McNugget Surprise

The first time I threw a cocktail party with my husband, he insisted on buying three boxes of 20 piece Chicken McNuggets® to serve to our guests — according to him, it was his “specialty.” Yes, he was being serious.

McMenamin Dip

This dip has been in my family for, well, I’m going to go out on a limb and say for over half a century, if not more. It’s addictive.

Carol’s Artichoke Dip

Simply Recipes has some cool tweaks to this easy dipOkay, so it’s not her invention but our mom (a.k.a. Carol) isn’t allowed to throw a party without having this dip as an appetizer. That’s how much it’s beloved by friends and family.

Improper Afternoon Tea

Tea is not only good for you (antioxidants galore), it’s super easy to keep  and make. No wonder it’s the second most consumed beverage worldwide (after water.) Now, I say improper afternoon tea because a proper tea would involve clotted cream, sugar, amazing tea sandwiches and all things designed to clog your arteries or add to your waist line. So, leave out everything but the tea, make it a ritual, and see if you catch any of the health benefits.

Whole Lotta Latte

First, a special shout-out to our mom & dad today. They are celebrating their 43rd wedding anniversary. Happy Anniversary — and yes this is a test to see if you’re reading your daily PixieTip!

Oh Baby, Spinach

Baby spinach is just about he most amazing vegetable alive. I might even write a poem about it one day. You can pop it into almost any dish and there’s no harm because there’s hardly any taste to it. But, it’s one more vegetable counted toward that daily quota. Ground up, it’s essentially the secret ingredient in all of those kids’ recipes where adults try to sneak in vegetables under the radar.

Don’t Skip a Meal, Have a Protein Shake

Our dad’s secret to staying trim is that he skips lunch and exercises amazing portion control when eating. I don’t know how he does it. He’s a Smart Structure so maybe it’s something you all have in you that I don’t. But, I’m positive most nutritionists would advise against the meal abstinence part of his routine. But whenever I have a protein shake for breakfast or lunch in lieu of a meal, it’s always goodbye extra pounds.

5 a Day — Is This Even Possible?

When I read the US Department of Health’s recommendations for how much fruit and vegetables we should eat daily (more or less 5 servings), I was struck with how much effort, planning and shopping it takes to fulfill it. Personally, I fall short almost everyday EXCEPT when I make myself a frozen fruit shake in the morning. It’s quick, easy, involves minimal planning and helps me get at least two servings in before 8am.

Cooking for Idiots, Instant Chocolate Pudding

Okay, you might think, “Really? Pudding?? Really?” Yes, seriously folks, it’s good. When I was still working in finance, the last thing I ever wanted to do when I came home at night was cook, let alone make myself dessert. But, this homemade dessert is so easy and quick that even an exhausted single equity analyst (or harried mom) can do it.

Black Bean Casserole

When I was little, I thought of casseroles like Russian roulette — most were delicious but then you’d hit one that was gag inducing. So, I swore I’d never force casseroles on innocents for dinner. Of course, now as a mom, who in her thirties dreads making dinner many nights, I think they’re the best thing since sliced bread. Plus, when you have a couple winning recipes in your rotation like Kate’s black bean casserole recipe, no more Russian roulette.