6.30.2011

Juice Time!

Gotta love a good juice.
Especially when it is all natural and fresh!


Pear
Strawberry
Kiwi
Mango
Apple


Perfect for the morning after a July 4th Party! :o)


6.27.2011

Blog Awards!

I love getting and giving blog awards.
This is a wonderful community that we are a part of.
If we can't spread the wealth, at least spread the love!

I got these three awards from the lovely Herrad of Access Denied... Living with Multiple Sclerosis. She writes a wonderful blog full of insights, animals, love, art and her life. Very inspiring! 




And here are my winners:
Please pay them a visit, they are all stunning...
Summer of Athena in the Middle
A truly amazing spirit. Kind, beautiful... and is a Pastry Chef!

A gorgeous Italian Goddess with a passion for photography and vintage goodies.

Light and healthy dishes presented in the freshest California sunlight.

Koralee of Bluebird Notes 
You can actually hear the birds chirping when you look at all of Koralee's sweet photos and notes.

Lifestyle, food, fashion... this is a real treasure trove of  random delights.

The Ladies of The Motivation Station
(excluding myself)A great place to get tips on staying motivated from a great group of gals.

A beautiful Army Wife living the good life!

An adorable young bride whose opinions and insights are not to be missed.

Gorgeous. Honest. Hilarious!

Real stories for anyone who wants to know what it's really like pounding the payment in NYC!

A Giveaway HEAVEN, with other beautiful and trendy finds to boot.

She's Pretty. She's Healthy. She's Smart. This is a daily stop for me!

A Traveler's Heaven. Great cities, amazing photos... get the picture?

Not only is she cute and hilarious, but her photos are delicious!

A social media and nutrition expert. I also adore her beautiful accent!

For the lovely people that I just gave this award to, here are the rules for you upon accepting the award.

1. Accept the award, post it on your blog with the link of the person who has given it to you.
2. Pass it on to 15 bloggers to keep the ball rolling.
3. Let the nominated bloggers know about their award by leaving a comment on their recent post.
 
Happy Blogging!

6.23.2011

The Key to a Man's Heart is...

FOOD!

Feed him well ladies...

Truffle Rigatoni

Ingredients:
(serves 4-6)

1 box rigatoni
splash of olive oil
2 shallots, minced
3 cups chopped cremini mushrooms
3/4 cup dry white wine
pinch of red pepper flakes
3 garlic cloves, minced
2 tablespoons mascarpone cheese
Truffle oil (infused olive oil works great too, or truffle salt!)
fresh basil and chive for flavor
parmesan cheese for flavor
salt and pepper to taste

Directions


Cook Rigatoni to al dente. While the pasta is cooking heat olive oil in a large sauce pan or wok (here I go again with the wok). Add shallots and cook about 3 minutes until translucent. Add chopped mushrooms and cook until they release their water... Add the wine, garlic and pepper flakes and let simmer. The wine should reduce. Give it about 5 minutes. If pasta is done, drain and reserve a cup of the cooking liquid in case you need it later. Take sauce off heat and add the mascarpone cheese. Stir until the cheese is incorporated. Add pasta and coat it with the sauce. If you need the pasta water to thicken/get more  sauce use it! Season with salt and pepper. Drizzle a few splashes of the truffle oil onto the pasta and stir. Add basil, chives and cheese for flavor.

And now, you may live happily ever after!


And gents, you aren't off the hook. Make her laugh!


6.21.2011

Another Blogger's Avocado & Feta Salsa

Find a recipe on another Blogger's site and actually make it and post about it!
Taste & Create does this too (which I've done, and it was so so fun!)

Recently I found this Avocado Feta Salsa recipe at Val So Cal ... 
I honestly read the post, drooled a bit, and then thought about and craved for this dish all day long.

So I made it. It was heavenly! 
So healthy but with that kick of feta you are reminded that life should be super tasty!

I made just a few tweaks because I was going to eat this solely for dinner so added a little more protein.

Here is Val's Recipe (I noted my adds in bold):


 Avocado Feta Salsa



      1 pint cherry tomatoes, halved
      2 avocados, peeled, pitted and chopped
1 can chick peas
      1/4 cup red onion, chopped
      1 garlic clove, minced
      1 teaspoon red wine vinegar
      1 tablespoon olive oil
1 lime, zested
      2 tablespoons fresh parsley, chopped
      1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
      salt and pepper
      4 to 5 ounces crumbled feta

In a bowl, gently stir in tomatoes , avocados, chickpeas, onion and garlic. Mix in parsley and oregano. Gently stir in olive oil, vinegar, and lime zest. Then stir in feta. Cover, and chill for 2 to 4 hours. (ok, I ate it right after it was made... no waiting in my kitchen)


Add a few tortilla chips and you've got dinner! HOmemade is better but I'm obsessed with the Whole Wheat Scoops!

I also want to add that I loved the addition of Parsley instead of Cilantro in this. Just a different unexpected taste! Thanks, Val!

6.17.2011

GIVEAWAY: Rocco DiSpirito's Win it! Cook it! Sweeps

Hey all. 
Exciting things are brewing in Chef Rocco DiSpirito's kitchen!
Enter his amazing GIVEAWAY!

New York Times Best Selling author, Chef Rocco DiSpirito has launched the "Win It. Cook It." Sweepstakes via his Facebook page. In celebration of the success of "Now Eat This! Diet" and the June 15th series premiere of "Rocco's Dinner Party" on Bravo Network, Chef DiSpirito has decided to give something back to show appreciation to the fans! One (1) GRAND PRIZE winner will receive a collection of some of Chef Rocco DiSpirito's favorite cookware items to use in the kitchen and ten (10) FIRST RUNNERS-UP will receive a personalized signed copy of "Now Eat This! Diet." All you have to do is visit: http://on.fb.me/WinItCookItOnline and fill out the submission form with your information to be entered.

*Please note that the SWEEPSTAKES IS OPEN TO U.S. CITIZENS ONLY.

Also, don't forget to tune-in to "Rocco's Dinner Party"on Bravo TV. Each week, three chefs will compete to win $20,000 for hosting the ultimate dinner party for Chef Rocco DiSpirito and his celebrity guests.  See what culinary dishes make it out of Rocco's kitchen and onto the dinner table!

 You're invited! 
*Tune-in Wednesdays, 10PM ET/ 9PM c for a seat at the table!
More info on the show here:
AND here!

GOOD LUCK!!

6.16.2011

Garlic Basil Shrimp

Still getting my wok on ! 
This was a great dish. The sauce is so tasty I could eat it with a spoon.

Garlic Basil Shrimp




Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 1/4 pounds large shrimp (20 to 25 per pound), peeled and deveined
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/8 teaspoon dried hot red-pepper flakes, or more to taste
  • 1 lemon, just the zest! (my addition)
  • 3/4 cup dry white wine
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped fresh basil leaves
  • 1 1/2 cups grape tomatoes, halved
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Directions

Heat the oil in a large heavy skillet over moderately high heat until hot but not smoking, then saute shrimp, turning over once, until just cooked through, about 2 minutes. Transfer with a slotted spoon to a large bowl.
Add garlic and red pepper flakes to the oil remaining in skillet and cook until fragrant, 30 seconds. Add wine and lemon zest and cook over high heat, stirring occasionally, for 3 minutes. Stir in basil and tomatoes and season the sauce with salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste. Return the shrimp to pan and cook just until heated through.

I served this over some orzo. Just add a little salt and pepper to it if needed but the sauce from the shrimp should do just fine!

6.14.2011

Home Goods & a Recipe

This past weekend I was invited to a BlogHer event at Home Goods thanks to Summer from Athena in the Middle!
By some grace of Goddess I won the door prize too and bought some fun items!

Unfortunately the awesome wall clock doesn't work and I have to return it. Otherwise I'd show you a picture.

But the Wok and new wooden cutting board are working great!!

Sweet & Spicy Chicken Stir Fry





Ingredients
4 tbsp Sherry Cooking Wine (reserve 2tbs for final sauce)
4 tbsp Soy Sauce (reserve 2tbs for final sauce)
2 tbs honey
1 tbsp Ginger Root, minced/grated
6 Garlic Cloves, minced 
red pepper flakes to taste
2 tsp Pure Sesame Oil (reserve 1tsp for final sauce)
2 chicken breasts, sliced thin
1 tsp Vegetable Oil/spray
2 cups broccoli
1 cup sliced zucchini
1 cup snap peas
4 scallions, chopped


Directions
In a bowl or ziplock bag, combine 2 tbsp sherry, 2 tbs soy sauce, 1 tsp Sesame Oil, ginger, garlic, and red pepper flakes . Add chicken and toss. Cover and let sit in fridge for an hour. Meanwhile whisk the remaining soy, sesame oil, sherry and honey in a bowl and set aside. In a large wok over med-high heat, add the vegetable oil. Add the chicken and brown on both sides, then set aside. Add vegetables to wok and stir fry for 4-5 min. Return chicken to pan. Pour the extra sauce into the wok and let chicken and veggies cook for another 4-5 minutes but be sure that the chicken is cooked and the veggies still have a crunch. Toss in scallions before serving.

6.13.2011

New Blog Designs!

I'm very excited to show you all my latest blog designs!

{Think Happy Thoughts } 

{Just Happy }


If you are interested in a new look for your blog, please check out my rates and other designs here !

Also, there is a giveaway at Wild & Precious for a FREE HEADER and BUTTON created by yours truly.

Happy Blogging!

6.10.2011

Barcelona Part 3: What We Ate

Reposting... because HTML is weird but we already knew that. So you can enjoy this one again!!
{don't ask}

After sifting through about 600 photos and then color correcting the winners, I am FINALLY ready to show you some top eats from Barcelona trip!

The food prepared and served in Barcelona can be described in 2 words:
Whether it is dining on classics like Paella or sausages, you are bound to be satisfied!
Meats and fish are grilled with simple seasonings of salt, pepper, olive oil, lemon, and parsley.  NO complicated rubs here!
The typical bread basket is always thick fresh slabs brushed with tomatoes, garlic and olive oil. Yes it costs extra, but it’s far better than stale rolls!
The tapas are tasty and fun to eat, but do try and sample more of the hot options that the waiters bring out rather than just sticking to the cold options sitting on the bar in most places. Those are still really delish too!
The desserts are creamy, rich, and appropriately portioned. The Coffee is strong and smooth, and the hot chocolate is so thick, a churro will stand up straight right in the cup!
¡bon profit!

6.09.2011

Blog Design Giveaway Time!



Hey all!

I (along with the ever lovely Blair from Wild & Precious) am giving away a FREE blogger header and button to be designed by me especially for YOU!
Please got to Wild & Precious for more details.

Good Luck!

6.04.2011

GIVEAWAY WINNER!



Congrats to Katy of Tangerine Hearts
She won the $20 Voucher from Signpost!

If anyone is interested in buying a $20 voucher for $10 go HERE!
See, everyone is a winner on my blog!

Have a GREAT GREAT weekend.

Forgive me, I just jogged for an hour (lifetime achievement here) and am a little overly joyous.

Could there be a Marathon in my future?
Eh... that would take me 10 hrs.


6.03.2011

LAST CHANCE FOR GIVEAWAY!

I will be choosing the winner tonight. HURRY!!!


Happy Friday!

6.02.2011

Caffeine Pants for Weight Loss?

DON'T FORGET THE GIVEAWAY!


Not a good start to the morning.
-Was up all night doing homework.
-Was not successful at finishing said homework correctly.
-Took apart bathroom to fix the toilet...
-At least my jewelry making skills came in handy.

And then I watched this video.
(sorry, they don't allow embedding... they are not with the times yet)


I'm not sure who I'm mad at more. 
-The news for actually taking the time and spending the money to produce this lame segment...
-The fact that we humans would rather wear stupid pants and sit in a heated spaceship to lose weight than eat right and exercise...
-Or the fact that I'm supposed to believe that that size 0 reporter was the best choice for mocking weight loss...

And I hope the crew that's sent out into the field to shoot obese people from behind feel real good about themselves.

The day can only get better right?








DON'T FORGET THE GIVEAWAY!



6.01.2011

Pasta done right!

DON'T FORGET THE GIVEAWAY!

Yesterday I posted an absolutely AWEFUL recipe.
Well, here is a GREAT one!
The boyfriend licked the dishes clean. 
(ok... I did too)

Pasta with Creamy Mushroom-Pea Sauce


ingredients

  • 8 ounces whole-wheat pasta, such as fusilli or rotini
  • 3 cups shelled English peas (4 1/2 pounds unshelled) or frozen peas
  • 1 teaspoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 ounces sliced prosciutto, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 cups quartered cremini or sliced chanterelle mushrooms (about 6 ounces)
  • 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup white wine
  • 1 cup reduced-sodium chicken broth
  • 1/4 cup whipping cream (I used mascarpone cheese!)
  • Lots of freshly ground pepper, to taste
  • I tossed some freshly chopped parsley and basil too

directions

  1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add pasta and peas; cook until the pasta is tender and the peas are cooked through, 10 to 12 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Cook prosciutto, stirring, until it begins to brown, about 5 minutes. Add garlic and cook, stirring, until fragrant, 30 seconds. Add mushrooms and cook, stirring, until they release their juices and most of the liquid has evaporated, about 4 minutes. Sprinkle flour over the mushrooms; stir to coat. Add wine and let simmer for 1 minute. Add broth, return to a simmer and cook, stirring, until slightly thickened, about 3 minutes. Remove from the heat. Stir in cream and pepper.
  3. Drain the peas and pasta; return to the pan, add the mushroom sauce and toss to coat.
I served this with some shrimp that were sauteed. Just marinate them in a little olive oil, salt, pepper, zest of 1 lemon (no juice), some pinches of garlic powder, some pinches of dried basil, red pepper flakes, and a little onion powder. You can toss a little splash of wine in there too as they cook. 


DON'T FORGET THE GIVEAWAY!