California Eatin'

Merry Christmas Cookie Exchange

Christmas, Sweet, Winter | December 10, 2017 | By

I sit basking in the sweet scores of yesterdays cookie exchange party.  Enjoying the hard work and craft of others before the house wakes-with my tea of course.


The 100 Calorie Holiday Beverage

Beverage | December 19, 2015 | By

santa mug

The 100 calorie beverage is not a secret number for success it’s more about bringing awareness to your intake.  Many of us can add 400 calories or more to our day… in a night out for holiday cocktails or on a chilly day going through the Starbucks drive through.  We know we’re going to have adult beverages AND were going to want a hot cup of something.  So be prepared and make good choices…at least most of the time.

Celebrate: Champagne sparkling wine 4oz, 100 calories.  Watch your pour! Choose bruts they are less sweet =less sugars= less calories!

Watch the alcohol content-more alcohol= more calories
White wine (Pinot Blanc, Pinot Grigio, Albarino, Gruner) 5oz, 9-12% alcohol, 100-140 calories
Red wine (Pinot Noir, Cabernet, Syrah) 5oz, 11-13.5% alcohol, 120-160 calories  
**Note:  Longing for more wine info check out Wine Folly

Make it last: Wine spritzer 1/2 wine 1/2 club soda with a twist!

Get Spirited:
1 oz = 100 calories
Vodka martini 120
Whiskey sour 160

Go skinny: Vodka or tequila without sweeteners, but with lime juice and sparkling water.  Be creative don’t forget to add mashed fruit (berries-apples-pomegranates) vegetables (mashed cucumbers) or herbs (basil-thyme-mint) these add a lot of flavor and antioxidants with not many calories.

Beer belly:
Oh beer how I love thee.  Preferably a closer to 7% alcohol content, complex, junipery and delicious IPA.  However, if you are watching your waistline these things can derail you.  More alcohol content =more body more flavor AND more calories.  So our local Sierra Nevada IPA Hop Hunter at 12oz 6.2% alcohol is going to have 186 calories and some days this will work for me.  Celebration ale 12oz 6.8% 214 calories. Don’t be fooled dark beers do not always mean more alcohol and more calories Deschutes Porter 12oz 5.2% 185 calories.

A skinny beer option:  Session IPA’s, they are light but have lower alcohol with an IPA flavor try Ballast point Even Keel 12 oz 3.8% 114 calories.

Light beers have 100 calories or less and may be a good second or last drink option.
**Note:  Craving more beer info check out realbeer:  What part of beer don’t you understand?

Baby it’s Cold Outside:
Size matters!  Cut the # of pumps of flavored sweetener or eliminate!  Go no whip!

Short non-fat chai tea latte 103 calories
Tall Cappuccino 2% 90 calories
Trader joes hot chocolate made with water 100 calories
Starbucks short non-fat no whip mocha 110 calories
Hot tea 2 calories
**Note:   Explore Starbucks drinks under 200 calories: 

Above all Enjoy-drink and be merry and be safe with the people you love!

Merry Christmas!



Slow Cooker: Holiday Party Pomegranate Glazed Turkey Meatballs

Fall, Savory, Starter, Winter | December 10, 2015 | By

Oh the pomegranate! So much work so little pleasure…WHAT! No-Not really.  What I mean is I can commit to freeing half of the arils from their shell then I get a little bored and I would never get enough to juice them.  Looking for opportunities to easily include pomegranates I discovered a beautiful local cooking sauce; SkyLake Ranch Pomegranite Balsamic Grill Sauce.  It has exactly the sweet and tart taste that I love about pomegranates only elevated.  It is the perfect glaze for my holiday meatballs.

pom sauce crop

I love when savory meat dishes join together with bright flavors like herbs and tangy fruit and that is what this hearty appetizer gives you. It does not get heartier or more versatile than the meat ball  and this is a must have dish for your Christmas party. Add in a pop of greens (of course!), lemon zest, herbs and pomegranate and you have the perfect starter or main.   The pomegranate balsamic glaze can be made from reduced pomegranate juice with balsamic or purchased from a pom sauce purveyor.  This is definitely an antioxidant boost upgrade from the vintage grape jelly meatball recipe and is great option for your throwback vintage Christmas cocktail party. 

These meatballs start off on the stove top for perfect browning but finish in the slow cooker making for super easy party prep.  Cheers!

PS:  Sorry we ate these too fast to take pictures!

Pomegranate Glazed Slow-Cooker Turkey Meatballs
  1. 1 lb ground turkey
  2. 1 teaspoon salt
  3. 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  4. 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  5. 1/2 cup bread crumbs, Italian
  6. 2 tbs parsley leaves
  7. 1 tsp dried sage
  8. 1 pinch chili flakes (optional)
  9. 1 egg
  10. 1 tablespoon olive oil
  11. 2 cups pomegranate balsamic grilling sauce
  1. 1/4 cup feta
  2. 1/4 cup parsley
  3. 1 teaspoon lemon zest
  1. Make meatballs by combining turkey, salt, pepper, garlic, breadcrumbs, herbs, and egg in a large bowl. Gently combine all ingredients using your hands or a spatula. Pinch off small hunks and roll in the palm of your hands to form into 1" balls and place on a cookie sheet lined with parchment. Continue with all of the meatball mixture until meatballs are formed.
  2. Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. When hot add in 1/2 the meatballs but do not crowd the pan. Flip when just browned on one side, brown on other side and remove to paper towel lined tray. Continue with the remainder of the meatballs. Place meatballs in the bottom of your slow cooker. cover with pomegarnite sauce and set on low for 2-3 hours.
  3. When ready to serve plate meatballs top with feta, chopped parsley, and lemon zest. Plate on a beautiful serving dish with toothpicks.
  1. This recipe yields about 20 meatballs and I figured two per person on a buffet with other foods. Adjust as necessary to meet your party needs.
California Eatin'