The Scramblog

More Exciting Improvements to The Scramble!

2018 Holiday Gift Guide for Every Kind of Cook

 2018 Holiday Gift Guide for Every Kind of CookI will never forget the Christmas my mother only gave me cooking tools. I was 22-years-old, living on my own for the first time, and had been scraping by with two pots that had been bought in a bodega on the first floor of my building, a couple of cheap knives I think I had gotten at IKEA, and a set of measuring cups and spoons purchased at Target. That Christmas, when I opened my gifts, I was a little dismayed and secretly wished I had gotten maybe one fewer pot in exchange for a sweater or two, but looking back, those were some of the best gifts I ever received. They made it possible for me to explore cooking and expanded the types of meals that I could cook for myself. While I am not advocating for giving a loved one only cooking tools (unless, of course, that is what they ask for), I do think a solid cooking-related gift or two is always welcome. So, to help you find the best gift for each person on your list, I have...

Getting Kids to Cook (and Classes to Get Them Started)!

As I have written about before, food and family dinners were essential parts of my childhood. Ironically, however, despite my mom’s best attempts, cooking was not. The poor woman tried everything to entice me to cook and I did dabble a bit, but mostly I just wasn’t interested. And yet she persisted. If I wanted cookies, I had to make them myself (the first attempt was incredibly memorable, but that’s a story for another post). If I wanted boxed macaroni and cheese when my parents went out for dinner (since they definitely weren’t going to eat it), I had to make it myself. And then, when my brother and I were in high school, we were each responsible for one dinner a week. I dragged my heels but she stuck with it, making sure I had the basic skills necessary to cook for myself when the time came. Years later, when I first started my career as a health coach, I quickly noticed a pattern: clients who came to me reluctant to cook often spoke of never having anyone...
  Sep 13, 2018  News, Uncategorized

Exciting Improvements to The Scramble

Earlier this year, we conducted a large member satisfaction survey and learned what our members love about The Scramble, but also some ways we could make it even better. We are excited to announce the first set of big enhancements! (Yes, more will be coming!)Exciting Improvements to The ScrambleStarting on Monday (September 17th), there will be changes to “The Kitchen” (a.k.a., your meal plan dashboard) as well as the recipe box. Here’s what you need to know:
  • Selecting your recipes just got more user-friendly! Instead of having to unselect the recipes you don’t want, now you get to select the recipes you DO! Just click on the image or the recipe title to select your main dishes and if the sides sound good, click those too!
  • We remember! The Scramble will now remember your recipe selections, so if you decide to customize your menu or even if you just navigate away or switch devices, your selections will be saved!
  • We remember (Part 2)! The same holds true...
  Aug 30, 2018  Family Dinner, News, Parenting

No Shame in Your Food Game

Over the past month or so, I have seen a number of articles about different ways in which mothers feel judged or even attacked by the culture at large. Two that particularly stuck out to me were the opinion piece in The New York Times called Motherhood in the Age of Fear and a series that photographer Abbie Fox put together calling out “mommy shamers.” The first told the story of a mom who was charged with child abuse for leaving her kid in the car for 5 minutes on a cool March day. It then discussed the ways in which parents, but especially moms, are judged for not meeting certain social norms. “We’re contemptuous of ‘lazy’ poor mothers. We’re contemptuous of ‘distracted’ working mothers. We’re contemptuous of ‘selfish’ rich mothers.” The second showed images that Ms. Fox took in response to all the different ways that parents/moms are judged from having medicated births to drinking caffeine while pregnant to breast or bottle feeding to how much...

Why I Believe Snacks and Treats Are Important

The other day, my son came home from a birthday party and was starving and cranky. I was taken aback because this was a celebration that he had been really looking forward to. When I asked why he hadn’t eaten he said, “I didn’t think you would want me to eat too much junk food.” Given what I do for a living, you might think that this was a moment of pride for me—that he was able to determine which foods were healthy and which weren’t and had avoided the unhealthier options—but, in fact, it made me deeply sad. Sad because instead of just living in the moment and enjoying the celebration with his friends, my son had spent time thinking about which foods I would approve of and had chosen to skip certain snacks and treats because of what he thought I might think.Why I Believe Snacks and Treats are ImportantAs someone who struggled to build a healthy relationship with food for much of my life, my goal has always been to raise kids who have a positive relationship...

Homemade Barbeque Tortilla Chips with Avocado-Lime Smash

This month, I am so excited to announce that I’ve joined The Recipe Redux a community of health-conscious food bloggers. Each month we are challenged to develop a recipe around a certain theme. It is a really fun way to think outside the box about healthy eating, to stretch our recipe development skills, and to share cool recipes with one another. This month, the challenge was to create a healthy, crunchy snack food that would be well-received during back to school season. Honestly, the timing of the challenge couldn’t be more perfect since we are kicking off the treat week of our Back to School Survival Sale. This week is all about savoring and enjoying snacks and treats and this recipe will bring you one step closer to doing that!

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When I was contemplating different crunchy snack ideas, I decided to ask my 8-year-old what snack food he wished that we could make...

How to Take Advantage of the Summer’s Bounty

Tomatoes, zucchini, summer squash, okra, eggplant, peaches, nectarines, plums, melons, fresh herbs… the list of amazing fruits and vegetables available at the height of summer is staggering. Sure, we can get many of them at grocery stores year-round now that produce is shipped in from all over the world, but the freshness, flavor, and textures are never better than when they are in season right in your region. If you like to eat seasonally (which we at The Scramble strive to help you to do by providing meal plans that are as seasonal as possible), then taking advantage of this time of year can be a celebration of flavor! But how do you find the yummiest options? How can you truly take advantage of the summer’s bounty?How to Take Advantage of the Summer’s BountyVisit Local Farmer’s Markets: If you’ve got a farmer’s market in your area, check it out. Talk to the farmers - ask them what is at its peak that week. If it is something you aren’t sure how to...
  May 28, 2018  Family Dinner, News, Uncategorized

Lessons Learned from Two Days of Living in the Woods

A few weeks ago, I went on an immersive colonial camping trip with my 4th grade son’s class. “What does that even mean?” You wonder. Well, for two days and one night (it was supposed to be three days and two nights, but we’ll get to that later), we were out in the woods, dressed in colonial-era style clothing, sleeping in canvas tents with no screens or bottoms to them, using a hole dug in the ground as a bathroom, and cooking our meals over a campfire using the implements the colonists would have used back in the 1700’s.Lessons Learned from Two Days of Living in the WoodsThe trip was challenging, fascinating, and fun. For me, of course, the aspect that I found most interesting and engaging was the cooking. Preparing meals for a group of 32 children and adults out in nature, improvising when things did not go according to plan, and including the kids in all aspects of the cooking (except the fire) was super hard and incredibly rewarding and made me think a lot...
  May 14, 2018  News, Uncategorized

Building in Balance: Tricks to Being More Efficient, Happy, and Present

Our family has felt a tad overextended recently. It is all due to good things and in many ways we have felt very blessed, but it has also been exhausting. In the midst of all the juggling and rushing and cramming in too much, I realized that my boys were getting increasingly cranky and whiny and that I, in turn, was getting grumpier with them. There were moments when I thought to myself, “why are they being so difficult?! Don’t they understand that I have work to do?!” And then I (finally) realized that their whining and bickering was because they wanted and needed attention from me. They were begging for it. I decided that I needed to make a change so that I could honor their needs, and also my own. I made a commitment that when they were at school, I would focus on work. No personal phone calls, emails, Facebook, laundry, cleaning, errands, etc. And when they were home, I would focus on being more present for them and also do some of the home-related chores that...