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Showing posts from April, 2014

Mother's Day Peach Bellini

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Recipe courtesy of Tyler Florence
Total Time: 1 hr 25 min Prep:10 min Inactive:1 hr Cook: 15 min Yield: 4 drinks Level: Easy
Ingredients For the ginger simple syrup: 1/4 cup sliced fresh ginger, with skin 2 cups granulated sugar 2 cups cold water For the peach puree: 10 ounces semi-frozen peaches 1/2 cup ginger simple syrup
For serving: Ice cubes 1 bottle Champagne
Directions Begin by making the ginger simple syrup. Peel and grate the ginger. Add it together with the sugar and cold water to a saucepan. Bring it to the boil and stir until the sugar dissolves. Cover and let steep for 15 minutes. Strain, discard ginger pieces and set simple syrup aside.
In a blender add frozen peaches and ginger simple syrup. Blend until completely pureed then place into the refrigerator to cool.
For serving:
Add ice cubes to a cocktail shaker and fill half way with peach puree. Top off with Champagne and shake vigorously to combine. Pour into Champagne glasses and repeat process as needed. For more recipes …

Life Is Full Of Pleasures: Cyndi's Top 3

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The Price Of Love

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There’s no doubt that love comes with a price, almost always, that price can make us feel vulnerable and fearful. The love, care, empathy, and compassion we show toward others, depends on how close of a connection we have with a person. Most of the people I know, myself included, are always careful about using the word “love” with others outside of immediately family and pets.
In friendships, I show how much I care about my friends with love, even though I don’t often use the word. The time I take to listen to a friend having a bad day, or helping a friend out when they need it, or taking time to say encouraging words when I know they need it the most, or giving them an opportunity to engage in a business opportunity, that’s love! So when something goes wrong in a friendship, there’s a heartache that’s hard to shake. For me, if a friend behaves in a dismissive way once they move on, I start to feel regretful for the time and energy (love) I gave this friend, and it’s because I always…

Quote of the Day

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Quote of the Day

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Practice Makes Perfect…Yeah, Yeah, Yeah. Old Habits Are Hard To Die.

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I’ve heard, practice makes perfect, for so many years that it doesn’t mean anything to me. So, when I was meditating to Day 10 of Oprah & Deepak 21 day meditation challenge, he and Oprah talked about activating the power of practice, and it clicked! After so many years of being desensitized to the word, practice, it made sense!
My girlfriends have heard it for years; I wish I could blowout my hair like my hairdresser does when I get my haircut every 5 weeks. And I wish I could do my make up better, I wish I could be limber like the women in the yoga videos, I wish I had a toned up body, and the list goes on. How is it that complaining and venting to girlfriends about all of these issues makes me feel well enough to temporarily forget the issues, but then when it builds up again, I complain louder and more bitterly?
Why not spend more time at my story writing? Or learn and practice, blowout my hair, workout more often, cook healthier meals, and do yoga more often. It all takes practi…

Chorizo, Bean and Cheese Nachos

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Recipe courtesy of Emeril Lagasse SHOW: Emeril Live EPISODE: Macho Nachos Yield:4 servings Level: Intermediate
Ingredients 1 pound Mexican chorizo, removed from casings and crumbled 1 tablespoon chopped garlic 1/4 teaspoon ground cumin 2 cups cooked pinto beans 1/2 teaspoon chili powder 1/4 teaspoon salt Water Homemade Tortilla Chips, recipe below, or large, restaurant style corn tortilla chips 1 1/2 cups grated pepper jack 1 1/2 cups grated sharp cheddar 1 small white onion, sliced into thin rings 5 large jalapenos, stemmed, seeded, and chopped, or to taste 1 cup sour cream 1 tablespoon fresh lime juice Chopped fresh cilantro leaves, for garnish
Essence (Emeril's Creole Seasoning): Combine all ingredients thoroughly and store in an airtight jar or container. Yield: about 2/3 cup
2 1/2 tablespoons paprika 2 tablespoons salt 2 tablespoons garlic powder 1 tablespoon black pepper 1 tablespoon onion powder 1 tablespoon cayenne pepper 1 tablespoon dried leaf oregano 1 tablespoon dried t…

Finding Harmony and Security in All That I Am

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A great quote from Stephen Covey defines what my life became after having children and losing my sense of my being. I became completely absorbed in the world of raising children and caring for them at all times, I didn’t make room for anything else. I lost the sense of who I was, other than a mom, and a wife. “Security represents your sense of worth, your identity, your emotional anchorage, your self-esteem, your basic personal strength, or lack of it.” Stephen Covey
My lack of feeling secure in my new role as a wife and a new mom sent me into a whirlwind of past emotions that had been swept under the rug, but also new emotions of a new life with a baby that relied on me for her every need. It was all too much and I found myself lost in the shuffle.

As I’m finding my way back to my sense of being a secure and strong woman, I’m reminded of how my identity and emotional anchorage depended on the unveiling of the great self-esteem I had once known and loved about myself.My personal strengt…

Happy Earth Day!

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Allie’s Last Chemo Cycle

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My friend Allie has been battling Stage II Breast Cancer for the past 8 months, finished her last cycle of chemo last week! Her double mastectomy scars are looking better, and hope is high for her to be cancer-free by the time she completes radiation in early June.
A few weeks back, I started to think about having a group of friends show up to Allie’s last chemo appointment. I emailed a few of our close friends and set up for all of us to show up with flowers, an end-of-chemo poem, balloons, and cupcakes. So the day arrived, we nervously walked in with all of our loot to a full house of chemo patients, and waited for Allie to walk in. I had never seen that many patients in that unit! I was shocked but also felt bad to walk in with all of our loot.I wondered if other patients would be bothered by the ruckus. Afraid to look around, I slowly turned my head to the end of the room, only to see almost everyone smiling!Whew!The nurses were also happy to see Allie’s friends show up and show …

Life Is Full Of Pleasures: Cyndy's Top 3

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Quote of the Day

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Quote of the Day

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One-Way Ticket to Feeling Comfortable in My Own Skin

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As the year speeds up, so does the anticipation of the arrival of the BIG birthday! Turning 40 is feeling like a process of adjustment, fine-tuning, and coming into my own. I can only explain it this way:
When my 20’s came around, I couldn’t wait to drink legally, move out, finish college, desperately searched for a career path, dated guys I thought I could fix, tried to learn to be patient, partied, and then partied some more…but most importantly, tried to desperately fit in!
When my early 30’s hit, I had been married for 5 years and had two young children.I couldn’t wait for my little ones to sleep in, feed themselves, bathe themselves, and walk without my help. I was also learning to navigate the “clicky” world of moms, and learning how to stand on my own when other moms excluded me.I longed for great friendships with women who had kids. All my single friends had bailed out on me and were out on the town looking for a relationship, and looking to have a great time while at it.
The cli…

Finding Happiness

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How would you describe true happiness?  Is it an object or an experience that you take part in that brings you true happiness?  I heard Deepak Chopra ask those questions during one of his meditation sessions online.  I couldn’t answer the questions immediately because I didn’t know at that moment what really brings me true and authentic happiness. A daydream of being on vacation with my kids and husband on a white sand beach, with calm waves, crystal blue, warm water was definitely what I pictured.  But I know for a fact that the luster of that experience would fade as quickly as it took me to arrive to such place. I have been on amazing vacations where the excitement and happiness faded as the days wore me down by the sun exposure, constant hydration, running around to experience the town, etc. It quickly turns into a rat race, in which, I must explore the entire town. I now imagine that on those great vacations, happiness was sitting down to take in the view, the sounds, and tappin…

Giant Easter Egg Cookie

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Total Time: 1 hr 10 min Prep: 30 min Inactive:15 min Cook: 25 min Yield: 8 to 10 servings Level: Easy
Ingredients One 16.5-ounce tube ready-made sugar cookie dough, at room temperature 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour 2 tablespoons pasteurized egg whites 1 1/2 cups confectioners' sugar 2 tablespoons lemon juice 2 cups assorted Easter candy, such as jellybeans and mini eggs, etc. Sprinkles, optional
Directions Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
Mix the cookie dough with the flour until it is an even texture. Turn the dough out onto the prepared baking sheet and form it into the shape of an egg about 1/2-inch thick, 9 inches long and 7 inches wide at its widest point. Bake until golden around the edges, about 25 minutes. Remove the cookie from the oven to cool, about 15 minutes.
Meanwhile, beat the egg whites and sugar with an electric mixer until combined. Add the lemon juice and continue to beat until thick and glossy, about 5 minutes.
Fill a pastry bag or p…

Life Is Full Of Pleasures: Cyndi's Top 3

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Quote of the Day

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Quote of the Day

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Dr. Oz's How to Eat Your Vitamins One-Sheet

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Tired of taking supplements? Try eating your vitamins! Use this simple cheat sheet to get all of your essential nutrients from food.
Bestie Note: I've always wondered what it would look like to consume all of your vitamins in one day.  And here it is!  That's why we love Dr. Oz!!

For more info visit www.doctoroz.com

To Judge or Not To Judge...

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In The Four Agreements by Don Miguel Ruiz, he puts judging others and ourselves into perspective.Anytime we judge, there’s a punishment that follows the judgment.The judge within others and in us, takes a verdict and finds a punishment to “right” what was “wronged”. I’m guilty of judging my kids, husband, friends, family and mainly myself.I find a situation that I thought should have gone a certain way, not necessarily the right way, but “my way” and if it was not what I expected, depending on how severe my emotions were impacted, the punishment undoubtedly comes down on that person or myself.
This one time, I walked up to a friend in utter happiness, telling her how happy I was because I got an amazing pair of new shoes and couldn’t wait to wear them.She looked at me, gave me a strange look, and said, I thought you were broke, why did you get new shoes?Buzz kill!!Her judgmental look was enough to kill my excitement, but then came the punishment.So what did I do?I responded by judgin…

Passover Braised Short Ribs

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Recipe courtesy of Wolfgang Puck
Ingredients 1 bottle kosher for Passover Cabernet Sauvignon 2 tablespoons kosher for Passover vegetable oil 6 short ribs, trimmed Salt 1 teaspoon black peppercorns, crushed Matzoh meal, for dredging 10 cloves garlic, peeled 8 large shallots, peeled, trimmed, rinsed, split, and dried 2 medium carrots, peeled, trimmed, and cut into 1-inch lengths 2 stalks celery, peeled, trimmed, and cut into 1-inch lengths 1 medium leek, white and light green parts only, coarsely chopped 6 sprigs Italian parsley 2 sprigs thyme 2 bay leaves 2 tablespoons tomato paste 2 quarts unsalted beef stock or chicken stock Freshly ground white pepper
Directions Pour the wine into a large saucepan set over medium heat. When the wine is heated, carefully set it aflame. Let the flames die out, then increase the heat so that the wine boils; allow it to boil until it cooks down by 1/2. Remove from the heat.
Center a rack in the oven and preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
Heat the oil in a Dutch oven or large…

Life Is Full Of Pleasures: Cyndi's Top 3

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I Saw The Sun...And It Opened Up My Eyes

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I imagine one of the reasons people cling to their hates so stubbornly is because they sense, once hate is gone, they will be forced to deal with pain. - James A. Baldwin
I use to wake up wondering when the pain would stop, I couldn’t stand having every piece of my being hurt every time I opened my eyes.I wondered why I had chosen to face and work on letting go of the hate and painful memories of my childhood and adulthood.I would complain to my therapist about the endless sense of being broken open. Then, one day I woke up and the pain was gone!And so were the hate, and the sense of brokenness that had plagued my entire life for the past 8 months.I took me almost 14 years of steady therapy (minus these past 8 months of finally being broken open) to face my fears, pain, and hate, and now, none of it has power over me, and not one of them rules my life anymore.I finally broke free from the judgment and hate that I had been harvesting for decades. I don’t feel the need to show my worthi…

Quote of the Day

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Quote of the Day

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The 5 Languages of Love

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I recently saw Dr. Chapman's interview with Oprah about The 5 Languages of Love. I was curious how he defined the the languages so I went to his website and took the quiz.  My language is Words of Affirmation.  His assessment is right on because that's essentially the air I breathe, but I already knew that was my language, so what do I do now?  Have my husband take it too!  He begrudgingly took it but quickly claimed that it was wrong, so I asked him which language is most important to him, but he struggled to pick his top one.  

Dr. Chapman mentioned that when someone was not raised in a home where Words of Affirmation were common in their family dynamic (that's my husband), then providing that for his wife is a complete challenge.  I got that! And wanted to chat with my husband at length about it but knew that he would lose interest quickly.  So I just flat out said it!  I need you to put me down in your calendar!  You need to set times that you're going to compliment…

Anything you can do…I can do better?

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The race is on!Since my friends, acquaintances, family, and I started our relationship with social media, our lives have never been the same.Just like a new relationship, there was the courtship, head-over heels, honeymoon, rocky times, divorce, and then the blah stages.Our (almost) every move was documented and showed off on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, etc., That was all ok, until…kids came into the picture.I started seeing how thoughtful, crafty, and caring some moms “seemed” to be on their posts and pictures.These friends and acquaintances were going all out for their kids’ birthday parties, lunches, spring breaks, summer breaks, and holidays!When I would stop to compare what I was doing for and with my kids, I was a level 3 and they were level 25!!I couldn’t compete!I was sure that these women either worked for Martha Stewart or are related to her.Besides the fact that I couldn’t compete financially, even if I wanted to, I’m just not crafty enough to do all the elaborate parties…

Change Is Hard…Even When It Benefits Your Wallet

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I read an article in the LA Times this past Saturday, about a 14-year-old student, Suvir Mirchandani.Suvir published a detailed study on how the U.S. federal and state governments could collectively save about $234 million a year, by just switching the type of font that is used on printed documents.Suvir concluded that Garamond is the most efficient font for printing because Garamond uses thinner strokes for its letters, therefore using less ink.Suvir was told that the U.S. is focused on moving documents to the Web instead!However, my question is, why not change the font now and save our tax dollars on printing, while everything is moved to the Web?And when everything is moved to the Web then we’ll save money too, but why not change the font now? There will always be a need for all of us to print documents, and the government is no different, so why don’t we change our fonts now, and save? Politics definitely play a role in this situation and that’s a $234 million dollar shame!

Change …

Blueberry Fools

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Total Time: 1 hr Prep: 55 min Cook: 5 min Yield: 4-6 servings Level: Easy
Ingredients 2 cups blueberries 1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon sugar Pinch of salt 1/2 teaspoon grated lemon zest 1 1/2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice 1 1/3 cups heavy cream 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract Shortbread or wafer cookies, for serving
Directions Make the blueberry sauce: Heat 1 1/2 cups blueberries, 1/4 cup sugar and the salt in a saucepan over medium heat until bubbling. Reduce the heat to medium low and cook, stirring occasionally, until the blueberries are soft, about 5 minutes. Stir in the lemon zest and juice; remove from the heat. Stir in the remaining 1/2 cup blueberries and let the mixture cool to room temperature.
Beat the heavy cream in a bowl with a mixer or whisk until soft peaks just begin to form. Beat in the vanilla and the remaining 1 tablespoon sugar. Gently fold all but 1/3 cup of the blueberry sauce into the whipped cream. Divide among glasses and top with the remaining blueberry sauce. Serve with cookies.
Pho…