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Showing posts from September, 2012

Red Velvet Cupcakes (Vegan)

These vegan red velvet cupcakes were my first attempt at vegan cooking, and thanks to a recipe from Sticky Fingers baker Doron Petersan, I am a believer that vegan, gluten and lactose free foods can taste just as delicious.

I don't have any dietary restrictions in my family but I have several friends who do, so I am on a mission to find delicious recipes for every type of tummy. Vegan cooking can be quite expensive but all too often turns out tasting like cardboard, so let GNG be your tastester. I'll never post a recipe just because it fits a dietary constraint... only if it passes the "do I enjoy eating this" test will I pass the golden nugget on to you.

This recipe definitely passed the GNG test so go ahead, preheat your oven, and make a batch of these tasty treats this weekend!


Homemade Pita Chips

I can make a bag of pita chips disappear pretty quickly, how about you? Although Stacy's is my go to brand at the grocery store it turns out that I can make them for 1/3 of the price at home....and in 20 minutes. Paired with this low-fat homemade hummus recipe, you are well on your way to fattening your wallet and slimming your waistline. That's a win win combination!

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Homemade Hummus

Let your food be your medicine, and your medicine be your food. Hippocrates (c.460 - 400 BC)

Ever since Morgan was born people have asked how do I have the time... and energy... to cook as much as I do? Well, 1) I love to cook. 2) I started cooking before I entered kindergarden so I'm kinda used to it. 3) Providing my family with home-cooked food (packed with nutrients) rather than processed food (packed with additives) is for me, a top priority, so I find a way to fit it into my day.

For me, it's all about moderation and balance. Do I have days when I just don't feel like cooking? Absolutely! Sometimes even a few days in a row. So we order out or I open a can of ravioli for Morgan. (I like Annie's for prepackaged organic meals and Ella's Kitchen for organic on the go snacks). Do I feel bad? Absolutely not, because I know the majority of the time my family is getting healthy, home cooked meals. AND I know that if I hold myself to unrealtistic standards with no r…

Carlty Bryer's Wicked Good Coleslaw

This zesty coleslaw is a refreshing side that always accompanies my dad's ribs and potato salad. It is definitely worth taking an extra few minutes to freshly grate the cabbage and carrots, but you can also make it in 5 minutes with a package of coleslaw. For me, the addition of a chopped granny smith apple is a must.
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Hawaiian Ahi Poke

Historically Hawaiian fisherman would slice fresh fish into bite sized pieces (poke) and season it with a little sea salt and seaweed. Nowadays in the Hawaiian Islands you can find hundreds of variations of poke everywhere, from the local grocery store to exclusive restaurants like Nick's Fish Market in Maui. (We had an amazing dinner at Nick's on our honeymoon in 2007 and highly recommend putting that on your "to do" list if you go there on vacation. )

This Ahi Poke recipe exemplifies perfection in simplicity. Simple to make and simply melts in your mouth. Once you have made it you can experiment with other seasonings and fish if you like. And, for my fellow foodie adventurers, celebrity chef Sam Choy holds an annual Poke Contest in Keahou, HI. Check out his facebook page for details.

FYI- Here is an interesting article on what is considered sushi grade, you may be surprised. I get my Ahi in the freezer section at our local HMart.

The Best Travel Agent

How many times have you clicked on an internet travel deal only to find that the finalprice is way more than initially advertised or the dates you need aren't available. Maybe you got a great deal, but missed a few fine print details and your trip was ruined, and you had no one to call to help fix the problem. I have a solution... and her name is Lisa Olson from Simmon's Travel, Inc. I was first introduced to Lisa when she booked a Carnival Cruise trip to Nassau, Bahamas for me and three of my girlfriends. It was on the last night of this cruise that I met my husband Scott. I have been relying on Lisa ever since to book all of our travel needs. She is a well-seasoned travel agent that has the knowledge to customize the perfect vacation based on the criteria you give her. Her customer service and attention to detail are impeccable.





















She is the person you want on the phone when you find yourself in a jam, and we have tested that out a few times. Like the time we arrived at the a…

Carlty Bryer's Wicked Good Potato Salad

Everyone loves my dad's potato salad. All of the fresh vegetables give it a refreshing crunch. I love it with his famous ribs. I love it with Maine red hotdogs. I love it with my mom's baked beans (Aunt Peg's Baked Bean recipe coming soon). Well, I just love it.

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The Best Cooking Method for Wings

Crispy on the outside, juicy on the inside, and slathered in a zesty sauce, that's how I like my wings. I used to think that I needed to fry them in hot oil to achieve this perfection, but after I tried Alton Brown's method, I knew there was a healthier way to get the same results... or even better.



When we are in the mood for going out for wings, one of our favorite places to hit is Buffalo Wild Wings because of their delicious selection of sauces. My husband first found BW3's in Ohio when he was attending Denison University. When he came to the University of Maryland for graduate school, he was missing his beloved wings so much that he mail-ordered the Spicy Garlic sauce online and contacted the company trying to persuade them that College Park was the perfect location to open a new restaurant. Although it didn't happen right away, it was something like 7 years later (Scott now being a Director and Faculty member at UMD), that sure enough a BW3's opened up in CP…