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The 10 Easiest Ways to Celebrate Earth Day on April 22!

21 Apr
"Design Scavenger project herb garden"

Photo courtesy of Design Scavenger, http://www.designscavenger.com

FOR YOU TO LIVE A SUSTAINABLE LIFESTYLE, IT’S ALL ABOUT BEING PRACTICAL.  AFTER ALL, THROWING YOUR ENTIRE PAYCHECK INTO A HEMP WARDROBE MIGHT BE ECO-FRIENDLY, BUT NOT EXACTLY A TREND ANYONE WOULD WANT TO SUSTAIN.  CHECK OUT THIS LIST OF THE 10 EASIEST WAYS TO CELEBRATE EARTH DAY, MADE ESPECIALLY FOR THE FOODIE IN YOU.
1. Be a conscious eater.  Takeout King or Queen? Cook at home once a week to reap the therapeutic benefits of cooking while cutting back on the packaging that’s wasted on to-go meals.  Additionally, go meatless once per week to help reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 51%.  That’s emissions the animals and you produce.  I’m pretty sure people will be happier with that switch!
2. Start your own organic urban garden.  How great would it be to have fresh fruits, veggies & herbs in your backyard or on a patio or windowsill? You’ll be eating nutritious food free of pesticides and chemicals that do more harm to your body than good.  Check out the rolling herb garden that my fiance, Kris Kaufman, a.k.a. Design Scavenger, made for me out of an old trash can and wood off the side of the road.
3. Reuse your shopping bags.  Paper or plastic? How about neither. Bring reusable grocery bags to reduce your impact on landfills.
4. Abide by the Dirty Dozen.  Don’t throw good money away. Keep the Dirty Dozen cheat sheet by your side to remind you of what to organic fruits & veggies you should splurge on and what conventionally-grown items are OK to consume.
5. Plant a tree.  Did you know one tree might absorb as much as one ton of carbon over a 40-year lifespan.  That’s some staying power if you ask me.  Why not make it a Meyer lemon tree so you can make lemonade?
6. Save water. We’re such wasters of nature’s precious resources. Only use the dishwasher when it’s full and be mindful of over watering your garden because you might actually kill your plants.
7. Get physical. Physical fitness boosts your mood.  Get out of the big box gym and instead take a hike, ride a bike or practice yoga.  Outdoor fitness connects you with nature and allows you to create your own energy instead of wasting it at the gym.
8. Stay local.  Dinner date downtown? Cancel those plans for a restaurant within walking distance.  Support your local Farmers’ Market to beat the 15,000 miles produce can travel to get to your local grocery store. And, ask questions—there’s so much to learn from your local farmers!
9. Recycle.  Preventing unnecessary trash in our landfills is easy.  Donate unwanted kitchen accessories and trinkets.  Or, throw a “swap” party with your friends.  You might be surprised someone actually wants that old can opener of yours.  Use empty liquor and wine bottles or mason jars as candle holders or vases.  Clean out the fridge and recycle all those expired beer bottle, sauce containers and dressing jars.  After all, one man’s trash is another man’s treasure.
10. Find a celebration in your neighborhood.  Get educated and find out how you can get involved at your Local Earth Day event.
SEE, THERE REALLY ARE EASY WAYS TO CELEBRATE EARTH DAY.  SO WHY NOT MAKE EARTH DAY HAPPEN EVERYDAY?
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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.

Why I Love Cake Tasting

25 Mar
Image

Photo by Chris Arslain Photography

While it’s no secret, some of you may not know that I’ve been a blushing bride-in-training since December (my apologies for not disclosing any earlier).  My handsome and handy fiance, Kris Kaufman, and I set the date and venue, and are spending most of our free time carving out all the details.  Planning a wedding is so much fun–especially because I’ve come to find that being a bride-to-be comes with TONS of perks!

What I truly can’t wait for is the most chic Beverly Hills bridal event of the season UNVEILED: Bridal Style Revealed at the Beverly Canon Garden on Sunday, April 1.  Why?  Because trendsetting event planner, Tarin Wilson, of Plan A Events is producing the event.  And, with Tarin’s sense of style at the helm, it’s the fanciest wedding event I’ve attended, complete with knowledgeable vendors, a 2012 Vera Wang bridal collection runway show and a cake and champagne tasting room.  Let me say that again…CAKE & CHAMPAGNE TASTING ROOM.  Not to mention a few more fantastic plans:

  • Dozens of vendors and experts sharing their talents and tips in our beautiful garden of exhibitors
  • The State of the Union panel hosted by Darcy Miller, Editorial Director for Martha Stewart Weddings and some of her favorite wedding experts
  • Sweet and savory nibbles from some of the best local caterers
  • Outdoor lounges for hanging out, enjoying the day and relaxing with friends
  • The most talented wedding photographer and artist, Chris Arslain, capturing all the fun for the day

So, now that I’ve got you hooked, what if I also said you can get $10 off your ticket to Unveiled?  Join me and my beautiful mom, Gerry, next Sunday, April 1, by registering online at http://www.unveiledevent.com.  Just use AMB12 for a discount admission–you’ll only pay $20 per ticket. 

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And that’s why I love cake tasting.  xoxo

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.

SET THE MOOD WITH MUSIC

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

WINE

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)!

FOOD

Lean Mean Meatballs with Mushroom Marinara Sauce

SAY ‘AMORE’ WITH AN ITALIAN SPREAD…

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.

SEAL THE DEAL WITH CASUAL GASTRO PUB FARE…

START | Cranberry Goat Cheese & Herb Hot Pockets.

MAIN COURSE | Enlightened Shepard’s Pie.

SIDE | Spinach and Strawberry Salad via allrecipes.com

DESSERT | Milk & Oats, Orange & Oatmeal Cookies.

Cream of Mushroom & Eggplant Soup

IMPRESS WITH CONTEMPORARY AMERICAN CUISINE…

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

NO TIME TO SLAVE AWAY IN THE KITCHEN?  MAKE VEGGIE CASSOULET, A SIMPLE ONE-POT MEAL, READY IN MINUTES. 

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

Super Bowl XLVI Recipe Roundup

4 Feb

You’re stressing because you’re throwing a Super Bowl Party for the friends and fam but you don’t know what to make.  Well, you’re in luck because of this delicious, All-American, Super Bowl-worthy recipe list. Now all you have to do is sit back, relax and enjoy the people around you!  Oh–and don’t forget to cook!

Set the Scene:

Do you have a favorite team?  Consider a Red, White & Blue theme (since the teams are pretty much representing the SAME exact colors anyway).  No offense to die-hard fans.  You’ll probably be able to borrow decor from 4th of July!  Easy!

CUTE ALERT!!!  Katie Brown turned lemons into mini footballs and created a fun Super Bowl centerpiece.

Drinks:

You won’t disappoint if you stock up on beer for the Super Bowl.  But put some thought into it…make it special by serving local beers, beers from Boston or New York, or an organic selection that pairs well with what you’re serving.

Starters:

Fresh & Easy Cantaloupe Salsa.  Cool, spicy and tangy.  Serve with your favorite healthy chips, like Garden of Eatin‘ Red Hot Blues.

Cranberry Goat Cheese & Herb “Hot Pockets.”  Like grown-up pizza rolls.  They’ll disappear in a flash!

Baked Kale Chips.  There’s nothing fried about ’em.  For a big crew, buy a few heads and bake away.  You’ll be amazed how quickly they’ll go.  Even the kids will love!

Spiced Party Nuts.  I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again.  No party is a party without party nuts.  And your guests will certainly go nuts over these sassy little numbers!

Sides:

Super Bowl Sunday Salad.  Flavorful and colorful.  Just what you want in a salad.  A real crowd pleaser!

Flash Roasted Green Beans.  These green machines go faster than it takes to cook ’em!

Spicy Sweet Potato Fries.  Because what’s better with an All-American meal than fries?

Not Your Grandma’s Potato Salad.  Leave the mayo in the fridge and try this slightly refined potato salad on for size.  Ol’ Grammie might not like the idea of it, but once she tastes, she’ll never go back!

Main Course:

Baked Rosemary Chicken Strips.  Kids will love ’em and parents will feel like kids again!

Pulled Pork Sliders.  Might be the easiest part of the entire meal…thanks to the crock pot!

Black Bean Patties with Mole Glaze.  Add instant chic to your football party by throwing in a little vegetarian fare.  Plus, your friends with food restrictions will love you for it.

Garlic Ginger Chicken Wings.  View this step-by-step YouTube tutorial on how to create Foodwishes.com Garlic Ginger Chicken Wings.

Desserts:

Ice Cream Social Network.  What’s more all-American than an ice cream social?

Oats, Orange & Hazelnut Cookies.  Perfect for a standing-room-only dessert line.

Healthy Tasty Chow’s Nutella Puppy Chow.  Such a great dessert for a Super Bowl soiree!  Don’t you just want to dig in already?

Oh How She Glow’s Itty Bitty Carrot Cake Cookies.  You wouldn’t know these were vegan…or a healthy cookie!  YUM!

Phew!  Now, get to work STAT.  Super Bowl starts in 24 hours!

Have a favorite Super Bowl recipe that you want to share?  Leave a comment below.

Top 10 Twitter Feeds to Follow for the Best Healthy Living, Nutrition & Fitness Tips

18 Jan

 

As the trendsetting individual that you are, your knack for being well-read and full of information is inspiring.  How do you do it?  You tap into your Twitter-savvy network of friends for quick and easy bits of reliable info.

Where to find the best healthy living, nutrition and fitness tips?  Start with my Food, I Love You! list of Top 10 Tweeps, whose delicious, nutritious & butt-kicking tips and tricks suit my fancy everyday!

  1. @VitalJuice & @VitalJuiceLA | From the hippest fitness gear to workouts and recipes that’ll whip you into shape.  You can subscribe to their daily emails, too.  Gotta LOVE Vital Juice!  It’s vital!
  1. @WomensHealthMag | Inspiring quotes, healthy recipes, and fitness plans to boot.  Basically their entire editorial calendar via Twitter.  Can’t beat it.
  1. @Shape_Magazine | I love their fitness routines and beauty tips.  Always bikini ready with Shape!
  1. @fitsugar | Similar Twitter approach to Women’s Health & Shape, slightly sassier if I do say so myself.
  1. @blisstreedotcom | So not run-of-the-mill.  Be prepared for authentic editorial, filled with mindful details, important facts and a strong stance.  Makes you take a step back and really think about things.
  1. @SELFmagazine | If you’re looking for a load of health, beauty, fitness and style tips, SELF is fit for your heart’s desire.
  1. @HealthyLiving | Huffington Post’s Healthy Living blog.  Some of the best and most up-to-date content out there.
  1. @FitBottomedGirl | A practical fit girl’s guide to shaping up our lives. They also have a mommy blog @FitBottomedMama.
  1. @weddingchicks | Whether you’re planning a wedding or not, seek stylish inspiration from DIY décor to fun desserts from the ideas these L.A. ladies share.
  1. @KimsBeautyDetox | This nutritionist-to-the-stars really knows her stuff.  Her juices are to-die-for, too!

Do you have a favorite Tweep whose information you swear by?  Leave your favorite Twitter folks to follow in a comment.

xxoo,

Colleen – p.s. Follow me on twitter @foodiloveu (shameless plug).

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.

xxxo!!

Colleen

 

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

Merry Christmas, It’s National Eggnog Day! So, Make A Healthier Version.

24 Dec
Healthy Eggnog Recipes

Image via Flickr courtesy of elana's pantry

It’s only appropriate for December 24 to be deemed National Eggnog Day.  But with all the special food you’ll be eating today, how could you possibly leave room to down some ‘nog?  You can with these less guilty versions which skimp on calories but still pack a deliciously creamy punch:

Eating Well’s Eggnog

Dr. Katz’s Better-for-You Eggnog

The Blender Girl’s Raw Vegan EggNog Recipe

Healthy Eggnog Recipe via Naturally Savvy

Simply Sugar and Gluten Free’s Healthier Eggnog

Wishing you all a very Merry Christmas and Happy Hanukkah!

Do you have a healthier eggnog recipe you enjoy?   Leave a comment and share it.

Five Last-Minute Gift Ideas for the Fabulous Foodie in Your Life

19 Dec
Last Minute Holiday Gift

Image via Flickr courtesy of PetitPlat - Stephanie Kilgast

Is PROCRASTINATOR your middle name?  It must be—because the holidays are here!  Lucky for you, you work well under pressure.  There’s still some time to get last-minute gifts for the fabulous foodies in your life.  Give the gift of food with these thoughtful options:

  1.  Bake It or Make It.   A gift from the heart is the best kind of gift.  So why not put your heart and soul into some freshly baked goodies or a main course that the receiver can freeze and save for a rainy day?  Here’s some helpful winter recipes to kick start your kitchen activities:
  1. Gourmet Magazine Subscription.  Not only is this the gift that keeps on giving, it’s the ultimate time-saver gift because you don’t need it in-hand to give it!  One or all of these subscriptions will have your foodie friend drooling over delicious recipe after delicious recipe:

Tip: print out a cover of the magazine(s) you’re gifting, cut it down to size and place it in the recipient’s card.

  1. Monthly Food Subscription.  Gourmet gifts for the foodie that likes to indulge, not cook.  There are subscriptions for everything from wines or teas to meats-of-the-months or just desserts.  Some highly recommended favs include:

Tip: print out an image of what you’re gifting, cut it down to size and place it in the recipient’s card.

  1. Gilt Taste.  Find the most sought-after artisanal wines, meats, produce, confectionaries or tools at members-only pricing.  They also offer last-minute shipping options (at a premium price) so your gift makes it before Santa’s sleigh lands on your rooftop.
  1. Produce from your local Farmers’ Market.  Go buy a cute reusable tote and fill it chalk full of seasonal good-for-you fruits & veggies, eggs, organic soaps and more.  Then, source some recipes utilizing the produce you’ve purchased so your foodie friend isn’t stuck with a bag ‘o groceries and nothing to make.

And maybe get a head start in 2012…will ya?

Thanksgiving 911 | Gobble-Worthy Appetizers & First Course

21 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!  Start with this list of mouthwatering recipes:

Cranberry Goat Cheese & Herb Hot Pockets

APPETIZERS – TIP: SIMPLE YET ELEGANT WOWS THE CROWD

Festive | Turkey Tartlets A non-traditional meal with a bunch of fancy apps? Put the turkey in a tart. (HINT: Also delish recipe for Friday leftovers).

Savory | Spiced Party Nuts This tailgate-friendly snack gets fancy! Set by the bar in fancy dishes.

Modern Classic | Baked Kale Chips Veggie chips prevent that “too stuffed before the stuffing” feeling.

Comforting | Cranberry Goat Cheese & Herb “Hot Pockets” Creamy, flavorful and bite-sized!

Seasonal | Omega-3 Pumpkin, Carrot & Raisin Quick Bread Serve it warm with soft butter or pumpkin butter nearby.

Butternut Squash Soup with Apples

FIRST COURSE – TIP: START WITH SOUP FOR INSTANT ELEGANCE

Festive | Butternut Squash Soup with Apples & Bacon Two words: simply divine!

Savory | Smoky Spinach Soup Totally healthy and light—the perfect starter to a marathon dinner.

Modern Classic | Cream of Mushroom & Eggplant Soup Mmm Mmm, Good sans the Campbell’s can and preservatives.

Comforting | Spicy Tomato Basil Soup Nothing says “home for the holidays” more than tomato soup.

Seasonal | Vegan Sweet Potato Soup with Crisped Sweet Potato Skins Because who wants the yams with marshmallows anyway?  Ok, maybe you do but why not try sweet potatoes in liquid form?