1. Calories: As we all fight the extra poundage from the holidays, it pays to keep a sense of humor about the whole thing. To wit, the above.
2. A new chicken recipe: Even though you have probably eaten your share of turkey already this month, no doubt chicken will play a starring role at least once on the dinner plate in the next week or two. Try this 3-ingredient, 15-minute chicken thigh recipe from my pal Erika Kerekes. Use boneless, skinless thighs for best results. The only other things you’ll need are garlic salt (or garlic powder and table salt), smoked paprika and a broiler. Dinner is served! We loved it!
3. MagNoodles: MagNoodles are an organic, multi-grain high-fiber pasta colored and flavored with vegetables (spinach, carrots, tomatoes, beets). They’re no-egg, vegan, non-GMO, free of additives and packed with organic wheat, kamut and spelt grains. From a kid point of view, they are cool-looking and taste great! From a parent point of view, the pure ingredients, high fiber (5g per 2-oz. serving) and protein (7g) make them a smart, nutritional choice for pasta night. Available at Whole Foods and a number of different markets across the country, MagNoodles are a colorful way to replace white pasta!
4. Kitchen-Play.com: Each month, Kitchen-Play.com highlights newly created recipes around a theme. Usually, a well-known brand asks bloggers to create something special as a way to highlight their products. Last month, I created this healthy, delicious side dish for Bush’s Beans. It would be a perfect Meatless Monday or main dish for the vegetarians at your table, and with the reds and greens, is very festive for this season. I encourage you to poke around this website for some excellent recipes you won’t have seen anywhere else.
5. Calolea Olive Oils and Vinegars: With best-in-show and best-in-class awards over the years for several of their California extra virgin olive oils, Calolea is a top-flight producer to follow. In fact, their Mission Blend was a 2011 Gold Medal Winner in the California Olive Oil Council competition. In addition to regular oils, they offer a crisp and lively Meyer Lemon Olive Oil, an Orange Olive Oil that is a blend of mandarin, blood and navel oranges, and a Garlic Olive Oil with a heady amount of the stinking rose. In fact, I used their garlic oil in a stir-fry of mixed veggies (asparagus, mushrooms, red onion, cabbage), and it elevated this simple dish to a higher plane. For the same dinner, I drizzled some of their Orange Olive Oil over my salad of mixed greens, tossed in a tablespoon of their 12-year-old White Balsamic Vinegar imported from Italy, and I effortlessly took my mundane lettuce to leafy green nirvana. I can’t wait to try all their amazing flavors in some of my favorite recipes. Speaking of which, I wonder how their oil would do over vanilla ice cream? (They are offering a 10% discount if you use the code MK10off on the website.)
6. WorththeWhisk: I’m a sucker for “best of” and “personal favorites” lists. One of my favorite L.A.-based bloggers, WorththeWhisk, has a roundup of her 10 favorites, ranging from pucker-perfect Glazed Lemon Poundcake to Claro’s Italian Meatballs. I want them all.
7. Sign of the times: This sign = too true!
8. Eggnog: Just sayin’
9. Produce Sac: Just in time for December holidays, this Produce Sac from Beneterre (3 for $11) is what I want in my Christmas stocking. I need about 3 sets of these practical mesh bags for my trip to the farmers market. Heck, I need them for the supermarket, so I can eliminate single-use plastic produce bags. Perfect for the environmentally conscious recipient on your list, these are so smart they have the tare weight right on the bag! Beneterre also makes cunning food wraps for sandwiches, snacks and other food items. Eliminate plastic snack bags from your lunchboxes. Eco has never been so chic.
10. This wonderful poster: Take a moment and read this poster. Read every word. Absorb it. Then live it! If you want to order one, here are the people who created it.