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Monday, July 21, 2014

Copycat Frosty Paws Ice Cream Treats! ♥

So it's summer and we all love to keep cool, but we also love to keep our pets cool as well! So I always buy Frosty Paws for dogs in the summer, and I thought why not make my own? supercute and Gia just loves it! ♥ 

Ingredients ♥ 

32 oz plain yogurt
2 ripe bananas
1/8 cup honey
1/2 cup  peanut butter (you could use a bit less if desired)

Directions ♥ 
1) Place bananas in a large bowl and mash thoroughly. 
2) Add in the peanut butter, honey, and yogurt and mix well. 
3) Once all of the ingredients are combined, pour the mixture into your desired containers for freezing. I used this cute puppy paw mold I got here by Etsy shop Yummy Pleasures
4) Place in the freezer for at least an hour.

Note If  you don't have a mold, you can use an ice cube tray, or dixie cups! 

Friday, July 18, 2014

Italian Dinner Party Menu 2014 ♥

Every year I love going to Festa Italiana and I love throwing together a collaboration of my fave Italian recipes. Here is a fun authentic healthy menu enjoy! ♥ 

click below for details on festa italiana! 

First start off with appetizers try my Insalata Caprese Salad 

Then try my Skinny Italian Pasta Salad 

Now it's time for the main dishes, try my Nonna's Homemade Tomato Sauce ( Italian Sunday Gravy )

Here is my famous Skinny Italian Lasagna Recipe 

Then try some cocktails! 

Here is my recipe for Italian Red Wine Sangria 

And for something supercute try my Italian Flag Popsicles!

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Homemade Summer Italian Pesto ♥ ·

Here is a authentic Italian Pesto recipe using fresh basil, I just love the smell of fresh basil! You can use it as a dipping sauce, on top of salads, pastas, or chicken, perfect for summer! ♥  

Makes 1 cup 

Ingredients  ♥  

1 large bunch of basil, leaves only, washed and dried
3 medium cloves of garlic
one small handful of raw pine nuts
roughly 3/4 cup Parmesan, loosely packed and FRESHLY GRATED
A few tablespoons of extra-virgin olive oil

Special equipment: large mezzaluna for chopping

Directions  ♥  

Start chopping the garlic along with about 1/3 of the basil leaves. Once this is loosely chopped add more basil, chop some more, add the rest of the basil, chop some more. I scrape and chop, gather and chop. At this point the basil and garlic should be a very fine mince. Add about half the pine nuts, chop. Add the rest of the pine nuts, chop. Add half of the Parmesan, chop. Add the rest of the Parmesan, and chop. In the end you want a chop so fine that you can press all the ingredients into a basil "cake" ( shape it into a form like you would for a loaf of banana bread) - Transfer the pesto "cake" to a small bowl (not much bigger than the cake). Cover with a bit of olive oil, it doesn't take much, just a few tablespoons.

You can set this aside or place it in the refrigerator until you are ready to use it. Just before serving give the pesto a quick stir to incorporate some of the oil into the basil. 

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Summer Italian Giardiniera ♥

Here is a great recipe using all the fresh vegetables of the summer. I love making this all year round as well, but summer peak vegetables are in season for my Summer Italian Giardiniera! You can pile it on grilled burgers, hot dogs, or just eat it as a tangy side dish! ♥

Ingredients ♥

2 green bell peppers, diced
2 red bell peppers, diced
8 fresh jalapeno peppers, sliced
1 celery stalk, diced
1 medium carrot, diced
1 small onion, chopped
1/2 cup fresh cauliflower florets
1/2 cup salt
water to cover
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 tablespoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1 (5 ounce) jar pimento-stuffed green olives, chopped
1 cup white vinegar
1 cup olive oil

Directions ♥
1. Place into a bowl the green and red peppers, jalapenos, celery, carrots, onion, and cauliflower. Stir in salt, and fill with enough cold water to cover. Place plastic wrap or aluminum foil over the bowl, and refrigerate overnight.
2. The next day, drain salty water, and rinse vegetables. In a bowl, mix together garlic, oregano, red pepper flakes, black pepper, and olives. Pour in vinegar and olive oil, and mix well. Combine with vegetable mixture, cover, and refrigerate for 2 days before using

Kimble Beauty My Reviews! ♥

I recently got asked by Kimble Beauty to do a review on their fabulous hair products. They sent me their fabulous silk rollers and cap. These rollers are amazing. They totally encapsulate the entire roller including the outer edges and prevent the hair from wrapping around the edges and breaking. Removal is a breeze and I never worry about tearing my hair. 

The name Kim Kimble has been synonymous with beauty and glamour for over a decade, and today she continues to raise the bar as one of the most acclaimed celebrity hair gurus in the business. Kimble has developed a niche for creating scene-stealing, high concept looks adorned by the likes of Beyonce, Lady Gaga, Rihanna, Shakira, Mary J. Blige, the late Whitney Houston, Sade, Britney Spears, Jada Pinkett Smith, and even the iconic Miss Piggy among others.

 Kimble’s innovative styles and techniques have been featured internationally in the pages of fashion and beauty’s chicest titles – everyone from Vanity Fair and Allure to InStyle, Essence, Glamour, Elle and Vogue have called on Kimble to create cover-worthy hair designs. She’s worked with such renowned fashion photographers as Patrick Demarchelier, Gilles Bensimon, Mario Testino, Annie Leibovitz, and Matthew Jordan Smith, and her work has appeared in national ad campaigns for blue chip brands including Pepsi, Neutrogena, Nike, CoverGirl, McDonald’s and L’Oreal.

In addition to her work behind the scenes, Kimble has served as an industry expert in front of the camera on numerous television shows, including “Oprah,” “How Do I Look?” and “Shear Genius,” to name a few.
It is Kimble's belief that style and healthy hair maintenance should coexist. Achieving a look of style should not be at the sacrifice of hair's own beauty and health.  ♥

So what are you waiting for click here on her website and you can get your own fabulous beauty products!  Here is a special reader discount!  Reader Discount hair10 Kimble Beauty

This was a sponsored post. 

Friday, July 11, 2014

Grandma Katrina's Homemade Strawberry Jam ♥

Summer is in season! Strawberries are the summer fruit! Here is my Grandma Katrina's Recipe for homemade strawberry jam. I remember going to the strawberry fields with her and picking strawberries and she always took extra care in picking the perfect ones! I adjusted her recipe for a lower sugar version enjoy! ♥

3 pints ripe strawberries, stems removed
3/4 cup water
1 (1.75 ounce) package  Fruit Pectin
1/2 cup SPLENDA® No Calorie Sweetener, Granulated

Directions ♥

Wash jars and lids in hot soapy water; rinse with warm water. Fill boiling-water canner half full with water; add jars and water to cover. Bring water to a boil, reduce heat and simmer. Place lids in water to cover in a small saucepan; bring water to a simmer. Simmer until ready to use. Remove and drain jars and lids, one at a time, as needed for filling.
Cut strawberries in half; crush using potato masher or food processor. Place exactly 3 cups of crushed strawberries in a large saucepan; stir in water. Gradually add pectin, stirring until blended.
Bring mixture to a full rolling boil (a boil that doesn’t stop bubbling when stirred) over medium-high heat. Boil for 1 minute, stirring constantly. Remove from heat; add SPLENDA® Granulated Sweetener, stirring until SPLENDA® Granulated Sweetener dissolves. Skim off any foam with metal spoon. Allow to stand for 5 minutes to minimize separation of fruit and liquid.
Ladle hot jam into prepared jars, filling to within 1/4-inch of tops. Wipe jar rims and threads. Cover with 2-piece lids. Screw bands tightly. Place jars on rack in canner. (Water must cover jars by 1 to 2 inches. Add boiling water, if necessary.) Cover; bring water to gentle boil.
Process 10 minutes. Remove jars and place upright on towel to cool completely. After jars cool, check seals by pressing center of lid with finger. (If lid springs back, lid is not sealed and refrigeration is necessary.) Store in a cool, dark place for up to 1 year. Once opened, store refrigerated and use within 2 weeks.

Yield: 3 half-pint jars

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Summer Shish Kabobs ♥

I love this summer dinner, I had this growing up as a child, it's perfect for summer grill outs, parties, or picnics. Try my marinated summer shish kabobs recipe! ♥

Ingredients ♥

1 pound beef sirloin, top sirloin, or filet
1 medium onion
1 green pepper
10 large white mushrooms
1 red pepper (optional)
2/3 cup dry red wine, burgundy or pinot noir
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon sugar
1/8 teaspoon paprika
1/8 teaspoon black pepper
1/8 teaspoon garlic powder
1/8 teaspoon onion powder
1 tablespoon olive oil

Directions ♥
If you are using bamboo skewers, start by submerging them in water using a dish or a paper towel to hold them underwater.  Let them soak for 30 minutes.  We use double skewers as it makes it easier to turn without having the ingredients spin on the skewer.  You can use two bamboo skewers or buy some double prong skewers.

Make the marinade
In a stainless or glass bowl large enough to hold the meat, add the wine, salt, sugar, paprika, black pepper, garlic powder, and onion powder. Mix the marinade.

Cube it
Cut the steak into 1 inch to 1 1/2 inch cubes. Add the cubes to the marinade bowl. Let it rest for 2 hours in the fridge. Then remove it from the refrigerator and let it come back to room temperature. Let it sit at room temp for about 30 minutes.

Cut the onion in half and then cut each half into quarters. Cut the green pepper open and clean out the seeds. Cut the pepper into 1 inch squares (or close to square as you can). You can leave the mushrooms whole, but for larger mushrooms, I recommend you cut them in half. Optionally you can marinade the veggies in Italian dressing.

I like to alternate between onions and peppers, as they add great flavor to the meat while cooking. I also throw the mushrooms in every now and then. The onion, peppers and meat play well with the mushrooms. It’s nice to see the meat and vegetables getting along so well.

After assembling the kabobs, brush some oil on the skewered meat and veggies at this point, to keep them from sticking.

Prep the grill
If using gas, heat the grill on high for 10 minutes prior to cooking.  If cooking on coals, it is best to use natural hardwood charcoal.  Add enough coals to cook over a high heat for 10 to 15 minutes.

Grill ‘em

Place the kabobs on the hot grill directly over the flame or coals.  Keep the lid open since we are cooking on direct heat.  Grill for 10 to 12 minutes, rotating 90 degrees every 4 minutes, until the meat is cooked to desired level of doneness.  Remove the kabobs from the grill and let them rest for 3 or 4 minutes before serving.enjoy! ♥

Hidden Valley Ranch Skinny Poolside Dip ♥

So I thought I would make a healthy fun summer dip. Try my skinny poolside dip next time you are soaking up some rays! I use my favorite sponsored product Hidden Valley Ranch  ♥

Ingredients  ♥

8 ounces light cream cheese, room temperature
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese 
1 red and green bell pepper, finely diced
1 jalapeno, seeded, finely diced 
1 small can black olives, finely diced
15 ounce can corn, drained
1 packet Hidden Valley Ranch seasoning

Directions  ♥
Put everything into a bowl and start stirring it together. As the vegetables start to release a little of their water, the mixture will come together much easier. Continue stirring until well combined.
Serve immediately or store in the fridge, covered, for up to 24 hours. The longer the dip sets, the more water the vegetables will release.

Serve with your favorite crackers or healthy pita chips  enjoy! ♥

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Skinny Summer California Cobb Salad ♥

Here is a repost of a favorite summer recipe of mine.  A healthy version of the traditional california cobb salad..enjoy! ♥

Ingredients ♥
1 head lettuce (any variety)
8 slices turkey bacon
3 eggs, hardboiled and peeled
2 avocados
2 tomatoes (or I like to use the  equivalent amount of cherry tomatoes)
1 ripe pear
1 cup shredded or cubed full cooked chicken 
1/2 cup sliced red onion 
 Skinny Blue Cheese Dressing (recipe below)

Instructions ♥
Set a frying pan over medium heat and fry the bacon until crisp (3 – 5 minutes on each side).
While the bacon is cooking, dice the boiled egg, avocados,onions,tomatoes, and pear. Shred cooked chicken as well.
Chop and arrange the lettuce on a large platter.
Drain the bacon on paper towels. When it is cool enough to handle, dice into small pieces.
Arrange the toppings in rows over the lettuce.

Serve with a side of homemade  skinny blue cheese dressing (below).

makes 1 cup... ♥

1/2 cup mayonnaise reduced fat 
1/4 cup sour cream light 
2 tsp fresh lemon juice
2 tsp red wine vinegar
1 tsp dijon mustard 
1/4 tsp  worcestershire sauce 
1/3 cup crumbled blue cheese 
1 clove fresh garlic, minced
1-2 T chopped fresh parsley
1 scallion, finely chopped
salt and freshly ground black pepper

Directions ♥

In a small bowl, stir or whisk the mayonnaise, sour cream, lemon juice, red wine vinegar, dijon mustard, and worcestershire sauce until smooth. Add the blue cheese, garlic, parsley, and scallions, and stir until thoroughly . Season with salt and pepper to taste, then cover and refrigerate until ready to serve let sit in refrigerator for at least an hour so flavors can blend together and enjoy! ♥

Thursday, July 3, 2014

Skinny Fourth of July Menu & Fourth Fitness Fun! ♥

So once again I was approached by Parade magazine to write an article about healthy recipes and fitness for fourth of july! ♥

Fourth of July is just around the corner, that means cookouts, fireworks, and summer fun! But I developed a healthier version of the all american cookout menu. So you can enjoy the festivities and the food that won't leave you feeling guilty! enjoy! ♥

For starters try my healthy appetizers! Here is a traditional recipe for my grandma's deviled eggs.

Don't forget the side salads try my skinny potato salad and skinny picnic pasta salad

The main coarse the all american burger, only here is my skinny version.

For dessert who can resist the patriotic berry flag cake 

and of coarse cocktails try my Patriotic Bomb Pops Cocktail Recipe

So after all that food, it's time to keep up with your fitness routine, fitness doesn't take a holiday. So here are some tips to get your fitness routine, even while doing fun summer activities, if you are away camping or outside that's the best workout! 

Hiking – Many campsites offer hiking trails  that are on or near the grounds.   You can usually scope this out online and in advance.  Remember to pack your good kicks!
Biking – Bring your bike along and enjoy the sights while getting a workout.  This one is something the whole family can enjoy!

Resistance training – Resistance bands are lightweight and easily portable.   You can likely find room for this activity inside your camper, if you are shy about your workout.  If you’re not shy, there is plenty of space outdoors.

Outdoor games – Break out your camping games and play some Frisbee, badminton, volleyball or maybe just toss a football around. My favorite horsebackriding!   Most camping locations will have area(s) with lots of open space that’s just right for these types of activities.

Swimming – Here is an often overlooked exercise that is fun and easy.  Whether you’re in a pool, lake or river, swimming is often an option, and camper’s favorite.
Boating – No, not in a powerboat!  Check to see if your campground offers row or paddle boats. Or my fave canoes or kayaks awesome exercise!  

So have a fun and happy fourth everyone, stay happy and as always fit and healthy! ♥