Take Me, I'm Yours!

Want to lose weight? Learn how to cook healthy foods? Whip up delectable & healthy smoothies? Work out more effectively? Need an accountability coach? I'm your gal. Give me a ring-a-ding-ding - my new coaching venture has LAUNCHED!

Lebanese Seven Spices Seasoning

Add some shazam to your proteins!

What I Eat

You asked for it, you've got it. What I eat on any given day.

Cool New Tool on Semi-Sweet: Ziplist

Find out more about a cool new tool on Semi-Sweet that'll make YOUR life easier!

A Few Of My Favorite Things

See my top likes & re-pins this week on Pinterest!

My Favorite Cooking Tools

8 great kitchen tools for cooks of all levels.

Late to the Spinach Party - But Let's Celebrate Anyway!

What? National Spinach Day and no one told me? Hop on the spinach bandwagon and get yourself some goodies!

A Note About The Divine Caroline Voting

love this site banner

So my SIL clued me in last night that in order to vote for Semi-Sweet on the Divine Caroline site, you need to register.  So it's more than "2 secs" to vote. I'm sorry, I didn't realize this.  But!  Registration is free, and the good karma with which you'll be endowed for doing it is limitless . . . .

Here's the link if you have a minute or two?  I would SO appreciate it!

Taste Test: Kettle Brand Baked Chips

kettle chips salt & pepper

Whole Foods recently had a special on their small (4 and 5 oz.) bags of Kettle Brand chips, and I've seen that Kettle has started making baked chips and was curious to try them.  Our absolute, to-die-for favorite flavor of these is "salt & fresh ground pepper," aptly described on the bag as the "yin yang of spice."  They are thicker than your average Lay's chip, and are super crunchy and satisfying.  The salt & pepper chips are tangy from the salt and have a little bite from the pepper - hard to describe, easy to love.

So, if I could have all this satisfaction and enjoy better nutritionals, I'd be psyched.  Well, I hate to report, the baked version is not great.

First off, the nutrition low-down.  The baked chips are far better - each serving (28 g) has 120 calories, 3 g of total fat, 120 mg of sodium, 21 g of carbs, and a whopping 430 mg of potassium.  The same serving size of the fried chips has 150 calories, 9 g total fat, 180 mg of sodium, 16 g carbs and 420 mg of potassium.  So unlike some "light" products, these do offer a nutritional benefit.

But the taste, well, just doesn't match up.  The baked chips aren't "krinkle cut," which isn't a problem - they're nevertheless satisfyingly crunchy.  But the salt & black pepper can't seem to consistently adhere to the chips due to the lack o' grease or something.  I did expect these to be overall less flavorful due to being baked, not fried, but it'd be great if they could get the flavorings to better stick to the chip.  So what you end up with is 4 oz. of baked potato chips without any salt, even.   Isn't saltiness the point of chips? 

Are they better than Baked Lay's?  Definitely.  These taste like real food - to me, the Baked Lay's taste of a laboratory.  And when you do happen upon a chip with the seasonings on it, it is tasty, despite the lack of fat.

So instead of spening your hard-earned cash on these, I vote for splurging once in a while on the regular, full-on version - if you're like me and don't eat chips very often, you might as well go whole-hog and just enjoy the real thing.  Just try not to eat the entire bag in one sitting, OK?

Mark Bittman Is "In Residence" On Chowhound This Week!

Forgive me, people, I keep forgetting to send out an alert on this!

Mark Bittman will be in residence on Chowhound's Home Cooking board for the week starting Monday, August 3, responding to questions about cooking and his new book, Kitchen Express, which focuses on quick, easy, flexible recipes.  FYI, Kitchen Express looks great, and they have it at Costco right now . . . had to talk myself out of buying it last week (do you realize how many cookbooks I have?  I have a problem.).

For those of you unfamiliar with him, Mark Bittman is known for his no-nonsense style and his simple, approachable recipes. In addition to his award-winning cookbooks How to Cook Everything and How to Cook Everything Vegetarian, he also writes "The Minimalist" column and the blog "Bitten" for the New York Times.

Here's the link to the thread.  Enjoy!

Welcome to Semi-Sweet!

I'm Sarah Isenberg, a recovering lawyer, avid home cook, cancer survivor, nutrition/fitness/food enthusiast, wife and mother, freelance writer and editor, and I'm here to help.

If you're interested in being as healthy as you can be, without making yourself (or your family) insane in the process, you've come to the right place.  I follow all sorts of health-related news, read zillions of food and lifestyle magazines, and try loads of recipes in my own kitchen.  I also love to dine out in and around Boston. 

Some might call me a "health freak."  I do exercise almost every single day.  I do buy organic when possible.  I don't eat fast food very often.  I avoid foods with artificial ingredients and additives and make most of our meals from scratch.  I'm skeptical of the industrial food machine and of big pharma.  But I'm also interested in balance - so while I'm a regular at my local Whole Foods and farmers' markets, I also occasionally treat myself to some Crunchy Cheetos, and I believe that Velveeta makes a GREAT grilled cheese sandwich.  In short, I practice balance and moderation in my approach to healthy eating and living. 

Small, incremental changes in the way we live and the way we eat can make a big difference in our overall health.   Semi-Sweet is an effort to share what I've learned, what I'm learning, what I'm cooking and what I'm eating.  Take away what you like and apply it to your life.  I hope you enjoy the blog.