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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!



Thanksgiving Day Cranberry. Easy Cranberry Sauce: Served Three Ways.

Fall | November 21, 2015 | By

If your still looking for something to contribute to Thanksgiving dinner or fretting over cranberries… fret no longer!  Every holiday season I volunteer to bring the cranberry sauce.  I do this first because I don’t want any perfectly smooth and overly sweet canned cranberry sauce and secondly because fresh sauce is super easy to make.  Although in the past, I  have experimented with adding spices like cinnamon and star anise, today I keep mine simple. 

cranberry close up

This recipe makes 3-1/2 pint jars and can be made a week ahead of time and kept refrigerated.  

I made three variations to the prepared recipe below.  The first jar I left plain, to the next I added a peeled and chopped mandarin, and to the last jar I added chopped toasted pecans and chopped orange segments.  I plan to serve the plain and the orange cranberry sauces at the thanksgiving dinner table and the pecan orange sauce is going over a warmed brie cheese wheel as an appetizer.



Whole, fresh, brilliantly red, plump cranberries

Juice and Peel from one Orange

Granulated sugar

and Yes it really is that simple!

Easy Cranberry Sauce
  1. 2-12oz bags fresh cranberries
  2. 1 cup granulated sugar (more or less to taste)
  3. 1 orange zested and then juiced
Mandarin Option
  1. 1 mandarin
Orange Nut Option
  1. 1 Orange
  2. 1/4 cup pecans or walnuts, toasted and chopped
  1. Combine cranberries, sugar, orange juice and zest. Cook over medium-low heat stirring frequently. Cranberries will start to pop and sugar will dissolve. Lower heat and maintain at a low simmer. The cranberry sauce will become thick and spit a little so be careful. When the sauce is thick and falls in clumps it is done or around 10-15 minutes.
For the Mandarin variation
  1. Peel and course chop the mandarin and fold into one of the jars of prepared cranberry sauce.
For the Orange Pecan variation
  1. Peel and chop the orange and fold along with the pecans into one jar of the prepared cranberry sauce.
  1. I go with the less sugar to yield a sweet and tart flavor. Feel free to check on the sweetness of your sauce half way through the cooking process. Remove some sauce and allow it to cool and taste it. If it is not sweet enough for you add some more sugar and finish cooking.
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