Tuesday, November 30

100 calories of YUM!

MOCHI!!! Little balls of ice cream (about golf ball size) all wrapped up in a Japanese manju coating.

Manju are Japanese confections with a sweet filling and a sort of glutinous outer layer made from mochi, or pounded rice cakes. This same outer layer is what surrounds the ice cream. They're dusted with rice flour so they don't stick to things.

These are amazingly good! Trader Joe's has them in chocolate, strawberry, green tea, and mango flavors. The green tea and mango ones are excellent, I'm literally eating a green tea one right now, seriosuly.

100 calories per ball (6 in a box) 3.5 grams of fat
12 grams of sugar
2 grams of protein 

Not bad for a completely satisfying treat, not to mention only $3.49 a box @ your local TJ's.

Not everything is what it seems...

Here are some unique uses for a few everyday items, that reinvent the ordinary!

Light candles: When you don't have long matches but you do have plenty of candles, use a piece of spaghetti to fire them all up in one go. Also handy for lighting a candle in a deep holder. 

Test baked goods to see if they're done: Poke a piece of spaghetti into the center; if it comes out clean, your treat is ready to eat.

Use as bookends: A pair of bottles, with or without the contents, can hold a small library together. 

Organize jewelry: Poke stud earrings into a cork and toss it in your travel bag. 

Replace a rolling pin: Roll piecrust or pizza dough flat with a wine bottle. 

Keep your boots up: Slide bottles into boots when storing them so they keep their shape and stand up straight. This one is my favorite because I almost bought boot keepers, and Lord knows I have plenty of empty wine bottles! :)

 Stop scratches: Slice corks into disks and glue them to the bottoms of furniture or heavy pottery to protect delicate floors. 

Create a casual luminaria: Place tea lights or votives inside a metal version.
Wash your delicates: Don't throw lingerie into the sink for hand washing. Peroxide from some toothpastes and caustic agents from other cleansers can bleach, stain, degrade, and even disintegrate delicate fabrics. Instead, put the colander in the sink and wash the garments inside it.

Sift flour in a pinch: Pour flour into a colander and shake it back and forth over a larger bowl. (Use a wooden spoon to break up lumps, if necessary.) 


Real Simple Magazine 

Sunday, November 28

Bundle Up! It's Cold!

Find these looks at Bloomingdale's and Urban Outfitters.

Guilt Free Starbucks

It's hard not to be tempted by the specialty holiday drinks that Starbucks has this time of year. If you are looking for a guilt free version there are a few options, and if not, feel free to indulge in the real deal because after all, these drinks are only around once a year!

Skinny Cinnamon Dolce Latte (90 calories in a tall)
Espresso, sugar-free cinnamon dolce syrup and nonfat steamed milk, topped with foamed milk and cinnamon.

Skinny Vanilla Latte Creme (90 calories in a tall)
Espresso, sugar-free vanilla syrup and nonfat steamed milk, topped with foamed milk.
Skinny Peppermint Mocha (100 calories in a tall)
sugar-free mocha sauce, sugar-free peppermint flavored syrup, espresso and nonfat milk.

Gingerbread Latte (150 calories for a tall) 
Espresso with steamed milk and gingerbread flavored syrup (no sugar-free option), topped with nutmeg.

Pumpkin Spice Latte (200 calories for a tall) 
Espresso, pumpkin spice syrup (no sugar-free option), steamed non-fat milk.

Baked Pearfection

This is a fancy looking dessert that is actually easy to prePEAR and includes basic ingredients, all of which can be found at Trader Joe's of course!


2 pears (pears in season will work)
1 Tbsp butter
2 Tbsp honey
1 tsp vanilla
2 Tbsp Drambuie (a spiced brandy like liquor, brandy will work as well)

1/4 cup Candied Pecans or Candied Walnuts (optional)

1.    Preheat oven to 375˚ F
2.    Peel and halve pears.  Use a spoon to remove cores.  Arrange pear halves, cut side up, on an oven safe dish.
3.    In a small saucepan over medium heat, combine butter, honey, vanilla, and Drambuie. When mixture is warm and butter has melted, remove from heat.  Brush mixture onto all sides of each pear half, and then pour mixture onto the pears, letting excess liquid run off the sides into baking dish.  Set saucepan aside for further use.  Drape baking dish with foil and bake pears for 20 minutes.
4.    Plate pears, leaving any liquid in baking dish.  Pour liquid into the same saucepan and reduce over medium-low heat for 5 minutes until liquid is syrupy.
5.    When serving, sprinkle with a few pecans and spoon syrup over each pear.

Serves 4


All ingredients in this recipe can be found at Trader Joe's, which offers healthier and more organic options then a major supermarket.


1 (8 oz) tube refrigerated crescent rolls
8 asparagus spears, trimmed and cut in half
1 (4 or 5 oz) pkg prosciutto, or 8 pieces prosciutto, sliced in half

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2. Separate crescent dough into 8 pieces along dotted lines.  Cut each triangle in half to form long, narrow triangles of dough.
3. Wrap each piece of prosciutto around asparagus.  Wrap each bundle with dough, rolling from widest end to the triangular tip.  Place onto baking sheet that is lightly oiled or lined (Silpat baking mats work well).
4. Bake for 15 minutes, or until golden brown.

Prep time: 15 minutes
Hands-off cooking time: 15 minutes
Serves 8 (2 rolls per serving)
Find this recipe and more in Cooking with Trader Joe's, a must have for any savvy TJ's chef!

Saturday, November 20


I happened upon this website, http://lookbook.nu/, and had to share! Talk about endless fashion inspiration! 

According to the great and mighty Wikipedia, "LOOKBOOK.nu" is a fashion, youth culture, and community website, created by Yuri Lee in San Francisco. It was inspired by street fashion websites and blogs such as The Sartorialist and The Cobrasnake and designed for users to post their own street-fashion photography, featuring themselves and their outfits.

You can browse the daily fashions that people share from all over the globe, or sign up for an account and post your own fashion masterpieces!

Many users post links to where you can find the different pieces in their look. Here are a few looks on lookbook.nu to love:

Let it Snow

Fab Fur (faux of course)!

(Source: Beau+Aero)