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Light for Life
January 30  |  By Rose McAvoy
Pigs in a blanket are the ultimate Super Bowl snack I've never been much of a sports fan but I happened to watch one football game this year. It was a good one. What a thrill it was watching the Seahawks drag themselves through the first half of their final playoff game against Green Bay only to come back in the final moments in an absolutely astounding rally for the win. Even I jumped out of my seat to yell at the television in those last seconds!

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January 21  |  By Rose McAvoy Special to The Herald
Shhh! It's the secret to losing weight All right folks, here it is: the all-time-absolute-best-tip for losing weight is ... drink more water.

That's it.


A few years ago I overheard a conversation at the gym (I love eavesdropping!) between a woman and her trainer. She was complaining that she'd been working out for a year but had only shed a few pounds.

It was phrased like she was baiting the trainer. Her confession caught my attention. A long list of questions...

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January 15  |  By Rose McAvoy, Special to The Herald
Cooks of any skill level can tackle this chipotle bean soup recipe In general I do the cooking in our house. If I ask my husband to make dinner he is likely to respond with a blank stare and some fumbling words. He is very good at many household tasks (including laundry) but, for the most part, the kitchen has become my domain. He steers clear of the majority of its contents and happily takes the family out to eat when I am in need of a break.

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January 8  |  By Rose McAvoy
I had a very disrupted night last night and all I wanted to do this morning was curl up inside a warm cinnamon roll and eat my way out. Fortunately, I didn't have any pastries within reach. Instead I hugged my cup of coffee and let the music on the radio get my head in a better place.

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December 28  |  By Rose McAvoy
Forget what you think you know about tofu, this recipe's a winner Start the year off with a burst of flavor and an ingredient that may be new to you.

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December 28  |  By Rose McAvoy
I wonder if you are among the millions who will wake on New Year's Day saying, "This is the year I get healthy! The year I eat right, exercise and, finally, shed those pesky pounds." Will you lace up those walking shoes that have been collecting dust in the back of the closet? Will you choose something loaded with fiber and protein for breakfast?

Maybe you and your new resolve will roll out of bed, stumble into the kitchen, and on your way to the coffee pot,...

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December 16  |  By Rose McAvoy Special to The Herald
This cake has classic holiday flavor and works great for birthdays, too Our family has two December birthdays. I am not one to shy away from a reason to celebrate, but December birthdays do come with their own set of challenges.

"Happy Birthday! Now say goodbye to your presents and get in the car. We're spending Christmas at Grandma's house and we need to beat the traffic."

This was the sound track to my husband's childhood birthdays. At least the way he remembers them. Ask Mike about the birthdays of his youth and...

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December 3  |  By Rose McAvoy Special for The Herald
Selecting, seeding and enjoying pomegranates If you find it hard to get excited about fresh fruit this time of year, I have a challenge for you: go buy a pomegranate.

Though pomegranates are native to much warmer climates than we have in the Pacific Northwest, thanks to modern growing techniques you can find them in the grocery store almost any time of year. However, you'll find the best fruits, at the lowest prices from October through January. While they are in season, I like to pick up one or two a week. Eaten...

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November 26  |  By Rose McAvoy
Bring Thanksgiving to a sweet ending with Pumpkin Pie Mousse I don’t need to tell you, pumpkin pie is a staple Thanksgiving dessert. Given my affection for pumpkin, you might guess I would be first in line for a slice at the end of this week's big meal. I won't. Not because of the calories, although they can be plentiful. I will be skipping pumpkin pie because of the crust.

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November 19  |  By Rose McAvoy Special for The Herald
Pumpkin lasagna a great vegetarian Thanksgiving alternative This recipe is a project — but oh, what a result.

Fall is a wonderful time to tuck into a cozy kitchen and lose yourself in a great recipe. I like to think of cooking projects as culinary meditation. While you work, listen to some music that makes your heart happy, or put on a favorite old movie to play in the background. Lose yourself in the rhythm of chopping and stirring as the windows turn hazy from the steam of boiling water.

Lasagna from scratch may...

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November 11  |  By Rose McAvoy
On Veterans Day, thoughts turn to sacrifices made on hallowed ground Sometimes I sit down to write and before I know what has happened, a completely unexpected story bursts out. Today was one of those days and this is one of those stories. I hope you enjoy the interruption to my usual subject matter.

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November 5  |  By Rose McAvoy Special for The Herald
Clean out the fridge with this cauliflower 'fried rice' In the interest of full disclosure: cauliflower fried rice isn't fried and has no rice.

So much for truth in advertising. However, once complete, this dish has the fluffy texture and flavor of the familiar take-out staple.

Five years ago, if you asked me to name a versatile vegetable I probably would have said potato. I may have also muttered something about potatoes being a starch and not a vegetable. But as I spend more of my time cooking nourishing food, I...

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October 31  |  By Rose McAvoy
Enjoy Halloween magic a bit longer with pumpkin muffins Halloween is here! My son has been looking forward to today all year. He first asked if we could to trick-or-treating again after dinner on Nov. 1 of last year. Right now, he is over the moon, in full Super Mario garb having a party with his pre-school buddies. Last year made a big impression on our little man. He was three, nearly four, and it was his second time out as a trick-or-treater but the first time he was fully aware of what was happening. Dressed in a homemade bat...

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October 22  |  By Rose McAvoy Special to The Herald
Squash just as pleasing as pumpkins this time of year When it comes to fall produce promotion pumpkin sure pulled the long straw. That stuff is everywhere. You can eat it, drink it, smell it. Even late-night television comedians are dedicating entire (hilarious) segments to how much we love it.

We are so pumpkin brainwashed that even small children who would otherwise avoid vegetables at all costs are embracing, nay, demanding pumpkin flavored treats. (From a botanical...

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October 8  |  By Rose McAvoy
Remembering great-grandmother's not-so-wholesome culinary life Author and real-food activist Michael Pollan isn't known for comedy. His work is generally very serious. But his frequently quoted mantra always gets the corners of my mouth twitching: "Don't eat anything your great-grandmother wouldn't recognize as food."

He intends for people to avoid processed and engineered food products, but you see, by the time I was old enough to pay attention to my great-grandmother's eating habits, she had fully retired from cooking.

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October 6  |  By Rose McAvoy
Need dinner fast? Try these meatballs and freeze the extras I love to cook but that doesn’t mean there aren’t days when the tummies start to grumble in unison and I have no idea what we are going to eat for dinner. On those days, I am grateful to have a few homemade meals stashed in the freezer.

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September 24  |  By Rose McAvoy
Learn how to roast a chicken and eat for a week Warning this post contains approximately 700 exclamation marks - I'm not sorry.

I am so stinking excited about this I might burst!

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September 17  |  By Rose McAvoy
Fish sticks don't have to come from a box Give a man a fish and he'll eat for a day. Teach a man to fish and he will eat for a lifetime. Teach him how to make fish sticks and he can impress the heck out of his kids.

My Dad is an outdoorsy guy. His favorite way to relax is hiking the Northwest backcountry with his decades-old backpack and a buddy or two by his side. As a child I was fascinated by all the gear he kept, especially for overnight treks. In the days before a backpacking trip he hauled his gear out of...

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September 11  |  By Rose McAvoy
The summer of the peach I am dubbing this the summer of the peach! We have had a steady supply of peaches in our kitchen since the end of July and, with the way this weather is going, we may get to keep slurping up these juicy fruits for a few more weeks (fingers crossed!).

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September 3  |  By Rose McAvoy
Peanut butter banana tortillas a back-to-school favorite Back-to-school time puts me in the mood to collect some new family friendly food ideas. If you are also looking to jazz up your recipe box I’ve got a good one for you.

We eat this for lunch but it would also make a terrific after school snack. You could even toast a few up for a late night slumber party treat.

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August 27  |  By Rose McAvoy
Blackberry syrup takes advantage of summer sweetness Noxious, thorny, and destructive Himalayan Blackberry vines are everywhere!

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August 21  |  By Rose McAvoy
Baking pie a sweet way to procrastinate Last week Mr. introduced me to a new word: procrastibaking. I feel the word alone says it all but just in case you are wondering, the Urban Dictionary has provided a definition, "the practice of baking something in order to put off doing something else you need to do."

This Peach-Raspberry Galette is pure procrastibaking.

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August 18  |  By Rose McAvoy
Encourage your child's culinary curiosity Pop quiz!

Your child has made up their own recipe. Now it is time for a taste test. What do you do?

"Look! I put jelly on my peas! Want to try it?"

Answer: YES! Enthusiastically and emphatically! Open wide and get ready for the choo-choo, it is time for an Adventure Bite!

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August 12  |  By Rose McAvoy
Fresh peach and rhubarb sorbet Last week my friends at Farmstr slipped me a box of peaches. Each velvety peach was perfectly ripe. Nested in their shallow box they looked like an August sunset. I knew right away what to do with the first few: make a luscious, fruit-forward, subtly sweet, sunny-colored, and utterly refreshing sorbet.

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August 5  |  By Rose McAvoy
Homemade meringues pack flavor but not calories If you have ever looked for a "diet" cookie, you know the options, though varied, are often disappointing. I have found that if you are yearning for an ooey-gooey chocolate chip cookie you should just go ahead and have one. ONE. Make a date to visit a bakery, select a drool-worthy confection from the case, serve your indulgence on a plate, pair it with a cup of tea or coffee, and enjoy each and every bite.

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