Have you heard of Paula Deen's Gorilla Bread? It has all star credentials: a 5-star rating with 625 reviews on Foodnetwork.com. Unsurprisingly, Paula Deen's name is synonymous with butter (she is practically the poster child of Land O' Lakes), and the recipe calls for tons of butter, sugar, 20 biscuits, and fatty fat fat. I've tweaked her recipe to come up with a recipe that has 70% less fat and calories AND the same taste using almost the same ingredients. Holla! (Okay, I made that statistic up, but the fat & calories are much, much less). Also, this recipe yields 4 biscuits and is easily adjustable, reducing the waste and eliminating the temptation of eating the entire bundt pan of 20 butter soaked biscuits. You and I both know that's a real temptation.
Healthy isn't so bad after all...right?
Enjoy, my friends.
1/8 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons packed brown sugar
2 tablespoons chocolate chips
1/2 can refrigerated biscuits (8 count)
2 tablespoons cups coarsely chopped walnuts
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
Mix the granulated sugar and cinnamon in a bowl and set aside. In a saucepan, melt the butter and brown sugar over low heat, stirring well; set aside. Roll and coat each biscuit out with the cinnamon sugar mixture. Set biscuits on an ungreased baking sheet 2 inches apart. Using a spoon, evenly distribute the melted butter and brown sugar mixture onto the 4 biscuits, using the back of the spoon to poke halfway into the center of the biscuit, letting the butter mixture fill into the center of the biscuit. Evenly sprinkle the nuts and chocolate chips onto the biscuits. Bake for 15-18 minutes or lowest time recommended on the can of your biscuits. Remove from the oven and cool for 3 minutes.
Despite my most recent "Ghirardelli Chocolate Chip Cookie" post, I've been on a health kick. I'm skipping the diet and instead changing my eating habits not to just healthy, but deliciously healthy. There's a difference. It's the difference between eating a plain apple, and this gorgeous vitamin and antioxidant rich salad. It tastes great. Looks great. Is great. Not to mention it has skinny written aaallll over it.
4 Ingredient Super Skinny Salad
1 Fuji apple
2 Celery stalks
3/4 cup blueberries
Chop the apple and celery. Mix them with blueberries. Juice the 1/2 lemon on top.
I'm not a full blown chocoholic, but I have some serious chocolate cravings from time to time. My sweet diet sabotaging boyfriend brought back "The Ghirardelli Chocolate Cookbook" after has recent trip to San Francisco, California. (Thank you, 8x10 inch hardback, for entirely disarming my New Years health kick). To test the book, I turned to the chocolate chip cookie recipe. I came to find out there are chocolate chip cookies, then there are Ghiradelli (pronounced "Gear-ar-delly") chocolate chip cookies. The difference in the recipe is subtle - a $1 or $2 premium on their chocolate chips, and a heavier hint of vanilla. This small difference does a noticeable upgrade to the flavor. I've messed up many a homemade chocolate chip cookie recipe in my day, but these came out with the thinnest layer of outside crispness and a soft gooey center.
Chocolate Chip Cookies
11 1/2 ounces Ghirardelli Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chips
1 cup butter or margarine, softened 3/4 cup sugar 3/4 cup brown sugar, packed
2 large eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla
2 1/4 cups unsifted flour
1 teaspoon baking soda 1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup walnuts or pecans, chopped (optional)
Heat oven to 375ºF.
Stir flour with baking soda and salt; set aside. In large mixing bowl, beat butter with sugar and brown sugar at medium speed until creamy and lightened in color. Add eggs and vanilla, one at a time. Mix on low speed until incorporated. Gradually blend dry mixture into creamed mixture. Stir in nuts and chocolate chips. Drop by tablespoon onto ungreased cookie sheets. Bake for 9 to 11 minutes or until golden brown.
The First Family looked styled and polished for inauguration. Michelle Obama wore an indigo checked Thom Browne coat. The A-frame of the coat was both flattering and feminine on her toned figure. She accessorized with J.Crew kitten heels and fun magenta leather gloves for a pop of color. The First Daughters were adorable in youthful yet sophisticated shades of purple. Malia, 14, chose a magenta J. Crew coat and violet tights. Sasha, 11 (not to mention scowling and apparently irritated), wore a purple Kate Spade coat, violet Kate Spade dress, and a white statement necklace.
I went to Brooks Brothers this weekend. In perfect timing for inauguration weekend, I discovered that the brand has been associated with the presidential office and the US military back to 1860s. Fancy pants indeed, Brooks Brothers. The brand is classic, but many of the items possess the stuffiness tailored to an elitist grandma. Having said that, Brooks Brothers makes a wonderful non-iorn french cuff work shirt that holds up well in the wash (*note - the "machine washable" sweaters do not hold up well and will be ruined in the wash) . I also picked up a deeply discounted camel work coat. I was pleasantly surprised seeing the fabric is from the renowned Italian textile wholesaler, Loro Piana. Ooh la la.
Once a small fishing village, the modern day St. Tropez lives up to its reputation as a ritzy international party hub. Daytime drinking is customary. A beer on the beach St. Tropez style is fit for a Jay-Z/Beyonce entourage. It's over the top: a couple of bottles rose over lunch at Le Club 55, daytime bottle service at an outdoor beach club pumping loud house music, or sipping champagne on one of the many private yachts. After a long day of consistent drinking, the music dies down and crowds retreat by 5pm. The previously energetic and busy harbor becomes quietly sober. The absence of the crowd unveils the town's unique charm of historic narrow cobblestone streets lined with a mix of local shops and contemporary luxury boutiques. Come night time, the party starts again. We came to watch Des Voiles - a 300 sail boat regatta and enjoyed the race from our gracious host, Nero.
When to go: June, July, September, October (August is known for being extremely crowded)
What to expect: Cancun for balding billionaires and high-fashion european women. It's a place to see and be seen, but for the most part people keep to themselves and their cohorts. So expect to be logging some QT hours with your travel buddy.
Getting there: Fly into Nice, France & drive to St. Tropez
Night Owls: the hottest club in town, Les Caves Du Roy aka "Les Caves". Be prepared to cough up $30 a beer.
Day Party and Best Lunch: Club Les Palmiers or Le Club 55
You're sure to hear: DJ Antoine's "Welcome to St. Tropez"
Color of Choice: White, white, a little bit of navy, and more white. From the all white beach clubs to personal style. White it is.
Remember to pack: gauzy beach fabrics, daytime maxi dresses, whites, sunglasses, high fashion bathing suits, night time "dress to impress" outfit, and boho accessories (headwraps or headbands, wrap bracelets, long necklaces, etc.)