pineapple infused vodka

You may recall my wonderful meal at Restaurant Nola in New Orleans. One of the many highlights was their Cosmo – made with their own Pineapple infused vodka. Since that fateful night in September, I have been wanting to make my own infused vodka. I decided it would be a perfect gift for family and friends this year – I wasn’t able to find any cool bottles so had to stick with the classic, but it’s what inside that counts, right?

The recipe is simple, quick and I promise that whoever is on the receiving end of this gift will be in cocktail heaven!

Put pineapple chunks (or strawberry, grapefruit, jalapeño, etc) into a jar and fill with vodka of choice. Refrigerate for at least 5 days and then drink on the rocks, in a cocktail or neat.

Happy New Year!

ask the nutritionist: holiday eating

With Christmas/Chanukah behind us and New Years Eve ahead of us I’m interested to hear how you all stay healthy through the Holidays. I know in past years I’ve felt a little sluggish and “heavy” but this year I feel great and don’t think I’ve really put on any weight – if so, it is a minimal amount. I think this is because:

  • I remained active (including snow-shoeing with mom and hotel gym)
  • The “Holidays” are not a month-long event for me
  • I eat great food year-round – this is not a once-in-a-year chance (with the exception of some cookies)
  • I enjoyed cookies and treats but because I never denied myself, I never over-did it

How are you feeling this year? And what did you do to keep up with your healthy lifestyle? (if you are into that sort of thing ;) )

eggplant, caramelized onion & goat gouda sandwich

Eggplant is a vegetable that I have yet to fully understand. I just don’t always get it. Sometimes I love it and sometimes I’m left wondering what I did wrong. So here it is, I’m officially accepting any and all eggplant tips.

Regardless of my eggplant struggles, this sandwich was delightful and perfect for a low-key dinner. The variations are endless and since I’m left with 1/2 loaf of chewy Ciabatta bread, a repeat may be sooner than I had expected!

Eggplant, Caramelized Onion  & Goat Gouda Sandwich adapted from Bon Appetit – Makes 2 sandwiches

  • 1/2 red onion, sliced
  • 2 Tbsp white balsamic vinegar
  • 1/2 eggplant, sliced
  • roasted peppers
  • ciabatta bread
  • 2 slices goat gouda cheese
  • 2 slices prosciutto

Onions: Heat pan with a drizzle of olive oil. Add onion slices and cook until just brown. Add the balsamic vinegar, stirring frequently until all liquid has evaporated. Set aside.

Eggplant: Sprinkle slices with salt and let sit for at least 30 minutes. Pat dry, rub with olive oil and broil for about 3 minutes per side. Set aside.

Slice ciabatta bread and broil with cheese until bubbly. Drizzle other slice of bread with some olive oil and salt & pepper. Stack eggplant, peppers, onions and piece of prosciutto. Enjoy every creamy bite. All while getting your veggies in.

fried rice

Since I started dating the taster (many moons ago), his family has been telling tales of an epic fried rice. After many years of wondering when I would be able to try this culinary treat the night finally came. I made the brown rice and he took it from there. Shortly after, the kitchen was a disaster but oh so worth it. I was more than happy to take the leftovers to work with me and it made a very satisfying lunch!

Taster’s Fried Rice

  • 1 bag Cascadian Farm Thai Style Veggies
  • 1/2 bag frozen peas
  • 1/2 chopped onion
  • 8 oz oyster mushrooms
  • 1 egg
  • 2 cups brown rice
  • sesame oil, chili oil, soy sauce, chili paste

Sauté onions and mushroom in 1 Tbsp sesame oil. Add frozen veggies and peas and cook until hot. Set aside.  Add egg to hot pan and scramble. Add rice, sauces and onion-veggie mix to pan and mix to combine. Serve steaming hot!