Easy Holidays/Entertaining

The Scramblog

Slow cooker recipe: Pulled Pork Sandwiches

Many of us love our slow cookers, but even if you don’t own one, don’t let that stop you from making pulled pork sandwiches. It turns out that a Dutch oven and an oven set to 300 degrees make a fantastic stand in for a slow cooker. But if you have one, by all means, use it! If it didn’t taste so darned awesome, I would say the best part of slow roasting this herb-infused meat is that the house smells heavenly all day.

Pulled Pork Sandwiches Prep Time: 15 minutes    Cook Time: 4 hours    Total Time: 4 hours and 15 minutes1 tsp. chili powder 1 tsp. garlic powder 3/4 tsp. ground cinnamon 3/4 tsp. ground cumin 3/4 tsp. salt 1/2 tsp. allspice 3 lbs. boneless pork loin roast, or use pork butt or shoulder 3 sweet yellow onions such as Vidalia or Walla Walla, halved top to bottom and thinly sliced 12 small soft whole wheat rolls or buns (use wheat/gluten-free if needed), sliced open 3/4 cup barbecue sauce, for serving (optional)Preheat the oven to 300...

Easy appetizer: Queso Dip and Homemade Tortilla Chips

At the grocery store, my son Solomon asked if we could buy some cheese dip for tortilla chips. I took one look at the ingredients (ewww!) and told him that it would probably be fun (not to mention healthier) to make our own snack or easy appetizer.It makes me so happy when my kids realize that we can easily make something ourselves with a few simple ingredients rather than buying more processed, and often expensive, versions at the store.Here’s the creation that we made that day.  With only three ingredients, it’s such an easy and rewarding recipe for kids to make. If you have a little more time, you can make your own tortilla chips, too. Queso Dip1 cup shredded Cheddar cheese 1/4 cup milk, any variety 1 Tbsp. salsa (optional)Heat the Cheddar cheese and the milk in a microwave-safe bowl, loosely covered, at full power for 1 - 1 ½ minutes (depending on your microwave's power), stirring at 30 second...

Easy Diabetes Cookbook: The Six O’Clock Scramble Meal Planner: A Year of Quick, Delicious Meals to Help You Prevent and Manage Diabetes

Our newest Easy Diabetes Cookbook, The Six O'Clock Scramble Meal Planner: A Year of Quick, Delicious Meals to Help You Prevent and Manage Diabetes, is here!

There's something soul-soothing about flipping through a cookbook -- looking at the photographs, flagging recipes you want to try, and envisioning how wonderful they'll be when your family sits down to enjoy them. Although many of us love finding recipes online, it can't replace the simple pleasure of paging through a real book.

I'm so excited to tell you about my new cookbook, which comes out in less than 2 weeks! I am positive you will love this new book; it has all new recipes since my last cookbooks. It's also my first cookbook to have color photos for every single recipe.

The Six O'Clock Scramble Meal Planner takes the stress and guesswork out of planning your dinners, whether you are cooking for 1, 2, or your whole family, including kids. Pre-order this book today via Amazon or at Shopdiabetes.org  crack it open...

Healthy and Figure-Friendly Party Food: How to Avoid Overeating at Holiday Parties and Buffets

The other night I went to a lovely cocktail party. I had just finished doing a bunch of TV and radio interviews for the American Diabetes Association about how to eat well during the holidays, so I had healthy eating on my mind even more than I usually do.I realized that when we go to parties, which are more frequent during the holiday season, it’s good to have not only some strategies for how to avoid overeating at holiday parties, but also ideas for what foods we should gravitate toward if we are trying not to gain weight or raise our blood pressure or cholesterol levels during the holidays.Here are some party foods that are generally healthier and lower-calorie choices:•    Steamed shrimp with or without cocktail sauce •    Grilled or raw vegetables  - spoon a little of the dressing on your plate to avoid overdoing it •    Grilled chicken skewers, such as chicken satay  - go light on the sauce •    Olives and marinated...

Low-Sugar Orange-Ginger Cranberry Sauce

Low-Sugar Orange-Ginger Cranberry Sauce I briefly forgot how incredibly easy it is to make your own cranberry sauce.  I couldn't resist buying a bag of beautiful red cranberries during Thanksgiving season. As I've been trying to eat little to no added sugar lately, I wanted to make a low-sugar cranberry sauce. This version of low-sugar orange-ginger cranberry sauce is tart but we love the flavor to perk up the muted taste of turkey. You can, of course, always add more maple syrup to taste.Makes about 2 cups of sauce, 8 servings, 1/4 cup each Prep + Cook = 15 minutes1 lb. fresh cranberries 1 cup fresh squeezed orange juice 2 Tbsp. fresh ginger, peeled and finely chopped 1/4 cup pure maple syrup, or more to tasteIn a saucepan, combine the cranberries, juice and ginger, bring it to a boil. Partially cover it and simmer it for 8 – 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the cranberries are very tender and the sauce is thick. Stir in the...
  Nov 6, 2015   Easy Holidays/Entertaining, Recipes

Festive and Easy Holiday Cocktail Recipes

While some people know me as a family dinner expert, one of my favorite hobbies is mixology. I have a great time mixing cocktails and someday I hope to write a book of easy and fun cocktails and appetizers, which I have been developing for years.I am a member of a professional culinary organization called Les Dames d’Escoffier, and when they were looking for members to do a holiday demo in Washington, DC, I volunteered to teach people how to make some festive and easy holiday cocktail recipes.Because I too often don’t do things the easy way, I challenged myself to come up with all new cocktails for the event. In addition to daydreaming about the recipes, the most fun part was having friends over to concoct and test cocktails with me.  We came up with some wonderful combinations (although the sriracha margarita was very divisive) and these holiday cocktail recipes were the winners of the bunch. (Thank you to my talented friend and photographer Linda Wolpert for taking...

Ghostly Beef Stew Dinner Recipe for Halloween

Halloween is such a fun yet hectic time.  Cook this spooktacular recipe in advance or use your slow cooker to fill your goblins’ tummies with a delicious, nutritious fun meal.Our photographer Linda Wolpert whipped up these adorable mashed potato ghosts which you can serve on top of my Hearty Beef Stew for a Halloween-themed dinner before or after your children romp around on a chilly autumn night.Feel free to substitute other root vegetables like turnips and parsnips for the carrots and potatoes.To make the mashed potato ghosts, make our mashed potatoes or use your favorite recipe, adding extra water or milk as needed to make it smooth and creamy.  Put the mashed potatoes in a strong plastic bag (sandwich-sized Ziploc works well), snip 1 inch off the bottom corner of the bag on the diagonal, and squeeze out the ghosts. The eyes can be peppercorns, coriander seeds, pieces of olives or carrots; use your imagination! Hearty Beef Stew (Ghostly Beef Stew Dinner...

Slow Cooker Sweet and Smoky Corn and Pinto Bean Stew

This smoky, sweet stew has endless variations.  It can be served over rice, inside of a tortilla, or simply in a bowl topped with Cheddar cheese or crushed tortilla chips.  Now that I’ve learned that there’s no need to soak dry beans before cooking them, I’m going to be making them a lot more often instead of using canned beans.  Serve it with Apple Cheddar Cornbread.
Slow Cooker Sweet and Smoky Corn and Pinto Bean Stew
Prep Time: 10 minutes    Cook Time: 6 hours    Total Time: 6 hours and 10 minutes
16 oz. dry pinto beans, rinsed 16 oz. frozen roasted corn, or use regular frozen corn kernels 1 yellow onion, diced 2 medium white or sweet potatoes, peeled and chopped into 1-inch pieces (about 3 cups) 1/2 lb. smoked ham or soy chorizo, chopped 16 oz. medium or spicy salsa 6 cups water 1 Tbsp. smoked paprika 1 tsp. minced garlic, (about 2 cloves) (can use Dorot frozen garlic) 1 chipotle pepper in adobo sauce, with a little of the sauce...

Italian Shotgun Wedding Soup (Easy Italian Wedding Soup recipe)

Everyone loves Italian Wedding Soup, but the thought of making both the meatballs and the soup on a harried weeknight is a little daunting.  So I love this shortcut Italian Wedding Soup recipe that uses flavorful sausage instead of the meatballs, while still using the fresh vegetables that makes this soup so nourishing.  This is also excellent with 15 oz. diced tomatoes stirred in with the broth. Scramble recipe tester Amy Stanley said, “We all gave it 5 stars.  A perfect balance.” Serve it with garlic bread.
Italian Shotgun Wedding Soup
Prep + Cook Time: 30 minutes 8 servings, about 1 1/2 cups each
1 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil 1/2 - 1 yellow onion, finely chopped (1 cup) 3 carrots, halved (or quartered if large) and finely chopped (about 1 cup) 2 stalks celery, thinly sliced (1 cup) 12 oz. pre-cooked Italian turkey, chicken or meatless sausage (use wheat/gluten-free if needed), sliced into 1/2-inch slices 1 tsp. Italian seasoning...

Chicken or Steak Fajitas

Who doesn’t love sizzling fajitas, especially when each family member can design their own?  The marinated meat makes these fajitas especially flavorful.  Serve the fajitas with guacamole and a mango, cucumber and lime salad.
Chicken or Steak Fajitas
Prep + Cook Time: 30 minutes
1 - 2 lime, juice only, about 1/4 cup 5 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil 1/4 - 1/2 tsp. salt, to taste 1/2 tsp. ground cumin 1/2 tsp. chili powder 1/4 tsp. garlic powder 2 lbs. boneless, skinless chicken breasts or boneless steak, sliced into thin strips, or use black beans or portobello mushrooms 1 large yellow onion, halved and thinly sliced 2 green or red bell peppers, cored and thinly sliced 8 medium whole wheat or flour tortillas (soft taco size) 1 - 2 avocado, halved, pitted and sliced, (or use guacamole), for serving (optional) 1 cup nonfat sour cream, for serving (optional) 1 cup salsa, for serving (optional) 1 cup shredded Cheddar cheese, for serving (optional)
 In a...