Daily Cookie


I FOUND MY THRILL
July 30, 2008, 9:55 pm
Filed under: Feast

I discovered a new recipe while waiting for my hair to process the other day.  Not sure if they regularly feature recipes in Metropolitan Home or if this was a one-time summer thing, but was very glad that I had read just about every other magazine sitting on that shelf.  This was a great find and this dish is great for summer entertaining.  Something I love to do.

We have a full house this weekend (6 adults, 5 children and one dog to be exact) and I plan on whipping up a big batch of this for our Saturday night BBQ.  I tested it out first the other night and I found my new summer salad .

Read on – test it out – and¬† feel free to¬†send me any comments or improvements.¬† I have a feeling you can add just about anything to this and it would be good.¬† And bonus¬†for all you Martha Stewart types,¬†it looks fantastic in the serving bowl. Don’t let the blueberries throw you off. . .they are the thrill.

Brown Rice and Veggie Salad
1 1/2 cups brown rice (rinsed)
3 cups corn kernels (about 3 ears)
1 cup sliced scallion
1 cup diced celery
1 sm diced red pepper
2 cups blueberries
EVOO
3 tbsp lemon juice
Salt
Pepper

Cook rice and then rinse, set aside in bowl.  Cook your corn and add a touch of sugar to the water to make it sweeter.  Blanch corn and then add to your bowl with the rinsed rice.   Add scallions, celery, peppers, 3/4 of your berries.  Stir in EVOO, lemon juice, salt and pepper (use your judgement with the dressing).  Add rest of berries to the top for garnish. Take a picture it looks that appealing.

I found my thrill on blueberry hill.



SANGRIA
July 20, 2008, 2:00 pm
Filed under: Feast

This has been the summer of sangria. We have made batches of this delicious summer drink just about every weekend and have shared the recipes with various friends. Mike has become a pro and even bought a special container just for this purpose. This weekend he made a white sangria and it is my favorite. I don’t know if it just tasted so good because I was in dire need of it by the time I reached Cape Cod Friday evening or if it is just that refreshing and yummy. Read on for the story and the recipe and try a batch at your next dinner party.

My parents picked me up at my office Friday afternoon. It was hazy, hot and humid. And I was exhausted from my week of work and travel. My parents being the super parents they are, waited for me to head down to the Cape. Mom did not mind because it gave her an excuse to shop in the city and to quote her, she “scored some killer shoes.” My Dad just said that once again, I cost him.

We knew vacating the city anytime after 2PM was going to present a problem, but I had meetings and could not leave any earlier. We decided to just try it because we needed to get to the Cape in time for dinner. Mike was in charge of Friday night’s meal plan, which meant we were hosting another dinner at our house and he was the cook.

We took my Dad’s car which is a convertible. Guess who sat in the back? It is a little back seat and with all their bags, my bag, my paper bag full of corn and cukes (had to stop at Siena Farms at the Farmer’s Market), my house gift for another party we had Saturday night and this ginormous tree pole cutter that stretched from my Mom’s feet across the console and into the back left corner, there left little-to-no room for yours truly. Because I was deliriously tired and because I was being the mischievous daughter I always have been, I decided to stir things up a bit (no pun intended) and complain.

Joking of course, but let’s just say between the ridiculous traffic, the tree pole cutter, my car sickness, my Mom’s car sickness, my complaining and my Dad’s patience, we were all glad to arrive at Camp DiCarlo for a super meal (Mike had even set the outside table) and a big glass of the below.

2 btls dry white (or a white rioja)

3/4 cup Poire William (pear brandy)

3/4 cup Calvados (apple brandy)

1/2 cup triple sec

3/4 cup simple syrup

3/4 cup passion fruit puree

2 cups OJ

3 oranges

3 apples (green)

2 lemons

1 cup black berries

Add lots of ice and a shot of Fresca to your glass before pouring in the sangria

Note you can use any type of fruit you love. We have also added white peaches, green grapes, you name it. And have found we like the white sangria during the day or to serve with a lighter meal. The more traditional red sangria is great too – but try this with your meat entrees, heavier meals and when you want a little spicier drink. Then add your fruit accordingly. With the red, we added plums, apricots, and red grapes.

The container featured above can be found at Pottery Barn and bonus, has just gone on sale. We have only filled it with sangria to date, but I know it will come in handy for just about anything we make and drink poolside.

Cheers!



HOUSE GUESTS
July 4, 2008, 4:49 pm
Filed under: Feast, Sanity

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Having a summer house means having house guests.  We love sharing and entertaining at our home.  And this past week has provided us with plenty of occasions to do both.

I can’t believe I have already been here and on vacation for an entire week.¬† Usually, time starts to fly by after July 4, but this¬†week traveled at light speed.¬† Maybe it is because we have packed each day with various activities, thrown at least 3 dinner parties and hosted a few guests,¬†one even of the four-legged variety.¬† ¬†

Our guests (Maria, Susie and Stella the ballerina puppy) “checked in” Wednesday.¬† That night we grilled home made sausage (my Mom brought them down from Dom’s) and peppers and made an absolutely¬†delish penne margherita with the bestest pasta (Pasta Setaro – Torre Annunziata – Napoli) Maria brought us from her store.¬† It was a fierce meal that we enjoyed¬†with another batch of¬†yummy sangria.¬† ¬†¬†The six of us dined outside in our courtyard and were then joined by an assortment of friends.¬† The front door just kept opening and before I knew it, we were throwing a party with the music blaring¬†and the sangria flowing.¬†¬†¬†Stella pooped out earlier than the rest of us, but that’s my Grover right by her side.¬† I think he was looking for a little action.¬†¬†

The next morning us girls took a long walk to the water with the two dogs.  This was quite the sight.  Both dogs are under 10 pounds so managed to walk about half of the way and then needed to be carried for the remainder.  I guess my dream of running along the beach with my best furry pal is not going to happen.    

We then took Maria and Susie to the famous Raw Bar for one of Bobby’s enormous lobster rolls (pictured above). ¬† It was a gorgeous day and sitting outside in the sun eating great seafood was a perfect way to spend our afternoon.¬† What else would be a perfect thing to do?¬† Shop of course.¬†¬†And after lunch, that is exactly what we three girlie girls did.¬† Got to love summer sales and¬†I truly believe a girl can never have enough tank tops or sundresses.¬†Or at least I have said this so many times, I am now starting to believe my own crap.

Maria had to leave us later in the day (she was headed to ACK), but Susie, Mike and I went to the Ridge Club with my folks for their annual 4th (or in this case 3rd) of July BBQ and fireworks.  The skies threatened a storm, but we never got a drop of rain and the fireworks went off without a hitch.  It was a super show.

Today is July 4th and we are doing it all again.¬†¬†Although tonight we are going to a dinner party at a friend’s house making us¬†the guests and giving me a little independence.

Happy 4th of July to all!    



HOMEBODY
July 1, 2008, 12:50 pm
Filed under: Events, Feast, Sanity

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The first weekend of my summer vacation has passed.  I have left my house all of about four times.  Once to go on a long run, another time to venture to Williams Sonoma, a third time to go on a leisurely drive along the shore searching for something new and the last to go to pilates.  It usually takes me about four or five days to fully unwind, but as soon as I cross that bridge, this socialite becomes a true homebody.

Dinner parties are common at our house during the summer.¬†¬† We love to eat al fresco and to entertain.¬† Truth be told, I would personally¬†rather stay home and cook dinner for my family and friends than go out, especially in the summer.¬†¬†My profession sometimes forces me to be out, to network and to make small talk.¬† And please don’t get me wrong, when I am out, I thoroughly enjoy¬†and fully embrace the scene.¬† But when I have some free time, I easily transform into a barefoot in the kitchen, no make up on my face and sporting a no fuss outfit kind of girl.¬† It does not matter that¬†I have a fresh pedicure, a summer glow and actually spent time crafting my no fuss outfits.¬† Point is, my body and mind are here.¬†¬†¬†And there is just something about the informality¬†of it all, that make it cool.¬†

Dinner parties give you the¬†chance to really talk to people you really want to,¬†to eat¬†great food and drink great wine.¬† Saturday night was a perfect example of this.¬† We invited Andy and Didi and Mark and Nancy over for¬†my Mike’s homemade paella (featured above) and sangria (recipe compliments of Jessie at Sonsie).¬†¬†Andy brought over the most delish Spanish¬†wine (Flor de Pingus 2003) and Nancy brought an assortment of cupcakes from the new bakery. We drank and ate like Basque kings and queens.¬† And then retired to the pool house to enjoy one last glass of vino with our dessert.¬†¬†¬†

The food, the wine and the company was all this homebody needed.



APPLE CURRY TURKEY BURGERS
April 11, 2008, 3:24 pm
Filed under: Feast

Before¬†I wrtie about my recent trip to Jamaica Mon, I thought I would share a new recipe that I have now tried twice.¬† I found this one in a great cookbook my parents gave me for Christmas.¬† It’s a book highlighting some of Boston’s best restaurants and their most popular dishes.¬† This was is from the Deluxe Diner.

I¬†love to cook when I have the time.¬† And I must admit I have become a good cook.¬†¬†I truly enjoy it and it makes me feel so domestic.¬†¬†The whole shopping for the best ingredients, and all the prep and presentation, is something I take pride in and feel is a true reflection of my profession.¬† It’s all in the details.¬†¬†

I know I will be grilling these all summer.  Try them with a simple green salad or something with a slightly sweet taste.  The other night I served them with a fennel and avocado salad and just made a light champagne mustard vinaigrette. 

Bon Appetite!

1 tbsp mustard seeds

3 tbsp applesauce (I prefer organic)

1 tbsp plain yogurt (I use Greek non fat)

2 tsps curry powder

3/4 tsps salt (kosher)

1/4 tsps cayenne pepper

1 lb lean ground turkey breast

1/4 cup chopped scallions (about 1 or 2, use the green and white parts)

Fresh mint (chopped, about 5 or 6 leaves)

2-3 tbsps peeled and grated apples (granny smith are best)

2 tbsp mango chutny (I prfer the sweet, but you could try the hot if you are the spicy type!)

Lettuce and tomates for serving

Bulkie rolls (or a brioche or portugese sweet roll)

Toast mustard seeds (this is fun – they actually pop!)

Mix applesauce, yogurt, chutney, curry, salt, and cayenne with toasted seeds.

Add turkey, scallions, mint and apple.

Make patties, but not too tight. Then grill away!

 

 

     



SPRING CLEANING
March 13, 2008, 7:04 pm
Filed under: Feast

I recently joined a new gym but still needed an extra jump start to enhance my spring training.  Every year at this time, I grow tired of my winter wardrobe and one item in particular, my winter coat.  And in this case, I am not talking about my Montcler. I am referring to that little extra something that seems to creep up right around the holidays and then hangs out around your middle.  It is so not in fashion for the next two seasons, making it so time for some good spring cleaning.

Joining Equinox was a great incentive and it feels great to be back in a routine and in different classes.  Me and Tanya took a great one last night.  But trust me your lululemons will look that much cuter after a good cleanse.  And if you are anything like me, once you do a cleanse and start seeing the results, it is much easier to stay active and eat healthy (I type this of course as I stare at the huge candy jar filled with jelly beans on my desk). 

Last year, I tried the Master Cleanse.  It is a great concept but not great for me.  I am anemic and happened to start this process at a particular girly time of the month and then tried to take an advanced pilates class.  I ended up face first on Commonwealth Avenue after I practically passed out walking home.  My Mom had a cow and I basically abandoned my disgusting home made lemonade that night.  This year I wanted to try something to detox, but took a healthier approach.

I just completed¬†Jay Robb’s¬†Fruit Flush.¬† It is a three day cleanse that simply rids your body of excess.¬† It is not truly a weight loss diet, but if you need to shed a few pounds quickly (I lost 3) it is a pretty simple and painless process. Thank you Deanna and Frances for sharing this one with me! No wonder you guys always look so great on TV.¬†

The first day you drink protein shakes all day.¬† The protein you choose can be egg white or whey but with no additives.¬† Jay Robb makes some yummy ones (shocker seeing it his flush right!?)¬† Then you can eat a lean piece of chicken or fish and a raw vegetable salad (with lemon and olive oil or avocado).¬† The second and third days you eat servings of fruit (almost any kind but limited amounts) all day long¬† – in two hour intervals.¬† The sugar from the fruit keeps you going all day I promise.¬† And you must drink lots and lots of water.¬† Dinner is just the raw veggie salad¬†– but you can consume up to 6 cups each night.¬†¬† Your “dessert” is a smaller protein shake – the chocolate¬†flavor was a nice treat.¬†¬†

The three days passed quickly and¬†I have to say I feel great.¬† My advice is to plan your three days at a time when you have nothing scheduled at night, if you can do the first day at home (the shakes are better in a blender) and to be around a bathroom! You will be “flushing” all day.¬†¬†¬†

You can do this flush as much or as little as you need.¬† I will probably do it again right after Easter (all those chocolate eggs and my Mom’s dortula!)¬†and before I go on vacation¬†in a few weeks, throughout the summer¬†and¬†probably when I am¬†gearing up for big events.¬†¬†¬†¬†For right now, I am just happy to retire this winter coat for good.

Happy spring cleaning!



RED VELVET HEAVEN
February 20, 2008, 2:07 pm
Filed under: Feast

cupckae-2photo.jpg 

The batter is red.  The frosting to die for.  Red velvet cupcakes, leave you craving more.  

Well at least this is the reaction they have on me.¬† Good lord are these little tasty treats good.¬† Too good.¬† I admit, I am obsessed with them now and have¬†placed them on my all time favorite dessert list.¬†¬†Why can’t I crave something that is healthy and that does not go directly to any problem areas.¬† To save time, I could simply smear these babies directly on my thighs, but then I would not have the few minutes or so of absolute pleasure devouring them.¬†¬†I swipe the edges first – the cream cheese frosting is out of this world – and then slowly but surely start eating the whole cake.¬† To savour every last bite I slice off little pieces of heaven with a knife. Each piece a balance of spongy moist red cake with yum frosting.¬† Then I even lick the knife.¬†¬†¬†Yes, I just admitted that too.

I was first introduced to them a few years back by a friend in NYC.¬† We actually had crashed a screening party of that Meg Ryan film (the media hyped up controversial one in which she was a bit, god forbid, raunchy) at the Soho House.¬† The name of flick escapes me, just remember being totally overwhelmed by the combo of the steamy scenes coupled with the sweet cupcakes. There is more to the story and I promise to tell this one another time (wink wink). ¬†Any-who, they were passing trays of cupcakes from Magnolia’s Bakery.¬† I have to admit the red cake batter never really grabbed me, but being a true cupcake fan (the frosting over the actual cake) I decided to try.¬†¬†¬†And try again.¬†

I finally took Michael to Magnolia’s two years ago.¬† We were walking down Bleecker and I swear could smell that unbelievable scent all the way down the street.¬† Then we stepped inside.¬†¬†The aroma and the sweets are truly like no other.¬† I made him a fan too.

Last week, I woke up on Valentine’s Day in NYC and wanted to¬†get¬†some of the coveted cupcakes to take home for him.¬† I would have gone the day before, but it was monsoon season in NYC last week the day before Valentine’s Day.¬† Now the¬†only problem was I was in mid-town¬†(I so miss staying and working downtown but work is work) and had to catch a noon train.¬†¬†Magnolia’s was out of the question, but if my memory served me correctly, Dean & Deluca also whipped up a fierce red velvet cupcake.¬† So after my coffee, off I went walking at a true New Yorker brisk pace¬†to the Time Warner Center.¬† Got there and was on the phone with Becky when I realized it was a massive Whole Foods that occupied the basement level, not D¬†& D.¬† 91 rooms nights one year at the Hudson¬†(former Schrager hotel right across the street), and shopped at this Whole Foods regularly.¬† One would think I would recollect this little tidbit of information. “Chris, Dean & Deluca is at Rock Center, ” what Becky was telling me as I continued to throw an eye at Hugo Boss (well it was open and I was there. . . )

Now I¬†am walking again, my pace that much brisker (is that even a word?)¬†back down to Rock Center.¬† Wow, are all these people still here for the morning show?¬† Why are they que’d up? Two lines that day.¬† One for cupcakes and one for everything else.¬† Guess which one I planted myself in?

I bought 4 of the last 6 red velvet cupcakes that day.  I would have purchased all 6 but I did not want to be greedy.   I was now ready to go home armed with my treats.

Michael never experienced a red velvet cupcake.  However, he ate the first one almost all in one bite! We had dinner reservations that night so I told him to just take a bite for a little preview.  But nope whole thing gone.  Cupid drew back that bow and bam!

Sorry thighs. . . the things you do for love!