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Showing posts from April, 2015

Creamy Farfalle with Cremini, Asparagus and Walnuts

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Recipe courtesy of Giada De Laurentiis

Total Time: 30 min
Prep: 15 min
Cook: 15 min
Yield: 6 to 8 servings
Level: Easy

Ingredients
Salt
1 pound farfalle pasta
3 tablespoons butter
1 pound cremini mushrooms, thickly sliced
1 pound thin asparagus, trimmed, cut crosswise into 1-inch pieces
1 cup mascarpone cheese
Pinch freshly grated nutmeg
3/4 cup walnuts, toasted
1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan

Directions
Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the farfalle and cook until al dente, stirring occasionally, about 12 minutes. Drain, reserving 1 cup of pasta water.

Meanwhile, melt the butter in a heavy large skillet over medium heat. Add the mushrooms and saute until tender and most of the juices have evaporated, about 5 minutes. Add the asparagus and saute until the asparagus is crisp-tender, about 5 minutes. Add the farfalle. Stir in the mascarpone and nutmeg and toss until the cheese coats the pasta, adding the reserved cooking liquid 1/4 cup at a time to moisten. Stir in 1/2 cup of walnuts. Seas…

Chicken Cordon Bleu Sandwiches

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Recipe courtesy of Food Network Kitchen
Total Time: 25 min
Prep: 15 min
Cook: 10 min
Yield: 4 servings
Level: Easy

Ingredients
4 chicken cutlets (1/4 inch thick; 3/4 to 1 pound total)
1 1/2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
4 slices Black Forest ham
8 slices smoked mozzarella
1 baguette
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
3 tablespoons dijon mustard
1 bunch watercress or arugula, tough stems removed

Directions
Preheat the broiler. Line a baking sheet with foil and evenly space the chicken cutlets in the center. Brush the chicken with 1 tablespoon olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Broil, rotating the baking sheet as needed so the chicken cooks evenly, until lightly browned, 2 to 3 minutes. Flip the chicken and continue to broil until cooked through, 2 to 3 more minutes.

Remove the baking sheet from the oven and top each piece of chicken with 1 slice ham and 2 slices mozzarella. Broil until the cheese melts, 1 to 2 minutes. Seas…

Saving Grace

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Some days, there's an overwhelming amount of work, chores, commitments, raising kids, and day-to-day annoyances that contribute to temporarily losing my cool. Cooling off periods consist of me sitting in the bathroom and taking deep breaths while I remind myself that life always works out. Recently, my cooling off periods in the bathroom, lunch with friends here and there, and a girl’s night out weren’t enough to make me feel composed enough to keep going! I hit a breaking point and I needed a break. Thankfully, one of my closest friends wanted to celebrate her birthday out of town, so I jumped on the opportunity. As the departure day drew closer, I became more overwhelmed by the thought of leaving my kids and husband for 2 days. I ran myself ragged, I moved schedules around, had my dad help with dropping off and picking up the kids from school, and basically made miracles happen in order to make room for a much-needed 2 days of fun. Our spa destination was only 2 hours away so I …

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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Real Margaritas

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Recipe courtesy of Ina Garten

Total Time: 15 min
Prep: 15 min
Yield: 4 to 6 servings
Level: Easy

Ingredients
1 lime, halved
Kosher salt
1/2 cup freshly squeezed lime juice (5 limes)
2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice (1 lemon)
1 cup Triple Sec
1 cup white tequila
2 cups ice, plus extra for serving

Directions
If you like margaritas served in a glass with salt, rub the outside rims of 6glasses with a cut lime and dip each glass lightly into a plate of kosher salt.

Combine the lime juice, lemon juice, Triple Sec, tequila, and ice in a blender and puree. Place extra ice in a cocktail shaker. Fill with margarita mix, shake well, and strain into glasses.

Copyright 2001, Barefoot Contessa Parties! All Rights Reserved

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The Ultimate Anti-Aging Plan

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Article Courtesy of doctoroz.com

After researching the best science-based solutions to common anti-aging problems, Liz Vaccariello, editor-in-chief of Reader's Digest, determined that every woman needs to re-learn the rules of anti-aging. Here are a few key steps you can make to look younger without spending a ton of money.

Add Berries to Your Breakfast
The antioxidants found in berries protect against free radicals that cause cells to age and can also work to boost collagen production to make skin look younger. Add half a cup of blueberries, strawberries, blackberries or raspberries to your breakfast.

Use Wheat Germ Oil
Wheat germ is the highest natural vitamin-E food. Studies have shown it can help protect cell membranes from damage and can reverse aging in your brain, skin and eyes. Add 2 tablespoons of the oil in salad dressing or drizzle it on grains or vegetables, but don’t cook with it; the oil loses its power when heated.

Stop Using Foundation
Foundation can be extremely drying a…

Individual Orange and Chocolate Cheesecakes

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Recipe courtesy Giada De Laurentiis
Total Time: 1 hr 45 min
Prep: 35 min
Inactive: 25 min
Cook: 45 min
Yield: 6 servings
Level: Intermediate

Ingredients
1/3 cup finely crushed chocolate wafers
2 tablespoons butter, melted
1/4 cup ricotta cheese
2 ounces cream cheese
1/4 cup sugar, plus 2 tablespoons
1 orange, zested
1 egg
Butter, for greasing

Directions
Special equipment: mini muffin tin

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Combine the crushed chocolate wafers and the melted butter. Place a tightly packed teaspoon of the wafer mixture into each mini-muffin cup and press down firmly.

In a food processor combine the ricotta cheese, cream cheese, 1/4 cup of the sugar, half of the orange zest, and the egg. Blend until smooth. Lightly grease the sides of the mini muffin tin with butter. Fill the cups with about 1 1/2 tablespoons of the cheesecake mixture. Place the mini muffin tin in a baking dish and pour enough hot water in the baking dish to come halfway up the sides of the mini muffin tin. Bak…

Time To Bury The Hatchet...

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I recently attended the funeral of my good friend’s mother-n-law. I sat in the back row overlooking the entire congregation of mourners. I listened to her husband; sons and grandchildren talk about how much they love her and will miss her. It was a loving tribute to a woman they saw as kind, loving, playful, and who loved her family. I knew her as the mother-n-law that butted heads with my good friend and my friend’s husband (her son), and a woman who broke my friend’s heart many times throughout my friend’s marriage. I witnessed many power struggles between them. I never spent much time with her mother-n-law, so it’s justified that I only have a one-sided view of her, nevertheless, I never judged her character because I didn’t know her side of each story. I always felt sad when I would hear of disagreements between them and had empathy for both of them, because those type of relationships are very complicated. I know all too well about those kind of power struggles and disagreements…

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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TED Talk: Dame Stephanie Shirley - Why Do Ambitious Women Have Flat Heads?

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One of our favorite TED talks videos to date.

Mac and Cheese Grilled Cheese with Bacon Two Ways

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Recipe courtesy of Jeff Mauro

Total Time: 1 hr 55 min
Prep: 15 min
Inactive: 1 hr
Cook: 40 min
Yield: 4 servings
Level: Intermediate

Ingredients4 cups Easy Mac and Cheese, recipe follows
8 slices country white bread, buttered
4 slices American cheese
8 slices thick-cut smoked bacon, cooked
2 Roma tomatoes, sliced into 1/4-inch slices, optional
Hot sauce, such as Frank's, optional
Easy Mac and Cheese:
8 ounces elbow macaroni
Kosher salt
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
3 cups milk
8 ounce processed cheese, such as Velveeta
1 1/2 cups shredded sharp yellow Cheddar
Splash hot sauce, or pinch of cayenne
Freshly ground black pepper

DirectionsEvenly spread the Easy Mac and Cheese in an 8-inch square baking dish. Cover the dish with plastic wrap and refrigerate until firm, about 1 hour. Cut the mac and cheese into 4 equal-size squares.

Preheat a griddle over medium-low heat. Place each mac and cheese square on a slice of bread, top with 1 slice American cheese and 2 slices bacon. To…

Cinco De Mayo Chocoflan

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Recipe courtesy Marcela Valladolid

Total Time: 2 hr 25 min
Prep: 25 min
Inactive: 1 hr
Cook: 1 hr
Yield: 8 to 10 servings
Level: Easy

Ingredients
12 tablespoons (1 1/2 sticks) butter, plus more for greasing, at room temperature
1 cup sugar
4 eggs, at room temperature
1 2/3 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/3 cup buttermilk
1/2 cup cocoa powder
2 teaspoons tequila
2 teaspoons triple sec
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
One 14-ounce can sweetened condensed milk
One 12-ounce can evaporated milk
4 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
1 tablespoon vanilla extract

Garnish:
1/4 cup chopped pecans or walnuts
Mixed berries, such as raspberries, blackberries, blueberries and strawberries
Powdered sugar, for dusting

Directions
Put an oven rack in the middle of the oven and preheat to 350 degrees F. Grease a Bundt pan with butter.

First prepare the cake batter. Add the butter and sugar to a bowl and, using an electric hand mixer or a stand mixer, beat until light and …

Trusting Your Instincts Can Be Tricky…

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I always tell my kids; when in doubt, follow your instincts. And then I read this piece by Elizabeth Gilbert, which was brilliant and eye opening. Elizabeth says, definitely always trust your instincts.... but only if your instincts have a proven track record of being trustworthy. If not, then for the love of god and all that is holy, please stop trusting your instincts for a while, and sharpen your intellect, instead. Look at facts of your life, instead of blindly following feelings. You have a beautiful and rich mind — don't be afraid to use it. Try to THINK, instead of just acting and reacting. Wake up to yourself. Study yourself. Look for patterns in your history. Be open to change. Become a student of your own behavior in life, and do the work to find out why your reflexive actions haven't always benefitted you. Call in the pros if you need them. Do whatever it takes to trade in dysfunctional behaviors for life-affirming ones. And then — carefully, wisely, patiently, con…

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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Mother's Day Brunch Recipe - Egg White Frittata with Lox and Arugula

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Recipe courtesy Giada De Laurentiis

Total Time: 18 min
Prep: 6 min
Cook: 12 min
Yield: 4 to 6 servings
Level: Easy

Ingredients
8 egg whites, at room temperature
1/2 cup whipping cream
6 ounces lox, chopped into 1/2-inch pieces
1 lemon, zested
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 packed cups (2 ounces) arugula
1 clove garlic, minced

Directions
Put an oven rack in the center of the oven. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

In a medium bowl, whisk the egg whites until fluffy, about 30 seconds. Add the cream, lox, lemon zest, salt, and pepper.

In a 10-inch, ovenproof, nonstick skillet, heat the oil over medium heat. Add the arugula and garlic. Cook, stirring frequently, until the arugula has wilted, about 1 minute. Pour the egg mixture into the pan and stir to combine the ingredients. Cook, without stirring for 4 minutes. Transfer the skillet to the oven and bake until set, about 10 to 12 minutes.

Slide the frittata onto a platter. Using a serrated knife,…

DIY All-Natural Beauty Recipe - Cleansing Mud

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Article by Amy Marturana - youbeauty.com
In her book Skin Cleanse, Adina Grigore offers a no-frills approach to skincare. After years of struggling with sensitive skin, she discovered how sometimes, less is more. Part of her method to feeding and nourishing skin? Using all-natural foods on your face. No potentially irritating ingredients, nothing synthetic — just all-natural goodness that's pure enough for you to eat.

Cleansing Mud
by Adina Grigore, founder of S.W. Basics skincare and author of "Skin Cleanse
Ingredients:
1/4 tsp powdered cinnamon
1 Tbsp dry clay
3 Tbsp coconut milk

Directions:
Mix cinnamon and clay in a small bowl. Pour in coconut milk, stirring the liquid into the dry powder evenly (use a fork or whisk to break up any clumps). Eventually, it will become a paste. Apply like a wet face scrub with a cotton ball or with your hands. You can leave it on until it dries or rinse off immediately. The mud dries out quickly, so this recipe makes only about two applications. Y…

Choose Your Friendship Paths Wisely...

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As a young girl, I was taught to always be inclusive and to be a good friend to everyone around me. When I had my own children, I taught them to do the same just like I was taught as a kid. I screwed up! For years, I pushed my daughter to be friends with a girl she’s known since she was a year old, over time the girls’ mom and I became friends so it was easier for us to get together while our girls hung out. The girls only attended the same school for two years because she moved near us, but then was moved to another school. During those two years of being in the same school, my daughter felt different about their friendship because she felt suffocated with her friends need for attention, and many other girl complications. Through the entire two-year ordeal, I pushed my daughter to be always be kind, never talk badly about her friendship with this girl to anyone else, to handle her business privately, and hang out with this girl even when she didn’t want to. Then recently, I found out…

Lemon Pudding Cake with Fresh Mixed Berries

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Recipe courtesy Tyler Florence, 2008

Total Time: 1 hr 10 min
Prep: 25 min
Cook: 45 min
Yield: 4 servings
Level: Intermediate

Ingredients
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
2/3 cup superfine sugar, plus more for dusting
2 eggs, separated
2/3 cup reduced fat buttermilk
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 tablespoon lemon zest
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon salt

Garnish:
1 cup fresh raspberries
1 cup fresh blueberries
1 cup fresh blackberries
2 tablespoons confectioners' sugar

Directions
Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Butter and lightly sugar 4 ramekins (about 1-cup size).

In a mixer, add egg yolks, buttermilk, lemon juice and lemon zest and beat until well combined. Reduce the speed to low and sift in flour, sugar and salt. Continue to mix until combined. Beat egg whites until you get stiff peaks then combine the 2 mixtures by gently folding them together, a little at a time. Divide evenly amongst ramekins then bake in a water bath - set ramekins in a roasting tray and fill with water halfway up the sides of t…

Life Is Full 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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Spring Asparagus Tart

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Recipe courtesy Morgan Hass for Food Network Kitchens
Total Time: 55 min
Prep: 20 min
Inactive: 10 min
Cook: 25 min
Yield: 6 to 8 servings
Level: Easy

Ingredients
1 tablespoon all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
1 sheet frozen puff pastry, thawed (a 9 1/2- by 9-inch sheet from a 17.3-ounce package)
1 cup mascarpone
1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
1 large egg, beaten
1 lemon, zest finely grated (about 1 tablespoon)
1 tablespoon chopped fresh chives
1 tablespoon chopped fresh tarragon
1 pound pencil asparagus, woody bottoms trimmed off
1 tablespoon olive oil
Freshly ground black pepper
Lightly dressed greens, for serving

Directions
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Lightly flour the work surface and roll out the puff pastry to a 9- by 12-inch even rectangle. Transfer to the prepared baking sheet.

Combine the mascarpone, 1 1/4 teaspoons of the salt, the flour, egg and lemon zest, and then fold in the chives and tarragon. Spread over the puff pastry…

Superhero For A Day...

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The women whom I love and admire for their strength and grace did not get that way because shit worked out. They got that way because shit went wrong, and they handled it. They handled it in a thousand different ways on a thousand different days, but they handled it. Those women are my superheroes. -Elizabeth Gilbert

It may come across as if I’m tooting my own horn, and I am! I’m a woman of imperfection, who right or wrong, always chooses to handle my shit in a thousand different ways on a thousand different days, but I handle it. I’ve always been labeled as a tough and strong woman. As many times as I’ve doubted that theory, I’m now able to see what others see. I am tough on myself and therefore on others. I've put in so much work and continue my work on being more forgiving of myself and others. And I'm stronger than I ever thought I was.

Shit has gone wrong indeed! But I try to handle everything in my life with empathy and love, and sadly, when that fails, I use my anger and …

Pink Derby

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Recipe courtesy of Food Network Kitchens

Total Time: 5 min
Prep: 5 min
Yield:1 drink
Level: Easy

Ingredients
3 ounces Kiwi-Watermelon-Lime Juice, recipe follows
2 ounces bourbon
1 teaspoon honey
Kiwi slice, for garnish
Kiwi-Watermelon-Lime Juice:
2 kiwis, peeled
1 1/4 cups chopped watermelon
2 large, juicy limes, peel and pith removed

Directions
Combine the Kiwi-Watermelon-Lime Juice, bourbon, honey and a splash of water in a cocktail shaker filled with ice. Shake vigorously for 8 to 10 seconds. Strain into a cocktail glass. Garnish with a kiwi slice.

Kiwi-Watermelon-Lime Juice:
Juice, in this order, the kiwis, watermelon and limes, following your juicer's specific settings for each. Serve the juice immediately over ice, if desired. Yield: 8 to 10 ounces
Copyright 2013 Television Food Network, G.P. All rights reserved.

Fore more recipes visit foodnetwork.com