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Providing Tools and Tips to Live Healthier, Happier Lives

Holiday Baking FAQs

Holiday Baking Faqs

Have you ever had a cake cave in the middle, a custard pie crack, or wondered about an unfamiliar ingredient? Sometimes things happen to our baked goods and we have no idea what went wrong. We want this to be the best holiday baking season ever and to prevent these annoyances from happening again. Here are the answers to some of the most commonly asked baking questions.

melting chocolate

Q: How do I prevent chocolate from seizing up in the microwave?

A: Chocolate hardens when it gets too hot.  The best way to eliminate this problem is to melt chocolate in a double boiler. To melt it in the microwave cook it at half power for one minute, stir and repeat in 20 second increments until the chocolate is fully melted.

Q: A recipe calls for buttermilk but I don’t have any on hand. Can I substitute something else?

A: Absolutely! To make buttermilk, place 1 tablespoon of white vinegar or lemon juice in a liquid measuring cup. Add enough milk to bring the liquid up to 1 cup. Let stand for 5 minutes and it’s ready to use.preicision elite thermocouple thermometer

Q: How can I determine when my loaf of bread is done baking?

A: The most accurate way to tell if your bread is fully baked is with our Precision Elite Thermocouple Food Thermometer. Stick the thermometer into the side of the bread; most breads are done at 190° F. Breads enriched with butter, eggs, or milk are finished when the internal temperature is closer to 200° F.

Q: The recipe calls for unsalted butter but I only have salted available. Can I still use it?

A: You can, but it may alter the taste of your baked goods, as a home baker cannot determine how much salt is in the butter. If you do choose to use the salted butter, omit any added salt from the recipe.

Q: Can I use brown sugar instead of white sugar?

A: Yes, the difference between brown and white sugar is mostly a matter of preference. Brown sugar adds a taste of molasses to baked goods.

confectioner's sugat

Q: Can I substitute regular sugar for confectioners’ sugar?

A: Confectioners’ sugar has a much finer texture as well as a bit of cornstarch.  Therefore, it is not recommended to switch one for the other.  The only time these two sugars could be substituted would be in the case of decorating.

cocoa-powder-1883108_1920Q: My recipe calls for Dutch cocoa powder; what is it and can I use regular cocoa powder instead?

A: Dutch process cocoa powder is treated with an alkaline solution. This partially neutralizes the acid in natural unsweetened cocoa powder. It has a much darker color than the natural powder, think Oreos or Whoopie Pies. Dutch cocoa has a higher pH than natural cocoa and this can affect the rise of your cake or cookies.  Therefore, we would advise against this substitution.

Q: My cake sunk in the middle! What happened?

A: There are a few reasons for a sinking cake. Your oven temperature could be off; an oven thermometer will give you a correct reading. Opening the oven repeatedly to check on a cake could also cause a cake to collapse. The use of old baking soda can cause a cake to rise and fall.  The same problem can occur when too much baking soda is used. Finally, was your cake baked long enough? Stick a piece of uncooked spaghetti into the middle of the cake, only a few moist crumbs should cling to it. If batter clings to the spaghetti strand the cake needs additional cooking time.

Q: What is cream of tartar? Can I use tartar sauce instead?

A: Cream of tartar is a stabilizer and used in meringues and whipped cream to hold their shape.  Cream of tartar also is used as an ingredient to activate baking soda in some cake and cookie recipes. Tartar sauce cannot be substituted here.

Q: If I am baking in a high-rise apartment do I need to adjust my baking for high altitude?

A: No, there is no need to adjust your cooking time.

precision-pro-black

Q: Why did my homemade brownies turn out rubbery?

A: You probably used too much flour. A cup packed with flour has too much volume. For best results we recommend measuring flour with a Precision Pro Digital Kitchen Scale. A cup of all-purpose flour is 4.25 oz or 120 g.  You can read about other types of flour and their conversions here.

Pro Tip: Measuring out ingredients in one bowl on a digital kitchen scale eliminates extra measuring cups and bowls, making clean up a breeze. Read more about the tare feature.

cookies-baking-faqQ: Why do my cookies spread out so much when baking?

A: Your butter is probably too warm. Try chilling the dough for 30 minutes before baking to reduce spreading. Alternately use a combination of butter and shortening for a tender cookie that doesn’t spread as much.

cupcakes

Q: I baked my cupcakes the appropriate amount of time, so why are their bottoms soggy?

A: Allowing cupcakes to cool in the pan can trap the steam inside them and cause them to become soggy. For best results cool cupcakes for 5 minutes in the pan and then transfer to a wire rack to cool.

Q: Why do my pumpkin and coconut custard pies crack?

A: You may have overcooked it or it cooled too quickly. When the pie crust is completely cooked and golden, turn off the oven but leave the pie in. Let it sit in the off oven for 10 to 15 minutes then crack open the oven door, and let the pie cool for another 10 to 20 minutes.

Q: How do I alter a recipe if I am baking cookies in a convection oven?

A: The key number to remember for converting a recipe from a conventional oven to a convection oven is 25. Bake at the same temperature for 25% less of the stated time (i.e. if a recipe says to bake for 20 minutes, bake for only 15 if using a convection oven). Or you can reduce the temperature by 25 degrees and bake for the same amount of time. You can also check out this Convection Oven Temperature Conversion Calculator.

Do you have a baking question or tip that you would like to share? Tweet it to us at @eatsmartscales.

Charity of the Month – Eliza HOPE – School for Children with Unique Learning Needs

EatSmart fans will continue to select a Charity of the Month in 2016. 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.

We’ve selected Eliza HOPE – School for Children with Unique Learning Needs as our charity of the month for December.

Eliza HOPE – School for Children with Unique Learning Needs Story:

For years, Aimee and Aaron struggled to find a school that could meet the unique needs of children like Eliza. They aren’t alone. Families with children who have epilepsy and various specialized education needs deserve to have access to schools that are equipped with resources to ensure that their children thrive.

Aimee and Aaron were blessed to find two places that were able care for their daughter Eliza Hope and create a productive education environment. Now, they to want honor Eliza’s legacy of kindness, generosity, love, and constant hope by making sure other families have the same opportunity.

Their vision is to build a school in Eliza’s memory, equipped with specialized care resources, where cost is not a burden for families.

For every new Facebook Fan we (EatSmartProducts) acquire during the month of December we will donate 50 cents/follower to Eliza HOPE – School for Children with Unique Learning Needs (So spread the word!)

Click below, follow us and EatSmart will donate!

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

TravelWise Packing Cubes Featured on USA Today

eatsmart_packing_cubes_on_usa_today_featureWe are excited to share USA Today included our TravelWise Packing Cubes to their list of “must-haves” in their recent article, Tis the Season for Minimalist Travel!

“I’m a big fan of packing cubes such as the TravelWise Packing Cube System. These lightweight nylon cubes let you stuff your shirts, pants and dresses into small compartments for streamlined packing.” Read more

TravelWise 5-Piece Packing Cubes help you organize your clothing and travel necessities while maximizing all available space in your luggage. packing-cubes-benefits

Top features include:

  • OPTIMIZE SUITCASE SPACE – Similarly sized items can be grouped together in various cubes. Clothes stay neatly organized and compressed in their own “drawers” for optimal packing space.
  • VERSATILE 5 PIECE SET – Each set contains 2 large cubes (17.5″ x 12.75″ x 4″), 2 medium cubes (13.75″ x 9.75″ x 3.75″) and 1 small cube (11.5″ x 6.75″ x 3.75″).
  • EXTRA DURABLE – Constructed of lightweight, durable nylon fabric and fitted with two way easy-pull zippers and a deep pocket design.
  • OPEN MESH PANEL FOR EASY VIEWING – The mesh panel allows you to see exactly what’s inside each cube without having to unpack, or unzip each one to find what you’re looking for.
  • 5 COLOR CHOICES – Available in red, teal, black, silver and purple. 

travelwise-packing-cube-set-best4 Ways Packing Cubes Make Travel Less Stressful

You’ll maximize luggage space

Packing cubes allow you to compartmentalize similar size items and make more use of space by keeping items organized and compressed.

You’ll find things easily

Need a shirt for your meeting or your bathing suit for a quick dip? The mesh panels allow you to quickly remember what you packed in each cube; no more tossing your luggage while frantically searching for items upon arrival at your destination.

No need to ever unpack

Each cube acts as its own little drawer. These individual cubes can simply be unzipped and placed in the hotel dresser for your convenience.

You can organize by person

For short trips, assign each family member a packing cube. Mom and Dad can each have a large cube for their clothing, older kids can each have a medium cube and the baby’s items will fit nicely into the smaller cube. For longer trips, assign each traveler their own color so everyone easily knows where to find their clothes. Everyone is organized and you can cut down on unnecessary luggage.slide_1

Do you have a question about our TravelWise Packing Cubes? Please tweet to us @eatsmartscales. We’re happy to help!

8 Great Gift Ideas Under $25

8 great gift ideas under $25

Are you searching for thoughtful holiday gifts that won’t break the bank? If you need some unique gift ideas that are also budget friendly, look no further! Our products are affordable, practical and will bring a smile to everyone on your holiday shopping list.

Here are 8 gifts under $25 that will help your friends and family reduce travel stress, live healthier, and cook with precision.

1. Precision Voyager Digital Luggage ScaleVoyager 3

Who it’s for: The Voyager Luggage Scale is perfect for the frequent traveler who tends to over pack. This smart device helps travelers avoid hassles at check-in, overweight luggage fees, and the embarrassment of repacking.

What to know: The Precision Voyager allows users to quickly and easily weigh luggage up to 110 pounds or 50 kilograms.  Simply clip the scale’s handle to your suitcase or bag, lift and the weight appears almost instantly. Its compact, durable design allows travelers to place it in their suitcase and bring with them on their travels.

Buy the Precision Voyager Digital Luggage Scale on Amazon.com | $12.95


2. Precision Pro Digital Kitchen Scaleprecision-pro-silver

Who it’s for: The Precision Pro is the perfect kitchen tool for the cook, baker or calorie counter. Accurate measurements of ingredients leads to superior meals and healthier portion sizes.

What to know: The sleek, modern scale measures up to 11 pounds, perfect for home cooking, baking, and measuring portions. It can weigh in ounces, pounds, kilograms or grams. To make things even easier, the tare button automatically eliminates the weight of a bowl, plate, or previous ingredients.

Buy the Precision Pro Digital Kitchen Scale on Amazon.com | $19.95


3. Precision Pro Digital Thermometereatsmart-food-thermometer-grill

Who it’s for: The Precision Pro Food Thermometer is a great idea for a novice cook on your gift list. He’ll easily know when meat is cooked to perfection, either on the grill or in the oven.

What to know: It eliminates the need to call home and ask if the roast has been cooked long enough! Simply insert the stainless steel probe into the thickest part of the meat, and in less than five seconds, you have an accurate internal food temperature reading. Family and friends will be impressed with their new cooking skills!

Buy the Precision Pro Thermometer on Amazon.com | $14.95


4. Precision Choice Digital Bathroom Scale EatSmart-body-check-body-fat-scale

Who it’s for: The Precision Choice Scale is a user friendly tool for the health conscious to reach their health and fitness goals. The new fitness enthusiast and healthy eater will appreciate how easy this scale is to use.

What to know: EatSmart’s proprietary “Step On” technology allows you to simply step onto the scale and get an accurate reading in seconds. With our “beep feature”, the scale will beep once when a weight locks in, giving the user time to step off and easily view the display. The large LCD display features a cool-blue backlight for easy viewing.

Purchase the Precision Choice Digital Bathroom Scale on Amazon.com | $9.95


5. TravelWise Packing Cube System 5 Piece Set

packing-cubes-benefits

Who it’s for: TravelWise Packing Cubes helps the jetsetter stay organized when traveling. Whether he’s traveling for business or pleasure the packing cubes help save him time and energy while on the go.

What to know: Packing cubes maximize luggage space by compartmentalizing similar size items. This is perfect for the frequent traveler; clothing is organized and does not shift during travel. The mesh allows him to easily view what is in the cube and eliminates searching for misplaced items upon arrival.

Purchase TravelWise Packing Cube System 5 Piece Set on Amazon.com | $24.95


6. Precision Tracker Digital Bathroom Scaleeatsmart-precision-tracker-bathroomscale

Who it’s for: The EatSmart Precision Tracker Digital Bathroom Scale makes it easy for the mom-to-be to monitor her weight during pregnancy. After delivery, it will also help track her progress when she’s ready to lose the baby weight. It’s a great tool for anyone who closely monitors their weight.

What to know: At each weigh in, the scale displays three readings: current weight, weight change from the last weigh in, and total change from starting weight.

Purchase the Precision Tracker Digital Bathroom Scale on Amazon.com | $19.95


7. Taylor Four Event Kitchen Timer with Whiteboardtaylor whiteboard timer

Who it’s for: The Taylor Four Event Kitchen Timer with Whiteboard makes it easy to prepare food for your family and friends. Baking a cake, making sides and main course? This timer has it covered!

What to know: This multi-function digital timer can track up to four separate events, each with its own distinct alarm to aid in identification. The large LCD readout provides a clear, easy-to-read display that can be seen from across the kitchen. An extra-large whiteboard and dry-erase markers can display recipes, label timer events, and more.

Purchase the Taylor Four Event Kitchen Timer with White Board on Taylor.com | $14.99


8. 14” Beach Ball Clock with Thermometertaylor beach ball clock

Who it’s for: The Beach Ball Clock is a gift any beach and pool lover would enjoy.  The clock/thermometer combo is the life of any pool party, and on chilly winter days, it brings back happy memories of summer fun.

What to know: The 14” dial features vibrant silk-screened graphics and a tasteful white bezel, both of which are weather-proofed and shatter-resistant. The exterior coating protects the finish, ensuring that its colors will remain vibrant for years to come.

Purchase the 14” Beach Ball Clock with Thermometer on Taylor.com | $19.95


Which of these products made your holiday wish list? Tweet us and let us know!

8 gerat gifts under $25 list

Cyber Monday Savings – 50% OFF EVERYTHING

Our gift to you. 🎁

Take 50% OFF EVERYTHING with coupon code CYBER50

esp_biggest_sale_ever1_pinterest

www.eatsmartproducts.com

Sale runs through 11/28/16 at 11:59PM EST. Offer valid on eatsmartproducts.com.

Last-Minute Thanksgiving Appetizer and Side Dish Recipes

esp_last_minute_thanksgiving_side_dishes

Do you have to bring a side dish for Thanksgiving? Did you put off picking out your recipe until the last minute? If you’re still searching for something fun (and healthy) to bring to Thanksgiving dinner, we have picked out several Thanksgiving Appetizers and Side Dishes that are sure to be crowd pleasers!

Loaded Sweet Potato Bites

Loaded Sweet Potato BitesGet the recipe from A Healthy Life For Me.


Parmesan Crusted Baked Zucchini Sticks

parmesan crusted baked zucchini strips

Get the recipe from Closet Cooking.


Roasted Sweet Potatoes and Brussels Sprouts

Roasted Sweet Potatoes and Brussels Sprouts

Get the recipe from The Food Charlatan.


Fennel and Pomegranate Quinoa Salad

fennel and pomegranate quinoa salad

Get the recipe from Sweet Peas and Saffron.


Easy Garlic Herb Butternut Squash

easy garlic herb butternut squash

Get the recipe from Healthy Seasonal Recipes.


Feta & Herb Cantaloupe Truffles

Feta & Herb Cantaloupe Truffles

Get the recipe from The Fit Fork.


Grain-Free Homestyle Stuffing

grain free stuffing

Get the recipe from Mommypotamus.


Warm Harvest Salad with Honey Walnut Vinaigrette

warm harvest salad

Get the recipe from Lexi’s Clean Kitchen.


Sweet Potato Pecan Casserole

sweet potato pecan casserole

Get the recipe from Kristine’s Kitchen.


Cranberry Apple Pecan Wild Rice Pilaf

apple cranberry wild rice pilaf

Get the recipe from Carlsbad Cravings.


Creamy Broccoli Salad

creamy broccoli salad

Get the recipe from Yummy Healthy Easy.


Chipotle Lime Grilled Corn

chipotle lime corn

Get the recipe from Life’s Ambrosia.


Gluten Free Stuffing

gluten free stuffing

Get the recipe from Officially Gluten Free.


Greek Feta, Sun-Dried Tomato, and Pistachio Truffles

feta tomato truffles Get the recipe from Half Baked Harvest.


Cranberry Baked Brie Puff Pastry Bites

cranberry brie puff pastries

Get the recipe from Well Plated.


Which of these recipes will you try?  Share with us @eatsmartscales.

A Quick Guide to Making the Perfect Pie Crust and 6 Easy Recipes

easy pie crust tips

Do you want to know the secret to a perfect pie crust? Whether you’re an expert baker or planning to bake your first pie this holiday season, we can help you create a golden, tender, flaky, melt-in-your-mouth pie crust. It seems simple enough to mix flour, butter, salt, and water, but it can be very tricky to get just right.

Once you master all the variables, you will have an amazing pie crust in your repertoire. Continue reading to learn how to bake an amazing crust and find some delicious recipes to experiment with.

5 Things to Know for Beginner Pie Makers:

#1 Cracking dough means it’s too dry or too cold.

If your dough cracks when you roll it out, it’s either too dry or too cold. If it’s crumbling, it needs a bit more water. Add a tablespoon of water and work it into your dough. If your dough is cracking at the edges, it’s too cold. Let it warm up on the counter for just a few minutes, as it will get sticky if you leave it out too long.

#2 Always bake pies on the bottom rack.

To avoid soggy crusts, bake your pie crust on the bottom rack of your oven on a preheated baking sheet. When possible, use a glass pie dish so you can see how the crust is cooking.  Depending on the type of pie, you can partially or fully pre-bake your crust.

#3 Unfilled pie crusts need help maintaining their shape when baking.

Prick the bottom of your crust all over with a fork, then line crust with parchment paper and fill with pie weights. No pie weights on hand? You can use dried beans instead! Both the weights and the beans help flatten the crust and prevent it from bubbling.

#4 Top crusts need to be vented.

Are you making a two-crust pie? The top crust needs to be vented to allow moisture from the filling to escape. You can use a decorative pie cutter or simply make slits in the top crust.

#5 Use a pie crust shield to prevent burnt crusts.

A pie crust shield can protect your crust from burning. You can buy one or easily make your own from aluminum foil. Loosely fold two-inch-wide strips of foil around the outside edges of the crust and dish to protect it while baking.

cherry-pie-1241372_1280What you need to know about choosing your crust ingredients:

  1. Begin with flour. All-purpose or a blend of all-purpose and pastry flour are the easiest to work with. The blend will result in a more tender crust and is much easier to work with than pure pastry flour for the novice baker.
  2. Add in the fat. Shortening, butter, or lard work best here. Butter will give a rich flavor, shortening will hold its shape the best, and lard will result in an extra-flaky crust with an old fashioned taste. Whichever fat you choose, make sure it is cold to help keep the crust flaky.
  3. Add in the salt. Table or fine salt distributes the best in the flour.
  4. Use ice water. This water should be too cold to drink, use our Precision Pro Digital Thermometer to ensure your water is a frigid 32°F. You need to add enough water so the dough just holds together. Too much water will cause the dough to become very sticky and you will end up with a hard cracker-like crust.
  5. What about the extras? Some people add a little vinegar, lemon juice, or vodka to their dough. Scientifically speaking, they really don’t make a difference in the crust’s texture. Others add in milk, buttermilk, or egg to add sturdiness and enhance browning. Sugar sprinkled over the top of a pie crust can make it crunchy and add both shine and flavor.

Tips for mixing the crust:

  1. Add your flour to a large sized bowl. You want enough room to be able to maneuver easily. The best way to get accurate measurements is to weigh your flour on our Precision Elite Digital Kitchen Scale. Too much, or too little, flour can greatly impact the texture of your dough. To keep mess to a minimum, put the bowl on the scale, turn it on and add your flour. One cup of all-purpose flour weighs 120 g.
  2. Cut your butter or shortening into pats and work them into the flour. You can mix them with a pastry cutter, two knives, a fork, or your hands. Press down on the biggest chunks and flatten them so you can start to break them down and mix with the flour. Be sure to leave some pea sized chunks of butter in your flour to create that flaky texture.
  3. Once your butter is distributed, it’s time to add the water. Start with 4 tablespoons of ice cold water and mix it in. Add additional water, one tablespoon at a time, until your dough starts to stick together.  Test a pinch of dough to see if it sticks together. If it sticks but then falls apart, add a little more water. Stop adding water once the dough forms clumps and stays together.
  4. Work the dough gently. Take the crumbly dough and mix it with your hands or use a piece of parchment paper to work the dough. Fold it over on itself 3 – 4 times to add air into the dough and create layers.
  5. Press the dough into a disc and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes before rolling out.
  6. When it’s time to roll the dough, lightly flour a pastry sheet or a piece of parchment, the dough, your hands, and the rolling pin. Flatten your disc slightly and start rolling out from the center in all directions. Roll gently or the dough will split. Move the dough around to ensure even rolling. If the dough sticks to the surface, add a bit more flour. Roll the dough until it is 3 inches wider than the top of your pie pan.
  7. Depending on the type of crust you’re making, follow instructions for the specific oven temperature and baking time.

dessert-1674495_19206 Easy Pie Crust Recipes:

Butter Pie Crust: How to Make Perfectly Flakey Pie Crust by Perfectly Delicious

Shortening Pie Crust: Homemade Pie Crust by Reality Daydreams

Lard Pie Crust: Tender Lard Crust by Lucky Peach

Gluten-Free Pie Crust: The Best Gluten Free Pie Crust by A Little Insanity

Almond Flour Pie Crust: Easy Low Carb Press-In Pie Crust by All Day I Dream About Food

No-Bake Nut Crust: Raw Pie Crust Recipe by The Rawtarian

Do you have a favorite pie crust tip or recipe that you want to share? Tweet it to us, @eatsmartscales.

tips for beginning pie makers

9 Holiday Gift Ideas for New Moms

gift-guide-2016-momIt’s that time of year again! The holidays are right around the corner. Are you shopping for a new (or expecting) mom? Adjusting to caring for a new baby can be tough, so why not get her a helpful item that she will be able to use over and over again.

The following gift ideas are sure to impress any new mama:gift-guide-for-moms

#1 Precision Pro Digital Food Thermometer

The Precision Pro Digital Food Thermometer does more than you ever imagined. Not only does it instantly check the temperature of your dinner, but it’s also useful for many baby-related tasks. When warming baby formula or reheating expressed breastmilk, it should be a bit below body temperature (98.6 F). Simply place the food thermometer directly into the milk or formula, and you’ll have an accurate readout within five seconds. Food thermometers can also be used to test the temperature of bath water. Babies should be bathed in temperatures around 100° F.

Price: $14.95 on Amazon


#2 Travelwise 5-Piece Packing Cube System

esp_clothesBeing organized when traveling with a new baby is easier said than done. The TravelWise 5 Piece Packing Cubes are a travel essential that allow clothes to stay folded and neat when packed in their own “small drawers”. Constructed of lightweight, durable nylon, these multi-sized cubes allow mom to compartmentalize similar items such as her clothes, her husband’s clothes, the baby’s clothes, and electronic accessories to streamline packing. The open mesh top makes searching for misplaced items a thing of the past and our five color choices allows each mom, dad and baby to have their own individual set.

Price: $24.95 on Amazon


#3 Precision Tracker Digital Bathroom Scale

The Precision Tracker Digital Bathroom Scale will track mom’s weight during pregnancy and her subsequent weight loss after delivery. The typical weight gain ranges from 20 to 50 pounds, and this scale makes it easy to track weight gain during pregnancy. This handy dandy scale allows her to monitor her health at-home. At each weigh in, the scale will display three readings: current weight, weight change from the last weigh in, and total change from starting weight. A healthy weight gain equals a healthy baby and quicker recovery after birth. When she’s ready to lose the baby weight, the Tracker will track her progress as she sheds the extra pounds.

Price: $24.95 on Amazon


#4 Precision Pro Digital Kitchen Scaleeatsmart-precision-pro-baby-food-measurement

Once the baby starts eating solid foods, the Precision Pro Digital Kitchen Scale takes the guesswork out serving sizes. Rather than trying to eyeball 13 grams of infant cereal, this scale allows mom to easily weigh portion sizes to the nearest gram. It’s also a handy tool to help mom with calorie counting and portion control.

Price: $19.95 on Amazon


#5 Precision Voyager Digital Luggage Scale

Help mom and her family travel stress free. Flying during the holiday season is hectic enough. Traveling with a new baby is guaranteed to create additional stress. The last thing mom needs to worry about is whether her suitcase (which is probably overflowing with baby items) is over the airline’s weight limit. The Precision Voyager Digital Luggage Scale makes a great stocking stuffer for new moms who are planning to fly anywhere this holiday season and beyond.

Price: $12.95 on Amazon


#6 Precision GetFit Digital Body Fat Scale

eatsmart-precision-getfit-digital-body-fat-scaleFor the post-partum mom who wants to get back down to her pre-pregnancy weight, the Precision GetFit Digital Body Fat Scale is a great tool. Instead of watching and waiting for the pounds to come off, this scale breaks down your body composition for a complete picture of health. It allows Mom to quickly and easily measure her body weight, BMI, % body fat, % muscle mass, % total body water and bone density. Being aware of body composition is an important way to monitor your health, and as any fit mama knows, health is more than a number.

Price: $44.95 on Amazon


#7 Digital Indoor Comfort Level Thermometer with Hygrometer

digital-indoor-comfort-level-thermometer-with-hygrometerWith the Taylor 1732 Indoor Comfort Level Thermometer and Hygrometer, mom can constantly be informed about her home’s temperature and humidity levels. It’s recommended that babies do not sleep with any blankets in the crib until after turning one years old, so maintaining a comfortable room temperature (between 68 and 72 degrees) is imperative for a healthy and happy little one.

Price: $9.99 on ShopTaylorusa.com


#8 Taylor 5858RD Anywhere Timer

This easy to use timer is great to have for both baby and non-baby related tasks. As a new parent, you track everything – how long the baby sleeps, how long between diaper changes, and how long it’s been since the last feeding. The Taylor 5858RD Anywhere Timer’s unique bendable stem wraps, shapes, and clings to anything, freeing up your hands for baby specific tasks. Wrap it, wear it, take it anywhere! Bonus: The case is dishwasher safe!

Price: $9.99 on ShopTaylorusa.com


#9 Decanter

decanter-oprah-favorite-things-2016Now this one is solely for the new mom who likes to enjoy a nice glass of wine. Caring for a baby is tough work, so treat her to a new Decanter and bottle of her favorite vino. For a superior taste and more flavor in each sip, the aerating funnel oxygenates wine by flowing liquid across the inside walls of the glass. It’s even designed to be poured with one hand, which is perfect for a mom who is multitasking 24/7. You can’t go wrong with this decanter – it’s even Oprah approved! The decanter was recently included in Oprah’s Favorite Things List 2016, which includes her top 100 gift picks for the 2016 holiday season.

Price: $99.95 on www.madebyrbt.com


Which gift is going on your shopping list? Tweet to us @eatsmartscales or visit eatsmartproducts.com for more gift ideas.

The Beginner’s Guide to Hosting Thanksgiving Dinner

beginner's guide to hosting thanksgiving

Is it your turn to host Thanksgiving this year? If hosting a holiday stresses you out, we can help. Whether your dinner is a large family gathering or small get-together, you can pull off a stress-free turkey feast.

We’ve organized our planning tips chronologically, beginning one month from Thanksgiving. By following the right steps, you’ll be able to enjoy the holiday – and your company – when the big day arrives.

1 Month Prior

Get a head count. Call or email those on your guest list and see who will be attending. It’s the perfect time to see who will be able to bring a side dish or dessert.

Plan your menu. Are there family favorites that are a “must-have?” Be sure to add those in and any new sides that you might like to try. Don’t forget to include some easy appetizers and beverages.

3 Weeks Prior

Review your recipes. Create a list of what you will need to purchase and what you already have. This is the time to see if you need to order any specialty items. If you plan on having a fresh turkey, order it now.

eatsmart-precision-pro-kitchen-scale-baking-thanksgiving

Check your cooking supplies. Do you have the necessary pans and tools to make the day go as smoothly as possible? Our Precision Pro Digital Kitchen Scale makes it easy to measure recipe ingredients for a crowd. Plus, the handy tare feature allows you to use one bowl rather than having to wash several measuring cups and spoons. Are the batteries working in your Precision Pro Digital Food Thermometer?

2 Weeks Prior

pie crustPrep dough for pies and rolls. Are you planning on baking pies or rolls? Make batches of pie dough, wrap tightly, and freeze. Make rolls in advance, freeze, and defrost Thanksgiving morning.

Decide on set up. Will you do a buffet or a sit down dinner? Knowing this lets you plan your set up and décor for the day.

Pick up beverages. This is the time to pick up wine, beer, liquor, and soft drinks. They can be stored without being refrigerated.

1 Week Prior

Go food shopping. Pick up your turkey and non-perishable items, including paper goods and baking supplies, a week prior. Perishable items, such as fresh produce, can be picked up a couple of days before Thanksgiving.

Buy some containers. Have inexpensive containers on hand if you plan on sending your guests home with leftovers. Don’t hand out your favorite storage containers since you may not get them back!

Make soup and broth. Planning on a non-dairy soup course or need stock for your meal? Make it now and freeze until Tuesday, allowing enough time to thaw.

eatsmart-food-thermometer-in-turkey

Make a cooking plan. Figure out which dishes can be made in advance and how long dishes need to be cooked or reheated on Thanksgiving Day. Do you know how long your turkey will take? It takes about 13 minutes of cooking time for every pound of turkey. Our Precision Elite Thermocouple Food Thermometer gives you an accurate temperature reading in seconds, so you know when your turkey is perfectly cooked.

3 – 4 Days Prior

Defrost your turkey. It takes 24 hours for 5 lbs of turkey to defrost in the refrigerator. If you choose to defrost the bird in cold water estimate a minimum thawing time of 30 minutes per lb. You will need to change the water every 30 minutes to keep the turkey cold.

2 Days Prior

pieMake pies. Get your pie filling together and fill your crusts. Wrap and set in your fridge until Wednesday.

Clean the house. Don’t wait until the last minute to straighten your house, or you will be too exhausted to enjoy the holiday.

Defrost frozen items. Put frozen items in your fridge so they are defrosted for when you need them.

The Day Beforechop veggies

Prep ingredients for tomorrow. Wash and chop vegetables, salad fixings, and herbs in advance.

Make your side dishes. Make and cook any sides that will keep overnight, then reheat them tomorrow.

Bake pies. You’ll be glad you did the prep work yesterday – just pop them right in the oven!

Bake desserts. If you’re making brownies, cake or cookies, get this done the day before.

Set the table. You can assign a family member to do this for you. Take a quick walk through to make sure the house looks the way you want it to.

Thanksgiving Day

Preheat your oven and cook the turkey. It’s time! Depending on the size of the turkey, it could need anywhere from 2.75 hours to 5.25 hours of cook time. Use this guide from Real Simple.

dinner rolls

Defrost the rolls. Leave them on the counter until they are ready to go in the oven.

Chill beverages. Put wine and soft drinks in the fridge to chill.

Prep salads. Toss your freshly chopped vegetables with other salad fixings in a large serving dish.

Reheat the sides. Once your turkey is finished, let it rest while you reheat side dishes and make the gravy.

The Day After

Take a rest and enjoy your leftovers. Pop on Netflix and try this Thanksgiving Turkey Soup. It’s a great way to use and enjoy your leftovers in new way.

PRINT IT OR PIN IT:

thanksgiving cooking checklist

Do you have favorite tips for Thanksgiving? Tweet them to us at @EatSmartScales.

Charity of the Month – Alzheimer’s Research & Prevention Foundation

EatSmart fans will continue to select a Charity of the Month in 2016. 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.alzheimers research and prevention foundationWe’ve selected the Alzheimer’s Research & Prevention Foundation as our charity of the month for November.

Alzheimer’s Research & Prevention Foundation Mission Statement:

The mission of the Alzheimer’s Research and Prevention Foundation is to prevent Alzheimer’s disease by funding research studies and providing educational outreach and memory screenings. For 20 years, the ARPF has been on the leading edge by researching, advocating, and educating about a holistic or integrative approach to preventing memory loss and Alzheimer’s.

We do this by:

  • Researching innovative and breakthrough modalities in the holistic or integrative medical approach to the prevention of this disease.
  • Educating healthcare professionals, patients, and their families as well as the public on the known aspects of Alzheimer’s disease, with particular emphasis on the prevention and treatment of early stage memory loss. We believe in your fundamental right to be informed about all the medically proven modalities that are available to you to maximize your brain function now and hopefully reduce your risk of dementia later. We also provide Free Memory Screenings to increase awareness and testing.
  • Facilitating communication among health care professionals to share the results of our research, and between Alzheimer’s organizations and the public to increase awareness of the disease and inform them about the available resources in our greater communities.

For every new Facebook Fan we (EatSmartProducts) acquire during the month of November, we will donate 50 cents/follower to Alzheimer’s Research & Prevention Foundation.  (So spread the word!)

Click below, follow us and EatSmart will donate!

charity nov

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

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