Confidence in the kitchen is key

The one thing about cooking that Chopped Junior winner Claire Hollingsworth wants other kids to know and learn from is this: Be confident! IMG_1342

“You can do this!” she shares. “Don’t be scared! Try things, and be safe when it comes to using a knife and heat. So always ask for help if you need it, and keep learning. Remember that you can teach your parents things. I teach my mom and dad things that I’ve learned about cooking all the tie — and they keep teaching me. It’s a lot of fun, and keeps us close, too.”

What happens if a dish tastes nasty? “Use it as a learning experience,” Claire says. “You learn more from mistakes than you realize. There’s always cereal for dinner. Just keep cooking, and smiling.”

Quinoa Crazy!

You may have heard of Quinoa, or maybe it’s part of your daily diet!

But do you know why it’s called a “superfood?” Mostly because it’s loaded with protein, fiber and minerals — and for anyone who needs to steer clear of gluten, it doesn’t contain any of that.

Here are some fun facts you might now know:

  • Quinoa is a grain crop that is grown for its edible seeds.
  • It technically isn’t a cereal grain, but a “seed” that is prepared and eaten similarly to a grain.
  • Quinoa was an important crop for the Inca Empire. They referred to it as the “mother of all grains” and believed it to be sacred.
  • It has been consumed for thousands of years in South America, although it only became trendy and reached “superfood status” a few years ago.
  • Today, Quinoa and products made with it all over the world and there are three main types: white, red and black.

Source: Health Ambition

Click here for a yummy recipe from Jen Reviews that’s a new twist on a spicy dish!Nutrient Dense Spicy Quinoa Recipe

Heart Healthy Baking Tips

Prepare muffins and quick breads with less saturated fat and fewer calories. Use three ripe, very well-mashed bananas, instead of 1/2 cup butter, lard, shortening or oil or substitute one cup of applesauce per one cup of these fats!


Use plain fat-free or low-fat yogurt or fat-free or low-fat sour cream instead of full fat versions. You can’t tell the difference!


Another way to decrease the amount of fat and calories in your recipes is to use fat-free milk or 1% milk instead of whole or reduced-fat (2%) milk. For extra richness, try fat-free half-and-half or evaporated skim milk!


What rhymes with Shmumpkin Shmice?

Scientifically speaking, pumpkins are a FRUIT because they contain seeds, but when it comes to cooking, they are often used as a vegetable. Here are some other facts about pumpkins you might not have known:


-Pumpkins are a member of the gourd family, which includes cucumbers, honeydew melons, cantaloupe, watermelons and zucchini


-There are more than 45 different varieties of pumpkin. They range in color like red, yellow, and green, and have names like Hooligan, Cotton Candy, and Orange Smoothie


-The word “pumpkin” showed up for the first time in the fairy tale Cinderella


-Pumpkins were once recommended for removing freckles and curing snake bites



Heart Healthy Smoothie Tips

Smoothies can pack a big nutritional punch but be sure to skip the high fructose juices. Throw a banana (you can keep them in the freezer for weeks) into your blender along with frozen berries, kiwi, apples, grapes or whatever fruit is around. Add regular water, tea, coconut water or other juice and if you’d like fat-free or low-fat yogurt. You can get 4–5 servings of fruit in one glass of yummy shake.  Try adding baby greens to your smoothie for a dose of veggies too. Try getting your loved one to sip on a smoothie. It’s easy, cool, refreshing and healthy.

Strawberry Care

When you get them home, sort but do not clean them until just before you use them. Store the berries uncovered in the refrigerator in the original or a shallow container. When you are ready to use the berries, wash them quickly in cold water. Do not let them soak, lift them gently from the wash water and drain them well before you hull them.

And most importantly…..ENJOY!

Pie. That is all. Pie.


A Poem by Eddie

Pie. It is delicious. And I must eat all of it.

Apple, cherry, pecan….It’s all wonderful.

Here you can see some fun numbers about pie.

And you can be inspired to go eat it

I really love pie!





My favorite part of the meal – stuffing!  There’s many different ways to make it, but here’s a fun chart to get you started!


Aren’t these charts cool? See more here.

Brining 101

It’s a BIG decision – how are you going to cook your turkey this year?

If you want a delicious brine for the turkey, look no further than Chef Ann’s recipe!

You’ll need only 2 things – salt and time. Here’s why.

Salt naturally draws out moisture in proteins, but over time – the process reverses through the laws of diffusion and your turkey begins to absorb the moisture back in for a deliciously moist main dish. Salt also helps break down the muscle fibers, creating a more tender turkey – so this is a great idea for your larger birds.

You will also need:

  • A large space in your refrigerator. Or a lobster pot or large cooler or bringing bag. (I once brined a few turkeys in the bathtub, and  my guests were none the wiser.)
  • 2 days time
  • Salt and other various flavor enhancers – from bay leaves to apple cider, rum, sage, pepper, stock
  • Orange peels, dried allspice berries, brown sugar. You can really go flavor crazy, so have fun. You will rinse it away after 8 hours.

Click here for the entire recipe.

Check out this quick guide to figure out how much brine you’ll need.


Click here to see Buzzfeed’s original chart.