Wednesday, March 30, 2011


Another weird healthy smoothie for you.  I was reading the "What's Your Workout?" column in yesterday's Wall St. Journal and thought the Green Smoothie mentioned in the article sounded good.  No recipe was given, just ingredients. I did the usual of a little of this and a little of that. I added a bit of Greek yogurt for extra protein. The almond milk really made the difference and I loved it. Kind of sludgy looking (another case of "don't judge a book by its cover"). A nice change from last month's Veggie Berry Smoothie.  So, give it a try.

Big handful of spinach
1 cup of fruit (frozen or fresh) - I added frozen blueberries or 1/2 cup blueberries, 1/2 cup strawberries
1 tablespoon of ground flaxseeds
1/2 cup of almond milk
1/2 cup of water
Greek yogurt - spoonful (I added to recipe for a bit of protein)
A bit of Agave syrup
Stevia (natural sweetener)

All tossed into the blender.  That's it.

Sunday, March 20, 2011


Easy, peasy. You will love it.

Strawberry Frozen Yogurt
About 1 quart 
1 pound strawberries, rinsed and hulled
2/3 cup sugar
1 cup plain whole milk yogurt (I used Greek Fage yogurt)
1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
Slice the strawberries and toss in a bowl with the sugar until the sugar begins to dissolve. Cover with plastic wrap and let stand at room temperature for 2 hours. 
Transfer the strawberries and juice to a blender. Add the yogurt and fresh lemon juice. Pulse the machine until the mixture is smooth.
Chill for 1 hour, then freeze in your ice cream maker according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Transfer the  frozen yogurt into an airtight container, return to freezer and let ripen for two hours.  

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

UNBROKEN - Book Review

When I read Unbroken, I realized I really have nothing serious to complain about in my life.  Laura Hillenbrand's book about Louis Zamperini, a world class runner and World War II POW survivor, illustrates the resilience of the human body and mind.  This is a shining example of how individuals can overcome bad luck, physical and mental abuse, and change their lives for the better no matter the hand they are dealt.

Louis Zamperini survives crashing in a B-24 bomber over the Pacific ocean, being stranded with two other crewmen on a raft for 47 days, numerous drive-by attacks from sharks, being shot at overhead by a Japanese gunner, landing on a Japanese-owned island, taken as a prisoner of war, treated cruelly for over two years by prison guards, and if you think I've given anything away by telling you this, you are wrong.  Four hundred pages of harrowing and redeeming experiences.

Admittedly, I skimmed through some of the sections describing the cruelty of a prison guard known as "The Bird".  The nickname doesn't come from anything related to his personality or appearance.  POW's would nickname the guards unrelated names in case they were overheard talking. Clever. That little gem would have come in handy when I was in high school.

Laura Hillenbrand, the author, is a survivor herself.  Suffering severely from Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, Hillenbrand rarely leaves her home and conducted most of her research from her home through countless phone interviews.   Despite her debilitating illness, she has written two best-sellers, the first being Seabiscuit

Recently, I walked into my early morning (5:15 am) spin class with a friend who said, "After reading Unbroken, I really don't have any excuse not to be in this class."  Boy, no kidding.  And, yes, this book is excellent.

Saturday, March 12, 2011


I've always found preparing barbecued ribs a little intimidating.  It's easy to get that gorgeous glazed look right off the grill but it's not so easy to make sure the inside is cooked without charring the outside.  My friend, Liz, makes a super easy version that doesn't involve a grill.  I made them this weekend for the dinner celebrating my sister's and brother-in-law's March birthdays.


Liz's Barbecued Ribs
Mashed Potatoes
Salad (made by my sister, Lori)
Angel food cake with fresh strawberries

Ingredients for Liz's Barbecued Ribs:

Your favorite ribs
Mrs. Dash Original Seasoning
Your favorite barbecue sauce

First, I bought a huge package of pork ribs at Costco.  Then, after patting them dry with a paper towel, I doused both sides of the ribs with Mrs. Dash seasoning.  I cooked them on half-sheets at 250 degrees for 4 hours.  I removed the ribs from the oven and poured barbecue sauce over the ribs, covered them with foil, and put them in the refrigerator to soak up all of that yummy sauce.  I marinated these ribs for five hours.

Hours later, I pulled the ribs from the fridge and poured a little more sauce on top, put them back in the oven at 325 degrees for one hour.  The whole house smelled delicious.  After removing from the oven, I let the meat rest for 10 minutes, and then sliced the ribs with a sharp knife.  It's a pain but no way around this chore since you can't give your dinner guests a slab of ribs (well, technically you can but that would be oh, so tacky).  Then we ate them.  Oh, my heavens, these were exactly as I had hoped.  What's that saying?  "Finger-lickin' good!"  And since I made waaay too many, I stashed the rest in the freezer for a future dinner.

You can also make these ahead and freeze them.  Liz cooks them for 4 hours as described above, pours the barbecue sauce on top (her favorite is a blend of Bill Johnson's Barbecue Sauce: 1/2 original, 1/4 mesquite, 1/4 hickory) and then freezes the ribs with the sauce.  When she is ready to serve, she lets them thaw, and then cooks for one hour at 325 degrees.  Isn't she clever?

All photos by E. Rees

Thursday, March 3, 2011


A lot of frozen yogurt recipes tell you NOT to use non-fat yogurt. There needs to be a little fat to produce a creamy (as opposed to icy) texture.  But I had too many containers of 0% Fage (Greek yogurt) and figured with coconut, vanilla, and sugar how bad could it be?  And while it didn't scoop out so nicely, it was still good. 

3 cups Greek-style no fat yogurt
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup unsweetened coconut flakes (I like this brand found at Sprouts)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Mix together the yogurt, sugar, and vanilla.  Stir until the sugar is completely dissolved.  Chill for one hour.

Freeze in your ice cream maker according to the manufacturer's instructions.  Remove yogurt from the cylinder and scoop into an airtight container, return to freezer for two hours to allow the flavors to ripen.