Cook it: gazpacho 

27 Jul


get it:

4 vine ripe tomatoes, skin removed and chopped

1/2 cucumber, diced

1/2 green pepper, diced

1/4c red wine vinegar

1/4c olive oil

1 tbsp black pepper

1 tbsp garlic powder (we love bolners fiesta brand)

2 c zing zang bloody mary mix

6-46 dashes of tabasco

make it:

prep all your ingredients. Put them all in a bowl.  add more of what you like and less of what you don’t. mix well.

cover and put in fridge for at least a couple hours – these folks need to spend time getting to know each other in the bowl.

when ready to serve, you can serve as-is or puree half of it in blender and pour it back in the bowl. Gives it a more soup-like texture but with some chunks.  serve in a bowl with dollop of sour cream, some croutons and chopped scallions.

75 things to do with peaches

25 Jul

i have written over 350 blog posts in the past 5 years and the blog post i did on 25 things to do with peaches is still my biggest hit.  i think it comes up organically in searches.  so of course, i’m no dummy, i’ve upped my game.

this is a post on 75 things you can do with peaches.  ha.  this is going to sky rocket.

it is summer after all, and really nothing beats a perfectly ripe, juicy peach.  except maybe crisp michigan roadside corn.  yes, that’s a type of corn.

 

peaches

i’ve curated 75 things you can drink, eat and make with peaches.  you can grill them, mix them with savory items like pork chops or wrap bacon around them. you can make smoothies, salsa and jam.  you can drink them up in lemonades, tea, slushes or make a peach collins.  pair peaches with bourbon, bacon, vanilla, crab and ham.  it’s really quite versatile.  you can even make it into a sugar scrub and smear it on your face.

i’d rather each peaches though.  remember this recipe?

you can write about peaches, like this:

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or change your name to “peaches”

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or you can learn about peaches.  here are some cool facts you’ll feel smarter for knowing:

  • the top four peach-producing states are california, south carolina, georgia and new jersey
  • this fruit is a member of the Rosaceae family and is a close relative of almonds
  • a large peach has fewer than 70 calories and contains 3 grams of fiber. It’s also a good source of vitamins a and c
  • it is a good stress-reliever, helps to reduce anxiety – it is often referred to as the ‘Fruit of Calmness’ in hungary
  • in the world, china is the biggest producer of peaches and italy is the second

who knew?  now you do.  so go make some of these delicious peach recipes right now – before peach season runs out!

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XXOO

the 5 best reads in the morning

23 Jul

this sounds ridiculously optimistic, but i can’t wait to wake up in the morning.  not because i can’t wait to run on the treadmill or make my first cup of coffee (nepresso, yum) but it’s because i can’t wait to dive into the 45 minutes i give myself to read in the morning.  here are the 5 best things.

this is my morning routine for reading articles and news (books are for night time reading) and i can’t wait to share.

1

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TWITTER.
i’m a twitter lover.  the best way to get a hold of someone – really anyone.  i’ve given entire talks on the positive attributes of twitter.  i skim it first thing in the morning and look at the trending hashtags to quickly see if i missed anything overnight.  sometimes it’s scary because a hashtag takes you right to the people involved in whatever is going on and you get this much bigger sense of what is happening versus just watching a newscast.  i’ve gotten to know some great thought leaders via twitter just by reading them and retweeting.  they see that i forwarded their work on and then check me out.

twitter

i could go on but we have four more apps to read…

FLIPBOARD.

flipboard was designed to read holding your phone in your one hand.  you use your thumb to flip through the stories and click to read more.  you can follow thousands of topics and people – friends and writers.  you can organize categories for yourself and it’s easy to share articles and quotes.  i read a ton of stuff on productivity and leadership here. i find that INC has the best stuff to read .

flipbook

THIS IS HOW I HAVE IT ORGANIZED ON MY PHONE…ha ha

my mind

MEDIUM.

oh my goodness.  my newest favorite obsession.  i can’t wait to start writing here but reading is just too much fun.  for example, just read this article here that i found – SO GOOD.  people are so f*ing cool!  i consume this content like peanut butter on the tip of my dogs tongue.

mediumHIGHBROW. 

this is a website that you can sign up to get little “bite sized” lessons every day from a short-lived subject of your choice.  i just started a SEO “class”.  you get this delivered into your in-box every day at a time you choose.

highbrow

FEEDLY.

some people watch tv shows, i read my feedly rss app religiously.  this is all fun stuff – nothing too deep.  i follow hundreds of my favorite bloggers for interior and graphic design, beauty and fashion (you don’t think i know how to dress this fashionably on my own, do you?) and recipes and food.  it’s like a little present waiting for me every morning.

sometimes i get so excited to read it that i put it off – so i have something to look forward too… i’m so stupid.  love it!

Texture feedly

TEXTURE.

you know how much i obsess over magazines, right?  if not, read here.  oh, or here.  and i am blown away how awesome reading magazines is with this great ipad app.  it not only gives you hundreds of magazines monthly at or before they are on the news stand but they summarize the top reads from most of them and puts them in a highlights section for you.  AND (this is best) you can search across ALL MAGAZINES.  yes, i get all in a wad over this.  i can search CHICKEN and anything written about chicken across not only all the magazines but…wait for it…. all issues of magazines.  like a GAZILLION recipes on chicken come up.

that’s it!  gotta go read!

cook it: chicken florentine artichoke bake

21 Jul

cook it

thank god the weekend is almost here.  i’m ready for it.  while i haven’t been traveling too much this month, i find it hard to work from home.  anyone else think that as well?  i seems i need people, action and inspiration.  that’s why it was so much fun to have my sister-in-law hang out for a while this summer.  we had a lot of fun together.  we cooked up a storm, both at home and while taking a cooking class at sur la table.  

this week’s episode of COOK IT is a casserole and it’s perfect to make on sunday.  just saying that word, casserole,  is comforting.  one dish of love wrapped up with all the things i love.  pasta, artichokes, spinach, sun-dried tomatoes, paprika.

just kidding, who loves paprika?

Cook

chicken florentine artichoke bake

6 servings

get it:

bow tie pasta – 8 ozs

onion – 1 small, chopped

eggs – 2

butter – 2t

milk – 1 1/4c

crushed red pepper – shake

dried italian seasonings – shake

chicken  -2 c cooked + chopped

monterey jack cheese – 2 c, shredded

artichoke hears – 14 oz can

spinach – 10 oz , fresh

oil packed sun dried tomatoes – 1/2 c drained and chopped

panko  bread crumbs – 1/2 c

paprika – 1/2 tsp

parm cheese – 1/4 c

do it:

preheat oven to 350.  cook pasta according to directions, drain.  in medium skillet cook onion in 1 t of butter over medium heat about 5 minutes, stir every so often.  remove from hear, set aside.

in a bowl, whisk together eggs, milk, seasoning, salt, pepper and crushed red pepper.  stir in chicken, cheese, artichokes, spinach, tomatoes, half of the parm cheese, pasta and onion.  get in there with your hands and stir it up – a spoon can’t do it justice! transfer to a 13 x 9 baking dish.

fix a glass of wine.

bake, covered for 20 minutes.  in a small bowl combine remaining parm cheese, bread crumbs, paprika and 1t butter melted.  sprinkle mixture over pasta.  bake that puppy for 10 minutes more until golden!

eat it!

here is susan showing how to make it!

adapted from better homes and garden

cook it: crab cakes w/lemon dill sauce

14 Jul

cook it welcome to the first installment of “COOK IT!”  i’m so thrilled to bring you this new blog post series that is designed to be for the person or couple who wants to cook but have a hard time deciding what to cook and frankly, how to cook.

sometimes you just gotta say “cook it!” and dive right in.

our first recipe is crab cakes with lemon dill sauce (are you excited?!?)

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this is a perfect recipe to do this saturday.  so read the recipe, buy the ingredients and then saturday mid-morning, after you’ve slept in a little bit and had your coffee:

grab all your ingredients

read the recipe again

put together your mise en place and

make your sauce and your cakes

then you just put them in the fridge.  when dinner time rolls around, well, aren’t you fancy?!  just pop those cakes in the oven, prepare a little baby spinach salad with a light vinaigrette and plop two cakes down on top, swirl your lemon dill sauce on the side and you’ve got one hell of a fancy dinner.  easy.

this recipe is from my wonderful sister-in-law susan who is an excellent cook.  she visited us last week and was nice enough to make these for ROF and me and …<wait for it>  filmed a video of her making these for us. check it out at the bottom.

****

yield: 4 reasonably sized people

prep time: 30 min

total: 2 hours and 30 min

lemon dill sauce

get:

mayo – 1 cup

buttermilk – 1/4 cup

dill – 2t chopped fresh

italian parsley – 1t chopped fresh

lemon zest – 1 t

lemon juice – 2 tsp

garlic – 1 clove minced

make: combine all the ingredients above in a bowl and stir well.  put in fridge and let it chill out.  sauce will thicken as it chills. 

crab cakes

get:

butter – 3t

scallions – 3 chopped

red bell pepper – 2t chopped

garlic – 1 clove minced

heavy cream – 3t

dijon mustard – 1t

egg – 1

italian parsley – 1.2 t chopped fresh

cayenne pepper – a dab’ll do ya

bread crumbs – 1 cup

parmesan cheese – 1/4 cup

crabmeat – 1 lb.

make: melt 1t of butter in a skillet over medium heat.  saute’ the scallions, pepper and garlic for about 3 minutes. in a bowl, mix together the cream, mustard, egg, parsley, cayenne pepper, 1/2 the bread crumbs and the vegetables you just sauted.  gently fold in the crabmeat.  form mixture into 8 patties.  in a mixing bowl, combine the remaining bread crumbs (1/2 c) and the parm cheese.  pat this topping onto both sides of the patties.  refrigerate until firm – at least 2 hours. 

you can cook these on the stove in a little bit of oil or bake them which is what we do. top each patty with a small pat of butter and bake at 400 degrees for 10 to 12 minutes.  serve on a bed of spinach with a dollop of lemon dill sauce on the side. 

are you ready to impress your loved one with this awesome dinner?  here is susan making both the lemon dill sauce and the crab cakes.  make them this weekend and post a pic to instagram and tag me.  i dare you…!

3 apps, 3 podcasts + 3 instagrams

10 Jul

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three apps

remember:  this app automatically populates where you are via GPS.  just enter the person or thing you want to remember and when you return to that place, the “remember” app sends you a notification with what you had entered.

use it:

  • when you want to remember a bartender or waitstaff person’s name at a new or favorite restaurant.  the app will send a notification when you walk back into that bar.
  • when you meet someone new.  while you may not be going back to that conference again, you might remember that you met the person there.  so the app remembers that person’s name and information and stores it under the conference name so you can grab it.  “who was that SVP we met at the IMG conference…”

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medium:  thanks lori for introducing me to this one.  it’s one i read every morning.  the app describes itself better than i could:

At Medium, we are creating a network that enables people to make an impression on others. To make them think or change their minds. To teach them something or connect emotionally. Where the quality of the idea matters, not the author’s qualifications. A place where conversation pushes ideas forward and words still matter.

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li.st: i’m having fun discovering new content with this app.  i especially like following mindy kaling and bj novak on this app. here is what it is in their own words:

With li.st, you can:
  • Get inspired by travel recommendations, reading lists, recipes, and life musings.
  • Share your experiences and opinions through richly formatted lists with text, photos, and locations.
  • Request lists from your friends and your favorite musicians, athletes, and public figures.
  • Find the most popular, exciting, and useful lists from around the globe.
  • Search the topics that matter most to you and save lists for quick access.
  • Stay informed and up-to-date with news summaries, film and music reviews, TV highlights and more from top publications.

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3 podcasts

podcasts have gotten so much better lately.  maybe because serial was so successful.  it sure makes doing anything – walking, driving, trying to fall asleep… more fun.  here are some podcasts i like:

dear sugar: plain and simple, it’s an advice program.  people email real life and relatable situations and cheryl strayed and steve almond respond.  it’s entertaining and i love the research they do to answer the question. they will bring someone else on the show that has been through that particular situation and give their 2 cents.  pick any of these that strike your fancy.

embedded: another great offering from npr.  this podcast takes a story from the news and digs much deeper.  listen to it from the start, to “the house.”  you can listen in here.

this is your life with michael hyatt: 10 million listeners can’t be wrong.  michael hyatt is a best selling author and the founder of a leadership development company. he covers topics like how to be more productive, how to merchandise your blog and yourself and many other topics.  the free content he puts out is amazing.  he is your virtual mentor.   i recently bought his latest book and loved it.  it’s about coming up with a plan for your life.  i’m all about planning and this was right up my alley.  check it out.

3 instagrams

here are three outstanding instagram accounts to follow.  why?  because i like them.

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if you like sushi and new york, you’ll love following bond st.  the best sushi restaurant i’ve ever had the pleasure of dining.  check out this fish!

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so much fun.

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do not follow if you’re hungry.  best snaps ever.

 

over and out!

early morning emoji banter

26 May


can’t blame him- my coffee is the best!  Yes this really happened this morning!

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