Nov 30, 2015

DIY Gingerbread Tree Ornaments


DIY Gingerbread Tree Ornaments – make Christmas ornaments out of gingerbread cookies. A fun project to do with the kids!

Make Christmas tree ornaments out of gingerbread cookies – so fun to make with the kids!

This weekend we bought our Christmas tree and I thought now that Madison is getting a little older (she's 5) it would be fun to spend Sunday making homemade ornaments. We blasted Christmas music in the background, had lots of fun and the whole house smelled like gingerbread.

DIY Gingerbread Tree Ornaments – make Christmas ornaments out of gingerbread cookies. A fun project to do with the kids!

This is such a fun project to make with the family, all you need is some cookie cutters (I chose stars, Madison used all different shapes), some twine and I used the tip of the piping bag to cut the holes in the dough. My older daughter Karina even wanted to help so it became a family affair, with lots of laughs, and a great way to get everyone off their iPads and computers. My girlfriend is a Girl Scout leader and plans on doing this with her girls.

I used my basic gingerbread cookie recipe which you can find here, which made about 60 stars. The amount will vary depending on the size of your cookie cutters. 

DIY Gingerbread Tree Ornaments – make Christmas ornaments out of gingerbread cookies. A fun project to do with the kids!

Madison hugged me so hard when we were all done and said it was the Best. Day. Ever! A Sunday well spent, making memories that will last forever. Here's the basic steps, have fun!

Nov 29, 2015

Skinnytaste Dinner Plan (Week 8)


Skinnytaste Dinner Plan (Week 8)

Hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving! I enjoyed mine with family at my Moms house and have been enjoying the warm November weather we're having.

This is week eight (8) of sharing my weekly dinner plans since launching The Skinnytaste Meal Planner. I've had such positive feedback from all of you that I will be doing this every Sunday.
I got an early Christmas present (an Instant Pot) which I am excited to start using, first thing I plan on making is Pressure Cooker Pozole which I added to my meal plan for next week. If you have an Instant Pot I would love to hear what you make in yours!

Skinnytaste Dinner Plan (Week 8)

I also started doing a running streak which I do every year after Thanksgiving. Today is day 2 of my #runningstreak. I am committing myself to run at least 2 miles every day until 2016. Who's with me?

And lastly, since this is the time of year when many of us pack on a few unwanted pounds, I wanted to let you know that Skinnytaste dietitian (and my close friend) Heather K. Jones will be releasing a free weight loss class on January 1st. Heather is dedicated to helping people succeed and she will help you transform your mindset about dieting to achieve weight loss freedom … no guilt, shame or self-hate required. Her loving approach is a game-changer in the world of weight loss. Go here to sign up for her free weight loss class, that way, once the holiday celebrations have ended, you can resolve to start the new year off right!

More about the dinner plan...

Breakfast is usually eggs and fruit, smoothies or avocado toast. I try to do my food shopping on Sundays, but you can do what works best for you. Leftovers are often eaten the next day if the meal is large or packed up for everyone's lunch. If you would like to see some of the previous weeks, here they are:

Dinner Plan Week 1
Dinner Plan Week 2
Dinner Plan Week 3
Dinner Plan Week 4
Dinner Plan Week 5
Dinner Plan Week 6    
Dinner Plan Week 7

Skinnytaste Dinner Plan (Week 8)

Monday:  Pasta Fagiole

Tuesday: Leftovers

Wednesday: Crock Pot Sesame Honey Chicken

Thursday: Pressure Cooker Pozole (Pork and Hominy Stew)

Friday: Homemade Pizza Night with Quick Marinara Sauce

Saturday: Date Night

Sunday: Chicken Cordon Bleu with a house salad

Nov 26, 2015

Leftover Turkey and Sweet Potato Frittata


Frittatas are a great way to use up leftovers!

Leftover turkey, sweet potatoes, spinach and Gruyere cheese – trust me, you'll want to save some leftover turkey from Thanksgiving because this breakfast frittata is SOO good!

Leftover Turkey and Sweet Potato Frittata – a great way to use up your leftover Thanksgiving turkey!

Hope everyone has a happy Thanksgiving! I am reviving this from the archives for those of you who have leftover turkey!!

When I had the idea of using leftover turkey and sweet potato in a fritatta, I had no idea just how good this would turn out! In fact, I would make turkey again, just to make this frittata. Frittatas are so versatile, you could of course use leftover chicken breast instead, or swap the Gruyere for another cheese, the spinach for kale, etc. This is naturally gluten-free, and can be eaten for breakfast, lunch or dinner with a salad on the side. Hope you enjoy and Happy Thanksgiving!

Nov 25, 2015

Flourless Chocolate Cake


Flourless Chocolate Cake – Only 136 calories, this EASY 5-ingredient chocolate dessert is DELISH and ready in less than 30 minutes!

Only 136 calories, this EASY 5-ingredient (not counting salt and cooking spray) chocolate dessert is DELISH and ready in less than 30 minutes!

The perfect light chocolate dessert to satisfy your sweet tooth, perfect to make when you're entertaining. Made with just a few basic ingredients; chocolate, pumpkin puree, pure maple syrup, vanilla extract and eggs. The results are a warm, chocolate treat, somewhere in the middle of a cake and souffle. This is best warm out of the oven, although I did reheat one for my daughter later in the microwave a few seconds and she loved it.

You start by melting the chocolate in the microwave in 45 second intervals.

Then you add the whole egg, maple syrup, pumpkin and vanilla and mix well.

Next you whip the egg whites and fold the chocolate in.

Pour it into 4 ounce ramekins and bake them until the rise. Last grab a spoon and dig in (oops, I added a little whipped cream for fun)!

Nov 24, 2015

Roasted Rainbow Carrots with Ginger


Roasted Rainbow Carrots with Ginger – an easy, colorful side dish.

An easy side dish that would make a delicious and beautiful addition to your Holiday table!

Madison, my youngest daughter loves raw carrots. She gets them in her lunch box every single day, so when she saw these rainbow carrots in Trader Joe's, she couldn't believe carrots came in so many colors so I had to buy them for her to taste. The colors are just gorgeous, but you can also use orange carrots for this recipe.

Roasted Rainbow Carrots with Ginger

Nov 23, 2015

Parmesan Hasselback Sweet Potatoes with Balsamic Glaze


Parmesan Hasselback Sweet Potatoes with Balsamic Glaze

These sweet potatoes are sliced and roasted in the oven, then drizzled with balsamic and topped with parmesan and fresh herbs. They can be enjoyed as a side dish for eight, or as a meatless main for four people.

My husband loves sweet potatoes (loaded with butter) but I prefer mine more on the savory side, such as this. I had this for lunch over some baby greens and felts satisfied, but this would be beautiful on your Thanksgiving table if you would like to serve this as a side.

Parmesan Hasselback Sweet Potatoes with Balsamic Glaze

And speaking of Thanksgiving, I know the holidays can be a stressful time. Between traveling, extra calories being consumed and stress of having to take care of so many people, it's easy to feel overwhelmed.

That's why I find it's so important to take care of myself during this time of year. In addition to making healthy and delicious food, I started tracking my points on Weight Watchers again and I hit the gym to work out any stress. It's a guaranteed way to feel great, quickly.

And when I can't make it to the gym, I love to do my friend Erin's at home Shrink Session program. Erin believes that movement in your body creates movement in your life and her workouts are SO MUCH FUN! (Not to mention powerful!) 

She is doing a free week-long Challenge that I do every year and love! She will be giving you short, fun workouts that are designed to lift you up, mind, body and spirit. I can't recommend it enough. You can sign up here!