January Rules

The holidays were really fun- going from one party to another, learning how to make cookies from scratch, participating in cookie swaps, decadent dinners, brunches, and exciting Club Dine In! events. My favorite was Irvin’s dessert party. Irvin, a passionate baker and blogger, throws an annual grandiose dessert party. He bakes all of his desserts from scratch and asks his guests to bring only their sweet tooth. Irvin had 21 desserts, all displayed beautifully with name cards. I tried to take only bite-sized servings of the desserts I really wanted to try, but I decided that everything was sooo worth it. My favorites were the Red Velvet Cake with Whipped Mascarpone Cream Cheese Frosting and  Sweet Potato Cheesecake with Marshmallow Sour Cream Topping.

I baked cookies from scratch! Pistachio+Muscovado Sugar+Egg Whites+Meyer Lemon

I don’t feel that guilty about my indulgent ways in December and have set goals to get back on track to healthy eating and living. Instead of making large, undefined resolutions such as “losing weight” I’ve decided to go to the gym at least four times a week, limit desserts to once a week, and appreciate food more. I’ve also decided to clean up my act a bit more by participating in January Rules. Remember, the October: Unprocessed challenge? Andrew Wilder at Eating Rules has come up with another challenge: January Rules. This challenge is much more lax and asks you to follow only three rules. I already follow these rules normally, especially #2, but I need to more vigilant.

  1. When you eat grains, eat only 100% whole grains.
  2. Don’t eat high fructose corn syrup.
  3. Don’t eat hydrogenated oils, trans fats, or anything that’s been deep-fried.

Also, once a week, go ahead and “cheat.” Eat anything you want. I encourage all of you to kickstart 2011 with joining me on January Rules. Follow the hastag #januaryrules on Twitter for inspiration, motivation, and ideas.  Follow me on twitter for more frequent ideas on how to satisfy your sweet tooth, make unprocessed choices, and pretty pictures of food and other musings.


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An Econista Baby Shower

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This week I had to skip the Farmer’s Market for my best friend’s (Nafisah) baby shower. Nafisah is a true econista;  she has been working as a manager for Green Citizen for the last four plus years and tries to live a sustainable life as much as possible. (She also met her husband while working at Green Citizen). I wanted to make the baby shower really special for her by catering to her preference. I contacted friend and  fellow blogger, Phantom Floranista, to help me create sustainable flower arrangements to be used as decor at the baby shower. We left early on Saturday morning to get flowers from San Francisco’s Flower Market. It was my first time going there and I was just in heaven at the sight of so many beautiful and unique flowers.  To keep with the color scheme of the baby shower, we picked up locally grown greenish purple Hydrangea, green and purple Spider Mums, and purple branches for about $32. We went back to the Floranista’s beautiful apartment and had a light Iranian breakfast before getting to work. Out of five yogurt containers of varied sizes, tissue paper, net, and ribbon, we created the centerpieces. By turning the yogurt containers (which would have just ended up in the recycling) into vases, I saved a lot of money and made the world a little bit greener. We had flowers left over to make one more arrangement, so we made another for me to take to Eat The Love’s Dessert Party later that day.  The dessert party was beyond delicious, where Irvin Lin (who bakes from his heart) made at least a dozen different, intricate desserts. Stay tuned for a link to Irvin’s blogpost and pictures about the party.


The San Francisco Flower Market is large, hosting flowers from around the world!

Can you believe that an ugly yogurt container is under the net and tissue paper?!

We created these beautiful arrangements from just a few materials and $32!

The flowers complimented the buffet table well.

A baby shower just wouldn't be complete without mini cupcakes!


I also made macaroni and cheese cupcakes for the baby shower feast. I played around with a recipe from Rachel Ray, and then completely changed it. After making the mac n’ cheese, I realized just how much I loved the classic American childhood dish. However, I was also reminded by how unhealthy mac n’ cheese really is…The cupcake size portions were just perfect to completely enjoy it without guilt. You can find my green mac n’ cheese recipe here.

Mac n' Cheese baked in cupcake shells are perfect for portion size control and baby showers!

An organic-cotton bear for the baby to come.

Did you know that Club Dine In! is on Twitter and Facebook? Follow @clubdinein for daily health, fitness, and social news, recipes and delicious tips! Join the Club Dine In! community on Facebook to connect with like-minded individuals and find out about exclusive Club Dine! events.