Saturday, October 25

The Monster Mash Menu - Festive Halloween food!



From spiked hot apple cider to fake fingers in the candy bowl - Halloween parties are an open canvas for creative hosts.  

I've got my second annual Ghoulish Gathering planned for this week, but while I review my favorites from last year, I thought I would share some of my best party food hits.


1.  Pumpkin  Dorito Cheese Ball:   cream cheese based dip of your choice, rolled into a ball then covered in crushed red doritos.  Top with the stem of a green pepper and serve with crackers.


2. Deviled Spider Eggs:  prepare deviled eggs per usual, make spider topping by cutting black pitted olives (I just purchased two cans) in half lengthwise for the body.  Use the other half to cut 6 legs!  Serve 'blood' dipping sauce (Tabasco) with a finger sticking out!

Sunday, September 7

O'ahu Hawaii - Your full Itinerary!

Close your eyes and envision the landscape of heaven for a moment.  Got it?  Good.  Welcome to Hawaii.

As I have yet to visit the other Hawaiian islands I can't comment on O'ahu being the best - But I can say that my trip to Honolulu surpassed any trip to the Virgin Islands, Bahamas, Aruba.. or any other tropical paradise.  We chose O'ahu because, while still offering the remote lazy beach life, the island is vibrant with nightlife and restaurants in Waikiki and Honolulu. Okay, well and it was the least expensive flight from LA.  



Where to stay:
Turtle Bay on the North Shore.  Newly renovated, Turtle Bay resort offers unbelievable beach views from every room, championship

Friday, September 5

Eggplant and Zuchhini Rollatinis - Healthy!


                                    
There's nothing better than returning home to Halifax, MA in August - when the garden is over plentiful and everyone has exasperated their imagination with how to eat the baskets and baskets of fresh vegetables.  This recipe I am especially proud of - a healthy and flavorful twist on an old favorite - stuffed shells. 

Eggplant and Zucchini Rollatinis 

Ingredients: 
2 zucchini
1 eggplant

Wednesday, September 3

Pageant of the Masters



You know that feeling of pure admiration and awe that awashes you when you are truly moved by a piece of art?

Maybe it's stepping into the Sistene Chapel and being enveloped by Michelangelo... or perhaps you stumble across a dreamy Monet painting in Museo de Madrid and you find yourself rendered speechless.  But it could be more simple.  Like taking a wrong turn in Los Angeles and being humbled by graffiti of angel wings... or pausing to take another look at a photograph of rolling hills at the farmer's market.

If I could, I would enter every art gallery or museum twice.  One completely ignorant to the art inside,

Monday, August 11

Forget Therapy. I'll take a Greenday CD.



The antenna boombox is scratching because you have blown out the sub, but you don't care.  You're sprawled out on your stomach, feverishly writing down lyrics into your diary.  The year is 1999, and blogs don't exist.  At least not in this world.

So what are you writing for?  Perhaps you'll carefully copy over the best of the lyrics into a love note, that you'll fold into an intricate design and press tightly into your boyfriend's hand the following morning, right before the bell rings.

Or maybe those lyrics will stay locked in your diary, meant for your eyes only.  Perhaps they'll mend your heart through your first breakup, making you feel a little less alone as you drown in utter, heart wrenching misery.  Or who knows, it could be the opposite.  They might give you the courage to finally say hi to the most beautiful human being you have ever laid eyes on... even though he sits in the two-seater on the bus, a spot so coveted that only the most endowed junior high girls will ever experience the sheer euphoria of riding there.

But no matter if you were a regular in the two-seater or if you spent the majority of your adolescence desperately trying to be invisible, you relied on music, on the lyrics, to get you through.

I wish it were still that easy.  That I could mend a broken heart by crying along with the Counting Crows Music Video on TRL.  Or that my disposition could take a 180 when "Gangsta Paradise" came on and my parents were too preoccupied to tell me to 'turn that shit off'.   Oh, and the inspirational ones.  The songs that awakened in my preteen soul a deep yearning to travel, to see the world, to experience life outside of junior high drama. Oasis, Sublime, Dispatch, Third Eye Blind, Green Day, Foo Fighters, Matchbox Twenty, Alanis Morrisette...

They aren't the greatest musicians to ever grace the radio, but they did it for me.  And every once in awhile when I feel so fed up that my only conceivable option is to return to my parents' house, curl up on the couch with funny bones and gushers and watch reruns of Wonder Years for eternity... 'Good Riddance' comes on and I'm reminded that everything is going to be just fine.

Friday, August 1

Cronuts in LA

I planned on scouring LA for the best cronuts and making a top 10 list of the most coveted places to indulge in this pastry hybrid.  

But here I was in Abbot Kinney, and I happened to stumble into Rockenwagner's German delicatessen.  I had no intent of trying their cronut, which was definitely not on my radar.  I mean,  Germans don't make good cronuts.  Cronuts lineage can be traced back to NYC as early as the 2013s, and that's that.  Let us have one food origin besides hot dogs, will you people??! 

Anyways, the waitress kept nagging ...and my pretzel disappointed me ...and I drank 4 mimosas.   So I ordered the God Damn Cronut, a hazelnut one to be exact.

And dear sweet German baby jesus was it delicious.  Since then, I've still been cronut-hunting through LA, but I just haven't found anything comparable.   So here's my "best cronuts in LA list"

1. Rockenwagners

Wednesday, July 30

Healthy is the New Skinny

The beat drops and I pound my legs forward, hovering over the seat, making perfect circles in sync with the song.  My heart is thumping aggressively against my heaving chest, but I take a deep breath and muster up my last ounce of strength to power forward to the finish line.  I am cognitive of the other bikers, the sweat dripping in my eyes, the instructor's encouraging words, and the rhythmic motion of my hips, swaying slightly back and forth as I trudge on.  And in this moment, I feel thankful.

Like most women, I have a love/hate relationship with my body.  Erring much more regularly towards hate.  Just today, I cleaned out a jar of peanut butter.. then sat in self loathing while I polished off garlic dip.  Okay, I get it.. I'm crazy.  I don't eat bread, haven't had a chip or french fry in over a year, wouldn't dream of letting fast food or soda touch my lips... and the list goes on.  But I've got vices.  A sweet tooth for one.  And a real problem with severely overeating foods I deem 'healthy'.  Nuts, seeds, fruit and vegetables... oils and 'good fats', dark chocolate, coffee, wine... you name it.  I

Thursday, July 24

Watermelon Juice



Not my most impressive recipe.  But definitely one of my favorites.  This juice is so refreshing and perfect on a summer day.

Ingredients: 
2 cups watermelon chunks, refrigerated 
1/2 a Lemon OR lime, squeezed 
A heap of Fresh Mint

Instructions: 
Blend. And enjoy :)

If you're in an August heatwave and the idea of even using the blender seems too strenuous... freeze the watermelon chunks first.   If you have mango or strawberries or any other delicious fruit - you can always throw those in, but this really is delightful by itself.


Tuesday, July 15

Chia Seed Pudding

Let's talk chia seeds. These mysterious little delights are packed with antioxidants, high in fiber and deliver a good source of magnesium, calcium and omega 3 fatty acids.  Not to mention, one serving has 4 grams of protein.  I am not a nutritionalist, but I can say with confidence that chia seeds are your diet friend if you're looking to slim down.   Throw some onto your salad, in your smoothie... OR make:

CHIA SEED PUDDING: 

1 cup almond milk 
3 tsp chia seeds 
1 tsp cinnamon 

Add ingredients to a sealed Tupperware container and shake vigorously. Refrigerate overnight (preferably for 2 nights). The chia seeds will expand in the mixture. 

**Optional add in for thickness, protein and nutrients: 1/2 scoop vega chocolate plant based protein powder. 

To get the chocolate flavor without vega protein, add unsweetened cocoa powder or use chocolate flavored almond milk. 

Sub almond milk for kefir to increase probiotic intake and make the pudding a bit thicker. 

Kielbasa Pineapple Appetizer Bites

                                            
 
Healthy they are not.  Crowd pleaser though - they are golden.  And so very cheap and easy to make.

Ingredients:
1 package of Kielbasa, cut into 1/2 inch slices
1 large can of pineapple chunks, in juice
1/4 cup brown sugar