Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Trader Joe's Tuesday - DUTCH CHEESE!

Run, do not walk! Run to your nearest TJs! Best Boyfriend in the World Aaron turned me onto the best thing on the TJ planet! DUTCH CHEESE -- It's sliced goat cheese, found in the same area as all the other sliced cheeses.

What can you do with it?

  • Melt it! Put a slice on 1/2 a bagel, an english muffin or any ol' bread and put under broiler for a second. Top with a fresh sliced tomato!
  • Chicken Cigar Rollup --- This is Aaron's creation -- Take a slice, pile on some grilled chicken strips (from the refrigerator section near deli meats), and roll it up like a cigar!
  • Throw it on a Rice Cake -- This is my favorite afternoon snack now...cause I like the crunch of the Lundberger rice cake with the bite of the goat cheese.
  • Eat it all by itself...it's that yummy!

Friday, July 23, 2010

Five & Dime Fridays -- Ricky Ricardo is Here!

"Lucyyyyyyyyyy I'm home!" says Ricky Ricardo.

And, what makes him most happy? Chicken and Rice! Well, here's the Lazy Woman take on Chicken & Rice.... a little different than Ricky's Mom's recipe. Here's the 5 ingredient recipe:

1. Trader Joe's Frozen Jasmine Rice
2. Canned Pinto Beans
3. Any of the precooked chicken pieces in the refrigerator section
4. Salsa of your choice
5. Optional 5th ingredient -- you choose!: sliced olives, chopped cilantro, fresh lime juice, a little shredded cheese on top, etc.

If you want to be more like Ricky, you can leave out the beans, and make the chicken and rice the main part, adding extras for more flavor, juice and va-va-voom!

Babaloo to you all!

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Trader Joe's Tuesday -- Oh Sunny Day!

Hey guys,

My boyfriend was just told today that he has a basal cell cancer on his neck. He's had many before. They are usually not a big deal. They get removed and that's usually the end of it. Hopefully that will be the case here. But, I'm whirling with emotions because he is very light skinned, previously red head, now just a lot of head (LOL!) and he really does not do enough to protect against the sun. When we met online, we talked on the phone for a couple of weeks because he was shooting a movie in Puerto Rico (Johnny Depp's "Rum Diary") and he was laying in the sun all the time. It's not good to be mad at someone before you even meet them, but my god, we all have to be so much more careful in the sun! Including me!

Trader Joe's has tons of great skin products including sun protection. But, if you do get too much sun, or even just to have on hand for others, please next time you are at TJ's pick up the Aloe Vera. It is pure and absolutely healing. My first bad sunburn I remember like it was yesterday. I was probably 9 years old and we were in Hawaii and a sweet old woman walked me silently over to an aloe plant growing wild, broke off a leave and lathered me up: instant relief.

It wasn't until many years later that my grandma shared that her skin care secret that kept her looking 20 years younger her whole life was a combo of aloe vera and a few drops of Vitamin E. Warning about Vitamin E though -- it makes you more susceptible to the sun! So, do not put it on your skin prior to going out in the sun.

Moral of the story: aloe vera is one of your healing friends. Always have it in your medicine cabinet, for yourself and for others!

Friday, July 16, 2010

Five and Dime Friday -- Lazy Grilled Cheese

Five ingredients:
1. Pre-Sliced Sourdough Bread (or your bread of choice)
2. Pre-Sliced Swiss Cheese (or your cheese of choice)
3. Sliced Tomato
4. Grainy Mustard (or mustard/dressing of your choice)
5. Arugula

Since it's summer, please note this is the most unbelievably delicious thing to grill! But, if not, use your Forman Grill/panini maker/etc....or whatever device you use to grill inside.

If you are grilling outside, brush one side of the bread lightly with olive oil. Place mustard on inside -- both sides for my taste -- put a couple slices of cheese and then put the tomato slices between. Grill it up! Then when it's nice and toasty and done, gently open it up and throw some slices of arugula inside. Close it back up and YUMMALICIOUS!

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Trader Joe's Tuesday -- Mindful Eating and Buying

I just got back from Trader Joe's and here's what I bought: raw almonds, celery, goat cheese, peanut butter, apples, nectarines, watermelon, blueberries. Why is that worth noting? Because while my Trader Joe's back is most often full of healthy stuff, when I shop when I'm hungry I usually end up with more salty and sweet treats thrown in.

I was hungry when I was shopping today, but as I walked in I asked myself "What does my body want me to eat?" And, I instantly gravitated to fruit, fruit, fruit and then celery, with a a little protein thrown in.

A couple months ago I read "Women, Food and God: An Unexpected Pathway to Almost Everything," and while I loved it, I felt like I couldn't do what was recommended in the book. But yesterday very syncronistically I saw an episode of Oprah where the author Geneen Roth was answering questions from women who had read the book. It was synchronistic because both Saturday and Sunday night Aaron and I made two beautiful beautifuls but we really overate. It was all so delicious and we just very simply ate too much, so we were both so full afterwards -- and two nights in the row.

One of the main tenets of the book is mindful eating, so that you are aware of when you are satisfied (not overly full!) rather than eating so fast and unconsciously that you miss the "I'm satisfied" cue your body naturally gives. I've never taken so long to eat a salad as I did today. I was between appointments and sat quietly, just me and my food, and watched as the world went by, fully tasting my food, chewing more than I ever do, and stopping when I was satisfied. It was actually the most peaceful meal I think I've ever had. I was just eating. I didn't even allow myself to check my Blackberry!

And, when I got back from Trader Joe's I was hungry, and all I wanted was an apple. I ate it mindfully and it became clear I've missed so many flavors I've had in my mouth. I say I love food so much, and that I love making beautiful flavors come together, and yet I eat so quickly that I miss most of them.

It's been 24 hours, but I feel so much lighter already. I haven't overeaten once, and I've enjoyed every bite I've eaten so very much. And, Trader Joe's is my new buddy. And, now when I enter their lovely doors, I have a new mantra: "What does my body want to eat?"

Monday, July 12, 2010

Lazy Scar Removal?!!!

I had a little surgery on my neck a few weeks ago. Last Wednesday I had a post suture removal check-up and he said "see you in a month!" I asked if I should apply Vitamin E, or massage the area, etc. -- all the tricks previous doctors had given me before. He said "Do whatever you want, but none of it makes much difference...."

Well the next day I heard about Curad Scar Therapy Silicone Pads from my accupuncturist who saw my scar and suggested it. I can tell you honestly that within 72 hours there was a huge difference in the appearance of the scar. I'm on Day 5 now, and the keloid scar has decreased by about 1/2 already. It literally looks better every day. And, Aaron confirmed that it's not wishful thinking on my part. He sees it too.

My scar is fairly new but apparently it works on old scars too, so if you have a scar, give it a whirl!

Friday, July 09, 2010

It's FIVE & DIME FRIDAY -- Lazy Chicken Tacos

Trader Joe's is my hero for having as many types of tortillas that they do. There is something for everyone: whole wheat, corn, white flour, gluten free, rice, sprouted wheat (my favorite Ezekiel!!!!), etc. But, the most genius thing that they added in the last year is TACO SHELLS. So, now you can make the most deliciosa tacos with one stop shopping in less than 10 minutes:

So the FIVE (5) ingredients are:

2. Any of the pre-cooked CHICKEN options in the refrigerator section..oh my god so many options now!
3. LETTUCE of your choosing (my fav for tacos: American Salad Mix)
4. SHREDDED CHEESE (I use cheddar)

Optional additions: Avocado, chopped onions, sliced olives, canned jalapenos, etc.

Throw the lettuce in the bottom of the shell. Sprinkle in some salsa. Heat up the chicken in microwave. Throw it on top of lettuce and salsa. Sprinkle with cheese...and then a little more salsa to add a bit of color to top it off!

NOTE: If you add any of the optional extra ingredients, make sure you put them all in and save the cheese for last.


Tuesday, July 06, 2010

Trader Joe's Tuesday -- Olive Oil Cake

Hear Ye! Hear Ye! It's Summer and the Berries are ripe for the pickin'!!!!

Trader Joe's has tons of fresh, gorgeous berries and many wonderful and rich olive oils that are perfect for this summery Italian cake.

I was flipping through the July issue of Food and Wine and found the perfect dessert for 4th of July dinner. Check out the link to the recipe for Olive Oil Cake with Blackberries. I put 1/2 strawberries and 1/2 blackberries to make for some good blue and red, and then whipped up some cream with a dash of Grand Marnier and a smidge of sugar to make for a good white addition....for a truly delicious red, white and blue festival of flavor. (I didn't take a picture of the whipped cream so you just have to trust me it looked super cool flaggy!)

Olive Oil Cake is one of Aaron's favorites, and I've been looking for the perfect recipe. This one has orange rind and Grand Marnier in it to really kick up the fresh flavor factor. Honestly, it's the best Olive Oil Cake any of us at our 4th of July party had ever had.


Happy Summer Cookin' to All!