Kale Chip Anyone???

I love kale!!! I always keep two bunches in the fridge at ALL times (you’d think it was a fire extinguisher!!) Kale gets a bad rap because it can taste bitter and tough which is result of not being massaged to perfection. Once you know how to massage kale to tender glory – you will LOVE it. Aside from being a super-food, kale holds up to strong conditions (unlike other greens). For example, add it to soup, and it stays vibrant and green rather than turning into a sad sap, wilty mess the next day. Even dressed up kale salads hold their perk in the fridge. Turns out kale does well in the oven too. Have you tried kale chips? I mean who ever thought to roast leafy greens???

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Holiday Cranberry Sauce

easy cranberry sauce

When I was growing up, I only wanted canned cranberry sauce to accompany my mashed potatoes and stuffing. I loved watching it wiggle out of the can keeping the exact same shape. Who even knew it was fruit???? In my case, older IS wiser!! I’ve learned how much better it is to serve freshly made cranberry sauce on your holiday Thanksgiving or Christmas table!!!

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Avoid the Crowds in Venice, Italy

avoid crowds in venice

When my husband suggested we go to Venice, I hesitated. Venice is one of the most unique and beautiful cities in the world but during the last 15 year, it’s become a circus of tourists (an estimated 30 million a year to be exact). For this reason, I’ve avoided it. But, on route to the Dolomites in July, I snuck into Venice and managed to avoid the crush of visitors. I meandered through it’s narrow streets, walked along it’s romantic canals, crossed over it’s petite bridges, chatted with locals, and avoided the massive crowds. So, how did I enjoy Venice during the busiest month of the year??????

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Golden Milk – Yay or Meh???

vegan golden milk

So, what do you think of the Golden Milk trend?? Are you on board with sipping this hot Turmeric Ayurvedic drink or would you rather have a hot cocoa or pumpkin latte??? Since I’m a sucker for anything “healthy”, I had a bee in my bonnet to try making this at home. My Kind Organics Golden Milk powder was on sale, so I bought it out of curiosity and played with the recipe to customize a yummy, frothy GOLDEN YELLOW hot liquid beverage.

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Rich Decadent Blondies (Vegan and Gluten Free)

vegan gluten free blondies

If you are craving rich, decadent blondies that are vegan AND gluten free, these are them!!! I baked a batch of these “beauties” to see if they’d make a good hostess gift for a weekend visit to our dear friends in L.A. Not everyone drinks wine and I’ve given too many floral bouquets. But WHO can resist a box of home-baked treats? (I even went to Micheal’s craft store to buy a special box for them – presentation counts!!).

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Fall in Love with Cortona!!

beautiful cortona

It’s difficult to say what captures your heart when you visit a place, but you might just fall in love with Cortona. Cortona is an artsy hill town on the Tuscan/Umbrian border. Many hill towns have been overrun by tourism, but Cortona’s  year round residents maintain it’s authenticity. Francis Mayes put Cortona on the map with her book, Under the Tuscan Sun.  The story of a recently divorced woman whose spontaneous purchase and of a crumbling villa in Italy, restores and revives her own broken heart. Cortona is also a favorite destination of Jordan Schlansky, Conan O’Brian’s quirky producer and Italianfile. I spent 4 days in Cortona and it left a strong impression.

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Baba Ganoush- The Bean-Free Hummus Alternative

delicious baba ganoush dip

I don’t like eggplant. I admit it!!! It’s one of the only vegetables I struggle with. Eggplant can taste bitter, greasy, or cause digestive problems. Oddly enough, I’ve ALWAYS loved Baba Ganoush , a hummus-like Middle Eastern dip made with………eggplant.

Eggplant works perfectly in this dip, lending a smoky flavor and creamy texture. It’s neither bitter nor greasy and it’s easier to make than traditional chickpea hummus. Having reduced my intake of beans (to nearly nothing), this healthy Baba Ganoush dip has become my FAVORITE bean-free hummus alternative.

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Hiking the Dolomites with REI

Hiking the Dolomites with REI

The Dolomites, situated in Northwest corner of Italy on the Austrian border, are considered one of the most a beautiful mountain landscapes in the world.  Once known as the “Pale Mountains”, this natural paradise was declared a Unesco World Heritage Site in 2009. In early July, my husband and I treated ourselves to a week hiking the Dolomites with REI (outdoor adventure company) and are still giddy from the experience. Sipping cocktails poolside sounds relaxing but active trips can be life-changing. When my heart was racing after 2 hours of vertical climbing, I felt completely present and at peace. The alpenglow colors illuminating the rocks at sunset, the emerald pastures, greenish-blue lakes, flowering meadows, vertical walls, and cragged peaks make this one of the most remarkable mountain ranges to explore. If you aren’t convinced yet, keep scrolling…..

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Kale n’ Quinoa Salad and Adding Greens to Your Diet

Kale salad with Quinoakale n quinoa salad

Are you getting enough greens? Most people will answer “no” to this question which is why I’m posting this vibrant and nutritious Kale n’ Quinoa salad.Recent research estimates that the optimal intake for reducing our risk of heart disease and early death to be around ten servings of fruit and vegetables a day” (source). We know we need to eat more greens but isn’t it easier to grab a hamburger, fries, or slice of pizza?

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