Monday, August 31, 2015

The DAREBEE Project

We love this list of 50 Reasons to Exercise from the DAREBEE project. Guidelines from The American Heart Association and Mayo Clinic recommend at least 150 minutes a week of moderate activity. If you haven't heard of the DAREBEE Project yet you can check them out here:
Twitter handle: @darebees

They are an independent global fitness resource that is run and maintained by a small group of volunteers and fitness enthusiasts. They offer FREE fitness info because they believe, "that fitness is not a privilege, it should be made this accessible for everyone - not just people who can pay for it."
They are supported exclusively by user donations. 


Southern Chicken Perlo

By Lisa VanWilliams
This is a moist juicy chicken that can be described as a Southern paella/Jambalaya concoction. I grew up traveling with my parents in their Winnebago all over the place because they loved participating with sporting dogs in field trial competitions. Some of the places we visited were South of the Border and that's where I learned about grits and chicken perlo. My mom has been making this dish for years. It's a simple one pan meal that easy to make for a small family or a huge crowd, and you will be happy to have some of these leftovers if your lucky enough to have any at all.  The amount of richness and flavor that comes from such simplicity will have you boggled. You can also use any variety of sausage you prefer. We picked a smoked turkey sausage and it was phenomenal.

2 whole chicken breasts bone in
6 drumsticks
3 cloves of garlic chopped
coconut oil spray
2 sweet onions sliced
garlic powder
onion powder
salt & pepper
32 oz chicken broth
2 cups long grain white rice
2 ring smoked sausage diced
2 bay leaves

Preheat oven to 400. Spray some cooking oil into large dutch oven roasting pan and place your chicken on the bottom. Sprinkle with salt & pepper, garlic powder, and onion powder. Toss the sliced onions and and garlic over the chicken and lastly put in the sausage and roast in the oven uncovered for about an hour. It will turn all crispy and brown on the top. After an hour, remove the chicken, drain all the juice/grease from the pan. Pour in the rice and then top off with the chicken broth and bay leaves. COVER the pan now and return to oven for another 20-30 mins. DO NOT open it to check it once you but the rice into the oven. Leave it until the time is up. Remove and serve. Enjoy!

Friday, August 28, 2015

Herbed Egg Salad Two Ways - With Carbs Or Without

By Lisa VanWilliams

If you have some chives. dill, and tarragon in your fridge or garden, here's great way to use some up. We made these tasty egg salads two different ways. One we did as a finger sandwich on a toasted whole wheat demi ciabatta, and then a no carb salad by tossing a heap onto some butter lettuce.

6 hard boiled eggs peeled and diced
1 celery stick diced
a quarter of a red onion finely diced
some fresh dill
whole wheat ciabatta
olive oil
teaspoon spicy mustard
dash of smoked paprika
juice from half a lemon
salt & pepper

butter lettuce if preferred over bread

Preheat oven to 350. Cut the ciabatta into thin slices and drizzle with olive oil. Sprinkle each piece with some tarragon. Bake for 5-10 mins.

Remove to cool. In another bowl dice all the eggs. Cut up the celery and onion and add. Sprinkle some more tarragon and dill. Add in the mustard and dash of paprika, salt & pepper. Add in the mayo last and combine well. Top each piece of bread with a tablespoon full of egg mix and top with fresh chives. Enjoy!

Cooking Day - Episode 4

By Lisa VanWilliams
We made a few new recipes for this client today. We are always tweaking the recipes by adding something different, removing items they don't like, and adding more of the things they do like. Sometimes a dish may need a little something extra, so it's good to know what different flavors can be added and how they can compliment one another.

We started out with the classic chicken pot pie. We picked a 5-star recipe from with over 6,800 positive reviews. If I'm not using my own go to recipes in my head I always pick from top rated recipes, and I will review several recipes to see what kinds of spices are being used and how the recipes differentiate. I will also read the comments to see how others might have made some changes to make it better.

For example in the chicken pot pie recipe below we added potatoes, parsley, & onion powder. We used pie crusts for the topping, but there are always other options such as crescent rolls or buttermilk biscuits. Try them all and see which one works best for you and your family. I am using the same tins I used for the apple crisps we did a while back because they are great for reheating.

Recipe from:

Recipe from:

In this recipe, we added apple cider vinegar instead of regular vinegar, we added a jalapeno to give it a little kick, bay leaf, and cumin for more depth of flavor. This can be eaten as a soup, or a side served with some rice, or save some for breakfast and make some Huevos Rancheros.  

Recipe from:

For this recipe, we made some brown rice for a side. I used fresh ginger instead of ground powder, and we put in our own variety of veggies. We used mushrooms, red & yellow peppers, onions, scallions, broccoli, and snap peas. I also changed a few of the cooking steps to make it a way that I felt it would have more flavor. For example instead of marinating the shrimp in step #2, I dropped the shrimp into hot sesame oil with fresh garlic and fresh ground ginger and then I added some teriyaki. I sprinkled some sesame seeds in to brown up with the shrimp as well. The shrimp will carry a ton of flavor that way and it marinates with all the veggies when being combined together at the end.  Make the recipes work for you! 

Monday, August 24, 2015

Heirloom Tomato Bruschetta

By Lisa VanWilliams
All the classic tastes of Summer come together on this little olive oil garlic infused toasted crostini. Heirloom tomatoes are ripening by the bucket loads and now's a great time to make these summertime favorites. They are great for an afternoon snack or an appetizer before dinner.

1 Heirloom tomato diced
¼ red onion diced
1 ball fresh mozzarella diced
salt & pepper
handful of basil
3 garlic cloves cut in half

Reduced Balsamic Vinegar Glaze
½-1 cup balsamic vinegar
1 tablespoon brown sugar

In a small pan put 1 cup balsamic vinegar and sprinkle in sugar. Bring it to a boil and then turn down to low and simmer for 20 mins while stirring occasionally. It will reduce by half and thicken so that it sticks to the spoon like syrup. Pour in small container and put in fridge to cool.

Preheat oven to 350 and slice baguette.  Drizzle each piece with olive oil and put in oven 10 mins. Take the bread out of the oven and rub the bread with the garlic cloves to infuse it (you can save the garlic for later use for another recipe). Dice all the ingredients and toss together in a small bowl. Put spoonfuls of tomato mixture over bread. Drizzle with balsamic glaze and serve. Enjoy!

Coaching Weekend

By Lisa VanWilliams

It felt like stepping back in time watching these coaches regally roll their way through gates of a 165-year-old Victorian palace. We visited Chateau-sur-Mer this weekend and we had no idea that behind the mansion they had set up temporary stables for coaching weekend. We were waiting for a tour of the mansion and I heard the rumble of the carriage approaching, and I excitedly ran outside to catch a glimpse of a spectacular team of incredibly groomed horses pulling this bumble bee colored coach.

A dozen coaching teams from around the country met up this past weekend in Newport, RI and they were driving authentic 19th-century horse-drawn carriages through the streets and mansions of Newport.  Men dressed in Top Hats and suits, and the women with hats and gloves. Here are a few pics we were able to snap:

Narragansett Bay

Friday, August 21, 2015

Cookie Cake Mold

Last weekend we made some individual Oreo dirt cakes for a children's pool party that the kids loved. Now I see something even cuter I want to try! We saw this tutorial where they make a whole OREO cookie cake that looks amazing. If you are having a bunch of kids over, I am sure they would go nuts for this. Here's the video with recipe link attached, and then there's a few links where you can order the molds. Happy Baking!

We found a few of the jumbo non-stick silicone cookie shaped baking pans on Ebay:

Thursday, August 20, 2015

Mini Barbecue Meatloaves

By Lisa VanWilliams
Back in 2007, Good Housekeeping claimed meatloaf was the seventh favorite dish in America. It's made all around the World in different variations depending on the culture. Some countries use boiled eggs in their versions, and other places like Romania only use lamb meat.*

If you want to try a new spin on your meatloaf, try this juicy flavorful version. The barbecue and ketchup on top gives it an extra kick and it gets nice and gooey from baking in the oven.

1 pound ground beef 80/20
½ cup milk
1 egg
salt & pepper
½ cup to 1 cup bread crumbs
2 cloves crushed garlic
dash of onion powder
dash of garlic powder
dash of teriyaki sauce
dash of Worcestershire
1 tablespoon spicy mustard
cover the top with ¼ your fav barbecue sauce and ¼ ketchup mixed together

Preheat oven to 350. Put your ground beef in a bowl with milk and mix well by hand. Then add in egg, salt, pepper, bread crumbs, garlic, onion and garlic powder, teriyaki and Worcestershire, mustard, and mix well. You might need to add in some bread crumbs to get a thicker consistency. Take a large handful and shape it into an oblong shape. Take your index finger and make a little well on the top middle of the beef to hold the sauce. Toss them in the oven for around a half hour. Enjoy!


Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Simple Peach Caprese

By Lisa VanWilliams

This is a fresh taste of summertime with the sweet peaches, mild mozzarella, and the aromatic hints of basil and balsamic vinegar and it only takes a few minutes to throw together. It's very refreshing and sweet at the same time. Slice your peaches nice and thin, and get some fresh mozzarella sliced thin as well. Drizzle with some balsamic vinegar and sliced pieces of basil. Enjoy!

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

The 10th annual Newport Mansions Wine & Food Festival

Hi Everyone!
Please join us in September at this incredible Festival filled with lots of wine and good food from around the world....Sip your wine while you walk around The Elms, Rosecliff, and Marble House. We are very excited to have to opportunity to be there to see all the action live and share it with you as it happens on Facebook, Twitter, & Instagram. Thanks, Lisa & Steve VanWilliams

Press Release here:

The 10th annual Newport Mansions Wine & Food Festival 

September 25-27, 2015 
The Elms, Rosecliff & Marble House

Newport Mansions Wine & Food Festival Celebrates 10th Year with Martha Stewart, Jacques Pépin, Claudine Pépin & More
Champagne and Conversation with Stewart and Pépin Added to Weekend
NEWPORT, RI (July 9, 2015) ­– The Newport Mansions Wine & Food Festival, one of the East Coast’s most sophisticated and anticipated events, returns for its 10th year from September 25 – 27, 2015. Once again, the Marble House lawn will be the setting for the two-day Grand Tasting, which offers guests the chance to sample hundreds of wines from around the world and cuisine from nearly two dozen regional restaurants and caterers.

Martha Stewart will return to the Newport Mansions Wine & Food Festival for her second year, headlining a brand new signature event with French chef Jacques Pépin. During A Conversation with Martha Stewart and Jacques Pépin, guests can enjoy a lively and engaging conversation with the lifestyle expert and the French chef while sipping Champagne Taittinger in the Marble House Gold Ballroom before heading out to the Grand Tasting. Stewart, an Emmy Award-winning television host, entrepreneur and best-selling author of 83 books (and counting), and Pépin, an internationally recognized chef, cookbook author, and cooking teacher who has published more than two dozen books and hosted 11 acclaimed public television cooking series, will discuss what’s hot and what’s not in lifestyle and food trends, providing the audience with a rare opportunity to engage with them in a spectacular setting.

Chef Pépin will also join daughter Claudine Pépin for a cooking demonstration on the KitchenAid Culinary Demonstration Stage during Sunday’s Grand Tasting. Claudine Pépin joined her father in preparing delicious meals and sharing cooking techniques on three public television shows and has served as a Brand Ambassador for Moet & Chandon and Dom Perignon Champagne. She recently wrote her first book, Kids Cook French, a collection of thirty favorite, simple, classic French recipes in both English and French, illustrated by her father Jacques and daughter Shorey.

Also participating in the weekend cooking demonstrations will be several other local and regional favorites. Ben Pollinger, Executive Chef of Oceana restaurant in New York City, is known for blending the finest seafood with the best ingredients from a global pantry.  A 2015 James Beard Award Rising Star Semifinalist and Chef de Cuisine of The Cecil in Harlem, NY, JJ Johnson is constantly in search of new flavors and has found them everywhere from Ghana and back to some of New York’s most esteemed kitchens. Hailing from Brooklyn, NY, Allison and Matt Robicelli of wholesale bakery Robicelli’s have reinvented the cupcake craze for a more sophisticated palate, making each a small piece of the greatest cake ever made. Another sweet demonstration will feature Amy Guittard, author of the Guittard Chocolate Cookbook, and “Mr. Chocolate” himself, Jacques Torres. Rounding out the weekend's cooking schedule will be local favorites Matthew Petersen, Executive Chef of Newport Harbor Corp; Jamestown Fish Owner and Executive Chef Matthew MacCartney; and Frank Terranova, Johnson & Wales instructor and host of the NBC10 daily television segment “Cooking with Class.”
The elegant Friday night Wine & Rosecliff gala will feature a special selection of fine wines and food amid seaside Gilded Age splendor.  Also returning is the Collectible Wine Dinner at The Elms on Saturday night. This esteemed dinner will give guests the chance to taste and learn about a variety of high-end collectible wines paired with delectable dishes.  All of the wines will be hand-selected by the Festival’s Director of Wines, Michael Greenlee, a 25 year veteran of the industry.
Guests will have an extra opportunity to enjoy late night bites and cocktails by some of the Festival sponsors with the return of Newport After Dark, taking place on Saturday night at
Forty 1˚ North on the Newport waterfront.

Seminars will take place on Friday at the Hotel Viking Newport, allowing visitors the opportunity to learn about wines from different regions of the world. Guests are encouraged to ask some of the industry’s most respected experts about tasting, pairing and buying of wine.
The Presenting Sponsor of the 2015 Newport Mansions Wine & Food Festival is FOOD & WINE Magazine.  Additional  sponsors  include National Trust Insurance Services, KitchenAid, Alex & Ani, Atria Senior Living, Newport Hospitality, Inc., Hyatt Regency Newport, Hotel Viking Newport, Residence Inn MarriottNewport/Middletown, The Newport Harbor Hotel and Marina, Alaska Seafood, Chef Works, Arrow Prestige Limousine & Coach, Marchesi Antinori, Maple Leaf Farms, Ruffino, Dock & Harbor Maine, Harney & Sons Fine Teas, WhistlePig Rye Whiskey, Verterra Dinnerware, Meridian Printing, Brinley Gold Shipwreck Rum, Bouchaine, Coravin, Guittard Chocolate Company, Champagne Taittinger, Sequoia Grove, Nobilo, Coca Cola Bottling Company of Southeastern New England, and United Airlines.
All proceeds from the Newport Mansions Wine & Food Festival benefit The Preservation Society of Newport County, a non-profit organization accredited by the American Alliance of Museums and dedicated to preserving and interpreting the area’s historic architecture, landscapes and decorative arts.  Its 11 historic properties—seven of them National Historic Landmarks—span more than 250 years of American architectural and social development.
For more information and to purchase tickets for the 2015 Newport Mansions Wine & Food Festival, visit, or call (401) 847-1000.

Peach Upside-Down Cake

Peaches peaches everywhere! They are in season and you can find some sweet, juicy, ripe ones at the stores and markets right now. I try to give my clients options with fruits and vegetables that are in season at any particular time. Today we are sharing with you this cake recipe and tomorrow we have a Peach Caprese style salad to show you.

We followed this recipe on Taste of Home and it's fabulously moist and sweet, and everything you would expect in a Southern Dream bite. This would be great for a party, a long weekend at home with the family, or just bring a piece to a good friend to show them how much you love them ♥

Follow the recipe here to get the same results:

Monday, August 17, 2015

Monday Motivation With Gabby & Laird

If you are lucky enough to live near a big city like LA or NYC you can hop in and check out one of Gabrielle Reece's HIGHX training classes that were launched earlier this year at all 24 Hour Fitness locations throughout the U.S.
"The 50-minute high intensity class is designed to maximize the body's ability to burn fat, build lean muscle, optimize the body's hormonal and physiological response to exercise, all while improving overall daily and athletic performance.  Designed for all fitness and skill levels, the HIGHX class works in small groups, rotating through the progressive functional training circuits.  HIGHX circuits are powered by cutting edge, high quality Lifeline products.  The instructor provides coaching and encouragement as the small groups naturally build member support and community."
Check out this video/photoshoot they did for ESPN's 2015 Body Issue...SMOKING hot bods for a 45 year old mom, and 51 year old dad. Tips on training, marriage, and how they make it work:

Saturday, August 15, 2015

Black-Eyed Susan Dirt Cake

By Lisa VanWilliams
You don't need to wait for Halloween to make this tasty Oreo favorite! My daughter is heading to a pool party today so we made some pretty dirt cakes. You can find these clear small cups at the dollar store. Then I used some Betty Crocker frosting and a tip and make petals on the edge of some large and mini Oreo's and place them on top of the cups. Enjoy!

Then just follow the dirt cake recipe: