Breakfast at Tiffany’s and Other Stories

Standard

image

 

 

There is something in the air, apparently everybody wants to take my pictures. In the past couple of weeks numerous people , some complete strangers, thought it’d be a good idea to aim their cameras at me, from all possible angles, during whatever party or gathering or even simple after-work outing I happened to be at the time. And then everybody, in a very diligent manner, emailed /texted/ brought picture CDs or even the actual pictures to show their work. Therefore, I’m now a proud owner of more pictures of myself than I’ve probably had in a year.

I’m usually the one who walks around with a camera to snap pictures of everybody and food of course. So maybe the Universe was saying it is now “me” time. So I thought it’d be a “Me, Me, Me” post. Though let me tell you, all those people following you with their cameras – it’s fun for about 2 – 3 pictures, and then your exhibitionist side shuts off, and you just want to hide.

 

Here, still in a mood, channeling (very loosely, and probably failing at it miserably) Audrey Hepburn.

 

image

 

 

So if I stand there and look pretty, you’ll take one picture and go, right?

 

image

 

 

No? How about now?

 

image

 

 

What if I just ignore you?

 

image

 

 

Or pretend you don’t exist at all.

 

image

 

 

I’m just trying to talk you (still nicely) so are we done already?

 

image

 

 

Asking me to pose next to a sign about a gluten filled liquor and snakes (shudder) is NOT a good idea!

 

image

 

 

Why are you taking my picture?? You don’t even know me.

 

image

 

 

Let’s try hiding in a dark room.

 

image

 

 

I guess not…

 

image

 

 

And I climbed up to that rooftop for one specific reason – to hide. Like, seriously!

 

image

 

 

Kids, this song actually gives the best advice, and I take it literary. Up on the roof (even in Manhattan) is where all your troubles disappear.

 

 

 

But what do you know! A photographer just asked me to pose for more pictures as he wants a redhead model. I assume there is a shortage of redheads in Connecticut. So, kids, stay tuned for more pictures!

 

 

 

What’s Cooking This Week

Since it’s a post all about pictures, this one is definitely food and drink related – my newest kitchen tool.

image

Plus today’s recipe is French dessert, and I don’t know how to cook French and NOT to drink wine. Clafoutis sounds really fancy, but it’s basically just a fruit tart where the filling is simply baked in a sweet dough rather than on top of a harder crust. And despite an indulgent sounding name, the dessert is actually pretty light in both the taste and the calories. And you can use whatever fruits you already have at home.

Blueberry and Nectarines Clafoutis 

image

Makes 6 medium tarts or 1 standard 8-9 inch tart:

1 1/4 cup of milk (I used coconut/almond blend)

4 eggs

3/4 cup of flour (I used Cup4Cup gluten free blend)

1/3 + 1/3 cup of sugar

1/2 cup of sliced or chopped almonds

2 nectarines, diced

1/2 – 2/3 cup of blueberries

2 tspoons of vanilla

1/8 tspoon of salt

powdered sugar for dusting

image

Beat together milk, eggs, vanilla and sugar. Then add salt and beat again, gradually incorporate the flour till no clumps are visible. Batter will be thin.

image

Brush the tart forms with oil and pour some batter into each to create a thin crust. Bake in a pre-heated oven at 350F degrees for 7 minutes. When the crust is just slightly set, remove from the oven and top with diced nectarines, blueberries, the remaining 1/3 cup of sugar and sliced almonds. Then top with the remaining batter.

image

Return to the oven and bake for another 20-40 minutes, depending on the size of a pan.

This dessert is elegant enough to serve at Tiffany (if we imagine the store would serve us breakfast) yet it doesn’t involve hours spent in the kitchen (which French cuisine sometimes is guilty of).

You can then pretend you are Audrey Hepburn, or anybody else you want.

image

Enjoy!

In the Land of Childhood

Standard

image

 

 

Thursday night, I should’ve have been working, or doing something else important and productive. Instead, I joined a childhood friend killing the evening by doing absolutely nothing. The weather was gorgeous, and Central Park was just steps away, so we called it a “mental health night”. Hey, the therapist needs a break too! Maybe even more than the clients!

 

Let just say we had our own therapy session, chatting, laughing, (shhhhh, eating ice cream) and and walking down the childhood memory lane. And that path was sure long, Alena and I know each other since we were 8. Along the way, we kind of forgot we weren’t blood related, and by now we are just family (the exact relation is unimportant, but the ties that bind are surely un-breakable).

 

image

 

 

As we walked through the park, carefully navigating among the tourists (ughhhh, LOL), we talked about how certain locations, in the park itself, would always hold for us some specific memories. Which memories? I’m not sharing today, that was definitely “just girls” talk. But I will share the one about the Pond. In my mind, it will always stand along with my memory about going through chemotherapy treatments, that spring and summer of 2007. In between my 6 chemo sessions, after about 2 weeks (and right before the next treatment was scheduled), when I finally would feel strong enough to venture out and walk a bit in the city, I’d take my son (who just turned 10 at that time) to the Pond. He had just received a big motorized boat toy for his birthday and was eager to try it in action. Those quiet late spring and summer afternoons spent sitting on a bench (that’s all I had strength for) watching my child play by the water were a highlight of those 10 months under treatment. A stillness of each moment, savoring the seconds but hoping for many years ahead, those were the days when time ceased to exist bringing together the past and the future into one present “now”, letting me enjoy life, in whichever form I had it, praying that life itself would never stop to exist…

 

image

 

 

But enough about sad complicated things! It was still a perfect summer evening, and some fun was still ahead! Right where all childhood memories lead to in New York.

FAO Schwartz toy store.

This is where we met Grayer, Lola, Boo and Grover. And, no, they didn’t have those funny name tags attached, but they did speak to me, in that sweet plush whisper, introducing themselves and asking us to come out and play.

And we sure did.

Lola was a bit shy but very girly, we immediately “clicked” and felt like sisters.

 

image

 

 

I could’ve stayed in that sea of pink forever.

 

image

 

 

Grayer was definitely a fearless leader of the pack and needed a proper “hello”.

 

 

image

 

 

We did find some common ground though, not all “go getters” are as scary as people view them (and I think he secretly likes me).

 

 

image

 

 

Boo was a bit moody, but I managed to talk her into a small chat, after that, we were fast friends.

 

image

 

 

I kind of think we have some common personality traits.

 

 

image

 

 

But Grover was my favorite. With his plush skin and a big heart, he was everything I was looking for.

 

 

image

 

 

We talked and and talked for hours.

 

image

 

 

It was was love at the first sight.

 

image

 

 

Unfortunately, Grover came with a price tag of a whopping $70, and I had to leave him behind. Fickle me!

Can somebody pleeeeease buy me a teddy bear?!

I will pay in dessert!

 

 

 

What’s Cooking This Week

When we think of our childhood, we also remember some particular stories, toys and books of course. Today’s recipe is based on beloved children’s classic “If You Give A Mouse A Cookie”. It has an extra twist that will definitely be popular with parents – it’s full of green vegetables that are just so cleverly hidden. But you don’t have to be a kid to enjoy it, it’s basically a green smoothie in a cake form.

Spinach Mini Cakes with Limoncello Glaze and Strawberry Mice

image

(Makes 5-6 mini cakes):

2 cups of fresh spinach

3 eggs

2 cups of flour (I used Cup4Cup gluten free mix)

1 1/2 cup of sugar

3/4 cup of olive oil

1 tspoon of vanilla

2 Tbspoons of lemon juice

3 tspoons of baking powder

1/2 tspoon of salt

image

Glaze and strawberry mice:

1 cup of powdered sugar

2 Tbspoons of limoncello (or lemon juice)

5-6 large strawberries

chocolate chips

sliced almonds

Twizzlers candy

blue or black gel pen

small cookies

image

Put away a mixer for this recipe and take your blender out. Blend together fresh spinach, eggs, oil, vanilla, sugar and lemon juice.

image

Sift together flour with salt and baking powder, then gradually add it to the green smoothie. Batter will be kind of thin (don’t worry, it will makes the cakes very fluffy). Grease the cake forms and pour the batter in about 3/4 way.

image

Bake in a pre-heated oven at 350F degrees for about 25-30 minutes. Cool completely before applying the glaze. To make it, mix together powdered sugar and limoncello or lemon juice and sprinkle over the cakes.

Let the glaze harden before placing a strawberry mouse. To make the mouse, put a strawberry on its side and slightly cut the bottom to let it stand on its own. Insert sliced almonds to make the ears. Use small toothpicks to insert a chocolate chip for a nose and a piece of Twizzlers candy for a tail. Use a gel pen to make the eyes.

image

Place each mouse on top of a mini cake and add a small cookie next to it.

If I give a mouse a cookie, will it come back for more?!

I say, definitely, if it sits on top of this spinach cake.

image

Enjoy!

Grumpy Monday

Standard

image

 

I don’t hate working per se but mainly because it involves getting up early. Especially on Monday. I hate Mondays. And I’m not a morning person. At all!

 

image

 

I hate waking up early! Especially on Monday! Or any other day if it matters.

 

image

 

Neither my  body nor my mind are geared to function that early. Mornings should really start somewhere around noon.

 

image

 

I’ve tried to be  an “early bird” over the years, my mom’s been telling me, since I was a child, “it will get easier as you grow older and get used to it”. Maybe I’m just not old enough yet. I still have hopes though. One day… Either that or it’ll gradually settle in into an old age insomnia. So, yeah… I’m just waiting. To be functional in the morning. But not today!

 

image

 

 

Do not even try talking to me early in the morning! At best, you won’t get anywhere. In the worst case, you’ll learn a lot of new expletives in both languages. I hate when I come to work, and there are already people waiting to be seen. Don’t they have a life?! At least before 9am?! A few weeks back a prospective private client called me at 8am on Saturday morning (!). And proceeded to tell me almost his whole life story. He was just lucky I was up anyway to take the kid to the SAT testing site. Otherwise, he’d have gotten an earful. Why on Earth would you call somebody (who you don’t even know!) that early on Saturday?! Man, at 8am I need therapy myself!

 

image

 

And then there is a special place in Hell for people who try talking to me before I had even a sip of coffee.

 

image

 

 

And then there is an issue of “what to wear”. That’s me. Every. Single. Morning. The only difference I stand in front of each of my four closets, and then another one full of shoes. Just lost.

 

image

 

 

And of course this happens. Every. Single. Morning.

 

image

 

 

No wonder I feel exhausted. It’s just not easy being me.

 

 

 

What’s Cooking This Week

Even on a grumpy Monday, you still have to feed yourself, somehow. Since most of the time “grab and go” is not happening for me, there are no places on my way to work, or really just at many locations at all, that cater to a gluten /dairy/ mostly grain free and preferably crap free “Monday grumpy” New Yorker. That means I have to feed myself. Bummer!

This breakfast is so easy to make and so delicious that even grumpy Me doesn’t mind baking it and definitely enjoys eating it. Maybe it will even cure the case of “grumpies”.

Paleo Apple and Blueberry Nutty Crumble

image

4-5 small/medium apples

1/2 cup of blueberries

1/4 cup of raisins

1 cup of almond flour

1/3 cup of coconut flakes

1/4 cup of coconut oil, melted

1/4 cup of any nut butter (I used crunchy peanut butter)

1/2 cup of any chopped nuts (I used pecans)

3 Tbspoons of sugar or any other sweetener (I used raw sugar)

1 tspoon of vanilla

1 tspoon of cinnamon

1/2 tspoon of ginger

1/2 tspoon of nutmeg

image

Peel, core and cut apples (drizzle with some water mixed with a few drops of lemon juice to prevent brown spots), mix with blueberries and raising. Add vanilla, sugar and all the spices.

image

Stir together nut butter and coconut oil, mix in almond flour and chopped nuts.

image

In a baking dish, lay out the fruit first, then spread the nutty mixture, top with coconut flakes.

image

Bake in a pre-heated oven at 350F degrees for 40-45 minutes or until the topping is golden brown.

image

The dish tastes great! It’s warm and full of coconut and nut flavors paired with slightly sweet fruit. It’s also healthy and just plain “good for you”, both for body and soul. You may find that your “grumpies” are completely cured.

I liked it topped with coconut milk chocolate yogurt. It could also be made with any other fruit you already have at home.

image

Enjoy!

Wenn in Deutschland…

Standard

image

 

I can probably wear this t-shirt every day because math is just  not “my thing”…

Yet, when in Germany, have your “math hat” (or t-shirt) on. Germans are typically considered rational, methodical and are probably math loving people. Just look at all the great engineering designs and inventions they’ve produced! So before entering Deutschland soil, make sure you review your calculus and geometry, otherwise you may look very stupid.

Ok, I’m over-exaggerating. A little…

But math is definitely not “my thing”, or rather say, one aspect of math, the one where you need to do calculations in your head, while another person is staring you in the face waiting for an immediate (and, of course, correct) answer. I guess “math under pressure” is just not my thing… not the whole math subject, as I did manage to stick through all 20 years of schooling (if you add up all the educational levels), some quite well you can say. So when my now 17 year old says “I cannot possibly do it!”, my only answer is “you can if you really want to, and if you put your best effort in, I had you in my sophomore year in college, and with your bounce-of-the-wall energy, I had just enough time to breathe, and thank you to my mom and in-laws who gave me breaks to study (or just again, to breathe), I was able to finish college with a 3.9 GPA and later on grad school with honors”. Giving that valedictorian  speech on a stage during my college graduation ceremony was one of my life’s proudest moments (that my then 3 year old surprisingly remembers). Grad school was actually less about numbers and more about professional education, which I still appreciate. The school eliminated number/letter grades and had Pass (A or B grade), Fail (C or below grade) or Honors (A+). The idea was that you don’t belong in grad school, and the professional field itself, if you can’t master at least a B level. I hope the school still has this system as it worked great! It eliminated the pressure to concentrate on the numbers of GPA and let us learn the theoretical foundation of our future profession. I don’t remember anybody who earned a Fail grade, but I do know, myself including, a great number of students graduating with Honors after mastering many A+ classes.

But, seriously, “math is just not my thing”… I’d much rather learn something else. Maybe it has something to do with that middle school math teacher who, let’s just say, was not a good teacher, or human being, at all… She taught math and geometry for 5 years during my “most formative” time and pretty much shaped my “math attitude” that I still have now: I’m able to learn and perform math operations on my own time but on on a spot when somebody is staring you in the face waiting for an answer – I just freeze, in body and mind, in that instant, no matter how simple the calculation might be. Something happens to a child, when you’re standing in front of the whole class, and the very teacher who is supposed to “take your hand and lead you  onto the land of knowledge” instead is yelling “you’re a stupid idiot!” In your face if you’re taking a minute too long, or God forbid, produce a wrong answer. To be fair, she did it to every single child she taught throughout the years, girls suffered way more than boys though, and if you ask my classmates who was the most hated teacher in school, we all say the same name. And much research has been done lately, one of my friends even based her PhD dissertation on that, that girls are capable of learning math and operate complex problems on the same level boys do, but only if they are encouraged and given equal opportunities from the very early age.

Giving my son a chance to experience a leadership of a good teacher was one of the reasons I encouraged him (but not pushed) to enter a private prep school even though he was accepted into top gifted high school in the city.  Not to say that there are no great public school teachers, and we’ve encountered some of them along the way, but he did have his own horrible experience with a math teacher in middle school too, and understanding that the pressure of dealing with a class of 30-35 kids on top of following all the city and state mandated tests and regulations sometimes takes the best out of even great teachers. But the other major part of the prep school choice was to give him a chance to get somewhat similar to mine education – where much time is spent on oral discussions, presentations, where a teacher has the time to read (aloud!) Herman Hess to a class of only 12 kids who then in turn have the “luxury” to paint a mandala based on it during their art class. Yep, you got to pay for all these privileges. And, as my son calls it “endure the pain of being together with snotty arrogant golf playing rich kids”. But at the same time, “he is much better at math than I’ve ever been”!

So Wenn in Deutschland, be math savvy. But also remember that despite their seemingly cold aloof appearance, Germans have a “sweet center” and are actually great dessert lovers!

 

What’s Cooking This Week

The bad thing about today’s recipe is that if you’re obsessed about calories, this is not a dessert for you. The good thing about it though is that’s it’s so good, you won’t get much of it anyway as people will be fighting over it. I made it for a bunch of teenage girls who devoured it in just 15 minutes. And if you know anything about teen girls, they are the 2nd hardest to please group, rivaled only by toddlers. The recipe involves quite a few ingredients and quite a few steps. How many? I’m bad at math, I wasn’t counting :) but you won’t notice either because the result is too delicious to care. I guess Germans know how to make their dessert extra sweet :)

German Cinnamon Apple Cream Pie

image

Pie shell:

1 1/4 cup of flour (I used Cup4Cup gluten free mix)

1 stick of unsalted butter, slightly soften

1/4 cup of sugar

2 eggs

A pinch of salt

Cream filling:

1 cup of heavy cream

1 cup of half-and- half

5 Tbspoons of butter

3/4 cup of sugar

1/4 cup of corn starch

1 tspoon of vanilla

Apple topping:

2 large apples (I used Red Delicious)

2 Tbspoons + 1 Tbspoon of brown sugar

2 tspoons + 1/2 tspoon of cinnamon

A pinch of nutmeg

Butter or oil for cooking

image

Make the apple topping first. Peel and cut apples, heat up some butter or oil and cook them until  half way done. Then mix in 1 Tbspoon of brown sugar, nutmeg and 1/2 tspoon of cinnamon and finish cooking. Cover and set them aside.

image

To make the crust, combine flour with sugar and salt. Make a well in the middle of the flour mix and crack the eggs into it, then using a fork, with a circular motion, gradually incorporate the eggs into the mix, batter will be crumbly. Again, using a fork, or pastry dough tool, gradually cut into and incorporate butter pieces, make sure butter is not too soft.

image

Continue working the dough till it comes together and can be knead on a floured surface. If it becomes too soft, stick it in the fridge for 20-30 minutes. Knead it on a lightly floured surface and roll it out to make 8-9 inch pie crust.

image

Pre-heat the oven to 350F degrees, use pie weights or poke some holes in the crust. Bake it for about 15-20 minutes until it becomes golden. Don’t over-bake.

While it’s baking, make the filling.in a metal pan, combine cream, half-and-half and butter and cook on low heat until butter is melted. Combine sugar and corn starch in a bowl, and, when butter has melted, stir them into the cream butter mix and continue cooking, constantly whisking, for about 10 minutes until it’s thick. Stir in vanilla and remove from heat.

image

Pour cream mixture into a baked pie crust, top with apples and then sprinkle with the remaining 2 Tbspoons of brown sugar and 2 tspoons of cinnamon on top. Cover the pie edges with foil or pie crust protector.

image

Stick the pie under the broiler for another 5-10 minutes to let the filling thicken even more and sugar sprinkle set in.

Then just Essen – eat, whatever you manage to grab before the whole thing is inhaled by everybody else. Yep, it’s that good!

image

Enjoy!

Best Laid Plans

Standard

image

 

We are indeed divine creatures, governed by the laws of the Universe, ruled by all the ebbs and flows of planetary changes but are also full of magnificent power and propelled by a need for change. Once in a while though the Universe does push us to slow down and re-assess where we are and what already has been accomplished. And what a better time to do it if not during a  Mercury retrograde period. They are actually designed just for that, it’s a divine order to make sure we are still on course or to change the path if the one we are on is not working out.

Mercury retrograde happens 3-4 times a year and usually lasts for 3 weeks, but since the 2 weeks of approach and 2 weeks of retrieval should also be counted, we are really talking about 6 weeks in each period. The planet doesn’t really go backwards, but its rotation slows down to the point where, from our Earth view, it seems like it goes in the opposite direction.

The current period started on June 7 and goes on till July 1 and then count 2 more weeks of retrieval, so we are in it through mid July. Plus we just had a powerful Honey Full Moon (the moon at its full position just after midnight) on Friday the 13th, and we are still in its power as Full Moon is active for 3 days post the actual day. So hang on tight!

Mercury retrograde is usually feared because of all kinds of communication problems, travel issues, technology glitches and a general breaking down of best laid plans. So try to plan accordingly and don’t make rush decisions you may view in a different light later. Unless it’s totally necessary (like for work matters), do not sign any contracts or agreements. If lover arguments occur, do not despair, it will get better. And definitely do not break up any relationships, wait till the retrograde is over, chances are you will change your mind. Give yourself an extra travel time and try to roll with it if glitches occur. As scary as it sounds, it’s also the best time to rest, review, renew, reroute, release or reconnect. It’s all about the RE- in the retrograde. And quite often we need just that, and it could be the best thing that happened to you.

I found this great blog post about last summer’s retrograde period that talks about how best laid plans get scratched, which turns out it was exactly what was needed to happen, and how we all think that we may be immune to planetary changes only to get proof otherwise.

 

JUL 10
WHO’S AFRAID OF MERCURY RETROGRADE? OR WHY ASTROLOGY’S MOST-FEARED CYCLE MAY BE JUST WHAT YOU NEED, BY MITCH HOROWITZ
This July Fourth my family traveled to Hilton Head Island in South Carolina for a vacation. Getting there was no easy trip. We traveled during the astrological period called Mercury Retrograde: a thrice-yearly phase when the planet Mercury appears to move backwards – and travel, communication, and commerce (all things associated with the ancient god Mercury) are thought to go awry. And so they did. But there were deeper lessons in store.
We began our travels just a few days after the current cycle began on June 26 (it ends July 20). As astrological tradition holds, it is an especially ill-fated time for travel. True to lore, my wife and our sons, ages 6 and 9, discovered that our outbound flight from New York was severely delayed, causing us to miss our connection in D.C. and leaving us stranded overnight. For added measure, our luggage got lost in transfer limbo.
“Now do you believe in Mercury Retrograde?” I asked my wife. She fixed me with a don’t-even-ask look.
This kind of travel snafu is considered typical during Mercury Retrograde. But an interesting wrinkle occurred – the type of thing that gets overlooked when people speak with trepidation of Mercury Retrograde. When we returned to New York, upon deplaning we re-encountered the same (very humorous) gate attendant who had seen us off at the start of our trip. He not only remembered us but resumed a joke with our youngest son, Tobias, which he had made at the start of our trip days earlier. This minor light on our journey points toward an under-appreciated facet of Mercury Retrograde: We get the chance to repeat things. People can surprisingly re-merge from our past. Old projects can get revived. Relationships and endeavors we were certain we had left behind, or lost items (and not just lost luggage), can reappear.
Mercury Retrograde cycles last about three to four weeks and occur when the planet Mercury traverses furthest from the sun in its highly elliptical orbit. At its point of curvature Mercury visually appears to be moving backwards when viewed from Earth. Optically this is somewhat like when you’re on a train and another train on a parallel track slows, but does not stop, and from your seat appears to be reversing.
Everything has its hour and Mercury Retrograde is not just a cycle of missed flights and botched transit: it can also become a time of revisiting, revising, and reconsidering. During this year’s first Mercury Retrograde cycle early in 2013 I heard from a network television executive who had been discussing a show with me the previous year, but talks had dropped off. Now she wanted to talk anew.
Signing contracts and selling homes is considered a big no-no during Mercury Retrograde. But even in this area interesting developments can occur. About six years ago, my wife and I reluctantly committed to selling a lake house we own in upstate New York. We were uncertain it was the right move. But we went ahead and signed a deal with a local real-estate agent. I knew that signing deals was considered verboten during Mercury Retrograde, but the agent was understandably eager – and I didn’t feel that I could tell him: “Well, you see Mike, in about four weeks the god Mercury will be more inclined to shine favorably upon our undertaking, so…” One weekend we went to prepare the house for sale and unexpectedly found that our three-year-old son was enchanted with the place. Seeing his newfound excitement, we reversed our decision and decided to keep the house – later to our great relief. This was a decision that had needed reconsidering. Enter Mercury Retrograde.
Western astrology has ancient roots extending to the Babylonian and Hellenic civilizations. Yet in its contemporary practice, astrology (as with many aspects of modern life) takes on forms that are actually more recent than we realize. The earliest references to Mercury Retrograde as an astrological phenomenon began in the mid-1700s in British agricultural almanacs read by farmers who believed that the motions of the stars affected planting seasons. “Mercury is turn’d retrograde in Sagittarius, which brings him back to meet the Sun in Conjunction,” went a reading for December 9, 1754 in Vox Stellarum: Or, a Loyal Alamack. In the twentieth century, Franklin Roosevelt’s agricultural secretary and second vice president, Henry A. Wallace, himself a farmer and almanac publisher, felt that the study of zodiacal cycles could aid scientific agriculture. Even today zodiacal charts remain a regular feature of planting almanacs.
Mercury Retrograde has currency among many people who don’t follow astrology. Although you won’t find Mercury’s cycles tacked up on the bulletin boards of air-traffic control centers or search-engine offices, lots of people in those fields and others talk or (often uneasily) joke about it. Anecdotally, Mercury Retrograde is considered prime time for internet crashes and travel mishaps, or even disasters.
But we cannot sit things out during Mercury Retrograde. Contemporary life is fast moving, and certain things, including signing contracts and taking trips, cannot be placed on hold during Mercury’s thrice-yearly visual reversal. My advice is: Don’t even attempt to hunker down during its cycle. Depending on your outlook, you might have to brace for a few reversals and snafus. But there is another dimension to the matter. You might also find that Mercury Retrograde – contrary to the apprehension it stirs online and in coffee-break rooms – is a period of revisiting or happily reversing situations that you had once imagined set in stone. Mercury Retrograde may place a speed bump into your plans, but it can also loosen things up and unwind knots. So sit back for the ride. It will be an unexpected one.

 

 

What’s Cooking This Week

Today’s recipe is a pure “retrograde dish”, as in “what you make when the best laid plans do not happen”. Which turned out IS the best thing and a quite tasty meal. When I planned to use shredded chicken in a completely different recipe, I somehow totally blanked that besides the mentioned chicken I actually had none of the other necessary ingredients at home. And, yes, New York never sleeps, but I wasn’t exactly looking forward to a full shopping experience late at night. So scratch that recipe, this one came out just perfect with all the ingredients I already had in the fridge.

Chicken Zucchini Fritters

image

1 lbs shredded chicken (I used Italian style)

2-3 small yellow or green zucchini

2 eggs

2 Tbspoons of mayo

2 Tbspoons plus more for coating of flour (I used Authentic Foods gluten free blend)

1 tspoon of garlic powder

1/2 tspoon of salt blend

1/2 tspoon of Italian blend herbs

image

In a food processor, blend together shredded chicken, zucchini, eggs, garlic, flour and salt blend. Transfer mix to a bowl and add mix in mayo and herbs blend.

image

Form round or oval patties and coat them lightly in flour. Heat up olive oil and fry them until each side is golden to lightly brown.

image

Serve with any sauce like honey mustard or salsa. They make a great lunch dish or a main course alongside a salad or sautéed vegetables.

image

Enjoy!

Diced! Dessert Challenge Round 2 – Cherry Cordial Candy Shot Glasses With Cherry Amaretto Whipped Cream

Standard
Diced! Dessert Challenge Round 2 – Cherry Cordial Candy Shot Glasses With Cherry Amaretto Whipped Cream

Food n Thought Peddler:

My recipe for the 2nd round in Diced! Desserts is posted. Please vote, the poll is on the right side of the page at The Ranting Chef site. Thank you!

Originally posted on Rantings of an Amateur Chef:

Diced! Dessert Challenge – Round 2

The Diced! Dessert Challenge continues…

Each participant in round 2 won their first round and is ready to battle for more.

I will post a pairing each week on Wednesday and Thursday and open the polls for voting. The polls will be open from Thursday until the following Wednesday (before the next pair posts). The winner of each matchup with the most votes will move on to the next round and the chef will produce another recipe for their new matchup. The overall winner will receive any prizes I can acquire. To date the winner will receive:

This week’s pairing is:

Cookies – non-chocolate (Luis) vs. Hard Candy (Diana) . Luis beat out non-chocolate cake to advance and Diana beat out Brownies. Today we have Diana…

View original 490 more words

Diced! Desserts – Round 2

Standard

Thank you all who voted for me in the 1st round of Diced! Desserts competition. I’m happy to say that I was moved into the 2nd round, and I’m now working on my round 2 recipe. The category remains the same Hard Candy so it’s a bit of a challenge to come up with yet another interesting recipe, but I feel I can still offer a competitive post. The number of participants was reduced from 16 to 8 in the 2nd round, and after this, will be reduced to 4. My post will go live next week, either on June 11 or 12. Please support me in this round too, your votes are greatly appreciated!

Diana