Better With Bacon

Even though we put up our Christmas tree on October 14 - a new personal best for me - I do wait until after Halloween to start my Thanksgiving preparations and TV segments.

That TV tour kicked off in a delicious way last week with a recipe for Pecan Pie with Bacon from Farmland Foods, which sponsored the segment and this post.  In my opinion, this offers that perfect combination of salty and sweet that makes dessert so delicious. 

Surf on over to their site for the recipe!

Snacks for the Road (and the Sky)

Several years ago, I found a yummy recipe for roasted chickpeas in a magazine. 

They were delicious, inexpensive, and healthy - and I could season them however I wanted (pass the cayenne pepper, please!). But, they required a bit of a time commitment (drying out the garbanzo beans, and keeping a close eye on them in the oven) and they weren’t exactly portable for my frequent travels.

So, I was super-excited to come across Biena Snacks - which is sponsoring this post and my recent segment at CBS in Los Angeles. These crunchy little snacks, loaded with flavor and texture, satisfy my need for a combination of salt and just a little bit of fat. Think potato chips, but protein-packed chickpeas instead. The savory ones also make a great topping for soups and salads (just sayin’). Don't let the “all-natural, gluten-free, vegan” label scare you - they are THAT GOOD, and receive two thumbs-up from my decidedly non-vegan husband.

I showed a variety pack with Sour Cream & Onion, Habanero, and - my personal favorite - Rockin’ Ranch. While I am partial to the savory varieties, for those with a sweet tooth, Honey Roasted or Cinnamon Crunch might fit the bill. If you have an affinity for chocolate - they even have a variety that tastes like Girl Scouts Thin Mints Cookies

You can find them at a wide range of stores, but buying them online lets you pick from all of their varieties and save when customizing your own variety pack of favorite flavors.

On the sweet side, granola bars and granola “minis” from MadeGood snacks are another new favorite in my carryon bag. They come in tiny portions for when you want just a little something sweet, which also makes them perfect for kids. And - they are “school safe” (and airplane-friendly), since they are free of the eight most common allergans like peanuts and tree nuts. But again, don’t let that scare you away! With a chewy granola texture and yummy flavors like chocolate chip, apple cinnamon, and chocolate chip banana, there is something to suit just about every taste.

Happy snacking!

Afternoon Snack Attack

This article in yesterday's Wall Street Journal - "Is Getting 'Hangry' Actually a Thing?" - caught my attention.  Researchers may debate whether such a thing exists, but whether or not it is real, many of us reach for a snack at some point during the afternoon.

Whether it's finding after-school snacks for kids to something easy to keep in the office fridge or enjoy on-the-go, that snack needs to tide us over until dinner.  This morning, I did segment on "Sonoran Living" in Phoenix that featured these protein-packed snack ideas from Tyson Foods, which sponsored the segment and this post.

Tyson Fun Nuggets  

Tyson Any'tizers Snackers

Jimmy Dean Protein Packs

Hillshire Snacking Small Plates

Golden Island Jerky

Happy snacking!

Upgrade Your Cookout

When I am getting ready to head to the airport for a TV tour, very few things make me happier than receiving an email from American Airlines announcing "your upgrade has been confirmed."  Sure, the upgrade might be for a 45-minute flight, but each and every upgrade feels like a small win when you take more than 150 flights each year.

Everyday events can be upgraded too, such as Labor Day cookouts or fall tailgate parties.  To make those gatherings a bit more festive,  I did a segment today on the "Daytime" show recommending wines to go with different types of burgers.  I did this segment on behalf of Kobrand Fine Wine & Spirits and Omaha Steaks, both of which sponsored the segment and this post.

Omaha Steaks actually has more than a dozen different types of burgers - there are even options for vegetarians - along with a new line of gourmet burger toppers (can anyone say Smoky Bacon Jam?).  Kobrand has food-friendly wines to suit any taste or budget, from a fruity Louis Jadot Rose (with a twist top!) to my favorite Champagne, Taittinger Brut La Francaise.

Below are the pairings I shared on this segment.  You can check out the full segment below.

On-the-Air: Nashville

As a little girl, I was not a big fan of Easter.

While I was perfectly fine with getting a basket of candy, I was utterly terrified of the Easter Bunny.  I'm not really sure where that came from, but I'm thinking the bunny's crazy eyes and giant fangs might have played a small part.

As the years went on, and I learned what Easter was really about, the holiday took on a whole new meaning. 

These days, after church, we generally have friends over after services to gather around our table for brunch.  Of course, there is always a ham on that table!  When they are already cooked and perfectly sliced, like the hams I showed for Smithfield this morning on CBS Nashville, it makes getting a meal on the table a breeze.  This segment and post were sponsored by Smithfield.

Smithfield.jpg
Smithfield.jpg

You can find a ton of great recipes and Easter meal planning ideas here.  Happy Easter!