Sundays with Samantha: Kid-friendly smoothies

Homemade smoothies are a great snack.  They are super easy to make, can provide a healthy dose of protein and fiber and sneak in a couple servings of fruit (and/or veggies) without a fight.  Smoothies are my saving grace when my fridge is empty and I'm feeling guilty about my kids' lack of fruit/veggie intake. …

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Supermarket Saturday: Tubular Tomato Paste

If you make chili, soup, or stew, braised meat, marinara or other tomato based dishes, you'll have noticed that most recipes call for the tiniest amount of tomato paste. And because it's not safe to store the open can in the fridge, you have to transfer the leftover to a teeny tiny Tupperware container which …

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Favorite Recipe Friday: Arugula Salad with Shaved Parmesan and Balsamic Vinaigrette

This Arugula Salad from Emeril Lagasse is my favorite no fuss, dressed-to-impress salad.  The shaved Parmesan adds restaurant-like flair and the vinaigrette provides a perfect balance to the bitter arugula. (Plus, you'll have leftover dressing which is a BONUS.) It's easy yet elegant, comes together in no time, and is totally uncomplicated.  (I've deleted the …

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Cooking Tool Thursday: Chef’s Knife

Let me start by saying, I am by no means, a knife expert. But, I've used A LOT of different models in my day and know enough to provide you with the basics. When it comes to kitchen tools, a good quality, sharp chef's knife is a must. With a proper knife, cooking becomes more …

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Wild Card Wednesday: 10 ways to add more fruits and vegetables to your diet

Life is busy.  I get it.  But, if you want to be around to enjoy life later, when it's presumably not quite so busy (sweet sweet retirement),  you need to make your health a priority today. Chronic conditions like heart disease, diabetes and hypertension don't show up overnight.  Yes, there is a genetic component but for the most part, they are caused by …

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Cooking Tip Tuesday: Don’t overcrowd your pan

Have you ever noticed that many recipes will specifically say, "don't overcrowd your pan" or it suggests cooking in multiple batches?  What if you are in a hurry and just want to get it done?  Tough cookies!  If you want your food to cook evenly & you want that delicious layer of caramelization or browning …

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Sundays with Samantha: How to choose the best kids snacks

Kids. Never. Stop. Eating. Rightfully so. They are constantly growing, physically and mentally, and it's our job to provide them with the right foods to help them thrive. But, it's definitely hard to keep up!  My kids will eat breakfast, a snack or 2 between breakfast and lunch.  Eat all their lunch. Then like 5 …

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