Happy Valentine’s Day! I am so excited to write this post as I have recently stumbled upon a few things that I absolutely LOVE! Well, actually, I didn’t stumble upon them, they were placed in my hands as wonderful gifts! Either way, I can’t wait to share!
I have mentioned my sister, Mary Beth several times in my writing. Growing up in a big family you quickly learn that older siblings become similar to parents by taking on certain leadership roles. My sister Mary Beth is the oldest and took, and still takes, her position in the family seriously. My brother, sisters, and I have always benefited from her wisdom and guidance, although it is much easier to appreciate her past efforts now that we are adults. She has always done a great job of taking care of her four younger siblings and still will do her part to help us along through life. One of the many things Mary Beth does is send surprises in the mail. Take this Valentine’s Day, for example. I received a tin of dark chocolate delight DAVIDsTEA. LOVE it!! It is exactly what the name implies – dark chocolate delight! I especailly loved it this morning, when my daughter, Stephanie, woke me with a cup of it for Valentine’s Day! What a perfect way to start the day!
Aside from holidays, my sister also thinks of us during the magazine drive at her sons’ school. I am grateful for this time since this is when she gave me my first subscription to Martha Stewart’s Everyday Foods magazine.
Saying I loved this magazine would be an understatement. I looked forward to it coming in the mail each month (which it did for years) and dog-earing page after page of recipes that I wanted to make. I loved that the magazine was small and could easily fit into my purse when I went to the grocery store. I also loved that the majority of the recipes required items that are easy to shop for or already in my kitchen. As a dietitian, I love food so much, but when it comes to cooking I really need to follow a recipe. This magazine was perfect for me!! The recipes were right up my alley in that regard and even provided a menu with a corresponding shopping list for the week! LOVED this magazine!! However, nothing gold can stay, I suppose. I still remember the day my sister called me with the news that the magazine was being discontinued in paper form. There is an Everyday Foods website and app, but I prefer recipes on paper. Probably similar to those that prefer to read actual books rather than use electronic readers, I prefer the actual cookbook or magazine. Anyway, after mourning this loss for an appropriate amount of time, I did try to move on. There are wonderful magazines and cookbooks out there but none were really catching my attention. Until….the magazine drive at my nephews’ school last year! I am in love again! Mary Beth sent me the perfect magazine… allrecipes!! LOVE it!! I cannot tell you how impressed I am with it! Once again, I am so excited to visit my mailbox! The easy to follow recipes are perfect and I literally want to try every recipe! In fact, I am on week two of meals from the February/March 2016 issue.
I have to highlight one particular recipe for those that love pad thai and happen to live far away from their favorite Thai restaurant. The Sukhothai Pad Thai recipe is amazing!!!
I have tried several pad thai recipes before each requiring different types of oils and sauces and none of them even came close to tasting like the pad thai I was craving. This recipe is easy, requires pretty basic ingredients, and is delicious!!! The magazine also gives suggestions from those who have tried the recipe. This was helpful when I made the pad thai as I used lime pulp instead of the tamarind concentrate. I also replaced the tofu with shrimp. My family loved it and I think it tasted just as good, well, pretty close, to my favorite pad thai I enjoy during every trip to Ohio. With that, I have to give a shout out to Pad Thai in Hudson. Just typing this restaurant’s name makes me hungry! If you are ever in the Akron area, I highly recommend it! Dine in or take out, it is so good!!
Okay, I could go on and on about my love for he allrecipes magazine, but I must continue. I should add that if you prefer apps, there is an app for the magazine as well.
As much as I love the allrecipes magazine, it is full size and is not easy to take with me to the store. This leads me to the final thing that I will write about today… my Yum! book. I was browsing downtown Apex with my daughters one afternoon when my youngest, Charlotte, came across a wonderful weekly menu journal in Gone Stitching. LOVE it!! The menu planner, by May Books (www.maydesigns.com), is an 8”x5” soft covered journal that will easily fit into my purse. When you open it up, there is a page that helps you to plan your meals for every day of the week. You can mark if you are going to stay home, go out, or order take out. You have a place to write your main course and side dishes. The next page is the area for your grocery list and notes. I love that this page is right next to the menu. Sometimes I will head to the store with a grocery list, come across an item and second guess that I need it because I can’t remember why I need it. With this book, I simply look over to the menu and my list makes sense again. Plus, my daughter loves to use this book with me. We have been planning our menu together. Now that she is in school, I don’t get that much time with her and truly miss running my errands with her. While I usually grocery shop alone these days (which also has its benefits…) I at least get to spend some time with her planning. Although the menu planner that May Designs has online looks a bit different thank the one I found at the store, it still is nicely organized. In addition, if you shop online you can make your book custom: cover, font, monogramming, etc. Plus, online offers a variety of books to order – fitness journals to coloring books.
So there you have it! A few things that I love. If you try any of these I hope you love them too!
Enjoy spending time with your favorite Valentines today!
Stay tuned, stay healthy, and stay Pretty in the Peak
Marianne Lindgren, MS, RD