Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Heart Healthy No-Fail Coconut Vegetable Fried Rice



As we are about to wrap up Hearth Health month, I wanted to share a fresh new recipe that puts a healthier twist on one of my favorite dishes, Fried Rice! If you’ve ever been to a Japanese Steakhouse or Hibachi Restaurant you’ve watched the chefs chop and dice and throw their knives around creating beating hearts out of their delicious fried rice, right? It’s my favorite part of a hibachi meal, but have you ever noticed what they are actually throwing into it? You know that wad of garlic butter that they toss in there…that’s the equivalent of a whole stick of butter! No wonder it tastes so darn good!



Anyway, when I teamed up with Kelapo Coconut, I knew it would be a great opportunity to play around to tweak this recipe and boost the nutritional value. I'll be swapping out all that artery clogging butter for nutrient rich coconut oil. 

Did you know that coconut oil is comprised of medium chain triglycerides (MCTs) which have been shown to help the body absorb important nutrients and minerals as well as eliminate harmful bacteria and fight signs of aging. So just adding coconut oil into your cooking routine will skyrocket the nutrients of the rest of your meal!

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

What To Wear in Disney!



If you follow along on social media, you may have seen that I’ll be heading back to Walt Disney World to attend this year’s Food Blog Forum conference. For those of you unfamiliar with this event, it is the coming together of some of the top Food Bloggers from around the country (Check out my recap from the last time I went, here) .
To give you an idea of the brevity this conference has, if you didn't log on to register at 10:59:58 (registration opened at 11:00am) you were out of luck. Yup, it sold out in 2 SECONDS FLAT!! Clearly the pixie dust was on my side because by some miracle, I made it in to the registration page and the rest is history.

Now, it’s no secret that I have a love affair with all things Disney. I mean I've worked for "The Mouse", had a Disney shrine in my basement as a child, and there’s even rumors that I may have been conceived in Disney World, so it’s only natural that I take advantage of every opportunity that involves The Happiest Place on Earth. That being said, this will be my 36th trip to Walt Disney World… yeah I know. A little nuts. But, again, I worked for the company for 6 years! The rest… I got no excuse :-P

Anyway! After receiving the confirmation notice for Food Blog Forum (FBF) I instantly started planning my wardrobe.What.... that's not normal?

However, I felt that this time, things were a little different. Being an Annual Pass holder here in SoCal for Disneyland, I've become very aware of how important it is to remain cool and comfortable while gallivanting around the parks but God forbid you sacrifice the cuteness level of an outfit, right!? During my past few trips to the park I've paired some of my black workout pants with Disney-esque tops and have been comfy from the time I set foot in the park until the last firework goes off. You may not realize this but you can clock some pretty solid mileage during a typical Disney trip. My record so far is 18,000 steps in one day! Thank you, FitBit!

This got me thinking… what if I put together some super cute, yet comfy outfits that are inspired by my favorite Disney characters?? I've seen tons of people in the parks wearing their “cosplay” outfits and other Disney-inspired duds, so why not? I mean we've all see the adorable outfits put together on Pinterest!

Causal Disney Princesses Fashion lol! by CrashFistFight
photo courtesy of Pinterest

So when I think cute, comfortable, and resilient (I mean the parks are open for over 12 hours, people) I instantly thought of my favorite activewear brand, Lorna Jane! With over 100 new styles released every month, there was no shortage of options when it came to piecing together these outfits!

Here are a few of my favorite combos:

Inspired by Frozen

"What To Wear To Disney: Frozen"
Shop This Look:
Core Stability Tights (Similar and On Sale!)

Continue reading more and enter to win a Lorna Jane tank!



Inspired by The Nightmare Before Christmas

"What To Wear In Disney: Nightmare Before Christmas"

Shop The Look:
Destiny Zip Up (similar)


Inspired by Minnie Mouse
What To Wear In Disney: Minnie Mouse inspired outfit. #cosplay #minniemouse #lornajane #waltdisneyworld #disneyland

Shop This Look:
Mercury Jacket (Similar and On Sale!)
Amy Tights (Similar)



Inspired by Disney's Animal Kingdom
 What To Wear In Disney: Animal Kingdom/Lion King Inspired Outfit. #cosplay #lionking #lornajane #waltdisneyworld

Shop This Look:
Feline Tights (Similar)
Quilted Cheetah Top (Only Available in AUS)



Inspired by Sleeping Beauty

What To Wear To Disney: Sleeping Beauty by kaseyskitchen on Polyvore featuring Lorna Jane


Shop This Look
Daria Hoodie (Similar)


To see more Disney Inspired Looks I created along with my blogger bestie My Baking Heart, follow along on Pinterest here:



Score a Lorna Jane Inspiration Tank by entering the contest below! 

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Disney World MUST Eats!






As some of you might know, I was lucky enough to get into this year's Food Blog Forum in Walt Disney World! In anticipation, I've been doing some research and checking out things I might actually not yet know about my favorite place, ever (this will be trip 36 to WDW :-P )

During my research, I stumbled upon this post from Disney Food Blog that totally got my tummy rumbling! It made me think back to all the yummy treats I love in the happiest place on earth and I decided to share a list (read: to-eat list) of my own! Oh and don't worry West Coasters, lots of these are in Disneyland too!






Croissant au jambon et fromage at Boulangerie Patisserie inside The French Pavillion

It’s about as French as you can get without a passport. This buttery, flaky, pastry houses tender slices of ham and gooey, melty cheese that will leave you saying, Sacré bleu! Don’t forget to grab a few sweets for later. Nothing curbs a sweet tooth while you’re in line for Test Track quite like a macaron! 


Mahalo to my blogger bestie Jessica from 

My Baking Heart for snapping this photo. 

Dole Whip located at Aloha Isle and inside Disney’s Polynesian Resort
A standard treat that has gained a cult following. This pineapple soft serve is one of the most sought after sweets in the whole Disney corporation (might be a slight exaggeration). You can find this treat in both WDW and Disneyland (Adventureland) but be sure to check the hours of operation for the stands, they don’t always coincide with the park hours. Oh, here’s a tip – Disneyland’s version is a bit creamier than WDW so if that’s your kind of thing, ask for the swirl in Orlando! 





Grand Marnier Orange Slush outside The French Pavillion
This treat has been a favorite of mine since I tried it for the first time on my 21st birthday as I “Drank Around The World”. This drink is not for the lightweights out there. It goes down WAY too smooth on a hot Florida day and will leave you feeling a little Dopey if you’re not careful. Granted, that may have been the other 6 countries talkin’. 




Bahn Mi at The Land Pavillion in Epcot
This is one of the most unsuspecting finds in WDW. I actually stumbled upon this delicious Bahn Mi during my last trip to WDW for Food Blog Forum. Though it strikes out on the bread category (would much rather have a traditional baguette) the flavor is amazing! The fresh cilantro and pickles carrots are perfection. A tip on this one… try to go to The Land during the off-lunch hours. Seems everyone and their mother (literally) now know that The Land has awesome food. 


A good friend will let you take this photo... 
a best friend will let you post it on your blog. Thanks Swifty!


Turkey Legs - Magic Kingdom and Animal Kingdom in WDW, Liberty Square in Disneyland
Just follow the scent… you’ll find them! And don’t believe what you hear, they are not Emu or Ostrich legs or whatever other crazy nonsense that’s going around. These giant hunks of poultry are smoked, giving them the taste of ham more than turkey. Be prepared, they are messy and super salty. You’ll want to hydrate. 




Butternut Squash Soup at Wolfgang Puck Express
This has been one of my staples for as long as I can remember. If you head over to Downtown Disney for some shopping, don’t bother waiting the 2+ hour wait for the big restaurants. Stop by Wolfgang Puck Express for the Butternut Squash soup and a side of the Mac & Cheese. As you can tell from my chats with old Wolfy, Mac & Cheese is his go-to when he serves celebs, so why not try it for yourself while in Disney!



Displaying photo 1.JPG

Mickey Pretzel
As my cousin (who doesn't know I posted this... this will be proof if he reads my blog or not) so eloquently shows, the Mickey Pretzel is the perfect “hold you over before dinner” snack. Super soft and chewy with just the right amount of salt and depending on where you get it from, you may even be able to score some dipping sauces!




Corn Dogs
I’m just gonna put this out there… but these are probably the best corn dogs you’re ever going to put in your mouth. The batter is perfection and the dog inside is substantial enough that you don’t get that awkward layer of air in-between the shell. In Disneyland you can find them on Main Street and in California Adventure. As for WDW, you can find them at Herbie’s Drive-In at Disney’s Hollywood Studios, the Beastly kiosk in Animal Kingdom, and Westward Ho Refreshments in Magic Kingdom. 





Ghiradelli Sundaes
You don’t have to be in the Bay Area to enjoy this San Francisco treat! Grab a sundae (or two) from Ghiradelli at Downtown Disney. My personal fave is the Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough with Hot Fudge and Peanut Butter Sauce. NOT #FoodiesSheddingBooties approved but oh so good. In Disneyland? Find Ghiradelli on the wharf in California Adventure.



              


Pulled Pork Sandwiches from Flame Tree BBQ
It has come to my attention that Flame Tree BBQ at Animal Kingdom is currently under renovation. Hence, the devastating images above. When I tell you that this place has the best stinkin’ barbeque sauce, I’m not messing around. The combination of sweet and tangy sauce on the slow roasted shredded pork and topped with a vinegar based coleslaw… heaven. Clearly, you must be able to understand my devastation. Sources say the new and improved Flame Tree will be open in Spring 2015. We’ll see about that. 

So there's my top 10... in no particular order. What are your favorite foods in Disney?! Comment below! 

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

The Launch Of Foodies Shedding Booties and Why It Took Forever to Post This!



As some of my readers may know, the end of 2014 was a bit of a roller-coaster for me. During a routine check-up, my doctor felt an abnormal lump in my throat that she wanted me to go get it checked out with an ultrasound. Being the procrastinator that I am, I put it off. It wasn't until I woke up with a really bad sore throat one day that I felt the lump myself and decided to go get it checked. It turns out that I had a very large nodule sitting on the right side of my thyroid. Now, apparently thyroid nodules are insanely common, something like 1 in 6 people have them. They usually are super tiny and mean nothing, however, mine was about two inches long… TWO INCHES!? How did I not feel this thing for so long? As you can imagine, the next few weeks comprised of a series of test, lots of poking and prodding, and stupid needles. All the tests came back “indeterminate” (oh great.), so the team of doctors I was working with strongly urged me to get surgery to remove the right side of my thyroid. Of course there was the question of the C-word which was wildly unsettling and apparently if I left it there it could ruin my vocal chords and I could lose my voice. I always wanted to be a Disney Princess, but on-land Ariel would not be my first choice.

On November 18th, I went in for my surgery. First time under the knife… pretty terrifying. After two and a half hours in the operating room, they successfully removed the nodule and sent it off to be tested. Again, I have never had any sort of surgery before so in my overly ambitious head, I figured I would be back to my old self in 4-5 days tops. Nope, I was wrong. This surgery threw me for a loop and a half. I was insanely tired, sore as hell, and could barely talk. It. Was. Torture! With the holidays right around the corner, I definitely pushed myself more than I should have which I was told held up my recovery a little bit. Now that all the holiday madness has subsided and I am FINALLY feeling like my old self, I am ready to kick things back into gear and move forward with all the fun that I had cookin’ up in Kasey’s Kitchen! Oh and after 5 weeks of testing by 6 different teams of doctors around the country, they determined the nodule was benign! (Phewf!)


Now you see, the week before I had my surgery I was in Las Vegas for the Food. Fight. Write Conference where I held the launch of my Foodies Shedding Booties movement. If you were following along on Instagram, you probably saw lots of posts from the event. It was truly a blast. 20 of my fellow Food Bloggers joined me and Las Vegas Yoga Instructor Jodi Tallo for an early morning yoga session. 





Jodi created a fantastic flow for everyone who ranged from beginner to daily yogis. After the session, the bloggers were treated to snacks provided by Pure Organics, Navitas Naturals, StonefireFlatbread, PhilosophieLittle Miracles and Essentia Water. A super special treat included a pop-up shop from my friends at Lorna Jane Activewear!



A special thanks to the girls at Lorna Jane for sharing some awesome active styles with my guests!

As I explained at this event, Foodies Shedding Booties is meant to be a movement and a mantra. It’s not about losing weight, although I can’t promise that won’t be a welcomed side effect, it’s about shedding insecurities and adding in a responsibility to your health. It’s like eating your cake and working it off too!

It is my plan to take these events around Los Angeles, and hopefully at some point the country! Attendees will enjoy a fun workout, meet new friends and foodies, oh and of course, score some killer swag! Who wouldn't be down for that?!


Filling all the awesome swag bags for the guests at the first FSB event in Las Vegas!


To stay up to date with all the Foodies Shedding Booties events, recipes, and giveaways to come, please sign up for our mailing list. We won’t load your inbox with emails, I swear!
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Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Keep Your Tight Ends In Check: Lightened-Up Spinach Artichoke Dip Recipe


The Super Bowl is just a few days away so I thought I would share some of my favorite recipes for stellar Game Day Grub! Here's my lightened up version of the classic Spinach and Artichoke Dip. Check back throughout the week for even more recipe ideas! Oh and obviously... GO PATS! 


Ingredients:

1 cup frozen spinach, thawed and strained
1 cup chopped artichoke hearts
1 1/2 cups plain Greek Yogurt
1 tbsp garlic powder
1 tbsp onion powder
sea salt and red pepper flakes to taste

Preparation:
Combine all ingredients in a large mixing bowl.

Mix thoroughly and break apart any spinach clumps.

Chill until you're ready to serve.

Don't forget to grab a bag of Stonefire Naan Crisps to serve with your dip!




*I topped this dish with some sliced pickled peppers for color and a little zing! Don't be afraid to jazz it up and make it your own!