Sunday, May 21, 2017

SECRETS OF SKINNY COOKING and some recipes By Victoria Dwek and Shani Taub C.D.C. Review

SECRETS OF SKINNY COOKING: Mouthwatering Recipes You Won’t
Believe are Low Calorie
By Victoria Dwek and Shani Taub C.D.C.

New Cookbook Reveals the Secrets of Skinny Cooking

Bestselling cookbook author, Victoria Dwek, teams with successful nutritionist Shani Taub to creating delicious and easy to prepare meals that are low in calories but high in flavor.

Eating healthy can be hard and many think, dull.  So many tasty dishes we love are usually high in calories.  But, did you know that low-calorie recipes can be just as enjoyable as those with lots of calories? With their new cookbook, Secrets of Skinny Cooking (Artscroll/Shaar Press; May 2017/Hardcover), bestselling cookbook author Victoria Dwek and nutritionist Shani Taub show home cooks how to create exciting, flavorful, and filling meals... all for a fraction of the calories they'd typically be.

“There are lots of delicious foods out there.  Plenty of recipes with fat and sugar that taste really, really good.  I think we all know that,” Victoria explains. “But I realized that what people didn’t know…is that light food can be just as satisfying.  That’s why I wrote this cookbook, so everyone can feel good about themselves and never, ever feel deprived.”

From that moist Corn Muffin for breakfast, to creamy Eggplant Parmesan for lunch, to Sesame Chicken & Lo Mein for dinner... Victoria and Shani have created flavor-filled recipes of favorite dishes all surprisingly low in calories!

Secrets of Skinny Cooking features:
- Over 135 delicious and easy-to-prepare recipes, with breathtaking photos for each dish
- Secret techniques and tips for zapping the calories from any dish ... without zapping the flavor (such as, "How to Sauté and Caramelize Onions Without Oil.")
- Make ahead info, family-friendly adaptations, and cooking tips from Victoria
- Nutritional information, advice, and motivation from Shani
- Plenty of gluten-free, sugar-free, low carb, Whole30, and Paleo options
- And all recipes are kosher

Every meal is covered! Enjoy filling breakfasts, super light salads, 5-ingredient veggie sides, friendly carbs, satisfying soups, creamy and dreamy dairy dishes, filling and flavorful mains, and even sweet treats.  Some of the delicious recipes in the book include:

Apple Pie Crepes
Italian Roasted Cauliflower Salad
Garlic ‘n Onion Rutabaga Fries
Crispy Eggplant Wontons with Two Dipping Sauces
Skinny Pasta Alfredo
Spinach Stuffed Chicken Thighs
Spicy Chicken Lo Mein
Skirt Steak Over Asian Eggplant
Lemony Baked Falafel
Bruschetta Salmon
Hoisin-Glazed Sea Bass and Mushrooms
Zucchini Pizza Fries
Citrus Cheesecake
Crème Brulee

“A diet should be a way of life that you can live with forever.  It doesn’t mean not eating,” says Shani.  “A diet simply means that you know exactly what you’re eating, even if it changes as time goes on, whether you want to lose weight or just maintain.  A healthy person is never full and never hungry, just content and satisfied.”

Whether you've always enjoyed light, healthy eating, or want to lose or maintain weight, Secrets of Skinny Cooking offers more options than you ever thought possible. Why settle for bland dietetic food and restrictive eating plans when you can enjoy Victoria and Shani’s delectable recipes?


Powerhouse food writer VICTORIA DWEK is co-author of the bestselling Secret Restaurant Recipes, Everyday Secret Restaurant Recipes, and the popular Made Easy cookbook series. She’s the managing editor of Whisk, a popular kosher food magazine published weekly by Ami Magazine, where tens of thousands of loyal readers turn weekly to her “Hello Cooks” column. She’s a featured personality on, where fans tune into her cooking shows, including the video series based on Secrets of Skinny Cooking. Victoria is also a founding partner of, the lifestyle site and app for the busy Jewish woman, where she shares inspiration and tips that go beyond food. She holds a B.A. from New York University and an M.F.A. in Creative Writing from Sarah Lawrence College.

SHANI TAUB is a certified nutritionist and certified diet consultant who has helped hundreds of patients take control of their weight and start on a new path of health. Based in Lakewood, New Jersey, she counsels patients from all over the East Coast, from Monsey to Brooklyn to Baltimore, and internationally, in Canada, Switzerland, and Israel. Shani struggled with her weight as a child and understands the various challenges faced by her patients who are trying to get healthy. Every struggle is unique and each patient has different triggers that will push them to reach their goal.
Working one-on-one, Shani creates a personalized eating plan that fits with that person’s taste and lifestyle. In addition to her renowned weight loss counseling, Shani Taub has also launched a successful line of health foods.

As the weather heats up try these delicious and easy low-calorie recipes.

Recipes may be reprinted with the following credit:
Recipe(s) from SECRETS OF SKINNY COOKING: Mouthwatering Recipes You Won’t Believe are Low Calorie
By Victoria Dwek and Shani Taub C.D.C.
Artscroll/Shaar Press; May 2017

Portobello Mushroom Towers
Yields 2 large servings
Dairy ▪ Gluten-Free ▪ Low Carb ▪ Sugar-Free
Calories: 181 per serving; Shani Taub Exchange: 1 protein, 1 Vegetable

One summer Sunday afternoon, my family and I passed through Monsey, stopping at the Evergreen shopping center. I really wanted iced coffee, so I headed to Hava Java. As I waited for my Skinny Frappe (one of the best ever), I watched the hot dishes emerge fast from the kitchen. One dish that caught my attention was the towering Portobello Mushroom Sliders. I went home and recreated the dish … and it was just as
good as it looked.

2 Portobello mushroom caps
¼ cup red wine vinegar
½ tsp garlic powder
½ tsp dried basil
½ tsp salt

1 red pepper
½ onion, sliced
1 tsp salt, plus more for sprinkling
½ onion, diced
8 oz frozen spinach, thawed, drained
2 (1-oz) slices Muenster OR mozzarella cheese

[1] Place mushroom caps into a ziplock bag. Add red wine vinegar, garlic powder, basil, and salt. Seal; marinate for 1 hour or up to overnight in the refrigerator.

[2] Preheat oven to 400ºF. Place mushrooms and marinade into a baking pan; bake for 25 minutes.

[3] Meanwhile, place red pepper into the oven (on its own or in a baking pan). Roast until skin is blistered, about 35-45 minutes. Let cool; peel and discard peel and seeds. Slice pepper; set aside.

[4] Coat a sauté pan with nonstick cooking spray; heat over medium-high heat. Add sliced onion; lower heat and sprinkle with salt. Cover; cook, stirring occasionally, until onions are golden, about 15 minutes. Remove from pan; set aside.

[5] Coat the sauté pan again with nonstick cooking spray; heat over medium-high heat. Add diced onion; lower heat and sprinkle with salt. Cover; cook, stirring occasionally, until onions are soft, about 5 minutes. Add spinach; cook an additional 2 minutes. Season with salt.

[6] Assemble the towers: Top each mushroom with half the spinach mixture, half the peppers, and half
the onions. Top with one slice of cheese; bake until cheese is golden and bubbling, 9-10 minutes.

Make Ahead: All the components of this dish can be made ahead and stored separately in the refrigerator for up to 1 week. Simply assemble and bake when ready to enjoy.

Red Pepper Fettuccine
Yields 2 servings
Dairy ▪ Sugar-Free
Calories: 241 per serving; Shani Taub Exchange:  1 Bread, ½ Protein, ½ vegetable (medium portion)

This dish is for those who need their hearty pasta dish. There’s half a serving of pasta in each portion; eggplant stands in for the rest. It’s become one of my family’s all-time favorite pasta dishes, high cal or low cal.
(Who needs penne alla vodka anymore? I’d rather have this!)

2 oz fettuccine or any wide, flat pasta (such as pappardelle)
1 eggplant, peeled, sliced thinly lengthwise
salt, for sprinkling
1-2 Tbsp Parmesan shavings, for serving

1 red onion, diced
1 garlic clove, crushed
salt, for sprinkling
1 Tbsp tomato paste
1 red pepper, halved, stem and seeds removed
⅓ cup plain Greek yogurt

[1] Preheat oven to 425ºF. Prepare pasta according to package instructions; set aside.

[2] Cut eggplant slices into long, thin strips a little wider than your pasta. Place into a colander; sprinkle with salt. Let sit for 20 minutes over a bowl or in the sink; rinse and dry.

[3] Place pepper cut side down on a baking sheet coated with nonstick cooking spray; bake until skin blisters, about 40 minutes. Let cool; peel pepper and discard peel.

[4] Meanwhile, add eggplant slices to a baking sheet; bake for 20 minutes.

[5] Prepare the sauce: Coat a sauté pan with nonstick cooking spray; heat over low heat. Add onion and garlic; sprinkle with salt. Cover pan; cook until onion is soft, 7 minutes. Stir in tomato paste.

[6] In a blender, combine onion mixture, red pepper, and yogurt.

[7] When ready to serve, coat the sauté pan with nonstick cooking spray; heat over low heat. Add pasta and eggplant strips to the pan. Add red pepper sauce; toss to coat. Season with salt to taste. Serve topped with a sprinkle of Parmesan shavings per serving.

Shani Says: I love when vegetables are added to stretch a dish. Since a man can have 2 breads for dinner, he can have the entire recipe for only 2 breads, 1 vegetable, and ¾ protein! It’s a huge dinner! Omit the Parmesan and enjoy it along with a piece of fish.

You can find more great recipes and product reviews from our friends at the Village Bakery

I received a complimentary copy.

Cassandra's Review- The recipes are simple, easy to understand and do not coast a small fortune to create.  They can help with everything from weight loss to overall better health and anyone can eat them.

My Lift-the-Flap Bible Stories By Thomas Nelson Review

With more than 30 lift the flaps that move the story along and charming artwork, My Lift-the-Flap Bible Stories will delight little ones as they learn favorite Bible stories.

Young families looking for a way to engage their little ones with the Bible will love My Lift-the-Flap Bible Stories. Unique from other lift-the-flap books, each flap reveals the next part of the Bible story to keep the story moving. Search for Jonah falling into the belly of the whale, watch Jesus perform miracles, and welcome an angel waiting in the tomb by lifting the flaps to see the story revealed. Sweet art and easy-to-understand retellings of favorite Bible stories will delight parents and little ones alike.

Teach your little ones about the stories of the Bible in fun, delightful ways through the My Lift-the-Flap Bible Stories!

I received a complimentary copy.

Cassandra's Review-  Spending time with your little ones can be so fun when you have a great book like this one.  It has little lift flap pictures that were fun for me to surprise my kids with.  Even though some of my family might be older they do have special needs and can be just as excited as the little ones.  So no matter what age you can find a bright and enjoyable time reading it.

All Things Bright and Beautiful By Make Believe Ideas Review

All Things Bright and Beautiful, a charming new padded board book for young children, will be a bright, glittery addition to any home.

This padded board book with plastic handle sparkles with its eye-catching cover and colorful, fun illustrations. With glitter on every page, your little one will be engaged with the lyrics from the classic hymn “All Things Bright and Beautiful.” Enjoy celebrating God’s beautiful creation through this adorable book that your children will want to read over and over again!

The padded covers, thick pages, and handle are perfect for little hands, and the glittery artwork and simple, classic lyrics will appeal to any young child. All Things Bright and Beautiful will delight your family as you cuddle up and read all about God’s care in creation.

I received a complimentary copy.

Cassandra's Review- The book can be sung or read outloud.  Maybe even getting your little one to sing it to you?  The little handle is super cute and the colors are very bright as well as noticeable.

Every Job a Parable by John Van Sloten Review

(from Goodreads)

A Walmart greeter, a nurse, and an astronaut walk into a church. . . .

They each bring with them their own exhaustions and exasperations, their own uncertainty about whether and how their work matters to God. Good news: All work matters to God, because all work reflects some aspect of the character of God. God created the world so that it runs best when it mirrors Him, and we ourselves find the most fulfillment when we recognize God behind our labor.

John Van Sloten offers a fascinating and innovative reflection on vocation: Our work is a parable of God; as we work, we are icons of grace.

I received a complimentary copy.

John Van Sloten

John Van Sloten is a pastor in Calgary, Alberta. He is the author of The Day Metallica Came to Church: Searching for the Everywhere God in Everything. He teaches a preaching course at Ambrose Seminary and has been the recipient of several John Templeton Fund grants for preaching science.

Cassandra's review Q&A-

- What did you like about the book and why? I like the open ideas that this author has for each person's work choice ans well as abilities and how he ties them into God's plan.

- What did you not like about the book and why? It does not cover every job and what about people who can not work but volunteer?

- What did you learn? The author has a very unique and expressive way of writing that will make the reader believe his words to be true.

- To whom would you recommend this book and why? Someone who wants to find God through working.

Depend Silhouette Active Fit FREE SAMPLE #OwnYourGreatness #AD

 Wow, some days I can just about make it to a toilet in time, but what about when I am out and about, shopping or at the park and the restrooms are either dirty or nowhere to be found?  What do you do?  Well I have to admit that I have had to do everything from sit on the side of the road over a guardrail to mimic a toilet to even making a bit of a mess trying to squat down in the midst of a bladder call out.   I know some women have no problem going in the outdoors, but I have a constant fear of soiling myself and having to experience it for the whole day.

I also do not like having to plan around a toilet for most things.  The struggle is real and with Depends at least I can be a little more free.   As long as I bring spare changes of clothes and extra briefs, I can spend a little more free time doing what I enjoy.  I think that the brand should make larger sizes because boxing a women's fit and comfort in two sizes is not the best idea.

Pregnant or really plus size women will not be able to wear these at even the biggest size.   The pads are going to soak up a light leak and hold it until you can get to a place to change.  Also I would recommend ripping or bring scissors to cut them off rather then dragging them up and down on your legs.   These are really good for your time of the month as well especially if you are worried about shifting or have excess bleeding.

Cassandra M's Place has partnered with Depend and has received complimentary product.

The two women below have also partnered with Depend in an effort to bring the discussion to the forefront and to help women understand that bladder leakage isn’t just normal – it’s also very common.

· Suzie Haines, 45, first started experiencing incontinence while running a marathon. She had the sudden urge to use the restroom but didn’t make it in time. After that “oops” moment, she would map out the closest bathrooms everywhere she went. She didn’t really have anyone to talk to and didn’t know where to turn for help. Eventually, she started using pads, until she found Depend, which she says made all the difference – boosting her confidence and helping her feel protected all day. Today, she’s a fitness instructor, yoga enthusiast and active mom who embraces each day worry-free.

· Entrepreneur and community activist, Dyan, had always lived an energetic and fulfilling life. So when she started to experience incontinence, she did everything she could to prove to herself and her family that she could still pursue her dreams; even if it meant rushing to the bathroom more times than she’d anticipated throughout the day. After a while, Dyan was convinced that there had to be a better way to live without changing her on-the-go lifestyle. That’s when she decided to try Depend and she hasn’t looked back since. Today, she’s teaching children dance routines at her own studio and performing with her own dance group (featuring women ages 40+) at national sporting events, including the LA Clippers and LA Sparks.

 #OwnYourGreatness  #AD

Ergo Chef Crimson G10 - 10 Piece Cutlery Set Father's Day Giveaway

Hosted By:
Holiday Contest and Sweeps

Ergo Chef Crimson G10 - 10 Piece Cutlery Set Father's Day Giveaway
1 - Winner

This giveaway is in no way associated, endorsed or affiliated with Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest or any other social media networking site.This giveaway will be valid in the Continental United States Only. Entrants must be 18+ years of age to enter. This giveaway ends at 12:00 AM (EST) 6/11/2017.a Rafflecopter giveaway Holiday Contest and Sweeps Did not receive any compensation for this giveaway. Ergo Chef will be totally responsible for the awarding and shipping of the prizes directly to the winner. There is no guarantee that this prize will arrive in time for the Father's Day Holiday.