Friday, January 27, 2012

Decaf Almond Latte

I've been finding sweet comfort in super easy decaf almond lattes. Interested?

I just heat up a mug of almond milk in the microwave for 60-90 seconds, add a spoonful of instant decaf and wha-la:

Creamy, delicious comfort. Plus fairly calorie-friendly--with the original (sweetened) it's 60 calories a cup or I've used the vanilla unsweetened with a little Stevia which runs 40 calories a cup.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Amy Karol's Magic Sauce

I started reading Amy Karol's blog a while before actually trying out her book, Bend the Rules Sewing.  And some of my favorites posts are her cooking and food posts.  For those that know me, I'm sure it is no surprise that I would glean the food posts from a sewing author's blog.  Anyhoo, one of my favorite posts was the one for her magic sauce.

I'm visiting my mom and as I was cooking for her, I was trying to come up with a delicious low-sodium, low-sugar, low-carb, low-cholesterol meal, I decided to try out her magic sauce but without the added sweetener and whittled it down to just:

- a cup of no-salt added salsa (thanks Trader Joe's!)
- a fat spoonful of no-salt added peanut butter
- a little water to thin it out a bit

heated briefly in a pan to warm and blend and then spooned it over a plate of tofu, spinach and carrots, and a whole grain mix.  Sooo good, regardless of the health parameters it fulfilled!  Curious to see if the sweetener and regularly salted ingredients would make it any tastier.  Either way, it was so easy and quick.  I highly recommend this to everyone to zip up any basic, bordering on bland (yet healthy meal), though my mom did call it "that weird sauce".

And bonus-- this sauce is not only easy, but also light and cheap--my ideal trinity!  Definitely a new favorite staple for me.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Good Friend punch

I love a good spiked punch.

It's one of my favorite ways to serve cocktails to a group. Folks can serve their own serving size and I think it's makes it more about a social party than straight up drinking. When I lived in New York, my roommate, Dan, and I used to make a wine cooler every July 4th--we'd kind of wing it with a jug of Carlo Rossi and a bunch of juice and fruit. Then we'd pour it back into empty bottles and slap on a homemade label ("Dan and Fran's Freedom Cooler!"), and bring it to a July 4th rooftop party somewhere. Best July 4th memories.

Anyhoo, wine coolers and spiked punches are easy to serve on the fly for impromptu parties. Personally speaking, it's easier to keep a bottle of liquor or wine in the cabinet than a 12 pack of beer on hand in the fridge. Plus, it's easy to make it delicious!

Above is a pic of a punch I made visiting some friends in SoCal last month with what I found in the liquor cabinet and juice and fruit I bought and mixed it up in a soup pot. The measurements are approximations because the beauty of such punches is it's not exact science:

- 3 quarts of cranberry-pomegranate juice
- 1 cup of light rum
- 1 cup of Hpnotiq liquer
- 1 cup of Grand Marnier liquer
- 1 cup of DiSaronno liquer
- cut up fruit (like an orange, lime, lemon, and berries)

You can add some ice to help chill it (or dilute it) or add ice when serving. Enjoy!

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Happy New Year

I love delicious food.  Recipes abound for many, many delicious foods.  This year, I aim to narrow my focus a bit.  There are three areas which I'm focusing on:  1) healthy meals and drinks, 2) budget-friendly, and 3) quick and/or easy.  And if some recipe covers all three--color me thrilled.  

And well, I'm sure I'll be eating a few things that don't necessarily cover my trinity of goals but I just want to post about anyway.  We'll see.  I'm kind of winging this.

Let's eat.