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Snack Attack! The Must-Try Dip to Pair with Pretzels

Written on April 25, 2014 at 5:16 pm , by

Written by Jordan Clifford, editorial intern

Pretzels are the perfect snack—a little salty with a whole lot of crunch. (No wonder so many distance races offer them at the finish line shoot!) Alone they’re great, but topped with something? All the better. Put a twist on the classic munchie with this savory recipe. I mean, it’s National Pretzel Day tomorrow, after all. Time to celebrate! Double-dipping encouraged.

Ricotta-Roasted Garlic Dip

1 bag Rold Gold Three Cheese Pretzel Thins
6 bulbs whole garlic
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 pints ricotta cheese
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
¼ cup grated Parmesan cheese
½ teaspoon salt
1 pinch freshly ground black pepper

Preheat oven to 350°F. Using a serrated knife, cut the top ¼ of each head of garlic off, exposing the tops of the cloves inside. Place the garlic heads on a sheet of aluminum foil and drizzle olive oil over each one. Wrap in foil and place in the oven for 45 minutes. Remove and allow to cool. Squeeze roasted garlic out of each head and place in a mixing bowl. Add the ricotta, Dijon mustard, Parmesan, salt and pepper and mix thoroughly. Serve and enjoy!

Recipe and photo courtesy of Rold Gold Pretzel Thins

More from FITNESS:

Cheryl Burke’s Snacking Secrets: Being Curvy Is In!

Written on March 8, 2013 at 11:09 am , by

Say cheese! Cheryl listens to her cravings with smart, protein-packed solutions, like portable Sargento Natural Cheese Snacks.

Last week, the Season 16 Dancing With The Stars cast was revealed and to our excitement, two-time champ Cheryl Burke will be back March 18 for another year of gracefully stiff competition—this time with comedian D. L. Hughley. We cha-chatted with Cheryl before the big announcement about leading a FITNESS-approved lifestyle. Read on to find out how she stays fueled and fit every quickstep of the way—plus why she’s thanking all the haters out there.

You’re a force to be reckoned with as DWTS’ only professional to appear in the finals four times…plus you’ve taken home the Mirror Ball trophy twice, back-to-back! Spill your tactics.

During the show, it’s all about showcasing my partner. I feel like sometimes people think their partner’s going to be a professional dancer at the end of the day and for me, it’s just about making my partner look comfortable and not awkward and really developing a great chemistry with whoever I dance with. Dancing is a hard sport to do, especially when you have no experience coming into a show like ours. It’s just important that I showcase my partner and not showcase myself. I feel like the people at home want to see the progress of these celebrities and how they progress each and every week.

So how will you bring that experience to Season 16?

Every celebrity I dance with always brings something new to the table. Everyone has their own personality and their own way of learning so I feel like every season is a challenge for me regardless. It’s even more challenging now that I’ve done it for so long because I put pressure on myself to make sure that every season that I do is better than the last one I did. Read more

Peta Murgatroyd Hopes to Defend Her Title on Season 15 of DWTS

Written on September 14, 2012 at 9:00 am , by

Peta Murgatroyd returns for her third season as a professional parner with Gilles Marini for another chance at winning the coveted Mirror Ball trophy. (Photo courtesy of ABC/Craig Sjodin)

One of the most anticipated television shows of the year, Dancing With The Stars, will be hitting the dance floor again next week for yet another exciting competition but with a new twist—an all-star cast. That’s right! This season will welcome 13 fan favorites and previous winners back to the stage to take the quick footwork and drool-worthy ensembles we love to the next level.

Among the cast is reigning champion, Peta Murgatroyd, who took home the Mirror Ball trophy as Donald Driver’s professional partner. We talked strategy with the Aussie-native, who hopes to continue her winning streak with Season eight’s runner-up, Gilles Marini. Here’s what she had to say about injury prevention, her secrets to looking fab and her favorite indulgence, cheese!

After being the first duo to be sent home Season 13 with Metta World Peace, how did you change your tactics for the win with Donald Driver?

I think that it’s always easier when you have somebody that is willing to learn and willing to put in the effort and the hours. I was devastated when I got out first because it was my first season. I wanted to come out and make a big bang as the new pro on the block but that didn’t really quite happen and I was crushed. I really think that Donald was so inspiring to have as a partner and he really wanted to win it. It’s just all about how you guys work together and the communication.

What have you been doing in preparation for another victory, this time with Gilles Marini?

One of the biggest things is respect for one another and I think [Gilles] has that. He’s an amazing person. He can definitely move well. I looked back on some of his old YouTube videos and he was really good. One of his major pros is that he can act so he’s great with getting into character and really sort of honing in on what the dance is about.

Gilles suffered from a separated shoulder during his season. How do you prevent injury?

Warm-up is key and cool-down is key. I can’t even start dancing until stretching first. I think that’s from the ballet background that I’ve had for 12 years. We didn’t take a step without making sure our feet were flexed and pointed and, you know, every muscle was warm. Also, because I’m so flexible with my body, I need to keep it strong and make sure that I do a lot of Pilates, for instance. I do a lot of that and strength training with weights. Read more

Fit Blogger We Love: This Mama Cooks

Written on January 5, 2012 at 3:19 pm , by

Anne-Marie also reviews cookbooks and foodie movies on her site.

Some people start a blog to document a wedding, a baby’s growth or a weight-loss journey, then fall off the writing wagon soon after the big event passes or after they reach their goal. Not Anne-Marie Nichols! She has been blogging about her favorite food trends, kitchen tips and recipes on This Mama Cooks! since 2004. In 2007, she added a nutrition focus and tacked on a few extra words to her blogs title (“on a diet”). Now the mom of two hopes to inspire her readers—and their families—to take small steps to live healthier, happier lives.

Here’s what keeps Anne-Marie feeling great, inside and out:

My favorite way to work out: Reformer Pilates. I’ve fallen in love with it thanks to my wonderful instructor, Alisa at Axis of Movement. She’s helped me eliminate my lower back and sciatica pain and improve my core strength. I go twice a week and take a Pilates mat class from her, too.

I’m happiest when I’m: Meeting my health goals for the day—drinking my water, taking my vitamins, exercising, brushing and flossing, and getting eight hours of sleep.

Most embarrassing song I’ll admit I work out to: Anything by Duran Duran. I’m stuck in the ‘80s.

My fave fit snack: Larabars. They’re the only snack bar that I can eat since they’re gluten- and sugar-free.

My biggest indulgence: Cheese. Since it’s an indulgence, I splurge on local artisanal and fancy imported cheeses and try not to worry about the price per pound cost.

Speaking of indulging, Anne-Marie shared one of her favorite sweet treat recipes with us, a sugar-free, dairy-free chocolate mousse! Click below for the 411.

Read more