Category Archives: Food and Drinks

Pomegranate. Pecans. Raw Chard. Christmas Tree Salad!


This Christmas Tree Holiday Salad will fill your holiday season table with cheer! And healthy-deliciousness too. Dive in. Twinkly lights not needed for this shiny-fabulous tree..
Shopping Tip. Make sure you buy organic, super fresh chard since it is your main ingredient! Look for perky green leaves with plenty of “bounce” in their movement. Wash and pat dry your chard leaves very well.

Nutrition Bonus!
This salad is filled with healthy things. Those pomegranate seeds are loaded with antioxidants. The pecans are rich in healthy fats and minerals. The chard is loaded with vitamins and minerals – including even more free radical fighting antioxidants. The citrus is rich in vitamin C. The dried fruit and pretty much all of the ingredients are rich in fiber.

And in case you didn’t notice, this salad is DELICIOUS even though it has no oil added. The only fat comes built in from those crunchy raw pecans.

Christmas Tree Salad – aka Raw Chard Pecan Pom Salad
makes about 6-7 cups

1 bunch organic swiss chard (red or green will work) – rinsed well + sliced into thin ribbons
1/3 cup pomegranate seeds (about the amount from from 1 medium pomegranate)
3/4 cup frozen red globe grapes, sliced*
2 satsuma mandarin oranges, chopped
1 small onion, diced
1/4-1/2 cup chopped pecans, raw
2 Tbsp dried cranberries (or another dried fruit like dried golden raisins or even chopped dates!) – organic
1 small honeycrisp apple, organic – chopped

*tip: those frozen grapes help to keep the salad nice and cool for you and your holiday guests! I simply freeze the grapes, then right before I slice and toss with the salad, I run them under warm to hot water to quickly “thaw” the outside layer. This washes off any ice crystals too. It also seems to easily release lots of sweet grape flavor!

2 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
1 Tbsp maple syrup, grade B
1/3 tsp salt (or to taste)
1/4 tsp fine black pepper
1/8 tsp coriander
a pinch of cayenne (optional, but warms up things nicely)
1/8 tsp turmeric powder
a few pinches of satsuma orange zest

(feel free to use your own seasonings as desired as well – or use your own favorite dressing.)

star topper: 1 slice of toast (I used sprouted grain)

Other optional ingredients that would be fabulous: pear, avocado, dates, bell pepper, corn, grains like quinoa or brown rice, beans, tomatoes, diced roasted squash or sweet potato …… gosh, pretty much anything yummy would be beautiful in this salad!

Directions: Simply prep all your ingredients and toss them with the dressing/spices in a large bowl. Toss and mix very well since this will help to distribute the flavors and infuse the chard with flavor. You can serve right away or chill in the fridge for up to 12 hours in advance before serving. Any longer and your chard will begin to get a bit soft. Serve raw and chilled. Top it! For the “star” tree topper, simply toast any slice of bread and using either your knife (free-hand) or a star-shaped cookie cutter, cut out a toast star to top the tree salad.

Yummy Swedish Glögg Recipe (hot spiced wine)

To Warm You Up This Holiday Season!

recipe_image_Glogg (1)
If you want to try a heavenly Glögg, prepare it and serve it throughout this Holiday Season!

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour
Serves: 4-6 people
Serve hot in proper glass or mug

3 Bottles of good red wine
2 sticks of cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon of grated fresh nutmeg
4 cardamom pods, green or brown, cracked
4 whole cloves
2 strips of orange peel

Mix all ingredients together in the sauce pan or crock pot, place the sauce pan at low heat -make sure you don’t boil the mixture- for 1 hour. Serve warm!

You can also set aside and re-warm up later.

Enjoy & Happy Holidays !

Fruit Fondue Recipe: Strawberry Fondue

FONDUE9This fruit fondue recipe is a nice alternative to your typical dessert fondue recipes. It contains a lot less sugar and fat that your typical chocolate fondue or caramel fondue.

The recipe shown here is for a strawberry fondue, but you can adjust it to reflect the type of fruit that is in season.

Strawberry Fondue

500 ml (2 cups) Fresh strawberries, washed
300 ml (1 1/4 cup) Cream, 35%
125 ml (1/2 cup) Icing Sugar
45 ml (3 tbsp) Milk
15 ml (1 tbsp) Corn Starch
2 ml (1/2 tsp) Vanilla
Assortment of Dippers

1. In a bowl, puree the strawberries.

2. In a saucepan on low heat, warm up the cream.

3. Gradually add the sugar and strawberry puree.

4. In a separate bowl, dilute the corn starch into the milk.

5. Add the corn starch/milk to the saucepan and mix well.

6. Let the mixture thicken and add the vanilla.

7. Pour the strawberry fondue into a warm dessert fondue pot.

8. Dip bite-sized pieces of various dippers.

9. Enjoy and repeat but no double-dipping!

Fruit Fondue Dippers

Typically, the fruit pieces are dipped into chocolate or caramel. This time, feel free to dip fruit or other dessert into the strawberry fondue. Try some of these:

  • Bananas
  • Strawberries
  • Cherries
  • Grapes
  • Cherries, whole
  • Apple slices
  • Marshmallows
  • Small chocolate squares
  • Caramel squares
  • Vanilla or chocolate wafers
  • Pound cake pieces

The best apple pie ever!


This was my grandmother’s apple pie recipe. I have never seen another one quite like it. It will always be my favorite and has won me several first place prizes in local competitions. I hope it becomes one of your favorites as well!

  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F (220 degrees C). Melt the butter in a saucepan. Stir in flour to form a paste. Add water, white sugar and brown sugar, and bring to a boil. Reduce temperature and let simmer.
  2. Place the bottom crust in your pan. Fill with apples, mounded slightly. Cover with a lattice work crust. Gently pour the sugar and butter liquid over the crust. Pour slowly so that it does not run off.
  3. Bake 15 minutes in the preheated oven. Reduce the temperature to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Continue baking for 35 to 45 minutes, until apples are soft.

Coconut Shell Cocktail Recipe


Ingredients per 1 serving:

3 oz white rum
1 1/2 oz creme de bananes
2 large coconuts

Drain the coconuts and save the liquid. Scoop out the flesh and place in a blender. Add white rum, creme de bananes and milk. Add 3-4 oz. of crushed ice and blend until smooth. Pour back into the coconut shells. Add more milk (if needed) until a nice consistancy.
Serve in “Any Glass”

Garnish: No 

Basic iced tea


Tea comes in two basic varieties: black and green—green has a more delicate flavor. Actually, all tea starts out green; black tea is simply green tea that’s gone through various stages of processing and fermentation, explains author and former Gramercy Tavern managing partner Nick Mautone. For iced tea, use approximately 1 tablespoon of tea per 5 to 6 ounces of hot water and let it steep for up to 10 minutes. Drinking it cold reduces the tannin pucker, and ice will dilute it.


  • 8 tea bags of any good-quality black tea
  • 1 medium lemon or orange
  • 8 cups simmering water
  • Ice
  • Rich simple syrup (optional)
  1. Place the tea bags in a large heatproof glass pitcher. Use a vegetable peeler to strip the peel from the lemon or orange, avoiding as much of the white pith as possible, and add the peel to the pitcher.
  2. Pour the simmering water into the pitcher and let it steep for at least 5 minutes. Remove the tea bags and discard. Refrigerate the tea until cool.
  3. To serve, fill iced tea glasses with ice and pour the tea over the ice. Sweeten with simple syrup, if desired.

Easy Ways to Make a Vodka Watermelon (with Pictures)


When in season, you will be able to find miniature watermelons at most fruit markets. They have a thin skin unlike the usual watermelon and this makes them easy to cut. They also make great containers for your drinks when having a party or just for yourself. Spice up that fruity treat with a little vodka!

Obtain the supplies needed. Basically you need an evenly sized, robust miniature watermelon and a 375 ml (12.6 fl oz) bottle of vodka.

Prepare the watermelon. Using a sharp knife, cut a circle (also known as a “plug”) in the skin of the watermelon large enough for the funnel to fit in. Cut deep enough to reveal the red flesh of the watermelon fruit inside because the flesh needs to be in contact with the bottle for this to work.

  • Don’t throw away the watermelon skin “plug”, as this can be reused later for transporting the vodka-infused watermelon to a party.
  • Pouring in small amounts of vodka from different holes will be likely to distribute the alcohol more evenly than diffusion from one hole.
  • Some people also choose to cut a thin slice from the “base” of the watermelon to enable it to stand without spinning. If you do this, avoid cutting into the fruit flesh, as the vodka will start dripping out the other side.

Open the vodka bottle. Pour the vodka with into the exposed fruit via the funnel. It will possibly take several turns to completely empty the bottle into the watermelon.

  • Note that this recipe will work best with seedless watermelons

Pour in the vodka. Gradually keep adding the vodka until the entire bottle has been absorbed into the fruit and has diffused through the watermelon. This may require you to come back and add more over several hours.

  • Another approach is to place the bottle direct into the watermelon (using good force) and ensure that it cannot move. If you prefer this method, leave the bottle in place until it is emptied out.

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Wait a little longer after the vodka has been emptied into the watermelon.This will ensure that the watermelon has absorbed all of the delicious flavoring. Depending on your watermelon size, this may take quite a long time; it can take a day (or sometimes longer).

  • Given that you’re dealing with perishable fruit and non-perishable vodka, keep the watermelon refrigerated while waiting for the vodka to seep through.
  • Another variation is to freeze the whole watermelon for 24 hours after the vodka has been added. This will provide an ice cold refreshing treat.

Stick in the original watermelon plug, or a cork or wrap something over the hole. This is to stop anything getting into or out of the vodka-infused watermelon when transporting it to a party. Keep it upright when carrying.

Slice the watermelon, serve and enjoy. Only give to persons over the legal age for the consumption of alcohol as it is definitely pure alcohol. Share it around with lots of people too; while a whole mini-watermelon isn’t very much to eat by yourself, a whole bottle of vodka is a lot of alcohol to consume.

Asian-inspired coleslaw


Coleslaw That Doesn’t Come From a Plastic Tub
The scoop: This mayo-less treat is full of flavor and heat, and features a ton of antioxidant-packed fruits and veggies.
Makes 4 servings

1/2 small Savoy cabbage, finely shredded
1 carrot, grated
5 tablespoons fresh coconut, grated
1/4 cup fresh parsley, chopped
1 green onion, finely chopped
1/4 cup dried cranberries
1/4 cup raw sunflower seeds
1/4 cup white wine vinegar
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1 tablespoon fresh ginger, grated
1/2 teaspoons chili paste
1/2 teaspoons salt
1/4 teaspoons black pepper

Combine the first seven ingredients in a large a mixing bowl. Set aside.

In a separate bowl, add vinegar, ginger, chili paste, salt, pepper and Dijon mustard. Mix until well combined. Pour over reserved salad and stir well.

Serve immediately, or refrigerate for a few hours to allow flavors to develop.

How to Make the Most of Strawberry Season


Everyone always says it’s important to consume produce that’s “in season”.  And though you probably eat strawberries year-round, when you finally get to pick them yourself or buy them from the farmer’s market, you realize what they’re actually supposed to taste like.

You don’t want to miss three-ingredient biscuits, which you can use as a base for strawberry shortcake. Here’s the recipe:

2 c. flour
1 tbsp. baking powder
1 1/2 c. heavy cream

Mix the dry ingredients, and stir in the cream with a fork. Don’t over mix. Pull off pieces of the dough to create 3-inch rounds on a floured surface (or roll it out and use a biscuit cutter). Bake at 425° for 12 minutes. For the strawberry topping, sprinkle sliced strawberries with sugar and let them sit in a bowl for 15-30 minutes. Serve on top of biscuits.

The FDA Will Ban All Artificial Trans Fat By 2018


The FDA has finally rendered an official verdict on the trans fats lurking in tons of store-bought groceries: get rid of ‘em.

While you may have been aware for years that trans fats are bad for your body—specifically, a major cause of heart disease—you may not have realized how pervasive the fat has been in the foods you’ve eaten. But consumer-advocate groups wary of trans fats who’ve been pushing for an FDA ban finally got an answer this week. All trans fats will be off the market by 2018.

The good news, though, is that we’ve been paying attention to what we’re eating: Trans fat in the American diet has drastically fallen over the past decade, when the FDA required a listing on nutrition labels back in 2006. But even still, these artery-cloggers still exist in small quantities in many products—and every little bit adds up.

The FDA estimates this elimination plan will prevent 20,000 heart attacks and 7,000 heart disease deaths every year. Although it will take roughly $6 billion to put their plan of action into full effect, it will likely save the country $140 billion in healthcare costs over the next two decades. So, it’s a fantastic return on investment in many respects.

Keep in mind, though, the decree applies to artificial trans fats only—these types of fats also exist naturally in meat and dairy and develop in small quantities during the manufacturing of certain oils, so you’ll still have to be mindful when eating these foods.

But no worries, because pretty soon, you’ll have one less thing on your plate to worry about.