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Showing posts from July, 2017

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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Catching a glimpse of our human love story…

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The past six months have been so tough for our country. I find myself looking for the good around me in order to recharge and move forward without losing hope. Throughout the day, I actively look for feel-good stories online or in my community. A recent story on the news about a group of beachgoers was inspiring; they formed an 80-person human chain to save someone who was in trouble. In that story, there was this feel-good energy that connected me to the people in the news, our shared humanity was felt skin-deep—an intermittent glimpse of the love story that unfolded before the country. I felt the energy and love weaved into the fabric of my being, as a fellow inhabitant of this world, sharing an experience of caring and needing to be cared for by those around me.

Goodness creates a ripple effect when we care for each other without any prejudice or judgment. The story about the beachgoers helping a stranger is a love story. A person stopping to help a stray dog get to safety is a love…

Artichoke and Tomato Panzanella

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Recipe courtesy ofGiada De Laurentiis
Total: 16 min
Active: 10 min
Yield: 4 servings
Level: Easy

Ingredients
3 cups 1 1/2-inch-cubed whole-wheat bread
One 10-ounce package frozen artichoke hearts, thawed (about 2 cups)
2/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling
1/2 teaspoon salt, plus more for seasoning
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, plus more for seasoning
3 large red tomatoes, cut into wedges (about 2 pounds)
1 cup pitted black olives, halved
3/4 cup chopped fresh basil leaves (about 1 bunch)
1/4 cup white wine vinegar

Directions
Place a grill pan over medium-high heat or preheat a gas or charcoal grill. Drizzle the bread and artichoke hearts with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Grill the bread and artichokes until golden brown at the edges, about 6 minutes total, turning every 2 to 3 minutes. Remove the bread and artichokes from the grill and transfer to a large bowl.

Add the tomatoes, olives and basil to the bowl and toss to combine. In a small bowl, stir togethe…

Healthy Chipotle Beer-and-Butter Shrimp Foil Pack

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Chipotle and cumin are tempered by beer, butter and lime in this simple and healthy shrimp dish that comes together in a snap. Sealing the ingredients in aluminum foil before grilling keeps the juices in and makes a sauce that is perfect for pouring over rice.


Recipe courtesy of Food Network Kitchen Total: 30 min
Active: 25 min
Yield: 4 servings
Level: Easy

Ingredients
1 1/4 pounds peeled and deveined large shrimp
5 garlic cloves, smashed
2 teaspoons chipotle hot sauce, plus more to taste
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1/4 teaspoon ground coriander
3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 cup Mexican-style lager, such as Corona
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into pieces
1 lime, halved
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro leaves
2 cups cooked white rice

Directions
Prepare a grill for medium heat. Lay out a piece of heavy-duty foil 12 inches by 18 inches. Fold the four sides up to create walls and spread the shrimp in the center of the foil. Toss the shrimp with the garlic, chipotle sauce, cumin, ore…

Chicken Salad

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Bestie Note: We used 1/4 teaspoon of salt. We recommend you use very little salt and add as needed.

Recipe courtesy of Food Network Kitchen
Total: 30 min
Active: 30 min
Yield: 4 servings
Level: Easy

Ingredients
4 cups diced poached chicken, recipe follows
1 stalk celery, cut into 1/4-inch dice
4 scallions, trimmed and thinly sliced or 1/4 cup sweet onion cut into 1/4-inch dice
1 1/2 teaspoons finely chopped fresh tarragon or fresh dill
2 tablespoons finely chopped parsley
1 cup prepared or homemade mayonnaise
2 teaspoons strained freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
2 teaspoons kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper

POACHED CHICKEN FOR SALAD
10 sprigs parsley
2 sprigs fresh thyme
1 small onion, halved
1 small carrot, halved
1 stalk celery, halved
3 pounds chicken breasts halves, on the bone and fat trimmed
5 to 6 cups chicken broth, homemade or low-sodium canned

Directions
In a mixing bowl, toss together the chicken, celery, scallions and herbs. Set aside.

In a small bowl, whisk together the m…

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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How Heavy Are The Rocks You Carry?

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Glennon Doyle just wrote a piece about letting go of beliefs that weigh us down. I read the article and moved on with my day, but it kept popping into my head because something really hit home. I’ve always had the belief that I’m doing life wrong. I’m eating wrong so I can't have the body I’m happy with, I’m parenting wrong, I’m doing my makeup wrong, I’m dressing wrong, I smile wrong in pictures, I respond wrongly to situations -- I’m always doing something wrong! Over the past few years, I’ve worked vigorously to let go of that belief, but it’s been such a challenge to develop a new belief system that is kind, gentle, and forgiving. When I say that I work on it every single day of my life, I’m not exaggerating. I meditate every day to overcome the loop playing in my head with all the things I’ve done wrong in the past.

Glennon writes, Let’s start the week by letting go of something heavy. What’s weighing you down right now and how would your life be different if you Let it Go?

Is …

Grilled Pineapple with Vanilla Ice Cream And Rum Sauce

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Recipe courtesy of Ellie Krieger
Total: 30 min
Active: 15 min
Yield: 8 servings
Level: Easy

Ingredients
1 (3 to 4 pound) pineapple
Nonstick cooking spray
2 teaspoons butter
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup rum
1 pint light vanilla ice cream

Directions
Cut the top and bottom off of the pineapple, peel and cut it crosswise into 8 rings, about 1/2-inch each. Use a spoon or apple corer to carve out the center core of each ring.

Spray a large grill pan with cooking spray and heat over a medium flame. Grill the pineapple, in 2 or 3 batches, for 2 to 3 minutes on each side, until it is nicely brown and grill marks have appeared. (You can also grill this on an outdoor grill sprayed with cooking spray before being heated.)

While the last batch of pineapple cooks, heat the butter, sugar and rum in a small saucepan over a low heat, stirring, until the sugar is dissolved and the sauce has thickened slightly, about 2 minutes. Remove the sauce from the heat.

Place a pineapple ring on each plate, scoop 1/4 cup of ice cr…

Farro Salad with Grilled Eggplant, Tomatoes and Onion

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Recipe courtesy of Bobby Flay
Total: 1 hr 35 min
Active: 20 min
Yield: 4 servings
Level: Easy

Ingredients
1 1/2 cups farro
3 Japanese (baby) eggplants, halved
1 small red onion, peeled, halved, and thickly sliced
Olive oil, for brushing
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/2 pint grape tomatoes, washed and sliced in 1/2
1/4 cup chopped fresh dill, plus more for garnish
Sherry Vinaigrette, recipe follows
Sherry Vinaigrette:
1 small shallot, finely chopped
1/4 cup sherry vinegar or balsamic vinegar
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup chopped fresh dill
1/2 cup olive oil

Directions
Cook farro in a large pot of boiling salted water until just tender, about 15 minutes. Drain well and place in a large bowl.

Heat grill to high. While the farro is cooking, brush the eggplants and onion slices with oil and season with salt and pepper. Grill for 3 to 4 minutes on each side or until just cooked through. Remove from the grill and cut into 1-inch dice. Add…

Grilled Shrimp with Mango, Lime and Radish Salsa

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Recipe courtesy of Tyler Florence
Total: 55 min
Active: 15 min
Yield: 6 servings
Level: Easy

Ingredients
12 large shrimp
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 lemon, juiced
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

Salsa:
2 limes
2 mangoes, diced
4 to 5 red radishes, diced
1 red onion, diced
1 tablespoon chili powder
1/2 bunch fresh cilantro leaves, chopped
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

Directions
In a large bowl, toss the prawns with the olive oil, lemon juice, salt, and pepper. Let marinate for about a half hour while you heat up the grill. Grill prawns on each side until they turn pink, about 5 minutes depending on size.

Remove the peel and pith from the limes and cut between the membranes to remove the segments. Put these "supremes" into a bowl and squeeze over the juice from the membranes. Add the remaining ingredients and mix; season with salt and pepper. Place warm grilled prawns on a platter and top with salsa.

For more recipes visit foodnetwork.c…

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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Cold Summer Soup

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Recipe courtesy of Tyler Florence

Total: 50 min
Active: 20 min
Yield: 4 servings
Level: Easy

Ingredients
4 hothouse cucumbers, peeled and cut in medium dice
2 green onions, chopped
1/2 honeydew melon, peeled and cut into medium dice
1 serrano chile, chopped fine
1 rib celery, chopped fine
1/2 cup rice wine vinegar
Leaves from 2 sprigs fresh mint leaves, chopped
Leaves from 1/2 bunch fresh cilantro leaves, chopped
Extra-virgin olive oil
Salt
2 tablespoons low-fat yogurt
1 lemon
1 tablespoon chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley

Directions
Combine the cucumbers, green onions, melon, chile, celery, vinegar, herbs, a drizzle of olive oil, and salt in a large bowl (the cucumbers will give off a lot of juice). Put the bowl in a large pot of ice water to chill for 30 minutes. In another bowl, combine the yogurt, a 2-count of olive oil, a squeeze of lemon, the parsley, and refrigerate. To serve, spoon the soup into bowls.



For more recipes visit foodnetwork.com

The ever-changing village…

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I just read an article about the villages we build, in and around our lives, noting that if you don’t feel like you have one, how you can go about building one. The idea seemed scary when I started reading the article, because it sounds like an impossible task to just up and build a support system. But soon realized that I’ve done it a few times over my adulthood, without realizing it! My ever-changing village that ebbs and flows is proof that it's a miraculous transition that organically happens as our ship flows with the changes in each stage of our lives.

Times of need can create an outpour of support from those around us, but then the waters get still, and at times recede into an ocean of tasks, jobs, changing interests, and life events. Connections fade and some grow into their shoes, and mature in a more rapid way than others. I always feel sad and disappointed when my village goes through big changes and morphs into something I don’t recognize anymore. I wish my village and …

Grilled Fish on Pineapple Planks with Spicy Pineapple Salsa

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This elegant yet incredibly easy preparation uses almost all the parts of a pineapple to yield tasty fillets of bass or snapper. The pineapple's peel acts as a buffer against the direct heat of the grill, preventing overcooking and keeping the fish moist, and its flesh becomes a tasty salsa that brings home the island flavors. The plating of the fish, right on the pineapple "planks," is dramatic and fun.
Total: 45 min Active: 25 min Yield: 4 servings Level: Easy
Ingredients 1 ripe pineapple One 2-inch piece fresh ginger, peeled 1/2 cup coarsely chopped fresh cilantro 2 tablespoons vegetable oil, plus more for brushing 2 ripe plum tomatoes, seeded and diced 1 small orange bell pepper, finely chopped 1 medium jalapeno, chopped (seeded, for less heat, if desired) Juice of 1 lime 1/2 small red onion, finely chopped Kosher salt 2 tablespoons soy sauce 1 tablespoon honey Four 6-ounce skinless fillets bass or snapper
Directions Prepare a grill for medium-high heat. Cut the top f…

Grilled Chicken Breasts with Spicy Peach Glaze

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Recipe courtesy of Bobby Flay
Total: 55 min
Active: 55 min
Yield: 8 servings
Level: Easy

Ingredients
2 cups peach preserves or jam
3 tablespoons olive oil, plus more for brushing
2 tablespoons soy sauce
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1 tablespoon finely chopped garlic
1 small jalapeno, finely chopped
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
8 frenched chicken breasts
4 ripe peaches, cut in half and pitted

Directions
Combine the peach preserves, olive oil, soy sauce, mustard, garlic and jalapeno in a medium bowl and season with salt and pepper. Reserve 1/2 cup.

Preheat the grill. Brush the chicken with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Place the chicken skin-side down and cook until golden brown, 6 to 7 minutes. Turn over and continue cooking for 5 to 6 minutes. Brush both sides with the peach glaze and continue cooking until done, an additional 4 to 5 minutes.

Place the peach halves cut side down on the grill and grill for 2 minutes. Turn over, brush with the reserved 1/2 cup of peach glaze and grill…

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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Staying On The Right Side of Reality

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I indulge in my guilty pleasure of watching a reality show on a regular basis. At first, I found it so fascinating to have an insider’s view to the life of other people, but once the show’s popularity spiked because of the drama among the women in the show -- curiosity morphed into wanting to see train wreck situations and bad behavior play out. Believe it or not, the ladies provide education to those of us that unconsciously, and quickly, judge the life of others. I saw certain behaviors happening among the women on the show, and I needed to decipher them in order to avoid being that judgmental friend, that’s quick to judge instead of show support and empathy. The show has helped me be aware and present in order to avoid future train wreck moments and behaviors with my friends.

The women on the show judge others to even out the playing field when they’re having a rough time in their own lives. They use personal information that only a few know, and spew it to the world on the show, be…

Zucchini Parmesan Crisps

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Recipe courtesy of Ellie Krieger
Total: 50 min
Active: 20 min
Yield: 4 servings, serving size 1/2 cup
Level: Easy

Ingredients
Cooking spray
2 medium zucchini (about 1 pound total)
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan (3/4-ounce)
1/4 cup plain dry bread crumbs
1/8 teaspoon salt
Freshly ground black pepper

Directions
Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F. Coat a baking sheet with cooking spray.

Slice the zucchini into 1/4-inch thick rounds. In a medium bowl, toss the zucchini with the oil. In a small bowl, combine the Parmesan, bread crumbs, salt, and a few turns of pepper. Dip each round into the Parmesan mixture, coating it evenly on both sides, pressing the coating on to stick, and place in a single layer on the prepared baking sheet.

Bake the zucchini rounds until browned and crisp, 25 to 30 minutes. Remove with spatula. Serve immediately.

For more recipes visit foodnetwork.com

Gazpacho

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Recipe courtesy of Ree Drummond
Total: 1 hr 30 min
Active: 30 min
Yield: 8 servings
Level: Easy

Ingredients
2 cloves garlic
1/2 red onion
5 Roma tomatoes
2 stalks celery
1 large cucumber
1 zucchini
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
2 tablespoons sugar
Several dashes hot sauce
Dash salt
Dash black pepper
4 cups good-quality tomato juice
1 pound shrimp, peeled and deveined
Avocado slices, for serving
2 hard-boiled eggs, finely minced
Fresh cilantro leaves, for serving
Crusty bread, for serving

Directions
Mince up the garlic, cut the onion into slices, and dice up the tomatoes, celery, cucumber and zucchini. Throw all the garlic, all the onion, half of the remaining diced vegetables and the oil into the bowl of a food processor or, if you like, a blender.

Splash in the vinegar and add the sugar, hot sauce, salt and pepper. Finally pour in 2 cups of the tomato juice and blend well. You'll basically have a tomato base with a beautiful confetti of vegetables.

Pour the blended mixture 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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