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Gluten Free Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Cookies

glutenfree-cookiesIngredients:
  • 1 cup brown rice flour
  • 1 1/4 cup plus 2 tbsp gluten free oats
  • 1/4 cup avocado oil, or any oil you prefer. canola works well too
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp gluten free baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp kosher or sea salt
  • 1/2 cup super fine granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup light brown sugar, packed
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup plus 2 tbsp semi sweet chocolate chips, I used mini chunks
  • A few Tbsp almond or any milk of your choice as needed for the right texture

For baking directions, click here.

About the Author: Hi, I’m Pam of Skinnysweetsdaily.com. Our recipes and helpful tips focus on healthy eating and staying fit. I have taken lots of dishes from my catering days and skinny-sized them without losing the great tastes. Hop on over and see our recipes and tips. Some from our friends who shared their favorites. Enjoy!

2014 Thanksgiving Survival Guide – 11 Tips for a Stress Free Turkey Dinner

Hosting Thanksgiving can seem like a daunting task: cleaning, cooking a huge turkey, side dishes, desserts and entertaining company! It can make any host feel a bit stressed. However, it’s important to remember what Thanksgiving is all about: family, friends and giving thanks.tips-for-stressfree-thanksgiving

Here are 11 tips that will help reduce stress this Thanksgiving.

1. Get a final head count 2 weeks out

Give your guests a deadline to RSVP and ask for a firm commitment about two weeks out. This way you can be well prepared for the day and you’ll know how many people to shop and cook for.

2. Make an agenda 1 week in advance

Do you want a buffet or a sit down meal? Figure out where you want guests to sit and if you have enough chairs. Decide what time you would like to serve the meal and plan the rest of the day around this main event.

3. Don’t do it all alone

Take some of the pressure off yourself. If your guests are willing to pitch in, talk to them about a dish they can bring. And if baking isn’t your thing, pick up some tasty desserts from your local bakery.

4. Make a menu 1 week in advance

Decide what to serve and keep dishes relatively simple. You don’t want to be overwhelmed by a dish with a lot of ingredients on the day of the holiday. Note what you’ll be serving from appetizers through dessert, what guests are bringing, and what times dishes should be started.

5. Make a grocery list and shop early

Buy non-perishables ahead of time and perishables a few days in advance. This will enable you to start cooking ahead of time.

6. Cook side dishes in advance

Many side dishes can be made ahead of time. You can cook them earlier in the week and warm them up on Thursday. To take the guesswork out of recipes, use an EatSmart Products Precision Pro Digital Kitchen Scale to measure out ingredients. The tare feature subtracts the weight of the container and previous ingredients so you can measure everything into one bowl. It saves on measuring cups and dishes, giving you some extra time.

7. Have a family member set the table in advance

The night before your helpers can put out dishes, napkins and flat wear. Do a quick walk through to make sure the house looks the way you want it to.

8. Have containers for leftovers

If you’re planning on sending people home with leftovers have inexpensive containers so that you can divvy food up. Don’t give out your favorite container because you might never see it again!

9. Know how long it will take to cook the turkey

If your turkey is frozen, it takes about 24 hours for every 5 pounds of turkey when defrosting the bird. Then, it takes about 13 minutes of cooking time for every pound of turkey. This is when using our EatSmart Precision Pro Digital Thermometer comes in handy. It gives you an accurate temperature reading in seconds, so you know when your turkey is ready to eat. As a bonus, the probe is thin so all of the juices stay in the turkey rather than running into the pan.

10. Set aside 30 minutes for yourself

Give yourself time to get ready and catch your breath. This way you won’t feel frazzled or exhausted when your guests arrive.

11. Enjoy your meal and give thanks

Sit down and enjoy the dinner you prepared with your family and friends. In the spirit of the holiday, you can invite everyone to name someone or something they are particularly grateful for this year.

tips-for-thanksgiving-planning

We wish you a happy, relaxed and tasty Thanksgiving!

Top Packing Tips for Air Travelers – How to Pack Successfully Every Flight

top-packing-tips-air-travel

With Thanksgiving quickly approaching, plans are being made to fly home to share the holiday with family and friends. Needless to say, flying during the Thanksgiving and Christmas Holidays can be challenging. We’ve compiled a list of our Top Packing Tips to help you better prepare and eliminate some of the stress associated with air travel this time of year.

Determine the airline’s baggage policy

Before arriving at the airport, check with your airline or travel agent to determine the airline’s baggage policy, including number of pieces you can bring and size and weight limitations. Many airlines now charge a fee for every checked bag or have lowered the maximum permitted weight limits for checked luggage. You can avoid paying exorbitant overweight baggage fees by using an EatSmart Precision Voyager Luggage Scale. This scale allows users to quickly and easily weigh luggage up to 110 pounds. top-travel-tips-for-flying

Place colorful ID tags on all of your baggage

Many suitcases look very much alike. To avoid a mix-up between your luggage and that of another passenger, place colorful ID tags with your name, address and phone number on all of your baggage, including your laptop computer.  It is a good idea to place an identification tag inside your baggage as well.

Liquids must be in clear, 3.4 ounce bottles or checked

You may not pack liquid or gel substances in your carry-on unless they are in individual containers of 3.4 ounces or less and enclosed in one clear, quart-size, plastic, zip-top bag per passenger. Any larger containers of liquids and gels must be packed in your checked luggage.

Utilize interior luggage space to the max

To limit the pieces of luggage, use TravelWise Packing Cubes to stay organized and utilize interior luggage space to the max. The TravelWise Durable 3 piece weekender set works great in your carry on and the 5 piece Weekender PLUS set is perfect for longer trips away from home. Lightweight and durable, the nylon cubes come in three sizes that store a lot of clothes when rolled and smartly placed in the packing cubes. You arrived organized.social top-travel-tips-for-flying-1for posts(7)

Secure your bags with TSA-approved locks only

Only use TSA-approved locks to secure your checked bags; otherwise, if your bag is selected for random screening, agents will have to break the lock to get inside.

Leave hazardous or prohibited materials at home

Certain items are allowed in checked bags but not in carry-on luggage. These include box cutters, scissors, knives, baseball bats, golf clubs, pool cues, realistic replicas of weapons, self-defense sprays, hammers and other tools. A complete list of prohibited and restricted items can be found at tsa.gov.

Keep all valuables in your carry-on luggage

Any valuables, including cash, traveler’s checks, laptop computers or other electronics, jewelry, prescription medication or items of sentimental value, should be packed in your carry-on luggage. Stow them in small bag that fits under your seat, close at hand.

Safe travels!

Brussels Sprouts With Turkey Bacon And Pine Nuts

This Brussels Sprouts recipe makes a great side dish at Thanksgiving.
brusselsproutsIngredients:
1 to 1/2 pounds fresh Brussels sprouts, rinsed with cool water and drained. Cut in half or whole.
4 to 6 slices turkey bacon, or traditional
2 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
2 tbsp. unsalted butter
1 clove garlic crushed
1/4 tsp Kosher or sea salt
1/4 tsp pepper
Sprinkle of red pepper flakes, optional
2 tbsp. toasted pine nuts (place nuts in dry pan for just a few minutes, move the pan around then, take off the heat. Try not burn. Set aside)
1/4 cup veggie or chicken broth
parsley for garnish, optional

For cooking directions, click here.

About the Author: Hi, I’m Pam of Skinnysweetsdaily.com. Our recipes and helpful tips focus on healthy eating and staying fit. I have taken lots of dishes from my catering days and skinny-sized them without losing the great tastes. Hop on over and see our recipes and tips. Some from our friends who shared their favorites. Enjoy!

Thanksgiving Travel Giveaway Package

Flying to Grandma’s for Thanksgiving dinner or jetting home to celebrate the Holiday Season with family is all part of the American tradition. We’ve partnered with ToiletTree Products to bring you the Ultimate Thanksgiving Travel Giveaway Package.  Two lucky winners will travel stress-free this holiday season!

thankgiving-travel-giveawayTo kick off the holiday season, TWO lucky people will win all SIX of these awesome travel prizes, valued over $140! Good luck to all and safe travels!

thanksgiving-travel-essentials-giveawayPrizes include:

EatSmart Products Precision Voyager Luggage Scale
EatSmart Travelwise™ Packing Cubes 5 Piece Set
ToiletTree Products Rechargeable Travel Oral Irrigator
ToiletTree Products Toiletry Bag with TSA Approved Bottles
ToiletTree Products Travel Fogless Shower Mirror with Squeegee
ToiletTree Products Slim Travel Sonic Toothbrush

Entering the contest is easy and can be done through the form below. Here is how you can win:

Giveaway ends on Wednesday, November 19th at 12 noon EST. The winners will be selected at random and notified by email. They will have 48 hours to reply back before a new winner is selected. (Sorry, but it’s limited to US residents only)

Spicy Garlic Oven Fries

Great for serving alongside sandwiches, this is an easy, low-fat recipe for crispy oven fries flavored with fresh garlic, sweet paprika and cayenne.

spicy-garlic-fries-recipesIngredients:
2-1/2 lbs potatoes, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch fries
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
3 cloves garlic, very finely chopped
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon sweet paprika
1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
Freshly ground black pepper

Preparation:
Preheat the oven to 425°F.

Combine the 3 tablespoons of the vegetable oil and garlic in the bottom of a large mixing bowl and set aside at room temperature for 15 minutes to allow the garlic flavor to infuse the oil.

Add the salt, paprika, cayenne and a few grinds of black pepper and whisk until well combined. Add the potatoes to the mixture and, using your hands, toss to coat them thoroughly with the oil. Coat two large baking sheets with nonstick spray and spread out the potatoes in a single layer. Allow as much room as possible between the fries so they brown nicely.

Roast until crispy and golden brown, 20 to 30 minutes, shaking the pans and rotating their positions in the oven once or twice during cooking. Serve immediately.

Makes 4 servings

About the author: MyGourmetConnection.com is a home cooking, entertaining and food blog with hundreds of healthy, original recipes created for home cooks of all skill levels. 



Charity of the Month November 2014-Cogswell Hall

EatSmart fans will continue to select a Charity of the Month in 2014. Fans will submit short stories about the charity’s mission and why it’s meaningful to them. We began our Charity of the Month donations in 2011.

cogswell

Cogswell Hall is a permanent solution to homelessness that offers quality, low-income housing with social services, builds community and advocates for disabled and economically disadvantaged individuals.  Our family-like home offers a private room, gracious common areas, and staff support to assist with the isolation and marginalization caused by mental illness, substance abuse, physical or developmental disabilities, HIV/AIDS, unemployment or underemployment.  Our model, which combines low cost housing with individualized services plans and community building, effectively stabilizes people in housing, preventing and intervening in homelessness and improving health and wellness.  Cogswell Hall distinguishes itself from other permanent supportive housing projects by serving many individuals who are at risk of becoming homeless in addition to reserving space for those who are homeless.

Cogswell Hall is important to me because from the moment I walked in the door, I felt a sense of compassion and caring for others that I’ve not seen at other social service agencies.  I’ve met men and women who did not enjoy the privilege of having a place to call home, find security and a sense of family that they have never felt before.  I’ve watched Audrey go from a walker to a cane to walking the halls every day and bragging about how low her sugar is that day.  I’ve seen John, who was homeless for 3 years before coming to Cogswell Hall, smile and take his keys to HIS apartment.  There are 41 stories here, today, and every one of them could have been me.

About the Author:  Cindy, the Development/Marketing Manager, coordinates volunteer activities, event planning, social media and donor relations for Cogswell Hall.  She is a member of the Faith-Based Subcommittee task group of the Alcohol, Drug Abuse and Mental Health Services of Cuyahoga County charged with increasing awareness of the spirituality component in treatment for substance abuse and mental illness.

We will be donating 50 cents for every new Facebook follower during the month of November. (So spread the word!)

Click here and EatSmart will donate: FaceBook_512x512

If interested in submitting a charity for consideration, please email karen@eatsmartproducts.com. The donation amount will be capped at 500 new followers/likes.

Don’t Be Tricked, Try Some Fun and Healthy Halloween Treats

Halloween can make you feel like a kid again, it’s fun to dress up and have some treats. Many of us associate Halloween with candy and sugary treats but the thought of all that sugar scares us here at EatSmart more than the ghosts and goblins do! Treats don’t necessarily have to be highly processed store-bought snacks. Who says healthy can’t be fun? If you’re looking to add a little balance to the holiday we recommend checking out these yummy and healthier alternatives. Your family won’t know they’ve been tricked with these spooky treats!

HEALTHY-HALLOWEEN-TREAT-ROUNDUPOF RECIPESHere are ridiculously easy to make treats with fruit:

Frozen “Boo”-nana Pops

Frozen-'Boo'-nana-PopsRecipe HERE from Skinnytaste.com

Spinach Ice Cream

Spinach-Ice-Cream-chocolateandcarrots.com_Recipe HERE from Chocolate and Carrots

Bake up some cookies or crispy rice treats:

Chai Pumpkin Spice Thumbprints

pumpkin_chai_cookies_1A-1024x685Recipe HERE from Pass the Sushi

Green Monster Rice Cereal Treats (Gluten-Free Vegan)

monsterkrispies-2Recipe HERE from Fork and Beans

Pumpkin Crème Bars  

Pumpkin-Creme-Bars-My-Whole-Food-LifeRecipe HERE from My Whole Food Life

Halloween Food: Scarecrow Tostadas

Scarecrow-Tostada.2Recipe HERE from My Pocket Change Gourmet

Gluten and Grain Free Chocolate Spiderweb Cupcakes

grain_free_chocolate_cupcakes_1Recipe HERE from Texanerin Baking

Making these fun alternatives will ensure you have all of the treats with none of the tricks from the scale! It’s good to know you can still celebrate and have fun in a healthier way. We think your family members will agree.

 

Extra Large Baked Apple With Crunchy Granola

baked-apple-with-granolaIngredients:
  • 1 large Rome apple
  • 1/2 to 3/4 cup cold water or apple juice
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp honey, agave nectar, or brown rice syrup
  • 1/2 bar of Nature Valley crunchy granola bar, pick your favorite flavor (My favorite granola bar of all time)
  • 1/2 miniature box of raisins
  • 2 heaping tbsp of Yoplait vanilla yogurt, (Also, my favorite brand of Yogurt)

For baking directions, click here.

About the Author: Hi, I’m Pam of Skinnysweetsdaily.com. Our recipes and helpful tips focus on healthy eating and staying fit. I have taken lots of dishes from my catering days and skinny-sized them without losing the great tastes. Hop on over and see our recipes and tips. Some from our friends who shared their favorites. Enjoy!

7 Reasons You Need a Digital Kitchen Scale

reasons-to-use-a-kitchen-scale

Do you own a kitchen scale? Digital scales are amazingly accurate, easy to use and can be used in a variety of ways. Baked goods definitely turn out better with accurate measurements. It’s also a dieter’s secret weapon; does anyone really know what 2 ounces of uncooked pasta looks like? Not sure if your envelope requires extra postage? Pop it on the scale!

Here are 7 reasons why a kitchen scale is an important tool:

  1. Small design – The compact size of the newer kitchen scale models make them convenient to leave right on your kitchen counter. The ease of access will have you reaching for it again and again.
  2. Consistently accurate – What exactly do 3 large bananas measure to when baking? The volume of a cup of flour can vary by up to 2 ounces brand by brand. Since baking is a precise science, having measurements vary can throw off your recipe. Measuring by volume ensures that your recipes come out perfect each time.
  3. Easy to use – Most kitchen scales are digital and could not be easier to use. Choose your measurement preference (ounces/grams/lbs/kilograms) and put the bowl on the scale. Hit the “tare” button to remove the weight of the bowl and you’re ready to start measuring. An illuminated large digital readout makes seeing the weight a snap.
  4. Dirty less dishes – When weigh everything in the bowl on the scale, you don’t need a measuring cup. The tare button lets you zero back with every new ingredient so you can measure everything in one bowl. This is especially helpful with sticky ingredients like peanut butter or honey. Plus, you do not need a variety of measuring cups and spoons when you’re actually weighing out your ingredients!
  5. Do conversions – Converting grams to pounds? You can save time figuring conversions out since most digital scales can be easily switch measurement modes from metric to imperial.
  6. Aid in weight management – It’s very hard to eyeball an accurate portion size. A kitchen scale will let you know precisely how much that piece of steak weights or how much pasta you’re putting on your plate. This eliminates any unwanted excess calories from your plate and keeps you on track with your eating plan.
  7. Ease of cleaning – The new models are generally seamless. They do not have nooks or crannies to catch food particles or spills, allowing for easy cleaning with a quick wipe down.

reasons-to-use-a-kitchen-scaleEatSmart Products happens to have two excellent digital kitchen scales many positive Amazon reviews. Both the EatSmart Precision Pro and the EatSmart Precision Elite have a large backlit digital read out and are accurate within .05 oz / 1g – making them efficient and easy to use!

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