Butchers are special people. I mean, given the somewhat dark nature of their job they’re actually really pleasant, don’t you think? And helpful! Man are they helpful.
Every week I stroll into our local butcher shop clutching my grocery list and, when it’s my turn to order, I read off exactly what I need. I don’t even bother looking in the case anymore because most of the time I have absolutely no clue what I’m asking for. This week it was beef shoulder roast.
“I’m outta chuck,” the butcher replied.
“Um, okay… I asked for beef shoulder roast, not chuck–but I’m not going to question a man holding a machete,” I thought to myself.
“I got brisket,” he said. “Whattaya makin’?”
“Beef tagine,” I replied.
“So like a stew?” he asked.
I looked at the recipe on my phone. It kind of looked like a stew, so I nodded.
“I’ll give ya brisket then. It”ll be great.”
Before I could even ask what the difference was, he whacked off a 2-pound slice of brisket, rolled it in paper and slapped it on the counter.
“Wonderful!” I said.
I realize now, wonderful was an understatement. That brisket, whatever part of the cow it came from, was amazing.
I stumbled upon this recipe while doing some writing for the MyFitnessPal blog the other week and bookmarked it immediately. A lot of the recipes I come up with are adaptations of others–which are usually dictated by my tastebuds–but this one was too good to mess with. With the exception of using brisket instead of chuck, of course.
I think next time I’ll try throwing everything in the crock pot before heading off to work. I mean, letting it cook itself is really the only way this dish could get any better.
Butchers: Do you have one? I bet they’re super nice and helpful, right?!
As you know, our Elf4Health Challenge has been going strong for the past 2 weeks now. We’re getting ready to send out the matches for Round 2 tomorrow and we couldn’t be more excited. Our 1,000+ elves are ROCKING all of the challenges!
As you might imagine, Lindsay & I put a lot of work into making this challenge the best it can be. We’re lucky enough to have found some great sponsors that help make that possible. Today we want to introduce you to our Gold Level sponsors. They’re a huge part of Elf4Health and more importantly, they’re all companies that we as RDs & healthy living bloggers respect, support and believe in 100%.
So, we wanted to take some time to tell you a little bit more about them! Here they are, in no particular order:
NatureBox is a subscription snack company. Each month, 5 different healthy snacks are delivered directly to your door for just $19.95. All ingredients and snacks are free of artificial colors, flavors and sweeteners and every snack is minimally processed, if at all!
If you want to see some of their past boxes to get a better idea of what to expect, you can check them out here.
Wouldn’t this be a fun gift to give a foodie friend or family member?!
Naturebox is generously giving our Elf4Health winners a 3 month subscription, but they also have something special for ALL 1,000+ elves participating! If you’re a first time subscriber, you can get 50% off your first box using the code: ELF4HEALTH. Not valid on gift subscriptions and may not be combined with any other offers.
Mizuno is probably best known in the athletic world for their running shoes, which are fabulous! I’ve run in the Mizuno Wave Inspire for years–injury-free! If you’re a runner, you should definitely know about their shoes. The Mizuno Running website even has a special section to help you find the perfect shoe based on your foot & running style.
They also have an awesome movement called the Mezamashii Project. It’s a great community and Mizuno is incredibly supportive of the people who wear their shoes. They’re constantly giving away gear, shoes, even trips for people to test out and they love hearing about your #brilliantrun experiences via social media.
I haven’t yet given them a try but they’re already packed in my duffel bag for our trip to Tahoe this weekend. Lindsay, who lives in Ohio, had some frigid weather this week and swears by their warmth. I can’t wait to bust mine out soon!
Mizuno is generously providing our Elf4Health winners with the top, gloves and a brand new–not yet released–Wave Inspire 10′s!
Be sure to check out their brand new Crunch On ad campaign. I love it! And they’re having a little sale in their store right now. Take advantage–almonds make great stocking stuffers!
The Almond Board of California is generously providing our Elf4Health winners with 5 pounds of raw almonds, 1 pound of sliced almonds, 1 pound of almond butter, 3 pounds of almond flour, an almond cookbook and a calendar!
Manitoba Harvest is one of the leading sellers of hemp foods and they’re committed to producing only the highest quality hemo products.
You might find this surprising but hemp is actually a nutritional powerhouse! It’s a complete, plant-based protein that’s packed with heart-healthy Omega fats, fiber, magnesium, folate and is easily digested.
Manitoba Harvest sells
Hemp Hearts – which are great sprinkled on oatmeal, salads and yogurt
When it comes to baking and entertaining for the holidays, I always make sure I have plenty of eggs in the fridge and some pie crust mix in the pantry. You never know when you’ll need to whip up a yummy quiche for a holiday brunch or get a hankering for a bourbon-laced Sweet Potato Pecan Tart. The latter of which totally happened to me a couple of weeks ago.
Egg farmers across the country have been feeding the hungry by donating millions of eggs. Thanks to their generosity, 12 million eggs are delivered to food pantries and charities everywhere each year. If you want to help too, get involved with Share Our Strength’s No Kid Hungry Bake Sale. Whether you want to bake or buy, this pie would be perfect for helping fight hunger.
I worked my Dietitian magic on this traditional Pecan Pie recipe by trading the corn syrup for the natural sugars in sweet potato, and added just a little maple syrup and brown sugar for a richer flavor.
Oh and bourbon. We must not forget the bourbon. Ever.
The eggs in this recipe make this tart fluffy and contribute high-quality protein. Just one slice has about 7 grams of protein and almost 150% of the daily-recommended amount of Vitamin A!
Actually, enjoying a slice of this seemingly decadent dessert increases your protein and vegetable consumption. How many holiday desserts can boast that?
The best part is, this tart gets even better after a day in the fridge, so it’s the perfect make-ahead dessert for those holiday dinners.
9″ frozen pie/tart crust or pie crust mix
1 1/2 cups sweet potato, roasted or microwaved and skins removed (about 2 medium potatoes)
1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons brown sugar, divided
1/4 cup + 1 tablespoon maple syrup, divided
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ginger
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon salt
3 eggs, lightly beaten, divided
2 tablespoons + 1 teaspoon bourbon, divided
1 cup whole pecans
Prepare pie crust according to package directions and set aside.
Using a stand or hand mixer, blend sweet potato, 1/4 cup brown sugar, 1/4 cup maple syrup, vanilla extract, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, salt and 2 tablespoons bourbon until very smooth. Add 2 beaten eggs and blend until just incorporated. Evenly spread the filling in the crust.
In a separate bowl, mix remaining 2 tablespoons brown sugar, 1 tablespoon maple syrup, 1 beaten egg and 1 teaspoon bourbon. Toss remaining 1 cup of pecans in mixture until well coated.
Arrange the pecans decoratively on top and drizzle any remaining maple-egg mixture on top of the pie. Bake for 30 minutes, until the tart is set and the crust has browned. Let cool on a wire rack for about 20 minutes. Let cool completely, about 45 minutes to 1 hour before serving. This can be made one day ahead of time and chilled, covered, in the refrigerator overnight.
This post is part of a series sponsored by The American Egg Board and The Good Egg Project. I was compensated for my time and calories consumed while making this delicious dessert but the opinions expressed are my own.
Hello, friends. You’ve probably noticed the blog’s been very quiet for a number of days now.
It saddens me to say my Dad recently became quite ill and has been hospitalized in serious condition for over a week. Last Tuesday I flew from San Francisco to my parent’s winter home in Florida for some much needed family time and loving support. My brother also came down for a visit from Boston and, though it wasn’t planned, we were fortunate enough to spend Thanksgiving together as a family at my father’s bedside. My Dad is the toughest guy I know and continues to put up a heroic fight. So far, all test results have been inconclusive but we are grateful for every small improvement in his condition and continue to pray we get some answers soon.
I have to keep this short but, I miss you all! It’s been over a week since I’ve even read a blog but I’m hoping to catch up with my Feedly a bit tonight over a glass of wine, and plan to write a few blog posts here and there as time, energy and emotions allow.
If you would, please keep my Dad and our family in your thoughts and prayers. We truly feel blessed for every new day we have together.
I don’t care that Starbucks is already serving up Gingerbread Lattes. I’m riding the Pumpkin Spice train all the way until there’s tinsel on our Christmas tree.
After brewing my espresso and steaming the milk for my morning PSL the other day, I realized I had only two flecks of Pumpkin Pie Spice left. I know… the horror! A few years ago I would have grabbed for the cinnamon instead, but these days I consider myself a PSL connoisseur and, well, cinnamon just wouldn’t cut it.
While sipping my Pumpkin, Not-So-Spiced Latte, it occurred to me I might be able to make my own Pumpkin Pie Spice. I quickly conferred with Google to see if this was doable and, well, wouldn’t you know it IS. Don’t let McCormick fool you. Homemade #PPS is just a blend of four spices that, I am willing to bet, you already have in your kitchen cabinet.
Because I did.
I even had an empty glass spice jar that I have been holding on to thinking maybe, some day, I would have an entire collection that I could label.
Apparently Pinterest makes me delusional. I mean, it would take me 10 whole years just to consume enough spices from Trader Joe’s to complete my jar collection.
Actually probably more than that. But I’ll admit, there’s something very Martha about homemade spice blends that appeals to me. Maybe I’ll give up on the entire collection and start there.
For now, I’m just happy I once again have Pumpkin Pie Spice for my morning #PSL.
2 tablespoons + 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
2 teaspoons ground ginger
2 teaspoons ground nutmeg
1 teaspoon ground cloves
Combine spices in a small bowl and mix until incorporated and store in a small, sealed jar.
Spice blends: Have you made your own before? What type?