December 23rd, 2011
If you’re like most people, baking some goodies will be figuring into your holiday TO-DO list…also like many, actually EATING these same goods is on your TO-DON’T list.
Nothing new, or mysterious about this product, it just truly is so smart, and good for you, on all levels.
Using pureed fruit as a butter substitute is not new…recipes specifically using mashed bananas or applesauce have been around for a while, but it’s just never been easy to find general substitution information easily, outside those recipes.
Then, a few years back, I found this, Sunsweet Lighter Bake. Made of dried plums and dried apples, this stuff is beyond amazing, and the conversion chart is right on the bottle. In order of importance, here is why you should give it a try, too.
First: Taste/Results: In my experience, baked goods smell, taste and look like they should (although because of the color of the puree, really light-colored goods will bake up darker).
Doug and his brothers are dessert
snobs purists, and highly suspicious of ’substitute’ anything. Since finding this, I have successfully snuck this by them used this in cookie, cake and most importantly BROWNIES on many occasions.
Second: Health This jar contains 27 tablespoons of puree….at 35 calories a pop, it’s about one-third the caloric cost of the same amount of butter, 100 calories a tablespoon. OH, BUT WAIT-it’s not an equal exchange, you only need HALF the amount of puree that you would need for butter.
So that brings the caloric cost down to about 17.5% of what it’d be for butter. Also has lots of antioxidants, and it’s fat-, sodium-, and cholesterol- free.
Third: Cost These 27 tablespoons are the equivalent of 54 tablespoons of butter…almost seven sticks of butter. This jar cost I think $2.89…which would be maybe half the cost of that much butter?
SO-to re-cap: tastes great, healthy alternative, half the price of butter.
It’s not going to make a brownie the equivalent of having a salad, but if you’re going to have that browine, you can enjoy it even more. Only tricky part is finding it in the supermarket…baking supplies might be a logical choice, but our local place has chosen at the end of the cooking oils aisle.
December 7th, 2010
December brings an onslaught of things to do: people to see, places to go, holidays to observe and calories to consume. How to pace yourself, and enjoy is always a challenge, but in today’s ever-widening multi-cultural world, how to be embrace it all as a gracious host, or be a welcome guest in all these different situations?
Good etiquette is about making others feel comfortable. Long before ‘politically correct’ was Emily Post, an esteemed expert on proper behavior. She wrote: “Manners are a sensitive awareness of the feeling of others. If you have that awareness, you have good manners, no matter which fork you use.”
SO-if you are hosting an event: Offer a range of foods, include things like raw veggies, fruit kabobs or hummus on the buffet table. Similarly, keep a lot of non-alcoholic drinks on hand. Sparkling cider, flavored seltzer and juices, with pretty glasses and creative garnishes make every beverage festive.
For décor: Bowls of pine cones, fresh cut evergreens and spiced cider simmering on the stove create great ambiance. Start some paperwhite bulbs now: all you need are some shallow bowls, pebbles, and bulbs (8 for $5.99 at Home Depot)-you’ll have a beautiful and fragrant centerpiece in no time.
Good lighting encourages mingling. Have lots of it, but consider swapping regular bulbs for pink ones (softer, everyone looks better) or lowering the wattage. Or-group pillar candles of different heights together, tie with a simple bow, place on mirrored mats throughout the space.
Unless it’s an intimate group of good friends, gift exchanges are best kept for another time.
Guests-first and foremost, RSVP in a timely manner. If ‘bring a guest/date’ is not specified, clear it with the host before inviting anyone else.
If you-or your guest has specific dietary issues, let the host know in advance, and offer to bring something that would fit everyone’s plans.
For all sorts of reasons, do not bring anything that must be eaten or drank immediately, unless requested, or cleared by the host. If you must bring something, a nice bottle of wine, tastefully wrapped is pretty much always a good bet.
Keeping the focus on what is universal and shared: making new friends, reconnecting with old, along with best wishes for all in the coming New Year will ensure a good time will be had by all.
November 23rd, 2010
One of the things we all love about this time of year is getting together, seeing friends and catching up; your teens are no exception.
Laws vary by state, but to drink alcohol in New York, ‘legal’ means 21, no ifs and or buts, and that doesn’t mean just in public facilities. If your teen wants to have friends over, there is no more important time for parents to “be” parents.
Everyone wants their kids to have fun and ‘fit in’, so there may be the temptation to look the other way, have a very minimal presence during a gathering in the home, or make the rationalization of ‘well, at least I’ll know where they are’. Perhaps your teen might even revert to some emotional blackmail, and try to align their behavior with your behavior as an adult. WRONG.
Michael Greenspan is a partner at the law firm of Greenspan & Greenspan in White Plains who concentrates his practice in personal injury and criminal defense. Michael wrote about an important decision handed down by New York’s highest Court last week regarding the liability of party-hosting parents. He has these words of caution for parents hosting a teen party:
Preparation is key- first, set rules as a condition of having a party, prior to word getting out. Let your teen know what to expect, and that these rules will be enforced. Check all bags coming into the house, Bulky coats can conceal a lot, taking coats and putting them in another room gets the word out quick.
Supervise; even invite some other parents over for support. Walk around your property, to make sure nothing is hidden outside, or being brought in through another window/entrance.
What to do if alcohol is discovered? End the party right then and there. Have each guest call their parent and ask to be taken home. Do not let teens leave your home until their parents arrive.
What if a minor is intoxicated? You call the minor’s parents. If the minor is vomiting, passed out or otherwise unresponsive, call 911 immediately. Their health and safety is paramount. Do not let any minor leave the property until their parent arrives.
What if a guest is injured on your property? Call 911, then the guest’s parents. You also need to be prepared to defend and protect yourself. Call an experienced criminal defense attorney as soon as you can, once you have contacted 911 and the injured teen’s parent or guardian, and notify your homeowners insurance company as well
www.MADD.org is also a great source of prevention tips. Not fun stuff, but please-don’t let your inaction lay the groundwork for a real tragedy.