Tired of Pumpkin Pie?

Apple and pumpkin pie

My favorite Food Network chef is Ina Garten better known as Barefoot Contessa. Ina’s meals are not always low-calorie, but you can believe they’re definitely worth tasting. In the following video, Ina prepares a Pumpkin Banana Mousse Tart – this is an alternative to the traditional pumpkin pie for the upcoming Thanksgiving Holiday.

Barefoot Contessa – Courtesy of the Food Network Channel

Pumpkin Banana Mousse Tart
Total Time: 3 hours 20 min
Prep: 30 minutes
Inactive: 2 hours 30 min
Cook: 20 minutes
Yield: 10 servings

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Holiday Gift Basket Giveaway

Holiday gift bask


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Are You Teaching Your Kids Healthy Eating Habits?

Yummy Donuts

I must admit my favorite snacks are yummy and sweet donuts.  But, since my son starting dieting over one year ago – I have really tried to cut back on high-calorie snacks.  My son recently lost over 100 pounds (he did this over the past 13 months) and he’s still losing.  He’s reached his goal and now he plans to exceed his initial weight-loss goal by twenty pounds.  I am so proud of him, because at age 17 he’s finally made up his mind that he no longer wants to feel uncomfortable in his own skin.

As mothers, we must teach our kids healthy eating.  Kids will do everything they see us (as parents) do…it’s called imitating. If our kids see us eating healthy, low-calorie foods then hopefully they will follow in our footsteps.  Diabetes, heart attacks, high blood pressure, strokes – all of these things and more can occur when our kids are overweight.  Let’s love our children and stay away from the foods that lead to health problems later in life.

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Eating Disorders

I have had an eating disorder all my life. My weight has fluctuated up and down over the years. Recently I joined a gym and I am working out daily by jogging three miles each day. As we moms get older, we have to work twice as hard to maintain a healthy weight.

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What’s Your Take on the Peanut Butter and Jelly Debate?

When I was a kid growing up in Los Angeles, other than visiting the beautiful beaches of Santa Monica on the weekend with my parents, the only other thing that put a gigantic smile on my face was a peanut butter and jelly sandwich. One-half peanut butter and the other half Welch’s grape jelly – delicious. The peanut butter would stick to the roof of my mouth and the jelly was sweet. I’d have a glass of cold water nearby so that I could chew and sip interchangeably. Oh those were the days. So, why on earth would a school impose a six-year ban on peanut butter and jelly sandwiches? Well, the answer is not a simple one. It will leave you wondering both why and why not – but you may end your tune with why?

A student in Arkansas was just about to open wide and take a big bite out of his peanut butter and jelly sandwich when his teacher swooped in and grabbed the sandwich right out of his hand. The teacher was honoring the current ban on PB&J sandwiches which the school had in effect for six long, agonizing years. The teacher took immediate possession of the sandwich and assisted the student in getting a new lunch. She then wrote a short note to the kid’s parents explaining why she confiscated the sandwich and replaced the child’s lunch with something that was more acceptable. She sent the infamous note home with the student.

After reading the note, the child’s mother, Denise Clifton-Jones went ballistic. Clifton-Jones took to her Facebook page to discuss the peanut butter ban that was imposed by the school and strictly enforced by the teachers and that’s when things got heated. Everyone all over the world chimed in about why they were for the ban and why they were against it. Seemed each side had very valid arguments. However, I think the side I would concur with would be the side that supported the ban on peanuts. Before, you get all huffy and puffy, let me explain why.

According to the American College of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology, about 2 to 2.5 percent of Americans suffer from food allergies, including allergies to peanuts and peanut products, such as peanut butter. Allergies to peanuts and peanut products are extremely common and often manifest during a child’s first years. While some people eventually outgrow food allergies, most never outgrow peanut allergies. This can be a dangerous allergy, in addition to fish and shellfish, peanuts (and tree nuts) are most likely to trigger anaphylaxis, a serious reaction.

Anaphylaxis is a serious allergic reaction that is a rapid onset and may cause death. As a parent, if I am aware of the fact that other children, who attend the same school as my child (ren), may suffer a life-threatening illness or reaction to peanut butter, then I would certainly agree with enforcing the ban. Remember, we are talking about children and their exposure to a life-threatening allergic reaction that could result in death. Worldwide 0.05–2% of people are estimated to have anaphylaxis at some point in their life and rates appear to be increasing.

Fact, children have actually lost their lives while in school, due to peanut exposure. It’s all about protecting our children and if that means adhering to a ban on peanuts so that ALL children can be protected, then I support it.

On the other hand, why should we impose a ban on ninety eight percent of the population, by making other children suffer (by preventing them from being able to enjoy something few considered harmful many years ago?) It’s two percent of kids, versus ninety eight percent of kids – that’s a no-brainer, majority wins. However, not in the case of this particular school in Arkansas; whom although the minority, were the victor. We should do everything we can to protect ALL children. If one child is at risk, then I absolutely support NUT-FREE ZONES in our schools. No pun intended.

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