12.27.2011

christmas aftermath...

I hope everyone had a lovely holiday. Of course it's not over until New Years! I'm already back to work and the anxiety is kicking in. It's like being at the beach. You're swimming in the ocean and you see a huge wave. Do you run to shore... or just dive under? Quick thinking!

Anyway, are you on Instagram? Follow me and I'll follow you to see your holiday snapshots. Here are some of mine.
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What are the plans for New Years? I live in NYC, so the plan is to hide from the madness. I know.... boring!

12.21.2011

happy holidays!

Things have been a little busier than I'd like them to be.

Work, going back to school, having some sort of a life,
and pushing 30 (ok in less than 2 years) is exhausting!
I plan on posting here and there during the holiday but who knows...

I hope to be blogging more in the new year.

h-o-p-e

12.13.2011

it's that time... the wedding!

I don't think this blog will turn into all things wedding, all the time... but I definitely want to talk about it! If you want to know a wee bit more about the engagement: Click here! But for now, let's talk dresses. I really don't know what I like. I'm 28 and dress like a 6th grader, so dressing up is unusual for me. As far as the gown is concerned: The event will be a dinner party. I know I like lace, I know I like comfort, I know I like hints of color and texture... Follow me on Pinterest as I journey into the land of Something Old, Something New, Something Borrowed, Something Blue!




How did you choose your dress?
Do you have a dream dress already picked out?

i am not in london...

...and I was not robbed! If you got an email from me saying I needed money... it was not from me. Don't get me wrong, money is awesome and I want some, but that email was SPAM. Sorry!

And now that my morning is shot to hell, I'll go back to being too busy to post cool things. :o)

11.29.2011

giveaways are ending soon!

Don't miss out on this lipgloss.

Lip gloss giveaway ends tomorrow: Click here for details.
Shabby Apple giveaway ends Thursday: Click here for details.


11.21.2011

cranberry season is here!

Tis the season for family get-togethers, warm wishes, cold weather, and cranberries! The cranberry is a traditional item found on most tables this Thanksgiving and during Christmas. I had the opportunity to interview Ocean Spray's COO Ken Romanzi, North America, to find out a little more about the little crimson treats.

1.)    Why the name Ocean Spray? 
a.       In 1912, the first canned cranberry sauce was created and sold under the Ocean Spray brand name by lawyer turned cranberry grower Marcus L.Urann.  In 1930, Cranberry Canners, Inc. was established through the merger of three cranberry growers Marcus L. Urann, Elizabeth Lee, and John C. Makepeace, who shared a common goal of expanding the market for their crops.  In 1946, the company changed its name to the National Cranberry Association, and finally in 1959, the company took on the brand name of their first and primary consumer product – Ocean Spray!

2.)    Ocean Spray cranberries are grown in the North East and West of America. Why are these colder climates essential when growing cranberries?
a.       The seasonal changes and cooler temperatures of the North East and West create just the right climate for growing cranberries. A bog is a soft, marshy ground with acid peat soil, usually near wetlands, where cranberries grow on long-running vines. These types of fertile, marshy areas are most commonly found in Massachusetts, NJ, Oregon, Washington and Wisconsin as well as some parts of British Colombia and Quebec

3.)    What are some of the main health benefits of Ocean Spray Cranberries?
a.       Cranberries not only taste good, but they are also good for you. One 8-ounce serving of Cranberry Juice Cocktail twice daily may help promote urinary tract health, and one 1/4 cup serving fresh cranberries or a 1/3 cup serving of dried cranberries or cranberry sauce can also provide this benefit. Plus, they are rich in antioxidants! 

4.)    Why should consumers choose Ocean Spray over other brands?
a.       As you may know, Ocean Spray is a cooperative of more than 700 growers, many of whom are second, third and even fourth generation growers. All of our cranberries are harvested with care by our grower families, and we continually strive to offer our fans the best and most diverse cranberry products. Whether it’s Light, Diet, Sparkling, 100% juice or traditional cranberry or grapefruit, Ocean Spray offers consumers a variety of choices.


5.)    Can cranberries be used for things other than cooking? Like decorations?
a.       Yes! Cranberries not only pair well with food, but they also make for creative, easy-to-make holiday crafts. Ocean Spray’s Plan-It guide lists all of the crafts that incorporate cranberries – anything from place cards to centerpieces to wreaths. All of them can be found here: http://oceanspray.com/Kitchen/Plan-It.aspx
 

You learn something new everyday! One of my favorite Ocean Spray products is the Diet Sparkling Cranberry Juice. Only 10 calories and so much easier than mixing your own seltzer and cranberry juice, and you can pack a bunch for work or a picnic with ease!


11.17.2011

giveaway: shabby apple dress!

Another giveaway in thanks to my readers for sticking with me!
Please join this giveaway for a chance to win the lovely Bacciami dress from Shabby Apple, an online boutique of fabulous women's dresses. I love the Bacciami dress. Its classic cut and this shade of red are perfect for the holidays.
Don't you just love it?

Here are the rules:

1) You MUST like Shabby Apple on Facebook.

2) Then you have these extra entries:
Follow my blog via Google Friends.
Blog about this Giveaway.
Follow me on Twitter.
Tweet about this giveaway.

Post here in comments so we know what you did!

A winner will be picked on December 1st!
Good Luck!

11.16.2011

sheyna jewelry

I'm excited to be telling you all about Sheyna.com. A really lovely online jewelry shop with 5,000 different pieces created by over 500 talented artisans! What's even better, is that YOU can design your own bracelets, necklaces, and earrings! One of their amazing artisans will create the design and ship it to you for FREE! *US and non-US residents can take part.

Take a look and some of the collections:



All of these pieces are really lovely and affordable. I also love the idea that you can get creative yourself amongst the gems, chains, and stones!

Sheyna.com is also kind enough to offer my readers (YOU)
a 10% discount on your next purchase.

Just use sheyna10 at checkout!

Happy Hump Day!

11.10.2011

make-up giveaway!

I'm excited to be giving away a really great product today from the Anastasia of Beverly Hills Collection! 1 lucky reader will win a Hydrafull Gloss!

I personally tried this product, and am a fan! The color I tested was MOI (me) and it's just that: A natural pinkish nude color that glides on perfectly. One of the main things (besides the color) I really like about this product is that, to me, it is odorless and tasteless. I've found that most lip glosses taste horrible from all of the chemicals.


Here are some photos:
{i'm a little {very} embarrassed by these -
but this is a product review after all!}



I think the MOI color looks really nice for a day look. You can go for it at night too if you want to really play up your eyes. But if you want your lips to be the star of the show, try a darker liner or stain and THEN use the Hydrafull Gloss to really make your look shine!

If you'd like to enter to win, 
here are the rules!

To have a chance to win you MUST do one of the following below... do more than one and you'll get an extra chance per task!

1. Follow this blog (Google Friends on sidebar)
and tell me what products you like most.
3. Follow me on Twitter
4. Post about this giveaway on your blog
5. Tweet about this giveaway

Just tell me what you did in the comments.
Winner will be chosen on November 30th


GOOD LUCK!

11.07.2011

little hints

I try not to get too personal on here, but I think this little gem of a moment is worth it. Especially to some of my dear readers who I know need to know this...

when we lose loved ones,
we fear the thought of forgetting.

but our loved ones forbid this.

my mom died on November 7th, 2002.

as i went to buy breakfast this morning,
i thought of her and asked for a sign.

my breakfast cost $7.77,
and I bought this breakfast on the 7th floor.

always look for the:








There are still a few hours to enter the giveaway for your own custom printed business cards.
Click here to enter!

11.03.2011

business card giveaway!

I have an exciting business card giveaway from UPrinting.com!

UPrinting.com is one of the versatile printing companies who offer business cards online. They not only print affordable and quality UPrinting business cards , they can also customize them according to your specific needs and offer custom business cards

One lucky reader will win this prize!
(You could make cards for your blog!!)


I love all of these different shapes!
-250 pcs Die Cut Business Card Printing for one winner
(2x 3.5" Rounded Corners, 2x2" Rounded Corners, 1.75x3.5" Rounded Corners, 2x3.5" Leaf,2x3.5"Rounded one corner, 2x3.5" Half Circle Side, 2x3.5"Oval, 2.5" Circle
14pt Cardstock Gloss / Matte / High Gloss (UV) or 13pt Cardstock Uncoated)

-6 Business Days Turnaround
-FREE SHIPPING


*Restriction: Limited to *US residents 18 years old and above only.

The Rules
(you get 1 entry per task
post in the comments what you did!)


Follow my blog.
Like GiveawayBlogs on Facebook!
Follow
GiveawayBlogs on Twitter!

Follow me on Twitter!
Blog about the giveaway.
Tweet about the giveaway.

Winner will be chosen on November 7th!
Please leave your email so that I can contact you.

This giveaway is sponsored by  UPrinting, no monetary compensation was given and I will receive business cards for hosting.

11.02.2011

ah, siena!

Siena was our favorite stop on the Italy tour. (We didn't go on a specific tour -  we went on my OCD Travel Planning Adventure - email me for the itinerary). Siena is about 1 hr and 30 minutes south of Firenze, so you can take the SITA Bus line (just around the corner from the train station in Firenze) and be dropped off right smack in the middle of Siena's flea market (if it's Wednesday). Be sure to check when the last bus back is (I think it's 8:45pm) we didn't and were stuck in Siena for the night (poor us!). My ODC only goes so far.

We stopped for lunch and dinner at these two great spots - tasting the pastas, seafood and bistecca (massive steak!)

A climb atop the Panorama (which you access through the museum) will give you the most beautiful views of the countryside. Invest in the Opa Si Pass so that you may experience the cathedral, crypt, and museum with the Panorama!

Bring your walking shoes. Lots of steep hills like San Francisco! My last name can be found everywhere as well. It means "from Siena"...
Venezia will be the next stop on my tour this week. Stick around!

10.26.2011

Firenze

Allow me to take you on a tour of Firenze, Italia!
{slide show below)

The light is different in Florence. I can't describe it, but it makes you want to just sit in a square and sketch, paint, write, and/or anything else creative for hours. There is also so much shopping: Leather bags, shoes, coats, the jewels on Ponte Vecchio... I could go on!

{heads up... my ruby engagement ring, which is no where to be found here in the states, is everywhere in Italy. I smell a trend coming across the pond.}

The eating in Florence, in my opinion, is a bit superior to Rome. We found ourselves dining in very reasonable trattorias, wine and panino shops, and the most amazing dinner theatre experience I have ever had in my life. So far.


Here are the foodie highlights:

Trattoria Antico Fattore
Make a reservation ahead of time! Very classic Florentine fare here. We had the gnocchi in pesto, ravioli, and steak. If you print this voucher out, you will get a FREE bottle of wine with dinner, and a cute little plate. The waiter was very nice. Everyone in Florence is nice!



Trattoria il Contadino
Go before 7:30 to avoid the wait. This place is a bargain for great food. 12 Euro per person for a 3 course meal. Just add 1 Euro for wine. And the food is delicious. I've never heard of a deal like this in my life! We also asked for another liter of wine, and weren't charged! There is no menu here, the waiter will speak very slowly so listen up. But whatever you order is tasty. We actually asked him to make recommendations.
I Fratellini & Gustapanino
The two best panino shops in town! I Fratellini was recommended to us by Gaia of Alice's Adventures in Wonderland. At 2.50 Euro, a panino and a reasonably priced glass of chianti can't be beat. We also happened upon Gustapanino. I fell in love with a bread they used. A warm, crunchy yet soft, focaccia, sprinkled with sea salt! At both of these places, you purchase your delicious panino and wine and then eat and drink in the street. The breakfast of champions!

Il Fagioli
You must book ahead or stop by before they open to put your name down for a later time. There is an AWESOME Scottish pub right next door too if you need to wait. Great music too.  Ironically, one of the owners is from a town just next to my home town on Long Island. He has my dream life and yet I felt at home... Back to Il Fagioli. Irena from Valdirose recommended this place. Very delicious seasonal food. We noticed that they hand write the menu daily. We had the ravioli with homemade ricotta cheese and veal. Very good wine options and friendly staff.


The Mercato Centrale is a must see in Florence. The vegetables, the meats and cheese, the garlic... it's an Italian cuisine mecca! Do wait on the long line for lunch at da Nerbone. It's in the far corner along the strip of food courts. We had orecchiette in a delightful ragu, tripe, and salad. Tripe (cow stomach) is really flavorful but the consistency is an acquired attraction. I do recommend manning up and trying it.

Nothing can beat our experience at Teatro Del Sale. Once you pay for 5 Euro membership (for 1 year) and sign a contract in Italian that may include your first born (just kidding) you then pay a 30 Euro cover for all the wine you can drink, and all of the delicious food that you can eat. Run by the owner of Cibreo, Fabio Picchi, this dinner theatre experience will WOW you. So much food. Antipasti, spreads, vegetables, pastas, seafood, meats, gelati... and it tastes amazing. Fabio looks like King Triton from The Little Mermaid, and as each dish is ready, he shouts loudly in Italian through the glass window of the kitchen. Once everyone has finished eating, they turn the chairs around and you are graced with a performance. We saw a guitar duo covering Stevie Wonder and The Beatles. I haven't eaten and laughed like that in a long time. Truly special.

 Here is a little slideshow! 

10.25.2011

Roma

Allow me to take you on a quick tour of Roma, Italia!
What can I say about Rome? It's the perfect combination of Ancient and Modern. Just as you pass by the likes of Prada and Versace, with motorcycles flashing by,  you are then face-to-face with ruins, BC style. Don't let the hoards of tourists turn you off from this wonderful city... there are plenty of cobblestones still left unturned by these dreaded tour groups.

Don't Miss These Restaurants:
{both in the ever quaint and popular Trastevere hood)


Dar Poeta
Apparently the best pizza. I have to admit that I had a horrible cold when I consumed these circular masterpieces but the looks on my fiance's and other patron's faces was enough to assure me that I was eating slices of heaven.
Da Lucia
A very laid-back place tucked away in the Trastevere neighborhood as well. We had lovely pasta dishes, beef, and rabbit. Sorry Thumper! The highlight of the evening however, was watching the little ol' owner surveying the diners. He just walked around, busing tables, and smoking his Marlboro reds... even offered us one. A sweet feisty old man that made the evening special.

Some Dining in Italy Tips
{for the uninformed and naive}:


1. Be patient.
They take their time here. Period.
So try eating slower.

2. Drink wine out of whatever they serve it in.
You may very well not get wine glasses with stems.
It is very typical to drink wine out of water glasses here.
3. Learn Italian.
And no, you don't need shell 300 bones for Rosetta Stone. But speaking the native language in small doses is common courtesy.

Some staples:
HELLO: BUON GIORNO | BUONA SERA
THANK YOU: GRAZIE
TABLE FOR TWO, PLEASE: UN TAVOLO PER DUE, POR FAVORE.
EXCUSE ME: SCUSI
WATER: ACQUA
THE BILL: IL CONTO

4. Do NOT ask for cheese on fish dishes.
That linguine with clams? Forgetaboutit! And if you do and get a nasty look, you deserve it because I bet you'd snarl when Brits put mayo and/or vinegar on fries {which is delish}...

5. Remember that Italy is old.

The traditions and way of life in Italy are older than our great grandparents, so remember to be respectful and go with the flo. Yes, you will encounter a hiss or two if you are a tourist, but you'd get that from me on the streets of New York too, even if you are American!

And Finally:
When in Rome, do as the Romans do.

And that goes for any country with tradition!

And here is a little slideshow:



Buon Martedì!
{Happy Tuesday!}






10.21.2011

soul food {jon bon jovi}

When I heard that Jon Bon Jovi {an imaginary flame of mine} had opened a new restaurant in New Jersey, I have to admit that despite our {imaginary} love for each other, that little {ok huge} cynical part of me said, "Really? Another celebrity now claims to be a Foodie? Whatever!"... but then I actually learned the concept of the restaurant and ate my words. 

 
JBJ Soul Food
(in Red Bank, NJ) is a new concept to the restaurant industry. The establishment is dedicated to feeding members of the community who give their time as volunteers. Whether it's washing dishes at the restaurant, or spending time in the actual community, they get a FREE meal from Jon Bon! Cash paying customers who just want to check out the restaurant {and perhaps a glimpse of my imaginary flame} pay $20.00 per person for a 3 course meal. 

And with prices and a concept like that, don't think the food is frozen junk. All ingredients come from the establishment's local organic gardens and through natural food donations from local food merchants. I'll have to check this one out but I can't even remember the last time I was in New Jersey. It may have actually been for a Bon Jovi concert.

Watch the video for more details:



In other food news...
{yes, this is real}

10.20.2011

back in the swing of things... and Steff's brownies!

Hello friends. I am back from a 2-week getaway in Italy. I have so much to share. We took almost 1,000 photos, so there is a lot to cover: Culture. Art. Architecture. Food. People. The list goes on. 

While I get organized, I have a lovely guest post recipe for you all to try!
Arriverderci, for now.

Cheesecake Brownies From A Box
by Steff Scholl
 
Not everyone is gifted enough to make delicious desserts from scratch, some need a little help from box mixes. However, you’re extremely limited in what you can make when they only offer generic flavors, which can get very boring very fast. Luckily, there are some easy ways to spice up your standard out of the box baking recipes and turn them into gourmet desserts. Make sure you have essential baking supplies such as cake pan, either 13x9 or 8x8, that you can buy from Zappos.com using a Zappos coupon code or discount code.


First off, you’ll need a boxed brownie mix and any ingredients it requires and for the cheesecake filling:
6 oz. cream cheese, softened
5 Tbsp. butter, softened
1/3 cup sugar
2 eggs
2 Tbsp. flour
3/4 tsp. vanilla

Follow the directions of the brownie mix and pour in half of the mix into your greased pan. Mix all of the filling ingredients together until smooth and then spoon in or pour on top of the brownie mix. Pour the remaining brownie batter on top.

At this point it won’t look too appetizing but if you take a knife and swirl the layers together you will create a marble effect.
Once you have swirled to your hearts content, pop the pan into the oven and bake as the box instructed. Once it’s done, take it out, let it cool and cut into squares. Enjoy!
 


Steff Scholl enjoys baking but knows that it can be difficult to make something from scratch. She ends up experimenting with a lot of recipes so it’s a good thing she has reliable baking pans that she bought with a Zappos coupon code.

These look lovely Steff. Thank you for sharing!!

10.04.2011

be back soon

taking 2 weeks off the blog to prepare some really
delicious posts.

or should I say... delizioso!

{hint hint}

a presto!

9.26.2011

turkish coffee

I have a new obsession: Turkish Coffee.

A dear friend turned me on to the trend and I can't get enough of it. Coffee usually makes me feel disgusting. Jittery, dehydrated and ill. Sometimes, I can't even finish 1/2 a cup because it's just too much. To my surprise, Turkish Coffee is black and finer than espresso and I don't feel this way at all after 1 small cup.

It's not super easy to make, but once you get the hang of it you won't even think twice about it. It's also not something you can just press a button and walk away. This cup is made with love.

Many people have "their" way of cooking Turkish Coffee. Find the one style that suits you. Here are some videos. 

First, you need the right accessories (besides coffee. We'll get to that later!)

A turkish coffee pot (cezve), espresso or turkish coffee cups (demitasse), sugar, water and the coffee.
You can get these in kitchen appliance and accessories stores or online .
For the coffee: Many grocery stores like Fairway, Wholefoods, etc that grind fresh coffee beans will have a Turkish setting. Just before Espresso! Grind your favorite MEDIUM roast coffees to this setting, which will create a powder. So fine that this coffee is never filtered or strained.

Now, how do we make it? I start by measuring my water with the actual cup I will drink. I actually make one cup at a time because I am still a novice, but I make enough for two. I find that I get the right amount of foam at the top when I do it this way. As I said... practice makes perfect and you find your way!



Measure the water in the cups and then put water in your pot on stove. Add 2 packets sugar, or 2 tsps. Heat water and let sugar dissolve. Turn heat off. Add 2 heaping tsps of the coffee to pot. DO NOT STIR. Just let it sink to bottom. When it has sunk to bottom turn heat on low. After a couple minutes the sides of the pot will start to bubble. DO NOT LET IT BOIL. As the sides bubble, let one or two bubbles happen in the middle then turn off. Turn heat back on and let this happen again but do not let it come to a full boil, EVER. We are technically roasting the coffee. Turn heat off again and pour into cup and let sit. You will notice that a frothy foam comes to the surface of the cup. That is the best part in my opinion. Let the cup sit and cool. Then drink. When done, you can turn the cup over on your saucer and read the grinds at the bottom for your fortune! Do not drink the grinds! YUCK!

Note: This is not for everyone. 
If you don't like it, we can't be friends. 
Just kidding!

What is you morning drink?



9.23.2011

stuffed peppers and stress

Sorry for the MIA treatment folks. Work and school have been two forces of evil that have kept me from blogging this week. At least it didn't keep me from running. I feel like that's the one main stay in my life as far as having any sort of a routine is concerned; it feels good. If everything in your life turns into one big tail spin, what is the one thing that you can always manage to accomplish each day that keeps you grounded? If you can't answer, that... it's time to find something that will.

And with that, I leave you on Friday, the first day of Fall, with this Stuffed Peppers Recipe. I adapted this recipe ever so slightly from Sultan's Kitchen. It tastes like a gyro!


For the stuffing
2 tbs olive oil
1 pound lean ground beef or lamb
(I used beef)
1 medium Spanish onion, grated
4 garlic cloves, minced
1/4 cup long grain rice (par cooked)
2 medium tomatoes, seeded and diced
2 small carrots, shredded
2 tbs tomato paste
1 handful fresh mint, chopped
1 handful fresh parsley, chopped
salt and pepper to taste

For the shells
6 large (or 12 small) green peppers
2 medium/small tomatoes, quartered
6 nubs(jamie oliver) of butter
(think the size of a starburst)
1 cup broth (chicken or beef)
2 tbs tomato paste

For the Sauce
1 cup greek yogurt
1 garlic clove, minced
sat and pepper to taste
Just mix all together and chill in refrigerator.



What you'll do
Prep the peppers by cutting the top/stem off to create a little pepper bowl. Hollow out the seeds and white pith... or whatever that is called. Settle peppers in a creased oven safe pan (should be deep to catch any juice).

In a large saucepan, heat the olive oil. Add the onions and saute for about 3 minutes. Add the carrots and tomatoes and let soften for another 2-3 minutes. Add the meat and stir. Add the garlic and saute until fragrant. Add the rice and tomato paste and cook until meat is all browned and cooked. Another 3-5 minutes or so. Turn off heat. Add the fresh herbs. Let the meat sit for a moment to cool a bit.

In meantime heat the stock with the tomato paste and stir. Set aside

When meat is slightly cooler, spoon the meat mixture into each pepper equally. Spoon 1-2 tbs of stock/tomato paste mixture into the peppers. Top it with 1 of the quartered tomatoes and a nub of butter. 

Bake the peppers in an over at 350 degrees until the peppers start to shrivel. About 45-1hr. Let cool and serve with the yogurt sauce.
SO GOOD!

9.20.2011

guest post: eat with the turning of the earth

A great guest post today from Dee Mason.


Eat With The Turning of the Earth
Purchasing and eating foods that are in season is an increasing consumer trend as shoppers become more aware of the environmental and health benefits of eating with the turning of the earth. Foods that are grown in far-off countries and, flown around the globe to supermarkets are increasing the pressure on the planet’s depleting resources. Supermarkets are responding, with more and more local produce becoming available. Shoppers are embracing the trend, and encouraging their local supermarkets to stock more local, seasonal produce.

Carbon and Carrots
Carbon efficiency is uppermost in many people’s minds these days, as the reality of global warming becomes more and more apparent in scientific research findings. We are moving into more energy aware times, and there are a many ways that individuals are able to decrease their own personal carbon footprint. Eating seasonally is just one of them.






Eat Local Think Global
Locally produced foods on your shopping list will obviate the need for fuel-guzzling transportation. It also helps to support your local farmers. Small producers are feeling the squeeze, and their businesses are always under threat from large supermarkets. Eating seasonally and sourcing locally is a great way to support your community growers. As the demand for foreign produced vegetables reduces, so will the trade. Whilst this could have an effect on the farmers of other countries it is essential that markets change to reflect the state of the planet. If you can manage to shop at Farmers Markets you will quickly learn which foods are in season and directly helping local food producers.

OK, how do I get started?
So what do you need to know now, today, about eating seasonally? Obviously, knowing what is in season is the first step! There are a number of sites that will help you find out what is in season in any given month in your country or. Just search the internet for detailed lists, but I will provide a quick starter guide here.

Fall Feasting
As Fall approaches root vegetables are your friends. Yes, really. If you are looking to save money and lose weight (who isn’t?) then this is the season of soup. Comforting, filling, cheap and seasonal, soups are the perfect antidote to all your post-holiday woes, be their financial or waist-band related. Squashes and pumpkins come into season in the Fall; don’t dismiss them as being only fit for Halloween Lanterns. They make wonderful soups. Try Pumpkin and Sweet Potato Soup, and add a handful of red lentils to the pot.  I like to cook this soup with a few spices, some garlic and ginger to really kick-start the metabolism.

Sweet corn, or corn on the cob, is also in season and makes a great Fall treat, either boiled in salted water and smothered in butter, or made in to a filling sweet chowder. I even cut fresh sweet corn off the cob this season and oven dried it for snack food – an addictive low fat alternative to crisps.

Leeks are another Fall favorite, and they are incredibly versatile. Consider a leek and potato soup, with fresh bread, or have it cold as a Vichyssoise. A chicken and leek pie is extra delicious if you crush walnuts into the pastry before you cook it. One of my favorite leek dishes is a French one, which goes perfectly with fish or chicken. It’s a dinner-party classic. Sautée some sliced leeks in butter then add cream and a scrape of fresh Parmesan.

While your soup is bubbling away, make a note of the following seasons and vegetables, so that you can begin to cook seasonally, and do your bit to help the planet. Why not print the list off and keep it in your purse?

Fall/ Autumn

Vegetables
Carrots, leeks, turnips, sweet potato, squash, pumpkins, chestnuts.
Fruit
Apples, pears, grapes, figs

Winter
Vegetables
Carrot, Daikon, Swede, Celeriac, Turnip, Brussels Sprouts, Pumpkin, Beetroot, Parsnip, Red Cabbage, Leek, Shallots, Green Cabbage, Savoy Cabbage.
Fruit
Pears, Oranges, Clementine’s.

Spring

Vegetables
Asaparagus, Artichoke, Carrots, Cauliflower, Celery, Kale, New Potatos, Onions, Radish, Rhubarb, Spinach, Watercress
Fruit
Early Raspberries and strawberries

Summer

Vegetables
All salad crops, including spring onions, cucumber and lettuces, Aubergine/Eggplant, Green Beans; Zucchini/Courgette, Broad Beans, Runner Beans, Swiss Chard, Cannellini beans, New potato, Peas, Borlotti beans, Okra
Fruit
Strawberries, cherries, greengages, nectarines, apricot, mango, plums, watermelons, figs, rhubarb, peaches, blackcurrant, raspberries, cantaloupe melon, tomatoes (yes, they’re a fruit, technically.) 

9.16.2011

priceless photo...

Sometimes, you walk down the street and capture a moment that is so hilarious you'd risk getting punched in the face for just one crisp photo. Like these bikers in front of the bar American Trash on 1st Ave.  No judgement.


Happy Friday!

9.15.2011

just another street fair...

same booths.
same food.
different year.






Although, it was nice to see/hear the Frank Sinatra Construction Worker sing!


This guy is for real.
It's scary!