Hot Damn, I Got a Pressure Cooker

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I know I’m a little late to the party, but I was procrastinating because don’t want to have to learn how to cook again. And I buy organic so mistakes are REALLY expensive.  But check this shit out…it normally takes 6 hours on high to cook a 5.5 pound chicken. BUT, in a pressure cooker, it took 30 minutes.  THIRTY FREAKING MINUTES. And it’s super moist  and juicy. Holy hell! My head is spinning just thinking about all the stuff I’m going to make!  Salsa and chicken soup and jelly and bean soup. Oh my!

I’m Droppin’ a Cookbook

“I’m droppin’ a cookbook” doesn’t sound nearly as cool as “I’m droppin’ an album”, but the album thing is never gonna happen so this is it for me. Our local Fox affiliate is coming out tomorrow morning to shoot about five small LIVE segments of a Mix It Up class. I’m bringing six cute kids because when they screw up, it’s cute; when I screw up…not so much. Even when they’re acting goofy…see how cute they are?  Well, I’m off to make some yummy stuff for tomorrow so we can do that TV magic thing of, “Look, I just put this in the oven, and through the magic of TV, now I’m taking it out 3 seconds later and it’s all cooked.”  Wish us luck!!!

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Books Are Like Babies

LOOK WHAT I GOT IN THE MAIL TODAY!!  It’s my first proof!  See how I’m holding it? See how it’s an ACTUAL BOOK? This is crazy. Good thing I ordered a proof before I bought a thousand of ’em because I screwed up some stuff. But my dedicated graphic designer, Terri, got on it right away, so we should be good to go.

As I held this in my hands today, I realized that writing a book is a lot like having a baby.

  1. You’re putting yourself out there, which makes you vulnerable. Not vulnerable in a naked, sweaty, legs-in-stirrups, giving-birth kinda way, but vulnerable and uncomfortable nonetheless.
  2. Before you do it, you think it’s going to be so much fun! In reality, it’s a messy, it’s a fuck-ton of work and it sometimes sucks the life out of you.
  3. You know it’s not going to make you rich (but if you’re lucky, it’ll go to college and get a really good job and can finance your retirement).
  4. Seeing the fruit of your labor makes it all totally worth it. Although you still won’t even consider another one until the sleep deprivation from the first one wears off. (Don’t read too far into this…I am not, repeat NOT, having or even considering having another baby. Cookbook maybe, but baby? Absolutely not.)

 

Pre-order The Victory Bite!

Well, they say to do something every day that scares you. This, my friends, scares the shit out of me, so I’m doing it. I’ve been working on this cookbook in total for about 3 years, but hitting it hard for the last six months.

Today is the day I’m putting it out there to be (hopefully) purchased, (hopefully) enjoyed and (most definitely) judged. I have two fears when it comes to this book…

1)No one will buy it.

And an even more terrifying scenario…

2)People will buy it and hate it, but pretend that they like it so they don’t hurt my feelings. I can take it, people. Just give it to me straight.

I have a great team that’s been helping me out, my BFF Korie (chief editor), my brother Paul (photographer) and my dear friend Terri (hardest-working, bad-ass graphic designer). How she whipped this together in 3 months with a full-time  job and a 1-year-old running around is beyond me.

Here’s the front cover….

The Victory Bite Cover

If you’re looking at this saying “Cute kid but what the eff does The Victory Bite mean?”, you’re not alone. I wrote an explanation for the back cover explaining what the eff The Victory Bite means…

“The Victory Bite  Will Change the Way Your Kids Eat

  • Do your kids eat too much junk?
  • Are you worried they’re not getting enough fruits and veggies?
  • Do you wish they would be more adventurous eaters?  

If you answered YES to any of these questions, then this is the book for you.

We all know how important it is for our kids to eat better, especially with things like childhood obesity on the rise. So, like responsible parents, we make our kids eat food that’s good for them, whether they want to or not. But the ultimate goal in feeding kids is not to get them to just EAT healthy food; it’s to get them to LIKE it.

At one time or another, we’ve all resorted to begging, bargaining or bribing to get our kids to eat their veggies, or fruit, or meat, or whatever their kryptonite may be.

  • “Two more bites and then you can be done”
  • “If you eat your carrots, I’ll make you some chicken nuggets.”

That may work right now, but what’s going to happen when they’re on their own and no one is there to nag them about it?

Some of us (myself included) have even tried a stealthy approach. There are entire cookbooks out there dedicated to teaching us how sneak pureed veggies into our kids’ cupcakes. But think about it, we’re not doing them any favors if they go off to college thinking they’ve never eaten a piece of broccoli.

So what’s a parent to do? You’ve probably heard that it can take up to ten tries of a new food to develop a taste for it. The Victory Bite is that 11th time you put green beans on your kid’s plate. You hold your breath and wait for the complaining to start. But this time there’s no yuck-face, no gagging over their plate. This time they just eat it like a normal human being. This time they might even tell you that it’s not that bad or that they (gasp) kinda like it. That, my friend, is The Victory Bite.

The Victory Bite is proof that kids can learn to enjoy healthy food. It might not happen overnight, but the important thing is to keep trying. Keep offering them foods they don’t like. Keep having them try a bite of everything. Keep at it, and with a little help from the deliciously wholesome recipes in this book, your kids might just have a few victory bites of their own.”

Hopefully The Victory Bite makes a little more sense now. The list price is $14.99 but if you order it before our March 25th launch on Fox 6’s show Real Milwaukee with the discount code BLOG10, you’ll get it for $10!!!!!!!!!

PRE-ORDER THE VICTORY BITE TODAY!

All orders will ship no later than April 1st. If you live by me or know where to find me, just choose the “Pickup” option and I’ll get it to you as soon as it comes in.

To see a few pictures of the recipes or for more info, just visit my website.

Thanks and I hope you like it!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

 

Weight Loss ≠ Health

A client that I hadn’t seen in a several months came to my office the other day. I noticed she was thinner (and crabbier) and asked what she was doing to lose weight. Turns out she’s on a meal replacement program where you buy all of your food from a weight loss company; glorified and expensive Slim-Fast-type shakes for breakfast, some frozen boxed meal for lunch, another one for dinner, and a shit-ton of pre-packaged granola bars for snacks.

She made it through the entire Christmas season without a single cookie or cocktail. She just brought her shakes and granola bars with her to every holiday party. When she goes out to eat, she brings a frozen entree with her. (I’m still not exactly sure how that works. “I’m not going to order anything, but can you microwave this for me?”) Some people may slow-clap and  think, “Well done, crabby-lady’s willpower. Well done.” Um…no. Who the hell wants to live like that? Not me. I’d end up murdering someone with a steak knife about two hours in. Guaranteed.

Did I forget to mention that she hasn’t had a single fruit or vegetable since September? SINCE SEPTEMBER! She’s on the ‘no added foods’ plan, which means she can’t eat anything but the shit they sell her: highly processed crap full of things like trans fat, artificial sweeteners, sodium carboxymethylcellulose, chicken powder (I don’t even want to know what that is) and high fructose corn syrup.

General rules to live by…If you need a PhD in chemistry to read the ingredient list for a FOOD, it’s not FOOD, so don’t eat it. If it doesn’t fit into a FOOD group, it’s not FOOD, so don’t eat it.

Just because you lose weight on some diet doesn’t mean it’s healthy. Eliminating entire food groups, taking a shit-ton of supplements, not eating any fresh food; none of that is even remotely healthy but these weight loss companies continue to push it on us and tell us we’ll ‘lose weight and feel great’. Ugh. I really wish they would care more about the people they’re feeding this bullshit to than their bottom line.

Rant over.

14 Half-a-Cookies

I have 8 boxes of Girl Scout cookies sitting here staring at me so I really shouldn’t be baking any but these are probably my most favorite cookies so what the hell. I ate seven of them, warm out of the oven. Mmmmmm. Actually, I broke them in half so I could tell myself I wasn’t eating a WHOLE cookie, just a half a cookie. But I had 14 half-a-cookies and now I’m too full to even think about starting dinner. Totally worth it.

almond sugar cookie

Almond Sugar Cookies

Makes about 26 cookies

Ingredients

  • 2 cups whole wheat pastry flour
  • 1 cup almond flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup canola oil
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Lightly grease large cookie sheet; set aside.
  2. In medium mixing bowl, combine flour, almond flour, baking powder, salt and cinnamon.
  3. In large mixing bowl, beat sugar, oil, eggs, honey and vanilla with electric mixer until well blended.
  4. Add flour mixture to sugar mixture and stir just until combined. Mixture will be a little sticky.
  5. Roll into ping-pong sized balls. Place 2 inches apart on cookie sheets. Flatten cookies slightly.
  6. Bake 10 to 12 minutes or until edges are golden brown. Cool on cookie sheet 5 minutes before transferring to wire rack to cool completely. Repeat with remaining dough, letting cookie sheet cool between batches or using second cookie sheet.

The original recipe was from Meal Makeover Moms at http://www.mealmakeovermoms.com/. They have some great recipes so you should definitely check them out.

Just Call Me “The Punishment”

Besides teaching cooking classes for kids, I work as a corporate wellness dietitian during the day. People come and talk to me one-on-one about their health and/or diet and we figure out little changes they can make to improve it. Most people come voluntarily and realize that their employer is providing them a pretty awesome service FOR FREE.

On the flip side, some people are kind of a little bit “forced” to see me. If somebody’s cholesterol is all jacked up or their BMI is high, or their blood pressure is so off-the-charts that their head might literally explode, some of their benefits ($$$$) are withheld. In order to earn them back, they HAVE to come and talk to me, or at least be in the same room with me for 15 minutes.
This is why I started referring to myself as “The Punishment.” Most people find the humor in that, but it really pisses other people off so I have to be careful who I say it to.

Luckily, I only have two I’m-not-telling-you-shit-I’m-only-here-cuz-I-have-to-be clients who see me as the enemy. That’s a pretty small percentage of the people I see but it makes for a long-ass day when they’re both on my schedule within an hour of each other.

It’s freezing out and all I want to do is curl up on the couch with my electric blanket and nice warm bucket of chocolate. But since I don’t have a bucket of chocolate, I made these instead…

Oatmeal Raisin Cookies

Not exactly a bucket of chocolate, but they’ll do.

Chewy Oatmeal Raisin Cookies

Makes about 34 cookies

Ingredients

  • 3 cups old-fashioned rolled oats
  • 1 cup whole wheat pastry flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup butter or trans-fat-free margarine, softened
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup raisins

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
  2. In medium mixing bowl, combine oats, flour, cinnamon, baking soda and salt.
  3. In large mixing bowl, beat brown sugar, butter, applesauce, egg and vanilla with an electric mixer until well blended.
  4. Add oat mixture to butter mixture and stir just until combined.
  5. Gently fold in raisins.
  6. Using small cookie scoop or tablespoon, drop dough onto ungreased cookie sheet about 2 inches apart. Flatten cookies slightly so they’re about 1/2-inch thick.
  7. Bake 10 to 12 minutes or until edges start to brown. Cool on cookie sheet for 5 minutes before transferring to wire rack to cool completely. Repeat with remaining dough, letting cookie sheet cool between batches or using second cookie sheet.