I’ve shared a few adult beverage recipes on Katie’s Cucina, and its my goal this year to share a lot more. I love to have a drink on the weekend yet am a horrible mixologist. I will say that I’m getting much better! Earlier this week, Christine from Cook the Story and I chatted with Brandy from Nutmeg Nanny about none other than drinks! We talked about what inspires us to create a drink, how to mix a drink, and drink trends among a wide variety of other things. Watch our Google Hangout On Air to watch what we talked about!

So do you have a favorite drink? After all, tomorrow is America’s favorite day to drink… St. Patrick’s Day. Regardless if you are Irish for some reason Americans love to drink on this day. I am definitely guilty of this, too! Earlier this week, I shared the recipe for my Guinness Floats. This is an easy drink/dessert anyone can make.


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Google+ HOA -- Why Every Food Bloggers Should be on Google+ from KatiesCucina.com

Last week, Christine from Cook the Story and I tackled a daunting question that so many food bloggers are begining to spike interest in… Google+. We spoke with Jenni Field of Pastry Chef Online about how to implement Google+ from a Food Bloggers stand point. There are so many benefits that you can get by using Google+ and Hangouts On Air (HOA).

I’ve been on Google+ since it was in beta version. At that point I wasn’t sure if it was really worth it but everyone kept saying it was and to hang on. Now, there is a lot more activity although still less common than  most standard forms of social sharing i.e., Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, etc. But where Google+ is different is that it sits with Google so your search ranking goes up (increasing your SEO) each time someone post about you or you post about yourself. Watch our video as Jenni explains some really cool things that I didn’t even realize Google+ was doing (and proper ways to use G+)!

Here are three other great articles you can read about why you should be on Google+!

What’s so great about Google+: For Readers by Jenni Field

What’s so great about Google+: For Bloggers by Jenni Field

Why You Need To Be On Google+ and Youtube by Christine Pittman


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Fondue Week with Cook the Story & Katie's Cucina

Well, Fondue Week is slowly wrapping up. It’s been fun and I hope that everyone has enjoyed the recipes that Christine and I have shared over the past week! For those who have written comments about never trying fondue… you have two options. Make it at home or head out to The Melting Pot and try it with people you love! This week, Christine from Cook the Story and I talked with Chef Shane Schaibly of The Melting Pot  Restaurants, Inc. We spoke with Chef Shane about how to make different kinds of fondue, common problems and solutions, tips and ideas for making innovative fondues in your own home. I hope you’ll watch and learn just as much as we did if not more!

So, what do you say? For those who have never made Fondue you ready to give it a try? For those who have made fondue I hope you’ve learned a lot!

Remember, today is the last day to enter into the amazing Fondue Week Giveaways (including a $100 gift card to The Melting Pot)!

Disclaimer: I was not compensated or provided anything to interview the Chef Shane from The Melting Pot. I simply like the restaurant! 

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50 Healthy Super Bowl Recipes #appetizers #entertaining #recipes #superbowl #football

Today, I’m excited to announce that I’m sharing 2 healthy Super Bowl friendly recipes on my local Fox station morning show; Good Day Orlando. You can watch  live at 9:35 am (streaming if you don’t live in CFL) or I’ll have a clip to share with everyone later.

Some of you might be sick of seeing recipes centered-around one football game. However, I love it! I love any holiday that is centered around eating. Is that bad? I love seeing round-up post and right now it seems like everyone has a round-up of all things Super Bowl food. I decided to change it up a bit and feature 50 Healthy Super Bowl Recipes. Now, granted not all of the recipes are  not 100% healthy however they are lower fat than what you would normally consume during the big game. I.e., they use greek yogurt instead of 5 cups of mayonnaise, etc.

Earlier this week, I did my weekly Google+ Hangout with Christine from Cook the Story. We spoke about Healthy Entertaining with Liz from The Lemon Bowl. Liz and I have chatted back and forth for over a year now and it was so nice to finally get to “meet” her! We spoke about easy ways to entertain and still make food healthy (without your guest looking for all the fattening foods)!

I hope you were able to learn about some great tips and tricks for healthy entertaining. Here is my list of 50 Healthy Super Bowl Recipes everyone should make this weekend (well, ok, maybe not all 50 at once)!

  1. Avocado & Feta Dip from Katie’s Cucina
  2. Buffalo Cauliflower Dip from Mother Thyme
  3. Baked Corn Tortilla Chips from The Lemon Bowl
  4. Bangin Grilled Shrimp Skewers from Skinnytaste
  5. Kale and Artichoke Dip from Spoon Fork Bacon
  6. Candied Smoked Paprika Cherry Berries from Lipman Kitchen
  7. Easy Hot Black Bean Salsa Dip from Jeanette’s Healthy Living
  8. Thai Turkey Meatballs with Blueberry Sauce from KokoCooks
  9. Baked Vegetarian Southwestern Egg Rolls with Avocado Buttermilk Sauce from Katie’s Cucina
  10. Buffalo and Bleu Cheese Veggie Bake from Bake Your Day
  11. Roasted Cauliflower Hummus from Oh My Veggies
  12. Grilled Flatbread w/ Hot Italian Sausage, Peppers, & Caramelized Onions from Katie’s Cucina
  13. Quick-Roasted Asparagus with Parmesan Slivers from Cook the Story
  14. Asian Sweet Chili Baked Wings from Inspired Taste
  15. Eggplant Dip from Zaika Zabardast
  16. Smoked Paprika and Lime Spice Popcorn from Coupon Clipping Cook
  17. Savory Spinach Bites from The Curvy Carrot
  18. Artichoke Dip from Katie’s Cucina
  19. Baked Corn and Crab Cakes from Skinnytaste
  20. Crispy Baked Asian Chicken Wings from Just a Taste
  21. Turkey Sloppy Joe Sliders from Bev Cooks
  22. Watermelon Football Helmet from Watermelon Carvings
  23. Baked Buffalo Queso Fresco Wings from Katie’s Cucina
  24. Moroccan Carrot Dip from A Thought For Food
  25. Whipped Feta with Roasted Peppers & Garlic from Savor The Thyme
  26. Skinny Buffalo Chicken Dip from Gimme Some Oven
  27. Carne Asada Nachos by Foodness Gracious
  28. Mini Mexican Potato Skins from Katie’s Cucina
  29. Coconut LIme Wings and Mango Salsa from Oleander and Palm
  30. Brown Rice Greek Salad from The Lemon Bowl
  31. Amazing Shrapnel Dip from Mel’s Kitchen
  32. Moroccan Pork Kebabs with Sour Cream Dill Sauce from Katie’s Cucina
  33. Apple and Avocado Salsa from Family Spice
  34. Skinny Shrimp Salsa from Skinnytaste
  35. Sun-dried Tomato Hummus from bellalimento
  36. Individual 7 Layer Dip from The Girl Who Ate Everything
  37. Asian Turkey Meatballs with Chili Garlic Glaze from Aggie’s Kitchen
  38. Reduced-Guilt Caramelized Onion Spinach Dip from Bake Your Day
  39. White Bean Bruschetta from Katie’s Cucina
  40. Beef Nachos with Slow Cooker Chili Con Carne from A Spicy Perspective
  41. Watermelon Blueberry Salsa from Love & Olive Oil
  42. Grilled Key West Chicken Wings from Katie’s Cucina
  43. Homemade Hummus Two Ways from Table for Two
  44. Oven-Baked Zucchini Sticks with Garlic Chipotle Aioli from Damn Delicious
  45. Guacamole Stuffed Cherry Tomatoes from KokoCooks
  46. Baked Spicy Greek Yogurt Chicken Wings with Greek Yogurt Bleu Cheese Dressing from Katie’s Cucina
  47. Bruschetta with Shrimp, Mushrooms, and Green Garbanzo Beans from Bev Cooks
  48. Sweet Potato Tater Tacho Recipe with Black Bean Salsa from Culicurious
  49. Baked Oven Fries from Annie’s Eats

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Whether you are a blogger or not everyone needs to find balance in their life. This is the first topic that Christine from Cook the Story and I talked about that wasn’t centered 100% around food. I think finding balance in life is a struggle that everyone tries to maintain. We spoke Kim from Cravings of a Lunatic about finding balance. We all shared ways we are trying to find balance. Watch our chat to learn more.

I mentioned during the chat that I had a real ah-ha moment while traveling through Europe. I was disconnected from what seemed like the world and had my husbands full undying attention. I can’t tell you how many times he has asked me to put down my phone and talk, or eat dinner together, or even while he is driving and I’m sitting in the passenger seat. I’ve learned over the past few months that there is a time and place to check email and do social media. At times I think I’m addicted, but then I know I can walk away and the world won’t come to an end. Europe taught me that. I’m not going to lie. When I wrote about my time in Barcelona I started twitching after day 3 of no internet. During that trip though I also realized that I need to take more time to unplug and enjoy with family and friends. Some weekends I’ll find myself glued to my computer all weekend: editing photos, writing post, social media, etc. That is not healthy. Not healthy for me. Not healthy for my husband or any of my family and friends. So I’ve been easing off and if I don’t get a blog post up when I wanted it to go live I’m not having a mental breakdown. I know the world will go on. This is hard for any blogger to do. Especially someone who has 2 blogs (like me). Remember, I also manage a DIY blog called Sew Woodsy. That blog recently has not received as much TLC and I’m ok with that. I only have so much time in my day and that is just how it is going to be.

So when I’m trying to find balance I also like to write lots of notes. Number my priorities and know that the world won’t end if I don’t complete everything on my list that day.

I also like to meal plan for the week. I prep vegetables on a Sunday: chopping and dicing onions, peppers, garlic, etc. I also make fruit salads for the week so that we have them ready for us to take to work in the morning.

I also like to try to make lunch the night before. That way we are less stressed and rushed in the morning.

A few of these food tricks have helped me continue to stay balanced in the kitchen.

Do you struggle with finding balance? If so, what are some of your tips?

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Once again, Christine from Cook the Story and I are talking healthy foods. This week we spoke with Dianna from The Kitchen Prep about how to use healthy flavors to create healthy foods. Think about it… just a few sprinkles of an aromatic spice can bring an bland steamed vegetable to life! I love using fresh herbs in a lot of my dishes because they make everything taste better and well because I grow them and am lucky enough to have an abundance of them!

Watch our Google+ Hangout as we talk about ways to spruce up food!

Here are a few of my healthier recipes that give food a big boost with lots of flavor (and lower calories).

Baked Buffalo Queso Fresco Wings

Baked Buffalo Queso Fresco Wings #superbowl #entertaining #appetizer #recipe

Asian Chicken Rice Soup

Asian Chicken Rice Soup

Greek Vinaigrette Dressing

Greek Vinaigrette Salad Dressing

Here are a few more great recipes to check out:

North African Meatballs with Brown Date Rice from The Kitchen Prep

Coconut Curry Shrimp from Skinny Taste

Winter Tabbouleh with Red Inca Quinoa and Feta Cheese from Cook the Story

Skillet Cajun Spiced Flounder w/ Tomatoes from Skinny Taste

Wilted Spinach with Raisins and Garlic from Cook the Story

Thai Inspired Noodle Soup from The Kitchen Prep

Barley with Leeks and Mushrooms from Cook the Story



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It is a new year and we are all trying to eat healthier. Why cut out foods you love cold turkey when you can just eat them in moderation. Or better yet, transition to healthier foods. This is what Christine from Cook the Story and I talked about this week with Amanda from Amanda’s Apron.

One of my healthy food transitions in the past year was going from eating regular white pasta to Dreamfield’s Pasta. I love Dreamfields because it only has 5 grams of digestible carbs! With Dreamfield’s Pasta being 65% lower glycemic index than traditional pasta and tasting just like traditional pasta why not switch over?

Watch our video below to learn about this simply food transition and get other ideas, tips, and tricks to help you become a healthier person in 2013!

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Well, it is official, the other day, we had our last Google+ Hangout of the year! Hard to believe that a simple idea has transpired into a weekly video chat with Food Bloggers from all over the world. Christine from Cook the Story and I honestly couldn’t have done this without our fabulous (blog) friends! First and foremost, a big thank you to all of our supporters whether you were a guest on Christine & Katie this year or simply watched our live stream or our previously recorded videos.

We invited our past guest to join us and talk about Holiday beverages and recipes of all kinds! We decided to make this an open format for 30 minutes where guest could pop-on and pop-off if they chose too. Of course, as we predicted once everyone was on they stayed on. It was one big food blogger party!

Our honorary guest of the evening included:

Julie from The Little Kitchen
Sam from Sweet Remedy
Julius from Droolius.com
Maureen from Seafood Lady Orlando

Here are a few simple recipes I suggested to entertain with during the holidays:

Artichoke Dip

Artichoke Dip

This dip is easy to make and best of all you can make it from the comforts of your pantry/refrigerator! I always have all the items on hand to whip this dip up in a hurry if unexpected guest stop by!

Apple Streusel Cheesecake Bars

Apple Streusel Cheesecake Bars

These are a tried and true classic… No one can resist these sumptuous bars! Best of all, your guest will never know that they are what I like to call a semi-homemade dessert!

Oreo Truffles

Oreo Truffles

Guest won’t know what to think after they take one bite of these truffles. Seriously, they are amazing and so easy to make! I now find myself making these once if not a few times a year.

Christine and I are looking for guest to hangout with next year. If you are interested, please email me!

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Last week, Christine from Cook the Story and I spoke with Nicole from Arctic Garden Studio about winter food in Alaska. During our chat Nicole pointed out that we had a 100 degree difference in weather. That was mind blowing to me–something I couldn’t fathim. And here I was complaining about our chilly 60 degree weather! I take getting fresh produce and meats for granted, and I’m glad we got to talk with Nicole. It was very eye-opening!

Watch our Google Hangout as Nicole explains how food is managed/consumed during the winter months in Alaska!


Here are a few recipes:

Cajun Halibut from Arctic Garden Studio

Wild Blueberry Cupcakes from Arctic Garden Studio

Pumpkin Spiced Alaskan Scallops with Butternut Squash Orzo from Katie’s Cucina

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On Tuesday, Christine from Cook the Story and I spoke with Maureen C. Berry from Seafood Lady Orlando about Salmon (again). If you watched our last Salmon chat back in September you’ll remember that we talked all about what the word sustainability meant. Because there is so much information to be shared on this important topic we brought Maureen back on to talk Salmon part 2! We continue the talk about sustainability and also cover some other controversial topics. If you eat salmon or any fish for that matter I hope you’ll tune in and watch our hangout.

Sustainable Seafood Gift-Pack

Maureen recently vacationed in Alaska and while their she has the opportunity to visit the Alaska Seafood Marketing Institute. They have partnered together to give one lucky viewer a Sustainable Seafood Gift-Pack.

Giveaway includes: Barton Seaver’s For Cod and Country cookbook, ASMI apron, SeafoodLady apron, manual on Alaska Seafood Sustainability in Plain English and the ASMI water repellent backpack.

To enter to win please fill out the Rafflecopter widget below. Giveaway ends 12/14/2012 at 12:00 am.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Disclaimer: I was not compensated to run this giveaway. This giveaway is courtesy of ASMI and SeafoodLady by Maureen C Berry. As always all opinions are my own.

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