Hey, You're Browsing the Food & Cooking Archives

Tasty recipes, healthy cooking tips, naughty treats, and other delicious answers to your delectable questions.

Hey Laura, what are some healthy, satisfying snacks?

Kristina writes:

I’m looking for some satisfying, but healthy snack options…carrot sticks may be healthy, but they’re not very satisfying.

You’ve got a good start with the carrots. Studies have shown that low calorie, high volume foods like vegetables help people feel fuller sooner, without the extra caloric load.

However, the key to a satisfying snack is protein.

Protein keeps you feeling satisfied longer than anything else you can eat. In fact, starting your day with a high protein breakfast (eggs are great!) will help you not be desperate for a snack come 10am.

The golden snack combination is a food with high water and fiber content (most vegetables and some fruits),...

Continue reading

Hey Laura, how do I keep homemade bread fresh?

Betty writes:

Hey Laura,
You may not have this problem, but we are only a 2 person household.  I love to bake bread but we can’t eat the entire loaf in 2 days.  I find after 2 days the bread is really too stale and not nice to eat.  How do you keep your homemade bread fresh longer?

Well, my solution has always been to binge on fresh hot slices drizzled with honey right when it comes out of the oven. That way we only have half a loaf to finish up before it goes stale!

If you’re not a glutton like me, here are some things you can do to lengthen the life of your homemade bread.

If your recipe calls for sugar, use honey instead. Honey acts as a natural preservative and keeps the crumb tender...

Continue reading

Hey Laura, I need a chocolate cake recipe that uses my coconut porter

I’d play around with The Pioneer Woman’s “Best Chocolate Sheet Cake. Ever.” recipe. I haven’t made it yet, but everyone I know who has totally raves about it. I think it is a good foundation for building your coconutty goodness.

Try swapping out the water for your porter. I looked up some other boozy chocolate cake recipes and they all use about a cup, so the ratio would probably be correct. If the coconut flavor is quite strong, try only using your porter for half the liquid; you don’t want your cake to taste like suntan lotion!

And remember, you can always bring me a slice for taste-testing. I’m an expert taste-tester!

Hey Laura, how can I boost my picky kid’s nutrition?

Tricia writes:

Hey Laura, what would you feed an extremely picky child whose diet includes chicken noodle soup, macaroni and cheese and yogurt? (considering that she needs to add more calories to her diet)

*****Standard disclaimer: I have no credentials for handing out nutritional advice, but here is some info I’ve compiled that can help!*****

My first advice is my best parenting advice: “It’s probably just a stage; just wait it out.”

That said, there are definitely things you can try to improve her nutrition, even within the constraints of her approved food items. I’ll also give you tips on helping expand her gastronomic horizons!

Chicken noodle soup is an amazingly nutritious food...

Continue reading

Hey Laura, what’s a great-tasting, healthy homemade salad dressing?

“I will be indebted to you forever” writes:

Hey Laura,
I love salad but I cannot seem to find a salad dressing that is both healthy and delicious.  What recipes would you recommend for a basic vinaigrette or oil-based Italian dressing?

Oh yes, my friend, you will be indebted to me forever after you try this salad dressing recipe! I just invented it a couple of days ago and have been dying to share. Since it uses strawberry puree in place of most of the oil, it only has 38 calories and 2 grams of fat per (2 Tbs) serving.

Strawberry Balsamic Dressing

10 oz bag of frozen organic strawberries, pureed (yields 1 1/4 cup - I wouldn’t waste fresh strawberries on this; frozen tastes just fine!)...Continue reading

Hey Laura, where can I get great coffee in San Francisco?

Leslie writes:

Hey Laura, I packed my thermos for my week-long trip to San Francisco. Help me fill it up! The only caveat is that I’ll be on foot in the Fisherman’s Wharf and Fort Mason area. What’s good that is nearby?

You’ll be spending most of your time at Fort Mason, so be aware that Greens (famous! awesome vegetarian fare! you should eat there!) Restaurant has a little to-go cafe with coffee and pastries in the morning and soup and sandwiches in the afternoon. Greens To Go opens at 8am (9am on Sundays).

Also in Fort Mason is Cafe Franco, located in the back of the Fisherman’s Wharf Hostel. Look for signs at the hostel, and be aware that the cafe is often closed between 3 and 5pm....

Continue reading

Hey Laura, how can I find local, grass-fed beef?

Good for you for making the switch! Grass-fed beef is better for you, better for the environment, and definitely the more humane choice. And, thanks to the likes of Michael Pollan and Food Inc., it’s getting easier to find local sources.

If you need help being convinced, the Mother Nature Network has an excellent article outlining the Top 10 reasons to eat grass fed meat and AmericanGrassFedBeef.com explains the significant health benefits of going grass-fed (did you know that grass-fed beef has up to half as much saturated fat as grain-fed, and up to 6 times the amount of cancer-fighting omega-3s?).

Now that everyone is rarin’ to get that beef in their bellies, how about some links to...

Continue reading