled eggs with diced ham and one pancake.



Lunch (1:30pm)

Since my Valentine was teaching that night, he took me out for lunch at one of my favorite places Paninoteca Maggio. I had a latte with the Milano Chicken Sandwich. And if that was not enough of a treat Sharron, the chef and owner, sent us home with a mini S’mores Pie. 🙂 ( restaurant review)



PM Snacks (3:30pm)

My husband an shared this beautiful little pie. It was wonderful, rich and creamy!!!




PM Snacks (4:30pm)

An apple, I think it was a Pink Lady.


Dinner (5:30pm)

Since I had dinner alone, I made my favorite smoothie Banana, Peach, Flax and Protein.


Thank you for stopping by. I hope your day was full of healthy meals!

♥ ♥

What is Furikake?

Posted by Jennifer (The RD) on February 18, 2013

Furikake is a Japanese rice seasoning.  It’ one of my favorite ways to add some personality to any kind of plain rice.  Above it is pictured paired with some brown rice.  The traditional mixture is dried seaweed, sesame seeds, dried fish, sugar, salt, and other seasonings. However, I buy the simple stuff…just seaweed, sesame seeds, sugar, and salt.  That way, you can be sure that it’s MSG free!  🙂

Traditionally it is paired with rice to make Japanese rice balls (onigiri) or is sprinikled on rice and topped off with some green tea (ochazuke)…a major confort food.  I just love it on top of plain rice of any kind.  Because the seaweed is dried, the seasoning is light and crispy and goes great with plain hot rice…yum!  My co-blogger Jennifer loves the Furikake Crusted Ahi served at the local Japanese restaurant, Bachan’s.

 ♥ ♥

The Health Benefits of Turmeric

Posted by Jennifer (the student) on February 17, 2013


Turmeric has long been used by Chinese and Indian medicine for its medicinal properties. And research is starting to reveal many of the benefits of this spice. Turmeric is bright yellow powder that gives a peppery, warm and bitter flavor to dishes.

This natural anti-inflammatory spice was first used as a dye and then a spice. Shortly, after it was discovered as a treatment for inflammatory and digestive disorders.


  • Boosts appetite and metabolism.
  • Promotes healthier skin and helps to alleviate skin problems like acne and dark circles.
  • Supports eye health.
  • Helps to maintain normal cholesterol and may be helpful in heart disease prevention.
  • Decreases inflammation associated with arthritis and other inflammatory diseases.
  • May be helpful in lowering blood sugar and decreasing insulin sensitivity.
  • Reduces symptoms of inflammatory bowel diseases.
  • Has shown promising benefits for the treatment of depression.
  • Is a natural pain reliever and is helpful to headache suffers.

Much research is being done on Turmeric and its benefits. But for now I think there are plenty of reasons to work turmeric into your cooking. Turmeric is one of the main spices in curry dishes and it is a great way to spice up a bland dishes.

Turmeric is poorly absorbed in the G.I. tract but absorption can be enhanced when paired with black pepper. So go ahead and experiment with turmeric and black pepper, they truly compliment each other.

♥ ♥

Ritz Carlton Spicy Vegetable Soup

Posted by Jennifer (the RD) on February 13, 2013

This is a recipe my mom found in Bon Appetit Magazine back in 1996.  We have been enjoying it ever since.  I hope you do too!

Ritz Carlton Spicy Vegetable Soup

¼ cup bulgur

2 ½ cup boiling water

¼ cup olive oil

2 small onions, chopped

½ cup chopped celery

½ cup chopped carrots

1 ½ T. minced garlic

2 T. tomato paste

2 T. chili powder

1 ½ T. ground cumin

¼ tsp. cayenne pepper

¾ C dry white wine

2 red bell peppers, seeded and chopped

2 small zucchini, chopped

½ cup canned chopped tomatoes

½ cup well-drained canned garbanzo beans

½ cup well drained canned kidney, pinto, or black beans

2 T. chopped fresh basil

2 T. chopped fresh oregano

Place bulgur in medium bowl.  Pour ½ cup boiling water over the bulgur.  Cover and let stand until softened (about 15 minutes).  Heat oil in a heavy, large saucepan over medium high heat.  Add onions, celery, carrots, and garlic and sauté until tender, about six minutes.  Add tomato paste, chili powder, cumin, and cayenne pepper and stir until spices are fragrant, about 1 minute.  Add wine and 2 cups of water.  Bring to a boil.  Add bell peppers, zucchini, and tomatoes to saucepan.  Reduce heat to medium and simmer until all vegetables are tender, stirring occasionally, about 15 minutes.

Add bulgur, beans, basil, and oregano to chili.  Simmer until chili is thick, stirring frequently, about 20 minutes.  Season to taste with salt and pepper.  (Can be prepared one day ahead.  Cover and refrigerate.  Bring to a simmer before serving, thinning if chili is too dry).

 ♥ ♥

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WIAW #44

Posted by Jennifer (the student) on February 13, 2013

Hello Everyone. Happy What I Ate Wednesday!  I am sharing my meals from Monday, this day I was busy getting organized for the week so my meals were quick and simple.  Thank you to Jenn at Peas and Crayons for hosting the WIAW.

This is what I ate:

Breakfast (6:30am)

I started the day with coffee from Starbucks  and a banana, peach, flax and protein smoothie.




AM Snacks (9:30am)

Roasted cabbage, my new favorite.


Lunch (11:00am)

Melon, tomato and onion salad with goat cheese. (recipe here)


PM Snacks (2:30pm)

I tried Trader Joe’s Milk Chocolate Covered Potato Chips, they were pretty good. They satisfy that sweet and salty craving.



Dinner (5:00pm)

A grilled steak with cauliflower.


Dessert (7:00pm)

A green apple.


Thank you for stopping by. I hope your day was full of healthy meals!

♥ ♥