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Category Archives: Inspiration
With the crisp Fall weather here, it’s time for all the delicious Fall favorite treats! I love all things pumpkin, but I needed to add a new recipe to my usual lineup. So after searching high and low, from the Internet to good old-fashioned cookbooks, I came across this delicious Pumpkin and Bourbon Cheesecake recipe. The original recipe comes from Epicurious, but I changed the recipe slightly to make an organic version. This cheesecake was such a hit with my family and friends that I will be making it again!
Makes 12 to 14 servings
1 1/2 cup organic graham cracker crumbs
1/4 cup packed organic light brown sugar
1/4 cup granulated organic sugar
1/2 stick (1/4 cup) organic unsalted butter, melted and cooled
1 can (15 oz) organic pumpkin
3 large organic eggs
1/2 cup packed organic light brown sugar
2 tablespoons organic half and half
1 teaspoon organic vanilla
1 tablespoon bourbon liqueur or bourbon
1/2 cup granulated organic sugar
1 tablespoon organic cornstarch
1 1/2 teaspoons organic cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon freshly grated organic nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon ground organic ginger
1/2 teaspoon organic salt
3 (8-ounce) packages organic cream cheese, at room temperature
2 cups organic sour cream (20 ounces)
2 tablespoons granulated organic sugar
1 tablespoon bourbon liqueur or bourbon
Stir together crumbs, sugar, and butter. Press in a single layer on the bottom and up sides of a springform pan. Chill in the freezer for at least 15 minutes.
Put oven rack in middle position and preheat oven to 350°F.
Whisk together pumpkin, eggs, brown sugar, cream, vanilla, and liqueur in a bowl until combined.
Stir together granulated sugar, cornstarch, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, and salt in large bowl. Add cream cheese and beat with an electric mixer at high speed until creamy and smooth, about 3 minutes. Reduce speed to medium, then add pumpkin mixture and beat until smooth.
Pour filling into crust, smoothing top, then put springform pan in a shallow baking pan (in case springform leaks). Bake until center is just set, 50 to 60 minutes. Transfer to rack and cool 5 minutes.
Make topping: Whisk together sour cream, sugar, and liqueur in a bowl, then spread on top of cheesecake and bake 5 minutes.
Cool cheesecake completely in pan on rack, about 3 hours.
Chill, covered, until cold, at least 4 hours. Remove side of pan and bring to room temperature before serving.
Enjoy this yummy Fall dessert!
Now that summer vacation is coming to a close and the kiddos are headed back to school, it’s time to start preparations. Many have already done the school shopping, picked out their first-day outfits, and packed their backpacks with new supplies, but haven’t thought about those pesky little lunches that need to be packed. A healthy lunch provides sound nutrition to give students energy to do well in school and for the rest of the day. Healthy lunches are not just for kids, so these tips can be applied to all packed lunches, including the ones you take to work.
Here are some tips to take that lunch from blah to healthy in no time!
Reusable Containers Make Packing Lunches a Snap
Use containers that have separated sections, like Bento boxes. The separate sections allow for more healthy foods such as fruits, vegetables and dips, with less waste from packaging. The box’s sections also allow for portion control, so you get to decide how much of each food is included.
Offer Nutrient Dense Foods
Provide a selection of foods such as lean protein, whole grains, fruits, and vegetables, that will give children needed nutrients. An added benefit of nutrient-dense food is that it makes you feel fuller longer.
Small Changes Can Make a Big Difference
Switching from white bread to whole grain bread and opting for low-fat dairy products and organics can make a world of difference without noticeably changing the tastes of favorite foods. Also be sure to visit your local farmer’s market to buy locally grown produce!
Remember, Beverages Count, Too
Giving children a healthy lunch, then packing a sugar-filled, high-calorie drink eliminates the efforts of the healthy lunch. Water is the best option for a healthy drink. Make the water more fun by picking a fun, reusable water bottle. (You can always pack a small low-fat milk or real fruit juice to add variety.)
Let Kids Choose Some of Their Food
Allow your kids to pick some of the healthy foods they will be eating. Giving children the option will make them more likely to enjoy their lunches.
Enjoy those healthy lunches!
Father’s Day is a great time to recognize all of the wonderful things dads have done for their children this year. There are many ways to show appreciation, like planning a special event, finding that perfect gift, or doing something nice to help him out. Here are some ideas that are fun for Dad and friendly for the environment.
Prepare an organic breakfast-in-bed
Buy him a nice organic-cotton tie, shirt, or bathrobe
Take him on a trip to a farmer’s market or a local restaurant
Take him to a concert, festival, or sporting event
Set up a hammock for him in the backyard so he can relax
Take him bird watching and take pictures of birds you see
Go on a hike or bicycle ride and spend some quality time together
Get a pair of fishing poles and take him out to the river
Find a nice recipe for dinner that the two of you can make together
Whatever you decide to do, the best part of Father’s Day will be spending some quality time together!
Now that school is out and the weather is hot it’s time to think about what kind of fun activities you can plan to keep the whole family happy. Here is a list of 25 ideas we came up with. Use some of our ideas or come up with a few of your own.
- Volunteer at a local animal shelter, nature center, or organization that you support.
- Plan a camping trip and head out to the great outdoors.
- Visit your local farmer’s market for some yummy produce and local goods.
- Pick berries.
- Use the berries you pick or the farmer’s-market finds to make delicious smoothies!
- Have a picnic at a park.
- Go canoeing at a local lake.
- Have a backyard campfire – with s’mores.
- Go biking on a trail.
- Plant a garden of herbs and veggies.
- Have an outdoor painting party using huge canvas or cardboard.
- Visit a museum.
- Learn about stargazing and identify as many constellations as possible.
- Go outside and play. Volleyball, basketball, baseball, badminton- whatever game you love, get out and start playing.
- Get a map of the US and mark off all the exciting places you want to visit.
- Lace up your skates and go rollerskating.
- Make popsicles with your favorite organic juice.
- Visit a flea market.
- Pick up a new hobby like painting, writing, fishing, etc.
- Visit a national park. The kids can even become Junior Rangers!
- Have a game night with charades, Pictionary, Jenga, Monopoly, etc.
- Attend an outdoor festival or concert.
- Find a local carnival.
- Have homemade-pizza night.
- Fall into a good book.
Whatever you decide to do, enjoy the summer, be sure to stay hydrated and protect yourself from the sun!
Memorial Day Weekend is the perfect occasion to pack a picnic and head outdoors to enjoy the beautiful weather. First you have to decide what dishes to bring. Typical picnic foods can include hamburgers, hot dogs, potato salad, and cookies, which are not the healthiest choices (though they may be delicious). If you’re looking for better options, here are 10 healthy finger-food ideas for your next picnic outing!
2. Ants on a Log (celery with peanut butter and raisins)
3. Grilled Vegetables (zucchini, squash, mushrooms, etc.)
4. Pita Chips with Hummus
5. Homemade Trail Mix (dried fruits and nuts)
6. Turkey Sandwiches with low-fat ingredients (whole-grain bread, lettuce, tomato, sprouts, and low-fat cheese)
7. Shrimp and Lemon Skewers
9. Fruit Salad
10. Angel Food Cake (low in calories) with fresh fruit and fat-free whipped cream
Now that your basket is packed with delicious foods, it’s time to head out and enjoy the beauty of nature!