Archive for August, 2009

breakfast_cookieTwelve days and counting…not that I am wishing time away, but like many parents, this time of year is a little bittersweet for me. I am reveling in the last lazy days of summer and I appreciate the lack of “schedule” before the back to school hoopla kicks in. However, truth be told, I’m also looking forward to a little more structure to cure the end-of-the-summer boredom blues that seem to plague my children as they complain, “there’s nothing to do today!”

As I mentally switch gears I’m already beginning to plan ways to simplify the back-to-school breakfast routine. Sure, it’s a little self-serving, but for people who need their 8 hours of sleep like me, a simple, self-serve breakfast for my kids can equate to a few more precious minutes of pillow time.

So, since necessity is the mother of invention, I have come up with a great healthy breakfast cookie that my kids will happily eat and prepare for themselves, and best of all, I can make it in advance.

Give them a try!



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Meals on Wheels

truckWhen talking about road trips, perhaps Clark Griswold, Chevy Chase’s character in the movie “National Lampoon’s Vacation” said it best: “half the fun is getting there!” No question, road trips can be a wonderful family bonding experience, but they can also pose nutritional challenges as well.

For those of you getting ready for one last four-wheeled hurrah before sending the kids back to school, remember, you don’t have to eat at every roadside fast food restaurant just because you happen to be on the road. We recently corralled our troops and headed to Michigan to visit family and made a point to pack a cooler with plenty of healthy snacks. Not only did we save some money (and who doesn’t want to do that these days?), but we also ate pretty well.

With that, here are a few of the items you may want to pack prior to hitting the interstate:

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yangThis past Sunday, Y.E. Yang shocked everyone with his upset win over Tiger Woods at the PGA Championship. Because it was such a surprise, I feel a little less embarrassed that I left him off my “what to eat when watching the PGA Championship” blog last week…but also feel that I owe my loyal blog readers an addendum: a Korean dish to celebrate the first Asian-born player to win a major golf championship.

I did a little research and called my neighbor, Helen, who not only is from Korea, but also is a fabulous cook, for some insight into Korean cuisine. She suggested the following recipe for Korean bar-b-que, called Galbi. (I’ve actually tasted this and it is amazing!)

Congratulations Y.E. Yang! This BBQ’s for you!

Easy Korean BBQ


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Jammin’ in the Kitchen

RaspberriesWe moved into our house a few years back and before we knew we had the makings for a raspberry haven right in our own backyard, all the neighbors were clued in. They would frequently ask “are the raspberries were ready yet?” Surely, raspberry picking in our yard had become a summer tradition for many of the neighborhood’s littlest. We had even been the lucky recipients of books about raspberries! Little did I know what fun would await my daughter, Maggie, and me.

One early summer morning she came inside with a heaping bowl full of berries and as resourceful as she is, said, “Mom, I have a great idea… let’s make our own jam!” She suggested that we save up all the berries and make lots of jam so we could give it all away! What a great idea. So, we went to work.

One of the things that made this precious quality time with my 7-year-old daughter so wonderful is that it was a simple process that she could help with — all it takes is berries and sugar (some recipes call for certo as well) along with the right size canning jars. Before we knew it we had more than six jars ready to go (they recommend that you only make one batch at a time). Maggie had gathered so many berries that we had enough for two batches.


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TigerIn case you haven’t heard, the PGA Championship is underway at Hazeltine National Golf Club right now. To celebrate this major sporting event right in our backyard, I thought it would be fun to match up some of the favorites with cuisine from their home state/country. So, whether you’re a Tiger, Sergio or Padraig fan, I’ve come up with some dining options for you.

Tiger – The most recognizable golfer (and probably the most recognizable athlete) in the world, Tiger Woods’ favorite food is a cheeseburger. (This is according to my reliable sources: Google.) And because he’s a Californian, I’m going to assume that he likes his cheeseburgers California-style, with lettuce, tomato and mayo. So, if you’re rooting for Tiger this week, throw some burgers on the grill.

Padraig – Last year’s PGA champ, Padraig Harrington hails from Ireland. It may not feel like stew weather, but a nice pot of Irish stew in the slow cooker followed by pint of Guinness on Sunday during the final round of play may be the perfect meal if Paddy’s your guy.


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FreshVegetables375119Did you know that French fries and fruit juice are the leading sources of vegetable and fruit intake in children and teens in the U.S., according to a recent Ohio State University study? If you are like me, meal time can get a little bit old making sure my kids eat enough of the good stuff .

One of the things I strive for is to associate meals with happiness and conversation, not power struggles. Recently, I came across a cookbook I had received as a gift with many ideas for “deceptively” sneaking pureed fruits and vegetables into my children’s meals and snacks! What a great idea! At first I thought, “no, my kids need to learn how to eat broccoli and spinach, it’s part of life, and mixing it into foods to camouflage the taste and color is never going to teach them healthy eating habits. Until, I realized that I could do both: I can expose them to a variety of fruits and vegetables preparing them with every meal AND I can sneak a little more in here and there without them even knowing! After all, it’s more than a challenge meeting the recommended guidelines of 5 to 13 servings of fruits and vegetables a day.


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SunWell, it finally got here: summer…well, at least weather that feels like summer: hot, humid days and thunderstorms at night. This week is supposed to be another hot one. Because we’ve had a pretty cool summer so far, it’s easy to forget how important it is to stay hydrated and cool when the temperatures heat up.

I talked with my friend Dr. Anya (Anya Lukasewycz, M.D., the medical educator for Abbot Northwestern Hospital’s internal medicine residency program) about what we should and shouldn’t do during heat waves. She gave me these tips for staying safe during the hot weather:

  • Drink fluids before you are thirsty. By the time you’re thirsty, your body already is dehydrated.
  • Avoid caffeinated and sugary beverages, as well as alcohol while in the sun or heat. Caffeine acts as a diuretic and can cause you to lose fluids quickly.
  • Drink before, during and after exercise. For a rule of thumb: adults should drink 2 cups 2 hours before exercise, 1-2 cups 15 minutes prior to exercise and 1/2 to 1 cup every fifteen minutes during activity.
  • (more…)

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