Monday, April 29

Fabulous by Association

My whole life I've never been the pretty or the popular friend.  Of course I was always in the 'in' crowd and enjoyed the luxuries of being cool, but I was never the one who directly deserved the status.  I was just an accomplice to my hotter friends.


It all started when I hit my awkward decade of braces, bushy eyebrows and gangly pale limbs.  While my friends weren't without their flaws, they wore puberty much better than I did.  It was fourth grade, I was a foot taller than everyone, wearing jincos and a weathervane tshirt and rocking straight across bushy bangs that started at the crown of my head.  In school guys would talk to me, but, even at this age, I could only lock down the 'cool by association' friends of the guys I was really interested in.  The saga continued into high school, where I was never the one invited to the cool parties directly, but the invitation was always extended on account of my budding friends who were growing more and more beautiful by the day.

As they grew chests and filled out pants, I stayed straight as a board with my new love handles as the only noticeable 'lumps' on my body. Between the braces, pale skin, and overuse of bronzer, I was a hopeless extra in a group of very hot friends.  By 10th grade, I had given up on landing the guy everyone wanted to date and acknowledged that I was doomed for a life of 'settling' for 2nd, or 3rd best.  Worse was that these 2nd or 3rds usually strategically dated me to get closer to my friends.

But it wasn't just with guys.  I wanted desperately to be a cheerleader, but my clumsy limbs couldn't do the most basic of jumps, so I landed on the B squad. Not even able to ride the same bus as all of my A squad friends.  In school, I excelled, but there was always that one kid smarter in class.

But then, one day around the middle of 11th grade, I lost the braces, befriended a straightener (and push up bra) and signed up for unlimited tanning. And while this did not catapult me up the status chain, I at least wasn't the 'ugly extra' friend any longer.  In fact, I wasn't half bad.

High school came and went, and by senior year I was deemed reasonably attractive, winning prom queen and beauty and brains. I began feeling comfortable in my skin and had a decently handsome college boyfriend.  Sure I was still miserably flat chested and doting what has been referred to as a 'pig nose' but people were no longer talking to me just to get in good with my hot friends.

This lasted a blissful 6 months until college.  College presented a-whole-nother batch of problems.  Attending a private catholic college seemed like a good idea in theory, but my classmates were all very wealthy in comparison to, well, me.   And with money, comes better clothes, hair makeup, healthier food even!  I was living off ramen and pizza, dying my hair out of a box and shopping at Target.. I was hopeless!   Did I mention I parked my 96 pontiac sunfire right next to my friends sparkling new jeeps and audis?  The girls I was up against were purebreds with all the bells and whistles. And alas, I was back to being fabulous by association.  I was the friend who had no beach house to offer, no money for quality highlights, no idea what to do in a gym.  Plus I was still struggling with being somewhat pretty, but never the prettiest.  Skinny, but never the skinniest.  And even in my honors classes with a 3.9 gpa, intelligent, but never the smartest.

Now, I know what you're thinking.  Quit bitching.  So you were a gangly disaster in junior high and high school, at least you still went to cool parties and had boyfriends.  So you got injured in front of everyone while practicing for the B squad and never cheered again, at least your A squad friends didn't ostracize you. Oh and boo hoo hoo, you didn't have money in college?  Join the freaking club.   And I agree.  My adolescence was rather easy in comparison to the bullying horror stories I've heard, but the actualization of being 'fabulous by association' took a drastic turn for the worst when I moved out to Los Angeles, and this.. I know you can sympathize with.

Los Angeles is a different beast.  This women are flawless, get invited to lavish parties, have their parents or boyfriends (or both) credit cards and they live a life of luxury and bliss.   Being fabulous by association is an honor out here, as it is coveted because of the giant pool of 'average' girls to chose from.  Every hot girl needs someone to take pity on and make them look better right?  Well I'm that chick.

Always the peasant never the princess.  I am confined to a life of scraping by no matter how hard I work.  This I have come to terms with, but it is still rather discouraging to never be able to pick up the tab, or buy the designer bag, or go on a vacation, or waste my daddy's money on, well everything.

Always the guest never the honoree. Sure I go to amazing launch parties, premiers, galas, award shows.  But am i ever the name on the list? No!  Of course not.  Just a plus one.

Always the runner up never the winner. I still curse my mother for putting me in pageants starting at the ripe age of 5.  But I take full responsibility for torturing myself year after year trying to win the Miss USA pageant.  Hello, I'm 5'6 flat chested and I have a premature wrinkle from decades of tanning beds. Why didn't someone stop me!

Always coach never first class. Boo hoo you have to sit with the rest of us.  Screw you guys, I'd be completely fine with being ignorantly happy and poor if I didn't have these friends jet setting around to locations I can't even pronounce.

Always the agent never the moviestar. God this one kills me.  I WANT TO BE FAMOUS.  There I said it.  But what do I find myself doing for a living?  Helping other people get famous. go. freaking. figure.

Always the 7, never the 10.  In my prime in Boston I relished in being a solid 8 ...maybe on a good hair day a 9.  Cocky yes, but I owned it.  Here I'm lucky to pull of a 7 in the right lighting.  But my friends?? All 10s.  Sure there's some fake boobs and a nose job or two in there.. but honestly.  All 10s.  Who wants to be the 7 in a group of 10s?  NO ONE.  I'm bait for all the unattractive sniveling men who want to infiltrate our group.

And the list goes on ..and on ..and on ..and on.  My friends are all talented and gorgeous. and Rich.  And because of this they live these amazing-got-to-believe-it-to-see-it existences.  I have been kindly adopted as a sidekick, mostly for my agreeability to do whatever their plans are (since I of course am never the one with the invite), and mostly because I make them look even hotter.  I am okay in this arrangement, because their fabulosity isn't without perks. But just once I'd like to be the fabulous one, regardless of association. 

Le Fooding Festival at MOCA



It's difficult to get a West Hollywood socialite to head downtown for any reason other than when the Lakers are going to lose to the Celtics, but being a diehard foodie and an art enthusiast can drag even the most reluctant west-sider inland.

I had heard rave reviews for Le Fooding Festivals in the past but never had the opportunity to attend. This year I tried my luck at tweeting for a chance to score two tickets to the Friday night event.  Winning free admittance brings any venue up a few stars in my book, but it became quickly apparent that Le Fooding Festival at MOCA really didn't need the bonus points.

The event was magical.  MOCA in itself is a architectural gem with a gorgeous front courtyard grounds overlooking the cityscape. Add the top chefs from LA and Paris dishing out their most prized fares and Veuve Clicquot champagne and you've got a 5 star rating from me.

After being stamped the coveted FOODING across our hands we were given a handful of tickets redeemable at each of the sponsored vendors food tents.  The food and drink stations were scattered around the perimeters while the Veuve Clicquot bar and a section of long picnic tables took center stage on the grassy grounds.

We headed straight inside to check out the claymation exhibit but got sidetracked at the photobooth.  This was something a little out of the ordinary.  You take the picture yourself then upload it to instagram and hashtag #fooding and it will automatically print out at the kiosk with the Le Fooding Festival border.  Being able to choose which photo, and more importantly which filter, for a printed photo keepsake? Ingenious!

The exhibit was down right draw dropping.   Urs Fischer transformed the museum wing into a physical clay depiction of his imagination, leaving no whim unmolded.  From skulls to cats to entire villages, this was the most expansive and intricate clay exhbit I've ever seen.

Back outside for our glass of Veuve then off to sample each of the dainty yet exquisitely flavorful cuisines.  If I had to chose a favorite, I'd have to give the award to Nancy Silverston from Mozza.  But truthfully each dish was enjoyable.  From lamb shoulder sliders to drinkable pizza paired with french cheeses to an array of rich desserts from Lemonade, the chefs pulled out no stops in bringing decadence and rich flavor to the fanciest picnic I've ever attended.

Aside from the food, the picnic tables and moseying across the lawn created a comfortable opportunity to network with like minded foodies, designers, and art lovers.  A complimentary cup of coffee and one last bite of the salted caramel and fudge sandwich and we left full, happy and a little more cultured.

Thank you Le Fooding, not only for the tickets, but for seamlessly integrating the best of Paris and LA for a night I wont soon forget.






Friday, April 26

The Evo-Inc Cleanse: Review

As I previously posted, I decided to commit to a 14 day total body cleanse.  7 days of fasting 7 of eating raw/vegan/gluten free.  Annnnd while it took me closer to three weeks, today is the last day!

DAY 1: The first day of drinking the master cleanse juice was miserable.  It was a Saturday, I was starving and out of my mind bored.  Matt and I drove in circles trying to find something to do other than drink or go to brunch.

DAY 2: And Sunday wasn't much better... I felt depleted of energy, ready to give up, and extremely irritable.  It didn't help that I had quite a lot of shopping to do and my companion was throwing back candy like it was going out of style.

DAY 3-7: But Sunday folded into Monday and I woke up feeling energized, slimmer and overall pleased with my decision to keep fasting.  The week flew by, and it was a breeze staying clear of food and drinks. My only complaint is that my body stopped heating itself appropriately, so I was miserably cold in 70 degree weather.

DAY 7-9: Now according to the plan (which I posted a in-depth summary of a few posts back), I was supposed to introduce solids very slowly back into my diet on the second Saturday.   This just happen to be the same Saturday I was at my first coachella weekend, so needless to say I had a few mishaps.  I definitely drank, but at least I stayed to the raw/vegan/gluten free guidelines (right?!)

DAY 10-14: We discovered Erewhon, so basically we ate like Vegan kings for this entire week.  Not drinking was tough with friends in town, but eating was a cinch.  Fruit for breakfast, raw zucchini 'pasta' for lunch, trail mix snacks and raw vegan tacos, salads, soups and quinoa for dinner.

This was the point where I was supposed to do the dreaded epsom salt chugging followed by drinking a half cup of olive oil --- but with Vegas coming up on the 15th, I decided to postpone one more week....

Day 15-17: Drank like a fish, but miraculously stuck to the diet!  Lots of nuts, lots of fruits and a few salads thrown in the mix.  Definitely hard to turn down In n Out for the ride home, but I persevered!

Day 18-21: Back to eating clean until last night.  When I did the epsom salt/extra virgin olive oil death cleanse.


Conclusions:  I've never felt so empowered as I did the first week. Food is such a clutch for me, and no matter how full I am... I become a ravenous animal when I get home from a stressful day of work.  And even worse at night while I mindlessly munch.  Okay, I basically mindlessly eat nonstop from waking up to falling asleep.  Not eating left me feeling in control of my body and will power.  Plus abstaining from coffee alcohol (kind of) and gum was a huge feat for me.

   I feel guilty for frivolous weekend festivities, but the cleanse isn't meant to torture you right?  If I've got the concept right, the program is meant to enliven you and give your body and mind a peaceful vacation.  Not sure if my body had a vacation per se, but the empowerment of the first week hasn't quite worn off and I've lost 5 or so pounds off my middle.  (My boyfriend even shed 20!)  Did my gallbladder stones flush out of my system? Who knows.  Is this actually cleansing my system or just throwing it into shock?  Also not sure.   What I do know is that I feel a little more alive, and a little more guided on my relentless pursuit of health and wellness.

Monday, April 22

A Weekend in Vegas - the Monday rant list.

It's Monday morning.  I can't go back to sleep, but I can't muster the energy to crawl out of bed and face the week ahead.  I've got the post-Vegas blues.


Living in So Cal, I've spent my fair share of time throwing away money on Roulette and slot machines in lovely Sin City.  However, this weekend was the first time I've had the entire Vegas experience: The pool parties. 

I still can't fathom how we drank (and I mean drank) all day poolside only to head back to the hotel room for a measly hour of reapplying makeup then hit club after club until the sun came up. AND THEN GO RIGHT BACK TO THE POOL and do it all over again.  Crazy. ness.



In an attempt to delay getting out of bed, I'm going to recount the stark observations I made over this jam packed weekend.


The Car Ride:
1. Don't be accommodating and say you don't mind sitting bitch.  In traffic this could be a 5 hour drive.

2. Speaking of the car ride. You cannot buy a gas station hotdog, or any other foul smelling food and eat it in the car.  You're also not allowed to eat shit food then whine about being fat for the rest of the trip.

3. I'm excited to see Avicii, Hardwell and Bassnectar too! But there's no reason to blast house music for the entire ride before we get out eardrums blown out by the same music for 72 hours straight.

4. No objections.  We're stopping at Mad Greek and I'm loading my bags with baklava and gyros.  Sorry for partying. 


The Pool:
1. Cheeky bottoms are totally in! But don't wear them if your ass is covered in cellulite.

2. You know what, I don't care if you're addicted to In n Out, but if you're body is not 'bikini ready' why don't you just keep your cover up on? 


This pool doesn't count it was a private cabana!
3. Wedge sandals at the pool - absolute must.  Stilettos?  go to hell.

4. Every girl in Vegas has fake tits.  It literally feels like a playground for girls with boobs.  Check your insecurities about being flat chested at the towel rental.

5. Would I go in the cess-pool where people are blatantly having sex?  Probably not.  Am I judging you for dipping in?  most likely. (this rule especially applies to Wet Republic).

Sin City:

1. Yes the Spearmint Rhino serves food.  No you're not going to order anything to eat a strip club. Slap out of it.

2. If your ass cheeks are showing out of your dress and your strides are a small shuffle, your dress is probably too short and too tight. Oh and just because its Vegas doesn't mean you need to be adorned in glitter and sparkles.  Or (gasp) white eyeliner.

opening weekend at Hakkasan
3. Dear guys from New Jersey who fly to Vegas with their 20 closest meathead friends:  Cat call and whistle all you like, but get your tanned hands away from my ass.  NOT COOL to grab girls when they walk by you.  Ok. I suppose it's probably not just NJ guys, so let me retract that and generalize to all guys. take. note: Sexual harassment doesn't work. even in "Sin City".

4. If you are somewhat attractive, or just one of your friends is cute, a Vegas weekend can be completely free.  This doesn't mean you should act like a entitled bitch and forget to say thank you for the rooms, tables, dinners, gambling money and possibly even flights.

5. Vegas is as fun as you make it.  Despite my stark criticisms, I love a city where everyone is accepted with open arms.  Don't stress over your body or wardrobe or anything else superficial.  Grab a cocktail, roll the dice and fist pump with abandon - what happens in Vegas still stays in Vegas if you spend your time enjoying yourself instead of on instagram.  

Thursday, April 18

Coachella Diaries - The fashion!

Coachella, for me, isn't necessarily about the music - yet more of a cultural experience focused around the fashion. 


My fashion do's for Coachella 2013 are as follows:

-You must get a pair of high waisted shorts.  these are a necessity. Melrose is overflowing with every possible pair you could dream of - but their pricey and difficult to find the right fit.  My suggestion is to go for fit (you'll need them to be comfy) and then distress them yourself from there with a little sand paper.

- Ankle boots. another must.

- wide brimmed hats and vintage sunglasses

- bangles upon bangles, don't skimp on the jewelry - have fun with it!

- lacey shirts & cover ups

- cropped tanks, tshirts, bathing suit tops

- flowing skirts and dresses

- floral or tribal prints

-bright block of color - think neon shorts

- American flags

When in doubt, distressed t's, hippie inspired flair and hipster threads will work.  As much as its all about the fashion - you still have to dress for comfort, considering it will be 90s during the day and substantially chillier at night.


These are NOT pjs. In fact, they're adorable. hmph
The jean vest I'm wearing?  My mom's from the 70s. Totally. Coachella-esque
A pop of neon, a textured black top, fun prints & shorts? check.

Wednesday, April 17

Coachella Weekend - The parties

If you're from Los Angeles and you're planning on heading to Coachella weekend, listen up.  The concert is a small blip on your radar in comparison to the onslaught of absurdly amazing parties that are at your fingertips. I say 'if you're from LA' because these aren't your run of the mill, 'I'm a cute girl, I'll get in' parties.  These are exclusive, invite only, you've got to be on the list, celebrity laden extravaganzas.  And they are AWESOME.


Luckily for me, I have a few friends and one spectacular roommate who weasel me onto lists, and I can honestly say that the party experience of Coachella, if attainable, should be your main priority.


This is what MY Coachella weekend looked like:

Friday Night -  Wildfox and friends party.  Embodies Coachella - without the dust. You've still got the fashion, the celebrities, the lounging on the grass -- but add free alcohol, a fire pit, makeup touch ups, and photo booth in an intimate setting. After hours had a casual 40 people over the house we were staying in.. which was walking distance to the festival. no. big. deal.



Saturday Day - Chevy Volt Valley Party put on by my dear friends at NIGHT VISION.  The party was larger than life, with a zip line, hot air balloon rides, and free flowing margaritas.  Sponsored by Patron & Bagatelle, there was everything from gourmet burgers to patron infused ice cream and Popsicle to eat.  Oh by the way.  That car was craned onto a little island in the lake for the party.  Oh and they built a bridge across the lake.  ball. er.

Saturday Night - Started off at the Guess Party (another Night Vision spectacular) where Nervo absolutely killed it in this architecturally pleasing tent venue.
 

Then headed to Neon Carnival (Bolthouse) for a truly adult only carnival.  There were rides, celebrities everywhere, games, free flowing alcohol, and amazing live music until 4AM. 
We couldn't stay until 4 though... because we had to get to this mansion with a dj party in an airport hanger.  Felt a little like a college rage - but in a million dollar home with a name dj.  Around 5:30 it was back to our place -- with the celebrity roommates we were staying with had invited over their 50 closest friends.  This party didn't end, the sun just came up.

Sunday day-  back to Chevy Volt Valley, because really, how can a competing party top hot air balloon rides?  

Sunday night - stopped by the actual Coachella festival - to jam out to Red Hot Chili Peppers.  As I posted earlier - the experience is amazing. But it's also freezing, windy, dusty, and you walk for miles upon miles only to elbow and push your way to not even be able to see the performer anyways. Don't get me wrong.  If I never knew of this alternative party weekend, I would have been smitten with Coachella and had the time of my life - maybe even camped!  But mixing the parties and the concert together (with an emphasis on partying) created the perfect weekend.  Maybe if you've got enough stamina you could do the parties the first weekend and the festival the second, but this option is out of the question for me.  Only sleeping under 3 hours for an entire weekend is something I can handle but once a year.



Coachella - What to expect!

Coachella weekend is absolutely magical.  But only in so far as you plan it right.  I've just now come out of the coachella-coma and feel ready to really digest the whirlwind festival.



Tickets.
Lets start from the beginning, shall we?  Tickets sell out fast.  if you're going for the parties, get your tickets the first weekend.  If you're going to camp - well then it doesn't quite matter much as the line up is exactly the same.  Don't panic if tickets sell out, there are desperate ticket holders trying to unload their tickets after the line-up is announced, then again closer to the event.  VIP isn't quite worth doubling the price in my eyes. Sure, there are fenced off areas closer to the stage and it's easier for you to get alcohol and food, but with a little bit of patience (and pushing), general admission can come very close to giving you the same experience.

Packing. 
This can be overwhelming.  Especially for the fashionably conscious, but don't fret.  Truth is, you'll probably only look cute for an hour before you're covered in the dust and filth sticking to your sweat.  This is a boho-friendly, hippie-inspired festival.  Looking unkept is, well, encouraged.  These things however, are MUSTS when packing:
-Sunglasses
-Sunblock
-closed toe ankle boots
-distressed high waisted jean shorts & vintage tanks
-heavy sweaters and jackets
-bathing suit
-bandana
-face/baby wipes
-ATM card
-cross shoulder bag or backpack
-extra contacts/contact solution
-hat
-long pants/skirt
-hairbrush & leave in conditioner

Fashion.
On the packing note, I will be posting my fashion do's and donts for Coachella soon, so stay tuned ;)

Festival.
As a recent festival chaser, I can say I was pleasantly surprised by Coachella.  Despite being owned by the conglomerate AEG, it still held the charm of an indie festival. The waters are only two dollars, there aren't sponsors harassing you, and you can have three koji truck tacos and a beer for under 20 bucks.  Plus they give the option of camping.  In comparison to Insomniac events, they really skimped on sound, lighting, and experience creating, but the layout and staging was definitely on par.  This festival is a well oiled machine from check in to the ease of navigating the massive fair grounds.

If you are going just for the festival and staying at a house or hotel that's a drive away, I would really study the lineup and make a priority list of acts.  You're not going to see it all, and there is by no means any rush to get to the festival early and stay until the very last set.  it is three full days after all.

Transportation.
The cabs back and forth are expensive and sparing, and while some hotels have shuttles, the distance is to Palm Springs is too great to make multiple trips in a day. Parking is free, but the lots are enormous and confusing, so snap a photo of your cars location so you can find it again.  And for God's sake don't drink and drive, there are cops littered everywhere.





 

Tuesday, April 16

Nue Studio


Nue Studio & Cafe without fail delivers perfect cuts and color.  Todd is a cutting wizard who can turn the saddest mop into perfection and Loralin? Well lets just say I've never left a bleaching session with bright hues AND shiny healthy hair.

The studio is cutting edge - puns intended.  There is an undeniable edgy vibe to the decor - with a floor made of cds and gemstone bedazzled cutting chairs.    The rockstar environment is offset by a few racks and cases of unique jewelry, earth toned clothing and sneaks for sale.   

But the real kicker is their menu of delightful salads and sandwiches.  You can't beat having the option to nosh on kale and Brussels sprout salad while you enjoy your beauty transformation. 


Oh and did I mention that they'll have their liquor license in a month?  Yes. That means bubbly & bleach.  Which, in my opinion, is nothing short of pure heaven.


Whether you're going in for a purple razor cut or long layers and soft low lights, Todd and his team are sure to deliver. 



http://nuestudio.com/losangeles.html

Wednesday, April 10

If life gives you lemons, pucker up!


14 DAY CLEANSE courtesy of Evolution-Inc !

I've been blessed with skinny genes. I come from a line of slenders and while ill never have breasts over a b cup (at best), it would be really hard for me to eat enough to actually be fat.

This past few months tho, my blessing has felt much more like a curse. I used to eat well and exercise for two days to lose my pouch ...now it seems like everything is just getting puffier and well, fatter, no matter how many hours I log at the gym.


Let me spell out my normal habits. I work out 6 times a week. High intensity boot camp, weight training, kick boxing, cycling, yoga ..you name it. I have a protein shake and a banana for breakfast, apples and oranges for snacks, a salad or grilled veg for lunch then I usually just snack on veggies and nuts for dinner with the occasional meal out of fish or chicken. And always a glass or 2 of wine. I don't eat carbs. Rarely eat dairy and say no to sweets 9 out of 10 times. This lifestyle has kept me at a happy 104-109 my whole life until now.  I blame it whole-heartedly on the overwhelming stress of my job, but quitting is never the answer.  So I turned to Evo-Inc's plan.

Here's a small breakdown of the 14 day EVO-INC cleanse: (http://evo-inc.com/)

Night before Day 1
: drink one 10 oz bottle of magnesium citrate before bed and get 8 hours of sleep.
Day 1-7: drink 1 gallon of Evo Alkalizer Mix throughout the day, each day.  also drink 6-8 oz of distilled water per day, each day. Take 30 supplements daily (whole body, liver, kidney and colon) and two liquid aligns for galbladder and liver.

(EVO ALKALIZER MIX - 1 gallon ditilled water, juice of 6 medium limes, 1.5-2 cups B grade maple syrup, 1 tbs cayenne pepper)

Day 8: Continue supplements, add liquid foods
Day 9 & 10: Continue supplements, add solids

Day 11-12: add ortho phos mix

ortho phos mix:
1/2 bottle of otho phos
1 quart raw unfiltered apple juice
Day 13: Day of the flush
6:00PM: take one teaspoon Epsom Salts dissolved in 3/4 cup warm water (you can follow with four ounces of fresh squeezed lemon, lime or grapefruit juice).
8:00PM: repeat Epsom salt
10:00PM: Blend 1/2 cup warm unrefined virgin olive oil and 3/4 cup lemon, lime or grapefruit juice. Drink it all and immediately go to bed and lie on your right side for 30 minutes.  then you may lie on your back if you wish. Do not get up. go to sleep.
Day 14: Eliminate taking all supplements
6:00AM - repeat Epsom Salt
8:00 AM - repeat Epsom Salt
10:00AM - you may eat watermelon or berries.  Eat a light lunch and normal dinner. 

***Week two you only eat vegan, organic, raw and gluten free!

FOOD TO AVOID DURING WEEK TWO:
-vinegar
-gluten
-dairy products
-fermented foods
-caffeine
-all oils should be greatly reduced
-breads
-sugar
-meat and meat products
-alcohol
-processed foods

The Perfect Easter Menu!

EASTER MENU

DRINKS-
Mimosas and Bellinis
Bloody Mary Bar

APPETIZERS-
Deviled Eggs (*Recipe on site under 'cooking/baking')


Fresh Fruit in a hollowed watermelon

lemon coconut pound cake (*Recipe on site under 'cooking/baking')
 
Cheese and crackers
 

shrimp cocktail



MAIN COURSE -  
Spiral Honey Baked Ham

Chicken Broccoli Ziti with White Wine Sauce
(*Recipe on site under 'cooking/baking')

Roasted Red Bliss Potatoes with rosemary and thyme

Green Beans with bacon and shallots

Meatballs in a red cream sauce (crockpot)

 Spinach and Beet Salad with craisins, candied pecans, onion and an orange balsamic dressing

Oven baked rolls
           

DESSERT -
Pecan Pie
(*Recipe on site under 'cooking/baking')

White chocolate and cranberry cookies
(*Recipe on site under 'cooking/baking')


Holy Left overs!
 

  

Monday, April 1

EASTER :Healthy Chicken Broccoli Ziti with White Wine


Here's my simple, and healthy, CHICKEN BROCCOLI ZITI recipe!  This is the perfect accompaniment to any hearty main course, like a honey baked ham!


1. Chop 1 onion and 4 garlic cloves finely - brown in skillet on Medium heat in 4 tsp olive oil 

2. Add 2 pounds of boneless skinless chicken breast (fat removed) and cook until center is no longer pink. Remove from pan (but keep oil and garlic simmering) and cut into pieces.

3. cook 1 box of whole wheat spirals and set aside in casserole dish (toss lightly with olive oil to keep moist).

4. Microwave 1 full bag of broccoli florets (stems trimmed) for 2-3 minutes.

5. Reduce skillet heat to medium/low add 1 cup white wine (sauvignon blanc works well), 4 tsp flour, splash of chicken stock (no stock?  throw in a splash of milk), garlic powder, ground pepper and any other spice that tickles your fancy and a hearty pour of parmesan cheese.  Blend well.

6. Add cut chicken and broccoli to the sauce and stir.  Turn off heat and wait for mixture to cool slightly.

7. Pour mixture over ziti and stir together. 

8. Cover ziti completely with mozzarella and parmesan cheese. (sub low fat cheese if desired)

9. Bake at 350 degrees for 20-25 minutes. 

Enjoy :)









EASTER MENU: Lemon Coconut Pound Cake



LEMON COCONUT POUND CAKE 

I adapted this recipe from SOUTHERN LIVING MAGAZINE and it was foolishly delicious. 

http://www.myrecipes.com/recipe/lemon-coconut-pound-cake-loaf-50400000110794/

Above is a link to their recipe - BUT here are my improvements:

1. add another 1/4 cup sour cream to keep the cake moist

2. reduce cook time to one hour 

3. add 2 tsp of fresh lemon juice 

4. cut the inside of 1/2 lemon into small pieces and mix with cake mixture

5. Add 1/4 cup coconut to mixture

6. Add a tsp of vanilla extract

To the glaze: play with the ratio.  I did a generous squeeze of lemon juice and 1 cup confectionary sugar with only a little splash of milk, then covered the glaze in coconut before it hardened. 

Delish.

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