Nicci Morris

Archive for November, 2009|Monthly archive page

A once-a-year kind of treat…

In Entertaining, Food, Recipes on November 27, 2009 at 3:01 pm

Happy Holidays, all! I hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving Day.

I’ve talked with many of you who feel that gaining weight is inevitable this time of year. But I am here to encourage you to not buy into that lie. I have managed to not only keep holiday heft at bay but to even lose a pound or two the last two years. It is feasible and you can do it too. If you implement The Zaftig Life mantra of “Moderation. Balance. Health.,” I know that you, too, can maintain or even lose a few pounds this season.

The Zaftig Life is not about restriction. It is, however, about moderation. Instead of throwing in the towel from November to December and vowing to eat better in 2010, start today. Enjoy some holiday treats, but only in small amounts. You simply cannot indulge in cake, cookies, alcohol or turkey sandwiches every day (or even every other day) for a month and a half and not expect your pants to get tight. (Don’t even try to blame it on the dryer!) But you can make smart choices when it comes to food, beverages and exercise and still have delicious goodies while maintaining a healthy weight or even shedding extra pounds. And the good thing about the occasional treat is that you are less likely to go off on a fat and sugar bender when your cravings are out of control.

Yesterday I made a pecan pie with chocolate and bourbon. I know what you might be thinking… “That does NOT sound figure-friendly.” That’s because it’s not. It is well over 600 calories per serving. That is insane. But it’s also insanely delicious… I can (and I did) indulge yesterday. It’s full of butter, sugar, 90 proof bourbon, and has a ridiculous calorie count, but it’s a once a year treat. If you decide to indulge in this pie, I recommend you make it a once a year treat, too.

Photo by Nicci Morris

By Nicci Morris

Chocolate-Bourbon Pecan Pie

1 store-bought pie shell (I use and highly recommend Marie Callender’s deep-dish pastry shells)

1 cup white sugar

1 cup light corn syrup

1/2 cup salted butter

4 eggs, beaten

1/4 cup bourbon (I used Ezra Brooks 90 proof)

1 teaspoon good vanilla extract (never use imitation)

8 ounces semi-sweet chocolate chips

1 1/2 cup pecan halves

Preheat your oven to 325 degrees.

In a saucepan combine sugar, corn syrup, and butter. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until butter or margarine melts and sugar is completely dissolved. Cool slightly (you don’t want to scramble the eggs in the filling).

In a large bowl combine eggs, bourbon, and vanilla and mix well. Pour cooled sugar mixture into egg mixture, whisking constantly. Stir in chocolate and pecans. Pour mixture into pie shell. Bake for 55-60 minutes, or until set and crust is golden. If the crust starts to brown too much before the filling sets, fold pieces of foil over the crust while it finishes.

Enjoy…

Love,

Recipe inspired by this version of the recipe on AllRecipes.

The Zaftig Life featured on Soapbox Media!

In Food on November 17, 2009 at 10:13 pm

Take a look at this awesome article about The Zaftig Life. I’m so excited and honored to have the site featured. It’s amazing to see things taking shape. I believe in this lifestyle and in every Zaftig woman out there. There is power in knowing who and what you are. Self-acceptance and a willingness to grow — a resolve to evolve — is the key to achieving any and every single thing you ever want to do.

The Zaftig Life is gaining momentum and I could not be more excited. This is a movement… and I am so glad to be on this amazing journey through life with you!

Love,

Zaftig-approved goodies…

In Lifestyle, Nic's Picks, Zaftig-Approved on November 13, 2009 at 6:07 pm

Zaftig-approved Goodies - by Nicci Morris

Whether you want to lose weight or you’re at the point in your Zaftig journey where you are maintaining your curves, the fact is you have to eat and you have to move to get the results you desire.  Getting to and staying at a healthy weight does not require deprivation and you don’t have to give up snacking. On the contrary, grazing throughout the day while remaining mindful of your nutritional and caloric intake can actually rev up your body’s metabolism. That means you’ll have better results, more energy, and you’ll feel and look better than if you were restricting calories too much. Bottom line: Eating and weight loss/maintenance go hand-in-hand.

Hence, this is the first installment of “Zaftig-approved” goodies. If a goodie is “Zaftig-approved,” you can count on a few things:

  1. You’ll probably like the way it tastes and it will be satisfying. No sense in eating something that’s full of empty calories, devoid of nutrition AND you’re still hungry 30 minutes later! Zaftigs don’t do the calorie wasting thing… We know better. While we’re never going to all agree on what’s delicious and what’s not, I know you’ll love most of the picks. (No, I won’t give you your money back if you buy something I recommend and you hate it. Keep your receipt, love!)
  2. I’ll tell you all about how and where to find the goodies. I hate when someone tells me how great something is and then I have to hunt down the brand to find the nearest retailer. Part of why I’m here is to share deliciousness with you, and I plan to do just that.
  3. Finally, because we know good health is all about balance and moderation in everything we do, Zaftig-approved goodies won’t always be food. A goodie is anything my fellow Zaftigs would find appealing (a great beverage, fabulous workout gear, dreamy shapewear, great walking/running shoes, a great deal at a gym, can’t-miss exercise videos or equipment, lotions, makeup, a book you can’t put down, etc…)

If you want to send me suggestions for items, please feel free to do so! And I definitely look forward to you guys weighing in with your own opinions of all the Zaftig-approved goodies to come!

Love,

A pom addiction…

In Entertaining, Nic's Picks, Recipes on November 11, 2009 at 5:41 pm

Pomegranate arils

It happens every year. Brisk mornings come, the leaves change, and I wait… And then the day comes: Pomegranates arrive at the market. When the poms came in this year, I loaded the conveyor belt with them, salivating at the joy to come. The cashier picked one of them up as if it was coated in slime and asked, “What in the world can you do with these?!” Plenty.

I am an unabashed pomegranate addict. From the shape of the fruit to the glistening rubies nestled within, I adore everything about poms. The sweet-tart flavor and the brightly-colored juice lure me in each fall and winter. The taste and texture is unlike any other fruit I’ve had the pleasure of devouring. At about 230 calories for an entire pomegranate, it’s a wonderfully nutrient-dense vitamin C-packed superfood.  Pomegranates contain polyphenols, tannins and anthocyanins, all beneficial antioxidants. Studies show it contains more antioxidants than most other fruit juices, red wine or tea. There is also some evidence that drinking pomegranate juice can reduce cholesterol and lower blood pressure.

While I am perfectly happy to eat a big bowl of arils (the proper name of the fleshy covering of the pomegranate seeds), my foodie brain won’t always let me keep it that simple. So yesterday I decided to make a “bruschetta” using a sourdough baguette, pomegranate arils, fresh mint, gorgonzola cheese and honey. The result is something beautiful, fragrant and delicious. Interesting to look at and a perfectly-portioned mouthful of flavor, these would be great for a cocktail party, a wine tasting or as a starter.

Pomegranate Bruschetta 1 - By Nicci Morris

Photo By Nicci Morris

Pomegranate “Bruschetta”

Sourdough baguette

4 ounce container of Gorgonzola cheese

1 1/2 cups pomegranate arils

Fresh mint

Honey

Preheat broiler and line baking sheet with foil. Cut bread on the bias into ½ thick slices. (The bias cut will give you a bit more surface area for the goodies.) Layer slices on baking sheet and place under broiler until lightly toasted, about 2-3 minutes. Remove sheet and flip slices before returning them to the broiler until lightly toasted. Remove and add gorgonzola to each piece of toasted bread (about ½ teaspoon of cheese to each, more or less if desired). Top with pomegranate arils. Return to oven and broil until cheese has just melted, about 1-2 minutes. Remove from oven. Tear mint leaves and top each baguette slice. Drizzle lightly with honey.

Enjoy…

Love,

Zaftiglife.com is up (beta mode)!

In Lifestyle on November 7, 2009 at 5:45 pm

I’ve been toiling away (and not cooking, writing or blogging nearly as much as I’d like!) on…

www.thezaftiglife.com

TheZaftigLife.com - Screenshot

Please take a look and tell me what you think. I still have lots of things to add, tweak, change, but I’m very happy with how it is taking shape. I’ve received excellent feedback and constructive criticism since it launched earlier this week and for that I am eternally grateful!

In the coming days and weeks, I am going to add lots of new exciting stuff including a BMI calculator, quick and easy meal ideas, motivational tools, newsletter signup (that means free recipes and shopping lists for you!), T-shirts and water bottles, chances to win incredible prizes, and so much more. I am also looking to celebrate your curves and would love to write an article about you and how you embrace your Zaftig self. If you want to be profiled or would like to nominate a Zaftig Goddess you know, e-mail me. If you have any other ideas for the blog, the site or anything else concerning The Zaftig Life, if you want to see more or less of something, or simply want to sound off, send up a flare!

Be steeped in gratitude and make it a wonderful day!

E-mail me: niccimorris@thezaftiglife.com

Visit the site: www.thezaftiglife.com

Follow me at www.twitter.com/TheZaftigLife and get the latest Zaftig news and updates!

Love,

Salts to taste…

In Food on November 6, 2009 at 8:11 pm

I love food. I love the holidays. Combine the two and I’m like a kid on Christmas Eve. It’s just a week after Halloween and I’ve already heard holiday music in the stores. Time to get shopping!

One of the cooler food-related gifts I’ve seen is this salt sampler in a beautiful bamboo box. It’s a collection of 24 salts from around the world. It’s a bit pricey at $114 (recession!), but the experience of all those different flavors could be worth it for the fervent foodie in your life.

I love trying salt from all over the world. The difference in texture, salinity, color etc… all add to the cooking and dining experience. Salt is a vital part of your diet and necessary for proper metabolism. I find that using better quality salt results in the need to use less salt. So you get more flavor and less salt, which translates to more delicious food and less water retention, bloating and fewer issues with blood pressure…

My favorite salt yet? HimalaSalt, a brand of salt from (you guessed it) the Himalayas. It has an incredibly pure taste and a pretty pink hue. I also like that particular brand because the company supports sustainable sourcing. My advice: Keep an eye out next time you’re trying to get the max for the minimum at TJ Maxx. I often find HimalaSalt there and it’s far cheaper there than anywhere else I’ve seen it. Try it and give your palate a brand new taste experience!