Thursday, March 31, 2011

Southern Charm


Oh Sam Talbot, how can you be so cute, so charming and cook so well?

Oh, that's right

because you are a charming southern boy!

Sam Talbot was a semi finalist on Season 2 of Top Chef but that's not his only claim to fame. After he received his education, he moved to New York and worked as an executive chef for a few years before opening his first restaurant, Williamsburgh Cafe, in Brooklyn.

Recently he opened a new restaurant called 'Surf Lodge' in Montauk.

Sam has had diabetes since he was a teen and has to wear an insulin bag on his leg.

He volunteers with juvenile diabetes research and uses his super charm to raise money for the awareness of the disease.

Handsome, talented and kind....I really feel that he should date me.

Beef Tips to die for...

I know I say this a lot... but truly... this is amazing!

I usually make only mushrooms this way but for my sister's birthday this past weekend I wanted to do something really special. So I decided to do the yummy caramelized mushrooms with beef tips.

The result is something that was so truly amazing that its one of those things that my tongue craves.

The beef tips were tender and the mushrooms had just enough firmness so it didn't feel mushy.

And the taste? Oh my word!

It was a delicious mix of the earthy mushrooms, with the tender beef that was caramelized with Marsala wine.

This is not a low fat

This is the easiest meal meal

And this meal will impress anyone...anyone.

A new guy, his friends, his family, your friends, your family, your boss,


What You Need

2 pounds Beef Tips

1 package Mushrooms

1 1/2 to 2 Sticks Unsalted Butter 3 cups Marsala wine

Salt and Pepper to taste

1/2 Tablespoons Corn Starch mixed with 1/4 cup water

What You Do

Melt the butter into the Marsala until nice and bubbly

Crack fresh black pepper and add salt

Add the beef and cook until medium rare

Add the mushrooms and cook until tender

Add the corn starch mixture a little at a time to thicken the sauce

I spooned it over baby red mashed potatoes. I just boiled them without skinning them and then mashed them with some salt and a sour cream.

We also had sauteed spinach and roasted asparagus!


To top this meal off

I got Tahitian Vanilla Bean ice cream

Any ice cream that comes in a plastic container that has a lid that screws on is amazing!

I picked out some Baklava from the bakery added a scoop of the vanilla bean

and tossed some chocolate all over it.

The perfect finish to the perfect dinner.

Happy Birthday Laura!!

Break My Heart

I almost didn't post this. I almost let it go. And the reason that I was going to do this is because I felt that at a certain point, she doesn't deserve any more press.


What type of person refuses to allow a 9 year old little boy who is dying of leukemia

to cook with them?

Ina Garten ... aka The Barefoot Contessa

aka, my first food chef love.

The Make a Wish people approached her once and she ...excuse me ... HER PEOPLE... informed the family that MS. Garton is on a book tour.

(That last part? Please imagine it dripping with sarcasm)

The Make A Wish people approached her a second time, this time she... I mean her people as she is telling it... told them that she couldn't say yes to every request and that she was just "too busy".

Too busy doing what exactly?

I'm sure that there are so many requests she gets to have sick children cook with her.

The whole point is that I am breaking up with The Barefoot Contessa.

This is sad for me....

But not as sad as that little child whose simple wish was to cook with Ina.

In an effort to minimize this exposure to her. I'm going to post a new recipe shortly after.

Go to hell BFC.... I really never want to watch to hear about you again.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

R.I.P Elizabeth Taylor

"I fee very adventerous. There are so many doors to be opened, and I'm not afraid to look behind them."
Elizabeth Taylor

Greek Meatballs

I love Greek food. There's the hummus and the tzatzki and the mint and the garlic....all such a delicious melding of flavors designed to dance and delight the tongue! I ran across a recipe for Greek Meatballs and I had to try them. I made them with turkey but you can try beef or lamb.
I will tell you though....the turkey is so moist and tender that the meatball almost melts in your mouth!
What you need:
1 lbs Ground Turkey
1 Red Onion (grated)
3 Tbl freshly chopped mint
2 cloves of garlic minced
2 Tbl minced basil
2 eggs
1 1/2 cup bread crumbs (I used organic whole wheat)
Salt and Pepper

What you do:

Mix seasonings, eggs and onion together. Stir

Add ground turkey and breadcrumbs. Mix. You might have to do this with your hands.

Roll meatballs, approximately 1 inch in diameter

Heat 1/4 of a cup of oil in a saute pan, over medium heat.

**The Trick To a Tantalizing Meatball**

The first time I made these, I was left with a meatball that was pretty loosely held together. I wanted something a bit more sturdy. So, I upped the original amount of breadcrumbs and added an additional egg. Now... if you want a meatball that looks delicious and holds it's playful ball shape (cause be honest, any food that is in the shape of a ball is playful!) here is what you need to do.

The oil MUST be really hot. If your wondering how to tell this, olive oil has a very distinctive look when its reached optimal frying temp. When its cool its more dense, when is hot, its more liquid. Also, a wonderful nutty scent will lightly waft up.

If your still not sure... run your hands under water, shake the loose droplets off over the pan. If it pops and're in business!

Drop the delightful balls of joy into the pan and then using the handle of the saute pan move it back and forth so the meatballs are rolling around in the hot oil. You want to not just let the meatball sit in the oil, instead you want to get all sides of the meatball to brown and firm up.

The meat should get all nice and caramelized, the outside of the meatball cooking firmly to hold the inside together.

Now, your heat should be on medium so once the meat is that delicious light brown color, cover the pan with a lid. This is kind of steam the meatball to cook it all the way through.

Every few minutes, check on the balls and do the quick saute movement. You don't want them to stick to the pan.

The meatball is done when its firm to the touch.

Its a playful summertime meal so I decided to use a pink plate!

There's a few ways to eat this but always always eat it with tzatziki sauce.

I put mine in a whole wheat pita, with tomato and avocado with tzatziki sauce. YUM!

I served it with baked brussel sprouts, homemade pita chips with hummus and a salad. The salad was a yummy mix of cucumber, black olive, hearts of palm, avocado and goat cheese. I squeezed fresh lemon juice and salt and peper into it and then just mixed!

It was a fab dinner for a weeknight!!

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Top 5 Kisses....

Do you know your top five kisses of all time?
Some of you may and some of you may not. I do. I remember the top five. I don't know why I picked this number but I did and it seems perfect. Below are the top five kisses that I've had of all time. I don't know if I'll remember the other kisses once and if (and that's a very big IF right now) I ever find my Risotto Man but for tonight....I'm going to skip down memory lane.

"My First Kiss"

Oh first kiss. You have no idea how much you impacted me. Until you laid your lips on mine, I had no idea how fun kissing could be. It was at summer camp...summer CHURCH camp.
Do you remember?
You asked me the one night if you could kiss me. As I look back now, your gentleman behavior was very sweet, it was the first and last time I've ever been asked if someone could kiss me and I really do appreciate that you let me walk away, lips untouched. I do understand the next night when young teenage hormones got the best of you and you leaned in for a smooch anyway. *sigh*
I wish that my surprise didn't get the best of me, making me run away...I wish that as I ran over that unsteady terrain I didn't take a final look back and think 'Wow, so that's what its like'...and oh how I wish that rock hadn't been there and my foot hadn't hit it...
Falling on your face seconds after your first lip lock is really not cool.

"Kiss in the rain at least once, its worth it..."

Your penny advice for the night? Kiss in the rain at least once.

I was in high school, I was visiting a friend whose name I can't remember now and it was raining. I think it was spring, I'm pretty sure in fact. What I do remember is the boy. The handsome boy whom I sat with in his car in teh driveway of my friends house as we both got up the nerve to kiss.
At one point after he forced bravado and finally leaned across the way to kiss me, we decided to go inside the house.
Somehow, those same treacherous hormones got the best of us when we stepped outside the car to run inside. His mouth found mine and before we knew it, we were drenched and still kissing. What's so great about kissing in the rain?

The sheer unashamed joy of losing your mind to a moment.

It was raining, my hair was getting wet, his clothes were getting wet, we didn't care. For a moment ... all that mattered was his lips on mine and how delicious it felt. It didn't matter that it was late, it didn't matter that I would have to explain to my parents why I was sopping wet, it didn't matter that he had to drip dry before he got back in his car, I couldn't give a flying f*ck that the hair I spent an hour making straight as a board was curling into ringlets and I really really really didn't care that his ex-girlfriend was a semi acquaintance/friend of mine...

I just wanted him to kiss me in the rain... as the thunder roared and the lighting struck.

It was the single hottest moment of my life, up until then.

"Dance under a tree"

This is a simple one. I was in college. There was a boy I was crushing on. I had thought he was so handsome for weeks. I tried so hard to be cool.
Which, let's face it... I'm not.
Somwhow, he and I ended up at the same party one night. And then, somehow, he and I ended up across the street swinging on playground swings late at night. Somehow, he ended up pulling me into his arms and slow dancing with me under a huge elm tree. The branches far above us, he reached an arm up and picked a leaf for me as if he was presenting me with 3 dozen roses instead of a large green leaf.
I laughed off the chivalrous moment as we swayed in each others arms with a comment of "We're dancing and there's no music!" He leaned into my ear and whispered...

"I can hear the music. Can't you?"

And then kissed me....
I think I still have that elm leaf someplace.

"Las Vegas"

No romance here folks but the kiss was nice. I grew up in a small town about an hour and a half from Vegas. One year, I went to Vegas with some friends the day before New Years as they had never there. We met two guys while there and they convinced us to come back the next night for New Years.

The girls got to Vegas before I did, met up with a different group of guys and totally ditched me while I was driving up to meet them. Meanwhile, the guys from the night before had gotten into a bit of trouble after we had left them. One had been jumped so he wasn't feeling up to going out.

Snowboarder guy (which is what I'm calling my lip lock) and I were looking at a pretty dismal New Years at this point. So as I'm trying to find a parking spot ... in Vegas...on New Years .. at 9pm ... he's convincing me to just come hang out with him on the strip. That since we've both lost our group of friends we should just hang out together.

So I did.
And man... I had fun.
At midnight as we stood across the street from the Bellagio next to another couple who had a full bottle of champagne and thousands of strangers who somehow felt like our friends, he wrapped an arm around me and we shouted out the countdown.

"5!!! 4!!! 3!!! 2!!! 1!!!!!!"

Fireworks went off! People were laughing and shouting! He leaned in and kissed me...a long soft kiss. When we pulled apart the couple next to us handed us the bottle of champagne and we each took a long drink...and then started kissing again.

"Is it in the top 5 because it's the most recent, or simply the best kiss?"


I quite honestly don't know if this is in the top five because it's been the most recent or because he somehow knew exactly how to kiss me. The first time he kissed me, we had met for drinks.

We were sitting outside on this patio at a trendy bar that I normally don't frequent. I'm so not trendy. We were off to the side and it was dusk so the bar had a fire lit. We were enjoying a beer, lightly teasing each other because we're really good at that.

I was semi thinking that although I was having so much fun and he was so cute and he really made me laugh, I did have to get up for work the next morning. I was talking about something and suddenly, he stood up, leaned over and kissed me.

I wasn't expecting it.

I had wanted him to so badly but since I was used to the semi awkward lean in and the moment where you both try to figure out how to kiss each other and somehow 99.9% of the time are not able to do so... this moment of unexpected lip lock self assurance completely took my breath away.

He had placed his hand on the back of my head, wrapping his fingers lightly in my hair. And placed his lips on mine. Kissing me in a rhythm that matched my own perfectly. His lips were the right amount of firmness and they had a confidence that is rarely in a first kiss. **sigh**

....and I was speechless....
If you know me, you know this is a rarity. So I said something very smooth like....

"You just kissed me... I forget what I was saying."

Tuesday, March 22, 2011


this about sums it up.....

... and I have no nickname for him .... shit

Saturday, March 19, 2011

*evil ex*

True story, he broke me. He didn't just break my heart, he almost broke me. What ever it was that made me, me was gone the minute that he and I ended. Ultimately, he didn't love me enough. I don't care what anyone tells me now, the fact of the matter is that he really didn't love me enough. I know now that I deserve someone who loves me. I know now that what ever it was that I had, it wasn't enough for him. I'm saying this because what I want you to understand is there might always be a hole in me that might not ever be filled. There is a fear in me that might never go away. There is a sadness that still creeps up and hits me every once in a while. A moment that I ask myself why I wasn't enough, or what was it about me that he didn't want.

When he and I broke up I didn't just dye my hair and drink a lot. I dyed my hair, drank so much that I ended up throwing up over an overpass into a ravine 20 feet below and moved to a new state with a new job to escape everything that remind me of him. And yet, I still called him. I still met with him. You want to know the only reason he wanted to see me? So he could get laid. To him, I was nothing more than that. To come back from that is tough. To realize that you are more than just a blow up doll...that is really really hard. And really really heartbreaking. You don't know true venom until the person that you love more than anything in the world is saying the most vile things to you and as you look at him and listen to what he's saying you realize that the light in his eyes? That's pleasure, a pleasure that he is taking in the tears in your eyes and the pain that's written across your face.

Who does that? Who takes pleasure in another person's pain?

People don't realize what the outcome is when they do something like that. What their actions can do to another person. How they can hurt someone. Those actions can have long reaching affects and if you don't deal with the scars that they will seriously bite you in the ass. That one day when you are going about your business 2 years after the last time you talked to him, your issues will creep up, pop up in a text and kick you in the ass. Next thing you know, you will be looking into an empty wine glass wondering how the hell you let him back in. I spent so much time trying to shovel the shit that he put inside me, that when when I find a pile that's still there, I get really surprised.

But you know what? I found out recently that I am a fighter. That I am more than the person that gave her all to another human and had it tossed in her face. That I am worth more. That I am a silver coin person. What's a silver coin person? Well, the truth is while I was sitting in church this last weekend the pastor was talking about a person's worth and that back in day people were judged by their worth in silver coins. Well, I know that to us, nowadays 10 silver coins doesn't seem much. But back in the day??

Back in the day...those 10 silver coins were a tiara. So....

I'm a 10 silver coin woman, bitches. Look at my tiara!

It takes a while to get there and its not easy. I've compressed about 4 years of pain, misery and heartache into a few paragraphs. I've put the moments that my heart felt like it was falling out of my chest and there was nothing but an empty space there into a few sentences. So it might seem like I'm being a little flippant but I'm not. I could fill pages and pages with the struggle that I've gone through in order to make it through. When I fell and broke and I didn't just fall and twist my ankle... I fell and broke apart. And then I laid there for a long long long time.
At one point, I finally lifted my head and realized that I was laying scattered on the floor. And then I realized...
I don't want to be broken any more.
So I picked up my tiara where it had lain....patiently waiting for me. And I picked up my glue and I glued myself back together. And while I will admit that I'm not always healed and sometimes I shy back because that scar you just hit is still a little weak... I'm a person again.
I'm a 10 silver coin person....and no one....will take that away from me.

New Laptop!

Why a picture of delectable chocolate cake on this? Becuase my dear friends, life is cake. It takes a little bit of work, a little bit of flavor and a little bit of heat to get something truly worthwhile.
I have a new laptop! So hopefully, I will be posting more. First up is an update on my search for my Rissotto Man. I've had a few setbacks recently and its been a big bummer. Also, I'll be posting some yummy food and I'll add to my Hunky Chefs. It's going to be fun folks so look for it!