Pavlova for your lov-a this Valentine’s Day!

This is the recipe that finally changed me from a chocolate-only dessert lover.  Before I was introduced to this recipe if I made a dessert with -gasp! – sugar,  it’s a pretty good bet that it would be made with chocolate.  Why risk disappointment when we so rarely have something sweet? That all changed when a friend from New Zealand introduced me to this authentic New Zealand recipe.  In fact, I love it so much that I made it for Christmas this year and my husband’s birthday.  And my chocolate loving kids even chose this over a chocolate cake at our holiday party, asking for the “cake with the cucumbers on top.”  Fortunately, there are no cucumbers, but there are kiwi and strawberries – a little healthy fruit to go with all the sugar. :)

Although the recipe isn’t hard, you do need to use superfine sugar (find it at gourmet food markets, kitchen stores, and online at amazon.com), and be sure to bake it low and slow (around 225 degrees for 90 minutes).  Somehow it magically bakes into a “cake” with a crisp outer layer and a soft, gooey inside.

If you’re looking for a change from the traditional chocolate this year this sweet treat is sure to impress your Valentine!  Enjoy!

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Beware of Thanksgiving Feast Fakes!

feast fakesI love everything about Thanksgiving- from the decorating, to the cooking, to the eating (ok, maybe not the clean-up)- but one thing I don’t love is the idea of chemicals and “manufactured food products” masquerading as my favorite foods.

When you’re planning your meal, I’m sure you’re not planning on cooking with and serving  “Sodium Bisulfite”, “Partially Hydrogenated Oil”, “Pyrophosphate”, “Disodium Guanylate”, “Disodium Inosinate”, “Propyl Gallate”, and a slew of other unknown items.  However, if you’re using one of these boxed options you’re serving all of this and more.

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Shark Birthday Party!

The twins’ much anticipated shark themed birthday party finally happened this weekend! … Anticipated mostly by them, while I was  mostly apprehensive about pulling it all together. I’ve been worrying for weeks about how to create a birthday party that didn’t include the usual party “crashers”  like soda, processed pizza, candy, artificial colors, preservatives, and loads of sugar.  Now that they’re in kindergarten and on the “party circuit” there’s a certain level of expectation to be met, and I could tell they were a little worried about whether their friends would end up with carrot sticks in their goody bags. mask Continue reading

M’organic Eggs Benedict

eggs benedict collageMy hubby surprised me with this breakfast for Mother’s Day and it was delicious!  He also did a great job picking out ingredients to make this healthy and m’organic (which was a bit of a surprise!).  I think it’s a great example of how easy it can be to eat real food and make good choices.  You don’t need to be a nutrition expert, or spend all your time in the kitchen, to pick up a few changes along the way and really transform your diet. Continue reading

Birthday Breakfast Ice Cream

Yesterday was our twins’ 6th birthday and they could not have been more  excited.  For the past three days they’ve been asking us to sing “Happy (Almost) Birthday” to them every morning — something that their brothers were getting pretty tired of indulging them with every day.  They also put their order in days ago for what they wanted for their “birthday breakfast”,  you guessed it – ice cream!

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Easter Treats – With none of the junk! (no refined sugar, preservatives, or artificial colors)

Easter collage 40resizeAs I mentioned in a previous post, I’ve been kind of worried about the upcoming Easter holiday. This will be our first Easter being “junk free” and eating Real Food and I can tell I’m not the only one who’s been a little concerned about how the “Easter Bunny” is going to pull this off this year. My kids are very aware of all the Easter candy being promoted in the supermarket, on commercials, on billboards, etc., and have been loudly – randomly -calling out to thin air (presumably to the invisible Easter Bunny who I think they might be confusing a little with Santa Claus, not sure, but I get the sense that they think the Easter Bunny is watching over them and listening to what they want in their Easter baskets), “Easter Bunny, I’ve been good! Please bring me _____!” (whatever candy they just happened to see on tv, in a magazine, at the store, etc.

So, I’ve been hard at work coming up with some “Real Food Easter Treats” and I think I have some real winners here! In fact, the only treat that had a mixed reaction in our family was the chocolate egg which does have a dark chocolate flavor to it, so it probably wouldn’t appeal to all kids. The other night I cut one egg in 1/4s to let them each try it and I got the following reactions: Continue reading