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Tales of the Heart: We're going to ITALY!

I had a major stroke of good luck last week. You may have seen my post about the wedding-related winnings I received from Style Me Pretty. I thought it was pretty much the coolest prize in the world. And it is. I didn’t think it could get any better – until Thursday rolled around and I saw in my inbox an email from the PR people for Dr. Oetker’s Ristorante Pizza. I clicked on it frantically. Why? Because a few months ago I entered Funk and I in a Tales of the Heart contest sponsored by the pizza people to win a trip for two to Italy. All you had to do was submit your love story and a picture of you and a loved one enjoying some Ristorante Pizza. Easy peasy for Funk and I who love to have fun with our food. I sent in my entry right away. You can read our story and see our silly picture here.

I truly, honestly believed I’d win the trip. I just had that feeling. I even asked Funk to renew his passport ASAP because we would be going to Italy soon, and when we were with friends a few weeks ago, I told them I had a hunch Italy was on our upcoming agenda.


And you know what? I was right. We won! I called Funk, voice shaking to say, “We won. We won!” Poor Funk has no idea what we’ve won because I enter us in contests practically daily. “We’re going to ITALY!” I squealed. I chatted with the nice PR people from Dr. Oetker’s who confirmed this amazing prize and let me know we have a 4 night 5 day vacation to any part of Italy we’d like! We still can’t believe it’s true and I’m so appreciative of this amazing prize. We’ll be heading to Italy before the end of the year and just need to pick our location. Tuscany is top on the list and I’d love to take a cooking class and visit a winery.

Travelers – I need your help! Where should we go? What should we do? Tips welcome!

Oh, and yes after all this fantastic luck, I did play the lottery. No wins there!

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Tales of the Heart: We’re going to ITALY!

I had a major stroke of good luck last week. You may have seen my post about the wedding-related winnings I received from Style Me Pretty. I thought it was pretty much the coolest prize in the world. And it is. I didn’t think it could get any better – until Thursday rolled around and I saw in my inbox an email from the PR people for Dr. Oetker’s Ristorante Pizza. I clicked on it frantically. Why? Because a few months ago I entered Funk and I in a Tales of the Heart contest sponsored by the pizza people to win a trip for two to Italy. All you had to do was submit your love story and a picture of you and a loved one enjoying some Ristorante Pizza. Easy peasy for Funk and I who love to have fun with our food. I sent in my entry right away. You can read our story and see our silly picture here.

I truly, honestly believed I’d win the trip. I just had that feeling. I even asked Funk to renew his passport ASAP because we would be going to Italy soon, and when we were with friends a few weeks ago, I told them I had a hunch Italy was on our upcoming agenda.


And you know what? I was right. We won! I called Funk, voice shaking to say, “We won. We won!” Poor Funk has no idea what we’ve won because I enter us in contests practically daily. “We’re going to ITALY!” I squealed. I chatted with the nice PR people from Dr. Oetker’s who confirmed this amazing prize and let me know we have a 4 night 5 day vacation to any part of Italy we’d like! We still can’t believe it’s true and I’m so appreciative of this amazing prize. We’ll be heading to Italy before the end of the year and just need to pick our location. Tuscany is top on the list and I’d love to take a cooking class and visit a winery.

Travelers – I need your help! Where should we go? What should we do? Tips welcome!

Oh, and yes after all this fantastic luck, I did play the lottery. No wins there!

I love FitBloggin!

Over the weekend, I headed down to Baltimore with Jess from A Fete for Food for the FitBloggin conference. Wow! It was so exciting to be there (and the 70+ degree weather certainly helped). The FitBloggin’ Conference was for anyone who blogs about fitness, wellness, good food and a healthy lifestyle. FitBloggin brought together the community of health-conscious bloggers for a day of education, networking and friendship.

The event kicked off with a cocktail reception where the POMtinis were a flowin.’ It was great to meet new people, and officially meet those people whose blogs I read daily. Only in blogging do you feel like you know someone so well without ever actually meeting them face to face! Well, blogging and maybe online dating? Anyway. It was a great kickoff. Right away I ran into Katy who is a blogger but we’ve learned we have a mutual friend from our days at Syracuse University, and Katy is a triathlete too!
Saturday started off with a Quaker sponsored oatmeal breakfast and I hosted a “Breakfast with the Dietitian” table, for people to join me with their oatmeal and ask any food and nutrition related questions they had. I chatted with a bunch of great bloggers!

I went to some very informative sessions – I wish I could have attended them all!

First up was Blogs, Accessibility and SEO: Dispelling the Myths – Presented by Scott Stawarz. This was informative and sometimes way over my head. I need to work on SEO optimization for my blog. Huh? Yeah, that’s how I feel.

Next up I went to WordPress from .com to Self Hosted: An in Depth look into one of the Most popular Blogging Software out there presented by Jim Doran. This talk lit a fire under my bottom to switch to WordPress and finally dive into self-hosting. I plan on making the move ASAP so I hope there are no glitches with this blog!

There was a wonderful POM presentation by Jeff from POM Wonderful. I know him from the POM Wonderful Blogger Harvest Tour I was on in the fall, and it was great to reunite again.

Beyond the Blog: Getting Published was next with a speaker panel including Charlie Hills, Linda Konner, Jennette Fulda, Caitlin Boyle, and Brett Blumenthal, all published authors. Caitlin’s Operation Beautiful book comes out this summer and yours truly was quoted within her book. Can’t wait to read the final product!

Finally I went to Making Money From Your Blog: Should You? Could You? How? In this talk, I was reminded not to quit my day job. I love blogging for myself, and for all of you, even if my only reader is my mom. Hi mom!

The wonder woman in charge of this whole event was Roni. I also met Roni at the POM Wonderful Blogger Harvest Tour and man, she is impressive. She worked tirelessly to host an amazing, exciting, informative and fun conference. I wouldn’t have changed a thing, Roni. Great job! Her volunteers were pretty awesome too.

The swag bag wasn’t too shabby either. (Read: amazing.) Aside from some fantastic coupons we received, a cute ceramic bowl, and a super comfy bamboo fabric FitBloggin t-shirt from Thrive, the folks at Gruve gave us a high-tech pedometer that lights up as you meet your daily activity goals (and buzzes when you’re too sedentary). The icing on the cake were the running or walking sneakers that everyone received from New Balance and the awesome running shorts to go with them. Thank you sponsors! I cannot wait to try out all these new products.

Every day I’m amazed by what blogging can bring. For me it started off as a way to get my nutrition word out, and write. Along the way I have formed blogging buddies, attended healthy living and blogging conferences, and learned a lot from so many different blogs. It was a blast spending the weekend with 150 other bloggers in the same boat as me. Roni, you rock. Thanks for FitBloggin!

Broccoli Stuffed Portabella Mushrooms

The other night I opened our veggie drawer to find a head of broccoli and two portabella mushrooms. I didn’t have a plan in mind for these tasty vegetables, which is rare for me. Usually I hoard recipes for weeks, flag them in my inbox, and put their ingredients on our grocery list. Not this time! So somehow I came up with what was an amazingly good dinner of broccoli stuffed portabella mushrooms. Yep, good enough to brag about them, and easy DSC_0204enough too.

Ingredients

1 head broccoli, florets chopped
a few tablespoons wheat germ
maybe half a cup whole wheat bread crumbs
a dribble of canola oil
some shredded soy cheese
sea salt
2 portabella mushrooms

I could never write a cookbook with random measurements like these!

DSC_0206I chopped the broccoli and microwaved it on high for 2 minutes to soften up the florets. Then in a large bowl I mixed in the wheat germ and bread crumbs. I added canola oil as needed (maybe 2T worth) to moisten the breadcrumbs a bit so they’d mix well. Then I added in the cheese and salt to taste.

I washed the mushroom caps then scooped out the brown gills, and topped the inside of the mushroom caps with heaping scoops of my broccoli mixture, and patted it down.  

I baked the mushrooms in a 350 degree oven for about 25 minutes, until the filling started to brown.

DSC_0210They. were. perfect. This recipe is a keeper. Who doesn’t love the combo of broccoli and cheese? Stuff that into a mushroom and you have yourself a fantastic meal or even side dish. We paired ours with some smooth, dark beer to toast St. Patrick’s Day…from the two least Irish people around.

The Skinny on Dietitians

 011_skinny-nl-head3 (2)

Calling all Dietitians! I have a great promo I want to tell you about, right in the middle of National Nutrition Month! Have you seen the trendy and upbeat website Skinny in the City? I love it. It reminds me of Daily Candy with  nutrition, beauty, and wellness content. Registered Dietitian Tanya Zuckerbrot, who also authored the F-Factor Diet, created this site for people to get information on nutrition as well as recipe makeovers, restaurant reviews and ordering guides, nutrition tips, Skinny’s obsessions and beauty and fashion advice. You can even sign up for the Skinny newsletter (which is awesome, by the way).

Tanya recently created The Skinny on Dietitians online directory. The Skinny on Dietitians is an innovative, super user-friendly website and search engine that helps people across the country find a qualified Registered Dietitian (RD) to meet their unique needs, budget and location.

The Skinny on Dietitians allows dietitians to create a personalized profile that includes information about their training, contact information, website, areas of practice and specializations in an eye-catching layout. For those RD’s who do not have their own online presence, the Skinny on Dietitians can fill that void. Unlike other directories, the Skinny on Dietitians allows RD’s to feature articles, links and upload videos about themselves and their practice, in a social media-friendly design. It’s practically like having your own website to advertise your services! This site is jam packed with media-savvy dietitian goodness.

The site offers one free and two low-cost ($10 and $20 per month – cancelable at any time) membership levels so that dietitians can choose the package that works best for them.

Here’s the even greater part: all Eat Well with Janel readers who Skinny Headshotare also Registered Dietitians get to try a one month trial with The Skinny on Dietitians! The promo code to use is JANELRD and it’ll be good for one month. All you have to do is email the Skinny people at: sierra at theskinnyondietitians dot com with JANELRD in the subject line to get your free 1 month membership beginning the day you sign up! Skinny will send you the necessary paperwork to fill out your profile, and you’re good to go with a sassy and sophisticated Skinny Profile!

My profile is up – check it out then go get yours!

Note: Promo code ends Sunday April 18, 2010

I am not being paid to promote Skinny in the City or The Skinny on Dietitians

Thank You Style Me Pretty!

Food chit chat aside today, I want to welcome all the new readers I got as a result of having my blog linked to the Style Me Pretty site yesterday!

Yesterday I found out I was the big winner of a contest on the Style Me Pretty wedding website! Style Me Pretty is hands down my favorite wedding blog/website that I drool over daily, so I was psyched when they announced that Google Docs launched 20 individual Google Docs templates, geared exclusively towards the bride, groom and their adventures in planning a wedding. I uploaded 5 new Google Doc Wedding Templates immediately! They’re so helpful – guest lists, table seating, etc. To celebrate the Style Me Pretty and Google Docs collaboration, SMP hosted a blog giveaway for one lucky winner to get a $500 gift certificate to Wedding Paper Divas to use for stylish invitations, save the dates, thank yous etc. But that’s not all! The prize also includes a wedding planning consultation with celebrity wedding planner Michelle Rago! I flipped out when I heard I won. Can you believe it?! What a fun prize. I can’t wait to work with Michelle and peruse the wedding invitation website.

There was a slight typo when SMP linked to my blog, which they called Eat Wedding with Janel. Whoops! For all of my new readers who came looking for a wedding blog, you won’t find it on Eat Well with Janel. However, if you stay a while, you’ll read about my kitchen creations, restaurant reviews, food giveaways, and all things food, fitness, wellness, and the like. And every so often, I might even let you know about our wedding planning progress. But – if you’re in the Boston area, SMP readers and brides-to-be, and want to look your best for your wedding day and beyond, I’m the dietitian for you!

So thank you Style Me Pretty, Wedding Paper Divas and Michelle Rago. This is such an incredible prize and Fiance Funk and I are so excited to receive it!

Lemon Pepper Parsnips and Carrots

This blog post is simple, just like the parsnip and carrot side dish I put together the other night. I love how such simple ingredients can come together to make a really lovely dish. In this case I used:

1 bag whole peeled carrots, cut into 1” pieces

1 bag parsnips, peeled, cut into 1” pieces

olive oil

lemon pepper

fresh lemon juice

I tossed the cut parsnips and carrots in lemon juice and olive oil, then topped them with freshly ground lemon pepper. You could always just use salt and pepper and lemon juice if you don’t have lemon pepper. I roasted these roots in the 350 degree oven for about 40 minutes until they were very crispy (note: charred) just the way we like them. No fuss, no frills. This dish was probably the last of the hearty, roasted root veggies I’ll make before spring sets in (hooray next week!).

What’s your favorite way to roast veggies?