Uncategorized

The Scramblog

Holiday Eating: How to Let Go of the Guilt and Enjoy the Food

We’ve reached that time of year when the treats are plentiful, the food is rich, and the drinks enticing. We’ve also reached the moment when many of us start to make deals with ourselves:“I’ll go all out until the New Year and then I’ll reset in a big way.” “I’ll go nuts today and then will only eat salad and exercise every day for the rest of the week.” “I’ll only eat a little bit/skip all the carbs/avoid anything with sugar, so that I can have X, Y, or Z.” I know these deals because I used to make them with myself, not just at the holidays, but all year round. My eating was in a constant state of negotiation, until I learned to let go, listen to my body’s cues, and enjoy food again. It wasn’t an overnight change, but this switch changed my life, so I wanted to share some of the baby steps that helped me to get to where I am (modified for the season we are in, so that maybe you can enjoy the holiday goodies, while staying sane in the...

More Exciting Improvements to The Scramble!

Simple Thanksgiving Appetizers

I may love to experiment with dinners all year round, but there are a few special meals where I am loathe to stray from my tried and true favorites and Thanksgiving dinner is one of them. That's right, I am a traditionalist when it comes to the main event--I like my mashed potatoes creamy, my turkey roasted, and my vegetables simply prepared. But I still love to play with the appetizers and this year is no exception. This year I am sharing two simple Thanksgiving appetizers that are simple to prepare (ready in 30 minutes) and a little different from the standard options: Creamy Indian-Spiced Spinach Dip and Cranberry & Brie Puffs (plus these would be great for any holiday party this season). Watch me make them on Facebook Live!Creamy Indian-Spiced Spinach DipPrep Time: 5 minutes, Cook Time: 15 minutes, Makes 6 servings 1 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil ¼ yellow onion, finely diced, about ½ cup 1 clove garlic, minced ½ tsp. sweet paprika ½ tsp. garam...

How to Involve Your Kids in Holiday Cooking

Thanksgiving is just the beginning. Between now and New Year’s Day, there are so many celebrations. Parties, family gatherings, and special traditions are all included in this busy time of year. For a lot of us, this means tons of cooking, which can be wonderful, but also exhausting. So why not enlist some help? Big cooking projects that are tied to special occasions are fantastic opportunities to get even reluctant cooks into the kitchen. Here are some ways to include kids of all ages:How to Involve Your Kids in Holiday CookingPreschoolers:Not only do they want to help, but they love to have ownership over a task. Here are some activities that you can give them to do that will actually save you time because they don’t require close supervision.
  • Pulling fresh herbs off their stems
  • Tearing greens for a salad
  • Combining dry ingredients in a large mixing bowl
  • Washing produce
Younger School Aged Kids:These kiddos are more coordinated than they used to be...

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...

The Power of Sharing a Meal

The Power of Sharing a MealOver the past few weeks, I have been thinking a lot about what it means to share a meal with someone. I serve on the Board of Trustees for my sons’ school and we have recently been involved in a search for our next head of school (our beloved current head is retiring). This has meant a lot of dinners away from my family. It has also meant a lot of meals shared with others. As I have been sitting down to these meals away from home, both with people I know quite well and with others I barely know at all, it has been wonderful to see how the food on the table brings us together—it lightens the mood, it shifts the dynamic, and it strengthens the bonds that we are building. The food also becomes a topic of conversation and leads to discovering shared experiences and interests. It is essential to the community building that we are doing. At one of these dinners, a friend humorously recounted his childhood when he was the slowest eater in his...

Whole Wheat Pumpkin Pancakes

This month’s Recipe Redux challenge was to develop a pumpkin recipe. At first glance, this was a pretty straightforward and seasonally appropriate challenge, but I knew I needed to get it right from the get-go since testing and retesting a pumpkin recipe was going to be a bit of a challenge if the biggest eater of my test batches (my husband) wasn’t excited about the food (he’s not a pumpkin fan). I also knew that I wanted a new breakfast recipe for the make-ahead breakfast feature of our meal planning service, so I started playing around with ideas: pumpkin muffins (The Scramble already has a recipe for them), pumpkin oatmeal (has been a bust in our house when I’ve tried it before), pumpkin with eggs (I couldn’t wrap my head around that one), so I landed on whole wheat pancakes. But how would I make them light and fluffy? After all, the last thing you want is a hockey puck for a pancake, so I started researching different options and finally put together a version...

Worry Less About the Halloween Sugar with these Dinner Recipes

When my kids were first old enough to understand and appreciate Halloween, I was stressed—how was I going to be able to control the sugar intake? How was I going to navigate the meltdowns and fights over how many pieces of candy they could have? Could I cut trick or treating short to try and limit how much sugar came into the house? In short, I wanted to control the situation. My feelings about Halloween have evolved a lot since those early days. Over the years, I have decided that instead of focusing on the “bad” sugar, I would turn my attention to maximizing the nourishing and delicious meals that we can enjoy throughout the day so that when the candy gorging starts, I can relax knowing that their bodies already have been taken care of. If this approach relieves some of the Halloween-related stress for you, here are some fun ways to celebrate the holiday while filling those bellies with substantial food that will keep them going.Worry Less About the Halloween...

5 Ways to Quickly Clean Out the Clutter in Your Kitchen

A wise friend of mine recently pointed out that fall is the perfect season to shed things that are no longer useful—just like trees shedding their leaves. I have noticed that this is a time of year when I tend to want to clean house and decrease the clutter (maybe it has to do with preparing for the winter when we will be inside more). If getting rid of clutter in the kitchen sounds appealing to you, here are some simple steps you can take to let things go.5 Ways to Quickly Clean Out the Clutter in Your Kitchen1) Pantry Check: Take 10 minutes to go through and pull out the half-full boxes of pasta, crackers, and who knows what else and divide them into two piles: food you will use and food you won’t. Put the items you will use back into the pantry (maybe even in a more organized way than before) and toss or donate the items you won’t be using. An important note, Rose Clifford, a RDN who manages the food and nutrition program at a senior services non-profit told...

Breakfast-Ready Apple Crisp

 This month’s challenge from The Recipe Redux (a recipe development community I recently joined) was to think back to when you were a kid and share a recipe you cooked early on or one that you cook now with the kids in your life. This apple crisp recipe checks off both of those boxes! As a kid, I wasn’t much for cooking (read more about that here). In fact, the only type of food I was interested in learning how to make (like many kids) was dessert. One of my favorites to make with my mom was apple crisp. This was for two reasons: 1) it was a beloved dessert and 2) I’ve always found peeling apples to be incredibly satisfying (weird, I know). Over the years, my mom and I have tinkered with the crisp’s topping and this version is truly my favorite because it has a satisfying crunch and lots of flavor, thanks to the use of nuts and nut flour in the place of all-purpose flour. The nuts and nut flour also add protein making this not only a fantastic dessert but...