Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Yummy Lasagna

This lasagna recipe is really good and I know it's tough to think about being in a hot kitchen right now but I was craving something a little more indulgent than my typical summer fare and this really did the trick!


Noodles and Cheese:
1 pound lasagna noodles
16 ounces Parmesan cheese
16 ounces grated mozzarella cheese
16 ounce cottage cheese

Meat Sauce:
1 pound ground beef
1 onion, chopped
1 garlic clove, crushed
1/2 pound mild sausage
1 (28-ounce) can crushed tomatoes
1 (12-ounce) can tomato paste
1 teaspoon oregano
1 teaspoon basil
2 teaspoons salt
Black pepper
1/2 teaspoon fennel seed
1/4 cup chopped parsley

Cream Sauce:
1/4 cup margarine
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
2 cups milk

1. Cook lasagna noodles according to package directions. Drain, rinse with hot water. Drain again.
2. To prepare the meat sauce, brown ground beef in a skillet. Add onion and garlic. Drain grease and add sausage, tomatoes and tomato paste. Stir in oregano, basil, salt, pepper, fennel seed and parsley. Simmer, covered, 30 minutes. Uncover and simmer 30 minutes more, stirring occasionally.
3. To prepare the cream sauce, melt margarine over medium heat. Stir in flour. Cook 1 minute. Add milk and cook, stirring constantly, until smooth and thick.
4. Preheat oven to 375F. To assemble the lasagna, pour 1/3 of meat sauce in bottom of a 15-by-12-inch pan. Lay 6 or 7 noodles over sauce. Pour 1/2 the remaining meat sauce over noodles. Sprinkle with 1/2 the Parmesan cheese. Add another layer of noddles. Sprinkle on mozzarella. Pour hot cream sauce on top. Layer with remaining noodles, cottage cheese, remaining meat sauce and remaining Parmesan cheese.
5. Bake until cheese melts, about 30 minutes.

Serves 12.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Butter or Margarine? Experts Weigh In

From the Tehran Times...

Butter or margarine? For those who believe butter is healthier because it's “natural,” Congro has bad news. “It's made from animal fat, (so it) contains cholesterol and very high levels of saturated fat,” she says. Margarine is made from vegetable oils, and plant products contain no cholesterol. It's also higher in “good” fats than butter. But some kinds of margarine may be even worse than butter because of their content of trans fats, a particular heart risk. In general, the more solid the margarine, the higher the proportion of trans fat. Steer clear of stick margarine, advises Congro: “Go for the tubs of heart-healthy margarine made with omega-3 oil,”.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

I'm Moving to One of the Fittest Cities in America

My fiance and I are moving to Austin! It's always been one of our favorite cities and he's a University of Texas alum so when his dream job popped up and my company gave me the okay to work from home, we jumped at the chance to move there. To be honest, we leaped, kicked, screamed and freaked out at the idea of moving to Austin. Here's what Shape magazine has to say about Austin:

Texans might like things big, but Austinites are significantly less obese than the rest of the country. Austin ranks near the top in terms of city parkland (there are 220 in the area), but it also has a young, highly active community and low rates of chronic diseases like asthma, heart disease, and diabetes. One of Austin's features that makes it easy to be active is Lady Bird Lake in the middle of the city. Locals run or walk along the surrounding trail and kayak or row on the lake.

Hot trend in town
Austin is the home of Lance Armstrong, so road cycling is a popular pastime. You can find group rides for every ability year-round through the Austin Cycling Association (

Residents Report: "Why I love this city!"
"I like being surrounded by lakes, rivers, and parks. I used to row crew at the University of Texas, and I still go sculling on Lake Austin. I'm never alone out there!"
—DARLENE FISKE, 39, public relations executive

Healthiest hotel
Retreat to the Lake Austin Spa Resort for more than 100 indulgent spa services, fitness classes, and activities from stability ball training to stand-up paddle boarding. The innovative, healthy cuisine is prepared from vegetables and herbs harvested from the resort's own organic garden. From $518, including all meals, classes, and activities;

Eat here
The 80,000-square-foot Whole Foods ( at Sixth St. and Lamar is the company's flagship store, located blocks away from where the chain first began as a small neighborhood grocer three decades ago. There's even an on-site cooking school.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

George Steinbrenner Dies of Heart Attack at Age 80

From webMD...

New York Yankees’ owner George Steinbrenner has died from a massive heart attack.

It’s a sad day for baseball lovers everywhere, but celebrity deaths can serve to remind us of the importance of staying on top of our health.

For example, back when Bill Clinton had his first heart scare, doctors reported people showing up in their offices wanting to make sure their heart was ticking along OK. Excellent!

While I don’t know Steinbrenner’s situation, I’d bet there are many people, particularly men, who aren’t exactly up on their health. C’mon guys … admit it. The stereotype of the man who never goes to the doc is pretty darn accurate.

While not all heart attacks can be prevented, there are many things you can do to make a big impact on your chance of dying from the No. 1 cause of death — heart disease.

First, know your heart disease risk factors. What’s your “bad” cholesterol level? Do you know what a normal blood pressure is? Have you been checked for diabetes?

These are things we all should know. And if you don’t, what are you waiting on?

And don’t stop with your heart. Talk to your doc about getting up to date on all the recommended screening tests for men. Yes, even the prostate check!

Wednesday, July 07, 2010

Hearty Halibut

Let's be honest. We could all skip a little red meat each week and replace it with fish. Not only would our waistlines thank us, our hearts would too. This is a great summer recipe that won't have you slaving over a hot stove all evening.

Hearty Halibut From Joan Johnson

Yield: 6 servings
2 lb Fresh or frozen halibut
¾ cups Thinly sliced onion
1 can 4 oz. sliced mushrooms,
¾ cups Chopped fresh or canned
¼ cups Chopped green pepper
3 tablespoon Finely chopped pimento
½ cups Dry white wine
2 tablespoon White vinegar
1 teaspoon Salt
1/8 teaspoon Fresh ground pepper
2 tablespoon Light margarine
¼ cups Minced parsley
Lemon wedges to garnish

1. Preheat oven to 350F. Prepare large baking dish with nonstick spray. Cut fish into 6 even servings. Arrange onion in bottom of baking pan.

2. Place fish ontop of onion. Combine the remaining ingredients except margarine and lemon wedges. Spread ontop of fish. Dot with margarine.

3. Bake 25 - 30 minutes or until fish flakes easily with fork. Serve with lemon wedges.