Thursday, January 31, 2013

Blueberry Limeade

I love a nice limeade, even though it's winter and windy out. The sun is shining bright and the snow has melted to little patches and the promise of spring arriving before we know it is in the air and there is reason to celebrate. Join me with a blueberry limeade! It's oh-so tart and just perfect to celebrate the sun, the melting snow and a few weeks of winter left. Enjoy!

  • 1 cup blueberry juice
  • 1 cup cooled mint tea
  • juice of 1-2 limes

Combine all of the ingredients, starting with one lime and working your way up to your liking. Add in stevia to sweeten it to your liking. Serves 1.

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Grapefruit - Thyme Juice

This juice is so refreshing, I couldn't even wait to take the picture before I took a few sips, lol. First, you get the tartness of the grapefruit on your taste buds and it ends with a hint of clean, yet slightly woodsy thyme. With the abundance of citrus fruits this time of year, I've been drinking a lot of orange, tangerine and grapefruit juices, in all different combinations. My favorite being my evening tonic, the juice of two oranges and a half a lemon, it's oh-so-tart and delicious! Happy juicing! Enjoy!

  • 2 small ruby red grapefruits, juiced
  • 3 oranges, juiced
  • 1/4 cup thyme tea

To make your thyme tea, take 1/2 teaspoon of dried thyme leaves (from your spice cupboard) and place in a tea baller. Pour 1/2 a cup of boiling water over it and let it steep until it cools. (Reserve the remaining 1/4 cup for another juice.) Combine the citrus juices with the thyme tea and give it a good stir. Makes one generous serving.

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

The Treasure Chest

I love old weathered trunks. I imagine all of the stories they must tell, the treasures they held, complete fragments of lives, in essentially a box. My husband said our trunk reminds him of his grandma. She would hold everything in her trunk including the candies he always asked for when he was little. He said hers was in way better condition though, lol. I like things "rustic." I let the fabric fray away and let the piece age in peace, along with lots of rust, which I think adds character. The minute I saw this trunk out on the curb to be picked up by the garbage truck, I hit the brakes and staked my prize until a more accommodating vehicle could pick it up, instead of my old, small convertible. I brought it home, opened it up and let it air out in the sun, which I advise you do, if you find one, on the curb, garage sale or antique shop. Depending on its' condition and value, a great idea is to drill on swivel casters. With it still being January and lots of organization resolutions still in the air, a trunk on wheels is a great storage option, which can hold a magnitude of stuff in it. After looking at what felt like endless rows of magazines caddies, I knew it was time to put them to rest and that's when I looked at the truck as the magazines' new storage spot. I saved the magazines, being time capsules between two glossy pages but didn't really reference them much after the initial read. But knew one rainy Sunday, I would love to break them out, to enjoy again. A sort of trip down memory lane. And that's when the trunk became a treasure chest of magazines. After your truck is filled with your treasures, whatever they may be, they make a nice piece of furniture, a coffee table, they look great at the end of a bed, a side table to your desk or in the entryway topped with a bouquet of flowers. Happy organizing!

Monday, January 28, 2013

Going Green Juice

Out of all of the juices I've been making, the green juice, could sit for half a day before I finish it off. I know, what kind of juice-detoxer am I? Practically terrible. I favor the fruit juices any day instead of the green but what's a juice detox without the green juice? Not a very good one, with all of the benefits from the kale, spinach and dandelion greens, it's worth going green with your juice. Your body will thank you. Enjoy!

  • 1 bunch kale, about 3/4 pound
  • 1 bunch spinach, about 1/2 pound
  • 1 bunch dandelion, about 1/4 pound
  • 1 cubanelle pepper, seeds removed
  • 1 handful parsley
  • 1 handful cilantro
  • 1 cucumber, skin peeled
  • 1 Granny Smith apple
  • squeeze of lemon*optional

Juice all of the ingredients and add in the lemon if you like. Serves 1.

Friday, January 25, 2013

Cantaloupe - Cardamom Juice

Juice detoxing can be difficult but if you keep your palette excited with new flavors, it doesn't feel like much of a punishment. And if you bring creativity to your juices, like you do your meals, it can be rewarding in taste and with the numbers on the scale. An easy way to bring flavor to your juices are spices. An ordinary cantaloupe juice becomes extra special when cardamom and ginger are added to it. Although ginger is easily added to your juice, by using either fresh or ground, cardamom, on the other hand requires a little more time, to gather its essence. The night before you plan to make this juice recipe, just crush a few cardamom pods, (I used 6) and pour 1/4 cup boiling water boiling water over them and allow to cool and store in your refrigerator. (It keeps for a long long time, if your love cardamom, steep some more pods, so you always have some on hand.) Happy juicing and happy weekend all!

  • 1 small cantaloupe, juiced
  • 1/4 cup cardamom elixir
  • pinch ground ginger, or more

Combine all of the ingredients and stir well, it separates easily. Enjoy! Serves 1.

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Cherry & Pear Pie Juice

I caught G.Gavin's Road Trip on TV the other night and did I circle a date on my calender to take a ride to Pies 'n' Thighs in Brooklyn. So, you bring up the juice detox, I know. I circled it way into the future and as odd as it sounds, late night, I take comfort in watching a little food TV. It makes me feel like I'm eating, even though my nourishment comes through a straw. (Deep sigh and a chuckle.) So they featured fried chicken, yum and a glorious cherry and pear pie that I immediately thought to myself, "Cherry and Pear Pie Juice!" minus the buttery pasty. (Double sigh.) But to be honest with you, I didn't even miss it, the juice was so delicious on its' own. Enjoy!

  • 1 1/4 cup sour cherry juice*
  • 4 Bosc pears, juiced
  • pinch of ground cinnamon
  • freshly grated nutmeg

Combine all of the ingredients and stir well. Serves 1.

*You want to use a good cherry juice, I'm obsessed with Granny's Secret, it's just so good. Great late at night, as it's helps with sleep, which I found out by default on a sleepy Saturday afternoon, lol.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Watermelon & Radish Juice

Watermelon and radish juice is lots of sweetness with a little peppery bite in a tall glass. It's a pick-me-up type of juice, that is especially refreshing right after a treadmill work-out. Garnish with a grinding of fresh black pepper for an extra peppery bite. Enjoy!

  • 1/2 baby watermelon
  • 5 radishes
  • 5 tablespoons of mint tea, cooled
  • squeeze of lime juice
  • fresh ground black pepper

Cut your watermelon into chunks and place them in a sieve, with a bowl under it and gently push down with a large spoon, so the watermelon releases its' juice. Run the watermelon pulp through the juicer along with the radishes. Combine the watermelon and radish juice with the tea and lime juice. Garnish with the black pepper. Serves 1.

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Chai & Pear Juice

I love a nice hot cup of chai tea, especially on a cold winter day, such as today, with temperatures at an icy eleven degrees. And as I'm detox-juicing away, I wanted a warm type of juice, not warm in temperature but in flavor. And vanilla and cinnamon always feel warm to me, reminding me of warm cake, thickly iced with vanilla frosting and cinnamon buns... (I'm having a moment, lol.) And the natural sweetness of ripe pears lends this juice a warm dessert flavor, which I've been craving...This juice is a real sweet treat! Enjoy!

  • 4 ripe Bosc pears
  • 1/2 cup Chai Masala tea, cooled
  • a few drop of vanilla extract, or more to taste
  • sprinkle of cinnamon

Juice your pears, (I left the skin on) and combine with the tea, vanilla and cinnamon. Stir well and enjoy. Serves 1.

Friday, January 18, 2013

Gazpacho Juice

I really miss cooking and getting lost in the kitchen, creating recipes, tasting and enjoying the end result. I miss the fire and the bubbling of a tomato sauce, the sound of meatballs sizzling in a frying pan and the plop of the meatballs being dropped into the sauce. And the slurping of long spaghetti strands, as you enjoy your first bite. I miss it all but it's day eighteen of my detox and I'm excited, it will be worth the sacrifice. In creative spirits, I made a gazpacho juice with tomatoes and cucumbers for a twist on the classic, I added fennel and a small cubanelle pepper, my favorite. If you are feeling brave add a clove of garlic. Happy weekend!

  • 11 Campari tomatoes, with the seeds reserved from one tomato for garnish
  • 1/2 English cucumber, skin peeled
  • 1/2 fennel bulb
  • 1 cubanelle pepper
  • 1 clove of garlic* optional

Juice all of your vegetables and enjoy. Serves 1.

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Pineapple & Kiwi Juice

As we all have our morning rituals, more often than not, having a cup of coffee is one of them. And I have to admit, I miss having a cup, but it's not so much the coffee that I miss than the ritual of it, the ride to the coffee shop, receiving the steaming cup and the twirl of the swizzle stick as I add some kind of creamer in it and that first sip. As I've undertaken this juice detox, I've had to replace my morning ritual with the sound of the juicer. And surprisingly, I'm enjoying it and if you are trying to nix the caffeine, this is a nice tart juice to get your morning going, detoxing or not. Enjoy!

  • 1/2 pineapple, trimmed, the skin removed and roughly chopped
  • 3 kiwis, trimmed, skin peeled and roughly chopped
  • juice of 1 orange

Juice the pineapple and the kiwi, combine with the orange juice and enjoy. Serves 1.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Tabletop Wishing Well

As a little girl, I loved making wishes. (I still do now.) When I would go food shopping with my mom, I would stop at the bridge, close my eyes tight and throw a rock in with my intention. (On good days, my mom gave me a penny.) I would watch the rock drop and make a big plop and rippling waves. I believed that God heard my wish when the rock hit the water. And as a teenager, I couldn't pass up the fountain, without throwing a penny in. Encourage the wish making in your home with a "tabletop wishing well", made simply out of a round glass bowl filled with water. Drop in a few coins with your wishes and let them be heard. Happy wishing!

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Brightening Things Up a Bit...

After the holidays and all of the lights on the houses begin to dim and the lights on the tree fade, I find myself missing the brightness, especially in the height of winter. I usually dress up my mantel and it's festive and in the spirit but once I take it down, I find myself needing color and lots of it. If you are in the same boat as me, an easy way to remedy that need, is art. Bright art, at that, full of rich colors. When picking art, go with what makes your heart sing and goes with the mood of your home. If your home is mostly neutrals but you want a pop of color, go for it! If you have an eclectic style, go for something that sings with your style or for a piece of artwork that gives your eye a place to rest and brings everything together. Happy decorating!

If you are interested in any artwork done by me like the one pictured here, contact me at and I would happy to discuss prices or any custom orders.

"Untitled" close-up.

Monday, January 14, 2013

Fennel & Orange Juice with Smoked Paprika

Today is day fourteen of my juice detox and there is nothing that I would want more right now than a juicy roasted chicken with orange slices, lots of garlic and maybe even a little fennel. And lots of smoked Paprika, dark and deep in flavor...but I'm detoxing and chicken is off limits for now but the rest of the dish isn't, so I juiced it and the smokiness of the paprika gives the drink a nice surprise. It's not the succulent chicken dish I was imagining (really, almost fantasizing about, lol) but soon, for now, it's juice time! Enjoy!

  • 3 oranges, juiced
  • 1 fennel bulb, cut into small pieces
  • 1 clove of garlic
  • smoked Spanish paprika

Juice your garlic and fennel and combine with the orange juice. Sprinkle with a little paprika and give it a stir. Garnish with an extra sprinkling of paprika. Serves 1.

Friday, January 11, 2013

Apple and Strawberry Juice with Rosehip Hibiscus Tea

It's a height-of-winter-type of day, cold and the sky is gray. The snow is turning dirty and it feels like spring is a long time aways, although I know that's not true, it will be here before we know it. I'm constantly amazed at how profound nature is. Slowly, the dreariness will transition to warming temperatures, the snow will melt and the crocuses will begin to show their cheery purple faces. Birds will chirp loudly and spring will greet us one day as we open the door to go out, to go back inside to trade our winter coats for light spring jackets. The sun will shine stronger and it will be a celebration of life. When I think of the wonder, I'm grateful and look at winter as a gift to go deep within and to make the changes that are needed, to be part of the rebirth of springtime. I can't help but think of this, as it's day eleven of my detox and I'm excited for the changes. Enjoy a slightly tropical juice with me, detoxing or not, it's a nice addition to your day in place of coffee. Use an umbrella straw, just for fun! ;) Happy weekend!

  • 3 Gala apples
  • 1 mango
  • 4 oz. rosehip hibiscus tea, cooled
  • 1 cup strawberries, pureed
  • stevia*optional

Juice the apples and the mango and add in the tea and the strawberries, stir well and enjoy. Makes 1 serving.

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Popcorn Garland for the Birds

I like to feed the birds come wintertime. A few winters, I fed them birdseed but I would end up spilling half of it while adding it into the bird feeder and it ended up making a huge mess. And watching the squirrels eat it all anyway kind of defeated the point. Another year, I tried those suet squares, that require a special feeder but once you run out, you have to get the exact size that fit into the feeder and I haven't had a chance to get them. So this year, I thought that popcorn garland would be nice to try. It was fun to make and Daisy (the dog) got a kick out of it too as whenever a popped kernel didn't make it onto the garland and landed on the floor, she got to enjoy it. (I thought it was great too, "Easy Clean-up!" lol.) And as the holidays roll to a close and the bareness of winter comes in, it's nice to brighten up a tree up with some garland.

  • 1/3 cup popcorn kernels or more
  • thread, I used 100% cotton crochet thread
  • needle

Pop your popcorn without oil, let it cool. I cut a 6 foot piece of thread to make one strand. (You can make it longer if you like, you will have enough popcorn leftover.) I think it's easier to work in smaller sections. First tie a loop at the end of the thread and make two knots to close, so you have a little loop to hang onto the tree. Begin threading your popcorn, until all done, when you are close to the end, tie another loop with two knots to close. Hang on a tree and enjoy watching the birds come by.

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Blackberry - Lavender Juice

So it's official, I am sticking to this juice fast a la Joe Cross in Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead. I walked into Tarjet the other day and what stared me in the face upon walking in were bikinis, tiny, cute bikinis, that I can't fit into. Or maybe I could fit into them if I stretched, pulled and tied it, at its' last millimeter of string? It all started with a cold/cough from last year, that I am having such a hard time getting rid of. At one point, I thought it was bronchitis, the weight sitting on my chest, like a few bricks. I'm grateful that it's dwindled down to just a cough but at the height of its' heaviness, I referenced a natural health book that suggested that I do a juice fast for a week, with no appetite, it felt like the right thing to do and came naturally. I really like the idea of giving your body a rest, a rest from eating, especially cravings, those darn cravings that take you on a roller coaster of flavors that has been the cornerstone of this blog. I'm a food lover for God's sake, not cooking will be hard, as it's my passion, not to mention the difficulty of not tasting. I love creating food to be thoroughly, unabashedly enjoyed down to the last bite. But it's time for a change and I know it's not going to be for forever but it will be a challenging time for sure, making juices interesting and tasty but so far so good! Enjoy!

  • 2 Gala apples, juiced
  • 1 cup blackberries, blended with a hand immersion blender
  • a few lavender buds* food-grade found in the spice aisle
  • 1 cup Earl Grey tea, cooled
  • stevia*optional

Combine all of the ingredients, add stevia if you want it sweeter. Enjoy. Makes one generous serving.

*Please consult your health care professional before starting a juice fast.*

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Pineapple & Fennel Juice

As Januarys' theme of cleansing and clearing continues, I can't help but juice! The combination of tart green apple and pineapple with the subtle spiciness of the fennel is refreshing and exciting! Enjoy!

  • 1/2 whole pineapple
  • 1/2 fennel bulb, cut up
  • 1 Granny Smith apple, cup up

Remove the skin off the pineapple and cut into small pieces. Juice, juice juice away...Serves 1.

Monday, January 7, 2013

Chicken, Arugula & Avocado Soup

Tis the month to be cleansing, clearing and to be taking good care of yourself, to guard yourself from the dreaded cold. It has hit this household and it's not a pretty picture. It wipes you out and leaves you tired and the thought of doing anything more than getting out of bed is exhausting. The thought of eating, as in chewing got me tired and so this soup came about. I love a good chicken soup from scratch but when you're not feeling great, the thought of cooking from scratch can wipe you out, so use a good chicken stock and this soup is on the table in a matter of minutes. You want to take it easy when you're sick and save all your energy for healing. Enjoy and stay well!

  • 32 oz. organic chicken or vegetable broth
  • 5 oz. container baby arugula, roughly chopped
  • 1 ripe avocado
  • sea salt
  • ground black pepper

In a Dutch oven, heat up the broth until it begins to boil, drop in the arugula, until wilted, about a minute or so. Take your pot off the stove and add in the avocado, roughly chopped and with an immersion hand blender, blend until combined. If you like, you can heat it up so the it's pipping hot. Season with salt and pepper. Serves 4.

Friday, January 4, 2013

The Pantry

If you ask me when the best time to stock the pantry is, I would have to say late fall. (Only because my pantry is more of an ice box in the winter.) Pantries in theory are to be kept in the coolest part of the house, closest to the kitchen. I don't have a pantry room (my dream though, a nice cozy one with dark wood, vintage hardware, I would probably meditate in it, on the floor, I would need a great rug too...) just a pantry... I'm gonna call it a closet. It's tall, beautiful and my hubby made it with precision. I just love it. The pantry closet is in the sun room, which sounds warm but is basically off-limits as it's un-insulated and surrounded by slat windows circa 1960. Perfect for the pantry closet and not much else, come the winter months. As the coldness of January comes to fully embrace us with its' cold and clammy hug, you want a hot meal bubbling away on the stove, like chilies, stews and soups, that stocked pantries come in handy for. You don't want to run back to the store because you forgot rice, opening that door to be greeted by that icy take some time and as you do your food shopping this weekend, add what's needed to that pantry. Happy weekend!

Stocking the pantry:
  • pastas, all kinds of shapes and sizes including couscous
  • rice, all kinds, white, brown, arborio, forbidden, wild
  • grains, all kinds, amaranth, quinoa, farro
  • beans, all kinds, dried and in cans
  • cornmeal to make polenta (great cold weather food, topped with Italian sausages and tomato sauce)
  • grits (great for dinner in place of rice or pasta) check out Shrimp and Grits for a nice idea.
  • steel cut oats, not just for a hearty breakfast, check out Savory Steel Cut Oats with Calamari in Tomato Sauce
  • nuts, all kinds (great to throw into a quick pilaf)
  • bouillon cubes, all kinds, including mushroom and a good vegetable
  • tomatoes in a can, crushed, pureed, diced
  • tomato paste, I recommend in a tube instead of a can, (if you use a can and only have to use a little bit, you will have that half-can of paste floating in your fridge with good intentions that are never quite met.)
  • anchovies, in oil and paste (great when you want that extra saltiness in pasta mixed with capers and lemon juice)
  • jars of good marinara sauce, great to add in veggies and toss with pasta or rice
  • cans of sardines (can be fun on a sandwich) and tuna fish (tuna melts!)
  • jar of a variety of olives, jars of roasted peppers, capers, marinated artichokes (great on a plate, topped with olive oil and paired with good bread and chunks of Parmesan Reggiano cheese, nice for surprise guests.)
  • breadcrumbs, plain, Italian and Panko
  • instant mashed potatoes (100% potato, great thickener)
  • bottles of olive oil and jars of vinegars

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Persimmon & Celery Juice

By now, you know where you stand, with the scale that is. The holiday pounds have made their way into tighter pants and the numbers have (drum roll please) made their final showing. What's a food lover to do come January but naturally lighten things up to make up for past injustices in the form of creamy desserts, rich and fatty meats and carb-o-licious side dishes. It's the holidays, indulgences are part of the merriment, right? But it's not a time to feel bad about yourself, just a time to re-balance and lighten things up a bit. This is a refreshing juice that's flavorful and gentle enough to make up for all the hard hits your body took, in forms of cream puffs, cheese spreads and other delicious foods. Can you tell I'm having a hard time letting go of all of the "merriment?" Just a little bit, lol. I think it's time to drink my juice! ;)

  • 2 persimmons
  • 4 celery stalks
  • 3 clementines, juiced
  • 1 cup chamomile tea, cooled
  • handful of cilantro
  • pinch of ground ginger

Juice the persimmons and celery. Combine with the tea and clementine juice. Give it a good stir with the ginger. (If you want it sweeter, add a little agave syrup.) Enjoy. Serves 1.

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

New Year Wishes

A new year! A fresh slate, a new beginning full of hopes, dreams and wishes. I love the air of mystery as the new year begins, fresh and full of promise. I love hanging up a new calender and opening up a fresh planner, where the pages still stick together. What will the months reveal as the year moves on? Hopefully all good but if there are any clouds, I try to remember that eventually the sun does comes out. And if there is rain, magical rainbows appear shortly after. I think it's important to take some time and make some wishes as the new year begins. What are your deepest wishes? Dare to wish on them and believe that will happen for you! Happy new year all, may it be the year that sparkles and the year that is ten times better than the year you said to yourself, "That was a great year!" Happy-happy 2013!