Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Quitting Caffeine Cold Turkey

I love coffee, and tea. In fact, I have been drinking both since I was a little kid.

But, after doing some reading, talking to my doctor and hearing how much better a friend felt after she gave up caffeine, I decided to stop drinking caffeinated beverages. The very next day.

No, half-cafe. No just cutting it down to one cup and then every other day and then every two days, and then.

Nope. Cold turkey. Done. Finished.

I switched to decaf the very next day. Over the next week, I went through some serious withdrawal headaches. And, I had to take a migraine medicine which had caffeine in it. Six days into it, I also had to about about a 1/4 cup of regular coffee to my decaf in the morning for two days, but on the eighth day, the headache was gone.

And, you know what? I felt 150 times better.

Monday, April 14, 2014

Adirondack Chick Happiness Tip #22

Buy flowers over the weekend and put them on your desk first thing Monday morning, so you remember your weekend fun every time you look at them.

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Adirondack Winery Among Upper Hudson Valley Wineries to Win Medals at Competition

Adirondack Winery  took home four medals, including three silver medals for its Seyval Blanc, Baco Noir and Pink Gem (Niagara Blush), as well as a Bronze medal for its Red Ruby (sweet red blend) wine during the Finger Lakes International Wine Competition, which was held March 29-30 in Rochester to benefit Camp Good Days.

"We are proud to report that with this news, we have accumulated 100 medals for our wines over the past 6 years; very timely as our 6th Anniversary is this month,” Sasha Pardy, Adirondack Winery president, said.  

The Adirondack Winery is one of five Upper Hudson Valley Wine & Grape Association members who were awarded 31 combined medals.

Swedish Hill Winery, which has a tasting room in Saratoga Springs, won a Double Gold medal for its 2012 Riesling, as well as three Gold medals for its Cabernet Franc (2011), Blue Waters Riesling, and Spumante Blush. The winery also took home six more Silver medals and five Bronze medals from FLIWC.

Thirsty Owl Wine Company, a Cayuga Lake-based winery that opened a tasting room and café in Saratoga Springs last year, took home five silver medals for its Cabernet Sauvignon Ice Wine, Diamond, Meritage, Merlot and Riesling wines. The winery also snagged four bronze medals at the competition.

Meanwhiile, Amorici Vineyard, located in Valley Falls, was awarded with a bronze medal for its Cabernet Franc, and Victory View Vineyard won a silver medal  for its Lafayette wine, which is a blend of 98 percent Marachel Foch and 2 percent Marquette grapes that grow at their vineyard in North Easton, Washington County.

The farm winery also took home Bronze medals for its Charlotte, Fieldstone and Turning Point wines which are also made from grapes grown in their vineyard.

Monday, April 7, 2014

Vegan Almond Spinach Pesto

Have I told you how in love I am with my new food processor? Well, let me clarify, it isn't really new. It's my first one.

Yes, I know. How does a lifestyle writer who mostly concentrates on developing new recipes live without one? Since I've gotten it, I have wondered the exact same thing.

This was my first time making pesto with it, and it came out awesome. For this recipe, I am going to give you approximate amounts, because, with most sauces or items like pesto, I really think it depends on your personal taste. Some might like a thinner consistency, while others may like it thicker because they want to use it as a sandwich spread. To accomplish this, it all depends on how much oil you use.

The thing I like best about this particular pesto is the oil that I used. Instead of traditional olive oil, I used almond oil. It gave it a slightly nutty flavor without being too heavy, and it also refrigerated much better than olive oil.

I used it to make pizza, but also tossed it with gluten-free pasta. It makes about 2 cups.

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Sweet Potato, Red Lentil and Leek Soup

Have you ever started to cook one thing, and it ends up becoming something totally different? Well, that's what happened with this vegan, gluten-free Sweet Potato, Red Lentil and Leek Soup.

It was supposed to be a stew, based off of one my aunt made from a delicious recipe she saw on The Chew. Then, as I was cooking I realized I had all these veggies that needed to be cooked before they went bad, so I kind of made it up as I went along, and well, it came fabulous!

My Dad, who has never had a red lentil in his life, or likes leeks, kept commenting how great this smelled, and asked to try it -- and he absolutely loved it.

The sweet potatoes give it hardiness and the leeks add a different flavor, while the lentils add protein and creaminess. It also has turmeric in it for added health benefits and color. Feel free to add more or less depending on your taste. Same goes for the hot pepper. I liked it with a slight kick, but adjust for your liking.

I also preferred it slightly chunky, so I didn't blend it as well as it could have been. If you like a smoother soup, run it it through a food processor in batches. This soup also froze, and reheated really well.

Thursday, March 6, 2014

Kale Mashed Potatoes

I love mashed potatoes, but alone they are not always the healthiest. So, I thought I would try to make them a little healthier, by adding some kale.

They came creamy and delicious, and green (!) making it perfect for a fun St. Patrick's Day dish. It is also very kid-friendly and a good way to sneak some healthy veggies into a fun food. Plus, they are vegan and gluten-free.

If you want to get creative, you can add in garlic, and/or a jalapeño pepper to give it a little kick. 

Sunday, February 23, 2014

Sea Salt and Cracked Pepper Popcorn

Popcorn is such a good snack, if made correctly. That is why I prefer homemade, air-popped popcorn. sometimes I eat it plan, other times I add some seasonings, everything from olive oil and sea salt to drizzling it with dark chocolate. 

I happen to love this sea salt and cracked pepper popcorn. It is full of flavor and Earth Balance adds a little bit of "buttery" flavor. Feel free to add more or less of any of these to fit your tastes. 

Sea Salt and Cracked Pepper Popcorn 
By Michelle Maskaly, The Adirondack Chick 

 8 cups air-popped popcorn 
1 tablespoon Earth Balance Soy Free Spread 
1/4 teaspoon fresh cracked pepper
1/4 teaspoon sea salt

Melt the Earth Balance in a small bowl. Stir in the cracked pepper and sea salt. Pour mixture over popcorn, and mix well. 

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