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Matthew Thompson's Blog (Page 10)

December 5, 2011 - 9:00am

Season’s Greetings! Welcome to EatingWell’s annual Holiday Cookie Swap. All week we’ll be trading innovative tips and favorite recipes for delicious holiday cookies that would be welcome at any Christmas or Hanukkah party. We’ll show you clever ways to cut calories and boost flavor, so you can spruce up your own recipes. That’s our gift to you!

So then, on to the first tip: Swap Out Unhealthy Fats!

I love Christmas cookies—my father was a minister, so we’d get a ton each year—but I’m not a huge fan of all the artery-clogging shortening and butter many recipes call for. Still, I know that many people have trouble throwing out a much-loved family recipe just because a few of the ingredients are now on the naughty list. So what can you do?

Why don’t you give those recipes a holiday makeover? By swapping out some of those bad-for-you fats (...

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November 25, 2011 - 9:00am

Q: “I ate way too much at Thanksgiving. How can I get back on track?”

A: OK, so you overate. We all did! For many people, Thanksgiving is a calculated calorie splurge—something they plan to pay for with good behavior in the following weeks. I know that I, for one, have a long history of redoubled jogging efforts starting the following Monday (after the long food coma of Thanksgiving afternoon).

But for many people, it’s hard to know just how to get back on track. I was boggled when my co-worker Kerri-Ann Jennings calculated that it would take over 5 hours of walking through Black Friday sales to sweat off the average amount that people overeat on Thanksgiving. That’s a lot of Sears sales! It’s easy to get discouraged when thinking about it.

Fortunately, we at EatingWell have devised a plan to help you get back on track...

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November 24, 2011 - 9:00am

Q: “What can I do with my leftovers?”

A: Happy Thanksgiving! By now your menu is finalized, your turkey’s in the oven and your guests are arriving. Maybe the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade is on TV in the next room. Congratulations! You’re in for a day of delicious food and great company.

But sooner or later, after the meal and the football games and the good-byes to family members driving home, you’re going to look around your kitchen and ask yourself, “What the heck do I do with all this food?” It’s true: most people who cook on Thanksgiving come out of the day with more leftovers than they can shake a turkey baster at. And for the next week the challenge becomes: How do I make use of it all? I mean, I love a good turkey sandwich as much as the next person (extra stuffing, please—and don’t skimp on the cranberry sauce!),...

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November 23, 2011 - 9:00am

Q: “What is the secret to lump-free gravy?”

A: Like Ringo for the Beatles and Norm for Cheers, gravy is that special something that holds Thanksgiving dinner together. Sure, it’s never a featured player—you’re as unlikely to make a snack of it (I hope) as you are to buy the Ringo Starr’s All-Star Band album—but without it, the meal just doesn’t have the same cozy coherence.

Still, making gravy can be tricky. Of all the skills needed for making Thanksgiving dinner, it’s the most specialized—how many other days per year do most people make gravy? Do it wrong and you could end up with a broken, oily mess or a lumpy, thick paste.

Fortunately, EatingWell has got you covered. ...

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November 22, 2011 - 9:00am

Q: “What’s the trick to making fluffy mashed potatoes?”

A: At my first job—as a prep cook in a restaurant in Connecticut—I learned how most people make mashed potatoes delicious: by adding about a ton of butter and whole milk to them! While that might work reliably 10 times out of 10, it’s not the only way to make delicious, fluffy mashed potatoes. Certainly, it’s not the healthiest.

For a more health-friendly approach, check out EatingWell’s guide to making mashed potatoes. Our Test Kitchen has come up with a delicious, simple way to get perfectly silky mashed potatoes every time without all the added fat. They give great guidance when it comes to how to cook your...

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