Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Boston Wine Expo 2016

It's coming....the buzz is beginning....are you ready?  The 2016 Wine Expo is starting it's ramp up and it's promising to be the best year yet!  This year will be the 25th anniversary of the Expo which means that the red carpet is really being rolled out!

The Expo will feature over 1,800 different wines from over 200 different vineyards- which means you get to fully experience what the world of wine has to offer.  Ever wondered if you could really taste the differences between the terroir of a vineyard in Macon versus in Beaujolais?  Or the subtle differences of a grape year over year?  This is the best opportunity to try single vineyards year over year vintages as well as the unique twists that different growing areas can have in your glass.  

The team has just released the list of breakout sessions for this year.  If you are itching to learn more about specific types of wine, or regions for growth -these are the fantastic way to listen to the experts in a small group, taste a variety of wines, and get your questions answered.  

As time goes on, more information will be released so watch this space- and I hope to see you there!

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Krave Jerky- The Perfect Snack

Road trips have basically always been my all time favorite thing.  We did a lot of driving when I was growing up and there was always something cozy about piling into the car, singing along to the radio and playing road games with the family.  Let's be frank though- as much as I loved the activities, I was all about the car snacks (you can feign surprise now).  As my mom was always on top of making sure we had proper nutrients, car snacks were comprised of lots of fresh fruit and slices of cheese...and then normally when we'd make a pit stop we'd get some sort of a treat.  I remember carefully selecting my cookies or chips or, lets be frank here, holding out for a donut. We'd hang out with my father at the register while he paid and I always remember spying the bags of jerky that would undoubtedly be there.  My dad would always chuckle and make a joke about army food when he'd follow my gaze, and that was all I ever new of jerky- gas station food, hard little pucks of salty meat product.  Until....now.

Krave Jerky entered the scene just about 6 years ago, revolutionizing the snack market, and, for that matter, the jerky market.  Here's the deal with jerky- when made with quality ingredients- it is a low fat, high protein product.  It fills you up without adding in fillers that cost you precious calories when you're counting them.  They are low in carbohydrates and salt, making Krave Jerky a perfect refueling snack.

Honestly, being someone who really struggles with placing "good for me" over "tastes delicious", I love Krave because of all of the fun flavors it comes in.  Every pack is a different, interesting combo, and each one packs a serious punch for the taste buds.  My favorites have been the Pineapple Orange that reminds me of my families Christmas Ham with lots of sweet and warming spices, and the Basil Citrus that makes my inner Italian Grandmother far too happy.

If you haven't given Krave a shot- go try a pack.  This isn't that gas station variety jerky - this stuff is filling, flavorful and delicious!

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Paleo Sweet Potato Apple Upside Down Cake

I've been quiet for a bit...I am not so pleased about it.  I could give you a host of excuses and reasons, but lets be honest- I was out living life.  There have been some big things happening- the biggest, of course, was the beautiful marriage of my beautiful sister to her groom.  In typical girl fashion, amidst flower and menu discussions, I dedicated myself to being in the best shape possible.  

It goes without saying that I love food. I love what it represents, I love its stories, I love creating it, I adore eating it.  This all makes dieting pretty rough on me.  So for two months before the wedding, I decided to try out the only diet I feel like I could stick to- Paleo.  I know- you all have heard of Paleo before, the idea stems from the Paleolithic era where food was simple and clean.  The idea is to eat all natural foods, and ones that are easy for the body to process naturally.  So it centers around lots of fruits and veggies, nuts and seeds, and meat and seafood.  So I put that shiny cheese certification away for a couple months and dedicated my diet.  I'll be honest- it really wasnt so bad.  Yes, it sucked to bring my dinner to my friends places when they were all ordering take out.  It sucked to not indulge in breakfasts that my friends toiled over to introduce us to different cultures.  It sucked to not celebrate Friday with pizza.  But overall, I actually really enjoyed the challenge.  I got to stretch my brain to find alternatives to my favorite dishes, and create new ones.  Best of all, overall, I feel better.  

Anywho- one of the recipes that got me through was this insanely delicious
Sweet Potato Apple Upside Down Cake.   Basically, its pumpkin pie....delicious, wonderful, healthy, pumpkin pie.  I came up with this recipe after I tried another Paleo recipe for sweet potato bread that left a lot to be desired, to say the least.  This however is moist and delicious, spicy and heart warming...its everything great in the fall.

Sweet Potato Apple Upside Down Cake
  1. 3 cup cooked sweet potato
  2. 1/2 cup coconut flour
  3. 2 teaspoon baking soda
  4. 4 eggs
  5. 1/2 cup melted coconut oil + a little more for pan greasing
  6. 1 Tablespoon cinnamon
  7. 1 Teaspoon Nutmeg
  8. 1 Teaspoon Ground Ginger
  9. 1 Teaspoon Cloves
  10. 1/2 Teaspoon Salt
  11. 1 Granny Smith Apple

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Peel and slice into cubes sweet potatoes, steam until they easily break apart with a fork. Transfer the sweet potatoes into a bowl and mash (I use a potato masher).  Add the flour, baking soda, salt, spices and oil.  Stir to combine thoroughly.  Add the eggs and combine thoroughly.  Set aside.

Core your apple and cut into slices, 1/2 inch in thickness.  Grease a round 9 inch pan with the coconut oil, and arrange the apple slices on the bottom of the pan into a circle. Pour the cake batter over the top.

Bake for 15-20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.  Let cool, and then place a large plate over the top of the pan and invert so the apple side comes out on top.  Sprinkle cinnamon over the top and serve.  

I love to have this for a mid morning snack topped with almond butter and organic maple syrup.  
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