The holiday season is upon us! After stuffing ourselves full of turkey, potatoes, and pumpkin pie you would think we would never want to eat again!! But as December approaches so do the holiday parties, cookie swaps, office celebrations, and pot lucks. Everything surrounding the holidays seems to revolve around food I wanted to put together a list of 10 Healthy Holiday Treats that still satisfy that sweet tooth craving but with a lot less guilt!
And if you really want to wow your guests check out Creativiu. Featuring 4 different online cake decoration courses to choose from you can learn to be an expert cake decorator from the comfort of home on your own time! You will even have access to the class instructor where you can ask questions and receive a personalized answer. Access to your classes never expires so go at your own pace and become the professional cake decorator you were always meant to be!
This past weekend I packed up my bags and headed to Montauk, NY to celebrate Labor Day Weekend. I am naturally so sad to see summer end but it was fun to celebrate with some amazing friends! Did you know Montauk is where the show The Affair takes place?? I didn’t!
GETTING TO MONTAUK
Getting from Boston to Montauk is not the easiest (or quickest trip). After chatting with a few people who have made the trip before we decided this was the route we were going to take: Drive to the Cross Sound Ferry in New London, CT > take the ferry to Orient Point > drive from Orient Point to Montauk. It cost us $55 to bring 1 person along with an car which I found to be very affordable however, the cost will depend on the size of your car. Additional tickets for people traveling without cars are $16. The ferry takes 1 hour and 20 minutes and there is a deli and a full bar located on board.
I mapped out our trip below but your other option would be to hop on another ferry once reaching Orient Point and taking that over to Montauk. Next time we head to Montauk we are going to try that alternate route so we can compare and decide which is faster and easier.
Although it was a long trek it was totally worth it!! There are some really cute towns and large vineyards you drive through and if you are lucky enough to arrive off the ferry at sunset it make the drive just that more beautiful.
Upon arriving our first stop was to meet our friend Amanda at Moby’s in East Hampton to kick off the weekend with celebratory cocktails.
Our home for the weekend was the charming Haven Montauk. This boutique motel features 27 guest rooms, a private pool, and even a s’mores pit!
RM 09 is a reconfigured guest room on property used as a store featuring apparel and home decor from popular indie brands.
I absolutely love dream catchers and I thought this large one hanging in the store was gorgeous. Coincidentally they are the symbol for my business and my team!
Saturday was our first full day and we started the day heading into East Hampton for breakfast. I am not going to go into detail on the food here however, I will have a whole separate post coming in the next few days to tell you all about it! After we ate we headed back to downtown Montauk to check out the scene and stumbled upon this adorable outdoor market.
I purchased this elephant bracelet because the color of the stone against the red string especially popped and really caught my eye.
Heading back to the car we came across this giant statue and I naturally had to snap a photo!
If you are visiting Montauk checking out The Beach Club at Gurney’s is a must! Just a quick cab ride away from our hotel (FYI no Ubers in Montauk!!) and located in the back of the hotel we found ourselves walking into a lively scene with a beach bar, private cabanas, and an awesome DJ playing all of our favorite songs.
Upon arriving we started chatting with some of the staff and met Mike, the General Manager. Mike was AMAZING and kept coming over to check on us, see if we were having fun, and even sending over this complimentary bottle of Rose for us to enjoy.
This is probably the BIGGEST bottle of Rose I have ever seen!!
People kept bringing the DJ bottles of Grey Goose and they weren’t drinking them and as a result this happened…
Which led to one epic dance party right on the beach!!
It turns out these two guys work full time in finance in NYC. After DJ-ing at Gurney’s during July 4th they were asked to return for Labor Day. This time around they arrived wearing these hysterical shirts! My friend Sara posed for a picture with them after they were done.
For those of you who don’t know, my full time job is the Event Marketing Manager for an awesome company called CLEAResult.
The company was founded in 2003 and is based out of Austin, TX. We have offices in more than 70 cities across the U.S. and Canada – one of them being my very own home in Southie! They are the leading provider of energy efficiency programs and services. Through proven strategies tailored to clients’ unique needs and market dynamics, the combined strength of experienced energy experts and technology-enabled service offerings help CLEAResult change the way people use energy for hundreds of utility and business partners around the globe.
Recently employees were asked to share some of our favorite holiday recipes. Although my amazing team was behind this project, it was a secret and I had no idea what they were collecting recipes for!
I was so excited to receive a virtual copy of the CLEAResult holiday card which featured the employee submitted recipes, including my very own Brown Sugar and Almond Baked Brie!
Check our our awesome animated card and all of the recipes from my amazing team here!
Did you know that the popular deals site Groupon now has a coupon features more than 70,000 from over 9,500 stores? I am always on the hunt for a good deal, especially around the holidays when I am buying presents for friends and family. I have been a fan of Groupon for years now and have gotten countless deals such as massages, dinners, tickets to shows, etc from their site. I was excited to see the coupon feature and knew they would have some really great brands featured.
Today I wanted share my favorite fitness apparel and accessories from the stores I shop at that are currently on my holiday wish list. Each of these stores is featured on Groupon Coupon so not only can I get some of my wish list items -but I can get them at a discount!
I love these Marled Pieced Exp Core Compression Leggings from Express and with the coupon I can get them at 20% off!
Nike‘s are my favorite sneakers and like to get a new pair each year since mine take quite a beating each day. I like the pop of color on these from the neon.
Good music played loud while working out is a must for me! I find it makes me push harder when I can blast my favorite songs. A few of my friends have this Bose SoundLink® MiniBluetooth® speaker and it gives out such great sound. With Groupon Coupons I can get this with free shipping!
Staying hydrated during the day is something that I struggle with. Did you know you should be drinking half your body weight in ounces of water each day? I need a fun water bottle that keeps my water ice cold. I love this Under Armour Vacuum Insulated Bottle from Sports Authority. You can use the coupon and get 10% as well.
This last item is a TOTAL wish list item, especially because I don’t have space in my house for it. I would love to sit in this Renew™ Zero-Gravity Massage Chair by Brookstone after a hard workout. I also tend to get tight in my upper back in neck from sitting a desk each day and a massage from this bad boy would loosen me right up.
I can dream can’t I?
Definetly head over to Groupon Coupons. They feature so many good stores and I guarantee you will find one that you shop at regularly!
What items are on your wish list? Leave it in the comments below 🙂
To kick things off today I am sharing my Ground Turkey and Zucchini Lasagna recipe. By using zucchini in place of half of the noodles I was able to significantly cut carbs out of this dish. I typically would have used whole wheat or whole grain noodles for this but I wasn’t able to find any at Whole Foods which surprised me. Feel free to substitute all of the pasta out for zucchini to make this totally carb-free!!
The ground been sauce is so hearty is would be great on it’s own over spaghetti or zoodles as well. It will make more sauce than you need for the lasagna so it is great to freeze for future use.
If you are following the 21 Day Fix I counted 1 piece of this lasagna as 2 green, 2 yellow, 1 red, 1 blue, 1 spoon.
Ground Turkey and Zucchini Lasagna
Author: Emily Goodman
FOR THE SAUCE
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 medium onion, diced
1lb ground turkey
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 6oz can tomato paste
2 28oz cans whole tomatoes
2 tablespoons agave nectar
1 teaspoon of sea salt (or Himalayan salt)
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 teaspoon dried basil
1 Parmesan (or Pecorino Romano) rind (optional)
FOR THE LASAGNA
2 large zucchini, sliced thin
1/2 box of lasagna noodles (approx. 9 noodles)
15oz part skim ricotta
1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
8oz shredded mozzarella cheese
FOR THE SAUCE
Heat the olive oil in a large sauce pot over a medium heat.
Add the onion and saute until translucent, approx. 5-6 minutes
Add the ground turkey. Using a wooden spoon break up the meat and cook until browned, approx 7-8 minutes.
Add the garlic and tomato paste and cook for 2-3 minutes.
Add the whole tomatoes, agave, salt, pepper and basil. Bring to a boil, stirring frequently.
Reduce heat to low and let simmer while you prepare the lasagna.
FOR THE LASAGNA
Preheat the oven to 375 F.
Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add the lasagna noodles and cook for 2 minutes under the recommended cooking time, approx 7 minutes.
Using a mandolin slicer or a sharp knife slice the zucchini into thin slices. Lay on a paper towel and season with salt to draw out excess water.
In a mixing bowl mix the ricotta, egg and parmesan cheese. Set aside.
Drain the lasagna noodles and run under cold water to stop them from cooking.
Ladle a scoopful of the simmering sauce in the bottom of a 9×9 casserole dish.
Layer zucchini slices over the sauce.
Spread some of the ricotta cheese mixture on top of the zucchini.
Top with a sprinkling of mozzarella cheese.
Layer lasagna noodles on top.
Repeat the process starting with more sauce until all your ingredients are used up.
Top with sauce and mozzarella and cover with foil.
Bake for 45 minutes covered. Uncover and cook for an additional 15 minutes.
Remove from oven and let stand for 5-10 minutes before cutting.
Zucchini when cooked will release a lot of water so salting the slices to release some water will ensure your lasagna isn’t watered down.
I am super excited to be back for my 4th year as a featured blogger in La vie Jaime‘s annual My Stocking Series where local Boston Bloggers get together and create their ultimate stocking filled with their favorite items from their holiday wish list!
I look forward to this series every holiday season here you can find my stockings from 2012, 2013, and 2014.
My theme for 2015 was Gifts for the Healthy Foodieso head on over to La vie Jaime to get all of the details on my picks you see featured here!
I want to give a very big THANK YOU to my friend Jaime for including me each year in this awesome holiday series!
I cannot believe it is already the week of Thanksgiving!!
Being such a big foodie Thanksgiving is naturally one of my favorite holidays! This year I am heading to my family’s house on Cape Cod and I am looking forward to spending a few days relaxing, cooking, and of course EATING! While I will splurge during the Thanksgiving meal I do plan to get my workouts in daily, drink my superfood shake each morning and make sure I drink plenty of water.
My Dad loves the sweet potato recipe from Boston Market so over the past few years I have been making him this copycat recipe. It has become a HUGE hit at the table and I get asked for the recipe repeatedly so here it is!
Since this recipe is so NOT 21 Day Fix approved here are some tips to set you up for success on Thanksgiving day as well as a video from 21 Day Fix creator Autumn Calabrese on “How to Survive Thanksgiving Dinner”.
My tip for you?Control what you can control but also enjoy the holiday time and all the yummy foods and drinks that come with it! The worst thing you can do is totally deprive yourself – if you do that you are setting yourself up for a much larger splurge in the future that may not be as easy to get back on track from after.
What are you doing to celebrate Thanksgiving? What are your favorite recipes? Comment on this post to share 🙂
Copycat Boston Market Sweet Potato Casserole
Author: Emily Goodman
6 large sweet potatoes
3/4 cup dark brown sugar
1/2 cup heavy cream
4 tablespoons butter, melted
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 cups mini marshmallows[br][br]
[b]FOR THE OATMEAL STREUSEL[/b]
3/4 cup rolled oats
6 tablespoons dark brown sugar
3 tablespoons flour
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
6 tablespoons cold butter
Preheat the oven to 400 F.
Pierce the potatoes with a fork and roast in the oven for 45-60 minutes until cooked through and soft. Let cool.
Lower the oven temp to 350 F.
Once cooled cut in half and scoop out the potato into the bowl of a mixer (or a large mixing bowl). Whip potatoes until smooth.
Mix in brown sugar, heavy cream, melted butter, cinnamon, and salt.
Pour the mixture into a casserole dish and set aside.
Grind the rolled oats in a food processor. Pulse in brown sugar, flour, and cinnamon. Add cold butter. Pulse until pea-size bits form.
Sprinkle the streusel over the potatoes. Bake uncovered for 60-75 minutes until the cooked through and the streusel has browned.
Immediately sprinkle marshmallows on top. Either let sit for 10 minutes or place under the broiler for 2-3 minutes until the marshmallows start to brown.
If cooking in advance, hold the marshmallows aside. Reheat covered in foil for 30 minutes. Add marshmallows right at the end.