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Penelope Wall's Blog (Page 1)

September 2, 2011 - 11:25am

What is it about creamy dips that make even the most composed among us lose all sense of control? Leave me alone in a room with a bowl of my girlfriend’s homemade creamy spinach dip and a loaf of bread—just 10 minutes. That’s all I need to polish the whole thing off. No regrets. Until 20 minutes later, when my brain has finally caught up with my mouth and cries, “Stop with the spinach dip already!” But by then it’s too late. (Are you a mindless snacker like I am? Here are 10 healthier snacking tips to the rescue!)

Usually, it’s not just me crowding around the dip. Dips are the perfect snack to feed a crowd. And a great dip can even carry on the...

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May 31, 2011 - 12:38pm

I guess it’s just my age: each summer as wedding season rolls around I know for sure I’ll be attending (perhaps even hosting!) a few bridal showers. I love bridal showers. I love that they happen during the day when the sun is shining, that they’re in the summer when all the ladies can wear their pretty little dresses and nibble on cucumber sandwiches and sip fizzy drinks guiltlessly. Everything is just so simple and light and lovely.

And that includes the menu. Here’s a simple picnic-style lunch menu for your homemade bridal shower.

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May 3, 2011 - 11:58am

It happens every time I decide to cut back on meat: My husband is supportive. I’ve got an arsenal of delicious meatless recipes to cook to keep us inspired and satisfied. Things are going smoothly. Until. 1) We decide to go out to a restaurant for dinner. 2) We are invited to a dinner party. 3) We are hosting a dinner party. (And this month, when I’m taking EatingWell’s Meatless May Challenge, I’ll surely be faced with this dilemma when my dining companions aren’t eating meatlessly. Are you vegetarian, vegan or just interested in cooking without meat? Take our Meatless Challenge!)

What’s a veggie-loving girl to do? Luckily many restaurants are smartening up and have at least one...

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April 26, 2011 - 11:13am

A few weeks ago, my family sat down together for a traditional Latin American meal. Before we began, we raised our glasses together for a toast: “Salud, amor, y pesetas, y el tiempo para gustarlos,” which is Spanish for "Health, love and money, and the time to enjoy it."

We make that toast whenever we’re together. But no matter how many times we’ve said it before, I still forget the ending. So my Auntie Lucy coaches me through it, forgiving my horrendous accent along the way. Despite the imperfections, I love our family ritual—just thinking about it conjures up so many good memories of quality time spent together with people I love.

As Cinco de Mayo rolls around, I find myself wanting to extend the sentiment beyond familial tradition and invite my friends over for a celebratory fiesta.

Must-Try:...

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April 21, 2011 - 11:23am

Every year, right about this time, my birthday rolls around. Yup, it happens every year. And I welcome it. The change in season inspires me to have a fresh perspective on things. There is newness everywhere. (And it’s just warm enough to don a really fantastic birthday outfit!)

Even if it’s not your birthday, spring is such a wonderful time for celebrations. And for that reason, light, luscious cakes are always in order. Here are some of my favorite cakes from the EatingWell Test Kitchen. (See their 5 secrets for baking a perfect cake from scratch here.) There’s something for everyone here. Happy Birthday, Spring!

Must-See:
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