With Halloween around the corner, it reminds me of my first Halloween after my divorce. I got invited to a party but felt funny going solo especially as me and my ex had always gone as a pair of something, “Ketchup and Mustard, “ Soon-Yi Previn and Woody Allen”…you get the picture. But then I realized it was a fantastic opportunity to slip into an alter identity for a night and escape my current reality. I donned a Wonder Woman costume and those gold handcuffs really set me free from all my worries (at least for one night). It was the first time I truly had a blast in a long time and reminded me that life is short and not to take things too seriously. It was a turning moment in my healing from divorce and that’s why Halloween has become one of my favorite holidays. Here’s a fun recipe for spookily spectacular Halloween themed fortune cookies.
24 fortune cookies
2 cups orange candy coating, such as Candy Melts
2 cups black candy coating, such as Candy Melts
Various Halloween themed cupcake sprinkles and decorations
- Place orange candy coating and black candy coating in separate ceramic bowls. Heat orange candy coating at 30 second intervals in the microwave, stirring between each interval until melted and smooth. Set aside. Repeat steps with black candy coating. You may use a double boiler alternatively to melt candy coating.
- Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper or wax paper. Place toppings in individual small bowls. Dip each cookie in either orange candy coating or white candy coating. Decorate with toppings as you desire. Place on cookie sheet. Once cookie sheet is full, place in freezer for 5 minutes to set. Store in an airtight container.
Food for Thought by Chef Katie Chin, For recipes, visit thesweetandsourchronicles.com
Everyone knows that divorce can be especially challenging when kids are involved. I didn’t have kids when I got divorced but I have plenty of friends in this situation. A good mom friend of mine is going through a recent divorce with two small young children and is having to go through all sorts of back-to- school crap without the help of her spouse. “Will everyone stare at me at the back-to- school BBQ?,” “Why do I have to figure out all this stuff on the school supplies list by myself?” and “How am I supposed to figure out this nut cup thing on my son’s baseball uniform on my own?” The last thing anyone needs is feeling the pressure of making elaborate meals during this hectic time. This recipe for Pineapple Fried Rice is so simple and delicious and the best part is you can use leftover chicken and shrimp to make it. Not only will your kids love it, but it’ll blow everyone’s socks off at that back-to- school BBQ!
Pineapple Fried Rice
When my mom and I made this on the Today show a few years ago, it didn’t occur to me to slice the underside of the pineapple before going on live television so it would be easier to cut on camera. Needless to say, it was a bit of a struggle to cut through that pineapple quickly, but Al Roker charmingly dubbed my huffing and puffing the “Everyday Chinese Cooking Workout”! I love this recipe because the presentation is so impressive—the rice is served right in the pineapple shell. The chunks of fresh pineapple are sweet, bright and refreshing, perfectly offsetting the saltiness of the soy sauce in this dish.
Chicken, shrimp, mushrooms and egg round out this delicious and refreshing dish.
Serves 4 to 6 as part of a multi-course meal
Preparation time: 15 minutes
Cooking time: 10 minutes
1 whole pineapple
2 large eggs, slightly beaten
1 teaspoon salt, divided
Dash of white pepper
2 tablespoons oil, divided
3 cups (450 g) cooked and chilled white rice
2 tablespoons soy sauce
1 cup (150 g) cubed cooked shrimp
1 cup (150 g) cubed cooked chicken breast
6 white button mushrooms, sliced
½ cup (75 g) fresh or thawed frozen peas
2 green onions (scallions), finely chopped, plus more for garnish
Salt, to taste
White pepper, to taste
- Cut the pineapple in half lengthwise. Following the rim, cut deeply around the inside of the pineapple, being careful not to pierce through the skin. Cut the flesh inside the pineapple into cubes by making long slices down the length of the pineapple and then make 1-inch- (2.5-cm- ) wide crosscuts. Scoop out the flesh using a flat-edged spoon and reserve.
- In a medium bowl, combine the eggs with ½ teaspoon of the salt and the pepper. Whisk to blend.
- Heat 1 tablespoon of the oil in a wok or skillet over medium heat. Add the eggs and stir-fry until they have set, but are still moist. Transfer to a plate and set aside.
- Wash and thoroughly dry the wok or skillet, then heat the remaining 1 tablespoon oil over medium-high heat. Add the cooked rice and stir-fry for 2 minutes. Mix in the soy sauce, shrimp, chicken, mushrooms, peas and the remaining ½ teaspoon salt and stir-fry for 2 to 3 minutes. Add the cooked eggs, reserved pineapple flesh and green onions and stir-fry for 30 seconds more. Season to taste with the salt and white pepper.
- Scoop the fried rice into the pineapple halves and garnish with additional green onion. Serve immediately.
For best results, the rice should be chilled overnight before cooking this dish.
Written by Katie Chin, TheSweetandSourChronicles.com
I remember dating for the first time during my divorce. I had dated this guy a few times and finally invited him to my bachelorette pad for dinner and a movie. I was so nervous as this was a defining moment in our “relationship” (I think you know what I mean). In some ways, it was a way to get over the hump. Just sex, really, but carried so much weight on the other hand. I mean, the poor guy didn’t realize it would be first time I had sex with someone other than my husband for the last 10 years. I called my gay friend Frank who told me to think like guy or Samantha from Sex in the City (basically the same thing). Well, I heeded his advice and it was completely liberating and fun. I let go of expectations and just enjoyed myself. We only dated for a month or so after that but it was healing and I finally felt empowered in the dating realm to call the shots. I remember making these Raspberry Nutella Wontons and served them with some bubbly to set the mood.
Raspberry Nutella Wontons Recipe
- 4 cups raspberries
- 1/2 cup water
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 2 Tbsps. corn starch
- 3/4 cup Nutella
- 8 round wonton wrappers
- Heat raspberries in a saucepan, stirring over heat until they reach a jam-like consistency.
- Add water, then sugar, stirring continuously until blended. Add cornstarch, stirring consistently until blended.
- Allow mixture to boil, then remove from heat. Strain mixture into bowl, keeping both liquids and solids.
- In a separate bowl, combine raspberry solids and Nutella. Stir well. Lay out wonton wrappers, and touch edges with egg wash. Spoon approximately 1 tsp. of Nutella mixture into the center of each wrapper, before folding in half and sealing.
- Deep fry dumplings in vegetable oil, 1 to 2 minutes per side.
- Using raspberry liquid as a sauce, plate and garnish dumplings.
- Add powdered sugar if desired.
Written by Mary Battista – PrairieHealthCompanion.com
Divorce is not a picnic, which doesn’t mean you can’t go on one this summer! With the picnic season coming up, having healthy options on hand is important for staying on track with a healthy lifestyle. Many salads are loaded with unhealthy fats and high in calories that contribute to weight gain and chronic disease. The Black and White Bean Primavera Salad goes together rather quickly because you can use canned beans. It’s a treat for the eyes with its variety of colors (vegetables, and legumes), a treat for the senses with its variety of fresh herbs, and a treat for the body with it high dose of antioxidants, fiber, vitamins and minerals. It holds up well for a picnic and is very portable in a cooler. Enjoy!
Black and White Bean Primavera
1 T. olive oil
1 small onion, finely chopped
½ large red, yellow or orange pepper, small dice
1 medium carrot, cut into ¼ -1/2-inch pieces
1 medium zucchini or yellow squash cut into ¼ to ½ inch pieces
¼ tsp sea salt divided
1/3 cup frozen peas, defrosted (or could substitute shelled, cooked edamame)
1-½ cups, no salt added black beans (canned works well), drained and rinsed
1-½ cups, no salt added small white beans or navy beans. (canned works well), drained and rinsed
¼ cup finely chopped combination of fresh herbs, such as parley, dill and chives
3 T. sherry vinegar or mild red wine vinegar
3 T. extra-virgin olive oil
Freshly ground pepper
½ t. agave nectar or honey
Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the onion and bell pepper. Reduce the heat to medium and cook for 2-3 minutes. Stir the vegetables so they start to soften but do not brown. Add the carrot and cook for 2-3 minutes, then add the zucchini or yellow squash and 1/8 t. salt. Cook for about 5 minutes, stirring often until the zucchini or squash and carrot just lose their raw look or are just tender. Then add the peas and cook for 2 minutes. Transfer vegetable mixture to a large bowl. While the veggies are still warm, add the cooked beans and fresh herbs.
Whisk together the vinegar, extra-virgin olive oil, pepper, agave and remaining 1/8 tsp salt. Add the dressing to the salad and stir gently to combine. Taste and adjust the seasonings. Serve immediately or cover and refrigerate for up to 3 days. Makes 6-8 servings.
Nutrition information per serving
Dietary fiber-6 g
It can be challenging to maintain a healthy lifestyle during the chaos of divorce, but planning meals and snacks can help. Planning replaces the ”chaos” at mealtime with structure and prevents eating haphazardly when you are hungry, pressed for time…or stressed! Planning is also helps to eliminate trigger foods that can provoke reckless eating.
Frittatas are a great, because they can be filled with lots of healthy ingredients and are ready to go in a snap. You can make them on the weekends and enjoy a wonderful breakfast and then have a delicious option that is ready to reheat and enjoy anytime. Just serve on a bed of fresh greens with a piece of fruit and you have a satisfying meal that will keep you feeling great, maintain your health goals, as well as give you the energy to move forward on your journey.
This recipe allows you to be creative. While following the basic frittata method, try making one on a using seasonal ingredients (like asparagus, local ramps and eggs) feeling healthy and in control.
2T. Olive oil or butter or ghee
Salt and fresh ground pepper
1 medium garlic clove, minced
8 large eggs
Splash of water (about 1 T.) or half and half
3 T. Parmesan cheese
3 oz additional cheese (optional) feta, manchego grated, smoked gouda
grated, medium cheddar or your preference
2T. Minced fresh Italian parsley or basil (or 1 T. of each)
8-10 medium asparagus spears, snap off woody ends then cut in 1-2”pieces, 1 medium zucchini, cut in half lengthwise then slice into half moons, ½ red pepper diced, 2 cups mushrooms, sliced, 3 cups spinach coarsely chopped, ½ large onion, chopped, 4 oz cooked ham or prosciutto, diced
Preheat oven to 400. Adjust oven rack to upper middle position. Heat 2 T. olive oil or butter over medium heat, in a 10” ovenproof skillet. Select 2 or 3 of the filling options and sauté until lightly browned, about 6-8 minutes. Reduce heat to medium low; add minced garlic, and sauté 1-2 minutes longer. Meanwhile, beat eggs with splash of water or cream, fresh herbs, and 3 T. Parmesan cheese. Season with salt (or Herbamare) and pepper. Shake skillet to evenly distribute filling ingredients. Add beaten egg mixture. If you are adding additional cheese, add it now. Without disturbing the frittata, let the eggs cook until it starts to set around the edges, about 3-4 minutes. Transfer the frittata to the oven and bake until puffed and set, 10-12 minutes. Being careful of the handle (which is red hot) slide onto a plate, cut in wedges and enjoy! Frittatas are great warm or at room temperature. They are a great option for breakfast, lunch or dinner.