Easy Holidays/Entertaining

The Scramblog

Scramblers Favorite Mother’s Day Brunch Recipes and other Mother’s Day Recipe Ideas

365 days a year we moms give everything we’ve got to our family.  We cook meals, pack lunches, keep the fridge stocked, sooth aches and pains, clean up messes, celebrate wins and console losses. On Mother’s Day we celebrate our moms, mothers-in-law, and if we’re very lucky, our family makes something special for us to enjoy (or takes us out to a meal, if that’s more their speed.) Whether your family is making a special Mother’s Day breakfast for you or you need Mother’s Day brunch ideas or Mother’s Day dinner ideas for the special moms in your life, here are some winning recipes that are favorites of Six O’Clock Scramble members and the Scramble team. We hope this helps you celebrate the moms in your life, and I hope you feel as deeply loved and cherished on Sunday as you truly are.  Happy Mother’s Day! Poached Asparagus with Homemade Raspberry Vinaigrette

Sorrento Seafood Stew

A chilly Sunday had me craving a flavorful seafood stew, especially when I saw beautiful shrimp and scallops at our farmer’s market. I daydreamed about it all day and when I set it on the dinner table, my family thought it lived up to my fantasies. You can use whatever seafood looks freshest at your market, or if you are using frozen seafood, defrost it overnight in the refrigerator or in a warm bowl of water until it is thawed before adding it to the stew. Sorrento Seafood Stew Prep Time: 15 minutes    Cook Time: 30 minutes    Total Time: 45 minutes 2 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil 2 - 3 stalks celery, sliced (1 cup) 1 yellow onion, diced (1 1/2 – 2 cups) 2 tsp. minced garlic, (about 4 cloves) 1/4 - 1/2 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes (optional) 28 oz. canned whole plum tomatoes, with their liquid 3 Tbsp. tomato paste 16 oz. reduced-sodium fish or vegetable broth, or use clam juice 1/2 cup white wine (optional) 1 bay leaf 1/2 cup fresh flat-leaf parsley,...

Great Make-ahead: Light and Fluffy Spinach and Cheese Strata

It took me a few attempts, but I finally made the strata of my dreams. In case you aren’t familiar with it, strata is an Italian baked egg and bread dish. Recipe tester Alexandra Taylor said, “Even my spinach hating son ate a piece and gave it a thumbs-up.” This is a great dish to serve at a brunch, especially because you can make it in advance, but it also makes a nice change for a family dinner.

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This recipe can be found in my latest cookbook, The Six O'Clock Scramble Meal Planner. Take the stress and guesswork out of planning healthy and delicious dinners, whether you are cooking for 1, 2, or your whole family, including kids. The book, featuring color photos for every dish, includes 160 delicious recipes that require 30 minutes or less to prepare, and 32 weekly menu plans complete with main dishes and sides—and an organized grocery list for each week!

Light and Fluffy Spinach and Cheese Strata

Marinate Time: 4 hours   Prep Time: 15 minutes  ...

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 minutes 1 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 Dip 1 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 minutes 1 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 taste In 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...