When I was home in Idaho a couple weeks ago, my dad asked me (earnestly, not in a sarcastic manner), “What do you eat?” You see, my dad’s a very healthy eater, but the world of vegetarianism is an uncharted world to him. After returning home, his question stuck with me. What do I eat? Normal things, of course! It was so familiar to me, that I hardly knew how to answer the question.
So to answer the question, I made a habit of snapping a few photos before I sat down to breakfast, lunch or dinner. Dad, and everyone else reading, here is what I eat…
So that’s that! Protein, food tracking and all. How do you guys stay on track? Do you have a food journal or an online system that you use?
Last fall when I was in NYC for The Rachael Ray Show, I had the pleasure of finally getting to meet my blog friend, Lauren, in real life. Lauren and I had been commenting on one another’s blogs and talking via Twitter for almost a year, and I was trilled to find out she is just as sweet and wonderful in person as she is on the web. Don’t you love it when that happens?
I knew Lauren loved to bake, so when she told me that she was quitting her job in finance to open up Keep It Sweet Desserts, an online bakery and catering company, I can’t say I was surprised. In fact, I was trilled for Lauren and her big step! But, as someone who loves to bake myself, I wasn’t sure about the notion of purchasing baked goods online; couldn’t I just make something myself and save the money?
Lauren offered to send me a mixed dozen of some of her desserts to coincide with the launch of Keep It Sweet Desserts to taste and review. I was a little nervous, reviewing desserts by someone I know and adore.
Well, the package arrived last week, and here’s the deal: Lauren’s desserts blew me away. Honestly, they are some of the best cookies and bars I’ve ever had. I can’t tell you how trilled I am to share them with you, and offer one of you the chance to win some yourself (keep reading). Here’s a look at what I tasted…
Peppermint Patty Stuffed Triple Chocolate Cookies: Mint and chocolate is one of my favorite combinations in a dessert, so it’s no surprise that I fell head over heels for this cookie. Lauren totally nailed it on the texture – crispy around the edges and filled with a soft minty center.
Cinnamon Chocolate Rugelach: This was the only dessert I wasn’t crazy about. That said, I think it has much more to do with the fact that I don’t really care for the texture and taste of rugelach rather than Lauren’s execution of the dessert. If you like rugelach, I would recommend trying it and seeing for yourself.
White Chocolate Cranberry Oatmeal Cookies: If you’re a fan of chewy cookies (which I seriously am) these are your dessert. While I could be satisfied eating just one rich blondie, I could easily eat a couple of these pleasantly sweet oatmeal cookies. The edges are just a little bit crispy and the centers are soft and peppered with white chocolate pieces and dried cranberries. I had to freeze the rest so I didn’t eat them all at once!
Now to the giveaway…Lauren has offered to send a dozen of her cookies, bars or cookie sandwiches to one lucky Espresso and Cream reader!
To Enter: Visit Keep It Sweet Desserts and check out their selection. Then leave a comment letting me know which dessert you would like to try.
More ways to win (leave a separate comment for each):
*Like Keep It Sweet Desserts on Facebook (click here)
*Tweet about the giveaway (leave your Twitter handle for verification)
Oh, and if you don’t win? Lauren is offering Espresso and Cream readers a 10% discount on purchases from her site. Just use the code EspressoandCream at checkout!
Baked Chicken Parmesan
*1 tablespoon olive oil
*1 1/2 cups panko (Japanese bread crumbs)
*1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
*1/4 teaspoon salt
*1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
*1/8 teaspoon garlic powder
*1 teaspoon dried Italian seasoning
*2 large eggs, lightly beaten
*2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
*1/2 cup grated sharp cheddar cheese or mozzarella cheese
*2 cups purchased marinara sauce
*4 servings angel hair pasta, cooked according to package directions
*Preheat oven to 375°F. Lightly grease a 13×9-inch baking pan with the 1 tablespoon olive oil. Set aside.
*In a shallow bowl, combine the panko, Parmesan, salt, pepper, garlic powder and Italian seasoning. Mix to combine.
*Place the beaten eggs in a second bowl.
*Slice the chicken breasts each in half widthwise to form four thin chicken breasts. Dip each chicken breast in the egg mixture to coat, followed by the panko mixture. Transfer coated chicken breasts to the prepared baking pan. Bake chicken in the oven for 25 minutes, until the chicken is cooked through and the coating is crispy. Top the chicken with the shredded cheese. Switch oven to broil and continue to cook for 1 to 2 minutes more, until cheese is melted and bubbly.
*Toss the prepared pasta with some of the marinara sauce in a large saucepan and heat over medium heat on the stove top. Divide the pasta among four plates or bowls and top each portion with one of the chicken breasts. Finish with additional marinara sauce, if desired, and grated Parmesan cheese. Makes 4 servings