Friday, April 18, 2014

Superbowl Snack: Baked Brie Bites

January 29, 2014 by  
Filed under Lifestyle

You will need:
-2 sheets puff pastry, thawed but still cold
-1/2 wedge of brie (about 4 ounces), cold
-1/3 cup cherry jam (or any flavor you fancy!)
-1 large egg, beaten
-splash of milk
-coarse sea salt
-popsicle sticks (optional, they taste just as good without sticks!)

Cut the puff pastry into thirds along the creases. Cut each panel into four pieces. They’ll be 2 1/4-inch tall and 3-inches wide. One sheet of puff pastry will yield 12 rectangles. Cut each rectangle in half. You’ll have 24 little rectangles that will create 12 little rectangle pockets.

Combine beaten egg and splash of milk. Brush 12 of the small rectangles with egg wash.

Place a popsicle stick halfway up the puff pastry and press in gently. Place a small sliver of brie (rind and all) on top of the egg wash (and stick). Top with about 1/2 teaspoon of cherry jam.

Take another square of puff pastry and press between your fingers to make the rectangle slightly bigger. Place puff pastry on top of the cheese and jam. Use a fork to press the edges together.

Place a rack in the center of the oven and preheat oven to 375 degrees F.

Place prepared brie bites on a parchment lined baking sheet. Brush with egg wash. Sprinkle with a touch of coarsely ground sea salt.

Bake for 12 to 14 minutes or until golden brown.


Delight and Instruct: Four Smart Podcasts

January 28, 2014 by  
Filed under Lifestyle

Podcasts have become increasingly popular in the past few years, and today it seems that there's one for just about any subject. If you’d like to spend your time online in a more enlightening, educational way, these four smart podcasts are sure to delight and instruct.

99 Percent Invisible
You may think that a podcast about design and architecture wouldn't accessible to those who aren’t experienced architects, but 99 Percent Invisible will quickly change your mind. This show began as a tiny project out of a San Francisco public radio station, and it has since gained support from a record-breaking Kickstarter campaign and a nod of approval from This American Life host Ira Glass. With stories ranging the inner workings of big cities to seemingly small innovations like the automated telephone exchange, 99% Invisible will change the way you see the world.

One of the most popular podcasts available today, Radiolab operates like the best kind of science lesson for those who may not even be all that interested in science. Approaching broad themes such as colors, quicksand and ghost stories with a constant skepticism, curiosity and a whole lot of sound effects, Radiolab brings to light a wide variety of sides to every story. 

Beginning as a book that has since spawned a podcast, a series of lectures, a blog and even a movie, Freakonomics is a radio show hosted by the team of economist Steven D. Levitt and journalist Stephen J. Dubner. The show explores the hidden sides of things like college degrees, environmentalism, sports, and much more.

The Moth
A radio show for the literary buff, The Moth takes a more traditional route and focuses on stories. Each episode focuses on one person, from musicians to writers to voodoo priestesses, and simply allows him or her to tell a story, in his or her own words. The Moth showcases love stories, sad stories and scary stories, but most important of all: true stories.

Greek Tortellini Salad

January 28, 2014 by  
Filed under Lifestyle

1 (20 ounce) package refrigerated cheese tortellini
1 1/2 cups grape tomatoes, cut in half
1 large cucumber, chopped
1 cup kalamata olives, pit removed and chopped
1/2 red onion, chopped
3/4 cup crumbled feta cheese

For the Dressing:
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
Salt and pepper, to taste

1. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Cook the tortellini according to the package directions. Drain the tortellini and rinse with cold water.

2. Place the tortellini in a large bowl. Add the tomatoes, cucumber, olives, red onion, and feta cheese.

3. In a small bowl, whisk together the olive oil, vinegar, garlic, oregano, salt, and pepper. Pour the dressing over the salad and stir until salad is well coated. Serve immediately or place in the refrigerator.

Note- this salad will keep in the fridge for up to 3 days.

Super Bowl Week!

January 27, 2014 by  
Filed under Lifestyle

Today is no ordinary Monday! Today is the Monday before the biggest sporting event in America! The Super Bowl is this Sunday, February 2nd in New Jersey! The Super Bowl is a good excuse to get together with friends and family and finish off the "holiday season" and enjoy some great food! We will be posting a great Super Bowl Party recipe for you to make to bring to your Super Bowl Party! Today we have:

Super Nachos! Courtesy of Bon Appetit!


Nonstick vegetable oil spray
3 9-ounce bags tortilla chips
Beer-Braised Carnitas 
2 15-ounce cans black beans, rinsed
1 large white onion, chopped
3 pounds shredded cheese (such as sharp cheddar and Monterey Jack)
8 ounces Cotija cheese or feta, crumbled
1 bunch radishes, thinly sliced
1 fresh cilantro leaves

Charred Tomatillo Salsa
Dried Chile Salsa
Pickled jalapeños
Pico de gallo
2 cups sour cream, thinned with 1/3 cup water
Hot pepper sauce

Preheat oven to 350°. Coat 2 large rimmed baking sheets with nonstick spray. Dividing evenly between baking sheets, layer chips, carnitas, beans, onion, and shredded cheese, mounding in the center. DO AHEAD: Nachos can be assembled up to 1 hour before baking.
Working with 1 sheet at a time, bake until cheese is melted, 20-25 minutes. Sprinkle with Cotija cheese, radishes, and cilantro. Serve with desired toppings.

Quick Chiquita Banana Oatmeal Smoothie Recipe

January 27, 2014 by  
Filed under Lifestyle

Almonds, cooked oatmeal, bananas, and yogurt meet up in your blender for a power breakfast. Drink this Banana Oatmeal Smoothie before your morning exercise routine and you’ll have the energy you need to get through your workout.

2 whole Chiquita Bananas (best with brown flecks on peel)
2 cups Ice
1/3 cup Yogurt – preferably Greek yogurt flavored with honey
1/2 cup cooked oatmeal
1/3 cup Almonds

Pour all ingredients in blender pouring ice in last. Blend on high for 30 seconds or until smoothie thickens.

Soft Gluten Free Peanut Butter Cookies

January 24, 2014 by  
Filed under Lifestyle

-1 cup (256 g) smooth no-stir natural peanut butter
-1/3 cup (75 g) virgin coconut oil (can use an equal amount, by weight, of unsalted butter or vegetable shortening)
-2 cups (280 g) all purpose gluten free flour (I used Better Batter)
-1 teaspoon xanthan gum (omit if your blend already contains it)
-1 teaspoon baking soda
-1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
-1/2 cup (80 g) coconut sugar (can use an equal amount, by weight, of granulated sugar)
-2 tablespoons (42 g) pure maple syrup
-2 eggs (120 g, out of shell) at room temperature, beaten
-2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
-Melted chocolate, for drizzling (optional)

For directions, click here.

Our New Facebook Sweepstakes Has Started! Enter to Win an iPad Mini!

January 15, 2014 by  
Filed under Lifestyle

To enter the Sweepstakes, Like our Facebook Page and then look for the Sweepstakes tab (image shown below) located on our Facebook Page to enter. Sweepstakes ends February 28th, 2014.

For mobile users ONLY, like our Facebook Page, and then click here to enter!

M&M Chocolate Oat Bars

January 14, 2014 by  
Filed under Lifestyle

1 1/2 cups quick oats
1 1/2 cups flour
1 cup brown sugar
1 tsp. salt
1 cup butter melted
1 14 oz. can sweetened condensed milk
1 bag milk chocolate chips
2 TB butter softened
1 cup M&Ms

- Preheat oven to 350.
- In a large bowl, mix oats, flour, brown sugar, salt and 1 cup softened butter with a spoon. Remove 1 cup and set aside.
- Press remaining mixture into the bottom of a greased 9×13 pan.
- In a small pot, melt condensed milk, chocolate chips and 2 tablespoons of butter over low-medium heat. Stir constantly until chips are melted and everything is mixed well.
- Pour chocolate chip mixture over the bottom layer and spread evenly. Sprinkle leftover cup of oat mixture over the chocolate.
- Top with M&Ms and bake for 20-25 minutes. Let cool completely before cutting. ENJOY!

5 Easy Steps to Caramelized Baked Chicken

January 13, 2014 by  
Filed under Lifestyle

•6 large chicken filets
•2 tablespoons olive oil
•1/2 cup soy sauce
•2 tablespoons ketchup
•1 cup honey
•1 clove garlic, minced
•salt and pepper to taste

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
2. Place chicken in a 9×13 inch baking dish.
3. Mix together the oil, soy sauce, ketchup, honey, garlic, salt and pepper.
4. Pour over the chicken.
5. Bake in preheated oven for one hour, or until sauce is caramelized.

What is a 529 College Savings Plan?

December 30, 2013 by  
Filed under Lifestyle

Saving for your child’s college education is one of the most worthwhile things you can do with your personal finances, but there are so many types of college savings choices that it can feel overwhelming. A 529 college savings plan is a very smart choice, and it's actually much simpler than you may think.

What's a 529 college savings plan? Here are two answers from the Securities and Exchange Commision's "Introduction to 529 Plans" website:

A 529 plan is a tax-advantaged college savings plan
These plans are sponsored by states, state agencies, or educational institutions and are designed to cover future college costs. Tax advantaged means that contributions — in some cases — can reduce your taxable income.

529 plans include both "pre-paid tuition" plans and "college savings" plans
The pre-paid tuition 529 plan allows you to purchase units at participating colleges for future tuition. On the other hand, the college savings 529 plan allows you to create an account for the student which can generally be used to pay for any college or university.

If you'd like to set up a 529 college savings account, it's best to speak with an accountant or a financial advisor.

An Introduction to 529 Plans [U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission]

Public Domain/Public Domain


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