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Olives from spain

Healthy fats are an important part of a good food plan and olives play a big role in mine. In addition to using olive oil in cooking I like to snack on them including Olives from Spain.  The fiber and fat makes them very filling.

Did you know?…

  • Spain is the world leader in production and export of table olives – supplying more than 155 million lbs. into the U.S
  • Olives are naturally sugar-free and contain monounsaturated fats, which can improve cholesterol levels and reduce heart attack/stroke risk
  • 95% of stuffed pimiento olives consumed by Americans come from Spain
  • During harvest in September and October, olives are picked one by one to avoid damaging the fruit.
  • Spain’s sunny weather, temperate winters and rich, fertile soil are idyllic for growing the perfect olive

I had the opportunity to interview Chef Annie Sibonney recently and learned ways to incorporate olives into recipes and why they’re good for you. Chef Sibonney is a Cooking Network star and Spanish cuisine expert on all things entertaining and olives.

Below is the recipe for one of the dishes in the video.

GORDAL OLIVES STUFFED WITH PIQUILLO PEPPERS AND MARCONA ALMONDS WITH BLUE CHEESE

Stuffed Gordal Olives
Gordal is a large green olive from Spain that has a beautiful rich flavor and is perfect for stuffing because of it’s size. Stuffed olives are so simple to prepare, yet impressive and can make any weeknight or get together with family and friends extra special.

Ingredients

  • 24 Gordal Olives from Spain
  • 3 Spanish Piquillo peppers from a jar, drained and cut lengthwise into about 8 thin strips
  • 24 salted roasted whole Marcona almonds
  • 3 tablespoons quality extra-virgin Spanish olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon sherry vinegar (vinagre de Jerez)
  • 1/4 teaspoon of honey
  • 1 whole sprig thyme, left intact
  • 1/4- 1/2 loosely packed cup of crumbled Spanish blue cheese like Cabrales, or your favorite blue cheese.

Directions
In a bowl, combine the olive oil, Sherry vinegar, thyme, and honey. Give it a stir and gently press onthe thyme sprig with the back of the spoon to release the oils. Set aside until ready to use.

If olives are not pitted, remove pits by using the side of a large knife and apply gentle pressure, to loosen the flesh from the pit. Make a length-wise slit and very gently remove the pit. The olives should remain intact. Place the olives on a flat surface like a wooden cutting board with the length-wise slit facing up.

Stuff 1 whole almond, followed by a Piquillo pepper strip which should lay flush with the slit that was made on each olive. Trim the edges of the Piquillo pepper so they match the length of each olive.

Place the stuffed olives on a plate and gently spoon the marinade over each olive. Let the olives stand in their marinade at room temperature for 30 minutes.

Serve by placing the olives on a platter and top with crumbled pieces of Cabrales or your favorite blue cheese.

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Cat Holiday Gift List #BBNshops

As empty nesters we’ve become the doting pet owners or parents as we see it. You might remember meeting our two cats, Buster and Annabelle, in previous posts.

They and Charger (our basset hound) have their own stockings for the fire and it’s not too early to think about what they (we) need to keep them happy, healthy and appropriately spoiled. These are great ideas for the cat lovers on your holiday gifting list.

BoomBox Network partnered with me to come up with this holiday list of cat must-haves.

  1. Attack Cat SignCould be a joke, or could be the truth. Ever had your ankles scratched from under the sofa? Still a great sign you can order now and pick up at Petsmart.
  2. Motorized Cat Mobile ToyKeep your cat engaged anywhere you can find a door. Get some exercise for that indoor cat with Pioneer Pet Tiger Toy from Kohl’s.
  3. Paw Cleaning Litter MatClean the Litter off those paws as they step out of the litter box. Order it from Wayfair.
  4. Pounce ToyNatural Bamboo and canvas, natural and durable for lots of fun by Ore Originals from Nordstrom.
  5. Cat Paw Litter ScoopIf you must have that scoop hanging around, then at least make a statement! It’s an Ore Originals paw from Nordstrom.
  6. Catnip ShakerWow, a shaker of catnip! Sprinkle it on those special places, like scratching posts, or perches for a special treat. Buy this organic catnip at Abe’s Market.
  7. The Cat Whisperer BookSecrets on how to talk to your cat, if your cat is willing to listen, right? Give it a go – you never know. Find it at Petsmart.
  8. Heated Window Sill BedThe perfect window perch for your indoor cat and heated for the winter. Order it from Wayfair and have a happy cat!
  9. Kitty CaveEasy to clean, more colors available, cat bed and a little cat cave, all in one. Find it at Kohl’s.
  10. 1000 Piece Cat PuzzleDoes your cat sit on your work? Let them walk across this puzzle filled with cats. Pick this up for yourself or the cat lover in your life from Get Organized.
  11. Yoga Cats 18 month Wall CalendarReally, cats in asana poses? Up Cat, Down Cat, and mostly Corpse pose, right? World Market carries this great calendar you can use right away.
  12. Cat ShelfWall Art that doubles as shelves! Wayfair carries this fun series of cat perches.

Do you give holiday gifts to your pets?

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Boombox Network . This post contains affiliate links. Comments submitted may be displayed on other websites owned by the sponsoring brand.

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Five Things Friday

It’s Friday already?  Well grab your coffee and let’s chat about what’s on my mind this week.

Kaia Fit

Background-Pink

The big news this week was that I started going to a new group fitness program.  I bough a Groupon a few months ago for Kaia Fit and signed up for the five week session that started this week.  It’s hard to explain it as it’s a fusion of boot camp, crossfit and HIIT.

After two sessions (at 5 am) I can tell you I’m loving it.  I was very sore yesterday but not so bad I couldn’t move.  The hour goes by very fast!

Chobani Simply 100

simply100-black-cherry-53oz

One of my favorite snacks lately is a container of Chobani Simply 100 Greek yogurt with fruit.  There are three reasons I love it (besides the fact that it tastes great):

1. It has only 100 calories

2. All natural ingredients (no GMOs)

3. It’s a Weight Watchers power food!

Flu Shot

flu_shot

That’s me getting a flu shot last year.  This year I was out of the office the day we had them offered at work so I headed over to the walk-in flu clinic my medical provider was offering and got one.

It was quick and easy although my arm is a little sore at the injection area.  That’s a small price to pay for protection against the flu.

CrockPot Oatmeal

It’s finally starting to feel like Fall around here so I broke out the crockpot yesterday and made overnight oatmeal.  I just cut up two apples (with skin on), add 2 cups of rolled oats, 4 cups of water and a tablespoon of cinnamon and cook it on low overnight.

I  get five servings and it’s delicious!

Preventive Health Screenings

I had two medical appointments this week involving screenings.  Last Friday was the annual mammogram which I thought was very fitting seeing that it is Breast Cancer Awareness month.

Then Monday was a colonoscopy.  The prep sucked but the procedure was a breeze since I don’t remember a thing.  Plus I had a great four hour nap in the afternoon.

Both tests showed no problems!

These are my highlights from the past week.  What’s new with you?

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Color Run: Happiest 5k Recap

color-run-gear

Last Saturday was the Color Run in San Diego and I was there as a KindAwesome ambassador.  It’s the first time I participated in this kind of event and I was glad Denise from Do You Have That in My Size? came with me.  She ran it last year and had tips on navigating the colors and more.

We picked up our bibs and race packets which included a cute t-shirt, headband and wristband all in a reusable tote bag the day before.  There was the opportunity to purchase fun color run gear like sunglasses, socks and more.  I did pick up a tutu to complete my outfit!

pre-color-run

That morning we arrived as suggested at the early hour of 6:45 after a quick stop at Starbucks. It gave us plenty of time to finish our coffee and get the gear on for the run.  There were several waves of starts but we wanted to be in the first one at 8 am so we could make other commitments later in the morning.

The emcee was entertaining as we waited and gave away lots of Color Run gear but it didn’t make it to us.  After the national anthem was sung, we were ready to go.

color-run-start

The San Diego event was held at Qualcomm Stadium which is home of the San Diego Chargers (go Chargers!) and the route looped within the parking lot.  We passed through four color stations and (blue, yellow, pink and purple) and there was more color at the finish.

post-color-run

We were pretty colorful afterwards as you can see in the photo above.  We stopped by the Kind booth and picked up the delicious Almond &  Coconut bar and I introduced myself to the team.

There were lots of great activities going on and photo opps but we had to get going so we stopped by the Shout station for a cleaning.

shout-station

They used what looked like leaf blowers to blow the colored powder off the runners/walkers.  It worked darn good and although I brought towels for the car trip home they really weren’t needed.

The Color Run is not a run to try to get your personal best.  In fact, I didn’t even see timers on the route.  It’s designed to be fun and definitely meets that goal.  There are Color Runs coming up in many cities so check the calendar here and plan on going if it’s near you.

Have you ever participated in a Color Run?

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Tales From the Scale: Be the Boss of Your World

Yes, this is a day late but you’ll understand when I tell you why.  I was busy yesterday having a colonoscopy.  The prep was not fun but the procedure was fine since I slept through it.  I then slept another four hours at home afterwards!

I’m good for another 10 years but left with advice to eat more fiber (diverticuli).  I do now but years of low veggie intake caught up with me. ;-)

Weight Watchers Meeting

Last week’s topic was “Be the Boss of Your World”.  We started out naming the places, people and situations in life that can challenge our weight loss progress.  For me it tends to be when I’m away from home whether it’s vacation or work.

Our group then came up with ideas for dealing with these challenges which included:

1. Take your own food.

2. Make family/friend events active instead of food-based (e.g., group fitness class instead of restaurant meal)

3. Don’t bring tempting foods into the house

4. Plan meals in advance.

Food Plan

new-orleans-mug

I was in New Orleans for several days last week and had to take advantage of the unique food items.  I ate alligator hash one breakfast and this treat another.

Shrimp and grits.

Shrimp and grits.

The highest calorie lunch I had was this roast beef po-boy from Mother’s.

roast-beef-poboy

The debris is what makes it so good!  My Sunday afternoon snack was not healthy at all!

Beignets and cafe-au-lait from Cafe Du Monde

Beignets and cafe-au-lait from Cafe Du Monde

My favorite meal was at Muriel’s.

bayoubaise

My entree, Bayoubaise, was very healthy but the bread pudding for dessert was decadent AND worth every bite!

Weigh-In

As you can imagine despite earning a ton of activity points (okay 19) walking back and forth to the French Quarter I was up this week.  I’m not sure how much was due to New Orleans because I weighed in four hours later than normal.

Saturday morning was the Color Run so instead of going to Weight Watchers pre-breakfast (and coffee) I went after both and the 5K.  My weight was up 2.6 pounds which dropped the total weight loss to:

- 46.0 Pounds

 Challenges Ahead

Other than the colonoscopy prep this week there’s nothing special planned the remaining days.  We’ve got a meal plan made and my husband and I are both looking to see the scale move down.

How did your week towards great health go?

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