Balsamic syrups and glazes are amazing and you can drizzle them over practically anything. I say “drizzle” because they’re thick and rich, a little goes a long way. The bottled varieties are pretty good but since they sometimes contain maple syrup, garlic, mustard and additional seasonings, they might add more flavor than you’re actually looking for (beyond that fabulous sweet and tangy balsamic flavor).
It’s very easy to make your own balsamic syrup – it’s basically a simple reduction of the vinegar. I like to add a little brown sugar for sweetness, but you can leave it out or use granulated sugar if you prefer. In this recipe, I serve the syrup over chicken and add salty feta cheese and chives. The dish also works great with crumbled blue cheese instead of the feta.
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When I think of college fast-food runs, no memory is complete without including the Double R Bar Burger from Roy Rogers: a char-grilled beef burger with melted cheddar and thinly-sliced deli ham. For greater perfection, I always added tons of pickles. Just writing about it makes me salivate.
These days, when the craving for the Double R Bar strikes, two problems occur. One, the burger isn’t available nationwide. Two, when you DO find it, you’re faced with a sandwich that has 549 calories, 27 grams of fat (11 of which are saturated) and 1349 milligrams of sodium. The calories might not seem horrific, but that explains my unquenchable thirst. And as if that’s not enough, there’s even a Double Double R Bar Burger with 876 calories, 49 grams of fat (20 saturated) and 1997 milligrams of sodium (a good year, not a good number for salt).
Happily, I created a similarly fabulous burger in the comfort of my own home. I used ground turkey instead of beef and cut the sodium in the ham and the fat in the cheese. Here’s the best part: I tested the recipe on a bunch of 10 year old boys (at my house for a sleepover). They all demanded seconds!
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With coffee shops on every corner, it’s incredibly tempting to grab a refreshing iced brew to suck the heat out of a hot summer day (while providing a quick pick-me-up). But coffee-drinker beware: that convenient iced concoction can squeeze up to 350 calories and 22 grams of fat in one little straw. For me, that’s a crazy waste of calories for a drink. I’d rather have a scoop of ice cream or something I can actually chew. And just because you’re drinking calories doesn’t mean they don’t count – add them to your grand tally at the end of the day. Here’s the good news: making home-made iced coffee is just as simple as hitting the drive through window. Even better, YOU control the ingredients. When I make a pot of coffee in the morning, I make an extra cup or two and save it in the fridge for later (it’s already chilled when I’m ready for it). When I’m thirsty for coffee on ice, I add chocolate and caramel syrup and almond extract. My refreshingly sweet treat has great coffeehouse flavor with just 59 calories and zero grams of fat. Read more »
Ever wonder what to do with those leftover spices in your spice rack? Things you bought for one recipe and haven’t used since? I’m talking about things like Chinese 5-spice, cardamom, star anise, coriander, marjoram, garam masala, tarragon and other unique, rarely used spices (rarely used in everyday American cooking, that is). I can help you clean out your pantry while savoring delicious meals. First, I’ve given you flavor profiles and tips for using several spices. Then, I created amazing dishes using Chinese 5-Spice and Cardamom. Check it out.
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