French Toast Casserole

 

Ingredients

2 teaspoons – cinnamon

2 tablespoons – butter

2 teaspoons – vanilla extract

1/2 teaspoon – salt

1/2 cup – sugar, divided

3 cups – milk

10 cups – bread cubes ( approximately 1 regular sized loaf)

8 eggs

Directions

1. Preheat oven to 350°F.

2. Lightly grease a 9 X 13 inch baking dish.

3. Line the bottom of the pan with the bread cubes.

4. In a large bowl, beat together the eggs, milk, 4 tablespoons of the sugar, the salt and vanilla.

5. Pour the mixture over the bread.

6. Dot with butter.

7. Let stand for 10 minutes.

8. Combine the remaining sugar with the cinnamon and sprinkle over the top.

9. Bake for about 45 to 50 minutes, until top is golden.

10. Serve with syrup & fresh fruit.

Recipe found with my android recipes app

 

Christmas Grinch Fruit Bites

Ingredients

1 whole green grape

1 banana slice

1 strawberry with the top cut off

1 mini marshmallow

1 toothpick or similar item

Directions

1.  Stack on skewer of choice in that order!

2 . NOTE: These are fast & easy to make and healthy! The kids won’t miss the chips & dip with these around! Enjoy!

Recipe found with my android recipes app

Can you Drink Alcohol and Still Lose Weight?

 

As Christmas Day quickly approaches, it is a question that is on the minds of weight loss hopefuls. The answer is much more complicated than counting calories. Unlike carbohydrates, protein, and fat, alcohol is not an essential source of calories, nor is it significant source of vitamins and minerals your body needs to function. However, many people who are in good shape swear by a drink or two every now and then. Are they the exception or the rule?

 

Calories in Alcohol

 

Pure alcohol serves up 7 calories per gram, almost twice as many calories as carbohydrates and close to the 9 calories in a gram of fat. That makes that cocktail, margarita or Mai Tai a heaping mound of calories in a small glass. Just a 1.5 oz shot of 80-proof gin, rum, or vodka can add 100 calories to any drink. When you think of the addition of fruit juice, soda, or grenadine (a liqueur), you’re looking at a calorie-infusion that could add up to meal-size calorie counts. If you want to save calories, have alcohol straight with fresh fruit, or mixed with club soda, or stick to plain old wine.

 

Lowering Your Inhibitions

 

Beyond calories, something else to consider is alcohol’s ability to lower inhibitions. To keep yourself from overindulging, eat a well balanced meal with protein and fiber before you start drinking. It will also help you steer clear of searching for a late-night meal, when your only options may not include low-calorie foods like fruits or vegetables. Research shows that drinking before a meal may increase your caloric intake by 20%.

 

Alcohol’s Impact on Metabolism

 

A ‘beer belly’ is not caused by alcohol alone, but there are some direct correlations between alcohol and fat metabolism. When you drink alcohol, your metabolism slows down its energy conversion of fat and carbohydrates to first get rid of the alcohol in your body. Manuel Villacorta, MS, RD, CSSD, a national spokesperson for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics shares, “Drinking alcohol stops fat metabolism in the liver causing it to build up around the waistline.” Of course this “build up” only happens in the presence of excess calories. In addition to staying under your calorie limit, rev up your metabolism by staying active and not skipping meals.

 

Alcohol’s Impact on Your Sleep

 

Even if you do control your alcohol calories, and keep your metabolism revved, consuming alcohol can have a major impact on your ability to have a good night’s sleep if you consume it right before bed. Michael Breus, PhD tells WebMD that even if alcohol helps you go to sleep, it’s detrimental to your sleep experience. “It will keep you in the lighter stage…it will also wake you up in the middle of the night to go to the bathroom, it will also dehydrate you which can affect your sleep.” He explains that alcohol consumption inhibits “deep sleep” stages 3 and 4, “where we see the increase in growth hormone, the cell repair, and the overall damage-from-the-day repair.” He continues that the resulting fatigued feeling can rob a person from feeling refreshed in the morning. Lack of sleep could affect not only your ability to workout effectively, but it could also hinder your well-intentioned eating habits. Just as you should aim to not eat 2 to 3 hours before bed, you should give up the glass or bottle within this time frame to enjoy a good night’s rest.

 

The Bottom Line

 

All things being equal, if you continue to burn more calories than you consume, you will lose weight. However, if lowering your caloric intake of food to accommodate 1 or 2 glasses of alcohol, ensure not to cut out essential calories from complex carbs, healthy fats and proteins. Also, while drinking on its own will not inhibit weight loss, depending on the frequency and level of consumption, the effects of drinking alcohol could have a negative impact on your ability to eat good food, sleep well, and lead a healthy lifestyle.

Source: Caloriecount.com; 

Edited by Rachel Berman 10/21/2013; Gabrielle Williams 28/10/13

 

 

A ‘Must Try’ Dip – Auntie Mads Gundy Dip!

Check out the Auntie Mads booth at Kingston Kitchen in Hope Gardens on Saturday, December 14th from 4pm – 10pm.
Her Pickled Herring is full of spice and flavour, not to mention her Gundy Dip that is one of a kind and extremely addictive. The Gundy Dip consists mainly of solomon gundy, cream cheese and various herbs and spices.
Both items go well with cream crackers after a few glasses of wine and once you start, you just CANNOT stop.

Wine pairing with Pickled Herring: Pinot Noir, Greek Red Wine, Dry Riesling, Champagne
Wine pairing with Gundy Dip: Chardonnay, but to me anything goes with this one!

These items are available at an affordable cost, usually less than $1000 JMD consisting of numerous servings.

So come on out and support Auntie Mads!

Wine and Food Pairing

 

Scientific research suggests that certain wine and food pairings actually improve the lingering taste of food in your mouth.

As Christmas dinners draw near, get help choosing tasty wines that complement your favourite cuts of meat and seafood or which wines are just great to bring along to the party.

During Salut a few weeks ago, I was able to taste the wines BETCO Premier Ltd. had to offer, paired with an array of chicken, salmon bites, sausage and shrimp. BETCO poured at The Regency Bar & Lounge at The Terra Nova and Bin26 at Devon House.

Both events were a success but at Bin26, Best Dressed Foods Ltd. joined BETCO for the marketing opportunity and as food was pushed out quickly, the sequential order of pairing with the wines was mixed up. However, due to the exemplary culinary talents of Chef Celeste Gordon and her team coupled with continuous strikes of fine wine to the palate, the sequential order of wine pairing was overlooked by many of the guests.

Some of the pairings you could try are as follows:-

Red

Cupcake Merlot – poultry, red meat, pork, pastas, salads

Merlot is fairly versatile when it comes to food pairing, it can handle them all well!

Cupcake Pinot Noir – Jerk Sausage & blue cheese (Try making a nice crostini appetizer)

White

Cupcake Riesling – Spiced shrimp

Cupcake Chardonnay – Smoked salmon & caviar cream cheese

Celebratory and Modern Blends/Sparkling Wines for the dinner parties

Caposaldo Sweet Moscato

~ 1/2 the alcoholic content of most white wines; Enjoy with any fruit dessert

Cupcake Moscato D’Asti

Consists of hints of bright fruit flavours including peach, tropical fruits and lychee

Cupcake Red Velvet

Blended red wine; Combination of Zinfandel, Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon and Petit Sirah