2.28.2011

I'd Like to Thank the Academy...

for helping me fall asleep!

I was always a fan of the Oscars but lately I've lost that magical goose-bumpy feeling on awards night. Maybe it's because I work in the entertainment world and it's just not that glittery place  to me anymore... or maybe it's because things just aren't what they used to be. I'm not going to describe all of the reasons why James Franco and Anne Hathaway butchered the art of hosting, or rant on the boring show and musical numbers... but I will praise the best moment, for me at least.

You heard it here first... or maybe not because most people think this: Oscars 2012 Hosts Downey and Law! It'll never happen (they are too good for it) but a gal can dream!


ps... did I ever mention I worked with them... yeah, I did.
Check it out here


2.22.2011

When Will It Stop?

I know I said that I loved snow but this is getting ridiculous! I take it back. I LOVE SPRING! I'm not sure taking pretty pictures of the snow is satisfying anymore. I can't wait until my morning and evening jogs outdoors can start up. It's just too cold and icy. I'm so much happier and lighter (in many ways) when I get my outdoor jogs in. Being on the treadmill and staring at a sweaty person at 7am isn't cutting it! Until then, I'll try and let my pictures see the beauty in it but those feelings are fading fast. It feels like Groundhog Day... everyday.





2.16.2011

Broiled Salmon with Broccoli Rabe and Rice

My favorite way to cook salmon is by broiling it. It's not messy, doesn't smell, and is pretty fool proof. If you don't set it on fire you always end up with a really moist piece of fish! I paired with Broccoli Rabe which has forced me to break-up with regular ol' Broccoli! This was our Valentine's Dinner for Two!

Broiled Salmon with Broccoli Rabe and Rice
(serves 2)


Ingredients
 
1lb Organic salmon (this is enough for 2 fillets)
4 tablespoons olive oil (2 for salmon, 2 for broccoli)
3 garlic cloves
2 bunches broccoli rabe
1 can butter beans, rinsed
2 lemons
2 tablespoons dried basil
salt and pepper to taste
1 cup fresh basil, chopped
2 cups your favorite rice... I used a Wild Pilaf!
 

Directions

Baste and season the salmon on each side with 2 tablespoons olive oil, juice of one lemon, salt, pepper, and dried basil. Set aside while you start the broccoli rabe. Heat remaining oil in large pan. Add garlic, beans, and broccoli rabe. After about 3 minutes and the rabe gets a darker green, add lemon juice and remaining basil, salt and pepper. Cook broccoli rabe for about 10-15 minutes or until they are tender with a crunch in the middle. Meanwhile, as the rabe cooks, turn on broiler. Cook fish on each side for about 4-5 minutes. You want each side to get browned. It will be a darker charred looking pink speckled over the top. Toss some extra basil and lemon juice on the fish. Enjoy!


I hope you all have a nice V'day. 
Whether you were with someone or not it doesn't matter...
as long as you ate well!

2.14.2011

Happy V'Day!

Valentine's Day in NYC is a spectacle. One in which I'm not really a fan of experiencing. Loud and crowded restaurants and way to much PDA for my tastes. If you are like me, and would rather wine and dine with your loved one at home... be sure to include these aphrodisiacs!




World’s Best-Tasting Aphrodisiac: Chocolate 
Eating chocolate causes the release of mood-boosting, stress-reducing serotonin. The sweet stuff also causes a release of phenylethylamine, which produces changes in blood pressure and blood-sugar levels, leading to feelings of excitement conducive to lovemaking. Just make sure to choose antioxidant-rich dark chocolate.

Oysters: A Traditional Aphrodisiac
Oysters have long been considered the food of love, and legend has it that Casanova ate dozens of oysters a day, once even seducing a vestal virgin by sliding an oyster from his lips. Oysters carry a hefty dose of zinc—and zinc has been linked to male fertility, potency, and sex drive, as well as being essential to sperm production. One oyster contains your daily zinc requirement, so imagine what serving your boyfriend/husband an appetizer of a few oysters as an aphrodisiac can do.

Strawberries: The Natural Aphrodisiac Wrapped by Mother Nature
A perfect little red heart, the strawberry is an edible Valentine. Touted as a natural aphrodisiac fruit since the ancient Roman era, the strawberry was a symbol of Venus, the goddess of love. In the French countryside, there was once a tradition of serving newlyweds cold strawberry soup to help promote a romantic honeymoon. And legend has it that if you break a strawberry in half and share it with a member of the opposite sex, you will soon fall in love with each other.

Spices & Herbal Aphrodisiacs
The right herbs and spices in food not only heat things up on the tongue but also in the bedroom. Capsaicin, the substance that gives peppers their kick, stimulates nerve endings to release chemicals. This raises your heart rate and triggers the release of endorphins, giving you the pleasurable feeling of a natural high. Chili pepper and ginger help improve circulation, and hot spices like cayenne, curry, and cumin help warm the body. Also, the intoxicating aromas of exotic spices infuse romance into the atmosphere.

Potent Garlic as an Aphrodisiac
Garlic remains the most popular aphrodisiac among modern-day Greeks. On Corfu, widowers who remarry are feted before the wedding with an assortment of dishes, all of which are heavily seasoned with garlic. Many Greeks believe that chewing 6 heads of raw garlic each day will help them conceive. Since it improves blood circulation, garlic is generally accepted as a potent aphrodisiac. Studies have recently shown that garlic in certain forms can stimulate the production of nitric oxide synthase, the enzyme primarily responsible for the mechanism of erection, particularly in individuals who have low levels of this enzyme.

Say Hello to the Sexy Pine Nut
Pine nuts have more protein than any other nut. Besides providing protein to help increase stamina, pine nuts are heavy in healthful monounsaturated fats, zinc, and other nutrients that are linked with increased sexual desire. Sexier than your average peanut, pine nuts are found on the menus of many gourmet restaurants.

Avocado: The Aztec’s Aphrodisiac Food
According to an ancient belief, food aids the part of the body it resembles. In fact, the Aztecs valued the avocado as an aphrodisiac and named it “ahuacale” (testicle) because it grows in pairs. Though science can neither confirm nor deny that this fruit will get your fire going, it will give you fuel in the form of healthy fats, protein, and potassium.

A Liquid Aphrodisiac: Red Wine
Red wine, like a Pinot Noir wine, is healthy for your heart and your romantic life. Red wine may help prevent blood clots and reduce the blood vessel damage caused by fat deposits. It also is a particularly rich source of flavonoids, which have antioxidant properties and raise HDL (good) cholesterol. Plus, wine relaxes inhibitions and stimulates the senses. So, pair your Valentine’s Day dinner with a glass of red wine and enjoy!

2.10.2011

Pasta and Winter Blues

I'm over winter. I'm stressed, annoyed, have dry skin and hair, feel flabby, and look pastey. I'm ready for sun, warm weather, flowers, fresh fruits and vegetables, long walks, and that overall feeling of ahhhhhhh. Until then, I will continue to eat pasta!

Orecchiette with Chicken Spinach and Goat Cheese
(serves 4-6)


Ingredients:

1 box Orecchiette Pasta
2 tablespoons olive oil
3 chicken breasts, sliced
4 garlic cloves, minced or thinly sliced
1 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp red pepper flakes
2 tsp dried basil
salt and pepper to taste
1 tablespoon butter
4 cups fresh spinach
1 cup fresh basil
4 oz goat cheese, regular or herbed, crumbled
1/4 cup parmesan cheese, extra for sprinkling

Directions
Cook the pasta according to package instructions. Meanwhile in a large skillet heat some olive oil. Add garlic and let soften for a few minutes (don't let it brown!). Add chicken and spices. Let cook in skillet and cover with lid. Flip chicken over after one side has browned. By covering the skillet with a lid you will create moisture and a sort of sauce in the pan with the chicken! When the pasta is done, reserve some water just in case. Drain pasta then add the chicken and pasta together in a serving bowl. Stir in tablespoon of butter, fresh spinach (it will wilt), fresh basil, goat cheese, parmesan cheese, salt and pepper to taste. Mix it all up. Add the reserved pasta water if it is too dry or you want it saucier!


I served this with roasted tomatoes. I just cut large beefsteak tomatoes in halve. Drizzled with olive oil and salt and pepper and parmesan cheese and roasted them in oven at 400 for about a 1/4 hour. They are done when they begin to shrivel.

Almost weekend time!

2.08.2011

Roasted Chicken and Warm Couscous Salad

Was trying to come up with a way to jazz up Couscous. Sometimes, it's just all the ingredients that you have lying around that will do the trick!

Roasted Chicken and Warm Couscous Salad
{serves 3, with lots of couscous lunches to follow!}


For the chicken:

6 chicken legs
olive oil
salt and pepper
1 sprig rosemary
1 lemon
4 garlic cloves, smashed
1 small onion, cut into wedges
1 cup chicken stock or white wine

Directions:
Preheat oven to 400. Put chicken in an oven pan. Brush skin with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Break up the sprigs of rosemary and place on the chicken pieces. Squeeze the lemon all over and leave the halves in the pan. Place the garlic and onion all over the chicken as well. Pour stock in pot. This will help you baste the chicken a few times. Cook for about 1/2 hour. A thermometer should usually show 160 when done!

For the Couscous:

1 box Couscous
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 cup corn kernels
1 pint cherry tomatoes, halves
1 garlic clove, minced
1 tablespoon dried oregano
salt and pepper to taste
1 cup freshly chopped basil leaves
2 cups spinach
1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese





Directions:
Cook Couscous according to packaging.While the water is boiling, heat the oil in a pot on stove. Add corn, tomatoes and garlic. Add oregano, sat and pepper. Let cook on low while the couscous cooks. You just want the tomatoes to soften and warm up. When couscous is ready add the veggies to it in a bowl. Add the parmesan, basil and spinach. The spinach will wilt as the veggies and grains are hot. Serve extra parmesan on the side for garnish.


Happy Tuesday!

2.07.2011

My Favorite of the Evening

We've all done this or felt that sick feeling before... here is my favorite Super Bowl Commercial. No, it's not the Darth Vader kid.



PS. Not a fan of everyone hating on Cristina Aguilera for flubbing the words to the anthem when the Black Eyed Peas were just shouting their lyrics. They sucked. Sorry, to me they were more offensive because they sucked. Anyway... Happy Monday!

2.02.2011

New Blog Designs Up!

Hello friends. Here are 2 of the latest blogs that I have designed. Are you in need of a refresh? Check out my rates and let me know if you need anything a la carte or the whole enchilada! 





Uniquely Brewed offers wonderful reviews and information on all things TEA. Stacey has great taste in teas. (and I love tea...)







Simplify Your Space offers services for just that... turning your mess into success! Nikki does a great job of organizing and rethinking cluttered spaces.


Check these ladies and blogs out and contact me for all of your blog design needs! Ciao!