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Shine A Bright Light on Autism | Monday, April 2

31 Mar

World Autism Awareness Day Monday, April 2, 2012

Autism affects tens of millions of people.  One out of every 88 babies is born with autism.  A new child is diagnosed every 20 minutes.  Those are some pretty staggering numbers.  And, its highly likely that someone you know and love needs your support to shine a bright light on this growing global health concern.

This Monday, April 2, is World Autism Awareness Day (WADD).  There are many ways to show your support.  Join Anova, Autism Speaks, Food, I Love You and millions of others to LIGHT IT UP BLUE  on WADD:

Although research has yet to prove it, there are a ton of ways to help combat symptoms of autism including communication and social discomfort through good food choices.  It is believed that there may be a link between autism and food allergies.  Gluten-free, casein-free diets may help improve speech, social and cognitive behaviors.  Some delicious options for weekdays or weekends include:

Get in the mood to wear your blue.  Do your part for World Autism Awareness Day this Monday, April 2, 2012.


Truffle & Parmesan Popcorn

25 Feb



truffle and parmesan popcorn

Makes 16 Cups

Movies and popcorn.  You’re passionate about the pair.   You wouldn’t go to a movie and not get popcorn because the novelty of ordering a jumbo bag of the light and airy pops of joy is just delightful.  And so, every movie you see, you buy popcorn and eat it—all of it—doused in liquefied butter and salt.  And you think to yourself, “Yes, I just did that, and no, I’m not sure it was worth it.” Because you also know there’s nothing gourmet about movie popcorn.  Instead make Truffle & Parmesan Popcorn, packing on gourmet flavor without the extra butter and salt.


½ C. organic popping corn kernels

2 Tbsp. vegetable oil

1 Tbsp. truffle oil

¼ C. grated Parmesan cheese

1 tsp. sea salt


Place vegetable oil in a 3-quart pot with three kernels.  Cover and heat on medium heat, shaking constantly until kernels pop.  Once they pop, add remaining kernels and continue to shake over medium heat until popping stops, about ten minutes.  Immediately transfer popcorn into a large mixing bowl.  With a spatula, mix in truffle oil, Parmesan and sea salt.  Add additional seasoning to suit your palette.  Serve warm.

FOOD THAT LOVES YOU, TOO:  Not only is popcorn fun to make the old-fashioned way, it is high in fiber and low in fat and sodium.  Any seasoning can make popcorn a new and exciting flavor, so season to your heart’s desire!

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A Menu for Your Honey Bunny on Valentine’s Day

13 Feb

Uh-oh.  Cupid struck you.  And he struck you good.  Looks like this Valentine’s Day,  “Romance” is your middle name.  That’s why you’re cooking from the heart to show your honey bunny just how much love you have to give with the most romantic Valentine’s Day menu.


Download the ultimate romance playlist.  Some great ideas from Martha Stewart, Gwyneth Paltrow’s Goop, and these KCRW DJ’s love song selections.


First and foremost, you need some good wine on hand.  Just make sure it goes with what you’re serving–and more importantly, it’s what your Valentine loves to drink.  Keep in mind you don’t need to spend an arm and a leg.  Find great deals at:

  • Whole Foods | Aside from their excellent selection of bottles priced under $10, they also have a handy-dandy wine tutorial on their website.
  • BevMo | It’s 5 cent sale is going on now which means you can really splurge on a good bottle because the second one is only five cents!
  • Trader Joe’s | If you’ve never perused their wine aisles, you’ve been missing out.  The store stocks  a fabulous selection and prices start at $1.00 (although you may have to spend more money on Gatorade the next morning to cure your hangover)!


Lean Mean Meatballs with Mushroom Marinara Sauce


START | Follow The Hip & Urban Girls’ Guide to Cheese & Meat Board.

MAIN COURSE | Lean Mean Meatballs with Homemade Mushroom Marinara.

SIDE | Flash Roasted Green Beans.


START | Cranberry Goat Cheese & Herb Hot Pockets.

MAIN COURSE | Enlightened Shepard’s Pie.

SIDE | Spinach and Strawberry Salad via

DESSERT | Milk & Oats, Orange & Oatmeal Cookies.

Cream of Mushroom & Eggplant Soup


START | Cream of Mushroom & Eggplant Soup.

MAIN COURSE | Sunset Magazine’s Perfect Roasted Chicken.

SIDE | Sweet Mashed Potatoes with Sage Apple Butter.

DESSERT | Hubba Hubba Brownies.

Veggie Cassoulet


So, what do you have on your Valentine’s Day menu?  Share your love spun food selections by leaving a comment below.

Have A Heart Smoothie

7 Feb

Heart Healthy Smoothie with Beet Juice, Organic Cherries

Serves 1

The juice craze has turned you into a closet smoothie snob.  If it doesn’t taste like grass, dirt or chlorophyll, you snub your nose at it.  Who are you kidding!?  You’ve resorted to the old “Plug and Chug” method to drink it down without having to suffer through the taste of it.  Drop the act and try the Have a Heart Smoothie, bursting with antioxidants and heart-healthy fruits and veggies to protect that love machine of yours.  You can still have your juice and actually love to drink it, too.


¾ C. unsweetened vanilla almond milk

¼ C. beet juice

½ banana

1 Tbsp. Nutella

¼ C. organic cherries, frozen


Place all ingredients into a blender in the order listed.  Blend until smooth.  For a great post-workout shake, add 2 Tbsp. unflavored whey or soy protein powder.

FOOD THAT LOVES YOU, TOO: Beets, bananas and cherries protect your heart, lower blood pressure, boost your immune system and strengthen your bones.  Now that’s a trio of goodness!

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Flash Roasted Green Beans

2 Feb

healthy green bean recipeServes 6

You’ve been caught—red handed—cheating on green beans with the latest and greatest “it” veggies.  One week it’s brussels sprouts, the next kale, beets or rainbow chard.  You’re allowed to play the field (we are talking veggies here), but it’s like you’ve turned into some sort of vegetable gigolo tasting a different flavor every week.  What happened to sticking with the tried-and-true?  Perhaps Flash Roasted Green Beans will entice you to come home to mama.


1 lb. fresh green beans, rinsed & tipped

2 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil

Salt & cracked pepper to taste


Preheat oven to 425 degrees.

Place green beans into a large bowl.  Drizzle with olive oil and season with salt and pepper.  Use a spatula to make sure all green beans are coated.  Transfer to baking sheet and bake for 10 minutes.  Serve warm.

FOOD THAT LOVES YOU, TOO:  Green beans have a little secret. Even though they’re rich and green, they’re bursting with beta-carotene and lutein, which makes them essential to maintaining beautiful, glowing skin and sparkling eyes.

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So what do you say?  Will you give green beans another chance?  Leave a comment below.

Super Bowl Sunday Salad with Carrot Basil Vinaigrette

31 Jan

Sunday Funday Salad, Healthy Salad

Serves 4 as main course | Serves 12 as small side

Remember Sunday Funday?  You left it in college along with those shots of bad tequila and affection for anything greasy to cure your hangover.  And now, you read this and ponder, “Have I lost my fun luster?”  The answer is no—you are clearly more refined now.  So reinstate Sunday Fundays with a bit more class, like the Sunday Salad with Carrot Basil Vinaigrette.  And, consider pairing it with Sauv Blanc instead of cheap tequila, will you?



1 6 oz. bag organic spinach

½ lb. turkey deli meat, cubed

1 can kidney beans

½ C. grape tomatoes, halved

¼ C. dried cherries


¼ C. carrot juice

1/3 C. apple cider vinegar

1 Tbsp. Dijon mustard

2 tsp. honey

½ tsp. pepper

pinch salt

1 C. extra virgin olive oil

3 Tbsp. basil


Rinse and lightly dry all ingredients.  Place into a large mixing bowl.  Just before serving, pour ¼ Cup dressing over salad to lightly coat and toss.  Add any additional dressing to taste.

FOOD THAT LOVES YOU, TOO: Its no wonder Popeye loves him some spinach.  This all-over powerful veggie is packed with good-for-you vitamins and minerals that promote strong bone health, healthy eyes, clear skin and stellar brain function.  Spinach is also a great choice to ward off free radicals and diseases including some cancers, like prostate cancer.

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It’s National Peanut Butter Day! Celebrate with the PB & J Smooth Move

24 Jan

Peanut Butter & Jelly Smoothie

Serves 1

You’ve said the way to your heart is through Peanut Butter & Jelly.  But one-too-many sandwiches and we’ll have to start calling you “Peanut Butter & Belly!”  Luckily, there’s a lightened-up version of your favorite treat—one that actually prevents the belly bulge.  Bursting with probiotic, Omega-3’s and fiber, the PB&J Smooth Move makes a healthy low-cal breakfast or protein-rich post-workout snack.


1 C. low-fat, plain kefir

½ frozen banana

½ C. fresh strawberries, hulled

1 Tbsp. natural peanut butter

1 Tbsp. flaxseed oil

1 tsp. local honey

1 scoop whey protein (optional)


Blend all ingredients until smooth.  Enjoy!

FOOD THAT LOVES YOU, TOO: The monounsaturated fats in peanut butter are extremely good for maintaining heart health.  A tablespoon a day can help to lower cholesterol and prevent cardiovascular disease.

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READERS’ CHOICE: 10 Most Popular Food, I Love You! Recipes of 2011

29 Dec
Grapefruit Chicken Salad

READERS' CHOICE: The Most Popular Food, I Love You! Recipe of 2011

Life’s a popularity contest.  It takes a certain level of distinction to truly stand out—to be the trendsetter, the en vogue rogue, the cake topper.  It’s the popular ones that are dubbed Sexiest Man Alive, President of the United States or Dancing with the Stars Champion.  The same goes for Food, I Love You! recipes.  According to the readers (very discerning judges I might add), here are the 10 Most Popular Food, I Love You! Recipes of 2011…


 #1  Grapefruit Chicken Salad


 #2  Summer Fruit & Spinach Salad with Lemon Cilantro Dressing


 #3  Health Nut Smoothie


 #4  PB & J Smooth Move


 #5  Grilled Peaches & Burrata


 #6  Mexican Carrot Soup


#7  Campari Crush


#8  Butternut Squash Soup


#9  Strawberry & Asparagus Quinoa Salad


#10  Spicy Sweet Potato Fries


Ring in the New Year with style and grace!  Wishing you much happiness in 2012, filled with fabulous food, friends and love.




So, dish.  Did your favorite Food, I Love You! recipe make the cut?  Leave a comment below.

Pulled Pork Sliders

14 Dec

Makes 24

Pulled Pork Sliders

You’re a Sunday Funday fanatic.  That’s right—come Wednesday you’re already planning lunches, brunches and aperitifs to spare.  It’s all play and no work on Sundays.  Especially when it comes to not wanting to work on those dishes.  That’s why on Sundays you put the slow cooker to work and make Pulled Pork Sliders.


3 lbs. pork shoulder

1 Tbsp. brown sugar

1 tsp. paprika

½ tsp. sea salt

½ tsp. cayenne pepper

2 Tbsp. olive oil

1 Gala apple, whole but slit around center

1 onion, cubed

¼ C. spicy Dijon mustard

1 Tbsp. local honey

Hamburger pickles (dill, sweet or both)!

Your favorite slider buns (Hawaiian Rolls are delish)


Create a dry rub in a small mixing bowl by combining brown sugar, paprika, sea salt and cayenne pepper.  Massage the dry ingredients into the pork.  Place pork into a freezer bag with olive oil.  Allow to marinate.  Tip: This is best done the night before to create the most flavor.

Place pork, apple and onion in a slow cooker on low and cook for 7 hours.  If you’re running low on time, you can crank the heat up to high, but cook for 4-5 hours only.  When done, pull the pork apart in the slow cooker using tongs (to secure) and a fork (to pull the meat).  Let it sit in the jus.

Just before serving, mix mustard and honey in a small bowl.  Spread honey mustard on inside top of roll and finish building out your sliders with a generous serving of pork and a pickle or two.  Secure with a toothpick.

FOOD THAT LOVES YOU, TOO:  A good source of lean protein, pork is naturally low in sodium and is packed with several vitamins and minerals.  Pork is also a great source of iron, which makes it a great option for your monthly holiday…hint, hint!

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Thanksgiving 911 | Signature Cocktails and Delectable Desserts

23 Nov

The dining room table is set, pretty china and all.  The family arrives tomorrow.  The menu is…oh boy!  Procrastinated ‘till the very last minute, did ya?  That’s so you.  You’re experiencing a Thanksgiving 911!  But before you ring the alarm, here’s a secret: you don’t need to sweat over it sweetheart!

Make this Thanksgiving’s feast oh-so memorable.  Put some thought into it…what’s your food style?  Is it festive, savory, a modern twist on classics, comforting or seasonal?  Or, is it a fab combination of it all?

This Thanksgiving 911 is handled.  So, set the menu already!  Add some magic with signature cocktails and delectable desserts:

Campari Crush


Festive | Champagne or Bourbon with Cider Super simple, there’s no recipe required! Add a splash of apple cider to your favorite bubbly or bourbon for an instant holiday-in-a-glass cocktail.

Savory | Food and Wine’s 10 Top Thanksgiving Bottles Pair your meal with the perfect wines.  (Disclaimer: this may warrant you having to host all future Thanksgivings. You’ve been warned).

Modern Classic | Campari Crush This is a one-and-done kind of aperitif. A little palette cleanser preps your guests for the big meal.

Comforting | John Fibley of Jonoon’s Sprig Around the World Because maple syrup makes everyone feel like a kid again.

Seasonal | Martha Stewart’s Apple Ginger Sparklers This non-alcoholic spritzer puts a sparkle in everyone’s eye.  Super kid-friendly, too!

Vegan Pumpkin Spice Ice Cream


Festive | Vegan Pumpkin Spice Ice Cream Oh-so creamy, who would’ve known it was dairy-free? Tastes best served with a warm brownie.

Savory | Oh How Posh’s Maple Pecan Sundaes with Candied Bacon Because bacon seriously tastes good on everything—most especially dessert.

Modern Classic | Bree Hester of’s Mini Pumpkin Cheesecakes Like pumpkin pies in a new-and-improved form.

Comforting | Oats, Orange & Hazelnut Cookies Homemade cookies are comfort food at its best–and they smell darn good!

Seasonal | Cottage Gourmet’s Cranberry-Molasses Pudding with Vanilla Hard Sauce This tart dessert spells H-O-L-I-D-A-Y.