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Food for Grownups

Wild About Strawberries: The Best Strawberry Recipes For Strawberry Season

Food for Grownups
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The first taste of summer is here and I can’t get enough of the soft and sweet little bursts of flavor. Hello, strawberry season!

Whether you’re scrolling through your social media feeds, perusing Pinterest, or strolling down the produce aisles at your local grocery store, it seems like strawberries are everywhere. Beautiful vibrant shades of hot red and dark pink with hints of green, aglow with shimmering sweetness. You know why? Because they are everywhere right now!  It’s strawberry season!

And here’s a fun factoid; did you know that strawberries are grown in every state in the country and every province in Canada?

And it just makes sense doesn’t it? Not only are strawberries healthy, delicious, festive, fragrant, and versatile, they are really, really pretty.

So how do you take full advantage of strawberry season? Read on for fun facts, why they are great for you, how to store them, and my new favorite way to enjoy them.

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Fiesta Party Ideas and Recipes Perfect for Summer

Food for Grownups, Hospitality and Entertaining
Mexican fiesta strawberry margarita
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My new home in Central Oregon is pretty close to paradise. Beautiful scenery. Wildlife. Perfect weather. Lots of locally owned restaurants, wineries, and breweries. Fun outdoorsy things to do at every corner.

However, it lacks in one critical area. Shocking no one, there doesn’t seem to be any authentic Mexican or Tex Mex food where I can get a proper bowl of queso for at least 200 miles.

I used to live in Mexico. I also used to live in Texas. While both places were fun and exciting in their own right, there’s one thing I miss this most. The food. The sizzling smells. The vibrant colors. The cumin and garlic and oregano. I’m making myself hungry just thinking about it.

Enjoying Mexican food and its somewhat less authentic but still delectable cousin, Tex Mex, is the perfect way to ring in summer. And if you’re looking for a way to celebrate reaching the finish line of a long, hard week, lift yourself out of a funk, or simply jolt yourself out of a food rut – my Tex-Mex party menu will definitely do the trick.

On the other hand, do you need a reason?  Any day is a good day to invite a few friends over, play some lively Spanish guitar music, and have a fiesta! Ole’!

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Rethinking the work lunch: Healthy lunches for work and the rules to follow

Food for Grownups
healthy work lunches, easy lunch ideas to bring to the office
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Depending on your job, lunch is an oasis in the dessert. Half time. Intermission. A hiatus. So why not make those 60 minutes count?

Just say no to mundane work lunches. Say no to insipid salads. No to five days in a row of the same thing. Say no to anything “instant” and “in a cup.” We are past that, Fierce friends. We deserve better than that.

Take time for yourself. Embrace your office community (even if you find your coworkers to be…strange).

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Three Perfect Recipes for World Baking Day (Plus, My Favorite Baking Cookbooks)

Books, Food for Grownups
best cookie recipes, best baking cookbooks
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Cookies, banana bread, muffins, oh my! Today is World Baking Day and it’s time to fire up those ovens, Fierce Friends. Don’t tell my Weight Watchers Freestyle Plan, but sometimes I just need sugar. And carbs. And butter. And joy.

Here are a few of my go-to recipes when those cravings hit and a few baking cookbooks that have guided me along the way.  continue reading

Mother’s Day Brunch Recipes You’ll Want to Make All Year Long

Food for Grownups, Hospitality and Entertaining
broccoli quiche, mothers day brunch ideas
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Mother’s Day and brunch seem to go together like April showers and May flowers. So why not knock it out of the park this year? Whether you are celebrating your own mother, celebrating yourself (we know, you’ve done a great job and deserve a delicious meal), or perhaps daughters, daughter-in-laws, or friends, Mother’s Day brunch calls for a sense of occasion. It should be pretty, feminine, bright, and delicious. Most of all, it should make the moms in your life feel special and loved. continue reading

One-Minute, Healthy Smoothie Recipes to Start Your Day

Food for Grownups, Health and Fitness
zero point smoothie recipes
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Don’t get me wrong. Would I rather be having a buttery croissant or a bagel for breakfast? Probably. But when I’m on the road as much as I am with book tours or am on deadline for an upcoming book, I need a reset, a detox, and a chance to start each day with a healthy foundation. And that comes in the form of a smoothie.  continue reading

What to Know When Making A Cheese Board (and Why it’s Perfect for a Party)

Food for Grownups, Hospitality and Entertaining
what to know when making a cheese board
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I know I’ve been singing the praises of the Weight Watchers Freestyle Plan for a while now, so temporarily ignore everything I said about that so we can have a real, honest discussion about one of life’s greatest joys: cheese.

Now we aren’t talking Velveeta. Or string cheese. Or queso. I’m talking about fancy cheese—the kind that gets its own stage when its served. The type that’s displayed with a little fanfare on a cheese board. Hungry yet? continue reading

Lemony Gremolata Crostini with Ricotta

Food for Grownups
lemony gremolata
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Italian food has been on my mind for months. Why? Because one of the unsung heroes in my latest novel, JUST IN TIME, is Italian food. It resurges in every chapter of the book from Monica’s little Italian restaurant, Cafe Allegro. Food is a character. It’s a setting. It’s a theme. It basically has its own storyline.

Cannoli. Bolognese. Manicotti. Peppercorn fettuccine. Eggplant parmesan. Hungry yet?  continue reading

Slimmed down comfort food: Healthy Tamale Pie (only 6 WW Freestyle Points Per Serving!)

Food for Grownups
healthy tamale pie
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If you’re old enough to remember life before one hundred and fifty channels of cable TV, chances are you remember the days of the big family movie specials – Hallmark Hall of Fame and the like. Remember?

And do you also remember how the big food manufacturers that sponsored those specials – Kraft Cheese, Hellman’s Mayonnaise, Campbell’s Soup, etc. – would have these beautifully filmed commercials featuring gooey, creamy, cheesey recipes that just happened to be made with their products?

A whole generation of kids grew up eating those recipes, including me. They were devastatingly delicious and utterly unhealthy. continue reading

Fast Food Makeover: Healthy Hawaiian Pizza (Just 7 points on the WW Freestyle plan!)

Food for Grownups

Ask just about anybody in the US to name their two fast food favorites and chances are pretty good that one of them will be pizza.

How a dish with Italian origins came to be so popular with red-blooded Americans in every part of the country is something of a mystery but there’s no doubt about it, most Americans love pizza.

I’m no exception. Lately, however, I have been skipping the pizza, trying to make healthier choices and stick to my WW Freestyle plan.  The results have been worth it. As I write this, I am oh-so close to my goal weight.

Still…I miss pizza. I really do. continue reading