Thursday, February 26, 2009

Off to Publicly Relate for the Weekend

Long but exciting weekend ahead! I'm driving to Dallas from Houston this afternoon to attend the Texas Public Relations Association's Best of the Southwest Communicators Conference.

It's a 3-day conference filled with some great speakers discussing timely topics such as making your brand recession-proof, better understanding the role of social media for PR, etc. I'm super exicted about it and think it will be very useful.

The only downside of this conference is that I'll be missing the Houston Rodeo's cook-off. This is basically Houston's version of Mardi Gras...except on hay! It's a weekend of lots of food and fun and I'm very sad to miss it. Oh well, there's always next year.

Talk to you next week!

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Cheesy Chicken Chowder Delight

I am a total chowder freak. I could eat corn chowder, clam chowder, bacon & chowder and so on, pretty much every single day of the week. Of course my butt would be the size of Wisconsin but hey, we all make sacrifices, right?

This recipe below is delish and I think you'll enjoy it too!

Cheesy Chicken Chowder

3 cups chicken broth
2 cups diced peeled potatoes
1 cup diced carrots
1 cup diced celery
1/2 cup diced onion
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1/4 cup margarine
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
2 cups milk
2 cups shredded Cheddar cheese
2 cups diced cooked chicken

1In a large pan, bring chicken broth to a boil. Reduce heat. Add potatoes, carrots, celery, onion, salt and pepper. Cover and simmer 15 minutes or until vegetables are tender. 2. Melt butter in a medium saucepan. Add flour and mix well. Gradually stir in milk and cook over low heat until slightly thickened. Stir in cheese and cook until melted. Add to broth and vegetables along with chicken. Cook and stir over low heat until heated through. Serves 6 to 8.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Fight the flu

Wow, I feel like I'm back from the dead. After almost a week of sitting in bed, miserable and tortured, I can finally say the flu has passed. I'd recommend giving criminals the flu virus as some sort of capitol punishment.

Anyways, this week will be one of relaxation and recuperation. Below are a few steps to avoid the misery I went through:

Get the flu vaccine! Either the shot or the nasal spray if you are eligible.

To help boost your immune system, get plenty of rest, exercise, and eat properly.

Stay home from work or school if you experience flu symptoms. Taking it easy could help you feel better sooner and also will slow the spread of disease to others.

If you think you have been exposed to someone with flu, or are starting to have flu symptoms, call your health care provider. Certain medications can help if you start taking them within the first 48 hours.

To reduce the spread of germs, cover your nose and mouth, preferably with disposable tissue, when coughing or sneezing. Always discard used tissue properly in the trash.

Pay attention to hand-washing. After using the bathroom, before eating and before and after preparing food, clean your hands with soap and warm water for at least 15 seconds. Carry a waterless hand gel and wash your hands frequently.

Clean surfaces you touch frequently, such as door knobs, water faucets, refrigerator handles and telephones.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Light & Easy Halibut Hashbrown Casserole

I love me some casseroles and most of us know what when it comes to meat, fish is the healthiest way to go. Here's a healthy take on a halibut casserole from the Recipe Doctor:

Recipe Doctor: Light & Easy Halibut Hashbrown Casserole
By Elaine MageeTribune Media Services

Q: I have a halibut dish that is really tasty but quite high in calories. Can you work your magic and help me make it a bit more healthful?
A: The recipe starts with 2 sticks of butter and ends with a cup of sour cream. Not a great way to serve halibut that on its own contributes a wonderful dose of fish omega-3s (500 milligrams per 3 ounce serving) and protein (23 grams per 3 ounce serving).

Instead of using the two sticks of melted butter to coat the bottom of the 9x13-inch dish before lining the pan with shredded hash browns to create a crust, I used two tablespoons of higher monounsaturated fat margarine to coat the baking dish. To make a lighter cream sauce I used a can of Healthy Request Cream of Mushroom Soup, a cup of fat-free sour cream, a cup of fat-free half and half or lowfat milk along with diced onions instead of the regular options. Reduced-fat sharp cheddar is still sprinkled over the top along with some corn flakes to finish the dish. These changes made big changes in terms of calories, fat, saturated fat, and cholesterol.

Light & Easy Halibut Hashbrown Casserole
(With half the calories and more then 80% less fat and saturated fat)
Original recipe contains 506 calories, 36 grams fat, 21 grams saturated fat, and 108 mg cholesterol per serving.

2 Tblsp. high monounsaturated fat less-fat margarine or whipped butter
6 cups shredded frozen hashbrowns (no fat added)
4-5 cups chunks of raw halibut, 1-inch pieces (about 24 ounces)
1 can Healthy Request Cream of Mushroom Soup, condensed
1 cup fat-free sour cream
1 cup fat-free half and half (or lowfat milk)
1 cup diced or chopped onions
½ tsp. ground black pepper (add more if desired)
½ cup reduced-fat sharp cheddar cheese
2 cups corn flakes

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Generously coat the bottom and sides of 9x13-inch baking dish with margarine or whipped butter. Add hashbrowns to prepared dish and push them up the sides to form a crust. Spread the halibut pieces evenly over the potato crust. In medium bowl, combine condensed cream of mushroom soup, fat-free sour cream, half and half, diced onions and black pepper with whisk or spoon until well blended. Spread mixture over halibut. Sprinkle cheddar cheese on the top of cream sauce then crunch up the corn flakes and scatter them on top. Bake in lower section of oven, uncovered, for 45 minutes or until fish is cooked throughout and the hashbrown crust is lightly browned.

Makes 8 servings. Per serving: 265 calories, 23g protein, 28g carbohydrate, 6.4g fat, 2.2g saturated fat, 2g monounsaturated fat, 2g polyunsaturated fat, 35mg cholesterol, 2g fiber, 408mg sodium. Calories from fat: 22 percent. Omega-3 fatty acids = .5g, Omega-6 fatty acids = 1.4g. Weight Watchers POINTS = 5.

Tuesday, February 03, 2009

Spread the Word in the Name of Fashion and Heart Health

Jane Krakowski from "30 Rock Under the Sun" and Campbell's Soup is teaming together for the "adDRESS Your Heart" Campaign. By visiting this Web site, you can vote on the dress that Krakowski will wear to the Women's Day Red Dress Awards. For each vote you cast, Campbell's will donate $1 to the American Heart Association's "Go Red for Women" program. The "Go Red for Women" Program helps to educate women about the risks of heart disease, which is the #1 killer of women today.

People, I'm not exaggerating here when I say this will literally take you less than 30 seconds to help out a good cause. And it's FREE!!!! We love free here at I Heart Margarine and I'm sure you do to. So vote!!!