Have your fill of delectable dishes without the guilt

Every year for 40 days, Christians undertake a dietary resolution in preparation for Easter. This diet consists of fasting, abstinence, and a healthy dose of prayer and meditation. Regardless of religion (or lack of it), however, people have chosen to carry out Lenten diets with hope of achieving weight loss. Whether you adhere to this belief or not, Treetopia has some food suggestions for every meal that are not only scrumptious and filling, but also acceptable for Lent.


photo by AndyRobertsPhotos via flickr. CC BY 2.0

Breakfast/Dessert

Breakfast is the most important meal of the day, so they say. Sure, you can quickly whip up a bowl of oatmeal or an omelet but your taste buds wouldn’t feel too excited about those after a while and, since it’s Lent, you can’t reach for those packs of ham or bacon in the freezer. Instead of going astray, whip up a batch of couscous pudding. This versatile little dish can be served as a breakfast and/or dessert, depending on your mood, and it’s healthy to boot! We found Dena’s Oh! You Cook! blog with instructions on how to make this very simple dish. You will need the following basic ingredients:

  • 2  cups almond milk (plain or vanilla)
  • 1 tablespoon margarine
  • 3 tablespoons honey
  • 3/4 cup plain or whole wheat couscous
  • 1/3 cup raisins

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Whether you love Mardis Gras or simply enjoy colorful parties, Treetopia will show you how to plan a FUN-tastic Carnival party

You may have missed the festivities during this year’s Mardis Gras Parade but that doesn’t mean you have to wait another year to experience the glorious festive atmosphere that comes with it. Read on below for tips on how to organize your very own Mardis Gras, whether you’re planning for next year or you just want to host a carnival-themed party any time of the year.


photo by Vegan Feast Catering via flickr. CC BY 2.0

 

Food, Glorious Food!

Mardis Gras is not the English translation of “Fat Tuesday” for nothing. Since this day of celebration is held before Lent and fasting begin, it’s only natural to gorge on glorious food. So if you really want a carnival-inspired celebration, it is a must for your party to be filled (if not overflowing) with food. You can start off with a simple appetizer like this scrumptious shrimp canapé recipe from Leslie Styles’ blog. Caryn Ross also shares a couple of easy-to-make Mardis Gras recipes on her blog, Cooking with Caryn. Follow it up with three or four types of main dish until your guests reach the delicious moon pie dessert or traditional king cake. You don’t have to worry because there’s always room for dessert.


moon pie photo by steevithak via flickr. CC BY-SA 2.0 (left) and king cake photo by syvwlch via flickr. CC BY 2.0 (right)

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Bring out those shakers and blenders because it’s time for some delightful recipes for National Margarita Day


photo by slgckgc via flickr. CC BY 2.0

 

It’s National Margarita Day this Friday and what better way to celebrate than mixing up a glass or two (or several) of this favorite concoction. Treetopia has gathered a few recipes you and your friends can try out, so gather everyone for a margarita-tasting party!

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Treetopia has listed down some romantic destinations for a memorable trip with your partner

The excitement surrounding Valentine’s Day may be over but it doesn’t mean you can’t still be in a romantic mood. If you’re planning an intimate escape for you and your partner, consider these romantic destinations on Treetopia’s list:

 

A Taste of Culture and the Arts

If you and your partner love to immerse yourselves in culture and enjoy the excitement of a bustling city, then New York is the place to go. Take snapshots as you explore the city or dress up and take pleasure in Broadway or Off-Broadway productions. Find inspiration at the Metropolitan Museum or have a nice, romantic carriage ride around Central Park. When you’ve had your fill, you can head on over to the scenic Niagara Falls and cuddle as you enjoy the view of cascading water.

NY

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Forget pity parties and anti-Valentine’s Day sentiments. Call up your best single girl friends for a Valentine’s Day party they will surely remember

If you’ve been single for a while and are about to do your best rendition of “All by Myself” a la Bridget Jones, stop, take a deep breath, and think about doing something more enjoyable and productive this Valentine’s Day. Since you’ve already decorated your home to reflect a romantic Valentine’s atmosphere, take it to the next level by hosting a terrific party for your fellow single friends. (If you haven’t decorated for Valentines yet, check out The Single’s Guide to Decorating for Valentine’s.)

 

The Venue: Your Home

When it comes to choosing a venue, it’s better to host intimate parties in familiar places. What other place would be more familiar than your own home? If you have a nice garden shielded from the cool winter breeze, you can host an outdoor party. If not, you can settle for a cozy party indoors. Glam up your home with lovely centerpieces and table decorations. We found this 11 unique table decoration ideas from the Inspiration for Home blog.

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Satisfy the insatiable gustatory desires of food lovers this holiday with these fabulous gift suggestions

Christmas is our free ticket to go all out and satisfy our appetites all in one day. It’s also the day when we get together with our dearest of family and friends. While everyone appreciates receiving gifts, giving that fruitcake a break this Christmas will certainly be a welcome decision. Since Christmas is also all about scrumptious food, here are a few gift ideas you can use for the food lovers on your gift list:

 

Collection of Herbs

For those who appreciate the huge difference herbs make in any dish, a collection of fresh or dried herbs makes a great gift. If you fancy the dried herbs option, purchase a few bundles of a variety of herbs from your local farmer’s market. Store these in clear, airtight containers, and label them accordingly. Food lovers with green thumbs will appreciate receiving a small potted herb garden that will make a great herb starter kit.

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Challenge yourself this Thanksgiving with these fabulous and sinful creations


Photo by njvack via flickr. CC BY-SA 2.0

With only a few days left before Thanksgiving, we’re all getting ready to stuff ourselves with excellent food while attempting to avoid answering overly personal questions. Of course, Thanksgiving isn’t complete without a delectably juicy and absolutely awesome turkey on the table. You can even imagine the spirit of Thanksgiving whispering “you complete me” to the turkey à la Jerry Maguire. But how did the turkey become the symbol of Thanksgiving, anyway, and in how many artery-clogging ways can you prepare a turkey?

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If you’re throwing a party this Halloween, do something unique that will make your party one to remember. Instead of just buying candies and chocolates from the store like everybody else does, have your guests take home some memorable homemade party favors. Here are some ideas for fun and sassy party favors your Halloween party guests will absolutely adore.

Design Your Own Coffin

Since Halloween is all about ghouls, ghosts, and vampires, make your guests design their own edible coffins. Bake a few batches of cookies, gingerbread, or whatever pastry you can cut into the shape of a coffin. When the pastries have been shaped and cooled, set them aside.

Don’t forget to buy materials for decorating the coffins. Chocolate or strawberry syrup, mini marshmallows, chocolate or rainbow sprinkles, crushed nuts, fruits – it’s up to you. Make sure you set up a separate coffin station so your guests can sit down while working on their designs.

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Entertaining unexpected visitors can be somewhat troublesome. Many hosts aim to impress with complicated dishes, but this often leaves too little time to actually enjoy their guests’ company. At the same time, guests could be craving more than the usual popcorn and soda. Hopefully, with our Sensational Snacks from Around the World, you’ll be able to find some simple snack ideas that are guaranteed to please.

Moroccan Hard-boiled Eggs

This twist on the old-fashioned hard-boiled egg is easy – just slice the egg open and sprinkle with cumin. It’s a Middle Eastern favorite that is sure to please even the most jaded of appetites, and the cumin helps with your digestion too!

German Sandwiches

This European take on the traditional open-faced sandwich is made of a slice of bread, a dollop of cream cheese, and thinly sliced cucumbers. Run a rolling pin over the bread or use soda crackers for extra thinness. It’s a snack that can also double as a cocktail canape.


Photo by bandita via flickr. CC BY-SA 2.0

Hawaiian Musubi

Because Hawaii is a melting pot of food cultures, nothing shouts “Aloha!” louder than this Americanized version of sushi. All you need is a block of sticky rice, some pan-fried Spam, and Japanese dried seaweed to wrap it all in. Your guests will find themselves asking, “Why didn’t I think of this before?”

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